WIBC, Indy Lays Out New Programming Lineup. Recently, Indianapolis talk personality Greg Garrison announced he’s stepping down from his daily midday show on Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC, Indianapolis. Now, the station announces the complete programming changes – effective June 12 – that come with filling his role. Morning drive host Tony Katz adds a two-hour, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show to his duties; the station moves “Chicks on the Right” to the mid-morning 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot and moves the “Hammer & Nigel” show from evenings to the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart. WIBC program director David Woods states, “There is no replacing an icon like Greg. “You ask, ‘what is the best way to serve, inform and entertain our growing audience?’ What we arrived at is a lineup that offers familiar personalities with the addition of energetic voices that will continue to engage listeners in spirited conversation and conservative viewpoints…Tony Katz coming back on from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm will allow us to syndicate his show via Network Indiana and possibly other outlets. And ‘Hammer & Nigel,’ the newcomers to our daytime lineup, have become popular voices on WIBC, as frequent guest hosts for the Chicks and the nationally syndicated Chad Benson show.” Woods says that in other programming news, Abdul-Hakim Shabazz “has decided to step away from his daily show to spend more time on his expanding website, indypolitics.org and other business interests. He will continue to host a weekend show and be a regular contributor to wibc.com.”
Tomi Lahren and TheBlaze Settle. Conservative media figure Tomi Lahren and Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze have reached a settlement, ending their legal tussle over Lahren’s employment. The case was set in motion by Lahren’s appearance on “The View” in which she revealed she’s pro-choice. That move apparently rankled Beck and TheBlaze management. She claimed that as a result, she was fired and kept from her Facebook page. TheBlaze countersued, claiming Lahren was not fired but actually suspended with pay and that Lahren was in violation of her employment agreement. Now, both sides agree to a settlement in which she gains control of her Facebook page and she agrees to return video she shot for TheBlaze to the organization. The rest of the settlement terms are confidential.
Free Speech, the Law, and Alex Jones. TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones’ recent legal matters. While battling his ex-wife for primary custody of their three children, Jones was sued by yogurt maker Chobani for statements he’s made about the company and its operations in Idaho that Chobani says were made with reckless regard for the truth. See Weisman’s analysis of the case here.
Feature: Sky’s the Limit. In today’s feature story, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian writes that, “within the professional and collegiate sports worlds, Skyview Networks is vastly well-known, but the company is seeking to float its nameplate wider in hopes of achieving a higher profile.” He quotes Skyview founder and president Ken Thiele, who says, “We want to get a message out there to content creators, whether it be national syndication or focusing on content, that we provide a distribution platform and a sales force to help monetize what they create.” Even more, Thiele tells TALKERS that Skyview is a “turnkey experience” for clients that has more to offer than its competitors. “They do not have the software and systems that we can provide to create the efficiencies…Skyview is the only one that can deliver a custom-form experience to its clients.” Thiele defines his company as one that’s heavily involved in satellite distribution, network automation, affiliate relations, inventory management systems, and national audio sales – a full-service company to advertisers, syndicators, and broadcast networks. Read more here.
Hugh Hewitt to Host 2017 Bold Gold Foundation Event. Nationally syndicated talk host and conservative media commentator Hugh Hewitt will serve as the keynote speaker at The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s 3rd Annual Event and Dinner on Tuesday, June 27. The Foundation, formed by Bold Gold Media Group president Vince Benedetto, is working to help young professionals enter broadcast media fields, with an emphasis on news and talk formats. Hewitt’s Salem Radio Network show airs on Bold Gold’s WTRW-FM, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and WPSN-AM, Honesdale, Pennsylvania in morning drive. At the event, the Bold Gold Foundation will honor local NEPA business leader Brandon Igdalsky, president & CEO of Pocono Raceway, with a special citizenship award.
TALKERS News Notes. A shakeup takes place at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC as the board of trustees, by a unanimous vote, asks for and receives the resignation of president and CEO Jim DeMint. The board then elected founder Ed Feulner president and CEO while it searches for a permanent successor. This change comes after a “comprehensive and independent review of the entire Heritage organization” in which the board “determined there were significant and worsening management issues that led to a breakdown of internal communications and cooperation. While the organization has seen many successes, Jim DeMint and a handful of his closest advisers failed to resolve these problems.”…..More big numbers for FOX Sports Radio’s Colin Cowherd. The network reports that total podcast listens for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” grew to a new record high of 6.8 million across all platforms for the month of April, as measured by ART19. FSRN says this number is the result of more than a million additional podcast listens since last month and comes as the AM/FM broadcast hits the 150-affiliate mark…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM, Chicago afternoon host Steve Dahl is off the air due to yesterday’s surgery for diverticulitis. Dahl hopes to be back on the radio next week…..Alpha Media announces its news/talk KGLO and standards KRIB won a total of 11 awards in the Small Market Division of the 2016 Iowa Broadcast News Association contest. KGLO news director Bob Fisher picked up 10 awards, including three 1st place honors. KGLO and/or KRIB have won 89 awards over the past 13 years. Alpha Media Mason City market manager Dalena Barz comments, “Our Mason City news and sports team have again been recognized as some of the best news professionals in the state. Bob Fisher, Tim Fleming and Jesse Stewart earned 11 awards…it’s an honor to work alongside broadcasters of this caliber!”…..KNSS-AM/FM, Wichita adds “Take Your Health To Heart,” featuring nationally recognized cardiologist Dr. Joseph Galichia, to its Saturday program schedule…..During the last month Compass Media Networks reports adding new affiliates for nationally syndicated talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, who picks up KZNG-AM, Hot Springs, Arkansas; KIUL-AM/KYUL-AM, Garden City, Kansas; and KSIS-AM, Sedalia, Missouri. The nationally syndicated Lars Larson show also is added to the program lineup at KSIS-AM.
Hillary Clinton Interview, GOP Health Care Proposal, North Korea Threats, Colbert’s Trump Attack, Jimmy Kimmel Health Care Rant, Fenway Racism Incident, MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2). 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and President Donald Trump’s reaction; the GOP proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s nuclear program and Kim Jong Un’s threats against the U.S.; Stephen Colbert takes heat for anti-Trump rant; the controversy over Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue about health care and his son’s emergency surgery; the case of racist taunts leveled against the Orioles’ Adam Jones at Fenway Park; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action 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. In Fresno, Steve Pleshe leaves the record promotion business to return to Cumulus Media’s country KSKS “KISS Country” to serve as program director. Pleshe started at “KISS Country” in the early 1990s as a part-timer and worked his way up to PD in the summer of 2004. He’s been in record promotions for the past nine years. Cumulus Fresno VP and market manager Patty Hixson says, “I am thrilled to welcome Steve back to ‘KISS Country!’ Having worked with him in the past, I consider him one of the brightest and most creative program directors in the business. He will elevate KISS Country’s programming with his unique perspective and create some of America’s best Country radio!”…..WVXU.org’s John Kiesewetter is reporting that iHeartMedia Cincinnati market president Chuck Fredrick is a victim of the staff cuts ongoing at the company. Yesterday, we reported that SVP of programming and rock WEBN and CHR WKFS programmer Bo Matthews had been let go…..Chicago media write Robert Feder reports that at Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM, Chicago, the station will be filling the evening shift by rotating jocks Tom O’Toole and Danny Lake. Jeff Davis had been in the slot since John Records Landecker’s 2015 exit, but he’s moving back to weekends and fill-ins. Read Feder’s column here…..Twenty-year media sales pro Della Berning is joining Cumulus Media’s Baton Rouge four-station cluster to serve as sales manager. Previously, she served with Baton Rouge’s Velocity Agency. She’s also worked in radio, serving as LSM and NSM for WBRZ, Baton Rouge…..Entercom is putting the KISW, Seattle-based afternoon show “The Men’s Room” into syndication via a deal with Westwood One. The program features Miles Montgomery, Steve “The Thrill” Hill and Thee Ted Smith, as well as producers Robin Foxx and Mike Hawk. WW1 president Suzanne Grimes comments, “For 51 consecutive books, ‘The Men’s Room’ has been No. 1. Our partnership will extend this impressive performance coast to coast. We are excited to welcome The Men’s Room to our national audience of listeners and advertisers.”…..Reigning ACM and CMA Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town is hosting Westwood One’s annual “Summer Kick Off” Memorial Day special. The four-hour program will feature band members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet.