Monday Memo: Infinite Dial 2019. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo that if you missed the Edison Research/Triton Digital “Infinite Dial 2019” webinar last week, it’s well worth an hour to watch the video and flip through the slides. If you’re thinking “an HOUR?” you may FIND an hour after reading his short version in this week’s column that you can read here.
FNC’s Tucker Carlson Unapologetic for Bubba the Love Sponge Appearances. Conservative media figure and FOX News Channel talk show host Tucker Carlson is not apologizing for comments made during his appearances on the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show between 2006 and 2011. Variety reports that liberal media watchdog organization Media Matters for America dug up some recordings of Carlson – a regular guest on the show during that period – that include him making a “pejorative statement about Arianna Huffington, Britney Spears and Alexis Stewart, Martha Stewart’s daughter,” as well as downplaying the actions of “Warren Jeffs, the religious leader who had been placed on the FBI’s most-wanted fugitive list on charges he had arranged marriages between his adult male followers and underage girls.” Last night, Carlson issued the following statement, “Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”
‘Our American Stories’ Adds New Affiliates in Denver and Omaha. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from Lee Habeeb’s American Private Radio adds iHeartMedia’s KOA, Denver and KFAB, Omaha to its roster of affiliates. The two-hour, daily magazine-style radio drama is also now being heard on Ashley Communications’ KVEL AM, Vernal, Utah; Alpha Media’s WSGW-AM/FM, Saginaw, Michigan; and Tri-County Broadcastings’ WLVA FM, Lynchburg, Virginia. Habeeb says he is humbled by the continued success of his non-political program that focuses on “what brings America together,” and adds “these partnerships confirm Americans do love well-produced radio programs that entertain and inform.”
John Batchelor Show Broadcasts from Azerbaijan This Week. The WABC, New York-based and Westwood One nationally syndicated John Batchelor show will broadcast live from the Republic of Azerbaijan this week (3/11-15) in conjunction with the Embassy of Azerbaijan and sponsored by multimedia software firm Scala Inc. Batchelor is joined by colleagues Christopher Nixon Cox and Monica Crowley “traveling the old Silk Road of Marco Polo to the new Silk Road of energy, on the shore of the vast Caspian Sea Basin in the South Caucasus.” Batchelor says, “From Baku, the sparkling growing capital of Azerbaijan, I will head north to the Russian border at Dagestan. This is the mountain pass route of the ancient Silk Road. There is much to learn about how the region will prosper as the Silk Road is reawakened with highways, railroad beds and communication networks that link the savvy manufacturers of East Asia to the rich consumer markets of Asia Minor, Russia, and the European Union. Returning to Baku, I will venture to the critical oil and gas hub at Sangechal, from where energy resources are sent through Georgia to Turkey and the Mediterranean Basin — and soon via the Southern Gas Corridor to Europe. Importantly, I will be able to interview many private and public voices about the economic development of Azerbaijan and also the region.”
iHeartRadio’s ‘Bear and a Banjo’ Podcast Produced by Legendary Talent. A new, musical podcast will launch later this year on iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio platform called “Bear and a Banjo.” iHM calls it a first-of-its-kind. It’s created by Jingle Jared, Dennis Quaid, and five-time Grammy winner Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd (“Despacito,” “Where Are You Now,” “I’m the One” and “Peaches and Cream”) with musical contributions from producer T Bone Burnett (“O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Crazy Heart”) and original lyrical contribution from Bob Dylan. Each episode of the eight-part series will tell a self-contained story about a character called Mister Bear. Bear is a traveling musician who visits different towns across America and impacts people’s lives before vanishing again. He is often preceded into town by J. Banjo, a charming huckster/card player/preacher/medicine salesman who acts as Bear’s promoter and hype man. Quaid says, “This is the beginning of an entirely new era of podcasts. With ‘Bear and a Banjo,’ we are delving into a more sophisticated form of storytelling that brings the audience into a lush and rich world – not just through words, but music.”
Josh Rahmani Named SVP National and Network Sales for Radio One and Reach Media. Sales pro Josh Rahmani is promoted from his vice president, national sales for Radio One post to SVP, national and network sales for Radio One and Reach Media. Company CEO David Kantor says, “Josh has led our national radio team for several years. He was instrumental in developing and implementing our corporate sales and partnership effort. Based on this success it made great sense to put our network team under his direction. All our national sales efforts are now under his direction. Josh’s commitment and passion for what we do at Radio One has been exhibited over the years, consistently delivering leadership throughout the company and maintaining great relationships with our partners in advertising and sponsorship.” Rahmani has served with Radio One since 2005.
TALKERS News Notes. According to a report from Chicago media maven Robert Feder, WLS-AM, Chicago news reporter Jennifer Keiper resigns from the station where she’s been afternoon news anchor. The station expects to announce the new afternoon anchor soon. Meanwhile, Feder reports Keiper commenting, “WLS-AM has treated me well over the last four and a half years, but I felt I had done all I could do there and that it was time for a change. I have left on very friendly terms and look forward to my next challenge.”…..The independently syndicated “Free Talk Live” show featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds new affiliate stations. Freeman notes that in some instances his libertarian-minded show has taken over the dayparts formerly held by progressive talker Norman Goldman, who recently wrapped production of his program. New affiliates for “Free Talk Live” include KBBR-AM, North Bend, Oregon. The program has also moved to air live on KABQ-AM, Albuquerque from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..CRN Digital Talk Radio adds “Feed Your Face with Merrill Shindler” to its network roster, effective today (3/11). CRN president and CEO Michael Horn says, “Merrill Shindler is the best culinary and travel expert in the country. Merrill has been a guest on many of our programs and we are delighted to produce his show for national consumption.”
CORRECTION: Ronn Owens Report Continues on KGO. The March 7 report in TALKERS about the new program schedule at Cumulus Media‘s KGO, San Francisco stated the longtime KGO personality Ronn Owens was gone from the program schedule. That is incorrect and the 10-minute “Ronn Owens Report” continues to be heard three times daily as part of the revised programming schedule on KGO. TALKERS regrets the error.
TalkersRadio in the Community. Los Angeles media figure, community organizer and TalkersRadio personality Meg McDonald (r) – who was recently elected president of the Studio City Beautification Association – is pictured with California State Assembly member Adrin Nazarian (D) at the Studio City Residents Association appreciation dinner at Carla’s Café on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City on Saturday evening (3/9). The appreciation dinner is an annual event to say thank you to SCRA volunteers, vendors, local businesses and officials who help enhance the quality of life in Studio City. Nazarian represents the 46th Assembly District which encompasses the central-southern San Fernando Valley. To listen to McDonald’s short-form feature “MEG!” please click here. MEG! is now available for terrestrial radio clearances. Interested stations can call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
U.S.-Mexico Border Wall, Trump-Russia Investigation, Democrats’ Omar Problem, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Socialism Debate, Ballooning U.S. Budget Deficit, Venezuela Blackout, Jaguar Attacks Selfie-Taker, Ethiopian Airlines Crash, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The state of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and President Trump’s budget request for $8.6 billion for a border wall; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the anti-Semitism accusations leveled against Rep. Ilhan Omar; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the internal battle between younger, more socialist-leaning Democrats and the older ones; the report of the U.S. budget deficit rising 77% in the past year; Caracas, Venezuela deals with blackouts amidst Nicolas Maduro’s claim the U.S. sabotaged the substation; a zoo-goer in Phoenix is attacked by a jaguar after she jumped the boundary to take a selfie; the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash and the mass grounding of new Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Tampa market on-air pro Nick Van Cleve is retiring from Cox Media Group’s classic hits WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” at the end of this month. In addition to his 15-year gig with WXGL, he’s also served with WXTB-FM, WYNF-FM and WFUS-FM in the Tampa market. He tells the Tampa Bay Time retirement is “a logical stepping off point for me and my wife. We want to spend time in North Carolina and do some traveling. I did some backpacking in Europe and got the travel bug. And I’ve grown weary of getting up at 4:30 am.”…..Alpha Media adds programming responsibilities for rhythmic CHR KTFM, San Antonio “Energy 94.1” to national director/digital content Ernie Martinez’s role with the company. Alpha VP of content Phil Becker states, “Working alongside Ernie in our corporate roles, I have witnessed time and time again his prowess as a programmer. His desire to infuse both his digital expertise and proven track record as a programmer is exactly what KTFM needs.”…..Afternoon personality Rick Daniels is leaving Cumulus Media’s country KIZN, Boise after almost three years for a new, yet-to-be-announced position in a market closer to his children…..Emmis Communications flips triple A KGSR-FM, Austin to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.” The signal had been a simulcast of the “Austin City Limits Radio” format that continues to air on the KGSR-HD2 and K246BD signals…..This morning, country artist Maren Morris dropped by the studios of the nationally syndicated Ty Bentli Show in Nashville to talk about the release of her highly anticipated sophomore album, GIRL. Pictured below are (from l-r): TJ, Morris, and Bentli.