Legendary KGO Talk Host Ray Taliaferro Missing; Last Seen in Paducah Pizza Joint. Retired talk show host Ray Taliaferro – an overnight personality on KGO, San Francisco from 1977 to 2011 – has been missing for 15 days now after last being seen at The Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant in Paducah, Kentucky. Media reports indicate Taliaferro was last seen talking with the manager of the restaurant and was wearing black pants, a black turtleneck and a black leather jacket. Authorities say the 79-year-old may have been experiencing symptoms of dementia.
TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Tribune Media is offering its employees – including those at its only radio property, WGN-AM – voluntary buyouts as part of a year-end staff reduction program. Feder quotes Tribune Media SVP of corporate relations Gary Weitman saying it is a “very small program that will ultimately affect a little more than 1 percent of our employees.” Feder notes that it’s not clear if layoffs would be the result of the voluntary program not meeting its goals…..Baltimore news/talk WBAL-AM now has an FM presence as Hearst fires up translator W268BA at 101.5 FM. Station president and general manager Cary Pahigian comments, “While WBAL radio will continue to serve Maryland at 1090 AM with our powerful 50,000-watt signal, our new FM signal at 101.5 is a monumental advancement for the region’s most influential radio station. FM 101.5, along with our popular mobile app, will help WBAL connect with significantly more listeners. WBAL is now available on every available broadcast, mobile and digital platform.”…..Radio news pro Sean Hall was killed in a car crash in Richmond County, New Hampshire. He was 63. Hall – whose career experience included positions with CNN Radio; NBC Radio; Mutual Broadcasting System; WTOP, Washington; and more – was working as a weekend news reporter for Saga Communications’ news/talk WKBK, Keene, New Hampshire…..Pictured below is Pioneer Valley Radio general manager Brad Shepard (on set, at left) with Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser (right) during a co-production between hyper-local digital media platform, Springfield, Mass.-based Pioneer Valley Radio and East Longmeadow Cable Access Television. During the program, Shepard and Lesser discussed the Senator’s continued efforts in an east-west rail connection in the state, the ongoing opioid crisis, efforts to keep seniors in their homes with appropriate care, recreational marijuana, and a controversial stance on the electoral college.
Interview: Salem Media Group’s Phil Boyce. Programming pro Phil Boyce, SVP at Salem Radio Network chats with Goldman McCormick Public Relations co-founder Ryan McCormick about programming news/talk radio in the current era. Boyce tells McCormick that his years in the business have taught him important lessons about what news/talk audiences want. He says when analyzing effective talk talent, he looks for three basic things: “Are they teaching me something I want to learn about an important topic or are they doing a show focused on themselves and assuming listeners are into their every waking moment? Second, are they able to take a complicated issue and break it down in a way that makes me understand and, in some cases, want to pump my fist in agreement? And third is formatics: do they set up a topic well with a brilliant monologue? Do they tease around the break to make me come back? Do they give me the sense that this is the most fun a human being can have and they are having it? If it is a team show, do they have that elusive ‘chemistry, camaraderie, and rapport?’” Read the entire interview here.
Migrants Arrive at Tijuana, Global Warming Report, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mississippi Run-Off Election, Chinese Gene-Edited Babies, U.K.’s Facebook Investigation, Thanksgiving Holiday/Midwest Blizzard, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The U.S. closes the San Diego-Mexico border as the migrant caravan attempts to overrun border security; the U.S. Global Change Research Program climate report that predicts dire natural and economic consequences from global warming; the expectation of a Trump-Russia report from special counsel Robert Mueller; the Mississippi special senate election between Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy; a Chinese researcher claims success in first gene-edited babies; the U.K. gains Facebook documents related to the Cambridge Analytica case; the Thanksgiving holiday and the Midwest blizzard that affected holiday travel; Russia seizes Ukrainian ships in military skirmish; and the NFL’s weekend action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. A format flip appears to be in the works for Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ*N @ 102.9” after seven years as a country station. The KMNB website says, “Thanks for BUZ*N with us Minnesota and western Wisconsin! Sadly, though the buzz is about to wear off…on Monday, December 3rd at 7am.” The station has been a consistent runner-up in the ratings (Persons 6+) to iHeartMedia’s KEEY. Prior to adopting a country format, the station was an adult contemporary outlet as WLTE – a format that lives on on the KZJK-HD2 channel – and speculation is the AC format will return. Will it be a “Breeze?”…..El Paso programming pro Ted “Bobcat” Brown is retiring from iHeartMedia’s country KHEY after a 10-year stint to relocate to Biloxi to help his wife care for her aging mother, he announces in a Facebook post.