Sean Hannity Named Among Top 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media. This 2019 edition is the ninth annual list of the 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media published by The Hollywood Reporter, and Premiere Networks syndicated radio personality and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity is once again on the list. The Hollywood Reporter points out Hannity’s achievements, including his status as a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and winner of a Marconi Award, and his hosting 2018’s most-watched cable news show. It also writes that his “closeness with Trump has bestowed unprecedented influence — not to mention well-watched exclusive interviews. Even his time slot rival, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, calls Hannity ‘the most powerful person in the media.’” The only other FNC personalities to make the list are FOX & Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade and FOX News’ Shepard Smith. See the list here.
KNBR, San Francisco Renews Midday Personality Larry Krueger. Twenty-two-year KNBR sports talk personality Larry Krueger signs a multi-year contract extension with the Cumulus Media station to continue co-hosting the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show with Gary Radnich. Krueger also serves as host of the pre- and post-game shows for San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal football broadcasts. KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “Larry is a cornerstone of KNBR ‘The Sports Leader.’ He brings a tremendous work ethic and ability to connect with Bay Area sports fans weekdays on ‘Gary & Larry,’ while also providing listeners with first-class coverage across KNBR’s San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal game day broadcasts. We are extremely proud to extend our relationship with Larry for years to come.”
WLS-AM, Chicago Celebrates 95 Years on the Air. Today, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago is celebrating its 95th birthday on the air and will mark the milestone with live interviews, contests, as well as “throw-backs showing WLS’s long legacy serving Chicago, Illinois, and much of the lower 48 for 95 years.” The station first launched on April 12, 1924, as Sears-Roebuck and Company’s own broadcast outlet to reach and market to farmers. Shortly after 6:00 pm that day, Edgar Bill stepped to the microphone and exclaimed: “Here ye, here ye, here ye! WLS, the Sears-Roebuck station is on the air!” The call letters WLS stood for “World’s Largest Store” and first aired farm and civic programming, popular music, comedies and radio serials. Guests on the station today will include numerous former WLS-AM staffers and Chicago media icons including: John Records Landecker, Roe Conn, John Gehron, Garry Meier, Tom Tradup, Tim Sabean, and more.
Beasley Names Burton Las Vegas Cluster Manager. Media management pro Peter Burton is named vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas operations that includes news/talk KDWN and four music-formatted stations. Burton was most recent COO of California-based Converze Media. Prior to that he’d served with Entercom as VP/GM of its Los Angeles stations. He also worked in the rep firm end of the business with both Katz and CBS. Burton says, “Las Vegas is one of the most dynamic growth markets in the country. The Beasley family has assembled a group of radio stations with amazing potential. I’m thankful for the opportunity to join their team.”
Mueller Report Aftermath Remains Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 8-12. The events following Robert Mueller’s report to the AG’s office were again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Southern border crisis and the related shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security. Coming in tied at #3 were 2020 presidential politics and the attempts to get President Trump’s tax returns, followed by the college admissions scandal 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.
TALKERS News Notes. Per Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” afternoon drive host Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson and co-host Pete Davis were suspended for three days this week by Cumulus Media management for his on-air comment about U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath that was deemed sexist. Ho reports the on-air conversation was about gun laws and Rep. McBath and included Davis saying to Peterson, “You’re there to knock Lucy McBath back into the kitchen.” With Peterson replying, “Yeah, go back to sewing stuff and leave my guns alone!” The company issued a statement condemning Peterson’s comments. As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WYAY is being sold to Educational Media Foundation and will flip to a Christian music format. Closing is expected to take place as early as next month…..The New Orleans Advocate is reporting that a local ownership group that includes actor Wendell Pierce, local PR firm owner Cleveland Spears, business consultant Troy Henry and local media entrepreneur Jeff Thomas are buying urban talk station WBOK, New Orleans. The group has formed Equity Media and expects to close the deal within a few months. Bakewell Media is the current owner of the station. Equity Media says in a statement, “The opportunity to elevate the station by ensuring that it provides a well-rounded view of major issues that affect the day-to-day lives of African Americans is something that we all feel immensely passionate about.” After taking over the station, the new owners say they will launch “a full assessment of the organization, programming and brand identity, with plans for a relaunch of the station in mid-summer.”…..In Western Massachusetts, the radio and television public media outlets are merging into one company called New England Public Media. Coming together are New England Public Radio’s WFCR-FM, Amherst and WGBY-TV, Springfield. A statement from the organizations says they will merge to form an independent non-profit, expected to close near July 1.
Golf Tourney Raises $100k for Broadcasters Foundation of America. Concurrent with this week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, broadcasters took part in the Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament at Bali Hai Golf Club that raised a record $100,000 in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America to help broadcasters in need. Pictured above (l-r) are: Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group; Michael O’Brien, VP distribution, E.W. Scripps Company; Ralph Oakley, president/CEO of Quincy Media, Inc.; Matthew Johnson, director of sales, Katz Television Group; and Jim Thompson, president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Houston, Cumulus Media inks night jock Tyler Frye to a new deal to continue his role with CHR KRBE-FM. Program director Leslie Whittle says, “Tyler launched ‘H-Town Live with Tyler Frye’ on KRBE four years ago and hasn’t looked back. When you listen to him each night you know exactly what’s happening in our great city at that moment, plus his social game is second to none. He’s truly formed a relationship with our listeners because he understands how to communicate on all levels. I’m thrilled to continue our partnership! I am beyond excited and extremely humbled to sign an extension with one of the most successful and legendary radio stations in the country. This city and my coworkers are truly second to none.”…..Lon Helton, host of Westwood One’s “Country Countdown USA” and publisher of Country Aircheck, was honored for his impact on country music with the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award during an event held Wednesday (4/10) at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. The award was created in 2014 to recognize the most deserving individuals across the spectrum of record label/industry, creative/production and radio/media. The evening benefitted the Opry Trust Fund, which for more than 50 years has supported members of the country music community in need. Among the artists who performed at the event were: Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Eli Young Band, Vince Gill, Randy Owen, Carly Pearce, Steve Wariner, Mark Wills, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Young and a special appearance by Randy Travis. The award was presented by Bob Kingsley himself. Pictured below are (from l-r): Kingsley; country star Trisha Yearwood; Helton; the Grand Old Opry’s Sally Williams; and country legend Garth Brooks.