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.
Longtime Boston Sports/Talker Glenn Ordway (pictured) — who was ousted at WEEI last year after a 27-year run – is going digital with the launch of Big Show Unfiltered on March 17th. The new Internet radio show will be available at Ordway’s new website in his familiar 3-6pm (ET) timeslot … Envision Networks weekly syndicated America Weekend adds new affiliate KAST/Portland. Meanwhile, Envision’s VirtualNWS Weather Reports anchored by meteorologist ‘Big’ John Wetherbee are added at WOXL/Greenville, NC … Genesis Communications Networks syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs recently hosted her third annual FAST4Kids gala to raise funds for the educational needs of autistic children. Over $10K was raised at the Las Vegas event that included appearances from actress Pia Zadora and comedian Steve Rossi, along with a surprise performance by the legendary Rich Little … CRN Digital Talk Radio launches Wall to Wald Sports, billed as a “hybrid of sports and politics” hosted by Ronnie Wald and Fred Wallin. The weekly show airs Friday’s at 1pm (ET) on CRN 1 … Talk Shows USA’s syndicated Extreme Genes Family History Radio adds new affiliate WTKI-AM & FM/Huntsville, AL … ESPN Deportes Radio Nueva York 1050 signs a deal with New York Mets’ English and Spanish language radio rights partner, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment, to continue as the Mets’ Spanish language flagship in the Big Apple through the 2016 season. As previously announced, Mets’ English language broadcasts will move this season to CC-owned News/Talker WOR/New York.
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.
J. Pat Miller is upped to Director of Marketing & Innovation for Journal/Milwaukee’s radio stations, including the company’s flagship News/Talker WTMJ and sister Adult Hits outlet 94.5 Lake FM (WLWK). In his new role, Miller (pictured) will continue to oversee all marketing activities for Journal/Milwaukee’s audio brands, while also adding “more direct responsibility for the creation, design and implementation of new, larger scale revenue producing initiatives.” Concurrently, Alison Helf is promoted to Promotions Manager for the stations, reporting to Miller … WTOP/Washington continues growing it’s online information platform with the addition of a new entertainment section to www.wtop.com. Longtime WTOP web writer Alicia Lozano has been named the section’s editor and will focus on managing the section, as well as on creating original digital content that will also include on-air contributions … Condolences: To the family, friends and colleagues of WTAX/Springfield, IL Morning Newswatch host Bob Murray who has died at age 66 after battling brain cancer. Springfield’s State-Journal Register has more on Murray’s 40+ year radio and television career HERE.
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.
Salem Communications/New York has tapped Joe Piscopo as the new morning host at AM 970 The Answer (WNYM). Piscopo, who has done numerous media and film projects since his early career days on Saturday Night Live from 1980-84, has been quietly filling-in during morning drive at the News/Talk station since January 3rd. Piscopo will be joined on the air by veteran morning show producer Frank Morano and newsman Al Gatullo. ”One of the best things I get to do in this job is find talented people who have accomplished something on one stage and are ready to take on another one,” said Salem VP Director of Spoken Word Format Phil Boyce. “Joe is extremely talented on the radio, bringing a level of entertainment to mix with the information that you seldom get to hear. This is a very connected morning show in the nation’s top market.” Citing a long ago achieved college degree in broadcasting Piscopo commented on his new gig saying, “I remain a dedicated student of the most intimate medium, radio. And with legendary broadcast giants like [WNYM GM] Jerry Crowley and current-day guru of all radio personalities past and present, Phil Boyce, this is the positively perfect storm of Talk radio. I honestly believe that this is not only the reinvention, renaissance and revitalization of AM radio — not to mention a totally new and exciting journey of my career — but the best thing to happen to New York radio since David Sarnoff!” Piscopo (pictured) fills a slot last occupied by Curtis Sliwa, who recently reunited with his former on-air partner Ron Kuby to host mid-afternoons at crosstown WABC.
Congrats to national conservative Talk radio host Mark Levin, who will receive the inaugural ‘Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award’ during this year’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), March 6th-8th, in Washington, DC. Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow will introduce Citizens United president David Bossie during the March 6th ceremony, who will present the award to Levin (pictured) along with Breitbart News President and CEO Larry Solov and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon. ”Mark Levin is not only a friend, but supports and defends the vision of our Founding Fathers on his nationally syndicated radio program daily,” Bossie told Breitbart News’ Tony Lee. “There is nobody better to receive this inaugural award and I am happy that he will be joining us at CPAC to accept it.” Levin, is also the author of several New York Times’ bestsellers including The Liberty Amendments; Restoring the American Republic; Liberty & Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto; Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America; and Men In Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America. His daily Talk radio show is syndicated by Cumulus Media Networks/WestwoodOne.
Cumulus Media-owned News/Talker WABC/New York is once again teaming up with the stars of New York City’s Great White Way for the 4th annual Imus On Broadway event to benefit the Imus Ranch for kids with cancer and other blood disorders. The one-night-only show will be held on Monday, February 24th, at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. Hosted by the New York Post’s theater columnist and host of PBS‘ Theater Talk Michael Riedel, the special ‘Taste of Broadway’ evening will feature performances from the casts of A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder, After Midnight, Avenue Q, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Chicago, Mama Mia, Motown The Musical, Kinky Boots, L.A. Soiree, The Lion King, Pippin, Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera. If you’ll be in the area next week, you can get more info on the fundraiser and purchase tickets to attend the “it-could-only-happen-in-New York City” event HERE.
Recent WestwoodOne/Cumulus Media Networks affiliates include WGKA/Atlanta, KMPT/Missoula, MT and WVOC/Columbia, SC (The Mark Levin Show); WTAR/Norfolk, KMPT/Missoula, WQSI/Montgomery, AL and WWBA/Tampa (The Savage Nation); and WTAR/Norfolk, WDAY/Fargo and KAOK/Lake Charles, LA (Red Eye Radio) … WHTC Holland, MI and WZGM Ashville, NC are the newest affiliates to sign on with the Las Vegas-based Dr. Daliah Show, hosted by physician and talk show host Daliah Wachs (pictured). The daily show is syndicated by Genesis Communications Network and is also available on iHeart Radio … Broadcast veteran Chuck Duncan joins Chicago-based digital audio venture RadioMD as Director of Global Sales, reporting to company founder Tim Disa, Sr. Duncan was most recently part of the ownership team at Rocky Mountain Radio … Katz Radio Group forms a new Health Care Strategies group and names LaTonya Chenault-Qawwee VP of the new unit that will be based in Washington, DC. A release from KRG says LaTonya will “work closely with the nation’s leading health care companies, as well as federal and state exchanges, to incorporate the latest health care reform needs into high-impact advertising packages.” … Rob Redding’s syndicated Redding News Review moves into the 5-8pm slot at WERE/Cleveland … Kendra O’Connor, most recently with Medialink Worldwide, joins the roster of publicists at Tampa-based Eclectic Media Productions.