Interest In Election 2016 Ratchets Up
February 5, 2016

A study released this week from the Pew Research Center reports that interest in the 2016 Presidential election is definitely ratcheting up, and that’s good news for Talk radio. According to a summary of the study, “About nine-in-ten U.S. adults (91%) learned about the election in the past week from at least one of 11 types of media sources, ranging from television, to digital, to radio, to print.” Pew reports awareness and interest is also high among young adults, with 83% of 18-29 year olds saying they have learned about the election from at least one media source in the past week. While cable news channels finished number one as the source for news and info on the election, after cable five source types are named as most helpful by between 10% and 14% of those who got news about the election: Local TV and social networking sites (14%), news websites and apps (13%), News/Talk radio (11%) and national nightly network television news (10%). Radio also fared well when respondents were asked what media sources they found “most helpful” when it comes to learning about the election. The broadcast medium finished Top 5 in the category across all demos, from 18 to 65+. Read the full report HERE.

Talk And Media News Notes
February 5, 2016

Former CBS Radio President/CEO and veteran radio programmer Dan Mason (left) opines on the ‘The Art of Programming’ in a recent post to LinkedIn’s Pulse. “Programming in the media, whether radio or television, the best and most brilliant programmers are the ones that have this instinct ability to take something large and bring it into something small,” writes Mason. Read the full post HERE … Longtime media consultant Walter Sabo pens a guest column for virtual local news provider Remote News Service, outlining how his experiences have taught him to recognize Five Signs Of Trouble In A Media Company. Among the actions Sabo cautions management about is looking elsewhere to confirm what will make your operation a success. “For local media, it is a serious mistake to look to other markets for answers. The answers must be right for one city. Management that asks, ‘Where else is it being done?’ has made a commitment to the past rather than to the future.” Read more HERE … MSNBC personality and former Air America Radio talk host Rachel Maddow (right) gets an extended interview in the current edition of Playboy — the magazine’s first non-nude issue. Asked if she believes “emotions and opinions have overtaken analysis and facts” in the media, the unabashed liberal told interviewer David Hochman, “I don’t have any animus toward the old news model, but I do think it’s facile and reductive to claim news was once unbiased and is now biased. Every time you choose which stories are important that day, you’re using news judgment and your subjective perspective on things.” Read the full interview HERE … Back in 2005 the New Yorker called Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt “the most famous conservative journalist liberals have never heard of.” Fast forward to the presidential election of 2016, where a USA Today feature by Roger Yu now characterizes the SRN talker as, “A wanted man as the go-to GOP pundit in this election year.” The feature reports that Hewitt (left) “is seemingly ubiquitous on TV, radio, online and social media.” Read the full feature HERE.

Beck Taps Padveen To Lead The Blaze
February 1, 2016

Stewart Padveen (left) has been chosen to lead Glenn Beck’s muti-media venture The Blaze. The digital start-up entrepreneur will succeed Kraig Kitchin, who has been filling the chief executive role at Beck’s company on an interim basis since Betsy Morgan left that post last year. A not so flattering portrayal of the executive changes at The Blaze by TheDailyBeast’s Lloyd Grove that made the rounds on social media over the weekend, suggested Kitchin’s departure was a sign of deeper problems at the company — something Kitchin sought to clarify in an extensive comment to NTS MediaOnline Today. “Since 2008, I’ve been working with a select group of on-air and production company clients at my management firm, Sound Mind,” said Kitchin (right). “It’s a thriving business that allows me to do what I do best – nurture and grow the businesses of some very talented individuals. Given my longstanding, ongoing relationship with Glenn Beck, from launching his radio show into national syndication in 2001 to working with him as a client since 2008, and consulting The Blaze since 2011, I was in a position to help him with the business of The Blaze last year when it needed attention.”

Addressing any suggestions his stepping down as interim CEO is anything other than planned and voluntary Kitchin continued, “Last June, I assumed the role of interim CEO for The Blaze while also running Sound Mind. Over the last several months we moved the New York City headquarters to Dallas, the TV division doubled their household cable TV distribution reach, and appointed a new Chief Financial Officer, Human Resources Director, Head of Content and a Managing Editor. 2015 was The Blaze’s most profitable year to date. Last week, Stewart Padveen was appointed president of The Blaze. He’s a digital media wiz with great leadership skills and the previous head of product for The Blaze. Despite the company’s growing pains with first generation employee turnover these past 12 months, the new management team, under Stewart’s leadership, and the talented folks that Glenn employs have a robust business to manage.”

Talk Media News Notes
February 1, 2016

It’s certainly no surprise that in recent weeks, WHO/Des Moines afternoon host Simon Conway (left) has spoken to just about every 2016 Presidential hopeful numerous times. But one conversation sparked the idea behind the talk host’s latest promo. “Some candidate was talking about their spine and I thought, hey, wait a minute — I have an actual titanium spine,” said Conway. And boom, a timely, politically-themed promo was born, just in time to throw his own hat in the ring for today’s Iowa Caucus. Watch it HERE … Veteran talk show host and multimedia journalist Michelle Jerson (right) and Salem Media Group News/Talker AM 970 The Answer (WNYM/New York) team up to present Michelle Jerson’s Passport: Taste, Travel and Live Well, a new weekend show focused on travel, wellness, dining and the arts. The new talk show debuts this Saturday (2/7) at 2pm (ET) … SiriusXM subscribers will not only have access to special programming all this week in advance of next Sunday’s 50th annual NFL Super Bowl, on the day of the Big Game the satcaster will offer live play-by-play coverage from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA in eight different languages including: English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Cantonese, Hungarian, German and Portuguese.

What Can Radio Learn From Donald Trump?
January 28, 2016

So, just in case you haven’t yet gotten your full ration of Donald Trump news today, we note an interesting post about ‘The Donald’ from longtime media researcher Mark Ramsey, who thinks radio could definitely learn something important from his campaign, regardless of your politics. While Ramsey concedes most everyone already knows about Trump’s uncanny knack of commanding the media’s attention, and how his campaign focuses on super-serving his supporters, he believes that, aside from all the obvious lessons Trump seems to teach the media daily, there’s one surprising thing he does that’s a lesson most radio stations could absolutely learn from. “The Trump campaign has on file the name, phone number, address, and email of every one of the tens of thousands who flock to Trump events nationwide,” says Ramsey. “Can your brand say that? Every person who goes to every Trump rally willingly gives-up their contact information because they want to hear from Trump. They want to be part of his tribe. They are fans, and that’s how fans behave. So what do you know about your fans?” Read more HERE.

Could Talk Radio Host A Trump/Cruz Face-Off?
January 27, 2016

Just before he boarded a plane for Iowa yesterday (1/26) GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump spoke to Westwood One syndicated talker Michael Savage, who told the Republican front runner that he hoped Trump wouldn’t show up at tomorrow night’s FOX News Channel GOP Candidates Debate. Not long after his chat on The Savage Nation, Trump told the press he would not appear on the next debate dais, something Savage (left) seemed delighted to HEAR … Meanwhile, Savage’s fellow Westwood One syndicated talk host Mark Levin (right) had GOP presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz on his show last night, where the Texas conservative challenged ‘The Donald’ to a one-on-one debate, suggesting it be held on Talk radio. Cruz also said if Trump is afraid of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, or Megyn Kelly hosting such a debate, he’s willing to do an hourlong head-to-head debate with no moderator. Hear audio HERE … And one more item to add to this conversation: FOX News has released an official statement on Trump’s decision to take a pass on tomorrow night’s scheduled GOP debate that reads in part: “Trump is still welcome at Thursday night’s debate and will be treated fairly, just as he has been during his 132 appearances on FOX News and FOX Business, but he can’t dictate the moderators or the questions.” You can read the network’s full statement HERE.

Jack Landreth Departs At KMBZ
January 27, 2016

In a memo to KMBZ/Kansas City staffers late yesterday, Program Director Jack Landreth announced he has resigned as PD of the Entercom News/Talker, citing personal and family reasons. Prior to arriving in KC four years ago, Landreth’s Talk radio programming resume included previous stints in Las Vegas, San Antonio, Tucson, and Nashville. In his classy departure note, that gave props and shout-outs by name to just about everyone in the building, Landreth said, “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished over the last four years as a team. I am going to move forward now and focus on my family’s health, as that is now my priority.” Friends and colleagues can reach Jack (pictured) HERE.

WBAP’s Hal Jay Marks 35 Years In Wake-Ups
January 25, 2016

Tomorrow (1/26) marks the 35th anniversary for longtime WBAP/Dallas morning host Hal Jay. Joining what was then Country-formatted WBAP back in 1981 (where at one point he pulled double duty, hosting both mornings and afternoon drive), Hal (left) successfully made the transition from playing those country hits in the 80’s and 90’s to talking about the ‘news hits’ of today as anchor of The WBAP Morning News alongside Brian Estridge. Hal has seen a lot of changes at the station over the years — a major format change, a couple of ownership changes and more — but through it all some things have remained constant: his great sense of humor and how much he still enjoys being the guy who gets the day started for so many Dallas-Ft. Worth listeners. NTS MediaOnline Today salutes Hal for making 35 years of great radio and entertaining and informing the now Cumulus Media-owned News/Talker’s audience with his own special and unique style. Email your congrats to Hal on his milestone anniversary HERE.

Headed Home With Some Hardware
January 25, 2016

Over the weekend, the Radio-Television News Association of Southern California (RTNA) held their 66th annual Golden Mikes award dinner at L.A.’s Universal City. That’s KFI/Los Angeles reporter Steve Gregory (left) showing off his three Golden Mike trophies, including one for his live coverage of the riots in Ferguson, MO, where the intrepid reporter dodged live gun fire, had his phone stolen and had to take shelter under a rental car! Meanwhile, crosstown CBS Radio all-newser KNX also carried home an armload of Golden Mikes from this year’s gala — five to be exact — including ‘Best Newscast Over Fifteen Minutes’ for the KNX Afternoon News. In addition, Mike Landa (who recently retired from KNX) was honored by RTNA with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Landa spent some 46 years at KNX, including three decades as the station’s Orange County Bureau Chief. That’s the KNX team (right) celebrating their wins including (Front row): Anchor Mike Simpson; Producer David Singer; Anchor Chris Sedens; Anchor Jim Thornton (Back row) Anchor/reporter Charles Feldman; Traffic reporter Jeff Baugh; Producer Laraine Herman; News Director Julie Chin; Reporter Pete Demetriou; Anchor Diane Thompson; Anchor Frank Mottek.

She’s Sexy, She’s Liberal And She’s Back
January 25, 2016

On the eve of the Iowa and New Hampshire presidential primaries, nationally syndicated talk host Stephanie Miller is set to launch the return of her Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour, with the first tour date scheduled to happen in Madison, WI on February 27th at the iconic Barrymore Theater. Along with Miller (pictured) the tour will also feature John Fugelsang and comedy duo Frangela. “America has spoken,” said Miller. “The 2016 Republican Presidential field has officially become so ridiculous that it has created a national comedy state of emergency that only America’s #1 comedy tour can answer. We hear your cry USA, and we’re on our way!” The Stephanie Miller Show is produced by WYD Media Management.