WBUR, Boston Talk Personality Tom Ashbrook Suspended During Investigation. “On Point” is a public radio talk show produced by WBUR, Boston – owned and operated by Boston University – and syndicated to almost 300 NPR affiliate stations. As reported by WBUR.org, host Tom Ashbrook has been suspended while the school and the station conduct an investigation into allegations, the details of which are not being specified by the station. It released this statement on Friday (12/8): “Yesterday, Boston University and WBUR received some allegations against Tom Ashbrook. Tom will be on leave from his duties at WBUR while an outside organization hired by Boston University examines these allegations. We will decide a course of action after getting the results of this investigation.” In the WBUR.org story, Ashbrook says he’s “stunned at the situation” and says he respects the process the school must go through in this situation.
Mark Kaye Hosting New Daily Talk Show on WOKV, Jacksonville. CHR radio pro Mark Kaye is now hosting a daily talk show on Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville. Kaye is the morning drive host on the company’s sister CHR WAPE. His new talk show airs from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon, in between the Herman Cain show and Rush Limbaugh on the program schedule. Kaye has worked for WOKV in the past, hosting a weekend show.
Former Nevada Broadcasters Association Founding President Admits to Improper Behavior. Radio personality and former Nevada Broadcasters Association president Bob Fisher admits to engaging in “improper behavior” with teenage boys back in the 1980s. This was reported in a piece in Jewish Week that reveals the details of allegations by two men who were 18 and 16 at the time Fisher was a leader of the Pacific Southwest Region of United Synagogue Youth. In the story, Fisher admits to the allegations and says he is ashamed of his behavior, though he says he never forced himself on anyone. He also tells the paper of his dysfunctional childhood and being raped as a child and as a college student.
Nielsen and Cumulus Renew Deal for Ratings Services. The ratings giant is owed approximately $6.65 million by Cumulus Media – that figure was released by Cumulus as part of its Chapter 11 filing. But, Nielsen Audio knows that Cumulus needs its services to help sell its radio stations and national programming on Westwood One. This renewal means Cumulus continues to use the ratings service but will also have access to data from Nielsen Scarborough, enhanced talent analytics from Nielsen N-Score and national networks ratings from Nielsen RADAR. Cumulus EVP of operations Bob Walker comments, “Despite the abundance of media options, radio continues to lead the way in reach and ROI. We are excited to extend our agreement with Nielsen so that we can continue to leverage their vast datasets and analytical insights to provide the proof that we do indeed deliver the highest ROI of any local media to our advertisers.”
PPM Analysis: NBA Flagships. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations that serve as flagship stations for play-by-play broadcasts for NBA teams. Note that this isn’t a review of PPM ratings for game broadcasts, but for weekly 6+ AQH shares for stations that serve as flagships. A number of these stations serve as flagships for NFL and MLB franchises, as well. In addition to charts comparing stations’ ratings in numerous ways, Kinosian reports the station ranks for the Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey and the five previous surveys. At the top of the heap, WBZ-FM, Boston ranked #3 (6+) in November. WTMJ, Milwaukee ranked #4 and WFAN, New York and WXYT-FM, Detroit ranked #5 in their respective markets. See the whole report here.
News Pro Chuck Rich Dead at 65. News pro Charles “Chuck” Rich died suddenly on Friday (12/8) at the age of 65. Chuck Rich was married to Washington, DC public relations pro Rita Rich. During his career, he held positions with WTOP-TV (WUSA), WTOP Radio, AP Radio and for well over 25 years, Westwood One Radio Networks. He also spent many years with Voice of America. He also was a contributing editor for Washingtonian Magazine.
Trump Jerusalem Recognition Reactions, California Wildfires, Iraq’s ISIS Liberation, Roy Moore Campaign, North Korea Nuclear Program, Trump-Russia Probe, Bitcoin Activity, Sunday’s NFL Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The violent protests in the Middle East over President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the raging California wildfires and authorities’ concerns there’s no end in sight to the Santa Ana winds; Iraq declares the country liberated from the ISIS forces that had held control over numerous Iraqi cities; the U.S. Senate campaign of former Alabama judge Roy Moore and allegations of his history of sexual predation; the North Korea nuclear program and the war of words between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the volatility of Bitcoin; Sunday’s NFL games and attendance figures; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
Radio’s Greatest Storytellers. Pictured above at the Entercom broadcast center in Philadelphia are some of radio’s “greatest storytellers” gathered to appear on the Westwood One-syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” program starring Walter M. Sterling. From left to right are: Douglas Henderson Jr., Michael Tearson, Denny Somach, Gary R’Nel, Tommy McCarthy, Rasa Kaye, AJ Essington, Lee Harris, Ross Brittain, Sterling, and Allen Shaw. (Not pictured but on the broadcast were Tommy Woods and Dick Summer.) On the couch is Judy Anderson and Neil Pohl who had a major announcement: He asked her to marry him live on the air and she said “yes.” Sterling tells TALKERS that listeners heard how album rock radio was really invented by Allen Shaw. Michael Tearson revealed the early days of prog rock. Ross Brittain explained that HE was responsible for “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” Doug Henderson described the work of his dad Jocko which aired on a Philly station and a New York City station thanks to a daily train commute. You can hear and download the show on www.waltermsterling.com Tuesday (12/12).
TALKERS News Notes. Radio executive Charlie Ferguson is retiring from Saga Communications where he’s been the VP and general manager at its Springfield, Illinois station group for the past three years. The 65-year-old Ferguson tells the State Journal-Register, “It occurred to me that I have not seen any of my seven grandchildren more than once a year for the last several years. This is probably the right time.” Saga operates news/talk WTAX and six other music formatted signals in the market…..CNN Money is reporting that SiriusXM is getting some “celebrity backlash” from Stephen K. Bannon’s return to the satcaster’s airwaves. As TALKERS reported last week, Bannon is back on the “Breitbart News Daily” morning program that’s part of the Patriot channel lineup and that has some celebs, including musician Melissa Etheridge, vowing not to appear on the radio service. Etheridge says she’s no longer going to do her “Melissa’s Basement” interview show that aired on the Volume channel. Actors Seth Rogan and John Leguizamo have also said they’ll not appear on SiriusXM anymore…..In Columbus, Ohio, sports talk host (and former NFL linebacker) Bobby Carpenter renews with RadiOhio’s sports talk WBNS-FM “97.1 The Fan” for a multi-year deal to continue co-hosting the midday “Carpenter and Rothman” show with Anthony Rothman.
Howie Carr Hosts NH Toy Drive. Regionally syndicated New England talk radio superstar Howie Carr held a special toy drive event in partnership with Two International Group in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Friday (12/8). Carr broadcast his program from the lobby of Two International Group and collected toys for the Toys For Tots program. Carr is pictured here with four New Hampshire State Police Troopers who came by to donate toys. Howie Carr’s show is heard on more than 25 affiliate stations in New England and is seen nationwide on Newsmax TV.
Mitch Albom Radiothon Raises Record Dough for Detroit Charities. Pictured above, WJR, Detroit afternoon drive host Mitch Albom (second from right) celebrates the announcement of the record $1.25 million raised during last Thursday’s radiothon event to benefit Mitch Albom Charities (which benefits other Detroit charities). Post-radiothon donations have boosted that total to more than $1.8 million! The 15-hour show was hosted by Albom, with dozens of celebrity guests appearing, including: Dr. Phil, Hugh Jackman, Hank Azaria, Matthew Stafford and more.
Beasley NYC Holiday Bash. Last Friday (12/8), Beasley Media Group held its Holiday Soiree at the Park Central Hotel in New York City. The festivities included performances by SEAL and Brothers Osborne. Pictured above are (from l-r): Bruce Beasley, SEAL, Caroline Beasley and Brian Beasley.
KSFO, San Francisco Morning Host Brian Sussman is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the nation’s hottest local morning radio talk show hosts, Brian Sussman of Cumulus Media O&O KSFO, San Francisco, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Sussman discusses the challenges of doing competitive morning news/talk radio which requires finding the correct balance between hard political issues and more general interest areas of pop culture and fun. He also talks about his fascinating transition from being one of the most popular TV meteorologists in the Bay Area for many years to becoming a radio talker. Don’t miss this interesting and informative conversation! 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. St. Louis CHR KSLZ “Z107.7” names Jordan host of the morning drive program. The iHeartMedia SVP of programming for St. Louis A.J. says, “Jordan is one of the best radio talents in the industry. Moving him to mornings will help write the next chapter in ‘Z107.7’ history. During his time in St. Louis, Jordan has had tremendous success with afternoons and we are very excited for him to host a fun, compelling and local morning show for St. Louis.”…..In iHeartMedia’s Denver Region, changes take place in its rock radio formats. Effective today, KBPI, Denver “Rocks the Rockies” programming is being simulcast on KPAW, Fort Collins and KDZA, Colorado Springs. The station’s programming includes “Your Morning Show with Willie B” and air personalities Beardo and Colfax. At the same time, the KPAW, Fort Collins format will replace the adult contemporary format on KYWY, Warren AFB, Wyoming.
Former Radio Exec Perry Ury Passes at 91. Retired radio executive Perry Ury passed away at his home in Sarasota, Florida a week shy of his 92nd birthday. Ury led WRKO, Boston “Big 68” during its CHR days. He went on to manage all of the RKO radio stations. After serving with RKO, he managed WTIC-AM and WTIC-FM in Hartford until his retirement.