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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

| May 1, 2019

iHeartMedia Announces Completion of Restructuring. Almost 14 months after entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, iHeartMedia announces it has “successfully completed its restructuring process.  As a result of the comprehensive balance sheet restructuring, iHeartMedia’s debt has been significantly reduced – from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion.”  With the balance sheet reorganization comes the separation of iHeartMedia and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings into two independent, publicly traded companies.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are pleased that iHeartMedia now has a capital structure that matches our exciting operating business.  The focused dedication of our employees and the unwavering support of our new owners and advertising partners enabled iHeartMedia to seamlessly complete the restructuring process and reach this final milestone.  iHeartMedia enters this next phase of growth as a multi-platform audio company with a vastly improved financial profile. We are well-positioned to continue to innovate and offer cutting-edge technologies, products, and services to our audiences and advertisers.”  Pittman continues to serve as chairman and chief executive officer of the new iHeartMedia, Inc.  Rich Bressler continues to serve as president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.  A new board of directors has been appointed, including Bob Pittman, Rich Bressler, and the following members: Jay Rasulo, Gary Barber, Brad Gerstner, Sean Mahoney, and Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan.

David Field on Spoken-Word Radio and Sports Gambling.  During the first quarter earnings call with analysts yesterday (4/30), Entercom president and CEO David Field talked about the value of his spoken-word formatted radio stations, saying the group – all-news, news/talk, and sports talk – account for “roughly about 40% of our revenue mix across our stations.”  The company operates 235 stations and, by TALKERS‘ count, approximately 30% of its stations are spoken-word.  Separately and responding to a question about the gambling category and the trend towards legal sports gambling across the country, Field expressed hopes for the future of the sports gambling advertising category, saying the company’s large group of sports talk stations should be able to capitalize on that.  He stated, “We have seen estimates that the sports gambling advertising market could be in the neighborhood of $2 billion.  If you think about radio getting a chunk of that, a reasonable chunk of it and Entercom’s prowess in the sports market, we think this could become a $1 million or $2 million category for Entercom over time.  That is certainly a reasonable aspirational goal.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Subscribers can see the rest of the transcript here.

‘The O’Reilly Update’ Show Launches. This is the week “The O’Reilly Update” – the new, 15-minute daily radio program featuring Bill O’Reilly – debuts on more than 100 stations.  Key Networks is syndicating the program and reports that inaugural affiliates include: WBAL, Baltimore; WDTK, Detroit; WHK, Cleveland; KUFO, Portland; and KTSA, San Antonio.  Key Networks says the program is airing in four of the top 10 DMAs, nine of the top 20 DMAs and 18 of the top 50 DMAs.  It is also being rolled out on 21 non-news/talk stations, including on country and classic hits outlets.  The show – with all network spots included within the show and two minutes of local avails – is delivered daily at 11:30 am ET.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian says, “Bill O’Reilly has a track record of insightful and unfiltered commentary on vital topics and issues.  His familiar voice and dynamic point of view augments our lineup of outspoken hosts and commentators.”  Alpha Media news/talk/sports content director Bruce Collins says, “Bill is a true natural storyteller.  I’m extremely excited to have him on-air in Portland on ‘Freedom 970.’” Meet Bill O’ Reilly at the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Storywhere he will be delivering a special keynote address.  The convention is rapidly nearing a sellout.  For registration information, please click here.

 

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Overcoming the Public’s Distrust of the Media Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention.   The highly polarized nature of today’s political climate has created a widespread public distrust of the media in general.  Dealing with this complex issue has become one of the fundamental challenges facing news/talk hosts of all political stripes.  It also creates new opportunities.  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, is featuring a panel discussion addressing this concern and all matters of credibility titled “Overcoming Distrust of the Media.”  Panelists include (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, host, WYD MediaJoe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, “The Joe Pags Show;” Doug Stephan, CEO/host, Stephan Multimedia; and Rick Ungar, host, “The Rick Ungar Program”/editor-in-chief, TheDailyCentrist.com.  Don’t miss this session!  The discussion will be moderated by Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

Midwest Closes on Alpha Media Acquisitions. The $21.6 million deal between Alpha Media and Midwest Communications that gives Midwest six Peoria market radio stations closes.  The station group includes news/talk WMBD-AM/W262BY and five music-formatted signals.  The Duke Wright-led Midwest Communications owns 75 other radio stations in states including: Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  This is its first Illinois acquisition.  At the time the sale was announced, Wright stated, “The first time my wife and I visited Peoria was to visit son Michael enrolled at Bradley University.  We were most impressed with the city and its radio stations.  My thought was that here was a market that would probably nicely fit into the Midwest Communications radio group.”  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Indiana’s Legendary WHBU-AM Relaunches as Talk-Music Hybrid.  The Anderson, Indiana-licensed station is owned by Woof Boom Radio and the company is re-launching the “oldest commercial station” in the state to more intensely serve the Muncie-Marion market.  The station will feature talk shows to focus on Anderson and Madison counties plus classic hits from the 60s and 70s.  New morning host (and Hoosier native) Mitch Henck handles the 7:00 am to 9:00 am show.  He says, “I am really excited to help launch a new morning news/talk show on WHBU. We really put Anderson and Madison county first. We want to capture stories about the special people who live here as they pursue their hopes and dreams every day.”

Dan Mason Named Chairman of VSiN.  Longtime radio executive Dan Mason is named chairman of VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network) the media network dedicated to sports betting information.  In this role, Mason will “work closely with VSiN’s management team to capitalize on the emerging growth and partnership opportunities in the sports betting and media space.”  VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musburger says, “There are few media executives with both the experience and reputation that Dan brings to the table.  He’s already brought invaluable guidance to our team as a senior adviser and investor, and we look forward to having even greater access to his unmatched depth of knowledge and relationships in this industry.  We’re thrilled to work even more closely with this consummate leader and better leverage his C-level expertise to build on and accelerate the recent growth we are experiencing at VSiN.”  Mason adds, “Brian and his team have caught lightning in a bottle here. Besides establishing itself on the satellite platform, recently extending its agreement with SiriusXM, VSiN has made tremendous inroads into the OTT space with Sling TV and fuboTV, as well as growing its own subscription offerings.  We will now look to further expand our reach across video and audio channels, including terrestrial radio where sports have thrived for decades.”

TALKERS News Notes. The National Association of Broadcasters is announcing it is accepting nominations for the 2019 NAB Marconi Radio Awards through May 31.  The NAB’s Marconi Radio Awards recognize overall excellence and performance in radio. Finalists will be announced in July and winners will be honored at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the Radio Show in Dallas on September 26.  Stations and on-air personalities may nominate themselves in the categories of “Station of the Year by Market Size,” “Station of the Year by Format,” “Personality of the Year by Market Size,” “Legendary Station,” and “Best College Radio Station of the Year,” which has been renamed from “Noncommercial Station of the Year.”  Nominations will also be accepted for new awards categories of “Legendary Manager of the Year” and “Best Radio Station Podcast.”  Syndicators and affiliates may also submit nominations for the category of “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year.”  Nominations must be submitted online here…..Radio America‘s nationally syndicated  “The Dana Show” starring Dana Loesch announces new affiliate stations WJJF-FM, Nassau (Long Island); WSIC-AM/FM Charlotte; WFTW-AM Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; and KPNW-AM/FM Eugene, Oregon all add the program to their daily lineups…..Bustos Media’s news/talk KVOI, Tucson announces that two of its programs – “Eye on the Ball” with Steve Rivera and “Around the Table” with Dawn and Jennifer English – are swapping dayparts.  Rivera moves to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot and the English’s move to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Also, the station adds the independently syndicated Dave Ramsey show to the program schedule, airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm…..This month is being declared the Second Annual Maryland Podcast Month.  Brian Griffiths founded Maryland Podcast Month last May in order to “bring together podcasts of all stripes and cross-collaborate and cross-promote in order to create more opportunities for podcasts to get new listeners.”  It’s non-partisan and non-ideological and consists of all sorts of locally produced content, including podcasts about news, politics, sports, life, culture, food, wrestling, and other shows.  Being featured in Maryland Podcast Month are a couple of shows from WBAL, Baltimore personalities…..Team Broadcasting‘s sports talk KQTM, Albuquerque “ESPN Radio 101.7 The Team” is partnering with local soccer club New Mexico United to bring 15 of the team’s matches to the station’s airwaves.  New Mexico United is in its inaugural season in the USL Championship, a professional soccer league that has a partnership with Major League Soccer…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” recently hosted The Stanley Cup, the oldest trophy in professional sports, on the “Felger & Massarotti” show.  Pictured below in the “Sports Hub” studio in Boston are (From l-r): host Mike Felger985thesportshub.com hockey writer Ty Anderson, WBZ-FM personality Big Jim Murray, and host Tony Massarotti.

Mueller Report Release/Barr Testimony Request, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Tax Returns/Business Earnings Issues, Venezuela Unrest, Deadly UNCC Shooting, Southern Border Crisis, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30). The release of the Mueller report, Robert Mueller’s disagreement with Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the report and Barr’s requested testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee; the Democrats vying to run against President Trump in 2020; the request by New York State for Trump’s tax returns and the investigation into Trump business deals with foreign governments; the political unrest in Venezuela; the shooting at University of North Carolina Charlotte that took the lives of two and injured others; the migrant influx status at the U.S.-Mexico border; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Phoenix, midday personality and music director Tom Peake is leaving his on-air role with Entercom’s classic hits KOOL-FM.  He’ll continue to serve as music director.  Peake tells the Arizona Republic that it was not his idea to give up his air shift, but he understands the reasons and has no ill feelings.  Peake started at the station as a part-time jock in 1979.  He became the full-time evening personality in 1981…..Beasley Media Group’s hot AC WJBR, Wilmington, Delaware “The New Mix 99.5” names John Baublis, a.k.a.Johnny B, program director.   Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Johnny’s a programming veteran with years of proven success and past experience in the Wilmington market.  Plus, he shares our values of great local radio with an emphasis on serving the community.  We’re proud to have someone like Johnny on our team at JBR.”…..Two programming announcements from Midwest Communications.  First, Ryan Fantozzi is named brand manager for rock WOZZ, Wausau, Wisconsin “Rock 94.7,” effective May 13.  Fantozzi comes to Midwest from NRG Media where he was PD at rock WBWB, Bloomington, Illinois.  Fantozzi replaces Terry Stevens, who is promoted to operations manager for the company’s Lansing, Michigan cluster.  Stevens will oversee the operations of rock WJXQ, CHR WLMI, country WWDK and adult hits WQTX.

Doing Talk Radio Henck’s Way

| February 17, 2017

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

MADISON, Wis. — There isn’t much of a mystery in identifying Mitch Henck’s all-time favorite singer.

Now in his mid-50s, the Lafayette, Indiana native and roughly quarter-of-a-century Madison, Wisconsin broadcaster is an ardent Frank Sinatra devotee.

Profound, palpable influence the “Chairman of the Board” has had on Henck’s present professional path is probably best summarized through a two-word 1969 Paul Anka-penned Sinatra anthem.

Read More

Friday, February 17, 2017

| February 17, 2017

KMOX, St. Louis Extends Calhoun and Ackerman.  St. Louis heritage news/talk KMOX announces it has signed staffers Michael Calhoun and Tom Ackerman to new, multi-year contracts that include some new duties for both.  Calhoun and Ackerman are part of the CBS RADIO station’s “Total Information AM” morning drive program – Calhoun as co-host and news reporter and Ackerman as a personality and the station’s sports director.  KMOX program director Steve Moore states, “Tom and Michael are talented personalities who play integral roles at the station. Tom was born and raised in St. Louis so reporting the news and sports in the city he loves is a natural progression for him.  Michael is an award-winning field reporter who brings a unique voice to KMOX that instantly connects with listeners.”  Ackerman expands his role to serve as co-host of “Total Information AM” alongside Debbie Monterrey and Calhoun.  Calhoun adds field and spot news reporting to his responsibilities.  Calhoun will also continue to serve as KMOX’s lead reporter on St. Louis’ “Start Up, Entrepreneurs and Innovation” initiatives and continue to host “Nothing Impossible,” a show that informs listeners about how innovators are transforming and revitalizing the St. Louis region.

Grayson Exits KMOX; Headed for Crosstown KTRS?  A report by Joe Holleman in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that Jon Grayson has exited CBS RADIO’s news/talk KMOX where he was hosting the 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am show.  Grayson’s “Overnight America” show had been syndicated nationally in a deal with Westwood One but that was shut down at the end of 2016.  Now, after 16 years at KMOX, Grayson may be headed across the street to news/talker KTRS.  Holleman reports that’s the industry chatter.  KTRS reportedly has an opening for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  The station also recently hired former KMOX personality Doug McElvein.

Madison Talk Host Mitch Henck Moves Forward on Digital Platform.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes about Madison talk radio personality Mitch Henck – one of a number of personalities cut free with the demise of the progressive talk format on iHeartMedia’s WXXM, Madison last fall.  Henck has recently launched the web-based platform MadisonTalks.com, where his program and others continue to provide the market with “outside the box” digital content.  Though he was heard on WXXM for years, Henck says his political leanings are not so easily qualified.  “I am center-right on economics and more libertarian on social issues.  I like splitting hairs and challenging callers to make their argument.”  Read the whole story here.

11th Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row Scheduled for June 28-29.  This year’s 11th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire/Let’s Make America Great Again radio row broadcast will take place on June 28 and 29 at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is again producing the event at which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, White House officials and those who live and work along the southern border.  FAIR executive director Bob Dane states, “This event has always been about holding our elected leaders accountable and educating the public.  In particular, this year, lawmakers must be reminded that Americans strongly support President Trump’s immigration policies.  Otherwise, the noise made by vocal special interests – which the mainstream media loves to amplify – will dominate.  Talk radio remains the bullhorn of the ‘silent’ majority.”  Reservations are required and hosts/producers should contact event manager Cassie Williams at 202-328-7004 or cawilliams@fairus.org to reserve their spot.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and expenses are taken care of by FAIR.  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews with an expected crowd of 60 talk hosts.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Touts AM Revitalization at NABA Symposium.  The new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission addressed the attendees at yesterday’s “Future of Radio and Audio” symposium presented by the North American Broadcasters Association.  Among the topics he discussed was AM revitalization.  He kicked that off by stating, “It’s no secret that many stations in the AM band are struggling.  The band’s overall listenership has declined, and advertising revenues along with it.  This stems mainly from the band’s technical problems.  Every day, it seems harder to get a quality AM signal.”  Pai boiled his solution down to the two-pronged approach of making it easier for AM operators to acquire FM translators and encouraging the activation and use of FM chips in smartphones.  Regarding FM translators, Pai said AM station owners have complained that it can be difficult finding a location for translators.  “That’s why we’ve proposed a new reform that my fellow Commissioners and I will vote on next week.  This measure would give AM stations greater flexibility in siting their translators.  It’s a small step that would be a big help to AM broadcasters.  This year, we also plan to open two new windows in which AM stations that still don’t have an FM translator can apply directly to the FCC to get one authorized.  And we’ll keep working on ways to improve signal quality on the AM band and reduce AM broadcasters’ operating costs.”  As for FM chips in smartphones, Pai said he’s against mandating those chips be activated – he’s a free-market guy who doesn’t approve of such a heavy-handed approach, and he thinks it’s outside of the FCC’s purview.  He noted that in the U.S., “only about 44% of the top-selling smartphones in the United States have activated FM chips, and the percentage is lower in Canada.  By comparison, in Mexico that number is about 80%…[but] despite the low numbers, we are seeing progress; in the last two years, the percentage of top-selling smartphones in the United States that have activated FM chips has risen from less than 25% to 44%.”

Andy Pollin Joins WJFK-FM, Washington for Weekends and Fill-Ins.  Washington, DC sports talk personality Andy Pollin is no longer a free agent.  The market sports media figure was recently set free by Red Zebra’s WTEM “ESPN 908” after almost 25 years at the signal.  Now, he’s being heard on CBS RADIO’s crosstown WJFK-FM on weekends and in fill-in situations.  The Washington Post reports that Pollin will host a regular Saturday show with (also former WTEM) personality Thom Loverro from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon starting February 25.  WJFK-FM program director Chris Kinard tells the Post, “It just gives us more great talent.  You can never have enough good people, and to have someone the caliber of Andy Pollin available is a pretty rare thing.  He hasn’t been available for 25 years, because he’s done such a good job.  So to have someone like that available, we’d be crazy not to work something out with him.”

WQAM, Miami Re-Ups with the Miami Hurricanes.  Miami sports talker WQAM inks a new multi-year deal to continue serving as the flagship station for University of Miami football and men’s basketball.  Pictured at the contract signing in Coral Gables on Thursday (2/16) are (from l-r): WQAM program director Ryan Maguire, “The Voice of the Hurricanes” Joe Zagacki, WQAM host Curtis Stevenson, Miami football coach Mark Richt, Miami athletic director Blake James, and WQAM host Joe Rose.

Nielsen: 2016 Election Year Good for News Radio.  Ratings giant Nielsen issues data – illustrated in the graphic above – showing the rise in listenership to news radio during the 2016 election year.  Nielsen notes that just as in the previous election year of 2012, the number of people tuning in to all-news stations, news/talk stations and public radio NPR affiliates spiked, making it the most-listened-to radio format by persons 6+ in PPM markets during 2016.

Allegations of Trump Campaign’s Russia Connections and Michael T. Flynn’s Resignation Top News Talk Stories for Week of February 13-17.  The allegations that members of the Trump campaign were in contact with Russian agents prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration and the subsequent resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump travel ban issue and the related Mexican wall matter.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s contentious relationship with the news media, followed by Andrew Puzder’s withdrawal as nominee for labor secretary 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Windy City radio programming pro Patty Martin is joining digital platform AccuRadio to program its world music and Celtic channels.  He says she’ll also be involved in programming adult rock and adult alternative formats.  Martin – who served in the market programming Hubbard’s classic hits WDRV and CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT – tells Feder, “It’s all the fun of radio programming without the headaches!”…..KSWD, Los Angeles “100.3 The Sound” midday personality “Uncle Joe” Benson signs a new contract to continue with the Entercom classic rock station.  Program director Dave Beasing says, “Joe is the best-known and most-loved classic rock DJ in Los Angeles.  The reason is simple.  He’s literally written the book on classic rock, and he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”…..A new Sunday night show dedicated to the women of alternative rock is launching on Cumulus Media’s alternative KCJK, Kansas City “X1015” featuring host Lauren O’Neil…..iHeartMedia Fort Myers announces media personalities Lulu and Lala are joining hot AC WZJZ “Y100.1, 90s to Now” as 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight hosts effective immediately.  The station says, “The ‘Y100.1’ night show with Lulu and Lala will feature the dynamic pair’s unique take on pop culture news and fun antics with listeners, along with special celebrity guest interviews and Y100.1’s unique blend of today’s hits and 90’s throwbacks.”

Thursday, November 10, 2016

| November 10, 2016

What’s Next for Talk Radio?  At this week’s post-election editorial meeting, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison shared his response to the most-frequently-asked question he has answered since it was announced on Election Night that Donald Trump cracked the 270 electoral votes threshold – What’s next for talk radio?  harrisonmichael16Harrison says, “The answer is simple… talk radio will continue to talk about whatever is happening in society.” Harrison adds, “When things of common interest stop happening, well…that will mark the end of talk radio.  Until then, you can be sure this format will keep on yapping!”  According to Harrison, “It is important for talk broadcasters not to allow SWA (‘spoken word audio’) – the broader genre to which talk radio belongs – to become synonymous in the public’s perception with any singular subject (such as ‘politics’) or with any specific take on a subject (such as ‘conservative’ politics).  This election did talk radio and its hosts a big favor by shaking up dissent among the ranks and even putting broadcasters in challenging struggles with their core audiences.”  Harrison strongly suggests, “Respectful disagreement and unpredictability in search of truth are the engines that power not only talk radio – but democracy in general.  They key word here, however, is ‘respectful.’”

cookehollandNAB Show New York.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in New York City reporting from the second year of the NAB Show New York.  He notes that although this is not a radio conference, there’s a lot there from which radio can learn. Cooke reports that Facebook’s Bob Gruters said the following: “‘Mobile has changed us’ and ‘mobile has changed business’ he proclaimed.  When he shared that the average person looks at his/her smartphone 30 times a day — and young people 127 times – I felt young again.”   Read Cooke’s report here.

iHeartMedia Madison Bids Adieu to Progressive Talker  “92.1 The Mic.”  Management isn’t saying anything about WXXM, Madison – the former progressive talker “92.1 The Mic” and now, all-Christmas as “92.1 BEST FM” – other than it’s Christmas music through December 25.  There’s no hint of what the format might bewxxmlogo after that.  The Wisconsin State Journal reports that mid-morning host Mitch Henck says he’s not too worried about losing his slot on the station – he streams his show online and says he’s working on getting more radio affiliates.  Ditto for the afternoon program “Devil’s Advocate” with hosts Dominic Salvia and Mike Crute.  Their show is streamed and the paper reports they plan to debut on 20 new affiliates in January.  “92.1 The Mic” had bounced around in the Nielsen ratings (12+) recently, notching a 1.7 share in the Fall 15 book, a 2.9 in the Winter 16 book, a 1.5 share in the Spring 16 survey, and a 2.1 in the recent Summer 16 book.

Comic and Talk Host Steven Crowder Joins CRTV.  Former Fox News Channel contributor, comic, and talk show host Steven Crowder is joining media company CRTV.  CRTV is producing the CRTV Digital Networkcrowdersteven that is the home of the video talk show LevinTV – hosted by Mark Levin – and new shows soon to come hosted by Michelle Malkin and Mark Steyn.  Now, CRTV announces the “Louder with Crowder” host – “notorious for pushing the comedic envelope and ‘triggering’ modern leftists” – is joining the network.  CRTV chief content officer Chris Crane says, “We are excited to have Steven Crowder on the CRTV team.  He is a rare talent that can entertain and educate at the same time.  He is very popular with young audiences, and reaches them in a unique way that very few conservatives can.”

PodcastOne Launches ‘The Chick Show.’  Leading podcast platform PodcastOne announces the launch of “The Chick Show,” featuring actresses (and working moms) Lisa Ann Walter – “Bruce Almighty,” “The Parent podcastone-bTrap” – and Rosa Blasi – “Strong Medicine” “The Thundermans.”  PodcastOne says, “With a 15-year friendship under their belts, the hosts let loose and help each other through cheating husbands, online dating, falling in love, vacations with kids, single-parenting, blended families, and most importantly, balancing life as working moms – all in front of an audience who can learn from the duo’s experiences and advice.”  The first guests to drop by the show are The View’s Sherri Shephard, and Chrissy Metz from the critically acclaimed NBC-TV show, “This Is Us.”

FOX Sports Radio Brings Chris Broussard Aboard.  Sports media pro Chris Broussard joins FOX Sports Radio as a host, opinionist and NBA analyst.  The company says that in addition to making frequent appearances across the network as a guest and contributor, Broussard will launch the first of two weekend programs thisbroussardchris Saturday, November 12.  Co-hosted by FSR personality Brian Noe, the two will broadcast from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET on 200 stations nationwide, plus several digital platforms, including iHeartRadio.  Broussard will add a Sunday radio program in 2017 and will continue his role as FS1’s new NBA analyst.  Broussard says, “I want to thank FOX Sports Radio and FS1 for providing me with the platform to share my sports views and opinions, which have been developed over my 20 years of covering professional sports, particularly the NBA.  I can’t wait to hit the airwaves in my new role with Brian Noe.  Together, we’ll bring listeners a show that is smart, entertaining and insightful.”

Odds & Sods.  The ad sales firm Regional Reps Corp. announces the hiring of Grace Agostino as East Coast regional manager.  New York-based Agostino will cover the East Coast territory for Regional Reps, calling on clients, stations, and advertising agencies.  The firm says Agostino started her sales career with Katz Media Sales in 1996.hobbycaroline  She’s also worked for iHeartMedia, Interep, and SBS…..Westwood One announces new partnerships with Nashville-based musician, TV personality and podcaster Caroline Hobby and KQRS, Minneapolis morning host Tom Barnard.  Both have joined the network’s podcast and on-demand platform via audioBoom.  As part of the deal, Westwood One is providing exclusive ad sales representation for “Hyper Caroline Hobby” and “The Tom Barnard Podcast.”…..Galaxy Communications CEO Ed Levine is named chairman of The New York State Broadcasters Association for 2017.  NYSBA president and executive director David Donovan says, “NYSBA is fortunate to have the most respected and dynamic executives in broadcasting serving on its board of directors. Through their leadership, stewartelizabethcumulusdesmoines16NYSBA will help ensure that radio and television stations in New York meet the challenges of today’s hyper competitive marketplace.”…..College hoops expert Seth Davis is producing an eponymous podcast that’s being made available via a partnership between DGital Media and Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated Group…..Pictured at left is Cumulus Media Des Moines director of marketing, NTR & integrated sales Elizabeth Stewart at last Sunday’s world record-setting “FriendsGiving” event.  Held in conjunction with Prairie Trail and Jethro’s Barbecue, more than 600 people came out to set a Guinness World Record for the “Largest Number of People Breaking Bread” and enjoyed a traditional holiday meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pie, as well as games and live music.  The event benefited Hope Ministries, which feeds about 450 people a day. Image: WOI-TV.

Trump Defeats Clinton in Presidential Race and GOP Retaining Control of House and Senate Dominated Discussion on News/Talk Radio Yesterday (11/9).  The victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton for president and the GOP’s retaining control over the U.S. House and Senate were the stories that dominated the discussion on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, October 24, 2014

| October 24, 2014

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Hits the Big Screen.  Regular TALKERS readers are kept up-to-date on the live events that nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramey presents in cities around the country.  Now, Ramsey is taking his presentation to the big screen as Fathom Events will produce “Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze Present: The Legacy Journey” for select cinemas nationwide for one night only on Wednesday, November 19 at 7:00 pm local time.  The production is from the recent event in Grand Rapids that was taped before a live audience.  The event will be presented in nearly 600 select movie theaters around the country through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network.  Fathom Events is listing the participating theaters on its website.  Ramsey states, “‘The Legacy Journey’ is about you taking control of your money; being debt-free, saving and investing.  When you start to see your future becoming secure, you will naturally become concerned with the next generations of your family.  When you do the things we teach, your vision expands and you start to see the world’s needs and how you can make a difference.”  Ramsey’s daughter Rachel Cruze is a seasoned communicator and presenter.  She recently published a new book titled, Smart Money Smart Kids, co-authored by Ramsey.

beasley logo longNet Revenue Dips 5% for Beasley During Third Quarter.  That figure is for continuing operations – the stations Beasley is keeping, excluding those slated to be sold to CBS.  Due to the pending transaction between Beasley and CBS in which it’s trading five of its stations for 14 CBS signals, the company is required to report both continuing operations and discontinued operations.  The net revenue from the combination of both continuing and discontinued operations was -5.9%.  The company reports that the decline “primarily reflects lower advertising revenue at the Company’s Wilmington and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville market clusters which more than offset net revenue increases at the Company’s Las Vegas and Ft. Myers market clusters.”  Company chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “We don’t believe third quarter operating results from continuing operations reflect the strength, ratings and local relevance of our platform, as the lower level of reported net revenue from continuing operations is temporarily mismatched with certain expenses that will be better amortized across the Company’s larger revenue base once we complete the asset exchange with CBS Radio.  We are very excited by the potential presented by the CBS transaction…The planned asset exchange with CBS Radio addresses these strategic objectives and upon completion, we will expand our owned and operated station base by nine stations increasing Beasley’s portfolio to 53, including 33 FM and 20 AM stations, in 12 markets with approximately 7.7 million weekly listeners.  Importantly, we will add completed clusters in the Tampa and Charlotte markets which complement our already strong mid-Atlantic presence.”

nielsen logoNielsen Q3 Revenue Up 14%.  That’s on a constant-currency basis.  The company reports that its core top-line growth (excluding the Arbitron and Harris acquisitions) was 3.4%.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns says that increase was “driven by strong growth in Audience Measurement, double-digit growth in Ad Solutions and double-digit growth in the emerging markets, offset somewhat by anticipated softness in our Insights business in North America.”  Barns adds that “Adjusted EBITDA was up nearly 20% or 22% on a constant-currency basis, reflecting the impact of our Arbitron acquisition as well as great execution by our operating units…And our free cash flow of $289 million was up 17% in the quarter versus the prior year.”  During yesterday’s investors conference call, Barns discussed the integration of ratings systems for television and digital but only spoke of radio and digital ratings integration in passing, saying the company is “making progress” and it would keep the industry “posted.”

henckmitchMadison Talk Personality Mitch Henck Returns with Internet Show, Broadcast Plans.  After being let go from iHeartMedia’s Madison news/talker WIBA in June, Mitch Henck says he’s been “hounded” by fans to get back behind the mic.  Starting Monday, October 27, Henck begins an internet-based talk show airing live daily from 8:00 am to 11:00 am CT.  Podcasts of the show will be available after the conclusion of each live show.  The program will be web only for the rest of the year but Henck has plans to roll out the show into AM/FM syndication in 2015.  The show will take live callers and feature guests.  Henck says, “It’s exciting to be back with a great team in place.  We’re committed to bringing you the highest quality programming every day.  And I can’t wait.”

ballentinewarrenFormer Talk Host Warren Ballentine Convicted in Chicago Mortgage Fraud Scheme.  The Chicago-based real estate lawyer was syndicated nationally by Radio One and his talk show was carried by as many as 37 affiliate stations before he was indicted on real estate fraud charges.  The Chicago Tribune reports that Warren Ballentine will be sentenced in January and could face up to 30 years in prison for bilking lenders out of some $10 million as part of the fraudulent loan scheme.  Ballentine’s attorney says they will appeal and that his client knew nothing of the fraud and served only as the closing agent, accruing about $8,000 in fees for the real estate transactions.  He also noted several of Ballentine’s co-defendants testified against him after striking deals with prosecutors.  See the Tribune piece here.

ibs logoMichael Harrison to Serve as Keynote Speaker at College Radio Conference – Agenda Includes Presentation by Holland Cooke.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) will deliver the keynote address at the 7th Annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System East Coast Radio, Webcasting & Mediaharrisonherald2 Conference held tomorrow (10/25) at Simmons College in Boston.  Harrison’s speech is titled “The Precarious Position of Audio-Only Media in the Age of Video Screens.” Harrison will discuss the psychological processes at play in the different ways in which the human brain processes various forms of sensory stimulation.  According to Harrison, “I enjoy speaking at events with college broadcasters because they are still, shall we say, academically inclined and it gives me the opportunity to put on my media theorist hat and address some of the abstract concepts underlying general communications in our cookehollandelectronically accelerated relationships.  I believe it is very important for people involved in anything having to do with the aurally based art forms of ‘radio’ and music to at least have an understanding of the mind’s different relationships with the eye and the ear.”  Harrison also plans to include a serious discussion of the sensitive relationship between form and content in the art and science of media in his address.  Also speaking at the event will be noted media consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke whose address is titled, “The Future of Talk Radio: YOU – The Revolution is Over.” He will identify the major challenges facing talk radio in this new era and offer solutions and encouragement for young broadcasters entering the field.  For more information about the one-day event, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  The new SiriusXM program hosted by Jenny McCarthy debuts on Monday, October 27.  The show is called “Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy” and is set to air daily from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..NBCSportsRadio.com is unveiling its first-ever digital-only show called “The 2 Robbies ‘Football’ Show”, a Premier League-focused program which stars NBC Sports Group analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe.  The soccer show launches tomorrow at 5:00 pm ET…..Sports talk KWTO, Springfield, Missouri “98.7 The Jock” is changing network affiliations, moving from Fox Sports Radio Network to ESPN.  The Meyer Communications station inked a three-year deal with ESPN.

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the weekend program schedule at WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  The program also recently began airing on KFNN, Phoenix; and KCOX, Jasper, Texas…..The GCN-distributed “Freedom Feens” show is added to the lineup at WSRQ, Sarasota…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show is part of the weekend programming at WAFS, Atlanta.

Ebola Pandemic Threat Tops Talkers TenTM for Third Straight Week.  Discussion about the threat of an Ebola pandemic and the Obama Administration’s handling of the matter was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of October 20-24.  At #2 this week was the terror attacks that happened in Canada.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against ISIS in Iraq followed by the looming mid-term elections 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.