Mike Hartel Promoted to VP Mid-Atlantic Region for Alpha Media. Company exec Mike Hartel will continue to serve as Alpha Media’s senior vice president and market manager position for its Columbia, South Carolina station group. But, he’s adding supervision of its clusters in Savannah-Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, Fredericksburg, and Bluefield as he rises to vice president of the Mid-Atlantic region. Alpha president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “Mike Hartel has shown an incredible leadership style in form, function and results since he joined Alpha three years ago. We are excited for Mike to share his considerable talent beyond Columbia to some of our other Southern markets. Alpha loves to promote from within and this is not only deserved, but will be incredibly well received by our markets.”
Andy Gresh to Host Evening Sports Talk Show at WPRO-AM, Providence. Radio pro Andy Gresh exits his co-host gig at CBS RADIO’s WTIC-AM, Hartford to return to Providence to host his own evening sports talk show on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM & 99.7 FM. Gresh started his on-air career at WPRO-AM’s sister station WPRV (then sports talker “790 The Score”). Gresh went on to work at WFAN, New York; ESPN Radio; SiriusXM, WBZ-FM, Boston; and the New England Patriots Radio Network. Gresh is a journalism grad from the University of Rhode Island where he was a starting offensive lineman on the URI football team. About his new gig Gresh states, “I’m excited to come back to where it all started for me 20 years ago. It’s time to turn nights at WPRO on its ear and let Rhode Island take back its sports talk.” WPRO program director Tony Mascaro adds, “This market has waited almost 10 years to bring back local sports to the airwaves. I am so thrilled to welcome Andy home. The combination of our heritage talk team and ‘The Gresh Show’ with sports at night and his unique style will give Rhode Islanders that perfect mix of local talk and local sports.”
Conservative Media Figure Tomi Lahren Sues Glenn Beck and TheBlaze; Seeks TRO to Regain Administrative Control of Social Media. Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren is taking her battle against TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck to court in Texas. In a suit filed last Friday in District Court in Dallas County, Lahren is challenging the legality of the actions of former employer TheBlaze after she was ousted from the Glenn Beck-founded media firm, according to the complaint, because she espoused a pro-choice opinion on the television show “The View.” In addition to seeking rescission of her employment contract, and recovery of attorneys’ fees and other costs, Lahren is asking for a temporary restraining order and temporary and injunctive relief regarding her access to administrative control of her social media. In the complaint, Lahren says that after being fired by TheBlaze, “Plaintiff was told that she was to remain silent, she was directed to stay away from her Facebook page and other social media, and she was prohibited from making any public comments. Distilled to its essence, Defendants wrongly insisted, with no legal support, that Plaintiff ‘go dark’ on social media. Notably, none of these admonitions are grounded in any legal basis that can be supported by the Employment Contract. Meanwhile, as Plaintiff heeded the unlawful admonitions, Beck and others within TBI embarked on a public smear campaign attacking Plaintiff and chastising her political views and opinions in a clear attempt to embarrass, humiliate, and undermine Plaintiff’s reach to her audience on social media and elsewhere. Beck and others associated with TBI have continued to knowingly, intentionally, and/or consciously attack Plaintiff in wrongful retaliation for Plaintiff having expressed her personal viewpoint on a public television show.”
Black Organizations Putting Pressure on iHeartMedia Over Michael Berry Bit. A story in the Chicago Tribune by Kim Janssen indicates that a number of black advocacy organizations, led by the Chicago Urban League, are promising not to give up on seeking satisfaction from iHeartMedia regarding concerns about talk show host Michael Berry’s radio bits they say mock the victims of violence in Chicago. The story notes that a recent conference call with iHeartMedia executive Greg Ashlock resulted in Ashlock saying that Berry is a “good man” and that “they are working on some guidelines that their on-air hosts would follow.” The protests arose after Berry was named the company’s “talk personality of the year.” Urban activists say their protests over the “repeated jokes about Chicago murder victims” have been largely ignored. Now, the Urban League and other organizations are threatening to start calling iHeartMedia advertisers if CEO Bob Pittman doesn’t meet with them, the company rescind Berry’s award, and the company publicly address the controversy and “take ownership of it.” See Janssen’s Tribune piece here.
Report: ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic Signs Extension. According to a report in Philly.com by Rob Tornoe, ESPN Radio morning personality Mike Golic recently inked a new deal with the sports entertainment giant. It’s been widely reported for some time that ESPN is breaking up the Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic-hosted “Mike & Mike” show. Greenberg has reportedly signed a new deal that pays him $6.5 million per year to move to the television side of the company. Tornoe cites a Men’s Journal interview in which Golic says he’ll continue hosting the morning radio show but under what format or with whom remains unsettled. See the Philly.com piece here.
PodcastOne’s ‘Geffen Playhouse Unscripted’ Debuts. The new podcast from PodcastOne featuring “today’s most interesting creative voices” debuts with inaugural guest actor Rainn Wilson (pictured). PodcastOne partners with GeffenPlayhouse.org to present “Geffen Playhouse Unscripted” – a series presents new episodes every Wednesday, hosted by veteran arts reporter John Horn. Future guests will include: actor Jeffrey Tambor, actress and musician Rita Wilson, playwright Neil LaBute, and actress Beth Behrs.
James Andrew Miller and DGital Media Team for Podcast Series. Award-winning journalist and best-selling author James Andrew Miller – Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN (Back Bay Books 2011), Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live (Little, Brown & Company, 2014) – and content creator DGital Media are partnering on an original audio series called “Origins.” DGital says the “podcast will explore beginnings – whether from the worlds of television, movies, sports, music, business, or even human relationships – to explain how greatness starts and how critical happenings come to be.” DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “I’ve read every book Jim has written, in addition to his work for The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and I am a fan first, both of his incredible journalism and of his dedication to premium level storytelling and access. Considering the credentials, reputation, access, trust of his peers and the storytelling ability that come with the name James Andrew Miller, a podcast is an unbelievably perfect medium with which to share a new phase of his reporting.”
Syrian Chemical Weapons Use-Russian Influence, Russian Nicaragua Outpost, Egypt Church Bombings, Stockholm Terror Attack, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Bannon-Kushner Power Struggle, FOX News and O’Reilly Accusations, Gorsuch Joins Supreme Court, and Sergio Garcia Wins the Masters Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The debate over responsibility for the deadly gas attack against Syrian civilians and questions about Russia’s alliance with Bashar al-Assad; report of a Russian outpost in Nicaragua of which U.S. intelligence is suspicious; the deadly Palm Sunday bombings at Christian churches in Egypt; the aftermath of last week’s terror attack in Stockholm; North Korea’s growing nuclear capabilities and its threats against the U.S.; reports of the power struggle between presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner; the allegations of sexual harassment against FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly; Neil Gorsuch is named to the Supreme Court after Mitch McConnell changes Senate rules; and Sergio Garcia wins the Masters golf tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
New Jersey Lt. Governor Guadagno Helps Harry Hurley Raise Money for Charities. Pictured above are WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (right) and New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno at Hurley’s 9th Annual Dinner at Congress Hall (America’s oldest seaside resort). The event helped raise more than $9,000 on Friday (4/7). Lt Governor Guadagno is running for Governor of New Jersey and faces her first test in the June 6 Republican primary election. Hurley’s major fundraiser for the Hurley in the Morning Charity is Friday, June 16 when his 10th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Harbor Pines Golf Club takes place. The Hurley in the Morning Charity has raised more than $700,000 over the past 10 years. Hurley has awarded grants to more than 150 not-for-profit organizations, including establishing along with TALKERS magazine founder and publisher Michael Harrison, an annual $1,000 grant for the Broadcasters Foundation of America.
Stephanie Miller Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast. Multi-platform, independently syndicated (WYM Media Management), progressive talk show host Stephanie Miller is the guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Miller, a 30-year radio veteran, who stands as one of the leading anti-Donald Trump voices in talk media, has achieved top-tier radio success as a talker by early on expanding her daily morning show’s platforms of delivery beyond terrestrial radio to include online digital (streaming and podcasts), SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and cable TV modes of distribution, such as Free Speech TV. She has also broken exciting new ground during the past several years with her comedy touring road show, “The Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour,” – an organic, troupe-style production that sold out legitimate theaters in market after market. The election of Trump has given the show yet another chapter of life as it is being prepared to play a dozen dates across America in 2017 as “The Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour.” Michael Harrison says, “Stephanie Miller stands as an inspiration for any talk show host, left or right, who wants to maximize both their exposure and revenue streams in the digital era. Her stunning success in the theatrical touring arena alone is worthy of every radio broadcaster’s attention.” Harrison and Miller discuss the nuts and bolts of her media empire and the general impact the Trump presidency is having on the renewed potential of progressive talk broadcasting in America. Not to be missed! To listen to the entire podcast, 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. Los Angeles radio personality Rita Wilde renews her contract with Entercom Los Angeles to remain host of the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show on classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound.” Entercom Los Angeles VP/general manager Peter Burton comments, “Classic rock fans and artists have been listening to Rita since this music was new. We’re proud to have her at ‘The Sound.’”…..Tampa adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9” names Danielle McBroom the new morning drive host. Cox Media Group Tampa director of branding and programming for WWRM, WXGL, and WDUV, John Larson, says, “We are so excited to have Danielle join our ‘Magic’ team. Her experience, creativity, social media expertise and infectious attitude bring a fresh, new sound to a huge brand like ‘Magic.’” McBroom moves to the “Magic Mornings” program from sister alternative WSUN where she’s been on air for the past 10 years…..In the Pacific Northwest, iHeartMedia adds program director duties at alternative rock K272EL, Portland “Radio 102.3” to the responsibilities of KFOO, Centralia, Washington “ALT 102.9” (Olympia and Seattle/Tacoma markets) PD Ben Marcotte…..Also in the Seattle market, hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” afternoon personality, music director and APD Hunter Quinn accepts the additional role of assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s sister CHR KPWK “Power 93.3.”