Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

| September 19, 2017

It’s Official: Laura Ingraham to Host FOX News Channel Show.  As has been previously reported but now confirmed by FOX News Channel, conservative media figure Laura Ingraham will begin hosting the 10:00 pm ET hour on FOX News Channel with a new show called, “The Ingraham Angle,” beginning October 30.  Beginning Monday (9/25), Sean Hannity moves to the 9:00 pm ET hour (putting him up against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow).  That means “The Five” returns to its original 5:00 pm ET start (that hour opened up with the dismissal of Eric Bolling and the cancellation of “The Specialists”).  The Los Angeles Times reports that Ingraham has been making about $2 million per year as a contributor to FNC and her full-time salary will be much higher than that.  The question left unanswered for now is whether or not Ingraham will continue to host her Courtside Entertainment-distributed, daily national radio talk show.

Dave Ramsey to Emcee NRHoF Induction Ceremony.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is hosting the 29th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and celebration on November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re honored to have Dave, a world-class speaker who regularly addresses audiences of 10,000 at his live events, serve as our master of ceremonies.”  The 2017 inductees include: Tom Barnard, Bobby Bones, Joseph M. Field, Bill Handel, Sean Hannity, John Records Landecker, Robin Quivers and Robert S. “Bob” Sievers.

TALKERS News Notes. With the sudden departure of conservative Jedidiah Bila from ABC-TV’s “The View,” CNN is reporting that former Premiere Networks radio host and former FOX News Channel personality Meghan McCain is in talks to join the daytime TV talk show.  McCain recently exited FNC and the “Outnumbered” program she co-hosted there…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-news KNX shifts some of its talent into different dayparts.  The morning drive daypart is still hosted by Dick Helton and Vicky Moore.  New to middays is Brian Ping, who leaves the nights and overnights he’s been working for the past six years to handle the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  The one-hour “KNX In Depth” show with Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson airs from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  Simpson and Chris Sedens handle the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart and Diane Thomson hosts the 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Evening News.”…..TuneIn is debuting “First Play,” what it calls “a first-of-its kind podcast program offering early releases of new episodes from new and popular podcasts from networks like WNYC Studios, Gimlet Media, HowStuffWorks, Wondery, Feral Audio and StarTalk.”  New episodes will be available early, up to one week before they’re available on other platforms, and they will be free to all TuneIn users.  The company says, “With the launch of First Play, TuneIn enables podcast super fans to hear episodes early from a selection of more than 30 podcasts, produced by the most popular podcast creators.  Participating shows will debut their early releases throughout the initial run of the program, concluding December 31st.”…..Entercom sports talk WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets renew their partnership for the station to serve as the flagship for the team’s play-by-play.  Entercom Charlotte market manager Matt Hanlon says, “The Hornets are an outstanding organization in a great sports town. It makes so much sense for WFNZ to be the flagship station for the Hornets’ radio network.”

A “Talk” Down Memory Lane: The Great Kiddie TV Shows and Hosts of the Past.  In somewhat of a change of pace, the award-winning PodcastOne media series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” explores the lost art and genre of the television “kiddie show” that was a mainstay of popular culture from the late ‘40s to the early ‘70s.  Harrison is joined by veteran broadcaster Brad Shepard, an entertainment industry historian and GM/morning host of Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Harrison and Shepard discuss such shows as “Howdy Doody,” with Buffalo Bob Smith; “Kukla, Fran and Ollie” with Fran Allison; Shari Lewis; “Andy’s Gang” with Andy Devine (and the infamous “Froggy the Gremlin” pictured at left), “Winky Dink” with Jack Barry; “Ding Dong School” with Miss Frances; Soupy Sales, “Wonderama” with Sonny Fox, Chuck McCann; “The Merry Mailman” with Ray Heatherton and so much more.  To listen to this fun and entertaining romp through fascinating media history, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Renewed ObamaCare Repeal Move, Trump’s UN Speech, Hillary Clinton Book/Election Challenge, California Sanctuary State Bill, Climate Change Debate, Hurricane Maria Threatens Caribbean, Georgia Tech Student Killed/Protests, Rolling Stone for Sale, Toys ‘R’ Us Files Bankruptcy, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18).  The GOP revives its move to repeal and replace ObamaCare with the Cassidy-Graham Plan; anticipation of President Trump’s Tuesday address before the UN General Assembly; Hillary Clinton’s book tour supporting What Happened and her statement she’d consider challenging the election results; California’s legislature passes bill making California a sanctuary state; the renewed debate over climate change; Hurricane Maria hits the Caribbean and threatens Puerto Rico; the shooting death of a Georgia Tech student and the resulting protests; iconic magazine Rolling Stone is up for sale; retailer Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy protection; the Major League Baseball playoff push, and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Chris Randolph is named afternoon drive host at Cumulus Media’s country WFMS, Indianapolis, effective October 2.  Randolph comes to WFMS from his recent position with Alpha Media hosting morning drive at hot AC WXMA, Louisville.  He’d also served with iHeartMedia at crosstown WMXL, Louisville.  WFMS program director Stephen Giuttari comments, “We’re very excited to have Chris join the team here in Indy. He’s one of the top talents in our industry and I’m confident that he will be a great addition to our team at WFMS and that ‘Indy Country’ listeners will love him!”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Sound Management, LLC has sold three signals to Artistic Media Partners for $3.4 million.  The Indiana stations are: CHR WNDV, South Bend; rock WYXX, Goshen; and 80s-pop WYET, New Carlisle (102.3fm, New Carlisle)…..In Atlanta, morning show personality C.J. Lusk has exited Cumulus Media’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” where he’d been part of the “Cadillac Jack and Ali Mac Morning Show.”…..Rowdy Yates has left E.W. Scripps’ country KVOO, Tulsa where he co-hosted the morning drive show with Sunny Leigh…..iHeartMedia’s alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is releasing volume nine of its “Radio 104.5 Studio Sessions” albums, sponsored by Blue Moon.  The annual benefit album features the best live-recorded studio sessions from Radio 104.5’s Performance Theater.  The project will benefit Delaware Valley hunger relief organization Philabundance.  Artists on this year’s CD include: Vance Joy, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Weezer, AWOLNATION, alt-J, Kaleo, Grouplove and more.

Radio One Sues Former Jock and Twitter; Alleges Hijacking of Twitter Account.  In a case filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia, Radio One is suing former WCDX, Richmond “iPower 92.1” air personality Amir Shabazz, alleging that he, immediately after being let go from the station, illegally used its @iPowerRichmond Twitter handle to promote his own business ventures, Tweeted pornographic images, and changed passwords.  Saying that the Twitter account is a valuable business tool for the station – by some standards worth $2.50 for each follower – it values the account as being worth more than $31,000 per month.  The complaint says Shabazz, who went by the air name Henny Hardaway, is taking these actions willfully and maliciously.  It’s suing Twitter, alleging that the company has taken no action to stop Shabazz.  Radio One is asking the court to stop Shabazz from “squatting” on the @iPowerRichmond account and is seeking unspecified damages, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Monday, September 18, 2017

| September 18, 2017

Cramer Says Market Is Wrong About Entercom-CBS Merger.  Markets and investment expert Jim Cramer – a former radio talk show host himself – said on his “Mad Money” program on CNBC that the market may be wrong about its ho-hum attitude toward the EntercomCBS RADIO merger.  About the post-merger Entercom he says, “They’ll be the #1 creator of local audio content in America.  More important, they’ll also have a gigantic sports business, broadcasting games from 45 professional teams [and] numerous college teams.”  He also noted that the new Entercom will become the second-largest radio company by revenue with the best balance sheet in the radio biz.  The CNBC.com story says Cramer believes that Entercom “will also create a bustling live events business with some 4,500 live events a year.  Cramer says This alone should make the stock a strong play on the rise of the experiential economy, one of his favorite trends.”  Read the whole story here.

Not So Fast! Leslie Marshall Show to Stay on AM/FM Radio.  Last week’s report from WYM Media Management that progressive media personality Leslie Marshall would be ending her eponymous AM/FM syndication efforts and focus on Internet broadcasting of her radio program was premature.  WYM tells TALKERS magazine that they “were able to work out an agreement” with new partner Progressive Voices to feed the program to Marshall’s terrestrial radio affiliates. Progressive Voices will air the show live weekdays from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET beginning October 2 and will continue building relationships with terrestrial radio partners.

Herskovitz: Light in the Darkness.  Talk radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about his experience in his Florida home dealing with Hurricane Irma.  He points to the importance of radio during emergencies such as catastrophic weather.  His story – and so many others like it – backs up what a lot of Americas are saying as they ask smartphone manufacturers – especially Apple – to turn on the FM chip in smartphones.  Read Herskovitz’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new content partnership between NPR and iHeartRadio brings more than 30 of the former’s podcasts to the iHeartRadio digital platform.  iHeartRadio says that it has seen a 60% uptick in listenership from its more than 100 million registered users.  They are now able to access podcasts including: “Up First,” “Fresh Air,” “Invisibilia,” “Planet Money,” “How I Built This” and more.  The addition of the NPR shows means iHeartRadio now offers more than 9,000 shows across 19 different categories…..FOX News Radio announces the premiere of the new podcast “Children of Song.”  It is a new show hosted by music author and historian Robert K. Oermann and former New York Times theatre critic Charles Isherwood.  Each week, “Children of Song” features interviews with artists who were exposed to the music business through their famous parents, as well as performers who began playing music at an early age. The artists share their backstories and the inspiration behind many of their biggest hits, as well as sing their most memorable songs that highlight those remarkable journeys.  Guests featured on the show include: Vince and Jenny Gill, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis, the Orbison boys, Kristin Chenoweth, David Cassidy, Neil Sedaka, Steve Cropper, Felix Cavaliere, and many more.

St. Louis Protest Violence, California Sanctuary State Bill, Irma and Harvey Aftermath/Climate Change Debate, North Korea Sanctions/Trump at UN, Harvard-Chelsea Manning Controversy, Emmy Awards, MLB Playoff Push, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The arrest of more than 80 after three days of protests in St. Louis after the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley; California’s move to pass a bill making it a “sanctuary state”; the social and political effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the related debate over man-made climate change; the sanctions levied against North Korea, Kim Jong Un’s threats against the U.S., and President Trump’s appearance at the UN this week; criticism of Harvard University for naming Chelsea Manning a visiting fellow; Sunday evening’s politically laden Emmy Awards show; the MLB’s playoff push; the weekend’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

BFoA Golf Tourney Raises $250,000.  Last week’s Celebrity Golf Tournament benefitting the Broadcasters Foundation of America raised $250,000 to help broadcasters in need.  This year, the annual fundraiser took place at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “The funds come at a time when more broadcasters than ever are in need of emergency assistance.  Our colleagues braved dangerous winds and rain from these massive hurricanes to remain on the air, broadcasting vital, life-saving news and information to their communities.  It is up to us to help these dedicated broadcasters now, in their time of need.”

Renee Brady Passes at 68.  Media figure Renee Brady, wife of radio industry pro Bill Brady (currently CEO of Futures & Options, Inc.) died recently at age 68 after a battle with cancer.  Renee Brady was an “acclaimed astrologer with an impressive media career.  She hosted radio programs in the New York, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach markets and appeared on hundreds of radio programs across the country.  Her work would also take her to London and the U.K. where she was seen on the nationwide Channel 4 Network and heard on BBC Radio.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Minneapolis radio personality Tom Barnard is being sued by the estate of his late attorney, Ron Rosenbaum.  The Ron Rosenbaum Trust – led by his widow Lucy Quinlivan – alleges that Barnard is in violation of his contract with Rosenbaum that requires him to pay five percent of his salary to Rosenbaum through the duration of the contract, which is the end of 2019.  Rosenbaum died in May of 2016.  Barnard made payments to Rosenbaum, and then the Trust, from January 2015 through February of 2017 for Rosenbaum’s work negotiating Barnard’s current contract with rock KQRS.  KSTP-TV reports that Barnard attorney Chris Madel says, “Tom Barnard has done so many charitable things, not only for the Rosenbaum family but for others in the community.  To me, this is sad someone else is trying to take advantage of him like this.”…..Radio management pro Lori Heerden joins Alpha Media’s San Jose duo as market manager.  She’ll oversee classic hits KBAY “Bay FM 94.5” and hot AC KEZR “Mix 106.”  During her career, Heerden has served with CBS RADIO, Beasley Media Group, Americom, and EZ Communications…..KRRL, Los Angeles “REAL 92.3” announces the lineup for its annual “The REAL Show” hip hop concert event.  It takes places at The Forum on November 18 and performers will include: J. Cole, French Montana, Yo Gotti, Cardi B, Jessie Reyez, Zoey Dollaz and Cozz, with a special performance from Young California…..Connoisseur Media Connecticut launches alternative rock “Mod 102.3” on FM translator W272DO, fed by WPLR’s HD2 channel.  Connoisseur Connecticut operations manager Keith Dakin is programming the station.  The company says it made the decision to bring current alternative music to the signal after an extensive music study for sister stations in the New Haven market.  The study showed a clear void for the format, making it a natural fit to launch “Mod” on 102.3.  Station personalities include Ed Oliveira and Christian TurnquistTristan Haller is handling the marketing for “Mod.”

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth and final analysis of radio station performances based on data from the August 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, focusing on rhythmic CHR.  Kinosian reports that “only about three of every 10 rhythmic CHR panelists are up July 2017 to August 2017 (29%, 6+), while more than half (55%) are down; the remaining 16% of the sample is flat.”  He adds that comparisons of August 2016 to August 2017 pretty much mirror the month to month changes; 60% of rhythmic CHR stations in the sample are down year-over-year.  Entercom’s WJMH, Greensboro is the rhythmic CHR station that ranks highest in its respective market, ranking #3 in August.  See the whole report here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

| September 15, 2017

Weisman: Jemele Hill and the First Amendment. TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about the Jemele Hill controversy and how her Tweet calling President Trump a white supremacist has some calling for her firing.  Weisman says that freedom of speech relative to one’s status as an employee is not as “free” as some people would like to think.  Also, he addresses the charges that ESPN is hypocritical for not firing Hill after firing MLB great Curt Schilling for political rhetoric.  Read his column here.

KVET, Austin Talk Host Sean Adams Dies at 46. KVET-AM, Austin “1300 The Zone” sports talk host Sean Adams died yesterday after suffering a heart attack in Round Rock, Texas.  Adams was co-host of “The Bottom Line” show with Chip Brown that airs in morning drive.  Adams worked in sports media in the market for years, also having served at former sports talker KZNX-AM and ESPN’s Longhorn Network.  He wrote two motivational books: Sports for Life: Daily Sports Themes for Life Success, and It’s Okay to be Crazy.  He leaves behind his wife Karen and a son and daughter.  Brown posted a tribute to Adams at the station’s website here.

Leslie Marshall Show Ends AM/FM Availability, Remains Digital Program. Progressive talk radio personality Leslie Marshall is putting the wraps on her program’s AM/FM platform and will focus fully on being an Internet program.  WYM Media Management informed affiliate stations that the “The Leslie Marshall Show” is joining Internet platform Progressive Voices, effective October 2.  WYM says that Marshall made this decision “with a heavy heart,” but was moved to her decision because listeners are “accessing her program online more and more.”

Gow Media Moving the KGOW-AM, Houston Sports Talk Format.  The sports talk format that Gow Media has been airing on KGOW-AM, Houston (branded “SB Nation Radio 1560 AM”) is moving to the FM band beginning on October 1.  CultureMap.com reports that the format is being re-branded “SportsMap 94.1 FM” and will air on translator K231CN, Houston, fed by KFNC-FM, Houston’s HD2 channel.  The report says that KFNC-FM afternoon personality Fred Faour will become editor-in-chief of SportsMap.com. Air talent on “SportsMap 94.1 FM” will include Charlie Pallilo, Nate Griffin, Patrick Creighton, Barry Warner, Sean Salisbury, Brian Barrett, and Robin Carlin.  Gow will lease KGOW-AM to Latino Broadcasting Corp.

TALKERS News Notes.  The Cleveland Indians and iHeartMedia agree to a contract extension for the company’s news/talk WTAM and rock WMMS in Cleveland to air the club’s games through at least 2023.  As has been the case, WTAM serves as the flagship and WMMS simulcasts most of the games…..The talk is off iHeartMedia’s Phoenix news/talk KOY-AM “KFYI2” (and its translator K229DB) and regional Mexican takes over as “El Patron.”…..This November (11/2), the New Jersey Broadcasters Association is marking its 70th anniversary with a special Awards Banquet and Gala at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Atlantic City.  The event will salute “Broadcast’s Heritage and Enduring Impact on Society.” Ben Ferencz – the only surviving Nuremberg prosecutor – will be honored with the Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the Year Award.  Inducted into the NJBA Hall of Fame at the same time will be: “Imus in the Morning” personality Bernard McGuirk, NJ101.5 hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco of the “Dennis and Judi Show,” WSUS, Franklin, New Jersey morning host Steve Andrews, Press Communications CFO Rich Morena, and Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw.

Trump Administration DACA Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 11-15.  Whether or not President Trump wants to reverse the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or is willing to alter the program in some way was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At # 2 this week was the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.  Coming in at #3 is Hillary Clinton’s What Happened book and her media tour, followed by the Trump Administration’s tax code overhaul plan at #4.  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 the entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.   KQHN, Shreveport, Louisiana flips from CHR to hot AC as Cumulus Media announces the station has re-branded as “The All New Q97.3.”  The programming on the station is as follows: “The Bert Show” in mornings and “The Shawn Dion Show” in afternoon drive.  Westwood One’s Adam Bomb program assumes the evening daypart…..CBS RADIO promotes Poet Taylor from weekend jock to host of the midday show on hip hop WPGC, Washington.  Taylor’s radio experience includes her start at Baltimore’s hip hop WERQ and serving as executive producer on WPGC’s “Joe Clair Morning Show.”  Most recently, she was segment producer for WJLA-TV’s “Good Morning Washington.”…..Programmer Chris Shebel announces via Facebook that he’ll leave iHeartMedia’s Portland, Oregon cluster when his contract expires at the end of this year.  Shebel has been programming adult contemporary KKCW “K103” and classic hits KLTH “Eagle 106.7.”  He says he’s exiting the radio business and moving to Palm Springs, California…..As part of Beasley Media Group’s on-going “Community of Caring Initiative,” adult contemporary WJBR, Wilmington, Delaware recently partnered with The Kenny Family Foundation and Shoprite to match food donations for hurricane relief pound for pound.  The station collected more than 12,500 pounds of food during a recent on-site collection event.  As a result, WJBR will be sending more than 25,000 pounds of food donations to Feeding Texas via the Food Bank of Delaware…..Adams Radio Group brings sales pro John Ludwig aboard as senior account manager for its Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland station group.  Ludwig was most recently a sales consultant for Entercom’s Portland, Oregon operations.

PPM Analysis: Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on rock.  Overall, rock-formatted stations have performed well in Nielsen’s PPM markets, recently.  Kinosian reports that just over half of the rock stations in his sample saw their 6+ ratings rise from July 2017 to August 2017 (52%), versus the 42% that were down.  The remaining 6% of the sample was flat.  Comparing August 2016 numbers to the August 2017 report, “roughly six of 10 facilities on our eligible rock sample improve year-to-year (61%), while 39% decline.”  There were seven rock stations that ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the August 2017 survey.  Although none ranked #1, there were three that ranked #2: iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh and WHJY, Providence; plus Saga Communications’ WNOR, Norfolk, Virginia.  See the full report here.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

| September 14, 2017

Craig Carton Resigns from WFAN.  A day after releasing his first public statement declaring his innocence relative to the federal fraud charges filed against him, radio personality Craig Carton has resigned from his position as morning host alongside co-host Boomer Esiason on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York.  As most TALKERS readers are aware, Carton is charged with being part of a Ponzi scheme that bilked $5.6 million out of investors, ostensibly to pay off gambling debts.  Carton’s attorney says the government’s case is a “gross misunderstanding of what happened.”  Here’s Carton’s statement: “Unfortunately, the unfounded legal issues currently plaguing me will only be a distraction to everyone at WFAN and the show I helped build.  With that in mind, I have submitted my resignation to the station and they accepted.  I am sad to see this chapter of my life close but know that it will allow me to focus on my family, my well-being and clearing my name, while giving the show the best opportunity to succeed without further disruption.  I’ve always felt a personal connection to our listeners and want to thank them for making me a part of their daily routine. I hope they can respect the fact that as much as I want to talk about the allegations against me I can’t at this time. There will come a time when I will be able to speak directly about the case and I hope our listeners will be there.”  In accepting Carton’s resignation, CBS RADIO issued the following statement: “We appreciate all of his contributions over the last decade and wish him and his family well during this next phase.  We are especially grateful to our dedicated employees, sponsors and listeners for their continued support of ‘THE FAN.’  The search for a replacement co-host for the morning show will begin immediately.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Kinosian reports that, comparing July PPM figures to August numbers (all 6+ ratings), “six of every 10 stations on this public news/talk panel are up (60%)…while 29% are down; the remaining 11% of the sample is flat.”  Similarly, a comparison of August 2016 ratings to August 2017 shows 60% of stations are up year-over-year.  As far as market rank is concerned, there were four public news/talk stations that ranked #1 in their respective markets in the August survey: KQED-FM, San Francisco (which also ranked #1 in the adjacent San Jose market); WAMU, Washington; KUOW, Seattle; and KPBS, San Diego.  Five other public news/talk stations finished in the top five in their respective markets.  Read the whole report here.

Watkins Named LSM at Cox Atlanta. Sales and marketing pro Mike Watkins is appointed to the local sales manager position at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta radio operations.  In this role, Watkins will “focus on developing talent and driving new business development initiatives” for the cluster’s stations, including news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM.  For the past 20 years, Watkins has been a media consultant for CMG Atlanta.  Prior to that, he spent the first half of his career on the programming side of the business working at legendary stations KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh and WGCI, Chicago.  Watkins came to Atlanta in 1993 as the program director of WALR “Kiss 104.”

WTAR, Norfolk Debuts New Lineup; Local PM Drive Show. On Monday (9/18), Sinclair Communications unveils the new programming lineup at WTAR, Norfolk “Sports Radio 850.”  The schedule will consist of FOX Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” Dan Patrick; “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”; the local Nick Bailey show; and the Rich Eisen show.  Host and PD Nick Bailey says his show will also feature Jason Dick, from “101X” in Austin.  It will also include Tim Murray based in Washington.  Murray is nationally syndicated as part of SBNation.  Bailey states, “We are excited to give the people of Hampton Roads premiere sports talk every weekday.  I think the lineup gives a fresh entertaining spin on sports no matter what time of the day you tune in.  Plus, local sports talk starting at 3:00 pm will be a nice addition to the market.”

Rita Cosby Hosts ‘Pubs and Politics’ Event at The Cutting Room.  This evening in New York City, 77 WABC Radio personality and political editor Rita Cosby hosts “Pubs and Politics” at The Cutting Room on E. 32nd Street.  The evening features three of the top New York City mayoral challengers: Nicole Malliotakis, Sal Albanese, and Bo Dietl.  Also appearing will be former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke.  Appearing to discuss the media’s role in the political scene is CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota.  The program will be opened by “Saturday Night Live” cast member Darrell Hammond with remarks and thoughts on the current political environment.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “It’s hard to imagine a better night of political debate and comedy.  The stars come out for Rita, our great listeners, and for WABC Radio.”

Galaxy’s Ed Levine Inducted into Syracuse University’s WAER Hall of Fame.  Pictured above is Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine (center) during the ceremony inducting him into the WAER Hall of Fame.  Flanking him are Scott MacFarlane (left) and Marv Albert (right). Levin comments, “WAER is where it all started.  It’s where my love for radio was realized, where I met my wife (Pam), and where Craig Fox, Ted Utz and I formulated the plan to start WAQX, which was my first real job in radio.  I couldn’t be happier to be a part of a class that includes Scott MacFarlane and the great Marv Albert.”  Past WAER Hall of Fame inductees include: Bob Costas, Mike Tirico, Lakshmi Singh and former ABC News anchor Ted Koppel.  WAER, once a student-run radio station, is a public radio station based at Syracuse University that maintains a student workforce, primarily in the news and sports departments.

Trump Administration’s DACA Policy, Trump Tax Code Overhaul, Irma and Harvey Aftermath, Hillary Clinton Book, ESPN’s Jemele Hill Controversy, North Korea Threats, Ben Shapiro’s Berkeley Speech, Equifax Security Breach, Apple Introduces New iPhones, ‘Racism’ Banner Unfurled at Red Sox Game, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/13).  The negotiations between Democrats and President Trump on immigration policy regarding ‘dreamers’; the Trump Administration’s efforts to rewrite the U.S. tax code; the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the prognosis for long-term recovery; Hillary Clinton’s new book What Happened and her current media tour; the controversy at ESPN over Jemele Hill’s statement calling Trump a white supremacist and the sports media organization’s reaction; the nuclear threats against the U.S. by North Korea; anticipation of protests at UC Berkeley at tonight’s Ben Shapiro speech; the Equifax security breach and criticism of the company’s handling of it; Apple’s introduction of new iPhones, including the iPhone X; protesters unfurl anti-racism banner at Wednesday’s Red Sox game; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country stations KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf” and KSCS “New Country 96.3” brought Broken Bow Records artist Dustin Lynch to Cowboys Red River Dance Hall in Dallas on Tuesday (9/12) to raise money for the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  Lynch performed a 90-minute set for the nearly 2,600 fans in attendance, raising $25,750 to help those affected by last month’s Hurricane Harvey…..CBS RADIO CHR KLUC, Las Vegas partnered with Zappos For Good, Lyft and the Salvation Army for a three-day broadcast last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to collect items for Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts. KLUC’s “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” filled five semi-trucks with donated supplies and hit the road this past Saturday for the 1,200 mile trek from Las Vegas to the Salvation Army Divisional Disaster warehouse in Arlington, Texas…..Envision Networks is partnering with Skid Trax to offer “The Ashley & Brad Show” to affiliates on a barter basis. Ashley & Brad are based at KWSV-LP, Simi Valley, California.  Envision says the show “targets the 25 to 54 audience with current topics and humor.  Radio stations’ music playlists will remain intact – just add Ashley & Brad voice tracks.”…..Jim Dorman joins iHeartMedia to serve as operations manager for the company’s four-station Wichita cluster that includes CHR KZCH, country KZSN, adult contemporary KRBB, and alternative KTHR.  Dorman takes over for the departed Brian Jennings…..Milwaukee hip hop outlet WKKV “V100.7” is presenting the 6th annual Cracker Barrel Sista Strut – a 3K breast cancer charity walk that aims to bring awareness to the importance of breast cancer screenings.  The charity walk will take place on Saturday, October 7.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

| September 13, 2017

WFAN’s Craig Carton Professes Innocence in Ponzi Scheme Allegations.  Making his first public statement since being arrested and charged with fraud in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme, WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton said he is innocent of the charges against him.  His statement read, “I want to thank my family, friends and fans and especially Boomer [Esiason] for the outpouring of public and private support I’ve received over the past few days.  As you can imagine, it’s been incredibly hard to be silent while there is an endless stream of vitriol being hurled my way, but I’m confident that when the facts come out, you’ll see that I am not guilty of these charges.  My fight has only just begun and I know when this strange episode is over, I’ll be back, stronger than ever.  Thank you for all the kind words and good wishes as I continue on with one of the greatest battles of my life.”  Esiason spoke on WBZ-FM, Boston’s Toucher & Rich morning program saying he is “lost and heartbroken” over the matter.  He said he spoke with Carton on Saturday and he is being supportive of Carton during this difficult time.  Carton’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, issued a statement saying Carton is a “victim who was deceived, manipulated and used by individuals seeking to gather assets for their own fraudulent schemes.”

Francesa Won’t Turn His Back on WFAN.  Afternoon drive star Mike Francesa tells the New York Post that if WFAN is facing real programming trouble from the Craig Carton legal matter combined with his own pre-planned departure from the station in December he would not “turn my back on the company if I thought it was in trouble.  That’s something that had to play out in the weeks and months ahead.  And I don’t really know if it is [in trouble], so I don’t know if that’s going to mean anything.”  Some industry watchers have speculated that Francesa’s exit combined with Carton’s absence from the morning show could affect the most lucrative dayparts, putting CBS RADIO’s New York sports talker in a difficult situation.  Read the Post story here.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey with today’s focus on sports talk radio.  The MLB playoff push and the ramp-up to the NFL season appear to have been good for sports talk stations with “roughly two of three stations (65%) on this sports talk panel up (6+)” from the July survey to the August survey.  But, a year-over-year comparison shows a different trend.  Kinosian notes that “more than half of these eligible sports talk stations are down year-to-year (53%) while 34% improve; the remaining 13% are steady.  No sports talk station ranked first in its market during the August survey – only CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit came close, finishing #2.  See the whole report here.

Larry Glover Moves to Middays at WVLK, Lexington.  Talk show host Larry Glover moves from the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart at Cumulus Media’s WVLK, Lexington, Kentucky.  At the same time, the Cumulus-syndicated Chris Plante show moves to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  The daypart opened up after Lee Cruse — who also works at WLEX-TV — resigned his position with WVLK due to time constraints.  He hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Glover was the radio voice for the minor league baseball Lexington Legends for seven seasons.   In 2008, he was honored as the Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year.  Cumulus Media Lexington VP/market manager Scott Frazier comments, “We are very excited to have Larry Glover join our midday lineup on News Talk 590 WVLK.  I’ve always believed that Larry possessed the ability to reach beyond the world of sports talk to offer entertaining and informative commentary on a broad range of topics.  He will now have that opportunity and I think our listeners will love what they hear!”

FCC Report Indicates 50 U.S. Mainland Radio Signals Still Off the Air.  Due to the loss of power and flooding from Hurricane Irma, there are still a slew of radio stations off the air, mostly in Florida.  The signals – including translators – are: In Florida — WMFM, WAXY, WDOZ, W227CP, W250BH, W274BB, W298BO, W300CL, WAQV, WFLJ, WJFH, W251BM, WROK, WAOA- FM, WHKR, WLZR, WIOD, WOLZ, WINZ, WBTT, WCKT, WZTA, WSVU, WSWN, WOTW, WMFQ, WXUS, WYGC, W240CI, W295BJ, W233AP, WMKO, WEAT, WMFL, WWFR, WJFR, WTIR, WMYR, WCNZ, W294AN, WNWF, WEJZ, WGNE-FM, and WJGO.  Georgia stations off the air are: WLFH, WHFX, WBGA, WGIG, WEKL and WGCO.  This report was as of yesterday at 11:00 am ET.  Some of these stations may have returned to air by the time you read this.

WEEI Presents $4.2 Million Check to Jimmy Fund.  This year’s 16th annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon raised $4.2 million for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Pictured above presenting the ceremonial check at Tuesday night’s Boston Red Sox game are (from l-r): Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary; WEEI, Boston program director Joe Zarbano; NESN general manager Sean McGrail; NESN coordinating director Rose Marakian; Arbella Insurance Charitable Foundation president Beverly Tangvik; and Jimmy Fund chairman Larry Lucchino.

Hofstra University’s Dr. Evan W. Cornog is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  For the second time in the past three years, Long Island-based Hofstra University’s WRHU (FM and .org) was presented the NAB Marconi Award for “Best Non-Commercial Radio Station” in the nation – a remarkable achievement.  Dr. Evan W. Cornog, dean of Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, which oversees the institution’s radio department, joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Cornog, a highly respected scholar with stellar credentials in both academia and professional journalism, brings a wealth of experience and insight to the conversation.  Prior to joining Hofstra in 2010, Cornog served as an associate dean at the Columbia University School of Journalism for more than a decade during which time he was publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review.  He was also press secretary to New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch and a freelance writer and editor whose stories have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, Slate and the Boston Globe.  Cornog also served as special assistant to the president of the New School in Manhattan.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and literature from Harvard University, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in history from Columbia.  Don’t miss this fascinating conversation in which Harrison and Cornog discuss the rapidly evolving state of media and its impact on society, as well as the future of journalism.  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 on every page of Talkers.com.

Andre Fernandez Named to FCC Committee.  Selected to serve on the new Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) is CBS RADIO president and CEO Andre Fernandez.  Fernandez was selected by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on the committee that will “provide recommendations to the FCC on how to empower disadvantaged communities and accelerate the entry of small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities, into the media, digital news and information, and audio and video programming industries.”  Leading the committee as chair is NetCommunications president Julia JohnsonShootingStar Broadcasting president and CEO Diane Sutter is vice chair.

Irma and Harvey Aftermath, Sanders’ Single Payer Bill, SCOTUS Rules on Refugee Ban, Hillary Clinton Book, Cruz Porn Video ‘Like,’ Apple Unveils iPhone X, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12).  The effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey on Florida and Texas; Senator Bernie Sanders announces his bill to create a single payer system for health care in the U.S.; the Supreme Court upholds the ban on travel for certain refugees for the time being; Hillary Clinton’s book about her loss to Donald Trump; Ted Cruz says “staffing issue” responsible for his Twitter “like” of a porn video; Apple unveils new iPhone 8 and the iPhone X; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This change was anticipated and now it happens as Hubbard Radio hot AC WTMX, Chicago formally changes the name of “The Eric & Kathy Show” to “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip.  Eric Ferguson leads the morning show with castmates Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch.  Obviously, this comes on the heels of the official departure of Kathy Hart from the show.  She’d been off the air since late April in what appears to have been a contract dispute.  The station let her go last week.….Cumulus Media names Britt Rose afternoon drive personality on classic hits WJTQ, Pensacola “Jet 100.7” She was most recently with the company in Oklahoma City on classic hits KQOB and rock KATT.  WJTQ program director Chuck Whitaker says, “I am very excited to have Britt here as the new afternoon goddess in the ‘Jet 100.7’ cockpit.  It’s so good to see one of our own at Cumulus get the opportunity to advance in their career.  We look forward to Britt taking ‘Jet 100.7’ to new heights!”…..Lakes Media LLC flips WMPW, Danville, Virginia from its “MOREfm” adult contemporary format to classic country as “Country Legends.”  The company says that the online audience for the “Country Legends” stream has more than tripled in the last year.  That combined with the existence of sister AC WHLF already on the air, the decision was made to bring “Country Legends” to the FM airwaves on WMPW…..Sinclair Communications’ CHR KSXY, Forestville/Santa Rosa, California flips to alternative as “The 101 Modern Alternative.”  Program director Dray Lopez and air staffers Ashlee Sleek, Natalie, and Will Styles remain with the station…..Cumulus Media’s WGNI, Wilmington, North Carolina adds the nationally syndicated “Intelligence for Your Life” program starring John Tesh to its evening program schedule…..Premiere Networks radio personality Nikki Sixx is launching a new weekly program feature on his nationally syndicated “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” radio program.  It’s called “My Favorite Riff” and it’s billed as “a first-ever multiplatform music and conversation series highlighting guitar legends and the hottest upcoming new artists.”  It launches tomorrow (9/14) with guest Joe Bonamassa.