Washington, DC Radio Legend Andy Parks Passes at 68. The Washington Times reports that market radio legend Andy Parks has died at age 68 after battling a recent illness. Parks spent the majority of his radio career with news/talk WMAL but in recent years he’d been hosting the podcast, “Politically Unstable,” produced by The Times. He began his career at WMAL doing traffic reports, but management liked his commentary and made him a regular show host. He served with co-host Fred Grandy from 2003 to 2010 on the morning drive “Grandy & Andy” show. Former Iowa congressman Grandy says, “We were Washington’s wake-up call. We were the first people you heard in the morning with a breaking story. Real partnerships are rare — few and far between. And when you get one, you know it, and you want to hang on to it. I think Andy and I knew pretty quickly this was going to work out.” Times opinion editor Charles Hunt says, “More than anything, Andy was a prince of a guy. And though he spent a lifetime covering all the crazy shenanigans of this political town, he never lost the straightforward common sense that his listeners loved about him. He will be dearly missed.”
Round One of February PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s February 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s February 2022 sweep covered February 3 – March 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. New York City’s two big news/talk stations are tied as Red Apple Media’s WABC-AM/WLIR-FM dips one-tenth for a 2.9 share (6+, weekly AQH share) finish and iHeartMedia’s WOR-AM rises one-tenth to reach a 2.9 share. Both stations are tied at the #13 rank. In Los Angeles, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI is up three-tenths to finish with a 4.0 share, good for the #7 rank, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KNX-AM/FM ticks up two-tenths for a 3.3 share finish but dips to the #11 rank. Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago sheds six-tenths, falling to a 4.6 share good for the #5 rank, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM also falls six-tenths, finishing with a 5.1 share that takes it from #1 to #3. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
Audacy Names Jonathan Carlson AM Drive Co-Anchor on WWJ-AM, Detroit. Television news pro Jonathan Carlson is named the new morning drive co-anchor on Audacy’s all-news WWJ News Radio 950 in Detroit. Carlson joins Roberta Jasina for the 5:00 am to 10:00 am daypart, beginning April 18. Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are thrilled to have Jonathan – an Emmy Award-winning journalist – join our team as a morning anchor. We’re confident he will round out our morning show program while seamlessly connecting with our listeners along the way.” Carlson has anchored in major markets around the country for nearly two decades, including WXYZ-TV, Detroit and most recently WGCL-TV, Atlanta. He comments, “I’m thrilled to join the legendary WWJ news team in such a pivotal role and I am honored and humbled to soon be waking up Metro Detroiters each morning. I am passionate about Detroit and Michigan as a whole and was waiting for the right opportunity to return. I can’t wait to bring my years of television reporting experience to radio and hope to be a voice listeners can trust and lean on each day.”
Audacy Announces Promotions at Corporate Promotions and Experiences Team. The company announces three moves in its corporate promotions and experiences department. Most relative to spoken-word programming is Jess Clarke’s new role as director, sports and entertainment, a promotion from her current role as regional promotions director for Audacy Tri-State. The company says, Clarke will continue to oversee the New York City market, but her primary focus is going to be leading Audacy’s upcoming performance space at the soon-to-open Hard Rock Hotel in New York City. She will spearhead Hard Rock development projects and work alongside SVP promotions and experiences Chad Fitzsimmons, sports format VP Spike Eskin, and VP of sports Matt Volk to develop sport events and platforms nationally. Other promotions announced include Bethany Kent moving into a new role as director of music initiatives and Andrea Burtscher moving from her role as regional promotion director – Northern California into the newly developed role of director, country promotions and experiences.
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated, San Antonio-based talk radio personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo announces he’s giving up his position as host of iHeartMedia’s “The Weekend” talk program. Pags tells TALKERS, “After almost 12 years, I’ve decided to stop doing ‘The Weekend w/Joe Pags’ to give 100% focus on ‘The Joe Pags Show.’ It’s been an indescribable honor and I can’t thank Premiere, the stations, and the listeners enough.” Pags’ daily program is based at iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio and is syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks…..WPG, Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley is taking part in the New Jersey GOP Statewide Leadership Summit taking place March 25-26 at Harrah’s Marina Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City New Jersey. Hurley is serving as the moderator for a very high-profile panel on Friday as well as on a talk radio panel on Saturday. The keynote speaker for the event is former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson…..This Thursday (3/24), Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” presents the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts to help New Jersey residents navigate life in the Garden State. New Jersey 101.5’s Eric Scott leads a panel of educators, behavioral specialists, education advocates and policymakers to examine how best to deal with pandemic-induced learning loss. He says, “Nearly two years of remote and hybrid learning has caused significant learning issues for New Jersey school kids. Some may never catch up.” Scott says he and his guests will help parents identify areas where their kids may be struggling, and will offer ways to take corrective action. These deficits are not confined to the classroom – social anxiety, loss of interpersonal skills and an increase in bullying has also been blamed on remote learning…..Audacy announces that Sam Levitt will join sports talk KWFN-FM, San Diego 97.3 The Fan’s flagship broadcast coverage of MLB’s San Diego Padres as pregame and postgame host. Levitt will join The Padres Radio Network broadcast team alongside play-by-play announcer Jesse Agler and color analyst Tony Gwynn Jr, beginning this season. “97.3 The Fan” brand manager Adam Klug says, “We are thrilled to welcome Sam Levitt as the new pre and postgame host for Padres baseball on the Padres Radio Network. Sam has a wealth of experience and passion for baseball that will benefit Padres fans of all ages.”
Russia-Ukraine War, Biden in Europe, Jackson Confirmation Hearings, Gas Prices/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Severe Weather in U.S. South Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; President Joe Biden’s trip to Europe and his warning that Russian cyberattacks on the West are a real threat; the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; the soaring gas prices at the pump and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and tornadoes and severe weather hit the U.S. South were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.