Hannity and Limbaugh Cited as Talk Media’s Political Influence Gains Attention. Multi-media news/talk superstar Sean Hannity is often said by some Trump administration critics to be an unofficial member of the president’s cabinet. However one feels about that sentiment, it is clear that the conservative news/talk media has some degree of influence in Trump administration policy. That becomes more evident when President Trump says such things as, “Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific supporter of what I do.” And about Rush Limbaugh: “He can speak for three hours without a phone call. Try doing that sometime. For three hours he speaks. He’s got one of the biggest audiences in the history of the world. I mean, this guy is unbelievable.” Those quotes come from a New York Times piece covering the president’s Rose Garden press event on Friday (2/15). Although Trump also said, “They don’t decide policy,” there’s a general sentiment among political and media types that the president looks to conservative talk media to understand what his base is thinking. At this morning’s meeting of the TALKERS editorial staff, publisher Michael Harrison stated, “One of the most significant yardsticks in determining a communication platform’s success is influence. How much of a difference does it make in the scheme of things? Does it move the needle? Since the modern era of talk radio began with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, the medium and its hosts have been judged heavily by the level of influence they wield in their communities and markets. Taking this into account, the influence Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others maintain in the Age of Trump is remarkable and certainly a boon to talk media of all political flavors.”
New Evening Lineup at KNBR, San Francisco. Bay Area sports talk outlet KNBR announces changes to its evening “KNBR Tonight” programming that airs from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. The Cumulus Media station bring Bay Area native Mark Willard aboard to host the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm portion of the show and moves current evening personality Drew Hoffar to the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight portion. KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe states, “I’m extremely excited to welcome Mark back to the Bay Area and into our KNBR family. ‘KNBR Tonight’ is about connecting with fans as the games are being played and Mark will excel in that arena across all KNBR platforms. Listeners now also get to hear Drew shine as a solo host in his own time slot. ‘KNBR Tonight’ will continue to serve as THE nightly destination for local sports talk and I can’t wait to hear these two dynamic personalities back-to-back on ‘The Sports Leader!’” Willard comes to KNBR from his most recent gig with iHeartMedia’s KLSD, San Diego “XTRA Sports” where he was midday host. He’s also served with FOX Sports Radio Network; KSPN, Los Angeles “710 ESPN”; and ESPN’s SportsNation based in LA.
Woodward Makes Programming Moves at WHBY and WSCO in Green Bay/Appleton, Wisconsin. The news/talk and sports talk stations in the Green Bay-Appleton market operated by Woodward Radio Group have a new brand manager as Jonathan Krause assumes the role. Krause comes to news/talk WHBY and sports talk WSCO “The Score” from his most recent position with Cumulus Media’s news/talk WOSH, Oshkosh. Krause says, “I look forward to continuing the traditions of WHBY and WSCO providing high-quality information and entertainment for the Fox Valley. And I hope to expand our community involvement throughout the region.” At the same time, the company welcomes Appleton native Brian Butch to WSCO as a member of the “B.J. and The Bear” morning drive show with host B.J. DeGroot. Butch will also serve as a part-time sales executive for WHBY and WSCO.
Monday Memo: YOUR Four? Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo offers up a call-in topic for today’s President’s Day holiday. There are four (generally) revered U.S. presidents depicted on Mt. Rushmore – Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln. What if your listeners could vote for their four favorite presidents to be immortalized in stone? Read Cooke’s Monday Memo column here.
WPHT Radiothon Raises $151,000 for Liberty USO. Friday’s second annual WPHT Radiothon to benefit Liberty USO – an organization that provides active, Guard, and Reserve military and their families with programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey – raised $151,535. Air personalities from Entercom’s news/talk WPHT are pictured above taking part in the daylong broadcast. They are (from l-r): afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli, late morning personality Dom Giordano, and morning talk host Chris Stigall.
TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN-AM weekend radio personality Amy Guth is embarking on a daily podcast project for Crain’s Chicago Business. The show is called “The Daily Gist” and will consist of “a mix of the day’s top stories and an in-depth segment in which Guth will interview a Crain’s reporter or columnist.”…..Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics are announcing they have radio broadcast deals for the 2019 season. The team has a three-company deal that will see games air on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KTRB-AM, San Francisco “The Answer,” Bonneville’s sports talk KHTK, Sacramento, and digital platform Tune In. In the broadcast booth will be play-by-play team Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo. Chris Townsend is serving as studio host with Ray Fosse making guest appearances…..In Baltimore, longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Joe Angel is retiring after 19 years with the team (and 42 years in the business). Games are broadcast on Entercom’s WJZ-FM “The Fan.”…..The MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates have a new broadcast team for games that air on Entercom’s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan.” The station says Dan Zangrilli will return to host the station’s pregame and postgame broadcasts, a role he held from 2012 to 2016. Jack Zduriencik will return for his fourth season as an analyst. Station veteran Kraig Riley, who has been with “93.7 The Fan” since 2010 as a producer, will join the broadcast team for the first time alongside Zangrilli and Zduriencik.
Border Wall Emergency Declaration, Trump-vs ‘SNL,’ McCabe on ’60 Minutes,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Fatal Chicago Workplace Shooting, Amazon/NYC Breakup, Jussie Smollett Case, Payless Shutters U.S. Stores, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of President Trump’s emergency declaration to use Pentagon funds for the U.S.-Mexico wall project; President Trump’s attack on “Saturday Night Live” for its parody of his emergency declaration presser; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”; the Democrats lining up to challenge President Trump in 2020 and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld considers challenging Trump in the Republican primary; the workplace shooting in Aurora, Illinois that took the lives of five; Amazon’s decision to back out of its proposed Queens operations after political pressure from Democrats; the controversy surrounding actor Jussie Smollett’s assault accusations; retail icon Payless Shoes to close U.S. stores; and NBA and NHL action were some of 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 Dallas programming and on-air pro Jesse Salazar adds assistant program director duties to his afternoon on-air role and music director responsibilities at Radio One’s rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat.” Radio One Dallas vice president of programming operations Mark McCray says, “Jesse has the experience, attitude, and work ethic that makes his graduation to APD an easy decision.”…..On-air pro Chris Payne joins Evans Broadcasting’s alternative KRAT, Reno, “ALT 92.9” to host the morning drive program. Payne was most recently in an on-air role with Shamrock Communications’ crosstown KRZQ prior to it flipping from alternative to adult contemporary in July of 2017.
Cumulus Media Emerges from Chapter 11. The company said it would emerge from Chapter 11 reorganization during the second quarter of this year and that turns out to be the case. In a statement, Cumulus Media says it has “successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 having reduced its debt by more than $1 billion. The Company plans to utilize its enhanced financial flexibility to continue its ongoing business transformation and drive value creation on behalf of all its stakeholders.” Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner adds, “Over the last two years, we have been relentlessly focused on our plans to turn the Company around, and the completion of our financial restructuring process is a monumental step forward on our turnaround path. We emerge today as a stronger and more competitive Company, with the financial foundation that we need to move forward decisively with the initiatives that will produce the greatest benefits for the Company. With this financial restructuring now behind us, we are excited about what we will be able to accomplish with all of our resources and energy fully focused on our operating business.” In the statement, Cumulus reports that it reduced its total debt balance from $2.34 billion to $1.30 billion, consisting entirely of a term loan bearing interest at LIBOR plus 450 basis points and due May 15, 2022. “Also, pursuant to the terms of the financial restructuring, the Company’s previously outstanding equity was cancelled and certain former stakeholders are being issued 11,052,211 shares of the Company’s Class A common stock, 5,218,209 shares of the Company’s Class B common stock and warrants to purchase 3,729,589 shares of common stock in exchange for their prior claims. Except with regard to voting and conversion rights, shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock are identical in all respects. Generally, the holders of shares of Class B common stock are not entitled to vote on any matters, although such shares are convertible into shares of Class A common stock, subject to FCC rules and regulations and the Company’s governance documents. We have applied to have our Class A common stock listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol CMLS and, until such time, expect that such shares will be quoted on the OTC Pink Sheets under the symbol CMIA.”
Kathy Smith to Lead Cumulus Eugene, Oregon. At Cumulus Media’s Eugene, Oregon station group, Kathy Smith is the new VP/market manager. She was most recently Alpha Media Portland’s general sales manager. Cumulus Eugene includes news/talk KUGN and sports talk KUJZ-FM and four music outlets. Cumulus EVP Bob Walker says, “We are very pleased to have Kathy leading our team in Eugene. Her deep experience and true passion for the Pacific Northwest region make her an incredible asset to our six great stations and the community they serve.”
‘97.9 ESPN Hartford’ Names Bob Joyce UConn Sports Executive Producer. At sports talker WUCS-FM, Hartford “97.9 ESPN Hartford,” Bob Joyce is named executive producer for University of Connecticut Athletics content. Joyce’s duties include serving as the radio voice for Women’s Basketball and Men’s Hockey, handling play-by-play, and working closely with “The Rob Dibble Show.” He’ll report to iHeartMedia Connecticut program director for sports and talk Ben Darnell. iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb states, “We are excited to have Bob Joyce on our team. Bob brings continuity and a high-quality professionalism to our UConn content. He is well known in the market and with UConn fans and we are confident he will bring UConn sports broadcasting to new levels.”
Hayley Tenpas Named WHBY, Appleton Talk Host. In the Appleton-Green Bay, Wisconsin market, Woodward Communications names Hayley Tenpas host of the afternoon drive “Focus Fox Valley” program that airs from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Tenpas formerly served as news anchor at Scripps’ WGBA-TV, Green Bay. She is a native of the Fox Valley, having grown up in Hortonville. She earned her broadcast journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. WHBY brand manager Justin Hull says, “We are excited to welcome Hayley to the WHBY team. Her passion for the community will be a great addition to our weekday lineup.”
TALKERS News Notes. On Monday (6/11), 77 WABC Radio in New York is hosting the first GOP primary debate between U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan and former Congressman Michael Grimm. The station says the two are locked in a “tight and heated race” for New York’s 11th Congressional District. The one-hour live debate will take place at WABC Radio studios in New York City at 12:00 noon ET and veteran journalist and WABC Radio host and political editor Rita Cosby will serve as moderator as part of the first hour of her talk show with Curtis Sliwa, “Curtis + Cosby.”…..The legal case of St. Louis talk show host Jamie Allman against Emmis Communications and Entercom is being moved from Missouri state court to federal court. RegularTALKERS readers remember that Allman is suing the two companies for breach of contract after Allman was let go from his KFTK-FM radio show in the aftermath of social media comments he made about Parkland, Florida student David Hogg. At the time of his firing from KFTK-FM, Entercom was LMAing the station from Emmis as it waited to close on the purchase of the station…..The GCN nationally syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs program is added to the program schedule at KBDB-HD3, Forks, Washington…..Longtime KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City talk show host Doug Wright said a final farewell to his listeners on Friday, June 1. Wright retired from the Bonneville-owned news/talk station after more than 40 years on the air in the market. To fill the air time left open by Wright’s retirement, Bonneville is expanding the “Dave and Dujanovic” show to 9:00 am to 12:00.
Joe Brewer Promoted at Katz Media Group. Twenty-two-year staffer Joe Brewer is promoted to president of business operations at Katz Media Group. Brewer – who started with the company in 1996 – was most recently chief administrative officer. In this position, Brewer will increase his focus on business operations across Katz Radio Group, Katz Television Group and Katz Digital with the goal of streamlining company processes and aligning all technology and innovation initiatives with company goals.
AWMF to Honor Judy Woodruff at Gracies Awards Luncheon. The leadership of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of “PBS NewsHour,” will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon on June 27 at Cipriani 42ndStreet in New York. The annual Gracies Luncheon honors individual achievement and outstanding programming at the local level for TV and radio, public level for radio, and student level for TV, radio and interactive media. CNN’s Erica Hill will host the luncheon. AWMF chair Christine Travaglini says, “The Gracie Awards celebrate the female storytellers who are changing the narrative and pushing boundaries in the quest toward diversity and equality. Since the beginning of her journalism career in 1976, Judy Woodruff’s connected, well-researched approach is consistently present and illustrates why she is so worthy of this Lifetime Achievement Award. We at AWM and AWMF, through the Gracies, are incredibly proud to honor and celebrate outstanding talent and content for, by and about women.”
Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegations, Trump Uninvites Eagles to White House, SCOTUS Cake Ruling, Iran Nuclear Deal, Bill Clinton NBC Interview, North Korea Summit, Dwight Clark Dies, NBA Finals, and Major League Baseball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/4). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and allegations that Paul Manafort attempted to tamper with witnesses; President Trump uninvites the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House; the Supreme Court rules in favor of Denver baker who refused to make wedding cake for gay couple; the aftermath of the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; Bill Clinton’s reaction to being questioned about Monica Lewinsky on “Today” show interview; the status of the U.S.-North Korea summit; San Francisco 49ers great Dwight Clark dies at 61; the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
BFoA Establishes Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund. The Broadcasters Foundation of America has established the Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund in honor of the broadcaster who died this past Friday (6/1) at age 69 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. BFoA president Jim Thompson states, “Joe was a friend and champion of the Broadcasters Foundation and our industry. He devoted time and energy to advancing broadcasting and to helping colleagues in need. He will be missed by many, personally and professionally.” Bilotta spent more than 40 years at Buckley Broadcasting where he helped build the group’s standing through such noted stations as WOR-AM, New York and WDRC-AM and WDRC-FM in Hartford. Bilotta was saluted by his colleagues in April with the coveted Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award, given by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at a breakfast ceremony held during the 2018 NAB Show. To donate to the Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund, please visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email email@example.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Joining Envision Networks as assistant marketing manager is Kelsey Shawgo. She comes to Envision with a background in writing and music journalism. She has been published in Substream Magazine, Fashion Meets Music Festival Magazine, and was a staff news writer and features writer for Alternative Press before joining Envision Networks. She also has worked in promotions for the now-Entercom-owned Cleveland station cluster. Envision says, “Kelsey’s acumen for millennial sentimentalities with a focus on new media and creative content will enhance Envision Networks’ marketing team. She aims to strengthen the brand voice of Envision Networks in all written and graphic content including public relations, social media, and the monthly journalistic Envision Insider newsletter…..iHeartMedia announces the primetime lineup for its iHeartRadio Music Festival taking place in Las Vegas September 21 and 22. Performers include: Justin Timberlake, Jack White, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Sam Smith, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Panic! At The Disco, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd, Logic, and more…..iHeartMedia Chicago announces that market radio pro Lisa Dent is joining country WBGG “BIG 95.5” to host weekend programs. Dent previously co-hosted mornings on Entercom’s crosstown WUSN-FM in Chicago for 10 years before launching her first business, Lisa Dent Speaks, LLC, and building her own studio, The Radio Farm…..Cumulus Media’s Atlanta CHR WWWQ “Q100” launches a new online destination called Q-U at quatlanta.com. Cumulus says Q-U “puts listeners first with video content that brings together the ‘Q100’ listening community in a new way and includes original content from listeners who share their lives with others who have a passion for hit music. Q-U tackles issues affecting young adults on a daily basis, including relationships, jobs, college loans, family and activism.” Cumulus Media Atlanta VP and market manager Sean Shannon adds, “Q-U builds the ‘Q100’ brand and elevates and transforms the standard ‘we talk, you listen’ format to a truly integrated conversational fan experience. We couldn’t be more excited to launch this innovative new destination for Atlantans who love hit music.”…..Westwood One’s nationally syndicated “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” program is broadcasting live from the George Jones Museum in Nashville during this week’s CMA Fest. Each morning’s live broadcast inside The George Jones is free and open to the public.
Wisconsin Talk Host Admits to Sexual Misconduct. What was so unusual about WHBY, Appleton talk host Josh Dukelow’s admission was that there was no accusation – Dukelow simply spoke on air about an incident in his past that made him realize he had sexually assaulted and harassed women, that he regrets his actions and hopes more men will come forward during this national conversation about sexual misconduct by men. The Appleton Post-Crescent reports that he made the admission on Friday’s show and it caused quite a social media stir in the region over the weekend. Woodward Communications has not fired Dukelow and, although he was off the air Monday, he’s expected back today. The paper reports Woodward general manager Kelly Radandt released the following statement about Dukelow: “Following his comments Friday, we immediately began gathering information and have had several conversations with Josh. As a company, we take sexual harassment very seriously and are diligent with incorporating employee training and policies. We have never received any sexual harassment allegations against Josh. At this time, given the details he has provided — both to us and now publicly — there will be no changes to his current employment with our station.”
Lenz to Co-Anchor Mornings on KOA, Denver. Six months after KOA, Denver morning drive co-host Steffan Tubbs was let go after being charged with domestic violence (a charge that has subsequently been dropped), iHeartMedia announces that Marty Lenz will leave Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco to assume the morning host role at KOA, effective January 8. Lenz will work alongside current KOA personality April Zesbaugh. iHeartMedia Denver Region president Tim Hagar says, “Following an exhaustive nationwide search, it was clear that Marty Lenz is uniquely qualified to join KOA Newsradio. Marty’s news prowess, engaging personality and Denver roots are sure to fuel the growth for ‘Colorado’s Morning News’ in 2018 and beyond.”
Ron Coomer Re-Ups with WSCR, Chicago for Cubs Broadcasts. Chicago sports talker WSCR and the Chicago Cubs are announcing that radio color analyst Ken Coomer will return to “The Score” in that role alongside Cubs play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes. Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “Ron is one of the most talented analysts in baseball and we are honored to have him on our team at ‘The Score.’ Ron brings the passion and success he had as former MLB All-Star to the airwaves of Cubs baseball and hits a homerun with Cubs fans.” Coomer first joined the Cubs Radio Network in December of 2013 (succeeding Keith Moreland) on WGN. He remained in the booth as games moved to then-CBS RADIO’s WBBM-AM.
Salem Radio Network Presenting Alabama Special Election Coverage. Today’s hotly contested U.S. Senate special election in Alabama is being covered by Salem Radio Network. The company says that at the first sign of significant election results, SRN News will mount one-minute special reports on SNN left at :20-past and 40:00-past the hour. They will have the latest trending results in SRN News top-of-hour broadcasts and SRN News half-hour updates. Also, Salem Media Group Houston talk host Sam Malone is embedded at Republican candidate Roy Moore’s victory party in Montgomery and will provide perspective and analysis throughout the evening on both SRN News and TOWNHALL.com newscasts.
iHeartCommunications Files Intent to Sell CC Outdoor Stock. The company doesn’t make clear in its brief filing with the Securities Exchange Commission what it would do with the money, but iHeartMedia parent iHeartCommunications, Inc. announces it’s “currently exploring a possible private capital-raising transaction supported by the value of some or all of the 100,000,000 shares of Class B common stock of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (“CCOH”) held by its wholly-owned subsidiary Broader Media, LLC and the 10,726,917 shares of Class A common stock held by its wholly-owned subsidiary CC Finco, LLC. Such transaction, if agreed upon and consummated on the terms being explored, would result in the pledge of these shares for the benefit of the investors.”
TALKERS News Notes. In Chicago, Robert Feder writes here that Mark Pinsky is assuming general manager duties at Newsweb‘s progressive talk station WCPT-AM. Pinsky has been serving with the company managing its five time-brokered radio stations in the Chicagoland market…..New affiliates have signed onto Westwood One’s “Checkpoint Radio,” a show dedicated to the world of esports and gaming. New stations include: KTCT-AM, San Francisco; KKFN-FM, Denver; WOKY-AM,Milwaukee; and WNSR-AM, Nashville. The program is hosted by Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard and Joe Sloan…..United Stations Radio Networks and Bloomberg Radio are teaming up to produce and distribute an original series of “Tax Tips” to be broadcast during the height of the 2018 tax season. The 30-second tips are being written and anchored by Bloomberg correspondent Peggy Collins and the full series is slated for broadcast starting on February 5, 2018…..SiriusXM unveils a new programming collaboration with news website Shareblue Media for the satcaster’s Progress channel. Shareblue Media is owned by Media Matters founder David Brock. SiriusXM director of progressive programming Zerlina Maxwell states, “The election of Donald Trump has energized the Progressive base like never before. We’re proud to team up with Shareblue Media and share their crucial voice with SiriusXM’s vast audience. Together we will provide fellow progressives with not only information, but marching orders on how to push back against the Trump administration’s agenda.”
WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Takes Listeners on Tour of FOX News Channel. Yesterday’s trip into New York City for WPGG, Atlantic City morning star Harry Hurley and his group of local listeners turned out to be even more eventful than they thought it would be. Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that his group arrived four blocks away from the terrorist pipe bombing at exactly the time the explosion rang out. As for the tour, Hurley (left) says, “Brian Kilmeade (right), Ainsley Earhardt, Steve Doocy, and Todd Starnes couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating, especially considering the circumstances. Giving listeners the opportunity to see how the national news is gathered and reported from the inside-out versus the outside-in is extraordinary.”
NYC Pipe Bomb Attack, Roy Moore Candidacy, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Sexual Impropriety Cases, California Wildfires, Bitcoin Activity, Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation, Sanders vs Media, Sunday’s NFL Action and Attendance, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11). Monday morning’s pipe bomb terrorist attack in New York; today’s special election in Alabama pitting embattled Republican Roy Moore against Democrat Doug Jones; the Republican-authored tax reform bill; the continuing allegations of sexual impropriety, including The New Yorker’s firing of journalist Ryan Lizza, and the NFL Network’s suspension of Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor, and Heath Evans; the devastating wildfires in Southern California; the surging value of bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; yesterday’s verbal sparring between White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the press; Sunday’s NFL action and analysis of attendance figures; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS and Hillsdale College Co-Present Major Talk Radio Discussion/Debate on “Media and Journalism in the Age of Trump.” TALKERS joined forces with Hillsdale College of Hillsdale, Michigan this past Tuesday (12/5) to present a conversation on the topic, “Media and Journalism in the Age of Trump.” The panel of seven diverse talk media hosts included (in alphabetical order): Scot Bertram, Hillsdale College Radio/WRFH; John Fredericks, John Fredericks Radio Network; Dom Giordano, WPHT, Philadelphia; Hugh Hewitt, Salem Radio Network; Joe Madison, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Janet Parshall, Moody Radio Network; and Bill Press, TYT Radio Network. The panel was moderated by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. The lively discussion covered a variety of issues ranging from the meaning and impact of “fake news” to the state of the First Amendment in 2017 exploring ethics in journalism, the impact of digital technology on the news, race relations in America, and the controversial demeanor of President Trump along the way. The event took place at Hillsdale College’s distinguished Washington, DC extension, the Alan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship. Reflecting on the event, Michael Harrison comments, “I knew it would be challenging keeping a discussion among such an opinionated, articulate group of talkers from going off the tracks considering the controversial and volatile nature of the topics at hand. However, I was delighted at the tremendous good spirit and collegiality displayed by all the participants. It was a productive and informative session. My thanks to all involved including our partners at Hillsdale.” To view the forum in its entirety, please click here.
PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey, today focusing on the adult hits format. He writes that although the number of stations airing adult hits is not large, as a format in the PPM markets, it’s performed well. “In fact, the adult hits format claims the strongest 6+ share (5.43) and best average 6+ rank (#6.47), easily outdistancing news/talk (3.80/#11.02) and the NBA flagships (2.63/#17.30) in those areas.” There are nine adult hits stations that ranked in the top five in their respective markets in November. Emmis’ KBPA, Austin “BOB FM 103.5” ranked #1; Entercom’s WSMW, Greensboro “98.7 Simon” ranked #2; and Saul Frischling’s WRRK, Pittsburgh “BOB FM 96.9” and Midwest Communications’ WCJK, Nashville “96.3 JACK FM” both ranked #3 in their markets. See the whole report here.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Seattle country outlet KKWF, “100.7 The Wolf,” Ellen Tailor tells her listeners that she’s leaving the station this Thursday (12/14). Tailor joined the Entercom station in 2011 as part of the morning show. She moved to middays in September…..Yet another iHeartMedia alternative rock station adds Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show” for the morning drive daypart. This time it’s WTHR, Wichita “ALT 107.3, Wichita’s Alternative Rock.” WTHR will carry the show Monday through Saturday.
Williams Appointed SVP/MM of Emmis Indianapolis. Eleven-year Radio One Indianapolis market manager Chuck Williams joins cross-town Emmis as senior vice president and market manager of its four-station cluster as well as its statewide news service, Network Indiana. Williams succeeds Charlie Morgan, who served in that capacity the past seven years before being named interim market manager of Emmis New York earlier this year. Emmis president and chief operating officer Patrick Walsh explains, “We have competed against Chuck throughout his career and always viewed him as a gifted, high integrity leader uniquely positioned to build on our foundation of success in Indianapolis. We are thrilled he has agreed to lead our team. With his deep knowledge of the Indianapolis radio market and the advertisers it serves, we expect him to jump right in and assist our talented team to continue to grow and prosper.” Williams comments, “I have long been an admirer of the Emmis culture, their people and their unfailing pride and leadership in the industry and their communities. Charlie Morgan built outstanding heritage stations with very talented people. I am looking forward to joining [Emmis Indianapolis vice president of sales] Tracey Bean, [VP/programming] Bob Richards, and the whole team at Emmis.” Before joining Radio One, Williams was general manager of Bonneville Chicago; he is the past chair of the Indiana Broadcasters Association. With each station’s share and market rank in parenthesis, here’s how the four Emmis Indianapolis outlets performed in the July 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM report: adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (6.4, #4, 6+); country WLHK “Hank” (5.1, #7, 6+); talk WIBC (3.8, #11, 6+); and sports WFNI “The Fan” (2.1, #15, 6+).
Conservative Talker Andrew Wilkow Celebrates 10th Anniversary on SiriusXM. Today (8/9) marks the 10th anniversary of talk show host Andrew Wilkow‘s “The Wilkow Majority” on SiriusXM’s “Patriot Channel.” Wilkow carved out his niche over a period of time, then expanded upon it in the 12:00 noon ET to 3:00 pm ET time slot as an alternative to Rush Limbaugh. A member of the TALKERS 2016 “Heavy Hundred,” Wilkow has become one of the biggest stars created by SiriusXM. He tells TALKERS, “I am honored and delighted to be on Sirius for so long, and appreciate my extremely loyal and passionate audience.” He says that the show’s nickname, “The Next Generation of Great Talk Radio,” still applies 10 years later.
Bott Radio Network Extends Mid-Missouri Footprint. Adding three FM signals in Columbia (at 100.9); Fulton (92.5); and St. Robert-Fort Leonard Wood (106.5), Bott Radio Network (BRN) expands its Christian talk network in mid-Missouri. All are rebroadcasting BRN’s 50,000-watt station at 89.9 FM from Columbia and Jefferson City. Mid-Missouri area manager Sue Stoltz comments, “These three new signals will be a blessing to many in mid-Missouri and the surrounding area where even more people can now hear quality Christian talk radio. I am excited about how this will benefit mid-Missouri families and our business sponsors.” BRN president and chief executive officer Rich Bott notes, “We are excited about this opportunity to reach more people with God’s word. This is a wonderful step forward to strengthen families and change lives through Bott Radio Network’s quality bible teaching, Christian news and information programming.” The addition of the new signals brings BRN’s number of stations nationwide to 107, including 46 in Missouri.
Silver Sensations. American divers Steele Johnson and David Boudia proudly display their silver medals to Steve Mason (left) and Kevin Kugler (second from the right), who are covering the Rio Olympics for Westwood One Sports.
Odds & Sods. Anchor/producer Heather Jordan (formerly Heather Martinez) exits Cox Media Group Orlando talker WDBO-FM to succeed Libby Denkmann as afternoon news anchor for “The John & Ken Show” on iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ KFI. Her lengthy radio resume includes stops in Dallas (KRNB); Miami (WEDR “99 Jamz” and WHQT “Hot 105”); Denver (KDJM “Jammin’ 92.5”); Kansas City (KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz”); and Des Moines (WHO). In addition, Jordan has done television work for WBBM-TV, Chicago; KTVT-TV, Dallas; and WFOR-TV, Miami ….. Longtime Pittsburgh Penguins radio producer Ray Walker (Ray Weitzel), 56, passed away Sunday (8/7) of complications from lymphoma. He joined the NHL team’s broadcasts in September 1999. His wife is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “3WS,” Pittsburgh on-air talent Sheri Van Dyke ….. Recently added affiliates to Joe Pagliarulo‘s “Joe Pags Show” are: KUIK, Portland; WPTR, Albany, New York (Empire News Network); WAIX, Albany, New York (Empire News Network); WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin; WAAM, Ann Arbor, Michigan; KERV, Kerville, Texas; WDMJ, Marquette, Michigan; and WIAN, Ishpeming, Michigan. Pagliarulo is now on more than 60 stations.