WSJ: Liberty Still Interested in iHeartMedia. After taking its offer of $1.2 billion for 40% of iHeartMedia off the table a couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that now Liberty Media is “working on revamping its original offer.” The story goes on to say that Liberty’s return to the table could signal a bidding war between it and private equity firm Silver Lake. Last week, the New York Post reported that Silver Lake is in talks with iHM. The Wall Street Journal story says Silver Lake has made an offer for 20% of the reorganized iHeart, though a dollar figure is not being reported. Both Liberty – owner of a controlling interest in SiriusXM and a minority interest in Pandora – and Silver Lake are also said to be in talks with iHeartMedia creditors Franklin Advisors Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co., both of which are expected to control the post-reorganization iHeartMedia. For Liberty, the obvious synergies make it an attractive suitor with iHeart itself stating in a recent filing that Liberty’s original offer didn’t take into account some $500 million in annual synergies.
TALKERS News Notes. A Louisburg, Kansas woman prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court when it ruled a lower court should not have dismissed her civil rights complaint against local police officers who ordered her to stop praying in her own home. The case developed after neighbors called police on Mary Anne Sause because she was listening to Michael Savage too loudly. She claims police didn’t tell her why they were there, and she became frightened and asked to pray. She says the officers then attempted to stop her from praying. Read the account in The Hutchinson News here…..At the Podcast Movement event in Philadelphia on July 24, Edison Research will present the results of its latest podcasting study. Titled, “Podcasting’s Next Frontier: 100 Million Listeners,” the address promises to “provide a research-based road map for the podcasting industry to grow audience and increase exposure to podcasts.” It will provide “attendees with a look at the tens of millions of Americans who say they know what podcasting is but haven’t (yet) become regular listeners to the medium.”…..Fort Myers rock outlet WRXK “96 K-Rock” drops the Bubba the Love Sponge program from the morning drive daypart. The Beasley Media Group station had Bubba’s show in morning drive there for the past 10 years and says an announcement about the new morning show is forthcoming. Beasley’s decision comes just days after Bubba Clem and Nielsen settled their lawsuits against each other…..Entercom Atlanta inks a deal with Georgia State University for sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” and sister news/talk WAOK to broadcast the school’s football and men’s and women’s basketball games, beginning with the 2018-19 season. Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “Expanding our sports content is an important part of our strategy to remain the leaders in sports radio. We remain strong advocates of our local community and of delivering quality content to our city and beyond. This agreement with Georgia State University is another step in that direction and we look forward to an exciting season with an excellent sports program.” As part of the partnership, “92.9 The Game” will also host weekly interviews with Georgia State football coach Shawn Elliott on “Mornings with John and Hugh.” Men’s basketball coach Ron Hunter will join “Dukes and Bell” for a weekly interview.
TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Special Luncheon Greetings by WNYM (AM 970 The Answer), New York Morning Host Joe Piscopo and “Humanitarian of the Year” Award Presentation to the Late Matt Patrick. Today (7/10), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8. Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 11th installment is a video of convention luncheon greetings by WNYM (970 AM The Answer), New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce; and the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan. Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, Asa; Bold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince Benedetto; Howie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy Carr; Westwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling. Other videos already posted include the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ; a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin; a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan; Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with 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; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman. Also posted: 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.
Former KSTP, Minneapolis Talk Host Barbara Carlson Dies at 80. Twin Cities talk radio fans are remembering Barbara Carlson, the former KSTP-AM, Minneapolis talk show host who died yesterday (7/9) at age 80 after a battle with lung cancer. Carlson was a two-term Minneapolis city councilor during the 1980s. Prior to that, she was married for more than 10 years to former Minnesota Republican Governor Arne Carlson. She hosted her talk show at KSTP from 1990 to 2002. See the Twin Cities Pioneer Press obit here.
Trump Supreme Court Nomination, Illegal Immigration Policy-Judge Rejects Trump Request, Trump-Russia Investigation/Impending Putin Meeting, U.S.-China Trade War, U.K Brexit Complications, Thailand Cave Rescues, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/9). The anticipation and announcement of Brett Kavanaugh as nominee for Supreme Court Justice; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration policies and a federal judge’s rejection of administration’s bid to modify child detention policy; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the planned meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin; new tariffs and concerns over a U.S.-China trade war; the challenges facing British Prime Minister Theresa May in executing the British exit from the EU; the rescue of the boys’ soccer team from flooded caves in Thailand; 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.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer and air personality Eliseo “Short-E” Cierra joins iHeartMedia’s Fort Myers station group to serve as program director for hip hop WBTT “105.5 The Beat” and hot AC WZJZ “Y100.1.” He was most recently music director and an air personality at Entercom’s hip hop KSFM, Sacramento. iHeartMedia Fort Myers SVP of programming Louis Kaplan states, “I’m thrilled to welcome Short-E to iHeartMedia Fort Myers. He genuinely understands our market and brings adept format experience and lively energy to our team. He’ll be leading two of our most popular brands, ‘105.5 The Beat,’ which has been a huge success for over 15 years, and ‘Y100,’ the area’s home for the Elvis Duran show, and I know his vast industry knowledge and creativity will take our stations to even higher levels.”…..iHeartMedia Los Angeles names Tamo Sein midday personality at alternative KYSR “ALT 98.7,” effective July 16. KYSR program director Lisa Worden says, “We believe the ‘ALT 98.7’ audience will immediately take to Tamo’s relatable and down-to-earth approach. Plus, she loves alternative music and is a food and wine enthusiast! She’ll fit right in with LA.” Sein comes to LA from iHeartMedia Charlotte where she was APD and music director at alternative WEND “105.5 The End.”.….Hubbard Radio’s country WIL-FM, St. Louis officially welcomed Mason and Remy to their new gig as afternoon drive team on the station. They take over for Stacey and Jonah, who move over to the company’s adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” for afternoons. The changes took effect yesterday (7/9)…..S-R Broadcasting flips KRKO-AM/K237GN from sports talk to classic hits. General manager Chuck Maylin says the new station is “custom designed to meet the musical appetites of local listeners, with a strong focus on information and activities of importance and interest in the greater Snohomish County area.”
‘Format Adjustment’ Pushes Bubba the Love Sponge from Beasley’s WBRN, Tampa. There’s not a lot to go on from the press release from Beasley Media Group issued this morning. It simply says that, due to a “format adjustment” on rock/talk hybrid WBRN, Tampa “No Rules Rock,” the Bubba the Love Sponge show is no longer being carried by Beasley in the Tampa market. As for Fort Myers, Beasley says, “Beasley looks forward to continuing its relationship with Bubba and The Bubba the Love Sponge show on WRXK, Ft. Myers ’96K-ROCK.’” WBRN is currently airing Christmas music with a new format to launch on 12/26. The signal was formerly WHFS-FM and aired a sports talk format when CBS RADIO owned it. After Beasley’s acquisition of the signal, the station became WBRN – “Bubba Radio Network” – in February of 2015 airing a hybrid of Bubba’s show and hard rock. Later in 2015, the station rebranded as “No Rules Rock” after Bubba was found to have been involved in a PPM survey tampering incident.
iHeartMedia Programmer Chris Kampmeier to Retire; Rick Everett Named New RVP of Programming. Regional vice president of programming Chris Kampmeier is retiring from iHeartMedia’s North Florida Region at the end of the year and rock WJRR and sports talk WYGM-AM, Orlando PD Rick Everett will assume the RVP role. In addition to WJRR and WYGM, iHeartMedia also operates talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1,” CHR WXXL “XL 106.7,” Spanish music WRUM “Rumba 100.3,” news/talk WFLF, hip hop WTKS-HD “104.5 The Beat,” and adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7.” Speaking about his retirement, Kampmeier says, “Going out on my own terms and on top is a good thing! My partnership with our amazing executive team has been deeply satisfying and I am grateful for their support over the years. My biggest honor has been to serve alongside the programmers and air talent and the wondrous creativity they bring every day. I am proud to have been a radio man for the last 47 years and am excited for the long term future of our industry.” Rick Everett says he’s grateful for this new opportunity. “I want to thank [North Florida Region president] Linda Byrd and [EVP of programming] Gene Romano for this incredible opportunity and I’m especially grateful to Chris for his mentorship over the last 19 years, which helped make this opportunity possible. I look forward to working with the North Florida Region to continue its track record of success, and bring our radio station brands to new heights!”
KRDO-FM, Colorado Springs Newsman Paul Richards Dead at 55. Colorado Springs radio pro Paul Richards, a.k.a. Paul Mundt, was found dead in his home yesterday (12/11) at the age of 55. Richards worked at several market stations during his career, including for the last four years as news director at Pikes Peak Television-owned news/talk KRDO-FM. Station general manager Tim Larson comments, “All of us here at KRDO are saddened by Paul’s passing. He was always upbeat and a true professional. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and children. He will be greatly missed.” Richards leaves behind a wife and five children.
Herskovitz: It’s All in the Sell. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about one of the hardest job to fill in radio: that of the sales pro. He says that sometimes a potential successful account executive is right under one’s nose. He asks, “Where do you find such people? Sometimes within your own operation….an on-the-air person who will never become the next Sean Hannity. Or in businesses where you shop regularly and the salesperson offers suggestions of other items to buy.” Read more here.
Trump Cabinet Nominations, U.S.-China Relations, Biden in 2020?, Russia’s U.S. Election Influencing Allegations, Islamic State Retaking Palmyra, the Soaring Dow, and Sunday’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The chatter over President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees; the tenuous relations between China and the Trump Administration over Trump’s call to the president of Taiwan; speculation over Vice President Joe Biden’s potential run for president in 2020; controversy over allegations Russia was involved in propelling Donald Trump to the presidency via “fake news” stories; Islamic State’s move to retake the historic city of Palmyra; the Dow Jones industrial average’s record high; and Sunday’s NFL contests were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Report: Susan Olsen Out at LA Talk Radio. According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, former “Brady Bunch” actress and Los Angeles radio personality Susan Olsen is no longer co-hosting “Two Chicks Talkin’ Politics” on the online LA Talk Radio platform. The story indicates that a social media kerfuffle between Olsen and actor Leon Acord-Whiting devolved into Olsen using derogatory terms for homosexuals aimed at Acord-Whiting. LA Talk Radio was founded in 2008 by Sam Hasson.
“Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Immigration Radio Row Set for May 8 and 9 in Washington. What has become a major annual talk radio event is again shaping up to be an important focal point for the issue of America’s immigration policy. Federation for American Immigration Reform announces the “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row, led by nationally syndicated talk host Roger Hedgecock, will take place May 8 and 9 in Washington, DC. This annual event began in 2007 when hosts converged on Capitol Hill and helped defeat the Senate Amnesty Bill. This year FAIR expects more than 60 talk hosts to take part in the broadcasts. FAIR communications director Bob Dane states, “Once again, talk hosts from across the country are gathering to focus on immigration reform and this election year is the most critical of all. The Obama administration continues to dismantle interior enforcement at a frightening pace and is using unconstitutional backdoor methods to grant amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. With November looming, May is the ideal time to set clear expectations for candidates of all stripes. Responsive politicians respect and listen to the electronic town hall of talk radio and ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ is a yearly bellwether of public sentiment on the immigration issue.” For talk hosts interested in attending, there is no cost to broadcast – all technical engineering, ISDN lines and long distance is included. Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews. Contact event managers Bob Dane or Kristen Williamson at 202-328-7004 for further information and to reserve a broadcast slot.
Beasley Broadcasting Develops Male-Targeted Southwest Florida FM Talk Station. Referencing the success it had in the past when Howard Stern was still on terrestrial radio in AM drive, Beasley Broadcasting’s Southwest Florida cluster alters the programming of two of its FM signals in the Ft. Myers/Naples market turning classic rock WRXK-FM into “96 K-Rock Talk That Rocks.” The station features Bubba the Love Sponge in AM drive followed by local hosts Zito and Garrett in the midday and Stan and Haney from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Evenings and overnights include the syndicated Lex and Terry, Premiere’s Nick and Artie and Fisher Entertainment’s John and Jeff. Vice president and market manager Brad Beasley states, “In the early 1990s when Joe, Stan and Mark Haney did mornings, we saw that listeners responded positively. In the late 1990s through 2004, Howard Stern did mornings and created a huge following. Over time we have found that Southwest Florida listeners really enjoy entertaining talk, so beginning Monday that’s what 96 K-Rock will provide.” Beasley morphs alternative WJBX-FM into a blend of new and heritage rock as “99X – Southwest Florida’s Rock Station.”
WKZO-AM/FM, Adds Local PM Drive News Block; WSJ’s Daily Wrap. Mid-West Communications’ news/talk WKZO-AM/FM, Kalamazoo, Michigan adds a local news hour called “Kalamazoo’s Afternoon News” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm followed by the Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s Daily Wrap with Michael Castner from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Program director Jay Morris tells the Kalamazoo Gazette the station elected to change the programming and drop Premiere Networks’ Glenn Beck due to ratings in the time slot that he said had been dropping over the course of the past year and a half.
Genesis Communications Network Announces Addition of Baldwin-McCullough Show and Dani Johnson Show. Two weekend talk shows join the lineup at Genesis Communications Network. The first is the Baldwin-McCullough show co-hosted by actor Stephen Baldwin and talk media personality Kevin McCullough. The show was founded in 2008 and now gets a new distribution channel via GCN for its live Saturday 9:00 pm ET broadcasts. The network also announces the debuts of the Dani Johnson show airing Sundays at 9:00 pm ET. Johnson is a success coach who’s authored several best-selling books and has co-founded charities to assist those in need.
Lou Dobbs Financial Feature Debuts with Salem Radio Network. When Lou Dobbs decided to end his long-form radio show with United Stations Radio Networks to focus on his Fox Business Network duties, sources close to the matter said it was likely Dobbs would develop a daily feature to remain on radio. Now, that’s come to fruition as Salem Radio Network will distribute the three-times-daily “Lou Dobbs Financial Report” – delivered before the opening bell on Wall Street, during the midday and after the closing bell – beginning February 20. Dobbs States, “There has never been in American history when up-to-the-minute business reports are more important to men and women from coast to coast. I’m really looking forward to my new partnership with SRN and the opportunity it provides to reach an entirely new audience on a daily basis.”
Israel-Iran Tensions, Whitney Houston Death/Grammy’s, President Obama’s 2013 Budget and the 2012 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13). The escalating tensions between Iran and Israel in the wake of attacks on Israeli diplomats and Iran’s purported nuclear weapons program; the death of singer Whitney Houston and Sunday’s Grammy’s broadcast; President Obama’s 2013 budget and the 2012 presidential race were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.