Harker Research namesake Richard Harker is back with a new and provocative post to his Radio Insights blog, in which he is critical of Nielsen’s Newswire ratings analysis releases that portray rating trends like a horse race. “The truth is that Nielsen’s format trends have nothing to do with how a majority of stations in a format are doing,” says Harker, who cites a recent Nielsen analysis that has fueled a lot of hand-wringing over the so-called ‘death’ of Talk radio. “The problem with the analysis was that most of the ‘trend’ was actually driven by what was happening at a few outsized major market Cumulus Media Talk stations,” he notes. “WABC/New York, KABC/Los Angeles, WLS/Chicago, KGO/San Francisco and others had lost a third of their collective quarter-hours. No reasonable rate of Talk station growth in the other PPM markets could make up for the cratering of these few stations. The listenership losses were the equivalent of an entire small PPM market signing off.” Read Harker’s full post HERE.
In the wake of the recently announced retirement of Salem Radio Network President Greg Anderson at the end of this year, Salem Communications will restructure its broadcast division, consolidating the company’s radio and network divisions into one as of January 1st. Current radio division president Dave Santrella (right) will assume the new title President of Broadcast Media, adding oversight of SRN, the SMR/VMR rep firm and a variety of digital assets to his current radio division responsibilities. Concurrently, Phil Boyce is promoted to SVP/Salem Radio Network and Spoken Word Formats and will oversee all program and revenue aspects of Salem’s News and News/Talk Networks. Longtime SRN VP News and Talk Programming Tom Tradup and Salem Communications National News/Talk and Business Talk PD John Butler will both continue in their current roles, reporting to Boyce (pictured), who will also retain oversight of Salem’s New York City stations and work with other aspects of Salem’s spoken-word formats, most notably as a program consultant for national ministries.
Following his recent split with Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One, former Governor Mike Huckabee (left) has officially announced it’s “on with the show” and confirms he will continue to host his daily commentary, The Huckabee Report, without interruption to affiliates. Huckabee spokesperson and McConnell Media namesake, John McConnell, reports that a new distribution and ad sales partner for the daily feature will be announced next week. “The support and interest from the Governor’s current affiliates has been tremendous,” McConnell told NTS MediaOnline Today. “He’s beloved by his fans and his fan base is huge!” … Cumulus/Memphis has tapped popular local radio veteran Forrest Goodman as morning host at Newstalk 98.9. He’ll be joined for wake-up duties by Steve Butler, weekdays from 6-9am … Westwood One ups veteran network sales exec Julie Boruchov (right) to Vice-President, Sports Sales and Marketing/East Coast, in its network sales division. She was formerly Director, Sports Sales, East Coast. In her expanded role, Boruchov will work more closely with the network’s ports partners and agency clients to help drive revenue and maximize brand initiatives and activations, while also managing a team of east coast-based sports sales account executives.
Even the heartiest of those who populate the hallways and studios of morning drive radio across America will tell you that some days you feel like this is how you look to others answering that 3am alarm clock call. However, we’re happy to report that is not actually KKOB/Albuquerque morning host Bob Clark pictured above, it’s his in-studio guest ‘The Grinch’ — as played by actor Stefan Karl – who was there to chat up a local showing of How The Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical. The holiday favorite is based on the bestselling childrens’ book by the inimitable Dr. Seuss.
In the wake of yesterday’s NTS MediaOnline Today ‘Breaking News’ on the pending shut down of the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks, speculation and rumors continue to buzz as to who, or what might fill the void in business and financial news coverage long served by WSJ. While insiders believe that Compass Media Networks, which has been handling ad and affiliation sales for WSJ’s radio networks since March, may be gearing up to fill the hole, the shutdown of the WSJ networks next month may also present an opportunity for other providers — among them FOX News Radio, which currently distributes 14 hourly one-minute weekday financial and business news reports from FOX Business News to a reported 250 affiliates. Then there’s Westwood One’s syndicated CNBC product, which offers business news weekday mornings from 5-10am (ET). Also set to pursue the opportunity is Bloomberg Radio, which is syndicated via United Stations Radio Networks. “Bloomberg has long-form morning programs like First Word, and there are multiple live market updates and other financial features that can be tailored to a station’s particular requirements,” USRN’s Bob LaGrega told NTS MediaOnline Today. “We salute the long service of the WSJ team, but we’re also here to help fill the void and meet listener demand for financial news and information.”
After wrapping up weekend hosting duties for Premiere Networks syndicated Coast To Coast earlier this year, longtime Texas talker John B. Wells (pictured) debuted Caravan To Midnight, a daily three-hour subscriber-based cybercast. Produced Monday-Friday and available for broadcast in all day parts, Wells “explores and exploits critical news stories that the mainstream media often ignores or superficially covers.” John B. is now taking the next step, announcing a national syndication rollout of ‘Caravan’ via his own C2M Network, with WRKO/Boston signing on as the show’s the first Top 10 market affiliate (WRKO will air the show on Saturday nights). Heading up syndication efforts for Wells’ new Dallas-based venture is former CBS Radio ad exec David Rubini who said, “John B. has a long track record for making money for his clients. Given the instant and overwhelming response and support for the Caravan to Midnight cybercast, I’m confident his track record is going to get longer.” Wells also said his future plans also include developing new talent for syndication via his C2M Network.
After a nearly 20-year run at WRKO/Boston, local Beantown Talk radio legend Howie Carr is leaving the Entercom News/Talker as his current contract expires. While Carr (pictured) has not commented publicly on his departure, Entercom spokesperson Greg Kaufman told the Boston Globe’s Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein that Howie’s final day on the air at WRKO was last Friday (11/7) and said after taking this week off, Carr will resurface with a new show elsewhere in the market. No confirmation on just where Carr (recently recovered from injuries suffered in an auto accident earlier this month) might be headed, but speculation includes Black Strap Broadcasting’s crosstown AM 1510 WUFC (formerly WMEX), which currently features a lineup of local and national talk shows, among them Premiere Networks syndicated Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, Westwood One’s syndicated Dennis Miller and FOX Sports Radio Sports/Talkers Jay Mohr and JT The Brick.
As NTS MediaOnline Today subscribers learned via our ‘Breaking News’ email earlier today, the Wall Street Journal’s Editor-in-chief Gerry Baker came to the Wall Street Journal Radio Network studios in South Brunswick, NJ at 10am (ET) to deliver the news that all radio operations would be shutting down as of 12/31. The shutdown also includes MarketWatch Radio and all digital/podcasts. Although the network’s flagship program, The Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal, is a popular early-morning lineup mainstay with tons of News/Talk stations nationwide, Baker reportedly told staffers that the broadcast radio network just doesn’t fit with the company’s future plans. Compass Media Networks has been handling ad and affiliation sales for the WSJRN since last March.
Saying that “personal and professional reasons” have kept him from revealing an ongoing severe health crisis he has been suffering for the past five years, radio and television talk host Glenn Beck has revealed a secret — one he says he can no longer keep from friends and staffers of his growing multi-media company, Mercury Radio Arts. After experiencing a multitude of painful and often debilitating symptoms — including vocal cord paralysis, eyesight issues, an inability to sleep more than a few hours a day and sudden severe pain in his arms, hands, feet and legs — Beck was given a series of tests and examinations by specialists. But in the end no medications, diets or doctors helped him to improve. Then came the bombshell after Beck was tested for traumatic brain injury. “I was told at the time that I had anywhere between five and ten years before I would no longer be able to function,” Beck said on his Monday (11/10) show. “I was told to go home, take at least a year off, and enjoy the days with my children.” As he began to think he really should just walk away from everything, Beck said he found the Carrick Brain Centers in Texas, which specialize in “unconventional healing methods.” TheBlaze has more details on how doctors at Carrick helped Beck reverse his downward spiral and set him on a course for recovery HERE.
We can now tie up some loose ends leftover from two previous news stories we’ve reported, both involving veteran talk host Jim Villanucci. Yesterday (11/10) we reported that Kevin Wall had made a rather abrupt exit from afternoons at KXNT/Las Vegas. Today we can confirm that Wall’s replacement is Villanucci (pictured), who returns to active duty after exiting middays at Alpha Media News/Talker KXL/Portland back in mid-September, citing “personal reasons” for his exit at the time. Prior to his just over one-year stint at KXL, Villanucci had a long and successful run at KKOB/Albuquerque before exiting the now Cumulus Media owned News/Talker in early 2013 for the move to Portland. In a brief exchange with NTS MediaOnline Today, Villanucci confirmed that he’s already on the j-o-b at CBS Radio’s Sin City News/Talker, having officially started yesterday. “It all came together pretty quickly,” he said.