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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

| May 31, 2017

Crabtree: Hannity’s Battle Is Our Battle. Atlanta conservative media figure and talk show host Bryan Crabtree writes today, in a piece for TALKERS magazine, that talk show hosts of all stripes should be concerned about the targeting of Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity’s advertisers by activist organization Media Matters.  “For the sake of our first amendment rights, we cannot sit idly while fellow hosts are destroyed because of their success and influence.  Moreover, the talk radio industry needs to do a better job of conveying what advertising actually is. It is not an endorsement of a program, station, channel or host. Advertising is simply reaching a specific number of people of certain demographics likely to buy an advertisers’ product or service.”  Read Crabtree’s entire piece here.

WVON, Chicago News Anchor Steps Away.  Morning drive news anchor Dometi Pongo is exiting his daily role with Midway Broadcasting Corporation-operated progressive talk station WVON, Chicago “to devote more time to freelance projects and digital media via dometipongo.com.”  Pongo’s last day will be Friday (6/2).  Annette Flournoy will fill the AM drive news role until a permanent replacement is found.  The station notes that Pongo joined the WVON news team in November 2013, following his internship at the station and that he became a popular fixture as a member of WVON’s morning team, offering a Millennial voice to the news and various topics of the day.

Another Reminder for AMC-8 Users. The folks at Westwood One remind you that after June 30, you will no longer receive service from satellite AMC-8 and you must re-aim your satellite from AMC-8 to the new AMC-18 at 105 degrees West Longitude.  The five major commercial radio networks – Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One – now have their full complements of satellite-delivered programming available on their new frequencies on AMC-18. This also includes programming from syndicators who lease their satellite time from these five companies.

Sound Advice and Encouragement from a Talk Media-Friendly Shrink.  These are exciting but extremely challenging times for news/talk media hosts dealing with the figurative mine field of political correctness and the ominous specter of advertiser boycotts hanging over their heads.  Noted forensic psychiatrist and prolific talk show guest, Dr. Renee Kohanski, writes an insightful article posted today (5/31) in TALKERS to encourage talk talent to weather the storm and not give up.  To read the piece, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WFAN, New York sports talk star Mike Francesa is being credited by a Yonkers man for saving his life.  In a story in the New York Post, “Mike from Yonkers” called in to Francesa’s afternoon drive show to relate how a previous call to the program when he was suicidal saved him. The caller explained he was in the throes of opioid addiction when his call to Francesa helped take his mind off a suicidal urge.  Francesa downplayed his role, telling the man he didn’t owe him any thanks…..Today (5/31), Edison Research unveils its “Share of Ear: Canada,” that provides the “same comprehensive look at the total audio space as has been available since Edison first conducted ‘Share of Ear’ research in the U.S. study in 2014.” “Share of Ear: Canada” was commissioned by Radio Connects, which promotes and markets radio to Canadian advertisers and agencies. The presentation will be unveiled today in Toronto as part of an event for the advertising community sponsored by Numeris, Canada’s broadcast ratings cooperative. Highlights will be available after noon from Radio Connects and at EdisonResearch.com.

Trump/Kushner-Russia Investigation, Trump-Merkel Relationship, WH Communications Director Resigns, North Korean Missile Program, Kathy Griffin Trump Photo, Tiger Woods DUI, and MLB Action and NBA and NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/30). The investigations into possible Russian connections between Trump campaign operatives and Jared Kushner; President Donald Trump’s relationship with Germany’s Angela Merkel; White House Communications Director Mike Dubke resigns post; North Korea’s expanding missile program and the U.S.’s missile defense tests; comic Kathy Griffin takes heat for photo with Trump ‘severed head’; golf great Tiger Woods’ DUI arrest; and MLB action and the NBA and NHL finals 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. The new, permanent morning drive show at Entercom’s hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS1075” is made up of afternoon personality Tony V, plus DJ Chonz and Mercedes “Cedes” Howard.  They take over after the March departure of longtime morning duo Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J…..Alpha Media announces that JD Garfield is the new program director and afternoon host at CHR WDJX, Louisville “99.7 DJX.”  The 20-year radio pro was most recently with Impact Radio Group’s hip hop KWYD in Boise, Idaho.  Alpha Media VP of programming Phil Becker comments, “I’ve been a fan of JD’s brands for some time.  I’ve enjoyed watching him in some very competitive radio battles and I look forward to fighting alongside him.”…..At Pamal Broadcasting’s country WKLI, Albany “100.9 The Cat,” Kevin Richards moves from middays to mornings to partner with Dana Race.  Sliding into the midday slot is Pete Kelly…..The national launch of “The Men’s Room,” featuring show hosts Miles Montgomery, Steve “The Thrill” Hill and Thee Ted Smith (along with producers Robin Foxx and Mike Hawk) takes place on June 5.  Westwood One is syndicating the program in cooperation with Entercom and flagship station KISW, Seattle and reports it will debut on WAAF, Boston; KUFX, San Jose; KRXQ, Sacramento; KGON, Portland; KQRC, Kansas City, and more…..Alternative KKDO, Sacramento “RADIO 94.7” breaks the news that the lineup at its “City of Trees 2017” concert on September 24 will include: New Politics, The Greeting Committee, Bishop Briggs, Dreamcar, and Blink 182.

Brophey to Retire as WKLB, Boston PD; David Corey Named as Replacement.  Two WKLB, Boston programmers are leaving the Beasley Media Group station.  The company announces Mike Brophey has decided to retire as program director of WKLB “Country 102.5,” and his wife, longtime assistant program director/music director Ginny Rogers has also decided to step down and enjoy the summer with her family.   Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “They both have been instrumental to the evolution of the station over the years.  We are very grateful to Mike and Ginny for everything they have done and wish them the very best in the next chapter of their lives.”  With Brophy’s retirement, the company brings David Corey aboard to serve as program director.  Corey most recently served as vice president of radio programming at Toronto-based Bell Media.  He comments, “I am excited to have the opportunity to return home to Boston to work at WKLB-FM.  It’s an amazing station with an incredible history in country radio.  I look forward to working with Justin Chase, Mary Menna, Cadillac Jack and the entire team at the station!”

PPM Analysis: Urban AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian wraps this month’s analyses of station performances based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey with a look at the urban AC format.  In analyzing 6+ data from subscribing stations, Kinosian reports that, month-to-month, “One of every two stations (50%) on this urban AC sample improves between March 2017 and April 2017 (6+); 31% are down; and the remaining 19% are steady.”  Leaders were Cumulus Media’s WQQL, Nashville (up 1.2 shares) and Howard University’s WHUR (up 1 share).  Year-over-year, Urban One’s WFUN, St. Louis jumped 2.1 shares and jumped from its 2016 #11 rank to #4 in 2017.  See all the data here.

Hubbard’s ‘New Country 92.3’ Helps with Flood Relief Fundraiser. Missouri country artist Trent Tomlinson and Illinois country artist Drew Baldridge helped out Hubbard Radio’s WIL, St. Louis “New Country 92.3” and the St. Louis Cardinals by performing before a recent Cards-Dodgers game.  The effort raised more than $18,000 for Salvation Army Flood Relief to benefit Missourians still recovering from this year’s floods.  Pictured above are (from l-r): station personalities and staffers Bud Ford, Danny Montana, Fredbird, Baldridge, Rachel Cook, DJ JT, Scott Roddy, and Jerry Broadway.

Hannity’s Battle Is Our Battle

| May 31, 2017

By Bryan Crabtree
WGKA, Atlanta
Talk Show Host

 

ATLANTA — I am deeply troubled by what I see happening to Sean Hannity. His demise is of no benefit to anyone in the talk radio industry. In fact, it’s detrimental (even if he’s on your competitor).

This is a wake-up call to managers, sales departments and hosts at talk radio stations. We are allowing ourselves to become victims of political ‘scalpings.’ This is not a new phenomenon but it’s intensity is growing.

Talk radio hosts now face one of the biggest threats in our history: the unfettered attacks on our advertisers because we are doing our jobs.

Read More

Thursday, May 25, 2017

| May 25, 2017

Today It’s Hannity, Tomorrow It May Be You.  Nashville-based Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine writes today about the campaign being waged against Fox News Channel and Premiere Networks talk show host Sean Hannity for his reporting on and opining on the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.  Media Matters is targeting Hannity’s advertisers in what is likely an attempt to get Fox to take action against Hannity.  Valentine says that those on the left cheering and those on the right standing idly by are potentially risking their own hides somewhere down the road if this effort is successful.  “The radical left loves to call conservatives fascists, yet there is nothing more fascist than shutting down people who dare utter something counter to your world view.  That goes for both sides of the aisle.  It’s one thing to simply stop patronizing a business because of the causes or people they support.  It’s another thing altogether to launch a vicious e-mail campaign of threats and intimidation.”  Coincidentally, Sean Hannity will be presented with TALKERS magazine’s Freedom of Speech Award at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York on June 2. Read Valentine’s entire piece here.

Chris Berry Appointed SVP of News, Talk and Sports for iHeartMedia. Radio programming, sales and management pro Chris Berry takes on the SVP of news, talk and sports post for iHeartMedia.  The company says that Berry “will oversee our news, talk and sports brands, where he’ll provide strategic guidance for our spoken-word formats and connect key advertisers with iHeartMedia’s news, talk and sports audiences.”  Berry has been serving as SVP/general manager for NBC News Radio and 24/7 News Network, a position he’ll maintain.  During his career, Berry has been VP/GM for ABC News Radio and VP/GM of WMAL, Washington, to name a few.  He joined 24/7 News Network as senior vice president and general manager in March 2011 and has spearheaded NBC News Radio’s editorial content since 24/7 News began syndicating the network in July 2016.  Meet Chris Berry at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York City on June 2.  See details here.

WBAL, Baltimore Names Jeff Wade News Director.  Baltimore news/talk WBAL “Newsradio 1090” names Jeff Wade news director, effective June 5.  Wade comes to the Hearst Television-owned station from his most recent position with Binnie Media’s Concord, New Hampshire operations as director of news and talk programming.  During his career, he’s also served with Saga Communications at news/talk WGAN, Portland as news director.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Jeff has a deep appreciation for WBAL’s zealous commitment to 24/7 news coverage.  His leadership, along with the skills and experience of our news team, will allow WBAL to fortify its position as Maryland’s leading radio news source.”  Speaking about his new gig, Wade remarks, “I’m excited to be joining WBAL and the Hearst team.  This is one of America’s iconic radio stations with a proud legacy as a news leader staffed by an all-star team of experienced and knowledgeable talent.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Programmer Brian Hall. Programming pro Brian Hall is upped to senior vice president of programming at the company’s Asheville operations.  Hall has most recently been serving as program director for the company’s news/talk WWNC “News Radio 570,” progressive talk WPEK “880 The Revolution” in Asheville and WGVL, Greenville, South Carolina “FOX Sports 1440.”  Music stations in the cluster include: adult hits W249AR “97,7 The Brew,” country WKSF “99.9 Kiss Country,” CHR WQNQ “Star 104.3,” and classic rock WQNS “Rock 105.1.” iHeartMedia area president for Asheville, Greenville and Greensboro Bill McMartin states, “Brian’s vast experience in Asheville will really help us continue to dominate the market in every format.  We have an experienced team in Asheville who all have great respect for Brian and his ability to lead our programming efforts.”

Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager Begin Crowdfunding Effort for Free Speech Film.  Yes, that’s right, conservative media figure and divinity scholar Dennis Prager, and podcaster/comic and atheist Adam Carolla are teaming up to produce a film titled, No Safe Spaces, that addresses the effects of political correctness on America’s college campuses.  The idea for the film came about after the unlikely duo’s recent scheduled appearance at UC Northridge was cancelled by the administration.  The event did go on after their lawyers pressured the college and their speeches were taped for the film.  Now, they are beginning an Indiegogo campaign to raise $1 million over the next few weeks to complete production of the feature-length film that will examine the effects of political correctness on college campuses and how the phenomenon will affect America’s future as restrictions on free speech move beyond the campus to American society.  Prager comments, “This is a story that must be told because the future of our country literally depends on what happens on these campuses.  If these students don’t understand the very concept of free speech, our whole nation is in trouble.”  The film takes Prager and Carolla to college campuses across the country, interviewing students and professors, comedians and commentators on the left and right, and those who have been impacted by the silencing of different voices on campus, analyzing the value of so-called safe-spaces.

PPM Analysis: Baseball Flagships.  How did the first month of the 2017 Major League Baseball season go for radio play-by-play flagships?  TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian addresses that very question, reporting on the 6+ performances of baseball flagship stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Ten stations saw their 6+ numbers go up at least one full share, with CBS RADIO’s KMOX, St. Louis shooting up 2.2 shares to an 8.4 share (and good for a #1 market rank).  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati was close behind, rising by 2.1 to a 9.3 share.  See the whole report here.

TALKERS News Notes. In Chicago, Salem Media Group adjusts its programming on news/talk WIND by moving the Salem Radio Network’s Larry Elder show from overnights (1:00 am to 3:00 am) to the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot, followed by its “Jay Sekulow Live” program at 9:00 pm.  The shows bump the Dave Ramsey program from the station’s program schedule, effective June 1…..Next season, Detroit Pistons games will be heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WXYT-FM, moving from Beasley’s crosstown WMGC.  The NBA club’s games were originally heard on WMGC when it was a sports talk station – “Detroit Sports 105.1” – and remained there after the station flipped to classic hip hop and R&B.  In the event of conflicts on WXYT-FM, Pistons games will move to the company’s all-news WWJ-AM.

Manchester Bombing Aftermath, Trump’s International Trip, Trump-Russia Investigation, Obama MS-13 Controversy, China Criticizes U.S. Ship Movement, Trump Budget Proposal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/24). The arrests of family members of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi and the task of preventing more attacks; President Donald Trump’s trip abroad; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; a whistleblower alleges Obama’s Unaccompanied Children policy allowed MS-13 gang members to be settled in the U.S.; China lashes out at the U.S. after a Navy destroyer sails within 12 miles of its military, man-made island; the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the Trump Administration budget proposal; 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.

Cool Programming Opportunity.  The Springfield, Illinois operations of Mid-West Family Broadcasting is seeking an operations manager for the four-station cluster consisting of news/talk WMAY-AM, adult contemporary WNNS, rock WQLZ, and country WUSW.  The company is seeking candidates who possess the following qualifications: Love to coach and develop talent, especially in the talk format; can do an airshift in multiple formats; understand that a digital plan is not a banner ad and a station stream; realize that a remote appearance is the exact opposite of being remote to listeners; know how to make Selector sing; have the instincts to do it your way and not wait for a corporate mandate.  If this sounds too good to be true, it’s not.  It’s Mid-West Family Broadcasting in the Land of Lincoln: Springfield, Illinois.  Mid-West is an employee-owned company.  If you want to talk in strict confidence, send an e-mail, resume and salary requirements to Harvey Wells at: hwells@mwfbmedia.com.  What’s sent to Springfield stays in Springfield.  Mid-West Family Broadcasting is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. With the move of rock radio pro Jay Philpott from Cumulus Media’s WNNX, Atlanta to its Twin Cities rocker KQRS, the company is seeking Philpott’s replacement for the afternoon drive show on WNNX…..Hubbard Broadcasting VP/regional manager of Minnesota Dan Seeman announces that Jeff Hilborn is named general manager for the Hubbard Broadcasting radio stations in Brainerd, Minnesota.  Hilborn will oversee adult contemporary WJJY, classic rock KLIZ-FM “The Power Loon,” country KBLB “B93.3,” oldies KUAL “KOOL 103.5,” sports talk KLIZ-AM and business news KVBR-AM.  The stations were part of the group of 16 Omni Broadcasting outlets acquired by Hubbard the 2015 transaction.  Hilborn will replace retiring general manager Mike Boen.

Monday, October 15, 2012

| October 15, 2012

Praise Pours In for Los Angeles Talk Conference Video Coverage to Come.  It was a packed house sold out two weeks in advance as some 275 talk media broadcasters from across the country, with a distinct emphasis on the Western states, rocked the old Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood this past Thursday (10/11).  Approximately 50 speakers — including Robin Bertolucci, Phil Boyce, Kevin Casey, Holland Cooke, Jerry Doyle, Skip Essick, Ian Freeman, Bill Handel, Heidi Harris, Michael Harrison, Ron Hartenbaum, Sam Hasson, Michael Horn, Rusty Humphries, Karel, Mike Kinosian, Kraig Kitchin, Lars Larson, Kevin LaRue, Garret Lewis, Tom Leykis, Andy Ludlum, Carole Marks, Don Martin, Mike McVay, Stephanie Miller, Bob Moore, Bill Moran, Patt Morrison, Harvey Nagler, Norm Pattiz, Ken Rutkowski, Walter Sabo, Brent Seltzer, Dave Sniff, Eric Stanger, Doug Stephan, Shadoe Stevens, Alan Stock, Chuck Tyler, Jeff Wasserman, Eric Weiss, and Michael Zwerling – tackled a variety of hot industry topics including the economic, technological and cultural challenges facing talk radio broadcasters in 2012.  This full day event was part two of TALKERS magazine’s new 2012 format in which the New Media Seminar was broken into east and west coast segments.  The first was a sellout event held in New York on June 7.  The event has drawn praise from numerous attendees including the following quotes:

“Everybody’s talking about what a great day it was!”

Norm Pattiz, CEO Courtside Entertainment

“A very interesting day of conversation and revelation from a whole lot of people.”

Kraig T. Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind

“I was glad I attended.”

Ron Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD Media

“It struck the perfect balance of schmooze and panel-news and talk!”

Patt Morrison, KPCC, Los Angeles

“Thanks very much for putting on a great event.”

Jerry Doyle, TRN

“ It was well worth the trip from England.”

Graham Mack, BBC, Wiltshire

“An awesome day. It was superb. Can’t wait till the next one.”

Eric Stanger, VP Operations, Sean Hannity Show/Premiere Networks

“It was great and you know I will be there next time around.”

Alan Stock, KDWN, Las Vegas

“A hell of a show!  Outta da park!”

Dr. Gina Loudon, Host, PolitiChicks

“What a great time I had. The event was a total success.”

Shadoe Stevens, Host, MentalRadio, SiriusXM

“Great Event !”

Steve Lehman, Business Rock Stars

“It was a memorable occasion!”

Sam Hasson, CEO, LATalkRadio.com

TALKERS magazine will provide extensive video coverage of the event including including panels, special presentations and additional interviews conducted on site beginning tomorrow.  The photo above is of the “Big Picture” panel featuring (from l-r): Don Martin, Ron Hartenbaum, Phil Boyce, Kraig Kitchin, Mike McVay, Harvey Nagler and moderator Michael Harrison.  View a gallery of more photos from the TALKERS New Media Los Angeles here.

Syndicated Talker Lars Larson Say Companies Need to Put Money Back into Programming.  In an exclusive audio interview conducted by consultant Holland Cooke at the recent New Media Seminar in Los Angeles, talk show host Lars Larson says that the most important thing he and all talk show hosts need is to have additional resources to bolster the sound and quality of their on-air product.  The successful host heard in Portland, Oregon on KXL and nationally via Compass Media Networks says, “If you take care of your listeners they will take care of you, ratings-wise.”  Larson also discusses the tenets of what he describes as “talk journalism,” positioning what he does as “information and opinion built from today’s news — solid information, no insanity.”  Listen to the complete conversation here.

Journal Broadcast Group Announces “RightWisconsin” Digital Initiative.  With WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Charlie Sykes taking a leadership role in the new venture, Journal Broadcast Group announces it will soon debut a new blog dedicated to conservative political thought called RightWisconsin.  According to a story by Duane Dudek in the Journal-owned Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sykes describes the effort as a “digital community, a rallying point, a one-stop source for conservatives on the front lines here.”  Sykes says the blog will have a full-time staff and “multiple platforms including mobile tablet and social media applications.”  It also promises commentary from around the state, as Sykes says, “key stories that other media won’t cover.”  In the story, Sykes is quoted saying, “We can do all of this because we have the resources of a major media company behind us, including the state’s biggest radio station and top-rated television station.  In other words, we have built-in platforms for promotion as well as the infrastructure.”  Media Matters called the new venture a “small-scale version” of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze digital media effort.  Journal VP of radio and television Steve Wexler says of Sykes and WTMJ, “One of the reasons we are successful is because of the many things we are able to do…that have nothing to do with politics.  The talk shows in the middle of the day are right of center, because that’s where the demand is…I am agnostic as a broadcaster about politics.  I look for where there is a demand, and the demand in talk radio is for a more conservative point of view.”  There is no start date announced for RightWisconsin but already, the company reports interest from the community based on early reports of the project.

Townsquare Media Flips WENJ-AM, Atlantic City to Talk.  The Atlantic City market gets a news/talk outlet as Townsquare Media’s WENJ-AM, drops its simulcast of FM sister 97.3 ESPN South Jersey.  According to the Press of Atlantic City, the station will feature regional media personality Harry Hurley in morning drive followed by a slate of syndicated programs that include: Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and Sean Hannity from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; Cumulus Media NetworksMark Levin from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; John Batchelor from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am and “Red Eye Radio” for overnights.  The station will also return to its roots by taking back its original call letters WPG.  Hurley tells the paper, “The idea is that we are going to have a healthy blend of live and local that people enjoy and some of the biggest names in the country…Glenn Beck is not in this market. Sean Hannity is not in this market.  People are going to notice…We just love the idea of going back and reclaiming the heritage of WPG – for a new generation.”  The station plans to add more local programming between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm.

KTRH, Houston Talk Host Michael Berry Fires Up Florida Campaign Effort.  Conservative talk show host Michael Berry is responsible for a call-to-action for conservative-minded people who want to spend time in Florida helping those who support Mitt Romney for president get out and vote.  Berry states, “I just threw the idea out there, and listeners across the country responded with an overwhelming willingness to do it.  I was half kidding, because the logistics of such a trip are a nightmare.  But we brought in 50 listeners to volunteer to coordinate this, and what they’ve done is nothing short of amazing.”  The leadership created a website within a couple of days — www.WinFlorida2012.org.  Since Berry’s flagship station KTRH is in Houston, the group will caravan from there beginning on October 28 and arrive in Pensacola, Florida that night.  They will spend the week driving vans to assist locals in voting for Romney during early voting.  One KTRH listener, Kyle Coplen, was tapped by Berry to be a vice chairman for the committee, but he was unable to pay his own expenses.  With a pregnant wife, and a new business cleaning swimming pools, he wasn’t able to spare the $1,000 from his family’s finances for the trip.  Berry offered to pay his expenses for him, but he decided instead to use this as a “teachable moment” and earn the funds through hard work.  Coplen says, “I just made a simple flyer, saying ‘Will Work for Romney,’ which I thought was catchy.  I put the flyer on the doors of houses that had Romney signs in the yards.”  Requests for his work came pouring in, mostly by people impressed by his work ethic and unique need for money.  He says he turned down every offer of a donation, explaining that he wanted to earn his way there, “just as we need to earn our way out of our nation’s problems.”  Michael Berry states, “The stories of people like Kyle amaze me.  There are plenty more.  People want to make this country great.  They refuse to lose this election.  It’s truly inspiring.”

WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall Hosts Debate Viewing Parties.  On the heels of a successful debate viewing party at the Philly sports bar Chickie’s & Pete’s, WPHT morning host Chris Stigall is taking it one step further for tomorrow’s presidential debate at Hofstra University.  WPHT listeners and political debate fans will converge upon the Xfinity Live entertainment district in the sports complex area of Philadelphia (where the Wells Fargo Center, Citizen’s Bank Park, and Lincoln Financial Field are located) to watch the debate on a 32-foot, high definition screen.  Stigall and WPHT hosted the previous party at Chickie’s & Pete’s (Stigall is pictured here speaking to KTW-TV from the event) and said it was fun watching presidential debates as you’d watch Sunday afternoon football – complete with bartenders, free appetizers, prizes, and of course wall to wall TVs with the sound blaring.  Stigall says the Xfinity Live center is designed for concertgoers and sports fans to gather pre- and post-event and is hopeful for a big, raucous turnout tomorrow night.

Tom Leykis Shows Off Impressive September Online Numbers.  No, Tom Leykis won’t actually be playing the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California as the press release teases – but the number of people who sampled the show during three weeks in September – 115,684 – is enough to practically fill the iconic football stadium.  Leykis began employing Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics, which measures unique ip addresses, on September 8.  Leykis states, “It’s great to have accreditation for what we are doing.  Everyone else who does a show on the net brags about having hundreds of thousands of listeners, but they never put their money where their mouth is.”  Leykis, who spoke about his web-based radio program at the TALKERS New Media Seminar in Los Angeles last Thursday (stay tuned for more from that event, including coverage of Leykis’ participation), began his new show on April 2 after a 37-month hiatus from radio.  He says, “I figure at the rate we are going, we should have over 175,000 unique people listening to our show every month.  Again, these will be accurate and honest numbers, not some random Arbitron sample.”

Beasley Talk Hosts Honored by Street Name; Raise Funds for Military Families.  WRXK, Ft. Myers, Florida talk hosts Stan and Haney had the street leading to the Beasley Broadcasting facility in Southwest Florida named after them.  More than 200 loyal fans of the program turned out to christen “Stan and Haney Boulevard” and share in live music, food and celebration. The duo turned the event into a worthy cause as proceeds from the sale of “Stan and Haney Blvd.” t-shirts raised $2,100 for the Stan and Haney D.R.A.F.T. Fund.  Stan says, “Haney and I started the DRAFT Fund nearly nine years ago along with Captain John Lazzaro (USNR).  Thanks to our listeners and the Southwest Florida community we have distributed nearly $40,000 in assistance to local troops and their families.”  The duo are pictured here drinking champagne and announcing the unveiling of the new street sign.

Odds & Sods. KDWN, Las Vegas takes home some awards from the Electronic Media Awards held in conjunction with the Nevada Broadcasters Foundation.  KDWN morning host Alan Stock is recognized with the “Best Radio Talk Show Host” honor and KDWN program director John Shaffer picks up the “Program Director of the Year” honor as well as the “Best Morning Newscast” award…..SiriusXM broadcast live from New York Comic Con 2012 this weekend.  The broadcasts included celebrity interviews, exclusive panels hosted by SiriusXM hosts and fan reactions from the floor – inviting listeners and fans nationwide inside the biggest comics and pop culture convention on the East Coast…..Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” broadcast an interesting program over the weekend on Saturday hosted by John B. Wells that included four of the most influential musicians from the dawn of rock and roll.  Paul Rodgers of Bad Company and Free, Leslie West of Mountain, Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull spoke with Wells discussing living through the heyday of rock and what it was like being at the forefront of a musical movement that is still significant today.

Live from South Bend, Indiana.  ESPN Radio’s nationally syndicated morning team Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg broadcast their program from the campus of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana on Friday, October 12.  Golic played football at Notre Dame serving as captain of the team during his senior year.  His sons Jake and Mike, Jr. currently play for the Fighting Irish and his daughter Sydney is a freshman on the swim team.  The duo broadcast in advance of Saturday’s contest between Notre Dame and Stanford from which ESPN’s “College GameDay Built by The Home Depot” also emanated.  In the photo, Golic and Greenberg are holding a pair of swim trunks – a gift from Golic’s daughter Sydney’s swim coach.

Friday, August 10, 2012

| August 10, 2012

Cumulus Q2 Revenue Dips; Major Market News/Talkers Singled Out.  Cumulus Media’s revenue shot up more than 350% due to the inclusion of the former Citadel stations and the former Cumulus Media Partners properties it folded into its portfolio, but on a pro forma basis, revenue for the company was down 1.7%.  During yesterday’s conference call, CEO Lew Dickey indicated 10 stations in the top 10 markets – many of them news/talk outlets were responsible for the company’s loss with three stations in particular accounting for $5.5 million of a $10 million revenue loss.  He said if those stations had been kept out of the equation the company would have seen revenue go up 2%.  Dickey promised the company is working on fixing those stations but cautioned it would take time – as much as four more quarters.  If the ultimate goal is to get other companies’ syndication properties off those major market news/talkers – and those fees can be very high – and replace them with Cumulus Media Networks shows to, a) cut the cost of the programming to those stations and, b) reap a much greater percentage of revenue from those shows, expect to see some lineup changes at those major market news/talkers over the next 12 months.

Lew Dickey Stands Behind Mike Huckabee.  Questions about the performance of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in syndication via Cumulus Media Networks were expected by analysts on yesterday’s conference call and when they were asked, Dickey strongly defended Huckabee – whose national program debuted in March – saying his team is doing an excellent job clearing the show and compares the venture to a “marathon.”  Dickey also said the company intends to sign more talent in the near future.  He told analysts that a lot of companies are locked in to current contracts with other syndicated programming so rolling out Huckabee (and Geraldo Rivera) will take time but, so far, he’s pleased with the results.

Herman Cain Takes to the Road on Fall “Truth Tour.”  Former presidential candidate Herman Cain – and heir to the nationally syndicated Neal Boortz show when Neal hangs up his headphones in January – will take to the road beginning September 5 in Iowa City for what he’s calling “The Truth Tour.”  It’s sponsored by Job Creators Solutions – an organization founded by Cain and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.  The tour is billed as “an aggressive 30-day, 30-city schedule of events that aims to provide Americans with facts, information and resources to help them in their decision making process before hitting the polls in November.”  Cain says, “Bernie Marcus and I both know first-hand how important it is to have the facts when making business decisions.  We also know it’s just as important for Americans to have the facts when making decisions that will impact our communities, businesses and our nation.  This is why I’m proud to join forces with Bernie for ‘The Truth Tour.’”  Herman Cain will begin his nationally syndicated radio show on January 21, 2013 – Inauguration Day – and will be a regular guest on the Neal Boortz show on Mondays and Fridays at 10:35 am ET and is his primary fill-in host.

WSCR and WBBM, Chicago Host “Business of Sports: Life After the Game.”  CBS Radio sports talk WSCR and all-news WBBM are hosting the Comcast Business Class Newsmakers “Business of Sports: Life after the Game” panel sponsored by MB Financial on Thursday, September 20, at the House of Blues in downtown Chicago.  CBS Radio says the event will consist of the biggest names in Chicago sports, discussing their success in the business world after playing.  Panelists will include: multi-sport star Bo Jackson, Chicago football great Gary Fencik, and “Miracle on Ice” star and former professional hockey player, Jack O’Callahan with more to be added.  The event will be hosted by 670 The Score’s morning drive team Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley (pictured here).  WSCR program director Mitch Rosen says, “We are looking forward to hosting what will be an all-star event.  I think the Chicagoland consumer, specifically people interested in sports business, will enjoy the all-star panel we have put together.  With Bo Jackson headlining this event, it will be a great opportunity to hear his business ideas and philosophies.  Bo is one of the greatest stories in the sports industry and has numerous accomplishments as a two-sport professional athlete.  For sports fans and business people alike, this will be a can’t-miss event.”

Media Matters Gets into the Talk Radio Game.  The anti-conservative media organization Media Matters for America is hitching its wagon to a new talk show on the SiriusXM Left channel called “The Agenda Powered by Media Matters.”  The daily show is being hosted by Media Matters senior advisor and Fox News critic Ari Rabin-Havt and debuts Monday, August 13 from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET.  SiriusXM promotes the show saying, “Ari Rabin-Havt will lead the daily conversation of young influential progressive political insiders reviewing the day’s events and setting the tone for the next days’ news cycle. ‘The Agenda Powered by Media Matters’ will be a first-of-its-kind on-air meeting place where the new influencers of the progressive movement discuss the news of tomorrow in an informal setting that looks to inform, entertain, and engage.”

WBRP, Baton Rouge Names Clarence Buggs Midday Host.  Guaranty Broadcasting’s WBRP, Baton Rouge adds talk show host Clarence Buggs to the lineup as host of the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm program.  Buggs had worked in the market at Clear Channel’s crosstown WJBO.  Guaranty market manager Gordy Rush states, “We are thrilled about the addition of Clarence to our team.  We remain committed to being the news/talk leader in the Baton Rouge community with more live and local shows on Talk 107.3 FM than any other station in the greater Baton Rouge market.”

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  WAYY, Eau Claire, Wisconsin adds the third hour of WYD Media’s Michael Smerconish show…..WYM Media’s “Ring of Fire” with Mike Papantonio and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is added to the program schedule at WWRL, New York and WKKX, Wheeling…..“Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the program schedule at WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island and KBJT, Fordyce, Arkansas…..WVKO, Columbus, Ohio adds the “Best of Bill Press” to its weekend schedule…..The “Motley Fool Money” show with Chris Hill adds WKBK-AM/FM, Keene, New Hampshire…..“The Money Pit Home Improvement Show” is picked up by: WRHL, Rochelle, Illinois; WFHR, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin; WKUL, Cullman, Alabama; and WDIS, Norfolk, Massachusetts.

Presidential Campaign Ads Controversy Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 6-10.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week broke out from last week’s general discussion about the presidential campaign and the specific story of the controversial ads being run by organizations backing President Obama was the top story this week on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the tepid economic data.  Following at #3 was neo-Nazi hate groups and the aftermath of the Sikh temple killings.  Coming in at #4 was the London Olympics.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.