Alex Jones’ Radio Persona At Issue in Child Custody Case. In a story in the Austin Statesman by Jonathan Tilove, the child custody case between Infowars founder Alex Jones and his ex-wife could involve asking the jury to decide whether Alex Jones is a capable father whose radio persona is not the same as his everyday persona or if he’s – as his ex-wife claims – “an unstable person.” According to the report, Kelly Jones is asking District Court Judge Orlinda Naranjo to allow jurors to see video of Jones doing his radio show and creating videos as evidence. But Jones’ attorney, Randal Wilhite, told the judge during a recent pretrial hearing that Jones’ on-air persona is an act, like Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of The Joker in the film “Batman.” Judge Naranjo has made it clear the case is about the welfare of the Jones’ three children (ages 14, 12, and 9), and not about Infowars. Alex and Kelly Jones divorced in 2013. Read the Statesman story here.
McGill and WVON, Chicago Part. Chicago urban news/talk WVON and morning drive personality Matt McGill are parting ways. Midway Broadcasting Company says that McGill “arrived at WVON 13 years ago as a radio neophyte, but rose to become a recognized local talk show host.” Midway recently added Maze Jackson to the morning show and it’s clear from both the company’s and McGill’s perspective that the addition of Jackson to the show is the reason McGill is leaving. Midway chairwoman Melody Spann Cooper says, “Matt is a tremendous talent and will be missed. Change is inevitable in this business. Our listeners can be assured that we will continue our reputation of delivering top-notch talent, news and information that will empower the communities we serve. That has always been and remains our priority.”
WNIS, Norfolk Adds ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ to Lineup. The FOX News Radio show starring Brian Kilmeade will air live from 10:0 am to 12:00 noon on Sinclair Communications’ WNIS, Norfolk, Virginia, beginning today (4/17). “Kilmeade & Friends” is also carried on the company’s KLBJ-AM, Austin. Kilmeade says, “It has been a privilege to be a part of the morning programming at KLBJ 590 AM in Austin, Texas and we are thrilled to be the newest addition to their sister station’s schedule. For the past eight years, ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ has been dedicated to providing our audience with fresh perspective on the most important news stories. I am heartened to know many of our listeners in the Norfolk area will be military families.”
TALKERS News Notes. WSKO, Syracuse afternoon personality Mike Lindsley is honored by the New York State Broadcasters Association with an Excellence in Broadcasting Award for Best Sportscast (medium market). Lindsley hosts “In the Cell with ML” on the Cumulus Media-owned station. Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “In addition to being The Score 1260’s brand ambassador, Mike truly has his finger on the pulse of the Central New York sports fan. Whether it’s a good or bad day in Syracuse sports, our listeners count on hearing Mike’s well-informed take. We’re proud that his talent is recognized by his fellow broadcasters!”…..The nationally syndicated Sean Salisbury sports talk show is now being simulcast on TV via program producer Gow Media and the beIN Sports television network. Gow CEO David Gow says, “We are really excited about the partnership and the opportunity to give Sean’s radio show a national TV platform. This is a significant step for our company, as we can now offer our advertising partners radio, digital media and television – and we can do so on a local, regional or national basis.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program adds new affiliate stations: KKGX-AM/FM, Palm Springs, California; KYAH-AM, Delta, Utah; and KTRC-AM, Santa Fe…..Last week, WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano interviewed FOX News Channel correspondent Jesse Watters during a sold-out event at the National Constitution Center.
North Korea Threats/Pence Visit, U.S.-Russia Relations, Kushner-Bannon Power Struggle, Berkeley Trump Rally Violence, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketches, Cleveland Facebook Killing, Easter/Passover Holidays, Celtics Star Plays After Sister’s Death, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The development of nuclear missiles by North Korea, its threats against the U.S., and Vice President Mike Pence’s weekend visit to the Korean DMZ; the tense relations between the U.S. and Russia in the wake of the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria; reports of the power struggle between President Trump’s advisers Stephen K. Bannon and Jared Kushner; the violence between Trump supporters and protesters at a rally in Berkeley, California; Saturday’s “SNL” sketches poking fun at Trump Administration staffers; the manhunt for a Cleveland man suspected of posting the murder of his elderly victim on Facebook; the Easter and Passover holidays; Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas plays the day after his sister is killed in a car accident, and the NBA and NHL playoff games were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Mary Berner Named Recipient of TALKERS 2017 “Woman of the Year” Award. The TALKERS editorial board has selected Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner as the recipient of the 2017 TALKERS Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Talk Radio Industry by a Woman (a.k.a. “Woman of the Year”). Mary Berner assumed leadership of Cumulus in October 2015. As the country’s second-largest radio company, Cumulus owns and operates 447 radio stations broadcasting in 90 U.S. media markets (including eight of the top 10), and provides content to more than 8,200 broadcast radio stations affiliated with its Westwood One network, as well as numerous digital channels. For over three decades, Berner has led some of the world’s top media companies and brands, building and directing them to increase productivity and financial performance. Before joining Cumulus, Berner served as president/CEO of MPA -The Association of Magazine Media, where she leveraged her deep understanding of media to aggressively champion and advocate for that industry. Berner also previously served as CEO of Reader’s Digest Association, where she developed and executed a successful turnaround strategy, oversaw the restructuring of the company’s acquisition-related debt and the subsequent doubling of the company’s stock price and optimized its brands and assets. Upon making the announcement of Berner being selected as this year’s recipient, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is no secret that the biggest radio companies – Cumulus, iHeart and others – are being smothered under the burden of crippling debt accrued over many years following deregulation and the runaway growth of consolidation. Since assuming her extremely challenging role as the head of Cumulus, there have been measurable improvements in the company in terms of programming, infrastructure and employee morale – developments that offer reasonable hope that its financial situation will begin to improve. Hope is something that the good people who work in the radio business can use more of as we head into what has the potential to be an exciting new era bursting with opportunity.” The annual TALKERS “Woman of the Year” award goes back to 2001, named after its first recipient the late Judy Jarvis, an independently syndicated host who helped pave the way for women to make progress as players in the male-dominated talk radio field. Jarvis, a non-smoker, received it posthumously after succumbing to lung cancer at a young age during the peak of her career. Recent recipients include Ginny Morris, Robin Quivers, Julie Talbott, Heather Cohen, Robin Bertolucci, Laurie Cantillo, Grace Blazer, Stephanie Miller, Laura Ingraham, Randi Rhodes, Adriane Gaines and Kim Komando, among others. The award will be presented on Friday, June 2 at TALKERS 2017: A New Era in New York.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Mo Lightning is the new morning host on Mid-West Family Broadcasting-owned rock outlet WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois. It’s part of a number of changes at the station including Kyle Hutchinson’s move from afternoon drive to midday and program director Wes Styles’ move to the afternoon program. Lou Brutus is hosting the evening “Harddrive XL” show…..At SummitMedia’s urban contemporary WJMZ, Greenville, South Carolina, Tone Hollywood takes over the midday show, moving over from his previous role hosting in morning drive at sister rhythmic CHR WHZT “HOT 98.1.”…..iHeartMedia wins a Shorty Award for the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival in the Best in Live Events category. The 9th annual Shorty Awards recognize “the most influential, popular, and culturally relevant brands and influencers across social media.”…..Triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is launching an all-Milwaukee music platform in its HD-2 channel branded “414Music.fm.” The channel and stream will debut on June 20 and the station is inviting Milwaukee musicians to submit their music, recently recorded or from past years, to Radio Milwaukee for possible inclusion on “414Music.fm.”