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Congressman Mike Rogers to Join Cumulus Media in Unnamed Role. The mysterious press release from Cumulus Media states that when his current term in Congress is up at the end of this year, Republican Mike Rogers will “bring his unique perspective as a leading intelligence expert and former FBI agent to Cumulus, the national media company that operates the nation’s largest talk radio platform.” The company isn’t specific whether Rogers will host a daily show, produce daily commentary or fill some other role. Rogers is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and is hard to miss if you watch cable news/talk TV or the Sunday morning news shows, as Cumulus points out when it states, “As a media-savvy politician who last year appeared on more Sunday public affairs shows than any other elected official in the nation, Chairman Rogers will play an important role helping Americans understand critical issues that impact their lives.” Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey is quoted saying, “We are thrilled to have Chairman Rogers join our team. He has been instrumental helping to shape many of the most important issues and events of our time and will play a significant role in our expanding content platform.”
WKNR, Cleveland’s Rizzo Pleads ‘No Contest’ in Domestic Case. The host of the afternoon drive “The Really Big Show” on Good Karma-owned WKNR, Cleveland – Tony Rizzo – pleaded “no contest” to a reduced “persistent disorderly conduct” charge in connection with a December incident during which his wife Catherine reported Rizzo struck her. According to Cleveland.com, an assistant district attorney says the reduced charge was leveled after Catherine Rizzo admitted she initiated the argument by striking Tony Rizzo with a glass. Rizzo’s attorney says his client accepted the reduced charge to avoid a trial though he believes Rizzo would have been acquitted. The probation department will review the case before sentencing. WKNR has stuck by Rizzo throughout, calling his status with the station “unaffected” by the case.
NAB Show Features ‘Net Neutrality’ Debate; Ex-Commish McDowell to Take Part. At the NAB Show in Las Vegas next month, the issue of net neutrality is being addressed during the Super Session titled, “World Without Rules: Is This the End of the Open Internet?” On Tuesday, April 8, NAB says “top opinion leaders and experts on the issue of net neutrality will address how proposed regulations governing access to the internet will affect content providers, ISPs and content creators.” Tech Policy for Re/code senior editor Amy Schatz will moderate the panel consisting of: Jessica Gonzalez, EVP and general counsel of the National Hispanic Media Coalition; Robert McDowell, former FCC commissioner; Pantelis Michalopoulos, head of the Telecom, Internet & Media Group at Steptoe & Johnson LLP; and Berin Szoka, president and founder of TechFreedom.
Sports Talker Dino Costa Profiled; Adds Staff to New Digital Venture. Mercurial sports talk personality Dino Costa, after years with SiriusXM, recently announced the start-up of his new, eponymous digital sports talk venture. Now he’s reporting that Bob Robinson is joining Dino Costa World Wide LLC to serve as executive producer for the program that will debut on May 5. Costa says that the 25-year broadcast pro will be in charge of all production and engineering for the program and will work from its Cheyenne, Wyoming headquarters beginning March 31. Robinson spent 19 years in the Raleigh-Durham market working at stations including WRDU and “96 Rock.” Costa also received a bit of love from Forbes recently when Tom Van Riper profiled him. In the piece, Costa basically admits his argumentative nature, especially with regard to his dismissal from SiriusXM, saying, “I bitched one too many times.” But Van Riper writes that quality can be a good one for a sports talk host. Read the entire piece here.
So, You Want to Be Syndicated. Why? That’s the question syndication business veteran Tony Garcia, founder of Global Media Services, asks radio broadcasters that approach him about a program they want to syndicate or a concept they think would be perfect as a syndicated program or service. Everyone wants to play on a bigger stage. It’s natural. It drives us to be better at what we do. In a new piece posted today (3/28), Garcia writes, “Moving from a local show to a syndicated show requires much more than passion. It requires determination, perseverance, internal strength, patience and the ability to judge oneself dispassionately. Ask anyone who is syndicated and they are likely to tell you about the highs of signing the first affiliate and the frustration of losing affiliates. As a good friend of mine once said, ‘Syndication will break your heart.’” Still want to be syndicated? If so, read Garcia’s entire column by clicking here.
CBS Radio News Honored by the National Headliner Awards. Four years running CBS Radio News is recognized by the National Headliner Awards, nabbing first place in both the Network Newscast and Breaking News or Continuing Coverage categories, this year for reporting on the Boston Marathon Bombing. In the network newscast category “CBS World News Roundup” anchor Steve Kathan and producer Paul Farry won for their reporting on that chaotic morning when police shut down an entire suburban Boston neighborhood to search for one of the marathon bombing suspects just hours after his brother died in a confrontation with police. Vice president for radio Harvey Nagler comments, “From the moment the two bombs went off in Boston, CBS Radio News was on the air immediately with continuous coverage and special reports every 10 minutes. The hourly newscasts contained vivid and dramatic descriptions of the events.” CBS News correspondent Barry Bagnato won in the News Series category for his five part series on “Drones, Invading Our Skies and Our Personal Space.”
‘Late Night Health’ Approaches Milestone Episode. The syndicated program will air its 100th show this weekend. Host/producer Mark Alyn (right) remarks, “We can’t believe we have done so many shows while featuring information designed to help listeners.” Colleague “The Insane” Darrell Wayne (left) jokes, “Sitting across from each other for all these hours with our bellybuttons almost touching has been an amazing experience.” The program is a holistic look at health, blending traditional medicine with alternative approaches. Alyn is the only radio host to be invited by the Natural Products Association to speak with elected officials in Washington, D.C. one week from Tuesday (4/8) as part of Natural Products Day. He will discuss GMO labeling and concerns about Food & Drug Administration-proposed supplement legislation.
Growing ‘Daren Streblow Comedy Show’ Adds Daily Feature. The weekly “Daren Streblow Comedy Show” is heard largely on news/talk stations across the country but also has some Christian radio affiliates. Now, the program will expand with the creation of a daily feature culled from some of the best bits of the full-length program. Executive producer Corey Irish comments, “We have received constant requests from our affiliates asking us to add a short feature on the weekdays. We believe some of these station groups will also add this vignette to the music stations in their clusters.” Irish also reports that the program recently added personality Riley Armstrong – an established comedic musician – to the program. As far as the content is concerned, Streblow describes the show as “night club tested and family approved.”
Aisha Tyler Named Gracie Awards Host. Daytime television audiences, of course, know Aisha Tyler as one of the panel members on CBS-TV’s “The Talk.” The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) has tapped the Dartmouth College alum to host the 39th annual Gracie Awards in two months (5/20) in Los Angeles. According to AWMF chair Kay Olin, “The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation advances the influence and impact of women in all forms of media, and Aisha Tyler embodies this goal perfectly. From network television to cable, from actor to author, from podcasts to best-selling books, Aisha showcases her talents in an impressive variety of media. We are delighted that Aisha is hosting this year’s Gracie Awards Gala.” Tyler – who formerly hosted “Talk Soup” – comments, “It has truly been an impressive year for women in all media. I am very much looking forward to celebrating all that women have accomplished.” However, she jokes, “No one is getting an award for that Kimye [Kim Kardashian-Kanye West] Vogue cover if I have anything to say about it.” The Gracie Awards (or “Gracies”) recognize consummate programming created for women, by women, and about women in radio, television, cable, and digital media. The awards program also encourages the realistic and multifaceted portrayal of women in entertainment, news, features and other programs. “The Talk” was recently renewed for a fifth season. In addition to her role there and as a regular Stephanie Miller show contributor, Tyler voices Lana Kane on “Archer.” Last summer, she replaced Drew Carey as host of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
Remembering Earl McDaniel. Writing in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, reporter Erika Engle describes Earl McDaniel as “the longtime charismatic general manager” of Honolulu’s KSSK-AM and KSSK-FM. The 85-year-old McDaniel died this past Wednesday (3/26) in Arizona. McDaniel formulated the idea for a $1 million giveaway that helped solidify the morning drive success of Michael W. Perry and Larry Price (“Perry & Price”), following the 1983 death of J. Akuhead Pupule. KUMU production director Michael Shishido programmed KSSK years ago and tells us that McDaniel was, “the best GM I’ve ever worked with.” Elaborating on his Facebook page, Shishido comments, “If you had the great opportunity to work for KSSK prior to 1991, you got to work for one of the greats, Earl McDaniel. He was larger than life. He was tough and demanding, but he was a radio and marketing genius – and he had a huge, compassionate heart. I could fill up Facebook for days with Earl stories as could many of my radio colleagues. Radio has lost a giant. Aloha, Earl.” As a Los Angeles on-air talent, Earl “The Pearl” McDaniel worked for KFVD and KPOP (1953 – 1958); KLAC (1958); KDAY (1958 – 1961, where he was its program director); and KFWB (1961 – 1963). Renowned voiceover talent and longtime programmer Charlie Van Dyke notes on his Facebook page that McDaniel was, “a great guy with the most wonderful stories and a very quick sense of humor. I was so happy that I had the chance to meet with him even briefly.” The most touching tribute though to McDaniel can be found on laradio.com, where publisher Don Barrett opens up his homage by stating, “The most important man in my life died [Wednesday] night.” In the heartfelt printed eulogy, Barrett details how he met McDaniel while Barrett attended Santa Monica High School in the 1950s. “He was the biggest deal on the radio dial in the 1950s,” Barrett writes of McDaniel. “He was the early Rick Dees or Ryan Seacrest.” The two instantly became friends and Barrett points out, “Earl was never more than a phone call away. I went to him first for advice whenever there was a stumbling block in my journey. He would help me see a way to roll the boulder out of the pathway. He provided life tools to be a success – personally and professionally. Earl was the first to pair Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele long before they arrived in Southern California for ‘Boss Radio.’” According to Barrett, “Earl broke the Chipmunks Christmas Song and lost his job over it. On Thanksgiving weekend, he played it twice an hour and the station owner threatened to fire Earl if he played it one more time. Earl did and was fired, however, by Monday it was the hottest record at Wallichs Music City. Earl was always figuring out a way to make things better, bigger and more spectacular. He not only coined the phrase, ‘If you don’t promote a funny thing happens – nothing,’ he lived by it. When Earl was running Honolulu’s KGMB, one year the station took in 60% of the revenues in the 18-station market. I remember remarking to him what a stunning statistic that was. He dismissed it and said he would not be happy until he got 100% of all advertising dollars. Earl was the personification of what it is to be a mentor. There is no one I have trusted more. I will forever be grateful for every act of kindness he gave to me and my family – I will forever be grateful for Earl McDaniel.” That only scratches the surface of Barrett’s piece, which also contains this condensed message from McDaniel himself, who anticipated his death. “I am an agnostic. I will be taken to the Neptune Society for cremation. I have told my heirs that I do not care where they let the ashes fly. When it is over, it is over. To that end, there will be no funeral, no casket, and no flowers. I have celebrated life for 85 years, and that celebration has been a wonderful, wonderful ride. I have been contemplating all the good times, and the good times were fantabulous. If I have borrowed something I haven’t returned or money I haven’t repaid, contact my daughter, Kathy. Do not sing me any sad songs. If I were to have an epitaph, it would be, ‘Earl McDaniel … from 1928 to 2014, he lived.’” Pictured here are (from l-r): Charlie Van Dyke, Earl McDaniel, and Don Barrett.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. The GCN-syndicated “Michael Dean After Dark” joins the lineup at WKRO, Cairo, Illinois…..“Armed American Radio” Mark Walters is added to the program schedule at KVOC, Casper, Wyoming and WRGA, Rome, Georgia…..The “Daren Streblow Comedy Show” is now heard on KKNW, Seattle; KDIS, Little Rock; and KVOP, Lubbock, Texas.
ObamaCare Criticism Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM. The scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of March 24-28. At #2 this week was the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Hobby Lobby case which debates the question whether employer-provided health care services that conflict with the employer’s religious beliefs should be required to be offered. Following at #3 was President Obama’s relationship with Vladimir Putin tied with the aggression of Russia into Eastern Europe and, at #4 was talk about the prospects for political power change after the mid-term elections and the looming 2016 presidential race. 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. View this week’s entire chart here.