Nothing gets SaveWRKO readers worked up more than seeing some of our favorite execs winning awards for their hard “work” taking a wrecking ball to local radio. In today’s news, we’ve got a couple of especially bizarre examples, plus some bona fide, well-deserved honors.
With the most encouraging developments first, here they are:
— First, a big round of applause for Maine’s conservative talk radio powerhouse WGAN 560 AM after its huge ratings victory in the Portland market. In newly-released Fall 2008 Arbitron Survey figures, WGAN gained three full points to finish in first place with a huge 9.3 overall share of the audience.
WGAN’s conservative lineup includes Rush Limbaugh, Howie Carr, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and others.
Elsewhere, featuring an almost identical lineup, Cape Cod’s WXTK-FM also retained first place in the Cape book with a 10.4 share, while Worcester’s WTAG took fourth there with 5.5.
Given the near-certain surge in listeners thanks to the Obamists, one can only imagine how much higher this can go! Though we don’t yet have those figures, if the rapidly-increasing number of visitors to The Radio Equalizer since Inauguration Day is any indication, these are truly salad days for the medium.
— Meanwhile, in the dubious category is our longtime friend The Empress (above image), who’s been honored by some of her downtown pals:
ENTERCOM NEW ENGLAND’S JULIE KAHN RECEIVES 2009 PINNACLE AWARD
Kahn one of eight women honored by Boston Chamber of Commerce today for achievements in business and management
Boston, Mass. (January 29, 2008) – The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today honored the winners of its 2009 Pinnacle Awards.
This year’s honorees were recognized for their accomplishments in the following categories:
Achievement in Management, Private Sector: Julie Kahn, Vice President/New England Market Manager, Entercom New England.
As the driving force behind WEEI, America’s most listened-to sports radio station, Julie has paved the way for women in sports radio. She has built a broadcast empire that spans New England – syndicating Boston sports across nine radio stations in four states – and is expanding on the web. Julie and her team also have an extraordinary impact on the community – raising over $20 million for charities such as the Jimmy Fund.
Of course, there’s no mention of hiring felons, accused child rapists and presiding over the near-complete destruction of what was once a hugely-successful radio cluster. Further, the manager most responsible for WEEI’s success now works for the competition!
As one local radio insider notes, “so, let me get this straight: while WRKO sinks into the ocean faster then a torpedoed battleship, the captain gets an award? What a joke!”
— It doesn’t stop there, however: rival Greater Media’s CEO has also picked up his own “honor”, according to All Access, a broadcast trade publication:
Peter Smyth To Receive ‘Golden Mike’ Award
The BROADCASTERS FOUNDATION OF AMERICA’s Golden Mike benefit is being held FEBRUARY 23rd at the WALDORF ASTORIA, reports BROADCASTINGCALE.COM, and a golden throat is taking the mic as a headliner for the event, singer MELBA MOORE.
Writer and MSNBC political analyst MIKE BARNICLE will emcee the event.
This year’s Golden Mike award goes to PETER SMYTH, Chairman of GREATER MEDIA, and to the BORDES family. The foundation calls GREATER MEDIA “one of the last remaining great family-owned broadcasting companies.”
Past winners include ANNE SWEENEY of DISNEY-ABC and former NBCU Chairman BOB WRIGHT.
The foundation raises money to help broadcasters who have fallen on hard times, a cause the current economy and news of almost daily layoffs across all industries brings into even sharper focus.
Aside from the inclusion of disgusting plagiarist Mike Barnicle in the ceremony, I don’t have any real objection to Smyth winning an award. The timing, however, is certainly amusing: it comes the same day as news of significant layoffs at Greater Media’s Boston cluster, which hit the firm’s music stations especially hard.
In addition, WTKK’s lineup is still a muddled mess and Greater’s takeover of WBT/ Charlotte has not been smooth. But why quibble over minor points?