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Michael Savage Bashes “Bash Obama” Programming Philosophy. Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage appeared on WABC, New York’s “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” program last night and told Klein’s audience that talk radio conservatives are “committing suicide” by incessantly criticizing Barack Obama. Savage, who recently left longtime syndicator Talk Radio Network and subsequently signed on with Cumulus Media Networks, said, “Many people on the conservative side of the dial are making the same mistakes now that the liberals made when Bush was in power. “Air America went bankrupt, why? Because all they did was…Bush bashing and they were just crazy in the Bush bashing. Boring. Boring. How much could you listen to? It wasn’t even clever Bush bashing. This is what’s going on now with the conservatives. They’re committing suicide. Just attacking Obama – although he deserves it – is not good radio…Remember one thing, radio is primarily an entertainment medium. It was not created to be the voice of the Republican Party or the Democrat Party.” Savage’s program begins airing on Cumulus O&O WABC tonight from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
CBS Radio Dallas Offices Hit by Gunfire. The offices of CBS Radio’s Dallas operations that house its radio stations was hit by gun shots on Friday and police are still investigating the source of the bullets. CBS Dallas is reporting the shots hit the outside panes of glass on two floors of the 12-story building that abuts the busy Central Expressway. One of the offices hit was that of NewsRadio 1080 KRLD’s promotions director Matt Stacks. The other window hit was above the KRLD offices belonging to former police officer and practicing attorney Pete Schulte who tells CBS, “It sounded like a rifle. It was clearly a loud bang, and as soon as I heard the loud bang the glass shattered in my office.” Schulte says he was frustrated by how long it took the police to take action. “I should think police should at least canvass the area to see if they can find anyone with a long gun.” The CBS story notes police did canvass the area a little over an hour later and that Schulte was told the call had been mis-categorized as a criminal mischief call instead of an active shooter case. The building also houses CBS Radio’s other Dallas stations including sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” AC KVIL “103.7 Lite FM,” adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM,” classic hits KLUV, and Spanish WMKV, “Mega 107.5 FM.”
WLS, Chicago Adds Early-Morning Newscast. Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder tips that Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WLS, Chicago began a 4:30 am newscast anchored by John Dempsey this morning (12/3). The move means WLS is cutting the second half of The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “This Morning” program that aired from 4:00 am to 5:00 am. “The 89 WLS First Morning News at 4:30” also uses ABC Radio News London-based correspondent Tom Rivers as a contributor.
Radio One to Consolidate Syndication One Division with Reach Media in January. Radio One will increase its ownership stake in Reach Media from 53% to 80%. The consolidation of Radio One-owned Syndication One and the Tom Joyner– and David Kantor-founded Reach Media will, according to Radio One, create an “assembly of top talent, programming and prime national advertising inventory that make Reach Media the leading radio network with the ability to speak directly to the African-American audience. In 2013, Reach Media will use its strong affiliate lineup and relationships with leading urban stations to also launch a new network. Reach Media’s new network is expected to be in the top tier of radio networks and have one of the largest African-American audiences of any radio network. Reach Media will expand its dedicated sales and marketing staff to sell the radio network advertising inventory along with web and event sponsorships.” The company will offer talk and music radio talent including: Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Russ Parr, Yolanda Adams, Reverend Al Sharpton, Warren Ballentine and CoCo Brother. It indicates it has plans to acquire more urban-targeted talent in the near future. Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins says, “Radio One has a commitment to be the leader in radio and online programming with compelling entertainment and information for the African-American audience. Combining our assets under Reach Media offers an incredibly broad platform for affiliate stations and advertisers to connect with our loyal audience.” Reach Media CEO David Kantor states, “In bringing together the most compelling urban programming in radio, we’ve created a platform that can focus on outstanding talent for our affiliates and the delivery of an incredibly responsive consumer base. We look forward to expanding our offerings and becoming the primary radio network for advertisers to reach African- Americans.”
Pat Miller Returns to PM Drive on WOWO, Fort Wayne. Longtime WOWO, Fort Wayne talk show host Pat Miller re-joins the station for the afternoon drive slot beginning in January. Miller exited his full-time role at the station last spring but continued to do a two-hour weekend program. After Gregg Henson exited the program director and PM drive posts at WOWO at the end of the summer Federated Media plugged in Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity. But Hannity has been moved to the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot with Casey Hendrickson filling in on the PM drive show. Hendrickson also hosts the morning drive show at Federated’s WTRC-AM/FM, South Bend, Indiana “Michiana’s News Channel.”
Dave Ramsey Moves to Daytime in Atlanta on WCFO. Nationally syndicated financial talk star Dave Ramsey’s program is moving to new affiliate JW Broadcasting’s WCFO, Atlanta beginning today where he’ll air live in the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm time slot. Ramsey’s program most recently was heard in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot on Cox Media’s WSB-AM and WSBB-FM. Prior to being picked up by WSB in 2011, Ramsey aired in afternoons on Clear Channel’s WGST. Brian Mayfield, vice president of broadcast for The Lampo Group, says, “We are very excited that Dave can now be heard live in Atlanta. Our audience has been asking for this, and we are proud to partner with WCFO to deliver on this request.”
Five Practical Digital Lessons Radio Can Learn from the Obama Campaign. Noted radio digital consultant Chris Miller says broadcasters should look to the recent Obama Campaign’s effective use of digital media for promotional and branding initiatives. In this piece, he illustrates how 1) all the various platforms we use today are inter-connected and must be treated as such; 2) every platform has a specific purpose and should be used to achieve clearly defined goals; 3) remember that it is all a “show” and just because it is digital or “social media” doesn’t mean it isn’t show biz; 4) make sure your emails are likely to be opened by labeling them with irresistible subject lines; and 5) create “community,” not just “conversation.” Read Miller’s entire piece here.
Jason Pugh Exits WEFL, West Palm Beach for DC TV Gig. Jason Pugh is leaving his positions at Good Karma’s “ESPN 760” WEFL, Tequesta, Florida where he partnered with Jeremy Marks-Peltz for the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show and his sportscasting gig at WPTV-TV for a position at NBC O&O WRC-TV, Washington, DC. Pugh also worked in the play-by-play booth for Florida Atlantic University football games. The Florida Sun-Sentinel reports Pugh joined Good Karma in 2006 and began hosting his own program in 2009.
ESPN New York O&Os Re-Up with NFL’s Jets. The New York City ESPN O&O stations – WEPN-FM “ESPN New York 98.7” and WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes New York 1050” announce they have extended their contract to be the exclusive New York radio partners of the NFL’s New York Jets. Included in the deal are three ancillary programs — the “Jets Player Spotlight” (Mondays at 3:30 pm) a weekly interview with Jets head coach Rex Ryan (Mondays at 5:15 pm) and “Inside the Jets” (Mondays at 7:00 pm). ESPN New York vice president and general manager Dave Roberts states, “We’re excited to continue our relationship with the Jets. The Jets have a huge fan base in the New York metropolitan area and we look forward to continuing to serve them.”
XtreMedia Talk Hosts DoGood.com Charts Giving Success. XtreMedia talk show hosts Dani Johnson, Kevin McCullough and Stephen Baldwin began a campaign in April of this year to assist 2,012 orphans with a stated goal of raising $185,000. After achieving the goal in just eight weeks instead of the eight months they had given themselves, they set about creating DoGood.com and partnered with Kings Ransom Foundation to assist orphaned children and others in need. Some examples of their success include: In November, Dani Johnson again publicly challenged her listeners to radically help with practical help for victims of hurricane Sandy. In one weekend’s broadcast the Dani Johnson web and radio community (some of whom were directly impacted by the storm) and working with Kings Ransom Foundation raised in excess of $35,000 to aid specific cases whose stories were of particularly tough loss. Over the course of five weeks after Sandy, Kevin McCullough was able to rally listeners to his national daily show to provide aid by connecting volunteers to engineering and contracting, clean-up crews, and miscellaneous needs in excess of $25,000 towards help for churches, communities, pastors, and parishioners in hard hit communities in Brooklyn, Queens, The RockAways, and down the Jersey shore. On December 12, Stephen Baldwin is scheduled to headline a fundraising gathering being hosted by VH1 with proceeds to be donated to hurricane Sandy relief efforts via DoGood.com. On December 1, the clients and listeners in attendance at Dani Johnson’s “Creating a Dynasty” leadership training weekend raised an additional $113,000 (by auctioning off slices of cheesecake freshly prepared by Dani personally) for the King’s Children’s Home orphanage in Belize that is in need of a new roof for four buildings on its campus. The total cost for the roofing project will run $200k for all four structures.