KCBQ/San Diego morning host Mark Larson joins Captain Thom Burke, Commanding Officer of the USS Ronald Reagan on a recent visit to the ship. Larson is an ‘Honorary Plank Owner’ with the aircraft carrier, having been affiliated with CVN 76 and its crew since the ‘flattop’s’ commissioning in 2003. The longtime San Diego radio host has even broadcast live from the ship during during its deployments in the Middle East. The Reagan recently returned to its home port in America’s Finest City after a 14-month major retooling in Washington State.
Free Talk Live host Ian Bernard, a.k.a. Ian Freeman, is part of a group of six citizens being sued by the city of Keene, NH for their practice of doing what has become known as “Robin Hooding” in their hometown. Freeman and his fellow Keene citizens — all reportedly associated with the Free Keene group — regularly patrol city streets to feed expired parking meters, leaving behind a card on the windshield that says, “Your meter expired, however we saved you from the king’s tariffs.” The card is signed by “Robin Hood and his Merry Men” and includes a suggestion to “please consider paying it forward,” giving an address where donations can be sent. The city calls the group’s actions harassment and, according to New Hampshire’s Union Leader, wants the court to prohibit the ‘Robin Hooders’ from coming within 50 feet of parking enforcement officers “during the performance of their employment duties for the city.” Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed “band of merry men” claims to have prevented the issuance of some 4,000 parking tickets since their efforts began, and suggest that it’s not harassment, but lost revenues that are really behind the lawsuit. Stations or shows interested talking with Ian (pictured) about this story can reach him HERE. The nightly Free Talk Live (syndicated via Talk Shows USA) currently airs on a reported 110+ affiliates nationwide.
The Radio Advertising Bureau has launched Finding Consumer Trends (F.C.T.), a new service to help member radio stations sell locally and highlight the buying power of radio listeners coast-to-coast. Developed in conjunction with Presslaff Interactive Revenue, the F.C.T. reports are turn-key online surveys of a station’s audience that provide salable insights and qualified leads on purchase interests in top ad categories. Among the key findings of the latest F.C.T. study (that included 28,000 respondents 18+): The closer listeners get to purchasing or leasing a vehicle, the more important a part radio advertising plays. Also, radio is a top “must-have” in-dash entertainment option for automotive buyers of every age. The RAB and Presslaff will present Data To Drive Your Automotive Sales, a members-only webinar detailing the study, on May 21st at 10am and 3pm (CT). Find out more HERE.
SHALL WE DANCE? We’re not exactly sure what caused Ronda Rousey – the first-ever female UFC fighter — to step out on the floor with FOX Sports Primetime’s Pat O’Brien during a visit to the FOX Sports Radio studios this week, but here’s photo proof of the duo’s spontaneous terpsichore. No word on what dance they were doing, but our guess would be the ‘FOX Trot’ … Dial Global taps former Conde Nast exec Christina Albee as Chief Marketing Officer. Albee will be responsible for the company’s positioning and branding, while overseeing the conception and execution of the company’s advertising, marketing, and communication strategies. She’ll be based in New York City and report to Dial Global CEO Paul Caine … Congrats to Bloomquist Media namesake Randall Bloomquist as his Atlanta-based marketing communications and public relations firm has been honored with two 2013 Communicator Awards for its involvement with A Grateful Nation, the Memorial Day radio show that helped raise awareness and funds for the Fisher House Foundation. A new 2013 edition of A Grateful Nation will air again this coming Memorial Day weekend. Click HERE to reserve the program (distributed via Premiere Networks) for your station.
SiriusXM launches No Labels Radio: A Town Hall With America, a monthly series of town hall style specials produced in conjunction with the bipartisan No Labels political movement. Today’s (5/15) first edition of the show features SiriusXM host Michael Smerconish (pictured) moderating a discussion featuring No Labels honorary co-chairs Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah and former United States Ambassador to China, and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). The monthly show can be heard on the satcaster’s 24/7 ‘Politics Of The United States’ (P.O.T.U.S.) channel.
The Money Pit’s Tom Kraeutler nailed down an interview with legendary NFL quarterback Joe Namath during the recently held National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. ’Broadway Joe’ was there to promote his move from pigskin to prime steaks, with the introduction of Namath NY Steaks and the tailgate-ready Namath Rapid Cooker by EdenPURE. Kraeutler reports the grill is “well-built and uses an infra-red broiler technology to quickly cook steaks at 1400 degrees, keeping the football flare ups out of the parking lot and on the field.”
Commenting on yesterday’s breaking news that the United States Department of Justice had secretly seized both the professional and personal telephone records of news reporters and editors for the Associated Press has prompted a stern rebuke from Vincent Duffy, Chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association, who released the following statement: “This unprecedented invasion of privacy involving confidential information is a blatant violation of basic rights afforded by the First Amendment. This action is unwarranted and absolutely strikes at the heart of the press freedoms we cherish in the United States. These critical freedoms are protected by both the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and have clearly been thrust aside by the federal government through this action. RTDNA is working closely with other media groups to seek answers as to why the Justice Department took such a serious and, in our judgment, blatantly unconstitutional action toward an unknown end. Our efforts are directed toward reversing this assault on these basic and important freedoms.”
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The ongoing war of words between Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey and conservative Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has gone well beyond the confines of the industry media, spilling over to numerous consumer publications in recent days including the DC-based conservative monthly magazine The American Spectator. That’s where today (5/14) contributing editor Jeffrey Lord has posted a lengthy feature suggesting that Rush and his fellow Premiere Networks syndicated conservative talker Sean Hannity are not the reason behind Cumulus’ ad revenue issues, with Lord saying that Dickey is “misreading” the conservative Talk radio audience. “Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and conservative Talk radio are not the problem here,” writes Lord. “The are just the latest, albeit the biggest targets.” Read Lord’s full story HERE.
Seattle radio and television veteran John Curley (pictured) has returned to the lineup at KIRO-FM where he’s now partnered with Andrew Walsh for The John Curley Show with Andrew Walsh, weeknights from 7-10pm. Curley, who spent 14 years hosting Evening Magazine on Seattle’s KING-TV, previously hosted evenings on KIRO followed by a short stint in mornings that ended earlier this year. Meanwhile, Walsh has been with the Bonneville-owned News/Talker since 2010, producing The Ross and Burbank Show, co-hosting the Too Beautiful To Live podcast with Luke Burbank, and hosting a solo evening show since October of 2012. “With John’s comfortable style and story-telling skills he naturally fits well in a night time setting,” said Pete Gammell, KIRO Program Director. “Partner John’s entertaining approach with Andrew’s newsy perspective, and you have a completely new dynamic and compelling show.”
The Board of Directors of the Southern California Broadcasters Association has named industry veteran Thom Callahan to lead the organization as its new President. Callahan (pictured), most recently president of Callahan Communications, previously served as Director of Sales for Los Angeles-based Radiate Media. The 30-year industry pro has also held senior management positions with the Associated Press, CBS Radio, and Metro Networks. He’ll assume his new role with SCBA on June 3rd … BONUS TUESDAY GIG ALERT!! Word out of KFI/Los Angeles is that reporter/anchor Chris Lane is leaving the Clear Channel News/Talker to pursue a non-radio position in Texas. Prior to joining KFI in 2010, Lane served as morning anchor at KFBK/Sacramento for six years. News Director Chris Little reports that Lane’s departure opens the door to a prime opportunity at one of America’s great News/Talk stations. Rush your resume and audio to him HERE. Meanwhile, look for more “Gig Alerts” — as always — on page two of the May 17th edition of our regular Friday feature publication, NTS MediaOnline Weekly.