NYPost: How Mike Francesa Almost Didn’t Get WFAN Gig. As Mike Francesa’s historic run as afternoon drive personality on WFAN, New York winds down – he’s assured everyone he is leaving after December 15 – the New York Post publishes a piece by Don Burke that gives CBS Sports play-by-play man Jim Nantz credit for getting Francesa into WFAN when the station had no interest in hiring him. Believe it or not, the Emmis programming executives were turned off by Francesa’s Long Island accent and wanted national-level talent to star on the fledgling sports talk station. But Francesa and Jim Nantz had worked at CBS together and Nantz convinced Emmis exec Luke Griffin to give him a shot and he was eventually – and apparently reluctantly – hired for a weekend show. The rest, as they say, is history. Read the Post piece here.
Cooney Named to Morning Co-Host Post at WPEN-FM, Philadelphia. Longtime Philadelphia sports media pro Bob Cooney is officially the new co-host of “The Fanatic Morning Show” on Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia. He’s been filling in on “The Fanatic” for the past few months and now joins Anthony Gargano on the AM show. Cooney was a longtime 76ers beat writer with the Philadelphia Daily News but also covered the Flyers, the Eagles and more. The station says he’ll be part of its expanded Sixers coverage. Beasley Philly VP and market manager Joe Bell says, “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Bob as the new co-host of the ‘Fanatic Morning Show.’ He is no stranger to Philly sports. His reputation is incredible. Bob and Anthony are the perfect team to serve as the official voice of the Philly sports fan!” At the same time, the station announces it has renewed its multi-year partnership with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers to serve as the flagship radio station. WPEN-FM will present the play-by-play, pre- and post-game shows, plus additional Sixers-related programming.
Bears and WBBM ‘Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM’ Renew. Sports programming is an important format for CBS RADIO and the company – soon to join Entercom in a merger – proves that with the renewal of its deal for all-news WBBM-AM/WCFL-FM “WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM” to serve as the flagship radio station for Chicago Bears football. CBS RADIO Chicago SVP and market manager Tim Pohlman says, “All of us at CBS RADIO Chicago are thrilled to continue our 17-year partnership with the NFL’s most preeminent franchise. We thank the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and everyone at the Chicago Bears for their commitment to keeping WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM as part of this first-class organization for years to come.” Out-of-game programming will include the “Bears Coaches Show” every Monday at 6:30 pm hosted by Jeff Joniak. “Bears All-Access” will air weekly throughout the year on sister sports station WSCR, featuring Tom Thayer and Zach Zaidman. All six CBS RADIO Chicago stations will also air a “Bears Noon Update” daily during the football season.
Chip Franklin’s ‘Inside The Beltway’ Site Off to Positive Start. One month after the launch of the progressive site InsidetheBeltway.com, it’s garnered a million impressions, according to site founder – KGO, San Francisco talk host Chip Franklin. He tells TALKERS magazine that his videos that are available on the site have gotten more than 250,000 shares. Check out the site here.
TALKERS News Notes. Atlantic City talk show host Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he’s booked Roger Stone – the Republican and Donald Trump campaign strategist who will testify before the House Intelligence Committee – on his program tomorrow morning (9/27). Stone will appear on Hurley’s WPGG program hours before he’ll appear on Capitol Hill to testify regarding the Trump-Russia investigation and Hurley says Stone promises to reveal what his testimony will entail…..The Alabama-based, nationally syndicated Rick & Bubba show got a call from President Trump yesterday morning (9/25) ahead of today’s special primary election for the open U.S. Senate seat there. The president also talked about the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill. See CNN’s report on the appearance here…..Salem Media Group promotes Steve Brodsky from general sales manager at Christian teaching KKLA-FM Los Angeles to market manager for the company’s San Diego operations that includes Christian KPRZ and news/talk KCBQ “1170 The Answer.”…..E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is presenting the holiday radio show “WTMJ Saves Christmas” live at Turner Hall on Monday, November 27. It stars WTMJ hosts and other local voices and will be recorded in front of a live audience, with $5 from each ticket sold to benefit the Kids2Kids Christmas charity. “WTMJ Saves Christmas” will feature station personalities: Gene Mueller, Jane Matenaer, Jeff Wagner, Wayne Larrivee, John Mercure, Erik Bilstad, Melissa Barclay, and Steve Scaffidi.
Trumps vs the NFL, Fate of the Graham-Cassidy Bill, Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump Saber Rattling, Devastation of Puerto Rico, Alabama Senate Primary, Kushner Private Email Issue, Weiner Sentenced, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25). The controversy over President Trump’s call to fire NFL players who protest during the national anthem and the league’s and players’ responses; whether or not the Graham-Cassidy health care bill will be put up for a vote in the Senate; the war of words between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump; the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria and its need for help from the U.S. government; the Alabama U.S. Senate primary race between Luther Strange and Roy Moore; allegations that Jared Kushner used a private email server for White House business; Michael Weiner is sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for sexting a minor; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Agent Robert Eatman Dead at 65. Talent agent Robert Eatman passed away on Sunday (9/24) in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. Eatman established his own agency in 1991 and represented some of the radio business’s top talent during the 1990s and 2000s, including Mancow Muller, Opie & Anthony, Shane “Rover” French, and more.
Sitting Down with Dolly. “NASH Nights Live” co-host Elaina Smith (left) visited the Nashville studio of country legend Dolly Parton (right) on Monday (9/25) to chat with Parton about her first-ever children’s album, I Believe in You. During the conversation, that also discussed such topics as women on country radio, Dollywood, sweatpants, both being tiny, working on Miley Cyrus’ new album and more.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves — Country radio pro Matt McAllister is named the new morning personality at Entercom’s KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf,” replacing the Ellen Tailor-hosted AM program. McAllister comes to Seattle from his most recent position hosting mornings at iHeartMedia’s KNIX, Phoenix. He’s won Personality of the Year awards from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. KKWF program director Drew Bland says, “Matt is creative, innovative, competitive, and laser-focused on bringing audiences compelling content for their morning commute. We are excited to welcome him to our team in Seattle, leading the next chapter of mornings for ‘100.7 The Wolf.’” The station says both a new show name and additional cast will be announced at a later date…..Las Vegas alternative rock KXTE “X107.5” announces that the “Holiday Havoc – Night Two” show scheduled for December 11 at the Palms Casino Resort will feature The Killers, with supporting acts Bleachers and Joywave. A portion of proceeds from the concert will benefit the Nevada SPCA…..Country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri is presenting the “4th Annual KTTS Springfield Country Music Awards Show” at Juanita K. Hammons Hall on October 25. It will feature a concert from Grammy, Country Music Association, and Academy of Country Music Award winner Maren Morris, plus special guest Russell Dickerson. The station says this is Springfield awards show with winners decided by local votes on a ballot at the station’s website. Local and national artist and song category winners will be announced during the awards ceremony portion of the evening.