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Monday, October 12, 2020

| October 12, 2020

Monday Memo: Got Local News? Guard it. Now more than ever – with the pandemic upending the life we were accustomed to – consultant Holland Cooke says “you will continue to distinguish your product from your robotic audio competition, and what’s-left-of the newspaper, by telling listeners something useful that nobody else is telling them.”  In this week’s column, some simple tips. Read it here.

The Presidential Race/Mail-In Voting, Fatal Denver Rally Shooting, VP Debate, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/Trump’s COVID Case, New Stimulus Negotiations, Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation, Hurricane Delta-California Wildfires, and NFL COVID Concerns Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November presidential election and the matter of mail-in voting; the fatal shooting at a Denver political protest gathering and tensions in the city; Wednesday’s vice presidential debate; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., projections for future cases, and President Trump‘s bout with the disease; negotiations for a new federal stimulus package; the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett; Hurricane Delta drenches Louisiana and the ongoing California wildfires; and the positive COVID-19 cases popping up in the NFL were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Take It or Leave It. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes today about selling news/talk radio in a time when your sales planning priorities can shift as quickly as the news cycle changes. He says that “organizing chaos is part of our new sales world” and offers some strategies to keep sellers on track during these unpredictable times. Read it here.

Carmean Joins Entercom Sacto As GSM. The market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Boise (Idaho) cluster – Rick Carmean – is named general sales manager of Entercom Sacramento. According to Entercom Sacramento senior vice president and market manager Stacey Kauffman, “Because of the rich history and success of Entercom Sacramento’s portfolio of brands and assets, expectations are high for this team. Rick’s vast experience in audio, sports, and digital – coupled with his track record of producing winning results – make him an excellent and valuable addition to our strong leadership team. We are excited to welcome Rick to Entercom and Sacramento.” Carmean adds, “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to represent the top-rated radio stations in the market and work with a talented team of sales professionals and on-air talent.” Carmean previously was Red Zebra Broadcasting’s president and chief executive officer and held digital advertising leadership roles at AOL and Source Media. In addition to sports talk KIFM-AM “ESPN 1320,” Entercom Sacramento consists of rhythmic CHR KSFM; CHR KUDL “106.5 The End”; classic rock KSEG “96.9 The Eagle”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; and alternative KKDO “Alt 94-7.”

More Than 2,100 “Attend” NAB’s Online Radio Show. The week-long digital experience began one week ago (Monday, 10/5) and continued through this past Friday afternoon (10/9) at RadioShowWeb.com. According to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Radio Show in-person attendance has recently been averaging 2,000, while this year’s online event attracted 2,143 registrants. NAB president and chief executive officer Gordon Smith comments, “Although we regret not being able to meet in person, this [past] week’s Radio Show digital experience provided a welcome opportunity to connect and gain valuable insight on how to prevail during this difficult time and move forward as an industry.” RAB president and chief executive officer Erica Farber remarks, “The Radio Show is an industry favorite. Having the opportunity to gather virtually and connect with broadcasters, advertisers, thought leaders, and partners has been tremendously valuable. The good news is all Radio Show content will continue to be made available for on-demand viewing should anyone want to re-watch a specific session or may have missed any of the sessions or presentations.” Among the highlights were a keynote by Dave Ramsey, and a “CEO Town Hall” with Mary Berner (Cumulus Media); David Field (Entercom); and Bob Pittman (iHeartMedia). The Town Hall was moderated by NBC News senior business correspondent/MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle. Next year’s Radio Show will co-locate with the NAB Show, which has been rescheduled for October 9-13 (2021) in Las Vegas.

KBA Honors Talbott. Bluegrass native Julie Talbott will be presented with the Ralph Gabbard “Distinguished Kentuckian Award” from the Kentucky Broadcasters Association at today’s (Monday, 10/12) 2:00 pm virtual Excellence in Broadcasting Awards event. Fifteen years after joining Premiere Networks, Talbott was named president of the company in January 2014 ; she oversees operation of Premiere Networks’ more than 100 radio programs and services. In addition, she manages business partnerships with talent, as well as leading/maintaining affiliate relationships to sell/service Premiere Networks, Total Traffic & Weather Network, and the 24/7 News Network. Talbott previously was chief operating officer of MJI Broadcasting, which was acquired by Premiere’s parent company Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia). Talbott began her career at BBDO Advertising. The Ralph Gabbard “Distinguished Kentuckian Award” is presented in recognition of achievements and accomplishments of former Kentuckians who have earned fame or acclaim in their respected field.

AWMF and ESPN Launch Scholarship For Black Females. The mission of the partnership between the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) and ESPN is to provide black women a path into careers in sports media. ESPN’s donation of $10,000 will provide two educational scholarships to assist black females pursuing such career paths. Alliance for Women in Media Foundation executive director Becky Brooks remarks, “It has been wonderful to collaborate with ESPN to conceptualize this scholarship. Through this strong partnership, we’re proud to continue our work in pursuing greater diversity in the sports journalism work force.” ESPN vice president of corporate communications/AWMF board member Katina Arnold notes, “Diversity and inclusion is ESPN’s #1 focus. We want to support and create concrete ways to grow the pipeline of black talent in the sports industry. The ESPN and AWMF scholarship is the perfect way to fulfill ESPN’s mission of supporting black and African-American women pursuing careers in media.” Selection of student winners will be based on applicants developing an essay of 750 – 1,000 words, highlighting the importance of black women in sports media. Applications are due in less than six weeks (11/20). AWMF and ESPN will select one black female undergraduate student winner and one black female graduate student to receive the scholarships payable to each winning student’s educational institution.

TALKERS News Notes. Former CIA officer and NYPD counter-terrorism expert Buck Sexton debuts his Premiere Networks’ three-hour show in Tampa Bay tonight (Monday, 10/12, 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) on iHeartMedia’s WFLA “News Radio 970.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tampa/Sarasota Tommy Chuck comments, “We are excited to have Buck Sexton join our on-air lineup of strong local and national personalities. His life experience gives him unique perspective that our audience will be very interested to hear.” Sexton adds, “I’m honored to have my show join WFLA, [one of] the greatest heritage stations in the country. I can’t wait to begin speaking every night to listeners in the Tampa Bay area, one of the best talk radio audiences there is.” WFLA’s revised weekday lineup is: “Coast to Coast AM with George Noory” (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am); “AM Tampa Bay” (5:00  am – 9:00 am); Glenn Beck (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); Rush Limbaugh (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); Sean Hannity (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); “PM Tampa Bay with Ryan Gorman” (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm); and Buck Sexton (9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Also in the iHeartMedia Tampa Bay cluster, personal finance host Dave Ramsey moves his daily talk show to news/talk WHNZ “1250 Impact Radio” from cross-town Beasley Media Group’s WHFS “Money Talk 1010.” According to iHeartMedia market president Chris Soechtig, “We’re excited to add ‘The Dave Ramsey Show to our [2:00 pm – 5:00 pm] line-up. [Dave] brings a new group of listeners to 1250 WHNZ who pay attention to what’s coming out of their speakers and applying what they hear.” ….. Designed to encourage eligible voters to cast ballots in next month’s election, Beasley Media Group’s “Your Vote – Your Voice” initiative will include recorded fifteen- and thirty-second PSAs, as well as custom content that will be featured on the chain’s 64 radio station websites. Beasley Media Group chief content officer Justin Chase notes, “This initiative is a great reminder that no matter who you choose, it’s important to make sure your voice is heard at the polls.” Customized messaging encouraging listeners to vote will be displayed using Quu RDS technology across the company’s in-car dash platforms ….. Technology entrepreneur Matt Moog is named interim chief operating officer of Chicago Public Media, which includes public radio news/talk WBEZ. Moog succeeds Steve Edwards, who performed those duties on an interim basis as well, but segues back to his vice president and chief content officer responsibilities. Chicago Public Media’s CEO role opened up a year ago when Goli Sheikholeslami exited to join New York Public Radio. Earlier this year, American University Washington, DC public radio news/talk WAMU “The Medium Is The Message” chief content officer Andi McDaniel was appointed CPM’s chief executive officer, but departed. The search for a permanent Chicago Public Media CEO is expected to resume next year ….. During a Washington State gubernatorial debate last week, governor Jay Inslee remarked that, “We follow science in Washington.” Bonneville Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM host Dori Monson tweeted, “The state where I could go to Olympia and change my ‘birth cert’ to say I was a girl on 10/2/61 HAHAHAHAHA.” That tweet has led to Monson’s indefinite suspension from his KIRO-FM duties, as well as his pre-game and post-game hosting chores for Seattle Seahawks football games ….. An integral cog of the Cincinnati Reds’ “Big Red Machine,” Joe Morgan, has died at his Danville, California home. After his playing career, Morgan became a baseball analyst on television and radio. The former second baseman did color for games of the Reds (1985); San Francisco Giants (1986 – 1994); and Oakland A’s (1995). Morgan attained national exposure on ABC-TV’s baseball telecasts and had a 20-year run (1990 – 2010) as Jon Miller’s analyst on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.” During that stretch, he was in the ESPN Radio booth for post-season and World Series contests. In 2011, he hosted a daily syndicated radio show for Sports USA Radio Network. In addition to the Reds, Morgan played for San Francisco, Oakland, Houston, and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Hall of Famer was 77 years old.

Midwest Communications Taps Villarreal As Wausau VP/MM. Eight-year Laredo, Texas-based International Business & Marketing consultant Milko Villarreal, Jr. is appointed vice president and market manager of Midwest Communications’ five-station Wausau, Wisconsin cluster. Midwest Communications president and chief executive officer Duke Wright comments, “We welcome Milko to the family and look forward to many successful and prosperous years to come. His passion and desire to win are a great fit for our already positive Wausau operation.” Villarreal, who begins his new assignment in three weeks (11/2), remarks, “I am thrilled to join Midwest. The Wright family has a long-standing tradition of excellence in broadcasting. Ideologically, and operationally, I believe we are a very good fit; I look forward to making a positive contribution.” The former NAB radio board member succeeds Brett Lucht, who passed away three months ago. In addition to news/talk WSAU and sports talk WRIG, Midwest Communications’ Wausau cluster consists of country WDEZ, CHR WIFC, and rock WOZZ.

NEP & Edison Research To Implement COVID-19-Related Protocols. The exit poll conducted by Edison Research on behalf of ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News, will begin interviewing voters at early voting locations around the country starting tomorrow (Tuesday, 10/13). Edison Research co-founder and executive vice president Joe Lenski states that, “More Americans are expected to vote before Election Day this year than any other election in history. The member networks of the National Election Pool (NEP) and Edison Research have developed innovative new techniques to account for that in our long-standing exit poll. In 2018, Edison and the NEP pioneered the technique of conducting interviews at in-person early voting sites, and today, we’re using that valuable experience to expand those efforts for 2020. It’s simply a matter of taking our time-tested models and applying them to the ways people vote today.” In addition to adapting to the changing ways that voters cast their ballots, the NEP is taking precautions to ensure that voters participating in the in-person exit polls remain safe. Exit polls will be conducted by interviewers wearing masks, who will remain six feet away from respondents and will have single-use pencils available for each voter filling out the exit poll questionnaire. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available for voters to use before and after completing their exit polls. As it has since 2004, the NEP exit poll will include extensive telephone surveys of those planning to vote by mail to ensure that all voters are represented in Election Night coverage across the pool’s member networks and subscribers. This year, those polls will reach more than 25,000 voters casting ballots before Election Day.

“WTMJ 2021” Airs Tomorrow. The nine-hour broadcast (9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Tuesday, 10/13) on Good Karma Brands’ Milwaukee news/talk WMTJ “News Radio 620” looks at events and issues that will shape the year ahead. It will feature interviews with Wisconsin’s most influential names such as Wisconsin governor Tony Evers; senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson; Milwaukee Bucks president Peter Feigin; Medical College of Wisconsin chief executive officer Dr. John Raymond; and community activist Frank Sensabaugh. Good Karma Brands Milwaukee vice president and market manager Steve Wexler explains, “Every year, WTMJ brings our listeners an all-day look at the issues shaping our future. Little did we know how tumultuous a year 2020 would turn out to be when we gathered last year.” Presidential politics is the leadoff topic at 9:00 am. It will be followed by public safety (10:00 am); sports in the age of COVID-19 (11:00 am); business and the economy (12:00 noon); healthcare (1:00 pm); entertainment (2:00 pm); education (3:00 pm); local and state government (4:00 pm); and the racial divide (5:00 pm).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Starting today (Monday, 10/12), Mz Shyneka takes over in afternoon drive on Core Radio Group Atlanta urban contemporary WWSZ “Streetz 94.5.” Core Radio Group president and chief executive officer Steve Hegwood comments, “It is my pleasure to sign Mz Shyneka to afternoons. Her addition to our great team keeps us at the forefront of this competitive Atlanta market.” According to Mz Shyneka, “I am overwhelmed with joy to be back on the radio in my hometown. I can’t wait to continue making history at the only black-owned station in Atlanta.” She most recently did afternoons for Radio One’s cross-town similarly-formatted WHTA “Hot 107.9” ….. Elsewhere in Atlanta, after an approximately 20-year tenure at Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104,” Saturday morning “Spotlight Gold” host “Youngbloodexits …..  Under a new one-year deal, all Villanova football and basketball games for the 2020 – 2021 season will be carried on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM.” Beasley Media Group Philadelphia vice president and market manager Joe Bell comments, “Our motto at ‘Ben’ is ‘Playing Anything We Feel Like,’ and we feel like playing some Villanova games. It will be a great season for Villanova sports.” Program director Chuck Damico notes, “We’re thrilled to add Villanova football and basketball to ‘95.7 Ben FM’ this year. It’s an honor to deliver these games to their passionate fans and alumni.” Meanwhile, Villanova Sports Properties vice president and general manager Drew Young adds, “The affiliation with ‘Ben FM’ expands our reach in the Delaware Valley and gives the ‘Nova Nation’ a prominent new home on the FM dial.” ….. The former 15-year afternoon personality/music director at Bahakel Communications Colorado Springs rocker KILO, Jack Wilson, has died from coronavirus. Wilson left KILO in 2015 and did weekends in Phoenix for Hubbard Radio’s similarly-programmed KUPD. KILO’s Facebook page notes, “It is with deep regret that we share this news with the KILO Nation. He was and will always be a big part of the KILO family. We send our love and condolences to his family and friends. Please keep them in your thoughts during this difficult time.” The 38-year-old Wilson is survived by his mother (Pattie Ray); a 17-year-old daughter (Bella); and a six-year-old son (Jack Jr.) ….. “The Quick Silva Show with Dominique Da Diva” moves to Reach Media for distribution and syndication. Reach Media and Radio One chief executive officer David Kantor comments, “I’ve had the opportunity to see this show grow tremendously. Quick Silva and Dominque Da Diva are two very strong radio talents who have an authentic connection to their audience. I am confident that the show will continue to be a huge draw for the listening audience. The beauty of this is that this is one of few syndicated afternoon shows.” The program will be carried from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm by Radio One stations in Washington, DC (WKYS); Philadelphia (WPHI “Hip-Hop 103.9”); Baltimore (WERQ “92-Q Jams”); Cincinnati (WIZF “101.1 The Wiz”); and Columbus (WCKX “Power 107.5”).

Monday, August 6, 2018

| August 6, 2018

Bonneville To Close on Eight Entercom Stations. All of those particular properties being disposed are in California and have been held in an FCC disposition trust. Bonneville has been operating them under Local Marketing Agreements since the closing of Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio. Acquired by Bonneville from Entercom for a total of $141 million in cash are: CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now”; urban AC KBLX “102.9 The Soul of the Bay”; and adult contemporary KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (all in San Francisco); San Jose classic rocker KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock”; as well as KHTK “Sports 1140”; KNCI “New Country 105.1”; adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites”; and hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits” (all in Sacramento). The transaction is expected to close either late in the third-quarter of this year, or early in the fourth-quarter. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 San Francisco sweep, KMVQ and KOIT-FM are tied in fourth-place (3.8), while KBLX is #12 (3.0). In San Jose, KUFX ranks fourth (5.2, 6+). Meanwhile, in Sacramento, KYMX places third (5.9); KNCI is sixth (4.3); KZZO ranks eighth (4.1); and KHTK finishes at #25 (.9, 6+).

One Person Injured at WORT Shooting. Police in Madison, Wisconsin are saying that a shooting shortly after 3:00 am yesterday (8/5) inside Back Porch Radio Broadcasting’s WORT “89.9 Community Radio” does not appear to be a random attack. There’s no known motive and no suspect is in custody. Nonetheless, a man wearing a mask and hood entered the station during the transition between the 12:00 midnight and 3:00 am programs and opened fire on three station workers. Witnesses say five shots were fired, injuring one 33-year-old man in the buttocks and shattering the glass between studios. The injured station staffer was sent to the hospital but quickly released. Police said there were no signs of forced entry into the building. WORT board president David Devereaux-Weber told the Wisconsin State Journal that the shooter, “fired a number of shots.” He said volunteers ducked for cover; ran into the master control room before hiding in the music library; and called 911. Devereaux-Weber said that a code is needed to enter the building. It is unclear whether the shooter knew the code or held the door open after someone entered the station. Multiple volunteers arrived to help get the station back on the air at 9:38 am. WORT reportedly plans to tighten security.

Apple Podcasts, Facebook Latest to Remove Jones Podcasts. As we reported last Friday (TALKERS.com, 8/3),  Alex Jones has had a number of his podcast episodes pulled from Spotify’s service after the digital audio platform concluded the episodes violated its hate content policy. Now, Apple Podcasts and Facebook are taking action against him. Five of Jones’ shows were removed from Apple Podcasts with a spokesperson telling Buzzfeed, “Apple does not tolerate hate speech. We have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.” At the same time, Facebook removed “The Alex Jones Page,” The Alex Jones Channel Page,” “The Infowars Page,” and “The Infowars Nightly News Page.” Facebook notes, “Upon review, we have taken [the content] down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies. While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred [these] removals were related to this.” Reacting to the earlier Spotify situation, Jones – who is syndicated to radio stations by Genesis Communications Network – said the action is “what I expect. I was born in censorship.  I was born being suppressed.”

Entravision Q2 Radio Revenue Flat. Second-quarter radio revenue for Entravision Communications was unchanged at $17.24 million, while television was off 3% to $36.531 million; digital increased 32% to $20.558 million. Chairman and chief executive officer Walter Ulloa notes that, “Growth in our digital media segment offsets a decrease in our television segment, while our radio segment was flat. We improved our free cash flow and net income over last year’s second quarter. We continued to build our digital footprint through our acquisition of a digital advertising technology company, while implementing steps to more efficiently align operations and reduce costs. Looking ahead, we remain well-positioned to build on our success in further attracting Latino and other audiences worldwide, and expanding our advertiser base to the benefit of our shareholders.” Entravision’s board declared a nickel per share quarterly cash dividend for Class A, Class B and Class U common stockholders. The dividend is payable next month (9/28) to shareholders of record as of September 14.

Kwei-Cook Promoted to Radio One Charlotte LSM. Integrated marketing specialist Debbie Kwei-Cook is elevated to local sales manager of Radio One Charlotte. According to vice president and general manager Doug James, “Debbie has a long history of success in Charlotte and with Radio One. She has been a top performer in our company, most recently winning the President’s Club Award the past two years as the top salesperson and she has extensive management experience.  I’m thrilled to be able to have Debbie bring her knowledge, passion, and leadership to our management team.” Kwei-Cook comments, “I look forward to helping the local sales department develop strategic marketing campaigns to drive sales for local businesses.” Kwei-Cook previously spent 11 years as vice president and general manager of Radio One Charlotte and more than ten years as general sales manager of CBS Radio Charlotte. Since October 2012, she has been chief operating officer/president of My Talent Bank Group. 

Crossover Media Group Sales Adds Sports Programs. The company will be responsible for advertising sales and assist with production for “DeSean Jackson One-on-One,” a weekly podcast featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver. In addition, CMGS will syndicate/handle ad sales for “VSiN Action Update,” a series of sports betting vignettes – fed twice each weekday – from the first network dedicated to sports gambling information, Brent Musburger-founded VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network). In association with Sports USA and its founder Larry Kahn, CMGS will launch “The Buck Stops Here,” a twice-weekly football podcast hosted by former Indianapolis Colts tight end Charles Arbuckle. A weekly podcast hosted by Joe Morgan – “Classic Conversations with Joe Morgan” – will feature the MLB Hall of Fame second baseman speaking with some of the biggest names in sports history. Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Ron Hartenbaum comments, “The recent Supreme Court decision on sports wagering has opened up enormous opportunities to generate local ad revenue, not just on sports radio stations but within the rock and country formats – namely, anywhere men are listening. We are thrilled to be able to add the new VSiN content, as well as the new offerings from DeSean, Larry, Joe, and Charles to our expanding lineup of show offerings to marketing partners.”

CONSULTANT OPINION:  Rush Limbaugh Affiliates Should PANDER to Trump Fans.  In an opinion piece posted today (8/6), media consultant Holland Cooke writes that Rush Limbaugh affiliates should capitalize on the solid numbers available to them by taking advantage of Limbaugh’s recent ratings increases and telling ardent supporters of President Trump exactly what they want to hear.  Cooke writes, “’Pander.’” That is your one-word, sure-shot ratings success strategy… Check logic at the door.  Unlike those pesky fact-checkers, Trump supporters take him seriously-but-not-literally.  Our job is to exploit THE – repeat, THE – best thing that ever happened to talk radio, the Trump presidency.”  To read the entire piece, please click here.

CONSULTANT OPINION:  A Real Producer Can Protect a Talk Show Host from Saying Something Stupid.  Former WWRL 1600 AM, New York executive producer, Jeffrey Haveson – now an independent news/talk programming consultant – writes a provocative opinion piece posted in TALKERS today (8/6) stating that incidents such as the recent “Turban Man” controversy at New Jersey 101.5, Trenton could be avoided if radio stations employed what he calls “real” producers.  Haveson writes, “Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco are back at Trenton-based New Jersey 101.5 after a 10-day suspension, but what have we learned from this as an industry?  For those who don’t know or have forgotten, the suspension was meted out to Dennis and Judi after they repeatedly called New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewalon, who is a Sikh, ‘the guy with the turban’ and ‘Turban Man,’ and Dennis defended the name calling by saying ‘if that offends you, then don’t wear the turban (man) and I’ll remember your name.’ This is a perfect example of why talk radio stations, be they public or commercial, news talk, conservative talk, progressive talk, sports talk, financial talk, or other, need real producers.  By real producers, I do not mean the glorified gofers and ‘yes people’ that many stations call producers nor an overworked board op who is also charged with screening calls and chasing down guests.  On the other hand, by real producers, I also don’t mean someone who acts as the host’s supervisor.  The program director should be the supervisor over both the host and the producer. A real producer is a trusted partner to both the program director and host, who shares their vision for this particular program and the station in general, and supports the host in creating content that fits that vision.  It is all about the vision.  If the host and/or the producer don’t have the same vision for the program as the program director, one or both of them need to be replaced.”  To read the entire opinion piece, please click here.

WPRO-AM Inks Five-Year Deal for P.C. Basketball. Beginning with the upcoming season, Cumulus Media Providence news/talk WPRO-AM will become the official radio home of Providence College men’s basketball. It is part of a five-year agreement with Providence College Athletics and its multimedia rights holder, Learfield. Cumulus Media Providence market manager Holly Paras declares, “Providence College is the premier men’s college basketball program in Southern New England. We are enthused about the partnership and look forward to many great seasons of Friar basketball.” Providence College athletics director Bob Driscoll comments, “Cumulus Media has the top radio brands in our market and this will provide unlimited marketing and exposure opportunities for us. This is a tremendous partnership for our basketball program and our fans.” The school’s men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley adds, “WPRO [AM] is a big part of the culture of radio in Rhode Island and Southeastern New England. I believe this will provide our fans the opportunity to get more coverage and access of Friar basketball. We are looking forward to hitting the airwaves on WPRO [AM], the new home of Providence College men’s basketball.” John Rooke and Joe Hassett, the voices of Friar basketball for more than 30 years, will call all Friar games this season. “The Ed Cooley Radio Show” will air on select weeknights throughout the season.

TALKERS News Notes. Former NFL lineman Orlando Franklin joins Bonneville Denver sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.” According to KKFN program director Armen Williams, “We are really excited to have Orlando as part of our championship team – he has a sincere passion to be on ‘The Fan.’ It’s great to have Orlando on our game day on-air presentation.” Originally drafted in the second round by the Denver Broncos in 2011, Franklin retired in May and he notes, “I’ve known this is what I’ve wanted to do after football for years. I love the interaction the sports radio platform provides. It is an honor to now be on the same team as a lot of these guys that I’ve listened to my whole career.” In addition to the Broncos, Franklin has played for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, and Washington Redskins ….. Meanwhile, six-year KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” veteran Ted Johnson departs the afternoon program (“Triple Threat”) at the Entercom Houston outlet. A rotating group of analysts will join remaining co-hosts Sean Pendergast and Rich Lord. Former New England Patriots linebacker Johnson is reportedly moving back to Boston to be closer to his children ….. Tulsa’s NBC-TV affiliate, KJRH-TV “2 Works For You,” will be providing news and weather content for that market’s iHeartMedia cluster. “Our staff is very excited to work with the team at Channel 2,” comments iHeartMedia area president Jon Phillips. [Meteorologist] Mike Collier is a favorite in our building; he and his team will sound great delivering weather to the iHeart audiences. Keeping our listeners safe is our first priority and the team at Channel 2 will ensure just that.” The iHeartMedia Tulsa group consists of sports talk KTBZ “1430 The Buzz”; sports talk KAKC “1300 The Buzz”; rock KMOD; country KTGX “106.1 The Twister”; CHR KTBT “92.1 The Beat”; regional Mexican KIZS “101.5 El Patron”; and classic rock KTGX-HD2 “93.5 The Jet.” KJRH-TV had been working with the Scripps cluster; however, when Scripps sold its Tulsa stations to Griffin Communications, it joined forces with Griffin’s CBS affiliate in the Oklahoma metro, KOTV-TV ….. This past Friday (8/3), Townsquare Media’s KFYO “News/Talk 95.1 & 790,” Lubbock (Texas) originated Chad Hasty’s 8:30 am – 11:00 am show from Austin’s Resurgent Gathering. Among those Hasty interviewed there were Texas senator Ted Cruz and Texas GOP chair James Dickey ….. Speaking of Townsquare Media Lubbock, Dave Dunaway is named regional operations/programming manager for its stations there, as well as in Odessa-Midland. There are ten Townsquare Media facilities in those two Texas metros. Dunaway most recently programmed and did afternoon drive at Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach (Florida) country outlet WYZB “Nash FM.” He has also worked for WZZK, Birmingham, as well as WTGE “100.7 The Tiger,” Baton Rouge.

WRKO, Boston Morning Co-Host Kim Carrigan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most familiar figures in local Boston talk media, Kim Carrigan, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” For the past several years, Carrigan – a political moderate with a background in journalism – has co-hosted WRKO, Boston’s 6:00 am to 10:00 am morning show, sharing the mic with conservative personality Doug “VB” Goudie and the program’s on-air producer Jim Clerkin, who is liberal as well as openly gay. The result is a dynamic, eclectic mix of topics and opinions on a station otherwise positioned in a more purely conservative orientation. Prior to joining WRKO as a talk show host, Carrigan spent a number of years as a Boston television personality on several local stations, most recently co-hosting the popular morning news/chat show on WFXT-TV (Fox 25). She and Harrison discuss the differences between radio and TV morning news/talk, the evolving role of women in radio, the challenges of balancing local and national issues in the Trump era, and the strategy of expanding the target base on a predominantly conservative station. Harrison, who occasionally serves as a fill-in host on WRKO, including its morning show, says, “Kim Carrigan is one of the best local talk show hosts in radio today. She brings journalistic sensibility and fairness to the table without sacrificing the power of opinion that fuels the news/talk format. She projects youthful dynamism tempered by seasoned journalism and general life experience – a great combination. She has the glamor of celebrity balanced with a down-to-earth neighborly persona. The WRKO morning show is an interesting exercise in navigating the turbulent waters of today’s news/talk radio conversation. It’s wonderful having Kim as a guest on the podcast.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Flair for Fort Myers. The “Nature Boy” himself – Ric Flair – is among the grapplers scheduled to appear when Beasley Media Group presents the inaugural “Legends of Wrestling” event next month (9/15) in Fort Myers at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. The “ultimate fan experience” will kick off with a behind-the-scenes VIP meet and greet and question & answer session (3:30 pm – 5:30 pm). In addition, there will be an opportunity to take photos with the wrestlers (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm) before the matches begin at 7:00 pm. As well as Flair, other “sports entertainment” stars slated to be on the card include Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat; Jim “Hacksaw” Duggan; Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart; and The Nasty BoysBrian Knobs & Jerry Sags. Ticket prices range from $20.02 for general admission to $210.82 for VIP and ringside seating. Beasley Media Group’s six-station Fort Myers cluster consists of sports talk WWCN “99.3 ESPN Southwest Florida”; news/talk WJBX; adult contemporary WJPT “Sunny 106.3”; CHR WXKB “B-103.9”; WRXK “96 K-Rock”; and Spanish tropical WRXK-HD2 “98.1 Playa.”      

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories this Past Weekend  (8/4-5).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPresident Trump’s Tampa rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and the larger, mid-term election picture; Trump’s threat to add tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods; 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. Starting today (8/6), DSC rejoins iHeartMedia San Diego classic rock KGB-FM for 6:00 am – 10:00 am duty. DSC consists of Dave Rickards, Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph, Chris Boyer, Nina “Ruth 66” Reeba, Emily Maguire, and Sarah Beebe. Coinciding with DSC returning to KGB for morning drive, Bob & Coe move from mornings to afternoon drive; Clint August segues from afternoon drive to middays; and Marc Coppola will host nights. Market president Melissa Forrest comments, “Bringing DSC home to KGB and reinforcing the station with heritage talent like Clint, and Bob & Coe is a reflection of the power behind KGB’s legendary call letters. We are immensely proud to bring this lineup to San Diego’s loyal rock listeners.” Rickards remarks, “After 28 years as the top-rated morning show in San Diego, DSC has come full-circle with its return to the legendary KGB-FM. I’ve always felt that KGB was our home, and nothing beats a happy homecoming.” Meanwhile, “Chainsaw” adds, “It feels amazing to bring DSC back to where it all began. We are thrilled to continue making you smile and laugh coffee out of your nose every morning.” ….. Following April’s departure by morning hosts Mason & Remy, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” transitions the syndicated Bobby Bones show from a delayed nighttime airing to morning drive (5:00 am – 9:00 am). WEBG program director Lance Houston comments, “The Bobby Bones Show really connects with the core country audience more than any other show I’ve ever seen throughout my career. I am truly confident that Bobby Bones and his team will be an entertaining morning show for our one million-plus weekly country radio audience in Chicagoland.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano notes, “We are excited to add the most recognizable name in country radio to our morning lineup.” ….. When hearing that a local wheelchair-bound woman was refused service at a local (St. Peters, Missouri) nail salon, Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” morning co-host Cassiday was “heartbroken.” A representative of another local establishment – Cut and Dye Salon – contacted (“Spencer’s Neighborborhood” member) Cassiday and offered to treat the mother (Dorothy) and daughter (Beth) to a full-day of pampering, noting that everyone should be welcome. Cassiday recounts, “It was shocking to learn that she and her mom went in for a pedicure, only to be told by the salon owner they don’t serve people ‘like her.’ I knew we needed to do something. I was confident, with the power of local radio, ‘The Arch’ could take a hurtful moment and make it positive for them. We had them come in to meet us and surprised them with a spa pedicure live on air. To be able to bring a smile to the face of this young woman was priceless. In days like this, I am reminded of the power of radio and that there are good hearts across the St. Louis bi-state.” ….. “Phoebe’s Flight 5K,” an Entercom Sacramento-hosted event, will take place this Sunday (8/12) at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin (California). Emceed by (CHR) KUDL “106.5 The End” morning hosts Gavin Ferguson, Katie, and Rayne, the “rain or shine” happening will feature a fun run for children and a 5K run for adults; post-race activities will follow. Phoebe’s Fund was founded by Ferguson and his wife Stacy in honor of their daughter Phoebe, who was stillborn. Race proceeds will benefit Phoebe’s Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity which helps alleviate the financial burden of parents who have lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth by providing grants for grief therapy …. WABD “The Gulf Coast’s Hit Music Station,” Mobile mid-day talent Jimmy Steele adds program director duties at the Cumulus Media mainstream CHR. Steele will continue as the cluster’s operations manager and PD of the company’s Mobile news/talker WXQW. Cumulus Media Mobile vice president/market manager Don Boyd comments, “We are fortunate to have deep talent here with one of the country’s top CHR programmers, Jimmy Steele, already in the building. Under Jimmy’s direct leadership, he [will continue] to evolve this legendary radio station.” Steele remarks, “I am excited to roll up my sleeves and splash back into my CHR roots. It is an honor to be able to come to work each day and serve our talented Cumulus Mobile team. They are very supportive and for that, I am grateful.” Steele previously programmed several iHeartMedia stations and was operations director/brand manager for Saga Communications in Columbus. He succeeds Sid Kelly, who transfers to Cumulus Media Indianapolis as program director of CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” ….. WRUF, Gainesville names Justin “Tyler” Clapp brand manager/afternoon personality at the University of Florida-owned country outlet. Most recently, Clapp was operations manager for Townsquare Media Fort Collins (Colorado) and brand manager of country KUAD. He formerly programmed WWGR, Fort Myers (Florida) from 2007-2009, and was Great Eastern’s director of programming ….. Vice president of operations Don London is celebrating his 25th year at Entercom Norfolk.

Two Cool Cats.  A couple of rock ‘n’ roll’s coolest cats got together in the Los Angeles studios of SiriusXM Satellite Radio this past week.  The legendary Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon (pictured right), whose numerous hits from the 1960s include “Palisades Park,” “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans,” “Tallahassee Lassie” and more, visited with Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom (left) to record an interview for Jim’s Sunday night show, “Rockabilly Rave Up” heard on the “Underground Garage” channel.  The interview will be aired on 8/19 at 8:00 pm ET.

Friday, February 26, 2016

| February 26, 2016

AlphaAlpha Media Closes on Digity Purchase. This is no ordinary acquisition as Alpha Media balloons to approximately 250 stations in 50+ markets by closing on in excess of 110 Digity properties. Over and above that, Alpha Media becomes the country’s third-largest broadcast company in terms of number of markets and fourth-largest regarding station count. Alpha Media chair Larry Wilson comments, “We are very pleased to get this remarkable transaction done. In our fold is now an exceptional stable of diversified stations and markets, serving not only their towns but surrounding areas and communities. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with respected broadcaster [Digity chief executive officer] Dean Goodman and his management team. We look forward to joining forces with the phenomenal people at Digity doing radio the right way.” Goodman remarks, “I have been honored to work with the great broadcasters of Digity. They know their roots are in live and local and their future is dynamic. They will excel with Alpha as individual and collective entrepreneurs. We hand off a thriving company, up this year at the top of the industry. I wish Larry [Wilson] and his team all the best; they have assembled a great platform.” Only two of the 28 Digity markets are PPM-metros – San Jose and West Palm Beach. The other facilities are in Missouri: (Bethany-Cameron, Clinton, Farmington-Festus, Moberly-Macon, and Waynesville-Lebanon); Iowa (Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Grinnell-Newton, and Mason City); Minnesota (Albert Lea-Austin, Luverne, Mankato, and Redwood Falls); South Dakota (Brookings, Madison, and Watertown); Illinois (Aurora and Joliet); Nebraska (Columbus and Lincoln); Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland); North Carolina (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville); Ohio (Canton); South Carolina (Myrtle Beach); Texas: (North Dallas-McKinney); and Wisconsin (Kenosha-Waukegan). When this deal was first announced in August 2015, the purchase price was reported to be $264 million.

CBS Radio LogoWFAN and Brooklyn Nets Extend Broadcast Rights Agreement. The multi-year deal between CBS Radio New York sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” and the NBA‘s Brooklyn Nets goes beyond NBA basketball to cover other parts of the business at Barclays Center, including select college basketball games, concerts, and live events. As it has since the 2004 – 2005 season, WFAN will continue as the team’s radioBrooklyn Nets Logo flagship. According to CBS Radio president Andre Fernandez, “CBS Radio is proud to continue our association with the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. We have defined our position in sports broadcasting by delivering the most extensive coverage of local programming and events. We continue to make aggressive investments in exclusive content our audiences can’t find anywhere else.” Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment chief executive officer Brett Yormark comments, “Our relationship with CBS Radio continues to give us a major voice in the nation’s largest market. This new agreement comes on the heels of our recent extension with YES Network, providing the team with premium exposure on two of the country’s most popular sports outlets.” WFAN news sibling WCBS-AM will be the Nets’ secondary radio outlet. Prior to relocating to Brooklyn, the team was called the New Jersey Nets. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for New York City, WFAN ranks ninth (3.8, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” leads the field with a 6.7 (6+).

hyde, coreyHyde Heads to Entercom Sacramento as GSM. Fourteen-month Pandora account executive Corey Hyde joins Entercom Sacramento as general sales manager. Vice president and market manager Lance Richard comments, “It is exciting to add Corey to our team. He has an impressive track record of success and Entercom_Communications_logohe brings experience in developing dynamic, integrated campaigns and long term partnerships for local clients. His leadership skills and experience in this market make him the perfect fit for Entercom Sacramento.” Hyde remarks, “I am thrilled to be joining Lance Richard and the team at Entercom Sacramento. Radio is stronger than ever, and we have the best local stations in the market. I look forward to using our wide array of marketing assets to drive real results for our clients.” In his 13-year radio career, Hyde spent nearly 10 years with CBS Radio Sacramento as a senior account executive and three years with iHeartMedia Sacramento as an AE. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

baldwin, stephenBaldwin Exits Weekend “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.”  Effective immediately, actor Stephen Baldwin departs “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.” The two-hour syndicated weekend program carried by approximately 250 affiliates on Kevin McCullough‘s eight-year-old XtreMEDIA and simulcast on BizTV is rebranded “Radio Night LIVE.” As Baldwin’s work schedule increased the past few months, McCullough explains, “The more difficult it has become for him to make the show. For the past eight years, we have enjoyed the liveliest and – on most nights – the funniest weekend radio broadcast in America. Our listeners will mccullough, kevinimmediately feel the impact of Stephen’s absence from the talk radio airwaves. To be realistic, however, because of his filming schedule in 2015, his workload severely prevented him from being with us even one out of two weeks. This is great for him because his passion is acting. Our staff, our sponsors, and listeners will miss Stephen’s unique humor and spunk. His personality is one-of-a-kind and Stephen will always be welcome to a microphone we have named in his honor; we are thrilled though at this chance to take our broadcast to another level. ‘Radio Night LIVE’ will take the signature humor we have developed over the years, add cutting edge ‘next generation’ guests, experts, and entertainers and explode Saturday night in ways previously unseen.” Baldwin comments, “God has been so good to me and all I want to do is to follow where He is leading me. My time doing the show is something I will always remember. Our listeners brought much laughter and insight into my life.” It is possible that McCullough will utilize a series of rotating guest hosts such as KRLA, Los Angeles’ Elisha Krauss; Karol Markowicz of The New York Post; YouToo America‘s Gina Loudon; as well as Ashley Papa and Kayleigh McEnany. McCullough continues hosting his weekday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm “After Hours” show on Salem Media Group New York’s WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”; the “Kevin McCullough Show” for Salem Media Group; and “News That Makes You Think.”

WGN LogoFour More Years: WGN, Northwestern Extend Rights Agreement. The union between 50,000-watt WGN, Chicago and Northwestern University will keep Wildcats football and men’s basketball on the Tribune talker through the conclusion of the 2019 – 2020 season. In addition, the voice of Wildcats football since 1990 and men’s basketball since 1996 – Dave Eanet – signs a four-year contract. WGN Radio presidentNorthwestern Wildcats and general manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We are proud to present Northwestern basketball and football anchored by Dave ‘Mr. Cat’ Eanet. We look forward to bringing our listeners the excitement of Chicago’s Big Ten team in the years to come.” According to Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips, “The Northwestern Wildcats and WGN Radio have forged a special relationship over the last two decades. WGN not only is a broadcasting force, but a true Chicago institution. We have shared many thrilling moments through the years, and we look forward to many more memories with WGN Radio as the home of Chicago’s Big Ten team.” Eanet was inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame last year. Former Chicago Bear Ted Albrecht is WGN’s football analyst on Wildcat broadcasts, while former college and pro head coach Joey Meyer provides analysis on basketball broadcasts. WGN has been the radio home of the Wildcats since 1996. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for Chicago, WGN ranks fifth with a 4.2 – its best showing since last June’s 4.3; CBS Radio‘s all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.8 (6+).

walter, maryLouisville Lineup Changes at WHAS, WKRD. Starting next Monday (2/29), former WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” Trenton personality Mary Walter will oversee a weeknight 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm program on iHeartMedia Louisville talker WHAS. Of Walter, director of iHeartMedia Louisville’s AM programming Kelly Carls comments, “She is always prepared; keeps her finger on the pulse of the news; and she does a great job connecting with listeners. We are delighted she will be offering her unique perspectives every day.” A WHAS fill-in beginning in 2009, Walter remarks, “I am so excited to be with the WHAS audience on aWKRD regular basis. I have grown to love the local listeners over the years. They are so engaged and informed that it makes the job fun.” She previously worked at radio stations in Washington, DC; Phoenix; Denver; and Omaha. Meanwhile, at co-owned all-sports WKRD “790 KRD,” Howie Lindsey is named 7:00 am – 10:00 am host; contributors Matt Willinger and Katie George will join him. Another change there will find TheCardinalConnect.Com founder Nick Coffey taking on 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm duty. “We are very excited to expand our local sports coverage on WKRD,” notes Kelly Carls. “Mornings, mid-days and afternoons, we now have local sports fans covered with updates, insights, and compelling conversation about the teams and games that really matter.” Lindsey and Coffey will debut one week from Monday (3/7). Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book, WHAS ranks #1 (7.4) and WKRD is #12 (1.2).

Cumulus Media Dallas Sets Fourth Spring Job Fair. Jobseekers and hiring companies will come together in less than Cumulus Media Dallastwo weeks (3/9) as Cumulus Media Dallas presents its fourth annual Putting Texans Back to Work Spring Job Fair at the Plano Centre. In attendance will be representatives from over 100 companies in search of quality candidates from the Dallas, Collin, and Denton County areas of North Texas. No registration is required for job seekers; however, registration deadline for companies looking for qualified individuals is one week from Monday (3/7). The Cumulus Dallas cluster includes sports KESN “ESPN Radio 103.3”; talk KLIF-AM; CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3”; country KPLX “The Wolf”; KSCS “New Country 96.3”; sports KTCK “The Ticket; and talk WBAP.

BTC LogoBTC Begins HD Radio Data Services in Canada. A partnership between the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC) and exclusive mapping and technology data partner HERE leads to Canada’s first in-vehicle HD Radio Traffic service. Honda is the first brand to offer the service to its customers on certain 2015 and 2016 models. Broadcaster Traffic Consortium president Paul Brenner comments, “The BTC and all of our member stations are excited to be the first to market for HD Radio data services in Canada. Honda and HERE are valued partners that expect constant innovation and quality services regardless of our borders or radio station ownership. Unified broadcasters, collaborating to deliver a common service, bringing innovation solutions to automakers is better for the strategic and long-term viability of the broadcast radio industry. BTC is proud to be a leader in this space.” HD Radio Traffic enables drivers and passengers to view detailed information on local traffic conditions in real time on their vehicle’s audio display screen. The BTC has stations providing coverage in most areas within greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary; the service is expected to expand to additional Canadian markets. Originally founded in 2007 with eight broadcast groups – Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications; Greater Media; NPR; and Radio One – BTC has grown to include 23 broadcast groups in the United States and Canada. It builds a nationwide terrestrial broadcasting network to distribute local traffic and other map-related data via FM and HD Radio technology.

talkersten logoPresidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 22-26.  Primary races and activities of presidential candidates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was Apple’s refusal to hack the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists.  At #3 was the battle over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, followed by Islamic State’s reported threats against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week; it is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

fritts, eddieBFA to Fete Fritts with “Excellence in Broadcasting” Award. Former 23-year National Association of Broadcasters president and chief executive officer Eddie Fritts is named this year’s Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s recipient of the Lowry Mays “Excellence in Broadcasting” award. Underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation, the award is given each year to a broadcaster, “whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.” Fritts’ past recognitionBroadcasters Foundation of America includes “Broadcaster of the Year” awards at both the New York State Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. In addition, he is the past recipient of the Broadcasters Foundation’s “Golden Mike” and “Chairman’s” awards. Inducted into the Giants of Broadcasting’s Hall of Fame in 2010, he received the NAB’s “Distinguished Service” award one year later. Fritts – who launched The Fritts Group in March 2006 – will be honored with this particular acknowledgement in approximately two months (4/20) during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative; bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society.

Cumulus 2Cumulus Media Florida Outlets Aid in Tornado Recovery. Personal and household items, as well as monetary donations, are being collected by 14 Cumulus Media stations in Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Mobile, and Pensacola (Florida) for those affected by this week’s tornadoes in Century and Pensacola. Radio station staffers will be at various locations for six hours today (Friday, 2/26), nine hours tomorrow (Saturday, 2/27), and four hours on Sunday. Listeners are being asked to help tornado victims with water, personal hygiene items, household cleaning items, tarps, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, book bags, crayons, pens, pencils, paper, clothing, and non-perishable food items. Cash donations should be directed to the Gulf Coast recovery effort through the American Red Cross and the United Way.

cbsradio-logoCool Job Opportunities at CBS, Los Angeles.  TALKERS has learned that CBS Radio Los Angeles is now looking to fill the following positions as soon as possible at all-news KNX 1070:  news reporter, writer, and news production assistant. For more details and to apply, please click here: WWW.CBSRADIO.COM/CAREERS.

union edgeOdds & Sods. Pittsburgh-based “The Union Edge” adds suburban Minneapolis talker KTNF “AM 950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota” as its 27th affiliate. KTNF president Chad Larson comments, “KTNF has been a longtime union advocate, covering labor issues since 2004 in the Twin Cities. We look forward to carrying another program focused on the many accomplishments labor has made for our nation as well as the modern threats facing working families and our ability to collectively bargain in the workplace.”

Thursday, July 16, 2015

| July 16, 2015

cowherdcolinColin Cowherd to Exit ESPN; Destination FOX?  Today’s announcement by ESPN that personality Colin Cowherd is exiting the company’s ESPN Radio – where his show is a part of the nationally syndicated daily lineup – comes after recent rumors Cowherd is being wooed by Fox Sports.  Now we know that it’s true he’s leaving ESPN but there’s no word from Fox Sports, yet. At the same time, ESPN is not saying which personality will fill the gap in its daily lineup.  Much is being made of the recent exit of Bill Simmons and Keith Olbermann, suggesting a mass exodus of talent is taking place, but reports are that ESPN wanted Cowherd to stay but was ultimately outbid.  The hot bet is Cowherd will join FOX Sports for a show on its Fox Sports 1 cable channel with a probable simulcast on Fox Sports Radio Network.  ESPN issued the following statement today from president John Skipper: “We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial run with Colin for over a decade.  He came to national prominence on ESPN with his unique perspective on sports and society.  Endings also bring new beginnings, for ESPN and Colin, and we thank him and wish him the best.”

nitenikkiEntercom Elevates Nite to Austin’s VP/Programming; Will Oversee News/Talk KJCE. In a move that will take her from California’s capital city to a return to Texas’ state capital, Nikki Nite is leaving the programming chair at Entercom Sacramento mainstream CHR KDND “The End” and hot AC KUDL “Star” to succeed Cat Thomas as the company’s vice president of programming and operations in Austin. Entercom Austin vice president and general manager Stephanie Callihan comments, “After [Nikki’s] incredibly successful run at Entercom Sacramento, we are thrilled to welcome [her] back to Texas. Nikki’s experience and leadership will help continue the momentum we have with our stations in the Austin market and help us grow deeper relationships with our listeners and fans.” Nite remarks, “I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to build upon the solid foundation Cat Thomas has put in place. Returning to Austin is not only professionallyEntercom Austin rewarding, but also personally rewarding. I will be doing what I love, closer to family. Entercom is a company full of talented, good people; I am blessed to be able to continue to grow my career with this team.” Prior to joining Entercom in 2009, Nite worked in Dallas (at KVIL and KMVK); Greenville, South Carolina (at WFBC-FM and WGCV); and in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (at WWXM). In just over two weeks (8/3), she begins her new duties overseeing programming and operations of Entercom Austin adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5”; hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7”; KKMJ-HD3 “96.3 RnB,” and talk KJCE. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s June PPM ratings sweep, “Magic” ranks #7 (4.8); “Mix” #8 (4.4); KKMJ-HD3 #12 (3.6); and KJCE is #26 (.2).

wls-am logoPlay-By-Play Coup for Cumulus in Chicago.  The company officially announces that its news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago is acquiring the play-by-play rights for both the MLB’s White Sox and the NBA’s Bulls.  Both deals begin in 2016 – the White Sox in April and the Bulls in November – and run through 2021.  White Sox games have been heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR for the past nine seasons and ESPN O&O WMVP has been the Bulls flagship since the 1996-97 season.  Cumulus Media Chicago VP and market manager Peter Bowen says in a statement, “Cumulus Media and WLS AM 890 are honored to become the radio home of the Bulls and White Sox, two of Chicago’s very best sports brands.  Adding both teams to our programming schedule allows us to continue to capitalize on the strong growth and success Cumulus is enjoying in the Chicago market. We cannot wait to bring year-round sports to some of the world’s greatest fans.”

wabc logoWABC, New York Presents Special Program ‘Garner: One Year Later.’  The program is airing on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York this week in the 5:00 am and 5:00 pm hours.  “Garner: One Year Later” is a three-part program that presents views one year after 43-year-old Eric Garner died after a police officer subdued him with an alleged chokehold.  His death sparked “discussion, outrage and protest about police brutality in New York City.  It eventually evolved into the proverbial epicenter of debate for the entire nation.”  WABC says news staffer Ken Duffy spoke with Erica Garner, Garner’s eldest daughter; Ed Mullins, head of the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association; and Alex Vitale, sociology professor from Brooklyn College.  The special series seeks to answer pressing questions: What’s the impact on Garner’s family?  How are police officers viewed in the eyes of the public?  And what else can be done to improve police-community relations?  In addition to airing on WABC, the program is available at wabcradio.com.

wilhoitdaveyWilhoit Joins Cumulus Pensacola as VP of Sales.  Advertising executive Davey Wilhoit joins Cumulus Media as vice president of sales for the five-station Pensacola cluster.  Wilhoit is a Pensacola native who most recently was multimedia advertising manager for the Pensacola News Journal.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “We’re thrilled to have Davey at the sales helm of our Pensacola group of stations.  He has years of experience managing a team of business-to-business sales professionals driving high levels of solution-based sales activity each day.  Davey will bring that same pace of business inside the walls of Cumulus in Pensacola. His deep knowledge of digital, newspaper and yellow page sales will bring a new and fresh perspective to radio in this market.”  Cumulus operates news/talk WCOA, classic hits WJTQ, AC WMEZ, urban AC WRRX, and country WXBM “NASH FM.”

elderlarryNEW1-15Larry Elder Show to Air on KRLA, Los Angeles. Beginning August 3, the Larry Elder show will air on Salem Media’s news/talk KRLA, Los Angeles from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm nightly.  Elder’s program is being distributed by CRN Digital Talk Radio.  A press release states that Elder will “celebrate the announcement later today at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley when he hosts an event with activist and author Ann Coulter.”  Elder’s program is streamed live on his website and at CRNTalk.com.

abcPurdyESPYsABC News Radio at the ESPYs.  Pictured here interviewing Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy (right) at Wednesday night’s ESPY Awards in Los Angeles is ABC Radio correspondent Jason Nathanson (left).

Iran Nukes Deal, Illegal Immigration-Steinle Slaying, Planned Parenthood Abortion Remains Story, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Caitlyn Jenner at ESPYs, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Confederate Flag-Stone Mountain Issues, ‘El Chapo’ Escape-Mexican Corruption, NASA’s Pluto Images Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15).  Analysis of the nuclear deal between Iran and the U.S.; ongoing debate over the illegal immigration policy in the U.S. and the slaying of Kate Steinle, allegedly by an illegal with a criminal past; the furor over a videoed discussion with a Planned Parenthood doctor about which body parts are desired by researchers; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; Caitlyn Jenner’s appearance at the ESPYs and her receiving the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage; the evolving story of allegations Bill Cosby gave drugs to women to have sex with them; the controversy over the flying of the Confederate flag and the push to remove the Confederate generals carving from Stone Mountain in Georgia; the escape from prison of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Mexican corruption; and the images from NASA’s New Horizons craft from Pluto were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

| February 12, 2015

mcmahonbillBill McMahon: Curiosity Enhanced by Awareness, Experience, Imagination and Courage.  According to talk radio consultant Bill McMahon, the trait of high-level curiosity is the driving force of his well-known “14 Traits Inherent in the Best Radio Personalities.”  In an advice piece posted today (2/12) he writes, “The constant urge to ask questions, fueled by an insatiable desire to know, generates the raw material necessary to produce truly life-enriching content.  Really good questions prompt answers loaded with learning and discovery that can be shared with listeners.”  McMahon, continues, “It’s also important to note that great questions are often the product of the traits of awareness, imagination, experience, and courage.  The more a personality hears not only the words in an answer but the thoughts and feelings behind the words (awareness), recognizes how thoughts and feelings, experiences and ideas connect to new and more interesting subjects and ideas (imagination), has ‘been there and done that’ (experience), and has the courage to ask any question at any time, the better the questions.”  The valuable article is enhanced with audio clips extracted from an interview of Bill Murray conducted by Howard Stern highlighting these traits in action.  To read the entire piece, please click here.

mastellerscottMasteller To Program WBAL. One week from today (Thursday, 2/19) is when ESPN Radio‘s former senior director of affiliate & syndicated content Scott Masteller will join Hearst Corporation talker WBAL, Baltimore as program director. President and general manager Cary Pahigian declares, “Scott iswbal among the most accomplished news, talk, and sports radio executives. His ESPN experience will be key to WBAL’s role as the radio home of the [NFL‘s] Ravens and unmatched breaking news coverage 24/7. He holds a strong appreciation for the role of this iconic radio station as part of Baltimore’s heritage, and our relationship with listeners and the community.” Prior to his most recent ESPN role, he was the sports radio network’s senior director of radio/audio content. His past programming assignments include sports outlets KESN, Dallas and KFXX, Portland.

kauffmanstaceyKauffman Named Entercom Sacramento GSM. Inbound from Chicago where she was local sales manager for Hubbard Broadcasting classic rocker WDRV “The Drive,” Stacey Kauffman is appointed general sales manager for Entercom Sacramento. Vice president and market manager Sean Shannon states, “We are proud to welcome Stacey to our market-leading portfolio of brands. Entercom’s commitment to compelling live and local content continues to pay dividends as we enjoy a dominant position in delivering ratings and results to our advertisers.” Vice president of sales Lance Richard comments, “Stacey was a trailblazer in Chicago media on the integration of radio and digital media. We look forward to putting her expertise immediately to use in the growing Sacramento market.” Kauffman remarks that she is “excited” about the chance to join Entercom’s Sacramento team. “Entercom is a forward-thinking company with outstanding leadership at both the corporate and local market levels. [The company] has a reputation for providing high-quality content to audiences and results-driven solutions to advertisers.” Kauffman started her radio career with Emmis; she previously was a Merck pharmaceutical sales representative. Entercom’s six-station Sacramento cluster consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320,” CHR KDND “The End,” alternative KKDO “Radio 94.7,” KRXQ “98 Rock,” classic rock KSEG “The Eagle,” and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

radioonelogoRadio One Reports 2014 Q4 Net Revenue Dips 1.7%.  The final quarter of 2014 saw net revenue at $109.7 million for Radio One – a decrease of 1.7% from the same period in 2013.  Station operating income was approximately $42.5 million, an increase of 8.6% from the same period a year ago.  Net revenue for the entire year of 2014 was $441,387,000 – a decrease of 1.6% ligginsalfredover all of 2013.  Radio One president and CEO Alfred Liggins III comments, “Our radio business showed sequential improvement from the third quarter, with revenues -2.8%.  During the quarter we changed format from news to classic hip hop in our Houston market; excluding Houston our radio revenues for the fourth quarter were +1.1%.   Adjusting for a timing difference of our Women’s Empowerment event in Raleigh, Q1 2015 core radio revenues are currently pacing 1.8%, having weakened throughout January.   Our Washington, DC cluster continues to underperform the market, and we recently announced a new general manager of the Washington, DC market cluster by expanding the responsibilities of our own Jeff Wilson, senior regional vice president.  Excluding our Washington, DC cluster, our core radio revenues are currently pacing up about 1% compared to the same time last year.”

valentinephilTalk Host Phil Valentine a Finalist in Atlanta Film Festival.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine has been delving into other media lately – most notably with production of his documentary challenging the man-made global warming theory titled, An Inconsistent Truth – but now he’s entering the world of screenplays and has submitted one at the Atlanta Film Festival that’s been chosen as a finalist in the competition.  The screenplay is for a film titled, Derek Dickens & The Dream, about a man going through a mid-life crisis whose fantasy rock band – much to his surprise – hits it big.  He ultimately has to choose between the comfortable life he knows and the fantasy he’s harbored since childhood.  Valentine says, “This is my first shot at writing a screenplay.  It’s a challenging format but my forte is dialogue.  That’s what I do every day on the radio, so it’s really a natural extension of what I do.”  The winners will be announced later this month and they will be invited to Atlanta in March for a workshop and awards ceremony.

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles all-news outlet KNX examines the Brian Williams case tomorrow (2/13) as part of its KNX Spotlight series.  “The Brian Williams Scandal” will air from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and will “take a comprehensive look at truth in media coverage in the wake of the unfolding controversy facing NBC news anchor Brian Williams.”  It will feature special guest experts and will be hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman…..The United Stations Radio Networks-syndicated NASCAR show “Racing Rocks!” hosted by Riki Rachtman, will emanate this season from the radio studio at The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.   The program airs on more than 100 affiliate stations and is preparing for the kick-off of the 2015 season in Daytona on February 22…..KDKA, Pittsburgh morning host Larry Richert announces that CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett will serve as the keynote speaker at Larry Richert Honors our Hometown Heroes on Thursday, March 5, 2015.  Larry’s Heroes honors five ordinary individuals in the community who have done extraordinary things.   This year, a Lifetime Hero Award has been added to the awards roster and will be given to Dr. Stanley Marks, medical graduate from the University of Pittsburgh who is focused on finding a cure for cancer.

bfoa logoBFoA Announces Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards Recipients.  The recipients of the 2015 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards from the Broadcasters Foundation of America have been announced.  The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, April 15 at the Foundation’s annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  Recipients this year include: David Barrett, director, Hearst Corporation; Don Curtis, chairman & CEO, Curtis Media Group; Herb McCord, president & owner, Granum Communications Corp.; Jane Mago, former EVP & general counsel, National Association of Broadcasters; Al Primo, creator, Eyewitness News, Education Television Fund, Inc.; and Jeff Warshaw, CEO, Connoisseur Media.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the Broadcasters Foundation in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large, and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.

siriusDermaMedThe Business of Health.  As part of their programming on the 24/7 Business Talk from Wharton channel, SiriusXM and the renowned business college recently presented a half-hour discussion on the Knowledge@Wharton program with DermaMed SolutionsMark Pinsley (left) and Ginger Hodulik (center) as they discussed the “Business of Beauty” and their holistic approach to wellness and skincare with host Dan Loney (right).  The program was conducted live in the Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM studios on The Wharton School campus in Philadelphia.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Brian Williams Case, Ukraine Violence/Ceasefire, Jon Stewart to Resign from ‘Daily Show,’ NC Muslim Students Murders, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Film, and Bruce Jenner Transformation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; the aftermath of the Brian Williams suspension; the violence in Ukraine and the scheduled cease-fire; Jon Stewart’s announcement he’ll resign from ‘The Daily Show’ later this year; the murder of three North Carolina Muslim grad students by a neighbor; the release of the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey; and Bruce Jenner’s gender transformation were some of the most-talked-stories on news/talk radio this week according to ongoing research from TALKERS.