Archive for June, 2017
Newsmax TV Adds Todd Schnitt and Wayne Allyn Root Shows. Two new shows are added to the lineup at Newsmax TV. “The Schnitt Show” and “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” will air for one hour at 3:00 pm ET and 8:00 pm ET, respectively. Todd Schnitt’s radio talk show is syndicated by Compass Media Networks and airs live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET. Root’s radio show is a joint venture with USA Radio Network and airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. Newsman CEO Chris Ruddy states, “At Newsmax TV, we hear from our audience that they are hungry for thoughtful, passionate voices for viewpoints that other media outlets ignore. Todd Schnitt and Wayne Allyn Root are proven broadcasting leaders and we’re sure our viewers will engage with them.”
Wading Across the Widening Mainstream. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says that it was no surprise that Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones fell short of NBC’s expectations in the ratings and that President Donald Trump is effectively adhering to a carefully honed strategy by playing exclusively to his base – even though it is resulting in an extremely low (by recent standards) approval rating. It is all a part of what Harrison describes as the new rules of the “widening mainstream.” In a provocative new article posted today (6/23), Harrison argues, “We are immersed in the digital era marked by a dizzying number of media platforms and their attendant human interests. Yet, we still hear the expression ‘mainstream media’ (MSM) used as though news and entertainment are still dominated by a handful of media outlets and patronized by a largely homogeneous society. We actually still believe there is a ‘general public.’ I laugh when I hear, ‘The American people have spoken.’ Who are they?” Harrison continues, “If we are going to insist on clinging to the ‘mainstream’ analogy for media we should at least recognize that it is no longer the narrow, deep river in which we used to swim as kids – capable of supporting the ocean liners that were network television. Now it’s a wide-but-shallow marsh only capable of supporting smaller, specialized vessels.” Harrison goes on to say that the strategy being employed by Donald Trump in maintaining his power within this environment is – at least for now – “Unstoppable” and explains why. To read the entire piece, please click here.
NRHOF Class of 2017 Includes Hannity, Handel and Quivers. For the past three years, voting for entrance into the National Radio Hall of Fame has been split into two segments – one voted on by the public and one the result of votes from industry people. This year, the National Radio Hall of Fame reports an unprecedented level of audience participation with nearly 300,000 votes cast for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality. Those 2017 inductees will be Premiere Networks’ Bobby Bones and KFI, Los Angeles/Premiere Networks personality Bill Handel, respectively. The industry panel chose the following inductees in four categories: Active Local/Regional, 10+ years – Tom Barnard of KQRS, Minneapolis; Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years – John Records Landecker; Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years – Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity; and Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years – Robin Quivers of the Howard Stern show. The National Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee also voted to induct two individuals for their contribution to the industry. They are: Joseph M. Field, chairman/founder Entercom Communications Corp. and Robert S. “Bob” Sievers, the late legendary Fort Wayne, Indiana air personality who was on WOWO Radio for 51 years. National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “Each year the enthusiasm and participation from those in our industry and the voting public grows by leaps and bounds. We’re so happy to induct this truly deserving, talented group of broadcasters this year into the National Radio Hall of Fame.” The induction ceremony takes place on November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago.
TALKERS News Notes. Washington, DC sports media figure Andy Pollin is entering the world of podcasting, launching a new weekly show beginning July 3. The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg writes about the former, longtime WTEM personality’s new project, noting that Pollin will use the Chatter studio facility in DC built by fellow former WTEM personality Tony Kornheiser and his business partners. Pollin co-hosts a weekly Saturday morning sports talk show with Thom Loverro on WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan.”…..Cumulus Media enters into a multi-year partnership with IMG College to broadcast Air Force Academy athletic events. As part of the deal KVOR, Colorado Springs will continue to serve as flagship for Air Force football and men’s basketball games. Jim Arthur continues as the radio “Voice of the Falcons.”…..Sinclair Broadcast Group buys Seattle news/talk KOMO-FM from Greg Smith’s South Sound Broadcasting for $6.75 million. Sinclair has been operating the FM signal under an LMA since acquiring KOMO-AM from Fisher…..Salem Radio Network morning drive personality Hugh Hewitt will host his nationally syndicated program from Bold Gold Media-owned affiliate station WTRW, Scranton “94.3 The Talker” tomorrow and Wednesday (6/27-28). Hewitt is speaking at the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s event and dinner tomorrow evening.
TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Begin Posting Tomorrow (6/27). The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and, beginning tomorrow (6/27), its sessions will be posted to Talkers.com. Tomorrow, the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor will be posted. On Wednesday (6/28), the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke will be posted. On Thursday (6/29) the “Fireside Chat” between Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity will be posted. Closing out the week on Friday (6/30) the “Fireside Chat” between Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa will be posted. Within the following weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.
BFoA Names Three to Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Kim Guthrie, president of Cox Media Group, and DuJuan McCoy, president/CEO and founder of Bayou City Broadcasting have joined its board of directors, and that Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott joins as an officer and vice president. The new members and Talbott were voted in during the Board meeting that took place in New York City last week. BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “The addition of these highly respected industry leaders to our board and executive ranks will further enhance awareness of our mission to provide assistance to broadcasters in need. Their dedication to helping our colleagues who need it most is an inspiration that I hope will reverberate across our industry so that we can help more broadcasters in need.”
Republican Health Care Plan, Russian Election Hacking Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, Johnny Depp ‘Assassination’ Comments, State of the Democratic Party, ‘Pizzagate’ Shooter Sentenced, Sinking Oil Prices, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The GOP plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; the testimony from former Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russia’s attempts to hack the U.S. presidential election; the special counsel investigation into possible connections between Donald Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; reaction to actor Johnny Depp’s “assassination” of President Trump joke; speculation about the state of the Democratic Party in the wake of its loss in the Georgia House special election; Edgar Maddison Welch is sentenced to four years for firing an assault rifle in DC’s Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor while attempting to investigate the fake news story about a Hillary Clinton-run child sex ring; the recent dramatic fall in oil prices; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. St. Louis radio personality Paul Cook announces that he’ll be missing some time on the radio as he begins treatment for cancer. Cook hosts afternoon drive on CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYKY “Y98.” He posted via Facebook, “In case you’re wondering where I have gone for big chunks of the next six months. The reason is that I will be getting treated for stage four colorectal cancer. Big surprise to me as well. I have the best doctors, so much love around me and there is no better place to work than right here during something like this.”…..Alpha Media flips classic hits KOOI, Tyler Texas from its “Sunny 106.5” brand to “106.5 Jack FM.” Alpha VP of programming Ronnie Stanton comments, “Jack FM is such a fun, exciting brand and we are excited to add another Jack to the Alpha stable. We believe we will bring a refreshing new sound to East Texas and some of the genuine fun the Jack brand is famous for around the world.”…..iHeartMedia’s country WSIX “The BIG 98” is presenting the 7th annual “ACCU-CHEK Guide Guitar-B-Que,” a live concert and guitar auction to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on August 23 at Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville. WSIX personalities Tige & Daniel, Amy Paige, McKiddy and more will host the event that will feature performances by Brett Eldredge, Chris Janson, Michael Ray, Devin Dawson and DJ Sinister…..Pictured at left are WLNK, Charlotte and nationally syndicated morning hosts Bob & Sheri (background) behind Martha, the Neapolitan Mastiff just crowned 2017 World’s Ugliest Dog, and her owner. Bob & Sheri again emceed the international event that draws media coverage from around the world, including coverage on “Good Morning America,” the “Today” show and in People magazine. Held in Petaluma, California, The World’s Ugliest Dog contest benefits animal rescue and has been an annual event since 1962.
PPM Analysis: CHR. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth and final format analysis based on data from the May PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on CHR. Comparing station performances to 6+ data from the April PPM survey, Kinosian concludes, “Virtually as many mainstream CHR panelists are up April 2017 – May 2017 (45%) as are down (47%), with the remaining 8% flat.” Comparing year-over-year results, he notes, “Over half the CHR stations in this sample are down May 2016 – May 2017 (57%); roughly one of three improve (36%); and 7% remain steady.” In May, seven CHR stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets. They were: KQMV, Seattle; KDWB, Minneapolis; WBLI, Long Island; WHTZ, Long Island; WNCI, Columbus; WZPL, Indianapolis; and WRVW, Nashville. See the entire report here.
By Michael Harrison
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Despite the massive free publicity generated by Megyn Kelly’s recent Sunday night interview with Alex Jones on NBC, network heads were disappointed – even stunned – by the show’s lousy ratings. It was soundly beaten by a rerun of “60 Minutes,” which was, in turn, trounced by a rerun of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”
No surprises here. And don’t pin the blame on Kelly. She’s the total package – brains, beauty and… balls! But she isn’t operating on the same playing field that made Barbara Walters a household name in her day.
WCBS-AM to Celebrate ‘A Night of New York Stories.’ All-news WCBS-AM, New York “Newsradio 880AM” is presenting an event at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square titled, “Celebrating 50 Years of News: A Night of New York Stories,” on August 8. It will be hosted by the station’s Wayne Cabot and Alex Silverman and will celebrate the station’s 50th anniversary by bringing together some of New York’s most notable names in news, politics, sports and entertainment. The evening will close with a special interview and song performance by legendary singer Tony Bennett. CBS RADIO New York SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “‘Newsradio 880’ is a trusted New York City news outlet with a rich history and legacy of delivering up-to-the-minute news. We are proud to be a part of the fabric of New York and will continue to tell the stories of the people, places and happenings from all around this great city. This special night is a chance to gather with listeners, station personalities and prominent figures to celebrate what the station has meant for the past 50 years and will continue to mean well into the future.” Additional station personalities taking part include: Craig Allen, Joe Connolly, Pat Farnack, Brad Heller, Tom Kaminski, Paul Murnane, Steve Scott and Michael Wallace. Among the special guests sharing their New York stories on stage will be Jeff Fager and Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes), former New York Giants co-captain George Martin, “Late Show with David Letterman” bandleader Paul Shaffer, and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine.
Capitol Broadcasting Renews ‘The Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac.’ WDNC, Raleigh-Durham “The Buzz” extends its deal with morning drive personalities Erroll Reese and Kevin McClendon for the duo to continue to host “The Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac” for another year. Reese and Kmac call their show “urban sports radio” and the station says it is one of the few sports radio morning shows in the country co-hosted by two African-Americans. Capitol Broadcasting sports radio operations manager/program director Dennis Glasgow comments, “We’re very pleased to give a local voice to all our morning sports radio listeners in Raleigh-Durham, but it’s clear that this diverse show we’ve assembled is giving the listener something different, entertaining and just plain fun every day with Reese and Kmac on Buzz Sports Radio.”
TALKERS News Notes. The host of the radio legal feature “Looking at the Law” is signing off after 42 years of hosting duties. Neil Chayet announces he’s retiring from producing the feature that he and WBZ, Boston have been creating and syndicating across the country. He comments, “While there is an endless supply of court cases and material to continue ‘Looking at the Law’ for years to come, I feel that 42 years is the right number for me and it leaves more time to continue the other passions I’ve worked on tirelessly over the years.” WBZ director of news & programming Peter Casey adds, “You can hear an audible chuckle coming from cars all over New England as they listen to Neil on WBZ.”…..Midroll Media announces three new staffing additions. Amy Fitzgibbons joins Midroll as vice president of marketing. Laura Mayer is the new executive producer, and David Murray becomes vice president of finance and strategy. Fitzgibbons was most recently VP of marketing at PhotoShelter. Mayer was in the podcast production department at Panoply, and Murray moves to Midroll from parent company E.W. Scripps where he was finance business partner…..Program host Kevin McCullough announces that the “Saturday SuperCast Radio Night LIVE!” is now airing on Salem Media Group’s KPXQ, Phoenix starting this weekend…..The NHL’s Boston Bruins and CBS RADIO Boston ink a multi-year extension for sports WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to continue serving as the flagship radio station for play-by-play. The Bruins have been with CBS Boston since they started airing on all-news WBZ-AM for the 1995-96 season…..Radio Vermont Group owner Ken Squier confirms to Vermont alternative weekly Seven Days that his stations are for sale. Squier says he is looking to sell to an operator who will continue his family’s tradition of local programming. Radio Vermont was launched by Squier’s father Lloyd with WDEV-AM, Waterbury (currently news/talk/sports) in 1931. The company also operates classic hits WCVT, Stowe “101 The One” and country WLVB, Morrisville…..Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin publishes his fifth book – this one titled, Rediscovering Americanism and the Tyranny of Progressivism (Threshold Editions 2017). He tells the Washington Examiner, “My new book covers a lot of territory — philosophy, history, economics, law, culture, etc. And I look deeply into what is meant by Americanism, republicanism, individualism, capitalism. What do we mean by natural law, unalienable rights, liberty, and property rights? From where do these principles come? Why are they important?”
Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 19-23. The special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was testimony by former Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russia’s attempts to hack the U.S. presidential election. Coming in at #3 was the unveiling of the GOP health care plan, followed by the Georgia congressional race won by Karen Handel at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Mike Carruthers to Present Another in Series of Free Online Podcasting Workshops on Wednesday, June 28 at 1:00 pm ET. Following the success of his recent podcasting webinar presented in conjunction with TALKERS magazine, noted broadcaster Mike Carruthers of Perfect Your Podcast will be presenting another free online podcasting workshop titled, “The 3 Essential Ingredients for a Successful Podcast.” The workshop is designed to give instruction and guidance to broadcasters interested in expanding their programming and brand into the podcasting realm focusing on the steps necessary to gain traction in terms of increased listenership and revenue generating potential. Carruthers is well known in radio for the many years of success he enjoyed as producer and host of the syndicated, short-form series, “Something You Should Know,” – now a long-form, lucrative hit on the iTunes chart as a podcast. Carruthers tells TALKERS, “It is amazing how many people WANT to start a podcast – but never quite pull the trigger. There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly it boils down to a lack of confidence, fear of having too much to learn, not knowing where to begin, and concern about the amount of time it can consume. This workshop will greatly help to alleviate these issues.” The free online workshop will take place this coming Wednesday, June 28 at 1:00 pm ET. Space is limited, so those interested in participating should register now. For more information and to register, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Punk legend and KLOS, Los Angeles disc jockey Steve Jones is receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Cumulus Media notes that the host of KLOS’ “Jonesy’s Jukebox” program and guitarist for the Sex Pistols and Iggy Pop is recognized on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” He’s also the only radio personality to be honored with a star for the Walk of Fame Class of 2018…..Cumulus Media’s Detroit hot AC WDVD signs morning personality Blaine Fowler to a long-term contract extension. “The Blaine Fowler Morning Show” has been heard on the station since 2003. Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges says, “Blaine and Lauren [Crocker] both are special talents and I’m thrilled they’ll make their magic on Detroit’s 96-3 WDVD for a long time to come.”…..Adams Radio Group announces some personnel changes in the Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland market. Active rock WZBH “93.5 The Beach” program director Johnny Maze assumes the afternoon drive slot on the station, exiting his PM gig at sister classic rocker WGBG “BIG 98.5.” Joining WZBH from the company’s Las Cruces, New Mexico operations is Carolina, who is named music director and midday personality. She takes over for Leah Rantz, who recently joined Saga’s alternative WLZX, Springfield, Massachusetts.
PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. Managing editor Mike Kinosian turns to music formats for the third of his four-part series looking at the performances of radio stations based on data from the May 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today looking at adult hits. In analyzing 6+ performances comparing May 2016 to May 2017, he writes, “One of every two adult hits stations on this sample improve (50%) year-to-year; 40% decline; and 10% are flat.” WQSR, Baltimore; WARH, St. Louis; and KJAQ, Seattle all rise more than a full share, year-over-year. KBPA, Austin is the only adult hits station in a PPM market to rank #1 in the May survey. See the rest of the data here.
By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — After focusing on two spoken-word formats, all-news (Wednesday, 6/21) and sports talk (Thursday (6/22), we turn our attention of in-depth overviews of May 2017 PPM results to adult hits.
In our sample, adult hits facilities typically finish eighth in May 2017 (#8.00, 6+) with a 6+-share of 4.98.
Scoreboards in the following overview consist of adult hits stations that rank in the top 20 in any of the 48 PPM-markets (6+, May 2017) and are Nielsen Audio subscribers; only Nielsen Audio subscribing stations can appear in print.
Hugh Hewitt to Host Weekend Show on MSNBC. TVNewser is first with the report that Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt will begin hosting a Saturday morning show on MSNBC on Saturday (6/24). The program will air live at 8:00 am ET. Obviously, some will be surprised by the addition of conservative Hewitt joining the left-leaning cable news/talk channel, but as The Hollywood Reporter points out in its coverage of the story, MSNBC recently added former Fox News Channel personality Greta Van Susteren and former George W. Bush Administration communications staffer Nicole Wallace. In illustrating the gains MSNBC has made over the last 12 months, THR also notes that Standard Media Index just released a report showing MSNBC’s ad rates are up 43% over last year’s.
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second in a series of analyses based on data from the May 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, this time focusing on sports talk. The return of Major League Baseball is usually good for sports talkers during summer ratings periods, and in this report, Kinosian concludes that, for the 6+ demo, “just over half the stations (53%) on the panel are up April 2017 – May 2017; one in four (25%) are down; and the remaining 22% of the sample is flat.” However, “approximately two of every three eligible sports talk stations are down year-to-year (64%) while 26% improve; the remaining 10% are steady.” Just five sports talkers ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the May 2017 survey, led by CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit at #2 (behind the company’s all-newser WWJ-AM). See the entire report here.
Joey Hudson Rises to GM of Mike Gallagher Show. Longtime Mike Gallagher show team member Joey Hudson is named general manager for the Salem Radio Network syndicated talk show. Hudson serves as executive director of the Gallagher’s Army: Fallen Officer Fund charity, a position in which he’ll continue to serve. He’s also been GM of Salem-owned Caron Broadcasting’s WGTK-FM and WRTH-FM in Greenville, South Carolina. He’ll leave that position. Mike Gallagher says, “2017 has been the strongest year we’ve had in terms of affiliates, ratings and revenue for our national radio show. Joey is the perfect person to oversee the growing daily operations of our show throughout the rest of 2017 and into the exciting future.”
Warren Franklin Named Morning Host at KYKN. In Salem, Oregon, iSalem Media news/talker KYKN announces that market pro Warren Franklin is named morning drive host. In addition to handling the morning news and commentary duties, Franklin will do 15 live remote broadcasts each month. KYKN program director (and afternoon air personality) Gator Gaynor says, “We are delighted to have someone of Warren’s ability and robust personality on our team.”
Edison Research and NPR Study Smart Speaker Owner Habits. There’s a lot of optimism on the part of radio station operators that the smart speaker – Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, Apple’s Homepod – can bring radio listening back into the home. NPR and Edison Research have partnered to research the habits of current smart speaker owners to see if that optimism is well grounded. The results of the “The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research” will be revealed in part at a June 28 webinar. Edison VP of strategy Tom Webster says, “Although Smart Speakers have not been around for very long, nearly one in five owners say that these devices are the way that they most often listen to audio. The frictionless way in which these devices enable audio consumption is already changing listening behaviors, and potentially increasing audio consumption overall.” The study consisted of a national online survey of 1620 Americans ages 18+. Eight hundred respondents owned at least one smart speaker (160 Google Home, 709 Amazon Alexa-enabled, and 69 who owned both.) Eight hundred and twenty respondents did not own a smart speaker device and were surveyed for comparative purposes.
Starnes Keynotes Writer’s Conference. Pictured above is Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes serving as keynote speaker at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference. During the event he also led workshops for more than 500 writers. As TALKERS magazine reported yesterday, Starnes is launching a new, three-hour radio talk show on FNR on July 5. See more about him at toddstarnes.com.
Central PA Host and GM Differ Offer Different Takes on Programming Policy. By now you’ve heard about classic rock WTPA, Palmyra, Pennsylvania weekend personality Bruce Bond’s exit from the station after, as he claims, feeling forced to resign for being ordered not to talk critically about President Trump. WTPA general manager Tim Michaels is now speaking out, telling Fox News that Bond was hired to do an entertainment program. His orders were to not talk politics – nothing specific about being for or against Trump. Obviously, that’s not how Bond expressed it when he first spoke to media about his exit.
New York Festivals 2017 International Radio Program Award Winners Announced. The big winner in this year’s New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards – the annual awards program honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs – was RTÉ Ireland which was presented with the prestigious title of Broadcaster of Year. TBI Media UK was honored with Production Company of the Year. RTÉ Radio Ireland earned an impressive 10 Gold trophies, 8 Silver, 10 Bronze, and 12 Finalist Certificates. Among the United States winners were, SiriusXM, CBS RADIO Boston, Westwood One, ESPN, ABC Radio, and iHeartMedia. See the entire list of winners here.
Edwards Returns to Lead Pubcaster WBEZ, Chicago. Windy City media maven Robert Feder tips us that Steve Edwards is returning to public media outlet WBEZ, Chicago after five years away. In 2012 Edwards – who hosted a popular two-hour afternoon show – left WBEZ to become executive director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. Now, he is set to lead WBEZ programming as vice president and chief content officer. Read Feder’s story here.
Trump-Russia Investigation, Election Hacking Hearings, GOP Health Care Plan, Republican Handel Wins Georgia House Seat, Flint Airport Attack, Tropical Storm Cindy/Western Heatwave, ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Controversy, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/21). The special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; yesterday’s testimony from former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russian election hacking; the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with a plan critics say is being devised behind closed doors; Republican Karen Handel wins the race for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat; the attack on a police officer at the Flint, Michigan airport by a suspected radical Islamist; Tropical Storm Cindy approaches Louisiana and the Western U.S. heatwave; the controversy over ABC-TV’s ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ program; and Major League Baseball 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. The new morning show at iHeartMedia’s WWYZ, Hartford “Country 92-5” is “Damon & Cory” – Connecticut radio pro Damon Scott and incumbent WWYZ morning personality Corey Myers. iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb states, “We are excited that a well-known local personality like Damon Scott is joining longtime morning host, Cory Myers. Damon Scott is a familiar name that has been on the radio in Connecticut for years. He understands how to connect with listeners and the local community as well as what it takes to be successful in radio.” Scott spent the past 27 years as PM drive host at CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR WTIC-FM…..The new morning show is launched on Cumulus Media’s country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” and it’s called “Caddy, CJ and Ali,” featuring Cadillac Jack, CJ and Ali Mac. This comes after the recent move of former morning show co-host Dallas McCade to music director and midday personality. Concurrent with the lineup changes, “Kicks 101.5” takes on the new slogan, “Georgia’s Country For Life.”…..The Tom Kent Radio Network signs a contract with SAG-AFTRA top become the first major independent American music syndication network to ratify such an agreement. TKRN CEO and president Tom Kent states, “Our team is more than excited to become a SAG-AFTRA shop! We embrace all of its principles and look forward to a long and prosperous future together. Working with the head of SAG-AFTRA local Brian Lysell has been a total pleasure. Our current and future affiliates know how committed we have been to showcasing excellent talent and this deal is a major indication that our commitment will continue.”
iHeartMedia Throws VIP Party at Cannes. Hip hop star The Weeknd was the featured performer at the intimate VIP dinner hosted by iHeartMedia and MediaLink at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, along with MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan and president/COO Wenda Harris Millard, hosted the party that – for the sixth consecutive year – brought together the “senior most-influential decision makers and thought leaders in the media ecosystem.” Pictured above are (from l-r): Tom Poleman, chief programming officer for iHeartMedia; John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises for iHeartMedia; The Weeknd; Michele Anthony, EVP of Universal Music Group; and Scott Borchetta, founder, president & CEO of Big Machine Label Group. Photo by Tony Barson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.