Tag: "Quadrennial Review"
FCC to Commence 2018 Quadrennial Review of Ownership Rules. At its open meeting yesterday (12/12), the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to launch the 2018 Quadrennial Review of the Commission’s media ownership rules. The rules subject to this quadrennial review obligation are the Local Radio Ownership Rule, the Local Television Ownership Rule, and the Dual Network Rule. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission seeks comment on whether these three rules continue to serve the public interest or whether they should be modified or eliminated in light of changes to the media marketplace. Republican Chairman Ajit Pai and GOP commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr approved. Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel approved in part and objected in part. She wrote in her statement, in part, “Newspapers have collapsed, and stations are increasingly owned by national companies with limited ties to the communities they serve. What is emerging are news deserts – areas of the country where national news dominates but local news is disappearing. Competition matters. It is axiomatic that more owners in more markets can mean more ideas. It can mean more news. The converse is also true. Too much consolidation can reduce the number of voices, jobs, and the newsgathering that results…We seek comment on a proposal allowing a single company to own an unlimited number of FM and AM radio stations in most communities in this country. That could mean one company controls every radio station in the town where you live…To the extent this rulemaking offers thoughtful reform, I approve. But in other aspects, I dissent. It fails to honestly assess the impact of too many changes we propose on the values of localism, competition, and diversity that have informed this agency’s media policies in the past—and I believe should still inform our efforts in the future.”
FOX News Channel and Hannity Finish 2018 on Top of Cable Ratings. A story in The Hill citing Nielsen data reveals that FOX News Channel finished 2018 in first place in the cable TV battle, posting its best prime-time audience ever: 2.5 million average viewers. Liberal cable newser MSNBC also enjoyed its best year, wrapping the year in second place behind FNC with 1.8 million average viewers in prime time. As far as individual personalities go, FNC’s Sean Hannity had the highest-rated show. His average viewership was 3.275 million. Over at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow’s program was second behind “Hannity” with 2.881 million average viewers. While both FOX News Channel and MSNBC enjoyed prime-time ratings increases this year over 2017 (up 3% and 12%, respectively), CNN was down 6% from last year with 990,000 average viewers in prime time. Following Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow in the list of the top five cable news/talk shows were three more FNC programs: “Tucker Carlson Tonight” with 2.827 million average viewers, “The Ingraham Angle” with Laura Ingraham – 2.61 million, and “The Five” with 2.38 million.
Scripps Media Officially Out of Radio Biz; Lotus Communications, Bustos Media, and Family Life Broadcasting Close. Yesterday (12/12), the closings took place for the sale of stations related to Scripps Media’s exit from the radio station business. After divesting of the first 26 of its radio station properties earlier in the year, Scripps sold its remaining eight radio properties in the Tucson and Boise markets to Lotus Communications for $8 million. In order to comply with FCC ownership caps, Lotus spun off news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson to Family Life Broadcasting and rhythmic oldies KTGV-FM, Tucson “106.3 The Groove” to Bustos Media. Scripps Media was created in the 2015 merger of Milwaukee-based Journal Communications and Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps in which the print properties kept the Journal name and the radio stations joined Scripps’ television assets under the Scripps Media banner.
Cumulus to Air Ben Shapiro in PM Drive on WABC, New York. New York news/talk WABC will air the new Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro two-hour radio show in addition to the one-hour podcast from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, beginning January 7. The Cumulus Media station already airs the podcast right after the “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage. In the New Year, Savage is transitioning to hosting a one-hour, daily live show and a one-hour podcast instead of his current three-hour live show. WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Ben is a fascinating host that completely cuts through the sameness that is political talk radio right now. It’s the perfect time for us to expand his programming on 77 WABC.”
Paul J Schneider Wraps KBOI, Boise Morning Show Career Tomorrow. As announced earlier this year, longtime KBOI, Boise morning personality Paul J Schneider will leave his morning show duties after his regular broadcast tomorrow (12/14). Schneider will continue to work with KBOI producing weekly features and a blog as well as continuing to cover Boise State Football for Learfield Sports. Schneider says, “I have been privileged to work with great morning show partners and to be on AM radio in its heyday. I was able to call the Boise State games through their growth trajectory and when not all the games were broadcasted live on TV.”
WFNZ, Charlotte Host Frank Garcia Arrested on Assault Charges. According to a story in the Charlotte Observer, afternoon drive sports talk host Frank Garcia was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female last Saturday (12/8). The report indicates Garcia is not related to the 29-year-old woman who suffered minor injuries in the incident. Garcia – a former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman – co-hosts the afternoon show on Entercom’s WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” with Kyle Bailey. He is also an assistant coach for the Charlotte Catholic High School football team.
Harry Hurley Guests on Brian Kilmeade Show. Pictured above is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (left) with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right) on Monday morning (12/10). Hurley is a regular fill-in for Todd Starnes on his FOX News Radio syndicated program.
ABC Radio Offering End-of-Year Programming. Affiliates of ABC Radio are being offered five long-form shows and eight short-form programs for year-end programming. The long-form shows include: “Journeys of Faith” featuring the most memorable moments from ABC News senior national correspondent Paula Faris’ popular podcast of the same name; “Playback 2018,” a one-hour special anchored by ABC News correspondents Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky featuring an in-depth look at the biggest stories of the year; “2018: As It Happened,” a three-hour retrospective of some of 2018’s top stories, as told through highlights of ABC News Radio’s breaking news coverage; “Perspective” is a special year-end edition of ABC News’ award-winning weekly newsmagazine; and “World News This Year” takes a look back at the major news events of the past year in 2018’s final edition of this weekly show.
Trump-Democrats Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cohen Sentenced, Immigration Issues, Google Congressional Testimony, May Survives/Brexit Issue, Time’s Person of the Year, Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/12). Tuesday’s White House meeting between President Trump and democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen sentenced to three years; the migrants in Tijuana and immigration reform; Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee about political bias; British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a no-confidence vote and the Brexit challenges; Time’s “Person of the Year” are journalists from the U.S., Myanmar, the Philippines, and Jamal Khashoggi; the world’s financial markets activity; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Miami, Entercom names Jessie Penate, a.k.a. DJ JPS, evening personality and music director for CHR WPOW “Power 96.” He’s been with the station since 2016 when he joined as a mixer after winning the station’s “Mix Master” competition. He says, “I’m thrilled to continue this journey on the station I grew up listening to, working with a talented team filled with passion and energy.”…..iHeartMedia and Fox Broadcasting Company announce the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will air live Thursday, March 14, 2019 on FOX-TV, from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The event will once again broadcast live simultaneously on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on iHeartRadio. iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes says, “This is a show that is truly controlled by music fans, because it celebrates the artists and songs that they listened to all year long on our 850 broadcast radio stations and the iHeartRadio app. FOX has established itself as a premier television destination for music fans, which has made it a natural home for our Awards.”…..February’s 61st GRAMMY Awards will once again include Westwood One as the official broadcast partner in which radio stations will be offered a comprehensive array of special programming and exclusive content. Westwood One will welcome select local stations and national programs to its Westwood One Backstage at the GRAMMY Awards, which takes place in the days leading up to the February 10 television broadcast. It will also offer a two-hour “GRAMMYs Nomination Special” airing February 2-3 in CHR/hot AC, AC, and urban formats; “GRAMMYs Week Highlights,” airing February 4-10; and the “GRAMMYs Red Carpet Countdown.”…..Marker Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KJJZ, Palm Springs “KOOL 95.9 FM” adds Premiere Networks’ Delilah for evenings…..Cumulus Media’s CHR WRQX, Washington announces the winning schools in its 2nd Annual mix107.3 Holiday Choir Competition. The competition was divided into two categories – kindergarten through 8th grade and high school. North Bethesda Middle School in Bethesda, Maryland won in the first category and gets $2,500 for its music program and Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland won the high school division and will receive $5,000 for its music education program…..Entercom’s country WUSY, Chattanooga “US 101” is seeking a midday personality. Find all the information about applying here.
Shecterle to Lead NRG’s Omaha Cluster. In Omaha, radio executive Mark Shecterle is named market manager at NRG Media’s station group that includes: news/talk KOIL, sports talk duo KZOT-AM “1180 The Zone” and KOZN “1620 The Zone,” hot AC KQKQ “Sweet 98.5” rock KOOO “101.9 The Keg,” rhythmic CHR KOPW “Power 106.9,” and regional Mexican KMMQ-AM/K258DC. Shecterle was most recently vice president of sales south for United States Traffic Network. He previously served with Radio One, Total Traffic & Weather Network, and Westwood One. NRG president and CEO Mary Quass states, “We are thrilled to have Mark join NRG. He brings extensive experience in management, sales, and marketing to the market. He understands the importance of NRG’s mission to provide great local radio. We are confident with Mark’s leadership, he will continue to develop innovative strategies for the market while providing great local radio.”
FCC to Begin 2018 Quadrennial Review of Media Ownership Rules. Chairman Ajit Pai writes in his blog post at the FCC’s website that the agency will begin the 2018 Quadrennial Review of broadcast ownership rules and will “begin with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which seeks public input on the relevant rules, such as the Local Radio Ownership Rule, as well as several diversity-related proposals.” That will begin at the FCC’s Open Meeting on December 12. The ownership rules are a hot-button issue in the radio industry. Some argue for liberal changes in the ownership regulations to help radio station owners compete in the audio arena with the largely unregulated digital audio and satellite radio services. Other media industry players – most notably iHeartMedia – are against any further relaxation of ownership caps. The National Association of Broadcasters is proposing changes that would allow companies operating in the top 75 radio markets to own up to eight FM stations and an unlimited number of AM signals. Companies in markets 76 and up (and in unrated markets) would be allowed to operate with no limits. The NAB also added a proposal related to the incubator program that would allow companies in that program to own up to 10 FM signals in the top 75 markets. When the NAB released this proposal back in June, FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly said he was open to considering it, stating that marketplace definition is key for him. “I’ve critiqued the Department of Justice and FCC merger reviews in the past – AM radio only competes with AM radio, FM radio only competes with FM radio and newspapers only compete with newspapers. That’s a crazy perspective that no longer applies, if it ever did.”
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. Pictured above is Genesis Communications Network syndicated talk radio personality Dr. Daliah Wachs standing beside the Christmas tree her program donates to the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village in Las Vegas – a charity that helps adults with disabilities gain employment and enjoy a variety of social services.
Trump Stands by Saudis, Dow Plummets, Democrats’ House Speaker Battle, Trump Answers Mueller Questions, Ivanka Email Case, California Wildfires; Avenatti Assault Allegation, Romaine Lettuce Warning, Thanksgiving Holiday/Eastern Cold Snap, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/20). Reaction to President Trump’s decision to deny Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi; concern about the world’s financial markets as the Dow drops more than 500 points; the internal battle among Democrats over Nancy Pelosi as next speaker of the house; President Trump finishes his written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller; the controversy over Ivanka Trump’s use of her personal email account for government business; the devastation from California’s wildfires; the allegation of assault against Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti by a former girlfriend; the CDC’s warning about the safety of the romaine lettuce in the U.S.; the Thanksgiving holiday and the Eastern U.S. cold snap; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The death of legendary disc jockey and voice artist Casey Kasem is the subject of a CBS TV special this Saturday evening (10:00 pm ET) as “48 Hours: The Mysterious Death of Casey Kasem” looks at the claims of Kasem’s second wife Jean – who says his children by his first wife killed him in an attempt to get his money – and the Kasem children (Kerri, Julie and Michael), who say Jean Kasem is guilty of elder abuse. Casey Kasem died in 2014 after a battle with Lewy Body Dementia. Saturday’s edition of “48 Hours” is hosted by Peter Van Sant…..iHeartRadio strikes a deal with Waze for the latter’s traffic and map app to sync with iHeartMedia’s digital platform to provide both audio streaming and directions without having to leave the iHeartRadio app. iHM says, “The integration enables users to sync their Waze and iHeartRadio apps to access their favorite iHeartRadio features within Waze navigation or access Waze navigation inside iHeartRadio.”…..Brew City non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine” announces the results of its first “Backline” accelerator program from it and partner gener8tor that is assisting up-and-coming Milwaukee musicians Lex Allen, Crystal Knives, Abby Jeanne, and Zed Kenzo. The 12-week music business immersion program helped the artists learn about the business and take part in collaborations in multiple cities, such as New York, Los Angeles and London. The “Backline” program was created by WYMS to help Milwaukee musicians break out nationally. Acceptance into the program for the four artists included $20,000 in equity-and royalty-free grant funding for each musician to be used toward furthering their careers. The musicians have been using the grants to pay for equipment, recording sessions, travel, publicity services, photography and video. WYMS is owned by the Milwaukee Public Schools.
FCC Commissioner: It Is Time to Update Our Rules to Reflect the Current Media Marketplace. Those are the words of Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly in his FCC blog post titled, “Thoughtfully Modernizing the Commission’s Media Ownership Rules.” In the post, O’Rielly points to reforms already made under current Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and names the reforms he thinks should be adopted next. He writes, “If a form is not needed, it should be eliminated. If a study is duplicative or useless, it should be junked. When public notice requirements are outdated, at the very least they should be modified. And when FCC rules are no longer necessary, they should be removed from our books.” Noting that for almost 10 years the FCC has failed to adequately complete the Quadrennial Review, O’Rielly states, “It is time we fulfilled not only a congressional mandate but the congressional intent of keeping our rules current. And this can and should be done thoughtfully, consistent with the fundamental propositions of localism, diversity, and competition. We owe this not only to our broadcasting industry but more importantly, to the American people, who are paying for – in one form or another – market inefficiencies resulting from our rules.” Among the five principles he outlines for media ownership reform are the elimination of the cross-ownership bans. “As consumers demand innovative platforms and seamless experiences to consume content, the FCC imposes bans preventing broadcasters and newspapers from delivering synergies that could result in innovative products and more, not less local content. Eliminating the restrictions on newspaper/radio, radio/television, and newspaper/television combinations is a crucial step. Previous commissions and bipartisan legislation from Congress already recognized the need for an update. It’s time to act.” Read O’Rielly’s entire post here.
NYT: Former FOX News Channel Star Bill O’Reilly Paid $32 Million to Settle Sexual Harassment Case. In an expose published in The New York Times over the weekend, it’s being reported that former FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly in January agreed to pay $32 million to longtime network analyst Lis Wiehl to settle sexual harassment allegations, a month before the network agreed to a contract renewal with O’Reilly that was to pay him $100 million over four years. The paper reports that O’Reilly settled five other harassment allegations in years prior. FNC tells the Times it was aware of Wiehl’s allegations against O’Reilly but says it was unaware of the amount of the settlement as that was a matter between O’Reilly and Wiehl. The NYT piece notes that News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James had been working to convince both staffers and the public that they were trying to clean up the cable news channel’s image and had recently fired FNC president Roger Ailes in the wake of his sexual harassment troubles, and would let O’Reilly go as well. This latest matter of workplace sexual harassment in the entertainment world comes as Hollywood is reeling from the Harvey Weinstein harassment scandal. See the Times piece here.
Bruce Kelly Joins Grenax Broadcasting’s Flagstaff, AZ Cluster. Radio pro Bruce Kelly is named director of programming and operations at Grenax Broadcasting’s Flagstaff, Arizona station group that includes news/talk KBTK “97.1 The Big Talker” and music outlets classic hits KFLX “Rewind 92.5/104.1,” country KSED “107.5 Kolt Country,” and classic rock KWMX “96.7 The Wolf.” Grenax general manager Stan Pierce says, “[Kelly] is a talented programmer with a long history of on-air success and a creative thinker on the marketing front. Bringing in someone of Bruce’s caliber reflects our commitment to provide our community of Northern Arizona with top-quality radio.”
Changes at WFOM, Atlanta ‘The Fan 2.’ According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, the pairing of Larry Wachs and Bob Whitfield on Dickey Broadcasting-owned sports talker WFOM, Atlanta “The Fan 2” has ended with owner David Dickey stating he’s looking for a new show partner for Wachs on the newly reconstituted “Regular Guys” show on WFOM (2:00 pm to 4:00 pm). He also says he wants to build a show around Whitfield with the possibility of adding local programming to WIFN “The Fan 3.” Read Ho’s piece here.
Westwood One Unveils Kurt Warner Podcast. New to the Westwood One Podcast Network is a weekly show featuring NFL great and football analyst Kurt Warner, titled “The Kurt Warner Quarterback Podcast.” The program is delivered fresh every Tuesday morning during the NFL season and features Westwood One play-by-play voice Kevin Harlan.
North Korea War Talk, Trump Tax Plan, McCain-Trump Feud, New O’Reilly Settlement Allegation, Carter NYT Interview, Potential Uranium One Probe, James Toback Harassment Accusations, Mueller Investigates Podesta Group, Astros Win AL Pennant, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The saber rattling between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump; the Trump Administration’s tax reform plan; the ongoing feud between Trump and John McCain and McCain’s shot at the president over Vietnam War draft deferments; new allegations of a $32 million settlement between Bill O’Reilly and a sexual harassment accuser; Jimmy Carter’s New York Times interview; Robert Mueller’s investigation into an Obama-era deal with Russian firm Uranium One; director James Toback is accused of sexual harassment by numerous actresses; the Houston Astros beat the Yankees to win the American League pennant; and Sunday’s NFL action and poor attendance at a number of stadiums were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Sally Quinn Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast. Longtime Washington Post journalist, columnist, television commentator, Washington insider, author and legendary social hostess, Sally Quinn is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” She candidly discusses her Watergate-era, wildly romantic, extra-marital love affair, and subsequent enduring marriage of more than four decades to legendary Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, as well as her idiosyncratic relationship with religion, sexual harassment in politics as well as media… and much more. (She claims the late U.S. Senator John Tower tried to rape her in the back of a taxi.) Quinn is currently promoting her new book, Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir (HarperOne, 2017) and Harrison was granted one of her first interviews. To hear this fascinating 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. At Cumulus Media’s Detroit country station WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1,” Jessica Poxson exits her role as midday personality, assistant PD and music director…..There’s a new CHR station in the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina market as Curtis Media Group flips modern rock WXNR “99X” to rhythmic CHR as “HOT 99.5.”…..The morning duo of Jake and Tanner are back together at Woodward Radio’s WKSZ, Appleton, Wisconsin “95.9 Kiss FM,” effective today (10/23). Jake Kelly and Tanner Jay joined E.W. Scripps’ country WKTI, Milwaukee for mornings in October of 2015. Tanner Jay left the program earlier this year for family reasons and Kelly stayed on solo for a while before exiting the station as well. The two were hosting the morning show on WIXX, Green Bay prior to joining WKTI…..Radio One celebrated the 40th career anniversary of legendary Washington, DC radio and television personality Donnie Simpson last night (10/22) at the Warner Theatre. The star-studded concert featured Simpson’s favorite regional and national artists, including: Doug E Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, BBD, Chante Moore; and Rare Essence…..The Cumulus Media “neXt2rock 2017” national search for the nation’s newest rock star has so far drawn more than 1,800 submissions. Emerging artists are being rated by Cumulus listeners through October 25. Ultimately, the winner of this four-month-long competition will receive a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records and exposure via Cumulus radio stations nationwide. Mentor judges for the competition’s finale include Big Machine Label Group president & CEO Scott Borchetta; musician, songwriter and producer Desmond Child; record producer Bob Ezrin; Sex Pistols guitarist and host of “Jonesy’s Jukebox,” Steve Jones; and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.
FCC Chairman Pai Vows to Remove ‘Unnecessary or Counterproductive Regulations.’ At his first press briefing as Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Ajit Pai told reporters that the Commission’s main goal is to “remove unnecessary or counterproductive regulations from the books.” These comments came after the Commission voted 3-0 to eliminate two requirements: (1) that commercial broadcast stations retain copies of letters and emails from the public; and (2) that cable operators maintain for public inspection the designation and location of a cable system’s principal headend. Pai says, “These measures follow directly from Commissioner O’Rielly’s diligent work to identify unnecessary paperwork burdens. In all, this action reduces regulatory burdens on commercial broadcasters and cable operators without adversely affecting the public interest.” It remains to be seen if a Pai-led Commission will move to end the broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership ban in the near future. Remember that Pai issued strong comments against keeping the ban after it was retained in the latest Quadrennial Review under former Chairman Tom Wheeler. Pai also did not comment to reporters about his plans to move to overturn the net neutrality regulations passed during the Obama Administration.
Buck Sexton Takes Over Host Role at Premiere’s ‘America Now.’ The new name of the show is “Buck Sexton with America Now,” and Premiere Networks announces that Sexton will begin hosting the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET show on Monday, February 6. The company says Meghan McCain leaves the show to focus on her expanded role at FOX News Channel. Sexon has been serving as a regular fill-in for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. Previously, he’s been a CNN contributor, and radio/TV host for Beck’s TheBlaze. He formerly served as a CIA officer in the Counterterrorism Center and the Office of Iraq Analysis. He completed tours of duty as an intelligence officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other hotspots around the globe. Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “We couldn’t be happier to welcome Buck as host of ‘America Now.’ He’s smart and engaging, and his previous work with the U.S. Intelligence Community makes him uniquely qualified to lead conversations about the news, events and issues that affect all Americans. We’re confident Buck’s distinct perspective will resonate with America Now’s national audience and create powerful multi-platform opportunities for our partners.”
KXL, Portland’s Lars Larson Joins White House Presser Via Skype. At today’s White House press conference – in which four media outlets will be allowed to ask questions of Press Secretary Sean Spicer via Skype – KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks-syndicated talk show host Lars Larson will be taking part in the event. The White House announced the launch of the “Skype Seats,” designed to allow media outside of Washington to participate in the daily White House press briefings. Larson says in a statement, “For a long time I wished I had the opportunity to ask questions at a White House briefing. In fact, I’d love to ask questions every day. Years ago I actually inquired about what it would take to get a one- or two-day pass to go to the White House briefing. I would be willing to fly to DC and do that, but you’d only get that one opportunity and not the daily opportunity the major media get.” Larson will be able to ask his question around 2:00 pm ET.
Trump Travel Order/Protests, Gorsuch Nominated for SCOTUS, Sanctuary Cities Order, Dems Block Votes on Cabinet Picks, and Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/31). The controversy over President Donald Trump’s order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries and the ensuing protests; Trump names U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch his nominee for the Supreme Court; Trump’s threat to sanctuary cities and the lawsuits planned by several of those cities; Democrats block votes on three of President Trump’s cabinet picks; and the build-up to Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Capitol Broadcasting Re-Brands WCLY; Adds FM Translator. Triangle sports talker WCLY-AM adds an FM translator at 95.7 and re-brands the station “95.7 The Ticket.” The station airs largely syndicated sports talk programming plus local and regional play-by-play. Capitol Broadcasting operations manager/program director Dennis Glasgow states, “We couldn’t be more thrilled that with our great weekday lineup and partners, our listeners will have an additional FM signal in Raleigh to enjoy great sports programming.” Capitol Broadcasting also operates sports talk outlets WCMC-FM “99.9FM The Fan” and trimulcast WDNC-AM/W257CS/W243DK “Buzz Sports Radio.”
TALKERS News Notes. New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett appears as the first guest on the “Forbes Under 30” podcast that launched today (2/1) on PodcastOne. The program is hosted by Forbes contributor and former PBS personality Steve Goldbloom. On the show, Bennett talked about his brother’s success in the league and why he continues to play football as he creates children’s books, apps and more. The focus of the new program is on “young innovators, disruptors and entrepreneurs who are changing the world. It features past and present members recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 lists, along with up-and-comers who match the profile of future list-makers.”…..Former Minnesota Governor, pro-wrestler and radio talk show host Jesse Ventura is launching a new variety news show titled, “The World According to Jesse,” on RT America beginning this spring. RT America says the program will “tackle both the current news agenda and deeper issues, such as government hypocrisy and corporate deception with Jesse’s distinctive take on stories sidelined by the mainstream media. Ventura will apply his uncensored, bold, and bare-knuckled approach to thought-provoking interviews and on-the-ground reporting alike.”…..As part of its strategy to deliver an enhanced visual hybrid radio station experience beyond the smartphone, TagStation is increasing focused efforts on the connected car. The company is hiring Derek Rohloff as VP automotive business development to spearhead inclusion in the next generation auto dashboard. TagStation’s activity in the dashboard space began in 2012, when it worked with a leading OEM to build a prototype for SmartDeviceLink. NextRadio and TagStation president Paul Brenner states, “Derek brings his proven expertise and deep industry contacts to the team which will help us ramp up quickly. The timing is right for the company, as we are poised and ready to showcase what we can offer to the automotive industry.”
Sean Strife to Program ‘Y957 FM’ Cedar Rapids. Named to the program director role at iHeartMedia’s KOSY, Cedar Rapids, Iowa “Y957 FM” is Sean Strife. He most recently was producer for KIIS, Los Angeles’ “On Air With Ryan Seacrest.” He also produced the “Jesse Lozano in the Morning” show and was an air personality at sports talk KLAC. He’s originally from Boca Raton, Florida and began his career in the radio industry in Gainesville and West Palm Beach before moving to LA in 2013. iHeartMedia Cedar Rapids SVP of programming JJ Cook says, “Sean was the obvious choice for this role – he brings his major market experience, format knowledge and industry connections with him to help ‘Y957 FM’ continue its strong growth in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City markets.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Mike Allen announces he’s leaving his home of the past 10 years – Entravision’s country KNTY, Sacramento “101.9 The Wolf” – for a soon-to-be-announced gig elsewhere. He’s been afternoon host, assistant program director and music director at the station. He’ll continue to host the USRN-syndicated “25 Years of Hits” country program…..There are changes to announce at Entercom’s Austin cluster: The company names Matt Wheeler creative services director for the whole station group and APD for adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” and hot AC KAMX “MIX 94.7.” Sean Mack is appointed music director for KAMX. And Orphan Andrew is assigned the duty of voice tracking the KAMX evening show from his home at the company’s CHR KDND, Sacramento “107.9 The End,” where he handles middays…..The lineup is set for the Grand Ole Opry at this month’s Country Radio Seminar on February 22 – the kick-off night of the three-day event at Omni Nashville. Playing the show will be: Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Trace Adkins, Crystal Gayle, LOCASH, Cam, Michael Ray, Chris Lane, Carly Pearce, and Dailey & Vincent. The concert starts at 7:00 pm following the CMA Welcome Reception in the Performance Hall…..iHeartMedia debuts a new country station on Millman, Iowa-licensed translator K243CA (Des Moines market) branded “96.9 The Bull.” The Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show will be featured in morning drive. Market president Joel McCrea states, “‘96.9 The Bull’ provides an amazing opportunity for Des Moines by offering a wider variety of music and entertainment. We couldn’t be more excited to connect Des Moines country music fans with the hottest country artists.”
Salem Third Quarter Net Broadcast Revenue Up 3.2%. Chief executive officer Edward Atsinger said on the Q3 conference call that Salem Media Group’s total revenue was up 5.6% but expenses were up 7.3%, “resulting in a 1.5% decrease in adjusted EBITDA.” Atsinger said the expenses increase was almost entirely the result of increased health care costs. Back to the numbers, in the Broadcast segment, net broadcast revenue was $51.1 million, an increase of 3,2% over the same period a year ago. However, station operating income decreased by 2.1%. Atsinger reported that although they booked $1 million of broadcast political revenue during the quarter, that was down about 20% from the same period during the 2012 campaign. However, Atsinger adds, “Network revenue was up 29.2% for the quarter. Obviously, this extraordinary political year is a major driver in this revenue growth, and our nationally syndicated hosts have significantly increased their profile beyond the exposure of their own radio programs, which has resulted in an increased time spent listening to their shows and better response for advertisers, all of which has led to higher renewals, higher rates of renewals, and additional advertising clients.”
Townsquare Media Net Revenue Flat in Q3. On a pro forma basis, Townsquare Media’s Local Marketing Solutions segment – the one that includes broadcast and digital – saw net revenue increase 3.8% over the same period a year ago. It was the Entertainment segment – live events – that had a tough quarter and drew the company down to a net revenue decrease of 0.8%. Townsquare Media chairman and CEO Steven Price says, “On a pro forma basis, our Local Marketing Solutions segment continued its positive momentum by delivering another quarter of solid growth, with net revenue increasing approximately 4% over the prior year period. These results were offset by a decline in our Entertainment segment due primarily to exceptionally poor weather at four of our largest fairs. Excluding those fairs, Townsquare’s pro forma net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA increased approximately 2% and 3%, respectively.” For the first nine months of the year, Townsquare’s (pro forma) net revenue is up 2.2% and the Local Marketing Solutions segment is up 5.1%.
Saga Communications Q3 Net Revenue Rises 6.8%. Reporting financial data for the third quarter of 2016, Saga Communications’ net revenue was $36.1 million – an increase of 6.8% over the same period a year ago. Breaking the radio segment out from the television segment, radio’s net revenue was $29.8 million – an increase of 4.6% over 2015’s third quarter. For the year so far, Saga’s net revenue is $105.3 million – up 8.3% over the first nine months of 2015.
WABC, New York Officially Names Sid Rosenberg Imus Sports Anchor. A press release from Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York officially announces that Sid Rosenberg is returning to the “Imus in the Morning” show to serve as sports anchor, however the presser makes no mention of Warner Wolf, who exited the show suddenly on Friday (11/4). WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Sid’s triumphant return to ‘Imus In The Morning’ has reunited him with an incredibly gifted cast. Their collective chemistry is exceptional.” Rosenberg adds, “I’m really excited to be back with Imus and the guys in the same role where it all started for me nearly 17 years ago.” Rosenberg will continue to co-host the late morning show with now-fellow Imus cast member Bernard McGuirk.
NAB to Sue FCC Over Quadrennial Review. This suit must be filed by Monday and that is presumably what the National Association of Broadcasters will do as EVP of media relations Dennis Wharton says it’s difficult to believe the Federal Communications Commission could recommend (on a 3-2 party line vote) going forward with decades-old policy when technology is moving the industry ahead at the speed of light. The cross-ownership rules seem particularly out of date considering what’s been going on in other sectors of the media, says Wharton, who tells Broadcasting and Cable, “Broadcasters want to compete in the digital age and continue being a trusted source for local news and information, but FCC rules need to reflect 2016 and not the 1960s. It defies belief that the FCC allows AT&T/DirecTV and Charter/Time Warner mergers while barring two Topeka TV stations from combining, or a radio station from buying a newspaper.”
Today’s Presidential Election; the U.S. House and Senate Races; Voter Fraud and Poll Hacking Concerns; UVA Administrator Awarded $3 Million in Rolling Stone Rape Story Case; Hillary Clinton’s Emails Troubles; and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7). The presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the down-ticket races for U.S. House and Senate seats; concerns over voter fraud and the possibility of hacking the electronic polls; a jury awards a University of Virginia administrator $3 million in her case against Rolling Stone and the author of a discredited story about a gang rape at the school; the private email server case surrounding Hillary Clinton’s campaign; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Ginny Morris to Chair RAB Board of Directors. The Radio Advertising Bureau announces the new slate of officers recently to its board of directors and new, incoming directors. Chairperson and CEO of Hubbard Radio Ginny Morris is elected chair of the RAB board of directors. Cox Media Group RVP Susan Larkin is the vice chair. The finance chair is Steve Newberry, president and CEO of Commonwealth Broadcasting. The secretary is Mike Hulvey, COO, Neuhoff Communications, and immediate past chair is Hartley Adkins, president, Northeast Division & Corporate Operations, iHeartMedia. Newly elected directors are: Brian Beasley, EVP, chief operating officer, Beasley Media Group; Jonathan Brewster, CEO/president, Cherry Creek Radio LLC; Mike Tarter, president/CEO, Forcht Broadcasting; and Sabina Widmann, VP, general manager/director of sales, radio, Univision Radio. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “We are excited to have Ginny Morris at the helm of the RAB board of directors. With Ginny’s tremendous experience and passion for this industry, the organization is well-positioned to continue to lead and advocate for radio.”
Michael Graham to Middays on WYAY, Atlanta. Talk radio pro Michael Graham is saying good-bye to Massachusetts and New England and heading south for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show at Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “All News 106.7.” Graham has been hosting a program on the New England Talk Network and on the Boston Herald’s digital audio project since Greater Media flipped WTKK, Boston from talk to urban contemporary (as WBQT). Cumulus is getting away from the all-news on WYAY – it’s already added market pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson to the schedule in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm shift – though there’s no indication it has plans to change the drive time news programming anytime soon. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports the changes but Graham himself bids a fond adieu to New England and a not-so-fond adieu to the Massachusetts political scene which he blames for WTKK’s demise. He singles out Governor Deval Patrick and you can read that here.
Glenn Beck Talks About Film Projects to Hollywood Reporter. Talk radio star and media entrepreneur Glenn Beck tells the Hollywood Reporter that there’s a reason he bought a movie studio in Texas – The Studios at Las Colinas in Irving: He has plans for three film projects with many more hopefully to come. The facility, where such movies as “Robocop” and “JFK” were filmed, also serves as the base for his radio and digital operations under his TheBlaze banner but his Mercury Radio Arts film division has plans for the three films – one set in ancient history, one in modern history and a third “faith-based” project – that are underway. Read the Hollywood Reporter piece here. Meanwhile, Beck also appears irked that he’s pigeonholed as a political right-winger by the media, telling the magazine, “Everybody thinks they know who I am because of my stint on Fox – that was two years of my life. I’m much more into culture than I am into politics, and that’s where I intend on making my stand.”
Clear Channel Restructures Sales Efforts; Extent of RIF Unknown. The prospect that Clear Channel Media + Entertainment intended to change the structure of its sales force has been rumored for some time and now the plan has been put into effect. The exact nature of the realignment is not known but the company released the following statement: “As a policy, we don’t discuss personnel matters. However, for the last several months we have been flattening our senior management organization to reduce overlap. Now we are aligning our sales organizations to this new structure and to give more resources, authority, and accountability to the most productive members of our team so we can operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.”
Johnson to Replace Hanson at Broadway Media. A number of changes taking effect at Broadway Media in Utah to report. First, the company announces that its Salt Lake Radio Group market manager G. Craig Hanson is leaving the company after 37 years to enter the ownership end of the business in St. George, Utah. Taking over for him will be Stephen C. Johnson. He’ll serve as general manager and CEO of the Salt Lake Radio Group that includes: KXRK, KUDD, KUUU, KEGA, KYMV and KALL. Johnson spent the last 35 years with Simmons Media. Other moves include Broadway Media VP/administration Bret J. Leifson exiting to pursue other interests. Joining the companies is John G. Kimball who will serve as general manager and CEO of Real Media – the division that operates Broadway’s digital, technical, event and entertainment, and outdoor media assets. Kimball has worked in the market with Bonneville and Real Salt Lake.
Second Round of March PPM Data Released. PPM data from the second of four groups of 12 markets for the March 2014 period (February 27 – March 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio. Those markets include: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here. Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.
FCC Issues FNPRM for 2014 Quadrennial Review; Ownership Regs Proposed to Remain, Cross-Ownership Open for Consideration. The Federal Communications Commission has released its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that initiates the 2014 Quadrennial Review and chief among the topics are the broadcast ownership rules. The Commission is proposing to keep the current radio broadcast ownership rules in place but it is open to discussion about relaxing the radio-newspaper cross-ownership ban as well as the radio-television cross-ownership rules. This has Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai furious in his dissent. He takes the Commission to task for, 1) failing to complete the 2010 Quadrennial Review and; 2) putting proposals such as the radio-newspaper cross-ownership ban question into the 2014 review. Here are his words: “Congress has instructed us to review the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule every four years and repeal or modify it if we determine that it is no longer in the public interest. And here is the simple truth: The Commission has not been able to conclude since 2000 that the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule remains in the public interest. And today, the Commission dodges the issue entirely, putting off the issue until 2016, sixteen years after our last determination! What’s the solution at this point? While writs of mandamus are not to be issued lightly, I believe that the D.C. Circuit would now be justified in ordering the Commission to remove the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule from our books. We have had plenty of opportunities to justify maintaining the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule, but instead we have chosen to punt — including today.” Pai’s sentiment that the FCC works too slowly, especially in an era when changes in technology are happening at an ever-faster pace while government seems to work slower than ever, is one echoed by many in the broadcasting industry. Consider the Commission’s conclusion regarding how digital media is affecting broadcast media. It’s important to understand that the quote from the FNPRM is relative to broadcasters’ (TV also) desires to relax ownership regulations. Whether you agree or not, it’s the Commission’s assessment of the current state of the audio entertainment landscape that indicates its willingness to only see one moment in time, without regard for the future. “Despite broadcasters’ claims to the contrary, we tentatively find that, for purposes of the Commission’s ownership rules, non-broadcast sources of audio programming are not yet meaningful substitutes for broadcast radio stations with respect to either listeners or advertisers. While alternate platforms such as satellite radio and Internet-delivered audio are growing in popularity, broadcast radio remains the dominant radio technology. In 2012, 92 percent of Americans age 12 or older listened to broadcast radio, a figure that has remained essentially constant over the last decade. Satellite radio still serves only a small portion of the population, even though its subscription rates continue to climb. And though recent data suggest that a significant portion of adult U.S. broadband households (42 percent) listen to Internet-delivered audio programming, we note that millions of U.S. households continue to lack broadband connections. In addition, only 14 percent of Internet radio listeners listen in their cars, where most broadcast radio listening occurs. Thus, we tentatively conclude that Internet-delivered audio programming is not yet a meaningful substitute for broadcast radio listening for most listeners. We seek comment on this tentative conclusion and invite commenters to provide any more recent relevant information and data. We believe, moreover, that satellite radio and content delivered via the Internet generally are national platforms that are not likely to respond to competitive conditions in local markets.” Even if you agree with these conclusions (which, obviously, many do not), will they still be true in 2015, 2016 (when the 2014 Quad is supposed to be delivered to Congress) or 2017?
BIA/Kelsey’s New Study Explores ‘Reinvention of Audio.’ The full name of the study from BIA/Kelsey is “The Internet Radio Revolution Has Arrived: Platforms, Services, Audiences and Advertisers Reinvent Audio,” and as the title implies, it works to make sense of the state of audio entertainment and its relationship with the advertising world as it exists today, plus where it’s going in the near future. The study authors note a five-step process that occurs when a major change affects the media: 1) Fundamental breakthroughs in enabling technologies occur, 2) Entrepreneurs and their investors experiment with getting the right value proposition into the market, 3) Consumers find the winning technologies and begin to use them, 4) Advertisers sensing a new opportunity for connecting with their consumers allocate “experimental budget,” and 5) Media companies and publishers take new platforms seriously. The report states, “It is only when we reach this last phase that we really get a sense of how fundamentally a technology will impact us in the long run.” It believes the audio business is entering this fifth phase. Read the entire study here.
iHeartRadio Gets into Subaru’s STARLINK. Japanese automaker Subaru was a little late to the party with a digital infotainment system but the new STARLINK is available on many of its 2014 cars and now Clear Channel Media + Entertainment announces its iHeartRadio will be included on the system. The STARLINK infotainment system is being demoed at the New York Auto Show beginning tomorrow (4/18). Subaru of America marketing strategy & launch manager David Sullivan, says, “We are thrilled to have iHeartRadio as our first content partner for the STARLINK cloud service application. The award-winning service brings a huge amount of programming and custom content to Subaru vehicles with a great, easy-to-use interface.”
ObamaCare Criticism, IRS-DOJ Tea Party Connection, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Sebelius Senate Run, Tax Day, and Bloomberg vs the NRA Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16). Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the allegation that the Lois Lerner led department of the IRS contacted the Department of Justice about prosecuting the Tea Party; escalating aggression by Putin’s Russian forces in Ukraine; speculation that former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will run for the U.S. Senate; chatter about the complex U.S. tax code and the number of taxpayers supporting benefit takers; and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plans to battle the National Rifle Association were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.