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Report: Laura Ingraham Set to Host Prime Time FNC Show. According to a CNN Money report, talk radio host and conservative media figure Laura Ingraham is joining FOX News Channel for a prime-time show. The report cites sources who requested anonymity because the deal is not official just yet. But, the story says Ingraham will take over the 10:00 pm ET slot and the Sean Hannity show will move to 9:00 pm ET. The program “The Five” moves back to the 5:00 pm hour, replacing the “FOX News Specialists” – the show that was canceled with the exit of Eric Bolling from the network last Friday. FNC told CNN Money there is no deal in place, but that’s standard operating procedure prior to an official announcement. Ingraham, who has hosted a nationally syndicated talk radio program for almost two decades, is a regular contributor to FOX News Channel.
WLW, Cincinnati Lets Tracy Jones Go. It appears that this is another budget-related move on the part of iHeartMedia management as former Cincinnati Reds player Tracy Jones was fired from his WLW, Cincinnati afternoon drive gig alongside Eddie Fingers on Friday (9/8). WVXU’s John Kiesewetter reports that early afternoon personality Bill Cunningham told his listeners yesterday (9/11) that it was a corporate decision and was not a reflection of Tracy Jones’ performance. Jones started with WLW hosting the “Extra Innings” post-game show after weekend Reds games. In 2008, he was partnered with Eddie Fingers (who moved over from sister rock station WEBN) to host afternoons, replacing the retired Gary Burbank.
Entercom Debuts Newell Normand Show on WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Yesterday (9/11) was the official debut of the Newell Normand show on Entercom’s New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM/FM. The program features retired Jefferson Parish sheriff Newell Normand and airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Normand takes over the daypart from Garland Robinette, who recently retired from the station. Entercom New Orleans VP/market manager Chris Wegmann comments, “Today marks a historic day for WWL. Newell commands the respect needed to host middays on WWL. He was a popular and powerful leader in politics who wants to continue to be a positive influence on our community. We have every belief that Newell will be an opinion leader, and his legacy of excellence will grow on the most powerful station in the Gulf South.”
Nielsen Announces Delay in Ratings Reports. With its headquarters in the Tampa area affected by Hurricane Irma, Nielsen issued the following statement about the issuance of ratings reports: “Our first priority and thoughts are for the safety of our clients, Nielsen associates, and communities in which we operate and serve. The team that reports ratings has evacuated the Tampa Bay area due to Hurricane Irma. Therefore, our ratings will be delayed in the near term. We are actively monitoring the situation in Florida and will provide another update as soon as we know more.”
Beasley Florida Stations in Good Shape. Based on Monday morning’s report from Beasley Media Group, it sounded as though the Fort Myers studios had sustained some serious flood damage, but today the company is reporting that the studio building “has some minor damage, but is in good condition otherwise.” Although both CHR WXKB “B103.9” and sports talk WWCN-FM “99.3 ESPN” are both off the air. The company says the engineering team will be installing a new transmitter in Fort Myers this morning. Beasley’s Tampa stations are all on the air.
iHeartRadio to Broadcast Fundraiser for Harvey Relief. The program was initiated by Houston rapper Bun B and SB Projects founder Scooter Braun. It’s called “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief” and it will air on 150 iHeartMedia stations as well as the iHeartRadio “Hit Nation” channel at both 8:00 pm ET and a re-broadcast at 8:00 pm PT. The one-hour special takes place in Los Angeles, with remote stages in New York and Nashville, and will include appearances, performances and taped messages from: several dozen A-list actors, musicians and entertainment industry personalities. Proceeds will be donated to United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas and The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered by the Greater Houston Community Fund) through the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund managed by Comic Relief USA.
Dave Ramsey Presence on SiriusXM Expands. The Dave Ramsey Network grows on SiriusXM with the addition of new programming on the satcaster’s Triumph Channel. Daily from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET, Ramsey programming now includes, in addition to the Dave Ramsey show (heard on SiriusXM for the past year), Ramsey personalities Chris Hogan, Christy Wright, Chris Brown and Ken Coleman, plus the popular EntreLeadership podcast. EntreLeadership, hosted by Ken Coleman, features discussion and tips on leadership and business by some of the top minds in business, including Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Jim Collins and Simon Sinek. Chris Hogan is the best-selling author of Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number and host of the “Retire Inspired Podcast.” Christy Wright is the author of the best-selling book, Business Boutique, and host of the “Business Boutique” podcast. Chris Brown is a pastor and dynamic speaker carrying the message of intentional living nationwide. He hosts the “Life, Money and Hope Podcast.”
Cumulus Appeals NASDAQ De-Listing. With its current share price (as of closing on 9/11) of 39 cents per share and a market cap of less than $12 million, Cumulus Media is in danger of being tossed from the NASDAQ. But, CEO Mary Berner has filed another appeal of the company’s failure to meet the minimum stockholders equity requirement. Theoretically, the company has until October 2 to get its share price above $1 dollar, but there are other avenues that Berner and CFO John Abbot can explore.
TALKERS News Notes. Ahead of this year’s Veterans Day (11/11), CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com is celebrating the holiday through its first ever “Veterans Community Showcase” – a three month, two-part program focused on honoring Veterans for everything they do both during and after military service. During the first phase of the program, ConnectingVets.com will accept public nominations of local veterans online. An internal programming committee will then select and profile one veteran each weekday from November 1 to Veterans Day. The profiles will be posted on ConnectingVets.com and Facebook. The sites will also feature sponsored editorial content giving companies with dedicated veterans’ initiatives a unique chance to share the good work they do and praise their own employees, many of whom are veterans themselves. University of Maryland University College and United Rentals will sponsor the inaugural “Veterans Showcase” alongside ConnectingVets.com sponsor Freedom Mortgage…..Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate and former Green Bay Packers linebacker and devoted MMA enthusiast A.J. Hawk join the roster of hosts covering the world of mixed martial arts on the SiriusXM Rush channel. Tate and Hawk will be featured hosts on “MMA Today,” an exclusive new show airing every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.
Irma Aftermath/Harvey Recovery, Climate Change Controversy, New Sanctions on North Korea, Hillary Clinton Book, Bannon ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Retiring Congressional Republicans, IT Movie, NFL Opening Weekend, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11). The aftermath of Hurricane Irma and the recovery from Hurricane Harvey; the renewed debate over man-made climate change; the U.N. Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea and the hermit kingdom’s threat against the U.S.; Hillary Clinton’s new book detailing her loss to Donald Trump; former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon’s Sunday evening interview with Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes”; the growing list of Republican Senators and U.S. Reps announcing they will not run for re-election; the Stephen King film IT smashes box-office expectations; the NFL’s 2017 opening weekend; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Tim Maranville is exiting Curtis Media’s adult hits WBBB, Raleigh to join Cornerstone Church-owned KGGN, San Jacinto, California as president and general manager. Maranville says, “I would like to thank my team at WBBB for an extraordinary run from worst to best in Raleigh, a true blessing. Looking to the future, I could not be happier to be working with Cornerstone to bring the Gospel to the San Jacinto valley through a local radio presence.”…..The Johnjay and Rich #LoveUp Foundation presented the American Red Cross with a check for $50,000 to benefit the hurricane relief effort. Last week, the hosts of the popular Premiere Networks-syndicated show invited listeners nationally to “love up” and purchase #LoveUp T-shirts with all proceeds benefitting victims of the recent hurricanes. In just eight days, thousands of shirts were sold. The #LoveUp Foundation also contributed additional funds to achieve the $50,000 total donation. Rich Berra says, “We couldn’t do this without the giving hearts and loyal followers of the #LoveUp movement.”…..The local Nashville country band Radio Romance won the “NASH Next 2017 Country Challenge Showcase” live country music talent competition held on September 7, 2017 at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville. The band was one of 10 that made it past the challenge round in the Cumulus Media-sponsored competition. Radio Romance won over the judges and crowd with their performance of “Cheap Beer Years” and will advance as a semi-finalist to the national NASH Next 2017 video competition, to be held this fall. Cumulus Media VP of country programming Charlie Cook says, “What a great night showcasing fantastic talent from Nashville! The crowd went crazy when we announced Radio Romance as the winners for the night. I can hear their song ‘Cheap Beer Years’ on our stations.”
Chris Wegmann to Lead New Orleans Operations for Entercom. Radio executive Chris Wegmann – most recently president of the radio division of Radio One – is joining Entercom to serve as vice president and market manager for its New Orleans station group that consists of news/talk WWL-AM/FM, adult contemporary WLMG “Magic 101.9,” classic rock WKBU “95.7 The Bayou,” CHR WEZB “B97,” urban contemporary WWWL-AM and the New Orleans Saints Radio Network. Wegmann is a New Orleans native who began his career at WBOK-AM when it was an R&B outlet. Entercom regional president Michael Doyle says, “I am excited to have someone of Chris’s background joining Entercom in New Orleans. He started his career in New Orleans and is returning with an impressive resume of success in our industry.”
Christopher Gabriel Joins KFIG-AM, Fresno. Radio personality Christopher Gabriel announces that he’s joining John and Katrina Ostlund’s sports talk KFIG-AM, Fresno “940 ESPN.” Gabriel says it has not been determined whether his afternoon drive program will air from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm or 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, but he writes on his website: “We’re a 50,000-watt monster signal and the flagship station for Fresno State Bulldogs athletics. We also carry the Giants, A’s, 49ers, Raiders, Sharks and Lakers. So why my move to sports talk after so many years in news/talk? If you know me, you know it’s something I’ve wanted to do for years; this has been a long time coming. Certainly, though, I’ll bring along CGP standards like “The Other Side of the News,” “One More Thing,” “CFB Friday” and most likely a new segment or two. My sincere thanks to so many of you – in particular the great folks in Fargo, Moorhead, Minneapolis and the entire Upper Midwest – who have been incredibly supportive of me and the program during my ‘vacation.’ Time to jump back into the driver’s seat and have fun!”
New Entercom Sports President Mike Dee Talks to AdWeek. The former chief operating officer for the Boston Red Sox and president of the San Diego Padres talks with AdWeek about his new gig as president of Entercom Sports and the sports talk radio business. Mike Dee says the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO will give the new company an impressive array of large and major market sports talk radio outlets as well as the rights to radio play-by-play for more than 45 sports franchises. In the Q&A, he says why he believes national advertisers should look to sports talk radio as part of their media strategy: “The opportunities are vast, and in our case, having stations in 23 of the top 25 markets, we will be able to offer scale for national advertisers that’s unprecedented and unmatched in the industry today. You couple that on a broader context with our local event business, which has been a big growth element, both on the Entercom and on the CBS RADIO side. The ability to reach targeted groups in local marketplaces on a national scale will enable Entercom to stand out from our competition, and I think that’s very appealing for national advertisers.” Read the whole story here.
Sabo: Lessons from Neil Rogers. Radio consultant Walter Sabo writes today about the monstrous success of the social media of South Florida talk show host Neil Rogers. Sabo says, “Right now, one of the most active Facebook pages is the Neil Rogers show. It has almost 3,000 members and today has featured a dozen posts from listeners. His YouTube channel has 3,990 posts of videos and airchecks ALL posted by listeners not by him or the station. The posts are unique in that they feel like gift offerings to Neil and his fan base. Most of the posts present clips, articles, and news stories that should please Neil. There are airchecks from 5, 10, 30 years ago — posted this week.” See Sabo’s entire piece here.
PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. In his second of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 PPM survey, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian reports on MLB play-by-play flagship stations. Kinosian says, “Approximately one of every three MLB flagships (34%) improves between June 2017 – July 2017 (6+), but more than half (52%) are down; the remaining 14% of the sample is flat (6+).” When comparing the same flagship station ratings from last July (2016) to this, “Over half of our eligible MLB flagships sample are down year-to-year (53.5%, 6+) while 43% improve; the remaining 3.5% are unchanged.” See the entire report here.
WBEN-AM, Buffalo’s Sandy Beach to Be Inducted into NYSBA Hall of Fame. WBEN-AM, Buffalo morning drive personality Sandy Beach – a Buffalo radio pro for the past 35 years – is being named to the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame. Beach, along with television news pros Janet Lomax of Rochester and Art McFarland of New York City, will be inducted on October 19 at the New York Broadcast Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon during the NAB/Show New York. Beach also worked in the market at heritage hit radio outlet WKBW and is a 2013 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a disc jockey.
TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is KFYI, Phoenix talk show host Terry Gilberg on Fox News Channel on Monday evening (8/21) speaking in advance of President Trump’s Tuesday evening rally at the Phoenix Convention Center. Gilberg hosts the “THINK! America Radio” program that airs on KFYI Saturdays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Podcast companies Spreaker and BlogTalkRadio are merging after their respective boards approved the move. The press release notes that Spreaker co-founder and CEO Francesco Baschieri has been named president of the new firm. The terms of the merger have not been disclosed but the companies say “shareholders from each of Spreaker and BlogTalkRadio will be making investments in support of the new company’s growth plan, which will be rolled out over the next several months.” Baschieri comments, “We’re combining Spreaker’s best-in-class mobile and web content management system and creation tools with BlogTalkRadio’s first-to-market monetization platform. The merged company operates at massive scale delivering unique value to independent hosts, podcast networks, and larger mainstream publishers alike.”…..Union Broadcasting and the Kansas City Chiefs are agreeing to extend their partnership for the former’s sports talk WHB to serve as the flagship for radio play-by-play. Under the extended agreement, WHB owns exclusive live radio broadcast rights to the Chiefs’ weekly in-season press conference with head coach Andy Reid and a weekly one-on-one interview with quarterback Alex Smith, plus other unique content…..KTRS, St. Louis talk show host McGraw Milhaven is subbing for Westwood One nationally syndicated late night host Jim Bohannon. He sat in last night (8/22) and will do it again tonight.
Trump Phoenix Speech/Protests, Arpaio Pardon/NAFTA Status, Louise Linton Social Media SNAFU, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, U.S. Navy Accidents, Tiger Woods Nude Pics Battle, Powerball Jackpot, ESPN Pulls Announcer from UVA Game, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk stories Yesterday (8/22). President Donald Trump’s Tuesday speech in Phoenix and the attendant protests; Trump’s comments that he’s considering pardoning convicted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his belief NAFTA will fall apart; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s actress wife Louise Linton apologizes after getting into a social media spat; tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over the latter’s nuclear weapons program; the recent spate of U.S. Navy accidents and the fate of Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin; Tiger Woods’ and Lindsey Vonn’s legal battle with Celebrity Jihad over hacked, nude pictures of them; the Powerball jackpot hits $700 million; ESPN’s pulling of Asian-American announcer Robert Lee from a UVA football game because of his name similarity with the Confederate General; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Jeni Grouws Recognized as 2017 MIW Rising Star. The “MIW Rising Star Award” is the result of an alliance between the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group and Marketron, named in honor and memory of the late Renée Roth. The Rising Through the Ranks 2017 two-day intensive training seminar was held August 16-17 at BMI’s Nashville offices during which Decorah Broadcasting’s KDEC, Decorah, Iowa station manager and morning host Jeni Grouws was recognized as the 2017 MIW Rising Star. Pictured here are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Media Staffing Network founder and president Laurie Kahn, RAB president and CEO Erica Farber, CBS RADIO Chicago’s Lindsay Cerajewski, Grouws and MIW Radio Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik.
Harrison Podcast Explores the History of Radio and Electronic Communications. This week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” takes the listener to the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut. In somewhat of a change-of-pace episode, Harrison interviews the colorful non-profit institution’s founder and executive director John Ellsworth about the museum and its fascinating contents, as well as its mission to preserve the growing history of the radio broadcasting medium’s impact on human culture. Harrison and Ellsworth talk history all the way back to pre-Marconi days and trace the amazing story up to the present era of Wi-Fi and smartphones. This episode is a media freak’s delight as is the offbeat gem of a museum that it spotlights. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com. Photo: Michael Harrison stands with a classic Collins 830 FM transmitter popular during the 1960s at the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. WNVZ, Norfolk “Z104” program director Natalia Soniak adds programming responsibilities for sister hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point.” Entercom Norfolk vice president and market manager Bennett Zier states, “Natalia is one of our great leaders and talents and we are delighted that she will be taking on the extra responsibilities of the ‘94.9 The Point.’.…..Michigan radio pro Trudi Daniels is signing on with Black Diamond Broadcasting to host the midday program on rock WGFM, Traverse City “Rock 105 & 95.5.” Daniels was part of the “Drew & Mike” show on WRIF, Detroit for almost 22 years. She also worked on air at classic rock WCSX. Daniels comments, “I started listening to ‘Rock 105 & 95.5’ driving up north for weekends and wished I could get it all the time, everywhere in Michigan. So much great rock I hadn’t heard in years and new music, too. I’m amped to be a part of the ‘Rock’ roster.”…..Exiting E.W. Scripps’ country WCYQ, Knoxville “Q 100.3” after four years is morning personality Krisha Newport…..iHeartMedia Charlotte announces the appointment of Chuck “DZL” Thompson as program director and afternoon drive personality for alternative WEND “106.5 The End.” Thompson comes to Charlotte from iHeartMedia’s Richmond cluster where he was program director and midday host for alternative WRXL “XL 102.” iHeartMedia EVP of programming for the Northeast Division Meg Stevens says, “DZL is an extraordinary programmer: strategic, creative and driven. He knows how to perfectly blend the art and the science of programming. I look forward to his return to the Queen City.”…..As part of its effort to roll out Alexa Skills for its stations, Beasley Media Group is presenting a promotion in which Amazon Echo’s Alexa will guest DJ on WBEN-FM, Philadelphia this Friday from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. During the show, listeners will get chances to win Amazon Echo Dots. Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase comments, “Beasley is rolling out Alexa Skills for all of our stations nationwide and this is a creative example of how we are promoting it to our audience on BEN-FM.”…..RAIN Summit Australia is taking place at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on October 13 in collaboration with Commercial Radio Australia’s “Radio Alive 2017” conference. In 2017 RAIN will have produced six summits, including two conferences geared to digital audio advertisers in New York and Chicago, the Podcast Business Summit in New York, RAIN Summit Austin with the NAB (9/5), and RAIN Summit London (11/9).