Talk Radio Rises to Coronavirus Challenge. This past weekend seems to have marked a tipping point in America regarding public anxiety over COVID-19, still commonly referred to as the coronavirus. Fears and near panic have infiltrated the beleaguered heath care systems of our communities, the stock market, and a number of inter-connected industries and public events. Add to that discourse about the problem in our politically oriented media have included the “weaponization” of issues per the troubling practice of each side tending to seek victory at the expense of truth. Most talk media broadcasters tell TALKERS that this crisis provides radio both the mission and calling to provide a significant degree of comfort and helpful information to the public – thus showcasing its pertinence as a vital medium in the 21st century. Broadcasters who spoke to TALKERS about this include: Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM; Mike Salk, Bonneville Seattle; Chris Little, KFI, Los Angeles; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, West Palm Beach; Ryan Wrecker, KMOX, St. Louis; Harry Hurley, WPG, Atlantic City; Doug Stephan, nationally syndicated “DJV Show”; Dr. Daliah Wachs, GCN-syndicated host; Heidi Harris, KMZQ, Las Vegas; Jim Bohannon, Westwood One-syndicated host; Bob Lawrence, Saga Communications; Michael Berry, KRTH, Houston and in syndication; and Richard Neer, WFAN, New York. Read it here.
Monday Memo: Coronavirus Conundrum: It’s the story-of-the-week every week, and the public health sector is working overtime to keep it from becoming the story-of-a-lifetime. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “If listeners don’t hear ‘Coronavirus’ on your air, you’re wallpaper. If you are telling them something they haven’t yet heard elsewhere, they will listen more and tell others what they heard (and where).” And he outlines specific tactics. Read it here.
Coronavirus, Financial Markets Activity, Presidential Race, North Korea Fires Missiles, and Greece-Turkey Immigrant Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The status of the coronavirus pandemic and public officials’ response to it; the world’s financial markets react to the coronavirus and the break of the Saudi-Russian oil pact that’s sent prices plummeting; the battle between Democrats Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders for the party’s nomination; North Korea fires more test missiles; and the violence over the refugee crisis at the Greece-Turkey border were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
KFYI, Phoenix Moves James T Harris to Mornings; Debuts ‘Russell & Hunter’ Afternoon Show. Phoenix news/talker KFYI moves “The Conservative Circus With James T Harris” from afternoon drive to mornings and launches the new afternoon drive show “Russell & Hunter.” The iHeartMedia station says, “‘The Conservative Circus with James T. Harris’ is a highly entertaining look at the news of the day from an unapologetically conservative point of view.” Station PD Aaron Trimmer adds, “James T. Harris is an unrivaled talent in the world of talk radio. The success he has had hosting afternoon drive on 550 KFYI made him the obvious choice to now take over mornings.” Previous morning drive host Mike Broomhead exited at the end of his contract in January. He joined Bonneville’s crosstown news/talk KTAR-FM for mornings in February. iHeartMedia says Mike Russell and Rob Hunter bring more than 25 years of combined experience in Phoenix talk radio to afternoon drive. “Together, ‘Russell & Hunter’ will continue to serve Phoenix’s passionate conservative audience by being ardent defenders of small business, the 2nd Amendment and traditional American values.”
WABC, New York’s Curtis Sliwa Vows to Run for Mayor of New York. Longtime New York City talk radio host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa tells the New York Post he intends to run for mayor of New York. Sliwa has not filed any paperwork to officially join the race and he’s expected to continue co-hosting the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Juliet Huddy on Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York. The piece notes that Sliwa left the Reform Party recently and registered as a Republican. Sliwa points to six issues he says are the most important facing New Yorkers: crime in the streets, crime on the subways, the homeless, emotionally disturbed people, the New York City Housing Authority, and affordable housing.
Talent Changes Coming to Sports Talk ‘99.9 The Fan’ in Raleigh. The afternoon drive show at Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh is splitting up, with longtime hosts Adam Gold and Joe Ovies soon to be hosting separate programs. Raleigh News & Observer sportswriter Joe Giglio is joining the radio station and will co-host the afternoon drive show with Ovies. Gold will host his own sports talk show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. In a press release, station program director Dennis Glasgow comments, “It’s not often that you have the unique opportunity to get better when moving an air personality of Adam Gold’s stature to another timeslot and also add a sports reporting vet like Joe Giglio to an already established show, so we’re very fortunate. In the end our listeners are the big winners.” Gold’s new program will replace the regionally syndicated David Glenn show on WCMC-FM.
‘K-News 94.3 FM’ Palm Springs Host Bill Feingold Dies at 70. The Desert Sun reports KNWQ-AM/K232CX, Palm Springs talk radio host Bill Feingold died on Friday (3/6) at age 70. Feingold, who co-hosted the morning show with Kevin Holmes on the Alpha Media station, was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer in August. It had spread to his lungs and bones. But Feingold underwent chemotherapy and returned to the radio program after showing improvement. Eventually, the cancer worsened, and he was hospitalized. During his time as radio host in Palm Springs, Feingold befriended such celebrity residents as Suzanne Somers and Gavin MacLeod.
Ed Wilson to Lead CMG’s CoxReps and Gamut. Sale executive Ed Wilson joins Cox Media Group to serve as executive chairman for its CoxReps and Gamut national ad platform businesses. CMG president and CEO Kim Guthrie says, “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Ed for years. He is a business builder and a natural networker in both traditional and emerging media. His experience and industry relationships will serve him well in this role. We look forward to his perspective as we leverage our industry leading position to evolve these important businesses.” Wilson has served in leadership roles at The Tribune Company, FOX Broadcasting, NBC, and CBS. CoxReps’ chief operating officer Ann Hailer and Gamut SVP of client solutions Soo Jin Oh will continue in their current roles, reporting directly to Wilson.
Weekly ‘Day 1’ Show to Celebrate 75 Years on Radio. Every Sunday since April 1945, the weekly, half-hour Protestant religious program “Day 1” has aired on radio stations across the country. Although originally titled, “The Protestant Hour,” the program from Alliance for Christian Media has never been a 60-minute show and when Reverend Peter Wallace started working on the show 19 years ago, it was decided the show’s name needed a change. Wallace tells TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian, “We came up with the name ‘Day 1,’ which sounds good in the media environment. We are on several news/talk stations [including Cox Media Group Atlanta flagship WSB-AM/WSBB-FM] so it fit into that milieu. It refers to when the program generally airs – Sunday – the first day of the week. It’s the day people generally go to church and has an inspirational, hopeful ‘first day’ of the rest of your life feel to it.” Read the full feature here.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports on two radio stories from the Windy City. First, WGN-AM sports reporter and podcaster Adam Hoge is leaving the Nexstar Media Group news/talker to join cable’s NBC Sports Chicago where he’ll be a White Sox insider on the regional network. Second, crosstown sports talker WMVP “ESPN Chicago” is adding a nightly baseball show hosted by Jonathan Hood, effective March 23. The Good Karma Brands-operated station will air the show from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..According to a piece by Rob Tornoe at the Philadelphia Inquirer, WIP morning show producer Joe Weachter was released from a Florida hospital last Thursday morning after experiencing a health scare while on a flight from Philly to Tampa. Weachter was on the plane, along with morning host Angelo Cataldi and WIP personality Ava Graham heading to Florida to cover Phillies spring training when lost consciousness shortly after leaving his seat to use the restroom. Fortunately, Dr. Edward Dickinson – a professor of emergency medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania – was on the flight and, along with the assistance of an unnamed paramedic, treated Weachter who regained consciousness after about 10 minutes…..Seneca Women Podcast Network and iHeartMedia enter into a multi-year partnership to co-produce and distribute “a slate of high-quality, women-focused podcasts in the areas of women in business, leadership, current events, health and more, providing inspiring, purpose-driven and actionable content from a diverse range of women’s voices.” As part of the deal, new and existing podcasts on the Seneca Women Podcast Network will join the iHeartPodcast Network. iHeartMedia will now co-produce the hit podcast series “Seneca Women Conversations on Power and Purpose” hosted by Ambassador Melanne Verveer and Kim Azzarelli. “Seneca Women Conversations on Power and Purpose” will debut March 9 on iHeartRadio with 19 episodes in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Popular Twin Cities radio personality Brian Zepp returns to Cumulus Media’s rock KQRS as part of the “KQ Morning Show” with Tom Barnard. Zepp was an air personality on the station for 19 years before exiting for a position at Orion Media‘s classic rock KBZN-FM, Bozeman, Montana “The Eagle” three years ago. He says, “After having been away from KQ for a couple of years, I’ve come to realize there is just no better experience in my profession than being a part of the ‘KQ Morning Show.’ It’s great to be reunited with Tom and the crew, but even sweeter being reunited with the KQ listeners.”…..In Dallas, Michelle Boros joins iHeartMedia’s hot AC KDMX, Dallas “102.9 NOW” as the new morning drive personality. Boros was most recently an air personality and music director at Entercom’s CHR KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio.” Station program director Jay Shannon comments, “We’re excited to add Michelle to the ‘102.9 NOW’ morning lineup. Her years of experience along with her DFW background and roots make her the perfect fit.”…..Radio pro Gary Saunders joins Tracy Johnson Media Group to work on TJMG’s Personality Magnet Show Prep Service. Saunders has been serving as executive producer for the Compass Media Networks syndicated “DeDe In the Morning” program as well as APD for Service Broadcasting’s hip hop KKDA, Dallas…..Publicist Taryn Pray joins Nashville-based publicity firm Monarch Publicity. During her more than 13 years in the publicity biz, she worked with UMG Nashville and Sony Music Nashville before starting her own independent publicity company in 2013. Monarch Publicity’s clients include Chris Bandi, Chris Young, Craig Morgan, Laine Hardy, Matt Stell, Sara Evans, The Shires, Temecula Road, Tiffany Woys, and Music Health Alliance.