Tuesday, July 31, 2018

| July 31, 2018

Lawyers to Appear in Court Tomorrow in Alex Jones Defamation Case.  Attorney Mark Bankston – representing three of the Newtown, Connecticut families who lost children in the Sandy Hook assault in 2012 – will be in court tomorrow (8/1) along with Alex Jones attorney Mark Enoch as the two argue Enoch’s motion to dismiss the defamation case against Jones.  According to a story in the Austin American-Statesman, Enoch intends to use the Texas Citizens Participation Act (signed into law in 2011 and designed to protect citizens’ First Amendment rights) to have the case tossed.  Enoch’s argument is that the suit is an attempt to silence people with views that differ from reports in the “mainstream media.”  Bankston argues that Jones’ InfoWars platform publishes stories and videos with a reckless disregard for the truth in an attempt to get “hits” and thereby make money.  Read the American-Statesman piece here.

Charles Thomas Exits WVON, Chicago. Chicago journalist Charles Thomas 
(right) exits urban news/talk WVON where he was co-host of “The WVON Morning Show with Maze Jackson” (left).  A press release from the station notes that Thomas joined the morning show 13 months ago “with the intent of only staying a few weeks after retiring from ABC-7 following a 45-year career in journalism.”  Midway Broadcasting Corporation chair Melody Spann Cooper states, “I thanked Charles for his tremendous commitment and contribution to the station and the community.  We were honored to have him for such a short stay and look forward to assisting him in his future endeavors of building his brand in the Black media landscape.  We know there are big things on the horizon for him.”  Chicago media pro Robert Feder writes that Thomas’ exit comes on the heels of a Politico Illinois Playbook report connecting co-host Jackson to a political consultant working for the Governor Bruce Rauner re-election campaign.  But Thomas tells Feder his exit was about “getting my life back.”  Thomas says after retiring from ABC-7, he didn’t “envision getting up at 3 o’clock in the morning every day.”  The station says that Thomas’ departure is the first of several major personality changes that will be taking place before the end of the year.

Gallagher Mingles with Fans at Film Premiere.  Pictured above being photographed with a listener is Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher.  He was at the Camelot Cinema in Greenville, South Carolina for the standing-room-only screening of the new Dinesh D’Souza film Death of a Nation.

TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between United Stations Radio Networks and celebrity and entertainment news website TheBlast.com results in the availability of exclusive content for affiliated radio stations.  USRN says that to kick off this new relationship, the majority of the content will be delivered as customized live reports from top producers at The Blast.   “Eventually, USRN and The Blast will expand their collaborative coverage of celebrity and entertainment news to include pre-recorded reports and feeds that allow stations to maximize the share-ability of this exclusive content.”…..Univision Deportes and SiriusXM announce the launch of the Univision Deportes Radio channel on the SiriusXM satellite service.  Spanish-language content is also available via the SiriusXM app and on the streaming web player at SiriusXM.com…..Podcast and talk show producer Joel Meyer joins pubcaster KUER, Salt Lake City – the statewide NPR affiliate – as its director of programming and promotion.  Meyer was most recently an executive producer at WNYC Studios.  Prior to that, he was an executive producer of talk programming at WBEZ Chicago, a managing producer of podcasts at Slate.com and the executive producer of Soundcheck at WNYC.

L.A. Newsman Dave Zorn Passes at 73. Longtime KNX, Los Angeles news anchor Dave Zorn died recently at a hospice in Michigan at age 73 after a battle with liver cancer.  Zorn served with the station for 25 years and for many of those years was afternoon drive anchor.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Giuliani’s CNN Interview, Manafort Trial, Religious Liberty Task Force, Child Immigrant Order, ICE vs Portland Mayor, ‘Quiet Skies’ Monitoring Program, North Korean Rocket Program, the California Wildfire, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents tied with the related Rudy Giuliani interview on CNN regarding the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian delegation; the trial of former Donald Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort; Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces creation of new “religious liberty task force”; a California judge rules on policy for authorities’ handling of immigrant children; Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents criticize Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for ordering Portland police not to assist ICE agents; the revelation of the government’s “Quiet Skies” programming monitoring airline passengers who are not on watch lists or suspected of anything; new information indicating North Korea is continuing its ICBM program; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and imaging pro Chris “Fish” Shatek moves from Entercom’s WKIS, Miami “Kiss Country 99.9” to the company’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N @ 102.9” as midday personality and imaging director, effective August 1. Shatek says, “I am so grateful to not only be back in the Twin Cities, but also back on ‘BUZ’N @ 102.9,’ a station I helped to get started. I get to work in my hometown, at a station I love, and with an incredible group of people. I couldn’t be more excited.”…..In Charlotte, morning drive co-host Meg Butterfly is exiting her full-time position at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat” for a gig outside the radio business.  She’ll continue to pull a weekend shift and host her blog on the station’s website.  She has worked for the past nine years on the station alongside morning personality Paul Schadt…..Philly rock personality Debbi Calton is celebrating 25 years as host of the midday program on Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK.  On Friday, August 17, the station will mark the occasion with a live broadcast with Andre Gardner celebrating Debbi’s big day from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Tap 24 in Calton’s hometown of Media, Pennsylvania. Calton says her favorite aspect of her gig at WMGK are the listeners.  “I’ve formed 25-year relationships with so many of them.  We talk on the request line or see each other at concerts. Yes, we’re still going to plenty of rock concerts.”…..Programming pro Scott “Lugnut” Dwyer joins Max Broadcasting Group’s rhythmic CHR KFCO “FLO 107.1” and rhythmic AC KJHM “JAMMIN’ 101.5” in Denver as program director.  Dwyer comes to the Mile-High City after serving most recently at Ohana Media in Anchorage.

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