Tag: "Scott Miller"
Good Karma Brands Inks Deal to Operate ESPN’s WMVP-AM, Chicago. Yesterday’s announcement by sports talk radio WMVP-AM owner ESPN that Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands would begin operating “ESPN 1000” beginning next month took the industry by surprise. But as ESPN Audio SVP Traug Keller says, Karmazin’s company has a long track record with ESPN. “Good Karma has proven to be an excellent local affiliate that has shown expertise in local media operations and sales while being a strong steward of the ESPN brand.” Keller adds, “This is a smart business decision that allows us to continue to serve local sports fans with the compelling content they crave.” As a result of this long-term LMA between ESPN Radio and Good Karma, the latter will “expand its affiliate relationship with ESPN Radio and the station will retain the ‘ESPN 1000’ name. ESPN Radio Chicago will feature a lineup of local and national sports talk programming and ESPN Radio’s national play-by-play lineup that includes NBA, MLB, NFL and college football, including the College Football Playoff.” The LMA begins on September 29. Longtime ‘ESPN 1000’ VP and general manager Jim Pastor will exit his role. He says, “Few people will ever match the experience I’ve had over 27 incredible years with Disney, including the last 15 with ESPN. I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished at ‘ESPN 1000’ or be more supportive of the decision to affiliate with Good Karma. Walking away now becomes infinitely easier knowing [Good Karma Brands president] Steve Politziner, Craig Karmazin, and the rest of the Good Karma team will be running the show. For me, I’m ready to dial it back, spend more time with the family and go back to sitting in the cheap seats.” Craig Karmazin – whose company also owns operates ESPN-affiliated stations in Cleveland, Madison, Milwaukee, and West Palm Beach – says, “Our Midwest roots have afforded us the opportunity to see the passion of Chicago sports fans up close for over two decades. We are so excited to extend our commitment to being ESPN’s best-in-class local operator into what will now be our largest market.” ESPN Audio continues to operate WEPN-FM, New York and KSPN-AM, Los Angeles.
WJBC, Bloomington’s Laughlin Retires; Miller Takes Over AM Drive Show. At Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, longtime morning personality Scott Laughlin is retiring from the station and afternoon drive personality Scott Miller will take over as morning drive host. Miller – who inked a new, multi-year deal with the company – will work with news director Katherine Murphy on the morning show. Back in May, Laughlin announced he was taking a leave of absence from the WJBC morning show for health reasons. He has since decided to make his leave permanent. He says, “I had planned to retire next summer. My circumstances have speeded up that plan.” Station operations manager Dan Westhoff says, “We wish nothing but the best for Scott Laughlin as he focuses on his health. Emotionally, it’s not easy to move forward in a situation like this, but we must. We look forward to having Scott Miller in the morning and know he will do a great job.” The station is searching for a new afternoon talk host.
‘FOX Sports 910’ in Phoenix Makes Drive Time Changes; Dan Sileo Joins for Afternoons. Beginning Tuesday (9/3), iHeartMedia’s KGME, Phoenix “FOX Sports 910” is moving afternoon drive personality Jody Oehler’s “The Drive” program to the 5:00 am to 10:00 am daypart, replacing FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick. The station says that Oehler’s “‘The Drive’ has brought a signature blend of truth, humor and originality to the Phoenix airwaves. Throughout the run of the show, Oehler has had some of the biggest names in sports on-air regularly, including: Donovan McNabb, Jake Plummer, Ian Rapoport, Kent Somers, and Greg Amsinger, as well as everyone’s favorite radio segment, ‘Top 5 Thursday,’ which ranks the top five sports stories every Thursday.” Oehler says, “I’m incredibly excited to be moving to mornings. In a city like Phoenix with all the local teams and transplant residents, I relish the opportunity to offer my reaction to the biggest local and national sporting events. We’ll do it better than anyone in the market with truth, humor, and fun. And as a bonus, I won’t get into a near fist fight with myself on the air.” The station is expected to announce its plans for the afternoon drive daypart very soon. Taking over the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot is sports talk host Dan Sileo, most recently with Entercom at KWFN-FM, San Diego “97.3 The Fan.” The station says Sileo’s show “will feature engaging sports talk with features such as ‘Cardinals Rewind,’ where Sileo analyzes the Cardinals by recapping the biggest hits and misses from each game, and ‘Stump Sileo,’ a daily segment where listeners have the opportunity to challenge Sileo to a game of six degrees of separation, in which Sileo has to find a way to connect himself to the listener’s favorite sports icon.” Sileo says, “It’s an honor to come home to iHeartMedia, where I spent the majority of my 24-year radio career, for this amazing opportunity to host afternoons on ‘FOX Sports 910.’ I will promise my listeners this – we will have the most compelling sports show in The Valley. It will be a show for Phoenix, about Phoenix. We’re going to bring on the biggest stars in sports and entertainment and give listeners a show they’ll never forget.”
WLAC, Nashville Host Steve Gill Remains in Jail; ‘Terrified’ Wife Files for Divorce. More legal woes arise for embattled WLAC, Nashville talk radio host Steve Gill, who remains in jail in Williamson County, Tennessee for failure to pay $170,000 in child support to ex-wife Kathryn Gill. Now, Gill’s current wife – who is not named by The Tennessean in its report since she’s under an order of protection from the court – is filing for divorce from Gill and told the court in her request for the order, “I need protection. I am terrified. He is ‘influenced’ and ‘powerful’ and he used that to try to keep me from escaping.” As a witness in Gill’s child support case, she testified that he was lying under oath in court. The court has ordered Gill not to contact his current wife; to stay away from her home and workplace; to vacate the family home; undergo a certified batterers’ intervention program; and cannot possess any firearms (the order notes he has numerous weapons).
Palm Springs Morning Host Bill Feingold Off the Air for Cancer Treatment. Coachella Valley morning drive personality Bill Feingold is on medical leave from Alpha Media’s news/talk brand “K-News” – KNWZ-AM/KNWQ-AM/K232CX/K274DA – after being diagnosed with stage four liver cancer. Feingold tells the Desert Sun that he’s aware of the gravity of his diagnosis but is hopeful he can return to the air after undergoing chemotherapy, which begins on September 12. He and co-host Kevin Holmes have been together on the radio in Palm Springs since 2004. Feingold says, “Alpha Media is hoping for a semi-miracle so I can come back. I would come back in a second.”
TALKERS News Notes. Detroit journalist Bankole Thompson is returning to Kevin Adell-run WFDF-AM, Detroit “910AM Superstation” to host the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm program, beginning September 9. Previously, the Detroit News columnist hosted the program, “Redline,” on the station. Thompson says, “I’m happy to be back at ‘910AM Superstation’ and I’m looking forward to making Detroit’s recovery and poverty the front and center of our conversation.”…..The conservative Christian K-Star Talk Radio Network announces it is adding independent journalist and radio host Will Johnson’s newly syndicated talk radio program, “Fire Power News,” to its 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET slot, effective September 9. K-Star program director Angeline Marie says, “I am so excited to add Will Johnson’s program to the K-Star schedule. He is young, energetic, intelligent, and really passionate about making a difference.”…..Entravision Communications announces it’s bringing listeners “the most extensive Spanish-language radio broadcast coverage” of the upcoming 2019 NFL Centennial season. The company will broadcast 46 games across 17 U.S. markets on its owned-and-operated stations, as well as on affiliate stations across the country. Entravision president and COO Jeffrey Liberman says, “The start of the NFL season is always exciting and this year we’re especially proud to have the most extensive Spanish radio broadcast coverage of the NFL. The game of football has really found a home in the Latino market and there are more passionate NFL fans than ever.”…..Actors Gabrielle Carteris and Camryn Manheim have been chosen by SAG-AFTRA’s national membership to fulfill the respective roles of president and secretary-treasurer, two of the union’s highest ranking offices. Their two-year terms begin today.
Legendary Radio Executive Dwight Case Dies at 90. Earlier this month, Dwight Case – onetime publisher of Radio & Records and general manager of KHJ, Los Angeles – died at the age of 90. Case started in radio in 1948 KFRE-AM, Fresno. During his long career, he also managed KROY, Sacramento; served as president of RKO’s radio division; founded Transtar Satellite Radio Network; and served as publisher and CEO of R&R from 1983-1987. Read more at LARadio.com.
Trump vs the Media, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade War, Queen Suspends UK Parliament, Jessi Combs Dies in Crash, and Hurricane Dorian Heads for Florida Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/28). The president’s renewed frustration with the media’s coverage of his presidency; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the war of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the Queen agrees to suspend the UK Parliament; driver and television personality Jessi Combs dies trying to set a land speed record; and Hurricane Dorian’s projected path toward Florida 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. Media executive Winter Horton joins Meruelo Media as chief operating officer, reporting to president and CEO Otto Padron. Horton was most recently COO for LBI Media Inc. Padron says, “Meruelo Media has enjoyed extraordinary growth in the past few months. The task to solidify our L.A. super cluster position and continue our expansion is my highest priority. To achieve this, I’m proud to announce the addition of Winter Horton as our chief operating officer. Winter brings a wealth of experience and a unique skill set to help us create even greater value as we optimize our strategy of growth.”…..Cumulus Media’s rock WNDX, Indianapolis “93.9X” announces that Abe Kanan takes over as morning drive personality, effective September 3. Kanan has served with stations including WLUP-FM and WKQX in Chicago and WBGG in Miami, as well as on the Howard 101 channel on SiriusXM. He says, “If I could create my own radio station, it would sound just like ‘93.9X.’ In 2019, this is exactly how a rock station should sound. I am beyond excited and honored to be chosen as the first morning show host on the soon-to-be world-famous 93.9X!”…..SummitMedia names Sheba Foxx news & community affairs director for the Greenville, South Carolina cluster. Foxx takes over for Rhonda Rawlings who left the position to serve as South Carolina media rep for Cory Booker’s presidential campaign…..Alternative KTBZ, Houston “94.5 The Buzz” morning personality Dinah Powers is leaving the station’s Rod Ryan show after Friday’s broadcast. She tells the Houston Chronicle that she elected not to renew her contract and is leaving the radio business and hopes to go back to school and work in the mental health field…..After 62 years in the same Takoma Park, Maryland location, Washington Adventist University’s WGTS-FM, Washington, DC celebrates the grand opening of its new broadcast ministry center in Rockville, Maryland. The new 13,000 square-foot facility contains two identical on-air studios, three production rooms and a television studio. It replaces the 3,000 square-foot World War II-era building that has served as the headquarters of the ministry since 1957…..Former, longtime WDVE, Pittsburgh air personality Jack Maloy died yesterday (8/28). Maloy spent 36 years on the air at the iHeartMedia rock outlet, mostly in overnights. The station says Maloy loved the shift so much that when he was promoted to the evening show, he was miserable and requested to return to the overnight show where he stayed until his retirement in 2013.
Connoisseur Media Management Buys Out Perot Holdings’ Interest. Led by chief executive officer Jeff Warshaw, management of Westport, Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media has bought out investor Perot Holdings and will now own substantially all of the company. This is the culmination of a series of strategic moves in which the company has recently closed on transactions that added to its Connecticut holdings and entered the Frederick, Maryland market. Warshaw points out that he and Mike Driscoll “started the company 15 years ago with the purchase of FCC construction permits in an auction. It is gratifying to now be able to work with our major investor, Perot Holdings, to buy their stake in the company. They have been terrific partners to us. We are looking forward to growing our company, and we are excited that members of our senior management team are now owners. Ultimately, many of our employees will become stakeholders.” Perot senior advisor Steve Blasnik comments, “We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the best leadership team in the industry and two of the best leaders we have ever partnered with.” Perot Holdings was founded by the late H. Ross Perot and his son Ross Perot, Jr. Connoisseur Media owns 23 radio stations in seven markets: Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Bridgeport-Stamford; New Haven; and Norwalk (Connecticut); Stroudsburg-Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Frederick, Maryland; and Billings, Montana.
Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Special Luncheon Presentations – Harry Hurley Saluting the Broadcasters Foundation and Vince Benedetto Honored as Humanitarian of the Year. TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story. Today’s (7/17) posts present WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley saluting the Broadcasters Foundation of America and Vince Benedetto, CEO of Bold Gold Media Group receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster (“Humanitarian of the Year”). Posted yesterday (7/16): a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network. Already posted: the panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video. The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York. Already posted: the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOne; Steven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi Media; Michael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history. TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year. To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.
Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Name Hurley Broadcaster/Person of the Year. Now in his 28th year at Townsquare Media Atlantic City (New Jersey) news/talk WPGG “WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM & 1450 AM,” Harry Hurley (“Hurley in the Morning”) will officially be named The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s Broadcaster/Person of the Year. While the announcement will be made today (Wednesday, 7/17) at 9:30 am at an event taking place at Philadelphia’s WPHL-TV, Hurley will receive the actual recognition November 22 at Philadelphia’s Hilton City Avenue Hotel. Hurley tells TALKERS, “My sincerest thanks go to my long-time employer, Townsquare Media, and our faithful listeners and advertisers, who have made all this possible. What an honor it is to be recognized by The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. It is especially gratifying, insofar as we are located in Southern New Jersey. It’s such an honor and privilege to be a broadcaster.” Last month, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association named Hurley the inaugural recipient of its “Broadcaster of the Year” award. Elected to the Philadelphia Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2013 and the New Jersey Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2015, he appears at #51 on “The Talkers Magazine 2019 Heavy Hundred” and was the 2016 recipient of Talkers’ “Humanitarian of the Year Award” for outstanding community service by a radio broadcaster.
Workplace Listening Opportunity Is Bigger Than Ever. At least that’s the conclusion of a NuVooDoo Media Services study, which reveals three of every five (60%) likely ratings respondents identified say they listen to radio at work. Furthermore, at-work listeners are more likely to listen to broadcast radio for more hours and more days. The study was fielded last month and represents opinions of over 3,000 respondents (14 – 54) from all PPM markets. NuVoodoo Media Services executive vice president/research insights Leigh Jacobs states, “We’ve chosen to start with a dive into at-work listening because the market for audio entertainment at work has never been bigger or younger. Fully 60% of the ratings-susceptible respondents we’ve identified say they listen at work. Savvy operators have been playing to this opportunity for decades, but the competition has never been more fierce.” Executive vice president of marketing Mike O’Connor, notes that 24% say they spend at least an hour a day with terrestrial, “but that number jumps to 41% among those who listen at work. [Forty-one percent] say they listen at least five days a week – that jumps to 61% among those who listen at work. That’s the potential for significant lift for programmers and marketers who play to this opportunity.” President/chief executive officer Carolyn Gilbert explains, “Our Ratings Prospects Study 14 revealed a significant opportunity for stations. Winning the workplace war for listeners should be at the forefront of all programmers’ minds, and the devil is always in the details.” The first installment of the NuVoodoo fall webinar series, “How To Win The Workplace War in 2019,” based on its “Ratings Prospects Study 14,” kicks off next Wednesday (7/24); there will be additional sessions on July 31 and August 5.
Presenting The 29 “Rising Through The Ranks” Scholarship Recipients. The “Rising Through the Ranks” program is presented by the Radio Advertising Bureau, BMI, and Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio. Participants will attend this year’s seminar next month (8/13 – 15) at BMI’s Nashville office. The course will focus on management and sales techniques, including “problem solving, recruiting, difficult conversations, hiring and firing, personal brand building, and the role of today’s radio manager.” This year’s 29 scholarship recipients are: Luisa Banks (Cox Media Group Atlanta); Rebecca Bennett (Westwood One); Jill Bernhardt (Cumulus Media Atlanta); Taylor Brown (Neuhoff Media Springfield, Illinois); Alexandra Byrnes (Entercom Sacramento); Yvonne Cheng (iHeartMedia Washington, D.C.); Tiffany Davison (Katz Media Group); Katy Dempsey (Bryan Broadcasting College Station, Texas); Adella Fremstad-Nolden (Radio One Dallas); Jaime Guglielmi (Beasley Media Group Philadelphia); Pamela Hall (Kindred Communications – Huntington, West Virginia); Andrea Hansen (Entercom Madison); Nichole Hansen (Spencer Radio Group/Saga Communications – Spencer, Iowa); Traci Harris-Mason (Forcht Broadcasting – Hopkinsville, Kentucky); Dara Kalvort (Entercom Miami); Tori Kahl (iHeartMedia New Orleans); Shannon Kenefick (Townsquare Media Danbury, Connecticut); Adria Lawrence (Emmis Austin); Kate Maguire (Summit Media Omaha); Elizabeth Nifong (Beasley Media Group Charlotte); Debbie Payne (Cumulus Media Los Angeles); Katherine Pfahl (Radio One Washington, D.C.); Kristina Schoenbeck (Entercom New York); Crista St. John (Bonneville International/Mariners Radio Seattle); Ava Suppelsa (BMI Nashville); Brianne Thompson (Leighton Broadcasting Thompson, North Dakota); Denise Tolzman (Queen B Radio Platteville, Wisconsin); Dianna Towns (Neuhoff Media Ludlow, Massachusetts); and Ashley Williams (Cox Media Group Orlando).
ESPN Prepping “The ESPN Daily.” Set to debut in early-October, “The ESPN Daily” podcast will be published five times per week and will feature ESPN’s journalists and storytellers. ESPN senior coordinating producer Andy Tennant states “The ESPN Daily” will be “appointment listening for anyone interested in the world of sports. The show will be unlike anything now available in sports, anywhere, with stories, interviews, and analysis that only ESPN can provide. Every day, ‘The ESPN Daily’ will take a deep-dive into a specific event or issue in sports, using ESPN’s unmatched resources and deep roster of reporters, producers and commentators.” In June, ESPN Podcasts drew 5.8 million listeners, up 10% from June, 2018. This is the sixth consecutive month of year-to-year growth. Content created specifically for podcasts grew 15%; June increases were led by listenership of “FiveThirtyEight: Politics,” “The Lowe Post,” and “SVP & Russillo.”
TALKERS News Notes. Per a Los Angeles Times report, Los Angeles Clippers play-by-play announcer Brian Sieman is “close to finalizing a deal” to transition from the NBA team’s radio flagship, iHeartMedia sports talk KLAC “AM Sports 570,” to the Clippers’ TV broadcasts (on Fox Sports Prime Ticket). He would be filling the vacancy created by the retirement of iconic 40-year Clippers’ game caller Ralph Lawler, who will receive the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award this September. Further speculation is that, in a domino effect, Sieman will be succeeded on radio by NBA TV’s Noah Eagle. After doing games of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sieman joined the Clippers radio network in 2007 ….. Altamonte Springs-Orlando news/talk WORL “FM 105.5 & AM 660 The Answer” and W288CJ, Oviedo (Florida) are being sold by Salem Media of Illinois, LLC to JVC Media of Florida, LLC. The $900,000 deal does not include intellectual property or the call letters – which will be changed to WDYZ … Rumors of a Senate run by regionally-syndicated “Kentucky Sports Radio” host Matt Jones has led to him being placed on a leave of absence from “Hey Kentucky!,” which airs on Lexington’s NBC affiliate WLEX-TV “LEX 18.” Jones has written on social media that he will return to WLEX-TV if he decides not to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell. At least for now, his daily 10:00 am – 12:00 noon radio show on iHeartMedia Lexington news/talk flagship WLAP “News Radio 630” (and a statewide network of 35 stations) is unaffected ….. As of tomorrow (Thursday, July 18), it will be a half-century since a tragic car accident occurred on the eastern end of Martha’s Vineyard in Edgartown, Massachusetts. Noting the occasion, The Howie Carr Radio Network talk host/New York Times best-selling author Howie Carr has written a podcast, “Chappaquiddick: The 50th Anniversary.” Carr maintains, “We have the content, it is time we educate a new generation about these crimes and cover ups.” The Grace Curley-produced podcast can be heard on Apple iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or the website of Carr’s regionally-syndicated program ….. Through a just-announced partnership with BizTV/BizTalkRadio, subscribers of travel technology platform Flyght Club will get a free, one-year membership to Bizvod, a BizTV/BizTalkRadio-offered streaming platform that has the largest library of online business videos on-demand. BizTV/BizTalkRadio chief operating officer Scott Miller notes, “So many of our viewers and listeners are business travelers. Flyght Club is a great app that gives its members the opportunity to network while travelling. We have hundreds of hours of business content that the traveler can watch on-demand while waiting for their next flight. We are always looking to offer our viewers and listeners products and services that make their lives easier.” Flyght Club founder Ajay Vonkarey remarks, “Flyght Club and Bizvod will be key for any business professionals that are road warriors” ….. At the forefront of digital loyalty systems for terrestrial radio in the United States, Canada, and the UK, Loyal Ears Digital brings fantasy sports to radio with a free weekly game, “Fantasy Free.” Given that it is doesn’t cost to play, it is, according to the company’s website, “completely legal and has all the excitement that comes with fantasy games.” Teaming alongside Loyal Ears Digital on this project as syndicator is MannGroup Radio, with its president Ed Mann indicating “Fantasy Free” is “approaching” the 100 affiliate threshold. He notes, “We are always looking for growth areas for our medium, and digital is it. The guys at Loyal Ears have got this locked down and key for us, huge TSV growth, with no element of gambling. The average ‘Fantasy Free’ player spends 9.7 hours per week constructing fantasy lineups and they’re spending that time on radio station websites. We could not be more thrilled to partner with the LE team.” Loyal Ears Digital chief executive officer Jimmy Risk opines, “Radio has finally figured out that listeners aren’t always ‘listening’, so you have to engage them for longer periods of time beyond the dial.” Mann points out the only political fantasy game designed for radio during the next presidential election, “Showdown 2020,” is coming early next year and will “attract broad and deep demographics.”
June 2019 PPM Data. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these four PPM-markets. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.
Spoken-Word Formats – Virtually obliterating the -1.0 it lost via three straight drops (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” bounces back with a nine-tenths’ gain to 3.7 (#13 to #11, 6+); May’s 2.8 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 2.7.
Following four successive fluctuations of one-tenth (1.7 – 1.6; 1.6 – 1.7; 1.7 – 1.8; 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” falters by four-tenths to 1.3 (#18 to #20). Flat at #25, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” has a February 2019 through June 2019 topline of: 4 – .6 – .6 -.4 – .5 ( 6+).
Five of the six shifts this calendar year for KUT include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); -2.0 (April); and now the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk facility craters by -1.6 (7.4 – 5.8, second to fourth, 6+). This is its lowest 6+-showing since April 2017 (5.8, as well).
Austin Music Formats – Rebounding from May’s one-half share decrease (8.7 – 8.2, 6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” posts a +1.1 to 9.3 – its highest 6+ share since “Holiday” 2018 (also 9.3) – and is #1 for the third month in a row. Prior to April 2019, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 when KBPA scored an 8.3 (6+). Piling on six-tenths to May’s increase of one-half share (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” climbs from fourth to third. Adult contemporary sibling, KKMJ “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” wipes away May’s three-tenths’ loss with a one-half share uptick (6.2 – 6.7, 6+) and advances from third to second. “Majic” recently has been -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.5 (March); +1.5 (April); and +.5 (June). While it is unchanged at #8, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” is a collective -2.3 in three straight drops (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). “La Z” was +1.2 in March. Owing to three consecutive January 2019 through April 2019 decreases, iHeartMedia country KVET-FM faltered by -1.3 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+), but rallied in May with a +.9. Now, “98.1 The Austin Texas Original” regresses by six-tenths (5.8 – 5.2, 6+) and slides from fourth to seventh; KVET-FM was +1.2 in January (5.0 – 6.2, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” which had been +1.5 in three straight bumps (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+), surrenders four-tenths to 5.4 (fourth to sixth, 6+). April’s +1.2 halted its November 2018 through March 2019 alternating up/down pattern (5.4 – 5.6 – 3.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Particularly noteworthy in that stretch, KASE plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and was -.6 in February. In addition to KVET-FM, Crista Ministries’ contemporary Christian KFMK is off six-tenths as well (3.4 – 2.8, 6+). “Spirit 105.9” drops from #11 to #13 and is below a three-share (2.8) for the first time since November 2018’s 2.9.
Spoken-Word Formats – In three successive positive or neutral trends, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK was an overall +1.9 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), but “106.1 Stay Connected” is now a combined -1.2 in three straight declines (6.5 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3, seventh to ninth, 6+). This is the 19th time in a row Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” (1.6 – 1.9, +.3, unchanged at #16, 6+) has recorded a 6+ AQH share between 1.0 – 1.9 and first time it has reached 1.9 in that timeframe.
This is third month in a row Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has both logged a 2.2 (6+) and finished at #15. Co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” has an August 2018 through June 2019 topline of: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 (#27 to #26, 6+).
Off four-tenths in May (7.4 – 7.0, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” has a June increase twice that magnitude (7.8, +.8, 6+) and inches up from third to second. WUNC followed January’s +1.0 with a -.6 in February.
Raleigh Music Formats – This market’s #2 to #9 finishers fluctuate by at least one-half share (May 2019 – June 2019, 6+). As a result of being +1.1 in May/June (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.2, eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR WDCG “G-105 – Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” eliminates its combined March/April -.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). “G-105” was +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). The three most recent shifts for Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR-FM “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” are +.7 (April); -.5 (May); and +.6 in June (6.7 – 7.3, fifth to third, 6+). Displaying June 2019 gains of six-tenths as well are co-owned adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB – Your Life/Your Music,” which logs its fifth straight sweep without a loss for an overall +1.2 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 6.0, ninth to eighth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7,” +1.5 in three consecutive positive or neutral moves (5.4 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is an overall -2.2 in five straight ratings periods without an increase (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the 11th straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019) to 11.0, WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era; and -1.1 in February. Owing to four successive sweeps without a gain (8.6 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.5 – 6.5, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5 – The Variety That Makes You Feel Good” is a collective -2.1 and drops from second to fifth. This (6.5) is the lowest 6+- showing for “Mix” since October 2018’s 5.3. Returning in full the seven-tenths it scored in May (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5,” which was -1.6 in March/April (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+), slips from fourth to sixth. Curtis Media Group classic country WQDR-AM debuted in print in “Holiday” 2018. In six up or flat reports, “Just Right Country – AM 570” progressed from a .1 to 1.0 (.1 – .1 – .4 – .8 – .8 – 1.0, 6+). Roughly halfway through the June sweep (6/4), however, the station changed switched to hot AC; changed call letters to WPLW-AM; and adopted a new handle “Star 92.9.” With a loss of six-tenths to .4 (6+), Raleigh’s new “Star” departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). A loss of one-half share (1.5 – 1.0, 6+) takes Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “HIS Radio” from #18 to #20. In six consecutive down or flat Raleigh reports (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” has had its 6+ AQH share sliced precisely in half (-1.6) and slips from #16 to #17.
Spoken-Word Formats – Following a modest May move of three-tenths, Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” reverts to its more customary large fluctuation habit, and in this case, it’s a +.9 (5.5 – 6.4, seventh to fifth, 6+). Ten recent WIBC fluctuations are: -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); -1.2 (April); and +.9 (June).
Returning the one-tenth it picked up in May (2.4 – 2.3, #16 to #17, 6+), Emmis’ WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” halts at three a consecutive string of up or flat trends that produced four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). It has a three-tenths advantage over iHeartMedia’s WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which has lost a total of eight-tenths in five successive sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), yet rises from #20 to #19. Following 16 consecutive sweeps of logging either a .1 or .2 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WXNT “CBS Sports AM 1430” (#24 in May) vanishes (.2 – .1 – .0, 6+).
Even though it falters by seven-tenths (4.6 – 3.9, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI progresses from #11 to a tie at #10.
Indianapolis Music Formats – As far as Cumulus Media was concerned, three Indianapolis CHRs was a case of at least one too many. Consequently, the day after the June sweep commenced (5/24), the company flipped WYRG “Energy 93.9” from CHR to rock WNDX: “93.9-X” responds by more than doubling its 6+-stat (1.3 – 2.8, +1.5, #18 to #16, 6+). As a CHR, WYRG last reached the two-share level in September 2018 (2.1, 6+). After being off six-tenths in four consecutive down or flat reports (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2, 6+), “Energy” gained one-tenth in May. Four consecutive decreases by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU resulted in a roughly 37% loss (-1.5) of its 6+-stat (4.1- 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+), but “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” chalks up a June gain of eight-tenths to 3.4 (#15 to #13, 6+). Without an increase the past seven sweeps for a net loss of one-half share (.7 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .2 – .2, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA Air 1 – Worship Now,” tallies three-tenths to .5 (#23 to #22, 6+). When Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM sputtered by four-tenths in May to (5.0, 6+) it ended at four a successive string of up or flat trends that yielded eight-tenths (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Now in June, “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” rebounds with a one-half share increase to 5.5 (ninth to eighth, 6+). On the other hand, an eight-tenths’ May gain to 5.4 (6+) by rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WHHH curtailed four successive negative moves that led to a cumulative -1.5 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+); however, “Hot 96.3” now forfeits -1.0 to 4.4 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Ranking first the sixth consecutive month, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK nonetheless loses a combined half-share in May/June (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.7, 6+). In April, “Classic Hits 104.5” recorded a massive +1.7 to 10.2, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing October 2018’s 10.0. In 2019, WJJK has been +2.9 (January); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); and +1.7 (April). After spending six straight sweeps on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January 2019. In an alternating up/down pattern that surfaced in September 2018, Entercom hot AC WNTR (ninth to tenth) has a 6+ topline of 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 3.9 and is down an overall two-tenths. Spiraling by eight-tenths each are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (second to third, 6+) and Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “World Class Rock 92.3 – Experience The Music” (3.3, #12 to #14, 6+). After an April +1.9 suspended three negative moves in succession that accounted for a -9.5 (16.4 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), “B-105.7” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (8.8 – 8.2 – 7.4, 6+). In February 2012, “World Class Rock” recorded a 2.8 (6+) but then vanished from print until April 2019 (3.1, #14, 6+). WTTS follows May’s +1.0 to 4.1 (6+) with June’s -.8. Flat in fourth-place, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” loses one-half share (7.2 – 6.7 (6+), with 6.7 its lowest 6+-stat since March 2018 (6.7, as well).
Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back (April/May) sweeps, Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ accrued a whopping +3.5 (5.9 – 8.8 – 9.4, 6+). In June, however, the Brewers flagship forfeits 20% of that increase (8.7, -.7, 6+) and segues from first to second. Recent WTMJ shifts include +1.9 (April 2018); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); +2.9 (April 2019); and -.7 (June). Up a combined six-tenths in April/May (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” returns four-tenths to 5.3 (sixth to seventh, 6+).
Five Milwaukee sports talk outlets combine for a 2.4 (6+). Leading the field with one-third of that total is iHeartMedia’s WRNW “The Game,” nearly tripling its 6+-stat since April (.3 – .6 – .8, #20 to #17, 6+). CHR WRNW “Now” became sports talk “The Game” in late-November (2018). Tied at #19 are Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN,” which has lost roughly half (-.7) its 6+ audience via three straight winless sweeps (1.3 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .6, #16 to #19, 6+). With a very similar topline is Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan,” which loses eight-tenths in four straight dips (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .6, #16 to #19, 6+). WRNW cluster-mate WOKY “The Big 920” posts a .2 (6+) for the sixth time in the last eight sweeps and remains at #24 (.2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+). After popping on in November 2018 with a .5 (6+), Good Karma Brands’ WAUK disappeared from print in the next seven ratings periods but is back in June, tying “The Big 920” with a .2 (#24, 6+).
While it is a combined -1.5 via four straight negative or neutral moves (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), directly after three reports in a row without a loss netted a +1.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet WUWM remains at #13. Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD loses four-tenths as a result of three straight down or flat moves (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+) and repeats at #16.
Milwaukee Music Formats – On the heels of May’s -1.5 (10.1 – 8.6, 6+), WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” answers with a positive spike of eight-tenths to 9.4 (6+) and is back at #1. The iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet occupied the lead position five straight sweeps before segueing to #2 in May with its lowest 6+-figure (8.6) since December 2018’s 7.7. Having spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1, WRIT shifted to #2 in October 2018. “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its eight most recent moves are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April); -1.5 (May); and +.8 (June). By logging an improvement of seven-tenths (4.8 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” advances from eighth to sixth with its best 6+-showing since December 2016 (5.5, as well). Swapping places with each other are iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” (5.3 – 5.9, +.6, seventh to fifth, 6+) and Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” (5.8 – 5.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Whereas this (5.9) is the highest 6+-stat for “Milwaukee’s Best Country” since 6.6 in February, 5.3 for “B-93.3” is its lowest since November 2018’s 5.1. Down an overall -1.1 via four straight negative or neutral trends (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+) Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” remains in third-place.
Trump’s Tweets Ignite Controversial Firestorm; US Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities; 2020 Presidential Race; Puerto Rico Protests; Amazon Prime Day; and Jeff Epstein Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16). President Donald Trump’s Tweets attacking four Congressional Democratic women of color and the backlash it has triggered dominated conversation in talk media yesterday (7/16) along with conditions for migrants detained at the border; the relative standing and contributions raised by Democratic Party presidential candidates; political upheaval in Puerto Rico; the huge impact of Amazon Prime Day and ongoing developments in the Jeff Epstein case, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. WDMK “105.9 Kiss-FM” midday talent Nikki Vaughn exits the Radio One Detroit urban AC to join cross-town Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” for similar duties. Beasley Detroit vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “We are most excited to bring Nikki’s talents to ‘The Bounce.’ Her respect for all things Detroit and appreciation for the great music that drives ‘The Bounce’ were exactly what we needed to complete our winning mid-day recipe.” WMGC program director John Candelaria notes, “After an extensive search, we are fortunate to add Nikki to ‘The Bounce’ family. Having grown up here, she is the ideal fit and brings a solid understanding of the market. Her dynamic personality, combined with 11 years of Detroit radio experience, makes her the perfect person for ‘The Bounce.’” With the addition of Fawn Conley (“Nikki Vaughn”), the weekday roster for Detroit’s “Bounce” is: “The Gello Show with Joanna (6:00 am -10:00 am); Nikki Vaughn (10:00 am – 3:00 pm); J. Steele (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and DJ Dinero (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. Meanwhile, the revised on-air lineup for Entercom-owned WLKK “107.7 & 104.7 – Buffalo’s True Alternative” is: “Brandi” (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Axe” (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Kennedy” (7:00 pm -10:00 pm). “Brandi” moves from mid-days; “Axe” previously handled nights; and “Kennedy” had hosted “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down” the past four years ….. Entering into a partnership are Krantz Media Group/KMG Networks and music television channel Ditty TV, which features daily music-focused entertainment, including live performances, music news, artist profiles, and album reviews. According to KMG chief executive officer Gary Krantz, “Ditty TV is the most robust video channel in the world dedicated to diverse and growing music categories. Americana continues to grow exponentially and is the passionate choice for 18 – 34 and 25 – 54-year-old adults underserved by mainstream media, yet highly desired by brands and advertisers. KMG is very excited to build success with several projects in the works for all forms of radio and podcasts.” Ditty chief executive officer Ronnie Wright comments, “Our goal since the beginning was to provide a platform for these amazing [Americana and Roots] artists; the addition of audio programming allows us to reach a much broader audience.” There are plans for daily and weekly podcasts, as well as a 24/7 Ditty TV audio channel ….. Two-year KFMB-FM San Diego afternoon drive talent Mikey Esparza exits the Tegna adult hits station ….. Most recent affiliates of Texas-based entrepreneur John Clay Wolfe’s three-hour (8:00 am – 11:00 am) Saturday morning “John Clay Wolfe Show” are iHeartMedia Colorado rock siblings KBPI, Ft. Collins and KBPL, Pueblo. Wolfe declares, “These stations are a perfect fit for what we bring to rock audiences. Everywhere we’ve gone with them, iHeartMedia has been a great partner for us; now, they’re turning us loose in Colorado.”
TALKERS 2019: Telling the Story Rocks New York City. The 22nd edition of the TALKERS magazine national convention took place on Friday (6/7) in New York City’s Chelsea District, drawing 400 talk media industry players to the Big Apple. The TALKERS 2019: Telling the Story conference featured more than 65 speakers in a non-stop, power-packed day of solo addresses, panel discussions, presentations, and networking/meal receptions. The entire conference was recorded to video and in the days and weeks to come, most panels and speeches will be made available for viewing at Talkers.com. Visit regularly for details. Pictured above, Sean Hannity (r) being interviewed by Michael Harrison (l) during the convention’s Keynote Fireside Chat.
Kilmeade Accepts Freedom of Speech Award. Pictured above is FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade delivering his acceptance speech after receiving the 2019 Freedom of Speech Award.
Bill O’Reilly Addresses Conference. Just a little more than a month after the debut of his Key Networks-syndicated “The O’Reilly Update” program returned him to AM/FM radio, Bill O’Reilly addressed the attendees at Friday’s TALKERS conference.
Rome Delivers. Sports talk radio star Jim Rome presented a keynote speech illustrating how he got into the sports talk radio business and how he’s adapted to the evolving talk media industry.
Woman of the Year. Pictured above is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (l) with Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Erica Farber (r), who received the 2019 Woman of the Year Award.
Humanitarian of the Year. Seen above accepting the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year honor from TALKERS magazine is Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto.
A Legend Is Honored. Pictured above is SiriusXM disc jockey Cousin Brucie, a.k.a. Bruce Morrow, reading his Lifetime Achievement Award presented to the iconic radio personality.
Helping Our Own. WPGG morning host Harry Hurley (r) donating $3,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America from the Hurley Morning Show Foundation – a yearly tradition at the Talkers Convention. Renee Cassis (l) accepts the gift on behalf of the BFOA.
Emmis Agrees to Selling Controlling Interest in Austin Cluster to Sinclair Telecable Inc. for $39.3 Million. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation has had a controlling interest in the six Austin, Texas radio stations since 2003. Now, it is selling its 50.1% controlling interest in the partnership to Sinclair Telecable, Inc., for $39.3 million. This is not the television company Sinclair Broadcast Group that owns KEYE-TV, Austin. Sinclair Telecable is led by Bob and David Sinclair and the company owns seven FMs, two AMs, and 2 FM translators in Norfolk, Virginia and in Sonoma County, California. The stations and brands involved in this deal are: news/talk KLBJ-AM, classic rock KLBJ-FM, adult hits KBPA-FM “Bob FM,” adult contemporary KGSR-FM “Star 93.3,” alternative KROX-FM “101X,” regional Mexican KLZT-FM “La Zeta,” and music brands “Austin City Limits Radio” and “Latino 102.7.” The Austin cluster will be rebranded as Waterloo Media. Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “It’s been a fabulous run in Austin, operating in one of America’s best radio markets with such a special team and winning culture. I can’t say enough great things about the performance of our incredible team in Austin. Our focus at Emmis now will be on transitioning to new areas of growth. I’m thrilled to say we didn’t need to look far to find a committed, well-known buyer who feels the same way about the Austin team. The Sinclairs have been great partners and will undoubtedly take the operation to new heights.” Moelis & Company LLC represented Emmis as exclusive financial advisor.
Monday Memo: Digital Diction. As listener attention and advertiser dollars drift digital, radio broadcasters’ tool box gets bigger; and consultant Holland Cooke continues his three-part series of tips from Internet professionals. This week’s Monday Memo focuses on writing for the web. Cooke relays the advice, “Anyone can publish on the Web, but not everyone is publishing material that’s ideal for online reading…writing for digital is different than writing for print. Text that works best on the Web is text that gets right to the point fast and that makes it easy for readers to pick out information.” Get some tips for accomplishing that goal here.
Business Talker Ray Lucia to Retire from Broadcasting. Financial talk pro Ray Lucia is retiring from broadcasting after his last program on June 28. “The Ray Lucia Show” debuted on KFMB-AM in San Diego in 1990. The show was syndicated nationally in 2000 on Business Talk Radio Network, now known as BizTalkRadio. In 2006, the TV version of The Ray Lucia Show debuted on BizTV. Lucia says that after discussing it with his wife, they agreed the time is right. “I have spent decades telling others how to enjoy their retirement years, and it was time to listen to my own advice.” BizTV and BizTalkRadio COO Scott Miller says, “Very rarely does a radio and television program come along that both entertains and informs listeners and viewers. There is no doubt in my mind that thousands of families have benefited from Ray’s wisdom on how to manage money. He is from a generation of broadcasting that will be deeply missed.”
Radio Hall of Fame Names Nominees for Class of 2019. The 24 nominees for the Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 are named and voting begins today. The nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s Nominating Committee. Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. Then, beginning on July 15, listeners nationwide will have the opportunity to vote on the other two categories. Inductees will be announced on August 5. Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin comments, “Each year we have the privilege of coming together to acknowledge those who have tremendously impacted our industry and the audiences they serve. We’re all proud to present our 2019 nominees.” The inductees in the four categories voted by the industry are: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Bob Rivers, Charles Laquidara, Harry Harrison, and Jack Harris. Active Local/Regional (10 years or more): Angie Martinez, Kevin and Bean, Preston and Steve, and Sarah and Vinnie. Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): Jim Rome, Robert Siegel, Sid Mark, and “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me!” Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more): George Noory, Glenn Beck, John Tesh, Kim Komando. The two categories voted by the public are: Music Format On-Air Personality: Hollywood Hamilton, Lon Helton, Mark & Brian Show, Ryan Seacrest. Spoken Word On-Air Personality: Joe Madison, Scott Slade, Stephanie Miller, and Suzyn Waldman.
Lis Wiehl Exits WOR. There’s no press statement from iHeartMedia about the change in the evening show on news/talk WOR, New York, but Lis Wiehl has left the “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” program that aired from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Wiehl and Concha were partnered for the show at the beginning of this year. Concha now hosts the show solo, according to the station’s website. Wiehl is an attorney, best-selling author, and has served as a legal analyst for several media platforms.
Sports KYAL-FM, Tulsa Names RJ Young Host of Midday Show. The station names RJ Young host of the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show, previously titled “The Sports Mix” that featured a rotating cast of hosts. The Tulsa World reports that Young came to the attention of KYAL-FM management after he posted more than 1,000 videos of his sports commentary to YouTube. He tells the paper, “Unbelievable opportunity. If you had told me a few months ago that I would have this platform, I would have kicked you in the shins. I would have laughed. To do sports talk radio in such a great sports state — this is an amazing privilege and honor.” At the same time, the station names market sports personality Erik Gee as co-host of the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm program with Pat Jones.
Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Gets Underway Today. Today the Hubbard Radio Talent Institute begins on the campus of Central Washington University. Over the coming 10 days, students enrolled in the program will hear and meet radio pros from Hubbard, Alpha Media, Bonneville, iHeartMedia, Townsquare Media and others. Each broadcaster teaches in his or her area of expertise, ranging from on-air, sports, news, sales, digital, podcasting, promotions, videography, engineering, and practically all aspects of the business. All sessions are on the CWU campus except for one day in Seattle when students are welcomed to Bonneville Seattle Media Group by VP/market manager David Pridemore, 710 ESPN’s Mike Salk and others, followed by a trip to KIRO-TV. The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is the third of eight Radio Talent Institutes this summer from the National Radio Talent System, along with the Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College in Boston; Kellar Radio Talent Institute, Appalachian State University in North Carolina; TAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee; Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; GAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Georgia; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.
Trump in England/D-Day Anniversary, 2020 Presidential Race, Impeachment Talk, Mexico Tariffs Averted, Hong Kong Protest, U.S.-China Relations, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and NHL/NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of President Trump’s state visit to the U.K. and the 75th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy; the Democrats vying to face Trump in 2020; the intensification of Democrats’ impeachment talk; Trump pulls back on Mexico tariffs threat; the massive Hong Kong protest against new extradition to China law; U.S. relations with China and Trump’s tariffs; the investigation into possible anti-trust practices by Big Tech firms; and the NHL and NBA finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tampa Bay, iHeartMedia names Nick Wize assistant program director and afternoon drive host at CHR WFLZ-FM. iHeartMedia Tampa Bay SVP of programming Tommy Chuck says, “I’ve known Nick for years and have seen his love for radio up close. He’s creative, driven and has performed at a high level throughout his career. I am excited to have Nick by my side as we continue to build on 93.3 FLZ’s incredible 30-year history!” Wize comes to Tampa after having served iHeartMedia as APD and air talent at the company’s KRQQ, Tucson…..Sad news in the iHeartMedia family as WLLR, Quad Cities afternoon personality Bo J. Spates died in his sleep on Saturday night (6/8). The station is paying tribute to Spates during his show today (6/10).
Scott Miller Named Afternoon Talk Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois. Illinois radio pro Scott Miller is the new afternoon drive talk host at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois, effective September 10. Miller has worked at numerous Chicago outlets: as executive producer/personality at Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” producer at Tribune’s news/talk WGN, short-lived all-news “FM News 101.1” (WKQX), and more. Speaking about his new gig, Miller says, “I’ve worked with and learned from the best in Chicago for over 20 years. It’s time to follow in the radio tradition of stealing all their bits and making them my own on WJBC! Now if I can just get a hold of Piranha Man, 100,000 disco records and re-work the lyrics to ‘on top of a pizza!’”
Gallagher Appointed DOS at WGN, Chicago. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that radio exec John Gallagher is the new director of sales at Tribune’s news/talk WGN. Gallagher, who most recently was vice president and general manager at Hubbard Radio’s Chicago cluster, assumed the role held by Jeff Hill, who exited earlier this year to become VP of sales at Cumulus Chicago. Gallagher also served as president and GM at WLS-AM. WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “John is filled with the entrepreneurial spirit we treasure at WGN. Having his leadership in our hallways is a game changer for our brand and our business partners.”
Barrett Sports Media to Introduce ‘Jeff Smulyan Award’ at February Event. At next winter’s “Barrett Sports Media Summit” in Los Angeles, Barrett Sports Media will bestow The Jeff Smulyan Award upon its first recipient. BSM president Jason Barrett says he’s “taking the initiative to make sure the contributions of a select few members are permanently remembered.” The Jeff Smulyan Award will be given to “a chosen member of the radio industry who demonstrates a consistent ability to lead, take risks, and produce results.” Speaking about the Emmis Communications chairman, Barrett says, “If Jeff Smulyan hadn’t rolled the dice to launch an all-sports station in New York City in 1987 and stuck to the plan when it made no sense to do so, sports radio may never have received a second chance. Jeff’s ability to lead and deliver results, combined with his willingness to take risk, not only benefited WFAN, but it remains the driving force behind Emmis Communications’ success. As new threats for the sports fan’s ear emerge from outside industries, it’s important for us to remember who paved the way to make this possible, while recognizing those who continue to blaze new trails to help us secure a prosperous future.” The 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit takes place in Los Angeles inside the Clive Davis Theater at The Grammy Museum on February 21 and 22, 2019.
iHeartMedia Twin Cities Unveils ‘Sports Radio 96.7.’ The new station is heard in Minneapolis-St. Paul on translator K244FE and is fed from the HD-3 channel of classic hits KQQL. iHeartMedia is calling the station “KFAN Plus, Sports Radio 96.7” and is airing the FOX Sports Radio lineup, including Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Doug Gottlieb. Station PD Chad Abbott states, “We’re thrilled to bring the Twin Cities some of the biggest and well-known national names in sports radio. ‘KFAN Plus’ will be a great expansion of KFAN programming, providing our listeners with even more around-the-clock, exclusive sports news content that they love.”
TALKERS News Notes. Vice president of social media Lori Lewis announces via Facebook that she’s resigning her post with Cumulus Media/Westwood One after a three-year stint with the company. As for her next move, she only says that she “cannot wait to share this next phase of life” with the industry. Lewis joined Cumulus from her previous position with Jacobs Media…..The New York Post is reporting that Entercom is moving to acquire the rights to New York Mets play-by-play for all-news WCBS-AM. Currently, Mets games are heard on iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR. Entercom has the rights to Yankees broadcasts that air on sports talk WFAN. Prior to WFAN getting the Yankees games (back when CBS RADIO owned the station) they aired on sister WCBS-AM…..According to The Wrap, sports media personality Ryen Russillo is going to be working with Bill Simmons on his The Ringer Podcast Network. The former ESPN Radio host is expected to host a regular, weekly football podcast as well as make appearances on Simmons’ own show…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR, Chicago operations director Mitch Rosen is among the list of 10 being inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame this year. Feder writes that “as recipient of the group’s Media Award, Rosen will be cited for The Score’s contributions to Chicago area sports journalism since 1992.”…..Pictured below is Genesis Communications Network nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) with World War II veteran Herb Cohen (left). Wachs spoke to a group of vets from the Jewish War Veterans of Southern Nevada, Post 64 during an event at the Suncoast Hotel.
Entercom Stations to Air Special on Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. The program is called “I’m Listening” and will air across all Entercomstations on Sunday, September 9 at 7:00 am local time. The company says this marks the start of National Suicide Prevention Week and the company’s year-long campaign that includes suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos, and a dedicated website with information and resources to end the stigma around mental health discussions. KISW, Seattle morning personality BJ Shea is hosting the program that will feature medical experts Dr. Chris Nowinski – co-founder and executive director of Concussion Legacy Foundation – and Dr. Ursula Whiteside, a clinical psychologist and CEO of NowMattersNow.org. Guests scheduled to join the program include Mike McCready and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, Olympian Michael Phelps, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, singer Alessia Cara, and many others. Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “‘I’m Listening’ is one of our signature productions meant to save lives, while simultaneously creating awareness for this truly lethal silent threat. The number of people impacted by mental health issues is staggering. The effect it has on their lives and lives of their friends and families is devastating. If we help save just one life or help remove the stigma around mental illness, our time will have been well spent. We can’t solve this issue during one program, but we can be part of a vast network working every day to help and serve those affected.”
Beasley Celebrates Its Top Performers with 2018 Operating Achievement Awards. At its annual management meeting in Boston on Friday (8/24), Beasley Media Group announced the winners of the company’s annual Operating Achievement Awards. The 2018 Winners include: Mary Menna, Market Manager of the Year/Boston; WKLB-FM, Boston, Station of the Year; Tina Murley, Director of Sales (DOS) of the Year/Boston; David Corey, Program Director of the Year/WKLB-FM; Ed McCormack, Technology Award /Boston; Leslie Hamand, Market Controller of the Year/Tampa; Nicole Sellers, Digital Content Professional of the Year/Charlotte; and Deena Roemer Herman, Digital Sales Professional of the Year/Philadelphia. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group COO/EVP Brian Beasley, Murley, Corey, CEO Caroline Beasley, founder & chairman of the board George Beasley, Menna, and president Bruce Beasley
John McCain Passes, Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Pleas, Silent Sam Statue Toppled, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, Neil Simon Dies at 91, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of Arizona Senator John McCain at 81; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on fraud charges and the campaign finance violation guilty pleas entered by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; the toppling of the Silent Sam statue on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill; the shooting at a Florida egame tournament that left three dead; playwright Neil Simon dies at 91; NFL pre-season action, and the MLB playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In St. Louis, Kristie Graybill joins iHeartMedia’s CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” as co-host of the AM drive program. She partners with Jordan DeSocio for the “Jordan and Kristie in the Morning” show. KSLZ program director Matt Johnson comments, “Kristie is a strong, well-known radio personality within the iHeartMedia family. We auditioned several talented on-air personalities to join Jordan, but Kristie’s drive, creativity, and talent made her our ideal candidate.” She says, “I genuinely want to thank iHeartMedia St. Louis for giving me this amazing opportunity. I am thrilled to be working with Jordan and I can’t wait to connect with the St. Louis listeners bright and early every morning.” Graybill moves to St. Louis from Cincinnati where she was afternoon drive host on iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1.”
Entercom Wichita Announces Frequency Swaps for Sports and News/Talk Stations. This move creates a new FM presence for Entercom’s news/talk KNSS and keeps an FM simulcast for sports talk KFH-AM. Beginning on Wednesday (10/12), “Sports Radio KFH” will move its FM frequency from KFH-FM at 98.7 to translator K248CY at 97.5 FM. At the same time, news/talk KNSS will also begin simulcasting on KFH-FM at 98.7. Entercom Wichita VP and market manager Jackie Wise says, “We jumped on the opportunity to pick up a translator for KFH-AM because this opens up the 98.7 frequency for our AM news/talker KNSS. We’ve had numerous requests through the years to broadcast KNSS on the FM band and now we have the opportunity to respond to our listeners’ requests and reach an available, large FM audience. All of our popular KNSS 1330 AM shows, “Steve and Ted in the Morning,” Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin are now accessible for FM listeners, as well.”
Howard Stern Digital Video Component Targeted for 2017. Part of Howard Stern’s December 2015 contract renewal with SiriusXM included a new video component to Stern’s brand that would be featured on the satcaster’s digital platform. It was expected to be up and running this year but SiriusXM CFO David Frear said at the FBR’s Investor Conference yesterday (10/6) that the initiative will likely launch in 2017. The Hollywood Reporter says Frear stated, “Creative talks with the famed shock jock over what his video programming will look like has delayed the rollout of the video streaming service.” Frear added, “We continue to work through with Howard about what product will appear on the screen. It’s got to start there, with the creative element and exactly what he will present.”
BizTalkRadio Programming KFJZ, Fort Worth. A deal between BizTalkRadio and Siga Broadcasting puts the former’s business talk programming on former Spanish music outlet KFJZ, Fort Worth, Texas and translator K273CS at 102.5 FM. Siga and BizTalkRadio also cooperated earlier this year to make Siga’s KGBC, Galveston, Texas a business talk outlet. BizTalkRadio will assume daily management of the station and says it has plans to launch a local, daily business talk program later this fall. BizTalkRadio EVP Scott Miller says, “We are pleased to bring the BizTalkRadio format to the Dallas-Fort Worth market. We are based in Arlington, so it’s nice to have a flagship affiliate in our hometown.”
Presidential Politics Atop the Talkers TenTM for Week of October 3-7. The presidential race was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week with Monday’s vice presidential debate coming in at #2 on our list. At #3 this week was the civil conflict in Syria and the related military tensions between the United States and Russia. Coming in at #4 was the devastation in Haiti from Hurricane Matthew and its potential for hitting the Southeastern U.S. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Odds & Sods. Because its parent company has the national radio rights to MLB playoff baseball, ESPN O&O WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000” is also airing the Chicago Cubs-San Francisco Giants series. CBS RADIO’s crosstown WSCR is the flagship for Cubs baseball…..Speaking of playoff baseball, digital platform TuneIn is presenting its own original baseball show, “MLB on TuneIn LIVE,” that includes postgame interviews, analysis, and previews of upcoming matches. TuneIn Premium subscribers can hear the play-by-play coverage of all the postseason games.
WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina Owner Anne Eller Moderates Mock Debate. Pictured above is WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina owner and personality Anne Eller (center) moderating a mock debate at the local Republican Club meeting. At left, Hillary Clinton is being played by local GOP president and retired school principal Jo Ann Burroughs. At right, Donald Trump is being played by Lander University security chief Eddie Briggs.