A just published feature in Bloomberg Business Week calls Salem Communications a “major player in the consolidation of conservative media.” Noting the Camarillo, CA-based media company’s acquisition this week of Twitchy.com — a website founded by author, blogger and widely read conservative pundit Michelle Malkin – reporter Felix Gillette says the move by Salem “may signal that the same forces currently driving consolidation in the digital news industry at large are starting to gain momentum among the ranks of conservative news publishers online.” The feature also reports that as consolidation in the digital news world increases, Salem is “well positioned for a buying spree” due primarily to the profitability of its owned-and-operated radio stations. Those stations include both Christian Talk and music outlets, along with secular conservative News/Talk stations that feature Salem Radio Network’s lineup of syndicated talkers: Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt. The company also owns the DC-based SRN News network. Read the full feature HERE.
Congrats to ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd as his new book, You HERD Me!, recently debuted on the New York Times Best Sellers List, ranking in the Top 10 for overall and eBook sales. Meanwhile, the Sports/Talker was a recent guest on Larry Gifford’s and Deb Slater’s weekly Radio Stuff podcast, where he not only chatted up his new book, but also talked about some … well, uh … radio stuff – like the importance of brand extension for personalities and how many commercials and sponsors are too many. Herd (pictured) also gamely played a lightning round of ‘Word Association’ with the podcast’s hosts, reacting to the names of some of his Sports media peers including fellow ESPN Radio mates Mike & Mike, DirecTV Entertainment’s Dan Patrick, CBS Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb and Keith Olbermann — who recently returned to ESPN television after a controversial and tumultuous tenure in political cable TV talk. Hear what Herd had to say HERE.
L.A. radio veteran Brian Whitman inks an extension on his current deal to remain in mornings at Salem Communications News/Talker AM 870 The Answer (KRLA/Los Angeles). Whitman, who was previously heard on L.A. stations KIIS-FM, KLSX and KABC, as well as WABC/New York prior to joining KRLA, is part of a trio that also includes Elisha Krauss and Ben Shapiro. Both have also agreed to remain alongside Whitman (pictured at left with his co-hosts) on AM 870′s Morning Answer … Eric Nadel — now in his 35th year of broadcasting for Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers — has been named as the 2014 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually to a broadcaster who has made “major contributions to baseball.” Nadel will join a pretty darn exclusive club that started in 1978 with the induction of Mel Allen and Red Barber and includes Hall of Fame legends Vin Scully, Curt Gowdy, Harry Caray, Ernie Harwell, Bob Uecker, Tim McCarver and more. Nadel will be honored during next July’s MLB Hall of Fame Weekend in Cooperstown, NY … Available-on-demand Talk radio host and recovering politician J.D. Hayworth will bat clean-up for Mike Huckabee starting tomorrow, hosting live shows on most days through the rest of the year, as Cumulus Media Networks winds down production of Huck’s two-year nationally syndicated radio venture.
There’s still time for your station to sign up to air the Fisher House Foundation’s 3rd annual holiday radio special The Gift. Cumulus Media Networks VP/Affiliate Sales Ron Rivlin is handling all last-minute requests to lock-in the three-hour holiday tribute to America’s military men and women, and join the ranks of News/Talkers already committed including KOGO/San Diego, WLS/Chicago, WOOD/Grand Rapids, KQTH/Tucson, WPHT/Philadelphia, WOKV/Jacksonville, KENI/Anchorage, WELI/New Haven and more. Click HERE to find out more about how you can help Fisher House provide temporary housing and other life comforts to the families of veterans who are recovering from war injuries at military medical facilities nationwide … Mark MacGregor has been named as the new VP/Affiliate Sales at Business TalkRadio Network and Lifestyle TalkRadio Network. The 25-year media veteran, who has previously served in the same capacity at MyFamily TV, FamilyNet and ETC Television, will report to BTRN and LTRN President Jeff Weber … Legendary television and radio entertainer and FOX Sports’ Crowd Goes Wild host Regis Philbin (pictured) will return as the host of SiriusXM’s Bing Crosby Christmas Radio, a limited-run 24/7 holiday channel devoted to the American entertainment icon who is synonymous with classic holiday entertainment. Available exclusively to the satcaster’s subscribers from December 20th-26th, the pop-up channel will feature vintage shows and specials spanning some 20 years of Bing’s legendary radio career.
Pictured enjoying themselves at the recently held WGN/Chicago holiday party are (l-r): Late night host Pete McMurray (wearing his formal black and white Santa suit for the occasion), WGN Radio head-honcho Jimmy “Deacon” deCastro (striking his very best ‘Dr. Evil’ pose) and recently named WGN Executive Producer Scott Miller (sporting a jacket that would absolutely not look out of place at a performance by The Temptations).
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Current WIP-AM & FM/Philadelphia Program Director Jeff Sottolano has been upped to Director of Programming for CBS Radio, a new position from which he will offer support to the company’s 27 major market PD’s and help to drive overall growth for CBS’ 126 radio stations. “Jeff has consistently and successfully answered every challenge he’s faced during his career at CBS Radio,” said EVP/Programming Chris Oliviero in a release announcing Sottolano’s move up the corporate ladder. “With such diverse format experience and a respected reputation, both in and outside our company, I have no doubt he is ready to tackle this exciting and critical next chapter. Jeff will be a great complement to our corporate programming team.” Sottolano joined CBS Radio in 2001 at WZNE/Rochester, rising from intern to Program Director and on-air personality during his tenure with the station. In 2006 he moved to WYSP/Philadelphia, where he was promoted to PD in 2008 and also was instrumental in launching Danny Bonaduce’s morning show that same year. In 2011 he assumed programming oversight at WIP when the heritage AM Sports/Talker launched an FM simulcast on WYSP as ‘SportsRadio 94 WIP.’ Sottolano also created the lineup for Phillies 24/7, the WOGL-HD4 channel dedicated to all things Philadelphia Phillies. In his new New York City-based gig, Sottolano (pictured) will also be charged with “maintaining ongoing communication with external industry and charitable organizations,” as well as “working closely with the division’s digital media business to ensure a seamless cross-platform product and brand experience.”
FOX Sports Radio is celebrating the pending one year anniversary of the network’s daily syndicated Jay Mohr Sports, with the launch of Jay Mohr Sports 24/7 on iHeartRadio. Available to users of the iHeartRadio app under the ‘Live Radio’ section of Clear Channel’s digital radio platform, the new venture will make Mohr’s daily national radio show available to his fans around the clock. With a career that has spanned over three decades, Mohr has always pushed himself to be more than just a stand-up comic, with two bestselling books, 25 feature film roles and over 200 network television credits under his belt. A year ago, he took on the challenge of daily Sports/Talk radio, debuting as the host of Jay Mohr Sports on FOX Sports Radio. Airing Monday-Friday, from noon-3pm (ET), Premiere Networks reports that Mohr’s show reaches an estimated 1.3 million monthly listeners on some 150 affiates nationwide. ”This channel is about the fans and giving them 24/7 access to the show wherever they are,” said Mohr about the new brand extension for his program. “I’m so happy to be able to share this with listeners in celebration of the upcoming one-year anniversary of Jay Mohr Sports!”
In a new report entitled Key Digital Trends for 2014, eMarketer.com predicts that the New Year will be the year that “marketers master the art of engaging with media multi-taskers, often via social media.” Noting that “always on means always social,” eMarketer’s report says that increasingly fragmented, multiscreen consumption “has left marketers struggling to keep up or get a word in edgewise,” adding that social media “appears to be the glue that binds together the experience of multiple device usage.” The digital media researcher and trend watcher also says that 2014 will see social media increase its share of digital media ad spending to some 12% in the U.S. next year, and 9% worldwide — that up some 2% over last year. In a comment that should be of interest to all Talk radio programmers and on-air personalities eMarketer says, “The big shift is the water cooler conversation that once took place the next day at the office now takes place online, in real time.” Read an executive summary of the report and learn how you can get access the full study HERE.
News that’s been quietly buzzing in DC’s back hallways of power for the past few months, suddenly got a spotlight shown on it today as numerous media outlets picked up on a letter sent to new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in which 16 members of Congress — including House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) — voiced their concerns over a proposed ‘study’ by the Commission that some are calling Fairness Doctrine 2.0. Signees to the letter say the proposed FCC field study shows a “startling disregard” for freedom of the press, and labels the process as “wrong and unconstitutional.” Read the congressional reps’ letter to Wheeler HERE … With the previously announced retirement of longtime Clear Channel/Syracuse VP and Market Manager Joel Delmonico at the end of this year, the company has named 38-year market veteran Rick Yacobush to succeed Delmonico as of January 1st. Yacobush previously served CC’s Syracuse cluster for 26 of those 38 years in a variety of rolls, including Account Manager, General Sales Manager and Director of Sales … Premiere Networks’ 24/7 Comedy, the syndicated 24-hour all comedy format, celebrates the holidays with “The 12 Days Of Fluffy,” hosted by comedian Gabriel Iglesias. From December 14-27 (OK, so it’s really 13 days, but who’s counting?) listeners will get a “peek behind the stage persona of the internationally acclaimed comedian” along with select tracks from his new Comedy Central DVD special, Aloha Fluffy. That’s Iglesias pictured signing a Christmas ornament as part of 24/7 Comedy’s Blue Balls of Christmas contest, where listeners can enter to win a shiny blue holiday ornament signed by their favorite comedian to hang on their tree.
Jerry Bader, National Director of News/Talk Programming for Midwest Communications, checks in to report that the company is on the hunt for a Brand Manager to take the field at WNFL/Green Bay. “Bart, Vince, Brett, Aaron … If at this point you’re not wondering about last names for these people, and have a passion for all sports that is equaled only by your passion for making great radio, keep reading,” emails Bader. “Midwest Communication’s WNFL is looking for a Brand Manager who can bring a major league sound to Sports/Talk radio. We offer a competitive salary and full benefits package.” Email your resume and MP3 audio aircheck to Bader HERE. (EOE). Look for additional “Gig Alerts” in this Friday’s special year-end news wrap edition of NTS MediaOnline Weekly.