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Thursday, February 27, 2014

| February 27, 2014

millerjpatJournal’s WTMJ and ‘The Lake’ Name J. Pat Miller to Marketing Post.  At the Milwaukee properties news/talk WTMJ and adult hits WLWK “94.5 The Lake,” Journal Broadcast Group ups J. Pat Miller to the new position director of marketing & innovation.  The company says that in his new role, he’ll be responsible for the overall marketing activities of WTMJ and WLWK as well as designing and implementing new brand programs.  VP and GMwtmj logo Tom Langmyer comments, “J. Pat has demonstrated his ability to create and develop new revenue streams.  He will focus more of his attention on additional initiatives to grow our business.”  Miller adds, “This new role is vital to our growth and the industry as a whole.  The incredible team here at Journal’s Milwaukee Radio Operations can effortlessly pull off most anything we create.”  Miller is overseeing the promotions department and the company announces that Alison Helf is named promotions manager.

wgwg logoTribune’s WGWG-LP, Chicago Brings McKnight Aboard.  The fledgling sports talk station Tribune’s WGN is building and airing on LMA’d WGWG-LP “The Game 87.7” adds another local sports talk personality to its staff.  Connor McKnight – who’s served with CBS RADIO’s WSCR “The Score” for the past four years – joins “The Game 87.7” for an on-air role.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, McKnight will “make his first appearance Thursday (2/27) on Mark Carman’s show, which airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.”  Feder reports he’ll become part of the daily lineup.  At WSCR, McKnight hosted the “Hit and Run” baseball show as well as having been an anchor and reporter at the station.  Read Feder’s story here.

diminochrisChris Dimino Set to Join ‘680 The Fan’ for ‘Rude Awakening’ Show.  As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, former WQXI sports talk personality Chris Dimino will become part of WCNN “680 The Fan” in an on-air capacity as his non-compete clause from WQXI expires on March 17.  Dimino has been working for the station in an off-air capacity since last September but Ho reports he’ll join Christopher Rude and Perry Laurentino on the morning show soon.  Dimino was part of the WQXI morning program – including fellow hosts Steak Shapiro and Nick Cellini – that was fired in the wake of the poorly thought out bit poking fun at former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason who is suffering from ALS.  Read Ho’s entire piece here.

nab logoNAB Rejects Elimination of Advertising Tax Deduction.  As part of a comprehensive tax code overhaul proposal being spearheaded by House Ways and Means Chairman David Camp (R-MI), the deduction that businesses can claim for advertising expenses would be eliminated and this oft-considered-but-never-enacted change has the NAB letting legislators know how it feels about it.  NAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton states, “NAB strongly opposes any job-killing proposal that would limit the ability of thousands of large and small businesses from fully deducting their annual advertising expenses.  Advertising on local radio and television stations is a key driver of the American economy – indeed, a recent study found local broadcast advertising generates $1.05 trillion in GDP and supports 1.48 million jobs.  NAB will work with lawmakers and other stakeholders to ensure the advertising tax deduction continues to create economic prosperity and well-paying jobs.”  Since ad deduction elimination is just one part of a comprehensive tax overhaul proposal, it’s difficult to say how it would affect a company’s bottom line in the long run.  Camp has stated his goal is to simplify the tax code – not to increase anyone’s tax burden – and there are other proposed changes that promise to help the bottom line of corporate and individual taxpayers.  This is an election year so it’s unlikely there will be any action on this front any time soon.

clyburnmignonFCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn Defends CIN; Implies It’s Misunderstood.  During a speech at Washington, DC’s Media Institute on Wednesday (2/26), FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn defended the controversial Critical Information Needs (CIN) study that would have researchers quizzing journalists and managers about how they choose news stories and information for dissemination to the public.  Her speech came the day after Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) promised legislation to put the FCC’s study to rest for good, citing its potential intrusion into First Amendment areas and its scope being beyond the purview of the Commission.  Clyburn explained that the Commission needs to understand the markets it regulates.  She said that she would never be a part of anything that seeks to chill free speech or shape news gathering and that the goal was to “gather data and other information about whether there are any market entry barriers, preventing local communities from receiving important information…I am about facilitating ownership and opportunities and making sound decisions about our most critical industries based on solid research and not rhetoric.”  Still, critics of the study argue that neither Clyburn nor FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler have adequately explained the connection between interviewing news people about story selection policy and barriers to station ownership for minorities.

blackburnvalerieValerie Blackburn to Step Down at CBS RADIO Los Angeles.  The word from Los Angeles is Valerie Blackburn – currently serving as controller for the CBS RADIO Los Angeles cluster and general manager of news/talk KFWB (residing in the KFWB license trust) – is resigning from her positions and is planning to take some time away from radio and work to travel and be with family and friends.  Her exit will not be immediate and it’s assumed CBS is already working on finding her replacement.

schultzAZSchultz Honored by Arizona Progressives.  Nationally syndicated talk show host and MSNBC personality Ed Schultz is pictured here speaking at the annual Arizona Advocacy Network dinner on Saturday, February 22.  Schultz was honored by the group for his work on key progressive issues and he addressed the attendees.  He was clearly in the right state at the right time with the controversy over the Arizona religious freedom bill such a hot-button issue. (Photo: Josselyn Berry)

farberericanewRAB: Radio’s Digital Revenue Expected to Rise 22%.  That’s from the just-released Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues report from Borrell Associates and the Radio Advertising Bureau.  The report states that digital revenues went up 15% in 2013 and the total figure for 2014 could be as high as $520 million.  Some figures from this year’s report: the average radio station brought in $166,490 in digital advertising – about 3% of its total revenue; some large-market stations report making millions; the average revenue for four-station clusters is approaching $750,000.  The data for the study is culled from three sources: ad revenue reported by the stations, local business ad spending, and a survey of radio managers.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “We’re experiencing year-over-year, double-digit growth in radio; and to truly maximize this revenue stream this survey continues to provide us with areas to improve upon and ultimately grow our overall revenue share.  Most notably, sales managers are looking for continued training for their sales staffs and a better understanding of the digital buying community.  The RAB is poised to help in this area through our professional development programs and outreach.”

millerstephanieOdds & Sods.  Talk show host Stephanie Miller‘s “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” hits Fort Lauderdale, Florida Saturday, March 1.  The progressive talker, whose show has played in theaters to sold-out crowds across the country, is appearing at the Parker Playhouse  along with John Fugelsang, Carlos Alazraqui, special panel guest Judy Tenuta and more surprises…..“SportsRadio 94” WIP-FM, Philadelphia is presenting the “Great Birds Debate” remote broadcast today at Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.  The station says it is one of the few times all year that the WIP wiplogoairstaff is on the same stage together.   Personalities Angelo Cataldi, Rhea Hughes, Michael Barkann, Ike Reese, Anthony Gargano, four-time champion Rob Ellis (also a member of the CBS 3 Sports Team), Josh Innes, Howard Eskin, CBS 3 Sports Director Beasley Reece, and Philadelphia Eagles insider Dave Spadaro will all be present to discuss and debate questions about the Eagles present and future.  The event is free and open to the public…..At Detroit urban talker WCHB, John Mason leaves that Radio One outlet masonjohnto take over the morning slot at sister urban AC WDMK where Reach Media’s Tom Joyner has been airing.  Joyner moves to mornings at WCHB and that bumps talk host Mildred Gaddis from AMs to afternoon drive in Mason’s old slot…..A couple of notes from SiriusXM: U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will appear on the next installment of the “SiriusXM Leading Ladies” series, “candid conversations with influential and inspiring women who have forged their own paths to leadership and success.”  SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. host and veteran White House correspondent Julie Mason will host the program on March 4 before a live audience at The Newseum in Washington, D.C.  In addition to the one-on-one conversation between Leader Pelosi and Mason, the one-hour town hall style event will have an interactive element featuring questions from an audience of SiriusXM listeners, female students from D.C. universities and Newseum members.  Also from SiriusXM, sports talk host Casey Stern re-ups with the satcaster for his daily hosting spot on the MLB Network Radio channel, as well as for expanded duties on additional SiriusXM sports channels.  Stern will continue to host “Inside Pitch” alongside his co-host, former Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden, every weekday afternoon…..Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York is bringing the world of fashion to its airwaves as it takes a look back at NY Fashion Week with an exclusive interview with Kenneth Cole.  Hosted by Cristina Cuomo, editor of Manhattan magazine, from the Modern Luxury arm of Cumulus Media, the interview digs into Cole’s ambitions and inspirations.  He also shares details of his groundbreaking advertising campaigns, views of fashion, social media, and much more.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “It was a real honor to work with our sister publication Manhattan and Cristina Cuomo to bring the iconic designer to WABC Radio.  We are already making plans for this fall’s Fashion Week.”

bfoabryantgroupBroadcasters Foundation of America Raises More Than $200,000 at ‘Golden Mike’ Event.  At Monday evening’s black tie 2014 Golden Mike Award Dinner honoring BMI president Del Bryant, the Broadcasters Foundation of America raised more than $200,000 for its mission of helping broadcasters in need.  More than 200 television, radio, and music industry executives and celebrities were in attendance.  The evening was hosted by CBS NewsBob Schieffer.  Presenters for the evening were longtime personal and professional friends of Bryant’s:  Michael Bolton, performer and BMI songwriter; Jack Sander, former chairman of the BMI board of directors; and Sandra Lee, internationally acclaimed culinary and home style expert and host of four highly rated programs on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, plus HGTV.  Legendary singer, songwriter, musician, and actor Kris Kristofferson performed, as did songwriter Brenda Russell, who sang her top 10 hit “Piano In The Dark,” and “Get Here.”  Dolly Parton opened a very moving video that provided a glimpse into Bryant’s amazing life — from his early years growing up as the son of songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant through his incredible 42-year career at BMI where he championed the works of some of the biggest songwriters in entertainment.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Jim Thompson (president of the Broadcasters Foundation), Michael Bolton, Sandra Lee, Del Bryant, Bryant’s son Thaddeus, Kris Kristofferson, Brenda Russell, Bob Schieffer, and Phil Lombardo (chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation).

Brewer Vetoes ‘Religious Rights’ Bill, ObamaCare Criticism, U.S.-Russia Tensions Over Crimea-Ukraine, Immigration Legislation, Bitcoin Controversy, and Hillary Clinton in 2016 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26).  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes legislation that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to some based on religious beliefs; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the political tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the strife in Ukraine and Crimea; new immigration legislation that includes an amnesty component; the bitcoin movement and recent events questioning its value; and speculation about Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, October 18, 2013

| October 18, 2013

limbaughrushLimbaugh on WPHT: ‘It’s a Talent-Driven Business…’  Rush Limbaugh doesn’t do a lot of appearances on affiliate stations these days but his (and fellow Premiere Networks star Sean Hannity’s) return to CBS Radio’s WPHT,wphtlogo Philadelphia this month was cause to appear on the WPHT morning show with host Chris Stigall to talk about his return and the state of the news/talk product.  When Stigall brought up that there’s controversy in the industry over the notion political news/talk radio is a dying format, Limbaugh asked, “Who says that? Is it consultants?…That’s the wrong instruction to give people.  Do a good show!…What I told the affiliates at the NAB Radio Show was if people have to listen with two tin cans and a piece of string, they will if the show is good.”  Limbaugh said the concept of getting away from politics because the country’s tired of it is wrong.  “A – the country is not fed up with it.  A large and potentially huge audience is really engaged and fit to be tied and is waiting for either engagement, instruction, conflict, drama, what-have-you about it.  I don’t know who comes up with these ideas.”  Limbaugh says on-air talent have to be passionate about the topics.  “It’s a performers business; it’s a talent-driven business.”

gutierrezandresDave Ramsey and GLR Networks Team to Syndicate Andres Gutierrez Program.  Andres Gutierrez has been associated with nationally syndicated radio star Dave Ramsey since 2009 but now Ramsey’s company announces it is teaming up with GLR Networks to distribute Gutierrez’s personal finance program to the national Hispanic market.  The companies state, “This program is formatted to specifically target Mexican Regional stations and covers all current personal finance topics that affect the lives of today’s Latinos.  Such topics include: budgeting, debt elimination, buying a house, and the importance of retirement planning, among others.  GLR Networks VP of ad sales Luis Gutierrez states, “’The Andres Gutierrez Show’ will offer advertisers the opportunity to reach a new and growing audience enthusiastic about Andre’s unique approach to personal finance.”  Dave Ramsey show VP of broadcast Brian Mayfield adds, “We are excited about what the team at GLR Networks can provide for the future success of ‘The Andres Gutierrez Show.”’ Currently GLR Networks holds exclusive radio rights for Chivas de Guadalajara.  It also includes programs such as: “El Cucuy de la Mañana” con Renán Almendárez Coello, “Échate Pa’Cá” con Ana María Canseco, “Minuto 60,” “Neida Sandoval,” “Fútbol Liga Mexicana,” and “40 Principales.”

bellaviadavidWBEN, Buffalo Adds Iraq War Vet for Local Late Night Show.  Entercom news/talker WBEN, Buffalo “The Voice of Buffalo” adds another local program to its weekday lineup with the David Bellavia show airing from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am beginning October 21. Bellavia is a decorated Iraq War veteran who ran for United States Congress in Western New York inwben 2012.  He describes himself as an “unapologetic American, veteran advocate, and conservative Republican.”  Bellavia will also continue to fill-in during weekdays when veteran hosts Tom Bauerle, Sandy Beach and Rush Limbaugh are away.  Operations manager Tim Wenger states, “Our audience craves live and local talk.  David Bellavia has developed a great relationship with Buffalo radio listeners.  We couldn’t be more excited about David’s potential and this new program expands WBEN’s already powerful local reach.  The David Bellavia show once again highlights Entercom’s and WBEN’s continued commitment to provide Buffalo the best news/talk station and the very best in live and local programming.”

hannityseanSean Hannity to Jump to KSKY, Dallas in the New Year.  After the Sean Hannity program leaves Cumulus Media’s WBAP, Dallas at the end of December, there’s no more wondering if the Premiere Networks show will find akskylogo Dallas affiliate.  Salem-owned KSKY, Dallas announces it will pick up the show and air it live from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm CT.  Currently, local talk host Jon David Wells is heard during that daypart and he will move to an 8:00 pm start in January.  Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “After five years I am finally re-joined by the monster I helped create.  When the opportunity arose to place Sean on one of our top news/talk stations in Dallas I had to ask the question, ‘Are you kidding me?’  ‘660 AM The Answer’ has already substantially benefitted from hiring the popular Mark Davis from WBAP and Jon David Wells from KLIF.  We anticipate continued strong audience growth as we have experienced over the last year with the addition of Hannity to our excellent lineup of local and national hosts.”

cclogoClear Channel Adds Two to Political Strategy Department.  Will Leaverton and Brice Kornegay are joining Clear Channel Media and Entertainment as vice presidents of political strategy, effective immediately.  They will report directly to Nathan Daschle, EVP of political strategy and will be located in Washington, D.C.  The company states that “in these new positions, Leaverton and Kornegay will develop and execute ‘Go To Market’ strategies for various outlets in the political marketplace by utilizing Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s local and national on air, digital, mobile, live event and outdoor assets in a targeted and powerful way.”  Clear Channel established the political strategy team in June of this year to focus on “working with political and issue advertisers and agencies to develop custom strategies that leverage the reach and power of Clear Channel.”  Leaverton most recently was field director for Bill Thompson’s New York mayoral campaign.  Prior to that, he served as the deputy national GOTV director for Obama for America, a committee liaison for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and a number of democratic campaigns in multiple states.  Kornegay was most recently president of BK Strategies, LLC a political consultancy firm.  He also served as a political field director and polling director for the Republican Governors Association, field representative for the National Republican Congressional Committee and worked on a number of campaigns in Oklahoma.

knssstevetedSteve McIntosh and Ted Woodward Celebrate 4,000 Morning Shows Together.  Entercom’s news/talk KNSS, Wichita celebrates the 4,000-show anniversary of morning duo Steve & Ted.  On Thursday, October 17, McIntosh and Woodward did their 4,000th program as Wichita’s longest-running morning show.  KNSS program  director Tony Duesing says, “One of the reasons Steve and Ted have been around all this time is because they have a great audience. They not only give the city of Wichita the very latest info, they are also fun to listen to.”  Steve McIntosh was inducted into the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2008.  In addition, both Steve McIntosh and Ted Woodward have won multiple awards from the K.A.B. Steve and Ted began broadcasting their morning radio show in the spring of 1998.

ramseyLA2013Ramsey Takes on Spokane and Los Angeles.  Nationally syndicated radio talk show host and New York Times best-selling author Dave Ramsey presented his new “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event to a full house in Spokane on Thursday, October 17.  Ramsey talked about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KXLY to promote this event.  PD Bud Nameck, says, “We are very excited to have Dave visit KXLY and Spokane!  Feedback from our listeners has been amazing since ‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ joined our line-up this summer.  It’s exciting to watch Dave interact with our listeners.”  Ramsey also hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” in Los Angeles on Wednesday at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.  Affiliate KFWB participated in the event.  KFWB market manager Valerie Blackburn states, “Dave Ramsey’s ‘EntreLeadership’ event was an incredible learning experience for the attendees.  Business owners, entrepreneurs and clients were all captivated by Dave’s passion and enthusiasm for leadership excellence.”  Pictured here at the Los Angeles event are: KFWB program director Andy Ludlum (second from left), Blackburn (second from right), Ramsey (third from right), and the KFWB sales team.

sliwacurtisCurtis Sliwa Named Inductee into NYSBA Hall of Fame.  WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” personality Curtis Sliwa is being inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Thursday, November 7 at the Paley Center for Media in Manhattan.  Sliwa and WQHT, New York personality Funkmaster Flex are the only two radio broadcasters to be inducted this year.

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds WKVL, Knoxville, Tennessee to its list of affiliate stations…..Talk Media Network syndicated “Legends of Success with John Resnick” is added to the program schedule at – WOGO, Eau Claire, Wisconsin…..The “Motley Fool Stock Watch” feature is added to the programming at the following affiliate stations: WTOP, Washington; KBNP, Portland; WRSB, Rochester; KFAQ, Tulsa; WZON, Bangor; and KWYO, Sheridan, Wyoming…..“America Tonight” with Kate Delaney joins the lineup at KINX, Great Falls, Montana; and KSXL, Barstow, California.

Temporary Budget Deal Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of October 14-18.  The lead-up to and consummation of the budget deal that ends the government shutdown was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 this week was the associated debt limit issue.  Following at #3 was the controversy over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and at #4 was the state of the Republican Party.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, April 11 2013

| April 11, 2013

fishercommunicationsFisher Communications to Be Acquired by Sinclair Broadcasting for $373.3 Million.  Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. announces that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Fisher Communications, Inc. for $373.3 million.  The deal will see Fisher shareholders get $41 in cash for each share of Fisher common stock.komologo  That’s 44% over the closing price of Fisher stock on January 9 of this year.  Fisher only owns three radio signals – hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5,” all-news KOMO-AM and news/talk KVI (it manages South Sound Broadcasting-owned KOMO-FM as a simulcast of KOMO-AM).  It owns 20 television stations.  Sinclair president and CEO David Smith states, “We are excited to acquire Fisher and expand our coverage westward, especially in the two key markets of Seattle (DMA 12) and Portland (DMA 22).  Started in 1910, Fisher’s history of operating television and radio stations in the northwest corner of the U.S. has played an important role in its communities and in producing high-quality local news.  We look forward to expanding upon those traditions and improving the cash flow of the stations through the benefits that come with our scale.”  Sinclair began selling off its radio stations in the 1990s and sold the final bunch in 2000.  It seems very likely that the TV-centric company would turn around and sell the Seattle radio stations, however it has not indicated its intent regarding a return to radio.

knx logoKNX, Los Angeles to Celebrate 45 Years as All-News Outlet.  On Monday, April 15, CBS Radio’s KNX, Los Angeles will recognize its 45th year as an all-news radio station.  As the company notes in a statement, “A stunned nation was still in shock following the assassination of Martin Luther King when just 11 days later on April 15, 1968, CBS-owned KNX-AM significantly increased the time it devoted to news coverage, essentially launching an all-news format that continues today…Less than two months after the King shooting in Memphis, KNX would be covering another national tragedy, this one with indelible ties to Los Angeles, when Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was killed at the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard.  Before the 60s drew to a close, KNX would cover a moon landing and a Manson massacre, symbolic of the mix of ludlumandyprominent national and local events that were to become the fabric of KNX’s dedication to reporting major news stories.”  KNX director of news and programming Andy Ludlum says, “Since 1968 we’ve seen eight U.S. presidents, six California governors and five L.A. mayors.  We’ve had riots, fires, earthquakes, mudslides, hosted the Olympics, lost a couple of football teams, rooted the Lakers to 11 titles, watched OJ run wild on the freeways and recently endured a nightmarish hunt for a fugitive cop-killer.  And through it all, KNX has embodied trust, integrity and credibility.  We all feel a sense of responsibility to follow in the footsteps of so many great KNX news people like Bill Keene, Alex Sullivan, Jon Goodman, Barry Rohde, Beach Rogers, Dave Zorn and Harry Birrell, to name just a few.  You hear the pride in the great heritage of KNX in the work of today’s anchors like Dick Helton, Vicky Moore, Tom Haule, Linda Nunez, Diane Thompson, Jim Thornton and Chris Sedens.”

courtsidelogoRoby Wiener Joins Courtside Entertainment Group.  Ad executive Roby Wiener becomes part of the Courtside Entertainment Group in a newly created position: executive vice president of client strategy.  Courtside says that in this post, Wiener will oversee branding, client strategy and market research for all of Courtside’s divisions, including radio, Launchpad Digital Media and PodcastOne.com.  She will be based in New York and will report pattiznormdirectly to Courtside chairman Norm Pattiz.  Pattiz states, “I can’t think of a better person to communicate the value of the changes that are going on in media today.  I’ve known Roby longer than I’ve known my wife and I love her almost as much.  I couldn’t be happier to have her as a part of our team on this very exciting ride.”  Wiener most recently served with Dial Global, joining the company after its merger with Westwood One which she’d been with since 2006 as chief marketing officer and EVP of marketing.  Previously, Wiener served as executive vice president client strategies & services for the Premiere Radio Networks for eight years and spent over 11 years at Warner-Lambert, a leading consumer product company that was among the top five largest national radio advertisers, as senior media manager of the company’s Advertising Services Department.  She says, “Technology continues to shape the way people share ideas and my passion has always been to help advertisers be an important part of that dialog.  Launchpad’s communication platform provides a remarkable new approach for advertisers to tell their stories with an authenticity that truly resonates with consumers, engaging with them on their terms.  I have had the pleasure of working with both Norm Pattiz and Dan Yukelson at various stages of my career and I am eager to collaborate with them and the team in this new venture.”

hatleybrentLongtime Bubba the Love Sponge Producer Brent Hatley Exits.  The man who’s been Bubba the Love Sponge’s right-hand man for the past 13 years tells the Tampa Bay Times that there is no acrimony between he and Bubba the Love Sponge – he simply wants to branch out into other things and he’s unable to pursue those interests while continuing to work on the program.  Bubba told his audience that Brent Hatley would be leaving, admitting he’s surprised by the move but saying the door is always open to Hatley coming back should he choose to.  In the meantime, Shannon Burke – former WTKS, Orlando talk show host and current personality on Bubba’s online radio channel Radio IO – will get a weeklong tryout to take over Hatley’s role with the WHPT, Tampa-based program.

kfwbKFWB, Los Angeles Adds Sports Programming.  L.A. news/talk outlet KFWB announces it is adding sports talk content to its news and talk programming. Using content from CBS Sports Radio Network and NBC Sports Radio Network, the station will air Jim Rome’s commentaries (CBS) as well as the Amani & Eytan show (NBC) with Amani Toomer and Eytan Shander for the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot plus the Eric Kuselias program (NBC) from 3:00 am to 5:00 am.  KFWB is also adding the locally produced “KFWB’s Sports Knight with Michael Knight” for the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot.  Knight serves as an anchor with the station.  KFWB general manager Valerie Blackburn says, “As the flagship station of the Los Angeles Clippers, we want to give our sports fans more of an opportunity to be part of the sports conversation.  We continue to look for ways to give our listeners and clients the best possible programming options available.”

ksro logoLocal Group to Buy Five-Station Santa Rosa Cluster.  The investors – Sonoma Media Group — is headed by former owner of the stations, Lawrence Amaturo, who sold the cluster in 2000 for almost $30 million.  The price to re-acquire the stations from Connecticut-based Maverick Media is $4.5 millionamaturolawrence according to a piece in the Press-Democrat.  The stations include news/talk KSRO, classic rock KVRV “The River,” CHR KHTH “Hot 101.7,” country KFGY “Froggy 92.9,” and hot AC KMHX “Mix 104.9.”  Amaturo tells the paper, “The opportunity was irresistible.  More than half of this community is listening to these stations each week…They’re more popular than when I sold them in 2000, but their revenue is down and their profit is down.  I’m able to reinvest in these radio stations, in programming and promotion, which the current owners were not able to do. There was too much debt.”  Amaturo says he has no plans to make changes to the stations and may consider bringing local programs that were recently cancelled back to the air.

raytomIP Codecs, Transmitters, the Future of AM and other Cool Stuff.  These are the topics addressed in this week’s column by TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray, inspired by his visit to the 2013 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  According to Ray, “Just about everything I saw at the NAB was IP, IP, IP.”  The engineering wizard also shares his seasoned insights into the revitalization of AM approaching the subject from angles ignored by most industry observers.  On the subject of transmitters (yes, we still use them in radio), Ray says the trend is to deliver more in less space.  Read the entire installment of the engineering column that “isn’t just for engineers because in today’s radio environment programmers and management have to worry about engineering a lot more than they used to” by clicking here.

lycangarySouthern California Radio Writer Gary Lycan Dies at 68.  The longtime Orange County Register radio columnist had been battling prostate cancer for the past several years and died in his sleep on Tuesday at age 68.  Gary Lycan’s final column ran in the OC Register on Saturday.  He began his career with the paper in 1962 as a copy boy and worked his way up to assistant managing editor for features – a post he held until he left his full-time position with the paper in 2002.  Since that time and up to his death, he continued to write his radio column as a freelancer.   It was widely regarded as a special window into the radio and media world for Southern California readers.

ramseynabhofDave Ramsey Enters the Hall of Fame.  At the NAB Show Luncheon on Tuesday, nationally syndicated talk show host Dave Ramsey was inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  He’s pictured here (r) with NAB chief executive officer Gordon Smith (l) accepting a commemorative plaque.

Gun Legislation Proposals, Immigration Overhaul Bill, North Korea Missile Threats, Mitch McConnell-Ashley Judd Case, and Obama’s Budget Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10).  The continuing efforts to pass gun legislation; the immigration overhaul bill offered by Senate Democrats; tension over North Korea’s missile threats; the controversy over the recording of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s Ashley Judd strategy; and President Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

| January 10, 2013

crowleyjerrySalem Communications Ups Sean O’Neil in NYC; Names Jerry Crowley VP/GM of WNYM and WMCA.  Former WOR, New York general manager Jerry Crowley joins the Salem Communications New York operations as vice president and general manager of news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian WMCA “New York’s Christian Talk.”  Sean O’Neil is promoted from GM to market manager for the NYC cluster.  Crowley, who had been with Buckley Broadcasting until late December when Clear Channel assumed control of WOR, reports to Salem Communications vice president and director of spoken word format Phil Boyce.  He states, “With Jerry’s longtime tenure running one of the nation’s leading talk radio stations, we could not have found a better match for our stations in New York.  I admired Jerry’s work across town during my 14 years programming WABC.  To get him on my new team at Salem is a huge opportunity to grow the station’s revenue and make an impact in New York radio.”

gillsteveTalk Host Steve Gill to End Radio Program.  Nashville, Tennessee-based talk host Steve Gill announces he will end his nationally syndicated talk program – including the local appearance on Clear Channel’s WLAC from which he operates – and focus his energy on his Gill Media enterprise that provides consulting and has seen him an increasing amount of public speaking.  Gill reports to TALKERS that “as part of the expansion plan under the Gill Media umbrella, his Gill Report published at www.gillreport.com will broaden its platform as the ‘go-to’ source for news and commentaries while introducing a variety of new ventures and service offerings.  The media company strives to enable its clients to better utilize both traditional and new media opportunities to communicate more effectively within various mediums.”  Speaking about leaving his talk show, Gill states, “While I have truly enjoyed my tenure at Radio America and WLAC, the commitment and restrictions associated with a daily, weekday morning show limit my ability to thrive in the areas where I can truly ‘give back’ in a more hands-on, one-on-one format.  Our time on the air has allowed us to make a difference, particularly in the political arena.  Rather than simply talking about the problems we face, I am excited to redirect our focus from radio to support clients, small businesses and individuals in a creative, results-oriented environment.”

kkoblogoKKOB, Albuquerque Notches 50th Straight Arbitron Book at #1 12-Plus.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB, Albuquerque garnered a 7.6 share in the Fall 2012 Arbitron book (Mon-Sun 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight) and hitting the top spot in the market for the 50th straight ratings period.  Operations manager Pat Frisch tells TALKERS, “When you think about it, that’s a long time – 12 ½ years at #1.  I hear it is the longest streak of any talk station in the top 70 markets.  I have been here 13 ½ years now.  And Rush and Hannity blew away the competition in middays 12-plus with an 11.2 share.”

DG-logoHorizontalBig NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend for Dial Global.  The play-by-play of this weekend’s NFL playoff games is carried exclusively on radio by Dial Global.  The schedule is as follows: on Saturday the Baltimore Ravens take on the Denver Broncos.  Kevin Kugler has the play-by-play, along with analyst Mark Malone and sideline reporter Scott Kaplan.  The action continues when the Green Bay Packers meet the San Francisco 49ers.  Kevin Harlan serves as play-by-play announcer, along with Hall of Famer Dan Fouts as analyst and Hub Arkush as sideline reporter.  On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks go head-to-head with the Atlanta Falcons.  Dave Sims has the play-by-play, with Hall of Famer James Lofton as analyst and sideline reporter Tony Boselli.  Following the conclusion of that game, the Houston Texans face the New England Patriots.  Ian Eagle has the play-by-play, along with analyst Trent Green and sideline reporter Lewis JohnsonScott Graham hosts the pregame, halftime and postgame shows for all four broadcasts.

rodriguezmattMatt Rodriguez Named General Sales Manager at KFWB, Los Angeles.  He comes to the KFWB Asset Trust news/talk station from Amaturo Group Ltd.’s Southern California cluster where he served as general manager.  Matt Rodriguez will be in charge of the sales efforts for its news and talk programming as well as Los Angeles Clippers basketball.  General manager Valerie Blackburn says, “Putting Matt in charge of our overall sales and sports efforts is a great win for KFWB.  He has raised the bar in generating sales wherever he’s worked and is a valuable addition to our team.”

robelotjaneAward-Winning Journalist Jane Robelot Anchors WMUU, Greenville, South Carolina Morning News.  Former CBS News correspondent and anchor Jane Robelot begins her position with Salem Communications’ WMUU, Greenville, South Carolina “Conservative Talk 94.5” today (1/10).  Robelot worked for CBS News in New York from 1995 through 1999 where she co-anchored “CBS This Morning.”  While at CBS News in New York, she won two national Emmy awards for journalistic excellence, and a national Emmy nomination.  Robelot returned to her hometown of Greenville in 2006 where she and her husband, Mario DeCarvalho, created their own production company, Carolina Zoom Productions.  She is a contributing anchor and reporter for Hearst-owned NBC affiliate, WYFF-TV in Greenville.  In 2009, Jane and her team won the prestigious Peabody Award for “Chronicle: Paul’s Gift,” a documentary about organ donation.  She also co-hosts a nationally syndicated Christian radio program, “Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef.”

KKSPlogoCrain Media Moves Little Rock Talk Station; Adds Full Time Sports Outlet.  Little Rock-based Crain Media announces it is moving the news/talk programming on KKSP — “Fresh Talk” — from its 93.3 FM dial position to the 96.5 position currently occupied by CHR KHTE beginning today (Thursday, January 10).  The station will add Cumulus Media’s Mike Huckabee and Dial Global’s Dennis Miller in the midday where sports talk shows currently air.  At the same time, the company is debuting a new full-time sports talk station branded “Fox Sports Radio FM93.3 Little Rock” using Fox Sports Radio Network programming as well as local shows “Game On with Wess and Michael” and Bo Mattingly’s sports talk show.  Station president Tatum Owenby says, “Our goal is to provide the Little Rock metro area with the most relevant and entertaining sports talk programming.  We are confident that Fox Sports Radio’s first-class lineup, combined with quality local content, will be a perfect fit for the sports fans in our market.”

wntb logoWNTB and WLTT, Wilmington, NC Combo Adds Local Shows.  The Wilmington, North Carolina simulcast of WNTB, Topsail Beach and WLTT, Bolivia – owned by Hometown Wilmington Media and branded as “The Big Talker 93.7 & 106.3” – announces two new local programs.  Port City Daily sports writer and local media personality Joe Catenacci will begin hosting a one-hour daily sports talk show from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Monday, January 14.  Also, local community leader L.S. “Bo” Dean Jr. debuts the Saturday morning “Hometown Solutions” show dedicated to featuring citizens, organizations and businesses that are agents of change in the local community focused on generating success for health and wellness, education, employment, economic development and other facets impacting quality of life in the Cape Fear region.  Program director Aimee Bowen states, “We are very excited to launch these two new programs that highlight the regional citizens and organizations working toward a better tomorrow and our incredible local sports scene.”

wxos logoWXOS, St. Louis Debuts New Weekend Programs.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces three new weekend programs: “The Hot Corner” airs Saturdays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm hosted by 101 ESPN’s Cardinals insider Brian Stull and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Cardinals columnist Derrick Goold will be talking all things Cardinals baseball; “MMA Hit Squad” a show dedicated to mixed martial arts/ultimate fighting starts January 19 and airs from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Saturdays.  It will be hosted by Jesse Finney and Chad Range; and, with the return of NHL hockey, “St. Louis Faceoff Today” begins airing Sundays from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm hosted by Fox Sports Midwest St. Louis Blues play-by-play voice John Kelly and St. Louis Post-Dispatch Blues beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford.  WXOS program director Kent Sterling states, “The next step in the growth of 101 ESPN will be in the weekends.  St. Louis is a seven-day-a-week sports town, and where there is hunger for unique content, 101ESPN will provide it.”

osgoodawardHappy Birthday, Charles Osgood!  Respected veteran Dial Global radio personality Charles Osgood, host of the popular “Osgood File” broadcasts, celebrated his 80th birthday on Tuesday. He’s pictured here posing for a photo in his newly revamped studio.  He’s holding a plaque presented by Dial Global executives and featuring a rhyme by his late father, “Early to bed, early to rise.  Work like a dog and advertise.”

Biden Gun Control Meeting/Executive Order Threat, Morgan-Jones CNN Debate, Obama Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal Proposal, and ‘All My Babies’ Mamas’ Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).  Vice President Joe Biden’s gun control meeting and threat of executive order to change gun laws; the contentious debate over gun laws between CNN’s Piers Morgan and talk host Alex Jones; the proposal to draw down the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the flap over the Oxygen channel’s “All My Babies’ Mamas” program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 8, 2012

| October 8, 2012

Talk Host Michael Smerconish Takes “Angry is Over” Campaign on the Road.  WYD Media nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Smerconish is known for being independent minded and not locked into party ideology.  Smerconish has been making it known via his radio show, TV appearances and newspaper columns that he believes the country is in real trouble due to the intensely divisive political climate both in Washington, DC and in the media.  He writes in part, “Recently, I have been engaged by many corporations, trade associations and academic institutions to address the cause of the polarized climate and how it can be fixed.  I’ve been calling my speech ‘Angry Is Over,’ and in hearing what I have to say, many audiences are surprised (but not doubting) when I cast significant blame on the talk radio and cable television industry.  Well, it’s true.”  Now, Smerconish is taking his “Angry is Over” message on the road with a live appearance in Scranton, Pennsylvania on November 9 at the Scranton Cultural Center in what he terms the first live appearance of the tour.

Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Names Jason Furst PD.  The Charlotte news/talker announces programmer Jason Furst will take over the program director role at WBT-AM/FM on Monday, October 29.  He’ll replace Carl East who exits the station tomorrow.  Furst comes to WBT from Clear Channel’s upstate New York outlets WHAM and WHTK, Rochester and WSYR-AM/FM, Syracuse.  Greater Media Charlotte market manager Rick Feinblatt says, “We are excited to have Jason join the Greater Media Charlotte family.  His experience made him the perfect choice to lead the WBT-AM/FM team.”

Peak Broadcasting’s KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno to Replace Premiere Shows with Local Talent.  Stating that the “expansion of its local programming will be phased in over the next 90 days,” Peak Broadcasting’s KMJ-AM/FM says it is accelerating its commitment to live and local programming.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment-owned Premiere Networks is not renewing its deal with the stations for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other programs.  Peak and KMJ SVP and market manager Patty Hixson states, “We value program exclusivity and have long anticipated the opportunity to control our own programming locally rather than rely on national talk shows available in so many other places that can be taken from us at the whim of their owners.  Adding 105.9 KMJ-FM over three years ago allowed us to expose our local news and talk shows to the largest available radio audience with crystal clear reception.  Building KMJ NOW, our on-line local news platform, as well as KMJ’s Apple-delivered mobile app have given us tremendous reach to every computer and smartphone on the planet.  KMJ’s future lies in its local programming, and we know we have the best people in the business making it right here in Fresno 24/7.”  The move by Premiere Networks not to renew with Peak signals Clear Channel is preparing to flip an FM to news/talk in the near future.  Currently, CC’s lowest-rated FM is country KHGE.  But it also has three FM’s airing rhythmic AC, soft AC and modern AC in the market.

Radio Legend Bob Grant Retires, Then Unretires.  Talk radio legend Bob Grant, currently heard weekly on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York on Sunday afternoons, teased that yesterday’s broadcast would be his last but changed his mind several hours later.  According to the New York Daily News, the 83-year-old Grant posted a message on his website on Friday stating, “I am not sick, I am just a tired of [being a] life member of the chorus…I will miss you as much as you say you miss me.”  He apparently had a change of heart and later stated that he would broadcast for the foreseeable future.

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Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart Host “The Rumble 2012.”  “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart and Fox News Channel star (and host of the Courtside Entertainment distributed “Talking Points” feature) Bill O’Reilly squared off in a debate of the issues on Saturday at George Washington University.  The event was broadcast via a web-only $5 pay-per-view.  A testament to the popularity of these two performers came in the form of numerous people being unable to get through to the server to access the live feed.  Dow JonesPeter Kafka, who writes the AllThingsD column, reports that many people had trouble viewing the show but states he was able to watch without much trouble.  At one point Nox Solutions, which hosted the webcast, Tweeted that due to demand, the servers had been overloaded.

Dave Ramsey Packs Long Beach Convention Center.  Nationally syndicated financial talk star Dave Ramsey presented his only Total Money Makeover Live program of the fall season to more than 9,000 fans in the Long Beach Convention Center for affiliate KFWB, Los Angeles.  Station general manager Valerie Blackburn says, “Yet another great Dave Ramsey event for KFWB!  Having such a successful day with over 9,000 people in attendance is a huge win for us.  We continue to value the close relationship we have with Dave and his team.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Rachel Cruze, speaker; Diane Sutter, trustee for KFWB; Valerie Blackburn, general manager for KFWB; Dave Ramsey; Danielle Mosher, marketing for KFWB; Rosemary Hernandez, general sales manager for KFWB; Jon Acuff, speaker and author; and Andy Ludlum, program director for KFWB.

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Don’t Overlook the Unique Value and Power of Email.  Leading broadcasting digital media consultant Chris Miller advises radio programmers and marketers not be so blinded by social media that they “fall out of love” with good old simple email.  He writes in TALKERS today that email is still a powerful tool to communicate with your listeners, especially if you target adults.  He suggests 1) Make your email a thing of value; 2) Give the listeners something to keep; and 3) Write it very simple and concise.  He also points out the inherent ability email has as a vehicle to carry advertising – something far less convenient to pull off on Facebook and Twitter.  To read Chris Miller’s entire article, click here.

Talk Host Debbie Nigro Begins New Venture Today.  Talk radio pro Debbie Nigro launches a new talk initiative today on Cumulus Media’s WFAS, White Plains, New York and online via the WFASam.com website.  Calling it “innovative female-driven but gender-friendly talk radio,” the new program is the brainchild of the woman who brought her “Working Mom on the Go” syndicated talk show to stations across the country during the 1990s.  This new show airs at 1:00 pm ET four days per week on WFAS.

Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce Operating Internet Radio Station.  The Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania is operating what may be the country’s only chamber of commerce-owned internet radio station.  Radio host Richard Gerstner is the only employee of the station – and a part-time employee at that – but it’s been on the air for a year with the goal of driving new, local business relationships.  The station drew 12,000 unique visitors in its first year and chamber president Chris Phelan believes that means about one in every 10 or 11 county residents tuned in at some point.  According to a story in the Express-Times, the station currently airs only 10 hours of fresh programming each day, including its 8 am to 10 am daily “Good Morning Hunterdon” flagship program and 38 other shows hosted mostly by Hunterdon business owners.  The rest of the airtime is filled by re-runs.  Phelan says the station is helping to achieve the chamber’s main goal with the station: to build a sense of community.

Odds & SodsOpie & Anthony alumnus Rick Delgado begins a regular internet talk show called the “Ugly American Radio Show” via inravio.com.  Delgado most recently was producer and “third mic” for the “Paul and Young Ron Morning Show” at Clear Channel’s WGBB, Miami.  Delgado was executive producer of the Opie & Anthony show at WNEW-FM, New York from 1998 to 2002…..John Andariese retires from his position as the radio voice of New York Knicks basketball.  Andariese has been involved with Knicks basketball since 1972, serving as the play-by-play voice since the 1998-99 season.  A statement from MSG Networks says Andariese is stepping down to spend more time with his family and to focus on his advertising business.   Brendan Brown will take over the Knicks radio broadcasts…..The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron writes that former Houston Astros player and broadcasters Alan Ashby and Larry Dierker are among two of the possible candidates for the Astros radio booth next season.  The team announced Brett Dolan and Dave Raymond would not return next year.  Former MLB pitcher Steve Sparks is also on the list of possible broadcasters for the club…..SiriusXM is bringing actor/director/writer Chazz Palminteri aboard for his own four-week series called “Ask Chazz.”  The acclaimed star of stage and screen will answer questions about show business and will offer advice about the entertainment industry, as well as business, sports, life and anything else on listeners’ minds.