Tag: "Andy Slater"
TALKERS and The Epoch Times Co-Present the Second in a Series of Talk Media Forums on US-China Relations at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. In response to the positive feedback received about the recent “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” co-presented by TALKERS and The Epoch Times in New York City this past October 1 (see video here), a second installment of the event was successfully presented Tuesday morning (12/10) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The conversation again focused on the US-China trade war, the Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more. The 90-minute event featured a panel of three experts on the state of US-Chinese relations including Nan Su of NTDTV, Joshua Philipp and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times, plus four leading talk radio hosts – John Fredericks of the John Fredericks Radio Network; Dr. Sebastian Gorka of the Salem Radio Network; Larry O’ Connor of WMAL, Washington, DC; and Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia. According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who again moderated the discussion, “The numerous pressing issues that exist under the umbrella of US-China relations promise to be a major component of talk media conversation for years to come and it is important that its practitioners stay on top of these complex concerns free of the spin and propaganda constantly manufactured by the Communist regime in Beijing. Our colleagues at The Epoch Times are firmly situated on the leading edge of the Chinese resistance to the Communist grasp on their homeland and serve the culture’s diaspora in the United States and around the world with bold, truthful reporting of the facts.” The Epoch Times was formed in 2000 by Chinese Americans and is now published in multiple languages around the world. A video of the entire forum will be posted on Talkers.com within the next few days. Pictured below are (from l-r): moderator, Michael Harrison, TALKERS; Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Salem Radio Network; Dr. Dana Cheng, The Epoch Times; John Fredericks, The John Fredericks Radio Network; Doug Stephan, Stephan Multimedia; Larry O’ Connor, WMAL, Washington, DC; Josh Philipp, The Epoch Times; and Nan Su, The Epoch Times/NTDTV. Photo: Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times
KYW-AM, Philadelphia Reporter Barred from Press Conference. Maybe it was a snafu, but the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s explanation for KYW-AM, Philadelphia crime and justice reporter Kristen Johanson being barred from the press conference for a criminal case is inconsistent. DA Larry Krasner was asked by fellow FOX 29 journalist Jeff Cole if Johanson had been barred from the conference and he replied, “What I can tell you is I did not bar anybody from coming to a conference. We always enjoy having Kristen Johanson here and if there’s been some kind of miscommunication, then I’m sorry to hear that that has occurred.” The DA offices’ spokesperson later said only reporters who requested comment on the case were notified of the press conference. However, a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer who did request a comment was not invited to the press conference either. The spokesperson then said “security protocols” were the reason Johanson was denied access to the conference. KYW program director Alex Silverman says, “A press conference open to some members of the media should be open to all. To deny access to a reporter who covers the crime and justice beat in our city raises serious questions about how the District Attorney’s Office views a free and fair press.”
Opinion: Gen Z Is Excited About Radio. Georgia College lecturer Chad Whittle writes in an opinion piece for TALKERS magazine about the intertest in radio he’s hearing from his students. He says, “This semester, I have had the honor and privilege of getting to teach a course on radio broadcasting to students ranging from freshmen to sophomores. In this course, multiple students are excited about learning more about the radio industry. I know because they told me last semester they were interested and eager to take the class.” Read his story here.
Slater Joins Entercom for Digital Sales Role. Sales pro Andy Slater joins Entercom as SVP of digital sales, East Coast. He was most recently regional VP of sales for Stitcher’s Midroll Media ad sales division. Entercom EVP of digital sales Ken Lagana says, “Andy has a tremendous track record leading sales strategy across numerous digital platforms, most recently in podcasting. His unique combination of experience in broadcast radio and digital will prove to be a major asset as we continue developing and expanding our position as leaders in the digital audio marketplace.”
Articles of Impeachment, Inspector General’s FBI Report, 2020 Presidential Race, Jersey City Shooting, USMCA Trade Deal, and UK Election Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11). The articles of impeachment against President Trump; the inspector general’s report on the failures within the FBI; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the aftermath of the deadly shooting in Jersey City; the Trump administration’s United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal; and Britain’s prime minister election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. In Kansas City, Entercom appoints Josh Vernier to the Royals insider position. Vernier had been co-host of the “Show and Vern” midday program on sports talk KCSP “610 Sports Radio” prior to the exit of co-host Ron “Show” Hughley last month. This is a return to the Royals insider position for Vernier, who will also host the pre- and post-game shows for Royals play-by-play on KCSP. He’ll also host the “Royals Hot Stove Show” this winter…..ESPN reports that last month, ESPN Podcasts set a new record for the month with a verified unique audience of 7.3 million, according to Podtrac. ESPN says the total represents an increase of 28% over November 2018 and is the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. In addition, ESPN podcasts had 45.6 million downloads, up 24% from November 2018 and just shy of last month’s all-time record of 46.1 million…..iHeartMedia sports talk WYGM-AM/W245CL, Orlando “FM 96.9 The Game” is hosting a live holiday show special during the “Open Mike” morning show to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida. Former Orlando Magic head coach and current NBA TV analyst Stan Van Gundy will join the show dressed up as Santa Claus and will encourage listeners to stop by, take pictures, and donate new unwrapped toys or cash for children in the local community.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Dustin Matthews is named director of rock programming for iHeartMedia’s Washington, DC stations classic rock WBIG “BIG 100” and alternative WWDC “DC 101,” effective January 13. He comes to Washington from iHeartMedia’s Charlotte operations where he was program director and afternoon drive personality at WEND “106.5 The End.” iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Jeff Kapugi says, “Dustin is one of the most dynamic rock programmers in the country. His programming expertise combined with his creativity and passion for our rock brands is unparalleled and we look forward to welcoming him to Washington, D.C.”…..Entercom announces that it has signed a new, multiyear deal with WPOW, Miami “Power 96” program director and midday host Miguel “Mijo” Irizarry for him to continue in those roles. Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “‘Mijo’ has been a strong force in the ‘Power 96’ studio over the last year. We are thrilled that he will continue to lead one of our most iconic brands in our cluster.” ‘Mijo’ joined ‘Power 96’ in August 2017. He assumed the role of program director in October 2018…..Tegna’s adult hits KFMB-FM, San Diego names Soleil Spigelman the new producer of “The Cantore Show.” She says, “Becoming a part of ‘The Cantore Show’ is a big step in joining the San Diego community. I’m from a small surfing town in the San Francisco Bay Area and I immediately feel at home here in SD. I’m looking forward to showcasing my passion for entertaining people and sharing my kooky-yet relatable-personality with this on-air family and our listeners.”
iHeartMedia Appoints Greg Millard to EVP of Event and Experiential Partnerships Post. This new position is under the watch of iHeartMedia president of national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli. New EVP of event and experiential partnerships Greg Millard comes to the company from his most recent position with Turner Broadcasting as vice president of partnerships and branded programming. In his new role, Millard will spearhead the go-to-market strategy for all of iHeartMedia’s national sponsorship sales efforts, including the company’s roster of nationally recognized marquee events; the iHeartRadio Theaters in New York and Los Angeles; custom events and partnership opportunities; and local events in more than 150 markets nationwide. Castelli says, “iHeartMedia has the biggest, culture-defining events in music across every genre. Greg will leverage these events and culturally relevant moments to connect brands with their consumers. With our unique access to data, insights, artists, moments and airwaves, iHeartMedia’s one-of-a-kind partnership opportunities help brands shape pop culture – not just chase it.”
Alpha Media’s ‘640 The Hurricane’ Names Andy Slater Afternoon Host. West Palm Beach sports talk outlet WMEN-AM “640 The Hurricane” announces the addition of the Andy Slater show in the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot, effective today. Slater was most recently hosting afternoons at iHeartMedia’s WINZ, Miami. He’d served with Alpha Media’s WMEN for six years prior to that. WMEN program director Paul Mason states, “Nobody has their finger on the pulse of the South Florida Sports scene like Andy Slater. His proven track record of breaking local sports stories, inside sources, and his massive poker tournament is a huge win for ‘640 The Hurricane.’”
KLBJ-AM, Austin Weekend Talk Host Sued by Local Police Commander. Austin police commander Jason Dusterhoft is suing gun shop owner and weekend talk personality Michael Cargill and retired police officers group members Lyndon Lueders and Kevin Fisk for defamation. Dusterhoft claims that the trio defamed him by talking on the radio about his being put under criminal and internal investigation for allegedly assaulting a woman at a local nightclub. Dusterhoft is currently on restricted duty. He claims the three made false statements about him. Cargill tells the Austin American Statesman that the matter is a free speech issue. Cargill’s one-hour, weekly show, “Come and Talk It” airs Sundays at 4:00 pm on Emmis-operated news/talk KLBJ-AM.
TALKERS News Notes. Conservative media icon Bill O’Reilly won a round in his legal battle with fellow, former FOX News Channel colleague Laurie Dhue, who is suing O’Reilly for allegedly breaking the terms of a previous sexual harassment settlement by speaking publicly about those past allegations. O’Reilly’s team had filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration and/or Dismiss the Complaint and U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts ordered the two sides to arbitration, citing the clause in the settlement providing for dispute resolution. Dhue argues that in a series of media appearances in 2017 prior to and leading up to FOX’s firing of O’Reilly, he made categorial denials of any wrongdoing even though, she argues, the settlement terms forbade him from doing so. Dhue complains that these “false statements” cause her harm because “no employers will hire her if they believe that [Plaintiff] has previously made false allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.”…..iHeartMedia and Einhorn’s Epic Productions are teasing their new original scripted mystery podcast call “Lethal Lit.” “Lethal Lit” is a six-episode scripted podcast that follows teen detective Tig Torres as she returns to her small hometown of Hollow Falls where her aunt was framed as a serial killer ten years ago. It’ll debut October 29 with two episodes and subsequent episodes will air each Monday on the iHeartRadio platform. iHM says this is a “new type of storytelling format” for iHeartRadio. Check out the official trailer here…..The photo below is a shot of the KKOB, Albuquerque hot air balloon that flew during last week’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Station PD and director of AM Operations for Cumulus Albuquerque Pat Frisch says the now-world famous balloon festival was started back in 1972 to celebrate the heritage station’s 50th anniversary. The balloon below is being piloted by Ron Curry.
Trump ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Sears Declares Bankruptcy, U.S.-Saudi Tensions, November Midterms, Kanye West White House Visit, Portland Patriot Prayer Violence, American Pastor Andrew Brunson Released, Hurricane Michael Aftermath, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reaction to President Trump’s sit-down interview with ’60 Minutes’ reporter Lesley Stahl; iconic American retailer Sears files for bankruptcy protection; the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the November midterms and the battle for control of congress; Kanye West’s Oval Office meeting with President Trump; the violence at the Portland, Oregon Patriot Prayer rally; Turkey releases American pastor Andrew Brunson; the aftermath of Hurricane Michael; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball league championships series were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Beaumont, Texas market, Cumulus Media names Tommy “Jammer” Muzzillo program director for CHR KQXY “Q94.” Muzzillo has been serving as assistant program director and music director, as well as afternoon personality at the station since 2010. He rises to this position with the recent retirement of former OM and PD Brandin Shaw. Muzzillo says, “I am thrilled to be programming the station I helped put on the air back in 1993! And the funny thing is, our VP/market manager Bo Brown, who took the reins at the stations about three months ago, was with me when we kicked off ‘Q94’ back in 1993! He and I work very well together and we have a really solid team at Cumulus Beaumont, plus having great Cumulus leaders and great minds like Doug Hamand, Mike McVay, Leslie Whittle, and Louie Diaz to bounce music and ideas off of makes us even stronger as we take the station into the future.”…..Director of programming Jerry McKenna exits Cape Cod Broadcasting’s four-station cluster – including country WKPE and adult contemporary WOCN – as the company eliminates his position…..Premiere Networks-syndicated radio host, Emmy Award-winning television personality, and best-selling author Steve Harvey was among the honorees at the Merge Gala Awards at the 10th annual Merge Summit in Los Angeles. The Merge Gala Awards recognize those making an impact in bridging the worlds of faith and entertainment. Harvey was joined by fellow award recipients Laila Ali, DeVon Franklin, and Chad Johnson & Michelle Williams. (Photo: Von Jackson, Vlex Photos)…..Detroit radio duo “Rat and Puff,” a.k.a. Jeff Daly and Josh Foreman, respectively, are launching the 3rd annual “Terror Tour” – showcasing three of the biggest and scariest haunts that Michigan has to offer. Friends of the “Rat and Puff” show have the opportunity to win free tickets on their social media accounts and go along with the show as they document each experience. Despite not having a radio home at the moment, the show wanted to continue its yearly tradition. They say, “We are really excited about our ‘Terror Tour’ this year because we personally, hand-picked all three stops. We are super fans of haunted attractions and Michigan has some of the scariest in the country. We encourage everyone to follow along with us on our social @RatAndPuffShow as the tour is bigger and scarier than ever.”…..iHeartMedia Nashville’s CHR WRVR “107.5 the River” announces the lineup for its second annual “Live. Life. Love.” concert taking place on Monday, December 10 at Marathon Music Works. The concert will feature performances by Why Don’t We, Dan + Shay, Lauv, and Kim Petras. All proceeds from the event will benefit To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit organization that supports mental health and suicide prevention resources nationwide.
PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September PPM survey, today focusing on hot AC. Compared to the August 2018 PPM survey, 49% of the hot AC stations on this panel were down (6+ AQH share) in September with 42% up and 9% flat. Year-over-year, 50% were down with just 45% of stations up. Just two hot AC outlets ranked #1 in their market in September – iHeartMedia’s KBIG, Los Angeles and Alpha Media’s WRMF, West Palm Beach – while nine hot AC outlets ranked in the top five in their respective markets. See the whole report here.
KOA, Denver’s Mike Rosen Dials Back Radio Duties; Mandy Connell to Assume Midday Show. Denver talk radio icon Mike Rosen is stepping down from his daily midday talk show at iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA “NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM” after close to 30 years with the station. Rosen – also a longtime columnist for The Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post – will continue to work with the company’s Denver talk stations as a contributor, a regular weekend host and a political commentator. He’ll also serve as an occasional guest host on both KOA and sister KHOW “TalkRadio 630.” Rosen comments, “Doing my brand of radio, with 24/7 research and show prep, takes a work week of more than 60 hours. After 35 years on-air, I’ve decided to give myself a little more well-earned leisure time as I pass my 71st birthday. I’ve been with KOA for almost 30 years and have loved every minute of it. It’s a wonderful station with a glorious history and a great team of people. I couldn’t bring myself to just walk away from it, and a full-fledged retirement wouldn’t suit a Type-A guy like me. So, I’m delighted to still have a presence with KOA as a part-time, on-air contributor. While this may disappoint my long-time loyal listeners, to whom I’m eternally grateful, I hope they will find a little of Mike Rosen at least better than none at all.” KOA program director Greg Foster is moving current KHOW morning drive host Mandy Connell to Rosen’s midday show, effective January 4. He comments, “Mandy has a knack for creating solid, entertaining shows. Nobody can replace Mike Rosen, but we’re confident that Mike’s fans will connect with Mandy and she’ll bring a new perspective to KOA NewsRadio.” Foster has not announced who will assume the morning show duties on KHOW.
Geraldo Follows Through on Promise to Sue Cumulus for Breach of Contract. After being “locked out” of the WABC, New York studios in late November with Cumulus Media apparently deciding it was ready to end Geraldo Rivera’s midday talk show on the station, Rivera said he would sue Cumulus Media for reneging on its deal to extend his contract through 2016. Bloomberg Business is reporting the suit was filed on Wednesday (12/8). Cumulus has not commented on the matter but Rivera says, in a suit filed in New York, that his agent negotiated a deal to extend his $600,000 per year deal with then-Cumulus EVP John Dickey, which he alleges new Cumulus leaders broke upon assuming control of the company. Back in November, Rivera threatened the suit via his Facebook page on which he wrote: “It is not about the money…Because of their unforgivable disrespect, I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in my salary.”
Elisa Jaffe Named Afternoon Anchor at KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle. Seattle all-news KOMO-AM/FM lost a valued broadcaster this past August when Jane Shannon passed away unexpectedly. Now, the Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned station announces that KOMO-TV news pro Elisa Jaffe will co-anchor the afternoon drive program with Tom Glasgow from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. KOMO-AM/FM program director Rick Van Cise states, “Elisa is known and respected around the Northwest for her decades of hosting KOMO-TV’s ‘Northwest Afternoon’ and anchoring and reporting on KOMO 4 News. She brings the perfect balance of personality, news credibility and compassionate storytelling to KOMO’s drive home.” Jaffe comments on her new position, “I could never fill our friend Jane Shannon’s shoes but it’s an honor to follow in her footsteps.”
Odds & Sods. Filling in today on iHeartMedia’s South Florida sports talker WINZ, Miami is former WUCS-FM, Hartford “97.9 ESPN” Maxim Radio personality Michael Bower who hosts Andy Slater’s 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program…..Good Karma-owned sports talker WUUB-FM, West Palm Beach “ESPN West Palm” announces Miami Dolphins EVP of football operations Mike Tannenbaum is joining the station for a weekly edition of its “ESPN West Palm Tonight” program as a recurring guest. Tannenbaum will join host Jeremy Marks-Peltz Thursdays at 6:20 pm through the Super Bowl. He’ll discuss the latest news from the Miami Dolphins and the NFL, and give his perspective as a current front office executive, and former agent and general manager…..FOX Sports Radio syndicated sports talk host Jay Mohr is nominated for a Grammy Award for his recent comedy album Happy. The actor and comedian released the album that’s the result of his one-hour comedy special filmed during the Santa Barbara LOL Comedy Festival. It features a “hilarious set of intimate stand-up comedy stories about his marriage to Nikki Cox, raising two kids, and great lessons in ironic behavior. This special aired on Showtime Comedy and has the distinction of being written entirely by Cox, who for years has been Mohr’s trusted collaborator and creative partner.”
Trump Muslim Ban Proposal Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of December 7-11. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal that all Muslims be prevented from entering the country to prevent terrorist strikes was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. Coming in at #2 was the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates. At #3 was the San Bernardino shootings aftermath, followed by the Paris Climate Summit at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Guardian Fund Annual Appeal Underway. Most broadcasters are aware of the outstanding work that the Broadcasters Foundation of America does aiding broadcasters and their families who are beset by unforeseen disasters or medical emergencies. Now, in an appeal to the industry titled, “Taking Care of Our Own,” Guardian Fund chairman and Whitney Media president and editorial director William O’Shaughnessy cites BFoA vice chair Dick Foreman who says, “It’s really all about taking care of our own.” O’Shaughnessy states, “We are broadcasters. And on that, and that alone, do we base our appeal to assist the hurting and almost forgotten in our own tribe.” The BFoA reports that “last year, relying on your essential and vital contributions to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund, we dispatched almost $850,000 in life-sustaining grants. We need your urgent assistance to continue that mission.” It’s simple to make an online contribution by going to the BFoA’s site here.
Short Ideas for a Short Week. As the industry returns from a holiday weekend, digital media consultant Chris Miller offers some quick thoughts regarding your digital efforts. If you’re still wondering about the changes Facebook made that affect the way content lines up on your news feed, Miller has three items to consider. Also check out his thoughts on the type of content you put on your station website and whether that content lines up with your brand’s “message.” Plus, Chris has a final word about attitude. Check it all out here.
Promotions Conflict at Philly Eatery Brings Abrupt End to Live Broadcast. The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that the quick shutdown of a WIP, Philadelphia remote broadcast with afternoon hosts Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis at Chickie’s & Pete’s may not have been the result of an ISDN breakdown but the fact that rival Greater Media sports talker WPEN personality Jon Marks was also at the establishment for a personal appearance. The paper reports that about 30 minutes into Gargano’s and Ellis’ broadcast, WPEN’s Marks arrived along with rock WMMR jock Matt Cord for a $1,000 MetroPCS giveaway in another part of the pub. The Daily News goes on to write that Chickie’s & Pete’s management tried to move Marks and Cord to a different part of the restaurant but Greater Media refused. CBS tells the paper the ISDN problem was the issue and while no one else is commenting, it appears it could have been nothing more than a scheduling snafu that ruffled the feathers of the stations involved.
Linder Joins WMEN, West Palm Beach for Afternoons. The JCE Licenses-owned sports talk station names Jon Linder host of the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, replacing Andy Slater who left for Clear Channel’s sports talk WINZ, Miami “The Sports Animal” in December. Linder joined WMEN as a fill-in host last year. He’s worked at Beasley’s WQAM, Miami serving as a sports reporter and studio host during Miami Hurricanes football broadcasts from 2010 through 2012.
Cleveland Host Faces Jury Trial in Domestic Violence Charge. WKNR, Cleveland sports talk host Tony Rizzo will appear in Medina Municipal Court on February 27 for a jury trial after being accused of domestic assault by his wife Catherine Rizzo in December. Rizzo remains on the air at Good Karma-owned WKNR. The company issued a statement after the incident leading to the charge calling Rizzo “an exemplary teammate and member of the community and his status with us is unaffected.” Police were called to Rizzo’s home after his wife called them saying she had locked herself in the bathroom after Rizzo choked her and hit her in the face. Rizzo pleaded not guilty on December 9.
KCAA, Lorma Linda, California First to Accept Bitcoins for Airtime. The Fred Lundgren-owned news/talk station that serves the Riverside/San Bernardino market is claiming it’s the first radio station in North America to Bitcoins as payment for advertising and airtime. The station says it signed its first programming agreement purchased with Bitcoin on January 17. KCAA utilized a service called “Coinbase” to process the payment. Lundgren comments, “Our first transaction paid us 9.4 Bitcoins, which Coinbase displayed as approximately $7,200.00 USD. These funds will appear in our bank account in two to three business days.” Lundgren adds, “The value of Bitcoin as a digital currency will grow as more businesses accept it. I predict it will become a viable alternative to ever increasing bank charges.”
Houston Talk Host Michael Berry Emcees Senate Campaign Fundraiser. KTRH, Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry is headlining a fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Col. Rob Maness (USAF, Ret.) on Friday, January 24, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Berry’s program is heard on stations across the U.S. including on WJBO, Baton Rouge from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Maness is running for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat Mary Landrieu.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Sochi Olympics Terror Threats, Syria Torture Allegations, ObamaCare Criticism, Wendy Davis Bio Questioned and Chris Christie Sandy Aid Charge Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/20). The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday; concerns over security at the Sochi Winter Games; new allegations of the Assad regime’s use of torture in Syria’s civil conflict; criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ life story disputed by critics; and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie faces charges of misappropriating Hurricane Sandy aid were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.