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Tag: "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking"

Thursday, December 14, 2018

| December 13, 2018

FCC to Commence 2018 Quadrennial Review of Ownership Rules. At its open meeting yesterday (12/12), the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to launch the 2018 Quadrennial Review of the Commission’s media ownership rules.  The rules subject to this quadrennial review obligation are the Local Radio Ownership Rule, the Local Television Ownership Rule, and the Dual Network Rule.  In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission seeks comment on whether these three rules continue to serve the public interest or whether they should be modified or eliminated in light of changes to the media marketplace.  Republican Chairman Ajit Pai and GOP commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr approved. Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel approved in part and objected in part.  She wrote in her statement, in part, “Newspapers have collapsed, and stations are increasingly owned by national companies with limited ties to the communities they serve. What is emerging are news deserts – areas of the country where national news dominates but local news is disappearing. Competition matters.  It is axiomatic that more owners in more markets can mean more ideas.  It can mean more news.  The converse is also true.  Too much consolidation can reduce the number of voices, jobs, and the newsgathering that results…We seek comment on a proposal allowing a single company to own an unlimited number of FM and AM radio stations in most communities in this country.  That could mean one company controls every radio station in the town where you live…To the extent this rulemaking offers thoughtful reform, I approve.  But in other aspects, I dissent.  It fails to honestly assess the impact of too many changes we propose on the values of localism, competition, and diversity that have informed this agency’s media policies in the past—and I believe should still inform our efforts in the future.”

FOX News Channel and Hannity Finish 2018 on Top of Cable Ratings. A story in The Hill citing Nielsen data reveals that FOX News Channel finished 2018 in first place in the cable TV battle, posting its best prime-time audience ever: 2.5 million average viewers.  Liberal cable newser MSNBC also enjoyed its best year, wrapping the year in second place behind FNC with 1.8 million average viewers in prime time.  As far as individual personalities go, FNC’s Sean Hannity had the highest-rated show. His average viewership was 3.275 million.  Over at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow’s program was second behind “Hannity” with 2.881 million average viewers.  While both FOX News Channel and MSNBC enjoyed prime-time ratings increases this year over 2017 (up 3% and 12%, respectively), CNN was down 6% from last year with 990,000 average viewers in prime time.  Following Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow in the list of the top five cable news/talk shows were three more FNC programs: “Tucker Carlson Tonight” with 2.827 million average viewers, “The Ingraham Angle” with Laura Ingraham – 2.61 million, and “The Five” with 2.38 million.

Scripps Media Officially Out of Radio Biz; Lotus Communications, Bustos Media, and Family Life Broadcasting Close. Yesterday (12/12), the closings took place for the sale of stations related to Scripps Media’s exit from the radio station business.  After divesting of the first 26 of its radio station properties earlier in the year, Scripps sold its remaining eight radio properties in the Tucson and Boise markets to Lotus Communications for $8 million.  In order to comply with FCC ownership caps, Lotus spun off news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson to Family Life Broadcasting and rhythmic oldies KTGV-FM, Tucson “106.3 The Groove” to Bustos Media.  Scripps Media was created in the 2015 merger of Milwaukee-based Journal Communications and Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps in which the print properties kept the Journal name and the radio stations joined Scripps’ television assets under the Scripps Media banner.

Cumulus to Air Ben Shapiro in PM Drive on WABC, New York.  New York news/talk WABC will air the new Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro two-hour radio show in addition to the one-hour podcast from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, beginning January 7.  The Cumulus Media station already airs the podcast right after the “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage.  In the New Year, Savage is transitioning to hosting a one-hour, daily live show and a one-hour podcast instead of his current three-hour live show. WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Ben is a fascinating host that completely cuts through the sameness that is political talk radio right now.  It’s the perfect time for us to expand his programming on 77 WABC.”

Paul J Schneider Wraps KBOI, Boise Morning Show Career Tomorrow. As announced earlier this year, longtime KBOI, Boise morning personality Paul J Schneider will leave his morning show duties after his regular broadcast tomorrow (12/14).   Schneider will continue to work with KBOI producing weekly features and a blog as well as continuing to cover Boise State Football for Learfield Sports.  Schneider says, “I have been privileged to work with great morning show partners and to be on AM radio in its heyday.  I was able to call the Boise State games through their growth trajectory and when not all the games were broadcasted live on TV.”

WFNZ, Charlotte Host Frank Garcia Arrested on Assault Charges.  According to a story in the Charlotte Observer, afternoon drive sports talk host Frank Garcia was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female last Saturday (12/8).  The report indicates Garcia is not related to the 29-year-old woman who suffered minor injuries in the incident.  Garcia – a former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman – co-hosts the afternoon show on Entercom’s WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” with Kyle Bailey.  He is also an assistant coach for the Charlotte Catholic High School football team.

Harry Hurley Guests on Brian Kilmeade Show. Pictured above is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (left) with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right) on Monday morning (12/10).  Hurley is a regular fill-in for Todd Starnes on his FOX News Radio syndicated program.

ABC Radio Offering End-of-Year Programming. Affiliates of ABC Radio are being offered five long-form shows and eight short-form programs for year-end programming. The long-form shows include: “Journeys of Faith” featuring the most memorable moments from ABC News senior national correspondent Paula Faris’ popular podcast of the same name; “Playback 2018,” a one-hour special anchored by ABC News correspondents Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky featuring an in-depth look at the biggest stories of the year; “2018: As It Happened,” a three-hour retrospective of some of 2018’s top stories, as told through highlights of ABC News Radio’s breaking news coverage; “Perspective” is a special year-end edition of ABC News’ award-winning weekly newsmagazine; and “World News This Year” takes a look back at the major news events of the past year in 2018’s final edition of this weekly show.

Trump-Democrats Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cohen Sentenced, Immigration Issues, Google Congressional Testimony, May Survives/Brexit Issue, Time’s Person of the Year, Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/12). Tuesday’s White House meeting between President Trump and democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen sentenced to three years; the migrants in Tijuana and immigration reform; Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee about political bias; British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a no-confidence vote and the Brexit challenges; Time’s “Person of the Year” are journalists from the U.S., Myanmar, the Philippines, and Jamal Khashoggi; the world’s financial markets activity; and NFL 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 Miami, Entercom names Jessie Penate, a.k.a. DJ JPS, evening personality and music director for CHR WPOW “Power 96.”  He’s been with the station since 2016 when he joined as a mixer after winning the station’s “Mix Master” competition.  He says, “I’m thrilled to continue this journey on the station I grew up listening to, working with a talented team filled with passion and energy.”…..iHeartMedia and Fox Broadcasting Company announce the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will air live Thursday, March 14, 2019 on FOX-TV, from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.  The event will once again broadcast live simultaneously on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on iHeartRadio.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes says, “This is a show that is truly controlled by music fans, because it celebrates the artists and songs that they listened to all year long on our 850 broadcast radio stations and the iHeartRadio app.  FOX has established itself as a premier television destination for music fans, which has made it a natural home for our Awards.”…..February’s 61st GRAMMY Awards will once again include Westwood One as the official broadcast partner in which radio stations will be offered a comprehensive array of special programming and exclusive content.  Westwood One will welcome select local stations and national programs to its Westwood One Backstage at the GRAMMY Awards, which takes place in the days leading up to the February 10 television broadcast.  It will also offer a two-hour “GRAMMYs Nomination Special” airing February 2-3 in CHR/hot AC, AC, and urban formats; “GRAMMYs Week Highlights,” airing February 4-10; and the “GRAMMYs Red Carpet Countdown.”…..Marker Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KJJZ, Palm Springs “KOOL 95.9 FM” adds Premiere Networks’ Delilah for evenings…..Cumulus Media’s CHR WRQX, Washington announces the winning schools in its 2nd Annual mix107.3 Holiday Choir Competition.  The competition was divided into two categories – kindergarten through 8th grade and high school.  North Bethesda Middle School in Bethesda, Maryland won in the first category and gets $2,500 for its music program and Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland won the high school division and will receive $5,000 for its music education program…..Entercom’s country WUSY, Chattanooga “US 101” is seeking a midday personality. Find all the information about applying here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

| December 12, 2018

Which Are the Strongest News/Talk Markets in America? TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the data from Nielsen Audio’s most recent PPM ratings – the November 2018 survey – and presents an overview of the PPM markets with the strongest news/talk listenership based on 6+ numbers.  Whether certain markets just like news/talk radio more than others or whether it’s consistently well-programmed stations that attract and keep listeners who are likely to enjoy news/talk – or a combination of the two – is a matter up for debate.  It’s interesting to note that the top two markets for news/talk listening – Milwaukee and Cincinnati – are in states that played important roles in the most recent elections.  The November PPM survey showed Milwaukee’s two news/talk outlets – Good Karma’s WTMJ and iHeartMedia’s WISN – combined for a 16.3 share (6+).  In Cincinnati, iHeartMedia’s WLW and WKRC combined for a 13.6 share. See the rest of Mike Kinosian’s report here.

Final Open Meeting of 2018 at FCC to Launch Quadrennial Review of Broadcast Ownership Rules. Wednesday’s 10:30 am to 12:30 pm open meeting of the Federal Communications Commission will include, among other agenda items, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would initiate the 2018 Quadrennial Review of the commission’s broadcast ownership rules and other rules.  As most broadcasters are aware, the Commission “is required by law to review certain broadcast ownership rules every four years to determine whether the rules remain ‘necessary in the public interest as the result of competition’ and to repeal or modify any rule it finds is no longer in the public interest.”  Of the three rules subject to the review, one is the Local Radio Ownership Rule (the other two relate to TV).   Looking at radio, the review will: seek comment on whether the Local Radio Ownership Rule, which limits the total number of radio stations that may be commonly owned in a market, continues to promote competition, localism, and viewpoint diversity in today’s radio marketplace; seek comment on possible modifications to the rule’s operation, including the relevant product market, market size tiers, numerical limits, and AM/FM subcaps; and seek comment on whether to make permanent the interim contour-overlap methodology used to determine ownership limits in areas outside Nielsen Audio Metro markets and on how to treat transactions involving markets embedded within a larger Nielsen Audio Metro market.  Currently, in the largest markets (45 signals or more), ownership is limited to eight stations with no more than five of either FM or AM. Earlier this year, the National Association of Broadcasters proposed the following changes: companies operating in the top 75 radio markets could own up to eight FM stations and an unlimited number of AM signals. Companies in markets 76 and up (and in unrated markets) would be allowed to operate with no limits.  The NAB also added a proposal related to the incubator program that would allow companies in that program to own up to 10 FM signals in the top 75 markets.

iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Court Dates Updated. After the postponement of yesterday’s previously scheduled Confirmation Hearing for iHeartMedia’s Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization, Judge Marvin Isgur set a series of new hearing dates, starting with the December 17 hearing to address class action issues, including the question of whether the company has the authority to settle such claims.  A hearing on January 10 will focus on confirmation issues; hearings on January 17 and 22 will also address the class action matters, and remaining confirmation issues will be addressed on January 23.  This Plan reduces iHeartMedia’s funded debt by approximately $10.3 billion – to $5.75 billion.  The Plan also provides for the separation of iHeartMedia’s radio and outdoor advertising segments.

WIBC, Indianapolis Host Tony Katz Goes into National Syndication. Talk radio host Tony Katz is syndicating a three-hour talk show titled, “Tony Katz Today” via his Tomorrow Media and his first affiliate is Star City Broadcasting’s WSHY-AM/W282CJ, Lafayette, Indiana “The Patriot 104.3 FM.”   Katz hosts the morning drive program on Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis as well as the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  He says, “The WIBC morning show has been a massive success and continues to grow.  With ‘Tony Katz Today,’ I’m able to talk about the things that matter most to people across the Midwest and across America.  I’m thrilled to be adding ‘The Patriot’ to the family.”  Emmis Indianapolis director of programming David Wood adds, “I brought Tony in four years ago to build our morning show.  He did it in two.  Over the past 18 months doing middays as well, his numbers have only grown.  He’s more than ready to be a part of the national landscape.  He’s a perfect replacement for Laura Ingraham or for any daypart.”

NPR and Coalition of Podcasters Unveil RAD Ratings Technology. RAD stands for Remote Audio Data, the new podcast analytics technology that shares podcast listening metrics back to publishers, “with extreme care and respect for user privacy.”  NPR.org has the story that explains NPR and close to 30 companies – including Acast, AdsWizz, ART19, Awesound, Blubrry Podcasting, Panoply, Omny Studio, Podtrac, PRI/PRX, RadioPublic, Triton DigitalWideOrbit, and Whooshkaa – worked to develop RAD. Podcast advertisers are naturally leery of download numbers for the obvious reason that downloads don’t equal listens.  So, RAD marks the podcast filed at numerous points throughout the program to determine how long the consumer listened.  The story goes on to say, “One of these working groups was focused on security and data integrity, with the goal of keeping user privacy and measurement goals in alignment.  RAD’s current framework supports an anonymous session ID that persists for 24 hours and the analytics endpoints only receive the RAD events, these session IDs, IP addresses and if configured, user agent.” Acast co-founder and chief product officer Johan Billgren says, “Measurement has been one of the open challenges in the podcast industry for a long time.  As the medium continues to grow, universal metrics will be key to its success.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Glenn Beck paid off $27,000 worth of layaway items at a Walmart in Texas on Saturday (12/8), just two days before the final payments were due.  The good deed of the Premiere Networks personality was reported in the Dallas News.  Beck said he was inspired by actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry, who paid off all the layaway accounts at two Atlanta Walmart stores.  Beck and his family, who were on the way to a Christmas party, broadcast via Facebook live as they walked into Walmart and met with the layaway department to pay each account individually.  In the video, Beck challenged other conservative media personalities, including Mark Levin, Steven Crowder, and Bill O’Reilly to do the same.  Beck said on his radio show, “You don’t have to spend the money that Tyler Perry or I spent. You can just go in and just give $100, or $50, or $10. You are not going to believe what a difference it makes.”…..Comrex announces a new partnership with audioone gmbh.  The latter firm serves Austria, Germany, and Switzerland supplying the latest in technology for digital broadcast, for both television and radio.  Comrex says it is thrilled to partner with a distributor that shares their care for customer support.  Comrex is exhibiting with audioone at “Hamburg Open,” held at Studio Hamburg MCI GmbH on January 17, 2019…..Baseball play-by-play pro Tim Neverett announces he’s not returning to the Boston Red Sox for radio broadcasts next season, exiting Entercom’s radio play-by-play team.  Entercom is now searching for  his replacement to sit alongside Joe Castiglione for the 2019 season…..Howard Stern and SiriusXM announce they will begin presenting “Howard 100: The Best of the Interviews” on the Howard 100 channel on Monday (12/17).  Celebrity interviews that will be re-broadcast include: Cardi B, Jon Bon Jovi, Stephen Colbert, James Corden, Claire Danes, Snoop Dogg, Jennifer Lawrence, Paul McCartney, Mandy Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amy Schumer, Ringo StarrBen Stiller, and many more.

Trump Government Shutdown Threat, Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Sentencing, Google Congressional Testimony, France Terror Attack, Time’s Person of the Year, Financial Markets Activity, Brexit Complications, Aquaman Film, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11). Tuesday’s White House meeting between President Trump and democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and today’s sentencing of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee about political bias, privacy matters and other issues; the terror attack in Strasbourg, France that took three lives; chatter about Time magazine’s “Person of the Year”; activity in the world’s financial markets; the political tensions in Britain over the exit from the European Union; the new Aquaman film; and the week’s NFL 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. Programming pro Cat Thomas joins Entercom to serve as operations manager for music outlets hot AC KYKY “Y98,” adult contemporary KEZK, and CHR KNOU “Now 96.3,” effective January 1.  He was most recently with Cumulus Media as vice president of contemporary formats.  During his career he’s also served with CBS RADIO in Las Vegas.  Thomas says, “I can’t tell you how energized I am to be joining the passionate team at Entercom.  I’m looking forward to working with [president of programming] Pat Paxton again, [SVP/market manager] Becky [Domyan] and the entire St. Louis operation.  The dedication and positive culture the staff exude is truly amazing.  We are all playing to win, and I cannot wait to be a part of the great things to come.”…..In Cleveland, iHeartMedia debuts new hip hop outlet “REAL 106.1” on WAKS-HD2/W291BV. iHeartMedia North Ohio Region president Keith Hotchkiss says, “We are extremely excited to add ‘REAL 106.1’ to our diverse portfolio of stations in the Cleveland market.  ‘REAL 106.1’ will play the top songs from the top artists in the urban format.”…..Longtime Atlanta radio personality Christopher Rude returns to the airwaves in the region.  According to a report by Rodney Ho at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Rude is now handling mornings on rock outlet WJBB-AM/W296CX, Winder, Georgia. Rude, who hosted his “Rude Awakening” morning show on sports talk WCNN for 15 years, says of working with independent owner Jeff Batten, “It doesn’t take a week and five meetings to get a segment or a promotion on the air.  Reminds me a lot of what got me into radio in the first place.  A group of people who are hungry to see the station grow and they all wear several hats doing it.”…..Cami Marlowe is named afternoon personality and APD at Cumulus Media’s CHR WABD, Mobile.  She was most recently with New South Radio’s CHR WYOY “Y 101” in Jackson, Mississippi.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

| November 21, 2013

francesamikeMike Francesa’s A-Rod Interview Creates Media Blitzkrieg in NYC.  When embattled New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez (lower right) stormed out of his grievance hearing with MLB officials and went straight to WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa to kvetch to him, the New York City media reacted with such intense criticism of the broadcast that it only goes to cement Francesa’s standing as the most important sports broadcaster in town.  Rodriguez left his MLB meeting regardingarodwfan allegations of PED use and lashed out at the process and expressed his disdain for Commissioner Bud Selig.  Local media outlets accused Francesa of being too easy on — or actually downright chummy with – A-Rod.  But, Francesa maintains that he asked all the pertinent questions.  He told Newsday, “I felt like I asked him every hard question you could possibly ask him.  I don’t think there’s anything I could ask him about that wasn’t asked.”  Regardless, it was the interview that every media outlet in town has been aching to get and WFAN’s Mike Francesa got it.  As TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison puts it, “It seems that the rest of the Big Apple media don’t ‘get it’ regarding the influence and success of Mike Francesa as a talk show host, as indicated by the extent to which they constantly bash, parody and even mock him.  They judge him by their own often-hypocritical journalistic standards and don’t understand that by giving him so much attention – even as severe critics – they feed into the very process that makes Francesa so remarkably successful.  It is downright comical how they accuse Francesa of being ‘used’ by A-Rod as some kind of media patsy or suck up when in fact it is they — in their fits of transparent jealousy — who are being used by both Francesa and A-Rod.  Regardless of whether he does it consciously or inadvertently, Mike Francesa is a master talk show host of sports or any genre from which most others can learn a thing or two about taking ownership of your targeted turf.”

eastlanratings logoEastlan Employs E-Surveys to Enhance Methodology.  The 1999-formed Bellevue, Washington-based ratings firm will be augmenting current telephone-based methodology with “e-surveys,” which have been tested the past six months.  E-surveys will be integrated into Eastlan’s standard methodology in all markets beginning next spring.  “E-surveys will not replace our current methodology but rather enhance it,” stresses chief technology officer Bert Hambleton.  “The portion of survey respondents recruited electronically will have the choice to participate via e-survey or through a callback on their cell phone.”  Eastlan’s main reason to incorporate e-surveys was to increase participation among young radio listeners, and Hambleton states, “The process has worked very well.”  During this year’s pilot e-survey project, Eastlan noticed wider participation among 12 – 49s; the most dramatic increase was in participation among 25 – 44s.  Eastlan president/chief executive officer Mike Gould comments that, “It is incumbent upon ratings providers to reach a sample that is as representative of the local market composition as possible.  Being able to recruit and survey electronically, in addition to our telephone based methodology, will absolutely improve the long-term viability of our affordable radio ratings service.  Best of all, we can do so without raising our rates.” E-survey completion rates were slightly higher among women versus men.

fccnewThe FCC’s Media Bureau Announces Comment Period Opens for AM Revitalization Proposal.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Matter of Revitalization of the AM Radio Service was published in the Federal Register yesterday and therefore the comment period is open through January 21 and reply comments must be filed by February 18.  The Commission is seeking comment on a number of proposals designed to afford relief to AM broadcasters and to revitalize the AM radio band, and also is soliciting further proposals for revitalization of the AM radio service.

patrickmattOdds & Sods.  Salem Communications announces it will increase its quarterly dividend to shareholders by 5% making the payment $0.0550 per share to be disbursed on December 27…..There’s a whole lot of Matt Patrick hitting the airwaves next week.  The KTRH and KPRC, Houston talk personality will be heard three times per day on Monday and Tuesday November 25 and 26.  He’ll do his morning show on KTRH from 5:00 am to 8:00 am and his afternoon show on KPRC from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Then he sits in for KTRH-based syndicated host Michael Berry from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

crninternational logoMarketing Firm CRN International Names Jim Alkon Marketing Director; Promotes Robert O’Mara.  Radio marketing firm CRN International announces it names Jim Alkon marketing director, describing his mission “to extend the profile of the company among consumer brands and advertising agencies.”  Most recently, Alkon was managing director of his own consulting firm Meetings and Media.  At the same time, CRN ups Robert O’Mara to managing director, strategy and business development, and adds two new sales managers: Amanda Alvarez and Maureen Conlin who take the title associate director of strategy and business development.  CRN International describes itself as a company, using the slogan, “We Use Radio Differently,” that extends “the boundaries of radio marketing beyond simple spot advertisements and has customized programs to meet specific business objectives.  This has kept the award-winning company on marketing’s cutting edge for close to 40 years, serving prominent clients such as Microsoft, Chrysler, Sears, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Major League Baseball, HBO and Unilever.”   President and founder Barry Berman states, “We will continue to be part of the conversation in social media, on our recently relaunched website and in tutorial and perspective pieces on how understanding a client’s very specific business objectives is the first step to developing the right customized marketing campaign.  We have been able to employ radio in non-traditional ways to achieve results typically way beyond expectations.”

entercomBuffalo Food Pantries Aided by Entercom Thanksgiving Promotion.  Entercom Buffalo and the NHL‘s Buffalo Sabres teamed up earlier today (11/21, 7:00 am to 9:00 am) for a Thanksgiving turkey drive to benefit local food pantries.  Any donor dropping off a turkey was given two tickets to an upcoming Sabres game, leading Entercom Buffalo operations manager Tim Wenger to comment, “The Sabres stepped up in a big way to help the community by donating the tickets to this cause; Entercom is honored to join the effort.”  The event took place in the parking lot at the Entercom Buffalo offices.  Tickets distributed there were for games against the Montreal Canadiens (11/27); New York Rangers (12/5); Ottawa Senators (12/10), and Winnipeg Jets (12/17).  Entercom-owned sports outlet WGR is the Sabres’ flagship.  The New York State cluster also includes news/talk WBEN; CHR WKSE “Kiss”; alternative WLKK; classic rock WLKK HD2 “The Lake”; adult contemporary WTSS “My Star”; sports WWKB; and rhythmic oldies WWWS “Solid Gold Soul.”  All proceeds directly benefitted the Buffalo City Mission and the Food Bank of Western New York.

wwtn logo‘SuperTalk 99.7’ Goes Commercial Free for Rescue Mission Radiothon.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” will drop the spots on Monday, November 25 from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm during its annual Cumulus Nashville Radiothon to raise money for the Nashville Rescue Mission.  WTN personality Michael Delgiorno will broadcast live on-site at the Nashville Rescue Mission from 7:30 am to 8:30 am.  Cumulus VP and market manager Mike Carpenter states, “This radiothon gives the community an opportunity to give back into the community and really help change people’s lives.  There are many ways to get involved with charities, but this one is unique because it’s not just about immediate needs.  It helps restore their lives and overcome huge hardships.  WTN’s listeners are very giving people who always go above and beyond our expectations in supporting the Mission.  We look forward to exceeding our goal again this year.”

millermissionMiller’s Mission Kicks into Gear for the Holidays.  KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (center, holding the Chex) is surrounded by staffers at the Boise Rescue Mission and KTVB-TV weather anchor Larry Gebert (second from right) as Miller begins another year of “Miller’s Mission.”  Miller is broadcasting from a local Walmart (and living there for an entire week) while collecting items to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.

Tribune to Cut Roughly 700 Newspaper-Related Jobs. The tightening comes as Tribune plans to sell or spin off its publishing operations – which includes The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Hartford Courant – in order to concentrate more on television stations.  In a memo yesterday (11/20), chief executive officer Peter Liguori informed staffers that the publishing operation’s business units will be organized “by function, rather than by geography.”  Specifically, according to Liguori’s memo, “We must take better advantage of Tribune’s unique size and reach.”  The goal, he wrote, is to “continue investing in the lifeblood of our business: best-in-class reporting, effective sales, and digital growth.  Ensuring the long-term strength of our mastheads will, unfortunately, result in the selective reduction of our publishing staff.”  Iconic Chicago talk outlet WGN is Tribune’s lone radio property.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, Obama Approval Ratings, UN Climate Talks, U.S.-Afghanistan Security Deal, and ‘Knockout’ Attacks Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/21).  The scrutiny over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the government’s website; President Obama’s sinking approval ratings; the walkout of member nations at the United Nations climate talks; the shaky state of the proposal for Afghanistan’s security beyond 2014; and the rise in incidents of “knockout” game attacks were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, November 1, 2013

| November 1, 2013

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Broadcast Group’s Radio Division Posts 3.5% Revenue Gain in Q3.  Milwaukee-based Journal Communications issued its 2013 third quarter numbers yesterday and the radio division reports revenue was up 3.5% on $20.5 million compared to the same period a year ago.  The company adds, “Local advertising revenue increased 4.3%, primarily due to increases in professional services, retail and medical advertising.  National advertising revenue decreased 4.9%, mostly due to declines in media, professional services and restaurant advertising. Operating earnings from radio stations were $3.5 million compared to $3.0 million, an increase of 16.3%.  Radio operating expenses increased 1.3% driven by higher employee-related costs and higher broadcast rights fees.”

fccnewFCC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Revitalization of AM Radio Service.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued yesterday (10/31) by the Federal Communications Commission addressing the revitalization of AM radio service can be found in its entirety here.  The six-pronged proposal consists of: opening an FM translator filing window exclusively for AM station owners; modifying the daytime community coverage standards for existing AM stations; modifying the nighttime community coverage standards for existing AM stations; eliminating the AM ‘rachet rule’; permitting wider implementation of modulation dependent carrier level control technologies; and modifying AM antenna efficiency standards.  NAB CEO Gordon Smith says the organization supports the move.  “NAB salutes the leadership of Acting Chair Mignon Clyburn and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai for taking a strong interest in revitalizing AM radio, which has a long and storied history of providing America’s hometowns with news, entertainment, sports and community affairs information.  AM radio is a cultural touchstone and jobs generator in cities large and small; many of the top revenue-generating stations are on the AM band. We strongly endorse the revitalization proceeding and stand ready to work with the FCC to develop meaningful solutions.”

wmallogoFCC Denies Virginia Man’s Objection to Renewal of WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s License.  From time to time, the FCC receives objections to the renewal of the license of a radio station and, also occasionally, that is based on the notion that the station’s programming is biased and that it is not serving the public.  That is roughly what Kevin M. Raymond of Woodbridge, Virginia claimed when he objected to the renewal of WMAL’s license.  Raymond argued that the station has an “incessant bias” against the government throughout all its programs and the station broadcasts “blatant lies on each program” that cannot be considered protected by the right to free speech.  On Thursday, the FCC announce its denial of Raymond’s objection.  Stating in part, the Commission wrote, “The Objection also questions whether the Station is funded anonymously for political propaganda purposes.  The Objection provides no support for this speculative comment.  Accordingly, this argument requires no further discussion here…There have been no other violations which, taken together, constitute a pattern of abuse…We have examined the Objection and find that it does not raise a substantial and material question of fact calling for further inquiry or otherwise persuade us that granting the Application would contravene the public interest, convenience, and necessity.  The Commission is prohibited from exercising any power of censorship over broadcast stations with respect to content-based programming decisions.  A licensee has broad discretion – based on its right to free speech – to choose the programming that it believes serves the needs and interests of the members of its audience.

politically incoNew Comedy Album Getting Noticed by Talk Show Hosts and Producers.  Before the days of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, when it came to politics, some of the most interesting political comments came from music parodies and comedians.  Older industry professionals might remember the radio phenomenon of their childhoods called “The First Family” – a comedy album created by talented impersonator Vaughn Meader and a cast of characters parodying the newly elected President John F. Kennedy and his family/administration.  After the assassination of the young president, the album disappeared as quickly as it rose to prominence.  You don’t really hear much pre-recorded political satire on the radio these days…but that may change.  A longtime radio host/producer has joined forces with a longtime entertainment industry executive to put together a political comedy CD that has hit the top of the comedy CD charts in just the initial two weeks of release.  For Michael Hardeman (a recurring contributor to the Stephanie Miller radio show) and Marshall Blonstein (a veteran LA record executive), being politically correct means being “Politically Incoherent.”  Read all about this exciting project in a new article posted today (11/1) by TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay by clicking here.

talkersradio logoThe “Talkers Show” Covering Radio and Talk Media Debuts Today on TalkersRadio.  As the new experimental internet talk radio station, TalkersRadio, passes its six week milestone, a new crop of programs are slated to launch during the next month.  Debuting today is the “Talkers Show” – a daily, one-hour conversation program hosted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison featuring interviews with members of the talk media industry and related fields.  The program is scheduled to air weekdays 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm ET with repeats programmed throughout remaining open slots on the schedule.  Today’s initial guests are Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, hosts of the TalkersRadio program, the “Brent & Meg Radio Thingy” (weekdays 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET) and noted Fox News Radio star Alan Colmes, who hosts a show on TalkersRadio titled “Healed Planet” heard on the third Sunday of each month 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm ET.  Upcoming scheduled guests include TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein (former PD of WOR, New York; WBZ, Boston; WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford and WPRO, Providence, among others); successful record producer Robbie Student who hosts a daily program on TalkersRadio (weekdays 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); and Steve M. Fassberg, the media-savvy CEO/founder of the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company.  Upon beginning this new program, Michael Harrison states, “Hosting this show about talk media is sheer fun for me and having the opportunity to give long form conversational exposure to some of the brightest and most articulate people in our industry is a wonderfully gratifying extension of the services this trade publication is so dedicated to providing.”  New shows currently in development for launch on TalkersRadio include “Radio Lifeboat with Diane and Mickey Gooch” – a mother/son co-hosted program focusing on the challenges of drug and alcohol addiction.  Diane Gooch is a veteran New Jersey newspaper publisher and a principal in the Washington, DC-based Talk Radio News Service.  Mickey Gooch is a young LA actor who has experienced the depths of addiction and is now in recovery.  Another show set for launch later this fall is “Green Connection,” a show dedicated to chronicling environmentally friendly industrial developments hosted by noted Washington, DC journalist Joan Michelson.  Veteran broadcaster Bob Shannon, executive director of the Upper Midwest Conclave will host a program titled “Stories” in which he will share candid insights into the real-life personal issues facing men and the women they love.  Also on tap for launch on TalkersRadio is a brand new program hosted by WPIX-TV, New York personality, Lionel.  TalkersRadio is powered by Backbone Networks and heard exclusively on Talkers.com and TuneIn.  For more information call 413-565-5413.

boomercartonmkitchenWFAN’s Boomer & Carton Open Food Stand at Barclays Center Tonight.  At this evening’s Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclays Center, WFAN, New York morning drive duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton will open their self-titled food stand located by section 17 of the arena.  Both Esiason and Carton will be on hand for the 7:00 pm ribbon cutting of the Boomer & Carton Kitchen at Barclays Center.  Some of the menu items – personally designed by the duo – include: the Boom Doggy Dog – a Nathan’s Hot Dog with smothered onions, spicy cheese sauce and crisp bacon; the Chubby Chaser – which includes a Brooklyn Burger, chicken tenders, Nathan’s fries, cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato, on a brioche bun; Lobster Monster, a Red Hook Lobster Pound sandwich with authentic Brooklyn hot cherry peppers and mustard; and Carton’s Kitchen Chicken – which includes a chicken cutlet, eggplant spread, broccoli rabe, and provolone on ciabatta bread.  Boomer & Carton state, “We are thrilled to bring the WFAN brand and our taste for great food to the world class Barclays Center.  Since starting our morning show in 2007, we’ve easily gained 50 pounds between the two of us.  Clearly we know what tastes good and what people like to eat.  Boomer & Carton Kitchen will be a great extension of our show and an amazing partnership for years to come with Barclays Center.”

wtoplogoTwo Promoted at WTOP, Washington.  Jim Battagliese and Michael McMearty have been promoted at Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington.  Battagliese has been upped to director of traffic and weather from director of traffic and transit operations.  He will be responsible for the station’s coverage of traffic and weather on air, as well as on its online and social media formats. McMearty, previously senior news director, has been named senior news and sports director and will be responsible for overnight sports news with Dave Johnson and George Wallace.

dungyknmlTony Dungy Visits KNML, Albuquerque’s ‘Opening Drive’ Show.  In town to promote Comcast’s “Internet Essentials” program that provides low-cost internet and low-cost computers to families in need, former NFL coach and current NBC Sports personality Tony Dungy visited both news/talk KKOB where he spoke with morning host Bob Clark and sister sports talk station KNML “610 The Sports Animal” and appeared on the morning “Opening Drive” program.  Pictured here (from l-r) are “Opening Drive” host Jeff Siembieda, Dungy, Michael Carlyle and JJ Buck.

ObamaCare Rollout/Sebelius Hearings Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 28-November 1.  The scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the Congressional hearings featuring Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the NSA spying controversy.  Following at #3 was more Benghazi cover-up allegations and at #4 was the state of the GOP.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is based on ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  You can see this week’s entire chart here.