Archive for August, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

| August 31, 2011

Paul Finebaum v. Citadel: A Lesson in Fine Print.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that the case of WJOX-FM, Birmingham sports talk host Paul Finebaum suing employer Citadel for breach of contract is an example of why employment contracts should always be reviewed by the talent’s lawyer before being signed – regardless of what the employer prefers.  Employment situations can be complicated by addenda, bankruptcies and ownership changes and Weisman says this case certainly has its twists and turns.  Read his analysis of the case here.

Talk Host Martha Zoller Mulls Run for Congress.  WXKT-FM, Gainesville, Georgia-based talk host Martha Zoller tells Roll Call she’s considering a run for U.S. Congress and will make a decision within a “couple of weeks.”  Population shifts are creating a new congressional district in Northern Georgia soon to be approved by the Georgia legislature and the new 9th district would be a very Republican district, according to Roll Call.  Zoller tells the publication, “I’ve been a fiscal conservative my whole career.  I’ve criticized Clinton budgets, Bush budgets and Obama budgets…I believe the tea party people that have been elected to Congress have represented their districts well and they need reinforcements.  That’s why I’m considering this.”  Zoller is heard throughout Georgia via the Georgia News Network.

Teresa Strasser Exits the KABC, Los Angeles Morning Show.  LARadio’s Don Barrett reports Teresa Strasser has left the Peter Tilden morning show at Citadel’s KABC, Los Angeles.  Barrett quotes KABC program director Jack Silver stating Strasser chose not to renew her contract with the station in order to focus on her TV, commercial voiceover and camera work.  Strasser – known for her television work on TLC’s “While You Were Out,” her co-host position on the Adam Carolla radio show and her book Exploiting My Baby (NAL Trade 2011), became part of the Peter Tilden program in August of 2010.

 

Chicago Talk Radio Personality Cisco Cotto Considers Starting New Church.  Cotto most recently hosted the midday show at WLS, Chicago and served on crosstown WIND’s morning show prior to that.  He was replaced at WLS by Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft earlier this summer and is now thinking about starting a non-denominational church in his Chicago suburb of Oak Park.  Cotto studied at the Moody Bible Institute and tells the Chicago Tribune he’s been working with the Evangelical Free Church of America to start the church and has filed the paper work for getting non-profit, tax-exempt status.  Will his radio past complicate things?  Cotto says, “I think I am going to be labeled ‘that guy who used to be the conservative talk show host,’ and that is going to be a significant barrier.”

2012 Presidential Race, Middle East Turmoil, Obama Economic Policy and Irene Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/31).  According to ongoing research from TALKERS, the 2012 presidential race, political unrest in the Middle East, President Obama’s economic policy and the aftermath of Hurricane Irene were among the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/31).

 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

| August 30, 2011

Walter Sabo Says Merlin’s FM News Operations in New York and Chicago off to Good Start.  In an exclusive interview for TALKERS TV conducted this past Friday in New York City (right before Hurricane Irene made its way up the coast to the Big Apple), Merlin Media COO Walter Sabo praises his company’s talent roster, sales staff, and CEO Randy Michaels for creating and marketing all-news FM products in New York and Chicago strategically targeted for 25-54 year old working families.  These are WEMP-FM, New York (FM News 101.9) and WWWN-FM, Chicago (FM News 101.1).  When asked to further define the term “working families,” Sabo responds, “Families in which mom and dad go to work.”  He says compared to the audiences of today’s traditional all-news stations, 25-54 represents the younger demographic.  “They need the same information as everyone else but the key to reaching them is to understand they are extremely busy.”   He explains, “They are busy running to their jobs, going to day care, picking up the kids.  Their day is a series of high-pressure points regarding the clock.  They don’t have time to listen to any information that isn’t right to the point.”  He credits the impressive list of advertisers already signed up for these relatively brand new stations to the competence of their sales department and the fact that advertisers “immediately embrace” the concept of all news targeted to a young working audience.  TALKERS monitors on the ground in New York City report that FM News 101.9 delivered “superb coverage” of Hurricane Irene throughout all phases of its assault on the region.  View this must-see interview, “Lunch with Walter Sabo,” on TALKERS TV on this page.

CBS Aggressively Leads Sports Talk Invasion of FM.  The FM band is quickly being populated by sports talk radio and it’s not a stretch to say CBS is leading the charge.  TALKERS special features correspondent Mike Kinosian writes that when the company launched WXYT-FM, Detroit four years ago, it wasn’t planning beyond that station.  But as CBS Radio SVP of programming Chris Oliviero tells TALKERS, “We realized this is a road we should go down from a programming, as well as a general radio business standpoint.  We love the format and think we are good at doing it.”  With the simulcast of WIP, Philadelphia beginning on September 6, CBS will have nine sports outlets on FM in the top 30 markets.  Read Mike Kinosian’s in-depth look at CBS Radio’s FM sports initiative here.

Josefa Salinas of Hot 92.3 to Speak at Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum 2011.  Well-known Los Angeles radio personality Josefa Salinas who hosts a widely-heard weekend community affairs talk program on Clear Channel’s urban oldies “Hot 92.3” (WHHT-FM) will join the growing all-star roster of speakers at the forthcoming Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum.  Salinas will participate on the panel titled “The Issues Facing Southern California: Challenges and Solutions.”  Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison it will be the only panel at the event which focuses entirely on public issues outside the industry.  (The rest of the event will address inner-industry issues.)  Panelists include Charles Feldman of KNX, Los Angeles; Roger Hedgecock of KOGO, San Diego and Radio America; Stephanie Miller of KTLK, Los Angeles and Dial Global; Doug McIntyre of KABC, Los Angeles and Citadel Media; Patt Morrison of KPCC, FM Los Angeles and Southern California Public Radio; and John Phillips of KABC, Los Angeles.  TALKERS managing editor Kevin Casey states, “We have an amazingly well balanced panel of stars coming together here and the addition of such a community-involved radio broadcaster as Josefa Salinas really rounds it out beautifully.  Considering the intensely controversial issues facing the region and the firepower that’ll be sitting up there on that stage, we should be in for an explosive session in the tradition of our most exciting Talk Rumbles.”  The Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum 2011, presented by TALKERS in association with the Los Angeles Press Club, will take place on Thursday, October 20 between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.  It features a lineup of more than 30 leading talk broadcasters including keynote speaker Bill Handel of KFI, Los Angeles and most of the top program directors from the major talk stations in Southern California.  For the complete up-to-the-minute agenda and registration information, please click here.

WQXI, Atlanta Adds Dave Archer to PM Drive Show.  Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback and current Falcons Radio Network analyst Dave Archer is named co-host of the Lincoln Financial Media station’s PM drive show alongside Mike Bell.  Archer replaces David Pollack who becomes co-host of the new Palmer and Pollack show on the station.  WQXI general manager Andrew Saltzman states, “There is no question that Dave Archer is the perfect guy to co-host our afternoon drive show.  As an eight-year veteran of the Atlanta Falcons Radio Network, along with his six-year career as a NFL quarterback, Dave truly understands the intricacies of collegiate and professional sports.  Most important is his tremendous chemistry with Bell.  These guys have a lot of fun together and so will our listeners.”

Changes in PM Drive at KTSA, San Antonio?  Nothing confirmed by owner Border Media Partners yet but TALKERS hears PM drive host Kevin Wall is out at KTSA, San Antonio and Sean Rima takes over his show.  Rima worked for BMP in Austin at KXBT-FM before the company flipped it from talk to oldies.  There was a report Rima was going to host a program at an online talk venture BMP was developing but the status of that is unclear.

 

Stephan Multi-Media Producing “Different” 9/11 Special.  Doug Stephan, host of the nationally syndicated morning show, “Good Day,” is producing a September 11 anniversary special available for broadcast the weekend of September, 9-11.  Media Management Group’s Craig Whetstine says, “We think it is different from most of the specials.  It is a three-hour special, entitled, “Stronger Than Ever: Ten Years Past September 11.”  Doug isn’t going to be looking back at the events of 9/11/01; he’ll be focused on where we are today and looking forward.”  The program is being made available to non-affiliates of “Good Day” providing the program is not already heard in the market.  Contact Whetstine at 212-545-8383.

Clear Channel Changes Market Managers in Seattle.  Michele Grosenick is suddenly out as market manager of Clear Channel’s Seattle-Tacoma stations that include sports KJR.  In is former CBS Radio manager Lisa Decker who left that company earlier this year.  CC EVP of operations for the Western Region Susan Karis says of Decker, “Lisa is an amazing addition to the Clear Channel team.  She has proven success with an impressive track record in delivering results in a highly competitive field.”

 

WDFN, Detroit Personality Tom Kowalski Dies Unexpectedly at 51.  Known as Tom “Killer” Kowalski, he wrote for the Oakland Press and co-hosted PM drive at Clear Channel’s sports WDFN with Sean Baligian and Ryan Terpstra.  His beat was the Detroit Lions and he got his nickname for his dogged pursuit as a reporter.  CC Detroit market manager Til Levesque posted the following on WDFN’s website: “It is with a very heavy heart that I share with you that Tom Kowalski passed away this morning.  Tom was a tremendous talent and his passion for all things Lions and the NFL never faltered.  He was a tremendous asset to us on WDFN AM.  His presence will be greatly missed in afternoons not to mention in the hallways and around the building.  Having him on our team made us a better sports talk station and for that I will always be thankful of his time with CCD.”

Former WCCO, Minneapolis Talk Host Brad Walton Dies at Age 60.  Walton was a Twin Cities media figure who spent 11 years at CBS Radio’s WCCO handling weekend overnights and fill-in shifts beginning in 1997.  Walton wrote a book in 2004 titled, How Does the Heart Know Love?, a personal story about his life after open heart surgery.

 

Fox Sports Radio Hits 400 Affiliate Mark.  The addition of CBS Radio’s new Cleveland FM sports talk outlet, “SportsRadio 92.3 The Fan” (WKRK-FM), on August 29 gives Fox Sports Radio 400 affiliate stations 11 years after its debut in August of 2000.  FSRN vice president and general manager Don Martin says of the milestone, “This is a proud moment for the FSR family, as we welcome Cleveland’s WKRK 92.3 ‘The Fan’ and eclipse the 400-affiliate mark.  None of this would be possible without the tremendous product that our talent delivers every day and, most importantly, the relationships we have with our incredible affiliates.  Fox Sports Radio and our affiliates are the true definition of a team.”

Obama Economic Policy, 2012 Presidential Race, Irene Aftermath/Global Warming and Libya Turmoil Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29).  President Obama’s plan to fix the ailing economy, the 2012 presidential race, the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and global warming and the state of Libya as the Gaddhafi family flees were among the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, August 29, 2011

| August 29, 2011

All-News and Talk Radio Stations Keep Public Informed During Hurricane Irene.  The hurricane/tropical storm that swept up the East Coast over the weekend pushed radio stations, especially news and talk radio stations, into their familiar and historical roles as providers of timely and emergency information as Irene bore down upon their markets.  While radio of all formats can deliver this kind of information, news and talk radio does so without breaking format – they just alter the type of news, information and talk they provide.  Their P1s expect to be kept informed during these times and the many news and talk stations up and down the East Coast did an exemplary job of being there for their listeners.  (There were simply too many examples of stations serving their listeners this weekend to name them all!)  According to TALKERS monitoring of radio during the Irene event, the approach to coverage went through three basic phases: First, tracking and speculating on the direction, timing and tips for preparing for the storm.  Second, being in the storm itself when the power goes out and all hell is breaking loose (a crucial phase for radio).  Third, the aftermath — the details and politics of recovery.  The past 10 months have provided ample opportunity for coverage of natural disasters with a higher-than-usual occurrence of these, from intense snowstorms to floods to tornadoes and recent earthquakes.  News and talk radio remains the best link to accurate and timely information when the power goes out.  The bigger questions now include: Should emergency preparedness and local, on-the-ground coverage become a more institutional component of the competitive terrestrial radio infrastructure?  Also, should talk radio of all genres focus primarily on super-serving its most loyal fans (who are still in the habit of using radio) or break out of that role and aggressively try to bring new listeners to the format (or in the case of those who have left, back to the format)?  (Photo courtesy of NOAA.)

WJOX-FM, Birmingham Sports Host Finebuam’s Suit Against Citadel Revealed.  Thanks to a judge for unsealing the suits filed by Paul Finebaum against Citadel’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham, we know more about the claims.  The Birmingham News reports Finebaum – who has a deal with Citadel to host a show on WJOX-FM that is regionally syndicated – accuses WJOX-FM of breach of contract when Citadel declared bankruptcy in December 2009.  Finebaum further alleges he was subsequently forced to agree to contract changes under duress that have caused him “great financial impact.”  Finebaum alleges WJOX-FM, GM Bill Thomas threatened to remove his show from its affiliates and Sirius XM if he didn’t agree to a reduction in revenue from the show.  Citadel says Finebaum was fully aware it filed for bankruptcy when he signed the contract addendum in January 2010.  The company also states any talk of removing the show from affiliates was due to poor financial performance that the company did not want to continue.  Finally, Citadel questions why Finebaum is filing the suits now since Citadel exited bankruptcy protection more than a year ago and calls the suits a “pretense by which Mr. Finebaum hopes to avoid fulfilling his obligations under the employment agreement.”  Finebaum is under contract to Citadel through January 2013.

Clear Channel Ousts Vassilaros from WPTI-FM, Greensboro; Simulcasts Raleigh AM Show.  WRDU-FM, Raleigh’s “Morning Rush” program hosted by KC O’Dea and Carmen Connors is now heard on the company’s WPTI-FM, Greensboro as well.  Morning drive host Dimitri Vassilaros – who left his newspaper and part time radio gigs in Pittsburgh in January to take the WPTI-FM job – is out.  Vassilaros hosted a weekend show at CBS Radio’s KDKA and wrote a column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review prior to heading south.

Michael Harrison Writing a Book with Mike Kinosian about Talk Radio Set for Publication February 2012. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has announced he is writing a book about talk radio, in collaboration with TALKERS special features correspondent Mike Kinosian.  Talkers: The Irrepressible Voices of Radio will be published by Talkers Books and will be part history, part memoir and part commentary based upon radio pioneer Harrison’s 21 years as publisher of TALKERS, 45 years as a professional broadcaster, and his lifelong love affair with popular culture and media.  The primary focus will be Harrison’s observations of many leading figures of contemporary talk radio set against the backdrop of key events connected to the scene’s colorful history.  Material will be drawn from his professional and personal experiences with these extraordinary individuals and supplemented by the extensive database accumulated over the decades in the TALKERS archives.  He also delves back into his own roots as a kid listening to New York City Top 40 in the 1950s and 1960s to becoming an FM album rock groundbreaker on both coasts in the 1970s, an innovator in the trades and eventually one of the driving forces behind the modern talk radio era.  With more than a quarter century of insight and experience at Radio & Records, Inside Radio and now TALKERS — and as one of the radio trade publication world’s most prolific interviewers — collaborator Mike Kinosian brings his formidable radio background and writing skills to the project.  According to Harrison, “Between the two of us we know just about everyone who’s anyone in the talk business from a number of angles.  Mike Kinosian has personally interviewed and written biographical profiles of more than 100 spoken-word radio stars in his illustrious career as an industry chronicler.  His legendary “Mike Kinosian Interviews” remain the gold standard of radio trade journalism.  Having a professional of his stature supporting my efforts in this undertaking is nothing short of inspirational!”  Commenting on his joining forces with Harrison on this ambitious endeavor, Kinosian states, “It is a high honor and a rare privilege to serve as this book’s collaborator, not solely since the subject matter is so personally appealing, but also — and much more significantly — because it is with Michael Harrison.  No one else in the talk radio industry commands Michael’s immense level of respect and credibility.  His behind-the-scenes knowledge of the industry, credentials, accomplishments, detail to recount facts and especially his character are impeccable.”  Among those examined beneath their professional personas are Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Glenn Beck, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Savage, Jerry Williams, Gene Burns and many more.  Harrison shares never-before-published stories about his personal conversations and dealings with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush regarding their relationships with the media.  He finally reveals the back story and truth about his controversial encounter with Al Franken during the future U.S. Senator’s Freedom of Speech Award acceptance at the New Media Seminar.  He talks about his longtime friendship with Alan Colmes, going back to the dreams they shared as part-time MOR jocks on a small Long Island AM daytimer 43 years ago.  He resurrects the colorful decade (1975-1985) he spent as one of the first FM “youth talkers” hosting a trailblazing talk show on L.A.’s legendary rocker, KMET.  Talkers: The Irrepressible Voices of Radio by Michael Harrison with Mike Kinosian promises to reveal a side of talk radio never before exposed to the public.  Summing it up, Kinosian states, “Unsurpassed quality is the dominant theme the two of us have stressed to each other in writing this book.  Based on the early drafts, we are well on our way to accomplishing that goal.”  The promotion of Talkers: The Irrepressible Voices of Radio will be supported with a national tour.

Scott Hennen Signs with Genesis Communications Network for National Distribution.  Talk radio pro Scott Hennen’s Fargo-based talk show, “Common Sense Club,” (heard in North Dakota on KNOX, Grand Forks from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm) will be distributed for national syndication via the Genesis Communications Network.  Hennen tells the Fargo Forum he expects to debut on about a dozen stations.

 

“The Talk” May Be Adding Two New Hosts for this Season.  The CBS daytime TV talk show “The Talk” lost hosts Leah Rimini and Holly Robinson Peete – their contracts were not renewed for the show’s second season.  The network is preparing to fill their slots alongside Sara Gilbert, Julie Chen and Sharon Osbourne with radio host and comedian Sheryl Underwood and Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner.  Jenner is signed to fill in for Osbourne for the show’s first two weeks of the new season but may stay on as Osbourne’s regular fill in.  Underwood will also be part of the first two weeks but is expected to be a regular this season.

Recognition of a Job Well Done.  CBS Radio’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles was recently recognized by Los Angeles City councilman Dennis Zine for its coverage of Carmageddon – the July shutdown of the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles.  Pictured here from left to right are: traffic reporters Jeff Baugh, Tommy Jaxson and Meghan Reyes; Councilman Dennis Zine, news director Julie Chin, and director of programming Andy Ludlum.

Friday, August 26, 2011

| August 26, 2011

Glenn Beck Israel Event Featured on GBTV Media Station.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Courage” rally in Israel did not get the same press his “Restoring Honor” rally at the National Mall in Washington, DC one year ago did.  However, Beck’s address before the reported crowd of 1,700 near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the reported 3,000 watching from a nearby viewing station was both beamed live to and archived on GBTV.com – the new media station programmed by Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts company.  Beck’s new live, streaming “TV show” debuts on September 12 on GBTV.com and no doubt Beck hopes it will replace his Fox News Channel program that ended in June in the minds of many of his hard-core P1s.  Regardless of criticism leveled at Beck by consumer media journalists for his message, one can argue that Beck and his staff may just be building a sterling example of well-programmed, revenue making digital news/talk content (media station) for the new era.

Cox Announces FM Sports Coming to Birmingham While Crosstown WJOX-FM Host Paul Finebaum Sues Employer Citadel.  Cox Media Group confirms to the Birmingham Business Journal that it will flip country WNCB-FM to sports on Tuesday, August 30.  General manager David DuBose says Eli Gold and Stan White will co-host the morning drive show, Matt Coulter – a former WJOX-FM host – will handle the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show and the station will be a Yahoo! Sports (formerly Sporting News Radio) affiliate.  Meanwhile, across town Citadel’s WJOX-FM and popular market sports personality Paul Finebaum are in a legal tussle.  At issue it appears is Finebaum’s contention that Citadel has not shared revenue for his program according to the terms of his contract and the sum in question exceeds $75,000, again according to the Birmingham Business Journal.  Finebaum’s attorney, Russ Campbell, refused to comment to the Journal but WJOX-FM general manager Bill Thomas issued a statement saying, “I feel very confident that the actions of Citadel and its employees with respect to Paul have been appropriate, and I expect that to be demonstrated if his lawsuit continues.”  Finebaum, whose popular show is known for superserving rabid fans of SEC football and basketball, is under contract with WJOX-FM through January of 2013.  The Citadel station serves as the flagship for Finebaum’s program.  Cox’s DuBose says if Finebaum’s legal situation clears up, they would be interested in talking to him.  

Cox Media Group Names Format Captains.  Cox Media Group elevates seven program directors to format leaders for the company who will report to new director of radio programming Steve Smith.  WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton OM/PD Nick Roberts (who also oversees news/talk programming in the Louisville cluster) is named the format leader for news/talk.  CMG Group VP Ben Reed says of the move, “CMG has tapped into the amazing talent that exists within our radio businesses to help chart an even more competitive course that will provide the best music and news/talk formats for our valued listeners.  Industry veteran Steve Smith, who joined CMG last month, will oversee this proven team and will provide a cohesive link between our local markets and our group vice president leadership team.”

Norm Pattiz’ Courtside Entertainment Group Teams with Westwood One for First Special Broadcast:  Bill O’Reilly’s Presidential Town Hall.  The three-hour special broadcast event in which Republican candidates for president in 2012 will answer questions from Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly is scheduled for November 7, airing live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  Pattiz announced the formation of Courtside Entertainment and its relationship with Westwood One to distribute content at the beginning of the year.  Now, the partners offer their first special program.    Westwood One president Rod Sherwood states, “Bill O’Reilly knows the Republican political landscape inside and out, and his ‘Presidential Town Hall’ will bring his unrivalled wit and wisdom to radio listeners early in the campaign season.”

KMBZ-AM/FM, Kansas City Wins Kansas Association of Broadcasters Station of the Year.  Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-AM/FM is named the Large Market Station of the Year by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters for 2011.  The station also wins seven other news and programming awards.  Program director Neil Larrimore says this is a great honor for KMBZ.  “This is truly the result of a TEAM effort across the board!  Everyone at KMBZ works hard every day to make sure that the best news and talk radio product is put on the air, and these awards are testaments to their dedication to that mission!  There is a reason Kansas City trusts NewsRadio 98.1 FM & 980 AM KMBZ.”

Salem Radio Network Announces 9/11 Anniversary Programming.  SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says SRN will produce a 90-minute live special titled, “9/11: America 10 Years Later,” on Sunday, September 11 anchored by SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston.  The program airs from 8:30 am to 10:00 am.  SRN News Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon — who was at the Pentagon the day of the attack — and SRN News House correspondent Wally Hindes will join Greg on the program live from SRN’s Washington, DC studios.  Salem also plans a weeklong series of reports leading up to the September 11 broadcast.

Ric Edelman Celebrates 3,000th Broadcast of TV Program.  Independent financial advisor, author and broadcaster Ric Edelman announces his public television program “The Truth About Money with Ric Edelman” just celebrated its 3,000th airing.  The program, produced by 3 Roads Communications, has been picked up by more than 175 public TV stations.  Edelman hosts an independently syndicated weekend radio program of the same name that is heard across the nation.

WHO, Des Moines PM Drive Host Simon Conway to Emcee Political Rallies.  Iowa talk show host Simon Conway announces he’ll be emcee for the Presidential Candidate picnic taking place at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines on Saturday, August 27.  Attendees already confirmed include: Texas Governor Rick Perry, Congressman Ron Paul, Congressman Thad McCotter and former New York Governor George Pataki (who is rumored to be ready to announce his candidacy).  Conway says he’ll also emcee the Sarah Palin “Restoring America” rally in nearby Indianola, Iowa on September 3 where some believe Palin will announce her candidacy.

Sports USA’s Joe Morgan Show Debuts.  Baseball Hall-of-Famer and broadcaster Joe Morgan debuted his new one-hour daily radio show on Monday, August 22.  For its first week on air, Morgan’s interview-intensive program featured conversations with baseball greats Morgan conducted at the recent Baseball Hall of Fame induction.  Sports USA president Larry Kahn says of Morgan’s new show, “‘The Joe Morgan Show’ is unique content for sports fans to tune in to because Joe has conversations with athletes and allows us to listen to stories most people have never heard before.  Listeners will have more insight as a fan because Joe can get closer to these athletes in a relaxed setting compared to regular members of the media doing interviews.”

Urban Talk Host Bev Smith Reportedly Ending Radio Show.  According to the Redding News Review, American Urban Radio Network talk host Bev Smith’s show will end soon.  The reports are not clear.  Redding News Review reports one source saying Smith is battling breast cancer although there has been no official word from AURN on the status of Bev Smith’s program.  The program is fed live from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm nightly.

 

2012 Presidential Race/Obama Vacation Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 22-26.  The GOP candidates and the issues facing the nation as the 2012 presidential campaign season heats up – combined with chat about President Obama’s vacation – landed atop the Talkers Ten chart for the week of August 22-26.  Coming in at #2 was the turmoil in Libya.  At #3 was the violence in Syria and at #4 was the financial markets instability.  The Talkers Ten is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America based on ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  To view this week’s entire chart, click the banner below.

Honoring a Pioneering Company.  KDKA, Pittsburgh morning drive host Larry Richert (l) is seen here with KDKA promotions staffers Lisa Herald (to Richert’s right), Chelsea McCartney (far right), and Ed Reis (in top hat) portraying the celebrated entrepreneur and engineer George Westinghouse.  KDKA broadcast from Westinghouse’s Cranberry, Pennsylvania campus to help celebrate its 125th year in business.  Westinghouse Corporation put KDKA on the air on November 2, 1920 and the rest, as they say, is history!

TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup.  The Wall Street Journal Radio Network clears “The Daily Wrap from The Wall Street Journal with Michael Castner” on WTKK-FM, Boston…..TRN’s “Watchdog on Wall Street” with Chris Markowski picks up KWKC, Abilene, Texas.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

| August 25, 2011

Al Sharpton Gets MSNBC Talk Show. Dubbed “Politics Nation” and airing in the 6:00 pm time slot, Rev. Al Sharpton’s news/talk cable TV program officially debuts on Monday, August 29. We say officially because Sharpton has been subbing at the network this summer. In a statement, MSNBC president Phil Griffin says, “I’ve known Rev. Sharpton for over a decade and have tremendous respect for him. He has always been one of our most thoughtful and entertaining guests. I’m thrilled that he’s now reached a point in his career where he’s able to devote himself to hosting a nightly show. ‘PoliticsNation’ is going to be an incredibly strong kick-off to our evening schedule.” Sharpton also hosts a daily syndicated radio talk show distributed by Syndication 1 that airs live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET on about 20 affiliates. That’s cutting awfully close to his 6:00 pm TV airtime but there’s no word from Syndication 1 if Sharpton will continue his radio show or not. (August 25, 2011)

Philadelphia Talk Radio Friend Joey Vento Passes Away Unexpectedly. Vento, who died of a massive heart attack on Tuesday (8/23) at age 71, was not a talk show host but was very friendly with a number of Philadelphia-based and nationally syndicated hosts. He made national news – and many conservative media friends – after posting a sign at his famous Geno’s Steaks restaurant in South Philly that reads, “This is America. When ordering, please speak English.” The move caused cries of racism from critics but Vento stood fast and made many appearances on talk radio since that time and included among his talk radio friends WPHT host Dom Giordano and Salem Radio Networks host Mike Gallagher. (August 25, 2011)

ABC Radio News Offers 9/11 Anniversary Programming.  The 10th anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 takes place in less than three weeks. Among the news organizations offering long-form programming to mark the event is ABC Radio News. ABC airs a three-hour program that Sunday morning from 8:06 am to 10:58 am. ABC Radio News correspondents Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky will anchor from Ground Zero in New York City; Ann Compton reports from the White House; Steve Portnoy reports from Shanksville, Pennsylvania (the site of the downing of Flight 93); and Vic Ratner reports from the Pentagon. (August 25, 2011)

WDSM, Duluth Talk Host Lew Latto Dies at 71. Latto was more than just a talk host at MidWest Communications’ WDSM, Duluth. Latto had worked in radio since his high school days in the 1950s. He went on to own stations, manage stations and remained a “radio guy” his entire career. Latto was hosting his daily morning show, “Talk of the North,” on WDSM and was reportedly getting dressed to prepare for his show there when he passed away suddenly. (August 25, 2011)

Clear Channel Buys FM Translator for WIOD, Miami. Way FM Media Group sells W228BY, Allapattah, Florida to Clear Channel for $200,000. The signal is close to downtown Miami and will serve as a second FM signal for news/talk WIOD. Currently, WIOD can be heard in Broward County on 100.3 FM as well. (August 25, 2011)

United Stations Radio Networks Names Sue Falco Director of Affiliate Relations. USRN announces Sue Falco becomes director of affiliate relations for the company. Falco most recently served as national director of affiliate sales at Westwood One where she was responsible for long- and short-form programming. USRN VP Dan Brassem says, “Sue brings a vast knowledge of both the radio network business and an understanding of what our radio clients need and expect from a program supplier. We’re excited that she’s on board and we anticipate that her experience, her contacts and her overall know-how will be assets that will help us grow our networks.” (August 25, 2011)

KNBR, San Francisco Adds Oakland Raiders Coach Hue Jackson to “Coaches Tuesday.” Cumulus sports talk outlet KNBR, San Francisco announces Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson will join Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey each Tuesday morning at 7:00 am. Jackson is followed by San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh who becomes part of the show at 8:00 am. OM and PD Lee Hammer states, “We’re excited to have both 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and Raiders coach Hue Jackson on KNBR 680 every week. The head coach in football is the decision maker, and Bay Area football fans will now be able to hear directly from both of them, on the same station every Tuesday morning.” (August 25, 2011)

Libya Status, 2012 Presidential Race, Iran, Nukes and Hurricane Irene Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/24). The status of the Libyan government and whereabouts of Moammar Gaddhafi, the 2012 presidential race, Iran’s nuclear weapons program and Hurricane Irene’s anticipated path were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS. (August 25, 2011)

15 Years of Jim Rome. Premiere Networks celebrated 15 years of the nationally syndicated Jim Rome program at W Hotel in Westwood, California recently. Rome’s program was the first sports program to be syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks and today it remains one of the most-listened-to national sports programs heard on 230 affiliates each week. Pictured here are Rome (l) and Premiere Networks president, content and affiliate relations Julie Talbott (r). (August 25, 2011)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

| August 24, 2011

Cumulus Media Brings Sam Rogers Aboard as VP of Political and Platform Sales. Cumulus EVP and chief operating officer Jon Pinch says, “With the anticipated close of Citadel in September and the 2012 political revenue expected to break all records, this is an important new position at Cumulus. Sam is a true broadcast professional with over 20 years’ experience in Washington, DC radio and is uniquely qualified for this role.” On his new role with Cumulus, Rogers says, “To say I’m excited to join Cumulus is an understatement. Cumulus is the sort of apolitical company that others aspire to mimic. It’s a platform that will offer political advertisers ease of purchase through their proprietary software systems and access to well over 100 markets coast to coast.” Rogers most recently served as market manager for CBS Radio in Washington, DC. (August 24, 2011)

Talk Host James T. Harris Begins Daily Show at KQTH-FM, Tucson. Harris has been hosting a Sunday talk show at Journal Broadcasting’s WTMJ, Milwaukee that’s been airing on KQTH-FM as well. Now Harris moves to Tucson to begin a 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daily program on KQTH-FM. Harris follows the Jon Justice show giving the station six hours of continuous local talk. Program director Ryan McCredden says, “By adding James T. to our weekday lineup, we’re continuing our commitment to providing the best local talk programming in Tucson. His energy, passion and dedication is the right fit for the top rated news/talk station in Southern Arizona.” Harris will exit WTMJ after September 11 and begins his program at KQTH-FM on October 3. Harris, a former high school history teacher, states, “’The Beautiful Man’ is super excited to be joining The Truth family. I hope everyone in the desert ain’t afraid to be who you is ’cause I’m coming! We’ve spent Sunday nights together for over a year; now, it’s time to take this thing to a whole new level! Tucson, you ready?” (August 24, 2011)

WSJRN’s “The Daily Wrap” Gets Major Market Clear. “The Daily Wrap from the Wall Street Journal with Michael Castner” takes over the evening slot on Greater Media’s WTKK-FM, Boston that opened up after Dial Global’s Michael Smerconish moved to middays. WTKK-FM PD Grace Blazer says, “96.9 FM-WTKK is pleased to welcome ‘The Daily Wrap from The Wall Street Journal’ to our evening lineup. Michael Castner is a clever and independent thinker; his enthusiasm and energy fit perfectly with WTKK’s recently updated program schedule.” (August 24, 2011)

Pat LaMarche Named AM Drive Co-Host at Stephen King’s WZON-AM/FM, Bangor, Maine. The famous author doesn’t do many press conferences but he organized this one to announce the hiring of radio veteran and aspiring politician Pat LaMarche as co-host of the AM drive show on his station WZON. LaMarche was the 2004 vice presidential candidate for the Green Party and also ran unsuccessfully for governor in Maine. She’ll work alongside former WABI-TV, Bangor reporter Don Cookson on the show that debuts September 12. LaMarche hosted the morning show at WGAN, Portland for a time during the mid-1990s. (August 24, 2011)

WTMY, Sarasota, Florida Flips to Sports. The Polnet Communications-owned talk station flips to sports as “The Sports Fanatic” and will use syndicated programs including Dan Patrick and Tony Bruno as well as local sports talk including Rich Spedaliere’s “Spitz on Sports” in AM drive and “The Sports Ministry” in PM drive. General manger Phil Russell tells the Herald-Tribune the station will be an alternative to Tampa’s WDAE. Russell tells the paper the format will be good for revenue. “We can pay our bills, and then some, for the first time in the history of the station.” (August 24, 2011)

WTKS-FM, Orlando’s Monsters in the Morning Help Get 2,200 Guns Off the Streets. The Russ Rollins-led morning show at WTKS-FM, Orlando – Real Radio 104 – was instrumental in helping promote the “Kicks 4 Guns” program held August 19 that exchanged a pair of brand new sneakers or gift cards in exchange for illegal weapons. Rollins tells TALKERS Central Florida authorities nabbed 2,230 guns, many illegal and some stolen, during the daylong program. (August 24, 2011)

Actress and Talk Host Janine Turner to Emcee “Constitution Day” Event. Turner – best known for her role on television’s “Northern Exposure” – is also an author and hosts a weekly two-hour Saturday talk show on KLIF, Dallas. She’s also the co-founder of Constituting America and will to host its “Constitution Day” event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on September 17. The program will feature the presentation of prizes to winners of Constituting America’s annual “We the People 9*17 Contest,” which awards prizes and scholarships to students from kindergarten through college for creating original songs, short films, public service announcements, speeches, poems, drawings and essays inspired by the U.S. Constitution. Contest winners – whose names will be announced September 1 – will attend the ceremony to present their award-winning entries. Turner says, “Constituting America’s mission is to positively affect the youth culture of kids in kindergarten through college, promoting an appreciation and understanding of America’s founding principles, and the contest is a fun and educational way of doing that.” (August 24, 2011)

Journal Broadcasting Tucson Names Charlie Mandala Director of Sales. Mandala comes from KGTV-TV, San Diego where he was in sales management. As director of sales for Journal’s Tucson properties, he’ll oversee sales for its television and radio stations that includes news/talk KQTH-FM and sports talk KFFN-AM/FM. (August 24, 2011)

East Coast Earthquake, 2012 Presidential Race, Libya Unrest and Obama Vacation Some of Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/23). The 5.8 earthquake that struck the East Coast, the 2012 GOP presidential candidates, continued unrest in Libya as Gadhafi hides and President Obama’s Vineyard vacation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS. (August 24, 2011)

Play it Again, Sam. The five couples you see pictured here were chosen from e-mailed entries in the KSEV, Houston marriage renewal promotion organized by talk host Sam Malone. The morning show veteran hosted an on-air marriage renewal ceremony and the couples gathered at the Spindletop restaurant on the 36th floor of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston. The “newlyweds” received a hotel room and dinner for their second honeymoon! (August 24, 2011)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

| August 23, 2011

Fairness Doctrine Taken Off the FCC’s Books. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski announced on August 22 that the agency has removed some 83 rules that it deems outdated, including the controversial Fairness Doctrine that hasn’t been enforced since the Reagan Administration but remained “on the books.” Genachowski stated in a release, “The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction. As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead. The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was properly abandoned over two decades ago. I am pleased we are removing these and other obsolete rules from our books.” (August 23, 2011)

CBS Radio Detroit Splits Sports WXYT-AM/FM; AM 1270 to Go News/Talk. On Monday, September 12, CBS Radio ends the simulcast of sports talk on WXYT-AM/FM and launches Talk Radio 1270 WXYT. CBS says in a release, “Home to lively conversation and debate, the talk station will focus on the issues affecting Americans with an edge that doesn’t exist in Detroit talk radio today.” The program schedule is: Charlie Langton in AM drive followed by Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck; Talk Radio Network’s Laura Ingraham; Compass Media NetworksTodd Schnitt; Genesis Communications Network’s Jason Lewis; and TRN’s Rusty Humphries. CBS Radio Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “I’m extremely excited about the launch of this new station. It will take an edgy and engaging point of view about issues on listeners’ minds.” Local attorney and media veteran Charlie Langton’s morning drive show is described as one that “will not only cover the issues Detroiters care most about, but he’ll be asking the questions listeners want answered from the major newsmakers. More than that, Langton will bring talk radio that’s not only informative but highly entertaining. Langton is a regular contributor to FOX 2 and WWJ-AM.” Langton hosted an evening show at WXYT years ago during its last incarnation as a news/talk-formatted station. (August 23, 2011)

WBAL, Baltimore Names News Director, Program Director. Mark Miller announced his resignation from the Hearst news/talk station last month where he serves as director of news and programming. To replace him, the station brings veteran Baltimore newswoman Merrie Street in as news director and hands the programming reins to sister rock WIYY-FM PD Dave Hill. Street has been out of radio for the past 10 years working in other aspects of the communications field. WBAL general manager Ed Kiernan tells the Baltimore Sun Street brings a wealth of experience to the station. (August 23, 2011)

WIBA, Madison Adds Mitch Henck to AM Drive Show. Henck already hosts “Outside the Box” with Mitch Henck from 8:00 am to 11:00 am each day. Now he becomes part of the morning drive show alongside Robin Colbert, John Colbert, Phil Dawson and NBC 15 meteorologist Charlie Shortino. Henck fills the void left by Dick Alpert who stays with Clear Channel as director of traffic for the Milwaukee and Madison markets. Clear Channel Madison AM operations manager Tim Scott says of Henck, “Mitch is a star in this market. He knows Madison and South Central Wisconsin and the people who live here know him. It’s a perfect extension of his talents across WIBA.” (August 23, 2011)

Minnesota Public Radio Icon Gary Eichten to Retire. Eichten has been host of the “Midday” show at Minnesota Public Radio for 20 years and has served at MPR for more than 45 years. Now, he says he’ll retire from the organization in January. After announcing his plans to retire, the award-winning radio host said, “I’m going to really miss this. I love the work, I love the organization. I had the opportunity to watch this place grow from a little baby radio station in Collegeville to the greatest radio station in America.” Eichten says he hopes to do some special assignments for MPR after his retirement becomes official in January. (August 23, 2011)

WFAN, New York Announces Fantasy Phenom Challenge II Winner. Staten Island resident John Jastremski wins the CBS Radio sports station’s Fantasy Phenom Challenge II contest and will get a weekly talk program on WFAN, New York beginning next month. Last year’s winner, Gregg Sussman becomes a part-time employee of WFAN. Jastremski was one of 500 participants in the contest to try to prove he or she has what it takes to be a WFAN host. The contest was whittled down to five finalists over the course of the summer who ultimately competed on Mike Francesa’s show during the Summer Beach Party remote on August 19. The other four finalists will each receive on air shift on WFAN. (August 23, 2011)

KCSP, Kansas City Raises Cash for Local Salvation Army Children’s Shelter. Entercom sports talk KCSP, Kansas City – 610 Sports Radio – helped raise more than $174,000 during the Larry Stewart Memorial Radiothon. KCSP personalities Nick Wright, Bob Fescoe, Josh Klingler, Danny Parkins and Mark Carman broadcast from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on August 18 to raise funds for the Children’s Shelter founded by local philanthropist Larry Stewart who was known as Kansas City’s “Secret Santa.” KCSP program director Ryan Maguire says, “In sports it’s about winning and losing and the real winners are the children of Kansas City. The response from our listeners was amazing. Thousands of donations were made by listeners via phone, on the internet and in person. We beat last year’s amount by nearly $65,000 and because of the generosity of 610 Sports listeners more Kansas City children will get the help they need.” (August 23, 2011)

Libya Unrest, U.S. Debt Concerns/Markets Activity and 2012 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22). The status of Moammar Gadhafi and his sons as Libya continues to roil in unrest, the U.S. debt problems and activity in the financial markets and the GOP contenders for the 2012 presidential race were all among the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS. (August 23, 2011)

All in the Family. Premiere Networks talk show personality Andy Dean (standing), host of “America Now,” chats with “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory (seated) in the Los Angeles studios of Premiere Networks. Noory made an appearance on Dean’s new program to discuss such disparate topics as the 2012 presidential election, the existence of UFOs, the 9/11 truth movement and more. (August 23, 2011)

Monday, August 22, 2011

| August 22, 2011

Premiere Networks Talk Star Glenn Beck to Hold “Restoring Courage” Rally in Israel; Spending $1 Million of his Own Money on Events. The long-promised week of Glenn Beck-sponsored events in Israel are beginning and lead up to Wednesday’s “Restoring Courage” rally at the Southern Wall excavations site in Jerusalem. Gil Hoffman writes in the Jerusalem Post that there was an event for Christians last night in Caesarea and a Holocaust-related event is planned for today (8/22). Beck has been criticized in some quarters for the events. Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater wrote in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal that Beck’s events are “nothing more than a media driven, money-making, self-serving, end-of-times messianic-lunacy circus show.” But Beck says the Wednesday rally will be nothing of the kind and encourages his critics to watch it. He states he’s losing about $1 million of his own money sponsoring the event. He’s quoted in the Jerusalem Post saying, “I am doing it because I’m obedient and I do what I’m supposed to do: to show the world the courage of Israelis and the choice between good and evil and life and death, and to remind people that life’s not a spectator sport.” Beck claims the event is not political and simply serves to show the world that Israel does not stand alone. Some Arab Knesset members are warning Beck’s rally could spark violence. (August 22, 2011)

Michael Harrison to Deliver Annual “State of Talk Radio” Address at Forthcoming NAB/RAB Radio Show in Chicago. For the seventh consecutive year, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will deliver his annual “State of Talk Media” address at a special Info-Session at the NAB/RAB Radio Show. This year’s presentation, sponsored by TALKERS, will take place during the national confab’s first morning between 10:30 am and 11:45 am on Wednesday, September 14 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago hotel and is open to all registrants of the conference. During this year’s address, Harrison will be focusing on The 10 Most Important Things Broadcasters Need to Know about the Enormous Changes Taking Place in Talk Media at this Very Moment. They will include an analysis of the invasion of FM by talk formats, the material impact of the PPM on talk radio programming, what we can all learn from sports talk radio, the changing political spectrum of talk stationality, the relationship between automobiles and talk radio, new formats on the horizon, and how the internet is rewiring the human brain — among others. Harrison will be introduced by McVay/Cook Media consultant Holland Cooke. (August 22, 2011)

Townsquare Media Officially Closes on the Millennium Properties. Townsquare Media chairman and CEO Steven Price announces the company closes on its acquisition of the 11 Millennium Radio Holdings, LLC stations, including FM talk giant WKXW-FM Trenton – New Jersey 101.5. Price states, “The acquisition of Millennium is consistent with our strategy of owning market-leading media properties in small and mid‐sized markets. We are excited to continue to add premier assets to our portfolio including, New Jersey’s leading talk radio station, WKXW 101.5. The strength and depth of the Millennium team is an excellent addition to Townsquare Media and we are excited to add new advertisers and to broaden our audience reach.” Zoe Burdine-Fly oversees the former Millennium operations for Townsquare Media. (August 22, 2011)

KSTP, Minneapolis Pairs “Mr. Phunn” with Judd Zulgad. Hubbard Broadcasting announces evening host Joe “Mr. Phunn” Anderson moves to middays to co-host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show with Judd Zulgad beginning September 6. Zulgad is the Minneapolis Star Tribune sports columnist who’s exiting his newspaper gig to focus on his sports talk host career at KSTP. Zulgad has hosted a weekend show on the station since February and it was recently announced he’ll be joining KSTP for a daily show. KSTP program director Brad Lane has not announced who will fill Anderson’s 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm evening show but says of the pairing of Zulgad and Anderson, “We think this duo will not only provide Twin Cities sports fans a new option for 9:00 am to 12:00 noon apart from their normal listening routine, but become a mainstay in the market and a wonderful lead in for Reusse & Mackey.” (August 22, 2011)

Citadel’s WLS, Chicago Woos Mary Frances Bragiel from WBBM. Veteran Chicago news person Mary Frances Bragiel leaves CBS Radio’s all-news WBBM, Chicago to become the afternoon and evening news anchor and reporter at Citadel’s news/talk WLS, according to Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder. There’s been a lot of movement in the radio news game in Chicago recently and Feder observes, “The position Bragiel fills has been open since WLS promoted Dave Stewart to midday news anchor, and both Lise Dominique and Monica DeSantis moved to FM News 101.1. The realignment puts seasoned Chicago radio veterans in every weekday news slot on WLS, including John Dempsey in mornings, Stewart in middays, Jim Johnson in afternoons, and Bragiel in evenings.” (August 22, 2011)

WWRL, New York to Broadcast Live from National King Memorial Dedication and Rally. The Access.1 Communications station is broadcasting live from Washington, DC on Saturday, August 27 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm with Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network. The broadcast will be anchored by Professor Ron Daniels and Rennie Bishop. Sharpton, whose radio program airs on WWRL, states, “There are relatively few moments in our lives that make history. The weekend of August 27-28, 2011 will be one for the history books as we not only commemorate the 48th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have A Dream Speech,’ but also when the world bears witness to the unveiling of the National King Memorial. As the rally and march will signify, and for those who may be quick to forget the legacy of Dr. King, let us remember that he died while fighting for worker’s rights and the basic human dignity of all.” (August 22, 2011)

Clear Channel Houston Promotes Two in Sales. Clear Channel Houston director of sales Bo Brown announces two promotions. Bob Merril takes on the role of general sales manager for news/talk KTRH, Houston. He’s been serving as GSM for two other AM stations in Houston. Of Merril, Brown says, “Bob and I have worked together for the last seven years building a solid AM team. His sports marketing background and never-quit attitude have been a key factor in our success.” Jeff Rovinsky returns to the Houston cluster from Charlotte where he was local sales manager with Clear Channel. He’ll be general sales manager for sports KMBE and news/talk KPRC. Brown says, “When Jeff was offered the local sales manager position in Charlotte a year ago we lost a very talented media executive that excelled in relationship building and direct sales. Bringing him back as a general sales manager for KBME/KPRC is an opportunity we never expected. He is a perfect fit.” (August 22, 2011)

Griese to Replace Mandich for Dophins Radio Broadcasts. Bob Griese and Jim Mandich were both part of the legendary 1972 Miami Dolphins team that went undefeated to a Super Bowl victory. Mandich, who’d been a sports talk host on Beasley’s WQAM and was a longtime voice of the Dolphins on its radio play-by-play broadcasts, died in April after a battle with bile duct cancer. Griese retired from his TV career last year but will be part of Dolphins radio play-by-play this season as he joins Jimmy Cefalo and Joe Rose in the broadcast booth. (August 22, 2011)

Friday, August 19, 2011

| August 19, 2011

Tom Leykis Joins Speaker Roster for “Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum 2011.” Legendary nationally syndicated and longtime LA-based talk radio personality Tom Leykis will be among the growing lineup of speakers participating in the forthcoming “Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum 2011” being described as a “Who’s Who of Southern California Talk Radio.” The event is the first in a series of regional conferences dubbed by its organizers as “a new kind of industry gathering.” Leykis, currently sitting out a CBS contract keeping him off the air until 2012, is the president of the internet-based broadcast platform, “The New Normal.” He was one of the hits of the recent New Media Seminar 2011 in New York City and according to TALKERS managing editor Kevin Casey, “We are pleased to be able to make his sharp and innovative insights on the state and future of talk broadcasting in Southern California available to our attendees from the industry in that region.” Presented by TALKERS magazine in association with the Los Angeles Press Club, it will take place on Thursday, October 20 between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. Registration (including breakfast, lunch and all discussions) is free to working members of the media and press but seating will be limited and reservations are already nearing capacity. To make reservations call Barbara at 413-565-5413. For agenda updates click here. (August 19, 2011)

Radio America to Syndicate the Peter Schiff Show. World-famous economist, author and media personality Peter Schiff’s radio program is being syndicated by Radio America and will air live in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET time slot beginning Monday, August 29. Schiff is well-known for predicting the economic meltdown of 2008 in his books Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse (Wiley 2007) and The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets: How to Keep your Portfolio Up When the Market is Down (Wiley 2008). He is president and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital and Euro Pacific Precious Metals. Radio America states in a release, “From the U.S. debt crisis, to the college tuition bubble Schiff says is on the horizon, Peter delivers common sense analysis on the issues of the day and practical advice to his listeners. Unlike other radio hosts who only view the world through the prism of politics, Peter connects the dots between the worlds of finance, business, politics and economics. He not only illustrates what’s going wrong, but offers real alternatives that can help the country and his audience get back on track.” (August 19, 2011)

WTOP’s Jim Farley Joins Associated Press Managing Editors. The APME was founded in 1933 and Farley – vice president of news and programming at WTOP – becomes the first broadcaster to join the organization. He’s also been nominated to the APME’s board of directors. The APME Board recently made the decision to open its ranks to broadcast outlets, educators and top students in an effort to unite journalists from all media platforms and recognize their various accomplishments in journalism. Farley states, “I am honored to join such a prestigious organization of industry leaders in APME. It is exciting to be the first broadcaster ever to join APME’s illustrious ranks and I look forward to offering my support and expertise in the future as part of APME’s board of directors as we strive to protect journalistic integrity in newsrooms across the country.” (August 19, 2011)

Cashin Exits WOOD and WTKG, Grand Rapids. Program director Paul Cashin exits his position at Clear Channel’s talk stations WOOD and WTKG, Grand Rapids and cluster music program director Kelly Iris takes over the PD duties at the two talk stations. (August 19, 2011)

Border Media Partners to Launch Local Internet Talk Station in Austin. BMP recently blew up the news/talk format on KXBT-FM, Austin – The Big Talker – due to poor ratings. But the company isn’t giving up on local talk for the Austin market. The Austin Statesman’s Gary Dinges reports BMP will debut austintalkin.com on September 7 and former KXBT-FM morning talk host Sean Rima will take his program to the web for the 5:00 am to 8:00 am program. There’s no word about other talent appearing on the site for now but Dinges writes that Rima’s show will be repeated from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am. (August 19, 2011)

“America Tonight” Host Kate Delaney Publishes New Sports Book. Kate Delaney, host of the nationally syndicated “America Tonight” late night talk show, publishes her new book, Level the Playing Field: Balls, Brats and B.S. (or really fun sports facts) (Tullamore Publishing 2011). Delaney launched the book with a party at Top Golf in Dallas last night (8/18) with part of the proceeds to benefit Dallas Youth Golf Programs. Kate – the “Sports Princess” — tells TALKERS, “The book is based on the ‘Sports Shorts’ radio segment and is full of little known sports facts, personal stories about traveling with the Dallas Cowboys and covering sports mixed in between.” She calls it a fun, easy read. At last night’s event, Howard Berg, the world’s fastest reader, consumed the 174-page book in 10 minutes and reviewed it. The now Dallas-based Delaney has worked at WFAN, New York in addition to other sports broadcasting positions over the course of her interesting career. (August 19, 2011)

Radio’s Steve Harvey Developing TV Talk Show for Fall 2012. Urban radio legend Steve Harvey – who’s also host of the popular TV game show “The Family Feud” – is developing a TV talk show that will debut in the fall of 2012. Harvey is working with Endemol USA to develop the show that will be distributed by NBC Universal Television Distribution. Harvey tells B&C, “I think it’s an interesting angle to have a guy in daytime television who’s actually built his platform around not only being funny but also being empowering and insightful for women. I hope to offer women an interesting take on a lot of different things from the male perspective, and I also want to be empowering to people and give them great information. It’s a triple threat combination.” Harvey’s nationally syndicated radio show is distributed by Premiere Networks. (August 19, 2011)

Talent Shuffle at Sports WNST, Baltimore. Rex Snider resigns from his position as host of the afternoon drive show at WNST. He’s being replaced by the station’s Glenn Clark who is promoted to the PM drive show. Also, Luke Jones partners up with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” AM drive program. (August 19, 2011)

Fox Sports Radio Network to Feature Mixed Martial Arts Events. The Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) and Fox Sports Media Group – the umbrella entity representing Fox Networks Group’s sports platforms – inks a three-years deal that will put UFC events all over Fox-owned television and the Fox Sports Radio Network which will broadcast all UFC events live. (August 19, 2011)

Obama Town Hall Tour Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 15-19. TALKERS research indicates President Obama’s bus tour to address the public about economic issues was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week and landed at #1 on the Talkers Ten. Following up at #2 was U.S. debt concerns. At #3 was the 2012 presidential race and at #4 was the European financial crisis. The Talkers Ten is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America each week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com. Click the banner below to view the entire chart. (August 19, 2011)

 

TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup. The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “The Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” picks up WXNT, Indianapolis; WBZS, Providence; KNWZ, Palm Springs, California; and WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds new affiliates WNIS, Norfolk; WXXM-FM, Madison; KQEW-FM, Fordyce, Arkansas; WVNJ, Oakland, New Jersey; and WGGH, Marion, Illinois…..Business TalkRadio Network has a number of its shows picked up by WCAR, Livonia, Michigan including: Ray Lucia , “Travel with Stephanie Abrams ,” “Muscle Cars on the Radio ,” and more…..“Beyond the Beltway” with Bruce DuMont is added to the lineup at KMJ-FM, Fresno…..“Armed American Radio” with Mark Walters is picked up by WPNW, Holland, Michigan…..“The Small Business Advocate” with host Jim Blasingame picks up KBNP, Portland; KOAN, Anchorage; KBTK-FM, Flagstaff, Arizona; and WLRT, Lexington, Kentucky…..The independently syndicated Karel show hosted by Charles Karel Bouley adds KJFK, Reno to its growing affiliate roster. (August 19, 2011)

Talkin’ with the Rev. WJIM, Lansing, Michigan-based regionally syndicated talk show host Michael Patrick Shiels (r) poses for a photo with Rev. Jesse Jackson (l) at his storefront radio/TV studios. Jackson visited Shiels and appeared on his program that is syndicated to Citadel’s WJRW, Grand Rapids and the 10 stations in the Michigan Talk Network. (August 19, 2011)

Interview with Tom Langmyer

| August 17, 2011

TALKERS special features correspondent Mike Kinosian interviews WGN, Chicago general manager Tom Langmyer.

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Interview with Jason Wolfe

| August 17, 2011

TALKERS special features correspondent Mike Kinosian interviews vice president of AM programming for Entercom Boston Jason Wolfe.

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Interview with Tom Bigby

| August 17, 2011

TALKERS special features correspondent Mike Kinosian interviews talk programming legend Tom Bigby.

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Interview with Gabe Hobbs

| August 17, 2011

New Jersey 101.5 personality Michelle Jerson interviews talk radio consultant, talent coach and Gabe Hobbs Media president Gabe Hobbs.

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Interview with Tom Leykis

| August 17, 2011

NEW MEDIA SEMINAR 2011: NJ101.5, Trenton personality Michelle Jerson interviews legeandary personality Tom Leykis. Click “view video” to open the video player.

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Interview with Doug Stephan

| August 17, 2011

TALKERS special features correspondent Mike Kinosian interviews Doug Stephan, host of the long-running nationally syndicated morning show “Good Day.”

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