Tag: "Morris O’Kelly"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

| April 4, 2012

Cumulus Dallas Goes into Storm Coverage Mode as Twisters Hit Metro Area.  The Dallas cluster of Cumulus Media reacted swiftly to the severe storms and tornadoes that hit the Dallas-Fort Worth area yesterday, led by news/talk sister stations WBAP and KLIF.  Operations manager Tyler Cox tells TALKERS that the stations had a great opportunity to super-serve the community.  “WBAP (820 AM/96.7 FM) and KLIF (570AM) began simulcasting continuous coverage.  Shortly after that, the remaining stations in the Cumulus cluster (sports KTCK 1310 AM, KSCS-FM, KPLX-FM and KLIF-FM) joined with us to create a six-station simulcast reaching countless numbers of listeners with life-saving information.”  Cox says all six went into non-stop, commercial-free weather coverage with the news/talk stations’ reporters and listeners providing on-the-scene information all across North Texas.  Preliminary reports indicate no fewer than 12 tornadoes formed in the region and, although there is widespread destruction, there are no fatalities confirmed at this time.

KFI, Los Angeles Adds New Weekend Shows; Adds Diversity to Lineup.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s KFI, Los Angeles is adding a two-hour early evening program on Saturdays hosted by Morris O’Kelly, the producer and co-host of sister progressive talk station KTLK’s “Diverse L.A.” Also, KTLK PM drive host David Cruz will host a Sunday early evening program on KFI.  In a statement, Clear Channel says the purpose of the new shows is to “discuss, dissect and investigate the important, often controversial issues of the day through the eyes of an eclectic collection of Southern California residents, urbanites and suburbanites, young and old, across race, gender and the political spectrum.”  Morris O’Kelly states, “I’ve wanted to do a show like this for a long time – to dig into what Southern Californians think and why.  Opinions are as diverse as the population and I think we’re going to shed light on issues that really matter.”

Erica Farber Replaces Jeff Haley as President and CEO of the RAB.  The board of directors of the Radio Advertising Bureau announces Erica Farber, who joined the RAB in late 2011, will replace Jeff Haley as president and CEO of the organization as Haley exits to pursue a new opportunity.  RAB board chairman and EVP Scott Herman says of the move, “Erica is an excellent selection with the relevant skills and expertise to lead the RAB.  She brings an impressive track record in radio sales and management.  In addition, Erica has a clear understanding of the organization and what the broadcast industry requires from the RAB.  She has demonstrated a strong capacity of working with multiple constituencies which is critical to the RAB role.  We thank Jeff for his guidance and leadership the past five years in helping to shape an organization that fits the radio and media landscape today.  He’s left an indelible imprint on the industry and we thank him for his service and commitment.”

Budget Mandate Forces WBSM, New Bedford to Release Talk Host Ken Pittman.  Local officials are decrying Cumulus Media’s decision to eliminate Ken Pittman’s local afternoon drive talk show on WBSM, New Bedford, Massachusetts.  The New Bedford Standard-Times reports New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell even wrote to Cumulus COO John Dickey to express how area residents are upset with the loss of local programming.  “The local programming available on WBSM, including local news, talk and sports coverage, is truly valued by the thousands of listeners the station draws from the New Bedford region,” he wrote.  Meanwhile, station programming manager Pete Braley tells the paper local management made the cut reluctantly after being mandated by corporate to trim expenses and realizing that someone had to go.  With Pittman out, mid-morning host Phil Paleologos will move to PM drive and do more news event coverage.  The station brings Salem Radio NetworksMike Gallagher in for late mornings to cover Paleologos’ slot.  That leaves the station with four hours of local programming: morning drive and a 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm program.

Management Change at Cumulus Washington, DC; Jeff Boden Exits.  President and general manager Jeff Boden has left the building at Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC station group that includes news/talk WMAL-AM/FM.  DCRTV.com’s Dave Hughes reports Sam Rogers – former CBS Radio Washington cluster chief and Cumulus VP of political and platform sales – has taken over Boden’s role at the stations.  Hughes reports that rumors have more cuts coming to the DC cluster in the near future, although it’s hard to predict which stations and what positions will be affected.

Damon “The Bulldog” Yaffe Joins WNST, Baltimore.  Nestor Aparicio-owned sports talk outlet WNST, Baltimore announces Damon “The Bulldog” Yaffe becomes part of the late-morning show on the station alongside Paul Mittermeier and Greg Marsh.  A release from the station states, “Yaffe’s crew will focus on all Baltimore sports with fun conversation, guests and lots of banter about the state of the local sporting universe including the Orioles, Ravens, Terps, and local lacrosse.”  Yaffe had previously worked at CBS Radio’s crosstown sports talker WJZ-FM.

Bankruptcy Filing Leaves Broadcasters in Financial Lurch.  The bankruptcy filing of tax resolution company TaxMasters is forcing a number of broadcasting companies – including CNN, Dial Global, Fox News Channel and others – to face the fact they will likely receive little if anything of what the company owes them.  Forbes reports that Time Warner’s CNN is owed the largest amount for ads aired on the cable news channel: $2.6 million.  Other broadcasters are also listed as unsecured creditors.  News Corp’s Fox News Channel is out $938,414; Dial Global is owed $676,000; MSNBC stands to lose $259,441; and ESPN is out $94,265.  TaxMasters and CEO Patrick Cox were hit with a $195 million verdict in Texas for violating the state’s Deceptive Trade Violations Act.  It lists assets of just $1.7 million.

Bob Visotcky Takes VP Sales Position at Cumulus Los Angeles.  Bob Visotcky moves over from his market manager post at Cumulus Media’s Oxnard-Ventura stations to the Los Angeles cluster where he’ll become vice president of sales representing news/talk KABC and classic rock KLOS-FM.

GOP Primaries/2012 Presidential Race, Supreme Court-ObamaCare Issue, Ryan Budget, Twisters Hit Dallas, and Trayvon Martin Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3).  The ongoing GOP primary race and the greater 2012 presidential campaign, the charges President Obama is pressuring the Supreme Court in its judgment of the legality of the Patient Care and Affordability Act of 2010, Congressman Paul Ryan’s Republican House budget proposal, tornadoes sweep through the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the Trayvon Martin case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

| March 8, 2012

Clear Channel Los Angeles to Air “Diverse L.A.” on Progressive Talk KTLK; Black Media Alliance Not Satisfied.  As part of Clear Channel Los Angeles’ program to increase diversity at the cluster, a three-week block of programs titled, “Diverse L.A.” will air on progressive talk outlet KTLK during the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart beginning March 12.  The program will be hosted by cluster producer and political commentator Morris O’Kelly.  Clear Channel is currently seeking community members interested in appearing on the program and is taking suggestions and applications via e-mail at DiverseLA@clearchannel.com.  In a statement, Clear Channel Los Angeles market manager Greg Ashlock says, “These 45 hours of prime programming will feature local hosts and guests discussing a wide variety of issues associated with the spectrum of experience of all Angelenos.”  The programming is part of the response to the negative feedback sister station KFI received after PM drive hosts John & Ken were suspended for comments about Whitney Houston.  Morris O’Kelly states, “This is about Los Angeles hearing voices and viewpoints less often heard while also addressing communities historically underserved.  ‘Diverse L.A.’ will highlight new personalities and newsmakers for the KTLK audience but, more importantly, provide a platform for inclusive, substantive dialogue in the public square.”  The Los Angeles organization Black Media Alliance responds to the initiative disappointed that Clear Channel has “relegated our concerns to a struggling station that has neither the cachet nor reach of their more profitable outlet.”  In a statement, the BMA quotes longtime member and media personality Kevin Ross saying, “The efforts of Clear Channel are important, but it’s not enough…There needs to be diversity on all of their stations, on- and off-air and we are prepared to provide Clear Channel with an extensive list of African-American radio professionals who fit into their current program formatting needs.”

Sacramento Bee Editor Apologizes for Obscene Call to KHTK, Sacramento’s Don Geronimo Show.  Sacramento Bee sports editor Tom Couzens has apologized in the paper for making obscene calls to the Don Geronimo morning show at CBS Radio’s sports KHTK, Sacramento that he, at first, denied making.  The brouhaha appears to have been the culmination of an ongoing feud between Couzens and Geronimo.  The Sacramento News & Review reports Couzens had been critical of the format of Geronimo’s morning drive show and Geronimo – who is a pro at turning that kind of controversy into PR for his show – vowed to “get” Couzens for his criticism of the show.  Couzens admits he let Geronimo get to him and his bosses at the Bee are saying it is a personnel issue that is being handled internally.

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Names Bo Thompson Co-Host of AM Drive Show.  Greater Media news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte announces Bo Thompson joins morning drive host Stacey Simms as co-host of the “Charlotte’s Morning News.”  Thompson is currently producer of WCCB-TV, Charlotte’s “Fox News Edge” program hosted by Greater Media personalities Matt Harris and Ramona Holloway.  Thompson begins his duties alongside Simms, news anchor John Stokes, sports anchor Jim Szoke and traffic reporter Chuck Roads at WBT on March 19.  Thompson says,I began my radio career at WBT 22 years ago and this is my home.  I always knew I’d be back one day.  It’s an honor to carry on the torch from Al Gardner.  Many of my radio idols have held this job.  I can’t wait to be a part of CMN’s next chapter.”  Gardner left the station to work with Merlin Media as it prepares to launch a new format on WKDN-FM, Philadelphia.

Clear Channel Adds Local Show to Hartford FM Sports Talker.  This week Clear Channel split the simulcast that had been sports talk WPOP and WUCS-FM in Hartford.  As reported earlier, WPOP has become a Fox Sports Radio Network affiliate and WUCS-FM carries programming from ESPN.  Now, WUCS-FM – positioned as 97.9 ESPN – adds a local PM drive show to the program schedule hosted by Mike Bower.  Comedian and talk personality Bower temporarily filled the slot WTKK-FM, Boston had open when it let talk host Jay Severin go in April of last year.

Michael Juliano Takes Over Director of Sales Role at Entercom Boston.  Shuffling in the management at Entercom’s Boston cluster opens up the director of sales position and VP/market manager Jeff Brown announces Michael Juliano is brought in to manage the cluster’s sales efforts.  Juliano most recently served as regional vice president of sales for Metro Traffic in the New York and Pennsylvania markets.  In his new duties, he’ll oversee all revenue for sports WEEI-AM/FM, news/talk WRKO and rock WAAF as well as the Red Sox Radio Network, the Celtics Radio Network and New England Patriots special programming.

Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Raises Funds for Tornado Victims.  Emmis Communications news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis partnered with WRTV-TV, Indianapolis to raise funds for the victims of the recent tornados that swept through southern Indiana.  The Tornado Relief Drive was done in a “drive-through” method on Tuesday, March 6 with local Jiffy Lube locations taking part.  During that 12-hour drive some $46,000 was collected. The money is being distributed via the Salvation Army Indiana Division.  The familiar red kettles are continuing to being used at the Jiffy Lube locations.  During the Tuesday drive, WIBC-FM personnel were stationed at various locations throughout the city with the red kettles.

GOP Primary Race, Rush Limbaugh Controversy, Intensified Syria Violence, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, Solar Storm Heads to Earth, and Sarah Palin Movie Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7).  The Mitt Romney-Rick Santorum race for the Republican nomination; the aftermath of Rush Limbaugh’s controversial language; the intensified violence against Syria’s citizens; continuing international debate over Iran’s nuclear weapons program; the massive solar storm that could disrupt Earth’s communications systems; and the HBO Sarah Palin movie set to air this weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Bill Bradley Meets George Lucas.  SiriusXM is presenting a special program in which former Senator Bill Bradley (l) interviews filmmaker George Lucas (r).  The satcaster states during the program “Lucas discusses a variety of topics throughout the interview, including: his evolution as a filmmaker and storyteller and the role technology played on this journey; his philosophy on education in America; what inspired him to make “Red Tails” and the importance of sharing the history of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen with the youngest generation of African-Americans in our country today; and the spiritual life lessons woven into the “Star Wars” saga.