Tag: "Mike Meltser"
Cumulus Makes $115 Million Term Loan Prepayment. In a statement, Cumulus Media announces that it has made a $115 million on its first lien senior secured term loan. It adds that in the year since emerging from bankruptcy, it has reduced its total outstanding debt by $200 million and bringing net leverage down from approximately 5.8x at emergence to approximately 4.8x with this payment. Cumulus made the debt prepayment with proceeds from sale of six radio stations to Educational Media Foundation that brought in $103.5 million in cash. Cumulus is also agreeing to sell KLOS-FM, Los Angeles to Meruelo Media for $43 million and plans to use those net proceeds to pay down more debt. Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “In our ongoing efforts to strengthen the business, Cumulus has been relentlessly focused on executing our key strategic priorities and meeting our financial objectives. The milestone we achieved today — $200 million of debt reduction in the first year since we emerged from Chapter 11 — resulted from those efforts and is another example of the progress we continue to make in implementing our business plan. I would like to thank the entire Cumulus team for the hard work and dedication which have produced such a tremendous record of achievement over the past year, and I have every confidence that, together, we will be able to further improve our financial position and continue to deliver on the goals we have laid out for the business.”
PPM Analysis: Internet Streams. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the internet stream ratings from Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey. In this report, Kinosian ranks stations based on streaming listening – iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles ties with Entercom’s rock KISW, Seattle at the top with a 0.7 (weekly, 6+ AQH share). He also breaks down streaming listening by format (sports talk comes out on top in the PPM markets) and by market. See him entire report here.
TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, former WLS-AM, Chicago personality Garry Meierwill be doing some sub work on the Cumulus Media news/talk station. Meier was on WLS-AM with then-partner Steve Dahl during the early 1980s and again with former partner Roe Conn from 1995 to 2004. He’ll sit in with current WLS-AM morning host Mancow Muller on June 21 and them fill in for him during the week of June 24…..In Houston, sports talk media personality Paul Gallant announces via social media that he’s exited Entercom’s sports talk KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” where he was most recently co-host of the “Mad Radio” morning show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne. Gallant had been working without a contract since the beginning of the year. He continues to co-host the weekly, Friday night “Just Sayin” television program with Patti Smith and John Granato on KUBE-TV…..New York sports talk radio host Tony Paige – overnight personality on Entercom’s WFAN – announced to his listeners that he’ll retire from the station on September 14. He’s been with WFAN for the past 16 years. He told his listeners that his health is fine, he just thinks it’s time…..KGO, San Francisco afternoon drive host Chip Franklin riled up FOX News Channel host Leland Vittert during a recent appearance on the cable news channel. Franklin held up a photo (pictured at right) of John McCain, causing Vittert to ask him why he was doing it. Franklin told him, “In the off-chance the president’s watching. Real heroes out there, Pete Buttigieg, others that have served this country, just a thought.”
TALKERS Convention Set for This Friday in New York City. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running and most important convention in the talk media industry (radio, television, satellite, internet) – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story – is set for this Friday, June 7 in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater. More than 67 speakers will address the hottest issues, challenges and opportunities facing talk radio and its related media and business communities before a sold-out crowd of media professionals. TALKERS will provide on demand video coverage of the key sessions of this colorful event shortly after it takes place for those who have been locked out due to on-site space limitations. For the latest agenda and information about this historic convention, please click here.
Trump in England, Trade Wars with China and Mexico, 2020 Presidential Race, Impeachment Talk, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, Parkland Deputy Charged, Red Meat/White Meat Controversy, and Holzhauer’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Run Ends Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/4). The official state visit to the U.K. by President Trump; the tariffs the U.S. is placing on Chinese exports and threatening to put on Mexican exports; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; Democrats increasing talk of impeachment proceedings against President Trump; the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into possible Big Tech anti-trust activity; former Parkland, Florida deputy Scot Peterson is charged with failing to protect the students at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School; the new report equating white meat and red meat in high cholesterol potential; and James Holzhauer’s improbable “Jeopardy!” run ends were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Iconic LA Jock Humble Harve Dies at 84. Legendary radio personality and Boss Radio jock Humble Harve, a.k.a. Harvey Miller, died at his home in Camarillo, California yesterday (6/4) at the age of 84. The Philadelphia native arrived in Southern California in the mid-1960s as PD and air personality at KBLA. He worked at KHJ-FM, Los Angele from 1967 to 1971. Read more at Don Barrett’s LARadio.com here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Raleigh-Durham market, Curtis Media Group drops the classic country on WQDR-HD3/W225DF and launches a new hot AC format branded as “STAR 92.9.” The station will feature the Charlotte-based “Bob & Sheri” show in morning drive. Curtis general manager Terry Ratliff says, “Our success with our top 40 station, ‘Pulse FM 96.9/102.5,’ led us to launch the new ‘STAR 92.9.’ It gives us the opportunity to go beyond today’s hits to play a deeper library of superstars. We are also very excited to welcome Bob and Sheri to the Triangle. They have a proven track record in other North Carolina markets, and we look forward to introducing them to the Triangle on ‘STAR 92.9.’”…..Jason “Budman” Paige is the new co-host and executive morning show producer for the “Big Mama and the Wild Bunch Show” Beasley Media Group’s CHR WXKB-FM, Cape Coral, Florida (Ft. Myers/Naples market). Beasley SWFL operations manager Adam Star says, “‘Budman’ is a game changer. He has so many different unique skillsets to bring to the table. We are ecstatic to have him on the ‘Big Mama and the Wild Bunch’ team.”…..Adams Radio names Lisa Layne vice president and market manager for its Salisbury/Ocean City, Maryland group that includes rock WZBH “The Beach,” CHR WOCQ “OC 104,” classic rock WGBG “Big 107.7,” country WUSX, and classic hits WOCQ-HD2/W282AW “KOOL FM.” She says, “I am so excited for this next chapter of my radio career. I’m confident that as the new leader for Adams Radio Delmarva we will grow our brands and get even better results for our clients. I look forward to serving the community and building a legacy we all at Adams Radio can be proud of.”
‘Sports Radio 610’ in Houston Adds New Talent to Lineup. The Entercom sports talk station announces its new lineup that includes new voices Paul Gallant, Fred Davis, and Landry Locker. Gallant joins the AM drive “Mad Radio” show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne on KILT-AM. Fred Davis and Landry Locker are co-hosting the midday “In the Loop” show with John Lopez. The changes take effect on Tuesday (5/29). Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “‘SportsRadio 610’ has long been the sports leader in Houston and part of remaining on top is continuing to evolve with the needs of our audience. I’m excited about the energy that Paul will bring to mornings and Fred and Landry will bring to middays.”
PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. As Garrett Morris’ fictional “Saturday Night Live” character Chico Escuela used to say, “Baseball been berry, berry good to me!” Stations that serve as flagships for MLB teams certainly hope that baseball will be good to them each season. Today, TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian presents the first PPM analysis of the 2018 baseball season that looks at 6+ numbers from Nielsen’s April PPM survey for those stations. Some of the stations that appear to have benefitted from the first month of the season compared to their March numbers include: Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis (up 2.3 shares); Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (up 2 shares); and Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (up 1.9 shares). See Kinosian’s full report here.
Redberg Rises to VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities. Sales pro Michelle Redberg is promoted to vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis market that includes news/talk KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk,” sports talk KFXN-FM “K-Fan,” eight music brands, plus franchise partnerships with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football, basketball and hockey. Vice president of sales for the Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander states, “Michelle is one of the bright stars of our company. She has a contemporary approach to leadership along with a compassion for our advertisers and an understanding of today’s marketing and business challenges. Michelle’s passion, skills, energy and drive made her an obvious choice to help lead our strong Twin Cities brands.”
Michael Young Exits Entercom Pittsburgh Market Manager Position. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that market manager Michael Young has exited the position at Entercom’s four-station cluster there that includes news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM. Young was manager of the cluster when it was owned by CBS RADIO and stayed in his position as Entercom assumed ownership.
iHeartMedia Appoints Mark Boudreaux New Orleans Market President. New Orleans native Mark Boudreaux assumes the market president position at iHeartMedia New Orleans, effective June 11. iHeartMedia operates news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT, plus six music formats in the market. Boudreaux was most recently business development manager at South Central AV. iHM region president Eddie Martiny says, “Who better to run our iHeartMedia New Orleans market than a native New Orleanian? Mark has a proven track record in the Crescent City as a seller, sales manager and vice president of sales. We are excited to have Mark and his infectious personality leading iHeartMedia New Orleans.”
Saga Comminucations’ Warren Lada to Retire. Longtime Saga Communications executive Warren Lada is retiring from the company and his position as chief operating officer at the end of next month. Saga president and CEO Ed Christian comments, “Warren has been an integral part of Saga for the past 27 years and we will deeply miss his contributions to Saga and its radio stations across the US.” Prior to taking on the corporate role of COO, Lada was president and general manager for Saga’s WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show “Free Talk Live” – led by principals Ian Freeman, Mark Edge, and Darryl W. Perry (pictured from l-r at right) — announces a number of new affiliates for the program. WWMN-FM in Traverse City, Michigan and KUSG-AM in Guam add the program to their schedule and WTTN-AM, Columbus, Wisconsin joins the simulcast of existing progressive talk affiliate WRRD-AM, Waukesha…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM “Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan” and WDNC-AM “620 the Ticket” in Raleigh are broadcasting live, play-by-play for all games of this year’s ACC Baseball Championship series that runs through this Sunday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham. Vice president of programming Dennis Glasgow says, “It is our pleasure to bring as much live content as possible over the next five days with our ACC Baseball coverage to everyone in The Triangle. We have an excellent arsenal of announcers lined up to bring our listeners and baseball fans the very best play-by-play and analysis from the ACC Baseball Championship at DBAP.”…..cabana, the digital audio division of AdLarge Media, is expanding its podcast portfolio by adding the true crime genre with the podcast “Crime Junkie,” hosted by Ashley Flowers. “Crime Junkie” launched in December and, according to AdLarge, has been averaging 40,000 downloads per episode…..Tag Station announces that the NextRadio smartphone app for listening to local FM stations is being launched for smartphone users in Mexico. Tag Station president Paul Brenner comments, “We’re thrilled that NextRadio is now available for use on both iOS and Android devices in Mexico. We want to empower all users to enjoy local FM radio without having their content restricted by geographic location or choice of device.”…..KXL, Portland news staffers Steve Leader and Rosemary Reynolds were recently honored with awards from the Associated Press. Leader is AM drive anchor at the Alpha Media station and Reynolds is a reporter. Leader received the Best Enterprise Reporting award for his series “Walk in the Hood,” a look at the way African American communities have changed in Portland through the eyes of two African Americans who grew up in Portland. Reynolds received the Best Public Service award for her series “Wanted: Foster Parents,” that addressed the 11,000 children in Oregon in need of foster care…..Pictured below is FOX Sports Radio nationally syndicated talk show host JT “The Brick” emceeing the 11th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic. This was JT’s fifth year serving as emcee for the event that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.
Hobnobbing at The Gracies. Pictured above at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards on Tuesday (5/22) at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles are: Sun Broadcast Group CEO Jason Bailey (left), Weiss Agency EVP and AWMF director Heather Cohen, and Kris Bailey.
Cool Job Opportunity for KNX Full Time Writer/Producer. Entercom’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is looking for a fearless, aggressive, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative team player. The right candidate is a real show producer and not just a guest booker. Must have a strong rolodex, good news judgment and the ability to write quick, clear, compelling and concise scripts without the usual cliché’s or news speak. Must work and play well in a fast, high-pressure all-news environment. Intimate knowledge of socializing content in all platforms is a MUST. Prior major-market producing and news writing experience required. Strong multi-tasking and computer skills required. Familiarity with Southern California including politics, pop culture, lifestyle, etc. preferred. Must be available to work all hours, overnights, and weekends. Required to join the Writers Guild of America. For more information, please click here.
Trump-Russia Investigation, Status of North Korea Talks, U.S.-China Relations, New NFL Anthem Protest Rule, Parents Evict Son Case, Milwaukee Police Tase NBA Player, Iran Nuclear Deal, Primary Races, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the uncertain status of scheduled talks between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the state of relations between the U.S. and China after the latter is uninvited from joint military exercises; the NFL bans sideline anthem protests; the court case of the New York couple evicting their 30-year-old son; the Milwaukee police apologize after Bucks player Sterling Brown is tased during a parking violation incident; the aftermath of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal; Tuesday’s primary races in Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s news from Chicago as Windy City media maven Robert Feder writes today about legendary jock Dick Biondi’s official exit from Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM. Feder says that at some point Biondi’s status changed from inactive employee – Biondi was hospitalized in April of 2017 for an ailment – to former employee. Biondi had been hosting a weekend morning show on WLS-FM. Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren told him Biondi’s employment with the station ended “months ago.”…..Robert Feder also reports that Entercom is promoting weekend and fill-in jock Richard Milne to full-time afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm) personality on triple A WXRT. The move bumps Jason Thomas to weekend and fill-in duties as well as host of Monday evening’s “The Big Beat” show…..Tomorrow (5.25), Entercom New York’s classic hits WCBS-FM 101.1, New York’s Greatest Hits is broadcasting the “Shannon in the Morning Summer Beach Blastoff” featuring “Scott Shannon & The Big Show” live from the boardwalk at Coney Island. Hosting the event will be Scott Shannon with Patty Steele, Sue Aller, John Elliot and Brad Blanks, with special performances by Taylor Dayne and Smash Mouth.
Bubba-Schnitt Trial: Day Two. On day two of testimony in the Hillsborough County, Florida courtroom where nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt is suing Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) for defamation, the questioning surrounded Bubba’s on-air language calling for the “death” of Schnitt – who was hosting mornings at WFLZ, Tampa as MJ Kelli. Schnitt’s attorney focused on Bubba’s statements that included: “We seek and destroy,” “I will not be happy until I have an MJ funeral in the streets in Tampa, Florida,” and “MJ, that’s the only person I really want to die, seriously.” On the witness stand for part of the day was former Clear Channel Tampa market manager Daniel DiLoreto who said on the stand that he was “stunned” by Bubba’s comments about wanting Schnitt “to die.” Schnitt’s attorney is trying to convince the jury that Bubba’s language went beyond typical radio disc jockey feuding to putting Schnitt and his family in fear for their safety at the hands of members of the “Bubba Army,” as Clem’s fans are known. Clem’s attorney is trying to paint all the on-air talk as simply the words of feuding disc jockeys with no real threat to anyone’s safety. When questioned by Clem’s attorney if he ever heard Clem actually ask anyone to hurt Schnitt, DiLoreto replied he had not.
John O’Connell Named PD at CBS Radio’s Tampa Sports Stations. Programmer John O’Connell moves to the Tampa cluster of CBS Radio stations from the company’s West Palm Beach operations where he most recently served as OM and PD. O’Connell will program WHFS-FM, Tampa “Sports Radio 98.7” and WHFS-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1010.” O’Connell came to South Florida after spending 15 years working in the Boston market at such outlets as Kiss 108, WBMX and WEEI. He became program director for alternative rocker WPBZ-FM in 1996 and later increased his responsibilities to oversee several stations in the region. CBS Tampa SVP and market manager Ben Hill says, “I have complete confidence in John’s experience and leadership, having worked closely with him over the years. He is confident and ‘walks the walk’ when it comes to achieving results. And the fact that no one can match what we offer when it comes to sports programming will enable John to create a listener experience that is completely driven by the fans.”
Seth Payne Joins Midday Show at KILT-AM, Houston. Former Houston Texan Seth Payne becomes part of the “Mad Radio” midday show at CBS Radio’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston “SportsRadio 610” beginning Monday, January 21. Payne replaces Brad Davies who remains with the station on a part-time, fill-in basis. He’ll co-host the program with Mike Meltser. KILT-AM program director Gavin Spittle says, “I can’t thank Brad enough for being a part of ‘Mad Radio.’ In one year, we have seen a 100% increase in this time slot and while we will miss him on a daily basis, I’m glad that he wants to remain on the team in a part-time capacity. Seth is a natural fit and from day one, he’s impressed us. We’re really excited about the all-new ‘Mad Radio.’” Payne states, “I’m grateful to Gavin Spittle for this opportunity and I appreciate all the guidance I’ve received from him and the talented people at ‘SportsRadio 610.’ I especially look forward to working with Mike Meltser. He is an extremely talented and intelligent individual, and I know we’ll have a lot of fun.”
Celebrating in the Holy Land. XtreMedia nationally syndicated talk host Dani Johnson (pictured here at left with Israeli comic Yisreal Campbell) celebrates her one-year anniversary in talk radio with a trip to Israel. Johnson, along with fellow XtreMedia talk hosts Kevin McCullough and Stephen Baldwin, were invited by representatives of the Israeli government to come and witness Israel’s progress in agriculture, culture, and technology. Johnson is producing her weekly radio program from Israel and Campbell will appear on the edition of her program that airs live on Sunday, January 20 from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Johnson’s program is heard on more than 85 affiliate stations.
Fox News Channel Brings Dennis Kucinich Aboard as Contributor. Liberal ex-Congressman Dennis Kucinich – who served eight terms in the House of Representatives – becomes part of the cable news/talk channel’s contributor corps. In a statement about his new endeavor, Kucinich says, “Through 16 years in Congress and two presidential campaigns, Fox News has always provided me with an opportunity to share my perspective with its enormous viewership.”
George Noory Debuts On-Demand Video Show. The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated late-night talk star begins his new weekly internet television program titled, “Beyond Belief with George Noory.” The program is a project with GaiamTV.com and delivers new episodes every Friday evening at 7:00 and on demand daily. As you might expect, the program is billed as “dynamic discussions on paranormal phenomena, conspiracies and all things unexplained.” Noory is pictured here on the set interviewing Dr. Katherine Albrecht for a show about privacy and RFID chips.
KIRO-FM, Seattle Debuts Weekend Pet Show. Dubbed, “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs with Shawn Stewart,” the program has its premiere airing Sunday, January 20 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle. The show features pet experts from the Ahimsa Dog Training Center who will take listener questions regarding everything they need to know about raising their beloved best friends. “In this case, the tail does wag the dog,” says KIRO Radio’s assistant program director Jason Antebi. “I’ve never seen a city more in love and obsessed with their companions than Seattle! This show is the perfect addition to the KIRO Radio weekends.”
Comrex Moves Full-Force into Digital Video Delivery Market. Devens, Massachusetts-based Comrex Corporation announces it is shipping its new LiveShot Video IP Codec – the first video product for professional broadcasters in the company’s 51-year history. Comrex says the new technology provides high-quality, low-latency, full-duplex video and audio over both wired and wireless IP data services, including challenging internet links such as 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi with end-to-end delay as low as 200ms. Comrex managing director Kris Specht states, “Our core customer for the past several decades has been the radio broadcaster. It was in response to requests from some of our longtime customers that had worked in radio — and who had subsequently moved over to television — to create a product that would do for TV what our ACCESS IP Audio Codecs have done for radio. LiveShot provides the small form factor, unmatched reliability, high-quality performance and easy operator experience that Comrex customers have come to expect.” The LiveShot Video IP Codec system consists of the LiveShot Portable, a small, lightweight, camera-mounted unit that attaches to the camera’s 3-stud or V-mount battery mount with the battery attaching to the outside of the LiveShot Portable. On the studio side, the LiveShot Studio rack-mount unit interfaces with the facility’s audio/video router or switcher. The units connect via an IP data connection and utilize Comrex’s CrossLock™ VPN which provides a one-button connection from either the studio or the field once the units have an internet connection. CrossLock also provides data encryption and intrusion protection for added reliability. Complete details on the LiveShot Video Codec’s features and specifications can be found by visiting www.comrex.com.
Face Time with Dr. Drew. WFAS-AM, Westchester personality Lisa Wexler appeared on HLN’s “Dr. Drew on Call” to discuss the case of Jodi Arias – accused of stabbing her boyfriend 29 times – and the Steubenville, Ohio rape case. In addition to her work as a talk show host on WFAS, Wexler is an attorney and an author.
Filling In. WFED, Washington afternoon drive host Francis Rose subs for Cumulus Media Networks’ John Batchelor on his WABC, New York-based program this Sunday evening from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am ET.
The Alliance for Women in Media Announces 2013 Board of Directors. With Kay Olin, president of Local Focus Radio serving as the National Chair, the 2013 board of directors of the Alliance for Women in Media will convene on January 25 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, for its first board meeting and then will participate in judging the 2013 Gracie Awards on January 26 and 27. The following individuals will serve as Directors at Large: Christina Anderson from Silver Spring, MD; Lori Conkling, executive vice president, distribution, A+E Networks, New York; Cyndee Everman, vice president, DW/BI, care and marketing tools, Time Warner Cable, Charlotte; Nancy Giles, contributor, CBS Broadcasting, Inc., New York; Sandy Girard, vice president, brand management and development, SiriusXM Radio, New York; Carol Hanley, chief sales officer, Arbitron Inc., Chicago; Annie Howell, executive vice president, corporate communications and media relations, Crown Media Family Networks, New York; Kimberly Maki, vice president, corporate communications and web strategies, Bright House Networks, Orlando; Janet Noll, national sales director, Rural Media Group – RFD-TV & Rural TV, Omaha; Deborah Parenti, executive vice president of radio, Radio Ink, New York; Roni Selig, senior executive producer/director, health, wellness and medical unit, CNN, New York; Keisha Sutton-James, vice president, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, New York; Christine Travaglini, president, Christal Radio, New York; and Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, president and chief executive officer, NAMIC, Inc., New York.
Obama Executive Gun Actions Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 14-18. President Obama’s executive gun actions landed atop the Talkers TenTM this week as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio. Coming in at #2 was the legislative arms debate. At #3 was the debt ceiling tied with the tax cut battles and following at #4 was the American hostages in Algeria tied with the Mali Violence. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people of the week as discussed on news/talk radio. It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
TALKERS Top News/Talk Stories and People of 2011. The editors of TALKERS are publishing the annual lists of the most-talked-about stories and people of 2011 as heard on America’s news/talk radio stations. The year-end lists are compiled from data from TALKERS ongoing research that is used for the weekly charts of news/talk radio’s top stories and people during the year. It’s important to underscore that many consumer media outlets publish annual lists of top news stories and people and those are often the results of data culled from Western news organizations. TALKERS data is unique in that it reports popular stories and people talked about on American news/talk radio stations. See the TALKERS year-end charts here.
Penn State Scandal Tops the TALKERS 10 Most Talked About Stories on Sports Talk Radio in 2011. Like any list, this one comes with qualifications. What constitutes a major story in New York might get precious little attention in Chicago. Although we talk in terms of “national pastimes,” the truth is that for the most part, sports interest is local. With that in mind, the following is the TALKERS list of the most talked about sports stories of 2011.
1. Penn State Scandal. This story dominated sports talk radio throughout the late fall. A legendary coach is fired and shocking testimony is unveiled — documenting unspeakable acts against minors. The Syracuse basketball program is rocked in a similar case, but as of this writing, the alleged perpetrator has escaped legal action. To read Richard Neer’s full list click here.
WAXY, Miami PD Marc Hochman Steps Down from Programming Role to Focus on Dan LeBatard Program. For the past two years, Marc Hochman has been serving in the dual role as program director for Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami and executive producer and second co-host for the station’s Dan LeBatard PM drive show. Now Hochman says he’ll leave the PD post to concentrate on his role with the program, “It became obvious to me that I would be serving the radio station and radio show better if I were to focus only on one. There are many opportunities presenting themselves to ‘The Dan LeBatard Show’ so I’ve decided to focus 100% of my attention on the show and its future. Lincoln Financial Media has been super supportive of my decision. They’re thrilled I’m going to remain part of the radio station and they’ve asked me to remain in the PD position until they are able to find a replacement.” WAXY is beginning a search for a new programmer immediately.
Sports KILT, Houston Debuts New Local Midday Show; Premiere’s Jim Rome Exits. CBS Radio Houston debuts a new midday show called “Mad Radio” featuring Mike Meltser and Brad Davies in the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot. Meltser has served as the morning show news anchor on KILT and Brien Straw will take over that position according to the Houston Chronicle. Brad Davies previously worked at crosstown sports talker KBME-FM. Premiere Networks’ Jim Rome was one of the first major market affiliates for the program when it leaped from its Southern California base to national syndication in 1997 and has been a mainstay of KILT for those 14 years. But program director Gavin Spittle says it’s simply a matter of ratings and Rome’s program is the only one that doesn’t beat its three sports talk radio competitors in the market. “This is a performance-based business, and we have exhausted our options. We like Jim and thank him for all he has done for the station. He has been a huge fan of Sports Radio 610, and we have been huge fans of Jim Rome. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the ratings in Houston have slid to the point where a change is necessary.”
Former Marketing Director Sues CBS Radio Philadelphia for Sexual Harassment and Discrimination. As reported in the Philadelphia Daily News, former KYW, Philadelphia marketing director Shelley Kanther is suing the company alleging suffering “severe and pervasive” sexual harassment and discrimination and being fired after speaking up about it. Kanther’s attorney, Samuel First, writes in the suit that work environment at CBS Philadelphia was “toxic” with male co-workers telling Kanther “to wear skirts more often, swat at her butt and considered offering her money to make out with another worker.” The suit singles out SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield as the “worst offender” and alleges he fired Kanther when she complained. The suit also says VP and general sales manager David Yadgaroff failed to take action when asked to do so. CBS Radio is not commenting on the suit.
KQV, Pittsburgh to Air Robert Dickey Retrospective Today. Calvary senior partner and KQV, Pittsburgh president and general manager Robert Dickey passed away last week at age 84. KQV anchor PJ Maloney has produced a 50-minute retrospective of the man who dedicated his professional life to radio. The station says, “This special will include tributes from broadcasters, staff, friends and public officials…people who have known and worked with Bob Dickey during his 60-plus years in broadcasting.” The special airs this morning (12/30) at 10:10 am on KQV and is being repeated at 11:10 to allow staff to attend this morning’s funeral mass.
Bart Ritner, Pioneering North Carolina Radio Talker, Dies at 76. According to reports, the 39-year veteran of WPTF, Raleigh died on Wednesday (12/28) after a long battle with abdominal cancer. He was a regional pioneer of the call-in style of talk radio famous for impartiality and tremendous interviewing skills. According to the Greensboro News and Record, his interviews covered the gamut including President Lyndon Johnson, arsenic killer Velma Barfield and North Carolina Ku Klux Klan leaders. His reputation for even-handedness led to him serving as a mediator who helped resolve a dangerous standoff at Raleigh’s maximum-security Central prison.