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Thursday, April 22, 2021

| April 22, 2021

KFAB, Omaha Fires Chris Baker After Tweeting of Racist Image. A day after tweeting an image of Black natives in loincloths and holding spears with the caption “Guilty!” in the immediate aftermath of the Derek Chauvin verdict, iHeartMedia has fired KFAB, Omaha afternoon drive talk host Chris Baker, according to a piece in the Lincoln Journal Star.  iHeartMedia area president for Nebraska C. Taylor Walet III said in a statement the tweet was “completely inappropriate and unacceptable. Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values, and we take this situation very seriously. Accordingly, Chris Baker’s employment with our company has been terminated.” Baker told the Journal Star that although he doesn’t expect people to believe his explanation, he says he was multi-tasking and searching for an image of “people celebrating” and inadvertently posted the image that he did. He added, “That’s not me, that’s not who I really am. There’s a difference between being intentional and being a fat-fingered boomer on Twitter. I don’t look at Black people that way.” On Wednesday, “Producer Josh” Odson and “Bird,” a.k.a. Meghan Bird, hosted the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on KFAB.

Premiere Networks and EIB Network Launch ‘Rush Limbaugh: The Man Behind the Golden EIB Microphone’ Podcast Series. This 12-episode podcast is narrated by Rush Limbaugh’s longtime call-screener and “official show observer” James Golden, a.k.a., Bo Snerdley. Premiere Networks says, “The 12-episode series will detail legendary radio host Rush Limbaugh’s award-winning, 30-plus year career in radio that revitalized the spoken-word format and provided a platform for him to develop and lead modern conservatism in America. Featuring Limbaugh’s own words and never-before-heard stories shared by colleagues, friends and family, the series will give listeners a guided tour of the five-time Marconi Award winner’s historic journey from Cape Girardeau, Mo., to becoming the No. 1 talk radio host in America. The series will also highlight Limbaugh’s lasting legacy, which includes ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’s’ continued dominance as the most-listened-to talk radio program in the U.S.” Golden says, “The only blessing greater than working with Rush was knowing the man that he truly was. It is not only my honor, but also my duty, to help ensure his legacy is properly acknowledged. I want to thank Premiere Networks and the EIB Network for allowing me this profound opportunity.” Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott adds, “We look forward to sharing this incredible series with millions of Rush Limbaugh fans. Those who knew Rush best will provide an insider’s look at his life and career, providing a true celebration and tribute to the greatest talk radio host of all time.” You can hear a trailer for the series that launches on May 12 here.

Audacy’s WILK-AM/FM, Wilkes-Barre Announces New Lineup; Local Hosts Nikki Stone and Bob Cordaro Join Air Staff. Northeastern Pennsylvania news/talk brand “WILK News Radio” – WILK-AM/FM, Wilkes-Barre; WODS-AM, West Hazleton; WAAF-AM, Scranton – adds two personalities to its re-tooled daily lineup. Market radio pro Nikki Stone joins the station as host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and former Lackawanna County commissioner Bob Cordaro is the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk host. Jason Barsky co-hosts the morning show “The Morning News with Nancy and Jason” alongside Nancy Kman and Frank Andrews continues to be heard from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Audacy SVP and market manager Ryan Flynn states, “We’re really excited to introduce this enhanced slate of programming to our listeners as we focus on the issues that matter most to Northeast PA. Nikki brings a breadth of experience in this market which we think will quickly build a sense of trust between her and our audience. Bob Cordaro, also someone with deep local roots, is an expert on the area, the people, and local politics. I trust his candor and connection with our audience will quickly translate to a successful afternoon show.” Stone has been a traffic reporter and host on the station since 2017. She says, “Northeast PA has always been home to me. I’m excited about this chance to open up conversation, talk about the issues that matter, and have a little fun with the people I consider neighbors and friends.” Cordaro comments, “I am incredibly honored to become part of the team at WILK and Audacy. While it is a daunting task to replace the great Rush Limbaugh in Northeast PA, I feel privileged to be able to do so. I want to thank our management team here in Scranton Wilkes-Barre as well as everyone at Audacy for giving me this opportunity. We are going to have a lot of fun promoting a conservative commonsense agenda that works for the people of this area and our country.”

Round Three of March PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s March 2021 sweep covered March 4 – March 31. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland slips three-tenths to a 5.7 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and falls from the #2 rank to #4. In Charlotte, Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM loses a half share, finishing the March survey with a 5.0 share good for the #5 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s San Antonio news/talk WOAI-AM falls from the #2 rank to #7 after dropping 1.7 shares for a 5.0 share finish. In Salt Lake City, Bonneville’s KSL-FM sheds two-tenths to wrap the survey with a 6.8 share putting it in the #3 rank while iHeartMedia’s crosstown KNRS-AM/FM loses a half share and finishes with a 6.5 share and the #4 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets (as well and the first two rounds) here.

Radio’s Rob Carson Hosting ‘The Newsmax Daily’ for Newsmax Media. Radio pro Rob Carson has been working with Newsmax for some time now, but now the company officially launches the podcast “The Newsmax Daily with Rob Carson.” Newsmax says, “With ‘The Newsmax Daily’ you’ll get the latest top news with Rob Carson’s wit and wisdom to help you understand the events shaping our lives. Rob holds little back – and tries to find the humor in even the most frightening of news developments – especially when they emanate from the Biden-Harris White House!” Carson also hosts the TV program, “Rob Carson’s What in the World?” which airs Saturdays on Newsmax TV. Carson’s talk radio career includes stops in markets including: Chicago, Washington, San Francisco, Dallas, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Nashville, Phoenix, Minneapolis, New York City, and Baltimore.

Cumulus Media Re-Brands Westwood One Podcast Network. Effective May 6, the Westwood One Podcast Network becomes the CUMULUS PODCAST NETWORK. Cumulus says the move “consolidates the Company’s national and local podcasts into one entity, capturing the full breadth and diversity of the portfolio and providing advertisers with a comprehensive offering of podcasts, in addition to streaming, mobile, social and display.” Suzanne Grimes, executive vice president corporate marketing and president, Westwood One, will retain responsibility for the Company’s podcast sales network. She says, “Placing our podcasts under the Cumulus umbrella allows us to offer our advertising partners easy access to the company’s full arsenal of digital products. This exciting expansion takes our fast-growing podcast network to the next level, as well as simplifies the buying process for agencies and brands, allowing our partners to seamlessly tap into the full power of our premium on-demand audio content.”

Nielsen: March PPM Data Reveals Big Audience Gains. According to data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey radio has achieved significant gains in radio listening across the aggregate of markets, to the tune of an 8% increase month-over-month in total AQH audience. This marks the largest single-month increase in average audience since June of last year. These gains were driven by increases in both weekly reach (adding nearly 4 million consumers in March – a 3% increase versus February) as well as time spent listening (gaining by over 20 minutes – on average –a 5% increase compared with last month). Nielsen adds that the year-over-year comparison between the March 2020 and March 2021 PPM stands at a 96 index for weekly reach and a 93 index for AQH. This means that from a weekly reach perspective, the radio audience in March 2021 is 96% the size of the same month from one year ago, while for AQH the number is 93%. This uptick in radio usage mirrors the positive changes in consumer sentiment and habits observed during Nielsen’s latest radio consumer study conducted during the March survey. Six in 10 Americans are now ‘ready to go’ and feeling life is becoming more normal in their city or town. Those working outside the home have increased nearly 70% since last April, while consumers spending more than an hour each day in a vehicle has more than doubled in that time. Heavy radio listeners, because they are more mobile and ‘ready to go’, are also more likely to engage in top activities including shopping for groceries, driving longer distances, ordering take-out, and getting together in-person with friends and family, particularly among those who are vaccinated.

Gene “Bean” Baxter Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Former KROQ, Los Angeles radio superstar Gene Baxter is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Known to his legion of fans by the nickname, “Bean,” he co-hosted (with Kevin Ryder) a wildly popular morning show called “Kevin & Bean” that ran on the legendary alt rock station for three decades and landed both performers in the Radio Hall of Fame. Then he announced his retirement from the show and moved to England (where he was born and raised as a young child) to get away from the pressures of the LA radio industry and his openly expressed distaste for the tone and direction of American politics. At present, now back in Great Britain, he co-hosts a show on Podcast Radio in London with another former KROQ broadcaster from his Kevin & Bean days – Allie Mac Kay – titled, “A Cup of Tea and a Chat with Allie & Bean.” Harrison and Bean take a deep dive into the worlds of the radio industry’s quirky culture and the increasingly harsh politics of modern times. Radio enthusiasts should not miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Chauvin Verdict Aftermath/Ohio Police Shooting, COVID-19, Biden’s Climate Summit, Florida’s ‘Anti-Riot’ Law, Border Crisis/Immigration Reform, and Putin Threatens West Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/21). The aftermath of the Derek Chauvin verdict and the case of the fatal shooting of knife-wielding teen Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio; the disparate rate of COVID-19 cases in various U.S. states, the rollout of vaccines, and the exploding cases in India; President Joe Biden’s climate summit and commitment to halving U.S. greenhouse emissions by 2030; the controversy surrounding Florida’s new “anti-riot” law that allows motorists to hit people blocking public roads; the migrant crush at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; and Vladimir Putin’s vague threat against the West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

| April 21, 2021

Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s March 2021 survey period covered March 4 – 31. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets and he reports that in the Washington, DC market Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM loses 2.1 shares from the February to March surveys and finishes with a 3.9 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) dropping from the #4 rank to #9, while Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM remains ranked #2, although it shed nine-tenths for a 9.0 share finish. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO stays in the #8 rank while posting a 4.4 share, a decline of eight-tenths while sister all-news WBZ-AM slips 1.1 shares to a 6.4 share and slides from the #1 rank to #4. Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle remains ranked #1 even though it lost nine-tenths and wrapped the survey with a 6.4 share. And Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle lost just two-tenths and stayed in the #5 spot with a 5.0 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets (and yesterday’s group of 12) here.

Tweet by KFAB, Omaha Talk Host Chris Baker Draws Criticism; Station ‘Reviewing it Internally.’ According to a story published by the Omaha World-Herald, KFAB-AM afternoon drive talk host Chris Baker is being criticized for posting an image of a small group of Black natives in loincloths and brandishing spears with the caption, “Guilty!” immediately following the verdict against Derek Chauvin. Although the tweet was removed, it was screen captured and iHeartMedia management was made aware of it. iHeartMedia area president C. Taylor Walet III, told the paper the situation is under review by the company. He stated, “We are aware of the completely inappropriate tweet that was posted late Tuesday afternoon. Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values. We take this situation very seriously and are reviewing it internally in order to take appropriate action.”

Markley, Van Camp & Robbins Approach 100 Affiliate Stations Threshold. The Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley, Van Camp & Robbins” talk radio program is rapidly approaching the 100-affiliate station mark after adding some two dozen new affiliates including 17 live clears. The program – co-hosted by Jamie Markley, David Van Camp, and Scott Robbins – was recently added to stations in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot at stations such as: WLAD-AM, Danbury, Connecticut; KPNW-AM, Eugene, Oregon; KJNO-AM, Juneau, Alaska; KMED-AM, Medford, Oregon; WMBD-AM, Peoria, Illinois; WSGW-AM/FM, Saginaw, Michigan; and more. WSGW-AM/FM operations manager Dave Maurer comments, “The live ‘Markley, Van Camp and Robbins’ show is making a positive contribution to the programming of 100.5 & 790 Newsradio WSGW! The guys get on the hot topics of the day, but they also know when to take the off ramp and add some entertaining elements to the show. I’m confident they are bringing us a broader audience including younger listeners and more women.” Alpha Media EVP of content Phil Becker adds, “‘Markley, van Camp and Robbins’ have achieved the perfect blend of chemistry and humor. This is the show news/talk stations have been looking for.”

WFAS-AM to Broadcast with All-Digital Signal. White Plains, New York talk station WFAS-AM receives permission from the FCC to broadcasting its signal in a digital format and eliminate the analog broadcast format. The Cumulus Media station posted the following on its website: “In October 2020, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a new rule allowing AM radio stations to operate using all-digital broadcast signals. 1230 WFAS-AM, licensed to White Plains, New York, has notified the FCC of its intention to switch from its current analog operation to all digital beginning on May 24th, 2021. Once WFAS has switched to an all-digital operation, only radios equipped with HD radio technology will be able to receive and play the station programming. WFAS will no longer be available on analog-only AM radios. Broadcasting in digital will eliminate annoying static and interference, improve the sound quality to equal FM radio and streaming and extend the range for clear reception.”

Political Voices Network and Counterpoint Partner to Provide Multi-Platform Home for Political Humor. A new partnership between Political Voices Network – an audio-and-video destination for political talk from popular hosts such as Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmannand Counterpoint – a source for the latest political humor from top opinion cartoonists such as Pulitzer recipients Nick Anderson, Darrin Bell, Michael Ramirez as well as the Washington Post’s Michael de Adder – are joining forces to provide news junkies a twice-weekly side order of cartoon humor alongside their political-talk diets. Cartoons will be presented every Tuesday and Thursday with text-based commentary from the artists. New York- and Los Angeles-based Crossover Media Group Sales handles advertising and sponsorship sales for Political Voices Network. Political Voices Network co-founder Ron Hartenbaum says, “One of the most enduring and popular aspects of political opinion and commentary has been that great and especially American tradition of the political cartoon. The combined objective for Counterpoint and Political Voices Network is to expand both the audience for this top-flight creative content and fan sponsorship and support of this format. Thanks to this alliance we’ll be able to entertain fans with a service that blends seamlessly with our existing multiplatform offerings in a convenient destination for multi-format viewpoints on the day’s news.”

Three Award-Winning Content Creators Join New York Festivals Radio Awards Advisory Board. The New York Festivals Radio Awards announces the appointment of award-winning global storytellers Jennie Caltaldo, Helen Shaw, and Carole Zimmer to the Radio Awards Advisory Board. The 13-member Advisory Council provides NYF’s Radio Awards competition with ongoing knowledge of emerging trends and critical industry insights. Jennie Cataldo is an award-winning radio and podcast producer who serves as vice president of programming at BMP Audio in San Francisco. Helen Shaw is an award-winning producer/director who runs digital and broadcast storytelling agency Athena Media in Ireland. Carole Zimmer, reporter-at-large, is the host of the podcast “Now What?” about big life decisions, transitions and how you navigate all those curves in the road. The three also serve on the 2021 Radio Awards Grand Jury. This year is the eleventh year of NYF’s strategic partnership with NAB Show and all convention attendees will have access to the multi-day NAB event which is the world’s largest media entertainment marketplace and takes place in October 2021. The deadline to enter the 2021 Radio Awards competition is May 20. Find information about entering the competition here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Independent Broadcasters Association, Feeding America, and 375 radio stations partnered to hold the 2nd annual “Radio Cares – Feeding America Radiothon” on April 14 that raised $40,000 to provide 400,000 meals for individuals and families facing hunger in America. IBA president and Adams Radio Group CEO Ron Stone comments, “Hunger in America escalated because of the pandemic and there are families still struggling to put food on the table. I’m very proud of the stations that participated again. The work that Benztown, McVay Media, and Vipology put into this effort is unmatched – they truly define the word volunteerism!”…..The impactful mentoring message of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America will be highlighted on more than 850 live broadcast radio stations as the result of  a new partnership between the organization and iHeartMedia. iHM selected BBBSA for its Communities Spotlight Media Grant Program, the goal of which is to provide a platform for organizations to inspire, educate, and empower listeners to take a stand against systemic racism and promote social justice. Yesterday (4/20), a series of PSAs featuring voices of current youth (called “Littles”) began airing on iHeartRadio stations and the iHeartRadio app focusing on the need for Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors, and most especially Black men. The campaign runs through the end of the year…..The USA Radio Network-syndicated “Dan Sileo Radio Show” sports talk program is added to the lineup at KXEG-AM, Phoenix.

Delmarva Radio Personality Wayne Cannon Dies at 72. Longtime Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland music radio personality and talk show host Wayne Cannon died on Monday (4/19) at the age of 72 after a battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. After a stint in the Army, Cannon got his start in the early 70s at WETT-Ocean City, Maryland. He moved to WWTR, Bethany Beach, Delaware, then WSEA-AM, Georgetown, Delaware before returning to WETT. He joined WGMD, Rehoboth Beach in 1993 and served there for 20 years but continued to make contributions for another seven years.

Chauvin Guilty Verdict, COVID-19, Border Crisis/Immigration Policy, and EU Climate Deal/U.S. Climate Summit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20). The guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; the exploding rate of COVID cases in several countries and the rollout of vaccines in the U.S.; Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s deploying of National Guard troops to the Mexican border to respond to the migrant crisis and the Joe Biden administration’s immigration policy; and the EU agrees to a climate deal ahead of Biden’s Thursday climate summit that will include China’s Xi Jinping were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Pens Lyrics to Animal Welfare Anthem – Appears on New Gunhill Road Album and Video. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has been an outspoken supporter of the animal welfare movement for most of his adult life. Now he has the opportunity to express his views on the subject through his lyrics and performance of a song titled, “I Know You’re Real,” on the latest album by the historic group, Gunhill Road, that has roots going back to the golden age of album rock. The album is titled, What Year Is This! and it was produced by the band with remote technology during the pandemic year of 2020. In the process, Harrison has become an official member as a vocalist and songwriter of the long-lived band that has been in existence since 1969. Harrison tells TALKERS, “I go all the way back to 1971 with this great NYC-based ensemble when I played them every day on my morning show on WNEW-FM. They had two albums in that era that received critical praise and lots of airplay on FM album rock stations. They also had a hit single on top 40 radio – ‘Back When My Hair Was Short’ – in the early 70s. They had the reputation in those days as being the ‘best opening act’ in the NYC album rock club scene and appeared on the bill with some of the biggest names in music at such historic venues as the Bitter End.” Since then, the members of the group kept its spirit (and fan base) alive by continuing to record, release new material and play occasional concerts. Their longevity was the subject of a documentary feature film about the group that made a splash on the film festival circuit and was carried on Amazon Prime. Although the founding members eventually went in different directions (and successful careers) in their private lives, they kept the spirit of Gunhill Road alive through the decades by remaining very close friends and appearing sporadically at special events and charity concerts. The lyrics of the song “I Know You’re Real,” written by Harrison and performed by him in a spoken-word presentation on the new album and video, take an emotionally uplifting view of the connection between humans, animals, and the entire universe. There are two versions of the song on the album and video. The other features band member Brian Koonin singing the lyrics. Both versions have been posted to YouTube. The version spoken by Harrison can be viewed below

Harrison says, “The song is a spiritually uplifting tribute to animal welfare… which has long been one of my main interests and guiding themes of my life. If you have love and respect for all of Earth’s sentient creatures, please take a look and listen to the song and share the link with friends who might enjoy and appreciate them as well.” Harrison is available to appear as a guest on talk media shows to discuss the subject of animal welfare (not to be confused with animal rights) as well as what it was like to record with a band via Zoom during the pandemic. To book Michael Harrison on a talk show please call Barbara Kurland at TALKERS, 413-565-5413. To read a feature story about Gunhill Road and this experience written by Harrison, please click here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

| January 29, 2013

schnitttoddSchnitt vs. Bubba: Monday Recap.  After the news of Todd Schnitt’s attorney being arrested on DUI charges and allegations that Bubba The Love Sponge’s attorneys set him up for the arrest became the predominant aspect of the case on Friday and both sides asked for mistrials for varying reasons, Hillsborough County Judge James Arnold on Mondaybubba did not grant a mistrial saying the jury had not been compromised and testimony went forward.  But not before Arnold agreed to throw out five of the 16 defamation counts against Bubba (Todd Clem).  One in which Bubba accused Schnitt of possibly engaging in plug-ola, three in which he called him a “fraud,” and another in which he called him a “snitch.”  The other 11 counts remain.  Schnitt’s team rested its case on Monday and Bubba’s lawyers called michaelsrandyformer Clear Channel Radio president Randy Michaels, under whom both Schnitt and Bubba worked at one time, to the stand.  Michaels first complimented both Schnitt and Bubba for being talented radio performers.  He said that the feud between the two had gotten too intense and he asked them to “tone it down.”  He told the jury the language Bubba used when saying he wanted a funeral for MJ Kelli (Schnitt’s CHR morning show moniker) was hyperbole and not to be taken literally.  Also taking the stand was a former producer for Schnitt who now works for Bubba who testified that Schnitt spoke on the air jokingly about his wife’s “tramp stamp” tattoo – an effort by the defense to ask  the jury that if Schnitt could joke about his wife being a “tramp,” how is Bubba’s calling her a “whore” any different?  The defense is expected to continue its arguments today.

ballentinewarrenNationally Syndicated Talk Host Warren Ballentine Charged with Mortgage Fraud.  The Chicago-based attorney and host of the Warren Ballentine show distributed nationally via Syndication One is being indicted on charges related to an alleged mortgage fraud scheme.  The Justice Department reports that a federal grand jury returned indictments for two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud.  The UPI reports the indictment is seeking a forfeiture of some $9.7 million in fraud proceeds.  The feds allege Ballentine plotted with others to obtain more than two dozen fraudulent mortgage loans and that he represented buyers at closings knowing that they weren’t qualified for home mortgages in Chicago and its southern suburbs.  Ballentine is expected to be arraigned next week.  Meanwhile TALKERS sources close to Ballentine say he maintains his innocence and that the truth will come out.  His talk show is currently heard on some 37 affiliates across the country including WVON, Chicago.

barreirodanClear Channel’s KFAN Network Re-Signs Dan Barreiro.  Sports talk host Dan Barreiro and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment agree on a multi-year contract extension for the KFXN, Minneapolis-based sports talk host.  Barreiro hosts the afternoon drive program on the company’s KFAN sports talk brand that is distributed to numerous stations across Minnesota.  CC Minneapolis vice president of programming Gregg Swedberg says, “Dan has been the top afternoon drive talk personality in the market for decades and has many loyal listeners all over the country through iHeartRadio.  We are delighted that Dan will be with us for a long time.”

bakerchrisChris Baker Lands at KFAB, Omaha for PM Drive.  Talk radio pro Chris Baker’s next gig is at Clear Channel’s KFAB, Omaha where he’ll host the afternoon drive program.  Baker – a veteran of the Houston, Minneapolis, Miami and Omaha markets – recently exited the Dan Patrick-owned KSEV, Houston talk outlet.  He says, “Since my family and I are in Omaha to visit friends and relatives on a regular basis, it’s only natural that I would want to put down root here.  KFAB is a legendary Midwest radio powerhouse and I’m excited to work with Gary Sadlemyer and the whole crew.”  His new gig begins February 11.

mcnabbdonovanOdds & Sods.  NBC Sports Radio Network brings former NFL star Donovan McNabb aboard to eventually be part of a daily sports talk show to begin on April 1.  Until that time, McNabb will begin as a weekly contributor as the build-up to the Super Bowl takes place.  McNabb will serve as a lead NFL analyst and will call in to affiliate station programs…..Formerbrandotim Yahoo! Sports Radio personality Tim Brando begins a new gig with SiriusXM Satellite Radio where he’ll host his eponymous program on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel.  Brando’s program will continue to be simulcast on cable TV’s CBS Sports Network…..WTOP, Washington news anchor Richard Day has retired from the Hubbard Broadcasting all-news brand.  Vice president of news and programming Jim Farley says Day’s retirement was handled with no fanfare at Day’s request…..Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that WFLD-TV sports anchor Lou Canellis is beginning a regular hour-long, daily appearance on WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Roe & Roeper” PM drive program with Roe Conn and Richard Roeper.  Canellis is now part of the 5:00 pm hour every day to talk sports on the Cumulus Media station.  The blog speculates that the move is part of a greater effort to add sports content to the station to improve its ratings…..The “4th Period Live” program returns to SiriusXM’s NHL Network for its second season beginning Saturday, February 2 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by David Pagnotta, 4th Period‘s editor-in-chief from Toronto and Dennis Bernstein, its Los Angeles-based senior writer.  The show is an extension of TFP’s brand of hockey lifestyle content that includes a highly visited website (www.thefourthperiod.com) and quarterly print magazine available on newsstands throughout North America.

huckabeerenoHuckabee Visits Reno.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Governor Mike Huckabee is pictured here with KNEZ, Reno news director and afternoon drive host Sean Patrick at the sparkling new studios of the Shamrock Communications news/talk station.  Huckabee’s program is carried by “KNEWS” – a new FM signal and news/talk brand that Shamrock recently put on the air in the market.

calajoeSouthern California Sports Personality Joe Cala Named to Hall of Fame.  KNX, Los Angeles sports anchor Joe Cala was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 22nd annual awards luncheon at the Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, California.  Cala has been with KNX for the past six years and spent the previous 32 years at crosstown KFWB.  The SCSB has served as a major forum for recognizing and advancing sports broadcasting in Southern California since 1958.  Its Hall of Fame includes Dick Enberg, Tom Harmon, Don Drysdale, Chick Hearn, Gil Stratton, Stu Nahan, Vin Scully and Jim Hill, to name a few.

millerkevingunsTown Hall Meeting in Boise Addresses Second Amendment.  You’re looking over the shoulder of KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller as he addresses the more than 300 area residents who attended the Peak Broadcasting station’s Town Hall Meeting to discuss Second Amendment issues in the wake of the Obama Administration’s call for stricter gun legislation.  Miller tells TALKERS that the event was covered locally by two of the market’s television stations.

mcguireseanKOIL, Omaha Adds Weekend Affordable Care Act Program.  The program is called “America’s Healthcare Challenge” and is hosted by Sean McGuire.  The goal of the program is to provide valuable insight into implementation of the Affordable Care Act and prepare decision makers for looming penalties and taxes in the law.  McGuire states, “This is currently the only radio show of its kind in the US.  Business owners are clamoring for credible information and answers to their questions like how employees’ benefits will change next year and what innovative ways exist to curb rising healthcare costs constantly squeezing bottom lines all over the country…I was a part of the research team for the Senate Finance Committee five years ago.  The law originated conceptually in the Senate and I have read the bill multiple times.  It is my desire to bring my listeners information they need to know as if they were Members of Congress.”

morrisonsotomayorJustice Sotomayor Visits SCPR.  United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (right) poses for a photo with Southern California Public Radio special correspondent Patt Morrison (left) during an appearance at KPCC, Pasadena’s Crawford Family Forum.  The venue was packed with local high school and college students, as well KPCC listeners who came to hear Sotomayor speak about her life and promote her new autobiography My Beloved World (Knopf 2013).  Patt Morrison interviewed Sotomayor as part of the appearance.

greenbergbookESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg Announces New Novel to Benefit the V Foundation.  Nationally syndicated ESPN Radio and ESPN 2 personality Mike Greenberg announces the publication of his first novel titled, All You Could Ask For (William Morrow 2013).  In making the announcement from the Super Bowl radio row in New Orleans, Greenberg stated that all of the author’s proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  Greenberg says, “I wrote this book to honor the memory of a good friend of mine and my wife Stacy’s named Heidi Armitage, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 43.  The V Foundation is an obvious organization to work with.  Mike Golic and I have been honored to be a part of many great V Foundation events over the years.  I’m so proud of our connection to the V Foundation.”

wachsdaliahpodiumDr. Daliah Wachs at the Podium.  Practicing family physician and nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured here at the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians at their conference in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.  About 200 were at this lecture where Dr. Wachs spoke about avoiding pitfalls in family medicine, educating them on the liabilities doctors face and what lawsuits have been successful.  Dr. Wachs’ program is syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

| January 24, 2013

hold2013“Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Washington Radio Row Scheduled for April 17-18.  The annual convergence of radio talk show hosts on Washington, DC to raise awareness about the United States’ immigration policies will take place this year on April 17 and 18.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is organizing the radio row at which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live for two days from Capitol Hill debating immigration reform while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR says that since the spring of 2007 when “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” successfully helped defeat the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty Bill, the event has grown each year due to mounting public concerns about illegal immigration and talk radio’s expanding influence on the public policy process.  The organization also states that with an illegal alien bill likely in spring, this year’s event is expected to be the largest yet with 60 or more hosts attending.  FAIR communications director Bob Dane tells TALKERS magazine reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering, ISDN lines and long distance is included.  Silver Lake Audio of New York is the official engineering firm for “Hold Their Feet to the Fire.”  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  Dane or event manager Kristen Williamson can be reached at 202-328-7004.

spittlegavinProgrammer Gavin Spittle Returns to Dallas as VP of News/Talk/Sports for CBS Radio.  Sports and talk programmer Gavin Spittle lets go of the reins at CBS Radio’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston “SportsRadio 610” to move back to the company’s Dallas cluster to oversee sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” KRLD-AM “NewsRadio 1080” and the Texas State Networks beginning February 4.  Three and a half years ago, Spittle left his VP of news and talk post in Dallas where he programmed KRLD-AM and KRLD-FM when it was hot talk “Live 105.3.”  Spittle also oversaw the change of the station to sports talk.  On returning to Dallas, SVP and market manager Brian Purdy says, “Under Gavin’s leadership, ‘SportsRadio 610’ dominated Houston sports talk.  During his time with the station, ratings among Men 25-54 more than doubled.  We’re fortunate to have Gavin as part of our CBS Radio family, and we’re looking forward to having him back in Dallas-Fort Worth.”

wallsteveTalk Radio Network Welcomes Steve Wall as National Affiliate Consultant.  Joining TRN Syndications Ltd. is radio pro Steve Wall as national affiliate consultant.  TRN notes that Wall is a “veteran with over 30-years of experience including programming some of America’s highest-rated radio stations across multiple formats in many markets including San Diego, Kansas City, Monterey, Bakersfield, Richmond, and Spokane.”  Chief executive officer Mark Masters states, “I am pleased to have Steve in our affiliate department.  With our recent launch of ‘The Andrea Tantaros Show’ and the new times for ‘The Jerry Doyle Show’ and ‘The Rusty Humphries Show,’ the timing is perfect to expand our affiliate department to better serve our growing affiliate customer base.  Steve is a proven radio professional who can help stations realize their true potential with quality programming.”

schnitttoddSchnitt vs Bubba: Day 5.  On the fifth day of testimony in the trial in which Compass Media Networks talk show host Todd Schnitt is suing Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) for defamation, Schnitt was on the witness stand for the second day.  Schnitt and his lawyers are trying to convince the jury that Bubba’s “radio war” against him (Schnitt’s MJ Kelli CHR morning show competed against Bubba’s program in the Tampa market) went over the line and fans – known as Bubba’s Army – harassed him and his family.  During Schnitt’s testimony Wednesday, he said the incidents where a Bubba fan triedbubba to run him off the road or accosted him at a supermarket in front of his daughter made his family more reclusive and it changed their lifestyle.  According to Tampa Bay Online, he testified he should be compensated in the suit to prevent Bubba “from ever doing this in the future.”  Schnitt also states that Bubba’s accusation Schnitt rigged a national contest negatively affected his professional integrity.  Under cross examination Schnitt admitted he and his family do go out but he said he makes limited public appearances because of the harassment.  Before the cross examination he stated, “There’s no amount of damages that will compensate me, my wife my family, for what we experienced.  But the jury should award damages that will enable us to believe we did all we could possible to clear our good names.”

bakerchrisChris Baker Exits KSEV, Houston PM Drive Slot.  Talk show host Chris Baker is exiting Dan Patrick-owned news/talk station KSEV, Houston where he’s been PM drive host since February of 2011.  The station is bringing market pro Edd Hendee back to the airwaves for the morning drive show.  Hendee has been out of radio since the untimely death of his son in February of 2010.  Taking over the afternoon slot is Mack Machowicz.  The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports Baker is not announcing where he may go next but had nothing but good things to say about owner Dan Patrick.  “He has been the most gracious and accommodating guy that you could ask to work for.  Dan always wants people to better themselves.  In this day and age and in this industry, it is rare to have a manager who will always root for peoples’ success.”

bashirmartinOdds & Sods.  MSNBC host Martin Bashir has been slowed by a brain tumor diagnosed back in 2008.  The Huffington Post reports Bashir missed his regular slot on MSNBC last Friday as the result of a small growth on his pituitary gland.  Bashir told DC Fishbowl that when the tumor was diagnosed doctors advised him to take no action but to monitor it monthly…..CNN names Dana Bash chief congressional correspondent.  TVNewser reports Bash has been on the Capitol Hilltrumpdonald beat since 2006.  CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist says in a memo to staff, “Week in and week out, Dana’s reporting and analysis make our air better.  And we saw it again yesterday with Dana’s relentless efforts to land interviews in the Capitol Rotunda during our Inauguration coverage.”…..New York Magazine is reporting that Donald Trump is exploring ways to purchase The New York Times.  The piece, written by Joe Hagan, notes that “Trump has engaged in more than one meeting to discuss how he might buy the Grey Lady.  Details of Trump’s strategy remain scant.  And it seems unlikely, to say the least, that the Sulzberger family, which controls the company’s voting shares, would welcome his offer.”

kgmz luckybreakKGMZ, San Francisco Holds Sports Talk Host Contest.  Entercom’s 95.7 The Game in San Francisco is executing a sports talk host competition promotion called “Lucky Break 2” – “the return of the Bay Area’s only sports reality competition, where local sports fans compete for the chance of a lifetime: to get paid to host a sports talk show on the radio.”  Program director Jason Barrett says, “After seeing the amazing talent and passion that Bay Area sports fans brought to ‘Lucky Break’ last year, we had to bring ‘Lucky Break’ back for 2013.  ‘Lucky Break’ is a chance to win one of the best jobs in the world: becoming a sports radio talk show host in a major U.S. market.”  ‘Lucky Break 2’ begins with the first open audition on February 5 Halftime Sports Bar in Oakland.  It’s being hosted by KGMZ’s Guy Haberman and Gianna Franco and contestants will be coached by Dan Dibley from ‘The Rise Guys’ and Chris Townsend from ‘Bucher & Towny.’  Judges include KGMZ PD Jason Barrett, host John Lund and celebrity athletes from local Bay Area sports teams.  Last year’s celebrity judges included Golden State Warriors forward David Lee, San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco 49ers TE Delanie Walker and more.  Last year, more than 600 contestants showed up to audition for ‘Lucky Break 1,’ which was eventually won by Daryle “The Guru” Johnson, who can be heard weekends on “95.7 The Game.”

madisonjoeSiriusXM’s Joe Madison to Interview Activist Harry Belafonte.  As part of the satcaster’s Town Hall series, talk show host Joe Madison – whose program is also heard on terrestrial station WOL, Washington – will sit down with actor, singer and activist Harry Belafonte at SiriusXM’s New York City studios.  Belafonte will also take questions from the audience.  The premiere of the program is Friday, January 25 at 5:00 pm ET.

woki logoDick Broadcasting Wins Decision in 12-Year-Old Case.  The upshot is that the Tennessee Supreme Court is sending Dick Broadcasting’s suit against John Pirkle’s Oak Ridge FM over WOKI, Knoxville back to a lower court where Dick can sue for damages.  (By the way WOKI is currently owned by Cumulus Media.) Here’s the background: In 2000, Dick sold 11 stations to Citadel for $300 million, of which WOKI would have been one.  At the time Dick had a time brokerage agreement with WOKI owner Oak Ridge FM to operate WOKI with a clause that gave Dick the right of first refusal to buy the station.  Oak Ridge refused to consent to the transfer of the station and honor the transfer.  A year later Dick sued Oak Ridge but lost in a lower court but the appellate court ruled the lower court judge should not have dismissed the case.  Oak Ridge challenged that at the Tennessee Supreme Court where the six judges ruled unanimously that the appellate court had it right and Dick can sue for damages.

bqhardquestionColorful Broadcaster and Host Blanquita Cullum Returns to Talk Media with New TV Series, “The Hard Question™.”  Veteran talk industry figure, Blanquita Cullum (pictured here at the podium) launched ‘The Hard Question™’, her new signature TV series devoted exclusively to the issue of energy in the 21st century, last night (1/23) before a packed audience of well-wishers and reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  The videotaping consisted of two back-to-back lively discussions collectively titled “Setting the Course on Energy” that delved into the future of American energy policy with points of view expressed by panels of diverse experts in the field.  The pilot programs were aired on June 24 and July 15 of 2012 on KTRK-TV (ABC) in Houston, Texas and won the top spots in their time periods (visit www.thehardquestion.com to view).  The network version will be a weekly debate series on MHz Networks hosted by Cullum.  MHz Networks reaches over 42 million households nationwide.  “The energy industry is going through a renaissance; it is full of hope,” Doug Cain, CEO of Lake Truck Lines, who served on the first panel: “The President’s Agenda – the Future of Traditional Energy versus Alternatives,” expressed in an interview following the panel discussion.  In addition to Cain, the panelists included: W. Herbert Hunt, Petro-Hunt; John Hofmeister, former president of Shell and founder of Citizens for Affordable EnergyKevin Book, Clear View Energy Partners;  Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, ACORE; David Martineau, Chairman TIPR and Bruce Vincent, Swift Energy.  The second panel addressed the question: “Climate Change – Science or Hype?”  Panelists included Leighton Steward, Plants Need CO2; former NASA scientist Harold Doiron; Scott Sklar, The Stella Group; Daniel Weiss of the Center for American Progress; Kevin Book, Clean View Energy Partners and David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation.  Blanquita Cullum, who was a high-profile, nationally-syndicated, “Heavy Hundred” host in the 1990s and early 2000s, left day-to-day radio to become a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed governor on the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees all U.S international broadcasting, where she served for a number of years followed by a series of public policy consulting projects.  “No issue touches people across the globe like energy, and ‘The Hard Question’ will never shrink from tackling the real-life obstacles of such a life-changing issue,” she tells TALKERS. “Now, as we embark on a new era with the historic re-election of President Obama, the country will set a course on energy that will have critical implications for this planet for decades to come.” Photo by Jamie Cullum.

wood logoCool Job Opportunity.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s “Newsradio WOOD 1300 & 106.9 FM” is looking for its next great News Director.  Applicant must have a minimum of three years of experience in a news/talk environment plus be a digital-first (web, mobile, and social media), community-focused leader in covering and reporting local and regional news, traffic and weather.  Candidate will also possess excellent communication, leadership, and organizational skills, as well as the ability to coach and lead individuals within our award-winning news operation.  Email cover letter and resume to michelejohnson@clearchannel.com. No phone calls please.  Clear Channel Radio is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Testimony, North Korea’s U.S. Threats, Deficit Reduction Battle, U.S. Military Opens Combat Roles to Women and Manti Te’o Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony before Congress on the Benghazi attack; new nuclear threats against the United States by North Korea; the battle in Washington over reduction of the deficit; the opening of combat roles to women in the U.S. military and the Manti Te’o phony girlfriend saga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.