Digital Talk Media News Notes
July 29, 2014

Apple is reportedly making a $30 million acquisition of News/Talk radio and podcast app Swell. Described as being to Talk radio what Pandora is to music radio, Concept.io’s Swell app allows users to create personalized stations using streaming content from the app’s participating partners. Get more details from the Wall Street Journal’s Lizette Chapman HERETechCrunch.com’s Darrell Etherington reports that NPR is rolling out NPR One, a new app designed to deliver NPR’s programming “in a way that combines the benefits of both streaming and terrestrial radio.” TechCrunch reports the app — which combines streams of NPR’s news broadcasts with curated news stories to satisfy individual users’ specific tastes — is separate from NPR’s existing mobile offerings and is available free at the App Store and via Google Play. Read more details HERE.

Digital Media News Notes
July 22, 2014

AdsWizz, an advertising technology provider for the digital radio and audio industries, and Clear Channel’s digital radio platform iHeart Radio have formed a partnership to develop a new delivery insertion method for targeted ads in live broadcast radio streams. AdsWizz’ ad serving technology will enable Clear Channel to “deliver a tailored advertising experience based on individual listeners’ specific characteristics,” including user profiles and preferences, location and devices used for more than 840 CC radio stations nationwide … Media business software solutions and services provider Marketron debuts a new location-based advertising solution that will enable targeted advertising to consumers based on their exact location. The new solution means broadcasters can now offer mobile targeting to their advertisers. It will also provide full transparency to reporting and campaign overview for both stations and their advertisers as well as support all ad units including rich media, video, and native ads … AdLarge Media inks an exclusive national advertising sales representation agreement with its newest partner, Commotion, a “breakthrough listener-engagement platform” for radio stations that enables real-time communication.

Coleman Study Finds NextRadio Opportunity
July 16, 2014

The first phase of a two-part study completed by media research firm Coleman Insights and its knowDigital division reveals that NextRadio, the app that allows consumers to listen to local radio stations using the FM chips already installed in their smartphones, offers solid potential to address the portability needs of radio listeners. The research was funded by the NAB and completed in cooperation with Emmis Communications, which developed NextRadio and has spearheaded the radio industry’s support for its rollout. Among other findings, the study found that many smartphone owners perceive that their ability to consume broadcast radio outside of their car or at home is restricted by their lack of access to devices that can receive broadcast signals. When participants were introduced to NextRadio and given an opportunity to use it during the interviews, they expressed the belief that the app would make FM a truly mobile medium, allowing them to listen to radio while engaging in other activities — something many respondents believe is currently unavailable. “To anyone over 40-years old who grew up with transistor radios and Walkmans, the idea that radio isn’t mobile is striking,” commented Coleman Insights President/COO Warren Kurtzman, who conducted the interviews along with knowDigital president Sam Milkman. “That is, however, the perception among many consumers in their 20s and 30s and it appears that NextRadio has a great opportunity to address that challenge.” Watch a streaming video presentation of the study’s findings HERE.

Westwood One Pacts With NextRadio
July 15, 2014

Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One has announced an agreement with NextRadio that will enable all U.S. radio stations to use advertising inventory to fund the industry’s payments to Sprint. Over the past year, broadcasters have been asked to commit dollars and/or inventory to fund the Sprint NextRadio Initiative, which plans to sell at least 30 million FM receiver-enabled smartphones in the next three years. Broadcasters can now meet their commitment by providing two minutes per station per day (Mon-Sun/ 6am-midnight) that Westwood One will sell on NextRadio’s behalf to pay the proceeds to Sprint. “We are confident that NextRadio is a game-changer for the radio industry and will reignite growth,” said Jeff Smulyan, Chairman and CEO of Emmis Communications – and the driving force behind NextRadio. “The addition of Westwood One to focus on the sales effort will allow companies to use ROS inventory to fulfill their pledges instead of writing checks. This gives every company an option.”

Dirty, Sexy, Funny, Sirius
July 14, 2014

Soon to be ex co-host of ABC-TV’s The View, Jenny McCarthy (pictured) will host Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy, a live, limited-run, one-hour weekly series available to SiriusXM subscribers on Wednesdays at 6pm (ET) on the satcaster’s Stars channel. Guests already booked to join McCarthy on her new show include Chelsea Handler, Perez Hilton, and Jenny’s fiancé Donnie Wahlberg. “It’s no secret that I love to talk and I’m excited to do it on SiriusXM without having to interrupt anyone or keep things clean,” said McCarthy. You can bet your sweet ass this show will live up to its title.” Commenting on the addition of McCarthy to the female-targeted Stars channel lineup, SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Green said, “Jenny’s no holds barred style and playful personality is sure to entertain listeners. We are excited to welcome her and offer her a platform to have uncensored, unscripted conversations about the topics she’s passionate about.”

More Talk Media News Notes
July 10, 2014

ABC Television has confirmed rumors that Rosie O’Donnell (left) is headed back to The View to co-host the long running midday TV chat fest with current host Whoopi Goldberg and two additional co-hosts to be announced. TV Newser has more details on the retooling of The View’s dais in the wake of the recent retirement of the talk show’s founder, Barbara Walters HERE … You Herd Me, a new show featuring the best segments from Colin Cowherd’s daily ESPN Radio broadcast, will debut Monday (7/14) at 4:30pm on ESPN2The Herd With Colin Cowherd will continue to be broadcast Monday through Friday from 10am-1pm on ESPN Radio … Greg McElroy, who quarterbacked the Alabama Crimson Tide to a BCS National Championship title in 2010, is joining the roster at SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel. McElroy and SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour will co-host The First Team, a new “live” three-hour morning show that bows Monday (7/14) at 7am (ET).

Will Firing Cumia Cost SiriusXM Credibility?
July 9, 2014

In the wake of the firing of Opie & Anthony Show co-host Anthony Cumia by SiriusXM, The Motley Fool’s David Stegon weighs in with his analysis on what the real costs for the satcaster could be. “The company decided to part ways with Cumia in an effort to avoid backlash from listeners, its advertisers, and other on-air talent,” writes Stegon. “But it also got an ugly protest from Cumia’s fans who canceled their accounts in support of the embattled host. More importantly, the move also will make it more difficult for SiriusXM to attract the on-air talent that can differentiate the service in an increasingly crowded music marketplace.” Read the full story — including how Stegon thinks SiriusXM should have handled the incident differently, and why he believes Talk talent will be critical to satellite radio’s future — HERE.

Lakamp Rises To Tech Prez at CCM&E
July 8, 2014

Clear Channel Media & Entertainment has promoted Brian Lakamp to the new role of President of Technology and Digital Ventures. In his new job, Lakamp (pictured) will work closely with CC Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman and CC President Rich Bressler to lead the overall technology platform and capabilities for all of Clear Channel, “maximizing the impact across all of its technology businesses — including its broadcast, digital radio, events and promotions and out-of-home businesses.” Concurrent with Lakamp’s latest move up the company ladder, CC’s digital audio platform iHeart Radio will now become part of the Clear Channel Networks Group, where it fall under the oversight of Darren Davis, President of that division. “Our corporate focus on digital, increasingly leveraging technology to maximize our business, reflects the natural evolution of Clear Channel into a 21st century media company,” said Pittman. “Creativity is also enabled by technology, and as advertisers’ interest in new and emerging technology options continues to grow, we intend to remain at the forefront of both innovation and creativity. Brian is perfectly positioned to help us, and our consumers, advertisers and content partners, as we continue to build Clear Channel’s digital roadmap for the future.”

Now Playing: The Opie And ???? Show
July 7, 2014

As our Facebook friends and Twitter followers first learned over the long 4th of July holiday weekend, Anthony Cumia — one half of the long running radio team of Opie & Anthony — has been fired by his current employer, SiriusXM, following a series of ‘tweets’ the company considered to be “racially charged and hate-filled.” The story unfolded after Cumia went on a Twitter rant following a run-in with an African-American woman in New York City’s Times Square over a photo Cumia had taken. Meanwhile, angry Opie & Anthony fans bombarded SiriusXM with protests and reported cancellations over the turfing of Cumia, while the host himself said he’d actually become the victim of the incident, saying what got him fired “wasn’t even on the air and wasn’t illegal.” Cumia is hinting he’ll soon move to hosting a live podcast from his home studio referred to as “The Compound.” If you’ve not yet seen the series of tweets that caused the satcaster to fire the controversial talk host (the posts have been deleted from Cumia’s Twitter page) you can read them via Gawker.com. But BE WARNED, the comments posted are laced with profanity and are definitely NSFW.

“Social Media Fails To Deliver”
July 2, 2014

That’s the conclusion/opinion from veteran media industry researcher Richard Harker who reports that new Gallup research says some two-thirds of U.S. consumers say social media has “no influence” on their buying decisions. “U.S. companies spent a combined $5.1 billion on social media advertising last year,” writes Harker in a recent post to his company’s Radio Insights blog. “According to [this] research, it appears most of the money was wasted.” Harker also notes that another recent study from Nielsen found that “global consumers trusted ads on radio, TV, print and billboards more than social media ads.” Read the full post HERE.