KVI, Seattle Unveils New Program Schedule. With the addition of the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley and van Camp” program to the late morning daypart announced earlier this week, Sinclair Broadcasting news/talk KVI, Seattle “Talk Radio 570” unveils its adjusted program schedule, effective Monday (6/4). The addition of “Markley and van Camp” to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot creates a new opportunity for market talk icon Kirby Wilbur as he takes on the afternoon drive daypart. That bumps Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity to the early evening slot (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm). In promoting Wilbur’s new time to listeners, the station says, “Kirby has been into politics since he was a teenager, culminating with his election to state chairman of the Republican Party in 2011. Along the way he helped build KVI into America’s preeminent conservative talk station with his unique blend of politics, entertainment, and historical anecdotes. Catch you up on what happened while you were at work and loosen up on the way home with KVI’s Kirby Wilbur!”
Newsmax TV Free Trial Offered on Sling TV. Cable news/talk channel Newsmax TV announces a new deal that helps it expand its reach via over-the-top (OTT) live TV service Sling TV. Newsmax TV says that effective immediately, a three-month showcase of Newsmax TV is available to Sling TV customers who subscribe to the Sling Orange and/or Sling Blue service. After the three-month showcase, Newsmax TV will be available in Sling TV’s News Extra add-on, $5 per month for Sling Orange and/or Sling Blue subscribers. Newsmax Media Inc CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “Sling TV is the number-one live TV streaming service in the nation and we are proud to be carried on their platform.” Conservative media personalities whose programs air on Newsmax TV include: Joe Walsh, Brett Winterble, Howie Carr, Wayne Allyn Root, Todd Schnitt, Joe Pags, Jesse Lee Peterson as well as Newsmax anchors John Bachman and Miranda Khan.
Comrex Unveils FieldTap for iOS. This free app – compatible with all Comrex IP codecs and the EarShot IFB – provides studio quality audio from the user’s cell phone with very low delay. Comrex says that FieldTap is ideal for reporters and street team contributors for short drop-ins. FieldTap features a very simple user interface (iPhone screen shot at right). The company says its one-button control screen allows users of any technical ability to connect from the field to the station by simply pressing a single button. FieldTap is a simple SIP client that uses Voice over IP (VoIP) to make it possible for field users to send wideband audio from their cellphones over cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Comrex says an Android version of FieldTap will be available next week. Comrex’s EarShot IFB (interruptible foldback monitoring and cueing system) was recently unveiled and will be available later this summer. It is for live ENG applications as it provides four audio feeds and can support up to 10 wideband calls (or 30 regular calls). Visit Comrex.com for more details.
ABC-TV’s Cancellation of ‘Roseanne’ Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 28 – June 1. The cancellation of the re-boot of “Roseanne” after a series of controversial Tweets from Roseanne Barr was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the status of the U.S.-North Korea talks. Coming in at #3 was the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation, followed by President Trump’s plans to pardon Dinesh D’Souza, Rod Blagojevich, and Martha Stewart at #4. 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 magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Westwood One Announces RFK Assassination Anniversary Programming. The news arm of Westwood One is presenting special programming on the 50thanniversary of the June 5, 1968, assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy. At Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel that evening was Mutual News correspondent Andrew West, who filed a nearly seven-minute, on-scene report during the chaos. West’s historic report (which is owned by Westwood One News) will be part of the extensive coverage planned on Tuesday, June 5, as the network remembers the assassination of RFK. Westwood One News correspondent Michael Toscano will present longform and short-form reports throughout the day, along with West’s report and additional 50th anniversary sound. Additionally, the Westwood One News Memorial Day weekend special, “1968: The Year that Shook America,” with reporting and perspective on the RFK assassination, will continue to be available for broadcast by affiliates through the June 5 anniversary of the shooting.
Emmy Award-Winning TV News Cameraman and Producer Tim Ortman Joins Michael Harrison in Discussion About Fake News. 37-year TV news veteran Tim Ortman, who served as a staff cameraman and producer covering breaking news on five continents for the major TV networks, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Ortman has just written a memoir titled Newsreal: A View Through the Lens When… (Incorgnito, 2018). He recalls his adventures on the front lines of wars, major stories and political upheavals around the world analyzing the significant changes in journalism since the big four networks were the dominant platforms of information dissemination in America. Harrison and Ortman focus on the consequences of widespread misuse of the term “fake news” undermining the public’s confidence in the vital institution of the press. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. After Nielsen Audio removed PPMs in four Hispanic households in the Los Angeles market and re-issued April’s PPM survey results, Spanish Broadcasting System is accusing the ratings giant of bias. SBS was a loser in the re-issued ratings with regional Mexican KLAX dipping a full share (Mon-Sun, 6+), from a 3.4 to a 2.4. Competitor Radio Centro’s regional Mexican KXOS also slid – from a 2.2 (Mon-Sun, 6+) to a 1.9. SBS general counsel Richard Lara’s public statement says, “Earlier this week, Spanish Broadcasting System, the owner and operator of 17 radio stations serving the top Hispanic markets throughout the United States for over 30 years, received disconcerting news from The Nielsen Company. Nielsen announced its intention to make sweeping, retroactive changes to its audience measurement service based on an internal decision to remove a number of Hispanic households from its ratings sampling pool. SBS, and other Spanish-language broadcasters, vehemently object and protest such unilateral, and seemingly, discriminatory actions taken by Nielsen, which unfairly and disproportionally exclude Hispanic-listener households from the ratings methodology. The restated ratings and rankings reports are, in SBS’s view unreliable, and inaccurately suggest that Spanish-language stations have dropped from top 5 rankings to number 15 or lower. This cannot stand. SBS will continue to faithfully serve its Hispanic-listener communities and will not tolerate unfair and discriminatory attacks on Spanish language broadcasters. We will not stop until Nielsen’s prejudicial and discriminatory attacks on U.S.-based Hispanics ceases.”…..Cumulus Media names David LaBrozzi as program director for hot AC WPLJ, New York. LaBrozzi comes to Cumulus Media from Entercom Baltimore where he was vice president of programming for the company’s four-station cluster there for 14 years. LaBrozzi states, “WPLJ is truly one of America’s iconic radio stations. I am thrilled, honored, and humbled to join Chad Lopez, Dave Milner, Mike McVay, and the incredible team at 95.5 PLJ. While I can’t wait to get started in New York, I want to thank Entercom and CBS for a great experience and for being an important part of my life.”…..Air personality Megan Holiday is the new midday host at Entercom’s alternative KITS-FM, San Francisco “ALT 105.3,” effective Monday (6/4). Holiday was most recently evening personality on KROQ, Los Angeles. She began her career at KITS in 2010 hosting the evening program. Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Megan is well known in the Bay Area and we know our listeners will be happy to hear her back on the air. She’s passionate and energetic and we’re looking forward to her return to KITS.”…..On-air pro Corey Calhoun is the new evening personality and music director at iHeartMedia’s country WMZQ, Washington. RVP of programming for Baltimore and Washington Jeff Kapugi states, “Corey completes the WMZQ team. He brings a fresh new energy to the station and some great experience spanning multiple markets and formats.”…..The recent Digital Diaper Drive orchestrated by Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” was successful beyond the station’s expectations, collecting almost 2,000 diapers for the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank. Led by the station’s “Spencer’s Neighborhood” morning show, the drive’s goal was 1,000 diapers but show fans blew away their initial goal. Pictured at right are the show’s Spencer, Cassiday, and Brando presenting the diapers to Kathy Meyer of the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank…..Award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan is pictured below with country duo Thompson Square at the Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Keifer and Shawna Thompson met with patients, gave away autographed copies of their new children’s book, and performed songs from their new album.
Mike Francesa Returns to WFAN, New York for PM Drive. This new deal – announced just four months after Mike Francesa exited WFAN in December after a 30-year career there – puts the “Sports Pope” back in afternoon drive on the station. The new show will be two hours shorter though – airing from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm instead of 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm – and includes new Francesa opportunities. Today’s press release says “Entercom, Mike Francesa, and CAA Sports today announced a partnership spanning broadcast radio, digital, and live events. The partnership includes the debut of the ‘Mike’s On’ radio show…The partnership also includes the launch of a mobile app and online destination by the same name, ‘Mike’s On,’ which will feature exclusive live video streaming of Francesa’s weekday radio program on WFAN.” Francesa is quoted saying, “After exploring several options, this partnership with CAA Sports and Entercom was the perfect fit. This partnership allows me the chance to return to WFAN and all of our loyal listeners, as well as significant opportunities, including the app and live events, that are completely new. I look forward to working with both companies on making this a very successful venture.” The press release does not elaborate on the fate of Francesa’s PM drive replacements: Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott, other than to say that The Fan’s new schedule will be announced separately. Francesa returns to WFAN on Tuesday (5/1).
WABC’s Curtis Sliwa Considering Run for Governor of New York. New York icon and WABC midday talk show host Curtis Sliwa on Thursday (4/26) told his listeners that he is considering running for governor of New York on the Reform Party ticket. Sliwa is chairman of the Reform Party and he’s been very critical of Governor Andrew Cuomo and, as the New York Daily News notes, the Reform Party is not backing either GOP candidate. Sliwa says getting medical clearance from his doctors is the first priority. He’s been dealing with the effects of chronic Crohn’s and a recent surgery to treat the disease. As far as taking a leave from his radio show due to equal time laws, the timing on that would have to be worked out, he says. “New York State election laws are complicated and arcane.”
Heidi Harris Returns to Las Vegas Air on Kemp’s KMZQ. Back on March 1, Kemp Broadcasting & Digital Outdoor re-branded KMZQ, Las Vegas “670 AM The Right Talk for Las Vegas,” airing primarily conservative talk shows from Salem Radio Network. Now, Las Vegas talk radio pro Heidi Harris joins the station to host the 9:00 am hour, Monday through Friday. Harris has served with Entercom’s KXNT and Beasley’s KDWN in Las Vegas. Her most recent tour with KXNT ended last September after station management couldn’t brook her controversial criticism of an ad for the Clark County Department of Family Services promoting adoption that showed two gay men holding a child. Harris was steadfastly outspoken in her belief that children up for adoption should go to “married people of the opposite sex.”
Entercom and Telemundo Strike Media Partnership Deal. The Dallas-Fort Worth stations owned by Entercom agree to a media partnership with Telemundo’s local TV stations KXAS-TV “NBC 5” and KXTX “Telemundo 39.” A press release from Entercom says, “Highlights of the multi-platform partnership include distribution of content across all partner channels including NBC 5, Telemundo 39 and Entercom Dallas-Fort Worth’s ‘Newsradio1080’ KRLD, ‘105.3 The Fan,’ ‘100.3 Jack FM,’ KLUV, ‘ALT 103.7,’ and ‘La Grande 107.5.’…The inaugural partnership will allow the media properties to work together to better serve the community via improved access and coverage of live, local breaking news, general news, weather, sports, politics and entertainment in both English and Spanish languages.” KXAS-TV president and general manager Tom Ehlmann says, “The opportunity for NBC 5 and Entercom stations like Newsradio 1080 KRLD to share news gathering resources and report 24/7 what’s happening across the region will truly be exceptional. In your home, in your car, on your computer, on your phone – North Texans can look forward to unparalleled coverage of what matters most to NBC 5 viewers and Entercom listeners.”
Nick Bruns New iHeartMedia Tucson Promotions and Events Director; Barriga Upped to Digital Program Director. At the Tucson operations of iHeartMedia, Nick Bruns is named promotions and events director, effective May 1. In this position, Bruns will be responsible for managing and executing promotional campaigns and events for all iHeartMedia Tucson stations, including news/talk KNST. He comes to Tucson from the company’s Des Moines station group. At the same time, the company says that Atzimba Palomares Barriga is the cluster’s new digital program director, effective June 1. She began her career at iHeartMedia Tucson in 2013 as a board operator and has served as the Tucson-based online content coordinator for iHeartMedia’s Arizona Region for the past three years. In her new position, she’ll be responsible for managing and executing digital and social media campaigns for all iHeartMedia Tucson stations. She will continue to provide online content to the entire iHeartMedia Arizona Region under the direction of Alex Siordian, regional digital program director for iHeartMedia’s Arizona Region.
Comey ‘CNN Town Hall’ and Trump Russia Investigation Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week. This week’s appearance on “CNN Town Hall” by fired FBI Director James Comey and the related investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week. At #2 on the Talkers TenTM for the week of April 23-27 is French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Trump White House. Coming in at #3 was the Donald Trump–Stormy Daniels legal battle, followed by the ‘immigrant caravan’ and the court ruling on Trump’s DACA policy at #4. The Talkers TenTMis 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 magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View the entire chart here.
TALKERS News Notes. On June 26, FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio superstar Brian Kilmeade is delivering the keynote speech at The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s 4th Annual Event and Dinner at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre. Bold Gold says Kilmeade is “one of the most recognizable radio and television broadcasters in America.” Complimentary tickets are available for students interested in a career in media, as well as for military members. Contact the Foundation for additional information…..Alpha Media’s news/farm/sports KGLO, Mason City, Iowa and sister adult standards KRIB picked up a total of 10 awards in the small market division of the 2017 Iowa Broadcast News Association contest. KGLO news director Bob Fisher won eight awards, including first place for “Overall Excellence.” Alpha Media Mason City market manager Dalena Barz comments, “Congratulations to our news, ag and sports team. It’s great to see their dedication and passion recognized by the IBNA. North-Central Iowa counts on our team for the best in local coverage. We are proud of their achievements!”
Comrex to Release New Field Broadcasting App ‘FieldTap.’ The new app from Comrex called FieldTap makes it easy for broadcasting from the field because of its “one-touch” operation. The company explains that “FieldTap uses SIP to make it possible for users to transmit audio with the touch of a button. Ideal for reporters and street team contributors for short drop-ins, FieldTap features a very simple user interface. With a one-button control screen, users of any technical ability can connect from the field to the station by simply pressing a single button. FieldTap is a simple SIP client that uses Voice over IP (VoIP) to make it possible for field users to send wideband audio from their cellphones over cellular and Wi-Fi networks. FieldTap is compatible with all Comrex IP audio codecs. FieldTap can also be used in conjunction with EarShot IFB, a new VoIP IFB system from Comrex that replaces POTS lines and auto couplers.” Comrex debuted FieldTap at the 2018 NAB Show. It will be available as a free download from Google Play and iTunes this spring.
Boxer Mother-Daughter ‘Power Duo’ Guest This Week on Harrison Podcast. The mother-daughter team of former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and award-winning documentary filmmaker Nicole Boxer are this week’s guests on the PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The mother, Barbara Boxer, recently retired from 40 years as a California elected official, beginning as a member and eventually the first female president of the Marin County Board of Supervisors. She then served in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1983 and 1993, at which point she was elected to the United States Senate where she served from 1993 to last year, 2017. Although “retired” from elective politics, she remains quite engaged in work as both a political activist and a media practitioner. She says, “We are in a moment of life or death for our great country right now, and I can’t just sit back.” Her daughter, Nicole Boxer, is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her work in the film industry includes narrative, feature films, documentary films, documentary series television, and reality television. Together these dynamic women have teamed up to co-host a new, weekly podcast titled, “Fight Back,” produced and distributed by PodcastOne. In it, they invite experts to discuss today’s most pressing matters – from civil rights to women’s rights, healthcare, the environment and foreign policy. The mother shares real-time reactions to the week in government, while the daughter puts active candidates in the hot seat with her award-winning interview style. Harrison engages the Boxers in a fascinating conversation about the state of American politics and media in the second decade of the 21st century looking forward. Not to be missed. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Beloved Radio Industry Documentarian and Archivist Art Vuolo Named 2018 Recipient of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to announce that videographer and pop culture historian Art Vuolo has been named this year’s recipient of the publication’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement award. Back in the early 1980s, Vuolo was dubbed “Radio’s Best Friend” by legendary air personality Scott Shannon and it aptly stuck through the decades. Vuolo, founder and CEO of the Ann Arbor-based firm Vuolo Video Air-Chex, has been chronicling radio conferences (including most of the TALKERS conventions) for nearly 30 years and archiving more than 700 of the very best radio personalities on video since 1979. His entire library will be featured in a permanent exhibit of approximately 1,000 videos at the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. The Radio Hall of Fame, located within the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago, is developing a permanent exhibit, “A History of the American Disc Jockey,” with Vuolo’s collection as its center piece. Visitors will be able to search and view the recordings at computer stations. Eventually, people around the world will be able to access the collection online. In announcing the project, Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchen expressed the enormous gratitude of the industry “for all the hours and years that Art has toiled at properly recording the best efforts in radio studios for decades and decades.” In addition to his archival efforts, for over 33 years, Art Vuolo’s RADIOGUIDE company circulated over 100 million such guides across America. Vuolo’s alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, recently published a profile piece on him that puts his unique career in perspective. To read it please click here. Vuolo will be presented the award during the closing reception at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! set for New York City on Friday, June 8. For full information about the soon-to-be-sold-out event, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” announces two staff changes. First, longtime Los Angeles radio pro Yesi Ortiz joins the Entercom station to host the midday show. The “Queen of L.A.” spent 12 years at crosstown KPWR “Power 106” as midday jock where she was known for breaking new artists during her ‘New at 2’ feature, as well as contributing to the music department as an assistant music director. She is currently working on a television drama series project in development with the E! Network that is loosely based on her real-life journey raising six adopted children. Also, the station promotes APD John Michael to music director. Yesi Ortiz says, “I am thrilled to be joining the Entercom family. To be valued for my achievements and influence in the city is a great honor and I am looking forward to making an impact at ‘AMP radio.’”…..In St. Louis, iHeartMedia announces the appointment of Jules Riley to the position of senior vice president of programming for the cluster that includes classic hits KLOU-FM, country KSD-FM, CHR KSLZ-FM, hip hop KATZ-FM, alternative KLLT and Gospel KATZ-AM. St. Louis Region president Derrick Martin says, “Jules has done an amazing job programming 103.3 KLOU and ‘93.7 The Bull’ since joining us last year and has truly earned this leadership role.” Before she began programming 103.3. KLOU and “93.7 The Bull” in April 2017, she served as operations manager/brand manager for KVOO-FM, Tulsa…..WUSY, Chattanooga “US101” morning personality Billy “Dex” Poindexter announces his retirement from the Entercom country outlet after 25 years on the air. Dex is one half of the station’s “Dex and Mo” show. He says he plans to focus on his health, his family and travel. He says, “It’s been a great 25 years and it has truly been my pleasure serving this community. ‘US101’ has the greatest listeners on earth; they are open and always so giving. From our annual efforts to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to various disaster relief efforts through the years, the ‘US101’ listeners have always stepped up. I am proud of all that we have accomplished together and ‘US101’ will always be my home.”…..The sold-out “Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage presented by Denny’s” is embarking on its 19th cruise this week from Galveston, Texas. Also called the original “Party with a Purpose,” this empowering and groundbreaking event specifically caters to the cruising needs of the African-American community through its mission and featured entertainment. The event’s promise of non-stop entertainment includes: “An Evening with Anita Baker” and performances from artists Tamar Braxton, The Isley Brothers, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, 112, SWV, En Vogue, and The O’Jays. The cruise is hosted by Reach Media-syndicated radio personality and philanthropist Tom Joyner (pictured here on a previous cruise). Its action-packed, seven-day itinerary boasts informative seminars, morning inspiration, fitness classes, intriguing ports, endless activities, concerts, popular celebrities and wildly creative theme nights – all while raising funds to support students in school at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country…..WNKS, Charlotte’s “KISS 95.1 Morning Show featuring Maney, Roy & LauRen” wins a 2018 BOB Award for the “BEST Morning Show in Charlotte” from Charlotte Magazine. Winners were chosen based upon the results of an on-line poll conducted by the publication in January of 2018…..Philadelphia morning personality Kathy Romano recently hosted her 11thannual Kathy’s Cuts to Benefit Wigs for Kids. Romano is part of the “Preston & Steve” show on Beasley Media Group’s rock WMMR, Philadelphia. This year the event produced over 123 donations to benefit Wigs for Kids. Twenty-seven hair stylists from local salons donated their time to help cut and style donors’ hair…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live from this year’s Stagecoach Country Music Festival this weekend in Indio, California. The exclusive radio broadcast will air on The Highway channel and will include backstage interviews and live concert performances from Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Brett Young, Lee Brice, and more.
PPM Analysis: Mainstream Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of mainstream rock outlets based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey in today’s installment of this ongoing ratings analysis series. Comparing 6+ numbers from the March2017survey, Cumulus Media’s KXXR, Minneapolis; Saga Communications’ WNOR, Norfolk; and Entercom’s KQRC, Kansas City put together increases of more than a full share over that period while, on the other side, iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh; Cox Media Group’s KISS, San Antonio; and iHeartMedia’s KBPI, Denver all saw dips of two full shares or more. As of the March 2018 PPM survey there is just one rock outlet ranking #1 in its market: iHeartMedia’s WHYJ, Providence. See the full report here.