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Friday, January 30, 2015

| January 30, 2015

drexDreX to Host New KGO, San Francisco Talk Show.  Music radio personality DreX crosses into the news/talk realm with his new gig as evening host at Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco.  The station notes that DreX worked in the market in the past at KSJO, San Jose – now “NASH FM 92.3.”  DreX crafted successful CHR night shows in markets including San Antonio, Dallas and Philadelphia.  He then shifted to mornings at signals such as WHYT, Detroit and WKSC, Chicago “Kiss FM.”  Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay comments, “Drex brings a unique perspective to the news/talk format and an uncanny ability to entertain and inform in his own engaging style.”  San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer adds, “DreX brings his unique voice to KGO nights for a highly compelling program that is fresh, live and local.  The Bay Area is in for quite an experience with DreX.”

malzbergsteveMalzberg and Newsmax TV Extend Relationship.  The new three-year deal keeps talk media pro Steve Malzberg hosting his Newsmax TV daily news and talk program that currently airs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Newsmax says in a statement that Malzberg is “a veteran TV and radio personality, [who]newsmaxtv logo attracts a star-studded roster of news-breaking guests and delivers insightful commentary around topical, often-contentious issues that connect with audiences.”  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Steve Malzberg is a key member of our on-air team who brings a fearless and informed approach to news/talk programming.  Our growing audience is truly responding to him and he will no doubt continue to deliver provocative talk and engagement with his guests as we enter into the pivotal, upcoming presidential election period.”

levinmarkMark Levin Show to Air on KRLA, Los Angeles.  The Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin show is moving to a prime spot in Los Angeles, airing live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT on Salem Communications-owned news/talk KRLA, effective February 3.  With the change, Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt will move to the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm timeslot.  Salem SVP of spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Rarely do you have the chance to add somebody of Mark’s quality in market #2, and we decided it was an opportunity we could not pass up.  Hugh Hewitt is also a class act, so running these two back-to-back makes this lineup even stronger.”  Levin states, “It’s an honor to join the wonderful lineup at KRLA.  I know my great listeners, who include two of my biggest fans in the LA area (my kids, who live and work there!) will appreciate hearing the show LIVE, too!”

worobchandWNDB, Daytona Beach Producer Arrested on Child Porn Charges.  According to a story by WKMG-TV, Orlando, WNDB, Daytona Beach executive producer Chand Worob has been taken into custody by Daytona Beach police on charges of receiving and distributing child pornography.  The story reports police had been investigating the 25-year-old radio station staffer since October.  They arrested him at the radio station where he works on the Marc Bernier morning show and served a warrant at his home where they reported finding a laptop with some 500 images on it.

zeisepaulCBS RADIO Ups Zeise at ‘Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan’ in Pittsburgh.  The new evening personality at CBS RADIO sports talker KDKA-FM “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” is Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter Paul Zeise.  He’s been hosting programs at the station on a part-time basis since 2011.  Program director Ryan Maguire says, “Paul has truly developed as a personality and we’re happy we could make him a larger member of our on-air team.  Paul has strong ties within the local sports community and will provide unique insight and hard-hitting opinions that will resonate with our listeners.”

imusbroadway logoFifth Annual ‘Imus on Broadway’ Happens on February 9.  On Monday, February 9, New York radio legend and WABC morning drive personality Don Imus will present the fifth annual “Imus on Broadway” at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square.  Ticket sales from the one-night only performance will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel will join Imus as emcee.  The evening will showcase live performances from some of Broadway’s top musicals including: Kinky Boots, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, It Shoulda Been You, Honeymoon In Vegas, The Lion King, Cabaret, Into The Woods, Les Miserables, Chicago and more!

wfanfantasyphenom5WFAN, New York to Begin 5th ‘Fantasy Phenom Challenge.’  Next Sunday (2/8), CBS RADIO sports talker WFAN, New York kicks off the 5th “Fantasy Phenom Challenge” at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station, New York in which contestants will have the chance to earn on-air shifts on “The Fan.”  The station will register the first 100 contestants online and those will audition before a panel of judges at area shopping malls around the region.  A change in this year’s competition will allow for finalists to receive personal coaching from one of WFAN’s on-air hosts!  Up to 12 participants will move on to round two, where online voting will determine the top six contestants for the final.  The finalists will be part of a special St. Patrick’s Day remote broadcast featuring WFAN’s Boomer and Carton show and simulcast on CBS Network.  The Finals will be held in late March or early April on Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive show.  “Fantasy Phenom” year 4 winner, Dimitri Adrahtas, is completing his one-year stint with the station broadcasting his show to Tri-State area listeners.

Odds & Sods.  Longtime Los Angeles talk radio personality Marc Germain, formerly “Mr. KABC,” will host the evening show on CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas all next week, February 2-6.  Germain has been making his home in Sin City for the past five years and has been hosting a nightly live show and podcast from his TalkRadioOne.com base…..Agermainmarc new, four-year renewal between USC and ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA” means the station will continue to serve as the flagship radio outlet for Trojan football through the 2018-19 season.  The deal also means approximately one-half of USC’s men’s basketball games will also air on “ESPNLA.”…..CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York begins its inaugural year of broadcasting the New York City Football Club with Tom Kolker, Glenn Crooks and Roberto Abramowitz handling the announcing duties.  For English-language broadcasts, Tom Kolker is the new play-by-play voice and Glenn Crooks will provide in-game analysis.  For Spanish-language broadcasts airing on WADO, they will be led by Roberto Abramowitz.  A Spanish-language analyst will be named at a later date.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. The Dr. Joy Browne program – distributed nationally by Genesis brownejoyCommunications Network – is added to the program schedule at: WPTF, Raleigh; WDXR, Paducah, Kentucky; and WVFT, Tallahassee…..As noted earlier in the week, Premiere NetworksSean Hannity joins the program schedule at Beasley Media Group’s KDWN, Las Vegas while Dave Ramsey moves to a live airing at CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas…..The Kim Komando weekend “digital lifestyle” program is now airing on: Entercom’s WRKO, Boston; Townsquare Media’s simulcast KCHH and KBUL-AM, Billings, Montana; and WNBF, Binghamton, New York.

Northeast Blizzard Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of January 26-30.  Winter storm Juno and the criticism of forecasters and government officials anticipating the event was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was the 2016 presidential race followed by ISIS threats tied with Taliban 5 developments at #3.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, January 19, 2015

| January 19, 2015

mlkTalk Radio Observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Although an official federal holiday, most talk radio personnel are working today and many are honoring or simply acknowledging the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work leading the civil rights movement of the 1960s.  For example, the first hour of iHeartMedia superstar Sean Hannity’s national radio show is devoted to talking about the historic civil rights leader’s legacy and relevance to today’s headlines.  Given the racial tensions brought about by recent high-profile cases involving fatal confrontations between police and African American men, this year’s observance of Dr. King’s birthday is even more relevant than in recent years.  Sirius XM Satellite Radio “Urban View” host Karen Hunter says, “Every day I honor the legacy of Dr. King on my show.  So every day we do something special to honor him.  Today I will be playing snippets from a speech he gave at UCLA in 1965.  I will also be talking about Selma.  And I have already spoken to someone who marched today in New York to the UN.”  African American news/talk hosts have a variety of perspectives on Dr. King.  Charles Butler who hosts a daily syndicated show on Genesis Communications Network writes on his daily blog, “Today is the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and since 2008 I have conducted a show called ‘The Other Side of MLK,’ and on this eighth show I added several new perspectives.  Dr. King evolved over the period he was actively involved in the civil rights movement…I have a very difficult time listening to people that use the sanitized and domesticated version of Dr. King, ‘my children would be judged by the content of their character…,’ while ignoring his call on America to end racism.  Today, the prevalence of black high unemployment, income and health disparity, poor schools and environments, criminalization of black Americans, institutional racism, and systematic undermining of the attainment of the American Dream.”  At Salem Communications’ secular news/talk stations, many hosts are devoting a segment or two to Martin Luther King.  Salem SVP/spoken word format and Salem Radio Network Phil Boyce tells TALKERS magazine, “‘The Morning Answer’ in Los Angeles [KRLA] presented a great segment discussing the difference in the language and rhetoric of MLK vs the race baiters of today.  I think conservative hosts are generally more appreciative of Dr. King now, as we have seen what others have said and done who are attempting to take his place.”  Much of the commentary planned by hosts has been designed to specifically address their criticism of “so-called” civil rights leaders who have come after the late Dr. King – described to TALKERS by Cumulus heavyweight host Mark Levin as “people who exploit race by putting forth their own attitudes and wrongly use Dr. King’s good name to back up their own take and self-interests.”   WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami afternoon star Joyce Kaufman tells TALKERS, “I will be spending today’s show listening to excerpts of his speeches…asking listeners to weigh in on when and why the relations between the black community and the white community fell apart.  Jews, for instance, natural allies, now arch enemies.  Black pastors who have stopped preaching the gospel to preserve the first black President’s relationship.  Would Dr. King have embraced Kwanzaa?  I think not. He was a Baptist preacher.”  Westwood One/WYD Media syndicated progressive opinion leader Thom Hartmann reports, “We did three hours on it today.  The movie ‘Selma’ was perfectly timed, and clearly demonstrates the importance of citizens’ movements.  From the Tea Party pushing Republicans to Occupy pushing Democrats; from John Quincy Adams leading the anti-slavery movement in the House to the Suffrage movement nationwide; from the labor movement (with the Ludlow massacre and the Flint Sit Down Strikes) to the gay rights movement – every time America has moved, it’s moved because of an informed, motivated, and activated populace.  And the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest teachers of that in modern times.”  Fox News Radio syndicated liberal icon Alan Colmes tells TALKERS, “Today’s news cycle proves how prescient Martin Luther King, Jr. was.  King, in his most controversial speech, ‘Beyond Vietnam,’ delivered at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967, spoke these words:

‘This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind… I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: “Let us love one another (Yes), for love is God. (Yes) And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love. . . . If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.” Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.’”

Colmes concludes, “On our show, we’re are talking about the relationship between the Bible and the Koran, to show that no one religion is superior to another, that there are more similarities than differences, and that tolerance is a key tenet of our republic.  That is how we are honoring the legacy of this revolutionary.”  Joe Madison of Sirius XM Satellite Radio – consistently one of the most influential thought-leaders in talk radio on the subject of race relations and civil rights — shares, “We aired the results of an essay contest that asked young high school students to assess the political climate in the world today, analyzing the racial challenges that exist and to compare to Dr. King’s life and deeds.”  Madison adds, “I actually spoke this morning in Tampa, Florida at the 35 annual Tampa Organization of Black Affairs Breakfast (I was their first speaker 35 years ago).  I addressed the three-year gap between the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 and his assassination in 1968.  I asked the question: ‘How would talk radio portray Dr. King?’  His last three years on earth, he alienated many of his allies and antagonized his enemies further. He was portrayed as an extremist and an arsonist as he waged war on poverty, racism and militarism.  I suspect most talk radio would not be very supportive of Martin Luther King, Jr.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison responds to Madison’s last statement by telling him that “a number of conservative hosts interviewed for this story say they have been increasingly appreciating and respecting Dr. King as the years go by – especially when compared to some of his high-profile successors in the civil rights movement.” Madison fires back, “I wonder which King they respect?  Certainly not the MLK that encouraged the redistribution of wealth, affirmative action and voting rights, especially Sections 4 and 5 which were recently struck down by the SCOTUS.”

hendrixmarkEntercom Greenville-Spartanburg Sets New Roles for Hendrix, Stone, McLain. Several noteworthy personnel moves take place at Entercom-owned stations in Greenville-Spartanburg, a South Carolina cluster the company refers to as “Entercom Upstate.” For openers, rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet” and WROQ “Classic Rock 101.1” operations manager/program director Mark Hendrix takes on additional duties as operations manager for talk WYRD-FM “Word 106.3,” as well as the sports simulcast of WORD-AM and WYRD-AM. He will continue to program WORD-AM and WYRD-AM, both branded as “ESPN Upstate.” He succeeds Bob McLain as OM for “Word 106.3”; however, McLain carries on as the station’s 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm talent and is named operations manager emeritus. Meanwhile, “Classic Rock 101.1” assistant program director Jay D. Stone is boosted to program director. Stone continues as APD of “The Planet” and maintains his “Classic Rock 101.1” 12:00 noon – 6:00 pm “The Stoneman” on-air shift. According to Entercom Greenville vice president and market entercommanager Steve Sinicropi, “Mark Hendrix has done an outstanding job programming ‘Classic Rock 101.1’ and ‘93.3 The Planet/WTPT-FM.’ He has coached ‘The Rise Guys’ on ‘The Planet’ to the top of many key morning demos. Hendrix will build on Bob McLain’s excellent work on ‘Word 106.3,’ developing stimulating local talk. I am also pleased that Bob will continue his very popular show. I am happy Jay D. Stone has been elevated to the well-deserved position of program director at ‘Classic Rock 101.1.’ He is the heart and soul of that station.” Hendrix comments, “I am thankful for the great opportunities that Entercom has afforded me over the years. I look forward to working with our talented staffs to deliver exceptional, locally focused programs to our upstate audiences.” McLain remarks, “Entercom Upstate has given me great opportunities to engage with listeners, discuss controversial and important issues, and establish a thought provoking radio brand.” Stone declares that, “Having the opportunity to head up the legendary call letters of WROQ is a big deal. All I can say is that, after working with the top-shelf staff at Entercom Upstate for the past 12 years, the winning tradition will continue at ‘Classic Rock 101.'” Hendrix has been with the company since August 2001, when he became program director of WTPT. McLain began his career at Winston-Salem’s WTOB. Stone was named music director of “Classic Rock 101.1” in 2003, after holding similar duties at Des Moines classic rocker KGGO.

wmkt logoMarshall’s Multiple Roles with MacDonald Garber. Simultaneous with being named operations director for all MacDonald Garber Broadcasting AM stations, Greg Marshall is appointed general manager for the company’s Cadillac, Michigan cluster. President and chief executive officer Trish MacDonald Garber comments, “Greg’s vast experience with broadcasting and his great passion for it can only contribute to our continued success. As the current acting general manager in Cadillac, I am leaving Greg in capable hands with an upward trajectory that I know he and the team will capitalize on.” Marshall states, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the great staff at the Cadillac stations and the AM radio stations in the company. I am looking forward to this amazing opportunity.” Among the stations in the Cadillac group are hot AC WLXV “Mix 96,” sports WKAD “93.7 FM The Ticket,” and talk WATT “Rush Radio 1240.” Over and above these two new duties, Marshall will continue doing his daily 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm talk show on the company’s WMKT “The Talk Station,” Traverse City-Petoskey, Michigan; the program will soon be simulcast on WATT as well.

wmca newSalem Re-Brands Christian Talk WMCA.  As had been predicted based upon some recent domain name acquisitions by Salem Communications, Christian talk WMCA, New York – for the past 25 years called “New York’s Christian Talk” – takes on the new slogan “AM 570 The Mission.”  The company put together a short video to highlight the charitable work done by the station and its listeners that underscores the reason for taking on the “Mission” moniker.  You can view the video here.

Odds & Sods.  A report in the Boston Globe by Chad Finn indicates current WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” midday personality Andy Gresh will exit the station soon.  He co-hosts the program on the sports talk outlet with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak and hosts the pre- and post-game shows for Patriots football, for which WBZ-wbz-fm logoFM serves as flagship.  Finn reports that Marc Bertrand of the PM drive “Felger and Massarotti” show will join Zolak on the midday show…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-newser KNX is presenting special programming this week surrounding the State of the Union Address.  In addition to airing the address live at 6:00 pm PT, the station will present a special program on Wednesday (1/21) titled, “Healthcare Uncovered,” from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The show will examine “the state of Obamacare as the Affordable Care Act enters its second year,” hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman.

Bob WilsonBob Wilson: Former Bruins’ Radio Voice Passes. Rabid New England sports fans are known for embracing their professional sports franchises, as well as developing a fondness for those who call the games on radio. For well over two decades – including a 1971 – 1972 Stanley Cup-winning campaign – Bob Wilson was behind the radio microphone for the Boston Bruins. The Arlington, Massachusetts native, who retired in 1995, has passed away. Boston Bruins president – and former Bruins’ star player – Cam Neely comments, “For a generation of New England hockey fans, Bob’s legendary voice was synonymous with the Bruins. He will always be a part of our club’s history. Our thoughts are with [Wilson’s widow] Nancy and their children during this difficult time.” Jack Edwards is the club’s play-by-play announcer on cable television’s NESN and he remarks that Wilson was “my greatest inspiration.” Entercom sports WEEI-FM, Boston personality/NESN Bruins host Dale Arnold states that Wilson was “one of the iconic sports voices of our time. He was a kind and classy gentleman – my hero.”Dave Goucher has been the team’s radio voice the past 15 seasons, but Goucher insists that Wilson “is the radio voice of the Bruins.” In 1987, Wilson received the Foster Hewitt memorial award, earning him a place in the broadcasters’ wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2007. Wilson was at the TD Garden (home of the Bruins and the NBA‘s Boston Celtics) nearly four years ago (March 26, 2011) when the Bruins officially named the home radio facility “The Bob Wilson Radio Booth.” Bob Castellon (his real name) was 85.

vuoloartYour Note to “Radio’s Best Friend” Couldn’t Hurt. One of the genuinely great people in the industry isn’t doing well. Just like giving a bowl of chicken soup to someone with a cold or the flu, sending a get-well wish to Art Vuolo certainly couldn’t hurt, and based on a message he posted today (Sunday, 1/18) on his Facebook page, it might go a long way in boosting the spirits of the man widely-regarded as “Radio’s Best Friend.” Coming off organizing yet another wildly successful Los Angeles radio get together, Vuolo underwent knee replacement surgery this past Tuesday (1/13), but he admits, “I hurt a lot. It is difficult for me to sit up in bed to type these words. Hoping I will feel better soon, but right now, my pain level is elevated. All prayers are welcomed.” One of radio’s greatest ambassadors and a countless times videographer of record, Vuolo is in room #154 of the Maple Manor Rehabilitation Center,31215 Novi Road, Novi, Michigan 48377.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

| January 14, 2015

savagemichaelMichael Savage and Westwood One Renew Deal; College Scholarships to Be Awarded.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Michael Savage and syndicator Westwood One are announcing the two sides have come to terms on a new, multi-year contract to keep “The Savage Nation” with the company.  In a press release, Savage and WW1 say he is “ushering in a new era of talk radio with his groundbreaking ‘Unprotected Talk’ format that he will use to interact with listeners on topical current events and lifestyle issues – with politics of course remaining an important part of the show.  Savage is challenging the talk radio industry with his one-of-a-kind program by combining timely political content with the real-life issues that his millions of listeners are talking about every day, including topics such as health, science, religion, culture and more.”  At the samewestwood one NEW time, Savage says he’s set up a $100,000 scholarship fund “for conservative college students,” that will grant five recipients two-year awards totaling $10,000 annually.  The scholarship winners will be selected through an essay contest opening January 15 titled, “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” with “the intention of promoting traditional American values.”  Savage comments, “I am uniquely positioned to discuss a wide range of topics while maintaining an authentic, unapologetic voice because of my academic background. While others focus on Obamacare, I discuss health issues.  I’m not shying away from politics and I’m not running for office like others in the media.  Cumulus has allowed me to expand my reach, but my goal has remained the same – to deliver the best, most comprehensive commentary on radio and ‘edutain’ the world in the process.  With my new scholarship fund I can now help inspire the next generation by encouraging education and conservative values.”

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craneedEd Crane Exits KFBK, Sacramento as Morning Host.  From a story in the Sacramento Bee, morning personality Ed Crane is out at the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet after serving in the post since 2008.  The station recently announced it hired talk programming pro Bill White – most recently with Journalkfbk logo Broadcast Group’s Tucson stations – who assumes his new position on Tuesday, January 20.  What the station’s plans for AM drive might be is pure speculation at this point.  White handled mornings at KQTH, Tucson.  Whether he’s headed for the morning show at KFBK or the station wants him to lead the search for a new morning host is unknown.  Back to Crane, he tells the Bee that he’s not happy with how his departure was handled saying, “Some untrue things were said that weren’t nice.  I don’t get it.  We were number 1.”

wmca logoWhither Christian Talk WMCA, New York?  The Salem Communications Christian talk outlet is airing promos on the station promising a change of some sort, but what the legendary NYC signal might morph into is unknown.  The promos state, “Beginning Monday, January 19th, WMCA New York’s Christian talk, will be no more.  Find out what we will become, Monday, January 19th.”  It’s likely that there will be no real format change, just a re-branding of the Christian talk format since ratings are not usually a concern for such a station.  Salem already serves the market with secular news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”

pragerdennisDocumentary Film Debaters to Include Prager, Father Morris. This coming Monday (1/19), Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager will join archdiocese of New York’s Father Jonathan MorrisEric Metaxas; and Anne Graham Lotz to discuss “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus.”  Their panel discussion will be shown in 650 U.S. theaters through Fathom Events’ digital broadcast network and is slated to follow the theatrical premiere of the Timothy Mahoney award-winning documentary, which chronicles an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt as his team attempts to corroborate the biblical text.  Twelve years in the making, the film explores the fundamental question if there is any evidence the Exodus story actually happened.  Prager has been broadcasting on Los Angeles radio since 1982; his 9:00 am – 12:00 noon (PT) program has been in syndication since 1999.  Father Morris is currently the program director of “The Catholic Channel” on SiriusXM Radio.  The daughter of Billy Graham, Christian evangelist Lotz founded AnGeL Ministries.  Metaxas co-hosts the syndicated weekly Sunday morning program “100 Huntley Street.”  Prager’s SRN colleague Michael Medved appears on-camera in the documentary.  Fox News Channel‘s Gretchen Carlson will moderate next Monday’s debate.

snlkaganRabid Mobile Media Consumption Drives SNL Kagan $9 Billion 2014 Revenue Estimate. The research firm SNL Kagan is reporting that its estimate for 2014 revenue for the mobile entertainment sector is $9.14 billion – up from $2.71 billion just three years ago.  The frenetic growth of the mobile media industry is well documented in the radio trades and shouldn’t surprise anyone in this industry, but the figures that SNL Kagan breaks out are interesting, nonetheless.  It reports that the mobile music segment was the third largest, contributing 19% to the entertainment sector’s revenue.  However, the games category was tops – delivering 59% of the entertainment sector’s revenue in 2014 – with video in second place bringing in 20% of the sector’s revenue.  SNL Kagan estimates that the mobile music biz – led by players such as Pandora, Spotify, iTunes and others – accounted for $1.76 billion of the $9 billion total.

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Islamic Extremism, ISIS Hack of Pentagon and Centcom, Obama Cyber Security Speech, Bartender Accused in Plot to Kill Boehner, Romney Promises 2016 Run, and Ohio State Wins National Football Title Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  The political aftermath of the deadly attack on Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and the larger topic of Islamic extremism; the hacking of the Pentagon’s and Centcom’s social media; the cyber-security speech delivered by President Obama; the plot by an Ohio bartender to kill House Speaker John Boehner; the promise by Mitt Romney to run for president in 2016; and Ohio State’s run to the National Championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, January 8, 2014

| January 8, 2015

price howardHoward B. Price: Preparedness, Vigilance and Training Important in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack.  The horrific assault on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo serves as a sad reminder that attacks on media outlets are not only possible, they happen on an all-too-frequent basis.  In a piece published in TALKERS magazine, ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes that “even with the best security resources and procedures in place, no broadcast facility is immune from criminal acts or terrorism.  And being in a small place doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk.  But, there are common sense things we all can do to help deter such incidents, mitigate their impact and help assure an investigative trail in the event one takes place.”  Read Price’s very important piece here.

whitebillBill White Named KFBK and KSTE, Sacramento Program Director.  It’s official: news/talk programming pro Bill White is the new PD at iHeartMedia’s KFBK and KSTE in Sacramento, effective January 20.  White – who’s programmed such storied talk outlets as WGN, Chicago; KDKA, Pittsburgh; and WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte – most recently served as PD at Journal Broadcast Group’s KQTH and KFFN in Tucson.  White comments, “These legendary stations inform and touch listeners in the Sacramento area every day.  I’m honored to be joining the talented team at KFBK/KSTE and look forward to building on their successes.”

frantzbobBob Frantz Adds Cleveland News/Talk Duties.  Longtime WTAM, Cleveland personality Bob Frantz exited that station in July of last year and in October began hosting an afternoon sports talk show for Cumulus Media on WLQR, Toledo “106.5 The Ticket.”  Now, Frantz is adding a daily news/talk program on Salem Communications-owned WHK, Cleveland “AM 1420 The Answer” to his responsibilities.  Frantz has been producing commentaries for the Salem station and now begins the daily 9:00 am to 11:00 am talk program.  Salem Cleveland GM Mark Jaycox comments, “There has been a very loud cry from Clevelanders to hear Bob Frantz on the air once more, since his mic went silent five months ago.  His straightforward, honest approach to news, sports and politics has earned him a strong following among conservatively minded listeners who want more in-depth perspective on news stories that affect our daily lives.”

charleskenKen Charles Exits iHeartMedia.  News/talk pro Ken Charles – after a long career with iHeartMedia programming stations in Houston, Miami and Sacramento, to name a few – exits the company.  Charles had been serving as the company’s national brand manager for news/talk and sports before his sudden exit.  iHeartMedia has been very quiet about this and has, so far, not announced any plans to fill Charles’ corporate post.

podcastone logoHollywoodLife Signs with PodcastOne.  What it calls “another, in a series of previously announced partnerships, merging editorial and audio media,” PodcastOne unveils the arrival of the HollywoodLife podcast to its roster of advertiser-supported, on-demand digital audio programs.  The weekly podcast is hosted by HollywoodLife.com’s renowned president and editor-in-chief Bonnie Fuller and delivers “discussion, debate and the inside scoop on all the biggest, breaking celebrity news.”  It will also feature candid conversations with top TV, music and movie stars.  PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Bonnie’s track record of success in editorial content and audience engagement is extraordinary, and we are excited to expand that from the website to the podcast.  Providing the best in entertainment and celebrity news, she knows how to connect with the female demographic and affect lifestyle interests in ways no one else can.”

cookehollandCES 2015: Is Your Station Merely ‘the Linear Feed?’  Radio consultant Holland Cooke continues his reporting for TALKERS magazine from the giant Consumer Electronics Show 2015 in Las Vegas and today (1/8) he focuses on the disruption TV is feeling at the hands of technology that has made about half of television program viewing delayed or on demand.  “The linear feed” means live programming in the order that it’s broadcast and Cooke writes that as consumption of media continues to change, radio must address that “the linear feed” only isn’t going to be good enough.  Read his piece here to find two ways radio stations can deal with this conundrum.

flintaaronAaron Flint Continues to Build State-Wide Montana Talk Show.  Thirty-four-year-old Montana National Guard officer Aaron Flint began hosting Northern Broadcasting System’s “Voices of Montana” radio talk show five years ago.  Since then the KYYA, Billings-based program has expanded from 10 signals to more than 20 with KLTZ, Glasgow being the latest station to begin airing the program.  Flint states, “It’s pretty clear that listener and station demand for local, interactive, engaging content on both AM and FM radio is strong.  I went on another military deployment back in 2012, and I was, frankly, a little worried that we may lose some affiliates due to the disruption.  But the support for all service members shown by our radio affiliates has just been incredible.  The fact that the show has doubled is a strong testament to the support for the community and local programming by independent and corporate-owned stations alike.”  Flint has served three tours of duty: in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.  A former staffer on The Hill, he is also a political blogger publishing The Flint Report – a blog the Washington Post has listed as one of the best state-based political blogs.

sharpejimUSA Radio Networks Adds Jim Sharpe to Lineup.  The latest addition to USA Radio Networks’ “rapidly growing syndicated programming lineup” is media pro Jim Sharpe who will host “AMERICA CONTINUES,” airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET beginning February 2.  USA says the show “will advance the significant news stories of the day with a different insight: the kind of insight that only comes whenusaRadioNetworks America has had a chance to digest the events of the day and put them into true perspective.”  Sharpe’s resume includes winning awards for his work as a war correspondent, and hosting radio shows in markets including: Los Angeles, Dallas, and Phoenix.  Sharpe says of his new syndicated show, “The name of the program serves two purposes: We will continue to update America’s truly important stories even as people put their workday behind them.  And, we will continue to work on this grand experiment called America.  Too many people have given up on the ‘American Dream,’ but ‘AMERICA CONTINUES’ will acknowledge and honor that America is still the planet’s best hope.”

wwwe logoAtlanta’s WWWE Converts to Women’s Radio Network. After having aired Spanish-language music and religious programming as well as sports, Beasley Broadcast Group‘s WWWE, Atlanta transitions to the Women’s Radio Network as “1100 WRNW1.” WWWE general manager Greg Cooper remarks, “Beasley and WWWE are committed to serving the concerns of the Atlanta community. A format focused on the lifestyle of today’s woman gives us a great opportunity to drive our vision for the market forward.” The Women’s Radio Network was previously available only as an online stream: The WWWE affiliation represents the company’s first experience in delivering content on an over-the-air broadcast facility. Hapeville, Georgia-licensed Class D WWWE has not appeared in a monthly Atlanta Nielsen Audio PPM ratings report in recent memory.

nyfest smallEntries Being Accepted for “World’s Best Radio Programs.” Several new categories have been added to the 30-plus-year-old international competition, including “Best Innovation,” “Best Journalist,” and “Best Music Program Host.”  New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards executive director Rose Anderson remarks, “Our categories for ‘Sound Art’ and ‘Best Innovation’ recognize the limitless advances of creativity.  Our ‘Best Journalist,’ and ‘Best Music Program Host’ categories honor the artistry and dedication of the individuals at the mic.”  Advisory board grand jury member/Geller Media president Valerie Geller works with broadcasters in 35 countries “to become more powerful storytellers and communicators.”  Geller comments, “Stories are how we track our lives, learn about others, and develop empathy and understanding of the world.  At its best, broadcasting informs, entertains, inspires, and persuades. Most importantly, it connects people to one another through our stories.  It is satisfying on every level to have the opportunity and honor to hear the amazing work that news, documentary and program teams throughout the world are producing/creating.”  NYFIRPA entries are received from radio stations, networks, and independent producers.  Among the 2014 winners were the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (“Broadcaster of the Year”) and TBI Media UK (“Production Company of the Year”). Deadline for entering the competition is a little more than two months away (3/19); the awards ceremony will take place Monday, June 22 at New York City’s Manhattan Penthouse.

cadeauxavierpaulCreative Talent Inc. Signs Xavier Paul Cadeau.  The voice of the Brooklyn Nets – Xavier Paul Cadeau – signs with talent agency Creative Talent Inc.  The firm, founded and led by radio pro Steve Gallagher, announces the inking of the actor, comedian and voice-over artist to a management contract encompassing broadcast on-air hosting, live sporting events announcing and corporate and industrial hosting and voiceovers.  Cadeau will be appearing on the upcoming HBO television series, “Crime.”  Gallagher says, “You’ve heard his promo voice on HBO Sports, narrating on the History Channel‘s ‘UFO Files’, ‘Planet of the Apes’ week on SyFy and he’s been multiple characters on the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ video game series.  Xavier Paul is an incredible talent.”

lowysloanewendyTalk Host Wendy Lowy Sloane Celebrates Radio Show’s Fifth Anniversary.  The nationally syndicated “What’s Up with Wendy” radio show – hosted by Wendy Lowy Sloane – prepares to celebrate its fifth anniversary tomorrow (1/9).  The BizTalkRadio program is based at WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut and “showcases interviews with the biggest names in television, movies, music, comedy, fashion, literature, and sports, in addition to self-help segments.”  Celebrity guests who will help Lowy Sloane recognize the anniversary include “Parenthood” actress Monica Potter, “Awkward” star Greer Grammer, and Michael Dinan, owner and editor of NewCanaanite.com.  The program airs from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon on Fridays on WGCH and nationally on BizTalkRadio Fridays at 7:00 pm ET.

harrisonCCraneradio15C. Crane Catalogue for 2015 Chock Full of Interesting “Radio” Units.  As the role of the AM/FM “airwaves” appliance (commonly referred to as a “radio”) continues to struggle for a place of prominence within contemporary 21st century digital society, the remaining manufacturers and distributors of traditional radios – and still out there aggressively marketing them — play a very important role in the fabric of the broadcasting industry and hold a largely untapped key to its longevity.  That being stated, the TALKERS editorial board continues to pore through the annual catalogue of products released by Fortuna, California-based C. Crane, an independent provider of radios who champions the concept of using the airwaves as a ground for mass communications.  As C. Crane president Bob Crane puts it:  “The freedom of radio listening is truly magical with its huge educational and entertainment benefits.”  Crane continues, “Traditional radio and cell phones are dependent on radio waves.  The invisible waves deliver mobility without a connection to wires.  Radios will be here forever because they are devoted to the act of listening.”  Crane sums it up: “When we started this company over 30 years ago, radio waves were broadcast over the air.  For the most part, no matter what you listen with, they still are.  Receiving radio waves better is what we specialize in.  We are here to build the best radios we can to serve [our customers] now and in the future.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) adds, “Ever since someone asked the audience of radio professionals at one of our recent New York Seminars, “How many of you have a small AM/FM radio in your possession at this moment and the only one who raised his hand out of several hundred in the room was Art Vuolo, I resolved that as long as I am in the business of serving the radio industry, I will always have a simple AM/FM unit nearby – like my keys, cell phone and wallet… if for nothing more than just principle.”   One of the C. Crane units in Catalogue 2015 that Harrison has been carrying around lately is a neat little 5.5 ounce device dubbed the “CC SKYWAVE.”  It is a travel pocket radio that features intuitively easy on/off AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Aviation bands (you can listen to pilot/control tower conversations to amuse or inform yourself while waiting for a plane) that retails for $89.95.  For more information about C.Crane visit www.ccrane.com.

Charlie Hebdo Massacre, New GOP Controlled Congress, Bitter Cold Across U.S, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7).  The murder of 12 at the Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo presumably by Islamic radicals and the world’s reaction; the agenda of the new GOP-controlled Congress and reports of John Boehner’s revenge on those who voted against him for House Speaker; the extreme cold hitting much of the U.S.; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the sinking oil prices, euro concerns and the effects on the world financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

| December 24, 2014

top stories - generic BTop News/Talk Stories of 2014.  As is the tradition at TALKERS magazine, the end of the calendar year provides the opportunity to look back and present the industry with a list of talk radio’s most-talked-about stories and people of 2014.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that we present the Talkers TenTM each week – a chart that shows the top stories and people of the week as discussed on news/talk radio based upon ongoing research from TALKERS.  This year-end chart uses that data.  The accompanying graphic presents the charts for 2014.

howellbigjohnBig John Howell to Exit WIND, Chicago.  According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Big John Howell is exiting his morning drive gig with Salem Communicatons’ news/talk WIND, Chicago “560 The Answer.”  Feder writes that Howell was offered a contract renewal but he turned it down.  Feder says Howell’s contract runs out at the end of this month but Howell may work into January while the company decides how to replace him.  But the rumor is that Howell may jump across the street to join Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM.  Howell has hosted the morning show for the past eight years and currently works with Amy Jacobson as co-host.

garganoanthonyAnthony Gargano Exits WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  Tweeting that his contract offer from CBS RADIO to remain afternoon host on sports talker WIP-FM in Philly was a “lowball” offer, Anthony Gargano exits.  He Tweets, “Thanks to WIP and all of the Philadelphia fans for 15 great years! On to the next chapter.”  It’s rumored that the station’s Josh Innes will assume Gargano’s role in afternoons where Gargano had been co-hosting with Rob Ellis.  There are also rumors that Gargano may pop up at Greater Media’s crosstown competitor WPEN-FM “The Fanatic.”

ppmunitRound Two of December PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of December 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was November 6 through December 3.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Odds & Sods.  According to Jose Lambiet’s Gossip Extra, the Rick Sessa-hosted “American Biker Talk Radio” show is moving from its current station – WSVU, West Palm Beach – to rock-formatted WBGF, Belle Glade, Florida “93.5 The Bar” beginning in January.

medvedElwesInconceivable Guest Appearance!  Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network talk star Michael Medved (right) poses for a photo outside the studio after interviewing actor Carey Elwes (left) – star of the classic film, The Princess Bride.  Elwes stopped by the show’s Seattle studios to chat with Medved – a noted film critic as well as talk personality – about his new book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride (Touchstone 2014).

marketwatchfarewellStaff Recognizes End of MarketWatch Radio Network.  The air staff of the MarketWatch Radio Network held a farewell party last week to celebrate one last time together.  Dow Jones’ exit from the AM/FM radio business at the end of the year spells the end for the business news network founded by Frank Barnako in 1999.  Barnako made a special appearance at the party joining staffers (from left to right, also noting stations they served) back row: Tracy Johnke (WBZ-AM, Boston), Andrew O’Day (WINS, New York and WBZ-AM), Alisa Parenti (WBZ-AM and WBBM-AM, Chicago), Joan Doniger (WBBM-AM), Steve Potisk (KNX, Los Angeles and KYW, Philadelphia), Adrienne Mitchell (WBBM-AM, KRLD-AM, Dallas and KCBS-AM, San Francisco), Ann Cates (WCCO, Minneapolis, WBBM-AM, KCBS-AM). Front row: Barnako and WSJ Radio executive editor John Wordock.

bfoa logoBFoA Creates Bill Burton Memorial Fund.  The recent passing of beloved radio pro Bill Burton is recognized by The Broadcasters Foundation of America as it establishes the Bill Burton Memorial Fund.  Burton, known for his trademark words of encouragement, “Be Fabulous,” died last weekend from head injuries suffered after a fall at his home.  He was 85.  Former BFoA executive and long-time friend and colleague Carl Butrum states, “Bill’s influence inspired countless individuals in the radio business.  Radio owes Bill our gratitude for his wisdom and for imparting to us his boundless positive attitude, which infected everyone who came into contact with him.  We mourn his loss, but remember the great man with The Bill Burton Memorial Fund.”  Donations to the Bill Burton Memorial Fund are being accepted at the Broadcasters Foundation website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, or by calling 212-373-8250, or emailing info@thebfoa.org.

Sony to Release ‘The Interview,’ New York Police Killings Protests/Obama Racism Remarks, Potential 2016 Presidential Candidates, Joe Cocker Dies, Christmas Holiday, ISIS Violence, and NFL Playoffs Push/Possible Coaching Changes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/23).  The decision by Sony to go ahead and release the movie “The Interview” on Christmas day after all; ongoing police killings protests in New York City and the slaying of two NYC cops over the weekend, plus President Obama’s comments on racism in America; chatter about the potential candidates for president in 2016; the death of rock icon Joe Cocker; the coming Christmas holiday; ISIS violence in Iraq; and the NFL playoff scenario and talk of potential coaching changes after the season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.