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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

| April 27, 2021

Shari Gonzalez Promoted to Market President for iHeartMedia Miami. Radio sales pro Shari Gonzalez is promoted to market president for iHeartMedia’s Miami/Fort Lauderdale station group that includes news/talk WIOD, sports talk WINZ, WXBN “Black Information Network,” and eight music brands. She was most recently regional SVP of sales for the cluster. iHeartMedia division president Linda Byrd says, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to promote Shari into her first market president role. In the short time that we have worked together, I have seen her competitiveness, work ethic and ability to move her team in the direction we need to go. Shari has the experience and smarts to make a great market president of iHeartMedia Miami/Fort Lauderdale. She will be a great leader in one of our most important markets.” Gonzalez comments, “I am honored and thrilled for this opportunity. To continue to work with and now lead this incredible portfolio of brands and this ‘best-in-class’ team of talented, passionate colleagues is a dream come true. Miami/Fort Lauderdale is experiencing a boom like no other market in the country and the South Florida market is filled with a culture and uniqueness that is second to none. As our market continues to grow as a multi-cultural, global economic and entertainment destination, we at iHeartMedia Miami/Fort Lauderdale remain committed to being the largest and most meaningful connection to millions in South Florida.”

‘The Rich Eisen Show’ Joins Audacy for Live Streaming and On-Demand Service. Sports media personality Rich Eisen enters into a content distribution partnership with Audacy to add his “The Rich Eisen Show” to the Audacy digital platform. “The Rich Eisen Show” streams live daily from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. The show, as well as his new podcast, “Just Getting Started,” are available on-demand on the Audacy digital platform. “The Rich Eisen Show” emanates from Los Angeles and is simulcast on NBC Sports on Peacock. Audacy EVP of programming Jeff Sottolano states, “Rich’s show is a terrific addition to our Audacy platform and reinforces our position as the unrivaled leader in local and national sports audio content. We’re thrilled to bring Rich’s mix of sports and culture to our audience, just in time for this week’s NFL Draft.”

Tricia Gallenback to Lead Cumulus Media’s Eugene Stations. Sales and management pro Tricia Gallenback is named the new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Eugene, Oregon station group that includes news/talk KUGN-AM, sports talk KUJZ-FM, and three music brands. She most recently held the same position at Reno Media Group’s stations in Reno, Nevada. Prior to that she was director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina operations. Gallenback says, “It’s an exciting time to work in radio! Cumulus is a dynamic and innovative company and I’m honored that [Cumulus RVP] Don Morin invited me to join the talented team in Eugene. The Cumulus stations in Eugene are iconic brands and have a history of commitment to community and partnership success. I’m looking forward to discovering how much more we can accomplish together.”

Ernest Fears III Rises to Director of Sales at Radio One Washington, DC. Radio sales pro Ernest Fears III is promoted to director of sales for Radio One’s Washington, DC station group that includes sports talk WTEM-AM “The Team 980” and news/talk WOL-AM/W240DJ. Fears was most recently general sales manager for the station group. Fears says, “During my 40 years in the business in the DC market, I’ve had the chance to work with so many professionals that I have learned from. If not for them, I would not stand where I am today. I look forward to paying forward the help and guidance that I received to my team and their clients.” Radio One senior regional vice president Jeff Wilson adds, “For decades, Ernie has been one of the most respected leaders in Washington, DC media.  But today, we celebrate his leadership and innovation moving forward as we blaze new trails while creating unprecedented solutions for our business partners.”

WWO Blog: What Changes in TV Viewing Mean for Radio. In this week’s Westwood One blog, chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard addresses the changes taking place in the television industry as viewers shift from linear TV to ad-free streaming options. This is a massive challenge for advertisers who’ve made TV a big part of their media plans. The piece is peppered with ominous stats, including: Nielsen’s just-released Total Audience Report reveals linear television’s weekly reach among persons 25-54 has dropped from 85% in Q3 2018 to only 77% in Q3 2020; pay TV lost 5.5 million subscribers in 2020; MoffettNathanson reports that residential penetration of traditional pay TV is down to 61% of occupied households. This is sharply reduced from pay TV’s peak 89% penetration in 2009; and according to MoffettNathanson, in Q4 2020, 67% of all broadcast network viewership was from the 50+ audience. So how does radio advertising play into this? Bouvard says that putting AM/FM radio in the plan generates triple the reach of connected TV – for example, adding 50 points of AM/FM radio to 250 points of TV (225 linear TV GRPs and 50 connected TV GRPs) generates a +24% increase in reach, triple the incremental reach lift that connected TV can add alone.

TALKERS News Notes. A deal between direct mail firm We Mail America.com and the Independent Broadcasters Association to “bring the We Mail America.com business model to independently owned radio markets of all sizes.” A press release says, “We Mail America.com is reinventing the traditional direct mail model by coupling it with a full suite of digital advertising services that works precisely and in conjunction with each radio ad campaign and mail deployment. This comprehensive view of advertising fortifies audio marketing strategies across all mediums, screens, and devices.” IBA president (and Adams Media CEO) Ron Stone says, “Independent radio has never had so many competitors, and direct mail is certainly one of them.  We Mail America.com brings a no-nonsense approach to direct mail and provides radio operators a new tool for their clients. The model that [We Mail America.com founder] Gary [Pizzati] has created enables independent stations to add a new source of revenue to their cluster that does not just move money from one pocket to the other.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals is expanding its longtime partnership with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham to launch Shining City Audio, a podcast studio co-venture focused on creating a wide-ranging slate of audio documentaries and series centered around history with some of the most well-respected historians and voices joining at launch. The Shining City Audio initial 2021 slate features two new series written and narrated by Meacham: “Fate of Fact,” a limited-run series examining the question of how and why so many conservative Americans have become prone to disinformation and anti-democratic narratives, and a daily podcast focused on this day in history…..SiriusXM today announced that it has acquired 99% Invisible Inc., the company owned by Roman Mars, the creator, host, and executive producer of the “99% Invisible” podcast. The acquisition brings the podcast host and his team to SiriusXM, where they will continue to operate 99% Invisible, the podcast “What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law,” and develop new podcast projects…..Observing the reaction to the “Saturday Night Live” cast’s befuddlement at the news that Elon Musk will host an upcoming episode of the sketch comedy show, KZRG, Joplin, Missouri program director Peter Thiele is inviting Musk to appear as guest host on “KZRG Morning News Watch.” He says, “Elon Musk is one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs! We are proud to invite him to be the guest host of the ‘KZRG Morning News Watch!’ Joplin, Missouri’s convenient location on two major freeways with a fantastic airport makes this offer even more tantalizing.”

COVID-19, Biden 100 Days Address, Deadly Police Shootings/Race Relations, Iran-Israel Tensions/John Kerry Allegation, Southern Border Crisis, Newsom Recall, and Oscars Show Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/26). The rates of positive COVID cases in U.S. states, the rollout of and concerns about vaccines, and the overwhelming cases and deaths in India; President Joe Biden’s Wednesday address before Congress marking his first 100 days; protests over recent deadly police shootings of Black citizens and the call for a complete release of body camera video in the death of Andrew Brown Jr.; the military tensions between Iran and Israel and the allegation former Secretary of State John Kerry discussed Israeli air strikes with Iran’s foreign minister; the mass of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; petitioners gather enough signatures to put the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom on the ballot; and Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, October 23, 2020

| October 23, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Dead Lives Matter,” looks back at this past week of October 19 – October 23, 2020. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Mike Siegel, talk show host, KFNX, Phoenix; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston / founder, Scamicide.com; Dr. Renee Kohanski, psychiatrist / commentator, MDedge Psychcast; Bob Costantini, chief correspondent, Ear on the White House; and Victoria Jones, executive editor, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

iHeartMedia Acquires Voxnest. This acquisition brings podcast programmatic platform Voxnest into the iHeartMedia fold (iHM previously owned a minority stake in Voxnest). Voxnest is described by iHeartMedia as “the leading consolidated marketplace for podcasts and the best-in-class provider of podcast analytics, enterprise publishing tools, programmatic integration and targeted ad serving.” iHeartMedia says that now it is able to provide podcast advertisers with additional targetable inventory at scale by allowing the effective and efficient monetization across an entire range of podcast inventory on this one-of-kind programmatic platform. This additional inventory will increase the monetization of iHeartMedia’s full range of podcasts and advance the podcast marketplace for both buyers and sellers. iHeartMedia will also be able to drive greater monetization for creators of podcast content – wherever they currently publish their shows – by connecting Voxnest’s advanced ad technology with multiple publishing platforms across the industry. Voxnest ad technology capabilities also includes: Dynamic ad insertion; audience and content targeting to the right listeners based on demographics, territories, devices and interests; programmatic podcast buying across all audio platforms by providing native support of VAST and OpenRTB. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “This is an important addition to the iHeart digital product ecosystem, which includes our SmartAudio suite of data-driven broadcast radio advertising solutions; our position as the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher with massive distribution and promotion across all our broadcast assets; and the iHeartRadio digital platform. The addition of iHeart’s offerings to Voxnest will ensure critical mass for the platform and accelerate its growth.  As we continue to invest in podcasting and lead the industry, we anticipate this acquisition will have an important impact on iHeart’s ability to more fully monetize its podcast inventory, and will also benefit the other podcast publishers that are part of the Voxnest network and the advertisers who are using it.”

KZRG, Joplin Adds Two to News Department. KZRG, Joplin, Missouri program director Peter Thiele says that in a continued commitment to Joplin and the Four-State area, the Zimmer Radio news/talk outlet is expanding its news team with the hiring of multimedia journalists Steve Scott and Dalton Evans. Thiele says Zimmer Radio is committed to local news on-air, online, and on app, focusing on breaking news, severe weather, and operating a 24-hour newsroom. Market manager Chad Elliot states, “We are excited to grow our news team at a time when other media companies are cutting their commitment to local news. Zimmer is making a stronger commitment to breaking news and weather coverage for the communities we serve.” Thiele adds, “The long-term growth of KZRG is tied to being the first stop for news, weather, and opinion and being a listener-focused destination.”

VP Broadcasting Launches New Talk Outlet in Allentown. The simulcast of WHOL-AM and W295CR in Allentown, Pennsylvania flips from a tropical music format to news/talk featuring local personality Joe Ligotti in morning drive, followed by Radio America’s Chad Benson from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, Dana Loesch from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Mark Levin from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The station will air classic rock on weekends. VP Broadcasting CEO Victor Martinez names “Diamond Boy” Luis Torres program director for the station. Torres says, “I’m excited for the trust Victor has in me and for the opportunity VP Broadcasting is giving me to bring a new outlet and style to the Lehigh Valley. I believe this mix of the new generation of talk combined with classic rock music is what the area had been missing.”

SiriusXM’s Jim Meyer Confident in New Howard Stern Deal. During Thursday’s third quarter earnings call, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer addressed the current contract negotiations with Howard Stern. He said, “Howard tells me he’s never been happier. And our relationship with Howard is very strong. He is producing fantastic content and his show has never been better. We had very productive conversations regarding a long-term renewal of this agreement. From my perspective, we are far along, but it’s never done until it’s done. I am very confident we will have an agreement soon to announce shortly.” When asked for details on what a new deal might entail, he said, “I can tell you that where we are in the discussions today, we have a set of economics that Howard’s team is happy with and I’m happy with. Obviously, we’ve got to get the deal completed. And it would certainly be a long-term arrangement.” Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript. Members can read or listen to the entire earnings call here.

TALKERS News Notes. A message to subscribers from Nielsen Audio notes that the October 2020 PPM survey is the first monthly PPM data release that will see the results of its headphone adjustment and outlier mitigation enhancements. Nielsen will host a client webinar on Tuesday, October 27 to review the data (set to be released early next week). Nielsen will also spotlight insights from the October data, along with a recent consumer sentiment study “to provide context for the organic growth we’re seeing beyond the headphone enhancement.”…..Sun Broadcast Group announces two new additions to its staff. Amanda Stetzy joins the company as media research analyst and Alyson Tiller is named assistant traffic coordinator. SBG says the new hires come on the heels of the recent expansion of the sales team, with the addition of Jackie Cardillo and Angela Codella. Chief operating officer Danno Wolkoff says, “As advertising demand continues to grow at Sun, we needed more people to support the sales team and ensure that our advertisers’ and agencies’ needs are met, and campaigns run as ordered. Amanda and Alyson will help our salespeople deliver exceptional client service and 100% accountability. I am delighted to welcome them both to Sun.” Previously, Stetzy served with Regional Reps and Tiller served with CBS Radio.

Presidential Election Issues Top News/Talk Story for October 19-23. The related presidential race, Thursday’s debate, ballot issues, the polls, and foreign election tampering all came together to make the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was COVID-19 stats & projections, health care, vaccines, and psychology. Coming in tied at #3 was accusations, scandals & corruption, the Hunter Biden emails, and Donald Trump’s Chinese bank account, followed by the economy, stimulus package, business openings, and the education crisis all tied at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new chairman of the BMI board of directors is Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley. Beasley, who joined the board in 2014, most recently served as vice chairman of the BMI board. She succeeds Michael J. Fiorile, chairman of the Dispatch Printing Company, who has been elected presiding director of the BMI Board. Beasley says, “It is truly an honor to have the privilege of serving as chair of the BMI board of directors. Many thanks to Michael Fiorile for his innovative vision, tireless collaboration, and insightful leadership over the past several years in his role as chairman of the organization. I look forward to working together with the board, Mike O’Neill, and the outstanding BMI team to continue to serve the evolving needs of music creators, publishers, and licensees in today’s dynamic marketplace.”…..iHeartMedia Milwaukee’s urban contemporary WKKV “V100.7” is hosting “Your Vote is Your Voice,” a special broadcast with vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris on the importance of voting, what to expect at the polls, deadlines for voting absentee, and more. The special airs Monday (10/26) from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and is being hosted by “V100.7” air personalities Bailey Coleman and Reggie Brown.

Friday, March 29 ,2019

| March 29, 2019

Programmer Peter Thiele Exits KARN-FM, Little Rock. Talk programming pro Peter Thiele tells TALKERS magazine he’s exited Cumulus Media’s news/talk KARN-FM, Little Rock after two years and is looking forward to his “next success story.”  He comments, “What an amazing experience.  I am profoundly grateful to the talented staff at KARN in Little Rock.  In two years, we experienced explosive, in-demo ratings growth.  I am excited for what is next.”  You can reach Thiele at: thepeterthiele@gmail.com.

WVON, Chicago Announces New PM Drive Show. Chicago media personality Cliff Kelley is putting the wraps on his afternoon drive show at Midway Broadcasting’s urban news/talk WVON today.  Chicago media reporter Robert Feder reports that the station is  bringing back former station morning personality Matt McGill to partner with attorney and community activist Kimberley Egonmwan for the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program, beginning Monday (4/1).  As Feder notes, McGill quit the station in 2017 after Maze Jackson was brought in as co-host of the morning show. McGill had been hosting a show on Newsweb’s crosstown progressive talk station WCPT. Egonmwan has been serving as a contributor to WVON.

The Epoch Times Newspaper has Good Source Material for News/Talk Radio per Mueller Report Aftermath.  The aftermath of the Robert Mueller Report is currently the hottest topic on news/talk radio in America. For the past two years, The Epoch Times international newspaper – based out of New York – has been following the Donald Trump presidency from a unique and insightful perspective and working closely with radio and TV hosts in providing guests and resources of value and interest to illuminate the topic.  Now, the news organization is booking interviews for talk media with its knowledgeable editor-in-chief Jasper Fakkert to discuss the subject of Russian collusion.  According to Fakkert, “The Special Counsel investigation has concluded that there is no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.  Attorney General William Barr has also determined that there is no obstruction of justice case.  The news confirms reporting by The Epoch Times over the past two years that there was no evidence of collusion.”  Fakkert continues, “A lot of media outlets, for one reason or another, bought into this narrative that the president colluded with Russia to win the election… we never bought in that narrative.”  To arrange an interview with Jasper Fakkert, please call Lisa W. at 917-521-6028 or email her at lisaw@epochtimes.com.  For further material, check out the fascinating “Spygate” infographic published by The Epoch Times in October of 2018 by clicking here.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that market news pro Bob Roberts is retiring from his position with Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM on April 16.  Roberts has been with the station since 2000.  He previously had worked at former, longtime news station WMAQ (now sports talk WSCR)…..Westwood One adds a new podcast to The Empow(h)er Network.  The “Mommies Tell All” podcast is hosted by The Bachelor’s Carly Waddell and Jade Roper and is billed as “an honest and hysterical take on women and motherhood.”  The show was formerly known as “Babes and Babies” and returns with new episodes and all new tell-all stories…..With the sale of WYAY-FM, Atlanta from Cumulus Media to EMF, Cumulus and the Atlanta Braves agree to move the FM play-by-play broadcasts to WNNX “Rock 100.5.”  The games are also heard on Dickey Broadcasting’s crosstown WCNN-AM “The Fan.”  Atlanta Braves president and CEO Derek Schiller says, “Rock 100.5 gives us a fantastic opportunity to bring the excitement of this young Braves baseball team to Atlanta’s favorite rock station.”…..Nevada Public Radio is being awarded a $500,000 Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to be applied to its “Give Voice” Major Gift Initiative.  The grant awarded will be used to complete a critical technical upgrade to the Nevada Public Radio broadcast hub and statewide network.  President and CEO Florence Rogers says. “Nevada Public Radio delivers the Humanities ‘at scale’ without barrier to access.  This grant will help protect access and infrastructure for another generation.  On behalf of our campaign committee we are very humbled to be a recipient of NEH funding to further our mission.”

Mueller Report Aftermath Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 25-29. The aftermath of the Mueller investigation report was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s battle to take the Affordable Care Act off the books. Coming in at #3 was the unusual turn of events in the Jussie Smollett case, followed by the status of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and migrant caravans at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Digital Entertainment Leader Reza Izad Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most influential leaders in the digital entertainment movement, Reza Izad, is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Izad is co-founder and global CEO of Studio71, a multi-platform media company that produces and distributes original entertainment programming and is the most engaged digital network on YouTube with 1,300 channels driving 11 billion views a month. Under his leadership, Studio71 has expanded globally by joining the ProSiebenSat.1 Group and taking investments from France’s leading commercial network, TF1, and Italian broadcaster Mediaset. Prior to Studio71, Izad was a partner at The Collective Management Group, the world’s largest management firm, where he led the music department and worked with artists such as Linkin Park, Kanye West, Enrique Iglesias, Slash, Counting Crows, Alanis Morissette and Michael Bolton. Previously, Izad was an agent at United Talent Agency (UTA), where he launched the firm’s music and branded entertainment divisions, working with Eminem, T-Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Prince, and more. At UTA, Izad also helped create award-winning brand integration campaigns for Fortune 500 companies such as Ammirati Puris Lintas, Kenneth Cole, Bausch & Lomb, and Loews Theatres. With Studio71 representing some of the top talent in digital, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyler Oakley, Lilly Singh, Grace Helbig, Rhett & Link, and Roman Atwood and producing premium scripted and unscripted digital content, Izad is a proven industry leader in the growing big-time internet entertainment space. He and Michael Harrison discuss the emerging 21st century content creation, marketing, and distribution paradigm. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

PPM Analysis: Classic Rock. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on classic rock.  More classic rock stations on our panel saw their weekly 6+ AQH shares go up (54%) than saw them drop or remain without change from January’s survey to February’s.  About the same percentage (55%) of classic rockers went up from February 2017 to February 2018, led by Shamrock Communications’ WZBA, Baltimore (+2.4).  In February, three classic rock stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: Beasley Media’s WCSX, Detroit; Entercom’s KSEG, Sacramento; and Cumulus Media’s KCFX, Kansas City.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Dave Hill is named SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis cluster, effective Monday (4/1).  He’ll also hold the PD title for both classic rock WFBQ “Q95” and alternative WOLT “ALT 103.3.”  Hill was most recently program director for iHM’s classic rock WBGG, Miami “Big 105.9.” He says, “I’ve been fortunate to be a part of some amazing brands throughout my career and I can’t wait to get things rolling with these legendary call letters.  I look forward to working very closely with ‘The Bob & Tom Show’ and our tremendously talented team to ensure continued growth and success in Indianapolis!”…..Alpha Media Louisville names Phillip “PK” Kukawinski content director and afternoon personality on alternative WGHL “ALT 105.1.”  Cluster operations manager Ben Davis says, “Louisville is experiencing the return of an alternative station for the first time in many years and I believe Phil will have no problem cultivating and attracting new listeners.  Phil is a creative, out-of-the-box thinker who lives and breathes the lifestyle.  I’m excited to welcome him to Louisville and watch him put his unique stamp on ‘ALT 105.1.’”…..Olivia Newton-John told the Kallaway on the Rise Show on Midwest Communications‘ CHR WIFC, Wausau, Wisconsin that she’s going to auction off the leather pants and jacket that she wore for the triumphal “You’re The One That I Want” scene in the iconic film, Grease!  She broke the news in the interview that were set up through Envision Networks’ Guest Services.  She said, “I have the leather jacket and I have the leather pants and I’m going to auction them off for my cancer research center in Australia this year.  So, if there’s any millionaire out there who wants to buy his daughter the pants and jacket, I’m going to be auctioning them off.”

Wednesday, May 21, 2017

| June 21, 2017

Fox News Radio Unveils New Shows Featuring Todd Starnes and Tom Shillue.  The two new talk radio programs fill the afternoon daypart – the Todd Starnes show airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET (7/5) and the Tom Shillue show following from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET (7/10).  They replace the John Gibson and the Tom Sullivan shows, respectively.  Fox News Radio says both programs are nationally syndicated on terrestrial radio stations along with satellite and digital distribution on all multimedia and social platforms.  The programs will also be part of a new multi-media video component with live streaming capabilities on FOXNews.com for consumers and partners.  Additionally, Fox is renaming the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET “Kilmeade & Friends program “The Brian Kilmeade Show,” beginning on July 5.  Starnes has been with Fox since 2005 and is a featured columnist on FOXNews.com.  Shillue is a stand-up comedian and former host of Fox News Channel’s “Red Eye.”  He joined FNC in 2015 and remains a contributor to the network.  Previously, Shillue was a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”  As for Gibson and Sullivan, John Gibson will continue hosting his program on the gibsonradio.com digital platform.  Similarly, Sullivan will host his radio program on a limited basis on tomsullivan.com.

Peter Thiele Named KARN-FM, Little Rock Program Director. Talk radio programming pro Peter Thiele is appointed program director for Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little Rock “Newsradio 102.9.”  Cumulus Little Rock vice president and market manager Keith Liesmann states, “We are thrilled to have Peter join our team at Cumulus Little Rock.  Peter is a proven news/talk leader and we look forward to seeing KARN-FM continue to grow under his leadership.  Peter’s background and success in the format and his experience in many different radio markets makes him the perfect program director for Central Arkansas’ heritage news/talk station.”  Thiele has worked in markets including: New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Greenville/Spartanburg, and Huntsville.

Jim Philips to Retire from WTKS-FM, Orlando.  The 70-year-old radio pro told his listeners on Tuesday (6/20) that he’s leaving iHeartMedia’s hot talk ‘Real Radio 104.1’ and the radio business to retire after a career that’s spanned 30 years in Central Florida.  The Orlando Sentinel reports on Jim Philips’ announcement here, quoting his on-air announcement, “I’m retiring.  I’m not retiring from life, I’m just retiring from this business…Everything I can do on the air I’ve done. Everything.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM survey.  This month, the report notes that “a whopping seven of 10 stations on the news panel are down April 2017 – May 2017 (70%); roughly one in five are up (18%) and the remaining 12% remain flat (6+)…year-to-year stats in the all-news format are considerably more encouraging than month-to-month figures, as nearly half the stations on our eligible sample improve May 2016 – May 2017 (47%, 6+); 41% show a decrease; and the remaining 12% are unchanged.”  Eight all-news stations ranked in the top five (6+) in their respective markets, with two – WWJ, Detroit and KCBS-AM, San Jose – ranking #1 in the May PPM survey.  See the entire report here.

Stephanie Miller Featured in LA Weekly Piece.  Talk radio star Stephanie Miller is the subject of a feature piece in LA Weekly that delves into her current media efforts taking on the Trump Administration, and serves as a retrospective of her radio, stage, TV and digital career.  Regular TALKERS readers know Miller’s history as a progressive talk show host and, more recently, her work headlining the successful “Sexy Liberal Comedy” tours (the current one dubbed the “Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour”).  In this story, TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is quoted, speaking of her career (including her revenue-generating digital platform), “It’s an amazing feat.  She’s a major player in American talk radio, one of the biggest stars in internet talk and one of a handful of progressive hosts who have developed a large following of listeners from coast to coast.  She’s a pioneer in the evolution of radio from the 20th to the 21st century.”  Read the LA Weekly feature here.

TALKERS News Notes. The winners of this year’s Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association are being announced and ABC News Radio grabs two – one for Excellence in Sound and another for Excellence in Writing.  ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones says, “The best radio journalism relies on vivid storytelling and riveting audio to transport listeners to the heart of a story.  I’m so proud that ABC News Radio was recognized with two Edward R. Murrow Awards for Excellence in Sound and Excellence in Writing thanks to the work of ABC’s Alex Stone and Scott Goldberg!”…..E.W. Scripps’ country-formatted KFDI, Wichita “101.3 Today’s KFDI” grabs a national Edward R. Murrow Award in the “Breaking News” category for its coverage of the 2016 workplace shooting in Hesston, Kansas.  KFDI operations manager Justin Case comments, “This is a significant recognition for the KFDI radio news team and our second national Murrow Award in as many years.  Our ability to provide urgent information to our community in a breaking news situation is at the core of what we do and it is truly rewarding to receive recognition of our efforts from the RTDNA.”…..CBS RADIO New York launches “FOMO New York City,” a daily e-newsletter that delivers the latest New York-centric news and updates right to a subscriber’s inbox.  It features stories from CBS RADIO New York’s radio stations and websites, plus select content from the most-read NYC media, including: The New York Times, Gothamist, TimeOut New York and others.  CBS RADIO New York SVP/market manager Marc Rayfield says, “FOMO New York City delivers top local news in an easy-to-read format that makes sense for how we live and consume media today.  As a leader in delivering the most up-to-the-minute news in the most fast-paced city in the nation, we are uniquely poised to reach busy New Yorkers at the start of their day.”…..A new culinary podcast starring Richard Blair, winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef All-Stars” launches on the PodcastOne platform.  PodcastOne says listeners will hear from anyone and everyone in the industry, including restaurateurs, television hosts, famous chefs, producers of cooking and competition shows and more.

Lars Larson Broadcasts from Baton Rouge.  Pictured above is KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks talk radio personality Lars Larson (second from right) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he was broadcasting from affiliate station WBRP.  Larson tells TALKERS magazine that some of the station’s hosts joined him on a panel discussion at the Baton Rouge City Club with U.S. Rep. Garrett Graves that was aired on WBRP.  Pictured (from l-r) are: WBRP hosts Clarence Buggs, Bill Profita, and Kevin Gallagher, Larson, and Rep. Graves.

Georgia Congressional Race, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Russia Military Tensions/Syria Strikes, Michael Brown-Ferguson Settlement, Uber CEO Resigns, New Saudi Heir, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20). Republican Karen Handel beats Democrat Jon Ossoff for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat; the special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the military tensions between the U.S. and Russia over recent U.S. strikes in Syria; the family of Michael Brown settles a civil suit against the city of Ferguson; Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigns his CEO post with the company; Saudi Arabia names 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman successor to the throne; and Major League Baseball action among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

C. Crane Earbuds Were a Big Hit at TALKERS Convention.  One of the unexpected hits at the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era was a product distributed to all attendees in the goodie bag – the new C. Crane’s “CC Buds Pro-Mic” earbuds that are specifically designed for talk radio listening on smartphones.  Here at TALKERS, we have been hearing nothing but rave reviews from those who received a pair at the event.  The vast majority of high-quality earbuds are built for music and have enhanced bass response.  C. Crane’s CC Buds-Pro have high-quality materials but are designed for voice clarity, allowing voices to cut through better.  They have accurate bass that’s similar to studio monitor-type bass response which is precise but not booming.  Six different earbud covers are provided for custom comfort.  Included are three sets of small, medium and large covers in soft silicone and the same three sizes in compressible foam. The foam covers provide enhanced bass and noise isolation.  Users can select the best fitting covers for their ears.  For more information about this talk radio-friendly product, please click here.

Where Is the Next Generation of Radio and Talk Media Talent Being Developed? Since the advent of consolidation, it is no secret that the small and medium market “farm system” that developed radio talent so effectively for decades has been decimated by budget cutbacks, syndication, automation and liner cards.  Local radio stations that were once hotbeds of activity and lots of entry level opportunities have largely been replaced by computerized, less populated, more sterile operations.  Fortunately, there are hopeful signs of life on college radio stations across America.  One of the leaders in this arena is Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (the location of two recent presidential debates and 2016’s TALKERS convention).  The school’s famous WRHU was last year’s recipient of the NAB’s Marconi Award as best non-commercial station in the nation and Princeton Review rated it the nation’s best college radio station for two consecutive years.  Radio Hofstra University operations director John T. Mullen joins host Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  They talk about the state of broadcasting going forward as well as the nature of millennials and today’s young radio hopefuls.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Rex Long moves from Cumulus Media’s Montgomery cluster to the Colorado Springs operations to serve as program director and air talent for CHR KKMG “98.9 Magic FM.”  He’s been programming WHHY “Y102” in Montgomery.  Cumulus Colorado Springs OM Bobby Irwin states, “There were dozens of remarkable candidates for the position and Rex stood out as so positive and creative, with the leadership qualities that a station the size of ‘Magic FM’ deserves.”…..SiriusXM is airing Guns N’ Roses live show at Harlem’s Apollo Theater on July 20.  It’s a special, invitation-only concert for SiriusXM subscribers and it was announced on the Howard Stern show.  It’ll air on SiriusXM’s Guns N’ Roses Radio and the Howard 101 channel…..Non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is now broadcasting and streaming around the clock its new “414Music.fm” HD2 broadcast radio channel and mobile and online stream.  The new channel and stream from the Milwaukee Public Schools-run station is the first to broadcast only Milwaukee music, bolstering its commitment to play and support local bands.  Program director Jordan Lee says, “Radio Milwaukee is uniquely positioned to program an all-Milwaukee-music channel because of our focus on Milwaukee artists since we first went on air 10 years ago.  We’re proud to play all Milwaukee music because it rivals music from any city in the country.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2012

| April 23, 2013

entercomEntercom Donates $25k to The One Fund. Entercom operates rock WAAF, news/talk WRKO and sports talk outlets WEEI-FM and WEEI-AM but the donation to The One Fund to assist in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing comes from the company as a whole, states Boston VP and market manager Jeff Brown, “On behalf of over 2,000 Entercom employees across the country and our incredible Entercom team here in Boston, we are honored to donate $25,000 to The One Fund to help assist the victims and the families of the Boston Marathon tragedy.”

thielepeterPeter Thiele Leaves Salem Communications’ WNYM and WMCA, New York.  Talk radio programmer Peter Thiele is exiting his program director position at Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” and its sister Christian outlet WMCA where he’s been for the past five years.  He and his family plan to relocate to San Antonio, Texas in early May.  Thiele states, “I want to thank Phil Boyce, Jerry Crowley, Dave Santrella and the rest of the Salem team.”  Thiele tells TALKERS magazine that this decision is his and plans to use his experience in branding and marketing to help businesses grow.  If you would like to reach out to Peter, his email address is thepeterthiele@gmail.com or call him at 646-926-6581.

davisbobMinneapolis Talk Host Apologizes After Comments About Newtown Families.  KTCN, Minneapolis morning drive co-host Bob Davis – half of the Emmer and Davis morning program – apologized to the families of the Newtown massacre almost a week after making comments in connection with the move for gun legislation.  According to a report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, on April 12 Davis said, “I have something I want to say to the victims of Newtown or any other shooting, I don’t care if it’s here in Minneapolis or anyplace else: Just because a bad thing happened to you doesn’t mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life.  I’m sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what?  Deal with it, and don’t force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss.  I’m sick and tired of seeing these victims trotted out, given rides on Air Force One, hauled into the Senate well, and everyone is … terrified of these victims. I would stand in front of them and tell them, ‘Go to hell.’”  The paper reports that a couple of days later he tried to explain his comments, then four days after that issued an apology for the “pain those words may have caused.”  Sandy Hook, Connecticut resident Bob Greene posted a comment on the Star-Tribune website and sent Davis an email offering to pay his air fare for him to come to Connecticut and repeat the words he said in front of the Newtown families.  Greene says he has not had a reply from Davis.  The paper’s report of the incident notes the program lost one advertiser over the affair.

sabowalterSabo Sez: Regardless of No-Buy Lists, Controversy Is Good for Radio and Should Be Sold as Such.  According to noted radio consultant Walter Sabo, for decades TV shows promoting murder, violence, unmarried sex partners (Gilmore Girls) and anal bleaching (TMZ), have commanded high rates for spots from General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, Sony, Verizon, AT&T and all your favorites.  Why aren’t those shows on do-not-buy lists?  In a new column posted today, Sabo writes, “It’s because watching those shows is not a profound, intimate experience. Those shows are watched passively.  They command no engagement resulting in no complaints. However their content is as ‘controversial’ as any radio show and they have the bonus of a visual component.”  Sabo continues, “Listening to a talk radio show is a 100% foreground experience. Unlike music, talking on the radio commands 100% attention.  The listener is ENGAGED with the show.  The big buzzword at the ad agencies right now is ENGAGEMENT.  An emotional listener is an engaged listener.  Happy, angry, passionate listeners are worth a premium price per spot.”  To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, click here.

duncanchrisWXOS, St. Louis Pairs Up Anthony Stalter with Chris Duncan for Middays.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s St. Louis sports talker “101 ESPN” fills the midday show being vacated by Bernie Miklasz with afternoon drive co-host (and former St. Louis Cardinals star) Chris Duncan and sports talk pro Anthony Stalter.  The show will debut on May 1 and doesn’t stalteranthonyhave a name but WXOS program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert says, “Chris Duncan and Anthony Stalter have proven themselves as show hosts in other time slots, and listeners have really responded to both of them on the air.  We’re confident that they will work well together as co-hosts, and we’re looking forward to their show’s debut next month.”  Duncan has been with the station since 2011 and most recently was one of the three co-hosts of the PM drive show “The Fast Lane.”  Stalter has been with WXOS since March of 2012. He broke into sports radio with Clear Channel’s WDFN, Detroit and served as the station’s on-site producer for Pistons’ broadcasts. He was also a reporter for both Pistons and Lions postgame coverage.  As a journalist, he was an NFL columnist for the WashingtonPost.com’s expert panel, “The League,” and he continues to write NFL-related columns for 101sports.com.

lawsonrussellCMG Names Russell Lawson GSM for Athens and Gainesville, Georgia Stations.  Russell Lawson moves up from Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV, Jacksonville where he’s been an account manager for the past five years to become the general sales manager for the company’s Athens and Gainesville, Georgia stations that include: country WNGC, news/talk WGAU, AC WGMG “Magic 102.1,” CHR WPUP “Power 100.1,” adult hits WXKT “103.7 Chuck FM,” and sports talk WRFC “960 The Ref.”  Cluster VP and general manager Scott Smith states, “We are excited to have Russell join our team and to be able to tap into CMG’s top internal sales talent.  His multi-faceted experience in a variety of radio sales situations, and dedication to his craft, will make him an asset to CMG Athens/ Gainesville.”

sileodanTimes Are Tough Enough – Be a Pro!  Sports talk personality Dan Sileo – most recently of Beasley’s WQAM, Miami and Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa – writes about his recent mistakes that have left him on the beach as well as the highly publicized departure of a Boston sports talk host.  Sileo says he’s learned valuable lessons that other radio personalities should take to heart.  Read his piece here.

striderphilThe Conclave Hires Phil Strider.  Conclave executive director Bob Shannon announces radio veteran Phil Strider has been hired to create and sell sponsorships for “Conclave 38: The Learning Conference” scheduled for July 17-19 at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis.  Commenting on the hiring, Shannon says, “My ideal candidate needed to have national sales experience, a programing background, and have an intimate knowledge of how special the Conclave is.  Phil’s got it all. ”  Strider’s background includes independent syndication services as well as management, sales and programming stints at Westwood One; Jones Radio Network; Metro Networks; KZOK, Seattle; and KBPI, Denver.

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Immigration Reform, Gun Legislation, Internet Tax Proposal, Bush Presidential Library, and North Korea Threats Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/22).  The ongoing search for information about the Boston Marathon bombing suspects and their motives; new questions about what immigration reform legislation should contain; ongoing legislative attempts to change state and federal gun laws; proposals to change tax laws for internet purchases; the opening of the Bush Presidential Library; and North Korea’s treats against the U.S. and South Korea were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.