iHeartMedia and Creditors Agree to Mediation. The legal battle between iHeartMedia and 15 creditors goes into mediation after the parties agreed to extend the existing Temporary Restraining Order the media giant won preventing Notices of Default going into effect. This stems from iHeartMedia’s December 2015 transfer of a million shares of class B common stock in Clear Channel Outdoor into a shell company called Broader Media. The creditors believe this move violates the terms of their loans; iHM believes it does not. If the Notices of Default are allowed to go into effect, that could force iHeartMedia to have to try to pay back some $15 billion in debt within 60 days, something that is not possible and could force the company into bankruptcy. The parties will work until May 16 to resolve the conflict.
Adam Wiener Named to Succeed Ezra Kucharz at CBS Local Digital Media. Named to take over for Ezra Kucharz as EVP and general manager of CBS Local Digital Media is Adam Wiener, who is promoted from his SVP, content, community and operations position. He will report to both CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez and CBS Television Stations president Peter Dunn. Kucharz is transitioning to the new role of special advisor to the chief executive officer of CBS Corporation. Fernandez comments, “Our digital effort is well on its way to realizing our vision of a powerful and compelling destination for viewers and listeners in our local markets. Adam’s proven track record within the digital industry will be vital to the ongoing expansion of our assets and distribution strategy moving forward, and we are thrilled to have him assume this leadership role.”
The Presidential Race/Indiana Primary, The White House Correspondents Dinner, Battle Against Islamic State, U.S. Immigration Policy, Louisville Confederate Monument Case, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2). The activities of the candidates for president and today’s Indiana primary election; reactions to the routines from Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner; U.S. military action in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State; renewed controversy over U.S. immigration policy and treatment of illegal aliens; the legal battle over the status of a Confederate statue in Louisville; and the NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Hulk Hogan Sues Gawker Again; Adds WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta and Buchwald & Associates’ Tony Burton to List of Defendants. The recent court victory by Hulk Hogan, a.k.a. Terry Bollea, over media organization Gawker, in which he was awarded $140 million for the publication of a portion of a video of him having sex with Tampa-based radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem, is not the end of his legal endeavors. Hogan is now suing Gawker again for publication of the video, but this time because the racist language he used in the video cost him his employment with the WWE. In this suit, WHPT, Tampa personality Mike Calta and his agent Tony Burton (of Don Buchwald & Associates) are being named among the defendants for allegedly conspiring – along with Tampa radio personality Matt “Spice Boy” Lloyd to have the video released. Hogan is seeking unspecified damages plus attorneys’ fees.
Bold Gold Foundation Names Citizen Award Winners. On June 14, the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation – a non-profit organization that provides funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders – will honor Pride Mobility Products owners Scott Meuser and Dan Meuser with the foundation’s 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship. Scott and Dan will be honored during The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation’s 2nd annual event at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The keynote speaker for the evening will be Fox News Channel chief Washington correspondent James Rosen. Foundation president Vince Benedetto says the award is being presented annually to individuals who, “through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibit extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism, patriotism, leadership, and virtue. We’re extremely proud to be celebrating and honoring both Scott and Dan Meuser with the 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship. Whether through their efforts in building and leading the magnificent company that is Pride Mobility, their ongoing investments in Northeast Pennsylvania, or serving the local community in the countless ways that they continually do, they embody all the attributes that the Atlas Award seeks to honor.” The Bold Gold Foundation has had an ambitious past 12 months, helping to complete the building of Hillsdale College’s first broadcast radio station and studio in Hillsdale Michigan, as well as an additional production studio at the College’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C. The Foundation encourages young people in all areas of broadcasting but it is currently placing particular emphasis on supporting advancement in the various spoken-word and informational formats such as news/talk.
Odds & Sods. This weekend’s Kentucky Derby is being carried on SiriusXM, thanks to a partnership between the satcaster and Horse Racing Radio Network. The deal includes coverage of the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and runs through 2018. The wire-to-wire race broadcasts for each are provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One…..This year’s Stanley Cup Final series will be offered to AM/FM radio affiliates via NBC Sports Radio, distributed by Westwood One. The broadcast team will be Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti…..Talk host William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is launching his weekly talk show – “The Citizen Kelly Show” on WCGO, Chicago this Saturday morning (5/7) at 9:00 am.
WPRO, Providence Names Dan Yorke PM Drive Host. Three months after the death of colorful afternoon talk show host Buddy Cianci, Cumulus Media named Dan Yorke Cianci’s replacement in afternoon drive. This is familiar territory for Yorke, who served as PM drive personality for years prior to Cianci’s joining the station. Yorke has been the midday host and his move bumps temporary PM drive host Tara Granahan to the evening daypart – 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Current evening host and longtime station producer Matt Allen is upped to the midday host role. The other hosts at the station remain in their places – Gene Vallicente in morning drive and John DePetro in the late morning roles.
Hubbard’s ‘myTalk 107.1’ Dedicates Programming to Passing of Prince. The passing of music legend Prince on Thursday (4/21) at the age of 57 has stunned fans and the music community alike, and tributes are taking place on many music stations. Special programs are being offered by radio networks, as well. But at Hubbard Radio’s Minneapolis female-targeted talk outlet KTMY “myTalk 107.1,” the station went all-Prince upon the news of his death. Hubbard Radio VP and market manager Dan Seeman tells TALKERS, “‘myTalk covered the news, but more importantly, it covered our listeners’ reactions to the news. It was a very emotional day.” The station used digital billboard technology to quickly react and show its listeners that it was talking about the story “now.” At left, you can see the billboard perched atop the city’s famed Mayo Clinic yesterday. Additionally, the station was very quick to put insightful and locally flavored Prince-related content up on its website. Check that out here.
Noam Laden Appointed WABC, New York News Director. New York news/talk 77 WABC announces the appointment of Noam Laden as the station’s news director. Laden has been with WABC for the past seven years, most recently hosting the early morning “News Hour with Noam Laden,” and writing and anchoring the station’s news from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Now, Laden is tapped to lead the news department as news director. In a memo to staff, program director Craig Schwalb says Laden will help him tackle the news operation’s priorities, including: digital news functions, adding news content to the station’s website; weekend news enhancements; and more. Schwalb says, “This is a fantastic step for our team and it is all about making WABC even stronger in news content and coverage.”
The Presidential Race/New York Primary Top Talk Story for Week of April 18-22. Not surprisingly, the activities of the candidates for president and this week’s important New York primary election dominated the discussion on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Obama’s trip to Saudi Arabia. Coming in at #3 was Russia’s increased military activity and following at #4 was the proposed change replacing Andrew Jackson with abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. 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.
NBC Sports Radio Unveils Sunday Night Show with Pabst and Perloff. Sports media pros Paul Pabst and Andrew Perloff are both producers and personalities on DirecTV’s Dan Patrick show – Pabst for the past 12 years and Perloff for nine. Beginning this Sunday night, they’ll debut “The Leisuremen: Pabst & Perloff,” from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. NBC Sports Radio says the show “will touch on a wide range of topics that go wildly beyond sports – from food, drink, cars, travel, and money to how to properly wear plaid pants.” Pabst has worked at CBS Sports, CBS Radio News, ESPN, and SiriusXM. He’s also written for Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine. Perloff has served as a writer, editor, and producer for Sports Illustrated, FOXSports.com, NFL, MLB.com, and the YES Network.
Odds & Sods. In consideration for the “hardest working man in talk radio” title is WHO, Des Moines-based personality Simon Conway. Today (4/22), Conway is hosting his morning show on WMT, Cedar Rapids; his afternoon show on WHO; then will sit in for the Compass Media Networks-syndicated Joe Pags show…..Chris Hill, host of the “Motley Fool Money” radio show, checks in to tell TALKERS that his show is now available on Spotify and Google Play. The latter launched this week and Spotify recently added spoken word content to its menu of entertainment…..Dita Holifield is promoted from her director of sales position to general manager for the Salem Media’s Honolulu station group.
Scott Herman Receives 2016 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award. At a breakfast ceremony at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, CBS RADIO chief operating officer Scott Herman was presented with the 2016 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award by the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in aid to members of the industry who have lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or unforeseen tragedy. Pictured (l – r) are: CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez, Herman’s wife Beth, Herman, and BFoA chairman Philip J. Lombardo.