Ron Hartenbaum, Sue Freund and Scott Calka Launch New Ad Sales Company with Offices in New York and Los Angeles. Three high-profile industry veterans have formed a new company, Crossover Media Group Sales, specifically developed to provide advertising-sales representation across multiple platforms for an array of established and emerging program personalities and formats. Managing members are Scott Calka, a veteran of advertising sales for organizations including Comcast Spotlight, DirecTV, Fox Sports and Madison Square Garden; sales pro Sue Freund, who most recently served for a decade as VP of sales for the Western Region for SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and who is opening the Los Angeles office of Crossover Media Group Sales; and well-known impresario Ron Hartenbaum, a veteran of advertising agencies including Needham and Grey, later serving as VP of sales for Westwood One before becoming a founding partner of MediaAmerica and CEO of Jones Radio Networks. The new company is an extension of New York-based Crossover Media Group, which was launched by Hartenbaum and Calka in 2017 as a content-creation and advertising-sales consulting firm. “Until relatively recently, media personalities and content providers have not had a strategy to monetize their efforts fully beyond a single platform,” Hartenbaum tells TALKERS. “Crossover Media Group Sales is equipped to help content creators maximize their ad revenue regardless of delivery platform.” Calka states, “We believe we have developed the first truly cross-platform ad-sales structure to best serve the needs of content partners whose origins are in the audio and digital-video sectors. The future of ‘TV’ revolves around non-linear video consumption. To monetize the millennial audience, personalities, content providers and brands need to have a strategy for this platform.” Freund states, “There is a strong and surprisingly untapped market for advertising to support personalities and brands seeking to maximize revenue potential across all the platforms available to them. If you have an audio presence, we can be your video partner. If you have a video brand but have had difficulty breaking through the clutter, we can help. We understand cross-platform branding, promotion and monetization, and how to serve the needs of content providers, media buyers and brands alike.” Crossover Media Group Sales’ initial clients include a variety of radio and podcast products by Stephanie Miller, audio personalities Thom Hartmann, Dean Obeidallah, and the team of Michael Steele and Rick Ungar, all of whom have programs on SiriusXM. The company’s video-streaming program-network partners include Political Voices Network, co-launched this year by former CNN and MSNBC executive David Bohrman, and Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN), which also is carried on SiriusXM and which was launched by veteran sportscaster Brent Musburger and his nephew Brian Musburger. VSiN has been cited in press reports among the significant potential beneficiaries of the Supreme Court’s recent decision permitting states to have legal sports betting.
WGN, Chicago Makes Changes to Morning and Evening Shows. From the Windy City, Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago is tweaking the on-air lineup in. Evening personality Justin Kaufmann – host of “The Download” from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm – is becoming a permanent contributor to the Steve Cochran morning drive program. Now, the morning program will consist of Kaufmann, Dave Eanet, Mary Sandberg Boyle, Steve Grzanich, Mary Van De Velde, Joe Romano, and Pete Zimmerman. At the same time, morning show personality Andrea Darlas moves to evenings where she’ll co-host and handle news duties on the Patti Vasquez show that moves into the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot. Cochran comments, “I have mixed emotions. I’ll miss Andrea but I’m excited for her and Patti. And it will be great to have Justin on the show. He’s smart, funny, and inexplicably willing to get up at a ridiculous hour.”
Hudson Valley Talk Host Tom Sipos Honored by Council of Industry. WKIP, Poughkeepsie, New York morning host Tom Sipos has been honored by the Council of Industry with its 2018 Manufacturing Champions Public Sector Award for “relentlessly calling attention to the important role manufacturing plays in our regional and national economy.” Sipos was co-owner of Sipos Insurance for nearly 40 years and now hosts “Hudson Valley Focus LIVE” on the iHeartMedia news/talk station. He served on the boards and was past chairman of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation and Workforce Investment Board, and chairman of the SUNY New Paltz School of Business Advisory Council. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Dutchess B.O.C.E.S Career and Technology Institute and the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County. He was the founder of The Dutchess Alliance for Human Needs. Sipos says, “What a great thing it is to be honored by the Council of Industry, The Manufacturers Association of the Hudson Valley. I truly appreciate this award and will continue to promote manufacturing and technical education as key components of a healthy, dynamic economy.”
Entercom Stations Grab 17 New York State AP Association Awards. Three of Entercom’s New York all-news and news/talk stations garnered a total of 17 2017 New York State Associated Press Association awards. The organization’s annual newspaper and broadcast contest honors important journalism. Forty-six radio and television stations submitted more than 524 entries in the annual awards. All-news WCBS-AM, New York and sister WINS, New York picked up 11 first and second place awards. News/Talk WBEN-AM, Buffalo took home six first and second place awards.
TALKERS News Notes. Charlotte sports talk personality Chris Kroeger is leaving his position with Beasley Media Group’s WFNZ “The Fan” to become the radio play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. As reported in the Charlotte Business Journal, Kroeger will take over for Steve Martin, who retired following the regular season. Kroeger is a Charlotte native who beat out 10 finalists (from a pool of “hundreds”) to get the gig. He says Martin voiced some of his own personal best sports moments. Kroeger continues, “Steve Martin narrated so many of those memories on radio and television. It truly is the opportunity of a lifetime to be his successor and to broadcast a new era of Hornets basketball for the next generation of fans.”…..ABC News Radio says its coverage of the U.S.-North Korea Summit from Singapore will begin on Sunday (6/10). It will be anchored by Karen Travers with reporting by Tara Palmeri. The ABC News Radio team says it will provide live coverage as needed, one-hour specials, special reports and one-minute status reports…..NBC Sports Radio and Westwood One are presenting national radio coverage of the 150th Belmont Stakes – the final leg of this year’s Triple Crown on Saturday (6/9). The broadcast is in conjunction with the Horse Racing Radio Network. Mike Penna will anchor and be joined by Kurt Becker. Longtime horse race owner and radio executive Dan Mason and horse racing reporter Tom Leach and Steve Goldstein will contribute to the coverage, while former jockey Jeff Bloom will serve as trackside reporter. NBC Sports’ Larry Collmus will call play-by-play of the race…..Former Alpha Media programmer Jeff Beck – who served with the Fredericksburg cluster that included news/talk WNTX – died on Monday (6/4) after a lengthy illness.
Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegations, U.S.-North Korea Summit, Trump Uninvites Eagles, Clinton-Lewinsky Flap, Facebook’s Data Sharing with China, Tuesday Primary Elections, the NBA Finals, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/5). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and allegations Paul Manafort has tampered with witnesses; the scheduled summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore; the controversy over President Trump uninviting the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House; former President Clinton’s response to his Monica Lewinsky affair viewed through the #MeToo movement light; Facebook accused of sharing data with four Chinese firms; Tuesday’s primary elections; the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals; and Major League Baseball 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. Programmer and air personality Trevor Morini is moving from Tulsa – where he’s been PD and afternoon host at iHeartMedia’s “92.1 The Beat” – to Austin to program the company’s CHR KHFI “96.7 KISS FM” and alternative KASE-HD2 “ALT 97.5.” Morini says, “I am beyond excited for the opportunity to work with the great team in Austin and can’t wait to get started! I can’t thank Don Cristi and Jon Phillips enough for everything they’ve done for me in Tulsa. I would not be ready for this next chapter without their guidance and support. I’d also like to thank Tony Coles, Brian Gann, and Matt Martin for allowing me the honor of programming such a legendary station as KHFI!”…..On Monday and Tuesday (6/4-5), Premiere Networks engaged more than 120 iHeartCountry music radio stations and Premiere-syndicated affiliates at the exclusive 2018 CMT Music Awards radio remote broadcast in Nashville. Pictured below at the event are CMT and Premiere staffers with country outfit Old Dominion. From left to right: CMT Radio executive producer Ashlee McDonald, Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Old Dominion’s Trevor Rosen and Matthew Ramsey, CMT After MidNite/CMT Radio Live host Cody Alan, Old Dominion’s Geoff Sprung and Whit Sellers, CMT After MidNite/CMT Radio Live correspondent Marley Sherwood and Old Dominion’s Brad Tursi.