Tag: "Michael Felger"
Dominic ‘Zakk’ Zaccagnini Named PD for WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse. Radio programming pro Dominic “Zakk” Zaccagnini is named program director for “NewsRadio WHAM 1180,” classic rock WAIO-FM “Radio 95.1” in Rochester and news/talk WSYR, Syracuse, effective immediately. He will report to Tias Schuster, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Upstate New York. Zaccagnini joins the iHeartMedia Rochester and Syracuse markets from Cumulus Media’s rock KSAN-FM, San Francisco where he was program director and afternoon drive host while also handling pregame host duties for the Kansas City Chiefs on KCFX-FM, Kansas City. Schuster says, “Zakk is a winner with deep programming knowledge coming from multiple formats and major markets. We look forward to his vision, energy, and leadership that he will bring to our stations.” Zakk comments, “It is a privilege for me to join so many talented professionals and become part of these amazing brands in this management role. I am grateful and very excited for this opportunity. Thanks to everyone at iHeartMedia for making it happen!”
Jeff Austin Adds ‘ESPN 1320’ Sacramento Brand Manager Duties. Programming pro Jeff Austin is named brand manager for Audacy’s KIFM-AM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320.” Austin continues his current role with the company as brand manager for sports talk outlets KFXX-AM “1080 The Fan” and KMTT-AM “910 ESPN” in Portland. He assumes the duties from Danny Freisinger, who was recently promoted to director of sports for Audacy’s 2400Sports podcast studio. Audacy Sacramento and San Francisco SVP and market manager Stacey Kauffman says, “We’re delighted to bring Jeff’s ability to mold local sports brands to our market and have his oversight at the helm of KIFM. His experience managing two favorites in Portland will serve him well as he expands his role with us, and we look forward to watching ‘ESPN 1320’ continue to build on its success.”
WBZ-FM, Boston’s Tony Massarotti Named Color Commentator for NESN’s Red Sox Coverage. Boston sports media personality Tony Massarotti is named the TV color commentator for NESN’s presentation of Boston Red Sox games this season. Massarotti co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Michael Felger on Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” Massarotti also hosts “The Baseball Hour with Tony Mazz” on “98.5 The Sports Hub” during the baseball season. He served as the Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Herald from 1994-2008. He’s also the co-author of Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits, with David Ortiz, and Knuckler: My Life with Baseball’s Most Confounding Pitch, written with Tim Wakefield. Massarotti says, “I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity, but it was obviously a unique circumstance that required the sacrifices and cooperation of many people. I can’t say enough about the support and open-mindedness of the people at Beasley Media Group, The Sports Hub, NESN and the Red Sox for their parts in making this work. In all my time reporting on and talking about baseball, I can’t ever remember being more excited about an approaching Boston baseball season than I am for this one.”
WSB, Atlanta Celebrates 100 Years of Service. Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM is celebrating its 100th anniversary serving the market today (3/15). Cox Media Group says its flagship brand, WSB Radio, broadcast across the airwaves for the first time on March 15, 1922 and was the first radio station in the Southeast. The station’s call stood for “Welcome South Brother.” CMG says the station was soon nicknamed The Voice of the South and today continues delivering the news, weather, sports and traffic that matter to listeners while giving back to the Atlanta community. The company adds, “WSB expanded in 2010 to a full-time simulcast on 95.5 FM, extending its footprint across the metro Atlanta area. With its expanded reach, WSB set its sights on innovating its content, digital platforms, programming, sales, production, promotions and engineering, all contributing to the brand’s ongoing success and longevity.” CMG Atlanta and Athens VP/GM Jaleigh Long states, “As we celebrate this milestone, we are honored to have such a talented and diverse team who have served WSB through the years to help us remain at the forefront of innovation that keeps us connected to our audience and local advertisers. 100 years of community service is in our DNA and if there’s anything we are proud of, it’s the station’s rich history of uplifting the surrounding community. WSB’s never-ending commitment to innovation and embracing change will propel the us into the next century and beyond.”
Media Execs Spencer Brown and Charles Steinhauer Form New Firm Gemini XIII. The new company, Gemini XIII, is described in a press release as “the podcasting and radio industries’ new home for premium audio content, production and marketing services.” The company is being founded by Cadence13 and Dial Global founder Spencer Brown (left) and former Westwood One COO Charles Steinhauer (right). At the same time, Gemini XIII announces it has acquired The Infinite Agency, a full-service digital advertising agency based in Dallas, as well as Phantom Producer, an audio imaging service from Australian audio producer Jeff Thomas that includes web and mobile app user interfaces. Jonathan Ogle is remaining in his president role with The Infinite Agency and Thomas will continue to lead Phantom Producer. Gemini XIII is based in New York, with offices in Dallas and Sydney, Australia. Gemini XIII CEO Spencer Brown says, “We are pleased to announce the launch of Gemini XIII with the acquisition of two of audio and advertising’s most innovative companies, The Infinite Agency, and Phantom Producer. These great companies are a formidable launching pad for what we expect to be Gemini XIII’s growing portfolio of audio’s most exciting brands. We welcome the talented professionals at these organizations to the Gemini XIII family and look forward to serving our partners and customers with the very best in content and services.” Company COO Charles Steinhauer adds, “These two companies represent a solid foundation of talented people from which Gemini XIII will continue to build. We are committed to bringing new resources and capabilities to audio and to offer new and creative ways to tell stories in audio. We are actively exploring opportunities to complement these organizations to once again build and grow a new breed of audio company.”
WWO Audio Active Group: Radio Helps Reach More Swing Voters. According to data from Nielsen VP of cross platform insights Tony Hereau, “the addition of AM/FM radio to a political media plan can generate an extraordinary amount of incremental voter reach.” Hereau recently presented the findings to the American Association of Political Consultants in a report called, “The 10% Solution: Optimizing the Political Media Plan with Radio to Reach Swing Voters.” Some of the key findings in his report include: 1) 45% of voters are zero/light TV viewers who are impossible to reach with TV ads: Nielsen finds there has been a sharp increase in voters who watch little or no TV; 2) The combination of connected TV and AM/FM radio can reach voters who are zero/light TV viewers: AM/FM radio reaches 82% of zero/light TV voters. Connected TV reaches 62% of zero/light TV voters. Combined, CTV and AM/FM radio can significantly supplement the political media plan; 3) Zero/light TV voters reached by AM/FM radio are younger, upscale, and more likely to have kids; 4) AM/FM radio is a rich source of swing voters: 40% to 50% of AM/FM radio programming format audiences are swing voters, according to Nielsen; and 5) AM/FM radio advertising was the untold secret ingredient to Glenn Youngkin’s Virginia gubernatorial victory. See more from this post here.
BIA: Local Audio Ad Spend Forecast for 2022 is $14.7 Billion. According to a new forecast from BIA Advisory Services, $14.7 billion will be spent in ad-supported local audio platforms including broadcast radio and digital audio. BIA says the local audio advertising marketplace is becoming more competitive with more streaming services and podcasts. While the shares of local radio OTA (Over-the-Air) advertising is eroding, radio digital is increasing, providing radio stations an avenue to still increase their sales. BIA’s local audio estimate breaks out advertising revenue forecast for 2022 from each of the following local ad-supported local audio platforms: Radio OTA: $12.7 billion – All revenues generated by local radio stations for sale of time to either national or local advertisers from their over-the-air broadcasts. Does not include any advertising sold by the national radio networks. Radio Digital: $1.7 billion – All revenues generated by local radio stations from national, regional and local advertisers targeting a local market from their online activities. Includes display and streaming advertising revenue other than Pandora. Pandora: $400 million – Audio and display advertising revenue generated by Pandora from national, regional and local advertisers targeting a local market.
TALKERS News Notes. New York City talk radio host Mark Simone tells TALKERS magazine that his 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR-AM “has set a new ratings record, getting the largest total audience (Persons 6+) of any radio station in New York, beating all of the 85 other stations – the only talk show to do that in this century.” Simone’s program garnered a 6.7 share for the two-hour period in Nielsen’s January 2022 PPM survey…..WABC, New York talk host Sid Rosenberg has a cool TV gig on the side. As reported by InsideRadio, Rosenberg plays Dave Busco, a soldier in a crime family, in the Amazon Prime series “Gravesend.”…..Salem Radio Network’s 24/7 national news service SRN News is providing live, comprehensive coverage of a rare “virtual” address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tomorrow (3/16). SRN live coverage begins at 9:00 am ET anchored by SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston, featuring remarks by Zelensky followed by recap and analysis of the Urkrainian leader’s address. Additionally, the network’s nationally syndicated “Mike Gallagher Show” on Wednesday will not only feature highlights of Zelensky’s remarks but a special “America Reacts” segment as listeners from coast-to-coast weigh in with their instant reaction to the latest development in the four-week Russia/Ukraine conflict…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is again presenting complete coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Coverage will tip off with First Four action on Tuesday, March 15 and run through the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 2 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 4 in both English and Spanish. Westwood One is also announcing the expansion of its coverage of NCAA Women’s Championship events. For the first time, both the Women’s Frozen Four and the Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship will be broadcast nationally on radio. Westwood One’s women’s coverage will also include the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament featuring every game from the Sweet Sixteen through the Final Four and National Championship Game, as well as every game of the Women’s College World Series…..Audacy’s Cadence13 podcast studio announces a partnership with creator-focused new media company Puck and the launch of the program “The Powers That Be Daily,” that brings listeners inside the four corners of power in America: Wall Street, Washington, Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Emmy Award-winning journalist Peter Hamby and Puck’s team of founding partners, including Julia Ioffe, Matt Belloni, Dylan Byers, Theodore Schleifer, Tina Nguyen, Eriq Gardner, Baratunde Thurston, and William D. Cohan, “pick up where the news ends to explore the story behind the stories driving the day’s headlines across Wall Street, Washington, Silicon Valley and Hollywood with a digestible and dishy 15-20 minute daily rundown featuring insider insights.”
Chicago Radio Legend Pervis Spann Dies at 89. WGN-TV reports that Chicago radio legend Pervis Spann has died of complications from Alzheimer’s. During his career in radio he served as a DJ and helped build WVON-AM where his daughter Melody Spann-Cooper currently serves as president and general manager.
Russia-Ukraine War, U.S.-China Relations, Gas Prices/Inflation, COVID-19/People’s Convoy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, January 6, and Urban Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the U.S.’s role in sanctions and arming the Ukrainian military; the U.S.’s relations with China as Russia asks Xi Jinping for military aid; soaring gas prices and the still rising costs of retail consumer goods; the leveling of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the lockdowns in China, and the still-active People’s Convoy protesting mandates in Washington, DC; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Gini’s admission to attending the rally prior to the raid on the Capitol on January 6, 2021; the capture of a man suspected of killing homeless people and the arrest of an NYC man who beat an elderly Asian woman were some of the top stories discussed on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Talk Radio Revolution! Conservative News Talk Morning Radio Producer based in Richmond, VA. Emerging and exciting independent conservative talk-news radio stations/media network is seeking top-notch career-oriented executive for morning producer.
The company’s morning show host is a nationally known figure who owns radio stations across the mid-Atlantic region. This is not a remote position, as the producer must work in the flagship studio in south Richmond, VA. The AM hours are 5:30 AM to 2:30 PM. The position requires solid radio production knowledge, creativity, perseverance and the ability to multi-task in the morning. The right candidate will produce the morning show, field phone calls from high-level political figures and live callers, manage the clock, run the ads and navigate through normal live radio issues.
The show host is usually remote traveling the nation. Once the show is completed, the successful candidate is responsible for all post-production as well as running the next show. The successful candidate must be very internet and social media savvy and enjoy a lightning fast-paced environment and work well in the sandbox with others.
This position offers incredible freedom of expression and you will not be micro-managed in a corporate-bean counter driven mentality. You must be able to work independently with little day to day direction. If you love radio but hate the direction our industry is headed with corporate empty suits telling you what to do every fifteen-minutes then we are the company for you!
We play :60-:75 seconds of classic rock music in the morning before each segment so you have to be selecting songs to connect with our audience. We are an independent network and growing. This is a conservative-talk enterprise with the leading America First hosts in the nation, so you should feel comfortable in that environment.
While our competitors are shrinking and laying staff off – we are buying and growing. Come join our talk radio revolution! We are an equal opportunity employer. Competitive salary. Please send a short cover letter and your resume to: ApplyJFMN@gmail.com – Include producer in the subject line. The base salary is $40-50K depending on experience. This is a self-relocation if you live outside of RVA.
WEEI, Boston to Flip Midday and Afternoon Programs. Beginning August 13, the “OMF” Show featuring Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni, and Christian Fauria takes over the afternoon drive daypart and the “Dale & Keefe” show with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe slides to middays. The change was announced on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning program today (7/19). This is a return to afternoons for Glenn Ordway who for years reigned as ringmaster of “The Big Show” in PM drive. But competition from new rival WBZ-FM upset that show’s dominance and Ordway was let go in 2013 and was replaced by Mike Salk. WEEI re-hired Ordway two-and-a-half years later to work the midday show. Since then, the OMF program has steadily gained ground in the Boston ratings. “OMF” will compete with WBZ-FM’s “Felger & Mazz” program, which was the highest-rated show in afternoons, racking up a 14.7 share (Men 25-54) in Nielsen’s June PPM survey. The “Dale & Keefe” show earned a 6.8 share going against “Felger & Mazz.”
WFAN’s Joe Benigno Accused of Sexual Harassment. In a suit filed in New York State Court in Brooklyn, WFAN, New York midday personality Joe Benigno is accused by former sales staffer Lauren Lockwood of sexual harassment. The allegation is part of a larger, $5 million suit against CBS RADIO (now owned by Entercom), sales execs Sean Argaman and Mark Zukerman, and other unidentified staffers for creating a hostile work environment based on sex, discrimination based on sex, retaliation, and more. The complaint reads like a lurid expose of a workplace dominated by men behaving badly. Lockwood – who worked in sales at WFAN for 11 years – alleges that Benigno tried to coerce her into having a “threesome” with him and his wife. Additionally, she says he engaged in a two-year affair with a female subordinate. Her complaint paints a picture of a workplace where drinking on the job took place, prostitutes were acquired for clients, and potential clients were entertained at strip clubs. She alleges the station’s executives tolerated a workplace that subjected her to sexual harassment. Entercom tells the New York Post it can’t comment on pending litigation but that it will “defend the company vigorously.”
WBZ-FM, Boston Midday Show to Simulcast on NBC Sports Boston. The simulcast of the midday “Zolak and Bertrand” show on NBC Sports Boston is now the second show based at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to air on the New England cable sports channel. The “Felger & Mazz” PM drive show (co-hosted by Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti) has been simulcast there since 2010. The Zolak and Bertrand show – featuring former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak (left) and Marc Bertrand (right) – airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and will be available via NBC Sports Boston, nbcsportsboston.com and on the NBC Sports app as well as the 98.5 Sports Hub app and 985thesportshub.com, effective July 23. Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “We are thrilled to extend the Felger and Mazz simulcast partnership with NBC Sports Boston and to include our top-rated midday show so Boston fans can not only hear, but see the fun that this team has together in our new state-of-the-art studios.”
PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk. Overall, public radio news/talk stations were down from the May survey to the June survey with 51% of stations seeing dips in weekly 6+ AQH share. Comparing numbers from a year ago, almost half the stations on the panel were up year-over-year and almost half were down. Three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both the San Francisco and adjacent San Jose markets. KOPB, Portland and WUNC, Raleigh also were #1. See Kinosian’s entire report here.
TALKERS News Notes. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that sports media icon Brent Musberger has agreed to a three-year deal to serve as the radio play-by-play voice of the NFL’s Raiders, who are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. Musberger is the managing editor at Las Vegas-based VSiN (Vegas Sports Information Network). He retired from ABC Sports and ESPN in January to join VSiN…..U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) is in a battle for re-election with challenger Democrat Angie Craig (whom he beat by 1.8% two years ago) and his radio past is playing a role in the campaign. The former Minnesota and nationally syndicated talk radio personality’s musings about women and political correctness were the focus of a CNN report that Craig and Lewis’ opponents are trying to use against him in the campaign. Lewis’ campaign manager Becky Alery tells the Star-Tribune, “This has all been litigated before, and as Rep. Lewis has said time and time again, it was his job to be provocative while on the radio.”…..The terms of the settlement are sealed, but the agreement between plaintiff Jennifer Neill and defendants WMGK, Philadelphia morning host John DeBella and Beasley Media Group has been approved by the court. Neill was suing the defendants claiming a pattern of sexual harassment on the part of DeBella. Neill served as a traffic reporter on DeBella’s program. She alleged some 30 incidents of harassment, including unwanted physical contact…..Envision Networks’ “American Biker Minute” is added to the programming at Southern Stone Communications-owned WRTT-FM, Huntsville, Alabama. The 60-second feature is hosted by bike enthusiast Jeff Ryan.
TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Award Presentation for “Lifetime Achievement.” Today (7/19), TALKERS magazine concludes posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8. Each business day, another session or activity has been posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 17th and final installment is of the presentation of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award by publisher, Michael Harrison to Vuolo Video Air-Chex CEO, Art Vuolo at the event’s closing cocktail reception. Already posted: the panel discussion titled “The Talk Rumble.” It is moderated by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon; introduced by WABC, New York host, Curtis Sliwa; and featuring panelists WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom Giordano; WYD Media host, Thom Hartmann; DC Radio Company executive director, Victoria Jones; USA Radio Network host, Wayne Allyn Root; Fox News Radio host, Todd Starnes; and WOLB, Baltimore host, Larry Young; the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.” It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike Bendixen; iHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb; the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.” It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris Berry; Beasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin Chase; Weiss Agency EVP, Heather Cohen; Cumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott. Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.” It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry Hurley; Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian Kilmeade; Westwood One host Chris Plante; Talk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.” It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt; a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson; convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan; the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, Asa; Bold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince Benedetto; Howie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy Carr; Westwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling; the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ; a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin; a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan; Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter. 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Trump-Putin Meeting Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation/Russia’s Interrogation Request, Alleged Russian Spy Case, California Break-Up Question, Israel Passes ‘Nation-State’ Law, Facebook’s Conspiracy Theory Policy, Google’s EU Fine, and Hader Tweets Controversy/MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19). The effects of President Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related request by Putin to interrogate U.S. officials; the case of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina and her relationship with GOP consultant Paul Erickson; the question of splitting California into three states fails to make the ballot; Israel’s passage of the controversial “nation-state” law; Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation of Facebook’s conspiracy theory policies; Google is fined $5 billion by the European Union; and Brewers pitcher Josh Hader suffers fallout from past racist and homophobic tweets, tied with the MLB All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Philly Station Deals Announced: Beasley Acquires Country WXTU-FM from Entercom; Jerry Lee Sells Hot AC WBEB-FM to Entercom. Philadelphia-based Entercom is paying $57.5 million cash to Jerry Lee LLC for hot AC WBEB-FM “101 More FM” and it is divesting of country WXTU. Beasley Media Group is paying Entercom $38 million for that station. Beasley says, “Excluding one-time transaction costs, the acquisition of WXTU-FM is expected to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the company’s leverage. Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.” Beasley formerly owned WXTU and launched the country format on the signal in 1983. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our acquisition of WXTU-FM represents a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position with a strong cluster of five FM and two AM stations in a key, top-10 market. Importantly, the addition of WXTU-FM is consistent with Beasley’s disciplined approach to growing our platform by executing accretive transactions that deliver valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement, all with a limited impact to our leverage.” Speaking about the acquisition of WBEB, Entercom CEO David Field says, “We are very pleased to add the legendary WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our group. It is a terrific addition to our lineup that will enhance our ability to serve our listeners, customers and the community. I tip my cap to Jerry Lee, one of the industry pioneers and a visionary leader who built ‘B101’ into such a special station and has done so much for radio over the decades. We are saddened to say goodbye to our colleagues at WXTU but know that they will be in great hands.” Beasley begins operating WXTU under an LMA on July 23.
Target: Spanish Language Talk Radio Market. Personal finance talk radio mega-star Dave Ramsey has worked very hard to become a household name through his popular daily talk radio show, television efforts, bestselling books and live event programs. Now his Lampo Group organization is targeting the Spanish-speaking segment of the American population with the national launch of a daily talk show hosted by Andres Gutierrez. Gutierrez is a successful entrepreneur; small-business owner and radio show host with the goal of helping the Hispanic community win with money. Ramsey’s organization says “Andres’ successes have come from his passion and his simple, direct way of communicating hope to the hopeless. His drive for excellence in everything he does enabled his business to prosper.” Businesses all across America are developing plans to market to the Hispanic community and Ramsey says he’s long been interested in serving this segment of the nation’s population and says he sees the perfect messenger in Gutierrez. “Andres joined Dave’s team in 2009 and is now helping to spread the message of ‘Paz Financiera’ all over the country — or as Andres would say it, ‘Teaching people how to make their money behave.’” Ramsey’s organization is launching the Andres Gutierrez daily radio show in national syndication on October 17.
WBZ-FM, Boston Sports Talkers Felger & Massarotti to Simulcast on Comcast SportsNet. Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti host the PM drive show on CBS Radio’s 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. There’s no official start date announced, but this fall the duo’s PM drive show will be simulcast on cable TV on Comcast SportsNet. Comcast SportsNet EVP and general manager Bill Bridgen says, “Felger, Mazz and the Sports Hub have taken over Boston radio with a rocket launch to the top of the ratings. Adding Felger’s acerbic nature for four more hours to our lineup and Mazz’s credentials are huge pluses for Comcast SportsNet as we continue to build out our programming which features local, entertaining sports programming from 6:00 am to 1:30 am.”
Tyler Moody Promoted at CNN Radio. Eight-year CNN Radio veteran Tyler Moody is promoted from executive director to vice president of CNN Radio. The company says Moody will “oversee the editorial and operations teams, including affiliate services and CNN Radio’s more than 30 anchors, correspondents, producers and staff. He will also lead the business in strategy, product development and execution.” CNN lauds Moody for his work guiding the network through award-winning coverage of recent events including the earthquake in Haiti for which CNN won a Sigma Delta Chi award for breaking news coverage. Moody takes over for Victor Kong who returns to Miami to be near his extended family.
Smith/Sabatino Show Debuts on WNYM, New York. Emmy Award-winning news anchor and journalist Rolland G. Smith and veteran broadcaster Carl J. Sabatino are teaming up for a Sunday evening talk radio program to air on WNYM, New York called “Smith/Sabatino.” The new program is described as one that “focuses on what we’re all exposed to in the news and why it’s there. Smith and Sabatino face issues with a practical slant to events and everyday problems. Their message is one of a common approach and an understanding of those issues and interests that address our lives in the most significant ways. The program also presents a light and entertaining side, one that balances the hard issues with conversation and talk about the diversions and distractions of life.” Smith is well known for his work at WCBS-TV and WWOR-TV in New York. Sabatino is a former CEO of World Television, senior consultant for CNN Radio, WTFM, and WNEW in New York and broadcast executive for Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal Television.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup. The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “The Daily Wrap from The Wall Street Journal with Michael Castner” is added to the program schedule at Saga Communications stations WTAX, Springfield, Illinois; KGMI, Bellingham, Washington; WKVT, Brattleboro, Vermont; and WHMP/WHNP/WHNQ, Northampton, Massachusetts. KICD, Spencer, Iowa and the Northampton, Massachusetts stations also add “The Wall Street Journal This Morning” to their lineups…..America’s Radio News Network gets its news block programming added to Renda’s WMNY, Pittsburgh as the station flips from business talk to a news/talk format.
The Fed’s Bleak Economic Outlook Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 19-23. The bleak economic outlook announced by the Fed this week was the #1 topic on news/talk radio and landed atop the Talkers TenTM chart. At #2 is President Obama’s debt reduction plan. Following at #3 is the 2012 presidential race and the Thursday evening GOP debate and at #4 is the global financial markets activity. The Talkers TenTM is a chart published weekly at Talkers.com that shows the most-talked-about stories and people on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS. View the entire chart by clicking on the banner below.