Fox News Radio Unveils New Shows Featuring Todd Starnes and Tom Shillue. The two new talk radio programs fill the afternoon daypart – the Todd Starnes show airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET (7/5) and the Tom Shillue show following from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET (7/10). They replace the John Gibson and the Tom Sullivan shows, respectively. Fox News Radio says both programs are nationally syndicated on terrestrial radio stations along with satellite and digital distribution on all multimedia and social platforms. The programs will also be part of a new multi-media video component with live streaming capabilities on FOXNews.com for consumers and partners. Additionally, Fox is renaming the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET “Kilmeade & Friends program “The Brian Kilmeade Show,” beginning on July 5. Starnes has been with Fox since 2005 and is a featured columnist on FOXNews.com. Shillue is a stand-up comedian and former host of Fox News Channel’s “Red Eye.” He joined FNC in 2015 and remains a contributor to the network. Previously, Shillue was a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” As for Gibson and Sullivan, John Gibson will continue hosting his program on the gibsonradio.com digital platform. Similarly, Sullivan will host his radio program on a limited basis on tomsullivan.com.
Peter Thiele Named KARN-FM, Little Rock Program Director. Talk radio programming pro Peter Thiele is appointed program director for Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little Rock “Newsradio 102.9.” Cumulus Little Rock vice president and market manager Keith Liesmann states, “We are thrilled to have Peter join our team at Cumulus Little Rock. Peter is a proven news/talk leader and we look forward to seeing KARN-FM continue to grow under his leadership. Peter’s background and success in the format and his experience in many different radio markets makes him the perfect program director for Central Arkansas’ heritage news/talk station.” Thiele has worked in markets including: New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Greenville/Spartanburg, and Huntsville.
Jim Philips to Retire from WTKS-FM, Orlando. The 70-year-old radio pro told his listeners on Tuesday (6/20) that he’s leaving iHeartMedia’s hot talk ‘Real Radio 104.1’ and the radio business to retire after a career that’s spanned 30 years in Central Florida. The Orlando Sentinel reports on Jim Philips’ announcement here, quoting his on-air announcement, “I’m retiring. I’m not retiring from life, I’m just retiring from this business…Everything I can do on the air I’ve done. Everything.”
PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM survey. This month, the report notes that “a whopping seven of 10 stations on the news panel are down April 2017 – May 2017 (70%); roughly one in five are up (18%) and the remaining 12% remain flat (6+)…year-to-year stats in the all-news format are considerably more encouraging than month-to-month figures, as nearly half the stations on our eligible sample improve May 2016 – May 2017 (47%, 6+); 41% show a decrease; and the remaining 12% are unchanged.” Eight all-news stations ranked in the top five (6+) in their respective markets, with two – WWJ, Detroit and KCBS-AM, San Jose – ranking #1 in the May PPM survey. See the entire report here.
Stephanie Miller Featured in LA Weekly Piece. Talk radio star Stephanie Miller is the subject of a feature piece in LA Weekly that delves into her current media efforts taking on the Trump Administration, and serves as a retrospective of her radio, stage, TV and digital career. Regular TALKERS readers know Miller’s history as a progressive talk show host and, more recently, her work headlining the successful “Sexy Liberal Comedy” tours (the current one dubbed the “Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour”). In this story, TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is quoted, speaking of her career (including her revenue-generating digital platform), “It’s an amazing feat. She’s a major player in American talk radio, one of the biggest stars in internet talk and one of a handful of progressive hosts who have developed a large following of listeners from coast to coast. She’s a pioneer in the evolution of radio from the 20th to the 21st century.” Read the LA Weekly feature here.
TALKERS News Notes. The winners of this year’s Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association are being announced and ABC News Radio grabs two – one for Excellence in Sound and another for Excellence in Writing. ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones says, “The best radio journalism relies on vivid storytelling and riveting audio to transport listeners to the heart of a story. I’m so proud that ABC News Radio was recognized with two Edward R. Murrow Awards for Excellence in Sound and Excellence in Writing thanks to the work of ABC’s Alex Stone and Scott Goldberg!”…..E.W. Scripps’ country-formatted KFDI, Wichita “101.3 Today’s KFDI” grabs a national Edward R. Murrow Award in the “Breaking News” category for its coverage of the 2016 workplace shooting in Hesston, Kansas. KFDI operations manager Justin Case comments, “This is a significant recognition for the KFDI radio news team and our second national Murrow Award in as many years. Our ability to provide urgent information to our community in a breaking news situation is at the core of what we do and it is truly rewarding to receive recognition of our efforts from the RTDNA.”…..CBS RADIO New York launches “FOMO New York City,” a daily e-newsletter that delivers the latest New York-centric news and updates right to a subscriber’s inbox. It features stories from CBS RADIO New York’s radio stations and websites, plus select content from the most-read NYC media, including: The New York Times, Gothamist, TimeOut New York and others. CBS RADIO New York SVP/market manager Marc Rayfield says, “FOMO New York City delivers top local news in an easy-to-read format that makes sense for how we live and consume media today. As a leader in delivering the most up-to-the-minute news in the most fast-paced city in the nation, we are uniquely poised to reach busy New Yorkers at the start of their day.”…..A new culinary podcast starring Richard Blair, winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef All-Stars” launches on the PodcastOne platform. PodcastOne says listeners will hear from anyone and everyone in the industry, including restaurateurs, television hosts, famous chefs, producers of cooking and competition shows and more.
Lars Larson Broadcasts from Baton Rouge. Pictured above is KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks talk radio personality Lars Larson (second from right) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he was broadcasting from affiliate station WBRP. Larson tells TALKERS magazine that some of the station’s hosts joined him on a panel discussion at the Baton Rouge City Club with U.S. Rep. Garrett Graves that was aired on WBRP. Pictured (from l-r) are: WBRP hosts Clarence Buggs, Bill Profita, and Kevin Gallagher, Larson, and Rep. Graves.
Georgia Congressional Race, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Russia Military Tensions/Syria Strikes, Michael Brown-Ferguson Settlement, Uber CEO Resigns, New Saudi Heir, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20). Republican Karen Handel beats Democrat Jon Ossoff for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat; the special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the military tensions between the U.S. and Russia over recent U.S. strikes in Syria; the family of Michael Brown settles a civil suit against the city of Ferguson; Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigns his CEO post with the company; Saudi Arabia names 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman successor to the throne; and Major League Baseball action among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
C. Crane Earbuds Were a Big Hit at TALKERS Convention. One of the unexpected hits at the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era was a product distributed to all attendees in the goodie bag – the new C. Crane’s “CC Buds Pro-Mic” earbuds that are specifically designed for talk radio listening on smartphones. Here at TALKERS, we have been hearing nothing but rave reviews from those who received a pair at the event. The vast majority of high-quality earbuds are built for music and have enhanced bass response. C. Crane’s CC Buds-Pro have high-quality materials but are designed for voice clarity, allowing voices to cut through better. They have accurate bass that’s similar to studio monitor-type bass response which is precise but not booming. Six different earbud covers are provided for custom comfort. Included are three sets of small, medium and large covers in soft silicone and the same three sizes in compressible foam. The foam covers provide enhanced bass and noise isolation. Users can select the best fitting covers for their ears. For more information about this talk radio-friendly product, please click here.
Where Is the Next Generation of Radio and Talk Media Talent Being Developed? Since the advent of consolidation, it is no secret that the small and medium market “farm system” that developed radio talent so effectively for decades has been decimated by budget cutbacks, syndication, automation and liner cards. Local radio stations that were once hotbeds of activity and lots of entry level opportunities have largely been replaced by computerized, less populated, more sterile operations. Fortunately, there are hopeful signs of life on college radio stations across America. One of the leaders in this arena is Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (the location of two recent presidential debates and 2016’s TALKERS convention). The school’s famous WRHU was last year’s recipient of the NAB’s Marconi Award as best non-commercial station in the nation and Princeton Review rated it the nation’s best college radio station for two consecutive years. Radio Hofstra University operations director John T. Mullen joins host Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out.” They talk about the state of broadcasting going forward as well as the nature of millennials and today’s young radio hopefuls. 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.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Rex Long moves from Cumulus Media’s Montgomery cluster to the Colorado Springs operations to serve as program director and air talent for CHR KKMG “98.9 Magic FM.” He’s been programming WHHY “Y102” in Montgomery. Cumulus Colorado Springs OM Bobby Irwin states, “There were dozens of remarkable candidates for the position and Rex stood out as so positive and creative, with the leadership qualities that a station the size of ‘Magic FM’ deserves.”…..SiriusXM is airing Guns N’ Roses live show at Harlem’s Apollo Theater on July 20. It’s a special, invitation-only concert for SiriusXM subscribers and it was announced on the Howard Stern show. It’ll air on SiriusXM’s Guns N’ Roses Radio and the Howard 101 channel…..Non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is now broadcasting and streaming around the clock its new “414Music.fm” HD2 broadcast radio channel and mobile and online stream. The new channel and stream from the Milwaukee Public Schools-run station is the first to broadcast only Milwaukee music, bolstering its commitment to play and support local bands. Program director Jordan Lee says, “Radio Milwaukee is uniquely positioned to program an all-Milwaukee-music channel because of our focus on Milwaukee artists since we first went on air 10 years ago. We’re proud to play all Milwaukee music because it rivals music from any city in the country.”
Cumulus Q2 Revenue Dips; Major Market News/Talkers Singled Out. Cumulus Media’s revenue shot up more than 350% due to the inclusion of the former Citadel stations and the former Cumulus Media Partners properties it folded into its portfolio, but on a pro forma basis, revenue for the company was down 1.7%. During yesterday’s conference call, CEO Lew Dickey indicated 10 stations in the top 10 markets – many of them news/talk outlets were responsible for the company’s loss with three stations in particular accounting for $5.5 million of a $10 million revenue loss. He said if those stations had been kept out of the equation the company would have seen revenue go up 2%. Dickey promised the company is working on fixing those stations but cautioned it would take time – as much as four more quarters. If the ultimate goal is to get other companies’ syndication properties off those major market news/talkers – and those fees can be very high – and replace them with Cumulus Media Networks shows to, a) cut the cost of the programming to those stations and, b) reap a much greater percentage of revenue from those shows, expect to see some lineup changes at those major market news/talkers over the next 12 months.
Lew Dickey Stands Behind Mike Huckabee. Questions about the performance of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in syndication via Cumulus Media Networks were expected by analysts on yesterday’s conference call and when they were asked, Dickey strongly defended Huckabee – whose national program debuted in March – saying his team is doing an excellent job clearing the show and compares the venture to a “marathon.” Dickey also said the company intends to sign more talent in the near future. He told analysts that a lot of companies are locked in to current contracts with other syndicated programming so rolling out Huckabee (and Geraldo Rivera) will take time but, so far, he’s pleased with the results.
Herman Cain Takes to the Road on Fall “Truth Tour.” Former presidential candidate Herman Cain – and heir to the nationally syndicated Neal Boortz show when Neal hangs up his headphones in January – will take to the road beginning September 5 in Iowa City for what he’s calling “The Truth Tour.” It’s sponsored by Job Creators Solutions – an organization founded by Cain and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus. The tour is billed as “an aggressive 30-day, 30-city schedule of events that aims to provide Americans with facts, information and resources to help them in their decision making process before hitting the polls in November.” Cain says, “Bernie Marcus and I both know first-hand how important it is to have the facts when making business decisions. We also know it’s just as important for Americans to have the facts when making decisions that will impact our communities, businesses and our nation. This is why I’m proud to join forces with Bernie for ‘The Truth Tour.’” Herman Cain will begin his nationally syndicated radio show on January 21, 2013 – Inauguration Day – and will be a regular guest on the Neal Boortz show on Mondays and Fridays at 10:35 am ET and is his primary fill-in host.
WSCR and WBBM, Chicago Host “Business of Sports: Life After the Game.” CBS Radio sports talk WSCR and all-news WBBM are hosting the Comcast Business Class Newsmakers “Business of Sports: Life after the Game” panel sponsored by MB Financial on Thursday, September 20, at the House of Blues in downtown Chicago. CBS Radio says the event will consist of the biggest names in Chicago sports, discussing their success in the business world after playing. Panelists will include: multi-sport star Bo Jackson, Chicago football great Gary Fencik, and “Miracle on Ice” star and former professional hockey player, Jack O’Callahan with more to be added. The event will be hosted by 670 The Score’s morning drive team Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley (pictured here). WSCR program director Mitch Rosen says, “We are looking forward to hosting what will be an all-star event. I think the Chicagoland consumer, specifically people interested in sports business, will enjoy the all-star panel we have put together. With Bo Jackson headlining this event, it will be a great opportunity to hear his business ideas and philosophies. Bo is one of the greatest stories in the sports industry and has numerous accomplishments as a two-sport professional athlete. For sports fans and business people alike, this will be a can’t-miss event.”
Media Matters Gets into the Talk Radio Game. The anti-conservative media organization Media Matters for America is hitching its wagon to a new talk show on the SiriusXM Left channel called “The Agenda Powered by Media Matters.” The daily show is being hosted by Media Matters senior advisor and Fox News critic Ari Rabin-Havt and debuts Monday, August 13 from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET. SiriusXM promotes the show saying, “Ari Rabin-Havt will lead the daily conversation of young influential progressive political insiders reviewing the day’s events and setting the tone for the next days’ news cycle. ‘The Agenda Powered by Media Matters’ will be a first-of-its-kind on-air meeting place where the new influencers of the progressive movement discuss the news of tomorrow in an informal setting that looks to inform, entertain, and engage.”
WBRP, Baton Rouge Names Clarence Buggs Midday Host. Guaranty Broadcasting’s WBRP, Baton Rouge adds talk show host Clarence Buggs to the lineup as host of the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm program. Buggs had worked in the market at Clear Channel’s crosstown WJBO. Guaranty market manager Gordy Rush states, “We are thrilled about the addition of Clarence to our team. We remain committed to being the news/talk leader in the Baton Rouge community with more live and local shows on Talk 107.3 FM than any other station in the greater Baton Rouge market.”
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. WAYY, Eau Claire, Wisconsin adds the third hour of WYD Media’s Michael Smerconish show…..WYM Media’s “Ring of Fire” with Mike Papantonio and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is added to the program schedule at WWRL, New York and WKKX, Wheeling…..“Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the program schedule at WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island and KBJT, Fordyce, Arkansas…..WVKO, Columbus, Ohio adds the “Best of Bill Press” to its weekend schedule…..The “Motley Fool Money” show with Chris Hill adds WKBK-AM/FM, Keene, New Hampshire…..“The Money Pit Home Improvement Show” is picked up by: WRHL, Rochelle, Illinois; WFHR, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin; WKUL, Cullman, Alabama; and WDIS, Norfolk, Massachusetts.
Presidential Campaign Ads Controversy Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 6-10. The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week broke out from last week’s general discussion about the presidential campaign and the specific story of the controversial ads being run by organizations backing President Obama was the top story this week on the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the tepid economic data. Following at #3 was neo-Nazi hate groups and the aftermath of the Sikh temple killings. Coming in at #4 was the London Olympics. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.