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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

| December 1, 2020

WLS-AM, Chicago News Pro John Dempsey to Retire. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM, Chicago news director and afternoon drive anchor John Dempsey is retiring – or as Feder phrases it, “voluntarily stepping down” – after 38 years in broadcast journalism and the last 13 years with the Cumulus Media news/talk station. In a memo to fellow staffers, Dempsey says, “My career in news has been one of the highlights of my life, one that has allowed me to cover thousands of stories and meet people from every walk of life. The entire experience has made me a better person and enriched my life beyond anything I could have imagined, but now I want to step aside to give myself more time to think about my next chapter.”

Report: Clark Howard to End His Radio Show. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that consumer advocate Clark Howard is putting the wrap on his WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta-based, nationally syndicated talk radio program at the end of the year. Howard tells Ho, “Not being under the gun every week with how much content I have to generate for radio is something I’m so relieved not to do anymore. I’m at a point in my life I don’t need the money.” Howard will continue to contribute to WSB’s programming via commentaries and will also continue his WSB-TV work as well as his weekly column for the AJC. His program is syndicated by Westwood One and has approximately 250 affiliate stations.

Ratings Takeaways from Final Round of November PPM Survey. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from the fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio’s November 2020 PPM survey that covered October 8 through November 4 and included the markets of Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Some of the moves of note include iHeartMedia’s WTKK-FM, Raleigh adding 0.8 shares to finish with an 8.5 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) good for the #2 rank. Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis claims the #1 rank after rising 1.7 shares to a 10.9 share. iHeartMedia’s WISN-AM, Milwaukee was #1 for the third straight survey after tacking 1.5 share on in November for a 12.7 share finish. Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville climbs from #6 to #3 after adding 1.2 shares to post a 6.8 share for the month. Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville remains #1 with a full share addition to wrap the survey with an 11.7 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Atlanta news radio pro Jamie Dupree is exiting Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM after 30 years with the station. Dupree has been affected by the medical condition tongue protrusion dystonia for the past four-plus years that has robbed him of his ability to speak. He’s remained with CMG handling reporting duties and, through a text-to-speech program, has been filing reports for the station. He announced via Facebook, “I am looking for work. I had a great run, working with fantastic colleagues at our radio and TV stations. I may not be able to speak, but I can still report.”…..Sun Broadcast Group is now handling affiliate sales and distribution for i-News, a service that offers twice hourly news reports to radio stations. Sun Broadcast Group COO Danno Wolkoff says, “i-News Network has been specifically designed to help radio stations stay relevant in the news cycle. The network news service delivers content that your listener’s want and need every hour with a fresh new sound from experienced journalists. Plus, sales departments can still sell local advertising and sponsorships for each newscast delivered.”…..WTOP partners with local entrepreneur Elly Rowe – founder of Elly Jane Collective – for a new podcast called, “Women-Owned Wednesday By Elly Jane.” Rowe says, “I’ve always been passionate about supporting small business and, specifically, female-founded brands and the incredible women behind them. My podcast provides a platform where I can talk to those women about their journey and what motivates them to continue pursuing their dreams. My hope is that it inspires other women to do the same.” WTOP director of news and programming Julia Ziegler adds, “I have been a fan of Elly Jane Collective and everything the brand stands for since its launch earlier this year. When Elly approached WTOP about partnering with her on this podcast, it was an easy decision. WTOP is proud to work with an exceptionally gifted local entrepreneur like Elly.”

Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Announces Year-End Fundraising Campaign. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation launches a year-end fundraising campaign to continue its mission of using the media to create positive change while supporting educational programs and scholarships that benefit students of the media and allied fields. AWMF executive director Becky Brooks states, “The Alliance for Women in Media is approaching its 70th anniversary in 2021, and we hope to continue recognizing, educating, and connecting women in media for another 70 years. You can help us do that by donating to the Foundation. We still have work to do.” Donations can be made online at: https://allwomeninmedia.site-ym.com/donations/.

COVID-19 and Thanksgiving Effect, Vaccines, Biden Transition, Trump Tactics, SCOTUS Congressional Reapportionment Case, Georgia Runoff Elections, Australia-China Spat, and Iranian Scientist Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/30). The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and concerns the Thanksgiving holiday will amplify the spread; Moderna applies for emergency use authorization for its COVID vaccine; Joe Biden adds more names to his administration and Neera Tanden nomination appears dead in the water; Donald Trump continues to argue the election was invalid; the Supreme Court hears arguments on Trump’s wish to keep undocumented workers from congressional reapportionment figures; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; Australia and China spar over a Chinese official’s sharing of a deep fake video of an Australian solider killing an Afghan child; and the assassination of Iran’s chief nuclear weapons scientist 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. This Christmas season Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting the 14th annual broadcast of “An American Country Christmas” with Kix Brooks. Appearing on this year’s program are country superstars Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, and Kelsea Ballerini…..Beasley Media Group’s WMGK, Philadelphia “Classic Rock 102.9” and  morning star John DeBella announced a record- breaking grand total for this year’s John DeBella Turkey Drop: 12,509 turkeys! Beasley says the annual event is the largest one-day food gathering event in Philadelphia. DeBella says, “11,000 turkeys in 2019 was the biggest year we ever had. 12,509 turkeys truly proves that ‘The City of Brotherly Love’ is not just a saying… it’s a fact!”

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

| October 25, 2017

Pamplin to Sell News/Talk KPAM, Portland.  According to a story at OregonLive.com, Pamplin Media Group is selling news/talk KPAM and adult contemporary KKOV-AM and the new owner — Intelli LLC — is expected to flip KPAM to a Vietnamese-language station.  The story notes that KPAM staffers posted on social media that the sale was taking place.  A call to the station connected to a recording that says the stations will spend the next three to six months (the time expected for the FCC to approve the sale) on a “farewell tour.”  Pamplin also owns the Portland Tribune and a number of suburban community newspapers in the Portland area.  In addition to airing syndicated programming, KPAM features the morning drive “First Edition” show with Tim Hohl and Terry Travis, and the afternoon drive show, “Afternoon Northwest” with hosts Michael Herrington and Eric Peterson.

Nielsen Reports Third Quarter Net Revenue Up 4.5%.  Reporting on third quarter financial numbers, Nielsen Holdings plc says its net revenue was $1.6 billion, an increase of 4.5% over the same period in 2016.  Nielsen divides its services into two segments – Watch and Buy – with ratings services under the Watch banner.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barnes states, “In Watch, Total Audience remains our priority as we drive adoption and arm our clients with the critical tools and data they need.”  Revenues within the Watch segment for the third quarter of 2017 increased 10.1%, or 9.7% on a constant currency basis, to $838 million, compared to the third quarter of 2016.  Excluding the acquisition of Gracenote completed on February 1, 2017, Watch revenues increased 2.4%, or 2.0% on a constant currency basis.  Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 16.9%, or 16.5% on a constant currency basis.  Excluding the acquisition of Gracenote, Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 5.0%, or 4.6% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to our ongoing investments and continued client adoption of our Total Audience Measurement system.  Audio revenues decreased 7.3% on a reported and constant currency basis for the quarter due to timing of deliveries.

Chris Edge Promoted to Area SVP at iHeartMedia. Programmer Chris Edge is being promoted to area SVP of programming for Raleigh and Greensboro, a position in which he’ll oversee programming of 10 iHeartMedia stations, including news/talk WTKK, Raleigh and WPTI, Greensboro.  Edge has been handling programming strategies for the Raleigh stations for the past five years.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming for the Northeast Meg Stevens says, “Chris has had exceptional success in Raleigh and we’re thrilled he’s taking on a larger role for our brands in the area.  His leadership skills and dynamic personality make him right for the job.”

Skyview to Provide Turnkey Distribution for Clemson Tigers Network. The collegiate marketing firm JMI Sports owns the multi-media rights to Clemson University sporting events.  That firm has just struck a deal with Skyview Networks for the Clemson Tigers Network to use Skyview’s distribution services and satellite receivers.  This includes broadcasts of Clemson football, baseball, and men’s and women’s basketball. JMI’s Scott Morris says, “The expanded distribution of Clemson’s sports programs made possible by Skyview will allow fans to follow their Tigers from across the region and beyond.  We are proud to make these improvements in our first year as the multi-media rights holder for Clemson athletics.”  Skyview Networks says the distribution service is a cost-effective solution for the Clemson University Tigers.  It will offer the resources necessary for JMI Sports to expand their affiliate base and provide those affiliates with the most up-to-date features, including record and store technology, copy-split spot insertion, and time shifting broadcasts to fit their format.

Fourth Annual Mahindra-Limbaugh Military Salute Giveaway Taking Place.  This will be the fourth year that Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh and Mahindra North America will honor Veterans Day and acknowledge the service and sacrifice of U.S. military service members via the Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway.   The contest gives all active and former military service members who enter the chance to win a Mahindra 750S camo Flexhauler utility vehicle.  Entries are being accepted for the utility vehicle giveaway through November 5.  The winner will be selected in a random drawing on November 9, 2017.  Limbaugh says, “Thanks to Mahindra, the makers of the toughest utility vehicles on Earth.  And God bless each member of our military, and their families, who protect our freedom.”

TALKERS News Notes.  A friendly wager is taking place between iHeartMedia talk show hosts Michael Berry and Bill Handel.  Although Berry’s program is broadcast to 20-some affiliates stations, his home base is KTRH, Houston and Handel’s is KFI, Los Angeles.  Since Berry loves his Houston Astros, he’s challenged Handel to a bet over the Dodgers-Astros World Series: the host whose home team loses has to send $1,000 worth of local products to the host whose team wins.  Both are making appeals on social media and on air to their listeners, asking for ideas on products that represent the home city…..A number of iHeartMedia news/talk stations will be airing the podcast “Inside Psycho” as a one-hour special adapted from Wondery’s hit podcast with Mark Ramsey throughout this weekend and leading up to Halloween.  Stations airing the special program include: WOR, New York; KOA, Denver; WIOD, Miami; WISN, Milwaukee and more than 70 others.  iHeartMedia says this marks the first time a made-for-podcast show will air across broadcast radio, introducing podcasts to millions of new listeners…..ABC-TV’s “20/20” and ABC Radio are teaming up to present new details on the 2002 murder of Christa Worthington in Truro, Massachusetts, a crime that rocked the idyllic Cape Cod town.  The reports take a look at all the evidence in the case, investigating whether the right man is behind bars.  The ABC Radio six-part, podcast begins with the first episode today (10/25), hosted by ABC Radio’s Mark Remillard.  The two-hour television special, “20/20: A Killing on the Cape,” airs on ABC TV on November 24.

Giordano Interviews O’Reilly.  This was a live audience event and not broadcast on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia.  WPHT talk host Dom Giordano (left) spoke with former FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly (right) about his newest book, Killing England (Henry Holt and Company, 2017), his time with FNC, and his future plans.  O’Reilly also took questions from the sellout crowd of more than 900 at The Broadway Theater in Pitman, New Jersey.

Gallagher and Prager Lead Salem Listeners on ‘Stand with Israel’ Tour.  More than 500 Salem Radio Network listeners are taking a tour of Israel, led by network talk show hosts Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager.  The trip is part of Salem’s commitment to “Stand with Israel.”  Gallagher and Prager have been to Israel in the past but both say this trip has been a “life changing” one for them and their listeners.  Gallagher, who is originating his talk show from Israel each day, is pictured here speaking to the group of listeners at the ancient Caesarea amphitheater.

Trump Tax Plan, Jeff Flake Campaign Decision, Trump-Corker Feud, Clinton Campaign and DNC Funded Trump Russia Dossier, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Obama DOJ Settlement Policy, Sexual Harassment-Weinstein/Toback Cases, World Series, and NFL Ratings, Anthem Protests and Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/24).  The Trump Administration’s tax reform plan; Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s decision not to run for re-election in 2018; the re-ignited feud between Senator Bob Corker and President Trump; the revelation that the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the efforts to create the Trump-Russia dossier; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the U.S.; the Obama Department of Justice’s policy of steering settlement monies away from organizations with conservative connections; sexual harassment and the Harvey Weinstein and James Toback cases; the Dodgers-Astros World Series; and NFL ratings, attendance, anthem protests and Sunday action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TuneIn Names Holly Lim CFO.  Digital audio service TuneIn announces it has appointed Holly Lim chief financial officer.  Lim will be based at the company’s San Francisco headquarters and will oversee finance, legal, HR, workplace and corporate development.  She most recently was CFO at Soundcloud and has also served with such firms as Google, Stetson, Comedy Central, and New Line Cinema.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York City rock radio legend Shelli Sonstein celebrates her 40th anniversary on the Big Apple airwaves by inking a new, four-year deal to continue co-hosting the “Jim Kerr Rock and Roll Morning Show” on WAXQ “Q104.3.”  Sonstein recently won a Gracie Award for best radio co-host and a second one for best public affairs show.  She’s been co-hosting Kerr’s program since 2003.  Sonstein first partnered with Kerr on the radio on WPLJ from 1977 to 1989.  Sonstein also hosts “Sonstein Sunday” and “Sonstein Sessions” on the iHeartRadio app.  She also serves as an advisory board member of the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival…..iHeartMedia announces that Alex Mac is the new afternoon jock at KDXA, Des Moines “ALT 106.3” and the evening personality at KLLT, St. Louis “ALT 104.9.”  He’s also going to serve as music director at KDXA.  He comes to Des Moines from the company’s Richmond station group where he was evening host at “XL102.”…..Radio One promotes radio pro Tim Davies from vice president and general manager of Radio One Atlanta to regional vice president.  The company says Davies’ promotion reflects “his success in talent and market management, revenue growth, and high-performance team development.”   Radio One and Reach Media CEO David Kantor states, “Tim is a proven market leader who has been consistently progressive in his business acumen, sales strategy and people management skills. His steadfast leadership has continued to position our local stations and nationally syndicated shows to win.  It’s a pleasure to announce his well-deserved promotion.”

Thursday, April 28, 2016

| April 28, 2016

rosejimJim Rose Promoted to PD at KFAB, Omaha.  Both players here are part of the KFAB, Omaha morning show.  Longtime KFAB personality Gary Sadlemyer is giving up his program director duties at the iHeartMedia-owned news/talk station.  His co-host Jim Rose is being elevated to the PD role.sadlemyergary  Both will continue as personalities on the “Gary Sadlemyer and the Good Morning Show.”  iHeartMedia Omaha SVP of programming Erik Johnson says, “When Gary made the decision to step down as program director for KFAB, we knew we had big shoes to fill.  Jim’s tremendous background in news radio and his intimate knowledge of both Omaha and KFAB all make him the perfect candidate to take over for Gary, who will remain an important and integral part of KFAB as he continues to focus on ‘The Good Morning Show.’”

kucharzezraEzra Kucharz to Exit CBS Local Digital Media.  Six-year leader of CBS’ local digital efforts, Ezra Kucharz, announces he’s leaving his president of CBS Local Digital Media position and will consultcbslocalmedia as special advisor to the CEO as he explores the next chapter in his career.  Kucharz heads the division that developed a common platform and unified sales effort for its radio and television station websites and digital components.  This comes as speculation about a spin-off of the CBS RADIO division and an IPO is getting more intense.  CBS does not say whether it intends to fill Kucharz’s position.

The Presidential Race, Gender Identification-Bathrooms Issue, N. Korea Missile Tests, Prince Death/Opioid Addiction, Colorado Gay Wedding Cake Case, Dennis Hastert Sentenced, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/28).  The activities of the candidates for president, Ted Cruz’s naming of Carly Fiorina as his running mate, and the looming Indiana primary; the ongoing debate over laws governing public restroom use and gender identification; North Korea’s testing of medium-range missiles; the investigation into the cause of death of Prince and the related topic of opioid addiction; the Colorado Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the arguments of a Christian bakery found guilty of violating a  gay couple’s civil rights; former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert sentenced for crimes related to sexual assault; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ramseyRaleigh16Dave Ramsey Brings Smart Money Event to Raleigh.  Nationally syndicated talk radio super star and best-selling author Dave Ramsey was in Raleigh yesterday (4/27) presenting his Smart Money event at the Durham Performing Arts Center.   There, Ramsey Solutions personality and youth and money expert Anthony ONeal joined Ramsey on stage.  Local affiliate WTKK-FM helped to promote the appearance.  WTKK-FM program director Brian Taylor comments, “Over two days, Dave’s visit to Raleigh allowed WTKK-FM three wins: revenue, listener/client interaction while also elevating the profile of our local brand.  Adding the Dave Ramsey show to your lineup provides opportunities extending beyond the speakers.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Ramsey, WTKK general sales manager Jeff Rovinsky, Taylor, and ONeal.

nextradio logoNextRadio: Visually Appealing Stations Get More Listening.  The data from NextRadio indicate stations that “enhance their terrestrial broadcast with visuals and related content average nearly twice the tune-ins and two hours more listening, per listener, per month, in NextRadio vs. stations which only display their station logo.”  The TagStation service that provides stations with artist and title information and interactivity with listeners is provided bybrennerpaul NextRadio developer TagStation, LLC (wholly-owned by Emmis Communications).  The conclusion comes from TagStation’s analysis of 11 million NextRadio listening hours.  NextRadio president Paul Brenner says, “Today, consumers are part of an ever-evolving app world, and they expect to see and engage with content on their smartphones.  By providing local FM radio listeners a live look at what is airing in their market before they tune in, NextRadio provides a compelling, new listener engagement option.  Stations benefit from NextRadio because it doubles listening through the visualization of FM broadcast radio — making listeners more engaged and loyal.  Not only does the data show that these stations experience more tune-ins and overall listening, but it also shows that the listening gap is widening between those that provide enticing visuals and related content versus those that do not.”

Odds & Sods. Chicago news/talk outlet WLS-AM takes home the “Best Newscast” honor in the large marketwlsAward16 category from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association.  This is the third year in a row the station has won the award.  WLS-AM PD/OM Peter Bolger says, “I’ve been associated with the news business for many years, and I can tell you it is very difficult to win this honor three years in a row – especially in a market as competitive and as rich with talent as Chicago.”  Pictured at right  are (from l-r): news director John Dempsey, anchor/reporter Jennifer Keiper, and anchor/reporter Nick Gale (who picked up a second place honor for his reporting on the Fox Lake shooting)…..The NFL draft gets underway tonight (4/28) and SiriusXM is providing coverage via several channels, including the NFL channel.  Joining the satcaster’s coverage live from Chicago are football experts Gil Brandt, Pat Kirwan, Jim Miller, Phil Savage, and lead host Jason Horowitz…..Fox Sports Radio is beerguysradioalso announcing its coverage of the draft.  Leading the coverage are FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer, FS1 NFL reporter Peter Schrager and lead college football/draft analyst Joel Klatt…..“The Beer Guys Radio Show” – based at Salem Media Group’s WGKA, Atlanta – announces two new affiliate stations in its current expansion efforts.  The show, co-hosted by Tim Dennis and Aaron Williams, begins airing on WTKI, Huntsville and WEKI, Decatur, Alabama on May 7…..Urban news/talk WVON, Chicago is being sued by FameFlyNet for unauthorized use of its copyrighted photos.  In United States District Court in Illinois, the company is suing Midway Broadcasting Corp. for posting two pictures of actress Lupita Nyong’o on its website and is seeking $150,000 in damages per infringement.  Midway is just the latest in a series of broadcasters sued by the company for copyright infringement.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

| April 17, 2014

grahammichaelMichael Graham to Middays on WYAY, Atlanta.  Talk radio pro Michael Graham is saying good-bye to Massachusetts and New England and heading south for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show at Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “All News 106.7.”  Graham has been hosting a program on the New England Talk Network and on the Boston Herald’s digital audio project since Greater Media flipped WTKK, Boston from talk to urban contemporary (as WBQT).  Cumulus is getting away from the all-news on WYAY – it’s already added market pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson to the wyay logoschedule in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm shift – though there’s no indication it has plans to change the drive time news programming anytime soon.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports the changes but Graham himself bids a fond adieu to New England and a not-so-fond adieu to the Massachusetts political scene which he blames for WTKK’s demise.  He singles out Governor Deval Patrick and you can read that here.

beckglennGlenn Beck Talks About Film Projects to Hollywood Reporter.  Talk radio star and media entrepreneur Glenn Beck tells the Hollywood Reporter that there’s a reason he bought a movie studio in Texas – The Studios at Las Colinas in Irving: He has plans for three film projects with many more hopefully to come.  The facility, where such movies as “Robocop” and “JFK” were filmed, also serves as the base for his radio and digital operations under his TheBlaze banner but his Mercury Radio Arts film division has plans for the three films – one set in ancient history, one in modern history and a third “faith-based” project – that are underway.  Read the Hollywood Reporter piece here.  Meanwhile, Beck also appears irked that he’s pigeonholed as a political right-winger by the media, telling the magazine, “Everybody thinks they know who I am because of my stint on Fox – that was two years of my life.  I’m much more into culture than I am into politics, and that’s where I intend on making my stand.”

cclogoClear Channel Restructures Sales Efforts; Extent of RIF Unknown.  The prospect that Clear Channel Media + Entertainment intended to change the structure of its sales force has been rumored for some time and now the plan has been put into effect.  The exact nature of the realignment is not known but the company released the following statement: “As a policy, we don’t discuss personnel matters.  However, for the last several months we have been flattening our senior management organization to reduce overlap.  Now we are aligning our sales organizations to this new structure and to give more resources, authority, and accountability to the most productive members of our team so we can operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

kall logoJohnson to Replace Hanson at Broadway Media.  A number of changes taking effect at Broadway Media in Utah to report.  First, the company announces that its Salt Lake Radio Group market manager G. Craig Hanson is leaving the company after 37 years to enter the ownership end of the business in St. George, Utah.  Taking over for him will be Stephen C. Johnson.  He’ll serve as general manager and CEO of the Salt Lake Radio Group that includes: KXRK, KUDD, KUUU, KEGA, KYMV and KALL.  Johnson spent the last 35 years with Simmons Media.  Other moves include Broadway Media VP/administration Bret J. Leifson exiting to pursue other interests.  Joining the companies is John G. Kimball who will serve as general manager and CEO of Real Media – the division that operates Broadway’s digital, technical, event and entertainment, and outdoor media assets.  Kimball has worked in the market with Bonneville and Real Salt Lake.

nielsen logoSecond Round of March PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the second of four groups of 12 markets for the March 2014 period (February 27 – March 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

fccnewFCC Issues FNPRM for 2014 Quadrennial Review; Ownership Regs Proposed to Remain, Cross-Ownership Open for Consideration.  The Federal Communications Commission has released its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that initiates the 2014 Quadrennial Review and chief among the topics are the broadcast ownership rules.  The Commission is proposing to keep the current radio broadcast ownership rules in place but it is open to discussion about relaxing the radio-newspaper cross-ownership ban as well as the radio-television cross-ownership rules.  This has Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai furious in his dissent.  He takes the Commission to task for, 1) failing to complete the 2010 Quadrennial Review and; 2) putting proposals such as the radio-newspaper cross-ownership ban question into the 2014 review.  Here are his words: “Congress has instructed us to review the newspaper-paiajitbroadcast cross-ownership rule every four years and repeal or modify it if we determine that it is no longer in the public interest.  And here is the simple truth: The Commission has not been able to conclude since 2000 that the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule remains in the public interest.  And today, the Commission dodges the issue entirely, putting off the issue until 2016, sixteen years after our last determination! What’s the solution at this point?  While writs of mandamus are not to be issued lightly, I believe that the D.C. Circuit would now be justified in ordering the Commission to remove the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule from our books.  We have had plenty of opportunities to justify maintaining the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule, but instead we have chosen to punt — including today.”  Pai’s sentiment that the FCC works too slowly, especially in an era when changes in technology are happening at an ever-faster pace while government seems to work slower than ever, is one echoed by many in the broadcasting industry.  Consider the Commission’s conclusion regarding how digital media is affecting broadcast media.  It’s important to understand that the quote from the FNPRM is relative to broadcasters’ (TV also) desires to relax ownership regulations.  Whether you agree or not, it’s the Commission’s assessment of the current state of the audio entertainment landscape that indicates its willingness to only see one moment in time, without regard for the future.  “Despite broadcasters’ claims to the contrary, we tentatively find that, for purposes of the Commission’s ownership rules, non-broadcast sources of audio programming are not yet meaningful substitutes for broadcast radio stations with respect to either listeners or advertisers.  While alternate platforms such as satellite radio and Internet-delivered audio are growing in popularity, broadcast radio remains the dominant radio technology.  In 2012, 92 percent of Americans age 12 or older listened to broadcast radio, a figure that has remained essentially constant over the last decade.  Satellite radio still serves only a small portion of the population, even though its subscription rates continue to climb.  And though recent data suggest that a significant portion of adult U.S. broadband households (42 percent) listen to Internet-delivered audio programming, we note that millions of U.S. households continue to lack broadband connections.  In addition, only 14 percent of Internet radio listeners listen in their cars, where most broadcast radio listening occurs.   Thus, we tentatively conclude that Internet-delivered audio programming is not yet a meaningful substitute for broadcast radio listening for most listeners.  We seek comment on this tentative conclusion and invite commenters to provide any more recent relevant information and data.  We believe, moreover, that satellite radio and content delivered via the Internet generally are national platforms that are not likely to respond to competitive conditions in local markets.”  Even if you agree with these conclusions (which, obviously, many do not), will they still be true in 2015, 2016 (when the 2014 Quad is supposed to be delivered to Congress) or 2017?

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey’s New Study Explores ‘Reinvention of Audio.’  The full name of the study from BIA/Kelsey is “The Internet Radio Revolution Has Arrived: Platforms, Services, Audiences and Advertisers Reinvent Audio,” and as the title implies, it works to make sense of the state of audio entertainment and its relationship with the advertising world as it exists today, plus where it’s going in the near future.  The study authors note a five-step process that occurs when a major change affects the media: 1) Fundamental breakthroughs in enabling technologies occur, 2) Entrepreneurs and their investors experiment with getting the right value proposition into the market, 3) Consumers find the winning technologies and begin to use them, 4) Advertisers sensing a new opportunity for connecting with their consumers allocate “experimental budget,” and 5) Media companies and publishers take new platforms seriously.  The report states, “It is only when we reach this last phase that we really get a sense of how fundamentally a technology will impact us in the long run.”  It believes the audio business is entering this fifth phase.  Read the entire study here.

iheartradio newiHeartRadio Gets into Subaru’s STARLINK.  Japanese automaker Subaru was a little late to the party with a digital infotainment system but the new STARLINK is available on many of its 2014 cars and now Clear Channel Media + Entertainment announces its iHeartRadio will be included on the system.  The STARLINK infotainment system is being demoed at the New York Auto Show beginning tomorrow (4/18).  Subaru of America marketing strategy & launch manager David Sullivan, says, “We are thrilled to have iHeartRadio as our first content partner for the STARLINK cloud service application.  The award-winning service brings a huge amount of programming and custom content to Subaru vehicles with a great, easy-to-use interface.”

ObamaCare Criticism, IRS-DOJ Tea Party Connection, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Sebelius Senate Run, Tax Day, and Bloomberg vs the NRA Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the allegation that the Lois Lerner led department of the IRS contacted the Department of Justice about prosecuting the Tea Party; escalating aggression by Putin’s Russian forces in Ukraine; speculation that former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will run for the U.S. Senate; chatter about the complex U.S. tax code and the number of taxpayers supporting benefit takers; and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plans to battle the National Rifle Association were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

| April 16, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150By Popular Demand, “Talkers New York 2014” is Bringing Back the Talk Rumble!  After several years on hiatus, the legendary (and original) “Talk Rumble” will return to the annual TALKERS conference at Talkers New York 2014.  The session features a large group of local and national talk show hosts – representing a variety of ideologies, genders and ethnicities — in a fast-paced, smokin’ debate of the hottest issues of the day.  It is moderated by an individual sworn to uphold the principles of political non-partisanship and philosophical even-handedness.  This year’s choice to serve in that capacity is WPIX-TV Channel 11, New York commentator (and TalkersRadio host) Lionel.  Rumblers include (in alphabetical order):  Alan Colmes of Fox News Radio, Mike Gallagher of Salem Radio Network, Thom Hartmann of WYD Media, Joyce Kaufman of WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami, Kevin McCullough of XtreMEDIA, Lincoln Ware of WDBZ, Cincinnati, and David Webb of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.    Talkers New York 2014 will take place on Friday, June 20 at the India House Club located at One Hanover Square in the heart of New York City’s financial district.  More than 60 speakers will be participating in this year’s 17th annual installment of the talk radio industry’s longest-running and most important convention.  The event is always an early sellout and only open to communications industry professionals working in or closely associated with talk media.  Registrations ($249 per person) are only taken with credit card by phone.  Call 413-565-5413.

justicejonJournal’s KQTH, Tucson Re-Brands; Shifts Jon Justice to Late Mornings.  Leaving the station brand “The Truth” behind, Journal Broadcast Group news/talk KQTH, Tucson is making a few adjustments to its air schedule as well.  As per John Schuster’s piece in Tucson Weekly, the station is taking the slogan “104.1 KQTH, Tucson’s News and Talk.”  Jon Justice, who’s been heard in morning drive since the station debuted on the FM dial seven years ago, is moving to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot where he’ll compete with Rush Limbaugh, heard on Clear Channel’s KNST from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Taking over the morning show on KQTH is program director Bill White, who will host a news wheel show.

ramseyRaleighDave Ramsey Presents Live in Raleigh.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey was in Raleigh on tax day presenting his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event to a sold-out crowd at the Durham Performing Arts Center.  Ramsey’s presentation focuses on how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage.  Ramsey worked with Clear Channel affiliate WTKK “106.1 FM” to promote his appearance.  WTKK program director Brian Taylor comments, “When Dave comes to town it’s a reminder that our format is not inherently niche.  Build it and they will come.  Listeners turn out for Dave.  Identifying issues and concerns is one thing — it’s quite another to offer practical and actionable solutions we can all accomplish.  At WTKK Raleigh, all three numbers are solid: Ratings, revenue and attendance.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): Cruze, Clear Channel Raleigh market manager George Allen, Ramsey, program director Brian Taylor and general sales manager Dave Beecher.

krxa logoKRXA, Carmel Valley Signs Consent Decree in Sponsor ID and Indecency Case; to Pay $15,000.  Progressive talk radio outlet KRXA, Carmel Valley, California is owned by Harold S. Ginsberg and is currently in negotiations to be sold to El Sembrador Ministries (which has filed a contingent application to convert it to a non-commercial station).  The Consent Decree which will have Ginsberg pay $15,000 revolves around a brokered show that aired in 2009 that the FCC ruled was not properly identified as a sponsored program.  Also, the Commission ruled that the same program violated indecency regulations.  Though Ginsberg initially argued against both allegations, he reversed course and, due to financial hardship, is paying the fine and exiting the broadcasting business.

millerhannityWelcoming Sean to Boise.  KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (right) poses for a photo with Premiere Networks talk star Sean Hannity (left) at the recent 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  Both Miller and Hannity worked at WVNN, Huntsville early in their careers and now are both part of the lineup at Townsquare Media’s KIDO, Boise as Sean Hannity’s program is heard there in afternoon drive.  Miller tells TALKERS, “Sean has always been great to me since our days at WVNN.  It was a pleasure to welcome him to KIDO.”

mccollummaryMcCollum Promoted at Idaho Media Group.  Local sales manager Mary McCollum is promoted to director of regional and national sales at IdaVend Broadcasting, Inland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL Inc.  McCollum began her career in media as a marketing manager for Ubiquitel (Sprint Wireless), in 2000.   She moved to neighboring Clarkston, Washington in 2009, taking a position in Lewiston as sales manager at Pacific Empire Radio Corporation.  In 2011, McCollum moved to nationally recognized IdaVend Broadcasting as the sales manager for Inland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL, Inc. in Moscow.  In addition to national and regional sales, McCollum also specializes in political advertising and sponsorship promotions.

Tax Day, ObamaCare Criticism, Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary, Russian Ukraine Aggression/Obama-Putin Talks, and Harry Reid and Nevada ‘Cattle Battle’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The deadline for filing federal and state tax returns and the increased tax rates many Americans are facing; the anniversary of the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon; the ongoing tensions in Ukraine as pro-Russian factions press for return to Russian rule and President Obama’s talks with Vladimir Putin; Harry Reid’s involvement in the controversy between a Nevada rancher and the Bureau of Land Management were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.