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, BBC) Graham 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 Raphael, Larry King, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Gil Gross, Charles 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 Trump, Omarosa Manigault, David Letterman, Joe Biden, Mike Huckabee, Geraldo Rivera, Joan 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 Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Jim Bohannon, John 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 Dawson. Beasley 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.