Talk Media News Notes
February 20, 2015

NextRadio is launching a national marketing campaign to promote the availability of FM radio on mobile devices on Monday (2/23) and NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith is urging broadcasters to get behind the effort that has been long led by Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan. Hear the variety of produced spots available for stations to utilize HERE … Shari Gonzalez has been named Vice President of Sales for iHeartMedia’s Miami-Ft. Lauderdale cluster. She was most recently GSM at crosstown WPOW … To wrap up ‘Fashion Week’ in New York City, veteran radio personality Joan Hamburg will host a special entitled, The Business of Fashion Week on Cumulus Media News/Talker WABC. Featuring interviews with leading fashion industry insiders, Joan’s special airs Saturday (2/21) at 7pm (ET) … Paula Deen Ventures partners with Compass Media Networks to launch a new daily radio vignette, Get Cooking with Paula Deen, and a weekly long-form podcast, What’s Cooking with Paula Deen. Both shows debut on May 1st.

Talk Media News Notes
February 19, 2015

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) will posthumously honor the late CBS News reporter and 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon with RTDNF’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the group’s 25th annual First Amendment Awards ceremony, on March 11th, in Washington, DC. Simon (right), one of the most honored journalists at CBS News, was tragically killed in a recent auto accident in New York City … The National Association of Broadcasters announced today that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will speak to attendees at the upcoming 2015 NAB Show in Las Vegas, on Wednesday, April 15th at 9am … WVBZ-FM/Greensboro will become the new exclusive radio flagship for North Carolina State University football and basketball games, beginning with the upcoming fall season.

Network/Syndication News Notes
February 19, 2015

WRKO/Boston adds long-running weekend home improvement show, The Money Pit, hosted by Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete (left) and syndicated by Talk Shows USAABC Radio will provide extensive coverage of this weekend’s (2/22) 87th annual Academy Awards, with correspondent Jason Nathanson kicking things off live from the red carpet, David Blaustein anchoring twice-hourly status reports from 8:20-12:20pm, and correspondents Alex Stone and Nathanson checking in from backstage at the awards ceremony at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles … Hoda Kotb, co-host of NBC Today’s 4th hour, signs up with SiriusXM to host a solo satellite radio show, Mondays and Wednesdays at 2pm (ET), beginning February 23rd on the satcaster’s Today Show Radio channel … Sun Broadcast Group’s syndicated Marilu Henner Show adds new affiliates WZON/Bangor, WSRQ/Sarasota and WLSC/Myrtle Beach … NBC Sports Group will provide live radio coverage of all three Triple Crown races for the first time via NBC Sports Radio, including live, exclusive coverage of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. For each race, NBC Sports Radio will present two hours of live coverage, produced in partnership with Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) and distributed by Westwood One … As of February 28th, SWN CommunicationsThe Inside Track radio show, hosted by long-time broadcasters Charlie Ricks and Bernie Halprin, will become part of the weekend lineup at Yahoo Sports Radio, where it will air Saturdays from 11am-1pm (ET) … Envision Networks rebrands its remote weather and news service as EnvisionVirtualServices “to better reflect the current virtual reports and future offerings of traffic and sports.”

NAB Unveils Crystal Award Finalists
February 19, 2015

The National Association of Broadcasters announced the 50 finalists for the 28th annual Crystal Radio Awards recognizing radio stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service. Among the News and Talk stations making this year’s final cut  are WINS/New York, KSL/Salt Lake City, WIBC-FM/Indianapolis and WCCO/Minneapolis — where PD Bob Shomper proudly notes it’s the CBS Radio News/Talker’s 5th nomination in the past six years. Crystal Radio Award finalists were chosen by a panel of judges representing broadcasting, community service organizations and public relations firms. Finalists will be honored and winners announced on April 14th at the annual NAB Show’s Radio Luncheon, where television and film star, bestselling author and Sun Broadcast Group syndicated radio personality Marilu Henner (pictured) will be the keynoter. See all 50 of this year’s finalists HERE.

Industry News Notes
February 18, 2015

According to the latest MIW Gender Analysis Study released by the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW), out of 11,205 AM and FM radio stations, 1,896 (17.4%) had women holding the General Manager title in 2014. Meanwhile, 30.4% of all stations have women as sales managers, up slightly over last year. The greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be in the area of programming, where women currently program just 11.2% of all stations in the country, up marginally from the 10.7% registered eight years ago … Ralph Renzi is named Director of Sales for Cox Media Group/Miami. Renzi was most recently a member of the sales management team at WTOP/Washington … Digital media and sales veteran Dana Senit is named Sales Manager/Western Region for PodcastOne. Senit’s prior stints include Vice President, Western Region at TargetSpot; Senior Account Manager at XM Satellite Radio; National Radio Supervisor at Carat North America, and Senior Media Buyer at Focus Media.

Iconic Broadcaster Gary Owens Has Died
February 16, 2015

The industry began the week by mourning legendary broadcaster Gary Owens, who died at his home in Los Angeles. He was 80. While it was unquestionably his TV role as the finger-cupped-over-one-ear, droll and silly announcer on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In that made him famous nationwide, Owens was already a big time radio star even before taking Los Angeles by storm. The National Radio Hall of Fame inductee banked killer ratings in Tinseltown, mostly at the legendary KMPC, where he spent some two decades hosting a daily radio show, even as he added Laugh In, cartoon voiceovers (Roger Ramjet, Space Ghost) a long-running nationally syndicated radio comedy series and more to his plate. In recent years Owens gave readers a peek inside the voiceover business and offered sage career advice in the 2004 book, How To Make A Million Dollars With Your Voice (Or Lose Your Tonsils Trying). A quick look at Owens’ IMDB profile offers a fascinating look into the respected broadcaster’s wide and storied multi-media career.

Happy “World Radio Day!”
February 13, 2015

To celebrate today’s (2/13) annual ‘World Radio Day’ the team at radio marketing company CRN International got together for a group selfie, holding up signs to showcase some of the many reasons that people love radio. Some of the signs pictured include News, Talk and Sports (naturally our three favorites), along with excellent reminders about some strengths of the medium including Reach, Local, Proximity and Emotion. World Radio Day was created to acknowledge the impact of radio, why listeners love it and why it’s needed today more than ever. It’s a day designated to remember the unique power of radio, using a wide variety of formats and styles, to touch lives and bring people together across every corner of the globe. Meanwhile, CNN marked the day with a feature on how radio is giving voice to children worldwide. Watch HERE.

Talk Media News Notes
February 12, 2015

WYM Media syndicated talk personality Leslie Marshall appears on FOX News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor — live and on set with ‘Billo’ in Los Angeles — tonight (2/12) at 8 and 11pm (ET) … Stacey Kauffman is named General Sales Manager for Entercom’s six station Sacramento cluster, including Sports/Talker ESPN 1320. Kaufman (pictured) most recently served as Local Sales Manager for Hubbard Broadcasting’s WDRV/Chicago … The next stop on the  bankruptcy train for James Crystal Radio is a reported court-ordered auction of the company’s assets to pay off creditors, including the IRS. Three Florida radio stations will be auctioned off including talker WFTL/West Palm Beach, Sports/Talk WMEN/Royal Palm Beach and brokered-programming outlet WFLL/Ft. Lauderdale, along with Texas religious-formatted AM KBXD/Dallas … Condolences: To the family, friends and colleagues of retired KEX/Portland, OR News Director Jim Howe, who died February 6th after battling cancer. He was 75. Howe began his 39-year career with the now iHeartMedia-owned News/Talker in 1962, retiring in 2001.

A Matter Of Trust
February 11, 2015

A new Rasmussen poll reports that a growing number of Americans say they do not trust the news media. In fact, more made that statement than in similar polls taken just a year ago. The national telephone survey found that 38% of respondents “do not trust” the news media, with 8% now believing the news reported is “not at all trustworthy.” Read more HERE … Meanwhile in several related news notes: NBC News has now suspended Nightly News anchor Brian Williams for six months without pay in the wake of the firestorm of controversy caused by the his well-documented “mis-remembering” debacle. Read more HERE …Comedian  Jon Stewart — who has frequently shown up in various surveys as a trusted news source (especially among Millennials and GenX-ers) — has announced that he’s stepping down from The Daily Show. Stewart has spent nineteen years behind the “anchor” desk of Comedy Central’s faux news program that was launched in 1996. Read more HERE … And finally, we noticed this promo at CNN.com touting a Presidents’ Day edition of a game show, in which the network’s news anchors will compete in teams to see who knows their presidential trivia. Watch the promo HERE.

Talk Media News Notes
February 11, 2015

Veteran talker Rusty Humphries, who has been off the air since the implosion at syndicator Talk Radio Network back in September 2013, will launch a new podcast tomorrow (2/12) in conjunction with the Washington Times. “It’s been over a year since I’ve been on the radio. And I have been put down, I’ve been ripped off, I have been cut open, and now I am unleashed!” said Rusty (pictured) in a video posted on the Times’ website. “And nobody’s going to stop me, because I’m taking my show off of terrestrial radio and onto the digital domain.” See more of what Humphries had to say about his new Rebellion Radio venture HERE … Although Salem Radio Network host Michael Medved is undergoing treatment for throat cancer, his voice has not been totally silenced. Michael is continuing to write his regular daily commentary, tapping his son Danny Medved to handle voicing duties for the feature until he’s able to return to his SRN microphone … John McAfee, founder of McAfee Inc., the world’s largest dedicated security technology company, will make a very timely speaking appearance at the NAB Show Technology Luncheon, on Wednesday, April 15th, during the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas. More details HERE.