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Key Networks Names Deidra Hoye to Lead Expanded Sales Team. Syndication firm Key Networks appoints network advertising sales executive Deidra Hoye to the senior vice president, ad sales position in which she’ll lead the company’s newly expanded sales team. Los Angeles-based Hoye will supervise the enhanced sales team of veteran network radio sales professionals that includes recent hires Maggie Sisco, vice president, Eastern sales; Brian Pollina, vice president, Midwest sales; and Michelle McLynn, supervisor of sales support & operations. Hoye previously served as vice president, network sales, for Premiere Networks. Sisco joins Key Networks from PodcastOne, where she was vice president/director of sales, Eastern region. Pollina comes to Key Networks from United Stations Radio Networks, where he was vice president of digital assets and Midwest sales. McLynn joins Key from Westwood One, where she was affiliate services manager. Key Networks and Sun & Fun Media CEO Rob Koblasz says, “We are delighted to welcome Deidra to the Key Networks team. Her wealth of experience in the network ad sales arena will allow us to serve our partners now and as we grow our network. Deidra’s leadership along with the breadth of experience of our team is a winning combination for our customers.” Key Networks syndicates “The O’Reilly Update,” starring Bill O’Reilly to almost 250 radio stations. It also manages all network advertising sales, affiliate sales, and marketing for Bloomberg Radio and distributes “Shawn Parr’s Across The Country,” as well as news/talk program “The Jesse Kelly Show,” alt rock morning program, “The Billy Madison Show,” and Virtual Jock programming services.
KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh News Anchor Rose Ryan-Douglas to Retire. Pittsburgh news anchor Rose Ryan-Douglas is retiring from her PM drive anchor post at Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM after 45years in the broadcasting business. Ryan-Douglas has been with KDKA-AM since 2002. She joined KDKA-AM after anchoring the morning news at crosstown (current classic hits outlet) WWSW “3WS” for almost 20 years. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Rose has been the ultimate news professional. Not only will we miss her on the air but her calming influence in the newsroom is irreplaceable. On behalf of all of us at KDKA Radio and our listeners we thank her for the tremendous work she has done over the years.” Her last shift will be Friday, February 26.
Seth Goldberg Exits ‘ESPN Syracuse’ for Gig with the NBA. Syracuse.com reports that WTLA-AM, Syracuse “ESPN Radio Syracuse” host and producer Seth Goldberg is leaving the radio station to take a position with the NBA. Goldberg began working at WTLA in 2015 producing “Upon Further Review” with hosts Chris McManus and Steve Neikam while still a student at Syracuse University. Joining WTLA full time after graduating in 2016, Goldberg has been co-host and producer for “Orange Nation” (co-hosted with Steve Infanti), and produces “On the Block,” a program with Syracuse.com’s Brent Axe. Both programs also are featured on the WTLA-SU Twitch streaming channel ‘Cuse Sports Talk.’ Galaxy Media CEO Ed Levine says Goldberg’s on-air role on “Orange Nation” will be filled in the interim by Paulie Scibilia.
Beasley Media Group’s Preliminary Q4 Net Revenue Down 5.8%-6.5%. Releasing preliminary financial data from the fourth quarter of 20201, Beasley Media Group says it expects net revenue for the period to be approximately $67.4 million to $67.9 million. Compared to the same period in 2019, the figures represent a decrease of between 5.8% and 6.5%. The company says the change reflects a year-over-year decrease in commercial advertising revenue due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by growth in digital, esports, and political revenue. Other data points include: fourth quarter 2020 Station Operating Income increased by approximately 23.1% to 28.8% year-over-year to approximately $19.2 million to $20.1 million; and fourth quarter 2020 EBITDA increased by approximately 25.0% to 33.8% year-over-year to approximately $17.0 million to $18.2 million. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “We expect to report top-line revenue improvement in the second half of the year, with sequential quarter-over-quarter growth in both the third and fourth quarters of 2020. Our preliminary fourth quarter performance also demonstrates the significant operating benefits from the actions we took earlier this year to address the pandemic, including reducing station operating expenses and negotiating discounts with landlords, service providers, and partners. Although it is difficult to predict what the impact of COVID-19 will be in the coming months, we remain optimistic that the commercial advertising market will return to more normalized revenue levels as we move further into the year, following broad vaccine distribution.”
CES2021: Technology Is Merely the Plumbing. As the (virtual) convention that reporters are scolded for calling “the Consumer Electronics Show” wraps today, consultant Holland Cooke urges broadcasters to focus on product, not package. Read his analysis here.
First Detroit Sports Talk Show Hosted by Frank Beckmann? Not So Fast… Former longtime Detroit Free Press writer John Smyntek reaches out to TALKERS magazine to let us know that legendary Detroit radio personality Frank Beckmann – who announced his retirement from Cumulus Media’s WJR-AM on Wednesday (it takes effect at the end of March) – was not the first to host a sports talk program on Detroit radio as the press release from WJR claims. Smyntek says, “WXYZ-AM (1270, now WXYT-AM) had the late Dave Diles hosting a daily sports talk and caller dial-in show from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm weeknights starting, I think, in 1967 and running through 1969 or 1970. Then Ron Cameron had a sports call-in format on WXYT-AM under the Chuck Fritz regime for several years in the 1970s, long before Beckmann’s show started.” Smyntek – who retired from the Free Press in 2008 – says Beckmann’s “Sportstalk” program, launched in 1981, was indeed the first sports show to air on WJR-AM.
WSB, Atlanta Talk Star Erick Erickson Is This Week’s Guest on the Harrison Podcast. One of the rising stars of talk radio, Erick Erickson of WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” He’s one of the most important talk radio figures in the Peach State where, for the past eight years, he’s been hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” a 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on the Cox Media Group heritage station. He also hosts a recently launched, daily three-hour show airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on his own independent network of almost 20 stations stretching across Georgia that many industry observers say is ready to expand nationally. His background is fascinating. Born 45 years ago in Jackson, Louisiana, he was raised between the ages of five and 15 in Dubai where his father worked for Conoco Oil as a production foreman. Returning to the U.S., he received a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and a J.D. degree from Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law. He practiced law for six years at a major legal firm in Georgia. He served four years as an elected city councilman in Macon. He was one of the founders of RedState.com which he managed as editor-in-chief for 10 years. He’s been a regular contributor to CNN and FOX News Channel over the years. He’s currently attending a seminary where he is working on earning a theological degree and he’s one of the talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh turns to when he needs someone to fill in. Erickson is a conservative who has not been reluctant to tell his audience the truths he thinks they need to know as opposed to engaging in the daily dance of affirmation and only telling them what they want to hear – especially when it comes to his opinions about President Donald Trump. Don’t miss this extremely timely conversation about the state of talk radio and politics in America today recorded the day after the Capitol insurrection. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Report: Dan Le Batard and Former ESPN Boss John Skipper to Form New Sports Media Company. According to a report by Michael McCarthy at Front Office Sports, former ESPN radio and TV personality Dan Le Batard and former ESPN chief John Skipper are partnering for a new “politically progressive sports media company” that is “described as the strategic opposite of Clay Travis’ Outkick.” The Le Batard-Skipper partnership was first reported by the Miami Herald. McCarthy’s piece says that Le Batard and Skipper are seeking talent including former ESPN talent Jemele Hill, Bomani Jones, and Kate Fagan. Hill tells FOS, “We’re trying to figure out the most productive way to work together. Both John and Dan know I have such a deep level of respect for them. So, me working with them again always felt like it was inevitable.” Skipper is currently executive chairman of sports streaming platform DAZN. Hill, in the aftermath of her departure from ESPN, formed her own production company that produces the Vice TV show “Stick to Sports,” and the “Jemele Hill is Unbothered” Spotify podcast.
TALKERS News Notes. Detroit talk station WFDF “910 AM Superstation” announces that former Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who served as mayor during the city’s water scandal, joins the station as a talk host. She’ll appear Monday-Friday in the 8:00 am to 9:00 am hour. Adell Radio Group CEO Kevin Adell says that with former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder being criminally charged with willful neglect in conjunction with the Flint water crisis, bringing Weaver aboard is timely. “Mayor Karen Weaver watched this disgraceful water episode unfold firsthand and will have much to talk about as Rick Snyder works his way through our legal system”…..The Armstrong & Getty Show – starring Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announces that QBS Broadcasting’s talk WBQO-FM, Brunswick, Georgia adds the program to its lineup. WBQO program director Paul Andresen says, “There’s a reason Armstrong & Getty’s reputation precedes them. So, when tasked with finding a replacement for Clark Howard, it was a no-brainer. A&G brings a much-needed change of perspective and influx of personality to not only 93.7 WBQO, but our market as a whole. The listeners’ response, from the first show onward, has been nothing short of fantastic and I couldn’t be prouder to have Armstrong & Getty in our on-air lineup.”…..The “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” announces that it has added 23 new affiliate stations in 2021 so far, bringing its affiliate roster to more than 460 stations!
U.S. House Votes to Impeach Trump, Capitol Attack Investigation, States Prep for More Attacks, Social Media and Free Speech, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, WHO Investigating COVID Origin in China, and Powerball Jackpot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13). The U.S. House of Representatives votes to impeach Donald Trump; the investigation into last week’s attack on the Capitol; states across the nation move to protect their capitals from potential future attacks; the removal of Donald Trump and others from social media platforms and questions about free speech; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; the WHO enters China to investigate the origin of the coronavirus; and the record Powerball jackpot were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
PPM Analysis: Commercial News/Talk. Yesterday, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presented an analysis of the performances of all-news stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey. Today, Kinosian takes a look at commercial news/talk stations. Rebounding, from the Holiday 2016 survey in which news/talk stations have historically seen a dip in ratings, more than nine of every 10 stations improve (92%); only 4% are down; and the remaining 4% are flat. If the implication is that the new Trump Administration is having a positive effect on the size of the audience tuning in to news/talk (and all-news) stations, comparisons to the January 2016 survey could support that. Kinosian notes that “only about one of every three of our qualifying commercial talk panelists is down year-to-year (34%), while 62% improve; the other 4% are flat.” See all the data in the full report here.
Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Hits Sacramento. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his Smart Money event to Sacramento last night (3/1). Ramsey packed the Adventure Christian Church with fans who learned how to “win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.” Best-selling author and speaker Rachel Cruze joined Ramsey on stage. iHeartMedia-owned talk station KSTE “Talk 650” partnered with Ramsey to promote the event. KSTE and KFBK program director Bill White states, “Each time Dave and the Ramsey team come to Sacramento it’s an exciting, special, and positive experience for KSTE listeners to take the principals from his daily radio show and expand them even further into managing their money and their lives.” The tour stop in Sacramento continues today as Ramsey joins nationally recognized speaker Christy Wright for the Business Boutique 1 Day event – a brand-new event designed to equip attendees with what they need to successfully start and run their own business. Pictured above are (from l-r): White, iHM Sacramento SVP of sales Ann Postell, Cruze, Ramsey, and iHM Sacramento VP of sales Darren Mounts.
NRHOF Is Open to Suggestions. This coming November, the 2017 class of the National Radio Hall of Fame will be inducted at a ceremony at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. The NRHOF nominating committee announces that it is accepting suggestions for 2017 nominees. This year people can visit www.radiohof.org and click on the nominate tab to submit their picks for consideration. National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “It’s always our priority to engage as many people possible in this process because there’s such a wealth of talent to be represented. By streamlining the communication through the website, we’re anticipating more feedback than ever.”
Trump’s Congressional Address, Obama Administration’s Preservation of Russian Intel, Sessions-Russia Allegations, U.S. Immigration and Deportation Policy, French Obama Petition, Status of Affordable Care Act, Oscars Snafu Fallout, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/1). Praise and criticism of President Donald Trump’s Tuesday night address to a joint session of Congress; reports that the Obama Administration moved to preserve intelligence on the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian agents; allegations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had conversations with a Russian diplomat while working with the Trump campaign; the state of U.S. immigration policy and how far the Trump Administration will go with its deportation program; a petition circulating in France requesting Barack Obama to run for president there; the status of the Affordable Care Act and the GOP’s plans to overhaul the law; the aftermath of the “Best Picture” snafu at Sunday’s Academy Awards show; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Making Battle Plans in Fight Against Cancer. Pictured here in the Oval Office with President Trump (center) are former Ambassador Nancy Brinker (left), who is also founder of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and Newsmax TV CEO Christopher Ruddy (right). Brinker hosts an interview program on Newsmax TV and longtime Trump friend Ruddy helped organize the meeting to discuss initiatives for cancer research and finding a cure.
Compass Media Networks Presents Exclusive Coverage of Big Ten Men’s Hoops Tourney. This will be the 9th consecutive season that Compass Media Networks has broadcast exclusive, national audio coverage of The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. This year’s tourney is at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC and begins Wednesday, March 8 and concludes with the championship game at 2:30 pm ET on Sunday, March 12. Thirteen games will be broadcast over five days. The rotating play-by-play crews will be Matt “Money” Smith & Rick Mahorn and Drew Bontadelli & Mike Wozniak, along with studio host Tim Cates.
‘The Raven Effect’ Podcast Moves to the ‘Jericho Network on PodcastOne.’ Former WWE star Scott “Raven” Levy is bringing his podcast to Chris Jericho’s The Jericho Network on PodcastOne. “The Raven Effect” will feature discussions about “current events, conspiracies, pop culture, politics, pet peeves and anything else Raven thinks of.” PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Chris has brilliantly mastered the balance of wrestling content with other topics like music and sports, and even a great new show, ‘Beyond the Darkness,’ that focuses on the paranormal. We expect ‘The Raven Effect’ to be another winner for The Jericho Network on PodcastOne.”
Brown University Likely to Sell Alternative WBRU, Providence. This past weekend, the station membership of Brown University’s alternative rock WBRU, Providence voted in a straw poll to follow a resolution by the university board of directors to begin the process of selling the license and assets of the station. An official vote of the station membership will take place on March 11. Station general manager Kishanee Haththotuwegama says in a letter to Brown alumni that the reason for the probable sale is economics and changing media habits. “Despite extensive efforts to remain sustainable, we’ve reached this point due to a decade of decline in the Providence radio market compounded with national decline in standalone radio stations…We’ve arrived at this point only after exploring a wide range of financial options, yet the challenges we face are more than just financial. We’re also faced with the reality that broadcast radio may not be the most engaging content distribution technology for the student workshop in the 21st century.” WBRU is a class B FM at 95.5.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Digital platform iHeartRadio has a general manager of digital programming. Kavi Halemane takes on the role, moving there from his recent post as vice president of Premiere Digital Media. In this position, Halemane will work with iHeartRadio’s marketing, editorial and sales teams to connect music fans, partners and artists with exclusive iHeartRadio Original Stations, playlists and podcasts. He will report to Chris Williams, chief product officer for iHeartRadio…..As the result of corporate restructuring at Entercom’s Charlotte cluster, hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link” program director Darla Thomas exits the station as her position is being eliminated…..At Beasley Media Group’s Central New Jersey hot AC WMGQ “Magic 98.3,” morning personality Joel Katz gets a co-host as Maryann Morgan joins the program…..When the iHeartRadio Music Awards air on TBS, TNT and TruTV this Sunday night, viewers will see the American television debut of the Chris Martin–Chainsmokers collaboration “Something Just Like This.” Celebrity award presenters for the “fan-fueled” music awards will include: Ansel Elgort, Daya, Demi Lovato, DJ Khaled, Florida Georgia Line, Halsey, Jason Derulo, Joe Jonas, John Legend, Karrueche Tran, Kelsea Ballerini, Macklemore and Miley Cyrus…..Yesterday, Red Bow Records artist Brooke Eden (center) paid her first in-studio visit to Cumulus Media’s “NASH Nights Live” program. She chatted with show hosts Shawn Parr (left) and Elaina Smith (right) about her new song, “Act Like You Don’t.”