Shelley Rises to Executive Director of RTDNA/F. Longtime association member, former chairman of the board and current foundation secretary/treasurer Dan Shelley is named incoming executive director of the RTDNA and the RTDNF. He’ll begin his new position in September. Shelley is a veteran Edward. R. Murrow Award-winning radio, television and digital media executive. He’s served in key news positions with iHeartMedia, Radio One, CBS Television Stations and Journal Broadcast Group. He began his career at KTTS-AM/FM in Springfield, Missouri. RTDNA/F board chairman Vincent Duffy states, “Dan’s unique blend of experience, energy and deep understanding of our mission will position us for growth and continued success. His passion and dedication make him an ideal leader for our organization.” Shelley comments on his new position, “I am honored to take on this exciting new challenge at a critical time for our profession. More than ever, RTDNA plays an essential role in defending the rights of electronic journalists. I am looking forward to serving our members and advocating on their behalf.” This spring and summer, Shelley will oversee the development of RTDNA’s Voice of the First Amendment Task Force. Current executive director Mike Cavender, who previously announced his intention to retire, will provide transition assistance to the organizations through the end of the year.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago Media maven Robert Feder reports on Windy City radio legend Steve Dahl’s disappearance from his afternoon drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM for more than a week. Feder writes that “an upbeat and energetic Steve Dahl returned to his afternoon show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 Wednesday (4/5) more than a week after he landed in the hospital for treatment of a perforated colon. Broadcasting from his home, the Chicago radio legend said he was diagnosed with diverticulitis. ‘I’m on some kind of weird diet right now,’ Dahl, 62, told listeners. ‘I really honestly am just so glad to not be in the hospital and not in pain. They can take away whatever they want from me in terms of eating. I can live with it.’” Read Feder’s column here…..WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli afternoon drive program is honored with an excellence in broadcasting award from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters in the category of Outstanding Local Personality or Team for large market stations. In a memo to staffers, program executive producer Greg Stocker writes, “Host Rich Zeoli and news anchor Dawn Stensland were recognized for their outstanding broadcast abilities and the Rich Zeoli show has brought home WPHT’s first award for this category. A very big congrats to Rich and the whole PM drive team. These awards are never won alone, with lots of tireless work off the air helping make all of our shows successful.”…..The team of Mike Rutherford and John Ramsey exits Union Broadcasting Louisville’s sports talk WLCL-FM, Louisville “93.9 The Ville.” In a post on SB Nation Card Chronicle, Rutherford shares his reasons for leaving the station’s afternoon show. He writes, in part, that “Working multiple jobs that I really and truly love is an unbelievable blessing, but all of them reaching their maximum level of demand at the same time is taxing.”…..Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist Elvira Salazar enters into a multi-year deal with Creative Talent Inc. for representation encompassing her work in television, radio, blogging and digital media. Salazar is a nightly news anchor with Mega TV and serves as a columnist with Newsmax Insider. Creative Talent president and CEO Steve Gallagher states, “Elvira has covered every major breaking news event in the past 25 years and regularly speaks out on immigration issues across the country on media outlets such as FOX News and FOX Business and she is a popular guest on radio talk shows nationwide. We are thrilled to be working with Elvira Salazar in getting her message out on every platform.”…..The central division of the Kroger grocery chain is honoring Neuhoff Communications’ WSOY, Decatur, Illinois “News/Talk 1340AM 103.3 FM” with its “Community Partner of the Year” award. WSOY was nominated and chosen for this prestigious honor for the impact of the WSOY Community Food Drive, an event that has raised more than 7.9 million pounds of food for local food pantries in its 15-year history. WSOY was chosen based on several key performance criteria, as well as general cooperation and enthusiasm toward achieving mutual goals. Previous honorees of the Community Partner of the Year Award include the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Lottery. Vendors honored at the awards this year included Red Bull, The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and the Hershey Company…..Salem Media Group announces that Heath Garlutzo will move from the company’s Phoenix station group where he’s been general sales manager to Colorado Springs to assume the general manager role there…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Neil Sargent, who passed recently from complications from lung cancer at age 85. Sargent was a much-loved broadcast executive whose last gig before retirement was CEO of TM Century. He’d also served with syndicators Unistar, Transtar. During his long career, he also managed radio stations.
New Categories, Broad Scope of Esteemed Jury Panel Mark 2017 New York Festivals’ “World’s Best Radio Programs’ Awards. This year marks the 35th annual “World’s Best Radio Programs” awards presented by New York Festivals. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian speaks with New York Festivals International Radio Program competition executive director Rose Anderson, who tells him the competition is unique because virtually everything is covered from news programs; news features; documentaries; entertainment; drama; talk; promos; audio books; podcasts; and student work. Anderson says “It really is all things audio. It is most important to us that we make New York Festivals Radio Program awards a destination for people all over the world who are creating radio that is interesting, innovative, and of very high quality…This year, we have added four pretty interesting categories. They are ‘Best Live News Special,’ ‘Music Podcast,’ ‘Personalized Podcast,’ and ‘Heroes Documentary,’ with the latter a bit more than a biography profile documentary. ‘Heroes’ would be ordinary people whose extraordinary acts have influenced others.” Read more about the New York Festivals International Radio Program competition here.
Gorsuch Nomination, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, Bannon Exits NSC, Trump and Xi Jinping Meeting, North Korea Missile Threats, Syrian Gas Attack, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/5). The status of the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents and Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking them; presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon exits the National Security Council; President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping meeting at Mar-a-Lago; concerns about North Korea’s advancing nuclear missile program; the deadly gas attack on Syrian civilians and the political blame game; and the first games of the Major League Baseball season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Hanging with the GOAT. WQAM, Miami afternoon show personalities (from l-r) Zach Krantz, Channing Crowder, and Marc Hochman – of the “Hochman, Crowder, and Krantz” show – chatted with all-time victories records-holder and Miami Dolphins legendary coach Don Shula (seated) at a recent remote broadcast at Shula’s Steakhouse in Miami Lakes, Florida.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Twenty-seven year radio pro Lori Tournay Liggett is promoted to general sales manager for Cumulus Media Nashville’s music stations country WKDF “NASH FM 103.3” and WSM-FM “95.5 NASH Icon,” and urban contemporary WQQK “92Q.” Liggett joined Cumulus Nashville in 2015 as general sales manager for WQQK. Prior to that, she was with CBS RADIO Detroit. She states, “I am honored to lead the WQQK, WSM-FM and WKDF sales team. Broadcast and digital media is constantly evolving and Cumulus Nashville puts local client solutions, employee development and our communities at the forefront of everything we do. I look forward to continuing these efforts.”…..Rock KFMB, San Diego “100.7 KFM-BFM” afternoon personality Mike Vasquez is promoted to program director for the Midwest Television station. He takes over for Garett Michaels, who exited the PD post in January…..Danny Hill is back with Alpha Media’s CHR KLLY, Bakersfield “Energy 95.3” as program director. Hill posts on Facebook that he’s psyched to be back at the station. He exited KLLY two years ago to take a management gig at Hawaii Media’s Kauai station group…..iHeartRadio’s “Artist Stories,” presented by State Farm, was honored for the Best Film & Video – Unscripted (Branded) category in the 21st Annual Webby Awards – an international award that honors excellence on the Internet…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of a number of acts to its Daytime Village Presented by Capital One at the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. New artists added to the bill include: Halsey, Little Mix, Bleachers, Niall Horan, Bebe Rexha, and Cheat Codes.
Bi-Partisan PROMOTE Act Would Let Copyright Owners Opt Out of Uncompensated Radio Airplay for Their Songs. Radio station owners – as well as the National Association of Broadcasters – are no happier with this new bill (fully titled the Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity To Earn Act) sponsored by U.S. Reps Darrel Issa (R-CA) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) than they were with the recently filed Fair Play Fair Pay Act that would force payments to AM/FM stations for playing copyrighted material. This PROMOTE Act would allow copyright holders of electronic performances – in most cases the record companies themselves – to not allow their material to be aired by AM/FM stations if they don’t believe they’re being compensated fairly. Issa says this proposal hits both sides of the free-play-in-exchange-for-promotion argument where they live. Issa says, “Our bill puts forward a workable solution that would allow those who would otherwise be paid a performance right to opt out of allowing broadcasters to play their music if they feel they’re not being appropriately compensated. This is a win-win that helps solve this decades-long problem in a way that’s fair to both parties.” Radio station owners hate the idea almost as much as being forced to pay the copyright fees. But TALKERS editors wonder how many labels would really remove their music from AM/FM playlists unless they are paid. This could also adversely affect certain radio stations and not others. Remember that iHeartMedia and Cumulus have negotiated deals (the details of which are private) with a number of major labels and label groups that include compensation for AM/FM airplay.
Boston’s Radio Stations to Observe Moment of Silence on Monday. Boston radio stations are planning a moment of silence on Monday, April 22 to honor the victims of this week’s Boston Marathon bombing. The 60-second tribute will air at 2:50 p.m. – one week from the moment of the detonation of the first bomb – on local radio stations, including those owned by CBS Radio, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Entercom and Greater Media. National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were impacted by the horrific act that took place in Boston. This moment of silence will serve as a time of reflection, honoring those lost and injured in this tragic event, and recognizing the countless acts of heroism and kindness that we saw on Monday and which continue today. As first informers in times of crisis, broadcasters want to take this opportunity to salute the first responders and the many unsung heroes who do so much during emergency situations.”
WFTL, Fort Lauderdale Talk Show Host Joyce Kaufman Honored at Hold Their Feet to the Fire. Some 50-plus radio talk show hosts from around the nation are gathered on Capitol Hill for the annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row designed to galvanize both citizen and media pressure upon lawmakers to take meaningful action on immigration policy in the United States. The event, organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), began yesterday and continues today (4/17-18) conveniently coinciding with the controversial Amnesty Bill currently being pushed through the U.S. Senate by the so-called “Gang of Eight.” Critics of the bill claim that it would have a disastrous effect upon this country’s already-dysfunctional immigration policy and deal yet another terrible blow to the American worker. The radio row is bringing several hundred guests including lawmakers, government officials, experts, law enforcement officers and border state ranchers to the airwaves of America. During the course of presentations at last evening’s cocktail reception at the event, WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk show host and highly influential Florida political voice Joyce Kaufman (pictured here) was honored as the recipient of one of FAIR’s highest honors, the “We the People” award, for her longtime commitment to and measurable impact upon the immigration reform movement. Media industry and political observers have long recognized the leadership role conservative news/talk radio has played in the immigration reform movement and by the looks of things at this year’s rally this influence is continuing to be a significant factor in the issue.
Mr. Larson Goes to Washington. Compass Media Networks syndicated talk host Lars Larson – who’s also regionally syndicated in the Pacific Northwest from home base KXL, Portland – is pictured here (r) with Congressman Lou Barletta (l) at the “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC. In addition to hosting both programs from Washington yesterday and today, Larson will head to affiliate WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia to broadcast his programs on Friday, April 19.
Dr. Joy Browne Returns to NYC Airwaves. After more than two decades as a staple on New York City talk radio, Radio America-syndicated psychologist Dr. Joy Browne returns to the city’s airwaves on Access.1’s WWRL, New York beginning Monday, April 22. WWRL general manager Adriane Gaines comments, “We are very pleased that Dr. Joy Browne is joining the ‘RL lineup and bringing her on-air advice to our listeners. Joy’s unique blend of wisdom, balance and practical solutions to coping with life’s challenges has made her one of America’s leading clinical psychologists.” Radio America calls Dr. Joy Browne’s program “the longest running of its kind in syndication,” and reports it is airing on more than 125 stations across the country.
Odds & Sods. WGN, Chicago partners with the Illinois Department of Transportation to raise awareness for “Work Zone Safety Week.” The photo you see here is the Tribune Tower lit up in orange to help raise public awareness of the construction season and the need to drive safely to help save lives. The promotion also includes WGN’s Allstate Showcase Studio where three interactive kiosks positioned around the tower will accept safe driving pledges and photos that can be taken and shared with loved ones…..CNN Radio’s Emma Lacey-Bordeaux was honored by the Atlanta Press Club on Tuesday, April 16 with the 2012 Excellence Award for her digital/online reporting. Her body of work on Soundwaves, CNN Radio’s audio blog, was cited for the award with a specific call-out on a story about deportation and immigration reform…..WTOP, Washington was honored with six Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Awards receiving a first place finish in every category it entered. In addition to being honored with Best Website for wtop.com, WTOP was also recognized with accolades in the Continuing Coverage category for “A Date with Sandy,” the Documentary/In-Depth category for “Battleground Virginia,” the Feature category for “Keeping the Drive-In Alive” and in the Editorial category for “Core Values.” The station was also awarded Meritorious in the Feature category for “Commuter Idle.”…..Salt Lake Community College’s The Grand Theatre will be the broadcast site for KUER public radio’s presentation of NPR’s “Science Friday” on April 19, 2013. The live broadcast will be heard by more than 1.3 million listeners via hundreds of public radio stations across the United States. Randall Irmis, Brooks Britt, and science writer Brian Switek will discuss paleontology during the show’s first hour. Irmis is an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah and the curator of paleontology for the Natural History Museum of Utah. Brooks Britt is an associate professor of geological science at Brigham Young University. He is the former director of the Stewart Museum in Odgen, Utah and the curator of paleontology for the Museum of Western Colorado in Grand Junction, Colorado. Brian Switek is a science writer whose new book My Beloved Brontosaurus was released on April 16 by Scientific American & Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Smerconish Continues SiriusXM Show Launch Blitz. During the first week of his new program on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel, talk media personality Michael Smerconish (r) is moving full-steam ahead promoting the switch. He’s pictured here in the Washington, DC studios of SiriusXM with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews (l) discussing – what else? – the public relations issues the two believe the Republican party is having dealing with the Obama Administration and the electorate. That wasn’t the only issue the two discussed but Smerconish and Matthews spent a good portion of their time analyzing the Republican party of today and comparing with the Republican part of the Ronald Reagan era. Smerconish’s new program airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET. He left AM/FM radio, including home base WPHT, Philadelphia to join the satcaster.
NJBA President Paul Rotella Responds to Smerconish in Letter to Philly Inquirer. In a letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer addressing talk show host Michael Smerconish’s exit from WPHT and move to Sirius Satellite Radio – which Smerconish writes about here — , New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella responds to that editorial expressing “dismay that a former broadcaster could have such ‘sour grapes’ for the industry that has given him some fame and probably some fortune.” Rotella goes on to say that broadcast radio is the standard by which “successful radio broadcasters judge their achievements. Look at Ryan Seacrest, Rush Limbaugh, and so many other radio superstars. They have managed to create vast audience niches that exemplify their talent…they didn’t have to run away from the dial.” No word if the paper will print Rotella’s piece.
Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Immigration Legislation, Gun Law Proposals, and Ricin Letters Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17). The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing; proposals for new immigration legislation – including amnesty to illegal aliens; proposed gun laws and the defeat of an amendment to extend background checks to gun shows and internet sales that was defeated in the Senate; and the ricin-tainted letters sent to Washington, DC were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.