Digital Media News Notes
August 25, 2015

Wes Teska is named Director of Interactive Design for Alpha Media. Most recently Creative Director for New Point Digital in Charleston, SC, in his new gig Teska (left) will be charged with design and management of all Alpha Media web products, social destinations and live event venues … Mobile audio service TuneIn launches TuneIn Premium, a new $7.99 a month subscriber service that includes a multi-year partnership with MLB, giving users access to every home, away, and Spanish feed for every game, along with 600+ commercial-free music stations and unlimited access to 40,000 audiobooks. TuneIn Premium debuts today in the U.S., the UK, and Canada.

All That “Taz”
August 24, 2015

Beginning September 14th, CBS Radio will debut The Taz Show: Bodyslam & Beyond, a new show featuring pro-wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Taz (right) that will be available exclusively for audio and video streaming on CBS’ Play.it podcast network. Co-hosted and produced by Seth Neiman, The Taz Show will be live from 7-9am (ET), Monday-Friday, and available on-demand daily beginning at 10am. “The world of sports entertainment is well-known for its colorful characters and no doubt Taz is one of the most opinionated and passionate of all time,” said Chris Oliviero, Executive Vice President of Programming, CBS Radio. “His unique personality along with his fanatical fan base make Taz the perfect personality to help build this new content platform.”

Digital Talk Media News Notes
August 18, 2015

Congratulations to longtime Talk radio broadcaster and streaming radio pioneer Tom Leykis, who has been nominated in the ‘Best Podcast’ category of L.A. Weekly’s annual ‘Best of L.A.” poll. It’s the second consecutive nomination for Leykis (left) in the category, who shares this year’s nominations with two other podcasts — WTF with Marc Maron and To The Manor Born By Robots … GABNet, the digital Talk radio venture founded by legendary radio personality Alex Bennett, gets its own channel on Roku. The new GABNet (short for ‘Great American Broadcast Network’) channel can be found on the Roku menu under “new” and “comedy” … Midroll Media, the podcast network recently acquired by E.W. Scripps — has relaunched its Howl app, which offers paid subscription access to archived material from many popular podcasts. So, is the new updated Howl — as some proclaim — “the Netflix of podcasting?” Learn more HERE.

Grabien Introduces “LiveClipper”
August 17, 2015

News-clipping service Grabien has introduced what it characterized in a company release as “an exciting new tool that will revolutionize media production.” Called the LiveClipper, the feature enables users to tune into a live news event, follow a transcript scrolling in real time, and create clips by highlighting anything in the transcript they would like to create a clip of. Users can choose between MP3, 720 HD, and 1080 HD. The company, which was initially launched to help Talk radio producers more easily share audio clips, says the LiveClipper will enable on-air radio shows to cover breaking news without extra manpower. “We designed this with talk radio producers specifically in mind,” said Grabien CEO Tom Elliott. “But I also know the importance for online news sites of being first the first up with a much-discussed clip. It’s the difference between having the post everyone links to, or the one everyone’s already seen and is old news.” Grabien bills itself as the world’s first online marketplace for professionally edited, crowd-sourced news multimedia. Watch a demo of LiveClipper HERE.

Mass Appeal Model Vs. March Of Technology
August 12, 2015

In a new post to his company’s Navigate The Future blog, Bridge Ratings President and veteran broadcaster Dave Van Dyke proclaims, “Broadcast radio’s problems are generally not founded in poor marketing, unpopular programming or bad perception.” Van Dyke (right) thinks the underlying issue is actually a massive cultural change that is occurring — one that threatens radio’s traditional mass appeal business model. “It just might be that the age of technology, where everything — entertainment, food, insurance and even pets — can be customized, personalized and tweaked, is making the consumer’s world one where the concept of mass appeal is rapidly disintegrating.” So does Dave have any thoughts on what radio should be doing in the face of this threat? Read more HERE.

Talk And Media News Notes
August 12, 2015

Have you ever worked at WOWO/Ft. Wayne? The Federated Media-owned News/Talker is producing a 90-minute radio documentary to celebrate the heritage outlet’s colorful 90-year broadcast history. “We’re looking for either former employees, or anyone that has a fond story of the station, to share their memory and contribute their voice to the project,” says current WOWO Program Director Ryan Reker, who also notes anyone wishing to participate should reach out to him directly via email HERE … AdLarge Media will participate in the first-ever Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Podcast Upfront Showcase, a special one-day (9/10) marketplace for advertisers and media buyers to preview the latest in innovative podcast programming from some of the biggest names in the digital audio arena. Learn more HERE …The South Carolina Broadcasters Association posthumously honors former longtime WORD/Greenville host Russ Cassell with the group’s 2015 STAR Award for ‘Personality of the Year.’ Cassell — described by his colleagues as ‘the heart and soul” of WORD for more than 20 years — died suddenly last October after suffering a heart attack at age 60.

New Mobile App ‘GunDealio’ Launched
August 11, 2015

Forbes gives the full-feature treatment to the new mobile app GunDealio, created by Gun Talk host Tom Gresham (left) and his son Ryan. Forbes reports that the iOS and Google app uses geo-targeting to introduce shooters to deals on guns, ammo and accessories at nearly 2,400 independent and big box locations, including retailers like Cabelas and Bass Pro. Since the app went live in June, it’s already been downloaded over 10,000 times. Once the app reaches critical mass, Gresham’s plan is to use GunDealio to help independent gun shops target their local customers more effectively by drawing a geo-fence around geographical markets and sending messages to app users in that area. Gresham’s weekly long running program is syndicated nationwide via Talk Shows USA. Read the full feature HERE.

Will Programmatic Buying Transform Radio?
August 7, 2015

In an interview with eMarketer.com, Marketron President/CEO Jeff Haley (right) talks about bringing programmatic to broadcast radio and shares his expectations for doing so with regard to audience-driven data and real-time delivery. So, just how quickly does Haley see programmatic buying taking hold in the radio space? “By this time next year there will be multiple broadcasters trading inventory programmatically on a spot basis,” he says. “What volume will they be trading? I don’t know yet. There’s certainly interest on the buy side and an air of inevitability about programmatic from the broadcaster side.” Read the full interview with Haley HERE.

Hubbard Invests In PodcastOne
August 3, 2015

Hubbard Radio has acquired a 30% stake in PodcastOne, the Los Angeles-based digital venture founded by pioneering network radio veteran and WestwoodOne founder and Chairman Emeritus, Norm Pattiz, along with Kit Gray. The advertiser-supported podcast network currently hosts shows by a wide variety of personalities, among them Adam Carolla, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Austin, Dan Patrick, Chris Jericho, Penn Jillette, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Shawn and Larry King, Laura Ingraham, Dr. Drew Pinsky and more. “We could not be more pleased and excited to have the chance to collaborate with Norm Pattiz and Kit Gray,” said Ginny Morris, Hubbard Radio Chair and CEO (pictured above with Pattiz and Gray). “These great audio mavericks have a vision that we believe in and are honored to be a part of. Great content always wins, and to make great content available at the convenience of the consumer is a natural evolution — one that our industry is beginning to embrace. It will provide additional options that expand our audience and build the value of our existing assets.”

Former Beck Execs Launch ‘Red Seat Ventures’
July 30, 2015

A group of executives who previously worked with Glenn Beck to help build the Talk radio and TV personality’s successful digital businesses, have partnered to launch a new digital media start-up, Red Seat Ventures. Led by former Mercury Radio Arts President and TheBlaze CEO Chris Balfe (right) and former Blaze President Joel Cheatwood, Red Seat is “designed to build talent and brand-focused digital businesses from the ground up, putting content creators in control of their own destiny.” The new venture — which also includes former Blaze President/COO Carolyn Polke and former Mercury Radio Arts SVP/Publishing Kevin Balfe — will work with talents, agencies, and companies across both traditional and digital platforms. “We actually put our own skin in the game — our time, our resources, and our money — to make the businesses come to life,” says a blog post describing how Red Seat works. The company has already inked two charter clients — Blumhouse Productions and Premiere Networks. Learn more — including the story behind the venture’s unusual name — HERE.