Tag: "Tribune"

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

| January 14, 2020

iHeartMedia’s New Markets Group Structure. The company says that the changes are being enacted as it modernizes “to take advantage of the significant investments it has made in technology and artificial intelligence (AI) and its unique scale and leadership position in the audio marketplace.”  iHeartMedia adds that it has “made significant technology investments to change everything from how it sells advertising to how it utilizes data and builds new businesses like its digital platform, podcast platform, and robust data platform.”  iHeartMedia explains it is now grouping “its markets by common needs and characteristics into three distinctly different divisions to make sharing of resources and experiences easier and more targeted.”  Greg Ashlock will continue to serve as president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.  Now, the group breaks down as follows: The Region Division comprises the company’s largest markets, like New York and Los Angeles, that each reach hundreds of cities, communities, and trading areas for local businesses.  It will be led by division presidents Kevin LeGrett and Scott Hopeck; The Metro Division houses markets that are large areas that still encompass multiple communities – but are not regional hubs like the company’s largest markets.  The Metro Division will be led by division presidents Tom McConnell, Tony Coles, and Linda Byrd; The Community Division includes markets that focus on the shared needs of one community and one trading area for most businesses and advertisers and will also group markets into areas which are geographically close and culturally similar.  The Community Division will be led by division presidents Shosh Abromovich, Nick Gnau, and Dan Lankford.  iHeartMedia also says it will use “its new technology- and AI-enabled Centers of Excellence – which consolidate functional areas of expertise in specific locations to deliver the highest quality products and services – for every market, enabling each to take advantage of the company’s scale and shared resources across programming, marketing, digital, podcasts, sales and sales support to provide a better experience for listeners and business partners and a more efficient process for all of its employees.”  Additionally, the company is creating a new division “that cuts across all markets – the very successful Multi-Market Partnerships (MMP) Division headed by Julie Donohue, who is elevated to president of MMP with responsibility for this business.”  As part of these moves, the company’s Integrated Revenue Strategies group, led by president Hartley Adkins, will be merged into the iHeartMedia Markets Group and Adkins will become chief operating officer of the Markets Group working closely with Greg Ashlock.

Newsmax TV Launches ‘Greg Kelly Reports’ in Evenings. Former U.S. Marine and television news broadcaster Greg Kelly joins Newsmax TV as the network debuts his “Greg Kelly Reports” program at 7:00 pm ET.  After leaving the Marines, Kelly became morning news anchor at WIVT-TV, Binghamton, New York.  He worked for several years at FOX News before spending almost 10 years as co-host of “Good Day New York” on WNYW-TV “FOX 5.”  Newsmax TV EVP of programming Elliot Jacobson says, “Greg Kelly comes with compelling new skill sets to our network.  His military experience and his years as a frontline TV journalist differentiate him from prime-time hosts on other channels and allow him to examine the day’s news from a unique and insightful perspective.”  Kelly – the son of former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly – says, “I am very curious.  I find that many people in the media have lost their curiosity.  They just want to let you know what they know.  I like to take a different approach.”  The “Greg Kelly Reports” show debuts tonight (1/14).

Entercom’s Buffalo Market Manager and Sales Administrative Manager Exit. The Buffalo News has the story of the sudden departure of longtime Entercom Buffalo market manager Greg Reid and sales administrative manager Lynn Hooper.  The paper reports the two were fired suddenly – Reid was reportedly called while on vacation and let go – and wonders if their dismissal is related to the company’s admission that it inadvertently failed to post required political advertising information on its website in a timely manner, prompting the FCC to broaden its look into the company’s public file practices.  However, Entercom has been reducing expenses at local clusters for several months via downsizing and it’s possible Reid and Hooper were simply victims of budget cuts.  The News reports that general sales manager Tim Holly is serving as interim market manager.

Report: WGN-AM Cuts Ties with Crain’s Chicago Business. Windy City media reporter Robert Feder has the story here.  He writes that Nexstar’s WGN-AM, Chicago “abruptly severed its longstanding partnership” with Crain’s Chicago Business after the publication wrote a speculative piece about Nexstar prepping the radio station for a sale.  Nexstar acquired WGN-AM along with Tribune’s television stations and it is its only radio property.  Crain’s reporters made regular appearances on WGN shows and WGN’s website hosted the “Crain’s Daily Gist” podcast.  That has been removed.

TALKERS News Notes. Ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings plc announces the hiring of two executives as it moves to separate into two publicly traded companies.  David Rawlinson is named chief executive officer of the consumer behavior analysis division Global Connect.  He was most recently president of global online business at Grainger.  Also, Linda Zukauckas is named the chief financial officer for Nielsen.  Both appointments become official on February 3…..Four of Alpha Media’s Chicagoland stations are expected to move into new digs at the Gurnee Mills mall in the far northern suburbs in February.  News/talk WLIP-AM, Kenosha and rock WIIL, Union Grove in Wisconsin and Spanish sports WKRS and hot AC WXLC in Waukegan, Illinois are moving as part of a deal to bring foot traffic to the mall.  The village of Gurnee is paying Alpha $200,000 to assist in the transition and the radio stations will host 32 events at the mall each year and provide $129,000 per year in radio ad time to the mall…..QUU – a company specializing in RDS/HD in-car stereo display technology – names Steve Newberry chief executive officer, effective April 1.  Newberry has been serving as EVP for industry affairs and strategic planning at the National Association of BroadcastersBeasley Media Group is among QUU’s investors.

Impeachment/Russians Hack Ukrainian Gas Co, 2020 Presidential Race, Iran Tensions, Pensacola Base Shooting Ruled Terror Attack, Megxit, and NFL Playoffs/College Football Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13). The articles of impeachment against President Trump and the allegation Russia hacked the Ukrainian gas company central to the impeachment issue; the rift between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and tonight’s debate in Des Moines; the domestic tensions in Iran and the White House’s rationale for killing Iranian general Qassem Soleimani; Attorney General William Barr rules the Pensacola naval base shooting was an act of terrorism and seeks Apple’s helping opening the assailant’s phones; the Sussex’s meeting with Queen Elizabeth over their stepping away from royal life; and the weekend’s NFL games and last night’s College Football Championship 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. The Westwood One nationally syndicated “Rick and Sasha Show” adds programmer and production pro “Smokin” Tony Richards to the team of the urban AC morning show now heard on more than 25 stations.  Richards has worked as a drive time personality and programmer in markets including New York, Houston, Philadelphia, DC, and Chicago.  He says, “This show is going to the moon, and I want to be a part of it.  Rick and Sasha are two people who I feel are the future of radio.  I am here unselfishly to help the team make it happen.”…..In Dallas, Entercom’s alternative KVIL “ALT 103.7” names Ian Camfield afternoon drive personality.  Camfield was most recently midday personality at Hubbard Radio’s alternative KDKB, Phoenix “ALT AZ 93.3.”  As a result of Camfield’s arrival, Mark moves from afternoons to AM drive.

Friday, September 20, 2019

| September 20, 2019

Nexstar Closes on Tribune; Former Clear Channel Exec Sean Compton to Lead WGN-AM. Just a day after the FCC approved Nexstar’s acquisition of Tribune Media’s television stations and lone radio asset, WGN-AM, the company closed on the $6.4 billion deal.  At least for now, Nexstar appears it is going to continue to operate news/talk WGN-AM and not put it on the block.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Nexstar has named Sean Compton executive vice president in charge of its programming acquisitions, the WGN America and Antenna TV cable networks, as well as WGN-AM.  Regular TALKERS readers may remember that Compton was a Clear Channel (before it was iHeartMedia) programming executive whom Randy Michaels brought from Cincinnati to Chicago in 2008 to serve as SVP of programming and entertainment when Michaels was heading up Tribune.  Compton remained with Tribune after Michaels exited his leadership of the company in 2010.

ABC Radio Rebrands as ABC Audio. In a memo to staff, ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku announces the company is now officially using ABC Audio instead of ABC Radio for its umbrella brand.  She says, “You’re all aware of the new platforms entering consumers’ lives, from podcast distribution to interactive voice and beyond. ABC Audio recognizes that technology is evolving, but the value of our work remains constant. So, this is as much a commitment to our listeners that they will find our storytelling anytime and everywhere, as it is to you that your excellent work will continue to find the audiences it deserves.”  At the same time, Deshishku announces that Heidi Oringer is promoted to executive director of business strategy, programming and distribution and Abe Velez is promoted to director of business development and strategy.  Oringer was most recently director of affiliate solutions.  Velez has been serving in the business development department.

Michael Savage Recounts Air Force One Experience.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Michael Savage (above) was asked by President Trump to travel aboard Air Force One with him during his California trip this week.  The Westwood One personality tells a story about his lunch with the president: “While sitting with President Trump on Air Force One, two hot dogs are delivered for the president.  I’m starving at this point.  President Trump looks and he must have seen my eyes dart at the hot dogs, and he says, “You want one?” I said, “Sure.”  He takes one off his plate delicately onto another plate.  He says to me, “Would you like mustard or ketchup?”  Then he mentions, “No, you don’t want that ketchup with sugar on it.  Do you?” I don’t know how he knows this, but I found out that they know what I say on the radio.  President Trump then dollops out the mustard for me from his plate, showing a certain humility and generosity that you may not be aware of from him.  It is in the little things that you could see a person’s behavior.  Here’s the interesting part.  I’m from Queens but I grew up on the other side of Union Turnpike from the president.  He cut his hot dog in pieces and ate them with a knife and fork.  I ate it like I was at a baseball game because I never saw a hot dog eaten with a knife and fork.  That’s because he grew up on the other side of the tracks, but years later we wound up in the same place at the same time sharing his lunch because he’s a very generous and down to earth man.”

Giants Coach Cancels Radio Segment with WFAN’s Mike Francesa. As reported by NorthJersey.com, New York Giants coach Pat Shurmer has notified Entercom’s WFAN, New York that he is no longer going to do the weekly radio interview with afternoon drive host Mike Francesa.  The “Sports Pope” has been extremely critical of the Giants’ offseason moves and its performances in the first two games of the season and it appears Shurmer doesn’t want to be in the hot seat facing Francesa’s criticism each week.  That’s not how Shurmer put it, though.  He said yesterday, “Well, I think that was an organizational decision not to do that.  Most people aren’t aware of this, but I wasn’t contractually obligated to do that spot.  We did it as a courtesy and out of respect for our relationship with the radio station.  So, we just felt like for a while here we just put that to bed for a while and not do it and move forward.”  Francesa talked about it on his show saying, “Listen, not everybody’s cut out for handling what is the real intense spotlight that there is in the city, that comes with these jobs. Being the head football coach of the Giants is a very, very big job.  It gets a lot of attention.  It has a lot of light and heat in the center.  The Giants have unfortunately, from at least my estimation, have become very good at hiding and very good at losing.  That’s my take.  And they need to turn both around.”

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental 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 (9/20).  The new episode titled “Storm Clouds of Military, Trade and Partisan War!” looks back at this past week of September 16-20, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Joe Pags, host, Compass Media NetworksThom Hartmann, host WYD Media; Tom Sullivan, host Talk Media NetworkDr. Daliah Wachs, host GCN; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  This increasingly acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation point for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeart Radio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

New “Scal & Pals’ Show to Stream on RADIO.COM. The new program will feature co-hosts Brian Scalabrine and Steve Ceruti and will stream live from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET on Entercom’s RADIO.COM Sports Digital Network.  It launches Monday (9/23) and will be dedicated to coverage of the NBA.  Entercom president of sports Mike Dee says, “We are excited to launch a digital show that will have mass appeal to all hardcore basketball fans. The lineup of contributors headlined by Scal will feature an interesting and entertaining mix of personalities and perspectives.  We aspire to have this be the best basketball content fans can find anywhere and we are eager to engage with one of the most dynamic fan bases of any sport.”  Scalabrine spent 11 seasons in the NBA playing for the New Jersey Nets, Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls.  Ceruti is a long-time producer at ESPN with experience working under Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo.  The new show will also feature commentary from former players such as Caron Butler, current players like Admiral Schofield of the Washington Wizards, longtime sportswriter and broadcaster Ric Bucher, former Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough and more.

Lauter to Lead iHeartMedia’s Madison Operations. Media executive Drew Lauter is named market president for iHeartMedia’s Madison brands.  Lauter, who will report to Minneapolis division president Jeff Tyler, will “oversee the market’s programming, advertising, and operations… as well as create new business and revenue opportunities.”  Tyler says, “I am very excited to welcome Drew’s experience and vision to iHeartMedia.  He’s excited about taking his family to one of the premier cities in the Midwest and I am thrilled that he will be leading a great team and some of our market-leading, legendary brands in Madison.”  Lauter has served with such companies as SonyLucent, Qello Concerts, and Qello Media.

U.S.-Iran Tensions/Saudi Oil Attack Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 16-20. The military tensions between the U.S. and Iran and the related Saudi oil facility attack was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Lewandowski hearings, tied with the Democrats’ impeachment strategy, and the intelligence Trump whistleblower report.  Coming in at #3 was the new Kavanaugh allegations, followed by U.S.-China relations, the economy, and the Fed rates cuts tied 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.

National Radio Talent System Names Alexus Parker Institutes Director. The National Radio Talent System announces the hiring of new institutes director, Alexus Parker. In this position, she will work directly with the broadcasters, universities, and students of the Radio Talent Institutes, and manage social media. National Radio Talent System president Dan Vallie states, “We talked to quite a few people about the position, but Alexus came highly recommended and is very impressive. She is a great fit for our team as we continue to grow the National Radio Talent System and the Radio Talent Institutes across the country.” Previously, Parker was the marketing director for iHeartMedia’s Raleigh, North Carolina station group.

Elizabeth Smart to Keynote Gracies Leadership Awards. The Alliance for Women in Media announces that author and children’s advocate Elizabeth Smart will deliver a keynote address at the Gracies Leadership Awards on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Smart is known for her 2002 abduction and since then has founded the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation” and worked for change related to child abduction, recovery programs, and national legislation. Alliance for Women in Media Foundation executive director Becky Brooks says, “The Alliance for Women in Media is proud to honor women for their extraordinary accomplishments.  It is our honor to have Elizabeth Smart, a past Gracie winner, as this year’s keynote speaker, as her address will surely inspire and empower all in attendance.”  Find more information on this event and to reserve your seat here.

FOCUS ON HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE: Dr. Daliah Wachs Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  There are many aspects of health and health care in the news from vaping, vaccines, flesh-eating bacteria, opioid abuse, and the high cost of prescription medicine to political debate over which way to go regarding the entire American health care system.  Should we maintain the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and simply build upon it as Joe Biden suggests?  Should we go to single payer universal health care and Medicare for all as promoted by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders?  Or should we go in a completely different direction with a new plan that has yet to be designed by President Trump and the Republicans?  Nationally syndicated Genesis Communications Network (GCN) radio talk show host Daliah Wachs, M.D. is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Wachs, a member of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred,” is widely respected for her medical credentials and general political neutrality.  She and Harrison address today’s hot health issues and more from a non-political perspective.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Network News Opportunities. There are three news positions at FOX News open.  The first is an overnight freelance anchor at FOX News Radio.  The job description states: “We are looking for a Freelance Overnight News Anchor to join our Fox News family as on-air talent for FOX News Radio/FOX News Headlines 24/7 Sirius XM Channel 115. As a Radio News anchor you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a days’ notice.” See more and to apply here.  The company also has freelance writer position for FOX News Headlines 24/7 open – see that information here – and a freelance producer/news editor position open that you can learn more about here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” has a new program director as Entercom appoints Jerry McKenna to the position, taking over for Ron Roberts.  McKenna was most recently serving as program director for Cape Cod Broadcasting.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

| January 29, 2019

Zellner Promoted to President of Programming Operations at iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group. The company says that Jon Zellner is moving up from his EVP of programming operations to president of programming operations for its national programming group.  In this new role he’ll continue to manage the division’s operations, “ensuring that iHeartMedia’s 850 local radio station brands in 150 markets are able to best utilize the company’s unparalleled national resources.  In addition to managing iHeartMedia custom programming, daily connection to the local markets, on-air partner integration and event broadcast operations, Zellner will also now partner with other divisions within the company to expand programming technology and provide key support to iHeartMedia’s national team of programmers at market-leading radio brands that serve more than a quarter of a billion listeners a month in the U.S.”  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “Jon’s leadership in the growth of our custom programming and providing the delivery of our at scale national resources to our markets for their use at the local level has been invaluable to our company. We are excited that he’ll be taking on an even larger role in our company-wide programming initiatives.”

Tori Kahl Named Market Manager for iHeartMedia New Orleans. Radio sales pro Tori Kahl moves from iHeartMedia’s Mobile-Pensacola cluster where she was SVP of sales to New Orleans where she is the new market president for the station group that includes news/talk WRNO-FM sports talk WODT-AM plus six music radio outlets.   iHeartMedia area president for Baton Rouge and New Orleans Michael Hudson says, “iHeartMedia is big on promoting our super stars within the company.  Tori has done an incredible job growing our Mobile properties and its employees.  I have no doubt that Tori Kahl will do great things for the New Orleans market.”  Kahl comments, “As I join the iHeartMedia New Orleans team, I am humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented professionals in the industry, representing the power of iHeartMedia and the heritage of our brands in the market.  The city of New Orleans, its culture, and its people are unparalleled.  I am born and raised in Louisiana – it feels good to be home!”

News Anchor Kim Gordon Moves to PM Drive on WGN, Chicago. Twelve-year WGN news staffer Kim Gordon is named the new afternoon drive news anchor at Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago.  The station says, “Gordon will assume a role as both a leader in the WGN Radio news room and an essential voice on ‘The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes.’”  WGN director of news and operations Stephanie Tichenor adds, “For more than a decade at WGN, Kim has been a key player in our newsroom and in our hallways. Her ability to gather and deliver news with a Chicago filter makes her the best voice for our afternoon drive team.”  Gordon started her career at legendary Louisville news/talk station WHAS.

A.J. Hoffman Appointed KFNC-FM, Houston PD. At sports talk KFNC-FM, Houston “ESPN 97.5,” A.J. Hoffman is promoted to program director.  Hoffman currently co-hosts the Gow Media station’s afternoon drive program, “The Blitz,” with Fred Faour – a duty he will continue in addition to his new programming responsibilities.   WFNC general manager Todd Farquharson says, “We are excited to elevate AJ to the PD position.  He has demonstrated excellent programming instincts and we think his experiences and leadership abilities make him a natural for this opportunity.” Farquharson says “ESPN 97.5FM” has grown significantly over the past two years.  “In a competitive Houston landscape, the station has finished #1 for M25-54 nearly every month of 2018.  In the fall of 2017, we committed to a nearly all local lineup.  We were able to bring back Lance Zierlein, reuniting John [Granato]and Lance in the mornings, and insert Charlie Pallilo in middays.  With this talented group, our audience totals are up 50% year-over-year.”

Former WBAL-AM Morning Host Dave Durian Dies at 72.  Former longtime WBAL-AM, Baltimore news and morning drive personality Dave Durian died yesterday (1/28) at 72 after suffering complications from cancer and a stroke.  The Baltimore Sun’s obituary chronicles his career, especially his time at WBAL.  The Iowa native arrived in Baltimore in 1982 as an anchor at WBAL-TV.  After three years there, worked in public TV before returning to Hearst as morning talk show host for WBAL-AM.  WBAL morning news anchor John Patti is quoted saying, “He was the smoothest reader of the news I’ve ever met.  He could read it cold — you could give him a piece of news copy and he read it so effortlessly he made it sound like it had been news all morning.”

Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Frigid Forecast for Midwest, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls-Schultz Considers Run, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Venezuela Unrest/Bolton Columbia Note, PG&E Files for Bankruptcy, SAG Awards, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/28). The political battle in congress over President Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall; the report that Robert Mueller is close to wrapping his Trump-Russia investigation and the indictment of Roger Stone; the record cold set to hit the Midwest; the 2020 Democratic hopefuls and a possible run by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz; the trade tensions between the U.S. and China and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the Venezuelan political crisis and the flap over national security adviser John Bolton’s ‘5,000 troops to Columbia’ note; PG&E files for bankruptcy in the wake of charges filed against it over the recent California wildfires; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

iHeartCountry Festival Acts Announced. The iHeartCountry Festival at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on Saturday, May 4 will be the sixth edition of the concert event produced by iHeartMedia.  This year, the acts committed to performing include: Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Dan and Shay, Luke Combs, Little Big TownLauren Alaina, Old Dominion, Chris JansonBobby Bones & The Raging Idiots, and Tenille Townes.  Syndicated personality Bobby Bones will serve as host on the main stage.  He says, “I look forward to the iHeartCountry Festival every year.  It’s always special to have so much of the country music community together in one place, including some really talented new artists we have been supporting on Women of iHeartCountry.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer John E. Kage is named program director at iHeartMedia’s CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party.”  He moves across town from his most recent position as program director for Bonnville’s country KYGO.  Kage says, “I am excited to remain in my adopted home of Denver, Colorado where I have 20 years of deep roots and relationships.  iHeartMedia’s unparalleled platforms provide a tremendous opportunity for present and future growth in a rapidly changing environment.  I look forward to working with my team to help contribute to 95.7 The Party’s ongoing success.”…..The afternoon team of Matty Blake and Nick Stevens exits Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston and are being replaced – at least on an interim basis – by Bob Hannah.  Blake and Stevens took over the afternoon drive slot in 2017…..Cumulus Media announces that country KHAY, Oxnard-Ventura OM/PD Chris Cox is retiring from the station and the business after a 45-year career.  He’s been with KHAY since 2012 and had worked in numerous markets during his career, including Los Angeles, Houston, Cincinnati, Louisville, and more. Cumulus regional VP Sommer Frisk says, “Oxnard-Ventura-Santa Barbara has been extremely fortunate to have benefited from Chris’s stewardship over the last seven years.  What we will miss about Chris is his dedication, hard work, professionalism and relentless commitment to the success of our cluster.  What we will miss MOST about Chris is his leadership, character and compassion.  We wish him well in his much-deserved retirement.”…..As reported by Chicago media writer Robert FederMelissa McGurren is leaving the traffic reporting department at Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX to begin an expanded role on the “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip” show.  As previously reported, Violeta Podrumedic is leaving WGN-AM to join WTMX as morning drive traffic reporter…..KJCK-FM, Manhattan, Kansas adds Westwood One’s Adam Bomb show to its programming lineup.

Monday, August 27, 2018

| August 27, 2018

Scott Miller Named Afternoon Talk Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois. Illinois radio pro Scott Miller is the new afternoon drive talk host at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois, effective September 10.  Miller has worked at numerous Chicago outlets: as executive producer/personality at Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” producer at Tribune’s news/talk WGN, short-lived all-news “FM News 101.1” (WKQX), and more. Speaking about his new gig, Miller says, “I’ve worked with and learned from the best in Chicago for over 20 years. It’s time to follow in the radio tradition of stealing all their bits and making them my own on WJBC!  Now if I can just get a hold of Piranha Man, 100,000 disco records and re-work the lyrics to ‘on top of a pizza!’”

Gallagher Appointed DOS at WGN, Chicago. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that radio exec John Gallagher is the new director of sales at Tribune’s news/talk WGN. Gallagher, who most recently was vice president and general manager at Hubbard Radio’s Chicago cluster, assumed the role held by Jeff Hill, who exited earlier this year to become VP of sales at Cumulus Chicago.  Gallagher also served as president and GM at WLS-AM. WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “John is filled with the entrepreneurial spirit we treasure at WGN.  Having his leadership in our hallways is a game changer for our brand and our business partners.”

Barrett Sports Media to Introduce ‘Jeff Smulyan Award’ at February Event.  At next winter’s “Barrett Sports Media Summit” in Los Angeles, Barrett Sports Media will bestow The Jeff Smulyan Award upon its first recipient. BSM president Jason Barrett says he’s “taking the initiative to make sure the contributions of a select few members are permanently remembered.”  The Jeff Smulyan Award will be given to “a chosen member of the radio industry who demonstrates a consistent ability to lead, take risks, and produce results.”  Speaking about the Emmis Communications chairman, Barrett says, “If Jeff Smulyan hadn’t rolled the dice to launch an all-sports station in New York City in 1987 and stuck to the plan when it made no sense to do so, sports radio may never have received a second chance.  Jeff’s ability to lead and deliver results, combined with his willingness to take risk, not only benefited WFAN, but it remains the driving force behind Emmis Communications’ success.  As new threats for the sports fan’s ear emerge from outside industries, it’s important for us to remember who paved the way to make this possible, while recognizing those who continue to blaze new trails to help us secure a prosperous future.”  The 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit takes place in Los Angeles inside the Clive Davis Theater at The Grammy Museum on February 21 and 22, 2019.

iHeartMedia Twin Cities Unveils ‘Sports Radio 96.7.’ The new station is heard in Minneapolis-St. Paul on translator K244FE and is fed from the HD-3 channel of classic hits KQQL.  iHeartMedia is calling the station “KFAN Plus, Sports Radio 96.7” and is airing the FOX Sports Radio lineup, including Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Doug Gottlieb.  Station PD Chad Abbott states, “We’re thrilled to bring the Twin Cities some of the biggest and well-known national names in sports radio.  ‘KFAN Plus’ will be a great expansion of KFAN programming, providing our listeners with even more around-the-clock, exclusive sports news content that they love.”

TALKERS News Notes. Vice president of social media Lori Lewis announces via Facebook that she’s resigning her post with Cumulus Media/Westwood One after a three-year stint with the company.  As for her next move, she only says that she “cannot wait to share this next phase of life” with the industry.  Lewis joined Cumulus from her previous position with Jacobs Media…..The New York Post is reporting that Entercom is moving to acquire the rights to New York Mets play-by-play for all-news WCBS-AM.  Currently, Mets games are heard on iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR.  Entercom has the rights to Yankees broadcasts that air on sports talk WFAN. Prior to WFAN getting the Yankees games (back when CBS RADIO owned the station) they aired on sister WCBS-AM…..According to The Wrap, sports media personality Ryen Russillo is going to be working with Bill Simmons on his The Ringer Podcast Network.  The former ESPN Radio host is expected to host a regular, weekly football podcast as well as make appearances on Simmons’ own show…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR, Chicago operations director Mitch Rosen is among the list of 10 being inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame this year.  Feder writes that “as recipient of the group’s Media Award, Rosen will be cited for The Score’s contributions to Chicago area sports journalism since 1992.”…..Pictured below is Genesis Communications Network nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) with World War II veteran Herb Cohen (left).  Wachs spoke to a group of vets from the Jewish War Veterans of Southern Nevada, Post 64 during an event at the Suncoast Hotel.

Entercom Stations to Air Special on Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. The program is called “I’m Listening” and will air across all Entercomstations on Sunday, September 9 at 7:00 am local time.  The company says this marks the start of National Suicide Prevention Week and the company’s year-long campaign that includes suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos, and a dedicated website with information and resources to end the stigma around mental health discussions.  KISW, Seattle morning personality BJ Shea is hosting the program that will feature medical experts Dr. Chris Nowinski – co-founder and executive director of Concussion Legacy Foundation – and Dr. Ursula Whiteside, a clinical psychologist and CEO of NowMattersNow.org.  Guests scheduled to join the program include Mike McCready and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, Olympian Michael Phelps, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, singer Alessia Cara, and many others.  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “‘I’m Listening’ is one of our signature productions meant to save lives, while simultaneously creating awareness for this truly lethal silent threat.  The number of people impacted by mental health issues is staggering.  The effect it has on their lives and lives of their friends and families is devastating.  If we help save just one life or help remove the stigma around mental illness, our time will have been well spent.  We can’t solve this issue during one program, but we can be part of a vast network working every day to help and serve those affected.”

Beasley Celebrates Its Top Performers with 2018 Operating Achievement Awards. At its annual management meeting in Boston on Friday (8/24), Beasley Media Group announced the winners of the company’s annual Operating Achievement Awards.  The 2018 Winners include: Mary Menna, Market Manager of the Year/Boston; WKLB-FM, Boston, Station of the Year; Tina Murley, Director of Sales (DOS) of the Year/Boston; David Corey, Program Director of the Year/WKLB-FM; Ed McCormack, Technology Award /Boston; Leslie Hamand, Market Controller of the Year/Tampa; Nicole Sellers, Digital Content Professional of the Year/Charlotte; and Deena Roemer Herman, Digital Sales Professional of the Year/Philadelphia. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group COO/EVP Brian Beasley, Murley, Corey, CEO Caroline Beasley, founder & chairman of the board George Beasley, Menna, and president Bruce Beasley

John McCain Passes, Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Pleas, Silent Sam Statue Toppled, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, Neil Simon Dies at 91, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of Arizona Senator John McCain at 81; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on fraud charges and the campaign finance violation guilty pleas entered by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; the toppling of the Silent Sam statue on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill; the shooting at a Florida egame tournament that left three dead; playwright Neil Simon dies at 91; NFL pre-season action, and the MLB playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In St. Louis, Kristie Graybill joins iHeartMedia’s CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” as co-host of the AM drive program.  She partners with Jordan DeSocio for the “Jordan and Kristie in the Morning” show. KSLZ program director Matt Johnson comments, “Kristie is a strong, well-known radio personality within the iHeartMedia family.  We auditioned several talented on-air personalities to join Jordan, but Kristie’s drive, creativity, and talent made her our ideal candidate.”  She says, “I genuinely want to thank iHeartMedia St. Louis for giving me this amazing opportunity.  I am thrilled to be working with Jordan and I can’t wait to connect with the St. Louis listeners bright and early every morning.”  Graybill moves to St. Louis from Cincinnati where she was afternoon drive host on iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1.”

Monday, June 18, 2018

| June 18, 2018

NAB Pushing for Relaxed Ownership Regs. The National Association of Broadcasters is asking the Federal Communications Commission to modernize what it calls the “outdated radio ownership rules” as part of the quadrennial media ownership review expected to take place later this year.  The NAB states that the last change in ownership rules was part of the 1996 de-regulation of the industry and that since that time, competitors such as SiriusXM and the various digital audio services were born and have changed the audio media landscape.  Specifically, the NAB is suggesting the FCC consider the following: For station owners in the top 75 Nielsen Audio markets, raise the cap to up to eight FM signals and put no limit on the number of AM stations it can operate.  In the markets smaller than the top 75, it suggests there be no restrictions on the number of FM or AM stations a single entity can operate.  In explaining its request, the NAB writes, “The Commission’s goal of fostering audio programming ‘tailored to the needs and interests of specific local markets’ must account for today’s reality: tailoring now occurs on the basis of specific listeners, not just on the basis of local radio markets.  The FCC’s approach to regulating free OTA radio must reflect today’s competitive audio market in which consumers have access to a virtually infinite number of ‘stations’ tailored to their specific interests.  Continuing to insist that the existing radio ownership limits are necessary because local stations only compete among themselves defies reality and is contrary to law.  Indeed, the FCC’s current regulatory framework simply ignores a large portion of the listening and advertising equation.  The notion of what constitutes a competitor to radio stations must include audio outlets that consumers in local markets are listening to and the outlets that advertisers use.”

WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Morning Host Jeff Styles Wounded, Charged in Road Rage Incident. Chattanooga morning drive talk host Jeff Styles has been charged with aggravated assault and vandalism after a Friday afternoon road rage incident that left him with a gun-shot wound to his arm. WRCB-TV, Chattanooga reports that Styles – morning drive co-host on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga – and fellow motorist Nickolas Bullington were involved in a road rage incident late Friday afternoon (6/15) that ended after Styles allegedly attacked Bullington’s car with a “military grade tomahawk” and Bullington responded by shooting Styles in the arm with a handgun.  Styles was treated at a local hospital and arrested the following day. The WRCB-TV report includes a statement from Styles’ lawyer alleging Bullington was the aggressor and Styles the victim.  Styles hosts “The Morning Press” with co-host Jim Reynolds and program and news director Kevin West.

Robert Feder Provides Glimpse Behind the Ratings Woes at WGN, Chicago.  Windy City media maven Robert Feder publishes an exclusive report on what some of the station’s talent are saying about the state of Tribune’s venerable WGN-AM as it moves from the Tribune Tower to brand new studios at 303 Wacker Drive.  It’s no secret that WGN has suffered a long trend of dwindling ratings as measured by Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys, and Feder’s story offers a look at what at least a few of the station’s personalities are feeling about the situation.  Read it here.

ESPN Audio Now Available on iHeartRadio. This move adds ESPN Audio’s networks and on-demand content to the iHeartRadio digital platform.  The multi-year deal with iHeartMedia allows users to livestream the ESPN Radio Network shows – “Golic and Wingo,” Dan Le Batard, Stephen A. Smith, etc. – the O&O’s in New York, Chicago and L.A., ESPN-affiliated stations, live play-by-play events, and ESPN’s roster of podcasts.  ESPN VP, Audio and Talent Traug Keller says, “We are consistently looking for new ways to give fans access to ESPN Audio’s tremendous content.  iHeartRadio, with its expansive network and reach, will help us bring new listeners into the fold and give current fans yet another way to enjoy their sports content, anytime, anywhere.”

National Radio Institute Begins Today at University of Tennessee. Today begins the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  At this session, students from four different universities will learn from broadcast pros from Patrick Communications, Midwest Communications, Stonecom Radio, Entercom, Cumulus MediaScripps Radio, 5 Star Radio/Saga Communications, Cromwell Communications, Thunderbolt Broadcasting, and others.  The course is led by industry professionals and facilitated by the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and the University of Tennessee’s College of Communications and Information and was spearheaded by radio consultant Dan Vallie.  The TAB Radio Talent Institute is the fourth of eight Radio Talent Institutes this summer from the National Radio Talent System, next are Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University, and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.

TALKERS News Notes. The case of Nielsen Audio v. Bubba the Love Sponge was supposed to begin in trial court today, but the start of the eagerly awaited legal face-off will not happen until July 23 – that is, unless the two parties come to a settlement.  Nielsen’s complaint that Bubba the Love Sponge damaged its reputation by tampering with the PPM survey in the Tampa market goes back more than two-and-a-half years. Although a settlement is always a possibility, it seems unlikely Bubba would concede anything after spending as much on legal fees as he has up to this point.  Nielsen is seeking $1 million in damages.  Federal Judge James Whittemore offered no reason for the change in trial start dates but says it’s expected to last five to seven days…..cabana, the digital audio division of AdLarge Media, is announcing an exclusive ad sales representation deal for the newly launched true crime podcast network Murder.ly. AdLarge co-founder and co-CEO Cathy Csukas says, “True crime dramas are sought-after and in high demand among listeners and advertisers.  We’re proud to represent the titles in Murder.ly and bring this exclusive opportunity to cabana advertisers.”

Three Join Broadcasters Foundation Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America elects Wendy McMahon, president of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, and Charlie Weiss, publisher of New Bay Media’s TV Sector Brands, to its board of directors, and names Dennis Lyle, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Broadcasters Association, an officer and vice president.  The new directors and Lyle were voted in during the board meeting that took place in New York City last week.  In a related story, at the TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! conference held in New York City on June 8, WPG, Atlantic City morning host and Heavy Hundred member Harry Hurley (pictured below at left) donated $2,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America on behalf of his successful Harry Hurley Charitable Foundation.  Foundation president Jim Thompson (right) accepted the check.  This marked the third year in a row that Hurley has made a large donation to the Broadcasters Foundation.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Roger Stone Allegation, Illegal Immigration Enforcement, Inspector General’s FBI-Clinton Probe Report, Trump Trade Wars, Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the allegation Roger Stone met with a Russian promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton; the controversy over the treatment of illegals with young children; the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s investigation of the Hillary Clinton email server case; the tariffs being levied by the U.S. and retaliation by China and concerns about a global trade war; President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programmer Mat Bates has reportedly exited Cumulus Media’s legendary triple A KFOG, San Francisco where he was serving as program director.…..In the Reno market, Lotus Communications names Tina Smash morning drive host at classic rock KOZZ.  Smash is taking over the morning host role from operations manager and program director Jave Patterson who will assume the afternoon drive show hosting duties on Lotus’ sister active rock KDOT “Rock 104.5.”…..On-air pro Diana DeVille joins Strategic International Ministries’ country KWSV, Simi Valley, California “99.1 The Ranch” to host the midday program that was hosted by departed personality Mese Smith.  Station programmer Michael Raffety says, “It’s always hard replacing a strong personality that listeners have grown to love, like Mese Smith.  But if anyone can carry on the success, it’s Diana Deville. She’s loaded with great ideas and has a genuine love for the country music format and listener.  I know the audience will grow to love Diana as much as they do Mese.”…..Some of the winners at the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters awards luncheon held last Thursday (6/14) include Capitol Broadcasting’s hot AC WRAL-FM, Raleigh-Durham “MIX 101.5,” winner of the Radio Station of the Year honor in the large market category. Station PD Michele Williams says, “We at ‘MIX 101.5’ are honored to accept the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters’ radio station of the year award for 2017.  We thank this amazing community for allowing us to give back through events like our Radiothon for Duke Children’s Hospital, Interfaith Food Shuttle’s Back Pack Buddies Mediathon and our annual Christmas Choir Competition that supports local schools’ music programs.  It’s a privilege to serve you, our listeners, and we look forward to what’s to come in 2018 and beyond.”  Other winners were Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WZFX-FM, Fayetteville, which took home the Station of the Year honor for medium market stations, as well as WPEG, Charlotte “Power 98” evening personality Ya Girl Nikki who was honored with Large Market Personality of the Year.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

| January 31, 2018

Talking with Kellyanne Conway at the White House Radio RowTalk40.com News publisher Bryan Crabtree (center) and conservative media figure Robyn Walensky (right) interview White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway (left) at today’s (1/31) White House radio row.  Crabtree tells TALKERS the administration-sponsored event at the Old Executive Office Building “included a few strategic radio and blogging hosts to be able to speak with cabinet and top White House officials in order to react to the State of the Union.”  Some of the other administration officials who took part included: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, among others.

It’s Official: WSCR Grabs Bulls by the Horns.  Seeking to shed unprofitable contracts, Chapter 11-ensconced Cumulus Media asked the bankruptcy court to allow it out of a number of deals that are losing money, including its WLS-AM, Chicago contracts to air Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox games.  Now, one of those contracts is void after the Bulls and Entercom agreed to terms to air the NBA club’s games on its sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  The announcement was made on this morning’s “Mully & Hanley” show with market manager Jimmy de Castro and operations director Mitch Rosen breaking the news.  The first Bulls game on WSCR will air on Saturday (2/3) as they play at the LA Clippers.  The question that remains is where will the White Sox end up?  At Tribune’s WGN, at ESPN’s WMVP, or somewhere else?  Stay tuned.

WXDE, Salisbury-Ocean City, Delaware Adds Talk Pro Ed Tyll to New Program Lineup.  Salisbury-Ocean City news/talker WXDE, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” announces another addition to its new lineup as talk radio pro Ed Tyll joins to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Recent arrival Rob Sussman is hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  Sussman had been serving at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa as news director.  Station programmer Dan Gaffney continues as morning personality and Susan Monday – whose show is simulcast to Delmarva Broadcasting sister station WDEL, Wilmington – airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Gaffney states, “Ed Tyll is one of the most passionate talk show hosts I have heard and it is exciting to hear his energy blasting out of the speakers from WXDE.  And, if anyone ever wanted to know where the next generation of great talk show host talent is, we have that too in 26-year-old Rob Sussman!”

TALKERS News Notes.  The January cable news/talk numbers are in and, according to a report by TVNewser, FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity led all competitors in total viewer average with 3.27 million.  FNC had seven of the top 10 cable news/talk shows in January in total viewer average – Tucker Carlson finished #3 and Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle” was #4.  In the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was #1, edging FNC’s Sean Hannity 678,000 to 660,000.  The rest of the adults 25-54 top five were “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (597,000), “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (518,000), and “The Ingraham Angle” (504,000)…..Former FOX News Channel and Talk Radio Network star Andrea Tantaros is continuing her legal battle against FNC, now claiming that the late Roger Ailes used a closed circuit video system to view female staffers changing their clothes in the wardrobe department.  This amended complaint is part of Tantaros’ ongoing allegation that FNC engaged in retaliation against her.  For its part, FOX replied to the report in The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “Fox News moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn.  None of the four lawyers currently representing Tantaros in the action signed her new complaint, which she purports to have written herself.  Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis.”

Jim Bohannon Celebrates 25 Years of Nightly Program.  Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon is pictured above celebrating his 25th anniversary hosting his eponymous Westwood One radio talk show.  Bohannon took over the time slot back on January 29, 1993 from Larry King.  Bohannon’s staff surprised him with a special celebratory broadcast that included: a customized montage, a surprise call-in greeting from Larry King, plus congratulatory messages from Westwood One personalities Dennis Miller, Charles Osgood, and Michael Savage.   Check out the audio here.  Westwood One EVP news & talk Bart Tessler comments, “It’s been a highlight of my career working with Jim over a very fast 25 years and producing programs with him across the country and around the world.  Jim Bohannon has long been the standard bearer for a great talk show host: intelligent, informed, passionate, and funny. Congratulations to Jim on a superb 25 years.”

1,000 Smackeroos for PodcastOne Staffers.  In celebration of the new corporate tax rate, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz announces the company is awarding $1,000 bonuses to all of the company’s full-time employees.  Pattiz says, “There’s no question that cutting the corporate federal tax rate to 21% will have a positive effect on business, ours included.  We want our employees to feel the direct benefit of these cuts, especially since because of their efforts we are coming off another record year in 2017.  So, we say, ‘Thank you’ to our dedicated staff and ‘job well done.’”

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Probe, Andrew McCabe Resignation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, FISA Abuses Memo, U.S.-Turkey-Russia Relations, Flu Epidemic, Anti-Military Teacher Rant, Super Blue Blood Moon, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30).  Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and Turkey over the latter’s attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria and Russia’s involvement in Turkish policy in Syria; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the viral video of a Los Angeles-area teacher’s rant about U.S. military policy in which he called U.S. soldiers “the lowest of the low”; Wednesday’s rare “super blue blood moon”; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cox Media Group Joins Trustworthy Accountability Group.  In an effort to improve transparency and combat criminal activity in digital advertising, Cox Media Group announces it is now a participant in the TAG Registry by the Trustworthy Accountability Group.  TAG is a digital industry program created to fight fraudulent traffic and improve transparency in the digital ecosystem.  TAG Registered companies have been verified as legitimate participants in the digital advertising industry through a proprietary background check and review process powered by Dun & Bradstreet and approved by TAG.  TAG Registration is also the baseline requirement for companies to apply for TAG’s four certification programs around fighting fraudulent traffic, stopping ad-supported piracy, reducing malware, and improving transparency.  Vice president of CMGdigital Joe Weir comments, “Reliable data, transparency, and a brand safe environment are very important to Cox Media Group.  We are committed to delivering quality inventory for our advertisers and our participation in the TAG Registry is a sign of that commitment. The digital ad supply chain is very complex and can be challenging to navigate. The TAG Registry is an important tool for companies to confirm they are doing businesses with legitimate counterparties in the digital advertising space.”

Doing Relief Aid in Haiti.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network vice president news & talk programming Tom Tradup with a group of children in Citi de Soleil, Haiti.  Tradup is working with the relief organization Food For The Poor.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career MovesRAMP24/7.com reports that KINK, Portland program director and afternoon drive host Sean Demery is recovering from a brain-stem stroke suffered on January 20.  Demery has been programming the Alpha Media triple A station since March of last year.  RAMP published the following: “It is with heavy hearts but positive spirits that the family and friends of Sean Demery…would like to inform you of his recent medical issue.  Sean suffered a brain-stem stroke on January 20.  We are told that Sean’s spirits are good, as he’s been requesting his favorite bands, checking in on KINK daily, and conversing with family and friends and checking email and texts.  There is a long road to recovery ahead for Sean, and we ask for your continued support, positive thoughts and prayers. Sean’s wife Jennifer has asked that you check in on Sean’s Facebook page for updates and to post supportive messages, videos and photos for Sean.  We also ask that you respect the privacy of Sean’s family and please direct your messages, posts and well-wishes to the Facebook Group.  Hearing from his friends and listeners is the best therapy he can receive, so thank you!”…..Los Angeles CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP Radio” adds Chelsea Briggs to the morning show with Edgar Sotelo and Brian MooteEntercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman comments, “Chelsea is a social media superstar and we are thrilled to bring her unique personality to the new ‘AMP Morning Show’ with Edgar and Brian.  Their chemistry is unparalleled and I’m confident that the three of them will create sensational mornings for our listeners.”  Briggs has most recently been serving as a correspondent for Billboard News…..iHeartMedia and KGB, San Diego morning personality Bob Buchman come to terms on a contract extension to keep him working alongside Coe Lewis on the classic rock morning station.  KGP program director Shauna Moran states, “Bob has been a vital piece of our programming puzzle here in San Diego and we look forward to more successful years.  Bob and Coe have been a favorite of the rock radio morning commute and we are excited that it will continue.”…..Chelsea Alayne is the new morning host at Sun Broadcasting’s rock WXNX, Fort Myers “93X.”  She takes over the daypart from Spam, who exited in December of 2017.

CHR KZIA, Cedar Rapids Owner Killed in Deadly Auto Crash.  According to a report by KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, KZIA Inc. owner Robert Norton Jr. was driving the wrong way on I-380 when he struck a car driven by 28-year-old Jennifer Koenighain.  Both were declared dead at the scene.  Norton’s company owned and operated CHR KZIA “Z102.9,” sports KGYM, and adult hits KZIA-HD2/K236AA.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

| January 30, 2018

Emmis Reaches Agreements in Principle to Sell Its Four St. Louis Stations.  These agreements in principle are exactly that and subsequent definitive agreements mean more, but Emmis Communications announced today (1/30) that it will sell classic rock KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio and news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom.  Terms – including price – are not available at this time.  If the sales are finalized and pass regulatory approval, Entercom would own both heritage news/talk KMOX and news/talk KFTK.  It seems unlikely that Entercom would operate two conservative news/talk stations in the same market and KFTK’s Class C1 FM signal would be a prime candidate for a flip to a music format.

Imus in the Morning/WABC Update.  From the mouth of WABC, New York morning legend Don Imus comes the news that when his show ends on March 29, certain staff members are leaving along with him.  The I-man said that show engineer Lou Rufino, along with cast members Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell will not continue with Cumulus Media’s 77WABC.  TALKERS magazine sources also say that, effective today (1/30), Lisa Ritchie moves from evening news anchor position to weekday afternoon news anchor.  Also, weekday street reporter Jerry Barmash assumes the evening news anchor role.

Ralph Bristol Exits WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Show.  There’s a change in mornings at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” as morning personality Ralph Bristol exits the station.  There’s no official word from Cumulus on this change, but former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning host Brian Wilson has been sitting in on the morning show, so far.   The rest of the weekday lineup on WTN is Michael Del Giorno in late mornings, Dan Mandis in early afternoons, and Phil Valentine in afternoon drive.

PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz to Present a “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters” Clinic at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The founder and executive chairman of one of the talk media industry’s leading podcasting platforms, PodcastOne, will address the attendees at the forthcoming TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on the subject of “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters.” As podcasting grows into a major communications business and modern-day cultural phenomenon, it is becoming clear that the practice is an extension of the radio industry’s platform projection into the digital space. According to Norm Pattiz, “There are unlimited potential and yet untapped opportunities for radio broadcasters to expand their programming, brands and potential for revenue generation in this exciting field. We will discuss some of them at the TALKERS conference.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Talk show host Jeremy Leahy’s “Standing Ground” program picks up another affiliate as WLBB, Carrollton, Georgia adds the show to its program schedule.  TalkAmericaRadio.US operations manager Ron Phillips comments, “We are extremely proud to be carrying Jeremy’s program.  In his unfiltered style, he guides the listener through all aspects of our political landscape.  He is well on his way to being a headliner on our national network.”…..USA Radio Network is reporting that “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” has added new affiliate stations, including KBDT, Dallas (USA Radio’s new flagship station) and KSPK, Minneapolis.  Additionally, the 8:00 pm ET hour of the program is carried by Newsmax TV, reaching some 50 million households…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sources tell him the rights to Chicago Bulls play-by-play could transfer from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score,” as a deal is close to being struck.  As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and company-wide cost-cutting measures, Cumulus is asking out of its deals with the Bulls and MLB’s White Sox.  It’s hard to say where the White Sox rights may end up.  WSCR also carries the Cubs.  Tribune’s WGN let go of the Cubs several years ago, presumably for financial reasons.  And, it’s not certain if sport talker WMVP parent ESPN is interested in the White Sox.  Stay tuned…..Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is entering the news media game.  He was introduced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program today (1/30) by George Stephanopoulos as the newest ABC News contributor.  He was referred to as a friend and adviser to President Trump.  Christie – a former U.S. prosecutor gave his takes on the exit of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the Robert Mueller special investigation…..Cumulus Media news/talk KABC, Los Angeles was honored by Southern California’s RTNA with five top honors at the 68th Annual RTNA Golden Mike Awards on Saturday (1/27).  The station took home the following:  Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: Leeann Tweeden, anchor; Sharon Reardon, editor; Best Sports Segment: Randy Wang; Best Government and Political Reporting: James Rojas; Best Traffic Reporter: Bill Thomas; and Best News Reporting by Radio Network or Content Syndicator: Westwood One‘s Jim Roope.

Merlin Media Still Negotiating with Cumulus.  WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM, Chicago owner Merlin Media filed yesterday (1/29) with the bankruptcy court handling Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 case, informing it that it is still working with Cumulus to seek a mutually beneficial solution to the ownership of the two stations.  Those following the Cumulus bankruptcy case recall that the company is asking the court to let it out of a number of contracts that are losing money.  One of those is the LMA of WKQX and WLUP.  Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus is also under obligation to buy the two signals for around $50 million.  Merlin acknowledges that, in the event negotiations fail and pending a court ruling, it is preparing to either operate the alternative and classic rock stations itself and/or seek another buyer.  Also, Merlin is objecting to Cumulus classifying the Merlin contract as a subordinating claim – which would make it payable only after senior claims are settled.

Andrew McCabe Resignation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Kremlin List, FISA Abuses Memo, State of the Union Address, Criticism of Politicized Grammys, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strava Security Concerns, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Vladimir Putin’s response to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Kremlin list” of Russian politicians and oligarchs who’ve thrived under Putin; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; President Trump’s State of the Union Address; criticism of the political speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; concerns of the security of U.S. service personnel after use of the Strava workout app appears to reveal their locations; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII 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.  Morning radio personality John Forsythe is retiring from iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107.7” where he’s been co-hosting AM drive with Leslye Gale since 2010.  During his 50-year career, Forsythe has worked at such stations as WQAM-AM, Miami; KLIF-AM, Dallas; KKOB-FM, Albuquerque; and KCBQ, San Diego.  About retirement, Forsythe says, “It’s been a difficult decision to step away from such a successful show but it’s time.  Radio has given me so many amazing life experiences.  From the early days in Miami with the Bee Gees living on the same canal as ‘QAM in the ‘70s, to being part of the Chargers broadcast team in the ‘80s, to raising millions for children’s hospitals in the ‘90s and 2000s, radio has enriched my life in so many ways!  I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and make someone’s day better through warmth and laughter.”…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Entercom urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” will replace departing morning personality Ryan Cameron with familiar voices – Frank Ski and Miss Sophia, along with Wanda Smith.   Ski returns to the station after exiting in 2012 and Miss Sophia returns after an almost eight-year absence…..When the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods drops this Friday (2/2), it will be available on demand via iHeartRadio starting at 12:00 midnight ET.  iHeartRadio and Timberlake have teamed up to gift fans with the access to stream the album all weekend long during iHeartRadio’s “All Access Free Preview Weekend.”  At 8:00 pm ET on Friday, iHeartMedia’s digital platform will host an iHeartRadio Album Preview with Justin Timberlake across broadcast stations nationwide and digitally on iHeartRadio’s Hit Nation featuring an exclusive interview about the making of the album…..iHeartMedia rock station KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the lineup for this year’s “BFD 2018” concert at Starplex Pavilion on May 26.  The day-long concert will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Nothing More, Candlebox, 10 Years, and The Blue Stones…..SiriusXM is devoting a channel to the music of Billy Joel all during February.  The Billy Joel Channel will feature the works of Joel plus a new series, “BJ the DJ” in which Joel plays some of the artists he admires most.  Each show will be focused on a different genre of music including pop, rock and R&B.  Billy will host this series while sitting at his piano illustrating musically and verbally each song he selects.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

| January 10, 2018

Joe ‘Pags’ Show Hits 100-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show” arrives at the 100-affiliate mark with the addition of KPAM, Portland to its affiliate roster.  Joe Pagliarulo’s WOAI, San Antonio-based program is syndicated by Compass Media NetworksSalem Media Group SVP/spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Years ago a young TV anchor in Albany called me to ask how he could get into talk radio.  That was Joe Pags.  I figured it was a passing fantasy, but no, he was serious.  What an honor to be his 100th affiliate in Portland at our newest talk station.  Our listeners there are in for a real treat.  And congrats Joe, you made it!”  Pags adds, “It’s an absolute thrill to add such a great station like KPAM in a top market like Portland!  For this powerhouse to also be my 100th affiliate and to once again be working with Phil Boyce is truly humbling.”

Save the Date – TALKERS 2018 Set for NYC.  The date has been set for the 21st annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention.  TALKERS 2018 will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  Initial details covering venue, registration and sponsorship information will be posted here on Talkers.com this Friday.  Save the date, this promises to be one of the most exciting and dynamic installments in the history of this iconic radio-oriented event.

Rob Stadler Gone From Mornings at WYAY, Atlanta. As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, Cumulus Media’s WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7” parted ways with Rob Stadler – host of the morning news program – at the end of 2017.  Ho reports that WYAY program director Tom Lee has not named a successor to the Stadler-hosted program, but Ho suspects the new program will be more of a talk show than a news show.  This for the station that launched in 2012 as an all-news outlet.  Talk radio pros Mike Brooks and Rob Carson have been filling in hosting the AM drive program.  For his part, Stadler told Ho in a text, “The last two years have been a lot of fun, but my sights are now set on a new position that doesn’t require a 1 a.m. wake-up!  Can’t talk about it right now but soon…I sincerely wish the talk and news talent at WYAY-FM the very best for future success!”

KKFN, Denver Adds More Local Content.  There’s more local sports talk on Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” with the extension of the “Pritchard and Cecil” program and the addition of a Sandy Clough-hosted evening show.  Well-known Denver sports voice Sandy Clough begins hosting a 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm program on January 16.  Effective immediately, the “Pritchard and Cecil” program – co-hosted by Mike Pritchard and Cecil Lammey – is airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  KKFN program director Armen Williams states, “Broncos country and the Denver sports community has shown us there’s a clear demand from ‘104.3 The Fan’ for more local sports talk.  We’re excited to give our audience even more of an opportunity to feed their passion on a daily basis.  It’s something they both yearn for and deserve.  Sandy Clough is an institution in the Denver sports radio market.  In the evening, Denver sports fans are looking for an outlet, and having Sandy on from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm will allow him to not only give perspective on Broncos headlines but also provide postgame reaction to the Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche, and other Denver sports events.”

Longtime WGN, Chicago Talk Host Milt Rosenberg Passes at 92.  Legendary Chicago radio host Milt Rosenberg died yesterday (1/9) after complications from pneumonia at the age of 92.  Rosenberg was a University of Chicago psychology professor who hosted the evening “Extension 720” program on Tribune’s WGN from 1973 through his “forced retirement” in 2012.  Read Chicago media writer Robert Feder’s obit for Rosenberg here.

Report from CES 2018.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the enormous CES 2018, presented by the Consumer Technology Association.  He’s filing reports from Sin City in TALKERS magazine all week.  Check out his notes from yesterday’s action here.

PodcastOne and AP Team Up for Sports Coverage.  A new relationship between PodcastOne SportsNet and AP promises to provide reports from national and international sporting events, beginning with the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.  This deal also includes new PodcastOne and AP content, with some premiering as soon as this week.  Additionally, “Red Circle Sports with Dennis Miller,” “Riggle’s Picks,” “Real GM” and others will be added to PodcastOne SportsNet lineup.  PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz says, “This will provide AP and PodcastOne subscribers with real-time, daily news reports, commentary and original content. It will provide additional power to the explosive growth of podcasting, while taking maximum advantage of the unmatched connection to listeners that podcasts already provide.  AP Sports is everywhere with on-the-ground, first-hand coverage that will now be available via podcasts as never before.”  Content produced by AP and PodcastOne SportsNet will be distributed on AP platforms, as well as PodcastOne.com and the PodcastOne app.

Brendan Carr Nominated for Full FCC Term.  Republican FCC commissioner Brendan Carr is being nominated for a full, five-year term on the Commission.  Based on comments from fellow commissioners – including FCC chairman Ajit Pai – Carr has the support of the rest of the commission.  New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella says in a supportive statement to Senator Cory Booker, “To be sure, Commissioner Carr is a dedicated public servant.  He has been a very responsive and concerned FCC Commissioner, sensitive to the issues brought to his attention by the NJBA.  Moreover, his courteous response to our communications translates to his committed staff and we are grateful for their service to our great industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The latest station to add the Radio America-syndicated “Chad Benson Show” is Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  Radio America says KTAR-FM joins a growing list of affiliates that includes KSTE-AM, Sacramento; WIBC-FM, Indianapolis; WDBO-FM, Orlando; KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa; and KTSA-AM, San Antonio among others. Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch comments, “Chad is an incredible talent who will talk about the political headwinds in America, plus deliver his unique views on other real-life issues that the Valley cares about.  From the economy to social media, to different things working people experience daily, he is a wonderful storyteller on a mission to entertain.  We’re also excited to be partnering with the team at Radio America as they continue to deliver the best of the next generation of talk programming.”…..Saga Communications’ Cayuga Radio Group names John Summers brand manager and news director for news/talk WHCU, Ithaca, New York, effective January 22.  Summers was most recently regional program director and news director for Northwest News Radio Network and the Washington Ag Network…..With the decision by Breitbart News to part ways with Stephen K. Bannon – who served briefly with the Trump Administration as a senior adviser to the president – his work hosting the “Breitbart News Radio” program that airs on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel also ends.  SiriusXM announced the separation yesterday (1/9)…..AdLarge Media’s digital audio division for podcasting, streaming, and advertising – dubbed “cabana” – publishes its comprehensive, easy-to-understand guidebook to helping podcasters and their advertisers meet their marketing goals.   AdLarge says the report “includes a glossary of terms with clear, concise descriptions of the different advertising options in podcasting and spotlights how each of them can deliver specific benefits to a campaign.”

Trump DACA Rollback, Bannon-Breitbart Split, Fire and Fury Book, Trump Russia Dossier, De Niro Trump Rant, California Mud Slides, North-South Korea Talks, Arpaio Senate Run, Alabama Wins CFC in Overtime, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).  The attempt by the Trump Administration to roll back the Obama-era DACA and a judge’s ruling to stay that move; Stephen K. Bannon splits from executive post at Breitbart News; the ongoing controversy over Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury book; the Donald Trump Russia dossier and the new suit by Trump lawyers against BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS; actor Robert De Niro’s rant against President Trump at an awards ceremony; the deadly California mudslides; the talks between North and South Korea and South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s giving credit to President Trump for forcing the talks; former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio announces plans to run for U.S. Senate; Alabama beats Georgia in overtime to win the College Football Championship; and the NFL playoffs 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.  The new morning show at Entercom Communications’ CHR KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” is the duo of Edgar Sotelo and Brian Moote, effective February.  Entercom’s SVP/market manager Jeff Federman says, “We are thrilled to be able to bring together Edgar and Brian on ‘AMP Radio.’  Both of them are smart, genuine and funny and we look forward to watching them make a huge impact in LA – on air, on-site at local events and on social media.”  Edgar Sotelo previously served as the morning show host at WBMP, New York “AMP Radio.”  Brian Moote exited his gig with the Atlanta-based, syndicated “The Bert Show” to take this new gig…..RadioInfo sources in New York say Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ has removed Rick Gillette from the program director role at the station.  We are also hearing that Gillette is being offered the chance to remain with the company in another capacity.  Assistant program director Mike Allan is now acting PD for “95.5 PLJ.”…..Rock programmer Garett Michaels joins Local Media San Diego’s alternative XTRA, San Diego “91X” as program director.  Michaels’ work in the San Diego market includes his most recent stint with Local Media San Diego and Midwest Television at rock KFM-BFM and almost 10 years programming alternative KBZT.  He also programmed alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” from 2013 through 2015.  He says, “After spending the last year consulting and working with the team, I couldn’t be more excited to officially join Local Media San Diego.  It’s an honor to be a part of ‘91X,’ a station that represents the San Diego lifestyle, has deep roots serving our local community, and is truly one of the icons of the alternative format.”…..Speaking of Entercom’s alternative KBZT, San Diego, the station names Chris Patyk program director.  Patyk has been programming sister stations CHR KEGY “Energy” and adult contemporary KYXY…..The nationally syndicated Michael Baisden show announces it has hired award-winning broadcast journalist and radio personality Dominique DiPrima to serve as co-host.  She hosted the daily news and public affairs show “Front Page” on KJLH-FM, Los Angeles.  DiPrima will also hold the title of senior producer…..Canadian Music Week announces that Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley will be a featured speaker at the “A Radio Executive’s View” from the “Corner Office” Super Session on Friday, May 11 at the two-day Radio Interactive Summit taking place on May 10-11.

PPM Analysis: Country.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the 6+ ratings performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on country.  During this period – November 6 to December 9 – many music stations were adding Christmas music to their rotations and that could be a factor in the comparison of November 2017 data to December 2017 data.  Kinosian reports, “Approximately one of every four stations (26%) on our country sample is up between November 2017 – December 2017, while 63% experience decreases; the remaining 11% of the panel remains unchanged.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017 ratings, “Roughly half the stations on this country panel are down year-to-year (49%) and nearly as many (43%) are up; the remaining 8% are steady.”  Two country outlets in PPM markets ranked #1 in their respective markets during the December 2017 survey – iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus and WQIK, Jacksonville.  See the entire report here.

Thursday, December 14, 2015

| December 14, 2017

Tribune Makes Management Changes at WGN-AM, Chicago; Manley Rises to Station Manager.  There’s a new management structure in place at Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Yesterday (12/13), the company announced that VP of content and programming Todd Manley is being promoted to station manager and WGN-TV/CLTV president and general manager Paul Rennie will now have the radio station under his purview.  Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert made the announcements in a statement, making official changes to WGN-AM’s management for the first time since Jimmy de Castro exited the VP/GM position last fall.  De Castro is now serving in the same capacity at Cumulus Media’s Chicago operations.  Tribune is in the process of being acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose other radio properties are three stations in Seattle (including news/talk KVI and news KOMO-AM/FM).

Nielsen: News/Talk Top Format of 2017.  As the chart above indicates, ratings giant Nielsen Audio’s analysis of the AQH share ratings of radio stations across all the PPM markets shows that news/talk was the top format for all listeners (6+) in 2017.  Nielsen reports, “Overall in 2017, News/Talk improved on its success from last year, as did Adult Contemporary (AC) and Country. Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) had a down year compared with 2016, but it remained the top-ranked format in terms of audience share among kids 6-11, teens 12-17, Millennials aged 18-34 and persons 25-to-54. And listening to Urban Contemporary stations (also known as hip-hop) was much more prevalent among younger audiences, whereas News/Talk radio (the No. 1 overall format each year in PPM markets) rises dramatically as we age.”

Cumulus Launches Alex Skills for 300 Stations.  The company says it worked with XAPP Media on the rollout of Amazon Alexa skills for “300 local radio stations, popular Westwood One brands, plus the leading dedicated Christmas radio skill, Christmas Radio.  This is the largest collection of custom skills available with Amazon Alexa in the U.S.”  Cumulus Media adds that “this week marks the kick-off of a national consumer marketing campaign designed to educate listeners on how to find and enable skills, fueled by local on-air, video and social promotion.  Individual stations will create localized messaging that speaks directly to their unique listenership.”  Cumulus EVP of programming and content Mike McVay states, “Voice-interactive technology is bringing radio listening back into the home and office and will enable interactivity with our stations in the connected car.  Our strategy to create a custom skill for individual radio stations and programs, while educating consumers, is critical as smart speakers have created an entirely new, and rapidly growing platform to consume audio content.”  EVP corporate marketing/president Westwood One Suzanne Grimes adds, “At an aggregated network level, we will have access to valuable data and insights on this rapidly-evolving audio ecosystem.  We are dedicated to educating, testing, and learning to evolve the listening experience for our listeners and brand partners.”

PBS Severs Ties with Tavis Smiley After Sexual Misconduct Allegations.  This story was first published in Variety.  It says that PBS has “indefinitely suspended” distribution of the “Tavis Smiley” program that is produced by Smiley’s own company, TS Media.  After hiring an outside law firm to investigate, the public broadcaster states, “This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley.  The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.”  Smiley’s talk radio program was syndicated by Public Radio International from 2005 through 2013.  Daniel Holloway’s Variety piece says, “The investigation found credible allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, sources said.  Some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley.  In general, witnesses described Smiley as creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment that went beyond what could be expected in a typical high-pressure work environment.  Several expressed concerns about retaliation.”

Lewandowski Packs House at WPHT ‘Speaker Series.’ WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli (left) interviews former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski during a standing-room-only appearance at the latest installment of the “WPHT Speaker Series.”  Zeoli says the capacity crowd heard insider tales from Lewandowski’s best-selling book, Let Trump Be Trump.

TALKERS News Notes.  Newsman Connell McShane leaves the “Imus in the Morning” show.  He replaced Charles McCord as the news anchor on the legendary program after his May 2011 retirement.  Don Imus delivered a glowing farewell “thank you” to McShane on the occasion of his final day with the show…..A change takes place at the executive level at the Radio Advertising BureauSharon Friedlander is named vice president, insights, effective January 2.  She takes over for Annette Malave who is leaving the RAB to pursue other interests.  Friedlander most recently served as partner/director at media planning agency MEC.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “We are extremely fortunate to have Sharon Friedlander join us at a time when insights and analytics have never been more important or more available for media, specifically, radio.  We’re delighted for Sharon to represent RAB throughout the research community, partner with RAB’s senior team, and to provide invaluable resources to RAB members.”…..SiriusXM is airing a schedule of 38 college football bowl games, including the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship.  The schedule begins this Saturday, December 16, with a lineup of six games.  The National Championship game is Monday, January 8 at 8:00 pm at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Doug Jones Victory, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea Nuclear Program, Omarosa Exits White House, and NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/13).  The victory by Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama special election for the U.S. Senate; the Republican tax reform plan’s effects on taxpayers; new allegations of sexual impropriety against politicians and celebrities; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; former “Apprentice” star Omarosa Onée Manigault-Newman exits her White House position; and NFL/NBA 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.  Urban programming pro Ken Johnson returns to New York to serve as program director for Cumulus Media’s urban AC WNBM “Radio 103.9.”  He’ll continue his role as VP of urban formats for the company.  Johnson was PD when Cumulus launched the urban AC format on the station.  Since April of 2015, he’s been operations manager for the company’s urban AC WUHT, Birmingham “Hot 107.7.”  Cumulus New York president and market manager Chad Lopez states, “Everyone at WNBM 103.9 and Cumulus are excited to have Ken Johnson back in New York.  Ken’s expertise and experience in this format will only continue to build a very strong loyal listener base and grow audience.”…..Two more iHeartMedia alternative rock stations pick up Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show,” featuring Woody, Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas.  The KYSR, Los Angeles-based morning show will be heard on WOLT-FM “ALT 103.3, Indy’s Alternative” and WDTW-FM “ALT 106.7, Detroit’s New Alternative” beginning January 3…..After two years hosting mornings at Townsquare Media’s country WPKQ, Portland, Maine “103.7 The Peak,” Dave Winsor messages his fans that he’s left the show.  “I’m no longer with ‘103.7 THE PEAK.’  The company did the best it could within its power to keep the show going, but it’s not to be.  Where will I go?  Who knows.  But, I’ll always be grateful to you!”

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

| November 14, 2017

New Entercom Names Format Captains; Newman, Butler and Chernoff to Lead Spoken-Word Formats.  When the EntercomCBS RADIO merger closes – as early as this Friday (11/17) – format captains for the new company will be in place.  The spoken-word formats will continue to be led by Diane Newman (talk), Steve Butler (all-news), and Mark Chernoff (sports).  Newman is the longtime operations manager and program director for Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans.  Butler is director of news and programming at KYW, Philadelphia and vice president of news radio for CBS RADIO.  Chernoff is the longtime program director at WFAN-AM/FM, New York who also holds the vice president of programming title.  Other format captains include: Jimmy Gonzalez –  Spanish Language, Brian Kelly – Top 40, Michael Martin – Alternative, Mike Moore – Country, Nikki Nite – Adult Contemporary, Dave Richards – Rock/Classic Rock, Reggie Rouse – Urban, Jim Ryan – Classic Hits, and Steve Salhany – Hot Adult Contemporary.  Michael Martin will continue in his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives in the new organization.  Format captains will report to president of programming Pat Paxton and EVP of programming Chris Oliviero.  Paxton comments, “We are excited about the best-in-class programming team we are building at Entercom.  This talented team of experts has the skills and experience to take our live, original and local audio content to new heights and compete at the highest level in the media industry.”

Report: Trio of Carlin, Scott and Gray to Take Over Afternoons on WFAN. The stories in the New York media – Newsday and the New York Daily News – indicate an official announcement from WFAN, New York could come today (11/14) regarding the fate of the afternoon drive show after Mike Francesa’s departure next month.  They are reporting that current WIP-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Chris Carlin and former New York Jets player Bart Scott will team up with SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray for the new show.  WFAN program director Mark Chernoff had no comment on the reports, according to both papers.  The stories also indicate that NBC SportsChris Simms and the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones both turned down offers by the station to be part of the new program.

Michael Savage Pens New Book: God, Faith and Reason.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage says this new book is a result of his own spiritual journey and his belief that God wants us to question things.  On his website, Savage says that publisher Hachette asked him to write another book after his last release, Trump’s War: His Battle for America.  He says he agreed on the condition that he could “dedicate my next book to God, who has given me everything.”  He also says, “I’m not a holy guy, I’m not a holy roller, I’m not an evangelist.  I’m not better than the next man, I’m just really talking about my odyssey.  I’m still questioning myself and my existence.  What’s it all about?  I believe God wants us to question.”  See more here.

Roy Moore Allegations, Uranium One/Clinton Foundation Investigation, GOP Tax Plan, North Korea Nukes/U.S. Carrier Exercises, Saudi Arabia-Iran Tensions, Roger Goodell-Jerry Jones Battle, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The allegations of contact with underage girls against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; Republicans’ request to investigate possible connections between the Uranium One deal and the Clinton Family Foundation; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; North Korea’s nuclear program and the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the region participating in drills with South Korea and Japan; tensions in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of fomenting war; speculation that Jerry Jones leaked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s new contract requests in an effort put him in a bad light; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Democrats Request Probe into FCC’s Treatment of Sinclair.  With the proposed acquisition of Tribune Media’s 42 television stations by Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of 193 TV stations) hanging in the balance, U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Elijah Cumming (D-MD) are asking the FCC’s inspector general to look into whether FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is giving favor to Sinclair because of its perceived conservative slant.  As Reuters reports, the advocacy group Free Press stated in an FCC filing that Sinclair’s stations “air pro-Trump propaganda” and then seek favors from the administration.  Politico published a piece purporting that Sinclair struck a deal with then-candidate Donald Trump to get access in exchange for favorable coverage from its news departments.  While this is largely a TV story, Sinclair owns three radio stations in Seattle it acquired in the Fisher deal.  Two of them are all-news KOMO-AM/FM and news/talk KVI.  Tribune owns Chicago news/talk WGN-AM.

KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Talking Turkey. For the sixth consecutive year, KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller is living outside a local Walmart for an entire week to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger and to get donations to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.  Pictured above, Miller is dressed in a turkey suit while being interviewed by KTVB-TV’s Larry Gebert.  Over the past six years, Miller has helped raise more than $400,000 in cash, food, and clothing.

TALKERS News Notes. In recognition of the current “Saturday Night Live” exhibition at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, Tribune’s WGN Radio will be doing a series of live broadcasts from the museum.  Next Tuesday (11/21), the Steve Cochran morning show will produce a remote broadcast that will include special guests and former “SNL” cast members Nora Dunn, Tim Kazurinsky and Julia Sweeney.  Later in January and February, “The Bill and Wendy Show,” “The John Williams Show,” and “The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes” will also originate live broadcasts from the “SNL” exhibit at the museum…..Crawford Broadcasting Company announces the addition of WMUZ-AM, Taylor, Michigan “1200 The Salt” to its lineup of Christian stations in the Detroit area.  The company says the station will be ministry talk, featuring local and national pastors and teachers, including Alistair Begg and Dr. David Jeremiah…..The Coffee With Kenobi podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio, moving some four years of shows to the platform.  Creator of the Star Wars-themed podcast outfit Dan Z says, “We are thrilled to bring members of our Coffee With Kenobi family network to BlogTalkRadio.  If you love analysis and Star Wars conversation, this is the podcast you’re looking for!”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air and programming pro Rich DeSisto is appointed to the program director position at Beasley Media Group’s adult contemporary WJBR-FM, Wilmington, Delaware.  DeSisto has been serving Beasley as APD and afternoon personality at adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia and as a weekend jock on classic rock WMGK (a role he’ll continue).  The company says that DeSisto has spent most of his 30-year radio career in the region, working at such stations as WYSP-FM, Q104.3-FM, WPST-FM, WZXL-FM and WSJO-FM.  In addition, DeSisto served as the director of programming of the WMGM-FM/WJSE-FM/WTKU-FM cluster in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Beasley VP/market manager AJ Lurie says, “I have learned to hire people brighter than myself, and Rich is one of those people!”…..iHeartMedia promotes Jacob “Tight Pants” Bowling to assistant program director, music director and afternoon personality for alternative rock KTHR, Wichita “ALT 107.3,” effective November 20.  iHeartMedia Wichita SVP of programming Jim Dorman says, “We are very excited at what ‘Tight Pants’ will be bringing to Wichita.  His work ethic and passion for music is second to none and I am looking forward to working with him on ‘ALT 107.3.’  He truly deserves this promotion.”…..Curtis Media Group brings Morgan Thomas back to the Raleigh market to host the morning show on adult hits WBBB-FM “96.1 BBB.”  Thomas co-hosted the successful “Mike & Morgan” show on the company’s country WQDR from 2001 through 2004.  She left the market to take on the morning co-host role at KSON, San Diego, working there until 2010.  Station SVP/general manager David Stuckey says, “Morgan is a proven major market personality and I am very pleased to welcome her back to Raleigh on ‘96.1 BBB.’”…..This year’s “The Night Before” show at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul (the night before Super Bowl LII) will feature the Dave Matthews BandCBS RADIO and On Location Experiences are co-producing the show…..Content producer and syndicator Westwood One is presenting 12 holiday-themed, weekend music specials for affiliate stations to air from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas weekend.  The first is the four-hour “A Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration with Chris Young.”  Christmas-themed shows are being hosted by such stars as Brett Eldredge, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Koz, and more…..iHeartMedia’s Phoenix adult contemporary signal KEZ brings the Premiere Networks syndicated “Delilah” show back to the program schedule for the evening daypart.

sextubetubedupeyesxxxtubexokompozmesunpornoxxxdan deneme