Tag: "Wing Bowl"

Thursday, February 1, 2018

| February 1, 2018

iHeartCommunications Declines to Make $106 Million Cash Interest Payment. This move, like Cumulus Media’s similar tactic last fall, is designed to spur action in the company’s efforts to restructure its debt.  Today, iHeartCommunications, Inc. (iHeartMedia is the parent company of iHeartCommunications) announced that its board of directors elected not to make a cash interest payment of $106 million (due today, 2/1) to holders of its 14% senior unsecured notes due 2021 as active discussions continue among its lenders, noteholders, and financial sponsors regarding a comprehensive debt restructuring.  “The board elected not to make the payment in connection with ongoing efforts to proactively and comprehensively address the company’s capital structure.  The decision will not trigger an event of default under the indenture as the company will utilize a 30-day grace period under the indenture during which it retains the right to make the interest payment to the holders of the notes and remain in compliance with the indenture governing the notes.  The board is considering options as part of its strategy to achieve a comprehensive restructuring of the company’s debt.”

SiriusXM Q4 Revenue Up 8%.  The satellite radio company did take a loss of $37 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, but that was due to a $185 million charge associated with the revaluation of the company’s deferred tax assets as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For the year of 2017, SiriusXM’s net revenue was positive to the tune of $648 million.  In the fourth quarter, SiriusXM recorded a decrease of approximately $72 million in the fair value of its investment in Pandora, reversing the prior quarter’s unrealized gains.  The satcaster reports that it gained 1.56 million self-pay subscribers during 2017 to put its total self-pay subscribers at approximately 27.5 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “The fourth quarter capped a strong year for SiriusXM and was our best quarter for self-pay subscriber growth in five years. We exceeded all of our 2017 subscriber and financial guidance, even after increasing these targets during the year.  I am particularly pleased that we achieved this growth in an environment of slowing auto sales.”

‘Radio War’ Gets KBME, Houston Booted from Super Bowl Radio Row.  A good old-fashioned radio war tactic escalated tensions between iHeartMedia’s KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790” and Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sportsradio 610,” resulting in KBME losing its credentials to broadcast from the Super Bowl LII radio row.  It all started when KBME morning host Josh Innes sent his producer, Jim Mudd, to video KILT-AM’s Seth Payne and Mike Meltser as they did their show.  It had the intended consequence of riling up Payne, who soon was in a verbal argument with Innes.  Audio from the confrontation ended up on both stations’ airwaves.  WEEI, Boston’s Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane (mornings on the Entercom sports talk station) were broadcasting their show nearby and captured the donnybrook on video.  After it was all over, the NFL removed KBME from the radio row.  See the Houston Chronicle’s story and the WEEI-shot video here.

KXL, Portland Announces New Afternoon Team. The new afternoon drive team for Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” is Lucinda Kay and Cooper Banks.  Kay is promoted from her part-time position with the station.  She has an extensive background in radio and television news.  She launched her career in journalism in 1994, working as a TV news anchor and reporter – in both English and Spanish – for several years.  She hosted her own talk show in Spokane.  She started freelancing for KXL in 2016.  Cooper Banks worked as an afternoon DJ at KWKJ, Warrensburg, Misourri in 2004.  He was hired as news director for KMXL/KDMO, Joplin, Missouri two years later.  He later jumped to KMBZ, Kansas City as a producer, reporter, and news anchor.  Alpha Media Portland content director Bruce Collins says, “I am extremely excited to work each day with Cooper and Lucinda.  They have the talent that will take KXL to a new level in pm drive.”

Westwood One at Super Bowl LII.  The official network radio partner of the NFL and Super Bowl LII reports that it is on the scene in Minneapolis preparing for its coverage of the game.  Westwood One says it’s been busy taping interviews and special features for the coverage.  In addition, its personalities (and some from partner NBC Sports Radio) have been visiting radio row.  Above is Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren (center), one of Westwood One’s Super Bowl LII analysts, doing an interview with KKFN, Minneapolis “K-FAN” personalities Dan Barriero (right) and Justin Gaard (left).

26th Wing Bowl Takes Place Tomorrow Morning.  With SportsRadio 94WIP’s Wing Bowl 26 taking place tomorrow morning at the Wells Fargo Center, the official weigh-in takes place tonight, live on WIP, Philadelphia from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm from Chickie’s and Pete’s.   The Entercom sports talk station has scheduled 29 eaters to record their official “eating” weight and record their age, height, and hometown.  Members from each eater’s entourage and Wingettes will be on hand to cheer on their favorite eaters to victory.  This year, WIP personalities Marc Farzetta, Ava Graham, Al Morganti, and Rhea Hughes will also compete in Wing Bowl 26.  The Overall Winner of Wing Bowl 26 gets a 2018 Hyundai Sonata courtesy of Colonial Hyundai of Downingtown, plus Steven Singer Jewelers is presenting $5,000 cash and a custom Championship Medal and Ring.  The First Responders Champion Prize is a Harley Davidson XL 883N Iron Sportster Motorcycle courtesy of Barb’s Harley Davidson.  The Wingette of the Year walks away with $5,000 Courtesy of Dr. Steven Davis & Davis Cosmetic Surgery, and Best Wing Bowl 26 Entourage wins $5,000 cash, courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers.

NRG Media Names New General Managers in Omaha and Wausau.  There are new general managers at NRG Media’s Omaha and Wausau station groups.   Kurt Luchs leaves the Wausau, Wisconsin station group where he’s been GM for almost five years to lead the Omaha cluster that includes news/talk KOIL and sports talkers KOZN and KOZT.  In Wausau, Aleese Fielder is promoted from director of sales to general manager.  NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass says, “The goal of NRG Media is to be a destination company for our team to build a career, so I am very excited to be able to promote from within.  These promotions are well deserved, together Kurt and Aleese turned Wausau around and helped make it one of the most successful markets in the company.  We like to reward a job well done and these moves are a definite win-win for two very talented teams.

Major National Programming Executives Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The roster continues to grow as the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention continues to name what will be a stellar list of some 50 or more leaders from the programming, talent, sales, management, ownership and technical sectors of the field. Convention organizers have named (in alphabetical order): Canadian radio giant Bell Media national news/talk format head (and PD of NEWSTALK 1010, Toronto), Mike Bendixen; iHeartMedia SVP of news/talk/sports programming, Chris Berry; Salem Media Group SVP/director, spoken word format, Phil Boyce; and Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming, Mike McVay. These outstanding individuals join (in alphabetical order) Beasley Broadcasting CEO, Caroline Beasley; Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity; Westwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; PodcastOne founder/executive chairman Norm Pattiz; and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott as conference speakers. More speakers will be announced here in the days and weeks ahead leading up to the event. For more information about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! see story below.

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Tomorrow! The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end tomorrow (Friday, February 2 at 5:00 pm ET). Those registering before the deadline will save $50. TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS News Notes. In the Winchester, Virginia market, Centennial Broadcasting changes the simulcast of classic country on WZFC-FM, Strasburg, Virginia and will instead simulcast its news/talk WINC, Winchester “Newstalk 1400” on WZFC’s 104.9 FM signal.   Company market manager Larry Weiss says, “Centennial Winchester is excited about the prospects of extending the reach of our highly regarded ‘Newstalk 1400’ station programming further south in the Shenandoah Valley, utilizing the powerful WZFC signal.  This move will allow us to extend the news/talk brand, including our roster of well-established national hosts, south of Winchester into the Warren and Shenandoah County areas.”…..WVLZ, Knoxville “Sports Radio 1180” owner Doug Mathews is selling the station to fellow Knoxville station owner Aaron Ishmael.  He owns crosstown oldies WKCE.  Ishmael begins operating WVLZ under an LMA today (2/1).  The Knoxville News reports that two WVLZ personalities Tony Basilio and Jayson Swain – have ended their brokered arrangements with WVLZ.  It’s not known if Ishmael intends to change the sports talk format…..JVC Media signs an extension to carry Frank MacKay’s two programs – “Breaking it Down” and “52 Players” – on WRCN, Riverhead (Long Island) and WSWN, Belle Glade, Florida (West Palm Beach).

State of the Union Address, FBI Memo Controversy, Trump-Russia Investigation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Gowdy to Leave Congress, Flu Epidemic, Social Media Fraud, Black Panther Film, and Super Bowl LII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/31). Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the battle over whether to release the FBI memo that alleges law enforcement abuses and Congressman Adam Schiff’s allegation that Congressman Devin Nunes made changes to the memo; Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; Congressman Trey Gowdy announces he will not seek re-election; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the social media scandal involving allegations numerous high-profile people bought artificial followers from a firm called Devumi; the new superhero film Black Panther; and the build-up to Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Powerful Candid Conversation with WABC, New York Personality Curtis Sliwa on Harrison Podcast. New York City radio icon Curtis Sliwa is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Sliwa, whom Harrison describes as a “performance artist,” is the founder and leader of the grassroots crime fighting organization the Guardian Angels, as well as serving as the chairman of the New York State Reform Party. Sliwa is a longtime Big Apple talk show host heard mostly on WABC during the past few decades. He is currently recovering from serious surgery in the aftermath of an ongoing battle with Crohn’s Disease and other gastroenterological issues – resulting in him having to dry out from opioid addiction. Harrison and Sliwa talk about a range of subjects including prescription drugs, the state of radio, street crime, politics, Donald Trump and the peculiar nature of ego. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Some of the performers taking part at the March 11 iHeartRadio Music Awards are being announced by iHeartMedia.  The fifth “fan-fueled” iHeartRadio Music Awards takes place at the Forum in Los Angeles and will feature: Ed Sheeran, Cardi B, Maroon 5, Camila Cabello, Charlie Puth and Backstreet Boys will be among the performers.  The event is being hosted by Hailey Baldwin and DJ Khaled and is being simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET…..Alpha Media Dayton names programming pro Bo Matthews operations manager for the cluster and content director for adult hits WGTZ “92.9 Jack FM” and country WCLI “101.5 Hank FM.”  Matthews was most recently SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Cincinnati.  He began his career in Youngstown, Ohio with then-Jacor and worked his way up the programming ladder at Clear Channel and iHeartMedia.  Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick comments, “Bo is a world-class, ‘A’-level programmer who is energized, pursues excellence as a habit, and understands the mission and how to achieve it.  We look forward to his leadership on the Alpha content team.”…..Envision Networks announces that its ‘90s rock weekend show “The Core” adds new affiliates, bringing the Envision Rock Network affiliate count to more than 350.  Adding the program are: KUBQ, La Grande, Oregon; WTCX, Ripon, Wisconsin; and WKBH, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

| December 9, 2014

stephandoug“American Family Farmer” Hosted by Doug Stephan Graduates from Experimental Lab to Terrestrial Platform.   For the second time in its first 15 months of operation, TalkersRadio – the experimental talk radio platform launched in September, 2013 by TALKERS magazine – has spawned a program that has been picked up by terrestrial radio.  The first TalkersRadio program to be acquired by terrestrial radio was “The Brent & Meg Show” hosted by the husband/wife team of Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald.  Now, “American Family Farmer,” hosted by highly accomplished talk show host Doug Stephan, will launch in January 2015 on two terrestrial syndication platforms — Washington, DC-based Radio America and Minneapolis-based Genesis Communications Network (GCN) – and be available for general radio affiliation.  According to Stephan, the show is specifically geared to stations located in small- to medium-sized rural markets with signals covering locally owned-and-operated family farms.  Although the program is a spoken-word presentation it would fit any number of music-formatted outlets as well as talk because it is only an hour per week and can run any time deemed convenient and appropriate for the station.  “American Family Farmer” is an information and advocacy forum targeted specifically to the beleaguered sector of the American agriculture industry that is comprised of small, independent operators.  What makes Stephan qualified to host such a specifically targeted program?  The answer: In addition to being a dedicated lifelong radio broadcaster, he is also a dedicated lifelong family farmer!  The program’s producers emphasize that this show is being marketed and produced as an entity completely separate from the other Doug Stephan properties.  “American Family Farmer with Doug Stephan” is now available by barter on a market-exclusive basis.  Interested stations should contact Bob K.  Telephone: 774-643-6450.  Email: bobthek@comcast.net.   For the complete details written by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, please click here.

talkersradio logoWhat’s Next for TalkersRadio?  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The graduation of ‘American Family Farmer’ and ‘The Brent & Meg Show’ to solid terrestrial platforms within the first 15 months of TalkersRadio’s existence is extremely gratifying – especially considering that both programs were conceived as ‘out-of-the-box’ concepts and never would have had the chance to develop into such special properties if it were not for this experimental platform.”  According to Harrison, TalkersRadio will go on a one month “hiatus” for technical updates and improvements and come back in early January, 2015 with a new roster of programs headlined by “Healed Planet,” hosted by Alan Colmes, and “The Lionel Show,” hosted by Lionel.  Harrison says, “‘Healed Planet’ – which deals with the leading edge of the human consciousness movement – shows a side of Alan Colmes’ wide realm of interests and journalistic skills that most people have not yet had a chance to experience.  It’s a truly great radio show ‘in the bud’ and I am enthusiastic about its potential for development.  ‘The Lionel Show’ presents the legendary and iconoclastic broadcaster – Lionel – in an unbridled format totally geared to his verbal genius.  Although what he says neither breaks the rules of taste nor the bounds of legitimate clear thinking, I don’t think there has been a tightly wound terrestrial operation out there with the courage to put him on the air and let him run free without tinkering with the brilliant product that just oozes from his fertile mind… at least not up until now.  I suspect that is about to change and the industry will catch up this year with and gain the benefits of what the ‘real’ Lionel has to offer.”  TalkersRadio is powered by Boston-based Backbone Networks.  Readers interested in learning more about TalkersRadio should contact Michael Harrison at michael@talkers.com.

entercomLincoln Financial to Exit Radio Biz; Entercom to Acquire LFM Assets in Four Markets.  The deal announced this morning will see Entercom Communications Corp. acquire Lincoln Financial Media from Lincoln Financial Group for $105 million plus working capital.  Entercom expects to take over operation of the LFM stations in late January and should close on the purchase in the second quarter of 2015.  The agreement includes 15 radio stations in the Atlanta, Denver, Miami and San Diego markets, and it will expand Entercom’s station portfolio to more than 130 stations in 26 markets.  The deal allows Lincoln Financial to get out of the media business and focus on its “core lines of business.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are excited to announce the acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media and welcome thelfm logo addition of their outstanding brands and talented broadcasters to Entercom.  LFM is a great organization that has done an excellent job serving its listeners, customers and communities over many years and we look forward to building on that tradition.  LFM is a perfect fit for us as it bolsters our position in Denver and expands our footprint into Atlanta, Miami and San Diego with terrific brands that have significant growth potential.  Furthermore, it fulfills our disciplined acquisition criteria as it enhances our company’s competitive position and growth and should be accretive to shareholders in 2015 while having a minimal impact on leverage.”  The stations to be acquired include: Atlanta outlets hot AC WSTR and sports talk WQXI; Denver stations country KYGO, rhythmic CHR KQKS, oldies KRWZ, sports talk KEPN and KKFN, and comedy-formatted translator K276FK; San Diego signals alternative KZBT, country KSON and KSOQ, and adult contemporary KIFM; and Miami outlets AC WLYF, classic hits WMXJ, and sports talk WAXY-AM/FM.  The transaction is structured as an acquisition of the stock of LFM with a tax election that allows Entercom to receive a step-up in the tax basis of the station tangible and intangible assets providing additional future tax shields and enhancing future free cash flow.  The $105 million purchase price will be paid in the form of $77.5 million in cash and $27.5 million in new perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock that will be issued to Lincoln.  Entercom expects to finance the cash portion of the purchase price through a combination of its existing $50 million revolver, cash on hand, and through other financing sources, if necessary.

napabroadcasting2Napa Valley Radio Promises New Local Content, Music in 2015.  The new digital audio platform Napa Valley Radio – a service of Napa Broadcasting – is promoting new local content plus curated music streaming coming to the site in 2015.  Napa Valley Radio is being led by longtime broadcasting executive Jeff Schechtman.  The station marked its three-month anniversary with a message to listeners touting its local content – local election coverage including long-form interviews with candidates, local arts & music happenings, and promotion of the area’s wine industry – plus promises of the content to come.  In what TALKERS editors consider a creative move, the station has partnered with Napa Community College to bring an infusion of youth to the project.  Napa Valley Radio says the New Year will see more content originate by students at NCC and will also bring music shows of various genres to the station.  It will be interesting to watch this local media venture as music rights fees are added to the station’s expenses but, regardless, this local approach to the digital audio service is one to watch and Napa Broadcasting appears to be dedicated to serving a broad spectrum of the community with a relevant mix of news, talk and music.

sternhowardHoward Stern to Return to “AGT.”  As tipped by the Hollywood Reporter, SiriusXM star Howard Stern will return to NBC TV’s “America’s Got Talent” as a judge.  The show is entering its 10th season.  In a Facebook post, Stern writes, “I decided that a life without ‘AGT’ is not worth living.  America needs a caring, compassionate and wise judge, and who am I to deny the people what they want?  It would be selfish of me to walk away.”

brunotonySports Talker Tony Bruno Heard on BlogTalkRadio.   Philadelphia native Tony Bruno – most recently heard on AM/FM radio on Greater Media’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” in middays – is podcasting via BlogTalkRadio.  In a statement from BlogTalkRadio, Bruno comments, “Deciding who to partner with was an exhaustive process.  BlogTalkRadio is the ONLY company out there with a fully portable stream and call screener system built into one application and when they approached me with their new PRO STUDIO in full HD hosting platform, the choice was clear.  I am excited to be a part of a company that is striving to bring both innovation and quality content directly to the fans.”  Bruno is producing new shows twice per week, on Mondays and Thursdays.

wipwingbowl15CBS RADIO Announces Wing Bowl 23.  The competitive chicken wing eating event that CBS RADIO’s sports talker WIP, Philadelphia debuted as a promotional prelude to the Super Bowl is in its 23rd year and will be held at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, January 30 at 6:00 am.  The station is presenting the now-nationally famous contest in conjunction with sponsors Steven Singer Jewelers and SugarHouse Casino.  The station will broadcast the contest on WIP-FM as well as online via CBSPhilly.com.  The $10 ticket price will help benefit the Philadelphia Police Department Survivor’s Fund, The Police Athletic League, the Comcast-Spectacor Charities and other beneficiaries to be named soon.  CBS RADIO says that this year’s competition promises to be the biggest party and the prizes have a different twist.  The overall winner of Wing Bowl 23 wins a 2015 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Softail Fat Boy Motorcycle courtesy of Barb`s Harley Davidson, along with $10,000 in cash and a Wing Bowl 23 Championship ring both courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers.  For the first time ever, SportsRadio 94WIP and Steven Singer Jewelers will give $10,000 cash to the Overall Runner Up as well. This makes it a $20,000 grand total of cash provided by Steven Singer Jewelers. Once again, WIP has two cars up for grabs: one for the top Local Eater and one for the top College Eater.  The Wing Bowl 23 Local Winner has the chance to win a Chrysler 300 and the Collegiate Eater will win a Chrysler 200 both from Barbera`s on the Boulevard.  The Wingette of the Year walks away with $5000 cash courtesy of Rumer Cosmetic Surgery and a Riviera Spas, Orchid 5 Person Hot Tub from Diamond Pools. PJ Whelihan’s is the official supplier of wings for WIP Wing Bowl 23, their eighth consecutive year as sponsor and supplier.

rathertQatarImportant Guest.  Pensacola talk radio personality Brandon Rathert (left), is pictured here with Qatar Ambassador Mohamed Jeham Al-Kuwari (right) in the WNRP “NewsRadio 1620” studios.  Rathert tells TALKERS magazine that his program was graced with the presence of the Qatar ambassador through the work of the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club and Edward Howard (pictured here at center).  Rather says he and Ambassador Al-Kuwari discussed the differences between the two countries and the similarities of its peoples.  The ambassador shared some thoughts on relations between the Arab nations and the U.S.  Al-Kuwari also made a $10,000 donation to a local charity.

Police Killings Protests, Potential Government Shutdown, CIA Interrogation Report, Rolling Stone-UVA Rape Story, Battle Against ISIS, Gruber and the ObamaCare Hearings, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/8).  The continuing protests against police killings of black Americans; the looming threat of a government shutdown; the controversy surrounding the CIA interrogation report expected to be released today; the flap over the Rolling Stone story about an alleged gang rape at a UVA fraternity house; the ongoing battle against ISIS; Jonathan Gruber’s appearance before a House committee on the Affordable Care Act; the list of potential presidential candidates in 2016; and the weekend’s NFL action were among the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, February 3, 2012

| February 3, 2012

Talk Radio Pro Phil Boyce Named VP/Director Spoken Word Format for Salem Communications.  Former WABC, New York program director Phil Boyce joins Salem Communications in the newly created position VP/director spoken word format.  As such he’ll be in charge of the company’s programming on its news/talk, Christian teaching, talk and business talk O&Os.  Boyce most recently served as president of programming for Talk Radio Network.  He says, “The more I learn about Salem Communications, the more impressed I am with this great company.  I could not be more thrilled to be joining them as we work together to make their stations even better.  This company has become one of the best places to work in radio, exhibiting class, integrity, and a true dedication to great programming.  Ed Atsinger and Dave Santrella have created a position that perfectly fits my skill set, and I am grateful for their trust and support.”

Liz Aiello Out at Merlin Media’s FM News 101.9.  Sources are telling TALKERS that the staff at FM News 101.9 was notified about VP of programming Liz Aiello‘s departure yesterday and that Al Gardner (most recently morning host at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte and pegged to program Merlin’s coming Philadelphia station) is the acting PD.  Sources tell TALKERS VP of digital Rich McLaughlin and VP of production Jerry Rohira have also left the building.  Liz Aiello had served as general manager of the radio end of Martha Stewart Living and her experience creating and managing programming for women was probably a big factor in her joining Merlin when the all-newser was taking a female-tilted focus.  Now that the station’s going straight news, management may not feel she’s the right fit.

Today is the 20th “Wing Bowl” Promotion for CBS Radio’s WIP-AM/FM, Philadelphia.  A traditional promotion that began 20 years ago timed to take place alongside the Super Bowl hits Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center today.  The chicken wing-eating contest has grown into a showcase of professional and amateur eaters that offers huge prizes — $20,000, a ring and a gold medal from local jeweler Steven Singer for the overall winner and many other prizes including a car, a motorcycle and more to various other winners – and all proceeds going to local charities including the Police Athletic League.  The event sold out the almost 20,000 seats available but fans can follow it on sports talker WIP, of course, and it’s being streamed on the web.  Morning drive host Angelo Cataldi, who co-founded the Wing Bowl 20 years ago with partner Al Morganti, states, “The stage is set for our greatest ‘Wing Bowl’ ever. Never have we had such a spectacular array of contestants, beautiful girls, incredible floats, off-the-wall personalities and a true legend — Takeru Kobayashi — all rolled into one madcap morning of jaw-dropping entertainment.  There will never be another event like Wing Bowl 20.”

2nd Annual “Imus on Broadway” Raises Money for Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer.  WABC, New York morning drive legend Don Imus hit the stage at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square Monday evening to present entertainment from the best musicals on Broadway.  The sold-out fund raising event was hosted by New York Post theater columnist Michael Riedel and included performances from numerous Broadway musicals including: “Anything Goes,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Chicago,” “Jersey Boys,” “Mamma Mia,” “Memphis,” “Million Dollar Quartet,” “Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” “Rock of Ages,” “Spider Man Turn Off the Dark” and “Stomp.”

Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque Nabs 46th Consecutive #1 Arbitron Book.  Station officials believe this is a record as news/talk KKOB comes in #1 in the 2011 Fall Arbitron book for persons 12+ for the 46th time in a row.  AM operations manager and program director Pat Frisch says during this time the station has also numerous #1 positions with persons 25-54.  KKOB general manager Milt McConnell says, “Albuquerque is one of the most over-radioed markets in America.  It is absolutely incredible in a market with 32 competitive stations that KKOB has remained the #1 station for over a decade.  Having the largest number of live personalities, the largest news department, being the EAS alert station for the state, the flagship property for UNM, and literally being ‘the mouthpiece’ of the market – all are factors in our success.”  Pat Frisch says consistency is the key and notes that during this time the station has also been the top biller in the market.  “Who says ratings and revenue don’t tie in together?”

Financial Expert George Jarkesy Launches Syndicated Radio Show.  Noted Wall Street investor and self-described “serial entrepreneur” George Jarkesy has launched “The George Jarkesy Radio Show.”  The one-hour daily, independently syndicated program has reportedly received such favorable reaction from its charter roster of affiliates that it will shortly be expanded to three-hours per day.  The Houston-based financial/political show hosted by the conservative money maven is initially being heard on  KSAC-FM, Sacramento; KTEK, Houston; WAFS, Atlanta; WBZW, Orlando; KKOL, Seattle, and WBZS, Providence among others, airing live 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET.  Jarskey, who is also the chairman of The National Eagles and Angels Association, is a regular guest and market commentator on Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel‘s “Fox & Friends” and CNBC.  He tells TALKERS he started the show because “I have a passion for America and think everyone deserves a fair shake.  Unfortunately a large percentage of people have no idea what is truly going on in Washington or why we have the issues with a struggling economy.  A broad understanding of how various events affect economics and finance needs to be considered when investing.  I am building a platform so millions of people can stay better informed on social, geo-political, financial and economic issues in an entertaining format.”  For more information, visit www.georgejarkesy.com.

Talk Radio Network Entertainment Weekend Host Dr. Michio Kaku on Book Tour.  Hitting the East and West Coasts to promote the paperback edition of his New York Times bestseller Physics of the Future: How Physics will Change Daily Life by 2100 (Doubleday 2011) is renowned physicist Dr. Michio Kaku.  In addition to his television work hosting “Science IQ” on the Science Channel, Dr. Kaku hosts the radio show “Science Fantastic” nationally syndicated by Talk Radio Network Entertainment and heard on more than 125 affiliates nationwide.

Nationally Syndicated Weekend Talk Host Dr. Ellen Kenner Celebrates 15th Anniversary.  Clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner is the host of the weekly program “The Rational Basis of Happiness” that began 15 years ago on news/talk WHJJ, Providence.  The show went into national syndication later that year and Dr. Kenner has been broadcasting nationally every weekend since.  The program is currently heard on some 30 affilliates.

Romney-Gingrich Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 30 – February 3.  The primary season race between GOP frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich landed atop the Talkers TenTM chart of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  Following at #2 was the 2012 presidential race, encompassing all the issues the GOP contenders – and the media – are raising.  At #3 was the dim U.S. economic report delivered to the U.S. House Budget Committee by the Congressional Budget Office director.  And at #4 was the news of a long-awaited Facebook initial public offering and the company’s first public earning report.  The Talkers TenTM is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS into the stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America.  It is published each Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Dial Global talk host Clark Howard’s “Clark Howard Minutes” feature is added to Merlin Media’s all-news WEMP-FM, New York (FM News 101.9) and WIQI-FM, Chicago (FM News 101.1)…..Premiere Network’s Jim Rome returns to the air schedule at Alpha Broadcasting’s KXTG, Portland…..Dial Global’s Thom Hartmann is added to WNSW, Newark, New Jersey; WPWC, Dumfries-Triangle, Virginia; and WZHF, Arlington, Virginia…..Independently syndicated inspirational talk show host David Essel is added to the schedule at Sirius XM for a Saturday evening program…..Vivid Edge Media Group’s David Pakman show is added to WPWC, Dumfries-Triangle, Virginia; WPRR, Grand Rapids, Michigan; and WMNF-FM, Tampa.