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Thursday, April 7, 2016

| April 7, 2016

nielsen logoPPM Reliability Issue Re-Surfaces at Philadelphia Conference.  Last year’s intense debate over the reliability of Nielsen Audio’s PPM technology and the promise by 25-Seven Systems that its Voltair processing unit can improve detection of a station’s PPM encoding is being renewed.  The issue came to the fore at yesterday’s 2016 New Radio Conference in Philadelphia presented byvoltair image Jerry Del CollianoPremiere Networks star Sean Hannity and Harker Research’s Richard Harker presented a session titled, “Nielsen – Getting Around a Rigged Ratings System,” during which Harker presented his own study hannityshowing how talk radio suffers under the PPM methodology.  Nielsen’s John Snyder was there and took the stage to argue Harker’s and Hannity’s points.  But the most newsworthy moment took place when Hannity told Snyder he would sign an affidavit promising not to take part in a class action suit against Nielsen if the company would agree to meet with them on the matter.  Snyder agreed.  This issue will be addressed at the 2016 Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on May 20 when TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison conducts a “Fireside Chat” with Sean Hannity.

Talkers2016 logo lgSalem to Present Special Luncheon Discussion at TALKERS 2016 on the Relationship Between News/Talk Radio and the Conservative Movement in America.  The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to announce the addition of a very special presentation sponsored and produced by Salem Radio Network that will take place during the 1:00 pm luncheon at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations on Friday Mayhewitthugh 20th on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  It will explore the ongoing, complex relationship between the news/talk radio format and the evolving state of the conservative political movement in America.  Moderated by Salem Media Group SVP Phil gallaghermikeBoyce, the speakers will include Salem syndicated stars (in alphabetical order) Larry Elder, Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt.  Speaking on behalf of the board, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “This is very exciting!  Phil Boyce is one of the acknowledged programming gurus in the talk media space and the star power and intellectual mass of Elder, Gallagher and Hewitt on one panel will be extremely informative and dynamic.  This is a subject that is widely misunderstood andelderlarry misrepresented in the mainstream press.  It should prove quite interesting indeed.”  The agenda for this event – the 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – continues to grow providing an impressive who’s who of the field’s most notable figures from all ends of the spectrum in programming, sales and technology.  However it is nearing a sellout, so register now.  For registration, sponsorship, hotel and agenda information, click here.

kuseliaserikErik Kuselias to Host Mornings on WHOO, Orlando.  Sports media personality Erik Kuselias is launching his new morning show on Genesis Communications-owned sports talk outlet WHOO, Orlando “Sports Talk 1080 The Team,” on Monday (4/11).  During his career, Kuselias has worked at ESPN, The Golf Channel, and, most recently, as a personality with NBC Sports Radio.  In addition to airing from 6:00 am to 9:00 am on WHOO, the program will be streamed on its SportsTalkFlorida.com platform.

spoonerjgFormer WKRK, Cleveland Personality Charged with Money Laundering.  According to a report from Cleveland.com, former WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” producer and personality Joseph Gerard Spooner, a.k.a. J.G. Spooner, is facing a charge of money laundering after allegedly shifting $7,300 from a GoFundMe account to his personal bank account.  The GoFundMe account had been set up by Spooner to collect donations to help a childhood friend of his — Allyson Thadeus-Zappe – who was suffering from cystic fibrosis.  She died in 2015.  Her family reports that Spooner offered to use his name recognition in the market to help raise funds for Allyson.  The family never saw any of the money donated to the account.  A subsequent investigation by police led to the charges.  CBS RADIO told Cleveland.com that Spooner had recently been terminated from his position.  Read the story here.

The Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, U.S. Immigration Policy/European Migrant Troubles, Miss. Religious Freedom Law, and Merle Haggard Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/6).  The activities of the candidates for president and the aftermath of the Wisconsin primary; the ongoing fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; debate over the immigration and refugee policies in the U.S. and the related migrant problems Europeans are dealing with; the new Mississippi law that allows businesses to refuse to serve gays based on religious reasons; and the death of country legend Merle Haggard were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

| January 14, 2016

schultzedEd Schultz Returns to Television Via RT America. Former MSNBC personality – and longtime talk radio host – Ed Schultz is heading back to the little screen via the cable network RT America. He’ll do an 8:00 pm nightly show titled, “News with Ed Schultz.”  Schultz has been podcasting since ending his syndicated radio show more than a year ago.  On joining RT America, Schultz says, “I am very excited to be joining RT.  The network is firmly established outside of US corporate media and is not afraid to give a platform to diverse voices, stories and perspectives to its viewers, even if it ruffles some mainstream feathers.  I can’t think of a better fit than a news broadcaster that bullishly pursues issues that matter to hardworking Americans.”  RT America is financed through the Russian government.

wgtk-fmJoey Hudson Named Salem Greenville GM.  Upstate native Joey Hudson is appointed general manager for Salem Media Group’s Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina stations news/talk WGTK-FM “Conservative Talk 94.5” and classic hits WRTH, “Earth FM.”  He’s worked with Salem and SRN’s Mike Gallagher for many years.

cashinpaulCashin Picks Up ‘ESPN Palm Springs’ PD Duties.  At the Alpha Media cluster in Palm Springs, California, Paul Cashin is adding programming duties for sports talk “ESPN 103.9” K280CV, Cathedral City to his duties.  He also programs news/talk “K-News 94.3” (simulcast on KNWQ-AM and K232CX, Desert Hot Springs).  Cashin comments, “I am thrilled that we have added ESPN Radio as a great brand here in Palm Springs.  Combined with our already dominant ‘K-News 94.3,’ we are primed to dominate sports and news for the Coachella Valley.”

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Announces New Daily Lineup.  Effective February 8, NBC Sports Radio is launching a new daily program schedule that includes a new Eastern Time afternoon drive program hosted by Chris Mannix.  The other big change is the move of “ProFootballTalk Live with Mike Florio” into the AM drive slot (live on the East Coast from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and delay broadcast on the West Coast).  “Voices of the Game with Newy Scruggs” moves into the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart.  “Under Center with Mark Malone” shifts to the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET timeslot followed by “Going Deep with Amani Toomer and Dan Schwartzman” from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.  The Scott Seidenberg show debuts in the 1:00 am to 3:00 am slot and Jon Stashower moves to the morning show as the network’s lead update anchor from 6:00 am to 11:00 am ET.

Odds & Sods. Tomorrow (1/15), Westwood One begins presenting reports on the 25th anniversary of the PersianWW1gulf16henrypowell Gulf War.  Operation Desert Storm – to free Kuwait from the Iraqi invations – ran through the end of February 1991, when President George H.W. Bush declared an end to combat operations.  Westwood One News is providing affiliates a series of one-minute reports looking back on the fighting and what it meant at the time and in historical context.   Westwood One News national security correspondent Chas Henry (left) – an officer in the U. S. Marine Corps during the operation – conducted interviews with former Secretary of State Colin Powell (right), who was an Army general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs and a senior military adviser to President George H. W. Bush.  The series will also address the health issues many veterans of the conflict complained of suffering, now recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and bundled under the term “Gulf War Syndrome.”…..A new podcast from content producer DGital Media debuts former NFL stars Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson and Jamie Dukes.  A fresh “Ochocinco and Dukes” podcast will jacksonaaronbe published each Tuesday and can be found on iTunes, Stitcher and the TuneIn…..The nationally syndicated program “The Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill is added to the program lineup at STARadio’s KINX-FM, Great Falls, Montana…..Sports media pro Aaron Jackson is named to “The Drive” afternoon sports talk show on Townsquare Media’s WEZQ, Bangor, Maine “The Ticket.”  He’ll work with Jim Churchill and Jeff Solari, replacing Wes Hart.  Jackson previously worked in the market as sports anchor on WFVX-TV “FOX 22.”

tradupMovie16lgCovering the Benghazi Movie Premiere.  Pictured here at the enormous AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas is Salem Radio Network VP of news & talk programming Tom Tradup.  He was among the press filing live reports from Tuesday evening’s world premiere of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi as 30,000-plus turned out.

Obama’s State of the Union Address, Presidential Race, Iran-U.S. Sailors Incident, Sean Penn-El Chapo Interview, Record $1.5 Billion Powerball Jackpot, Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, Al Jazeera America to Shutter, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  Critique of President Obama’s final State of the Union Address and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s response; the activities of the candidates for president; Iran’s capture and release of U.S. sailors in the Persian Gulf; actor Sean Penn’s Rolling Stone interview with Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman; the record $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot; sinking oil prices and the activity on the world’s financial markets; news agency Al Jazeera’s April closing of its American brand; and this weekend’s NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

miw logoMIW Radio Group’s 2016 Mentoring Program Kicks Off.  This will be the 15th year of the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) group’s Mildred Carter Mentoring Program that matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for this year.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot designated for a digital candidate.  Lindsay Cerajewski is the 2016 MIW Radio Group’s Mentoring Committee and Director, Partnership Marketing & Branded Content for Emmis Digital in Chicago.  She says, “We look forward, each year, to this application process.  Not only do we anticipate hearing from many qualified applicants, we are encouraged by the caliber of radio professionals reaching out to us for this unique opportunity to gain valuable insights, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.”  For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, you can visit: http://tinyurl.com/goqgjlb.  The deadline to apply is Friday, February 5, 2016.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

| June 3, 2015

limbaughrush15Rush Limbaugh to Air on WNDE, Indianapolis and New Translator.  Currently, the iHeartMedia-owned WNDE-AM is a sports talk outlet and there’s nothing in the press release from the company that indicates a format change is imminent – it says the Rush Limbaugh program will be airing along with the local sports talk show hosted by Jake Query and John Schultz as well as the FOX Sports Radio Network programming currently being heard there.  The new translator – W248AW at 97.5 FM – is licensed to Franklin, Indiana (approximately 25 miles south of downtown Indianapolis) and should go on air at the end of June.  It will simulcast with WNDE effective July 6.  Earlier this year, Emmis-owned WIBC-FM announced it would not renew its deal with Premiere Networks to continue carrying the Rush Limbaugh show and will go with local programming in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.

DGitalMedia logoDGital Media to Acquire WYD Media Ad Sales.  After last week’s announcement that former Dial Global and Westwood One execs Spencer Brown and David Landau are launching the audio engagement firm DGital Media comes news that the new company is acquiring WYD Media Ad Sales from founder Ron Hartenbaum.  DGital Media says the deal “instantlyhartenbaumron expands its research, analytics and sales capabilities.  As part of the deal, Hartenbaum is named managing director of DGital Media and WYD Media’s John Murphy joins DGital as president.  DGital defines its role on the media space as one that “partners with media brands to create, distribute, and monetize spoken-word audio products.”  To that end, Spencer Brown says this acquisition “expands DGital’s capabilities in the marketplace providing us with research, analytics accounting and, of course, a deeper sales force.  We now have the ability to build creative audio content for client brands and personalities and monetize them on all three major audio platforms – broadcast, satellite and online.”  The deal does not include Hartenbaum’s WYD Media Management or the Debbie Greenbaum-run WYM Media.  In addition to New York-based WYD Media Ad Sales, new offices in Detroit and Los Angeles (the latter to be headed by Steven Cohen, SVP of West Coast sales) will open.  WYD’s current client rosters includes a dozen brands and personalities including FOX News Radio, Thom Hartmann, Michael Smerconish, Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller, and others.  Ron Hartenbaum says, “I have worked with co-founders Spencer Brown and David Landau before and look forward to this new association.  Joining DGital gives us the opportunity to expand upon the work we have been doing by broadening our client roster and menu of ad sales solutions.”

NBC Sports RadioNBC Sports Radio Finalizes Belmont Stakes Coverage. More than 175 stations will carry NBC Sports Radio‘s coverage of this Saturday’s (6/6) Belmont Stakes. The broadcast will be produced in partnership with Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) and distributed by Westwood One. Having already won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, American Pharoah would garner horse racing’s “Triple Crown” with a victory; Affirmed (1978) was the last “Triple Crown” winner. Among those joining Jon Stashower on his pre-race show (2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, ET) will be American Pharoah trainer BobPrint Baffert; Steve Cauthen – the last jockey to win the Triple Crown (riding Affirmed in 1978); and racing analysts Hank Goldberg and Paul Lo Duca (a former MLB catcher). HRRN’s Mike Penna anchors coverage of the following two hours (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, ET), which will include pre-race ceremonies, interviews, predictions, NBC Sports’ Larry Collmus’ call of the race, and post-race interviews. Analysts Jude Feld, and Kurt Becker, as well as former jockeys Sean Clancy and Jeff Bloom, will also be part of the coverage team.

kspnlogoKSPN, Los Angeles Names Mike Trudell Co-Host with Mychal Thompson.  The midday show at KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA 710” is now composed of longtime personality and former Laker Mychal Thompson and veteran Lakers broadcaster Mike Trudell.  Thompson has been hosting the show with a series of rotating co-hosts.  Speaking about the new Thompson & Trudell Show,” ESPNLA VP/GM Scott McCarthy says, “We are thrilled to have Mike join our team as Mychal’s daily on-air partner.  The duo of Thompson and Trudell will provide fans with an insightful and entertaining take on everything that matters to the LA sports fan.”

Odds & Sods.  Good news for Salem Radio Network personality Michael Medved as he tells his listeners thatmedvedmichael he has been declared cancer free by his doctors.  Medved took leave from his syndicated program from February through April to undergo treatment for throat cancer…..WCBS, New York afternoon news anchor Steve Scott is elected the new president of the New York Press Club, taking over for Larry Seary, who steps aside to assume a trustee role.

conway dogWHO, Des Moines’ Simon Conway Helps Raise $25,000 for Puppy Jake Foundation.  The Puppy Jake Foundation acquires, trains and delivers service dogs to wounded combat veterans and it’s been the official charity of the Simon Conway show on WHO, Des Moines for the past year.  Conway was left speechless during a remote broadcast from a local restaurant after a woman who wished to remain anonymous came in and donated $20,000 to the charity.  Conway tells TALKERS, “I was numb for a few seconds.  The lady wanted complete anonymity.  Her dad was a Vietnam vet who had left her some money and she wanted it to go to a Veteran’s cause. She said she’d been listening to me for weeks and simply had to come in and make the donation. Just incredible.”  The restaurant donated 10% of its profits from the broadcast to the cause.  Conway is pictured here with a puppy that Puppy Jake Foundation named Simon, in Conway’s honor.

2016 Presidential Prospects, New Obama Approval Numbers, SCOTUS Headscarf Ruling, ISIS Military Progress, Hillary Clinton Email Issue, Caitlyn Jenner case, FIFA Scandal, and NBA and NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/2).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and the entrance of Democrat Lincoln Chafee into the race; new lower approval ratings for President Obama are published; the aftermath of the Supreme Court headscarf ruling; the military success ISIS is having in Iraq and Syria and questions about U.S. military policy in the region; the ongoing probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the case of Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn; the FIFA scandal and the exit of Sepp Blatter as president; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, April 17, 2015

| April 17, 2015

shannonseanShannon Succeeds Pinch at Cumulus Atlanta. Former vice president and market manager for Entercom Sacramento – Sean Shannon – is tapped to replace Jon Pinch in a similar position at Cumulus Atlanta. Cumulus senior vice president Jeff Brown comments, “Sean has a track record of innovation and topnotch results. He is a passionate marketer and a strong, determined coach. We are excited to be adding Sean to our talented team in Atlanta.” Shannon remarks, “I could not be more excited about the opportunity to lead these world-class brands in this world-class city. I love this medium and am honored topinchjon have a chance to lead this team.” Prior to his Sacramento duties, Shannon, who holds an MBA from the Foster School at the University of Washington, was director of sales for Entercom Seattle. He begins his new assignment in Atlanta next Monday (4/20).  Pinch announced his retirement on April 16.  He retired from his previous corporate role at Cumulus five months ago but was coaxed into leading the company’s Atlanta station group.

dennisjohnWEEI-FM, Boston Morning Host John Dennis to Enter Alcohol Rehab.  In a public statement released to the media, morning personality John Dennis announces he will take time away from the “Dennis & Callahan” show on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston in order to enter a treatment facility for alcohol addiction.  Here’s the text of his statement: “After some long and thoughtful soul searching, I’ve decided to deal with a personal issue once and for all.  The role of alcohol in my life is something I’ve weei logowrestled with on and off for more than a few years.  I’ve made the decision to take serious steps to eliminate the role alcohol plays in my life before it impacts my health.  I’m told it’s an arduous undertaking, but it’s one I’m willing to embrace.  I know it can be a lifelong battle, but it’s one I want to fight.  To that end, I’ve decided to take some time away from WEEI, tackle this head-on, and set a smart and informed course for a long and healthy life.  I want to thank the management at WEEI for their understanding and assistance in this matter, Gerry (Callahan) and Kirk (Minihane) for their unwavering support, and of course Kathy, for her love, patience and compassion.  This is the last I will speak on this matter, as I have much work to do, and that’s where my concentration and focus will be. Talk to you all down the road.”

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of Mach 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth and final round of March 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The March 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Longtime Chicago television news anchor Robin Robinson has been hired by CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM, Chicago.  Robinson spent more than 30 working in television news in the Chicago market.  She exitedrobinsonrobin WFLD-TV “Fox 32” in November of 2013…..There’s a new news presence at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media the company hires regional news pro Matt Pitta to serve as news director for the station group.  In this role, Pitta will be in charge of news content for all the radio stations and its CapeCod.com website.  Pitta previously worked for Cape Cod Broadcasting, exiting back in 2002.  He takes over for Laura Reckford who moves up to news editor at CapeCod.com…..A programming change at Cumulus Media’s nbcsportsradio logoKSCR-AM, Eugene, Oregon will eliminate the business talk format and begin airing a regional Mexican format…..NBC Sports Radio now has a place on SirusXM.  A deal between the sports talk network and the satcaster gives the former its own channel.  NBC Sports Radio program director Jack Silver says, “We are thrilled to have SiriusXM join our roster.  They bring a whole new audience and a wealth of avid sports fans who can now access our content and interact with our hosts no matter where they are around the country.”

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “The Costa Report” with host Rebecca Costa adds six new affiliatecostarebeccaposed stations including: WZGM, Asheville, North Carolina; WBCF, Florence, Alabama; WHFS, Tampa; WTHU, Thurmont, Maryland; and KKGM, Dallas-Fort Worth…..Both the Stephanie Miller show and Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” are added to the program schedule at KJOZ, Houston.  WYM Media Management’s, Debbie Greenbaum comments, “It’s terrific that Houstonians will now be able to listen and interact daily with both Doug Stephan and Stephanie Miller.  The combo of ‘Good Day’ leading into the Stephanie Miller show is the perfect way to kick off mornings in Houston.”

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Prospects Top News/Talk Story During Week of April 13-17.  With the news of both Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio announcing their intent to run for president next year, the chatter about the 2016 presidential prospects landed atop the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 were the Iran nuclear negotiations.  Coming in at #3 was ISIS military action in Iraq and following at #4 was Obama’s Cuba policy.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on the 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.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

| January 3, 2015

Albany, Knoxville Set to Pick Up Sports Outlets. For more than five years, Kirkland Wireless’ WVLZ, Knoxville used “Tennessee Sports Radio” as its handle, until transitioning to classic hits-oldies in late-August last year (2014). Its tenure as a classic hits-oldies outlet is extremely short-lived: On Monday (1/5), WVLZ will return to its sports roots as “1180 The Volz.” Program director Seth Stokes and Jayson Swain will handle 7:00 am – 10 am duties; Jon Reed and Kyle Tasman-hosted “Four Quarters” follows for one hour (10:00 am – 11:00 am); and Dave Hooker is slotted for 11:00 am -1:00 pm. Yahoo! Sports Radio will supply the bulk of the station’s other programming. Meanwhile, one week from Monday (1/12), Pamal Broadcasting Albany (New York) will jettison adult alternative on WZMR “The Peak” in favor of “Win 104.9” (and new callers – WINU). “Win” will carry CBS Sports Radio programming, most recently heard in that market on cross-town Empire Broadcasting‘s WPTR, which becomes an NBC Sports Radio affiliate. Neither WVLZ nor WZMR appeared in print in their respective market’s most recent Nielsen Audio quarterly ratings report.