Tag: "MTV"

Friday, January 8, 2016

| January 8, 2016

carrollbillKFI’s Carroll Announces His Departure. With approximately 90 seconds remaining in Thursday’s (1/7) broadcast, KFI, Los Angeles midday talent Bill Carroll revealed he is leaving the iHeartMedia talk property effective immediately. In addition to sharing his reason for departing KFI (#9, 3.4, 6+, December 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM), Carroll implored his listeners to grant an election-day request. “Hey, I wanted to say one thing before I wrap up the show today,” CarrollKFI began, as he sought to “explain” his “cryptic New Year’s Day tweet” which many people asked him about on Facebook. “[My wife Sylvie and I] have been considering this for a while and we came to the conclusion that it is time to get closer to home.” Carroll’s father passed away in 2010; Scotland born/Canada raised Carroll joined KFI in February of that year. “I did not get to see him much,” he lamented. “My mother is older so we are leaving. We still do not know exactly where we are going to land [but] this is my last show – maybe we will talk again in the future.” That led Carroll to rhetorically ask, “Can you just do one final favor for me? For God sakes, when I am gone, do not elect Donald Trump. You are better than that. Do not let anger sweep you away. Do not elect Donald Trump. I came to live among you because I admire you for your graciousness, your openness, and your religious freedoms. Don’t elect Donald Trump – I am begging.” It is unclear how long it will be before KFI program director Robin Bertolucci names a permanent replacement for Carroll; apparently, several guest hosts will be utilized in the station’s 10:00 am – 1:00 pm slot. Prior to his six-year KFI tenure, Carroll worked in Toronto at CILQ “Q-107,” and CFRB-AM. The 56-year-old Carroll appears at #47 on TALKERS’ 2015 “Heavy Hundred.”

talkersten logoObama ‘Guns’ Town Hall Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  Thursday night’s “town hall” on gun control presented by CNN and the White House along with President Obama’s announced plans to use executive power to alter some gun laws were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State, followed by the Saudi Arabian and Iranian diplomatic break and the growing rift between Shiite and Sunni-majority Middle Eastern states 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.

wtmj logoWTMJ, Milwaukee to Present Special Program ‘Beyond Making a Murderer.’  The Netflix original program “Making a Murderer” is attracting large audiences across the country but in Wisconsin, where film subject Steven Avery is currently incarcerated, the case is now the subject of a special program to be presented this weekend on E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  The special, “Beyond Making a Murderer,” will present update coverage of the case of convicted murderer Avery.  The station says it has covered the Avery story since the beginning.  The Netflix seriesnetflixMaking has sparked a petition demanding a presidential pardon, curious tourists are traveling to Wisconsin, and critics are claiming there’s more to the story.  WTMJ vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “The story of Steven Avery is not only a big story in our backyard but also a story of national significance.  WTMJ is Wisconsin’s Radio Station and we are leading the way with exclusive interviews and expanded local coverage to advance the story.”  This weekend, “Wisconsin’s Morning News” host Gene Mueller will anchor a two-hour special “WTMJ Presents: Beyond Making a Murderer” that will air on Saturday at 7:00 pm and on Sunday at 11:00 am, immediately prior to coverage of the Packers vs Redskins playoff game.  WTMJ executive producer of news Erik Bilstad will anchor coverage live from Manitowoc, Wisconsin with one-on-one interviews, videos and exclusive digital coverage.  WTMJ program manager Eric Brooks adds, “‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station’ is working to go beyond the documentary, to talk with the people involved in the case and give our audience updated information.  We are talking with family members, justices, jurors, law enforcement, and prosecutors to learn everything new we can.  WTMJ is providing content for not only our Wisconsin audience, but for those interested worldwide.”

price howardRadio’s Hot New (Old) Format: ‘The Puddle.’  In an opinion piece published today (1/8), ABC Television director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes about the sensational amount of global interest in Periscope’s “The Puddle” – a camera shot at a puddle of water in the U.K.  Price says the people watching the puddle on their smartphones have “rediscovered the magic of radio…If you really believe all radio is local – and GREAT local radio is all about making compelling content out of the everyday events and observations in the communities it serves — then ‘the puddle’ can be seen as a metaphor for what radio’s core mission has always been, and which it used to execute better than any other medium.”  Read his entire piece here.

kiblerkellyKibler Named iHeartMedia’s EVP Multi-Cultural Marketing. Executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia‘s Texas major markets Kelly Kibler is appointed executive vice president of multi-cultural marketing. According to iHeartMedia chair and chief executive officer Bob Pittman, “Kelly has been a constant innovator in this company. She is the perfect choice to head up our focused multi-cultural advertising efforts at the market level. Her success as executive vice president of operations, as well as in her role as a sales leader and market president and her leadership of numerous iHeartMedia initiatives, have enabled her to grow her career with us. We look forward to her using all of her experience and relationships to build this new capability for our company.” The bilingual Kibler comments, “I could not be more excited to take on this new position at iHeartMedia, using the tools and experience we’ve developed in Texas and applying them across our 150 markets in a space that continues to grow in both importance and footprint across America.” Kibler began her career in 1991 at Telemundo. Before becoming iHeartMedia’s executive vice president of operations for the company’s major markets in Texas, she was a market president in Dallas, San Diego, and Las Vegas.

emmis logoEmmis Confirms Layoffs; Executive Pay Cuts.  After a fiscal third quarter report that showed a 5.1% drop in radio net revenue, Emmis Communications is confirming that it has laid off 32 company staffers and instituted pay cuts for corporate senior executives.  During the recent conference call with investors, Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan stated, “We’ve made some changes and they’re very painful changes.  This is always very, very hard for us.”  The moves are designed to trim some $5.3 million from the radio sector’s budget.

kidRich Broadcasting Adds Three Signals to News/Talk KID, Idaho Falls.  The announced expansion of Rich Broadcasting’s heritage news/talk KID, Idaho Falls will expand the reach of the station within the Idaho Falls market and some 90 miles east to the Jackson, Wyoming market.  The company says, beginning Monday, KID “Newsradio” will be heard on KQEZ-FM in Idaho Falls and to KSGT-AM, Jackson and translator K242BU at 96.3 in the Jackson market.  KID, Idaho Falls is also simulcast on KIDG-FM, Pocatello, Idaho.  Rich Broadcasting president Richard Mecham says, “KID has served the eastern Idaho market since 1928 and we are both pleased and excited to substantially expand its impact and coverage with the addition of three more frequencies, which not only will substantially expand its geographical reach but also, and very significantly, will enhance its nighttime coverage.  With the addition of 106.3 FM, it now will be heard regionally from Ashton to Pocatello.  Additionally, we are very pleased to expand the KID brand into the Teton County radio market, and in the process enhance the synergy between the eastern Idaho and Jackson markets. We look forward to providing to our listeners the very best in news and information for years to come.”

cookeCES16hashtagCES 2016 Wrap Up.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke files his final report from Las Vegas where this week he’s been attending the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.  Today he writes about the ubiquitous phone camera, drones, the head-on challenges facing television, and new technologies that are doing what radio stations traditionally helped people do.  Read Holland Cooke’s entire report here.

Odds & Sods.  The digital production field and studio tool suite Control Room Pro is now being used at stations including CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York; Bonneville’s WTOP-FM, Washington; iHeartmedia’s WIOD, Miami;rosenbergsid and news/talk WHO-AM and sports KXNO-AM in Des Moines,  The suite of tools is produced by Harris Media and is repped by AdLarge Media…..Next Thursday and Friday (1/14-15), (and for the second time in the last three weeks!) Sid Rosenberg and “Imus in the Morning” executive producer Bernard McGuirk are sitting in for “Curtis & Kuby” co-hosting the midday show at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.

pittmanbobPittman to Receive BFoA Golden Mike Award. Jackson, Mississippi native Bob Pittman began his radio career at the age of 15 and the iHeartMedia chair/chief executive officer is set to be honored with the Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s 2016 “Golden Mike” award. Broadcasters Foundation vice chair Dan Mason declares, “Bob is an extraordinary broadcaster. As an architect of today’s iHeartMedia, Bob’s focus on innovation – and his deep belief in broadcast radio – has expanded radio into new areas and platforms. We are proud to recognize his contributions to broadcasting.” Pittman states that, “Radio reaches more Americans than any other medium. [It is] the best friend in the seat next to them and their trusted companion and information source across multiple platforms. I feel extremely fortunate to be in broadcasting during the most exciting time in our industry’s history. I am grateful to theBroadcasters Foundation of America Broadcasters Foundation for this honor, and I thank them for their deep commitment to supporting our broadcast colleagues in their times of need.” Pittman programmed WMAQ, Chicago and famously became program director at WNBC, New York at the age of 23. Also included on his impressive, extensive resume is being co-founder/programmer of the team that created MTV; CEO of MTV Networks; AOL Networks; Six Flags Theme Parks; Quantum Media; Century 21 Real Estate; and Time Warner Enterprises. He was chief operating officer of America Online and later of AOL Time Warner. Pittman was named one of Advertising Age‘s “10 Marketers Who Changed American Culture”; received the Robert F. Kennedy “Ripple of Hope” award; and he was named one of LIFE Magazine‘s “Five Original Thinkers of the 1980s.” He will receive his “Golden Mike” award next month (2/29) at New York City’s Plaza Hotel.

poebobBroadcaster Poe Declares Congressional Candidacy. Former Florida Democratic Party chair Bob Poe made his intentions official yesterday (Thursday, 1/7) that he is seeking to represent Florida’s 10th congressional district, which is based in west Orlando. The 61-year-old Poe comments that, “Many people are aware that I’ve been blessed with a tremendous amount of success in my life – but what most people don’t know is that my success had some humble beginnings. I come from this community. I became successful because of what I learned in this community, and I think I bring a very different perspective of how we grow the economy. I didn’t graduate from college, but I built a technology business that I’m proud of and that keeps people safe, because I never quit. Too many politicians today are too busy playing the game of musical chairs – running for one office and then another – to truly stand up and fight for us.” Prior to a nine-year run as president of Emergency Communications Network, Poe spent three years as vice president and general manager of WMMO, Orlando; four years as director of broadcasting and sponsorship sales for the NBA‘s Orlando Magic; and 12 years as vice president and general manager of Orlando talk station WKIS and the Florida Radio Network.

Prune Now to Grow Later

| April 1, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Here’s a way to clean up your website to get more repeat visits from your heaviest listeners.

Where to Start

Someone knows how to run your web analytics so you can see which pages get the most hits.  Do that.  Generally speaking, a small number of pages will, when combined, deliver more than half of your web hits.  These are the important ones.  Sometimes, you’ll see a clear difference between the pages that are performing and those that aren’t.

Read More

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

| January 18, 2012

Clear Channel Forges into Future of Entertainment; Names John Sykes President of Entertainment Enterprises.  If there comes a time in the future when radio companies are forced to address why their business plans failed as technology and media tastes were changing all around them, for Clear Channel it certainly won’t be for lack of trying to use its enormous radio station base from which to move forward.  On the heels of last week’s announcement of the name change – jettisoning the “radio” part and tacking “media” and “entertainment” onto its name – the company announces it is bringing entertainment pro John Sykes aboard to serve as president of entertainment enterprises.  In announcing the hire, CC states, “Sykes will use the unparalleled assets of Clear Channel –  including its 238 million monthly broadcast radio listeners, the 141 million people it reaches with Outdoor in the United States and the 374 million internationally, as well as the more than 75 million monthly listening hours for its digital properties – to develop new businesses for the company across a range of media, including television and live events, as well as create value for Clear Channel advertisers and key partners.”  Sykes has served as president of VH1, president of network development for MTV, CEO of the old Infinity Broadcasting, president of Champion Entertainment, president of Chrysalis Records, and an agent for Creative Artists Agency.  Most recently he was with the private equity firm Pilot Group – the connection to Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman.  Pittman says of Sykes, “John’s experience and relationships in so many sectors of the entertainment and media business make him the perfect choice to lead this new initiative.”  Clear Channel doesn’t have a lot of time.  It has some $20 billion in debt hanging around its neck that comes due in chunks over the next four years and the pace at which media and technology is changing is faster than anyone can anticipate – including those new-tech operators who say they’re ahead of the game.  But, in so many words, Clear Channel is making the statement it is bound and determined to use its large base of radio listeners to build something that will exist – and hopefully make money – in the future.  And bringing in connected players from outside the traditional radio business could be the strategy that helps it survive.

CBS Radio Detroit Brings Bob Wojnowski and Jamie Samuelsen Back to the Airwaves on “The Ticket.”  Detroit sports media pros Bob “Wojo” Wojnowski and Jamie Samuelsen are being paired up for a 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show on WXYT-FM “The Ticket.”  Both have worked on sports talk radio in the market previously on Clear Channel’s WDFN.  WXYT-FM program director Jimmy Powers says, “We are extremely pleased to have Jamie and Wojo join our line-up. They are a natural fit. They have been dialed into the Detroit sports scene for many years, giving fans information on their favorite teams. Jamie and Wojo will continue to entertain listeners on their way home from work or to the stadium.”  Wojnowski is also currently a columnist for the Detroit News and Samuelson is a regular blogger for the Detroit Free Press.

KMBZ, Kansas City Makes PM Drive Changes.  Mike Shanin leaves his role on the “Shanin and Parks” afternoon show at Entercom’s KMBZ, Kansas City and takes the business editor role at the station.  The station says it will continue to rely on Shanin’s “expertise and knowledge for political commentary.”  Filling his seat alongside Scott Parks is KCTV-TV investigative reporter Dana Wright.  She says of her new radio role, “This is really a dream opportunity for me.  Journalism is my passion and I look forward to this exciting new step in my career.”

When Radio Was Insanely Fun.  Beleaguered by the contemporary world of corporate radio?  Pining for the days when radio stations were inhabited by creative and (quite possibly) unstable personalities?  Talk radio host, WPIX-TV, New York commentator and LionelMedia.com “podcast titan” Lionel re-lives a bit of crazy radio history from his uniquely skewed perspective and personal experience.  Prepare to laugh your tuchus off and click here.

CBS Radio’s WNEW-FM, Washington Launch Delayed.  Various trade and consumer reports indicate the launch of CBS Radio’s new all-newser in Washington, DC will be Monday, January 23 and not tomorrow as had been planned.  The cause is being reported as engineering issues related to the new studios.

Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington, DC Adds College Hoops Expert.  ESPN 980 (WTEM) announces former University of Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams joins the station to serve as its college basketball insider.  Williams takes the temporary post through the NCAA finals during which he’ll join the station’s “Sports Fix” with Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro and “The Sports Reporters” with Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban for weekly college basketball reports.  PD Chuck Sapienza says, “Adding Gary to our team solidifies our dominance in the area of college basketball coverage.  He is ‘must listen-to radio’ and adding his expertise on the entire sport of college hoops is a big win for ESPN 980’s listeners.”

ESPN Audio Re-Aligns Management.  At ESPN, Jim Roberts moves from his senior director, affiliate sales to senior director, Deportes local radio group.  He’ll continue to lead the Deportes Dallas Radio station and in addition be responsible for the on-going relationship with all Deportes Radio affiliates.  Patrick Polking, senior director audio national accounts, will transition to senior director II, distribution and business development.  Polking will oversee the development and execution of strategies to further monetize ESPN Audio’s products.  The company also says that because of the growth in usage of ESPN Audio properties, Scott Masteller, senior director II, radio content, will collaborate with Dave Austin, who was recently promoted to manager, ESPN Digital Audio Group, to ensure ESPN Audio is aligned in the production of its digital audio.

GOP Primary Race, Internet Anti-Piracy Bills, European Debt Crisis and Italian Cruise Disaster Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/17).  The battle to win the GOP presidential primary race, the internet anti-piracy bills being debated in Washington, the continuing European debt problems and the Italian cruise ship disaster were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

| January 10, 2012

Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio to Feature Greater Media Stations.  First it was Cumulus Media striking at deal with Clear Channel to have its radio stations available nationwide via the iHeartRadio digital radio platform, now Greater Media climbs aboard.  Beginning in April, Greater Media’s 22 stations in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, New Jersey and Charlotte will be available via the iHeartRadio app.  Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth states, “We are thrilled to be able to provide our listeners with even greater access to our stations  anywhere they may be listening throughout the country with this exciting platform.”  Clear Channel president and CEO John Hogan says, “Adding Greater Media to iHeartRadio only improves our leading digital destination for consumers, expanding their ability to find the best and most complete online radio experience anywhere.  Clear Channel Radio and Greater Media understand that radio connects local businesses to consumers like no other medium can, and this agreement offers more choices for our listeners which is what they want.”

Don Martin Promoted to Senior Vice President, Sports Programming for Premiere Networks.  This is a promotion from his role as vice president and general manager for Fox Sports Radio Network which has been a division of Premiere Networks since it began collaborating on sports programming with Fox Sports more than 10 years ago.  In this new role, Martin oversees all sports programming and operations for Premiere.  Martin reports to Premiere president of content and affiliations Julie Talbott who says, “This is a well-deserved promotion, as Don’s leadership has been instrumental in the growth and strength of the Fox Sports Radio Network.  His expertise, as well as his passion and dedication to this industry, make him a tremendous asset as we expand in the sports arena.  With Don at the helm, I’m confident we will continue to see the positive impact and success of our programming.”  Under Martin’s watch, FSRN has reached an all-time high of 400-plus affiliates.  He continues in his role as general manager and program director of Clear Channel’s KLAC, Los Angeles.  TALKERS magazine’s Mike Kinosian recently spoke with Don Martin about his work with Fox Sports Radio and KLAC.  See the video in the Talkers TV box on the right side of this page.

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Adds More Local Talk;  Expanded Shows for Dana Loesch and Dave Glover.  Emmis Communications’ news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis is adding more live and local programming to its daily schedule with the expansion of the Dana Loesch and Dave Glover shows.  Loesch moves from the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm slot to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot beginning January 30.  Dave Glover, the station’s longtime PM drive host, adds an hour to make his show live from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Program director Jeff Allen says, “Now with more Dana and Dave we can better cover the issues that matter to our St. Louis listeners.  This is just another step in our commitment to respond to the local audience and to better cover breaking news anytime it happens.”  The expansion of the two shows means TRN’s Laura Ingraham program will exit the station.  Dana Loesch also does a live hour on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Allen says that will continue.

Compass Media Marketing Announces Executive Staff.  The newly formed advertising representation firm being organized by Compass Media Networks founder and CEO Peter Kosann announces Paul Gregery is installed as president of sales & marketing; Mary Giesen is named VP of sales planning; and Laura Peyer is New York account manager.  The appointments are effective immediately and Peter Kosann says, “We are extremely fortunate to have these executives join us.  This is a tremendous first step for our sales organization.”  Paul Gregery served at Westwood One for more than eight years in a variety of capacities, including president of sales.  Before that, he managed West Coast sales for the AMFM Radio Networks prior to its being acquired by Premiere Networks.  Gregery also worked for more than a decade at the ABC Radio Network in a variety of sales positions.  He will work out of Compass’ Los Angeles offices.  Mary Giesen also worked at Westwood One where she quickly rose through the sales management ranks, ultimately serving as VP of sales planning, traffic & continuity, managing the sales planning staff and overseeing the management of the commercial inventory.  She will work out of Compass’ New York offices.  Laura Peyer previously served as the sports network sales executive at Skyview Networks, managing advertising relationships with clients throughout the New York, New England and the Midwest markets.  Prior to Skyview, she held positions as national broadcast supervisor at MPG and sales planner at Westwood One.  She also will work out of Compass’ New York offices.

Glenn Beck’s GBTV to Debut New Roundtable Show.  In association with Glenn Beck’s internet news site The Blaze, GBTV will feature “Real News from The Blaze” airing weeknights from 7:00 to 8:00 beginning January 18.  GBTV personality Amy Holmes will moderate the roundtable discussion of the day’s news.  Participants will include Blaze editor-in-chief Scott Baker, Buck Sexton, Will Cain and S.E. Cupp.  GBTV president of programming Joel Cheatwood says, “While GBTV is and will remain an information and entertainment network, we saw a real opportunity to provide the news that our audience is looking for and is too often ignored by the mainstream media.  We are passionate about offering our audience a deeply reported and engaging look at the news and are excited to be able to draw on the incredible editorial resources at The Blaze.”

WIP, Philadelphia Brings Brian Haddad Aboard for Creative Services Director Post.  The former KDKB-FM, Phoenix morning drive host is named creative services director and part-time host at the CBS Radio sports talk station.  Operations manager Andy Bloom says, “We embarked on a three-plus month search to find the person who would make WIP the best-produced station in the country.  There is no question we found the most creative mind and talented person to help us accomplish that goal.  We view Brian as our new secret weapon.”  Brian “Sludge” Haddad joined Sandusky’s rock KDKB-FM in June of 2010 to host the morning show.  Previously, he’d worked at Cox Media’s WDYL-FM, Richmond.

KFNS, St. Louis Host Kevin Slaten Goes Solo After Ashlee Feldman Exits.  The PM drive show on Grand Slam Sports’ KFNS, St. Louis will go with Kevin Slaten solo for a while after former MTV reality show star Ashlee Feldman exited the program.  STLToday.com reports Feldman – a former college basketball player and star of MTV’s “Real World New Orleans” – missed her family in the East and decided to leave the program after a year.  Slaten tells the site he’s not certain if he’ll remain solo or be paired up with another partner.

Fisher Communications’ KVI, Seattle Loses PD Travis Box to Home Life.  Program director and producer Travis Box announces he’s leaving Fisher Communications to begin the most difficult job he’ll ever undertake – stay-at-home dad!  Box has been producing the KOMO-AM/FM “Newsline” program and programmed KVI as it made the recent transition from oldies back to talk.  KVI talk host Scott Carty will serve as interim PD.

New Hampshire Primary, Iran Nuclear Ambitions/American Sentenced to Death, Obama Chief of Staff to Exit and Tebow Rallies Boncos Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).  The GOP New Hampshire Primary race, Iran’s nuclear weapons program and its sentencing to death  American Amir Mirzaie Hekmati on charges of being a spy, the Obama Administration’s chief of staff Bill Daley to exit and Tim Tebow’s rallying the Broncos to victory over the Steelers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 3, 2011

| October 3, 2011

Bob Pittman Named CEO of Clear Channel Media Holdings.  Acting on the faith it has in Bob Pittman to take Clear Channel into the future, the company’s board of directors announces it is naming him chief executive officer of CC Media Holdings which includes Clear Channel Radio and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.  He came aboard last November as an investor and chairman of media and entertainment platforms.  Pittman’s career includes his visionary work as co-founder of the MTV Network, CEO of AOL Networks, Six Flags Theme Parks, Quantum Media, Century 21 Real Estate, and Time Warner Enterprises.  In his new role he’ll join the board of directors of CC Media Holdings, Inc. and Clear Channel Communications, Inc.  In addition, he will join the board of directors of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., as its executive chairman.  Bain Capital managing director John Connaughton says, “I’m thrilled we were able recruit Bob into the CEO role at Clear Channel.  He is the perfect fit to lead this incredibly powerful media platform.  He embraces creativity and has given employees the motivation and freedom to innovate, take risks and succeed.  He thinks big, is not afraid of change and is intensely focused on driving new businesses, expanding our creative talent and maximizing the full value of Clear Channel’s extraordinary assets, ideas and people.”

NPR Announces Gary Knell CEO.  He doesn’t start until December 1 but the chief of Sesame Workshop will take over the CEO post at NPR left vacant after the spring firing of former CEO Vivian Schiller.  Knell’s experience in politics (working in both the California legislature and in Washington, DC as counsel) and in broadcasting make him an appealing candidate to take NPR past the controversy that has dogged it recently.  NPR board chairman Dave Edwards calls Knell, “an extraordinary leader with extensive experience in public media, programming and education.”  Knell tells NPR’s David Folkenflick he intends to depoliticize the company.  “It’s not about liberal or conservative — it’s about fairness.  We’ve got to make the case we’re delivering a fair service, not only in the way we do our jobs, but in the way we disseminate the news.”

AURN Cancels the Bev Smith Show.  American Urban Radio Networks announces the Bev Smith show will cease being offered by the network after October 28.  It was reported recently that Smith would wrap up production of her show due in part to illness but Smith denies that, telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the cancellation is “about being a certain age and gender.”  AURN president of program operations and affiliations Jerry Lopes tells the Post-Gazette that the audience for Smith’s show made it difficult to sell due to it being much older than the 25-54 demographic.  “Her audience numbers were, frankly, skewing a lot older than that, which made the show less attractive to advertisers.  We were forced to make some changes, and her show, unfortunately, was one of the casualties.”  Smith says she is working on getting another company to support her show so it can continue.  She says, “I’m the town crier. I’m the voice of people who never get a chance to express their voice. I believe in this show.”

Entercom Buffalo Names Allan Davis Program Director.  Davis becomes program director at Entercom’s sports WGR, Buffalo.  Davis most recently served as programmer for Genesis Communications’ stations in Tampa.  He has programmed sports talk at KCSP, Kansas City; KFXX, Portland; CJCL, Toronto and more.

Katerina Perez Named Market Manager for CC Norfolk.  Clear Channel announces Katerina Perez moves from her post as vice president and market manager at the company’s Melbourne, Florida cluster to the market manager position at its Norfolk, Virginia cluster.

Ian Punnett Writes Children’s Book for Halloween.  Multifaceted talk show host Ian Punnett is known as somewhat of a renaissance man, between co-hosting a daily morning show in the Twin Cities with his wife of 27 years, Marge, on Hubbard Radio’s myTalk107.1FM, serving as the regular Saturday night host of Premiere Networks’ Coast to Coast AM, in addition to being  the associate producer for two HD-DVD commercial productions of Minnesota Opera, an ordained pastor, a father of two sons, and a loving owner to a very peculiar dog that dreams of catching squirrels.  Punnett has now immortalized his Boston Terrier, Jack, (adopted from a local rescue) in a children’s book specifically designed for the coming Halloween holiday and what he describes as today’s “edgier” young readers.  Written with a “note of menace,” the book is titled, Jackula the Vampire Dog.  Punnett is donating all profits generated by the sale of the book in support of children’s and animal charities nationwide.  Published by Beaver’s Pond Press, the hardcover book is available for $16.95 at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell’s Books, Booktopia, and local boutique book stores.  Punnett tells TALKERS, “It’s important to me to do creative work for a greater purpose.  Children’s books can make kids laugh, bring families together and raise money at the same time.”  No stranger to things that go bump in the night, Jackula is the story of a little girl suffering from bad dreams who takes comfort in a stray dog that watches over her while she sleeps.  But the dog has a secret – a secret that’s good news for lonely little girls and bad news for the neighborhood squirrels.  The book’s dark humor has earned Punnett the honor of being called “Shel Silverstein-esque.”

KGO, San Francisco Raises $200,000-Plus for Bay Area Food Banks.  During a 14-hour broadcast on September 16, KGO and its listeners helped raise more than $200,000 for the Bay Area Food Banks.  The KGO Fights Hunger Day Radio-thon consisted of special programming about the realities of hunger from both the KGO air staff and directly from families in the area affected by the struggle to provide healthy food even though they are employed.  KGO operations director Jack Swanson says, “I am so proud of what our listeners and staff were able to accomplish in just 14 hours.  This was an eye-opening experience for all of us and we all now know how much these vital services are needed in our community.”  As part of the programming, KGO personalities Jennifer Jones Lee, Ronn Owens, Gil Gross kept the focus on hunger throughout the day and KGO reporters Jeffrey Schaub and Rob Artigo aired interviews and poignant profiles of food bank clients from all walks of life.

31 Survivors in 31 Days.  That’s what KFBK, Sacramento morning news anchor Amy Lewis and the station are calling the breast cancer awareness campaign they are airing this month.  In conjunction with the local Albie Carson Breast Cancer Foundation, Lewis is airing her interviews with 31 breast cancer survivors – one on each day this month – during morning and afternoon news.  Lewis states, “Many of my friends and family are survivors of breast cancer.  It was my goal to interview 31 survivors for the 31 days of October to remind people who are currently fighting it that they are not alone.  No matter how long and difficult the battle might be, they’re not fighting it by themselves.  Because, to fight the battle against breast cancer, to help in the research, and to someday find a cure, we have to fight it – together.”

WGN, Chicago Engineer Ed Wilk Passes Away.  Longtime WGN, Chicago engineer Ed Wilk passed away last week.  WGN general manager Tom Langmyer posted the following statement on his Facebook page over the weekend: “Ed was an incredible broadcast engineer and a tremendous man. He was positive, resourceful, dedicated and a man of great character & integrity. Ed worked at WGN for more than 30 years. He was a WGN family member who will be sorely missed.  Condolences to Adrienne, the rest of his family and many friends.”