Talk Radio/Media Industry News
It’s Official: Trump Names Pai FCC Chairman. On the heels of news reports suggesting that President Donald Trump would name Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai the new chairman, he’s done just that. Pai will lead the three-member commission consisting of Pai’s fellow Republican Michael O’Rielly and Democrat Mignon Clyburn until two more commissioners are named to the body by Trump. Pai’s statement was simple: “I am deeply grateful to the President of the United States for designating me the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. I look forward to working with the new Administration, my colleagues at the Commission, members of Congress, and the American public to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans.” While Pai has been a friend to the radio industry, serving as a commissioner who is sensitive to efforts such as AM revitalization, the speculation is that this FCC will reverse Tom Wheeler-era policies on net neutrality, broadband subscriber data privacy and others.
Rhode Island Talk Host John DePetro Returns to Radio on WADK, Newport. A little more than a month after exiting Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence, longtime Rhode Island talk radio personality John DePetro returns to the airwaves via 3G Broadcasting’s WADK, Newport, Rhode Island for a show that launches tomorrow (1/25) from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. In announcing the news, DePetro states, “I am now the exclusive owner of the ‘John DePetro Show,’ which gives me full ownership of the content of the show and the freedom in the future to syndicate my popular, highly rated, entertaining program. My listeners should get ready for the most entertaining radio I have ever done, and I will continue to tell it like it is.” DePetro’s deal with the station includes a two-hour Saturday “John DePetro Show Week in Review.” Station owner Bonnie Gomes comments, “John DePetro and I have known each other since the late 80s when we worked together at a Providence radio group. John has a well-known, entertaining program and it matches with our goal of making 1540 AM WADK completely live and local. We are excited to welcome John to our broadcasting family and know that he will bring a new, exciting, entertaining twist to our current programming lineup.”
Innovative Talk Content Creator Lee Habeeb Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast. In an era when radio programmers and content providers are often accused of doing the “same old same old,” Lee Habeeb is doing something quite innovative. He produces and hosts an ambitiously written, researched and designed, nightly two-hour syndicated show that draws upon one of the most basic processes found in successful communications – story telling! The program titled, “Our American Stories,” is reaching its one-year anniversary and is now heard on 25 terrestrial stations across the nation with more about to be cleared on its independent Our American Network (www.ouramericannetwork.org). Habeeb describes the project as “an innovation in the audio sphere. No politics, no opinions, just stories. We tell a story and the audience tells us their stories — LIVE, with raw emotional power.” The stories run the gamut of American history and present-day popular culture focusing on the most fascinating people from politics, the military, industry, science and the arts. Habeeb himself is an extremely interesting individual. An Arab-American of Lebanese descent and a 1991 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, he was the executive producer of his law school buddy Laura Ingraham’s original Westwood One syndicated show back in 2001. Since 2007, he has maintained an executive position at Salem Radio Network as director of strategic content. He has written columns for USA Today, The Washington Examiner and the National Review, and is a columnist for Townhall.com. Habeeb joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on PodcastOne’s award-winning series “Up Close and Far Out.” Harrison and Habeeb talk about a variety of topics ranging from his perspective on being a Christian American with Middle Eastern roots to his insights on Laura Ingraham’s brief flirtation with becoming Donald Trump’s presidential press secretary… and of, course, the state of talk radio. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
DGital Media and The Players’ Tribune Partner for Podcast Network. Sports-themed media platform The Players’ Tribune partners with DGital Media to release its first podcast. The Derek Jeter-founded podcast network will feature “oral histories, athlete-hosted podcasts, a flagship show and other topical series.” The first show is “Giant Steps,” an oral history podcast that chronicles the rise of the New York Giants’ first Super Bowl championship in 1986. The 60-minute episode, narrated by Michael Strahan, features first-person accounts from Carl Banks, Harry Carson, Pepper Johnson, Leonard Marshall, George Martin, Elvis Patterson, Lawrence Taylor and Bill Parcells. The Players’ Tribune president Jaymee Messler comments, “‘The Players’ Tribune’ has become a destination for thoughtful, insightful storytelling related to topics both on and off the field. We’re excited to introduce another medium for athletes to share stories and discuss important issues through a unique and intimate listening experience. DGital Media is a terrific partner on the launch of this newest extension of our premium content offerings.”
Trump Withdraws US from TPP, Women’s Marches Aftermath, Trump Federal Hiring Freeze, Deadly Southeastern Tornadoes, ‘SNL’ Writer Suspended, Parliament to Vote on Brexit, and Super Bowl LI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23). President Donald Trump signs executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; the aftermath of the Women’s March in DC and in cities across the world; Trump enacts federal government hiring freeze; the deadly tornadoes that tore through the Southeast U.S.; a “Saturday Night Live” writer Katie Rich is suspended for her tweet targeting Barron Trump; Britain’s Parliament prepares to vote on the country’s exit from the European Union; and the Super Bowl matchup between New England and Atlanta were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. WABC, New York late morning hosts Sid Rosenberg (left) and Bernard McGuirk (right) are both re-signing with the Cumulus station for new, three-year deals. McGuirk and Rosenberg both still have their roles on the “Imus in the Morning” program. The new deals pertain to their “Bernie & Sid” 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program. Rosenberg tells TALKERS magazine, “I’m excited to spend the next few years at WABC! [Market manager] Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb have been a joy to work for and I’m blessed with the best, funniest and most talented partner in the business!”…..Philadelphia sports talker WIP-FM announces the schedule for its Phillies program “The Hot Stove” with Phillies play-by-play team Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen. The hour-long show will air four consecutive Wednesdays at 6:00 pm beginning February 1.
Doug McIntyre and Steve Martin Sell Out Four Nights in Southern California. Pictured above are film and comedy legend Steve Martin (left) and KABC, Los Angeles morning personality Doug McIntyre (right) on stage during one of four performances that took place January 8-11. McIntyre hosts the Distinguished Speakers Series and Martin recently joined him at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, the Redondo Beach Center for the Performing Art in Redondo Beach, the Thousand Oaks Civic Art Plaza in Thousand Oaks, and the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena. Previous guests in the series have included John Cleese, Betty White, Ron Howard and Robert Redford among others. Photo: Sue Swan.
Westwood One Names Switzer VP/GM of Music & Entertainment – Country. This is a return to the Westwood One fold for Bryan Switzer. He served with then-ABC Radio Networks, Citadel Media and Cumulus Media Networks from 2006 through 2014 overseeing Nashville marketing, promotion, and affiliate sales for “American Country Countdown,” the 24-hour formats and more. He returns to the media biz from his most recent executive post with JennsCo Chemical Solutions. As vice president/general manager, music & entertainment-country for Westwood One, he’ll be in charge of the marketing and operations of all owned and represented country shows.
Renda Broadcasting Appoints Steve Granato PD for Fort Myers-Naples Cluster. Taking over for Randy Savage, who left the program director position with Renda Southwest Florida to join Cumulus’ Wilkes-Barre cluster, is Steve Granato. He’ll program the company’s four-station cluster including country WWGR “Gator Country 1019,” adult hits WJGO “1029BOBfm,” hot AC WSGL “Mix 104.7,” and news/talk WGUF “98.9 Naples FM Talk.” Granato previously served with Renda Broadcasting programming the company’s Pittsburgh properties in the early 1990s.
WMMR, Philly Names Brent Porche Overnight Jock. Philadelphia heritage rock outlet WMMR announces Brent Porche is named the station’s new overnight personality. The Beasley Media Group-owned station notes that “it’s rare a radio station that goes eight years between full-time hires. It’s rarer still that the position is for a full-time, overnight air talent.” Porche takes over for Jacky Bam Bam who recently was promoted to the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show. Porche says of his new gig, “It’s like a lifelong fan rooting for the Eagles and getting hired to play on the team – with all his favorite players! I’m honored to join Preston & Steve, Pierre Robert, Jaxon, Jacky and all the DJs on such a legendary station.”
Jenkins to Lead Alpha Media’s Moberly-Macon, Missouri Station Group. Thirty-year radio pro Mike Jenkins is named market manager for Alpha Media’s Moberly-Macon, Missouri station group that includes, country KRES-FM, oldies KIRK-FM, Christian contemporary KTCM-FM, and news/talk KWIX-AM/FM. Alpha Midwest Region EVP George Pelletier says, “We are pleased to welcome Mike Jenkins to our Alpha operations in Moberly. Mike has a terrific track record of success everywhere he has worked. His reputation of being a great leader, inspired broadcaster and client-oriented sales champion convinced us that he was the right kind of person to lead the Alpha team in Moberly, Missouri.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Diego CHR KHTS-FM “Channel 93.3 FM” names Ethan Cole evening personality. Cole stays with iHeartMedia having spent that past two years producing the “Matty in the Morning” show for WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108 FM.”.…..Saga Communications names Mark the Shark afternoon drive personality at classic rock WKLH, Milwaukee WKLH-FM “Rock 96-5.” It’s a return to Brew City for The Shark. He served with former rock outlet WQFM (now AC WLDB) during the 1980s and 1990s…..The Cantore + Woods morning show with Chris Cantore and Steve Woods exits Entercom’s alternative KBZT, San Diego “FM 949” after 15 months in the daypart. No word on the new morning drive show yet…..WNKS, Charlotte “KISS 95.1” intern Whitney Thore and the “Maney, Roy and LauRen Show” are back on television for tonight’s (1/24) season premiere of the TLC Network show, “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” starring Thore. The show follows Thore, a passionate dancer on her way to maintaining a healthy life style through dance and a “No Body Shaming” policy…..iHeartMedia’s Fresno country outlet KHGE “102.7 The Wolf” is hosting the 2017 Acoustic Kick-Off Concert featuring live performances by country music recording artists Hunter Hayes, Casey Donahew and Lucas Hoge tomorrow night (1/25) at the Tower Theater in Fresno. The Wolf program director Nick Cash says, “We love to connect our ‘102.7 The Wolf’ listeners with the hottest new country artists in a live and intimate setting. Hunter has a big, young following in the Central Valley and we can’t wait to sing along with them in the crowd at Acoustic Kick-Off Concert!”
Odds & Sods. There’s news to report from the Nielsen–Bubba the Love Sponge legal war. Bubba’s legal team has been arguing that Nielsen’s arguments for keeping certain documents confidential are unfounded and that they should be made part of the public record. However, Friday, U.S. District Court Judge James Whittemore ruled against Bubba, stating that “challenging a confidentiality designation is not the proper procedure for a court to decide whether the public has a right to access a pleading.”…..Longtime CBS Radio News reporter Dan Raviv leaves the news organization in surprising fashion – with a tweet at the end of his coverage of the Presidential Inauguration. He wrote, “Radio friends, I had the bittersweet honor of declaring (I swear it was short) at the end of our 90-min. coverage that it is my last on CBS.” Raviv had been with CBS Radio News since 1978.
Trump Sworn In/ObamaCare Executive Order, Women’s Marches, Trump Press Team’s Inauguration Crowd Dispute, Allegation of Trump Business Interests Conflicts, Cabinet Confirmation Hearings, and NFL Conference Championships Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Friday’s inauguration of President Donald Trump and his signing of an executive order pertaining to the Affordable Care Act; the Women’s March on DC and the marches in various cities across the nation; the Trump press team’s offering of “alternative facts” regarding the size of the crowd at the inauguration; the planned suit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington over Donald Trump’s business interests; the confirmation hearings of the several cabinet nominees; and Sunday’s NFC and AFC Conference Championship games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
Louisville Non-Com Hacked; Anti-Trump Song Plays on the Air. Non-commercial low power FM WCHQ, Louisville was the victim of a hack on Friday afternoon (1/20) that resulted in the rap tune “F*ck Donald Trump” by YG & Nipsy Hussle playing in a loop for about 15 minutes. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that station manager Kathy Weisbach was able get the digital song file to stop playing. Station program director Gary Simpson tells the paper that whoever hacked the station got in via the software it uses for its FM audio and that the software permits EAS alerts from getting on the air. He speculates that since other stations use the same software, other outlets could be vulnerable to a hack. See the Courier-Journal story here.
Danny Meyers to Program ‘Movin’ 107.7’ in Norfolk. Programmer Danny Meyers joins iHeartMedia’s Norfolk cluster to serve as program director and morning drive personality at urban contemporary WMOV “Movin 107.7, Hampton Roads’ Feel Good Music.” The station says Meyers – who was most recently morning host at CHR WXLK, Roanoke – will oversee WMOV’s “on-air content and music programming, as well as broadcast the local morning show with his perspective on pop culture and community news.” Meyers says, “I’m excited to start a new chapter at ‘Movin’ 107.7’ and become part of the iHeartMedia Norfolk family, especially after a record-setting revenue year for the station. I know the team is ready for an even bigger 2017!”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Alternative KDGE, Dallas is no more but iHeartMedia is not letting go of the annual “Edgefest” concert promotion. Now, the company’s rock KEGL “97.1 The Eagle” is presenting “Edgefest 2017” scheduled for April 1, 2017 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The acts signed up for the daylong, two-stage event are: Blink 182, The Offspring, 311, Chevelle, The Toadies, Naked and Famous, The Nixons, The Record Company, Goodbye June, Black Pistol Fire, Dreamers, Missio, Badflower and The Wrecks. iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis comments, “This year’s ‘Edgefest’ has one of the strongest lineups we’ve ever had, with a variety of established and rising star artists. As a nod to the 25th anniversary of the show, we are pleased that several of these ‘Edgefest’ alums are back to celebrate with us.”…..At the Saginaw, Michigan station group of Alpha Media, Joby Phillips is adding the program director responsibilities for hot AC WGER “MIX 106.3” to his workload. He’ll continue to program country WCEN “94-5 The Moose” and host the station’s afternoon show.
Shocker: Dan Snyder’s WTEM, Washington Parts Ways with Andy Pollin. Respected Washington, DC sports talk radio personality Andy Pollin was notified by management that his contract with WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” – coming to an end next month – would not be renewed and that his Thursday afternoon edition of “The Sports Reporters” with co-host Steve Czaban was his last. Pollin had been on the air talking sports in DC for the past 25 years. Czaban will go forward as solo host of the afternoon drive show. The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg covers the story and Pollin tells him, “I’m not in any way bitter about this. I’m disappointed that it wouldn’t continue. I thought Czabe and I were humming along there in our second run, but it didn’t happen. That’s life.” Czaban tweeted that he is “gutted” by management’s decision. He says, “Andy started this station 25 years ago, and he has done more and seen more than you can imagine in this business. He hired me off a driving range in 1994, and I owe my entire career in sports radio to him from the opportunities that followed.” Read Steinberg’s Post column here.
Mark Mason Returns to KEX, Portland for New Midday Talk Show. Portland radio personality Mark Mason is returning after a three-year hiatus to iHeartMedia’s “News Radio 1190” KEX to host a new midday talk show, beginning Monday (1/23). Mason co-hosted the “Mark & Dave” show with Dave Anderson on the station for 18 years. Anderson lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last year. Mason says, “After I lost my good friend and co-host Dave Anderson, my perspective on life changed and I wanted to return to the Portland community that embraced me. I’m excited to return to the KEX family and bring my 100% hate-free brand of talk radio back to Portland.” KEX says the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program will offer Mason’s “uplifting perspective on pop culture, national news, politics and currents events, as well as reports on local news, traffic and weather.” KEX program director Cort Webber comments, “We are thrilled to have Mark back home at KEX where he belongs. The place just hasn’t been the same without him. We’re excited to kick off a new year and a new administration with a new show from an old friend.” Mason continues to serve as the public address announcer for the Portland Trailblazers, a role he has held for the past 21 years.
Emmis Promotes Conner to Lead Network Indiana. Longtime Emmis Terre Haute general manager James Conner is taking over the general manager role for the company’s Network Indiana, effective January 30. Network Indiana is a statewide service providing news, sports and business programming to affiliated radio stations. Emmis Indianapolis senior vice president and general manager Chuck Williams states, “James will lead Network Indiana with a mission to continue our history of building meaningful value with our Network Indiana team and for our affiliates. Network Indiana is a strong brand and an important ingredient in the success of our Emmis Indianapolis Radio Division. James will be focused on helping our team grow Network Indiana relationships, operations and of course, growing value for this historic Emmis Brand.” The company says Conner has successfully managed the radio stations in Terre Haute the last 22 years, noting that the cluster has consistently accounted for more than 40% of the market revenue.
Trump Inauguration Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 16-20, 2017. The Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States and the protests against Donald Trump tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the last days of the Barack Obama presidency. Coming in at #3 was the several cabinet confirmation hearings, followed by the Chelsea Manning commutation at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Covering the Trump Inauguration. Pictured above are staffers from two of the radio networks covering the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States in Washington DC today (1/20). At left are (from left to right) Jeff Matzka, Salem Radio News chief engineer; Linda Kenyon, SRN U.S. Senate correspondent, and Greg Clugston, SRN News White House correspondent. At right is Westwood One News correspondent Bob Costantini in position at Westwood One’s broadcast post overlooking the Inauguration at the West front of the Capitol.
Beasley Names Randy Bliss to Programming Role and Promotes Tap Money in Fayetteville. At the Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster of Beasley Media Group, a new programmer comes aboard and another adds new PD duties. First, Randy Bliss joins the company as operations manager of the Fayetteville cluster, he takes on the program director role at adult contemporary WAZZ-AM/W232CI “Sunny 94.3,” and he’ll host the afternoon drive show on country WKML. Market manager Erika Beasley comments, “Randy brings his hands-on experience and success in a number of formats, which we welcome in Fayetteville. From his extensive research skills to his ability to incorporate both sales and programming to ensure success, Randy has proven he is a tried-and-true radio pro!” At the same time, hip hop WZFX “FOXY 99” program director Tap Money adds programming duties for sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7 JAMZ” to his responsibilities. Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase states, “Beasley is an organization that enjoys promoting good people from within and it is especially exciting when it’s a rock star like Tap Money! Tap is a radio hero who has lifted WZFX to an entirely new level in ratings and revenue. We have no doubt he will improve our urban footprint in Fayetteville as he begins working with WUKS.”
Cassiday Proctor Joins 106.5 The Arch’s ‘Spencer’s Neighborhood’ Morning Show. In St. Louis, radio personality Cassiday Proctor becomes a cast member on the “Spencer’s Neighborhood” show at Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” effective January 30. Proctor was most recently with Entercom in Atlanta appearing on the WSTR “Star 94” morning program. During her career she’s served with CBS RADIO in Charlotte where she also did television, hosting “The Edge” on WCCB-TV. WARH program director Scott Roddy says, “Hubbard is known to be the platinum standard for live, local talent. Cassiday is not only pure class, but hilariously fun and genuine – the perfect complement to Spencer’s and Brando’s humor.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The WMMS, Cleveland-based “Rover’s Morning Glory” show is airing on iHeartMedia’s rock WBFX, Grand Rapids “101.3 The Brew,” effective Monday (1/23). Shane “Rover” French comments, “We’re excited to be on ‘101.3 The Brew’ in Grand Rapids, a city that has more craft beer breweries than anywhere else on the planet. It’s a perfect match since my staff has consumed more craft beer than any other radio show on the planet.”…..In Jacksonville, iHeartMedia debuts the new “Rumba, #1 Para Éxitos y Música Variada” simulcasting on translator W295AZ at 106.9 FM and the HD2 channel of country WQIK. Rumba’s broadcasting a variety of Spanish tropical music…..Talk about dedication to the cause, in Peoria, WSWT PD and morning host Randy Rundle and WXCL afternoon personality Joe Greenwood spent 12 hours overnight in cardboard boxes in 25-degree weather to call attention to the homelessness problem in Peoria. The “Gimme Shelter – A Night to End Homelessness” event took place last Friday and together the two jocks raised $2,675. The event, as a whole, exceeded its goal of $50,000 – hitting the $63,000 mark. Proceeds benefit the South Side Office of Concern and its efforts to provide permanent, supportive housing and to end homelessness in the community…..CBS RADIO Houston and BBVA Compass are teaming up to host “Live Bright Bash,” a free stadium party tomorrow (1/21) for city ambassadors and volunteers during Super Bowl week. The event – intended to inspire the community to welcome visitors and encourage local volunteerism – will feature live music and speeches from city leaders and radio hosts. Radio personalities from KILT-FM, KHMX-FM, KLOL-FM, and KILT-AM will be on hand to reinforce the “Live Bright” message…..CBS RADIO triple A WXRT, Chicago “93XRT” is presenting two nights with Los Lobos at the Tivoli Theatre on February 15 and 16. XRT music director Kelly Ransford says, “Long-time XRT favorite Los Lobos is the ideal band for two nights of high-energy fun at the historic Tivoli Theatre in Aurora. Emerging from East LA in the early ‘80s, Los Lobos has become one of America’s greatest live rock ‘n’ roll bands and we couldn’t be more thrilled to host them for two special shows.”
Laura Alaina Visits ‘NASH Nights Live.’ Stopping by the NASH Campus in Nashville on Thursday evening (1/19) was Mercury Nashville/19/Interscope Records artist Lauren Alaina (center) pictured here with “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Shawn Parr (right) and Elaina Smith (left). Alaina chatted about her new album, Road Less Traveled.
RTDNA and Journalism Coalition Seek Pow-Wow with Trump and Pence on Transparency. In an effort to discuss journalistic access to the Trump Administration and the U.S. Government, the RTDNA and 60 other journalism organizations are requesting a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. The RTDNA is announcing the coalition sent a letter on Wednesday (1/18) to Trump and Pence, asking for a meeting or conference call. Among the issues the coalition wished to discuss are: the ability of reporters to directly interact with government employees who are subject matter experts, rather than interacting with Public Information Officers (or having all conversations monitored by Public Information Officers); access to the activities of the president; and ensuring that the Federal Freedom of Information Act remains as strong as possible. RTDNA executive director Mike Cavender states, “This is an unprecedented time for the American media and, as a consequence, for the American public. It is imperative that the incoming administration understand the importance of transparency in government and the cooperative spirit needed in working with the journalists who cover it. Only then will Americans be fully and fairly informed about the important decisions being made on their behalf.” Interestingly, this issue isn’t just about the incoming Trump Administration. Several similar letters were sent to the Obama Administration, beginning in 2013, regarding concerns about White House restrictions on photographers, transparency and public information officer restrictions. Three such letters were sent in 2013 and 2014. The Obama Administration’s reply in August of 2014 was deemed unsatisfactory by the journalism organizations. RTDNA provides a white paper and other articles on the matter for further background. Wednesday’s letter also issues the following requests: “We urge you to publicly affirm your commitment to transparency, to issue an executive order prohibiting the restrictive public information policies that have been the status quo, and to engage in a public discussion with us about the Trump Administration’s commitment to the free flow of information from the White House and all federal government, to the American people.”
Mayfield Promoted at Ramsey Media. Talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey announces some news from his organization. Eight-year staffer Brian Mayfield – most recently vice president of Ramsey Media – is promoted to senior vice president for the company. Ramsey Media states that Mayfield will “continue to lead the media department while taking on additional company-wide responsibilities as part of the Ramsey Solutions Senior Leadership Team. He will continue to report to Suzanne Simms, EVP of the business to consumer division. Ramsey Media includes all aspects of the Dave Ramsey show – currently heard on more than 575 radio stations and a variety of digital outlets – and other broadcast initiatives of Ramsey Solutions.
Trump Inauguration, Last Days of Obama Presidency, Cabinet Nominees Confirmation Hearings, Obama’s Chelsea Manning Commutation, Report of Earth’s Hottest Year, GOP ObamaCare Plans, NFL-Lady Gaga Flap/NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/18). Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, the Democrats planning to skip the event, and the planned protests; President Obama’s final press conference; the confirmation hearings of Trump cabinet nominees Betsy DeVos and Tom Price; controversy over Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks; the report that the planet’s mean temperature was the highest it’s been for the third year in a row; the status of the Affordable Care Act as the GOP plans to revamp the health care law; and the flap over whether the NFL is muzzling Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime performance, tied with the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. On this weekend’s edition of “Legends of Success with John Resnick,” one of the top entertainment lawyers in America appears on the program. John Branca – who’s represented some of the most successful musical acts in history, including: Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Carlos Santana, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, John Fogerty, and The Doors – talks about his rocky road to success and the many crazy situations he encountered. He relates that his success has been, in part, because he has been an authority figure to his clients, choosing not to socialize or party with them. The interview airs this weekend (1/22-23) and will be posted online on Monday…..Tomorrow’s presidential inauguration will be covered for its radio affiliates by FOX News Radio. Jared Halpern and Laura Ingle will co-anchor the main event, with correspondents reporting live from multiple locations in Washington DC…..Salem Radio Network News is also covering the inauguration tomorrow, beginning with a stand-alone, two-hour special titled, “SRN Inauguration Day 2017.” The special will be anchored live from the steps of the U.S. Capitol by SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston and SRN U.S. Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon. SRN News U.S. House correspondent Wally Hindes and SRN News Washington bureau chief Ken Lormand will also participate from inside the Capitol building…..AdLarge Media has entered into an exclusive ad sales agreement to represent the podcast “Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine,” a weekly celebrity interview podcast hosted by the stage and screen actress…..KHTE-FM, Little Rock “96.5 FM The Answer” afternoon drive host Dave Elswick (left) is pictured here interviewing Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison (right) during Elswick’s recent three-day broadcast from the state Capitol.
Radio Row at SHOT Show in Las Vegas. This week in Las Vegas, hunters and shooting enthusiasts are converging on the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades Show, a.k.a. the SHOT Show, presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The radio row at the event is hosting such talk radio personalities as Mike Gallagher, Lars Larson, Ben Ferguson and others. Pictured above is Tim Kennedy (right), host of the History Channel hit “Hunting Hitler” speaking with “The Dana Show” host Dana Loesch.
‘Q100’ Atlanta Moves Adam Bomb to Afternoons. On-air pro Adam Bomb has been holding down the evening show at Cumulus Media’s CHR WWWQ, Atlanta “Q100” in addition to his Westwood One syndicated, eponymous program. Now, he moves to the live afternoon drive slot on “Q100,” and that leaves an opening for a hot talent to take over the evening daypart. Reach out to program director Louie Diaz if you’re interested. Meanwhile, Diaz says, “Adam’s local involvement with Atlanta schools and his popularity with ‘Q100’ listeners at night made him the perfect choice to drive Atlanta home every afternoon… We have a lot of great stuff in mind for afternoons on ‘Q100,’ so get ready to be entertained!” He’ll continue to host the syndicated program.
Kramer to Host Mornings on ‘BIG 94.9’ Little Rock. Little Rock native Doug Kramer comes home to join iHeartMedia’s classic hits KHKN “BIG 94.9” to host the morning show. The station says ‘The BIG Fun Morning Show With Kramer’ launches on Monday, January 23. Kramer says, “It is a dream come true to move home to Little Rock to be a morning personality on ‘BIG 94.9’ and raise my family. I can’t wait to start working with the iHeartMedia Little Rock team and get involved in my home town’s community efforts.” Previously, Kramer worked down the road at U.S. Stations-owned CHR KLAZ, Hot Springs.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Cox Media Group’s classic hits WSRV, Atlanta “97.1 The River,” Debra Green rises from weekend talent to host of the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show. WSRV director of branding and programming Chris Eagan says, “Deb is a great addition to our weekday lineup. Her fresh sound and great content make her the perfect fit for ‘The River’ at night. I’m proud of how hard she worked to get here!”…..In Anchorage, Alaska, Alexx Dupri moves from the afternoon show to AM drive alongside Mike LaJoie to co-host the “Alexx & Mike AM Takeover” at Ohana Media Group’s rhythmic CHR KFAT.
Legendary Sales Consultant Irwin Pollack Passes. After a battle with cancer, renowned radio sales consultant Irwin Pollack died yesterday (1/18). His widow posted the following message on Pollack’s Facebook page. “Irwin, my amazing husband, incredible father and so much more to so many more has moved on to whatever challenge awaits him after this life. Thank you all for your kind words and love. A true gift from God to our family even if just for a short time. Thank you for sharing your stories, memories and feelings.” Salem Radio Network VP of News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup recalls, “Over the years, I engaged Irwin to bolster our news/talk salespeople at KRLD, Dallas and at WLS, Chicago (his trademark self-confidence was his guarantee that if he didn’t enthusiastically brainstorm at least 24 revenue-generating ideas for our AEs we didn’t have to pay him for his training…we always paid. LOL!) and his 100% confidence in radio as the best-targeted and most efficient advertising medium in America was both hypnotic and contagious.”
WNDE, Indianapolis to Debut New Local AM Drive Sports Talk Show. There’s a new sports talk show set to launch on Monday, February 6 at iHeartMedia’s Indy sports talker WNDE-AM (and simulcast on translator W248AW at 97.5 FM) featuring sister rock WFBQ personalities Dave “Gunner” Gunn and Don Stuck. The morning drive show – called “Flagrant Foul” – will air on WNDE from 6:00 am to 9:00 am, making it the only live and local Indy sports talk show in AM drive. Crosstown competitors WXNT and WFNI air CBS Sports Radio’s “Gio & Jones” and ESPN’s “Mike & Mike,” respectively. The Indianapolis Business Journal notes that “Mike & Mike” are far and away the current sports talk ratings leader in mornings, but with strong rumors that ESPN plans to end the “Mike & Mike” show very soon (moving Mike Greenberg to a more prominent role on ESPN TV), there could be an opening for “Flagrant Foul.” Gunner comments, “Stuck and I have talked sports on bar stools for years. Now, we’re excited to move our stools in front of microphones.”
David Moulton Exits Beasley’s WFCN, Fort Myers After Critical Comments About Station Decisions. Fort Myers sports talk personality David Moulton tweeted yesterday (1/17) that he was fired from Beasley Broadcast Group’s WFCN “99.3 ESPN Radio” after 17 years with the station. His exit from the station comes on the heels of a weekend story in the Fort Myers News-Press that delved into the break-up of Moulton’s and 10-year on-air partner Mark Miller’s show back in June of 2016 after the company did not re-sign Miller. The story questioned the wisdom of the move and Moulton commented freely in the story, his main complaint being that he was never told why the station let Miller walk. WFCN brought Gentry Thomas in to co-host with Moulton after Miller’s departure. With Moulton now gone, Thomas and station PD Chris Beasley are hosting the midday show. Read the News-Press story here.
Trump Inauguration Protests/Approval Rating Polls, Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning’s Sentence, U.S.–Russia Relations, Trump Cabinet Nominees Hearings, GOP’s ObamaCare Plans, World Economic Forum, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/17). Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, the Democrats who plan to stay away from the event and reports of planned protests in Washington, tied with Trump’s approval rating polls; the controversy over President Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence for turning classified documents over to Wikileaks; speculation about Trump’s future relationship with Vladimir Putin; yesterday’s confirmation hearings for Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos; the GOP’s intent to replace the Affordable Care Act with its own plan; the meeting of global leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
SiriusXM Remodels ‘Opie Radio’; Re-Brands as ‘Faction Talk.’ The former “Opie Radio”
channel is rebranded by SiriusXM as “Faction Talk.” The satcaster describes the channel as “an unpredictable and provocative channel inspired by its punk-infused sister channel, the music and sports-focused “Faction.” The new “Faction Talk” launches on Monday (1/23) and will feature the live talk lineup of Jim Norton and Sam Roberts from 8:00 am to 11:00 am ET; the Jason Ellis show from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm; and the “Opie Radio Show” with Greg “Opie” Hughes from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
‘Radio Health Journal’ Celebrates 25 Years. This month, the weekly public affairs program “Radio Health Journal” is celebrating its silver anniversary. Radio pros Shel Lustig and Reed Pence – co-founders of MediaTracks Communications – are recognizing their 25th year in the business recalling their humble beginnings producing the program in Pence’s basement studio and relying on their contacts in the local Chicago radio scene to build an affiliate list and attract advertisers. “Radio Health Journal” is co-hosted by the program’s original trio from 1992: Pence, Lustig, and Nancy Benson. Each week the program interviews the most respected experts in the fields of health, medicine and science and has grown from its original 53 affiliates to more than 450 today. Pence says, “Considering all the medical advances of the last quarter century, it’s a completely different world from when we first went on air. But what hasn’t changed is the public’s need for reliable reporting on the health issues facing us as individuals, communities and as a nation. I mean, our very first segment was on the crisis in health insurance, and 1,250 episodes later…we’re still talking about it.”
Odds & Sods. With the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States taking place on Friday, radio news outlets are covering the event. Westwood One is beginning live, long-form coverage at 11:30 am ET, anchored by Westwood One News correspondent Chas Henry with on-scene reports from correspondents Bob Costantini at the Capitol and Steve Kastenbaum across from the reviewing stand at the White House…..ABC News Radio will also provide extensive coverage. Correspondent Aaron Katersky will lead coverage from the U.S. Capitol, joined by correspondent Karen Travers from the White House, correspondents Brad Mielke and Janai Norman from the Inaugural Parade, political director Rick Klein with analysis and commentary from Washington, DC, and contributor Steve Roberts with historical analysis and context of all the proceedings. ABC News Radio will offer multiple status reports each hour on the events of the day and a one-hour special that will be available at 7:00 pm ET…..E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee – the flagship of the Green Bay Packers Radio Network is hosting “The Hometown Call at Turner Hall” viewing party for this Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. The event is free with a big-screen broadcast of the game synched to the radio play-by-play broadcast on WTMJ…..CBS Sports Radio launches a dedicated channel on Apple Music. CBS says “sports fans will now have access to CBS Sports Radio’s unique brand of coverage and commentary via Apple Music, available on a variety of devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, PC, Android, and Sonos.”…..SB Nation Radio is kicking off the new version of the Sean Salisbury show during its coverage of Super Bowl LI in Houston. Salisbury’s new co-hosts are Robin Carlin, Brian Barrett and producer Adam Sager. The show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET during Super Bowl week and return to the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot on February 6…..United Stations Radio Networks names Donna Harrison its newest rep in the affiliate relations department for services and offerings for the news and talk formats…..WCCM, Salem, New Hampshire adds the GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show to its weekend program lineup…..The “What’s Cooking in the Mr. Food Test Kitchen” show is offering stations a free, one-month trial of the weekend food show with no contract obligation. Mr. Food is seen on some 110 TV stations as well as the QVC channel.
WHAT ARE WORDS FOR? Michael Harrison Chats with the Editor-at-Large of Merriam-Webster. The organic English language has always evolved but the changes have been speeding up due to the influences of the digital era. In this week’s fascinating installment of the award-winning PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out,” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison talks with Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large of Merriam-Webster, about the rapidly accelerating evolution of words and the English language. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is the second-best-selling book (right behind the Holy Bible) during the past century-and-a-half of American history. The conversation includes a discussion of the famed publisher’s successful transition from being a print-based company fueled by book sales to a gigantic web-based digital advertising-based enterprise. To listen to this illuminating podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Rock WNNX, Atlanta Inks ‘Bailey & Southside’ for Three More Years. The morning drive duo of Jason Bailey and “Southside” Steve Rickman signs contract extensions to remain hosts of the AM show on Cumulus Media’s classic rock WNNX “Rock 100.5” for another three years. Cumulus Media Atlanta vice president and market manager Sean Shannon states, “The ‘Bailey and Southside Show’ is the foundation of ‘Rock 100.5.’ Our goal is and has been to build the South’s premiere rock and entertainment station. Renewing Bailey and Southside ensures that we deliver on that promise.” Bailey and Rickman began their on-air partnership in January of 2015.
Randy Savage Named OM for Cumulus Media’s Wilkes Barre-Scranton Operations. Programming pro Randy Savage, a.k.a. Bruce Murry, joins Cumulus Media to serve as the operations manager for the company’s Wilkes Barre-Scranton station group that includes: CHR WBHT, rock WBSX, adult contemporary WMGS “Magic 93,” country WSJR “NASH FM,” and sports talk WARM-AM “CBS Sports Radio.” He’ll also serve as PD for WSJR. Most recently, Savage was with Renda Broadcasting programming country WWGR “Gator Country 101.9,” adult hits WJGO “1029 BOB FM,” hot AC WSGL “104.7 The Mix,” and news/talk WGUF in the Fort Myers/Naples market. Savage comments, “It has been the honor of my life to program these great radio stations in Southwest Florida. They are near and dear to my heart but it’s time to move on. I’m excited about joining Cumulus Media and the Wilkes Barre/Scranton cluster and look forward to working with the great staff there to continue to grow these brands.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In St. Louis, CBS RADIO inks KYKY “Y98” midday personality Jill Devine, to a multi-year contract extension with the station…..In Dallas, CBS RADIO re-brands CHR KVIL-FM “AMP 103.7.” The station recently added Nathan Fast as new AM drive host…..The Radio Advertising Bureau announces iHeartRadio president Darren Davis and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes join its board of directors…..Air personality Pepper is the new midday jock at Entercom’s alternative KNRK, Portland “94/7fm.” Pepper previously served with the company’s KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End.”…..Programmer and air personality Kay Rich exits iHeartMedia’s hip hop KBOS, Fresno where he was music director and evening personality.