George Beasley has died

George Beasley has an interesting life story. Back in 2009 I did a profile of his company

Beasley in 2009

 

https://radioinsight.com/headlines/209007/beasley-media-founder-chairman-george-beasley-dies-at-89/

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Dana Loesch snuggles up to Audacy (CBS/Entercom)

Neither CBS nor Entercom has been a significant player in talk Syndication.  CBS’s niche was “all news” radio stations in major markets like WCBS, WINS, WBBM, KYW, WBZ, KCBS, etc.  A long time ago CBS had a relationship with Westwood One, but that was dissolved quite some time ago.  CBS experimented with FreeFM for a couple years, but it was entirely an internal syndication.

https://radioinsight.com/headlines/208961/audacy-adds-dana-loesch-to-talk-stations-in-eleven-markets/

Radio America is the syndicator for the Dana Loesch show.  It is owned by a nonprofit organization whose objective is to give attention to Washington DC politicians about the needs of veterans.  They previously had syndicated G Gordon Liddy.

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“Free Talk Live” shut down by FBI

Another little Discovery now that we’re out from under the covid prison

https://manchesterinklink.com/fbi-descends-on-keene-and-surrounding-areas-as-part-of-ongoing-federal-investigation/

 

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Buck Sexton to take over Rush Limbaugh’s Premiere time slot

So having your beloved uncle stuffed and sitting in the corner is not a substitute for him being alive.  It just reminds you of your loss.  Sorry, but Jason Lewis is no Rush Limbaugh.

A key marker is whether markets where the Rush Limbaugh was dropped (ie Chicago, Detroit, Houston, San Francisco) have an independent radio station  (not Cumulus or iHeart) step up fill the void.  I have not found any evidence of that yet. While most radio stations did pay to carry the Rush Limbaugh show, they aren’t going to do it to air Jason Lewis reminding us non-stop about his 2 years serving in the US House.

News Story

Showing how clueless Premiere is (their syndication head is female), they are softening the political nature of the show by pairing Buck Sexton with Clay Travis, a Fox Sports host who runs a web site focused on sports gambling.

 

Long time listeners to Rush Limbaugh know that one of his disappointments is that most of his audience hates sports. When he would talk about the NFL on Monday, or talk about playing golf over the weekend, his phone lines got flooded with people yelling at him to stop talking about sports.

That really hurt Rush’s feelings, but that’s the reality of who listened to his show.  We think the government powers in the Patriot act is more important than who the quarterback is for the Patriots.  Rush spent Sundays at the temple of the football, not going to church praying about ending abortion.

The Rush Limbaugh show, or the Travis / Sexton show, is going to hemorrhage affiliates like crazy.  Not only is Premiere going to destroy the Limbaugh franchise, they’re flushing Buck Sexton’s career at the same time.  Syndication contracts almost always have non-compete contracts, so either he gets to talk sports, or he goes off the air for a year and does a podcast on the internet and hopes people remember him.

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John Batchelor is at CBS

John Batchelor is almost synonymous with WABC-AM in New York.  John Batchelor had his local show in New York when 9/11 happened, and went on to be nationally syndicated on ABC radio.  Ultimately that became Westwood One / Cumulus media.

Cumulus has sold WABC to a local investor, and John left and is now on the CBS podcast Network, which by itself is odd since CBS sold out its radio interest to Entercom.  This happened in March 2021, and I’ve just gotten around to noticing it.  John Batchelor is 73 years old.

Inside Radio story

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Urban One hopes to open Casino in Richmond Virginia

The “woke” operator of around 50 radio stations targeted at black Americans has pitched itself as the operator of the proposed new Casino in Richmond Virginia.

https://www.virginiabusiness.com/article/richmond-panel-picks-urban-one-proposed-casino/

Levar Stoney is the mayor of Richmond.  He has been active in Democratic Party politics since he played football in college.   Part of his early political career involved being invooved in campaign effort in Wisconsin during the 2004 John Kerry election, and intially lying to police about knowing his friends had slashed the tires of vans intended to take Republican voters to the polls.

There are virtually no Republicans left in the city of Richmond, so we can expect great things in the future.  Approval of the casino is contingent upon a vote of the public in November, but all other Casino referendums have passed by wide margins.

Operation Elephant Takeover

https://journaltimes.com/news/local/five-democratic-activists-ordered-to-stand-trial-for-tire-slashing/article_1a7c13db-f9bc-5960-a0a3-557b7c9bba6d.html

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Is WSJS-AM dead?

So I decided to splurge on a portable radio, something that I haven’t had for probably 20 years. I wanted one that’s HD capable, which narrows the choices really fast.

I bought the HDR-14 from Sangean from Amazon for about $70. Walmart.com has it  for $137 (free shipping!).  Lowe’s claims to have it for $76 (pickup in the store in a day or two).  Note that it is AM and FM only, it’s not a shortwave receiver.  You really have to love radio to pay these prices.  A cheap non-HD portable can be bought for $10-15.

Note that HD does not stand for high definition, it stands for hybrid.  The radio has a very tinny weak speaker, which should not be a surprise. So if you’re buying a portable HD radio thinking you’re going to hear something in high fidelity, you’re seriously mistaken.

I am toying with the idea of allowing people to report radio stations they can hear over the air, and possibly more importantly – the radio stations that are not broadcasting, but have not told the FCC.

The “radio near me” link at the top of the blog will take you to the “near me” radio listing.  It does not currently have a reporting function, but the list is more accurate and intuitive than it used to be, especially if you happen to be listening for AM radio stations after dark (DXing).  By default, it shows you the stations that should be the strongest at the location you enter. You can enter a city name rather than GPS coordinates.

Of course, I wanted to see if my data was accurate, so I started looking over the radio stations that can be heard in Greensboro North Carolina. I’ve lived here almost a year, and have never turned on a radio.

Back in the 1970s, WSJS-AM (Winston Salem) was the only serious competitor to WBT in Charlotte in Piedmont NC.  It was affiliated with a TV station and it had an actual news staff.

So I pointed to the 600 kHz frequency, and there was nothing but static. It allegedly is a sports talk station, and their signal is directional pointing right at Greensboro. It should have been booming in.

Well that’s disappointing. But it turns out WSJS has an FM translator in Greensboro and simulcasts on two other AM stations. I switched to FM and went to the FM translator frequency, and there is a signal there because it’s silent – but there’s no actual programming.

Then I went to the website and tried to stream the station, and the stream started but is silent.

Then I went to their Facebook page, and the last update was in March of last year.  I called the phone number on the Facebook page (admittedly at 4 AM) and it just rang.  No voicemail.  I see now that I was calling the phone number to be on the air. The business office only answers their phones from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

If a radio station dies in a forest, does anyone care?

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Preparing for Bongino

Dan Bongino’s much anticipated run at overtaking the memory of Rush Limbaugh is scheduled to begin on May 24th.  Bongino has been doing a 1-hour podcast in the late evening, so this is a big change for him.

Dan Bongino was recently diagnosed with lymphoma, and there is some residue of a growth in his lungs. He has been straightforward about this, but you have to figure  program directors will have to factor that into their decision.

iHeartRadio has made it clear they intend to continue the Rush Limbaugh program indefinitely with various hosts playing old clips from Rush, which have been carefully archived and cataloged. I’m comfident that was always the case as Rush would frequently play clips of himself from the “I told you so” collection.

I just completed a review of every station that ever carried Rush Limbaugh that I was aware of. A lot of Rush affiliates are in the Midwest and either have no website or don’t stream, but I don’t doubt that he had around 500 affiliates.

The Bongino show will be syndicated by Westwood One, which is owned by Cumulus media. Cumulus has already said they are going to carry Bongino on their big market AM stations, but they’ve been quiet about their smaller stations.

Other than Cumulus, I only found one Rush affiliate who has announced ahead of time that they plan to carry Bongino.  Markley van Camp and Robbins have already grabbed at least 10 affiliates.  Grace Curley has a handful in New England, Cox is hoping RedState’s Erick Erickson will make a fool of himself…

There is not nearly enough data to show current listening patterns, but here it is at least as a starting point.  As of today, I have 198 current affiliates for Rush, 190 of which carry the entire three hour show live.  Note that these statistics go back 90 days, which was before Rush Limbaugh died.

 

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The bigger oil pipeline story

Source: https://www.enbridge.com/reports/2020-liquids-pipelines-customer-handbook/mainline

Effective today, May 13th, 2021, the Democratic governor of the state of Michigan has ordered the Enbridge pipeline to shut down the Line 5 pipeline that runs underneath the straits of Mackinac.  Enbridge is refusing to comply with the order.

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Bob & Sheri have a new home

Radio One does not broadcast to white people, so it is no surprise they have booted Bob and Sheri from the lunch counter at WLNK-FM in Charlotte NC.

Radio One acquired  WLNK-FM and WBT-AM in Charlotte from Entercom in a swap  during November 2020, and right away indicated Radio One would not renew the Bob & Sheri contract at the end of April.  WLNK-FM was their flagship station.

Beasley had acquired the CBS cluster that dominated Charlotte and one of their not-so-great stations is where the show is going to land.  Bob and Sheri have been on the air for 27 years, and accumulated 70 affiliates around the country.  An entire generation of people in Charlotte have grown up listening to this show.

Expect riots.

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