Tag: "Mid-West Family Broadcasting"

Thursday, April 27, 2017

| April 27, 2017

2017 NAB Show: So WHAT IS ‘The M.E.T. Effect?’ Media consultant Holland Cooke files this report from Las Vegas where he’s covering the 2017 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine.  The M.E.T. effect comes from the merger of “media,” “entertainment,” and “technology,” and Cooke writes up his notes from sessions that focused on that coming together as it applies to radio professionals.  Read his piece here to see what experts are saying about putting content online, the use of smartphone video, and more.

Sean Hannity’s ‘Renaissance’ Detailed in Bloomberg Feature Piece. Cable news and talk radio superstar Sean Hannity is the subject of a feature story by Felix Gillette, published by Bloomberg, that paints a picture of the Fox News Channel and Premiere Networks personality as a man who’s “experiencing a renaissance.”  That quote comes from University of Pennsylvania media historian Brian Rosenwald.  He says of Hannity at Fox, “It’s his network now.”  The comments come in the context of the recent departures of Roger Ailes, Megyn Kelly, Greta Van Susteren, and Bill O’Reilly from Fox.  While the story provides a history of Hannity’s rise from an unpaid talk show gig on college station KCSB-FM, Santa Barbara, in the present, it portrays him as a media talent at the top of his game in terms of opportunity at the “new” Fox News Channel.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is also quoted in the piece saying, “Hannity is more important than he’s ever been in his career.  He’s neck and neck with Rush Limbaugh at the top of the talk radio mountain.”  Read the Bloomberg story here.

WMAY, Springfield Welcomes Ray Lytle Back to the Airwaves. Longtime Springfield, Illinois radio personality Ray Lytle returns to Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s news/talk WMAY, Springfield, Illinois to host the morning drive show.  In the past, Lytle hosted a midday program on WMAY.  He also served as morning host on the company’s sister rock station WQLZ for many years.  About his new gig, Lytle comments, “I am really excited to return to mornings in Springfield.  It’s going to be great to re-connect with my old friends and making a whole bunch of new ones.  While we’ve all grown up some since the last time I was on morning radio, my show is still going to be a lot of fun while we reflect what the people of Springfield will be talking about as they face the new day.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of all-news formatted stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2017 PPM survey.  WWJ, Detroit leads the pack of stations that saw an increase (6+) from February to March.  Kinosian notes that “roughly four of 10 stations on the news panel are up February 2017 – March 2017 (41%); just over one in three (35%) are down and the remaining 24% remain flat (6+).”  Comparing performances to the same period in 2016, “Approximately six of 10 stations on our eligible sample improves year-to-year (59%, 6+) while 41% show a decrease.”  In the March 2017 survey, just one all-news station ranked #1 in its market – CBS RADIO’s WWJ, Detroit – but seven others ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  See the entire report here.

Trump’s First 100 Days, Trump Tax Cuts Proposal, North Korea Military Threats, Trump vs NAFTA, Sanctuary Cities Controversy, Ivanka in Berlin, Ann Coulter Berkeley Case, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/26).  The review of the Trump Administration’s first 100 days in office; President Donald Trump’s proposed tax cuts for large and small businesses; ongoing concern over North Korea’s military threats; President Trump’s tariff on Canadian lumber and his desire to renegotiate NAFTA; the recent judicial block of Trump’s sanctuary cities order; Ivanka Trump appears in Berlin to jeers in first official White House role; Ann Coulter’s on-again-off-again speaking engagement at UC Berkeley; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ESPN Layoffs Affect Radio Personalities.  The official word about the parting of ways by sports media giant ESPN with some 100 of its personalities, reporters and play-by-play announcers came yesterday and slowly the names of those affected began to trickle out.  The “Rusillo and Kanell” show on ESPN Radio ends with the departure of former NFL quarterback Danny KanellThe Hollywood Reporter says that Ryen Rusillo will remain with ESPN Radio in a diminished capacity.  Robin Lundberg, who’d been co-hosting the early morning “First and Last” program on ESPN Radio, also tweeted that he’s exited the network.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s another winner of a regional Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television Digital News Association to announce.  Cumulus Media reports that its Dallas news/talk radio station, WBAP News/Talk 820 AM, has been awarded a 2017 regional Murrow award for Breaking News, Large Market Radio, for its coverage of the July 7, 2016, Police Ambush in Dallas…..The Society of Broadcast Engineers announces it has elevated three members to the membership rank of Fellow, including Frank Giardina, director of engineering/IT, Cumulus Media Birmingham. The SBE board of directors elected Frank Giardina, CPBE; Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB; and Robert Hoffman, CPBE; at its meeting on Sunday, April 23, in Las Vegas.  The Fellow honor is the highest membership level in the SBE.

Covering Trump’s First 100 Days.  Pictured above is ABC News correspondent Karen Travers (left) interviewing Kellyanne Conway (right), Counselor to the President, about the president’s first 100 days in office.

KFI, Los Angeles Morning Host Bill Handel Interviewed by Michael Harrison. Longtime KFI, Los Angeles morning drive host Bill Handel guests this week on PodcastOne’s award-winning program, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” The two engage in a fast-paced conversation about political correctness, satire, news/talk radio, ego, social media, surrogate parenting and even Broadway musicals. According to Harrison, “Bill Handel is one of the quirkiest, original thinkers on the air in American radio today – a true, one-of-a-kind performer. His humor is so nuanced and subtle that it takes a keen ear to know when he is kidding and when he is serious – the two tracks run simultaneously. He often offends the people and the groups that he is actually defending. It’s amazing!” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Z100” New York-based personality Elvis Duran is staying with iHeartMedia for the foreseeable future after the company and Duran agreed to a five-year contract extension.  Duran will continue his current role as host of the “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” on WHTZ, which is also syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks and is available on the iHeartRadio digital platform.  iHeartMedia says that in addition to hosting the show, Duran will collaborate with iHeartMedia on a variety of joint ventures and events which includes hosting the events such as the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball in New York City, as well as continue to work with iHeartMedia’s talent and programming divisions, serve as a spokesperson for the company, and also consult on new creative ideas and projects……Cumulus Media announces it signs Bobby Novosad to a contract extension that keeps him in his brand manager/morning show host positions at CHR KSMB, Lafayette, Louisiana.  Novosad joined 94.5 KSMB in November 1984 and has served the station and community for more than 32 years.  Cumulus Media Lafayette VP and market manager Scott Chiasson states, “I am very excited that we are able to retain Bobby for the long term.  I’ve listened to KSMB for decades.  The station and Bobby have been a generational staple in the Lafayette metro area and will be for years to come.  This is great for Bobby, Cumulus, our loyal listeners and the community we serve.”…..iHeartMedia Fresno is presenting the third annual Central Valley Taco Festival on Saturday June 4.  Appearing at the event will be KBOS “B95” personality Carmen, KFSO “La Preciosa 92.9” hosts Velia and Pepe, and KFBT “103.7 The Beat” jock J. Cortez.  They will also judge the “Central Valley’s Best Taco” contest.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Arte Americas: Casa De La Cultura, an organization dedicated to making Central California a flourishing place for Latino arts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

| January 6, 2016

kfwb sportsKFWB, Los Angeles Reportedly Sold.  According to Los Angeles radio maven Don Barrett, there is finally a buyer for KFWB and it involves Charlie Banta-led Mercury Capital Partners.  The Los Angeles Times also reports the story but does not name a buyer.  The Times writes that staffers were told about the sale on Tuesday (1/5).  As many TALKERS readers are aware, KFWB has been in the KFWB Asset Trust (while still benefitting CBS RADIO’s bottom line) for a long time.  Some in the market have griped that CBS hasn’t been trying very hard to sell it and was basically getting away with violating the ownership limit.  Regardless, in September of 2014 the station flipped from news/talk to sports talk as “The Beast 980” and is serving as the flagship for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, as well.  Barrett Tweets that the new owners will assume control in February and since Mercury’s M.O. is ethnic programming and brokered radio, we’re likely to see a format change next month.  That would put local sports talk personalities Fred Roggin, Bill Plaschke, Jeanne Zelasko, Chris Myers, Wes Clements and more out on the street.  The Times reports that a format change is a certainty.

aceekevin‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego Names Kevin Acee Evening Host.  San Diego sports talk outlet XEPRS “The Mighty 1090” is naming San Diego sportswriter Kevin Acee the host of its evening program, “Trending Now.”  Acee is a columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune, a position he will continue to hold.  Acee also spent seven years as the San Diego Chargers beat writer and two years covering San Diego State football.  Station VP of programming and operations Mike Shepard comments, “Kevin is a multi-media sports voice in San Diego who has the unique ability to connect and provide insight to sports fans on a variety of platforms.  ‘Trending Now’ is the perfect showcase of his many talents, and we enthusiastically welcome Kevin to the full-time, all-star lineup on San Diego’s Sports Leader.”

ap logoAssociated Press Offers 2016 Radio Campaign Kit.  A new service for this year’s presidential election is being offered by the Associated Press.  It’s called the 2016 Radio Campaign Kit, and AP calls it “a turnkey advantage that gives radio members election returns and AP journalists’ digital and on-air reporting on the presidential campaign in the months leading to Election Day and the inauguration of the 45th president in January.”  AP has already inked Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington, among other stations.  AP says that subscribers will receive verified vote counts in their home state and surrounding areas in primaries and the November 8 general election up to 12 times an hour via online maps and other modules.  The modules will show delegate counts for both political parties, the popular vote, Electoral College totals for U.S. president and the balance of power in the U.S. Congress.  In addition to dynamic election-night maps, the 2016 Radio Campaign Kit provides a suite of embeddable white-label interactives for use on AP members’ digital and on-air properties, optimized for display on mobile devices, desktops and tablets.  AP director of election services Brian Scanlon comments, “The AP’s 2016 Radio Campaign Kit represents an important step for us as we continue to push to make our services responsive to our members’ needs around big-event stories such as the presidential campaign.”  Interested stations can contact Paul Memoli at AP via email at pmemoli@ap.org or phone 212-621-6923.

Odds & Sods.  Springfield, Illinois talk personality Ray Lytle exits Saga Communications-owned news/talk WTAX in a budget-related move.  Lytle had been with the station for the past two years after previously serving with Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s crosstown news/talk WMAY…..CFRA, Ottawa legendary personality Lowell Green is retiring from his daily radio show at the Bell Media talk station.  The 79-year-old Green began his career in the news department at CFRA in 1960.  He became a talk host six years later and has been hosting the Lowell Green show on the station since 1993.  He won’t be in full retirement mode as he’ll continue to make appearances on the station…..Weekend technology talk show “Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline” announces the addition of some new affiliate stations as WGKA, Atlanta “AM 920 The Answer”; WRKO, Boston; and CKLW, Windsor, Ontario/Detroit are now carrying the program.

newyorkfestivalsNew York Festivals 2016 International Radio Program Awards Opens Entry Process.  In addition to the announcement that the New York Festivals 2016 International Radio Program Awards are open for entries, comes news that there are three new categories this year.  Those include: Biography/Profiles, Climate Change & Sustainability, and Music.  The worldwide competition honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs℠ has been taking place since 1982 and receives entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from 32 countries around the globe.  Radio program awards executive director Rose Anderson states, “New Yorkandersonrose Festivals recognizes the ever-evolving nature of the radio industry.  Time does not stand still in the radio industry – new ways of reaching listeners and new ways of telling the important stories of our day drive change.  So, every year, we work with our advisory board and we update some categories as well as create new ones.  It is an organic ecosystem. We embrace the new while keeping the best practices of what has come before.”  Anderson says the three new categories will provide a platform for those with a distinctive voice and point of view regarding issues and topics of interest.  Anderson continues, “In our ever-changing world, radio is the original social media.  There is a universal language of radio which connects us all – giving us the ability to meet directly in each other’s imagination and guided by the textures of sound to understand each other.”  New York Festivals Radio Awards enlists jurists from all over the world to become members of the Grand Jury.  The Grand Jury includes some of the most recognizable voices and captivating programming producers in the industry.  Entries are judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium.  The ceremony for the World’s Best Radio Programs takes place at the Manhattan Penthouse in New York on June 20.  The deadline for entries is March 18.  To enter, log in here and find all the information you need.  Inquiries can go to Gayle Mandel at: gmandel@newyorkfestivals.com.

Obama Gun Control Plan, Presidential Race, ‘White Anger’ Report, Saudi-Iran Diplomatic Break/Shiite-Sunni Tensions, Oregon Armed Protestors Standoff, Battle Against Islamic State, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/5).  The executive order gun control plans announced by President Obama; the activities of the candidates for president; the Esquire/NBC News “American Rage” poll determining white Americans are the “angriest”; the diplomatic break between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the reported growing rift between Shiite and Sunni countries in the Middle East; the case of the armed protestors occupying an Oregon wildlife preserve; the recent military actions against Islamic State-held parts of Iraq; and this weekend’s NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

cookeCES16hashtagCES 2016: Home and Health.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting from the enormous Consumer Electronics Show and today he files a story tipping us to some of the new technology and gadgets that some believe will be ubiquitous in both our homes and our cars in the not-too-distant future.  Cooke writes that many of the technological helpers for around the home can be operated from the “remote” device most of us already carry – the smartphone – and that device is where “smart broadcasters are also publishing.”  Read today’s full report here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

| July 29, 2013

bostonheraldradio logoBoston Herald Radio Launches August 5 at 6:00 am ET.  The concept of the full-blown, digital-age “media station” predicted and described for the past decade by Michael Harrison and other radio industry visionaries will be taking a giant leap toward coming to fruition at 6:00 am ET on August 5.  The Boston Herald newspaper is unveiling its ambitious new initiative “Boston Herald Radio” – a Boston-centric news/talk/sports radio station that will begin its life as a venue for four live three-hour shows running weekdays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.  These programs include:

katzjeffspeaks–          6:00 am to 9:00 am – “Live from the Newsroom with Jeff Katz” (Katz is a well-known talk industry personality most recently heard in Boston on WRKO and Talk 1200.)

–          9:00 am to 12:00 noon – “Morning Meeting with Jaclyn Cashman and Hillary Chabot” (Cashman is a former Springfield, MA TV anchor/reporter and multimedia consultant and Chabot is the chief political reporter with the Boston Herald.)

–          12:00 noon to 3:00 pm – “The Michael Graham Show” (Graham is a former WTKK host and current Boston Herald op-ed grahammichaelcolumnist.)

–          3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – “Sports Town with Jon Meterparel and Jen Royle” (Meterparel is a former WEEI personality and current Boston College play-by-play announcer and Royle is an Emmy-award winning Major League Baseball reporter, TV/radio host.)

This will be the first news/sports/talk radio platform in the Boston market backed up by a full multimedia newsroom under the brand of a major newspaper and one of a handful of such operations beginning to pop up around the country.  News reports will be provided capalboshattuckthroughout the broadcast day by Boston Herald editors and reporters.  Feature elements will include Boston Herald music, TV, movie reviews, political and business reports, style and food segments as well as live reports from staff reporters who travel with all four major teams and provide extensive high school sports coverage.  The stream will be managed by Backbone Networks (the same company working on the forthcoming mid-August launch of TalkersRadio) and carried by Tune In as well its home base on the Boston Herald website and its mobile news and sports apps.  The shows will be streamed from a studio adjacent to the Boston Herald newsroom.  The studio team includes executive producer Tom Shattuck (formerly of WRKO and WTKK) and two part-time producers (Shattuck pictured at right, is here with Backbone Networks VP of engineering development George Capalbo, at left).  Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Consumers want news and information that is mobile, and they want to be active participants connecting and collaborating on the issues of the day, not passive receptors being lectured to.  That is our mission in print, online, in video presentations and now Boston Herald Radio.”  Sciacca adds, “I see myself not as a newspaper editor but as the leader of a news organization that creates high-quality, original content for use across platforms — whether it is print, web or broadcast.”   According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who was writing and speaking about the potential of newspaper websites providing radio broadcasters with powerful platforms to operate on the internet as long as 10 years ago,  “This amazing development in Boston marks the tipping point in the evolution of the digital-age news and entertainment platform.  The brilliant and obvious idea of newspapers and radio stations rubbing their two sticks together (literally and figuratively) will send sparks flying that will potentially proliferate into a  21st century ‘media station’ wildfire.  By ‘media station’ I mean an online platform that has the cultural stationality of a radio station, a television station, a newspaper and a magazine combined – all in one location – fueled and synergized by the combined resources of each.”  Harrison maintains that the internet alone is not a practical platform.  He says, “By itself, the internet has no form, no definition and no prestige, similarly neither do the so called ‘airwaves’ of 20th century audio and video media.  The key is to build prestigious, well-defined platforms that will sail across the internet — the way ships, yachts and ocean liners sail the seas and the way glorious theaters give Broadway its pizzazz or great stadiums separate the big leagues from sandlot baseball.  If an actor, dancer or musician is performing ‘on Broadway,’ that could mean they are doing their act on the stage of the Winter Garden or on the sidewalk in front of the Winter Garden.  It is the same thing with the internet.  Prestigious, well-resourced platforms give you a place to put the key to monetization: a box office!”  Walter Sabo, CEO of the New York City-based consultancy firm Sabo Media (whose clients have included SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Parade magazine and numerous leading radio firms and talent), says, “When Jeff Katz or Michael Graham are on the air doing their shows in a studio right next to the Boston Herald newsroom, they will be one door away from an-in house news gathering and processing operation that employs hundreds of journalists.  This is a brilliant move!”  Sabo adds that his firm has been developing a new division for the past several months that will specialize in advising newspapers in executing this kind of move, stating, “I have been hearing from a number of publications – dailies and weeklies – that are very interested in pursuing these exciting new opportunities, but they realize that they not only need people with on-air broadcast experience, but people who have broadcasting management insight as well.  The Boston Herald was smart to hire Tom Shattuck.”  Summing up the synergy aspect of his new media station, Boston Herald editor-in-chief Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Our multimedia reporters are producing award-winning purcellsciaccavideo reports every day, producing broadcast-quality segments with compelling interviews and streaming content.  Is this a TV newsroom?  An online newsroom?  A radio station?  A newspaper?  It’s today’s Boston Herald.”  He continues, “The power of Boston Herald Radio when it comes to breaking news will be incredible.  Listeners can be confident they will be not only engaged and entertained by our talk shows, but will be insiders on breaking news in real time.”  Boston  Herald publisher and president Patrick J. Purcell (pictured at left with Joe Sciacca, right, in the Boston Herald newsroom) says, “Internet radio is exploding and it makes sense that the Herald rounds out our multimedia platform with talk radio programming.  It’s perfect synergy.  Boston Herald Radio will be fast-paced, uncensored, entertaining, completely interactive and, most important, very respectful to our listeners.  We have a terrific team of seasoned hosts who are smart, respected and extremely versatile.  They live in our communities and fully understand and appreciate the complexities of issues folks care about.”

sabowalterMemo to Newspapers on the Verge of Launching Radio Stations on Their Websites:  Do it Correctly!  Noted radio consultant Walter Sabo is no stranger to working in the intersection between print media and talk radio.  In a new advice column posted today (7/29), he offers several key points from a list of essential ingredients that are required for talk-oriented media stations based on publication websites to achieve success and longevity.  He advises newspaper executives to hire experienced radio executives to lead the station as well as seasoned, accomplished talk hosts to execute it.  He suggests protecting and growing the brand by taking advantage of the traffic already on the website and creating programming that delivers topics in which newspaper readers are already interested.  Most of all, understand that talk show hosts are like newspaper columnists – more so than reporters.  Listeners realize this and do not expect the spoken word of opinion to mimic the printed word of editorial fact and objectivity.  To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

cumulusAnother Report of a Cumulus Split from Limbaugh and Hannity.  We’ve heard these rumors before about Cumulus Media dropping Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and the latest comes from Politico.  The mag reports that inside sources say Cumulus is not satisfied with the results of negotiations to reduce the cost of airing the Limbaugh and Hannity programs on their 40-some news/talk stations that carry them.  Both contracts reportedly are limbaughrushup at the end of this year.  As most industry insiders are aware, there are cash considerations as well as inventory that airs outside the actual programs associated with carrying Limbaugh and Hannity and that, presumably, is what the bone ofhannitysean contention is.  Politico does report that a Cumulus spokesperson said the company does not comment on negotiations with talent under contract.  Cumulus holds its Q2 conference call tomorrow morning but don’t hold your breath waiting for Lew Dickey to comment on the Limbaugh/Hannity issue.  The tone of the Politico piece makes it sound as though this is about the politics of Limbaugh and Hannity and whether the “Sandra Fluke case” is still haunting the sales efforts.  If that were the case, negotiations over the cost of the programs would be irrelevant.  Ultimately, the Dickeys’ decision will likely be based upon whether they make enough money off of Limbaugh and Hannity to justify the cost while considering what the company could do with personalities such as Michael Savage, Mark Levin and Mike Huckabee to cover the time slots now held by Limbaugh and Hannity.

millerchrisThe Social Media Trick You Don’t Know You Know.  Although the term “call to action” has a slightly different application in broadcasting than it does in social media, it is increasingly growing in importance as a concept to managing content in the digital arena.  In a new column posted today (7/29), noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says that radio broadcasters can apply “call to action” concepts with which they are very familiar from their broadcasting experience to social media with merely a few tweaks and turns of a phrase.  To read Miller’s entire column, please click here.

kjce-am logoEntercom Splits KJCE-AM/FM, Austin Simulcast; New Lineup for KJCE-AM.  The FM side of Entercom’s KJCE, Austin becomes an urban AC outlet as the new “96 R&B” featuring Premiere NetworksSteve Harvey in morning drive.  KJCE-AM remains news/talk as “News Radio 1370” with some additions to the lineup, returning Talk Radio Network’s “America’s Morning News.”  Entercom Austin vice president and market manager Alan Kirshbom states, “By bringing back ‘America’s Morning News’ from 5:00 am to 8:00 am and moving Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham to live programming from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, KJCE once again proves it is Austin’s and Texas’ Talk Station.”  The station is also bringing back Dial Global’s Dennis Miller to air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm followed by Dave Ramsey and Premiere NetworksSean Hannity.

kroi logoRadio One’s All-News KROI, Houston Partner with KHOU-TV for Weather.  Radio One all-news “News 92 FM” announces a partnership with CBS TV O&O “KHOU 11” for the latter to provide weather for KROI.  Radio One regional vice president Doug Abernethy states, “Why compete with the best when you can team up with the best?  KHOU 11 has built a stellar reputation as a local weather leader in Houston and we are thrilled to welcome KHOU 11 and their outstanding meteorologists to join our 24-hour ‘News 92 FM’ team to provide our audience the best, most accurate, up-to-the-minute weather coverage.”

michaelsbillSyndicated Bill Michaels Sports Talk Program Adds Madison.  Based at Entercom sports talk WSSP, Milwaukee, the statewide syndicated Bill Michaels program announces it will add Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s WOZN-AM, Madison “The Zone” beginning August 8.  The midday sports talk show airs live from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and is in its second year of syndication.  “We’re delighted to welcome another Mid-West Family Broadcasting station to the Bill Michaels Sports Network,” says Michael Keck, vice president and market manager for Entercom Wisconsin.  “Bill’s enthusiasm and talent is contagious and that’s a big reason we continue to grow.”  Michaels comments, “This is a dream come true.  I feel like I’m now able to reach all Wisconsin sports fans.  I’m anxious to connect with the strong sports fan base that is represented in Mad-town.”

jacksonkevin‘The Black Sphere’ Radio Show Gaining Traction.  The Kevin Jackson-hosted “Black Sphere Radio Show” announces it adds WEZO, Augusta, Georgia to its list of affiliate stations.  Earlier this year the program added Salem Communications’ WGUL and WLSS in the Tampa-St. Petersburg and Sarasota markets.  Program senior producer Mickey White says, “Kevin is gaining in popularity and we will be adding markets and new sponsors in the very near future.  Kevin’s blend of entertainment with politics is getting lots of attention.  We are in talks with stations across the country, including some large market stations in Nevada, Colorado and California and we expect to make a lot of big announcements in the near future.”

rhodesaustinMan Arrested After Threatening WGAC, Augusta’s Austin Rhodes.  A 25-year old Augusta, Georgia man was taken into custody last week and held on $2,600 bond after allegedly threatening WGAC, Augusta talk show host Austin Rhodes with bodily harm.  After Darnell Tyray Chambers made what Rhodes considered a threatening statement about him on Facebook, he reported the threat as per Beasley Broadcast Group company policy.  According to the Columbia County News-Times, police arrested Chambers on charges of making terroristic threats and acts.

handel20yearsKFI, Los Angeles Celebrates 20 Years of Bill Handel.  Clear Channel news/talk giant KFI, Los Angeles is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bill Handel as the morning drive talk personality on the station.  Handel began hosting the program in July of 1993 but the station says it will officially celebrate the anniversary with an extravaganza for listeners in November but on Friday, July 26, Rich Marotta, Michelle Kube, Mike Nolan, Neil Saavedra and Gary Hoffmann reminisced about their favorite Handel moments during the 5:00 am hour of the program.  To say that Handel is important to the station’s success would be an understatement.  Handel is consistently one of the highest-rated daily talk radio programs in the country in terms of cume.