In the wake of yesterday’s news that Entercom has agreed to purchase the radio assets of Lincoln Financial Media, today we hear that longtime LFM President/CEO Don Benson (pictured), CFO Laura James and SVP/Programming John Dimick will all leave their respective posts upon merger of the two companies, which is expected to occur sometime early next year … Benztown Media has launched Cans-For-Cans, a holiday fundraiser and giveaway to benefit the L.A. Food Bank. Learn how you can help HERE … NBC-TV reports that SiriusXM star Howard Stern will return to the judge’s table for another season of America’s Got Talent, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2015 … Santa Claus has gone digital with his very own 24/7 iHeartRadio channel. North Pole Radio features a direct line (929-BIG-ELF1) for kids to call Santa, who will be playing and responding to the messages he receives up until he has to hitch up the reindeer for his round-the-world trip on Christmas Eve.
As NTS MediaOnline Today subscribers first learned via our ‘Breaking News’ email earlier today, Entercom Communications Corp has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Lincoln Financial Media from Lincoln Financial Group for $105 million plus working capital. The transaction is subject to FCC and other customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. The company expects that the deal will close in the second quarter of 2015. The agreement includes fifteen radio stations in the Atlanta, Denver, Miami and San Diego markets, and it will expand Entercom’s station portfolio to more than 130 stations in 26 markets. “Lincoln Financial Media is a great organization that has done an excellent job serving its listeners, customers and communities over many years and we look forward to building on that tradition,” said Entercom President/CEO David Field (pictured). “LFM is a perfect fit for us as it bolsters our position in Denver and expands our footprint into Atlanta, Miami and San Diego with terrific brands that have significant growth potential. Furthermore, it fulfills our disciplined acquisition criteria as it enhances our company’s competitive position and growth and should be accretive to shareholders in 2015 while having a minimal impact on leverage.” LFMs radio spoken-word station holdings include Sports/Talkers WQXI/Atlanta, KKFN-FM and KEPN-AM/Denver, and WAXY-AM&FM/Miami.
From our “Not Exactly Talk Media News” Department: Congrats to longtime KROQ/Los Angeles morning team Kevin & Bean (pictured) who will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame at ceremonies next spring during the annual Radio Luncheon at the NAB Show in Las Vegas … Veteran WBSM/New Bedford, MA air personality and Brand Manager Pete Braley gets pink-slipped at the Townsquare Media-owned News/Talker after 25 years on the job. Read more HERE … Warner Brothers options television rights to SiriusXM talk host Michael Smerconish’s fiction novel Talk, the story of a talk host who wrestles with his conscience vs. his ambition to rise to the top of conservative Talk radio. The TV drama is planned to debut in time for the 2016 presidential election … Sun Broadcast Group and Casa Media Partners enter into a sales partnership that will bring Sun’s Hispanic language programming lineup to CMP’s owned and operated stations. The two have also signed a long-term deal to expand AccuWeather en Español by offering listeners local weather updates and breaking weather news via the network’s Sun Latino division.
Following yesterday’s format detonation at Tampa Sports/Talker 98.7 The Fan (WFHS), the radio rumor mill is now buzzing that Bubba The Love Sponge (left) — recently dropped from the lineup at Cox Media Group’s crosstown FM talker 102.5 The Bone — will re-surface in mornings after the holidays to anchor a new format at now Beasley Broadcast-owned WFHS on January 5th … In the wake of Greg Strassel’s departure at iHeart Media, VP Strategic Services and Marketing Marc Chase will now oversee iHeart’s Brand Management Team, while SVP/Programming ‘Maynard’ will head-up the company’s Programming Strategic Review Team … Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, joined by 45 other Attorneys General nationwide, has reached a $3.8 million settlement with SiriusXM resolving allegations that the New York-based satellite radio company engaged in misleading advertising and billing practices. Read more HERE … Alpha Media Sports/Talker 1250 ESPN Radio/San Antonio adds an FM simulcast via translator at 94.5 … Sports media personality and boxing expert James “Smitty” Smith signs an exclusive management contract with industry veteran Steve Gallagher’s recently launched Creative Talent, Inc. The multi-year deal covers live television and syndication, radio, digital media, publishing and life coaching.
KXL/Portland inks another renewal deal with one of the Alpha Media News/Talker’s hosts, as Clyde Lewis (pictured) extends his contract to continuing hosting Ground Zero, weekday evenings, from 7pm-midnight. The nightly show is also syndicated nationally via Premiere Networks … A quick follow-up on Larry Elder’s abrupt departure from the lineup at KABC/Los Angeles earlier this week: Elder wants his fans to know that he is continuing to host his weekday talk show online at his official website, ElderStatement.com, from 3-6pm (PT) … After barely a year on the job, Greg Strassel exits his post as SVP/National Programming Platforms for iHeart Media … Premiere Networks gives Executive Director/International Business Development Tanya Juhasz VP stripes. Based in Los Angeles, Juhasz will continue to report to network President Julie Talbott as she identifies and develops opportunities for Premiere’s programming to reach audiences worldwide … DEPARTMENT OF “DOH!”: A quick correction to our story about Mike Florio’s new NFL-centric NBC Sports Radio show that debuts next month: Florio will assume hours currently occupied by Newy Scruggs, who moves to the 9am-noon time slot now hosted by Brian Kenny, who will exit the Westwood One-distributed sports network at the end of the year. Please adjust your score cards!
Beasley Broadcast Group has appointed Matt Smith as Vice President and Market Manager for its Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia radio stations. Most recently GSM at WJBR/Wilmington and DOS for Beasley’s Philly FM stations, in his new role he’ll oversee management of WJBR-FM and a trio of Philly AM stations, including WWDB, WTMR and WTEL (formerly WIP-AM). He’ll report to company President Bruce Beasley who said, “As our Philadelphia situation changed, due to the recent asset exchange with CBS Radio, we recognized an opportunity to place our remaining Delaware Valley radio stations under the guidance of one manager. We were drawn to Matt’s past accomplishments, loyalty to our company and to the innate leadership skills he possesses. Add to that his extensive experience in both the Philadelphia and Wilmington markets, and we believe Matt to be a perfect candidate for this position.”
Congrats to longtime FM News 101 KXL/Portland local host and Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated personality Lars Larson (pictured) as he inks a new five-year extension with Alpha Media to continue hosting his daily northwest Talk radio show … Heritage News/Talker KERN/Bakersfield adds an FM simulcast at 96.1 via translator … Politico.com reports that a U.S. District Court judge has ruled against Glenn Beck in the Talk radio and TV personality’s request to dismiss a libel suit brought against him by Abdulrahman Alharbi, Alharbi was initially questioned by police after the Boston Marathon bombing, but was ruled out as having had any involvement. The Saudi student says Beck used his show to accuse him of potential involvement in the bombing, prompting him to sue the talk host for libel. The ruling allows the suit to move forward … CONDOLENCES: To the family and former colleagues of Gateway City radio and TV personality Bob Hille who died last weekend at age 95. Hille was the first voice heard on KXOK/St. Louis when the station signed on in 1938 … Sincere sympathies also going out to the family and colleagues of longtime, retired Cleveland broadcaster Carl Reese (WTAM, WHK, WERE) who died November 28th at age 83.
A television news reporter in Charleston, West Virginia was shot at by an unknown gunman over the weekend while doing an interview with a local citizen about a recent shooting at a local department store. Fortunately, neither WCHS-TV reporter Sean Delancey (pictured), nor the local woman he was interviewing when the shots rang out were injured, but the incident definitely made an impression on the newsman. “When I heard the first shot, my whole body went stiff,” he said. “It was only when I got behind the car you realized how close it was because you could hear that zip.” The WCHS website has the full story HERE.
Cumulus Media has named Dave Milner to the new role of SVP of West Coast Markets. Most recently iHeartMedia/Sacramento Market President, the move marks a return to Cumulus for Milner (pictured) who previously served as General Sales Manager for the company’s San Francisco FM stations. His 20 years of media industry sales and management experience also includes positions as VP/Sales for both Entercom/San Francisco and iHeartMedia/Portland. In his new role, Milner will report directly to Cumulus President/CEO Lew Dickey who said, “Dave is an extremely talented broadcaster and another strong addition to our senior leadership team.” Commenting on his latest challenge Milner said, “I am extremely honored to have been given the opportunity to join Cumulus at the Senior Vice President level. The company has been assembling top assets in order to provide the best multi-platform solutions and results for its clients, making this a tremendous time to join Cumulus.”
David Bailin joins Sun Broadcast Group as Vice President of Sales. Most recently VP/Sales for Westwood One’s New York office, Bailin’s resume also includes prior stints with CBS Radio, Emmis Communications and Citadel Communications/Impact Marketing Group. SBG CEO Jason Bailey calls Bailin (pictured) “a true champion for radio” and says his addition to the network’s growing staff will give the company’s sales team “a leader by their side who is innovative and nothing but first class.” Bailin will be based at SBG’s NYC office … CBS Radio and Beasley Broadcast finalized their previously announced station swap yesterday (12/1). As a result, former CBS Radio/Tampa OM Rob Morris transfers to Miami, where he’s been named VP/Programming for the company’s newly acquired stations there, including Sports/Talk WQAM. Morris will report to longtime Beasley/Miami Market Manager Joe Bell, who will remain with the South Florida cluster that’s now owned and operated by CBS. Meanwhile, veteran radio exec Steve Carver, who had been SVP/Market Manager for the CBS stations in Tampa, will also remain with the company. A release says Carver will be working on several “special projects” going forward.
Signaling its expansion into affiliate sales, AdLarge Media has hired Jessica Sherman as Senior Director/Affiliate Marketing. With more than twenty years of experience in network radio, Sherman (pictured) has led affiliate sales teams at Westwood One, Dial Global, and Bloomberg. AdLarge CEO Gary Schonfeld called Sherman “the ideal executive to lead our new affiliate sales direction” and added, “Jessica knows the radio marketplace and has deep relationships with radio group owners, executives, managers and program directors across the industry.” … Salem Radio Network President Greg Anderson (who is retiring on December 31st) was honored by SRN/Dallas staff and management last night (12/1), during a surprise dinner at the LaCima Club in Las Colinas. Anderson, who literally began SRN from the trunk of his car some 21 years ago, has famously avoided the publicity limelight, but at last night’s event he good-naturedly suffered through a ‘This is Your Life’-style retrospective of his life and career from fellow SRN staffers and colleagues.