Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Monday, January 22, 2018

| January 22, 2018

Imus: Show Will End on March 29.  There’s no official word from Cumulus Media or Westwood One, but Don Imus announced on the WABC, New York-based morning program today (1/22) that he will end the “Imus in the Morning” program on March 29.  The iconic New York and nationally syndicated program has been part of the broadcast landscape in America since the early 1970s.  Stay tuned as more information about the change is revealed.

WTVN, Columbus Talk Host John Corby Dead at 61.  The Columbus Dispatch reports that afternoon drive host John Corby had been off the air a few days prior to his unexpected death at 61 on Saturday (1/20).  No cause of death has been announced but the Dispatch story says fellow station personalities said on the air that he passed peacefully at Mount Carmel West Hospital.  He is survived by his wife Jodi and a daughter.  He worked at WTVN from 1984 to 1994, when he left to host at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh.  He returned to WTVN in 1997.  Read the Dispatch obituary here.

Profile: Reliable Remote Royalty Comrex.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of the company so many broadcasters have turned to over the years to provide them with the high-quality, American-made equipment to get “studio-quality” audio from remote locations to their transmitters.  The 60-year-old Comrex Corporation was born as a firm dedicated to providing wireless microphones to the Broadway theater and live events markets.  But, the company quickly transitioned into one that used telephone lines to deliver “higher-quality audio” from remote locations to broadcast facilities.  Comrex truly upped its game by leading the industry with its mastery of voice-over-Internet protocol in its line of ACCESS products.  Read all about it here.

Are Radio and Agencies Missing the Mark by Not More Heavily Targeting Boomers?  Two noted media consultants think that the radio and advertising industries are blowing a huge opportunity by not paying more attention to the increasingly growing 65-plus crowd.  TALKERS correspondent/columnist Holland Cooke and Jacobs Media CEO Fred Jacobs tackled the issue this past Friday on the latest installment of Cooke’s weekly TV talk show “The Big Picture” on RT America.  The two boomers make a very strong case for their generation’s radio marketplace pertinence showing statistics and examples of the affluence and influence wielded by today’s upper-demo audience.  To see the video of “Baby Boomers: The Most Consequential Generation,” please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. The sale of Boston AM signal WBIX, means the demise of the Salem Media Group conservative talk format in the market.  Salem is selling the station to religious entity International Church of the Grace of God Inc. for $685,000 — $185,000 more than it paid for the signal when it bought it from ABC/Disney almost three years ago.  The church is already airing a Portuguese-language format on the station under an LMA…..The fourth signal that made up Connoisseur Media’s “Talk of Connecticut” format is being sold to Trignition for $260,000.  WWCO, Waterbury and the construction permit for an FM translator were not part of the recent announcement of the sale by Connoisseur of WDRC-AM, Hartford; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden to Red Wolf Broadcasting for $8 million…..At San Diego’s Broadcasting Corporation of the Americas, Jenny Rose Gonzalez is promoted from her local sales manager post to general sales manager for the cluster that includes: sports talk XEPRS “The Mighty 1090,” sports XEPE “ESPN 1700,” and classic hits XHPRS “105.7 Max-FM.”  Station president and general manager Mike Glickenhaus comments, “It is always great when you can promote from within your organization.  This promotion reflects the dedication, creativity, passion, leadership, and great work ethic that Jenny Rose has demonstrated day in and day out since she walked in the door.”…..Nationally syndicated urban radio morning personality Steve Harvey is getting another year for his television talk show.  NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution announces that it is picking up a second season for the “Steve” program.   Of course, Harvey’s daily radio show is syndicated by Premiere Networks.  NBCUniversal says that Harvey’s show delivered “a season high 1.5 rating for the week ending 1/7/18.”  The program “recently averaged a 1.4 national household rating for the November 2017 sweep, delivering the highest November sweep rating for a new, first-run, one-hour syndicated program in five years.”…..In Maine, Townsquare Media steals Boston Red Sox play-by-play away from Stephen King’s WZON, Bangor.  With the new affiliation with the WEEI, Boston-based Red Sox Radio Network, Townsquare’s WEZQ, Bangor “92.9 The Ticket” holds the play-by-play rights to all four Boston sports teams.

Government Shutdown, DACA/Immigration Policy, Women’s Marches, Allegations Hillary Clinton Investigation Was Fixed, the SAG Awards, Middle East Peace Talks, Kabul Hotel Attack, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The federal government shutdown and the politics of crafting a solution to the impasse; the Trump Administration’s efforts to overturn the Obama era DACA act and its immigration policy; the weekend’s women’s marches that took place across the country; allegations that former members of Robert Mueller’s team knew that Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted in the emails investigation ahead of time; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards show; Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Israel after visiting Egypt and Jordan for Middle East peace talks; terror attacks at the International Hotel in Kabul; and Sunday’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Establishes Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the establishment of the Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund to honor the iconic broadcaster who passed away last week at the age of 91 in Palm Beach, Florida.  McLaughlin was at the helm of ABC Radio Network for many years and is responsible for putting legendary talk host Rush Limbaugh into syndication in 1987.  McLaughlin was a longtime chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation and held the title of chairman emeritus at the time of his death.  To donate to the Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund, visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email: info@thebfoa.org.

Karen Hunter Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Described by Michael Harrison as “one of the most important talk media personalities in the industry whose time has definitely come,” SiriusXM Satellite Radio star Karen Hunter joins the TALKERS founder as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Hunter hosts a daily 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm talk program on the SiriusXM’s “Urban View” channel that has been receiving glowing industry acclaim.  She is also a prolific New York Times best-selling co-author; CEO of highly successful Karen Hunter Publishing; and a professor of film and media at Hunter College in New York City.  (The name is coincidental.)  Hunter is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was the first female African American news columnist at the New York Daily News.  Harrison and Hunter discuss today’s hottest issues regarding media, race, society, gender relations, education, science, religion and politics.  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.

Save the Date! Talkers 2018 Set for Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  This marks the second year in a row that the convention will be held at this very popular venue.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. If Cumulus Media gets its way and a bankruptcy judge allows the company to get out of its deal to buy WKQX and WLUP-FM in Chicago from Merlin Media, Merlin principal Randy Michaels says the company is prepared to step in and operate the alternative and classic rock stations, “essentially, as is.”  That’s according to Robert Channick’s piece in the Chicago Tribune.  Cumulus appealed to the court to get out of certain deals that are losing ventures – such as the White Sox and Bulls play-by-play contracts for WLS-AM that are revenue negative.  Cumulus told the court that the Merlin LMA of the two rock stations has cost it $8.4 million to date.  Merlin exercised the option in the contract to sell the stations to Cumulus for $50 million.  Cumulus is asking the court to allow it to get out of that deal, as well.  Cumulus and Merlin have been trying to negotiate a new deal but have not been able to come to terms that each side like.  A judge is set to decide on Cumulus’ requests by February 1.  Cumulus hopes to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by May 29…..Alternative rock radio pro Lisa Worden is adding program director for KSYR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7” to her responsibilities for iHeartMedia.  She was appointed vice president of programming for the station and alternative rock brand manager for the company’s National Programming Group when she joined it back in November.  She was previously assistant program director and music director for crosstown KROQ-FM, Los Angeles prior to the station’s sale from CBS RADIO to Entercom…..After two years in the St. Louis market as regional SVP of programming for iHeartMedia, A.J. moves to the company’s Charlotte market where he’ll be the new program director for CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” and adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake,” effective February 12.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming Meg Stevens comments,  “Bringing A.J. to Charlotte is a game-changer for the market.  He is passionate and creative as well as analytical and strategic.  He’s the perfect addition to team Charlotte.”  In St. Louis, he programmed CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” and Gospel KATZ-AM “Hallelujah 1600.”…..Entercom and KMXB, Las Vegas “Mix 94.1” agree to terms on a contract renewal for morning personalities Mercedes Martinez (right) and JC Fernandez (left).  Entercom Las Vegas SVP and market manager Dan Kearney states, “‘Mercedes in the Morning’ is an integral part of the Las Vegas community’s morning and we are proud to continue our partnership with the iconic Mercedes and JC for the years to come.  Both bring an exciting energy to ‘Mix 94.1’ and we are looking forward to seeing them take the show to new heights.”…..Sean Stewart is the new program director and morning drive personality at Entercom’s rock WRXR, Chattanooga “Rock 105.”  Stewart, who moves to WRXR from his post as music director at crosstown CHR WDOD, says, “This role is a huge opportunity and I’m excited to bring new life into Chattanooga’s best rock brand.”…..Westwood One is again the official radio broadcast partner of the Recording Academy and the “60th Annual GRAMMY Awards.”  As part of its build-up to the January 28 awards show, Westwood One is presenting 13 “intimate performances for passionate music lovers and dedicated station listeners” live from the Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 high atop Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Hot AC WPLJ and country WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” are hosting the invite-only performances that will feature: Troye Sivan, Lauv, Bleachers, Cody Simpson, Logan Henderson, Shane Owens, Max, Marshmello, Jessie Chris, Lauren Alaina, PJ Morton, Midland, and Kelly Clarkson.

Friday, January 19, 2018

| January 19, 2018

Ed McLaughlin Dies at 91.  The man who founded EFM Media Management and launched Rush Limbaugh into national syndication – and consequently changed the face of radio – has died at the age of 91 after a long illness.  Edward F. McLaughlin was in a hospice facility in Palm Beach, Florida.  As TALKERS magazine reported earlier this week, the Broadcasters Foundation of America announced it would be honoring McLaughlin with its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City during its Golden Mike Award event.  During McLaughlin’s 14-year career leading the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin oversaw the acquisition of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” launched “American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley,” and grew the affiliate base of the Paul Harvey programs to some 1,000 stations.   In 1984, he formed EFM Media Management and began syndicating the Dr. Dean Edell show.  After hearing Rush Limbaugh on KFBK, Sacramento he moved him to WABC, New York and began syndicating his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program.  It provided the launch pad for Limbaugh’s rise to syndication success.  He sold the Rush Limbaugh program to Jacor Media in 1997.  McLaughlin’s work in national radio syndication included numerous achievements, including his teaming ABC with CBS and NBC in 1980 to establish the first digital satellite distribution system  — Americom Digital Delivery System (ADDS) — which replaced telephone lines in connecting networks with affiliated stations, the antiquated system that had been used since the early 1940s.  He also guided the creation and distribution of network music and entertainment programming circa 1979.  Prior to that it had largely been news and information.  McLaughlin was a chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  He succeeded Ward L. Quaal as chairman.  BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “He was a genius at creating content and talent development.”  Whitney Global Media chairman William O’Shaughnessey says, “He was a great raconteur who often held court at the ‘21’ bar where he did a lot of business entertaining out-of-town affiliates.”  The McLaughlin family will hold a private service and is planning a memorial celebration in June.

Sabo: ‘Make It Bigger’ Ed McLaughlin.  Consultant Walter Sabo writes today about the qualities that made the late Edward F. McLaughlin the legendary broadcaster that he was.  First and foremost, says Sabo, was his mandate that for a project to succeed, one had to “make it bigger.”  Sabo says, “Ideas that were big enough for Ed inspired him to become fully engaged in the project.  He would marshal every resource of ABC to make a project a success — from legal, to financial, to engineering, to marketing, to the television network.  When Ed called, the corporation cooperated.  He knew that a key part of his job was to give his team access to the resources of the corporation and he was a genius at persuading all of ABC to support the radio network.  When he supported a project, he believed it was his job to find the money.  And he always found the money.”  Read Sabo’s entire column here.

Cumulus Makes Hard Decisions in Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Cumulus Media has announced it is shedding its unprofitable deals to broadcast Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls play-by-play.  It is also choosing not to acquire music-formatted stations alt rocker WKQX and classic rock WLUP-FM from Merlin Media (Cumulus has been operating the duo under an LMA).  As Feder notes, Cumulus is working through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and president and CEO Mary Berner says in a statement, “As part of our operational turnaround, we have been focused on taking proactive steps to address unprofitable areas of our business.  We are taking this action because the economic terms of these legacy contracts guarantee that we lose money and, as such, continuing them in their current form is not in Cumulus’s best interests.”

WOC, Quad Cities Names Dave Levora Morning Host.  New WOC, Quad Cities morning personality Dave Levora comes to the station from his most recent position as an account executive for WQAD-TV, Quad Cities.  He’s hosted morning radio programs in the market in the past on music-formatted stations, including KJOC, WXLP, and KIIK.  Levora will co-host the morning show at the iHeartMedia news/talk station with program director Dan Kennedy.  He’ll continue to host the half-hour “Quad Cities Brewed” program on WQAD-TV that explores the Midwestern Craft Brew scene.  Kennedy comments, “We’re excited to bring Dave into the WOC ‘News Talk 1420’ family.  He’s already familiar with radio in the Quad Cities and I have no doubt that our listeners will love him!”

WSKO, Syracuse Adds New Local Show to Lineup.  Programmer Tom Mitchell promotes executive producer Paul Esden to air personality with his own afternoon program called “Drive Time Sports” at Cumulus Media’s WSKO, Syracuse “The Score 1260.”  Esden has been the executive producer of the station’s Bud & The Manchild” late morning show for the past two years.  Mitchell says, “This is a marvelous opportunity for Paul.  His unique and energetic style, opens up a fresh perspective to cover not only local sports, but also the best in the national sports arena every day!”  Esden has also covered Syracuse University sports as a senior columnist for Inside the Loud House for the past two years.

SuperTalk Mississippi Adds Country Star Steve Azar to Lineup. The program is called “A Mississippi Minute with Steve Azar” – a reference to his song “Mississippi Minute” – and airs Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  TeleSouth Communications says his show airs on the SuperTalk Mississippi format that’s heard on stations covering all of Mississippi’s 82 counties.  SuperTalk CEO Steve Davenport says, “We’re excited to add Steve Azar to the lineup.  His passion for Mississippi fits right in with our mission – to serve the millions of people who live in our state.”  In a press release, the company says, “Spend five minutes with Steve Azar and you’ll see why he is the Music and Culture Ambassador of Mississippi.  His love for the Magnolia State is evident in everything he does.  This modern-day Renaissance man is a hit songwriter, recording artist, music producer, golfer, philanthropist and now – radio host.”

Trump’s Alleged ‘Shithole’ Comment and Threat of Government Shutdown Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The allegations that President Trump called certain Caribbean and African countries “shitholes,” and the threat of a federal government shutdown tied for the most talked about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the Obama era DACA, the Trump Administration’s larger immigration policy, and the issue of the Mexican Wall.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia probe and the related testimony of former White House senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon, followed by the report that 2017 was the warmest year on record at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Classic rock WMMZ, Berwick, Pennsylvania is purchased by Vince Benedetto’s Bold Gold Media Group for $700,000.  The class A FM’s primary signal covers a region southwest of the Wilkes Barre-Scranton market.  The seller is Joseph Reilly’s Columbia FM Inc.  The station switched calls from WHLM-FM to WMMZ last year…..In New England, Townsquare Media begins airing “The Big Breakfast” – with hosts Bill Fox and Kira Lew (based at country WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire) – on sister station country WPKQ, Portland, Maine “103.7 The Peak.”  To make room, current WPKQ morning personality Annie Snook moves to the midday show on the station.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

| January 18, 2018

WCBS 880 Promotes Alex Silverman.  News radio pro Alex Silverman is promoted to assistant director of news and programming for Entercom’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York.  Prior to joining the station in 2011, Silverman served with Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  As an anchor/reporter with WCBS 880, he was honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award in 2017 for “Excellence in Sound.”  In his new role, Silverman will help manage the day-to-day news coverage for WCBS, its website and social media channels, in addition to his current reporting and anchoring responsibilities.  Entercom SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “Alex is a talented news broadcaster and passionate storyteller.  His work on air, online, and on the station’s social media channels has helped set WCBS 880 apart from our competitors as a brand that delivers more than just the headlines.”

Beshore to Lead iHeartMedia Indianapolis Cluster.  Radio management pro Brett Beshore is named the market president for iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis station group that includes sports talk WNDE “FOX Sports 97.5 and 1260 AM,” classic rock WFBQ, alternative WOLT “ALT 103.3,” and hip hop WZRL “Real 98.3.”  Beshore most recently served as region president for Fairway Outdoor Advertising.  He’s also managed for Times-Shamrock and Cumulus Media.  Beshore comments, “I’m thrilled to return to iHeartMedia to lead this heritage market.  iHeartMedia has tremendous brand recognition in the market and a highly talented team.  I look forward to delivering results for our advertisers and providing great radio entertainment for our listeners.”  Beshore takes over for Brad Polston, who exits the company.

Hopeck Named Chairman of NYMRAD.  There’s a new chairman and executive committee for the New York Market Radio Association.  The organization announces that iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck rises from secretary to chairman.  Emmis New York’s Charlie Morgan remains on the executive committee as vice chairman, CumulusChad Lopez joins the committee as secretary and Spanish Broadcasting SystemsEric Garcia is named treasurer.  Hopeck says, “I’m committed to evangelizing the clear advantages of using Audio to engage consumers.  I look forward to working with [executive director] Debbie Beagan and New York’s top radio leaders to inspire marketers with the most compelling cases of audio attribution in building brands and increasing sales for advertisers.”

Government Shutdown Threat, Trump-Russia Probe/Bannon Testimony/Mexican Wall, Trump on DACA/Immigration Policy, Trump’s ‘Fake News’ Awards, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Larry Nassar Trial, Soaring Dow/‘Cryptocollapse,’ NFL Playoffs, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/17).  The threat of a federal government shutdown; the Trump-Russia investigation, the testimony of former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon, and the issue of the Mexican wall; the Trump Administration’s reversal of the Obama DACA policy and its overall immigration stance; President Trump issues his “fake news” awards and the media’s reactions; the nuclear threats against the U.S. by North Korea; the trial of former Olympic gymnast doctor Larry Nassar and the victim impact statements; the continued rising of the Dow Jones industrial average and the sinking value of cryptocurrencies; the NFL playoffs; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley interviewed former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in what he calls the “definitive exit interview.”  Hurley’s interview with Christie lasted an hour and 15 minutes and was broadcast without interruptions.  You can hear the interview here…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “Women In Trucking,” a live, call-in show airing exclusively on its Road Dog channel and hosted by Ellen Voie.  SiriusXM says the program will feature listener call-ins and interviews with professionals from the trucking industry and will also address gender diversity issues, pushing for more women to join its ranks…..Six-time WWE champion Chris Jericho is adding two new shows to his Jericho Network podcasts being distributed and sales repped by Westwood One. The Jericho Network is an extension of Jericho’s diverse array of subjects and guests featuring other entertaining podcast hosts.  It debuts on Monday, January 22.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Gig alert!  Cumulus Media Indianapolis is seeking a program director and operations manager with strong country experience.  The company says the “winning candidate will be responsible for all programming of WFMS-FM, one of America’s most-storied country stations with a passionate following, and for helping to grow our dominant classic hits station WJJK and our exciting new CHR station ‘ENeRGY 93.9.’  The WFMS PD/OM will be responsible for leading WFMS to continued market dominance through precise music curation and scheduling; expert coaching of a veteran, winning air staff; and development of eye- and ear-catching promotions, NTR events-concerts and contests; finding new ways to increase ratings and revenue while ensuring WFMS remains essential to the people of Indianapolis and Central Indiana.  If this sounds like the job you’ve prepared for and aspired to for your whole career, we want to talk to you!  Send resume, ratings history, references and mp3 in confidence to Tom.Stemlar@cumulus.com with the subject line “Indianapolis PD.”…..In Columbus, Ohio, alternative WWCD program director Mase Brazelle assumes the afternoon drive show, taking over the daypart from Lesley James, who exited at the end of 2017.  Mase also hosts the station’s “The Stash” evening program.  He’ll continue to do that show in its new time of 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..Saga Communications Portland, Maine brings country programming pro Crash Poteet aboard to serve as brand manager and afternoon drive personality for country outlet WPOR.  Poteet comments, “I’m beyond excited to join the WPOR team and its legendary brand.  Thanks to Saga for allowing me the opportunity to share in the ‘POR passion for creating fun and compelling country radio.  I can’t wait to get started.”…..In the Peoria market, Marc Alghini exits Advanced Media Partners’ rock WWCT, where he was program director and morning drive personality.  At least for the interim, Chris Watters is serving as the morning co-host alongside Roxy Baker…..United Stations Radio Networks reports that “The Billy Madison Show” adds three new affiliate stations – Hearst’s WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock,” Western Rockies Radio’s KDXT-HD2/K237DZ “95 3 The X,” and Lotus Communications’ KFMA, Tucson “Rock 102.1.”

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

| January 17, 2018

Jennifer Seelig Promoted to Director of News and Programming for KCBS All News in San Francisco.  Seventeen-year KCBS-AM, San Francisco broadcast journalist Jennifer Seelig is named director of news and programming for KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco.  The UC-Davis grad has been serving the Entercom all-news station as acting news director (and prior to that, assistant news director).  Entercom regional president and San Francisco market manager Susan Larkin states, “I’m incredibly excited that Jennifer will be leading KCBS’s strong team and very important brand.  KCBS has a legacy of success serving our community and I’m certain that with Jennifer’s talent and direction, we will take it to the next level.”  Seeling comments, “I am honored to lead the KCBS team of award-winning journalists.  KCBS is justly celebrated for its incisive news stories and coverage.  The station has always provided timely news to the public and we will continue and enhance that tradition.  We are committed to providing the best news product to both our on-air listeners and digital audience.”

‘LI News Radio’ Adds KC Armstrong for Evening Show.  Long Island-based JVC Media announces that former Howard Stern show cast member KC Armstrong is joining its Long Island news/talk station – WRCN, Riverhead, New York “Long Island News Radio 103.9 FM” – to host a one-hour, evening program airing at 7:00 pm.   LI News Radio operations director Frank Brinka states, “KC will really round out this news/talk staff.  Part of what he learned from Howard Stern is total, non-negotiable honesty at all times and it shows in his interview style and on-air presentation.”  Armstrong will host his show from the station’s window studio at Long Island MacArthur Airport.  He comes to this gig after battling through serious health problems.  He says, “I had a really bad drinking problem.  I had pancreatitis. I had been in and out of the hospital over 30 times.  I had bled out one time and almost died.”  But he says he’s excited for this opportunity.  “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live-and-local radio organization like ‘LI News Radio.’  I am looking forward to bringing out the best in other people on the air.  I feel that that’s what my role here is.  I know I make a lot of people feel really good. And selfishly, it makes me feel good, too.”

WW1’s Harlan Named ‘Sportscaster of the Year.’ Sports play-by-play pro Kevin Harlan is being named “2017 National Sportscaster of the Year” by the National Sports Media Hall of Fame.  Harlan is Westwood One Sports’ “Monday Night Football” announcer – he’ll be behind the mic for Westwood One’s coverage of the NFC Championship game and for Super Bowl LII.   He also currently calls play-by-play for CBS Sports’ coverage of both the NFL and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  This was his 33rd consecutive season broadcasting the NFL and with his additional role as play-by-play announcer for the NBA on TNT, this also marks his 30th season broadcasting the NBA.

Tom Birch Joins Media Services Group as Director.  Radio ratings company founder and station owner Tom Birch is joining Media Services Group as a director, effective February 1. Birch is currently owner of the nine-station Lakes Media company.  He’s well known in the radio business as the founder and CEO of Birch/Scarborough Research.  Media Services Group managing director Eddie Esserman says, “Tom Birch brings a wealth of industry, financial and market research experience to Media Services Group.  He has raised millions of dollars in investment capital, authored numerous business and financial plans, was involved in successful radio acquisitions and turnarounds and built a major, industry-changing business.  He will be an enormous asset. All of us at Media Services Group are thrilled to have Tom’s experience, perspective and involvement in the industry on our team.”  The press release notes that “at its peak in the 1980s, Birch/Scarborough employed more than 1,200 people nationwide and maintained sales offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas.  The company interviewed over 100,000 persons per month in 260 markets and its client base included major radio broadcast groups such as Clear Channel, CBS and ABC, national advertisers such as McDonalds, Anheuser-Busch and Delta Airlines and major national advertising agencies such as BBDO, McCann-Erickson and Ogilvy & Mather.”

Edward F. McLaughlin to Be Honored with BFoA Lifetime Achievement Award.  Legendary radio syndication executive Edward F. McLaughlin is being named the recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  McLaughlin will be honored at the BFoA’s Golden Mike Award dinner on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  During his 14-year career leading the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin oversaw the acquisition of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” launched “American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley,” and grew the affiliate base of the Paul Harvey programs to some 1,000 stations.   In 1987, he formed EFM Media Management and began syndicating the Dr. Dean Edell show.  Shortly thereafter, he put KFBK, Sacramento talk host Rush Limbaugh into national syndication, providing the launch pad for Limbaugh’s rise to syndication success.  McLaughlin currently is chairman emeritus of the BFoA.  He says, “Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the charitable organization that I have believed in and supported for many years means a great deal to me.  I am grateful for the generosity of the broadcasters who make it possible for the Broadcasters Foundation to help our colleagues.”  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Ed is a visionary who took chances that led broadcasting into uncharted territory and tremendous success.  His dedication and leadership of the Broadcasters Foundation helped advance our mission. It is with great pride that we honor his innovation and recognize his years of service.”

‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ Creator Hugh Wilson Dies at 74.  Television writer and producer Hugh Wilson – the man who created the classic radio station sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” – died on Tuesday (1/16) at the age of 74.  “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo tells TALKERS magazine, “What most people don’t know is that Wilson never checked to see if there was a WKRP in the Queen City – and there wasn’t – but there is iHeartMedia’s WKRC.  It was widely reported that mail that was addressed simply to: WKRP in Cincinnati went to WKRC!  Oddly enough there was a station with the WKRP call letters at the time – in Dallas, Georgia.”

Trump DACA Policy-‘Shithole’ Controversy, Government Shutdown Threat, Trump-Russia Investigation/Bannon Subpoenas, Trump-Acosta Incident, North Korea Nuclear Threats, California Captive Kids Case, Dow Hits 26,000, Cryptocurrency Value, Intense Flu Season, NFL Playoffs, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16).  The Trump Administration’s Reversal of the Obama DACA policy and the related controversy over President Trump’s alleged use of the word “shithole” during a cabinet meeting; the threat of a federal government shutdown; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, and the subpoenas issued to former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon; President Trump kicks CNN’s Jim Acosta out of presser after Acosta’s aggressive questioning; the North Korean nuclear threat; the case of 13 California children held in prison-like conditions by their parents; the Dow Jones industrial average tops 26,000; the fluctuating value of cryptocurrencies; the intense strain of influenza sweeping the U.S.; the NFL playoffs, and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘The Infinite Dial’ Expands to Canada. The annual radio study from Triton Digital and Edison Research titled “The Infinite Dial” is expanding into Canada.  The firms say that the study is currently being fielded using a telephone survey representative of all Canadians that “will provide a comprehensive look at the digital media consumption habits of Canadian consumers, including time spent with digital audio, podcasts, smart speakers, social media, video, mobile, and more.”  The study was launched to track Americans’ use of audio back in 1998.  Edison Research and Triton Digital expanded the study outside of the U.S. for the first time last year with the unveiling of ‘Infinite Dial Australia’ in June.  Edison SVP Tom Webster comments, “The ‘Infinite Dial’ studies explore the penetration of online audio and other digital media in a way that no other study does.  A wide audience across the world, including broadcasters, ad agencies, and the financial community at large, have come to rely on the insights that the ‘Infinite Dial’ provides year after year.  With data derived using the highest-quality research standards, we are proud to be expanding our insights to Canada in 2018, in addition to our parallel work in the U.S. and Australia.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Nationally syndicated, ‘Z100’ New York-based morning radio star Elvis Duran is being inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  The induction will take place at the “Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner” on April 9 as part of the NAB Show…..Entercom’s adult contemporary KSWD, Seattle “94.1 The Sound” announces that Seattle radio pro John Fisher is its new morning show host.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We couldn’t be more excited to announce John Fisher as the inaugural host of mornings on ‘94.1 The Sound.’  With his 20-plus year relationship with the Seattle community, John is morning radio royalty to the Puget Sound.”  Fisher first joined Entercom in 1992 as morning host for “103.7 The Mountain” (KMTT), a role he held for over 20 years.  Fisher served with Hubbard’s KRWM “Warm 106.9” for three years.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

| January 16, 2018

New KGO, San Francisco Lineup Follows Ronn Owens Move.  On the heels of Friday’s announcement of San Francisco talk legend Ronn Owens’ transition from hosting his daily talk radio show to now hosting the 10-minute “Ronn Owens Report” at 12:50 each weekday, the new talk show schedule is confirmed.  Cumulus Media announces the changes that include the move of the Ethan Bearman program from its previous 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot to the 10:00 am to 12:50 pm daypart.  KGO brings medical expert and media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky aboard to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, and expands the afternoon drive Chip Franklin program by an hour to air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Adam Gold Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Triangle Sports Talk Radio.  WCMC-FM, Raleigh sports talk personality Adam Gold is celebrating his 20th year in Triangle sports talk radio this month.  Gold arrived in Raleigh 20 years ago to host afternoons at “850 The Buzz.”  As Capitol Broadcasting notes, Gold has transitioned through various ownership changes and sports talk signal shuffles during his time in the market.  He currently co-hosts the “Adam & Joe” show with his partner of seven-plus years, Joe Ovies.  WCMC general manager Brian Maloney says, “Adam literally showed up on our doorstep at the radio station one afternoon, we gave him a shot and loved what we heard.  Sports talk and hosts giving their opinions about teams and players was a new concept to the area.  Adam has never been shy or afraid to give his honest opinion and that’s one of the reasons he’s been so successful.”

Four Promoted at Westwood One. At syndicator and sales firm Westwood One, four affiliate sales directors are promoted to vice presidents.  Senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green announces that Neal Bird, Rich Burg, Stuart Greenblatt, and Jim Jones are now wearing VP stripes.  Green says, “Neal, Rich, Stuart, and Jim lead the charge each and every day to make sure our affiliates and station partners have the best products available and customer service possible.  We are proud to elevate them as a result of their tireless efforts in helping to make Westwood One America’s largest radio network.”  Neal Bird is in Los Angeles and is responsible for all music and entertainment affiliations, Rich Burg is in New York and is in charge of all sports affiliations, Stuart Greenblatt is in New York and handles all talk affiliations, and Jim Jones is Washington, DC and oversees all Westwood One News affiliations.

Red Wolf Buys Connoisseur Signals in Connecticut for $8 Million.  The big signal in this deal is Hartford classic rock WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale,” but Red Wolf is also acquiring three of the four stations that Connoisseur Media has been using for the “Talk of Connecticut” talk radio format.  Those stations are WDRC-AM, Hartford; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden.  The price tag for the Bergner & Co-brokered deal is $8 million.  The deal also includes translator W272DO that Connoisseur had been using as an alternative rock outlet.  Red Wolf flips that to Spanish tropical and helps protect its longtime Hartford alt-rocker WMRQ (licensed to Waterbury).

TALKERS News Notes. In the Jackson, Tennessee market, Grace Broadcasting flips classic hits WHPP “Hippie Radio 105.3” to talk as “The Talk of Jackson” and changes the calls to WTJK.  Steve Bowers – pictured at right – continues to host the “Blue Suede Forever” morning show live from the Dixie Café on the new format…..Comedy Central is debuting a live, daily show on its SiriusXM channel – Comedy Central Radio.  “You Up with Nikki Glaser” will launch in February and air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET Monday through Thursday…..Tribune’s news/talk radio outlet WGN, Chicago is changing its Sunday programming lineup and is adding the new “Karen Conti Show,” airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  The Chicago attorney has 25 years of TV and radio experience.  She’s been a permanent guest on the Steve Cochran show and the Brian Noonan show where she discusses current legal topics and fields listeners’ legal questions.  Conti comments, “I have been part of the WGN family for 10 years and I’m very excited to host my own show.  Now, with two hours, I can cover legal issues and other topics that are informational and entertaining to WGN listeners.”…..Georgia meteorologist George Wetherbee has been added to this Thursday’s “Coffee with Envision” webinar titled “Weathering the Storm with Hyperlocal Coverage.”  There’s still room to sign up for the Envision Networks-sponsored event here.

Trump DACA Policy-“Shithole” Comment, Hawaii Missile False Alarm, North Korea Nuke Threats, Government Shutdown Threat, California Captive Family, Soaring Dow, MLK Jr. Day, Baghdad Suicide Bombings, and NFL Playoff Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/15).  The Trump Administration’s DACA policy and the continuing controversy over allegations of President Trump’s use of the word “shithole” describing Caribbean and African nations; the missile false alarm in Hawaii that caused panic over the weekend; North Korea’s nuclear weapons threats against the U.S.; the possibility of a U.S. government shutdown; the case of a California couple’s shackling of 12 children in their home;  the soaring Dow Jones industrial average and the potential for it to hit 26,000 for the first time; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; a double suicide bombing in Baghdad kills 27 and wounds more than 60; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘Survivor’ Winner Joins KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller.  Pictured above are KIDO, Boise morning drive talk host Kevin Miller (left) with season 35 “Survivor” winner Ben Driebergen (right) after talking on the program about how to win “Survivor” and win $1 million.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show” is back on the air in the Atlanta market on Radio One’s FM translator W275BK – fed by WUMJ-HD2 – that’s branded “Classix 102.9 FM, Atlanta’s Classic RnB.”  The company says that, as part of the change, market pro Mitch Faulkner joins Radio One Atlanta as the morning show local producer, as well as hosting his “Classic RnB Show” Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Faulkner says, “I’m proud to join the team at Radio One Atlanta.  ‘Classix 102.9’ plays the music I grew up with and it’s refreshing to work with a company that ‘gets’ urban radio – and they do it right!  Plus, to work with a management team I have known and watched over the years, I feel this year will be the best of my career.”…..Speaking of Tom Joyner, Reach Media says he’s “signed on” for 2018 as host of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  It also says Joyner introduced the “Funny Chair” last year, bringing all-star comedic personalities to the radio show lineup each day.  For 2018, Joyner will feature Guy Torry and Sherri Shepherd as co-hosts…..The “Ace & TJ Show” promotes longtime show producer Rob Miller to the newly created role of vice president of affiliate relations.  Miller says, “There is nowhere else I’d rather be.  When the people you work with become family, it makes growth like this even more special.  Thank you to Ace & TJ for this amazing opportunity.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Adam Kurtz to SVP of sales for the Chicago Region.  With iHeartMedia since 2001, Kurtz has most recently been VP of sales for the six-station cluster.