Tag: "Fred Bennett"

Friday, May 25, 2018

| May 25, 2018

Gregg Henson Named WRVA and WRNL, Richmond Program Director.  Talk radio pro Gregg Henson is named program director for Richmond stations news/talk WRVA and sports talk WRNL “FOX Sports 910.” Entercom Virginia SVP Bennett Zier comments, “We are very excited about the addition of Gregg to the Richmond team.  Entercom is the leader in news and sports radio and we’re confident Gregg’s extensive industry experience will ensure that we continue to bring the most engaging content to our listeners.”  Henson has worked in sports talk in Detroit as well as in news/talk in markets including Dallas, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Townsquare Media Sells North American Midway Entertainment Back to Previous Owner.  Three years ago, Townsquare Media, Inc paid $75.5 million for North American Midway Entertainment and it was the lynchpin of the company’s Entertainment division.  Now, Townsquare is selling the mobile amusement company back to previous owner Danny Huston for $23.5 million. Townsquare has made no secret of the fact that the investment hasn’t panned out, so the sale is not surprising.  In addition to the cash sale price, Townsquare also stands to benefit if Huston sells the company within the next 10 years. It would get a 15% residual interest in any future proceeds of a sale.  Townsquare says it will hang on to the net proceeds from this sale, “pending future investment.”  For the year ended December 31, 2017, NAME generated net revenue of $92.2 million and a net loss of $33.7 million.

Alex Jones Sued by Sandy Hook Families.  The anger in Newtown, Connecticut – and beyond – over talk show host and InfoWars chief Alex Jones’ assertions that the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax has boiled over into a new lawsuit against the broadcaster filed by four families of the slain children, two families of killed educators, and one FBI agent.  The suit also names Wolfgang Halbig and Cory Slanka – who assisted in video production and website management – as well as Jones radio syndicator Genesis Communications Network.  The suit – filed in state court in Connecticut – alleges that Jones does not believe that the massacre was a hoax but continued to promote the narrative on his program and on his website. “Jones is the chief amplifier for a group that has worked in concert to create and propagate loathsome, false narratives about the Sandy Hook shooting and its victims and promote their harassment and abuse…the Jones defendants concoct elaborate and false paranoia-tinged conspiracy theories because it moves product and they make money.  Not because they truly believe what they are saying, but rather because it increases profits.”  The five counts in the suit are: invasion of privacy by false light; defamation; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; and unfair trade practices.  Jones addressed the suit on his radio program this week saying the allegations in the suit are “out of context.”  Jones is also being sued in Texas state court by two other families of Sandy Hook victims.

Entercom Promotes Nine in Senior Management. President and CEO David Field says, “We are fortunate to have such a talented team of leaders at Entercom and it is a pleasure to be able to promote several of them today in recognition of their increasing roles and responsibilities.  These are exciting times at the company and as we roll ahead with our investments and execute our transformational plans, we will continue to offer meaningful professional growth opportunities for our top performers.” The promotions include the following: Fred Bennett, senior vice president, Traffic Weather Information Network; JD Crowley, chief digital officer; Mike Dash, senior vice president and deputy general counsel; Liana Huth, senior vice president, programming innovation; Jen Morelli, senior vice president, events and experiences; Jenny Nelson, senior vice president, ad sales marketing; John Pacino, senior vice president, product and engineering; Sam Rogers, senior vice president, national sales; and Jeff Sottolano, senior vice president, radio and Radio.com programming.  Chief operating officer Weezie Kramer adds, “This is a strategic move to position ourselves for success in the long-term.  We are making great progress and we are excited about where we are headed.  With this new, elevated leadership structure, we are poised to maximize our capabilities and scale as one of the best radio broadcast operators in the industry.”

Canceled North Korea Summit Top News/Talk Story This Week. The canceled summit between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un 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.  Coming in at #3 was U.S.-China trade and military relations, followed by the state of the Iran nucleal deal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. June 30 is the last publication day for most Cox Media Group’s sports verticals, including SECCountry.com, Landof10.com, and Diehards.com.  CMG has not explained the reason behind the move. Usually, lack of revenue is the reason for shutting down a business, but SEC Country’s Christopher Smith tweeted, “The Cox Media Group sports verticals grew traffic 36.9 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.  We were rocking it.  Even our Facebook traffic was up.”…..This morning (5/25), WFAN, New York morning team Boomer Esiason and Greg Gionnatti broadcast their show live from Headliner in Neptune, New Jersey for their “Boomer and Gio’s Kickoff to Summer” show. The program featured the live music of Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot. It also included a “Hairiest Back Contest” during the broadcast…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live play-by-play of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals. Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti are booth announcers for the series and former NHL center Ray Ferraro will serve as rinkside reporter with Florida Panthers announcer Steve Goldstein hosting the pre-game, intermission, and post-game reports.

Brian Kilmeade Scores Exclusive POTUS Interview.  When President Trump spoke at a forum in the Long Island community of Bethpage Wednesday (5/23) discussing the problem of violent MS-13 gang-related activity in that town and across the country, FOX radio and TV talk personality Brian Kilmeade was on hand to cover it.  In the process, Kilmeade scored an exclusive stand-up interview with the president that covered a variety of issues pertaining to gang violence and the broader topic of border security and immigration reform.  The president defended his recent comment describing gang criminals as “animals” by describing MS-13 members as being “stone cold killers…vicious killers.”  The extensive interview ran yesterday on the FOX News Channel’s morning show “Fox & Friends” co-hosted by Kilmeade along with Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt.

Radio Historian and Videographer Art Vuolo Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Noted radio historian and videographer Art Vuolo is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Vuolo has been chronicling radio conferences for nearly 30 years and archiving the very best radio personalities on video since 1979. He has recorded video of some of the greatest on-air legends in studio doing their shows. In many cases, these are the only recorded documents of these figures in existence. His entire library will be featured in a permanent exhibit soon to be unveiled at the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. Harrison describes Vuolo as “the biggest devotee of American radio that I have ever met.” He was aptly dubbed “Radio’s Best Friend” by legendary DJ (and current WCBS-FM, New York morning host) Scott Shannon in the early 1980’s… a moniker that has stuck over the years. On June 8, Vuolo will be the recipient of the prestigious 2018 Lifetime Achievement award at the annual TALKERS convention in New York City, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Harrison and Vuolo take a deep-dive conversation into the golden era of radio’s top 40/personality stations and then some. This interview is a radio freak’s delight. To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS Magazine Posts the 2018 Heavy Hundred. The 2018 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” has been posted. This annual list – compiled by the editors of TALKERS and known informally as the Heavy Hundred – ranks American radio talk show hosts in importance from one to 100. Today, TALKERS presents the 24thedition of this prestigious list in which the editors use a number of hard and soft factors in creating the ranking, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness. TALKERS magazine executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Our editorial staff works very hard to consider all of the numerous personalities who qualify, and then whittle it down to just 100… a difficult task. This list is admittedly subjective to one degree or another but we at TALKERS take the task very seriously. Congratulations to all of the radio talk show hosts who made this year’s Heavy Hundred!” See the list here.

PPM Analysis: Classic Hits-Oldies. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on classic hits-oldies.  Kinosian reports that 59% of qualifying classic hits-oldies stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ numbers go up from April 2017 to April 2018.  There were nine stations that ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets and 21 that ranked in the top three.  iHeartMedia’s WWSW, Pittsburgh “3WS” wears the April crown for the highest 6+ market share at 11.2%.  See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The campaign to get a Detroit street named after Bob Seger continues as Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX-FM promises to play 24 hours of Seger’s music on June 2 to drum up support for the effort.  The “Big Jim’s House Morning Show” challenged WCSX-FM program director Jerry Tarrants, saying they could get more than 9,470 likes on the brand new “Make Bob Seger Boulevard” Facebook page.  Within only a few days, Bob Seger fans from all over the world made their voices known with likes for the page going well over the 9,470 likes needed.  As a result, listeners will be able to enjoy 24 hours of Seger on the station…..In Rochester, Entercom’s classic rock WCMF is hosting the annual Roc City Rib Fest – a BBQ and music festival featuring nationwide and local food favorites. The four-day, family-friendly festival will feature live music from Sean Patrick McGraw, Branded, and Kid Kurry, among others…..iHeartRadio is presenting holiday weekend-themed content.  Today it launched a suite of playlists “perfect for kicking back and enjoying this weekend.  From playlists to enjoy the unofficial start of summer to patriotic anthems to reflect and honor those who give everything for our freedom, iHeartRadio has what you are looking for.”

Thursday, November 17, 2016

| November 17, 2016

CBS RADIO Names Fred Bennett VP/GM of Traffic Operations and Partnerships.  This is a new role within the soon-to-be-independent CBS RADIO operations.  Fred Bennett begins his work as vice president and general manager, traffic operations and partnerships on Monday (11/21).  He’ll be charged with building an in-house traffic content and sales operation to serve the company’s 117 radio stations and their corresponding websites andbennettfred will report to COO Scott Herman.  The company says that “in addition to leading the effort to further develop the businesses’ operations, Bennett will be working to create a content-specific group – composed of reporters and editors – which will create comprehensive, local traffic reports to air on CBS RADIO stations and accompanying online properties.  A dedicated sales team will focus on selling sponsorships within and around the traffic reports to regional and local advertisers. Bennett will also oversee CBS RADIO’s relationship with Radiate Media, its new traffic content partner that will supply customized data and also sell national sponsorships within traffic reports. The deal with Radiate Media is scheduled to commence on April 1, 2017.”  Most recently, Bennett served as the president and chief revenue officer of Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Prior to that, he was the chief business development officer for Jelli, Inc., the first cloud-based programmatic ad platform for the global radio market.

Skip Essick Named News Director at One Putt Broadcasting.  The Fresno-based radio company announces it has brought talk and news radio pro Skip Essick aboard to serve as the company’s news director.  One Putt Broadcasting operates sports talk KFIG and KFPT, oldies KYNO, classic rock KJFX, hip hop KJZN, alternative essickskip“New Rock 104.1” and adult contemporary KJWL.  Essick previously served as program director on the market for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM and KMJ-FM.  He exited that post in 2014 and has recently been serving with Ohio-based Childers Media Group.  He’s also been consulting local talk outlet KGED – a station of which he once owned 15%.  Essick tells the Fresno Bee, “For a variety of reasons I’ve decided that it’s time to cut back on the day-to-day pressures of ownership and management.  I will continue to be involved on a consulting basis with KGED and am very grateful to [owners] Al Perez and Jim Franklin for their support.  My new arrangement with One Putt Broadcasting will give me an opportunity to have a lot of fun, with a great deal of flexibility as I transition to a new chapter in my life.”

WZZR, West Palm Beach’s ‘Love Doctor’ Rich Dickerson Retiring.  A change is coming to “The Love Doctors” program heard on iHeartMedia’s talk WZZR, West Palm Beach “Real Radio 94.3.”  Rich Dickerson,dickersonrich founder of the program, is exiting the show after December 16.  After that date, current “Love Doctors” co-hosts Dr. Glenn Curtis, Dano, and Lea will continue hosting the afternoon show.  Dickerson started the show back in 1991 on classic rock WKGR.  He says, “After doing this show for 25 years, I’ve decided it was time to hang up the headphones.  Though I’ll miss my time on air, I know that Glenn, Dano, and Lea will continue with the compelling insight, irreverence, and cutting-edge humor that ‘The Love Doctors’ has been giving the Treasure Coast for over two decades.”

cbsradioReport: CBS RADIO to Move 200 Jobs to Nashville.  According to a report by Adam Sichko in the Nashville Business Journal, CBS RADIO is taking advantage of taxpayer incentives offered by the state of Tennessee to locate some 200 positions in downtown Nashville.  CBS has yet to comment and the publication reports that it is unknown what types of jobs would be moving to the city, only that state economic development official Jamari Brown says the positions would offer an average annual salary of $48,000.

brady-billBrady: KDKA’s Perry Marshall — Thanks for the Thanksgiving Memories.  Radio pro Bill Brady reminisces about the impact of overnight personality Perry Marshall on KDKA, Pittsburgh’s listenership and how the audience loved him.  He remembers one particular Thanksgiving Eve when the show was a “six-hour lovefest with his audience.”  He writes, “I’ve thought of that night on Perry’s show many times over the years, and what it meant then and now to the radio business I love.  Today’s radio execs should study it for what radio was — and can still be.”  Read Bill Brady’s entire piece here.

The Trump Transition/Cabinet Selections, Trump Protests, Future of the Democratic Party, Megyn Kelly Book, U.S.-Russia Relations, Minnesota Cop Charged, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/16).  The Trump Administration transition and speculation about cabinet appointments by President-Elect Donald Trump; the anti-Trump protests taking place in various places and students rallying for their colleges to become “sanctuary” schools; talk about the state of the Democratic Party in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s loss and the failure to gain ground in the U.S. House and Senate; controversy over Fox News Channel personality Megyn Kelly’s new book and her status with the network; the state of U.S.-Russia relations and questions about its future under President Trump; a Minnesota police officer is charged with manslaughter in the death of Philandro Castile;  and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wbtlogoRare Talk Show Host Opening in Charlotte.  It’s in a great city at a legendary station.  Charlotte’s WBT-AM/FM “News Talk 1110 and 99.3” is seeking personalities that can lead a conversation while being entertaining.  Be serious when needed.  Embrace the Carolina lifestyle. Someone who is not angry at the world.  If you want to talk politics for three hours a day, please don’t waste your time applying for this role.  If you have to lean on guests to get through three hours a day, we don’t want you.  If you get your show prep from Drudge, you won’t fit in.  This is the perfect opportunity for you if you’re stuck on a cookie-cutter talk station or if you’re a music personality looking to extend your career.  Show me what you got.  Email your resume and a short aircheck to: Jason.Furst@wbt.com now.  No phone calls please.  EOE.

Monday, October 6, 2014

| October 6, 2014

methenykevinKSFO Talk Show Host Ethan Bearman Met with Kevin Metheny on Friday Afternoon (10/3) Shortly Before the Famed Programmer’s Untimely Death.  In what might have been Kevin Metheny’s final meeting with a talent at a station he directed, the famed programmer engaged in an almost 90-minute session with up-and-coming talk star Ethan Bearman who hosts weekend programs on KSFO, San Francisco and handles fill-in work at the Cumulus Media San Francisco operation.  According to Bearman, the impromptu get-together took place shortly after he got off the air after filling-in on thebearmanethan3 station’s AM drive show.  Bearman tells TALKERS, “I tracked Kevin down in his office and planted myself firmly in his guest chair.  He raised an eyebrow, cracked a smile, said hello and asked if I knew what channel he could find the Giants game, starting in 45 minutes or so.  We shared stories, we talked vaudeville, we laughed about movies and television shows, and then we got to the business at hand.  We talked radio — what it means, where it’s going, what it takes to be successful.  He opened up, verbally put an arm around me and starting sharing advice and tips on how best to entice an audience.”  Bearman, who had only briefly met Metheny several months earlier, says he was struck by the man’s sense of humor and friendly manner stating, “He even did impressions of well-known figures inside and outside the industry for me as we broke the ice – something that really made me feel very special because we didn’t even have an appointment.”  Bearman continues, “I left my meeting with Kevin at 12:45 Friday afternoon with a hearty handshake and big smile.  I had learned more from him in an hour-and-a-half than I had in months and I know I will be thinking about his words for years to come.  He conveyed a desire to make radio better, to make the station better, and to help me to be better at my craft.  And he did it all in a manner without arrogance, with a genuine spirit, and a feeling of one who not only wants to win, but wants to help others do the same.”  Bearman concludes, “In such a short time, I knew Kevin Metheny was a not only a successful man and loving father, but someone who wanted to lift others in the process, a real mensch.  So many people in this business knew for decades that was who he was, I feel both short-changed and uplifted knowing him so briefly.”

kinosianmikeMLB Baseball Flagship Station Analysis.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his fourth analysis of the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time based on September PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team was performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past five PPM surveys, compared to September 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

bennettfredNew Townsquare Trenton Market Manager Named.  A new market manager for Townsquare Media’s talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is named as Fred Bennett takes over for Lorenzo Caldara.  Bennett comes to Townsquare Media from his most recent position as chief business development officer for Jelli Inc.  In a statement, Bennett comments, “I am thrilled to be joining Townsquare Media.  ‘New Jersey 101.5’ has done an awesome job of serving advertisers and the community with informative, entertaining and unique content.  I look forward to working with the team to realize the full potential of the powerful ‘New Jersey 101.5’ brand.”

kdkafmlogoPittsburgh Tribune-Review Columnist Joins ‘The Fan’ in Pittsburgh.  Now making regular appearance on CBS RADIO’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan” is Pittsburgh Tribune-Review sports columnist Rob Rossi.  He’ll provide insight for the upcoming NHL season, making regular appearances on “The Fan Morning Show,” “Starkey and Mueller,” and “The Colin Dunlap Programme.”  He’ll also appear once a week on sister news/talk outlet KDKA-AM’s “Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway.  Program director Ryan Maguire comments, “We’re thrilled that we could add Rossi’s insight on not only Penguins hockey but the entire Pittsburgh sports scene to our team.”

Odds & Sods.  Sitting in for WSYR, Syracuse morning show host Joe Galuski all this week is Mark Wainwright…..Comedian Chelsea Handler is sitting down with Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl for the SiriusXM “Town Hall” show.  The program is being recorded today (6:00 pm ET) before a studio audience in New York and will air Thursday at 6:00 pm on the satellite service…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-newser “KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO” is spotlighting the northern San Fernando Valley as part of its “KNX On Your Corner” series on Friday, October 24.  Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the news from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson will anchor the broadcast from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

joycebrianphilipThe Next-to-Next Generation.  Pictured here is WGOW, Chattanooga talk show host Brian Joyce (right) broadcasting live from client Economy Honda Superstore.  The young man sitting across from him (left) is 7-year-old Philip Roberts who came to the remote with his mother.  Joyce tells TALKERS, “At first, we thought the mom was there to take a test drive or buy a new car.  It turns out Philip is a huge fan of the Brian Joyce show, to the point where he even pretends he has his own talk radio show!  When he comes home from school, his mom says he sets up a table with a ‘Talk Radio 102.3’ logo and puts on a headset, and he’ll do an entire talk show for his mom and dad.”  Joyce says they put Philip on the air for a segment and he was thrilled to get the opportunity.

cbssportsnyKomenPromoting for a Cause.  Tonight’s WWE Monday Night RAW live at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn got a shot on CBS Sports Radio this morning as WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon appeared on the morning show to talk about the WWE’s partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Pictured here are (from left to right): “The Morning Show” hosts Brandon Tierney, Dana Jacobson, Tiki Barber and McMahon.