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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

| May 3, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Creditors Agree to Mediation.  The legal battle between iHeartMedia and 15 creditors goes into mediation after the parties agreed to extend the existing Temporary Restraining Order the media giant won preventing Notices of Default going into effect.  This stems from iHeartMedia’s December 2015 transfer of a million shares of class B common stock in Clear Channel Outdoor into a shell company called Broader Media.  The creditors believe this move violates the terms of their loans; iHM believes it does not.  If the Notices of Default are allowed to go into effect, that could force iHeartMedia to have to try to pay back some $15 billion in debt within 60 days, something that is not possible and could force the company into bankruptcy.  The parties will work until May 16 to resolve the conflict.

wieneradamAdam Wiener Named to Succeed Ezra Kucharz at CBS Local Digital Media.  Named to take over for Ezra Kucharz as EVP and general manager of CBS Local Digital Media is Adam Wiener, who is promoted from his SVP, content, community and operations position.  He will report to both CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez and CBS Television Stations president Peter Dunn.  Kucharz is transitioning to the new role of special advisor to the chief executive officer of CBS Corporation.  Fernandez comments, “Our digital effort is well on its way to realizing our vision of a powerful and compelling destination for viewers and listeners in our local markets.  Adam’s proven track record within the digital industry will be vital to the ongoing expansion of our assets and distribution strategy moving forward, and we are thrilled to have him assume this leadership role.”

The Presidential Race/Indiana Primary, The White House Correspondents Dinner, Battle Against Islamic State, U.S. Immigration Policy, Louisville Confederate Monument Case, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2).  The activities of the candidates for president and today’s Indiana primary election; reactions to the routines from Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner; U.S. military action in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State; renewed controversy over U.S. immigration policy and treatment of illegal aliens; the legal battle over the status of a Confederate statue in Louisville; and the NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

caltamikeHulk Hogan Sues Gawker Again; Adds WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta and Buchwald & Associates’ Tony Burton to List of Defendants.  The recent court victory by Hulk Hogan, a.k.a. Terry Bollea,  over media organization Gawker, in which he was awarded $140 million for the publication of a portion of a video of him having sex with Tampa-based radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem, is not the end of his legal endeavors.  Hogan is now suing Gawker again for publication of the video, but this time because the racist language he used in the video cost him his employment with the WWE.  In this suit, WHPT, Tampa personality Mike Calta and his agent Tony Burton (of Don Buchwald & Associates) are being named among the defendants for allegedly conspiring – along with Tampa radio personality Matt “Spice Boy” Lloyd to have the video released.   Hogan is seeking unspecified damages plus attorneys’ fees.

boldgoldfounationBold Gold Foundation Names Citizen Award Winners.  On June 14, the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation – a non-profit organization that provides funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders – will honor Pride Mobility Products owners Scott Meuser and Dan Meuser with the foundation’s 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship.  Scott and Dan will be honored during The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation’s 2nd annual event at Mohegan Sun Pocono.  The keynote speaker for the evening will be Fox News Channel chief Washington correspondent James Rosen.  Foundation president Vince Benedetto says the award is being presented annually to individuals who, “through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibit extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism,benedettovince patriotism, leadership, and virtue.  We’re extremely proud to be celebrating and honoring both Scott and Dan Meuser with the 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship.  Whether through their efforts in building and leading the magnificent company that is Pride Mobility, their ongoing investments in Northeast Pennsylvania, or serving the local community in the countless ways that they continually do, they embody all the attributes that the Atlas Award seeks to honor.”  The Bold Gold Foundation has had an ambitious past 12 months, helping to complete the building of Hillsdale College’s first broadcast radio station and studio in Hillsdale Michigan, as well as an additional production studio at the College’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.  The Foundation encourages young people in all areas of broadcasting but it is currently placing particular emphasis on supporting advancement in the various spoken-word and informational formats such as news/talk.

Odds & Sods.  This weekend’s Kentucky Derby is being carried on SiriusXM, thanks to a partnership between the satcaster and Horse Racing Radio Network.  The deal includes coverage of the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and runs through 2018.  The wire-to-wire race broadcasts for each are provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One…..This year’s Stanley Cup Final series will be offered to AM/FM radio affiliates via NBC Sports Radio, distributed by Westwood One.  The broadcast team will be Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti…..Talk host William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is launching his weekly talk show – “The Citizen Kelly Show” on WCGO, Chicago this Saturday morning (5/7) at 9:00 am.

Hulk Hogan vs Gawker: What Does it Mean to You?

| March 14, 2016

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS
Legal Editor

 

weismanwriterBOSTON — At first blush, although there does not appear to be much blushing going on in the videotape of Hulk Hogan having sex with the then-wife of his former friend Bubba the Love Sponge recorded in 2012, Hulk Hogan’s $100 million lawsuit against online news website Gawker would not appear to be a highly significant test of the limits of the First Amendment.  But indeed, this case could well set a major precedent as to how not just Gawker, but talk radio hosts and others cover the celebrity news.

Hogan, under his real name Terry Bollea, is suing Gawker for publishing online portions of a video tape apparently done by Bubba the Love Sponge, whose former name was Todd Clem, but actually legally changed his name to Bubba the Love Sponge which should, in and of itself, probably tell us something.  Although Bubba and his then wife, Heather Clem, from whom he is now divorced, were aware that the sexual activity between Heather Clem and Bollea was being filmed, Bollea was not aware and the filming of him was done illegally.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

| November 18, 2015

medvedmichaelMedved Renews with Salem Radio Network Through 2018.  The nationally syndicated Michael Medved show – heard via Salem Radio Network from flagship station KTTH, Seattle – will continue to be syndicated by Salem through December of 2018, according to a statement from Salem Media Group released today (11/18).  The program airs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and is heard on moresalemmediagroup logo than 300 affiliate stations.   Medved says, “I feel unbounded enthusiasm and gratitude at the prospect of three more years to connect with the most wonderful and engaged audience in talk radio.  Especially after my recovery from throat cancer, the ability to speak to people about the issues that matter most is a gift that I cherish – and never take for granted.  I know that the prayers and good wishes of literally hundreds of thousands of listeners have helped make possible my super-energized return.  We’ll be sharing exciting and significant times in the months ahead.”  Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce adds, “Michael’s radio program is a great example of intelligence and common sense.  We are delighted to announce this program will be continuing, allowing Michael to entertain and inform his hundreds of thousands of fans for many years to come.”

spiceFormer Bubba The Love Sponge Cast Member at Center of Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Investigation.  As reported by Tampa’s FOX 13 television, The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office say former Bubba The Love Sponge staffer Matt “Spice Boy” Loyd stole DVDs of former wrestling star Hulk Hogan having sex with Bubba’s not-yet-ex Heather Clem that he sold to such sites as Gawker and TMZ.  The videos included Hogan making racist statements that got him fired from the WWE payroll.  The story indicates Loyd and Bubba had a falling out and Loyd stole the videos and sold them to “make Bubba sweat.”  Interestingly, no charges have been filed against Loyd.  Read the FOX 13 piece here.

carrhowieAnniv15Howie Carr Radio Network Celebrates First Year Anniversary with Open House.  Regionally syndicated New England talk giant Howie Carr marked his independent network’s first anniversary yesterday (11/17) with an open house party for friends, affiliates and sponsors during his regular 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm broadcast from his state-of-the-art studios in the Boston suburb of Needham, Massachusetts.  Since last year’s launch, Carr has added 11 new affiliates bringing the total up to 24 – an accomplishment described by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “monumental considering the massive coverage he has generated from one end of the region to the other, penetrating every important market from the New York border to the remote reaches of Maine.  The guy is ‘local’ in six states covering almost 71,000 square miles.”  Carr tell TALKERS, “I am grateful to all my many clients that stopped by to wish me well.  We have been thrilled with all of the new affiliates that have come on board and we look forward to continued growth in 2016 so that our affiliates and clients can continue to grow.”   Bob Maynes, director of marketing at Maine-based Mathews Brothers Company, makers of “wicked, awesome windows,” raves to TALKERS, “It’s been a remarkable first year with the Howie Carr Radio Network.  His audience is our customer, and his radio footprint covers nearly all our marketing area, and we’ve seen time and again, tangible proof of the effectiveness of advertising with Howie.  Plus, the entire team performs as well as the host, and that makes doing business with them a pleasure.”  Pictured during the broadcast (l-r) are advertisers Valerie Polito and Jay Rainville of major New England-based supermarket chain Market Basket celebrating on-air with Carr.

Paris Terror Attacks Aftermath, Syrian Refugee Policy Debate, 2016 Presidential Race, Black Lives Matter Complaints, Obama Administration Gun Control Efforts, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/18).  The aftermath of the terror attacks on Paris including the reactions to refugees and immigrants in other EU countries; the American debate over handling refugees from Syria; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; complaints from Black Lives Matter that the Paris attacks are being given more media attention than their issues; reports the Obama Administration plans to push gun control legislation in its final year; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

compasslogoCool Job Opportunity.  Compass Media Networks, LLC seeks to hire a financial controller.  Position is based in Rye, New York.  Three to five years’ experience in media finance required.  CPA required.  Send resumes to: jobs@compassmedianetworks.com.  Compass Media Networks, LLC is EOE.