Tag: "KRMG-AM/FM"

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

| July 9, 2019

iHeartMedia Flips ‘Orange and Blue 760’ to ‘Freedom 93.7.’  Denver’s KDSP-AM changes calls to KDFD-AM and – with the addition of FM translator K229BS, Lakewood – flips to news/talk as “Freedom 93.7 Real News, Real Talk.”  The station had been a Denver Broncos-centric sports talk station for the past two years. It began stunting Monday (7/8) with a rotation of pop and rock songs with the word “freedom” in the title.  iHeartMedia has not issued a press release on the changes and it’s unclear exactly what the lineup will be but there’s been speculation that Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh program will move from sister news/talk KOA to anchor the lineup.

BIA Advisory Services Revises 2019 U.S. Local Ad Forecast; Radio Projected to Get $14.5 Billion. Media consulting firm BIA Advisory Services updates its 2019 U.S. Local Advertising Forecast, predicting that the total local media marketplace in 2019 will be “slightly stronger than expected earlier in the year, with ad revenue reaching approximately $148.8 billion.”  The firm cites “a strong economy, an early start to the 2020 election, and most notably, increases in mobile and mobile-social advertising” as causes for the improved projections.  As usual, direct mail leads the pack with an estimated 25% share of that ($37.2 billion). Local radio is expected to get 9.8% of the total, or about $14.5 billion, thanks to online efforts by radio stations.  BIA SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik comments, “It can be surprising to see that direct mail continues as such an important medium.  However, it directly targets more households than any other channel and mobilizes local consumers to make purchases, especially when combined with campaigns that make use of digital platforms.  The key for revenue growth (and protection) today is not just to look at the media in your sector, but across all local media because you compete across all ad channels today.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continues Posting Today with “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” One-On-One Discussion.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/9) post presents the one-on-one discussion titled, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub”, Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.   Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serves as facilitator.  Posted yesterday: “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence.  The discussion is moderated by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS.  Already posted: The convention’s keynote chat in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation.  The two discuss a variety of topics including Hannity’s special relationship with President Donald J. Trump; what it takes to be successful on both radio and television talk media; the challenges facing talk radio in terms of ratings and marketing; Hannity’s feelings about his life and career; plus more.  The session is introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones.  Also already posted on the page:  The convention’s official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the tremendously successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories” as well as RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ Adds FOX Sports Radio Shows for Overnights.  The Beasley Media Group sports talker announces it is adding FOX Sports Radio’s “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” for the 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am slot and “The Ben Maller Show to air from 2:00 am to 6:00 am, effective July 18.  WBZ-FM, Boston will also air overnight programming from FOX Sports Radio on weekends.  Beasley national spoken-word brand manager Mike Thomas says, “For the second time in our 10-year history, ‘The Sports Hub’ will partner with FOX Sports Radio for late-night programming.  We’re happy to have FSR’s compelling brand of sports talk back on ‘The Sports Hub’ to keep our listeners informed and entertained.”

Sutterfield Appointed GSM for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa Cluster. Sales pro Phillip Sutterfield is promoted to general sales manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa station group that includes news/talk KRMG-AM/FM three music brands and Cox’s three television stations in the market.  CMG Tulsa director of sales Joe Muller states, “Phillip has been an integral part of the CMG sales team for many years and has always been one of the most consistent leaders on the team.  He has built outstanding relationships in the community and is a creative force for our clients.  I know Phillip will thrive in this new role and help guide us through the next phase of our sales growth.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former White House aide to President Obama (and current executive producer of Funny or Die D.C.) Brad Jenkins teams up with PodcastOne to create a new podcast titled, “Fired Up!” PodcastOne says, “Jenkins and his guests will dig deep to explore political issues and other things that get them fired up to love, laugh, and inspire.”  PodcastOne CEO Peter Morris says, “Brad is a dynamic, outspoken, intelligent ball of fire!  His passion for igniting high energy and intelligent conversation is perfect for the podcast format, and is sure to get both his guests and listeners as fired up as he is when it comes to politics and other topics we all care about.”…..Skyview Networks and The Howard Hughes Corporation’s Triple-A baseball club the Las Vegas Aviators, announce today a multi-year contract for the team to use Skyview’s inventory management and live read capture software, AdView.  The Aviators – an affiliate of the Oakland A’s – play in the Pacific Coast League…..Voice and audio content provider SpokenLayer announces that Andy Lipset joins the company as CEO.  He takes over for SpokenLayer founder Will Mayo, who continues with the company as chief strategy officer.  Lipset served for the past six years with Pandora.

CORRECTION: Yesterday, TALKERS magazine reported on the programming changes at Forever Media’s WXDE-FM, Lewes “Delaware 105.9.”  In doing so we wrote that Ed Tyll’s early afternoon show was cancelled by the station.  Program director Dan Gaffney tells TALKERS that Tyll was not let go but resigned from his program.

2020 Presidential Race, Epstein Arrest, Trump Tax Returns, UK Ambassador Leak, Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities; Iran Nuclear Ambitions, California Earthquakes, Women’s Soccer Pay Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8). The 2020 presidential race and the Democrats running for their party’s nomination; the arrest of billionaire hedge fund managerJeffrey Epstein on charges of sex trafficking; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a law allowing Congress access to President Trump’s New York tax returns; the leak of a cable from UK Ambassador Kim Darroch calling President Trump “inept” and “clumsy”; the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and the controversy over conditions at border detention centers; Iran’s continuing progress in enriching uranium; the Southern California earthquakes; and the issue of pay disparity between the men’s and women’s U.S. Soccer team 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. Tallahassee has a new music station as iHeartMedia turns WTLY-AM/W243EG into classic hip hop and R&B as “Throwback 96.5.”   The station will feature hip hop and R&B from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.  Station program director D – Strong says, “Throwback hip hop and R&B is what’s hot right now and I’m glad that we’re the ones that get to bring that to Tallahassee!”.…..Some new acts are being added to the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival taking place Friday, September 20 and Saturday, September 21 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.  Hootie & The Blowfish, Marshmello, and Steve Aoki with special guests Darren Criss and Monsta X have been added to the lineup…..Westwood One’s syndicated “Country Gold with Terri Clark” hits the 165-station affiliation mark with the addition of WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill, Illinois (Chicago market); WDRQ-FM, Detroit; WNKN-FM, Cincinnati; WSM-FM, Nashville; WPUR-FM, Atlantic City; KTJJ-FM, Farmington-St. Louis; and KXKC-FM, Lafayette, Louisiana.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

| May 29, 2019

Progressive Talker WCPT, Chicago Names Santita Jackson Morning Host. Chicago progressive talk outlet WCPT is filling the morning show daypart with air personality Santita Jackson.  The station had an opening because of Bill Press’ decision to end his radio show and focus on a podcast.  The daughter of Rev. Jesse Jackson is the executive producer of his Premiere Networks-syndicated program, “Keep Hope Alive.”  She’ll host the 6:00 am to 8:00 am program beginning Monday (6/3).  WCPT general manager Mark Pinski says, “Santita has a dynamic, engaging personality and she will connect well with our listeners.  With Santita live and local in the morning, followed by Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Joan Esposito, and Rick Ungar, this is the best Monday-through-Friday progressive lineup in WCPT history.”  Santita Jackson has been off local radio for five years.  She previously hosted the midday show at Midway Broadcasting’s crosstown urban talk outlet WVON-AM.

Kris Kridel to Retire from WBBM. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder has the story that longtime Chicago radio news pro Kris Kridel is calling it a career with all-news WBBM-AM/ WCFS-FM and will leave the station on June 7.   Just a couple of months ago, Kridel left her full-time role as the afternoon drive news anchor and has been part-time as the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm anchor.  Station director of news and programming Ron Gleason told the staff in a memo, “She’s been the consummate journalist, our go-to person for any discussion of ethics and how best to cover stories.  We will miss her dearly but are excited she’ll be able to travel and enjoy much more time with her family and friends.”

Reno Talk Host Bill Manders Dies.  The details are few but the family of former, longtime KOH, Reno talk show host Bill Manders reports that he passed away on Monday (5/27).  Television station KTVN, Reno says his daughter explained that he’d experienced health issues in recent years and had a kidney transplant in 2014.

Libsyn Podcasts Available on RADIO.COM. The podcast hosting firm Liberated Syndication Libsyn – signs a deal with Entercom to make its stable of 62,000 active podcasts available on the latter’s RADIO.COM platform.  Entercom vice president of business development Corey Podolski says, “As the fastest growing digital audio app in the country, we are laser-focused on providing the content we know our listeners want, wherever and however they want it.  Podcast listening on RADIO.COM continues to grow at an accelerating pace. Partnering with Libsyn to make it simple for podcasters to reach millions of listeners on our platform is a win for everyone.”  The press release says the Libsyn network reaches more than 111 million monthly unique audience members.”

Cox Media Tulsa Initiates Disaster Relief.  In coordination with the American Red Cross of Oklahoma, Cox Media Group Tulsa’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM and four sister music-formatted stations are raising money for local disaster relief efforts in the wake of the tornadoes and historic flooding in Green Country (Northeast Oklahoma).  Tomorrow (5/30), the stations will join Cox’s KOKI-TV “FOX23” for a live, 13-hour fundraising broadcast from LaFortune Park.  CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther says, “Supporting our community in a time of uncertainty and stress is something that is part of the fabric of our organization.  We are honored to be able to do something to help our neighbors and know that our viewers and listeners will respond.”

TALKERS News Notes.  In Miami, the NHL’s Florida Panthers and Entercom sports talker WQAM agree to an extension of their broadcast rights deal.  In addition to game broadcasts, WQAM will feature weekly player interviews, a coach’s show featuring head coach Joel Quenneville, a weekly in-season “Panthers Insider” show, in-season “Panthers’ Wednesdays,” and additional ancillary coverage including a one-hour preseason special and a two-hour live NHL Draft broadcast.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “As South Florida’s iconic sports station, WQAM is committed to being the go-to home for Miami’s devoted sports fans.  We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with the Florida Panthers and are committed to providing fans with comprehensive coverage of their hometown team.”…..“The Woj Pod,” the podcast from ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, is now officially part of ESPN Podcasts and ESPN will start publishing the podcast beginning July 1.  ESPN vice president, digital strategy and marketing within ESPN Audio Tom Ricks says, “ESPN is committed to our podcast business and as an exclamation point on that, we’re thrilled to have the Woj Pod in-house.  Based on Woj’s unrivaled reputation, his connections in the league, coupled with ESPN’s ability to present this content in unique ways, we look forward to continuing to serve basketball fans in the podcast space.  We plan to use ESPN platforms and our multimedia promotional power to grow the podcast’s audience.”

2020 Presidential Politics, Trump-Bolton Messages, Severe Weather, New Abortion Laws, Immigration Policy/Border Wall, and U.S.-China Trade Relations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/28). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the different messages on Iran and North Korea being sent by Trump and national security adviser John Bolton; the large number of tornadoes and storms slamming the Midwest; the several states that have adopted new, strict anti-abortion laws and the threat to Roe v Wade; the immigration crisis at the Southern border and the status of the wall project; and U.S.-China relations as both nations slap tariffs on the other’s exports 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. Urban radio pro Miss Monique is named program director for iHeartMedia’s hip hop WXBT “100.1 The Beat” and urban adult contemporary WXBT-HD2/W288CX “Throwback 105.5” in Columbia, South Carolina.  She was most recently with the company’s hip hop WZHT, Montgomery “HOT 105.7.”  She says, “I am excited, humbled, and thankful for this awesome opportunity to program these iHeartMedia stations.  I look forward to helping the stations grow and exploring Columbia as my new home.”…..Toledo radio personality Gary Shores announces that he’s leaving his role as morning host at Cumulus Media’s country WKKO “K100” to focus on his health.  Shores has been battling Pulmonary Fibrosis for the past three years and he tells his listeners that the disease is making it hard for him to do his job because of the breathing difficulties it creates.  The morning program will continue with Lyn Casye and Cliff Smithers hosting.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

| February 28, 2018

Colin Cowherd Launches ‘The Herd Podcast Network.’ This new podcast network is a cooperative effort by sports talk personality Colin Cowherd, radio syndicator Premiere Networks, and digital business consultancy Red Seat Ventures.  The Herd Podcast Network launches today and features Cowherd’s daily and weekly podcasts, plus other podcasts hand-picked and curated by Cowherd.  One of the first podcasts to join Cowherd’s new platform is “3 and Out with John Middlekauff,” an “unfiltered perspective on the top stories in the NFL and college football, as well as interviews and conversations with the biggest names in the game.”  Beginning in March, sports media figure Doug Gottlieb will host a college basketball and NBA podcast.  Both Cowherd and Gottlieb host nationally syndicated radio shows for FOX Sports Radio.  Cowherd’s show is simulcast on cable’s FOX Sports 1.  The Herd Podcast Network is available on iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms.  Cowherd says, “I’ve said it before – I’ve chosen to work with the best people in the industry and I couldn’t be more excited about this new venture with Premiere Networks and Red Seat Ventures.  This is a unique opportunity for ‘The Herd’ audience to dive deeper into the sports they crave.  If you like what we do on our show, you will like what John, Doug and the other podcast hosts bring to the table.  I’m incredibly lucky to launch this platform for the fans whenever and wherever they happen to be listening.”

PPM Analysis: All-NewsTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s just-released January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news outlets.  On the heels of the Holiday 2017 survey, 75% of all-news stations saw their 6+ shares increase from the Holiday 2017 to the January 2018 survey.  But, year-over-year, almost three quarters of all-newsers were down (6+) from January 2017 to January 2018.  However, six of the 14 all-news stations in the survey ranked in the top five (6+) in their respective markets in the January PPM survey.  Hubbard’s WTOP, Washington and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento both ranked #1 in their respective markets, while Entercom’s WINS, New York and KCBS-AM, San Francisco ranked #2 in their markets (KCBS-AM also ranked #2 in the adjacent San Jose market).   See the whole report here.

Scripps Reports 2017 Q4 Financials; Radio Stations in ‘Discontinued Operations.’ The 2017 fourth quarter financial numbers for E.W. Scripps have been released but the exact details of the performance of its radio division is unclear as the company classifies its 34 stations as “held for sale” and their data is part of the “discontinued operations” line item.  As it stood in the fourth quarter, the net income from “discontinued operations” was a loss of $6 million compared to the income of $2.03 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  For the year as a whole, the category lost almost $2.6 million compared to the gain of $7.3 million for all of 2016. In January, the television-focused Scripps retained Kalil & Co. to sell its radio stations.

Cox Media Group Appoints Commodore Integrated News Director for Tulsa.  News director Tina Commodore has been with Cox Media Group in Tulsa since November 2016 serving TV station KOKI-TV, Tulsa.  Now, she becomes news director for the converged Tulsa market, driving news content for news/talk KRMG-AM/FM.  CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “This new role will be responsible for integrating two powerful news brands across all platforms.  Tina is a talented leader and will have a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at the way we gather and cover news across our radio, TV and digital platforms in Tulsa.”  Prior to joining CMG Tulsa, Commodore was managing editor for the company’s WSB-TV, Atlanta. In that role, she helped lead daily operation of the newsroom and coverage of breaking news events.

Mike Gallagher Chats with Vice President Mike Pence.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher (right) interviewing Vice President Mike Pence (left) at the 75th National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville.  The two are old friends going back to Pence’s days hosting a radio talk show on WIBC, Indianapolis.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk WWBA-AM/W252DF, Tampa recently partnered with the Lou Piniella Celebrity Golf Classic to help raise funds for Score International, which helps bring about awareness of human trafficking.  Air personality Erik Kuselias broadcast his daily afternoon show live from the event…..ABC-TV is ordering a total of nine episodes of Alec Baldwin’s new talk show.  The program is called “Sundays With Alec Baldwin” and features Baldwin interviewing people from the world of entertainment and politics.  It’s a television version of his WNYC podcast.  His first guests are comedian Jerry Seinfeld and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon.  The first episode airs this Sunday night after the Academy Awards broadcast…..AdLarge Media’s cabana division is expanding its podcast offerings with the new Parents on Demand (POD) Network.  This curated collection of podcasts focus on parent-friendly topics ranging from pregnancy, infancy, and adoption to nourishing meals, childcare, and the teen years.

Serving Up Drinks for Charity.  “Man about town” Brad Shepard, GM and morning host of hyper-local online radio station Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Western Massachusetts, served as a celebrity bartender at the local chapter of Junior Achievement’s fundraiser held at Plan B Burger in Downtown Springfield last night (2/27).  All the tips for the bartenders go to Junior Achievement for local youth K-12.  Shepard is a scheduled speaker at TALKER 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on June 8 in New York City.  Photo by Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Hicks Testimony, Kushner Security Status, NRA vs Delta, North Korea Chemical Weapons Allegations, Xi Jinping Power Grab, Papa John’s Ends NFL Sponsorship, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and White House communications director Hope Hicks’ testimony before the House Intelligence Committee; the shaky status of Jared Kushner’s security clearance; Delta’s ending of its business relationship with the NRA and Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s threat to punish Delta; the UN report suggesting North Korea is providing Syria with materials for chemical weapons; Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for himself; Papa John’s ends its NFL sponsorship; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio announces that Tori Dunn is appointed the new promotions and marketing director for KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Dunn says of her new gig, “To be a part of such a special brand like ‘Country 98.9’ is an extreme honor and I am incredibly appreciative of the support of Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and the Hubbard Radio Seattle family.  My dreams are coming true being able to walk through the doors each day with Country 98.9!”…..Envision Networks and Kroeger Media Inc. announce that Neuhoff Media’s WBBE, Bloomington, Illinois is joining the BOB FM family, adding the adult hits format to the station.  Kroeger Media president Howard Kroeger says, “In Panama City, Florida, BOB FM recently hit number one in Persons 12+.  The format is in touch with the current listening trends and methodology to take a station to the top of the ratings.  ‘BOB FM 97.9’ is ready to take its rightful place in Bloomington.”

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

| December 19, 2017

Midwest Television to Sell San Diego TV and Radio Stations to Tegna for $325 Million.  Obviously, the bulk of that price tag relates to the value of the television stations KFMB-TV and the sub-channel that carries The CW.  But, included in the deal between Midwest Television and Tegna are the two radio stations – news/talk KFMB-AM and triple A KFMB-FM.  Tegna is the company that operates the television and local digital media outlets that used to be part of the Gannett brand before the company split, with Gannett continuing to operate the newspaper division.  The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the $325 million acquisition is a cash deal.  It cites a Tegna spokeswoman saying Tegna has no plans to make any changes to the operations of the TV or radio stations.  Tegna owns 46 television stations in 36 markets.  The San Diego radio stations will be its first radio properties.

KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Anchor Russell Mills Takes Part in Journalists Trip to Pakistan.  The program that brought KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa anchor and reporter Russell Mills (pictured) to Pakistan is a cooperative effort between the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord School of Journalism, the U.S. State Department and a Pakistani organization called Uks (the Urdu translation of which is “reflection”).  In the first chapter of his reports from Pakistan, Mills says the country has come far in recent years.  Back in 2002, the only radio and television outlets were run by the state.  Now, there are private media entities and Mills says reporters enjoy “a great deal of latitude in what they cover and how they cover it.”  But, he says they also “face the possibility of censorship, from both the military and civil government.”  He says the strict blasphemy laws complicate the journalistic process and physical danger is real: 14 journalists were killed in 2014.  Read his report here.

Boyd Named to Lead Cumulus Mobile.  This is a promotion within Cumulus Media for Don Boyd, who leaves his general sales manager role at the company’s Atlanta station group to move to Mobile to lead the cluster as vice president and market manager.  Cumulus Mobile includes: news/talk WQXW, urban contemporary WDLT, CHR WABD, hip hop WBLX, and Gospel WGOK-AM.  Cumulus Media EVP Bob Walker comments, “Don Boyd is a seasoned media manager and operator with an established track record in leading high-performing teams that grow station brands and drive revenue.  He will be a great addition to the team in Mobile as vice president/market manager of our five-station group.”

FOX News Radio Renews Deal with CMG for Brian Kilmeade Show.  The nationally syndicated Brian Kilmeade radio show picks up some additional broadcast hours on three affiliates and is added to the program schedule on another.  The new deal between FOX News Radio and Cox Media Group brings the Kilmeade talk show to KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa for the first time.  It also extends the airing of the show to 9:00 am to 11:00 am on WDBO-FM, Orlando and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville; and from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton.  Kilmeade is one third of the FOX News Channel “Fox & Friends” morning show alongside Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt.

TALKERS News Notes. At news/talk KQTH, Tucson, talk show host James T. Harris exits the station after a six-year run.  Harris was a weekend and fill-in host at Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee before relocating to Tucson to host the two-hour midday show in October of 2011.  In September of 2012, he moved to the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm afternoon drive daypart.  Scripps has not announced its plans for the afternoon show…..NPR reveals its plan for the afternoon “All Things Considered” program with the impending retirement of longtime host Robert Siegel.  The public radio content creator is moving national security correspondent Mary Louise Kelly into the co-host role alongside Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro, effective January 17.  Kelly McEvers has been co-hosting both “All Things Considered” and producing “Embedded.”  She will relinquish the ATC role and continue to focus on “Embedded.”…..There’s been a change of heart at TV One, though it’s hard to tell if Reach Media syndicated radio star Tom Joyner’s call for a boycott of TV One forced programmers to reconsider canceling the Roland Martin-hosted news program, “NewsOne Now.”  Regardless, TV One (a subsidiary of Urban One) now says it will not cancel the program and is “working to restructure ‘NewsOne Now’ in 2018 under a new format that will better serve its audience and advertisers.”…..iHeartMedia begins broadcasting the signal from all-news WBZ-AM, Boston on the HD-2 channel of sister CHR WXKS-FM at 107.9 FM.

ESPN’s John Skipper Resigns to Seek Addiction Treatment.  The report that ESPN president John Skipper is resigning his position with the sports media giant to seek addiction treatment shocked the media world.  After all, Skipper had just signed a new multi-year contract and there were no indications (at least none reported) that something like this was an issue.  Executive chairman John Bodenheimer will slide back into the president role for the interim while the company seeks a new president.

GOP Tax Reform Plan, Soaring Dow, Washington Train Disaster, Obama-Hezbollah Drug Trafficking Allegation, Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Relations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, The Last Jedi, and Sunday’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/18). The politics of the GOP tax reform plan and reports of the public’s mood on the matter; the Dow rises 5,000 points in Donald Trump’s first year in office; the deadly Amtrak train crash in Washington state; the allegation an Obama Administration policy left the door open to Hezbollah-sponsored U.S. drug trafficking; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and China over the Trump Administration’s national security policy; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Windy City radio pro Dave Fogel joins Kim Berk to co-host the AM drive show on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Fogel was most recently co-host of the morning show on crosstown adult hits WJMK, but Entercom quickly flipped the station to hip hop after acquiring it in the CBS RADIO merger.   Fogel had been heard on WLS-FM in the past – from 2010 through 2013 in morning drive.  With Fogel’s arrival, local weather personality Brant Miller leaves the co-host role and will anchor the weather on Cumulus’ WLS-FM and news/talk WLS-AM…..After last week’s shuffle of rock station frequencies in the Denver Region, iHeartMedia announces the flip to country for KWYW, Denver – now branded as “106.7 The Bull.”  The station launches 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row and will be an affiliate for Premiere NetworksBobby Bones morning drive show…..Urban radio pros Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins are being reunited at Radio One’s urban contemporary simulcast WMMJ, Washington/WDCJ, Prince Frederick, Maryland “MAJIC 102.3 and 92.7 FM.”  Effective January 16, the afternoon show becomes “The Donnie Simpson Show” featuring Simpson and Perkins.  The duo worked together on Radio One’s hip hop WKYS-FM from 1985 to 1992.  For the past 20 years, Perkins has been serving with WTTG-TV “FOX 5 Washington.”  Radio One DC VP and general manager Jeffrey Wilson comments, “We are honored to deliver ‘The Real Sound of the DMV’ and that’s not better defined than the historic pairing of Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins.  So, for the great people of this region we made it happen.  Donnie and Tony are back together for the New Year.  And with that new partnership, comes new opportunities to serve our communities with Donnie, Tony, and our friends at ‘FOX 5’ in the months and years to come.”  Perkins will remain with “FOX 5,” hosting Friday and Saturday mornings, beginning January 19…..Cumulus Media names programming pro Roger McCoy program director and afternoon drive host for country WLXX-FM, Lexington, Kentucky “NASH FM 92.9.”  McCoy has been with the company’s country WESC, Greenville, South Carolina as evening personality…..Rock radio programmer Russ Mottla is the new program director at NRG Media’s rock KFMW, Waterloo/Cedar Falls/Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Mottla has served as vice president of programming at Envisage Radio Group.  He’s also held programming positions at such rock outlets as WGIR, Manchester, New Hampshire; WIYY, Baltimore; and WFNX, Boston.

Bob & Sheri Welcome Troops Home.  The nationally syndicated Bob & Sheri show helped welcome the troops coming home through the Charlotte airports as part of USO’s annual Operation Exodus.  Bob & Sheri helped provide “big smiles, words of gratitude and breakfast to 3,900-plus men and women returning from deployment and heading home to family and friends. Many of the troops traveling for Operation Exodus are fresh out of basic training and returning home for their first visit since enlisting.  Pictured above are Bob (far left) and Sheri (far right) with service members.