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.
Diane Rehm, the popular NPR and WAMU/Washington talk host, is highlighted in a Washington Post piece about the right-to-die movement in America. Read the story of how Rehm (pictured) has become an activist for the movement following the death of her husband John (who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease) HERE … WABC/New York host and FOX News Channel personality Geraldo Rivera missed it by that much, finishing second in this season’s edition of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice. Although coming in as the runner-up to TV personality Leeza Gibbons, Geraldo’s appearance on the show paid off big, raising more than $700,000 for his designated charity, Life’s WORC … After just four months on the job, WKZO/Kalamazoo and morning host Wayne Powers have parted ways … Kudos to the crew at KDKA/Pittsburgh as the CBS Radio News/Talker’s annual ‘Warm-A-Thon’ to benefit the Dollar Energy Fund raised over $400,000 to help over 1,100 families in the region maintain basic utility service and keep the heat on during another cold Pittsburgh winter … Jennifer Horn, who has served as a co-host of Doug Stephan’s Good Day syndicated morning show for nearly a decade, adds a local show to her daily duties, teaming up with citizen activist Donald Dix for The Jen and Don Show, nightly at 6pm on Salem Communications News/Talker AM590 The Answer (KTIE-AM/San Bernardino, CA).
If Twitter isn’t an active part of your marketing mix, new research shows that you just might want to consider ramping-up your efforts in the 140 character medium that’s especially popular with Millennials. An article penned by Suzanne Delzio at SocialMediaExaminer.com explores new information from Pew Research that makes a strong case for embracing Twitter’s current and future marketing value. Read the full article HERE … A report from eMarketer.com headlined Mobile Hasn’t Killed The Radio Star In The U.K., says radio listening in the United Kingdom remains “as popular as ever,” but also notes that the way listeners are consuming the medium is changing. eMarketer cites reported stats showing a the number of mobile radio listeners in Q4 2014 rose to 21.8% of respondents who said they listen to radio via a mobile phone or tablet. That’s up from 18.4% in Q1 2014. Are the U.K. mobile radio listening numbers a harbinger of things that could be for U.S. radio in the future? Read more HERE.
Researcher and media trends watcher Mark Ramsey has announced plans for his upcoming 2015 Hivio. The limited seat event is moving to Los Angeles this year, where the legendary Hollywood Improv will be the venue for the June 4-5 meeting that Ramsey labels an “un-conference” and “the intersection between audio, technology and content.” Mark’s offering early-bird deals right now, along with more information on the full slate of speakers and presenters he’s lined up HERE … iHeartMedia/Fresno names Steve Weed Operations Manager for the eight-station California cluster that includes News/Talker PowerTalk 96.7-AM 1400 (KALZ-FM-KRZR-AM) and FOX Sports Radio 1340 (KCBL). It’s a return to the market for Weed who most recently served as OM for the company’s Sacramento stations … Former Jersey Shore cast member Vinny Guadagnino launches a new podcast, Get Into It with Vinny G, via PodcastOne. The podcast debuts Thursday (2/12) featuring a reunion with another single-lettered Jersey Shore cast-member, Pauly D.
Our February edition of NTS MediaOnline Monthly (delivered to your inbox earlier today) focuses on Millennials and the question of what the Talk media industry can do to attract more of them to spoken-word programming — on-air, online and on-the-go. Among one of the most active social media platforms for Millennials is Twitter and a new study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research (as reported by eMarketer.com) says, if you want Millennials to follow you on the that platform, offer them a coupon. The study found that U.S. Millennials were most likely to follow a brand or company on Twitter to get a coupon or discount, something cited by 85% of respondents. Following brands to receive coupons and discounts was more common on Twitter than on Facebook or Pinterest. Meanwhile, beyond discounts and brand loyalty, no other reason was cited by the majority of respondents for following a company or brand on Twitter. Read more HERE.
KFYI/Phoenix announces that Rob Hunter will join the iHeartMedia News/Talker’s morning show, where he’ll serve as news anchor alongside wake-up host Mike Broomhead. Hunter (pictured) will also host The KFYI Download, a news magazine program that will air weekdays at 5am. Hunter joins KFYI from his most recent post at crosstown KTAR … BlogTalkRadio has retained respected programming veteran Denise Oliver as a Programming Consultant and Strategist to the online Talk radio platform. Oliver will work with BlogTalk’s spoken-word format talent and also help a variety of content partners to enter the podcasting world … Trevor Carey joins Power Talk 1360/1280 (KFIV-AM & KWSX-AM/Modesto-Stockton) to host weekday afternoons, 3-6pm. Most recently at WJYE/Buffalo, Carey’s radio resume includes prior ‘Golden State’ stints at KBOS/Fresno, KHQT/San Jose and KERN/Bakersfield.
A recent post on Art Bell’s website says the legendary late-night talker is planning a digital return via the ‘Dark Matters Radio Network’ in July. Bell says he’s planning to host a 9pm-midnight (PT) program, five nights a week, that will be streamed for free. “We will start building the studio in March or so, and as I have mentioned I will absorb the cost myself,” writes Bell. “This will be a labor of love because I do dearly love Talk radio. There will only be enough content from anything else to give myself a short break every hour, or put another way, almost no commercials.” Back in 2013 Bell made a short-lived comeback with a new SiriusXM show, but that program lasted only about six weeks after an alleged dispute between the talk host and the satcaster over technical issues and live streaming policies. Read Bell’s full post HERE.
WABC/New York morning host and Westwood One syndicated personality Don Imus will present his 5th annual Imus On Broadway show on February 9th, at NYC’s Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel will emcee the event that will feature live performances from a slew of Broadway shows including, Kinky Boots; Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; It Shoulda Been You; Honeymoon In Vegas; The Lion King; Cabaret; Into The Woods; Les Miserables; Chicago and more … Steve Malzberg re-ups with Newsmax TV, striking a new deal that will keep the veteran talk host in his weekday 3-6pm slot on the channel for another three years … Veteran radio and TV talk personality, comedian and all-around raconteur ‘Lionel’ will appear live at New York City’s Cutting Room on Saturday, March 7th. Lionel tells NTS MediaOnline Today, “It’s a mixture of outspoken word and bluegrass with my trio Lock ’n Load — don’t ask what that means. Trust me, you’ll love it.” Get more details and tickets info HERE.