Tag: "Craig Schwalb"
Warner Wolf Files Suit Against Imus, Cumulus, and Others. According to a story in today’s New York Post, Warner Wolf is suing Don Imus and several Cumulus Media and WABC, New York managers for age discrimination. Warner Wolf served as the sports reporter on the “Imus in the Morning” program until he exited the show at the end of 2016. According to the complaint, Wolf – who was 78 at the time of his departure from the show – says he was replaced by the younger Sid Rosenberg. That move followed what Wolf claims was a number of comments from Imus about his age, including such Imus-like quips that Wolf needed “to be put out to pasture” and “shoot him with an elephant dart gun.” Wolf also names Cumulus EVP of content and programming Mike McVay, Cumulus New York market manager Chad Lopez, and WABC program director Craig Schwalb. Wolf says in the complaint that he took a large pay cut as part of a deal to work from his home in Florida and that Imus didn’t like the arrangement. He also says he was denied his due severance. He’s seeking $97,500 in severance plus damages. Cumulus and WABC have not commented publicly about the suit.
Ryan Maguire to Leave WQAM to Program KIRO-FM, Seattle. After spending the past three years in South Florida programming Entercom’s sports talk WQAM, Miami, program director Ryan Maguire is heading to the Pacific Northwest to take the PD role at Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle. Maguire announced the news via social media, saying, “Starting March 12th, I will be taking over as Director of News and Programming at @KIRORadio in Seattle. @angelblas17 and myself are excited to become part of the community. Thank you to everyone from @560WQAM for letting me share in your successes over the last 3 years.” No word from Entercom yet about its plans to fill the program director post at WQAM.
WTIC-AM, Hartford Ends Relationship with UConn Sports. This is surprising news out of Hartford, but Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says the bottom line is the company could not reach an agreement with University of Connecticut sports rights holder IMG Sports that made fiscal sense. The current deal between IMG and WTIC ends at the conclusion of this college basketball season. Zachary says, “I have the highest respect for UConn athletic director David Benedict and his goals for the university. Having grown up in Connecticut, there’s a special place in my heart for UConn Basketball. However, I couldn’t justify what they were seeking when compared to more successful partnerships Entercom enjoys with elite Power 5 institutions.” Zachary says WTIC will continue to place a high priority on local sports coverage and will sharpen its focus on the Boston Red Sox, New York Giants, and New England Patriots, all of whose games are broadcast on the station.
TALKERS News Notes. Through a joint effort of AXS TV and KMG Networks, a radio version of “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” is being offered to stations. Westwood One is handling sales efforts. A press release from KMG says stations will receive an audio version of the series; a corresponding video segment to post on station websites, mobile apps, and social media channels; and custom liners and promos featuring Rather. AXS TV CEO Jeff Cuban adds, “Stations around the country now have access to an impressive roster of unique, insightful, and candid conversations Dan had with some of the most influential figures in rock, including: Crosby Stills & Nash, Gene Simmons, Carlos Santana, Pat Benatar, Heart, Gregg Allman, Bryan Adams, John Fogerty, Sammy Hagar, Neil Young, Billy Gibbons, and Roger Waters.”…..Two NPR personalities move into prime positions with the public radio network’s drive time news programs. Noel King is joining “Morning Edition” and Ailsa Chang is now part of the “All Things Considered” air staff. Both King and Chang have been serving as reporters for the “Planet Money” podcast…..Entercom sports talk WIP, Philadelphia is giving Eagles fans some programming with which to relive the NFL team’s Super Bowl championship. The station is rebroadcasting Super Bowl LII in its entirety on Sunday (2/18) at 2:00 pm. Immediately following the game, the station will air a one-hour special titled, “Long Time, First Time: The Story of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles,” hosted by 94WIP’s Rob Charry.
Florida School Massacre Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 12-16. The assault on students and faculty at a high school in Florida that took the lives of 17 people was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the status of the DACA Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy. Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller, and U.S. intelligence sources’ reports that Russian agents are trying to meddle in the 2018 mid-term elections was #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com View this week’s entire chart here.
CURB YOUR DOGMA! Podcaster David Smalley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Speaker, activist, author, publisher, comedian, humanist, former evangelical Christian-turned-atheist and successful podcaster David Smalley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Smalley hosts a long-running podcast series titled, “Dogma Debate,” in which he expresses his passion for skepticism and truth by respectfully challenging well-known, highly opinionated guests to defend their dogma. In this installment, Harrison presents another deep-dive interview into the rabbit hole between media and culture as he and Smalley discuss the age-old debate between science and religion, as well as number of contentious contemporary issues. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Comrex to Debut New EarShot IFB at NAB 2018. This update in interruptible fold back technology was, according to Comrex sales director Chris Crump, something that needed to happen. “We’d visit TV stations and see banks of old telephone auto-couplers connected to expensive analog phone lines. Most other phone tech has transitioned to Voice-over-IP, but remote IFB audio remains stuck in the last century.” Interruptible fold back is used by television and radio production facilities to allow producers to break into (interrupt) a talent’s audio feed – the fold back – and give direction. The new Comrex EarShot IFB provides telephone-based, live studio program and IFB audio to field-based remote broadcasts. Up to 30 users can listen to program or IFB feeds by calling into EarShot IFB with a mobile phone. EarShot IFB can handle up to four program feeds, or two IFB feeds. For higher fidelity, smartphone apps can be used to pull the audio in studio quality. EarShot IFB can be connected to low-cost cloud-based VoIP service, or tied to a station’s VoIP PBX. Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett adds, “With our years of experience in putting VoIP calls on air, it was a no-brainer to provide a simple hardware solution to the IFB problem. The folks we talked to were sick of paying for a dozen or more POTS lines to provide this function. EarShot IFB will pay for itself within a couple of months in phone service savings alone.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Texas radio pro Al Farb is named APD and afternoon drive personality at Cumulus Media’s country KSCS, Dallas. Farb comes to Dallas from the Cox Media Group operations in Houston where he was most recently an executive producer and air talent at KKBQ-FM and KTHT-FM. KSCS program director Mac Daniels states, “After a very extensive search, I’m confident that Al is the right fit for this position. KSCS will benefit greatly from his passion for radio, his knowledge of the format and his skill set. I’m very excited to have him as part of this team.”…..Upstate New York classic rocker WOUR, Utica is changing hands as Townsquare Media agrees to pay $3.95 million to Galaxy Communications. Townsquare already owns classic hits WODZ “96.1 The Eagle,” adult contemporary WLZW Lite 98.7,” country WFRG “Big Frog 104,” and news/talk WIBX-AM in the Utica-Rome market…..On-air pro Marty Young is recruited by Scripps-owned country outlet KVOO, Tulsa to join “The Voo Crew” morning show, taking over the role vacated by Rowdy Yates, who exited last September. Young was most recently part of the morning show at Curtis Media’s country WQDR, Raleigh-Durham…..Nationally syndicated morning radio personality Tom Joyner announces that the annual Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage cruise is welcoming family dining chain Denny’s as a presenting sponsor. The Carnival Breeze cruise sets sail from Galveston April 29 through May 6, 2018. The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage will feature more than 60 live entertainment acts, including “An Evening with Anita Baker” and performances from popular artists Chris Brown, Tamar Braxton, The O’Jays, The Isley Brothers, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, En Vogue, 112, SWV and more. The cruise raises funds to support students in school at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country…..Pictured below are the cast of KLOS, Los Angeles’ Frosty, Heidei & Frank morning show celebrating after the station raised $725,218 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the “St. Jude Rocks” event held Thursday, February 8, through Friday, February 9. The two-day live broadcast in Los Angeles capped Cumulus Media’s inaugural “St. Jude Rocks” fundraising partnership across 14 of its rock-formatted stations in markets across the U.S. Below are (from l-r): Patrick Wesson, KLOS programming assistant; Frosty Stilwell; Heidi Hamilton; Frank Kramer; Sammi Marino, associate producer; Erik Scott Smith, executive producer; Lisa May, entertainment reporter and co-host; and Anthony Annese, Frosty, Heidi & Frank social media.
Anne Gress Named Brand Manager at ‘New Jersey 101.5.’ Radio programming pro Anne Gress is the new brand manager for Townsquare Media’s talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” She takes over for longtime station programmer Eric Johnson, who exited the station at the end of 2017 to become the director of sports content for Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia. Townsquare market president and chief revenue officer Ron DeCastro comments, “I am extremely happy to have a true professional like Anne join the team at ‘NJ 101.5.’ I have long admired Anne’s work, going back to our days at ‘Power 99.’ She is innovative, creative and understands how to work with talented people. We are all excited to have her join this winning team.” Gress – who has worked in the Philly market at such stations as hot AC WYXR, smooth jazz WJJZ, hip hop WUSL, and classic hits WOGL – says, “I’m genuinely excited to join the team at Townsquare Media and ‘NJ 101.5.’ Their unique format, rock star staff, and consistently strong ratings make this an irresistible opportunity. I look forward to adding my voice to their highly successful model.”
New Year Brings Dave Ramsey 600th Affiliate; Podcast Achievements. 2018 is off to a great start for talk media superstar Dave Ramsey. His nationally syndicated radio program – The Dave Ramsey Show – just cleared its 600th affiliate station with the addition of Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco. Also, the Dave Ramsey show podcast is being recognized by iTunes as the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of 2017. The podcast averaged 10 million downloads per month. Ramsey Media SVP Brian Mayfield comments, “We are pleased to not only top the 600-affiliate watermark, but to do so with a station the caliber of KSFO is validation we are doing things right. Growing our radio audience by almost 1 million listeners in 2017, while simultaneously becoming the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of the year, shows there is a larger audience searching for solid content. We are honored they chose to listen to ‘The Dave Ramsey Show.’”
Curtis Sliwa Returns to the Air on WABC. New York City talk radio pro Curtis Sliwa – pictured at right walking through the streets of NYC on his way to Columbia Presbyterian to have his stitches removed – was back on the air at 77WABC yesterday (1/8) after a December 13 surgery to treat Crohn’s disease. Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine that yesterday was the first day he was able to do his daily midday show and the 5:00 pm “The Drive at Five” program since last month’s procedure. Speaking about yesterday’s shows, he says, “It was exhausting and I am sore as a result. But having lived on a variety of pain killers for the past two years I was able to jump right back into the ‘Fire and Fury,’ which I actually read. More importantly I am taking it right to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his opposition to medical marijuana. I will be registering for my medical marijuana card in New York State, which is not easy to get, but for which I now qualify.”
Report from CES 2018. Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the enormous CES 2018, presented by the Consumer Technology Association. He’ll be filing reports from Sin City in TALKERS magazine all week. Check out his notes from yesterday’s action here.
Salem Media Group Announces Executive Appointments. First, Jamie Cohen is the new vice president/local digital. He was most recently with USAToday Network where he was in charge of digital sales. Salem Media Group president of broadcast media David Santrella states, “Providing our clients with multi-dimensional marketing campaigns that include best-in-class digital services is vital to our continued growth. Jamie has the drive and experience to lead that evolution for Salem’s broadcast division and I’m thrilled to have him joining us in this key position.” Second, Lorenzo Caldara is named general manager of the Philadelphia duo of news/talk WNTP and Christian talk WFIL. Caldara was most recently VP/corporate director of sales for Townsquare Media’s WKXQ, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” And third, the company promotes Kevin Anderson from general sales manager to general manager for the five-station Nashville cluster.
Fire and Fury Book/Trump’s Presidential Fitness, Golden Globe Awards/Oprah Presidential Run, Trump Deportation Policy/Mexican Wall, CNN’s Tapper-Miller Interview, Soaring Dow/Bitcoin, North-South Korea Talks, Monday’s College Football Championship, and the NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9). The controversy over Michael Wolff’s Trump book Fire and Fury, the issue of Donald Trump’s mental fitness, and Stephen K. Bannon’s relationship with the White House; Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards and the related chatter about an Oprah Winfrey presidential run; the Trump Administration’s Salvadoran deportation policy and the Mexican Wall issue; the flap over Jake Tapper’s interview with Trump counsel Stephen Miller on CNN; the high-flying Dow and the fluctuating Bitcoin; the talks between North and South Korea; Monday night’s College Football Championship between Alabama and Georgia; and the NFL Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WABC’s John Batchelor to Broadcast from Qatar. Night host John Batchelor is broadcasting his WABC, New York talk show from Doha, Qatar this week after accepting an invitation from the Middle East nation. Batchelor is leading a delegation of visitors including former Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCottter and New York attorney Christopher Nixon Cox. Batchelor is scheduled to speak with high Qatar government officials about regional politics, trends in international trade, and much more. He’ll speak with area ministers, corporate leaders, academics, journalists, students, and artists. And he’ll also provide coverage and discussion about the preparations for the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar. WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Batchelor leads the international conversation in talk radio, so it only makes sense that he places focus on Qatar and the entire Persian Gulf region during his show this week.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk host Dana Loesch interviewed Vice President Mike Pence on her Radio America-syndicated program yesterday. The two discussed tax reform, North Korea, The Golden Globes, legislative plans for 2018 as well as the controversial book Fire & Fury (which Pence referred to as a “book of fiction”). On North Korea, Pence told Loesch and her listeners, “President Trump has been marshaling unprecedented economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea. And to have North Korea literally be willing, as they’ll do later today, to sit down with South Korea – just on the topic of Olympics – I think is a direct result of the pressure that President Trump has been able to marshal on North Korea. And we’re not going to relent until North Korea abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”…..Portland news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” adds the Dave Ramsey show to air in the 9:00 am 12:00 noon daypart. Bruce Collins is the content director for the Alpha Media station and he says, “It’s great to have Dave as part of our lineup giving his wonderful, amazing financial advice.”…..John O’Brien – one half of the “Bax & O’Brien” morning show on Saga Communications’ rock WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts “Rock 102,” is taking time off the radio to undergo and recuperate from surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. The recovery could take three months, so producer Steve Nagle is ramping up his on-air presence alongside co-host Mike Baxendale…..Somerville, New Jersey-based Edison Research announces it has additional office space and promoted a number of employees as part of a significant expansion due to growth in its election and audio research. Edison has been the sole provider of exit polling to the National Election Pool since 2003. In mid-2017, the company was also awarded the sole contract to provide vote count data to the NEP, and many of the company’s new hires will be dedicated to that effort. In addition, Edison is expanding its digital audio portfolio, as the company has seen significant growth in research engagements in podcasting, streaming audio, and the syndicated Share of Ear research series. Edison Research president Larry Rosin comments, “We are honored by the immense trust placed upon us by our election, media, and consumer research clients over the past 24 years and we are thrilled to be able to continue to grow and expand our capabilities. We know we have the right team in place to continue to achieve our objectives.”…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs tells TALKERS magazine she’s celebrating her ninth anniversary hosting a talk radio show. She says, “What started as a once-a-week broadcast on January 9, 2009 has now become a dream come true. Thanks for all your support.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Y108” in Pittsburgh announces two new voices joining the morning drive “Broadway’s Backyard” program. Entercom’s country WDSY brings Jade and Cowboy Curt aboard as co-hosts alongside show host Broadway. Jade has been a promotions assistant, control operator and part-time talent on the station. Cowboy Curt was most recently the control operator for sister stations KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” and KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020”…..The nationally syndicated music morning program “The Bert Show” is seeking a co-host. Brian Moote is exiting after two years to be closer to his family in Los Angeles. Send resume and audio submissions highlighting your personality to firstname.lastname@example.org…..Classic rock WLPW-FM, Lake Placid, New York is sold to North Country Radio for $32,000 cash. The seller, Radio Lake Placid, is represented by Jason James of Patrick Communications…..The latest Westwood One blog post looks at the results from a question asked by researcher Vision Critical/MARU: How many Pandora, Spotify, and AM/FM radio listeners actually hear ads? WW1 says the results indicated “only 54% of Pandora and Spotify listeners pay attention to ads. Advertisers hoping to reach an engaged audience won’t be effective across these platforms. These listeners are using Pandora and Spotify at home, with these services being great for “chilling out” but not so great for engaging with the advertisements. AM/FM radio sees a much different story. On average, 84% of the AM/FM radio audience hears the ads. Whether they are at home, at work, or traveling in the car, the results show that consumers hear what people are talking about when they listen to AM/FM radio.”…..Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner will be the spotlight of a keynote conversation at Country Radio Seminar 2018 on Tuesday, February 6. Emmis Communications’ Charlie Morgan is conducting the interview, titled, “Radio Today with Cumulus Media’s CEO Mary Berner.”
PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s December PPM survey, today focusing on the hot AC format. Looking at ratings movement month-to-month, Kinosian says, “Twice as many stations on this hot AC panel (58%) are down November 2017 – December 2017 (6+) as are up (29%); the remaining 13% are flat. Comparing December 2016 to December 2017, approximately one of every two hot AC panelists in our sample improves year-to-year (51%), while 44% are down; 5% are flat.” During this survey, three hot AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets: iHeartMedia’s WLIT, Chicago; Connoisseur Media’s WALK-FM, Long Island; and Palm Beach Broadcasting’s WRMF, West Palm Beach. See the rest of the report here.
Craig Carton Resigns from WFAN. A day after releasing his first public statement declaring his innocence relative to the federal fraud charges filed against him, radio personality Craig Carton has resigned from his position as morning host alongside co-host Boomer Esiason on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York. As most TALKERS readers are aware, Carton is charged with being part of a Ponzi scheme that bilked $5.6 million out of investors, ostensibly to pay off gambling debts. Carton’s attorney says the government’s case is a “gross misunderstanding of what happened.” Here’s Carton’s statement: “Unfortunately, the unfounded legal issues currently plaguing me will only be a distraction to everyone at WFAN and the show I helped build. With that in mind, I have submitted my resignation to the station and they accepted. I am sad to see this chapter of my life close but know that it will allow me to focus on my family, my well-being and clearing my name, while giving the show the best opportunity to succeed without further disruption. I’ve always felt a personal connection to our listeners and want to thank them for making me a part of their daily routine. I hope they can respect the fact that as much as I want to talk about the allegations against me I can’t at this time. There will come a time when I will be able to speak directly about the case and I hope our listeners will be there.” In accepting Carton’s resignation, CBS RADIO issued the following statement: “We appreciate all of his contributions over the last decade and wish him and his family well during this next phase. We are especially grateful to our dedicated employees, sponsors and listeners for their continued support of ‘THE FAN.’ The search for a replacement co-host for the morning show will begin immediately.”
PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk. Kinosian reports that, comparing July PPM figures to August numbers (all 6+ ratings), “six of every 10 stations on this public news/talk panel are up (60%)…while 29% are down; the remaining 11% of the sample is flat.” Similarly, a comparison of August 2016 ratings to August 2017 shows 60% of stations are up year-over-year. As far as market rank is concerned, there were four public news/talk stations that ranked #1 in their respective markets in the August survey: KQED-FM, San Francisco (which also ranked #1 in the adjacent San Jose market); WAMU, Washington; KUOW, Seattle; and KPBS, San Diego. Five other public news/talk stations finished in the top five in their respective markets. Read the whole report here.
Watkins Named LSM at Cox Atlanta. Sales and marketing pro Mike Watkins is appointed to the local sales manager position at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta radio operations. In this role, Watkins will “focus on developing talent and driving new business development initiatives” for the cluster’s stations, including news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM. For the past 20 years, Watkins has been a media consultant for CMG Atlanta. Prior to that, he spent the first half of his career on the programming side of the business working at legendary stations KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh and WGCI, Chicago. Watkins came to Atlanta in 1993 as the program director of WALR “Kiss 104.”
WTAR, Norfolk Debuts New Lineup; Local PM Drive Show. On Monday (9/18), Sinclair Communications unveils the new programming lineup at WTAR, Norfolk “Sports Radio 850.” The schedule will consist of FOX Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” Dan Patrick; “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”; the local Nick Bailey show; and the Rich Eisen show. Host and PD Nick Bailey says his show will also feature Jason Dick, from “101X” in Austin. It will also include Tim Murray based in Washington. Murray is nationally syndicated as part of SBNation. Bailey states, “We are excited to give the people of Hampton Roads premiere sports talk every weekday. I think the lineup gives a fresh entertaining spin on sports no matter what time of the day you tune in. Plus, local sports talk starting at 3:00 pm will be a nice addition to the market.”
Rita Cosby Hosts ‘Pubs and Politics’ Event at The Cutting Room. This evening in New York City, 77 WABC Radio personality and political editor Rita Cosby hosts “Pubs and Politics” at The Cutting Room on E. 32nd Street. The evening features three of the top New York City mayoral challengers: Nicole Malliotakis, Sal Albanese, and Bo Dietl. Also appearing will be former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke. Appearing to discuss the media’s role in the political scene is CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota. The program will be opened by “Saturday Night Live” cast member Darrell Hammond with remarks and thoughts on the current political environment. WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “It’s hard to imagine a better night of political debate and comedy. The stars come out for Rita, our great listeners, and for WABC Radio.”
Galaxy’s Ed Levine Inducted into Syracuse University’s WAER Hall of Fame. Pictured above is Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine (center) during the ceremony inducting him into the WAER Hall of Fame. Flanking him are Scott MacFarlane (left) and Marv Albert (right). Levin comments, “WAER is where it all started. It’s where my love for radio was realized, where I met my wife (Pam), and where Craig Fox, Ted Utz and I formulated the plan to start WAQX, which was my first real job in radio. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of a class that includes Scott MacFarlane and the great Marv Albert.” Past WAER Hall of Fame inductees include: Bob Costas, Mike Tirico, Lakshmi Singh and former ABC News anchor Ted Koppel. WAER, once a student-run radio station, is a public radio station based at Syracuse University that maintains a student workforce, primarily in the news and sports departments.
Trump Administration’s DACA Policy, Trump Tax Code Overhaul, Irma and Harvey Aftermath, Hillary Clinton Book, ESPN’s Jemele Hill Controversy, North Korea Threats, Ben Shapiro’s Berkeley Speech, Equifax Security Breach, Apple Introduces New iPhones, ‘Racism’ Banner Unfurled at Red Sox Game, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/13). The negotiations between Democrats and President Trump on immigration policy regarding ‘dreamers’; the Trump Administration’s efforts to rewrite the U.S. tax code; the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the prognosis for long-term recovery; Hillary Clinton’s new book What Happened and her current media tour; the controversy at ESPN over Jemele Hill’s statement calling Trump a white supremacist and the sports media organization’s reaction; the nuclear threats against the U.S. by North Korea; anticipation of protests at UC Berkeley at tonight’s Ben Shapiro speech; the Equifax security breach and criticism of the company’s handling of it; Apple’s introduction of new iPhones, including the iPhone X; protesters unfurl anti-racism banner at Wednesday’s Red Sox game; and 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. Country stations KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf” and KSCS “New Country 96.3” brought Broken Bow Records artist Dustin Lynch to Cowboys Red River Dance Hall in Dallas on Tuesday (9/12) to raise money for the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Lynch performed a 90-minute set for the nearly 2,600 fans in attendance, raising $25,750 to help those affected by last month’s Hurricane Harvey…..CBS RADIO CHR KLUC, Las Vegas partnered with Zappos For Good, Lyft and the Salvation Army for a three-day broadcast last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to collect items for Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts. KLUC’s “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” filled five semi-trucks with donated supplies and hit the road this past Saturday for the 1,200 mile trek from Las Vegas to the Salvation Army Divisional Disaster warehouse in Arlington, Texas…..Envision Networks is partnering with Skid Trax to offer “The Ashley & Brad Show” to affiliates on a barter basis. Ashley & Brad are based at KWSV-LP, Simi Valley, California. Envision says the show “targets the 25 to 54 audience with current topics and humor. Radio stations’ music playlists will remain intact – just add Ashley & Brad voice tracks.”…..Jim Dorman joins iHeartMedia to serve as operations manager for the company’s four-station Wichita cluster that includes CHR KZCH, country KZSN, adult contemporary KRBB, and alternative KTHR. Dorman takes over for the departed Brian Jennings…..Milwaukee hip hop outlet WKKV “V100.7” is presenting the 6th annual Cracker Barrel Sista Strut – a 3K breast cancer charity walk that aims to bring awareness to the importance of breast cancer screenings. The charity walk will take place on Saturday, October 7.
BREAKING NEWS: Legendary Radio Trade Publication Writer Claude Hall Dies. Details are sketchy and TALKERS will have more details on Monday morning (7/10), but reports indicate that Claude Hall, the legendary radio trade publication writer who presided over Billboard magazine’s historic “Vox Jox” column during the 1970s and is credited with coining the longtime popular term “Easy Listening” for that particular radio format has died at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas due to injuries suffered from a fall earlier in the week. He had continued to publish the “Vox Jox” column in partnership with veteran talk show host and radio station owner Rollye James as a weekly online newsletter published Mondays specializing in the activities of older and retired radio broadcasters (www.voxjox.org). According to James, “His family was with him and loved him dearly. He loved his friends, students, and colleagues. He remained proud of radio and music stemming from his days listening to radio as a kid.” James reports that she will devote this coming Monday’s column to the life of Claude Hall and post reactions and reflections on his life from many of the broadcasters who knew him. Hall was a prolific writer who wrote books about radio as well as novels. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “There was once a time when Claude Hall was the major source of all information pertaining to the radio industry. He is the founding father of the style of radio trade publishing that has set the tone of this business for the past five decades. I am lucky to have known him and remember what a thrill it was to appear in his columns back when I was a young DJ and PD in my 20s. His love of radio and contributions to this industry are incalculable. He is number one with a bullet!”
Townsquare Media to Acquire Six Western Massachusetts Signals. This deal between Townsquare Media and Gamma Broadcasting LLC and Berkshire Broadcasting Co., Inc. will add six stations and two FM translators to Townsquare’s portfolio. Those stations are: hot AC WBEC-FM, news/talk WBEC-AM, classic hits WUPE-AM/FM (and an FM translator at 94.1 FM), adult contemporary WNAW-AM, adult contemporary WSBS-AM (and translator W277CJ at 103.3 FM). Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We are very excited to announce this transaction which will strengthen our footprint in the Northeast. We look forward to partnering with the Pittsfield team to bring our resources, including our digital and live event products, to Berkshire County’s advertisers and audience, and further build upon their success in the market.” Townsquare expects the acquisition to close in the third quarter of 2017, subject to closing conditions and customary regulatory approvals.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Sub at WFAN Next Week. When out-going New Jersey Governor Chris Christie co-hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm show at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York with the station’s Evan Roberts on Monday and Tuesday (7/10-11), it won’t be the first time he’s appeared there. Christie – a big sports fan and unabashed Dallas Cowboys backer – has appeared on the AM drive “Boomer & Carton” show as a guest. With PM driver Mike Francesa leaving the station at the end of the year, there’s speculation about whether Christie is a candidate for the afternoon show. A piece in NJ.com references WFAN program director Mark Chernoff’s February 2017 comment that Christie is “among many names being considered” as a replacement for Francesa.
SiriusXM Severs Ties with Gregg “Opie” Hughes. After 13 years with SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes is let go by the satcaster. He posts on Facebook, “Humbled by the love and support. Wish I can write everyone back. There is absolutely no justification for my firing. Thats why their statement is so vague. Won’t be sitting out long. Although may take a few days to fish.” The chatter on social media among Opie fans hints that a supposed video of a fellow staffer using the bathroom may be the reason for the dismissal. Regardless, as Hughes indicates above, he plans to continue hosting a show on some platform. When Opie and then-partner Anthony Cumia joined SiriusXM, they had their own channel. A couple of years ago, SiriusXM changed that and the “Opie Radio” show had been available on its Faction channel. Industry watchers remember that Cumia was fired from the satcaster in 2014 after his Times Square altercation with a black woman that devolved into a social media post involving racial epithets.
KTRH, Houston Talk Host Matt Patrick Ends Cancer Treatment. Sad news this week as KTRH, Houston morning drive personality Matt Patrick announces to his audience that he’s ending his treatment for an aggressive case of esophageal cancer. The station’s Facebook page posted the following: “On ‘Houston’s Morning News’ this morning, Matt revealed he has exhausted all options and has discontinued cancer treatments. Matt and all of us at NewsRadio 740 KTRH, and the iHeartMedia family, thank you all for your constant love and support during this difficult time.” Patrick was diagnosed in 2015 and this week’s news comes at the time of Patrick’s six-year anniversary at the station.
Gerry V Returns to Sports Talk Radio in Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer calls Gerry Vaillancourt “one of the first sports talk radio hosts in Charlotte.” Gerry V left the market when the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets left for New Orleans back in 2002, but he’ll return on Monday, July 17 to host the afternoon drive show on HRN Broadcasting’s WZGV-AM “ESPN 730.” Current afternoon host Bobby Rosinski is moving to the AM drive daypart for the new “Wake Up Call” show with co-hosts Molly Cotten and Walker Mehl. Gerry V launched his sports talk career in 1990, working at both WFNZ-AM and WBT-AM prior to leaving the market 12 years later. Read the Observer piece here.
Chicago Stations to Simulcast Spot Promoting Radio Advertising. On Monday (7/10), more than 40 Chicago market radio stations will simultaneously air a :60-second spot consisting of an interview with Wintrust Financial Corporation founder, president and CEO Ed Wehmer speaking about radio as the most effective medium for advertisers. Matt Scarano is chairman of the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland Committee and he states, “The Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland are proud to unite as a group to highlight Wintrust and their investment in radio. Wintrust is a valued partner to our industry and a testament to the results that radio delivers for an advertiser.” The spot will air on a diverse group of radio stations, involving all formats, including music, news, sports, and Spanish language.
CNN-Trump Wrestling Video Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 3-7. The controversy over the CNN-Trump wrestling video, including the blowback the news organization faced after finding the video’s creator, was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was North Korea’s apparently successful test of an ICBM and President Trump’s warning to the hermit kingdom. Coming in at #3 was Trump’s trip to Europe for the G20 summit, and following at #4 was the allegations of Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election. 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 at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
TALKERS News Notes. From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes the news that Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne promotes news director Kayla Blakeslee to program director, taking over for Ryan Wrecker who left to take a talk host position at KMOX, St. Louis. Blakeslee continues to serve as news director…..Kevin McCullough’s Saturday evening “Radio Night Live” supercast (radio and TV) adds new affiliate stations KJPW, Lebanon/Waynesville, Missouri; KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota; WKRO, Cairo, Illinois; and WGNU, St Louis…..The Newsmax TV video simulcast of the nationally syndicated Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo program adds another hour to its carriage of the show. Pags tells TALKERS that Newsmax TV – which can be seen on DirecTV 349, UVerse 1220 (among other cable systems) and online at Newsmaxtv.com – begins broadcasting hours one and two of the show, effective Monday (7/10)…..The Compass Media Networks-syndicated Lars Larson program is now heard on Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-AM, Kansas City as program director Alan Furst adds the show to the station’s lineup…..SiriusXM is presenting subscribers comprehensive coverage of Major League Baseball’s 2017 All-Star Week from Miami, featuring coverage of the 88th All-Star Game. In addition, on Sunday (7/9), it will air the exclusive radio broadcast of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, featuring the top minor league prospects from the U.S. facing off against their counterparts from around the world.
KSPN, Los Angeles Transmitter Site Damaged by Driver Under the Influence. The Thursday incident did not cause any damage to the “ESPN LA” transmitter but the man police took into custody after the incident caused damage to the site’s perimeter fence and started a brush fire in the grass that scorched about an acre. Authorities were on the scene quickly and arrested the man they believe was under the influence. The suspect’s vehicle was in flames when fire personnel arrived and was consumed by the fire.
TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/7) with Karen Hunter, Craig Schwalb and Ethan Bearman. 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); and the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell). Today (7/7), the first series of “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” begins with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter). 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 Networks, Broadcasters 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. More from Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch as we’re tipped that Swick Broadcasting’s hot AC WLKI, Angola drops the syndicated Jeremy Robinson-hosted “The Jeremy Show” and will install air personality Tiny in the daypart with news director Sheila McCrea joining him…..IRW also reports that Federated Media’s Fort Wayne promotions director Sally Allgeier is exiting the cluster and will be replaced by Paige Fransen…..Rincon Broadcasting’s rock KTYD, Santa Barbara announces the addition of Bill Pesso to the air staff as morning drive co-host with current station APD Lin Aubuchon for the “Morning Mojo” program. Pesso was most recently afternoon personality at the company’s sister adult contemporary KSBL “K-Lite.” Program director Dennis Mitchell comments, “We’re thrilled to have two of the most fun and locally tuned-in people to host the new ‘Morning Mojo.’ It’s been a long time coming and we know our listeners will love it.”…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit re-brands the Jim O’Brien-led morning program as “Big Jim’s House.” The station recently added air personality Erin Vermeulen to the program and O’Brien comments, “I am so excited to welcome all our listeners into ‘Big Jim’s House’ with Erin V. and Producer Ryan. This will be my 15th year at WCSX. Everyone on the show has a deep-felt love for Detroit and believes in where we’re going. Our house is full of fun and great classic rock!”