Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Monday, August 29, 2016

| August 29, 2016

New Sales Managers Named at Entercom Boston.  Moving over from her sales manager position at Entercom’s news/talk WRKO to the same post at rock WAAF is Alison Harris.  Assuming the open sales manager post at WRKO is Denise DiLuca, who returns to Entercom from her most recent gig with iHeartMedia as VP of wrko15sales in Providence.  DiLuca worked in the business development department at Entercom Boston before joining iHeartMedia in 2012.  Entercom New England VP/market manager Phil Zachary says both Harris and DiLuca embody the cluster’s inexorable work ethic.  “Alison and Denise are natural sales leaders.  Both are highly regarded in the marketplace for their uncompromising integrity, outstanding training skills, intensity of focus and ability to recruit the very best local sellers.  I have no doubt our Boston cluster will continue to outperform the market with these proven professionals in key roles.”

Scott Robbins Easing Back into Radio on WMBD, Peoria a Year After Heart Attack.  Before suffering a major heart attack a year ago, Scott Robbins and on-air partner Jamie Markley were co-hosting a three-hourrobbinsscott talk show simulcast on Alpha Media’s WMBD, Peoria and KXL, Portland.  But that major health issue put Robbins in the hospital for four months.  The Peoria Journal Star, in a piece by Steve Tarter, reports that Robbins is back on the radio with a weekly show airing on WMBD Saturdays from 6:00 am to 8:00 am with co-host Joe Greenwood.  After Robbins’ heart attack, David van Camp began filling in alongside Markley and was later named permanent co-host of the show.

The Presidential Race, Dwayne Wade’s Cousin Killed in Chicago Violence, Italy Earthquake Aftermath, Kaepernick Sits Out National Anthem, Weiner Sexting Again, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the Chicago shooting death of Nykea Aldridge, cousin of NBA star Dwayne Wade; the aftermath of the deadly earthquake in central Italy; controversy over NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s sitting out the National Anthem in protest; former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner caught in another sexting case; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Friday, August 26, 2016

| August 26, 2016

Three Suspended from WPEN-FM, Philly for ‘Dwayne from Swedesboro’ Bit.  According to a report in Philly.com from writer Rob Tornoe, Greater Media management has suspended three WPEN-FM employees after the “Dwayne from Swedesboro” bit was revealed earlier this week to be phony.  Serving three-day suspensions wpen-fmare program director Matt Nahigian, APD and PM drive personality Jason Myrtetus, and producer Pat Egan.  In case you missed it, “Dwayne from Swedesboro” – who exhibited numerous black stereotypes – was a regular “caller” to WPEN-FM’s PM drive Mike Missanelli program.  Turns out, though, that “Dwayne” was really white producer Pat Egan and that fact was kept from Missanelli (which is why he’s not been suspended).  When the story broke earlier this week, it created intense chatter among Philly sports talk fans and discussion about broadcasting ethics and racial sensitivities among radio people.  Crosstown rival Josh Innes was so incensed, he posted a photo of an old actor in blackface with one of his tweets critical of the bit.  Innes was let go by CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM on Wednesday and only WIP management knows if that was the sole reason for his dismissal or if it was one of several factors.  Regardless, the three will return to work on Wednesday (8/31) and, in the meantime, Greater Media has some damage control to do in Philadelphia.

It’s Official:  FCC Releases 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review.  For some time we’ve known what this review was going to say, but the FCC has now officially released the Quadrennial Regulatory Review with the subtitle “Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules And Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section fccnew202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.”  Republican Commissioner Michael O’Rielly sums up his feelings thusly, “…rarely have I seen a proceeding take so long and a document say so much in order to accomplish nothing of value.  I dissent.”  Ouch!  And referring to the release of theoriellymichael 2010 Quadrennial Review in 2016, Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai states, “What took us so long?  Based on the ‘substance’ of this Order, I have no idea, for the agency essentially does nothing but stick its head in the sand.”  Both commissioners chide their agency for sticking with the ban on Newspaper-Broadcast Cross-ownership, citing arguments with which readers of this trade publication are already very familiar.  Pai also laments the commission’s unwillingness to update the Local Radio Ownership Rule, the Radio-Television Cross-Ownership Rule, and the Dual Network Rule.  paiajitHe accuses the agency of defying the courts with regard to diversity.  Five years ago, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated the FCC’s definition of “eligible entity.”  Pai comments, “Earlier this year, the Third Circuit said ‘enough is enough’ and demanded that the FCC take prompt action on its ‘stalled efforts to promote diversity in the broadcast industry.’   So what does the Commission do here in response to the court?  Precisely one thing: It re-adopts the exact same ‘eligible entity’ definition that the Third Circuit rejected in 2011!”  Pai goes on to express disappointment with partisanship and procedure that hampers the agency’s ability to serve the industry.  “Today’s result is all the more unfortunate because compromise was well within reach.  For example, a bipartisan majority of commissioners was willing to repeal the outdated Newspaper-Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule.  But for some reason, we were told that this rule would not be repealed unless all commissioners agreed.  And sadly, one chose to exercise that veto.  As someone who has been on the losing end of more 3-2 votes than I care to remember, I am baffled by this new requirement for unanimity.  We’ve been told for years by the FCC’s leadership that 3-2 votes are what democracy is all about.  Except, I guess, when it isn’t.”  You can read the FCC’s entire report as well as full commentary by O’Rielly, Pai and Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn here.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Remains Atop the Talkers TenTM.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton again this week were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, finishing at #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 during the week of August 22-26 were questions about Clinton Family Foundation donors getting access to Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.  Coming in at #3 was the recent skirmishes between Iranian and U.S. naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, followed by the terror attack at American University in Kabul.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Odds & Sods.  Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III is taking part in a special Town Hall show at SiriusXM’sconwaysimonPags16 Manhattan studios on August 30.  The program before a live, studio audience is being hosted by PGA Pro Bob Ford and SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour.  Love will answer questions from audience members and discuss the U.S. team as it prepares for the 2016 Ryder Cup, being played September 30 through October 2 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota…..Some people take it easy at work on Friday – not WHO, Des Moines afternoon personality Simon Conway.  For a while now, Conway has also been hosting the morning show on iHeartMedia’s WMT, Cedar Rapids in addition to his afternoon gig.  Today, Conway is also filling in for WOAI, San Antonio-based, syndicated talk host Joe Pagliarulo.  The duo is pictured at right at the recent Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Conway on the left and Pags on the right…..“America Outdoors Radio,” produced and hosted by John Kruse and presented by Northwest Sportsman Magazine, the American Shooting Journal, California Sportsman Magazine and the Alaska Sporting Journal, adds new affiliates: KBYR, Anchorage; KBYR, Prudhoe Bay; and KBYR, Kuparuk in Alaska as well as WEMB, Johnson City, Tennessee and KBNH, Burns, Oregon.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

| August 25, 2016

Glenn Beck Producer Refuses to Name Sources in Boston Marathon Bombing Case. According to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, Glenn Beck producer Joe Weasel is refusing a judge’s orders to reveal the two sources the program relied on when it continued to insist that Saudi student Abdulrahman Alharbi was the “money man” in the Boston Marathon bombing.  Alharbi was questioned by police during the investigation and cleared bybeckglenn authorities.  He was also injured in the bombing.  Still, Beck insisted Alharbi was involved even after theblaze logoauthorities cleared him and Alharbi is now suing Beck for defamation.  Beck attorney Michael Grygiel says the sources – reportedly Department of Homeland Security officials – are not being identified for journalistic reasons, and because the sources don’t want to be named.  Beck stated on his radio show that the sources could be harmed or killed and he noted the shooting death of DNC staffer Seth Rich whom some speculate could have implicated DNC officials in the DNC email scandal.   Complicating the matter is that it’s not clear if Weasel, who worked for TheBlaze at the time of the bombing, still works for Beck.  As for Beck himself, he had no contact with the sources, so it’s unclear who might be held in contempt if U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris chooses that route.  Read the Politico piece here.

WIP, Philadelphia Cuts Ties with PM Drive Personality Josh Innes.  Naturally, CBS RADIO is not offering a reason for letting sports talk personality Josh Innes go four months before his contract expires in December, but the speculation in the Philly media seems focused on his recent ratings slide.  And the cherry on theinnesjosh sundae may have been his criticism of archrival Mike Missanelli at crosstown WPEN-FM over that show’s use of a phony African American regular caller who turned out to be a station insider.  In criticizing Missanelli over the matter, Innes posted a photo of an old actor in blackface and took some missanellimikeheat for it.  Back in July, Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe chronicled Innes’ ratings slide.  Noting that after building a strong Men 25-54 lead over Missanelli in the Nielsen PPM ratings, Tornoe reports that Missanelli had rebounded to beat Innes in eight consecutive PPM monthlies – in the June PPMs by some 3.0 AQH share points.  Innes had dealt with some challenges, to be sure.  Originally partnered with Tony Bruno in the PM drive slot, Bruno abruptly exited the business last summer.  Former Eagles star Hollis Thomas and Philly radio pro Spike Eskin became Innes’ on-air partners.  Then, in January after programmer Andy Bloom was downsized, Eskin left the show to handle programming duties.  For now, WIP is saying that fill-in hosts will appear in the afternoon slot until a permanent show is named.

The Presidential Race/Clinton Family Foundation Questions, Deadly Italy Earthquake, American University Kabul Attack, EpiPen Price Hike Scandal, Iran vs U.S. Destroyer, Leslie Jones Web Attack, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/24).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the controversy over Clinton Family Foundation donors getting access to Clinton while she was Secretary of State; the earthquake that hit central Italy takes the lives of hundreds; the deadly attack on the campus of American University in Kabul; the controversy over the price hike of the EpiPen by manufacturer Mylan; three Iranian patrol boats harass a U.S. Destroyer; the malicious hacking of actress Leslie Jones’ website; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NBA’s Golden State Warriors Jump to Entercom’s KGME for Flagship Role.  The NBA franchise thanked Cumulus’ KNBR for the relationship it’s enjoyed over the years while announcing it is moving across town to kgmzEntercom’s KGME “95.7 The Game” for its radio play-by-play and special programming partnership.  According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, the reason appears to be so the NBA franchise is treated like the featured pro sports franchise.  It notes that 12 of the team’s 24 playoff games last season were moved to sister KGO to accommodate San Francisco Giants games.  KNBR also is home to the NFL’s 49ers.  Warriors president and COO Rick Welts states, “We’re excited about our new partnership with ‘95.7 The Game’ and the opportunity to provide our fans with increased coverage of the Warriors in a centralized location.  Under the terms of this partnership, virtually every Warriors game – including the playoffs – will be broadcast on 95.7.  Additionally, our fans will benefit from increased programming overall throughout the year, including extended pre- and post-game shows, more in-season programming, a dedicated off-season presence and numerous call-in shows featuring front office staff, players and broadcasters.”

Cumulus Media to Use Twitter’s ‘Moments’ to Curate Station Happenings.  The company says it is “among the first radio media companies to use Twitter’s ‘Moments’ and to curate the very best stories from moments around its 452 radio stations and Westwood One’s syndicated programs.”  As you may already know, cumulus logo“Moments” are collections of Tweets that share the stories happening on Twitter, curated by Twitter and select partners.  Companies granted access to make Moments can use the creative format to tell stories using related, real-time content. Moments unfold across multiple Tweets and involve various points of view, and can be Tweeted or shared via link.  Suzanne Grimes, EVP, corporate marketing for Cumulus and president of Westwood One, says, “We are beyond thrilled to be part of this innovative feature from Twitter. It’s the perfect marketing tool for the network and our stations, who pour their hearts and souls into their shows and their events.  It allows them to connect with and extend real-time relationships with our listeners, our communities, and our advertising partners.”

doylejerryJerry Doyle Tribute Scheduled for September 17 in Las Vegas.  Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs announces the date and place for the tribute to late talk personality Jerry Doyle is set for No Regrets Bar in Las Vegas on September 17 from 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm.  She says, “Friends and fans want to give him the send-off of a lifetime — music, laugh, love and memories of our beloved entertainer, friend, and brother.”

Odds & Sods.  At this year’s Radio Show in Nashville, FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Ajit Pai will be speaking.  Commissioner Pai addresses attendees on Thursday at “Keeping Up with the Changing Radio Regulatory Landscape,” and immediately following, will be the session “A Conversation with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.”…..Alpha Media’s rock WMFX, Columbia, South Carolina “Fox 102.3” is airing Carolina Panthers play-by-play broadcasts this season.  The station will air full coverage of all games, plus pre-game and post-game shows, “Panther’s Talk” each Monday night at 7:00 pm and daily Panther updates…..Entercom partners with Clip Interactive to use the latter’s interactive radio platform for its 129 stations.  Using Clip-built mobile apps, Entercom stations can deliver interactive broadcast and stream content feeds to listeners.  The Clip platform enables interactivity with all audio content delivered by Entercom stations via broadcast and stream…..SiriusXM is premiering the new album from comedy legend George Carlin.  It’s titled, I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die, and is the first original recording since Carlin’s passing in 2008.  It’s airing on the Comedy Greats and Carlin’s Corner channels on September 1 – two weeks before the album is made available for purchase.  Carlin recorded I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 9 and 10, 2001.  Following the attacks on 9/11, Carlin removed and reworked much of the original act for his 2001 special, “Complaints & Grievances.”  Now, listeners can hear this material as it was originally conceived, raw and uncensored.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

| August 24, 2016

WXYT-FM Detroit’s Terry Foster Sidelined by ‘Minor Stroke.’ One half of the “Valenti & Foster” show on CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit will be off the air until October 3.  Terry Foster announced on the station’s websitefosterterry that “I suffered a minor stroke but I am going to fully recover.  I can already feel a difference in how I speak and how I type.  My fine motor skills are a little messed up in my right hand and I am not ready to throw a pitch from the pitcher’s mound.  But I feel a little better every day.”  The former Detroit News and Detroit Free Press writer has been partnered with Mike Valenti on the highly rated show since 2004.

iHeartMedia Brings Tom Sheridan Aboard.  Sales pro Tom Sheridan – formerly a GSM and director of sheridantomsales for E.W. Scripps’ crosstown operations – joins the iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee station group to serve as a senior account executive.  Sheridan brings his quarter century of sales experience in the market to iHeartMedia’s cluster that includes: country WMIL, urban contemporary WKKV, classic hits WRIT, news/talk WISN, CHR WRNW, and sports talk WOKY.

TED Talk and Audible Partner on New, Anonymous Audio TED Talks. The success of TED has not only led to the expansion of the TED Talks online but to the TEDx initiative that allows free licenses to local organizers to organize their own TED-like events.   Now, TED curator Chris Anderson is announcing a new audio TED logoplatform – in conjunction with the folks at Audible – featuring anonymous, audio TED Talks.  In a post at TED blog, Anderson notes the special nature of audio only – he says the “picturelessness” connects us more intimately than any other medium.  But the reason for the new anonymous TED Talks is to offer the chance to connect with others to people with knowledge that matters who might not otherwise because of the repercussions of going public.  He writes, “Imagine ghostwriters, witnesses, wise souls who’ve survived something profound.  A public figure living with mental illness.  Someone who secretly gave up a child for adoption.  A teenager who fought back against bullying and won.  A parent who found a way to balance the needs of an autistic child and a neurologically normal one.  A doctor living with a life and death mistake.  An illegal immigrant with ideas on how to change the system.  A CEO who knows exactly how and when companies go wrong.  Someone living a double life.”  You can read Anderson’s entire blog post here.

The Presidential Campaign/Clinton Family Foundation Questions, Syrian Conflict/Iran Boots Russian Air Force, Obama Visits Louisiana, Sinking Oil Prices, Putin Offers Middle East Peace Talks, an MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/23).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and allegations donors to the Clinton Family Foundation were given access to Clinton while she was Secretary of State; the ongoing Syrian conflict and Iran’s decision to rescind Russia’s access to its air bases; President Obama’s visit to flooded regions of Louisiana and criticism he waited until his vacation was over; the sinking price of crude oil; Vladimir Putin offers to host Middle East peace talks; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Yappy Fever!  The colorful host and owner of talker WCRS-AM/FM, Greenwood, South Carolina – the irrepressible Anne Eller – is pictured above doing prep for her forthcoming interview this week with Bernadette Duncan, author of the book that has the talk industry buzzing, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016).  The book chronicles Bernadette’s 26-year career as a producer for big-time talk hosts (such as Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs and Gil Gross) during the golden era between 1983 and 2009.  It is an insider’s personal perspective of the good, the bad, and even a bit of the ugly sides of the business and people hosting the shows and guesting on them.  A parade of hundreds of contemporary personalities is dissected in this compelling collection of anecdotes and insights.  Bernadette has embarked on a national tour of radio and is receiving rave reviews on both the book and her performance as a fascinating guest.  For info about the book, please click here.  To book Bernadette as a guest, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallWho the Heck Is Marvin Robert Klopfenstein?  He’s one of the most seasoned and storied radio professionals in the business – better known throughout the industry as Bob K – and he’s this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Today, the former (self-described) “nerd” from Chino, California – who took accordion lessons, owned a ventriloquist dummy, had a pet duck and pushed around an AV cart in high school – maintains a relatively modest profile as the owner/operator of the Boston-based production company, Bob K Sound & Recording.  But back in the day, he programmed and/or managed some of the most important music and talk stations in the nation (KABC, KOA, KFWB, WIND, KING, KOB, KMPC, WBZ and more) and coached some of the biggest-name talent (Jerry Williams, Larry Glick, TombobK16KelseyGrammer Leykis, Doug Stephan and the legendary Alan Berg to name a handful).  The conversation between Harrison and Klopfenstein is a radio geek’s delight!  They talk about Bob K’s experience serving as the radio consultant on the successful, multi-Emmy Award-winning “Frasier” television sitcom back in the 1990s – and is still playing to huge audiences on Netflix. It starred Kelsey Grammer as the pompous Seattle radio psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane.  One of the many assets that made “Frasier” one of the best TV shows of all time was its atypically accurate depiction of the radio station, studio and employees – due in large part to then-KABC program manager Bob K’s expertise and participation in designing the set and coaching the actors.  Fans of the classic TV series will love this podcast.  Harrison and Klopfenstein also talk about the late Alan Berg (whom Bob K hired at KOA), the liberal/Jewish personality murdered in cold blood by anti-Semitic, white supremacists in 1984, who inspired the Eric Bogosian/Oliver Stone play and film, “Talk Radio.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a three-hour Labor Day special for news/talk stations available from Our American Network titled, “Our American Stories.”  The host is Lee Habeeb, who also hosts the nightly version of the magazine-style show of the same name.  Included in this special are segments with actor Robert De Niro detailing his climb to superstardom in entertainment and what he thinks are important tools to success, racing superstar Mario Andretti, and 5-Hour Energy Drink developer Manoj Bhargava…..Mapleton Communications does a frequency swap between its news/talk and sports talk properties in the Redding, California market.  News/talk is now heard on KQMS-FM, translator K289BT, Anderson at 105.7 FM and KQMS-AM at 1670 AM as “News Talk Superstation.”  Sports talk KNRO “FOX Sports Redding” moves down the AM dial to 1400 and is simulcast on translator K263BP, Bridgeport at 103.9 FM…..Alpha Media’s news/talk KFOR, Lincoln, Nebraska is honored withkforaward16LG five Excellence in Broadcasting Awards from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association.  The station took home two gold awards for Spot News and Service to Agriculture, as well as three silver awards for Best Newscast, Service to Children, and Service to Government, Business, Industry, and Education.   Pictured here are KFOR’s Jeff Motz (left) and Chris Goforth (right) with their gold award in Spot News for their severe weather coverage of 2015.  Motz also won the silver award for Best Newscast along with Charlie Brogan.  Dale Johnson won the gold award for Service to Agriculture with his “Lincoln Live” discussion about the future of Ag Journalism.

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SRN Prepares Special Ebola Report.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network vice president, news & talk programming Tom Tradup in West Africa gathering content for the SRN News week-long special focusing on the 2014 Ebola outbreak titled, “Ebola: The Crisis Prayer Conquered.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

| August 23, 2016

Former Fox News Personality Andrea Tantaros Sues Fox News.  News/talk media personality Andrea Tantaros has filed a suit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan against her former employer Fox News for sexual harassment, according to a story in The New York Times.  Tantaros also hosted a nationally syndicatedtantarosandrea talk radio show for Talk Radio Network in 2013.  In her complaint, Tantaros accuses former Fox News chief Roger Ailes – among other executives – of sexual harassment and alleges she was pulled from her host position on “The Five” after rebuffing advances by Ailes and demoted to a midday show.  Fox News is not commenting on the suit. However, Tantaros recently left the network after a contract dispute ignited by what Fox alleged was Tantaros’ publication of a book without seeking permission.  The Times piece reports that a Fox lawyer said Tantaros made up the harassment allegations to gain leverage during the contract dispute while Tantaros’ lawyer says Tantaros was offered a seven-figure sum to renounce the claims against Ailes.

Nielsen Pulls 35 Households from Los Angeles PPM Panel.  Citing “irregular compliance patterns,” Nielsen Audio has made it known that has dismissed 35 households from the Los Angeles PPM panel.  Nielsen is not going into much detail other than to say that its review team discovered that its quality standards were not nielsen logoadhered to.  Nielsen says the irregularities were noticed among households in question in the first two weeks of the Los Angeles August 2016 survey and that those households were removed for weeks three and four of the survey.  As a result, Nielsen is reviewing the data for the Los Angeles surveys to determine if any previous months had been affected.  The company is also looking at other PPM markets to see if similar irregularities occurred.  Meanwhile, Nielsen says its control system did its job is discovering the problems but will continue to review ways to prevent recurrence of these irregularities.  It’s not believed that any media households were involved.  It was two years ago that a KSCA, Los Angeles staffer was fired after it had been determined the station had made contact with a panelist and ratings had to be reissued.

WTBC, Tuscaloosa Talk Host John Fisher Jr. Arrested on Meth Trafficking Charges.  Attorney and talk show host John Fisher Jr. has been arrested – along with alleged accomplice Christopher Shane Rushing – on fisherjohnjrcharges of trafficking in methamphetamine, according to AL.com.  The report states authorities apprehended Fisher and Rushing after receiving tips about a meth lab.  Raw Story reports that Fisher is host of an eponymous political talk show on Townsquare Media’s WTBC, Tuscaloosa.  WTBC is a country outlet branded “Catfish Country.”  TALKERS’ calls to WTBC to confirm the status of his program have been unsuccessful.  The webpage for the johnfishershow.com has been suspended.

Eric Lauer Named WKTI, Milwaukee GSM.  Milwaukee native Eric Lauer returns to Brew Town to serve as general sales manager for country WKTI.  In addition to that role, Lauer will also serve as national sales lauerericmanager for WKTI, news/talk WTMJ and the company’s sports properties.  Lauer comes to the E.W. Scripps stations from his current role with Cox Media Group as general sales manager for the company’s six Jacksonville stations and CODAN Internet Marketing.  Vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “The growth of WKTI has taken us to the next level – creating a need for its own sales leadership.  The restructuring of management roles at Milwaukee’s radio operations will provide stronger focus on each of our properties, which includes Jason Bjorson’s assumption of full sales leadership in his role as GSM of WTMJ and sports sales.”  Lauer begins in Milwaukee on September 26.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Assists Broadcasters Affected by Louisiana Floods and California Wildfires.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America is moving swiftly to provide emergency grants to broadcasters whose lives and property have been severely damaged by the floods in Louisiana and the bfoa logowildfires in California. The Emergency and Disaster Grant Program features an abbreviated vetting process that gets emergency funds to victims within a week.  To be eligible, applicants must have worked in radio or television broadcasting and be facing extreme financial hardship due to a natural or environmental disaster.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “It’s imperative that we get these emergency funds into the hands of broadcasters within days.  The Broadcasters Foundation has a track record of moving quickly and nimbly in emergencies, while thoroughly screening the abridged applications for need.”  In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Foundation acted speedily to award $250,000 in one-time emergency grants of $1,000 each to 250 broadcasters.  The Foundation also moved quickly following the tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri and Hurricane Sandy in the New York area.  The Broadcasters Foundation contacted the Louisiana and California Broadcasters Associations last week to distribute emergency grant application information among its members.   Emergency grants already have been awarded to broadcasters in Louisiana from Cumulus Media, Guaranty Broadcasting, Nexstar Broadcasting, Raycom Media, Townsquare Media, and others.  Requests for aid from Louisiana flood victims are coming in almost hourly, and the Foundation is reviewing completed applications immediately to rapidly deliver emergency grants to those who are approved.  For more information and to make a donation to the BFoA, visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, or call 212-373-8250.

Beth Neuhoff to Receive 2016 MIW Trailblazer Award.  The recipient of this year’s 2016 MIW Trailblazer honor from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio group is Neuhoff Communications neuhoffbethpresident and chief executive officer Beth Neuhoff.  She will receive the 8th annual MIW Radio Group Frances Preston Trailblazer Award on Wednesday, September 21 during the 2016 Radio Show Wednesday Headliner: ‘Cutting Edge Trends in Marketing, featuring Dave Ramsey and John Rich.’  MIW Radio Group spokesperson Kay Olin states, “Beth Neuhoff is an accomplished broadcaster who blazes new trails and heights in everything she touches.  Beth has been a passionate and enthusiastic ambassador for Radio and especially women throughout her career.  She sets a tremendous example for all women in broadcasting through her bold decision-making and inspiring leadership.  Beth is intelligent, caring, approachable and the natural choice to be honored as our 2016 MIW Trailblazer.”

Odds & Sods. In the recently awarded Kansas Association of Broadcasters awards, Alpha Media Topeka was honored with a number of accolades, including First Place finishes for: Complete Sportscast by WIBW-AM’s Jake Lebahn, News Feature by WIBW-AM’s Ryan Ogle, and Station Website by WIBW-AM’s Dave Navarro and Carol Gallmeyer.  Market manager Larry Riggins commented on the announcement, “We are exceptionally proud of our staff members and departments for this high honor.  We have a great reputation as a radio group because of our staff and ability to represent the station at a statewide level sets us apart.”…..Sinclair Broadcast Group’s news/talk KVI, Seattle drew several hundred people to a listener appreciation party held at the FlyinglarsSoviet16 Heritage Collection at Paine Field in Everett, Washington.  This museum is the private collection of Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen and includes a couple of dozen rare warbirds, a V2 rocket from WWII and some tanks and tracked vehicles from the U.S. and half a dozen other countries.   KXL, Portland-based talk host Lars Larson is heard on the station and appeared at the listener party.  He’s pictured here (at left) with fellow KVI personalities John Carlson (right) and Kirby Wilbur (center).  Larson tells TALKERS magazine, “What I love about this is it’s a picture of three conservative talkers, standing in front of a missile built by a now-failed Communist country [USSR], owned by an American capitalist and available for a free people to enjoy as a museum piece (as communism is for everyone but Bernie Sanders).”

The Presidential Race, More Hillary Clinton Emails Found, Ryan Lochte Scandal, ObamaCare Exchange Troubles, Judge Halts Trans Bathroom Policy, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the FBI finds 15,000 more emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server that were not turned over; the behavior of U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte and the image of U.S. Olympic athletes; troubles for ObamaCare as numerous insurers back out of some exchanges; a federal judge puts injunction on Obama Administration’s transgender bathroom policy for schools; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.