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Talk Radio


Archived Philly Talk Radio News

Many of the notes for 1998 were lost in an account move.

Friday, January 2nd 1998

WWDB fires morning man Phil Valentine.  Phil's popular morning show demonstrated ratings improvements over 5 books (#3 in the 12+ demo behind Stern and All News KYW and going from #15 to #11 in 25-54).  Phil was brought in in the late summer/early fall of 1996 after DB searched for several months for a replacement to Paul W. Smith who went back to the Detroit market where his family is.  Coincidentally Phil was in a TV commercial for DB previous to his being considered for the job.  Phil was very popular with the advertisers and broadcast on numerous remotes using DB's converted touring van.

WWDB replaced Phil with Ron Dobson the following Monday morning with no announcement at all.  This effectively torpedoed Ron who after a month or two was paired with Valerie Knight (who had a minor role) until the station changed direction again in June 1998.  Ratings for the Winter book were dismal and when the Spring book came out in July they were even worse.

Philadelphia Inquirer news article of Jan. 23 on Phil
** This link has expired **

Philadelphia Inquirer calls for Clinton to resign.

CBS to Spin Off Part of Radio Segment

By Michael Butti - Reuters

NEW YORK (August 27) - Television and radio giant CBS Corp. said on Thursday it will spin off part of its radio operations, its strongest business, and take a charge of up to $70 million in a corporate restructuring aimed at boosting its stock price.

CBS, the nation's largest radio company with stations in the top 20 markets, said it will spin off its radio segment and its outdoor advertising business as a new company and sell 20 percent of the company to the public in a stock offering.

In another big radio deal, multimedia giant Chancellor Media Corp. of Irvine, Texas, said it would buy Capstar Broadcasting Corp. in a stock deal worth $4.1 billion, leapfrogging CBS to become the biggest U.S. radio broadcaster.

Initial reaction to the CBS move from Wall Street was positive as CBS shares rose $2.31 to $29.50 in consolidated New York Stock Exchange trading on a day when the Dow Jones industrial average fell up to 350 points.  Analysts said Thursday's action should help CBS by highlighting its successful radio operations and by raising new capital.  ''By spinning off its radio and outdoor advertising assets, it will force the market to provide a stand-alone value to those businesses,'' said Alan Kassan, an analyst at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell.

CBS's announcement came amid speculation this week that the company would make a major move to shore up its stock price, which closed at $27 Wednesday on the NYSE, near its 52-week low of $23.375.

The stock has sagged in the face of rising costs for sports and entertainment programmes, a strategy aimed at attracting younger viewers coveted by advertisers.

The network, which lost the rights to broadcast professional football four years ago, agreed in January to pay about $4 billion for the rights to broadcast National Football League games for eight years beginning with the 1998 season.

The company also said on Thursday it plans to cut overhead at its corporate and network operations but it did not say how many employees might be fired as a result.

Mel Karmazin, chairman of CBS Radio Group and president of CBS Corp., will retain those positions at the new company, which will be called Infinity Broadcasting. CBS expects to complete the spinoff and stock offering by the end of the year.  CBS and Infinity will retain its current management, CBS said.  In June, CBS completed its acquisition of the radio broadcasting operations of American Radio Systems Corp. for about $2.6 billion.

CBS's decision to spin off part of its radio operations through an initial public offering comes as the IPO market is in the midst of a deep slump from investor jitters. The Dow has dropped more than 1,000 points from its all-time high of 9,337 set in July.

Another big broadcaster, Fox Entertainment Group Inc., owner of the ''X-Files'' television show and the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 14 for a $100 million initial public offering. The company is a unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Ltd.

Last week, Germany's Bertelsmann AG, the world's third-largest media group, denied a magazine report that it was eyeing a takeover of CBS-TV in a bid to become a major player in the U.S. television market.

Reut15:49 08-27-98 - Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


July news

WWDB releases Mike Thompson as Program Director for WWDB.  Mike quickly finds another job in L.A.  DB also fires morning man Ron Dobson.

July 23, 1998

Jim Casale Recruited as New Program Director of WWDB, 96.5 FM, Philadelphia

Company Press Release

PHILADELPHIA--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--July 23, 1998--Jim Casale, president of Casale Consulting of Seattle, has been recruited as the new program director of Philadelphia's talk radio station, WWDB (96.5 FM).  Casale will join the staff of WWDB on Monday, July 27. Casale, through his consulting service, has served as strategic advisor for many clients including: ABC, Clear Channel Communications, Pulitzer, Cap Star as well as other fine radio stations. Casale will continue his strategic consulting service in Philadelphia with a limited and exclusive group of clients. Previous to setting up Casale Consulting, Casale programmed Seattle talk station KVI-AM to number one status in the local ratings.  Casale brings with him an intuitive instinct for talk radio and a passion for the format. Casale said, ``WWDB, although already a very successful radio station in Philadelphia, has tremendous opportunity for growth. I feel WWDB has the potential to be number one in the market.''  Dan Sullivan, WWDB general manager said, ``We are very excited to welcome Jim to the WWDB  family. His knowledge, experience and winning track record will bring WWDB to a higher level.''  WWDB-FM, Philadelphia is the first FM talk station in America, signing on with the format in 1975.  WWDB-FM is owned by Beasley Broadcasting Group.

July 1998

Changes at WWDB FM

Morning host Ron Dobson gets replaced for the time being by Dom Giordano (formerly 1-5am).  In an unrelated move Program Director Mike Thompson resigns as well.


At the FCC's April 2nd meeting the Commission proposed a rule change which would allow station owners to keep the price secret when stations are bought and sold. This proposal in Docket 98-43 would end 71 years of full public disclosure of station sale contracts.    more...


Quote of the year - "He took my hand and placed it on his genitals" - Kathleen Willey, White House Volunteer (during a sworn court deposition and on "60 minutes" Sunday March 15th) in reference to what happened when she met with Clinton alone to ask for a full time job.


2/6/98   Talk radio fans mourn the loss of  former wwdb program director Wynn Moore (64).  The popular talk show host and entrepreneur will sadly missed.  Our prayers and wishes go out to his family.