Tax Reform Radio Row with the Trump Administration. Pictured above is WMAL, Washington and Westwood One talk show host Chris Plante (left) interviewing President Trump (right) during yesterday’s radio row, organized by the Trump Administration to promote its tax reform policies, at the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, DC. As TALKERS reported yesterday, talk hosts taking part in the daylong event that made not only the president and vice president available to talk hosts but numerous administration officials and tax reform experts included: Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher; Plante, WMAL’s Mary Walter, and Vince Coglianese; WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall; and WIBC, Indianapolis’ Tony Katz. Pictured below (l-r) are WMAL “Mornings on the Mall” co-hosts Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese, Vice President Mike Pence, and morning show executive producer Heather Hunter.
WTMJ, Milwaukee Makes Lineup Changes. Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ Radio moves 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk host Steve Scaffidi to the late morning slot and brings Jeff Wagner back to the early afternoon daypart where he’d been for more than 10 years. When longtime station personality Charlie Sykes left the station, Wagner moved from late mornings to the early afternoon show and former Oak Creek, Wisconsin Mayor Steve Scaffidi joined the station to host late mornings. WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks comments, “Steve has grown tremendously since joining the station in early 2017. He has capitalized on his unique perspective as a former politician and community leader. His show is quickly growing and we are excited to put him in the daypart where our audience has come to expect political and issue-driven talk. Meanwhile, Jeff Wagner will resume his early afternoon program where he consistently beat his competitors in Milwaukee – especially Rush Limbaugh and other shows piped in from out of town.”
TALKERS News Notes. The Tulsa operations of E.W. Scripps has a new general sales manager. Dan Smith, most recently with Enid, Oklahoma-based Williams Broadcasting, is familiar with the market, having served with Cox Media Group’s crosstown cluster for 11 years. Now, he’ll head the sales efforts for news/talk KFAQ plus sister country KVOO, CHR KHTT, classic country KXBL, and classic hits KBEZ. Scripps Radio Tulsa vice president and general manager David Abel comments, “Dan brings with him a tremendous track record of results and a deep understanding of the Tulsa market. He’s a proven leader who has a long history of talent and business development, which make him a perfect fit to lead our veteran sales team.”…..At iHeartMedia’s Jacksonville, Florida cluster, Seth Harp is promoted to his new position as program director for sports talk WFXJ-AM “Sportsradio 930.”…..Sirius XM announces a new, one-hour weekly show starring Rickey Gervais set to launch on October 24 at 11:00 am ET on its Comedy Greats channel. The show is called “Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius,” and SiriusXM says the show will present Gervais “tackling more ‘sirius’ topics with some of the most respected experts in their fields. Whether it’s a conversation with scientist and author Richard Dawkins about religion and the afterlife, or rocker Noel Gallagher on hijinks with his bandmates and his musical influences, Gervais will have thought-provoking discussions about the topics he feels the most passionate about, namely music, science, art, and ethics.” Gervais states, “I started out in radio, and SiriusXM made me an offer to return that I couldn’t refuse. With 32 million subscribers, editorial control, my own playlist and absolute freedom of speech, it’s the perfect platform for me, and hopefully the listener too.”…..Hearst-owned news/talk WBAL, Baltimore is adding an FM translator to its transmission after the company agreed to buy W268BA, Church Hill, Maryland from Hope Christian Church of Marlton for $650,000. The FM 101.5 signal’s transmitter is located due east of Baltimore, across Chesapeake Bay.
Walter Sterling Featuring Talk Hosts ‘Who Should Be Working.’ On his Sunday night, WPHT, Philadelphia-based and Westwood One-syndicated talk show, Walter Sterling is unveiling a new feature in which he invites talented talk show hosts who are out of work – and who he says should be working – to appear and showcase their skills. Sterling says that the guest star selects what they feel is the hot story, gives their opinion and why they should be hired. He adds, “It’s ridiculous how many ratings-growing hosts are out of work and I want them to be heard — and to work. Ed Tyll was the first to appear on the show and Casey Bartholomew is next. Tyll got immediate response from the industry. I welcome these amazing story tellers.” You can reach Walter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trump Tax Reform Plan, Fallen Soldiers Controversy, North Korea War Threats, Puerto Rico Devastation, Marino Drug Czar Withdrawl, Iran Nuclear Deal, Weinstein Scandal-#MeToo Campaign, Mandalay Security Guard Case, Travel Ban Halted, MLB Playoffs, NFL Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18). The Trump Administration’s tax reform plans and yesterday’s White House radio row; President Trump’s comments about former presidents not meeting with families of fallen soldiers; North Korea’s missile program and its threats of war; the state of post-Maria Puerto Rico and the problems delivering aid; U.S. Rep. Tom Marino withdraws name from drug czar consideration after reports of his close ties to big pharma; the Iran nuclear deal and President Trump’s threat not to certify Iran’s compliance; the Harvey Weinstein sexual predation scandal and the subsequent #MeToo campaign; the “missing” security guard from Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay hotel appears on “Ellen” to talk about the deadly mass shooting; a Hawaii judge halts the latest version of the Trump travel ban; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the NFL anthem protests and weekend action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Cox Tampa Launches Support Effort for Regional Businesses. Tampa Bay was spared a direct hit by Hurricane Irma, but many local businesses were greatly impacted by the storm that left them without power, with lost inventory, or even needing to close their doors for days. Because of this, Cox Media Group is launching its philanthropic initiative, Cox Media Group Cares Tampa Bay. The company says that “with the generous support of sponsors, The Miggs and Swigg Radio Show, DeBartolo Family Foundation, Pepin Distributing Company and Great Bay Distributors, Cox Cares will help small businesses recover after Irma through marketing and promotional outreach.” Each Saturday between October 21 and Small Business Saturday – November 25 – local companies will be featured on Cox Media Group radio stations. The businesses will receive free on-air, online and social media promotion throughout the week. The supporting station will also be on-site at each business location that Saturday. Cox Cares will provide assistance to more than 40 small businesses in the Tampa Bay area with approximately $250,000 in promotional support. CMG Tampa VP and general manager Keith Lawless states, “CMG understands local businesses are an important part of our communities. The disruption from Hurricane Irma has greatly impacted these businesses. We are proud to help support them at a time when they need it most. With the help of our local sponsors, we are promoting Tampa Bay area businesses across all six of our CMG radio stations.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Promoted at iHeartMedia’s Jacksonville, Florida station group is programmer G Wiz. He rises to SVP of programming in addition to his roles programming hip hop WJBT “93.3 The Beat” and urban AC WSOL “V101.5.” At the same time, country WQIK program director Cindy Spicer takes on the new title senior program director and Skip Kelly assumes the programming role at CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” in addition to his incumbent role as PD of adult hits WWJK “107.3 The River.” …..Making the switch from mornings at Townsquare Media’s CHR KSAS, Boise “103.5 Kiss FM” to afternoons at sister country KAWO “WOW 104.3” is Chris Cruise. KAWO PD Rich Summers had been hosting the afternoon show but is giving it up to focus on programming.