WMAL Expands To DC’s FM Band
September 19, 2011

In the first big change implemented by Cumulus Media since its acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting last week, News/Talker WMAL/Washington adds a 24/7 simulcast on 105.9 FM, formerly home to classic rocker WVRX. A release from Cumulus makes no bones that the move is being made in an effort to “compete directly with the nation’s highest grossing radio station” which is, of course, Hubbard Radio-owned all-newser WTOP-FM. “By expanding our successful brand to the FM dial, we will be a viable listening and advertising option for many more people in the Washington area”, said WMAL President/GM Jeff Boden. “There are many potential listeners who never listen on AM, and we are now making programs of wide interest available to the largest possible audience.” Those programs include local veteran Chris Plante and WMAL’s Morning Majority (Brian Wilson, Mary Katherine Ham and Bryan Nehman), along with Premiere Networks syndicated Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Cumulus Media Networks syndicated Mark Levin.

Six More Good Reasons To Attend TMC/TSBC
September 19, 2011

Here are six more great reasons to attend the upcoming 2011 Talk Media Conference & Talk Show Boot Camp (October 27-29) in Dallas, and they’re all from just one session — our 2nd annual Arbitron News/Talk/Sports “Fly In.” As the opening event at TMC/TSBC 2011, on Thursday, October 27th, this special extended, interactive session — open exclusively to registered attendees — will cover a host of hot topics of specific interest to all News/Talk/Sports professionals:

An update on News, Talk, Public and Sports radio’s top performers across the PPM markets, revealing the top performing stations in each of these categories and details on the metrics that drive their success.

When it comes to ratings, every minute counts — especially in the PPM world. Find out why and how it could boost your ratings starting tomorrow.

AM to FM: What happens when large AM brands move over to FM. We’ll examine both established and brand-new simulcasts and frequency moves to find out what happens to the audience after the change.

As another Presidential election year looms, find out how listeners to the various spoken-word formats line up on the political spectrum.

Learn how consumers are accessing media through the myriad of digital devices in the Infinite Dial 2011, presented by Larry Rosin of Edison Research.

“Is PPM fair to News/Talk?” It’s a question many have asked and we’ll give you the answer during this special segment. Moderated by Arbitron’s Ron Rodrigues, panelists will include Tyler Cox, WBAP/Dallas; Dan Bennett, Cumulus/Dallas; Jim Farley, WTOP Washington; and Jon Miller, Arbitron.

The Arbitron News/Talk/Sports “Fly-In” is guaranteed to send you home with a wealth of information that you really need to know, so be sure to arrive early because this is one TMC/TSBC 2011 event you can’t afford to miss! Don’t delay, check out our full agenda, get hotel reservation info and register for Talk radio’s biggest annual gathering HERE.

Smerconish Urges Expanding Talk Radio’s Tent
September 19, 2011

In an address to broadcasters at last week’s NAB Radio Show in Chicago, Dial Global syndicated talker and WPHT/Philadelphia personality Michael Smerconish urged attendees to make room for “moderate” talk shows along with those that lean all right and all left. Bemoaning the current state of partisanship and political polarization in America, Smerconish argued that it’s time for Talk radio to alter its business model, an issue he also raised in a post-speech column that appeared in yesterday’s (9/18) Philadelphia Inquirer. “A Wall Street Journal-NBC News survey conducted at the end of August found that 40% of Americans said their general approach to issues is moderate,” writes Smerconish. “Indeed, the only people whose politics align perfectly with the right- and left-wing litmus tests are those discussing current events on radio and cable television. In my experience, most people are conservative on some points, liberal on others, and haven’t reached an opinion on the rest. But you’d never know they exist from listening and watching the media today, which extend themselves not to the middle, but to the extremes.” Read more of what Smerconish had to say on the subject HERE. And look for him to defend his position in person at the upcoming Talk Media Conference & Talk Show Boot Camp, October 27-29, in Dallas.

Talk Media News Notes
September 19, 2011

WABC/New York host and Cumulus Media Networks syndicated personality John Batchelor (pictured) is broadcasting live from Israel this week, offering the latest news and analysis from Jerusalem during the expected U.N. General Assembly vote for Palestinian statehood, despite Israeli and U.S. opposition … Casey Hendrickson segues from his most recent gig at KDOX/Las Vegas to mornings at 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel (WTRC/South Bend). He assumes the chair most recently occupied by Matt Patrick, now morning co-host at KTRH/HoustonArbitron has released the September 2011 RADAR report, showing that network radio reaches over 190 million Persons 12+ on a weekly basis. The company has posted RADAR Radio Network Rankings for Persons 18-49 and 25-54 HERECondolences: To the family and friends of former WCCO/Minneapolis co-host Eleanor Mondale who died Saturday following a lengthy battle with brain cancer. She was 51 … Sincere sympathies also go out to the friends and colleagues of longtime KYW/Philadelphia reporter Jack O’Rourke who died suddenly on Saturday morning after covering a Philadelphia Phillies game for the CBS Radio all-newser on Friday night. He was 80.

OAB Gets “Stoned”
September 19, 2011

ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone was the featured keynote speaker at this past weekend’s annual meeting of the Oregon Association of Broadcasters held in Bend. Pictured following his address at this year’s OAB gathering are (l-r): OAB President Bill Johnstone, Stone, and Clear Channel/Portland VP Robert Dove. In other news from the OAB’s weekend confab, Alpha Broadcasting News/Talker KXL-FM/Portland was named “Station of the Year,” while longtime station host Lars Larson took home honors for “Best Radio Personality.”