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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

| April 26, 2017

2017 NAB Show: Cars, Congrats, and Commish #1. Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the 2017 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine.  In today’s report, Cooke covers yesterday’s Radio Luncheon where attendees heard Ford Motor Company’s Scott Burnell speak and witnessed Premiere NetworksDelilah inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame.  Also yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai delivered the keynote address and reassured attendees that he remains “‘fundamentally optimistic about the future of broadcasting’ because of the ‘localism, diversity, and public service’ that distinguishes diligent broadcasters.”  Read Cooke’s entire report here.

Hannity Plans Legal Action Against Debbie Schlussel. On his Fox News Channel program last night (4/25), Sean Hannity led off the program by addressing the allegations being directed against him by attorney and conservative media figure Debbie Schlussel.  Detroit-based Schlussel stated during an interview on KFAQ, Tulsa’s Pat Campbell program that Hannity propositioned her after a book signing event in Detroit about a decade ago and that, after she rebuffed his advances, she was blacklisted from being a guest on Fox News Channel.  Last night, Hannity said, “I have to start tonight by addressing a well-orchestrated effort by the intolerant left in this country that is designed to silence every conservative voice and by any means necessary.  Now, I’m speaking out tonight so that you, our audience, will understand what is really happening and what is at stake when it comes to freedom of speech in this country.”  He said in a prepared statement that he is planning legal action against Schlussel.  “This individual is a serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade.  The individual has a history of making provably false statements against me in an effort to slander, smear and besmirch my reputation.  The individual has not just slandered me over the years, but many people who this individual disagrees with.”  Schlussel told NBC News she doesn’t believe Hannity will sue because, “If he did, it could spur other people to come forward and he wouldn’t want that.”  NBC News notes that Schlussel is a polarizing media figure, having suggested that President Barack Obama is a “secret Muslim” and that death camps in occupied Poland during World War II were run by Poles and not Germans.  Read the NBC News piece here.

Emmis to Sell $80 Million in Assets. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications will be a different company in July of 2018.  The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that under pressure from lenders, the company will shed $80 million worth of its radio assets in order to pay down debt.  This is the result of recently renegotiated terms with lenders JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank of New York Mellon.  Emmis CFO Ryan Hornaday tells the IBJ, “We’re confident that we can achieve the $80 million [divestiture] without selling a substantial portion of the portfolio.  We do still have some very desirable assets.”  The company owns 19 radio stations in five markets: New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Austin, and Indianapolis.  The IBJ reports that Emmis’ total debt was $221 million as of February 28, 2017.  Read the story here.

Nielsen Explores All-News, News/Talk Listening Trends Over Seven Years. There’s been a lot of scrutiny of the audiences for all-news, news/talk, and talk oriented public radio leading up to and since the 2016 election.  Over all, according to ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys of radio listening, the three formats have realized increased listenership of late.  Now, Nielsen shows how listening to the all-news and news/talk formats has changed over the past seven years, based on PPM data. (Remember, Nielsen includes public talkers in the larger news/talk category.)  The result is that listening to all-news has remained fairly steady during that time across the three demos cited – persons 6+, 18-34, and 25-54.  For news/talk, the format scored a 10.6 share in March of 2011 (6+), and a 10.2 share in March of 2017.  In the 25-54 demo, 2011 saw an 8 share compared to this year’s 7.6 share.  And probably buoyed by younger public radio listeners, the 18-34 demo rose from a 4.2 share in 2011 to a 4.6 share this year.  See the whole report here.

ESPN Layoffs Coming Today.  The names of those who are exiting sports media giant ESPN will begin to trickle out as time passes, but for now only a few of the estimated 100 ESPN staffers – mostly television and radio personalities – are known, with reporter Ed Werder tweeting that he’s been let go.  It’s unclear how many of the cuts are from the radio and the television sides of the operation, but ESPN chief John Skipper says in a memo to staff, “A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions…we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent — anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play — necessary to meet those demands.  We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week.  A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.”

TALKERS News Notes. We now know the trial date for the Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge suit in Florida.  U.S. District Court Judge James D. Whittemore has scheduled the case to start on January 2, 2018, with a pre-trial conference on December 8, 2017.  Judge Whittemore also ruled on Bubba’s motion to exclude Nielsen Audio expert witness David Haas, denying it…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that WGN, Chicago director of marketing and digital innovation Jackie Paulus will exit the station and join Jimmy deCastro’s new sports marketing and rep firm After The Whistle as a partner…..Public radio icon Robert Siegel announces he’s retiring as host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” in January of 2018.  Siegel assumed that position in 1987.  He’s been with NPR since 1976…..Here are some more winners of 2017 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards:  In Seattle, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO “News 1000/FM97.7” is honored with the award for Overall Excellence.  The station also took first place for Breaking News for its coverage of the Seattle May Day protests.  CBS RADIO’s WCBS-AM, New York; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; WBZ-AM, Boston; WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and five other stations amassed 25 awards with the four mentioned being honored for Overall Excellence.  Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix picked up three Murrows, including Overall Excellence.

U.S.-North Korea Tensions, Trump’s First 100 Days, Sanctuary Cities Ruling, Canadian Lumber Tariff, Mexican Wall, Trump’s Proposed Tax Cuts, Michael Flynn Case, Ivanka in Berlin, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/25). The military tensions between North Korea and the United States and concerns about a full-blown war starting; the judging of the Trump Administration’s first 100 days; a California judge blocks part of President Trump’s sanctuary cities order; talk about the effects of Trump’s tariff on Canadian lumber; debate over whether President Trump’s Mexican wall will actually get funded and built; the tax cuts being proposed by the Trump Administration; comments from House members that it appears Michael Flynn broke the law in accepting payments from Russia; Ivanka Trump attends European conference with Angela Merkel and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde; and MLB, NBA and NHL action 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.  Former WJMN, Boston personality Bobby Blaze is joining Beasley Media Group’s crosstown rhythmic AC WBQT “HOT 96.9 FM” to host the afternoon drive show, effective tomorrow (4/27).  Blaze says, “I’m so excited to be back on Boston radio and being surrounded by the most talented on-air team in Boston.  You only become great when you’re surrounded by great people and that’s what ‘HOT 96.9’ represents.”…..Morning personality Fitz exits Entercom’s country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” and the “Fitz in the Morning” program.  Entercom states, “‘Fitz in the Morning’ will no longer be on air on 100.7-FM The Wolf in Seattle as of Monday, April 24.  Fitz has been an important part of the station for nearly 12 years, but we have decided to part ways.  We wish him well, and we will be conducting a nationwide search for the station’s next morning show.”  In the interim, morning personalities Ellen Tailor and Randy The Biscuit will host the program…..The afternoon drive Zepp & Terri show – featuring Brian Zepp and Terri Traen – exits Cumulus Media’s classic rock KQRS, Minneapolis.  The two had been partnered on the show for the past year.  Traen was formerly part of the Tom Barnard morning show.  As a result of the move, Ray Erick is now hosting the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot…..With the departure of Brett Hall from the stations – and the radio biz – Saga Communications names Tom Scott morning drive host at hot AC KJBX, Jonesboro, Arkansas and to voice track the night show at sister country KDXY.

Karaoke for a Cause.  Pictured above at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 in New York City are members of the band Ocean Park Standoff and staffers from Voss Foundation.  The band performed for an intimate group of listeners on Monday (4/17).  Afterward, WPLJ personality Ralphie Aversa sang karaoke to the group’s new single “Good News” competing against a winning listener.  “Karaoke for a Cause” is raising awareness of Voss Foundation and VOSS Water’s annual #31Days to Make a Difference initiative.  Voss Foundation is dedicated to providing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene as a means to enable community-driven development in Sub-Saharan Africa and raising awareness of the ongoing need in the region.

Friday, March 3, 2017

| March 3, 2017

PPM Analysis: Talk-Oriented Public Radio.  Today, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian wraps up our three-part analysis of the performances of news and talk radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey.  Having already looked at all-news and commercial news/talk, we turn our attention to talk-oriented public radio.  In January, the majority of all-news and commercial news/talk stations saw their 6+ numbers increase after the previous Holiday 2016 survey in which so many such stations traditionally see softer numbers.  The assertion that the beginning of the Trump Administration has been good for news and talk stations appears to also be good for talk-oriented public radio stations.  Kinosian notes that when comparing the stations’ Holiday 2016 AQH shares to those of the January 2017 survey, nine of 10 stations on this talk-oriented public panel improve; 8% are down and the remaining 2% are steady.  Comparing 6+ AQH shares from January 2016 to January 2017, roughly seven of 10 stations in our eligible sample improve year-to-year (72%), while 17% decline; the remaining 11% are unchanged.  Four talk-oriented public radio stations ranked #1 in their respective markets and another five finished in the top five.  Find out which stations they are, and much more when you read the whole report here.

Entercom Names Arriens Director of Operations for Charlotte.  A restructuring at Entercom’s Charlotte cluster includes the arrival of Darrin Arriens into the newly created director of operations position.  Entercom says the new role is “part of Entercom Charlotte’s ongoing leadership and organizational restructuring since its acquisition in early January.”  In this role, Arriens will oversee the programming of the company’s five stations in the market, including heritage news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ-AM/W273DA “The Fan,” and hot AC WLNK-FM “107.9 The Link.”  Arriens will also manage the syndication efforts for the “Bob and Sheri Network” program and will report to Matt Hanlon, the vice president and market manager for Entercom Charlotte.  In addition to his 25-plus years of experience across numerous formats, Arriens served as a regional director of operations for Citadel Broadcasting, overseeing 55 stations in the Midwest.  Hanlon comments, “We are focused on maximizing our impact across all of our stations, being the best local marketing solutions partner and continuing to deliver the outstanding content that our fans have come to expect from us.  The move to establish a director of operations role underscores our commitment to being best-in-class.  I am thrilled to welcome Darrin to the Entercom Charlotte family.”  Earlier this week, Entercom parted ways with WLNK program director Darla Thomas.

iHeartMedia Appoints Bill Reese VP of Sales.  At the Orlando operations of iHeartMedia, Bill Reese joins the company to serve as vice president of sales.  Reese will be in charge of the sales efforts at stations including: news/talk WFLA, hot talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1,” sports talk “FM 96.9 The Game,” rock WJRR, AC WLRQ, and CHR WXXL.  iHM SVP of sales for the Central/North Florida Region Barbara Latham comments, “We are very excited about adding Bill to our team.  Bill has an established track record of performance success, is a great leader and will be a very strong addition to iHeartMedia.”  Prior to joining iHeartMedia, Reese served with Renda Broadcasting’s Jacksonville cluster, most recently as general manager.

Entercom and CBS RADIO Reveal Pricing for Loan.  The two radio operators – preparing for a merger that is expected to close sometime during the second half of 2017 – announce that CBS RADIO “has established pricing for a seven-year, $500 million senior secured term loan B to be issued in connection with their previously announced merger.  The loan will have an interest rate of LIBOR plus 2.75%, with no LIBOR floor, and will be issued at par.  The new term loan will be issued to refinance Entercom’s capital structure, with proceeds used to repay its existing term loan and redeem its preferred stock, as well as pay transaction fees and expenses.  CBS RADIO’s credit facility is being amended to include the new term loan, which is expected to be funded at the closing of the merger.”

Trump Withdraws Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel’s FCC Commissioner Nomination.  The term of Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel expired in July of 2015, but former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler allowed Rosenworcel to serve until the end of 2016.  Before leaving office, President Obama issued a nomination for a new term for her.  The Trump Administration withdrew that nomination on Tuesday (3/1).  There are currently three commissioners: Republican Chairman Ajit Pai, Republican Michael O’ Rielly, and Democrat Mignon Clyburn, with two vacancies to be filled.

TALKERS News Notes.  In what Westwood One is calling a “momentous first,” it and the NCAA will broadcast the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona the weekend of April 1 in Spanish.  Coverage will be carried on more than 40 Hispanic radio stations nationwide, WestwoodOneSports.com, and SiriusXM radio…..Cumulus Media’s KTCT, San Francisco “KNBR 1050” signs a multi-year deal with the MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes to serve as the professional soccer team’s new radio flagship for the Bay Area.  “KNBR 1050” will broadcast all games, plus pre-game and post-game shows on air and via the KNBR app…..Two notes from SB Nation Radio: First, the sports talk radio network is launching the overnight show, “The Franchise,” on March 6.  Sports 1 Marketing is producing the 1:00 am to 3:00 am ET program.  Second, a collaborative effort between SB Nation Radio and the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) is bringing “Bassmaster Radio” to the air effective this weekend.  B.A.S.S. is producing the program that will air weekly on more than 100 stations and stream on both Bassmaster.com and SBNationRadio.com.  The show is hosted by veteran broadcaster and tournament fisherman, Thom Abraham…..AdLarge Media announces its new partnership with Megaphone, an advanced podcast hosting and ad serving platform from Panoply.  Megaphone uses real-time dynamic ad insertion technology along with campaign targets and parameters to deliver ad impressions across new and archived episodes, eliminating the need to go back and manually remove or replace outdated ads from previously published content.

Cool Talk Radio Gig.  KSOO, Sioux Falls – one of eight stations making up the Results Radio/Townsquare Media cluster is seeking a full-time talk show host.  Qualified candidates will have the ability to host solo but also be a strong team player, must be a champion across all social media platforms and go beyond the headlines to create unique and compelling content.  This individual should be focused on being local.  Networking yourself with key local and regional contacts, as well as the ability to develop and grow new associations.  Results Radio/Townsquare Media has one of the nicest broadcast facilities in the entire Midwest and a strong reputation in the city and throughout the state.  They offer very competitive compensation, great benefits and you’ll be working with an experienced and winning team.  Sioux Falls, SD has been named to many top 10 lists including Best Place to Live, Best Places for Families, Best Place to Retire and Best Elementary Schools.  This is a unique opportunity made available only because someone is retiring.  If this is you, please send your resume and mp3 demo of your latest work to: Dave Roberts, dave@ksoo.com.

PodcastOne Debuts ‘Forbes Sports Money’ Series.  Yesterday (3/2), PodcastOne debuted the fourth podcast that is launching on the “Forbes on PodcastOne” network.  “Forbes Sports Money” is hosted by Mike Ozanian, co-host and managing editor of television’s “Forbes Sports Money,” a four-time New York Emmy Award-winning television show that airs on YES Network.  Guests on the program include team owners, athletes and industry leaders, agents and any significant personality involved in the business of sports.  Future guests will include Boston Celtics owner Wyclisse Grousbeck, Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss and many more.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “‘Forbes Sports Money’ joins ‘The Forbes Interview,’ ‘Forbes Under 30’ and ‘Forbes Lists’ on the PodcastOne network.  This is a particularly interesting subject to a huge number of people and we expect this podcast to be very impactful.”

Trump Congressional Address Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 27 to March 3.  President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 this week were the allegations of Trump campaign people speaking with Russian diplomats and AG Jeff Sessions’ recusing himself from leading the investigation into that.  At #3 were the Trump Administration’s immigration and deportation policies, followed by the status of the Affordable Care Act at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  After a very scary one-car accident in Mississippi in which the “Ty, Kelly & Chuck Mornings” show was involved earlier this week, Cumulus Media reports the crew will be back on the air together on Monday (3/6).  Ty Bentli (left), Kelly (center) Ford and producer Glenn Johnson were banged up after their car rolled twice on a rain-slicked highway.  Chuck Wicks (right) sustained a fractured skull and a fractured vertebrae and was hospitalized…..Spanish language media firm Entravision announces it promotes chief operating officer Jeffrey Liberman, adding president to his title.  The company says he’ll continue to lead the management and operation of all of its radio, television and digital media properties, and will continue to report directly to Walter F. Ulloa, chairman and chief executive officer.  Ulloa says, “Jeff has helped grow and lead the company through his service, business insights and commitment ever since joining Entravision almost two decades ago.  He has been an integral part of our senior executive team in setting our strategic vision and executing on our business plans, in addition to his numerous contributions to serving the Latino community.”…..Yesterday, iHeartMedia presented the world premiere of Lorde’s new single, “Green Light.”  iHM and the LAVA/Republic Records artist collaborated to air the song for the first time anywhere at 2:00 pm ET on 125 broadcast radio stations across the CHR, hot AC and alternative formats, as well as on the iHeartRadio app.  The song is from Lorde’s new album Melodrama. Next Friday, Lorde will appear on the syndicated “Elvis Duran and The Morning Show” to celebrate the launch of the record…..Nathan James moves from iHeartMedia’s Raleigh cluster to Philadelphia where he’s the new director of marketing for the six-station cluster.