Monday Memo: CES2020. In his annual TALKERS report on the massive tech event formerly-known-as “The Consumer Electronics Show,” consultant Holland Cooke sees opportunities for radio broadcasters. Read it here.
U.S.-Iran Tensions, UIA Flight PS752 Downing/Tehran Protests, 2020 Presidential Race, Harry and Meghan Saga, Australia Bushfires/Climate Change, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the aftermath of the U.S.’ killing of Qassem Soleimani; Iran’s shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 and protests in Tehran against the Iranian regime; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; the royal saga in Great Britain as Harry and Meghan look to leave their royal roles; the devastating Australian bushfires and the question of whether climate change is a factor; and the NFL’s playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Bob Mackay to Lead Entercom Austin. Sales and management pro Bob Mackay is promoted to senior vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Austin station group that includes news/talk KJCE “Talk Radio 1370” and music brands KKMJ “Majic 95.5,” KAMX “Mix 94.7,” and KKMJ-HD3 “The New Hot 95.9.” He was most recently general sales manager for Entercom’s Houston operations. Entercom regional president Brian Purdy states, “Bob has earned the trust and respect of his teams and clients alike and we are thrilled he is remaining at Entercom. As general sales manager he delivered outstanding results and we are excited for him to bring his energy and drive to Austin.”
Alana Lujan Joins Entercom for DOS Role in Houston. As referenced in the story above, Bob Mackay’s promotion to lead Entercom’s Austin cluster left his director of sales post open at the company’s Houston station group. The company announces that Alana Lujan will assume the DOS post, effective January 27. She’ll oversee sales for sports talk outlets KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK-AM “CBS Sports Radio 650” and four music-formatted stations. She was most recently director of sales for Cox Media Group. Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier comments. “Alana is well respected in the market due to her extraordinary ability to lead sales efforts and I’m happy to bring her back home to Houston. Her recent experience in digital sales will be an especially valuable asset as we continue to develop new and innovative ways to serve our clients through RADIO.COM.”
KMG Utopia Studios to Launch Podcast for Bourbon Aficionados. Louisville-based bourbon expert and editor-in-chief of Bourbon+ Magazine Fred Minnick will host “The Fred Minnick Show” being produced by Krantz Media Group’s KMG Utopia Studios. Minnick also produces the Bourbon & Beyond music festival and just inked a deal with Shelter Music Group management firm. A story by Sarah Shadburne in Louisville Business First says the podcasts consist of interviews with musicians for whom he paired a bourbon. “Minnick got the bulk of his interviews at [music festivals] Bourbon & Beyond, Hometown Rising, and Louder Than Life, with the help of Gary Krantz, founder of Krantz Media Group. It set up a small studio in the artist area each weekend of festivals for Minnick’s interviews.” Shadburne quotes Krantz saying, “We feel [it’s] a unique offering. Those three festivals are so unique in combining the bourbon lifestyle and music …that’s why artists love to talk with Fred, because it’s a different kind of interview.”
Former AE Sues Entercom for Sex-Based Discrimination, Breach of Contract and More. As an account executive, Maria McBride worked for sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia from April 2011 through September 2018. The station was owned by CBS RADIO for most of that period. In her suit against Entercom, she alleges she was overworked tending to promotions because of failure on the promotions department to staff events. When she asked for help and complained, she says her complaints were met with hostility. She states she developed health issues as a result of her working conditions and alleges the company did nothing to help. She also claims she was denied a bonus in violation of her contract and eventually fired. She’s seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Galaxy Communications Makes Upstate NY Programming Moves. Syracuse radio personality and programmer Rainman is leaving his afternoon drive show on Galaxy’s simulcast WKRL, Syracuse/WKLL, Utica “KROCK” and will focus on “The Sportszilla Show” heard on WTLB-AM/WRNY-AM/W243DY, Utica “ESPN” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm and on WTLA-AM, Syracuse from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Meanwhile, Big Smoothie moves from evenings on “KROCK” to PM drive and Rainman shifts to the evening show. Galaxy CEO and president Ed Levine comments, “With these two promotions, we get to improve both ‘ESPN’ and ‘KROCK.’ Rainman is getting to fulfill his longtime dream of doing sports talk fulltime and Big Smoothie is getting to fulfill his goal to be back on the radio in afternoons fulltime.”
TALKERS News Notes. Via a press release, Premiere Sports Network’s says FOX Sports Radio personality Colin Cowherd had a successful 2019. Premiere reports that “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” podcast amassed more than 70 million total listens in 2019. “The Herd” radio show experienced “double-digit growth in December 2019,” with average quarter hour audience increasing +43% with Adults 25-54 and +51% with Men 25-54. (Source: Nielsen Audio, PPM, Exact Times, AQH, Dec. ‘19 vs. Dec. ’18). The radio show airs simultaneously on FOX Sports Radio, iHeartRadio, and FS1 from 12:00 to 3:00 pm ET…..The nationally syndicated “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” show adds new affiliates KMZQ-AM, Las Vegas and KMAD-AM, Madill, Oklahoma to its roster of stations…..Podcast producer Cadence13 is launching a new program called, Unlocking Us, hosted by internationally renowned researcher and five-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Brené Brown. The series is scheduled to debut at SXSW in March with two stage appearances featuring Brown in conversations with activist and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, on the topic of empathy, and with Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, on the topic of vulnerability…..Broadcasting industry executive Joel Chaseman died on Saturday (1/11) in North Bethesda, Maryland at age 93. Chaseman was the manager of WINS-AM, New York when the station dropped the CHR format and flipped to all-news in 1965. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to vice president for radio for the Westinghouse Broadcasting Station Group.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Omaha, NRG Media flips KOOO from classic rock to adult hits as “101.9 The Keg.” NRG says the station has been playing in the classic rock arena for several years, but with the addition of long-time programmer Jay Michaels, NRG Media is taking the station adult hits. Former sister KQKQ personality Matt Tompkins will host the morning show. Crash Davis will handle middays and Mike Neville hosts afternoon drive. NRG Media market manager Mark Shecterle says, “I am beyond excited to have Jay leading the charge from the programming and music side, while veteran on-air talent Matt Tompkins will kick-off the day with a fun, new, and entertaining morning show on ‘The NEW 101.9 The KEG.’”…..Two programming staffers have exited Cumulus Media’s New Orleans station group. Program director Paul “Gonzo” Cannell – who was in charge of alternative WZRH “ALT 92.3,” country WRKN, and classic hits KKND – is out as is WZRH music director and afternoon drive personality Ashley Hollier…..In the Virginia Beach market, Jay West joins Max Media as afternoon drive host for adult contemporary WVBW “92.9 The Wave.” Max Media Hampton Roads VP/GM Keith Barton says, “We at Max Media are more than thrilled to have Jay join our team. He’s a talented and passionate radio guy through and through.”…..WWRZ, Fort Meade, Florida morning personality Eric Michaels adds program director duties for the Hall Communications-owned adult hits station. Michael, who has been with the station for more than 19 years, says, “I’m thankful to Hall Communications for their faith and trust in me to help this family owned company continue to grow.”