That’s Westwood One News correspondents Jim Roope (left) and Bob Costantini reporting from high above the floor of the Republican National Convention inside Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena. The 2016 RNC wraps up tonight with a speech from now official GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Many NTS MediaOnline Today expressed surprise upon receiving our ‘Breaking News’ email yesterday (7/19) reporting that Beasley Broadcast Group has entered into a “definitive agreement” to acquire Greater Media. The transaction, which has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both Beasley and Greater Media, is subject to FCC and other regulatory approvals as well as customary closing conditions. In connection with the acquisition, Beasley will initially acquire 21 radio stations in seven markets including four new markets (Detroit, MI; Middlesex, NJ; Monmouth, NJ; and, Morristown, NJ) and three markets where the Company has existing operations (Philadelphia; Boston; and Charlotte, NC). Upon closing, Beasley’s portfolio of stations that it owns and operates (prior to planned divestitures) is expected to expand to 73 stations (52 FM and 21 AM) in 16 markets. The company reports the acquisition of Greater Media will also push Beasley’s station ownership rankings from 17th to 9th in the nation, based on 2015 revenue numbers.
Commenting on the just announced deal to acquire Greater Media’s radio assets, Caroline Beasley (left) — Interim CEO and CFO of Beasley Broadcast Group — said, “The acquisition of Greater Media’s broadcasting and related digital assets represents a transformational growth opportunity for Beasley and is strategically and financially compelling for our shareholders. The transaction increases our broadcast portfolio by approximately 40% and more than doubles our audience reach, giving us both market leading stations and great brands. Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group’s 55-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of providing our local communities with great entertainment and critical information, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results. Similarly, Greater Media and the Bordes family have a 60-year track record of serving local communities and developing new technology and services to improve media communications. A focus on strong core programming and targeted localism has been the foundation of both companies’ operating philosophies, ratings strength and market leadership. As such, we intend to implement our proven strategy of focusing on local programming and effective digital media marketing solutions across the two companies as well as best practices from our existing operations with those from Greater Media.”
On the other side of the Beasley/Greater Media deal, Peter Smyth (right) — Chairman and CEO of Greater Media — commented, “We share with Beasley a common appreciation for the enduring strength of local radio broadcasting and we are delighted that our stations will become part of Beasley’s expanded footprint. As part of the Beasley portfolio, we believe our stations will be positioned extremely well for future growth and that our team members, customers and the communities we serve will continue to thrive. Our employees have provided the skills and talent necessary to drive our ongoing growth and success over the years and we are proud of this heritage. I am thankful for their hard work and dedication and am confident they will continue to make many valuable contributions as part of a larger organization. I look forward to working with the Beasley team to bring our companies together to realize the power of this compelling combination and ensure a smooth transition.”
Politico.com’s Darren Samuelsohn takes a look back at the Talk radio days of Indiana Governor Mike Pence (left) in the 1990s, and how that experience helped shape the GOP’s 2016 Vice Presidential candidate. “Pence the radio host partnered his screeds against Bill Clinton with pot shots at Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott. The result was a political figure still as stolid as a small-town banker but with a surgeon’s feel for the anti-Washington feelings of the grass-roots midwest — a tea party conservative before there was a tea party,” writes Samuelsohn. Read the full story HERE … Venerable New York City News/Talker WOR 710 AM can now also be heard on FM HD at 104.3 HD2 (WAXQ). The FM simulcast includes all of the iHeartMedia station’s programming, including New York Mets baseball play-by-play … Cox Media Group/Tulsa promotes Mary Garcia to Digital Sales Manager. Garcia joined the stations last year as a Digital Sales Specialist, following a stint at ad agency Sq1. She began her digital advertising career in Dallas as a Senior Digital Analyst at ReachLocal.
Salem Radio Network and SRN News showed up in force at this year’s Republican National Convention, as evidenced by the photo above of the network’s broadcast facility in Cleveland. The full roster of SRN hosts — Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Eric Metaxas, Michael Medved and Larry Elder — are all broadcasting their nationwide radio shows from the RNC this week.
iHeartMedia has staked its claim to the New York skyline with its new presence on one of the city’s most iconic billboards, high atop the old Ruppert Ice House, overlooking the Triboro/RFK Bridge leading into Manhattan and out of The Bronx. The billboard displays the company’s nationally-recognized iHeartRadio logo and is one of only eight brands to grace the historic billboard over the last 80 years. Over 8,000 square feet (the size of 12 traditional roadside billboards) in size, and visible for miles from various vantage points around the city, the billboard will also display a digital LED screen that promotes iHeartMedia’s New York City radio stations (including News/Talk WOR) and upcoming iHM events. The now Clear Channel Outdoor America-owned billboard and the building it stands atop have a long history that dates back to the 1920s.
Cumulus Media/San Francisco signs Bay Area natives Kevin Frandsen, Drew Hoffar and Rudy Ortiz to host Sports/Talker KNBR 1050 AM’s new morning show The Audible. “KNBR 1050 AM’s revamped lineup focuses on an underserved base of sports fans here in the Bay Area,” said KNBR 1050 Program Director and KNBR 680 APD Jeremiah Crowe. “Frandsen, Hoffar and Ortiz are a trio of refreshing and energetic voices aimed at serving a passionate young Bay Area fan base. The three hosts come from very different backgrounds and their unique personalities are a perfect blend of what the new KNBR 1050AM will represent going forward. Bay Area sports fans will find unmatched opinion, insight and humor each morning when they tune in from 6-9am.” The new morning show will debut on Monday, August 8th.
From our ‘Not Exactly Talk Media News’ Department: The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia have announced that legendary Philly rock ‘n roll radio personality Jerry ‘The Geator With The Heater’ Blavat (pictured) will be honored as the 2016 Person of the Year during the Pioneers’ annual Hall of Fame Awards banquet in November. See all of this year’s honorees HERE … Cumulus Media/Colorado Springs promotes Ryan Kaufman to Program Director for Sports/Talk KCSF (Xtra Sports 1300). He assumes the chair previously occupied by Matt Pauley who recently exited for a new post with WTMJ/Milwaukee … Scholarship winners for this year’s Rising Through the Ranks Seminar presented by Radio Advertising Bureau, BMI, and Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) have been selected. Scheduled for August 24th and 25th at the BMI’s Nashville office, this year’s seminar will focus on sales and management techniques; including problem solving, recruiting, hiring and firing, personal brand building and the role of today’s radio manager. Learn more HERE.
NTS MediaOnline Today sends our best wishes to longtime Talk personality Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who returned to her SiriusXM show yesterday (7/18) after an extended vacation with a bombshell announcement. In an emotionally charged opening monologue the pioneering talk host told listeners, “Remember how on that first day of school in September the teacher would ask, ‘What did you do on your summer vacation?’ Well, I had cancer and a mastectomy. That was my summer vacation.” Now on the mend after her successful surgery, Dr. Laura urged her fans to always do what she has always done — eat right, exercise and get an annual medical exam no matter how much you might fear doing so. “Have them check everything, because if they can get it early you’ll have more years to be around to annoy people!” she quipped.
Veteran television sports and entertainment personality Pat O’Brien (left) has been tapped as the new lead anchor for Business Rockstars, taking over for Ken Rutkowski. Distributed nationally to radio via Radio America, Sun Broadcast Group and BizTalk Radio, the multi-platform show aimed at entrepreneurs and business owners airs Monday-Friday from 1-3pm (PT) … With blood banks across the country reporting blood shortages, GCN-synidcated host Dr. Daliah Wachs is spearheading efforts to assist all 50 states to proclaim individual state Blood Donation Days and designate September 4th through 10th as National Blood Donation Week, culminating with National Blood Donation Day on September 10th. Radio stations wishing to host a blood drive and be a part of the event can contact Dr. Daliah HERE … Creative Talent, Inc. inks a sales development agreement with Tampa-based Mixed Martial Arts media company, United Fight Alliance (UFA), to expand the sales and marketing of UFA’s live MMA cage events across the country, on-site promotional vehicles, and commercial advertising and promotional campaigns for UFA’s weekly television show … Talk Shows USA inks several new affiliates for the weekly syndicated Money Pit Home Improvement Show including WBQQ/St. Simons Island, GA; WYRD/Simpsonville, SC; WBGZ/Alton, IL; KELE/Mountain Grove, MO and WPKZ/Fitchburg, MA.