In the wake of the recently announced deal that made Compass Media Networks (CMN) the exclusive representative of affiliate and ad sales for the Wall Street Radio Networks, CMN CEO Peter Kosann has announced that Susan O’Connell — Senior Director of Affiliate Sales for the Wall Street Journal Radio Network since 2006 — is joining his network as a consultant. In her new role O’Connell (pictured) will be charged with helping to manage and enhance affiliate relations and strategy for WSJ Radio affiliates, which includes some 650 radio stations nationwide that broadcast both short-form money and business news reports under the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones and MarketWatch brands, and long form shows including The Wall Street Journal This Morning and The Wall Street Journal This Weekend. Both the weekday morning show and the one-hour weekend program are anchored by Gordon Deal.
In a story NTS MediaOnline Today has been following for you since last December, the FCC has cancelled a controversial project to determine how broadcast and newspaper newsrooms choose the news they cover that has raised the eyebrows of both broadcasters and Washington politicians. The agency released an official one-line statement saying, “The FCC will not move forward with the Critical Information Needs Study.” The Commission will reportedly now reassess the best way to identify any barriers to entry into the communications marketplace that is faced by entrepreneurs and other small businesses … TheBlaze Radio Network moves weekender Buck Sexton to a new weekday slot, where he’ll air from 2-4pm daily beginning March 13th. Sexton — a former CIA officer and NYPD Intelligence Analyst — joins a revised lineup that also includes Doc Thompson (6-9a); Glenn Beck (9am-noon); Jay Severin (2-5pm) and Pat & Stu (5-7pm) … Center Post Holdings, which purchased Business Talk Radio Network (BTRN) last year, is rebranding the network as BizTalkRadio. The rebranding comes with a new partnership with BizTalkRadio’s sister network, BizTV … At last night’s annual Oscar Award ceremonies in Los Angeles, ABC News Radio reporter David Blaustein caught up with this year’s Best Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong’o on the red carpet just before the show. That’s Nyong’o pictured above chatting with David, as actress Charlize Theron looks on (and looks fabulous!) in the background.
According to a recent major market pilot test by Nielsen, for the first time, a connection can be drawn between what consumers listen to on the radio and how they spend. The major market pilot test combined proprietary Nielsen data with ‘anonymized ‘panelist credit and debit card purchasing behavior covering more than 24 billion transactions and $2 trillion in annual sales primarily from the retail, travel, digital, restaurant, entertainment, financial services and telecom categories. By conducting the analysis at the local metro level, Nielsen identified unique radio ad spend opportunities specifically for the local market. For example, in Dallas – a major market where Nielsen reports there are more than 5.7 million weekly radio listeners and $344 million in radio ad spending per year — the study found that News/Talk listeners go to more movies and spend more money at the movies every year than any other listeners. On average, News/Talk radio fans spend roughly $25 more per buyer and watch 1.2 more movies annually. News/Talk listeners also spend more per trip. Read more from the Nielsen study HERE.
Tammy Trujillo (pictured) has been named News Director for the nationally syndicated Animal Radio. The longtime SoCal broadcaster and animal lover takes over a position previously held by 24/7 News Source anchor Stacey Cohen, who recently exited the weekly L.A.-based pet talk show following a relocation to the Phoenix area … Cumulus Media News/Talker WCOA-AM/Pensacola loses it’s FM simulcast as sister station WCOA-FM becomes Classic Hits The Jet 100.7, featuring the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom Show in wake-ups … KOMO-TV/Seattle News Director Holly Gauntt joins the RTDNA Board of Directors, representing Region 1, including Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington … Condolences: To the family, friends and former colleagues of Jack Clements who died February 17th at age 85. The longtime broadcaster, who served as President of Westwood One/NBC Radio before retiring some twenty-plus years ago, is also known for his years as an executive at Mutual Broadcasting, as well as from his prior stint as General Manager at WCAU/Philadelphia, where he helped launch the career of legendary Talk radio host, the late Bernard Meltzer. Get additional details HERE.
Broadcasters seeking a direct link to information about developments in the Ukraine can stay in touch 24/7 via AudioNow. The call-to-listen audio service has partnered with Espreso.tv and UkrStream.tv, based in Kiev, and Radio Svoboda, the Ukrainian-language broadcast of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, to offer around-the-clock news updates to mobile phone users across the U.S. and the United Kingdom … Actor Sean Penn presented the Media Social Visionary Award to John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises for Clear Channel, at last night’s unite4:good and Variety’s unite4:humanity event in Los Angeles. That’s Sykes (left) and Penn (right) pictured above with fellow honorees Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision for Bright Future International/AP Images, courtesy of CCM&E)
Twenty-seven year broadcast media veteran Valerie Blackburn announced today that she is stepping down from her dual roles as Controller for CBS Radio/Los Angeles and as General Manager of News/Talk 980 KFWB (the former CBS Radio-owned station now operated by the KFWB Asset Trust). Blackburn, who joined CBS in 2006, previously served as Market Controller and Director of Business Operations for Susquehanna Broadcasting’s San Francisco stations. Prior to that, she held a similar role for Jacor Broadcasting/Denver. A longtime member and supporter of the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) organization, and a past-chair of the Alliance for Women In Media (AWM), Blackburn reportedly told staffers that she is not headed to another company or position, rather she is planning to take an extended break from the industry’s daily grind to travel and reconnect with family and friends. Word is she’ll remain around the office for another month or so, while the company seeks to fill her considerable shoes.
In a speech to the DC-based Media Institute yesterday (2/26), FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn — who first proposed the controversial Critical Information Needs study of America’s newsrooms while serving as acting Chairman of the agency prior to Tom Wheeler’s confirmation — said fears about the intent behind the study have been greatly overblown. Reacting to charges the study posed a threat to the First Amendment and is little more than a thinly-veiled attempt to influence and even control the news decision-making process in broadcast and newspaper newsrooms Clyburn told attendees, “As a person who spent 14 years running a small, weekly newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, I would never be a part of any effort to chill speech, shape the news, or influence news gatherers. I am about facilitating ownership and opportunities and making sound decisions about our most critical industries based on solid research and not rhetoric. Period.” Clyburn — a Democrat appointed to the Commission by President Obama – also said the marketplace should be left alone when things are working well “as a general rule” but added, “When the market does not operate fairly of efficiently, I believe those of us in government should not hesitate to step in judiciously to ensure fairness and competition, or restore foreclosed opportunities. It is important to ensure that there not only is a level playing field, but also that the game is open to every player who wants to step onto that field.” Ready the full text of Clyburn’s remarks to the Media Institute HERE. (photo courtesy of MediaInstitute.org.)
Longtime Los Angeles Dodgers fan Larry King is set to host a new series for the team’s 24/7 television network SportsNet LA. The first edition of the hour-long Larry King At Bat will run on March 18th at 7pm (PT) on the cable network, available to Time Warner Cable subscribers in the L.A. area … Colleen O’Brien joins KIRO-FM/Seattle as morning news co-anchor, alongside veteran personality Dave Ross. O’Brien was most recently a reporter/anchor for KXLY-TV/Spokane … Stacy Cunningham is named Operations Manager at Entercom/San Francisco. Currently Director of Marketing for the four-station cluster that includes the Bay Area’s only FM Sports/Talker, 95.7 The Game (KGMZ), Cunningham (pictured) will continue to oversee the promotions and marketing team for now, as the search for her replacement gets underway immediately … From Our “Not Exactly Talk Media News” Department: Congrats to Seattle morning veteran BJ Shea as he and his Morning Experience crew re-up to remain in wake-ups at KISW, where the show has aired since 2006 when BJ successfully replaced Howard Stern following ‘The King of All Media’s’ move to satellite radio.
In the ongoing saga of the FCC’s proposed ‘Critical Information Needs’ study, a nationwide project that would have researchers questioning editorial decisions in America’s broadcast and newspaper newsrooms, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) says he’ll introduce a bill and also hold a hearing to put a halt to the FCC’s controversial proposal and to any similar future studies. Although FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler previously said he has directed the survey’s designers to eliminate any questions designed to inquire about newsroom philosophy or the editorial decision-making process, Walden says the agency head isn’t going far enough. “To date, Chairman Wheeler has insisted upon only making small tweaks, and what he has proposed to do isn’t enough,” said Walden (pictured) in a statement. “The study should be eradicated completely. It took nearly 25 years to get the Fairness Doctrine off the books once it had been ‘eliminated’ in 1987, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure this study, or any other effort by the government to control the output of America’s newsrooms, never sees the light of day.” Read more HERE.
In the wake of last week’s report that the FCC is backing down on it’s previously announced plan to monitor broadcast and newspaper newsrooms to assess whether or not the news media is meeting the public’s “critical information needs,” a new Rasmussen Poll of 1,000 likely voters shows that a whopping 71% believe the government has no business monitoring or policing the content of news organizations in this country. Meanwhile, although an even higher percentage (76%) of respondents said there are more than enough traditional and digital media outlets to make it possible for anyone to access “just about any political view and just about any news content,” a somewhat surprising 38% still believe the government should require all radio and TV stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal commentary. Nearly half (49%) disagree with what would amount to a return to the repealed Fairness Doctrine, while 13% are undecided. A breakdown in the numbers shows that respondents who identified as Democrats were the biggest supporter of government-mandated equal commentary rules (45%), while 53% of Republicans and 55% of voters not affiliated with either major party said they are opposed. Get more stats from the just released survey HERE.