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Monday, November 30, 2020

| November 30, 2020

Pending Business: Minimizing Risk. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, says that for local business owners, the biggest obstacle to overcome (beyond the pandemic) is the high risk of advertising. In today’s column, he offers seven points to help radio sellers combat this risk anxiety. Read it here.

COVID-19 and Holiday Travel, Biden Transition, Trump Post-Election, Georgia Runoff Elections, Iran Scientist Assassinated, Record Dow/Joblessness, and Utah Monolith Disappears Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The current pace of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad and concerns about Thanksgiving holiday travel spreading the coronavirus; the Joe Biden administration goes forward with transition activities as officials are named; Donald Trump continues to argue that the election was fraudulent; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; the aftermath of the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear weapons scientist; the Dow holds its record level as economists express concerns about potential mass joblessness as a result of the pandemic; and the bizarre metal monolith found in remote Utah disappears were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: Last Chance for Christmas Cash. Unsurprisingly, consumer research forecasts a very different holiday shopping season. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke says “steal this line” for a local advertiser’s copy. Read it here.

Cox Media Group’s Bill Hendrich to Retire. Although today’s announcement says Bill Hendrich will remain with Cox Media Group in an advisory capacity, the company announces that he’ll retire from his executive vice president of radio position. During his three-decade career with Cox Media Group, Hendrich has served as EVP, radio, overseeing programming, operations and sales for the company’s radio stations. He also has oversight of CMG’s Radio Revenue team and Radio Digital team. CMG president and CEO Dan York says, “Bill’s retirement comes with a wealth of gratitude and mixed emotions. In the time I have known him, he has shared his exceptional passion, focus, and leadership from which our company, and our industry, has immeasurably benefited. Bill’s legacy of decisive leadership, his personal style and his deep experiences in radio and beyond will inform our work well into the future.” Hendrich comments, “Although I’m retiring from CMG, I will remain an active and passionate supporter of this great company. For the past 31 years, I have been able to work with the best and most talented team in the radio industry. With NewCity Communications, Cox Enterprises and Apollo, I have been a part of three outstanding companies – each bringing valuable and innovative ideas to keep radio viable in today’s media landscape. I look forward to continuing our work together in an advisory capacity to help the team at CMG serve their audiences, customers, and communities with best-in-class services. I joined a great company in 1989 and I get to leave that same great company with pride 31 years later. I am a lucky man.”

Round Three of November PPM Takeaways. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from the third round of Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey that covered October 8 to November 4. This group of markets included Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Some moves of note include Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte rising to the #2 spot after climbing a half share to finish with a 7.4 share. iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio rises to the #1 rank on the strength of a 1.4 share increase for a 7.7 share. iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento keeps its #1 rank for the third straight month after posting a 9.1 share (+0.6) and the company’s KNRS-FM, Salt Lake City adds 1.9 shares during the survey to achieve a 9.5 share and its second straight #1 rank. Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City climbs into the #6 spot after posting a 5.7 share (+0.7). You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.

FOX Sports Radio Launches New Weekend Show. The new “Up On Game” show that debuts this Saturday (12/5) from FOX Sports Radio is co-hosted by former NFL stars LaVar Arrington, TJ Houshmandzadeh, and Plaxico Burress. Arrington says, “I’m super excited to team up with my brothers to host this new show. TJ and Plaxico are sports cultural icons and legends. Not only do they have incredible knowledge and experience as former pro athletes, but they also understand how to mentor players. This show will break the mold and create a new way of thinking about athletes and sports topics.” FSR VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro adds, “LaVar, TJ, and Plaxico have such unique perspectives, which will make for a truly refreshing and entertaining listen. This is not going to sound like any other sports talk show.  When these three star football players take the mic, all with strong points of view, watch out!”

Can Trump Be the ‘Next Limbaugh?’ There’s buzz aplenty about Donald Trump’s post-presidency role in the media. Talk radio consultant and RT America TV host Holland Cooke thinks the time is opportune: “FOX News has a problem. When they reported election results, viewers damned them on social media and the ratings tanked. Talk radio has a problem. Its biggest star has advanced cancer. Will Trump supporters flee mass media entirely? And could Citizen Trump herd them past his own media paywall?” In the segment you can see here, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison weighs in.

Ajit Pai Announces He’ll Leave FCC in January. After three years as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai announces that he intends to leave the Commission on January 20, 2021. Pai issued the following statement: “It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as chairman of the FCC over the past four years. I am grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity to lead the agency in 2017, to President Obama for appointing me as a commissioner in 2012, and to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate for twice confirming me. To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege. As I often say: only in America.” He added, “I also deeply appreciate the chance to have worked alongside the FCC’s talented staff. They are the agency’s best assets, and they have performed heroically, especially during the pandemic. It’s also been an honor to work with my fellow commissioners to execute a strong and broad agenda.  Together, we’ve delivered for the American people over the past four years: closing the digital divide; promoting innovation and competition, from 5G on the ground to broadband from space; protecting consumers; and advancing public safety. And this FCC has not shied away from making tough choices. As a result, our nation’s communications networks are now faster, stronger, and more widely deployed than ever before. I am proud of how productive this Commission has been, from commencing five spectrum auctions and two rural broadband reverse auctions in four years, to opening 1,245 megahertz of mid-band spectrum for unlicensed use, to adopting more than 25 orders through our Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative, to aggressively protecting our communications networks from national security threats at home and abroad, to designating 988 as the three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and much, much more. I’m also proud of the reforms we have instituted to make the agency more accountable to the American people.  In particular, for the first time ever, we’ve made public drafts of the proposals and orders slated for a vote three weeks before the agency’s monthly meetings, making this the most transparent FCC in history.”

Jim Bohannon Helps Kick Off the Holiday Season. Pictured here in fill Santa Claus regalia – complete with golf cart sleigh – is Westwood One nationally syndicated late-night talk host Jim Bohannon. He’s in Chickasaw Point, South Carolina helping the community kick off the holiday season.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new radio station from Nashville Public Radio launches today at 3:00 pm local time. WNXP-FM, Nashville “91.ONE, WNXP, Nashville’s Music Experience” is a “new music discovery station” that “will serve as a platform for new and emerging artists from Nashville and beyond plus incorporate a unique fusion of indie rock, urban alternative, electro pop and pop alternative.” Station program director Jason Moon Wilkins says, “WNXP is focused on being an ally to the Nashville music scene by providing opportunities that stretch beyond our city. The Nashville Artist of the Month feature is a great example of how we’ll use every tool and relationship from radio to social media to NPR Music to bring music like [rapper] Namir [Blade]’s to new audiences.” WNXP’s full-time staff consists of music director and midday host Jewly Hight, APD and evening host Mickey Parks, production coordinator and morning host Marquis Munson, and engagement coordinator Paige A. Jack…..In order to sate the appetite of live music fans, SiriusXM is launching the “Next Wave Virtual Concert Series” in which it will present six new virtual concerts over three consecutive weeks. The Octane Accelerator Virtual Concert will feature new, live performances from three explosive new hard rock bands, Saul, Any Given Sin, and AVOID, hosted by Jose Mangin. Coffee House Live: At Home Edition will include exclusive sets from singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers, Sam Fischer, and Ruth B. Alt Nation’s Virtual Advanced Placement Concert will feature breaking alternative artists Royal & The Serpent, beabadoobee, and Holly Humberstone. Hip Hop Nation: Nation’s Next Virtual Concert will hand the mic to Mulatto, Tyla Yaweh, and Yella Beezy. Highway Finds Tour: Quarantine Edition will showcase new performances from Drew Parker, Parker McCollum, Priscilla Block, Angie K, and Shy Carter.  Liquid Metal Hard Attack Virtual Concert will feature performances with Slaughter To Prevail, Spiritbox, and Tetrarch.

Friday, July 8, 2016

| July 8, 2016

Craig Stevens Upped to Format Captain for Spoken Word at iHM Allentown-Harrisburg.  Big changes at the Allentown and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania operations of iHeartMedia as SVP of programming Craig Stevens stevenscraigis also named format captain for the company’s spoken word stations in seven markets.  At the same time, the company promotes Jimmy Steele to program director for adult hits WRFY “Y102” andiheartmedia logo smallest “Rumba 92.3 FM,” stations Stevens was programming.  Additionally, Steele becomes part of the “Y102” morning show alongside Andi Kurzweg.  Stevens assumes responsibility for the programming and day-to-day operations of: WAEB-AM, Allentown; WHP-AM, Harrisburg; WILM-AM, Wilmington, Delaware; WDOV, Dover, Delaware; WRAK, Williamsport, PA; WTKT, Harrisburg; WSAN, Allentown; WWTX, Wilmington, WTGM, Salisbury, Maryland and WJDY, Salisbury.  iHM regional SVP of programming Jeff Hurley states, “Craig has been an exceptional member of the iHeartMedia team for 23 years.  He’s one of our most talented and driven programmers and I’m excited for the energy he’ll bring to all the spoken-word brands within our region.”

talkersten logoThe Hillary Clinton Email Case Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 4-8.  The FBI’s decision not to charge Hillary Clinton for using a private email server for State Department business was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Coming in at #2 was the presidential race.  Following at #3 was the sniper slayings of five Dallas police officers on Thursday and, at #4 was the Baton Rouge and Minneapolis shooting deaths of black men by police officers.  The Talkers TenTM is a 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

cbsradionews logoCBS Radio News Devotes ‘Weekend Roundup’ to Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minneapolis Police Shootings.  This weekend’s edition of the CBS Radio News program “Weekend Roundup” will be a special program reporting on the Dallas police slayings and the deaths of black men at the hands of police in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.  The 48-minute program available to CBS Radio News affiliates is titled, “CBS WEEKEND ROUNDUP SPECIAL EDITION: Ambush in Dallas: Race, Guns, Police and Protests.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of June 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of June 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Chicago-Based Talk Host Joe Walsh Criticized for Post-Dallas Tweet Warning President Obama, ‘Real America Is Coming After You.’  WIND, Chicago-based talk show host and former U.S. Rep. from Illinoiswalshjoe Joe Walsh, is causing a stir in the Twitterverse after posting remarks some deemed threatening to President Obama.  The tweet, since deleted, was posted by Walsh after news of the Dallas police slayings broke.  It read, “3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded. This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.”  Walsh deleted the tweet and then posted the following, “I wasn’t calling for violence, against Obama or anyone.  Obama’s words & BLM’s deeds have gotten cops killed.  Time for us to defend our cops.”  Walsh’s program is also heard on WVNJ, Oakland, New Jersey.

Kristi Lee Returns to ‘The Bob & Tom Show.’  In a statement from syndicator Westwood One, there’s noleekristi mention of why the longtime “Bob & Tom Show” cast member parted company with the program back in January, nor what events brought about her return to the show, but return she shall.  Effective July 11, Kristi Lee joins Tom Griswold and cast members Chick McGee, Donnie Baker, Scott Polanski, and “an ensemble of comedy hosts and guests as the show continues to entertain morning audiences across the country and worldwide on the American Forces Radio Network.”

Odds & Sods.  It’s been seven years since Kennesaw State University transitioned from Division II to Division I NCAA athletics, now Dickey Broadcasting Company’s Atlanta sports talker WFOM-AM, Marietta, Georgia “ESPN Radio 1230 The Fan 2” signs a multi-year deal with the school to broadcast Kennesaw State football beginning with this season.  WFOM president David Dickey says, “We are excited to expand Dickey Broadcasting Company’s unprecedented college football coverage through our exciting partnership with KSU.  Vaughn Williams and his team have done an incredible job of launching KSU football and we look forward to helping them create and distribute market-exclusive content, for all KSU students, fans and sponsors to enjoy.”…..In New England, Dartmouth College, through Learfield’s Big Green Sports Properties, signs a new three-year contract with Great Eastern Radio for WSTV, Claremont, New Hampshire and translator W233CC, Lebanon at 94.5 FM to serve as the flagship for live play-by-play of the Ivy League school’s football and men’s and women’s hockey.  Both men’s and women’s basketball will air on classic hits WWOD, Woodstock, Vermont “Kool 93.9.”  Great Eastern OM Matt Houseman states, “We are thrilled to be the new home of Dartmouth sports.  This new partnership allows us to showcase the premier Division I athletics we have in our area like never before.  It’s great local content and we look forward to providing Dartmouth sports to listeners in the Upper Valley and beyond.”

Thursday, May 26, 2016

| May 26, 2016

johnnyblondieliveCumulus v Johnny and Blondie Gets Underway in Michigan.  Another non-compete case involving Cumulus Media is in the courtroom, this time in Michigan.  Cumulus is suing former WHNN, Saginaw, Michigan morning personalities Johnny Burke and Bonnie Belger-Holzhei, a.k.a. Blondie, alleging they violated the non-compete and non-solicitation clauses in their contracts after being fired by the station earlier this year.  As reported in MLive.com, this comes after the pair sued Cumulus for age discrimination.  Cumulus is asking the court to prevent the duo from continuing to host the internet show they launched shortly after leaving the station.  Interestingly, Cumulus is not after Burke for the non-compete violation since it would then have to pay six months of his $125,000 salary but is pursuing the non-compete matter with Belger-Holzhei as her salary was just $31,200.  What Cumulus really appears to want is the court to find that they have been going after Cumulus clients to sponsor their internet show and force them to stop.  Read the MLive story here.

ramseyBush16Dave Ramsey Interviews George W. Bush at Dallas Appearance.  At Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Summit – held May 23 – 25 at the Omni Dallas Hotel – the nationally syndicated superstar interviewed former President George W. Bush (pictured at left with Ramsey).  The three-day conference also included speakers Seth Godin, Jim Collins, Pat Lencioni, Dr. Henry Cloud, Chris Hogan and Christy Wright, providing attendees with knowledge on leadership, building company culture, communication, work/life balance and organizational health.

The Presidential Race/New Mexico and California Trump Protests, SC Abortion Ban, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Texas Restroom Law Suit, China Naval Activity, Katie Couric Gun Doc Controversy, Thiel-Hogan Gawker Suit Connection, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/25).  The activities of the candidates for president and the violent anti-Trump protests in New Mexico and California; the new South Carolina law banning abortion after 20 weeks; the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; Texas and 10 other states file suit against the Obama Administration over transgender restroom laws; growing concern over China’s naval activities including its patrolling the Pacific with nuclear-armed subs; allegations Katie Couric edited the statements of gun rights activists in a new documentary; the revelation that billionaire Peter Thiel is funding Hulk Hogan’s suits against Gawker; and the NBA and NHL Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods. At the Toledo operations of iHeartMedia, WSPD program director and afternoon talk show hostsandsscott Scott Sands is promoted to SVP of programming for the station group.  In addition to programming cbsHiroshimanews/talk WSPD, he now has oversight of CHR WVKS, country WCKY, adult contemporary WRVF, rock WIOT and sports talk WCWA.  Sands assumes the role previously held by Nathan Reed who recently exited the company to join Cox Media Group’s hot AC KRAV, Tulsa “MIX 96.”…..In advance of President Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima on Saturday (5/28), the Japanese TV network TBS interviewed CBS Radio News reporter Pam Coulter (pictured at left in yellow) about the president’s decision to go to Hiroshima.  Coulter is the only U.S. radio network reporter in Japan covering the event.

gracies16grouppic41st Annual Gracie Awards Held in Beverly Hills.  The annual Gracie Awards took place last night at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.  Awards were handed out in both television and radio categories.  Some of the women working in commercial radio who were honored include: Loren Raye, co-host of “The TJ Show” on WODS, Boston “103.3 AMP Radio”; Marla Diamond, reporter/correspondent with WCBS, New York; Nina Hajian, co-host “Shoboy in the Morning” at WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio”; Rita Cosby, WABC, New York; Joan Hamburg, WABC, New York; Felicia Middlebrooks, WBBM, Chicago; Suzyn Waldman, WFAN, New York; and Jane Tillman Irving, WCBS, New York.  See the entire list of winners here.  Pictured above is the Alliance for Women in Media board at last night’s awards ceremony.  They are: (l-r, front) Kristen Welch, AWM/F chair, SVP, Global Content Operations, Discovery Communications; Christine Travaglini, AWM/F treasurer-elect, president, Christal Radio; Karla Ballard Williams, AWM/F director and Gracies chair, founder and chief executive, Ying Bank; Josie Thomas, AWM director, EVP and chief diversity and inclusion officer, CBS Corporation; Heather Cohen, AWM/F director and Gracies chair, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Annie Howell, AWM/F director and Gracies chair, founder & co-president, The Punch Point Group. Back row: Sarah Foss, AWM/F chair-elect, vice president, product management, media, Imagine Communications; Kimberly Maki, AWM/F director, Bright House Networks, corporate vice president, Corporate Communications; Keisha Sutton-James, AWM/F treasurer, vice president, ICBC Broadcast Holdings.  Photo: Hamilton Photography

Thursday, January 7, 2016

| January 7, 2016

cbsradio logoTop Management Changes at CBS RADIO Chicago; Tim Pohlman to Lead Cluster as Zimmerman and Day Exit.  Today, CBS RADIO COO Scott Hermanpohlmantim announced that Tim Pohlman is assuming the SVP and market manager position at the company’s Chicago cluster.  This news comes a day after the staff was notified that Rod Zimmerman was let go as was VP and director of sales Mark Day.  Pohlman has served with CBS in the same capacity at its Phoenix station group for the past six years.  The initial press release from CBS did not mention Day’s exit zimmermanrodbut the company later stated that it does not have a replacement for him yet.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that the changes are the result of underwhelming fiscal performances by the stations in the group.  The 63-year-old Zimmerman had been with CBS RADIO since 1978.  He ascended to the market manager position in 2003.  CBS RADIO operates all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, sports talk WSCR, CHR WBBM-FM “B96,” country WUSN “US 99.5,” triple A WXRT, and classic hits WJMK.  CBS says news of Pohlman’s replacement in Phoenix will come at a later date.  Read Feder’s account here.

emmis logoEmmis’ Fiscal Q3 Radio Revenue Down 5.1%.  In announcing its fiscal third quarter figures, Emmis reports that its radio net revenue for the period was down 5.2% compared to local radio market revenue which rose 0.2%.  The company says the battle in Los Angeles between its hip hop KPWR and iHeartMedia’s recently launched competitor KRRL hassmulyanjeff affected revenue there and was “substantially all of our radio division’s shortfall against its markets.”  The Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Austin clusters all beat their markets for the quarter.   Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Radio industry growth has been disappointing in 2015.  Our markets are down 2.4% through the first eleven months of 2015.  This general decline, coupled with the competitive situation in Los Angeles, led us to take a series of steps yesterday, including staff reductions and pay cuts for senior executives, to restructure our expenses to better align them with the current operating environment.  We remain confident that we have the best team in media and the solution, in NextRadio, to return the radio industry to growth.  Our ratings are quite strong in most of our markets, and our investments in content, sales hiring and training, and NextRadio and Digonex will begin to yield stronger results in 2016.”

kdizSalem to Launch ‘1570 Wellness Radio’ in the Twin Cities.  Calling it a first-of-its-kind format, Salem Media Group is launching “Wellness Radio 1570 KDIZ AM” on Monday, January 11 at 7:00 am.  Salem says the station will be “the first of its kind to dedicate its entire format to health and wellness programming.”  Salem Media Groupandrewasa Twin Cities general manager Nic Anderson states, “We’re thrilled to be on the forefront of such an exciting opportunity for our company and the Twin Cities.  Health and wellness is a point of emphasis in the Twin Cities and we believe the Twin Cities will both greatly enjoy and benefit from our daily programming.”  Featured programming includes “Dr. Asa On Call,” airing weekdays from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  Salem says, “Dr. Asa’s show currently is the fastest-growing, health-related talk show in the country with more than 2 million weekly listeners every week.”

ramseydaveDave Ramsey to Air in Middays in Seattle.  Nationally syndicated financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey’s daily program begins airing in the Seattle market from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on Salem Media Group’s KLFE “AM 1590 The Answer,” effective Monday, January 11.  Salem Seattle general manager Andrew Adams says, “Dave Ramsey is a welcome addition to the AM 1590 The Answer lineup.  Every day Dave offers up real, workable solutions to money issues and they’re presented in an easy to understand manner, so that anyone can benefit from listening to his program.”

postellannPostell Promoted to Senior VP Sales. Director of sales Ann Postell is boosted to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia Sacramento. According to iHeartMedia Sacramento market president Sara McClure, “Ann has demonstrated that she possesses the leadership skills needed to successfully lead a sales organization in today’s environment. As senior vice president of sales, Ann will be the centerpiece in the growth of our business in the years ahead. I look forward to working with her in that effort.” Executive vice president of operations Hartley Adkins comments, “Ann’s sales talent and leadership will be a true asset to the iHeartMedia Sacramento team. She has demonstrated the desire and motivation to lead the sales efforts; I know she will inspire the team to not only meet but to exceed revenue expectations.” Postell remarks, “I am fortunate to advance in such a dynamic media company. I look forward to working with Sara McClure and the iHeartMedia team in developing solutions for existing and new clients. I am thrilled to be a part of iHeartMedia’s visionary strategy.” Prior to working for iHeartMedia Sacramento, Postell held sales and sales management positions in New York City, San Francisco, and Boston. With each station’s 6+ December 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM share and market rank in parentheses, iHM Sacramento’s cluster includes news/talk KFBK (#2, 8.3); urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101.1 (#10, 3.6); adult hits KQJK “Jack-FM” (#14, 2.8); KBEB “B-92.5 #1 New Country” (#16, 2.6); and talk KSTE (2.4, #17).

hewitthughSRN’s Hugh Hewitt to Appear on CNN’s ‘Guns in America’ Town Hall Coverage.  There’s much more political television in Hugh Hewitt’s future, starting with tonight’s appearance on CNN’s special program following President Obama’s town hall broadcast on guns.  The Salem Radio Network personality will join several other national political observers in analyzing the president’s town hall.  Also this week, Hewitt will be in New York City appearing on ABC TV’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday.  Hewitt will also be a featured questioner on CNN’s next Republican presidential debate on March 10, at the University of Miami in Florida.  Regarding tonight’s broadcasts, President Obama will join CNN’s Anderson Cooper for an exclusive one-hour, live town hall on gun control at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia titled “Guns in America.”  Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “With ongoing appearances on ‘Meet The Press,’ FOX News Channel, ‘Face The Nation,’ CNN and elsewhere, Hugh Hewitt has become a fixture on the national political scene that adds to his already established credentials as one of America’s best radio talk show hosts.”

Obama Guns Town Hall, Presidential Race, N. Korea H-Bomb Claim, Saudi-Iran Break/Shiite vs Sunni Tensions, Chinese Stock Crash, Oregon Armed Protestors Standoff, and Record Powerball Jackpot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/6).  The White House and CNN-produced televised town hall on guns taking place this evening; the activities of the candidates for president; North Korea’s claim that it has test-detonated a hydrogen bomb; the diplomatic break between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the larger Shiite-Sunni tensions in the region; the Chinese stock implosion and the world financial markets’ reactions; the ongoing armed protestor standoff at an Oregon wildlife sanctuary; and the record $500 million Powerball jackpot were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

chevyvoltCES 2016: Disrupt, or Be Disrupted.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke continues his reporting from Las Vegas and the Consumer Electronics Show 2016.  In today’s report, Cooke presents highlights from presentations by the Consumer Technology Association’s Gary Shapiro, NetflixReed Hastings, and General MotorsMary Barra.  It was during Barra’s presentation that the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV (pictured) was rolled out.  For those broadcasters watching the evolution of the “connected car,” Cooke writes that this vehicle syncs with the owner’s smartphone as you approach it and “Apple Play and Android Auto are built-into a dashboard screen ‘bigger than iPad air.’”  Read Cooke’s entire report here.

Odds & Sods.  Longtime New York City radio engineer Frank D’Elia announces he’s retiring from Cumulus Media’s WABC and WPLJ, New York after a 40-year career at the heritage Big Apple stations, effective January 29.  D’Elia has served as WABC’s senior production engineer for the past 32 years…..Salem Radio Network is presenting three prime-time specials covering the Iowa Caucus, and the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina.  The Iowa Caucus special will air on February 1 featuring Steve Deace in Iowa.  New Hampshire primary programming will emanate from Washington or New Hampshire on February 9 with Hugh Hewitt and the South Carolina program will be hosted by Mike Gallagher on Saturday, February 20 from Gallagher’s base at WGTK in Greenville.  All programs will air from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET…..This weekend Westwood One Sports is presenting its exclusive coverage of the National Football League’s Wild Card Weekend games.  Scott Graham hosts the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows for all eight broadcasts…..ESPN Radio is launching a new weekend lineup this Saturday that includes the debut of espnW’s “The Trifecta with Spain, Jane and Kate.”  The program, airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET, is hosted by espnW writers Kate Fagan, Jane McManus and Sarah Spain.  Fagan will also co-host “Will & Kate” with ESPN contributor Will Cain, airing Sundays from 7:00 am to 10:00 am ET.

minayarichRadio Pro Rich Minaya Launches Campaign to Fight Colon Cancer.  Long time radio pro Rich Michaels – WGR, Buffalo; WTAM, Cleveland and a.k.a. Rich Minaya at WIOD, Miami – has been fighting Stage 3 colon cancer since the spring of 2015.  He recently started a campaign to “Drop Your Pride! Drop Your Drawers.”  Minaya says, “Many people, especially men, are still reluctant to get screened for colo-rectal disease, but it is one of the most beatable cancers – if you catch it early.”  After a brutal bout with chemo, Minaya was found to be cancer free on December 28 and he tells TALKERS, “Avoid the pain and agony for your family, loved ones and fans.  Get screened.  And encourage your listeners.  Old schoolers hate the idea, but it may save a life.”  Minaya can be reached at: rich@richmichaels.com.

wbtlogoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte has a rare opportunity for an anchor/reporter with news/talk WBT-AM/FM.  The ideal candidate is a news reporter with experience anchoring and reporting radio news on air who also has the ability to generate content for populating station websites.  This position is for a radio newsroom employee familiar with working under regular newscast deadlines.  Good news writing skills are a must.  Primary job duties include, but are not limited to, anchoring regular on-air news shift, mainly but not exclusively weekdays.  Candidate will be required to assemble and deliver, using Newsroom computer system, regular half-hourly local newscasts, including audio.  The news reporter’s role requires coverage of and generation of news stories for use in newscasts during other dayparts, including recording stories for next day’s use.  This includes the ability to write and feed stories from the field, if necessary.  In addition, position requires web and social media skills with the upmost attention to updating station’s website with news content.   Send resume and mp3 to: Greater Media Charlotte, WBT/WLNK Human Resources, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC  28208. Or email to : hired@gmclt.com.  No phone calls, please!

Friday, November 6, 2015

| November 6, 2015

womentalkart15The State of Women on Talk Radio: Part 5.  Today (11/6), TALKERS magazine concludes its multi-part story looking at the status of women on talk radio in 2015.  Written by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, it addresses one of the most-asked questions TALKERS editors hear: Why aren’t there more women on talk radio?  Today we sum up the opinions and philosophies and ask what does it all really mean?  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says management often makes the mistake of trying to duplicate a successful artistic product – whether it is movies, television shows, books, or, in this case, radio programming – by approaching it formulaically… a mindset that totally misses the point.  “When Rush Limbaugh became a phenomenon by talking conservative politics, corporate focused on the conservative aspect of his stunning success as the magic formula and a whole slew of talent-challenged Rush wannabes spewing conservative talking points just for the sake of ‘being conservative’ were unleashed upon the airwaves.  Only a relative handful of them who were truly ‘talented’ have withstood the test of time.”  And so it is with women on talk radio.  The problem is not so much an equal opportunity “employment” issue as it is the larger question of where “news/talk radio” is willing to go to increase its audience, broaden its demos and insure its viability to survive in the years ahead in what is clearly becoming a brave new world… while remaining an “issues-oriented” medium.  One answer may be to find “magnetic” women and see what they can do in news/talk radio versus laying out the formula for a news/talk show and filling the job with a woman.  Read the entire piece here.

wtop logo NEW 1-15Rumors of Cuts at Hubbard’s WTOP and WFED in Washington.  TALKERS sources in the Washington market tell us that budget-related cuts are taking place today at Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP and its sister station WFED.  Some of the staffers reported to be exiting are traffic reporter Ari Ashe, digital manager John Myer, and WFED afternoon personality Francis RoseTALKERS is also hearing that the company will not fill the role vacated recently by reporter Andrew Mollenbeck and that there may be an unnamed sales staffer who is also out.

entercomEntercom Q3 Report: Up 3% on Same-Station Basis.  This quarter’s financial report from Entercom reflects the new income from its deals with Lincoln Financial Media and Bonneville International that saw Entercom add stations in major and large markets — Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego.  As a result, the company posts a net revenue increase of 15% on $114.7 million compared to the same period a year ago.  Entercom CEO David Field states, “I am pleased to report anfielddavid outstanding quarter for Entercom driven by strong organic revenue growth across our station group and the seamless integration of our new acquisitions in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, San Diego and Denver.  While we are delighted with our progress and opportunities at the new stations, we are particularly pleased by our strong market share gains in the rest of our markets which enabled us to post approximately 3% same-station revenue growth for the quarter, and just over 4% growth when excluding the impact of political advertising.  We also achieved strong double-digit growth in free cash flow and adjusted net income per share and believe we are very well positioned for continued strong performance in 2016 and beyond.”

cumulus logoNew Cumulus CEO Mary Berner Reports Q3 Financial Data: Net Revenue Dips 7.8%.  Chief executive officer Mary Berner has been on the job for less than a month after replacing Lew Dickey and her first quarterly report was full of financial challenges for the company; but as a board member since the spring, she knew all the figures.  Cumulus Media stock has been beaten up over the past year, and not without cause.  The 2015 Q3 net revenue was $289.4 million, that’s a 7.8% drop versus the same period a year ago.  For the first three quarters of the year, net revenue was $859.9 million, down 8% year-bernermaryover-year.  Cumulus also recorded an impairment against intangible assets and goodwill of $565.6 million.  For the quarter, broadcast advertising was down 4.3% while digital advertising sunk 35.4%.  Berner says, “Despite Cumulus’ recent challenges, my early experiences have reinforced my appreciation for the strength of the company’s aggregate assets, including its people.  I was hired by the company’s board of directors to maximize the value of those assets and I believe that, through focused execution, we will be able to capitalize on the operational leverage that appears to exist in the company.  While such efforts will not be easy nor, in many cases, immediate, I intend to institute a relentless commitment to improvement over the coming months to drive results for all stakeholders.”

ewscrippsE.W. Scripps Radio Segment Flat in Q3.  The Cincinnati-based company got into the radio business as a result of the merger with Journal Communications, acquiring its TV and radio properties (with Journal getting E.W. Scripps’ publication segment).  In this third quarter report, Scripps president and CEO Rich Boehne says the radio segment was flat.  “Radio revenue and expenses of $20.4 million and $16.3 million were essentially flat with the prior period.  Segment profit in the radio division was $4.1 million in the third quarter of 2015, compared to $4.5 million in the 2014 quarter.  The company is committed to its digital segment and recently acquired podcast platform Midroll earlier this year.  “Digital revenues were $10.9 million, up $3.7 million from the prior period.  Excluding Midroll, revenue increased 25%…Segment loss in the digital division was $3.6 million in the third quarter of 2015, compared to $5.6 million in the 2014 quarter.”

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Partners with FOX Business Network and FNC for GOP Debate Coverage.  The means that audio of the November 10 GOP primary debates in Milwaukee will air on 130foxbusiness iHeartMedia-owned news/talk stations.  FOX Business Network and FOX News Channel are producing the debate in conjunction with The Wall Street Journal.  The FBN primetime debate will be moderated by managing editor of business news Neil Cavuto and global markets editor Maria Bartiromo, along with WSJ’s editor-in-chief Gerard Baker.  iHeartMedia says that radio stations broadcasting the event will also host debate parties highlighted by pre and post-event coverage from local personalities.

beckerKMBZObama15Radio Personalities Visit White House for ObamaCare Event.  The White House calls it the “latest installment of ‘Live from the White House’” with President Obama conducting a round of interviews with radio personalities on the topic of the Affordable Care Act and the importance of reducing the number of people without health insurance.  The radio news anchors spent Thursday, November 5 with Obama Administration advisors and the president himself.  Taking part were: Mary Shedden of non-commercial WUSF, Tampa; Alice Rios of news/talk KRLD, Dallas; E.J. Becker of news/talk KMBZ, Kansas City; Dave Ross of news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle; and Ryan Cameron of urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V103.”  Pictured here is KMBZ’s E.J. Becker (left) interviewing President Obama (right) in the Oval Office.  Becker says, “It’s not every day that you get a call from the White House, asking if you can be in Washington the next day.  With the current political landscape, the importance of so many issues affecting Kansas Citians, along with the honor of interviewing a sitting President, who could say no!”

bobandtomBob Kevoian Announces Retirement at National Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  One half of the Bob & Tom Show morning team took the opportunity of last night’s induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame to announce his retirement from the business.  Bob Kevoian told the gathering in Chicago that he will retire from the nationally syndicated radio program by year’s end.  Kevoin said, “I always thought you had to die or be retired for five years to be considered for any hall of fame.  Thank God I’m not dead, but I am going to retire at the end of this year and walk away from the mic.”  Partner Tom Griswold commented, “It was a huge thrill to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame with my partner Bob.  He will always be a part of the Bob & Tom Show, and his presence will continue to be felt as we broadcast the show for many years to come.”

ramseyCruzeHoF15Dave Ramsey Inducted into National Radio Hall of Fame.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame last night (11/5).  Although Dave himself was unable to make it to Chicago for the ceremony, his daughter, New York Times best-selling author Rachel Cruze (pictured), was there to accept the award on his behalf.

2016 Presidential Race and Trump’s ‘SNL’ Appearance Tied for Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the controversy over Republican hopeful Donald Trump’s scheduled appearance on “Saturday Night Live” tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the crash/possible bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.  Coming in at #3 was the military relationship between Russia and Syria followed by the UC-Merced stabbings 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.