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Schnitt vs. Bubba: Monday Recap. After the news of Todd Schnitt’s attorney being arrested on DUI charges and allegations that Bubba The Love Sponge’s attorneys set him up for the arrest became the predominant aspect of the case on Friday and both sides asked for mistrials for varying reasons, Hillsborough County Judge James Arnold on Monday did not grant a mistrial saying the jury had not been compromised and testimony went forward. But not before Arnold agreed to throw out five of the 16 defamation counts against Bubba (Todd Clem). One in which Bubba accused Schnitt of possibly engaging in plug-ola, three in which he called him a “fraud,” and another in which he called him a “snitch.” The other 11 counts remain. Schnitt’s team rested its case on Monday and Bubba’s lawyers called former Clear Channel Radio president Randy Michaels, under whom both Schnitt and Bubba worked at one time, to the stand. Michaels first complimented both Schnitt and Bubba for being talented radio performers. He said that the feud between the two had gotten too intense and he asked them to “tone it down.” He told the jury the language Bubba used when saying he wanted a funeral for MJ Kelli (Schnitt’s CHR morning show moniker) was hyperbole and not to be taken literally. Also taking the stand was a former producer for Schnitt who now works for Bubba who testified that Schnitt spoke on the air jokingly about his wife’s “tramp stamp” tattoo – an effort by the defense to ask the jury that if Schnitt could joke about his wife being a “tramp,” how is Bubba’s calling her a “whore” any different? The defense is expected to continue its arguments today.
Nationally Syndicated Talk Host Warren Ballentine Charged with Mortgage Fraud. The Chicago-based attorney and host of the Warren Ballentine show distributed nationally via Syndication One is being indicted on charges related to an alleged mortgage fraud scheme. The Justice Department reports that a federal grand jury returned indictments for two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud. The UPI reports the indictment is seeking a forfeiture of some $9.7 million in fraud proceeds. The feds allege Ballentine plotted with others to obtain more than two dozen fraudulent mortgage loans and that he represented buyers at closings knowing that they weren’t qualified for home mortgages in Chicago and its southern suburbs. Ballentine is expected to be arraigned next week. Meanwhile TALKERS sources close to Ballentine say he maintains his innocence and that the truth will come out. His talk show is currently heard on some 37 affiliates across the country including WVON, Chicago.
Clear Channel’s KFAN Network Re-Signs Dan Barreiro. Sports talk host Dan Barreiro and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment agree on a multi-year contract extension for the KFXN, Minneapolis-based sports talk host. Barreiro hosts the afternoon drive program on the company’s KFAN sports talk brand that is distributed to numerous stations across Minnesota. CC Minneapolis vice president of programming Gregg Swedberg says, “Dan has been the top afternoon drive talk personality in the market for decades and has many loyal listeners all over the country through iHeartRadio. We are delighted that Dan will be with us for a long time.”
Chris Baker Lands at KFAB, Omaha for PM Drive. Talk radio pro Chris Baker’s next gig is at Clear Channel’s KFAB, Omaha where he’ll host the afternoon drive program. Baker – a veteran of the Houston, Minneapolis, Miami and Omaha markets – recently exited the Dan Patrick-owned KSEV, Houston talk outlet. He says, “Since my family and I are in Omaha to visit friends and relatives on a regular basis, it’s only natural that I would want to put down root here. KFAB is a legendary Midwest radio powerhouse and I’m excited to work with Gary Sadlemyer and the whole crew.” His new gig begins February 11.
Odds & Sods. NBC Sports Radio Network brings former NFL star Donovan McNabb aboard to eventually be part of a daily sports talk show to begin on April 1. Until that time, McNabb will begin as a weekly contributor as the build-up to the Super Bowl takes place. McNabb will serve as a lead NFL analyst and will call in to affiliate station programs…..Former Yahoo! Sports Radio personality Tim Brando begins a new gig with SiriusXM Satellite Radio where he’ll host his eponymous program on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel. Brando’s program will continue to be simulcast on cable TV’s CBS Sports Network…..WTOP, Washington news anchor Richard Day has retired from the Hubbard Broadcasting all-news brand. Vice president of news and programming Jim Farley says Day’s retirement was handled with no fanfare at Day’s request…..Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that WFLD-TV sports anchor Lou Canellis is beginning a regular hour-long, daily appearance on WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Roe & Roeper” PM drive program with Roe Conn and Richard Roeper. Canellis is now part of the 5:00 pm hour every day to talk sports on the Cumulus Media station. The blog speculates that the move is part of a greater effort to add sports content to the station to improve its ratings…..The “4th Period Live” program returns to SiriusXM’s NHL Network for its second season beginning Saturday, February 2 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET. The show is hosted by David Pagnotta, 4th Period‘s editor-in-chief from Toronto and Dennis Bernstein, its Los Angeles-based senior writer. The show is an extension of TFP’s brand of hockey lifestyle content that includes a highly visited website (www.thefourthperiod.com) and quarterly print magazine available on newsstands throughout North America.
Huckabee Visits Reno. Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Governor Mike Huckabee is pictured here with KNEZ, Reno news director and afternoon drive host Sean Patrick at the sparkling new studios of the Shamrock Communications news/talk station. Huckabee’s program is carried by “KNEWS” – a new FM signal and news/talk brand that Shamrock recently put on the air in the market.
Southern California Sports Personality Joe Cala Named to Hall of Fame. KNX, Los Angeles sports anchor Joe Cala was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 22nd annual awards luncheon at the Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, California. Cala has been with KNX for the past six years and spent the previous 32 years at crosstown KFWB. The SCSB has served as a major forum for recognizing and advancing sports broadcasting in Southern California since 1958. Its Hall of Fame includes Dick Enberg, Tom Harmon, Don Drysdale, Chick Hearn, Gil Stratton, Stu Nahan, Vin Scully and Jim Hill, to name a few.
Town Hall Meeting in Boise Addresses Second Amendment. You’re looking over the shoulder of KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller as he addresses the more than 300 area residents who attended the Peak Broadcasting station’s Town Hall Meeting to discuss Second Amendment issues in the wake of the Obama Administration’s call for stricter gun legislation. Miller tells TALKERS that the event was covered locally by two of the market’s television stations.
KOIL, Omaha Adds Weekend Affordable Care Act Program. The program is called “America’s Healthcare Challenge” and is hosted by Sean McGuire. The goal of the program is to provide valuable insight into implementation of the Affordable Care Act and prepare decision makers for looming penalties and taxes in the law. McGuire states, “This is currently the only radio show of its kind in the US. Business owners are clamoring for credible information and answers to their questions like how employees’ benefits will change next year and what innovative ways exist to curb rising healthcare costs constantly squeezing bottom lines all over the country…I was a part of the research team for the Senate Finance Committee five years ago. The law originated conceptually in the Senate and I have read the bill multiple times. It is my desire to bring my listeners information they need to know as if they were Members of Congress.”
Justice Sotomayor Visits SCPR. United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (right) poses for a photo with Southern California Public Radio special correspondent Patt Morrison (left) during an appearance at KPCC, Pasadena’s Crawford Family Forum. The venue was packed with local high school and college students, as well KPCC listeners who came to hear Sotomayor speak about her life and promote her new autobiography My Beloved World (Knopf 2013). Patt Morrison interviewed Sotomayor as part of the appearance.
ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg Announces New Novel to Benefit the V Foundation. Nationally syndicated ESPN Radio and ESPN 2 personality Mike Greenberg announces the publication of his first novel titled, All You Could Ask For (William Morrow 2013). In making the announcement from the Super Bowl radio row in New Orleans, Greenberg stated that all of the author’s proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Greenberg says, “I wrote this book to honor the memory of a good friend of mine and my wife Stacy’s named Heidi Armitage, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 43. The V Foundation is an obvious organization to work with. Mike Golic and I have been honored to be a part of many great V Foundation events over the years. I’m so proud of our connection to the V Foundation.”
Dr. Daliah Wachs at the Podium. Practicing family physician and nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured here at the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians at their conference in Lake Tahoe this past weekend. About 200 were at this lecture where Dr. Wachs spoke about avoiding pitfalls in family medicine, educating them on the liabilities doctors face and what lawsuits have been successful. Dr. Wachs’ program is syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.