Tag: "The Sports Animal"

Thursday, April 4, 2019

| April 4, 2019

Bob Pittman Talks Audio with NBC News. Saying that “audio is hot for the first time in decades,” iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman talks up the audio entertainment industry with NBC News’ Claire Atkinson.  In the piece, Pittman says, “There are two parts to the audio sector.  There’s radio and a music collection, both have done well over the years.  The music collection side of the equation has been impacted by technology and it has transformed it. Spotify is really winning the music collection side of things.  Radio is also benefiting from the technology revolution.  It’s added more and more ways to listen to the radio on hundreds of new platforms and thousands of new devices, from smart speakers to smart TVs and game players. iHeart is leading the radio side of things.”  iHeartMedia is expected to emerge from Chapter 11 reorganization soon.  The company has reduced its debt from close to $20 billion to $5.75 billion.  It is also preparing to do an IPO for Class A common shares.

Aaron Mason Joins Gee Scott on ‘KIRO Nights.’ Air-personality and podcast producer Aaron Mason (right) joins Gee Scott (left) as co-host of “KIRO Nights” on Bonneville’s Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM.  Mason has been serving with the station as a fill-in host and podcast producer, working on KIRO’s “Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle.”  Mason fills the role left open by the departure of Zak Burns last fall.

Cohen Promoted at Salem Media Group. Rising from vice president of local digital to vice president of broadcast digital with Salem Media Group is Jamie Cohen.  He joined Salem Media Group in January of 2018 after serving with Gannett’s USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times owner Wrapports, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Cohen says, “I’m honored to be able to continue contributing to Salem’s expansion into greater levels of digital content strategy.  With the launch of Salem Surround, we have really taken tremendous strides in strengthening our digital strategies as a company and I’m excited to help expand even further.”  SMG president of broadcast media David Santrella says, “In the 15 months Jamie has worked for Salem building our digital sales model, he has proven to have a depth of understanding that goes far beyond sales.  I am confident that we will see our digital efforts in the broadcast division grow and thrive under Jamie’s leadership.”

TALKERS News Notes. Oklahoma sports talk radio pioneer Al Eschbach is being inducted into the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame tomorrow at the OAB’s annual convention in Oklahoma City.  The OAB notes that Eschbach began his broadcasting career at KTOK, Oklahoma as sports director in 1976.   In 1985, he moved across town to WWLS-AM – the station that would become sports talk “The Sports Animal.”  Eschbach is still with Cumulus’ WWLS-FM “The Sports Animal” and appears on the air as part of the “Dominant Duo Show” with Jim Traber and also as part of the “Total Dominance Hour” at 5:00 pm daily with Jim Traber, Berry Tramel, and Dean Blevins.  Cumulus Oklahoma City VP and market manager Jay Davis says, “Al Eschbach is a true sports radio pioneer and has been the cornerstone of WWLS from the very beginning.  We are proud and honored to work alongside this Hall of Famer.”…..The host gig for the Sunday morning baseball show “Hit & Run” at Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago “The Score” goes to current staffer Matt Spiegel.  He’ll work the show with a rotating cast of co-hosts.  The slot opened when the station and Daily Herald sports columnist Barry Rozner did not come to terms on a contract renewal. Spiegel hosted middays at “The Score” until last year.  He remains a columnist for 670TheScore.com and co-host of the Saturday morning “Inside the Clubhouse” show alongside Bruce Levine…..Podcast producer Cadence13 partners with veterans advocate Paul Rieckhoff – author of Chasing Ghosts– to create the new “Angry Americans” podcast hosted by Rieckhoff.  In the program, the Iraq War veteran “explores the most important issues facing our country with a wide range of influential and compelling guests from Capitol Hill to Hollywood to Silicon Valley.”

Townsquare Media Stations Hit with Ransomware Attack. Officials from Townsquare Media’s corporate office have not made an official public statement about the ransomware attacks, but numerous reports in consumer media outlets indicate that the company suffered from the attacks that began on Monday, leaving several clusters without control of their computer systems, at least for a period Townsquare clusters in Shreveport, Louisiana; Boise, Idaho; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire were impacted by the attack.  Ransomware is designed to lock users out of their computers until they pay a ransom to regain control.  News/talk KEEL-AM/K269GO, Shreveport posted on its website: “Townsquare’s engineers and ITs, both local and corporate, continue to work on restoring the operating system to working order, though no time for a return to normal operation is known.  In the meantime, listeners’ patience for things out-of-the-ordinary is greatly appreciated and, hopefully, the interruptions in regular programming will be too small to notice.”

Katz Media Group Raises More Than $45k for Broadcasters Foundation of America. Media sales organization Katz Media Group announces its recently completed 10th annual companywide membership drive raised more than $45,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  Over the decade Katz has been raising funds for the BFoA it has brought in more than $350,000.  Led by Mark Gray, chief executive officer of Katz Media Group; Christine Travaglini, president of Katz Radio Group; and Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group — all money raised during the annual two-week campaign goes toward the Stu Olds Memorial Fund that commemorates Katz’s former CEO and supports the foundation’s mission to provide financial support to radio and television professionals in acute need. Last year, the Broadcasters Foundation gave out a record amount of grants to broadcasters for necessities ranging from medical care to everyday essentials. This includes one-time emergency grants given to victims of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires.  Mark Gray says, “It’s an honor to continue Stu’s legacy and give back to our incredible industry.  As a board member, I have seen firsthand all the good the foundation does.  I’m incredibly proud and appreciative of the continued generosity of the Katz team to support the Foundation, and give to colleagues in need.”

Trump Tax Returns Issue, Joe Biden Allegations, Mueller Report Aftermath, U.S.-Mexico Border Issues, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, NCAA Final Four, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3). The House Ways and Means chairman officially files request for President Trump’s tax returns; the inappropriate touching allegations against Joe Biden; the aftermath of the Mueller Report completion; the border wall and migrant  problems at the U.S.-Mexico border; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MLB 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. Programming pro Taylor Jukes is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Jukes was most recently senior manager of national content for iHeartRadio Canada.  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Rob Miller says, “Taylor is a passionate leader who has programmed multiple successful brands in Canada.  Her fresh perspective on collaborating with talent and innovative social media strategies, paired with strong relationships with artists and our label partners will reinforce the dominant position we have at ‘Y100.’  I am excited for Taylor and me to make history together in Miami!”…..Sun Broadcast Group adds of “The Weekend Throwdown with Jagger” to its 2019 offerings.  The four-hour weekly show is hosted by current iHeartMedia programmer (WKSS, Hartford and WKCI, New Haven) and former WKTU, New York night jock Jagger.  He says, “I’m excited to join the team at Sun Broadcast Group!  Jay Bailey has a great vision and the future is bright.  Plus, we are thrilled to have [VP programming and affiliate relations] Rich O’ Brien back on our team.  We look forward to taking ‘The Weekend Throwdown with Jagger’ to the next level!”

Friday, July 12, 2013

| July 12, 2013

wgnlogoBob Sirott and Marianne Murciano Upped to Full Time at WGN, Chicago.  The husband-and-wife team have been hosting the 9:00 pm Sunday evening program on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago and now the company announces they will become part of the legendary news/talker’s full-time lineup.  The question is, where?  Station officials are justsirottmurciano saying the change will take place “later this summer.”  But with midday personality Mike McConnell holding down the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm shift, it’s not a bad guess it’ll be sometime in the midday hours.  WGN president and general manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Bob’s respected reputation and vast experiences on radio and television make him the perfect fit for ‘Chicago’s Very Own 720.’  I’m excited to expand Bob’s role and allow him to share more of his rich Chicago stories.  And Marianne adds another strong female voice to the tradition of WGN Radio.”  Sirott hosted “The Noon Show” on WGN Radio from 2007 to 2010 and currently co-anchors the “Fox Chicago News at 9” weeknights with Robin Robinson.  He’s also worked at CBS Radio’s WBBM-FM and Cumulus Media’s WLS radio and garnered national and local Emmy awards for his work on CBS, NBC and PBS television.  Murciano has co-anchored WFLD-TV’s “Fox Thing in the Morning” with Sirott and working as a feature reporter for WTTW-TV’s “Chicago Tonight.”  Sirott comments, “When I was growing up in Chicago, WGN was the ‘Radio home of millions throughout mid-America,’ and this is still very much true. Marianne and I are thrilled to call WGN our radio home.”

tylermediaOK City to Get New Sports Talk Outlet.  Tyler Media will move classic rocker KRXO from its 107.7 FM frequency to new translator K283BW at 104.5 (it will also be simulcast on 107.7’s HD2 channel) and 107.7 will become a full-fledged sports talk station.  Tyler media president Ty Tyler says in a statement that they are still in the process of hiring local talent and are not ready to release information about how the station will be branded but he says, “We are excited to expand our portfolio of stations.  A big league city needs a big league sports station.”  Tyler does say the station will air Oklahoma University play-by-play and plans to air a full slate of NFL games as well.  The Oklahoman speculates that local sports talk personality Mike Steely, who most recently was heard on crosstown Cumulus sports talk WWLS “The Sports Animal” but hasn’t been on the air since June 29, will join the new station.

lonsberrybobAward-Winning Talk Host Bob Lonsberry Offers Advice to Producers.  In a powerful, tell-it-like-it-is column posted today (7/12), WHAM, Rochester/WSYR, Syracuse talk show host Bob Lonsberry writes an open letter-style “Note to Talk Radio Producers” in which he offers advice to the person on the other side of the glass that so many talk show hosts have been grumbling about for years.  In this not-to-be-missed piece, Lonsberry advises: 1) listen to the show (claiming producers do not always pay attention to what is on the air); 2) be a broadcaster (if he the host gives you the chance to say something on the air – be ready); 3) handle callers well (don’t just “screen” them – rate them and rank them); and 4) think like a reporter (be proactive and creative in gathering information and booking guests). And that’s just for starters. To read Lonsberry’s entire piece, please click here (and then pass it on to every producer you know).

wilkersonkennethLongtime New Orleans Sports Broadcaster to Be Remembered.  WWL, New Orleans sports radio fixture Kenneth Wilkerson lost his battle with cancer last week and funeral services are scheduled for next Tuesday.  Wilkerson began his career with Entercom’s WWL as a sideline reporter for New Orleans Saints games in 1997.  He moved into the sports talk radio realm as co-host of WWL’s “Sports Talk” with co-hosts including the late Buddy “D” Diliberto and former Saints QB Bobby Hebert.  Wilkerson was diagnosed with cancer 15 months ago.

SONY DSCSRN’s Mike Gallagher Thrilled with Success of First Responders Bible Project.  A while back TALKERS wrote about Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher’s First Responders Bible project in which – via his Gallagher’s Army charitable foundation – he distributes King James Bibles to first responders corps across the country to help the individuals deal with the daily stresses of the occupation.  So far, thousands of specially produced King James Bibles have been distributed to first responders throughout the country as part of an effort to help these men and women gain the spiritual fitness needed to cope with the stress they face each time they are called to respond to an emergency.  The First Responders Bible includes a spiritual fitness guide as well as counseling and spiritual tips on how to stay strong and faith-filled when faced with catastrophic life-or-death situations.  Gallagher says, “These police officers and EMTs and firefighters encounter all kinds of ghastly things in the course of their day-to-day duties.  This Bible serves as a spiritual fitness manual for these oftentimes husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers.”  Mike Gallagher’s foundation director Joey Hudson (who also serves as Gallagher’s business manager) says, “I am excited to say we were well received.  Many sheriffs expressed that our ministry was much needed, and we did not have a single person not accept a Bible and they promised to have their chaplains follow up with us to request shipments for more.  Additionally, we had a number of requests to attend future state sheriffs’ meetings in the coming year.”  For more information on Gallagher’s Army and the First Responders Bible, visit gallaghersarmy.com.  In the photo here, Joey Hudson is seen at the organization’s booth at the annual conference of the National Sheriffs’ Association held last month in Charlotte.

ratharunOdds & Sods.  NPR names Arun Rath host of “Weekend All Things Considered” airing on Saturdays and Sundays.  Rath states, “‘Weekend All Things Considered’ manages to cover the full range of human experience in an hour.  It’s hard work but the payoff is amazing.  I’m especially excited to join the show as it reinvents itself at NPR West.  The intense diversity of Los Angeles is invigorating – all the racial, economic and political diversity smashed together – it’s what’s best and most exciting about America.”…..Clear Channel’s rock WPYX, Albany “PYX 106” re-ups with the NFL’s New York Giants to broadcast play-by-play for the next three seasons.

bearmanethanTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Premiere Networks Sean Hannity program is added to the program lineup at Clear Channel’s KQNT, Spokane…..GCN-distributed “Smoke Filled World” hosted by Ethan Bearman has its first hour added to the program schedule at TalkSuperstation.com…..GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs’ daily program is picked up by WVNJ, Oakland, New Jersey…..Farm Journal Media’s “AgriTalk” radio program is added to the lineup on SiriusXM’s new Rural Radio Channel and AM stations KFRM, Clay Center, Kansas; KNDK, Langdon, North Dakota; and KMBS, West Monroe, Loiusiana.

Immigration Reform/Amnesty Top Talk Radio Story This Week.  The issues surrounding immigration legislation and amnesty for illegal aliens currently in the United States were #1 on the Talkers TenTM this week.  Other stories on the chart of this week’s most-talked-about are, at #2, Egypt civil and political turmoil.  At #3 is ObamaCare criticism followed by the Asiana Airlines crash landing at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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