Westwood One’s Michael Savage and Mark Levin Playing Roles in GOP Primary. The primary battle between GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz is getting heated and two Westwood One-syndicated talk show hosts recently played a role in the tensions. First, Trump appeared on Tuesday’s “Savage Nation” program with Michael Savage during which Savage expressed his hope that Trump would skip Thursday’s Fox News Channel-produced debate. Trump later announced that he would, indeed, skip the debate. As for Cruz, he appeared on the networks’ Mark Levin program to announce he’s challenging Trump to a one-on-one debate that would not include a moderator. Cruz included the no-moderator stipulation because of Trump’s issues with Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly.
Chad Benson Scores Hal Linden Interview After News of Abe Vigoda’s Death. Tuesday’s news of the passing of beloved actor Abe Vigoda brought many talk hosts to talk of the late actor’s work in The Godfather and in the iconic TV series “Barney Miller.” But Radio America-syndicated talk personality Chad Benson scored an interview with Hal Linden, who played the title character on the television cop comedy and was a friend of Vigoda’s. Benson and Linden reminisced about how Vigoda was constantly refuting reports of his demise after People magazine published a mistaken report of his death in 1982. You can hear Benson’s interview with Vigoda here.
The Presidential Race, Planned Parenthood Videos Case Twist, Oscars Boycott, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, and Eastern Blizzard Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26). Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s refusal to take part in tomorrow’s GOP debate, the aftermath of the Iowa Democratic Town Hall, and the activities of the candidates for president; the controversy over the indictment of two involved in videotaping Planned Parenthood representatives discussing human tissue sales; the ongoing debate over the boycott of the Academy Awards by some black film industry people due to a lack of black nominees; languishing oil prices and the reactions by the world’s financial markets; and the effects of the blizzard that hit much of the East Coast over the weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Kaye: Social Media – You’re Doing it Wrong. Jacksonville-based talk show host Mark Kaye writes, in a piece published in TALKERS today, that too many talk show hosts are only getting a little benefit out of what social media has to offer. Kaye says, “Most of us look at Facebook and Snapchat and Periscope and Instagram as new and exciting ways to tell people what we do, what we think, and what we know. Instead, as talk show hosts, we should be using those same platforms to ask our audiences, ‘Hey, what do you do? What do you think? What do you know?’” Kaye says today’s audiences don’t use the phone to answer these questions the way they used to. “They use Snapchat, and Periscope, and Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. The phone has simply become a mini-access point to their favorite social media application. They use it for one-way, non-verbal communication. They use it to tweet, text, record video (and audio!) and briefly promote their own thoughts and opinions.” Read more from Mark Kaye here.
Odds & Sods. After almost 25 years at KCSJ, Pueblo, Colorado, sports director Tony Wright exits as iHeartMedia eliminates the sports director position. Wright tells the Pueblo Chieftain that it was a business decision and he plans to continue working in sports radio elsewhere…..ESPN Radio’s Jalen Rose and David Jacoby are getting a TV show that highlights the best segments from their daily radio program. “Jalen & Jacoby” will debut on ESPN2 at 2:00 am ET on Thursday (1/28). An audio version of the program launched as a podcast in 2011. The “Jalen & Jacoby” radio show airs from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET…..Daytona Beach-based Digital Sound & Video announces Greg Fadick joins the company as a producer. The company says Fadick is a seasoned imaging pro who’s worked for both radio stations and production companies. Fadick has imaged at WAAF, Boston; WIOD/WFLC/WHQT, Miami; Brown Bag Productions (Premiere Networks), and Download HDFX, among others.
NAB Producing Podcast Series Serving Broadcasters on ‘Timely and Relevant Issues.’ The new, bi-weekly podcast focused on public policy issues, new technologies and proven business strategies for radio broadcasters debuts from National Association of Broadcasters. NAB says “The NAB Podcast will feature new segments released every other Tuesday. Each episode is 15 minutes long and is available publicly for two weeks. At the end of that time, episodes will be archived for NAB members-only access at nab.org/podcasts. Each podcast is dedicated to covering timely and relevant issues impacting America’s radio broadcasters. NAB chairman and CEO Gordon Smith adds, “It is our hope that ‘The NAB Podcast’ will serve as a resource for broadcast professionals to help them navigate an increasingly complicated radio landscape. The new podcast is an innovative way to reach our members and a broader audience with vital information on important issues affecting broadcasters.”