Jim Philips to Retire from WTKS, Orlando; Jim Colbert Show to Fill PM Drive Slot. On-air pro Jim Philips has been hosting the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” for more than 30 years. On November 20, he’ll host the final live “Philips Phile” show and on November 21, the station will air a “Phinal Philips Phile” tribute program. During his time as host of the afternoon show, Jim Philips has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Central Florida charities including The Mustard Seed and A Gift for Teaching and has dedicated countless hours to causes including first-amendment issues, adult literacy, mentoring at-risk youth, and championing LGBTQ rights. The University of Florida graduate has also received numerous awards and honors including the Debbie Simmons Community Excellence Award lifetime achievement honor and has been recognized as the “Best Radio Personality” more than a dozen times by readers of the Orlando Sentinel, the Watermark and the Orlando Weekly. Philips says, “It has been a great 50-year career and now it is time to move on with the next phase of my life. I can’t thank the Orlando community enough for letting me into their homes, their cars and their offices for all this time.” iHeartMedia division president Linda Byrd announces “The Jim Colbert Show” will air in PM drive. Led by longtime “Monsters of the Morning” cast member “Dirty” Jim Colbert, the Jim Colbert show will include co-host and news director Deborah Roberts, award-winning stand-up comedian Rauce Padgett, and executive producer and 20-year “Real Radio” veteran Jack Bradshaw. Byrd states, “We are very excited about the Jim Colbert show expanding to five days a week. After 26 years of entertaining morning audiences as part of the ‘Monsters of the Morning’ show on ‘Real Radio,’ Jimmy will now be doing the same in afternoon drive time with his unique comedic take on the world.” Colbert says, “Before I was in radio I was a longtime listener of Jim Philips and the ‘Philips Phile.’ It is an absolute honor to bring my show to the same time slot on ‘Real Radio 104.1.’”
Longtime KMJ, Fresno Personality Craig Hansen to Retire. Station program director Blake Taylor reports that Craig Hansen – a fixture on the KMJ, Fresno airwaves for 42 years – is retiring from the Cumulus Media news/talk station in December. Taylor says, “It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of KMJ’s Craig Hansen at year’s end. For those who don’t know, Craig is a virtual encyclopedia of KMJ’s long history and import to Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley. Craig’s first day at KMJ was November 24, 1976. As far as we can tell, Craig’s 42-year tenure is probably the second-longest in KMJ’s 96-year history – second only to Jerry Higgenbotham’s run from 1949 to 1994. Mr. Hansen has held a number of on-air positions over the decades but is probably best known for his years as our go-to guy on Saturdays hosting news, ‘Autoshop Talk,’ ‘Real Talk,’ and of course ‘Radio Tradio!’ Craig’s final show at KMJ will be Saturday, December 22. After that, he and his better half will be driving his Corvette out of the mayhem of California and moving out of state to retire in peace.”
Cumulus to Launch Local Ad Guarantee. The company says that it is “doubling down on the industry-leading ROI guarantee of its Westwood One division” and “will launch an innovative program leveraging the proven effectiveness and reach of broadcast radio, combined with the precise targeting capabilities of its digital products.” Cumulus Media radio station group EVPs Dave Milner and Bob Walker announce the company will support local advertisers’ number one objective: attracting more customers. Cumulus says it will guarantee participating local advertisers a minimum number of Engaged Potential Customers (EPCs): listeners who have contacted the business as a result of the coordinated program. Should the program not deliver the guaranteed results, the business will receive free advertising. Milner says, “Marketers took notice of our commitment to results when we debuted the Westwood One ROI Guarantee and challenged us to deliver something similar to our local advertisers. After touting the benefits of a combined radio and digital campaign, we’re now putting our money where our mouth is in our local markets with the EPC Guarantee.” Walker adds, “Using radio’s exceptional 10:1 ROI, and a proven 19% lift when messages are coordinated between media platforms, we are delivering a hyper-efficient brand building and customer generation program all in one. We’ve known all along that we can be an advertiser’s one-stop shop for results; now we guarantee it.” The EPC Guarantee will launch in 65 Cumulus markets later this month, in the home and professional services categories, and will be available in all 90 Cumulus markets in 2019.
Entercom Names Sarah Harris VP of Social Impact. This is a new position at Entercom that Sarah Harris will begin on January 2. She comes to Entercom from Emmis Communications where she was a senior vice president. While there, she founded and led “Incite,” a cause and social marketing division within Emmis. Previously, Harris served as director of community outreach for Emmis. She holds an MA in Philanthropic Studies and an MPA in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University and recently completed University of Pennsylvania’s Executive Education in Social Impact Strategy. In her new role with Entercom, Harris will oversee all aspects of the company’s community engagement initiatives, including its recently launched corporate social responsibility platform, Entercom Cares, as well as Entercom’s government business practice. Entercom EVP and general counsel Andrew Sutor states, “Sarah is a pioneer in cause and social impact marketing and wholeheartedly believes in the power of media to create positive impact. With her significant experience and expertise in creating and managing social impact programs and campaigns, Sarah will be a terrific addition to our team.”
NPR to Be Honored at Inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. When the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards take place at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles on January 18, NPR will be the recipient of the iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award. NPR is being honored as a “driving, innovative force in the creation of the podcasting industry” and the award “will pay tribute to the renowned non-profit multimedia organization’s groundbreaking contributions to podcasting’s expanding role in today’s popular culture.” The press release notes that NPR launched its first digital-only podcasting predecessor, “All Songs Considered,” in April 2000 and it officially debuted NPR Podcasts in August 2005 with a full slate of 174 programs, including 17 original podcasts. In less than a year, NPR reached 13 million downloads for all of its podcast programming and reached more than 80 million downloads by February 2007. NPR SVP for programming and audience development Anya Grundmann says, “We are honored to receive the Podcast Pioneer Award. Podcasts have been a major source of innovation for NPR. They have given our reporters the chance to flex their storytelling muscles, pursue creative ideas, and longer stories, and play with form in ways not always possible on a daily show. They have also helped us connect with listeners in new ways and helped us evolve our sound.”
Adam Clanton Back on the Air in Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports that Houston sports talk personality Adam Clanton – who had been with iHeartMedia’s KBME until being fired last May – joins Entercom’s crosstown KILT-AM to host a regular Tuesday evening program with co-host (and KPRC-TV sports anchor) Adam Wexler as well as to handle fill-in and weekend air shifts. Clanton tells Barron, “It’s nice to be out of radio purgatory and with a group of true professionals who have welcomed me (back) with open arms. 610 has been amazing to me, and sometimes life really does come full circle. I’m excited going forward.”
WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Named to Insider NJ’s Top 100 Power List. Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley was again named to Insider NJ’s “Top 100 Power List” – landing at #42 this year. The publication says of Hurley, “The conservative talk radio show host loves politics and outshines most hosts with his uncanny ability to break news himself – not just opine about what other reporters write about first. He remains very influential in South Jersey politics and is at the top of his game.”
Florida Recounts, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, Whitaker Appointment Challenge, Dow Drops 600 Points, California Wildfires, Michelle Obama Book Tour, Crenshaw ‘SNL’ Appearance, Stan Lee Dies, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/12). The partisan fighting over the election recounts in Florida; the status of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; legal questions about the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General; the Dow dips 600 points; the deadly California wildfires that have claimed 42 lives; former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book tour for Becoming; Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” a week after Pete Davidson’s joke about the war veteran’s missing eye; Marvel comics founder Stan Lee dies at 95; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Another “Breeze” is blowing, this time in Detroit as Entercom flips CHR WDZH to adult contemporary as “987 The Breeze.” This comes on the heels of two recent flips to adult contemporary “Breezes” from iHeartMedia – KBEB, Sacramento and WISX, Philadelphia. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “We are excited to launch ‘987 The Breeze’ and to fill this void in the Motor City’s music scene. We know the station will become a must-listen to make your work day breeze by.”…..Beasley Media Group – after cutting ties with morning personality Bigg Boy, moves afternoon personalities Gello and Joanna to AM drive as “The GELLO Show” and adds former AM drive co-host Shay-Shay to middays. The station is on the search for an afternoon drive personality…..Urban One adds the WNOW, Indianapolis-based “Joe & Alex” show – Joe Piesz and Alex Clark – to the morning drive daypart on its Houston CHR KROI. KROI program director Charese Fruge comments, “Joe and Alex are the perfect combination of caring and crazy, the comedy and quirkiness they bring to mornings is infections and is sure to be a treat for listeners in Houston.”…..iHeartCountry and Premiere Networks is offering unparalleled, multi-platform coverage of “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards” tomorrow (11/14). In addition to programming leading up to the awards show, The Bobby Bones Show’s Amy Brown will provide iHeartCountry mainstream stations with live updates from the red carpet leading up to show time. Premiere Networks will also provide a live radio simulcast of the CMA Awards show co-hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.
PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his final format analysis of station performances based on data from the July 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. This report addresses news/talk radio. Comparing June’s 6+ AQH shares to the July numbers indicates just as many news/talk stations went up as went down – 42% each. But 63% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise, with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland leaping by 2.2 shares, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando rising by 1.9 shares, and Cumulus Media’s KSFO up by 1.7 shares. While three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in July, another eight ranked in the top five. Number one finishers in July were Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; and Townsquare Media’s WKQX, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” See the entire report here.
Westwood One Names New ‘First Light’ Host. Current “First Light” host Evan Haning is stepping back from full-time work with Westwood One but will continue as a part-time news anchor and fill-in for the morning news magazine. With his decision, Westwood One names WWO News correspondent Michael Toscano the new host. He is a former host of the Wall Street Journal Radio afternoon news program “The Daily Wrap.” At the same time, Westwood One News also announces that Mike Moss is taking on the role of full-time news anchor. Moss has been part of Westwood One News’ operation since joining as a part-time anchor and fill-in guest host earlier this year. He is well-known in the nation’s capital from his many years as morning drive anchor at all-news WTOP, Washington.
Cristina Mendonsa Named Co-Host of KFBK, Sacramento Morning Show. Market news pro Cristina Mendonsa joins Dan Mitchinson as co-host of “The KFBK Morning News” on iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento. Mendonsa served with KXTV-TV, Sacramento “ABC 10” for more than 21 years – most recently as a news anchor. KFBK program director Bill White says, “Cristina’s a team builder, passionate journalist, and storyteller with deep connections to the communities we serve. A consummate pro, Cristina will further enhance KFBK’s news reputation not only on the radio but also on our digital and social media platforms through informative and thought-provoking podcasts and video content.” Mendonsa comments, “KFBK is approaching a century of serving Northern California. I’m so honored to become part of this team and legacy. I’ve missed talking with listeners and viewers and collaborating with a team of passionate professionals. Informing and engaging our community on a daily basis once again will be satisfying and fun!”
Athans Appointed New Radio Media CDO. Cultivating political talk programming will be Tom Athans’ (left) primary responsibility as chief development officer of Michigan-based New Radio Media. The company’s chief executive officer, Paul Bensman (right), comments, “We are excited to have Tom join our company. Tom brings a wealth of experience in creating exciting new shows from the ground up that will resonate across the country.” Athans adds, “After a decade-long detour in the arena of government relations, I’m excited to be returning to my true love of talk and entertainment media and it’s a real privilege to join the NRM team. In the early days of progressive talk, we were predicting that digital platforms were not far off in the future; well, the future is here. The NRM team is poised to do some really great things in the media landscape – particularly in political talk media. The political environment in this nation is more toxic and divisive than we’ve ever seen in modern American history. There hasn’t been a greater need or opportunity than right now to launch a new generation of exciting and compelling voices in the nation. Through digital media, those programs will be unconstrained. Anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection will be able to tap into their favorite show at their convenience – live or on-demand.” Formerly co-founder and chief executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based Democracy Radio, Athans developed/launched syndicated programs for progressive talk hosts Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller, and Leslie Marshall. In addition, he was executive vice president for Air America Radio and managing director at Talk USA Media.
Musicoomph Publishes Infographic Highlighting Podcasting Data. The images here are from the infographic published by Musicoomph that reveals some of the most compelling data about the growth of podcasting and the medium’s potential as a revenue stream. The graphic’s date is culled from multiple 2018 studies of podcasting by Edison Research, Nielsen Audio, and others. It states, “With 550,000 active podcasts and rapidly growing, podcasting is indeed on a meteoric rise. In fact, 64% of the U.S. population is already familiar with what a podcast is. To put that into perspective, only 40% know the name of the vice president!” The graphic above indicates the growth of podcasting revenue over the years as well as its projected growth. The graphic below illustrates where people are listening to podcasts. See the whole infographic here.
TALKERS News Notes. WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa has recently been speaking to the media about his forthcoming Mike’s On app and what it will mean to his brand, but he’s a believer in radio he tells The New York Times Magazine in an interview piece with Jay Caspian Kang. Read it here…..Pictured below is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley surrounded by “The Bombshells” at Wednesday’s eight-hour live broadcast from the 16th annual Atlantic City Airshow, “Thunder Over the Boardwalk.” Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that the estimated attendance for the event was between 400,000 to 500,000. Hurley adds, “The Atlantic City Airshow is the largest mid-week Airshow in America. This mega-event generates more than $27 million in direct spend and more than $33 million in overall financial impact.”
Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Plea, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mollie Tibbetts Murder, Trump vs ESPN, Urban Meyer Suspension, Hurricane Lane, Asia Argento #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and the illegal status of the suspect; President Trump encourages petition to ESPN over new policy of not showing national anthem during game broadcasts; Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is suspended for three games for role in assistant coach’s domestic violence case; Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii; Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. At Phoenix country outlet KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” Entercom moves afternoon personality Alana Lynn from the afternoon drive program to “The Breakfast Buzz” morning program with co-host Niko Petrou. Lynn maintains her music director role with the station. This change includes current morning personality Nina D moving to the afternoon drive show. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Alana and Nina D both bring incredible talent and commitment to KMLE. We’re looking forward to them continuing to raise the bar for the station and connecting with audiences in their new time slots.”…..Detroit-based iHeartMedia personality Joe Carballo is upped to assistant program director and music director for CHR WKQI “Channel 955.” He’s also heard on iHeartMedia stations WKSC, Chicago “103.5 Kiss FM,” WZEE, Madison “Z104,” and WSNX, Grand Rapids…..In Tuscaloosa, alternative WQRR brand manager Meg Summers is promoted to operations manager for the Townsquare Media cluster that includes country duo WFFN and WTBC, urban AC WTUG, plus sports talk WTID and Gospel WTSK. She is also adding brand manager responsibilities for WFFN…..Exiting the operations and programming roles at Alpha Media’s hot AC WHBC-FM and news/talk WHBC-AM in Canton, Ohio is John Stewart. He’d been with the stations for the past six years.
Howard Stern Tops Forbes’ Highest-Paid Radio Hosts List. It’s not surprising that SiriusXM superstar Howard Stern is sitting atop Forbes’ annual highest-paid radio star list. The piece by Hayley Cuccinello reports Stern’s income from June of 2016 to June of this year at about $90 million, easily making him the top dog. Premiere Networks’ superstar Rush Limbaugh placed second with Forbes estimating his salary at $84 million. KIIS-FM, Los Angeles and fellow Premiere Networks star Ryan Seacrest lands in third place with a reported $58 million earned during the period. Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity places fifth with a reported $36 million annual paycheck. See the Forbes piece here.
Jim Philips Agrees to One More Year with WTKS-FM, Orlando. Tweeting that he got “an offer I could not refuse,” WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” afternoon drive host Jim Philips says he’ll postpone his retirement from the station for at least another year. Earlier this year, Philips announced he would step away from his “Philips Phile” radio show in January of 2018. Now, he says he’ll continue hosting the show on the iHeartMedia-owned station Mondays through Thursdays.
iHeartRadio Integrated in Google Home. The iHeartRadio app is now integrated with Google’s new assistant-enabled hardware: Google Home Mini, Google Home Max, and Google Pixel Buds. iHeartMedia says that these integrations enable iHeartRadio users to use voice commands to request live radio stations and control playback. At the same time, iHeartRadio is also now integrated with Android Wear 2.0, allowing Android smartwatch wearers to use iHeartRadio as well.
‘Today’s Homeowner’ Adds 100 New Affiliate Stations. Nationally syndicated home improvement radio show “Today’s Homeowner,” with host Danny Lipford (left) and co-host Joe Truini (right), reports exploding popularity for the weekly two-hour program in the form of 100 new affiliate stations in the past 90 days. The program is now heard on 240 stations across the country. Today’s Homeowner Media president Danny Lipford states, “We’re hearing from a steady flow of industry professionals who are listening to our demos and wanting to learn more, including former affiliates of my recently departed friend, Glenn Haege, of ‘The Handyman Show.’ As soon as they hear how we approach home improvement radio, they immediately want to be a part of it and understand what my loyal audience has known from the beginning – that ‘Today’s Homeowner’ stands for quality, dynamic radio that is fun and delivers practical information they can use in their homes right now.” In addition to the longform show, Today’s Homeowner Media is seeing weekly growth for the brand’s 90-second vignettes, titled, “Tips for Today’s Homeowner.” The ‘Tips,’ perfect for both music and talk formats, currently air on 142 stations.
TALKERS News Notes. At Chicago’s WSCR “670 The Score,” Pingree Grove, Illinois native Stephen Johnson is named the station’s “2017 Great Clips Fantasy Football Expert.” He’s joining Joe Ostrowski’s “Fantasy Football Today” show that airs on the station on Sunday mornings from 8:00 am to 9:00 am. WSCR program director Mitch Rosen comments, “We are thrilled for Stephen to join the team and jump right in with advice and advantages for our listeners each week. Each year, it is a pleasure to meet some of our most-dedicated listeners through this annual promotion.” “The Score” held open auditions for Chicago’s next fantasy football expert at six local venues. The top 10 candidates from all on-site applicants were invited to the station for a formal interview. A panel of expert judges interviewed the top four finalists and selected the Great Clips Fantasy Football Expert during a finale event on September 27…..The NHL’s New Jersey Devils announce that former goaltender and fan favorite Glenn “Chico” Resch is joining the team to serve as a radio analyst and ambassador for the 2017‐2018 season. Resch will partner with veteran play‐by‐play voice Matt Loughlin for Devils coverage on WFAN‐FM/AM, New York and The One Jersey Network via WFAN.com…..Blaine Thompson of Indiana Radio Watch reports that the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is renaming its circle drive Bob Chase Way in honor of the first Fort Wayne Komets voice. The hockey club’s games have been mostly heard on Federated Media-owned news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne. Chase, who passed away at age 91 last Thanksgiving, handled play-by-play for the Komets for an astonishing 63 years…..CBS RADIO’s WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” is doing a promotion that gives seven local high school football matchups the chance to have their Thanksgiving Day football game broadcast live on WIP. The winner of “Turkey Bowl Live” will have WIP midday hosts Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie doing play-by-play of the game with Howard Eskin as the sideline reporter. Fan voting has begun and ends October 31.
Radio’s Pubic Service and Humanitarian Efforts Continue in Aftermath of Natural Disasters and Deadly Violence. With the recent hurricanes affecting the U.S. and Puerto Rico, the deadly earthquake that hit Mexico City and the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, radio stations across the country are flexing their humanitarian muscles to help those in need. The following are just some of the actions broadcasters are taking. Cumulus Media Washington, DC’s radio stations are hosting a Vegas Victims’ Blood Drive on Wednesday (10/11) at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia. News/talk WMAL-AM/FM program director Bill Hess states, “The injured – including some from our area – face a lengthy recovery, and this is one thing we can come together and do to help in our own individual way. We invite our friends and listeners to roll up their sleeves and join us Wednesday in this effort.”…..Earlier this week (10/3), iHeartMedia’s Nashville-based Bobby Bones show broadcast an entire show dedicated to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting with live, in-studio performances from country music stars. The theme of the show was “Love > Hate” and saw Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Dan + Shay, Chris Janson, and LoCash perform on the show. As a fundraiser, Bones announced that all #PimpinJoy and limited-edition “Love > Hate” apparel will benefit the Las Vegas Victims Fund…..The four Entercom San Francisco radio stations – rhythmic oldies KRBQ, adult contemporary KOIT, rock KFOX, and sports talk KGME – are partnering with the Latino Community Foundation to raise funds for those impacted by the recent earthquakes in Mexico City and surrounding areas. The fundraising effort is a three-week campaign in which 100% of proceeds will go directly to local charities in areas of greatest need…..Beasley Media Group’s Community of Caring Initiative is helping those not local to the Las Vegas area donate to victims and their families. Beasley says Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo and Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak have set up a GoFundMe page that will “provide relief and financial support to the victims and families.” The current goal is set at $1,000,000…..Alpha Media Portland’s triple A KINK is changing its name to “101.9 PINK” for the month of October to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Throughout October, the station is giving a Hydro Flask to each person who donates $25 or more, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia is hosting the annual “Bid for Breast Cancer,” a fundraiser to benefit the American Association for Cancer Research, the world’s first and largest cancer research organization, headquartered in Philadelphia. The fundraiser will include an auction in which listeners can place bids on items such as a signed guitar from Green Day, a Coach bag signed by Selena Gomez and boxing gloves signed by Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
TALKERS Podcasting News. The new podcast from FiveThirtyEight titled “The Lab” has debuted. The weekly NBA podcast is hosted by general editor and senior sportswriter Neil Paine, senior sportswriter Kyle Wagner, and senior sportswriter Chris Herring. Each episode tackles the trends in the league from an analytics angle, seeking to answer such questions as: Are there enough possessions to go around for Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook on the Oklahoma City Thunder? Why are pull-up threes now all the rage in the league? What makes Gregg Popovich such a good coach?…..According to a report by sports media news and opinion site Awful Announcing, Barstool Sports is close to a deal with ESPN to create a video version of its “Pardon My Take” podcast and air it as a weekly, late-night show on ESPN2. AA says, “It’s believed the television show would not affect the podcast, which would continue on as normal. It’s unclear what night and how long the episodes would be, but we’re told it would definitely air on ESPN2 and at a late night/early morning hour.” As AA points out, if this happens, it would be a very interesting turnaround for the two sides since ESPN issued a cease and desist to Barstool for “Pardon My Take,” alleging that the podcast’s name infringed on trademarks for “Pardon the Interruption” and “First Take.” Barstool didn’t cave and the podcast has garnered a loyal audience. “Pardon My Take” stars PFTCommenter and Dan “Big Cat” Katz.
Las Vegas Concert Massacre/Gun Debate Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 2-6. The mass shooting that killed 59 and wounded hundreds at a concert festival in Las Vegas and the resulting debate over gun control issues was the most talked about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the reportedly strained relationship between President Trump and Secretay of State Rex Tillerson. Coming in at #3 was North Korea’s threats of war against the U.S., followed by the special counsel’s investigation into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s relationships with Russian agents at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Holland Cooke Is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Media consultant Holland Cooke is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Cooke was recently named the successor to Thom Hartmann as host of the RT America program, “The Big Picture,” set to debut this Friday, October 6 as a half-hour weekend show. Harrison and Cooke engage in a spirited and illuminating discussion about the latest trends in radio, television and internet talk broadcasting dipping into the experience gathered in their long careers and speculating on things yet to come in media and popular culture. And guess what? They even talk about the impact of Donald Trump on talk radio. This podcast is not to be missed by today’s spoken work media practitioners as well as newcomers looking to break into the business. 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.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Hubbard Radio’s St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” morning drive personality Spencer Graves inks a multi-year deal to continue hosting the “Spencer’s Neighborhood” program. Graves arrived at the station two years ago from WSTW, Wilmington, Delaware. He currently works on air with co-hosts Cassiday Proctor and Brandon “Brando” Luttman. Program director Scott Roddy comments, “‘Spencer’s Neighborhood’ has enjoyed impressive growth in the two years it has been on ‘106.5 The Arch.’ Spencer’s dedication to our community across the bi-state region and his ‘on-air’ neighborhood – including co-hosts Cassiday and Brando – is unmatched. I’m thrilled to have a topical, interactive, genuine, fresh and fun personality like Spencer leading the on-air ‘Arch Allies.’”…..Radio pro Patrick Knight is named music director at Bonneville’s country KYGO, Denver. Knight produces the morning drive program. Program director John E. Kage comments, “I arrived at KYGO one year ago and Patrick quickly showed himself to be a multi-tool player that I could depend on. In addition to producing the KYGO morning show and handling a part of our imaging, he proved to be a valuable asset in the music. He understands the country lifestyle, the timing of records as it pertains to the audience, the history of artists, and having helped me with interviews and backstage events he also has earned the respect of the labels for his professionalism.”…..Morning duo Jeff Pope and Marla Davies exit Alpha Media’s hot AC simulcast KEZR, Gilroy/KBAY, San Jose. Pope made the announcement via Facebook, writing: “Dear San Jose: Thank you for an AWESOME 3 1/2 years! Earlier today, Marla Davies and I were let go from ‘Mix 106.’ From the time I arrived from Southern California, you treated me with love and kindness – even when my L.A. Kings came back from that 3-0 hole against your Sharks?? Thank you for letting us be a part of your mornings, and now I’m REALLY glad I didn’t buy a house!”…..Southern Wisconsin’s Big Radio announces it is flipping a trio of signals to a 90s music format. Two translators – W255CZ, Janesville at 98.9 and W222AU, Beloit at 92.3 – fed by WBEL-AM will make the switch on Monday (10/9) and will collectively be branded “The Beat 92.3 and 98.9 FM.” Big Radio says the core artists will include: Alanis Morissette, Backstreet Boys, Sugar Ray, No Doubt, TLC, Boys II Men, Gin Blossoms, and Nirvana. On-air talent will consist of Micki Morgret in mornings, Paul Michaels in middays, Liz Rudolph hosting afternoons, and Wayne “Grizzly” Adams handling nights…..Entercom’s alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” announces the lineup for its December 5 “Deck the Hall Ball ’17” at the Key Arena. It includes: The Killers, The Lumineers, Odesza, Joywave, Portugal. The Man, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, and J Grgry.
WW1: Advertiser Interest in Podcasting Rising Dramatically. Syndicator Westwood One releases new data from its Westwood One State of Podcasting 2017 report. The company says that the report “provides an in-depth look at listening behaviors and demographics of the podcast consumer, plus insight into how marketers and agencies view podcast advertising.” In looking at advertiser perceptions of podcasting, the report indicates, “The proportion of advertisers and agencies who have discussed podcast advertising for potential media investments has soared from 41% in September of 2015 to 68% in May of 2017.” Additionally, “The marketers and agencies who say they will definitely advertise in podcasts in the coming six months has increased threefold (10% to 27%) since September, 2015.” WW1 president and Cumulus Media EVP, corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We knew that advertiser sentiment for podcast advertising was growing, as we have seen a significant increase in advertising spend on the Westwood One podcast network. The Westwood One State of Podcasting 2017 report quantifies the conversation, consideration, and intention among marketers to place their brands in the expansive podcast programming environment. It’s great news for all of us in the fast-tracking on-demand space.” The report includes data from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” and “Infinite Dial” studies, IPSOS, and Advertiser Perceptions. See more from the study here.
Radio Continues Fundraising Efforts for Harvey Relief. The fundraising efforts for Harvey relief by radio stations and radio companies continue with Beasley Media Group announcing Naples-Fort Myers stations CHR WXKB “B103.9,” WRXK “96KRock,” and AC WJPT “Sunny 106.3” are partnering with the local chapter of the American Red Cross to collect donations during today’s “MUSIC THON. The morning air personalities from all three stations will stay on the air to play special song requests for donations…..Disney/ABC is launching a network-wide telethon and call-to-action today (including sports talk radio network ESPN Radio). Disney Media Networks co-chairman/president Ben Sherwood said, “With this ‘Day of Giving’ across all our networks and platforms, the men and women of Disney/ABC, ESPN and the A+E Networks are answering the call to stand up and support the communities hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey. In 2012, we rallied to support relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, helping raise more than $18 million dollars. Now, we stand alongside the residents of Texas and the Gulf states who are battling the floods and devastation of Harvey.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois radio stations are partnering with Sinclair Broadcasting’s local TV stations to raise funds and supplies for victims of Harvey. Tomorrow (9/1), both broadcasting groups will stage a daylong event at a local Walmart taking donations – with an emphasis on monetary donations – to the Salvation Army. Sinclair is promising to match those donations up to $100,000. Mid-West Family Springfield GM Harvey Wells comments, “While we are a locally owned and locally focused broadcasting company, we have an obligation to use our reach to help in times of national crisis.”
Paul Curran Named CMG Orlando Market Manager. Media sales and management pro Paul Curran is promoted to market vice president for Cox Media Group’s Orlando cluster that includes news/talk WDBO “News 96.5,” sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN Orlando,” classic hits WMMO, urban contemporary WCFB, hip hop WPYO, “Power 95.3,” and Spanish “107.3 Solo Exitos,” plus television stations WFTV-TV and WRDQ-TV in what CMG calls this “converged market.” Curran has been serving as VP and general manager of the two TV stations. He says, “The opportunity to bring together the talented people and dynamic products of CMG Radio and CMG TV under one entity in Central Florida is an exciting one. No other media company can match our combined TV, radio, and digital footprint here, and the possibilities to build on collaboration and improve the experience for our viewers, listeners, and customers are limitless. I can’t wait to get started.”
WSJS, Winston-Salem Transitioning to Sports Talk. According to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal, Crescent Media Group is going all sports talk on WSJS, Winston-Salem, eliminating the news and non-sports talk. Morning drive personality J.R. Snider and news anchor Ed Skurka are exiting the station after today’s broadcast and the sports programming schedule takes effect tomorrow (9/1). Station GM Al Bunch tells the paper the decision was about serving sports fans. “They crave a place to talk about sports and listen to sports being discussed, and we feel that’s being underserved in the Triad. We’re going to give them what they’ve been asking for.” The station will air ESPN Radio content until 12:00 noon when it carries the Raleigh-based David Glenn program. The afternoon drive show will be the local “One on One With The Schass,” with host Kyle Schassburger.
PodcastOne Launches Sports Division. Podcast platform PodcastOne is launching a new lineup of original sports programming under the banner of PodcastOne Sports. PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “This new network demonstrates PodcastOne’s interest in dramatically expanding our already successful portfolio of sports-related programming to build a singular hub for sports fans and brands. I can think of no better way to launch our new network than with coach Jim Harbaugh. Jim represents an established, well-respected voice in sports, and his vision for this show is certain to become a must-listen for sports fans everywhere.” PodcastOne Sports debuts September 5 with the launch of “Attack Each Day: The Harbaugh’s Podcast,” hosted by University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh. Other personalities joining the lineup with original programs will include legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg, sports radio and television host Rich Eisen, sports broadcaster Suzy Schuster, football analyst Dave Dameshek with top podcaster Adam Carolla, popular sports personality Lilian Garcia, sports host and comedian Jay Mohr, and top sports writers from around the nation.
NAB Defends AM/FM Radio from NYU Scholar’s White Paper. The NAB’s response is quick to point out up front that the white paper – Paradigm Shift: Why Radio Must Adapt to the Rise of Digital by New York University’s Larry S. Miller, director of the Steinhardt Music Business Program – is backed by digital performance rights organization SoundExchange, which NAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton says is “bankrolled in part by giant record labels pushing a radio ‘performance tax.’” The bulk of Miller’s paper is dedicated to analyzing the effect digital availability of music is having on the radio industry and Wharton challenges his arguments. Specifically, Wharton takes aim at Miller’s contention that young people are turning away from AM/FM radio as a source of music discovery. Wharton cites Nielsen data that suggests “millennials are listening in greater numbers than ever before, not just to over-the-air programming, but also to local radio on digital platforms…87.9% of Americans aged 12-17 turn to radio each week, and they spend nearly 10 hours a week listening to local radio. Even when they use streaming services to find new songs, younger generations continue tuning in to radio to listen to their favorite music.” Interestingly, Miller notes early in his paper that the issue of whether radio actually provides adequate promotion for the sale of records in exchange for free air play – as the NAB has argued for decades defending radio’s exemption from the performance fee – is not within the scope of his paper. But then he goes on to mention the matter several more times. You can see Miller’s paper here.
TALKERS News Notes. Just a couple of months after a contentious public divorce from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, popular conservative Internet personality Tomi Lahren joins FOX News Channel as a contributor. The Associated Press reports the story and says that “Lahren will have a ‘signature role’ on a digital product under development and be a commentator on the network’s opinion programming. Her primary home will be on Sean Hannity’s show, where she was to debut on Wednesday.”…..InsiderNJ.com recently published its 2017 “Insider 100 Media Power List” in which it, as the title suggests, ranks the 100 most powerful media personalities in New Jersey. WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley ranked #17 on this year’s list. Hurley’s entry on the list states, “You like breaking news from Atlantic City and South Jersey? Then you must be familiar with the well-connected, well-sourced and popular Hurley who breaks most (or at least many) of the dock-front political stories – and has a must-read column with Shore News Today.” See the whole list here…..Changes come to the nationally syndicated evening talk radio show “Connections” as host and co-founder Al “Blackjack” Spry leaves the program. This comes as the show is dropped from the schedule at iHeartMedia’s talk WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1.” The program continues to air on its other affiliates with hosts Melissa Foxx and Glenda “G-Love” Chauncy…..CFRA, Ottawa’s Evan Solomon is going national as Bell Media syndicates his daily talk show across other company news/talk stations, effective September 5. The program will be heard on CFRB-AM, Toronto; CJAD-AM, Montreal; CKFR-AM, Kelona, BC; CFAX-AM, Victoria; CKLW-AM, Windsor, CJBK-AM, London, Ontario, and CKTB-AM, St. Catharines. Solomon comments, “I’m very excited to launch this new, national forum for thought-provoking debate and discussion, highlighting compelling people who are making a difference in Canada. There’s nothing more important to a free society than public opinion, and this show will be a platform for Canadians to share their thoughts on the most pressing issues of the day, at home and around the world.”
Harvey Devastation/Relief Efforts, Trump Tax Reform Plan, Trump-Russia Investigation, Antifa Violence, FOX News Poll Results, U.S.- North Korea Tensions, Texas Sanctuary Cities Ban Blocked, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/30). The devastating flooding in Texas and Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, including analysis of President Trump’s handling of the disaster; Trump begins promoting his tax reform plan; the investigation into possible connections between Trump operatives and Russian agents; criticism of violence against conservatives by “antifa” agents; the results of a new FOX News poll showing poor marks for Congress and President Trump; the military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; a judge’s temporary blocking of a Texas law banning sanctuary cities; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity 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. Local singer and entertainer – and famed season 7 “The Voice” contestant Chris Jamison – is joining CBS RADIO Pittsburgh as a weekend and holiday personality on hot AC WBZZ “100.7 The Star.” Jamison will be heard Sundays from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on holidays. Jamison first got to know the staff at WBZZ back in 2014 when the morning drive “Bubba Show” became his official hometown cheerleaders. He appeared at station events, including its “O Starry Night” concert.” WBZZ program director Dave Anderson says, “Chris is a talented, standout entertainer with rich local ties. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to grow with him as he takes this next step as part of the ‘100.7 Star’ team.”…..Beasley Media Group announces two new “BOUNCE” ambassadors. Air personalities Cortney Hicks and A.P., a.k.a. The Absolute Princess, join the air staff of hip hop WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The BOUNCE.” Hicks will host the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show on Saturdays and Sundays and A.P. takes to the air at 7:00 pm on both weekend evenings. WMGC program director Al Payne comments, “Our goal is to assemble a team of the finest in Detroit radio, as well as the best hip hop personalities, to navigate our fans through each experience listening to this iconic music. That’s why all of our announcers are known as ambassadors. Cortney and A.P. are shining examples of this mission and I look forward to what they have in store.”…..As part of International Overdose Awareness Day (8/31), Premiere Networks host Nikki Sixx will dedicate four hours of “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” to raising awareness of the U.S. opioid crisis. Sixx, who detailed his near-fatal drug addiction in the best-selling book The Heroin Diaries, will welcome Dr. Oz, Louisville Courier-Journal writer Beth Warren, and Erik Gunn, a former drug addict and dealer who recently shared his story with Warren for a Courier-Journal series on addiction and recovery…..Cumulus Media announces country WNSH, New York’s “Boots on the Boardwalk” end-of-summer bash, giving “NASH FM 94.7” listeners a chance to party one last time this summer season! This free event, featuring performances by Scotty McCreery, A Thousand Horses, NASH Next 2016 Winner Todd O’Neill, and Elizabeth Lyons, takes place at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey tomorrow (9/1) from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..In Detroit, classic rocker WCSX and morning host Big Jim are trying to raise at least $10,000 for Holy Cross Children’s Services via the Big Jim’s House Million Penny Roof Sit, taking place at the 2017 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival in Royal Oak this weekend. The station is asking listeners and patrons of the festival to donate their pocket change to change the lives of children in need. Big Jim says, “We are excited to be working with Holy Cross Children’s Services to raise money for kids in need. The kids receiving care from Holy Cross deserve to have opportunities to be successful in life, and every penny can help.”…..According to a story in the Boston Herald, rock WAAF, Boston “Hill-Man Morning Show” host Greg Hill is considering a run for congress for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas. Hill’s spokesman is local attorney Lawrence Army Jr., who tells the paper, “Greg is exploring all of his options, including running for the open congressional seat.” Citing Hill’s philanthropic efforts via the Greg Hill Foundation, Army adds, “Public service would be a logical next step for Greg. He is considering whether it would be the best way to give back to a community that’s given him so much.”