Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A New "Apple" In Town

Not since Doubleday's WAPP-FM in the 80's, has a New York radio station called itself "The Apple"...until today. Salem owned WWDJ-AM officially became WNYM and took on "The Apple" moniker. After some obvious stunting as an "All Sinatra All The Time" station, it is now home to Salem Radio Network talkers Mike Gallagher, Bill Bennett, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt, as well as Take On The Day's Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Westwood One's Jim Bohannon. The Wall Street Journal This Morning, anchored by Gordon Deal, airs 5-6am. PD Peter Thiele says the station, which will be positioned as the "Talk of New York", was created because New York listeners, "deserve another choice for entertaining, intelligent conversation."To which I say...Amen.

Friday, August 1, 2008

- - - - - Anniversary Rush!

As much as it pains me to call attention to this, in the spirit of fairness and bi-partisanship we can't go on without recognizing the 20th broadcast anniversary of the Rush Limbaugh Show. Like it or not, Rush is still the undisputed king of Talk radio with his Premiere Radio Networks syndicated show airing on over 600 radio stations reaching an estimated 20 million listeners a week. As one would expect, Bushes 41 and 42 were among the listeners calling in to congratulate Limbaugh on his milestone anniversary on today's show. Putting aside for a moment the vitriol, hate and racism that spews forth from the mouth of "El Rushbo"on most days, you have to admit that he has a command of the art of personality radio that very few can claim. And that in a way is what is sad about the state of so-called conservative talk radio. There are far too many less talented Rush imitators who ape and mimic Limbaugh and his views even if they don't really believe them, just to be seen as his allies, "in the Rush camp". The end result is the proliferation of the viciousness and lack of civility without any real discussion of the issues that has become all to common in talk radio... from the right and from the left.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bob and Tom Back For More

The WFBQ Indianapolis-based morning duo have renewed a multi-year deal with the Premiere Radio Network to continue syndicating their daily radio show to about 150 affiliates nationwide. The deal also includes distribution of the recently announced Bob & Tom All-Nighter, a separate show created for stations seeking to add a more comedy driven version of the show to evenings and late nights. Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold have been teamed up on the air since1983 and have been nationally syndicated for the past 13 years.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Zier Hired at Air America

As reported in Radio Ink, veteran broadcast exec Bennett Zier has joined Air America Media as it's new CEO. Zier, who exited Dan Snyder's Red Zebra network back in March, will oversee all of the company's on-air, online and video initiatives. This is the second big hire for the progressive talk network in recent weeks following the appointment of Bill Hess as it's Senior VP of Programming.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Glenn Beck's Cincinnati Redux

After being absent from the Cincinnati airwaves for nearly two years, The Glen Beck Program returned to the town this week on WKRC airing from 9a-noon EST. "The only thing I've missed more than the people of Cincy is my regular fix of Skyline Chili!" said Beck. "I'm thrilled to be back on in Cincinnati, and I'm especially thrilled to be back on 'KRC". Beck's Premiere Radio Network syndicated show has been on a roll lately picking up a series of major market stations including KFMB San Diego, KXL Portland and WRNO New Orleans.

Joyner On The Lookout For "The Commentator"

Reach Media's syndicated morning man Tom Joyner has begun a search to fill the role of commentator on the show, currently held by Tavis Smiley...and he's doing it in a way that lifts up and spotlights up and coming leaders in news, entertainment and academics in the African-American community. For eight consecutive weeks a different personality will present his or her commentary during the Tom Joyner Morning Show. At the end of the two month search, one will permanently fill in for Smiley who announced earlier this year plans to leave the program to concentrate on other projects. As always Tom is using his tremendous "reach" to help edify young broadcasters who aspire to follow in his footsteps. Click here for Joyner's thoughts about moving on from Smiley and picking a new "Communicator".

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Portland's PK "Moves" to 107.5

There is some poetic justice in the fact that Superadio syndicated Morning show "PK's Playhouse" is "Movin" down the dial to CBS Radio's KVMX. Rose City Radio's KXJM Jammin 95.5 Portland, flipped from Rhythmic to Sports on May 12. But over the weekend, CBS Radio obtained the intellectual property of Jammin, and relaunched MOViN 107.5 as "Jammin' 107.5, Hits & Hip Hop". The Playhouse was the anchor show for the station and the one Jammin 95.5 program to "move" to Jammin' 107.5. PK has one of the underrated morning shows, famous for it's edgy gags and cranks and is another talent who knows how to extend the brand. The new Jammin' gets PH TV and the DVD compilations and Internet presence that the show brings to the table. Hip Hop still lives in the great Northwest and I'm sure the CBS decision was made a little easier by having PK on the loose.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Big Boy Takes Off In Houston

ABC Radio Networks' Big Boy's Neighborhood launches into mornings at Houstons' KPTY Party 93.3, replacing The Mexicanz. Cristal Bubblin stays on with the station moving to middays. Chico and Latin Rascal, the co-hosts of The Mexicanz, are on the loose. Contact the Latin Rascal at

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bye Stephen A. Hello SportsBabe

It was just a little sad to listen to Stephen A. Smith's final show on ESPN Radio last week. Supposedly he is moving on to "concentrate more on the television side of things", but that sounds an awful lot like what was said when he exited the show "Quite Frankly" on ESPN 2 to move over and "concentrate on the radio side of things". It makes you wonder what happened to his rising star, they go through them quickly at ESPN. Although his shtick might have been over the top for some, Smith was a breath of fresh air from the typical sports talk yada yada on the network and 1050 in New York. Loud and a little brash, Smith is a basketball insider and was fun to listen to especially when talking basketball. I'm sure he will contend that his depth of knowledge of all sports puts him on par with most other sports talk hosts, and I'd beg to differ, but his lane is basketball and he was appointment listening for me during the season. On the other hand, I was excited to hear of the return of one of the original ESPN radio hosts, Babe Donnellan, "The Fabulous Sports Babe". The Babe is back on WHBO Tampa after leaving the business in 2001 to battle breast cancer. I loved the Sports Babe, she like Stephen A., was a reason to listen beyond the scores and was more than a novelty as the first nationally syndicated female sports talk host. Back then I didn't care about that, she was just good. I listened to her afternoon show from Tampa earlier today and she sounded as good as ever...a little older but just as on it and just as much fun.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sharpton and Ballentine to Superadio

It's been in the works for months but it was just announced that Radio One and Superadio Networks have agreed to an arrangement moving all affiliation and national advertising sales of Syndication One talkers Al Sharpton and Warren Ballentine to Superadio. The new syndicator has a nice line up to build on with Sharpton currently airing on 20 stations including some legendary sticks like WVON Chicago, WOL Washington, WILD Boston and WCHB Detroit. WAMJ Atlanta which boasts a more than successful music/talk hybrid on FM, is also on the roster of affiliate stations. Part of the deal has Sharpton being picked up at Access.1 Talk WWRL New York, which will become the flagship station for the show. Warren Ballentine and his "Truth Fighters" airs in four of the top ten markets, including WAMJ, WILD and WCHB. It's on tap to begin airing in Chicago on WVON later this month.The decision by Radio One to put the two shows on FM in Atlanta, sandwiched between Steve Harvey and the talk leaning Michael Baisden is part of a much wider migration of talk away from AM and is providing a template for ratings challenged operators as well as an option to yet another music format on FM. Based on the ratings these two shows have gotten in's a very viable option.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rhodes Across America

I didn't forget the Randi Rhodes story...just wanted to wait and see how this one was going to play out. Monday, just four days away from her separation from Air America for her infamous comments during a KKGN San Francisco event, the Randi one landed with Chicago based syndicator Nova M Radio and has pulled off quite the syndication feat. Working out of WJNO West Palm Beach, Rhodes has not only maintained her affiliate base and kept moving without missing a beat, but has provided the marque talent that Nova M CEO Scott Manzo needed to recreate the progressive talk network he had when he was a major player at Air America. Manzo also was instrumental in launching The Randi Rhodes Show into national syndication in 2004. Click here to read Randi's love letter thanking her fans.


Monday, April 7, 2008

In LA, One's loss Is Another One's Gain

After Radio One's sale of KRBV V-101 Los Angeles to Bonneville, it seemed as if the company was out of business in Los Angeles, but a knight in shining armour has come to the rescue that keeps the company with more than just a presence in LA. Magic Broadcasting's KDAY has acquired "The Donnie McClurkin Show" and "T.D. Jakes Empowering Minutes", joining the "Spirit of Hip-Hop" as Syndication One properties clearing in the country's second largest market. However, there is something a little bigger happening here, the syndication arm of Radio One also announced the launch of comedienne Monique as host of a syndicated midday show that will also air on the station. Now this is beyond a tremendous coup for Syndication One, and Radio One maintaining a LA profile. The signing of Monique as a midday show breaks down the walls for that day part as the last bastion for local personality in the Urban format. Those walls have already been breached by Ryan Seacrest and most recently John Tesh in the CHR and Adult Contemporary formats and now it is possible to have a radio station completely syndicated from top to bottom. For radio purists of the live and local variety this day will live in infamy, but it also presents a tremendous opportunity for operators who, like it or not, may want to do it a different way. This calls for some discussion...comments are welcome.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Iverson The "Answer" For Entercom

Monday night Entercom debuted what looks like the "next-gen" Delilah with the national launch of "Your Time With Kim Iverson". Based out of KAMX Austin, the Hot AC night show is airing on seven other Entercom stations including KLAC Denver, WZPL Indianapolis, WRSK Portland, WMC Memphis, WTSS Buffalo and WPTE Norfolk. Iverson, the long time Entercom talent and former WPIX-TV New York weatherperson is being touted as having a show that will raise the content bar at night, blending fashion, fun and lifestyle. Nationally, mainstream Adult Contemporary nights have long been the playground of Premiere Radio's Delilah and more recently the John Tesh show, but this is a first attempt to speak directly to a younger AC audience. The show is also being made available to non-Entercom stations and in this period of "star driven" nationally syndicated shows, it's good to see a pure radio talent elevated to the national platform. Way to go Entercom!

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Corcoran Upped at Dial Global

Chris Corcoran has been named senior VP of Dial Global's programming division. In addition, he will also be GM of show prep division, as well as oversee affiliate sales for both prep and programming. Corcoran previously served as VP of affiliate management for the company.

BA 's Smooth News

Broadcast Architecture has launched their "smooth news" service. The service is live and available for SMOOTH JAZZ NETWORK affiliates and is fed directly from the company’s websites and

Sovereign City Tests "Jim and Debbie"

Sovereign City Communications has begun beta testing a new morning show targeting women 35-54. "Your Morning with Jim and Debbie" will be anchored by former WCBS-FM New York personality Jim Harrington and WGKX Memphis morning host Debbie Montgomery. The show which is part of Sovereigns "positive programming" concept has no set start date.

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