Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

| September 18, 2019

‘Brock & Salk’ to Leave KIRO-AM, Seattle Airwaves for Podcast. Due to expanding duties in their other roles, KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” personalities Brock Huard and Mike Salk are ending their daily 7:00 am to 10:00 am talk show and will instead do a podcast.  The two have been together on the air for more than a decade.  Salk was recently promoted to director of programming, increasing his programming responsibilities at Bonneville Seattle, and Huard – a college football analyst – joined FOX Sports earlier this year.  The “Brock & Salk” show will wrap on September 27 and the podcast will launch on October 2.  The station has not said how it plans to fill the programming vacancy.

KGMZ-FM, San Francisco Officially Debuts ‘Damon, Ratto & Kolsky’ Show. Although
former San Francisco Chronicle and NBC Sports Bay Area columnist Ray Ratto and San Francisco Examiner columnist Matt Kolsky have been on the KGMZ-FM, San Francisco air with Damon Bruce for a couple of months now, the Entercom station announces that the two have officially joined the show and it’s now the “Damon, Ratto & Kolsky” program.  “95.7 The Game” says that Ratto recently agreed to a multi-year deal with the station.  The program airs from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Salem Reduces Board Members to Cut Expenses. Four of the Salem Media Group, Inc. board members – James Keet Lewis, Jonathan Venverloh, Stuart W. Epperson Jr., and Edward C. Atsinger – have resigned from the company’s board of directors.  Salem CEO Edward G. Atsinger III says in a statement, “The board members’ decisions to resign were not the result of any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies, or practices.  During the last few years, Salem has faced several unique financial headwinds and we are looking for ways to cut costs while not impacting revenue.  These resigning board members agreed that a reduction in board fees and travel costs would help improve the bottom line.  I am grateful for the service of Messrs. Lewis, Venverloh, Epperson Jr. and Atsinger.  Their years of service on the board contributed significantly to the impact Salem is making.”  The Salem board now consists of: Edward G. Atsinger, III; Stuart Epperson; Eric Halvorson; Rich Riddle; and Heather Grizzle.

Westwood One Uses LeadsRx for Attribution Measurement. Syndication and sales company Westwood One is using LeadsRx for its attribution measurement.  LeadsRx’s attribution software provides a comprehensive, quantitative analysis of how audio advertising drives advertiser search and site traffic.  LeadsRx’s platform also depicts business outcomes such as sales of products, form completions, in-bound phone calls, and more.  Cumulus Media EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “The LeadsRx platform gives Westwood One industry-leading marketing measurement capabilities that greatly benefit advertisers with comprehensive, digital-like attribution analytics.”

2020 Presidential Race, Lewandowski Testimony, Saudi Oil Attack, NYTimes Kavanaugh Story, Israeli Elections, GM Strike, Cokie Roberts Passes, and Imelda Threatens Houston Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/17). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trumpin 2020; former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee; the attack on a Saudi oil installation and allegations Iran is responsible; the controversy over the New York Times Brett Kavanaugh story; the Israeli elections and the fate of Benjamin Netanyahu; the UAW’s strike against General Motors; journalist Cokie Roberts dies after a battle with breast cancer; and Tropical Storm Imelda threatens Houston with severe flooding were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

FOCUS ON HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE: Dr. Daliah Wachs Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  There are many aspects of health and health care in the news from vaping, vaccines, flesh-eating bacteria, opioid abuse, and the high cost of prescription medicine to political debate over which way to go regarding the entire American health care system.  Should we maintain the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and simply build upon it as Joe Biden suggests?  Should we go to single payer universal health care and Medicare for all as promoted by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders?  Or should we go in a completely different direction with a new plan that has yet to be designed by President Trump and the Republicans?  Nationally syndicated Genesis Communications Network (GCN) radio talk show host Daliah Wachs, M.D. is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Wachs, a member of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred,” is widely respected for her medical credentials and general political neutrality.  She and Harrison address today’s hot health issues and more from a non-political perspective.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

SAVE THE DATE:  TALKERS and The Epoch Times to Co-Present a “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” in NYC on October 1. A 90-minute panel discussion will take place on Tuesday morning October 1, 2019 titled, “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations.”  The event will take place on the 70th anniversary of the Proclamation of the People’s Republic of China by the Chinese Communist Party.  The event will center around a panel discussion that will include radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor of Cumulus/Westwood One, and one more to be announced, as well as a group of experts on the present state of China and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States including Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times.  The conversation will focus on the US-China trade war, the Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison will serve as moderator. Harrison states, “The Chinese Communist Party is determined to ultimately exercise worldwide control over economic, communications, intelligence and governmental activities in the 21st century.  There is no way the US can hide its head in the sand over this dire threat to American interests.  It is imperative that news/talk media hosts be as informed as possible about the subject of US-Chinese relations.  One key aspect to this situation is the growing urgency of the Communist-resistance movement by the Chinese people themselves, not only in mainland China but throughout the world – especially the growing population of Chinese immigrants presently living in the United States.  We are delighted to join forces with our friends at The Epoch Times in presenting this forum on October 1.   The Epoch Times is an amazing worldwide news organization provocatively positioned on the leading edge of this dramatic resistance and few media platforms are as plugged into the facts of this situation as they are.”  Harrison adds, “John Batchelor and Hugh Hewitt are consummate talk media ‘heavyweights’ and will make wonderful panelists for this extremely significant forum bringing a high level of intelligence about policy and history to the table – exactly what we would expect at an event of this magnitude.  Nan Su, Joshua Philipp, and Dr. Dana Cheng are among the most informed reporters in the world about what is actually taking place in China and Chinese society around the globe outside the highly-censored and controlled propaganda of the official Chinese state media.”  The discussion will be video-streamed worldwide and available for future on-demand viewing.  This special event will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Theater in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  Doors will open at 8:30 am with the program beginning at 9:00 am.  Morning beverages and snacks will be served.  Admission to this special event is free but only open to members of the working media and all attendees must be pre-registered.  Seating is extremely limited.  To register, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  Save the date, register early and stay tuned for more speakers and information!

Network News Opportunities. There are three news positions at FOX News open.  The first is an overnight freelance anchor at FOX News Radio.  The job description states: “We are looking for a Freelance Overnight News Anchor to join our Fox News family as on-air talent for FOX News Radio/FOX News Headlines 24/7 Sirius XM Channel 115. As a Radio News anchor you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a days’ notice.” See more and to apply here.  The company also has freelance writer position for FOX News Headlines 24/7 open – see that information here – and a freelance producer/news editor position open that you can learn more about here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

| September 17, 2019

Key Networks Launches Audio Ad Sales Division. Two radio sales executives join Key Networks as the division of Sun & Fun Media begins providing audio advertising sales to producers and service/program providers.  Jim Higgins joins Key Networks as president and chief operating officer and Rich Baum comes aboard as executive vice president, advertising sales.  Higgins, previously president and COO at United Stations Radio Networks will be based in New York City and Baum, formerly EVP of sales at USRN, will be based in Chicago. Rob Koblasz, Sun & Fun and Key Networks CEO, says, “We are excited to now be a full-service network company for our existing as well as new clients, with the addition of advertising sales capabilities and an experienced and knowledgeable senior executive team.  Our goal when we started Key Networks was to be best-in-class, from the talent we represent, the producers we work with and the professionals on our team.  Both Jim and Rich fit that description perfectly. Their contacts in the ad sales and marketing world run deep and they are highly respected in the industry.  We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Jim and Rich to help build Key Networks into a successful full-service network audio company.”

FCC Approves Tribune-Nexstar Deal; Fate of WGN-AM Up in the Air. The Federal Communications Commission approved Nexstar Media’s acquisition of Tribune Media, a deal that will create the largest television station company in the country.  After closing, Nexstar will own almost 200 stations in 115 markets – plus a lone radio station: WGN-AM, Chicago.  Nexstar is a television company and it has not specifically addressed what it will or will not do with WGN-AM.  It wouldn’t be unique for a TV operator to also dabble in radio – Sinclair Broadcast Group operates four radio stations in addition to its large television holdings.  It’s certainly possible Nexstar continues to operate WGN-AM.  However, recent deals for heritage signals in the top markets – think WABC, New York and the several FM stations in New York and Los Angeles – indicate that the value of stations like these is on a steady decline and Nexstar may be better off selling WGN-AM before its value declines even more.

Learning from Entercom’s Ransomware AttackTALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes in his column that the alleged ransom Entercom was facing is “much higher than most ransomware demands.  According to security company Coveware, the average demand this year is $12,762 — double the average demand in 2018.”  Though Entercom is reportedly not paying the ransom, Weisman says “the cost of repairing the damage will exceed the cost of paying the ransom.  Radio One paid $500,000 to repair the damage when it was victimized by a ransomware attack, which also resulted in a large amount of lost advertising revenue.”  Read Weisman’s entire column here.

Bortnick Promoted to Region SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia. Sales pro Danny Bortnick is promoted from senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Washington, DC cluster to region senior vice president of sales for the Washington D.C./Baltimore markets.  iHeartMedia Washington/Baltimore region president Aaron Hyland says, “Danny has made a tremendous impact on the day-to-day operations of our sales organization since day one.  I am excited to see Danny take on this new leadership position and look forward to his continued success in developing and managing a best-in-class sales team for the region.”  Prior to joining iHeartMedia, Bortnick served as the vice president of sales for Entercom, vice president of sales for CBS Radio and general sales manager for WNEW-FM.

Saudi Oil Attack, Kavanaugh Allegations/NYTimes Criticism, 2020 Presidential Race, Another Vaping-Related Death, and ‘SNL’ Fires Comic Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16). The attack on a Saudi oil facility, accusations Iran is responsible, and President Trump’s military threats against Iran; the allegation of sexual harassment against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the related criticism of The New York Times; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the dangers of vaping after another person succumbs to respiratory ailments; and the firing of Shane Gillis from “SNL” after bigoted comments came to light were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Kansas City sports talk outlet KCSP “610 Sports Radio” and the MLB’s Kansas City Royals announce a five-year extension to their deal for the Entercom station to serve as the flagship for the team’s play-by-play broadcasts.  In addition to airing all 162 regular season games, KCSP will also broadcast all weeknight and weekend Cactus League Spring Training games from Arizona.  The weekly “Royals Hot Stove” show returns in January, and dates and times of the spring broadcasts and “Royals Hot Stove” show will be announced at a later date…..The New York Post and cabana announce the upcoming launch of “We Hear: A Page Six Podcast.”  The first episode of this new podcast dropped yesterday with Page Six editors Maggie Coughlan and Ian Mohr serving as hosts.  They bring insider stories and knowledge straight from the newsroom to the podcasts…..TALKERS founder Michael Harrison made a guest appearance this past weekend on the longtime nationally syndicated radio show “The Art of Living and the Science of Life” hosted by Danielle Lin that has generated quite a buzz in the metaphysics community.  The program deals with consciousness and anesthesiology – two subjects that are peripheral to Harrison’s usual beat of media and society, but he effectively ties them into his general theme of “rewiring the human nervous system” in the digital era.  To listen to the entire show, please click 

      here
.

‘SuperTalk Mississippi’ Broadcaster Kipp Greggory Dies. Talk host, programmer, and WOSM, Biloxi “SuperTalk Mississippi” station manager Kipp Greggory died on Saturday (9/14).  Specifics of his passing were not made public but his final message to family and friends, passed on by his wife, alluded to an illness. “Well.. it got the best [of] me. So long my Biloxi Family. I hope they have Bacon in heaven and I can get the Saints channel.”  Station owner Telesouth Communications wrote in a tweet: “All of us at Telesouth Communications and ‘Supertalk Mississippi’ send heartfelt condolences to the family of our colleague and friend, Kipp Greggory.  Kipp’s passion was radio.  For many years, he could be heard daily on WOSM ‘Supertalk Mississippi Gulf Coast’ and often heard statewide on the ‘Supertalk Mississippi’ network.  He loved the Mississippi Gulf Coast and worked diligently each day to bring Coast residents the news and issues important to them.  Kipp also used his platform to highlight causes close to his heart and give back to the community.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jo and their daughters. Kipp loved them deeply.”

PPM Analysis: CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on CHR.  Comparing data from the July 2019 survey and the August 2019 survey shows about as many stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up (43%) as saw it go down (39%), with 18% unchanged.  Year-over-year, slightly more are down (51%) than up (42%).  Two CHR-formatted stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the August survey: iHeartMedia’s KHKS-FM, Dallas “106.1 Kiss FM” and Hubbard Radio’s KQMV, Seattle “MOViN 92.5.”  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and programming pro Mike James announces he’s retiring from his position at Hall Communications’ Lakeland, Florida station group – and the radio biz – effective at the end of the year.  James has been program director at WPCV, Lakeland “97 Country” since 2004, and operations manager for the four-station cluster since 2006.  He says, “My first radio job was in 1979, and I can remember thinking how great it was to be able to entertain people and get paid for it at the same time.  Forty years later, it’s still great, but I’m finally ready to kick back, relax, and spend more quality time at Anna Maria Island.  I want to thank Hall Communications owners Art and Bonnie Rowbotham for giving me the opportunity to work for one of the most respected radio groups in America.”…..The “Jagger & Kristi” morning show at Local Media San Diego’s rhythmic oldies XHRM-FM “Magic 92.5” announces that Samantha DeJesus is its new producer.  She has been serving as interim producer since the departure of Sheryl Love in July.  DeJesus says, “I cannot fully express the amount of gratitude I have to be given such an amazing opportunity.  Along with the rest of the city, I grew up listening to ‘Jagger & Kristi,’ so I feel like I’ve known them all my life. To be working alongside such an iconic radio duo, who are legends to the San Diego community, I am thrilled to learn and grow with the best in the business.”

Monday, September 16, 2019

| September 16, 2019

Monday Memo: When YOU Win, Congratulate THEM.  With all the cutbacks local radio has been through, relevant local news is all the more conspicuous.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke urges stations to enter news awards competitions and offers a way to tout wins on-air.  Read it here.

Saudi Oil Attack, 2020 Presidential Race, New Kavanaugh Claim, Purdue Parma Files for Bankruptcy, UAW Strikes at GM, Ric Ocasek Dies, and Antonio Brown Plays in NE Victory Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The drone attack on a Saudi oil processing facility and accusations Iran is responsible; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the allegation that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh committed sexual harassment while a freshman at Yale; oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy; the UAW votes to strike against General Motors; The Cars co-founder Ric Ocasek dies at 75; and embattled football player Antonio Brown plays for New England in week 2 among top news/talk stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Comparing weekly 6+ AQH share data from the July survey to the August survey, 46% of the stations on our panel went up while 40% went down (14% were flat).  Looking at the year-over-year comparison, 50% of stations saw their ratings go down, while 46% were gainers.  Four public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets (6+) during the August survey: KQED, San Francisco (7.1); WAMU, Washington (8.2); KPBS, San Diego (6.0); and WUNC, Raleigh (8.5).  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Tom Tolbert Renews Deal with KNBR, San Francisco.  Bay Area sports talk radio personality Tom Tolbert signs a contract extension with Cumulus Media’s KNBR-AM/FM.  The 23-year station personality currently co-hosts the afternoon drive program with Larry Krueger and Rod Brooks.  Tolbert played for two seasons with the Golden State Warriors during his seven-year NBA career.  He currently serves as host of KNBR’s “Dubs Countdown to Tipoff” pre-game shows.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “Tom is the heart and soul of the KNBR brand and we’re excited to have him stay in the family here at ‘The Sports Leader.’  He has a special bond with Bay Area sports fans and his unrivaled passion for the game can be heard every weekday during ‘Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks.’  We are extremely proud to extend our relationship with Tom for years to come.”

Barnett Named SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Denver. Sales pro Dave Barnett moves to Denver from his most recent position with iHeartMedia’s WDAE, Tampa.  As senior vice president of sales in Denver, Barnett will be responsible for overseeing the spoken word and sports stations – KOA, KDFD-AM/K299BS “Freedom 93.7,” and KHOW – as well as the company’s sports partnerships with the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, and University of Colorado.   In Tampa, Barnett was vice president of sales for “NewsRadio WFLA” and sports talk WDAE.  He also served as the director of sports where he worked closely with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Tampa Bay Lightning.  He says, “I am thrilled to be back in Denver and working with the variety of legendary brands including KOA, ‘Freedom 93.7’ and 630 KHOW.  Denver is a very special place and an incredible radio market – I look forward to working with our incredible partners as well as the legendary voices that you hear on each of our stations and sports properties.”

‘America’s 1st News’ Announces KTTH, Seattle New Flagship. The nationally syndicated “America’s 1st News” with Matt Ray is now emanating from new flagship station KTTH-AM, Seattle.  The program – airing live from 5:00 am to 9:00 am ET – is heard on 85 affiliate stations.  Ray says, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with [KTTH program director] Jason Rantz and the engineering staff [at KTTH] in the past and they’re the best in the business.  We’re thrilled to join the team on a permanent basis.”

Becki West Rises to VP Sales/Director of Agency Partnerships. Philly sales pro Becki West is promoted from general sales manager with iHeartMedia to vice president of sales and director of agency partnerships.  In this role, West will be responsible for overseeing the sales team as well as continuing to offer marketing solutions to the company’s agency partners.  She will continue to oversee sales for adult contemporary WISX “106.1 The Breeze.”  Senior vice president of sales Jeff Moore says, “Becki has been crucial to the growth of our sales team and sales management team.  Her relationships with our clients in the market are second to none and are an essential element to helping us cultivate our major initiatives.”

Cumulus Names John Toohey VP of Finance. In this new role of vice president, finance with Cumulus Media, John Toohey will handle financial planning and analysis, budgeting, and special projects.  He will report to EVP and chief financial officer John Abbot.  Toohey was with Charter Communications (and predecessor Time Warner Cable) for 12 years, most recently as group vice president, media sales finance, Spectrum Reach.

Beasley Supports Greater Boston Food Bank. Pictured above are staffers from Beasley Media Group’s Boston operations at the Greater Boston Food Bank on September 11 helping sort and pack 12,206 lbs. of food that will provide 10,172 meals or feed a family of four for 2.3 years.  The effort was part of the company’s ongoing Community of Caring Initiative.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “This is the second year that the Beasley Boston Team sorted thousands of pounds of food at the Greater Boston Food Bank.  It feels good to work together to help others in need.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee,” former artist manager and radio personality Ayisha Jaffer is named afternoon drive host and promotions coordinator, effective today (9/16). Her duties will include booking the station’s weekly “414 Live” on-air performance show featuring Milwaukee artists.  Station PD Jordan Lee says, “When I think of Milwaukee success stories, I think of Ayisha.  Born and bred here in Milwaukee, she’s traveled the world and worked with some of the coolest artists in contemporary music.  She brings knowledge, industry experience, and passion to the ‘Radio Milwaukee’ team.”…..Podcaster Cadence13, via its C13Originals division, is presenting a documentary series titled, “Long May They Run,” dedicated to chronicling iconic touring bands who’ve had a lasting impact on music culture, the industry, music streaming, touring, their fans and beyond.  Season one focuses on the jam band Phish. The series is created, directed, and produced by C13Originals, and hosted and written by Dean Budnick, a veteran music journalist, editor-in-chief of Relix Magazine, author, and filmmaker…..Entravision Communications Corporation announces the appointment of Erin Voden as senior vice president of integrated marketing solutions for its Washington, D.C. market, effective immediately.  She’ll oversee and manage sales at the company’s television and digital media properties serving the Washington market…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Wolfman Jack Radio Show” is now airing in two new markets. WSVM-AM, Charlotte, North Carolina and KBST-AM, Odessa, Texas add the program to their weekly program schedules.

Friday, September 13, 2019

| September 13, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August PPM survey, today focusing on the sports talk format.  More than half of the sports talk stations on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up from the July survey to the August survey, led by iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN” (+1.0).  Comparing August 2018 to August 2019, about half the stations were up and the other half were down.  Gainers included KFXN (+1.5) and Entercom’s KWFN, San Diego “97.3 The Fan” (+1.4).  Entercom’s WFAN, New York was the only sports talker to rank #1 in its market with a 5.6 share.  Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia ranked #2 with a 6.7 share.”  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

New iHeartRadio Sports Digital Platform Launches. The new iHeartRadio Sports website allows listeners to find broadcast sports radio stations, sports podcasts, and latest sports news in one place.  iHeartMedia says that listeners can access more than 195 live broadcast and digital stations and episodes from more than 25,000 sports podcasts, including “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “3 and Out with John MiddleKauff,” “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” “Sports Wars,” and more. iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis says, “iHeartRadio has long been a destination for the biggest sports fans and now provides the premier destination where they can find all their favorite teams, podcasts, personalities and stations all in one place.  Sports listeners are incredibly passionate and this new destination utilizes the power and reach of iHeartMedia and its programming to create an encompassing all-things-sports experience like no other, for those enthusiastic fanatics everywhere whether it’s getting outstanding play-by-play of the latest Dodgers game to sports betting podcasts for expert picks and analysis.”

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (9/13).  The new episode titled, “And the Buzz Just keeps on Coming!” looks back at this past week of September 9-13, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Charles Freedman, host, KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  Nan Su, San Francisco editor, The Epoch TimesAlexi Cohan, reporter, Boston Herald; Graham Mack, program director, FIX Radio, London, UK; and Lisa Wexler, host, WICC, Bridgeport, CT.  This increasingly acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation point for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeart Radio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

‘America in the Morning’ Celebrates 35 Years on Air. Next Tuesday (9/17), Cumulus Media’s Westwood One will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the award-winning, weekday news magazine, “America in the Morning,” which launched September 17, 1984.  The program – currently heard on more than 330 affiliate stations – grew out of what was originally the last half hour of the five-and-a-half hour overnight “Larry King Show.”  When King was cut back to five hours, Westwood One used the last half hour to launch a morning news magazine.  It later expanded to one hour.  After Larry King left the radio show, his replacement – Jim Bohannon – hosted the program.  Current host John Trout took over hosting duties from Bohannon in 2016 (although Bohannon continues to contribute reports to the program).  Westwood One EVP news and talk Bart Tessler says, “Our 332 affiliates know that ‘America in the Morning’ is the show to turn to for the best and most comprehensive coverage of breaking news overnight.  Jim Bohannon created a legacy and John Trout continues the tradition of ensuring Americans are informed and entertained at daybreak.”  The program has won many industry awards, including the top prize for “Best News Magazine” the last two years at the New York Festivals Radio Awards.

SRN’s Mike Gallagher to Broadcast from Mobile. Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher will host his Salem Radio Network program from the offices of Mobile, Alabama’s FairHope Direct on Wednesday (9/18).  FairHope Direct is run by president & CEO Doug Meduna and his company recently made a $15,000 contribution to the Christian non-profit relief agency Food For The Poor.  Last month, SRN raised funds for the charity that delivered emergency food to displaced children and families along Colombia’s border with Venezuela.  Gallagher will interview Doug Meduna on his show. Gallagher says, “Thanks to awesome people like Doug Meduna and his team at FairHope Direct, our generous listeners network-wide donated a total of $730,000 in August.

Coleman Exits WACV-FM, Montgomery. Attorney, political operative and talk show host Baron Coleman leaves his 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk show on Bluewater Broadcasting’s WACV, Montgomery, Alabama “News Talk 93.1FM” and hints that he’ll be back on the radio in the market on Monday, on a different station.  Coleman tells Yellowhammer News, “I’m thankful for my time at Bluewater.  The last five years have been an incredible learning experience.  But, ultimately, the time was right to move on.  I’ll be announcing a fantastic opportunity in the next day or two, and I look forward to getting back on the air on Monday.” WACV says Jack Campbell and Joey Clark will co-host the late morning show.  It’s rumored that Little Engine Broadcasting’s crosstown WRBZ-AM/W238CE is flipping from classic hits to talk on Monday and that Coleman will surface there.

Dan Sileo to Join Twitch for Sports Talk Show. Thwarted in his effort to get back on terrestrial sports talk radio, Dan Sileo is joining Twitch.tv with the assistance of consultant Don Kollins.  Sports media personality Tony Bruno also hosts a show on Twitch and Sileo says he’ll be on with Bruno next week to make the announcement.  His program will follow Bruno’s.  Sileo was just hired to host afternoons on iHeartMedia’s KGME-AM, Phoenix, but four days into his new gig, pressure from the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes got him yanked.  The Coyotes just inked a deal to broadcast their games on the station and the club was nervous about Sileo’s past missteps on social media.

Ken Newman Named DOS for Cox Media Group San Antonio. At the San Antonio operations of Cox Media Group, Ken Newman is the new director of sales for the cluster that includes: classic hits KONO, rock KISS, and country KCYY.  CMG San Antonio VP and general manager David Abel says, “Ken brings a wealth of industry knowledge and sales expertise to his new role, making him the ideal sales leader for our market.  Our clients expect the very best from CMG and I am confident our teams will continue to deliver exceptional service under Ken’s leadership.”

Rob Sussman Exits ‘Delaware 105.9 FM.’Talk radio host Rob Sussman exits Forever Media’s news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” where he’d been hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  The station adds Radio America’s nationally syndicated “The Dana Show” with host Dana Loesch.  Sussman arrived at WXDE almost two years ago from his previous position as news director at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa.  He’s ready for his next opportunity and can be reached at Sussman.ra@gmail.com.  In July, the station parted ways with local host Susan Monday and fellow local host Ed Tyll resigned his position.  Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher was added to the late morning daypart and Compass Media Networks’ “Markley, van Camp and Robbins” program began airing in the early afternoon slot.  Forever Media acquired the station and nine other signals from Delmarva Broadcasting earlier this year.

WGTK-FM, Greenville Demonstrates PEP Station Responsibilities. Pictured above is WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “94-5 The Answer” air personality Joey Hudson (left) on air with South Carolina Lt. Governor Pamela Evette (right) broadcasting from the Salem Media Group station’s transmitter tower.  WGTK-FM is a FEMA designated Primary Entry Point (PEP) station that cooperatively participates with FEMA to provide emergency alert and warning information to the public before, during, and after a national or local emergency.  Hudson broadcast from the WGTK PEP module using only backup generators and the equipment installed in the FEMA facility the agency maintains at the station’s broadcast tower.  As the PEP station serving Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina, it is equipped with back-up communications equipment and emergency power generators designed to enable continuous broadcasting independent of public utilities and without refueling for approximately 30-45 days.  Hudson says that although this exercise had been planned for weeks, with Hurricane Dorian passing through the Carolinas last week, the “practice scenario” provided by FEMA was timely as he simulated how he would provide essential information to the public immediately following devastating damage by a hurricane in the Carolinas.

John Bolton’s Exit and Cancelled Taliban Talks Top News/Talk Stories for Week of September 9-13.  The exit of John Bolton from his national security advisor position in the Trump Administration and the related cancellation of secret talks with the Taliban in Washington tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was “sharpie-gate” and the NOAA controversy.  Coming in at #3 was U.S.-China relations and North Korea’s missile test, followed by stock market activity and the economy 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

McGorry Elected to BFoA Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that William McGorry, chairman of Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame, has been elected to the board of directors of the BFoA.  McGorry oversees Broadcasting &Cable’s Hall of Fame nominating process and manages the annual awards event.  Proceeds from the black-tie gala benefit the Broadcasters Foundation of America and The Paley Center for Media.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Bill has been a long-time supporter of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation, and we are delighted that he is joining the Board.  Every year, Bill ensures that the Broadcasters Foundation is a recipient of some of the proceeds from Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame Awards dinner. Those much-needed funds go to helping broadcasters in need across our industry, either in monthly or one-time emergency grants. We are grateful for his contributions.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Nikki Imbrascio is officially introduced by Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach as the new midday host on hot AC WRMF.  She was previously with CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” as midday host. WRMF brand/content director Leo Baldwin says, “After an extensive search we are so happy to bring Nikki and her major market experience to Hubbard West Palm Beach.  WRMF has been looking for its mid-day voice for quite some time and I am excited for Nikki to get started!”…..In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Robbie Bridges resigns his position as operations and brand manager for Townsquare Media’s operations there, including programming country WOKQ. Taking his place is Sammy Cruise, who leaves his gig at Hubbard Radio’s country WIRK, West Palm Beach to return to the station he served with in the past…..Buffalo radio icon Roger Christian is ousted from Entercom’s hot AC WTSS “Star 102.5.”  Christian was on air on the 102.5 frequency for 43 years, going back to its time as a rock outlet.  Christian says he was told the position is being eliminated and the daypart will be voice-tracked.  However, Christian was scooped up quickly by Radio One Buffalo LLC’s Buddy Shula who’s bringing him aboard his oldies WECK-AM to handle weekends and fill-ins.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

| September 12, 2019

Chris Carlin Exits WFAN, New York.  Sports talk personality Chris Carlin (left) was one-third of the team brought in to host the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s WFAN, New York after Mike Francesa left at the end of 2017.  Now, a year and a half later, Carlin announces he’s leaving the midday “CMB” show he’s co-hosted with Bart Scott (right) and Maggie Gray (center).  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that when Mike Francesa returned to WFAN in April of 2018, station brass placed him in PM drive and bumped “CMB” to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  This appears to be a fiscal move on Entercom’s part but it’s not clear why Carlin drew the short straw. He tweeted news of his departure on Wednesday: “I’m sad to say today was my last day at WFAN. I want to thank CBS Radio and Entercom for giving me an incredible opportunity for the last 2 years.  I’m proud to count Bart and Maggie among my closest friends. They truly are what my brother calls ‘back alley people,’ those who you want with you in the toughest situations. I’ll always know we had a chance to do something special, but sometimes things just don’t work out the way you hope. Still, we bonded and responded, and I’m so proud of what we accomplished by finishing in the top 3 in four consecutive ratings books.  I can’t wait to see them take the show to the next level and finish what we started.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news stations.  After a down survey for the format in July, almost 70% of all-news stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH shares improve from July to August, led by Entercom’s WWJ-AM, Detroit (+1.1).  Year-over-year numbers are a mixed bag, with half the stations on our panel improving and the other half declining.  During the August survey, not a single all-news station ranked #1 in its market, however two – Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco and WWJ-AM, Detroit both ranked #2 (6+) in their respective markets.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

New Programs Debut at WTLA, Syracuse. Sports talk WTLA “ESPN Syracuse” adds two new shows to the late morning daypart.  In place of the now defunct Daniel Baldwin show, Galaxy Media launches “The Seth Everett Show” featuring Seth Everett and Paulie Scibilia (10:00 am to 11:00 am) followed by “Centers of Attention,” co-hosted by former Syracuse University basketball players Etan Thomas and Danny Schayes (11:00 am to 12:00 noon).  As Syracuse.com reports, the additions complement the other local shows on the station, including: “Orange Nation” hosted by Steve Infanti and Seth Goldberg (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm) “In the Booth” with Matt Park and Brian Higgins (2:00 pm to 3:00 pm), and “On the Block” starring Brent Axe (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm).   Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine tells the paper the station has plans for the 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm slot, saying, “We will be doing something that to the best of my knowledge has never been done.”

Bolton Leaves Trump Administration/Iran Relations, 9/11 Anniversary, 2020 Presidential Race/NC Special Election, SCOTUS Asylum Ruling, Bahamas Devastation, Brexit Chaos, Vaping Illnesses-Deaths, and Antonio Brown Rape Allegations Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11). National Security Advisor John Bolton’s exit from the Trump Administration and its effect on U.S.-Iran policy; the anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11; the Democrats and Republicans vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the results of the North Carolina special congressional election; the Supreme Court’s ruling that nixes a lower court stay on President Trump’s “third country” asylum ban; the refugee status in the Bahamas; the political chaos in Great Britain over Brexit; the rash of illnesses and deaths blamed on vaping; and the rape allegations being leveled at Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a new podcast from Cadence13 titled, “Campaign HQ,” hosted by former Obama campaign manager and White House senior advisor David Plouffe.  Cadence13 says that on the weekly show, Plouffe will offer insight and seasoned analysis on the strategies and decisions driving the Trump re-election efforts and the presidential campaigns of the Democratic challengers.  It premieres on September 19, 2019…..ESPN is reporting that in August its podcasts garnered more than 7 million listeners.  The company says the total represents an increase of 49% over August 2018.  It credits the “30 for 30: The Sterling Affairs” series for driving growth, saying the podcasts registered a unique audience of more than one million, a first, and an increase over the same month last year of 172%, according to Podtrac…..PodcastOne is celebrating the success of Tip “T.I.” Harris’ “expeditiously” podcast after it reached #1 on the Apple Podcasts chart for all podcast categories.  The first two episodes feature conversations with LL Cool J and Ice Cube…..iHeartMedia is also popping the champagne after Podtrac released its August 2019 publisher rankings of the top 10 podcast publishers and placed its iHeartRadio as the #1 podcast publisher by US unique monthly audience, surpassing NPR.  iHeartRadio says it has seen a more than 300% increase in unique podcast visits year-over-year.  Note that ranking data only includes publishers that participate in Podtrac measurement for the full month for which the ranking is being released…..Beasley Media Philadelphia personality Kathy Romano – cast member on WMMR-FM’s “Preston and Steve” show – is also host of the weekly “Her Story” program that airs on the company’s adult hits WBEN-FM on Sunday mornings.  Next Wednesday (9/18), she’ll host the “3rd annual Her Story Luncheon” that will feature ABC News and “Good Morning America” chief meteorologist Ginger Zee as keynote speaker.  Attendees of the event will include CEOs, influencers in arts and cultural worlds, directors of non-profit organizations, and public relations professionals, as well as WBEN-FM listeners who won tickets to the event.  The “Her Story” program showcases dynamic women that are making a significant impact in the community via their business, their charity work, or a combination of both.

Music Mogul Mathew Knowles Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The CEO of Music World Entertainment, college professor, best-selling author and cannabis industry entrepreneur, Mathew Knowles, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Knowles was the creator and manager of the historic female singing group Destiny’s Child and is the father of pop stars Beyoncé and Solange. He is also the father-in-law of rap giant Jay-Z (Shawn Corey Carter).  Knowles, who recently earned his doctorate, and is a widely respected college professor and lecturer who has written books about entrepreneurism as well as racism, recently became involved in the burgeoning cannabis industry as an investor and chief marketing officer of a publicly-traded company called Bangi (which means marijuana in Swahili). Harrison and Knowles discuss a wide range of topics and issues including music, marijuana and race relations.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the San Francisco operations of Bonneville International, programmer Brian Figula adds to his current role as PD of adult contemporary KOIT and classic rock KUFX, San Jose “98.5 K-Fox.”  Effective immediately, he is programming urban contemporary KBLX-FM and CHR KMVQ. Bonneville San Francisco vice president and market manager Carl Gardner says, “Fig will continue his direct programming responsibility over KOIT and KUFX.  In addition, he’ll take a bigger role overseeing digital content, digital audience development, and serve as a senior member of our programming and marketing brain trust for each of our four brands.  We’ve all come to respect and rely on his keen thinking about how to win in a competitive marketplace.”…..Programming pro Nick Cash exits iHeartMedia’s country KHGE, Fresno “102.7 The Wolf” where he was PD and afternoon drive personality.  He also served as brand manager for sports talk KCBL-AM “FOX Sports Radio 1340” and religion KRDU…..iHeartMedia reveals that alt rock icons Green Day are joining the lineup of the 2019 iHeartRadioMusic Festival taking place September 20 and 21 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas…..Condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of rock WRBR, South Bend, Indiana “103.9 The Bear” program director Ron Stryker, who passed away.  The Federated Media station posted the following message on the WRBR website: “It is with incredible sadness and heavy hearts that we announce that our friend and colleague Ron  Stryker has passed away. Ron has been a part of 103.9 The Bear and Federated Media family as long as any of us can remember. His personality and passion are irreplaceable. Out of respect for his family, friends and coworkers who are grieving his loss we are asking for privacy at this time.”

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