Tuesday, May 29, 2018

| May 29, 2018

Swenson Out at Entercom Washington; Phil Zachary to Assume Market Manager Role. According to several consumer media reports (including the Philadelphia Business Journal) Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary is leaving the cluster to assume the same role at the company’s Washington, DC operations.  The company has not commented publicly about the change, but the report indicates Zachary will take over the position from Steve Swenson.  Zachary moved to the Hartford cluster from the market manager position at Entercom’s Boston operations just after the CBS RADIO deal closed last November.  His duties also included oversight of the Providence and Springfield, Massachusetts markets.

Radio Station Imaging Master and Syndicated Show Host, Nick Michaels Dies.  Holland Cooke Pens Tribute.  One of the radio industry’s most influential voice over artists and musical curators, Nick Michaels, reportedly died of a sudden heart attack in his Pinecrest (Miami), Florida home on Friday (5/25).  Michaels was the host, writer and producer of the long-running, American Voice Corporation syndicated classic rock show, “The Deep End,” heard on music stations across the nation and the imaging voice of numerous major/medium market news/talk and all-news stations.  He was known for his rich tone and thoughtful – almost poetic – approach to copy that made him one of the most distinguished performers in the radio business.  Michaels’ media career began in advertising in his native Canada where success brought him to New York City in the late 1970s.  He appeared as the voice in many major national radio and television spots for a variety of major products and television programs.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Nick Michaels joined forces five years ago as Michael & Michaels co-producing a Memorial Day one-time special, “The Classic Rock Summer of ’13 Kick-Off” – a two-hour countdown of the most popular summer songs from the AOR era.  Harrison says, “The industry has lost a legend and I have lost a friend.  Nick was a one-of-a-kind talent and a passionate proponent of everything good about the kind of radio we grew up with and love.”  Media consultant, RT America TV host and special TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke, a very close friend of Michaels, penned a tribute to the late broadcaster.  To read it, please click here.  In July of 2015, Nick Michaels appeared as a guest on the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  To listen to a  clip from that conversation, please click here.

WQTX, Lansing Sports Talk Host Suing Fellow Michigan Personality.  What sounds like a feud between two sports talk hosts that goes back a few years is now a lawsuit in the state of Michigan.  According to the Lansing State Journal, WQTX, Lansing sports talk host Ryan Schuiling is suing WBBL, Grand Rapids-based sports talker Bill Simonson and his employer, Cumulus Media, for defamation. Schuiling alleges that Simonson made “false allegations” in a column he wrote on the blog Detroit Sports Rag, including accusing Schuiling of attempting to “orchestrate some alleged sexual interaction with Mr. Simonson’s daughter.” Schuiling says Simonson sent the link to the story to the IBEW – one of Schuiling’s sponsors – and that the actions have caused him emotional distress and have affected his professional standing in the community.  Simonson says the allegations in the suit are untrue and lack merit.  See the story here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Five news/talk stations saw (6+) increases of more than one full share from March to April, and four of those benefitted from the start of the baseball season.  They are: Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis (+2.3); Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (+1.9); iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (+1.6); KOA, Denver (+1.4); and Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City (+1.2).  Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” is up 2.6 shares since April of 2017, and Emmis’ WIBC, Indianapolis is up two full shares.  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in April: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; KOA, Denver; KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Read the whole report here.

Price: Protect Your People, Protect Your Brand.  By now, most broadcasters are aware of the tragic deaths of the two young television journalists from WYFF-TV, Greenville, South Carolina who perished while covering Subtropical Storm Alberto over the weekend.  While the accident appears to have been a matter of bad timing – a tree fell on their SUV while they were driving – business continuity expert Howard Price writes that it is occurrences like these that should make all broadcasters review their safety protocols to make sure they offer the best safety practices to staffers.  Read his piece here.

Radio Journalist Bob Fuss Dies at 64.  Former longtime CBS Radio News reporter Bob Fuss died in Falls Church, Virginia on Sunday (5/27) after a battle with a rare form of leukemia.  During his long radio news career, Fuss served as Capitol Hill correspondent for 16 years.  During that time, he covered the impeachment of President Clinton, the Florida presidential election re-count, and the 9/11 terror attacks.  He covered the House and Senate for CBS Radio and reported national political stories until his retirement in 2014.  CBS News general manager Craig Swagler writes about Fuss saying, “After his retirement, he wrote a book about his life, Kidnapped by Nuns: And Other Stories of a Life on the Radio, drawing from his work and personal experiences in 50 states and 70 countries. The book briefly addresses what listeners couldn’t see: he was disabled. He writes he was born with defects his parents were told could end his life before adulthood.  He beat the odds and described himself as ‘a busy and active kid’ who ‘never let anything slow me down.’ That attitude held true throughout his adult life; unable to walk without crutches, he never allowed the handicap to deter him from attaining his career goals or pursuing activities like snorkeling and skiing.” Swagler adds, “Bob was an extraordinary reporter with a true skill for making complicated stories relatable for everyday people.  Not only was Bob an outstanding journalist he was an all-around optimistic and funny person. A true joy to work with.”

TALKERS News Notes. In the Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana market, Cumulus Media names Aaron Criswell vice president and market manager for the five-station cluster that includes sports talk KRMD-AM “The Ticket Sports Radio” and four music-formatted stations…..Chris Forgy is promoted within Saga Communications to the newly created corporate position SVP of operations.  In making the announcement, Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Chris is a world-class broadcaster whose contributions to Saga will be very important and strategic as he joins us in the corporate office.”  Most recently, Forgy was president and general manager of the company’s Columbus station group…..The Arizona Broadcasters Association announces that Art Brooks is exiting the president and CEO position after a near 30-year stint.  Brooks says, “I leave the ABA proud of the many things we have been able to accomplish together in my nearly three decades of leadership and will remain ever grateful for the many friends I have made in the Arizona broadcasting community.  I’m eager to explore my next adventure both personally and professionally.”

U.S.-North Korea Summit, Subtropical Storm Alberto, Ireland Abortion Vote, Starbucks Bias Training, Solo Film, Memorial Day Holiday, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The off-again, on-again summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; subtropical storm Alberto hits the Southeast U.S.; the aftermath of Ireland’s vote to repeal the ban on abortion; Starbucks’ plan to close all stores today (5/29) for companywide bias training; the newest Star Wars film Solo; the Memorial Day holiday; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA Conference Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Rebecca Wilde is becoming a personality on the “Wicker in the Morning” program with Jeff Wicker on Entercom’s hot AC WTVR-FM, Richmond.  Entercom Virginia SVP Bennett Zier comments, “We’re thrilled to bring Rebecca back into the Richmond mix and look forward to having her reconnect with our community.  Rebecca’s drive and enthusiasm will ensure we continue to deliver the engaging local content our listeners look forward to daily on ‘Mix 98.1.’”  She previously worked on-air in the market at hot AC WURV and hip hop WBTJ…..Longtime Myrtle Beach personality David “Prez” Spindler retires from Dick Broadcasting classic rock WYAV “Wave 104.1”  Station operations manager Charlie Steele says, “We wish Prez the best with where life takes him next.  He’s spent a long time in the radio trenches and will be missed.”

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Category: Front Page News, Industry News