WCCO-AM, Minneapolis Names Cory Hepola Late Morning Host. Transitioning from television to radio in the Twin Cities is Cory Hepola, who will assume the host role from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at Entercom’s WCCO-AM, effective January 7. Hepola – an Emmy Award-winning news anchor – has been serving as anchor at KARE-TV, Minneapolis. Hepola says, “Growing up in Perham, Minnesota, just seeing or hearing the iconic call letters – WCCO – gives me chills. The history here is amazing; for nearly 100 years, brilliant people have been laying a successful foundation of respect and trust at WCCO Radio. I’m thankful to be adding my voice, energy, and personality to this already incredibly talented staff.” During Hepola’s two-decade career as a journalist, Hepola has worked in Fargo, North Dakota; Rochester, New York; and Austin, Texas. He takes over for the retiring John Hines.
Rex Hansen Retires as VP/GM of SummitMedia’s Springfield, Missouri Cluster. At the Springfield, Missouri cluster of SummitMedia – just acquired in a purchase from Scripps Media – vice president and general manager Rex Hansen is resigning from the post he’s held for 19 years, effective at the end of January. During his career at the station group, Hansen led the launch of three radio brands, including news/talk KSGF-AM/FM – a winner of the Edward R. Murrow National Award for outstanding news coverage in 2012 and 2015. The cluster also includes country KTTS, CHR KSPW “Power 96.5,” and adult hits KRVI “106.7 The River.” Hansen says, “Working with these stations for the last two decades has been a dream come true. Serving Springfield and the surrounding communities has been a passion of our team. Helping create a better community has been and continues to be our mission. I’m looking forward to spending time with my wife Pam and our family. There is a strong leadership team in place at SummitMedia Springfield that has been developed and fully prepared for this moment. I’m confident they will continue our successful record. It’s been a great ride!”
TALKERS News Notes. Media tech pro Sue Gilks is appointed director, Asia-Pacific for Comrex Corporation. In this role, she’ll work with distributors in the region to support existing customers and further develop the markets. During her 30-year career she’s served as a senior manager in the international broadcast arena with a number of world-leading technology companies, including: DTC,Tandberg TV, Motorola, and Sony. She will be in attendance at BES Expo 2019 in New Delhi on January 17-19 representing Comrex with Technomedia Solutions in Stall 60…..A preliminary autopsy report from the Paducah, Kentucky police indicates no evidence of foul play in the death of former, longtime KGO, San Francisco talk show host Ray Taliaferro. His body was found on Sunday (12/2) about a mile from where he was last seen after being missing for three weeks. KGO-TV, San Francisco reports that authorities say exposure to the elements may have precipitated his death…..Actor, talk host, and radio producer Dominick Brascia died at his home in Bozeman, Montana on November 26 at age 61. During his career he acted in movies and on such shows as Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, “Knight Rider,” “Iron Eagle,” “Night Court,” “Busted,” “My Life as a Troll,” and many others. His radio career included stops at KSTE, Sacramento; KXNT, Las Vegas; WERC, Birmingham; and KNRC-AM, Denver. His most recent gig was as host of “Dominick in the Morning” on Townsquare Media’s KMMS, Bozeman. Read his obituary here…..ABC News Radio announces special coverage of the funeral and services for former President George H.W. Bush. Coverage will be anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky along with fellow correspondents Karen Travers, Stephanie Ramos, and Lana Zak in Washington, Jim Ryan in Houston, and contributors Ann Compton, Steve Roberts, and more…..Syndicated Solutions Incorporated announces VP/affiliate sales Steve Downes is retiring on December 20 after an 18-year stint with the company.
Share of Ear: Advertisers Have Misperception of Pandora and Spotify Audiences. According to the third quarter “2018 Share of Ear” report (research into U.S. audio usage) from Edison Research, “advertisers and agencies incorrectly perceive the audience size of Pandora and Spotify. Advertisers perceptions finds that advertisers and agencies believe Spotify has a 23% share of audio time spent while Pandora is slightly less at 21%. AM/FM radio is perceived at 36%. The truth: AM/FM radio has a 47% share while ad-supported Pandora is 4% and ad-supported Spotify is only 2% of audio time spent.” Cumulus Media chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard writes about the most recent data on his blog. He points to the study’s AM/FM usage data that says, “Americans spend substantially more time daily with AM/FM radio than Spotify and Pandora: AM/FM radio dominates daily time spent with nearly two hours daily among persons 18+ compared to Pandora’s 12 minutes and Spotify’s 10 minutes daily.” If smart speakers are what is going to bring live radio broadcasts back into the home, the growing use of the device is good news for radio. The study reports that “smart speaker ownership soars to 24% of all Americans in October 2018: Smart speaker ownership is still on the rise, tripling in just 2 years.”
Trump-Russia Investigation/Flynn Testimony, Bush 41 Remembrances, Dow Plunges/Trump-Xi Meeting, MBS’ Role in Khashoggi Murder, Cancer Test Breakthrough, Les Moonves Investigation, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/4). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related “no-prison Time” request for Michael Flynn from Mueller; the death of former President George H. W. Bush; the Dow plunges 800 points amidst confusion over President Trump’s remarks after meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping; the controversy over Mohammed bin Salman’s role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; researchers in Australia announce the development of a 10-minute blood test for cancer; the investigation into allegations of sexual assault against embattled, former CBS chief Les Moonves; 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.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Personality Ty Bentli takes the driver’s seat on the former “Ty, Kelly, and Chuck” show based in Nashville and heard on Cumulus Media’s country WKDF “NASH FM 103.3.” Westwood One announces it is launching the new show, hosted by Bentli with Chuck Wicks still on board and “an expanded cast of friends and characters who will get real, get down, and get country.” Kelly Ford left the show earlier in the fall. Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We are excited to showcase Ty in this new morning environment where his genuine and engaging personality really shines. He connects with listeners in a very real way and this is the perfect forum for him to bring more good will, compassion, and cheer to our lives every morning.”…..In Detroit, Cumulus Media names Lance Tidwell director of FM programming, in charge of country WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1” and hot AC WDVD. He takes over for Robbie Bridges who exits the post to relocate to the East. Tidwell recently exited his position with Townsquare Media as operations manager for the company’s Fort Collins, Colorado cluster…..Changes at Townsquare Media’s hot AC WSJO, Atlantic City as brand manager Heather DeLuca moves her air shift from middays to afternoons and Chelsea Corrine takes over the midday show, moving from sister country WPUR “Cat Country 107.3.”…..Benztown appoints Scott “Justin Case” Mayton to the newly created position of director, national imaging. The company says that in this new role, he’ll provide dedicated ‘white glove’ service to national media companies signing group imaging deals. At the same time, Benztown promotes audio imaging pro Matt Anderson to director, custom imaging, in which he’ll oversee Custom Imaging for Benztown and its audio affiliates across the U.S. and Canada.….iHeartMedia Denver’s rock KBCO is named the first-ever FM station to be inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. During an induction ceremony at Denver’s Paramount Theater last night (12/3), KBCO was recognized as one of the most influential radio stations in music, community involvement, and multimedia. National touring artist Amos Lee read the proclamation and presented the award to KBCO program director Scott Arbough. Additional highlights from the night included a special video tribute from Nathaniel Rateliff as well as a video highlight reel of KBCO’s accomplishments from throughout the years…..There’s a cool opportunity at Service Broadcasting’s hip hop KKDA, Dallas “K104.” The station is seeking an innovative music director and show producer to play an integral role on its SBG Content Factory team. This is a unique position for a creative music maven, content curator, and show director who can drive audience engagement, ratings and revenue success. Send your resume package, success stories, and philosophies on music scheduling, morning shows, and marketing with references to: SBG HR Manager Debbie Henry at email@example.com No phone calls please. Service Broadcasting is an EOE.