Long before it flipped to its current-day News/Talk format, WLS-AM/Chicago was already a legendary station. From its earliest days under the ownership of Sears Roebuck and Company (The call letters stood for “World’s Largest Store”), through its years as one of the nation’s biggest Top 40 powerhouses, to its evolution to News/Talk, the now Cumulus Media-owned station has been a part of the fabric of life in the Windy City and throughout the midwest for nine decades. Chicago media scribe Robert Feder has more on the upcoming 90th anniversary of WLS Radio HERE … NewsRadio 1020 KDKA/Pittsburgh will stage a charity ‘roast’ of the CBS Radio News/Talker’s Morning News co-host Larry Richert, on Friday, April 25th. The 25-year veteran of KDKA Radio will be “roasted and toasted” by friends and co-workers to benefit the Roxsan Betters Albanese Foundation, which helps financially challenged families with children who are terminally ill or facing a life-threatening situation … WestwoodOne will offer live network radio coverage of the 2014 Masters Tournament. Bob Papa and Charlie Rymer will anchor the network’s coverage from the Augusta Country Club, April 10th-13th. Additionally, WWOne will offer a nightly half-hour preview and recap show, beginning tonight at 9pm (ET). WestwoodOne and its predecessors have been the radio home of the Masters Tournament for 59 years, which the network claims is “the longest continuous sports broadcast partnership in network radio history.”
Cumulus Media taps Ray Mariner as PD of the company’s New Orleans Sports/Talker 106.1 The Ticket and Country cluster mate NASH FM 92.3. Most recently a host on Atlanta Sports radio outlet 680 The Fan, Mariner also served stints as both morning and afternoon drive host at Atlanta’s Star 94. He’s held previous programming positions in Charlotte and Myrtle Beach. Mariner begins his new gig in the Big Easy on April 15th … Entercom/Boston promotes Carlson Mozdiez from Director of Digital Operations to the newly created position of Director/Integrated Media Strategies. First joining Entercom as a promotions coordinator for Sports/Talk WEEI and News/Talk WRKO in 2002, a company release says that Mozdiez (pictured) “has advanced through every facet of Entercom/Boston’s promotion, marketing and digital structure.” In his new role Mozdiez will be responsible for the development and execution of all customer-facing brand messaging including live events, contesting and promotions, external advertising, Web sites, video and social media … Chris Kirchner has been named Sales Manager at Sports/Talker 97.5 The Fanatic (WPEN-FM/Philadelphia). Kirchner has been with Greater Media’s Philly stations over the past 20 years. He previously served as the General Sales Manager at WMGK-FM, where he’s succeeded by Philly sales veteran Dave Scopinich, who rejoins the company after spending most of the past decade in a similar role at crosstown CBS Radio News/Talker WPHT and Oldies WOGL.
That’s how National Association of Broadcasters President/CEO Gordon Smith characterized the broadcast industry during his keynote address at the annual NAB Show going on all this week in Las Vegas. In his speech, Smith (pictured) — who serves as the voice of broadcasters on Capitol Hill — called on the FCC to stop regulating the industry “as if the world was stuck in the 1970s” and also urged the agency to develop a National Broadcast Plan that takes a “holistic view of our industry.” Smith also said that despite the efforts of some — both inside and outside of government — who want to weaken broadcasting, he declared that “our industry remains strong” and called broadcasting, “America’s indispensable and irreplaceable industry.” Reminding attendees that broadcasters “have a crucial mission that goes beyond ensuring the viability of the broadcast business,” and that the industry is “more than just another moneyed interest,” Smith wrapped up his remarks by saying, “Broadcasting will always be the voice of our freedom and democracy. That is something precious. That is something worth defending. That is something worth winning.” Read the complete text of Smith’s remarks to NAB Show attendees HERE.
A recent post to FOX Business.com by BusinessNewsDaily contributor Chad Brooks talks about the “Five Things All Great Managers Do.” Citing recent research from Gallup, Brooks reports, “Despite the importance of putting the right people in charge, companies fail to choose the managerial candidate with the right talent 82% of the time.” The research also revealed that, “Overall just 1 in 10 people possess the talent needed to manage others.” And while all too often companies promote workers into managerial positions because they seemingly deserve it vs. that employee actually having the talent for the job, in the end Gallup discovered five talents that are common to all great managers. Among those traits: “They make decisions based on productivity, not politics” and “They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue and full transparency.” Learn the other traits that are common among those who are great managers and ask yourself if you — or your boss — possess them HERE.
The National Association of Broadcasters has announced the results of the 2014 NAB Radio and Television Board elections. Those chosen for the Radio Board include Pete Booker, Delmarva Broadcasting/Wilmington, DE; Steven Cutler, Clear Channel/New York; Gary Exline, Eagle Communications/St. Joseph, MO; Kim Guthrie, Cox Media Group/Atlanta; Erik Hellum, Townsquare Media/Greenwich, CT; Deon Levingston, Emmis Communications/New York; Margaret Perkins, First Natchez Radio Group/Natchez, MS; Mary Quass, NRG Media/Cedar Rapid, IA; Joe Schwartz, Cherry Creek Radio/Denver; Jose Valle, Univision Radio/Los Angeles; and Thomas Walker, Midwest Family Broadcasting/Madison, WI. The two-year terms of the newly elected board members will begin in June 2014.
From our “Everything Is Bigger In Texas” file, we offer you the photo on the right, documenting the huge, Texas-sized crowd that turned out to see independently syndicated Talk radio host and New York Times bestselling author Dave Ramsey at the sold-out Verizon Theater At Grand Prarie last weekend. Dave and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, hosted a daylong ‘Smart Conference’ for DFW fans, held in conjunction with his local affiliate KRLD-AM … Red Zebra Broadcasting and ’ESPN980′ WTEM/Washington hosts Brian Mitchell and Scott Jackson, who co-host (along with Doc Walker) the station’s Inside The Locker Room, sign a deal extension that will keep both personalities on the DC Sports/Talker through at least 2017 … Soccer star Pelé will sit down for an exclusive Q&A with an in-studio audience at the SiriusXM studios in New York City tomorrow (4/2), as part the satcaster’s ongoing Town Hall series. Moderated by longtime broadcaster Seamus Malin — who called Pelé’s games when the soccer legend played for the New York Cosmos — subscribers can catch the interview at 6pm (ET) on SiriusXM FC … Salem Radio Network host and part-time actor Mike Gallagher has taken to the stage once again, playing the character of Max Bialystock in the classic Mel Brooks-penned Broadway hit The Producers. Staged by Greenville, South Carolina’s Centre Stage Theater, GreenvilleOnline arts critic Paul Hyde specifically cited Gallagher’s performance in a recent review of the show saying, “Gallagher’s brash Max projects gleeful chutzpah and resilience, along with a resonant baritone, and he’s wonderfully funny.” Gallagher’s daily Talk radio show airs in Greenville-Spartanburg on ‘Conservative Talk 94.5′ WGTK-FM.
Attend just about radio industry meeting and you’ll likely run into a discussion of News/Talk radio’s aging demographics, with the gist of the conversation focusing mostly on the idea that older demos are a weakness and a detriment to those selling the Talk format. Meanwhile, a recent feature in the Los Angeles Times reports that network television, confronted with a similarly aging audience, is actively embracing and celebrating its audience of “affluent and influential 55-64 year olds” and has even coined a new term to identify the demographic — ‘Alpha-Boomers.’ Times reporter Meredith Blake reports that “the networks are aggressively making the case to advertisers that older viewers are valuable — especially the affluent and influential 55-to-64-year-olds they’re calling ‘alpha boomers.’ The 50-and-up crowd of today, they contend, is far different than the frugal and brand-loyal group that came of age during the Great Depression and World War II. CBS, NBC and ABC are pointing to research that shows consumers over 50 spend some $90 billion a year on cars alone. By 2017 they will control 70% of the nation’s disposable income.” So what could sellers of News/Talk radio learn from TV’s confident approach to selling advertisers on the wisdom and ROI of marketing to the format’s aging boomers? Read more HERE.
Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb has extended his partnership with WestwoodOne and NBC Sports Radio. McNabb (pictured) will continue to co-host the nationally syndicated Under Center with McNabb & Malone with on-air partner Mark Malone, Monday-Friday from 3-7pm (ET) … Radio imaging, production library, programming, and voiceover services company Benztown inks with PodcastOne to provide audio production services for the Norm Pattiz-run podcast curator and provider … BRAGGIN’ RIGHTS: Congrats to the crew at WTOP/Washington as the Hubbard-owned all-newser snags seven National Headliner Awards, including first place trophies in the Newscast, News Series and Website categories … FROST, the recently launched national challenge to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society headed by Las Vegas-based syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs, picks up additional participating hosts including KABC/Los Angeles morning talker Doug McIntyre, WHO/Des Moines afternooner Simon Conway, KDWN/Las Vegas personality Alan Stock and more. To get details on how to sign up to compete for a $1,000 Southwest Airlines gift card and ‘braggin’ rights’ to the title of America’s Top FROST (FundRaising Host), email the ‘Doc’ HERE … A Saudi man who was investigated following the Boston Marathon Bombings is reportedly suing talker Glenn Beck. Boston Magazine reports that Abdulrahman Alhabi is seeking damages for defamation of character in the suit filed against Beck, TheBlaze, Inc., Mercury Radio Arts and Premiere Networks (which distributes Beck’s daily syndicated Talk radio show). Neither a spokesperson for Beck’s companies nor Premiere Networks had any comment on the reported suit when contacted by NTS MediaOnline Today.
BRAGGIN’ RIGHTS: Congrats to CBS Radio News as the network is honored by the National Headliner Awards with first place trophies in both the Network Newscast and Breaking News or Continuing Coverage categories. CBS News also received a first place award for network news series. The National Headliner Awards recognize journalistic merit in the communications industry … The Alliance For Women In Media Foundation has tapped comedian and co-host of CBS-TV’s The Talk, Aisha Tyler, as the host of this year’s 39th annual Gracie Awards in Los Angeles … The cry of “play ball!” rings out across the nation on Sunday night as the 2014 Major League Baseball season gets underway in earnest, as the San Diego Padres host the L.A. Dodgers for a Sunday night opener that will air on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. SiriusXM will offer it’s most comprehensive MLB coverage to date, with this year marking the first full season that subscribers will have access to every regular season and post-season game via satellite radio, SiriusXM online and via the satcaster’s mobile app. SiriusXM is also home to the year-round MLB Network Radio channel … Maria Bartiromo is joining FOX News’ Sunday morning lineup with a new business show. Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo will premiere on March 30th at 10am (ET), bringing the veteran business reporter’s perspective and analysis to the week’s economic developments … Meanwhile, that’s FOX NewsRadio reporter Emily Wither (pictured) covering today’s events in Riyadh, as President Obama travels to Saudi Arabia for meetings with officials in the mideast kingdom.
Entercom has upped Joe Schembri to a new role as VP/Corporate Business Development, Sports Sales and Sponsorships. In his new job Schembri (pictured), who has served in a number of sales management rolls since joining the company in 2007, will report directly to Entercom Station Group President Weezie Kramer. Entercom serves as the radio broadcast partner for a number of professional and NCAA sports teams including the Boston Red Sox, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Kansas City Royals, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, San Jose Sharks, the University of Florida Gators and the Wichita State Shockers … BRAGGIN’ RIGHTS: In a follow-up to a ’braggin’ rights’ item that ran here in NTS MediaOnline Today earlier this week — in which WestwoodOne reported that the latest Nielsen Audio PPM ratings show that syndicated talker Michael Savage is ”besting” rival host Sean Hannity in head-to-head competition in several major markets — the folks at Premiere Networks checked-in to tout a few Nielsen Audio numbers of their own. An official release from the Clear Channel-owned network reports that Hannity has ”more than doubled the total audience” in the hours his show airs on new affiliates WOR/New York (+108%), KEIB/Los Angeles (+172%) and KSKY/Dallas (+128%) (Nielsen Audio, PPM, DEC’13 to FEB’14, Exact Times, AQH, P 12+), and also charges that Savage “is losing audience that he inherited from Hannity in droves” on former Sean Hannity Show affiliates WABC/New York (-49%), WLS/Chicago (-14%), and WBAP/Dallas (-43%) (Nielsen Audio PPM, Feb ’13 to Feb. ’14, Former Hannity Daypart, AQH, A 25-54). We suspect this won’t be the end of the war of words and dueling press releases between the battling national Talk radio hosts and their respective networks.