Tag: "country"

Friday, September 11, 2020

| September 11, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Don’t Panic!” looks back at this past week of September 7 – September 11, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSTodd Feinburg; talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; McGraw Milhaven, talk show host, KTRS, St. Louis; Dr. Lisa Mozer, talk show host, WSIC, Statesville, NC; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Walter Sterling, talk show host, WABC, New York and “Sterling on Sunday” in national syndication. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Entercom’s Implementation of ‘Reimagined and Enhanced’ Programming and Sales Strategies for Country and Alternative Brands Brings About Staff Reductions. An internal memo from Entercom president and CEO David Field yesterday (9/10) revealed the company is putting into effect its new plan that applies its reimagined programming strategies in the country and alternative formats. A company-wide town hall is taking place today (9/11) in which staffers will hear from brand managers about the plans. It’s clear from Field’s memo that a reduction in force in part of the plan and already some released staffers have reported their exits via social media. How this new thinking may affect Entercom employees working in formats other than country and alternative is unknown at this time but is no doubt a question many will have. Field says in the memo: “I want to make sure that there are no misunderstandings about the actions we are taking. To be clear, Entercom will remain local, first and foremost. As the industry’s #1 home for premium, original audio content, we will continue to make the industry’s largest investment in local talent. From our iconic local news brands, to our top-ranked music channels, to our unrivaled sports stations – our engaging and compelling personalities remain the heart of our original local programming. We will continue these large investments in our local product and talent, as well as new local features across our brands.” However, he also acknowledges the job cuts. “While this is an exciting time of growth and transformation and we look forward to the creative opportunities that lie ahead, we also recognize that change is hard. As we make the necessary changes to best serve our listeners and customers, it is difficult to part ways with members of our team who have made significant contributions to our company over the years. We are grateful to them for their service. In order to assist in their transition, we are providing enhanced benefits for each affected individual and wish them the very best.” It seems evident from Field’s memo that part of the plan means fewer programmers will be responsible for more stations and successful talent is to be heard across multiple stations. Exactly how this is being implemented will become clearer with time.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations that serve as MLB flagships, based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2020 PPM survey. He says, “To say this has been the wackiest baseball season on record – and perhaps the strangest, most challenging year, in general, in our lifetime – would be the height of understatement.” With the season whittled from 162 games to 60, stations that count on that cume boost each April had to wait until July for games to start. In this report you can see charts comparing 6+ AQH share changes for flagship stations from the July 2020 survey to the August 2020 survey, cume increases from July to August for flagship stations and more. Read it all here.

Jim Hayes Exits Sports Talk KFNS, St. Louis. According to Dan Caesar’s report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch KFNS-AM, St. Louis morning drive personality Jim Hayes is a victim of budget cuts at the Randy Markel-owned station. Hayes hosted “The Morning After” and Markel tells the paper his exit was “strictly financial. He’s another casualty of the coronavirus.” Hayes also works for FOX Sports Midwest covering St. Louis Cardinals baseball. He’s expected to be replaced by KTVI-TV, St. Louis sportscaster Charlie Marlow. Markel tells Caesar, “Charlie wants to sell advertising for the show, and he costs us less than Hayes.”

Westwood One Releases Fall 2020 Podcast Report. Designed to coincide with this week’s IAB Podcast Upfront, Cumulus Media’s Westwood One, unveils Westwood One’s Podcast Download – Fall 2020 Report. The company says it is a “comprehensive evaluation incorporating several studies that examine podcast audience and advertiser trends over the past five years.” Cumulus EVP and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “The podcast platform wars are heating up. In this year’s report, Spotify is closing in on Apple as the most used podcast platform, and YouTube is growing as well. There’s good news for advertisers too. Podcast listeners embrace advertising. Four out of five podcast listeners have taken an action after hearing a podcast ad, and an increasing number of listeners feel podcast ads are relevant and memorable.” You can check out the complete report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Cleveland news/talk WTAM is broadcasting today’s funeral mass for Cleveland Police detective James Skernivitz who was killed in the line of duty on September 3. Detective Skernivitz was assigned to the Gang Impact Unit and was recently sworn in as a Violent Crimes Task Force officer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working on the national law enforcement initiative Operation Legend. The iHeartMedia station’s coverage of the funeral service is being anchored by morning host Bill Wills and veteran news anchor Tom Moore…..Former FOX News Channel star Megyn Kelly is launching a new podcast via her media company Devil May Care Media. “The Megyn Kelly Show” debuts the week of September 28 and “will feature interviews with newsmakers, thought leaders, and compelling voices from the heartland and beyond. Listeners can expect interviews that transcend the superficiality and sound-bite driven confines of traditional broadcast and cable news, and instead deliver in-depth, uncensored, thought-provoking conversations.” Kelly’s company is working with Red Seat Ventures for production and management. Red Seat Ventures was co-founded by Chris Balfe, who formerly worked with Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze…..In New Hampshire, “Free Talk Live” host Aria DiMezzo – a self-described “anarchist she-male” – won the Republican primary race for the office of Cheshire County Sheriff. “Free Talk Live” co-founder Ian Freeman says DiMezzo “has campaign signs up across the county emblazoned with ‘F*** THE POLICE’ and is taking on the incumbent Democrat Sheriff who happens to have a history of violence. It’s the perfect time for this campaign and it’s bound to generate some headlines.” Read more about this at Freeman’s blog…..Hubbard Radio inks a deal with Total Traffic and Weather Network for its 24/7 News division to provide NBC News Radio Network newscasts to nostalgia KIXI and talk KKNW “Alternative Talk.” Hubbard Radio Seattle’s Scott Mahalick says, “24/7 News has flexible business models and a variety of news content available to fit each station’s unique needs. We are proud to partner with TTWN to provide our Seattle stations with NBC News, a trusted, credible worldwide brand with years of experience.”

Woodward Tapes and The Atlantic Article Top News/Talk Stories for Week of September 7-11. Author Bob Woodward’s tapes of President Trump admitting to downplaying the coronavirus pandemic and the piece in The Atlantic that purports Trump referred to America’s dead soldiers as losers and suckers tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the November presidential election and politics. Coming in at #3 was health care, vaccines, meds and masks, followed by COVID-19 statistics and projections 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. See this week’s complete chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Casualties of the above-mentioned cuts at Entercom’s country and alternative stations are starting to trickle in. Programmers and air staff let go are revealing their status via social media and country KFRG, Riverside, California “K-FROG 95.1” morning personality Ginny Harman is one of those. She posted to Facebook: “Hey all! So today was my last day at K-FROG. The dreaded COVID has caused budget cuts everywhere, and we are no different.”…..iHeartMedia Boston’s CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents announce the “Kiss 108’s Chromebooks For Kids” fundraiser raised more than $100,000 to go directly to purchasing Chromebooks for local students to use at home and in the classroom. They also announced that Chromebook delivery has already begun in several local communities…..Pictured below is WWPR, New York “Power 105.1” personality Angela Yee accepting her Gracie Award for Best Podcast – Entertainment for “Angela Yee’s Lip Service.” The 45th Gracie Awards were held virtually yesterday (9/10), streamed live via the Alliance for Women in Media’s Facebook page. See the show here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

| June 4, 2019

Lars Larson Inks New Deal with Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland. Talk radio star Lars Larson signs a new deal to continue hosting his daily program on Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” through 2024.  As part of the deal, Larson’s 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm PT show is also broadcast to 21 stations in the Pacific Northwest via Alpha Media’s Radio Northwest Network.  Larson’s national radio show airs live on some 125 affiliate stations from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT via syndicator Compass Media Networks (with whom Larson also holds a multi-year contract).  Alpha Media SVP and market manager Lisa Decker says, “With the biggest local talk radio audience in the region, ‘The Lars Larson Show’ reaches more than 3.5 million listeners.  All of us at Alpha Media Portland, our listeners, and our advertisers are excited to extend our relationship with Lars for the next five years.”  Larson comments, “I’m thrilled to renew my relationship with a station I’ve been with through half a dozen presidents, a dozen NW governors, a live volcano eruption, and more than 25 years as a reporter, anchor, and now talk host.”

Cumulus Makes WABC Programmer Change Official. Yesterday (6/3), TALKERS magazine reported that former hot AC WPLJ, New York program director Dave LaBrozzi has taken over the programming reigns of Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talk WABC, New York, replacing Craig Schwalb.  Now, the company makes it official with a press release. LaBrozzi joined WPLJ in May of 2018.  Prior to that he was VP of programming for what is now Entercom’s Baltimore cluster (when it was owned by CBS RADIO) that includes sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” and WJZ-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1300.”  He previously served as regional vice president of programming for iHeartMedia (back when it was Clear Channel) overseeing stations in Pittsburgh; Wheeling, West Virginia; and Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Cumulus New York VP and market manager Chad Lopez says, “Dave will be an incredible asset to 77 WABC and Radio 103.9/WNBM-FM, and brings experience in both the news/talk and urban AC formats to his new role with Cumulus New York.  We are looking forward to continuing to grow these stations and to giving their passionate listeners even more of the content and community connection that they rely on and enjoy every day.”

The Thompson Family’s Big Radio to Acquire Two More in Janesville, Wisconsin. Two historical Janesville, Wisconsin radio stations are changing hands as Skip BlissSouthern Wisconsin Broadcasting (a subsidiary of Bliss Communications) agrees to sell heritage news/talk WCLO-AM and country WJVL-FM to Ben Thompson-led Big Radio for an undisclosed sum.  Buyer Big Radio operates eight stations in the Southern Wisconsin markets of Beloit, Freeport, Monroe, and Janesville.  Skip Bliss’ father put WCLO on the air in 1930 and WJVL-FM launched in 1947.  Meanwhile, Big Radio was founded by Ben’s father Scott Thompson in 1996 with the purchase of two Monroe stations.  The sale announcement states that “[u]nder Ben’s leadership, Big Radio remains committed to its founding ideals, providing superior coverage of the community’s local news, sports, entertainment, and information.  Big Radio provides local news 365 days a year and its sports department broadcast over 350 regional high school sporting events last year.  Ben Thompson and Big Radio believe the future of radio is local, and aggressively pursue this strategy to the benefit of its listeners and advertisers.”  Kalil & Co., Inc. represents the buyer in this transaction.

New York’s WOR to Present Live Event Speaker Series. Big Apple news/talk WOR is launching an event series called “WOR Live” that will feature in-depth interviews and compelling speakers.  iHeartMedia announces that for the first event, station morning personality Len Berman will moderate a panel that will analyze the news business in 2019.  Joining Berman will be New York news personalities Rosanna Scotto – co-host of WNYW-TV’s “Good Day New York” – and Ernie Anastos, news anchor at WNYW “FOX News 5.”  The event also features networking opportunities and lunch and takes place at the Cutting Room on June 19 at 11:30 am.

Entercom’s New York All-News Stations Win Big at NYSAPA. WCBS-AM and WINS-AM – both all-news outlets operated by Entercom Communications – won a total of 16 2018 New York State Associated Press Association Awards. WCBS 880 received first place in seven categories, including top honor for “Outstanding News Operation for Radio.”  Sister station 1010 WINS was recognized with top honors in three categories, including for Best Newscast and Best Weathercast.  The stations collectively received second place finishes in six categories.  Winners were honored at NYSAPA’s annual awards dinner on June 1 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Trump’s UK Visit, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Virginia Beach Shootings, U.S.-China Tensions, Mexican Tariff Proposal/Immigration Issues, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and Holzhauer’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Run Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3). The official state visit to the U.K. by President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the aftermath of the shootings in Virginia Beach that left 12 dead; the diplomatic and economic tensions between the U.S. and China over the tariffs the U.S. has slapped on Chinese exports; the Trump Administration’s plan to place tariffs on Mexican exports and the Southern border immigration issues; the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into possible Big Tech anti-trust activity; and James Holzhauer’s improbable “Jeopardy!” run 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. In Detroit, iHeartMedia names Bill Black director of urban programming for hip hop WJLB and urban contemporary WMXD “MIX 92.3,” taking over for Nate Bell, who left that position earlier this year.  Black comes to Detroit from his most recent position with Radio One in Cleveland programming hip hop WENZ and urban contemporary WZAK.  He says, “I am really thrilled to join the iHeartMedia team and be able to do what I love. The talented programmers that I get to collaborate with, coupled with these legendary Detroit urban stations are unmatched and I’m excited to get to work.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Dustin “Fletcher” Matthews program director for alternative WEND, Charlotte “106.5 The End,” effective June 10.  Matthews moves from the company’s St. Louis region where he was director of alternative rock programming.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region SVP Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht says, “Dustin is one of the best alternative format programmers in the country.  His unmeasurable creativity and distinctive out-of-the-box thinking will be a great addition to our super passionate and strategic programming family here at iHeartMedia Charlotte.”…..Alpha Media announces that programmer Brown is moving from his PD position in Louisville to Columbia, South Carolina where he’ll serve as operations manager.  He continues as format captain for the company’s urban, urban AC, and gospel brands.  Alpha Media regional president Mike Hartel says, “Brown is a natural leader and he has been a star in our company for a while now.  We can’t wait to bring his big ideas and his big heart to our organization and our community in Columbia!”…..This past weekend, Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah (left) appeared on the Food Network program,  “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” hosted by country star Trisha Yearwood (right).  Yearwood also sat down for an interview with Delilah for her podcast “Love Someone with Delilah.”  The three-time Grammy Award-winner discussed her life and career, including her first full-length studio album in more than 10 years, Let’s Be Frank: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra…..Entercom expands its LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network CHANNEL Q to new markets, including: Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, and Washington D.C.  The network now brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music to listeners in a total of 19 local markets and via the RADIO.COM app nationwide…..WAQX, New York morning personality Shelli Sonstein – longtime co-host of Q104.3’s “Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show” – led her fundraising team in the 2019 NYC Tunnel to Towers Climb that benefits the families of first responders and military personnel killed in action.  Sonstein led her team (pictured below) in their age group with a record time climbing the 104 stories of the World Trade Center.  She says, “I would like to thank Elvis Duran and my co-host Jim Kerr for their very generous donations, and of course, ‘Q104.3’ and iHeartMedia for supporting my efforts.  My entire team finished this very difficult climb and vows to be back again next year to raise even more funds and awareness of this great organization.”

Friday, February 15, 2019

| February 15, 2019

Cox Sells Majority Stake of News/Talk WHIO, Dayton, Two Music FMs, and TV and Newspaper Properties. The “buyer” here is Apollo Global Management which – according to a piece in today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution – is acquiring a controlling interest in Cox Enterprises’ 14 television stations, its newspapers, and its three Dayton, Ohio radio stations.  Cox made no secret of the fact it was shopping its television assets, but bunching Dayton radio outlets news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, country WHKO-FM, and rock WZLR-FM was not expected.  Cox will retain a minority stake in the new company.  Interestingly, Cox Media Group will continue ownership of the AJC, as well as its other radio stations and media outlets in other markets.  Why is Apollo interested in the Dayton radio stations?  The AJC writes, “The newspapers, radio stations, and WHIO-TV in Dayton share a unique business model that involve full integration of their operations.  Apollo plans to maintain the Cox Media management and operating structure within the new company, which has yet to be named.”

Newt Gingrich Podcast Launches on Westwood One. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Westwood One partner to create the “Newt’s World” weekly, original podcast.   The press release states that the program “will offer stories, conversations, and context on a different topic each week, from history to health, national security to science, and much more…’Newt’s World’ isn’t a podcast about politics; it’s a show that explores the past, present, and future to help listeners contextualize current events and important discoveries across all aspects of our society.  The inaugural episode of ‘Newt’s World’ features the father of our country, the man who led the first Americans to freedom, George Washington.”  Gingrich says, “I spend most of my time doing two things: learning and teaching.  I’m looking forward to bringing others on the journey with me to fully explore fascinating topics together.  Some weeks we’ll be talking about history, some weeks we’ll learn about the future, and others we’ll look at what is happening right now in culture, science, and events.  We live in an amazing world, and there’s an enormous amount to learn and share.”

Former Sports Talk Host Marty Tirrell Faces Fraud Charges. Former KXNO, Des Moines sports talk host Marty Tirrell is being held in a Polk County, Iowa jail until space opens up at a residential release facility.  The 59-year-old is charged with six counts of fraud as federal prosecutors charge he swindled at least eight people out of $1.5 million. The allegations against Tirrell include that he sought investors for a business in which he would buy tickets to sporting events and sell them at a profit.  Prosecutors say initially Tirrell paid back his investors, but later began lying to them and used their money for personal expenses and to pay back other investors.  When they sought the promised return on their investment, Tirrell allegedly wrote checks he knew would bounce or provided them with false wire transfer information. See the Des Moines Register story here.

Gomez ‘American Grit’ Podcast Addresses Immigration Reform. Radio pro Joe Gomez is producing a podcast called ‘American Grit’ that he tells TALKERS magazine is dedicated to covering immigration reform and current events.  Gomez, who served as a radio reporter for iHeartRadio (KOA, Denver and KRTH, Houston), CBS, and NBC, hosts the program.  The podcast is available via iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.  Check it out here.

Border Wall Issue Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 11-15. The battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and the related ruling by a judge that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to investigators.  Coming in at #3 was the Green New Deal, tied with the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, followed by the Andrew McCabe CBS interview 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Names New Board and Directors. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces its 2019 National Board of Directors. New to the AWM board are Abby Greensfelder, co-founder & co-owner, Half Yard Productions; Brenda Hetrick, chief revenue officer, Matrix Solutions; and Katherine Wolfgang, head of public relations, CBC.  AWM/F board chair and president Christine Travaglini says, “We are thrilled to have these talented, accomplished women joining our leadership for the next two years.”  Keisha Sutton James, vice president, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, will serve as incoming chair, Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency, will serve as treasurer. Josie Thomas, executive vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer, CBS Corporation, will serve as treasurer-elect, while Sarah Foss, senior vice president, strategic initiatives, Freewheel Advertisers at FreeWheel will serve as immediate past chair.  The following individuals will serve as directors at large of AWM: Joyce Fitch, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc.; Jinny Laderer, president, vCreative; Meg LaVigne, president of television, Litton Entertainment; Kelly DeLace Perdomo, vice president, content, sports, entertainment, and partnership marketing, SiriusXM; and Diane Schwartz, SVP and group publisher, Access Intelligence.  The following individuals will serve as directors at large of AWMF: Anne Cowan, senior vice president, communications and marketing, CTAM; Annie Howell, co-founder and managing partner, The Punch Point Group; Deborah Parenti, publisher, RadioInk, RBR and TVBR; Rob Stoddard, SVP program network policy, NCTA; and Kristen Welch, chief financial officer, Illustrative Mathematics.  At the same time the AWM/F announces that the 2019 call for entries for the annual Gracie Awards was the most successful in the program’s history. AWM/F executive director Becky Brooks adds, “The number and caliber of extraordinary programs and performances entered for the 2019 Gracie Awards is an unprecedented milestone for the AWM/F.  Gracies judges – women and more men than ever before – include executives and talent from across every form of media.  They have their work cut out for them in deciding the 2019 winners from this exceptional pool of nominees.”  The 44th Annual Gracie Awards Gala will take place May 21, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will be held June 26, in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” names husband-and-wife radio duo Chadd & Kristi (pictured) hosts of the station’s morning drive program, effective Monday (2/18).  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “As a husband and wife team, Chadd and Kristi will bring a unique perspective to our airwaves and we are excited to welcome them to ‘The Breeze.’  They are both full of energy and our listeners can look forward to hearing all of their entertaining relationship and family life stories every workday.” Chadd & Kristi come to Detroit from their most recent position at Beasley Media Group’s WPBB, Tampa (recently flipped from AC to classic rock)…..iHeartMedia’s WRVE-HD2/W260CH “Wild Country 99.9” enters in to an agreement with NASCAR to broadcast each Monster Energy Cup Series race, including the Daytona 500, FireKeepers Casino 400, and Food City 500.  “Wild Country 99.9” program director Terry O’Donnell says, “It’s an honor to be the new home for NASCAR in the Capital Region.  NASCAR is the #1 spectator sport in America and since so many of us are on the move, we can’t always catch the race on TV.  Now, listeners can hear the races live on their phone, smart speaker or in their car via iHeartRadio.”…..There’s a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast starring Mario Lopez titled “Listen To Mario” that launches today (2/15).  In its inaugural episode, Lopez sits down for a candid conversation with Mark-Paul Gosselaar (a.k.a. Zack Morris from “Saved By the Bell!”) in which they discuss their childhood hairstyles, reminisce about “Saved By The Bell,” and much more.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

| November 6, 2018

Entercom Q3 Report: Revenue ‘Improved Significantly.’ It was almost a year ago that Entercom closed on its acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations and the addition of that group of stations pushes Entercom’s net revenue from $122.3 million in the third quarter of 2017 to $378.5 million in the third quarter of this year.  But, on a same-station basis, net revenue was down from $395.2 million – a decrease of 4.3%.  Pro forma adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $86.7 million, compared to $89.7 million in the third quarter of 2017.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “As we close in on the one-year anniversary of our transformational merger with CBS RADIO, we are very pleased with our progress and excited about the momentum we are building across multiple growth initiatives.  Revenues have improved significantly since the first half of the year and the fourth quarter is on track for significant growth, currently pacing up 4%.  Expenses are down significantly, driven by synergies, and we anticipate solid double-digit EBITDA growth in the fourth quarter.  In addition, we have now completed all of our previously announced divestitures and land sales, generating roughly $200 million in cash proceeds.”

Townsquare Media Reports ‘Another Strong Quarter.’ The company reports its 2018 third quarter financial results, stating net revenue was $114.1 million – up 1.9% from the same period in 2017 – but was basically flat, excluding political revenue.  Excluding live events net revenue, which was budgeted to decline in 2018, net revenue increased $8.7 million, or 9.5%, to $101.1 million, as compared to $92.3 million in the same period last year.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says, “We are pleased to announce another strong quarter at Townsquare, our fourth since Bill Wilson and I started our partnership as co-chief executive officers one year ago.  We implemented a strategic plan focused on the stability and profitable growth of Townsquare’s local branded media, marketing solutions, and live events businesses, and that plan has helped yield three consecutive quarters of revenue and EBITDA growth so far in 2018.”

Mike Thomas Promoted to National Format Brand Manager for Spoken Word Formats. WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” program director Mike Thomas is elevated to the position of national format brand manager for spoken word formats, including sports talk, talk, podcasting, and Esports content for Beasley Media Group.  He will continue to serve as PD for WBZ-FM.  At the same time, the company makes a similar move upping David Corey – PD of WKLB, Boston – to national format brand manager for country.  Beasley Media Group EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Mike Thomas and David Corey will join our existing national format brand managers, John Candelaria (urban) from Detroit, Cadillac Jack (AC/CHR) from Boston and Bill Weston (rock) from Philly to round out a first-class programming team to further support and elevate our stations.”

Prosecution Rests in Carton Fraud Trial. According to coverage in Newsday, the feds have rested their case against former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton.  Carton’s defense attorney Robert Gottlieb told U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon that they are having “serious conversations” about Carton taking the stand in his defense but have not reached a decision.  Carton is being charged with fraud, accused of using money from investors in his ticket re-sale business to pay off personal expenses – including alleged gambling debts – as well as to pay off earlier investors.  Carton denies he set out to defraud anyone and argues he was a victim of former partner Joseph Meli, who is serving 6 ½ years after pleading guilty to a previous event tickets Ponzi scheme.

KABC, Los Angeles’ Jillian Barberie Reveals Cancer Diagnosis.  As reported by LARadio.com, KABC, Los Angeles afternoon drive personality Jillian Barberie has announced via social media that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is beginning aggressive treatment. She writes, “Results back.  It’s cancer in my right breast but also it has spread to my lymph node.  Appointment at Bedford Breast to assess everything.  I’m going to be super aggressive and do double mastectomy and they said I need chemo for the lymph.  Thanks for coming on this journey with me!”  Barberie hosts the KABC show with John Phillips.  In her absence, Steve Edwards is filling in.

News Pro Mike Parker Dies at 75. Former KFI, Los Angeles news director Mike Parker passed away on Sunday (11/4) at the age of 75.  He spent the last 35-plus years of his career at WBBM-TV, Chicago, but worked in radio in Los Angeles prior to that.  LARadio.com notes that Parker graduated from Los Angeles City College and began working at KBBQ-AM as a newscaster.  He moved to KFI in 1969 and served as news director from 1973-77.

Former SiriusXM Chairman and CEO Joe Clayton Passes at 69.  Media executive Joe Clayton died on Saturday (11/3), three years after retiring from his last position as CEO of Dish Network.  He was the first CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, serving from 2001 through 2004, and became chairman from 2004 through 2008, exiting after the merger of Sirius and XMSabo Media chairman Walter Sabo tells TALKERS magazine, “Sirius exists because of what Joe did.  Joe got the radios out of the factories and into cars.  He made those consumer electronics deals. He worked that board to get Howard Stern the deal he has and he never relented. He knew Howard was the ticket. Over and over he pulled that company out of the fire and gave it the foundation of success.”  Read the Variety obit here.

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Post-Election Administration Changes, New Iran Sanctions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/5).  Today’s midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the caravan of Honduran migrants headed for the U.S. border; chatter about changes in some key Trump Administration posts after the election; the U.S. reimposes sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear pact; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Doing His Civic Duty. TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein is pictured above at his polling place at St. Cloud Elementary School in West Orange, New Jersey where he’s volunteering helping voters, putting up signs and making sure the process is going smoothly for voters.  Bernstein says activity was brisk there this morning, calling it a “heavy turnout, a packed house from opening at 6:00 am until 10:00 am.”

Meg Strikes Again!  Dynamic personality Meg McDonald, host of the increasingly popular short-form TalkersRadio series “MEG!” made yet another splash within the Southern California civics community this past Sunday (11/4).  The Studio City Beautification Association hosted a booth at the Studio City Farmers Market giving away free succulents as a thank you to the community.  McDonald (pictured left) is an active board member of both organizations and held down the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm shift telling TALKERS, “We gave away 150 succulents and everyone was so appreciative.  It was a warm sunny 81-degree day so, of course, I wore my favorite Broadcasters General Store cap.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tulsa, Griffin Communications names Amber Glaze afternoon drive personality and music director for country KVOO-FM. Glaze was most recently with Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” as host of the “Hot Mess in the Morning” program.  KVOO program director Brian Jennings says, “Amber brings ideas and energy, along with her passion for country music.  We waited for the right candidate to come along and we’re so excited she’s finally here.  Her bright demeanor, silly sense of humor, and trademark boisterous laugh make for an invaluable addition to the KVOO team.”  Griffin recently acquired KVOO and four other Tulsa stations from Scripps Media…..Alpha Media re-brands CHR WDLD-FM Hagerstown, Maryland “Live 96.7.”  The station drops the “Wild 96.7” moniker.  Alpha Media Hagerstown VP and market manager Ed Dorsey says, “We are thrilled to be evolving the station into the ‘Live and Local’ brand that Alpha Media Hagerstown-Chambersburg stands for, to better serve the Hagerstown community.  We are excited about this new image, a ‘fresh coat of paint’ on the WDLD 96.7 brand that the community has learned to know and love over the past 16 years.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is presenting the “Radio 104.5 Miller Lite Mystery Show presented by Xfinity Live!”  The mystery show will take place on Monday, November 19 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia featuring a surprise performance from a top performing artist.  Attendees won’t know who the act is until the show begins.  Tickets can only be had by listening to “Radio 104.5” or via the next free ticket download that will take place on Thursday, November 15 at 12:00 noon.

Friday, October 26, 2018

| October 26, 2018

Good Karma to Flip WKTI-FM, Milwaukee to Sports Talk as ‘ESPN Milwaukee 94.5.’ When Craig Kamazin’s Good Karma Brands takes ownership of country WKTI-FM and news/talk WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee on November 1, it will flip WKTI to sports talk as “ESPN Milwaukee 94.5.”  Good Karma is buying the duo from E.W. Scripps for $16 million.  In a press release, Karmazin says, “This is a natural evolution of our sports marketing, event and broadcast business in Wisconsin.  94.5 FM’s powerful signal, along with the synergy of its legendary sister station WTMJ-AM, will provide new and exciting ways for fans to stay close to their favorite teams and provide new ways for our marketing partners to engage with Wisconsin sports fans.”  WTMJ-AM is the flagship station of the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Milwaukee Bucks and Good Karma’s WAUK-AM “540 ESPN” airs Marquette University basketball play-by-play.  Initially, both WKTI and WAUK will carry the same programming, including the “Wilde and Tausch” show featuring Packers Hall of Famer Mark Tauscher and award-winning Packers writer Jason Wilde – as well as the “Homer & Gabe” show, hosted by Steve “The Homer” True and Gabe Neitzel.  This move adds another station to the sports talk battle in Milwaukee with Entercom’s WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan” and iHeartMedia’s WOKY-AM “The Big 920.”

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Evacuated After Mail Bomb Scare. After receiving a suspicious package at its Jenifer St. NW offices in Washington, Cumulus Media DC called authorities and the building was evacuated from about 4:00 pm to 5:45 pm on Thursday.  WRC-TV reports that police arrived and after a period determined the package was not a threat. WMAL and sister WRQX-FM staffers were allowed to return to the offices.  The package was addressed to WMAL personalities, according to afternoon host Larry O’Connor, who Tweeted, “Though it does not look like the other packages we have seen the past day or two, there were some similarities. DC police examined it and immediately ordered full evacuation.”  Ultimately, WMAL reporter Heather Curtis Tweeted that the package appears to have contained pieces of the Berlin Wall intended as gifts to WMAL talk show hosts.

iHeartMedia Seeks Exclusivity Extension. The company is asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston for more time in the exclusivity window – the period during which only it can submit reorganization plans – because it says it’s making progress after successfully negotiating with a “vast majority of creditors.”  iHeartMedia’s current exclusivity window expires on November 24 but would like the court to give it until February 7 of next year.  The company says it is seeking “a further extension to ensure that the Debtors can build upon the substantial progress made to date without distraction from other competing plans.”  The company further states that although this Fifth Amended Plan has not been confirmed, it and its advisers are “diligently working toward the Confirmation Hearing on December 11, 2018 and are currently in the midst of the solicitation process.”  This means it’s likely that iHeartMedia will not exit Chapter 11 until sometime in early 2019.

Jed Burns to Lead Bighorn Radio Network. Radio management pro Jed Burns is promoted to vice president and general manager for Legend Communications of Wyoming’s Big Horn Radio Network.  Legend Communications owners Larry and Susan Patrick say, “Jed has been with us for nearly 10 years now and he has significant management and marketing experience.  Jed’s leadership will enable the Big Horn Radio Network to continue to super serve our communities, our listeners, and our advertisers throughout the Big Horn Basin.” Big Horn Radio Network operates news/talk KODI-AM, Cody; news/talk KWOR-AM, Worland and six other music outlets.

Tampa Bay Times Runs Feature Piece on Bubba the Love Sponge.  The story by feature writer Christopher Spata tells that tale of the rise and fall of Tampa-based shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a., Todd Clem.  In the piece, Bubba is very honest about his standing in the radio industry, his huge legal bills defending himself in the Nielsen ratings tampering suit, and the fallout from the Hulk Hogan sex tape case.  Though he recently said during a guest appearance on the Howard Stern show that he lost his house, the truth is that his St. Petersburg mansion is on the market for $1.3 million.  Read the Times piece here.

Beasley Media Group’s Caroline Beasley Joins ‘Most Influential Business Leaders.’ The honor comes from Florida Trend magazine as the publication releases its list of 500 executives in the state it deems the “Most Influential Business Leaders.” Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley was named among the “500 executives selected based on extensive contacts in regional business circles, hundreds of interviews and months of research, culminating in a highly selective biographical guide to the people who really run Florida.”

Democrat-Targeted Mail Bombs Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 22-26. The 10 package bombs sent to high-level Democrats and CNN was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate. Coming in at #3 was the migrant caravan moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border, followed by global financial markets activity and the wildly fluctuating Dow 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. See this week’s entire chart here.

 

KIRO-FM, Seattle Seeks Night Host. As the Bonneville station says, this is a “golden opportunity with one of the nation’s most established and respected news/talk stations. We’re looking for a fun, entertaining, and well-informed individual who can deliver remarkable content that attracts an adults 25-54 audience. In addition, qualified candidates should be able to regularly contribute to the various digital platforms including, but not limited to regular blogs, podcasts, and/or videos, online listener chats, and use of other social media platforms in addition to emerging digital technologies.” KIRO-FM would prefer candidates have one to two years of major market hosting experience. Check out the application info and full job description here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three changes to report at Beasley’s country WSOC, Charlotte.  First, Jack Daniel takes on the program director role for both WSOC and sister Americana WBCN-AM/W234BY “94.7 Smoke” in addition to his current role as afternoon host on sister adult contemporary WKQC “K104.7.”  Second, Philip Tabakelis, a.k.a. Big Sexy, is named as assistant program director for WSOC in addition to his current role as evening personality.  Finally, Mimi Wheeler adds WSOC music director to her responsibilities that include serving as co-host of the “Tanner in the Morning” show and her work as assistant digital PD.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “After an exhaustive nationwide search, we found the most ideal and experienced programming team for WSOC within the walls of the station.  At Beasley, we always look for ways to promote from within.  I’m proud that we were able to this time with Mimi, Phillip and Jack.”…..Programmer Chris Eagan is promoted to senior director of operations at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta cluster.  In this new role he’ll oversee programming for CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97-1 The River,” and urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1.”  Eagan joined Cox Media Group in 2008 as the program director at WEZN.  In 2012, he assumed the role of director of branding and programming, responsible for on-air programming for WSB-FM and WSRV-FM.  In addition, he also provides expert consultation and collaborates with six of CMG’s radio markets as AC/hot AC format leader to achieve target ratings in the adult contemporary brand…..At Entercom’s Seattle adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound,” Jeanne Ashley joins to serve as morning show co-host and assistant program director.  On air, she’s partnering with John Fisher for the “John and Jeanne” show.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “Jeanne is an exceptional radio talent and we are happy to have her join The Sound’s air team because of her deep understanding of the values of the adult contemporary format, from the interests of its fans to its music library.  She is fresh, engaging, and a great fit with John’s wit and local wisdom.  Her music programming skills will provide us with greater creative power in packaging and presenting The Sound’s unique blend of relaxing favorites.”…..In the Akron/Canton, Ohio market, iHeartMedia names Scott Davidson program director country WHOF-HD2/W259BW “99.7 Canton’s New Country” and adult hits WHOF “My 101.7, The 80s and More,” effective immediately.  Davidson will continue his morning host role on WHOF…..Hubbard Radio’s legendary St. Louis rock outlet KSHE is launching its first official podcast that will cull the archives of its more than 50 years of interviews with rock royalty.  “The KSHE Tapes” is hosted by the KSHE Morning Rock Show’s John “The U-Man” Ulett and assistant program director and afternoon drive host Favazz. They will explore the back-stories and interviews heard on KSHE over the years.  Ulett is a 42-year veteran of KSHE and Favazz has been with the station for 27 years.  Ulett says, “It’s fun bringing back so many great interviews that were buried in storage for so many years.  Now they can live forever in the light of day.”  To date, the duo has produced two podcasts, one exploring a Sammy Hagar interview and one exploring a Paul McCartney interview.  Slash and Duff from Guns n’ Roses is posted today (10/26…..iHeartMedia announces what it is calling the “first ever nationwide song roadblock” in which it will play Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” across its 650 radio stations and their websites at 9:00 am (local time) on November 1 to promote the November 2 release of the Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises film, Bohemian Rhapsody…..Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas “HOT 93.3” is adding the YEA Networks-syndicated nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” program for afternoon drive, effective October 29…..Sun Broadcast Group promotes interactive project manager Alex Quintero to affiliate content manager, effective immediately.  In his new position, Quintero will affiliate stations for all SBG shows and services, maintain relationships with current affiliates, assist in development of marketing materials for new affiliates and monitor effectiveness of marketing campaigns, among other duties…..Last night (10/25), superstar singer Kelly Clarkson performed at an intimate event hosted by iHeartMedia at the Rosen Shingle Creek during ANA Master of Marketing in Orlando, Florida.  The night also featured a fireside chat with Clarkson and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman.  Pictured below are (from l-r): iHeartMedia president/COO/CFO Rich Bressler; iHM president, entertainment enterprises John Sykes; Clarkson; Pittman; iHM president, national programming group Tom Poleman; MediaLink founder and CEO Michael Kassan.  (Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Friday, August 24, 2018

| August 24, 2018

Tom Langmyer to Exit WTMJ and WKTI-FM in Milwaukee; Steve Wexler to Lead the Stations for Good Karma. Management and programming pro Tom Langmyer will be replaced at heritage Brew Town news/talker WTMJ-AM and country WKTI-FM by a familiar face – former Journal Communications and E.W. Scripps executive Steve Wexler.  He headed Journal’s radio division and stayed with the stations after they became part of E.W. Scripps.  Buffalo native Langmyer – who rose from program director at KMOX, St. Louis to station manager, then served as GM of WGN, Chicago – will stay with the stations until Good Karma assumes control.

Francesa’s Mike’s On App Is Released. New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s new app – dubbed Mike’s On after the name of his new WFAN show – has been released.  The new digital platform for Francesa is a collaborative effort between Francesa’s agency CAA and WFAN owner Entercom.  In addition to giving listeners digital access to his daily radio show, it will include exclusive extras such as a Saturday college football show and a Sunday NFL show. Francesa also is promising to comment on sports stories as they happen, anytime day or night.  The app is $8.99 a month – a price point that some are criticizing for being higher than the typical media app.  In a press statement, Francesa says, “I wanted to create my own exclusive platform to provide fans and subscribers with fresh content to complement the WFAN program they have known and trusted for decades, but with a level of information and immediacy they have never experienced before.  If it’s breaking news at 7AM or 1AM after a crushing defeat, fans will hear from me instantaneously. No barriers. No restrictions.”

KKNT, Phoenix Host Seth Leibsohn to Sue Political Consulting Firm Over Services. According to a report by the Arizona Republic’s Ronald Hansen, KKNT, Phoenix “960 The Patriot” afternoon drive talk show host Seth Leibsohn is suing political consulting firm Compass Strategies for its failure to assist him in getting enough qualified signatures in his bid to run for U.S. Rep. in Arizona’s 9thcongressional district.  After ending his bid for congress – for which he was prepared to leave his radio show due to equal time concerns – Leibsohn spoke about the matter on his radio show and said he was assured by Compass that all was well with the nomination signatures.  The paper quotes Leibsohn saying, “I am embarrassed about it and I am ashamed over it and I am committed to doing everything I can to give the donors to this campaign their money back.  We were assured on multiple occasions all was going well and there was no problem.  Indeed, some on the campaign staff joked…about other campaigns having problems but not ours.  Well the joke as it turned out — the terrible, awful joke — was on me and on you.  The others had the signatures and we did not.”  The story notes that the Leibsohn campaign had raised $144,000 as of June.  Read the Republic piece here.

Michael Harrison Says Trump Uses His Contentious Relationship with the Press to Political Advantage.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison participated in a discussion about media and news bias in covering President Trump in a conversation on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) yesterday (8/23) on “Across America with Carol Costello.”  In a conversation with the show’s host, Carol Costello, and media analyst Bill Carter, former media reporter for The New York Times, Harrison says that there is blatant bias being perpetrated by both the pro- and anti-Trump media.  He attributes it to the long-running trend of the media “targeting audiences for commercial purposes” and confirming people’s pre-determined opinions (pro and con) about the president in the process.  Harrison states, “There is nothing wrong with political opinion – it’s a cherished tradition in journalism – as long as it is disclaimed as such and done in good spirit and good will.  We’ve lost sight of that and a lot of people don’t know the difference.”  As far as Trump complaining that 80% of the coverage of his presidency is fake news, Harrison says, “Trump uses the contentiousness [with the press] to his advantage with his base and wouldn’t want it any other way.”  To view the entire segment, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured at right is Jack Phillips (second from left) – the Colorado baker whose refusal to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple based on religious beliefs that was the subject of the recent 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court victory – visited the Salem Media Group Los Angeles offices seeking support for his Alliance Defending Freedom legal team.  From left to right are: Salem Radio Network host Dennis Prager, Phillips, SRN vp/news & talk programming Tom Tradup; and SRN talk host Larry Elder…..On today’s edition of the syndicated “John Fredericks Radio Show,” U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) – who serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces – sat in as guest host…..iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee sports talker WOKY “The Big 920” is going local in the midday, replacing FOX Sports Radio’s Colin Cowherd with Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play man Ted Davis, WISN-TV sports director Dan Needles, and former WAUK “540 ESPN” personality Mitch “Thunder” Nelles hosting “The Crossover” from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm daily…..Entercom’s WWEI-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and the University of Massachusetts renew their deal for the station to serve as flagship for football and men’s basketball play-by-play broadcasts.  Additionally, the station will air the weekly “UMass Insiders Show” featuring UMass football head coach Mark Whipple, men’s basketball head coach Matt McCall and men’s hockey head coach Greg Carvel.  WWEI-FM carries sports talk programming from Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston…..At the recent Beasley Media Group managers meeting, Jonathan Kraft, president of The Kraft Group and the New England Patriots, was the featured guest speaker. Kraft participated in a lunchtime “fireside chat” with WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” midday personality Marc Bertrand at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston.  Pictured below (from l-r) are: Dr. Bob Beasley, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Kraft, Beasley Media Group founder and chairman of the board George Beasley, COO/EVP Brian Beasley and president Bruce BeasleyPhoto: HSA Photo.

Lars Larson Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Veteran radio talk show host, Lars Larson is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Operating out of KXL in Portland, Oregon, he is an “iron man” hosting six hours of radio every weekday.  He starts this daily marathon by hosting 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm PT on a network of about 20 regional stations, including KXL, on Alpha Media’s Radio Northwest Network.  Then he immediately plugs into his Compass Media Networks coast-to-coast roster of about 150 radio stations and does a national show from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT.  He shows up to work every day prior to going on the air at around 6:00 am and puts in about six hours of prep time to be up to date on all the local, regional, and national issues.  And he performs his shows standing up to attain proper breathing and projection!  He’s been hosting radio shows in the Northwest for more than four decades since he was 16 years old and he just celebrated his 15th anniversary in national syndication.  Along the way, he also did some top-notch work for 20 years as a television reporter and news anchorman… but radio is his first love.  Larson is a highly regarded dyed-in-the-wool conservative who has received more than 70 awards from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Press Club, including two Emmy’s and a Peabody for his reporting and documentaries.  Harrison and Larson take a deep dive into exploring the state of talk radio, the changing nature of journalism, the differences between radio and TV, and his personal recipe for on-air durability.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com.

Longtime Garden Show Host Paul Parent Dies Unexpectedly.  Condolences go out to the family and friends of Boston-based garden show host Paul Parent.  His son Michael contacted TALKERS magazine to let the industry know that Paul passed away unexpectedly last week.  He’d been hosting a gardening show on the radio for the past 34 years.  Beginning his “Paul Parent Garden Club” at WRKO in 1984 during the reign of talk radio greats Jerry Williams and Gene Burns, he worked there for 15 years before going into national syndication. At the time of his death, his show was syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.

Manafort Conviction and Cohen Guilty Plea Top News/Talk Stories for Week of August 20-24.  The conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on financial fraud charges and the guilty plea by former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to campaign finance violations tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia Investigation. Coming in at #3 was the Mollie Tibbetts murder case, followed by President Trump’s ordering Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate South Africa’s farm expropriation program and Trump’s Jeff Sessions criticisms tied 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 on ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Brian Paiz is named SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Columbus and Albany, Georgia markets.  He joins the company from IBX Media in Greenville, North Carolina where he was brand manager for WRHD-HD2.  Paiz has also held several programming positions for iHeartMedia, including program director for iHeartMedia’s “100.1 The Beat” and director of urban programming for WIBB and “V101.7” in Macon, Georgia…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Wolfman Jack Radio Show” picks up new affiliate stations as KEDB-FM, Des Moines; KRWN-FM, Farmington, New Mexico; KIWA-FM, Sioux City; and WRHL, Rockford, Illinois add the program to their lineup.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “Wolfman Jack is back and blowing up the airwaves again. In my 30-plus years of launching network programming for radio stations to broadcast, I have never seen these many affiliations so quickly.  The Wolfman legend continues.”…..Univision’s hip hop KBBT, San Antonio “The Beat 98.5” is adding Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” featuring Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy for morning drive…..iHeartMedia announces Mike “McCabe” Kerr is named program director at CHR WERZ, Exeter, New Hampshire “Z107.” McCabe will also host the afternoon drive program.  iHeartMedia New Hampshire SVP of programming Tim Moore says, “Mike’s talent and experience stood out immediately and we are thrilled to have him join the iHeartMedia New Hampshire team. He’s a true radio geek — which I love — from on-air to programming — and even engineering!  This guy is the real deal and we can’t wait for him to help take ‘Z107’ to even greater heights!”  McCabe joins the New Hampshire market from Saga Communications Ithaca where he most recently served as the program director and morning host for WFIZ “Z95.5.”

Thursday, July 19, 2018

| July 19, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Flip Midday and Afternoon Programs.  Beginning August 13, the “OMF” Show featuring Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni, and Christian Fauria takes over the afternoon drive daypart and the “Dale & Keefe” show with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe slides to middays. The change was announced on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning program today (7/19).  This is a return to afternoons for Glenn Ordway who for years reigned as ringmaster of “The Big Show” in PM drive.  But competition from new rival WBZ-FM upset that show’s dominance and Ordway was let go in 2013 and was replaced by Mike Salk.  WEEI re-hired Ordway two-and-a-half years later to work the midday show.  Since then, the OMF program has steadily gained ground in the Boston ratings.  “OMF” will compete with WBZ-FM’s “Felger & Mazz” program, which was the highest-rated show in afternoons, racking up a 14.7 share (Men 25-54) in Nielsen’s June PPM survey.  The “Dale & Keefe” show earned a 6.8 share going against “Felger & Mazz.”

WFAN’s Joe Benigno Accused of Sexual Harassment. In a suit filed in New York State Court in Brooklyn, WFAN, New York midday personality Joe Benigno is accused by former sales staffer Lauren Lockwood of sexual harassment.  The allegation is part of a larger, $5 million suit against CBS RADIO (now owned by Entercom), sales execs Sean Argaman and Mark Zukerman, and other unidentified staffers for creating a hostile work environment based on sex, discrimination based on sex, retaliation, and more.  The complaint reads like a lurid expose of a workplace dominated by men behaving badly.  Lockwood – who worked in sales at WFAN for 11 years – alleges that Benigno tried to coerce her into having a “threesome” with him and his wife.  Additionally, she says he engaged in a two-year affair with a female subordinate.  Her complaint paints a picture of a workplace where drinking on the job took place, prostitutes were acquired for clients, and potential clients were entertained at strip clubs.  She alleges the station’s executives tolerated a workplace that subjected her to sexual harassment.  Entercom tells the New York Post it can’t comment on pending litigation but that it will “defend the company vigorously.”

WBZ-FM, Boston Midday Show to Simulcast on NBC Sports Boston. The simulcast of the midday “Zolak and Bertrand” show on NBC Sports Boston is now the second show based at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to air on the New England cable sports channel. The “Felger & Mazz” PM drive show (co-hosted by Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti) has been simulcast there since 2010.  The Zolak and Bertrand show – featuring former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak (left) and Marc Bertrand (right) – airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and will be available via NBC Sports Boston, nbcsportsboston.com and on the NBC Sports app as well as the 98.5 Sports Hub app and 985thesportshub.com, effective July 23.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “We are thrilled to extend the Felger and Mazz simulcast partnership with NBC Sports Boston and to include our top-rated midday show so Boston fans can not only hear, but see the fun that this team has together in our new state-of-the-art studios.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Overall, public radio news/talk stations were down from the May survey to the June survey with 51% of stations seeing dips in weekly 6+ AQH share. Comparing numbers from a year ago, almost half the stations on the panel were up year-over-year and almost half were down.  Three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both the San Francisco and adjacent San Jose markets.  KOPB, Portland and WUNC, Raleigh also were #1. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that sports media icon Brent Musberger has agreed to a three-year deal to serve as the radio play-by-play voice of the NFL’s Raiders, who are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. Musberger is the managing editor at Las Vegas-based VSiN (Vegas Sports Information Network).  He retired from ABC Sports and ESPN in January to join VSiN…..U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) is in a battle for re-election with challenger Democrat Angie Craig (whom he beat by 1.8% two years ago) and his radio past is playing a role in the campaign.  The former Minnesota and nationally syndicated talk radio personality’s musings about women and political correctness were the focus of a CNN report that Craig and Lewis’ opponents are trying to use against him in the campaign.  Lewis’ campaign manager Becky Alery tells the Star-Tribune, “This has all been litigated before, and as Rep. Lewis has said time and time again, it was his job to be provocative while on the radio.”…..The terms of the settlement are sealed, but the agreement between plaintiff Jennifer Neill and defendants WMGK, Philadelphia morning host John DeBella and Beasley Media Group has been approved by the court.  Neill was suing the defendants claiming a pattern of sexual harassment on the part of DeBella.  Neill served as a traffic reporter on DeBella’s program.  She alleged some 30 incidents of harassment, including unwanted physical contact…..Envision Networks’ “American Biker Minute” is added to the programming at Southern Stone Communications-owned WRTT-FM, Huntsville, Alabama.  The 60-second feature is hosted by bike enthusiast Jeff Ryan.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Award Presentation for “Lifetime Achievement.”  Today (7/19), TALKERS magazine concludes posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity has been posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 17th and final installment is of the presentation of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award by publisher, Michael Harrison to Vuolo Video Air-Chex CEO, Art Vuolo at the event’s closing cocktail reception.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “The Talk Rumble.”  It is moderated by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon; introduced by WABC, New York host, Curtis Sliwa; and featuring panelists WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom GiordanoWYD Media host, Thom HartmannDC Radio Company executive director, Victoria JonesUSA Radio Network host, Wayne Allyn RootFox News Radio host, Todd Starnes; and WOLB, Baltimore host, Larry Young; the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb; the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Trump-Putin Meeting Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation/Russia’s Interrogation Request, Alleged Russian Spy Case, California Break-Up Question, Israel Passes ‘Nation-State’ Law, Facebook’s Conspiracy Theory Policy, Google’s EU Fine, and Hader Tweets Controversy/MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19). The effects of President Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related request by Putin to interrogate U.S. officials; the case of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina and her relationship with GOP consultant Paul Erickson; the question of splitting California into three states fails to make the ballot; Israel’s passage of the controversial “nation-state” law; Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation of Facebook’s conspiracy theory policies; Google is fined $5 billion by the European Union; and Brewers pitcher Josh Hader suffers fallout from past racist and homophobic tweets, tied with the MLB All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Philly Station Deals Announced: Beasley Acquires Country WXTU-FM from Entercom; Jerry Lee Sells Hot AC WBEB-FM to Entercom.  Philadelphia-based Entercom is paying $57.5 million cash to Jerry Lee LLC for hot AC WBEB-FM “101 More FM” and it is divesting of country WXTU.  Beasley Media Group is paying Entercom $38 million for that station.  Beasley says, “Excluding one-time transaction costs, the acquisition of WXTU-FM is expected to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the company’s leverage.  Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.”  Beasley formerly owned WXTU and launched the country format on the signal in 1983.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our acquisition of WXTU-FM represents a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position with a strong cluster of five FM and two AM stations in a key, top-10 market.  Importantly, the addition of WXTU-FM is consistent with Beasley’s disciplined approach to growing our platform by executing accretive transactions that deliver valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement, all with a limited impact to our leverage.”  Speaking about the acquisition of WBEB, Entercom CEO David Field says, “We are very pleased to add the legendary WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our group.  It is a terrific addition to our lineup that will enhance our ability to serve our listeners, customers and the community.  I tip my cap to Jerry Lee, one of the industry pioneers and a visionary leader who built ‘B101’ into such a special station and has done so much for radio over the decades.  We are saddened to say goodbye to our colleagues at WXTU but know that they will be in great hands.”  Beasley begins operating WXTU under an LMA on July 23.

Monday, April 2, 2018

| April 2, 2018

Will Entercom Add News/Talk WTMJ, Milwaukee to its Brew City Cluster?  According to industry rumors and now picked up by the Milwaukee Business Journal, Entercom is the leading contender to acquire Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and sister country outlet WKTI-FM.  E.W. Scripps recently announced that it is selling its 34-station radio group and will focus on its television business.  Currently, Entercom owns three stations in the market: CHR WXSS “Kiss FM,” hot AC WMYX, and sports talker WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan.”  The addition of WTMJ and WKTI would not violate the FCC ownership cap.  If this rumor becomes reality, Entercom would add WTMJ’s play-by-play rights for Green Bay Packers football, Milwaukee Brewers baseball, and Milwaukee Bucks basketball to its sports offerings and be an excellent complement to the sports talk on “105.7 The Fan.”

WABC, New York Adds Juliet Huddy to ‘Bernie & Sid in the Morning.’  Journalist and television personality Juliet Huddy joins the cast of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  The show made its debut as the morning program replacing the “Imus in the Morning” show today. The station says that Huddy – former host of “Good Day New York” on WNYW-TV “FOX 5” and former FOX News Channel personality – joins Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg on the new morning show.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Juliet is a natural performer and is equally comfortable talking entertainment and life as she is talking politics.  Juliet is an amazing addition to the show and to 77 WABC.”

Talk Pro Pete Mundo Joins KCMO-AM, Kansas City for Mornings.  News/talk and sports talk pro Pete Mundo joins Cumulus Media as assistant program director and morning air personality on the “KCMO Morning Show” on KCMO-AM/K279BI.  Mundo began his career in Woodward, Oklahoma.  He moved to New York in 2013 and served with CBS RADIO at WCBS-AM, WFAN-AM/FM, and CBS Sports Radio. He also hosted shows on FOX News Radio.  Cumulus Media Midwest Regional VP and Kansas City market manager Donna Baker states, “In our extensive national search for the right talent to connect with our loyal KCMO news/talk audience, Pete emerged as the clear choice.  We are excited to welcome him back to the Midwest to lead 103.7-710 KCMO to a new level of success for our listeners and advertisers.”  Mundo adds, “I’m thrilled by the opportunity to return to the nation’s heartland to host mornings on the legendary KCMO and to assume programming responsibilities as assistant program director.  Bringing a fresher perspective to news, political, sports and local topics and how they affect the Kansas City community on KCMO-Talk Radio 103.7/710 is something I’m very much looking forward to.”

Kevin Klein Remains MIA on KEGY, San Diego. As of Monday morning, it remains unclear just what the status of KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” morning personality Kevin Klein is.  Though the station’s website lists Klein as the morning host, he was not on the radio today (4/2).  His show was supposed to launch on MLB Opening Day (3/29), but the station has continued to air the mix of comedy bits and rock music in AM drive that is the overnight programming.  As we reported previously, the San Diego Padres – for which the station serves as its flagship for play-by-play – took issue with Klein’s Twitter promotion that poked fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history of being the site of hundreds of suicides throughout its history.  The team is also reportedly not thrilled with the general tone of the station. It’s assumed that Entercom officials and the Padres are in talks about where the two sides go from here and Klein’s status may be part of that.

Alex Jones’ Son Rex Challenges Parkland Student to Gun Laws Debate. The son of Internet and radio personality Alex Jones is challenging Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg to a gun control debate. Hogg is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and, along with fellow student Emma Gonzalez, has become the media face of students seeking gun control measures in response to the deadly shooting.  Jones’ son Rex is 15 years old and, according to Inquisitr.com, has been provided by his father with “a platform to express an alternative view of gun control from a teenager’s perspective.”  See the Inquisitr.com story here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the February 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk.  Approximately 45% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ AQH shares rise from the January survey to February, while 28% are down and 27% remained flat.  Year-over-year comparisons indicate that 42% of stations realized 6+ gains from the February 2017 survey to February 2018.  Forty-eight percent saw their 6+ number dip.  While 12 news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the February survey, just two stations – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” – ranked #1 in their respective markets.   See the entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Las Vegas conservative media figure Heidi Harris has a busy week of events that will feature her new book, Don’t Pat Me On The Head! Blowback, Setbacks and Comebacks in Vegas Radio.  Harris says the new book “covers my various life experiences before radio, my nearly 20 years in radio, and 15 years as a cable TV talking head.  I discuss how to pick topics, callers, and guests, and share some great behind-the-scenes stories, as well as how I’ve survived treacherous colleagues and the politically correct, who sometimes want to slit my throat.”  This week, Harris is speaking at the Vegas Does Business luncheon at Gordon Biersch, Flamingo and Paradise on Thursday (4/5).  Later that evening she’ll be signing books at the Sun City Siena Conservatives meeting. On Saturday (4/7), she’s doing a book signing at Avery’s Coffee.  That evening she’ll appear on the “Jesus and Tim” show on KKVV, Las Vegas…..The Boston Globe reports that market news pro Rod Fritz exits iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston “NewsRadio 1030.”  The paper reports that an internal memo from the station’s Jon MacLean stated, “Rod Fritz is moving on and will no longer anchor here at WBZ.  We thank Rod for his years of service and wish him all the best.

Trump DACA and NAFTA Statements, Russia Diplomatic Breaks, Trump-Russia Investigation, Author Claims Conway White House Leaker, Trump Tariffs, Parkland Students vs Ingraham/Nugent, Ready Player One Film, Final Four, MLB Season Opens, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s statement on no DACA deal and the threat to NAFTA if Mexico fails at border security; Russia expels 59 diplomats from 23 countries; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; author Ronald Kessler suggests Trump aide Kellyanne Conway is the biggest White House leaker; China hits back at U.S. with tariffs on U.S. goods; the feud between Parkland students seeking new gun laws and FOX News Channel’s Laura Ingraham and Ted Nugent’s attack on them; the new film Ready Player One; the weekend’s Final Four games; the opening of the Major League Baseball season, and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported last week by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom names DreX, a.k.a. Kevin Buchar, and Nina co-hosts of the new morning drive show on its CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”  The “DreX and Nina” show will also feature Gabe Ramirez, who was a cast member on the station’s previous morning program, “The J Show.”  DreX says, “I’m honored, privileged, and humbled for this opportunity to come home to the Chicago audience.  I’d like to thank Entercom, Jimmy de Castro, Todd Cavanah, Erik Bradley and the entire ‘B96’ crew for welcoming me with open arms.  I am very much looking forward to teaming up with my two new partners Nina and Gabe in America’s greatest city.”  DreX previously worked in Chicago at WKSC-FM from 2002 to 2010.  Nina most recently worked mornings at WBMP-FM, New York City…..Radio pro Larry Wilson is the new morning host on Marc Radio’s country WPLL, Gainesville-Ocala “I Am Country.”  Wilson will also serve the company as host of the afternoon show sister classic hits outlet WXJZ.  Wilson had been hosting his “Livin’ Large with Larry” in the Billings, Montana market. He says, “After half of my 36 years on the air spent up north, Marc Radio is a ‘sunny’ change that I am looking forward to.  My show will stream online, so I can still share the sunshine with my Montana friends.”

Thursday, July 20, 2017

| July 20, 2017

Cumulus San Francisco Promotes Programmers at KNBR and KTCT. Sports talk PD Lee Hammer is elevated to the newly created position vice president, sports play-by-play programming at Cumulus Media San Francisco.  At the same time, the company ups Jeremiah Crowe to program director for both KNBR and sister sports talker KTCT.  Hammer has been KNBR program director for the past 12 years. Crowe joined Cumulus last year as KNBR APD and KTCT PD.  He’s previously served at crosstown KGMZ-FM in addition to serving as producer of “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “SportsNation,” “NFL Countdown to Kickoff,” “College Gameday,” “RaceDay,” and “Fantasy Focus” on ESPN Radio. Cumulus San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer comments, “Jeremiah Crowe and Lee Hammer are the ‘Dream Team’ for outstanding sports radio programming and together, will continue to drive the growth of these powerhouse sports stations. Jeremiah has done a remarkable job leading the re-launch of KNBR 1050 over the past year, while expanding our high-engagement social media platforms for Bay Area sports fans.  In this new role as program director of both KNBR 680 and KNBR 1050, he will focus his considerable expertise and efforts into growing these stations and the KNBR brand as the Bay Area’s most powerful name in sports programming.”

WRRD, Milwaukee Owner Challenging WTMJ Translator Deal. Saying that WTMJ and Scripps have “picked a fight with the wrong guy and the wrong radio station,” WRRD-AM, Waukesha owner Michael Crute announces he’s hired Rebecca E. Jacobs of the law firm Womble Caryle Sandridge & Rice LLP to file an Objection to the Amendment to the Construction Permit for moving FM translator W277CV from Waukegan, Illinois into the Milwaukee metro at a site owned by Scripps.  Crute says this move violates the original CP that would have put WRRD’s programming on the translator.  TALKERS reported yesterday that Scripps and translator owner Frank McCoy have filed applications with the FCC to move the translator to a tower owned by Scripps and to carry WTMJ programming.  In that story, TALKERS speculated that McCoy was offered a better deal by Scripps than he had with Crute, and that turns out to be true, as Crute states in a press release.  Crute is co-host of “The Devil’s Advocates” program syndicated by WYD Media Management and distributed by Westwood One.  After years of working on air in Madison and other markets via syndication, he purchased WRRD to launch a progressive talk station in the Milwaukee market.  His show airs on the station.  In his press release, Crute paints this conflict as a David vs Goliath-type battle and says his efforts operating WRRD are designed to “level the broadcast playing field” in the market.  The FCC, however, will rule only on whether or not the Construction Permit was violated.

George Plaster to Return to Airwaves in Nashville.  The Tennessean is reporting that Nashville market sports talk radio pro George Plaster will be back on the air talking sports in some capacity on classic country WSM-AM.  The story notes that the Grand Ole Opry LLC-owned station is not specific about when or how often the new program would air, just that WSM program director Jon Shaffer will co-host the program.  Last August, Plaster left sports talker WPRT “The Game 102.5 FM” to become athletic director at Belmont University.  He will remain in the position.  Plaster tells the paper, “What this is doing is allowing me to dip my toe back in a little bit, to have some fun with something I love so much and at the same time continue to work at a great school in a great situation with great people.”  Read the Tennessean piece here.

CBS RADIO Unveils KDKA-Branded Traffic and Weather Service.  The new CBS RADIO “KDKA Traffic & Weather Together” service will be available to listeners via WDSY-HD3, the online streaming app Radio.com, Wi-Fi connected cars, and Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled devices through the TuneIn app.  CBS RADIO says the station “will provide reliable, up-to-the-minute traffic and weather information for the Pittsburgh, PA area.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Young comments, “Radio listeners in Western Pennsylvania have long relied on accurate and timely local updates from NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.  By utilizing the station’s trusted resources, we have produced a product that is solely dedicated to providing continuous traffic and weather updates to the local communities we serve.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Fox Sports Radio show “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” is being added to the program schedule at Genesis Communications’ sports talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando – branded “Sports Talk Florida.”  The show is airing in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart starting on Monday (7/24)…..Also on Monday, a new edition of “The Regular Guys” – led by Larry Wachs – will start airing on Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WFOM-AM, Atlanta/W292EV “1230 The Fan 2 106.3 FM.”  The program will air at 2:00 pm.  In a video posted to Twitter by Wachs, he’s seen at the Atlanta Braves’ new Suntrust Park looking for “new regular guys.”  The original “Regular Guys” consisted of Wachs and Eric Von HaesslerTim Andrews and “Southside” Steve Rickman later joined the show.  It was airing at rock WNNX, Atlanta when it disintegrated on 2014.  Rickman is co-host of the “Bailey and Southside” show with Jason Bailey on WNNX.  Von Haessler and Andrews work at Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM…..Former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney is back with the NFL club as interim GM after the team fired Dave Gettleman.  Hurney is a partner in HRN Broadcasting and owns and manages sports talk WZGV, Charlotte “ESPN Charlotte.”  Hurney previously spent 14 years with the Panthers, exiting the GM position in 2012…..The FCC sides with Media-Com in its battle with Salem Media Group over two FM translators – W260CY and W262CY – that would have simulcast news/talk WHK-AM and Christian talk WHKW-AM, respectively.  Media-Com successfully argued that the moves overlapped the signal of its news/talk WNIR-FM, Kent.

Fate of ObamaCare, McCain Cancer Diagnosis, Trump-Russia Investigation, O.J. Prison Release Hearing, USPS Clinton Campaign Scandal, U.S. Ends Syrian Arms Program, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19).  The status of the Affordable Care Act as President Trump presses Congress to repeal the law, as well as the state of a GOP-authored health care plan; Senator John McCain reveals brain cancer diagnosis; the investigation into Trump campaign operatives’ connections with Russian agents; today’s prison release hearing for O.J. Simpson; the investigation concluding that the United States Postal Service violated the Hatch Act in allowing union workers to take paid time off to campaign for Hillary Clinton; the CIA’s end to supplying anti-Assad forces in Syria with arms, and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/20) with Grace Blazer, Chris Stigall and Steve Jones.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first three in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess, introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri, a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          TODAY (7/20), the fourth and final dialogue in the above series is posted featuring a conversation between iHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news-talk-sports programming/director of AM programming, Miami/Fort Lauderdale market Grace Blazer and WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall (also facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Denver adult contemporary KOSI, Denver announces it is naming Sean Henry as the new morning drive personality.  Henry comes to Bonneville International from his most recent gig at Radioworks’ AC WGFB, Rockford, Illinois.  KOSI program director Andy Holt says, “We were looking for a very specific skill set for KOSI mornings and we checked every box with Sean.  His in-depth understanding of the AC target audience, engaging content, and superior social media skills were all key factors in our choice.”…..At All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI Riverside-San Bernardino “HOT 103.9,” Sabrina Ruiz is named the new midday personality.  Ruiz, who takes over for the recently departed Christen Limon, was most recently afternoon host at Kemp Communications’ hot AC KVGQ, Las Vegas “Q106.9.”…..Cumulus Media names Roderick Grover, a.k.a. DJ Hot Sauce program director for hip hop WYNN, Florence, South Carolina.  He was most recently mix show coordinator and air personality at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WGCI, Chicago…..Programmer and jock Shadow Williams is leaving her PD/on-air gig at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock KQRA, Springfield, Missouri to return to college.

Monday, April 3, 2017

| April 3, 2017

RTDNA Establishes Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.  In obvious response to statements by President Trump that the press is the “enemy of the people,” the Radio Television Digital News Association announces it is creating the Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.  Saying that the task force is being founded amid “growing attacks on journalism,” the RTDNA “is renewing its commitment to speak out for freedom of the press…The goals of the task force include not only reacting to threats to First Amendment Freedoms, but proactively supporting journalists and educating the public about the importance of a free press to our democracy.”  Task Force co-chair Sheryl Worsley comments, “If the public comes to believe the news media are the ‘enemy of the people,’ one of our country’s most fundamental rights could be lost.  Freedom of the press helps ensure a check on government and helps America stay free.”  RTDNA says members of the task force will be meeting with leaders from radio and television station groups across the country at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this month.  They will discuss recent threats to press freedom and begin to develop a strategic plan to protect and promote the vital role of journalism.

Long-Rumored ‘Mike & Mike’ Breakup Still Full of Uncertainties.  A piece in Philly.com reports that the break-up of 18-year ESPN Radio morning show “Mike & Mike” – with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic – is going to happen, but when and how is still a well-kept secret.  Writer Rob Tornoe cites a Sporting News piece in which both Greenberg and Golic appear to admit the end is near, but both insist they don’t know when or what will take the show’s place in the ESPN Radio lineup.  Also in that story is the report that Mike Greenberg recently signed a new deal with ESPN to work the television side of the company for about $6.5 million per year.  That’s always been part of the narrative – that Greenberg’s new duties necessitate his departure from the radio morning show.  Read the Philly.com piece here.

Derrick Martin Appointed Region President for iHM St. Louis.  Moving from his market president position with iHeartMedia in Norfolk, Derrick Martin returns to the St. Louis area to serve as region president for the St. Louis Region that includes 33 radio stations in St. Louis, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City and Davenport, Iowa and Springfield, Missouri.  He’ll report to Tom McConnell, president of the Midwest/Southeast Division.  McConnell says, “I’m very excited to have Derrick return to the St. Louis Region in this important role leading our brands.  He has a proven track record of success and understands how to build and maintain a strong culture that rewards innovation and team work.”

Beasley Promotes Steve Meyers.  Rising from his director of digital operations with Greater Media to executive vice president of digital for Beasley Broadcast Group is Steve Meyers.  He joined Beasley with the company’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations last fall.  In his new role as Beasley’s EVP of digital, Meyers will oversee the Charlotte and Detroit corporate digital teams.  He says, “I’m honored to take on this leadership role in Beasley Media Group.  Our digital landscape has brought such a unique opportunity to the media space, and combined with our strong Beasley brands, we are creating an outstanding formula for continued growth and success.”

Beasley Names Craig Shemon PM Host at ‘99.3 ESPN’ in Fort Myers.  Sports media pro Craig Shemon is signed by Beasley Media Group to host the afternoon drive show on WWCN, Fort Myers “99.3 ESPN.”  Shemon has worked at both Yahoo! Sports Radio and FOX Sports Radio Network, in addition to handling play-by-play duties for Fox Sports and The Big Ten Network.  He’s done studio work for NBA TV and MLB Strikezone on DirecTV.  Beasley Southwest Florida operations manager Adam Star states, “Craig’s play-by-play experience with the NBA, MLB and NFL is remarkable!  His ability to carry a daily sports show and his highly successful achievements in other national broadcast platforms from Los Angeles to Chicago are truly impressive.  Hiring Craig is a game changer and we’re looking forward to have his success and positive attitude continue here in Southwest Florida on ‘99.3 ESPN!’”

TALKERS News Notes.  According to the San Diego Reader, market radio personality Chris Cantore – XETRA, KPRI, and KBZT – is set to replace sports journalist Kevin Acee on sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” in the evening slot.  The piece notes that Cantore has made references in the past to not being a fan of big league team sports and questions what management is expecting of his 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show.  TALKERS recently wrote about Cantore’s new venture into podcasting via his Yew Media LLC firm.  Read the San Diego Reader story here…..Talk media personality Joe Madison is being honored by his alma mater Washington University in St. Louis with one of this year’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards.  The school says, “The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor Arts & Sciences graduates who exemplify the ideals of a liberal arts education, and in so doing bring honor to Washington University through their lives, work, and service.”  Joe Madison, a.k.a. “The Black Eagle,” is heard daily on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel.  He’s a 1971 graduate of the school…..Kate Delaney’s “America Tonight” nationally syndicated overnight program adds new affiliate stations KPAM, Portland; WGSO, New Orleans; KSPI, Palm Springs, California; WKAL, Rome, New York; and WVBG, Vicksburg, Mississippi…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence “NewsTalk 630 & 99.7 FM WPRO” announces that 10-year staffer Tara Granahan is named the permanent host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Granahan began hosting the daypart in January after John DePetro’s exit from the station.  Granahan is an award-winning journalist who joined WPRO in 2007 as host of the morning show.  During her time there, she’s also served as sidekick and co-host with former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci and hosted the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm talk show.

Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, Looming Gorsuch Vote, Trump Foreign Leader Meetings, North Korea Threats, GOP Health Care Plan/ObamaCare Repeal, and NCAA Final Four Among Top News Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into possible contacts between Trump campaign staffers and Russian agents; Republicans’ plans to confirm Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; President Trump meets this week with Egypt’s President Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago on Friday; North Korea’s nuclear missile threats; GOP plans for a new health care bill and promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act; and the weekend’s NCAA Men’s Basketball games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Medved Broadcasts from Scottsdale. Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved is pictured above broadcasting his Salem Radio Network program live from Scottsdale, Arizona – a remote sponsored by KKNT, Phoenix “AM960/The Patriot.”  During the broadcast, Medved was joined by local hosts Seth Leibsohn and Chris Buskirk.  He also autographed copies of his new bestseller The American Miracle for fans.

Exclusive: Sean Hannity Guests on Harrison Podcast TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison conducted an exclusive interview with Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity recorded Monday night (3/27) as the high-profile star was riding home from work. It is now playing on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” They discuss a variety of subjects including the talk show host’s contentious encounter this past weekend with CBS newsman Ted Koppel, who stated that Hannity is “bad for America.” The two also talk about Hannity’s relationship with President Donald Trump and the rapidly evolving state of conservative talk media. At one point, Harrison asks Hannity if it was true that he could corroborate that Trump had told him he was against the Iraq War early on – as the then-candidate stated in one of the presidential debates with Hillary Clinton. Hannity answered that, yes, it was true and that he and Trump had engaged in a number of private conversations and passionate debates over their differences of opinion at that point as to the merits of the U.S. becoming militarily involved in Iraq. To listen to an excerpt from the interview, please click here. To listen to the entire unedited 48-minute podcast conversation between Hannity and Harrison, 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.

Sean Hannity to Receive the 2017 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. The editorial board of TALKERS announces that Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk show host Sean Hannity is going to be the recipient of the 2017 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. The award (officially titled “The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech”) will be presented to Hannity in New York City on Friday, June 2 at TALKERS 2017: A New Era, this year’s installment of the annual talk media convention. The Freedom of Speech Award is the longest-running and most prestigious honor annually bestowed by the publication upon a member of the greater broadcasting community, although not always the most popular. According to TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison, “The Freedom of Speech Award is a non-partisan honor presented to a person in the industry who sets a meaningful example of the First Amendment in action, either by having taken a high-profile, risky stand on a controversial issue or working on an exceptional level to make that opportunity available to others. It does not necessarily indicate this publication’s endorsement of the recipient’s position, only his or her right to express it publicly and our salute to them for having the courage to face the consequences. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is the bedrock of all of this nation’s freedoms and values. Without it, this would not be the country we believe it to be in our minds and hearts. It is clearly the most important element that makes American talk media vibrant, alive and indispensable.” Harrison continues, “Sean Hannity is the clear-cut champion of this concept and a high-profile example of it in action in the talk media industry today.”

 

 

Jeff Kapugi Joins iHeartMedia as Regional SVP of Programming for DC-Baltimore.  Programming pro Jeff Kapugi and iHeartMedia work out a deal to bring Kapugi into the company as regional senior vice president of programming for the Washington and Baltimore markets.  In addition to overseeing the programming of CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5,” adult contemporary WASH, classic rock WBIG “BIG 100,” alternative W284CQ “104.7 Cherry Blossom Radio” in Washington and country WPOC, CHR WZFT “Z104.3,” adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM,” and Gospel WCAO in Baltimore, Kapugi will also serve as program director for country WMZQ, Washington.  Kapugi was most recently VP of programming for CBS RADIO Chicago and PD for country WUSN “US99.”    iHeartMedia EVP of programming Meg Stevens comments, “I could not be more excited to bring Jeff Kapugi to DC.  Having worked with him previously, I have firsthand knowledge of his exceptional skills and incredible character.  Jeff’s smart, strategic and passionate about the brands and he will be a tremendous asset for our stations.”

Bohannon to Lead Cumulus Memphis.  Broadcasting management pro Morgan Bohannon is named the new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s four-station cluster.  Bohannon was most recently area president for iHeartMedia’s Memphis operations.  At Cumulus, he’ll be in charge of rhythmic oldies WRBO, rock WXMX “98.1 The Max,” hip hop WKIM “98.9 The Vibe,” and country WGKX “KIX 106.”  Prior to his work with iHeartMedia, Bohannon was director of sales for Apex Broadcasting.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  KDKB, Phoenix “ALT AZ” announces MO! takes over the morning show.  The Hubbard Radio alt rocker moves jock Ian Camfield from AMs to middays (10:00 am to 3:00 pm).  Hubbard Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb says, “Mo’s energy and enthusiasm, along with her listener appeal make her a great choice for this daypart.  Ian has got the ball rolling and will be great in middays.  We are thrilled with the new lineup.” MO! has worked at Hubbard Phoenix sister rock KUPD and, had been hosting the midday show on “ALT AZ” prior to the change…..iHeartMedia Sacramento drops the adult hits and the “JACK FM” format on KQJK to re-launch the station as classic rock “93.7 The River.”  The station will also feature longtime Sacramento personalities Dog & Joe, Monica Lowe and Derek Moore as well as the nationally syndicated “Sixx Sense” show with Nikki Sixx.  iHeartMedia Sacramento SVP of programming Curtiss Johnson says, “We’re incredibly excited to bring ‘93.7 The River’ to the River City.  ‘93.7 The River’ is built on the Dog & Joe show, a destination morning show with two wildly creative and beloved personalities, a redefined take on classic rock for 2017, and a passion and commitment to community we’ve embraced and called home for many years.”…..iHeartMedia launches “ALT 97.5” on translator W248BQ, Nashville.  The new alternative rock outlet will feature on-air personalities Wells Adams, Gabby Sanderson and Battle.  Program director Rossi states, “We’re thrilled to bring ‘ALT 97.5’ to Nashville’s alternative rock fans. ‘ALT 97.5’ is an alternative station with Nashville sensibilities. We’re excited to serve the community, which has such a loyal and passionate fan base.”…..Country radio legend Lon Helton celebrated his 25th anniversary hosting “Country Countdown USA” over the weekend.  He also was honored at the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards where he received his fourth ACM “National On-Air Personality” award…..Beasley Media Group moves Russ Parr from hip hop WZFX, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Foxy 99” to sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7 Jamz.”…..Condolences to the family and friends of Warren “Rhubarb” Jones, who passed away on April 2 at the age of 65.  He was most recently working at Gradick Communications’ oldies WWGA, Tallapoosa, Georgia “Great Classics 98.9.”  From 1985 through 2008, Jones was a personality on WYAY-FM, Atlanta when it was a country outlet.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of rhythmic CHR stations based on ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 PPM survey.  Comparing (6+) ratings data from January of 2017 to February, “Six of every 10 rhythmic CHR panelists are up January 2017 – February 2017 (60%); approximately one of three are down (35%); and the remaining 5% of the sample is flat (6+).  Looking at the changes from February 2016 to February 2017, Kinosian reports, “For all practical purposes, year-to-year percentages represent a complete reversal versus month-to-month stats, as 59% of our eligible rhythmic CHR sample is off year-to-year (6+), while 35% improve; the remaining 6% are steady.”  See all the data here.

Miranda Lambert Visits with Elaina Smith.  Country star Miranda Lambert (left) sits down for a chat with “NASH Nights Live” host Elaina Smith (right) at the Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards Radio Row event last weekend.  The event saw some 100 country music stars visit with country radio personalities at the Lucky Live Lounge at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Cumulus Media and Westwood One served as the official national radio partners for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards.

WYCD, Detroit’s Linda Lee Dies at 55.  Almost seven months after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, WYCD, Detroit radio personality Linda Lee Young died on Friday (3/31) at age 55.  Young was a 20-year staffer at WYCD.  For 16 years, she co-hosted the “Edwards & Lee” afternoon drive show with Chuck Edwards.  For the past year and a half, she’s worked with co-host Rob Stone.   Young leaves behind her husband Jeff Young, daughter Gina Holmes Mills, and a stepdaughter Alexa Young.

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