Archive for December, 2018
The Top News/Talk Radio Stories of 2018. Today, TALKERS magazine presents its annual year-end feature ranking the most-talked-about news/talk radio stories and people of the year. Not surprisingly, the Trump-Russia investigation was at the top of the stories list this year and President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about person. Immigration issues, mass shootings, the midterm elections, and the Kavanaugh confirmation rounded out the top five stories on this year’s chart while Robert Mueller, Vladimir Putin, Mitch McConnell, and Nancy Pelosi followed President Trump as the most-talked-about people on the chart. In all, there are 20 stories and the people related to those stories listed on this year’s chart. See it in its entirety here.
iHeartMedia Announces Deal to Split from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The separation of iHeartMedia – the radio and digital business – from billboard segment Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings is part of iHM’s Fifth Amended Plan for reorganization. Today the companies announce they’ve agreed to terms for the separation. iHeartMedia currently owns 89.1% of CCOH’s outstanding common stock. William Eccleshare – currently as chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International – will become chief executive officer of CCOH. Eccleshare joined CCI in 2009 and went on to lead Clear Channel Outdoor, including full operational responsibility for CCI and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, before assuming his current role. Eccleshare will be based in London and will also continue to lead CCI as part of his new role. Scott Wells will continue to lead CCOA as CEO. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Today’s announcement is recognition that while iHeartMedia and CCOH are both very strong in their respective areas – iHeartMedia is America’s number one audio company and CCOH is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies – their key constituencies have little strategic overlap. We believe that the separation of the two businesses makes strategic and financial sense and will allow each company to better achieve their individual missions.” CCOH’s current leadership and board of directors will remain in place until iHeartMedia exits its restructuring process, at which time the new executives and board will assume their responsibilities.
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to Register as an Early Bird for Talkers 2019 Convention! The opportunity to save $50 in registering for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will end TODAY Friday, December 21 at 5:00 pm ET. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place again at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET on December 21, 2018 pay only $279. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Announces New Program Schedule. Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM announces its new lineup for 2019 with the addition of Wendy Bell and Lynne Hayes-Freeland as afternoon drive host and midday host respectively. The Entercom station says it is also expanding its local weekday news coverage to 8:00 pm and will add local morning newscasts on the weekends. KDKA is moving current afternoon drive host Robert Mangino to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot (with weekend duties as well). It moves current late morning host Marty Griffin to the afternoon drive daypart with new co-host Wendy Bell. It combines the late morning and early afternoon shows into one 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program hosted by Lynne Hayes-Freeland. Bell – a 21-time Emmy and five-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner – says, “KDKA is a powerhouse radio station and Marty Griffin is a trusted friend who, like me, loves helping people. Spending four hours a day with a team that truly cares about this city is a tremendous honor and I look forward to the opportunity to serve our listeners.” Hayes-Freeland began her career with KDKA-AM as a producer back in 1976. She worked at KDKA-TV as a reporter, producer, and talk show host since 1977. She comments, “Radio is a perfect place to learn, explore, and grow, and I look forward to the chance to do just that with listeners just as curious as me every day. It feels great to be back home on KDKA.” The station lost longtime early afternoon host Mike Pintek back in September. He passed away after a battle with cancer.
Beasley Inks 98.5 The Sports Hub’s ‘Toucher and Rich’ to Contract Extension. Morning drive duo Fred Toucher (right) and Rich Shertenlieb (left) re-up with Beasley Media Group to continue hosting their morning program on sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.” They have been the hosts of the morning show since the station launched as a sports talk outlet in 2009. Station program director Mike Thomas (who also serves Beasley as national format brand manager for spoken-word programming and esports) says, “‘Toucher & Rich’ are the most creative guys I know with real raw talent that you cannot teach. ‘Toucher & Rich’ will always be one of the biggest success stories in the history of ‘The Sports Hub.’
Gonzalez to Lead Sales at iHeartMedia Wilmington. Sales and management pro Steve Gonzalez is returning to iHeartMedia to take on the senior vice president of sales position at the Wilmington, Delaware station group that includes heritage news/talk WILM-AM, sister news/talk WDOV-AM, and sports talk WWTX-AM. Gonzalez was most recently an EVP with Target Media. He previously served with iHeartMedia as a general sales manager in the Philadelphia cluster. He says, “I truly appreciate the opportunity to come back to iHeartMedia. I look forward to leading the strong team [retiring SVP] Martha [Masters] has developed and trained over the past years and my goal is to continue to provide the Delmarva business community with the numerous iHeart assets and platforms that will increase consumer engagement and grow their business.”
CMG Unveils Cox Trading Desk. This new service comes from Cox Media Group’s CMG Local Solutions and provides its clients with programmatic advertising technologies and a team of traders to eliminate charges for fraudulent advertising impressions. Vice president of digital media Joe Weir explains, “At Cox Media Group, we understand the importance of avoiding fraudulent impressions and providing a transparent ecosystem for our clients. The Cox Trading Desk is designed to protect our clients by delivering the highest quality of inventory that translates into an industry-leading return on investment.” Cox says in its press release, “Because Cox owns and operates newspaper, television, radio and digital assets across the country, CMG Local Solutions knows the current landscape of premium publishers and the challenges this industry faces with malicious activity. Senior director of data and programmatic Joseph Naylor adds, “With CMG being TAG registered and an active member of the IAB, it is our publisher-centric mindset that compels us to make this pledge to all of our advertising clients.
Neely Joins Entercom Board. Chairman, president and CEO David Field says that Susan K. Neely “brings an outstanding breadth of expertise to the board and we look forward to having her join us at such an exciting time in our company’s growth and transformation.” Neely is the president and chief executive officer of the American Council of Life Insurers and she brings an impressive set of credentials with her. She served as special assistant to President George W. Bush and helped create the U.S Department of Homeland Security. She later became the first DHS assistant secretary for public affairs. Neely led the American Beverage Association for 13 years as president and CEO before joining ACLI in September 2018. Neely’s appointment is an expansion as the board now is comprised of nine people.
TALKERS News Notes. Today (12/21) is the final Steve Dahl show on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago. As previously announced, Dahl is leaving the news/talk station where he’s been hosting the afternoon drive show, although he’ll continue to do his regular podcast with co-hosts Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley. Chicago media maven Robert Feder writes about it here…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago, “670 The Score” announces that the MLB’s Chicago Cubs and Pat Hughes have signed a multi-year contract extension for him to remain in the play-by-play booth beginning with his 24th season with the team in 2019. Ron Coomer serves as color analyst. Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Pat is the iconic voice of the Chicago Cubs. We are both proud and honored to have him on our team at ‘670 The Score’ and Entercom Chicago. Pat is the eyes and ears for so many Cubs fans both in Chicago and worldwide. We are thrilled he will continue as the radio voice for multiple years to come.”…..CBS News Radio is distributing “Eye On Travel” with host Peter Greenberg. “Eye On Travel” is a new series of short- and long-form shows featuring CBS News senior travel advisor Peter Greenberg. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler comments, “We’re delighted to offer Peter Greenberg’s insightful programs and expertise to our affiliates and listeners. Peter brings a unique perspective to the world of travel and empowers listeners so that they may make informed decisions when traveling throughout the world.”
Wade and Abel Join National Radio Talent System. The National Radio Talent System names Taylor Anne Wade and Aimee Abel to the newly created position of institutes director. Wade has worked with Don Anthony’s Morning Show Boot Camp and Talk Show Boot Camp, was a volunteer at the Country Radio Seminar, and was a Student Scholar at the NAB/RAB Radio Show. Abel moves from part time to full time. She was previously an anchor for iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic and Weather Network. National Radio Talent System president Dan Vallie says, “Both Taylor Anne and Aimee completed the Kellar Radio Talent Institute when they were students at Appalachian State University. They bring a passion for the industry and for helping people. We wanted them to be on the team and they wanted to be here. Things worked out well. I’m thrilled they are on the team.” The National Radio Talent System is currently producing eight Radio Talent Institutes annually.
Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story Again This Week. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents remained the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the battle over the border wall and the related short-term spending bill. Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, followed by activity on the world’s financial markets and the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.
Armstrong & Getty Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. Syndicated morning show hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” They started out as a couple of music radio DJs who joined forces in the early 90s in Wichita and worked their way up to landing a big-time slot in 1998 as the morning team on news/talk station KSTE in Sacramento. They quickly developed a reputation throughout the radio industry for their freshness and youthful dynamics. Their show became a huge success in the California state capital and began to spread into regional syndication up and down the west coast where today – 20 years later – it still emanates from KSTE but is also heard in the mornings on such major radio stations as KGO, San Francisco; KFMB, San Diego; KHHO, Seattle; KEX, Portland; KMJ, Fresno; KKAT, Salt Lake City, and KTBL, Albuquerque, not to mention stations in Eugene, Monterey-Salinas, Palm Springs, Reno, Riverside and Ventura. And now, as we enter 2019, the show is being offered to stations around the country as a full-fledged nationally syndicated radio show. Michael Harrison says, “When I first heard Armstrong & Getty, they sounded to me more like the kind of talk show hosts one would expect to hear on a rock station than on a ‘serious’ news outlet. They were funny and irreverent and surrounded with a cast of characters that gave their show more of the feeling of a morning zoo than a roundtable of stuffy panelists. But even though they were zany and played the goofball roll to a certain degree, their antics were offset by obvious intelligence, keen insight, biting satire, excellent interviewing skills and a ton of information about what was happening in the news.” Harrison caught up with Jack and Joe last week to discuss their fabulous radio partnership… where it’s been, where it’s at, and where it hopes to be going – set against the backdrop of turbulent political times and extraordinary social/technological change. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. He’s been away from Entercom country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” for five years, but Stoney Richards (center)is making his return to a full-time air shift on the station. He begins co-hosting the morning show – titled “Y’d Awake” – with co-host Kristen Buccigrossi (left) and producer Cowboy Curt (right). Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Stoney Richards means country in Western PA. He’s beloved by Pittsburgh country fans and the Nashville hitmakers alike. We are thrilled to bring Stoney back home to ‘Y108’ every weekday.” Richards has been serving with the station (and sister news/talk KDKA-AM) as a fill-in personality…..iHeartMedia Asheville unveils new alternative rock outlet “ALT 101.1” The station is heard on translator W266CP but it’s not immediately clear which station is feeding the translator. Senior vice president of programming Brian Hall states, “There is a huge appetite for alternative music in Asheville. So many of the artists that you will hear on ‘ALT 101.1’ have already performed live in Asheville and I’m excited to know that local fans now have a radio station to listen to their favorite musicians and to call their home.”…..Entercom’s “Hot 92.9” (WWWL-AM, WEZB-HD2, and W225 CZ) announces the addition of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show to its program schedule in morning drive. Senior vice president and market manager Kevin Cassidy comments, “We are absolutely thrilled to have legendary morning man Tom Joyner on ‘The New Hot 92.9.’ Tom is already well known to listeners across New Orleans and we look forward to expanding his audience in 2019 and beyond.”
Late Night Legend Jim Bohannon Renews with Westwood One. Nationally syndicated, late night talk radio legend Jim Bohannon signs a multi-year extension with Westwood One to continue hosting his “The Jim Bohannon Show.” Westwood One says the show – a “unique mix of topical issues, newsmakers, and pop culture which informs and entertains a loyal audience” – airs on more than 250 affiliate stations. Bohannon (the self-proclaimed “militant moderate”) says, “I’m honored to be continuing the apex of my career, working with the wonderful professionals at Westwood One. As ‘The Jim Bohannon Show’ approaches the 26-year mark next month, I promise that we’ll continue to offer the best in news, analysis, and sometimes, just pure fun every weeknight.” During his career, Bohannon has been the recipient of numerous awards. He’s been a member of the TALKERS magazine “Heavy Hundred” every year since 1995; he’s been given the RTDNA First Amendment Award; was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2003; and this year won his second prestigious Gold Medal Award from the New York Festivals Radio Awards for the Westwood One News retrospective, “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later.” WWO executive vice president, news and talk Bart Tessler says, “Jim is the gold standard of a talk show host. I’ve traveled with him on assignment to Moscow and Tokyo and from New York to California and I continue to learn and laugh listening to him nightly. The evening wouldn’t be the same without the breaking news coverage and perspective from ‘The Jim Bohannon Show.’”
Skyview Networks Enters Sales Partnership with Alpha Media. Radio operator Alpha Media enters into an agreement with Skyview Networks for the company to lead Alpha’s network audio sales efforts, beginning in the New Year. Skyview has eight sales offices across the country (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Miami) and Alpha says its stations reach more than 127 million listeners per week. Skyview EVP/general manager Jeanne-Marie Condo says, “We’re excited to deliver Alpha’s strong network reach to clients. Alpha has a powerful footprint that delivers key stations, markets, and impressions that will make a difference for agencies. We are thrilled to partner with Alpha and be part of their amazing success.” Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt comments, “We are excited to work with Skyview. This partnership will allow Alpha to compete in the network arena. The Skyview team has been very professional, transparent, and aggressive which fits very well with our operating philosophy.”
WXOS-FM, St. Louis Renews ESPN Affiliation. St. Louis sports talker WXOS-FM “101 ESPN” signs a five-year extension with ESPN to continue its affiliation with the sports giant. The Hubbard Radio sports talker debuted back in 2009 and celebrates its 10th anniversary next month. The renewal means WXOS will continue to air ESPN Radio programming, including: “Sports Center,” “First and Last,” “Golic and Wingo,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” and “Freddie and Fitzsimmons,” in addition to its stable of local shows that air from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. The station also airs ESPN Radio-produced play-by-play for the NFL, NBA, MLB and NCAA athletics. WXOS program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert says, “Hubbard Radio management and the ‘101 ESPN’ team want to thank our listeners and the St. Louis community for their continued support over the last 10 years. Our entire team is looking forward to the strengthening of our partnership with the ESPN Radio Network and the opportunity to offer innovative content and exclusive interviews, analysis and coverage for St. Louis’ sports fans.”
Laura Walker to Leave New York Public Radio in March. Non-profit public media organization New York Public Radio operates public radio news/talk WNYC-FM, classical WQXR-FM, the New Jersey Public Radio network and more. NYPR president Laura Walker– called a “prolific fundraiser” by former NPR CEO Vivian Schiller – announces she’ll leave the organization at the end of March, three months before the end of her contract. According to the story on WNYC.org, Walker became president of NYPR in 1996, as it had just become independent of the city. Under her leadership, listenership grew exponentially, its budget grew from $1 million per year to $93.7 million and it became an early leader in digital content such as podcasts. Read the WNYC.org story here.
TALKERS News Notes. The rebuilding in Florida’s panhandle is the subject of a series of reports from CBS News Radio’s correspondent Peter King (pictured at right with students and faculty members of a local school). The news organization says that King spent time in Mexico Beach, Panama City, and Tallahassee speaking with residents, officials, and volunteers ahead of the holiday season. Short-form reports and long-form, in-depth interviews will be made available on newsfeed every morning and afternoon of next week…..Pictured at left is Bold Gold Media Group general manager Michael G. Stanton taking a shower on Main Street in downtown Honesdale, Pennsylvania for his 17th annual “Shower For Charity.” Stanton stayed in the show for four hours in nothing but his swim suit until listeners and local businesses helped him meet his goal of raising $20,000 for the Wayne County Children’s Christmas Bureau. Bold Gold is based in Northeast Pennsylvania operating a number of stations in the Pocono Lake Region. The station group also held a very successful toy drive to benefit the area’s children in need. Bold Gold founder and president Vince Benedetto says, “It’s profoundly moving how generous of a community we have in Northeast PA and how much they support our stations’ efforts. Several years ago, when we made the decision to attempt to do two large fundraising efforts concurrently, we wondered if both could be successful… but our listeners rally every year and the promotions continue to get bigger. Live, local radio is alive and booming in Northeast PA.”…..At right are two KLIF-AM, Dallas staffers with school officials from Charles Nash Elementary School in Fort Worth holding the ceremonial check for funds donated to the school. The Cumulus Media news/talk station teamed with Ed Wallace of the Saturday car show “Wheels with Ed Wallace” and Kwik Kar Industries for the 30th Annual KLIF Kids Toy Drive. Listeners and auto dealerships contributed more than $46,000 for kids at two different schools in Dallas and Fort Worth…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) is pictured below with magician Penn Jillette (left) promoting the importance of blood donations via the “13 Bloody Days of Christmas” campaign.
Trump-Russia Investigation, Trumps Orders Troops Out of Syria, Putin Presser, Dow Dips 350 Points/Fed Raises Interest Rates, Border Wall Battle/Short Term Spending Bill, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and Tuesday’s related sentencing hearing for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn; President Trump orders the swift exit of all U.S. troops from Syria; Vladimir Putin’s annual press conference in which he addressed issues including the threat of nuclear conflict; the Dow drops 350 points and concerns about a recession as the Fed raises interest rates; the battle over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the related short-term spending bill; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT to Register as an Early Bird for Talkers 2019 Convention! The opportunity to save $50 in registering for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will end this Friday, December 21 at 5:00 pm ET. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place again at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET on December 21, 2018 pay only $279. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Classic hits KONO-FM and oldies KONO-AM, San Antonio director of programming Roger Allen announces he’s retiring from the Cox Media Group duo, effective January 11. Allen started his radio career right out of high school at KONO-AM in 1981, working in research and weekend overnights. He worked in markets including Dallas, Austin, and Salt Lake City before returning to KONO-FM in 1998. Allen comments, “We have an exceptional team at KONO-FM and AM – a group that delivers great content with passion and emotion. It’s been a humbling experience serving the San Antonio community, the Cox family and our loyal listeners.” This opens a plum programming position in San Antonio. If you’re interested, contact CMG regional vice president of radio Rob Babin at Rob.Babin@coxinc.com…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that when iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLIT puts the wraps on its holiday programming, it will change its branding from “The Best Variety From the 80’s, 90’s and Now for Chicago!” to “Relaxing Favorites.”…..With the departure of Nancy Stevens from Hubbard Radio’s alternative KDKB, Phoenix “ALT AZ,” operations manager David Moore adds program director duties for that station. Moore also programs sister stations classic rock KSLX and oldies KAZG-AM. The station also names afternoon drive personality Dustin Carlson music director…..Radio pro Jenna Tucker joins Cumulus Media Indianapolis to serve as digital director for its country WFMS, classic hits WJJK, and CHR WYRG. She’ll also host middays on WFMS. Tucker comes to Indy from her most recent position at Bonneville’s country KNCI, Sacramento where she was midday jock…..Griffin Communications announces that country KVOO, Tulsa adds Amber Glaze to the morning drive program hosted by Marty Young. The new “VOO Crew with Marty and Amber” launches on January 2. Young comments, “From the moment I met Amber, I knew that she would bring a dynamic to the show that was amazing. After working with her for a week, I was sold. I cannot wait to get to work with Amber every morning on ‘The VOO Crew.’”
FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade Show to Air Live on WABC, New York. Beginning January 2, the FOX News Radio-syndicated Brian Kilmeade show will air live in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on Cumulus Media‘s 77 WABC, replacing the Chris Plante program. Kilmeade, co-host of FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends” morning show, is also a New York Times bestselling author. Kilmeade says, “As a Long Island native, I grew up listening to WABC and having been doing so my whole life. Being a guest on the station has always been an honor, but to now have my nationally syndicated radio show carried by WABC, is a career goal that I am humbled to achieve. This is a real reflection of not only just me, but of my incredible team, including Alyson Mansfield, Eric Albeen, and Pete Caterina.” Kilmeade’s radio program has been experiencing steady growth in affiliate adds and close to 30 new stations will pick up the program on December 31, including: KSEV, Houston; KOIL, Omaha; KIVA, Albuquerque; KLIN, Lincoln; and WVFT-FM, Tallahassee. FOX News Radio VP/GM Doug Murphy states, “‘The Brian Kilmeade Show’ is a staple to the FOX News Radio brand and has proven to be an enormous success. We are delighted to expand the program to broadcast live on WABC.”
Tom Sullivan Show Growing into 2019. The nationally syndicated Tom Sullivan show is experiencing a “renaissance,” according to syndicator Talk Media Network, “thanks to a fully staffed affiliate relations team.” Talk Media Network’s Josh Leng says the KFBK, Sacramento-based program has added 12 new stations to its roster recently (including KSRO, Santa Rosa; WGOW-FM, Chattanooga; and WLFJ-AM/W225AZ, Greenville-Spartanburg) and has another 10 stations inked to add the program in the New Year. Tom Sullivan says, “I’m thrilled to be adding so many new stations to my show, expanding our audience even further – the smartest audience, the smartest callers in talk radio, who add to the program and make it even more entertaining.” Leng adds, “Talk Media Network is affiliate friendly in all we do. Stations that have worked with us for years, airing our weekly programs, are now adding our weekday shows as well. The New Year will only get bigger and better as TMN continues adding more quality programming.”
Eric Hadley Appointed SVP of Marketing for iHeartMedia. Advertising pro Eric Hadley is named senior vice president of marketing for iHeartMedia, serving under EVP and chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman. In this role, Hadley is charged with reimagining “marketing for advertising partners. He will work closely with advertising partners advising them on their audio strategy, to ensure that clients understand how to best plan, buy, measure and optimize the audio experience.” Troberman adds, “As the leader in audio, we understand more than anyone that we’re at a key moment when all things audio are growing. It’s important that we have someone who understands data, content, planning, and creative. Eric’s experience on the client, agency and media sides of the table will help us continue to lead the way with audio.” He most recently served as chief marketing officer for GroundTruth. He’s also served with Microsoft, The Weather Channel, and Outbrain.
Paul A. Rothfuss Named Roanoke-Lynchburg Market Manager for iHeartMedia. General sales manager Paul A. Rothfuss is elevated to market president for iHeartMedia’s Roanoke-Lynchburg market. He takes over for Chuck Peterson, who was recently promoted to area president for the Roanoke-Lynchburg, Harrisonburg and Winchester markets. iHeartMedia Virginia/Carolina president Dave Carwile says, “We are thrilled to have Paul lead the Roanoke-Lynchburg market. Paul was the first to raise his hand when the market president position posted. He’s a proven leader who consistently displays big thinking and has a solid track record of sales leadership. We’re excited about the future of our sales and programming teams under Paul’s leadership and direction.”
TALKERS News Notes. The “Armstrong & Getty” show – based at KSTE, Sacramento and hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – raised more than $1 million to benefit The Warrior Foundation/Freedom Station from its recent five-day radiothon. The charity purchases plane tickets for injured warriors so that they can spend the holidays at home and with their families. The organization also supports the military by providing transitional housing used during both recovery and transition processes. Joe Getty says, “Many of our brave men and women come back from military service with overwhelming burdens to bear. It’s then that we as Americans have to be there for them. I believe that as their service ends, ours begins.” Jack Armstrong adds, “Supporting Warrior Foundation/Freedom Station is one simple way for our community to acknowledge that our freedoms only exist due to their sacrifice. We’re proud to be a part of this effort to support our troops.”…..Comrex announces a new partnership with Maple Audio Technology, a firm that supplies the latest in technology for digital broadcast for both television and radio in Japan…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Windy City sports talk personality Terry Boers will do some vacation fill-in work on Entercom’s WSCR “The Score” during the holidays. Boers retired from the station in January of 2017. He plans to sit in with Matt Spiegel on December 24 and 28 and with Steve Rosenbloom on December 27…..CBS Audio Network is offering a three-hour special called the “CBS Audio Holiday Special,” hosted by Gil Gross that covers such stories as ‘How Poinsettias Became the Holiday Flower’, ‘How Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Became Essential to the Holidays,’ ‘The history and fun stories about Menorahs and the origin and traditions of Kwanzaa. Along with how ‘Auld Lang Syne’ became a New Year’s staple thanks to this radio network, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and its founder William Paley.”…..And speaking of the holidays, pictured below is Westwood One syndicated personality Jim Bohannon dressed as Santa Claus posing with his elves at the Chickasaw Point Women’s Club benefit for the Collins Children Home of Seneca, South Carolina on December 13.
iHeartMedia Confirmation Hearing Set for January 10. After settling two lawsuits earlier this week, iHeartMedia learns that its Confirmation Hearing for exit from Chapter 11 reorganization will continue on January 10. Judge Marvin Isgur has also set January 17 as a date for concerns regarding the Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Separation Settlement and January 22 for addition CCOH separation settlement concerns and the GAMCO motion. Finally, January 23 is the date to consider any remaining confirmation issues. An important date is January 9. That’s the deadline for filing objections to the CCOH Separation Settlement agreed to on December 16 that raises the revolving line of credit from iHeartMedia to CCOH to $200 million with iHeart is also indemnifying CCOH for up to 50% of certain tax liabilities.
Trump-Russia Investigation/Flynn Sentencing, Trump Foundation Case, Border Wall-Government Shutdown Threat, Xi Jinping Speech, Dow Activity-Recession Fears, Woody Allen Teen Lover Story, Penny Marshall Dies, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/18). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and Tuesday’s related sentencing hearing for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn; the Trump Foundation agrees to shut down after allegations of self-dealing; the battle over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the threat of a government shut down; Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech in which he defends China’s economic policies; the Dow’s December slough and worries about an impending recession; a former teenage lover of Woody Allen reveals her story; actress/director Penny Marshall dies at 75; and the weekend’s NFL 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. Nationally syndicated adult contemporary evening personality Delilah joins the program schedule at Max Media’s WVBW, Norfolk “92.9 The Wave.” The Premiere Networks host is airing in the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart…..Via an affiliation relationship with Envision Networks, Lazer Broadcasting Corporation is offering the “Radio Lazer” Spanish-language music format. Lazer calls the format “a modern regional Mexican” one that plays today’s most popular songs in a top-40 environment…..Entravision Communications Corporation extends its agreements with Al & CM Broadcasting LLC to represent on a network basis and air Alex “El Genio” Lucas through 2020. Alex “El Genio” Lucas’ syndicated morning radio show airs on Entravision’s “La Suavecita” radio network in 13 markets across the country.
Report: Savage Program Changes the Result of ‘Corporate Censorship.’ In an analysis/opinion piece in The Washington Times, writer Cheryl K. Chumley quotes both Michael Savage and Daniel Horowitz (identified as Savage’s lawyer) in a piece that asserts the coming changes in Savage’s program from three live hours to one live hour and a one-hour podcast and the resulting, anticipated loss of affiliate stations WABC, New York; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; and KABC, Los Angeles are not business decisions but political ones. Horowitz is quoted saying, “Michael’s voice, unlike [his conservative competitors] has always been very independent. Savage is completely a wild card, right? And that’s what they’re trying to kill. It’s all about corporate control. Taking him off the air is not a business decision.” Horowitz adds, “Networks are actually losing millions of dollars in order to keep Michael’s voice off these stations.” Savage himself seems piqued the aforementioned stations won’t delay-broadcast his shows at night. “The only reason I can see is because of politics. It makes no sense. I have a loyal, large audience. Why not at least do reruns at night?” Read the Times piece here.
Dave Glover Re-Ups with KFTK-FM, St. Louis. St. Louis radio talk show host Dave Glover signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom’s news/talk KFTK-FM to continue hosting his afternoon drive program on the station. Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “‘The Dave Glover Show’ has been a cornerstone of the afternoon drive at ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1’ from the very beginning and I am thrilled that Dave will be a part of the team for the foreseeable future. I have been honored to work with Dave for the last decade and look forward to continuing to work with him in the years to come. Dave leads the way on so many levels and strives for excellence in everything he does on a daily basis.” Glover has been with KFTK-FM since 2000. The station says Glover’s program finished #1 in 2017 with persons aged 25-54, according to Nielsen PPM ratings.
iHeartMedia Settles Lawsuits Removing Two Roadblocks. Two lawsuits that were partly responsible for postponing iHeartMedia’s Confirmation Hearing in its Chapter 11 reorganization have been settled. Creditors GAMCO and Norfolk County Retirement System objected to iHeartMedia’s use of cash sweeps from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings and filed suit. An early December agreement between GAMCO and iHM called for iHeart to provide a revolving line of credit of $170 million to CCOH. This latest settlement calls for the revolving line of credit to be hiked to $200 million after iHeartMedia and CCOH become separate companies – part of the Fifth Amended Plan. iHeart is also indemnifying CCOH for up to 50% of certain tax liabilities.
TALKERS News Notes. Beginning January 2, Las Vegas talk radio pro Heidi Harris hosts a three-hour morning show on Kemp Communications’ news/talk KMZQ-AM, airing from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Currently, Harris is hosting the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot on the station. The station also swaps out Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager and Michael Medved in middays for SRN’s Mike Gallagher and Sebastian Gorka. Harris tells TALKERS magazine she continues to produce her podcast in addition to hosting her radio show. Harris has served with Entercom’s KXNT-AM and Beasley’s KDWN in the Las Vegas market…..Sales pro Ed Krampf joins Sun & Fun Media as senior account executive for its affiliate sales unit. Sun & Fun co-founder Rob Koblasz says, “Adding Ed to our team continues our mission of having the best and brightest minds in the industry serving our affiliates.”…..Premiere Networks announces the continuation of a long-standing “Coast to Coast AM” tradition of listeners being treated to live, holiday-themed programming, including special guest appearances, open lines, music and surprises on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Program host George Noory says, “When I began this journey 17 years ago, I made a promise to our faithful listeners that there will be live programs on the holidays – a time of joy, but also a time of loneliness for some. I look forward to sharing this special time of year with my ‘Coast to Coast AM’ family.”…..Tomorrow, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg, along with WNYW-TV FOX 5 “Good Day New York” host Ines Rosales, will visit Maimonides Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn. The two will deliver presents and holiday surprises from the hospital’s wish list for every child in the unit to make their holidays a little brighter. Rosenberg says, “As the proud and loving dad of two, I can’t think of a better way to spend my holiday season than with the children at Maimonides Medical Center. Bringing laughs to my listening audience is fun but putting a smile on these kids’ faces will be the absolute best.”
Trump-Russia Investigation/Russian Election Meddling, Border Wall-Government Shutdown Threat, Dow Dips 500+/Recession Worries, Obamacare Status, Moonves Gets Nothing from CBS, Criminal Justice Reform Bill, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the related intelligence regarding Russian election interference; the battle in Washington over funding for the Mexican border wall that could shut down the federal government; the continuing stock selloff and concerns about a recession; the status of Obamacare in the aftermath of a federal judge’s ruling it unconstitutional; CBS reveals ousted chief Les Moonves will get no severance; the criminal justice reform bill that would reduce sentences for non-violent offenders; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Remembering Dave Robbins. Social media was abuzz Monday night as news spread about the sudden passing of highly respected programmer and general manager Dave Robbins. To see glowing tributes for someone who has died isn’t unusual, but the well-earned praise for Robbins was particularly voluminous and the word “mentor” was frequently mentioned. Held in high esteem for his days programming Columbus CHR WNCI, Robbins was among the most successful PDs who transitioned to the GM’s chair. What follows is a very brief sample from the many weighing in on him. Noted consultant/programmer John Sebastian: “He was my GM in Chicago at WJMK. He was a great boss and a very good man.” Executive vice president/programming operations at iHeartMedia Jon Zellner: “I have two mentors in this business and Dave Robbins is one of them. He literally taught me everything I know through the many years I had the opportunity to work with him at Nationwide and CBS Radio – I am forever grateful. No one was more creative, inspiring or motivating – a true strategist in every sense of the word. Dave possessed every trait of a natural leader, but he also was one of the most nurturing human beings I ever met. It truly brought him joy to see people on his team succeed.” Breakthrough Management partner John Parikhal: “This is terrible news. I was a huge fan of Dave’s and we had some serious fun working together. I’m so sorry to hear this.” WTUZ, New Philadelphia (Ohio) director/operations & programming Steve Kelly: “This is the most difficult post I have ever had to write, but I know our radio family and Dave’s friends will want to know that my dear friend, Dave Robbins, passed away today. Godspeed my friend.” Longtime Chicago programmer/consultant Buddy Scott: “I’m stunned – today we lost one of the greatest guys in radio and in life, Dave Robbins. We worked together twice and were corporate mates once. I loved Dave – he was my friend. [This is] so sudden and so sad.” Zapoleon Media Strategies president Guy Zapoleon: “We lost someone very special today, a broadcast industry legend; mentor to so many in our industry; and a great human being who always had time for anyone who would reach out in need. [This is a] heartbreaking loss for all who were blessed to know Dave Robbins. I was blessed to have worked with and partnered with Dave at Nationwide Communications. I always called him ‘the general’ because he had an amazing strategic mind that he applied to radio and was the greatest strategic mind I’ve met in our business, truly a leader of men. Most importantly, Dave was a wonderful nurturing man who mentored so many people in our business and taught them the secrets of success in radio and in life. Dave was simply a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime human being.” Executive vice president/programming at iHeartMedia Tony Coles: “This afternoon brought the stunning loss of my friend and mentor, Dave Robbins. Dave was the person responsible for getting me into programming. All of these years later, I have never made a major career decision without consulting Dave – I am so thankful to have known him.” Cumulus Media Holdings vice president/programming operations John Dimick: “I am devastated at the news. [Dave] gave me my first shot and truly taught everyone how to be their best self. Programming WNCI with [him] as the GM is a bright spot in my life. The universe is just a little out of balance tonight.” Also “heartbroken” to hear the news of Robbins’ passing was Saga Communications Asheville (North Carolina) operations manager Neal Sharpe: “He was one of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was a mentor, a friend, and the greatest radio leader I’ve ever known.” WLNK, Charlotte on-air talent Ramona Holloway remarks that Robbins had, “one of the most unforgettable voices in the business.” Executive vice president of global music marketing & strategy for iHeartMedia Alissa Pollack: “Wow – I’m devastated – I just spoke with him. He was one of my all-time favorites. I’m so sorry to hear this about Dave ‘Rock & Roll’ Robbins.” Three comments from record company executives included this from Alchemy Entertainment owner Bill Pfordresher: “Dave was an amazing bright light in my life. Yes, he was a great radio executive, but also an amazing friend. You always felt special in his presence and he was able to do that with everyone he met. He had true soul and I am deeply saddened at his passing. He is in a good place and will be remembered and loved always.” What’s In-Store Music partner Bob Catania: “I will never forget my first meeting with Dave. He handed me a hand grip, stuck a quarter in it, and told me if I could hold it for five minutes without dropping the quarter, he’d give me an add. Of course, I couldn’t – he had tested it with many a promo person prior. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship [with a] true gentleman and a brilliant programmer. This news breaks my heart.” Hitpredictor owner Rick Bisceglia: “Dave was tough – almost impossible – but highly intelligent and fair at the end. He was compassionate and made me better.” From January 2006 to the time of his death, Robbins was owner and chief executive officer of Windermere, Florida-based Getaway Vacation Homes, where he owned/managed 50 vacation homes and condos along Florida’s beaches and at Walt Disney World. Prior to that, his lengthy radio resume included a five-year stint (2010 – 2015) as senior vice president/market manager for CBS Radio Orlando’s WOMX, WJHM, WOCL and eight years as vice president and general manager for four of that company’s Chicago stations – WUSN, WCFS, WBBM-FM, and WJMK. Prior to that (1998 – 2003), Robbins was VP/GM for Columbus facilities WHOK, WLVQ, and WAZU; as well as vice president and general manager of Nationwide Columbus’ WNCI, WCOL, and WFYI. He spent seven years as Nationwide’s vice president of programming (1988 – 1995) and, from 1982 – 1988, programmed KHTR, St. Louis. Just 59 years old, Robbins was reported to have suffered a massive heart attack. He’s pictured here (center) with his wife Patti (left) and Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo (right).
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Syracuse morning duo Ted Long and Amy Robbins have signed a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue hosting the “Ted & Amy in the Morning” show on CHR WNTQ “93Q,” something they’ve been doing for 30 years. Long says, “To be able to do what I love for so long, with the same people whom I admire so much, and at a company that not only cares for the audience they serve, as well as their employees, really makes it a no-brainer when it came to re-signing our contract. Amy and I both feel very privileged to hold the positions we have had for so long here in Central New York. I am excited to continue to inform and entertain our great audience of listeners on 93Q.” Robbins adds, “I truthfully find it hard to believe that I have spent more than half my life on the airwaves of ‘93Q.’ We are beyond grateful to our amazing listeners who continue to keep us as a part of their daily lives and to Cumulus Media who continues to recognize how important local talent is to each and every market they serve.”…..Alpha Media names Frank Wright content director for adult contemporary WXLC, Waukegan, Illinois. Wright – midday host on the station – takes over for Haynes Johns, who exited the position in October of this year.