Possible Deal Brewing in St. Louis Involving KTRS and KFNS. As reported in the St. Louis Post- Dispatch, (mostly) sports talk KFNS owner Randy Markel is ready to sell KFNS and he’s in talks with crosstown news/talk KTRS owner CH Holdings. Dan Caesar’s piece reports that this is in the early stages as the full CH Holdings board has not yet been presented with details of a deal and Markel says he’s had talks with others about acquiring KFNS. Markel told the paper he’s spent about $3 million to resuscitate KFNS after buying it out of bankruptcy. An interesting twist to the story is that a number of former KTRS staffers – including former afternoon personality Frank O. Pinion – now work at KFNS and a reunion of them with KTRS management might be less than smooth. For now though, KFNS is on the block and only time will tell if there’s a serious buyer for the signal.
Laura Ingraham in Legal Battle Over Fired Former Assistant. The suit against Courtside Entertainment nationally syndicated radio host and FOX News Channel personality Laura Ingraham was filed in Washington, DC Superior Court by former Ingraham assistant Karolina Wilson and claims that Ingraham and her company violated anti-discrimination laws and DC’s Family and Medical Leave Act. The suit alleges that Wilson worked for Ingraham with “proficiency” for 16 months prior to becoming pregnant. After notifying Ingraham over her condition, Wilson says Ingraham’s attitude toward her changed with Ingraham becoming “distant and angry with her work performance.” The two sides also allegedly argued over proper maternity leave time after Wilson’s child was born. Upon returning to work, Wilson was fired from her position. In a response to the Washington Post, about the suit, Ingraham’s attorney denies the allegations and in response to the suit, rejects Wilson’s contention that her work prior to becoming pregnant was “extremely efficient.” The two sides are expected in court for a hearing on May 11.
Daria Dolan Expresses Gratitude and Optimism to the Radio Industry. As reported in TALKERS (4/18), pioneering financial talk show host Ken Dolan of the legendary husband-wife team “The Dolans” passed away last Tuesday (4/17) after a long battle with lymphoma. Readers wanting to reach out to his media partner and wife of 46 years, Daria Dolan, were advised that they could do so through longtime family friend Michael Harrison via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. According to Harrison, “The huge amount of heartfelt emails and phone calls from all ends of the industry expressing love and support for Daria has been truly wonderful. However, I’m not at all surprised by the stunning outpouring of love and emotion. The Dolans are a truly special part of radio’s golden history.” Daria Dolan has written the following note of gratitude to the radio industry: When Michael Harrison asked to do a tribute to Ken I was touched and thrilled. Ken Dolan lived and breathed radio and was so good at it. I was just fortunate to be along for the ride. I often characterized myself as the guy at the end of the parade with the can, shovel and broom. But the response of so many of you surpasses touched and thrilled. Too many people these days say radio is dead or simply on its last legs. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the on-air personalities to the support staff in the booths and the copy editors and traffic managers in the ad departments, your overwhelming reaching out to me confirms my belief that no industry with heart that beats as strongly as I have seen and heard in emails and phone calls could possibly be dying. Your heartfelt responses show me an industry that has plenty of life left. Radio may certainly be evolving but it is NOT dying. So please keep the wonderful spark you all have alive and continue to give it your all every day. It’s true that part of my heart has gone to another place, but the other piece is here with all of you in solidarity. It will remain so until I join Ken again. Thank you so much for caring about my Ken and saving some of the concern for me as well.
– Daria Dolan
McMahon: Why Radio (and TV) Newscasts Sound the Same. Consultant Bill McMahon writes today about the “sameness” of radio (and television) news reporting. Using the case of the media coverage of the execution of convicted murderer Cal Brown as his case study, McMahon illustrates how numerous news outlets can send crews to the same news event and the resulting reporting is pretty much the same. Read McMahon’s piece here.
TALKERS News Notes. At Saga Communications’ Ithaca, New York news/talk WHCU, the station goes from a local morning show to the Compass Media-syndicated “This Morning with Gordon Deal” program. Lee Rayburn has been the morning drive host at the station for the past six years and announced his departure via Facebook in which he says that the morning show position at the station has been eliminated…..New England Sports Network studio host and anchor Marc James is doing some fill-in work at Entercom’s sports talker WEEI-FM, Boston. James sat in over the weekend with Trenni Kusnierek and John Tomase on the “Trenni & Tomase” show. Tomorrow (4/24), he’ll be a cast member on the afternoon drive on the “Dale & Keefe” show with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe. James previously hosted on sports talk outlets WFNC, Charlotte and WZGC-FM, Atlanta…..Monticello Media names Ralph Salierno vice president and general manager of the company’s Charlottesville, Virginia cluster that includes news/talk WCHV and four music-formatted stations. Salierno was most recently serving with Alpha Media as market manager for the company’s Fredericksburg, Virginia cluster…..Yesterday (4/22) was the debut of the venerable “CBS Sunday Morning” television program on the radio. CBS News Radio began making the audio of the 9:00 am ET television news magazine available to radio affiliates. CBS News Radio says that in addition to the Jane Pauley-hosted show being available to radio stations, it is also being made available as a podcast at Radio.com…..The FOX Sports Radio lineup is getting cleared in the Chicago market as DuPage Radio’s suburban simulcast of WCKG-AM, Elmhurst and translator W272DQ at 102.3 FM turn into a sports talker featuring Clay Travis, Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Rich Eisen. The station plans to add a local afternoon show to the station soon.
Trump -Russia Investigation, Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korea Nuclear Program, Waffle House Shooter, Bloomberg Climate Accord Payment, Barbara Bush Tribute, Macron’s U.S. Visit, Romney Senate Bid, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, the Trump administration’s threat to leave the Iran nuclear deal; North Korea’s overtures to the U.S. and whether it really would end its nuclear weapons program; a man shoots four dead at a Nashville Waffle House; UN special envoy for climate change Michael Bloomberg pledges to write a $4.5 million check to cover the U.S.’s financial commitment to the Paris climate accord; former presidents and first ladies pay tribute to the late Barbara Bush; French president Emanuel Macron’s impending visit to the U.S.; Mitt Romney to run in Republican primary for Utah senate seat; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action among top news/talk stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Travis Daily is named operations manager and program director for Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK, Tampa. Daily was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming for the company’s Tampa and Sarasota stations. Speaking about his new gig, Daily says, “I could not be more thrilled to be joining what I feel is the most exciting media company in America. From the moment I started talking to George Toulas, Justin Chase, DJ Stout and Brian Beasley, I knew this was the team I had to be on. I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to be part of such an awesome group in Tampa.”…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Ashley & Brad” program adds two more affiliate stations to it roster as WAFN-FM, Huntsville “FUN 92.7” and WNXT-FM, Portsmouth, Ohio “MIX 99.3” add the show to their programming lineups…..Buffalo adult standards WECK is adding another FM signal to its simulcast. It’s new FM translator at 100.5 joins WECK-AM’s 1230 AM and fellow translator W275BB at 102.9 FM. Station owner Buddy Shula says the additional translator will give improved FM coverage for Buffalo and its northern suburbs. Shula says, “The response to our full-service, local personality-based adult standards format has been incredible. Adding FM coverage for rapidly growing parts of our metro is important to WECK’s overall growth strategy – and to the service to our communities.”…..Beasley Media Group’s rock WMMR, Philadelphia is celebrating its 50th anniversary of broadcasting in Philadelphia on Sunday (4/29). During this week’s build-up to Sunday’s anniversary, legendary host Pierre Robert– a fixture at the station for all but 13 of its 50 years – will host a daily, 90-minute feature focusing on the five decades of music and Philadelphia events, beginning each day at 12:00 noon. On Saturday (4/28), the station will play the top 50 live performances culled from the “MMaRchives,” featuring hundreds of live performances recorded at the WMMR studios, as well as local venues and the venerable Sigma Sound recording Studio…..iHeartMedia is kicking off the summer with the “2018 iHeartRadio Wango Tango By AT&T” hosted by Ryan Seacrest and featuring performances from today’s hottest artists including: Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Meghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, NF, Miguel, Janelle Monáe and Marshmello with a special guest performance by Logic, with more to be announced. The “iHeartRadio Wango Tango By AT&T” will be the first concert held at the all-new Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 2…..Los Angeles alternative rock outlet KROQ announces the lineup for this year’s “26th Annual KROQ Weenie Roast.” Acts will include: Blink – 182, Panic! At The Disco, Rise Against, Dirty Heads, Mike Shinoda, Cold War Kids, The War On Drugs, Awolnation, Bishop Briggs, Alice Merton, Manchester Orchestra, James Bay, Nothing But Thieves, and Mt. Joy. The show takes place at the Stub Hub Center on Saturday, May 12.