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Archive for December, 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017

| December 21, 2017

Yappy Holidays!  The TALKERS magazine offices will be closed for the holidays on Friday, December 22 and will re-open on Tuesday, January 2.  We will be monitoring all telephone calls at 413-565-5413 and will be reading all emails at info@talkers.com.  We wish all of our readers and sponsors a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Thank you for more than 27 years of friendship and support.

Charles Osgood to End Radio Program Due to Health Concerns.  Yesterday’s announcement by Charles Osgood on his syndicated “Osgood File” program that he is ending the 50-year-old radio institution on the advice of his doctors no doubt came as a shock to his fans (and to programmers who carry the “Osgood File”).  It was just a couple of weeks ago that Westwood One announced a new deal to continue syndicating the daily vignettes produced by the 84-year-old broadcasting legend.  But now, apparently Osgood’s health is not good enough to allow him to continue to work.

The Top News/Talk Stories of 2017.  For more than 27 years, TALKERS magazine research has been tracking the stories and people discussed on news/talk radio stations across the country.  At the end of each year, we publish a retrospective of the stories and people that resonated with talk radio hosts and their listeners during the year and rank them according to the attention they received across the format.  Below is the chart for the top news/talk stories and people of 2017.

WW1 to Launch Dennis Miller Feature in January.  It’s been more than two years since entertainer Dennis Miller ended his daily talk radio show that was syndicated by Westwood One.  Now, Miller is back in the WW1 fold to host a daily radio feature.  The company says, “Dennis will share his idiosyncratic take on topical issues, the culture, and what Americans are talking about in two distinct 60-second programs, Monday through Friday.  The new Dennis Miller feature will showcase his incomparable wit and wisdom and be delivered in the unique Dennis Miller style.  Each episode informs, engages, and entertains listeners.”  The new feature debuts on January 22.

Ryen Russillo to Quit ESPN Radio for New Opportunities.  The ESPN Radio personality was offered a new deal with the sports content giant but, according to a press statement from ESPN Audio SVP Traug Keller, “He has decided to pursue other opportunities when his contract expires next year.”  Russillo will continue to produce podcasts for ESPN through next summer, but his final radio show will be tomorrow (12/22).  Keller added, “Ryen has been a signature voice for ESPN Audio for more than a decade, also contributing to other ESPN platforms with his work on the NBA, college football and more.  I respect his decision and we wish him continued success.”  Russillo was slated to partner up with Will Cain for the “Russillo and Cain” show to air from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET on the network, starting in January.  Russillo says, “This was a really tough decision.  ESPN Radio means a lot to me.  Even though I won’t be sitting in a studio every day like I have for the last eight-plus years, I’m looking forward to working on a podcast and still providing content for the company.”  The Washington Post’s Cindy Boren speculates that Russillo “is likely to have opportunities elsewhere, especially with Barstool Sports getting its own SiriusXM radio channel starting January 15.”  No word from ESPN Radio on who might be paired with Will Cain next month.

WPEN-FM, Philadelphia’s Mike Missanelli Show to Simulcast on NBC Sports Philadelphia.  Starting next year, the Mike Missanellli show – heard on Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” in afternoon drive – will be simulcast on NBC Sports Philadelphia.  Beasley Philly VP and market manager Joe Bell comments, “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to have Mike Missanelli’s show on both ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ and NBC Sports Philadelphia.  We recently signed a multi-year extension deal with him.  This exciting new partnership will be an added bonus for the dedicated Philadelphia fans who are passionate about their sports teams.”  The simulcast will take place from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, leaving the 5:00 pm hour to air on radio only.

Craig Carton Rumored to Be Talking with Barstool Sports.  As mentioned in the Russillo story above, Barstool Sports is launching a channel on SiriusXM next month and Sporting NewsMichael McCarthy reports that he hears former WFAN, New York morning drive co-host Craig Carton is in talks with the multi-media company.  Carton, who resigned from WFAN after being charged by the Feds with operating a Ponzi scheme, recently launched his own podcast titled, “Hello My Name Is Craig.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Here are two items reported by Dave Hughes at his DCRTV.com site.  First, Hughes says he’s hearing that radio personality Derek Hunter is leaving Hearst’s news/talk WBAL-AM, Baltimore.  Hunter hosts the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm program.  Second, Hughes was first to report that WTOP, Washington morning news anchor Mike Moss is no longer with the Hubbard Radio all-news outlet.  Moss had been with WTOP since 1996…..Former FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly is promising a legal fight with three women who are filing a defamation suit against him.  As has been reported in numerous places, Rachel Witlieb Bernstein initially filed a suit against O’Reilly and has since been joined by Andrea Mackris and Rebecca Gomez Diamond.  They allege that O’Reilly and FOX News violated the terms of the settlements after they publicly attempted to portray the women as dishonest and politically motivated.  O’Reilly’s attorneys argue that the women are the ones who invited press coverage of their issues in the first place.  The Hill notes that Mackris, Gomez and Diamond settled separate sexual harassment cases against O’Reilly…..SiriusXM is presenting a special tribute to the legendary comedian Don Rickles beginning at 6:00 pm on Christmas Day on its Comedy Greats channel.  Ron Bennington hosts the new documentary, “A Life In Comedy,” featuring interviews with some of the biggest names from comedy’s past and present…..Earlier in the week, TALKERS magazine reported that iHeartMedia will air the audio of all-news WBZ-AM, Boston on the HD-2 channel of co-owned WBWL.  The company is also making news/talk WRKO available on the FM dial via the HD-2 channel of classic rock WZLX-FM.

GOP Tax Reform Passed, Mueller-Led Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea Nuke Threats, U.S. Life Expectancy Falls Again, U.N. Jerusalem Vote, Russia Rehearses European Invasion, and NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/20).  The Republican tax reform plan is passed in to law by Congress; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; North Korea’s nuclear threats against the U.S.; life expectancy in the U.S. falls for the second straight year due to opioid fatalities; the U.N. Security Council’s expected vote rejecting the U.S.’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and re-locate its embassy there; reports that Russian military forces have rehearsed a European invasion scenario; and NFL and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Amplifi Media’s Steven Goldstein is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the radio industry’s leading experts on podcasting and the digital extensions of traditional broadcasting, Steven Goldstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Goldstein is the former EVP and group program director of Saga Communications and, prior to that was a multi-faceted veteran of major market radio including WABC, New York as well as the NBC and ABC Radio Networks.  In 2015, he launched and became CEO of Amplifi Media, a consulting firm whose main function is to help the management and talent of other media companies navigate successful paths through the wild frontier of the emerging digital era.  In an extremely illuminating conversation, Harrison and Goldstein discuss the programming and marketing of podcasting, the “internet of things” and loss of privacy, the developing impact of voice-activated smart speakers, generational media-consuming habits and the future of terrestrial radio.  This program is 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. There is a settlement in the union battle between Spanish Broadcasting System and SAG-AFTRA.  This issue stems from the union’s allegation that, in March 2017, eight employees of SBS’s radio stations KLAX and KXOL in Los Angeles were unlawfully terminated in retaliation for exercising their right to unionize.  Under the terms of the agreement, all employees receive full back pay, interest and expenses through January 14, 2018.  SBS offered the choice of reinstatement or significant front pay to all eight employees, and most chose to return to work to their former positions at SBS.  A few elected to move on and receive front pay.  The agreement also provides that SBS must engage in good faith bargaining with the goal of obtaining a collective bargaining agreement, and requires a rigorous bargaining schedule.  SBS has agreed that by mid-January, it will provide to SAG-AFTRA an economic proposal, including specific dollar figures for wages and fees to be paid to bargaining unit members…..The rock band Ivory Black, hailing from Kansas City, was named the winner of Cumulus Media’s inaugural “neXt2rock 2017” competition.  The national and local grassroots search for the nation’s newest rock star featured live performances from the top five national finalists and a special performance by John Varvatos Records recording artist Badflower.  The competition featured up-and-coming rock talent via a national radio grass roots talent search and artist development program for rock music…..Country music artist Danielle Bradbery was one of the stars of WKLB, Boston’s Holiday Jam at the House of Blues on December 14 that included High Valley and LOCASH.  Some of the Beasley Boston staff is pictured below with Bradbery (from l-r): Santa Claus, WKLB music director Dawn Santolucito, promotions coordinator Christina Serrano, midday personality Carolyn Kruse, Bradbery, morning show hosts Hannah Byrom and Jackson Blue, afternoon drive personality Kevin Kennedy, and program director David Corey.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

| December 20, 2017

Beasley WMJX-WBZ-FM Exchange Is Complete.  The asset exchange between Beasley Broadcast Group and Entercom Communications, in which Beasley gave hot AC WMJX, Boston and $12 million cash to Entercom in exchange for sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” is complete.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The addition of WBZ-FM to our broadcast portfolio highlights Beasley’s focus on premium local programming and content and is complementary to our five other radio stations and digital operations in the Boston market.  Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group’s 56-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the communities where we operate with the best local programming and brands, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  The addition of WBZ-FM to our portfolio addresses all of these strategic objectives as it strengthens our company’s presence and commitment to locally originated content in the Boston market.”

WABC, New York’s Curtis Sliwa Says Goal Is to Be on the Radio for Christmas. The WABC, New York radio personality recently underwent an eight-hour surgical procedure for Crohn’s disease that resulted in the removal of half of his small intestines and half of his large intestines.  Curtis Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine, “I am now taking fentanyl for the pain relief – which is 10 times more powerful than morphine.  The goal – as I continue to receive blood transfusions and get fed through an IV – is to be home for Christmas.  The surgeons all said that they would be home for Christmas with their families and they agreed that the goal for me should be likewise.  Many of our listeners on Christmas have only their terrestrial radio as their friends.  Many are older, single, or are shut-ins.  Without radio they would be super-depressed.  It is for some their only friend.  This Christmas will mark 27 years in talk radio for me.  I will do a live program with my family on air and in the WABC studios. I’m lucky to be alive and I want to share my Christmas with all those who have no one to share their Christmas with.”

CBS Sports Radio Network to Launch New ‘Taz and the Moose’ Morning Show.  The new “Taz and the Moose” show will replace the current “Gio and Jones” program in the 6:00 am to 9:00 am daypart on the network.  CBS SPORTS RADIO says the new block of “entertaining, energetic, and engaging sports talk” will be anchored by professional wrestling world heavyweight champion and popular podcast host Taz, a.k.a. Pete Senerchia, and CBS SPORTS RADIO talent and TV host Marc “The Moose” Malusis.   Gregg Giannotti of “Gio and Jones” is joining Boomer Esiason for mornings on WFAN, New York, effective in January.  CBS SPORTS RADIO director of programming Eric Spitz states, “We’re extremely excited for the debut of ‘Taz and the Moose.’  As the host of an extremely successful podcast, Taz has done an amazing job of transitioning from a successful career as a professional wrestler into sports broadcasting.  Moose has hosted two popular weekend shows on CBS SPORTS RADIO since our launch five years ago.  I know he is ready for this opportunity.”

Michael Harrison Says “Radio Is Now a State of Mind” in TechRepublic Video.  According to TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, the culturally iconic paradigm of “radio” being a closed system consisting of a production company that produces and broadcasts a linear procession of scheduled programs in standardized parcels of time from a local building via a transmitter and tower to a specialized appliance with the capacity of AM/FM reception on a specific frequency licensed by the government is a limited and archaic definition of the term as it applies to the process of popular news, sports and entertainment audio broadcasting in the modern era.  In an exclusive video interview conducted by CBS Interactive senior reporter Dan Patterson for Tech Republic posted yesterday (12/19), Harrison says the aforementioned system still has some life in it in terms of audience and revenue but it is increasingly fading on both counts with each passing year in the digital era.  It is being replaced by the digital extensions of the original concept that include podcasting, on demand programming and a multi-channel array of branded programs that enjoy the non-standardized and unlimited manipulation of space and time.  Harrison says the traditional concept of “radio” that most of its practitioners and fans grew up with is now basically “a state of mind” that simply influences the spirit and flavor of a far more diverse set of products and listening methods.  The challenge facing the radio business at this time is dealing with stifling debt accrued during the waning years of the analogue era while comfortably transitioning into a digital revenue model.  “The digital age has made it difficult for all media that sells advertising to evolve into the new business model,” Harrison says. “It’s much more difficult to sell advertising for the same amount of money.”  He adds, “We haven’t really come up with a way yet to comfortably embed advertising into the digital space. It’s very obtrusive. It’s annoying.”  Harrison suggests, “For radio shows to be successful in today’s digital age, they must target an audience that is underserved and passionate about a particular topic and then gain credibility with them.  All of the content must be pertinent, good, and credible for people to believe in it.”  Harrison sums it up, “The good news for people looking to get into the radio business is that it’s easier than ever to get your foot in the door with the technology that is available today.  However, the bad news is that it’s much more difficult to fight through the noise to make your voice heard and brand gain traction.  For just engaging an audience, the bar has never been higher.”  To view the interview in its entirety, please click here.

GOP Tax Reform Plan, Amtrak Crash, North Korea Nukes/WannaCry, Trump Approval Rating/Hillary Favorable Rating, Jerusalem Capital Recognition, Sexual Misconduct Cases, California Wildfires, and NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19).  The Senate passes the Republican tax reform plan; the investigation into the deadly Amtrak crash in Washington state; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the U.S. government’s blaming the hermit kingdom for the WannaCry computer virus; President Trump’s approval rating sinks to 35% and Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating dips to 36%; U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley warns nations U.S. is “taking names” of those voting for resolution against U.S. recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; the ongoing discussion about sexual misconduct; the status of the Southern California wildfires; and NFL and NBA 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.  Programming changes take place at Radio One’s Philadelphia operation as urban contemporary WRNB adds new drive time shows.  Beginning January 4, “The Quincy Harris Morning Show with K Foxx” and “The DL Hughley Show” join the roster for mornings and afternoons, respectively.  Radio One says Quincy Harris is returning to radio after 15 years.  He’s been serving with WTXF-TV, Philadelphia “FOX 29” on the “Good Day Philadelphia” show.  Now, after two seasons on that program, Harris is hosting his own “FOX 29” show “The Q” weekdays at 12:00 noon.  A statement from the company says, “For the past two years, WRNB programming has ranked 13th to 16th in the 25-54 demo.  Although we share in our listeners’ admiration for our impacted talent, as this change wasn’t easy for us either, it is critical that we take calculated risks to re-imagine and reposition this station for long-term success.  Radio One’s commitment to the Black community is unwavering.  In fact, it is the impetus for our changes and the passion that drives our work daily.”…..At Riviera Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KOAI, Sun City West/K235CB, Chandler “Oasis 95.1 & 94.9” (Phoenix market), Monica Nelson returns to the station to host the 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm show.  Director of operations Marc Young comments, “We are excited to welcome Monica back to our company after a brief hiatus.  Monica is beloved for her sincere connection to the community and her fans.  Her wit, humor, and real-life experiences will once again be enriching the Phoenix radio airwaves.”…..WAY-FM, Louisville adds Ben Smith as community impact director/operations coordinator.  Smith has most recently served with Thy Word Radio Network in Evansville, Indiana…..iHeartMedia names Pedro Javier González has been SVP of programming for iHeartLatino.  González reports to Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer for iHeartLatino and Brad Hardin, EVP and general manager for iHeartMedia’s national programming group.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

| December 19, 2017

Midwest Television to Sell San Diego TV and Radio Stations to Tegna for $325 Million.  Obviously, the bulk of that price tag relates to the value of the television stations KFMB-TV and the sub-channel that carries The CW.  But, included in the deal between Midwest Television and Tegna are the two radio stations – news/talk KFMB-AM and triple A KFMB-FM.  Tegna is the company that operates the television and local digital media outlets that used to be part of the Gannett brand before the company split, with Gannett continuing to operate the newspaper division.  The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the $325 million acquisition is a cash deal.  It cites a Tegna spokeswoman saying Tegna has no plans to make any changes to the operations of the TV or radio stations.  Tegna owns 46 television stations in 36 markets.  The San Diego radio stations will be its first radio properties.

KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Anchor Russell Mills Takes Part in Journalists Trip to Pakistan.  The program that brought KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa anchor and reporter Russell Mills (pictured) to Pakistan is a cooperative effort between the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord School of Journalism, the U.S. State Department and a Pakistani organization called Uks (the Urdu translation of which is “reflection”).  In the first chapter of his reports from Pakistan, Mills says the country has come far in recent years.  Back in 2002, the only radio and television outlets were run by the state.  Now, there are private media entities and Mills says reporters enjoy “a great deal of latitude in what they cover and how they cover it.”  But, he says they also “face the possibility of censorship, from both the military and civil government.”  He says the strict blasphemy laws complicate the journalistic process and physical danger is real: 14 journalists were killed in 2014.  Read his report here.

Boyd Named to Lead Cumulus Mobile.  This is a promotion within Cumulus Media for Don Boyd, who leaves his general sales manager role at the company’s Atlanta station group to move to Mobile to lead the cluster as vice president and market manager.  Cumulus Mobile includes: news/talk WQXW, urban contemporary WDLT, CHR WABD, hip hop WBLX, and Gospel WGOK-AM.  Cumulus Media EVP Bob Walker comments, “Don Boyd is a seasoned media manager and operator with an established track record in leading high-performing teams that grow station brands and drive revenue.  He will be a great addition to the team in Mobile as vice president/market manager of our five-station group.”

FOX News Radio Renews Deal with CMG for Brian Kilmeade Show.  The nationally syndicated Brian Kilmeade radio show picks up some additional broadcast hours on three affiliates and is added to the program schedule on another.  The new deal between FOX News Radio and Cox Media Group brings the Kilmeade talk show to KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa for the first time.  It also extends the airing of the show to 9:00 am to 11:00 am on WDBO-FM, Orlando and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville; and from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton.  Kilmeade is one third of the FOX News Channel “Fox & Friends” morning show alongside Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt.

TALKERS News Notes. At news/talk KQTH, Tucson, talk show host James T. Harris exits the station after a six-year run.  Harris was a weekend and fill-in host at Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee before relocating to Tucson to host the two-hour midday show in October of 2011.  In September of 2012, he moved to the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm afternoon drive daypart.  Scripps has not announced its plans for the afternoon show…..NPR reveals its plan for the afternoon “All Things Considered” program with the impending retirement of longtime host Robert Siegel.  The public radio content creator is moving national security correspondent Mary Louise Kelly into the co-host role alongside Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro, effective January 17.  Kelly McEvers has been co-hosting both “All Things Considered” and producing “Embedded.”  She will relinquish the ATC role and continue to focus on “Embedded.”…..There’s been a change of heart at TV One, though it’s hard to tell if Reach Media syndicated radio star Tom Joyner’s call for a boycott of TV One forced programmers to reconsider canceling the Roland Martin-hosted news program, “NewsOne Now.”  Regardless, TV One (a subsidiary of Urban One) now says it will not cancel the program and is “working to restructure ‘NewsOne Now’ in 2018 under a new format that will better serve its audience and advertisers.”…..iHeartMedia begins broadcasting the signal from all-news WBZ-AM, Boston on the HD-2 channel of sister CHR WXKS-FM at 107.9 FM.

ESPN’s John Skipper Resigns to Seek Addiction Treatment.  The report that ESPN president John Skipper is resigning his position with the sports media giant to seek addiction treatment shocked the media world.  After all, Skipper had just signed a new multi-year contract and there were no indications (at least none reported) that something like this was an issue.  Executive chairman John Bodenheimer will slide back into the president role for the interim while the company seeks a new president.

GOP Tax Reform Plan, Soaring Dow, Washington Train Disaster, Obama-Hezbollah Drug Trafficking Allegation, Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Relations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, The Last Jedi, and Sunday’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/18). The politics of the GOP tax reform plan and reports of the public’s mood on the matter; the Dow rises 5,000 points in Donald Trump’s first year in office; the deadly Amtrak train crash in Washington state; the allegation an Obama Administration policy left the door open to Hezbollah-sponsored U.S. drug trafficking; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and China over the Trump Administration’s national security policy; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi; and Sunday’s NFL 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.  Windy City radio pro Dave Fogel joins Kim Berk to co-host the AM drive show on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Fogel was most recently co-host of the morning show on crosstown adult hits WJMK, but Entercom quickly flipped the station to hip hop after acquiring it in the CBS RADIO merger.   Fogel had been heard on WLS-FM in the past – from 2010 through 2013 in morning drive.  With Fogel’s arrival, local weather personality Brant Miller leaves the co-host role and will anchor the weather on Cumulus’ WLS-FM and news/talk WLS-AM…..After last week’s shuffle of rock station frequencies in the Denver Region, iHeartMedia announces the flip to country for KWYW, Denver – now branded as “106.7 The Bull.”  The station launches 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row and will be an affiliate for Premiere NetworksBobby Bones morning drive show…..Urban radio pros Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins are being reunited at Radio One’s urban contemporary simulcast WMMJ, Washington/WDCJ, Prince Frederick, Maryland “MAJIC 102.3 and 92.7 FM.”  Effective January 16, the afternoon show becomes “The Donnie Simpson Show” featuring Simpson and Perkins.  The duo worked together on Radio One’s hip hop WKYS-FM from 1985 to 1992.  For the past 20 years, Perkins has been serving with WTTG-TV “FOX 5 Washington.”  Radio One DC VP and general manager Jeffrey Wilson comments, “We are honored to deliver ‘The Real Sound of the DMV’ and that’s not better defined than the historic pairing of Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins.  So, for the great people of this region we made it happen.  Donnie and Tony are back together for the New Year.  And with that new partnership, comes new opportunities to serve our communities with Donnie, Tony, and our friends at ‘FOX 5’ in the months and years to come.”  Perkins will remain with “FOX 5,” hosting Friday and Saturday mornings, beginning January 19…..Cumulus Media names programming pro Roger McCoy program director and afternoon drive host for country WLXX-FM, Lexington, Kentucky “NASH FM 92.9.”  McCoy has been with the company’s country WESC, Greenville, South Carolina as evening personality…..Rock radio programmer Russ Mottla is the new program director at NRG Media’s rock KFMW, Waterloo/Cedar Falls/Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Mottla has served as vice president of programming at Envisage Radio Group.  He’s also held programming positions at such rock outlets as WGIR, Manchester, New Hampshire; WIYY, Baltimore; and WFNX, Boston.

Bob & Sheri Welcome Troops Home.  The nationally syndicated Bob & Sheri show helped welcome the troops coming home through the Charlotte airports as part of USO’s annual Operation Exodus.  Bob & Sheri helped provide “big smiles, words of gratitude and breakfast to 3,900-plus men and women returning from deployment and heading home to family and friends. Many of the troops traveling for Operation Exodus are fresh out of basic training and returning home for their first visit since enlisting.  Pictured above are Bob (far left) and Sheri (far right) with service members.

Monday, December 18, 2017

| December 18, 2017

Pittsburgh’s All-News KQV to Shut Down at Year’s End.  According to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the news does not mean a format change or sale to a new operator – the Dickey Family-owned station is signing off at the end of the year after 42 years as a news operation.  Robert W. Dickey Jr. (no relation to the Atlanta and Cumulus Dickeys) tells the paper, “Candidly, I think it’s a sad day for broadcasting.”  The Dickey family has owned or co-owned the station since 1982.  The historic signal has been on the air for almost 100 years.  Dickey Jr. adds, “It’s fair to say we’ve been trying to provide a community service.  The bottom line is I just can’t sustain the business model.  We’re an independent, labor-intensive format, and we were happy to take it on as long as we could financially do it.”  Barring some interest from a buyer or investor, the station – which employs about 20 people – will shut down on December 31.

Hubbard Announces Changes to Digital Leadership.  At the corporate offices of Hubbard Radio, EVP/chief financial officer Dave Bestler announces that Jeremy Sinon is being elevated to VP/digital strategy and Steve Goldstein is being named senior director of digital sales strategy.  Sinon was most recently the director of digital strategy for Hubbard Radio.  He will work closely with Bestler, Hubbard Radio president/COO Drew Horowitz, and Hubbard Radio chair Ginny Morris to oversee day-to-day corporate digital initiatives as well as the strategy for Hubbard Radio’s long-term digital goals.  Goldstein will split duties in Washington, DC where he also oversees the local digital sales effort as director of digital sales.  Goldstein has been at WTOP and WFED in Washington, DC for the past 11-and-a-half years.  As senior director of digital sales strategy, Goldstein will work with the local Hubbard markets to utilize best practices and maximize digital sales opportunities.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo’s Tom Bauerle Recovering from Successful Bypass Surgery.  The Entercom news/talk station reports on its website that afternoon drive talk host Tom Bauerle underwent successful quadruple bypass surgery at Gates Vascular Institute on December 8.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported that Bauerle had been experiencing chest pain and, at the insistence of his co-host David Bellavia and Bauerle’s fiancé, he went to a local urgent care clinic and was then transferred to Gates where his heart condition was being evaluated.  At that time, Bauerle stated he believed he’d miss time on the air to recuperate and may not return until later in January.

TALKERS News Notes.  Embattled public TV personality Tavis Smiley says PBS “made a huge mistake here” – referring to the pubcaster’s decision to cut ties with his firm to distribute “The Tavis Smiley Show” to PBS affiliates after allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against him.  Speaking during a live, sit-down interview on “Good Morning America,” Smiley said he’s never groped women nor has he coerced any women into relationships with him.  He admits to romantic relationships with women while working on his show but says the relationships were consensual and he can prove that.  See the ABC News story here…..An MSNBC spokesperson is saying that NBC made a “separation-related payment” to a former staffer of talk show host Chris Matthews after a complaint of sexual harassment against him.   The amount paid as part of a severance package for the unnamed, former assistant producer for the “Hardball” program is in dispute, but the company says after a review of the accusation, Matthews was reprimanded.  The Daily Caller reports that MSNBC deemed Matthews’ behavior “inappropriate and juvenile,” but not to be taken seriously as propositions…..Singer-songwriter and Sportsman TV Channel host Andy Ross has just released a new song – one that perfectly touches on the intersection of the holiday season and the turbulent political times – titled, “Make Christmas Great Again.”  Ross, who has been a successful host of “Maximum Archery” on the Sportsman TV channel for years, was inspired to release the new song given the political climate.  You can hear the song here.  Ross makes a great guest on talk radio and is available for interviews.  To book him, call Janet Fallon at 703-469-3766 or email her at Janet.Fallon@gmail.com.

California Wildfires, Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Sen. John McCain Health, ATL Airport Power Outage, North Korean Nuclear Program, Pope Speaks on Media ‘Sins,’ The Last Jedi, and NFL Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The now two-week-old Southern California wildfires; Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian agents and Mueller’s acquisition of key emails; the state of the GOP tax reform bill; Arizona Senator John McCain’s health as he returns to Arizona for treatment for brain cancer; a power outage at the Atlanta airport causes massive U.S. air travel problems; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the U.S.; Pope Francis says sensational journalism and fake news are sins; the latest Star Wars film The Last Jedi, and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

“Yappy Tour” Rolls in the UK.  Pictured above being interviewed by famed British talk personality (BOB-FM, BBCGraham Mack in London, England is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).   Duncan, a former producer, chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature including: Donald TrumpOmarosa ManigaultDavid LettermanJoe BidenMike HuckabeeGeraldo RiveraJoan Rivers and dozens more.  Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation and now internationally to both the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on into 2018.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 125 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Guam Radio Broadcaster Ray Gibson of Choice Broadcasting’s ThePOINT is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Guam, a small tropical island in the Western Pacific, is the farthest outpost from the US mainland of all American territories.  Aside from its active tourism industry, Guam is home to a major US military presence and has long played a very important role in American geopolitical interests.  It is the American “tip of the spear” in terms of present-day heightened tensions between the US and North Korea.  In spite of its remote location, Guam has always been an active market for American-style popular media – especially radio – with a colorful history of outstanding deejays and popular music formats ranging from old-style, top 40 to CHR and adult contemporary.  Talk radio in Guam has mostly focused on local civic and lifestyle issues – until now.  In recent weeks, Choice Broadcasting has soft launched a new format called “ThePOINT” on KUSG 1350 AM and 93.3 FM that emulates the traditional American conservative news/talk radio featuring a local show in the morning and syndicated national stars throughout the day.  Such notables as Rush LimbaughSean HannityJim BohannonJohn Gibson and others have begun airing in this exotic land of Asian, Spanish and American culture located on the other side of the International Date Line.  The morning show that launches in January will be hosted by Choice Broadcasting managing partner and veteran Guam radio personality Ray Gibson who has been spearheading this initiative.  Gibson, a Guam native and second-generation radio personality (the son of Bill Gibson), is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Don’t miss this fascinating and informative almost-8,000-mile telephone conversation!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, 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.  Country programming pro T Gentry is moving from Beasley Media Group’s operations manager in the Tampa market (where he also programmed country WQYK) to the company’s Augusta, Georgia cluster where he’ll be operations manager and program director for WKXC “Kicks 99,” effective today (12/18).  Beasley Augusta VP and market manager Kent Dunn says, “T has done a tremendous job over the past 17 years at Beasley Media Group.  He did great in Tampa, but has decided to return to Augusta to be closer to his family.  We are absolutely thrilled to welcome him home to lead our team and ‘Kicks 99!’”  Chris O’Kelly remains on staff as assistant program director and music director of “Kicks 99.”…..Charlotte country outlet WSOC announces the 11th Annual Stout Pull Guitar Pull is taking place on Tuesday, January 9 at Coyote Joe’s in Charlotte.  The live event will feature Dylan Scott, Midland, and Devin DawsonBeasley Media Group says the annual show draws country music fans from across the Carolinas to see their favorite artists collaborate in an intimate stage setting.  The concert benefits Loaves and Fishes and ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music.  WSOC program director DJ Stout says, “The Stout Pull has become a staple in Charlotte for country music lovers.  It’s a unique environment with all artists performing on the stage at the same time.  We keep the cost of the tickets low, so not only is it affordable, but we also give back to the community through music.  It’s a great deal all around.”…..Classic rock WCSX, Detroit received a visit from rock legend Bob Seger last Thursday (12/14).  He appeared on the “Big Jim’s House” morning show during which he talked about his new album, I Knew You When, his late friend Glenn Frey, and more.  Pictured below are (from l-r): “Big Jim’s House” host Jim O’Brien, co-host Erin Vermeulen, Seger, and midday personality Juline Jordan.

Friday, December 15, 2017

| December 15, 2017

CRTV Expands Content in 2018; Andrew Wilkow to Host Thrice-Weekly Show.  The digital video platform CRTV is announcing new programming to launch in the New Year.  Joining the existing programming will be a program hosted by Andrew Wilkow that will offer new episodes three times per week.  Wilkow hosts the daily satellite radio show, “The Wilkow Majority,” on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel.  He says, “CRTV has been rapidly signing talent and creating content for dedicated followers on constitutional conservative and libertarian thought.  I am honored to join the team led by Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin, Phil Robertson, Steven Crowder, Matt Kibbe, Deneen Borelli, and Gavin McInnes.  For those that love ‘The Wilkow Majority,’ this new TV program will be a natural extension.”  Two other new programs debuting in January are “Roaming Millennial: Uncensored,” starring YouTube sensation Roaming Millennial, and twice-per-week videos from Allie Stuckey.  CRTV is parent of the Conservative Review.

Friends and Stars Abound on Mike Francesa’s Penultimate WFAN Show.  Today’s final show will be a bit more subdued that Thursday’s program done live at the Paley Center for Media.  Mike Francesa says today it’ll be just callers and him, with the last half hour or so just him talking to his fans.  But, Thursday’s show involved a gaggle of friends and fellow broadcasters saluting – and ribbing – Francesa on the second-to-last day of his 30-year career at WFAN, New York.  Newsday reports the count of guests was 85 and included former WFAN partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, former WFAN colleague Don Imus, Carl Banks, Tiki Barber, John Calipari, Brian Cashman, Chris Christie, Bob Costas, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz, Dick Ebersol, Jim Fassel, Joe Girardi, Keith Hernandez, Eli Manning, Tim McCarver, Jim Nantz, Regis Philbin, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Tannenbaum, Lawrence Taylor, Suzyn Waldman, Bernie Williams and Kurt Warner.

CMG Radio News Pro Jamie Dupree Profiled by Politico.  He serves Cox Media Group as radio news director of the Washington bureau.  But, about a year-and-a-half ago, Jamie Dupree became increasingly unable to speak due to a condition that was eventually diagnosed as tongue protrusion dystonia.  Unfortunately, there is no cure for the rare affliction and it’s unknown if he’ll ever get his speaking voice back.  He still works for CMG covering the DC political beat because, as M. Scott Mahaskey writes in his piece in Politico, his Cox bosses realize that the connections and trust he’s built up in DC over the past 30 years are “really valuable.”  Back when his voice worked, Dupree was a regular contributor to not only CMG stations, but he made regular appearances on Sean Hannity’s Premiere Networks radio show.  Read more about Dupree’s story here.

SRN’s Greg Clugston Delivers Annual Christmas Poem.  News pro Greg Clugston continues the tradition he began 20 years ago – writing a politically tinged Christmas poem to the rhythm of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.  You can read the entire poem here as USA Today printed the poem for international distribution.  Salem Media Group vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “We are proud to have Greg as part of our SRN News team and to know he has continued this annual tradition under both Democratic and Republican administrations for two decades.”  Clugston (left) is pictured here with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (right) after he read the poem to her and his colleagues from the White House Press Corps.

Roy Moore’s Loss to Doug Jones in Alabama Senate Race Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 11-15.  The special election for the vacant Alabama U.S. Senate seat that saw Democrat Doug Jones beat embattled Republican Roy Moore was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the various allegations of sexual misconduct against celebrities and politicians.  Coming in at #3 was the Republican tax reform plan, followed by the Trump-Russia investigation 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.

Live from London.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison sat in this morning for Doug “VB” Goudie, co-hosting with Kim Carrigan from 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET on the WRKO, Boston morning show from his hotel room in central London using his trusted Comrex Access unit.  Harrison has been on a special UK radio tour gathering material on British media.  Harrison says, “It is amazing how reliable and in-studio-sounding Comrex equipment is, not to mention how easy it is to use.  We had to remind listeners throughout the show that I was several thousand miles away from Kim, producer Jim Clerkin and board operator Marita Mackinnon on the other side of the ocean and not in the same room with them.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At country KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull,” Alpha Media adds Jenn Hays to the “Tony and Jake in Mornings” and re-brands the show “Bull Mornings with Tony, Jake and Jenn,” effective January 8.  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Lisa Decker says, “Following an exhaustive nationwide search it was clear that Jennifer Hays is uniquely qualified to join The Bull’s morning show.  She is very talented, a native of Portland, a huge country music fan and growing up, KUPL was her favorite country station.  She will bring her talent, wit, enthusiasm for Portland and country music home.  The next chapter for The Bull’s morning show is about to be written.  We look forward to a fun and compelling local show as Jenn joins her co-hosts Tony Russell and Jake Byron.”…..Spanish music radio pro Rico Hernandez is named by iHeartMedia Phoenix to the position of morning show talent and executive station producer for KOY-AM/K229DB “El Patron.”  Hernandez will continue to serve as midday personality on the company’s KXEW-AM, Tucson “Tejano 1600.”  iHeartMedia EVP of programming West Division Steve Geofferies comments, “We’re looking forward to Rico’s Spanish expertise and experience.  This is the start of a very exciting time for El Patron in Phoenix.”…..SiriusXM is presenting a special, invitation-only show at Los Angeles’ Troubadour on Tuesday (12/19) by Brian Setzer and his 19-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra.  This is the third consecutive year the show will happen.  The “Christmas Rocks!” concert will air Friday, December 22 at 8:00 pm ET on the Outlaw Country channel.

Music and Radio Pro Roxy Myzal to Retire.  Her career in the music and radio businesses spanned 42 years but now, Roxy Myzal is ready to take it a bit easier and is retiring from her current position with United Stations Radio Networks.  During her career, Myzal was music director at long-ago rock station WXLO-FM, New York; she worked promotions at Atlantic and Chrysalis Records; and served with Rolling Stone creating the “Rolling Stones’ Continuous History of Rock and Roll” radio show.  Most recently, she’s been with USRN overseeing its hardDrive brand.