As of last Friday (4/10) ABC News Radio reporter Richard Davies wrapped up a distinguished three-decade career at the network to pursue a new podcast venture, How Do We Fix It? Davies (right) will be joined by fellow journalist and former Popular Mechanics Editor-In-Chief, Jim Meigs as the duo calls on experts and seeks out solutions and positive views on challenging and vital matters of interest to all. “Last year, Richard Davies let me know he was interested in pursuing new opportunities that would allow him to expand his interest in Talk programming,” said ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones. “After more than 30-years with ABC News he will be trying his hand at some new things. But, happily, Richard will not end his relationship with us and, in fact, we are going to work together on some of these new program concepts. Personally, I’ve worked with Richard for over two decades and have always enjoyed his intellectual curiosity and energetic approach to our craft.” An official launch date for Davies’ new podcast venture is pending.
iHeartMedia announces the launch of a programmatic and automated ad buying solution for its broadcast radio stations, powered by cloud-based technology innovator Jelli. In addition, Katz Media Group will also launch a programmatic buying ad exchange for the industry called Expressway from Katz that will also be powered by Jelli. “Programmatic is already an important and expected method of ad buying in the digital space,” said Bob Pittman, iHeartMedia Chairman/CEO. “Now we can bring broadcast radio into that world at a scale no digital audio provider can offer. This new tool will give our sales groups the ability to more deeply partner with an advertiser and bring the best resources, unprecedented accountability and speed allowing us to provide much better service and performance to every client.”
With 2015 being the year that Millennials officially surpass Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation, NTS MediaOnline Today continues our ongoing reports on news about how the media habits of the growing Generation Y will impact the future of spoken-word radio in the decade ahead. eMarketer.com says Facebook is reportedly in talks with “several news publishers” about hosting their news content inside of the social media platform. Millennials would likely approve of such an alliance, as recent research finds the majority log on to Facebook at least daily — often multiple times — to check out the latest news stories and headlines. “According to February 2015 research by The Media Insight Project for the American Press Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago, 57% of US millennials checked Facebook at least once a day to get news and information, with 30% logging on several times a day and 14% doing so nearly constantly. No other social site came close in respondents for this frequency.” Read more HERE.
Larry Blumhagen has been named VP/Director of Sales for CBS Radio/Los Angeles. The 23-year company veteran (right), currently based in San Francisco, will oversee the broadcast and digital sales operations for the six-station Tinseltown cluster that includes heritage all-newser KNX-AM … Veteran Talk radio host Roger Fredinburg has recently signed on to host and produce a daily news and commentary for conservative website News With Views Radio … WTOP/Washington was honored over the weekend with five awards by the Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters, including trophies for reporter Andrew Mollenbeck in the ‘Best Documentary or In-Depth Report’ category for New Arrivals; reporter Megan Cloherty in the ‘Best Feature or Human Interest’ category for A Typical Day Turned Deadly; and Chris Core in the ‘Best Editorial or Editorial Series’ category for his Core Values series … Congrats to Jonathan Brandmeier as his previously reported new Westwood One syndicated show, Talk Unhinged, debuted nationwide today on a reported 100 affiliates, including flagship WLS/Chicago, KABC/Los Angeles; KLIF-AM/Dallas; WWBA/Tampa; KKAT/Salt Lake City; WPRV/Providence; KTBL/Albuquerque and more.
Condolences: To the family, friends and colleagues of former longtime WJR/Detroit GM Mike Fezzey (left) who died over the weekend from an apparent heart attack. He was 58. Fezzey, who joined WJR in 1980, rose to become President/and General Manager of the News/Talker in 1994 — a position he held until 2011 when he left the radio business to become Regional President of Huntington National Bank. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder issued a statement calling Fezzey’s death “a profound loss not just for our business community, but for our state as a whole.” Fezzey is survived by his wife Suzy and three adult children. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Recently, Inc. took its annual look at the best industries to start a business, with a special focus on highlighting some niche sectors that “may not make as many headlines based on revenue, but that have higher-than-usual profit margins.” Among the Top 5 industries in that category cited by Inc. is Fantasy Sports Services. Staff writer Graham Winfrey notes that it’s a business throwing off an estimated 38% profit margin on some $1.4 billion in annual revenues. And he says that IBISWorld predicts Fantasy Sports Services’ revenues will top $2 billion by 2019. Sports stations and Talk stations looking for ways to help expand both traditional and digital revenues through programming would be wise to look at how daily and/or weekly shows and features that target the rapidly growing and lucrative Fantasy Sports industry could play a part in helping you to reach those goals. Read more HERE.
If your station or show isn’t yet using Instagram as one of your social media platforms, you might want to re-think that decision. A new report from eMarketer says the social media photo site has already overtaken Twitter as the second largest social network in America, with a reported monthly U.S. user base of some 64.2 million people. The digital research firm says that by 2018, Instagram’s U.S. user base will top 100 million — reaching 106.2 million that year. “Teens and millennials dominate Instagram’s user base, and through 2019, a majority of the network’s users will be between the ages of 12 and 34,” says eMarketer. “In 2015, 20.3 million U.S. Instagram users, or 26.2% of the total, will fall within the 25-to-34 age group, and that group will maintain the largest portion of the Instagram audience throughout our forecast.” Read the full report HERE.
Former HLN host, broadcast journalist and bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell (left) is launching a new show via Andy Dean’s ConnectPal.com, featuring original, behind the scenes video content from her new venture JaneUnchained.com, which is dedicated to “spread the word about what’s really happening to the planet and the people and animals on it.” … Dr. David Samadi, Chief of Robotic Surgery at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, is named Chief Medical Correspondent for Salem Media Group’s NYC stations, AM 970 The Answer (WNYM) and AM570 The Mission (WMCA) … iHeartMedia has sold it’s former San Antonio headquarters building and will lease back reduced space in the building that was the longtime home of the original Clear Channel Radio under the ownership of pioneering broadcaster Lowry Mays … Along with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s previously announced address to broadcasters at the upcoming NAB Show, the four remaining Commissioners will also be on the bill, with Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, Michael O’Rielly, Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel headlining four separate sessions within the Broadcast Management Conference, April 12th-15th, during the annual confab held in Las Vegas.
As expected, the Federal Communications Commission has passed major new regulations on the Internet that will impact just about any and every American who uses the Internet. On a strictly party-line vote, Democratic commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel sided with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to pass the new rules, while Republican appointed commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Reilly strongly opposed the move. The outspoken Pai pulled no punches, calling it “sad” to witness the Commission replacing Internet freedom with government control, adding that the agency only voted on the new rules due to intrusion in the FCC process by President Obama. O’Reilly was no less blunt, calling the move a “monumental and unlawful power grab.” Meanwhile, Chairman Wheeler scoffed at the criticism saying, “This plan is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech.” Legal challenges are expected to delay implementation of the newly approved regulations anytime soon. You can view video of the meeting (held earlier today) on CSPAN HERE.
Effective today, WHO/Des Moines afternoon host Simon Conway (left) is now pulling statewide double-duty, adding wake-up hosting chores at iHeartMedia sister News/Talker WMT/Cedar Rapids. Meanwhile, Conway (along with several other Iowa talk hosts) is singled out by Bloomberg as one of the Hawkeye State’s Talk radio “gatekeepers” for GOP presidential hopefuls, as the 2016 race for the nomination and the White House heats up. Read the feature HERE … audioBoom and AdLarge Media partner to launch a new podcast hosted by comedian/actor Russell Brand. The 45-minute show will be available via audioBoom every Wednesday and Sunday, beginning February 25th … In a related news item, an early release from the 2015 Infinite Dial study by Edison Research and Triton Digital reports that the monthly reach of podcasting is now up to 17% of Americans (12+), or approximately 46 million people. Read more about this finding HERE.
Envision Networks launches The John and Leah Show, a weekend talk show offering a look at the week’s news focusing on media, politics, sports and pop culture with hosts John Ziegler and Leah Brandon. The show airs live Sundays at 10pm (ET). Ziegler (pictured) and Brandon previously worked together at KFI/Los Angeles … The Players Tribune — the “athlete inspired media platform” founded by New York Yankees star Derek Jeter — partners with SiriusXM to offer subscribers The Players’ Tribune on SiriusXM, a new show available every Wednesday at 7pm (ET) on the satcaster’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel. Athletes who are editors or contributors to the ‘Tribune’ include Kobe Bryant, Russell Wilson, Matt Harvey, Paul Pierce, Blake Griffin, Julius Thomas, Brandon McCarthy, Sean Avery, Chris Long, Danica Patrick and Shawne Merriman, among others.