Dennis Prager’s Death Row Experience
July 17, 2014

Salem Radio Network host Dennis Prager spent this past Monday (7/14) on Death Row at Angola State Prison in Louisiana — the largest prison in America. He was there for the annual Returning Hearts Celebration organized by the Christian organization Awana. During his visit Prager met with a number of inmates (pictured) including one man who Prager asked if he felt sorry for himself. “No,” the inmate responded. “But I do regret the things I’ve done.” Meanwhile Prager learned that since Angola’s current warden Burl Cain arrived at the prison, things have improved considerably for its residents. “Before Burl Cain became Warden there was an average of 40 murders a year at Angola,” said Prager. “Since 2009, there has not be one murder. There are a handful of great men in every generation and Burl Cain is one of our generation’s great men.” Prager is sharing other insights that he gained from his visit to Angola with his talk show’s listeners all this week.

Ron Rivlin Moves To Sun Broadcast Group
July 16, 2014

Ron Rivlin has joined Sun Broadcast Group as SVP of Programming and Affiliate Relations. In his new gig, Rivlin (pictured) will oversee the affiliate sales department and focus on SBG’s current products, including The Marilu Henner Show, Nashville Music Minute and AccuWeather en Espanol, as well as developing and attracting new shows and services to the company. “Lately I’ve had the honor of welcoming some of the greatest men and women in radio to our team, and today I get that pleasure yet again.” said Jason Bailey, CEO of Sun Broadcast Group. “As we begin to finalize our 2015 lineup we needed the best of the best to lead the charge and anyone who knows Ron can tell you, he’s exactly that. I am honored that he chose to join our family and I’m excited for the amazing news he’ll have to share with all of you real soon!” Most recently VP/Affiliate Sales for Westwood One, Rivlin’s resume also includes stints at Triton Digital Media, where he served as VP/Interactive Solutions, and at ABC Radio Networks where he served as Senior Director. Email Ron to congratulate him on his new gig HERE!

Golloher Joins FOX News Radio
July 15, 2014

Fox News Radio (FNR) has signed veteran news reporter Jessica Golloher as a New York-based correspondent for the network. Starting August 4th, Golloher (pictured) joins FNR from her most recent post in Moscow, where she’s spent the past six years as a freelance reporter providing live coverage of such major recent events as Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the crisis in Ukraine, and the Winter Olympics in Sochi. An award-winning journalist, Golloher previously worked at radio stations in Washington DC, Boston, Tulsa, and Los Angeles. In her new role she’ll report on breaking news and provide daily live reports, while covering stories in the Northeast and across the country for FOX News Radio.

Talk Media News Notes
July 15, 2014

HEARD ON THE RADIO: Salem Radio Network host Bill Bennett is a big fan of Phil Steele’s College Football Preview and admits to buying multiple copies of the publication every year. So when Bennett heard Steele guesting on SiriusXM’s On Campus With Bill King, the SRN host and college football fan just had to call-in to the show. After the call from “Bill in Washington” host Bill King said, “We’ve had some very famous names call us in the past — Dale Berra, Yogi’s son called — we’ve had some good ones. But that one ranks right up there.” Hearing about King’s comment later, the former U.S. Secretary of Education, National Drug Czar, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the only Talk radio host in America to ever be confirmed three times by the U.S. Senate quipped, “Well, at least I’m almost as famous a Yogi Berra’s son!” … Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman and CBS Radio President/CEO Dan Mason will headline a 2014 NAB/RAB Radio Show ”Super Session” titled, From The Control Room To The Board Room. The 9:15am session will take place on September 11th in Indianapolis, where NAB EVP Radio John David will moderate a candid conversation with the two group heads who both started out their now long and successful broadcast careers as music radio DJ’s. Get more Radio Show details and registration info HERE.

Radio News Is On Front Lines In Middle East
July 14, 2014

As the latest flare-up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to unfold, network radio news veterans have been dispatched to the region to cover the fight and give affiliates an up close and personal view of events from both sides of the border. That’s ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky (left) reporting from the scene in Ashdod, Israel last Friday (7/11) where a missile launched by militants in Gaza hit a gas station. Meanwhile, CBS News Correspondent Holly Williams (right) is in Gaza covering the Palestinian militants as they continue to launch rockets into Southern Israel. Today, Williams was at Al-Sharif Hospital where two boys were brought after being injured when an Israeli airstrike hit their neighbor’s house. Both reporters offer a stark reminder to us all that covering the news in far-off places around the world can be a pretty dangerous business.

You Can Go Home Again … And Again
July 11, 2014

Alpha Media’s hometown News/Talk flagship, FM News 101 KXL/Portland, ups Joe Simons to co-anchor of Portland’s Afternoon News, where he joins current anchor Val Stouffer in the station’s 4-7pm time slot. Simons’ radio career began when he became the voice of Pullman High School athletics while attending Washington State University. Following graduation, Simons (pictured) returned to his native Portland and freelanced for a few years before moving to Idaho, where he spent two seasons as the voice of University of Idaho Women’s Basketball. In between hoops seasons, Simons also hosted a local radio and TV show, and served as a field reporter for KQQQ/Pullman. In 2013 he returned to Portland …. again … and joined KXL as the station’s weekend morning news anchor. Commenting on his move up to afternoon drive, Simons said, “I’m thrilled to be part of the incredible team at KXL. The amount of talent and experience our staff has is second to none. I hope to bring my unique perspective and enthusiasm to Portland’s Afternoon News.

Talk Media News Notes
July 11, 2014

The New York Daily News reports that a portion of a New York City street has been honorarily designated as Stan Brooks Way to pay tribute to the late WINS/New York City Hall reporter who worked at the CBS Radio all-newser for nearly five decades. The honorary street is located at the corner of W. 43rd and 10th Avenue, near where the veteran reporter and his wife lived. Brooks (pictured) died last December, barely two weeks after hanging up his headphones for the final time at WINS … 98.3 The Torch (KWQW/Des Moines) taps Dianna Kelly as News Director for the Cumulus Media-owned FM News/Talker. A multiple Associated Press award winner, Kelly’s radio resume includes previous stints in Atlanta, Fresno, Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas and suburban Nashville.

Why Content Matters
July 10, 2014

While Rush Limbaugh’s detractors have pushed the narrative of a downward ratings spiral for the Premiere Networks syndicated Talk radio host in recent months, a new ratings analysis by Harker Research paints a different picture in the number one and two radio markets — one that he says supports the premise that content matters. “In January of this year Rush Limbaugh switched affiliates in New York and Los Angeles,” writes company namesake and longtime media researcher Richard Harker. “In each case, Limbaugh left the leading News/Talk station and moved to a much weaker competitor. Now with six months of PPM data we can see what happened. In both instances the stations that added Limbaugh benefited, and the stations that lost Limbaugh took major ratings hits.” In Los Angeles, Harker reports that new Rush affiliate KEIB (The Patriot) has seen its weekly AQH nearly double, and numbers in Limbaugh’s time slot nearly tripled. Meanwhile in New York, where Limbaugh moved from Cumulus Media-owned WABC to crosstown Clear Channel News/Talker WOR, Harker says the results of that move are even more dramatic.After years of consistently trailing WABC, WOR is now essentially tied with WABC in full-week AQH,” Harker continues. “During Limbaugh’s time-slot WOR has tripled its numbers and bests WABC by a significant margin.” Harker adds the analysis confirms his belief that content matters in Talk radio and every radio format. “Listeners have options, more than ever,” he says. “They will not remain loyal to stations that stop delivering on expectations.” Read the full post HERE.

Talk Media News Notes
July 10, 2014

Greater Media/Charlotte’s syndicated Bob & Sheri morning show is literally on the road this week, broadcasting live from eight affiliate cities as Sheri Lynch and her family make their way across the USA in an RV, joined by co-host Bob Lacey at several stops. The “RV Crazy Tour” ends tomorrow with an appearance in Roswell, NM at The Alien Zone … Genesis Communications Networks has notified affiliates that the syndicated Jason Lewis Show is ending production as of August 1st. No word on future plans for Lewis, who was also previously syndicated by Premiere NetworksOVERHEARD ON THE RADIO: While filling in this week for KSKY/Dallas host Mark Davis, Salem Radio Network VP News and Talk Programming Tom Tradup asked his guest — heavyweight Hollywood film producer Jerry Bruckheimer – if he’s ever thought about a movie plot where the villain goes around whacking radio talk show hosts. Indicating that he just might be a closet fan of the medium Bruckheimer replied, “Oh, I don’t think so. We wouldn’t want to lose our talk show hosts, that would be terrible!”

Will Firing Cumia Cost SiriusXM Credibility?
July 9, 2014

In the wake of the firing of Opie & Anthony Show co-host Anthony Cumia by SiriusXM, The Motley Fool’s David Stegon weighs in with his analysis on what the real costs for the satcaster could be. “The company decided to part ways with Cumia in an effort to avoid backlash from listeners, its advertisers, and other on-air talent,” writes Stegon. “But it also got an ugly protest from Cumia’s fans who canceled their accounts in support of the embattled host. More importantly, the move also will make it more difficult for SiriusXM to attract the on-air talent that can differentiate the service in an increasingly crowded music marketplace.” Read the full story — including how Stegon thinks SiriusXM should have handled the incident differently, and why he believes Talk talent will be critical to satellite radio’s future — HERE.