Michael Savage in Altercation with Man at California Restaurant. Several news reports indicate that Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage was allegedly assaulted by an unidentified man outside a restaurant in Tiburon, California. According to TMZ, the Daily Mail and other media outlets, while Savage was eating inside Servino Ristorante with his pet poodle Teddy, the man taunted him by repeatedly saying “weener, weener” – a reference to Savage’s legal surname, Weiner. It’s not clear how it escalated but one report says the two got into some sort of scuffle outside the restaurant, ending with each man declaring the other under a citizen’s arrest. Police arrived, interviewed both men and released them. The local district attorney’s office is reviewing the matter and will determine if charges will be filed. Savage’s attorney – Daniel Horowitz – told the Mercury News that another restaurant patron who attempted to intervene was punched in the face by the heckler.
NPR Ratings at ‘All-Time High.’ Based on data from Nielsen Audio, NPR is reporting that “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of about 37.5 million in the fall of 2016 – a nearly 4 million person increase from the same period in 2015. Listeners for NPR programming and NPR Newscasts account for about 30 million of that total.” During the build-up to the 2016 election and in the months since, talk-oriented public radio has seen its 6+ ratings in Nielsen’s PPM markets improve. NPR SVP of news and editorial director Michael Oreskes states, “At a time when many news organizations have been forced to contract, NPR is expanding coverage and focusing resources on the local and national issues that listeners care about. Now, more and more people are turning to NPR as their source for unbiased fact-based news.” NPR also notes that flagship programs, “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition,” reached their largest weekly audience ever, at 14.4 million and 14.65 million listeners, respectively. “The number of listeners for all NPR programming increased considerably this year, particularly in the coveted 25-44 age demographic which expanded by 26%.” Additionally, NPR says that its digital content at NPR.org has average monthly users grow by 28%.
BFoA to Honor Jeff Smulyan with Lowry Mays Award. This honor from the Broadcasters Foundation of America will be presented to Emmis Communications founder and chairman Jeff Smulyan at the BFoA annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 26. The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually by the BFoA on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation. The breakfast is complimentary to all, although pre-registration is required.
Westwood One Adds Two Shows to Podcast Offerings. Audio content syndicator and sales division Westwood One announces new partnerships with Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton, known together as the comedic duo Frangela (right), and radio pro, author, blogger and cancer survivor Robin Marshall. Callier and Shelton are hosting WW1’s first fully produced podcast titled “Frangela: The Final Word,” that promises “insights and witty perspective on news and culture.” Marshall’s “Sugar Mom” is for “smart and sexy women who want to try something new.” Both programs are available via the iTunes and audioBoom platforms. Westwood One president/Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes comments, “Frances, Angela, and Robin are powerful women who inspire, motivate, and make us laugh. Westwood One is proud to help these fresh and funny shows build audience and brand partnerships.”
TALKERS News Notes. Hard-working talk show host Simon Conway (left) is doing a couple days of triple duty this week. Today and tomorrow, Conway will do is regular shows – afternoon drive at iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines and morning drive at the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids – as well as filling in for WOAI, San Antonio-based, syndicated personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (right)…..Pamplin-owned Portland news/talk KPAM drops the afternoon “Margie and Carl” show hosted by Margie Boulé (right) and Carl Wolfson (left) due to budgetary reasons. Wolfson, who also hosted a program in the market for years on the crosstown, former news/talker KPOJ, posted a gracious message on the show’s Facebook page giving thanks and credit to his former co-workers…..Nationally syndicated morning talk personality Doug Stephan checks in with TALKERS magazine to report his show, “On Air with Doug, Jen & Victoria,” has added 17 new affiliates in the first two months of 2017, including: KPHX, Phoenix; WOMI-AM, Owensboro, Kentucky; KQAM, Wichita; WXDE-FM, Salisbury, Maryland; and KYCA-AM/FM, Prescott, Arizona. Stephan says, “The table for conversation is growing larger, and co-hosts Jennifer Horn and Victoria Keelan embrace the future and are constantly reinventing the program.”…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk radio stations WBAP-AM and KLIF-AM in Dallas picked up multiple honors from the 2016 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters contest. WBAP won first place for “Spot News by a Station” for its coverage of the July 7, 2016 Dallas police ambush. For the third consecutive year, KLIF’s Dave Williams and Amy Chodroff (pictured at right) grabbed first place for “News Anchor/Anchor Team.” WBAP’s Brian Estridge took home first place for “Sports Play-by-Play.” Cumulus Media RVP for Dallas/Houston Dan Bennett states, “We are all extremely proud of our news team, news director Freda Ross and program director Kevin Graham. These awards speak to them and the talent in our newsroom. The awards honor a team that brings their news ‘A-game’ every day.”
Jones Receives RTDNF Award. At Tuesday evening’s 2017 Radio Television Digital News Foundation First Amendment Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones (right) received the First Amendment Service Award. He’s pictured above with ABC News’ Robin Sproul (left).
Trump Travel Order Blocked, Fed Hikes Interest Rates, Trump Budget Cuts, Wiretapping Accusations, North Korea Threats/Tillerson Asia Trip, GOP Health Care Plan, Trump’s Tax Returns, Dutch Elections, Snoop Dogg Video, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/15). A judge blocks the Trump Administration’s second attempt at a travel ban; Fed Chair Janet Yellen announces raising of key interest rate hike for overnight lending of a quarter point; the Trump Administration’s budget proposal that seeks to make drastic cuts to a number of federal departments; the accusation by President Donald Trump that President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped during the 2016 election; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Asia; the Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to replace ObamaCare with their own health care plan; far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders comes up short in Wednesday’s Netherlands elections; controversy over the latest Snoop Dogg video in which he shoots a clown dressed as President Trump; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 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. Country radio personality and programmer Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new program director and afternoon drive host at iHeartMedia’s KBEB, Sacramento “92.5 The Bull.” He was most recently with CBS RADIO’s KMLE, Phoenix as music director and PM drive host. iHeartMedia Sacramento SVP of programming Curtiss Johnson says, “B-Dub thinks big. He’s a fun and entertaining personality. B-Dub is a destination, lean forward and pay attention type of air-talent. I have no doubt he will put ‘92.5 The Bull’ front-and-center in the minds of Sacramento country fans.” Washington also hosts the weekend syndicated country show “Buckwild Saturday Night.”…..Geoff “G-Off” Owens is promoted to program director for iHeartMedia’s hip hop KXJM, Portland “JAM’N 107.5” and KUBE, Seattle/Tacoma. Owens has been serving as afternoon drive personality at both stations…..iHeartMedia’s Las Vegas hip hop outlet K280DD “REAL 103.9” announces that Roxy Romeo is promoted to APD and music director for the station, adding to her current midday air shift from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. About her new responsibilities, Romeo says, “I am beyond ready to enter the programming world and take on this new role here in Las Vegas. In the short time ‘REAL’ has been on-air here, it has touched the people and I’m excited to help make an even bigger impact and take it to the next level…..Midwest Communications promotes Ron Allen to format captain for the Duke FM country format. Allen will continue to program the company’s adult hits WCJK, Nashville “96.3 JACK FM” in addition to his new duties. He says, “My two great musical passions are adult hits and country. To be able to continue as brand manager for ‘96.3 JACK FM’ and work with our Duke FM brand as format captain from my hometown of Nashville is the best of both worlds.”…..iHeartMedia’s Bobby Bones show and its listeners joined forces to honor wounded United States Air Force Captain Nathan Nelson (pictured at right with his family), who was paralyzed from the chest down during his third tour in Afghanistan and in need of a home to accommodate his needs. Bones and his on-air crew worked to donate proceeds from the sale of camouflage #PimpinJoy T-shirts on TheShopForward.com and, in just a few days, sold enough T-shirts to raise $100,000 – doubling the original goal of $50,000. With the help of Building Homes for Heroes, a new ADA-certified custom home will be built for Nelson and his family.