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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

| November 14, 2018

Laura Ingraham to Transition Radio Show to Podcast in January. Talk media personality Laura Ingraham will end her 17-plus years of hosting a live radio talk show in January and launch an original podcast via PodcastOne.  Ingraham, who joined FOX News Channel’s prime-time lineup last fall, has also been hosting her late morning radio show syndicated via Courtside Entertainment.  She says, “While hosting a prime-time television show and raising three children on my own, continuing a three-hour morning radio show was no longer feasible.  Although I will greatly miss my radio listeners and affiliates, working late nights and early mornings has taken a toll on my family life.  Plus, my radio audience is smart, savvy and committed, and I know most will follow my new show in the format that is revolutionizing the audio world – digital podcasting.”  She adds, “Without phenomenal producers, a committed sales team, great station managers and program directors — and of course my loyal advertisers – this show wouldn’t have been possible.  Now it’s time for a new adventure.”   PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz states, “Due to her HUGE success on the FOX News channel, daily podcasts are a much better fit for Laura’s hectic schedule and provides her listeners in all markets access at any time to the new Laura Ingraham show podcast.  She’s at the top of her game and her new original podcasts will fit perfectly on PodcastOne.”

Cumulus Q3 Net Revenue Down 1.7%. The third quarter financial numbers for Cumulus Media have been released and the company reports Q3 net revenue of $282.3 million – an dip of 1.7% from the same period in 2017.  Net income was $12.7 million and adjusted EBITDA was $62.1 million.  Due to its emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization earlier this year, the company notes in its report that “for the purposes of the analysis of the results presented herein, the company is presenting the combined results of operations for the period June 4, 2018 to September 30, 2018 of the Successor Company with the period January 1, 2018 to June 3, 2018 of the Predecessor Company.  Although this presentation is not in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, the company believes presenting and analyzing the combined results allows for a more meaningful comparison of results for the nine month period ended September 30, 2018 to the nine months ended September 30, 2017.”  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “In our first full quarter of operations since emerging from Chapter 11, our positive momentum continued and we remain focused on the path ahead.  We delivered another quarter of Adjusted EBITDA growth – approximately 50 basis points on a reported basis and 3.9% when adjusting for the impact of USTN and our exit from WLUP-FM in Chicago.  Additionally, in early October, we completed a $50 million prepayment of our term loan using cash generated from operations, demonstrating both our ability to produce significant free cash flow and our commitment to pay down debt with that cash.  We continue to believe that our key growth initiatives, including our digital businesses at the Cumulus Radio Station Group, our rapidly expanding podcast business and pricing and inventory management improvements across the Company, as well as our substantial free cash flow generation, position the Company well to create value for all our stakeholders.”

iHeartMedia Names Future Board of Directors.  When iHeartMedia emerges from Chapter 11 reorganization, it will have a new board of directors and today the company announces who will sit on the board.  Current board chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and current president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will continue to serve on the board with five new board members.  They are: former Walt Disney Company executive Jay Rasulo; Spyglass Entertainment co-founder and former MGM Inc. chairman and CEO Gary Barber; Altimeter Capital founder and CEO Brad Gerstner; private investor and director for both Aptiv plc and Arconic Inc Sean Mahoney; and Drawbridge founder and CEO Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan.  Bob Pittman comments, “We are excited about both the depth and range of our new board members.  We know our ability to draw on the experience of this unique combination of leaders in their respective fields will give us an unparalleled competitive advantage as we build our next level of growth.”

Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity Hits 600-Affiliate Mark. After a little more than 17 years in national syndication, Premiere Networks talk radio superstar Sean Hannity reaches the milestone of 600 affiliate stations.  Premiere states, “Hannity’s provocative, informed, and passionate commentary on news and politics has amassed a loyal following of more than 18 million listeners monthly.  Broadcasting live on weekdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET, the 2017 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee and two-time Marconi Award winner is one of the most prominent and influential talk radio hosts in the country, whose political foresight and focus on the American agenda has made him the second most-listened-to talk radio host in the U.S.”  Hannity comments, “I am humbled and appreciative to not only our 600 amazing affiliates, but also to the listeners of this radio show in each and every city. Thank you for this honor!”

Good News for Comrex ACCESS and BRIC-Link II Users; HotSwap Feature Now Available.  This new HotSwap feataure allows users of Comrex’s IP audio codecs ACCESS and BRIC-Link II to back up dedicated links.  This long-sought reliability feature allows users to back up their studio-to-transmitter link or other dedicated link with a wireless modem.  CrossLock is Comrex’s powerful technology for increasing network reliability and allows codecs to use multiple IP networks at once.  CrossLock lets users bond networks together so that more bandwidth is available.  Alternately, in redundancy mode, users can send identical streams down both networks.  Until now, however, it hasn’t been possible to designate one network as primary and a second network to be used only when the primary fails.  HotSwap lets users select a network that will only be engaged if the primary network fails.  The system will warn of this status with a contact closure, and automatically fallback to the primary once it’s restored.  Fall-over to backup happens in a matter of seconds, and fallback is seamless.  For ACCESS codecs, any supported modem can be used as a back-up.  For BRIC-Link II, only Comrex Connect Modems are supported.  4G LTE Comrex Connect Modems are available for purchase through any Comrex dealer.  When ordering, ask for the NX model of Connect Modem.  Verizon, AT&T, and International versions are available.  HotSwap is included in firmware version 4.3, which is available now for all ACCESS and BRIC-Link II codecs.  Users can download it for free using Device Manager.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk personality Orlando “Big O Alzugaray exits Entercom’s WQAM, Miami after a four-year stint hosting the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program.  He’d previously served with the station from 1997 through 2010…..The National Radio Hall of Fame announces it is creating a new award called the “One to Watch,” chosen by the NRHoF nominating committee.  It was inspired by radio legend Art Laboe, the active radio performer with the longest continuous period of service on air for 75 years and a 2012 National Radio Hall of Fame Inductee.  The inaugural “One to Watch” award will be given to Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro…..At Salem Media Group’s Pittsburgh cluster, Brad Marshall is named general manager.  The station group includes news/talk WPGP “1250 The Answer” and its two Christian-formatted outlets.  During his career, Marshall has served with iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media in Youngstown, Ohio…..In more Salem Media Group news, the company chooses software provider Aptivada to power the company’s contesting, promotions, database management, and newsletters…..AdLarge Media’s digital audio advertising unit cabana adds the investigative podcast “Bear Brook” from New Hampshire Public Radio to its content portfolio.  The podcast, hosted by NHPR reporter Jason Moon, centers around a decades-old mystery involving four unidentified bodies found in two barrels in New Hampshire’s Bear Brook State Park in the 1980s. The first six episodes of “Bear Brook” garnered more than 1.1 million downloads…..NuVoodoo Media Services promotes Eric Cohen to the newly created position of executive vice president, finance. New York-based Cohen joined NuVoodoo Media Services earlier this year as vice president of finance…..iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME, Houston re-ups with the Houston Astros to continue serving as the ballclub’s flagship radio station for play-by-play broadcasts.

Deadly California Wildfire, CNN-White House Suit, Florida Recount/Kemp-Abrams Contest/AZ Senate Race, Melania Trump-Mira Ricardel Matter, New Amazon HQs Revealed, Dow Dips Again, Michelle Obama Book Tour, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13). The California wildfire that has claimed 48 lives so far; CNN’s suit against the White House requesting the return of Jim Acosta’s WH credentials pass; the re-count troubles in Florida, the Stacey AbramsBrian Kemp Georgia governor’s race, and Kyrsten Sinema’s AZ senate seat victory; Melania Trump’s move to oust deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel; Amazon reveals new HQ locations; the Dow loses another 100 points; Michelle Obama’s Becoming book tour; and the week’s NFL action 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. Program director Derek Harper announces Jarard J is the new evening personality at Urban One’s urban AC WAMJ-FM, Atlanta “MAJIC 107/5/97.5,” effective November 19.   About his new gig, Jarard J says, “When Hurricane Dave and Derek Harper chose me, it illustrated the confidence and faith that the leadership team has in me and I was both humbled and honored.  I feel like a first round draft pick.  I am excited and ready to ball.”…..On-air pro Karen Blake exits Cape Cod Broadcasting’s hot AC WQRC, H “99.9 The Q” after five years as the morning personality…..Envision Networks’ “Full Metal Jackie Radio” joins the program schedule at AJG Corporation’s rock WCLG-FM, Morgantown, West Virginia to air from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Fridays.  And check out host Jackie Kajzer at right holding her KILPOP 2018 Metal Programmer of the Year award.

Monday, April 23, 2018

| April 23, 2018

Possible Deal Brewing in St. Louis Involving KTRS and KFNS. As reported in the St. Louis Post- Dispatch, (mostly) sports talk KFNS owner Randy Markel is ready to sell KFNS and he’s in talks with crosstown news/talk KTRS owner CH HoldingsDan Caesar’s piece reports that this is in the early stages as the full CH Holdings board has not yet been presented with details of a deal and Markel says he’s had talks with others about acquiring KFNS.  Markel told the paper he’s spent about $3 million to resuscitate KFNS after buying it out of bankruptcy.  An interesting twist to the story is that a number of former KTRS staffers – including former afternoon personality Frank O. Pinion – now work at KFNS and a reunion of them with KTRS management might be less than smooth.  For now though, KFNS is on the block and only time will tell if there’s a serious buyer for the signal.

Laura Ingraham in Legal Battle Over Fired Former Assistant.  The suit against Courtside Entertainment nationally syndicated radio host and FOX News Channel personality Laura Ingraham was filed in Washington, DC Superior Court by former Ingraham assistant Karolina Wilson and claims that Ingraham and her company violated anti-discrimination laws and DC’s Family and Medical Leave Act. The suit alleges that Wilson worked for Ingraham with “proficiency” for 16 months prior to becoming pregnant. After notifying Ingraham over her condition, Wilson says Ingraham’s attitude toward her changed with Ingraham becoming “distant and angry with her work performance.”  The two sides also allegedly argued over proper maternity leave time after Wilson’s child was born.  Upon returning to work, Wilson was fired from her position.  In a response to the Washington Post, about the suit, Ingraham’s attorney denies the allegations and in response to the suit, rejects Wilson’s contention that her work prior to becoming pregnant was “extremely efficient.”  The two sides are expected in court for a hearing on May 11.

Daria Dolan Expresses Gratitude and Optimism to the Radio Industry.  As reported in TALKERS (4/18), pioneering financial talk show host Ken Dolan of the legendary husband-wife team “The Dolans” passed away last Tuesday (4/17) after a long battle with lymphoma. Readers wanting to reach out to his media partner and wife of 46 years, Daria Dolan, were advised that they could do so through longtime family friend Michael Harrison via email at michael@talkers.com.  According to Harrison, “The huge amount of heartfelt emails and phone calls from all ends of the industry expressing love and support for Daria has been truly wonderful. However, I’m not at all surprised by the stunning outpouring of love and emotion.  The Dolans are a truly special part of radio’s golden history.”  Daria Dolan has written the following note of gratitude to the radio industry:  When Michael Harrison asked to do a tribute to Ken I was touched and thrilled.  Ken Dolan lived and breathed radio and was so good at it. I was just fortunate to be along for the ride. I often characterized myself as the guy at the end of the parade with the can, shovel and broom.  But the response of so many of you surpasses touched and thrilled.  Too many people these days say radio is dead or simply on its last legs.  Nothing could be further from the truth. From the on-air personalities to the support staff in the booths and the copy editors and traffic managers in the ad departments, your overwhelming reaching out to me confirms my belief that no industry with heart that beats as strongly as I have seen and heard in emails and phone calls could possibly be dying.  Your heartfelt responses show me an industry that has plenty of life left. Radio may certainly be evolving but it is NOT dying. So please keep the wonderful spark you all have alive and continue to give it your all every day. It’s true that part of my heart has gone to another place, but the other piece is here with all of you in solidarity. It will remain so until I join Ken again.  Thank you so much for caring about my Ken and saving some of the concern for me as well.

–          Daria Dolan

McMahon: Why Radio (and TV) Newscasts Sound the Same.  Consultant Bill McMahon writes today about the “sameness” of radio (and television) news reporting. Using the case of the media coverage of the execution of convicted murderer Cal Brown as his case study, McMahon illustrates how numerous news outlets can send crews to the same news event and the resulting reporting is pretty much the same.  Read McMahon’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. At Saga Communications’ Ithaca, New York news/talk WHCU, the station goes from a local morning show to the Compass Media-syndicated “This Morning with Gordon Deal” program.  Lee Rayburn has been the morning drive host at the station for the past six years and announced his departure via Facebook in which he says that the morning show position at the station has been eliminated…..New England Sports Network studio host and anchor Marc James is doing some fill-in work at Entercom’s sports talker WEEI-FM, Boston.  James sat in over the weekend with Trenni Kusnierek and John Tomase on the “Trenni & Tomase” show.  Tomorrow (4/24), he’ll be a cast member on the afternoon drive on the “Dale & Keefe” show with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe.  James previously hosted on sports talk outlets WFNC, Charlotte and WZGC-FM, Atlanta…..Monticello Media names Ralph Salierno vice president and general manager of the company’s Charlottesville, Virginia cluster that includes news/talk WCHV and four music-formatted stations.  Salierno was most recently serving with Alpha Media as market manager for the company’s Fredericksburg, Virginia cluster…..Yesterday (4/22) was the debut of the venerable “CBS Sunday Morning” television program on the radio.  CBS News Radio began making the audio of the 9:00 am ET television news magazine available to radio affiliates. CBS News Radio says that in addition to the Jane Pauley-hosted show being available to radio stations, it is also being made available as a podcast at Radio.com…..The FOX Sports Radio lineup is getting cleared in the Chicago market as DuPage Radio’s suburban simulcast of WCKG-AM, Elmhurst and translator W272DQ at 102.3 FM turn into a sports talker featuring Clay Travis, Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Rich Eisen.  The station plans to add a local afternoon show to the station soon.

Trump -Russia Investigation, Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korea Nuclear Program, Waffle House Shooter, Bloomberg Climate Accord Payment, Barbara Bush Tribute, Macron’s U.S. Visit, Romney Senate Bid, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, the Trump administration’s threat to leave the Iran nuclear deal; North Korea’s overtures to the U.S. and whether it really would end its nuclear weapons program; a man shoots four dead at a Nashville Waffle House; UN special envoy for climate change Michael Bloomberg pledges to write a $4.5 million check to cover the U.S.’s financial commitment to the Paris climate accord; former presidents and first ladies pay tribute to the late Barbara Bush; French president Emanuel Macron’s impending visit to the U.S.; Mitt Romney to run in Republican primary for Utah senate seat; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action among top news/talk stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Travis Daily is named operations manager and program director for Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK, Tampa. Daily was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming for the company’s Tampa and Sarasota stations.   Speaking about his new gig, Daily says, “I could not be more thrilled to be joining what I feel is the most exciting media company in America.  From the moment I started talking to George Toulas, Justin Chase, DJ Stout and Brian Beasley, I knew this was the team I had to be on.  I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to be part of such an awesome group in Tampa.”…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Ashley & Brad” program adds two more affiliate stations to it roster as WAFN-FM, Huntsville “FUN 92.7” and WNXT-FM, Portsmouth, Ohio “MIX 99.3” add the show to their programming lineups…..Buffalo adult standards WECK is adding another FM signal to its simulcast.  It’s new FM translator at 100.5 joins WECK-AM’s 1230 AM and fellow translator W275BB at 102.9 FM.  Station owner Buddy Shula says the additional translator will give improved FM coverage for Buffalo and its northern suburbs. Shula says, “The response to our full-service, local personality-based adult standards format has been incredible. Adding FM coverage for rapidly growing parts of our metro is important to WECK’s overall growth strategy – and to the service to our communities.”…..Beasley Media Group’s rock WMMR, Philadelphia is celebrating its 50th anniversary of broadcasting in Philadelphia on Sunday (4/29).  During this week’s build-up to Sunday’s anniversary, legendary host Pierre Robert– a fixture at the station for all but 13 of its 50 years – will host a daily, 90-minute feature focusing on the five decades of music and Philadelphia events, beginning each day at 12:00 noon. On Saturday (4/28), the station will play the top 50 live performances culled from the “MMaRchives,” featuring hundreds of live performances recorded at the WMMR studios, as well as local venues and the venerable Sigma Sound recording Studio…..iHeartMedia is kicking off the summer with the “2018 iHeartRadio Wango Tango By AT&T” hosted by Ryan Seacrest and featuring performances from today’s hottest artists including: Ariana Grande, Shawn MendesMeghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, NFMiguel, Janelle Monáe and Marshmello with a special guest performance by Logic, with more to be announced.  The “iHeartRadio Wango Tango By AT&T” will be the first concert held at the all-new Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 2…..Los Angeles alternative rock outlet KROQ announces the lineup for this year’s “26th Annual KROQ Weenie Roast.”  Acts will include: Blink – 182, Panic! At The Disco, Rise Against, Dirty Heads, Mike Shinoda, Cold War Kids, The War On DrugsAwolnation, Bishop Briggs, Alice MertonManchester Orchestra, James Bay, Nothing But Thieves, and Mt. Joy.  The show takes place at the Stub Hub Center on Saturday, May 12.

Friday, October 13, 2017

| October 13, 2017

WPHT’s Chris Stigall Hosts Laura Ingraham. Philly morning drive personality Chris Stigall (left) is pictured above with conservative media figure Laura Ingraham (right) on stage at a live appearance last night (10/12).  Stigall hosts morning drive at CBS RADIO’s WPHT.  Ingraham – a nationally syndicated talk radio host via Courtside Entertainment – is preparing to begin her new, 10:00 pm ET show on FOX News Channel.  She’s currently touring to promote her new book, Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump (St. Martin’s Press).

Entercom Keeps Garcia at WFNZ, Charlotte. Midday personality Frank Garcia signs a new contract to continue hosting on Entercom’s Charlotte sports talker WFNZ “The Fan.”  The former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman co-hosts the “Garcia and Bailey Show” with Kyle Bailey from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon comments, “Frank Garcia brings over 10 years of professional broadcast experience to WFNZ.  He remains a valuable resource from his professional playing days and his overall knowledge of sports.  We are thrilled he’s committed to WFNZ and Entercom for the future.”

TALKERS News Notes. On Long Island, JVC Broadcasting’s “LI News Radio” – WRCN, Riverhead – is presenting a live, remote broadcast of Tom Schiliro’s “Your Island” show on Wednesday (10/18) from the Rockabilly Barbershop in Smithtown from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.   The station says the program will “allow customers to share their thoughts live on the radio while Vinny – the shop’s owner – does a razor skin fade or a hot shave…the barbershop is about more than just politicians and elections.  It brings humor, firsthand experience and candid interviews with the most knowledgeable political minds on Long Island.”  The station has invited a number of local politicians and political candidates to drop by the broadcast…..Duke University basketball coaching legend Mike Krzyzewski is hosting the premiere episode of the 13th season of his weekly SiriusXM show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” on Thursday, October 19.  The program features Coach K and co-host Dave Sims interviewing successful people from many different walks of life, including sports, pop culture, politics and more.

Covering California’s Wildfires. Pictured above reporting from the deadly wildfires in Santa Rosa, California is ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone.

Harvey Weinstein Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 9-13.  The allegations of sexual predation and rape against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talker TenTM.  At #2 this week was the political feud between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s attack on NBC and the threat to its broadcast licenses, followed by Trump’s executive order to change some of the rules of the Affordable Care Act at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday and Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Radio’s Ongoing Humanitarian Efforts.  The radio industry – via its close relationships with listeners and sponsors – continues to build creative avenues in which to help those in need.  This piece highlights some of the initiatives that are going on right now:  In Detroit, at Beasley Media’s rock WCSX, the “Big Jim’s House Morning Show” is working to help the men and women who serve our country find work when they come home through the “94.7 WCSX-FM Employment After Deployment” initiative.  Members of the military who have returned home from a recent deployment and are looking for a job are encouraged to go to “Employment After Deployment” for information at the station’s website or email to Big Jim O’Brien to share their job experience, skill set and type of position they’re looking for.  They’re also featuring one veteran selected from all submissions received each week on the morning show and will work to match the individual up with employers located throughout the Metro Detroit area. O’Brien says, “As a proud veteran of the U.S. Naval Submarine Service, I’ve always wanted to find ways to give back and support fellow veterans.”…..Beasley Media Group’s urban contemporary WBQT, Boston “HOT 96.9” recently presented a free concert featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops while collecting donations for the people of Puerto Rico.  “HOT 96.9” personalities Ramiro, Pebbles, Melissa and Wiggy were all on-hand to help fill four trucks with items that included: water, flashlights with batteries, first aid kits, baby formula, food, clothing, pet supplies and more…..The National Association of Broadcasters sent 10,000 battery-operated radios to Puerto Rico for distribution to residents affected by Hurricane Maria.  NAB, the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations, and multiple U.S. broadcasters funded the initiative.  NAB is working with FEMA and local Puerto Rican authorities to ensure that the radios are properly distributed to those most in need. NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “Time and again, broadcast radio has served as a lifeline to communities desperate for information and support.  Our fellow Americans in the Caribbean now face a once-in-a-generation humanitarian crisis and radio is one of the only communications resources available. We admire the resolve of our friends in Puerto Rico and are proud to undertake this effort with help from FEMA to keep citizens safe and informed.”…..Nationally syndicated urban radio morning host Tom Joyner distributed $50,000 to 50 Houston-area families who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.  The effort was one example of Joyner’s distribution of more than $500,000 raised to date for the BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund supporting families, friends and those in the community that have taken in people impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma…..Pop star Ed Sheeran is partnering with (RED), Coke, Omaze and iHeartMedia to host a pizza party and love song serenade for lucky winners at the KIIS-FM, Los Angeles Jingle Ball 2017 on December 1 – World AIDS Day.  All donations are being matched up to $2 million dollars by Coca-Cola and will benefit (RED) for the fight to end AIDS.  iHeartMedia is promoting the experience across its more than 850 radio stations encouraging listeners to bid at Omaze.com/JingleBall for a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles and meet Ed Sheeran.

 

 

PPM Analysis: Classic Hits-Oldies.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2017 PPM survey.  Two previous reports focused on all-news and news/talk.  Today, he looks at classic hits-oldies.  As a format, there wasn’t much movement from the August survey to September’s.  Kinosian says, “Just over half the stations (52%) on our classic hits-oldies sample are down between August 2017 – September 2017 (6+) while 42% improve; the remaining 6% of the panel is flat (6+).”  It’s pretty much the same looking at year-over-year numbers.  “Nearly the same number of stations on this classic hits-oldies panel are up year-to-year (47%) as are down (44%), while the remaining 9% are flat.”  However, an impressive 30 classic hits-oldies stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in September and seven stations ranked #1. They are: KQQL, Minneapolis; KONO-FM, San Antonio; WWSW, Pittsburgh; KKLZ, Las Vegas; WMJI, Cleveland; WJJK, Indianapolis; WRIT, Milwaukee.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Urban radio morning star Rickey Smiley and Reach Media announce they’ve agreed to a multi-year contract extension to continue syndicating the “Rickey Smiley Morning Show.”  Urban One’s CEO of Radio One Stations and Reach Media David Kantor says, “We are delighted to extend our relationship with Rickey Smiley.  He has established himself as a leader and entertaining communicator in his 10 years of syndication.  He continues to grow in audience, followers, affiliates, but most importantly, with an affinity with his listeners that’s unparalleled.”…..Premiere Networks says it has added nine new affiliate stations for “The Rendezvous with Simon and Angi,” that include: WNIC, Detroit; KMXP, Phoenix; KMIY, Tucson; and WRVE, Albany.  The program is hosted by Simon Marcel and Angi Taylor.  Premiere says, “‘The Rendezvous’ is a nightly radio experience filled with insightful love and relationship advice, coupled with radio station music playlists.  The two-hour show is available for air between 7:00 pm and 12:00 midnight…..iHeartMedia is re-branding CHR KOSY, Cedar Rapids with a new “HOT 95.7” handle and a revamped lineup that consists of Premiere Networks’ Elvis Duran for mornings, “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” in middays, Sean Strife in afternoon drive, and “Brady At Night.”…..Envision Networks is offering the 2017 updated edition of the award-winning “100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time” 10-hour radio countdown special hosted by television icon Wink Martindale.

Miranda Lambert Plays at Cumulus New York’s Stage 17.  On Wednesday evening, country superstar Miranda Lambert performed before an intimate group of country fans and WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” listeners at Cumulus Media New York’s Stage 17.  Lambert’s six-song set included her chart-topping single, “Heart Like Mine,” “Automatic,” and her latest radio single, “Tim Man.”  She’s pictured here with staff of WNSH.  From left to right: Crystal Dishmon, ShopKeeper Management; Dennis Reese, SVP/promotion, RCA Nashville; Lambert; John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media; Mike Allan, APD, “NASH FM 94.7”; and Randy Goodman, chairman/CEO, SONY Music Nashville.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

| September 19, 2017

It’s Official: Laura Ingraham to Host FOX News Channel Show.  As has been previously reported but now confirmed by FOX News Channel, conservative media figure Laura Ingraham will begin hosting the 10:00 pm ET hour on FOX News Channel with a new show called, “The Ingraham Angle,” beginning October 30.  Beginning Monday (9/25), Sean Hannity moves to the 9:00 pm ET hour (putting him up against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow).  That means “The Five” returns to its original 5:00 pm ET start (that hour opened up with the dismissal of Eric Bolling and the cancellation of “The Specialists”).  The Los Angeles Times reports that Ingraham has been making about $2 million per year as a contributor to FNC and her full-time salary will be much higher than that.  The question left unanswered for now is whether or not Ingraham will continue to host her Courtside Entertainment-distributed, daily national radio talk show.

Dave Ramsey to Emcee NRHoF Induction Ceremony.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is hosting the 29th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and celebration on November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re honored to have Dave, a world-class speaker who regularly addresses audiences of 10,000 at his live events, serve as our master of ceremonies.”  The 2017 inductees include: Tom Barnard, Bobby Bones, Joseph M. Field, Bill Handel, Sean Hannity, John Records Landecker, Robin Quivers and Robert S. “Bob” Sievers.

TALKERS News Notes. With the sudden departure of conservative Jedidiah Bila from ABC-TV’s “The View,” CNN is reporting that former Premiere Networks radio host and former FOX News Channel personality Meghan McCain is in talks to join the daytime TV talk show.  McCain recently exited FNC and the “Outnumbered” program she co-hosted there…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-news KNX shifts some of its talent into different dayparts.  The morning drive daypart is still hosted by Dick Helton and Vicky Moore.  New to middays is Brian Ping, who leaves the nights and overnights he’s been working for the past six years to handle the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  The one-hour “KNX In Depth” show with Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson airs from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  Simpson and Chris Sedens handle the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart and Diane Thomson hosts the 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Evening News.”…..TuneIn is debuting “First Play,” what it calls “a first-of-its kind podcast program offering early releases of new episodes from new and popular podcasts from networks like WNYC Studios, Gimlet Media, HowStuffWorks, Wondery, Feral Audio and StarTalk.”  New episodes will be available early, up to one week before they’re available on other platforms, and they will be free to all TuneIn users.  The company says, “With the launch of First Play, TuneIn enables podcast super fans to hear episodes early from a selection of more than 30 podcasts, produced by the most popular podcast creators.  Participating shows will debut their early releases throughout the initial run of the program, concluding December 31st.”…..Entercom sports talk WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets renew their partnership for the station to serve as the flagship for the team’s play-by-play.  Entercom Charlotte market manager Matt Hanlon says, “The Hornets are an outstanding organization in a great sports town. It makes so much sense for WFNZ to be the flagship station for the Hornets’ radio network.”

TalkersRadio Marks its Fourth Anniversary.  This Fall marks the fourth anniversary of the launch of TALKERS magazine’s experimental platform, TalkersRadio.  The station serves as both a workshop and industry showcase for new ideas in talk programing.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes it as “a vehicle for broadcasters to try out new concepts for talk shows, both long and short form, that might not otherwise have an opportunity to be exposed to industry decision-makers, as well as real listeners, at this moment in time.”  Commenting on the milestone, TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein states, “This has been one of the most exciting projects in which I’ve ever been involved as a programmer and manager.  As we begin our fifth year, I am pleased to say we have a fascinating line-up of shows and talent with more in the pipeline about to debut.”  Bernstein adds, “The system at TalkersRadio keeps shows up and running for as short or long a time as they need development or receive enough feedback to know what their next steps should be.  We’ve had some major properties get their start in this ‘experimental theater.’  For example, ‘American Family Farmer’ hosted by noted talk host Doug Stephan began on TalkersRadio as a laboratory project in which Doug – an independent farmer in addition to being a talk host – created a new forum in which he could act as an advocate for the beleaguered independent, small farmers across America.  Today, the show is a terrestrial radio weekend smash heard on about 150 stations around the country.”  The late Alan Colmes of FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel was working on a project titled “Healed Planet” – an exploration into the human consciousness movement and significant departure from his usual news/talk style – that was about to find a home on terrestrial radio at the time of his unexpected passing. (“Healed Planet” is still available for listening in the TalkersRadio archive section.)  The husband/wife chat show “Brent & Meg” (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald) found a home on terrestrial radio shortly after launching on TalkersRadio when it was picked up by WPG, Atlantic City and GCN.   Current shows include “London Calling” – a weekly magazine hour hosted by internationally-known British broadcaster Graham Mack connecting popular culture in Great Britain and the United States that has developed a worldwide audience.  Veteran radio and TV star Claire Carter is heard discussing a variety of eclectic issues ranging from politics to health to changing cultural patterns in her feature called, “Good For You Radio.”  This week, she kicks off a new series of short form commentaries with a powerful warning about national security titled, “The Importance of Protecting the Grid.”  The aforementioned Meg McDonald has a new short form feature in which she discusses her observations of the common “everyday” situations of life titled “MEG!”  Michael Harrison describes McDonald as a female version of the late Andy Rooney.  This week also marks the debut of “The Animals’ Voice” hosted by animal rights activist and award-winning Voice of America and NPR news reporter, Lori Lundin.  World-renowned record producer Robbie Stevens is set to launch his new radio show titled “I Don’t Do Radio” in October.  For more information about TalkersRadio contact David Bernstein at 413-565-5413.

Renewed ObamaCare Repeal Move, Trump’s UN Speech, Hillary Clinton Book/Election Challenge, California Sanctuary State Bill, Climate Change Debate, Hurricane Maria Threatens Caribbean, Georgia Tech Student Killed/Protests, Rolling Stone for Sale, Toys ‘R’ Us Files Bankruptcy, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18).  The GOP revives its move to repeal and replace ObamaCare with the Cassidy-Graham Plan; anticipation of President Trump’s Tuesday address before the UN General Assembly; Hillary Clinton’s book tour supporting What Happened and her statement she’d consider challenging the election results; California’s legislature passes bill making California a sanctuary state; the renewed debate over climate change; Hurricane Maria hits the Caribbean and threatens Puerto Rico; the shooting death of a Georgia Tech student and the resulting protests; iconic magazine Rolling Stone is up for sale; retailer Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy protection; the Major League Baseball playoff push, and the weekend’s NFL action 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.  On-air pro Chris Randolph is named afternoon drive host at Cumulus Media’s country WFMS, Indianapolis, effective October 2.  Randolph comes to WFMS from his recent position with Alpha Media hosting morning drive at hot AC WXMA, Louisville.  He’d also served with iHeartMedia at crosstown WMXL, Louisville.  WFMS program director Stephen Giuttari comments, “We’re very excited to have Chris join the team here in Indy. He’s one of the top talents in our industry and I’m confident that he will be a great addition to our team at WFMS and that ‘Indy Country’ listeners will love him!”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Sound Management, LLC has sold three signals to Artistic Media Partners for $3.4 million.  The Indiana stations are: CHR WNDV, South Bend; rock WYXX, Goshen; and 80s-pop WYET, New Carlisle (102.3fm, New Carlisle)…..In Atlanta, morning show personality C.J. Lusk has exited Cumulus Media’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” where he’d been part of the “Cadillac Jack and Ali Mac Morning Show.”…..Rowdy Yates has left E.W. Scripps’ country KVOO, Tulsa where he co-hosted the morning drive show with Sunny Leigh…..iHeartMedia’s alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is releasing volume nine of its “Radio 104.5 Studio Sessions” albums, sponsored by Blue Moon.  The annual benefit album features the best live-recorded studio sessions from Radio 104.5’s Performance Theater.  The project will benefit Delaware Valley hunger relief organization Philabundance.  Artists on this year’s CD include: Vance Joy, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Weezer, AWOLNATION, alt-J, Kaleo, Grouplove and more.

Radio One Sues Former Jock and Twitter; Alleges Hijacking of Twitter Account.  In a case filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia, Radio One is suing former WCDX, Richmond “iPower 92.1” air personality Amir Shabazz, alleging that he, immediately after being let go from the station, illegally used its @iPowerRichmond Twitter handle to promote his own business ventures, Tweeted pornographic images, and changed passwords.  Saying that the Twitter account is a valuable business tool for the station – by some standards worth $2.50 for each follower – it values the account as being worth more than $31,000 per month.  The complaint says Shabazz, who went by the air name Henny Hardaway, is taking these actions willfully and maliciously.  It’s suing Twitter, alleging that the company has taken no action to stop Shabazz.  Radio One is asking the court to stop Shabazz from “squatting” on the @iPowerRichmond account and is seeking unspecified damages, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

| August 1, 2017

Dr. Ron Paul Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Former congressman and three-time former presidential candidate, Dr. Ron Paul is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Now in his early 80s and still going strong, he served almost a quarter-century in Congress representing Texas’s 22nd district between 1976 and 1977 and then again between 1979 and 1985. He later represented Texas’s 14th district from 1997 to 2013. He is a three-time, former candidate for the presidency of the United States running as the Libertarian Party’s nominee in 1988 and later as a candidate for the Republican nomination in 2008 and 2012.  Paul is a medical doctor who served as a flight surgeon in the US Air Force.  Harrison questions Paul about some of his disagreements with many of the GOP’s policies as well as those of the Democrats that include fiscal issues, such as the Federal Reserve, tax policy, foreign interventionism, the war on drugs, and mass surveillance.  They also talk about his son, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and his recent candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.  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.

Bloomberg to Buy Suburban Boston AM and Translator.  WNBP-AM is licensed to Newburyport, Massachusetts on the North Shore of the Boston metro, as is its translator W291CC at 106.1 FM.  Effective today (8/1), Bloomberg Radio begins operating the station, airing business and financial news content from Bloomberg Radio.  At the same time, Bloomberg enters into a deal to buy the station from Port Broadcasting.  Bloomberg Radio and Television global head Al Mayers says, “We are excited to extend our broadcast footprint in the Boston market.  Programming this station in Newburyport gives us the opportunity to provide timely financial information and world news to our listeners during their commute to and from the North Shore.  Over the next few weeks, technical upgrades will be completed to make the experience even better.”  Previously, Bloomberg and Beasley struck a deal to air Bloomberg Radio programming on suburban Boston signals WRCA, Watertown, Massachusetts and its translator W291CZ at 106.1 FM.

New Leadership Atop CBS News Radio.  The retirement of longtime CBS News Radio general manager Constance Lloyd after 17 years in the post prompts two promotions in the organization.  CBS News Radio names Craig Swagler general manager, in which he’ll oversee the business operations and editorial direction, and Linda Coombs rises to director of operations, in which she’ll run the day-to-day and personnel management.   Both report to CBS News SVP Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews.   Coombs has worked at CBS for more than 30 years producing breaking news, coordinating special events, and staffing the copy and assignment desks.  Swagler has been with the company for 16 years, since 2013 he’s been overseeing the editorial content and management of the network’s morning hour broadcasts, including the “World News Roundup.”

TALKERS News Notes. Today in Washington, DC, Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager is addressing the Young America’s Foundation’s 39th annual National Conservative Student Conference at George Washington University.   Prager will address hundreds of college students from 34 states and more than 120 schools.  Other speakers will include Vice President Mike Pence, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.  Prager is originating his syndicated talk show from Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center radio studio…..Joining Westwood One’s sales ranks are sales pros Linda Ramsey and Jean Ferrari.  Ramsey joins the company as vice president, strategic partnership, Midwest sales, based in Detroit.  Ferrari becomes director, national partnerships, based in New York.  Ramsey was most recently with Atlantic Media Company. Ferrari joins from PodcastOne…..There’s been a three-year deal struck between NPR’s unionized staff and SAG-AFTRA.  Both sides say in a joint statement, “NPR and SAG-AFTRA have shared a long and productive relationship throughout the years.  This was evident in the recent negotiations, as NPR and SAG-AFTRA’s bargaining teams worked tirelessly and constructively to find common ground.  Today NPR and SAG-AFTRA together celebrate the tremendous talents of NPR’s news and programming teams and look forward to supporting NPR’s mission and service to the American public.”…..The 17th annual WSB Care-a-Thon raised a record $1.75 million-plus for Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  The Cox Media Group news/talk station’s two-day event ran from 5:00 am on July 27 to 6:00 pm on the 28th.  WSB manager of program operations and community affairs Condace Pressley states, “Seventeen years ago, we were introduced to the lifesaving work happening at the Aflac Cancer Center.  WSB shared those amazing stories with our listeners and their response has been overwhelming.  To raise a record-setting $1,750,000 shows the power radio can have for good in the local community.”  Local personalities participating in the Care-a-Thon included: Scott Slade, Clark Howard, Herman Cain, Neal Boortz, Erick Erickson, Eric Von Haessler and Mark Arum…..SiriusXM announces the launch of a new show featuring well-known British intellectual Noreena Hertz, called “MegaHertz: London Calling.”  The live show will debut on August 28 from London at 1:00 pm ET.  Hertz is joining SiriusXM as its first foreign-based host for news and talk programming and will serve as chief Europe correspondent across all talk radio channels.  Hertz comments, “The world has never been more vibrant, complex and controversial. I have plenty to say about the big topics affecting us all and will be inviting an eclectic and energetic mix of guests to debate them with me here in the UK and our listeners across America.”…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured here (right) with celebrity chef Robert Irvine (left) at the opening of his new restaurant in Las Vegas Public House.  Wachs tells TALKERS magazine, “We were able to hang with him opening week and the food and service were amazing – especially the Shepherd’s Pie!”…..“Success Journal” host Chris Witting launches a podcast version of his long-running radio show.  “Success Journal” airs on more than 100 affiliate stations and has been in syndication for 20-plus years.  Witting comments, “Radio is our primary focus but our podcast is reaching a new set of listeners.  And the podcast audience growth we’re seeing is gratifying.”

Trump Fires Scaramucci/John Kelly New Chief of Staff, Fate of ObamaCare, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Maduro Cracks Down in Venezuela, #NoConfederate Campaign, Rising Dow, Sam Shepard Dies, MLB Action and NFL Camps Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31). After 11 days on the job, President Trump fires White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, and the related naming of John Kelly as Chief of Staff; ongoing efforts by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass a GOP-authored health care plan; North Korea’s nuclear threats and intelligence about its heightened submarine activity; the U.S. puts sanctions on Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro rounds up political opponents in the wake of disputed election results; the campaign against HBO’s planned series “Confederate” that explores an alternate history with the South seceding from the Union; the still rising U.S. financial markets; actor and playwright Sam Shepard dies; Major League Baseball action, and the opening of NFL camps were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (8/1) with Presentation of the “Woman of the Year” award to Cumulus Media President/CEO Mary Berner.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          Three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtimeTALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

–          TODAY (8/1) we posted the presentation of the 2017 “Woman of the Year” award to Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Allentown market adult contemporary WLEV announces Kevin Crockett joins the station to serve as co-host of the morning drive “Selena and Crockett” program.  Crockett joins Cumulus Media from his most recent position as executive producer of “The Breakfast Club” on WOGL, Philadelphia.  WLEV program director Jerry Padden says, “I am extremely excited to welcome Kevin to the Cumulus team.  From the time that he and Selena first met, the fireworks went off.  I’m sure that our current and new LEV listeners will feel the same way.”…..Beasley Media Group names Steve Mills program director classic hits WDRR, Augusta, Georgia.   Mills was most recently with Cumulus Media’s Sound Solutions as a producer.  Beasley Augusta operations manager Chris O’Kelley says, “We are extremely excited to welcome Steve to the Beasley Augusta team and look forward to Steve bringing his multi-format and digital experience to WDRR’s classic hits format.”…..Entercom tweaks KXSN, San Diego from a soft AC format to classic hits as “Sunny 98.1!”…..The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group announces that Roula Christie, host of the “Roula and Ryan” show on Cumulus Media’s CHR KRBE, Houston, is named the 2017 MIW Airblazer, an honor bestowed by MIW annually to a deserving on-air personality in radio broadcasting. MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik says, “Roula is a consummate MIW Airblazer.  She professionally navigates responsibilities that are unique to a morning show, while contributing to her hometown community and, most importantly, as a working mom raising three young children.  We look for leadership and a selfless understanding of giving back in our Airblazer honoree. Roula leads by example and serves as a reminder to Houston listeners, and frankly to all of us in radio, that the true power behind a radio microphone lies in establishing genuine emotional connections with the people and communities we serve.”

Jason Bailey Emcees BB&T Atlanta Open.  WNNX, Atlanta “Rock 100.5 FM” morning personality Jason Bailey – of the “Bailey and Southside” show – was the stadium voice of the just-concluded BB&T Atlanta Open tennis tournament.  Bailey also emceed a Venus Williams vs Genie Bouchard exhibition match.   To kick off the tournament, Bailey, an avid tennis player himself, challenged his listeners to guess how many points he could score in a 10-point, tie-breaker match with professional tennis player, Taylor Fritz.  The winning listener received VIP seats for the semi-finals.  Pictured here are (from l-r):  Genie Bouchard, Bailey, BB&T regional president Heath Campbell, and Venus Williams.