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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

| May 3, 2017

WIBC, Indy Lays Out New Programming Lineup. Recently, Indianapolis talk personality Greg Garrison announced he’s stepping down from his daily midday show on Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC, Indianapolis.  Now, the station announces the complete programming changes – effective June 12 – that come with filling his role.  Morning drive host Tony Katz adds a two-hour, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show to his duties; the station moves “Chicks on the Right” to the mid-morning 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot and moves the “Hammer & Nigel” show from evenings to the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  WIBC program director David Woods states, “There is no replacing an icon like Greg.  “You ask, ‘what is the best way to serve, inform and entertain our growing audience?’ What we arrived at is a lineup that offers familiar personalities with the addition of energetic voices that will continue to engage listeners in spirited conversation and conservative viewpoints…Tony Katz coming back on from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm will allow us to syndicate his show via Network Indiana and possibly other outlets.  And ‘Hammer & Nigel,’ the newcomers to our daytime lineup, have become popular voices on WIBC, as frequent guest hosts for the Chicks and the nationally syndicated Chad Benson show.”  Woods says that in other programming news, Abdul-Hakim Shabazz “has decided to step away from his daily show to spend more time on his expanding website, indypolitics.org and other business interests.  He will continue to host a weekend show and be a regular contributor to wibc.com.”

Tomi Lahren and TheBlaze Settle.  Conservative media figure Tomi Lahren and Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze have reached a settlement, ending their legal tussle over Lahren’s employment.  The case was set in motion by Lahren’s appearance on “The View” in which she revealed she’s pro-choice.  That move apparently rankled Beck and TheBlaze management.  She claimed that as a result, she was fired and kept from her Facebook page.  TheBlaze countersued, claiming Lahren was not fired but actually suspended with pay and that Lahren was in violation of her employment agreement.  Now, both sides agree to a settlement in which she gains control of her Facebook page and she agrees to return video she shot for TheBlaze to the organization.  The rest of the settlement terms are confidential.

Free Speech, the Law, and Alex Jones. TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones’ recent legal matters.  While battling his ex-wife for primary custody of their three children, Jones was sued by yogurt maker Chobani for statements he’s made about the company and its operations in Idaho that Chobani says were made with reckless regard for the truth.  See Weisman’s analysis of the case here.

Feature: Sky’s the Limit.  In today’s feature story, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian writes that, “within the professional and collegiate sports worlds, Skyview Networks is vastly well-known, but the company is seeking to float its nameplate wider in hopes of achieving a higher profile.”  He quotes Skyview founder and president Ken Thiele, who says, “We want to get a message out there to content creators, whether it be national syndication or focusing on content, that we provide a distribution platform and a sales force to help monetize what they create.”  Even more, Thiele tells TALKERS that Skyview is a “turnkey experience” for clients that has more to offer than its competitors.  “They do not have the software and systems that we can provide to create the efficiencies…Skyview is the only one that can deliver a custom-form experience to its clients.”  Thiele defines his company as one that’s heavily involved in satellite distribution, network automation, affiliate relations, inventory management systems, and national audio sales – a full-service company to advertisers, syndicators, and broadcast networks.  Read more here.

Hugh Hewitt to Host 2017 Bold Gold Foundation Event. Nationally syndicated talk host and conservative media commentator Hugh Hewitt will serve as the keynote speaker at The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s 3rd Annual Event and Dinner on Tuesday, June 27.  The Foundation, formed by Bold Gold Media Group president Vince Benedetto, is working to help young professionals enter broadcast media fields, with an emphasis on news and talk formats.  Hewitt’s Salem Radio Network show airs on Bold Gold’s WTRW-FM, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and WPSN-AM, Honesdale, Pennsylvania in morning drive.  At the event, the Bold Gold Foundation will honor local NEPA business leader Brandon Igdalsky, president & CEO of Pocono Raceway, with a special citizenship award.

TALKERS News Notes. A shakeup takes place at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC as the board of trustees, by a unanimous vote, asks for and receives the resignation of president and CEO Jim DeMint.  The board then elected founder Ed Feulner president and CEO while it searches for a permanent successor.  This change comes after a “comprehensive and independent review of the entire Heritage organization” in which the board “determined there were significant and worsening management issues that led to a breakdown of internal communications and cooperation.  While the organization has seen many successes, Jim DeMint and a handful of his closest advisers failed to resolve these problems.”…..More big numbers for FOX Sports Radio’s Colin Cowherd.  The network reports that total podcast listens for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” grew to a new record high of 6.8 million across all platforms for the month of April, as measured by ART19.  FSRN says this number is the result of more than a million additional podcast listens since last month and comes as the AM/FM broadcast hits the 150-affiliate mark…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM, Chicago afternoon host Steve Dahl is off the air due to yesterday’s surgery for diverticulitis.  Dahl hopes to be back on the radio next week…..Alpha Media announces its news/talk KGLO and standards KRIB won a total of 11 awards in the Small Market Division of the 2016 Iowa Broadcast News Association contest.  KGLO news director Bob Fisher picked up 10 awards, including three 1st place honors.  KGLO and/or KRIB have won 89 awards over the past 13 years.  Alpha Media Mason City market manager Dalena Barz comments, “Our Mason City news and sports team have again been recognized as some of the best news professionals in the state.  Bob Fisher, Tim Fleming and Jesse Stewart earned 11 awards…it’s an honor to work alongside broadcasters of this caliber!”…..KNSS-AM/FM, Wichita adds “Take Your Health To Heart,” featuring nationally recognized cardiologist Dr. Joseph Galichia, to its Saturday program schedule…..During the last month Compass Media Networks reports adding new affiliates for nationally syndicated talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, who picks up KZNG-AM, Hot Springs, Arkansas; KIUL-AM/KYUL-AM, Garden City, Kansas; and KSIS-AM, Sedalia, Missouri.  The nationally syndicated Lars Larson show also is added to the program lineup at KSIS-AM.

Hillary Clinton Interview, GOP Health Care Proposal, North Korea Threats, Colbert’s Trump Attack, Jimmy Kimmel Health Care Rant, Fenway Racism Incident, MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2). 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and President Donald Trump’s reaction; the GOP proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s nuclear program and Kim Jong Un’s threats against the U.S.; Stephen Colbert takes heat for anti-Trump rant; the controversy over Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue about health care and his son’s emergency surgery; the case of racist taunts leveled against the Orioles’ Adam Jones at Fenway Park; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action 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. In Fresno, Steve Pleshe leaves the record promotion business to return to Cumulus Media’s country KSKS “KISS Country” to serve as program director.  Pleshe started at “KISS Country” in the early 1990s as a part-timer and worked his way up to PD in the summer of 2004.  He’s been in record promotions for the past nine years.  Cumulus Fresno VP and market manager Patty Hixson says, “I am thrilled to welcome Steve back to ‘KISS Country!’  Having worked with him in the past, I consider him one of the brightest and most creative program directors in the business.  He will elevate KISS Country’s programming with his unique perspective and create some of America’s best Country radio!”…..WVXU.org’s John Kiesewetter is reporting that iHeartMedia Cincinnati market president Chuck Fredrick is a victim of the staff cuts ongoing at the company.  Yesterday, we reported that SVP of programming and rock WEBN and CHR WKFS programmer Bo Matthews had been let go…..Chicago media write Robert Feder reports that at Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM, Chicago, the station will be filling the evening shift by rotating jocks Tom O’Toole and Danny LakeJeff Davis had been in the slot since John Records Landecker’s 2015 exit, but he’s moving back to weekends and fill-ins.  Read Feder’s column here…..Twenty-year media sales pro Della Berning is joining Cumulus Media’s Baton Rouge four-station cluster to serve as sales manager.  Previously, she served with Baton Rouge’s Velocity Agency.  She’s also worked in radio, serving as LSM and NSM for WBRZ, Baton Rouge…..Entercom is putting the KISW, Seattle-based afternoon show “The Men’s Room” into syndication via a deal with Westwood One.  The program features Miles Montgomery, Steve “The Thrill” Hill and Thee Ted Smith, as well as producers Robin Foxx and Mike Hawk.  WW1 president Suzanne Grimes comments, “For 51 consecutive books, ‘The Men’s Room’ has been No. 1.  Our partnership will extend this impressive performance coast to coast. We are excited to welcome The Men’s Room to our national audience of listeners and advertisers.”…..Reigning ACM and CMA Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town is hosting Westwood One’s annual “Summer Kick Off” Memorial Day special.  The four-hour program will feature band members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet.

Monday, July 6, 2015

| July 6, 2015

limbaughrush15Programming Changes Take Effect in Indy; Limbaugh Moves to WNDE.  Today, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh moves from his longtime place on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis to iHeartMedia-owned crosstown sports talk WNDE – a move announced earlier this year.  At WIBC-FM,wibclogo the new lineup sans Limbaugh includes the new show “The 10@10 with Mike Wilson and Ray Steele,” a program and will run down the top 10 stories of the day at 10:00 am.  Greg Garrison moves to the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot and Radio America-syndicated “The Dana Show” with Dana Loesch airs from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The “Chicks on the Right” with Daisy and Mockarena airs from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and “Abdul at Large” with local political writer, educator and media personality Abdul-Hakim Shabazz from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

cookehollandCooke: Turning Digital Disappointment into Direct Success.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke presented at two state broadcasters’ conferences recently and he says the common thread from all three sessions was the following: “Recent years’ radio revenue data has many shrugging that ‘flat is the new up.’  Less so in small and medium markets, where local direct retail comprises more of radio’s income than in big markets where transactional business is the ball game.  And in every market, digital is the shiny object sucking dollars away from legacy media.  Especially ours.  Ask car stores: Detroit is telling them to move radio money online.”  And while digital is expected to eclipse all other ad platforms by 2017 (in terms of dollars spent), there are those who dare to question digital’s efficacy relative to ‘legacy’ media.  In today’s column, Cooke offers some advice for reigniting the power of radio as a sales vehicle.  Read the entire piece here.

kgo logo newCumulus Draws Local Criticism from Press, Unions for Closing KGO’s South Bay Bureau.  Noting that the South Bay bureau of news/talk KGO, San Francisco has been open for more than four decades, the San Jose Mercury NewsScott Herhold laments the decision of Cumulus Media to shutter the two-staffer office in San Jose without notice.  Reporting thatsagaftra logo Jennifer Hodges and Jeanne Lynch were let go June 26, the paper says even San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo wrote Cumulus’ Lee Hammer writing, in part, that the closure “wouldn’t serve the station well to abandon the region’s biggest city and hope that folks could simply phone it in.”  SAG AFTRA (which represents also registered its displeasure by asking listeners to do the same via a petition at its savelocalradio.org site.

savagemichaelMichael Savage Announces Winners of $100,000 Scholarship Contest.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage announced the five winners of his “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” essay contest on July 2.  The winners – Alex Peterson, James Lutack, Heather Fisher, Curtis Butterfield and Mark Bragg – will each receive a $20,000 scholarship over a two-year period.  The Westwood One-syndicated host says he launched the unprecedented $100,000 scholarship fund in early 2015 with the intention of promoting traditional American values among conservative college students.  Savage says he received approximately 1,700 entries, and the five carefully selected winning essays “honor the principles that America was built upon and discuss the country’s past, present and future.”  You can read the winning essays here.

bearmanbookcoverHeavy Hundred Host Ethan Bearman’s New Book, Liars & Whores: How Big Government and Big Business are Working to Save their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015), Released Today. Praised by the TALKERS editorial board as being “one of the rising stars of talk radio – a new voice of Generation X” – KSFO, San Francisco (local) and GCN (national) radio talk show host Ethan Bearman adds “published author” to his growing list of credentials with the official release today of his new book, Liars & Whores; How Big Government and Big Business Are Working to Save Their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015).  The book – a populist, non-partisan approach to the economic and social challenges faced today by the average person trying to make a living and feed his or her family against the backdrop of an increasingly corrupt corporate and government culture – addresses the key issues of these times and marks the return of TALKERS magazine to the book publishing business after a 10 year hiatus.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “What makes this book so fresh and exciting is the fact that it is a manifesto that ‘works’ in any of today’s competing political ideologies… that is what makes Ethan Bearman such an effective up-and-coming host with razor-sharp teeth, and now a superb guest for any talk show that deals with current events.”  For more information about Ethan Bearman and the book, please click here.  To schedule Ethan Bearman for a talk radio interview call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Odds & Sods.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that, based on a recent memo from American Public Media CEO Jon McTaggart there are cuts coming to the public radio corporation this month.  Saying theamericanpublicmedia company “cannot succeed with ‘business as usual,’” he tells staffers, “We will stop some programming and create capacity for new content and innovative audience services.  We will eliminate and change positions in some departments, and create capacity for new positions in others.”…..Saga Communications is relocating the newly acquired Illinois Radio Network from Chicago to the state’s capital of Springfield.  According to a report from WAND-TV, Springfield, WTAX, Springfield news director Alex Degman adds ND duties for the network to his responsibilities, replacing Jim AndersonDave Dahl stays aboard at the capitol and will add WTAX morning anchor duties.  WTAX’s Will Stevenson assists the network with Springfield and Capitol coverage.  Current IRN staffers John Gregory and Jason Goch will continue to be based in Chicago.

shepardMH4th15Hyper-Local Radio.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (the hipster on the left wearing the Broadcasters Foundation baseball hat) stopped by the reviewing stand at the East Longmeadow (MA) Independence Day Parade on Saturday (7/4) to say hi to his buddy Brad Shepard (right) who was serving as emcee of the annual event.  Shepard is the general manager and star host of the recently launched, hyper-local online station, Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com), designed to super-serve the Western Massachusetts communities of the Greater Springfield Metropolitan Area.  The station’s format is best described as “personality-oriented public affairs” geared to the community, its leaders and most-active citizens. Harrison, a primary backer of the internet media station, says, “Everyone knows that I am a strong advocate and supporter of local radio as well as non-traditional online programming.  How could I resist getting involved with and supporting a project of this nature in my own backyard?  Of all my many projects, Pioneer Valley Radio is one of the most exciting and fulfilling.  The positive response from the good folks who keep the wheels turning in this region has been incredibly gratifying.”

barberdaveMichigan and Rhode Island Talk Personality Dave Barber Dead at 60.  Family, friends, the talk radio business and the Rhode Island political scene are remembering Dave Barber today after he succumbed to what his brother Larry called a “catastrophic health event” in Michigan 10 days ago.  Barber – who had been serving as host of the Rhode Island General Assembly’s TV program “Straight from the Gavel” – was put into a medically induced coma after choking during a rehearsal dinner for a friend’s wedding.  Complications ensued and Barber was not able to emerge from the coma.  He died on Saturday (7/4).  Barber was a longtime Flint, Michigan talk host – serving at such signals as WTRX, WTAC, and WFDF – before joining WPRO, Providence in 2006.  Two years later he took up the “Straight from the Gavel” gig and had been doing it ever since.  You can see a tribute video of Dave Barber from Art Vuolo here.

wbtlogoWBT, Charlotte’s John Hancock Kicks Off Fourth Peanut Butter ‘N’ July Food Drive.  WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte afternoon drive personality John Hancock is working with local merchant Harris Teeter and peanut butter manufacturer Jif for the “Peanut Butter ‘N’ July” benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.  Saying that the high protein food is one of the most requested items for those who benefit from their services, WBT has launched a campaign to bring attention to the importance of this product.  Hancock and other WBT personalities will be appearing at Harris Teeter locations during the month of July to collect unopened jar of peanut butter.

troopathon158th Annual Troopathon Raises $280,000.  Co-hosts Melanie Morgan of KSRO, Santa Rose, California (left) and WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby (right) share a laugh with Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh via Skype during the recent “Troopathon” fundraiser organized by the group Move America Forward.  The organization has been raising cash to send care packages to troops on the front lines in Afghanistan and raised $280,000 during this year’s program that ended June 25.  Cosby says, “The participation of radio personalities played a huge role in the success of this year’s Troopathon.  This year, we were joined by my co-host Melanie Morgan, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Geraldo Rivera, Brian Kilmeade, Dennis Miller, Adam Corolla, and Herman Cain.”  Celebrities who assisted with the effort included rock legend Ted Nugent, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Super Bowl Champion quarterback Joe Theisman, singer Tony Orlando, TV host Nancy Grace, and many more.