Monday Memo: New Normal HR? If you’ve been broadcasting remotely during the shutdown, and you’re daydreaming about getting back to what was left of radio station camaraderie, consultant Holland Cooke quotes Cher from “Moonstruck:” “SNAP OUT OF IT!” In this week’s column: Why telecommuting is GOOD news for you; and an HR expert explains how listeners’ lives are changed. Read it here.
George Floyd Protests, De-Funding Police, Re-Opening Across America, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, U.S.-China Relations, and Tropical Storm Cristobal Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The racism and police brutality protests that took place all over the world; the prospect of de-funding the police department in Minneapolis and in other cities; states across the nation continue to re-open their economies; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections about future cases; tense relations between China and the U.S. over the coronavirus pandemic; and tropical storm Cristobal hits the Gulf Coast were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Pending Sales: Clients (As Well as Listeners) Seek Connection. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that the on-air team at your news/talk station “is working hard to deliver the storylines driving the news cycle and talk the talk the listener expects every day… And THAT is the light in the darkness. That critical expectation of the listener attracted to the content of your news/talk programming is your start point. The reason your listener is engaged is your path to a cohesive sales flow that can resonate with potential sponsors.” Read his column here.
Emmis Suspends Sports Talker Joe Staysniak After Race Discussion. Former Indianapolis Colts player and current WFNI, Indianapolis “1070 The Fan” morning drive co-host Joe Staysniak is serving a one week, no-pay suspension from his show after management deemed his remarks about the police and racism in America were insensitive. The Indianapolis Star reports that during a discussion about the protests taking place in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, Staysniak said that Black people should say, “I’m going to stop being a victim,” and “Well, you know, get an education, you know, get a second job.” When co-host Jeff Rickards said that a Black driver is six times more likely to get pulled over than a white driver in some parts of Indiana, Staysniak responded, “OK and then you have to look at why. Is that racism or is that the time of day? Is that the car they’re driving? Are lights out? Are turn signals working?” He added, “It comes down to a cultural thing too. Are we putting ourselves in a situation where we don’t need to be? Again, when we have multiracial police officers…cell phones out…it just becomes harder and harder to believe you are being targeted like that.” Staysniak has apologized and Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan said in a statement, “Emmis takes very seriously its commitment to the communities in which we proudly serve and reaffirms its dedication in rooting out injustices and oppression in any form.”
TALKERS News Notes. In Indianapolis, iHeartMedia debuts a new business talk outlet branded “Business News 97.5 FM” on translator W248AW, bumping the simulcast of alternative WOLT-FM. The station is airing almost exclusively content from Bloomberg Radio. iHeartMedia Indianapolis SVP of programming Mike Killabrew says, “This is a unique format for a unique time. As the Indianapolis market continues pushing forward in a responsible fashion, we want to provide sound financial and business content to consumers looking to rebuild their personal and professional portfolios.” The company has not indicated what the feeder station is for the FM translator…..The Nevada Talk Network – consisting of KELY-AM, Ely; KNNR-AM, Sparks; KNNT-FM, Battle Mountain; KAVB-FM, Hawthorne; and KPKK-FM Amargosa Valley – adds Starnes Media Group’s “The Todd Starnes Show” to its programming lineup for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart…..WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro received a “thank you” from Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Gary Dantzler as Dantzler took part in a press conference with Governor Gina Raimondo in which the governor announced a state partnership with Black Lives Matter to improve race relations. DePetro tells TALKERS magazine that he often had Brother Gary (as he’s called) on his radio show as a guest and treated him fairly. “The moment he chose to acknowledge it is incredible and positive for talk radio, since he was always shunned by local TV.”…..The radio edition of the “Cigar Dave Show” will end on June 27 after 25 years as host Dave Zeplowitz transitions the content to “more timely, daily short to medium-form, unrestricted podcasts aligned with related new e-commerce initiatives.”…..Dr. David Samadi, M.D. is named lead medical contributor for Newsmax TV. Dr. Samadi currently serves as director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Dr. Samadi is not only a brilliant surgeon, but also a great communicator who is able to explain complex medical issues clearly and concisely. During the coronavirus we have found him to be an invaluable resource for our viewers.”
Roger Neel Retiring from WNBF, Binghamton. After 42 years with the station, Roger Neel is retiring from his full-time position with Townsquare Media’s WNBF, Binghamton. Neel serves as morning show personality and brand manager for the news/talk station and for sister sports talker WYOS “CBS Sports Radio.” His last day will be June 19. Neel joined the station in 1978 when he was hired as the play-by-play announcer for Binghamton’s minor league hockey franchise the Broome Dusters.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Tomorrow (6/9), Cumulus Media’s urban-formatted radio stations, along with Westwood One urban brands, will air an 8 minute and 46 second audio tribute to George Floyd at 1:00 pm ET. The nationwide tribute, titled “8:46-Remembering George Floyd,” will align with Floyd’s burial Tuesday. Cumulus VP, urban formats Kenny Smoov says, “People are tired. They want Change now. They want Peace now. It is a beautiful thing to see people from outside of the African American community and from all over the world coming together to say ENOUGH! Let’s be the living generation that ends systemic racism!”…..Programming and on-air pro “Big Rick” Daniels is named program director for Gulf South Communications’ country WTVY, Dothan, Alabama “95.5 Your Country.” Daniels was most recently morning personality at country WGCC-FM, Bowling Green, Kentucky. At Gulf South, Daniels will also serve as digital brand manager for classic country WDJR-FM and CHR WKMX-FM…..Condolences to the family and friends of triple A WWCD-FM, Columbus “CD 102.5” program director and afternoon personality Mason “Mase” Brazelle who died on Saturday (6/6) after a sudden illness at the age of 53. The station’s website says, “Mase to all was known for his deep knowledge and passion for music, his ability to make anyone feel welcome, staff and listeners alike. Mase was a staunch supporter of shopping local from his vast collection of vinyl records from local stores and live music dating back to his time as a drummer in a rock band. Mase will be deeply missed.”
‘New Jersey 101.5’ Stars Dennis & Judi Announce ‘UnPLUGGED’ Performance. WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” midday personalities Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco are performing a live stage show titled, “Dennis & Judi: UnPLUGGED,” at Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at The Count Basie Center in Red Bank, New Jersey on Saturday, May 2. The station says that the live show “will feature many of the elements that make ‘Dennis & Judi’ popular among the station’s audience, including live music, audience interaction, and special guests.” Ron de Castro is market president for Townsquare Media and he adds, “We’re excited to offer this very special night with New Jersey 101.5’s top-rated midday show hosts. Dennis and Judi’s 20 plus-year-long friendship has a special chemistry that transcends multiple media every day, and now we’re pleased to add the dimension of a live stage show to their already substantial brand.”
Covering the New Hampshire Primary. News networks and some talk radio hosts were in New Hampshire on Tuesday covering the state’s Democratic primary election. CBS News Radio was headquartered in Manchester for the New Hampshire primary with reporter Steve Dorsey there, Steven Portnoy with Pete Buttigieg, WCBS-AM reporter Steve Burns with Bernie Sanders, and Jim Krasula with former Vice President Joe Biden in Columbia, South Carolina. Pictured at right is Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with Steve Burns. FOX News Radio offered live coverage of the returns with FOX News national correspondent Jared Halpern anchoring plus political analyst Josh Kraushaar and FNR reporters Tonya J. Powers and Jessica Rosenthal. In addition, FNR produced a number of podcasts focused on the race, including “The Campaign with Bret Baier” and the latest from anchor Dana Perino and FOX News politics editor Chris Stirewalt’s “I’ll Tell You What.” Plus, FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show is broadcasting live from Manchester throughout the week. Pictured at left is WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk host John DePetro, who took his radio program to New Hampshire to cover the primary. Westwood One News‘ coverage of the primary included correspondent Bob Costantini (right) at the Bernie Sanders victory celebration at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.
iHeartMedia Unveils iHeartPodcast AdSuite. Today (2/12) at Podfront LA 2020, iHeartMedia unveiled its iHeartPodcast AdSuite – a package of tools designed to help marketers drive results via “iHeartMedia’s unmatched podcast offerings, distribution and listener reach.” iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “As the podcast industry continues to evolve and capture massive consumer attention, advertisers and brands are looking for tools and products to capture and measure the impact. They are often left without a system for quantitatively monitoring the success, impact. and reach of podcast advertising. As the leader in the space of both audio and podcasting, we are meeting this challenge head on, offering a new suite of cutting-edge podcast ad products – from better targeting to boosted reach across broadcast radio – as well as pulling together performance and insights across the multiple platforms where we reach audiences.” The company says the iHeartPodcast AdSuite provides advertisers “with diverse ad formats and customization tools. Through these products, iHeartMedia has created a dynamic range of options for advertisers and brands to reach their audiences with targetability and scale without sacrificing the listener experience.”
Allgeier to Lead Leighton Broadcasting in Winona. Sales and management pro Jim Allgeier is appointed general manager for Leighton Broadcasting’s Winona, Minnesota station group that includes news/talk KWNO and four music brands. He was most recently market manager for Federated Media’s Fort Wayne, Indiana operations. Leighton vice president of sales and marketing Stephanie Theisen says, “Jim is an accomplished media expert with experience in radio and beyond. The addition of a radio veteran like Allgeier, with over 19 consecutive years in the business, will provide the direction and leadership we have been seeking for our Winona market.”
Presidential Race-NH Primary, Wuhan Coronavirus, Roger Stone Case, Trump Budget-Deficit Concerns, Weinstein Trial, and Jussie Smollett Indicted Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday. The Democrats battling to challenge President Trump in November and Tuesday night’s New Hampshire primary; the status of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and the effect on China’s economy; four prosecutors resign as the Justice Department reduces the sentencing of convicted Trump attorney Roger Stone; the Trump administration’s fiscal 2021 budget and the Fed’s concerns about the soaring deficit; the sexual assault trial of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein; and actor Jussie Smollett’s indictment on disorderly conduct charges 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. Raleigh CHR WDCG-FM “G105” adds air personality Danny Meyers to “The Showgram” alongside Erica, Ben, and Ashleyh. iHeartMedia Raleigh SVP of programming Trevor Morini says, “I am incredibly excited to welcome Danny to ‘The Showgram.’ Danny’s extensive track record of morning show success and experience coupled with the other talented hosts make this the perfect fit for ‘G105.’” Meyers joins the Raleigh market from iHeartMedia Norfolk, where he most recently served as the morning show host on hot AC WMVN “MOViN 107.7.”…..Cumulus Media names Brian Roberts program director for hot AC KEHK-FM, Eugene, Oregon “Star 102.3” and adult contemporary KSCR-AM/FM. Roberts moves to Eugene from his most recent position with Cumulus programming adult contemporary WPEZ-FM, Macon, Georgia “Z93.7.”…..Air personality Greg Rivers leaves Alpha Media’s news/talk WHBC, Canton, Ohio to join iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMXY, Youngstown, Ohio as morning show host…..Estrella Media, Inc. appoints Eddie León executive vice president, radio programming. In this position, León will be responsible for overseeing programming at Estrella Media’s 17 owned-and-operated radio stations across the U.S., including the Don Cheto Radio Network…..Matt Stockman is the new director of programming for Pillar of Fire’s contemporary Christian WAWZ-FM, New York “Star 99.1.” He was most recently a program director with K-Love.
‘Our American Stories’ Tops 200-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated program “Our American Stories” announces that Entercom’s heritage news/talk outlet WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is one of a number of new affiliate stations that has added the program to its schedule, helping the program break the 200-affiliate plateau. Additional new stations picking up the show include: 1TV.com’s KIKO-AM, Mesa, Arizona “The Bull 1340”; 3 Daughters Media Inc’s WMNA-AM/FM, Gretna, Virginia and WGNA-AM, Roanoke; HRN Broadcasting’s WZGM-AM, Asheville, North Carolina; and Midwest Communications’ KDAL-AM, Duluth, Minnesota. The program is a production of American Private Radio and CEO and program host Lee Habeeb says, “There is no such thing as a ‘sure thing’ is this business. At a time when talk radio is top-heavy with what divides us as Americans, listeners are responding to our nightly program that celebrates the country so many of us love and care about – and the values that made the country what it is today. I want to say thank you to the station managers at KABC, Los Angeles; WTMJ, Milwaukee; KPRC, Houston; WCCO, Minneapolis/St. Paul; KFAB, Omaha; KMOX, St. Louis; KFXR, Dallas; WHO, Des Moines; KOA, Denver; WBOB, Jacksonville; WHFS, Tampa; KMZQ, Las Vegas; KKFT FM, Reno; KJJC, Salt Lake City; KSCO, Santa Cruz; and now the heritage blowtorch WBT in Charlotte – so many additional station managers who trust our vision of ‘Our American Stories.’ My team of writers, producers, and sales people are truly humbled.”
Joe Pags Show Hits 125-Affiliate Milestone. The WOAI, San Antonio-based “Joe Pags Show” – hosted by Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo – is happy to announce it has surpassed the 125-affiliate mark with the recent addition of the following stations to its roster: WPHT, Philadelphia; KSEV, Houston; WLOB-AM, Portland; WOOD-AM/FM, Grand Rapids; and WIMA-AM, Lima, Ohio. Joe Pags says more stations are preparing to add the show and he hopes to be able to announce more new affiliate stations soon. The program is syndicated by Compass Media Networks and airs live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.
PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. The big winner comparing the April survey to the May survey is Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco, which rises by three-tenths to a 6.6 share (weekly 6+ AQH). Comparing May of 2018 to May 2019, KCBS-AM is again the top achiever, going up 1.2 shares in the San Francisco market. However, the same station loses 1.2 shares in the adjacent San Jose market, year-over-year. Both KCBS-AM and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington ranked #1 in their markets during the May survey. WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago ranked #2. See the entire report here.
RTDNA Names 2019 National Murrow Award Winners. The Radio Television Digital News Association announces the winners of the 2019 National Murrow Awards. More than 4,600 entries were received in 16 categories and 100 local and network radio, television, and digital news organizations are being honored for 122 examples of outstanding journalism. The winners at the national level also include Student Murrow Awards in five categories of audio, video, and digital reporting. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley says, “The RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Awards recognize local and national news stories that uphold our Code of Ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community. Winning a Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners and readers.” Some highlights of this year’s awards include: CBS News Radio wins for Overall Excellence, Breaking News Coverage, and for Newscast for “CBS World News Roundup; Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington repeats its 2018 win for Overall Excellence in large market radio; ABC News Radio wins the Excellence in Innovation award for its podcast, “Start Here,” and for Sports Reporting for “America’s Next Pastime”; Entercom all-news station WCBS-AM, New York is honored for Excellence in Video and all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco wins Best Newscast. See all the winners here.
WABC, New York Adds New Clint Arthur-Hosted Saturday Night Show. The program is called “The Greatest Show of All Time” and features celebrity entrepreneur Clint Arthur. It airs Saturday nights at 7:00 through November 6, 2019. Arthur says, “The mission of this show is personal, professional, and spiritual transformation for entrepreneurs, business owners, CEOs and anyone responsible for improving their own life and who wants to be more, do more and have more. As a native New Yorker, I am thrilled by this opportunity to give back to the city that made me who I am today.” Arthur is the author best-selling books: What They Teach You at The Wharton Business School, Speaking Game: 7-Figure Speaker Secrets, and The Greatest Book of All Time. He’s a regular guest on television, having appeared on such programs and networks as “The Today Show,” “Mornings with Maria,” CNN, HLN, BBC, SkyNews, and “Good Day LA.”
Two Sales Pros Join Salem Surround. The new digital ad agency Salem Surround adds two media sales pros. Andy Massingill is named regional digital sales director for the West Region and Jon Latzer holds the same title for the East Region. The new agency from Salem Media Group “offers a comprehensive suite of digital marketing services to develop and execute audience-based marketing strategies for clients on both local and national levels.” Massengill most recently served with Adams Publishing Group in Minnesota. Latzer was most recently with Alpha Media as the regional interactive sales director. Salem SVP of broadcast digital Jamie Cohen says, “These two new hires are the next step in Salem’s strategy to provide 360-degree marketing support to our clients and partners. Jon and Andy bring a unique mix of both radio and vast digital experience to the table which I’m confident will provide our teams and our clients with the ability to see the value in all forms of audience we can deliver.”
TALKERS News Notes. WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro is pictured here outside the Amway Arena in Orlando prior to last night’s Trump 2020 campaign kick-off. DePetro says that with the help of Qgolive, his program will be mobile this summer. He broadcast yesterday’s program from Orlando…..Former WEEI, Boston morning co-host and current Barstool Sports personality Kirk Minihane is holding a press conference today (6/19) to address the lawsuit being filed against him and Barstool Sports by Somerville, Massachusetts Mayor Joseph Curtatone. The mayor was recently interviewed by Kirk Minihane who pretended to be Boston Globe writer Kevin Cullen. A couple of weeks after finding out he’d been duped, Curtatone filed a suit alleging Minihane violated Massachusetts General Laws by using “fraudulent means” to get his permission to be recorded. Barstool CEO David Portnoy posted a statement saying he doesn’t know if Minihane broke the law or not but hopes the case goes to trial to provide “the best content of all time.” Portnoy implies his father, attorney Michael Portnoy, would represent Barstool.
Trump’s Orlando Re-Election Rally, 2020 Presidential Race, Trump’s Illegal Immigrants Deportation Promise, Iran Tensions, Slavery Reparations Hearing, and Dominican Republic Deaths/Illnesses Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/18). Last night’s Orlando rally to kick off President Trump’s re-election campaign; the Democrats competing for the nomination in the 2020 presidential race; Trump’s statement that ICE will be deporting millions of illegal aliens next week; the tensions over Iran’s enrichment program and the U.S.’s threat of military action; today’s hearing on slavery reparations before a House Judiciary subcommittee; and the spate of deaths and illnesses among travelers to the Dominican Republic 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. In the Anchorage, Alaska market Last Frontier Mediactive flips rock KZND to alternative as “94.7 Alternative Anchorage.” Kellen Pierce is the program director and says, “I’m thrilled to be programming Anchorage’s exclusive home for alternative music! Alaskan fans of modern and present alternative will now be able find their favorite new artists alongside some of the best alternative from the 90s to now!”…..iHeartMedia appoints Don Pollnow market president for the company’s four-station Wichita cluster that includes country KZSN-FM “102.1 The Bull,” CHR KZCH-FM “Channel 96.3,” adult contemporary KRBB-FM, “B98,” and alternative KTHR-FM “ALT 107.3.” Pollnow was most recently vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media‘s Green Bay station group…..Westwood One announces that the syndicated “Adam Bomb Show” adds three new affiliate stations to its roster. Now airing the program are KYIS-FM, Oklahoma City; KWPW-FM, Robinson, Texas; and WMXV-FM, Florence-Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Larry Wilson Steps Down from Alpha Media Chairman Role. The Citadel Broadcasting chief launched Alpha Broadcasting in 2009 with stations in Portland, Oregon. The company would merge with L&L Broadcasting and Main Line Broadcasting in 2014 and become Alpha Media. Now, Larry Wilson will step away from his role as chairman of the board of directors of Alpha Media but will remain a member of the board. A press release from the company says that under Wilson’s guidance, “Alpha Media has become the largest privately-owned radio broadcast company in the United States, operating 225 radio stations in 48 markets across the nation. Wilson is also known for his work within the country music industry, having served on the board of directors for the Country Music Association from 1991 to 2001 and inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014.” Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “Wilson is a respected colleague and pioneer in the broadcast industry. His vision helped craft today’s broadcast and radio landscape.” Alpha Media will elect a new chairman at its next scheduled board meeting.
Brett Winterble Re-Ups with KFMB-AM, San Diego. San Diego talk show host Brett Winterble signs a new contract with Tegna-owned news/talk KFMB-AM, San Diego to continue hosting the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show. Winterble originally joined KFMB-AM in 2012 as part of the Roger Hedgecock show and began hosting afternoons in 2015. In addition to his radio show and podcast productions, he recently began hosting a two-hour show for Newsmax TV. KFMB-AM program director Dave Sniff states, “We are excited to continue our relationship with Brett! His ability to digest the daily news cycle and make it relevant for the San Diego community is unmatched and truly impressive. Brett will play a key role in creating unique content, not only for KFMB-AM, but also for our various digital platforms.”
David Haugh Assumes AM Co-Host Role on WSCR, Chicago Today. After 26 years with WSCR, Chicago “The Score,” Brian Hanley did his last regular morning show with Mike Mulligan on Friday (7/27) and Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh debuts on the new “Mully and Haugh” show today. Haugh says in a statement, “I’m excited to join The Score’s morning show. Brian Hanley is a good friend and class act who set a high standard for me to meet. Mike Mulligan has gone from fierce competitor to trusted confidante over the years, a relationship I’ve always valued. I will continue to have the privilege of writing columns for the Chicago Tribune, where I have spent the last 15 years trying to serve the best interests of Chicago sports fans. The job only gets better now. Thank you to The Score for the opportunity, to the Tribune for the support and to everyone who will listen to “Mully and Haugh” do our best to entertain you every morning.” Read Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s story on the changes here.
United States Traffic Network Sues Entercom for $5 Million. Alleging that Entercom entered into negotiations with United States Traffic Network to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business based on information gathered during the discovery process, USTN is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” The complaint, filed the District Court in Harris County, Texas, states, “During the transaction of the sale of equity in USTN, in April and the failed transaction, Defendants (Entercom) made false representations of fact, false promises or benefitted by not disclosing that a third party’s representations or promises were false. The false representations or promises, set forth above, were made for the purpose of inducing Plaintiffs to enter into a contract regarding the equity of USTN. Plaintiffs relied on the false representations or promises. The reliance on the false representations, promises, and failures to disclose caused Plaintiffs injury and benefited Defendants.” The suit further alleges that Entercom intentionally induced USTN to miss a scheduled debt payment to Entercom under the pretenses that this payment would be unnecessary due to the planned closing of the purchase transaction. USTN is owned by Fair and Equal LLC. For its part, Entercom issues a press release saying it has ended its reseller agreement with USTN and calls the suit “entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” Entercom says it “has successfully sold traffic and other short duration advertising on its own for many years. In April, Entercom took back a portion of its broadcast inventory from USTN and is achieving great success selling that inventory through its own sales channels. The Company expects to build on that success as it begins to monetize the remaining inventory taken back from USTN.” CEO David Field says, “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory.”
A Visit to WRKO’s New Digs. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison paid a visit to legendary outlet WRKO, Boston on Friday (7/27) to check out its new location and pristine, one-week-old studios at the iHeartMedia broadcasting complex in Medford, Massachusetts (a bustling area on Boston’s north side). Until recently, WRKO was an Entercom property, but it was sold to iHeart after Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio, significantly re-shuffling the playing deck in Boston. While there, Harrison sat in from 6:00 am to 10:00 am for the morning show’s regular co-host, Doug “VB” Goudie – something he occasionally does on the station. Harrison (left) is pictured with the WRKO morning show’s co-anchor Kim Carrigan (center) and the program’s on-air producer Jim Clerkin (right). Carrigan will be the guest on the next installment of the award-winning podcast “The Michael Harrison Interview” set to be posted tomorrow (7/31).
Final Radio Talent Institute of the Summer Taking Place at Northwest Missouri State. This week begins that final 10-day Radio Talent Institute of the summer. Students from 11 different universities are converging on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University to take part in the Missouri Broadcasters Association Radio Talent Institute. MBA president Mark Gordon says, “This was made possible by the financial commitments from Northwest Missouri State University, the Missouri Broadcasters board of directors and broadcast companies that include: Hubbard Radio St. Louis; Eagle Communications St. Joseph; Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group of Mid Missouri Columbia, Jefferson City; iHeartMedia St. Louis, Springfield, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport; Cumulus Media Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City; Alpha Media of Missouri: Union Broadcasting Kansas City; and Mid-West Family Broadcasting Springfield. We are pleased to bring this program taught by industry professionals to Missouri that will help fill job openings at broadcast stations with quality employees who have a true understanding of how fun and rewarding a career in our industry can be.” Founder and president of the National Radio Talent System, Dan Vallie, comments, “To have so many students from so many different universities is a tribute to Mark and the MBA and their efforts as we work together to discover and prepare young talent for the industry. These are the talent we will be hiring now and will be the leaders in our industry tomorrow.”
RI Talk Host John DePetro and Sean Spicer at Book Signing. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer (left) returned to his home state of Rhode Island to promote his new book The Briefing (2018, Regnery Publishing). He’s pictured here with WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro (right), who hosted him on his radio show and attended several of the book signings with him. DePetro also emceed a private VIP event in Spicer’s hometown of Barrington, Rhode Island.
New Affiliates for ‘Our American Stories.’ Now airing in the evenings on iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHO, Des Moines is Lee Habeeb’s “Our American Stories.” Additional new affiliate stations include: iHeartMedia’s KPRC, Houston and Inspiration Time’s WXTE, Erie. Program host Lee Habeeb is a vice president of content at Salem Media Group and a contributing editor of the weekly essay series “Across America” for Newsweek Magazine and Newsweek.com. “Our American Stories” airs on 139 radio stations across the U.S.
Trump-Russia Investigation/Trump’s Mueller Tweets, Trump-Sulzberger Fake News Meeting, Government Shutdown Threat, Trump Trade Wars, Facebook Value Plummets, California Wildfires, Les Moonves Allegations, New Mission: Impossible Film, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, tied with President Trump’s weekend tweets about the matter; Trump’s meeting with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger over the president’s fake news charges; Trump threatens to let federal government shut down unless border wall is funded; the effects of Trump’s trade wars on U.S. businesses; the plunging value of Facebook; the deadly California wildfires; allegations of sexual harassment against CBS chairman Les Moonves; the new Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible film; 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.
NuVoodoo Study Reveals Listener Misconceptions. Calling the results “startling new insights for radio stations,” NuVoodoo Media Services says its 12th and latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study of more than 3,000 radio listeners between the ages of 14 and 54 across all PPM-rated markets will reveal the findings in a series of free webinars for radio professionals, beginning Wednesday (8/1). Register at http://www.nuvoodoo.com/webinars. The study was fielded this June and indicates that about half of all radio listeners under age 35 believe radio’s tight playlists are a cost-saving measure to avoid paying licensing fees. Among those respondents who are likely to accept a diary or meter, the perception jumps to more than 2/3 among 14-24-year-olds. The study also shows that nearly 60% of all respondents and close to 70% of likely diary and PPM participants conclude that radio stations play the music that record companies pay them to play. NuVoodoo says the webinar series is part of its ongoing effort to inform the industry of emerging trends and to help uncover opportunities for stations to improve programming and marketing efforts. The primary focus is on those who have accepted or are more likely to accept a ratings diary or become part of the PPM panel, since this small segment of radio listeners holds the key to any station’s financial success.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Nationally syndicated country morning personality Bobby Bones and iHeartMedia announce a renewed and expanded relationship in which Bones takes on the title vice president, creative director of iHeartCountry. In addition to continuing to host his daily morning show and the weekly “Country Top 30,” Bones will executive produce a new, one-hour weekend program, “Women of iHeartCountry,” co-hosted by Amy Brown from the Bobby Bones show. The program will feature music from established female artists and up-and-comers, with weekly guest appearances by other iHeartMedia female on air personalities. Bones says, “This is the opportunity I’ve been chasing my entire career. Thanks to Bob Pittman, Rich Bressler, and Kevin Legrett for their years of support and for the space to build this partnership.”…..LARadio.com reports that CHR legend Rick Dees is joining KQLH-LPFM, Yucaipa, California to host the afternoon drive show. KQLH-LPFM serves parts of the Inland Empire and Palm Springs. It is a non-profit station but accepts sponsorships as tax deductible donations…..Entercom names Toshamakia Acevedo music director and afternoon drive personality for hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 107.5.” Acevedo transfers from the company’s hip hop WJMH, Greensboro, North Carolina “102 Jamz.” Entercom Denver SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “We are excited to welcome Toshamakia to the Denver team. We believe her on-air energy and passion for being involved in the community will resonate a great deal with Denver music fans.” Acevedo succeeds former APD, music director, and afternoon drive host Michael Buhrman, who recently transitioned to Entercom’s KSFM, Sacramento as program director and afternoon drive host…..Cumulus Media appoints Megan Stone co-host of WEBE, Westport, Connecticut (Fairfield and New Haven markets) “WEBE Wake Up Morning Show with Jay Michaels.” Operations manager Danny Lyons states, “It is exciting to welcome Megan to the Cumulus family. I know her enthusiasm for radio, as well as for her listeners, will shine through every morning on WEBE 108.”…..At CHR WYRG, Indianapolis “ENERGY 93.9,” Robert “Sid” Sidloski takes over the program director role on August 6. Cumulus Media Indianapolis operations manager Boomer says, “In seeking the next leader for WYRG I had the opportunity to speak with several skilled programmers from around the country, most with career credentials that would certainly be suitable for the role of PD. However, I kept coming back to Sid’s positive attitude and seemingly relentless drive and determination to succeed in this situation along with his vision for the brand to pursue and achieve aggressive success right away. Sid has an understanding of our obstacles and has shared impressive plans to seize upon our opportunities here in Indianapolis. I’m absolutely looking forward to seeing his leadership in action as PD of ENERGY 93.9.”…..The nationally syndicated “The Bert Show” – led by Bert Weiss – enters into an agreement to be produced and distributed by Westwood One. Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “We’re excited to welcome ‘The Bert Show’ to Westwood One. His ever-evolving show has been on a steady rise for more than a decade. Bert’s professionalism and level of entertainment, combined with the strength of our network, should take him to new heights.” The program was previously syndicated by YEA Networks…..In Detroit, Mildred Gaddis – host of the “Mildred Gaddis Show” on Radio One’s “Detroit Praise Network” is named community affairs director for Radio One’s Detroit cluster. The new “Praise Network” replaces gospel WPZR-FM that was recently acquired by EMF. As part of that transaction, Radio One acquires translators W228CJ at 93.5 and W252BX at 98.3 from EMF and plans to marry them with W260CB at 99.9 to build the new “Detroit Praise Network.”…..Premiere Networks syndicated adult contemporary star Delilah is publishing her latest book, One Heart At a Time (2018, RosettaBooks). In the book, Delilah uses “stories from her extraordinary off-air life – full of trials, forgiveness, faith, and adventure (along with select well-executed pranks)” in calling on us to “connect, one heart at a time, to lift others, and in the process, our communities and ourselves.” Rosetta CEO Arthur Klebanoff states, “In her easygoing style and characteristic, beloved voice, Delilah shares the real woman behind the microphone. She tells her deeply moving story as the series of miracles and prayers it is.”
Beasley’s Q3 Pro Forma Net Revenue Flat. Pro forma net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was flat at $58.7 million, a comparison to the same period in 2016. Actual third quarter numbers for Beasley Media Group show net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 at $58.9 million versus $27.7 million during the same period in 2016. As the company points out, “On November 1, 2016, Beasley acquired 18 radio stations (net of divestitures) (‘the Greater Media stations’). The actual results presented herein reflect the Company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the acquired Greater Media stations. On January 6, 2017 the Company completed the sale of WFNZ-AM and three Greater Media stations in Charlotte. On May 1, 2017 the Company completed the sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville. The pro-forma results presented herein reflect the Company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the aforementioned Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations, as if the transaction had been completed on January 1, 2016.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The operating and financial benefits of the Greater Media transaction are becoming more visible as we continue making progress on our synergy realization and integration initiatives, which are focused on driving SOI margin expansion. Pro forma net revenues were flat compared to the prior year period, despite the non-recurrence of $0.6 million in political revenue, while we reduced pro forma station operating expenses by 5.2% or $2.3 million…Throughout the third quarter, we continued to actively manage our local radio broadcasting platform while implementing our operating disciplines at the acquired Greater Media stations. We remain focused on strong local programming to support our goals of ratings and market leadership. Revenue at Beasley’s combined clusters rose 0.1% in the third quarter, outperforming the overall markets, which declined 0.8% according to Miller Kaplan. Of particular note, our Detroit cluster generated double-digit revenue increases and our Philadelphia cluster rebounded from a transition-related revenue decline earlier this year to an increase of 1% in the third quarter. These increases were offset by declines in our Tampa, Charlotte and Las Vegas clusters.”
John DePetro Leaves WADK, Remains on WNRI in Rhode Island. Longtime Providence, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro announces some changes to where his show can be heard in the Ocean State. Since the beginning of the year – after exiting Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM – DePetro has been heard on WADK, Newport. Shortly thereafter, DePetro began airing his show on WNRI, Woonsocket. Now, DePetro announces that he’s leaving WADK and expanding his program on WNRI. He says his show will now air live from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. “The time change will allow me to pursue other projects I am working on. WNRI is 95.1 FM and AM 1380. My sponsors are all happy and the listeners are excited.”
Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan to Receive IBJ Award. The annual Mike Carroll Award is bestowed by the Indianapolis Business Journal in honor of a community member who has demonstrated the qualities of determination, humility and devotion to the central Indiana community as exhibited by former Indy deputy mayor and civic leader Mike Carroll. This year Emmis Communications founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan will receive the award at the IBJ’s upcoming “Engage Indiana” event on Friday, December 8. IBJ publisher and president Greg Morris says, “Jeff Smulyan’s contributions to central Indiana extend far beyond what he has achieved at Emmis Communications. He cares deeply about the community and as a result is always happy to help out organizations large and small.”
Hollins Named Research Director at Jacobs Media. Media research pro Jason Hollins is joining Jacobs Media as research director. The company says that Hollins will work closely with Fred and Paul Jacobs to lead its expanding research initiatives in radio, digital media and beyond. Hollins has spent his entire career with Edison Research, including 12 years as vice president. Fred Jacobs states, “We are proud and excited to bring someone of Jason’s talent and experience to the Jacobs Media team. He’s spent nearly two decades working in radio and media research, both broadcast and digital, and has been integral in helping a vast array of companies better understand their current consumers, as well as helping them stay ahead of the curve on emerging media.”
Mueller Investigation Charges/Clinton-DNC Funding of Russia Dossier; GOP Tax Reform Bill; North Korea Nuclear Threats; Spain-Catalan Independence Battle; Dodgers-Astros World Series; NCAA Football; and NFL Anthem Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Special counsel investigator Robert Mueller announces filing of first charges in investigation into Russian attempts to influence the U.S. election and last week’s news that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Republican tax reform bill; North Korea’s threats of nuclear attacks on the U.S.; Catalan’s declaration of independence from Spain; the Los Angeles Dodgers-Houston Astros World Series; Saturday’s college football action; and Sunday’s NFL anthem protests and the game action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
An Oral History of Sex on Talk Radio. This week’s edition of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is an information-packed sizzler. Joining the TALKERS founder is notable spoken-word radio newcomer (and “romantic boutique” owner) Beth Liebling who hosts a truly groundbreaking, weekend sex talk show, “Love and Laughter with Beth” on, of all things, a sports station – ESPN 97.5 FM, Houston (KFNC owned by Gow Communications). Actually, the podcast is built around a conversation between the two that took place on Liebling’s show where Harrison appeared as her guest this past weekend. Harrison and Liebling talk with remarkable candor about the changing role of sex talk down through the decades on licensed broadcast media subject to FCC regulations. They talk about changing community standards, taboo words, and the evolving societal attitude about sex as reflected on what has commonly been referred to as the “public airwaves.” The conversation includes discussion of such names as Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Howard Stern, Leslie Gold, Bill Balance, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Dr. Joy Browne, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Dr. Daliah Wachs, and more. Reflecting upon the podcast, Harrison says, “What Beth Liebling is doing on her little weekend show is indeed groundbreaking and, if nothing else, the radio industry should know about her. We had a heck of a conversation!” 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.
Investigative Reporter and Former Talk Show Host Mark Shaw Weighs in on Released JFK Files. Investigative reporter, author, and former radio talker Mark Shaw, author of the best-selling book about the untimely death of ‘50s/’60s media icon Dorothy Kilgallen, The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen (Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster, 2016), tells TALKERS founder Michael Harrison this morning (10/30) that he is disappointed at the limited information being made available by this first round of released government files containing information about the JFK assassination as it pertains to the widespread suspected connection to Kilgallen’s death. In an audio conversation with Harrison, he discusses his findings, suspicions, and expectations. According to Harrison, “Mark Shaw has done a fantastic job of digging into the story of one of the most important-but-largely-forgotten multi-media figures of 20th century talk radio and newspaper journalism – Dorothy Kilgallen. If there is the possibility of a cover up pertaining to the murder of JFK, you can be sure she had gotten to the bottom of it.” To listen to the conversation between Harrison and Shaw, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Retired Topeka, Kansas radio personality Marlena Adkinson was inducted into the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Adkinson spent all 41 years of her career at Alpha Media’s country KTPK-FM. She has served in traffic, news, production, promotions, and programming. At the time of her retirement in March, she was the production director and midday personality…..CBS RADIO is presenting an electric roster of New Year’s Eve weekend shows at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Beginning Friday, December 29 and lasting into the early morning hours of 2018, the company will present four shows headlined by Foo Fighters, Duran Duran, and Zac Brown Band, with a special performance by Sir Rosevelt…..Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte stations – country WSOC, CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1,” hip hop WPEG “Power 98,” urban contemporary WBAV “V 101.9,” classic hits WXRC/W234BY “94.7 SMOKE,” adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” – are partnering with Hendrick Automotive Group and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina to host a massive food backpack collection on Saturday (11/4). The event benefits local children in need of weekend meals. Employees from the six Beasley Media Charlotte stations and Hendricks Automotive Group will come together to fill more than 1,000 backpacks with nutritious, easy-to-prepare and ready-to-eat, non-perishable food items for children who do not have regular access to food outside of school…..SiriusXM is preparing to launch eight commercial-free holiday music channels on Wednesday (11/1). The channels will offer listeners a variety of traditional holiday songs, classical Christmas carols, country Christmas classics, contemporary holiday tunes, soul music, Hanukkah music and Latin seasonal music.