Tag: "Bob Bolinger"

Monday, January 27, 2020

| January 27, 2020

Monday Memo: Format Solution?  Ever get a song stuck in your head?  Consultant Holland Cooke shares one that stuck in his 40 years ago.  And when you click-to-listen in this week’s column, HC thinks you could hear an opportunity. Check it out here.

Impeachment/Bolton Manuscript, Presidential Race, Coronavirus Concerns, U.S.-Iran Tensions/Rocket Attack on Baghdad Embassy, the Grammy Awards, and Kobe Bryant Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment trial of President Trump and the related manuscript by former Trump national security adviser John Bolton in which he suggests there was a quid pro quo; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; the Wuhan coronavirus and concerns about a global epidemic; the tensions between the U.S. and Iran and the rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards ceremony; and the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Sports Talk Station ‘The Gambler’ Launches in Akron-Cleveland. This new gambling-centric sports talk outlet on WARF-AM, Akron launched by iHeartMedia Cleveland airs a mix of traditional sports talk shows and wagering-focused programs.  iHeartMedia says, “‘FOX Sports 1350 AM, The Gambler’ will focus on sports talk with a concentration on gambling, including top-of-the-hour wagering updates from the VSiN (Vegas Stats and Information Network) and will feature programming from the BetR Network, including ‘My Guys in the Desert,’ hosted by American sportscaster, Brent Musberger.  The station will also broadcast a mix of programming offering betting guides, handicapping, and betting strategies as well as signature programming from FOX Sports Radio, including ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd’ and ‘FOX NFL Kickoff Simulcast,’ as well as ‘The Red Zone’ and ‘The Lombardi Line,’ hosted by former Cleveland Browns general manager Mike Lombardi.”

Karyn Cerulli Succeeds Bob Bolinger at Entercom San Diego. The Times of San Diego has the story from the market’s Entercom cluster.  Director of sales Karyn Cerulli is promoted to SVP and market manager for the station group as Bob Bolinger is leaving the role he’s held with the cluster since 2015.  Bolinger tells the paper he’s not retiring.  “The last four and a half years I have spent with Entercom have been among the most rewarding of my career.  I am very proud and grateful for what this amazing Entercom San Diego team has accomplished and wish them and Karyn only the very best.”  Bolinger joined Entercom from CBS RADIO.  He’d been with the San Diego stations since 2009.

iHeartMedia Names News Executives. In Pennsylvania, iHeartMedia announces that Brit Goldstein is named area president for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania.   At the same time, Nick Mickley is the new market president of iHeartMedia Harrisburg, Reading, and Lancaster; and Dave Hovel is named area SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania.  In this new position, Goldstein is responsible for creating new business and revenue opportunities, overseeing all programming, business and sales teams for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Eastern Shore stations.  He reports to division president Shosh Abromovich.  In his new role, Hovel oversees all on-air content as well as music and digital programming operations for the Salisbury, Wilmington, Allentown, Harrisburg, Erie, Reading, Lancaster, and Williamsport markets.

New Lineup at KIRO-FM, Seattle; ‘Tom & Curley’ Move to PM Drive.  It was a year ago that the “Candy, Mike & Todd” show – co-hosted by Candy Harper, Mike Lewis, and Todd Herman – took over for the “Ron & Don” – featuring Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill – in afternoon drive on Bonneville International’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Now, that show is gone and the late morning “Tom & Curley” program hosted by Tom Tangney and John Curley moves to afternoon drive, effective Wednesday (1/29).  While both Candy Harper and Todd Herman exit the station, Mike Lewis partners with the station’s Aaron Mason to host the new 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program.  The new late morning show (9:00 am to 12:00 noon) features award-winning Seattle journalist Ursula Reutin and the station’s Gee Scott, who moves from the evening daypart.  Regarding the afternoon drive change, KIRO-FM program director Bryan Buckalew says, “Tom and John are at the top of their game.  They have a unique ability to tackle the news from both sides of the issue, which consistently connects with listeners.”

Tim Weisberg New Host of Art Bell’s ‘Midnight in the Desert.’ Beginning tonight (1/27), radio pro Tim Weisberg takes over the hosting duties on the late-night radio show, “Midnight in the Desert,” the last program created by the late Art Bell.  Weisberg has been filling in on the program since 2018.  He currently serves as digital managing editor for Townsquare Media’s New Bedford, Massachusetts stations.  He’s also hosted the paranormal radio program/podcast “Spooky Southcoast” for 14 years – a project he’ll continue in addition to his new duties.  Weisberg has served as a writer/researcher/producer on paranormal television programs such as “Ghost Stalkers,” “Ghost Asylum,” and “Haunted Towns.”  He has also been featured in front of the camera on programs such as “Ghost Adventures,” “My Ghost Story,” “MonsterQuest,” “Most Haunted Towns,” and will be featured in two upcoming television series in 2020.  He is also the author of two books on the paranormal and is an award-winning sportswriter covering the New England Patriots and previously covering the Boston Celtics.  “Midnight in the Desert” was started by Art Bell in 2015.  The title of the program comes from a song written specifically for Bell by country music superstar Crystal Gayle.  Bell and subsequent hosts have continued to use the song, with Gayle’s blessing, as the program’s closing theme, something Weisberg said will continue.  “Although nobody will ever replace Art Bell, we at MITD think it’s important to honor his memory as the one who started it at all, especially this program.  While the best way we can pay tribute is to just continue to discuss these topics in a long-form, objective style, keeping the name and the theme song is just a small touch to make sure Art is never far from our thoughts.”

Round Three of Holiday PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus.  The survey period was December 5 through January 1.  Spoken-word radio always faces a challenge during the calendar month of December due to holiday-related lifestyle changes and Christmas music listening.  In this batch of markets, the most positive news comes out of Kansas City where, thanks to the success of the Super Bowl bound Chiefs, sports talk radio enjoyed increased listening.  Union Broadcasting’s WHB got a three-tenths bounce to finish with a weekly 6+ AHQ share of 3.9 – good for the #9 ranking.  Entercom’s KCSP adds a half share to land at 2.7 and the #15 ranking in the market.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.

TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Don Steinberg wrote a piece – published Saturday (1/25) – for Philadelphia Magazine that’s a deep-dive into Philly-based Entercom.  Interviewed for the piece are CEO David Field, Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff, and others.  The story addresses the company’s struggling stock price, its efforts to establish a leading position in the digital audio entertainment realm, and former employees’ gripes about management style, among others.  Read it here…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is being asked by the U.S. State Department – via its Foreign Press Centers – to host a telephone briefing for foreign journalists to explain the Iowa Caucuses.  The briefing is non-partisan.  Conway says, “It’s a great honor to be asked.  The point is to make sure that journalists around the world understand the process and report it accurately.”…..Sports media personalities Mark Titus and Tate Frazier are joining FOX Sports and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One for the new “Titus and Tate” podcast, available in visual formats on FOXSports.com, the FOX Sports app and social media platforms.  The audio version from Westwood One is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and more.  Westwood One is the exclusive audio distribution and ad sales representation partner of the “Titus & Tate” podcast..…Barstool Radio on SiriusXM is broadcasting live from Miami Beach today through Friday, ahead of Super Bowl LIV.  Barstool’s biggest personalities, including Dave Portnoy, Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz, Kevin ‘KFC’ Clancy, PFT Commenter, Kayce Smith, Willie Colon and others – will host their shows live from Tequila Chicas in the heart of South Beach…..The Mayo Clinic Radio team unveils the new “Mayo Clinic Q&A” podcast.  It features Mayo Clinic physicians, researchers, and care teams sharing knowledge about topics including cancer, heart health, scientific advances, artificial intelligence, and wellness.  Mayo Clinic Radio co-hosts Thomas Shives, M.D., and Tracy McCray anchor the new podcast.  Mayo Clinic Radio says, “While the weekly, hour-long ‘Mayo Clinic Radio’ program will continue to deliver easy-to-understand answers on more than 250 outlets across the U.S., each episode of the ‘Mayo Clinic Q&A’ podcast will highlight one subject.”  Dr. Shives adds, “With the resources of Mayo Clinic and thousands of physicians and medical experts supporting us, this tool is one more way to educate busy consumers on how to stay healthy and also help them learn more about serious or complex health topics.”…..iHeartMedia Denver announces that Mike Rice is the new play-by-play announcer for the Colorado Rockies baseball on flagship KOA, Denver.  Rice has been with KOA since 2002, serving in a number of sports roles, including studio host for the Denver Broncos, fill-in play-by-play announcer for the Colorado Rockies, and anchoring morning sportscasts.  He also serves as sports director for KOA, a position he will retain.  Rice joins Jack Corrigan, who is entering his 18th season as a play-by-play announcer for the Rockies.  In addition to play-by-play duties, Rice will host “Rockies All Access,” airing every Saturday on KOA…..Entercom sports talk outlet KRLD-FM, Dallas and the MLB’s Texas Rangers extend their broadcast deal to have the station continue to serve as the team’s radio flagship for the Texas Rangers Radio Network and the team’s English language radio play-by-play broadcasts…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” show with host Chris Hill adds new stations KIFG-AM and KIFG-FM in Iowa City and WPVC-LPFM, in Charlottesville, Virginia to its roster of affiliates.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, Premiere Networks announces today that “The Sweat Hotel” – starring Keith Sweat – will move from the overnight daypart to the evening slot on iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WVAZ “V103.”…..Dallas rock outlet KEGL “97.1 The Eagle” unveils the lineup for BFD 2020, taking place Sunday, May 24 at Dos Equis Pavilion.  Featured acts will be: Disturbed, Chevelle, The Pretty Reckless, Dirty Honey, The HU, Puddle of Mudd, Badflower, and Dinosaur Pile-UpiHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis says, “‘The Eagle’ is delivering yet another stellar lineup to kick off the summer concert season with BFD 2020.  Fans of ‘97.1 The Eagle’ always expect a great lineup and this year’s will not disappoint them.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

| December 4, 2019

Krantz Media Group Offers Chris Hahn Show in National Syndication. The national launch of “The Chris Hahn Radio Show” is announced by Krantz Media Group Networks.  The former aid to U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and FOX News contributor has been hosting a weekly program on JVC Media’s WRCN, Long Island “103.9 FM LI News Radio” since 2010.   Hahn says, “I’m excited to be bringing my show to new communities across the nation.  America will be making truly consequential choices in 2020 and I look forward to engaging in a national conversation with my listeners.”  KMG CEO Gary Krantz states, “Chris is intelligent, entertaining, and one of the highest profile commentators in the political media space.  We have been watching and listening to him for some time and the world is now ready for the next big important voice on talk radio.”

‘New Jersey 101.5’ to Hold Town Hall on Cyber Predators. At 7:00 pm on December 11, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is presenting a special Town Hall broadcast addressing the crisis of online child predators and how New Jersey children and parents are affected.  “New Jersey 101.5” special projects director and morning news anchor Eric Scott leads the news and digital departments at the Townsquare Media station in bringing listeners the most up-to-date information about the ever-changing ways predatory behavior manifests itself on the internet and connected devices.  Station brand manager Anne Gress says, “Sadly, the holidays are an opportune time for cyber child predators.  Our award-winning news department has assembled timely and important strategies to protect kids whether on social media sites, online apps, or video game platforms.  Keeping children safe is a top priority of ‘New Jersey 101.5,’ and this information is must-hear (and must-see on Facebook Live) before buying kids any digital holiday gifts.”  The program’s on-air guest panel is comprised of New Jersey State Police Lt. John Pizzuro, commander of the NJSP’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force; Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; and Dr. Steven Tobias, director of the Center for Child & Family Development in Morristown.  Under the direction of “New Jersey 101.5” digital managing editor Louis C. Hochman, the Town Hall will be streamed via Facebook Live, with New Jersey State Police Troopers available to answer questions and provide resources for persons in need.  The station’s news department, under the direction of Annette Petriccione, will also air a series of special news segments from investigative reporter David Matthau in the days leading up to the Town Hall broadcast.

Cerulli to Lead Entercom San Diego. Sales and management pro Karyn Cerulli is promoted to SVP and market manager for Entercom’s San Diego station group that includes sports talk KWFN-FM “97.3 The Fan” and five music-formatted outlets.  Cerulli is currently director of sales and will continue in that role.  She takes over for Bob Bolinger, who is leaving the position at the end of the year to pursue new opportunities.  She says “I’m excited to take this next step in my career and would like to thank [COO] Weezie Kramer, [regional president] Jeff [Federman],  and Bob [Bolinger] for the opportunity.  I have great shoes to fill and am looking forward to leading the team to even greater success.”  Cerulli joined Entercom San Diego as director of sales in 2016 after serving in the same position for Cox Media San Diego.

Impeachment Report, 2020 Presidential Race, Trump and Macron at NATO, French Tariffs, U.S.-China Trade Negotiations, North Korea’s ‘Holiday Message,’ and Jeffrey Epstein-Prince Andrew Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/3). The release of the House Intelligence Committee report that accuses President Trump of committing a political crime; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Kamala Harris’ exit from the race; the clash between Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron at the NATO summit; President Trump’s threat to place tariffs on French goods; the ongoing trade negotiations between the U.S. and China; North Korea’s mysterious “Christmas gift” message to the U.S.; and the controversy over the relationship between Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Gen Media Partners Spotlights Power of Independent Local Radio. This advocacy campaign from Gen Media Partners is intended to draw attention to “the power of independent radio to connect national brands with local listeners.”  Gen Media says the campaign was inspired by AMEX’s Small Business Saturday, a program that encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ after Black Friday.  GMP says its station roster is exceptional in the way it parallels the theme and spirit of AMEX’s ‘shop local’ and, this morning, sent an email blast to national and regional advertising agencies across the country spotlighting the influence that independent broadcasters have in their communities.  Gen Media Partners Kevin Garrity says, “Advertising on independent radio gives national advertising brands credibility and acceptance from local consumers.  Many of the stations we represent are run by people who live in the neighborhoods they serve.  These radio stations are the heart of their local communities and hyper-connected to their audiences.  The local radio station is often a community mainstay and voice, and advertisers will always benefit from that association.  Our message is clear, independent local radio works for national brands.”

TALKERS News Notes. New to the iHeartPodcast Network platform this week is “The Baller Alert Show” – a pop culture news and hot gossip show – hosted by Kenny Burns Su Solo and Ferrari Simmons, along with a new iHeartRadio Original tech industry podcast called “First Contact.”  The latter is hosted by former CNN senior tech correspondent Laurie Segall who explores how people and technology are changing what it means to be a human…..ESPN Audio says that after a sold-out debut in Chicago, Ariel Helwani’s “MMA Show Live” podcast will return with a live taping from Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club at The LINQ Promenade in Las Vegas on December 13.  Fans can experience the live taping in which four UFC fighters will go head-to-head in a trivia challenge for the second Helwani Nose Order Trivia belt.  The live podcast taping will be part of ESPN’s onsite coverage of UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington at T-Mobile Arena…..SiriusXM reveals the debut of the new “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Show” on its Comedy Greats Channel today (12/3) at 9:00 pm ET.  On the weekly show, comedian Gilbert Gottfried and co-host Frank Santopadre talk with actors, directors, musicians, and more about their experiences in Hollywood’s golden era and beyond. The first episode features an interview with comedian Artie Lange.….Pictured below is GCN-syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs doing her part and donating blood on Giving Tuesday.  Dr. Daliah says blood banks are asking for help with the blood shortage this winter and it’s an easy way to give for people who don’t have a budget for cash donations this year.

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Seeks News Anchor. Charlotte news/talk WBT-AM/FM has an immediate opening for a full-time news anchor.  The Entercom station says, “You’re an engaging, experienced on-air personality.  You’re a great storyteller.  You know how to get to the heart of a story and make it relatable to the listener.  You’re never satisfied with knowing just the “Who?, What?, Where?, and When?” of a story; you always seek to know “Why?”  If this sounds like you, News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT/Entercom Charlotte would like to hear from you.  We are seeking a full-time news anchor for our programming team.  Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to: Writing and on-air delivery of news reports based on programming clock; editing and preparation of news audio; filing of two to three recorded reports per day to be aired outside the live daypart of the shift; on-air interaction with the talk show host and personnel; and coverage and reporting of breaking news events in real-time.  Interested candidates should visit the Entercom site here.  EOE.

Four Major Radio Talk Show Hosts Set to Participate in Second “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations.”  Four major radio talk show hosts will participate in the forthcoming second “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” set for Washington, DC on Tuesday December 10.  They include (in alphabetical order): John Fredericks of the John Fredericks Radio NetworkSebastian Gorka of the Salem Radio NetworkLarry O’ Connor of WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC; and Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia and the nationally syndicated “DJV Show.”   For full details, please see the story below.

TALKERS and The Epoch Times to Co-Present a Second “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” – Set for Washington, DC on Tuesday, December 10. In response to the positive feedback being received about the recent “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” co-presented by TALKERS and The Epoch Times in New York City this past October 1 (see video here), a second installment of the event has been set for Tuesday, December 10 in Washington, DC. According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who will again moderate the discussion, “The numerous pressing issues that exist under the umbrella of US-China relations promise to be a major component of talk media conversation for years to come and it is important that the talk media industry stay on top of these complex concerns free of the spin and propaganda constantly manufactured by the Communist regime in Beijing.  Our colleagues at The Epoch Times are firmly situated on the leading edge of the Chinese resistance to the Communist grasp on their homeland and serve the culture’s diaspora in the United States and around the world with bold, truthful reporting of the facts.” The Epoch Times was formed in 2000 by Chinese Americans and is now published in multiple languages around the world. The conversation at the Washington, DC forum will again focus on the US-China trade war, the Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more. The 90-minute event will feature a panel of three experts on the state of US-Chinese relations including Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times, plus four leading talk radio hosts John Fredericks of the John Fredericks Radio NetworkSebastian Gorka of the Salem Radio NetworkLarry O’ Connor of WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC; and Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia and the nationally syndicated “DJV Show.” The event will take place on Tuesday, December 10 between 9:00 am and 10:30 am at the National Press Club and is free of charge for TALKERS readers. Seating, however, is limited so reservations are necessary. Breakfast snacks and refreshments will be served. To make reservations, please call Barbara Kurland at TALKERS, 413-565-5413.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In a cooperative effort between Skyview Networks, Meruelo Media, and entertainment mogul Nick Cannon, the “Nick Cannon Radio” show is being developed for afternoon syndication starting January 27, 2020.  “Nick Cannon Weekends” will follow in February 2020.  Skyview Networks president and COO Steve Jones says, “Nick Cannon is one of the most accomplished, creative, and versatile entertainers in America and we are proud to be working with him and the team at Meruelo Media to launch Nick’s new syndicated shows.  Nick is an influencer, whose connection with audiences makes him extremely attractive to advertisers and radio programmers alike.”…..Programming pro Mark Zander is out of his role with Mid-West Family Broadcasting in which he was OM and program director for rock WXRX-FM “104.9 The X” and sports talk WNTA-AM “Sportsfan Radio 1330” in Rockford, Illinois and assistant PD for rock WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois.  Speaking about his budget-related exit, Zander says, “I spent 3.5 years assembling my team and rebuilding the image and reputation of ‘The X’ in the marketplace.  I am extremely proud of what we were able to do with WXRX heading into its 30th year of rocking Rockford.  Thanks to Tom Walker of Mid-West Family for the opportunity to revive this heritage rock station.  It was hard work, but tremendous fun.”…..Air personality Marc Jason exits the morning show at Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK-FM, Tampa where he worked alongside co-host Melanie Mineau, who remains on the show while the station searches for Jason’s replacement.  Jason joined the station almost three years ago, taking over after the August 2016 death of longtime station personality Dave McKay…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah (right) with WLIT-FM, Chicago “Lite FM” program director and afternoon drive personality Mick Lee (left) as the station recently broadcast live from the “Friends” Pop-Up Experience at the AT&T Flagship Store on Michigan Ave.  Delilah also joined the entire “Lite FM” staff that night for a ride on the station float for the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

| April 12, 2018

Entercom Re-Thinks Hot Talk Hybrid ‘97.3 The Machine’; Launches Sports Talk ‘97.3 The Fan’ Today.  After two weeks of consideration following air personality Kevin Klein’s controversial Tweet promoting his morning show that would never see the light of day, Entercom drops the hot talk/sports talk hybrid format for KEGY, San Diego – that included Dan Sileo in middays and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoons – and goes traditional sports talk.  The lineup features Sileo in morning drive and market pro Chris Ello partnered with Padres legend Tony Gwynn Jr. for afternoon drive.  Entercom San Diego SVP and market manager Bob Bolinger says, “After a recent off-air tweet, we took the opportunity to step back, listen to the important feedback from the community and our partners – the Padres – and re-evaluate the path forward.  The station was always going to be largely about sports and we determined the right thing to do was to go 100% all-in.  We look forward to building ‘97.3 The Fan’ into San Diego’s best sports station, delivering the highest quality content and listening experience for the people of this great community.”  Middays will feature CBS Sports Radio syndicated personalities Jim Rome (9:00 am to 12:00 noon) and Doug Gottlieb (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) and, of course, the San Diego Padres are sticking with the station for its radio flagship.

RTDNA Concerned About DHS Journalist Database Program.  Via its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force, the Radio Television Digital News Association says it is “expressing grave concern regarding a report the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is soliciting bids from companies that would create a database of ‘hundreds of thousands of news sources around the world and compile a database of journalists, editors, foreign correspondents, and bloggers to identify top media influencers.’”  RTDNA reports that it learned via the website Big Law Business that the Department of Homeland Security is “seeking a contractor that can help it monitor traditional news sources as well as social media and identify ‘any and all’ coverage related to the agency or a particular event… The data to be collected includes a publication’s ‘sentiment’ as well as geographical spread, top posters, languages, momentum, and circulation.  The request comes amid heightened concern about accuracy in media and the potential for foreigners to influence U.S. elections and policy through ‘fake news.’” Big Law Business says the DHS request for proposals was put out after 19 Republican members of Congress wrote with concerns about Al Jazeera (owned by the government of Qatar) and whether it should have to register as a foreign agent.  RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley says, “Whether or not the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security is seeking to create a database of journalists and others as a result of the inquiries about Al Jazeera’s independence, it is wrong.  The fact the U.S. government may wish to monitor journalists would put the principles of the First Amendment, and the existence of responsible journalism, which are bedrocks of our democracy, on a perilous precipice.”

‘Free Talk Live’ on Affiliate Binge. The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” show starring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge announces it has passed the 180-affiliate mark.  The program adds more than a dozen stations during 2018 so far, including: Cumulus Media’s WGOW-FM and WGOW-AM in Chattanooga; Eagle Communications’ KFEQ-AM, Kansas City; The Cromwell Group’s WZUS-FM, Decatur, Illinois; Connoisseur Media’s WJET-AM, Erie; Texarkana Radio Center’s KTFS-AM/FM, Texarkana, Texas; and EMG2’s KTEL-AM/FM, Walla Walla, Washington.  The show also welcomes back former affiliates Sugar River Media’s WNTK-FM, New London and WUVR-AM/FM, Lebanon in New Hampshire.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Paul Ryan Announces Exit, Zuckerberg Before Congress, U.S. Syria Policy, Mexican Border Security, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11).  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller; House Speaker Paul Ryan announces he won’t run for re-election and will leave his post next January; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress; President Trump’s threats of military action in Syria aimed at the Russians; Mexican border security and the “caravan” of illegals; and MLB and NBA 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. It’s being called a re-launch of its classic R&B format in New Orleans.  Entercom’s WWWL-AM is now simulcasting on translator W225CZ and re-brands as “The New HOT 92.9 FM.”  Entercom says the new frequency will reach a broader fan base in the Northshore area and improve the listening experience for the adjoining New Orleans metro areas.  Big Abe continues to host the morning drive and Kelder Summers will remain in the afternoon drive daypart…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for the fourth consecutive year.  The limited-run channel on the satellite radio service will feature music by artists who will be performing leading up to the festival.  Once it starts, Coachella Radio will provide continuous coverage of the festival both weekends with live performances, artist interviews, as well as exclusive Coachella news and happenings…..Westwood One welcomes more than 90 of country music’s biggest acts to its Westwood One Backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards to celebrate the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes comments, “With our long-standing official partnership, only Westwood One Backstage and the Academy of Country Music Awards can deliver such extraordinary star-power to our listeners, affiliates, and advertisers.  We’re bringing the biggest country music stars and radio personalities together to capture unique over the air, on demand, and social content that celebrates the passion, the energy, and the glory of country music at its best.”

FCC Quiets Cumulus’ ‘99X’ Atlanta Translator for Now.  The translator – W255CJ, Atlanta – has been the subject of complaints from Steve Gradick’s WWGA-FM, Tallapoosa, Georgia citing interference for several years now.  But yesterday (4/11), the FCC issued a cease operation order to Cumulus for the translator that’s been simulcasting the HD2 signal of WWWQ as alternative “99X.”  WWGA and Cumulus were ordered to do a series of on-off air tests and, although Cumulus argued that the tests showed no significant interference due to the operation of W255CJ, WWGA’s interpretation of the results indicated its best signal was present when the translator was off.  The FCC ruled that since Cumulus has not “remediated the interference,” it is ordering Cumulus to shut it down.

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