Marske Named PD at WOC, Quad Cities. Moline native Kirk Marske is named program director for iHeartMedia’s Quad Cities news/talk WOC. Marske has served with the cluster for 17 years, producing programs on WOC, classic rock WCQQ “Q106.5” and CHR KUUL “101.3 Kiss FM.” In this position, Marske will program WOC and be part of the “AM Quad Cities” morning show hosted by Dave Levora with contributions from Dan Deibert. Marske takes over for Dan Kennedy, who retired from the station in May after 20 years there. iHeartMedia SVP of programming Jim O’Hara says, “Kirk is just the guy to program WOC. Born and raised in Moline – and with more local connections than anyone – he has a real passion for news/talk radio.”
Beasley Media Group Files with SEC Announcing Sale of Up to $250 million in Stock. In an S-3 filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, Beasley Media Group announces its intent to offer securities for sale on the Nasdaq Global Market using a “shelf” registration process that allows the company to “sell securities from time to time and in one or more offerings up to a total dollar amount of $250,000,000 …” This is Class A common stock has one vote per share. Class B common stock is owned only by the Beasley family and enjoys 10 votes per share. What would Beasley use the influx of cash for? Acquisition of more radio stations is the popular bet. Although iHeartMedia – currently in Chapter 11 reorganization – has said it’s not in sale mode, the company has been willing to deal in recent years. And then there’s the Scripps stations currently on the block. Stay tuned.
Doug Hall Named Digitial PD for iHM San Francisco. There are just two spoken-word stations in iHeartMedia’s San Francisco cluster – progressive talker KKSF “Real Talk 910AM” and KNEW-AM “Bloomberg Radio” – but the company says that its San Francisco cluster has “been an innovator in podcast content creation, generating 30 podcasts locally with nearly 100 episodes each week published.” It will be part of new digital program director Doug Hall’s charge as he moves from iHeartMedia Miami to the Bay Area for his gig. iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “After an extensive search inside and outside of the industry, Doug stood out as the clear choice to lead our digital and social efforts in the Bay Area. With Doug’s knowledge of our goals and priorities along with his sense of urgency and enthusiasm, I’m confident he will grow iHeartMedia San Francisco.” Hall takes over for Matty Staudt, who was recently elevated to vice president of podcast programming at iHeartMedia.
TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Fireside Chat Between Michael Harrison and Brian Kilmeade. Today (6/27) TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8. Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s third installment features the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity. Yesterday’s post presents opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan. In addition, KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivers the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduces Bearman. Already posted this week: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter. To view the page, please click here.
Going for the Gold. The fourth annual fundraising dinner for the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation took place last night (6/27) at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The sold-out event featured FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel personality and best-selling author Brian Kilmeade as keynote speaker, with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison warming up the crowd with special remarks. Kilmeade delivered an inspirational speech discussing the ups and downs of his career as well as a number of others making the point that facing the challenges that life throws at you head on while remaining humble and grateful is one of the keys to achieving and maintaining success. Harrison discussed the importance of education in preparing future generations of broadcasters to live up to the responsibility of preserving the First Amendment and the vibrant free marketplace of ideas in the rapidly evolving digital era. The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation is a dynamic non-profit working to raise funds to support the education of young broadcasters. It has been instrumental in helping develop the outstanding program offered at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, including the building of the school’s award-winning radio station WRFH. Pictured at the event (l-r): Harrison, Kilmeade and Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation president Vince Benedetto. Benedetto is also the CEO of the Bold Gold Media Group, with a growing roster of news/talk, sports talk and music radio stations in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.
Report: Colin Cowherd Renews Deal with iHeartMedia and FOX Sports. According to Andrew Marchand’s column in the New York Post, sports media personality Colin Cowherd has inked a renewal deal with iHeartMedia and FOX Sports that will pay him in the neighborhood of $6 million per year. Marchand’s piece reports that Cowherd’s three-hour radio show will continue (and remain simulcast on TVs’ FOX Sports 1), but he will exit the “Speak for Yourself” television program co-hosted by Jason Whitlock. Cowherd is expected to continue hosting the “FOX NFL Kickoff” TV show that returns in September.
iHeartMedia and Anna Faris Strike Deal for Expansion of ‘Unqualified’ Programming. Actress and podcaster Anna Faris – who produces her “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” podcast via her Unqualified Media production company – is partnering with iHeartMedia to bring her show to CHR broadcast radio and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network. “Unqualified” features interviews with celebrities and cultural figures who tackle a variety of topics such as dating and relationships, in addition to taking phone calls from listeners seeking relationship advice. Faris created the podcast with her longtime friend and co-host Sim Sarna, who produces the show and runs the production company. The deal will have Unqualified Media produce a long-form “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” radio program that will air weekends across CHR broadcast radio stations nationwide. In addition, iHeartMedia will create short-form content that will air weekdays promoting “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” nationwide.
TALKERS News Notes. On Monday, news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga released a statement regarding the status of morning drive personality Jeff Styles, who was arrested on June 15 after a road rage incident left Styles with a gunshot wound to the arm and the other party with damage to his car left by Styles’ weapon – a military-grade tomahawk. Cumulus Media has placed Styles on paid leave while the incident is investigated. Meanwhile the station says, “Gary Mac has filled in for Styles in the past and did so last week and he will continue to do so. He has other obligations, however, for the next two weeks and afternoon host Brian Joyce will be hosting ‘The Morning Press’ along with Jim Reynolds.”…..Talk show host Tom Donahue is returning to the radio airwaves on July 1 as he launches a weekly, Sunday evening program available via Talk Stream Live and distributed to radio stations by Salem Radio Network. The program will air live at 11:00 pm ET. Donahue says, “I am thrilled to have this broadcast opportunity that has eluded me for some time. I will independently syndicate my show distributed by SRN and TSL, thus allowing me to reach a broader audience with satellite access and delivery to so many radio stations and markets. To be an impactful player in talk radio, your game plan must include broadcast stations. In recent years, my program has been confined mostly to online streaming, digital, and podcasting platforms, with the exception of a few independent stations. I plan to make the most of my airtime each week! I will be open to show expansion based on demand.”…..Boston morning show duo Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb, a.k.a. “Toucher & Rich,” were honored by readers of Boston Magazine with the “Radio Personalities of the Year” award in the 2018 Best of Boston poll. Toucher & Rich anchor mornings on Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase comments, “We are so proud to have Toucher & Rich on our team in Boston. They are so amazing at all of the things that we truly value at Beasley – community and top quality local content. I’m thrilled that Boston Magazine recognized them!”…..Two sale closings to report that involve Salem Media Group. First, the International Church of the Grace of God closes on the $1.73 million acquisition of WBIX, Boston from Salem. Since Salem bought the signal in 2015 it had been airing its syndicated conservative talk programming on the station with not a lot of success. Second, Salem closes on its purchase of KDXE-FM, Cammack Village, Arkansas from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million. The station serves the Little Rock market and Salem airs much of its Salem Radio Network conservative talk programming on the station branded “101.1 FM The Answer.”…..Cumulus Media appoints radio management pro Chuck Poet vice president and market manager for its Erie, Pennsylvania cluster that includes four music outlets and sports talk WRIE-AM/W242CU.
Illegal Immigration Policy, SCOTUS Travel Ban Ruling, Harassment of Administration Officials, Tuesday Primaries, Germany’s Migrant Issues, Tariffs-Trade War Concerns, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/26). The U.S.’s policies in enforcing immigration laws; the Supreme Court upholds President Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim countries; the aftermath of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ call to harass administration officials when they appear in public; Tuesday’s primary races and the ouster of New York Democrat Joe Crowley at the hands of Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Germany’s Angela Merkel deals with political pressure to reverse policy welcoming migrants; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a trade war; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
JAM Media Buys Outer Banks, NC and Iowa Radio Clusters. Originally founded as a media planning and buying agency, JAM Media Solutions, LLC is entering the radio station ownership business with the acquisition of two clusters of stations – one in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and one in Muscatine, Iowa. JAM has entered into an agreement to acquire Max Radio’s four music-formatted radio stations in the Outer Banks region, as well as the company’s interest in North Carolina E Paper, LLC, publisher of The Outer Banks Voice. The radio stations are: country WCMS-FM, hot AC WCXL-FM, triple A WVOD-FM, and classic rock WZPR-FM. The price tag for those properties is $1.85 million. In Muscatine, Iowa, JAM enters into an agreement to buy Prairie Communications’ classic rock KMCS-FM and farm news KWPC-AM/K236CF, plus newspaper The Voice of Muscatine for $965,000. JAM Media Solutions president and CEO Jonathan. A. Mason Sr. says “Having worked in radio since 1995, let me state for the record that I believe in the power of local radio. Our goal is to unite local on-air personalities, local salespeople, and local advertisers together in an effort to deliver a first-rate experience for our local listeners. JAM Media Solutions will also be very committed to the local communities in which we exist. A portion of our income will be donated to non-profits dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the people our stations touch. We are thankful for this opportunity and look forward to making the concerns of the listeners our top priority.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air staff tweaks at Entercom Las Vegas include the addition of Audrey Lee to CHR KLUC as midday personality, effective July 2. Also, music director and on-air host Yung Jon Que will host KLUC’s afternoon drive from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, effective immediately. This role is in addition to his current position as assistant program director and music director for KLUC-HD2. Finally, Hector ‘DJ CO1’ Minjarez has been elevated to the role of APD at sister urban contemporary KXQQ “Q100.5” in addition to his role as evening personality. Lee was most recently with iHeartMedia’s Lexington, Kentucky cluster…..The North American syndicated rock radio show and website “IN THE STUDIO with Redbeard: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands” celebrates its 30th year of national radio syndication. “IN THE STUDIO” first launched the broadcast week of June 27, 1988 with rock legends Crosby, Stills & Nash as inaugural guests and program host Redbeard. He says, “When original ‘IN THE STUDIO’ executive producer Stephen R. Smith conceived 30 years ago of bringing the superstars of rock to radio every single week through one-on-one interviews about the stars’ most popular music, he was keenly aware that the rock audience had matured. Now, the audience wanted an intimate, direct relationship with the musicians who actually created the soundtrack to their lives, lifting the curtain on the ‘wizards of rock.’ Over that time, the innate desire of the fans to get closer to the flame of inspiration has only intensified.” The hourlong, weekly show is heard on 35 affiliate stations nationwide.
KFTK-FM, St. Louis Morning Host Jamie Allman Leaves TV Show Gig After Controversial Tweet. If you guessed that this involves Parkland, Florida student David Hogg, you are correct. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning show host Jamie Allman Tweeted a statement regarding Hogg, who is seen as the face of the student-led movement to change gun laws in Florida in the aftermath of the deaths of 17 students at the hands of Nikolas Cruz. He wrote, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.” As the paper reports, the context of Allman’s Tweet is unclear as his account has been locked. Allman, in addition to his radio show, hosted “The Allman Report” on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV “ABC 30,” but The Hollywood Reporter states that he resigned that gig after the backlash that included a number of advertisers reportedly dropping their ad campaigns on the TV station. Allman continues to host his morning show on news/talk KFTK-FM. The station is being operated under an LMA by Entercom as it is buying the station from Emmis Communications.
Entercom’s ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego Goes All Comedy/Rock; Sileo and ‘The Men’s Room’ Off the Air. Local sports talker Dan Sileo and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” were both off the air on Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” yesterday, and likely will be today as well, as the status of the erstwhile sports talk/hot talk hybrid remains in question. As of this morning, the station continues to play comedy bits and rock music. If you’ve been following this story, you know that the ill-advised Tweet by Kevin Klein – hired to host the morning show – that used a picture of San Diego’s Coronado bridge and poking fun at its history of being a site of many suicides left his status with the station up in the air. The San Diego Padres – for whom the station serves as their flagship for play-by-play – were upset with the station and publicly questioned their desire to continue with KEGY. The absence of Sileo and “The Men’s Room” from the air seems to indicate Entercom is planning an overhaul of the station, but what form the station will take when the smoke clears is not known. There is speculation the station will emerge as a traditional sports talk outlet. Stay tuned.
Andy Bloom Named Operations Manager at Entercom’s Twin Cities Cluster. Programming pro Andy Bloom is returning to his hometown(s) to serve as operations manager for Entercom’s Minneapolis-St. Paul cluster that includes news/talk WCCO-AM, country KMNB “Buz’n @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.” Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Andy has a successful track record programming radio stations and we are looking forward to having him join our Twin Cities team. He has a clear understanding of our operational vision and is skilled at implementing winning business strategies.” Bloom is certainly well known to Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero, with whom he worked at CBS RADIO. Oliviero came over to Entercom with the acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations by Entercom. Bloom was most recently programming CBS’ Philly stations, including sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT.
FOX News Radio to Launch Early Evening “Benson and Harf” Program. This new nightly show from FOX News Radio will emanate from the company’s newly named Tony Snow Radio Studio in Washington, DC and will co-star Guy Benson and Marie Harf. The 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET “Benson and Harf” show will feature nightly expert guests to “discuss the news of the day and engage in powerful debate, providing fast-paced, thoughtful discourse on relevant stories pertaining to politics, media and culture.” Benson joined FNC in 2013 and provides political commentary across FNC and FOX Business Network’s daytime and primetime programming. Harf joined the network in 2017 to offer national security and political analysis across FNC and FBN’s daytime and primetime programming. Most recently, Harf served as the senior adviser for strategic communications to Secretary of State John Kerry and previously held the position of deputy spokesperson for the State Department from July 2013 until May 2015.
Michael Clemente Named CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting. The Newsmax Broadcasting segment of Newsmax Media, Inc. airs the Newsmax TV channel. The company announces that television executive Michael Clemente is joining the fold as CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Michael is one of the most accomplished executives and producers in television and digital news. He is widely respected in the industry and has won accolades for his high journalistic standards. It’s an honor for us to have him leading our team.” Clemente was with FOX News Channel for the past seven years as EVP of news. In that capacity he oversaw all news programming, including live events, breaking news, documentaries, and specials. He’s also served as senior producer for ABC’s “World News Tonight” and was executive producer of live and breaking news at CNN. Clemente comments, “Newsmax has demonstrated the ability to adapt and thrive in the highly transformative digital news world and was one of the first major online outlets to create a TV brand in cable and OTT. I’m excited to take on this new role at Newsmax during an incredible period of change, in a country eager for truth, understanding, and engagement in the news process.”
TALKERS News Notes. Next Monday (4/16), the simulcast of WPEN-FM, Philadelphia’s afternoon program – “The Mike Missanelli Show” – begins on NBC Sports Philadelphia. The program airs on Beasley Media Group’s “97.5 The Fanatic” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily, but the TV simulcast will end at 5:00 pm followed by the “Philly Sports Talk” show on NBC Sports. Missanelli says, “I’m extremely excited to be joining forces with NBC Sports Philadelphia. ‘97.5’ led the way in town to bring sports talk radio to the FM airwaves and now we are so looking forward to bringing it to television. The show will continue to provide the very best in sports analysis and fun, entertaining radio. I can’t wait for everyone to become part of it.”…..Boston television news figure Tony Pepper died at age 79 in the Boston suburb of Newton after complications from diabetes and heart disease. In addition to his years spent on WBZ-TV, he co-hosted a talk radio program with Janet Jeghelian on WRKO-AM, Boston for two years in the early 1980s…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live, play-by-play audio coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, beginning tomorrow (4/11). Kenny Albert – play-by-play – and Joe Micheletti – analyst – are serving as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead broadcast crew and will call the 2018 Stanley Cup Final and select playoff games…..WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall is pictured at left in a screen grab of his most recent appearance on FOX News Channel. Stigall says that in the Trump era, “FOX News knows one of the president’s most important constituency groups is talk radio.” He’s been making regular appearances on FNC commenting on the Keystone State, how the 2018 mid-terms may play out, the special House race in PA-18, and how trade issues could affect Pennsylvania…..In the photo below, WGOW-FM, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” midday personality Brian Joyce is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Chattanooga Lookouts-Birmingham Barons AA baseball game. Joyce – who is also heard in afternoons on Cumulus Media’s sister Atlanta news/talker WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” – says he warmed up a bit in the bull pen to avoid “air-mailing the first pitch.” Coincidentally, Joyce played four years of Division 1 college baseball in his younger days.
‘Yappy Tour’ Rolls Into Academia. Pictured above lecturing a college class in “journalism convergence” at Highpoint University in Highpoint, NC this morning (4/10) is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016). Duncan, a former producer, chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and others, covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.” Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature including: Donald Trump, Omarosa Manigault, David Letterman, Joe Biden, Mike Huckabee, Geraldo Rivera, Joan Rivers and dozens more. Due to the strong response by hosts around the world to both the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the “Yappy Tour” has continue to roll on into 2018, sponsored by TALKERS magazine. Duncan has already appeared on more than 130 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016. Now, based on the book’s success and positive recognition, she has been invited to guest-lecture at colleges and universities advising students how to break into the radio business and carve out a career in producing and journalism. In the past two months, she has spoken at such schools as Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY; Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT; American International College in Springfield, MA; and Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA. Hosts, shows and schools interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
FBI Raids Trump Attorney Cohen’s Office, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Syria Military Policy/Chemical Attack, Zuckerberg Congressional Testimony, Rick Scott Senate Bid, Kimmel-Hannity Feud, Mexican Border Security, U.S.-China Tariffs, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/9). The FBI executes warrants on Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen after receiving information from special counsel Robert Mueller; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria and the recent, deadly chemical attack on civilians; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on Cambridge Analytica data usage; Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate seat; the war of words between Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity over the former’s poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump; Trump’s plan to use the U.S. military to defend the Mexican border from illegals; the threat of a tariff war between the U.S. and China; and MLB and NBA 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. Country radio programming pro Lance Houston is named PD for iHeartMedia Chicago’s WEBG, Chicago “BIG 95.5.” Houston – who joins the Windy City operations of iHM from the company’s WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull” – will also serve as midday personality. Houston reports to Tommy Austin, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region…..Programmer John Richards is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WQIK, Jacksonville. In this position, Richards is also taking on programming duties at the company’s WTNT, Tallahassee and WPAP, Panama City, Florida. Richards says, “I’m excited to be back in Jacksonville at WQIK. I have history with the brand, and now another opportunity to add something to its tapestry. The management team is terrific, and the staff is passionate. It really shows in the quality of the product. I appreciate the opportunity to contribute.” Richards was most recently market president and iHeartMedia’s Corpus Christi and Harlingen-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas markets…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekly syndicated Saturday program called “Jayde,” starring Jayde Donovan. Donovan is well-known as co-host of the WPLJ, New York morning show, host for the “Westwood One Backstage” broadcasts and her various television endeavors. WWO says the new, three-hour show is “an upbeat, fun, and empowering show built for Saturday mornings to target the fierce, fabulous women who are doing it all – even if that means they are still wearing yesterday’s make-up while driving carpool to soccer practice. The show will be a mix of interviews with celebrity moms, real life stories that inspire, and great music, all creating the perfect cocktail for a young, fresh, and inspired female-driven radio show.”…..iHeartMedia Seattle radio personality Marty Riemer – morning show co-host at KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” is being featured in an upcoming episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters International.” Riemer works on air from Germany to join co-host Jodi Brothers for the “Marty & Jodi Show.” The HGTV program addresses the Riemer family’s decision to move to Berlin, Germany, Marty’s experience co-hosting a cohesive morning program from Germany, and how the family met their unique balance of needs – including a central city location, reliable internet connection, and proximity to their children’s school…..In honor of Elvis Duran being inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Sierra Automated Systems presented the Premiere Networks syndicated morning host with a gold “Hall of Fame Edition” iSL console (pictured below) at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. From left to right are: Elvis Duran, “Shotgun” Tom Kelly, and SAS president Eddie Fritz.
Entercom Acquires 45% Stake in DGital Media. What we don’t know from the press release from Entercom about this deal is how much the 45% stake in DGital Media cost the company. Nonetheless, this is a big deal for several reasons. The specifics of the investment aside, the deal will give DGital Media “in addition to the investment, significant annual marketing and promotional support” across Entercom’s AM/FM radio stations. It also includes a “multi-year services agreement under which DGital Media will dedicate significant resources to create world-class, original on-demand audio content leveraging Entercom’s deep roster of local talent and relationships in the world of sports, news, politics, music, comedy, and technology.” Additionally, DGital Media will serve as Entercom’s exclusive, third-party ad sales representative for all of its podcasts and other on-demand audio. Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are delighted to enter into this important relationship with DGital Media that enables us to partner with the premier on-demand audio content company in the U.S. and will scale our capabilities in this rapidly growing space. Upon close of our CBS RADIO merger, Entercom will be the clear leader in creating original audio content and we are committed to reaching our listeners in any way they wish to engage with us, whether through live over-the-air broadcasts, streaming audio, on-demand audio or in-person events and experiences. DGital Media has an impressive track record of developing and producing podcasts and growing audiences for their content partners. This partnership will strategically enhance our ability to deliver compelling audio to the public, wherever and whenever they please.”
iHeartMedia Second Quarter Revenue Up 1.9%. The second quarter 2017 financial report from iHeartMedia notes that consolidated revenue was up “1.7% after adjusting for a $15.5 million impact from movements in foreign exchange rates and the $36.1 million impact of the outdoor businesses sold.” Looking at the iHeartMedia segment (separate from the outdoor business), revenue there increased $16.5 million, or 1.9%. Revenue increased $17.8 million, or 2.1%, excluding political revenue. Included in the report were a number non-financial announcements including the launch of Smart A/V Audiences, an expansion of the SmartAudio suite of advertising products “that combines data from both iHeartMedia and Fox Networks Group enabling advertising partners to leverage audio and visual as one integrated platform to create custom audiences.” iHM says this brings “the precision and immediacy of digital advertising to the scale of broadcast radio and television.” The company also reports that “podcast listening on iHeartRadio increased by 20% year-over-year in the quarter, with more than 7,500 podcast publishers now distributing their content over the platform.” This is illustrated by podcasts like “Label Defiers with Zico Coconut Water” – produced through a marketing partnership between iHeartMedia and Coca-Cola – featuring well-known iHeartMedia personality Elvis Duran of WHTZ, New York “Z100” and his syndicated stations doing one-on-one interviews with artists. iHeartMedia COO and CFO Rich Bressler states, “To date, the iHeartMedia segment has delivered 17 consecutive quarters of year-over-year revenue growth. We remain committed to balancing financial discipline with investments to grow our businesses while continuing to work on our capital structure.”
WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Morning Host Jim Reynolds Charged in Domestic Incident. According to a report by ABC9 in Chattanooga, WGOW-FM morning personality Jim “J.R.” Reynolds was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and aggravated child abuse on Wednesday (8/2) after an incident involving Reynolds’ wife and two daughters. The police report indicates Reynolds was arguing with his eldest daughter about her cell phone usage and a fight the girl had been having with her younger sister when Reynolds – according to a statement from his wife – pushed the girl onto a couch. Reynolds disputes the details but admitted to police he physically touched his daughter and police told him that’s all that is required to constitute domestic violence. Reynolds co-hosts “The Morning Press” on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM alongside Jeff Styles and Bill Lockhart. Read the ABC9 account here.
Trump Phone Transcripts Leak Top News/Talk Story This Week. The leak of transcripts of President Trump’s conversations with world leaders was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 31 – August 4, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the sanctions against Russia and the relations between the U.S. and Russia. Coming in at #3 was the fate of ObamaCare and the GOP’s efforts to craft a new health care plan, followed by the recent West Wing staff changes at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.
Comrex to Display at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam. When the IBC 2017 media, entertainment and technology show gets underway in Amsterdam on September 15, Comrex will be there displaying some of its featured products, including the latest audio IP codec in its ACCESS line – ACCESS NX (pictured here). Other products being displayed at the show will include Opal, a new IP audio gateway, and LiveShot, a video-over-IP and bonded cellular solution. Comrex says that ACCESS NX is “the result of a decade of IP audio transmission advancements and is refined for the ultimate remote experience. Perfect for a wide range of applications – including ENG, sports announcing, talk show hosting, community outreach, and more…ACCESS NX runs on CrossLock, Comrex’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding.” See more about the ACCESS NX here.
TALKERS News Notes. Last night’s Westwood One radio broadcast of the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals was the opener of the 31st consecutive season that the syndicator has been the exclusive, national network radio partner with the NFL. WW1 EVP corporate marketing for Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One Suzanne Grimes comments, “Everyone’s listening to the NFL on Westwood One because we unequivocally offer some of the best play-by-play and commentary in all of sports programming. No one touches Westwood One Sports’ commitment to quality programming and organic advertiser integrations. We are thrilled to extend our longstanding partnership with the NFL and can’t wait to kick off another season of unparalleled sports action.” Pictured at right are Pro Football Hall of Famers James Lofton (left) and Jason Taylor (right) in the broadcast booth for last night’s game. Taylor is replacing Lofton as Westwood One’s “Sunday Night Football” analyst, as Lofton slides over to duties at CBS-TV. Taylor with be enshrined in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame tomorrow night (8/5), alongside fellow WW1 analyst Kurt Warner…..The FCC has five commissioners once again. The U.S. Senate confirmed Republican Brendan Carr and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to their posts yesterday (8/3). They join Republican chairman Ajit Pai, Republican Michael O’Reily, and Democrat Mignon Clyburn. Rosenworcel returns after previously serving on the Commission and exiting at the end of 2016 as her term expired. Clyburn’s term expired in June but she’s allowed, by rule, to stay on through 2018 if she chooses. However, it’s reported that she may be considering a run for the U.S. House seat in South Carolina currently held by her retiring father, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn.
Mary Quass Named MIW’s ‘Trailblazer.’ The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group names NRG Media chairman and chief executive officer Mary Quass recipient of the 9th annual MIW Radio Group Frances Preston Trailblazer Award. Quass will receive the honor on September 6 at the 2017 Radio Show in Austin. The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the media industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio.
Washington-Based Executive Producer and Radio Engineer Sought by Courtside Entertainment. Two positions are currently open at Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment. The first is an executive producer position based in Washington, DC. This position is with “one of the nation’s most popular conservative talk radio programs” and requires a “driven, intelligent, and organized person to oversee the day-to-day production of the show.” For application information and to see more about this position, click here. The second opening is for a radio engineer. That person “shall install, configure, and maintain radio broadcasting equipment as needed.” The candidate must have “relevant technical knowledge with good people skills and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.” For application information and to see more about this position, click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Paul Cannell comes home to New Orleans to join Cumulus Media as program director for alternative rock WZRH “Alt 92.3” and country WRKN “NASH FM 106.1,” effective August 14. Cumulus Media New Orleans VP/market manager Pat Galloway says, “Paul will be a great addition to an incredible team and will lead us on to incredible success for both ‘Alt 92.3’ and ‘NASH 106.1.’ I am fortunate to have already worked with Paul in the past and love his collaborative management style. Paul knows New Orleans, Baton Rouge and the Gulf South and loves the area! ‘Alt 92.3’ is simply on fire in the ratings and I’m confident Paul will only enhance its performance.”…..San Francisco radio personality Shan Berries re-ups with CBS RADIO CHR KMVQ “997 NOW” in a new, multi-year deal, according to CBS RADIO SVP Michael Martin…..In Phoenix, air personality Charlie Huero inks a deal with CBS RADIO to continue hosting the afternoon show on classic hits KOOL-FM. Huero has been with KOOL since 2011 when he joined the station as assistant program director and midday jock. CBS RADIO Phoenix SVP of programming Tim Richards says, “Charlie is an incredible talent with unmatched passion and experience. We are excited to renew his agreement.”…..Air personality Lady La joins iHeartMedia Phoenix to host shows on hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” and CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM.” She’ll be the evening personality on KMXP and will handle weekends/fill-ins on KZZP. iHeartMedia EVP programming, West Division Steve Geofferies comments, “Lady La will flourish in iHeartMedia’s creative and collaborative environment. Not only is she highly regarded on the air, but her social media following is among the best. The goal of adding the country’s top talent to our team continues.” Lady La was previously heard in the market on CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KALV and on Riviera Broadcasting’s hip hop KKFR.….Cumulus Media appoints Jim Day executive producer for the “Bob and Marianne in the Morning” show at adult contemporary WRRM-FM, Cincinnati “Warm 98.5.” Morning radio pro Day’s career has taken him to such stations as WIL-FM, St. Louis; KWEN, Tulsa “K955”; WSM-FM, Nashville “95.5 The Wolf”; and WHKO, Dayton “K99.1.” WRRM PD Brian Demay says, “[outgoing producer] Zach Stone set a high bar producing for Bob and Marianne, so finding someone with Jim Day’s experience is like an answer to prayer.”…..As a result of the departure of programmer Johnny Maze from the Adams Radio Group operations in Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland, new PD roles are assigned. Adams Radio president Ron Stone announces that Stacy Gantt, a.k.a. Carolina, is named PD for rock WZBH “93.5 The Beach,” Rob Johnson takes on the PD role at rhythmic CHR WOCQ “OC 104,” and Laura Lee is named PD for classic rock WGBG “BIG 98.5.” Finally, country WHKI PD Larry “Big Red” Stephens is promoted to operations manager for the entire cluster. Stone says, “I could not be more excited about these changes. These folks bring heart and soul to the game and have proved it for us, in some cases now in more than one market for Adams. I love their energy and desire to win…and most importantly, their team spirit.”…..The iHeartRadio app is being made standard on dashboard infotainment systems in select 2018 Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC vehicles, including the just released Chevy Traverse. iHeartMedia says that this provides driver-friendly access to its digital music and streaming radio service…..SiriusXM is broadcasting this weekend’s Lollapalooza festival from Chicago, beginning today (8/4) at 2:00 pm ET and running through Sunday. Coverage will include live performances and backstage interviews with artists including: Arcade Fire, blink-182, Muse, The Killers, Lorde, Cage The Elephant, and more.