Meanwhile, Chicagoland Radio and Media reports on an announcement this morning by longtime Windy City radio personality Jonathan Brandmeier, in which he told listeners that despite the reported changes coming to his show’s two current Tribune-owned distribution platforms – 87.7 The Game (WGWG) and WGN.fm – his morning radio show will continue full speed ahead into the New Year, delivered digitally and online. ”We’ll live on at TuneIn.com and via the TuneIn app, and at BrandmeierShow.com,” said Johnny B. (pictured), who added that he remains in talks with Tribune and WGN Radio management about his future. “I would love to be able to put together a deal with the Tribune company. If it works out with the Tribune, I couldn’t be happier. That would be fantastic.” Read the full story HERE.
After taking time out for a brief coffee break, veteran Arkansas Talk radio personality Dave Elswick is returning to the local broadcast airwaves via The Voice 96.5 in Little Rock and 99.1 in Searcy, AR. This time around Dave (pictured) will serve not only as host of afternoon drive, but also Program Director. Elswick, who previously served a lengthy stint as PD of crosstown KARN, will assume his new programming duties at ‘The Voice’ and return to his familiar 3-7pm slot next Monday (11/24) … FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is once again speaking out on the issue of free speech and the media. TheHill.com’s Mario Trujillo reports Pai told those gathered at the recently held Media Institutes awards dinner that he wants the FCC to dismiss any petitions that would prevent broadcasters from using the Washington Redskins team name on the air. While keeping his personal views on the NFL team’s name controversy to himself, Pai urged his fellow public officials to “not sound an uncertain trumpet when oft-offended opportunists urge us to undermine the First Amendment.” Read more HERE … ATTENTION: PLEASE UPDATE YOUR SCORECARDS! The date for the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2015 Golden Mike Award, honoring NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith, has been changed, The new date is Monday, March 16th. BFA made the change to accommodate a request from the National Alliance of State Broadcasting Associations, which had a conflict with the original date.
Chicago media reporter Robert Feder reports that Tribune is pulling the plug on its Sports radio experiment at 87.7 The Game (WGWG), and will also end the company’s talent deals with both Garry Meier and Jonathan Brandmeier. Read more HERE (subscription required to access full article) … Crain’s Detroit Business has named CBS Radio’s Motor City station cluster — including News/Talk WWJ and Sports/Talkers CBS Sports Radio 1270 (WXYT-AM) and 97.1 The Ticket (WXYT-FM) — as one of the city’s best/coolest place to work. Read more HERE … The Mentoring & Inspiring Women In Radio Group has opened applications for its 2015 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program. A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected, with at least one spot designated for a programming candidate and one spot designated for a digital candidate. Get application criteria and instructions on how to apply HERE.
RadioWorld’s Leslie Stimson reports that iHeartMedia will stop providing satellite distribution services via its Clear Channel Satellite Services division to clients outside the company, in a move said to be a strategic business decision. Read more HERE … Kudos to Kevin Sheehan and Thom Lovero, co-hosts of WTEM (ESPN 980)/Washington’s daily noon-2pm program, The Sports Fix, as the duo marks their milestone five-year anniversary with the Red Zebra Broadcasting-owned Sports/Talker … NTS MediaOnline Today also sends out best wishes to Sun Broadcast Group as the independent radio network and syndicator marks it’s sixth anniversary. CEO Jason Bailey reports that with a number or recently announced programming additions, in 2015 the New York City and Boca Raton, Florida-based company will serve a reported 142 million listeners via some 5,500 general market affiliates. Meanwhile, Sun Latino is also celebrating, reporting major audience growth to more than 35 million listeners for programming syndicated through SBG’s Hispanic division.
Cumulus/Youngstown Market Manager Rick Parrish says he’s headed for retirement after more than four decades in radio ownership and corporate management. Quarterback for the Youngstown cluster (including News/Talkers WPIC and WSOM, and Sports/Talkers WLLF-FM and WBBW-AM) since 2010, Parrish (pictured) says he believes the best is still to come for a guy who has “loved radio since the age of 15 when my mother drove me to KMAD in Madill, Oklahoma for my first day of on-air work!” … Former award winning ESPN podcast producer Jay Soderberg is named Head of Content for BlogTalkRadio, where he’ll focus on cultivating and expanding the online radio platform’s community of podcasters, and also take a leading role in shaping the company’s future content portfolio … Jonathan Ghazal has been named Sales Manager for Greater Media-owned Detroit Sports 105.1 (WMGC). Ghazal joined the company’s Motor City cluster as an Account Executive in October of 2012 … Alex Ferrer, best known for his nine year run on FOX TV’s syndicated Judge Alex Show, will debut a new legal-focused radio show via Andy Dean’s new ConnectPal digital venture. A frequent guest commentator on Fox News, CNN, and HLN, ‘Judge Alex’ is also highly active on social media, with a Facebook following closing in on a quarter-million fans.
Harker Research namesake Richard Harker is back with a new and provocative post to his Radio Insights blog, in which he is critical of Nielsen’s Newswire ratings analysis releases that portray rating trends like a horse race. “The truth is that Nielsen’s format trends have nothing to do with how a majority of stations in a format are doing,” says Harker, who cites a recent Nielsen analysis that has fueled a lot of hand-wringing over the so-called ‘death’ of Talk radio. “The problem with the analysis was that most of the ‘trend’ was actually driven by what was happening at a few outsized major market Cumulus Media Talk stations,” he notes. “WABC/New York, KABC/Los Angeles, WLS/Chicago, KGO/San Francisco and others had lost a third of their collective quarter-hours. No reasonable rate of Talk station growth in the other PPM markets could make up for the cratering of these few stations. The listenership losses were the equivalent of an entire small PPM market signing off.” Read Harker’s full post HERE.
In the wake of the recently announced retirement of Salem Radio Network President Greg Anderson at the end of this year, Salem Communications will restructure its broadcast division, consolidating the company’s radio and network divisions into one as of January 1st. Current radio division president Dave Santrella (right) will assume the new title President of Broadcast Media, adding oversight of SRN, the SMR/VMR rep firm and a variety of digital assets to his current radio division responsibilities. Concurrently, Phil Boyce is promoted to SVP/Salem Radio Network and Spoken Word Formats and will oversee all program and revenue aspects of Salem’s News and News/Talk Networks. Longtime SRN VP News and Talk Programming Tom Tradup and Salem Communications National News/Talk and Business Talk PD John Butler will both continue in their current roles, reporting to Boyce (pictured), who will also retain oversight of Salem’s New York City stations and work with other aspects of Salem’s spoken-word formats, most notably as a program consultant for national ministries.
Following his recent split with Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One, former Governor Mike Huckabee (left) has officially announced it’s “on with the show” and confirms he will continue to host his daily commentary, The Huckabee Report, without interruption to affiliates. Huckabee spokesperson and McConnell Media namesake, John McConnell, reports that a new distribution and ad sales partner for the daily feature will be announced next week. “The support and interest from the Governor’s current affiliates has been tremendous,” McConnell told NTS MediaOnline Today. “He’s beloved by his fans and his fan base is huge!” … Cumulus/Memphis has tapped popular local radio veteran Forrest Goodman as morning host at Newstalk 98.9. He’ll be joined for wake-up duties by Steve Butler, weekdays from 6-9am … Westwood One ups veteran network sales exec Julie Boruchov (right) to Vice-President, Sports Sales and Marketing/East Coast, in its network sales division. She was formerly Director, Sports Sales, East Coast. In her expanded role, Boruchov will work more closely with the network’s ports partners and agency clients to help drive revenue and maximize brand initiatives and activations, while also managing a team of east coast-based sports sales account executives.
As expected, after exiting WRKO/Boston last week, local Talk radio veteran Howie Carr has resurfaced at crosstown WUFC, which rebrands as WMEX. Carr slides into his familiar 3-7pm slot, with his new Boston radio home now serving as the flagship for a 15-station regional network that carries Howie’s daily talk show … iHeartMedia/Dallas/Ft. Worth re-tools KFXR-AM, branding as Talk Radio 1190 and adding a trio of local and Texas-based syndicated talk shows – The Russ Martin Show, The Michael Berry Program and The Matt Patrick Show – to the lineup. Radio geeks will remember that today’s KFXR was the original home of pioneering broadcaster Gordon McLendon’s groundbreaking Top 40 KLIF, prior to those call letters moving down the dial to now Cumulus-owned AM 570 in the early 1990s … Beasley Broadcast Group promotes Mark Haddon to VP/Market Manager for the company’s Augusta, GA cluster, including heritage News/Talker WGAC and sister News/Talk/Sports outlet WRDW … NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith (pictured) will be honored by the Broadcasters Foundation of America with the group’s 2015 Golden Mike Award, at ceremonies to be held next February in New York City. The black-tie fundraiser will benefit the Foundation’s mission of providing aid to broadcasters in acute need. Learn more about how you can help the Broadcasters Foundation HERE.
Hubbard Broadcasting has inked a deal to purchase 16 radio stations in the company’s home state of Minnesota from Omni Broadcasting. The acquisition expands Hubbard’s holdings in the Land of 10,000 Lakes to include station clusters in Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd and Wadena. As a result of the expansion, Dan Seeman, VP/Market Manager for Hubbard’s Minneapolis-St. Paul stations, is upped to Vice President and Regional Manager of Minnesota Radio Operations, overseeing all of the company’s radio stations statewide. ”Hubbard Broadcasting is deeply committed to local radio and to Minnesota, and this is a great opportunity to expand the company’s presence into some wonderful local communities,” said Ginny Morris (pictured), chair and CEO of Hubbard Radio. “We have long admired Lou Buron and Mary Campbell, whose stations have been nationally recognized for both excellence in programming and commitment to local community service. We are committed to maintaining that dedication to excellence and community, and we look forward to welcoming all Omni employees to the Hubbard Broadcasting family.”
Meanwhile, in other Twin Cities media news, longtime iHeartMedia Minneapolis Market President, Mike Crusham, has announced his retirement. Crusham (pictured) has been in the industry for more than 44 years, starting as a sports reporter on the morning show on WMKY at Morehead State University. He went on to hold various positions as General Manager, Sales Manager and others at radio stations throughout Kentucky, as well as in Tulsa, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Austin and Houston. Crusham joined iHeartMedia in June 2005, first as Director of Sales for the company’s Miami cluster and was later named Regional Vice President of South Florida and Market Manager for Miami. In 2006 he was named Market President for iHeartMedia/Boston and after 10 months headed to Minneapolis, where he has served as Market President since. A search for Crusham’s successor is already underway.