Dale Earnhardt Jr. will return to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, behind a Motor Racing Network microphone. “Junior” will join ‘The Voice of NASCAR‘ during the first half of Sunday’s Hellmann’s 500 broadcast – teaming up with MRN anchors Joe Moore and Jeff Striegle in the newly christened Barney Hall MRN Booth … SiriusXM will offer subscribers access to play-by-play of every game of the 2016-17 NBA season, beginning October 25th, via the satcaster’s SiriusXM NBA Radio channel … Talk Shows USA adds a slew of new affiliates for it’s roster of shows including KNNT/Battle Mountain, NV, KBZZ/Reno-Sparks, and WSOY/Decatur (The Money Pit Home Improvement Show); KKLE/Winfield, KS, KELE/Mountain Grove, MI and WNTW/Chester, VA (Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk); and KEND/Roswell, NM (The Cigar Dave Show). WSOY also adds Cigar Dave, while KNNT also picks up Talk Shows USA’s weekly Extreme Genes; Family History Radio.
With just a few weeks until Election Day 2016, Nielsen reports that although most of the political buzz is focused on the presidential candidates, voters in Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania could not only be a major part of deciding who wins the White House, but they could also potentially change the balance of power in Congress. To analyze the opportunity radio offers to those running in local and state races, Nielsen matched voter registration data with data from its Portable People Meter (PPM) panel in major markets across the three battleground states. “Radio has the ability to reach more than 16 million voters across the major metropolitan areas of Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania,” notes Nielsen in a just released report. “The upside for candidates and campaigns looking to focus their efforts in the home stretch is radio — a powerful medium that reaches all voters, regardless of their political affiliations.
Speaking of the Presidential race (because who isn’t talking about it these days), as Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton get set to face-off tonight in Las Vegas for their final scheduled debate before Election Day, the latest campaign ad-tracking by Media Monitors shows Trump has pretty much faded from radio’s airwaves when it comes to campaign advertising. During the monitoring period from October 7th-16th, Media Monitors reports the Trump campaign and other groups supporting his presidential bid aired a total of just 208 radio ads. That contrasts with 15,498 radio ads that aired for Clinton and 84 ads that aired for Libertarian Gary Johnson. On the negative side of politics, during the monitoring period there were 3,483 radio ads aired by groups opposing Trump and 180 ads that aired against Clinton. Meanwhile, Media Monitors showed that both campaigns were very active television advertisers during the latest monitoring period.
Westwood One announces the Cumulus Media-owned network will give WMAL/Washington, DC host Chris Plante a national roll-out. Beginning January 2, 2017, The Chris Plante Show will air from 9am-noon (ET) in the time slot previously occupied by Jonathan Brandmeier. Plante (right) joined Cumulus’ DC News/Talker in 2005, following a 17-year run at CNN’s Washington Bureau where he served as the network’s Pentagon Correspondent … Midwest Communications’ Kalamazoo, MI Brand Manager Jay Morris has announced he’s leaving that post for a job outside the broadcasting biz. Director of Ops and Programming Steve Mills is handling Jay’s former duties on an interim basis … There is still time to sign up for this weekend’s MMTC Tech Prep Summit, October 22nd at the University of DC Van Ness Campus’ Theater of the Arts. The free, all-day event, hosted by The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council is designed to introduce students of color to the boundless opportunities in tech employment and entrepreneurship. Learn more HERE … A North Dakota judge has dismissed charges of inciting a riot against Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now host/reporter Amy Goodman. Those charges, which arose from Goodman’s coverage of protests by Native Americans of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, have sparked concerns over freedom of the press among journalists and news organizations across the country.
Beasley Broadcast Group has entered into a definitive agreement to sell four radio stations in Charlotte, NC to Entercom for $24 million in cash, following the completion of, and contingent upon, Beasley’s previously announced acquisition of all of the outstanding stock of Greater Media, Inc. Entercom will acquire heritage News/Talker WBT-AM & FM, AC WLNK-FM (The Link), and WFNZ-AM (Sports Radio The Fan), along with that station’s FM translator at 102.5. In addition, a statement released by BBGI says Entercom will begin operating WBT and WLNK upon closing of the Greater Media acquisition, pursuant to a time brokerage agreement. The sale of the four Charlotte stations, expected to be completed later this year, is subject to FCC and other regulatory approvals and the closing of Beasley’s acquisition of Greater Media.
Recently, NextRadio, the smartphone app that provides free, portable FM radio listening, conducted an in-app survey that asked one simple question: “Election Day 11.8.2016: Do you plan to vote?” Some 40,000 users across all 50 states viewed the poll taken from June 19th to July 6th — before either party had officially nominated their candidate, prior to the weeks of non-stop mudslinging and prior to the official candidate debates. Yet even back then, 58% of respondents said they were “unenthusiastic” about voting in the 2016 presidential election, with 23% reporting they were ‘Undecided’ and a whopping 35% saying they don’t plan to vote at all. Not surprisingly, 74% of respondents who identified as News/Talk listeners said ‘Yes’ to the question of voting, with just 18% saying ‘No’ and only 8% saying they are ‘Undecided.’ Get more details on the NextRadio voter survey HERE.
In a recent post to Paragon Media’s ongoing blog, company owner and CEO Mike Henry sounds a wake-up call to NPR affiliates about how Low Power FM outlets are rapidly filling a hole in local radio news programming that he says NPR stations (and commercial radio) have left wide open. “Local NPR News stations must replicate what NPR News does for national and international news on a local basis,” writes Henry (pictured), who spent five years consulting what was then called National Public Radio. “That means local breaking news, local in-depth news, local investigative reporting, local stories behind the news, and in essence, everything that NPR News does better than any media in the nation, but at a local level to seal the deal.” Noting that he hears too many local NPR stations simply acting as a repeater for NPR’s national programming Henry adds, “Shame on them for operating no better or differently than the cost-cutting commercial radio groups they rail against.” Read more HERE.
Salem Radio Network VP/News and Talk Programming Tom Tradup pens an op-ed for conservative news and opinion website TownHall.com, in which he expresses his concerns about some comments made recently by President Obama, in which the President said Americans need “some sort of curating function that people agree to,” to scrutinize the news and information they get. Tradup reports during a speech last week in Pittsburgh the president suggested Americans should have “some way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic ‘truthiness’ tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.” Tradup (pictured), a longtime radio news veteran, worries about the impact such an action could have on the future for a free press, and also wonders who would have the final say on which news stories make the ‘truthiness’ cut and which don’t, should such a theory ever become a reality. Read Tom’s opinion HERE.
The presidential debate media circus train is rolling into Las Vegas this week, where the third and final debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton will take place on Wednesday. KXNT/Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris (right) reports that PBS is already staking out the network’s turf in Sin City, with a crew from the PBS News Hour dropping by to film her in-studio during this morning’s show and interviewing her for a feature scheduled to air on tomorrow (10/17) night’s broadcast … Alpha Media names 35-year broadcaster Bob Rose as Market Manager for the company’s three Mankato, MN stations. The sales and management veteran most recently managed stations in Sioux Falls and St. Cloud.
After thrice extending the deadline to accept his purchase offer, Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan (left) has again ended his bid to take the Indianapolis-based company private. It was Smulyan’s third attempt to take the company private over the past decade …Upstate New York-based Galaxy Communications, owned by longtime broadcaster Ed Levine, has agreed to acquire Gamma Broadcasting-owned Berkshires Media Group’s six-station western Massachusetts cluster, that includes News/Talker WBEC-AM/Pittsfield … Alpha Media sells five stations in three Kansas markets to Rocking M Media, including News/Talk KSAL/Salina … In preparation for a planned spin-off of it’s radio stations, CBS reports it will break-out its CBS Radio division revenues separately, beginning with next month’s Q3 results. Previously the company’s radio revenue had been reported along with CBS’s local TV revenue.