A huge crowd turned out in Virginia over the weekend for a WMAL/Washington-hosted book signing featuring Westwood One talk host Mark Levin. That’s Levin (pictured) grabbing a photo souvenir with a wounded veteran of the Afghanistan war, who came by to get his copy of Plunder & Deceit autographed … Envision Networks syndicated John & Leah Show adds seven new affiliates, as Salem Media Group-owned KRLA/Los Angeles; KNTH/Houston; KLFE/Seattle; KCBQ/San Diego; KTKZ/Sacramento; WGTK-FM/Greenville, SC and WLSS/Sarasota all add the weekly Sunday night program co-hosted by Talk radio veteran John Ziegler and Leah Brandon … Christian broadcaster Moody Radio names Brian Dahlen as morning host for the company’s northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania stations, alongside coordinating producer, Kathleen Ferrini. Beginning August 31st Brian and Kathleen Mornings will air weekdays (6-9am) on Moody/Ohio FM’s 103.3 FM (Cleveland), 89.5 FM (Sandusky), 91.7 FM (Ashtabula), and 90.5 FM (Millersburg), and in western Pennsylvania on 90.1 FM (New Castle) and 91.9 FM (Meadville).
NTS MediaOnline Today sends our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of KOMO/Seattle news anchor Jane Shannon, who died suddenly this week. Before joining KOMO in 2010, Shannon (left) worked at crosstown stations KING-AM and KIRO, where she anchored that station’s morning drive news from 1993-2009. The KOMO website has more HERE … Alpha Media/San Antonio names Jessica Aguilar as Marketing Director for the cluster, including News/Talker KTSA. Aquilar was most recently Marketing Supervisor at Six Flags Fiesta Texas … Congrats to the crew at Bonneville/Phoenix, where their 15th annual Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s Hospital set a new fundraising record this week, with more than $1.47 million in donations collected during the 19-hour radio broadcast simulcast on both News/Talk KTAR 92.3 FM and Arizona Sports 98.7 FM … A benefit motorcycle ride named in honor of the late KFGO/Fargo meteorologist Terry Spies will be held next month. The inaugural Terry Spies Veterans Memorial Ride will take place on Saturday, September 5th to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.
A new study released today by Nielsen entitled State of the Media: Audio Today – A Focus on Medium and Small Markets, provides audience insights into those markets Nielsen still measures with diaries. While Nielsen’s PPM and the major markets surveyed by electronic audience measurement command most of the industry press headlines, the number of listeners in the 215 small and medium markets included in the report shows that some 65 million Americans (12+) are using radio every week in America’s small and medium cities. Although Country radio dominates as the #1 format in diary measured markets with a 15.9 share, News/Talk comes in as a solid #2 favorite overall, with an 11.1 share — the only format other than Country finishing in double digits. It also shows that traditional News/Talk radio’s core Baby Boomer audience (50-74) in non-PPM markets spend a solid 16 and a half hours listening to radio weekly, with News/Talk as their #1 favorite format and middays (10am-3pm) their most listened-to day part. “The power of radio in small and medium markets should not be overlooked,” says Jon Miller, Nielsen VP/Research. “In fact, a majority of radio usage in these markets come from employed consumers who are out of their home and one step closer to the point of purchase. That’s a solid foundation for both programmers and marketers to build on.” Get more details and download the full report for review HERE.
KXL/Portland host and Compass Media Networks syndicated talker Lars Larson recently hosted the unusually named Lars’ Lick For Leukemia event, held at Global Aviation in nearby Hillsboro, OR. Lars was on hand to encourage listeners to drop by and get their cheek swabbed for the Bone Marrow Registry. “If they match someone with cancer — there’s about a 4% chance of that, by the way — a bone marrow donation could save a life,” said Lars (pictured here with what he reports is about $75 million worth of aviation hardware parked behind him) … The NAB’s Senior Vice President of Legal & Regulatory Affairs, Jerianne Timmerman, pens some pointed words for the FCC on the agency’s failure to modify media ownership rules while claiming credit for upgrading other media rules to reflect today’s marketplace. “Despite Congress expressly requiring the FCC to regularly update its ownership rules, the Commission has repeatedly – even serially – failed to modernize those restrictions,” writes Timmerman at the NAB’s Policy Blog. Read the full post HERE.
WRNO/New Orleans Morning News host Gerry V (left, full name Gerry Vaillancourt) – is expanding his regional footprint, adding a simulcast of his daily show to the lineups at iHeartMedia sister stations WJBO/Baton Rouge and WBUV/Biloxi. As a result WJBO morning duo Kevin Meeks and Karen Henderson, and WBUV wake-up team Steve Taylor and Mike Mankiewicz, have “left the building” at their respective stations. The Greater Baton Rouge BusinessReport’s Ryan Broussard has more details on the regional Talk radio shake-up HERE … Young up and coming Talk media host Pavlina Osta is hoping to set the Guinness World Record for “Most interviews on the radio in 24 hours by an individual.” 17-year old Pavlina will make her attempt September 3rd and 4th in New York City and is seeking help from hosts at radio stations nationwide by interviewing her for five minutes on those dates to assist her in setting the record. Email Pavlina to set up a chat HERE … The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) will honor Cox Media Group EVP/National Ad Platforms and President of Cox Reps Kim Guthrie with the Frances Preston Trailblazer Award at the upcoming 2015 NAB/RAB Radio Show in Atlanta. The award is given annually by MIW to recognize “a woman who, through her leadership and success in the industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio.”
The upcoming NAB/RAB Radio Show in Atlanta will feature two sessions that are bound to be standing room only, as the still red hot ‘rock ’em sock ’em’ Voltair/PPM debate takes center stage — albeit in separate presentations. On October 1st, 25-Seven Systems and Telos Alliance exec Geoff Steadman will present New Monitoring Capabilities for Measuring Watermark Quality, showing how by using new tools such as Voltair “broadcasters are starting to correlate watermarking quality with other metrics, gleaning new insights into their operations.” That will be followed by a presentation entitled Nielsen PPM Encoding Update, in which Nielsen EVP Matt O’Grady and the ratings company’s Chief Engineer Arun Ramaswamy will share further details about Nielsen’s previously promised enhancements designed to improve its electronic audience measurement service. Get more details on this year’s Radio Show schedule of events, along with complete registration and hotel reservation info HERE.
• Meanwhile, in related news, researcher Richard Harker ponders whether Nielsen’s recently announced field-test of its PPM “enhancements” might be just a prelude to the ratings giant mandating an outright ban on use of the Voltair audio processor by stations. Read more in the latest post to Harker Research’s Radio InSights blog HERE.
Dave Scopinich has been named Vice President and Director of Sales for CBS Radio/Philadelphia. It’s a return to CBS’ Philly operation for Scopinich (right), who will oversee sales efforts for the entire six-station cluster and also serve as General Sales Manager for heritage all-newser KYW … ESPN Radio’s national coverage of Sunday afternoon NFL regular-season games will kick off its third year with an AFC doubleheader on Sunday, September 13th, when the Indianapolis Colts take on the Buffalo Bills at 1pm. (ET), followed by the defending AFC West Champion Denver Broncos taking on the Baltimore Ravens at 4pm. Marc Kestecher, Bill Rosinski and Ryan Ruocco will provide play-by-play, while Herm Edwards, Shaun O’Hara and Bill Polian will serve as analysts for this season’s ESPN NFL game coverage.
Greater Media announced today that Rob Williams is leaving his position as Vice President and Market Manager of the company’s Boston stations to take on a new job — one that’s closer to his Connecticut home — as co-Senior Vice President of Operations for Townsquare Media (alongside current Townsquare Regional VP Todd Lawley, who is upped to co-SVP/Ops). Concurrently, Greater Media has promoted Mary Menna (pictured) to succeed Williams as VP/Market Manager. She rises from her current GM position for the company’s WMJX, a job she’s held since 2014. Prior to that Menna was Market Manager for crosstown iHeartMedia/Clear Channel, where she spent 25 years in various sales and executive management roles. “Mary has done an outstanding job as general manager of Magic 106.7 over the past year,” said Greater Media Chairman/CEO Peter Smyth. “We look forward to her taking our entire Boston cluster to the next level and beyond.” Regarding this Friday’s (8/21) pending departure by Williams Smyth added, “I completely understand and respect Rob’s decision. We are grateful for the many contributions he has made over the past several years in Boston and wish him the best.”
Sports/Talker Colin Cowherd, who recently moved from ESPN to FOX Sports, proves you can go home again. The former local KFXX (1080 The Fan)/Portland, OR host returns to the Rose City on Friday, August 28th, to host a live show and event to launch Blunt & Bitter, a craft beer billed as “the official beer of The Herd With Colin Cowherd.” Both the beer and the ticketed event are being produced in conjunction with Rogue Ale & Spirits … AdLarge Media taps network radio and digital audio expert Mark Behrendt as the company’s new Detroit-based National Account Manager. Behrendt’s background spans network radio, digital audio, digital search, and sports marketing, including gigs at Dial Global, Skyview Networks, and ABC/ESPN Radio Networks … T-Mobile announced last Friday (8/14) that it will seek support from the company’s OEM partners to activate the FM radio chip in T-Mobile phones. Activating the chip, which is already present in Smartphones, enables users to download the NextRadio app, allowing them to hear local FM radio stations without burning through your phone’s battery and using up your data plan … Cumulus Media/Minneapolis has pulled the plug on its Twin Cities Sports/Talk trimulcast (WGVX-WRXP-WGVZ) in favor of a new hip-hop format that’s been dubbed ‘The Vibe 105.’
If you’re planning to see the new Meryl Streep film, Rikki and the Flash, in which the Academy Award winning actress plays a rock ‘n roll singer, look closely at the guy working the next register in a scene where Streep’s character is having a tough time learning to be a part-time grocery store check-out clerk. As she fumbles with her cash register at the fictitious Total Foods, you’ll see ‘Chris’ — the clerk at the next register—grimacing. The actor playing that roll is none other than Salem Radio Network east coast Affiliate Relations manager Jim Bligh (left), who shot his scenes for the film in Westchester County, NY. Calling Streep “very nice and a total professional” Bligh — who has appeared in several other Hollywood films — confirmed the legendary actress really couldn’t operate the cash register.