Alpha and L&L To Merge, Add Stations
April 17, 2014

Alpha Broadcasting and L & L Broadcasting have entered into an agreement to merge the companies and, upon finalization of the deal, will become Alpha Media. The current corporate team for Alpha Broadcasting and L & L Broadcasting will remain and operate the company from the corporate headquarters in Portland, Oregon. In addition to the news of the pending merger and new company name, L & L also announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire 19 radio stations from Main Line Broadcasting for $57 million. Main Line is headquartered in Philadelphia and operates 19 stations in four markets including Louisville; Richmond, VA; Dayton, OH and Hagerstown, MD/Chambersburg, PA. Upon successful completion of these transactions, the newly dubbed Alpha Media will own and operate 68 radio stations in 12 markets across the United States.

Is Race Talk Radio’s “Third Rail?”
April 17, 2014

In the May issue of Salem Communications-owned Townhall Magazine (which hits newsstands May 1st), Salem Radio Network VP/News and Talk Programming Tom Tradup asks that provocative question, and also explores how conservative Talk radio might do a better job at growing its fan base by building long-term engagement with minority communities. Tradup notes that while “liberal persons of color abound in national Talk media, black conservatives are still a fairly rare commodity on Talk radio.” Among those contributing to the feature is SiriusXM Patriot channel host David Webb, who said he believes one thing Talk radio hosts could do in order to better attract minorities with a conservative lean is to focus on content, not race. “Talk about keeping a family structure, not just social values,” Webb (pictured) told Tradup. “And talk about blended families to counter the single parent crisis, education, reducing crime in inner cities, free enterprise, employment and bringing back companies to provide jobs.” Get an online preview of the feature now at Townhall.com.

 

Graham Trades Red Sox For Braves
April 17, 2014

Fifteen-year Talk radio veteran Michael Graham has been tapped to host a new daily talk show on Cumulus Media/Atlanta-owned All News 106.7 (WYAY-FM). Most recently heard via the New England Talk Network and Boston Herald Radio, Graham previously had a lengthy run on Greater Media/Boston’s now defunct FM talker WTKK. With a nod to his long-suffering campaign to get the Democratic governor of Massachusetts to come on his radio show, the conservative talker announced his departure with one final poke at the Guv saying, “Governor Patrick, it’s safe to turn your radio back on. After literally eight years of evading my every request for on-air conversation, you can finally relax. I’m leaving Boston radio for warmer climes. Cumulus Media has made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.” Recalling his years as a political conservative living in the famously liberal-leaning city and state, Graham added he leaves New England with no ill-will saying, “Massachusetts, despite your politics, you’re really good people.” Read Graham’s full announcement of his pending move to Atlanta HERE.

Sports/Talk News Notes
April 17, 2014

Tomorrow (4/18) is NBA Playoffs Preview day on SiriusXM. The satcaster’s 24/7 NBA Radio channel will offer subscribers a series of interviews with some of the game’s greatest postseason players, including Hall of Famers Jerry WestJohn HavlicekJames WorthyEarl MonroeLenny Wilkens and Bernard King. During the upcoming NBA playoffs, subscribers can access live play-by-play broadcasts of every postseason game, right through The Finals, on their satellite radios, through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and online at SiriusXM.com … Sports Radio 950 KJR-AM/Seattle debuts a new soccer fan-centered show, Seattle Soccer Talk, to air during the Seattle Sounders season. Seattle Soccer Talk, hosted by longtime Emerald City radio personality and author Mike Gastineau, will also be available on Clear Channel’s digital radio platform iHeartRadio … Actor Kevin Costner recently dropped by ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd to talk about his new movie Draft Day, how being a sports fan impacts his film work and more. That’s Costner and Colin chatting in the photo above. (photo by: Rich Arden/ESPN Images).

CCM&E “Flattens” Sales Teams Nationwide
April 17, 2014

Widespread layoffs of account execs and sales managers have been reported at Clear Channel Media & Entertainment-owned stations all around the country during the past 24-hours. While there has been no official confirmation on the number of sales pros released, nor what specific stations were involved, anecdotal evidence indicates the personnel cuts were significant and took place in markets of all sizes. A company release confirms the rumored layoffs, but offered little in the way of detail stating: “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. Change is not always easy, and unfortunately in the process some people were negatively impacted.” NTS MediaOnline Today stands ready to help any individuals who have been caught up in this latest round of industry “restructuring.” Email us your contact info HERE and we’ll help get the word out on where friends and colleagues — and perhaps even your next employer — can reach you.

Iron Mike In The Steel City
April 17, 2014

The one and only Mike Tyson dropped by the studios of CBS Radio Sports/Talker 93-7 The Fan (KDKA-FM)/Pittsburgh yesterday (4/16), to promote a boxing event coming to town this Friday night. Pictured (l-r) are Program Director Ryan Maguire, Tyson, local fighter Samuel Vasquez Jr. (who is on Friday night’s fight card) and KDKA-FM afternoon host Chris Mueller.

Hannity’s Got The Power
April 16, 2014

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) has just released its list of 2014′s 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media. Among the names included on this year’s roster is FOX News Channel personality and Premiere Networks nationally syndicated Talk radio host Sean Hannity (pictured). In their notes on “why he matters,” THR reports that since the move of Sean’s nightly TV show from 9pm to 10pm (ET) last fall, “His ratings are 27 percent higher in the key 25-to-45 demo than previous time-slot occupant On the Record With Greta Van Susteren, and the married father of two has a bigger audience than CNN’s Anderson Cooper and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell combined.” Reporting that Hannity is the fourth-highest-rated cable news program in the demo, the magazine also takes note of Sean’s considerable Talk radio power, reporting that his daily radio show “attracts an estimated 13 million listeners a week, which makes him the second-most-popular political talker in the medium, trailing only Rush Limbaugh.” See this year’s complete list of THR’s most powerful NY media types HERE.

Glenn Beck, Hollywood Movie Mogul?
April 16, 2014

In his daily newsletter today Glenn Beck reveals that he is expanding his media footprint yet again, with plans for a new film division at Mercury Radio Arts. That’s the parent company behind Beck’s daily Talk radio show (syndicated by Premiere Networks), as well as his Dallas and New York-based digital audio and television media venture, TheBlaze. Beck has spent the past year renovating The Studios  at Las Colinas in Irving, TX since he purchased the movie and TV production facility last June. Find out more about plans for at least three theatrical films that the ever-busy Beck currently has in the works HERE.

 

Talk Media News Notes
April 16, 2014

Get well wishes to comedian and DirecTV Entertainment syndicated talk host Artie Lange (left, in a photo from his Twitter feed) who was admitted to a hospital just outside of Detroit yesterday (4/15) suffering from diabetic shock. Scheduled to be released tomorrow, Artie is reportedly headed back home to rest, forcing a rescheduling of several stand-up dates he had booked this week. His nightly radio and television show is also airing ‘best of’s’ through this Friday night … NextRadio reports more than 300,000 app downloads, with over 8,400 stations tuned to by users and some 275,000 hours of listening via the mobile FM initiative championed by Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan. Read additional new stats HERE … The deadline to submit for the 2014 Radio Mercury Awards has been extended until April 30th. Entry eligibility is also extended to include radio work that’s been broadcast, on-air or digitally, in the 16 months between January 1st, 2013 and April 30th, 2014. Get more info HERE.

“ESPN Perspectives” Debuts
April 16, 2014

ESPN Audio has debuted a new podcast series, ESPN Perspectivesdedicated to “in-depth storytelling and provocative conversations.” ESPN Perspectives will offer three original shows that provide listeners an inside perspective on a wide variety of issues in the sports world: Capital Games hosted by ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz and ABC News political director Rick KleinInside Out with ESPN commentator Prim Siripipat; and SportsBiz with ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell. “ESPN Perspectives will provide exclusive and thought-provoking content at the intersection where sports influences one’s perspective on topical psychological, business and social stories of consequence,” said Charita Johnson, VP/Production, Digital Audio. “Storytelling has always been a trademark of ESPN and the ESPN Perspectives hosts bring years of experience, knowledge, diverse backgrounds and unmatched passion that will translate into excellent storytelling.”