Tag: "Mark Edge"
Entercom Enlists Claritas to Assist with Attribution. This collaboration between Entercom and data-driven marketing firm Claritas will “enable advertisers to measure attribution and accurately determine the portions of their podcast and streaming campaigns that contributed to a purchase, store visit. or app download.” Entercom EVP of digital sales Ken Lagana says, “Podcasting is a critical and exciting business segment with exponential growth opportunities. We are thrilled to partner with Claritas and integrate their measurement technology capabilities into our existing radio and digital audio attribution suite. This new tool helps us fill a critical gap in the industry and allows us the ability to offer clients the opportunity to accurately measure ROI for podcasts and other digital campaigns.” Entercom says that with its podcast footprint growing exponentially, it needed to expand its existing over-the-air and digital attribution capabilities to include the podcast medium. The partnership with Claritas will allow advertisers to “calculate the total lift in business outcomes directly attributable to podcast and digital streaming and break out lift by the different components of a campaign, like target audiences, creative, geographic location visit, and more. The measurement tools provide a valuable component to advertisers for their attribution capabilities to tie multichannel exposures to offline and online conversions and revolutionize the way campaign effectiveness is measured.”
WIP’s Angelo Cataldi Honored by Philadelphia Sports Writers Association. WIP-FM, Philadelphia morning drive host Angelo Cataldi was honored on Monday (1/20) with the Bill Campbell Broadcast Award from the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association. The award is named after the legendary Philadelphia broadcaster and recognizes local sportscasters, talk show hosts, and radio and television reporters who display an excellence in broadcasting. Cataldi says, “This award has great meaning to me for several reasons. First, it falls on the exact date of my 30th anniversary at WIP. Second, it comes from the Philadelphia sports writers, a role which I’m very proud to have had. Last, but not least, this award bears the name of one of my inspirations in broadcasting, Bill Campbell. I will never live up to Bill’s legacy, but this award gives me more reason than ever to try.” Cataldi has hosted mornings on the Entercom sports talk station since 1990. Prior to that he was the Philadelphia Eagles beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he earned two Pulitzer Prize nominations.
Round One of Nielsen’s Holiday PPM Survey Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey is released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The survey period was December 5 through January 1. The Holiday book is rarely good news for news/talk, all-news, or sports stations as the all-Christmas music stations grab a lot of the cume in each market and listeners’ routines are disrupted by holiday activities. Still, there are some positive stories to tell from this year’s Holiday survey. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KTRH, Houston posted a half share increase over the December survey to land at a 4.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share). Entercom’s sports talk WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” added a one-tenth share – the fifth positive move over the last six surveys to rise from July’s 2.8 share to the Holiday survey’s 5.0 share. Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia rises six tenths to finish the Holiday survey at a 7.3 share and the #2 rank in the market. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.
Talking Freedom in Hong Kong. Pictured above is “Free Talk Live” co-host Mark Edge (right) with a freedom activist (left) in Hong Kong. Edge tells TALKERS magazine that he went to Hong Kong to report on its freedom movement, noting that “at ‘Free Talk Live’ we care about freedom everywhere in the world.” Edge says that since the activists were asking Western media to come and report on their movement, they thought it was important. He says there were about 400 people in attendance for an event on a Wednesday at noon and about 20 counter-protestors waving Chinese flags that the activists believe were paid to be there. The five-finger hand gesture seen above symbolizes the five demands the activists are making: withdrawal of the extradition bill (which has happened), amnesty for arrested protesters, an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, implementation of complete universal suffrage, and democratic elections for Hong Kong’s leader.
TALKERS News Notes. News pro Katie Couric and iHeartMedia announce the “Next Question with Katie Couric” podcast is returning to the iHeartRadio platform for season two. iHeartMedia says that in the second season, “Couric will continue to examine critical issues like America’s staggering maternal mortality rate, the environmental impact of meat consumption, the most cutting-edge health and wellness regimens, and the 2020 presidential election.” The first episode drops today and examines the Equal Rights Amendment and the history of an effort that began in 1923. Season two will also debut additional bonus episodes called “Next Question Live” – taped in front of a live audience in which Couric hosts intimate conversations with CEOs, entrepreneurs and business trailblazers. Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO Tim Brown kicks off the series discussing how his career in professional sports inspired him to make sustainable, fashionable shoes…..Satellite broadcaster SiriusXM announces its plans for coverage of Super Bowl LIV week in Miami. Its NFL Radio channel will be broadcasting live from Miami with personalities Gil Brandt, David Diehl, Bruce Gradkowski, Torry Holt, Pat Kirwan, Ed McCaffrey, Jim Miller, Kirk Morrison, Brady Quinn, Charlie Weis, Solomon Wilcots, Alex Marvez, Bruce Murray, John Clayton and Howard Balzer on site. Additionally, the play-by-play of Super Bowl LIV will be broadcast in seven languages, including: Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), German, French, Hungarian, and Portuguese…..The nationally syndicated home show “The Money Pit Home Improvement Program” with host Tom Kraeutler adds new affiliate stations WMOV-AM, Ravenswood, West Virginia; WBLF-AM, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania; and KMAD-AM, Madill, Oklahoma…..Condolences to the family and friends of media broker Glenn Serafin, who passed away on Monday (1/20) at 69 after suffering a massive stroke. Serafin served two terms as president of the National Association of Media Brokers from 2013-2017. Prior to founding Serafin Bros in 1993, he spent eight years specializing in domestic broadcast brokerage and finance as a vice president of international investment banking firm Communications Equity Associates. Earlier in his career, he served in news, sales, and management at The Associated Press.
SRN News to Cover Trump at March for Life. When President Trump becomes the first U.S. president to make a live appearance at the annual March for Life in Washington, DC tomorrow (1/24), Salem Radio Network will provide live coverage. The network will provide an unanchored audio feed of the president’s remarks for affiliate stations beginning at 12:00 noon ET. SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “Donald Trump will be the first president to address the pro-life march in its 47-year history. Previous occupants of the Oval Office have only sent written messages or addressed the annual March for Life via speakerphone.”
Impeachment, Presidential Race, Wuhan Coronavirus, Davos 2020, and Hawaii Cop Slayings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/22). The impeachment process taking place in the U.S. Senate; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November and Hillary Clinton’s attacks on Bernie Sanders; concerns about the Wuhan Coronavirus and China’s quarantine of Wuhan City; the subject of climate change at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; and Hawaiian legislators’ response to the killing of two Honolulu police officers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WOR, New York, Morning Co-Host Michael Riedel Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Longtime Broadway theater critic-turned-political-news/talker Michael Riedel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Riedel, along with Len Berman, is the co-host of the morning show on WOR, New York in which he presents the conservative perspective and Berman expresses the liberal point of view on today’s hottest issues. Harrison and Riedel talk about the state of today’s highly polarized national conversation focusing on the nature of Donald Trump and the extraordinary role he is playing as an agent of change in these turbulent times. 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 of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Portland hot AC KKCW “K103” announces the new morning show is “K103 Mornings with Stacey & Mike,” effective February 3. Mike Chase joins iHeartMedia after exiting Entercom’s crosstown country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” in October where he co-hosted the morning show. Chase is being partnered with “K103” afternoon personality Stacey Lynn for the new AM show. iHeartMedia Portland market president Pete Landry says, “‘K103’ has a long history of extraordinary morning shows and I couldn’t be more excited about this next chapter. Both Stacey and Mike are experienced broadcasters who love what they do.”…..In Dallas, Mac Daniels exits Cumulus Media’s country KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” and sister country KSCS “New Country 96.3” where he’d been program director since 2016…..Cochise Media Licenses enters into an agreement to sell classic rock KDVK-FM, Dove Creek, Colorado to Desert Explorer Communications, LLC.
‘Free Talk Live’ Helps Ugandan Orphanage with Cryptocurrency Donations. The nationally syndicated radio program “Free Talk Live” — hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge — has rallied its listeners to assist children in a small, African village through the donation of cryptocurrency. The listeners, with the help of matching contributors Cell411, Bitcoin.com, and Shire Free Church, raised more than $45,000 to construct the orphanage and another $35,000 to purchase farm land to help the orphanage become self-sustaining by growing crops and raising animals. Listeners are able to share in this project by donating their choice of cryptocurrency to help fund the project through the program’s cryptocurrency “tip jar.” Free Talk Live’s Mark Edge says they worked with The Foundation of Hope Uganda, the organization that coordinated the building of the orphanage. Edge says the Foundation is now in the process of securing a piece of land with funding provided by “Free Talk Live” donors and sponsors. He adds, noting there is a misconception among many that libertarians are self-centered misers, that this project is one of many instances that proves nothing could be further from the truth.
Chuck Knight Joins iHeartMedia as Regional SVP of Programming. Most recently serving as program director for hot AC WBEB, Philadelphia “B101,” Chuck Knight moves west to take on the regional senior vice president of programming position for iHeartMedia’s San Antonio and Austin markets that include news/talk WOAI-AM, San Antonio and sports talk stations KVET-AM, Austin and KTKR, San Antonio, in addition to some 12 other music brands. Knight will also serve as program director for adult contemporary KQXT, San Antonio “Q 101.9.” In addition to Knight’s new, elevated role, Brian Gann will continue to serve as the program director at WOAI and will focus on a variety of iHeartMedia’s spoken-word stations.
New Hampshire News Talkers Raise Cash for Veterans Organization. New Hampshire news/talk stations WGIR-AM, Manchester “NewsRadio 610” and WQSO-FM, Portsmouth “NewsRadio 96.7” helped raise more than $153,000 for Veterans Count during the fifth annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon held on March 20. The radiothon has been undertaken for the last five years by “New Hampshire Today” morning host Jack Heath (pictured here) for Veterans Count, an organization that provides financial assistance, services and resources to New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families. During the day’s commercial-free broadcast, Heath conducted interviews with a variety of service members, ranging from World War II veterans to active members of the military. He also addressed the challenges facing veterans today and discussed how Veterans Count helps local service members. The event emanated from the iHeartMedia Manchester studios and was broadcast statewide on the New Hampshire Today Network, including WKXL-FM, Concord and WASR-AM, Wolfeboro.
TALKERS News Notes. On-air pro Kelly Cheesborough is becoming a cast member of the Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings Show,” effective April 1. She was most recently known to Atlanta listeners as Kelly Cheese, executive producer of the WSTR “Star 94.1” “Jeff and Jenn Show.” Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels says, “After an exhaustive national search, we are thrilled to have Kelly join ‘Free Beer & Hot Wings.’ Maybe it’s good karma that Kelly’s on-air name is Kelly Cheese – but the real reason we picked Kelly is that she is a total professional and our audience will appreciate the opportunity to hear a woman’s perspective on the topics ‘Free Beer & Hot Wings’ covers every day.”…..Westwood One’s syndicated late-night show “Red Eye Radio” is celebrating its 50th anniversary at this year’s Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. The show’s golden anniversary celebration will feature a guest appearance by GRAMMY-winning country singer Gretchen Wilson and other artists throughout the three-day convention. Show host Eric Harley will be on site to introduce attendees to the lineup of country music artists who will mix and mingle, take photos, sign autographs, and engage with drivers…..iHeartMedia sports talk stations WGVL, Greenville, South Carolina “FOX Sports 1440” and WPEK, Asheville, North Carolina “ESPN Asheville” are joining the Atlanta Braves Radio Network to carry play-by-play of the National League club’s games, beginning March 28.
New York Radio Pro Bob Slade Dies After Battle with Kidney Disease. On-air pro Bob Slade – host of the long-running public affairs program “Open Line” on WBLS, New York – died recently after a long battle with kidney disease. After originally setting out to be an actor, Slade got into radio, beginning his career on Long Island. He became the news director at “98.7 Kiss FM” in New York and there developed the “Open Line” program with co-hosts attorney Bob Pickett and musician James Mtume. The program moved to WBLS in 2012. Most recently, Slade had been doing the show with Pickett and executive producer Fatiyn Muhammad.
Mueller Report Aftermath, Avenatti Arrest, Administration Obamacare Action, Green New Deal Vote, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, New Migrant Caravan, Brexit Redux, Us Film, NBA Action and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/25). The reactions to the Mueller report; former Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti is arrested on fraud and extortion charges; the Trump administration sides with Texas court on invalidating Obamacare; Mitch McConnell schedules senate vote on Green New Deal; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; reports of a new migrant caravan leaving Central America; the status of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan; the Jordan Peele film Us; and NBA and NCAA Tournament action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Comrex to Debut ACCESS MultiRack at NAB 2019. At the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Comrex will release ACCESS MultiRack – a new rackmount IP audio multi-codec. Comrex says that the ACCESS MultiRack occupies only 1RU and it can handle up to five full-duplex IP audio connections simultaneously. It allows for five simultaneous full-duplex connections to ACCESS Portables (Classic, 2USB, and NX), ACCESS Racks (Classic and NX), and BRIC-Link (Classic and II) codecs as well as the FieldTap app. The first codec features AES67 in addition to AES3 and standard analog I/O while the remaining four codecs all utilize AES67 I/O. MultiRack also supports a wide array of connection protocols and audio encoders. It’s driven via a new HTML5-based web user interface.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Say good-bye to “NASH FM” in New York City. It stands to reason that Entercom – now operator of country WNSH, New York after a swap with Cumulus Media – would ditch the “NASH” brand that is attached to so many Cumulus Media country stations and re-brand. And so it does as WNSH is now “Country 94.7.” Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin states, “New Yorkers have a strong appetite for country music, and we’re excited to continue to deliver the greatest country hits with the rebrand of New York’s ‘Country 94-7.’ We have a great team and programming in place and look forward to remaining country’s home on the biggest stage in America.”…..Entercom announces the promotion of Andrea Burtscher to music director for country KMLE, Phoenix. Burtscher will continue in her position as marketing and promotions director for the Entercom Phoenix cluster that includes classic hits KOOL-FM and CHR KALV “Live 101.5.” Burtscher says, “I’m excited to jump over to the programming world after being in promotions for over 12 years. I look forward to pursuing my passion of country music and serving Phoenix listeners by curating their favorite hits each and every day.”…..On-air pro Chio Acosta moves from Philadelphia where he was most recently a morning personality at iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WISX-FM to New Hampshire as the new co-host of the “Chio and Kira in the Morning” program based as Townsquare Media’s country WOKQ, Portsmouth and simulcast on WPKQ, Portland, Maine. Acosta takes over for the recently departed Bill Fox alongside current morning host Kira Lew.….Alpha Media programmer Ernie Martinez – the company’s new national director of digital content – is betting honesty is the best policy with the new positioning statement for CHR KTFM, San Antonio – ‘San Antonio’s #2 Hit Music Station.’ Martinez says, “People inherently smell B.S. a mile away. Audiences are smarter than most programmers give them credit for and because of this we are taking a radical approach to branding. We are going to tell the truth. There is one thing that audiences crave today and that is authenticity. We aren’t going to brag; we aren’t going to boast. What we will do is work harder than everyone else to show audiences that their attention is appreciated.”…..iHeartMedia expands its partnership with digital media firm LiveXLive Media, Inc that gives the latter exclusive global livestreaming rights for 17iHeartRadio marquee events, including iHeartRadio’s ALTer Ego, iHeartCountry Festival, iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Daytime Stage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival and iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, as well as licensing and streaming rights for select iHeartRadio Theater shows. The partnership will also feature new co-produced and co-promoted video content for fans, including a co-created iHeartRadio channel on LiveXLive built on an extensive library of content.
‘Sports Radio 610’ in Houston Adds New Talent to Lineup. The Entercom sports talk station announces its new lineup that includes new voices Paul Gallant, Fred Davis, and Landry Locker. Gallant joins the AM drive “Mad Radio” show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne on KILT-AM. Fred Davis and Landry Locker are co-hosting the midday “In the Loop” show with John Lopez. The changes take effect on Tuesday (5/29). Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “‘SportsRadio 610’ has long been the sports leader in Houston and part of remaining on top is continuing to evolve with the needs of our audience. I’m excited about the energy that Paul will bring to mornings and Fred and Landry will bring to middays.”
PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. As Garrett Morris’ fictional “Saturday Night Live” character Chico Escuela used to say, “Baseball been berry, berry good to me!” Stations that serve as flagships for MLB teams certainly hope that baseball will be good to them each season. Today, TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian presents the first PPM analysis of the 2018 baseball season that looks at 6+ numbers from Nielsen’s April PPM survey for those stations. Some of the stations that appear to have benefitted from the first month of the season compared to their March numbers include: Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis (up 2.3 shares); Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (up 2 shares); and Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (up 1.9 shares). See Kinosian’s full report here.
Redberg Rises to VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities. Sales pro Michelle Redberg is promoted to vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis market that includes news/talk KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk,” sports talk KFXN-FM “K-Fan,” eight music brands, plus franchise partnerships with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football, basketball and hockey. Vice president of sales for the Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander states, “Michelle is one of the bright stars of our company. She has a contemporary approach to leadership along with a compassion for our advertisers and an understanding of today’s marketing and business challenges. Michelle’s passion, skills, energy and drive made her an obvious choice to help lead our strong Twin Cities brands.”
Michael Young Exits Entercom Pittsburgh Market Manager Position. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that market manager Michael Young has exited the position at Entercom’s four-station cluster there that includes news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM. Young was manager of the cluster when it was owned by CBS RADIO and stayed in his position as Entercom assumed ownership.
iHeartMedia Appoints Mark Boudreaux New Orleans Market President. New Orleans native Mark Boudreaux assumes the market president position at iHeartMedia New Orleans, effective June 11. iHeartMedia operates news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT, plus six music formats in the market. Boudreaux was most recently business development manager at South Central AV. iHM region president Eddie Martiny says, “Who better to run our iHeartMedia New Orleans market than a native New Orleanian? Mark has a proven track record in the Crescent City as a seller, sales manager and vice president of sales. We are excited to have Mark and his infectious personality leading iHeartMedia New Orleans.”
Saga Comminucations’ Warren Lada to Retire. Longtime Saga Communications executive Warren Lada is retiring from the company and his position as chief operating officer at the end of next month. Saga president and CEO Ed Christian comments, “Warren has been an integral part of Saga for the past 27 years and we will deeply miss his contributions to Saga and its radio stations across the US.” Prior to taking on the corporate role of COO, Lada was president and general manager for Saga’s WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show “Free Talk Live” – led by principals Ian Freeman, Mark Edge, and Darryl W. Perry (pictured from l-r at right) — announces a number of new affiliates for the program. WWMN-FM in Traverse City, Michigan and KUSG-AM in Guam add the program to their schedule and WTTN-AM, Columbus, Wisconsin joins the simulcast of existing progressive talk affiliate WRRD-AM, Waukesha…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM “Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan” and WDNC-AM “620 the Ticket” in Raleigh are broadcasting live, play-by-play for all games of this year’s ACC Baseball Championship series that runs through this Sunday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham. Vice president of programming Dennis Glasgow says, “It is our pleasure to bring as much live content as possible over the next five days with our ACC Baseball coverage to everyone in The Triangle. We have an excellent arsenal of announcers lined up to bring our listeners and baseball fans the very best play-by-play and analysis from the ACC Baseball Championship at DBAP.”…..cabana, the digital audio division of AdLarge Media, is expanding its podcast portfolio by adding the true crime genre with the podcast “Crime Junkie,” hosted by Ashley Flowers. “Crime Junkie” launched in December and, according to AdLarge, has been averaging 40,000 downloads per episode…..Tag Station announces that the NextRadio smartphone app for listening to local FM stations is being launched for smartphone users in Mexico. Tag Station president Paul Brenner comments, “We’re thrilled that NextRadio is now available for use on both iOS and Android devices in Mexico. We want to empower all users to enjoy local FM radio without having their content restricted by geographic location or choice of device.”…..KXL, Portland news staffers Steve Leader and Rosemary Reynolds were recently honored with awards from the Associated Press. Leader is AM drive anchor at the Alpha Media station and Reynolds is a reporter. Leader received the Best Enterprise Reporting award for his series “Walk in the Hood,” a look at the way African American communities have changed in Portland through the eyes of two African Americans who grew up in Portland. Reynolds received the Best Public Service award for her series “Wanted: Foster Parents,” that addressed the 11,000 children in Oregon in need of foster care…..Pictured below is FOX Sports Radio nationally syndicated talk show host JT “The Brick” emceeing the 11th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic. This was JT’s fifth year serving as emcee for the event that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.
Hobnobbing at The Gracies. Pictured above at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards on Tuesday (5/22) at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles are: Sun Broadcast Group CEO Jason Bailey (left), Weiss Agency EVP and AWMF director Heather Cohen, and Kris Bailey.
Cool Job Opportunity for KNX Full Time Writer/Producer. Entercom’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is looking for a fearless, aggressive, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative team player. The right candidate is a real show producer and not just a guest booker. Must have a strong rolodex, good news judgment and the ability to write quick, clear, compelling and concise scripts without the usual cliché’s or news speak. Must work and play well in a fast, high-pressure all-news environment. Intimate knowledge of socializing content in all platforms is a MUST. Prior major-market producing and news writing experience required. Strong multi-tasking and computer skills required. Familiarity with Southern California including politics, pop culture, lifestyle, etc. preferred. Must be available to work all hours, overnights, and weekends. Required to join the Writers Guild of America. For more information, please click here.
Trump-Russia Investigation, Status of North Korea Talks, U.S.-China Relations, New NFL Anthem Protest Rule, Parents Evict Son Case, Milwaukee Police Tase NBA Player, Iran Nuclear Deal, Primary Races, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the uncertain status of scheduled talks between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the state of relations between the U.S. and China after the latter is uninvited from joint military exercises; the NFL bans sideline anthem protests; the court case of the New York couple evicting their 30-year-old son; the Milwaukee police apologize after Bucks player Sterling Brown is tased during a parking violation incident; the aftermath of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal; Tuesday’s primary races in Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs 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’s news from Chicago as Windy City media maven Robert Feder writes today about legendary jock Dick Biondi’s official exit from Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM. Feder says that at some point Biondi’s status changed from inactive employee – Biondi was hospitalized in April of 2017 for an ailment – to former employee. Biondi had been hosting a weekend morning show on WLS-FM. Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren told him Biondi’s employment with the station ended “months ago.”…..Robert Feder also reports that Entercom is promoting weekend and fill-in jock Richard Milne to full-time afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm) personality on triple A WXRT. The move bumps Jason Thomas to weekend and fill-in duties as well as host of Monday evening’s “The Big Beat” show…..Tomorrow (5.25), Entercom New York’s classic hits WCBS-FM 101.1, New York’s Greatest Hits is broadcasting the “Shannon in the Morning Summer Beach Blastoff” featuring “Scott Shannon & The Big Show” live from the boardwalk at Coney Island. Hosting the event will be Scott Shannon with Patty Steele, Sue Aller, John Elliot and Brad Blanks, with special performances by Taylor Dayne and Smash Mouth.
Entercom Re-Thinks Hot Talk Hybrid ‘97.3 The Machine’; Launches Sports Talk ‘97.3 The Fan’ Today. After two weeks of consideration following air personality Kevin Klein’s controversial Tweet promoting his morning show that would never see the light of day, Entercom drops the hot talk/sports talk hybrid format for KEGY, San Diego – that included Dan Sileo in middays and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoons – and goes traditional sports talk. The lineup features Sileo in morning drive and market pro Chris Ello partnered with Padres legend Tony Gwynn Jr. for afternoon drive. Entercom San Diego SVP and market manager Bob Bolinger says, “After a recent off-air tweet, we took the opportunity to step back, listen to the important feedback from the community and our partners – the Padres – and re-evaluate the path forward. The station was always going to be largely about sports and we determined the right thing to do was to go 100% all-in. We look forward to building ‘97.3 The Fan’ into San Diego’s best sports station, delivering the highest quality content and listening experience for the people of this great community.” Middays will feature CBS Sports Radio syndicated personalities Jim Rome (9:00 am to 12:00 noon) and Doug Gottlieb (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) and, of course, the San Diego Padres are sticking with the station for its radio flagship.
RTDNA Concerned About DHS Journalist Database Program. Via its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force, the Radio Television Digital News Association says it is “expressing grave concern regarding a report the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is soliciting bids from companies that would create a database of ‘hundreds of thousands of news sources around the world and compile a database of journalists, editors, foreign correspondents, and bloggers to identify top media influencers.’” RTDNA reports that it learned via the website Big Law Business that the Department of Homeland Security is “seeking a contractor that can help it monitor traditional news sources as well as social media and identify ‘any and all’ coverage related to the agency or a particular event… The data to be collected includes a publication’s ‘sentiment’ as well as geographical spread, top posters, languages, momentum, and circulation. The request comes amid heightened concern about accuracy in media and the potential for foreigners to influence U.S. elections and policy through ‘fake news.’” Big Law Business says the DHS request for proposals was put out after 19 Republican members of Congress wrote with concerns about Al Jazeera (owned by the government of Qatar) and whether it should have to register as a foreign agent. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley says, “Whether or not the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security is seeking to create a database of journalists and others as a result of the inquiries about Al Jazeera’s independence, it is wrong. The fact the U.S. government may wish to monitor journalists would put the principles of the First Amendment, and the existence of responsible journalism, which are bedrocks of our democracy, on a perilous precipice.”
‘Free Talk Live’ on Affiliate Binge. The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” show starring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge announces it has passed the 180-affiliate mark. The program adds more than a dozen stations during 2018 so far, including: Cumulus Media’s WGOW-FM and WGOW-AM in Chattanooga; Eagle Communications’ KFEQ-AM, Kansas City; The Cromwell Group’s WZUS-FM, Decatur, Illinois; Connoisseur Media’s WJET-AM, Erie; Texarkana Radio Center’s KTFS-AM/FM, Texarkana, Texas; and EMG2’s KTEL-AM/FM, Walla Walla, Washington. The show also welcomes back former affiliates Sugar River Media’s WNTK-FM, New London and WUVR-AM/FM, Lebanon in New Hampshire.
Trump-Russia Investigation, Paul Ryan Announces Exit, Zuckerberg Before Congress, U.S. Syria Policy, Mexican Border Security, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller; House Speaker Paul Ryan announces he won’t run for re-election and will leave his post next January; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress; President Trump’s threats of military action in Syria aimed at the Russians; Mexican border security and the “caravan” of illegals; and MLB and NBA 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. It’s being called a re-launch of its classic R&B format in New Orleans. Entercom’s WWWL-AM is now simulcasting on translator W225CZ and re-brands as “The New HOT 92.9 FM.” Entercom says the new frequency will reach a broader fan base in the Northshore area and improve the listening experience for the adjoining New Orleans metro areas. Big Abe continues to host the morning drive and Kelder Summers will remain in the afternoon drive daypart…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for the fourth consecutive year. The limited-run channel on the satellite radio service will feature music by artists who will be performing leading up to the festival. Once it starts, Coachella Radio will provide continuous coverage of the festival both weekends with live performances, artist interviews, as well as exclusive Coachella news and happenings…..Westwood One welcomes more than 90 of country music’s biggest acts to its Westwood One Backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards to celebrate the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards. Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes comments, “With our long-standing official partnership, only Westwood One Backstage and the Academy of Country Music Awards can deliver such extraordinary star-power to our listeners, affiliates, and advertisers. We’re bringing the biggest country music stars and radio personalities together to capture unique over the air, on demand, and social content that celebrates the passion, the energy, and the glory of country music at its best.”
FCC Quiets Cumulus’ ‘99X’ Atlanta Translator for Now. The translator – W255CJ, Atlanta – has been the subject of complaints from Steve Gradick’s WWGA-FM, Tallapoosa, Georgia citing interference for several years now. But yesterday (4/11), the FCC issued a cease operation order to Cumulus for the translator that’s been simulcasting the HD2 signal of WWWQ as alternative “99X.” WWGA and Cumulus were ordered to do a series of on-off air tests and, although Cumulus argued that the tests showed no significant interference due to the operation of W255CJ, WWGA’s interpretation of the results indicated its best signal was present when the translator was off. The FCC ruled that since Cumulus has not “remediated the interference,” it is ordering Cumulus to shut it down.