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Monday, February 2, 2015

| February 2, 2015

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge ‘Programming’ Beasley’s WBRN, Tampa.  Those new calls are for the old WHFS-FM (most recently sports talker “The Fan”) in Tampa at which Bubba the Love Sponge has set up camp as his new flagship station.  And with the call letter change comes news from Beasley Media Group that the station is airing a new format called “Bubba 98/7, No Rules Radio.”  Carl Harris serves as the station’s program director but Beasley reports that the station – which will include musical artists such as AC/DC, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin, Stone Temple Pilots, Linkin Park, Green Day and Foo Fighters – will also include songs chosen by Bubba himself.  Those range from artists like Eminem, Notorious B.I.G., Dr. DRE, Jerry Reed, Public Enemy, C.W. McCall, LL Cool J and many others.  Additionally, “Bubba 98/7, No Rules Radio” features parody bits from the legendary Bubba The Love Sponge archives.  Beasley EVP of operations Brian Beasley says, “Beasley has entered new territory with today’s announcement.  The music, personalities and bits will all be the creative responsibility of the station’s morning show host, Bubba the Love Sponge.  We hope the listeners will be thoroughly entertained by the new direction of the station.”

bohannonjimBohannon, Westwood One Agree to Multi-Year Pact. Owing to a Westwood One contract extension, Radio Hall of Famer Jim Bohannon will continue hosting both his nightly eponymous program and “America in the Morning” for the Cumulus Media-owned syndicator. Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler comments, “Jim may be in the Radio Hall of Fame, but he is just getting started. With new show resources and his contagious energy and enthusiasm, Westwood One and our affiliates and clients can look forward to many more years of Jim hosting his franchise programs.” Bohannon remarks, “I am so pleased to have the honor of continuing my career with Westwood One – my home for over half my time in radio. Now that we have added reports from Westwood One News correspondents, ‘The Jim Bohannon Show’ and our news magazine ‘America in the Morning’ are about to enter their best days yet. With all the challenges of the day, from partisan battles inside the Beltway to the war on terror, I’m eager to keep the discussion going.” Self-described “militant moderate, voice of reason” Bohannon appears at #20 of TALKERS’ “Heavy Hundred” of 2014.

medvedmichaelMedved Takes Hiatus To Fight Throat Cancer. In 18 years as a syndicated talk host, Salem Radio Network‘s Michael Medved has not missed more than four consecutive days of regularly scheduled broadcasts. This past Friday though (1/30), he revealed that in mid-December he was diagnosed with stage three throat cancer. Owing to that reason, Medved is taking a medical leave. “I always knew it would take something serious to keep me away from the microphone I cherish for an extended period of time,” he comments. “My prognosis for full recovery is very good. In the great majority of cases, this is a highly-curable form of cancer.” Medved broadcast every day while completing more than half of his daily radiation and weekly chemotherapy treatments. He will receive his last scheduled radiation treatment in just over three weeks (2/26). “Shortly thereafter, I hope to return to regular broadcasting,” he remarks. “The exact time of my return will be determined by my medical progress, but I will be straining to get back to work as soon as humanly possible. I know how fortunate I am with my loyal and marvelous audience, so I wanted to provide full transparency and direct explanations – you’ll be hearing from me soon.” KSKY, Dallas morning talent Mark Davis will be Medved’s primary fill-in; Davis hosts the Friday edition of Salem Radio Network’s “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America.” Other guest hosts for Medved will include KTTH, Seattle’s morning drive personality David Boze, and American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks. Listed at #25 of TALKERS’ “Heavy Hundred” of 2014, 66-year-old Seattle-based Medved was chief film critic for The New York Post in the mid-1990s.

mannellypatrickPatrick Mannelly Reportedly Exiting WSCR, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, midday personality – and former Chicago Bears long snapper – Patrick Mannelly will announce his exit as midday co-host on today’s program.  Mannelly joined co-host Matt Speigel back in September after the CBS RADIO sports talker could not come to terms with Dan McNeil to stay with “The Score.”  It’s believed that Mannelly will remain a part of Bears pre-game shows on the station.  Once again there is an opening at WSCR and already there are rumors this could open the door for Dan McNeil’s return or, as DaWindyCity reports, David Kaplan and David Haugh might be candidates since they exited Tribune Media with the shutdown of crosstown sports talk WGWG-LP “87.7 The Game.”

brunotonyTony Bruno and Josh Innes to Host Afternoons on WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  As reported by Molly Eichel in the Philadelphia News, Tony Bruno will return to the airwaves in Philly on CBS RADIO’sinnesjosh WIP-FM alongside current WIP personality Josh Innes for the afternoon daypart formerly occupied by Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis.  Gargano exited the station but Ellis remains under contract and it’s not known what role Ellis might play at the station.  Bruno was heard in middays on Greater Media’s crosstown WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” until he resigned from the station last June.  He’s been podcasting via BlogTalkRadio recently.  At one time, Bruno worked on the WIP morning show hosted by Angelo Cataldi.

Odds & Sods.  Just named the new White House correspondent for CBS News Radio is Pam Coulter, who replaces the recently retired Peter Maer.  Coulter rejoined CBS in 2011 after working as a correspondent for NPR and ABC Radio News for 12 years where she covered, among other things, the White House, Congress and the Pentagon…..Longtime Sioux Falls radio newsman Gene Hetland retired from Townsquare Media’s news/talk KSOO after a career that spanned 38 years.  The Associated Press reports that the 63-year-old Hetland started at KSOO in August of 1976 and retired on January 30…..The new morning news anchor at Midwest Communications-owned news/talk WHTC, Holland, Michigan is Mary Ellen Murphy…..San Antonio Magazine is out with its “Best of the City 2015” and it names former San Antonio Spurs point guard Antonio Daniels “Radio Personality of the Year.”  Daniels hosts “The Hardline” on Alpha Media’s KZDC “ESPN San Antonio.”

greshamtomTom Gresham’s ‘Gun Talk’ Clears WRKO, Boston.  The Entercom Boston news/talker adds Tom Gresham’s “Gun Talk” to the program schedule airing Sunday evenings at 8:00 pm.  Entercom Boston market manager Phil Zachary says, “Over the last few years, Tom Gresham’s ‘Gun Talk’ has emerged as the definitive voice of rational, responsible gun owners across America.  It just makes sense that his program be heard on one of the most powerful radio signals here in the cradle of the American Revolution.”  Gresham comments, “Massachusetts is full of gun owners who continue to fight for gun rights.  I’m proud to lend my voice to those who preserve the tradition of freedom in Boston and the entire area.”

businessrockstars radioBusiness Rockstars Hits 100 Affiliate Mark.  With the addition of KTLR, Oklahoma City, the nationally syndicated “Business Rockstars” show arrives at the 100 affiliate plateau.  The programming is hosted by Ken RutkowskiBusiness Rockstars chairman Steve Lehman says, “Radio is an important part of our multi-media and social platform.  We couldn’t be more excited to add KTLR to our consistently growing list of affiliate stations.  The rock stars of today no longer play guitar and blast through your speakers.  The new Rockstars are Business Rockstars: the Mark Zuckerbergs, Elon Musks and Mark Cubans of the world.”  In describing its programming, the company says “entrepreneurship is on fire.  It’s not political, it’s not controversial, it’s all about empowering listeners with the right tools and information so that they become Rockstars too.  Business Rockstars is the only daily, long-form show on the air that drills into the core of starting, growing, and funding a business.  The show is attracting a younger audience to AM radio.  There are 30 million hungry ‘Wantrepreneurs’ in the US and Business Rockstars is here to feed them.”

Thursday, August 28, 2014

| August 28, 2014

nilonsusanSarasota Talk Station Owner Says, “AM Radio Is the Future of Radio!”  Time and time again, the question is asked, “What does the future hold for AM radio?”  Articles are written with predictions of AM’s demise due to the lack of interest of the “Millennials,” or how internet and satellite radio will make it almost impossible for AM to compete in such a fickle industry.  While these predictions seem to make sense to the untrained ear, WSRQ, Sarasota owner/GM Susan Nilon writes, “It reminds me of a time several decades earlier when experts attributed the demise of movie theaters due to the advent of the video cassette recorder.  Or the slow death of vinyl records, due to the portability and popularity of the compact disc.  Well, here we are 30 years later, and the US and Canada box office revenue in 2013 was $10.9 billion with 68% of the population in attendance and ‘vinyl sales hit their highest level since at least 1991, with six million units sold’ according to industry data.  While it’s fun and sometimes smart to try to predict the future, if these ‘predictions’ impact the decision makers of this industry by encouraging them to enter into a self-fulfilling prophecy of AM radio, then they are not only short-sighted, but are foolish as well.”  Nilon goes on to provide a solution to avoid the danger of this negative syndrome in a new article posted today (8/28) in TALKERS.  To read it, please click here.

redskins logoNew Challenge for Dan Snyder’s “Redskins” Problem.  As you know, the critics of the NFL’s Washington Redskins team name are getting more persistent but now a George Washington University professor is vowing to challenge the FCC-granted licenses of radio outlets that carry Redskins football play-by-play.  In a piece in Broadcasting & Cable by John Eggerton, professor John Banzhaf lays out a laundry list of tactics – starting with challenging the licenses of stations owned by Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra Broadcasting that carry Washington football – to force the name change.  Banzhaf tells B&C/Multichannel News, “One could argue by analogy to obscenities (including even fleeting ones), to hate speech, to profanity (‘including language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance’), to the Drug Lyrics Policy, or more generally that using racist derogatory words on the air when it isn’t necessary isn’t consistent with the legal requirement to operate in the ‘public interest, convenience, and necessity.’”  It’s not difficult to imagine the arguments that could be made in court surrounding many of Banzhaf’s potential tactics and most raise the issue of the FCC getting involved in regulating content beyond obscenity.  Read the entire piece here.

mannellypatrickWSCR, Chicago Fills Dan McNeil’s Shoes with Former Bear Patrick Mannelly.  The CBS RADIO sports talk station didn’t take long to find a partner for midday personality Matt Spiegel after contract talks finally ended with longtime WSCR personality Dan McNeil.  Recently retired Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly will join Spiegel for “The Spiegel and Mannelly Show, effective September 2.  In a press release, “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen says, “For Mannelly to join our team just a couple months removed from playing for the Bears and the NFL is what makes this work so well.  His insight, opinions and energy will make this a terrific Chicago sports radio show.  Spiegel and Mannelly bring a great mix of intelligent sports content and insider knowledge to our team.”

zitojeffJeff Zito Named Afternoon Personality at Fort Myers Sports Talker.  Market pro Jeff Zito – who is well known for his work with former partner Bob Garrett on the “Zito and Garrett” show that aired on crosstown talk WXRK and rock WJBX – is joining Sun Broadcasting’s sports talk duo WFWN, Fort Myers/WNOG, Naples “1240/1270 The Fan” to host the afternoon drive show.  Other changes at the station include the addition of DirecTV/Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick in late mornings and CBS Sports Radio Network programming in the evenings.  Program director Joseph Lopez says, “I am very excited for the new additions to ‘The Fan!’  I honestly feel with [morning host] Thom Abraham and Jeff giving the community their local takes plus national voices as well respected as Dan Patrick and Jim Rome, this makes for the best sports lineup Southwest Florida has ever seen.”

wfed logoLineup Changes at Hubbard’s WFED, Washington.  A new role is created for current morning drive co-host Emily Kopp at Hubbard Radio’s WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio.”  Kopp will leave her role alongside morning host Tom Temin to begin serving as a full-time reporter for the station’s digital and radio operations, effective September 2.  As such she will contribute to the morning program and will be featured on the Francis Rose-hosted “In-Depth” program.  At the same time, current morning digital writer/editor Shefali Kapadia becomes producer of the morning show and the station will hire a new digital writer to fill her current position.  WFED program director Lisa Wolfe states, “Emily has quite a bit of expertise that we can now take full advantage of.  She will become our special correspondent at the intersection of radio and digital news.  Her reporting, writing and video skills will help enhance the efforts of the entire organization.”

klonkKlonk Chosen as Connoisseur Connecticut Promotions Chief. Former classic rock WCCC, Hartford promotion director and on-air talent Klonk is appointed promotion director for Connoisseur Media Connecticut.  Regional operations manager Keith Dakin observes that, “Klonk not only has strong name recognition in the market, but has the experience and knowledge of this area that these stations truly need.  She will be an immediate asset as we continue to redefine our stations.”  Klonk states, “I am very excited to start the next chapter of my radio career at such a great station and company.  I’m very grateful for this great opportunity that Connoisseur Connecticut has given me; it is an honor to be a part of this fantastic team.” Klonk – who begins her new assignment next Tuesday (9/2) – spent over 10 years at WCCC. When Educational Media Foundation acquired WCCC from Marlin Broadcasting the first of this month (8/1), it transitioned the station to its contemporary Christian K-LOVE format. Connoisseur Media Connecticut consists of WDRC-AM “The Talk of Connecticut,” Hartford; classic hits WDRC-FM, Hartford; talk WMMW, Meriden; talk WSNG, Torrington; and talk WWCO, Waterbury.

hartmannthomPortland Media Deal to Give Thom Hartmann and Carl Wolfson Better Market Coverage.  After the demise two years ago of progressive talker KPOJ, Portland, fans of personalities such as local hostwolfsoncarl Carl Wolfson and national figure Thom Hartmann were relegated to hearing them online via XRAY.fm or on 7-watt low power FM KXRY.  Now, Willamette Week reports a deal with MetroEast Community Media will give the two personalities more coverage as they will also be heard on translator K296FT at 107.1 which covers more of the metro – especially the southwestern suburbs.  The deal will be fully consummated this fall and will create a non-commercial trifecta that will include talk, news and music.

Odds & Sods.  A new channel is debuting on SiriusXM as the satcaster and the Turner Broadcasting-owned Bleacher Report agree to program a new sports destination.  In a statement, SiriusXM says Bleacher Report is “the leading digital destination for team-specific sports content and real-time event coverage and is one of the fastest-growing digital properties in the U.S.”  SiriusXM began airing a daily Bleacher Report-branded show in 2013 and now expands to give it a full channel of its own…..Fans of Western Michigan University sports will still be able to hear play-by-play on Midwest Communications stations as the school and the company have extended their deal in the Kalamazoo market that will have alternative WZOX serve as the flagship for football, men’s basketball and hockey…..The Philadelphia Eagles and CBS RADIO‘s “SportsRadio 94WIP” are announcing the annual Eagles Radiothon hits the airwaves at 6:00 am on Tuesday, September 2 and closes on Thursday, September 4 at 6:00 pm. Fans will be able to bid on exclusive sports and entertainment prizes with many involving their favorite Eagles players and “SportsRadio 94WIP” personalities.  All proceeds benefit Eagles Youth Partnership’s vital health and education programs that serve over 50,000 low-income children in the area.

conclaveThe Conclave Announces Dates, Tuition for November Conference.  The 39th annual Conclave Learning Conference will be held November 14-15, 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel Airport in Minneapolis, and is presented in partnership with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association (MBA).  The Conclave announces that the deadline to save $50 on early bird registration for the event is August 31. After that, registration jumps from $249 to $299.  To register, visit theconclave.com.

Obama Climate Change Ploy, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, ISIS Campaigns/U.S. Military Policy in Iraq and Syria, Michael Brown Death Aftermath, Burger King Leaving America Controversy, Ebola Threat, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, and ESPN’s Michael Sam Shower Story Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27).  Reports that President Obama plans to skirt the Senate for a global climate change treaty; new indications Russia is backing Ukrainian rebels with military force; the ISIS campaigns and U.S. military policy in Iraq and Syria; talk about race relations in America and police brutality against minorities in the wake of the Michael Brown death in Ferguson, Missouri; controversy over Burger King’s plans to merge with Tim Horton’s and avoid the U.S. corporate tax rate; the ongoing threat of an Ebola pandemic; the looming mid-term elections and chatter about the frontrunners in the 2016 presidential race; and ESPN’s apology for its story about openly gay NFL player Michael Sam’s showering habits were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 21, 2014

| July 21, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today:  David Bernstein Moderates “The State of Local Talk Radio” Panel.  Today (7/21) marks the fifth business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with the event’s powerful “The State of Local Talk Radio” panel moderated by TALKERS general manager/broadcast operations David Bernstein.  The panel – introduced by rising talk star Ethan Bearman of KSFO, San Francisco — features an array of leading local radio figures including Michael “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM Salem Communications-New York; Lee Harris, morning anchor, 1010WINS, New York; McGraw Milhaven, morning host, KTRS, St. Louis; and Larry Young, morning host, WOLB, Baltimore. The panel, described by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey as “excellent and inspiring,” covers an array of topics including the most effective use of social media by local radio, the power of community news and human interest stories, how to cover large, diverse metropolitan areas and their suburbs, the emerging powerful relationship between local radio and newspapers, the revenue benefits of local broadcasting and the true meaning of “local” as opposed to superficial lip-service, among others.  The theme of the session is summed up by Larry Young, the 18-year morning host of African American community talk station WOLB, Baltimore, who states, “The most important aspect in local radio is making sure that the constituency you serve feels that you are doing your job to keep them informed.  Information is power and the more information you give them, the more apt they are to listen to you.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Anyone who is championing the cause of local radio should not only view this amazing video, but show it to anyone willing to watch who has influence over the course radio is taking during these delicate, transitional times.”   To view “The State of Local Talk Radio” please click here.  Coming tomorrow: “The Talkers Awards Ceremony – Part 1 – Presentation of the Humanitarian of the Year Award” emceed by Westwood One legend Jim Bohannon and featuring the presentation of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Broadcaster by Talk Media, Inc. CEO Carole Marks to WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale personality Joyce Kaufman.  The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

taylorblakeKMJ-AM/FM Promotes Blake Taylor to PD.  After the recent departure of Skip Essick from the program director post at Cumulus Media’s news/talk combo KMJ-FM and KMJ-AM in Fresno, APD/news director/morning news anchor Blake Taylor is promoted to the position.  Taylor joined the stations in 2007 after spending five years serving as program director at KERN, Bakersfield.  Cumulus EVP and COO John Dickey comments, “Blake Taylor’s news experience, digital savvy and competitive energy make him the perfect PD to bring a new generation of listeners to the legendary KMJ-AM and FM.  We’re pleased that Blake continues to grow with Cumulus Media.”  Taylor adds, “I’ve served as news director at KMJ for almost seven years now, and we’ve experienced some amazing growth during that time.  But there are many more opportunities ahead as we continue to grow our audience while maintaining our position as the go-to breaking news station in California’s Central Valley.  I look forward to taking on the challenge!”

wzgc logoTalent Moves at CBS RADIO’s ’92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta.  After a year in morning drive at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game,” Jason Bailey (a.k.a. Buckethead) exits the station and Marc James moves from afternoon drive to the wake-up show alongside Randy Cross.  Moving in to co-host afternoons with Carl Dukes is former crosstown WQXI “790 The Zone” personality Mike Bell.  Meanwhile, Bailey tells TALKERS he’s available for his next challenge.  He’s repped by Paul Anderson, who can be reached at paul@workhousemedia.com.  You can check out his website at: www.jasonbailey.com

klsd logoClear Channel Re-Brands Sports Talker KLSD, San Diego. Sports talk outlet KLSD, San Diego gets a makeover as the station is now “XTRA 1360 Fox Sports San Diego.”  This marks a change from the station’s previous affiliation with NBC Sports Radio.  As part of the changes, the station will become the local radio partner of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers airing play-by-play and broadcasting the “Chargers Power Hour Show” weekdays from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Steve Hartman returns to San Diego to host the “Loose Cannons” PM drive show with Mike Costa.  For morning drive, Fox Sports Network’s Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth team up.  In between, the station is airing FSRN’s Jay Mohr followed by Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick.  Evenings will include “XTRA at Night” from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm and “Fox Sports Tonight with Jason Smith” from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  The changes take place today (7/21).

kabclogoKABC, Los Angeles to Carry NHL’s Kings.  The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will have a new radio home next season as Cumulus Media agrees to have news/talk KABC, Los Angeles serve as the team’s radio flagship for the next five years.  The Los Angeles Times reports that the news will be made official today.  The move from Clear Channel’s KEIB to KABC may fuel speculation that KABC could flip to sports in order to allow Cumulus to air the CBS Sports Radio Network on the signal.  CBS Radio and Cumulus are partners in the syndication of the CBS Sports Radio Network.  But it may be just that – speculation.  For years rumors about a flip to sports by underperforming AM outlets have bounced around LA.  Crosstown KFWB has long been part of that chatter although there’s probably little reason to believe the market needs another AM sports talker with three (KSPN, KLAC, KLAA) all hovering near a 1.0 share (Persons 6+, June 2014 PPM) or less.

conwaysimonOdds & Sods. Hard-working WHO, Des Moines-based talk personality Simon Conway (PM driver there) is doing double duty this week and next as he’s filling in on the morning show at Clear Channel’s WFLF, Orlando “NewsRadio 102.5” today through Wednesday and then again next Monday – all in addition to his WHO duties…..Recently retired Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly joins CBS RADIO’s sports talker WSCR, Chicago for football-related broadcasts, including co-host of the Sunday Bears pre-game show and making appearances during the week on WSCR programs…..Broadway Media is exercising an option to buy sports talk KOVO, Provo, Utah from Simmons Media.  The station is chock-full of regional programming with David James and Patrick Kinahan in mornings, Jake Scott and Tony Parks from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Hans Olsen and Scott Garrard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, and Spence Checketts and Gordon Monson in afternoon drive.  These shows are simulcast from Simmon’s KZNS-AM, Salt Lake City and KZNS-FM, Coalville.  KOVO is an NBC Sports Radio affiliate.

abckaterskyMoscowCovering the Downing of Flight 17.  Pictured here in Maidan Square in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev is ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky who continues to report from Ukraine following the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17.