Wednesday, September 12, 2018

| September 12, 2018

Longtime KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Talk Host Mike Pintek Dead at 65.  Talk radio host Mike Pintek took leave of his radio talk show on Entercom’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh in late June after his treatment for cancer was interrupted by a stroke he suffered.  He would not return to the air and the station reports that Pintek died early today (9/12).  Pintek, who served with the legendary Pittsburgh news/talk station for more than 30 years, announced back in May of 2017 that he’d been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.  KDKA-AM reports that after receiving the diagnosis, Pintek began “an aggressive form of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and participated in experimental drug studies to ward off the illness, all while continuing to entertain his thousands of listeners daily on KDKA Radio.”  Pintek Joined KDKA-AM in 1982 as a reporter and in 1985 shifted to the role of talk host.  During his career he also served with KDKA-TV as a news break anchor and as host of “Pittsburgh 2-Day.”  See KDKA-AM’s obit here.

Bill Gentry to Lead Cumulus Media Birmingham. Radio management pro Bill Gentry is named vice president and general manager for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham, Alabama cluster that includes news/talk WAPI-AM/WZZR-FM “Talk 99.5” and sports talk trio WJOX-AM, WJOX-FM, and WJQX-FM.  Gentry was most recently SVP and market manager at Alpha Media’s Louisville cluster. Prior to that, he was regional market president for iHeartMedia overseeing Louisville, Lexington, and Nashville.  Gentry says, “I am thrilled to join the Cumulus team in Birmingham and grateful to Mary and the leadership team for this opportunity.  I am particularly excited to be starting just as college football is kicking off in the heart of the SEC, as we are the sports authority in the market.  Given my experience within news/talk and recent time working within the urban arena, I can’t wait to get started!  And I hope the staff won’t mind if I hang a UK jersey in my office.  Looking forward to this new adventure.  This is going to be fun!”

Report: Nielsen Exploring Sale of Entire Company. According to a report by Reuters, Nielsen Holdings Plc is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Guggenheim Securities LLC, “as well as law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an ‘expanded’ review of strategic alternatives.”  Previously, the company said it was looking at selling its “Buy” segment, but pressure from hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. has it now exploring a sale of the entire company.  (The “Buy” segment provides data on consumer behavior and the “Watch” segment is the TV, radio, and digital ratings side of the company.)  Not unlike some radio companies, Nielsen is dogged by a 2006 leveraged buyout by six PE firms and its debt is tagged at $8.66 billion while its market capitalization is estimated to be around $9.4 billion.

Julie Talbott to Be Honored with MIW Radio Group 2018 Trailblazer Award. The honor from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group will be awarded to Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott on September 26 at the RAB/NAB Radio Show in Orlando during the Wednesday Headliner “The Podcast Boom” session.  The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio to further their careers.  In 2012, it was renamed the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” in honor of Frances Preston, longtime president and CEO of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).  Talbott started her career at BBDO Advertising, before moving on and becoming COO of MJI Broadcasting, which was bought by Premiere Networks/Clear Channel in 1999.   After serving in various capacities at Premiere, she was named president of the company in January 2014.  She has received numerous industry awards over the years, including TALKERS magazine’s Judy Jarvis Memorial “Woman of the Year” Award.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik says, “The highest honor the MIW Group bestows is our Trailblazer Award and Julie Talbott epitomizes its very essence.  Julie is a powerful force that combines genuine Southern charm and graciousness with intellectual prowess and business acumen.  She has blazed many trails throughout her career and continues today to leave her indelible mark on radio. We are grateful for her efforts.”

BFoA Prepares for Emergency Grants Due to Hurricane Florence. With the approach of Hurricane Florence, the Broadcasters Foundation of America says it is preparing for an influx of emergency grant applications.  It reminds broadcasters whose personal lives or property are acutely affected by Hurricane Florence that they are encouraged to find out if they quality for an emergency grant by visiting https://broadcastersfoundation.org/hurricaneflorence/.  The Broadcasters Foundation Emergency Grant Relief Program provides an expedited application process that is streamlined to deliver emergency funds as quickly as possible to qualifying individuals who work (or have worked) in broadcasting.  Emergency grants are based on financial need.  This year, the Broadcasters Foundation board of directors elected to double the maximum amount of an individual emergency grant from $1,000 to $2,000.  This increase is particularly significant when considering that last year more than $300,000 was awarded to individual victims of a rash of disasters that included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and floods.

TALKERS News Notes. Former WTEM, Washington personality Kevin Sheehan is launching an eponymous, daily podcast about the Washington sports scene.  As the Washington Post reports, Sheehan – along with several other staffers – was let go from the Radio One sports talk station when his contract expired on August 1…..Crossover Media Group Sales reports that it has added four new political-talk programs to its growing roster of client shows and personalities.  The first is “Honestly Speaking” with Tara Setmayer, a CNN political commentator, ABC News contributor, frequent guest host on “The View,” and a former Republican communications director.  Her show “brings her voice of reason and signature ‘tell it like it is’ commentary to hot-button political and cultural topics from a ‘common sense’ conservative point of view.”  The second program is “Roland Martin Unfiltered,” a newly launched, 60-minute show streamed live daily at 6:00 pm from Washington, D.C. on podcast and video-on-demand platforms including Facebook,YouTube, Periscope, and InstagramTV.  Former CNN political analyst Martin “will cover news, politics, culture, entertainment, social justice, sports, education, business, and finance.”  CMGS is assisting in the production of and handling advertising sales for the shows…..E.W. Scripps reorganizes its podcasting segment, making Stitcher the parent company.  In addition to giving the podcast platform a new logo, Stitcher is now parent to advertising arm Midroll and comedy podcast segment Earwolf.  Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn says, “Our combined brands and companies – Midroll, Earwolf, and Stitcher – were all individually early pioneers and leaders in podcasting.  Earwolf was one of the first podcast networks; Midroll helped create and grow the podcast ad sales marketplace; and Stitcher was one of the first true podcast apps.  Each of these has evolved and thrived individually and today we mark the beginning of those pieces coming together to form the world’s strongest end-to-end podcast company.”…..Pubcaster WAMU, Washington is announcing a new, two-year project in which 10 broadcast journalists will engage in a collaborative reporting effort on the role of guns in American life titled, “Guns & America.”  The Audion Fellowship is being funded by a $5.3 million grant from the Kendeda Fund.   The 10 fellows hired for the project are: Adhiti Bandlamudi at North Carolina Public Radio; Anthony Cave at KERA, Dallas; Heath Druzin at Boise State Public Radio; Lisa Hagen at WABE, Atlanta; Chris Haxel at KCUR, Kansas City; Jonathan Levinson at Oregon Public Broadcasting; Ryan Lindsay at Connecticut Public Radio; Leigh Paterson at KUNC, Greeley, Colorado; Matt Richmond at ideastream in Cleveland; and Alana Wise at WAMU.  WAMU senior director of content and news Andi McDaniel says, “It’s hard to think of a conversation that’s more entrenched than the one around guns – Americans are polarized, frustrated, and stuck.  With ‘Guns & America,’ we’ll have 10 talented journalists from diverse communities around the nation taking a deep and unflinching look at the role guns play in American life.  We believe this kind of in-depth and nuanced storytelling has the potential to change the national conversation.”

‘Think! America with Terry Gilberg’ Is Added to KBNP, Portland and KTAR, Phoenix.  The nationally syndicated Radio America show “Think! America with Terry Gilberg” continues to show healthy growth across the nation with two important Western states clearances – KTAR, Phoenix and KBNP, Portland.  The Saturday evening show (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET) is produced and hosted by journalist-turned-commentator Terry Gilberg with regular on-air appearances by attorney Megan Porth.  Gilberg has been a longtime news reporter and talk show host on a number of Southwest platforms including KFYI, Phoenix.  She is pictured above (center) with conservative social media star pundits Diamond & Silk at last week’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC.

Hurricane Florence Approaches, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, 9/11 Anniversary, Positive Economic News, Bob Woodward Book, Russia-China War Games, Serena Williams Cartoon Backlash, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the midterm elections and the battle to control congress; the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks; the positive U.S. economic data; Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; Russia and China take part in joint war games; the backlash over the racist depiction of Serena Williams in a Melbourne newspaper; the first week of the NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. At the Orlando cluster of Entercom, Dana Taylor is named program director for hot AC WOMX “MIX 105.1” and John O’Connell is appointed PD for alternative WQMP “FM 101.9.”  Taylor has been with WOMX since 1994, most recently serving as APD/music director. O’Connell adds WQMP programming duties to his current responsibility as program director for country WKIS and alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” in Miami.  Entercom SVP and market manager Claudia Menegus says, “I’m excited to elevate Dana and John to these roles.  They are both talented leaders with infectious passion for our brands and I am confident they will continue to raise the bar.” Meanwhile, taking on the assistant program director position at WQMP is music director and midday host Melissa “Mel” Leigh-Sorrentino…..The KXTE, Las Vegas-based alternative morning program “The Dave and Mahoney Show” finds its first affiliate station in Townsquare Media’s alt rock WQSH, Albany “ALT 105.7.”  The program – just beginning its syndication effort – consists of hosts Dave Farra and Jason Mahoney with cast member Sylvia Alvarado and producer Ian Schebel.  Farra comments, “It’s a dream come true to be able to grow the program like this…we are thrilled to be working with Steve Richards and Townsquare Media and look forward to delivering a great morning show with compelling content to the Albany audience.”…..ABC Radio and Skyview Networks announce syndication of “The Deja Vu Show,” featuring WBLS-FM, New York afternoon personality Deja Vu.  This new show for urban AC music formats “provides female listeners a mixture of entertainment, lifestyle, and positive affirmation that helps them find their passion and accomplish their dreams.”  Skyview Networks EVP and GM Jeanne-Marie Condo says, “Deja is a diamond who instantly connects with her audience, especially the female audience.  This is a strategic step towards the custom sales integrations that are vital to our agencies and their clients.”…..At iHeartMedia’s classic hits, KGOR, Omama, morning personality Tim Sheridan exits after a two-plus years stint with the station and its sister news/talk KFAB…..Albany Broadcasting alternative WINU “ALT 104.9” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Woody Show” to its program schedule for morning drive…..Cumulus Media alternative rock WKQX teams up with the local Church Street Brewing Company to introduce Q Street, a “righteously good” alternative India Pale Ale to Chicagoland’s craft beer fans.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Q Street beer go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention…..Cumulus country outlet WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” is presenting a private, live album launch event for Carrie Underwood’s new album Cry Pretty at Opry City Stage in Times Square on Friday (9/14) at 1:00 pm.  The event will be broadcast on all 82 “NASH” country radio stations…..iHeartMedia Detroit is presenting the “Who’s Got Next Hip Hop Conference” – a conference dedicated to showcasing and educating up-and-coming hip hop and R&B artists in the greater Detriot area.  This inaugural music conference takes place on Sunday, October 14 and will feature educational music industry panels as well as a variety of performances from local breakout artists.  Artists will be selected to perform at the conference during 97.9 WJLB’s “Who’s Got Next?” open mic nights that take place every Wednesday at 311 Ultra Lounge. WJLB program director Nate Bell says, “The hip hop scene in Detroit is on fire right now.  We’re excited to bring our local artists, the community, and national label reps together to advance Detroit as a city and as a culture within the industry.  As the heritage urban stations in Detroit, artists continually come to us for resources on how to get their music played and we want to help.”

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Category: Front Page News, Industry News