In the midst of a concerted effort by some in the media to discredit and pronounce yet again the death of Talk radio, it’s nice to come across a story that talks about the incredible ability of the format and its hosts to move product for advertisers. In a feature posted at Forbes.com this week, Carbonite founder and CEO David Friend talks about what he believes helped take his cloud-based storage service from a fledgling start-up to a company that today employs some 425 employees and boasts revenues of $107 million last year. When it came time to market the new service to consumers, Friend says the company put its faith in endorsement spots by Talk radio hosts. “That was another stroke of good luck,” Friend told Forbes’ staff writer Bruce Rogers. “We found out that people who listen to Talk radio, especially conservative talk radio, really trust the hosts. It was a real stroke of brilliance on the part of our marketing VP. Every year we doubled the ad spending which doubled the revenue. That’s how we got to $100 million in sales in just four or five years.” You can read the full story/interview with Friend in Forbes HERE.
Longtime Talk radio and television personality ‘Lionel’ (pictured) will be appearing at New York City’s Cutting Room on May 10th, where he’ll offer the audience his ”unique mixture of spoken word, extreme thought and critical thinking, along with his bluegrass trio Lock ’n Load, for a full evening of entertainment.” Find out more and get tickets to the event HERE … After a career spanning some 40 years, WILK/Wilkes-Barre news anchor Bud Brown hangs up his headphones at Entercom’s northeast Pennsylvania News/Talker. Local TV station WNEP covered his final broadcast yesterday (4/24) HERE … Early bird registration for next fall’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Indianapolis has opened. Make your CFO smile ear-to-ear by saving $100 off your ticket to attend the annual confab by registering before May 30th. Get more details and sign-up HERE … Call-To-Listen provider AudioNow inks a new deal with the Bible Broadcasting Networks to offer 24/7 access to the Christian radio network’s English and Spanish-language programming on any mobile phone in the U.S.
Rush Limbaugh Update: Sources inside Limbaugh’s camp tell NTS MediaOnline Today that the cochlear implant surgery the Talk radio host had last week was “very successful,” but a nagging spring cold has delayed Rush’s return to his Premiere Networks-syndicated program so far this week. TheBlaze Radio Network host Buck Sexton guest-hosted again today, as Rush is reportedly now hoping for a Thursday return to the “Golden EIB microphone” … Speaking of TheBlaze, Premiere Networks has announced it will offer an exclusive three-hour Memorial Day radio special produced by Glenn Beck’s digital radio venture. Freedom: Love It Or Lose It will feature hosts, writers and editors from TheBlaze, including the aforementioned Sexton, along with Jay Severin, Doc Thompson and others. All will pay tribute to those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country, and to the loved ones who support them … Talk Radio On TV: Look for WYM Media Management syndicated talker Leslie Marshall tonight (4/23) when she guests on FOX News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor @ 8 and 11pm (ET).
WHO/Des Moines afternoon host Simon Conway broadcast his show from ‘Jethro’s BBQ ‘n Pork Chop Grill’ last Friday (4/18), to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Conway (pictured) reports the local restaurant kicked in a percentage of their take for the day to help the cause and even named a drink – The Simon Shandy — for him, contributing $2 for each one sold … The Washington Business Journal reports that CBS Radio/Washington, DC will soon move to new digs at The District’s Capitol Riverfront. More HERE … SiriusXM subscribers will be able to hear an exclusive audio simulcast of NBC TV’s Today show, beginning June 26th. NBC’s morning crew made the announcement on today’s program, joking they’re planning to steal some of Howard Stern’s satellite radio audience. Watch HERE.
ESPN Audio has debuted a new podcast series, ESPN Perspectives, dedicated to “in-depth storytelling and provocative conversations.” ESPN Perspectives will offer three original shows that provide listeners an inside perspective on a wide variety of issues in the sports world: Capital Games hosted by ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz and ABC News political director Rick Klein; Inside Out with ESPN commentator Prim Siripipat; and SportsBiz with ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell. “ESPN Perspectives will provide exclusive and thought-provoking content at the intersection where sports influences one’s perspective on topical psychological, business and social stories of consequence,” said Charita Johnson, VP/Production, Digital Audio. “Storytelling has always been a trademark of ESPN and the ESPN Perspectives hosts bring years of experience, knowledge, diverse backgrounds and unmatched passion that will translate into excellent storytelling.”
Rumor out of Des Moines is that changes are up at 98.3 WOW-FM (KWQW). Word is that a name and branding change is imminent at the Cumulus Media FM talker, along with several lineup revisions that are planned by incoming PD Robert Rees, who – according to his Facebook page — will also host a daily show on the station starting April 21st. No official comment from Cumulus folks on the report of the changes that were published over the weekend by RadioInsight’s Lance Venta … Talk radio veteran Tom Leykis, who has been a pretty vocal critic of broadcast radio and has been heard only online and on-demand for the past couple of years, is slated to make a return — albeit briefly — to over-the-air radio this Friday (4/18) when he fills-in for Gil Gross on Clear Channel’s Bay Area talker KKSF/San Francisco from 3-7pm (PT). Leykis tells NTS MediaOnline Today the show will be both “the show I do and the show Gil does” and notes that it will air simultaneously on-air and online at Tom’s website … Speaking of podcasting, the topic gives us as good an excuse as any we could come up with to run the above photo of Robin Antin, the dancer, choreographer and actress most famous for her modern burlesque troupe The Pussycat Dolls. Antin is set to launch her very own podcast tomorrow via Norm Pattiz’ PodcastOne. Along with her brother and “noted stylist” Jonathan Antin, Robin will be joined on her debut podcast by the one and only Kim Kardashian.
In his latest blog post Thom Callahan, President of the Southern California Broadcasters Association — arguably the most automobile-centric region of the country – takes radio readers inside the mind of a large car dealer. Entitled If I Were A Car Dealer, Callahan says the post “was written from three sides of the desk” and adds, “I wanted to highlight Radio’s vast advantages over other media for the auto industry, enlighten our newer sellers on the auto business and how dealers think, and ultimately reach the dealers themselves with a message of value and immediate opportunity to sell more cars and trucks.” Take a mind trip with Callahan (pictured) HERE … SiriusXM will launch The Comedy Cellar Show, a comedy talk show hosted by Noam Dworman, owner of the renowned Comedy Cellar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, and comedian Dan Naturman. Debuting tonight (4/10) at 7pm (ET) on the satcaster’s Raw Dog comedy channel, the show will feature top comedians as guests, engaging in “uncensored roundtable discussions,” along with exclusive stand-up sets, performed by the comedians that same night at the historic venue.
BREAKING NEWS: CBS has announced that Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman as host of The Late Show after Dave makes good on his recently announced retirement sometime next year. Read more details from CBS News HERE.
Cumulus Media taps Ray Mariner as PD of the company’s New Orleans Sports/Talker 106.1 The Ticket and Country cluster mate NASH FM 92.3. Most recently a host on Atlanta Sports radio outlet 680 The Fan, Mariner also served stints as both morning and afternoon drive host at Atlanta’s Star 94. He’s held previous programming positions in Charlotte and Myrtle Beach. Mariner begins his new gig in the Big Easy on April 15th … Entercom/Boston promotes Carlson Mozdiez from Director of Digital Operations to the newly created position of Director/Integrated Media Strategies. First joining Entercom as a promotions coordinator for Sports/Talk WEEI and News/Talk WRKO in 2002, a company release says that Mozdiez (pictured) “has advanced through every facet of Entercom/Boston’s promotion, marketing and digital structure.” In his new role Mozdiez will be responsible for the development and execution of all customer-facing brand messaging including live events, contesting and promotions, external advertising, Web sites, video and social media … Chris Kirchner has been named Sales Manager at Sports/Talker 97.5 The Fanatic (WPEN-FM/Philadelphia). Kirchner has been with Greater Media’s Philly stations over the past 20 years. He previously served as the General Sales Manager at WMGK-FM, where he’s succeeded by Philly sales veteran Dave Scopinich, who rejoins the company after spending most of the past decade in a similar role at crosstown CBS Radio News/Talker WPHT and Oldies WOGL.
BRAGGIN’ RIGHTS: Congrats to the crew at CBS Radio News/Talk WBZ-AM/Boston and television sister WBZ-TV on being honored with a 2013 George Foster Peabody Award for overall excellence for the media outlets’ combined coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. See all of the winners of the 73rd Peabody Awards HERE … In other news from CBS Radio, the company’s digital division has launched a newly upgraded Radio.com website and streaming player. Along with online access to the full roster of CBS radio stations — including their News, Talk and Sports outlets from coast-to-coast — the newly redesigned site has improved discovery across audio, live and on-demand video and editorial content, and an enhanced directory making it easier to interact with favorite stations … TheBlaze, the 24/7 news, opinion and entertainment network founded by Glenn Beck, announced today that it has been added to Cable ONE, America’s 11th largest cable operator, giving the network distribution on 54 television providers nationwide … Dan Davis will provide coverage through all four rounds of the upcoming 2014 Masters Tournament for ESPN Radio. Davis’ in-play reports will run during SportsCenter updates twice an hour throughout the professional golf classic held in Augusta, GA.
Controversial talk team Opie & Anthony will celebrate their 20th year together this month with a special edition of their Unmasked comedy series, live from the New York City comedy nightclub Caroline’s. Unmasked will give fans and listeners an opportunity to see Greg ‘Opie’ Hughes and Anthony Cumia, along with comedian Jim Norton, as well as a special lineup of guest comedians, live and in person. The show will be available to the satcaster’s subscribers on Thursday, April 17th, at 4pm (ET) on SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony Channel and its Raw Dog Comedy Hits channel. The duo moved to the uncensored world of satellite radio in 2004 following a tumultuous run in broadcast radio that included stints in Boston and New York – as well as in national syndication — that produced a number of indecency run-ins with the FCC. In 2006, CBS Radio brought O&A back to broadcast radio for a brief run, where they hosted an “FCC compliant” show from 6-9am followed by an uncensored satellite radio show from 9-11am. Today Opie & Anthony are heard exclusively on SiriusXM from 6:30-10:30am (ET) weekdays. “We want to toast Opie & Anthony on reaching this milestone and for being one of the most outrageous and daring duos in all of Talk radio,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer. “We’ve been proud to give Opie & Anthony the freedom to give fans and listeners their intense, edgy talk and uncensored comedy and we are thrilled to have our listeners across the country celebrate their decades in radio with an evening that will be, without a doubt, an outrageous and unpredictable show.”