KGO, San Francisco Announces New Lineup. Bay Area news/talk icon KGO 810 is unveiling its new lineup of talk show hosts that will begin on Monday (3/11). Earlier this week the station elected not to renew the contract of midday host Ethan Bearman. Now, the Cumulus Media station announces three personalities are joining the daily lineup: Mark Thompson, Pat Thurston, and John Rothman. Thompson’s show airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Thurston is on from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, and Rothman holds down the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm shift. KGO program director and operations manager Lee Hammer says, “I’m excited to be able to add more live and local programming to KGO. KGO is talking about the major stories of the day and the impact they have on our daily life. To get those conversations started, we’ve added three outstanding and veteran talk show hosts, each with their own unique style of engaging, informing and entertaining our listeners.” Mark Thompson has worked at KGO previously, in addition to KABC and KFI in Los Angeles. He’s also a veteran TV weather reporter and worked at KRON-TV, San Francisco. Pat Thurston has been a weekend host at KGO for the past 12 years. She is an Army veteran who also worked for the Secret Service. John Rothman has a varied professional background as a former college professor, author, lecturer, foreign policy consultant and expert on the U.S. presidency. Rothman hosted various shows on KGO since 1996.
Chris Stigall and WPHT, Philadelphia Part Company. Talk radio host Chris Stigall has exited Entercom’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia after almost nine years with the station. As of Wednesday (3/6), Stigall’s bio, etc. was gone from the WPHT website and Jeff Bolton was sitting in on the morning show. Philadelphia Magazine reports it has confirmed that Stigall is no longer with the station. Reporter Victor Fiorillo writes that “according to sources close to the Stigall situation, the split wasn’t ugly. Those sources say that 1210AM simply decided not to renew Stigall’s contract.” There’s been no public comment by Entercom about its plans to replace Stigall. He’d arrived in Philly from Kansas City in 2010 where’d hosted a show on KCMO-AM.
Mike North Returns to Chicago Airwaves for Weekly Sports Betting Show on ‘ESPN 1000.’ Chicago sports radio icon Mike North is returning to the air as co-host of “The ODDS Couple” with Carmen DeFalco on ESPN’s WMVP “ESPN 1000.” The weekly, one-hour program focused on sports betting debuts tomorrow (3/8) at 6:00 pm. WMVP vice president and general manager Jim Pastor says, “As sports betting moves from the shadows to the spotlight, we expect to be a destination for those who participate and those who want to be entertained. This isn’t only going to be about updated betting lines and hot tips. It’s about the highs, the lows, and how to succeed and have fun whether you’re a grizzled veteran or a newcomer to sports betting. Those in betting circles already know of Mike’s incredible track record as a long-time gambling expert. Bringing Mike back to Chicago’s airwaves to become a lead voice in local sports betting was too good to pass up. Pairing him with ESPN1000’s resident gambling guru, Carmen DeFalco, was a no brainer.” North spent most of his radio career on the air at crosstown sports talker WSCR “The Score.” DeFalco co-hosts WMVP’s midday “Carmen & Jurko” show with John Jurkovic.
Details of Cox Media Group Assets Sale Revealed. Last month’s announcement by Cox Enterprises that it is selling its television assets, the Dayton Daily News and radio stations news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, classic hits WZLR, and country WHKO in Dayton to Apollo Global Management did not come with a price tag. Now that details have been filed and made public, we know that Apollo will pay $3.1 billion for the media properties. Technically, the buyer is Terrier Media Buyer Inc. and the two radio stations will operate under the Camelot Radio name.
Edison Research and Triton Digital Unveil The Infinite Dial 2019. The 2019 Infinite Dial study from Edison Research and Triton Digital has been made public and the companies say that the growth of podcasting is evident as among the U.S. population ages 12 and older, the total number of people who have ever listened to a podcast passes 50% for the first time. Edison Research SVP Tom Webster says, “This is a watershed moment for podcasting–a true milestone. With over half of Americans 12+ saying that they have ever listened to a podcast, the medium has firmly crossed into the mainstream.” Other findings from this year’s study include that more than half the U.S. population now reports having used YouTube specifically for music in the last week. That number is now 70% among 12 to 34-year-olds. It also found that the percentage of Americans who listen to online audio (defined as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the internet) has doubled since 2012, growing from one-third of the population to two-thirds. See more here.
Alana Lujan Named Director of Sales for CMG Jacksonville. Rising from integrated digital sales manager to director of sales for Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville radio cluster is Alana Lujan. In her new role, she’ll lead the sales effort for the market’s radio and Local Solutions brands, including news/talk WOKV-FM, sports talk WOKV-AM “ESPN 690,” and six music radio outlets. She says, “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead our strong and talented sales team in Jacksonville. I’m excited for this new adventure and to bring my experience in broadcast and digital sales as well as my love of radio to help this team achieve new levels of success.”
MIW Group Extends Mentoring Program Application Deadline to March 11. Persons interested in applying for the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s 2019 MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program have until Monday, March 11 to do so. This notable experience pairs up-and-coming women, who have spent a minimum of five years in the radio industry, with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media. A total of four candidates from within the radio broadcasting industry – including management, sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2019 program. For mentee criteria, and instructions on how to apply, please visit www.radiomiw.com.
WOR’s Berman and Riedel Turn One! Pictured above is the WOR, New York morning show team celebrating the one-year anniversary of the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” show. Pictured (from l-r) are: Michael Riedel, executive producer Natalie Vacca, and Len Berman.
U.S.-Mexico Border Situation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Sentencing, Democrats’ Anti-Semitism Resolution, North Korea Weapons Program, DNC Bars FOX, Anti-Vaxer Controversies, Alex Trebek Cancer Diagnosis, ‘Leaving Neverland’ Controversy, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/6). The large number of illegals reportedly crossing the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related sentencing of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; the fracture in the Democratic Party with no vote on the anti-Semitism resolution; reports of North Korea’s re-boot of its missile program; the Democratic National Committee’s barring FOX News from covering the Democratic primary debates; the various controversies over anti-vaccination beliefs; “Jeopary!” host Alex Trebek announces his diagnosis of stage four prostate cancer; the banning of Michael Jackson records and the aftermath of HBO’s “Leaving Neverland” film; and NBA and NCAA basketball 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. Metaphorical shock waves were felt across Southern California yesterday (3/6) when KROQ, Los Angeles morning personality Gene “Bean” Baxter announced he’d be leaving the “Kevin & Bean” show by the end of this year. Baxter has hosted the show with Kevin Ryder on Entercom’s alternative station since 1990. Telling his audience that “30 years is a good time to stop,” he says he plans to re-locate to England after he finishes his career with the station…..Cumulus Media and Westwood One announce that air personality Stew James will assume the afternoon drive host duties on WSM-FM, Nashville “95.5 NASH Icon and the national Westwood One NASH Icon Network. James has most recently served with the company as weekend air talent and technical producer of “The Ty Bentli Show.”…..The syndicated weekend radio show “Sunday Night Slow Jams” adds new affiliates to bring its total affiliate roster to 175 stations worldwide. New stations include: XHTO-FM, El Paso; WLMI-FM, Lansing, Michigan; and KHTH-FM, Santa Rosa, California…..iHeartMedia and FOX Broadcasting Company announce that Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter T-Pain will serve as host of the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place on March 14 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The live two-hour event will be broadcast live on FOX TV, iHeartMedia radio stations, and the iHeartRadio platform.
Cox Sells Majority Stake of News/Talk WHIO, Dayton, Two Music FMs, and TV and Newspaper Properties. The “buyer” here is Apollo Global Management which – according to a piece in today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution – is acquiring a controlling interest in Cox Enterprises’ 14 television stations, its newspapers, and its three Dayton, Ohio radio stations. Cox made no secret of the fact it was shopping its television assets, but bunching Dayton radio outlets news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, country WHKO-FM, and rock WZLR-FM was not expected. Cox will retain a minority stake in the new company. Interestingly, Cox Media Group will continue ownership of the AJC, as well as its other radio stations and media outlets in other markets. Why is Apollo interested in the Dayton radio stations? The AJC writes, “The newspapers, radio stations, and WHIO-TV in Dayton share a unique business model that involve full integration of their operations. Apollo plans to maintain the Cox Media management and operating structure within the new company, which has yet to be named.”
Newt Gingrich Podcast Launches on Westwood One. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Westwood One partner to create the “Newt’s World” weekly, original podcast. The press release states that the program “will offer stories, conversations, and context on a different topic each week, from history to health, national security to science, and much more…’Newt’s World’ isn’t a podcast about politics; it’s a show that explores the past, present, and future to help listeners contextualize current events and important discoveries across all aspects of our society. The inaugural episode of ‘Newt’s World’ features the father of our country, the man who led the first Americans to freedom, George Washington.” Gingrich says, “I spend most of my time doing two things: learning and teaching. I’m looking forward to bringing others on the journey with me to fully explore fascinating topics together. Some weeks we’ll be talking about history, some weeks we’ll learn about the future, and others we’ll look at what is happening right now in culture, science, and events. We live in an amazing world, and there’s an enormous amount to learn and share.”
Former Sports Talk Host Marty Tirrell Faces Fraud Charges. Former KXNO, Des Moines sports talk host Marty Tirrell is being held in a Polk County, Iowa jail until space opens up at a residential release facility. The 59-year-old is charged with six counts of fraud as federal prosecutors charge he swindled at least eight people out of $1.5 million. The allegations against Tirrell include that he sought investors for a business in which he would buy tickets to sporting events and sell them at a profit. Prosecutors say initially Tirrell paid back his investors, but later began lying to them and used their money for personal expenses and to pay back other investors. When they sought the promised return on their investment, Tirrell allegedly wrote checks he knew would bounce or provided them with false wire transfer information. See the Des Moines Register story here.
Gomez ‘American Grit’ Podcast Addresses Immigration Reform. Radio pro Joe Gomez is producing a podcast called ‘American Grit’ that he tells TALKERS magazine is dedicated to covering immigration reform and current events. Gomez, who served as a radio reporter for iHeartRadio (KOA, Denver and KRTH, Houston), CBS, and NBC, hosts the program. The podcast is available via iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher. Check it out here.
Border Wall Issue Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 11-15. The battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and the related ruling by a judge that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to investigators. Coming in at #3 was the Green New Deal, tied with the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, followed by the Andrew McCabe CBS interview at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.
Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Names New Board and Directors. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces its 2019 National Board of Directors. New to the AWM board are Abby Greensfelder, co-founder & co-owner, Half Yard Productions; Brenda Hetrick, chief revenue officer, Matrix Solutions; and Katherine Wolfgang, head of public relations, CBC. AWM/F board chair and president Christine Travaglini says, “We are thrilled to have these talented, accomplished women joining our leadership for the next two years.” Keisha Sutton James, vice president, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, will serve as incoming chair, Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency, will serve as treasurer. Josie Thomas, executive vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer, CBS Corporation, will serve as treasurer-elect, while Sarah Foss, senior vice president, strategic initiatives, Freewheel Advertisers at FreeWheel will serve as immediate past chair. The following individuals will serve as directors at large of AWM: Joyce Fitch, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc.; Jinny Laderer, president, vCreative; Meg LaVigne, president of television, Litton Entertainment; Kelly DeLace Perdomo, vice president, content, sports, entertainment, and partnership marketing, SiriusXM; and Diane Schwartz, SVP and group publisher, Access Intelligence. The following individuals will serve as directors at large of AWMF: Anne Cowan, senior vice president, communications and marketing, CTAM; Annie Howell, co-founder and managing partner, The Punch Point Group; Deborah Parenti, publisher, RadioInk, RBR and TVBR; Rob Stoddard, SVP program network policy, NCTA; and Kristen Welch, chief financial officer, Illustrative Mathematics. At the same time the AWM/F announces that the 2019 call for entries for the annual Gracie Awards was the most successful in the program’s history. AWM/F executive director Becky Brooks adds, “The number and caliber of extraordinary programs and performances entered for the 2019 Gracie Awards is an unprecedented milestone for the AWM/F. Gracies judges – women and more men than ever before – include executives and talent from across every form of media. They have their work cut out for them in deciding the 2019 winners from this exceptional pool of nominees.” The 44th Annual Gracie Awards Gala will take place May 21, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will be held June 26, in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street.
Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” names husband-and-wife radio duo Chadd & Kristi (pictured) hosts of the station’s morning drive program, effective Monday (2/18). Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “As a husband and wife team, Chadd and Kristi will bring a unique perspective to our airwaves and we are excited to welcome them to ‘The Breeze.’ They are both full of energy and our listeners can look forward to hearing all of their entertaining relationship and family life stories every workday.” Chadd & Kristi come to Detroit from their most recent position at Beasley Media Group’s WPBB, Tampa (recently flipped from AC to classic rock)…..iHeartMedia’s WRVE-HD2/W260CH “Wild Country 99.9” enters in to an agreement with NASCAR to broadcast each Monster Energy Cup Series race, including the Daytona 500, FireKeepers Casino 400, and Food City 500. “Wild Country 99.9” program director Terry O’Donnell says, “It’s an honor to be the new home for NASCAR in the Capital Region. NASCAR is the #1 spectator sport in America and since so many of us are on the move, we can’t always catch the race on TV. Now, listeners can hear the races live on their phone, smart speaker or in their car via iHeartRadio.”…..There’s a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast starring Mario Lopez titled “Listen To Mario” that launches today (2/15). In its inaugural episode, Lopez sits down for a candid conversation with Mark-Paul Gosselaar (a.k.a. Zack Morris from “Saved By the Bell!”) in which they discuss their childhood hairstyles, reminisce about “Saved By The Bell,” and much more.
Midwest Television to Sell San Diego TV and Radio Stations to Tegna for $325 Million. Obviously, the bulk of that price tag relates to the value of the television stations KFMB-TV and the sub-channel that carries The CW. But, included in the deal between Midwest Television and Tegna are the two radio stations – news/talk KFMB-AM and triple A KFMB-FM. Tegna is the company that operates the television and local digital media outlets that used to be part of the Gannett brand before the company split, with Gannett continuing to operate the newspaper division. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the $325 million acquisition is a cash deal. It cites a Tegna spokeswoman saying Tegna has no plans to make any changes to the operations of the TV or radio stations. Tegna owns 46 television stations in 36 markets. The San Diego radio stations will be its first radio properties.
KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Anchor Russell Mills Takes Part in Journalists Trip to Pakistan. The program that brought KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa anchor and reporter Russell Mills (pictured) to Pakistan is a cooperative effort between the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord School of Journalism, the U.S. State Department and a Pakistani organization called Uks (the Urdu translation of which is “reflection”). In the first chapter of his reports from Pakistan, Mills says the country has come far in recent years. Back in 2002, the only radio and television outlets were run by the state. Now, there are private media entities and Mills says reporters enjoy “a great deal of latitude in what they cover and how they cover it.” But, he says they also “face the possibility of censorship, from both the military and civil government.” He says the strict blasphemy laws complicate the journalistic process and physical danger is real: 14 journalists were killed in 2014. Read his report here.
Boyd Named to Lead Cumulus Mobile. This is a promotion within Cumulus Media for Don Boyd, who leaves his general sales manager role at the company’s Atlanta station group to move to Mobile to lead the cluster as vice president and market manager. Cumulus Mobile includes: news/talk WQXW, urban contemporary WDLT, CHR WABD, hip hop WBLX, and Gospel WGOK-AM. Cumulus Media EVP Bob Walker comments, “Don Boyd is a seasoned media manager and operator with an established track record in leading high-performing teams that grow station brands and drive revenue. He will be a great addition to the team in Mobile as vice president/market manager of our five-station group.”
FOX News Radio Renews Deal with CMG for Brian Kilmeade Show. The nationally syndicated Brian Kilmeade radio show picks up some additional broadcast hours on three affiliates and is added to the program schedule on another. The new deal between FOX News Radio and Cox Media Group brings the Kilmeade talk show to KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa for the first time. It also extends the airing of the show to 9:00 am to 11:00 am on WDBO-FM, Orlando and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville; and from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton. Kilmeade is one third of the FOX News Channel “Fox & Friends” morning show alongside Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt.
TALKERS News Notes. At news/talk KQTH, Tucson, talk show host James T. Harris exits the station after a six-year run. Harris was a weekend and fill-in host at Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee before relocating to Tucson to host the two-hour midday show in October of 2011. In September of 2012, he moved to the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm afternoon drive daypart. Scripps has not announced its plans for the afternoon show…..NPR reveals its plan for the afternoon “All Things Considered” program with the impending retirement of longtime host Robert Siegel. The public radio content creator is moving national security correspondent Mary Louise Kelly into the co-host role alongside Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro, effective January 17. Kelly McEvers has been co-hosting both “All Things Considered” and producing “Embedded.” She will relinquish the ATC role and continue to focus on “Embedded.”…..There’s been a change of heart at TV One, though it’s hard to tell if Reach Media syndicated radio star Tom Joyner’s call for a boycott of TV One forced programmers to reconsider canceling the Roland Martin-hosted news program, “NewsOne Now.” Regardless, TV One (a subsidiary of Urban One) now says it will not cancel the program and is “working to restructure ‘NewsOne Now’ in 2018 under a new format that will better serve its audience and advertisers.”…..iHeartMedia begins broadcasting the signal from all-news WBZ-AM, Boston on the HD-2 channel of sister CHR WXKS-FM at 107.9 FM.
ESPN’s John Skipper Resigns to Seek Addiction Treatment. The report that ESPN president John Skipper is resigning his position with the sports media giant to seek addiction treatment shocked the media world. After all, Skipper had just signed a new multi-year contract and there were no indications (at least none reported) that something like this was an issue. Executive chairman John Bodenheimer will slide back into the president role for the interim while the company seeks a new president.
GOP Tax Reform Plan, Soaring Dow, Washington Train Disaster, Obama-Hezbollah Drug Trafficking Allegation, Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Relations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, The Last Jedi, and Sunday’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/18). The politics of the GOP tax reform plan and reports of the public’s mood on the matter; the Dow rises 5,000 points in Donald Trump’s first year in office; the deadly Amtrak train crash in Washington state; the allegation an Obama Administration policy left the door open to Hezbollah-sponsored U.S. drug trafficking; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and China over the Trump Administration’s national security policy; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi; and Sunday’s NFL 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. Windy City radio pro Dave Fogel joins Kim Berk to co-host the AM drive show on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM. Fogel was most recently co-host of the morning show on crosstown adult hits WJMK, but Entercom quickly flipped the station to hip hop after acquiring it in the CBS RADIO merger. Fogel had been heard on WLS-FM in the past – from 2010 through 2013 in morning drive. With Fogel’s arrival, local weather personality Brant Miller leaves the co-host role and will anchor the weather on Cumulus’ WLS-FM and news/talk WLS-AM…..After last week’s shuffle of rock station frequencies in the Denver Region, iHeartMedia announces the flip to country for KWYW, Denver – now branded as “106.7 The Bull.” The station launches 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row and will be an affiliate for Premiere Networks’ Bobby Bones morning drive show…..Urban radio pros Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins are being reunited at Radio One’s urban contemporary simulcast WMMJ, Washington/WDCJ, Prince Frederick, Maryland “MAJIC 102.3 and 92.7 FM.” Effective January 16, the afternoon show becomes “The Donnie Simpson Show” featuring Simpson and Perkins. The duo worked together on Radio One’s hip hop WKYS-FM from 1985 to 1992. For the past 20 years, Perkins has been serving with WTTG-TV “FOX 5 Washington.” Radio One DC VP and general manager Jeffrey Wilson comments, “We are honored to deliver ‘The Real Sound of the DMV’ and that’s not better defined than the historic pairing of Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins. So, for the great people of this region we made it happen. Donnie and Tony are back together for the New Year. And with that new partnership, comes new opportunities to serve our communities with Donnie, Tony, and our friends at ‘FOX 5’ in the months and years to come.” Perkins will remain with “FOX 5,” hosting Friday and Saturday mornings, beginning January 19…..Cumulus Media names programming pro Roger McCoy program director and afternoon drive host for country WLXX-FM, Lexington, Kentucky “NASH FM 92.9.” McCoy has been with the company’s country WESC, Greenville, South Carolina as evening personality…..Rock radio programmer Russ Mottla is the new program director at NRG Media’s rock KFMW, Waterloo/Cedar Falls/Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Mottla has served as vice president of programming at Envisage Radio Group. He’s also held programming positions at such rock outlets as WGIR, Manchester, New Hampshire; WIYY, Baltimore; and WFNX, Boston.
Bob & Sheri Welcome Troops Home. The nationally syndicated Bob & Sheri show helped welcome the troops coming home through the Charlotte airports as part of USO’s annual Operation Exodus. Bob & Sheri helped provide “big smiles, words of gratitude and breakfast to 3,900-plus men and women returning from deployment and heading home to family and friends. Many of the troops traveling for Operation Exodus are fresh out of basic training and returning home for their first visit since enlisting. Pictured above are Bob (far left) and Sheri (far right) with service members.
PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of four format analyses of station performances based on data from the June 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, focusing today on news/talk. Kinosian notes that based on 6+ share numbers from subscribing stations, “nearly the same number of stations…improve between May 2017 – June 2017 (43%, 6+) as decline (46%), with the remaining 10% unchanged.” Looking at year-over-year improvement, “well over half the stations on this news/talk panel improve…(57%) and 36% decline; the remaining 7% are flat.” Big gainers here include Cox Media Group’s WOKV, Jacksonville (+1.9), iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego (+1.8), and iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee (+1.8). Thirteen news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the June PPM survey. CMG’s WSB-AM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” ranked #1. See the rest of the data here.
Smidt: PPM Sample Change Hypothesis. Broadcast advisor Clark Smidt writes today about the relationship between changes in the panels for Nielsen Audio’s PPM survey and movements – up or down – of more than a half-share for subscribing stations. Smidt says he believes that during the April, May and June surveys there appears to have been significant shuffling of panelists in 21 markets that showed remarkable movement of a half-share or more. Read his entire piece here.
Connoisseur Media Names Robin Faller VP Digital Sales. Radio company Connoisseur Media acquires the Connecticut operations of Driven Local and names Robin Faller vice president digital sales. Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw comments, “We are so excited to bolster our team and assets in this growing part of our business. Robin is uniquely qualified to lead the charge, with her experience as a radio market manager and then the head of sales of a major digital company. We will be putting her expertise to work in order to get the best possible results for our clients.” Faller will be based at Connoisseur’s Westport, Connecticut offices.
Fox News Radio Seeks to Have Discrimination Suit Dismissed. Saying that plaintiff – former Fox News Radio correspondent – Jessica Golloher’s suit is not viable under the New York State Human Rights law because she’s not a resident of the state, Fox is seeking to have the suit dismissed. Golloher is suing her former employer claiming gender discrimination and retaliation by superiors for her requesting to speak with the company’s independent investigator. Fox News Radio adds in the petition to dismiss that Golloher’s contract requires arbitration in such cases. It also says Golloher’s claim against former Fox VP Mitch Davis is a “petty grievance” that doesn’t rise to the level of gender discrimination. Read the Hollywood Reporter account here.
WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton Celebrating ‘Nostalgia Week.’ Heritage Dayton, Ohio news/talk WHIO-AM/FM is celebrating its impact on the region as it presents “WHIO Radio’s Nostalgia Week.” The Cox Media Group station aired a special program on Sunday (7/23) and broadcast a special edition of this morning’s “Miami Valley’s Morning News with Larry Hansgen.” Throughout the week, listeners can hear “classic jingles, stories and voices from WHIO Radio’s past.” Hansgen tells WHIO-TV, “I’ve had a blast revisiting with old friends and colleagues, hearing their stories about their experiences working here, as well as the impact WHIO Radio has, and continues to make, on the community.” On Friday morning at 9:00, the station will open up the phones to listeners to share their WHIO stories.
TALKERS News Notes. At the Los Angeles operations of Salem Media Group, Chuck Tyler is promoted to director of programming for the entire cluster. At the same time, Scott Valentine takes on the program director role at Christian contemporary KFSH, Los Angeles in addition to his work co-hosting the station’s morning program. Salem Los Angeles general manager Terry Fahy comments, “Scott brings many years of experience not only as an on-air personality and syndicated host, but also 12 years of experience as program director at KCMS in Seattle. This reassignment of responsibilities will allow Chuck to devote more time and energy to [Christian talk] KKLA, [news/talk] KRLA and KTIE programming.”…..Local Radio Networks announces the addition of three new staffers: Chris Reeves is the new EVP of programming and operations; Chris Hatton is now director of 24/7 Creative Services; and Jonathan Steele joins as director of programming operations. All three most recently served with Westwood One…..Nine years after the program’s debut, show host John Hockenberry is leaving the WNYC-produced “The Takeaway,” after August 7. According to TheCurrent.org, in a letter to client stations, Hockenberry stated, “Ultimately, in every challenging career, there comes a time when it is important to know when to move on.” He also said he wants to “directly experience how the media, citizens, and people in power can come together in new ways to create the functioning democracies of the 21st century.” TheCurrent reports that “The Takeaway” Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich will host while a search for Hockenberry’s replacement is underway.
TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/24) with Michael Berry, Tom Leykis and Scott Lakefield. The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day. Already posted are:
– The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).
– The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).
– The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).
– The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).
– The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).
– The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).
– The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman, Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein. All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.
– A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).
– A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).
– A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).
– The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.” They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess (introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).
– The first in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).
– TODAY (7/24) we posted the second in the above series of “one-on-one” dialogues “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry (again, facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).
Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year. The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone Networks, Broadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp. To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.
Sean Spicer Exits White House-Scaramucci In, Future of ObamaCare-GOP Health Care Plan, Trump vs NYTimes on Baghdadi Issue, Trump-Russia Connections, Russia Sanctions Legislation, San Antonio Smuggling Deaths, McCain Health-Senate Seat, Dunkirk Film, ‘GoT’ Episode 2, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The resignation of White House press secretary Sean Spicer, the appointment of Sara Huckabee Sanders as his replacement and the naming of Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director; speculation about the fate of the Affordable Care Act and whether the GOP can pass a new health care act; President Trump’s accusing The New York Times of publishing military intelligence that prevented the capture of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the paper’s refutation of the allegation; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Congress agrees to sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea; the deaths of nine in a semi-truck human trafficking incident in San Antonio; the health of Senator John McCain and his role in the GOP; the success of the new WWII film, Dunkirk; Sunday night’s episode two of this season’s “Game of Thrones”; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Record Hospital Transports at ‘HOT 93.7 Hot Jam.’ It’s not logical to place blame on CBS RADIO for the apparent record number of concertgoers taken to area hospitals in Hartford on Friday (7/21) from the “HOT 93.7 Hot Jam” concert at Xfinity Center, but the PR is not what the owner of hip hop WZMX was hoping for. From a story in the Hartford Courant, public safety officials say at least 90 people were hospitalized and 50 arrested for underage drinking at the concert headlined by Chance the Rapper. Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley says a typical concert requires 20 to 30 transports to hospitals, but Friday’s 90 transports put a heavy strain on the city’s resources. Read the Courant story here.