Tag: "Lori Burgess"
‘970 The Answer’ Presents Special 9/11 Show. On the anniversary of 9/11, Salem Media Group news/talk WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” is presenting a special program today (9/11) from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on location from the kitchen table of Red Apple Group chief John Catsimatidis (soon-to-be owner of WABC, New York) with host Kevin McCullough and former New York Governor George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. McCullough says, “The unique and intimate broadcast will take place on location around the Catsimatidis kitchen table and will bring the two leaders together in person in a way seldom seen since this fateful day.”
WHO, Des Moines Listeners Respond to Call for Flag Planting. Afternoon drive personality Simon Conway tells TALKERS magazine that WHO, Des Moines listeners planted almost 3,000 flags in a local park to commemorate those who died in the 9/11 attacks after the city decided to cancel the annual event. Conway says, “About four months after I arrived in Des Moines, there was a meeting. How were we going to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11? Some people wanted to rent the big arena in town and have a solemn service. I pointed out that was a big risk. It was the first or second NFL Sunday and how terrible would it be if no one showed up. Eventually, I came up with the idea of planting a flag in the ground for every person who was murdered that day. We have done that ever since. Yesterday morning my listeners started to contact me saying that the city had cancelled this year’s [event] due to lack of flags and volunteers (total garbage by the way – they want to move on!). There was no way I was going to let that happen and so using social media and the opening of my show yesterday, I directed people to the park. All the nearly 3,000 flags were in the ground before 5:00 pm! THAT’S the power of the very best audience in talk radio!”
Entercom Wrestling with ‘Technical Issues.’ The company has been pretty tight-lipped about the technical issues that may have been caused by a cyber-attack that occurred over the weekend. Entercom’s email system has been compromised and those trying to email someone at the company receive a message saying it is dealing with technical issues and directs them to call the local market via phone. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that the issue – again, the company won’t confirm it’s an “attack” – also has affected music scheduling, production, and billing. Radio trade site RadioInsight is calling it a ransomware attack and reports the attacker(s) is asking for $500,000. Whether it’s an actual ransomware attack or just the work of a devious hacker, the company has a lot of work to do. Entercom’s public statement on the matter is that it is working around the clock to fix the problems. An internal memo staffers received on Monday morning said they should not expect things to be back to normal for three or four days.
WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Does Damage Control After Gay Slur Tweet. Openly gay WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans evening sports talk host Seth Dunlap was the target of a tweet containing a gay slur that appears to have emanated from within the station. According to a piece in The Advocate, many of Dunlap’s listeners may have learned of his sexuality after he wrote a personal essay questioning New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ affiliation with Focus on the Family, an organization that, among other goals, promotes gay conversion therapy. Brees has recorded a video for the organization about the upcoming “Take Your Bible to School” day. Entercom removed the offensive tweet and tweeted out the following: “We are aware of a tweet that went out today from the WWL account. The content of the tweet is categorically offensive and abhorrent to the station. We are actively investigating this incident and will take swift and appropriate action once we determine how this occurred.”
Todd Schnitt and Fark.com Partner for New Podcast. On-air pro Todd Schnitt and FARK.com founder Drew Curtis are launching a new podcast called, “Fark and Schnitt,” “a humorous approach to some of the more unusual story lines in the news cycle.” It’s being managed by Steve Lapa and Lapcom Communications and represented by Crossover Media Group. It’s being promoted as “an entertaining, irreverent look at the stories you may have missed. The ‘Fark and Schnitt’ podcast blends entertaining content with polished production to bring the audience the famous and the forgettable in an engaging format.” New episodes are posted each Tuesday. Schnitt says, “The explosive growth of podcasts cannot be ignored, and this delivery method will continue to grow exponentially. While I’ve been part of repurposing my radio shows for many years, ‘Fark and Schnitt’ is all new exclusive quality content just for the podcast universe. Soon, I’ll be Adam Carolla’s golf caddy.” FARK.com is a successful news aggregator site with more than 2,000 link submissions daily, 20 million page views per month with more than 1 million uniques.
TALKERS News Notes. Joining the meteorologist staff at EnvisionVirtualServices Weather is Tom Hauf, who will deliver custom daily weather forecasts and severe weather coverage for affiliated stations. Hauf says, “I’ve been passionate about weather forecasting since childhood, delivering my first forecast at age 10. Weather is one of a very few things in the world that affects every single person every day.” Hauf has 30 years of experience as a radio weatherman and possesses a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist certification from the American Meteorological Society. EnvisionVirtualServices Weather Reports from Envision Networks offer a complete locally derived weather solution for radio stations. The team of major market meteorologists deliver multiple daily reports and are ready to spring into action whenever inclement weather hits…..PodcastOne announces that it is teaming with Kc Wayland Productions for production, marketing and sales for the “We’re Alive” podcast series that has more than 160 million downloads to date. The new season, “We’re Alive: Goldrush,” features guest-star appearances from actors Danny Trejo and Christy Carlson Romano as well as former “Bachelorette,” Kaitlyn Bristowe. PodcastOne says “‘Goldrush’ is a multi-layered story that fully utilizes the audio drama medium, employing a multitude of audio-focused comedic gags, plot devices that force visualization, and scenes that take advantage of the soundscape.” PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Coming on the heels of our huge success with ‘22 Hours: An American Nightmare’ and the continuing strong showing of ‘Cold Case Files,’ our partnership with A&E Networks, the launch of ‘Goldrush’ not only gives us a strong, new entry into the scripted category, but also shows the strength of our content and promotional resources.”…..KPOJ-AM, Portland afternoon drive sports talk personality Travis Demers is named the new play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers. Demers has been the substitute play-by-play voice recently, filling in for Brian Wheeler who has been dealing with health issues. Wheeler recently retired, leaving the position open. Demers says, “It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, it’s an absolute dream job. I’m thrilled to be able to live out that dream in Rip City.”
Beasley Announces Esports Initiative at UNLV. Broadcaster Beasley Media Group is collaborating with the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies to launch Checkpoint XP On Campus. Beasley XP is the company’s esports division that is leading this endeavor. Under this initiative, the school will serve as the primary content creation and production hub for Checkpoint XP’s college-targeted brand extension. Plans include a college-agnostic esports weekly video and podcast show, as well as extensive online content that will be featured under the Checkpoint XP On Campus section on CheckpointXP.com. The weekly video and podcast will be officially launched tomorrow (9/12) on RADIO.com, as well as Twitch, YouTube, and via a podcast on bPod Studios. It’s being hosted by Beasley XP’s Norris Howard, along with UNLV student anchors Daniel Agbuya and Jacob Brothers, with Kevin Kelly serving as the managing editor. Additionally, UNLV will work closely with Checkpoint XP to recruit student correspondents from more than 30 of the country’s top journalism and esports colleges to provide additional coverage on the growing esports scene across many of the nation’s college campuses. Beasley chief digital content officer Lori Burgess says, “The convergence of sports and entertainment has never been more real than with the esports academic curriculums, sports teams and arenas that are changing the face of campuses across the country. Checkpoint XP On Campus intends to capture this lifestyle-based competitive sport as it continues to gain popularity and become a more serious part of the university experience.” Pictured above at yesterday’s announcement are (from l-r): Dr. Kevin Stoker, director of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV; Dr. Robert Ulmer, Dean of the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs; Caroline Beasley, CEO of Beasley Media Group; Norris Howard; and Leslie Fitzsimmons, director of underwriting and corporate sponsorship for UNLV’s public media outlets.
Trump Fires John Bolton, 2020 Presidential Race, NC Special Elections, U.S.-China Trade War, Immigration Policy, Antonio Brown Rape Allegation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10). National Security Advisor John Bolton is fired by President Trump; the Democrats and Republicans vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Republican Dan Bishop wins a North Carolina congressional special election; the war of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the Trump administration’s immigration and asylum policies; and the rape allegations leveled against Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Cool Radio Opportunities in Phoenix. There are two positions that WestStar Multimedia Entertainment is seeking to fill. First, the Kim Komando show is looking for an on-air call screener and sidekick. They ask: “Do you have an engaging personality? Quick-witted? Funny? And this is very important, have a passion for consumer electronics and all things digital? We are looking for a superstar talent who’s hard working and wants to be part of national radio show and global TV show!” See more about the position and to apply here. Also, WestStar is seeking an affiliate relations manager with at least two years’ experience. The company says, “Kim Komando Multimedia is rapidly expanding in many divisions, as we are one of the fastest growing broadcast media companies in America! For over 20-years, Kim Komando has led the industry in tech-lifestyle programming within the national radio category, reaching millions of people every week.” For more on this position and to apply, click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Sales and management pro Donald St. Sauveur is upped to chief operating officer for Northeast Broadcasting and its stations triple A outlets WXRV, Boston “92.5 The River” and WNCS, Montpelier “The Point.” St. Sauveur has been serving as general manager for WXRV for the past 11 years. Northeast Broadcasting CEO Ed Flanagan says, “Donald has shown an uncanny ability to integrate the sales and programming elements of the station, while simultaneously building brand and customer loyalty. We are looking forward to seeing him succeed in this new role.”…..Programming pro Leigh McNabb joins Saga Communications’ classic hits KIOA, Des Moines as program director. She comes to Saga from her most recent gig as PD and midday personality at Entercom’s hot AC KZPT, Kansas City “99.7 The Point.” Saga Des Moines vice president and general manager Tom Nankival says, “We are thrilled to be able to bring someone with Leigh’s experience and qualifications back to her hometown. Her passion for KIOA’s heritage is unparalleled and the fact that she is already so well respected in our building made her the obvious choice to rejuvenate the station and lead our terrific team.”…..Premiere Networks syndicated morning star Bobby Bones is offering his listeners the opportunity to put their personal twist on The General Insurance’s jingle for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas to see Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots perform. Fans can enter the contest by creating their own video showcasing their spin on the jingle. The winning video will receive a three-day, two-night trip to Las Vegas to meet Bobby Bones and attend the Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots performance on November 15 at Reynolds Hall at Smith Center.
Jamie Allman Returns to St. Louis Air on Salem’s ‘The Answer.’ Former KFTK-FM morning talk host Jamie Allman will be back on the air in St. Louis after a 10-month absence when he assumes the morning talk show host position on Salem Media Group’s KXFN-AM/K287BY “1380AM & 105.3FM The Answer.” “Allman in the Morning” will launch on February 28. He says, “I’m proud and super stoked to be joining a legendary broadcasting company. Salem always puts the listener first and we are a perfect match. There is no bigger castle of common-sense conservatism in broadcasting. I’m honored to inhabit a part of it with energy, insight, and entertainment.” Allman and former employers Emmis Communications and Entercom were involved in a lengthy legal fight over Allman’s dismissal from KFTK-FM in the aftermath of this social media post about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg in April of 2018. Until that time, Allman had also been hosting “The Allman Report” on KDNL-TV “ABC-30.” Salem St. Louis vice president and general manager Greg Lhamon says, “Jamie is a broadcasting legend in this market. He’s bright, passionate, and asks tough questions when he interviews political leaders. He’ll keep them on their toes, that’s for sure. But his show is just plain fun, too. We are thrilled to see him return to St. Louis radio.”
PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio. Although 70% of the news/talk stations on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go down from the December 2018 survey to the Holiday survey, a relative handful saw modest increases, including iHeartMedia’s WZZR, West Palm Beach (+1.0). Comparing Holiday 2017 to Holiday 2018, four stations improved by a full share or better, led by Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (+3.1). No news/talk outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but three stations ranked #2 in their respective markets: CMG’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. See the whole report here.
Monday Memo: Say What? Consultant Holland Cooke writes today in his Monday Memo about a number of bad habits and consistent errors that air personalities often make and that drive consultants (and programmers!) nuts. Get Cooke’s thoughts on blue language, clichés, the benefit of forward momentum and more right here.
Chris Lavoie Named General Manager of SM Radio Productions. Former Stephanie Miller show executive producer Chris Lavoie is returning to the show as general manager of SM Radio Productions, parent company of “The Stephanie Miller Show.” Lavoie served as the radio talk show’s executive producer from 2004 to 2015. He was public relations manager for Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in the Palm Springs, California area for the past three years. Lavoie comments, “I’m thrilled to be returning to my longtime radio home and back into the arms of Mama. I began working with Stephanie as her production coordinator back in 1997 at KABC-AM in Los Angeles and we have a long, 18-year history together. I’m excited to return to the Stephanie Miller universe to help take the show and SM Radio Productions to the next level.” SM Radio Productions co-founder Ron Hartenbaum adds, “Chris has been a valued member of The Stephanie Miller Show family for years and we are ecstatic that he is re- joining the team in this newly created general manager role. He will be crucial in overseeing our exciting, soon-to-be-announced multimedia platform.”
WVON, Chicago’s Cliff Kelley to Leave PM Drive Role. Windy City radio personality Cliff Kelley will be leaving his afternoon drive host position at Midway Broadcasting’s urban talker WVON after his program on March 29. The company says that Kelley – who has been with WVON for the past 25 years – will remain with the station as community ambassador and as the host of the independently produced “American Heroes” broadcast that airs Saturdays on WVON. He’ll also serve as a regular fill-in host. Kelley has been the longest serving talk show host at the station since it switched to its all talk format in 1986. He says, “I don’t want people to look at this as I am retiring. I’m just rewiring. There is plenty more work for me to do.” WVON program director Todd Ronczkowski comments, “Cliff Kelley is one of Chicago’s most influential hosts and has been a trusted source of information for Chicago’s African-American Community for over three decades, forming a host/listener bond that is rarely seen in any market.” Kelley’s replacement has not been announced.
Remembering Some African American Talk Show Pioneers. Longtime broadcaster and now college associate professor Donna L. Halper writes a special piece for TALKERS magazine that looks at some of the early African American talk show hosts who made inroads into the spoken-word end of the radio business during radio’s golden age. Halper writes that at that time in the American radio business, “young black men and women who saw no chance to become announcers or newscasters went into print journalism instead, usually working for black newspapers.” But a few did buck that trend, including New Jersey and New York host Sherman “Jocko” Maxwell. Read the entire piece here.
Jennifer Williams Promoted to VP of Digital Marketing for Beasley. Marketing pro Jennifer Williams is promoted to vice president of digital marketing for Beasley Media Group. She has been serving with the company as director of interactive marketing. In her new role, she’ll be responsible for marketing the company’s digital content platforms and leveraging data to drive traffic, audience engagement, and advertiser growth. Prior to joining Beasley Media Group, Williams spent nearly 20 years with Greater Media, Inc where she worked as the director of digital marketing and was responsible for overseeing the interactive marketing efforts of the company’s 20 radio properties. She joined the organization as the marketing director of WCSX-FM in 1997. Beasley chief digital content officer Lori Burgess says, “Jennifer’s programming background, combined with her digital knowledge, marketing expertise and can-do attitude, made her the perfect choice to lead Beasley Media Group’s digital marketing efforts as we continue to diversify and extend our brands into the multi-platform arena.”
Lorenzo Neal and KGMZ-FM, San Francisco Renew. Former NFL star and current morning drive sports talk personality Lorenzo Neal signs a new, long-term contract with Entercom to continue co-hosting the morning drive “Joe, Lo, Dibs” program on KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” with fellow hosts Joe Fortenbaugh and Dan Dibley. Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Lorenzo Neal continues to drive the San Francisco sports conversation every morning. His experience as a professional athlete and gregarious personality translates to great radio for listeners of ‘Joe, Lo & Dibs’ and we look forward to this continued partnership.” Neal spent 16 seasons in the NFL and he’s been a personality on KGMZ since 2014.
Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander Debut Midday Program on Townsquare’s ‘ESPN South Jersey.’ Former WPEN, Philadelphia “95.7 The Fanatic” personalities Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander are teaming up for a midday sports talk radio show on Townsquare Media’s WENJ-FM, Millville, New Jersey “97.3 ESPN South Jersey,” starting on April 1. The program is being produced by JAKIB Media Partners and in a press release, Mayes says, “We are thrilled to be back on sports radio in Philadelphia and South Jersey on a powerful radio station that is a download away. Our plan begins here with plans already to expand regionally before we launch an assault on the national sports radio market.” The two partnered on a podcast called “Derailed” via WENJ that launched last fall.
Beasley Launches ‘FOX Sports Charlotte.’The new sports talker from Beasley Media Group is heard on three signals in the Charlotte market: WBCN-AM at 1660, W234BY at 94.7 FM, and the HD3 channel of WSOC-FM. It launches today and carries the full FOX Sports Radio national lineup, including: “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” and “The Doug Gottlieb Show.” Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening says, “We are thrilled to bring FOX Sports Radio to the Charlotte Market. We’re giving sports fans another great option for compelling content in our community.”
TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk radio personality Jon Weiner, a.k.a. “Stugotz” from ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” now has his own platform in the form of a new podcast called, “Stupodity.” This is the second original offering from the newly formed Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network created by ESPN Podcasts. “Stupodity” will be a weekly opportunity for Stugotz’s views on sports and life with visits from the people important to him both professionally and personally…..The University of Illinois and Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM partner to present play-by-play of the school’s football and men’s basketball games – as well as the seasonal coaches’ shows – through the 2023-24 season. The news, five-year agreement officially kicks off with the 2019 football season…..Westwood One was the official national radio partner of the NFL for the broadcast of last night’s Super Bowl LIII. Pictured below is Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes (right) with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (left).
Denver Sports Talk Personality Irv Brown Dies at 83. Longtime Denver sports talk radio personality Irv Brown died on Sunday at age 83. Brown retired from the business in April of 2016 after spending more than 40 years on the air. He began as a sports reporter on KHOW, Denver in 1974. For a portion of his career, he partnered with Joe Williams for “The Irv and Joe Show.” Read Fox 31’s report here.
Ralph Northam Controversy, Border Wall Battle, State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Investigation, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The controversy over Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s racist college yearbook photos; the ongoing battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
THE TALKERS INTERVIEW: A Conversation with ‘Our American Stories’ Founder and Host, Lee Habeeb. A longtime radio innovator, Salem Radio Network VP/content Lee Habeeb longed to create something new and different for commercial news/talk radio listeners – a show that would tell stories about American life. They would be stories about our nation’s past and present including sports, the arts, business, innovation, science and everything in-between. It would be a show that would tell the story of America to Americans. “This is a great country precisely because it is a good country,” Habeeb tells TALKERS. “The American people are longing for programming that’s positive, beautiful and good to lift their spirits, and tell the story of the country we all love – because the schools and colleges sure as heck aren’t doing it. And radio will attract a whole bunch of new listeners if we do it right.” Thanks to some significant donor support, and the blessing of his bosses at Salem, Habeeb founded American Private Radio (APR), an independent non-profit alternative to National Public Radio (NPR). APR’s debut show is, by all accounts, doing it right – at least if its impressive growth is any indication. Titled “Our American Stories,” the innovative program debuted on two stations in 2015 and recently passed the 170-affiliate mark, recently announcing some big new additions, including daily slots on KABC, Los Angeles and WHO, Des Moines. It is a meticulously produced show, with a wide range of subjects targeted to a wide audience. It is designed, according to Habeeb, to reach Americans who long for a show to reinforce their values and beliefs. However, he seeks to accomplish this “without all the debate and anger that political debates engender and without the pretentiousness and elitism of public radio.” It is also designed to be a safe space for advertisers to wrap their brand around and be extremely business friendly. “It is entrepreneurs who built the country, who employ people, and generate the taxes that help pay our teachers, police and our safety net,” Habeeb adds. “We celebrate our entrepreneurs, old and new, and their risk taking and their spirit on our show. American life is unimaginable without them.” TALKERS caught up with Habeeb to talk about the show we believe will be one of the big break-out hits of 2019. To read the entire TALKERS interview with Lee Habeeb conducted by Michael Harrison, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK, Tampa, Melanie Mineau joins the morning drive program as the new co-host of “The Morning Krewe with Marc and Melanie.” Mineau has most recently been hosting her own, successful podcast. Previously, she served as a co-host on the “Sarah, Ty & Mel Morning Show” on WRQX, Washington. She says, “I’m excited to be back in the building and to be working alongside so many talented people, some of whom are longtime friends. I look forward to working with Marc and creating great content for the listeners of Tampa Bay. I’m grateful to the Beasleys and Travis Daily for presenting me with this opportunity. There is nothing better than hosting a morning show at a heritage station in your hometown!”…..Also from Beasley Media Group, WMMR, Philadelphia midday personality Pierre Robert signs a multi-year contract extension to remain in his position with the station. Robert joined the station in 1981 and has been hosting the midday show for more than 35 years. Beasley rock format brand manager Bill Weston says, “Pierre is the heart and soul of WMMR. His warm, compassionate voice remains an important part of Philadelphia’s broadcast day. A gifted interviewer and brand ambassador, he truly cares about the community he serves. We are so fortunate to have his talents grace the airwaves.”…..Jason Kidd exits Cumulus Media’s hot AC WRQX, Washington after a three-year stint hosting afternoon drive and serving as APD and music director…..In Wisconsin, Van McNeil joins Magnum Media’s country WVTY, Racine to host the early afternoon daypart. McNeil comes to WVTY from his most recent position with WISN-TV, Milwaukee.
Entercom Names Sports Exec Mike Dee to New President Post. Named to this newly created position – president of Entercom sports – is professional sports executive Mike Dee. He comes to Entercom’s Philadelphia headquarters from San Diego where he was president and CEO of the MLB’s Padres. He’s also served as president and CEO with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and as COO of the Boston Red Sox. In this new position with Entercom, Dee will be working on “creating value for the company’s sports business enterprise…with a focus on revenue development from national sales and marketing programs, new platform opportunities, key partnerships, expanded sports distribution, direct-to-consumer offerings and other entrepreneurial initiatives at the national level. He will be responsible for elevating Entercom’s position as a leading sports media partner in support of the company’s expansive suite of local sports radio stations and personalities and sports play-by-play relationships.” After the closing of the Entercom-CBS merger, the new company will have an increased portfolio of sports talk stations and affiliated digital platforms. Entercom CEO David Field states, “Mike is a highly talented and accomplished executive with over 20 years of leadership experience with some of the most respected organizations in the world of sports. The creation of this new role underscores our commitment to leveraging our sports platforms to compete more effectively with other media as we drive new opportunities and expand our customer base. Mike is uniquely equipped to help us develop cohesive national opportunities across sports and we are delighted to welcome him onboard.”
Ernie Brown New Host of ‘Trending Today.’ After the recent departure of host Rusty Humphries, Liftable Media announces it brings talk radio pro Ernie Brown aboard as the new host of “Trending Today USA.” Brown has worked in markets such as Houston, Austin, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and San Diego, as well as for seven years in mornings at KRLD, Dallas and five years at KOMO-AM, Seattle. Liftable Media CEO Patrick Brown says, “We are innovating and attempting something new in audio programing. We are creating a social media news feed program and placing that programing in traditional broadcast radio. We see over-the-air radio as a natural addition to the distribution points for the content we create every day.” The program is syndicated by the USA Radio Networks.
Beasley Broadcast Group Reports on First Quarter. This 2017 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group is a bit more complicated due to the company’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations and the pending deal to sell the Charlotte stations. In reporting the 2017 and 2016 first quarter pro-forma results, these numbers reflect the legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the divested Greater Media Charlotte stations, as if the transaction had been completed January 1, 2016. Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley reports, “Our first quarter revenue, SOI and net income growth reflect the contributions from the Greater Media stations, partially offset by the absence of political revenue and softer national revenue trends. On a reported basis, the 95.7% increase in consolidated first quarter net revenue drove SOI growth of 31.1%. Pro forma revenue was down 5.7%, or $3.3 million, of which approximately $1.0 million was attributable to the lack of political revenue, with the remainder attributable to transitional matters related to the Greater Media stations as well as lower national revenues. This was partially offset by a 5.7% reduction in pro-forma first quarter operating expenses…On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue declined by $2 million, with approximately 35% of the decline related to the absence of political revenue and the remainder partially attributable to the reformatting of a station in Tampa-St. Petersburg market. The Greater Media properties had a first quarter revenue decline of approximately 4% on a stand-alone basis, which was attributable to the political spending levels, as well as certain specific integration-related issues particularly in Philadelphia and declines in national revenues.”
Hannity Denies He’s Trying to Get Out of Fox News Channel. In the immediate aftermath of the exit of Fox News Channel co-president Bill Shine, there was speculation in the form of a Mediaite piece citing Fox insiders who said Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity is negotiating his exit from the company and would probably be out by Friday. Hannity responded via Tweet to an Independent Journal Review story reporting that he is not negotiating an exit, writing, “If I have anything to say about @FoxNews, I will say it tonight at 10 est. All I’ll say now is this is true,” referring to the IJR report that he’s not leaving. With the recent ouster of Bill O’Reilly, and the exits of Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, there’s been a lot of chatter about wholesale changes at Fox News Channel, even a potential shift in programming philosophy. However, even as Fox adjusts its prime time programming, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of major changes.
Beasley Retains Lori Burgess as Integrated Marketing Strategy Consultant. Working in area of content and advertising alignment, Lori Burgess is being retained by Beasley Media Group as an integrated marketing strategy consultant. The company says that Burgess’ expertise is a “focus on building revenue through creative multi-platform marketing and new media solutions.” In the past she’s worked with such brands as The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.
Salem Tweaks Lineup at KCBQ, San Diego. Saying it wants to use its two top-rated hosts in mornings, Salem Media Group adjusts the morning drive lineup on news/talk KCBQ-AM, San Diego “AM 1170 The Answer.” Beginning May 15, the Hugh Hewitt show will be expanded and air from 3:00 am to 7:00 am, followed by two live hours of the Mike Gallagher show from 7:00am to 9:00 am. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce states, “Salem Radio Network now provides live news and issue-oriented programming from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight ET with some of the best hosts on radio. This new lineup will be well received in San Diego and will allow us to properly use the Salem assets at our disposal in the most efficient way. These two hosts are at the top of their game, and we’re delighted to give them more time in such an important market.”
TALKERS News Notes. Legendary Dallas station WBAP-AM is celebrating its 95th year on the air today (5/2). The Cumulus Media news/talk signal is one of the oldest radio stations in Texas. It was founded by Fort Worth businessman Amon G. Carter, creator and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and debuted on May 2, 1922, when stations in Texas were still given call signs beginning with a “W” instead of a “K.” Pictured at right is one of the station’s first remote broadcast vehicles…..There were a number of cuts at iHeartMedia stations yesterday (5/1), including KOA, Denver sports director Mark Johnson. He exits the station after 13 years there. He continues his duties as the radio play-by-play voice of the University of Colorado Buffaloes via his deal with Learfield Sports…..Also exiting an iHeartMedia station is sports talk host Matt Shepard, who departs WDFN, Detroit after 16 years there. The Detroit News reports that there were also cuts at the company’s Grand Rapids station group…..New York radio personality Sid Rosenberg – co-host of the Bernie & Sid midday show with Bernard McGuirk – is venturing back into the sports talk realm and will start hosting a weekend show on the CBS Sports Radio network on May 20 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Trump’s First 100 Days, Trump’s Andrew Jackson-Civil War Statements, Status of New Health Care Bill, Trump Budget, UT Stabbings, Trump’s Kim Jong Un and Duterte Meetings, Climate Change Controversy, May Day Protests, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1). The assessment of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration; President Donald Trump’s historically questionable statements about Andrew Jackson and the cause of the Civil War; the status of a new GOP-authored health care bill; analysis of the Trump Administration’s federal budget proposal; the deadly stabbings at the University of Texas; President Trump’s statements about desiring meetings with Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the reinvigorated debate over climate change and the flak The New York Times is taking for an op-ed by Bret Stephens on the matter; violent May Day protests across the world; and MLB, NBA and NHL 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. There appears to have been reductions in forces across numerous iHeartMedia clusters yesterday (5/1), including the company’s parting of ways with Cincinnati programmer Bo Matthews, who was responsible for rock WEBN and CHR WFKS “Kiss 107.”…..Multi-media urban superstar Steve Harvey and iHeartMedia agree to an “exclusive, long-term” contract extension to keep him at the helm of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.” Additionally, Harvey will work with iHeartMedia on a variety of projects, including development and creation of new programming and promotions, community and charitable initiatives, as well as multimedia projects and events. He will also continue to serve as a spokesperson for the company. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Steve is a tremendous talent and has an incredible connection with audiences across multiple platforms, which make him a great asset for iHeartMedia. We are excited to extend our partnership with Steve, continuing to deliver the most engaging content and top personalities to our listeners nationwide.”…..Hearst’s rock WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock” announces that Marianne Sierk is joining Kirk McEwen for the afternoon drive show. “Kirk and Marianne” are now heard weekdays from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm pm. Sierk has headlined comedy clubs across the country and has done numerous television shows, including VH1’s “I Love the 80s,” Tru TV’s “World’s Dumbest,” and “The World Stands Up” for the BBC. WIYY PD Rick Strauss says, “Kirk was already flying high in afternoons, but when Marianne was a guest on his show a few months ago, it was so much fun that we had to make it permanent.”…..Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland announces the station’s new show lineup that’s designed to “reflect and enhance KINK’s more progressive music stance.” Corey and Mitch are in AM drive, Jared Aman hold down middays, program director Sean Demery hosts afternoons, Jeff Allen is night jock and Shauna Steele is the overnight personality…..SiriusXM launches a new channel dedicate to the work of The Beatles. On May 18, the satcaster will debut the channel “created by SiriusXM to present unique and exclusive programming in collaboration with and fully authorized by The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. The Beatles Channel will also be available online and through the SiriusXM app.
PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a review of the performances of adult contemporary-formatted stations based on data from the March 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey. iHeartMedia’s “Sunny 106.5” in Las Vegas led the pack in improvement (6+ Mon-Sun) in which “roughly half the stations (51%) on our adult contemporary sample falter between February 2017 – March 2017 (6+); 44% improve; and the remaining 5% of the panel is steady (6+).” Comparing last March to March of this year, with Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s WLDB “B93.3” leading the gainers, “50% of this adult contemporary panel regresses year-to-year and 46% improve; 4% of the panel is unchanged from March 2016.” Meanwhile, eight adult contemporary stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in March. See all the data here.