Michael Savage Petitions Boris Johnson to Lift His British Travel Ban. Back in 2009, then-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith put Westwood One talk show host Michael Savage on a list of people banned from traveling to Great Britain for “fostering hatred.” Now, Savage’s attorney, Daniel Horowitz, has petitioned newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking to have the ban lifted. In a recent conversation with TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison on the PodcastOne show, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” Savage spoke about the ban. He said that although he’s a bit of a homebody and doesn’t travel much these days, he loves the English people and the architecture and might like to visit again someday. In his petition, Horowitz writes, “The ban has stood in place for a decade. Now is the time to lift the ban and take a stand for the rights of free speech that have come under assault in the land of the Magna Carta.” Read the Washington Examiner’s coverage here.
Big Radio Closes on Janesville, Wisconsin Duo. The deal that transfers news/talk WCLO-AM, and country WJVL-FM in Janesville, Wisconsin from Southern Wisconsin Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Bliss Communications to Ben Thompson, CEO of Big Radio for $5.75 million closes. Kalil & Co. represented Thompson in this transaction. Thompson is the son of Scott Thompson, whose Big Radio owns and operates 8 signals in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. These are the last radio stations to be divested by Bliss. The company sold four Milwaukee market signals to Magnum Broadcasting in 2014.
Grimsley to Retire from Townsquare Lafayette; Burley to Take Over Cluster Leadership. Media executive Mike Grimsley is retiring from his position as market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Lafayette, Louisiana, a post he’s held for the past 25 years. Grimsley began his career in radio at the age of 18 and also worked in the Charleston, South Carolina and Phoenix markets. Townsquare is promoting Brad Burley from his post as market president and chief revenue officer in the Lake Charles, Louisiana station group to lead the Lafayette cluster. Townsquare COO Erik Hellum says, “Mike Grimsley broke the mold. He has uniquely combined leadership, passion, and drive with the sincerest care for his people and dedication to his community – all with a great sense of humor on top. Mike is one of the original Townsquare leaders and helped build our company with a steadfast commitment to great local radio while building a vibrant digital and event business. He is a broadcast legend. Thank you, Mike!”
New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled, “Infestation and Other Fighting Words!,” looks back at this past week of July 29 – August 2, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Gary Sutton, host, WSBA, York, PA; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; Scott Masteller, program director, WBAL, Baltimore; Graham Mack, program director, Fix Radio, London, UK; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis. For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. A few changes take place at Townsquare Media’s sports talk WEZQ-FM, Bangor, Maine “92.9 The Ticket.” Station brand manager Dale Duff is leaving his 6:00 am to 8:00 am show and former WABI-TV morning news co-anchor Wayne Harvey begins hosting “The Morning Line” in the time slot. Duff’s show will move to the 3:00 pm hour, leading into the Jim Churchill-hosted afternoon drive program….Emmis Communications’ sports talk WFNI-AM, Indianapolis “The Fan” adds another FM signal to its broadcast. The company had removed translator W228CX from the simulcast of WFNI-AM two years ago to do some engineering work on the signal. Now, “The Fan” is back on the 93.5 FM frequency in addition to AM 1070 and translator W298BB at 107.5 FM. Emmis Indianapolis vice president and market manager Bob Richards says, “We’re thrilled to have ‘The Fan’ on loud and proud at 93.5, reaching even more fans with the sports and personalities they love, especially in the western and southern areas of central Indiana.”
The 2020 Presidential Race and the CNN Debates Top News/Talk Stories for Week of July 29 – August 2. The Democrats hoping to face President Trump in 2020 and this week’s Democratic debates in Detroit were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. Tied at #2 this week was President Trump’s criticism of Baltimore, race relations in general, and the Nixon–Reagan recording. Coming in at #3 was immigration and health care reform, followed by Boris Johnson, Brexit, and the British-U.S. economies tied 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.
Wayne Allyn Root is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most ardent supporters of Donald Trump in today’s talk media, Wayne Allyn Root, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The Las Vegas-based talk show host, heard daily on the USA Radio Network between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET with the third hour (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm) simulcast on Newsmax TV, is one of the fastest rising stars in today’s news/talk media – catapulting within three years of the launch of his show in local radio to the number 62 position on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred. Harrison and Root discuss the colorful “in-your-face” host’s political and media background going all the way back to his days in Westchester, New York as a three-year old child handing out flyers for then-presidential candidate Barry Goldwater’s campaign. Root’s working-class parents were among the founding members who launched the New York State Conservative Party. In 2008, Root entered national politics and received the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential nomination to serve as its presidential candidate Bob Barr’s running mate. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s Baltimore cluster, air personality Maria Dennis moves from hosting the midday show on CHR WWMX “MIX 106.7” to the company’s adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9.” At the same time Corinna Delgado – who also hosts the morning drive show on Entercom’s classic hits WIAD, Washington “94.7 The Drive” – is named the new midday personality for “MIX 106.7.” Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “I’ve worked with Maria for over 20 years. She’s a consummate professional and an amazing on-air talent. All of us are thrilled to have her in our Entercom family and we are excited that she’ll now bring her cheerful persona and enthusiasm to ‘Today’s 101.9.’ I’m equally excited to have Corinna Delgado, who is also already part of our Entercom family, join us to take over the midday shift at MIX 106.5.”…..Townsquare Media flips a pair of FM stations in Albany that had been simulcasting a classic rock format branded “Q103.” First, WQBK-FM becomes adult contemporary as “103.9 The Breeze.” That station will feature core artists such as Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Boyz II Men, Adele, Alicia Keys, and Kelly Clarkson. Second, WQBJ-FM is now alternative rock as “ALT 103.5.” Operations manager and program director Steve Richards says, “We are excited to launch ‘103.9 The Breeze.’ We know the station will be the perfect choice to relax to at work and anytime. We are thrilled to have ‘ALT’ back on the air playing great alternative music for the Capital region and ‘Dave & Mahoney’ in the morning.”…..On-air pro Brian Moote exits Entercom’s Los Angeles CHR KAMP “AMP 97.1” where he’d been co-hosting mornings with Edgar Sotelo for the past 18 months…..iHeartMedia’s rock WDVE, Pittsburgh honored longtime air personality Sean McDowell for his 41-year career with the station. He retired from WDVE on Wednesday (7/31). McDowell’s final broadcast party included special guests such as Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, current WDVE personalities Randy Baumann, Val Porter and Michele Michaels and past WDVE personalities Jimmy Roach, Herschel, and Kenny Gibbs. He’s pictured here with the honorary jersey sent by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Photo: Tyler Sing.