Tag: "Cousin Brucie"
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Recently here, I reviewed WGN America’s “News Nation,” three live prime-time hours that test a novel concept: Simply tell me what’s happening, without telling me how to feel about it. ICYMI: read it here.
News Without Noise, Part 2
Interesting News from 77WABC on Both the Political and Musical Fronts. New York City-based businessman and radio broadcaster John Catsimatidis, whose Red Apple Media acquired news/talk station WABC late last year, tells TALKERS that he is thinking about running for mayor of the Big Apple next year and that the heritage outlet is considering adding more musical programming to its weekend lineup to accompany the recent hiring of legendary disc jockey “Cousin” Bruce Morrow as host of a three-hour Saturday night program. In an exclusive interview with both men conducted by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison this morning (9/22), Catsimatidis and Morrow were in agreement that weekends are a good time to take a break from the stress and negativity of politics in favor of enjoying the fun and escape of music and non-combative entertainment. Catsimatidis, who also hosts his own weekend political talk show, stated, “Saturday nights, Sunday nights and Friday nights are for relaxing – not for headaches. Politics has gotten too serious and everyone is at each other’s throats. That’s wrong! We’re going to be bringing in more people, subject to Cousin Brucie’s approval, to do more music on WABC – especially on weekends.” Catsimatidis, who ran for mayor of New York in 2013 as a moderate Republican, was the runner-up in that year’s GOP primary. He tells Harrison, “On my radio show I have liberals and I have conservative guests. I have Republicans and I have Democrats. Some of my best friends are Democrats and consider me a Democrat. If I decide to run for mayor next year, I will try to do it on the ‘fusion’ ticket and not necessarily on any party line.” The entire conversation between Harrison, Morrow, and Catsimatidis will be posted on next week’s installment of “The Michael Harrison Interview” podcast and portions of it will appear on this coming weekend’s edition of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” radio show.
Talker Chris Stigall Returns KCMO-AM, Kansas City to Host Late Morning Show. After being away from the Kansas City talk radio audience for 10 years, talk radio host Chris Stigall is returning to the air in the market on Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM for the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot, beginning today (9/22). Stigall hosted the morning show on KCMO from 2006 through 2010, prior to joining WPHT, Philadelphia. Stigall has been the morning drive personality on Salem Media Group’s WNTP, Philadelphia “AM 990 The Answer” since last fall and he’ll continue in the role. Cumulus Kansas City regional vice president and market manager Donna Baker says, “[Program director and morning host] Pete Mundo has established ‘KCMO Mornings’ as the trusted local talk radio destination for daily issues that affect our Kansas City community. His idea to welcome Chris Stigall back to continue the local dialogue with KCMO listeners from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is a brilliant addition to this iconic station.” Stigall comments, “You can move away from Kansas City, but anyone who’s born and raised here knows Kansas City is always in your heart. Most of my family and closest friends still call it home. It’s been a while, but like any good friend, the audience of KCMO Talk Radio and I go way back, and we’ll pick up right where we left off.”
Crossover Media Group Adds ‘Just Ask the Question’ to Podcast Portfolio. The podcast featuring White House reporter Brian Karem, “Just Ask the Question,” joins the growing podcast portfolio of cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales representation firm Crossover Media Group Sales. As you may recall, Karem – who writes for Playboy and has frequently appeared on CNN – rose to greater prominence recently when the Trump Administration attempted, unsuccessfully, to pull his White House press pass. Crossover Media Group will drive advertising sales and promote and increase distribution for the podcast, that features interviews with guests in the news and offers special insights to the news, with guests such as author Mary Trump; biotech executive and vaccine expert Dr. Stephen Hoffman; retired former Montgomery County, Maryland, police chief Tom Manger; intelligence analyst Naveed Jamali; various senators and representatives; and even comedians Kathy Griffin and Carl Reiner. Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Sue Freund says, “The idea of the podcast is to engage people about real issues on a substantive level. At the same time, we want to engage listeners and blow your mind. Brian is famously fearless in pushing for answers and facts and holding elected officials accountable. Adding ‘Just Ask the Question’ rounds out our growing roster of content in the news and political and issues talk arena which now includes ‘CBS News on the Hour,’ John Solomon’s ‘Just the News,’ David Shuster’s ‘Quick Hits’ and shows hosted by popular talk personalities Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann.
Hillary Clinton Podcast Series Announced by iHeartMedia. The former First Lady, Secretary of State, and U.S. Senator is hosting a 24-episode podcast series on the iHeartPodcast Network titled, “You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton,” that debuts on September 29. The program will feature candid interviews with guests from a wide range of backgrounds including: Sarah Cooper, Gloria Steinem, Stacey Abrams, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, Samin Nosrat, Patton Oswald, Tan France, and more. Clinton says, “I’m excited to bring these eye-opening, powerful, sometimes hilarious conversations to the forefront and open up new avenues of discussion with some of the people I find most fascinating. This podcast is a chance to talk about subjects that are too often overlooked and share the inspiration and education I’ve gotten from my guests.”
WFNZ, Charlotte Producer and APD Mark Seidel Passes at 37. News of the death of WFNZ, Charlotte producer and assistant program director Mark Seidel at age 37 from an apparent heart attack was shared by WFNZ staffer Travis Hancock who tweeted, “With much sadness I say RIP to our WFNZ brother Mark Seidel. I’m heartbroken. We were HS classmates. We crossed paths again when he got into radio in 07. He was a gentle soul who I have never heard a person say a bad word about. He deserved a long and happy life. We are crushed.”
SCOTUS Nominee Battle, the Presidential Race/Mail-In Voting, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/CDC Flip Flop, Back to School Woes, Western Wildfires, and Tropical Storm Beta Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/21). Republicans’ vow to move ahead with a Supreme Court nominee in the aftermath of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg; the November presidential election and the debate over the veracity of mail-in voting; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., projections for future cases, and the controversy over the CDC’s flip-flopping on posting that transmission via aerosol is likely; the struggles families are facing returning to school and the related college outbreaks; the wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington; and Tropical Storm Beta flood threats were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. Dallas sports talk outlet KTCK-AM/FM “Sportsradio 96.7 and 1310 The Ticket” announces it helped raise more than $122,000 for Dallas-area children during its 2nd annual “Donnie’s DFW Domino Classic” held over the Labor Day weekend. The Cumulus Media station says all proceeds go to Dallas charitable organization, AT LAST! Boarding, which helps underprivileged children get a quality education. This year’s event was hosted by Donovan Lewis, co-host of The Ticket’s “The Norm and D Invasion” and included an online car raffle and virtual dominoes tournament…..Cadence13 and Entercom are partnering with Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author Tim Weiner, Jigsaw Productions and Prologue Projects for “Whirlwind” – a 10-part original documentary podcast franchise that tells the story of the 75-year battle between the US and Russia. The series builds off Weiner’s book, The Folly and the Glory: America, Russia, and Political Warfare: 1945-2020 (Henry Holt, 2020) and offers a deep-dive into a world of secrets, brought to life through focused, intimate interviews with people who have operated inside of it…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and Imperative Entertainment today premiere the first English and Spanish language podcasts, “The Red Note” and “La Nota Roja,” that is also to become a documentary feature film. The 10-episode podcast series are hosted by investigative journalist Lydia Cacho and examine the Juarez femicides that have taken the lives of thousands of women over the past 25 years…..KQED announces a new, five-part limited podcast series on the California housing crisis that will be hosted by KQED’s housing affordability reporters Molly Solomon and Erin Baldassari. “SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America” reimagines what housing can be by examining California, the epicenter of the nation’s housing affordability crisis. KQED says, “Solomon and Baldassari introduce us to people experiencing homelessness and the activists pushing city leaders to de-commodify housing. They talk with builders hacking traditional construction methods to build more homes faster and policy experts who believe housing can be a form of reparations that gives Black Americans the same opportunity that white Americans have always had in this country.”…..SiriusXM extends its collaboration with superstar Kevin Hart and Laugh Out Loud. Under the new deal, Hart will host new regular and live programs on his SiriusXM channel, Laugh Out Loud Radio, while expanding SiriusXM’s relationship with LOL to include a slate of additional comedic programming spanning radio shows, podcasts, and on-demand video that will be distributed across the SiriusXM ecosystem…..Pictured below is new Salem Radio Network talk host Charlie Kirk (right) in the KRLA, Los Angeles studios with SRN videographer Ethan Tradup (left) as he records a series of marketing videos for his new SRN talk program “The Charlie Kirk Show.” Kirk is the founder of the conservative student group Turning Point USA. His program premieres on October 5. See a video here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tulsa, programming pro Abby Jessen is named the new director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group’s hot AC KRAV-FM “Mix 96.5.” She comes to Tulsa from CMG’s Athens, Georgia operations where she held a similar position. CMG Tulsa market vice president Cathy Gunther says, “At CMG, we’ve always said that we win with our people and it’s led to the creation and longevity of our market-leading products. Bringing Abby onto our team will continue to give us an advantage over our competitors and help us further elevate our award-winning content.”…..iHeartMedia announces that the 2020 iHeartCountry Festival Presented by Capital One, originally scheduled for May 2 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, will now be a virtual streaming and on-air radio special on October 23. The seventh annual event will feature performances from Dierks Bentley, Lady A, Sam Hunt, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Dustin Lynch, Jon Pardi, Riley Green, Morgan Evans and Gabby Barrett and a guest appearance by Bobby Bones. The program is being recorded live on one stage in Nashville and will stream exclusively on LiveXLive and be broadcast live across iHeartMedia’s country music radio stations in local markets and at iHeartRadio.com on October 23 at 7:00 pm CT…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit is producing a special, 12-week program titled, “Seger Saturdays” that will air Saturdays at 9:00 am beginning October 3. WCSX says the new program – hosted by morning show personality Big Jim O’Brien – will highlight the incredible legacy of Detroit’s iconic rocker, Bob Seger and will feature a full hour of music, interviews, special guests, and storytelling relating to Bob’s Hall of Fame career. Beasley Media Detroit director of programming Scott Jameson says, “Bob Seger is revered in Detroit, so we’re taking our listeners beyond the music, sharing stories about the people and events that shaped his legendary career. Listeners can expect to hear all the great Seger classics along with a behind-the-scenes view of Bob’s inner circle.”…..After six years of live concerts at Tysons Corner Center, the “WGTS 91.9 Summer Concert Series” from Atlantic Gateway Communications’ Christian contemporary WGTS moved to a virtual format. The band Unspoken was to have performed from the mall but instead, WGTS morning show hosts Jerry Woods and Blanca Vega tossed it to Unspoken at the Sound Kitchen studios in Franklin, Tennessee for the show. Afternoon show hosts Johnny and Stacey Stone picked things up from the WGTS video studios interviewing Unspoken and taking live questions from listeners. Jerry Woods says, “This definitely was the next best thing to having them in person. Using the Streamyard video platform we were able to put live listener comments up on the screen and the band immediately reacted to listeners. This added a whole new dimension to the live broadcast.” More than 10,000 listeners from coast to coast and countries around the world viewed the webcast.
By Walter Sterling
Talk Show Host
NEW YORK — Cousin Bruce Morrow started on WABC from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm this past Saturday. He will be on every Saturday. It puts a sugar coating on the station, a brilliant decision by Chad Lopez, Dave LaBrozzi and owner John Catsimatidis. As you know, Bruce Morrow’s on-air energy and connection to the audience is unrivaled in American radio. On the WABC schedule my local, live just-for-WABC show comes on at 9:00 pm, after Bruce. How do I come on after Bruce?
TALKERS 2019: Telling the Story Rocks New York City. The 22nd edition of the TALKERS magazine national convention took place on Friday (6/7) in New York City’s Chelsea District, drawing 400 talk media industry players to the Big Apple. The TALKERS 2019: Telling the Story conference featured more than 65 speakers in a non-stop, power-packed day of solo addresses, panel discussions, presentations, and networking/meal receptions. The entire conference was recorded to video and in the days and weeks to come, most panels and speeches will be made available for viewing at Talkers.com. Visit regularly for details. Pictured above, Sean Hannity (r) being interviewed by Michael Harrison (l) during the convention’s Keynote Fireside Chat.
Kilmeade Accepts Freedom of Speech Award. Pictured above is FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade delivering his acceptance speech after receiving the 2019 Freedom of Speech Award.
Bill O’Reilly Addresses Conference. Just a little more than a month after the debut of his Key Networks-syndicated “The O’Reilly Update” program returned him to AM/FM radio, Bill O’Reilly addressed the attendees at Friday’s TALKERS conference.
Rome Delivers. Sports talk radio star Jim Rome presented a keynote speech illustrating how he got into the sports talk radio business and how he’s adapted to the evolving talk media industry.
Woman of the Year. Pictured above is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (l) with Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Erica Farber (r), who received the 2019 Woman of the Year Award.
Humanitarian of the Year. Seen above accepting the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year honor from TALKERS magazine is Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto.
A Legend Is Honored. Pictured above is SiriusXM disc jockey Cousin Brucie, a.k.a. Bruce Morrow, reading his Lifetime Achievement Award presented to the iconic radio personality.
Helping Our Own. WPGG morning host Harry Hurley (r) donating $3,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America from the Hurley Morning Show Foundation – a yearly tradition at the Talkers Convention. Renee Cassis (l) accepts the gift on behalf of the BFOA.
Emmis Agrees to Selling Controlling Interest in Austin Cluster to Sinclair Telecable Inc. for $39.3 Million. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation has had a controlling interest in the six Austin, Texas radio stations since 2003. Now, it is selling its 50.1% controlling interest in the partnership to Sinclair Telecable, Inc., for $39.3 million. This is not the television company Sinclair Broadcast Group that owns KEYE-TV, Austin. Sinclair Telecable is led by Bob and David Sinclair and the company owns seven FMs, two AMs, and 2 FM translators in Norfolk, Virginia and in Sonoma County, California. The stations and brands involved in this deal are: news/talk KLBJ-AM, classic rock KLBJ-FM, adult hits KBPA-FM “Bob FM,” adult contemporary KGSR-FM “Star 93.3,” alternative KROX-FM “101X,” regional Mexican KLZT-FM “La Zeta,” and music brands “Austin City Limits Radio” and “Latino 102.7.” The Austin cluster will be rebranded as Waterloo Media. Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “It’s been a fabulous run in Austin, operating in one of America’s best radio markets with such a special team and winning culture. I can’t say enough great things about the performance of our incredible team in Austin. Our focus at Emmis now will be on transitioning to new areas of growth. I’m thrilled to say we didn’t need to look far to find a committed, well-known buyer who feels the same way about the Austin team. The Sinclairs have been great partners and will undoubtedly take the operation to new heights.” Moelis & Company LLC represented Emmis as exclusive financial advisor.
Monday Memo: Digital Diction. As listener attention and advertiser dollars drift digital, radio broadcasters’ tool box gets bigger; and consultant Holland Cooke continues his three-part series of tips from Internet professionals. This week’s Monday Memo focuses on writing for the web. Cooke relays the advice, “Anyone can publish on the Web, but not everyone is publishing material that’s ideal for online reading…writing for digital is different than writing for print. Text that works best on the Web is text that gets right to the point fast and that makes it easy for readers to pick out information.” Get some tips for accomplishing that goal here.
Business Talker Ray Lucia to Retire from Broadcasting. Financial talk pro Ray Lucia is retiring from broadcasting after his last program on June 28. “The Ray Lucia Show” debuted on KFMB-AM in San Diego in 1990. The show was syndicated nationally in 2000 on Business Talk Radio Network, now known as BizTalkRadio. In 2006, the TV version of The Ray Lucia Show debuted on BizTV. Lucia says that after discussing it with his wife, they agreed the time is right. “I have spent decades telling others how to enjoy their retirement years, and it was time to listen to my own advice.” BizTV and BizTalkRadio COO Scott Miller says, “Very rarely does a radio and television program come along that both entertains and informs listeners and viewers. There is no doubt in my mind that thousands of families have benefited from Ray’s wisdom on how to manage money. He is from a generation of broadcasting that will be deeply missed.”
Radio Hall of Fame Names Nominees for Class of 2019. The 24 nominees for the Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 are named and voting begins today. The nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s Nominating Committee. Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. Then, beginning on July 15, listeners nationwide will have the opportunity to vote on the other two categories. Inductees will be announced on August 5. Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin comments, “Each year we have the privilege of coming together to acknowledge those who have tremendously impacted our industry and the audiences they serve. We’re all proud to present our 2019 nominees.” The inductees in the four categories voted by the industry are: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Bob Rivers, Charles Laquidara, Harry Harrison, and Jack Harris. Active Local/Regional (10 years or more): Angie Martinez, Kevin and Bean, Preston and Steve, and Sarah and Vinnie. Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): Jim Rome, Robert Siegel, Sid Mark, and “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me!” Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more): George Noory, Glenn Beck, John Tesh, Kim Komando. The two categories voted by the public are: Music Format On-Air Personality: Hollywood Hamilton, Lon Helton, Mark & Brian Show, Ryan Seacrest. Spoken Word On-Air Personality: Joe Madison, Scott Slade, Stephanie Miller, and Suzyn Waldman.
Lis Wiehl Exits WOR. There’s no press statement from iHeartMedia about the change in the evening show on news/talk WOR, New York, but Lis Wiehl has left the “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” program that aired from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Wiehl and Concha were partnered for the show at the beginning of this year. Concha now hosts the show solo, according to the station’s website. Wiehl is an attorney, best-selling author, and has served as a legal analyst for several media platforms.
Sports KYAL-FM, Tulsa Names RJ Young Host of Midday Show. The station names RJ Young host of the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show, previously titled “The Sports Mix” that featured a rotating cast of hosts. The Tulsa World reports that Young came to the attention of KYAL-FM management after he posted more than 1,000 videos of his sports commentary to YouTube. He tells the paper, “Unbelievable opportunity. If you had told me a few months ago that I would have this platform, I would have kicked you in the shins. I would have laughed. To do sports talk radio in such a great sports state — this is an amazing privilege and honor.” At the same time, the station names market sports personality Erik Gee as co-host of the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm program with Pat Jones.
Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Gets Underway Today. Today the Hubbard Radio Talent Institute begins on the campus of Central Washington University. Over the coming 10 days, students enrolled in the program will hear and meet radio pros from Hubbard, Alpha Media, Bonneville, iHeartMedia, Townsquare Media and others. Each broadcaster teaches in his or her area of expertise, ranging from on-air, sports, news, sales, digital, podcasting, promotions, videography, engineering, and practically all aspects of the business. All sessions are on the CWU campus except for one day in Seattle when students are welcomed to Bonneville Seattle Media Group by VP/market manager David Pridemore, 710 ESPN’s Mike Salk and others, followed by a trip to KIRO-TV. The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is the third of eight Radio Talent Institutes this summer from the National Radio Talent System, along with the Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College in Boston; Kellar Radio Talent Institute, Appalachian State University in North Carolina; TAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee; Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; GAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Georgia; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.
Trump in England/D-Day Anniversary, 2020 Presidential Race, Impeachment Talk, Mexico Tariffs Averted, Hong Kong Protest, U.S.-China Relations, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and NHL/NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of President Trump’s state visit to the U.K. and the 75th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy; the Democrats vying to face Trump in 2020; the intensification of Democrats’ impeachment talk; Trump pulls back on Mexico tariffs threat; the massive Hong Kong protest against new extradition to China law; U.S. relations with China and Trump’s tariffs; the investigation into possible anti-trust practices by Big Tech firms; and the NHL and NBA finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tampa Bay, iHeartMedia names Nick Wize assistant program director and afternoon drive host at CHR WFLZ-FM. iHeartMedia Tampa Bay SVP of programming Tommy Chuck says, “I’ve known Nick for years and have seen his love for radio up close. He’s creative, driven and has performed at a high level throughout his career. I am excited to have Nick by my side as we continue to build on 93.3 FLZ’s incredible 30-year history!” Wize comes to Tampa after having served iHeartMedia as APD and air talent at the company’s KRQQ, Tucson…..Sad news in the iHeartMedia family as WLLR, Quad Cities afternoon personality Bo J. Spates died in his sleep on Saturday night (6/8). The station is paying tribute to Spates during his show today (6/10).