A “Bold” Proposal For Talk Radio’s Future
March 19, 2015

Northeast Pennsylvania-based Bold Gold Media has debuted the Bold Gold Broadcasting and Media Foundation, dedicated to “supporting the advancement and training in spoken-word formats, such as Talk, News/Talk and All-News.” The just announced non-profit organization aims to better prepare and train “tomorrow’s broadcasters of liberty” for jobs in a changing radio media world. “It is critical that tomorrow’s thought leaders in the field of spoken-word formats be prepared to articulate, defend, educate and communicate principals important to the millions of Americans reached daily by radio,” reads the mission statement posted on the Foundation’s website. “The Foundation provides financial support, including scholarships, as well as equipment and expertise to educational organizations and programs that teach and train in the fields of broadcast communications and media. Creating educational and training opportunities for the best-and-brightest who aspire to a career in broadcasting is the most important need in Talk radio and spoken-word formats right now. In order for these formats to thrive they must remain relevant and attract new generations of listeners and broadcasters.” Find out more HERE.

Talk And Media Industry News Notes
March 19, 2015

Broadcast radio veteran Tom Schurr joins the executive ranks at Cumulus Media as the company’s new SVP/Operations. Reporting directly to President/CEO Lew Dickey, Schurr will oversee Cumulus station operations in multiple markets, including Dallas and Houston, with additional market responsibilities to be announced at a later date. Schurr (left) most recently served as President of Operations for Clear Channel/iHeartMedia … The Hartford Courant reports that former WTIC/Hartford talk host (and the controversial ex-governor of Connecticut) John Rowland has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison following his conviction for seven crimes associated with a conspiracy to break federal campaign law. Read more HERE … Media 11 founder Michael Fischer  joins Sun Broadcast Group in the newly created role of Strategic Development Advisor, focusing on expansion of the company’s Shazam for Radio division … NY Times deputy tech editor Molly Wood is leaving that post to join American Public Media where she’ll contribute to the roster of programing produced under the Marketplace banner … New York City radio management veteran Maire Mason – who previously held sales and management positions at CBS RadioMerlin Media and Univision —  is upped from GSM to VP/GM at Cumulus Media’s Big Apple Country outlet NASH-FM 94.7.

R.I.P. Jack ‘Charlie Brown’ Woods
March 19, 2015

Retired legendary radio personality Jack Woods – a.k.a. ‘Charlie’ of  National Radio Hall of Famer’s ‘Charlie & Harrigan’ (left) — has died from complications following a stroke he suffered last month. He was 80. On the Charlie & Harrigan Facebook page, Paul ‘Irv Harrigan’ Menard — Jack’s friend and on-air partner for some 50 years — commented on his loss saying simply, “I will love him forever and will miss him equally as long.” Meanwhile, Dallas radio icon Ron Chapman  the original ‘Harrigan’ who was paired with Woods for a couple of years beginning in 1962 at then Gordon McClendon-owned KLIF/Dallas – told Dallas Morning News reporter Robert Wilonsky, “Jack was the act. He has a touch. He had a subtlety, a sincerity to him.”

Woods, a former United States Marine and an iron worker, got into radio somewhat accidentally, deciding he needed a “safer” job after an iron beam fell on him, breaking his arm and fracturing his skull. Starting his career off in Davenport, IA, Woods went on to stints in New York, Washington, DC, Cleveland and other cities — most notably his final lengthy run in San Diego, where he and Menard took two stations — KFMB and later KCBQ — to #1 in morning drive before retiring. In an interview last year with the San Diego UT, prior to Charlie & Harrigan’s National Radio Hall of Fame induction, it was Jack himself who summed up his career best: “Radio was my life for nearly 50 years, and every single day was more fun than the day before. And I got paid for it!” Funeral details are pending.

(A Personal Note From Your Editor: As a former member of the San Diego radio broadcasting community and a longtime resident of ‘America’s Finest City,’ I have had the privilege of sharing a friendship with ‘Charlie & Harrigan’ for nearly two decades. I will always treasure the memories of my regular lunches with Jack and Paul over the years, where the duo would entertain me (and pretty much everyone within earshot at tables close by) with their non-stop banter and antics, and hilarious tales from their glory days in radio. Recently, I was asked by ‘the boys’ to introduce and induct them into the National Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014  — an honor and an evening that I will always treasure. So now I raise my glass — full of Jack’s favorite wine of course — and offer a toast: “Here’s to my friend Jack — one of radio’s truly good guys … and a really great broadcaster!”)

Bouvard Checks-In At Cumulus Media
March 18, 2015

Veteran media research, sales and marketing executive Pierre Bouvard has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer for Cumulus Media. Well known to the radio industry from his years as President of Sales for Arbitron – where he led the sales and marketing effort to launch Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) — in his new job Bouvard (left) will lead marketing strategies for the company’s local and national brands,  reporting directly to Cumulus President/CEO Lew Dickey. Bouvard’s 25-year sales and marketing resume also includes an early career gig as EVP of  research and consulting firm Coleman Insights, and his most recent position as Senior Vice President of Sales for TiVo Research & Analytics.

Talk Media News Notes
March 18, 2015

During a grilling by the House Oversight Committee yesterday (3/17), FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler apparently learned for the first time that the agency’s Inspector General has opened a formal investigation into the recent 3-2 party line vote by Commissioners to approve Wheeler’s plans to regulate the Internet under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. Critics of the regulations have suggested the Chairman may have improperly collaborated with the White House on the development of the so-called “Net Neutrality” rules, a charge Wheeler denied at the hearing. The Washington Post has more HEREAlpha Media has agreed to acquire four Lubbock, Texas stations from Wilks Broadcast Group, including KONE, KLLL, KBTE and KMMX. Upon closing, the deal will bring Alpha Media’s radio ownership group to a total of 96 stations nationwide … Broadcast veteran Jack Taddeo is tapped by NRG Media to manage its Cedar Rapids, Iowa cluster. Taddeo most recently managed a group of suburban Chicago radio stations for NextMedia.

Talk Media News Notes
March 17, 2015

Mark Starling is named as the new Morning Show Host/News Director at News Radio 570 WWNC/Ashville-Greenville. Getting his career started with a seven-year run in wake-ups at WLKF/Lakeland, FL, Starling (left) went on to stints in Ithaca and Rochester, NY, Harrisonburg, VA, Tampa and his most recent post as PM Drive news anchor for Cox Media Group/Orlando’s News 96.5FMWhoopi Goldberg, anchor/co-host for ABC-TV’s The View, took aim at New York Times reporter Laura Holson during yesterday’s (3/16) show for Holson’s behind the scenes story on the troubled TV talk show that characterized Whoopi as, “The family troublemaker, always ready to pick a fight.” See video of Goldberg addressing the charge in her inimitable style HERE (rant begins at about 12:20 during the Hot Topics segment) … Hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement that Triton Digital has been acquired by Vector Capital, comes news that former Triton COO and co-founder Mike Agovino is joining Norm Pattiz-founded Courtside Entertainment in the newly-created position of Executive Vice Chairman. In his new role, Agovino will work directly with Pattiz, as well as company President Kit Gray and COO Greg Batusic, across all divisions of the L.A.-based podcast aggregator.

Talk Media News Notes
March 16, 2015

Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey will speak this Thursday (3/19) at the SXSW Music and Media Conference. Dickey will be part of a panel entitled ‘The Marriage of Radio and Online Listening’ at the annual event held in Austin … The NAB has filed official comments with the FCC responding to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding extending its online public file rules to cable and satellite systems, as well as to broadcast radio stations. Read the filing HERE … Private capital firm Vector Capital has confirmed what has been rumored for the past several days — that the company has purchased Triton Digital from Oaktree CapitalGet Well Soon: Best wishes to former college basketball coach turned Sports radio personality John Thompson (pictured), who was conspicuously absent from his usual chair in the Westwood One Sports broadcast booth over the weekend, as the network opened its annual coverage of the NCAA’s “March Madness” tournament. The ex-Georgetown coach recently underwent surgery for a “benign twisted intestine” and a statement released by WW One says Thompson is now back at home and “recovering beautifully.”

Laurie Cantillo Leaves WTOP/Washington
March 13, 2015

As our subscribers first learned earlier today via a ‘Breaking News’ email, NTS MediaOnline Today has confirmed that WTOP/Washington Program Director Laurie Cantillo is leaving the Hubbard Broadcasting-owned all-newser. Cantillo joined WTOP in 2011 from WABC/New York, where she had served as PD. For the next year or so, Cantillo worked directly under longtime WTOP VP/News and Programming Jim Farley, in a well-planned management transition that culminated with Cantillo officially taking the programming reins at the station following Farley’s retirement at the end of 2013. Both Cantillo and SVP/Market Manager Joel Oxley called the break-up  “mutual” and friendly.

In a note to staffers, Cantillo (left) said, “WTOP is exceeding 2015 revenue goals and according to the latest ratings we’re the #1 radio station in Washington, DC, both 6+ and 25-54. Our anchors and reporters have never sounded better. Uniques and page views for WTOP.com are off the charts. We’re on the brink of an exciting partnership with NBC4. Morale is high: as high as the International Space Station, where we conducted a historic live interview this morning. It was electrifying! We’re on ‘TOP’ in every respect, which makes this the right time for me to pursue my next adventure. I thank Joel and Jim and the amazing people at Hubbard for the opportunity to lead WTOP. There is no finer multimedia newsroom in America and I will miss seeing you every day. My immediate plan is to co-create a screenplay – based on [her husband Beau Phillips] Beau’s book – and finally get around to writing my next best seller (Cantillo is co-author of the 1998 book Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World). Radio and digital media innovation will continue to be a big part of my life, so stay tuned!”Friends and colleagues can reach Laurie via email HERE.

FCC Unveils Open Internet Order
March 13, 2015

Following the FCC’s February 26th adoption of new rules governing so-called ‘Net Neutrality, the agency finally made public the full document yesterday (3/12). A release from the FCC says the new rules — voted in on a 3-2 strictly party line vote — are “grounded in the strongest possible legal foundation by relying on multiple sources of authority, including: Title II of the Communications Act and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.” The release further highlights three designated “Bright Line Rules” summarizing the primary directives of the Open Internet Order:

• No Blocking: Broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.

• No Throttling: Broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.

• No Paid Prioritization: Broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind—in other words, no “fast lanes.” This rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their affiliates.

Read the full text of the FCC Open Internet Order HERE.

Braggin’ Rights
March 12, 2015

Congrats to the team at WKZO/Kalamazoo, as the Midwest Communications-owned News/Talker took home a divisional ‘Station of the Year’ trophy — it’s fifth since 2008 — at this week’s Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ annual Broadcast Excellence Awards. Proud WKZO Brand Manager Jeremy Lawrence (right) calls it a “privilege” to work with WKZO’s award-winning team (they also took home six additional trophies at this year’s MAB awards) adding, “The Michigan Association of Broadcasters are only making official what we’ve known every single day here at the station — that this is a fantastic group that pour themselves into producing great content every time they come to work. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.”   

Don Benson, President/CEO of Lincoln Financial Media, will receive the Media Financial Management Association’s Avatar Award  in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the communications industry and exemplary role in community service. Don (left), who joined Lincoln Financial Media in 2006 when it merged with Jefferson-Pilot Communications, will be honored on May 18th during the group’s 55th annual conference in Phoenix. Benson currently oversee LFM’s 15 radio station in Atlanta, Miami, San Diego, and Denver. In December, 2104, LFM agreed to be acquired by Entercom Communications in a transaction that is expected to close sometime later this year.