WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes to Retire from Radio in December. Longtime Milwaukee conservative voice Charlie Sykes announces that he will step away from his daily radio show and weekly television show at the end of this year after a 23-year stint hosting the mid-morning show on Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ. Sykes is also the host of “Sunday Insight” on WTMJ-TV “Today’s TMJ4.” The station will move current early afternoon host Jeff Wagner into the 8:30 to 12:00 noon slot and will seek a new host for the open 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show. Sykes states, “It has been both a pleasure and honor to work here. It has been an extraordinary privilege to be a part of the momentous changes that have taken place in Wisconsin over the last two decades. This is not a decision that I made either lightly or recently and it was not driven by this year’s political season. I made this decision more than a year ago for both professional and very personal reasons. My father died when he was 63, and I will turn 62 this year, so this year has always been circled on my calendar. Frankly, if I was ever going to make a move, it was now. While I am stepping back from my daily radio duties I intend to remain an active voice. I want to write more, travel more and pursue new opportunities.” In addition to his work for Scripps, Sykes created and served as the editor-in-chief of RightWisconsin.com. RightWisconsin.com is an online community that distributes the conservative perspective on the day’s news through a website, audio, video and a daily newsletter. WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer comments, “Charlie Sykes is one of the most talented broadcasters in America. His voice is not only an important one in Wisconsin, but across the country. His daily impact has influenced public thought for decades.”
Josh Innes Takes Over Afternoons at KBME, Houston. Sports talk personality Josh Innes returns to Houston to begin hosting the afternoon drive slot on iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790,” effective October 10. Innes worked at CBS RADIO’s KILT-AM from 2010 through 2013 – partnered with KILT’s Rich Lord for part of that time. Innes was brought by CBS to its Philadelphia sports talker WIP where he started in evenings and moved to afternoon drive. Innes exited WIP in August. Lord is now partnered with Sean Pendergast and Ted Johnson in afternoons on KILT and Innes will be competing with the trio. Innes tells the Houston Chronicle, “After I left Houston, I missed it. The opportunity at 790 is perfect. They said they want me to be who I am and to do what I do, and they will support what I do.” Innes replaces longtime station personality Charlie Pallilo on the KBME afternoon show. Read the Chronicle piece here.
iHeartMedia Creates New Southwest Division; Kevin LeGrett Named President. This realignment will create a new division within iHeartMedia – a Southwest Division that will include many regions formerly in its Central Division. Other former Central Division Regions will be moved into the West and Midwest/Southeast Divisions to better align them with the right resources and operating structure, according to the company. Kevin LeGrett, formerly iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles region president, becomes president of the new Southwest Division which now includes the Los Angeles, San Diego/Riverside, Arizona, Red River, Houston, Dallas and Austin/San Antonio regions. He will continue to report to Greg Ashlock, president of iHeartMedia West, and will also become a member of the company’s senior executive Operating Committee. In addition to overseeing the new Southwest Division, Ashlock will add the Denver, Western Great Lakes and Omaha regions to his existing West Division. The St. Louis, Nashville and Mid-South regions will move to the Midwest/Southeast Division under president Tom McConnell. The Pittsburgh region, formerly part of the Midwest/Southeast Division, will now move to the Northeast Division under president Hartley Adkins. Both LeGrett and Ashlock will continue to operate from iHeartMedia West’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
Opie Stays with SiriusXM Reluctantly. Tweeting about his new contract with SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes announces he’s back on the air with the satcaster, but not in his morning drive slot. He’s now in afternoon drive. The New York Post reports Hughes said, “I did not want to leave mornings. Short-term deal. They wanted longer. I said, no [bleeping] way. We do a great show.” Hughes has been off the air since his previous contract expired and former partner Jim Norton has been co-hosting the morning show with producer Sam Roberts and they reportedly will remain in that slot. Hughes tells The Post he took a pay cut but remains the third-highest paid talent there.
Veteran Illustrates the Emotional Power of Talk Radio. During a discussion on SiriusXM’s Joe Madison show about PTSD and the suicide rate of U.S. veterans spurred by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s speech to a veterans group in Virginia, a retired Marine Corps serviceman called in to tell his personal story and how his life was saved by Madison’s program. Listen to the audio here.
The Amazing Kreskin Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the world’s most prolific performers and established pop cultural icons, The Amazing Kreskin, is interviewed on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Harrison and Kreskin dive into an in-depth conversation about how the power of persuasion can shape the public’s perception. According to Kreskin, there is no such thing as hypnosis, per se – but, rather, people can be made to believe things and take action by a charismatic personality who knows how to engage in psychological manipulation. He points out that the larger the number of people in an audience, crowd, mob or population, the easier it is for them to relinquish individual responsibility for their actions and follow the pack. This is a compelling conversation of significance to anyone involved in talk media – especially during election season. To hear this conversation 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 and RadioInfo.com.
The Presidential Race/Tuesday’s VP Debate, Syria Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions, Wikileaks Doc Drop Threat, Oregon H.S. White Privilege Survey, Kim Kardashian Robbery, Hurricane Matthew, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3). The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and this evening’s vice presidential debate; the U.S.’ cessation of bi-lateral talks with Syria and Russia over the besieged city of Aleppo and U.S.-Russia military tensions; Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s threat to begin dropping documents that could be harmful to Hillary Clinton’s campaign; the controversy over an Oregon high school class’ assignment that included a white privilege survey; the widely reported holdup of Kim Kardashian West and theft of $10 million in jewelry; Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti and heads toward the U.S.; the Major League Baseball playoffs begin; 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.
Covering Tonight’s VP Debate. In advance of tonight’s Vice Presidential Debate at Longwood University in Virginia, Lou Dobbs (left) will be delivering his Salem Radio Network financial reports and co-anchoring FOX Business Network’s live coverage of the debate. After the debate, Dobbs will join Fox’s Neil Cavuto for live, post-debate coverage before filing his early-morning Market Preview for SRN affiliates. Pictured with Dobbs is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup.
Allen Shaw Talks Radio and More with Walter Sterling on WPHT. Pictured here outside the WPHT, Philadelphia studios are Allen Shaw (right), former president of ABC FM Radio and current vice chairman of Beasley Broadcasting, and WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Walter Sterling (left). During a discussion of the history of album rock radio, Allen fully credited TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison with creating the format name album oriented rock – AOR – and shared how to sell a new idea to a stubborn company.