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Monday Memo: Format Solution? Ever get a song stuck in your head? Consultant Holland Cooke shares one that stuck in his 40 years ago. And when you click-to-listen in this week’s column, HC thinks you could hear an opportunity. Check it out here.
Impeachment/Bolton Manuscript, Presidential Race, Coronavirus Concerns, U.S.-Iran Tensions/Rocket Attack on Baghdad Embassy, the Grammy Awards, and Kobe Bryant Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment trial of President Trump and the related manuscript by former Trump national security adviser John Bolton in which he suggests there was a quid pro quo; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; the Wuhan coronavirus and concerns about a global epidemic; the tensions between the U.S. and Iran and the rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards ceremony; and the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
New Sports Talk Station ‘The Gambler’ Launches in Akron-Cleveland. This new gambling-centric sports talk outlet on WARF-AM, Akron launched by iHeartMedia Cleveland airs a mix of traditional sports talk shows and wagering-focused programs. iHeartMedia says, “‘FOX Sports 1350 AM, The Gambler’ will focus on sports talk with a concentration on gambling, including top-of-the-hour wagering updates from the VSiN (Vegas Stats and Information Network) and will feature programming from the BetR Network, including ‘My Guys in the Desert,’ hosted by American sportscaster, Brent Musberger. The station will also broadcast a mix of programming offering betting guides, handicapping, and betting strategies as well as signature programming from FOX Sports Radio, including ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd’ and ‘FOX NFL Kickoff Simulcast,’ as well as ‘The Red Zone’ and ‘The Lombardi Line,’ hosted by former Cleveland Browns general manager Mike Lombardi.”
Karyn Cerulli Succeeds Bob Bolinger at Entercom San Diego. The Times of San Diego has the story from the market’s Entercom cluster. Director of sales Karyn Cerulli is promoted to SVP and market manager for the station group as Bob Bolinger is leaving the role he’s held with the cluster since 2015. Bolinger tells the paper he’s not retiring. “The last four and a half years I have spent with Entercom have been among the most rewarding of my career. I am very proud and grateful for what this amazing Entercom San Diego team has accomplished and wish them and Karyn only the very best.” Bolinger joined Entercom from CBS RADIO. He’d been with the San Diego stations since 2009.
iHeartMedia Names News Executives. In Pennsylvania, iHeartMedia announces that Brit Goldstein is named area president for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania. At the same time, Nick Mickley is the new market president of iHeartMedia Harrisburg, Reading, and Lancaster; and Dave Hovel is named area SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania. In this new position, Goldstein is responsible for creating new business and revenue opportunities, overseeing all programming, business and sales teams for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Eastern Shore stations. He reports to division president Shosh Abromovich. In his new role, Hovel oversees all on-air content as well as music and digital programming operations for the Salisbury, Wilmington, Allentown, Harrisburg, Erie, Reading, Lancaster, and Williamsport markets.
New Lineup at KIRO-FM, Seattle; ‘Tom & Curley’ Move to PM Drive. It was a year ago that the “Candy, Mike & Todd” show – co-hosted by Candy Harper, Mike Lewis, and Todd Herman – took over for the “Ron & Don” – featuring Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill – in afternoon drive on Bonneville International’s KIRO-FM, Seattle. Now, that show is gone and the late morning “Tom & Curley” program hosted by Tom Tangney and John Curley moves to afternoon drive, effective Wednesday (1/29). While both Candy Harper and Todd Herman exit the station, Mike Lewis partners with the station’s Aaron Mason to host the new 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program. The new late morning show (9:00 am to 12:00 noon) features award-winning Seattle journalist Ursula Reutin and the station’s Gee Scott, who moves from the evening daypart. Regarding the afternoon drive change, KIRO-FM program director Bryan Buckalew says, “Tom and John are at the top of their game. They have a unique ability to tackle the news from both sides of the issue, which consistently connects with listeners.”
Tim Weisberg New Host of Art Bell’s ‘Midnight in the Desert.’ Beginning tonight (1/27), radio pro Tim Weisberg takes over the hosting duties on the late-night radio show, “Midnight in the Desert,” the last program created by the late Art Bell. Weisberg has been filling in on the program since 2018. He currently serves as digital managing editor for Townsquare Media’s New Bedford, Massachusetts stations. He’s also hosted the paranormal radio program/podcast “Spooky Southcoast” for 14 years – a project he’ll continue in addition to his new duties. Weisberg has served as a writer/researcher/producer on paranormal television programs such as “Ghost Stalkers,” “Ghost Asylum,” and “Haunted Towns.” He has also been featured in front of the camera on programs such as “Ghost Adventures,” “My Ghost Story,” “MonsterQuest,” “Most Haunted Towns,” and will be featured in two upcoming television series in 2020. He is also the author of two books on the paranormal and is an award-winning sportswriter covering the New England Patriots and previously covering the Boston Celtics. “Midnight in the Desert” was started by Art Bell in 2015. The title of the program comes from a song written specifically for Bell by country music superstar Crystal Gayle. Bell and subsequent hosts have continued to use the song, with Gayle’s blessing, as the program’s closing theme, something Weisberg said will continue. “Although nobody will ever replace Art Bell, we at MITD think it’s important to honor his memory as the one who started it at all, especially this program. While the best way we can pay tribute is to just continue to discuss these topics in a long-form, objective style, keeping the name and the theme song is just a small touch to make sure Art is never far from our thoughts.”
Round Three of Holiday PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. The survey period was December 5 through January 1. Spoken-word radio always faces a challenge during the calendar month of December due to holiday-related lifestyle changes and Christmas music listening. In this batch of markets, the most positive news comes out of Kansas City where, thanks to the success of the Super Bowl bound Chiefs, sports talk radio enjoyed increased listening. Union Broadcasting’s WHB got a three-tenths bounce to finish with a weekly 6+ AHQ share of 3.9 – good for the #9 ranking. Entercom’s KCSP adds a half share to land at 2.7 and the #15 ranking in the market. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.
TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Don Steinberg wrote a piece – published Saturday (1/25) – for Philadelphia Magazine that’s a deep-dive into Philly-based Entercom. Interviewed for the piece are CEO David Field, Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff, and others. The story addresses the company’s struggling stock price, its efforts to establish a leading position in the digital audio entertainment realm, and former employees’ gripes about management style, among others. Read it here…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is being asked by the U.S. State Department – via its Foreign Press Centers – to host a telephone briefing for foreign journalists to explain the Iowa Caucuses. The briefing is non-partisan. Conway says, “It’s a great honor to be asked. The point is to make sure that journalists around the world understand the process and report it accurately.”…..Sports media personalities Mark Titus and Tate Frazier are joining FOX Sports and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One for the new “Titus and Tate” podcast, available in visual formats on FOXSports.com, the FOX Sports app and social media platforms. The audio version from Westwood One is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and more. Westwood One is the exclusive audio distribution and ad sales representation partner of the “Titus & Tate” podcast..…Barstool Radio on SiriusXM is broadcasting live from Miami Beach today through Friday, ahead of Super Bowl LIV. Barstool’s biggest personalities, including Dave Portnoy, Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz, Kevin ‘KFC’ Clancy, PFT Commenter, Kayce Smith, Willie Colon and others – will host their shows live from Tequila Chicas in the heart of South Beach…..The Mayo Clinic Radio team unveils the new “Mayo Clinic Q&A” podcast. It features Mayo Clinic physicians, researchers, and care teams sharing knowledge about topics including cancer, heart health, scientific advances, artificial intelligence, and wellness. Mayo Clinic Radio co-hosts Thomas Shives, M.D., and Tracy McCray anchor the new podcast. Mayo Clinic Radio says, “While the weekly, hour-long ‘Mayo Clinic Radio’ program will continue to deliver easy-to-understand answers on more than 250 outlets across the U.S., each episode of the ‘Mayo Clinic Q&A’ podcast will highlight one subject.” Dr. Shives adds, “With the resources of Mayo Clinic and thousands of physicians and medical experts supporting us, this tool is one more way to educate busy consumers on how to stay healthy and also help them learn more about serious or complex health topics.”…..iHeartMedia Denver announces that Mike Rice is the new play-by-play announcer for the Colorado Rockies baseball on flagship KOA, Denver. Rice has been with KOA since 2002, serving in a number of sports roles, including studio host for the Denver Broncos, fill-in play-by-play announcer for the Colorado Rockies, and anchoring morning sportscasts. He also serves as sports director for KOA, a position he will retain. Rice joins Jack Corrigan, who is entering his 18th season as a play-by-play announcer for the Rockies. In addition to play-by-play duties, Rice will host “Rockies All Access,” airing every Saturday on KOA…..Entercom sports talk outlet KRLD-FM, Dallas and the MLB’s Texas Rangers extend their broadcast deal to have the station continue to serve as the team’s radio flagship for the Texas Rangers Radio Network and the team’s English language radio play-by-play broadcasts…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” show with host Chris Hill adds new stations KIFG-AM and KIFG-FM in Iowa City and WPVC-LPFM, in Charlottesville, Virginia to its roster of affiliates.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, Premiere Networks announces today that “The Sweat Hotel” – starring Keith Sweat – will move from the overnight daypart to the evening slot on iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WVAZ “V103.”…..Dallas rock outlet KEGL “97.1 The Eagle” unveils the lineup for BFD 2020, taking place Sunday, May 24 at Dos Equis Pavilion. Featured acts will be: Disturbed, Chevelle, The Pretty Reckless, Dirty Honey, The HU, Puddle of Mudd, Badflower, and Dinosaur Pile-Up. iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis says, “‘The Eagle’ is delivering yet another stellar lineup to kick off the summer concert season with BFD 2020. Fans of ‘97.1 The Eagle’ always expect a great lineup and this year’s will not disappoint them.”
Nielsen Audio Acknowledges Connectivity Issues. Clients were informed yesterday (Thursday, 11/10) that 8% of installed Nielsen Audio devices across its 48 PPM-markets became inactive. The situation began in week one (11/3 – 11/9) of the December PPM monthly survey. According to a Nielsen spokesperson, “Our panel relations specialists have already been in contact with these homes and all affected panelists have now been sent new PPMs; 49% of the replacement meters are back online. We expect the balance to come online in the next several days.” The spokesperson further notes, “We forecast the percentage of installed and fully operational meters eligible for in-tab will be 97% for the month of December and 92% for week one of December across the aggregate of markets; weighting will adjust for demographic and geographic imbalances.” Lower in-tab, the spokesperson stresses, “doesn’t equate to lower ratings; however, temporarily higher weights may contribute to more variation during the period of time it takes for these panelists to be back in-tab.” Nielsen Audio is doing an analysis to evaluate panel representation and impact to audience estimates and the company plans to share those results during the week of November 21.
CBS Radio Promotes Philips to Chief Revenue Officer. The company’s senior vice president of sales since late last year – Bob Philips – is elevated to CBS Radio‘s newly created role of chief revenue officer. CBS Radio president Andre Fernandez states, “Bob’s extensive radio and sales experience make him ideal to accelerate our efforts as we enter a new phase of the business. His deep understanding of corporate, customer, category, and channel strategies will be instrumental in generating new revenue opportunities and ensuring our ability to deliver top-tier financial results.” Philips opines, “It is an exciting time for the radio industry. We have never had more assets at our disposal to meet our clients’ needs and extend their iconic brands. Our radio stations, digital assets, and events are only the tip of the iceberg.” Philips, who currently serves on the RAB Advisory Board and is an officer for the Maryland-D.C.-Delaware Broadcasters Association, previously was the 15-year market manager of CBS Radio’s four-station Baltimore cluster, which includes adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9,” hot AC WWMX “Mix 106.5,” and sports outlets WJZ-AM, and WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan.” He has held leadership positions at Infinity Broadcasting and American Radio Systems.
SiriusXM Adds Ramsey. Starting next Monday (11/14), SiriusXM subscribers get to hear financial advice via “The Dave Ramsey Show” on Sirius channel 145 and XM channel 207. According to SiriusXM senior vice president of digital, talk and content strategy Jason Schramm, “Dave Ramsey is a huge force in the world of personal money management and a significant addition to SiriusXM. Between his immensely popular program and bestselling books, Dave has proven himself a top expert in his field. I am thrilled that he has found a second home at SiriusXM, where our subscribers will now be able to get direct feedback about their own finances.” Ramsey Media vice president Brian Mayfield comments, “We are honored and excited to join the SiriusXM family. We are looking forward to experiencing the future growth of this platform and its audience.” Speaking of Ramsey, he sold out his “Smart Money” event yesterday (Thursday, 11/10) in Colorado Springs, where he promoted the event with his affiliate there, News-Press & Gazette Company‘s KRDO. The station’s general sales manager JoAnne Rowley notes, “A Dave Ramsey live event creates a lot of excitement for our audience, advertisers, staff, and attendees. The synergy is amazing.” Pictured from left to right are Rowley, Ramsey, KRDO program director Mike Lewis, and station talk host Chris Brown. It is estimated that Ramsey’s 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm weekday show is heard by more than 12 million listeners each week.
PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2016 PPM survey period, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian unveils his final look this year at the performances of Major League Baseball flagships. In this special feature report, you will find charts listing stations by format and (6+) AHQ share; ratings fluctuations from September 2016 to October 2016; ratings comparisons from October 2015 to October 2016; how MLB key stations ranked in their respective markets; and how they did by league/division. Another component – new to this cycle – is a quick-view chart of each flagship’s performance from the start of the baseball season to the conclusion. See it all here.
KIRO-FM Partners to Provide 300 Beds for Area Children. Joining Bonneville Seattle talker KIRO-FM in the “Beds for Kids Project” are the Seattle Police Department, with the support of the Seattle Police Foundation, and Sleep Train. KIRO-FM afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) hosts “Ron & Don” have been dedicated advocates for the project since its inception two years ago, with Ron Upshaw stating, “I am really excited about this opportunity. The thought of a young person not having a bed just breaks my heart. Think about a six-year-old or seven-year-old kid never sleeping in a bed. This will be the first time they ever have their own bed. That’s a big deal for a kid, so I’m very proud to be a partner of this really great event.” Semi-trucks filled with 300 mattresses, box springs, sheet sets, comforters, and pillows were delivered to the Seattle Police Department yesterday (Thursday, 11/10); all mattresses were donated by The Dream Bed. Selected area families will receive their new beds tomorrow (Saturday, 11/12). Seattle police officers Jeremy Wade and Ryan Gallagher created the “Beds for Kids Project” in 2014. Seattle’s latest (October 2016) Nielsen Audio PPM report finds KIRO-FM finishing second (5.7, 6+) behind Hubbard CHR KQMV (6.9, 6+).
Cuthbertson Appointed Entercom Digital Audience Engagement Manager. Midday personality of Townsquare Media Group alternative KMAX “94.3 The X,” Fort Collins-Greeley (Colorado) Drew Cuthbertson is named Entercom‘s digital audience engagement manager. Vice president of digital audience engagement Kim Reis comments, “I am so excited to have Drew on our corporate team. His organizational and analytical skills, combined with his digital creativity and on-air experience, make him the perfect candidate. I am sure the local teams will be jazzed by Drew’s energy and positive attitude.” Cuthbertson comments, “For my entire professional life, I have been committed to creating great digital content. I am beyond thrilled to bring my passion to a company like Entercom. There are great things on the horizon for us.” Cuthbertson will use data analytics to find opportunities on social media, websites, mobile, apps, database, podcasts, and streaming players. The Colorado State University grad is the founder and director of DC Vocals and was a sales associate and customer service representative for Babies R Us.
Election Related Stories Dominate Talkers TenTM for Week of November 7-11. Naturally, Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the presidential race was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. Close behind was the GOP’s keeping control of both the House and the Senate at #2. At #3 was ongoing talk about Hillary Clinton’s email problems, followed by the push for marijuana law reform in several states at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Westwood One, Barrie Begin Tactical Talk. Podcast “Tactical Talk with Allison Barrie” debuts today – Veterans Day (11/11). The counter-terrorism expert/television commentator will feature men and women who have served in the United States military, intelligence, and first responders’ space; Cumulus Media‘s Westwood One is providing ad sales representation. Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “Allison is a powerful addition to our podcast and on-demand network. She is an astute civilian insider with unique access to defense information and technology that translates into extremely compelling content. We look forward to the high-level guests and storytelling she will bring to our 245 million listeners and our valued advertising partners.” Barrie comments, “I plan to introduce America to ultimate insiders so my listeners can know what they know. Since the guests are my friends, America will get very real, up close and direct experiences. There will be exclusive content, access and reveals, but also lots of humor, courage, adventure, and a whole lot of fun. Westwood One is such a great fit for this authentic, special content. The host of “Fox Firepower,” Barrie writes the weekly Fox Firepower front-page column at FoxNews.com.
Audio Book Publisher Seeks Talk Show Content. Not books per se, but noted audio book publisher Blackstone Audio is looking for alternative content to add to their already impressive library, which includes over 12,000 of the world’s most famous book titles brought to life in the audio book format. They have already taken numerous syndicated radio shows, podcasts, and a series of educational classes on various subjects and made them available to consumers through the nation’s libraries, bookstores, and over a dozen online merchandisers as well as Blackstone’s own site www.downpour.com. They invite hosts, stations and syndicators to look through old show archives, current shows and podcasts – including anything from health to automobiles – for consideration. The path is open to content not previously believed to be audio book possible. Those interested must provide enough content to have more than one eight- to ten-hour volume and no music, unless owned by the contributor. Blackstone pays a favorable royalty for all sales. For more information, phone Blackstone Audio representative Larry Harris at 360-809-0224 or email him at email@example.com.
Odds & Sods. Today’s (Friday, 11/11) “Operation Thank You” on Emmis talker KLBJ-AM, Austin will benefit the Fisher House at Carl R. Darnell Army Medical Center at Fort Hood. The drive will feature remote broadcasts by station personalities Todd Jeffries & Don Pryor (“Todd & Don”), Mark Caesar, Charlie Hodge, Jeff Ward, and Ed Clements ….. Starting next Monday (11/14), Jason Hillery takes on added duties as operations manager for Midwest Communications’ stations in Northeast Wisconsin, which include Green Bay mainstream CHR WIXX “Your #1 Hit Music Station” and Neenah-Menasha country outlet WNCY “Y-100.” Already programming Appleton country station WGEE “Duke FM,” Neenah-Menasha adult hits WYDR “Jack FM,” and sports WNFL, Hillery will program talk WTAQ, as well ….. Owing to the fact his director of broadcast operations position has been eliminated, Willobee will depart Shamrock Communications Reno (Nevada) in three weeks (12/2). Willobee joined the Shamrock Reno cluster seven years ago. He previously spent five years as operations manager/program director of WEQX, Albany, New York.
TagStation Names Burney National Sales Director. National account executive of iHeartMedia Detroit Mary Burney joins TagStation LLC, the parent of NextRadio, as national sales director. NextRadio vice president of sales Tom Doran comments, “Mary is a perfect fit for this position because she understands broadcast radio consumption, and national advertisers’ need for real time campaign performance. Mary is known for establishing relationships with key decision-makers at national brands and their agencies. The new position of national sales director comes as we are seeing rapid growth in demand for our campaign data. NextRadio data brings detailed insights to advertising campaign effectiveness, helping brands make data-driven decisions about radio buys. Among many others, AllState, Disney, The Home Depot, and Starwood Hotels’ Aloft brands have used NextRadio data to measure audience exposure, lift, demographic reach, and other metrics.” Prior to iHeartMedia, Burney was an account executive with Windsor, Ontario’s Bell Media Radio. She also worked at Clear Channel radio sales; Radio One Detroit; and Interep National Radio Sales.
“Stable” Audiences for NFL National Radio Broadcasts. The network radio partner for the National Football League, Cumulus Media‘s Westwood One, analyzed ratings for the first 13 games in each PPM local market where a national broadcast aired. It found adult 25-54 AQH radio ratings for 13 national primetime NFL games that aired during the September 8 – October 5 PPM survey period are down on average 3.5% compared to corresponding broadcasts a year ago. Factoring out the September 26 national NFL broadcast that ran opposite the first presidential debate, however, the 12-game average NFL radio rating change on Westwood One was -1.3%. According to Nielsen, almost as many people have tuned into NFL games on television this season as last season. A Westwood spokesperson writes, “Time spent watching the NFL on TV might be off due to the election coverage, but the NFL continues to be America’s most powerful media property. Recent radio ratings further showcase the power of NFL programming for advertisers to engage fans. The NFL on Westwood One provides incremental reach and enhanced campaign frequency to TV campaigns.”
Ad Man Dave Marinaccio Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Noted advertising executive and innovator Dave Marinaccio is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Marinaccio, a 30-plus year veteran of the advertising industry, is the co-founder and creative director of the Arlington, Virginia-based agency LMO Advertising and has been the artistic force behind numerous marketing campaigns for major, household-name companies and product brands including restaurants, hotels, rental cars, transportation services, and branches of the military, among others. He is also a best-selling author, whose most recent book is Admen, Mad Men, and the Real World of Advertising: Essential Lessons for Business and Life (Arcade, 2015). Marinaccio also wrote All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Watching Star Trek (Harmony 1995). Harrison and Marinaccio discuss changes in advertising techniques and challenges that have occurred during the transition from the analogue era to the digital age including the cultural differences between Boomers and Millennials, the role of music in advertising, the nature of creativity and much more. And, yes, they also talk a bit about Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future. 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 and RadioInfo.com.