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Radio

ABC News Dials Up New Radio Deal

ABCNewsRadio_10.6ABC News has signed on with Skyview Networks to distribute and market ABC News radio content.

The new arrangement, which begins in January, comes as ABC’s distribution agreement with Cumulus Media comes to an end. Cumulus, in its current state, is made up of many radio assets once owned by ABC. Disney sold off its ABC radio properties in 2007, even as ABC News continued producing radio content for 2,000 stations around the country, reaching 50 million listeners.

ABC News president James Goldston says the new deal “will help us deliver our content and bolster our sales effort. We’re going to expand our operations to invest in new programming, take control of distributing and marketing our content and deepen our affiliate relationships,” Goldston says.

Steve Jones, VP and General Manager of ABC Radio, will oversee the transition. ABC News Radio was recently honored with two Edward R. Murrow awards for journalistic excellence.

Skyview Networks, which specializes in news and sports programming, was formed in 1995 and provides distribution, inventory management and content for its radio partners.

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CNN is Back on the Radio

cnnlogoCumulus Media’s Westwood One is launching a new news service using the resources of CNN. The service will offer radio stations nationwide access to broadcast, breaking news, wire service and digital content from CNN for use on the air and on their websites.

Interestingly, it was Dial Global, the precursor of the current Westwood One, which sounded the death knell for CNN Radio. In 2012, Dial Global dropped CNN in favor of NBC News as its news provider.

The new service will enable Westwood One’s more than 10,000 affiliates to broadcast national and international news acquired by CNN but branded with their own call letters and station slogans.

“People that are serious about the business of news are in business with CNN,” said Ed Stephen, SVP and General Manager for CNN Newsource. “We look forward to helping Cumulus build a world-class radio news service.”

After years of cuts and service agreement changes, CNN got out of the radio business last year. When it shut down, CNN Radio was digital only, and consisted of podcasts.

Dave Marash On His ‘Inspiring’ New Job

Marash“The possibilities are inspiring,” says veteran newsman Dave Marash in describing his new job as co-news director of Sante Fe’s public radio station.

An official announcement named Marash, and former print journalist Zélie Pollon, as KSFR-FM’s new leadership team.

“My wife Amy and I moved to New Mexico in October of 2012,” Marash tells TVNewser, “and with all the legendary zeal of the convert, I love it out here.

“My friend Zelie interviewed me [for a KSFR program], and, afterwards, George Weston, the station’s general manager, asked me about possibly working at the station.  It turned out the news directorship was open.  Zelie and I talked about taking the job together as a job-share and convinced ourselves, and eventually, George and others, that this might work to everyone’s advantage.”

Marash says he also hopes to anchor a weekly interview news show.  In addition, he’s excited to turn the newsroom into a “workshop” by approaching ”all the local colleges and high schools about possible interns, who will trade their time and energy for training in reporting, radio writing and audio editing.”

A sixteen-year veteran of ABC’s Nightline, Marash made headlines in 2008 when he exited Al Jazeera English after expressing to management his disappointment in a lack of editorial input from its American staff.

Just this last week, American journalist Liz Wahl - citing editorial bias at Russian network RT – resigned her anchor job, albeit in a public, on-air announcement.

Rush Limbaugh Now Likely To Re-Up With Cumulus, Hannity Up In The Air

Last month, Cumulus Media threatened to drop two of its biggest stars across the country: Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. As we reported at the time, it was a very public negotiating strategy, rather than a serious threat, and it seems to have paid off.

Politico’s Dylan Byers reports that Limbaugh is now likely to re-sign with Cumulus, although Hannity’s future is still up in the air.

POLITICO learned of the plans on Thursday night when Cumulus-syndicated radio host Michael Savage told his listeners that he anticipated taking over Hannity’s time slot later this year on Cumulus stations.

“I predict, right here, right now, that I Michael Savage and the Savage Nation is going to take over The Sean Hannity Show time slot by the end of the year,” Savage announced. “I am the heir apparent to afternoon drive on the east coast and around America on Cumulus stations, which have the most powerful stations in the radio world.”

One thing to keep in mind about high-profile public negotiations is that anything can (and often will) happen. Hannity may end up being dropped, but don’t be surprised if they strike a new deal either.

As Radio Negotiations Continue, Rush Limbaugh Plans Hourlong Fox News Visit

With Cumulus Media saying publicly that it plans to drop Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity at the end of the year, the pair of talkers are calmly making their pitch public. Both Hannity and Limbaugh downplayed the report on their radio programs yesterday, reassuring listeners that regardless of what happens they will be able to listen to them.

We hear that the effort by Cumulus is part of a public negotiating strategy, and the two sides have set an August 1 deadline to strike new deals. As the Time Warner Cable/CBS spat shows, deadlines can be moved.

Tonight, both Hannity and Limbaugh will have an hour each in primetime on Fox News to make their case to viewers. Hannity has his daily 9 PM program, while Limbaugh will be interviewed by Greta Van Susteren on “On the Record” for the entire 10 PM hour.

Limbaugh is an occasional — though not regular — guest on FNC. He called into “The Five” earlier this month to shoot down a story suggesting he told his listeners to stop watching Fox News. And he has been interviewed by Van Susteren in 2009 and again in 2011.

One thing is clear, as the negotiations continue, don’t be surprised if things heat up.

Cumulus Media Plans To Drop Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh

Two of the biggest names in talk radio (one of whom also happens to be a big name in TV news) may be losing distribution on hundreds of radio stations. According to Politico’s Dylan Byers, Cumulus Media plans to drop Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity at the end of this year, after failing to come to terms on new contracts with the hosts.

The decision comes after negotiations between Cumulus and Premiere Networks, the division of Clear Channel that distributes Limbaugh and Hannity’s shows, broke down due to disagreements over the cost of the distribution rights, the source said. Cumulus is known to drive a hard bargain on costs, and Clear Channel is known to seek top dollar for big names.

A source in the agent community tells TVNewser that “this is a public negotiating tactic, it’s about sending a message.” In other words, don’t be surprised if Limbaugh, Hannity or both men remain on Cumulus.

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Jay Mohr On How Sports Journalism Compares To Comedy

Fox Sports Radio host Jay Mohr is profiled in this week’s “So What Do You Do?” Feature. Mohr is a comedian and actor who recently transitioned to the world of sports media.

How does doing a daily three-hour radio show compare to doing stand-up, SNL, TV and movies, and what has surprised you most so far?

What surprised me most is how huge a company Fox Sports Radio is and the [interview] access that comes with that, when you can interview a member of the Knicks, a member of the Lakers, a member of the Utah Jazz, Don Mattingly, manager of the Dodgers, and so on. I come in to work every morning and the guests we have lined up are consistently top caliber.
As far as how it compares to other mediums, I’ve always really loved structure. I wake up at the same time every day, come home relatively at the same time each day, and it’s perfect for me. It’s sort of like a shotgun structure: you go like crazy when you first wake up; you just sort of go nuts for five hours, then go home and refuel. And there’s no waiting around, which is the absolute worst and only bad part about acting. You spend 95 percent of your time in a trailer, eating candy and doing push-ups, wondering when they’re going to use you.

You can read the entire interview here.

Rush Limbaugh Threatens To Leave Cumulus Media

Talk-radio often sets the table for the world of TV news, and no one has set more tables than Rush Limbaugh. Now, Politico’s Dylan Byers reports that Limbaugh is threatening to leave Cumulus Media when his contract expires at the end of the year, potentially taking his services to a competing syndicator.

According to the source, Limbaugh is considering the move because Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey has blamed the company’s advertising losses on Limbaugh’s controversial remarks about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student. In Feb. 2012, Limbaugh referred to Fluke as “a slut” because she had called on congress to mandate insurance coverage of birth control. The subsequent controversy over those remarks resulted in a significant advertising boycott. The true extent of Limbaugh’s effect on Cumulus’s advertising revenue is not known.

It is likely a very public negotiating tactic by Limbaugh. If he truly was hurt by Cumulus’ statements, he would just leave when his contract expires, but by threatening to leave publicly, he is sending a message: “Pay up, or I go.”

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75 Years Of The ‘CBS World News Roundup’

Starting today, the platforms of CBS News are honoring one of their own: the “CBS World News Roundup.”

The Roundup, a CBS News Radio program, is the longest-running news broadcast, first informing viewers in 1938 when the Nazis invaded Austria. 75 years later, and it is still going strong.

The “World News Roundup” is not only the longest-running newscast, but also the broadcast the revolutionized the format. Having an “anchor” who tossed to correspondents in the field for news and analysis? That was a “Roundup” innovation.

“It basically revolutionized news coverage as we know it,” Harvey Nagler, the VP of CBS News, Radio tells TVNewser. “On March 13, 1938, It was the first time in broadcast history that there were multiple reports from different capitals-London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna–and on that broadcast Edward R. Murrow participated.”

It was kind of crude by today’s standards, in that there was even 12 seconds of dead air before Murrow’s report, but the population at that point of time was under the spell of radio,  and everyone was tuned into their radio to find out what was going on,” Nagler added.

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Glenn Beck, Geraldo Rivera Expand Radio Deals

Who says radio is dead? Former Fox News host Glenn Beck has re-signed with Premiere Radio Networks, while current Fox News anchor Geraldo Rivera is expanding his radio deal with Cumulus Media. Rivera has hosted “Geraldo” in New York and Los Angeles since earlier this year, and now Cumulus Media Networks is taking it national in advance of the November election.

“Despite the nation’s partisan divide, the success of the show on WABC and KABC is a clear indication that there is room in radio for someone who is not associated with a particular ideology,” Rivera says in a statement. “I’m a patriot and a pragmatic idealist, who believes both the political left and the right have contributions to make. I’ve also developed a comfortable enough relationship with the audience over the last four plus decades in television news for listeners in a spirited way to tell me when they think I’m full of beans. Like I say, ‘I’m not always right.’”

Beck, who also hosts a 9 AM- 12 PM show, has re-signed with Premiere Radio Networks,  a deal which the New York Times pegs at $100 million. Beck currently owns, operates and hosts a show on the web-TV network GBTV.

Mr. Beck’s show entered national syndication via Premiere, a unit of Clear Channel, 10 years ago. Now carried by more than 400 stations, the show typically ranks No. 3 among all news-talk radio shows, behind Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, so the contract extension brings a measure of stability to local stations that carry it.

And how did Glenn Beck get his first big break? He tells us:

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