Tag: "Rick Lewis"
WIP-FM, Philadelphia Names Rod Lakin Program Director. Philadelphia sports talk WIP-FM goes outside the Philly area for its new program director naming KMVP, Phoenix “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” PD Rod Lakin as its new brand manager. Lakin will take over for Spike Eskin, who recently joined Audacy’s WFAN, New York as program director on October 4. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I’m pleased to welcome Rod Lakin to the WIP team and begin the next chapter for our iconic station. Rod brings a breadth of experience and deep understanding of what works in the sports audio format, which I trust will position WIP for much success as the home for Philadelphia sports fans.” Lakin has spent nearly two decades in the spoken-word format in Phoenix, first joining “ESPN Radio 860″ and “Newsradio 620” KTAR in 2003. He was a founding member of “Sports 620 KTAR” upon its launch in 2007, serving in a variety of roles over the next several years including director of the Arizona Diamondbacks Radio Network. In 2014, Lakin was named executive producer for KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.” In 2018, Lakin added programming duties for “ESPN 620 AM” and was named program director of “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” in 2019.
iHeartMedia Denver Announces Programming Changes at KOA and KHOW. A number of changes at iHeartMedia Denver’s news/talk stations take place, effective September 20. First, Ross Kaminsky moves from KHOW where he’s been hosting the morning drive show to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show on sister KOA. He displaces the “Logan & Lewis” show but both Dave Logan and Rick Lewis move to the afternoon drive daypart for the all-new “The KOA Sports Zoo” that will also feature current PM drive personalities Alfred “Big Al” Williams and JoJo Turnbeaugh. At KHOW, Michael Brown moves from his early afternoon show to the morning drive daypart where he’ll host “The Situation with Michael Brown.” Filling the 2:00 pm to 4:00 slot on KHOW is regular KOA and KHOW fill-in host Leland Conway, who joins the ranks of the full-time personalities. Regarding Kaminsky, iHeartMedia notes that he’s been named “Best Talk News/Talk Show” by the Colorado Broadcasters Association and “Best Radio Talk Show Host” by Westword. “The KOA Sports Zoo” – in addition to its four main personalities – will feature Denver Broncos players and coaches, and other celebrities and will cover the MLB’s Colorado Rockies and University of Colorado Buffaloes. Michael Brown is “a fan-favorite and described by many as smart, funny and connected. As the Former Under Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of FEMA, Brown provides provocative insight into culture, current events and politics.” New full-time host Leland Conway is known as “a ‘happy libertarian,’ and has an uncanny ability to interview news makers, putting them at ease while cutting to the heart of the issue.” iHeartMedia Denver president Brenda Egger says, “Both KOA and KHOW have been serving Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West for close to a century. These enhancements further cement our position as the leading destination for unmatched news, talk and sports programming.”
Round Four of August 2021 PPM Data Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 2021 PPM survey has been released for the group of markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s August 2021 sweep covered July 22 – August 18. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM dips two-tenths to an 8.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and slides from the #2 to the #3 rank. Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee loses seven-tenths for an 8.2 share finish but remains ranked #1 while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WISN tacks on four-tenths for a 7.2 share finish and rises to the #3 rank. In Nashville, Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, “SuperTalk 99.7” rises to the #2 rank on the strength of a 1.5 share jump to a 7.8 share finish. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets (as well as the previous three rounds) here.
‘104-9 FOX Sports Upstate’ Launches in Greenville, SC. Gone from the 104.9 FM signal of WROO-FM, Greenville, South Carolina is the rock format and in is sports talk. iHeartMedia unveils “104-9 FOX Sports Upstate” that is airing the complete FOX Sports Radio national programming lineup with the addition of the two-hour afternoon drive show hosted by longtime South Carolina sports broadcaster Phil Kornblut. His program, “Sports Talk with Phil Kornblut,” airs from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm nightly in addition to “Outkick The Coverage,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “The Doug Gottlieb Show,” “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker,” “The Jason Smith Show” and “The Ben Maller Show.” iHeartMedia Asheville/Greenville SVP of programming Brian Hall says, “We’re excited to bring back the FOX Sports Radio brand to the Upstate. Our listeners will have access to the best names in sports talk, plus regional coverage. It’s also a natural pairing with the South Carolina Gamecocks. Game on Upstate!”
Cumulus Media Studies NFL Fans’ Use of Radio vs. TV. This study from Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is based on research from GfK MRI, Ipsos, the NFL “Fan Tracker,” and a special Nielsen Portable People Meter analysis of NFL listening to national broadcasts and reveals the season-long reach of Westwood One’s NFL play-by-play broadcasts to be 56 million listeners. Cumulus Media chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard says, “The research indicates the profile of the radio sports play-by-play audience is surprisingly different from the TV audience. The TV audience consists of casual sports fans while the audio audience is far more passionate and engaged – they are far more likely to be seen as sports experts by their friends, play fantasy sports, and attend games – this provides brands with a highly attentive audience.” Other key findings from the study indicated that: sports betting is more prevalent among AM/FM radio sports listeners versus the TV sports audience; in the car, the AM/FM radio NFL play-by-play broadcast is the ‘best available screen’ for employed and upscale sports fans and according to GfK MRI, the profile of the AM/FM radio NFL audience is much more upscale; compared to average Americans, NFL AM/FM radio audiences spend 16% more. See the study results here.
Salem Media Group Closes Refinancing of 2024 Senior Secured Notes. In a statement released on Monday (9/13), Salem Media Group announces it has closed the refinancing of $112.8 million of its senior secured notes due 2024 by way of exchange and/or sale and purchase of $112.8 of such 2024 Notes into $114.7 (reflecting a call premium of 1.688%) of newly issued 7.125% Senior Secured Notes due 2028. After the refinancing, only $103.5 million of the 2024 Notes remain outstanding. At the same time, Salem has obtained commitments from the holders of the 2028 Notes to purchase up to $50 million in additional 2028 Notes, contingent upon Salem satisfying certain performance benchmarks, the proceeds of which are to be used exclusively to repurchase or repay 2024 Notes. Salem believes that the extended maturity of the 2028 Notes, the ability under the indenture governing the 2028 Notes to use certain asset sale proceeds and casualty loss proceeds to repurchase or repay the 2024 Notes, and the commitments to purchase up to $50 million in additional 2028 Notes, as well as certain other features of the refinancing, all contribute to the ability of Salem to pay the remaining 2024 Notes in full prior to or at maturity. Salem CEO Edward G, Atsinger III says, “With this refinancing and our expected future free cash flow generation, we believe Salem has a clear path to ultimately push out all of the rest of our outstanding debt maturities. It also provides flexibility to opportunistically invest in our business.”
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Chicago-born stand-up comic Brian Babylon, a.k.a., “Prince of Bronzeville,” is named the new host of the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show on Tavis Smiley’s talk outlet KBLA, Los Angeles. Feder notes that Babylon hosted “The Morning AMp” from 2011 to 2015 on Chicago Public Media’s Vocalo platform…..ABC Audio announces that Derricke Dennis is promoted to staff correspondent. In this role, he’ll report for all ABC Audio platforms, continue to anchor newscasts – as well as coverage of breaking news and special events – and he’ll be instrumental in the company’s efforts to build new products and reach new audiences. Dennis has been serving the company as a freelancer and anchoring ABC’s flagship I-NET newscast…..VSiN announces that Stormy Buonantony joins the sports betting network as the new host of “My Guys in the Desert.” In addition to covering college football for ESPN, Buonantony joins VSiN from AT&T SportsNet, where she was the rinkside reporter for the Vegas Golden Knights over the past two seasons. She says, “I’m so excited to expand my role and join the incredibly talented and knowledgeable team at VSiN full time. I’ve always joked that I grew up in a household where it didn’t matter who won or lost the game but rather by how many points they won or lost. This represents a special opportunity for me to combine my personal and professional backgrounds in my hometown of Las Vegas on a network committed to providing the best sports betting analysis out there.”…..Pet behaviorist and humorist Warren Eckstein celebrates 40 years in radio hosting, “The Pet Show With Warren Eckstein,” that is syndicated internationally by Radio America in 150 additional markets, including Guam and Canada.
COVID-19, California Recall, Afghanistan, January 6 Investigation/Justice for J6 Rally, Met Gala, Prince Andrew Case, California Wildfires/Tropical Storm Nicholas Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/13). The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and the battle over vaccine mandates, and school mask requirements; today’s recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom; the aftermath of the U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the looming Justice for J6 rally in Washington; U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez wears a dress that says “tax the rich” to the Met Gala; Prince Andrew’s attorneys claim Jeffrey Epstein-related complaint is improper; and the wildfires in California and the threat of heavy rain in the Gulf south from Tropical Storm Nicholas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Salem Radio Network Exercises Cancellation Clause for Joe Walsh’s Talk Show. A day after the former Illinois congressman announced he would indeed begin a presidential campaign to challenge Donald Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020, Salem Radio Network announced it is cancelling national distribution of the Joe Walsh program, effective in 30 days. SRN says the last day of distribution will be September 26. “Walsh affiliates will continue to receive the Joe Walsh program from SRN during this 30-day period and will be given the opportunity to continue the Joe Walsh program from a different syndicator, to be selected by Joe Walsh, at the end of the 30-day period. SRN may also offer a replacement for the Walsh program to begin after the 30-day period expires to any affiliates who choose not to continue with the Walsh program. SRN will work with any affiliates who want to discontinue airing the Walsh program during the 30-day period due to concerns about FCC political regulations in light of Walsh’s announcement of his candidacy for President of the United States. This announcement does not affect Joe Walsh’s local program airing on “AM 560 The Answer” (WIND-AM) in Chicago, however Walsh’s program will have to be removed as soon as he becomes a viable and legal candidate for president.” As for Walsh’s take on his radio show, he told Bruce Dumont on the Sunday edition of the Chicago-based “Beyond the Beltway” talk radio program that he realizes this is ending his talk radio career and it makes him sad. “But to me this is a bigger mission. I’ve got to do what I can to make sure this guy can’t be reelected and to try to help save the Republican party. Trump has destroyed the Republican party.”
Cumulus to Adds FM Signal to Sports Talk KNBR, San Francisco; Alternative KFOG-FM Ends 37-Year Run. A surprise move from Cumulus Media means the KNBR sports talk brand will be heard in the Bay Area on a full market FM signal, but there are those who will lament the end of a San Francisco rock radio institution. Cumulus is adding the 104.5 signal to the broadcast of its sports talk format heard on KNBR-AM, effective September 6. It’s also changing the calls to KNBR-FM. The company says, “With the launch of KNBR-FM, sports fans will have another place to tune into KNBR’s high-profile personalities and in-depth coverage of the Bay Area’s favorite teams. The expansion of KNBR will offer listeners a stronger signal and provide a broader broadcast range for the station’s leading sports programming.” Cumulus San Francisco VP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “We are excited to bring ‘KNBR, The Sports Leader’ and official home of the Giants and 49ers, to a wider audience of sports listeners in the Bay Area. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a station, and we want to thank the staff, listeners, and advertisers who together made KFOG the legendary and beloved station that so many of us in San Francisco had the opportunity to enjoy.” KFOG began its life as a beautiful music station back in 1960. It became a rock outlet in 1982 and morphed into the triple A format during the 1990s. It re-branded in 2016, still as a triple A outlet, with the slogan “Music Matters.” Earlier this year, it completed an 18-month evolution into an alternative rock station.
Dave Logan Signs New Deal to Remain with KOA, Denver. Longtime news/talk KOA, Denver personality and Denver Broncos play-by-play voice Dave Logan signs a 10-year contract extension with iHeartMedia Denver. Beginning next week, Logan will move to the late morning slot with Rick Lewis and Kathy Lee as co-host of the “Logan & Lewis” program. He’d been hosting the afternoon drive show. He will continue to serve as the play-by-play voice for Denver Broncos football broadcasts on KOA and will appear on the “Broncos Country Tonight” afternoon show on a weekly basis. The “Logan & Lewis” program bumps Premiere Networks’ Rush Limbaugh from KOA to sister station news/talk KDFD-AM/K229BS “Freedom 93.7.” iHeartMedia Denver president Tim Hager says, “As KOA enters its 50th season as the flagship station of the Denver Broncos, it’s an honor to announce our long-term extension with Dave Logan. Few people have achieved Dave’s level of success – both on air and off air – and we’re fortunate to have a personality of Dave’s caliber as the foundation of KOA.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager and his Prager University charity are the focus of a piece in last weekend’s Sunday Los Angeles Times. The Salem Radio Network personality founded the registered charity that dispenses conservative thought via its online videos. PragerU’s videos have been seen more than 2 billion times. Prager says his reason for creating PragerU was simple: “We thought there was a dearth of intelligent presentation of the values we care most about…to make the case for a God-based moral system. We play no role in Donald Trump’s election, no role in his presidency…We don’t talk about him. Not anti. Not pro. I am more interested that the viewer understand why they should honor their parents even if they have trouble with them than I am in the contemporary political scene.”…..The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that sports media personality Tony Bruno getting back on terrestrial radio, although on his own part-time terms. Bruno is joining Townsquare Media’s WENJ-FM, Millville, New Jersey “ESPN 97.3” to serve as pre-game host for the station’s broadcast of Philadelphia Eagles games. Host two-hour pre-game shows prior to the station’s airing of “Monday Night Football” and “Thursday Night Football.” Bruno famously retired from WIP, Philadelphia and sports radio in 2015. Since then, he’s been hosting streaming talk shows via Twitch…..The Wichita Eagle writes that talk radio personality Andy Hooser, host of the daily “The Voice of Reason,” program on Steckline Communications’ KQAM, Wichita, is leaving his show to re-locate to Ohio to be closer to family. Hooser’s wife is battling illness and they wish to be closer to family. He tells the paper, “I felt really kind of honored to hold the mantle for the local conservative talk. This is actually one of the biggest markets in the nation that didn’t have a local conservative voice and the fact I got to do that was a really great honor.”…..Entercom’s sports talk WIP, Philadelphia is partnering with the Philadelphia Eagles for the second annual “Eagles Radiothon” to raise funds for the Eagles Autism Challenge Inc. The multiday auction, sponsored by Santander Bank, will offer fans the opportunity to bid on exclusive sports and entertainment experiences, with all proceeds benefitting the charity’s commitment to raising funds for innovative autism research and programs.
Entercom Names Paul Suchman Chief Marketing Officer. The addition of Paul Suchman to the Entercom executive team as chief marketing officer means he’ll oversee all aspects of the company’s marketing function, enhancing its “work with agencies and customers and spotlighting the tremendous untapped value for advertisers across the company’s outstanding and evolving product offerings.” Suchman will lead the development of business-to-business marketing strategies and initiatives, working closely with the company’s sales leadership to deliver best-in-class opportunities and custom solutions to brands and advertisers. Entercom chairman, president and CEO David Field adds, “Paul has built his career working with leading brands to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving media landscape. He has led successful global initiatives and high-performing teams inside corporate and agency environments. Paul will play a pivotal role in elevating the Entercom and RADIO.COM brands in the client and agency communities and enhancing how customers capitalize on our robust, unique product offerings across our leading local radio brands, podcasting, digital, live events, sports and news, capitalizing on our powerful, emerging Entercom Advanced Audio tools.” Suchman was most recently with real estate services and investment firm CBRE as global chief marketing officer.
Gino Torretta Eases Hochman’s ‘Canes Pain. The build-up to the game between Marc Hochman’s University of Miami Hurricanes and Channing Crowder’s University of Florida Gators was intense for the two personalities on their “Hochman & Crowder” show, simulcast on Entercom’s sports talkers WQAM and WAXY-AM in Miami. Although Crowder’s alma mater – where he was an All-American player – won, Hochman got U of Miami legend Gino Torretta to join the show on Monday (8/26) to talk about the game. Pictured above are (l-r): Crowder, Torretta and Hochman.
Trump at G7 Summit, Walsh to Challenge Trump/2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade War, Amazon Wildfires, Johnson & Johnson Opioid Ruling, and Taylor Swift’s VMA Statement Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/26). U.S. relations with G7 nations and President Trump’s trip to France; former congressman Joe Walsh’s bid to challenge President Trump for the GOP nomination and the Democrats hoping to challenge him in 2020; the war of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the wildfires in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest; the $572 million judgement levied against Johnson & Johnson in an Oklahoma opioid trial; and Taylor Swift’s political message at the 2019 VMAs 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. Programming pro Matt Talluto is named program director and brand manager for Cumulus Media’s WFTK-FM, Cincinnati “96 Rock,” effective September 16. He’ll also host the afternoon drive program on the station. Talluto was most recently an air personality and program director at Pathfinder Communications’ rock WBYR, Fort Wayne, Indiana “98.9 The Bear.” Cumulus Cincinnati operations manager Keith Mitchell states, “We are ready for Matt to join our big, happy family at Cumulus Cincinnati. We’ve got a trip to Skyline Chili and Kings Island lined up for him upon his arrival. Matt has a great track record in Fort Wayne and rocked PM drive in Milwaukee for years at ‘The Hog,’ so we’re ready for him to do the same here for ‘96 Rock.’ He’s arriving just in time for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, no better time to get acquainted with a half million beer drinkers.”…..Air personality Frankie V is heading up the new morning show at iHeartMedia San Diego’s hip hop KSSX “JAM’N 95.7.” Frankie V says, “It’s amazing to see the evolution of talent that we have here at iHeartMedia San Diego and I’m beyond fortunate to be a part of the growth and evolution. After nearly 13 years in San Diego, this city has a special place in my heart and I’m excited for this next chapter in my morning show career.”…..Entercom Phoenix country station KMLE unveils its new logo. The station says that “as the Valley’s country leader for the last 31 years, KMLE ‘Country@107.9’ set out to create a fresh, new logo that matches its vibrant personality and that reflected its heritage. The new logo, which marks the first branding refresh in seven years, echoes the fun and upbeat tone of the station.”…..Entercom’s KROQ, Los Angeles, along with Hot Topic and Interscope Records, is giving fans the chance to win a trip for two to Los Angeles for an intimate Billie Eilish performance. Entercom Southern California regional president and market manager Jeff Federman states, “Billie Eilish has exploded onto the music scene in 2019 and we’re thrilled to team up with Hot Topic and Interscope Records to provide fans with a one-of-a-kind experience.” Additionally, Southern California fans will have an opportunity to win an intimate Billie Eilish show for 20 friends, along with a meet-and-greet for two and a brand new 2019 Honda Fit.
PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio. Coming off the historically down Holiday survey, almost 80% of news/talk stations on this panel were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) in the January survey with iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (+2.4) and WISN, Milwaukee (+2.2) leading the gains. Comparing January 2018 to January 2019, almost 45% of stations were up (slightly more were down) with Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (+2.3) and WLW, Cincinnati (+2.0). CMG’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta dropped 2.3 shares from last January to this year but still retains its #1 ranking (6+) in the Atlanta market. Four other news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the January survey: iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento and WLW, Cincinnati; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Monday Memo: ‘Today’s Bonus Question…’ Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo about evergreen talk radio topics. He says, “Smart talk radio hosts have always kept an evergreen file, undated call-in topics for use, y’know, back when we had slow news days.” Even though there have not been lot of those lately, Cooke says for hosts who want to break away from Washington topics for a bit he has some thoughts on questions they can throw out to their listeners to start a fun topic, such as, “What’s your gripe about where you work?” See Cooke’s entire Monday Memo here.
Ethan Bearman Leaves KGO. Heavy Hundred talk media rising star Ethan Bearman has informed TALKERS magazine that he and KGO, San Francisco have parted ways. Bearman, known for his youthful view of politics and lifestyles from an independent position, began his career at KSCO, Santa Cruz. He joined Cumulus San Francisco in January of 2014 as a personality at KSFO and moved over to KGO in early 2016 where he was most recently heard live each day between 10:00 am and 12:45 pm with a replay in evenings at 7:00 pm. Bearman, who lives in Southern California and has been studying law at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, performed his daily show by remote from the Westwood One studios in Culver City. Bearman tells TALKERS, “I love the Bay Area audience and the folks at KGO have been wonderful, but my home and family are in LA and I always knew that this set up would eventually have to end. I’m excited about receiving my law degree this coming May and moving on with my media career with that extra credential from this location.” In addition to his radio work, Bearman has become a popular go-to commentator on cable news/talk TV and regularly appears as a guest on the Fox News Channel.
Alfred Williams Joining iHeartMedia Denver. Sports talk host Alfred “Big Al” Williams left Bonneville’s KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” last week where he was co-host of the market’s highest-rated show with partner Darren McKee to join iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KOA, according to a report by KUSA-TV, Denver. Williams will wait out a non-compete (probably six months) and speculation is that he’ll join Dave Logan and Rick Lewis on the afternoon drive program. In the piece, Williams speaks about how much Bonneville manager Bob Call has meant to his career. His new boss, iHeartMedia region president Tim Hager says, “I’m unbelievably excited about the possibility of having Big Al on our team as a broadcaster, a talent and a man. Right now, I just respect Bob [Call] and Bonneville and everything they have going on as they transition from that great broadcaster and talent and man. Much more to come, but really exciting times.”
iHeartMedia Ups Marc Sherman to Regional SVP of Programming for New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Houston senior vice president of programming Marc Sherman has been promoted to regional senior vice president of programming for the New Orleans and Baton Rouge markets, that include news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT-AM in New Orleans and news/talk WJBO-AM/K249DV in Baton Rouge. iHeartMedia region president Eddie Martiny says, “I’m excited to expand Marc’s programming expertise to the New Orleans and Baton Rouge markets. I have had the pleasure of working with Marc for over 15 years and he is not only a brilliant programmer but an excellent leader. New Orleans and Baton Rouge are in good hands.”
Amber Parker Named SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Tuscaloosa. Programming pro Amber Parker moves from iHeartMedia’s Colorado Springs where she served in programming and on-air roles to Tuscaloosa where she’s senior vice president of programming for the four-station Tuscaloosa cluster that includes news/talk WRTR-FM “Talk Radio 105.9” and three music outlets. Parker will be responsible for spearheading the programming, promotions, and digital strategies for all four stations and will also host the midday show on country WTXT.
Harvey Wells Named Director of Sales Development and Marketing for GeoBroadcast Solutions. Radio sales and management pro Harvey Wells joins GeoBroadcast Solutions as director of sales development and marketing. In this role, Wells is responsible for the continued roll-out of GeoBroadcast Solutions’ MaxxCasting technology and help introduce its ZoneCasting technology to a broader audience. The company’s press release says MaxxCasting “leverages Single Frequency Network (SFN) architectures to optimize a radio station’s signal strength within its FCC-allocated contour, allowing greater numbers of potential listeners and Nielsen Personal People Meter encoding…ZoneCasting, pending FCC approval, will allow a radio station to divide its signal based on a market’s geography, allowing a radio station on its single frequency to air different news, traffic, weather, public service announcements and advertisements based on where a listener is located.” Wells was most recently general manager for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois cluster. During his career he also managed CBS RADIO’s Chicago station group.
TALKERS News Notes. In Burlington, Vermont, Vox AM/FM makes changes to the morning show on news/talk WVMT, ousting Pete Belair and Sarah Mitiguy after two months as hosts of the morning show and launches a new program hosted by Burlington City Council president Kurt Wright and local DJ and podcaster Marcus Certa. Belair and Mitiguy took over the morning program after working together at Sison Broadcasting’s CHR WXXX, Burlington. They replaced Charlie Papillo and Ernie Farrar, who retired at the time Vox AM/FM was buying the station from Paul Goldman in late 2018. Seven Days Vt has the story here…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports on what he’s calling “reality-show premise of an inspired stunt” as most of the talk hosts from Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The Score” will live in a rented house in Mesa, Arizona while covering the Chicago Cubs’ spring training. The hosts – midday’s Dan Bernstein and Connor McKnight and pm drive’s Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins (along with PD Mitch Rosen) – will live together in the house with show producers and a video producer. Morning hosts Mike Mulligan and David Haugh are staying in a nearby hotel. Fans can watch for video highlights on the station’s website…..Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM is presenting the seventh annual “Larry Richert Honors our Hometown Heroes” event being emceed by morning show host Larry Richert on March 26 at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino. Richert will honor five hometown heroes who’ve made contributions to the local community. This year’s honorees are: Joyce Erdner, founder of The DoorWay, an organization that serves those who need a second chance from dealing with abuse, addiction and neglect; Steven D’Achille who, following the loss of his wife to post-partum depression, founded The Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for Perinatal Mental Health at West Penn Hospital; Debbie Thackrah, founder and president of Feeding the Spirit, a special non-profit dedicated to nourishing the bodies, minds and spirits of those in need in the Greensburg community; German Township police corporal John Lingo, who stepped into the line of fire and took down a gunman who shot four people in a magistrate’s office; and George O’Donnell, who operates Runs Friends to Friends, an organization bringing kids with and without disabilities together through sports and mentoring.
Trump-Russia Investigation/House Obstruction of Justice Investigation, Trump CPAC Speech, Cohen Testimony, Trump-Kim Summit, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Deadly Alabama Tornadoes, Leaving Neverland Controversy, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related investigation by the U.S. House into possible obstruction of justice by President Trump; the president’s two-hour speech at CPAC; last week’s congressional testimony by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen; the meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the list of Democrats vying to oppose President Trump in the 2020 election; the tornadoes that ripped through Alabama and taking the lives of at least 23; the controversy over the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland and the legacy of Michael Jackson; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
RadioInfo Review: Australian Artist Michael Burrows Deserves American Radio Attention. Melbourne, Australia-based recording artist Michael Burrows knows a thing or two about life – and his take is laid out beautifully within a custom blend of folk, rock, and country music. Burrows’ music has been described as a fusion of musical genres with hints of artists such as the Beatles, Wilco, Eagles and Ron Sexsmith. From intimate solo shows to full band performances, his songs are deceptively simple about complex things: love, family, home, and trust. The latest single, “Turn This Love Around,” is attracting a lot of attention from music directors and on social media with listeners. It’s a strong melodic tune with lyrics that Ed Sheeran or Jason Mraz would have been proud to have written. It’s a comfortingly familiar track that conjures feelings of a time when things were easier, responsibilities were less, and the vulnerability in Burrows’ voice provides an invitation for the lover and the listener to engage in more – coming back to bed…while tapping their feet and singing along. To check out his latest single please click here. To set up an interview with Michael Burrows, please email Sam Schipman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. A format flip takes place in the Motor City as iHeartMedia drops alternative on WDTW-FM and goes classic rock as WLLZ-FM “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels.” The station’s core artists are 80s and 90s rock artists: AC/DC, Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica,Ozzy Osbourne, and Pearl Jam. The jock lineup features well-known Detroit radio personalities, including Bill McAllister in mornings, Trudi Daniels in middays, Doug Podell in afternoons, and Casey Krukowski in evenings. iHM region president Paul Corvino states, “Detroit’s Wheels is back. The attitude, music, and personalities featured on ‘106.7 Detroit’s Wheels’ is the perfect formula and will contribute to building a great audience for our advertisers.”
Logan adds WFTW Programming Duties. One-year hot AC WNCV “Coast 93.3” program director and morning talent “Logan” takes on similar responsibilities within the Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach (Florida) cluster for talk WFTW. Cumulus Media regional vice president Pete DeSimone comments, “Logan has done an outstanding job since joining the Fort Walton Beach/Destin cluster. It has been a pleasure watching him work to make a significant impact in both ratings and revenue with WNCV. I am very excited we are recognizing his talent and affording him additional opportunities to grow with our company.” Corporate program director for news-talk-sports Jim Mahanay remarks, “I am excited anytime we can have a programmer with a fresh perspective enter the news/talk format. Logan has proven himself as a strong music PD and he now has that opportunity in news/talk.” Logan offers a “big thanks” to DeSimone, Mahanay, and Cumulus Media senior vice president of content and programming Mike McVay. “Cumulus has given me opportunities – I am going to grow with them,” Logan states. “I am a huge fan of the news-talk format, and I cannot wait to get audio from Michael Savage.” Prior to joining WNCV, “Logan” spent eight years as morning host/assistant program director/music director for Philadelphia hot AC WISX “Mix106.1.” His resume also includes stops in New York City at CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and in Dallas at hot AC KDMX.
Nielsen Audio Releases Final Round of July 2015 PPM Data. The fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio July 2015 PPM ratings data has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15. You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here. In addition, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
Odds & Sods: This past Monday (8/3), Westwood One host Mark Levin surpassed the one-million level of Facebook “Likes.” His book, “Plunder and Deceit,” was released the following day (Tuesday, 8/4) and it has reached #1 on Amazon‘s “Best Seller” list…..In an October 13 simulcast with CNN, Westwood One will be the exclusive radio provider of coverage from the first Democratic primary debate of the 2016 presidential race. The debate will take place in Nevada, with exact location details to be announced later. CNN will serve as moderator and exclusive national broadcaster of that debate.
Rick Lewis Hits Quarter Century Mark Hosting “Talky” Mornings at Classic Rocker, KRFX, Denver. For over two decades the “Lewis & Floorwax Show” dominated the morning airwaves on iHeartMedia’s KRFX-FM (The Fox), Denver. The show was an excellent example of the widespread genre of music radio morning shows that lean heavily on pop cultural talk content. Suddenly in January of 2014, co-host Michael Floorwax retired from the airwaves, by his own choosing, due to an ongoing chronic health issue that began acting up. His co-host Rick Lewis was encouraged to keep the show going as it had a very loyal fan base and was an extremely dependable “revenue machine.” Lewis re-tooled the mostly spoken word show (that plays approximately two songs per hour), renamed it “The Rick Lewis Show” and forged ahead. Fans were happy and relieved that the show continued. Advertisers continued their support and The Rick Lewis Show has more than survived, it has thrived. Nielsen Audio spring PPM numbers indicate that “The Fox” is the market’s top station among adults 25-54. Ratings are up from 2014 and so is revenue. On July 31, 2015 Rick Lewis celebrated 25 years as the morning radio host at the station – a rarely achieved milestone in the radio industry. Lewis tells TALKERS, “I have many people to thank including my long-time friend and radio partner Kathy Lee who really stepped up her game. Thanks to my long-time partner Michael Floorwax for a helluva run, you are missed!” Lewis adds, “Also the support of the rest of the crew in the morning, Colfax, Dragon Redbeard and Robbyn Hart has been significant. Thanks also to Michael Harrison, a visionary man who gave me my first big break at KMET, Los Angeles in 1984. I was just out of college, working at that heritage radio station with some legendary radio performers. Mike believed in me and gave me my first full time job in LA.” Harrison recalls, “I recognized immediately that this earnest young man was the total package. He had movie star looks, a command of album rock and its culture, and most importantly the ability to adeptly punctuate his jock work with listener calls and artist interviews – a quality I always looked for in DJs during my rock PD days.” KRFX is the FM home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos and the multi-faceted Lewis also hosts the official Denver Broncos pre-game show every week during the football season. And if that isn’t enough Lewis has a band, The Rick Lewis Project, featuring some of the most acclaimed musicians in the region. As a drummer for the band, Lewis has played as opening act with legends such as BB King, James Brown, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Def Lepard, and The Who among others. When he is not on the radio or playing in his band, Lewis finds time to perform in the Denver area as a stand-up comic. He also recently shot a TV pilot called “Ride Away,” a motorcycle adventure show. The show is currently being shopped and produced by reality TV’s famous bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman and his wife Beth. Lewis believes “the secret to longevity in the business is to have many irons in the fire.” He tells TALKERS, “I still get up every morning and can’t wait to get behind the microphone and entertain the fans in Denver. For years, I always thought KMET in LA would be the pinnacle of my radio career, man was I wrong!”
Beasley Broadcast Group Reports Q2 Results. Second quarter net revenue is up $1.1 million ($25.9 million to $27 million), but Beasley Broadcast Group‘s net income is off by $500,000 ($3 million to $2.5 million). This past December, Beasley and CBS Radio completed a 14-for-five swap involving three markets. CBS Radio acquired two Philadelphia stations (WRDW and WXTU), as well as three Miami outlets (WKIS, WPOW, and WQAM). In exchange, Beasley picked up one Philadelphia station (WIP-FM); six Tampa facilities (WHFS-AM, WHFS-FM, WLLD, WQYK, WRBQ, and WYUU); and seven Charlotte properties (WBAV, WBCN, WFNZ, WKQC, WNKS, WPEG, and WSOC). According to Beasley chair and chief executive officer George Beasley, the company’s second quarter results “reflect a continuation of recent overall industry and market trends.” On a pro forma basis, net revenue decreased 6.0% while SOI declined 8.4%. “The decline in pro forma revenue is primarily attributable to overall weakness in Charlotte, Las Vegas, and Wilmington [Delaware], which resulted in reduced operating leverage and ultimately impacted SOI,” Beasley comments. “We were able to partially offset the revenue decline, however, through cost reductions that resulted in a 4.9% – or $1 million – reduction in station operating expenses. We also made further progress on our debt reduction efforts during the quarter, while continuing our commitment to return capital to shareholders.” Addressing the station swap with CBS Radio, Beasley remarks, “It substantially broadened and diversified our local radio and marketing solutions platform. Since closing, we have been initiating strategies to extract operating and financial synergies. We are actively implementing integration, cost efficiency and operating plans while remaining true to our value proposition by focusing on targeted localism and delivering quality programming, effective online marketing solutions and dedicated service to listeners and advertisers in these markets.” As far as the future is concerned, he notes the company remains “focused on operating our station clusters to match or exceed their market’s revenue performance while further strengthening our balance sheet. We believe our integration, programming, personnel, cost-efficiency and operating changes are now showing progress.”
Barack Obama and Donald Trump were the Most Talked About People on News/Talk Radio this Week. GOP Debate(s) on Fox, the Iran Nukes Deal and Immigration Reform Lead the Topics Discussed. According to TALKERS research, the just-concluding week of August 3-7, 2015 has been dynamic to say the least as the brewing interest in the presidential race of 2016 reached its first major boiling point with yesterday’s (8/6) long anticipated GOP debate(s) on the Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio gathering enormous attention and conversation. Other hot topics included the Iran nuke deal, ISIS activity, immigration reform, race relations, the Planned Parenthood funding issue, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and the Nashville theater attack. To see the entire list of the week’s most talked about topics and people, please click here.
Michael Harrison Chats with Former FEMA Director (and Current KHOW, Denver Talk Host) Michael D. Brown as 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Approaches. It was almost a decade ago (August 23-31, 2005) that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States with winds of up to 175 mph and flood waters of biblical proportions rising from the ocean and falling from the sky — leaving in its wake almost 1,900 fatalities, $108 billion in damages, and countless casualties and lives upended. Michael D. Brown – the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time and Under Secretary of Homeland Security (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) became the official poster boy for everything that went wrong with the federal government’s too-little-too-late response to one of the greatest disasters in American history. Some of the criticism that fell upon Brown was deserved – but much of it wasn’t. After all, it was an epic crisis and involved numerous overlapping agencies, governments, and politicians charged with making things right. Brown took a severe beating from the media as well as a proverbial bullet for the team and stepped down from his position with the Bush Administration. A lawyer by trade, Brown went on with his life, taking away an enormous amount of wisdom and experience from the episode. Undaunted, he began speaking to groups around the country about the insidious side of politics, and the human complexity of management and team play. He wrote a candid book about his role (and responsibility) in Katrina — Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond (Taylor Trade, 2011). He also began a successful talk show hosting career in Denver – first at KOA and then at KHOW, where he presently presides over a daily program 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm MT. In the newly posted installment of the weekly international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” (8/4), Brown is interviewed by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about inside-Washington politics, the war on terror, the nature of the political mind, the psychological profile of presidents, the general state of media and journalism as well as what his life is like as a big market talk show host 10 years after Katrina. To hear this must-listen conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Cool Job Opportunity. Salem Radio in New York is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer,” which is news/talk format, and the legendary WMCA “AM570 The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.” Compensation is commensurate with degree of experience and skills. This is a fabulous career opportunity for the right individual with one of the finest broadcasting companies in America. Salem Media Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Sales experience involving media is a must. Undergraduate degree required. A unique opportunity to work closely with Jerry Crowley and Phil Boyce, two proven winners and innovators. For more information and to apply, click here.