Scott Miller Named Afternoon Talk Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois. Illinois radio pro Scott Miller is the new afternoon drive talk host at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois, effective September 10. Miller has worked at numerous Chicago outlets: as executive producer/personality at Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” producer at Tribune’s news/talk WGN, short-lived all-news “FM News 101.1” (WKQX), and more. Speaking about his new gig, Miller says, “I’ve worked with and learned from the best in Chicago for over 20 years. It’s time to follow in the radio tradition of stealing all their bits and making them my own on WJBC! Now if I can just get a hold of Piranha Man, 100,000 disco records and re-work the lyrics to ‘on top of a pizza!’”
Gallagher Appointed DOS at WGN, Chicago. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that radio exec John Gallagher is the new director of sales at Tribune’s news/talk WGN. Gallagher, who most recently was vice president and general manager at Hubbard Radio’s Chicago cluster, assumed the role held by Jeff Hill, who exited earlier this year to become VP of sales at Cumulus Chicago. Gallagher also served as president and GM at WLS-AM. WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “John is filled with the entrepreneurial spirit we treasure at WGN. Having his leadership in our hallways is a game changer for our brand and our business partners.”
Barrett Sports Media to Introduce ‘Jeff Smulyan Award’ at February Event. At next winter’s “Barrett Sports Media Summit” in Los Angeles, Barrett Sports Media will bestow The Jeff Smulyan Award upon its first recipient. BSM president Jason Barrett says he’s “taking the initiative to make sure the contributions of a select few members are permanently remembered.” The Jeff Smulyan Award will be given to “a chosen member of the radio industry who demonstrates a consistent ability to lead, take risks, and produce results.” Speaking about the Emmis Communications chairman, Barrett says, “If Jeff Smulyan hadn’t rolled the dice to launch an all-sports station in New York City in 1987 and stuck to the plan when it made no sense to do so, sports radio may never have received a second chance. Jeff’s ability to lead and deliver results, combined with his willingness to take risk, not only benefited WFAN, but it remains the driving force behind Emmis Communications’ success. As new threats for the sports fan’s ear emerge from outside industries, it’s important for us to remember who paved the way to make this possible, while recognizing those who continue to blaze new trails to help us secure a prosperous future.” The 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit takes place in Los Angeles inside the Clive Davis Theater at The Grammy Museum on February 21 and 22, 2019.
iHeartMedia Twin Cities Unveils ‘Sports Radio 96.7.’ The new station is heard in Minneapolis-St. Paul on translator K244FE and is fed from the HD-3 channel of classic hits KQQL. iHeartMedia is calling the station “KFAN Plus, Sports Radio 96.7” and is airing the FOX Sports Radio lineup, including Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Doug Gottlieb. Station PD Chad Abbott states, “We’re thrilled to bring the Twin Cities some of the biggest and well-known national names in sports radio. ‘KFAN Plus’ will be a great expansion of KFAN programming, providing our listeners with even more around-the-clock, exclusive sports news content that they love.”
TALKERS News Notes. Vice president of social media Lori Lewis announces via Facebook that she’s resigning her post with Cumulus Media/Westwood One after a three-year stint with the company. As for her next move, she only says that she “cannot wait to share this next phase of life” with the industry. Lewis joined Cumulus from her previous position with Jacobs Media…..The New York Post is reporting that Entercom is moving to acquire the rights to New York Mets play-by-play for all-news WCBS-AM. Currently, Mets games are heard on iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR. Entercom has the rights to Yankees broadcasts that air on sports talk WFAN. Prior to WFAN getting the Yankees games (back when CBS RADIO owned the station) they aired on sister WCBS-AM…..According to The Wrap, sports media personality Ryen Russillo is going to be working with Bill Simmons on his The Ringer Podcast Network. The former ESPN Radio host is expected to host a regular, weekly football podcast as well as make appearances on Simmons’ own show…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR, Chicago operations director Mitch Rosen is among the list of 10 being inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame this year. Feder writes that “as recipient of the group’s Media Award, Rosen will be cited for The Score’s contributions to Chicago area sports journalism since 1992.”…..Pictured below is Genesis Communications Network nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) with World War II veteran Herb Cohen (left). Wachs spoke to a group of vets from the Jewish War Veterans of Southern Nevada, Post 64 during an event at the Suncoast Hotel.
Entercom Stations to Air Special on Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. The program is called “I’m Listening” and will air across all Entercomstations on Sunday, September 9 at 7:00 am local time. The company says this marks the start of National Suicide Prevention Week and the company’s year-long campaign that includes suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos, and a dedicated website with information and resources to end the stigma around mental health discussions. KISW, Seattle morning personality BJ Shea is hosting the program that will feature medical experts Dr. Chris Nowinski – co-founder and executive director of Concussion Legacy Foundation – and Dr. Ursula Whiteside, a clinical psychologist and CEO of NowMattersNow.org. Guests scheduled to join the program include Mike McCready and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, Olympian Michael Phelps, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, singer Alessia Cara, and many others. Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “‘I’m Listening’ is one of our signature productions meant to save lives, while simultaneously creating awareness for this truly lethal silent threat. The number of people impacted by mental health issues is staggering. The effect it has on their lives and lives of their friends and families is devastating. If we help save just one life or help remove the stigma around mental illness, our time will have been well spent. We can’t solve this issue during one program, but we can be part of a vast network working every day to help and serve those affected.”
Beasley Celebrates Its Top Performers with 2018 Operating Achievement Awards. At its annual management meeting in Boston on Friday (8/24), Beasley Media Group announced the winners of the company’s annual Operating Achievement Awards. The 2018 Winners include: Mary Menna, Market Manager of the Year/Boston; WKLB-FM, Boston, Station of the Year; Tina Murley, Director of Sales (DOS) of the Year/Boston; David Corey, Program Director of the Year/WKLB-FM; Ed McCormack, Technology Award /Boston; Leslie Hamand, Market Controller of the Year/Tampa; Nicole Sellers, Digital Content Professional of the Year/Charlotte; and Deena Roemer Herman, Digital Sales Professional of the Year/Philadelphia. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group COO/EVP Brian Beasley, Murley, Corey, CEO Caroline Beasley, founder & chairman of the board George Beasley, Menna, and president Bruce Beasley
John McCain Passes, Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Pleas, Silent Sam Statue Toppled, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, Neil Simon Dies at 91, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of Arizona Senator John McCain at 81; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on fraud charges and the campaign finance violation guilty pleas entered by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; the toppling of the Silent Sam statue on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill; the shooting at a Florida egame tournament that left three dead; playwright Neil Simon dies at 91; NFL pre-season action, and the MLB playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In St. Louis, Kristie Graybill joins iHeartMedia’s CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” as co-host of the AM drive program. She partners with Jordan DeSocio for the “Jordan and Kristie in the Morning” show. KSLZ program director Matt Johnson comments, “Kristie is a strong, well-known radio personality within the iHeartMedia family. We auditioned several talented on-air personalities to join Jordan, but Kristie’s drive, creativity, and talent made her our ideal candidate.” She says, “I genuinely want to thank iHeartMedia St. Louis for giving me this amazing opportunity. I am thrilled to be working with Jordan and I can’t wait to connect with the St. Louis listeners bright and early every morning.” Graybill moves to St. Louis from Cincinnati where she was afternoon drive host on iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1.”