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Monday, June 14, 2021

| June 14, 2021

TALKERS 2021 Was a Success! The 24th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important conference, the Talkers Convention, took place this past Friday (6/11) on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. The event was a presentation of TALKERS in association with Hofstra’s multi-award-winning radio station, WRHU. More than 50 industry leaders from talk radio and cable news/talk TV spoke during a non-stop day of presentations and panel sessions. Due to strict regulations adhering to COVID-19 protocols, attendance was limited to a sellout crowd of 175 people which was reached about a week prior to the event. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “We were delighted to be able to join forces again with our colleagues at Hofstra – the site of our very successful 2016 event – and be able to actually present a live conference in an extremely COVID-19 compliant environment which Hofstra was equipped to provide. The convention achieved its goal to boldly address key existential issues facing the talk radio and talk media industries at this dramatically critical juncture.” TALKERS will be posting extensive coverage of the event in the days to come including video documentation recorded under the direction of Art Vuolo covering every speech, presentation and panel discussion.  Stay tuned for details.

FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio‘s Brian Kilmeade delivers the keynote address at TALKERS 2021 at Hofstra University on Friday, June 11.

Key Networks nationally syndicated commentator Bill O’Reilly (right) is interviewed by TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (left) at TALKERS 2021 at Hofstra University on Friday, June 11.

McVay Media Consulting president Mike McVay (right) moderates the “Programming News/Talk Radio in the ’20s” panel at TALKERS 2021 at Hofstra University on Friday, June 11. Panelists were (from l-r): Joe Thomas, program director/morning host, WCHV, Charlottesville, VA; Greg Stocker, WPHT, Philadelphia APD, executive producer for the Rich Zeoli show; Michael Czarnecki, program director WONK-FM, Washington, DC and the iHeartPodcast Channel; Josh Leng, CEO, Talk Media Network; Dave LaBrozzi, SVP of programming, Red Apple Media; and Phil Boyce, SVP/spoken word format, Salem Media Group, operations VP, New York region.

Westwood One nationally syndicated talk host Jim Bohannon (right) moderates the “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in a Noisy Digital World” panel at TALKERS 2021 at Hofstra University on Friday, June 11. Panelists were (from l-r): Christine Travaglini, president Katz Radio Group/RAB; Marc Beaven, general manager, WCBM, Baltimore; Paul Gleiser, president/owner KTBB, Tyler, TX; Kathy Carr, president, Howie Carr Radio Network; Erik Hellum, COO, Townsquare Media/RAB; and Paul Vandenburgh, owner/morning host, WGDJ, Albany, NY.

WRHU Radio operations director John T. Mullen (right) moderates the “Attracting Younger Demos and Broadening the Base” panel at TALKERS 2021 at Hofstra University on Friday, June 11. Panelists were (from l-r): Derek Hunter, talk host WCBM, Baltimore; Martha Zoller, talk host WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Sid Rosenberg, morning co-host, WABC, New York; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield,  MA “Rock 102”; Brett Winterble, talk host, WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte; and Dr. Asa Andrew, talk host, Asa Rx.

Monday Memo: Dear Old Dad. There’s still time to make a fuss on his special day; and in this week’s column consultant Holland Cooke suggests a couple vintage radio hits worth dusting off, “regardless of your format.” Read the column here.

Biden’s European Trip/G7, Putin Summit, COVID-19, Minneapolis Protest Death, Harris Latin America Trip Criticism/Immigration Reform, Trevor Reed Case, Soaring Urban Crime, and Bennett Replaces Netanyahu Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Joe Biden’s European trip, the meeting of G7 leaders; Biden’s summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Wednesday; the fast-falling rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., vaccine hesitancy, and speculation about the origin of the coronavirus; one person is killed as a car rams into protestors in Minneapolis; criticism of Vice President Kamala Harris’ Latin America trip and the subject of immigration reform; the case of former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed who’s been detained in Russia for two years; the soaring rates of urban crime in America’s large cities; and Naftali Bennett succeeds in ousting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERSmagazine.

Pending Business: Demand vs Frequency. Sales pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes in today’s column, “As you engage advertisers during this sales tailwind, what happens when rates and rotations are not even close to 2020 or Q1 of 2021? Does the sales banter go straight to demand? It happened to me. Your internal high-five is your advertiser flashing red light for high rates! Oops, you moved right to the easy part – demand is up so rates are up. Your advertiser should be compassionate, understanding that you made it through to the other side of the pandemic. Are your advertisers really saluting your demand curve? No.” Read more here.

Jim Fox Named Operations Manager for Cumulus Media Kansas City. Radio programming pro Jim Fox is named operations manager for CUMULUS MEDIA’s Kansas City cluster that includes news/talk KCMO-AM/K279BI and six music brands. Fox joins CUMULUS Kansas City following a 17-year career with Audacy, where he was vice president, programming, for the company’s four Dallas stations. CUMULUS Kansas City RVP and market manager Donna Baker says, “Record-high ratings delivery as the #1 cluster in KC is the result of our incredible programming talent delivering the highest level of audience engagement. Jim Fox is among the best programming minds in the business. His expertise growing strong brands that deliver results for our client partners is the ideal addition to our team in Kansas City.” Fox comments, “I’m extremely excited and fortunate to be joining this incredible team with an already proven track record of success. So many people who I respect helped to make this move possible. I’m energized by the idea of working closely with Donna Baker, Doug Hamand, Brian Philips, and the very impressive and talented staff in Kansas City.”

Dave Symonds Joins Summit Media Richmond as Director of Programming and Operations. The new director of programming and operations at SummitMedia, LLC’s Richmond cluster that includes WURV-HD2 “ESPN Richmond” and four music brands is Dave Symonds. The company says, “Symonds brings a solid track record of progressive leadership in multi-station, multiformat programming, management, and brand development, including start-ups and well-established stations and shows. He has been consistently successful in differentiating brands, communicating format values and achieving ratings successes.” Symonds adds, “After meeting with the Summit Richmond team, I was quickly swept up by their strength and creativity, as well as the opportunities and potential of these stations. I already respected market manager Bob Willoughby when we were competed a few years back. Now, I’m excited to partner with him. Plus, it’s Richmond. I’m thrilled!”

Zimmer Marketing Market Manager Chad Elliot Dies Unexpectedly at 47. The Joplin, Missouri station group of Zimmer Marketing reports the unexpected passing of its market manager, Chad Carroz, a.k.a. Chad Elliot, who died at his home on Saturday at the age of 47. Elliot was the longtime host of the “KZRG Morning NewsWatch” program on the news/talk station. He held that position for over a decade before moving into a full-time role in sales and management. Company owner James Zimmer says, “Chad will be missed by all who knew and loved him. He was part of our family for over 25 years. His passion for radio guided him from being a part-time air talent to market manager of Zimmer Marketing in Joplin. We will hold Chad forever in our hearts and look forward to seeing him in eternal life with Christ.” Elliot leaves behind his wife Monica – also a member of the Zimmer team – and the couple’s daughter, Mattie.  In announcing her husband’s death via Facebook, Monica wrote, “Chad had two passions. Zimmer Radio and his dogs. He lived, breathed, and bled Zimmer. He wanted nothing more than to help local businesses succeed and grow. He fought for those success stories. I was given a rare gift to work alongside my husband almost seven years ago. At first, I thought it wouldn’t work. How can a couple be together 24/7? It had its challenges, but I wouldn’t trade one single minute of it for anything! 8-5 he was in charge. 5-8 I was in charge. It worked.” Details on funeral arrangements are pending.

Audacy Adds Two Shows to BetQL Network. The BetQL Network is adding two new weekday programs to its lineup. Audacy announces that as part of its multiplatform partnership with BetMGM, the network will launch “The Daily Tip,” featuring Michael Jenkins and Chelsea Messinger, and “BetMGM Tonight,” starring Ryan Horvat and Quinton Mayo, beginning June 21. The “BetQL Network,” is heard on KEZW-AM, Denver “The Bet 1430AM”; KCBS-HD2, Los Angeles; and WCFS-HD2, Chicago “The Bet 105.9.”  Audacy president of sports Mike Dee says, “We are ecstatic to announce the next phase of our planned expansion of the ‘BetQL Network.’ Our partnership with BetMGM – who is co-developing these shows alongside our sports programming team led by Matt Volk [vice president of sports] – enables us to create this new content that will both entertain and inform our audience around daily sports betting activity. We aspire for the ‘BetQL Network’ to become the go-to destination for the sports betting community and we’ll continue to announce new content to this dynamic platform over the next few months.”

Two Researchers Promoted at Paragon Strategies. Two Paragon Media Strategies longtime researchers are being promoted. Sara Schueller rises to vice president/research and Simone Lowin is promoted to research services director. Paragon CEO Mike Henry notes, “Sara Schueller and Simone Lowin have been part of the Paragon backbone for two decades.  During that time, Paragon has produced hundreds of research projects for our media and entertainment clients. Every one of those projects was guided by these incredible women who exhibit the highest capacity for integrity and professionalism. We’re incredibly fortunate to have them as part of the Paragon family.”

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

| August 30, 2017

Radio Coming to Aid of Harvey Victims in Form of Fundraisers.  Radio stations and radio companies are concentrating their efforts to assist those in Texas affected by Harvey by raising money on-air, mostly for the American Red Cross.  Today at 4:29 pm, more than 30 Chicago area radio stations will simultaneously air a spot for the Red Cross urging Chicagoans to contribute to relief efforts.  The move was orchestrated by the Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland.  Chairman Matt Scarano says, “We are using the power of radio in both English and Spanish to help out those in need.  In a time of crisis, Chicago radio is willing to help in any way we can.”  Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated Bobby Bones country morning show kicked off its fourth annual Joy Week celebration on Monday, and has raised more than $150,000 to benefit the Hurricane Harvey relief effort through the sale of #PimpinJoy apparel, (as well as more than $50,000 benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital).  Country stars Maren Morris and Brett Eldredge have appeared on the show encouraging listeners to choose joy, spread happiness and do good things for others.  Limited-edition neon #PimpinJoy apparel was made available for purchase with proceeds benefiting Hurricane Harvey victims.  Summit Media’s classic rock WBPT, Birmingham “106.9 The Eagle” is airing a “Pay to Play” on-air donation drive today from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The station is asking listeners to call and make a $25 minimum donation to the American Red Cross along with their song request. No matter the request or genre, if the station can find the songs, they will play the music. E.W. Scripps’ Springfield, Missouri cluster – country KTTS, news/talk KSGF, CHR KSPW, and adult hits KRVI – raised $7,151 for Harvey victims after a three-hour event today (8/30) at the Battlefield Mall.  Money raised will go to Convoy of Hope.

CBS RADIO Houston FMs in Constant Storm Mode. In order to provide information about storm updates, evacuation info, and disaster relief, CBS RADIO’s Houston stations have been in storm/disaster mode since Saturday.  The company says the cluster is running a four-station, commercial-free simulcast of long-form coverage across KILT-FM/AM, KHMX-FM and KKHH-FM.  Meanwhile, sports talk KIKK is airing a continuous loop of evacuation information, routes and shelters.  KIKK was granted Special Temporary Authority by the FCC to run for 24 hours during this emergency period.  Also, Spanish-language station KLOL-FM is airing a commercial-free simulcast of Telemundo until further notice.  CBS RADIO Houston SVP/market manager Sarah Frazier states, “Our employees are 100% dedicated to broadcasting the latest information to help evacuate Houston residents, keep them safe and connected to loved ones. This is a difficult time for everyone in the area but we are all working together to get through it. In emergency situations such as this, the power of local radio is undisputed, unparalleled and reaches everyone in the community. We are all proudly #HoustonStrong.”  At Cumulus Media Houston, CHR KRBE program director Leslie Whittle reports that her station’s live, local coverage continues.  “The whole crew is at the station, so Kevin Quinn, Freddy Cruz, Corinna Delgado and Phoenix (who have all been on the air since Sunday morning), are finally able to get some rest.  At one time, we had over 600 reported areas of significant high water around the city, so of course one of the biggest services we continue to provide are road closure/high water updates at least twice an hour.  We remain focused on keeping our listeners safe and informed, and I couldn’t be more proud of the job the entire KRBE team has done serving our great community.”

Harvey’s Devastation, Trump Visits Texas, Tax Reform Plan, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Transgender Troops Issue, Feinstein’s Trump Comments, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29).  The devastation caused by Harvey and the storm’s second landfall that’s bringing more rain to the region; analysis of President Trump’s visit to Texas; the Trump tax reform plan to be promoted today in Missouri; North Korea’s continued threats against the U.S.; the Trump edict preventing transgender citizens from serving in the military and the responses by U.S. military leaders; Diane Feinstein astonishes San Francisco crowd by saying Trump could be a “good president”; Major League Baseball action; and pre-season NFL activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

August Cable News/Talk Ratings Out; FOX News Channel and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Winners. That may seem like a contradiction, but the upshot of the August Nielsen ratings for the cable news/talk channels is that MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow was the most-watched cable talk host in both total viewers and in the 25-54 demographic.  She was just ahead of FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity in total viewers for the month – 2.783 million to 2.679 million.  But FOX News Channel was still the most-watched network in total viewers in prime time, averaging 2.2 million.  That continues FNC’s 14-month streak as the most-watched cable news/talk network in prime time and its 188-month streak as most-watched in total day and prime time.  Back to the individual shows, after Maddow and Hannity in the top two slots for total viewers, FOX News Channel’s Tucker Carlson was third with 2.483 million, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell finished fourth with 2.352 million and FOX News Channel’s “The Five” followed with 2.351 million.  Tallying the prime time numbers for the 25-54 demographic, FOX News Channel was in first place with a 466,000 (average over the month), CNN came in second with 418,000, and MSNBC was close behind with 410,000.

Former WBSM, New Bedford Personality Stan Lipp Passes. New Bedford, Massachusetts radio legend Stan Lipp died on Monday (8/28) in Florida at the age of 89.  Lipp is remembered in the area for hosting the WBSM talk show “Open Line” from 1964 through 2001.

Radio Veteran Bob Shannon Releases Updated Edition of His 2009 Classic, Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946-1996 (Eckhartz Press, 2017) as an eBook.  The book that Michael Harrison describes as “one of the most important books ever written about music radio of the second half of the 20th century” has just been released (in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley) as an updated eBook.  Radio veteran Bob Shannon’s Turn It Up!  American Radio Tales 1946-1996 (Eckhartz Press, 2017) features in-depth stories about 58 great radio talent and programming figures.  The full list includes: Lee Abrams, Jack Armstrong, Dick Biondi, Chuck Blore, Jerry Boulding, Scotty Brink, Kent Burkhardt, Al Casey, Ron Chapman, Dick Clark, Frank Cody, Larry Daniels, Rick Dees, Tom Donahue, Ken Dow, Bill Drake, Paul Drew, Chuck Dunaway, Bill FigenshuAlan Freed, Jack Gale, Les Garland, Bob Henabery, Dan Ingram, Ron Jacobs, Tom Joyner, Casey Kasem, Murry the K, Art Laboe, Larry Lujack, Bill Mack, Gordon McLendon, John McRea, Ruth Meyer, Robert W. MorgonBruce Morrow, Pat O’Day, Gary Owens, Dewey Phillips, Dick Purtan, Bobby Rich, Steve Rivers, Art Roberts, John Rook, Dr. Don Rose, Tom Rounds, Ed SalamonJohn Sebastian, Scott Shannon, Rick Sklar, Michael Spears, Gary Stevens, Todd Storz, Charlie Tuna, Rusty Walker, Todd WallaceFred Winston, and Wolfman Jack.  In addition to updated information, the book features a forward by RAB president/CEO Erica Farber.  Shannon tells TALKERS, “The book is a compilation of columns I wrote for Radio & Records (“Legends with Bob Shannon”) and allaccess.com (“All Them Big Dogs”) between 2001 and 2008.  Secretly, I always thought of it as a public service to radio folks who weren’t familiar with our history, the second golden age of radio when top 40 was king, and FM was about to ascend to the throne.  As for why I decided to release an eBook this year, it’s pretty simple – since the book came out in 2009, 13 of the people I wrote about have died.”  Shannon adds, “The stories in Turn It Up! don’t focus on industry wide initiatives. Instead, they offer a behind-the-scenes look at the folks on the front line, the men and the women who created the radio stations that inspired so many to, as Paul Harvey once said, ‘run away and join the radio.’  Between the lines, a picture emerges of a time gone by, one that will never be repeated, when radio was an important part of American life, disc jockeys were stars, and their listeners cared about them.”  Shannon concludes, “I believe that media in the 21st century offers unlimited possibilities, but I also believe that it would be sad to forget, or worse yet, to never know what came before, and how and why it set the stage for the future.”  Shannon can be reached via email at bobshannonworks@gmail.com.  For more information about the book, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio management pro Mark Thomas is named market manager for Alpha Media’s Saginaw, Michigan cluster that includes news/talk WSGW-AM/FM, urban contemporary WTLZ, hot AC WGER, and country WCEN.  Thomas has served with iHeartMedia in the Riverside, California market and with Regent Communications and Townsquare Media in Flint and Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Alpha EVP of the Midwest Region George Pelletier says, “Mark has great experience as a local market manager.  He brings an exceptional understanding of local programming, sales and community broadcasting to the Alpha team in Saginaw. We are happy to welcome Mark ‘home’ to Michigan.”…..SAG-AFTRA and Spanish Broadcasting System are at odds over alleged labor law violations.  The union held an event at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to draw attention to what it says is SBS’ disregard for its staffers.  SAG-AFTRA says some SBS employees at KLAX “La Raza 97.9 FM” and KXOL “MEGA 96.3 FM” were unlawfully terminated after a 2016 majority vote to unionize.  The union also says SBS has “failed to negotiate a fair contract with the union, and refuses to engage in good faith bargaining over economics, including wages.”  SAG-AFTRA delivered a letter to California Labor Commissioner Julie Su requesting her department “vigorously investigate the rampant violations of California wage and hour laws at SBS.  Over the past 12 months, the company has also engaged in extensive and severe unfair labor practices, which are currently pending before the National Labor Relations Board.  It has also done everything possible to hamper its negotiations with SAG-AFTRA.”…..In Denver, Entercom promotes part-timer Rosa Jad to full-time evening personality on rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS1075.”  Jad has been with the station for four years and says, “I’m super excited to be the new night show host for ‘KS107.5!’  It’s been a dream of mine for years!  I’m looking forward to putting on an entertaining show for the city!”…..SiriusXM announces today The National will perform a special, intimate show exclusively for SiriusXM on Friday, September 8, to celebrate the release of their new album, Sleep Well Beast.  The performance live from the Bowery Ballroom in New York City will air on the SiriusXMU channel.