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!

Friday, April 4, 2008

April 4th 1968

Today I listened to a lot of the celebrations, discussions, memorials, marches, talking heads, services and everything else marking the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Everyone seems to have a take on where the dream has gone, where they were and weren't on April 4, 1968, whether relations between Blacks and Whites has gotten better or worse, if the discussion on race is meaningful enough or non-existent, where would Dr. King stand today on the fractured state of the US economy, the disappearance of the middle class, poverty, education, crime, parental and personal responsibility, whether he would have remained a preacher or if he would be a politician had he lived. I even heard a debate on just what the dream was as if it were hard to figure. If you go back to the speech on the plaza in 1963 he pretty much spells it out. Hillary Clinton was down in Memphis in front of as many cameras as possible, John McCain was apologizing for not voting for the King holiday 20 years ago and Barack Obama is listening to criticism for not being in Memphis even though he is just going about the business of being the personification of the dream. But as I watch CNN and some more talking heads pontificate, I think that Dr. King would be a little dismayed at all the talk. If he were alive today I'd hope he would say, "Enough already... just love one another".

Got Syndication News?

Syndication News

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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