Archive for February, 2020
Jack Sunday Retires from Full-Time KFGO, Fargo Role. Longtime Fargo talk radio personality Jack Sunday has retired from his full-time role as an on-air talk host on Midwest Communications’ news/talk KFGO-AM. Sunday had been co-hosting the late morning show with Amy Iler, who wrote a nice piece about Sunday that you can see here. Iler is now partnered with JJ Gordon on the “It Takes Two” program. Sunday acknowledged his decision to leave the position was difficult and noted that he is caring for his wife who suffers from a rare neurological condition. Sunday first joined KFGO in 1989 and over the course of 30 years served as program director, afternoon host, and midday personality. He tells KFGO’s Joel Heitcamp, “I am convinced that there is probably no other radio station in the country like KFGO… we have 17 or 20 people who are on the air live as personalities for extended periods of time… a four-person news team, a meteorologist and sports. We have two great sportscasters here, plus on-air personalities with producers that become personalities themselves.” Sunday will develop a podcast to be part of the station’s podcast offerings.
Appeals Court Tosses Prager’s YouTube Lawsuit. The suit by Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager’s non-profit educational organization, Prager University, against Google’s YouTube platform was shot down by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday (2/26). Prager University had sued YouTube claiming it had violated its First Amendment rights and the Lanham Act (false advertising), but the District Court dismissed the suit. PragerU appealed and the Appeals Court agreed with the lower court. At issue here was PragerU’s claim that YouTube’s Restricted Mode violated the conservative educational organization’s First Amendment rights by making certain of its video unviewable for those under a certain age due to its Restricted Mode guidelines. It also claimed that YouTube’s promotional language touting the importance of people being able to “speak freely” while putting certain videos in Restricted Mode violated the Lanham Act. Judge M. Margaret McKeown writes in the decision, “The panel held that despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a public-facing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment. The panel noted that just last year, the Supreme Court held that ‘merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.’ The panel held that the Internet does not alter this state action requirement of the First Amendment. The panel therefore rejected plaintiff’s assertion that YouTube is a state actor because it performs a public function. Addressing the false advertising claim under the Lanham Act, the panel held that YouTube’s statements concerning its content moderation policies do not constitute ‘commercial advertising or promotion’ as the Lanham Act requires. Nor was YouTube’s designation of certain of plaintiff’s videos for Restricted Mode part of an advertising or promotion or a misrepresentation as to the videos. Finally, the panel held that YouTube’s braggadocio about its commitment to free speech constituted opinions that are not subject to the Lanham Act.”
Former News Staffer Sues Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco. A lawsuit filed in California Superior Court by former KCBS-AM, San Francisco news staffer Sheryl Raines accuses the station of retaliation, failure to prevent harassment, unlawful termination and more. The complaint centers around allegations of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment on the part of engineer Dan Denton. Raines says she reported Denton’s alleged behavior to superiors, but it continued. She was terminated in May of 2019 and was told that the station wanted “a different sound.” In her complaint, she states her replacement was a woman of similar demographic makeup with a “startlingly similar” on-air voice to her own. She is seeking unspecified damages.
ABC Audio Appoints Lakeia Brown to Senior Producer, Race & Culture Audio Insights Post. The senior producer, race & culture audio insights position is a newly created one at ABC Audio and Lakeia Brown will assume that post on March 9. She has been serving in the ABC News research department. She has more than 15 years of experience in consumer insights and analytics for television networks including: ABC, Disney, Comedy Central, Nick @ Nite, TV Land and BET. She starts with ABC Audio on March 9. ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku says that in this position Brown will “act as a storyteller, researcher, and social connector all rolled into one. She’ll work closely with our amazing team to create and deliver new radio news products and podcasts, maximize sponsorship opportunities and participate in editorial story development, all while focusing on expanding Audio’s reach with multicultural audiences. Lakeia will also serve as ABC Audio’s in-house expert on all things research, connecting insights to actionable strategies that help drive reach and revenue for ABC Audio.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated home improvement radio show, “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford,” hits the 300-affiliate station mark as it celebrates its 10th year under the direction of Lipford. Along with Lipford’s Emmy-nominated TV show, “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford,” airing in 91% of the U.S., Lipford is a familiar figure in the home improvement industry. “Today’s Homeowner” radio dates back to 2009 when Lipford took over a small radio show called “Homefront.” He re-branded the program, officially launching “Today’s Homeowner” radio which began airing on 60 stations. Over the past decade, Lipford and his team have strategically grown the show’s footprint by 200%.…..In Virginia Beach, Max Media names Tim Donnelly executive producer of the Nick Cattles show on sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1.” Donnelly was most recently with Monticello Media’s WRAD-AM, Blacksburg, Virginia where he hosted his own sports talk show. Max Media VP of operations and programming Rusty James says, “Tim lives and breathes sports and we are so excited to have his passion on ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’”…..Townsquare Media’s sports talk WTMM, Albany adds another hour to the “Big Board Sports” show. The program, hosted by Rodger Wyland and Chris Onorato, now airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm…..Salem Radio Network assures us that nationally syndicated late morning talk host Mike Gallagher does not have the coronavirus, but he did test positive for influenza and has to miss the opening day of CPAC 2020 in Washington. So, filling in for him is Kurt Schlichter (right) who is pictured below interviewing American Conservative Union president Matt Schlapp (left).
Lee Abrams Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most influential music radio programmers of the past 50 years, Lee Abrams, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Abrams was the chief architect of an approach to FM album rock radio known back in the seventies as the “Superstars” format and, as a consultant, guided hundreds of stations across the country to commercial success utilizing its systems and techniques. He went on to be one of the original programming forces behind today’s satellite radio during the first decade of its development and then served a couple of years with the Tribune Company helping that organization revamp its newspapers and television stations for the 21st century. Today, Abrams is the head of a newly launched, Chicago-based consultancy, MediaVision, which is focused on radio (terrestrial and beyond) and music for 40-plus consumers as well as revolutionary approaches to video news and television. Harrison and Abrams take a deep dive into the past, present, and future of pop culture including a retrospective on the days they spent as two of the top thought-leaders in AOR (album oriented rock) radio. This program is a must-listen for anyone in the radio business. 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 on every page of Talkers.com.
Talk Radio at CPAC. Numerous radio talk show hosts from around the nation are attending this year’s CPAC gathering in National Harbor, MD with many broadcasting from the conservative event’s radio row. Pictured covering CPAC for her national commentary is Victoria Jones (l) executive director of DC Radio Company visiting the broadcast setup of John Fredericks (r) of the John Fredericks Radio Network.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Names FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Recipient of Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award. The recipient of this year’s Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America is Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. The honor will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation Annual Breakfast on Wednesday, April 22 at the 2020 NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award salutes its namesake and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation. Past recipients include Bill Clark, Eddie Fritts, Cathy Hughes, Mel Karmazin, Jeff Smulyan, Dick Wiley, and others.
Coronavirus Pandemic Fears, Presidential Race, Financial Markets Activity/China Productivity, Deadly Milwaukee Brewery Shooting, and India Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26). Concerns about Covid-19 developing into a global pandemic; the Democrats battling to face President Trump in the November election; the reaction of the world’s financial markets to the coronavirus and the virus’ effect on China’s productivity; a fired brewery worker returns to the plant in Milwaukee and kills five co-workers before killing himself; and the deadly sectarian violence in India 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. Air personality Scotty Kay is adding midday hosting duties at Entercom’s St. Louis CHR KNOU “NOW 96.3” to his responsibilities. Kay also serves as co-host of the morning show at country WUSN-FM, Chicago “US99.” Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “I’ve been a fan of Scotty and his unique ability to become one with his audience and we’re delighted to add him to our team. Scotty will be a vital part of the puzzle as we continue to grow ‘NOW 96.3’ into the dominant contemporary hit radio brand in St. Louis.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Rex Long program director for Austin CHR KHFI “96.7 KISS FM.” He was most recently with the company’s Salt Lake City cluster. iHeartMedia Austin/San Antonio region president Matt Martin says, “Rex’s abundance of energy, his creative ideas to connect with listeners, combined with his strategic vison to be a fabric of Austin’s culture make Rex a perfect fit to continue building the ‘KISS’ brand.”…..Cumulus Media names Bev Rainey program director of country KRST, Albuquerque. She’ll also host the late morning show. Rainey served for the past 20 years with iHeartMedia’s crosstown country KBQI, the last seven as program director. Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry says, “KRST provides the very best in country music and entertainment for our listeners and unmatched results for our promotional partners. I could not be happier to have Bev join this fantastic team. She is known and loved by the audience and respected by the industry. This is a great day for one of America’s great country brands.”…..Berkshire Broadcasting flips WAXB-AM/W233CF, Danbury, Connecticut “B945” from classic hits to classic rock as “945 The Hawk.” Berkshire CEO Irv Goldstein says, “‘B945’ has been continuously evolving over the years. Morphing from a traditional oldies station to an 80s based classic hits/classic rock mix. We just felt that now was the right time to get off the fence and go all in. ‘945 The Hawk’ is classic rock that really rocks.”
WKNR, Cleveland Suspends Browns Reporter for Baker Mayfield Remark. Cleveland Browns reporter Tony Grossi has been suspended by Good Karma Brands’ WKNR-AM “ESPN Cleveland” after referring to Brown’s quarterback Baker Mayfield as a “f*#king midget” during a commercial break. A hot mic caught his comments during the live airing of “TheLandOnDemand” from the NFL scouting combine. Good Karma apologized and said it will engage in sensitivity training for its staff. Meanwhile, Grossi issued an apology in which he said, in part, “There’s no excuse for using that language in any context. It was said without malice but also without thought. It is well known that Baker and I have had our differences, and in the course of this experience, I’ve had to question my role in the erosion of the relationship. I have always endeavored to report and comment on him fairly, and am shaken by these events.”
Entercom Promotes Holly to Market Manager for Buffalo Station Group. Sales pro J. Timothy Holly rises from vice president of sales to senior vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Buffalo cluster that includes news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talkers WGR-AM and WWKB-AM, plus four music brands. Holly takes over for Greg Ried, who exited the company in January. Entercom regional president and president of sales operations Michael Doyle comments, “I am excited to promote Tim Holly from vice president of sales where he has done an outstanding job of creating an innovative and successful approach to solving our clients’ needs. With our outstanding and unique portfolio of audio assets, including great radio and digital brands, leading local sports coverage via partnerships with the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, and some of the largest live events in Buffalo, Tim has shown that he can lead our team of professionals in Western New York to grow and thrive.”
Entercom Names Idil Cakim to New SVP Research and Insights Post. In this new senior vice president of research and insights position with Entercom, Idil Cakim will “lead the company’s business-to-business strategy and audio insights practice, with a focus on building perspectives, ideas, and client strategies.” She will report to Paul Suchman, chief marketing officer and will work closely with chief revenue officer Bob Philips and EVP of corporate business development Tim Murphy. She was most recently with Nielsen, where she served as vice president of media analytics consulting. Paul Suchman says, “Idil’s deep experience across media platforms and complex data sets will greatly enrich our ability to deliver actionable insights and even more powerful audio strategies to our clients. Her ability as a storyteller will help bolster the narratives we bring to market. We’re thrilled to welcome Idil to our leadership team.”
TALKERS News Notes. Talk host and author Todd Starnes is scheduled to deliver a speech and take part in a panel discussion on the First Amendment at CPAC 2020, taking place today through Saturday (2/26-29). Starnes hosts his Hamilton Strategies nationally syndicated “Todd Starnes Radio Show” that he’ll broadcast live from the event’s radio row…..The FOX News organization is planning its continuing coverage of the Democratic primary race as FOX News Channel will provide live coverage of South Carolina’s primary results on Saturday (2/29) from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. Chief political anchor and “Special Report” host Bret Baier will anchor the two-hour special, “Democracy 2020: South Carolina Primary.” Additionally, FOX News Radio will provide live national network coverage of the primary with hourly updates from FNR’s team of reporters. FOX News Podcasts will also offer a special edition of the “FOX News Rundown” leading into the evening while FOX News Headlines 24/7 will provide live Democracy 2020 updates every 15 minutes during the primary…..WNBF, Binghamton, New York news anchor and talk host Bob Joseph celebrates his 40th anniversary with the Townsquare Media news/talk station. Joseph – who also hosts the late morning talk show “Binghamton Now” – was hired by the station as a part-timer while still a teenager. He became a full-time news reporter anchor on February 18, 1980…..Sun Broadcast Group announces its expanded and restructured affiliate relations team led by Boston-based VP of programming & affiliate relations, Rich O’Brien. The staff includes: New York-based senior affiliate content manager Southwest, Alex Quintero; Cleveland-based senior affiliate content manager Northeast, Ryan Verardi, affiliate content manager Southeast, Gary James, and affiliate content manager Midwest, Andrew Scaglione; and Los Angeles-based affiliate content manager West, Ed Moloney…..Broadcast Pix announces that Jeff Adams joins the company as product manager. In this position he’ll lead the business and product development of new RadioPix visual radio systems. He says, “I’m very excited to join the team at Broadcast Pix and be a part of their unique approach to simplifying live radio broadcasting.”
RTDNA Unveils New Look. The Radio Television Digital News Association unveils its new-look logo, saying it “reflects both the association’s origins and its continuing mission as a hub for the leading innovators in broadcast and digital news.” The RTDNA adds, “This new imagery signifies the association and foundation’s continuing commitment to pushing the broadcast and digital news industry forward through training, advocacy and honors. Over the next year, RTDNA members can expect to find new and updated resources on RTDNA.org, expanded in-person and online training opportunities and a redesigned curriculum at the annual conference.” Executive director Dan Shelley says, “RTDNA is proud to be a community and resource for more members than at any point in our modern history. At a time when journalism is under threat, our members continually demonstrate that they are leaders and innovators working every day to better each other, the industry and their communities across the country through responsible local journalism.”
PodcastOne and A&E Present ‘PD Stories’ Podcast. Building on the success of their work together producing six seasons of “Cold Case Files: The Podcast,” A&E and PodcastOne are expanding their production and distribution partnership to include season two of the “PD Stories” podcast that takes listeners behind the badge of law enforcement, revealing their experiences, perspectives and insights through in-depth interviews. The program is hosted by A&E’s Tom Morris Jr., who anchors the channel’s “Live PD: Wanted” program. Podcast One founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Our partnership with A&E has been instrumental in developing our true-crime genre. The overwhelming success of ‘Cold Case Files’ and the addition of ‘PD Stories’ will enhance our lineup, which included last year’s smash-hit, ‘22 Hours: An American Nightmare.’ An association with a company like A&E has always been extremely important to us. We look forward to continuing and expanding our partnership.”
Presidential Race, Covid-19 Epidemic, Financial Markets Activity/China Productivity, Weinstein Trial Aftermath, and College Admissions Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25). The Democrats battling to take on President Trump in November and Tuesday’s debate in Charleston, South Carolina; the status of the coronavirus around the world and whether the U.S. is prepared for it; the losses on the world’s financial markets as the result of fears about Covid-19 and the related productivity problems in China; the aftermath of the conviction of Harvey Weinstein on sexual assault charges; and Hot Pockets heiress Michelle Janavs is sentenced to five months in prison in the college admissions scandal 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. Alternative KROQ, Los Angeles announces the 12th annual “Kevin in the Morning with Allie & Jensen April Foolishness” event will take place on April 4 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The show is being hosted by Kevin Ryder, Allie Mac Kay, and Jensen Karp, and this year’s event will feature comedians Adam Carolla, actor and comedian Jeff Garlin, Steve-O, Adam Ray, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” writer Jen Kirkman, Fortune Feimster from “Sweet & Salty,” and Clownvis from “The King of Clowns.” The annual comedy show and fundraiser benefits the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and Cedars-Sinai NICU.
Entercom Q4 2019 Net Revenue Up 1%; Full Year 2019 Up 1.9%. Releasing its 2019 fourth quarter and full-year financial data, Entercom Communications reports 2019 Q4 net revenue was $414.1 million, an increase of 1% over the same period in 2018. For the full year of 2019, Entercom reports net revenue of $1.49 billion, an increase of 1.9% over 2018. Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “I am pleased to report that Entercom achieved its fifth consecutive quarter of growth, completing a year in which the company delivered strong financial performance as net revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted net income per share grew 2% (3% ex-political), 10%, and 19%, respectively. Our significant investments in podcasting, digital, and data and analytics, along with the expansion of our sports, networks and events businesses, are beginning to reshape our company and position us for sustained growth as we enhance our integrated, multi-platform offerings to advertisers increasingly interested in the undervalued and emerging audio space.”
ABC Audio Names Eric Johnson Director and Executive Producer of Podcast Programming. News and broadcast producer Eric Johnson is named to the director and executive producer of podcast programming for ABC Audio, effective in mid-March. ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku says Johnson – who most recently served as senior broadcast producer at “Good Morning America” – “is an award-winning producer with a knack for storytelling who’s touched nearly every part of ABC News over his 13-year career here. His strong relationships throughout the news division, coupled with his impressive experience in long-form and news programming, will make him a great asset to our flourishing podcast division. In his new role Eric will build on the success of our existing podcasts and help design a fresh powerhouse podcast network. He will strategically gather and organize podcast ideas and harness the talent, resources, and storytelling ability available across ABC News and Walt Disney Television.” Johnson was honored with a duPont Award as co-producer of Diane Sawyer’s interview with Caitlyn Jenner and has won multiple Emmy Awards for projects including his role as senior producer of ABC News’ Town Hall “The President and the People: Race in America.”
Calendar Boy. WPHT, Philadelphia mid-morning star Dom Giordano (above) is the creator and “host” of a 2020 wall calendar geared specifically to fans of the station, news/talk radio listeners and the local business community. The idea started several years ago, when Giordano, a former educator, noticed that important events in American history such as the invasion of Pearl Harbor were left off most commercially produced calendars. He then designed a calendar that not only includes a variety of such events but recognizes talk radio hosts and other items of specific interest to the listening audience. Giordano appears on a number of pages dressed in period costumes further adding color to the collectable piece. The calendar, monetized by local sponsors who are also featured in its pages, is distributed free to listeners as a highly sought premium at WPHT events.
Newsmax TV Appoints Jason Villar VP of Research and Analysis. Marketing pro Jason Villar joins Newsmax TV as vice president of research and analysis. In this position, Villar will head up data, market, and ratings analysis, and work closely with the company’s advertising and programming departments. Villar had been serving as vice president of media and market research for FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, and FOX Digital for the last 10-plus years. Newsmax CRO and EVP of national advertising Sam Moser says, “Jason was responsible for much of FOX’s forward-thinking research approach and we’re delighted he’s joined Newsmax TV to help make us America’s No. 1 choice for news.”
TALKERS News Notes. Topeka’s KMAJ-AM “The Big Talker” adds the KSTE, Sacramento-based, syndicated “Armstrong & Getty Show” to its program schedule for the 8:00 am to 11:00 am daypart. The show says this move “continues the homecoming tour for Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty. They were each born in the Midwest and they met when working separately in radio in Salina, Kansas. They became a team when hired in Wichita and began their conservative talk show when they moved to KSTE-AM.” KMAJ-AM is a Cumulus Media station…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk show host Simon Conway will also be heard on iHeartMedia’s WOC, Quad Cities beginning tomorrow (2/26). Conway’s program is also heard on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids. Conway says, “What an honor it is for me to now be live on both of President Ronald Reagan’s first radio stations. I’m excited to hear from the WOC audience in Iowa and Illinois.”…..Hubbard Radio’s sports talk WXOS-FM, St. Louis is bringing St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play personality Dan McLaughlin aboard as lead Cardinals contributor. In this role he’ll offer daily reports, interviews, and a one-hour weekly show, as well as filling in on other shows year-round. Station operations manager and brand content director Tommy Mattern says, “I am extremely excited that Dan has joined the staff at ‘101 ESPN.’ It’s so important to increase our coverage of St. Louis Cardinals baseball and having the voice of the team contribute on multi-platforms is invaluable.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and Prologue Projects are producing a new podcast titled, “5-4,” presenting “an irreverent take on the U.S. Supreme Court’s past.” Each episode focuses on a pivotal case in which the justices make one of the most important decisions in recent memory – dissecting it from every angle and tearing it apart. The first episode tackles Bush v. Gore. Future episodes take on the Supreme Court’s decisions on campaign finance, affirmative action, voting rights, and stop and frisk…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Chicago District Golfer magazine editor Barry Cronin is the new co-host of the Saturday morning golf show “Scorecard” in Entercom’s WSCR “The Score.” He’ll work alongside WSCR reporter and update anchor David Schuster. The duo take over for Ed Sherman and Steve Olken, who resigned from the program after a 10-year run…..SB Nation Radio announces that in addition to having reporters at all NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament sites, it is adding Pat Kennedy and Daniel Ewing as analysts. They will both make appearances on all network programs throughout the tournament. Also, “SB Nation Tonight” host John Michaels will originate his show from the Final Four in Atlanta.
Presidential Race, Weinstein Verdict, Covid-19 Epidemic, Financial Markets Tumble, Trump in India, Kobe Byrant Memorial/Lawsuit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24). The Democrats battling to challenge President Trump in November; the guilty verdicts in the sexual assault trial of former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein; the status of the coronavirus epidemic and concerns about the ability to avert a pandemic; the world’s financial markets dive as China’s productivity is affected by Covid-19; President Trump’s visit to India amidst adulation and protests; and Monday’s memorial for Kobe and Gigi Bryant in Los Angeles were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Learning the Sports Talk Radio Biz! Pictured above (from l-r) are: WAXY-AM and WQAM, Miami sports talk host Channing Crowder, Miami Dolphins center/long snapper Taybor Pepper, Dolphins quarterback Jake Rudock, Dolphins linebacker Terrill Hanks, and WAXY-AM and WQAM host Marc Hochman. Hochman tells TALKERS that while the NFL Combine is going on in Indianapolis, the Miami Dolphins offer their current players the chance to participate in a “Business Combine” where they can learn real estate, investing, and even broadcasting as players prepare for a life after football. Hence the three Dolphins above were at the Entercom South Florida studios getting an afternoon of broadcast instruction from former Dolphins LB Channing Crowder and Hochman.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mike Preston is named program director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country stations KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” and KSCS “New Country 96.3.” Preston most recently served as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Baltimore and PD for country WPOC and adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM.” Cumulus Dallas-Houston RVP Dan Bennett says, “These two country brands, each in their own distinctive way, have captured the hearts of DFW country music fans. We believe Mike Preston is the right person to lead our talented teams into the future. Mike has had big success in his career as a creative PD who knows how to coach big time talent. We can’t wait to have him in Dallas to further ignite two of the most-listened-to country stations in America.”…..Programmer Jamillah Muhammad exits Taxi License Corp’s urban AC KJLH, Los Angeles “Radio Free 102.3” where she was operations manager…..Air personality Jenna Owens is leaving her daily role with the YEA Networks-syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” to focus on her Fitish skin care business. Owens will continue her weekly “That’s What I Like” segment that airs each Friday and will become a correspondent for the show, doing press junkets in New York and Los Angeles, reporting live from events like SXSW, Coachella, and more. In addition to the correspondent role, she’ll team with her “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” co-host, J-Si Chavez, to launch a weekly podcast, also called “Fitish,” that will be produced and distributed by YEA…..Public radio triple A personality Cindy Howes is joining WUNC, Raleigh to host the 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm daypart on the public media company’s triple A streaming station WUNC Music. Howes was previously with triple A WYEP, Pittsburgh as morning personality and host of the “Folk Alley and the Basic Folk” podcast…..Rachel Hubbard is promoted to executive director at Oklahoma State University’s news/talk/adult alternative KOSU, Oklahoma City. She most recently served as news director at the station. Hubbard comments, “I want to fight for public media in Oklahoma. Oftentimes, people look at news outlets that are outside of Oklahoma and talk about the things they’re doing well, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t own that right here in Oklahoma and have a media resource that is ours – it’s made by us and it’s made for us.”