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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

| July 19, 2017

Eyes on iHeartMedia as Debt Restructuring Attempts Continue.  Industry watchers continue to observe and report on the possible debt restructuring of iHeartMedia that would prevent the company’s bankruptcy.  The New York Post is reporting that a group of lenders led by Symphony Asset Management has a proposal offered to iHM that would to just that.  But the group won’t give final approval unless Franklin Advisers – which owns $2.3 billion of iHM debt – agrees to the package as well.  The Post story indicates that Franklin is reviewing the offer.  This proposal from the lender group would have them trade their debt for 49% of iHeartMedia.  Read it here.

Final RTDNA Newsroom Research Project: Salary Survey.  The ninth of nine reports for 2017 as part of Hofstra professor emeritus Bob Papper’s Newsroom Research Project focuses on the salaries of those working in the television and radio industries.  How did radio newsroom salaries compare to last year’s?  Tepid increases at best, writes Papper.  “Radio salaries rose 2.3% from last year.  That’s less than last year’s 3.1% increase… but far better than the two previous years.  Factor in low inflation of 2.1%, and radio salaries barely budged in the last year.”  Looking at median newsroom salaries, Papper notes, “Five- and 10-year salary comparisons show two entirely different pictures.  Again.  The last five years have been tough, overall, in radio news.  Half the positions saw salary increases above the rate of inflation, but half were below. The 10-year picture shows mostly strong growth based on some very low salaries reported in 2007.  We’ll see how these numbers hold up over time.”  Read the RTDNA report here.

Translator Deal to Give WTMJ, Milwaukee FM Presence. The FCC filing indicates that translator W277CV at 103.3 FM – owned by Frank Glass McCoy – will soon move to Scripps’ tower that hosts transmitters for WTMJ-TV and WKTI-FM and will become an FM translator for news/talk WTJM-AM.  The translator is currently licensed to Waukegan, Illinois with a construction permit to move it to Milwaukee.  McCoy originally had talks with WRRD, Waukesha owner Michael Crute about leasing the translator to his station.  It sounds as though Scripps offered more money for the signal.  Vice president & general manager of WTMJ/WKTI-Milwaukee and VP, news/talk & sports Tom Langmyer tells TALKERS magazine, “WTMJ is ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station’ and Milwaukee’s leading news, talk and sports brand.  We’re also the flagship for the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Bucks.  It’s important to make the station’s services available to listeners on additional platforms.  The exclusive FM radio cume will now be especially well-served by our commitment to live and local talk – and our 24-hour newsroom.”

Media Equality Project to Hold Rally at CNN Headquarters.  The Media Equality Project – an organization led by talk radio pros Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney – is organizing a rally at the Atlanta headquarters of CNN this Saturday (7/22) from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm.  The organization says that Morgan and Maloney “will be joined by their volunteer leaders, local political activists and Atlanta talk show host Bryan Crabtree of ‘Biz1190’ and ‘AM920 The Answer’ to call for unbiased, balanced coverage of national issues that people care about.”  Maloney adds, “For too long, CNN has been allowed to warp, misrepresent and outright manufacture news events out of thin air.  Real damage has been done to the targets of CNN’s misreporting, not to mention the country as a whole.”  Crabtree comments, “If there’s one anti-Trump protester standing in Times Square with a sign, CNN will rush a camera to the scene seizing the opportunity to make our president look defeated.  It will be interesting to see if CNN will notice that real news is happening outside their front door as Americans gather to protest the hysteria and fake news being peddled by their network every day.  Americans want real, truthful news and that’s why CNN is not even in the top 10 – even trailing Nick at Nite.”

TALKERS News Notes. The price Townsquare Media is paying for Berkshire Broadcasting’s and Gamma Broadcasting’s Western Massachusetts stations is $3.35 million.  The deal, announced back on July 7, is for the six stations/translators: hot AC WBEC-FM, news/talk WBEC-AM, classic hits WUPE-AM/FM (and an FM translator at 94.1 FM), adult contemporary WNAW-AM, adult contemporary WSBS-AM (and translator W277CJ at 103.3 FM)…..Digital media pro Mike Orth joins Adams Radio as VP of sales for Adams Digital Media.  Orth previously served with the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  He comments, “I am very excited to bring to Adams Radio the knowledge base I have gained while working with one of the premier newspapers that has been a pioneer in developing digital assets for traditional media.  Adams has wonderful radio assets and I believe we can leverage those into some amazing complementary digital tools that will assist our clients in further growing their businesses.  At the end of the day that’s all that matters – when our clients grow, we grow.”  Adams CEO Ron Stone adds, “Mike’s consultative sales approach and ability to partner with clients to bring them into the process goes beyond selling…Mike has developed exceptional interpersonal communication skills resulting in trusted relationships with his clients and peers.”  Adams operates radio clusters in Fort Wayne; suburban Chicago/Northwest Indiana; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland…..SB Nation Radio announces the addition of a new weekend program to its schedule.  “Realtree Radio” with host O‘Neill Williams will air live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Saturdays.  SB Nation Radio program director Craig Larson comments, “O’Neill Williams is a true pioneer and master of his craft.  With a brilliant combination of humor and insight, ‘Realtree Radio’ will not only appeal to outdoor enthusiasts but any fans of great sports talk.”…..iHeartMedia Milwaukee’s six-station cluster – including news/talk WISN – held a water drive to benefit victims of Southeast Wisconsin’s recent flood.  The cluster, with the help of generous listeners filled five large semi-trucks with bottled water for those whose wells were tainted by the floodwaters.  iHeartMedia operations manager Kerry Wolfe states, “The iHeartMedia Milwaukee team and our listeners are committed to the people in the Milwaukee community.  They saw their neighbors in need and jumped to action in a matter of hours.”…..Back on June 13, WBUR, Boston launched “Freak Out and Carry On,” a new politics and history podcast designed to address the “urgent issues of our time through a historical lens.”  The program is hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Ron Suskind and Boston College historian Heather Cox Richardson and examines the national political landscape and explores the historical context for today’s events…..On Friday (7/21), XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” morning personality Dan Sileo will host CBS Corp. chairman Les Moonves.  Sileo says that topic of discussion will be the Entercom-CBS merger.

GOP’s Health Care Reform Failure, Undisclosed Trump-Putin Meeting, Huntsman Nominated for Russian Ambassador Post, Woman Slain by Minnesota Cop, Saudi Miniskirt Controversy, ‘Game of Thrones’ New Season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/18).  Analysis of the GOP’s failure to vote on its health care reform package and President Trump’s comments about letting ObamaCare fail; reports of a previously undisclosed 60-minute meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin at the recent G20 summit; President Trump nominates Jon Huntsman for Ambassador to Russia post; the investigation into the shooting death of a woman in Minnesota by a police officer; the arrest of a woman in Saudi Arabia for posting a video of herself wearing a miniskirt; Sunday’s season premiere of “Game of Thrones” including the cameo appearance of singer Ed Sheeran; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/19) with Mike McVay, Julie Talbott and Steve Jones.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess, introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri and a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          TODAY (7/19), the third in the above series is posted featuring a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (also facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Todd Feinburg of WTIC, Hartford Guests on Harrison Podcast.  The newest full-time member of the air staff of heritage talker WTIC, Hartford – Todd Feinburg – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne media series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Feinburg, a veteran New England radio talk show host whose decades-long broadcasting career included a five-year stint as morning co-host on WRKO, Boston, joined the legendary Connecticut CBS O&O in April hosting afternoon drive, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Feinberg talks to Harrison about his method balancing local and national stories in a way that is constantly relevant to the station’s geographical community as well as recognizing that the conservative “choir” to whom news/talk has traditionally been preaching can no longer be considered homogeneous since the political ascendancy of Donald Trump.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Personality Marley Sherwood officially joins Premiere Networks and CMT as a part of the “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” and “CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan” shows.  She will serve as a correspondent – bringing pop culture and lifestyle stories to the country radio programs.  She will continue in her role as associate producer of CMT’s signature music show “Hot 20 Countdown” with Cody Alan and Katie Cook.  Alan states, “Radio is all about connecting with the audience and I’m looking forward to our listeners getting to know Marley.  She’s genuine, magnetic, and fearless, so we’re going to have a lot of fun with our listeners every night!”.…..Cox Media Group appoints Christy Lendry to the general sales manager position for its seven-station Jacksonville cluster.  Lendry – who was most recently with Cox as new business sales manager for WFOX-TV and WJAX-TV – will also serve as brand manager for CHR WAPE and adult contemporary WEZI “EASY 106.5.”…..Beasley Media Group’s alternative WBOS, Boston “ALT 92.9” announces the lineup for its “ALT Rocks Boston 2017” free summer concert series that will be headlined by: The Revivalists, American Authors and New Politics.  The shows will take place at Copley Square Park on August 17, 31, and on September 9 at the SoWa Art & Design District Market.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

| October 19, 2016

Melanie Morgan to Leave KSRO, Santa Rosa.  Bay Area news and talk pro Melanie Morgan tells her listeners that she will be stepping down from her position hosting the “Sonoma County’s Morning News” at morganmelanieAmaturo Sonoma Media Group-owned news/talk simulcast KSRO/K278CD, Santa Rosa, California before the end of the year.  Telling her listeners that she’s basically tiring of the lifestyle of a morning radio personality, i.e. getting up hours before dawn, she wants to spend more time with her husband – KCBS, San Francisco director of news and programming Jack Swanson – and dedicate more time to her Move America Forward group.  Morgan, who co-hosts the program with Larry Olson, has not set a specific date for her exit.

The Presidential Race, Trump’s Rigged Election Claim, the Hillary Clinton Document Dump, Battle with ISIS for Mosul, Ecuador Restricts Assange’s Internet Access, Philippines Anti-U.S. Protest, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Nominees, MBL Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18).  The race for president and the build-up to this evening’s final debate; Donald Trump’s ongoing claim that the election is being rigged; the effects of the Wikileaks document dump on Hillary Clinton’s campaign; the campaign against Islamic State in Iraq to take control of Mosul; the restricted Internet access of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange by the Ecuadoran embassy; anti-U.S. demonstrations in the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte courts China for a new military partner; debate over which nominees for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame should be included; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NPR Reporting Big Ratings Increases in 2016.  From a story posted at NPR.org, the public media organization is announcing that multi-platform journalism efforts have seen across-the-board audience growth this year.  President and CEO Jarl Mohn is quoted saying, “NPR’s increased ratings and digital engagement can benpr attributed to first-rate journalism, riveting storytelling, revamped newsmagazines, live reporting, and better user platforms.  And that means we are all doing a far better job of our public service mission, community engagement and local impact.”  Mohn concedes that the unusual election cycle is certainly part of the reason for the growth but says that NPR stations have outperformed many of their commercial news counterparts, who’ve also experienced growth during the period.  “Commercial news radio, which operates in the same news cycle and is affected by the same events, is up 15% in the morning; NPR is up 26%.  In the afternoons, commercial news radio is up 19% in the top markets; NPR is up 43%.”  NPR says that “All Things Considered” hit an all-time weekly audience high of 13.3 million, and “Morning Edition” is at its second-highest at 13.5 million.

Talk Radio Pioneer Barry Farber Being Honored by Hungarian Government for Role Assisting Refugees of 1956 Revolt.  This Saturday, talk radio pioneer Barry Farber is being honored in Budapest, Hungary for his role in helping Hungarians revolting against Soviet oppression escape from Hungary into Austria.  farberbarryFaber was one of two correspondents for the Greensboro Daily News at the Austro-Hungarian border in October of 1956.  Farber met an old friend from Norway who was part of a team of Norwegians assisting fleeing Hungarians.  Farber volunteered on the spot to work the “Freedom Navy” – an old rubber raft with two oars.  When the refugees, about forty at a time, would gather on the Hungarian side of the border canal the two oarsmen would row across, load the boat with about five refugees at a time.  They would pull the raft over to the Austrian side.  Then the oarsmen would row back and repeat the process. Farber and the others helped about 200 refugees out on Christmas night of 1956.  Hungarian Consul-General Ferenc Kumin reports that the government asked Hungarian communities around the world to look for people who’d taken part in the refugee exodus.  Of all the names on the 60th anniversary, Barry Farber is the one still alive!  Farber, who still hosts a show on CRN Digital Talk Radio, says, “We owe the Hungarians big time.  That heroic freedom fight marked communism’s high-water mark.  Things went steadily downhill from there.”

Thursday, July 3, 2014

| July 3, 2014

krantzwhitmireBrad Krantz and Britt Whitmire Take Show to RELM Network.  After exiting WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte recently, talk radio pros Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire of the “Brad and Britt Show” are going digital as they join the RELM Network to distribute their show as a podcast.  The duo relm networkworked together at former talk outlet WZTK, Raleigh-Greensboro for eight years prior to joining WBT two years ago.  About the new podcast show, Whitmire says, “This is exactly what our fans have wanted.  A chance to hear us without being interrupted by traffic and weather every ten minutes or having to wait through long commercial breaks.”  Krantz adds, “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to connect with our fans.  The podcasting world opens up a lot of possibilities for us and we love what the guys at RELM are doing.”  The daily show will be uploaded in the early afternoon Monday through Friday.

zollermarthaZoller and Bryant Recognized by Georgia Association of Broadcasters.  The annual awards handed out by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters are dubbed the “Gabby Awards” and Cox Media Group’s Athens/Gainesville/Greater Atlanta stations were among those recognized this year.  The company announces that WGAU, Athens picked up two Large Market category awards – one for Martha Zoller’s and Tim Byant’s coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing, the other for Best Morning Show Personality or Team which recognized Zoller and Bryant.  CMG Athens-Gainesville VP/GM Scott Smith says, “I’ve always known what an exceptional staff we have here at CMG Athens/Gainesville, but I’m also a bit biased.  But it really is a great honor to have our hard work recognized by our peers in the broadcast industry.  I’m very proud of these awards.”

wiglesworthcarlTalk Radio Pioneer Carl Wiglesworth Dies.  Texas local talk radio pioneer Carl Wiglesworth died on Tuesday at age 73.  He suffered a massive heart attack on Friday and never regained consciousness.  Wiglesworth was a high-profile talk radio personality during the 1980s and 1990s – the period during which the format rose to prominence in the popular culture.  He spent most of his career at WOAI, San Antonio, famously quitting that station on the air in 1999 after delivering a rant against the state of the talk radio business.  He also worked at KTSA and KAHL in the San Antonio market.  On the WOAI website, former co-worker Eliza Sonneland says of Wiglesworth’s program, “To talk to people who had differing opinions from the status quo, that was the bread and butter of Carl’s program.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Carl Wiglesworth was in a league of his own in terms of his courage, independence, preparedness, localness and authenticity.  Although described as a conservative, it should be pointed out that the conservative movement that marked the phenomenal growth of talk radio in the wild ’90s – typified by Wiglesworth – was far more of a blend of issues-driven libertarian populism than the partisan ideological approach to talk radio that came later.  Carl’s self-imposed departure from corporate radio more than a decade ago was a severe loss for our industry.  His death this week is an even greater loss for humanity.”

ussiowaWHO, Des Moines’ Simon Conway to Broadcast from USS Iowa.  The image you see here is the USS Iowa which is docked in the Port of Los Angeles.  Today is the second day WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive host Simon Conway will broadcast his program from the deck of the battleship.  For the third year in a row, Conway has broadcast from the WWII flagship battleship.  He tells TALKERS that WHO Radio was instrumental in saving FDR‘s flagship from certain death.  This Iowa Class Battleship was the 2013 Museum Ship of the year.

morganmccaslinMelanie Morgan and John McCaslin Reunite for ‘Troopathon 7.’  For a brief period, Bay Area news/talk radio pro Melanie Morgan (left) and Washington-based journalist and radio broadcaster John McCaslin (right) co-hosted “America’s Morning News” syndicated by Talk Radio Network.  The two were back together at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California raising funds for care packages for U.S. troops serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The goal of the fundraiser is $350,000 by July 4.  Morgan is currently morning news anchor at KSRO, Santa Rosa, California and McCaslin, who exited TRN last fall, reports he’s in charge of content for ESPN co-founder Scott Rasmussen‘s “not-yet-announced but much-anticipated multi-platform national news operation, set to launch this fall.”

hancockjohnWBT-AM/FM, Charlotte’s John Hancock to Spearhead Summer Food Drive.  Food drives usually are charity projects that are most common around the holidays but WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte personality John Hancock is, for the third consecutive year, heading up a summertime project to help benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.   Partnering with Harris Teeter and Jif, Hancock and the station will lead the Peanut Butter N’ July campaign.  Because it is high in protein, peanut butter is one of the most valuable commodities for a food bank and is one of the most requested items for those who benefit from their services.  WBT is placing donation bins in 37 participating Harris Teeter Stores throughout Mecklenburg County and around the Charlotte area and listeners are encouraged to stop by to donate a plastic jar of fresh unopened peanut butter.  Each Saturday during July, Hancock will be on hand at one of the participating stores helping to collect peanut butter and spreading the word about the cause.

wrjn logoPrice of Four-Station Magnum Wisconsin Acquisition: $2.25 Million.  The recently announced sale of two radio stations in Racine, Wisconsin – news/talk WRJN-AM and AC WEZY “Lite Rock 92.1” – and two in West Bend, Wisconsin – country WBWI and news/talk WBKV – has been filed and the sale price of the four stations is $2.25 million.  Magnum Communications is acquiring the stations from Bliss Communications.

sorbosamTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Three new affiliates add Talk Radio Network’s Sam Sorbo show to their lineups: KBYR, Anchorage; WPNW-AM/FM, Grand Rapids; and KADI, Springfield, Missouri…..“America Tonight” with Kate Delaney announces the addition of two affiliate stations: WSRQ, Sarasota joins for the Monday through Saturday program and KSMD, Searcy, Arkansas is the newest Saturdays affiliate.

alphamedia longCool Job Opportunities.  Never work another day…L&L Broadcasting, Alpha Broadcasting, and Main Line Broadcasting are merging into one company named Alpha Media.  68 radio stations in 12 beautiful markets and we need the best, brightest, most aggressive, confident, and talented market managers, programmers, on-air personalities and account executives that are looking to be part of the radio industry in 2014.  At Alpha Media, we work as a team.  Your chairman, Larry Wilson and CEO, Bob Proffitt will be available to go on sales calls, meet your clients, brainstorm with programming and assist with marketing.  We firmly believe that the best people do the best radio.  We are looking for passionate, progressive candidates that breathe creativity and are live and local thinkers.  Climb aboard this fast-moving train and bring your talent home to the Alpha Media Family.  Send cover letter and resume to jobs@landlbroadcasting.com with Alpha Media in subject line.  No phone calls.  Alpha Media is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

Immigration Policy Protests/Influx of Minor Illegals, SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Ruling, ISIS Violence in Iraq, Hurricane Arthur, Obama Executive Orders Controversy, Israeli-Palestinian Turmoil, Low Obama Approval Ratings, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/2).  Increasing protests against the government’s transferring of refugee immigrants and the Obama Administration’s handling of the crisis; reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby health care/birth control decision; escalating violence in Iraq from ISIS activities; Hurricane Arthur threatens the Eastern Seaboard; the controversy over President Obama’s use of executive orders and the Supreme Court’s ruling on recess appointments; the turmoil in Israel over the Hamas-suspected  teen murders; recent polls indicating sinking approval ratings for President Obama; and the U.S.’s exit from the World Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

| April 1, 2014

mandisdanDan Mandis Hosts Early Afternoon Show at WWTN, Nashville.  Talk radio pro Dan Mandis is the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm personality at Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7.”  Mandis, who spent years as executive producer of the Dr. Laura Program, has most recently been programming such talk radio outlets as Clear Channel’s KHOW and KKZN in Denver and Federated Media’s WOWO, Fort Wayne.  He also hosted thewwtn logo Saturday morning show on KOA, Denver.  With Mandis’ arrival at “SuperTalk 99.7,” the station is now live and local from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm.  He’ll follow morning host Ralph Bristol and late morning personality Michael DelGiorno while leading into PM drive host Phil Valentine.  WWTN program director Brian Wilson states, “We think Dan’s view of the world is just familiar enough to be comfortable for our audience and at the same time just different enough that he’ll make a lot of people stop and think twice about the disease behind the symptoms.  As the fourth leg to the table, we think all our core shows will complement each other.  The effect is that the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.”  Mandis comments, “There are so many reasons to be excited about this opportunity.  Being part of an amazing talk radio station on FM is one, and living in a great city like Nashville is another.  I honestly can’t wait to get started.”

mandersbill‘PowerTalk 96.7’ Fresno Host Bill Manders Receives Kidney from Teen Suicide Victim.  Afternoon drive personality Bill Manders returned to his show on Clear Channel’s news/talk duo KALZ and KRZR in Fresno after kidney transplant surgery three weeks ago.  According to local TV station KFSN, Manders received a kidney from a local teen who had just committed suicide.  It turns out 17-year-old Lexi Morris’ father Jason is a regular listener to Manders’ program and made the unusual request that Manders receive his daughter’s kidney.  As the story notes, this is not the usual procedure but the kidney was a perfect match.  Manders tells the TV station, “I was in tears when I heard her story, but I would rather concentrate on the plusses in her life.  She was smart, athletic, she has a great family, and I know she’s there looking down on me, so I’ve got to honor her.”  Read the whole story here.

hochmanshow groupMarc Hochman Officially Signs with Beasley to Host PM Drive on WQAM, Miami.  Nothing is ever official until the contract is signed but Marc Hochman’s departure from Lincoln Financial Media’s crosstown WAXY last fall with the intent on sitting out his non-compete and landing in PM drive at WQAM was one of radio’s worst-kept secrets.  As soon as it was legal (at 12:01 am on 4/1), Hochman (second from left) inked a pact with WQAM to begin his run as the station’s afternoon personality.  The new Marc Hochman show will also feature Zach Krantz (right), former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Sha Tabb (second from right), and longtime WQAM producer Victor Bermudez (left).  WQAM program director Andy King says, “Marc is an incredible talent and one of the most creative minds in radio.  His ability to blend sports, pop culture and humor into an entertaining show has led him to tremendous success throughout his career and I’m excited for him to continue that success here at 560 WQAM.”  Hochman adds, “I am the quintessential ‘radio nerd,’ so the opportunity for me to host an afternoon drive show on the most legendary sports talk station in Miami was one that I couldn’t pass up.  When I first moved to Miami in 1987, I listened to WQAM all the time.  Now, a little over 25 years later, I’ll be sitting behind that microphone, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!”  The station also announces that one of the most legendary voices in South Florida sports history, Howard Schnellenberger, has signed on as the imaging voice of the Marc Hochman show.  All the show intros and production will be voiced by Schnellenberger.

morganmelanieMelanie Morgan Returns to Radio in Santa Rosa.  Long time Bay Area news radio and talk radio pro Melanie Morgan (formerly with Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO, San Francisco and, for a time, with TRN’s “America’s ksro logoMorning News”) joined Sonoma Media Group-owned KSRO, Santa Rosa, California as news director and morning anchor.  She began her news director duties yesterday (3/31) and starts on-air next Monday (4/7).  Melanie replaces a heritage morning news anchor, David Wesley Page, who retired from radio about a month ago after nearly 30 years on the KSRO morning news.  Morgan is married to former longtime KGO program director Jack Swanson.

mitchellbrianBrian Mitchell and Scott Jackson Re-Up with WTEM, Washington.  Two of Doc Walker’s co-hosts on Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN980” are in the fold for another three years.  The companyjacksonscott announces that Brian Mitchell and Scott Jackson have extended their contracts with the station, keeping them on the “Inside the Locker Room” with Walker through 2017.  The mid-afternoon show teams former Washington Redskins Doc Walker and Brian Mitchell along with veteran talk show host Scott Jackson.  Mitchell has been a part of the “ESPN980” family for five years.  Brian also is a contributing member of the Washington Redskins Radio Network, offering analysis pre-game, post-game and during halftime.  Jackson has worked at WTEM for nine years and will serve in many additional roles, including hosting “Redskins Recap,” Mondays after Washington Redskins games and as the station’s lead NBA analyst.  Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza says, “’Inside the Locker Room’ has been a ratings success.  To have all three guys under contract for the next few years makes our station stronger.  Doc, B-Mitch and Jack have so much fun on the air, you can’t help but laugh along with them while listening.”

businessrockstars radioBusiness Rockstars Radio Affiliates with CRN Digital Talk Radio.  This week “Business Rockstars Radio,” hosted by Ken Rutkowski began an affiliation relationship with CRN Digital Talk Radio.  The program that features “Rockstar” CEOs, entrepreneurs, and start-ups targeting the 30 million “Wantrepreneurs” in the U.S., joins CRN’s integrated audio platform combining television, radio and social media.  CRN Digital Talk Radio CEO Mike Horn says, “We’re thrilled about our new partnership with ‘Business Rockstars Radio,’ a show with such compelling content, we’ve decided to air it three different times across our platform.  ‘Business Rockstars Radio’ is the only crn logonational entrepreneurial radio show that brings in ‘Rockstar’ CEOs and entrepreneurs combined with the magic of Ken Rutkowki’s talent and continuing with each guest on the show.  We are also excited to partner with the legendary Steve Lehman, a name synonymous with cutting-edge talk radio.”  Lehman adds, “We’re excited to expand the Business Rockstars Radio footprint by joining Mike Horn’s renowned CRN Digital Talk Radio Network.  This new alliance will add an additional 11 million television households across the U.S. to the Business Rockstars Radio Network, allowing us to reach more ‘Wantrepreneurs’ with fun, fast-paced, and compelling content about growing, starting, and funding businesses.”  Business Rockstars Radio guests include some of the biggest CEOs and entrepreneurs daily, including: Nolan Bushnell (Atari and Chuck E. Cheese Founder), Akon (musician and entrepreneur), Daymond John (Host of ABC’s “Shark Tank”), Cheryl Tiegs (model, actress and entrepreneur), Thom Beers (CEO of Freemantle Media), Scott Painter (Founder and CEO of TruCar) and many others.

kinosianmikeSports Talk Post-Super Bowl.  The American sports (and money!) juggernaut that is the National Football League plays a huge role in the success of sports talk radio in America.  Not to disparage the MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA, but it’s clearly the most successful and popular league in professional sports in America.  So, what effect does the end of the NFL’s season the first weekend in February have on sports talk stations?  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at sports talk radio’s performance in PPM markets leading up to the Super Bowl and in the month that follows.  Check out his report here.

journalbroadcastgroupMcHale Named VP/CTO for Journal Broadcast Group.  The Milwaukee-based company announces Brian McHale is its new vice president and chief technology officer, overseeing “the leadership, management, implementation and long-term planning of the company’s technical and physical infrastructure across its 13 television stations and 35 radio stations in 11 states.”  Journal Broadcast Group also says McHale will “ensure the efficient and on-schedule delivery of media content, identify emerging technologies and how to profitably deploy them, and work closely with Journal’s leadership team to develop the company’s operational and strategic direction.”  McHale comes to Journal from Seattle’s Fisher Communications where he was vice president of technology.

deanmichaelwHow to Help Your Remote Guests Shine.  Radio is a busy business and sometimes hosts must process guests with a level of assembly-line speed that doesn’t always allow for the kind of attention to detail that can make the difference between a quality broadcast and a tune-out.  Many interviews on radio sound like there was no forethought to audio quality.  And many guests sound like they were thrown into an unfamiliar situation with no preparation.  In a very helpful, extensive advice piece posted today (4/1) Genesis Communications Network (GCN) talk show host Michael W. Dean (“The Freedom Feens” and “Michael Dean After Dark”) offers advice on how to maximize the quality of your remote guests covering everything from programming content to technical delivery in today’s frenzied radio environment.  To read it in its entirety, please click here.

ObamaCare Criticism, Russian Aggression, North and South Korean Tensions, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Discrepancies, Global Warming, and “Noah” Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/31).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the international implications of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and Eastern Europe and President Obama’s dealings with Vladimir Putin; heating tensions between North and South Korea; conflicting information from the Malaysian government about the disappearance of Flight 370; renewed debate about global climate change; and criticism of the new film “Noah” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

| July 11, 2013

morganmelanieMelanie Morgan Leaves KSFO, San Francisco AM Show.  This was radio and news pro Melanie Morgan’s second go-round with the Cumulus news/talker.  Morgan was a longtime fixture on KSFO alongside Lee Rodgers on the morning drive show when it was owned by ABC Radio (then Citadel) until her departure from the station in 2008.  She worked briefly with Talk Radio Network’s “America’s Morning News” based in Washington, DC but was forced to return to San Francisco to deal with a health issue.  She joined the morning show at KSFO again – this time with Brian Sussman as co-host 18 months ago.  Morgan Tweeted to followers: “Breaking – Melanie Morgan leaves KSFO morning show. No more 2:45 alarms. Amicable parting. Thanks KSFO listeners. God Bless You!”

elleryjackWCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey Legend Jack Ellery Retires.  Greater Media announces that New Jersey radio legend Jack Ellery is retiring from WCTC, New Brunswick after a career that has spanned 50 years.  Ellery, most recently morning host at the station, has spent the better part of his career at WCTC.  Ellery began as a disc jockey but quickly turned his daily morning show into a forum for discussion on the latest news in Central Jersey and the state, providing insight, wit and humor, as one of the true pioneers of local talk radio.  Greater Media states, “Along the way, the radio veteran was also instrumental in helping WCTC raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Central Jersey charitable organizations through on-air radiothons and different drives for local residents in dire need.  Ellery capped off his career as one of Central Jersey’s iconic radio personalities with his inclusion in the New Jersey Broadcasters Association’s inaugural class of Hall of Fame inductees last year.  He also received the NJBA’s Lifetime Achievement award at that time.”  WCTC station manager Dan Henrickson says, “Jack has served our community, our advertisers and our audience for multiple decades.  We wish him all the best in the ‘gone fishing’ portion of his life.”

wbz-fm logoBoston Globe Examines Local Sports Talk Radio Battle.  Boston Globe sports columnist Chad Finn takes a deeper look at the ratings war between CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” and Entercom’s WEEI-FM after the Arbitron PPM data for the June period were released late yesterday.  It turns out the NHLweei logo Stanley Cup push by the hometown Bruins – whose games are broadcast on WBZ-FM – was very good news for the station.  Finn digs into the Men 25-54 numbers average from the last three ratings periods (April, May and June) and reports the following: WBZ-FM was #1 in the demo with a 10.2 share and WEEI-FM was tied for 5th place with a 5.5 share; in morning drive WBZ-FM morning show Toucher and Rich were first with a 13.4 share.  WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan were fifth with a 6.0 though Finn notes that D&C were up in June with a 7.0 share.  Things got a little closer in the evenings when play-by-play for the Bruins and the Red Sox were happening.  Finn writes, “In the evenings (7-p.m-midnight), The Sports Hub, featuring the Baseball Reporters, the Adam Jones Show and Bruins game broadcasts, was first with a 13.4 share, including a massive 16.2 in June.  WEEI’s nighttime programming, including the Planet Mikey Show and Red Sox and Celtics broadcasts, was second (9.7, including a 10.2 in June).”  The next couple of surveys will be interesting as WEEI has the monopoly on play-by-play with Red Sox baseball.   Read Finn’s entire column here.

wscr logoChicago Sports Talk War Featured in Tribune.  The Chicago Tribune’s Ed Sherman dives into the Men 25-54 PPM data for what he terms the spring ratings – April, May and June PPM averages – for the market’s major sports talk outlets CBS Radio-owned WSCR and ESPN O&O WMVP.  Sherman reports WSCR finished fourth in the market with a 4.7 share against WMVP’s 16th place finish on a 2.4 share (Men 25-54 Mon-Sun 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight).  Breaking out some of the individualwmvp programs, Sherman reports in morning drive WSCR’s “’Mully & Hanley’ were third at 6.8; ‘Mike & Mike’ were 10th at 2.9 on MVP.  In the afternoon, ‘Boers & Bernstein’ were second at 5.2, while ‘Waddle & Silvy’ were 16th at 2.6 in the first three months of their new time slot for WMVP.”  Sherman also spoke with both program directors – WSCR’s Mitch Rosen and WMVP’s Adam Delevitt – in searching for reasons the stations, which were often very close in ratings in the past, have separated recently with WSCR pulling ahead.  Rosen tells the Tribune, “We’ve stuck with the same lineup for several years.  People get into habits when it comes to listening to stations.  Continuity makes a big difference in radio.”  Delevitt points out what his company sees as its strength in a multi-platform approach.  “With ESPN, you have to focus on all of our platforms.  Nobody can duplicate what we’re doing on every platform.”  You can read Sherman’s entire piece here.

conclaveMichael Harrison to Deliver Keynote Address at The Conclave – Says the Future of Radio Rests Upon the Shoulders of Talent.  The long-running annual industry learning conference, The Conclave, is coming up in just six days!  Set for Wednesday, July 17 – Friday, July 19 at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel in Minneapolis, the 38th installment of this major, non-profit industry institution will feature a packed lineup of speakers from both music and talk radio (click here for the complete agenda).  TALKERS publisher Michaelharrisonmichael Harrison is set to deliver the event’s Keynote Address on Thursday, July 18 at 9:00 am.  The title of his speech is “Radio in the Digital Age: Where Does Talent Fit In?” His presentation will approach today’s key issues – immense debt, generational and cultural shifts, exotic new media, audience measurement shortcomings, plus the increasing importance of intellectual property, talent becoming entrepreneurial, and the humanity that radio should offer and has the potential to still do so well.  Looking ahead to his presentation, Harrison states, “The Conclave is designed as a platform for learning and I intend to use this opportunity to share the experience of my 45-year career in professional broadcasting and present-day insights accrued being the publisher of two leading trades with the young up-and-comers who are hopeful that radio can yet provide them with a rewarding career.  The past, present and future of radio is primarily a story about talent.  I will talk about the survival and ‘thrival’ of talent – upon whose shoulders rests the future of this industry.”

daultondarrenWPEN-FM, Philadelphia Baseball Talk Host Darren Daulton Diagnosed with Brain Cancer.  The former MLB star and host of “Talkin’ Baseball with Dutch” took a break from his regular 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm nightly baseball show on Greater Media’s WPEN-FM “The Fanatic” to have tumors removed from his brain and the result of tests on those tumors showed they are cancerous.  Darren Daulton Foundation president Tony Perri posted a message on Daulton’s official website stating, in part: “Darren has been diagnosed with a Glioblastoma (“GBM”), a form of brain cancer.  He has returned to his Clearwater area home to continue recuperating amongst his immediate family and friends.  He will eventually begin treatments in Florida. Darren and his family wish to thank everyone for their loving support throughout this difficult time.  He is deeply touched. In typical fashion, he again said, ‘Right on; Fight on.’  Darren and his family request that everyone respect his privacy and that of his family during this period of time.  At his urging, I can report that the September 9, 2013 golf tournament that benefits the Foundation will continue as planned.”

wolfsoncarlFormer KPOJ, Portland Talk Host Building Online Progressive Talk Destination.  Carl Wolfson was the morning drive host at Clear Channel’s KPOJ, Portland before the company dropped the progressive talk format andsmithjefferson flipped it to sports talk in November of 2012.  Undaunted, Wolfson created a live, daily morning program on the internet and “Carl in the Morning” has been building a listenership on Wolfson’s internet station.  Now, he’s adding another program to the station as former Oregon State Representative Jefferson Smith begins hosting a program called “Thank You Democracy” two days a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 am.  According to Willamette Week, Wolfson writes about the show, “Each episode of ‘Thank You Democracy’ will take a topic and cover that topic from various angles.  The show will benefit from Jefferson’s network of relationships, as well as his experience as an activist, nationally recognized non-profit executive, advisor to elected officials, as well as a candidate and office-holder himself.”

roggerjohnKRMS, Osage Beach, Missouri Host Saves Life of Guest.  It all started when “Ozarks Today” host John Rogger called author and scheduled guest June Barnhart by mistake on Monday July, 8 for an interview scheduled for a different day.  But when he spoke with her he noticed she sounded confused and hung up on him.  Fortunately the author’s publicist had his sister check in with the author’s sister who rushed over to her house to find her in bad shape.  She was dehydrated and confused and was taken to the hospital.  Rogger tells TALKERS magazine that he subsequently found out Barnhart had suffered a mild stroke but doctors say she is expected to make a full recovery.

hochmanburgerHealthy-Schmealthy, Tell ‘em You Want a Hochman Burger!  When WAXY, Miami “AM790 & FM 104.3 The Ticket” morning drive co-host Marc Hochman was asked by Miami Subs Grill to create a namesake burger to be sold at the restaurant, he was only too happy to comply.  Marc is pictured here prepping to dive into a Hochman Burger that is now available at all 32 Miami Subs locations.  (Miami Subs is partly owned by Miami-based rap star Pitbull.)  What’s in a Hochman Burger you ask?  It’s covered with cheddar and BBQ sauce and topped with Funyons!  Tasty…and crunchy, too!

wfan logoWFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton to Captain Celebrity Softball Game.  Morning drive sports talk duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton will choose their sides for the Major League Baseball’s Taco Bell Legends & Celebrities Softball Game during their show on CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York Friday morning at 8:00 am.  Boomer & Carton will be broadcasting live from the All-Star FanFest at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.  The celebrity game is now in its 9th  year as part of MLB’s All-Star Week and will be played before the All-Star Game Tuesday evening at Citi Field.  It will feature celebrities including Chris Rock, Mike Piazza, Kevin James, Darryl Strawberry, George Lopez, Dwight Gooden, Ashanti, Jennie Finch, Chord Overstreet and James Denton, among others.  Boomer Esiason is co-captaining the National League team alongside John Franco and Craig Carton and Bernie Williams will lead the American League team.

Immigration Reform, George Zimmerman Trial, Student Loan Bill, Asiana Airlines Crash Landing, Egypt Turmoil, and Canadian Rail Disaster Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/10).  The battle in Congress over immigration reform and amnesty; the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin; the bill that would address student loan interest rates; the investigation of the crash landing of the Asiana Airlines jet in San Francisco; the civil and political turmoil in Egypt; and the deadly Canadian railroad accident were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.