WWE superstar Daniel Bryan paid a recent visit to WFAN/New York’s Boomer & Carton morning show, where he shared some laughs with hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton and talked about his career in the ring, his marriage to Bella Twin, Brie Bella his new autobiography, Yes! My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania.
We wrap up this week’s news from the world of Talk radio pretty much the same way it began, as feedback and comments from broadcasters on the PPM/Voltair controversy continue to pour into our email box. Late yesterday (7/23) Orban — the folks behind the Optimod audio processor (and a competitor of Telos Alliance affiliate 25-Seven, the company behind the Voltair processor) — issued a press release saying in part: “Some have argued that Voltair is ‘just another form of audio processing.’ However, we believe that there is an essential and fundamental difference between audio processing (like that done by our Optimods) that increases the opportunity of the Nielsen encoder to insert audibly undetectable watermark tones, and processing that directly manipulates the level of the watermark, potentially breaking Nielsen’s psychoacoustic masking model and allowing the tones to become audible. Based on their testing, Nielsen concluded that Voltair can degrade perceptual quality. In an environment where traditional radio is suffering ever-increasing competition from new media, we believe that it is unwise for radio to degrade its audio in an internecine battle whose ultimate winner could be non-broadcast providers.” Showing support for Nielsen’s position on the issue, Orban’s release continues, “Because Nielsen is a large, global business that depends on producing credible audience measurements, we expect that it will soon solve any problem (if it actually exists) by making improvements to its encoder. Accordingly, we have decided not to add processing to Optimods that directly manipulates the Nielsen watermark signal because we expect that any such effort would degrade audio quality and would soon be rendered obsolete by Nielsen’s encoder improvements.” Orban notes that while it’s Optimod processor is compatible with Voltair, the company is urging “caution” on the use of its competitor’s product by stations.
Meanwhile FiveThirtyEight.com’s Carl Bialik writes that this week’s Nielsen webinar didn’t come close to resolving the Voltair controversy for broadcasters. “The ratings giant’s message — based on a recording I heard and slides I saw — was (I’m paraphrasing): ‘We’ve tested Voltair. It doesn’t seem to affect ratings much. Our ratings are fair and accurate. We’ll improve our technology later this year.'” According to Bialik, Nielsen’s tests did reveal at least one format that might be drawing the short straw from PPM. “Voltair made it more likely for one particular type of radio Nielsen tested to be counted: TALK Radio, played at a hushed volume (roughly one-fourth the volume of an ordinary conversation) with background noise of about the same volume. Nielsen said that doesn’t necessarily mean PPMs aren’t doing their job, noting those conditions might make Talk radio inaudible for many listeners, in which case it shouldn’t always be counted.” Read more HERE.
On today’s edition of Salem Radio Network’s syndicated Mike Gallagher Show, host Mike Gallagher lamented that despite the numerous GOP presidential hopefuls who have appeared on his radio show one voice was still MIA — Donald Trump. So when his producer alerted him to a caller on hold who might be, or might not be ‘The Donald’ Gallagher immediately picked up the phone for an exclusive live interview. During a wide ranging discussion of issues, the real or faux Trump continually misidentified Gallagher, calling him ‘Greta,’ ‘Martha‘, ‘Shep‘ and numerous other familiar names. Asked if he’ll run as an independent should he not get the GOP nomination, Gallagher’s special caller replied, “All I would say is, be nice to Donald Trump if you’re a Republican. Don’t make funny faces at me, don’t call me names, and don’t make fun of my hair. And by the way, I’m a very sexy man, let’s call it what it is, I have raw, unbridled sex appeal and people see that.” Hear Gallagher’s full, unedited call with “Trump” HERE.
Longtime SoCal radio personality Doug Steckler (left) reports he’s stepping away from his weekly Friday night gig as co-host of KFI/Los Angeles’ Tim Conway Jr. Show after a four-year run. “We had more fun than should be legal,” said Steckler, who previously co-hosted the popular Conway & Steckler Show with Tim Conway, Jr. from 1996-2005 on now defunct L.A. FM talker KLSX. “All good things must come to their finish and it’s always better — if still difficult — to get out while you can still hear the laughter.” Doug can be reached through his rep Jason Insalaco HERE … WBAL/Baltimore re-enlists with the Naval Academy Athletic Association, inking a four-year contract extension that will keep the News/Talker as the flagship radio outlet for Navy Football … Red Zebra Broadcasting hires Craig Hoffman as the new Redskins Beat Reporter for ESPN 980/Washington. Craig most recently served as a host/update anchor for 103.3 FM ESPN/Dallas.
Westwood One is seeking a well-rounded Content Marketing and Design Manager to join our content marketing team. We’re looking for someone with a proven track record creating and distributing compelling content marketing pieces that rise above the competition, inspires others to take action and drive lead generation. The ideal candidate will have a positive attitude, efficient project management skills, pro-active thinking, hustle, and prior experience crafting engaging content marketing campaigns. Get full job requirements and details on how to apply HERE. (EOE)
• Adam McManus has recently guest-hosted on KFMB/San Diego, KMJ/Fresno and other great Talk stations. KMJ PD Blake Taylor said, “Adam McManus did a great job filling in at KMJ. Lots of energy and thought-provoking topics. Generated tons of calls!” Need a local host? Need a fill-in host? Email Adam McManus HERE.
• Hearst Television is seeking a Chief Engineer for the company’s Baltimore radio stations — News/Talk WBAL-AM and Rocker WIYY-FM. You will need at least 5+ years in radio engineering under your tool belt, along with transmitter maintenance experience, knowledge of broadcast automation (WideOrbit automation preferred), a resume that includes prior leadership and management roles, and experience with annual budgeting and capital planning. Learn more details and get instructions on how to apply for this major market position HERE. (EOE)
Midwest Communications is on the hunt for an Advertising Sales/Marketing Consultant for its four Sheboygan, WI stations, including heritage News/Talker WHBL. Media sales experience is not required but previous outside sales experience is an asset. Being well versed in business, having good presence and being a strong communicator is essential to the position. We provide extensive training and a competitive compensation plan with full benefits. To apply, e-mail your cover letter and resume to Market Manager/General Sales Manager Steve Schouten HERE. (EOE)
Got a gig open? Seeking your next opportunity? Email details and contact information to us HERE and NTS MediaOnline Today will publish your information free-of-charge as a service to all Talk media industry professionals.
WBAL/Baltimore Program Director Scott Masteller wisely grabbed this once-in-a-lifetime office wall souvenir with legendary rocker Joe Walsh, when the Eagles’ summer concert tour rolled into The Charm City this week.
In the aftermath of Nielsen’s webinar earlier this week to address questions about its PPM technology and the controversy surrounding the Voltair audio processor, many NTS MediaOnline Today readers have been emailing us feedback. Here are just a few samples of some of the comments we’ve received:
Gabe Hobbs — longtime radio programming executive and Gabe Hobbs Media founder writes, “OK, maybe I’m being a little dense here but I find it highly amusing that Nielsen is just now trying to determine what ‘true listening’ really is. Almost as funny is the fact they plan to address that very issue with the MRC and COLRAM. This goes back to the ‘listened to’ versus ‘hear’ question, or ‘active listening’ versus ‘passive listening.’ There isn’t a device in this world that can measure that. You would need to either give the respondent a follow-up pop quiz to see if they can recall enough of what they heard to be validated, or have someone actually watch them — and even that would have a fair amount of subjectivity. It’s just a ridiculous notion. Hopefully they can at least tell us what media a person is exposed to, but trying to determine ‘true listening’ is something entirely different. Under at least one definition of true listening I suspect AC stations (you know, the one everyone can agree on at work) would have a precipitous drop in the ratings.
This is all somewhat reminiscent of Arbitron’s dalliance with ‘aided recall’ versus ‘unaided recall’ in the diary.”
Dave Mason, APD at BCA/San Diego’s 105.7 MAX-FM, checks in to say, “There have always been issues with ratings’ samples, and there probably always will be. But slimming down the sample size and changing the technology — Diary to PPM — certainly didn’t help. Voltair doesn’t add those PPM codes, it (theoretically) just makes them a little more audible to the PPM receiver. Wouldn’t that point out a flaw in the original PPM coding?”
Finally, Glenda Schrader Bos, Managing Director at Harker Research, has posted insights and observations on Nielsen’s recent webinar to the company’s Radio InSights blog saying in part, “The industry needs to demand an open audit with all the data available for clients to read and question. Since the discovery of codes, audibility and detection of these codes is the business that keeps everyone employed, Nielsen needs to do much more than promise it will be better in the 4th quarter. Secrecy up to this point has potentially lost the industry billions of dollars. It is time to insist that Nielsen agree to an audit open to all broadcasters.”
NTS MediaOnline Today will continue to follow this important industry story as new information develops. Meanwhile, your comments continue to be welcomed, on-the-record or anonymously on request, HERE.
CBS Radio has made management moves and changes in several of it’s markets. In a memo to staffers, newly minted company COO Scott Herman reports that KYW/Philadelphia VP/GSM David Yadgaroff has been upped to SVP/Market Manager in the City of Brotherly Love, succeeding Marc Rayfield, who was recently named to replace Herman as SVP/Market Manager for CBS Radio/New York. Veteran manager Steve Carver returns to the company as SVP/Market Manager for its Miami and Orlando clusters, as Joe Bell and Dave Robbins exit, respectively. In Las Vegas, SVP/Market Manager Jerry McKenna exits, replaced in that role by current VP/DOS Tony Perlongo. Meanwhile, CBS Radio/Boston SVP/Market Manager Mark Hannon will add management oversight of the company’s Hartford, CT stations, as current Market Manager Suzanne McDonald retires; and Mike Valenzuela is upped to SVP/Market Manager and DOS for CBS’ Riverside, CA stations, with current manager and longtime broadcast management veteran Harvey Wells headed back home to Chicago to be closer to family.
The independently syndicated Dave Ramsey Show checks in at another major market affiliate, as Dave (right) joins the lineup at Entercom News/Talker WRKO/Boston, where he’ll air 7-10pm (ET) weeknights, beginning Monday (7/27). Ramsey’s show now airs on a reported 550+ stations nationwide … WOLF/Syracuse flips from Classic Hits to Sports/Talk as the new FOX Sports 1490. The station is airing the full roster of FSR shows … BizTalkRadio and BizTV have debuted a new five-minute top-of-the-hour news service that features segments devoted to news headlines, market reports/business headlines and business stories. Little Rock-based Independent News Network is producing the new BizTalkNews that will be available to affiliates daily from 9am-5pm (ET) … WIBC-FM/Indianapolis adds Radio America’s syndicated Chad Benson Show to its Monday-Friday lineup. Benson (left) takes the nightly 7-9pm slot on the Emmis News/Talker … Compass Media Networks picks up syndication rights to the WOAI/San Antonio-based Joe Pags Show, which airs weeknights from 5-8pm (CT). Pags also hosts Premiere Networks nationally syndicated The Weekend with Joe Pags … Envision Networks updates and upgrades the Cleveland-based syndicator’s website, featuring “improved navigation” for both existing and new affiliates. The network has also announced that its EnvisionVirtualServices is now offering Spanish-language news reports, featuring bilingual anchor Carina Garcia.
On his way out the door at ESPN Radio, Colin Cowherd gave major props to the network he’s called home for the past ten years and also gave a shout-out to former ABC Radio Network exec John McConnell during the Wednesday edition of The Herd. Cowherd (right), who replaced Tony Kornheiser on ESPN Radio a decade ago, said he still marvels that out of all the big league hosts in Sports radio the network could have picked for the job, “They chose me — a guy from a small market — nobody had heard of me. A guy flew into Portland, we got a rare snowstorm, and he was stuck there for four days. John McConnell listened to me and he recommended me. And it’s been the best 10 years of my life.” Cowherd is reportedly headed to FOX Sports … Tim McCarthy, most recently National Sales Manager for San Diego’s KUSI-TV, is joining crosstown Broadcast Company of the Americas (BCA) as Director of Sales. In his new gig McCarthy will oversee sales for BCA Sports/Talkers The Mighty 1090 AM and ESPN 1700, and Classic Hits 105.7 Max FM, reporting to President/Market Manager Mike Glickenhaus … Red Zebra Broadcasting Sports/Talker WTEM (ESPN 980)/Washington, DC signs former Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis as an analyst for the upcoming NFL season. Portis will appear every Monday on the station’s afternoon show, The Drive with Cooley Czabi and Galdi, and will also co-host a monthly one-hour Redskins’ talk show during the pro-football season.