Tag: "Spike Eskin"
Monday Memo: Say It Shorter. In this week’s concise column, consultant Holland Cooke barely says ANYTHING, “and that’s the point.” Read it here.
The Presidential Race, Biden VP Choice Speculation, Vote-By-Mail Debate, and Stimulus Exec Orders Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend (8/8-9). The November presidential election, speculation over Joe Biden’s pending VP selection, the failure of Congress to arrive at a new stimulus package with President Trump responding by signing contestable executive orders to move the process along as well as the controversy over his ongoing allegation that voting by mail encourages voter fraud were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this weekend according to TALKERS research of the most talked about topics on issues-oriented news/talk radio. Other heavily discussed topics over the weekend included the school closing debate and COVID-19 stats and projections.
Pending Business: Talk to the Winners. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes about how radio sales professionals should have faith in the resilience of local, small business based on the premise that many WILL survive the COVID-19 era. He suggests that radio sellers seek out those whose innovation clearly has them on a winning track and talk directly to them, customizing campaigns that are in sync with their efforts. Read it here.
Update: WAMU-FM Sexual Harassment. As we reported here last week (TALKERS, 8/5), American University-owned public news/talk outlet WAMU-FM, Washington, DC is in a state of chaos over sexual harassment allegations. WAMU-owned publication DCist ran a Rachel Kurzius-written story detailing allegations of harassment and improper behavior by former WAMU-FM reporter Martin Di Caro. Numerous employees were asking for station general manager J.J. Yore to resign, something he said he was not prepared to do. That situation changed, however, late last week as the station’s six-year general manager has indeed stepped down. Vice president of people and external affairs/chief of staff Seth Grossman states, “American University thanks JJ for his years of service to WAMU; we wish him well as he pursues his next endeavor. We are announcing a series of critical steps designed to address issues in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, human resources, and management, as well as how matters of misconduct are handled at WAMU. These actions are a combination of immediate and longer-term steps to accelerate WAMU’s work to enhance culture and workplace. The changes will provide important support to the WAMU staff, who we thank for continuing to focus on producing award-winning journalism that the Washington, DC region relies on amid this period of change. We believe these actions will offer support for the entire WAMU team and provide a foundation for the station’s next chapter.” An interim general manager will be named in “the next four to six weeks.” In addition, a human resources employee relations consultant with “proven experience in improving organizational culture and creating inclusive workplaces” will be put in-place. Interim chief content officer Monna Kashfi becomes the permanent chief content officer, overseeing WAMU and DCist. WAMU’s former chief content officer, Andi McDaniel, left the station last month to join Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM, Chicago as president and chief executive officer; McDaniel begins those duties next month. As indicated in the The DCist piece, McDaniel was well aware of Di Caro’s behavior, having signed off on a “Level III Final Written Warning for Serious Misconduct” given to Di Caro after “almost two years” of complaints.
Coronavirus Affects Cumulus’ Q2 Numbers. Second quarter figures for Cumulus Media include a 47.8% year-to-year revenue decrease to $146 million. The company witnessed its net income transition from a gain of $42.9 million to a loss of $6.4 million and adjusted EBITDA dropping from $61.8 million to -$6.4 million. Despite the pandemic’s material impact on revenue, Cumulus Media president/chief executive officer Mary G. Berner explains, “The company generated over $90 million of cash in the quarter through quick and decisive expense actions, strong working capital management, and the completion of sale of land in Bethesda, Maryland. Ending the quarter with nearly $200 million of cash, we have entered into an agreement to monetize our tower portfolio for more than $210 million, proceeds which will further add to our liquidity and contribute to significant incremental debt paydown.” She adds, “Our demonstrated ability to rise to a challenge, strong liquidity position, and resilient balance sheet are critical assets as we operate through this uncertain environment. We believe we remain very well-positioned to drive long-term shareholder value through continued aggressive debt reduction and the execution of our growth initiatives.” Broadcast station revenue was down 51.6% to $114.2 million. Spot revenue was off 55.6% and network revenue declined by 42.7%. Meanwhile, digital revenue was up .7% to $20.3 million.
COVID-19 “Impacts” Townsquare Q2 Results. Commenting on selected results for the second quarter that ended June 30th, Townsquare Media chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks that, as expected, the company’s “second quarter financial results were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA declined 34.5% and 93.1%, respectively, as compared to the prior year. Advertising net revenue throughout the quarter, however, “experienced sequential improvement,” Wilson reports. “Together with our Live Events, net revenue has experienced the brunt of the negative business impact.” To Wilson’s point, one second quarter highlight is that, compared to the second quarter of 2019, Live Events net revenue decreased 99.5%. Wilson observes that by the end of the second quarter, “Advertising net revenue had materially improved, from -42.1% in April to -29.6% in June and continued to show improvement through July and early-August.” Townsquare Interactive added approximately 900 net subscribers, ending the quarter with approximately 20,750 subscribers, with Wilson commenting, “Townsquare Interactive’s growth continued in the second quarter, with net revenue increasing 10.5%, at an Adjusted Operating Income margin in excess of 30%, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of 850 (or more) net subscriber additions. During this pandemic, the Townsquare Interactive team became a tremendous resource for their local clients by strengthening online presence and capabilities and powering their online communication strategy. Our thesis has always been, that Townsquare Interactive is a recession-resistant subscription business and will continue to grow its revenue and subscriber base throughout the year.” Wilson explains that Townsquare Media “enacted approximately $1.7 million of monthly fixed cost savings during the second quarter, in addition to the reduction of variable costs related to the decline in revenue, which led to total direct operating expenses declining 14.8%, compared to the prior year. In addition, we have reduced our planned capital expenditures, which declined 30% in the second quarter compared to the prior year. Our board of directors elected to cease paying our quarterly dividend moving forward. Even with all the challenges and unknowns during this pandemic, we have not had to alter our core strategy. Instead, the pandemic placed a spotlight on the need to double-down on executing our existing long term strategy. We believe our ‘Local First’ strategy, together with our talented team and diversified and differentiated product offering, ensures that Townsquare will emerge from this crisis well-positioned for the future. Although a very tough Q2, we believe our revenue, profit and cash flow results will be among the best in the radio – as well as in the local media – industry.”
Why Are “You” Voting? That’s the simple question iHeartMedia is putting forth to listeners, cultural influencers, athletes, and musicians. It’s in advance of the November election, of course, when – in addition to the presidential contest – Americans will be voting for 35 Senate seats and all 435 House of Representative seats. Soundbites start today (Monday, 8/10) and run until Election Day (11/3). President of iHeartMedia entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “With voter turnout expected to hit record numbers, ‘Why I’m Voting’ presents a rare opportunity for people of all backgrounds and beliefs to have their voices heard by millions of their fellow Americans before we cast our votes.” Listeners can record/submit their own 20 second or less audio or video message. Meanwhile, also debuting today (8/10) and running through Election Day is iHeartMedia’s longer-form “Why I’m Voting” podcast, which will feature conversations with a wide-range of celebrities on why/how this year’s election will shape our future. The podcast will showcase personal stories behind why voting means so much for our nation. The “Why Are You Voting” series of soundbites will air on iHeartMedia’s 850+ broadcast radio stations in 160 markets, podcasts, social media platforms, and the iHeartRadio app.
Podcast Ad Spending to Surpass $1 Billion Next Year. That forecast further predicts that more than one in five digital radio ad dollars will go toward podcasts. By the end of this year, podcast ad spending in the United States will reach $782 million, up 10.4% from last year, giving it a 21% share of the US digital radio ad market. Spending is expected to jump nearly 45% next year to $1.13 billion. Insider Intelligence eMarketer forecasting director Shelleen Shum comments, “Growth in podcast advertising spend will be more resilient this year relative to digital radio advertising as a whole, which will see double-digit declines. The continued growth in podcast advertising is no surprise, as investments have made podcasts accessible to a wider audience. The news genre, a focus of many podcast advertisers, has performed well during the pandemic. While some ad campaigns were paused due to the uncertainty from COVID-19 lockdowns, we expect a rebound in Q3 and Q4. One key challenge in podcast advertising is the lack of uniformity in measurement. [The Interactive Advertising Bureau] has released a set of guidelines to establish a common set of ad metrics for podcasts, which should bring some standardization to the industry and give advertisers more confidence.” This year, 105.6 million people in the US will listen to podcasts, the first time podcast listening will surpass 100 million.
KYW Silences Familiar Sound. Owing to pandemic-related budget cuts, a number of well-known voices on spoken-word and music-intensive formats across the country have been eased off the air. A longtime fixture at Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is gone, but it had nothing to do with the bottom line or COVID-19 – and it isn’t a human. The station has eliminated the teletype sound effect that – for decades – has been played underneath its news broadcasts. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, KYW program director/brand manager Alex Silverman remarks to The Philadelphia Inquirer, “They stopped making the ribbons for the trusty teletype in 1986 and our supply finally ran out; so, old reliable is out of commission until further notice.” To that, co-owned WIP “Sports Radio 94” brand manager Spike Eskin mocks in a tweet, “Just excuses again from Alex Silverman. Are we to believe he couldn’t find a new one on Ebay, or simulate the sound somehow? Does he think we are fools?” On a more serious note, Silverman states, “As technology has evolved over the years, so has KYW. The sound of the station should reflect the modern, nimble, multi-platform news organization we’ve become.” KYW has recently updated its jingle and logo. Entercom’s other top ten market news and news-talk hybrids include: WCBS-AM and WINS, New York City; KNX, Los Angeles; WBBM-AM & WCFS-FM, Chicago; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; and KRLD-AM, Dallas.
Leadership Training Program Accepting 2021 Applications. Designed to prepare senior-level broadcasters to advance into ownership or executive positions, the NAB’s Broadcast Leadership Training (BLT) program is accepting applications through August 19 for next year’s session. BLT program founder and dean/ ShootingStar Broadcasting founder, president, chief executive officer Diane Sutter states, “As we transition to a hybrid online and in-person model, we look forward to expanding the reach of the Broadcast Leadership Training program. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we cultivate the next class of diverse industry leaders and equip them with the knowledge and training to advance their careers.” As it moves into its 21st year, this executive MBA-style program teaches the fundamentals of purchasing, owning, and operating radio and television stations to senior-level broadcast professionals. All education sessions planned through the end of 2020 will be held online, with the starting gathering to be held next month (9/24 – 25). Broadcast professionals from all areas of the industry, including general managers, sales managers and department heads, as well as regional and corporate executives, are encouraged to apply. Fellowship opportunities are available for women and people of color. The complete schedule will be made available in early-October.
TALKERS News Notes. Starting one week from today (Monday, 8/17) and lasting through next Thursday (8/20), ABC News Radio is set to cover this year’s Democratic National Convention and plans to do the same the following week (8/24 – 27) for the Republican National Convention. Aaron Katersky and Karen Travers will anchor; Alex Stone, Ryan Burrow, and Jim Ryan are slated to serve as reporters; and Steve Roberts joins for analysis. Multiple one-minute “Status Reports” will air each night, as will the network’s daily Brad Mielke-hosted podcast, “Start Here.” Meanwhile, each day during the conventions, the Karl & Klein-hosted podcast “Powerhouse Politics” will release special editions featuring interviews and analysis … Former iHeartMedia Jacksonville senior vice president of programming Tommy BoDean joins Cumulus Media as operations manager of its four-station Melbourne (Florida) cluster, which includes sports talk WLZR “1560 The Fan.” Cumulus Media regional vice president Pete DeSimone comments, “I am really excited Tommy is joining the Cumulus Melbourne team. He’s going to make an immediate impact – and at a time [when] programming and operational leadership are critical.” BoDean adds, “The world we live in is changing every minute; radio has not just an opportunity, but an obligation, to get plugged in and help. Now is the perfect time to step into a role that both challenges and excites me every day.” In addition to his OM duties for WLZR and classic rock WROK “95.9 The Rocket,” BoDean will be the day-to-day program director for CHR WAOA “107.1 A1A” and country WHKR “102.7 Nash FM.” He previously was operations manager for iHeartMedia Cincinnati and programmed Nashville CHR WNFN “Hot 106.7.” … Effective today (Monday, 8/10), Bustos Media Tucson’s KVOI “AM 1030 The Voice” adds “The Joe Walsh Show” to its weeknight (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm) lineup and shifts “Our American Stories with Lee Habeeb,” which had been in that slot, to 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm … Twenty-year Spokane television and radio journalist Teresa Lukens will return to Morgan Murphy Media Spokane’s KXLY-AM “920 News Now” next Monday (8/17) as morning drive co-host. After three years as a reporter on KXLY-TV’s “Good Morning Northwest,” Lukens transitioned to radio as morning host on co-owned KXLY-FM “Classy 99.9 FM” and then as news anchor on KXLY-AM. Lukens left KXLY-TV in 2010 and hosted “Health Matters” on Spokane public television outlet KSPS.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Every Friday this month, iHeartMedia San Antonio joins forces with San Antonio Metro Health for the “Friday Night Virtual Dance Party” (7:00 – 7:30 pm). Participating stations within the iHM cluster include adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9”; CHR KXXM “96.1 Now;” country KAJA “KJ-7″; and Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits.” According to iHeartMedia San Antonio senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim, “There is nothing like the power of music. [We] are excited to partner with our friends at San Antonio Metro Health for ‘Friday Night Virtual Dance Party’ [and] look forward to raising our community spirit during these challenging times – all while abiding by the state’s safety guidelines to fight the COVID-19 virus.” Mayor Ron Nirenberg notes, “We want to send an encouraging and positive message to San Antonio to keep doing the things that make our city great, but do them in a safe way so we can continue to stop the spread.” … A country music special hosted by four-time Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan is among several, three-hour ABC Audio Labor Day weekend specials. “Luke Bryan: Born Here Live Here Die Here” takes listeners through each song on Bryan’s new album, which has produced three #1 singles. “Labor Day Rock Salute: Frontline Edition – From Speakeasy” honors frontline workers who stepped up during COVID-19. Hosted by ABC Audio’s Matt Wolfe, the special features hits from artists including ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, and Stevie Nicks. Top rock artists will also share what they’ve been up to during lockdown. Meanwhile, the Aaron Katersky-hosted news special “How America Works Now” explores how people are coping through the pandemic. It questions what the future of American life and labor may look like, and puts a spotlight on those adapting to the new normal … “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” takes over 12:00 midnight – 5:00 am duties in Santa Rosa, California on Amaturo Sonoma Media Group-owned KFGY “Froggy 92.9 Today’s Country.” Alan comments, “Our show is excited to be a part of the ‘Froggy 92.9’ lineup. We already feel like part of the ‘Froggy’ family. I can’t wait to get to Sonoma for a visit to wine country.” Amaturo Sonoma Media Group vice president of programming and operations Jim Murphy notes, “Cody creates unique, multiplatform content that really resonates with country fans; we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the ‘Froggy’ family. The station’s revised lineup includes: Amber & Tanner (5:00 am – 10:00 am); Jenn (10:00 am – 3:00 pm); Dano (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Lia (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight); and “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am) … Former four-year wakeup duo at Hubbard Broadcasting St. Louis’ WIL “New Country 92.3, Bud Ford and Jerry Broadway (“Bud & Broadway”), sign with Houston-based SuiteRadio for morning show syndication, gearing up for next month’s start (9/7). The show will be represented on a market exclusive basis by Colbert Media Group. Prior to exiting WIL this past May, “Bud & Broadway” worked in Tulsa and Dothan, Alabama.
Air Personalities Out at Tyler Media’s Oklahoma City News/Talk and Sports Stations. A number of air personalities at Tyler Media’s Oklahoma City stations have been let go in what appears to be a major money-saving move. News/talk KOKC-AM/K237GE morning drive host Jack Elliott posted the news on his Facebook page that he and the “entire air staff” have been let go. The station’s website now indicates an all-syndicated lineup. Afternoon host and program director Mac Mullings, PM drive personality Chad Alexander, and sister sports talk KRXO “107.7 The Franchise” morning host Andrew Gilman and afternoon sports talk host Colby Daniels also have been let go. KOKC has replaced the local morning show with “America in the Morning” and Radio America’s “The Dana Show” with Dana Loesch occupies the afternoon drive daypart.
Report: Shannon Burke and Kara Stockton to Host Mornings on WTZA-AM, Atlanta. According to Rodney Ho at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, talk personalities Shannon Burke and Kara Stockton are joining the new talk station being launched on WTZA-AM/ W271CV, Atlanta on Monday (2/3). Station co-operators Will Regan and Jamie Chapman are leasing the signals from K&Z Broadcasting. Atlanta talk personalities Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson and Mike Brooks are also joining the station’s lineup. Burke and Stockton worked together at Cumulus Media‘s talk WYAY-FM, Atlanta prior to the company selling that signal to Educational Media Foundation. Burke also hosts afternoons at JVC Media‘s WDYZ-AM/W288CJ, Orlando “Florida Man Radio.” He’ll work both shows, hosting the WZTA program from Orlando. Ho’s story also indicates that the station is holding two-week tryouts for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm daypart and former Phoenix talk host (and Arizona congressman) J.D. Hayworth will give it a go as will radio personality Rich Sullivan.
Theisen Promoted to VP of Sales and Marketing for Leighton Broadcasting. Sales pro Stephanie Theisen is named vice president of sales and marketing for Leighton Broadcasting. She currently serves the company as general sales manager for the company’s St. Cloud, Minnesota market and will continue in that role through 2020. Leighton operates 26 radio stations in seven markets and also produces events and is an interactive design and marketing company. Leighton Enterprises CEO Bob Leighton says, “The addition of Theisen as VP of sales and marketing will support the structure of our company as we continue to grow and expand. Stephanie has a successful track record in sales, team building, and hiring. We are looking forward to her focus in those areas in markets outside of our corporate headquarters, in 2020 and beyond.” Theisen adds, “In the coming months I will focus on amplifying the impact Leighton Broadcasting has in the communities we serve. Leighton is a robust company with talented employees throughout our locations and divisions. I am thrilled to serve as the VP of sales and marketing for this incredible company.”
‘Grant & Danny’ to Air on WRNL, Richmond. The WJFK-FM, Washington-based “Grant & Danny” Show featuring Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier is now being simulcast on Entercom’s Richmond, Virginia sports talk outlet WRNL-AM “Sports Radio 910 The Fan” from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm. Paulsen and Rouhier both joined WJFK-FM in 2009 and have been partners on the midday show since 2014. Entercom Virginia SVP and market manager Bennett Zier says, “I’m excited to welcome Grant and Danny to the Capital City. They are a welcomed addition as we continue serving Richmond and the surrounding markets with premier sports content and coverage of local and regional teams.”
TALKERS News Notes. Sports media personality Jorge Sedano’s Los Angeles radio show on ESPN-owned KSPN “ESPNLA” is moving to a new daypart effective Monday (2/3). Sedano has been hosting the early evening show that’s often pre-empted by Lakers games. He tweets that effective Monday the “Sedano Show” will air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon PT…..Entercom’s Philadelphia sports talker WIP-FM “SportsRadio 94WIP” is holding a daylong “Andy Reid Appreciation Day” today (1/30) to celebrate the career and accomplishments of former Eagles and current Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Reid took the Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, losing to the New England Patriots 24-21. The station says that today it will “break down Reid’s career through discussions with former NFL players and on-air hosts Ike Reese and Jon Ritchie, both of whom were on Reid’s Super Bowl team.” Program director Spike Eskin says, “It’s finally time to give Andy credit where credit is due. I look forward to celebrating his great career and reminiscing on old Eagles memories with our on-air staff as we root for ‘Big Red’ to win his first Super Bowl.”…..iHeartMedia and OZY Media have entered into a multi-year deal to co-produce and promote a slate of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts, with three shows set to be released this year and distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network. The first co-produced podcast will be “Around the World,” a travel and culture podcast featuring stories of changemakers and renegades from around the world who are doing the unexpected in the face of adversity. The content will originate from OZY’s groundbreaking year-long editorial project that saw them report three stories from every country on earth. The two additional podcasts set to launch this year include a spin-off series from OZY’s “The Thread” and a scripted series.
Impeachment, Wuhan Coronavirus, Presidential Race, Trump Middle East Peace Plan, Kobe Bryant Death, and Weinstein Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29). The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump; concerns about a global outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus; the Democrats battling to face Donald Trump in November; reaction to the Trump Administration’s Middle East peace plan; the aftermath of the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant; and the rape trial of former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WUHAN CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Investigative Reporter Joshua Philipp Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most knowledgeable journalists covering U.S.-China relations, Joshua Philipp, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Philipp is the senior investigative reporter with the New York City-based international news organization, The Epoch Times – the multi-language, global newspaper launched in 2000 by freedom-seeking Chinese-Americans – that specializes, among its many beats, in fearlessly keeping tabs on China and the Chinese Communist Party. The podcast was recorded on January 27 and presents an up-to-date account of what is currently known about the still-unnamed “coronavirus” that burst on the scene in the past few weeks emanating from the central Chinese city of Wuhan and has begun to spread and cause illness at an alarming pace putting health officials all around the world on increasingly high alert. The crisis offers tremendous insight into the methodology of the Chinese Communist Party and will, undoubtedly have an impact on the superpower’s activities in world affairs in the coming months. This is a major news/talk media story with serious health, political, and economic implications. To listen to the entire podcast NOW, 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.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. It’s in the immediate aftermath of two related tragedies that morning drive personality Gary Smith is retiring from Neversink Radio’s classic hits, WABT-FM, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania “Pocono 96.7.” On January 7, Smith’s co-host Elisa Chase died suddenly after a brief illness at the age of 38. Then, the day after Chase’ memorial service, her husband died at their home. The station says, “Smith took time off after his colleague’s death and went back on the air with his ‘Gary in the Morning Show’ last week to do a memorial. It turned out it would be his last show.” On its website, the station writes to its listeners, “As you likely have heard, we lost our beloved Elisa in early January. Between this and the sudden death of her husband, our entire organization is in pain over these losses. Gary has taken this quite hard as Elisa was his ‘radio wife.’”…..Colorado Public Radio’s triple A KVOQ-FM, Denver “Indie 102.3” hired on-air pro Jason Thomas to host the afternoon drive show, effective February 5. Thomas hosted afternoons at Entercom’s triple A WXRT, Chicago for the past 12 years. “Indie 102.3” program director Willobee Carlin says, “We are thrilled to have Jason join our ‘Indie 102.3’ team. His background and success in the radio world will be incredible assets to both the station and Colorado’s music scene. He has an obsession for music that is truly contagious, and I can’t wait to see how that translates onto our airwaves.” Thomas comments, “The team at ‘Indie 102.3’ has been incredibly welcoming, and it’s been eye-opening to see how committed everyone is to Colorado and its music scene. I can’t think of a station/city combo that’s a better fit for me, and I’m excited to work and learn alongside a team that’s loaded with true music junkies that want to serve and connect with our listeners.”
TALKERS magazine Offices Closed for Fourth of July Holiday Weekend. The offices of TALKERS magazine will be closed from July 4-7 in observance of the Fourth of July holiday weekend. We’ll be back with regular news updates and delivery of our daily emailer on Monday, July 8. However, should big industry news break over the four-day weekend, we’ll report it on Talkers.com. TALKERS wishes all readers a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday.
Programmer Changes at WPHT, Philadelphia. As TALKERS tipped yesterday, programming pro Jared Hart has exited Entercom’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia where he was program director. The company confirms that sister sports talk WIP program director Spike Eskin is adding WPHT PD duties to his role with the Entercom cluster. It says “SportsRadio 94WIP” has “evolved dramatically under Spike’s leadership” and the company is “excited to see his impact on WPHT.” Additionally, the company is promoting WPHT executive producer Greg Stocker to assistant program director in recognition of his work on some of the station’s most successful shows. Stocker will handle the day-to-day programming responsibilities for WPHT under Eskin.
Brubaker Joins KNBR as GSM and Director of Sports Marketing. Sports marketing pro Scott Brubaker is named general sales manager and director of sports marketing for Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco. He was most recently president of the Alliance of American Football’s Arizona Hotshots. Prior to that, he was vice president, national sales – Southeast and Central Region for Learfield Sports. He’s also served in sales positions with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns. Cumulus San Francisco VP/director of sales Scotty Bastable says, “We saw a fabulous fit when the opportunity arose for us to bring in a talent of Scott’s caliber. He is a proven winner and leader in the sports world. Having him at the helm of KNBR will allow us to continue to be ‘The Sports Leader’ for the Bay Area for many years to come.”
Jonathan Wier’s Evening Show Cancelled at KMBZ-FM, Kansas City. Talk show host Jonathan Wier announces via Facebook that his 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm program on KMBZ-FM, Kansas City has been cancelled by Entercom management. Wier praises program director Alan Furst as “the best PD that any host could ever ask to have” and says the change was “purely about money.” He’ll continue his program as a podcast.
Walton & Johnson’s John Walton Dies. One half of the regionally syndicated, KPRC, Houston-based “Walton & Johnson” morning show – John Walton – passed away late Monday night (7/1) at the age of 67. Partner Steve Johnson (right) stated in a post on the KPRC website: “It is with great shock and sadness that I inform the Walton & Johnson audience of the untimely and sudden passing of John Walton (left). His medical issues were too numerous to overcome. He had been receiving treatment over the last month but continued to suffer. He made the decision to return home yesterday and spend his last hours with his family. He went out on his own terms…I will always cherish John as not only a partner but a dear friend. His wit and humor defined him as the unique individual we all knew him to be. He will never be replaced. He had a voice and he had something to say.” Walton and Johnson first partnered as morning co-hosts in 1983. They took the show into syndication a decade later. Steve Johnson says the program will continue “as soon as possible.”
New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” for Week of July 1-5 Now Posted. The recently launched, one-hour weekend radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” analyzing the hot talk media topics of this past week (July 1-5) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia‘s WONK-FM, Washington, DC. It currently airs on WONK-FM in the key position of Friday at 6:00 pm as a dynamic programming punctuation mark of the week’s conversation and is also heard on several other stations around the country. Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “Happy Birthday, America!”) features a lineup of guests that includes TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey; radio talk show hosts Joyce Kaufman of WFTL, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and Brad Shepard of Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; and social/political observer Victoria Jones of the DC Radio Company. The non-partisan-but-hard-hitting program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought. This weekend’s installment is geared to the Independence Day holiday. For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To listen to it in its entirety, please click here.
Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continues Posting Today with Keynote Chat Between Sean Hannity and Michael Harrison. 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 post presents the convention’s keynote chat in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation. The two discuss a variety of topics including Hannity’s special relationship with President Donald J. Trump; what it takes to be successful on both radio and television talk media; the challenges facing talk radio in terms of ratings and marketing; Hannity’s feelings about his life and career; plus more. The session is introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones. Already posted on the page: The official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the tremendously successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories” as well as 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. To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.
Covering the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Championship. Pictured above is Westwood One News New York bureau chief Steve Kastenbaum (left) interviewing Joey Chestnut (right) before he goes for his 12th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Championship title on July 4that Coney Island, New York. Chestnut is also trying to break his record of eating 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Washington DC Fourth of July Celebration, 2020 Census Citizenship Question, Immigration Reform-Detention Facility Conditions, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-EU Tariffs, and U.S. Women’s Soccer Team in World Cup Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/2). The controversy over President Trump’s plans for military equipment to be part of the Washington Fourth of July parade; the Trump Administration drops the fight to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census; the Trump Administration’s immigration reform policy and the conditions at border detention centers; the Democrats running for president in 2020; President Trump’s plans for tariffs on EU exports; and the U.S. Women’s Soccer team’s advancement to the World Cup Finals 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. In Seattle, iHeartMedia’s hip hop KUBE promotes APD/MD and afternoon personality Eric Rosado to program director. iHeartMedia Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore says, “I’m very excited for Eric and this opportunity. The KUBE team and team of support have been working hard bringing KUBE back and now Eric will continue to lead us further down that path.”…..On-air pro Ralphie Marino is exiting his morning drive gig with Cape Cod Broadcasting Media’s hot AC WQRC, Cape Cod “99.9 The Q” to relocate to Florida to be near family. He posted to Facebook, “I arrived on Cape Cod with two kids, not knowing a soul, but grateful to be back on the radio. A lot has changed in the five years I have been here and a lot stayed the same. I have learned so much about this wonderful community that spans from the bridge to P-Town. I was a washed ashore when I arrived, and I leave a Cape Codder.”…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live from Willie Nelson’s annual Fourth of July picnic on the Willie’s Roadhouse channel. The special live broadcast will feature live performances from Willie Nelson & Family, Luke Combs, and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, as well as Steve Earle & The Dukes, Hayes Carll, Ray Wylie Hubbard and more.
It’s Official! Carlin, Scott & Gray to Replace Francesa; Giannotti Takes Over Carton Role Beside Boomer at WFAN. Yesterday’s widely reported news about the new WFAN, New York afternoon program turns out to be true and it’s now official as the station announces programming changes to its morning and afternoon dayparts. First, it will be Chris Carlin (recently of WIP, Philadelphia – see story below), former New York Jets player and WEPN, New York personality Bart Scott, and SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray taking over for NYC sports talk legend Mike Francesa. That show is being called, “The Afternoon Drive with Carlin, Bart and Maggie.” Also, Gregg Giannotti has been co-hosting the “Gio and Jones” show with Brian Jones on the CBS Sports Radio Network – and he’s also been filling in on the WFAN morning show this fall. Now, he moves into the permanent morning co-host seat with Boomer Esiason for the “Boomer & Gio” program. Both changes officially take effect on January 2, 2018. Francesa is leaving WFAN at the end of his contract on December 15. Craig Carton resigned from his position on the “Boomer & Carton” show after being indicted on federal fraud charges. VP of programming, WFAN and CBS RADIO New York Mark Chernoff says, “With the addition of Gregg to the WFAN morning show alongside Boomer, and with Chris, Bart and Maggie joining us in the afternoon, we’ve assembled a stellar lineup that we’re proud to showcase on WFAN. New York sports fans are about to be entertained, challenged and engaged like never before.”
WIP, Philadelphia Names Jon Marks New PM Drive Co-Host; Giglio Takes Over Evenings. With the now-official move of Chris Carlin from WIP, Philadelphia to WFAN, New York to take over for Mike Francesa in place, Philly sports talker WIP names current evening host Jon Marks (right) new co-host of the afternoon drive show alongside incumbent personality Ike Reese (left). The open evening slot is being filled by Joe Giglio (he’ll also anchor weekday Phillies pre- and post-game shows). WIP program director Spike Eskin states, “We’re lucky to have Jon Marks here and moving into afternoons on WIP. He’s honed his craft and worked for this for a long time and we’re excited to have him team with Ike and take us into the future. He’s the real deal. Having Joe Giglio in evenings gives us a guy who is smart, informed, funny and has a fantastic work ethic. I’m glad we can finally give Joe the chance he deserves to shine on a nightly basis.”
Mancow Sues New Boss at WLUP-FM, Chicago. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder here, Mancow Muller has filed suit against Marv Nyren, his new boss at Cumulus Media’s classic rock WLUP-FM. Muller sued Nyren a decade ago, a year after Nyren fired him from the morning show position at then-Emmis’ WKQX. Muller alleged a pattern of “malicious acts” on the part of Nyren toward him. That suit reportedly ended in an undisclosed settlement. Now, Mancow’s lawyer says this action is to “prevent the pattern of retaliation that has occurred in the past from continuing in the future…Mancow is extremely pleased with his position at Cumulus, he feels the show is as good as it’s ever been, and he just loves his job. Then this [Nyren’s hiring] happened.” Muller assumed the WLUP-FM morning show in 2015. He’d been syndicated as a talk show host for years via TRN-FM.
Premiere Networks and Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts Renew. This is the 15th year of national syndication for the Glenn Beck program and syndicator Premiere Networks and Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts are today announcing the renewal of their syndication and ad sales deal. Premiere says Beck’s radio show “has experienced year-over-year audience gains in markets including: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Denver, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Columbus, Norfolk and Memphis in the key demo of Adults 25-54. (Source: Nielsen Audio, PPM, OCT’17 vs. OCT’16, Exact Times, AQH, A25-54).” As part of the deal, Premiere and Mercury have renewed their longstanding digital partnership in which Premiere provides ad sales representation for the fan portal GlennBeck.com, the daily Glenn Beck Newsletter, as well as the Glenn Beck program podcast and stream. Beck says, “Premiere remains the gold standard in the industry. We’ve now been working together for 15 years, and I couldn’t be happier to extend and renew our relationship. These are increasingly chaotic times. I’ve never been more excited to help the audience cut through the noise by focusing on the things that matter most.”
WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Named to InsiderNJ 100 Power List. The New Jersey political publication InsiderNJ has just released its “InsiderNJ 100 Power” list, in which it ranks “the most muscular players in New Jersey politics across a broad spectrum of industries and disciplines.” Among media people on the list, WPG, Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley is ranked #56 this year. His entry says, “The conservative WPG talk radio show host loves politics and outshines most hosts with his uncanny ability to break news himself – not just opine on what other reporters write about first. He remains very influential in South Jersey political circles and is right now at the top of his game. He broke one of the bigger stories of the year when he reported on the 2018 retirement of U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2).”
ObamaCare Repeal-Tax Reform Plan, Roy Moore Allegations, Sessions Russia Testimony, Deadly NoCal Shooting, Clinton-Uranium One Case, North Korea Nuclear Program, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14). The GOP move to tie the elimination of the individual mandate with its tax reform plan; Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore’s fight against charges of pursuing minor girls in the past; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the Trump campaign’s Russian connections; the Tuesday shooting in Northern California that took the lives of four; questions about Hillary Clinton’s role in the Uranium One deal; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the rhetoric between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Caroline Beasley Honored at Women Who Lead Luncheon. Among those recognized at Tuesday’s “2017 Women Who Lead Luncheon” presented by the Alliance for Women in Media was Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley. She says, “I am humbled to be recognized by AWM with this distinguished honor. It is a privilege to work with all of the outstanding women who lead on a daily basis at Beasley Media Group. I am proud to be on THEIR team.” Pictured above are Beasley (left) and Christal Radio president and AWM chair-elect Christine Travaglini.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Lisa Worden leaves CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles to join iHeartMedia in LA to serve as vice president of programming for KYSR “ALT 98.7” and as alternative rock brand manager for the company’s national programming group. iHeartMedia says that Worden “will work alongside Mike Kaplan, who will continue to serve as program director at ‘Alt 98.7,’ where under his leadership, the station has set new record ratings performances.” iHM chief programming officer Tom Poleman states, “Lisa is widely regarded as an outstanding leader in the alternative rock world. Her relationships are fantastic. She’ll play a key role in helping artists maximize iHeartMedia’s unmatched alternative footprint.”…..Alpha Media announces that KLGR, Redwood Falls, Minnesota is flipping formats from hot AC to adult hits with the JACK FM format. Alpha Media VP of content Ronnie Stanton commented on the announcement, “What a thrill to bring the iconic, fun and winning JACK FM brand to Redwood Falls. Great radio has a name, and its name is Jack!”
CBS Radio Signs Jim Rome to Multi-Year Extension. Sports talk personality Jim Rome and CBS Radio have come to terms on a new, multi-year deal. Rome jumped from Premiere Networks back in January of 2013 to be one of the lead talents on the then-new CBS Sports Radio network. CBS Radio EVP of programming Chris Oliviero says Rome was a key ingredient, “The Jim Rome show was the critical building block in the successful launch of CBS Sports Radio four years ago and brought immediate star power and credibility to the network. We now look forward to writing the next chapter together in the storied history of Jim’s show, which has been and continues to be the standard by which all nationally syndicated sports shows are judged.” As part of the deal, a one-hour highlight podcast of Rome’s show will continue to be available via CBS’ Play.it network. He’ll also continue to anchor three editions of the early afternoon broadcast of the network’s flagship feature, the “CBS Sports Minute.”
Philly Sports Talker Signs with WIP-FM. When Philadelphia sports talk radio personality Jon Marks exited Beasley’s crosstown WPEN-AM/FM after 10 years with the station last fall, there was speculation he would land at CBS Radio’s “SportsRadio 94WIP.” Now, that’s a reality as Marks assumes the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm air shift beginning this evening (2/7). Additionally, Marks will anchor weekday Phillies pre-game and post-game coverage, provide content for CBSPhilly.com and contribute to WIP’s daytime lineup. WIP-FM program director Spike Eskin comments, “Jon’s talent, relationship to Philadelphia sports fans, and history in the marketplace will be a huge addition to WIP. We’re thrilled to have him aboard.” Brian Haddad, who was hosting the evening show, remains with WIP-FM as creative services director.
SRN’s Hugh Hewitt Joins Washington Post as Columnist. Conservative media figure Hugh Hewitt adds another gig – and media outlet – to his resume. The Salem Radio Network talk host is signing on with The Washington Post as a regular opinion columnist. In addition to his daily morning drive show on Salem Radio Network, Hewitt is a regular panelist on “Meet the Press,” is a contributor to NBC News, and teaches constitutional law at Chapman University Law School. WaPo editorial page editor Fred Hiatt comments, “Hugh is one of the most influential and intelligent conservatives in political media, simultaneously thoughtful and provocative. It’s essential to us that we offer readers a range of views, and we’re thrilled that Hugh has agreed to join our diverse team.”
KABC, Los Angeles Adds Tweeden to ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ Show. Radio and television personality Leeann Tweeden was previously heard in the Los Angeles market at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLAC “AM570 LA Sports” as one half of the “Roggin & Tweeden” show. Now, she joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC as news anchor for the “McIntyre in the Morning” show. KABC operations director Drew Hayes states, “We are delighted to have Leeann sign on as the newest addition to the KABC on-air team. She is not only a bright, high energy, and plugged-in broadcaster, she brings a broad reservoir of life experiences. Leeann is a perfect fit for ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ and the big-personality lineup of News. Talk. Evolved. 790 KABC.” Tweeden’s resume includes time spent as co-host of “UFC Tonight on FOX Sports” and FSN’s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.” Currently, she makes appearances presenting social and political commentary on FOX News’ “Hannity,” HLN’s “Dr. Drew,” and FOX News’ “Red Eye.”
Comrex to Unveil New Portable Audio IP Codec at NAB 2017. This new portable audio IP codec is called the ACCESS NX, and it’s the latest version available from audio IP transmission leader Comrex. This new unit (pictured at right), builds on the 10-year legacy of the ACCESS Portable. However, this unit adds an audio channel, a larger touch screen, and a digital mixing stage. The five-inch, capacitive touch screen doesn’t require a stylus, which simplifies set up and operation. The ACCESS NX includes a dedicated stereo line input, in addition to a pair of XLR switchable audio inputs. ACCESS NX is compatible with an ACCESS clip-on channel mixer (also pictured at right), a new accessory which adds four mic/line inputs and headphone outputs. Comrex says that the new unit includes CrossLock, the company’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding. CrossLock intelligently monitors network connections and adjusts data allotment in real-time. The features on the ACCESS NX include: Two USB jacks for 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, Ethernet port, and compatibility with POTS modem (sold separately); two stereo headphone outputs (¼” jacks) with individual controls; digital mixing and headphone busses; digital peak limiting; field-changeable internal lithium battery with built-in charger (5 hours of power); and serial data and four contact closures. Comrex notes that the ACCESS has enabled broadcasters to transmit live programming from war zones, airplanes, bicycles, protests, and natural disasters – “its uniquely portable design has allowed for truly creative programming.”
TALKERS News Notes. WRKO, Boston morning drive personality Doug “VB” Goudie has published a new historical book titled, ACK in Ashes: Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846. Goudie co-hosts the “Boston.com Morning Show” on the Entercom news/talk outlet with Kim Carrigan. The book tells the story of the July 13, 1846 fire on the island of Nantucket and the challenges the whaling town faced rebuilding after the devastation…..iHeartMedia and partner Advertising Age launch their “Tagline” podcast with season one presenting sponsor Bulleit Frontier Whiskey on board. iHM says, “As the presenting sponsor of “Tagline” season one, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey will work with AdAge and iHeartMedia to craft stories and experiences centered around the cultural frontier. Bulleit and its family of high-rye, award-winning variants will provide inspired cocktails to ‘Tagline’ guests throughout the season and will work with award-winning mixologists to curate cocktails based on each episode’s discussion topic. The premier episode features Jeff Bell, 2013 World Class American Bartender of the Year…..ABC News Radio is presenting a special series titled, “America’s Fentanyl Crisis,” in which senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas reports on the crisis from New England, ground zero of the Fentanyl epidemic. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic pain killer that has become a popular street drug. During this five-part investigation, Thomas goes inside a Drug Enforcement Administration drug lab, participates in law enforcement ride-alongs, and meets with survivors struggling to stay clean.
Travel Ban Court Battle, DeVos Education Secretary Nomination, O’Reilly vs Putin, Iran Missile Test, Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer Spoof, and Patriots Win Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6). The looming court battle over President Donald Trump’s order stopping travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; the slim margin of support for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary; the Kremlin’s request for an apology from FOX News for Bill O’Reilly’s calling Vladimir Putin a killer; Iran’s bluster over its recent missile tests and the Trump Administration’s putting it “on notice”; the flap over Melissa McCarthy’s “SNL” performance as Press Secretary Sean Spicer; and the New England Patriots’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI 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. At country WUBL, Atlanta “94.9 The Bull,” iHeartMedia names Jeremy “Otis” Maher afternoon drive personality and music director. Otis is psyched about his new gig. He says, “I am so excited to join Brian Michel and the iHeartMedia team on one of the biggest country stations in the nation! I can’t wait to bring a high-energy, ultra-interactive show to The Bull’s listeners.” Most recently, Otis worked as the program director and afternoon host at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville “99.7 DJX.”…..In Colorado Springs, Aaron Zytle exits the program director and afternoon drive personality roles at Bahakel Communications’ KRXP “The Alternative RXP @ 103.9.”…..The weekly, San Diego market Bob Marley program “Brunch With Bob and Friends” is now being heard on alternative XETRA “91X.” The show has been produced in San Diego for the past 13 years and launched on “91X’ on Sunday – what would have been Markey’s 72nd birthday. The show (airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) is hosted by “91X” morning personality Tommy Hough, who created the program in 2004…..CBS Radio CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is presenting the “Lectric Leprechaun” EDM show on March 15 at the Aragon Ballroom. The concert will feature Steve Aoki, Krewella, Cash Cash, and Grandtheft…..Beginning Thursday (2/9), Cumulus Media and Westwood One begin presenting an array of special programming, exclusive brand activations, and backstage performances in celebration of the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards. The Westwood One Backstage Live at the GRAMMYS weekend will include live performances from Columbia recording artist and multiple GRAMMY Award-winners Train, Republic recording artist Marian Hill, and Hollywood Records recording artist Ocean Park Standoff. The events take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Thursday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET and Friday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT. More than 25 radio stations and Westwood One’s nationally syndicated Zach Sang and Adam Bomb shows will be backstage to capture the action as it happens…..The annual Super Bowl-related battle between Dick Broadcasting air personalities got even crazier this year. Each year WKZL, Greensboro personality (and operations manager) Jason Goodman, a.k.a. “The Littlest Patriot” and WKRR, Greensboro personality Chris Kelly (half of the syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” program) compete to see whose home will host the biggest and greatest Big Game party. Both jocks spent a small fortune trying to outdo each other. (Check out the billboard Goodman rented to park outside the WKRR studios!) Goodman’s party featured door prizes and Oscar-worthy gift bags, while Kelly invested heavily in a state-of-the-art, surround-sound system. The goal: Win the contest by having more friends and co-workers over than your opponent, thus proving Party Superiority! Goodman was declared winner by acclamation…..The WNNX, Atlanta morning show “Bailey and Southside” is running the “Sucks for Bucks” promotion all this month. The contest is simple: When listeners hear a cast member – Jason Bailey, Southside Steve, Brandi Britain or Digi-Dude Nate – on the show sucking (as in performing poorly), they phone in and call them out on it. If a majority of the cast agrees with the caller, the caller wins $100. WNNX says it has allocated “thousands of dollars” for this month-long promotion.
‘REAL 92.3’ Los Angeles Promotes DJ Carisma to Music Director. Los Angeles DJ and mixer DJ Carisma has been with iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” since 2015, serving as live DJ/mixer in afternoon drive and as part of the Saturday night “Young California Radio” collaboration with DJ Amen and Dre Sinatra. Now, she’s been upped to music director and mix show coordinator. She says, “I feel like I was born to be a part of the radio world, and the ‘REAL 92.3’ brand is the perfect fit for me. I’m proud of my radio industry track record, and my promotion to music director is mind blowing. I can’t wait to continue to better serve this station and community by doing what I love.”
PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of hot AC-formatted stations based on the Holiday 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. In this report, you can see the (6+) ratings battles between in-market competitors, how stations compared to their performances in the December PPM survey, as well as how they performed compared to the Holiday 2015 PPM survey. See it all here.
Glenn Beck Producer Refuses to Name Sources in Boston Marathon Bombing Case. According to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, Glenn Beck producer Joe Weasel is refusing a judge’s orders to reveal the two sources the program relied on when it continued to insist that Saudi student Abdulrahman Alharbi was the “money man” in the Boston Marathon bombing. Alharbi was questioned by police during the investigation and cleared by authorities. He was also injured in the bombing. Still, Beck insisted Alharbi was involved even after authorities cleared him and Alharbi is now suing Beck for defamation. Beck attorney Michael Grygiel says the sources – reportedly Department of Homeland Security officials – are not being identified for journalistic reasons, and because the sources don’t want to be named. Beck stated on his radio show that the sources could be harmed or killed and he noted the shooting death of DNC staffer Seth Rich whom some speculate could have implicated DNC officials in the DNC email scandal. Complicating the matter is that it’s not clear if Weasel, who worked for TheBlaze at the time of the bombing, still works for Beck. As for Beck himself, he had no contact with the sources, so it’s unclear who might be held in contempt if U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris chooses that route. Read the Politico piece here.
WIP, Philadelphia Cuts Ties with PM Drive Personality Josh Innes. Naturally, CBS RADIO is not offering a reason for letting sports talk personality Josh Innes go four months before his contract expires in December, but the speculation in the Philly media seems focused on his recent ratings slide. And the cherry on the sundae may have been his criticism of archrival Mike Missanelli at crosstown WPEN-FM over that show’s use of a phony African American regular caller who turned out to be a station insider. In criticizing Missanelli over the matter, Innes posted a photo of an old actor in blackface and took some heat for it. Back in July, Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe chronicled Innes’ ratings slide. Noting that after building a strong Men 25-54 lead over Missanelli in the Nielsen PPM ratings, Tornoe reports that Missanelli had rebounded to beat Innes in eight consecutive PPM monthlies – in the June PPMs by some 3.0 AQH share points. Innes had dealt with some challenges, to be sure. Originally partnered with Tony Bruno in the PM drive slot, Bruno abruptly exited the business last summer. Former Eagles star Hollis Thomas and Philly radio pro Spike Eskin became Innes’ on-air partners. Then, in January after programmer Andy Bloom was downsized, Eskin left the show to handle programming duties. For now, WIP is saying that fill-in hosts will appear in the afternoon slot until a permanent show is named.
The Presidential Race/Clinton Family Foundation Questions, Deadly Italy Earthquake, American University Kabul Attack, EpiPen Price Hike Scandal, Iran vs U.S. Destroyer, Leslie Jones Web Attack, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/24). The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the controversy over Clinton Family Foundation donors getting access to Clinton while she was Secretary of State; the earthquake that hit central Italy takes the lives of hundreds; the deadly attack on the campus of American University in Kabul; the controversy over the price hike of the EpiPen by manufacturer Mylan; three Iranian patrol boats harass a U.S. Destroyer; the malicious hacking of actress Leslie Jones’ website; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
NBA’s Golden State Warriors Jump to Entercom’s KGME for Flagship Role. The NBA franchise thanked Cumulus’ KNBR for the relationship it’s enjoyed over the years while announcing it is moving across town to Entercom’s KGME “95.7 The Game” for its radio play-by-play and special programming partnership. According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, the reason appears to be so the NBA franchise is treated like the featured pro sports franchise. It notes that 12 of the team’s 24 playoff games last season were moved to sister KGO to accommodate San Francisco Giants games. KNBR also is home to the NFL’s 49ers. Warriors president and COO Rick Welts states, “We’re excited about our new partnership with ‘95.7 The Game’ and the opportunity to provide our fans with increased coverage of the Warriors in a centralized location. Under the terms of this partnership, virtually every Warriors game – including the playoffs – will be broadcast on 95.7. Additionally, our fans will benefit from increased programming overall throughout the year, including extended pre- and post-game shows, more in-season programming, a dedicated off-season presence and numerous call-in shows featuring front office staff, players and broadcasters.”
Cumulus Media to Use Twitter’s ‘Moments’ to Curate Station Happenings. The company says it is “among the first radio media companies to use Twitter’s ‘Moments’ and to curate the very best stories from moments around its 452 radio stations and Westwood One’s syndicated programs.” As you may already know, “Moments” are collections of Tweets that share the stories happening on Twitter, curated by Twitter and select partners. Companies granted access to make Moments can use the creative format to tell stories using related, real-time content. Moments unfold across multiple Tweets and involve various points of view, and can be Tweeted or shared via link. Suzanne Grimes, EVP, corporate marketing for Cumulus and president of Westwood One, says, “We are beyond thrilled to be part of this innovative feature from Twitter. It’s the perfect marketing tool for the network and our stations, who pour their hearts and souls into their shows and their events. It allows them to connect with and extend real-time relationships with our listeners, our communities, and our advertising partners.”
Jerry Doyle Tribute Scheduled for September 17 in Las Vegas. Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs announces the date and place for the tribute to late talk personality Jerry Doyle is set for No Regrets Bar in Las Vegas on September 17 from 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm. She says, “Friends and fans want to give him the send-off of a lifetime — music, laugh, love and memories of our beloved entertainer, friend, and brother.”
Odds & Sods. At this year’s Radio Show in Nashville, FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Ajit Pai will be speaking. Commissioner Pai addresses attendees on Thursday at “Keeping Up with the Changing Radio Regulatory Landscape,” and immediately following, will be the session “A Conversation with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.”…..Alpha Media’s rock WMFX, Columbia, South Carolina “Fox 102.3” is airing Carolina Panthers play-by-play broadcasts this season. The station will air full coverage of all games, plus pre-game and post-game shows, “Panther’s Talk” each Monday night at 7:00 pm and daily Panther updates…..Entercom partners with Clip Interactive to use the latter’s interactive radio platform for its 129 stations. Using Clip-built mobile apps, Entercom stations can deliver interactive broadcast and stream content feeds to listeners. The Clip platform enables interactivity with all audio content delivered by Entercom stations via broadcast and stream…..SiriusXM is premiering the new album from comedy legend George Carlin. It’s titled, I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die, and is the first original recording since Carlin’s passing in 2008. It’s airing on the Comedy Greats and Carlin’s Corner channels on September 1 – two weeks before the album is made available for purchase. Carlin recorded I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 9 and 10, 2001. Following the attacks on 9/11, Carlin removed and reworked much of the original act for his 2001 special, “Complaints & Grievances.” Now, listeners can hear this material as it was originally conceived, raw and uncensored.
Curtis Sliwa to Host WABC, New York’s ‘The Drive at Five.’ The “Drive at Five” program takes the place of “Right Now with Doug McIntyre” and debuts this afternoon (1/5) from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York. The station calls the show a “fast-paced, comprehensive look at the stories and people that have New York talking.” Curtis Sliwa will continue his role as co-host of “The Curtis and Kuby Show” with Ron Kuby airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. In September of 2014 the station aired “The Ride Home” with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby at 5:00 pm. Kiernan exited and Cosby did the show solo until moving to weekends with Doug McIntyre (also heard at the company’s KABC, Los Angeles in morning drive) taking over the one-hour show in March of last year. Sliwa states, “My job will be to take people from their suites to the streets and re-connect them with everything that has transpired while they’ve been working their 9-to-5 jobs.”
Spike Eskin Relinquishes On-Air Duties at WIP-FM, Philadelphia. According to a report at Philly.com, WIP, Philadelphia program director Spike Eskin is leaving his on-air role on the Josh Innes program as he absorbs some of the responsibilities of ousted operations manager Andy Bloom. In a budget-related move, Bloom’s OM position was eliminated by CBS RADIO. Eskin and former Philadelphia Eagle Hollis Thomas worked on air with Innes. Thomas remains on the show and the station moves Marc Farzetta from Angelo Cataldi’s AM drive show to afternoons to handle news updates and other duties on the program.
Settlement in Nielsen vs Bubba Case ‘Unlikely.’ According to the most recent court filings that detail the schedule for the discovery process and pre-trial hearings in the civil fraud case being brought against Bubba the Love Sponge by Nielsen Audio, the two sides seem to agree on one thing: a settlement in the $1 million lawsuit is “unlikely.” Nielsen is suing Bubba on civil charges of fraud, conspiracy to defraud, interfering with business and contractual relations and violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act as the result of his tampering with the PPM ratings process in the Tampa market. Although Bubba admitted to the tampering he says Nielsen is unable to prove damages and the $1 million figure was pulled out of thin air. Nielsen wishes to depose Bubba for up to 14 hours over two days and Bubba says he’s not willing to do that so the court will have to rule on the deposition schedule. If this does go to trial as it’s expected to do, it’ll be in January of 2017.
What do Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Stephen K. Bannon Have in Common? Answer: They are the only three radio talk show hosts to make the prestigious Mediaite “25 Most Influential in Political News Media” list. The list includes leading names from the world of news-gathering and news-delivering organizations including internet, television and radio. Rush Limbaugh came in at #8; Sean Hannity showed strongly at #15; and Stephen K. Bannon appears at #19. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC (parent company of the Breitbart News Network), is the host of the weekday morning show “Breitbart News Daily” presented on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio Patriot Channel. The 6:00 am – 9:00 am ET show covers the hottest topics of the day featuring Bannon moderating contributions and features from Breitbart correspondents around the nation and world. To see the entire Mediaite list, please click here.
Cumulus Names Rob Brown AM Host at WFTW, Fort Walton Beach. Fort Walton Beach news/talk WFTW “NewsTalk 1260” will launch a new morning drive program next Monday (1/11) featuring longtime local broadcast personality Rob Brown. His eponymous show will air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. Brown has been serving as a field reporter for local station WEAR-TV. He’s worked in radio in the Florida Panhandle doing news and sports at sports talk WTKE “The Ticket.” WFTW operations manager Hayden Green says, “Rob Brown is a native of the area. He knows the players, he knows the people and he knows great radio. We’re excited to have him on the team and excited about the future of NewsTalk 1260 WFTW.”
Entercom Promotes Three Programmers to Vice Presidents. Three Entercom Communications programmers are awarded vice president stripes today: Jim Fox in Sacramento, Mike Moore in Portland and Bob Barnett in Rochester, New York are promoted to VP of programming for their respective markets. Jim Fox joined Entercom in Sacramento as station manager of active rock KRXQ in 2003 and began overseeing all Entercom Sacramento brands as OM in 2013. Mike Moore joined Entercom to program country KWJJ in Portland and was upped to operations manager for the cluster in January 2013. He also serves as Entercom’s director of country programming. Bob Barnett is a 33-year programmer who oversees all programming for Entercom Rochester. Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton comments, “Jim, Mike and Bob are outstanding leaders with impressive track records of success in their markets. They have each earned this recognition. I could not be happier for them and look forward to many more years of working together.”
CES 2016: Radio vs Robots. Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from Las Vegas and the annual Consumer Electronic Show. As Cooke says, driverless cars are one of the big “oh wow” items at the show. How the car of the future will affect our hunger for the information and entertainment radio provides while driving isn’t certain yet, but the possibilities they suggest should cause radio people to think about their product. Read Cooke’s report here.
Obama Gun Control Policy, 2016 Presidential Election, Battle Against Islamic State, Oregon Wildlife Refuge Standoff, Iran-Saudi Diplomatic Break, World Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4). President Obama’s plans to use executive orders to amend gun laws; the activities of the candidates for president this year; the ongoing battle against Islamic State and debate over terror attack prevention; the standoff between armed protestors occupying an Oregon wildlife sanctuary; the break of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the growing Shiite-Sunni rift in the Middle East; turbulent world financial markets open the New 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.
Michael Harrison set to Address Radiodays Europe Conference. TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison has been named one of the key solo speakers at the forthcoming Radiodays Europe conference set for Paris, France March 13-15 at Le Palais des Congrès de Paris. Billed as “The World’s Greatest International Radio Conference,” Radiodays Europe is an annual gathering for radio professionals with 1,300 participants from 60 countries. It is the meeting point for the European radio industry, both private and public, and a destination for radio people from around the world. Harrison’s presentation, titled “Lessons Learned by American Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era,” will cover both the successes and failures experienced by US radio during its transition into the digital era. Harrison will offer insight into the radio industry’s challenge of successfully integrating its assets and services into an internet-based culture while preserving and enhancing its iconic role as the primary audio medium. Can it be done? Harrison states, “Of course, it can! I intend to lay out the big picture of radio’s path forward with realistic and cautious optimism. I look forward to this opportunity to speak with broadcasters from around the world.” For registration and other information about Radiodays Europe, please click here.
America’s First Internet Radio Billboard? It is according to The New Normal principal Tom Leykis who says the electronic billboard (shown at left) that overlooks the northbound 405 Freeway in Carson, California is the first in America to promote an Internet radio show. The billboard, which just went up on Monday evening (1/4), promotes Leykis’ daily afternoon program.
Radio Personality Tom Joyner Honors Tuskegee Airmen. As part of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, nationally syndicated “fly jock” Tom Joyner presented the Martin Luther King Jr. Day convocation at his alma mater Tuskegee University where he also saluted the Tuskegee Airmen, of which his father was one. Pictured here is Joyner (l), his son Oscar (r) and photos of Joyner’s father and the Tuskegee Airmen program. Joyner then joined others in a discussion about the Tuskegee Airmen as portrayed in George Lucas’ new film “Red Tails.” Joyner’s father was a flyer and his mother worked in the office at the program.
“Free Talk Live” Donates to St. Jude’s After Dare Offered to Michael Savage and Mark Levin. TALKERS readers may remember that in response to Talk Radio Network host Michael Savage’s offer of $1 million to Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race and of Cumulus Media Network host Mark Levin’s offer of $100,000 to Savage to end his radio show, “Free Talk Live” host Ian Freeman offered to donate $1,000 to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital if either Savage or Levin would have lunch with a Muslim or undocumented worker, do less than 40% of the talking and document the event with video. Freeman tells TALKERS, “As expected, neither Mark Levin nor Michael Savage took us up on our offer…they failed. Of course, why should they bother? If they actually listened to the people they appear to hate, they might learn something and discover they actually have the capability to empathize with other people.” Freeman says “Free Talk Live” held up its end of the bargain and is donating $1066 to St. Jude’s “in the name of peace, freedom, and compassion for other humans.”
WRKO, Boson Talk Host Howie Carr Publishes Crime Novel. Longtime Boston Herald columnist and Boston talk radio institution Howie Carr publishes another book, but this time, instead of being about real criminals like his previous tomes about famous Boston crime figures, this one is a fictional work in the spirit of the noir novels he consumed as a youngster. The WRKO, PM drive host appeared at a Boston-area Barnes & Noble over the weekend to promote Hard Knocks (Forge Books 2012) and chat with his fans about Boston crime legends. Carr tells the Hingham Patch, “I’ve been reading these things since I was a kid so I’ve always wanted to write something like this. I wrote it a while back but it was before I had anything published. Then I wrote the non-fiction books and they did really well. It’s easier when you’ve had some success, even in non-fiction, to get fiction published so I took advantage of my opportunity.”
Spike Eskin Returns to the CBS Philadelphia Operation. The son of Philadelphia sports talk legend Howard Eskin was a jock at CBS Radio’s rock WYSP-FM, Philadelphia until it met its fate as the FM simulcast of sports WIP in the fall of last year. Now, Spike Eskin returns to the CBS Philly operations as editor of the CBSPhilly.com sports section. He’ll also handle some sports duties for the company’s all-news KYW.
Connecticut AMs Strike Deal to Carry Hartford TV News Content. Two Crossroads Communications AM stations in Connecticut have agreed to a deal to broadcast Meredith Corporation’s WFSB-TV’s 12:00 noon and 6:00 pm newscasts. WFSB-TV is a CBS affiliate and the two stations to carry the programming are WMRD, Middletown, Connecticut and WLIS, Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
GOP Primary Race/Huntsman Drops Out, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, Rising Gas Prices and Italian Cruise Liner Disaster Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday. Jon Huntsman drops out of the GOP primary race prior to last night’s South Carolina debate, Iran’s military and nuclear ambitions, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, prices continue to rise at the pumps as many experts predict high gas prices for some time and divers continue to search for missing people in the grounding of an Italian cruise liner. These were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.