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KNUS, Denver’s Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden Fired for School Shooting Joke. The midday “Chuck & Julie” show has been cancelled from the program lineup at Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver after Chuck Bonniwell’s ill-advised joke about school shootings. Bonniwell, who co-hosts the show with his wife Julie Hayden, was transitioning from a break back into programming and said – in an effort to express his weariness with the impeachment story – “You wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt.” Julie Hayden was quick to interject, “Don’t even – don’t even say that. No, don’t even say that. Don’t call us. Chuck didn’t say that.” Then Bonniwell added “…which no one would be hurt.” Station management later issued the following statement: “Given the history of school violence that has plagued our community, 710 KNUS confirms that an inappropriate comment was made on the ‘Chuck & Julie’ show by co-host Chuck Bonniwell. A programming decision was made to end the program immediately.” For his part, Bonniwell said via Twitter: “I made an inappropriate comment meant as a joke. I’m sorry it was not received that way.”
Jim Vicevich Retires from WTIC-AM, Hartford; Will Mariotti to Assume Late Morning Show. Hartford talk radio host Jim Vicevich is leaving his role as late morning talk host on Entercom’s news/talk WTIC-AM due to his ongoing battle with Lupus. Today is his last show. WTIC personality Will Mariotti will become the permanent 9:00 am to 12:00 noon host. Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Stephanie Perl says, “We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Jim, who has dedicated over 15 years of his career to the people of Hartford. He has developed a strong bond with the local community through the show ‘Sound Off Connecticut’ and is a true media icon in the market. We thank him for all of his contributions to our station and local community and wish him all of the best.” Vicevich says, “While I’m sad to be leaving due to my Lupus, I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to entertain and interact with our audience for over 15 years. I’m honored to be a part of this station’s great history. Very few people have had the chance to get behind the same microphone of other WTIC greats like Bob Steele and Ray Dunaway. Thank you to everyone who has played a role in making my time here special.” Will Mariotti adds, “From the time I first filled in for Jim and all the way through working with him weekly in 2017 and 2018, I was always impressed by his knowledge and professionalism. I know I have huge shoes to fill, but my time with Jim has prepared me for the next chapter of our daytime show. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to connect with our listeners every day.”
Chris Carlin to Host Nights at ‘ESPN New York.’ After months of speculation about what the New York City sports talk scene will look like in the New Year, another piece of the puzzle fits into place as former WFAN “The Fan” personality Chris Carlin will assume hosting the evening show at ESPN’s WEPN-FM “ESPN New York” on January 2. “Carlin at Night” will air from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Carlin was one-third of the show hired to replace Mike Francesa in afternoons on Entercom’s WFAN. But Francesa returned to WFAN a few months after leaving and Carlin, Bart Scott and Maggie Gray were moved to the early afternoon daypart. Then, in August Carlin was let go. Back at WEPN, Alan Hahn is moving from nights to middays, reportedly to co-host with Bart Scott, who leaves WFAN and partner Maggie Gray this month to join WEPN. Across town, WFAN has already announced that Gray and Marc Malusis are the new midday show and Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts are the new PM drive show.
Ivy Savoy-Smith to Lead Entercom Washington, DC. Vice president and director of sales Ivy Savoy-Smith is promoted to SVP and market manager for Entercom’s Washington, DC station group that includes sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan,” four music brands, and more. She takes over for Phil Zachary, who exited the position last month. Entercom CRO and regional president Bob Philips says, “During her time here at Entercom, Ivy has embodied leadership, strategic thinking, accountability and hard work. She is a forward thinker who has produced undeniable results and we are excited to have her lead Entercom Washington D.C. into the new decade.” Savoy-Smith comments, “I’m grateful to Bob for giving me this opportunity to begin this new chapter of my career. Working at Entercom has been an unbelievable experience and I look forward to putting my stamp on the D.C. cluster and leveraging the power of radio to continue to give back to the local community.”
Edison: Moms Have ‘Complicated Relationship’ with Social Media. According to a new study from Edison Research titled, “Moms on Social Media 2019,” mothers are big social media users – 92% of U.S. moms use social media compared to 79% to the 12+ U.S. population. And although Facebook usage has fallen among users in the U.S. according to Edison’s “The Infinite Dial 2019,” moms are not dropping Facebook. Eighty-one percent of U.S. moms use Facebook compared to 61% of the total U.S. population. Edison says, “Moms have two major motivators for continuing to use social media: the emotional connection it provides and the practical ways it helps them in their busy lives. The study finds that on the emotional side, moms are using social media to stay up to date with friends, share aspects of their lives, and share their opinions. On the practical side, moms are using social media to get information on school events, details on extracurricular activities, health and parenting advice, and find product recommendations.” Other findings from the study include: Pinterest and Instagram have seen significant gains year-over-year. Among U.S. moms, 63% are using Pinterest in 2019 compared to 47% in 2017, and 53% are using Instagram in 2019 compared to 37% in 2017; 80% of moms on social media say they turn to it for product recommendations, and 58% of moms on social media said Facebook is the platform they turn to first for product recommendations; 53% of moms who use social medial say there is too much negativity on social media; and regarding how they feel about social media, 26% of moms on social media say they feel annoyed, 25% say they feel addicted, and 24% say they feel concerned. See more from the study here.
PodcastOne Shows Named to CarMoney’s Top Podcasts List. Three of PodcastOne’s car-related podcasts were named to the international list of top car podcasts by the UK-based site CarMoney. The shows named are: “Carcast” hosted by Adam Carolla and Matt D’Andria; “Everyday Driver,” with hosts Paul and Todd; and “Spike’s Car Radio” with car enthusiast and former “Seinfeld” writer Spike Feresten. PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Adam Carolla is the king of podcasts, so I am not surprised to see his car show on the list. ‘Everyday Driver’ has been a great partner, and Spike knows cars and he knows funny. That’s exactly the reason why his podcast has been a solid hit for the past 2 ½ years here at PodcastOne. I’d say more, but I’ve gotta call Spike now for some car advice and laughs.”
House Votes to Impeach Trump, 2020 Presidential Race, Obamacare Ruling, FBI Report/FISA, U.S.-China Trade Talks, Financial Markets Activity, and New Obesity Report Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19). The vote in the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump on two counts and the president’s response from his rally in Michigan; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020 and the build-up to this evening’s Democratic debate; an appeals court rules the Obamacare mandate unconstitutional; the aftermath of the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s use of the FISA; the Trump administration’s trade talks with China; the record setting performances of the financial markets; and the New England Journal of Medicine report indicating half of all American adults will be obese by 2030 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. Tulsa news/talker KRMG-FM and KOKI-TV “FOX23” organized the 12th Annual Tulsa Holiday Blood Drive for the American Red Cross, taking place today (12/19). In the past 11 drives, the program has collected 2,254 units of life-saving products (blood and platelets). KRMG director of branding and programming Levi May says, “During the crazy holiday travel season, the American Red Cross sees a big drop in its scheduled donations and that could create a real problem for people seeking medical help during this time. We are honored to partner with our news partners at ‘FOX23’ to help drive awareness and donations to help ensure that Green Country medical facilities have everything they need to treat our neighbors.”…..The NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and iHeartMedia Minneapolis’ KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN 100.3” and news/talk KTLK have agreed to a five-year extension renewing the stations’ broadcast rights for Vikings preseason, regular season and postseason games. The 2020 season will mark the 20th consecutive year “KFAN” will serve as the flagship station for the Vikings Radio Network. iHeartMedia market president Jeff Tyler says, “My thanks to the Wilf family and all the great people we work with at the Minnesota Vikings. They are at the top level of sports franchises and our entire team at iHeartMedia Minneapolis is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our partnership for another five years. Both organizations are dedicated to innovation and excellence which makes this partnership so unique and valuable.”…..SiriusXM is presenting live play-by-play broadcasts of all 41 Division I FBS and FCS bowl games this college football postseason, including ESPN Radio’s coverage of the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship. The schedule begins Friday, December 20 and concludes with the crowning of the national champion on January 13…..Former CBS News reporter and anchor Peter Maer was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award from the St. Louis Press Club. During his more than 25 years covering national news for CBS, Maer received numerous awards, including an Edward R. Murrow Award, five Merriman Smith Awards, the IAF Cronkite Award, and more. Maer retired from CBS News in 2015. He was interviewed on CBS News Radio affiliate KMOX, St. Louis. He’s pictured here (left) with St. Louis Press Club president Bill Greenblatt (right)…..Pictured below are ESPN Radio’s “Golic and Wingo” hosts Mike Golic (third from right), Trey Wingo (second from right), and Mike Golic Jr. (second from left) after teaming up with Mercedes-Benz Vans to benefit the Salvation Army. ESPN employees in Bristol, Connecticut donated more than 300 toys and Mercedes-Benz Vans donated a new Sprinter Passenger Van for the Salvation Army to use to transport students to after-school activities. In addition to the Sprinter Passenger Van that was donated, Mercedes-Benz provided a Cargo Van that was utilized to transport the toys from ESPN’s Bristol campus to the Salvation Army.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Chicago triple A WXRT-FM, the longtime morning show with Lin Brehmer and Mary Dixon wraps, with Brehmer moving to the midday show and current midday personality Richard Milne moving to mornings. Dixon, who according to a report in the Chicago Tribune was offered the evening/overnight news anchor position with sister all-news WBBM-AM/WCFO-FM but declined, leaves the station. Brehmer says, “Like a veteran centerfielder who moves to first base, I look forward to batting second. The exhilaration of being a morning companion to the families that support 93XRT offset the brutal schedule of someone who likes to go to concerts at night. I’m not 29 anymore. May the phrase, ‘Isn’t it past your bedtime?’ be applied to someone else for a while.” Entercom Chicago OM and program director Greg Solk says, “93XRT has long held the reputation for playing Chicago’s finest rock, but also has enjoyed hosting Chicago’s finest jocks. Lin Brehmer is a Chicago treasure. All of us at the station are indebted to Lin for his 28 years of wrestling with his alarm clock. His morning fans will now get to enjoy their best friend in the whole world sharing their workday as Lin accompanies their middle of the day rituals. We are also blessed to have someone of Richard’s character, charm, music knowledge and wit to take over for Lin. It’s Richard’s turn to get in early and Rock Chicago.”…..Classic hits KONO-FM, San Antonio morning drive personality Dave Rios is retiring from the station after 26 years in the position. Prior to joining KONO-FM, Rios worked in the market as news director for rock outlet KXZL – now Spanish hits KZEP-FM…..Hubbard Radio personality Fitz is named the permanent host of “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40.” He becomes the third host in the 45-year history of the national radio show. Kingsley died in October after a battle with cancer. The new “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 with Fitz” airs on more than 300 stations worldwide and features audio from the Kingsley archives. Skyview Networks is the exclusive network sales rep for the show. Fitz says, “I listened to Bob Kingsley every weekend when I was a kid. His loss is still sinking in, but I am honored to be taking the reins from the man who instilled in me a lifelong love of country music and the love of the ‘countdown.’ This moment is surreal, and I do not take the responsibility lightly. I am excited and honored to carry his torch and hope that I can do for the next generation of country music fans what the legendary Bob Kingsley did for me…..Entercom announces that Zac Brown Band is headlining the 5th annual “The Night Before” concert at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on February 1, 2020 – the night before the Super Bowl.