Tag: "National Association of Black Journalists"
Guardian Angels Have Significant Presence as NYC Crime Deterrent as Curtis Sliwa Breaks New Ground on WABC. In the late 1970s, New York City was a modern-day equivalent of the Wild West. Murder and violent crime were the norm. A trip on the subway was an exercise in urban survival. Residents of the city resigned themselves to that unfortunate reality as the politicians and police seemed powerless. However, a young man from Brooklyn, a former Jesuit student, felt someone had to do something. Curtis Sliwa stepped forward. What started as a group of Sliwa and a dozen other dedicated volunteers riding the subways of New York to serve as protectors of everyday law-abiding citizens, grew into the “Guardian Angels” that residents of the Big Apple have come to know and love. With their distinctive red berets, they are as New York as Central Park or a potato knish. They operate under the motto “we dare to care” and have proved it over and over through the years, in some cases with their lives. These days, the Guardian Angels have chapters in 13 countries and over 100 cities and the terrible spike in street crime gripping the Big Apple has made them more relevant than ever. While the original hometown group of 13 has grown to thousands across the globe, the mission has not wavered as Sliwa puts it, “To make a positive change in the community by involving citizens to step forward and take an active role. While the classic street patrols are the lifeblood of the organization, we all know that reaching the youth in our neighborhoods, especially the most at risk, is crucial. Once again, the Guardian Angels is meeting the need.” The “Junior Angels” program, their youth outreach programs, and their Washington Heights Community Center, provides help for kids with everything from homework to nutrition while getting them actively involved in their community. Since his recent high-profile campaign for mayor of New York as the Republican standard bearer, Sliwa has returned to the airwaves of juggernaut talker WABC with a powerful midday 12:15 pm -1:00 pm program, “The Curtis Sliwa Show,” that TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes as “extremely creative and truly ground breaking in its utilization of satire, hard-hitting commentary and subtle sarcasm that appeals to the listeners’ intelligence.” Sliwa tells TALKERS, “I will push into new realms that have not been approached with ‘theatre of the mind’ broadcasts during the height of the day. It will become the alternative to straight non-stop repetitive political talk. The satire and parodies that I am doing can win over whole new audiences.” Pictured above: noted former radio producer and Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan riding the East Side E subway train with a couple of patrolling Guardian Angels this past Sunday (8/14).
Audacy Trimming Payroll with On-Air Staff Reductions. In the wake of Audacy’s second quarter financial report for 2022 in which company president and CEO David Field cited “declining macroeconomic conditions and ad market headwinds” as the reason for the company’s top line growth of just 5%, the company is reducing its payroll. Audacy, like its competitors, has been taking steps to build a multi-platform media company and, as a result of the economics Field referred to, is being forced to make cuts in areas where growth has been the most limited – over-the-air radio. Some of the cuts being reported include all of the local sports talk personalities at sports talk WSSP-AM, Milwaukee “The Fan,” including LeRoy Butler and Gary Ellerson (as reported by the Milwaukee Business Journal). WSSP’s website reveals its programming now consists solely of CBS Sports Radio shows. Last week, sports talk host Jerry Coleman revealed his exit from WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” in a tweet.
KFI, Los Angeles Reporter Corbin Carson Wins NABJ Honor for Documentary. KFI, Los Angeles news reporter Corbin Carson has been honored by the National Association of Black Journalists with its “Salute to Excellence Award” for Best Documentary for his work on “This Sand is My Sand: The Stolen Legacy of Bruce’s Beach.” iHeartMedia says the powerful two-hour documentary focuses on property in Manhattan Beach that was stolen from the Bruce family through eminent domain in the 1920s amid threats from the KKK. The feature includes exclusive interviews with historians, protestors, critics, and the Bruce family about racism, reparations, and a yearlong movement to return the $20 million-dollar-plus beachfront property. “This Sand is My Sand: The Stolen Legacy of Bruce’s Beach” culminated with California Governor Gavin Newsom signing a bill to return the property to descendants of the Bruce family. Hear the documentary here.
Salem Promotes Jon Latzer to VP/GM of Salem Surround. Rising from his position as digital sales director to vice president and general manager for Salem Media Group‘s Salem Surround is Jon Latzer. Latzer previously served with Alpha Media, CBS Radio and Katz. Latzer will report to Salem SVP of Broadcast Digital Jamie Cohen. He says, “Jon has been an active, hands-on leader in broadcast for years, but his last six years at Salem and Alpha Media prepared him well for the fast-paced digital world. In Jon, we have a strong, experienced general manager, who will help us take Salem Surround to the next level. Jon was ready for the next adventure in his career, and we are extremely fortunate to have him on the team.”
Cumulus Renews Deal with Benztown. This new deal extends the partnership between Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and imaging firm Benztown. The two companies first partnered in 2011, creating one of the radio industry’s largest collections of production and imaging libraries. With the new multi-year agreement, Benztown will continue to provide radio imaging, production, voiceover, programming, and jingles services for Cumulus Media-owned radio stations and Westwood One syndicated programming. Westwood One will continue to represent the barter inventory for Benztown Branding, Benztown Voice, and Hollywood Radio Networks. Cumulus EVP of marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “We are committed to partnering with companies that provide best-in-class services for our affiliates. By extending our partnership with Benztown, our affiliates will be able to create the radio magic that listeners remember and advertisers seek for many years to come.”
TALKERS News Notes. The latest Latino Podcast Listener Report 2022 from Edison Research is published and among its findings are that 59% of U.S. Latinos age 18+ have ever listened to a podcast, a high mark for the measure. Just over half (51%) of U.S. Latinos have ever listened to a podcast in English, and 33% have ever listened to a podcast in Spanish. The U.S. Latino Podcast Listener report was commissioned by Adonde Media, LWC Studios, Libsyn, PRX, and SXM Media. The study found that video podcasts are popular among the U.S. Latino population. Seventy-six percent of U.S. Latino monthly podcast listeners consume podcasts with video component where they actively watch the video while listening. Sixty-six percent consume podcasts with video where they play the video in the background or minimize the video on their device. Edison Research senior director of research Gabriel Soto states, “Latinos in the U.S. control an impressive $1.9 trillion in purchasing power, and today’s data demonstrate how advertisers who support Latino podcast content are benefitting, while those who don’t are missing out.”…..Gemini XIII announces its new partnership with Jane Green, author of 18 New York Times bestselling books and a global household name in commercial women’s fiction, to form Emerald Audio, a new premium podcast network creating connection and community through authentic female-led storytelling. The first podcast to be produced by Emerald Audio is Jane Green’s Rainbow Girl, the story of a crumbling rock star marriage mired in drugs, infidelities, and black magic, set in 1979 and based on the characters from Green’s newest book, Sister Stardust, which was released in April. Green comments, “In today’s world, there are so many more ways for people to tell their stories outside of traditional publishing. To be focused on female-driven stories in the podcast medium is the most exhilarating thing I have worked on in years. Fiction, particularly female-driven fiction, is at the very beginning of its growth in that area, and there are so many opportunities for strong, powerful stories aimed at women. I couldn’t be more honored, and excited to work with Spencer [Brown], Charles [Steinhauer] and the entire team at Gemini XIII.”…..iHeartMedia and Tenderfoot TV announce the newest addition to their popular “Monster” podcast franchise titled “Le Monstre.” The podcast recounts the story of real-life monster Marc Dutroux – a serial killer, pedophile, and kidnapper whose crimes brought terror to Belgium in the 1980s and 1990s…..The Independent Broadcasters Association extends the registration period for member stations to participate in the IBA Fall 2022 National Cash Contest to this Friday (8/19) to give all IBA member stations time to sign up for the promotion. The contest begins on-air September 19 and stations must be members of the IBA to participate.
Primaries/2024 Presidential Race, FBI Raid/Documents Issue, Georgia Election Probe, Inflation, Russia-Ukraine War, and U.S. Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/16). Tuesday’s primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the matter of top secret documents; Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s scheduled appearance in Atlanta for questioning in the 2020 election subversion investigation; the still-rising cost of food and the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the drought affecting the U.S. and causing water emergencies in the West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Mike Kinosian
CHICAGO — It is a completely reasonable leap for the average non-broadcaster to assume the June 30th debut of iHeartMedia’s Black Information Network (BIN) was an instantaneous response to George Floyd’s one-month earlier murder (5/25), and/or the rapid rise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
Clearly though, those deeply rooted in the industry are acutely aware that a full 24/7 all-news entity is a highly thorough, meticulous proposition that hardly springs up overnight.
Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.
Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.
Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.
Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.
Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.
Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry. In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”
Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.
Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.
TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”
Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro; this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; 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.
Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & Jubal; Johnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show. Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.