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Monday, August 5, 2019

| August 5, 2019

Radio HOF Announces “Class of 2019.” The nine newest members of the Radio Hall of Fame who will be inducted at a November 8 ceremony in New York City’s Gotham Hall are: Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton; Harry Harrison; Kevin Ryder & Gene “Bean” Baxter (“Kevin & Bean”); Joe Madison; Jim Rome; Ryan Seacrest; John Tesh; and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Radio HOF chair Kraig Kitchin remarks, “I am especially proud to welcome these individuals into the Radio Hall of Fame. Their on-air performances and audience relationships are especially remarkable. Each of our 2019 nominees [is] worthy of induction. I’m appreciative of all those who participated in our process of selecting our Class of 2019, who will join the 238 Radio Hall of Fame inductees already recognized for their great work.” Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton does afternoon drive on iHeartMedia New York rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” and his “Weekly Top 30 Countdown” is syndicated by Premiere Networks. Harry Harrison (“Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years”) was a mainstay New York City morning talent on WMCA, WABC, and WCBS-FM. Kevin and Bean (“Active Local/Regional, 10+ years”) have been overseeing mornings on Entercom Los Angeles alternative KROQ. Joe Madison – “The Black Eagle” – is heard on SiriusXM’s “Urban View” channel. Jim Rome (“Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years”), whose show was called a “freaking jungle” by a listener – and the term stuck – airs on CBS Sports Radio. Ryan Seacrest’s multi-platforms include mornings on iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” and Premiere Networks’ “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” and “American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest.” John Tesh (“Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years”) hosts Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Intelligence For Your Life.” Meanwhile, “The Dr. Ruth Show” was heard on NBC Radio and she hosted “Sexually Speaking” on New York City’s WYNY. Four inductees were determined by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. Another four were voted on by the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, two with input from the public. The outcome of the listener vote for a music format and spoken-word format on-air personality counted as one vote among the committee votes. The Radio HOF voting process was administered by Votem and overseen by the certified public accounting firm Miller Kaplan Arase LLP.

Monday Memo: “Hollywood,” Co-starring AM Radio. The Los Angeles Times calls “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” “the year’s first surefire Oscar Best Picture nominee.”  And the soundtrack — assembled after writer/director Quentin Tarantino listened to 14 hours of 1969 KHJ airchecks — may also grab a statuette.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke’s panel explains what made radio so “sticky” then, and what it would take to reclaim the foreground on today’s crowded audio landscape. Read his column here.

Karem’s Press Pass Suspended. The White House Correspondents Association is “closely monitoring” the White House press secretary’s decision to suspend for 30 days the pass of CNN political analyst Brian Karem. Association president Jonathan Karl states, “We sincerely hope this White House does not again make the mistake of revoking a reporter’s hard pass. The WHCA has stood up to violations of due process rights before and we stand ready to safeguard those rights for all reporters who work to hold our government accountable.” CNN’s Brian Stelter reports the suspension letter Karem received specifically cited the confrontation he got into with former Trump aide/Salem Radio Networks talk host Sebastian Gorka at the White House social media summit a few weeks ago. Via Twitter, Gorka writes, “From this day forth the punk @BrianKarem will be called Brian Karma.” Meanwhile, on that same social media platform, Karem notes that he intends to appeal the White House’s decision. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke with Gorka moments after that summit wrapped. That conversation is archived here on the TALKERS website (Friday, July 12, 2019).

Beasley Broadcast Group Q2 Net Revenue Increases 6.5%. The $4 million (6.5%) year-over-year gain (to $65.7 million) during the three months ended June 30 reflects increased revenue in Beasley Broadcast Group’s Philadelphia cluster, primarily due to the September 2018 acquisition of country WXTU, and increased revenue from its Boston stations. Net revenue for the three months ended June 30 was comparable to net revenue for the same period in 2018 at the company’s other clusters. Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley comments, “The strategic and financial benefits of our initiatives to further expand and diversify Beasley’s broadcast and digital platform are evident in our second-quarter financial results and further highlights the progress we are making to reinforce and grow Beasley’s leadership position across all audio platforms in our markets. Record second-quarter net revenue of $65.7 million was driven by the strength of our station clusters in three of our top five largest revenue markets, as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and more than offset approximately $1 million in combined political and United States Traffic Network (USTN) revenue recorded in the comparable 2018 period, which was non-recurring in 2019.” In June, Beasley Broadcast Group entered into a definitive agreement with Urban One to acquire Detroit’s WDMK and three translators used to broadcast WDMK’s HD2 signal for $13.5 million. Caroline Beasley notes, “This transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow, excluding one-time transaction costs. The acquisition of WDMK-FM and the WDMK-HD2 translators represent a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position in Detroit with a strong cluster of four FM stations in the country’s thirteenth largest market.”

iHM Hikes Hyland to Region President/Washington & Baltimore. Most recently region senior vice president of sales and market president for iHeartMedia Washington D.C./Baltimore, Aaron Hyland is elevated to region president of those two markets. He succeeds Mike Preacher, who becomes president for government initiatives and partnerships for iHeartMedia Markets Group. Preacher will report to iHeartMedia Markets Group president Greg Ashlock, while Hyland will report to iHeartMedia west division president Kevin LeGrett. According to Ashlock, “With Aaron, we are fortunate to have someone so talented, experienced and knowledgeable of the area to make the natural progression to the role of region president. With Mike, we are grateful for the amazing job he has done leading our D.C./Baltimore region and excited about the incredible wealth of experience and success he brings to the table in managing our government initiatives and partnership division. This is a win-win.” Hyland, who began his radio career as local sales manager for iHeartMedia Albany (New York), comments, “The iHeartMedia Washington D.C. region has a strong presence in both Washington and Baltimore with advertisers throughout the community. I’m excited to build on our success here, giving our advertisers efficient and effective marketing solutions as well as providing our listeners the best programming and content.” Preacher notes, “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done in the Washington D.C. region. Aaron has been instrumental to our growth and I am highly confident that he and the team will enjoy continued success. Regarding my role moving forward, we have very high growth expectations for our government initiatives and partnerships division. I am looking forward to resourcing and spearheading the team’s efforts.” The iHM DC cluster consists of news/talk WONK, adult contemporary WASH, country WMZQ, CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5,” alternative WWDC “DC-101,” and WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock,” while its Baltimore owned-and-operated stations are CHR WZFT “Z-104.3,” adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack-FM,” WPOC “93.1 Baltimore’s Country Station,” and gospel WCAO “Heaven 600.”

2020 Local Political Advertising to Top $6.5 Billion. That’s the estimate from BIA Advisory Services, which forecasts over-the-air television will earn the majority of the spending (47% or $3.08 billion). That compares to just over $312 million (4.8%) for radio. Meanwhile, online/digital outlets will receive $1.37 billion (21%), while multichannel video programming distributors are expected to rake in $919 million (14%). The balance will go to other media. BIA Advisory Services chief economist/senior vice president Mark Fratrik opines, “It is going to be a very interesting political year. Some very large markets will not see much in political advertising while some small markets will see an extraordinary amount of advertising due to competitive gubernatorial, senate and house races along with the presidential election. Campaigns will continue to rely on television as a dominant platform for advertising while supplementing with digital advertising across mobile and desktop. In some smaller markets, one thing to keep an eye on is how the huge volume of political advertising could crowd out other local advertisers during primary and general election seasons. That may have an impact on advertisers and media companies. We will certainly factor that into our forecasting as we go through the fall.” It is believed that the three top local political revenue generating markets will be Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Philadelphia. In each market, TV OTA will receive more than $130 million in advertising with online/digital ad spend getting over 25% of the total spend.

Hart Heads to Albuquerque. Former six-year Entercom Philadelphia news/talk WPHT program director Jared Hart relocates to Albuquerque to become AM operations manager for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB-AM (which he will program), sports talk KNML “The Sports Animal,” and business talk KTBL. Cumulus Media Albuquerque vice president/market manager Jeff Berry comments, “Jared brings the experience, skill, and vision to lead our three AM stations – including the legendary KKOB-AM – back to a position of market dominance. We are so excited for him to join our team and help guide our cluster to new heights.” Hart adds, “I’m excited by the opportunity to join the passionate and forward-thinking team at Cumulus Albuquerque. It’s hard to overstate the power and impact of KKOB-AM and ‘The Sports Animal’ across New Mexico and the potential for KTBL. I’m honored to help drive the future success of these great stations and can’t wait to jump in.” Prior to his tenure at WPHT, Hart was assistant program director for Cumulus Media San Francisco news/talk siblings KGO and KSFO.

Four Staffers Added to Westwood One Podcast Network. Joining Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One Podcast Network are senior producer, core content Madena Parwana; senior producer, development Lou Pellegrino; audio mixing engineer/studio technician Rebekah Wineman; and associate producer Sarah McCrory. All four will report to executive editor John Wordock, who comments, “This latest round of hiring further demonstrates Westwood One’s commitment to quality and scale as we grow our podcast business and serve our extraordinary partners and content providers. Madena, Lou, Rebekah, and Sarah have diverse and distinctive skillsets that will greatly contribute to the success and evolution of podcasting at Westwood One.” Parwana will help manage and produce podcasts that cover news, lifestyle and entertainment, sports, and business/money. She previously was a producer in the global radio division of Bloomberg LP, where she produced Bloomberg’s “Masters in Business” and “The Business of Sports” podcasts. Parwana was also senior podcast producer and co-host of “Unique Radio with Will Castro.” Pellegrino will manage and assess in-bound podcast pitches as well as help to develop pilots and shows. He formerly was executive producer of podcasts for Cadence 13 where he produced “The Woj Pod” and was involved with “Pod Save America.” In addition, Pellegrino was a producer for NBC Sports Radio and worked as a freelance producer for “The Dan Patrick Show” and MSG Networks. Wineman will support post-production, sound quality, field engineering, and studio maintenance. She previously worked as an audio engineer for The Wall Street Journal, where she mixed the “What’s News” podcast. Wineman served as a mixing and mastering engineer for NPR’s “Latino USA” and “In the Thick.” McCrory will support hosts, help edit and produce shows, and book guests. Before joining Westwood One, she worked as a production coordinator and podcast coordinator for Fox News Channel in New York City and Washington, DC, working on the podcasts “Livin’ the Bream” and “The Fox News Rundown.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Sports reporter/anchor Carol Maloney joins Cumulus Media Washington DC’s WSBN-AM “ESPN 630” for 10:00 am – 12:00 noon duty. Cumulus Washington, DC program director Bill Hess states, “I’ve admired Carol’s energy, passion, and journalism since we first worked together a dozen years ago. Her relationships with the players, coaches, reporters, and sports fans in our town are unmatched.” Maloney notes, “I couldn’t be more thrilled and thankful for this opportunity. I’ve spent most of my career in the nation’s capital passionately following and covering the sports teams in town. Luckily, I’ve made a lot of friends and contacts along the way and will be calling on all of them.” Maloney has worked for Comcast SportsNet and NBC Sports Washington. She continues as a field reporter/show host for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) on Washington Nationals telecasts. “The Carol Maloney Show” debuts tomorrow (Tuesday, 8/6) ….. Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” rebrands as “560 The Joe.” While the Entercom sports talk outlet is the flagship of the Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, and University of Miami Hurricanes, its weekday lineup is taking more of a national lean: SportsCenter All Night (1:00 am – 5:00 am); First & Last with Jason Fitz (5:00 am – 6:00 am); The Joe Rose Show with Zach Krantz (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Dan Le Batard with Stugotz (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); Stephen A. Smith (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); Hoch & Crowder (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); “Best of ‘560 The Joe’” (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Spain & Company (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm); and Freddie & Fitzsimmons (9:00 pm – 1:00 am). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WAXY “AM 790 The Ticket” is the key station of the NBA’s Miami Heat. Its on-air roster includes: Amy Lawrence (2:00 am – 6:00 am); Tobin, Leroy, & The Beast (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Zaslow & Amber (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); Hoch & Crowder (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Zack Duarte (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and Scott Ferrall (10:00 pm – 2:00 am).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At a time when high-profile stations such as WPLJ, New York; WRQX, Washington, DC; and WYAY, Atlanta (among others) are flipping to contemporary Christian, Tucson is losing a religious-geared outlet. Specifically, Tucson Radio LLC officially closes on its $650,000 purchase of KFLT “AM 830” & K269FV Oro Valley (Arizona) from Family Life Broadcasting and transitions it to “The Drive” (pending calls KDRI), an “original format” of music and local, live personalities. The ownership team of Arizona-based Tucson Radio, which has no other broadcast interests, is longtime Tucson businessman and community activist Fletcher McCusker (board chair); Bobby Rich (president); and Jim Arnold (general manager). McCusker is the only one without extensive radio or broadcast background. According to Arnold, who has nearly 40 years of  experience in Tucson radio and TV stations, “The Drive” will debut commercial-free as he begins hiring a sales staff this week. Today’s 6:00 am launch (Monday, 8/5) follows stunting as “The Worm,” a mix of novelty songs. With a catalogue of over 2,000 songs, “The Drive” is designed to appeal to baby boomers and originates 24/7 broadcasting from downtown Tucson. Its FM signal is heard throughout the Tucson valley, while the 830 AM signal carries from the Mexican border to Phoenix. Rich tells RadioInfo/TALKERS, “This has been developing for more than eight months; I recently realized I’ve never done a total build from scratch. I have gone back-and-forth from high anxiety to beyond thrilled of building something new, from concept to call-letters to months sorting song lists to finding talent before I could tell them what it was or what it would sound like. We didn’t buy studios or broadcast equipment – just a pair of transmitters and a tower rental agreement. Everything was kept confidential, which was extremely difficult. Some of the staff just learned the branding and what titles are in the library. We’re in empty offices working from a temporary studio while the real studios are being built across the hall. It is crazy, fun stuff.  I’m more than a little overwhelmed but so happy. It’s a dream come true for all of us – a chance to select our own music and manage content that matters to Tucson and have incredible fun while making great radio. It’s crazy to start a new radio station, but we are just crazy enough and have the passion-to make it work.” Immediately prior to his 25-year tenure as program director/morning drive host at Tucson adult contemporary KMXZ “Mix 94,” Rich was vice president/general manager/morning show talent for Seattle’s KMGI. His voluminous resume also includes programming stops in New York City (WXLO “99-X”); Los Angeles (KHTZ “K-Hits 97”); Philadelphia (WWSH); San Diego (KFMB-FM “B-100,” where he famously formulated the “Rich Brothers”); and director/programming consultation for Drake-Chenault. Rich worked on-air in Los Angeles at KHJ and KFI, as well as WMYQ, Miami. The on-air lineup for “The Drive” is comprised of Rich and Hill Bailey (morning drive); former program director of cross-town CHR KRQQ Ken Carr (mid-days); Mike Esparza (afternoon drive); and onetime Bobby Rich intern Tyler Russell (nights). Evan Carlson-headed, Arizona not-for-profit corporation Family Life owns stations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Kalil & Co. brokered the transaction ….. While retaining its “Que Buena 92.7” identity, Univision Radio New York’s WQBU transitions from regional Mexican to Spanish AC. Core artists will include Chayanne, Juan Gabriel, Juan Luis Guerra, Enrique Iglesias, Jose Jose, Ricky Martin, Luis Miguel, Laura Pausini, and Shakira. Univision Radio New York president and general manager Roberto Yanez comments, “We are excited to launch a format that reflects distinct tastes of the Latino community in the Tri-State area. By reformatting our audio portfolio to include the only Spanish AC station in the region, we are able to give our audience more of the music they love, whether they’re listening at home, at work, or during their commute.” Its adjusted on-air lineup now includes: Mildre Aquino (6:00 am – 10:00 am); El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); Jose Luis Arcos (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Cesar Lozano (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm); and El Free-Guey with La Bronca (8:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 New York City report, WQBU ranks #34 (.3); it is #37 in Long Island (.2, 6+, June 2019) ….. One-year KVIL, Dallas “Alt 103.7” morning talent Jenn Marino exits the Entercom alternative outlet. Marino formerly co-hosted Premiere Networks’ Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx. Her other on-air credits include Baltimore outlets WHFS “Alternative 99.1”; WWMX, “Mix 106.5”; and WIYY “98 Rock,” as well as KRXO, Oklahoma City …. Launched in 2018, YEA Networks’Tino Cochino Radio” debuts next Monday morning (8/12, 6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas CHR KVGQ “Q-106.9.” Hosted by Tino Cochino, Raquel, and DJ Nicasio, the show is now heard in more than 40 markets. KVGQ program director Gabriela “Lady g.” Loredon comments, “I’m excited to welcome Tino and the TCR team to our ‘Q-106.9’ family. TCR is the perfect fit for mornings here in Vegas and can’t wait to win” ….. American Idol winner Maddie Poppe and Whitney Woerz are among those scheduled to appear at the third annual “Survive Live” concert presented by Entercom Madison hot AC WMHX “Mix 105.1.” The October 3rd event will raise money for breast cancer awareness ….. “I’m Roger Carroll and I play records.” For 20 years (1959 – 1979), listeners of Los Angeles’ once powerhouse KMPC heard Kolman Carroll Rutkin begin his “R.C. Get Together” that way; the 90-year-Carroll died last week in Long Beach, California. Andrew Rutkin notes that his father “lived an amazing life; was surrounded by family; and his passing was peaceful.” The son of Eastern Europe immigrants, Roger Carroll was born in Baltimore in 1928 and moved away at 15 to work as an announcer at Frederick, Maryland’s WFMD. After World War ll, he relocated to Los Angeles, and at age 18, became the youngest announcer ever on the ABC Radio Network. Carroll, who worked at Los Angeles’ KABC from 1946 – 1959, became executive producer of the “Lawrence Welk Radio Show” in 1981 and owned KWIP, Salem (Oregon), a station he sold in 1991. For many years, he was the off-camera voice for such TV shows as “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “Bonanza,” “The Danny Thomas Show,” and “Tony Orlando and Dawn.” In 2017, he started a streaming internet station, Roger Carroll’s Best Sounds in Town.” Commenting about his father, Andrew Rutkin states, “We will all miss him terribly. I’ll especially miss his wealth of stories and his amazing talent for mucking up his computer.”

Charlamagne Tha Guest. A number of the 2020 presidential candidates have made Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” a must-stop on their campaign trail. Last week, the show’s Charlamagne Tha God made the media rounds himself, appearing on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (the two are shown here) and CNN’s “OutFront” with Erin Burnett. Among other things, he talked about how the Democrats performed in the recent debates; who his favorite candidate is so far; and how he approaches interviews. Originating from iHeartMedia New York urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1,” the 4.5-hour “Breakfast Club” features Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee.

May 2019 PPM Analysis:
The All-News Format

| June 19, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Our comprehensive four-part series of May 2019 ratings recaps commences with an overview of all-news stations.

The following scoreboards reflect data from such properties that appear in the top 20 (6+) in May 2019, a ratings period that covered April 25 – May 22.

Nielsen Audio releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. As a result, ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations paying that company for its data.

Entercom has a virtual stranglehold on the all-news genre, as that company owns all but three stations listed.

The exceptions are iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston (also listed in Providence); WTOP, Washington, DC (Hubbard Broadcasting); and KOMO, Seattle (Sinclair Broadcast Group).

Read More

Thursday, February 16, 2017

| February 16, 2017

CBS Reports Q4 2016 and Full-Year Financials; CBS Presented as Discontinued Operation.  The latter is due to the pending merger of CBS Radio with Entercom and it means that CBS did not present any revenue information or operating income metrics for the radio division.  Here’s what the company has to say about the Entercom deal: “In connection with the transaction, which is expected to be tax-free to CBS Corporation and its stockholders, the Company intends to split-off CBS Radio through an exchange offer immediately prior to the merger.  The merger will create a well-capitalized company with a market cap in excess of $2 billion, a strong balance sheet, significant free cash flow, and the ability to pay an attractive dividend.  The combined company is expected to generate meaningful cost synergies within 12-18 months after the merger.  The Company expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.”  In a press statement, CBS Corporation chairman and CEO Les Moonves states, “2016 was a phenomenal year for the CBS Corporation, with all-time highs in revenue, operating income, and EPS [earnings per share] that came in above $4 for the first time in our Company’s history; and as we begin 2017, I couldn’t be more excited about our growth prospects in the years ahead.”  During yesterday’s investor conference call, COO Joseph Ianniello addressed the radio deal, saying, “CBS shareholders who participate in this split-off will own 72% of the combined company which will have best-in-class assets and will clearly be the best capitalized radio company in the industry.  The combined radio business will benefit from increased scale, stronger cash flow and real operational synergies which should drive higher profitability.  The new company will also have the ability to pay an attractive dividend.”

Cumulus Extends Early Tender Date for Note Exchange.  This is the third extension of Cumulus Media Inc’s offer for its previously announced private exchange offer for 7.75% Senior Notes due 2019 issued by Cumulus Media Holdings Inc.  Obviously not satisfied with the number of takers, the company is extending the early tender date to March 6 (5:00 pm ET).  The company explains that “Eligible Holders tendering their Outstanding Notes prior to the Early Tender Date, as extended that are accepted for exchange, will receive the ‘Total Exchange Consideration.’”  That exchange includes “revolving loans, the participation interests, the trust certificates and the shares of Class A common stock (or warrants, if applicable), Class D common stock and Class E common stock.”

TALKERS Editorial Board Tackling Freedom of Speech Award Decision.  The TALKERS magazine editorial board has begun the sensitive and often-controversial task of deciding its annual roster of major award recipients in the categories of “Lifetime Achievement,” “Woman of the Year,”  “Humanitarian of the Year,” and “Freedom of Speech” – the latter being the most potentially contentious of all – especially in today’s highly charged, politically polarized news/talk environment.  In his weekly address to the editors, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “This award is always a sensitive issue because freedom of speech is one of the most difficult concepts to explain and the award is doubly difficult to defend – especially when a significant percentage of people immediately assume that the organization presenting the honor necessarily endorses the political position of the recipient.”  Harrison continued, “TALKERS has a distinguished history of non-partisanship in its editorial coverage of political news/talk media and this has been reflected in the diversity of positions held by the recipients of this prestigious award over the decades.  The award is not a reward for saying something ‘controversial’ with which we necessarily agree but, rather, for conducting oneself as a broadcaster in a manner that clearly displays the tenets of the First Amendment in action, as well as showing the courage of one’s convictions in facing the negative blowback and consequences of one’s public stance.”  Harrison cited Premiere NetworksSean Hannity, Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved and former WTMJ, Milwaukee host Charlie Sykes among worthy candidates to be considered for this year’s honor, stating, “Hannity showed amazing courage coming out early and unswervingly for Donald Trump when it was not clear which way his core audience would swing and what the outcome of the primary and general election would be.  Medved, also a conservative, came out early against Trump and then stuck to his guns as an objective observer of the candidate and now-president’s pros and cons as he sees them – even against negative criticism from his listeners and even members of his own syndication company.  Sykes actually let his cool job in Milwaukee slide away rather than back down from his perception of the truth.”  Harrison concluded, “And there are many more examples of news/talk hosts having to take a principled stand with uncertain consequences as a result of this turbulent but exciting chapter of talk radio history in the making.”   The TALKERS awards will be presented on Friday, June 2 at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York City.  For information about the 20th annual installment of the talk industry’s longest running and most important national convention, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Beginning with this year’s 2017 NFL season, Washington Redskins football play-by-play (including some pre- and post-game programming) will be heard on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  The games will continue to air on Red Zebra properties WTEM, Washington “ESPN980”; WWXT, Prince Frederick, Maryland; and WWXX, Buckland, Virginia.  This is a homecoming of sorts for Redskins football; the team’s games have aired on WMAL-AM from time-to-time as far back as 1942.  WMAL-AM/FM vice president and GM Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and honored to be working with the Redskins again.  The Redskins and WMAL were partners during the team’s three glorious Super Bowl-winning seasons.  We look forward to bringing the combined assets of WMAL to this exciting, renewed partnership.”…..NBA All-Star 2017 begins today and SiriusXM is offering coverage with special, live programming from New Orleans on its NBA Radio channel, in addition to the live broadcast of the 66th NBA All-Star Game.  Coverage will be hosted by Milwaukee Bucks guard Jason Terry, former players Eddie Johnson and Tim Legler, as well as Frank Isola, Jason Jackson, Joel Meyers, Justin Termine and Brian Geltzeiler…..The Forbes on PodcastOne network premieres “The Forbes List” today (2/16), featuring an in-depth look at the world’s top billionaires.  The show – hosted by Jordan Harbinger dives into the stories behind Forbes’ most famous lists, including the Forbes 400 list featuring the wealthiest Americans, as well as lists covering celebrities, music, sports, entrepreneurs, companies and the world’s most powerful people.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz comments, “This makes our third launch of a new Forbes podcast and points out the strong relationship between Forbes and PodcastOne.  Jordan Harbinger has hosted “Art of Charm,” which consistently ranks in iTunes’ top 10.  This provides a combination that’s tough to beat.”

Violent Tragedy Strikes Dominican Radio Station.  Two radio journalists were shot dead and a third staffer was seriously wounded in a raid on a radio station in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.  Numerous news outlets are reporting that news presenter Luis Manuel Medina and station director Leonidas Martinez were killed when unidentified men entered the station and shot Medina while he read a newscast and Martinez as he sat in his office.  Medina was streaming his newscast live on Facebook at the time of the attack.   It took place at radio station 103.5 FM in San Pedro de Macoris, a town near Santo Domingo.  The AFP reports that the organization Reporters without Borders states that journalists that investigate corruption and the drug business are often the victims of violent attacks.

Sports, Music, Politics and Talk Media.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined in a free-wheeling dialogue by his long-time friend, New York City radio broadcaster Richard Neer as his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  The two talk about the public’s and media’s obsession with Donald Trump, with an emphasis on the infiltration of sports and entertainment by political passions.  Richard Neer brings his diverse background as a legendary Big Apple music radio host (WNEW-FM), sports talker (WFAN) and best-selling author of the landmark book FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) to the discussion which focuses on the rapid morphing of the traditional left/right talk media paradigm into a more complex resistance/revolution chess game.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump Campaign Russia Communications/Flynn Exit, Puzder Withdraws From Labor Secretary Nomination, Reince Preibus’ Status, Trump vs Intelligence Community, Fate of ObamaCare, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15).  The controversy over the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and questions about the depth of communications between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian agents; Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder withdraws from consideration for the cabinet position; questions about the status of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus after unconfirmed reports President Trump is unhappy with his work; the contentious relationship between Trump and the intelligence community; the fate of the Affordable Care Act after Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told the Wall Street Journal the program is in a “death spiral”; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The performer and host lineups have been announced for the March 5 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place at the Forum in Los Angeles.  The evening will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will air live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET will be broadcast on iHeartMedia-owned stations nationwide, as well as on the iHeartRadio.  Performers will include: Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes, Thomas Rhett, Noah Cyrus and Big Sean, in addition to the previously announced Bruno Mars…..Entercom San Diego is expanding the platform for its culinary audio feature, “Lick the Plate,” which has been airing on alternative KBZT “FM94/9,” adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1,” and country KSON.  The David Boylan-hosted program will now be available in podcast format via the stations’ websites.  The radio stations will continue to promote the show via on-air teaser segments.  These changes take effect on February 27…..Radio programming for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards from Westwood One is being announced.  Westwood One and Cumulus Media are the official national radio partners for the ACM Awards.  There will be a three-hour ACM Nomination Special, hosted by Thomas Rhett, on March 25 from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight as part of “NASH Nights Live.”  The ACM Radio Row will take place on Friday, March 31 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm ET and Saturday, April 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm ET.  Then, the five-hour ACM Night Of Event Coverage will happen on Sunday, April 2 from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight…..Beasley Media Group’s adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is announcing a new weekend program featuring Kathy Romano.  The show is titled, “Her Story,” and will air Sundays at 7:30 am.  Romano – who works for sister rock station WMMR as part of the “Preston & Steve” show – says, “I’m thrilled to be the host of ‘Her Story’ on 95.7 BEN FM!  This is giving me the opportunity for some girl talk that just doesn’t make sense on WMMR’s ‘Preston & Steve’ show.  There are so many amazing women with fascinating stories that we just don’t get to hear.  Every Sunday morning I’m going to bring listeners the great stories these dynamic women have to tell!”…..Radio One hip hop outlet WKYS, Washington announces that Danni Starr is joining “The Fam in The Morning” as co-host alongside QuickSilva.  Radio One DC SVP and general manager Jeff Wilson comments, “Danni is the full package.  She’s amazingly smart, well versed in music and community activism.  Danni is authentic and transparent about her struggles and victories.  That kind of energy and wit will serve our listeners well on-air, in social media and on the street.”  Starr has worked in radio for more than a decade and is the face of TLCme on the TLC network.

Midland Pays Valentine’s Day Visit to NASH Campus.  New country act and Big Machine recording group Midland is pictured here with “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Elaina Smith (second from left) and Shawn Parr (second from right).

PPM Analysis: Country.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the ratings performances of country-formatted stations based on Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2016 PPM survey.  In this report, see charts detailing country stations’ (6+) numbers over the past six PPM surveys, fluctuations from December to the Holiday survey, comparisons to performances in the Holiday 2015 and Holiday 2016 surveys, station market ranks and more.  Click here for more.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

| September 29, 2016

CBS Corp. Announces $1.46 Billion Debt Financing.  This has been revealed in the radio trades and in financial news sources but now CBS makes it official with a press statement.  The company says that “in connection with its previously announced intention to separate its radio business, CBS Radio Inc. plans to offer cbsradio-logo$460 million of senior unsecured notes and to enter into a $1 billion senior secured term loan, in each case, subject to market and other conditions.  CBS expects that substantially all of the net proceeds from both the notes offering and the term loan will be distributed to CBS.  The remaining net proceeds not used for such distribution will be used by CBS Radio for general corporate purposes and ongoing cash needs.”  This is not a sale to the public.  As CBS reminds us, “The notes will be offered and sold in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers in the United States pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933…the notes to be offered have not been registered under the Securities Act, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act.”

SiriusXM Launches Innovative Channel Dedicated to Talk About Music.  The satcaster is dubbing it “VOLUME” and calls it “the first-ever 24/7 talk radio channel dedicated to music — its latest news, raging controversies, and non-stop debates – as the focus of the conversation.”  The channel will consist of daily shows, artist interviews, weekly specials, a music trivia game show, album reviews, and an in-depth docuseries and more siriusxmdealing with all genres of popular music.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Sirius XM has millions of loyal music fans nationwide and now we are giving those fans a place where they can talk about the music they love.  VOLUME will have a deep, all-star roster of talent bringing that conversation only to SiriusXM.  It’s yet another example of SiriusXM delivering unique and exciting content to our subscribers.  Roger Coletti is the executive producer of this channel and his extensive music expertise makes him the ideal person for this ground-breaking channel.”  Some of the shows that will appear on and after the October 17 launch include: live, morning talk show “Feedback” with Nik Carter and veteran magazine editor, entertainment journalist and author Lori Majewski; “Trunk Nation” with DJ Eddie Trunk, who’ll host Metallica’s Lars Ulrich on the debut show; “Debatable” with Mark Goodman and former Spin and Vibe editor and author Alan Light; “Written in My Soul with Bill Flanagan” featuring a series of interviews with legendary musicians, including Robert Plant and Paul Simon; “Rolling Stone Music Now” hosted by Rolling Stone executive editor Nathan Brackett; “Rap Radar Report” hosted by journalist and TV producer Elliott Wilson; “Melissa’s Basement” with Melissa Etheridge (guests booked include David Crosby, Pat Benatar, and Steve Cropper); “Never Meet Your Heroes” with Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian; “True Stories with Kurt Loder”; “The Album Review Show” featuring YouTube star Anthony Fantano; music trivia game “70s 80s 90s Now” with host Jim Shearer; and “The Last of The …” with Ryan Duffy, a journalist, producer and entrepreneur, who will examine the changing landscape in the world of music and tech.

Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee Partners with Milwaukee Business Journal on Local Economy Series.  This series will be available on air, online and in print as Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and the local Milwaukee Business Journal are combining the forces of their newsrooms to present “The Changing Face of Milwaukee” – an in-depth look at “Southeastern Wisconsin’s unprecedented growth in business and infrastructure.”  WTMJ viceRadio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c) president and general manager Tom Langmyer states, “As ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station,’ it’s critical for WTMJ to cover the local news that is affecting our area.  Partnering with the Milwaukee Business Journal provides WTMJ great access in the business community and more complete coverage of the economic boom in Southeastern Wisconsin.”  WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks adds, “WTMJ and Milwaukee Business Journal reporters will work in pairs to go deeper on this story.  With interviews of business leaders and government officials, our teams have created in-depth feature content and expansive digital coverage.”  This special news series is in addition to the daily content partnership between the Milwaukee Business Journal and WTMJ.  Business Journal reporters share local business headlines six times each weekday along with in-depth analysis of breaking business news in Milwaukee.

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of September 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of September 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The September 2016 survey period covered August 11 through September 7.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

The Presidential Race/Post-Debate Analysis, El Cajon Police Kill Black Man, South Carolina Teen Shooter Incident, 9/11 Bill Override, Syria Civil War/U.S.-Russia Relations, Shimon Peres Dies, MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/28).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the analysis of Monday night’s first debate; police in El Cajon, California kill a black man they believed was wielding a gun; a teen shooter in South Carolina kills his father and injures three at a local school; congress overrides President Obama’s veto of a 9/11 bill that will allow victims of the terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia; the ongoing civil conflict in Syria and the tensions between the U.S. and Assad-backing Russia; former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres dies; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods. KIRO, Seattle afternoon talk hosts “Ron & Don” are partnering with the Seattle Police Departmentrondon (with the support of the Seattle Police Foundation and Sleep Train) for the “Beds for Kids Project.”  This year, the goal is to provide a minimum of 150 mattresses, bedframes, sheet sets, comforters and pillows to local children in need, with 100% of the mattresses donated by The Dream Bed, a bed-in-a-box brand with a greater purpose of improving sleeping conditions around the world with its buy one-give one model.  The Beds for Kids Project was created in 2014 by Seattle police officers Jeremy Wade and Ryan Gallagher after the two responded to a 911 call and discovered two young girls had been sleeping on the floor of their home.  They later returned to that same home with brand new beds, both purchased from their own pockets…..Los Angeles Dodgers play-by-play legend Vin Scully will end a 67-year career calling the team’s games on Sunday (10/2).  Fans interested in celebrating Scully’s monumental career and wish to witness the end of an era can hear the broadcast via TuneIn’s MLB Radio…..AdLarge Media‘s “So Money with Farnoosh Torabi” wins the prestigious 2016 Plutus Award for the Best Personal Finance Podcast.

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Left to Right.  In a joint appearance in the Embry-Riddle Speaker Series in Daytona Beach, Florida on Wednesday (9/28), 93.5/1150 WNDB afternoon drive host Marc Bernier (left) interviews CNN’s Paul Begala (center), and Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson (right), before a live audience.  The trio analyzed the first presidential debate and looked ahead to the general election.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

| September 22, 2016

cookehollandNAB/RAB Radio Show: ‘A Snapshot of Where the Radio Industry Is.’ Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Nashville covering the NAB/RAB Radio Show for TALKERS and he presents a compact report of some of day one’s key takeaways.  Among them are sound bites from radio’s captains of industry and key players from the “Broadcast Finance Forecast 2016 Leadership Breakfast.”  Also included are Cooke’s notes from Edison Research’s “Share the Road: The Changing In-Car Audio Space” report presented at Tuesday’s RAIN Summit and David Oxenford’s invaluable “Legal Snapshot: Issues for Audio Services” presentation from that event.  See it all here.

Steve Czaban Exits SB Nation Radio.  Washington, DC-based sports media pro Steve Czaban blogs that hisczabansteve contract with SB Nation Radio – formerly Yahoo! Sports Radio – has not been renewed so he’s ended his morning radio show there.  Czaban writes, “I want to thank David Gow, Craig Larson, and the rest of the network for having me for 6 great years. They always treated me right, and let me do the kind of show that I wanted to do, a show that I was energized to do every morning.”  Czaban remains on the air as he also co-hosts the afternoon drive “Sports Reporters” show on Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” with Andy Pollin.

Radio Tips Wells Fargo Troubles.  Sunday evening talk host Walter Sterling – heard on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia – says he was the first to reveal the Wells Fargo apparent fee scam.  The federal investigation has resulted in the CEO being grilled before Congress and more than 5,000 Wells Fargo employees being let go for opening fake accounts and charging fees to those accounts.  Sterling says, “I noticed charge after charge on my Wells account that made no sense and I yelled about it.  On my show, my goal was not to go after any one bank but to empathize with the listener who is being screwed by their bank.  I also talk about my suspicious cell phone bill and last week the FCC announced an investigation of Verizon fees.”  Sterling says his show is unique because he doesn’t talk election politics, “I talk about the politics of my life: the phone bill, bank nonsense, cheap relatives, parent-teacher conferences and the 11-year-old who doesn’t like the way I make her lunch.”

The Presidential Race, Cop Shootings and Protests in Charlotte and Tulsa, NYC/NJ/Minn. Terror Attacks Aftermath, Islamic State Chemical Weapons Use, Weiner Teen Sexting Accusation, Pitt-Jolie Divorce, and Major League Baseball Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/21).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the fatal shootings of black men in Charlotte and Tulsa and the violent protests rocking Charlotte; the aftermath of last weekend’s bombings in New York, the bombs found in New Jersey and the stabbings in St. Cloud, Minnesota; the U.S. military’s determination that Islamic State is using chemical weapons; allegations that Anthony Weiner had been sexting a 15-year-old girl; the flap over Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce; and the playoff push in Major League Baseball were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

zeolidaughter16WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli Welcomes New Daughter.  Afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli spent the past couple of weeks doing his WPHT, Philadelphia from Utah – via the reliable Comrex Access – while going through the process of adopting his new daughter Clare Megan Zeoli (pictured with dad here).  Zeoli, who also adopted a son named Patrick in 2014, tells TALKERS, “I was fortunate enough to interview Ivanka Trump about her maternity leave plan while feeding my daughter from my makeshift Utah studio…a closet! Irony?”

‘Heard’ at the RAIN Summit.  While media consultant Holland Cooke is covering the panels and presentations taking place at this week’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Nashville, TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay is talking to people in the hallways about what’s being said at the events.  From yesterday’s day one of the annual convention, click here to see what people are telling Jeff.

wbtwlnk-duo-logoJob Opportunities at WBT and WLNK in Charlotte.  There are three positions available at Greater Media’s Charlotte operations.  First, News Talk 1110 WBT is looking for a fun, outgoing, hands-on and dedicated individual with entry level event planning experience for a full-time position in our Marketing and Promotions Department.  This position works to ensure the timely and successful execution of promotions, contests and events through teamwork and coordination with other departments and staff.  See more about that position here.  Second, WBT/WLNK seek part-time Event Relations Team Members.  They are committed to providing extraordinary customer service to WBT/WLNK radio station listeners and event guests at WBT or WLNK sanctioned events.  Find more here.  And last, News Talk 1110 WBT and 107.9 The Link is looking for an outgoing, sharp, dedicated individual for a full-time, seasonal position as our Ice Rink Project Leader.  The project leader will help in the planning, building, operation, and execution of the Holiday Outdoor Ice Rink, to ensure the successful execution of the promotion through guidance, teamwork, and coordination with other staff.  Find out more about that here.