The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has released the list of this year’s ‘Regional Winners’ of 2016 Edward R. Murrow Awards. Regional winners automatically advance to the national Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged in May. National awards, including those for network news organizations and for students, will be announced in June. A complete list of this year’s Regional Murrow Award winners can be found HERE … iHeartMedia/Denver and Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies have agreed to a five-year extension of their radio broadcast agreement that will keep the team’s play-by-play on KOA NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM through the 2021 baseball season. … As voters head to the polls in New York today, Media Monitors releases the latest in a series of ongoing updates tracking primary election spending on radio ads by the candidates. In the last ten days, Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders aired a whopping 4,846 spots, with rival Hillary Clinton coming in a distant second, airing 940 spots. Over on the Republican side, frontrunner Donald Trump aired a total of 278 radio spots between April 8th and 17th, while Ted Cruz aired 123 radio ads in the same period.
That was the word from NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith as he officially opened the 2016 NAB Show in Las Vegas earlier today. While the annual ‘Sin City’ broadcasters’ confab (which the NAB reports has attracted over 100,00 attendees from around the world this year) is always heavy on TV, film and digital content, Smith also took time to address radio broadcasters in the room saying, “Radio’s future lies in being available on every device and making choices that support its innovations. The future of radio also hinges on our ability to adapt and innovate, and we continue to fight for policies that enable stations to deliver their content across emerging platforms.” Smith also spoke to the evolution of a long time strong hold of radio — the automobile dashboard — and the impact the so-called ‘connected car’ will have on radio’s future. “As an industry, we are also focused on ensuring radio’s rightful place in the automotive dashboard of the future,” he said. “A recent study on the connected car reveals that radio is indispensable to drivers. It is the most used and most important audio source by far. And while many drivers desire interactive features, the great majority also want a traditional radio interface. We know that radio is what drivers want most, and we’ll also ensure that Detroit knows it.” Read the full text of Smith’s remarks HERE.
During an interview last Friday (4/15) on CBS Radio all-newser KNX 1070/Los Angeles’ MoneyHour, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was asked about the future of AM radio – a band on which so many News/Talk/Sports stations reside. “AM Radio has been a crucial communications means for this country forever,” replied Wheeler as he recalled listening to his AM transistor radio while delivering newspapers as a young boy. “What we have recently done is to go thru our AM Revitalization process, where we’ve upgraded the technological capabilities of AM and we’re allowing AM licensees to bid for FM translators, so that you can put your signal out on FM and extend the reach. We think AM plays a very important role in today’s society.” Asked about movement at the FCC on any possible changes in foreign ownership rules for radio, Wheeler again referenced how it is an issue that could impact AM radio. “This is something Commissioner O’Reilly and I have been working on,” he replied. “Our goal is how — for instance for AM radio — can we get the opportunity for more investment capital to come into the market and expand it. It’s something on our agenda and I hope we will be dealing with this year. Hear the full interview with Wheeler HERE.
The latest installment of Katz Media Group’s The Local Vote 2016 — released just in advance of the upcoming Pennsylvania Presidential Primary Election — reports that nearly every ‘opportunity voter’ (voters who are eligible but undecided) in the Keystone State listens to radio (95%), besting both cable television (89%) and broadcast TV (86%). Additionally, the KMG-commissioned study conducted by Nielsen found that Pennsylvania Primary voters who prefer News/Talk/Sports radio are more concerned about the issues of National Security (+9%), Immigration (+13%) and Government Spending (+10%) than the average primary voter … Congratulations to the crew at Alpha Media News/Talker WHIS/Bluefield, WV on being honored with multiple trophies at the recently held West Virginia Broadcasters annual Excellence In Broadcasting Awards, including the highest honor of the night, Legendary Station of the Year. WHIS also won Best Talk Show for Radio Active, hosted by Craig Hammond, while Alpha Media/Bluefield’s Dan Acquire took home 2016 honors for Best Sportscast … Internet radio entrepreneur Tom Leykis checks in to update us on the release of his private label wine, as 120 cases of his Pedal To The Metal Syrah have been bottled, with most already sold out in advance to fans of Tom’s show. “It’s an idea we had years ago,” Leykis told NTS MediaOnline Today. “No one we worked with in radio wanted to hear about it, so we went and did it ourselves. I’ve had plenty of success and financial rewards from years of working for radio stations and syndicators, but never had a day in which I was more proud.” Watch a video of ‘Pedal’s’ inaugural bottling line in action this week HERE.
CRTV (the parent company of Conservative Review) reports that due to strong early success, LevinTV — the monthly subscription digital television program recently launched by talk host Mark Levin (right) — CRTV has extended its deal to produce the new program through 2022. Broadcast in HD from CRTV’s bunker-themed, state-of-the-art, 3,000 square foot studio, subscribers can view LevinTV via laptop or home computer, iPhone, iPad, Android phone, tablet, Amazon, Amazon Fire and Roku. “This seven-year deal is positive proof that America has long wanted a show where people can have their principles, beliefs and values reinforced rather than attacked,” said Levin, who is also the editor-in-chief of Conservative Review and host of his eponymous, long running daily Talk radio show syndicated by Westwood One. “We knew that an unabashedly pro-American TV show would resonate throughout America.” Find out more HERE.
That’s the title Forbes bestows on Courtside Entertainment and Podcast One founder and CEO Norm Pattiz, in a feature appearing in the May issue of the magazine. Noting the many photos with Hollywood heavyweights dotting his office walls (like the one at left with former NBA champion and current PodcastOne star Shaquille O’Neal), Forbes staff writer Zack O’Malley Greenburg writes, “Hanging with the front row celebs isn’t just a perk for Pattiz; it’s the business model of Courtside Entertainment, the Beverly Hills-based parent of his latest venture, PodcastOne. Just as he did with radio syndicator Westwood One [Patttiz founded the now Cumulus Media-owned network], Pattiz believes he can turn his podcasting outfit into a national juggernaut and revolutionize an industry whose commercial clout still lags its cultural footprint by a stunning margin.” Get a sneak peak at the full feature — which hits newsstands nationwide next week — HERE.
Cumulus Media has appointed entertainment marketing professional Wendy Ellis (left) to the newly created position of Director of Marketing, Strategic and Creative Partnerships for the company’s Los Angeles stations — News/Talk KABC and rocker KLOS. Most recently Marketing Director for SoCal show promoter GoldenVoice, Ellis’ background also includes a 10-year stint in radio in the Twin Cities, and three years with The Firm, where she worked with radio on promotions and also served as as Tour Director for the music management and production group … iHeartMedia promotes Erik Johnson to Senior Vice President of Programming for its seven station Omaha cluster that includes 1110 NewsRadio KFAB. Johnson will be busy in his new gig, as along with his new cluster responsibilities he’ll also continue as PD for clustermates KGOR, KISO and KISO-HD2, while also retaining his role as afternoon drive personality on KXKT.
Westwood One News has managed to stitch together a group of New York City News and Talk radio stations — who would normally be fierce competitors — to all carry this Thursday night’s (4/14) CNN Democratic Primary Debate in advance of next week’s NY Primary election. Cumulus Media News/Talker WABC, iHeartMedia News/Talk WOR, Bloomberg’s Business/Talk WBBR, and CBS Radio all-newsers WINS and WCBS-AM will all air WW One’s exclusive network audio coverage of the debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders beginning at 9pm (ET) … ReelWorld and The Mix Group will join forces to host a first-of-its-kind imaging event – ReelMIX 2016. The two-day interactive experience will feature “hands-on imaging master classes with producers from both companies, insightful presentations by expert designers on trade software, plugins and hardware, and debates about the current and future state of imaging and production.” The event takes place Sept. 28th & 29th in Miami … A statement from Empire Broadcasting President Robert S. Kieve posted at the KLIV/San Jose website says the station will be dropping it’s long-running all-news format. Citing “the high expenses of running a news station and declining ad revenues,” Kieve says KLIV has been a labor of love, stating the station has not made a profit in any of its 30 years as an all-newser. As a result of the pending change to a Country music format, a number of staffers will lose their jobs. Read more HERE.
Keith Bratel (left) has been named Market President for iHeartMedia’s six-station Madison, WI cluster, including News/Talk WIBA, progressive talker WXXM-FM and Sports/Talk WTSO. Most recently Director of Sales for the Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s Trending Radio 92.3 and True Oldies 1290/100.3, Bratel also previously served a seven year stretch as Director of Sales for then Clear Channel/Milwaukee … Darci Ewell has been named Senior Vice President of Sales for iHeartMedia’s San Antonio and Austin region. The 20-year sales and management veteran most recently served as Market President for the company’s Colorado Springs-Pueblo stations.
That’s WHO/Des Moines afternoon driver Simon Conway (left) during his recent live broadcast from the annual Puppy Jake Foundation fundraiser, where more than $75,000 was raised while Simon was on the air. Conway is pictured with ‘ Chris Kyle’ — a service dog in-training named for the American Sniper. The Puppy Jake Foundation, which is dedicated to helping military veterans with professionally trained service dogs, is Conway’s chosen charity for his Talk radio show … Marc Cox has been named as the new midday host at Emmis FM News/Talker KFTK/St. Louis. Cox, best known as a longtime TV news reporter in the Gateway City, will assume the noon-3pm hours currently held by Radio America’s syndicated Dana Loesch. KFTK Program Director Jeff Allen tells STLToday.com‘s Joe Holleman that the move doesn’t reflect any dissatisfaction with Loesch (who relocated her family and show from St. Louis to Dallas in 2014, where she also now hosts a daily television show for Glenn Beck’s TheBlazeTV), it’s about the station’s goal to deliver fans a daily lineup of ‘live and local’ Talk shows … Editor’s Note: In our story on Friday (4/8) about CBS Radio News’ multiple wins at the 2016 National Headliner Awards, we inadvertently left out a link to the list of all this year’s Headliner winners, including WTOP/Washington, WBAL/Baltimore, WCBS-AM/New York and more. View the full list HERE … CONDOLENCES: To the family, friends and colleagues of longtime national Urban radio personality Doug Banks, who has died of complications after a long battle with diabetes. ABC7/Chicago has more HERE.