WISN, Milwaukee’s Mark Belling Sidelined by Stroke. Afternoon drive talk show host Mark Belling reportedly told his listeners that he’ll be taking “a few days” off from his work at iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN, Milwaukee after suffering a stroke during his program back on February 11. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Belling is not having problems talking – a common effect of a stroke – but that his peripheral vision is affected and Belling says it makes reading difficult. He told his listeners that on the February 11 program he began experiencing a “weird sensation” that progressed. “It was not excruciating, it was not debilitating. Your head’s crumbling inside.” Belling added that reading copy live is a part of his program and that is very difficult. “I’ve got to do this right or I’m not going to be able to come back and be any good at this thing — at all.” He says he may do some one-hour segments of his show before coming back full time, but “nothing is set in stone.”
Phil Kornblut Building Network for South Carolina Sports Talk Show. Longtime South Carolina sports talk host Phil Kornblut’s statewide “SportsTalk” show was dealt a setback last month when Learfield Communications shut down the South Carolina Radio Network that distributed the program for more than 30 years. Kornblut is continuing his 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily show show, based at Glory Communications’ WQXL-AM/W264DF, Columbia, and is building a roster of stations across the state to carry the program. The Post and Courier reports Kornblut saying he has a network of 20 stations ready to carry the show beginning on February 25. At the same time, Kornblut says University of South Carolina football standout Rick Sanford is joining the program. Korblut is quoted saying, “He’s one of the great athletes to come out of this state and one of the great Gamecocks of all time, and he’s made himself into a very good sports talk show host. His name and knowledge will bring a lot to the show. He wants to cover press conferences, go to games. He’s really throwing himself into it, and I think it’ll be fun.”
WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Host Scoot Victim of Hit and Run. The picture here is of WWL-AM/FM early afternoon talk host Scoot in the hospital after being struck by a hit-and-run motorcyclist in New Orleans early in the morning of February 15. The station’s website posted the photo along with the story. Authorities are still seeking information in an attempt to find the driver. Scoot was crossing Canal Street near the corner of Canal and Bourbon when he was hit. WWL management says, “Scoot’s ok, but he’s recovering from some tough injuries to his body.” Police have video from surveillance cameras, but the lack of light and the speed of the motorcycle make it impossible to identify the driver. They are seeking help from nearby businesses to see if better surveillance footage is available.
Crossover Media Group Takes on Ad Sales for Nancy Grace Show. Cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales firm Crossover Media Group is now handling ad sales for SiriusXM’s daily, two-hour “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” program. As part of the agreement with Red Seat Ventures, Crossover Media Group is also handling ad sales and sponsorship support for the program’s social media channels. Crossover sales managing member Sue Freund says, “Nancy has that rare storyteller’s ability to connect with audiences. The addition of ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ places CMG in an even stronger position to offer marketers access to hard-to-reach female demographics with proven national personalities.”
BFoA Names 2019 Leadership Award Recipients. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces this year’s recipients of the 2019 Leadership Awards. The awards will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas during the NAB Show. The 2019 Leadership Awards honorees are: Bobby Caldwell, owner & CEO, East Arkansas Broadcasters, Inc.; Jean Dietze, president, affiliate relations, NBC Broadcasting; Richard A. Foreman, president, Richard A. Foreman Associates, Inc.; Mark Gray, CEO, Katz Media Group; Paul McTear, former president & CEO, Raycom Media; David Poltrack, chief research officer, CBS Corporation and president,CBS Vision. The Leadership Awards are given annually by the BFoA in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at-large.
Border Wall Issue/Emergency Declaration Suit, Trump-vs ‘SNL,’ McCabe on ’60 Minutes,’ 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Sanders Enters, Venezuela Unrest, Florida ‘Pledge’ Arrest, Jussie Smollett Case, NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18). The U.S.-Mexico border wall project, President Trump’s emergency declaration, and the 16 states suing over the emergency declaration; President Trump’s feud with “Saturday Night Live” and Alec Baldwin over its parody of him; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”; the growing list of Democrats entering the 2020 presidential race, including Bernie Sanders; President Trump ramps up criticism of Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela amidst the political unrest; the case of the Florida sixth grader arrested after refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance; the investigation into actor Jussie Smollett’s controversial attack by two individuals in Chicago; and NBA and NCAA hoops 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. In Phoenix, Entercom swaps morning shows at classic hits KOOL-FM and country KMLE. Beginning February 25, Maria Knight and Chad Mitchell (pictured at right) will take over the morning daypart on KMLE “Country @ 107.9.” Meanwhile, Niko Petrou (left) will move from KMLE to KOOL-FM for mornings. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh states, “This transition will allow us to maximize the content we deliver daily to this market. Maria and Chad are market veterans who know and love the country format and we are excited for KMLE listeners to get to know them. Niko has a great connection to Phoenix and we are confident that his passion and energy will enable him to connect with KOOL’s listeners.”…..On-air pro Alek Halverson joins Entercom’s Seattle country outlet KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” where he’ll serve as afternoon drive personality and music director, effective February 21. He comes to Entercom from his most recent position as Radio Fargo-Moorhead’s CHR KLTA, Fargo where he was afternoon host, APD, and music director. Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison comments, “Alek’s passion for radio and dedication to entertaining people on air and on social media makes him a great addition to our team. We are excited to welcome him to Seattle and to start a new chapter of afternoon drive in Seattle.”…..Midday personality Nikki Imbrascio exits Entercom’s CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” after 10 years in the position. Her bio, etc. has been scrubbed from the station’s website and no successor has been named at this point…..The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that the recent station swap between Cumulus Media and Entercom that’s turning ownership of Indy stations CHR WZPL, AC WNTR and sports talk WXNT-AM over to Cumulus will mean a move of those stations from their current studios, but no timetable has been set. Cumulus already owns classic hits WJJK-FM, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG in the market. The three new stations will join the current three at Cumulus’ Shadeland Avenue studios. The report says no format changes are planned but TALKERS magazine has speculated that the company will not continue to operate two CHR stations in the market and will eventually flip underperformer WYRG to another format…..As reported by the Terre Haute Tribune Star, WFNB-FM has flipped from adult contemporary to alternative as “92.7 The Rock.” DLC Media president and GM Dave Crooks tells the paper, “That was a bold move. We had done some research over the last several months. It looked like my original idea of trying to have all gold-based formats (adult hits or classic hits) was creating some duplication and chasing the same listeners. So, we decided to make this move to help us expand our reach.” Core artists will include: Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains.