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Michael Bloomberg Considers Presidential Run/Presidential Race, Motion Picture Academy Diversity/Oscars Boycott, East Coast Winter Storm, and NFL Conference Championships Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The news that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering a third-party bid for the White House plus the activities of the rest of the candidates for president; the Motion Picture Academy’s promise to become more diverse in the wake of planned protests of this year’s Oscars ceremony by Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee; the huge winter storm that dumped feet of snow on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states; and the National Football League’s Sunday conference championship games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Stephen K. Bannon to Host Rand Paul at SiriusXM Town Hall. The taping of the SiriusXM “Town Hall” program featuring guest Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) takes place today (1/25) and the one-hour show will debut tomorrow at 8:00 am on the Patriot Channel. Stephen K. Bannon – host of the “Breitbart News Daily” program (6:00 am to 9:00 am ET) – will interview Senator Paul before an audience of SiriusXM subscribers. The senator will discuss his campaign for the highest office in the land and what his expectations are for the upcoming races in Iowa and New Hampshire. SiriusXM says Bannon will ask the candidate for his thoughts on the biggest issues America faces, his positions on breaking domestic news, his plans to keep the country safe from global security threats, and how a Paul administration would differ from those of his Republican opponents.
Round Four of Holiday PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of Holiday 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The survey period was December 3 – December 30. TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.
Bubba the Love Sponge Legal Team Asks Court for Permission to Respond to Nielsen in Pending Motion to Dismiss. In the case of Nielsen Audio v. Bubba Clem, the latter’s lawyers are asking the U.S. District Court for the opportunity to “file a short reply brief in support of their pending motion to dismiss the amended complaint” filed by Nielsen Audio. Nielsen is suing Bubba Clem for damages related to his tampering with the PPM ratings in the Tampa market. Bubba’s legal team is promising the Court a short (five pages) and concise reply brief to assist the court in ruling on its motion to dismiss. Neither side in this case seems willing to settle and if it indeed goes to trial, it’s expected to do so next January.
Celebrating Co-Branded News Efforts. Milwaukee news/talker WTMJ “Newsradio 620” and the Milwaukee Business Journal recently formed a content partnership that includes team reporting, co-branding, digital content and on-air/live reports. Pictured here on January 22 celebrating the partnership are (from l-r): J. Pat Miller, director of marketing and innovation for WTMJ/WKTI; Todd Bragstad, managing editor & print editor – Milwaukee Business Journal; Mark Kass, editor-in-chief – Milwaukee Business Journal; Olivia Barrow, reporter – Milwaukee Business Journal; John Mercure, “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News” host; Eric Brooks, WTMJ program manager; Rich Kirchen, senior reporter – Milwaukee Business Journal; Sean Ryan, reporter – Milwaukee Business Journal, and Tom Langmyer, VP/general manager – Scripps Radio/Milwaukee.
WXDE, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware’s Dan Gaffney Show Begins TV Simulcast. The television simulcast of Dan Gaffney’s morning drive show on WXDE “Delaware 105.9” is a joint effort between station owner Delmarva, WRDE-TV, and production company Catch It Live to bring a portion of the show to TV. WRDE-TV airs the show on its MyCoziTV channel. Gaffney states, “The TV station is airing the early 5:30 am to 7:00 am portion of my show, which gives me great exposure on all the local cable companies in multiple counties, so I am very excited about it. The local content with heavy caller interaction should be a welcome bit of fresh air for morning TV viewers. I just hope they’re not mad I’m pre-empting reruns of ‘McHale’s Navy!’” Catch It Live is owned and operated by Colin Walls. He handles the daily production and live delivery from the Gaffney studios using four cameras and on-screen graphics.
Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting. TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is interviewed by veteran radio broadcaster Mike Carruthers (of “Something You Should Know” fame) about podcasting on this week’s installment of “Perfect Your Podcast” at Carruthers’ website Perfectyourpodcast.com. Although podcasting has been around for approximately a decade, Harrison has had digital radio and podcasting on his radar and agenda for about 18 years. As a longtime radio broadcaster and trade journal publisher, Harrison has been a proponent of podcasting and has been encouraging people in the radio industry to embrace it going back to the 1990s. Today, Harrison hosts a rapidly growing and highly acclaimed weekly podcast on Norm Pattiz’s industry-leading PodcastOne platform – “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” – that is targeted to a segment of the population that Harrison describes as “media freaks around the world.” So why have many radio companies and broadcasters been slow to embrace podcasting? That is one of the topics he discusses in this episode. Other topics include:
• The opportunities and challenges facing podcasters.
• The important differences between the professional and hobbyist podcaster.
• How podcasting differs from radio.
• What it is like working with PodcastOne.
• The growing culture of podcast listeners.
• How podcasting will impact radio and other 20th century media
To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Madison Avenue Minority Media Summit Scheduled for February 26 in NYC. Madison Avenue Minority Radio Summit will take place at The New York Times Building in New York on February 26. The event is being hosted by media buying giant MediaVest USA. The company – led by CEO Brian Terkelsen – boasts such global marketer clients as Honda, P&G, and Walmart. Kizart Media Partners managing director Sherman Kizart has been working with Terkelsen and other global media agency CEOs and senior executives to create expanded and greater inclusion of minority-owned and minority-targeted media companies in the media plans and activation of the global media agency’s clients. Kizart states, “The Madison Avenue-Minority Radio Summit is a historic networking opportunity created by MediaVest USA CEO Brian Terkelsen that will foster a unique dialog and foundation between the global media agency community and minority radio community.” More than 20 additional global media buying agencies are expected to attend and participate at this historic Madison Avenue Minority Radio Summit.
Odds & Sods. Nationally syndicated late night host Jim Bohannon is addressing the state of politics in Washington on his Westwood One program as he speaks tonight (1/25) with former senate majority leaders Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Trent Lott (R-MS). The focus will be on “the polarization crisis on the Hill and other important issues facing the country.”…..Over the weekend, 77 WABC New York political editor Rita Cosby spoke with three GOP presidential candidates. Jeb Bush, Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee all joined Cosby on her weekly, Sunday evening program, “Election Central with Rita Cosby.”…..Syndicated radio personality, romance author and clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner is celebrating her radio program’s anniversary on Saturday, February 6. It will be her 19th anniversary show and the start of her 20th year on air…..Nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman, Darryl W. Perry, and Mark Edge joins the program lineup at Viper Communications-owned WENG, Port Charlotte, Florida for Saturday evenings.
KNX, Los Angeles Grabs Five Golden Mikes. At the 66th annual Golden Mikes awards dinner by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California – held January 23 in Universal City – CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles won five awards. The awards are presented annually for excellence in radio, TV and Internet broadcast journalism. KNX won in the following categories: Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes; Best Live Coverage of a News Story for “Studio City Gunman”; Best Documentary for “KNX Spotlight: Age of Drones”; Best Traffic Report; and Best Business and Consumer Reporting for “KNX Money Hour.” Also, recently retired KNX reporter Mike Landa – who spent 46 years with the station – was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Pictured here at the Saturday awards are: Front row (l-r) anchor Mike Simpson; producer David Singer; anchor Chris Sedens; anchor Jim Thornton. Backrow (l-r) anchor/reporter Charles Feldman; traffic reporter Jeff Baugh; producer Laraine Herman; news director Julie Chin; reporter Pete Demetriou; anchor Diane Thompson; and anchor Frank Mottek.
Mike Anthony to Program KGO and KSFO, San Francisco. On the heels of yesterday’s announcement that Cumulus Media San Francisco programmer Lee Hammer is now operations manager for talk stations KGO and KSFO comes the announcement that Mike Anthony is named program director for the stations. Anthony comes from his most recent gig as general manager of Empire Broadcasting’s KLIV, San Jose. Prior to that, he was corporate SVP of programming for Mapleton Communications. He is also owner of ResearchWorks, a 24-year-old Palo Alto-based media research company. Anthony says, “The legacy of these two remarkable stations is well documented and when the opportunity to join the Cumulus team at KGO/KSFO was presented to me, I embraced it wholeheartedly. Every day these stations make a difference in the lives of Bay Area residents. This is what a great radio station does, and I’m proud to be a part of continuing that legacy.”
Round Four of November PPM Data Released. The fourth of four rounds of November 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The survey period was October 8 – November 4. TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here. In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.
Rich Stevens Named Permanent Late Morning Host at WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale. South Florida news/talk WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale announces talk host Rich Stevens – who had been splitting his time between serving as news anchor and his own interactive show – is leaving his news duties to focus on his daily 9:00 am to 11:00 am program. Stevens tells TALKERS that the Mayor of the City of Ft. Lauderdale called in as the first guest on the Rich Stevens program and he officially proclaimed it “Rich Stevens Show Day” in the city of Ft. Lauderdale.
‘The Beast 980’ in Los Angeles Debuts New Live Midday Show. Los Angeles sports talker KFWB “The Beast 980” launches a new, live and local midday show today (12/1) starring sports media pros Chris Myers and Wes Clements. The “Myers & Wes” show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. In a press release, KFWB notes that Myers is a 30-year sports broadcasting vet who has covered numerous major sports events and worked at such sports media outlets as Fox Sports Net, FoxSportsOne, and ESPN. He also serves as an NFL play-by-play announcer for Fox. Clements is a Southern California native who has worked as a baseball analyst for ESPN. Program director Tom Lee comments, “Adding Chris and Wes to our daily lineup further underscores our goal to be the only radio station super serving LA sports fans. Throughout the day sports fans now get an unprecedented dose of local coverage from the top sports talent here in LA.”
Liana Huth Named to New Corporate Post at Entercom. The new title for Liana Huth is vice president of programming innovation for Entercom and Huth will be based in New York City, reporting to Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton. The company says Huth comes with “vast experience in content development, creative partnerships, event marketing and more.” She’s held senior roles in entertainment and media for Columbia Records, The Madison Square Garden Company, and AEG Live, among others. Huth will be responsible for creating and developing content opportunities and strategic partnerships that will drive ratings and revenue across all of Entercom’s platforms. Paxton states, “Liana is a creative trailblazer with a distinguished track record of content creation, innovative thinking and partnership building. I could not be more excited to add this pivotal new role to the company and to bring in Liana to kick it off. No one is more ready for this challenge.”
Jane Matenaer Named WTMJ, Milwaukee AM Drive Co-Anchor. A new co-anchor for WTMJ, Milwaukee’s “Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller” is named. Milwaukee radio pro Jane Matenaer – who’d joined the E.W. Scripps station in May and had been heard filling in on the show – joins the morning show officially. Matenaer replaces Bonnie Petrie, who’d been hired for the post in July but developed a vocal problem called spasmodic dysphonia that forced her to leave the position. Petrie replaced Jodi Becker. Matenaer worked in the market on the morning show at Entercom’s hot AC WMYX add Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s hot AC WLDB. WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer comments, “WTMJ is Milwaukee and we’re excited to have two of the best-known hometown voices together on Wisconsin’s Radio Station. Gene and Jane are both distinguished broadcasters who will share their knowledge of Milwaukee and Wisconsin, along with the great chemistry they’ve already developed together.”
Knoepke to Replace Anselmo at CBS RADIO Minneapolis. The Minneapolis cluster of CBS RADIO has a new SVP and market manager as Shannon Knoepke is hired to take over for the retiring Mick Anselmo. Knoepke will be responsible for country KMNB, adult hits KZJK, and news/talk WCCO-AM and is also serving as director of sales. CBS RADIO COO Scott Herman says, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Shannon back to the CBS RADIO family. With years of sales and leadership experience under her belt, she has a terrific reputation in the Twin Cities area. Her commitment to the region and wealth of knowledge in the events and digital marketplace makes her uniquely qualified for the role. We are excited she will be bringing this expertise to our award-winning cluster.” Knoepke previously worked for CBS RADIO Minneapolis as an account executive with WCCO-AM from 2000-2001.
WSSP, Milwaukee to Air Expanded Bucks Content. Milwaukee sports talk outlet WSSP made a strong bid for Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play rights but the team chose to stick with E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ. But the Entercom sports simulcast of WSSP-AM and translator W289CB, branded as “105.7 FM The Fan,” partners with the NBA team for expanded game day and weekly coverage, as well as promotion and marketing opportunities for the club. From a programming standpoint, the long-standing “Pick ‘n Save Milwaukee Bucks Post Game Show,” hosted by Steve “Sparky” Fifer, will be enhanced with regular on-air appearances by Bucks players, coaches and TV announcers Jim Paschke, Jon McGlocklin, Marques Johnson and Gus Johnson.
Nielsen Amends Complaint Against Bubba the Love Sponge. With new information added, Nielsen Audio amends its suit against morning radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge in U.S. District Court in Florida. The amendment to the original suit that seeks $1 million dollars in damages from Todd Clem, a.k.a. Bubba the Love Sponge, related to the ratings tampering case in the Tampa market, provides more information about influencing PPM panelists and alleges there was more than just one panelist Bubba was attempting to influence. Bubba’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Nielsen’s $1 million figure is part of an attempt to get the suit into the federal jurisdiction and that the company is unable to prove the damages it alleges. Read the full story from the Tampa Bay Business Journal here.
Sports Talker Sid Rosenberg Getting Traction with Added Political Content at WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale. South Florida sports talk personality – and former longtime “Imus in the Morning” cast member – Sid Rosenberg is putting a dose of political content into his morning drive show at sports talk WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale, and TALKERS sources report the addition is working for him. Rosenberg tells TALKERS, “There is no bigger ‘water cooler’ issue than election 2016. I bring on guests from both sides of the aisle – Lanny Davis, Chris Matthews and Robert Gibbs from the left and people like Rich Lowry, Molly Ball, and Jen Rubin from the right. I’m the only show who has Chuck Todd on every Friday and we’ve already had six presidential candidates on as well.” Rosenberg says he’s made this move against advice to avoid polarizing issues but says, “These are serious times. This election is huge. Where [Mets slugger] Daniel Murphy ends up is not keeping America awake at night!” Rosenberg has been able to fill in at WABC, New York over the summer and will do another fill-in shot later this month. He says the word from New York circles is that his show is getting positive feedback.
‘Tis the Season. In advance of this Friday and Saturday’s 21st Annual WIBC Radiothon, Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan (left) and president and COO Patrick Walsh (right) ring the Salvation Army bell outside Emmis headquarters in Indianapolis. This weekend’s radiothon benefits the Salvation Army Bed and Bread Club of Central Indiana. Last year, WIBC helped raise more than $255,000 for the Salvation Army of Central Indiana.
Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting, Gun Control, Paris Climate Conference, Turkey-Russia Tensions, Fight Against IS, 2016 Presidential Race, U. of Chicago Terror Threat, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/30). The aftermath of the deadly shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and the related topic of gun control policy; the Paris Climate Conference and discussion about the validity of man-made global warming theory; the tensions between Turkey, its NATO allies and Russia in the wake of the downing of a Russian fighter over Turkish airspace; the civil conflict in Syria and the battle against Islamic State; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; Monday’s terror threat at the University of Chicago; 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.
By Steven J.J. Weisman
BOSTON — The late, great Southern humorist Lewis Grizzard wrote a book titled, Elvis Is Dead and I’m Not Feeling Too Good Myself. I thought about this recently as I considered the problems that are just in their early stages for syndicated Tampa-based talk radio host, Todd Clem, who uses the stage name Bubba The Love Sponge. Bubba may not be dead, but he is certainly not feeling so good himself these days. But don’t worry, Bubba, things aren’t as bad as you think – they are worse.
Clem is being sued in the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Florida by Nielsen Audio for more than $1 million on civil charges of fraud, conspiracy to defraud, interfering with business and contractual relations and violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act. The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act is Florida’s version of the FTC Act which outlaws the broadly defined “unfair and deceptive acts and practices.” Although the law is most often utilized by consumers, it also can apply to relationships between businesses as well.
Nielsen Investigating ‘Evidence of Ratings Tampering’ in Tampa Market; Bubba the Love Sponge at Center of Scrutiny. The statement issued on Friday by Nielsen Audio doesn’t mention Beasley Broadcasting’s WBRN-FM, Tampa-based personality Bubba the Love Sponge, but Beasley has been informed of the investigation by Nielsen and the company says it is cooperating. It isn’t commenting on Bubba’s status with the company but the station is airing “best of” content today (9/28). Nielsen stated on Friday, “We became aware of evidence of attempted ratings distortion activity in the Tampa market. We are working to resolve this issue and will provide additional details when they become available. Nielsen is committed to maintaining the highest standards of data integrity and acts swiftly to ensure that those standards are upheld.” Nielsen will be delaying the September 2015 PPM report for the Tampa/St. Petersburg market. The rest of the markets will be released as scheduled, tomorrow and Wednesday.
Carl Anderson Named Tucson Market President for iHeartMedia. Company programmer Carl Anderson will take on the role of market president and SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s seven-station Tucson cluster. Anderson added brand manager for the company’s news/talk/sports stations to his EVP of programming Midwest responsibilities back in March. Now, along with the new role in Tucson, Anderson will retain the news/talk/sports brand manager responsibilities. Anderson comments, “The career opportunities within iHeartMedia are truly amazing. I’m honored and humbled in this new venture of leading the Tucson team as well as remain engaged as brand manager for news/talk/sports. This combined role enables me to grow in a new position while furthering my passion of developing and growing spoken-word programming for the company.” iHeartMedia’s Tucson holdings include hot AC KMIY “My92.9,” CHR KRQQ, country KYWD “Wild Country 97.1,” hip hop KOHT “HOT 98.3,” news/talk KNST, and Spanish music outlets KTZR and KXEW.
FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd Lashes Out at ESPN. A piece by Matt Bonesteel in the Washington Post details the recent comments by sports talk personality Colin Cowherd on his Fox Sports Radio Network-syndicated show in which he criticizes former employer ESPN. The foundation for Cowherd’s criticism is the company’s conservative nature. He says the company has become increasingly “reactionary” over the past “three or four years.” He specifically criticized the “Mike & Mike in the Morning” show, saying, “We used to call it ‘Mickey and Mickey in the morning.’ It’s very Disney, it’s very safe, it’s very likeable, nobody’s going to get yelled at. It’s a very easy place for advertisers to come in, park their insurance commercial and nobody’s going to be offended.” Cowherd left ESPN in August after 12 years for a new deal with FOX Sports. He was taken off the air by ESPN a week before his final show after comments about the education level of Dominican baseball players caused a stir. Read Bonesteel’s piece here.
National Talk Shows to Reap Super PAC Money from Promise I. As reported in the New York Post by Claire Atkinson, the Super PAC Promise I – supporting GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz – will spend $1 million on a national talk radio ad campaign. Atkinson reports the programs destined to be part of the buy include Premiere Networks’ Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity as well as the Laura Ingraham show. See her story here.
Focus 360 Adds Stations to Programmatic Radio Network. Nine new radio stations are being added to the programmatic networks “Powered by Jelli” from Focus 360. The company is working in conjunction with Envision Networks for affiliate sales. Jelli’s cloud-based programmatic ad platform “traffics, serves and reports campaigns allowing stations and show producers to generate incremental revenue with virtually no time constraints added to in-house sales teams.” Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “Ad agencies are increasingly demanding programmatic buying opportunities, and the Focus 360 radio networks powered by Jelli’s technology platform fulfill this growing need. Jelli’s platform delivers and monitors commercials as they are broadcast, relieving stress on station traffic departments by not requiring them to schedule and report those spots every day.”
WOR, New York’s Mark Simone Raises Funds for Charity at Cantor Fitzgerald. The annual 9/11 Charity Day at financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald brings celebrity traders into its offices to execute trades with the commissions going to various charities. WOR, late morning personality Mark Simone and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are two of the celebs who participate each year. Pictured here is Simone manning the phones. During the day, Simone made a $750 million trade of U.S. treasury bonds – the biggest trade of the day. All together, $12 million was raised for charity. Simone’s portion of the commission is being donated to the The Police Athletic League of New York City. Cantor Fitzgerald’s offices were at the top of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and the company lost 700 employees that day.