Tag: "Wendy Snyder"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

| May 21, 2014

wgn logo newWGN Announces Garry Meier Moves to Digital Platform, John Williams Returns to WGN Radio.  A big change in Windy City talk radio as Garry Meier leaves the PM drive slot he’s hosted since 2009 on WGN Radio to handle the same shift at meiergarryTribune’s wgn.fm internet station.  Coming back to WGN is John Williams who left 18 months ago to move to the Twin Cities where he hosts the afternoon drive show on CBS RADIO’s WCCO – a position he’ll continue to hold.  The new schedule at WGN looks like this: Steve Cochran in mornings, Williams from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano from 12:00 noon williamsjohnto 3:00 pm, Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder move into the afternoon drive slot from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, followed by Pete McMurray from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Patti Vasquez from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am and Nick Digilio from 2:00 am to 5:00 am.  Speaking about bringing Williams back to WGN, VP of content Todd Manley states, “John crafts radio shows that are laced with such unique wit and wisdom that you don’t want to miss a minute.  John was born to be on both of these great stations.  We give many thanks to our friends at WCCO for so graciously sharing him.”  Station president and general manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “Garry is perfect for wgn.fm because he understands both the potential of spoken word and that the future of radio is programming to tech-savvy, mobile audiences.  His approach to entertain interactively through digital media propels us into the future.  This is a great start to the revamp of our entire online and mobile products including our apps, websites and on-demand content distribution.”

kaufmanjoycebillboardJoyce Kaufman Named by TALKERS, Humanitarian of the Year.  Talk radio personality Joyce Kaufman – 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm host at James Crystal Radio, Inc.-owned WFTL, Fort Lauderdale – has been named by the TALKERS editorial board as the 2014 recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster.  Also referred to as “Humanitarian of the Year,” the award is named in honor of Sharon L. Harrison, the late wife of Michael Harrison and mother of Matthew B. Harrison, who played an instrumental role in the radio trade publication business going all the way back to her days as an associate editor at Radio & Records during its formative years in the early 1970s through the launch of TALKERS magazine in 1990.  In making the announcement of Joyce Kaufman’s selection, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “Ms. Kaufman embodies so many of the values that are vital to the continued importance of radio as an iconic resource serving the best interests of society.  She is quintessentially local and deeply connected to her South Florida community.  She has been fiercely loyal to her station, co-workers and management during WFTL’s recent financial challenges.  And most importantly, she has a string of community-service achievements and awards to her credit that could reflect the productive output of more than 10 broadcasters, let alone one hard-working individual.  She is a veritable force of nature in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami2014 NYC logo 150 region and richly deserves recognition as an inspiration to the entire industry.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “Most hosts and broadcasters who have received this award have been so recognized because of one or a handful of charitable and community initiatives that they have championed.  In the case of Joyce Kaufman, there are actually too many to begin listing.  To sum it up, she has been a hero to women, children, veterans, the poor and the disabled via her constant, tireless work and support of such organizations as Toys for Tots, the Patriot Guard Riders (for deployments, returning troops, funerals and veterans’ memorials), Hispanic Women of Distinction (raising money for free medical care for needy families), the Palm Beach Stand Down House (supporting homeless veterans), the Never Again Pledge Rides (for Holocaust remembrances), and so many others.  She has co-anchored the local Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, raised 6,000 pair of shoes for the Salvation Army and has been the recipient of more than 10 major awards during her 20 year radio career including the American Legion Post 304 ‘Veterans Advocacy Award,’ the Film Recording & Entertainment Council ‘Radio Personality of the Year,’ the Husky Rescue of South Florida ‘Champion Award,’ the Wounded Warriors Foundation ‘Hero’s Hero Designation,’ the ‘Latina Pioneer of the Year,’ the Broward County ‘Law Enforcement Champion of the Year,’ the  Americans Against Hate ‘American Hero Award,’  the ‘Italian American Heritage Award,’ the Chabad of South Florida ‘Defender of Israel Award,’ the Stand Down House ‘Veteran Advocate of the Year Award’ and the FAIR ‘We the People Award,’ among many others.  The list of individuals whom she has helped simply as a talk show host on a radio program – and not necessarily affiliated with an organization – is endless.”  Harrison continues, “Joyce Kaufman has never been one to shy away from controversy and is as bold in her stance on issues close to her heart – popular and unpopular – as she is in defending the weak and disadvantaged within her community.  She is as aggressive in her advocacy of free speech as she is in serving the needy.”  Past recipients of the Humanitarian of the Year Award, one of the most prestigious in radio, include Boomer Esiason, Clay Hunnicutt, Joe Madison, Sean Hannity, Dr. Joy Browne, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, and Scott Hennen.  It will be presented to Joyce Kaufman at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday June 20.  For information on the event please click here.

mclainbobEntercom Ups McLain to OM at Greenville News/Talk and Sports Stations; Hendrix Named PD at ‘ESPN Upstate.’  A couple of programming management moves take place at Entercom’s Greenville, South Carolina cluster as longtime news/talk “WORD 106.3” (WYRD-FM) talk personality Bob McLain is named operations manager for both WYRD-FM and sports talk multi-cast “ESPN Upstate.”  At the same time, Mark Hendrix – programmer of the company’s classic rock WROQ – takes on PD responsibilities for “ESPN Upstate.”  Entercom Greenville VP/market manager Steve Sinicropi states, “The professionalism, hendrixmarkexperience and passion that Bob McLain and Mark Hendrix bring to ‘ESPN Upstate’ will help lead a powerful ESPN Radio brand that is becoming the fastest-growing sports station in South Carolina.”  Bob McLain adds, “The addition of the ESPN brand to our already powerful cluster of stations allows Entercom to better serve the important male audience.  I have worked with Mark Hendrix for more than a decade and his experience and knowledge will be invaluable as we turn ‘ESPN Upstate’ into THE dominant sports station in the market.”  On February 24, “ESPN Upstate” debuted on WORD-AM and WYRD-AM.  They are also heard on 97.1 FM and WFBC-FM HD-3 and will soon be heard on translator W290BW at 105.9 FM.

garciatonyWhat’s Your Point of Difference?  When it comes to syndicating a radio show, explaining to a potential affiliate station how it benefits that station can take more than just examples of ratings success in other markets.  Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia writes about advice for defining the difference between your show and the competition.  He says you already know what your target audience is.  “Since you already know what it is, start there, and from there take a look at what you are bringing to the show and to your potential affiliates that’s different from what’s already out there, or what’s unique about your approach to the material.”  Incorporating that into a marketing message is the next step.  Read Garcia’s entire column here.

milliondollarmediaSaurer Named CEO at Million Dollar Media.  Broadcast industry pro Bill Saurer is named the chief executive officer for Million Dollar Media, effective June 2.  Saurer also serves as president/CEO of Principle Broadcasting Network/Universal Mediasaurerbill Access.  Million Dollar Media describes itself as “the largest provider of insured contests to the media industry, and provides web-based contesting, rebate programs, sports pools, sweepstakes and promotions to a wide array of clients including professional sports teams, ad agencies, auto dealers and Fortune 500 companies around the United States and Canada.”  Million Dollar Media partner Henry Ferry comments, “We are tremendously excited to add someone of Bill Saurer’s talent, ability and experience to our team.  Both [partner] Ken Scott and myself have worked directly for Bill in the past, so we have first-hand experience of his management expertise.  As a founding partner, close friend and now CEO, we expect this dynamic to help continue the explosive growth our company has experienced, and look forward to where he will help lead us.”  Million Dollar Media, Principle Broadcasting Network and Universal Media Access are all portfolio companies of Mercury Capital Partners.

oshaughnessywilliamTaking Care of Our Own.  WVOX and WVIP, New Rochelle president and editorial director William O’Shaughnessy – who also serves as chairman of the Broadcasters Association of America’s Guardian Fund – pens an appeal to those in the industry who’ve benefitted so much from success over the years but who haven’t considered engaging in philanthropy to help those broadcasters who’ve fallen on hard times.  In his own inimitable fashion, O’Shaughnessy writes about the important mission the BFoA serves.  Read it here.

andersonmollgraciesGracies Gala Takes Place in Beverly Hills.  In Beverly Hills last night (5/20), women working in all forms of media were honored by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation at the historic Beverly Hilton Hotel, at the 39th Annual Gracie Awards Gala.   Television personality Aisha Tyler hosted the gala that recognizes exemplary programming created for women, by women, and about women in all facets of media, including radio, television, cable, and new media.  The awards program also encourages the realistic and multifaceted portrayal of women in entertainment, news, features, and other programs.  Pictured here is iHeartRadio host Moll Anderson arriving on the red carpet.   Also honored were Premiere Networks syndicated country morning personality Bobby Bones and show cast member Amy  and SiriusXM’s Julia Cunningham.  AWMF chair Kay Olin comments, “The Gracies is such a special celebration, and it is a privilege for the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to honor the work of our talented Gracie winners.  It is truly inspiring to be in a room with so many industry professionals who have come together to recognize exceptional programming for women, by women, and about women.”  Photo courtesy of Leroy Hamilton.

knusdebateTalking Issues.  The Colorado gubernatorial candidates lined up (literally and figuratively) for a debate that was broadcast live on Salem Communications-owned news/talk KNUS, Denver .  The 90-minute event took place before a live audience on the campus of Colorado Christian College.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Colorado State Senator Mike Kopp, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, KNUS afternoon personality Steve Kelley, and former U.S. Congressman Bob Beauprez.

VA Scandal, Primary Super Tuesday, Global Warming, Americans on Disability, Russian Military Aggression, U.S.-China Hacking Conflict, and NHL and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20).  The growing probe into poor treatment of veterans at the nation’s VA hospitals; the run-up to the Super Tuesday Primary elections; debate over humanity’s role in climate change; the increasing number of Americans receiving disability payments; Russia’s continued military aggression; conflict between the U.S. and China over charges brought against Chinese hackers by the U.S. government; and the NHL and NBA playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

| October 10, 2013

TalkersLA2013Talkers Los Angeles 2013 Takes Place Today.  More than 250 broadcasters from the talk media industries will be gathering in Hollywood, California today to hear more than 57 speakers analyze the key issues facing talk radio and talk internet at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  Among them, Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting CEO Larry Wilson, who will deliver the keynote address, “Radio at the Crossroads,” and Courtside Entertainment, LLC CEO Norm Pattiz and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison who will engage in a keynote conversation, “Okay…Now What?” at the sold-out event.  Talkers Los Angeles 2013 — a presentation of TALKERS magazine in association with the Los Angeles Press Club — takes place today between 9:00 am and 6:15 pm at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, California.  Full coverage of the conference will be provided at Talkers.com in the coming days and weeks.  To see the up-to-date, power-packed agenda, please click here.

podcastone logoPodcastOne Signs Kathie Lee Gifford to Deal for One-Hour Program.  Bringing marquee talent to the podcast genre is what Courtside Entertainment Group CEO Norm Pattiz promised when he debutedgiffordkathielee PodcastOne.  Now, the company signs “Today” co-anchor Kathie Lee Gifford to host a one-hour podcast on the platform.  When the show debuts on October 23, Gifford will host with her former “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” partner Regis Philbin.  Gifford says, “I’m so looking forward to this new podcast adventure.  I feel like I’m in an episode of the Jetsons, soaring into unknown territory on my podcast.  It will be the first time for me in a 45-year career where I’ve been able to completely control the content.  And best of all?  I won’t need my hair or makeup done and there’s no need for Spanx!”  Pattiz adds, “What can I possibly say about Kathie Lee Gifford that hasn’t already been said?  How about this – bringing Kathie Lee to on-demand audio via PodcastOne is a very big deal.  We’re doing business with the best of the best, and that list just got better.”  Other PodcastOne personalities and brands include Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Steve Austin, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Jay Mohr, Jillian Michaels, NPR New York, NPR Los Angeles, and “60 Minutes.”

loeschdanaKFTK, St. Louis Personality Dana Loesch Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  St. Louis-based talk radio personality and writer Dana Loesch has subbed for Glenn Beck in addition to her full-time work on Emmis’ KFTK, St. Louis and WIBC, Indianapolis.  Now, she’ll serve as a contributor and host for TheBlaze.  In addition to continuing to fill in for Beck, what audio or video contributions Loesch will make remains unclear at this time.  Loesch says, “I’m excited to join TheBlaze team.  I love the fight in this group and their dedication to creating the best content available on multiple platforms.  They’ve been at the forefront of new wave media…I can’t wait to get started.”  Glenn Beck said of her on his TV program, “We are thrilled to have her.  She is one of the people that is on the front lines fighting the good fight.  We have wanted to have her as a part of TheBlaze for a very, very long time.”  Loesch founded the St.Louis-area Tea Party and previously worked as an editor at Breitbart.

mcconnellmikeMike McConnell Exits Tribune’s WGN, Chicago.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that talk radio personality Mike McConnell – off the AM 720 signal at Tribune’s WGN since early October and relegated to airing a show on wgnradio.com – is leaving the company.  McConnell came to WGN from Clear Channel’s WLW, Cincinnati where he worked with former Tribune CEO Randy Michaels when Michaels was running WLW and later serving as president of Clear Channel Radio.  When Jimmy de Castro took over the reins of WGN earlier this year, it was suspected that the on-air lineup might change dramatically and that’s what’s happened.  Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder were brought in for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon shift and Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano took over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Feder reports that sources say McConnell and Tribune have a tentative settlement on the remaining two years of his reported $500,000 annual salary but there’s no official word from Tribune at this time.

dennisshaneKFH, Wichita Brings Shane Dennis Aboard for PM Drive.  Entercom sports talk radio outlet KFH-AM/FM, Wichita the addition of a new live and local sports talk show hosted by Shane Dennis beginning October 21. Dennis comes to the station with a sports pedigree.  He was director of baseball operations for 13 years at Wichita State.  During that time, he worked with Mike Kennedy as color analyst for WSU baseball games.  He pitched for the WSU Shockers from 1991–1994 and earned All-American honors in 1994.  Program director Tony Duesing says, “We’re excited about adding Shane to our powerful sports lineup on KFH.  Shane is a big sports radio fan and he is a great personality who will only make people want to tune in.”

kcoh logoFormer KCOH, Houston Talk Radio Personality Files Civil Suit Against Station President.  Recently, TALKERS reported the case of Houston urban talk radio personality Michael Harris quitting his position at KCOH after alleging station president (and local minister) Jesse Dunn was misusing station funds.  Now, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle, Harris is filing a civil suit against Dunn and the South Houston Community Development Corporation.  The paper reports that in the suit, Harris says Dunn made false representations to induce him to secure two personal lines of credit totaling $130,000 for station financing and back a $38,000 loan for equipment.  Harris also alleges that Dunn was able to acquire a debit card to use on one of the lines of credit and that Dunn has been using those funds for personal expenses including trips to Las Vegas and Louisiana.  Harris’ attorney says no contract exists between the two men and states, point blank, that his client “got hustled.”  Dunn had previously said whatever money he used was his and is currently running recorded announcements on the station assuring listeners that the station’s finances are strong and that claims to the contrary are misrepresentations.

iab logoInternet Advertising Bureau: Digital Ad Revenue Hits $20.1 Billion in First Half of 2013.  According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, that total for the first half of 2013 marks an increase of 18% over the 2012 first-half-year total.  Some other highlights from the organization’s report include:  Report highlights include:  Mobile revenues soared to $3 billion in the first half of 2013, representing triple-digit growth at 145% from $1.2 billion in the same period last year; Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, took in $1.3 billion in revenue during the first six months of 2013, an uptick of 24% over the first half of 2012 at $1.1 billion; Search revenues in the first half of 2013 totaled $8.7 billion, up 7% from $8.1 billion in the first half of 2012; Display-related advertising revenues in the first half of 2013 totaled $6.1 billion, accounting for 30% of revenues in the time period, up 9% from $5.6 billion in the first half of 2012; and the top three advertising verticals accounted for 46% of advertising revenue, including Retail at 20%, Financial Services at 14% and Automotive at 12%.  IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenberg states, “Digital has steadily increased its ability to captivate consumers and then capture the marketing dollars that follow.  Mobile advertising’s breakneck growth is evidence that marketers are recognizing the tremendous power of smaller screens.  Digital video is also on a positive trajectory, delivering avid viewership and strong brand-building opportunities.”

J.D. Hayworth in for Huckabee.  Former U.S. Congressman J.D. Hayworth (and former KFYI, Phoenix talk host) sits in for Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk personality Mike Huckabee on Friday, October 11 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.

Debt Limit/Government Shutdown, ObamaCare Implementation, Obama Approval Ratings, Financial Markets Activity, and Baseball Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/9).  The struggle in Washington to come to agreement on a debt limit and to undo the government shutdown; the failure of the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act website; the sinking approval ratings for President Obama; the response to the government shutdown by the world’s financial markets; and the MLB playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, August 30, 2013

| August 30, 2013

townsquare logoTownsquare Announces Stations Acquisition; Deal Worth Approximately $281 Million.  Townsquare Media, LLC announces that it has executed definitive documentation related to three transactions with Cumulus Media Holdings, Inc. and Peak II Holding LLC which, upon consummation, will result in Townsquare acquiring assets including 71 radio stations in 15 markets. After the deal is consummated, Townsquare will own 312 radio stations in 66 markets and have operations in 25 states, making it the third largest owner of radio stations in the United States and the largest, “best-capitalized owner and operator of radio stations solely focused on small and mid-sized markets.”  In a press release this morning, Townsquare reports it is acquiring assets including 53 radio stations (three of which will be assigned to a divestiture trust) in 12 markets (Battle Creek; Cedar Rapids; Danbury, Connecticut; Faribault-Owatonna, Minnesota; Kalamazoo; Lansing; Portland, Maine; Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester, New Hampshire; Quad Cities; Rochester, Minnesota; Rockford, Illinois; and Waterloo, Iowa) from Cumulus for cash.  Townsquare is also acquiring Peak, which owns assets including 11 radio stations in two markets (Boise and Fresno) for cash and equity units of Townsquare.  Finally, Townsquare will exchange certain assets including five radio stations, in Fresno it is acquiring from Peak, for Cumulus assets including 15 radio stations in two markets (Dubuque and Poughkeepsie) and a de minimis cash settle-up payment in favor of Townsquare.  In total, Townsquare will be acquiring 68 stations from Cumulus, three of which will be assigned to a divestiture trust, and eleven Peak stations, five of which will be exchanged to Cumulus, resulting in a net increase of 71 stations.  Townsquare expects to finance the transactions with a mix of secured and unsecured debt financing, Townsquare equity units and cash on hand.  Townsquare has received debt financing commitments from its various financing partners in connection with the transactions and will complete its financing in compliance with the covenant package of Townsquare Radio, LLC’s existing Senior Unsecured Notes indenture.  “These transactions represent the continued evolution of Townsquare Media into one of the nation’s largest local media companies and allow us to reach a scale which opens the door to new strategic opportunities,” comments Townsquare Chairman and CEO, Steven Price. “The assets we are adding to our portfolio are market leading brands with strong competitive positions in their respective small and mid-sized markets. We are excited by the opportunity to deploy our differentiated local-media strategy across a broader footprint in order to better serve our communities and our advertising clients.”

cumulus logoCumulus Announces Expected Dial Global Acquisition.  Cumulus Media Inc. issues a press release this morning announcing “a series of strategic transactions that solidifies the company’s position as a leading producer of high-quality content and continues to reshape its footprint focused on the top 100 markets.”  The transactions announced today include:

• Acquisition of Dial Global, Inc. for $260 million in cash (consisting of approximately $45 million attributable to equity and the retirement of $215 million of debt)

• Sale of 53 radio stations in 12 small and mid-sized markets to Townsquare Media for $238 million in cash (inclusive of the acquisition of net working capital)

• Swap with Townsquare Media of 15 radio stations in two small & mid-sized markets in exchange for the receipt of five stations in Fresno, CA (market #68)

dickeylew“These transactions give us the necessary scale to provide the marketing and enterprise solutions our advertising and affiliate partners require,” said Lew Dickey, CEO of Cumulus. “Our goal is to be the leading producer of premium audio content distributed through multiple platforms while continuing to build our broadcast platform in the top 100 U.S. markets.”

The acquisition of Dial Global will add sports, news, talk, music and programming services content – enabling Cumulus to provide a wider variety of options to approximately 10,000 U.S. radio stations, other media platforms and international platforms.  New content acquired through the Dial Global acquisition will include NFL, NCAA, NASCAR, Olympics, AP Radio News, NBC News and other popular programming.  Cumulus expects the transaction to be deleveraging based upon identified cost synergies of approximately $40 million, with additional upside from revenue growth potential through the creation of new content vehicles for broadcast radio advertisers.  Additionally, Cumulus believes the opportunity exists to distribute premium, curated audio content across emerging new media platforms.  Further, Cumulus intends to service broadcasters’ demands for premium content and enterprise solutions in Europe, the Americas and Australia.

wgnlogoWGN, Chicago Announces New Lineup.  Yesterday (8/29), TALKERS reported the reuniting of Chicago radio personalities Wendy Snyder and Bill Leff on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago.  Now, the station issues a releasecochransteve detailing the programming changes – some of which were reported a few weeks ago – that take place on Tuesday, September 3.  As reported earlier, Steve Cochran assumes morning drive duties; he’s followed by Wendy & Bill from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; husband and wife team Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano (pictured at left) air from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and Garry sirottmurcianoMeier continues to host the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot.  David Kaplan maintains his 7:00 pm show start but wraps at 11:00 pm when Pete McMurray, who expands his role with the station, starts hosting the 11:00 pm to 2:00 am program.  As reported earlier this week, Nick Digilio becomes a full-time host with the station on the 2:00 am to 5:00 am slot.  Weekends are spotlighted by the return of Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey (pictured lower right) to the station in the Saturday 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot beginning September 14.  Other changes include: “The Design Dude with Frank Fontana” airing from 6:00 am to 7:00 am, followedomalleymarkey by “Mr. Fix-it with Lou Manfredini” from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.  When not affected by sports preemptions, Bill Moller will follow Kathy and Judy from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and “Sports Central” will remain in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm time slot.  The Sunday lineup will introduce a new show dedicated to the discussion of the Chicago political landscape.  Chicago Tribune writer Rick Pearson will host “Chicago Way: Politics with Pearson” on Sundays from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.  “The Dean Richards Sunday Special” will follow at 9:00 am, extending an additional two hours until 1:00 pm.  In addition to his Saturday show, Bill Moller will air from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Brian Noonan remains in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm time slot, followed by the return of Chicago treasure, Rick Kogan, from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  Comedian and media personality, Patti Vasquez, will air from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am.  Playing a feature role in the future of WGN’s new lineup will be “720 Snackables.”  These spotlight segments will live online and on-air as interviews, video shorts, and podcasts.  They’ll feature the WGN family of experts including Dean Richards’ “A-List Interviews,” “Legally Speaking with Karen Conti,” “Bertrand on Books” with Steve Bertrand, “Flavor HD” with Hannah Stanley & Dane Neal, “Steve Dale’s Pet World,” Paul Green’s “Paul & The Politicians,” “Good Cents with Ilyce Glink,” and more.

rtdnagavelChris Carl New RTDNA Chair.  WDEL, Wilmington, Delaware director of news and programming Chris Carl is the new chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association.  Pictured here is outgoing chair Vince Duffy of Michigan Radio (l) passing the gavel to Carl (r).  Carl notes that for the first time in the organization’s history, the RTNDF chairman, RTDNA chairman and RTDNA chair-elect are all radio people as Duffy moves to the Foundation chair for the next year, and the membership elects Amy Tardif of WGCU-FM, Fort Myers as the chair-elect.

Odds & Sods.  Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is set to make regular appearances on CBS Radio’s KDKA-FM “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan.”  Every Tuesday he’ll join the “Vinnie & Cook” show at 11:00 am…..Guaranty Broadcasting’s KYPY, Baton Rouge flips from classic country to a simulcast of sister sports talk WNXX “104.5 ESPN”…..New Jersey Devils hockey will continue to be heard on CBS Radio’s WFAN-AM/FM and beyond.  The club signs a new, multi-year deal with the station to keep games on for the ninth straight season beginning in October…..Clear Channel moves Portland Trailblazers basketball from news/talk KEX to sister sports talk KPOJ for the coming season to avoid preemptions…..Bob Smith retires from his post as host of “1370 Connection” at pubcaster WXXI, Rochester, New York after a 25-plus-year career with the station.  Smith suffered a stroke in April and is still undergoing rehabilitative care.

jimmyfundcheck13More Than $3.3 Million Raised in Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.  Entercom sports radio WEEI and regional cable sports channel NESN have teamed up for 12 years to air a two-day radio-telethon to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. This week’s event helped raise more than $3.3 million – about the same amount raised the year prior.  This puts the 12-year total at more than $34 million.   Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Jeff Brown states, “The outstanding generosity of our listeners across New England year after year not only supports a great cause but betters the lives of those who need it most.  These past two days have been the most emotionally rewarding for the entire WEEI and Entercom Boston family this year.  We remain both humbled and thrilled to have played a role in helping the selfless team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in their fight against cancer.”  A check was presented at last night’s Red Sox game.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Red Sox owner John Henry, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino, Entercom Boston VP/market manager Jeff Brown, Jimmy Fund director Suzanne Fountain, WEEI executive producer Joe Zarbano, WEEI director of marketing Adam Ralston, NESN president Sean McGrail, and Wally the Green Monster.

catenaccijoeWilmington, NC Sports Talk Show Adds Saturday Edition.  The weekly “Sports Connection” show hosted by Port City Daily sports writer Joe Catenacci adds a Saturday edition that begins a run on Sea-Comm-owned rock WBNE, Wilmington “103.7 The Bone.”  Joe Cat’s show began as a co-operative effort between the Port City Daily and Sea-Comm news/talk WNTB and WLTT airing Monday evenings from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Beginning tomorrow (8/31) Catenacci and co-host Cori Stukes will broadcast live every Saturday from Hell’s Kitchen on Princess Street in downtown Wilmington.  He says in the Port City Daily, “Over the last eight months, we have connected the local community with some of the top names in sports from across the country.  Even with a focus on local, we continue to get some of the household names when it comes to industry.  Locally, every high school football, basketball and baseball coach has made an appearance on the show at least once, as well as UNCW coaches and players.”

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is picked up by a number of new affiliate stations, including: WCKG-AM, Chicago; WBAT-AM, Marion, Indiana; KENT-AM, Parowan, Utah; WRSB, Canandaigua, New York; WASB, Bridgeport, New York; W286AE-FM, Fairport, New York; and WNZS, Bangor, Maine…..“Late Night Health Radio” with host Mark Alyn joins the programming lineup at KABC, Los Angeles…..Talk Media Network’s “Frontlines of Freedom” with Lt. Col. Denny Gillem is added to WFPA, Fort Payne, Alabama…..The “Unlock Your Wealth” feature by Heather Wagenhals is added to affiliate stations WPGR, Pittsburgh; KFIV, Modesto and KWSX, Stockton, California; and WEZO, Augusta, Georgia.

U.S. Syria Action Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 26-30.  The question of whether the United States should take action against Syria was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the March on Washington anniversary tied with American race relations.  Following at #3 was Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV VMAs and at #4 was the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.