Is This Email PPM’s Smoking Gun?
July 1, 2015

In the ongoing debate over the alleged inaccuracies of Nielsen’s PPM — the electronic audience measurement system for radio the company inherited when it acquired Arbitron —  a new post at Carl Bialik’s FiveThirtyEight.com blog cites an email from a former Arbitron engineer indicating that questions about attempting to balance sound fidelity with the potential for PPM meters to not be able to pick up the code existed right from the beginning. “We had concern about various types of formats,” wrote the former Arbitron engineer cited by Bialik. “It was thought that Classical and some Talk formats would be challenging to encode and possibly decode reliably.” The news is yet another in a series of disconcerting revelations about possible inefficiencies in PPM’s ability to accurately measure all radio formats. The post also adds fuel to the need for Nielsen to address those issues and the debate over the use of 25 Seven Systems’ Voltair unit, a processor that is said to help stations boost encoding potential  — something the ratings company says it is still studying after months of inquiries from across the radio industry. Read more HERE.

Talk And Media News Notes
July 1, 2015

Legendary KGO/San Francisco host Ronn Owens (left) — who previously revealed he’s been dealing with Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade — will undergo surgery called ‘Deep Brain Stimulation’ next month, a procedure doctors believe could potentially help with some of the effects the progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system causes in its victims. KGO-TV has more details and talks to Ronn about the upcoming operation HERE … Longtime KTSA/San Antonio personalities Trey Ware and Johnny Shannon will be inducted into the San Antonio Radio Hall of Fame on August 22nd. Ware has also been nominated this year for the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, where — if chosen — he’ll join his dad and former KTSA personality Ricci Ware … Veteran WOKV/Jacksonville, FL Director of Branding and Programming Mike Dorwart has been “restructured” out of his gig after more than a quarter-century at the Cox Media Group News/Talker. The Florida Times-Union has more details HERE.

Twenty two-year sales and sales management veteran Brandi Young has been named Senior Vice President of Sales for iHeartMedia/Phoenix, where she’ll oversee sales operations for the cluster that includes News/Talk KFYI and FOX Sports 910 AM. Young was most recently VP/Corporate Sales for Townsquare Media … Congratulations to consultant Holland Cooke and Lori Pollack (right) as the couple announces they officially tied the knot last weekend. No details on their honeymoon plans, but we’re betting somehow Holland will manage to work-in a stopover at some industry convention along the way. Email your best wishes to the happy couple HERE.

Limbaugh, Hannity Make Forbes Celebrity 100
June 30, 2015

Once again Forbes magazine has released its annual Celebrity 100, a list ranking the world’s top paid entertainers. Among the celebs from radio who made this year’s list are two Premiere Networks syndicated Talk radio hosts — Rush Limbaugh (left) and Sean Hannity (right). Other radio connected celebs who made the annual ranking from Forbes include iHeartMedia’s Ryan Seacrest and SiriusXM’s Howard Stern. The magazine has released its Celeb 100 list every year since 1999, but this year’s methodology revised its previous U.S.-centric focus to create a list that ranks the world’s highest paid superstars, regardless of nationality. In fact, 32 celebs who made the 2015 list come from outside of the United States. See all of this year’s Forbes Celebrity 100 HERE.

Talk And Media News Notes
June 30, 2015

The Broadcasters Foundation of America has named former CBS Radio President/CEO Dan Mason (left) Co-Vice Chairman and Treasurer of the group’s Board of Directors. A longtime supporter of the Foudation, Mason is taking on the additional executive duties to help advance
the group’s mission of helping broadcasters in acute need … Glen Tacinelli is named General Sales Manager for WABC/New York. For the past seven years Tacinelli has managed Eastman Radio’s New York office. His radio sales background also includes positions with crosstown WCBS-FM and Arbitron (now Nielsen). Tacinelli (right) begin his new gig at Cumulus Media’s ‘Big Apple’ News/Talker on July 13th … iHeartRadio has joined forces with Virgin America to bring new music options to the airline’s passengers, curated by iHeartMedia’s digital radio service and Virgin Produced (Virgin Group’s entertainment arm). The partnership will integrate iHeartRadio-branded music stations into Virgin America’s award-winning Red in-flight entertainment system, available at every seatback.

Bob & Sheri Help Crown “Ugliest Dog”
June 29, 2015

For the second time, Greater Media/Charlotte syndicated morning personalities Bob & Sheri traveled west over the weekend to serve as hosts of the Sonoma-Marin County Fair’s annual ‘Ugliest Dog Contest.’ Held in Petaluma, CA, for the past 25 years the internationally observed event has celebrated “homely hounds and the humans who love them.” This year’s grand prize winner was 8-year old mixed breed ‘Quasi Modo,’ who took home $1,500 on his second try at the yearly event. Adopted from a local shelter, Quasi’s owner says the dog suffers from multiple birth defects to his spine, making his back too short for the rest of his body. “We were so excited to be asked back to the festival to host the contest again!” said Bob & Sheri Show co-host Sheri Lynch. “We love this event!” That’s the morning radio duo pictured above grabbing a digital souvenir with the winner.

Executive Orders
June 29, 2015

Jason Courtemanche signs on as Vice President of Sales for Cumulus Media/Los Angeles, where he’ll oversee sales for News/Talker KABC and the station’ s NHL Los Angeles Kings broadcasts, and Rock clustermate KLOS. Courtemanche (left) was most recently VP Sales for iHeartMedia/Chicago. Prior to that, his radio resume included stints as Sales Manager for CBS Radio’s Windy City all-newser WBBM-AM and General Sales Manager at iHeartMedia/in San Diego … Jeff Schmidt (right) will join the Radio Advertising Bureau as Senior Vice President of Professional Development effective July 6th. Reporting to RAB President/CEO Erica Farber, Schmidt will oversee the professional development group across all of RAB’s training services and also lead the RAB’s efforts on recruiting millennials into radio. Schmidt’s 26-year radio career includes sales and management roles with Cumulus Media, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, and Hearst Corporation … Dave Lougee, President of TEGNA Media, has been elected NAB Joint Board Chairman by the NAB Joint Board of Directors. Lougee takes over from Charles Warfield, Senior Advisor for YMF Media, whose term expired. Additionally the NAB Radio Board elected Unvision exec José Valle as Radio Board Chair, NRG Media CEO Mary Quass as Radio Board First Vice Chairman, and Lincoln Financial Media President/CEO Don Benson as Radio Board Second Vice Chairman. Meanwhile, Emmis COO Pat Walsh has been elected to the Radio Board’s major group representative’s seat.

Talk And Media News Notes
June 26, 2015

WBAP-KLIF/Dallas News Director Rick Hadley is leaving the stations after a 10-year run in that position to take a new job as Executive Director of Communications for Texas’ Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District. A search for Hadley’s replacement is already underway (see ‘Gig Alerts’ below) … Sports/Talker KESN (ESPN 103.3)/Dallas and Texas A&M Sports Properties, the exclusive multimedia rights holder for Texas A&M Athletics, have signed a three year agreement that will make KESN the new radio broadcast home for Aggie football beginning in August … CBS Sportsradio 560 WQAM/Miami held their ‘Whiskey, Stars and Cigars’ party last night (6/25), hosted by three-time NBA Champion and ESPN Analyst Bruce Bowen. Hundreds of listeners and clients packed Stache 1920’s Drinking Den in Ft. Lauderdale to watch the NBA Draft and mingle with Bowen and WQAM hosts. That’s WQAM PD Ryan Maguire (pictured) hanging out with Bowen on the ‘Red Carpet’ as they entered the event.

Talk And Media News Notes
June 25, 2015

Roger Ailes has signed a new multi-year contract to continue to serve as Chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Business Network, as well as Chairman of Fox Television Stations. Ailes will jointly report to 21st Century Fox co-Chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch and CEO James Murdoch … That’s Beyond The Beltway host Bruce Dumont (pictured) getting set to cut the cake at last night’s celebration of the weekly show’s 35th anniversary. More than 80 former BTB guests were on hand at the event held at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago … From our “Not Exactly Talk Radio News” Department: San Francisco radio legend Don Bleu will hang up his headphones for the final time tomorrow morning (6/26) after some three and half decades on Bay Area airwaves, including long runs at KIOI and KYUU, along with his past few years at KOSF … Department of DOH! In yesterday’s (6/24) NTS MediaOnline Today story announcing this year’s National Edward R. Murrow Award winners, we inadvertently misspelled the name of ABC News President James Goldston — which gives us the opportunity to make this correction and again congratulate the ABC News radio and TV teams on their 2015 Murrow wins.

Talk And Media News Notes
June 24, 2015

SiriusXM and FOX News have teamed up to launch FOX News Headlines 24/7, a new national headline news service and full-time satellite radio channel produced by a dedicated team of FOX News journalists and contributors. The new channel, part of a multi-year agreement, will launch in the fall of 2015 to all SiriusXM subscribers on channel 115 … The Broadcasters Foundation of America has elected four distinguished broadcast industry leaders to join its Board of Directors. New Board members include Scott Herman, Executive Vice President/Operations, CBS Radio and Market Manager, CBS Radio/New YorkRay Cole, President and Chief Operating Officer, Citadel CommunicationsValari Staab, President, NBC-Universal Owned Television Stations; and Jeff Warshaw, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Connoisseur Media … Multimedia personality Kerri Kasem will be the featured speaker at the MIW Group session, The Importance of Finding Your Voice, during the upcoming NAB/RAB Radio Show in Atlanta. Kasem will speak to “the importance of finding your voice and further understanding the power that all of our voices have to advance careers and elevate change.” Find out more HERE.

Radio & TV Still Dominate Consumer Reach
June 23, 2015

Nielsen has released results from the company’s Q1 2015 Total Audience Report, focused on the reach of audiences on different devices, as well as how often consumers are utilizing those devices and how long they are doing so. “We’re excited to showcase a true apples-to-apples comparison over different consumer options and ways to both view and listen,” says Dounia Turrill, Nielsen SVP Insights. “And by doing do, we have given the industry an impartial look not just on how many consumers are connecting with devices and platforms but how much and for how long.” So what devices are the big winners when it comes to consumer use? Radio and traditional television still have the largest reach of any of the platforms analyzed, with radio reaching nearly 223 million adult listeners weekly, and television reaching over 209 million adult viewers. That represents 93% and 87% of all U.S. adults, respectively. And while demographics come into play with regard to who is using what devices, the report found radio to be the most consistent device saying, “Advertisers who are looking for a stable medium across generational boundaries might want to consider radio.” Read more from the report HERE.