Talk Radio/Media Industry News

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

| September 26, 2017

NYPost: How Mike Francesa Almost Didn’t Get WFAN Gig.  As Mike Francesa’s historic run as afternoon drive personality on WFAN, New York winds down – he’s assured everyone he is leaving after December 15 – the New York Post publishes a piece by Don Burke that gives CBS Sports play-by-play man Jim Nantz credit for getting Francesa into WFAN when the station had no interest in hiring him.  Believe it or not, the Emmis programming executives were turned off by Francesa’s Long Island accent and wanted national-level talent to star on the fledgling sports talk station.  But Francesa and Jim Nantz had worked at CBS together and Nantz convinced Emmis exec Luke Griffin to give him a shot and he was eventually – and apparently reluctantly – hired for a weekend show.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Read the Post piece here.

Cooney Named to Morning Co-Host Post at WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Longtime Philadelphia sports media pro Bob Cooney is officially the new co-host of “The Fanatic Morning Show” on Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  He’s been filling in on “The Fanatic” for the past few months and now joins Anthony Gargano on the AM show.  Cooney was a longtime 76ers beat writer with the Philadelphia Daily News but also covered the Flyers, the Eagles and more.  The station says he’ll be part of its expanded Sixers coverage.  Beasley Philly VP and market manager Joe Bell says, “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Bob as the new co-host of the ‘Fanatic Morning Show.’  He is no stranger to Philly sports.  His reputation is incredible.  Bob and Anthony are the perfect team to serve as the official voice of the Philly sports fan!”  At the same time, the station announces it has renewed its multi-year partnership with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers to serve as the flagship radio station.  WPEN-FM will present the play-by-play, pre- and post-game shows, plus additional Sixers-related programming.

KHOW, Denver Talk Show Host and Former FEMA Director Michael Brown is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The latest installment of the award-winning PodcastOne media series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” posted today (9/26) features a fascinating, wide-ranging conversation between the TALKERS founder and KHOW, Denver host Michael Brown.  Brown, a non-practicing attorney, hosts the daily 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on the iHeartMedia powerhouse. He gained fame (including a degree of infamy) while serving as head of FEMA during the post-Hurricane Katrina days of the President George W. Bush administration when he became the “poster boy” for all that went wrong in the government’s handling of the devastating crisis.  Brown – a member of theTALKERS “Heavy Hundred” –  has gone on to become a tremendously successful radio personality. He has also evolved into one of the nation’s leading “go-to” experts on the volatile intersection of natural disasters and politics.  According to Harrison, “Michael Brown has evolved into one of the most original, knowledgeable and forthright hosts in talk radio today.  His experience in the Department of Homeland Security [that incorporates FEMA], that included a trial by fire in the media in the aftermath of Katrina, has given him first-hand knowledge and extraordinary wisdom in the complex subject of government and personal responsibility during and after natural disasters.”  Harrison continues, “He has also developed tremendous savvy about the modern-day issues of the radio business including navigating social media, accumulating workable cross-platform metrics, and balancing local and national content in the age of Donald Trump – topics we explore in this conversation.”  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.

Bears and WBBM ‘Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM’ Renew.  Sports programming is an important format for CBS RADIO and the company – soon to join Entercom in a merger – proves that with the renewal of its deal for all-news WBBM-AM/WCFL-FM “WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM” to serve as the flagship radio station for Chicago Bears football.  CBS RADIO Chicago SVP and market manager Tim Pohlman says, “All of us at CBS RADIO Chicago are thrilled to continue our 17-year partnership with the NFL’s most preeminent franchise.  We thank the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and everyone at the Chicago Bears for their commitment to keeping WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM as part of this first-class organization for years to come.”  Out-of-game programming will include the “Bears Coaches Show” every Monday at 6:30 pm hosted by Jeff Joniak.  “Bears All-Access” will air weekly throughout the year on sister sports station WSCR, featuring Tom Thayer and Zach Zaidman. All six CBS RADIO Chicago stations will also air a “Bears Noon Update” daily during the football season.

Chip Franklin’s ‘Inside The Beltway’ Site Off to Positive Start.  One month after the launch of the progressive site InsidetheBeltway.com, it’s garnered a million impressions, according to site founder – KGO, San Francisco talk host Chip Franklin.  He tells TALKERS magazine that his videos that are available on the site have gotten more than 250,000 shares.  Check out the site here.

TALKERS News Notes. Atlantic City talk show host Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he’s booked Roger Stone – the Republican and Donald Trump campaign strategist who will testify before the House Intelligence Committee – on his program tomorrow morning (9/27).  Stone will appear on Hurley’s WPGG program hours before he’ll appear on Capitol Hill to testify regarding the Trump-Russia investigation and Hurley says Stone promises to reveal what his testimony will entail…..The Alabama-based, nationally syndicated Rick & Bubba show got a call from President Trump yesterday morning (9/25) ahead of today’s special primary election for the open U.S. Senate seat there.  The president also talked about the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill.  See CNN’s report on the appearance here…..Salem Media Group promotes Steve Brodsky from general sales manager at Christian teaching KKLA-FM Los Angeles to market manager for the company’s San Diego operations that includes Christian KPRZ and news/talk KCBQ “1170 The Answer.”…..E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is presenting the holiday radio show “WTMJ Saves Christmas” live at Turner Hall on Monday, November 27.  It stars WTMJ hosts and other local voices and will be recorded in front of a live audience, with $5 from each ticket sold to benefit the Kids2Kids Christmas charity.  “WTMJ Saves Christmas” will feature station personalities: Gene Mueller, Jane Matenaer, Jeff Wagner, Wayne Larrivee, John Mercure, Erik Bilstad, Melissa Barclay, and Steve Scaffidi.

Trumps vs the NFL, Fate of the Graham-Cassidy Bill, Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump Saber Rattling, Devastation of Puerto Rico, Alabama Senate Primary, Kushner Private Email Issue, Weiner Sentenced, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25).  The controversy over President Trump’s call to fire NFL players who protest during the national anthem and the league’s and players’ responses; whether or not the Graham-Cassidy health care bill will be put up for a vote in the Senate; the war of words between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump; the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria and its need for help from the U.S. government; the Alabama U.S. Senate primary race between Luther Strange and Roy Moore; allegations that Jared Kushner used a private email server for White House business; Michael Weiner is sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for sexting a minor; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Agent Robert Eatman Dead at 65.  Talent agent Robert Eatman passed away on Sunday (9/24) in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer.  Eatman established his own agency in 1991 and represented some of the radio business’s top talent during the 1990s and 2000s, including Mancow Muller, Opie & Anthony, Shane “Rover” French, and more.

 

 

Sitting Down with Dolly.  “NASH Nights Live” co-host Elaina Smith (left) visited the Nashville studio of country legend Dolly Parton (right) on Monday (9/25) to chat with Parton about her first-ever children’s album, I Believe in You.  During the conversation, that also discussed such topics as women on country radio, Dollywood, sweatpants, both being tiny, working on Miley Cyrus’ new album and more.

‘X107.5’ Las Vegas Announces Lineup for ‘Holiday Havoc – Night Two.’  Las Vegas alternative rock KXTE “X107.5” announces that the “Holiday Havoc – Night Two” show scheduled for December 11 at the Palms Casino Resort will feature The Killers, with supporting acts Bleachers and Joywave.  A portion of proceeds from the concert will benefit the Nevada SPCA.

Monday, September 25, 2017

| September 25, 2017

Steele Returns to ‘FOX News 92.5’ in Naples-Ft. Myers; Radel to Drive Time.  Effective today (9/25), Sun Broadcasting’s news/talk WFSX, Naples-Fort Myers “FOX News 92.5” makes changes to its drive time programming, bringing Drew Steele back to the station for morning drive duties and moving Trey Radel to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  About the changes, program director Casey Bartholomew tells the Naples Daily News, “We wanted to better serve the market and what better way than with two live, local shows.  And Trey was more than happy to not have to get up (in the early morning).”  Steele was host of the morning show on WFSX from 2012 through 2016.  He comes back to Sun Broadcasting from Bonneville’s news/talk KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City.  Radel replaced Steele in mornings when he left for Salt Lake City.  Read the Daily News piece here.

Bowen Out at Cumulus Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio executive Peter Bowen exits the Cumulus Media cluster there after three years as vice president and market manager.  As Feder points out, Bowen was responsible for bringing White Sox baseball and Chicago Bulls hoops to WLS-AM.  The company told Feder, “Peter Bowen has left the company and we wish him well in his future endeavors.  The open market manager role in Chicago is a priority for us and we are working to find the right leader for this important market as soon as possible.” See Feder’s column here.

Steve Dahl Re-Ups with WLS-AM.  Also, as reported by Robert Feder, Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl re-ups with Cumulus Media to continue hosting his afternoon show on news/talk WLS-AM for another three years.  Dahl hosts the program with cast mates Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley.   Dahl tells Feder, “I’m proud of the work Dag, Brendan and I are doing every afternoon for WLS AM 890, and gratified that they like it, too.  The show is funny, informative and apolitical.  We could still use a little marketing, however, so I am currently in negotiations to buy the ‘Kathy’ half of the Eric and Kathy billboards.”  Read Feder’s report here.

TRN Files to Appeal Dismissal of Suit Against Industry Syndicators.  A year ago, the anti-trust lawsuit brought by Talk Radio Network against several industry syndicators including Westwood One, Compass Media Networks, WYD Media Management, and others was dismissed with prejudice and that dismissal affirmed.  TRN is filing to appeal that dismissal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The appellate court will decide if it will hear the case.

TALKERS News Notes. Launching this fall on CRN Digital Talk Radio is a new program titled, “HEAR IT NOW – A Radio Document of Our World,” hosted by Thomas Ross Bond II.  Bond calls the show “a program that focuses on the human-side of individuals who made an imprint on our world and the sounds of the times, in hope that another dimension is given to our understanding of our world and the human condition.  Unlike other programs concentrating on controversy, we strive to focus on the life of our ‘guest,’ the human side, to find out about ‘them,’ where they grew up, what influenced their life, why they made the choices they did.”…..The Rhode Island political talk radio show, “The Coalition – Talk Radio for Independent Minds,” moves from Cumulus Media’s WPRO, Providence to the digital platform of GoLocalProv.com.  The weekly, Friday evening show is hosted by Pat Ford, the chair of the Libertarian Party of Rhode Island and airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm…..SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive coverage of the Presidents Cup golf tournament September 28 through October 1 at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Trump Calls Out Athlete Protesters, North Korea Nuclear Threats/Sanctions, Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill, Merkel Re-Election, Maria-Devastated Puerto Rico, Kingsman Film, MLB Playoff Push, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The issue of athletes protesting during the national anthem after President Trump’s criticism; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and new sanctions put upon the hermit kingdom; the push by Republicans to pass the Graham-Cassidy health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act; Angela Merkel wins fourth term as Chancellor of Germany; the devastation of Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria; the new Kingsman film tops It at the box office; the weekend’s MLB games with playoff implications; Saturday’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KXL and Compass Media Talker Lars Larson Co-Starring Regular TV Segment.  Pictured here during the “Left Hook, Right Jab” segment on KGW-TV, Portland is news/talk KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks syndicated talk show host Lars Larson (right).  Going against Larson in the debate-style segment is former Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick (left).  Larson tells TALKERS magazine he’s been doing the TV segment for a few months now.  “They wanted a standard ‘he said, he said’ format but I suggested a chess clock format. Each of us gets 90 seconds.  Here’s the difference: we take turns leading off on a different question.  You can weigh in for, say 20-30 seconds (or shorter or longer), hit the bell and the other person has to respond.  He can go as long or short as he likes and then it switches back. Back and forth until both run out of time.  It moves fast.  It forces each to get right to the point (like Twitter).”

EXCLUSIVE TALKERS DIALOGUE: Terminated and Embattled KXNT, Las Vegas Talk Show Host Heidi Harris Speaks with Michael Harrison about the Events Leading Up to and Following CBS Choosing Not to Renew Her Contract as Morning Host.  In an exclusive TALKERS interview conducted Thursday evening (9/21), TALKERS founder Michael Harrison talks to former KXNT, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris about CBS RADIO’s decision not to renew her contract that was about to expire in a few weeks in the wake of a controversial social media comment about gay adoption posted by the broadcaster.  Although CBS has not cited the controversy as its reason for choosing not to renew Harris’ contract, the widespread speculation in the press and across the radio industry is that the host was let go because of negative blowback from organized activists in the gay community.  Discussing the interview, Harrison states, “I entered this conversation hoping to give Heidi the chance to present her side of the story, but, perhaps, wishfully to see if there was any chance to smoothen out the situation and set the stage for CBS to reconsider its decision if she clarified her position short of actually apologizing. Apologizing is not something I would expect or encourage her to do.  But it would be unfortunate if she left the station because of a misunderstanding of terms and today’s tendency for black and white thinking to rule the narrative.”  To listen to the interview, please click here.

Yappy Tour Rolls into NewsmaxTV.  Pictured above being interviewed by NewsmaxTV‘s John Bachman is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).   Former producer Duncan chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the remainder of 2017.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 85 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Milwaukee’s WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” brings Brew City radio personality Karen Dalessandro aboard to host the afternoon drive daypart.  Dalessandro is a Country Music Hall of Famer and a two-time CMA Personality of the Year who previously was a morning personality on iHeartMedia’s crosstown WMIL “FM 106” until “retiring” from the station back in March.  About this new gig, Dalessandro says, “I made the switch to ‘94.5 KTI Country’ to join a staff that is excited about country music, committed to winning and actually living in Milwaukee.  It’s refreshing to see this kind of radio still exists.  [Scripps Milwaukee ] GM Tom Langmyer and PD Ryan Wild deserve much credit for believing that real people doing real radio is important to the community they serve.  I spent 19 years hosting Milwaukee morning radio so to continue my career as music director/afternoons at WKTI is more than I could have imagined!”…..iHeartMedia names Nikki Corl marketing director for its Charlotte market operations and the rest of the Carolinas.  She was most recently promotions director at iHeartMedia’s Richmond station group…..In Nashville, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” announces that Wells Adams begins hosting the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show (starting tonight).  The 10-year market pro was most recently on the company’s sister classic rock WNRQ “105.9 The Rock” hosting afternoons.  Adams was also a recent contestant on ABC-TV’s “The Bachelorette.”  WRVW program director Jonathan Shuford says, “Wells is already a well-known and talented radio personality here in Music City, a reality show star, social influencer, and all-around great guy.  It just made sense to marry his pedigree with Nashville’s most-listened to station and we’re excited to launch this new chapter in Nashville radio.”…..CBS RADIO’s WUSN, Chicago is presenting its third annual “Stars and Strings” show in honor of America’s veterans and their families on Wednesday, November 15 at The Chicago Theatre. The all-star lineup features: Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Darius Rucker, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum, and Sam Hunt with a special appearance by Lindsay Ell. WUSN morning duo “Stylz & Roman” announced the concert on their program this morning.

iHeartRadio Music Festival Wraps Two Days in Las Vegas.  Pictured here are iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman (second from left) and iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes (right) with singer Demi Lovato (second from right) and an unidentified guest (left) backstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Some of the artists that played on Friday and Saturday night included: Coldplay, The Weeknd, DJ Khaled, Chris Stapleton, Lorde, Kings of Leon, Big Sean, P!NK, Miley Cyrus, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Niall Horan, David Guetta, Thomas Rhett, Harry Styles, Kesha and more, plus this year’s ‘Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Sta’ winner, James Maslow.

Friday, September 22, 2017

| September 22, 2017

Industry Mourns Passing of Gary Fries.  Former Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Gary Fries has died.  Details of his passing are few but current RAB president and CEO Erica Farber issued the following statement about the man who led the organization from 1991 through 2006: “It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our friend and colleague, Gary Fries.  Gary served the RAB and industry for 14 years and during his tenure as radio’s leading advocate he provided tremendous leadership and guidance.  Under his direction, the RAB increased its membership and introduced and advanced numerous sales training programs. He spearheaded radio to the forefront in media accountability, playing a dominant role in the development of RAEL working with advertisers, agencies and broadcasters to further the industry’s understanding of how radio advertising works. He also encouraged radio to embrace electronic data interchange, urging the industry to adopt electronic invoicing.  Upon his departure from the RAB, he left with the title of president emeritus and continued to hold a seat on the RAB Board to his very last day.  With a large physical presence and a strong personality, he always made his presence known.  On a personal note, Gary and I partnered together on many initiatives and I always found a welcoming partner and friend.  Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.”

Senator Nelson Gets Behind FM Chip Activation. According to a story from WBBH-TV, Fort Myers, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) is serious about pushing the government to require that smart phone manufacturers activate the FM chips in their devices.  The story says Nelson is citing the recent hurricanes that hit Florida and the public’s need to get emergency information in his efforts to see that action is taken.  Though no legal avenue to force manufacturers to activate the chips has been explained, Nelson wants to get the FCC involved.  Currently, Samsung, AT&T and T-mobile are agreeing to activate the chips but Apple has not been interested in conversations about the matter.  See the WBBH-TV story here.

CMG Names Two to Market Manager Posts.  This week, Cox Media Group named two radio management pros to new market manager positions.  Cathy Gunther assumes the market vice president position for the converged Tulsa operations that includes “FOX 23 News,” “My41,” and “MeTV” television stations and radio stations news/talk KRMG “News102.3 AM740,” classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle,” hot AC KRAV “Mix 96.5,” country KWEN “K95.5,” and Christian contemporary “Spirit 105.7.”  She was previously VP/GM for the TV stations.  In Jacksonville, Dan Lawrie takes on the market vice president position for the converged cluster that includes: “Action News Jax FOX30” and “CBS47” TV stations and radio stations news/talk WOKV “News 104.5,” urban contemporary W258CN “Hot 99.5,” adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 106.5,” CHR WAPE, classic hits WJGL :The Eagle 96.9,” hip hop W291CI/WJGL-HD2 “Power 106.1,” and alternative rock WXXJ “X102.9.”  CMG EVP Bill Hendrich comments, “Both Dan and Cathy are successful media veterans and proven leaders on the Cox Media Group leadership team.  We are fortunate to have great leadership within CMG to promote from within for these two new critical roles as we converge our Jacksonville and Tulsa media markets. They will work with our teams in these markets to take our award-winning brands to new heights.”

Ramsey Solutions Event Stops in Indy.  Pictured above is Ramsey Solutions personality Chris Hogan on stage at the Old National Centre in Indianapolis last night (9/21).  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money event took place there as Pilgrim Communications news/talk WFDM “Freedom 95” and WXLW “Freedom 950” joined forces with Ramsey Solutions to promote it.  Pilgrim Communications VP/GM Randy Tipmore says, “As usual, when Dave Ramsey or one of his team, such as Chris Hogan, comes to Indianapolis, excitement and enthusiasm goes up as do station sales.  ‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ is the number one selling tool we have at ‘Freedom 95.’”

GOP Health Care Bill Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 18-22.  The Cassidy-Graham bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation, focusing on Paul Manafort’s role.  Coming in at #3 was North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the new sanctions placed on the hermit kingdom, followed by President Trump’s Tuesday speech before the UN General Assembly 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Michael La Crosse is appointed to the program director position for iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary KKCW “K103” and classic hits KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” in Portland.  La Crosse, who begins his new duties on October 9, was most recently with the company in Los Angeles programming ACs KOST and KHHT.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Tim Herbster states, “Michael’s skillset is a natural match for taking the reins of KKCW and KLTH in Portland.  His vast experience in programming for these formats and working with top talent is second to none.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Federated Media classic hits outlet WFWI, Fort Wayne adds Cliff to the program schedule, hosting the afternoon drive show.  He also serves the company as production director for the cluster…..Cumulus Media names broadcasting executive Cheryl Salomone to the vice president/market manager position at its for its four-station cluster in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Salomone was most recently serving at Pamal Broadcasting’s White Plains, New York offices as director of NTR and local sales manager for WXPK…..Emmis Communications’ WQHT, New York is bringing its “HOT 97 Summer Jam” back to Tokyo in November for the second year in-a-row.  The company is working with Japan’s Avex Entertainment on the concert.  Emmis president Patrick Walsh comments, “We’re thrilled to bring ‘HOT 97’ and ‘Summer Jam’ back to Tokyo as we take the next step in growing these venerable brands for the passionate and growing global hip hop audience.  Our collaboration with our partners last year laid the foundation for an even larger event in November and further expansion in the coming years.”

The Occasional RadioInfo New Music Review.  RadioInfo music editor Duane Doobie Jr. writes: The group Cold Engines brings together some of the finest musicians on Boston’s north shore. Together, they deftly weave soul, new wave, rock, and dance into an instantly identifiable sound that really drives triple-A playlists.  Founder/frontman David Drouin paired with former band mate Aaron Zaroulis after ‘The Brew,’ a long-running band from the Boston area dissolved amicably.  Both Drouin and Zaroulis are seasoned indie musicians with previous stages at popular venues of Boston including The House of Blues and The Paradise Rock Club. Additional hand-picked bandmates include Eric Reingold (Jamantics, Black Light Ruckus), a journeyman musician who brings his passion for the thundering bass, and Casey Herlihy (Slipkey, Flake), an award-winning musician whose insane chops on guitar seem to only be matched the spirit of his vocals, and Geoff Pilkington (Soul Rebel Project, Mighty Mystic, and Left Over Wine), brings his infectious grooves with each performance behind the drums and percussion.  After exploding on the Northeast scene in 2015, and releasing three records inside of 18 months, the band garnered national attention, playing well over 150-plus shows a year supporting musicians such as Black Keys, Gregg Allman, Bruce Hornsby, Michael McDonald, moe., and The B-52s.  Cold Engines dropped their most ambitions album, Physical Education, this summer setting the bar even higher. The title track has found a place in my ears and should be considered for a place in your station’s playlist. To listen, click here.

 

 

Receptionist/Office Manager Opportunity.  WDST-FM, Woodstock, New York “Radio Woodstock” is looking for an outgoing, friendly and highly motivated receptionist/office manager who is well-organized with the ability to follow directives and complete projects.  Candidates need to be able to multi-task, and assist various departments including the sales team, business manager and promotions manager.  Customer service experience is a plus.  Working knowledge of Microsoft Office is necessary.  Mail cover letter and resume to: Cynthia V. Huggins, WDST-FM, PO Box 367, Woodstock, NY 12498 or email cynthiah@radiowoodstock.com.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

| September 21, 2017

Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner Talks Culture Change in Chief Executive.  Two years into Mary Berner’s role as chief executive officer of Cumulus Media, Berner writes a piece for Chief Executive magazine about her work to change the culture of the company.  Calling it her “Culture Fix Playbook,” Berner says that in 2015, Cumulus “was in a free fall: four straight years of declines in radio listenership, four straight years of revenue declines, three straight years of EBITDA declines, and underperforming acquisitions which had saddled the company with an untenable debt load. We also had lousy systems, crumbling infrastructure, and unhappy employees who told us in surveys that the ‘dysfunctional,’ ‘toxic,’ and ‘lousy’ culture was the primary reason for the company’s poor performance.”  In the piece, she outlines her strategy for turning around the culture of Cumulus.  Read it here.

Monroe Named Production Director at WTMJ/WKTI Milwaukee.  The Milwaukee radio operations of E.W. Scripps announces that Frank Monroe is named production director.  In this role, he’ll be guiding the commercial production department for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.  He was most recently with Matrix Broadcasting’s Crystal Lake, Illinois radio group where he also was midday personality on hot AC WZSR.  Scripps Radio Milwaukee vice president Tom Langmyer says, “Frank is an experienced, creative leader who will drive results for our local advertisers.  His customer service, professionalism, voice work and commercial copywriting stand out.”

PodcastOne Debuts ‘Music Connection Podcast’ with Randy Thomas and Arnie Wohl. This new program from PodcastOne “brings to life Music Connection Magazine, a well-known industry publication led by publisher Eric Bettelli for 40 years.”  It presents exclusive interviews with music business legends including: Sting, Daryl Hall, Jimmy Page, and the hottest rising stars, such as Haim, Mondo Cozmo and Anderson Paak.  It’s co-hosted by voice-over star Randy Thomas (Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Tony Awards, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and more) and music biz manager and promoter Arnie Wohl (Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Coldplay).   Thomas says, “A giant ‘thank you’ to Norm Pattiz and the entire PodcastOne team for helping us bring the ‘Music Connection Podcast’ to life.  We are jazzed to be able to access the incredible resources at PodcastOne, as well as Music Connection’s network of musicians, producers, and executives from 40 years of incredible interviews about the music industry – which is why we call this a podcast from the people who make music, for the people who love music!”

RAB Study: Radio Ads Drive Search Results.  The press release says that this study, commissioned by the Radio Advertising Bureau, was conducted by Sequent Partners, Media Monitors, and In4mation Insights in June and July of this year in the top 31 markets.  Based upon its analysis of over 2,100 local radio ads across six different categories, the study concludes that these campaigns realized a “29% incremental lift in search results.”  Media Monitors president and CEO Philippe Generali says, “The study proves that radio significantly impacts digital behaviors and activities – and is even more relevant in a digital and e-commerce world.”  Sequent Partners’ Alice K. Sylvester adds, “Radio continues to be undervalued and we are uncovering incremental benefit that radio consistently provides to advertisers.  It was also clear that there is an opportunity to increase this benefit with smart, measurement-informed, placements and creative approaches.”  RAB makes the full study available to members.  It also offers the video presentation from the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show session on its website.

TALKERS News Notes. Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is making daily appearances on Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte in the form of commentaries.  The former governor also served as mayor of Charlotte during his political career.  During his first appearance on the WBT morning program, he criticized the Charlotte City Council and Mayor Jennifer Roberts for not having a prayer session prior to the meeting.  The tradition of a pre-meeting prayer is controversial in light of a recent court case ruling the Rowan County Commission’s pre-meeting prayer method was illegal…..ABC News is launching a new news series and podcast it calls a “multiplatform docu-series,” titled “A Murder on Orchard Street,” that investigates the cold case murder of Burke O’Brien in New York in 2003.  ABC News producer and reporter Christina Kiely, who covered the O’Brien case moment-to-moment in 2003, joins ex-NYC detective Kenny Silvia in a renewed effort to solve the crime and bring the murderer(s) to justice…..This afternoon WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” host Kevin McCullough is broadcasting live from Lower Manhattan restaurant Giardino D’Oro.  Show segments today will include: a debate of Italian food questions; should Christopher Columbus’ statue be taken down?; a debate among NYC mayoral candidates; plus a live, fried calamari eating contest.

A “Talk” Down Memory Lane: The Great Kiddie TV Shows and Hosts of the Past.  In somewhat of a change of pace, the award-winning PodcastOne media series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” explores the lost art and genre of the television “kiddie show” that was a mainstay of popular culture from the late ‘40s to the early ‘70s.  Harrison is joined by veteran broadcaster Brad Shepard, an entertainment industry historian and GM/morning host of Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Harrison and Shepard discuss such shows as “Howdy Doody,” with Buffalo Bob Smith; “Kukla, Fran and Ollie” with Fran Allison; Shari Lewis; “Andy’s Gang” with Andy Devine (and the infamous “Froggy the Gremlin” pictured at left), “Winky Dink” with Jack Barry; “Ding Dong School” with Miss Frances; Soupy Sales, “Wonderama” with Sonny Fox, Chuck McCann; “The Merry Mailman” with Ray Heatherton and so much more.  To listen to this fun and entertaining romp through fascinating media history, 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.

Cassidy-Graham Health Care Bill, Hillary Clinton Book Tour, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump at UN, Maria Ravages Puerto Rico, Deadly Mexican Earthquake, Climate Change Debate, ‘Sanctuary’ Issue, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action/TV Ratings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/20).  The Cassidy-Graham health care bill with which Republicans hope to replace ObamaCare; Hillary Clinton’s What Happened book tour; the investigation into former Trump operative Paul Manafort and Russian agents; President Trump’s speech before the UN General Assembly and his meeting with African leaders; Hurricane Maria decimates Puerto Rico; rescue efforts after Mexico City’s deadly earthquake; the renewed debate over man-made climate change; controversy over California’s vote to make it a “sanctuary state”; the playoff push in Major League Baseball; and the week’s NFL action and talk of sinking television ratings for NFL games 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. New York hot AC WNEW-FM, “Fresh 102.7” announces a lineup shift as Mike Adam is promoted from his fill-in role to the afternoon drive slot.  That move bumps Cane from PMs to the evening show.   Adam previously worked part time at sister CHR WBMP “92.3 AMP Radio.”  WNEW program director Jim Ryan says, “Mike’s experience in CHR in Philly and on our sister station, ‘92.3 AMP,’ will help WNEW grow with an active audience.”  The station also announces that Matt Sneed is taking over the Saturday and Sunday midday shows…..Hubbard Radio moves Josh “JT” Holleman from evenings to middays at country WIL, St. Louis “New Country 92.3.”  Program director Scott Roddy says, “JT’s work ethic, positivity, willingness to take direction and follow strategy – in concert with his amazingly fun and interactive sound – make him perfectly appealing to our young female demo!”  The change means APD and music director Danny Montana now handles the evening shift…..Programming pro David Dean is named the PD at iHeartMedia’s country KWNR, Las Vegas “95.5 The Bull.”  Dean was most recently program director at the company’s country WNOE, New Orleans…..The new morning show at CBS RADIO’s CHR KEGY, San Diego “ENERGY 103.7” is Tonya Gonzalez and Sean “Sonic” Leckie.  The program launched back on September 12.  KEGY program director Chris Patyk comments, “There’s no mistaking the drive and passion Tonya and Sonic have for winning.  Their chemistry together is undeniable and they know this city and the ‘ENERGY’ listeners.”

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

| September 20, 2017

Heidi Harris Exits KXNT, Las Vegas After Post Critical of Gay Adoption. The report from KVVU-TV, Las Vegas “FOX 5” notes that talk show host Heidi Harris’ exit from CBS RADIO news/talker KXNT came just days after she posted to Facebook a critique of a local ad promoting adoption that featured a gay couple.  Harris told KVVU-TV that the company is not renewing her contract but “couldn’t say whether it was because of her Facebook post.”  Harris’ Facebook post took aim at an ad for the Clark County Department of Family Services promoting adoption that showed two gay men holding a child.  She wrote, in part, “Another not-so-subtle attempt to normalize something that is NOT normal.  Even if it is normal for YOU it is not the best thing for the baby…Babies who are eligible for adoption should go to MARRIED people of the opposite sex.  That is the IDEAL situation for a baby, and political correctness, changing laws or attitudes cannot alter that REALITY.”  Neither CBS RADIO nor Harris would comment about whether the post had anything to do with the station’s decision to not renew her contract.  But Harris posted a Bible verse clearly aimed at addressing the matter.  Her post: “Though they intended evil against you and devised a plot, they will not succeed. (Even though they think they have) Psalm 21:12.”  Since Harris’ departure, afternoon personality Alan Stock is hosting the morning show.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following comment in response to Harris’ exit from the station, “Certainly CBS has the right to employ or terminate talent based on whatever political or positioning sensibilities are in vogue at the moment.  However, it continues to be an unfortunately perilous situation for talk talent to be hired and encouraged on one hand to take controversial positions that fit either the left or right paradigm that constitutes radio ‘stationality’ and then cut loose for doing that exact thing if they just happen to step over the constantly moving and ever-subjective line of political correctness.  Heidi Harris is a longtime, major and important player in this business and the issue of gay adoption is one that has been openly and legitimately discussed in this medium for years.  Considering the fact that her contract was coming up for renewal, perhaps there is a financial component to this story.  There is also the possibility that they buckled in the tyrannical face of advertiser pressure. Regardless, I strongly advise those corporations that are serious about playing in the talk radio arena to be prepared in advance to take the heat of controversy that is a normal part of doing business and stand behind their talent in these instances.”

Guy Phillips to Exit KYKY, St. Louis AM Show to Host Afternoons on Crosstown KTRS.  According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, morning personality Guy Phillips is leaving CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYKY, St. Louis and will take over the afternoon show at CH Holdings’ crosstown news/talk KTRS.  The paper reports that Phillips will leave KYKY in November and will likely start at KTRS in January.  KTRS afternoon personality Frank O. Pinion recently exited KTRS and will join crosstown sports talk KFNS on October 2 (though O. Pinion will host a general issues program).  Currently hosting the afternoon show at KTRS are KMOV-TV meteorologist Kent Ehrhardt and local radio pro Paul Harris.  The Post-Dispatch says that the rest of the current KYKY morning show – Courtney Landrum, Jen Myers, Kevin Berghoff and Lance Hildebrand – will remain on as hosts of the wake-up program.

Francesa to Leave WFAN in December as Scheduled.  New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa will do his last show for CBS RADIO’s WFAN on December 15 as scheduled, according to the New York Daily News.  Francesa had said, in the immediate wake of the Craig Carton matter, that if the station needed him to stay on for a period to avoid revenue losses in both drive time dayparts, that he would consider it.  But that’s apparently not necessary as Francesa told his listeners he’ll leave in December and that “the station is comfortable with that (decision) and I am, too.”  Read the Daily News piece here.

Tedd Webb to Retire from WFLA, Tampa.  The Tampa Bay Times reports that market radio pro Tedd Webb will retire from radio and his current gig as co-host of the morning show on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WFLA-AM, Tampa at the end of January.  The 68-year-old Webb has been plagued by health issues – congestive heart failure and diabetes – and those issues have intensified recently.  Webb tells the paper, “I had a heart attack.  I’m on dialysis three times a week.  I’m drained.  My heart wants to go on, but my body won’t let it.”  Webb works with radio partner Jack Harris and personality Aaron Jacobson.  Harris says, “It’s going to be tough without Teddy.  It’s like Sonny without Cher, Cheech without Chong.”  Read the Times piece here.

Buchanan Exits Connecticut Talker. Afternoon drive talk show host Jim Buchanan announces via Facebook that he’s exited Cumulus Media’s Bridgeport, Connecticut news/talk station WICC, where he anchored the “Talk of the Town” program.    Buchanan had hosted the afternoon drive daypart at WICC since 1982.  The nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show is now airing in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot.

TALKERS News Notes. A new, improved version of CBS RADIO’s Radio.com mobile app has been made available to consumers.  CBS says it has “a fresh new look and logo to complement an easy-to-navigate experience now with higher streaming quality.”  CBS EVP of digital J.D. Crowley states, “Audiences want choice and that’s exactly what we’ve given them with this relaunch of the Radio.com app.  By combining their favorite local radio stations and on-demand content, we are catering to the distinctive tastes of mobile-first audiences, giving them control over when and where they engage with our content through a free, best-in-class experience.”…..The nationally syndicated “America Outdoors Radio” program announces that it has surpassed the 50-affiliate mark after just 15 months on the air.  The John Kruse-hosted show is a weekly, one-hour look at fishing, hunting and the shooting sports…..As reported in SportsBusinessDaily, college sports marketing and media rights firms Learfield and IMG College are agreeing to a merger.  Learfield president and CEO Greg Brown will lead the combined companies, estimated by some to be worth $2 billion.  After completion, the new company will control the media rights to some 200 schools.

Trump UN Speech, North Korea Threats, Cassidy-Graham Health Care Bill, Hurricane Maria, Climate Change Debate, Hillary Clinton Book Tour, Trump-Russia Investigation, ‘Sanctuary’ Issue, MLB Payoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19).  Tuesday’s speech by President Trump before the UN General Assembly; North Korea’s threats against the U.S.; the move to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with the Cassidy-Graham health care plan; Hurricane Maria threatens a direct hit on Puerto Rico; the recent spate of hurricanes and the renewed debate over climate change after experts suggest it intensified the storms; Hillary Clinton’s What Happened book tour; the investigation into Paul Manafort by the special counsel as part of the Trump-Russia probe; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ battle against the various “sanctuary” policies; the Major League Baseball playoff push; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cleveland Radio Personality John Webster Dead at 74.  Legendary Cleveland radio personality John Webster passed away recently at the age of 74.  Webster was one half of the morning show duo “Lanigan and Webster” with John Lanigan on WMJI from 1984 to 1997.  He was also a talk radio pioneer who served on morning shows on WERE and WHK.  Cleveland programming icon (and oWOW Internet radio chief) John Gorman commented on Facebook: “When I arrived in Cleveland I was blown away by John Webster’s creation: The ‘People Power’ tabloid-style news/talk format on WERE with Gary Dee (and Webster) in mornings and other characters including George Forbes – when he was the controversial Cleveland City Council president.  At the height of the ‘people power’ format, Webster pulled the plug.  He later told me that he felt he went as far as he could go with the format…”  Cleveland.com reports that Webster’s stepson Jason Fox said “Webster died during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Florida.  He said Webster was recovering from hip surgery when the hurricane hit, knocking out power to his home for over a week.  ‘I think that was the final straw for John.’”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, classic hits WLS-FM morning show producer Daniel Wolfe is promoted by Cumulus Media to assistant program director.  He’ll continue to serve as producer for “The WLS Wake Up Call.” WLS PD and Cumulus VP/classic hits programming Brian Thomas says, “This puts Dan one step closer to his goals of becoming a PD at Cumulus after doing a great job as morning show producer.  I am looking forward to working with Dan in this new role.”…..At Cumulus Media’s West Michigan CHR WHTS, Coopersville (Grand Rapids market), air personality Ken Evans is partnered with current morning host Rachael Gray on the “105.3 Hot FM Morning Show.”  Evans previously hosted mornings in the market at iHeartMedia’s crosstown CHR WSNX.   Cumulus Grand Rapids market manager Jeff Cartwright comments, “We are excited at the direction ‘105-3 Hot FM’ will take with Ken now in our Cumulus Grand Rapids family.”…..Las Vegas radio pro Connie Breeze joins the MannGroup-syndicated weekend hip hop program “The Mack Attack” (with host Greg Mack) as chief entertainment correspondent.  Breeze also serves with Beasley Media Group at rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” as APD, music director, and afternoon personality.