Justin Acri to Manage KABZ, Little Rock. Fifteen-year station staffer Justin Acri is named general manager of Signal Media’s sports talk KABZ-FM, Little Rock “103.7 The Buzz.” Acri has been serving as program director for the station and co-hosts the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm program, “The Zone.” Acri joined the station in 2003 as a part-time morning host while working at crosstown KATV-TV as sports director. He joined KABZ full time in 2006. Signal Media president and CEO Steve Jonsson states, “Justin has worked for ‘The Buzz’ in various capacities for 15 years. His passions for sports, broadcasting, and ‘The Buzz’ make him a perfect fit for his new position. Justin has been a major influence on ‘The Buzz’ since its inception as a sports and entertainment station in 2004, and this is the next logical step in the evolution of this great Arkansas radio station.” At the same time, the station announces Derrell Young is promoted to operations director from his executive producer position. Morning show producer RJ Hawk adds social media director duties. Finally, Lindy Lanford returns to the station on a consulting basis assisting with marketing and events.
FOX Sports Radio Drops Steve Gorman Sports and JT The Brick. Two sports talk shows are no longer part of the national lineup on FOX Sports Radio – the long-running JT The Brick program and “Steve Gorman Sports!” Gorman and co-host Jeffrey Gorman posted a farewell message online in addition to saying goodbye on the air. JT The Brick, a.k.a. John Tournour, issued a farewell message via Twitter. He’d been with the network since 2001. FOX Sports Radio has made no official announcement and, as of today, still lists the two programs as being part of the lineup on its website. The network appears to be filling the daypart – from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET – with substitute hosts until permanent shows are announced.
Norden Named SVP of Sales at iHeartMedia Charleston. Radio sales pro Pete Norden moves from iHeartMedia’s Tampa station group to the company’s Charleston, South Carolina cluster that includes news/talk WSCC “News Radio 94.3” to serve as senior vice president of sales. iHeartMedia area president Alene Grevey comments, “Pete is an exceptionally strong broadcaster and leader and we are truly thrilled to have him be a part of team iHeartMedia Charleston. His experience will blossom in our culture and his commitment to excellence will matriculate throughout the sales organization.”
New Sports Talker to Launch in Waco. According to a report in the Waco Tribune-Herald, Edwards Media LLC is preparing to debut a new sports talk station in the market on October 1. The station will likely emanate from sister hip hop KWBT’s HD2 channel and be heard via FM translator K231CG at 94.1. It will air local programming and shows from CBS Sports Radio Network. Market radio pro Rich Richardson is serving as general manager for KWBT and “CBS Sports Radio Central Texas” and will host the morning drive “Go Big or Go Home” show from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Lark Smith will host the local “Order in the Court” program from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. CBS’ Jim Rome show and the “Tiki and Tierney” program with Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney will air in afternoons.
Herskovitz: Wild Political Year Could Lead to Hot Sales. Radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about the midterm political season that’s heating up. He reminds account executives of the rules for spot rate for many political ads and outlines who does not qualify for that rate. For stations hoping to get some ad money from local and state candidates, Herskovitz offers some strategy for getting an order from their campaigns. Read it here.
TALKERS News Notes. In observance of the anniversary of 9/11, iHeartMedia‘s iHeartRadio has teamed up with 9/11 Day of Service and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation to create a special radio show that pays tribute to those affected and left behind. The 30-minute radio show special is hosted by Tunnel to Towers Foundation founder Frank Siller and Jay Winuk and David Paine, co-founders of 9/11 Day of Service foundation. They share their personal, heart wrenching, intimate stories on 9/11, explaining their motivation behind founding the two organizations that bring comfort and help millions of people across the United States. You can hear the program here…..This one comes from the National Enquirer, so take it for what it’s worth. The tabloid publication says Howard Stern is leaving his radio program at SiriusXM when his contract expires at the end of 2020. The story quotes a source saying, “Howard is the golden goose that holds the company together. Without him, it could crumble!”…..WINS, New York morning drive anchor Lee Harris is marking 25 years with the Entercom all-news station this week…..Dr. Ronald Hoffman‘s podcast version of his radio show “Intelligent Medicine” just surpassed the 6 million download mark. Media Management Group EVP of business development Alan Eisenson comments, “We continue to be amazed at how fast our podcast audience is growing and we love all of the positive feedback we get from the audience.”…..ABC-TV’s talk program “The View” is being made available as a podcast via ABC Radio. The company says it is re-purposing the television program’s audio into a daily download available at 4:00 pm ET each day. ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones says the show hosted by Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Meghan McCain, Sunny Hostin, and Abby Huntsman is a “welcome addition” to ABC’s podcast offerings. “There is an amazing season ahead and we think podcast listeners will enjoy the incredible guest lineup and conversations to come.”…..Attending this year’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row presented by Federation for American Immigration Reform was a chance for WNRI, Providence talk show host John DePetro a chance to explore Washington, DC. DePetro (pictured at right at the White House) was able to visit the West Wing and attend a press conference with President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Chief of Staff John Kelly.
NYT Op-Ed Author Speculation, Bob Woodward Book, Positive U.S. Economic News, Hurricane Florence Approaches Carolinas, Serena Williams U.S. Open Meltdown, NFL’s Week 1, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10). Speculation about who the author(s) of the anonymous anti-Trump op-ed piece published in The New York Times is; the new Bob Woodward book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the positive U.S. economic data; the Southeast prepares for Hurricane Florence; the flap over Serena Williams’ meltdown at the U.S. Open; the first week of the 2018 NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoffs push 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. A “best of” televised version of “Big Boy’s Neighborhood HITS” is airing on Fuse Music on Saturday (9/15) at 11:00 am ET. The celebrity guests will include: Janet Jackson, Fergie, Kim Kardashian, and John Legend. This televised version of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio show, “Big Boy’s Neighborhood,” Big Boy welcomes “the biggest names in music and entertainment, shares his take on the latest news in music and pop culture, and keeps listeners laughing with hilarious bits, including the infamous phonetaps with ‘Luther Luffeigh.’”…..Alpha Media announces that Jim Lowe is named the market manager for its Mankato, Minnesota station group. Lowe launched his career in sales in the Fargo market 30 years ago. He’s served in management positions in community broadcast organizations in the Owatonna and Minneapolis markets…..Radio ratings giant Nielsen Audio says it has completed its research and the radio format of the summer of 2018 is – classic hits! Nielsen has been tracking the performances of stations by format in the PPM-rated markets for several years using a comparison of 6+ weekly AQH share. A format’s total for the months of January through May is compared to the total for June, July and August and the format with the greatest improvement is the format of the summer. The winning format the past two summers had been classic rock. As you can see in the chart below, classic hits was up 4% as a format. News/Talk and adult contemporary lost the most ground – 7% each.