Archive for the ‘Salem Radio’ Category

Hugh Hewitt in talks with MSNBC

Monday, May 1st, 2017

When Hewitt took over for Bill Bennett to do the 6-9 AM shift, I wondered if he was going to last as a morning guy. The purported MSNBC show would be an evening show, so it seems unlikely Hewitt would continue to get up at 4 AM for radio. Michael “Savage” Wiener had a show on MSNBC for a while, so anything is possible.

Maybe they could pair him with Rachel Maddow. That would be very annoying in an entertainment sense.

Man convicted of Home Invasion of Stu Epperson Jr

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Winston Salem Journal

Stu Epperson Jr is the son of the cofounder of the Salem media networks (SALM). A man attempted to break into his house and was caught by the police. The original story was kept fairly discrete, but I discovered the connection between the address or the crime occurred around the Epperson family. Stu Epperson is probably one of the most prominent people who live in Winston-Salem

John R Gambling says Goodbye

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Most of the last 90 years, New York City radio has had a Gambling helping start their day. John R is generation three of the Gambling radio family.

Most of his time was on WOR-AM, although he did move to WABC-AM in 2000, and back to WOR in 2008. He retired shortly after Clear Channel (iheartradio) bought the WOR, but unretired in 2014 and has been working at Salem’s “The Answer”

Friday he announced to his audience that the Gambling dynasty is over. There will be no 4th generation. Another WOR alumni fades to white noise…

Larry Elder gets another Chance

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

If you don’t know who Larry Elder is – he is a Los Angeles based black libertarian radio host with a long track record. He previously was in national syndication on ABC Radio and was let go in 2007 in favor of the new kid on the block – Mark Levin.

Larry has bounced around a bit, but he now has his second big Break. You may remember that Bill Bennett is leaving morning radio on Salem and being replaced by Hugh Hewitt. Larry will be filling the shoes of Hewitt from 6-9 PM ET.

I generally like Larry, but going against Levin is a tall order. Larry doesn’t have appeal to the black audience, he isn’t a red meat raging Conservative, religion isn’t his focus. Some white people listen looking for absolution from their racial sins, in the way Ken Hamblin (The Black Avenger) did, but being a Libertarian is not going to excite a national audience by itself.

One of my rules to live by is “Syndicated Talk has to be more than doing a local show and putting it on a Satellite”. A farmer listening in Kansas has no idea of what South Central is, doesn’t care about Governor Jerry Brown, and couldn’t tell you a thing about Santa Monica Boulevard. The time of day in California, the weather, traffic snarls, the sports teams, the quality of In-n-out burger mean nothing to a bus driver in Atlanta. TV shows can be fodder for national conversation, but that just encourages people to turn on their DVR.

Most of Salem’s stations are AM and start cutting back to nighttime power before or during this time period. It’s a tall order, but Larry Elder is the last best hope to make it fly.

Bill Bennett’s last day is scheduled for Friday, April 1st – but Bennett doesn’t usually work on Friday.

Big changes at Salem Radio

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

* disclaimer – I am a stockholder in SALM

For years, I have been advocating changes to the Salem Talk Lineup – the Bennett, Gallagher, Prager, Medved, Hewitt lineup hasn’t changed since I started tracking programming schedules. They’re all getting old. Back before Salem stopped paying for ratings, most of their station were drawing less than 1% shares, SALM stays afloat by selling books and magazine subscriptions, something people under the age of 50 don’t buy.

Bill Bennett announced on air this morning that he is stepping aside effective April 4th. He is 72 years old. He is best known for heading the Department of Education under Ronald Reagan, and being Drug Czar under George HW Bush.

Hugh Hewitt (currently on 6-9 PM) will move to mornings. Hewitt is a lawyer. He is a young 59 years old. Since most of Salem’s talk stations are on AM, the 6-9 PM ET time is when the potential audience starts to drift away. No report who will replace Hewitt – perhaps they’ll run 3 hours of infomercials.

Giving Florida Seniors “The Biz”

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

The unwinding of the AM Radio Disney empire continues. Salem Broadcasting ended up buying the stations that were not “red hot” – for about 1/3 to 1/4th of what Disney paid 15 years ago.

Salem got the keys today for WWMI-AM 1380 in Saint Petersburg (Tampa), a retirement haven full of seniors ready to fleece of their savings. Salem is going with their “Biz” lineup

What’s really curious is they have Mr “No funny Biz” on from 6-9 Monday-Friday – Chris Markowski. He does a syndicated weekend show called Watchdog on Wall Street where he reams Wall Street for being crooks. Most of what he says is absolutely true. He is no apologist like Bob Brinker.

Except for the 5am hour, the station is not carrying Bloomberg. Beasley has a competing station it acquired from CBS that carries mostly Dave Ramsey and Ray Lucia.

Radio and Biz can be a toxic stew. More than a few local hosts ended up being fraudsters or ponzi scheme organizers. Radio stations like to disavow responsibility when their hosts wind up in jail. Running a “biz” station requires close supervision. Keep your powder dry!

Rose has Landed

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

As long time readers know, Disney Radio decided to get out of Radio and sell off its overpriced major market AM stations. Salem Radio has been one buyer anxious to buy at the fire sale in markets where they don’t have an AM station.

Pittsburgh is one of those cities. It was announced a while back that Salem was buying Disney’s station in Pittsburgh

The surprise is Rose, the female half of the former Quinn & Rose is getting a drive time morning show on The Answer starting tomorrow. People have wondered what Rose and Quinn would be like as individuals – now we get a chance to find out. Keep your rosary beads handy.

A strange day for radio

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Who knew? Andy Parks was on WWRC-AM in Washington DC because the Washington Times newspaper was paying Salem Radio. Salem needs more revenue than the Washington Times was willing to pay, so he is history. Salem doesn’t subscribe to Neilsen for ratings – they measure success by how many books they sell and subscriptions to they sell. I wonder now if someone is paying to put Frank Gaffney on the air.

The other strange news of the day concerns Mark Levin. You probably are aware that on Wednesday he announced he was going to discuss his contract Thursday – and then was out “under the weather” on Thursday and Friday – on Thursday Westwood One (owned by Cumulus) announced Levin had signed a 5 year extension to his contract.

The news is that Cumulus is dumping Mark Levin from KABC-AM in Los Angeles. He will be moving to Salem’s KRLA-AM. While it gets Levin’s show on live, dumping your star from your second most important Owned and Operated affiliate is strange to say the least.

And Jim Bohannon just got his contract extended. That’s not strange, but indicates to me that Westwood One is operating pretty independently. Maybe someday they’ll be spun off in an IPO

And 91 year old Sumner Redstone – majority owner of CBS and Viacom was a “no show” at his own quarterly earnings call. Regime change may be in the air. Generation 2 is waiting in the wings.

Gambling with Gambling

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Salem Radio’s WNYM-AM in New York City has agreed to let Third Generation radio guy John Gambling on their station from 11 AM-1 PM. The station currently carries syndicated programming, and will replace it with two hours of local programming – originating from his home in Florida. Planned features will be the Shuffleboard Report, Golfing for Idiots and Restaurant Reviews of places that offer Senior discounts.

Salem CEO to cohost Mitch McConnell fundraiser

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Salem Radio has been in the news recently for buying up “right wing” media properties.

Ed Atsinger is one of the two founders of Salem Media. If you think Salem will be a venue to overturn the “Republican Establishment”, think again.

Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt will be speaking at the event.