Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Friday, May 26, 2017

| May 26, 2017

New Jersey 101.5’s Bill Doyle Battling Complications from Bladder Cancer.  WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” afternoon personality Jeff Deminski writes on the NJ101.5 website explaining partner Bill Doyle’s absence from the Deminski & Doyle show for the past three weeks.  Regular listeners were aware that Doyle missed five weeks of work in late January and February after surgery to treat bladder cancer.  On Thursday (5/25), Deminski wrote the Doyle had been experiencing complications since the beginning of May that left him unable to work. (Producer Joe Votruba has been sitting in with Deminski on the program.) But, Deminski does say the good news is that “things are looking up.”  Read his full post here.

Maxon to Digital PD Post for iHeartMedia Hartford. Another digital program director is named at iHeartMedia, this time at its Hartford operations.  Kelsey Maxon is charged with overseeing the digital strategy for the iHM’s eight markets in the Hartford region.  Maxon has been digital program director for the company’s Providence cluster for the past three years.  He also previously served with Entercom as the promotions manager and digital coordinator for sports talk WEEI, Boston.  iHeartMedia Hartford regional SVP/programming John Cooper comments, “Kelsey will play a key role in bringing together all the resources we have in the region, resulting in great engagement on our web sites and social media.  We’re really looking forward to his insight, creativity and excitement.”

Pete Sheppard Partners with Craig Shemon at ‘ESPN SWFL 99.3 FM.’ Sports radio pro Pete Sheppard joins Beasley Media Group in the Fort Myers/Naples market to co-host the afternoon drive program on WWCN “ESPN SWFL 99.3 FM” with Craig Shemon.  Operations manager Adam Star says, “Pete Sheppard lacing up with Craig Shemon has just turned a great afternoon show into a major market, heavy weight afternoon show overnight.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this new show was syndicated a year from now.  Sherman and Sheppard are the real deal!”  Sheppard most recently served with Entercom at sports talk WEEI, Boston where he’d been a part-time and fill-in personality.  Previously he’d been with the station full time for years as part of “The Big Show” with Glenn Ordway.  He also hosted a weekend show following New England Patriots games with former NFL players Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie.

Kroeger Extends Contract with WFNZ, Charlotte. Afternoon drive personality Chris Kroeger inks a new deal to remain with Entercom Charlotte’s sports talk WFNZ-AM/W273DA “The Fan.” The Charlotte native hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm “Prime Time” show.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon comments, “Chris Kroeger leads the conversation in all things sports for Charlotte on WFNZ.  His depth of knowledge and relationships with everyone in town related to sports make him an invaluable resource and sports leader.  We’re thrilled he’s committed to WFNZ and Entercom for the future.”

Gallagher and Hewitt Do TV Hit. Prior to the sold-out, Wednesday evening “President Trump’s First 100 Days” event at the Commerce Club in Greenville, South Carolina, Salem Radio Network hosts Mike Gallagher (center) and Hugh Hewitt (right) appeared on local CBS TV affiliate WSPA-TV “CBS7” to discuss the issues.  The live event was sponsored by local affiliate station WGTK-FM “945 The Answer.”

The Amazing Kreskin on Engaging an Audience. Legendary mentalist Kreskin is a big fan of talk radio. (In fact, he’ll be at the Talkers 2017: A New Era conference in New York next Friday.)  He has experience on radio as a frequent guest and substitute host for the late Alan Colmes and Long John Nebel.  Today, he offers his thoughts on how to engage listeners quickly.  He says some of his pointers are obvious but consistency is the key.  Read what he has to say here.

President Trump’s International Trip Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 22-26.  President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Brussels was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the deadly Manchester bombing tied with the intelligence leaks aspect of the same story.  Coming in at #3 was the investigation into possible Trump campaign-Russia connections, and following at #4 was the Trump federal budget proposal.  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.

Dr. Daliah Wachs Joins Michael Harrison for this Week’s Podcast.  She has just been named TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” in recognition of her amazing achievements in supporting health-oriented charities, including her work getting “Blood Donation Days” instituted in many states and “National Blood Donation Week” becoming official across America.  Board-certified physician, Daliah Wachs, M.D. practiced family medicine in Las Vegas for 16 years.  She became a daily local radio talk show host in 2009 on KLAV and then KDWN.  Her show grew to include other affiliates around the nation and eventually was carried by SiriusXM Satellite Radio and iHeartRadio, in addition to her main platform, Genesis Communications Network.  In March of 2016, she closed her practice due to rising costs and red tape she says is smothering independent medical practitioners.  She is currently a faculty member at Touro University.  As this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Wachs talks about the challenges of hosting a successful, health-flavored generalist program on politically defined news/talk affiliates, in addition to explaining her non-partisan criticism of both the Affordable Care Act and the new GOP bill before Congress.  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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Legendary Los Angeles jock Rodney Bingenheimer is leaving CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles after a career there spanning 40 years.  He told his listeners via Facebook that his last “Rodney on the Roq” show will air from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am on June 5.  He wrote, “It has been an amazing run and I will be thanking all of you when I say goodbye to KROQ next week.  I am planning on some special callers and special music as I say a proper goodbye.”  The 69-year-old radio personality also says that although he’s done with KROQ, he’s not hanging up the headphones.  Bingenheimer is credited with being one of the first jocks to play music by such iconic bands as the Sex Pistols, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others….In Philadelphia, CBS RADIO adds classic hits WOGL programming duties to the responsibilities of AC WTDY PD Bobby Smith.  He takes over for Ann Gress, who exited this week after 14 years with the station.  At the same time, WXTU programmer Shelly Easton is promoted to vice president of music programming for the country station as well as WTDY and WOGL…..iHeartMedia promotes country WESC, Greenville, South Carolina PD Kix Layton to senior vice president of programming for the Greenville cluster.  He’ll now be in charge of hot AC WMYI “My 102.5,” rock WROO “Real Rock 104.9 – Man Up,” country WSSL, and sports talk WGVL “FOX Sports 1440.”…..WOCQ, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland program director Albie Dee is upped to operations manager for Adams Radio Group’s cluster in the market.  He’ll continue to host afternoon drive on CHR WOCQ…..WRME-LP, Chicago’s “MeTV FM” format is going into syndication via a deal with Envision Networks. The Weigel Broadcasting station features a “winning mix of music from the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond.”  The company says “MeTV FM is curated for long listening and features a deep playlist from an active library of more than 3,000 songs across nearly four decades, including singer-songwriters, country crossovers, Motown, iconic groups and many other artists.”  Weigel vice chairman Neal Sabin states, “MeTV FM’s music format has broken many of the radio rules in terms of presentation, depth of playlist and mixing of genres.  Using a challenging dial position in one of the most competitive radio markets in the country, we have proven the validity and viability of the format. We look forward to working with Envision to bring MeTV FM to many more places.”…..iHeartMedia flips from classic hits to urban AC on translator W279AQ as “Majic 103.7, Today’s R&B and Throwbacks.”  Senior vice president of programming A.J. says, “The ‘Majic’ brand is no stranger to St. Louis and has been iconic in the market since 1979.  With the launch of the new ‘Majic 103.7,’ we are resurrecting over 35 years of enriching lives and serving the St. Louis community.”

PPM Analysis: Alternative.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian looks into the performances of alternative rock stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Kinosian reports, “Nearly half of our alternative sample (48%) improves between March 2017 – April 2017 (6+); equally divided are the number of down (26%) and flat stations (26%).  Just over half the stations on this alternative panel are down year-to-year (53%) while roughly one in three (34%) improve; the remaining 13% are unchanged.”  Just one alt rocker lands in the top five (6+) in its market – iHeartMedia’s KTCL, Denver.  Read Kinosian’s entire report here.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

| May 25, 2017

Today It’s Hannity, Tomorrow It May Be You.  Nashville-based Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine writes today about the campaign being waged against Fox News Channel and Premiere Networks talk show host Sean Hannity for his reporting on and opining on the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.  Media Matters is targeting Hannity’s advertisers in what is likely an attempt to get Fox to take action against Hannity.  Valentine says that those on the left cheering and those on the right standing idly by are potentially risking their own hides somewhere down the road if this effort is successful.  “The radical left loves to call conservatives fascists, yet there is nothing more fascist than shutting down people who dare utter something counter to your world view.  That goes for both sides of the aisle.  It’s one thing to simply stop patronizing a business because of the causes or people they support.  It’s another thing altogether to launch a vicious e-mail campaign of threats and intimidation.”  Coincidentally, Sean Hannity will be presented with TALKERS magazine’s Freedom of Speech Award at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York on June 2. Read Valentine’s entire piece here.

Chris Berry Appointed SVP of News, Talk and Sports for iHeartMedia. Radio programming, sales and management pro Chris Berry takes on the SVP of news, talk and sports post for iHeartMedia.  The company says that Berry “will oversee our news, talk and sports brands, where he’ll provide strategic guidance for our spoken-word formats and connect key advertisers with iHeartMedia’s news, talk and sports audiences.”  Berry has been serving as SVP/general manager for NBC News Radio and 24/7 News Network, a position he’ll maintain.  During his career, Berry has been VP/GM for ABC News Radio and VP/GM of WMAL, Washington, to name a few.  He joined 24/7 News Network as senior vice president and general manager in March 2011 and has spearheaded NBC News Radio’s editorial content since 24/7 News began syndicating the network in July 2016.  Meet Chris Berry at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York City on June 2.  See details here.

WBAL, Baltimore Names Jeff Wade News Director.  Baltimore news/talk WBAL “Newsradio 1090” names Jeff Wade news director, effective June 5.  Wade comes to the Hearst Television-owned station from his most recent position with Binnie Media’s Concord, New Hampshire operations as director of news and talk programming.  During his career, he’s also served with Saga Communications at news/talk WGAN, Portland as news director.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Jeff has a deep appreciation for WBAL’s zealous commitment to 24/7 news coverage.  His leadership, along with the skills and experience of our news team, will allow WBAL to fortify its position as Maryland’s leading radio news source.”  Speaking about his new gig, Wade remarks, “I’m excited to be joining WBAL and the Hearst team.  This is one of America’s iconic radio stations with a proud legacy as a news leader staffed by an all-star team of experienced and knowledgeable talent.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Programmer Brian Hall. Programming pro Brian Hall is upped to senior vice president of programming at the company’s Asheville operations.  Hall has most recently been serving as program director for the company’s news/talk WWNC “News Radio 570,” progressive talk WPEK “880 The Revolution” in Asheville and WGVL, Greenville, South Carolina “FOX Sports 1440.”  Music stations in the cluster include: adult hits W249AR “97,7 The Brew,” country WKSF “99.9 Kiss Country,” CHR WQNQ “Star 104.3,” and classic rock WQNS “Rock 105.1.” iHeartMedia area president for Asheville, Greenville and Greensboro Bill McMartin states, “Brian’s vast experience in Asheville will really help us continue to dominate the market in every format.  We have an experienced team in Asheville who all have great respect for Brian and his ability to lead our programming efforts.”

Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager Begin Crowdfunding Effort for Free Speech Film.  Yes, that’s right, conservative media figure and divinity scholar Dennis Prager, and podcaster/comic and atheist Adam Carolla are teaming up to produce a film titled, No Safe Spaces, that addresses the effects of political correctness on America’s college campuses.  The idea for the film came about after the unlikely duo’s recent scheduled appearance at UC Northridge was cancelled by the administration.  The event did go on after their lawyers pressured the college and their speeches were taped for the film.  Now, they are beginning an Indiegogo campaign to raise $1 million over the next few weeks to complete production of the feature-length film that will examine the effects of political correctness on college campuses and how the phenomenon will affect America’s future as restrictions on free speech move beyond the campus to American society.  Prager comments, “This is a story that must be told because the future of our country literally depends on what happens on these campuses.  If these students don’t understand the very concept of free speech, our whole nation is in trouble.”  The film takes Prager and Carolla to college campuses across the country, interviewing students and professors, comedians and commentators on the left and right, and those who have been impacted by the silencing of different voices on campus, analyzing the value of so-called safe-spaces.

PPM Analysis: Baseball Flagships.  How did the first month of the 2017 Major League Baseball season go for radio play-by-play flagships?  TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian addresses that very question, reporting on the 6+ performances of baseball flagship stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Ten stations saw their 6+ numbers go up at least one full share, with CBS RADIO’s KMOX, St. Louis shooting up 2.2 shares to an 8.4 share (and good for a #1 market rank).  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati was close behind, rising by 2.1 to a 9.3 share.  See the whole report here.

TALKERS News Notes. In Chicago, Salem Media Group adjusts its programming on news/talk WIND by moving the Salem Radio Network’s Larry Elder show from overnights (1:00 am to 3:00 am) to the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot, followed by its “Jay Sekulow Live” program at 9:00 pm.  The shows bump the Dave Ramsey program from the station’s program schedule, effective June 1…..Next season, Detroit Pistons games will be heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WXYT-FM, moving from Beasley’s crosstown WMGC.  The NBA club’s games were originally heard on WMGC when it was a sports talk station – “Detroit Sports 105.1” – and remained there after the station flipped to classic hip hop and R&B.  In the event of conflicts on WXYT-FM, Pistons games will move to the company’s all-news WWJ-AM.

Manchester Bombing Aftermath, Trump’s International Trip, Trump-Russia Investigation, Obama MS-13 Controversy, China Criticizes U.S. Ship Movement, Trump Budget Proposal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/24). The arrests of family members of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi and the task of preventing more attacks; President Donald Trump’s trip abroad; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; a whistleblower alleges Obama’s Unaccompanied Children policy allowed MS-13 gang members to be settled in the U.S.; China lashes out at the U.S. after a Navy destroyer sails within 12 miles of its military, man-made island; the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the Trump Administration budget proposal; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool Programming Opportunity.  The Springfield, Illinois operations of Mid-West Family Broadcasting is seeking an operations manager for the four-station cluster consisting of news/talk WMAY-AM, adult contemporary WNNS, rock WQLZ, and country WUSW.  The company is seeking candidates who possess the following qualifications: Love to coach and develop talent, especially in the talk format; can do an airshift in multiple formats; understand that a digital plan is not a banner ad and a station stream; realize that a remote appearance is the exact opposite of being remote to listeners; know how to make Selector sing; have the instincts to do it your way and not wait for a corporate mandate.  If this sounds too good to be true, it’s not.  It’s Mid-West Family Broadcasting in the Land of Lincoln: Springfield, Illinois.  Mid-West is an employee-owned company.  If you want to talk in strict confidence, send an e-mail, resume and salary requirements to Harvey Wells at: hwells@mwfbmedia.com.  What’s sent to Springfield stays in Springfield.  Mid-West Family Broadcasting is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. With the move of rock radio pro Jay Philpott from Cumulus Media’s WNNX, Atlanta to its Twin Cities rocker KQRS, the company is seeking Philpott’s replacement for the afternoon drive show on WNNX…..Hubbard Broadcasting VP/regional manager of Minnesota Dan Seeman announces that Jeff Hilborn is named general manager for the Hubbard Broadcasting radio stations in Brainerd, Minnesota.  Hilborn will oversee adult contemporary WJJY, classic rock KLIZ-FM “The Power Loon,” country KBLB “B93.3,” oldies KUAL “KOOL 103.5,” sports talk KLIZ-AM and business news KVBR-AM.  The stations were part of the group of 16 Omni Broadcasting outlets acquired by Hubbard the 2015 transaction.  Hilborn will replace retiring general manager Mike Boen.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

| May 24, 2017

Senators Request Hearing on the State of the News Media. As reported at Multichannel.com, two U.S. senators – Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Tom Udall (D-NM) – have written to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) requesting a hearing on the state of the news media.  The two also reached out to the FCC requesting information on the May 18 incident in which a reporter was roughly handled by a security guard for trying to ask an FCC commissioner a question after a public meeting.  The letter to Chairman Thune says, in part, “The journalism industry is grappling with a changing media landscape: from the changing dynamics of how people access news, to changing financial calculations, to the proliferation of so-called ‘fake news’ (both actual disinformation campaigns and the use of the term to slander legitimate news reporting), to a challenging relationship between news media and the Executive branch.  There have been a series of recent incidents in which hostility has been exercised against members of the press by members of the Administration, including just last week when a reporter was allegedly manhandled and threatened by security guards after a news conference at the Federal Communications Commission headquarters.”  The last time the Commerce Committee held a hearing on the state of the media was 2009.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Of all the subgenres of spoken-word talk radio, public radio news/talk appears to have benefitted the most from the election of Donald Trump, according to data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys.  Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of public news/talk stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey.  Kinosian notes, “Well over half the stations showing year-to-year (6+) growth do so by at least one full share, including Boston University’s WBUR (2.4 – 4.3, +1.9, 6+), which jumps by nine rankers (#17 to #8).”  Additionally, nine public news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets during the April survey.  See the whole report here.

Rob Whiteside Named Digital PD for iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region. This is an internal move as iHeartMedia names Rob Whiteside digital program director for its Virginia/Carolina Region.  He’s been serving as digital operations director for the company’s Central Region.  In this new position, Whiteside’s responsibilities will include growing digital resources and reach for the region’s 54 radio station brands, as well as day-to-day digital programming for the Raleigh market.  Whiteside and his team “will work closely with the programming and sales departments to deliver key messages on digital platforms, including station and on-air personality websites, mobile and social media.”

Kuby Confirms Departure from WABC, New York a Budget Move.  As TALKERS magazine speculated yesterday, the firing of Ron Kuby from WABC, New York’s “Curtis & Kuby” show was financially motivated.  Kuby issued a statement that reads, in part, “Yesterday I was informed by WABC management, after my show, that I had just done my last show. Those of you who know the business know this is a standard (if unpleasant) way of discharging people.  I was told that the reason was budgetary, and I no reason to doubt that explanation.  I had already made the decision that this year would be my last, and I informed management in December.  The election of Trump and the threats he poses to civil rights and liberties requires more of me than being a part-time lawyer. I feel a moral compulsion to be the best and hardest working advocate I can be, using the skills I have been taught for over three decades.  Thanks to WABC management for giving me the opportunity that I have (mostly) enjoyed for the past three 1/2 years.”

Westwood One Brings Aboard Sales Pros Lang and Johnston. Two radio biz sales pros are joining Westwood One as director, national partnerships.  Delanne Lang was most recently with AdLarge as a national accounts manager.  She’ll be based in New York and will report to EVP of Northeast sales Ron RussoDiane Johnston comes to WW1 from Premiere Networks.  She’ll be based in Detroit and report to EVP of Midwest sales Doug Johnston.

TALKERS News Notes. Dallas sports talkers “The Musers” – George Dunham, Craig Miller and Gordon Keith – heard on Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM “Sportsradio 1310/96.7 FM The Ticket” – interviewed President George W. Bush on Monday’s program broadcast live from the Warrior Open at the Prestonwood Golf Club in Dallas.   The Warrior Open is a competitive golf tournament for America’s wounded warriors established by the Bush Institute in 2011 that honors U.S. service members and heralds the organizations that support men and women of the U.S. military and their families…..Tomorrow (5/25), WGN, Chicago will induct 10 honorees into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame.  The induction ceremony will be broadcast live with hosts Wendy Snyder and Steve Bertrand.  The inductees – three sports legends, four renowned traffic reporters, one story chaser and two present-day voices, consist of: Leonard Baldy, Lou Boudreau, Nick Digilio, Lincoln Hampton, Vince Lloyd, Mike Mathis, Anne Maxfield, Judy Pielach, Jack Rosenberg and Larry Schreiner.

TALKERS Institutes New Annual Award to Recognize College Radio Broadcasters.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has instituted a new annual award designed to shed light on the burgeoning world of college radio and emphasize the important role it plays in providing 21st century broadcasting with fresh talent and management prospects.  The award is titled “The Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster” – named after the late radio and TV talk personality Alan Colmes who passed away earlier this year.  Colmes was a student at Hofstra University in the late 1960s and is a charter inductee in the school’s WRHU Hall of Fame.  WRHU-FM/WRHU.org recently received the NAB Marconi Award as Best College Radio Station in the nation and is widely recognized by leading authorities as one of the leading outlets in American college radio year after year.  The first recipient of this award (also dubbed TALKERS “College Radio Broadcaster of the Year”) is Hofstra University student Maria Santana.  Santana is a sophomore who, as student station manager of WRHU, manages a staff of 277 at the radio station.  She hosts and produces a morning drive, magazine-style talk show and a weekly half-hour women’s topics talk show.  She also co-hosted a half-hour special talk show on education during Debate 2016 and produces news packages for the station’s live, local half-hour newscast, “Newsline.”  Her on-air work was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists Press Club’s Long Island Chapter.  She earned the Jeffrey C. Kraus Endowed Radio Award for her leadership skills.  Her stellar work ethic helped her emerge from over 110 other staffers to be named WRHU rookie of the year in 2016.  Hofstra Entertainment Access TV named Santana its assistant general manager.  She currently holds the two highest student media leadership positions at Hofstra in both its radio and TV divisions.  WRHU operations manager John T. Mullen describes Maria Santana as “a true example of a young, converged media executive with a bright future.”  Maria Santana will be presented the award at TALKERS 2017: A New Era on Friday, June 2 in New York.

Joe Pyne the Subject of Smithsonian Magazine Piece. A story published in Smithsonian Magazine titled, “Joe Pyne Was America’s First Shock Jock,” tells the story of the man who set the stage for what would become the contemporary television and radio talk show that featured heated arguments led by an aggressive, name-calling host.  Joe Pyne’s vituperative style comes off as campy in this day and age, but most media historians agree that Pyne was the first in-your-face, issues-oriented conservative talk show host.  But more interesting to talk radio fans and industry insiders is the work being done by a man named Charles Churchman.  He’s currently attempting to digitally archive more than 100 episodes of the old Joe Pyne television show.  The shows were recorded on 2-inch videotape that is quickly decaying from age.  For a summary of Pyne’s career, a look at who was influenced by him, and the story of the preservation of the TV show tapes, read the Smithsonian piece here.

Manchester Terror Bombing, Trump Visits The Vatican, the Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Budget Proposal, Philippines Martial Law, Seth Rich Controversy, Roger Moore Dead at 89, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). The aftermath of the Manchester terror bombing; President Donald Trump visits Pope Francis on his international tour; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; the Trump administration’s federal budget proposal; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law order and his praise from President Trump; controversy over theories that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich leaked information to Wikileaks; actor Roger Moore dies at the age of 89; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS magazine Publishes 2017 Heavy Hundred. The 2017 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – known as the “Heavy Hundred” – has been published.  This 23rd edition of the Heavy Hundred consists of a ranking of radio talk show hosts by the editors of TALKERS magazine based on a number of hard and soft factors, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness.  Regular TALKERS readers and talk radio aficionados will recognize a number of personalities who are perennial members of the list.  But there are some newcomers as well as some hosts who’d made the list in years past and are making a return.  Yes, this list – like many that are created by editors of industry publications – is subjective to some degree or another.  It will raise questions as to who is on the list, who is not, and where those on the list are ranked.  But, that’s part of the fun of it!  Regardless, TALKERS editors take this project very seriously and wish to congratulate all the members of the 2017 TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  See it here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT officially names John Farneda music director.  He’s been serving in the post in the interim since early last month, succeeding Kelly Ransford after she moved to iHeartMedia Denver.  This is a return to WXRT for Farneda who worked at the station from 1983 through 2014 – the last 13 years as music director.  WXRT OM/PD Greg Solk says, “Christmas has come early to WXRT.  John’s rich history here and his unequalled knowledge of the Chicago rock market make him the perfect programming partner.  John is WXRT.”…..At Mountain Dog Media’s WFON, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin “107.1 The Bull,” afternoon personality Big Al moves to morning drive to co-host with incumbent morning jock Stef Z for the newly renamed “The Morning Radio Rodeo” show…..Cumulus Media’s New York hot AC WPLJ is presenting the Pepsi Summer Kick Off at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey this Friday (5/26).  The event will feature live performances from Andy Grammer, The Band Perry, LP and Wrabel.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

| May 23, 2017

Ron Kuby Exits WABC, New York.  So far, there’s no explanation from Cumulus Media about the sudden departure of Ron Kuby from the Curtis & Kuby midday show on news/talk WABC, New York.  The WABC website indicates Curtis Sliwa is staying on to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show solo and it appears likely that Kuby’s departure is the result of budget cuts.  Sliwa and Kuby returned to WABC after a six-year absence back in 2014.  The liberal Kuby and conservative Sliwa had worked together successfully at WABC from 2000 until 2008 when their show was canceled.  Sliwa hosted a solo show at Salem’s crosstown WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” for a number of years between 2008 and 2014.

Clark Howard Suffers Near-Fatal Medical Episode.  Nationally syndicated consumer issues talk host Clark Howard tells WSB-TV, Atlanta that his doctors have a working theory that the antibiotic ciprofloxacin combined with his cholesterol medication may have been responsible for the life-threatening illness he recently suffered. Howard was prescribed the antibiotic as a precautionary measure to ward off infection after a routine biopsy to monitor his prostate cancer.  However, days later he was admitted to the hospital and ultimately diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis – and affliction that he says results in your muscles basically eating themselves.  Doctors flushed his system with IVs and he’s recuperated.

Three Fox News Staffers File Discrimination Suits.  Responding to the suits filed in District Court in New York, Fox News says, “We believe these latest claims are without legal basis and look forward to proving that Fox News at all times has acted appropriately, and lawfully, in connection with these matters.”  The suits were filed by the New York employment law firm Wigdor LLP on behalf of claimants Kathleen Lee, currently a shift editor at Fox News Radio, former accounts payable coordinator Naima Farrow, and former accounts receivables specialist Vidya Mann.  Lee claims that she suffered retaliation after reporting sexual harassment. Farrow alleges she was fired after notifying her supervisor that she was pregnant.  And Mann – who was not a full-time staffer – says she was let go after having her baby.  You can see the Bloomberg account here.

Joe Madison Re-Ups with SiriusXM. Talk radio pro Joe Madison is staying on with SiriusXM after signing a new, multi-year contract to continue hosting the 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET program on the satcaster’s Urban View channel.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein comments, “Joe is the foundation of our Urban View channel, a tireless campaigner for social change and one of the best interviewers working in radio today.  We are thrilled to have him exclusively on SiriusXM and look forward to many more years of great radio with Joe.”

Alpha Media Closes on Purchase of WFTL and WMEN in West Palm Beach.  The company had been operating news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN in the West Palm Beach market under an LMA from ACM JCE IV B LLC for almost two years.  Earlier this year, Alpha Media agreed to purchase the stations for $2 million.  The stations were acquired by ACM JCE IV B LLC from the bankruptcy restructuring of James Crystal Enterprises in 2013.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson states, “We are delighted to add WFTL and WMEN to our dynamic group of stations in South Florida.  Elizabeth Hamma and her outstanding team are the best in the business and this acquisition represents our confidence in their ability to continue to dominate the Palm Beach market.”  Alpha also operates hot AC WRMF, AC WEAT “Sunny 107.9,” country WIRK, urban contemporary WMBX “X102.3,” and hip hop W242CI “Beatz 96.3.”

TALKERS News Notes. It’s a milestone for Compass Media Networks’ “Mike Lupica Podcast” as it passes the one million download mark.  The longtime New York sports writer and media figure was recently nominated for a 2017 Webby Award for Best Sports Podcast.  Lupica comments, “Doing this podcast has been even more fun than I thought it would be.  We’re a year in and already we’ve had really insightful conversations with some of the biggest names in sports, media and politics.”…..Edison Research announces it appoints Dr. Nino Japaridze to the new role of vice president for public affairs research.  Japaridze will be based in Washington to lead Edison’s public affairs and international research practice.  She more than 20 years of experience in the fields of public affairs and international research, most recently as vice president of public affairs at Ipsos North America where she led global media research and political risk practice areas and was responsible for partnering with technology-based companies to extend research capabilities across digital platforms…..WSGW, Saginaw, Michigan news director Ann Williams is named president of Michigan Associated Press Media Editors.  Williams was installed at the APME banquet in Lansing last month.  At the same event, the Alpha Media station was honored with three first place awards by the organization for Best Sportscast, Best Digital Presence, and Best Use of Photography.  WSGW program director Dave Maurer comments, “We are so proud of Ann.  She has done an outstanding job with her great attention to detail and her mentoring skills in our news department and now she will share her talents on a statewide basis in this top leadership position.”…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is hosting its 3rd Annual Sports Radio Open golf tournament on June 20 to benefit the Helene Foundation, which provides immediate support for mothers fighting cancer to positively impact their families.

New York Festivals Announces Finalists for International Radio Program Awards. The finalists have been announced for The New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for 2017.  The Grand Jury selected 336 finalists from entries submitted from 32 countries across the globe.  Entries were judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium.  All entries achieving finalist status proceed to the medal round.  Entries from the U.S. moving on to the medal round come from companies including: ABC Radio Network, CBS RADIO Boston, ESPN, iHeartMedia, SiriusXM, Westwood One, and more.  The World’s Best Radio Programs will be announced at the 2017 awards ceremony on Monday June 19 Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.  See all the finalists here.

Trump in the Middle East, Trump Budget Proposal, British Concert Bombing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ford CEO Fired, NC Redistricting Ruling, Confederate Monuments Removal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/22). President Donald Trump’s visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian territory; President Trump’s budget proposal and GOP leaders’ reactions; the deadly terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England; the investigation into possible links between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; Ford fires CEO Mark Fields and installs Jim Hackett; SCOTUS throws out North Carolina redistricting ruling it was based on racial gerrymandering; the tensions in the South over the removal of Confederate monuments; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Beasley Media Group Announces New Format Captains. Four Beasley Media Group programmers are adding format captain to their business cards.  The company is promoting WMMR-FM and WMGK-FM, Philadelphia program director Bill Weston to format captain for rock; Boston OM and WMJX-FM and WBQT-FM PD Cadillac Jack to format captain for CHR and AC; Las Vegas OM and KOAS-FM and KVGS-FM PD John Candelaria to format captain for urban; and WSOC-FM and WBCN-FM, Charlotte OM and PD DJ Stout to format captain for country.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase, “Not only will these programmers offer additional insight and assistance for our other PDs, they will also create more synergy and leverage in order to better compete in the markets we serve.  We feel this team, with its unique strengths, will provide incredible support when situations arise.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. WLNK, Charlotte afternoon duo Matt Harris and Ramona Holloway sign a new, multi-year contract to remain with Entercom Charlotte’s hot AC station.  Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “Matt and Ramona’s commitment to our listeners and the community set them apart from any other afternoon entertainment in Charlotte.  That is precisely why they continue to be the dominant ratings leader for WLNK-FM.  Their commitment to community, brilliant entertainment and passion for our listeners make them an ideal program for the culture we foster at Entercom Communications.”…..iHeartMedia Nashville is bringing market legend Gerry House back to the station to serve as its official voice talent for classic country W252CM “The BIG Legend at 98.3,” effective May 26.  House says, “The truth is, the good times, the spirit and the hits we played back when the House Foundation morning show was on the air will be on The BIG Legend at 98.3.”  House was heard on WSIX-FM, Nashville from 1983 to 2010…..Radio pro Jay Philpott is making a move within Cumulus Media to move from rock WNNX, Atlanta “Rock 100.5” to his hometown of Minneapolis to join rock KQRS “Q92” to host the evening show.  Philpott says he’ll exit WNNX on June 2 and start at KQRS on June 12.  He will continue to host his national show on the Westwood One network.….Myra Ellison announces she’s leaving her director of promotions, marketing & web gig at Entercom’s Madison cluster due to health issues…..Westwood One is kicking off the summer season with two exclusive Memorial Day Weekend music specials.  One is called “Get Out and Play” and is hosted by Ed Sheeran.  It celebrates the beginning of summer with four hours of music, information on this summer’s hottest tours, plus talk about the beach, summer vacation spots and new box office releases.  “Memorial Day Mania” is hosted by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and “ignites the summer season with tour and summer music festival talk, new music coming out this summer, road trips, and more.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

| May 22, 2017

Brian Wilson Exits WMAL, Washington’s ‘Mornings on the Mall.’  Announcing via Twitter on Friday, DC talk radio personality Brian Wilson says he’s exited Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Wilson wrote, “Today is the last day of a wonderful 6 year ride @WMALDC.  Thanks everyone!  I stand ready for the next great adventure.  I’ll miss the awesome folks @WMALDC: B Hess, Larry, Chris, Mary, Heather H & M McKay.  But won’t miss the 2:30 AM alarm!!!!  More soon!”  In the meantime, WMAL program director – and Cumulus news/talk VP – Bill Hess tells TALKERS magazine that Daily Caller editor-in-chief Vince Coglianese is sitting in as interim co-host while the station seeks a permanent partner for Mary Walter on the program.

TALKERS News Notes. WPGG, Atlantic City adds Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” starring Brian Kilmeade in the late morning daypart, replacing Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck…..In Chicago, Matt Abbatacola leaves CBS RADIO’s sports talker WSCR where he’s been serving for the past 16 years as a producer, personality and sports update anchor.  He was a longtime producer of the Boers & Bernstein show with the now-retired Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein (who’s now partnered with Jason Goff).  Robert Feder reports that “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen says, “I wish him nothing but the best.”  Read Feder’s column here…..More changes are taking place at Fox News Channel.  According to report by CNN, Fox News Channel has let “The Five” personality Bob Beckel go “for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.”  This move is apparently connected to what is being termed a “growing racial discrimination” lawsuit filed by a number of current and former Fox News Channel staffers.  The story says Beckel allegedly told a black IT department employee that he would leave the room while the staffer worked on his computer because the employee is black.  It further says that when the person filed a complaint, Beckel tried to intimidate the worker to withdraw it.  The suit is being handled by attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen…..If you missed it, former Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly wrote an op-ed piece published by USA Today on the passing of his former boss Roger Ailes.  In the piece, O’Reilly says, “We are living in a rough age, with technological advances changing behavior and perspective.  The downside of that is turning us into a nation where hatred is almost celebrated in some quarters.  Roger Ailes experienced that hatred and it killed him.  That is the truth.”  Read the piece here…..Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, via his Red Zebra Broadcasting, is agreeing to sell sports talk WSPZ, Bethesda, Maryland to the new corporation AM 570 LLC – co-owned by Salem Media Group founders Ed Atsinger and Stu Epperson.  The $2.1 million deal includes 58 acres of land.  The towers also carry the diplexed signal of WMAL-AM on a lease.

Trump Visits Saudi Arabia, Russia Investigation/Comey Firing, China Kills U.S. Spies, Weiner Guilty Plea/Abedin Files for Divorce, More North Korean Missile Tests, Iranian Elections, O’Reilly’s USA Today Column, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump makes his first stop in Saudi Arabia on an international tour, receiving a gold medal from the nation and signing a $110 billion arms deal; ongoing talk of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign figures and Russia and the related firing of FBI Director James Comey; the report that an intelligence breakdown led to China killing and imprisoning numerous U.S. spies; Anthony Weiner pleads guilty in the case of his sexting with a minor and the news former Hillary Clinton aid Huma Abedin will divorce him; North Korea conducts more missile tests; Iran holds elections, re-electing President Hassan Rouhani; former Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly pens a USA Today op-ed stating Roger Ailes died from the “hatred” cast at him by critics; and MLB, NBA and NHL 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.  Taking over the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” is Kannon.  He was most recently working in the Dallas market at CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL as part of the morning show.  KDMX program director Jay Shannon says, “Kannon is a familiar name that has been on the radio in Dallas/Ft. Worth for several years and he understands how to connect with listeners, as well as what it takes to be successful in this market.”  He also previously served in the market as morning show host at Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM…..From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes the reports that Federated Media active rock WBYR, Fort Wayne “98.9 The Bear” parts ways with evening personality Barry Thickk.  The station replaces him with the United Stations Radio Networks-syndicated “Lou Brutus Hard Drive XL” at night…..SiriusXM announces that David Letterman and his former TV band leader Paul Shaffer will be guests on Elizabeth Cook’s “Apron Strings” show on the Outlaw Country on Wednesday (5/24).  Letterman, a big fan of American roots music, will bring along a playlist of his own hand-picked performances that aired on his network television show over the years.

Adam Bomb and DNCE at the Billboard Music Awards. Yesterday (5/21) in Las Vegas, Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs took place at the Lucky Live Lounge at T-Mobile Arena.  The backstage radio row included more than 20 stations interviewing artists and celebrities.  Republic Records recording artists DNCE performed at the event.  Pictured here is Westwood One syndicated host Adam Bomb (left) with members of DNCE.