Alpha Broadcasting and L & L Broadcasting have entered into an agreement to merge the companies and, upon finalization of the deal, will become Alpha Media. The current corporate team for Alpha Broadcasting and L & L Broadcasting will remain and operate the company from the corporate headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Larry Wilson, Chairman and an investor in each company, said, “The merger will be the culmination of a long term plan to ultimately combine the two companies and will allow us to streamline our oversight of all 49 stations to take advantage of the many synergies.” Meanwhile, along with the news of the pending merger and new company name, L & L has also announced the company has entered into an agreement to acquire 19 radio stations from Main Line Broadcasting for $57 million. Main Line is headquartered in Philadelphia and operates 19 stations in four markets including Louisville; Richmond, VA; Dayton, OH and Hagerstown, MD/Chambersburg, PA. Upon successful completion of these transactions, the newly dubbed Alpha Media will own and operate 68 radio stations in 12 markets across the United States.
Widespread layoffs of account execs and sales managers have been reported at Clear Channel Media & Entertainment-owned stations all around the country during the past 24-hours. While there has been no official confirmation on the number of sales pros released, nor what specific stations were involved, anecdotal evidence indicates the personnel cuts were significant and took place in markets of all sizes. A company release confirms the rumored layoffs, but offered little in the way of detail stating: “For the last several months we have been flattening our senior management organization to reduce overlap. Now we are aligning our sales organizations to this new structure and to give more resources, authority and accountability to the most productive members of our team so we can operate as effectively and efficiently as possible. Change is not always easy, and unfortunately in the process some people were negatively impacted.” NTS MediaOnline Today stands ready to help any individuals who have been caught up in this latest round of industry “restructuring.” Email us your contact info HERE and we’ll help get the word out on where friends and colleagues — and perhaps even your next employer — can reach you.
In his daily newsletter today Glenn Beck reveals that he is expanding his media footprint yet again, with plans for a new film division at Mercury Radio Arts. That’s the parent company behind Beck’s daily Talk radio show (syndicated by Premiere Networks), as well as his Dallas and New York-based digital audio and television media venture, TheBlaze. Beck has spent the past year renovating The Studios at Las Colinas in Irving, TX since he purchased the movie and TV production facility last June. Find out more about plans for at least three theatrical films that the ever-busy Beck currently has in the works HERE.
Get well wishes to comedian and DirecTV Entertainment syndicated talk host Artie Lange (left, in a photo from his Twitter feed) who was admitted to a hospital just outside of Detroit yesterday (4/15) suffering from diabetic shock. Scheduled to be released tomorrow, Artie is reportedly headed back home to rest, forcing a rescheduling of several stand-up dates he had booked this week. His nightly radio and television show is also airing ‘best of’s’ through this Friday night … NextRadio reports more than 300,000 app downloads, with over 8,400 stations tuned to by users and some 275,000 hours of listening via the mobile FM initiative championed by Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan. Read additional new stats HERE … The deadline to submit for the 2014 Radio Mercury Awards has been extended until April 30th. Entry eligibility is also extended to include radio work that’s been broadcast, on-air or digitally, in the 16 months between January 1st, 2013 and April 30th, 2014. Get more info HERE.
Don Bouloukos, Senior Vice President and Market Manager for CBS Radio/New York, has announced he’ll retire next month after more than four decades in the industry. CBS Radio EVP/Operations Scott Herman will expand his role, assuming Bouloukos’ NY market responsibilities along with his current duties. Bouloukos (pictured) joined CBS in 1998 when the company acquired American Radio Systems (ARS), where he was then co-COO. Prior to that, he served as President of Capital Cities/ABC Radio Stations from 1986-96. Bouloukos began his radio career as an account executive at then ABC Radio-owned WLS-AM/Chicago. “It’s never an easy decision to leave an industry you love and a company and cluster of stations that have been such an important part of your life,” said Bouloukos. “But after 41 years, it is time. My only regret is that I am not 21 years old and starting all over again.” Among the stations in CBS Radio’s NYC cluster are all-newsers WCBS-AM and WINS, and pioneering Sports/Talker WFAN-AM & FM.
KOIL/Omaha talk host Tom Becka was among those who “took the plunge” yesterday (4/14) as part of a fundraiser for Landon Shaw, a Missouri boy with cancer who has inspired Facebook fundraising challenges. Becka (pictured) was joined by several fellow NRG Radio/Omaha personalities and local politicians, as they all “took a dive” in the balmy 50 degree waters of Lake Manawa in Council Bluffs, IA. Read more HERE … FM News 101 KXL-FM/Portland welcomes new afternoon news co-anchor Val Stouffer. Stouffer, who has had previous news gigs at WLS and WMAQ in Chicago, as well as at both KIRO and KOMO in Seattle, joins current PM drive news anchor Dan Mitchinson in the Alpha Broadcasting News/Talker’s 4-7pm weekday slot … Singer and songwriter Paul Simon will receive the 2014 Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) for his long-time commitment to providing healthcare to underserved children across the country. Simon will receive the award at NABEF’s annual Celebration of Service to America Gala on June 17th.
Industry veteran Bob Shannon has unexpectedly resigned as Executive Director of The Conclave due to a recent health scare. In a release issued by the Minneapolis-based non-profit Shannon (pictured) stated: “Upon my return from the NAB Show last Thursday (4/11) evening, I experienced a medical episode that brought paramedics to my home in the middle of the night. Fortunately, the problem wasn’t as life threatening as was originally thought, but it has prompted some soul searching on my part. After consulting with my physician and my family, I have decided to curtail all business activities for the foreseeable future and will be resigning all of my obligations over the next few weeks. Sadly, that includes The Conclave.” Shannon, well known in the industry from his tenure as EVP at TM Century, joined The Conclave in 2012. He’s only the second individual to hold the Executive Director’s role at The Conclave, succeeding Tom Kay who stepped down that same year after 37 years with the organization. No official word yet from Conclave Chairman Mark Bolke on who might be tapped to replace Shannon. SEND BOB YOUR GET WELL WISHES HERE.
Legendary New York City radio personality and bonafide ‘radio royalty’ John Gambling returned to Gotham City’s airwaves today at his new home, AM 970 The Answer (WNYM/New York). Gambling (pictured) joked that “apparently there is a limit to how much golf one man can play” as he comfortably slid into his new weekday 11am-1pm slot on Salem Communications’ NYC News/Talk flagship less than four months after announcing his retirement from crosstown Clear Channel News/Talker WOR at the end of last year … Cumulus Media/New York, including News/Talk WABC, will be part of a combined cluster event, “The Best of The Tri-State,” on April 22nd. The evening event will showcase the best of everything across the region as voted by listeners to WABC, WPLJ and Nash FM 94.7 … The Southern California Broadcasters Association has announced a new outreach program, designed to reach the next generation of broadcasters through a series of speaking engagements by SCBA President Thom Callahan. The appearances will take place at broadcast and communications classes at colleges and universities throughout Southern California and, via Skype, in London, England. Asked about the goals of the speaking series Callahan said, “Ultimately, the SCBA wants to attract the best and the brightest to our robust and growing radio industry, so we are making our case directly to students before they choose their career path.”
Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh gave listeners 500,000 reasons to join him in supporting today’s 24th annual Cure-A-Thon to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. “I never do these radio Cure-A-Thons without first doing what I’m asking you to do,” Limbaugh told listeners to his radio program. “So I always make a donation to lead it off. Some years I announce what it is, other years I don’t. I’m always nervous about expressing how much — my parents always said, ‘Don’t do that, people are going to think you’re bragging,’ while others say they want to know, so I’ll just tell you that this year Kathryn and I are going to kick this off with a cool half a million. I’m just gonna start with that and then throw it open to you.” The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated Talk radio host is also offering a variety of Rush Limbaugh Show ‘swag’ items for varying levels of donations. Over the past quarter century Rush’s yearly fundraiser has been a huge success, raising millions to fund research and progress toward finding cures for blood cancers. Rush fans wishing to donate to this year’s fundraising effort can do so HERE.
Sports USA has added former NFL Pro Bowl Quarterback Jake “The Snake” Plummer to the network’s expanding list of Sports Superstar Shows. Snake’s Takes With Jake Plummer is the handle for the weekly podcast that can be downloaded on the SportsUSA website, via PodcastOne, and on the iTunes and TuneIn app on smartphones … WABC/New York host John Batchelor — also syndicated nationally by Cumulus Media-owned WestwoodOne — is launching a new ‘Author Series,’ featuring long-form interviews with some of today’s “most intriguing authors.” Among the authors booked to join Batchelor (pictured) on the new series so far are Thomas Cahill (Heretics and Heroes); Robert Klara (FDR’s Funeral Train); Eri Hotta (Japan 1941: Countdown To Infamy); and George H. Nash (The Crusade Years 1933-1955). The series can be accessed on the WABC Radio website … Our radio friends north-of-the-border are digesting the recent news that some 650+ staffers of the CBC are to be laid off over the next 24 months due to funding shortfalls and budget cuts. The move has reignited the discussion among Canadians over whether or not the subsidized CBC should continue to exist. Read more on the story from Canada’s National Post HERE.