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iHeartMedia to Add Second Digital HQ in Nashville. As a complement to its digital operations in New York City, iHeartMedia is selecting Nashville as the location for its second digital headquarters. It is further expanding its current New York-based digital team, creating new jobs, and “building on iHeartRadio’s continued growth and innovation as the leading audio platform for consumers across the country.” In addition to being one of the nation’s leading music scenes, Nashville is also seeing rapid growth in the technology sector that is apparent by the growing number of tech startups and major companies creating offices and hubs there. iHeartRadio president Darren Davis says, “As we continue to invest in our ad tech, products, research, sales and content, and further build on the success of our digital service, this is the right time to expand our digital team – and what better location than Nashville, given that music is at the heart of our business. Nashville’s technology ecosystem is thriving, and combined with the city’s rich history in music, entrepreneurial spirit and diverse culture, we believe this is the perfect location for us to extend our digital leadership and recruit highly skilled and passionate candidates for our second iHeartRadio Digital headquarters.” iHeartMedia plans to begin hiring immediately in Nashville for positions in engineering, product development, data science, and more. All applicants can visit https://jobs.iheart.com/.
Monday Memo: Get An Uber-Earful. As Internet-based innovation is disrupting every legacy industry, taxis are to take-me-somewhere as radio is to inform-me/entertain-me. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke offers a jiu jitsu move. Read it here.
Impeachment Proceedings, 2020 Presidential Race, London Bridge Terror Attack, UN Climate Change Report, Thanksgiving Travel/Storms Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment proceedings against President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the terrorist slaying of two people at the London Bridge; the aftermath of the release of the latest climate change report from the United Nations; and the Thanksgiving holiday and the storms that affected travelers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Round Three of November PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of November 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s November 2019 survey period covered October 10 – November 6. Some 6+ ratings gains of note for spoken-word stations during the November survey include: iHeartMedia’s KFBK-AM/FM, Sacramento adds 0.8 tenths for a 6.7 share and the #3 rank in the market; in Salt Lake City, iHeartMedia’s KNRS-FM posts a whopping 2.0 share increase over October to land at a 5.2 share and the #6 rank; and Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City sits at a 6.1 share after three consecutive up or flat surveys and ranks #5 in the market. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Takeaways” from these markets here.
Salem Relaunches KDIZ, Minneapolis as ‘Freedom 1570.’ The Salem Media Group talk station had been airing a health and wellness format since 2016, but now KDIZ-AM becomes a conservative news/talk station as “Freedom 1570” and featuring the following lineup: “America’s First News with Matt Ray” from 5:00 am to 8:00 am; Chris Plante from 8:00 am to 11:00 am; “Like It Matters” with Scott V. Black from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon; Dana Loesch from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Ben Shapiro from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm; and Mark Levin from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The station complements its other Twin Cities conservative news/talker WWTC “The Patriot” that airs the full lineup of Salem Radio Network shows. Salem Twin Cities general manager Nic Anderson says, “‘Freedom 1570’ has been placed in the Twin Cities for such a time as this to provide overlooked facts and to be a voice of reason in a wayward society. ‘Ringing liberty and truth’ is not just a tagline as it’s our mission to remind all who engage with us that freedom is our greatest gift.” Beyond radio, emphasis is also placed on building a community online with its informative website, social media outlets, and upcoming 2020 events with sister-station AM 1280 The Patriot.
O’Reilly’s Trump Interview Clears Almost 200 Stations; ‘Picked Up Extensively’ in News Media. The Key Networks-syndicated Thanksgiving week radio special featuring bestselling author and former cable news personality Bill O’Reilly’s one-on-one interview with President Donald Trump was broadcast across almost 200 radio stations – including 18 of the top 20 markets. Key Networks says that the interview broke major news and was picked up extensively through media including The New York Times, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and CNN, and was covered internationally. In the interview, O’Reilly spoke with Trump about Ukraine, Joe Biden, impeachment, the upcoming campaign, and attacking the Mexican drug cartels. Key Networks syndicates O’Reilly’s 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update,” to nearly 200 radio stations across the U.S. Key says the holiday weekend program is the first in a series of specials and exclusive content to be created especially for affiliates of “The O’Reilly Update” throughout the 2020 election season.
WWJ, Detroit Shuffles On-Air Lineup. Motor City all-news WWJ makes air staff changes as Brooke Allen moves to middays (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) and afternoon drive features Jackie Paige and Jason Scott. Paige moves to PM drive from middays and Scott moves to the earlier daypart from his current evening news anchor role. The changes take effect on December 9. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “WWJ prides itself in being a reliable and trusted news source and this revamped lineup will allow us to better serve our listeners. Jackie and Jason’s passion for live and local news reporting will connect with listeners across metro Detroit and all of Michigan, while Brooke’s rapport with her audience will help our midday timeslot reach new heights.”
TALKERS News Notes. A co-host of the nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” is planning to run for governor of New Hampshire. The host, who legally changed his name to Nobody, has been interviewed on radio stations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He recently ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Keene, New Hampshire. As of this time, Nobody is the only challenger to incumbent Governor Chris Sununu…..South Carolina sports radio pro Ted Byrne was killed in a car accident on Saturday night (11/30) near Charleston, South Carolina. Byrne worked for Kirkman Broadcasting where he was play-by-play announcer for the Summerville High School Green Wave. He also produced and hosted numerous sports radio shows…..Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher kicked off the holiday season by attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Gallagher braved the chilly temps in New York City and sent TALKERS the shot of himself with the Grinch balloon in the background. Photo: Salem Radio Network
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Rare 1983 Interview with Dr. Timothy Leary Is Featured on Harrison Podcast. A 36-year-old interview with 1960s counter-culture icon Dr. Timothy Leary – unheard for more than three decades – was uncovered several days ago in the Goodphone Communications archives. It was found on a dust-covered VHS cassette copy of a weekly cable TV talk show hosted by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in Los Angeles and is, most likely, the only copy of that particular interview in existence. The audio track of that rare and revealing conversation is featured on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Leary were good friends and colleagues between 1976 and 1985 when they met shortly after the former Harvard professor was released from prison in Southern California. Leary went on to be a regular guest on Harrison’s radio show and a featured columnist in his radio trade publication, Goodphone Weekly, in which he wrote about the future of media. Harrison says, “I’ve done a number of broadcast chats with Timothy Leary during that period but this was one of the most concise and comprehensive. I thought it was lost forever and although I wish the audio quality was better (it is a bit funky), I’m delighted to have recovered this gem and share it with a new generation of broadcasters.” Harrison and Leary talk about marijuana legalization, the impact of computers, genetics, trans-humanism, left-right politics, authoritarianism, robots and artificial intelligence from a “1983 futurism” perspective. 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 every page of Talkers.com.
Account Executive – Radio and Digital Sales. Salem Media Group in New York is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer” and the legendary WMCA AM570/102.3FM “The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.” Compensation is commensurate with degree of experience and skills. This is a fabulous career opportunity for the right individual with one of the finest broadcasting companies in America. Ideal candidate has a proven track record of success with radio and digital sales. Interested candidates should call Jerry Crowley’s office at 212-857-9640 and apply online.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. New Orleans country outlet WNOE announces Casey Carter is named program director. She will also serve as the station’s afternoon drive personality. Carter comes to New Orleans from iHeartMedia’s country WTQR, Greensboro, North Carolina where she was PD and air personality. Earlier in her career, Carter served as WNOE’s assistant PD. iHeartMedia New Orleans SVP of programming Angela Watson Charles says, “I’m thrilled for Casey’s return to New Orleans and WNOE. We’re very excited to have the combination of Casey’s format expertise and personal passion for the city – welcome back.”…..Alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” announces the return of its “Winter Jawn ’20” concert event. It will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia from 12:00 pm to 5 pm. The free, outdoor show features live performances from AJR, Angels & Airwaves, Local Natives, Sub Urban, and the winner of Radio 104.5’s local “Opener Contest.”…..Also from Philly, Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU is flipping its station name to “Garth 92.5” in honor of Garth Brook’s “Dive Bar Tour” concert tonight (12/2) at Prospector’s Grille & Saloon in Philadelphia. 92.5 XTU is broadcasting live from the venue and will highlight Brook’s biggest hits all day long.
Monday Memo: When YOU Win, Congratulate THEM. With all the cutbacks local radio has been through, relevant local news is all the more conspicuous. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke urges stations to enter news awards competitions and offers a way to tout wins on-air. Read it here.
Saudi Oil Attack, 2020 Presidential Race, New Kavanaugh Claim, Purdue Parma Files for Bankruptcy, UAW Strikes at GM, Ric Ocasek Dies, and Antonio Brown Plays in NE Victory Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The drone attack on a Saudi oil processing facility and accusations Iran is responsible; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the allegation that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh committed sexual harassment while a freshman at Yale; oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy; the UAW votes to strike against General Motors; The Cars co-founder Ric Ocasek dies at 75; and embattled football player Antonio Brown plays for New England in week 2 among top news/talk stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
PPM Analysis: Public Radio News Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk. Comparing weekly 6+ AQH share data from the July survey to the August survey, 46% of the stations on our panel went up while 40% went down (14% were flat). Looking at the year-over-year comparison, 50% of stations saw their ratings go down, while 46% were gainers. Four public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets (6+) during the August survey: KQED, San Francisco (7.1); WAMU, Washington (8.2); KPBS, San Diego (6.0); and WUNC, Raleigh (8.5). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Tom Tolbert Renews Deal with KNBR, San Francisco. Bay Area sports talk radio personality Tom Tolbert signs a contract extension with Cumulus Media’s KNBR-AM/FM. The 23-year station personality currently co-hosts the afternoon drive program with Larry Krueger and Rod Brooks. Tolbert played for two seasons with the Golden State Warriors during his seven-year NBA career. He currently serves as host of KNBR’s “Dubs Countdown to Tipoff” pre-game shows. KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “Tom is the heart and soul of the KNBR brand and we’re excited to have him stay in the family here at ‘The Sports Leader.’ He has a special bond with Bay Area sports fans and his unrivaled passion for the game can be heard every weekday during ‘Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks.’ We are extremely proud to extend our relationship with Tom for years to come.”
Barnett Named SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Denver. Sales pro Dave Barnett moves to Denver from his most recent position with iHeartMedia’s WDAE, Tampa. As senior vice president of sales in Denver, Barnett will be responsible for overseeing the spoken word and sports stations – KOA, KDFD-AM/K299BS “Freedom 93.7,” and KHOW – as well as the company’s sports partnerships with the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, and University of Colorado. In Tampa, Barnett was vice president of sales for “NewsRadio WFLA” and sports talk WDAE. He also served as the director of sports where he worked closely with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Tampa Bay Lightning. He says, “I am thrilled to be back in Denver and working with the variety of legendary brands including KOA, ‘Freedom 93.7’ and 630 KHOW. Denver is a very special place and an incredible radio market – I look forward to working with our incredible partners as well as the legendary voices that you hear on each of our stations and sports properties.”
‘America’s 1st News’ Announces KTTH, Seattle New Flagship. The nationally syndicated “America’s 1st News” with Matt Ray is now emanating from new flagship station KTTH-AM, Seattle. The program – airing live from 5:00 am to 9:00 am ET – is heard on 85 affiliate stations. Ray says, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with [KTTH program director] Jason Rantz and the engineering staff [at KTTH] in the past and they’re the best in the business. We’re thrilled to join the team on a permanent basis.”
Becki West Rises to VP Sales/Director of Agency Partnerships. Philly sales pro Becki West is promoted from general sales manager with iHeartMedia to vice president of sales and director of agency partnerships. In this role, West will be responsible for overseeing the sales team as well as continuing to offer marketing solutions to the company’s agency partners. She will continue to oversee sales for adult contemporary WISX “106.1 The Breeze.” Senior vice president of sales Jeff Moore says, “Becki has been crucial to the growth of our sales team and sales management team. Her relationships with our clients in the market are second to none and are an essential element to helping us cultivate our major initiatives.”
Cumulus Names John Toohey VP of Finance. In this new role of vice president, finance with Cumulus Media, John Toohey will handle financial planning and analysis, budgeting, and special projects. He will report to EVP and chief financial officer John Abbot. Toohey was with Charter Communications (and predecessor Time Warner Cable) for 12 years, most recently as group vice president, media sales finance, Spectrum Reach.
Beasley Supports Greater Boston Food Bank. Pictured above are staffers from Beasley Media Group’s Boston operations at the Greater Boston Food Bank on September 11 helping sort and pack 12,206 lbs. of food that will provide 10,172 meals or feed a family of four for 2.3 years. The effort was part of the company’s ongoing Community of Caring Initiative. Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “This is the second year that the Beasley Boston Team sorted thousands of pounds of food at the Greater Boston Food Bank. It feels good to work together to help others in need.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee,” former artist manager and radio personality Ayisha Jaffer is named afternoon drive host and promotions coordinator, effective today (9/16). Her duties will include booking the station’s weekly “414 Live” on-air performance show featuring Milwaukee artists. Station PD Jordan Lee says, “When I think of Milwaukee success stories, I think of Ayisha. Born and bred here in Milwaukee, she’s traveled the world and worked with some of the coolest artists in contemporary music. She brings knowledge, industry experience, and passion to the ‘Radio Milwaukee’ team.”…..Podcaster Cadence13, via its C13Originals division, is presenting a documentary series titled, “Long May They Run,” dedicated to chronicling iconic touring bands who’ve had a lasting impact on music culture, the industry, music streaming, touring, their fans and beyond. Season one focuses on the jam band Phish. The series is created, directed, and produced by C13Originals, and hosted and written by Dean Budnick, a veteran music journalist, editor-in-chief of Relix Magazine, author, and filmmaker…..Entravision Communications Corporation announces the appointment of Erin Voden as senior vice president of integrated marketing solutions for its Washington, D.C. market, effective immediately. She’ll oversee and manage sales at the company’s television and digital media properties serving the Washington market…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Wolfman Jack Radio Show” is now airing in two new markets. WSVM-AM, Charlotte, North Carolina and KBST-AM, Odessa, Texas add the program to their weekly program schedules.