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An Encounter with Omarosa

| August 17, 2018

By Bernadette Duncan

Editor’s Note: The following article is an excerpt from the popular book “Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers” (Talkers Books, 2016) in which author Bernadette Duncan recounts memorable experiences culled from a 26-year career as a radio talk show producer. This piece originally ran as a segment of the chapter titled “Talk Show, Freak Show.”  In this piece, she discusses what it was like working with Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth (her first husband’s name) on what was known in 2009 as a “satellite tour.”  Duncan was the central producer who coordinated a morning full of non-stop talk radio interviews across the nation for client-affiliates of United Stations Radio Network.   

Just when I grew to cherish each and every reality show guest, along came Omarosa.  During the Clinton administration, she was hired in Vice President Al Gore’s office as Deputy Associate Director of Presidential Personnel.  She didn’t keep the job very long.  Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, had quite a history of getting fired… long before Donald Trump sent her home from “Celebrity Apprentice.

As noted in People,“The former political appointee – who spoke glowingly of her White House days – was banished from four jobs in two years with the Clinton administration.”  A former White House staffer said of Omarosa, “Her job was ‘scheduling correspondent.’ She was supposed to respond to invitations received by Vice President Gore. But didn’t do her job – and that got everyone else in trouble.”

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

| August 9, 2017

CBS News Radio Appoints Bolton Manager, Affiliate Sales. Most recently a consultant to AT&T/DIRECTV on the syndication of radio shows hosted by Dan Patrick; Rich Eisen; and Joe Buck, Amy Bolton is named manager, affiliate sales at CBS News Radio. “Amy has an unrivaled depth of affiliate sales experience,” CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler comments. “The relationships she has formed with stations over the years make her an excellent fit for the position. I look forward to the contributions she will make in this new role as we continue to work closely with our affiliates and explore new partnerships.” Bolton declares that, “CBS News Radio is the gold standard in original radio journalism; this is a dream job. I am thrilled to be part of the next phase of this award-winning organization and deliver our affiliates the highest quality programming.” In addition to having previously consulted Cox Media Group news site Rare.us and ABC Radio, Bolton, who grew up in Rome and holds a University of Maryland Bachelor of Science degree in human ecology and marketing, spent nearly six years as senior vice president of talk & news for Westwood One (formerly Dial Global), and ten years as vice president of affiliate sales, news/talk at Dial Global (acquired Jones Radio Network).

Last Call For Dawson. On the Kansas City Chiefs broadcasts as a commentator since 1984, former quarterback Len Dawson will not return to the booth after the 2017 NFL season. The team’s chair and chief executive officer Clark Hunt, son of team founder Lamar Hunt, declares, “Next to my father, few people have had a more lasting impact on the Kansas City Chiefs than Len Dawson. Over the course of his legendary career – first as a player and later as a broadcaster – Len has been a part of every major moment in franchise history. We sincerely appreciate his many contributions to ‘Chiefs Kingdom’ since he arrived as a player in 1962. We look forward to having Len as part of the Chiefs Radio Network for the 2017 season.” Chiefs Radio Network executive producer Dan Israel notes, “It has been a true privilege and honor to have Len at the center of our broadcast team for the last 33 years. His contributions to not only this sport, but our industry, are incredibly profound. I am thankful he will continue to be part of the Chiefs Radio Network this season; he will forever be welcome as a part of our broadcast team family.” Dawson led the Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl IV and three AFL championships. “Looking back on my career, I’ve been blessed for what I had the opportunity to do,” Dawson comments. “I could not have accomplished so much without my teammates and colleagues – I am grateful for each of them.” Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, and Dawson are the only three dual-honorees as players and broadcasters in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Cumulus Media Kansas City classic rock KCFX “101 The Fox” is the team’s flagship.

ABC Radio Names Hubbard Country Producer/Reporter. Fittingly based in Nashville, Stephen Hubbard joins ABC Radio as a country producer and reporter. While Hubbard will primarily be reporting for ABC Radio, he will support all ABC News platforms. In a staff memo, ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones notes that award-winning producer Hubbard is “well known in Nashville and around the country world. He will continue to report on all things country including interviewing the genre’s biggest stars. With more than 20 years of experience, Stephen has worked on a variety of projects including CMT specials starring Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert; Great American Country’s ‘Opry Live’; ‘Music City Keep on Playin,’ a benefit concert for the victims of the 2010 Nashville flood; and ‘Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountains Rise’ telethon after the 2016 East Tennessee wildfires. He recently interviewed Shania Twain, Thomas Rhett, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, and Brad Paisley. This summer, Stephen worked on ABC Radio’s 4th of July special – ‘Country Family Salute’ – with country star Josh Turner, and ABC Radio’s Memorial Day special – ‘Kelsea Ballerini’s Summer Road Trip.'” A country content contributor to ABC Radio since 2010, Hubbard most recently was a producer for ABC-TV’s Nashville affiliate WKRN-TV (channel 2). Two-time Emmy nominee Hubbard received an Associated Press award for “Best TV Producing in Tennessee.”

Wetherbee Wins Weather Recognition. Owing to his daily forecasts and severe winter weather broadcasts on the Georgia News Network, Envision Radio Networks meteorologist John Wetherbee is the recipient of this year’s GABBY Award for Excellence in Broadcasting for “Best Weather Coverage.” Wetherbee states, “This is so exciting to be recognized by GAB for my weather reporting throughout Georgia and having the ability to continue to grow and succeed in my life-long passion – radio. It is just so cool.” With its weather component, Envision Radio Networks’ EnvisionVirtualServices provides stations up to five daily forecasts each weekday and 24-hour on-call severe weather coverage on a barter basis. Wetherbee’s recognition took place as part of GABCON 2017, a convention for Georgia television and radio broadcasters.

PPM Data – Round Two. Information for the July 2017 ratings period has been released for Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Detroit; Seattle; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Denver; Tampa; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. See the data from these 12-PPM markets here.

Townsquare Media Q2 Net Revenue Up 2.6%. Compared to the second quarter of 2016, Townsquare Media’s net revenue increased 2.6%, which is consistent with previously issued guidance. Chairman and chief executive officer Steven Price comments, “We are pleased to report another solid quarter that was in line with our expectations. Our second quarter performance was anchored by our Local Marketing Solutions segment, where revenue increased 4.3% over the prior year, and 4.8% excluding political revenue. Our results in this segment are representative of the continued strength of our local advertiser solutions and the strength our local teams.” Entertainment net revenue and net income were approximately flat. Adjusted EBITDA was also approximately flat, consistent with previously issued guidance. Diluted net income and diluted adjusted net income per share are of $0.20 and $0.21, respectively. In terms of year-to-year comparisons, the company’s net revenue decreased by 1.1%. Conversely, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased by 2.9%. The company repaid $6.7 million of long-term debt and there are year-to-year decreases in entertainment net revenue (-10.2%); net income (-39.4%); and adjusted EBITDA (-5.0%).

NABJ and NAHJ To Hold Combined 2020 Confab. As they did last year in Washington, DC, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) will have a joint convention in 2020. NABJ president Sarah Glover comments, “NABJ is looking forward to hosting another joint convention with NAHJ. Both groups executed a memorable convention experience for our members and the journalism industry last year. We have a lot of momentum to build off of as we head into 2020. It only makes sense to bring black and Hispanic journalists together as we move toward what is shaping up to be a history-making election in 2020.” Meanwhile, NAHJ president Brandon Benavides remarks, “As we move toward returning to a joint convention with NABJ, we will be recognizing the priorities in our programming, special events, and all elements of a conference that our members value most. It is critical that as the two largest journalism associations of color, we not only make an investment into our student journalists, but also provide the best resources to develop talent and make it our mission to create more leadership training opportunities for all of our journalists.”

Demand for Spanish-Language Spots Skyrocketing. Given radio’s reach and growing podcast audiences, digital audio advertising is considered by many to be the single most effective medium to connect with Hispanic audiences. According to Nielsen research, radio reaches more than 92% of Hispanics regardless of language preference. Oink Ink co-founder Dan Price explains his company has produced Spanish radio spots for various clients, but it has been especially busy the last seven months. “We are working with a number of clients to create relevant Spanish-language radio spots that demonstrate an understanding of nuances of the culture and diversity within the Hispanic market.” According to Pew Research, Hispanics are the youngest ethnic group in the United States, while data from Latinum Network indicates ads targeting Hispanics in Spanish significantly increase their interest in purchasing products. Price comments, “We didn’t need research to tell us that thoughtful, creative ads work better – regardless of the language. [Nonetheless], it’s nice to have facts that demonstrate the value of the work we do for our clients. We work with the best Spanish-speaking writers, actors, and sound mixers in the country – the ads are resonating culturally.”

Remembering Glen Campbell. After battling against Alzheimer’s since 2011, singer-songwriter Glen Campbell lost his fight against the disease yesterday (Tuesday, 8/8) in Nashville; the 1968 Country Music Association “Entertainer of The Year” was 81. A rural Arkansas native, Campbell hosted “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” on CBS-TV. A midseason replacement that debuted in January 1969, the series ran until June 1972; Jerry Reed and Anne Murray were among the show’s regulars. In the mid-1960s, Campbell briefly toured with the Beach Boys and he really hit it big in 1967, earning multiple individual Grammy nominations for “Gentle on My Mind” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” One year later, “Wichita Lineman” reached the Top 5. All three of those singles were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. While continuing to do extremely well on the country charts – more than two-dozen top 10 hits and five songs that reached #1 – Campbell went on to have pop notoriety with “Galveston” and “It’s Only Make Believe.” By the mid-1970s, he again enjoyed considerable success – this time with “Southern Nights” and the often parodied “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Altogether over a six-decade span, the sharecropper’s son and seventh of 12 children, released more than 70 albums and won six Grammys among 20 nominations. He sold 45 million records; had 12 gold albums; four platinum; and one double-platinum. Approximately 80 different Glen Campbell songs reached the country, top 40, or adult contemporary charts, nine ascending to #1. The 2005 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee was in-demand as a session player, featured on the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”; Jan & Dean’s “Dead Man’s Curve,” and Shelley Fabares’ “Johnny Angel” (among others). As part of the Wrecking Crew, he played on recordings of artists ranging from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Nat Cole to Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, and The Monkees. The 2014 film “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” followed Campbell and his family during a farewell tour in the United States, Australia, and Europe as he dealt with his illness. The powerful “I’m Not Going to Miss You” from the film landed an Oscar nomination (losing to “Glory” from “Selma”) and a Grammy nomination (losing to “Let It Go” from “Frozen”). Tim McGraw sang it at the 2015 Academy Awards. Campbell’s appropriately-titled final studio album, “Adios,” was released earlier this year. Donations that will support Alzheimer’s research may be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at Brightfocus Foundation.

After Cutting “Idol” Fox Answers with “The Four.” We’ve seen it unfold countless times in radio. Station executives determine a particular on-air talent is no longer sufficient enough for the salary and they then hold their breath when that personality (or team) crosses the street to join the competition. After a 15-season run on Fox, “American Idol” will surface on ABC midseason with iHeartMedia Los Angeles KIIS “Kiss-FM” morning drive star Ryan Seacrest continuing as host. Yesterday (Tuesday, 8/8), Fox announced it will deliver a new singing competition series – “The Four” – from Armoza Formats and ITV Entertainment. With a tagline of “We start with the best and only get better,” Fox’s “The Four” will not launch until 2018. While the network has yet to announce a specific premiere date or host for “The Four,” the show is not expected to be slotted directly against “Idol” or NBC’s Carson Daly-hosted “The Voice.” Each week, the top four will sing against challengers to retain their slots on the show. A panel of (yet-to-be cast) music experts and personalities will choose the original finalists from auditions. Similar to “American Idol,” viewers will be able to vote from home on four contestants. They get to decide who is brought on the show by voting on streamed auditions, influencing which challengers will take on “The Four.” Fox Broadcasting Company president of alternative entertainment Rob Wade maintains “The Four” (billed as “The Final Four” in Israel, as pictured) is nothing like “American Idol,” categorizing it as the most “pure, clean format” for a singing competition he has ever seen, while Fox Television Group co-chair/chief executive officer Dana Walden opines singing competition series have become “much more about celebrity panelists and less about” turning aspiring singers into stars.

Savannah’s “G-100” Grabs Station of the Year Honors. In a Georgia Association of Broadcasters award ceremony held this past weekend at Jekyll Island, Alpha Media Savannah (Georgia) – Hilton Head (South Carolina) classic hip-hop WXYY “G-100 The Throwback Station” was named “Station of the Year” for “Division Radio A/Large market.” Alpha Media Savannah – Hilton Head vice president and market manager Gigi South points out that “G-100” celebrated its first birthday last month and “winning ‘Station of the Year’ is a major accomplishment. The state of Georgia has many super radio talents. This is a huge honor and we are so grateful to our listeners [as well as to our] staff and Alpha Media, which gives us the tools and celebrates our passion to win.” Program director Amini remarks, “In one year, we have made groundbreaking history. Listeners call, text, find us on social media, and stop us in person just to share their love for the ‘Throwback’ music. From Hurricane Matthew coverage, to collecting toys, to helping kids get fit and perform in school, everything we do is intended to give Savannah the best on-air product and listener experiences.” Meanwhile, station personality Mark “Shark” Ediss was cited as Georgia’s “Best On-Air Personality.” Among persons 12+ in Savannah’s latest (Spring 2017) Nielsen Audio book, “G-100” ranks ninth (4.1, 12+); Cumulus Media urban contemporary WEAS and iHeartMedia CHR WAEV are tied at #1 – each with 8.3 (12+). In Hilton Head’s comparable spring 2017 results, Alpha Media country WUBB is on top with a 6.5 (12+), while WXYY is sixth (2.6, 12+).

Nation’s Capital First Up in Café Mocha “Salute Her” Tour. Launched over seven years ago, 2017 Gracie award winner Café Mocha Radio kicks off its “Salute Her: Beauty of Diversity Tour” in just over two weeks (8/25) in Washington, DC. Among those being honored there are White House journalist/author April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks; actress Pam Grier; Grammy winning singer Stephanie Mills; entrepreneurs Germaine Leftridge and Vivian Pickard; and author Joi-Marie McKenzie. The syndicated radio show will have similar award ceremonies and networking events in New York City (9/28); Charlotte (11/4); and Chicago (12/14). This year’s theme, “Redefining What Perseverance Looks Like from the Inside Out,” underscores the importance of women maintaining their inner spirit to find strength. Café Mocha creator and executive producer Sheila Eldridge comments, “Over the years, we have honored more than 300 women. Our honorees demonstrate passion, creativity, and drive to break down barriers in their respective fields, truly redefining what perseverance looks like.” Café Mocha co-host comedienne Loni Love notes, “I am especially looking forward to honoring our incredible unsung heroines, these extraordinary women who are doing so much great work for others and rarely get recognition for their service.”  Café Mocha incorporates urban contemporary music with hot topics and is “radio from a woman’s perspective.” The two-hour program heard in 35 markets features interviews with singers, celebrities, politicians, and those making headlines.

More Music Radio News and Career MovesAfter 14 years with Beasley Media Group, including the last three as chief revenue officer, Heather Monahan departs as the company eliminates her position. “I want to thank my team, partners, clients, and all the amazing people I have known over the years,” she writes on her LinkedIn account. “It has been an emotional few days and I wanted to thank everyone for their love and support.” The Clark University graduate spent four years as a Wilks Broadcasting market manager before joining Beasley as executive vice president of sales in March 2003 ….. Starting next Monday (8/14), Jackie Paige takes over mid-days (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) on Urban One Richmond urban contemporary WCDX “iPower 92.1/104.1.” Operations manager Yonni Rude notes, “Jackie’s talent and positive energy make her the perfect fit for Radio One Richmond.” Paige most recently was at Curtis Media Group Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina urban contemporary WIKS “101.9 Kiss-FM” ….. Two-year WEZL program director Tyler Reese departs the iHeartMedia Charleston, South Carolina country station. Reese previously was music director at Nashville country sibling WSIX “The Big 98” and has worked at similarly-formatted co-owned WKKT “96.9 The Kat,” Charlotte and WMAD “96.3 Star Country,” Madison ….. The new night talent at Entercom Sacramento classic rock KSEG “Eagle 96.9” is Chris McCoy, whose previous experience includes working for nine years in Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey) at adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3.” In addition, McCoy did morning drive at Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia adult contemporary WBEB “More FM” ….. To pay tribute to the passing of Glen Campbell (see the story above), Rick Jackson’s entire three-hour United Stations Radio Networks (USRN) “Country Classics” program on the weekend of August 26 and 27 will be comprised of Campbell’s greatest hits and his story ….. Following a five-year stint as senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Greensboro, Rich McMillan departs. He oversaw adult contemporary WMAG; CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM”; FM news/talk WPTI; WTQR “Q104.1 – New Country”; and WVBZ “Rock 105.7 – Man Up.” Prior to his time in Greensboro, McMillan programmed Miami and Birmingham stations for the company when it was known as Clear Channel. Exiting the iHM Greensboro cluster as well are WMAG program director Gary Nolan and WVBZ imaging voice Matt Pencola ….. The third annual, three-hour “Hungry for Hip-Hop” concert presented by iHeartMedia Orlando urban contemporary WTKS-HD2 “104.5 The Beat” takes place in two weeks (8/24) in downtown Orlando and will feature an all-female lineup. “Beat” on-air personality Viva La Koi will host. Proceeds will benefit Pathlight HOME, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing and economic opportunities to Central Florida’s homeless ….. Having recently taken a hiatus from programming Sarkes Tarzian Fort Wayne, Indiana adult contemporary WAJI “Magic 95.1,” Dan Baisden returns to radio for part-time/weekend on-air duties at Adams Radio Group’s crosstown, similarly-formatted WWFW “103.9 Sunny FM.”

Monday, November 2, 2015

| November 2, 2015

womentalkart15The State of Women on Talk Radio: Part 1.  Today (11/2), TALKERS magazine begins presenting a multi-part story looking at the status of women on talk radio in 2015.  Written by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, it addresses one of the most-asked questions TALKERS editors hear: Why aren’t there more women on talk radio?  Before attempting to provide answers to that and other relevant questions, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison explains that when we say “talk radio” in this instance, we’re speaking about “political news/talk” radio.  “Over the years, the popular sub-genre of ‘political news/talk’ radio has hijacked the broader term ‘talk radio’ in the minds of many.  This is unfortunate because there are other viable forms of talk radio out there beyond traditional ‘news/talk’ – and the potential for expansion into even more realms of pertinent topicalitybertoluccirobin is huge.”  In this first part, KFI and KEIB, Los Angeles program director Robin Bertolucci begins to answer the question from her perspective as a veteran programmer.  “News/talk originally evolved around men who were primarily doing political talk.  Many women are not into that.  It’s not that they don’t care about politics or have strong opinions, but the divisiveness of that style can be off putting to many women.  So, more men listening leads to more male-oriented talk which leads again to more men listening.”  Read the entire piece here.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagship Stations.  TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a final look at the performances of stations serving as flagships for Major League Baseball franchises based on ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey.  Since this report is not based on ratings from actual game time dayparts, it reflects the overall movement of a station with baseball listening as one possible factor.  In this report, see charts illustrating the AQH shares of stations from September 2015 to October 2015, from October 2014 to October 2015, as well as the market ranks and how the flagships stacked up based on MLB divisions.  Click here for the full report.

koaiHeartMedia Gives KOA, Denver FM Simulcast.  There’s no longer an FM simulcast for Marco Broadcasting’s pot-themed classic rocker KBUD, Golden, Colorado “Smokin’ 94.1.”  iHeartMedia is buying Marco Broadcasting’s FM translator K231BQ, Golden for $950,000 and it immediately begins airing the signal of the company’s Denver news/talk KOA.  The news was announced during yesterday’s Denver Broncos pre-game show.  iHeartMedia says in a press release, “The new 94.1 FM signal covers the Denver area.  850 AM is one of the most powerful stations in North America, and will continue to reach areas well beyond Colorado’s Front Range. In the coming weeks, KOA NewsRadio will expand its coverage on 94.1 FM in Boulder, resulting in full market coverage of 94.1 FM in the Denver-Boulder metropolitan area.”

vulpifrankFrank Vulpi Named Market Manager for Cumulus Media Westchester.  Radio management pro Frank Vulpi joins Cumulus Media as vice president/market manager for the company’s Westchester, New York radio stations.  Vulpi comes to Cumulus from his most recent post as a sales executive with Bloomberg, LP.  Prior to joining Bloomberg, Vulpi was VP/GM at United Stations Radio Networks.  On his new position, Vulpi states, “It’s an exciting time to be a part of Cumulus Media.  The company’s depth and breadth of offerings and creative solutions are well positioned to serve the interests of our advertising partners.  I am very impressed with and fortunate to be associated with a team of high integrity managers who are concerned with the positive career growth of their team members.”

hannity Vegas15Sean Hannity Packs Vegas Casino for Live Event.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio and cable TV superstar was in Las Vegas last Friday doing his show from affiliate KDWN “News Talk 720.”  Later that evening Sean Hannity filled the Orleans Casino Showroom with fans during the “An Evening With Sean Hannity” live event.  The musical guests for the program included Lee Greenwood and Craig Campbell.   Pictured here at the KDWN studios are (from l-r): KDWN morning host Chad Forster, KDWN PD John Shaffer, Hannity and KDWN morning host Dave Carney.

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey: Total Local Advertising Revenue to Grow 3.75% in 2016.  Details from the annual advertising forecast from BIA/Kelsey will be presented at the company’s Future of Local Digital Media conference in Los Angeles in December.  Meanwhile, it says it is forecasting total local advertising revenue in the U.S. to reach $146.6 billion next year – up from $141.3 billion this year.  Online/digital revenue will grow to $42.6 billion in 2016, representing 29.1% of total local media revenue, up from $38 billion in 2015.  BIA/Kelsey says the “power brew” of mobile, social and video are the categories fuelingfratrikmark growth in the local online/digital segment.  BIA/Kelsey chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “Mobile is the primary force behind the continuing increase in digital advertising, largely driven by social advertising.  Mobile spending is growing faster than expected, cutting into the growth of other online advertising.  For example, online spending on ads viewed through desktops is still increasing, but overall only at single digit growth rates as more of the attention of consumers and advertisers alike shifts to mobile.  Local video spending on all platforms — mobile, online, TV over-the-air, cable and out-of-home — will grow, along with local video’s slice of the local advertising pie.”

kravitzpinkyLongtime WOND, Atlantic City Talk Host Pinky Kravitz Dies at 88.  The broadcaster known as “Mr. Atlantic City” died on Saturday (10/31) at the age of 88.  Pinky Kravitz had worked as a talk host at Longport Media’s WOND, Atlantic City since 1958.  He had missed his first ever air shift back in May after undergoing open heart surgery.  Kravitz chose to retire from WOND in August due to ongoing health issues.  New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella says in a statement, “Long before there was a Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity there were broadcasters like our friend Pinky Kravitz, who kept the talk radio format alive and well and indeed vibrant for five decades, thus paving the way for the great talk radio resurgence we witness today.  Legendary broadcasters like Pinky led the way in providing radio audiences with a rich and compelling listening experience.  In the best tradition of broadcast – live and local – Pinky had an engaging warmth with his audience that transcended the airwaves, which he did almost every day for over half a century.”

thompsonfredLawyer, Senator, Actor and Talk Host Fred Thompson Dead at 73.  Although he was best known to most Americans as the fictitious district attorney Arthur Branch on the “Law & Order” franchise, Fred Thompson also worked in spoken-word radio.  His first career was as an attorney. He served three terms as a Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee.  His radio work began in 2006 when he began with ABC Radio Networks filling in for Paul Harvey.  He joined Westwood One as a talk show host in 2009, taking over the time slot formerly held by Bill O’Reilly’s “The Radio Factor.”  That gig ended in 2011.  Thompson died Sunday (11/1) from complications from a recurrence of lymphoma.  TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian spoke with Thompson twice for profile pieces.  Read Kinosian’s story here.

elliottjoeLouisville Talk Host Joe Elliott’s WGTK ‘970 AM The Answer’ Program Cancelled.  After five years on Salem Media Group-owned WGTK, Louisville, Joe Elliott’s program was cancelled by management.  Elliott hosted the 8:00 am to 11:00 am program and announced his exit via Twitter.  Elliott previously worked in the market hosting the evening program at iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WHAS.

Odds & Sods.  In Minnesota, Hubbard adds KBUN-FM, Blackduck as a simulcast to sister sports talk KBUN-AM, Bemidji which carries the Fan Radio Network programming based at iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis…..Former WUCS, Hartford and Maxim Radio host Michael Bower is sitting in for Andy Slater onbowermike iHeartMedia’s sports talk WINZ, Miami today from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET…..Actor Danny Trejo was a guest on “Business Rockstars” recently speaking with host Ken Rutkowski about his new venture – a restaurant called Trejo’s Tacos…..The Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame announces next May’s Class of 2016 inductees.  The board of directors and the advisory council have chosen: Harry Chapman, Warren Medley, Dave Overton, Aaron B. Robinson Sr., Charlie Scott and Cal Young Jr. for the next class…..Boston University-owned news WBUR-FM, Boston’s names Anthony Brooks the NPR-affiliate station’s new senior political correspondent.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

| January 7, 2015

bloomquistrandallRandall Bloomquist Exits Cumulus Corporate PD Post.  News/talk pro Randall Bloomquist exits his corporate programming position with Cumulus Media due to “personal family reasons.”  Bloomquist – who has programmed such news/talk stations as WMAL, Washington; WGST, Atlanta; WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte; and WRVA, Richmond during his career – joined Cumulus in the fall of 2013 to oversee the company’s news/talk programming.  Bloomquist also served time as news/talk editor at the now-defunct Radio & Records trade magazine.

cristinajudgeKABC, Los Angeles Launches Judge Cristina, Dr. Drew Midday with New Schedule.  The addition of “Dr. Drew Midday with Mike Catherwood” to the daily program schedule on KABC, Los Angeles was announced late last year.  What wasn’t known was the addition of Judge Cristina Perez to the daily schedule for the “Live @ Nine” program.  Also, with the departure of Larry Elder from the station, Cumulus Media moves Jillian Barberie and John Phillips from middays to the afternoon drive slot.kabc logo  The company says, “‘Judge Cristina Live @ 9’ will focus on topical news throughout the region.  Judge Cristina has become a household name as one of the most influential syndicated television hosts from her work hosting court shows on network television, including ‘Justice for All with Judge Cristina Perez,’ (airing mornings on KCAL-TV in Los Angeles), ‘Cristina’s Court’  (FOX) and ‘La Corte de Familia’ (Telemundo).  She is the first Hispanic television judge to cross over from Spanish-language television to English-language television.  ‘Cristina’s Court’ won three consecutive Emmy Awards.  Cumulus EVP of content and programming John Dickey says, “Our live, local and topical programming has been incredibly well received by Los Angeles listeners.  We have attracted some of the top talent in the country and continue to bolster the station’s lineup in order to meet the interests of our widening audience.”  KABC operations director Drew Hayes adds, “KABC’S goal is to build a radio station that reflects the climate and attitude here.  KABC is a sunny and up-tempo station discussing the news of the day, populated with the nation’s leading personalities.  With these additions, we have successfully evolved the station to a compelling, entertaining, true Southern California station.”

tylerjeffJeff Tyler Assumes iHeartMedia Minneapolis Market President Post.  Longtime iHeartMedia executive Jeff Tyler is named the market president for the company’s Minneapolis cluster.  Tyler has been serving as regional market manager for the company overseeing the Madison and Milwaukee markets as well as operations in Grand Rapids/Muskegon, Michigan; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; and Rochester, Minnesota.  He comments, “I am excited to join a tremendous Minneapolis team in one of the best markets in the country.  It will be an honor to represent the historic call letters and franchises of the Twin Cities.  At the same time, it’s also bittersweet to leave teams in Madison and Milwaukee which have been a big part of my career and life.”

schnackejerrySchnacke Joins iHeartMedia Chicago as VP/Sales. After 17 years with the Chicago cluster now owned by Hubbard (previously by Bonneville), Jerry Schnacke joins crosstown iHeartMedia as vice president of sales.  iHeartMedia Chicago market president Matt Scarano comments, “I am thrilled to have Jerry as part of our team.  Jerry brings a wealth of expertise, high-level management experience, and a tremendous track record of success to our cluster.  I am looking forward to working closely with Jerry in his new role.”  Schnacke – who was vice president and market manager of the Hubbard Chicago facilities – remarks, “I am excited to be joining these iconic brands and honored to be on the iHeartMedia Chicago team with Matt Scarano.  I am looking forward to working closely with the staff and our clients.” Prior to his Hubbard-Bonneville Chicago tenure, Schnacke was vice president and general manger of the stations Lakeshore Communications owns in Springfield, Illinois. The “Windy City” iHM cluster is comprised of urban contemporary WGCI-FM, gospel WGRB “Inspiration 1390,” CHR WKSC “Kiss-FM,” hot AC WLIT “My-FM,” WNUA “Chicago’s Hit Country,” urban AC WVAZ “V-103,” and the company operates urban talk outlet WVON “The Talk of Chicago” under an LMA.  Hubbard Chicago consists of classic rock WDRV “The Drive,” adult contemporary WILV “Chicago’s 100.3,” and hot AC WTMX “The Mix.”

podcastone logoPodcastOne Names Kris Smith Chief Technical Officer.  Credited with starting one of the first podcast production companies in 2005, Kris Smith joins Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne to serve as chief technical officer.  The company says, “Smith has over a decade of experience in the medium, and has spent his career designing and developing digital products.”  Pattiz says, “Kris is a pioneer podcaster and innovator.  He has been creating podcasts and associated technology well before the medium ever went mainstream.  Having him join our team and lead the technological growth of our company is of the utmost importance as we continue to play a larger part in the growth of the industry.”  Smith replaces Rob Greenlee who will be starting his own consulting firm, with PodcastOne as its first client.

kleinaaronIsrael-Based Talk Host Aaron Klein Joins ConnectPal for Digital Platform.  Currently heard in New York City on Salem-owned WNYM “AM 970 The Answer,” New York Times best-selling author Aaron Klein joins ConnectPal.com with daily audio updates.  ConnectPal states that “in addition to moving hisconnectpal podcasts exclusively to ConnectPal.com, Klein will distribute a new investigative audio feature throughout the week focused on the hottest breaking news stories.  Plus, Klein will launch a ‘Reporter’s Notebook’ for his subscribers on ConnectPal, bringing listeners inside his daily investigative reporting, including his unique style of Middle East reportage.”  Klein comments, “I have been searching for the best platform to launch regular audio and insider content throughout the week and have finally found an exciting, highly user-friendly marketplace in ConnectPal.com.  I’m thrilled to be joining the portal and look forward to providing invigorating, newsy, exclusive additional content to my growing audience.”

cookehollandCES 2015: The Connected Car Accelerates.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is reporting from the enormous International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas all this week and today’s report focuses on the connected car.  Cooke writes, “The last several years’ conversation about radio’s position in the new-tech dashboard remains largely academic.  As new non-AM/FM audio competitors appear there – and drivers’ attention is shared with so many non-audio apps now factory-installed – draconian radio cutbacks continue to dilute the localism that would continue to make stations unique among competitors.”  Read more from Sin City here.

playit logoCBS Launches ‘Play It’ Podcast Platform.  Providing a podcast platform for the company’s talent, CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital Media announced the debut of Play.it.  The company says the “new podcast network brings together digital-exclusive programming from major brands and publishers as well as content from CBS RADIO shows on demand.”  The service “offers more than 300 premium content podcasts at launch, including podcasts from well-known CBS RADIO personalities like Boomer Esiason & Craig Carton, Carson Daly, and Kevin & Bean, as well as content from leading news, lifestyle, sports and media brands including 48 HOURS, 60 MINUTES, CBS Sports Radio, Vox, Deadspin, Simon & Schuster and Foursquare, among others.”

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CBS Radio, Bloomberg Join Forces. The arrangement calls for Bloomberg Radio to be the primary supplier of business reports for CBS Radio’s owned-and-operated radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, and three other markets. CBS Radio executive vice president of operations/CBS Radio New York market manager Scott Herman comments, “This partnership will greatly raise the level of our business coverage, enhancing our product incbsradio cities from coast to coast.  Bloomberg reporters will offer expertise and depth to local business stories of interest, reaching audiences of our individual radio stations.”  Bloomberg Radio station manager Al Mayers states, “Partnering with CBS Radio was a natural fit that brings together the leader in news radio with the global leader in business news.  It’s an important milestone for Bloomberg as we expand our audience of business decision makers.”  United Stations Radio Networks is Bloomberg’s marketing partner, and it will handle advertising usrnsales and sponsorships, as well as distribution. USRN president and chief operating officer Jim Higgins remarks, “With the addition of these great CBS Radio stations to our existing Bloomberg lineup, it clearly makes Bloomberg the preeminent business radio network for advertisers seeking an association with this extremely attractive and desirable audience. We are thrilled to be working with two of the most respected names in journalism.” Bloomberg Radio reporters are providing business news updates twice an hour on CBS Radio all-news stations, and at designated times on other CBS Radio properties.

kidd logoBuckley Shuts Down Sports Talk KIDD, Monterey.  According to a story in the Monterey Herald, Buckley Broadcasting took sports talker KIDD, Monterey “ESPN Central Coast” dark on New Year’s Eve and will try to sell the frequency.  Station EVP Kathy Baker confirmed the move and the paper reports that cost was the factor in the decision to shut down the station.  Issues related to tower maintenance of the almost 60-year old station appear to have been paramount.  The towers reside in a coastal wetland and the company says it will take down the towers.

Odds & Sods.  Named to the permanent afternoon drive daypart at iHeartMedia’s Fresno news/talk simulcast of KALZ-FM and KRZR “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM 1400” is Christopher Gabriel.  He comes to the market from his most recent gig as morning personality at WDAY, Fargo and begins his new post on January 19…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles takes a special look at the hacking of the entertainment industry with the program “Lights, Camera, Terror: Hacking Hollywood,” to air on January 13 at 10:00 am PT.  Hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman, the show will feature guests including: Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief & CEO, The Wrap entertainment website; Matthew Belloni, executive editor, The Hollywood Reporter; Jonathan Handel, entertainment/technology attorney, Troy Gould; and Ross Crystal, KNX entertainment correspondent.

cnbc logoCNBC To Cease Nielsen Ratings Relationship. In a television development that might be of some interest to radio operators, CNBC becomes the first-ever cable outlet to end its ratings relationship with Nielsen. As of the fourth quarter of this year, Cogent Reports will measure CNBC’s business day. CNBC president Mark Hoffman states that throughout the network’s 25-year history, “Traditional measurement companies have struggled to capture CNBC’s audience of business executives, decision makers, and affluent investors who watch our network from their corner offices, trading floors, five-star hotel rooms, country clubs, restaurants and health clubs. We are excited to begin to provide our marketing partners with a more complete understanding of the power and quality of our prestigious audience.” Downplaying the decision of its rival, Fox Business Channel executive vice president of advertising Paul Rittenberg tells The Wall Street Journal, “Only using the numbers you like is a little tough to sell.” Another business player – Bloomberg Television – has never been measured by Nielsen. According to a Nielsen spokesperson quoted in The Wall Street Journal, “For networks with niche audiences like CNBC, pure age and gender-based ratings are not always the best means against which to sell.” The spokesperson notes that Nielsen will continue to measure CNBC’s evening programs. Market Strategies International‘s Cogent Reports will be measuring a television network’s audience for the first time. It will survey over 1,000 investors and financial advisers on their daily media habits; that data will provide CNBC’s ratings. Nielsen figures indicate CNBC’s average 9:30 am – 5:00 pm audience in 2014 was 177,000, which is down 13% from 2013 and off 17% from 2004.

GOP Takes Over Congress/Boehner Vote, Keystone Pipeline Legislation, Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Cold Snap, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/6).  The official swearing in of the new Congress and the political storm over a contentious vote to return John Boehner to Speaker of the House; the potential fate of the Keystone Pipeline legislation the GOP Congress is promising to revive; sinking oil prices, the state of the euro and the effects on the world financial markets; the potential candidates for president including speculation about Rick Santorum’s possible run; the bitter cold affecting much of the nation; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

| January 6, 2015

mcmahonbillBill McMahon: 14 Traits Inherent in Top Radio Personalities.  In a piece published today (1/6) in TALKERS magazine, The Authentic Personality CEO Bill McMahon outlines what he calls “reasoned approach to evaluating talent.”  McMahon says that in creating this list of traits he “wanted to create a framework to have a meaningful and productive conversation about why a prospective air personality will succeed or fail.”  The traits fall into three categories: Personal, content, and performance.  The personal traits predict listener appeal and talent motivation.  The content traits predict the ability to generate distinctive, appealing and memorable content.  The performance traits predict the ability to present attractive content with impact.  Read McMahon’s full explanation here.

rogersmikeNew Year’s Debuts from Westwood One and NBC Sports Radio.  The first full week of the New Year marked the launch of new daily feature from former congressman and House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Rogers.  Produced by Westwood One and titled, “Something to Think About with Mikefloriomike Rogers,” the three, daily, one-minute features “provide listeners with an insider’s way of understanding critical issues and the most-talked-about topics of the day.”  On the sports side, the new midday show on the NBC Sports Radio Network hosted by Mike Florio launched Monday.  “ProFootballTalkLive with Mike Florio” airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and, as its name implies, features Florio’s “critically acclaimed NFL insight and all-encompassing coverage of the league with the most current news, analysis, and thought-provoking debate.”  Debut show guests included Denver Broncos EVP of football operations John Elway, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino, and Tom Curran of CSN-New England.

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WTMJ, Milwaukee Adds Daily Business Show.  The program airs from 4:00 am to 5:00 am and is called “Wisconsin Business Today.”  Hosted by Danny Clayton, the new program covers news on national and local business with special focus on agribusiness.   Journal Broadcast Group Milwaukee Radio Operations VP Tom Langmyer says, “WTMJ is Wisconsin’s Radio Station and waking up to the business of our state and community is a good way to start the day.  WTMJ is excited to add yet another hour of live and local programming to our daily lineup.”  Clayton also serves as morning host at WTMJ sister classic hits outlet WLWK “94.5 The Lake.”

Odds & Sods.  As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feeder, three of the former WGWG-LP, Chicago sports talk hosts – Jarrett Payton, Connor McKnight and Adam Hoge – have been given a weekend show on Tribune’s news/talk WGN.  “The Game” airs from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.  Tribune shut down the sports talker after a year on the air…..SiriusXM announces the debut of a new channel called “SiriusXM Insight” that the satcaster says will be a “groundbreaking news, information, and entertainment radio channel offering listeners inspiring ideas and intelligent conversation with an edge.  Designed to reach fans that enjoy the eclectic subject matter of publiclewislori radio, SiriusXM Insight will feature an array of fresh, diverse voices addressing a new era of issues in a lively, smart, and sometimes humorous approach.”  Personalities appearing on the channel include: Pete Dominick, Margaret Hoover, John Fugelsang, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Karen Hunter, Dean Obeidallah, Alan Dershowitz, Perri Peltz, Bob Roth, and many more…..The Conclave board of directors elects Lori Lewis board chairperson.  Lewis is director of digital & social strategies for Jacobs Media.  She takes over for Mark Bolke who served as chair since 2009…..Former Connecticut governor and WTIC-AM, Hartford talk show host John Rowland’s sentencing on campaign law violations has been postponed as he mounts the claim that prosecutors withheld evidence.  Read the story in the Hartford Courant here.

cookehollandReport from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.  The big, international trade show taking place in Las Vegas this week officially opens today and radio consultant Holland Cooke is on the scene reporting back for TALKERS magazine.  Cooke says two major keynoters are Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields, who can be expected to provide an update on the “connected car,” and CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves.  Read Holland Cooke’s story here.

NYPD-De Blasio Standoff, Bill Clinton/Prince Andrew Palm Beach Pedophile Controversy, Hoodie/Mask Ban Proposal, 2016 Presidential Prospects, New Congress, Mario Cuomo Dies, Winter Cold Spell, Sinking Oil Prices/Eurozone Fears, and NFL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/5).  The ongoing feud between the NYPD rank-and-file and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio; allegations of Britain’s Prince Andrew and former President Bill Clinton being involved with underage girls in connection with accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein; the proposal to outlaw the wearing of hoods or masks in public; chatter about the potential presidential candidates in the 2016 race; the influx of 71 new members of Congress; the death of liberal standard bearer Mario Cuomo; the blast of arctic air hitting much of the U.S. this week; the effects of sinking oil prices and the tumbling euro on the world’s financial markets; and the weekend’s NFL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.