Midwest Communications Paying $21.6 Million for Peoria Stations. When broker KALIL & Co. announced the deal between Alpha Media and Midwest Communications on Tuesday, it did not include the price. Now that the contract is showing up in the FCC database, we know that Midwest will pay Alpha $21.6 million for the six-station cluster in the Peoria market that includes: news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM.
Media Exec Peter I. Morris Named CEO of PodcastOne. Media and business executive Peter I. Morris joins PodcastOne as chief executive officer in a new role in which he’ll manage all day-to-day operations while exploring growth opportunities, strategic partnerships, and new content initiatives. He joins the management team led by executive chairman Norm Pattiz and president Kit Gray. Morris comes to PodcastOne with 10-plus years of experience in senior management, business development, and business affairs across film, television, and digital media. He was most recently EVP of Barstool Sports. He’s also served as EVP of entertainment at IMAX, and head of business affairs & strategy and general counsel at Funny or Die. Morris says, “Personally, I’m a huge fan of podcasts and a strong believer in the power of the fan communities this medium champions. The opportunity to work with a legend like Norm Pattiz at PodcastOne, a market leader, is one I couldn’t pass up. I look forward to leading PodcastOne’s evolution and next chapter of growth.”
Entercom’s Radio.com Strikes Deals with CNN and Bloomberg. This content sharing deal between Entercom and CNN and Blomberg Media provides for Entercom’s RADIO.com platform to air 10 live simulcasts of CNN and Bloomberg programs, in addition to making podcasts from Turner Podcast Network available on the platform. Simulcast content will include: CNN International, CNN en Español, and HLN from CNN and Bloomberg Radio National as well as New York, D.C., Boston, Bay Area, and London editions. Entercom chief digital officer JD Crowley says, “We are thrilled to welcome CNN and Bloomberg to RADIO.COM as we increase our premium content offerings. Through our deep roster of industry-leading radio stations and premium live and on-demand content, RADIO.COM is quickly becoming an important part of the daily audio habit for the tens of millions of listeners we reach per month. These agreements further cement RADIO.COM’s position as the premiere destination for on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content on a national scale.”
ABC News to Launch ‘The Investigation’ Podcast. Beginning next Tuesday (2/12), ABC News is tackling the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election in podcast form. The new podcast, “The Investigation,” is hosted by ABC News correspondent Kyra Phillips and the ABC News investigative team, led by senior executive producer Chris Vlasto. ABC says it will provide a weekly, behind-the-scenes look at Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and will focus on the lead-up to the highly anticipated report and explore its aftermath, analyzing the potential fallout and political consequences. ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “We’ve provided extensive coverage of the Mueller probe on our daily podcast ‘Start Here,’ but there’s so much more that Kyra Phillips and our investigative team can provide, that launching a dedicated podcast made spectacular sense. ‘The Investigation’ will break news, offer context, and make our growing ABC Radio podcast network even more attractive for advertisers hoping to reach an informed and engaged audience.”
TALKERS News Notes. Last Saturday evening, Hubbard Radio’s Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM officially moved from its Idaho Ave studios in Northwest DC to its new studios on Wisconsin Ave in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Check out the video of the station making the flip from the old studio to the new one here…..WJFN-FM, Goochland, Virginia announces a special Saturday program to address the political scandals affecting Democratic politicians that have the state in the national discussion. WJFN is operated by conservative talk radio personality John Fredericks and he has been determined to broaden the conversation about Virginia politics by adding Democratic talk hosts to the program schedule. This weekend, Democrat Susan Platt, who hosts the “Find Your Roar” hourly interview program Saturdays at 9:00 am and Democrat Gene Rossi, host of the “Gene Rossi Show” on Saturdays at 12:00 noon, will team up for a special, two-hour show from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm to address the scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and Attorney General Mark Herring. Fredericks says, “At WJFN, our mission is to provide listeners with timely updates, behind-the-scenes details, and clear analysis about the world of Virginia politics. In the past week, Virginia has been rocked by three distinctive scandals related to race relations and sexual conduct. These are serious and sensitive subjects involving prominent public officials. Many Virginians are reeling from these revelations. In such highly charged moments, we recognize our responsibility to accurately inform our listeners as they put these events into context.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT is losing the host of its 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily program as Los Angeles-based Norman Goldman’s program will end in the near future. Goldman has told his listeners that the show will end because it is losing money and has “no more money to lose.”…..A new podcast called “Mama Said with Jamie and Jenna” is launching on the LadyGang on PodcastOne Network. The program features “Sopranos” actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler and musician Jenna Parris as Sigler, a working and traveling mother, and Parris, a stay-at-home mom and avid researcher, bring together their different perspectives and delve into parenthood with celebrity guests…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk WERC, Birmingham is partnering with the Alliance of American Football club the Birmingham Iron to air all 10 of the team’s games. The inaugural season of the new football league begins on Sunday (2/10). Veteran broadcaster Thom Abraham serves as the play-by-play voice with former Alabama All-American Mike Johnson as the color commentator.
Trump-Russia Investigation, House Intel Committee Investigation, State of the Union Address, 2020 Presidential Hopefuls/Elizabeth Warren Native American Issue, AOC’s Green New Deal, Virginia’s Political Chaos, Border Wall Battle, Chicago Cubs Racism Troubles, Venezuela Unrest, James Brown Murder Allegation, and NBA Trade Deadline Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff’s expansion of his committee’s investigation into President Trump; Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address; the Democrats intending to run for president in 2020 and the related story of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claim to be Native American; freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” legislative agenda; the issues of racism and an allegation of sexual assault dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, attorney general Mark Herring, and Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the racist emails associated with Joe Ricketts, patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs; the political unrest in Venezuela; the allegation that both James Brown and the legendary performer’s wife were murdered; and the deals taking place at the NBA’s trade deadline 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. In Atlanta, Cumulus Media names Corey Dylan co-host of the “Caddy & Corey” morning show on country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” alongside Cadillac Jack. Dylan has worked in radio at hot AC WMTX, Tampa and news/talk WFLA-AM, Tampa. She most recently has been on television’s TMZ and HSN as a guest host. WKHX program director Brian Thomas comments, “I feel so fortunate for Corey to join Cadillac Jack in mornings. Her multi-media experience will create one of the best country shows in radio.”