Tag: "Tom Barton"

Friday, July 26, 2019

| July 26, 2019

NY Post: Pitaro and Le Batard ‘On the Same Page.’ According to Andrew Marchand’s column in the New York Post, ESPN radio and TV personality Dan Le Batard and ESPN chief Jimmy Pitaro are “on the same page” regarding the media organization’s stance on purely political content after yesterday’s face-to-face meeting in New York City.  Le Batard violated that directive last week when he chose to comment on the “Send her back” chants shouted at President Trump’s campaign rally, calling them “un-American.”  After being called out by management, Le Batard criticized ESPN, calling it “cowardly” for avoiding such issues with the blanket policy.  Marchand’s source for today’s story offers no details on yesterday’s meeting other than that the two have an understanding and Le Batard will continue his work on the company’s radio, cable, and podcast platforms.

New Air Talent Join ‘ESPN 630’ in Washington, DC. Washington sports radio pros Andy Pollin and Bram Weinstein are joining Cumulus Media’s new sports talk WMAL-AM “ESPN 630.”  Weinstein is a 10-year veteran of the DC sports scene as a reporter and talk host. He also spent seven years as an ESPN anchor.  He is the new afternoon drive talk host.  Additionally, he’ll host the 6:00 pm “Redskins Today” show.  Pollin, a longtime crosstown WTEM personality, will serve as morning drive sports update anchor during the “Golic & Wingo” show.  He’ll also be a features correspondent for the station.  Program director Bill Hess says, “We’re thrilled to welcome these DC sports radio icons to ‘ESPN 630’ and look forward to sharing news of further additions to our team in the very near future.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Cumulus Washington DC vice president/market manager Jake McCann, Weinstein, Pollin, and Hess.

Chessare Named Market President for Townsquare’s Princeton Cluster. Radio sales pro Steve Chessare is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Princeton, New Jersey station group that includes sports talk WNJE “920 The Jersey,” as well as CHR WPST and religion WCHR-AM.  Chessare – whose resume includes service with Westwood One, WLTW-FM and WCBS-FM in New York, and Greater Media – was most recently vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Bridgeport, Connecticut operations.  Townsquare senior vice president Rob Williams says, “Steve Chessare is among the most talented media executives I have worked with. He has led some of the biggest brands in our industry and has an extraordinary ability to build winning teams that deliver consistently strong results for our clients.”

‘ESPN Upstate’ Host Mark Sturgis Recovering from Stroke. Sports talk host Mark Sturgis is recuperating after suffering a stroke earlier this week (7/23).  Sturgis hosts the “Straight Up ith Sturg” afternoon drive program on Entercom’s sports talk multi-cast “ESPN Upstate” (WORD-AM/WYRD-AM/W246CV/W249DL). Sturgis’ wife Theresa posted the following message on his Twitter account: “I am sorry to inform y’all Mark had a stroke yesterday morning. He’s in ICU and will be off the air for some time.  Hopefully will be able to go home from the hospital, but short-term rehab in a nursing home is a possibility.  Just send him a positive thought.”

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Political Theater on Both Sides of the Pond!,” looks back at this past week of July 22-26, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Wayne Allyn Root, talk show host, USA Radio Network/Newsmax TVVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyThom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media/Free Speech TVKaren Hunter, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio “Urban View Channel;” Heidi Harris, talk show host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; and Joyce Kaufman, talk show host, WFTL, Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beaches.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

Lisa Wexler Show Moves to WICC, Bridgeport. In Connecticut, “The Lisa Wexler Show” begins airing on Connoisseur Media’s WICC, Bridgeport, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, effective August 5.  Wexler’s program launched on WSTC/WNLK in Fairfield County in 2006.  And most recently has been airing on WGCH, Greenwich from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Wexler is an attorney admitted to the Connecticut and New York Bars.  She’s been serving as the Westport/Weston Probate Judge since 2013.  She comments, “I am thrilled to be joining the legendary WICC AM 600.  The WICC audience is incredibly knowledgeable and engaged.  I will be discussing the issues that occupy our thoughts and bringing to the airwaves the people that influence our lives.  Our emphasis will be on what is happening right here in our own communities.  Listeners are encouraged to call into the show to air their opinions and provide their own perspectives.”

Nik Miles Moves to New Portland Flagship. Portland, Oregon-based automotive radio host Nik Miles moves his flagship station affiliation from Alpha Media’s KXL-FM to Salem Media Group’s crosstown KPAM “860 The Answer.”  His program, “Our Auto Expert,” is nationally syndicated via Envision Networks.  Salem Portland general manager Dennis Hayes says, “Not only are we excited to add ‘Our Auto Expert’ to the ‘AM860 The Answer’ weekend lineup, but we are honored to be the ‘home station’ for the show, Nik Miles, and his team in Portland. We enthusiastically welcome them to the Salem Media Group and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship!”

Sports Garten Network’s ‘Wanna Bet!?’ Enters Syndication Via Envision.  The sports talk and betting show “Wanna Bet!?” – hosted by Tom Barton – is being syndicated by Envision Networks and will launch in four markets: Chicago, Las Vegas, Richmond, and Paducah-Cape Girardeau.  Sports Garten Network’s Wanna Bet?! debuted on WRCN-FM, Long Island “103.9 FM LI Radio” in September 2018.  Now, it’s joined the Envision Networks lineup as a four-hour, daily show.  Barton says, “The time is now for sports talk to reach an audience craving not just wagering news but knowledgeable information.  The response to what we’re doing is phenomenal. Radio is ripe for a transition from arguing hosts and home team bias to important decision-making information and guests whose opinions are not only entertaining but informative. This is a game changer.”

Brad Carson Upped at Entercom Memphis. Programming pro Brad Carson rises from his director of branding and sports programming to operations manager/sports brands, effective immediately.  Carson has been leading the programming on Entercom’s Memphis sports stations WMFS-AM/FM and WMC-AM “ESPN 92.9.”  Carson has served with the Memphis station group for the past 15 years.

Museum of Broadcast Communications Names Susy Schultz Executive Director. Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications names Susy Schultz its executive director, effective August 19.  Museum board chairman David Plier says, “Susy is experienced in developing and implementing innovative programs with key stakeholders.  She also has demonstrated the ability to initiate and foster robust partnerships and strategic alliances with community, journalists, sponsors and donors.”  Schultz has been serving as president of the nonprofit community media training organization Public Narrative since 2013.  She takes over for Julian Jackson, who resigned from the post this March. Schultz comments, “I look forward to working with the board in developing a strong curriculum to discuss the history, the impact, and the relevance of broadcast and digital media.  Chicago has and always will be integral to the history and future of television, radio, and beyond.”

Mueller Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 22-26. Wednesday’s testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller before the House judiciary and intelligence committees was the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2020 Presidential race and President Trump’s war of words with the Democratic congresswomen known as “the Squad.”  Coming in at #3 this week was Boris Johnson’s election as the UK’s new prime minister, followed by the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello 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. See this week’s entire chart here.

Britain’s Fix Radio Produces Boris Johnson Viral Video. “Fix Radio” is a radio station for tradespeople working in Great Britain.  It’s led by broadcaster Graham Mack, who also serves as a TalkersRadio personality and as The Michael Harrison Wrap’s British correspondent. The organization got a lot of attention after creating a video purporting to show newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson auctioning off items left at 10 Downing Street by former PM Theresa May.  Check it out here.

Ancient Interview with George Harrison Played on This Week’s Installment of Michael Harrison Podcast.  Inspired by the recently released film, “Yesterday,” and the ongoing popularity of the 2011 Martin Scorsese documentary, “George Harrison: Living in the Material World,” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug into the archives and pulled out a 43-year-old interview he conducted with the late Beatles lead guitarist back in 1976.  It was originally recorded at the Warner Bros. studios in Los Angeles to be a promotional radio special (“A Personal Musical Dialogue with George Harrison”) released by Dark Horse Records in conjunction with the debut of George’s solo album, “33 1/3,” and aired on hundreds of stations around the world.  It serves as this week’s “retro” installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  This recording is widely regarded as one of the best interviews ever conducted with George and contains fascinating information and insights into his life at that time as well as the never-ending Beatles story.  The segment in which George discusses his legal battle over the “My Sweet Lord”/“He’s So Fine” plagiarism case holds up today as one of the most-thorough explanations of the historic intellectual property rights clash ever recorded.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here www.MHInterview.com or click on the player box located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Cool Promotion and Marketing Position. In Baltimore, Hearst Television is seeking a highly motivated promotion and marketing manager for news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY “98Rock.” The company says, “This person must be able to manage numerous projects simultaneously while elevating the sound and image of our legacy brands.  This person will also be a key player in helping develop and produce targeted, promotional campaigns that connect with our audiences across all platforms.  Among other duties, you will oversee, manage and lead marketing & promotion department; identify and implement strategies for increasing station brand awareness and resonance; develop ongoing marketing strategies on all platforms including production & placement of television commercials; manage, along with news & program directors, production of compelling image & special event campaigns and topical promotion for all platforms; attend outside community functions and meetings and manage our Baltimore Ravens promotional partnership, including on-site events.  See more and apply here.

PPM Analysis: Alternative.TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on alternative.  The June ratings period saw more alternative stations go up (weekly AQH share) than down. Entercom’s KXTE, Las Vegas led that group with a +0.7.  Comparing June 2018 to this year, about half the alt rock stations in our panel were down, but big gainers during that period include Hubbard Radio’s KPNT, St. Louis “105.7 The Point” (+1.6), Entercom’s KITS “Live 105” in San Jose (+1.2), and iHeartMedia’s KTCL, Denver “Channel 93.3” (+1.0).  KPNT was the highest-ranking alternative station in the June survey, coming in at #3 in the St. Louis market (6+).  See the entire piece here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Memphis operations of Entercom, programmer Chris Michaels is promoted to operations manager/music brands. Michaels has been the director of branding and programming for hot AC WMC-FM, adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River,” and country WLFP “94.1 The Wolf.”…..In Raleigh, PMC Broadcasting names Brian “B” Paiz director of branding for hip hop WAUG-AM/W250AZ “Hot 97.9.”  Paiz was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming in the Columbus-Albany, Georgia market…..Atlanta radio personality Jeff Dauler and his wife Callie have launched a podcast titled, “The Upside with Callie and Jeff.” Dauler was most recently morning drive co-host on WSTR “Star 94.”  Prior to that he was executive producer and air talent on the syndicated “The Bert Show.”  In a press release, the two say, “We’ve had the idea for a while to create something to spread the message about gratitude and finding the positive in every single situation.  That mindset has changed our lives for the better… and we want everyone to understand what we have learned.  It was just an idea… until Jeff lost his job.  We decided just a few days later that now is the time.”

Thursday, September 20, 2018

| September 20, 2018

JVC Media’s ‘LI News Radio’ Debuts Sports Betting Programming. The latest broadcaster to announce new programming centered on sports betting is JVC Broadcasting.  The company announces it is partnering with Sports Garten Network to bring that firm’s flagship talk program “Wanna Bet?” – hosted by Tom Barton with Gary Pollakusky – to news/talk WRCN, Riverhead, Long Island “103.9 FM LI News Radio.”  The one-hour program airs at 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday and at 10:00 pm on Sunday.  SGN is also providing the station with sports updates throughout the day.  JVC Media executive vice president and general manager Bruce Shepard says, “Having sports professionals like Tom and Gary with their sports talent and skill set is a complete win for us.  We are in the sports capital of the world and we are the radio home to the NY Islanders and Stony Brook Football.  This is fun live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.  This is the first show like this on the radio here and we are excited to have them on the team.”  SGN founder Pollakusky adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio organization like ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC Broadcasting. The sports betting landscape in America shifted forever on a Monday morning in May when the U.S. Supreme Court released a game-changing ruling that put the nation on a path toward widespread legal sports betting.  We are the first show on the air in this market talking about this exciting, nationwide decision.  Sports betting has made national news – for something other than a controversy – and we are talking about it.”

Buck Sexton Gets Facetime with the President. Pictured above is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated personality Buck Sexton (far right, blue tie) in the Oval Office interviewing President Trump.  During the 45-minute interview, Trump talked about immigration policy, the Mueller probe and its negative affect on his presidency, his disappointment with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his regret for not immediately firing FBI Director James Comey, and more.

Westwood One to Collaborate with AP for Ad Representation. This deal for Westwood One to provide ad sales representation for The Associated Press’ short-form news network is being termed a collaboration.  WWO will rep the AP’s bartered breaking news wire service, photos, video, web content, sports scores, datasets, audio bites, and more.  AP president of local media Michael Fabiano says, “AP is very pleased to have our diverse content set and affiliate list represented by Westwood One in the advertising marketplace.  Westwood One has a rich history of providing consumers relevant news/talk, entertainment, and sports programming.  Westwood One COO Charles Steinhauer adds, “Westwood One has had a long relationship with the AP and with our entry into the short-duration ad market they were a natural partner.”

Radio News and Sports Pro Dave Barrett Dies at 63. The industry is mourning the death of award-winning radio pro Dave Barrett, who died unexpectedly yesterday (9/19) at age 63.  Barrett was serving with CBS News Radio at the time of his death.  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler says, “Dave Barrett was a special kind of broadcaster – one who could transport you to the scene of the story in just a few words.  He will be dearly missed – both in this newsroom and across the country.”  The obit from CBS notes that Barrett “was a lover of his medium who was especially interested in utilizing natural sound as well as words to tell stories better.  He was CBS News Radio’s go-to reporter for outdoor events such as music and sports and reported from 10 Olympic Games.  Barrett received one of the highest honors in electronic journalism, the Edward R. Murrow Award, in 2011 for his insightful report that brought to life for listeners how kids occupy their time, illustrated by the sounds of their activities.”  Barrett also won a Murrow for a report on the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner in 2015.  He won his first Murrow for a 1998 profile of Tiger Woods.  Barrett joined CBS News Radio in February 2001 from the Fox News Radio Network, where he was news director beginning in 1998. He spent 15 years at ABC Radio News, covering everything from political conventions and hurricanes to the Olympics.

BFoA Tops $250,000 Raised at Celebrity Golf Tourney.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that it raised $250,000 to help broadcasters in need during its Celebrity Golf Tournament on Monday at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York.  The BFoA says this annual event is one of its biggest fundraisers – with 100% of the proceeds going to broadcasters in need.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “For the second year in a row, we have seen an unprecedented increase in applications for emergency aid due to the devastation from natural disasters.  Additionally, more broadcasters are reaching out for monthly grants as people live longer but do not always have the means to pay for life-sustaining medications and medical care.  The Broadcasters Foundation is often the last refuge for these broadcasters whose lives have been severely affected by unforeseen circumstances.  It is incumbent on us to help every broadcaster who qualifies and we need the support of everyone in our industry to make that happen.  We are grateful to the broadcasters, celebrities, and sponsors who came to the golf tournament and supported our mission.”  Celebrity golfers included: WCBS-TV’s Maurice Dubois, Otis Livingston, and Chris Wragge; WCBS-FM’s Scott Shannon; actress and philanthropist Rachel Grant; NBA All-Star Ray Allen and NBA Star Donny Marshall; 1980s Miracle on Ice Star Mike Eruzione; ESPN’s John Anderson and Anita Marks; NY Jets’ Greg Buttle; Voice of the NY Jets Bob Wischusen; and more.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report at Cleveland.com, Cleveland Browns sideline reporter Nathan Zegura has been barred from the next eight games for yelling at an NFL official during last weekend’s loss to the New Orleans Saints.  Zegura also works for Good Karma’s sports talk WKNR, Cleveland co-hosting the “Cleveland Browns Daily” program from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. The piece states that Zegura has been suspended from that gig for two weeks.  Zegura will be replaced on the game day broadcasts by WKRK-FM, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” personality Dustin Fox…..Sports talk WMAX-FM, Grand Rapids “96.1 ESPN” air personality and APD Jim Costa is promoted to program director of the iHeartMedia station…..The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Buzzfeed is eliminating its audio podcast division in order to focus on video.  It will still produce some podcasts but is eliminating the production team that worked on its stable of in-house programs…..FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is the first commissioner to launch a podcast.  She’s debuting “Broadband Conversations,” focusing on women in technology.  A press release says each episode will feature Rosenworcel talking to women who are “breaking new ground and forging new paths in technology, media, and innovation about what they’re working on, what’s on their minds, what they think is next for the future.”  Rosenworcel adds, “Women are almost half the labor force in this country yet only hold barely a quarter of jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.  I’m reminded of this fact when I go into boardrooms, classrooms, or meeting rooms — there are not enough women at the table. Because there are just too few, it’s time to amplify women’s voices from across the technology and innovation sectors.”…..Jo Anne Wallace is retiring from her position as vice president and general manager of public radio news/talk KQED, San Francisco, effective in late November.  The press release says Wallace “shepherded KQED Public Radio’s massively successful transition of format from music to news and public affairs and she led the development of KQED’s long-running and popular programs “Forum” and “The California Report.”  Previously, while working at NPR, she helped bring “Car Talk” and “Fresh Air” to the network for national distribution.  They would become two of the network’s most iconic and listened-to programs.  Wallace began her radio career in 1969 as a volunteer at WYSO, Yellow Springs, Ohio where she rose to station manager in 1973.  She served with KPFA, Berkeley, California and was station program manager for WGBH, Boston from 1978 to 1980.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegation, U.S.-China Trade War, Trump vs Sessions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, Florence Aftermath, North-South Korea Summit, Woodward Book, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19). The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; speculation about the impact of the tariffs being placed on U.S. and Chinese goods; President Trump’s continuing public criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the battle for control of congress in the coming midterm elections; the effects of the flooding in the Carolinas from Hurricane Florence; the recent meeting between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s nukes reduction promises; Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House book; the week’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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 Dave Taft is promoted to SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s West Michigan operations in the Grand Rapids and Muskegon markets.  Taft is program director for country WBCT, Grand Rapids “B93.7.”  Regional SVP of programming Tony Travatto comments, “Dave is an incredible programmer.  He’s got the perfect blend of expertise to grow our listeners and clients and we know he will continue to dominate the media market in West Michigan with our team.”…..At Townsquare Media’s country KUAD, Fort Collins, Colorado, afternoon jock Matt Sparx adds music director duties, taking over for morning host Brian Gary who relinquishes them to focus on his on-air responsibilities…..The radio biz is remembering a legend from 1970s hit radio as news comes that Brother Bill Gable has died in Windsor, Ontario after a battle with COPD at age 69. A legend in the radio business has died. Gable is remembered for his work at Detroit-Windsor CHR powerhouse CKLW “The Big 8.”  Gable enjoyed a 46-year radio career. He retired in 2014.