Speaking of Poynter, the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has joined forces with The Poynter Institute to provide its members with access to Poynter’s most popular journalism training resources. Active members of the Association will enjoy discounts to a wide range of webinars, self-directed courses, online group seminars and in-person training from Poynter’s distinguished faculty, along with some of the industry’s brightest minds and most accomplished journalists. “Our members have told us that training is a priority, as they look for ways to build their skills and be true leaders in our business,” said Mike Cavender, Executive Director of RTDNA. “We’re excited to expand our relationship with Poynter and provide more opportunities for professional growth.”
KFBK/Sacramento morning co-host Dan Mitchinson had actor and all around raconteur William Shatner as a guest on the show earlier this week, where they discussed a variety of topics, including the fact that Mitchinson has followed Shatner on Twitter for the past few years. During that time Mitchinson says he and Shatner (who will forever be remembered as Star Trek’s beloved original Captain Kirk) actually ‘live tweeted’ with one another on occasion about a now cancelled television show they both liked, Resurrection. “Since I followed him, I took a shot and asked him to follow me on Twitter and he said he would,” said the KFBK host. “I figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?” Yesterday during his regular show, a tweet popped up (pictured) on Mitchinson’s feed from Shatner reading: “@danmitchinson@kfbk. There, I followed (and then I unfollowed). I kept my promise!” You can hear Dan’s interview with Shatner HERE.
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WBAP/Dallas host Chris Krok (pictured left with his wife Faye) reports he and his family got the ride of their life when they got to be helicoptered to-and-from the recent Duck Commander 500 NASCAR race at the Texas Motor Speedway. This marked the third year that Krok and “Flock” have held a sold-out event at the popular racing venue, with some listeners choosing to ‘Texas Size’ their experience this year by opting to avoid the traffic and fly round trip from Fort Worth’s Alliance Airport to the Speedway, as Krok and his family did … Rachel Adams and Kelwynn Napoleon have been named Local Sales Managers for Cumulus/New Orleans. Napoleon joined the cluster seven years ago as Senior Account Executive, while Adams joins Cumulus from Entercom’s crosstown Big Easy stations, where she served as National Director of eCommerce and Digital Sales … Kudos to the crew at Alpha Media/Watertown, SD as the entire cluster did their part in helping to raise over $81,000 in donations during a two-day Radiothon to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network and the Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls.
Nielsen has released an analysis of March 2016 PPM results that shows listener interest in the 2016 U.S. presidential election continues to drive the audience of News/Talk radio to new highs. The format hit a 10% share of all radio listening (6+) in March 2016 PPM results — a level News/Talk hasn’t seen since the last presidential election in 2012. It also represents a nearly full share increase over March 2015’s 9.1 (6+) share for the format. Additionally, 18-34 demos for News/Talk rose from a 4.1% share in February to a 4.2% share in March, while adults 25-54 climbed from a 6.9% share in February to a 7.0% share. Both demos also increased nicely for the format year-to-year. A release from Nielsen commenting on its analysis of March PPM numbers states: From Democrats to Republicans, Undecideds to Independents, the conversation about America’s future president is being debated on News/Talk radio!
WSB/Atlanta talker Erick Erickson (left) — host of the Cox Media Group News/Talker’s weekday (5-7pm) Atlanta’s Afternoon News, has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition that’s sidelined the talk host and RedState Gatherings founder for the time being. In an open letter to listeners, Erickson detailed how he has been dealings with increasingly difficult symptoms in the past couple of months that made him realize something was medically very wrong. “Over the course of the past few weeks my lungs have been filling with blood clots,” he wrote. “It is rather sobering to have doctors tell you that you should be dead.” Asked for comment on Erickson’s sudden absence from the lineup, WSB Radio Program Director Pete Spriggs told NTS MediaOnline Today, “We are relieved, quite obviously, that Erick got to the doctors in time. He heard many times at the hospital, ‘You’re lucky to be alive.’ Spriggs also updated us with some up-to-the-minute good news about his PM drive host adding, “Things are going so well with with Erick’s care, there’s even a possibility he may be back on WSB for his show by the end of this week.”
WTMJ/Milwaukee announces several staff promotions and structural changes designed to “further grow the station as Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s premier source for local programming, local news and local connection.” Eric Brooks (right) has been promoted to the newly created position of Director, Programming & News, recognizing his contributions to the station since joining WTMJ in 2011. “WTMJ does more than aggregate others’ content, and Eric is greatly responsible for leading the team in that direction,” said Tom Langmyer, VP/GM for Scripps Radio/Milwaukee and VP News/Talk/Sports for E.W. Scripps. “Through Eric’s work, we have more reporters on the street and a greater focus on engaging local stories and topics to serve our listeners.” Concurrently, Erin Dismeier has been promoted to Executive Producer of Programming. She’ll also continue in her role as producer for Wisconsin’s Afternoon News and add supervisory duties for some members of the content team. Meanwhile, Erik Bilstad will continue as Executive Producer/News, while also serving as lead reporter and co-anchor of Wisconsin’s Afternoon News.
From our “Don’t Forget, The Mic Is Always ON” Department: National Talk radio and television host Laura Ingraham accidentally let an ‘F-bomb’ slip during her national radio show today. Several affiliates sent audio of the indiscretion in front of a live mic to NTS MediaOnline Today, where Ingraham is heard returning from a commercial break and sounding very distracted. The talk host, who was apparently experiencing some sort of significant technical malfunction in her studio, then calls out to show staffers, “What’s going on? What do I do, guys? I can’t hear anything!” Asking next if the show had gone to ‘Best of’ back-up mode, Ingraham — apparently believing her studio mic was dead — called out to her Executive Producer saying, “We’ve got to put a ‘Best Of’ on now, Drew, or we’ll lose every $#%! station we have.” When contacted following the incident, a spokesperson for Ingraham’s syndicator, Courtside Entertainment, declined comment.
CRTV (the parent company of Conservative Review) reports that due to strong early success, LevinTV — the monthly subscription digital television program recently launched by talk host Mark Levin (right) — CRTV has extended its deal to produce the new program through 2022. Broadcast in HD from CRTV’s bunker-themed, state-of-the-art, 3,000 square foot studio, subscribers can view LevinTV via laptop or home computer, iPhone, iPad, Android phone, tablet, Amazon, Amazon Fire and Roku. “This seven-year deal is positive proof that America has long wanted a show where people can have their principles, beliefs and values reinforced rather than attacked,” said Levin, who is also the editor-in-chief of Conservative Review and host of his eponymous, long running daily Talk radio show syndicated by Westwood One. “We knew that an unabashedly pro-American TV show would resonate throughout America.” Find out more HERE.
New research from the Radio Television Digital News Association reports that nearly half of radio News Directors responding to its annual survey of newsrooms across the U.S. say they’ve launched new online initiatives in the past year. Those initiatives include adding video; in-depth stories; keeping content fresher; posting more and more often with better stories; more specialized reporting, including government, science, weather and sports; special weekly web-only programs and content; more on-demand newscasts and news; data visualization; more live streaming; and more specialty content areas. News Directors also told RTDNA that they’re trying to improve planning to facilitate a “digital first” approach and, as a result, are hiring digital reporters and producers to focus on online content. Get additional insights and data from the study HERE.
Kudos to Rush Limbaugh as his 26th annual EIB Network Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon — held last Friday (4/8) — raised more than $3.3 million in donations. This year’s tally marks an increase of 15% over last year’s event. “I personally am deeply moved,” Limbaugh told his radio audience. “Every year I think it’s gonna be the year that we finally have topped out and we’re not gonna be able to beat the previous year. And I’ve never been right. And I’m not a pessimist. I’m a realist, as you know — the mayor of Realville. And you always surprise me, positively, which is another reason why, when people ask, ‘How do you stay so optimistic?’ I say, how could I not be, given my experience on this program and with you in the audience.” As always, Limbaugh and his wife Kathryn put their own money where Rush’s mouth is, as the couple upped last year’s contribution by $50k, ponying up a cool $650,000 to add to this year’s pledges. During this year’s fundraiser Limbaugh and his staff also paid tribute to the show’s long time chief-of-staff Christopher ‘Kit’ Carson, who succumbed to cancer just a little more than a year ago after a lengthy struggle with the disease.