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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

| February 6, 2019

Forever Broadcasting Buys Delmarva’s Radio Assets for $18.5 Million. The acquisition of Delmarva Broadcasting’s 10 radio stations in the Mid-Atlantic by Forever Broadcasting will, when consummated, mean the end of Delmarva’s radio business. Delmarva is a subsidiary of Steinman Communications and that company continues in the media business as publisher of LPN/Lancaster Online.  Forever Media will be getting news/talk WDEL-AM/FM, hot AC WSTW-FM and Gospel WFAI-AM in the Wilmington, Delaware market; country WXCY, Havre de Grace, Maryland; classic hits WAVD-FM, Ocean Pines, Maryland; classic hits WNCL, hot AC WAFL-FM, and sports talk WYUS-AM in Milford, Delaware; and news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes, Delaware.  Forever Media owns radio stations in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Talk Host Doc Thompson Killed in Jogging Accident. Talk radio host Doc Thompson, a.k.a., Michael Thompson, was killed on Tuesday (2/5) while jogging near railroad tracks in Haltom City, Texas.  The 50-year-old radio personality was hit by an Amtrak train.  Thompson was hosting his own digital “Daily MoJo 5.0” program. Previously, he’d worked for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network as well as iHeartMedia’s WRVA, Richmond.  Thompson leaves behind his wife, Yuna, and three young children.  A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist his family here.

Spotify to Acquire Gimlet Media and Anchor. As reported this morning by Variety and numerous other sources, music streaming giant Spotify is acquiring New York-based podcasting platform Gimlet Media for $230 million as it positions itself to become a major player in the podcasting industry.  The report indicates that Spotify also is acquiring Anchor FM Inc., a platform that assists in podcast creating, publishing, and monetization.  Spotify chief Daniel Ek says his company is in a merger and acquisition mode, seeking to spend up to $500 million on deals this year.  He’s quoted saying, “These acquisitions will meaningfully accelerate our path to becoming the world’s leading audio platform, give users around the world access to the best podcast content, and improve the quality of our listening experience as well as enhance the Spotify brand.”  At the same time as it announced these deals, Spotify released fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data.  Although Spotify produced its first-ever quarterly operating profit of $107 million in Q4 of 2018, it expects to return to losses due to its M&A mode.  However, Spotify is reporting 96 million premium subscribers globally – an increase of 36% compared to 2017 figures.  It also saw its total monthly active users rise to 207 million during Q4, an increase of 29% over the same period in 2017.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show host Dana Loesch is delving into possible mysteries surrounding the arrest of former Trump campaign official Roger Stone.  Loesch interviewed Stone on her Radio America-syndicated talk show, discussing his indictment and the special counsel’s investigation, and he suggests the special counsel’s office may have tipped off CNN to his arrest.  Hear it here…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, sports media personality Barry Rozner is leaving the fill-in and weekend host position he’s held with sports talk WSCR “The Score” for the past 10 years.  Rozner was co-host of the Sunday morning baseball show “Hit & Run” with Joe Ostrowski.  In addition to fill-in work, Rozner continues to serve as a sports columnist for the suburban Daily Herald…..Public radio news/talk KQED, San Francisco names Vinnee Tong managing editor, news.  In her new role, Tong will “help deepen KQED’s commitment to regional news on broadcast and digital platforms and work to increase representation of underrepresented voices and perspectives in KQED’s coverage.”  Tong has worked at KQED since 2011 in editor and producer roles.  Before working in public radio, she was a reporter at the Associated Press…..SAG-AFTRA is launching a new podcast hosted by president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White featuring in-depth interviews, industry insights, and compelling stories affecting the entertainment and media industry.  New shows are released every other Tuesday…..The “Motley Fool Money” weekend radio show with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate WLBR-AM, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to its roster of stations…..SiriusXM is presenting a new audio documentary celebrating the Comedy Grammy Award category.  The show is timed to air in conjunction with this Sunday’s Grammy award show.  Comedy producer Dan Pasternack hosts “Obsessive Comedy Disorder: The 60 Year History of the Comedy Grammy Award,” that premieres Thursday (2/7) at 5:00 pm ET on SiriusXM Comedy Greats…..The staff of iHeartMedia news/talk WOR, New York celebrated this week’s debut of the new evening program “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” with a lunch at the legendary Patsy’s Restaurant in Times Square.  Pictured below are (from l-r): WOR program director Tom Cuddy, talk host Mark Simone, Concha, Wiehl, morning hosts Michael Riedel and Len Berman, assistant program director Scott Lakefield, and news director Joe Bartlett.

Report: Radio Digital Revenue Climbing Towards $1 Billion Mark. A report released by the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates indicates that local radio stations brought in $804 million in digital ad revenue during 2018 and projections for 2019 are for an increase as high as $949 million.  The report – to be released to RAB members today – analyzes online ad revenue from 3,121 radio stations in addition to survey responses from 1,715 local radio buyers and a survey of 132 radio managers.  The data indicates that the average radio station earned more than $250,000 in digital revenue in 2018, an increase of 15% over 2017.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off. As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers, we expect to see continued growth.  The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge-building for our members so they can better serve their clients.”

Celebrating Super Bowl LIII.  In Boston, Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” serves as the official flagship radio station of New England Patriots football.  So, at yesterday’s parade in downtown Boston, Beasley staff was on hand giving out “Never Gets Old” signs all along the parade route. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Boston vice president/market manager Mary Menna, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, and WBZ-FM and national spoken word/esports format brand manager Mike Thomas.

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Candidates, Warren ‘American Indian’ Controversy, Ralph Northam Controversy, North Korea Weapons Report, and Super Bowl LIII Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The State of the Union Address; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the potential candidates for president in 2020; Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Texas Bar registration card in which she identifies as American Indian; the racist photos in Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook; the report indicating North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and selling weapons to other nations; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII 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. Programming pro Charley Connolly exits iHeartMedia’s Cleveland station group where he programmed country WGAR and adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.”  Connolly had been with the cluster since 2010…..Condolences to the family and friends of Alpha Media Biloxi-Gulfport production director Chuck Edwards, who died on January 30 at age 49. Alpha notes Edwards started his career at “Surf 107-1” – currently WXYK, Gulfport.  He later moved on to rock WCPR where he was part of the morning show that became “The Cruise, Chuck and Rebecca Show” with Kevin Cruise and Rebecca Allen.  Edwards also served as the PA announcer of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. Alpha Biloxi-Gulfport operations manager Kenny Vest says, “Chuck was one of the most talented production guys in the industry who could literally do it all.  He had such a wide variety of deliveries and was great at writing copy.  He also had the ability to turn on that booming voice that could get any crowd excited as he did at the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans games for so many years.  Chuck was loved by so many and will be sorely missed by all of us who had the pleasure to know him.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

| June 10, 2015

gallaghermikeSalem Radio Network Presents ‘National Town Meeting’ on Police and Race Issues.  This “national town meeting” will be a local and national simulcast with KSKY, Dallas morning personality Mark Davis and Salem Radio Network syndicated personality Mike Gallagher and will air tomorrowdavismark (6/11) from 9:00 am to 12:000 noon ET.  Salem says, “In the wake of recent high-profile incidents including urban riots in Baltimore and last weekend’s suburban ‘pool party’ controversy in McKinney, Texas, Gallagher and Davis…will co-anchor an SRN National Town Meeting on minority/police relations in America.  Gallagher adds, “We hope this SRN National Town Meeting will continue a nationwide dialogue on why so many recent incidents have been magnified by the issue of race, and also produce solid answers on how we can all — Americans of all colors and creeds — move forward together as a society.”

wdbofm logoCox Media Group’s Orlando Stations to Produce ‘Unity in the Community.’  Both news/talk WDBO “News 96.5” and urban contemporary WCFB “Star 94.5” in Orlando will simulcast a special program called “Unity in the Community: A Live Discussion About thewcfb logo Current Role of Both Law Enforcement and Citizens in our Communities” tonight at 7:00 pm.  The program will feature a panel of experts to share what law enforcement is doing in Central Florida, and answer questions from concerned citizens.  They will discuss the roles and responsibilities of both law enforcement and citizens when dealing with each other.  Panelists will include: Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings, Orlando Police Chief John Mina, Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith, former Chief Judge Belvin Perry, and Crimeline executive director Barb Bergen.  The panel discussion will be co-moderated by WDBO’s Joe Kelley and WCFB’s Monica May.

usaRadioNetworksUSA Radio Networks to Syndicate Kevin Jackson Show.  The Kevin Jackson program is being syndicated live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET by USA Radio Networks, beginning July 20.  The young, black conservative contributes to Breitbart, Human Events, and American Thinker and is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity, “The Factor with Bill O’Reilly” and MSNBC. He is the author of Thejacksonkevin Big Black Lie (Black Sphere 2009) and Sexy Brilliance and Other Political Lies (FastPencil Wavecrest 2011).  On his new relationship, Jackson comments, “I’m happier than a tornado in a trailer park to be part of the USA Radio Networks family, and can’t wait to take on Rush Limbaugh.  Conservative talk radio has needed new blood for some time, and I’m just happy to know a vampire.  America will get something different, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring it.”  USA Radio Networks chief content officer Tim Maranville says, “Kevin blurs the lines that have so divided our country yet does it in a way that creates a conversation about solutions.  Plus he’s wicked funny!”

mendtelarryLarry Mendte Named Morning Host at WILM, Wilmington.  Former longtime Philadelphia TV news anchor and radio host Larry Mendte is named morning drive personality at iHeartMedia’s Delaware news/talk stations WILM, Wilmington and WDOV, Dover.  Company regional market president Chris Walus states, “Larry is an extraordinary talent who has the unique ability to engage audiences across all demographics.  He has an impressive record of success in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Diego.  Delaware listeners will be incredibly impressed with his ability to connect, engage and inform.”  In addition to his work in Philadelphia, Mendte has served at 77WABC in New York; “Access Hollywood” in Los Angeles, WBBM-TV and WLS-AM in Chicago.

wgvx logo‘105 The Ticket’ in Minneapolis Drops Local Talk.  Ousted local radio personality Bob Sansevere tells the Pioneer Press that the Cumulus Media-owned trimulcast of WGVX, WRXP, and WGVZ – branded as “105 The Ticket” – wasn’t able to put up a ratings fight against the sports talk competition in the market and that’s probably why his show and “Radioactive Sports” with Mike Morris and Ben Holsen were canceled.  The station is now airing the entire slate of CBS Sports Radio Network programming.

thomasjoeTVscreenshotWCHV, Charlottesville Talk Host Joe Thomas’ Morning Show Simulcast on Television Outlet.  The “Joe Thomas in the Morning” program on WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia is now being simulcast on Gray Television’s “all-local, all-the-time Newsplex Now” channel.  Thomas, who also serves as program director for Monticello Media-owned WCHV, comments, “I was told back in the Bayside (NY) High School TV studio that I should go into radio because I would never be happy in television since I would never be able to have the irreverent fun I displayed in class.  It took 32 years, but I’m going to prove my teacher wrong!”  Thomas says he’s also on the lookout for short-form video content that could be included in the TV broadcast to create a unique viewer experience.  Reach out to him with suggestions at jthomas@cvillestations.com.

Odds & Sods.  The Los Angeles Lakers and ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles announce they have agreed to an extension of their radio play-by-play deal through the 2021-22 season.  “ESPNLA” will carry all 82 regular-season games as well as the entire preseason and every playoff game.  John Ireland will continue as the play-by-play commentator for the Lakers radio broadcasts, with Laker great Mychal Thompson remaining as the color analyst.sextonbuck  Both are ESPNLA personalities – Ireland co-hosts the “Mason and Ireland” show and Thompson co-hosts the “Thompson and Trudell” program…..TheBlaze Radio Network’s Buck Sexton fills in for Rush Limbaugh on the Premiere Networks syndicated program today (6/10).  TheBlaze says Sexton is the only personality who has guest hosted for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

lindanielleIndia15Syndicated Talk Host Danielle Lin Takes Show to India.  Dynamic health and lifestyle talker Danielle Lin took her syndicated radio talk show, “The Art of Living and the Science of Life,” to Bangalore, India reporting on the new trend of “Medical Tourism.”  She tells TALKERS, “Going global makes perfect sense in a podcast world.  I have discovered first hand that international expansion is not only lucrative…it’s essential in a digital world.  With a strong list of sponsors primed from US relations, linking countries like India was a natural fit for expanding my US brand.  The money flows in both directions as companies create bonds by targeting niche markets.  By producing valuable content on the national platform, we were able to translate the same conversation with the growing middle market in Bangalore. We started early enough in our planning to build a base that would connect us to a worldwide listenership.” Lin adds, “The local and international conversations are relevant to everyone when it comes to improving life.”  Lin (second from left) is pictured here with the leading Ayurvedic physcians at AyurVAID Hospital in Bangalore.

Texas Pool Party Incident, ISIS Military Progress/U.S. Iraq Policy, Obama Trade Deal, New York Prison Break, News from Apple WWDC, Bilderberg Group/G7 Meetings, Caitlyn Jenner Case, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/9).  The fallout from a police officer’s actions at a Texas pool party; the continuing success of ISIS in Iraq and questions about the U.S. military’s policy in Iraq; the TTP trade deal and concerns over lack of understanding of what the pact contains; the search for two convicted murderers who escaped from a New York prison; news of the new digital music platform from Apple from the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference; questions about future global policies as the Bilderberg Group meets in Austria and the G7 summit takes place; ongoing chatter about the Caitlyn Jenner case and transgender issues; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

| June 2, 2015

pew logoLatest Pew Research Report on Political News Consumption Prompts Questions About Ever-Shifting Definition of ‘News.’ The just-published “Millennials and Political News” report from the Pew Research Center is subtitled “Social Media – the Local TV for the Next Generation?”  It looks at how three different generations – Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers – get their political news today and, not surprisingly, suggests that Millennials get more of their political news from social media than do the other two groups (especially Baby Boomers, who cite Local TV as their primary source).  However, the study goes deeper than just that conclusion and presents some interesting data illuminating media usage among these three generations.  But the study also reminds us that social media as a conduit of news isfacebooklogo personalized from the start.  “Understanding the nuances of the social media news environment is complicated: The experience is individualized through one’s own choices, through the friends in one’s network and their proclivities, and through algorithms – all of which can change over time. We are only limbaughrushbeginning to understand these complex interactions.”  Although good for marketing purposes, does the suggestion that social media makes it easier for people to “swim with their own” make them less likely to be introduced to ideas or opinions they’ve not experienced before?  How does the “narrowcasting” of political news affect the electorate?  But a question perhaps more relevant to TALKERS readers is what ishannity the definition of a news source?  The Pew survey asks respondents about specific programs, networks, newspapers, or news outlets and asks each generation about their use, awareness and trust of each.  Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck were listed among the beckglenn36 sources for political news (as was Comedy Central’s The Daily Show), and this brings up the old question of whether a talk radio show (or even a TV comedy show) are news programs in the same way the “CBS Evening News” is a news program.   The 36 sources were suggested to the respondents by Pew and one has to wonder how different the list of cited political news sources might be if respondents were asked to name their most used and trusted sources, instead of choosing from a list.  Regardless, this study certainly serves as a reminder that models of presenting news are changing almost as fast as the definition of what news is.  See the Pew study here.

clarkedavidMilwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke to Host Podcast on TheBlaze Radio Network.  The new weekly podcast available from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network is called “David Clarke: The People’s Sheriff,” hosted by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.  Saying that Clarke is well known for being “an outspoken defender of individual liberties,” TheBlaze the show will “focus on law enforcementtheblaze radio network issues, knowing your rights, commentary on current affairs, racial issues, 2nd Amendment matters, and the importance of empowering individuals rather than the state.”  On his new venture, Clarke states, “What an honor to be a part of TheBlaze Radio Network!  This podcast is an opportunity to add to the conversation of well-thought-out reason on issues confronting America.  I look forward to being a part of TheBlaze family, working to keep the public well informed.”

hamburgjoanWABC, New York Announces Pre-Tony’s Program with Joan Hamburg.  Big Apple talk radio personality Joan Hamburg will be broadcasting a special show this week from the famous Sardi’s Restaurant in the heart of Times Square on 77WABC to celebrate Sunday’s Tony Awards.  On Wednesday, June 3, Hamburg will speak with special Broadway guests and 100 of her loyal listeners during this sold-out luncheon event.  The show will air on Saturday, June 6 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Guests will include Tony nominees: Jason Alexander, Geneva Carr, Marc Kudisch, Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris, Brian Darcy James, Christian Borle, Brad Oscar, Chita Rivera, Kelli O’Hara, Robert Fairchild, and Kelsey Grammer.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallLeading Progressive Talk Show Host Thom Hartmann Interviewed on Latest Installment of “Up Close and Far Out.”  Top 10 Heavy Hundred member and multi-platform talk star, Thom Hartmann, is this week’s guest on PodcastOne’s international hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Hartmann and TALKERS  publisher Michael Harrison discuss what they both describe as the “messed up state” of much of the categorical labeling (left, right, center) that is used to describe both talk show hosts andhartmannthom politicians involved in the national discussion of complex issues.  Hartmann – branded by industry observers and the media as a “liberal,” and/or “progressive” who approaches his show from a “left” position — says, “There really is no ‘left’ in America as there is in other countries.  There is the ‘right,’ the ‘far right,’ and the ‘center.’  No real ‘left’ to speak of.”  Hartmann describes himself as a lifelong “serial entrepreneur who hasn’t had an employer in about 40 years.”  He says, “There is no truth in the idea that liberals hate business.”  Hartmann goes on to cite a number of “fundamental American” issues upon which “both progressives and Tea Partyers agree.”  Hartmann cites issues upon which he agrees with conservative Cumulus/Westwood One host Mark Levin (who will be Harrison’s guest on next week’s installment of the podcast) and points out that, although he disagrees with just about every political position taken by Cumulus/Westwood one star Michael Savage, he greatly admires the host’s skill as a talk broadcaster.  Hartmann says he loves broadcasting as much as he loves politics.  To hear the entire podcast click here or click the player box in the right hand column of every page on TALKERS.com.

bostonheraldradio logoBoston Herald Radio Tweaks Lineup.  New personalities are being added to the lineup at Boston Herald Radio effective today (6/2).  The morning program “Boston Herald Drive” – airing from 7:00 am to 9:00 am – will add John Sapochetti as co-host alongside current personality Adriana Cohen.  Sapochetti’s progressive takes will provide some balance to Cohen’s conservative stance.  Also, in mid-afternoons, “Fargo Street,” airing from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and featuring hosts Chris Villani and Tyler Sullivan, will cover “current events, sports and entertainment.”  Villani comments, “I love the chance to broaden all of our horizons a bit.  It is a big world and there are big conversations to have.”  Also announced by the Herald is executive producer Tom Shattuck’s powering up the multimedia center in the Herald’s City Hall bureau to deliver daily news from City Hall.

Odds & Sods. An FM signal is added to Beasley’s South Florida business talk outlet WSBR, Boca Raton.  Via translator W245BC – whose primary signal covers an area to the northwest of Fort Lauderdale – the “740 AM MoneyTalk Radio” format will be heard on 96.9 FM as well…..Pubcaster WBUR, Boston is launching a six-week pilot season of “You’re the Expert,” a new science and comedy program hosted by comedian Chris Duffy. Each episode is recorded in front of a live audience and features a guest expert in a specialized field, such as a doctor who studies Neanderthal DNA or a researcher who examines bacteria from the New York Public Transit System.  A panel of comedians then uses questions and games to try and guess what the expert does and why his or her field is important…..Salem Media announces that it is declaring a quarterly dividend of $0.065/share payable on June 30 for shareholders of record as of June 16…..Talk show host Charles Butler fills in for Jerry Doyle on his Talk Radio Network program this week.

hurleyHarryMissAmerica15Miss America Pageant Returns to Atlanta City.  And WPGG, Atlantic City morning legend Harry Hurley got to spread the news of the beauty pageant’s return to the city with 2015 Miss America Kira Kazantsev in the studio to talk about it.  The pageant returned to Atlantic City in 2013 after six years in Las Vegas.

2016 Presidential Prospects/Lindsey Graham Joins GOP Race, TSA Fails Explosives Test, Patriot Act Expires, SCOTUS Head Scarf Ruling, Hastert Indictment, ISIS Military Success/U.S.-Trained Tajik Colonel Defects, and Bruce Jenner Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/1).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and Republican Lindsey Graham’s entering the race; the controversy over the TSA’s failure to detect fake explosives 97% of the time; the expiration of the Patriot Act and questions about NSA phone surveillance in the aftermath; the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a Muslim woman who was denied a job because of her head scarf; former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert charge with violating banking laws; the military success of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and a U.S.-trained Tajikistan colonel’s defection to ISIS; and the ongoing transition of Bruce Jenner into Caitlyn were among the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

| April 21, 2015

littlelindaLittle Rises to President of Phoenix Market for iHeartMedia.  Assuming the position left briefly vacant by Scott Hopeck after he was promoted to the same post at the New York City cluster is Linda Little.  She moves up from her SVP of sales position with the station group.  Prior to that, she was GSM for adult contemporary KESZ and country KNIX.  She also served as integrated media business development manager.   She comments, “I have had the privilege of building my media career in Phoenix and am very fortunate to have worked for a company that has given me many opportunities to grow while constantly evolving with the industry.” In this position she’ll oversee news/talk KFYI, talk KOY, and sports talk KGME.

schreiberjonathanSchreiber Promoted at Mercury Radio Arts.  Moving up from his head of strategy and special projects position with Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts to president of the company is Jonathan Schreiber.  In this new post, Schreiber will oversee Mercury’s divisions including digital, radio andmercuryradioarts logo publishing and its continued growth in film, television and “digital content across different genres beyond politics and current events.”  The company says Schreiber will continue to serve as an advisor to TheBlaze, the company’s news, information and entertainment network led by CEO Betsy Morgan.  Schreiber has an 18-year pedigree in the tech, mobile and entertainment businesses.  Beck says, “I personally recruited Jonathan to help take our company to the next level.  Since joining Mercury, he has played an integral role in both the strategy and execution at Mercury Radio Arts and my overall business philosophy and approach.  He is a trusted advisor and this title reflects the leadership position he has and will continue to assume in this new era for both me and our business.

quayledonIndustry Mourns Don Quayle. The first president of National Public Radio (NPR) has died: Don Quayle was 84 years old. NPR’s Susan Stamberg recalls that Quayle gave her her first radio job. “It was the early-1960s and he was head of the Educational Radio Network – the precursor of NPR – a little network of 12 east coast stations that developed a daily drive-time news show. He hired me to help produce it. When this national network arose, he was an obvious choice to run it. Don was principled, decent, and astute. In the euphoric tumult of our first years, he navigated the choppy seas of building a public radio system. He knew NPR had to serve our listeners, above the competing needs of stations, boards, and funders.” The program to which Stamberg alludes, of course, is “All Things Considered,” which Quayle debuted on NPR in 1971. He headed the network – which now has more than 900 member stations – from 1970 to 1973. Prior to that (1960 – 1962), Quayle managed Boston public outlet WGBH. Five years ago, the Logan, Utah native received an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his “significant contributions” to public broadcasting from his alma mater, Utah State University.

theblaze radio networkPremiere and TheBlaze to Present Memorial Day Special.  The annual Memorial Day radio special produced by Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network returns in 2015 with Premiere Networks handling affiliate relations.  The three-hour program – titled “Reflections from a Gratefulpremierenetworks Nation” – features the hosts, writers and editors of TheBlaze and TheBlaze.com, including: Doc Thompson, Skip LaCombe, Buck Sexton, Jay Severin, Chris Salcedo, Mike Broomhead and others.  In addition to special appearances by award-winning actor Gary Sinise, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak and members of the military, listeners will hear personal stories and conversations about the meaning of the holiday in this special tribute to those who fought and gave their lives to defend America’s freedom.  It’s available to news/talk stations for airing from May 23-25.  Interested stations can phone Premiere at 818-377-5300.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Interviews Boston Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca on Weekly Podcast, ‘Up Close and Far Out.’  In a candid and informative interview on the popular weekly podcast “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Boston Herald editor-in-chief  Joe Sciacca discusses his views on a wide variety of media-related topics that include, among others:  the state of the newspaper industry in a changing media landscape; the impact of the digital era on journalism; and his experience in being involved with his newspaper’s pioneering effort in online news/talk/sports radio broadcasting – Boston Herald Radio.   During the extensive conversation, Sciacca – a 37-year veteran of the newspaper business as a reporter, columnist and editor — tells TALKERS magazine publishersciaccajoe Michael Harrison that the biggest challenge facing journalists in the newspaper business today is “keeping their print product relevant.”  He tells Harrison, “I believe this is the greatest time to be leading a news organization in America even though resources are challenging and newspapers are experiencing difficult times in terms of revenue.  There really is a great window of opportunity to be creative – to reinvent our business.  So when I became editor five years ago after being at the Herald for 32 years, I embraced the challenge because even though I knew the road was going to be difficult to navigate, we have done some incredible things over the last five years and we’ve really transformed what was purely a print organization into a multimedia news organization.”  This transformation, of course, includes the launch of Boston Herald Radio – the newspaper’s online talk station that produces 11 hours of original, live content every weekday from a studio located right next to the newspaper’s newsroom.  It has proven to be a major source of breaking stories, not only for Boston-area news consumers, but for the media across the country and around the world.   Harrison and Sciacca delve into media theory and discuss differences in the psychology between reading stories online as opposed to the printed page.  They also analyze the impact of video cameras inside a radio studio and the differences between what Harrison describes as “great radio or bad television.”  Sciacca discusses the Boston Herald’s commitment to getting the stories right, rather than just being first – a pressure amplified by the competition generated by the 24 hour non-stop, digital news cycle and he recalls how coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing was particularly challenging because of all the false information that was out there in the general news media’s frenzy to stay on top of the breaking story during its early hours and days.  Harrison describes his theories about the emergence of what he calls “stickless” radio broadcasting (meaning radio without the traditional license, transmitter and tower) and the development of the online “media station” in the 21st century.  To hear the entirety of this fascinating conversation between two seasoned, front-line media visionaries, please click here, or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” box in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

clipinteractiveFour More Smartphone Models Can Have FM Chip Activated Via Clip Interactive.  According to Clip Interactive, more consumers can exercise the FM chip listening option as it has expanded the phones that can use its technology to include the HTC One M9, HTC Desire 610, Sharp Aquos Crystal and LG G3.   Clip Interactive says its application technology connects to this chip, allowing the listener to tune into local stations without having to stream, which depletes data allowances and consumes more battery life.  FM chip activation through Clip Interactive mobile apps allows stations to optimize listening options for users.  Clip Interactive chief technology officer Peter Shoebridge says, “Activating the FM chip on more devices benefits the listener as they can reduce data usage and enjoy the real-time broadcast.  The industry can expect more announcements about additional devices in the coming weeks as we continue our mission to provide interactive radio to the masses.”

Odds & Sods.  Appearing in the KFAQ, Tulsa studios this morning is a crew from “Good Morning America” as morning host Pat Campbell interviews attorney Clark Brewster.  Reserve Sheriff Deputy Robert Bates hiredcampbellpat Brewster to represent him in the case of the fatal shooting of Eric Harris that took place during a drug sting.  Bates has been cleared by the FBI of violating Harris’ civil rights but faces a second-degree manslaughter charge for accidently using his pistol instead of a taser on Harris.  Pat Campbell tells TALKERS magazine, “Our station has been ground zero for many exclusives on this story, including the foxsportsradio logoonly sit-down interview with Sheriff Stanley Glanz.  KFAQ news director Tami Marler has been all over this since day one, getting scoops and guests other outlets can’t secure.”…..FOX Sports Radio is presenting “FOX Sports Live 2015 NFL Draftcast” – a multi-platform NFL draft special featuring Jay Glazer, Joel Klatt, Peter Schrager, Mike Garafolo and Don Bell in Chicago.  It will air on the network’s more than 400 affiliates nationwide beginning at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday, April 30…..The last Buckley Broadcasting property – KIDD-AM, Monterey, California – has been sold to Saul Levine’s Mt. Wilson Broadcasters for $50,000.  Buckley took KIDD-AM dark a few months ago and recently tore down its aging tower structure.

ISIS Violence, Iran Nuclear Program Controversy/U.S. Naval Presence in Yemen, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Police Shootings Controversies, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20).  The reports of ISIS executing Christians; the controversy about negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and the United States’ naval presence in the waters off Yemen; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the cases of police shooting citizens in Baltimore, Tulsa and elsewhere; and the weekend’s Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, November 3, 2014

| November 3, 2014

ramseySmartconf14Ramsey Packs ‘Smart Conference’ in Los Angeles.  The photo you see here shows nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey on the stage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles at the sold-out “Smart Conference” that took place on Saturday (11/1).  During the day-long conference, Ramsey, along with his daughter Rachel Cruze, Andy Andrews, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs, Joy Eggerichs, and Dr. Meg Meeker, provided attendees with “essential information on how to win with money, strengthen their marriages, build parenting skills and excel in their careers.”  To help promote the event, Ramsey partnered with local affiliate KEIB “The Patriot.”  Program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “Dave Ramsey’s listeners are engaged and passionate.  They connect with Dave at a very personal and emotional level.  The Dave Ramsey show is clearly impacting people’s lives and building powerful bonds with the Patriot audience and our clients.”

steinhauercharlesSteinhauer Inks Multi-Year Renewal with Westwood One.  Syndication giant Westwood One agrees to terms for a multi-year contract renewal with chief operating officer Charles Steinhauer.  He’ll continue to oversee the management of the company’s day-to-day operations, including programming, technology, distribution, sports, marketing, affiliate services, research, compliance and strategy, and will report directly to Lew Dickey, chief executive officer for Cumulus Media.  In addition to his role at Westwood One, Steinhauer serves as a director on the board of the Media Ratings Council and was chair of the Network Radio Research Council (NRRC).  He is also an ARF Ambassador, a member of the RAB Council, and serves on the Nielsen Advisory Board.  Lew Dickey says, “Charles is an exceptional talent and a key member of our executive leadership team.  We’re excited to extend his contract and look forward to his important contribution as we build Westwood One into the world’s leading audio content company.”

eisenrichThe Rich Eisen Show Debuts Today.  The new Rich Eisen program debuts across the Fox Sports Radio Network – clearing some 120 stations that carry the network’s programming.  The addition of the DirecTV-produced program in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot affected the network’s lineup, most notably bumping “Jay Mohr Sports” into the afternoon drive slot, Eastern Time.

Odds & Sods.  More election coverage to announce from TheBlaze Radio NetworkDoc Thompson and Skip Lacombe are set to host the Glenn Beck-founded network’s election night coverage from Mercury Studios in Dallas from 7:00 pm until key races are decided.  Jay Severin and TheBlaze TV’s Laurie Dhue and Amy Holmes will be contributing to coverage.  TheBlaze notes that this coverage is multi-platform with TheBlaze TV and TheBlaze.com theblaze radio networkproviding complementary coverage and analysis…..United Stations Radio Networks names Willis Damalt the newest rep in the company’s affiliate relations department.  In his new role, Damalt will specialize in the affiliate marketing efforts of the company’s offerings for news/talk and sports formats…..This Thursday, CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles presents a special program called “Ebola Uncovered” from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The program is being co-hosted by KNX news anchor Tom Haule and investigative reporter Charles Feldman, who is co-producing the special with Laraine Herman.  Reporter Margaret Carrero will contribute to the program which will also stream live on cbsLA.com.  Listeners will have the piscopojoeopportunity to ask questions on the radio by calling 866-569-1070 or through Twitter using #knxebola.  The guests will include a doctor who is an infectious disease specialist from UCLA, a sociologist from UC Irvine and a local doctor who recently treated Ebola patients in Liberia…..Filling in for morning personality Joe Piscopo on Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” are: PBS anchor, syndicated columnist and former New Jersey state legislator Steve Adubato; WNYM Sunday morning host (and former New York mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis; WNYM midday host John Gambling; and Brian Whitman and Elisha Krauss, co-hosts of “The Morning Answer” on the company’s KRLA, Los Angeles.

entercomEntercom Announces Q3 Net Revenue Up 1%.  On revenue of $99.8 million during the third quarter of 2014 Entercom is reporting the figure amounts to a 1% increase compared to the same period a year ago.  The quarter also saw station expenses increasing 3% and stationfielddavid operating income dipping 3%.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “Entercom’s performance accelerated during the third quarter, highlighted by a robust September during which revenues increased 7%, up 5% excluding political.  Overall, third quarter revenues were up 1.4%, overcoming a weak August.  We continue to focus on working to enhance our value to listeners and customers and to increase our growth potential for the future.  To that end, we believe our competitive position, execution, and capabilities have all significantly improved over the past year and should enable enhanced performance in the year ahead.”  Entercom is presenting an investor’s conference call today.

leykisLaughFactoryTom Leykis Sells Out LA’s Laugh Factory with Show titled “Be Funny Live.”  Internet radio maverick Tom Leykis brought a live version of one of his online program’s most popular features, “Be Funny,” to the stage of LA’s famous comedy club, the Laugh Factory this past Thursday evening (10/30) and RadioInfo’s West Coast correspondents report the sold-out event was a hilarious success.  The program consists of a parade of characters culled from regular listeners and callers to his daily (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm PT) New Normal show performing parody songs and bits inspired by the news events of the day.  Leykis is quoted in an article in the Orange County Register stating, “Every time there is a national tragedy such as the Boston bombing, the Malaysian airliner, Ray Rice, Ebola…every time something happens, these people go to the drawing board and figure out how to make a parody song about all of this horrible stuff. It’s hysterically funny and you wouldn’t want to be caught laughing at it but, people laugh at it because it is off-the-charts funny.  A lot of them are full-on productions.  We picked a bunch of people that the audience knows to go in and play their hits and then we balanced it out with people who maybe have never called or are relatively new to the show.  We picked some people who are great and then some who are unbelievably bad and don’t know it but, they’ll find out the night of the show! [Laughs.]” Leykis’ show can be heard at www.BlowMeUpTom.com.

bernierlebouthillierBuild-Up to the Mid-Term Elections.  At Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Florida, WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (left) hosted Fox News political analyst and host of “Political Insiders,” John LeBoutillier (right) at the college’s President’s Speakers Series.  The live event on October 31 was broadcast live on WNDB.  During the program, LeBoutillier “handicapped” the tight election battles going on around the country.

CORRECTION: TALKERS magazine’s just-released 2014 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk is updated after a technical glitch led an incomplete version to be initially published.  The list now includes Mike Missanelli, WIP-FM, Philadelphia tied at #14; Adam Gold & Joe Ovies, WCMC, Raleigh tied at #55 and Orlando Alzugary, WQAM, Miami at #97.  We regret any inconvenience this error might have caused.  See the 2014 list here.