Talk Radio Network
|Headquarters||Central Point, Oregon, United States|
|Mark Masters CEO|
|Services||Radio Syndication, Production|
Talk Radio Network (TRN) is an independent radio producer and syndicator of news and talk radio programming headquartered in Central Point, Oregon. TRN consists of a number of associated companies, which have launched or re-built some of the United States' highest ranked talk radio shows, including The Savage Nation, Coast to Coast AM, The Dr. Laura Program, and The Jerry Doyle Show. TRN was founded in 1993 and is managed by CEO Mark Masters.
In 2007, Bear Stearns reported that TRN was the second-largest provider of nationally-syndicated radio talk shows in the country, ahead of competitors ABC Radio and then-CBS-controlled Westwood One.
Among the network's earliest offerings was Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM. In 1998, the original Talk Radio Network Inc. company and all of its programs was acquired by Premiere Radio Networks for the syndication rights of Coast to Coast AM. At that time, TRN's programs were broadcast nationally by more than 300 radio stations.
Actor Jerry Doyle was introduced to Mark Masters by Mancow Muller, who at the time hosted The Mancow Experience on TRN. Before starting his own show, Doyle was invited to guest-host for Rusty Humphries' TRN-syndicated Saturday Night America, which was broadcast to over two hundred stations. Based on the broadcast, TRN offered Doyle a regular show that became The Jerry Doyle Show. Doyle hosted the show for TRN until his sudden death in 2016. TRN has been responsible for syndicating and producing other notable talk radio programs including The Sam Sorbo Show, Science Fantastic with Michio Kaku, The Laura Ingraham Show (from 2004 to 2012), The Andrea Tantaros Show, Monica Crowley, and The Phil Hendrie Show.
In June 2009, TRN partnered with The Washington Times to debut America's Morning News (AMN) with a focus on investigative reporting and live news and commentary from Washington, D.C. At its launch, AMN was hosted by Melanie Morgan and John McCaslin.
TRN rolled out America's Radio News Network (ARNN) in January 2011 as an all news network service for stations, which ran for 15 hours every weekday.
Controversy over Michael Savage
TRN syndicated The Michael Savage Show from 1999 until 2012. In 2006, Michael Savage was accused of Islamophobia based on comments he made on-air. Mark Masters defended Savage's free speech rights and said, "CAIR threw the kitchen sink at us with the goal of getting Savage fired, but we weren't intimidated. His audience supports him and so do his sponsors who have renewed... [Savage is] just a guy with an opinion venting his heartfelt feelings to his audience, and they support him."
In 2010, a dispute arose when TRN attempted to exercise a "right to match" provision in Savage's contract at the end of its term. Savage argued against going into arbitration with TRN but was shot down. The American Arbitration Association (AAA) awarded Savage more than $1 million, ruling in his favor, and allowing him to sign with Cumulus Media Networks. TRN told the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that, through ex parte emails, Savage threatened a negative public relations campaign against AAA during arbitration, which interfered with the arbitrator decision-making; but the Ninth Circuit refused to allow the evidence. The Supreme Court later denied TRN's request for writ of certiorari in 2016.
Actions against Dial Global and Cumulus Media
In August 2011, TRN, representing the three largest privately-held syndicators, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Dial Global after it merged with Westwood One. TRN also said that "Dial Global/Westwood One has been collecting our advertising revenues, but refusing to pay them over to us or to account for them." In 2013, Cumulus Media acquired Dial Global (renamed Westwood One) for $260 million, to which TRN publicly opposed. Shortly after, TRN scaled back its operations resulting in the sudden suspension of America's Radio News Network. In March 2014, TRN and Cumulus Media announced a settlement of TRN's lawsuit over claims of unpaid advertising revenues and unfair competition against Dial Global. Regarding the settlement, Cumulus Media President/CEO Lew Dickey said, "While Cumulus Media had no role in the lawsuits filed by TRN Companies, we are pleased to resolve these claims and move forward together."
In April 2016, TRN launched a new federal antitrust lawsuit against Cumulus Media and Westwood One. TRN said in its lawsuit that Westwood One uses its monopoly power to conceal and misrepresent its accounting of advertising revenue allocations and advantage its own programming at the expense of programs of independent radio syndicators. TRN's lead attorney, Joseph M. Alioto, said, "TRN received as little as one one-hundredth per listener as previously received for the same programming in the years prior to Cumulus’ acquisition of Westwood One." Westwood One said it would not comment on pending litigation.
- "The TALKERS magazine interview: Talk Radio Network (TRN) CEO Mark Masters". Talkers. Nov 2008.
- "Talk Radio Network Companies". www.linkedin.com. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
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- "Jacor unit makes $9M buy - Cincinnati Business Courier". Cincinnati Business Courier. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
- Doyle, Jerry (2010). Have You Seen My Country Lately?: America's Wake-Up Call. Simon and Schuster. Section "Forks in the Road".
- "TRN TO LAUNCH 'AMERICA'S MORNING NEWS,' WITH MORGAN, MCCASLIN". May 28, 2009. Archived from the original on May 26, 2015. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- TRN press release. Accessed 2009-05-28.
- Jennings, Brian (2009). Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio. Simon and Schuster. Chapter 27.
- Shock Jock Savage Wants out of Contract. Courthouse News Service. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- "Talk Radio Host's Contract Suit Heads To Arbitration - Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
- McCartney, Anthony. Michael Savage leaves radio show after legal win. Associated Press. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
- "Radio Host's Threats Corrupted Arbitration, High Court Hears - Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
- "Michael Savage prevails at U.S. Supreme Court". WND. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
- Youderian, Annie (2012-08-31). "Dial Global Accused of Talk Radio Monopoly". Courthouse News Service.
- "Changes At Talk Radio Network: ARNN Closes, Other Programming Continues". All Access.
- "Radio World: Opposition Emerges Against Dial Global Sale to Cumulus". www.radioworld.com. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
- "TRN Settles With Cumulus Over Suit Against Dial Global/Westwood One". All Access. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
- "TRN, Cumulus announce Westwood One settlement". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
- "Cumulus Hit With Antitrust Suit Over Advertising Payouts - Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
- Talk Radio Network Enterprises, LLC et al v. Cumulus Media, Inc. et al. United States District Court, District of Oregon. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
- "Lawsuit: ‘Super monopoly’ trying to destroy talk radio". WND. Retrieved 2016-05-04.