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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

| October 28, 2015

westwood one news logoWW1 Partners with CNBC for Tonight’s Republican Primary Debate.  The third Republican primary debate takes place this evening (10/28) live from the Coors Events Center at the University of Colorado Boulder and carries a money theme: “Your Money, Your Vote.”  The debate is being produced for television by CNBC and the radio partner is Westwood One which reports that more than 160 affiliate stations are signed up to air the debate.  WW1 presents some data from its simulcast of the October 13th Democratic candidates’ debate, noting “one out of 10 adults (10.8%), 18+, report listening to the Westwood One News’ Democratic debate coverage, representing over 26 million people ages 18+,” and “one out of 10 Millennials, 18-34 (9.8%) report that they were reached; one of 10 Generation Xer’s, 35-54 (11.5%) report that they were reached.”  WW1 EVP of news & talk programming Bart Tessler comments, “We are thrilled to partner with CNBC and to provide voters access to this debate so they can hear the candidates’ positions on their money and other issues.  We are also filling a void for those Americans who don’t subscribe to a pay TV service or who live in broadcast-only households.  Our radio coverage offers tremendous reach.”

sottolanojeffJeff Sottolano Named VP of Programming for CBS RADIO.  This is a promotion from his current director, programming position he assumed in January of this year.  Prior to that promotion, Jeff Sottolano had been program director of sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  He was also program director at rock WYSP, Philadelphia from 2008 through 2011 when he moved to WIP.  About his new role as VP of programming, CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero comments, “Jeff has made significant contributions to our content platform, not just over the air, but also to our strong digital and live event assets.  With today’s announcement, he will now be better positioned to take a leadership role as we continue to craft our growth strategy, one which is squarely founded on CBS RADIO’s best in class brands.”

kaufmannjustinWGN, Chicago’s Justin Kaufmann Explains Absence from Evening Show.  The host of WGN, Chicago’s 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm program “The Download” pens an explanation/apology for his now-three-week absence from the show. Chicago media writer Robert Feder tips us to Justin Kaufmann’s letter that reads, in part, “I made a mistake.  As a husband, I let my wife and my family down.  And I will also tell you that this issue is between me and my wife.  Also please know that my lapse in judgement was not the reason I have been off the air. The fact that an individual tried to take advantage of my private situation, and make it public, was.  That’s the consequence of a bad decision in the first place.  And for that I apologize.”  Part-time staffers have been filling in hosting the show since October 6.  It’s not clear when Kaufmann will return to the air.  Read Feder’s report here.

paulreidWTEM, Washington Cancels ‘The Man Cave.’  The Red Zebra-operated Washington, DC sports talker WTEM “ESPN 908” will return ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning to the AM drive and has cut ties with Chris Paul and Jason Reid, co-hosts of the seven-month-old “The Man Cave” show.  The program had an inauspicious debut.  Back in late February it was announced the duo would be joining the station’s programming schedule but then the show’s launch was killed and program director Chuck Sapienza exited the station.  Jason Reid is a former Washington Post columnist who’s been critical of the Washington Redskins operation and Dan Snyder owns both the team and WTEM.  There was chatter Snyder was not happy with Sapienza’s decision.  Then in late March the show debuted, two weeks after it had first been planned.  Now, seven months later, the program is cancelled with director of programming Dan Zampillo saying, “Unfortunately we were not able to obtain the consistent level of ratings success needed in morning drive over the last 7 months, and therefore felt the need to make this change.”

ppmunitRound Two of October PPM Ratings Released – Minus Tampa, Again.  The second of four rounds of October 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio is released for 11 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  As was the case in September, Tampa numbers are being delayed.  The September delay (ratings came a week later minus WBRN-FM) was due to a ratings tampering charge against WBRN-FM-based Bubba the Love Sponge.  This time Nielsen only tells clients the reason is for “completion of additional quality assurance steps.”  You can find all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his Twelve Takeaways from this round of data at our sister publication’s site here.  The October 2015 PPM survey covered September 10 through October 7.

wvnjWVNJ 1160 ‘The Voice’ Gets Serious About Competing with Tuned-Up News/Talk Format in Big Apple.  WVNJ 1160 AM – licensed to Oakland, NJ but covering a wide swath of the New York Metropolitan Area — has begun making moves that indicate it is getting serious about becoming more competitive in the nation’s number one market.  The family-owned-and-operated, (Universal Broadcasting of NY) strategically located (in Teaneck), independent outlet pumps out a formidable 20k signal that can be heard throughout much of the Tri-State area including heavily populated portions of New Jersey, New York City, Hudson Valley, Western Connecticut, and Long Island.  Recent additions to the station’s daily lineup, catching the eyes and ears of industry observers, include live clearances of syndicated major league stars Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck (11:00 am – 1:00 pm) and GCN’s Dr. Joyfelixluis Browne (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm).  Both have strong followings in the New York area. Other significant players now on-air include Doug Stephan, Alex Jones, Ian Freeman and Mark Edge of “Free Talk Live,” and Dr. Daliah Wachs, marking a partial departure from the station’s former reliance on brokered programming to constitute most of its schedule.  Many of these changes are being initiated by the hiring of radio veteran and consultant Luis Felix as the station’s director of operations under a management/consultant agreement in which Felix is responsible for the day-to-day operations.  Felix tells TALKERS, “There is still tremendous value in AM radio stations with large market reach.” He explains, “My plan is to appeal more to local listeners while offering the best national talent.  The priority will be to target our local communities and offer opportunities for brokered broadcasts during certain times of the day.  It’s a balancing act that can work.  Just imagine brokered hosts on the same station with the industry’s leading talkers.  Take Jerry Hickey from Invite Health Radio — he’s a pharmacist and nutritionist, but he loves radio.  His radio show is produced utilizing professional broadcast ethics.  This practice helps us maintain consistency in our quest to offer quality broadcast standards.”  Felix adds, “I will also develop and expand our digital offerings so that our advertisers can achieve a better ROI.  Combining top radio personalities with brokered programming, I believe, is talk radio’s winning combination.  By finding efficiencies in our broadcast operations and enhancing our offerings, I may be able to turn things around.  I’ve spent 34 years in this industry and have learned quite a few things.  It’s in my blood.”  Known on-air as Albert Lewis, the gregarious Felix’s career started back in 1981 as an intern at urban powerhouse WBLS, New York working for the legendary Frankie Crocker and includes subsequent positions at WWRL, WNYG and WGBB – all in the New York/Long Island Metropolitan area.  He was also involved in designing the online local news site, DNAinfo.com, for Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts.

herskovitzalHerskovitz: Somebody’s Listening.  Radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes in a column for TALKERS that he believes a lot of talk radio’s “wounds” are self-inflicted.  Not that new technology isn’t disrupting radio (not to mention the TV, newspaper, etc. industries), but proving that digital is an effective advertising vehicle is hardly a slam dunk.  He provides an example from his work of a client so happy with the return on investment in a national talk radio campaign that he’s currently working on a renewal package for 2016 for that client.  Read Herskovitz’s piece here.

carrhowie show logoCool Job Opportunities – Howie Carr Radio Network Expanding Personnel Roster.  TALKERS has learned that the Boston-based Howie Carr Radio Network – producer and distributor of the mega-successful, regionally syndicated Howie Carr Show — is adding to its staff with openings in the following positions: event planners and facilitators, full-time and part-time sales positions, part-time associate producers, and part-time marketing promotions.  Interested parties should email their resumes to Kathy Carr at: Kathy@Howiecarrshow.com.

wgrTalent Search!  WGR SPORTS RADIO 550 is looking for the next great personality to add to Western New York’s sports leader.  Are you talented, creative, driven and focused?  Can you create compelling sports content and do you have a passion for connecting with sports fans?  The ideal candidate will have 3 to 5 years sports talk experience, a deep knowledge of sports teams and the business of sports, plus a strong list of sports contacts.  Must have excellent written and social media skills, work well in a team setting, and be reliable and disciplined.  Are you that next great talent?  Tell us your story and submit your materials including resume, aircheck and written samples to program director Allan Davis at: adavis@entercom.com.

2016 Presidential Candidates/GOP Debate, U.S.-China Military Tensions, South Carolina School Cop Case, Russia-Syria Relationship, Congressional Budget Deal, European Migrant Problems, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/27).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and tonight’s GOP primary debate; the military tensions between the U.S. and China over a U.S. Navy patrol near disputed islands in the South China Sea; the case of a school cop’s use of force on a disobedient high school student in South Carolina; Russia’s military involvement in the Syrian civil conflict; the proposed two-year budget deal agreed to in Congress; the flood of immigrants into Europe and the strain being put on resources in the affected countries; and the World Series between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, December 22, 2014

| December 22, 2014

weismanstevenLegal Analysis: The FCC Properly Rules In Favor of Redskins.  The Federal Communications Commission’s decision last week to grant license renewal to radio station WWXX-FM, Buckland, Virginia, despite objections filed with the commission centering around the team’s Redskins name, was greeted with approval from TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman.  In a column posted today (12/22), Weisman writes that – whether one agrees that the team name is offensive or not – the FCC’s decision was the correct one.  “The objection to the renewal tried to twist legal terms totally beyond their meaning.  The objectors argued that the term ‘Redskins’ was obscene.  Obscenity is not permitted on the public airwaves and continuing use of obscenity on a radio station would legitimately be a ground for denying a renewal of license.  Obscenity may be in the eye of the beholder to some people, but not in the eyes of the established law, and the FCC rules and regulations which limit obscenity to the depiction or description of sexual conduct.”  Read Weisman’s entire explanation of the decision here.

alphamedia logoAlpha Media Enters Shreveport and Tyler-Longview with Access 1 Acquisition.  The nine radio stations owned by Access 1 Communications in the Shreveport, Louisiana and Tyler-Longview, Texas markets are being purchased by Alpha Media for an undisclosed sum.  The stations – which Alpha will begin to operate under an LMA effective January 1, are: hip hop KBTT, gospel KOKA, urban contemporary KDKS, oldies KLKL, and classic rock KTAL in Shreveport; and country KKUS, adult contemporary KOOI, regional Mexican KOYE, and country KYKX in Tyler-Longview.  Alpha notes that when all pending deals are complete, it will own and operate 83 stations.  Alpha chairman Larry Wilson states, “I’ve known [Access 1 president and CEO] Chesley Maddox-Dorsey for a long time.  She’s a great person with superb integrity and it’s a tremendous honor for us to be buying stations from Access 1.  I’ve been continually impressed with the quality of people I’ve met and their passion for the industry; it fits right in our sweet spot for live and local radio and we are very much looking forward to the acquisition.”

Odds & Sods.  The digital broadcast of “The Anthony Cumia Show” is being repped by AdLarge Media.  Cumia – longtime partner of SiriusXM’s Gregg “Opie” Hughes – left the satcaster in August and recently debuted his digital video show…..WOAI, San Antonio-based Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo agrees to a new contract with iHeartMedia.  He’s also heard on other iHeartMedia stations…..Oldies WVLZ-AM, Nashville will flip to sports talk on January 5 using programming from Yahoo! Sports Radio.

burtonbillRemembering Bill Burton. Holiday festivities were dampened over the weekend by the news that the industry lost a genuine cheerleader.  Particularly to those in Michigan radio sales circles, the name Bill Burton is legendary, as was his insistence that salespeople always “be fabulous.” Cause of death for the 85-year-old Burton was head injuries resulting from a fall at his home this past Tuesday (12/16); he passed away on Saturday (12/20). As president and chief operating officer of the Detroit Radio Advertising Group, Burton’s primary responsibility was to sell radio at the decision-making level.  In fact, he preferred to be called a “radio cheerleader,” “professional product mover,” or “people builder,” rather than the aforementioned impressive title he held the past quarter of a century.  “Why Radio” was the underlying theme to the countless presentations the Detroit native would make around the country.  Credited with originating the line, “An automobile is a radio with four wheels,” Burton would stress 91% of drivers listen in their cars, making them a “captive audience” for advertisers.  Radio is the “frequency medium,” he would insist and “frequency is paramount in selling.”  Burton started his radio career as an AE at Eastman Radio, where he would eventually become president and chairman.  A 2002 Michigan Broadcast Hall of Fame inductee, Burton entered the Adcraft Hall of Fame in 2005.  He held a degree in business and economics from Michigan State University (MSU 10 years ago presented him the Lifetime Achievement Award from its Broad College of Business), and Burton attended law school at the University of Michigan, before joining the Army.  Among Burton’s many non-industry accomplishments was successfully completing the Boston Marathon.

Nashville Broadcaster Teddy Bart Dies at 78.  Nashville radio and TV legend Teddy Bart died on December 21 at age 78.  According to his obit in The Tennessean, Bart’s shows were known for defining “the discussion of Nashville’s political and business heavyweights.”  In addition to work on local television stations, Bart was part of the long-running “Waking Crew” on WSM-AM.  He also hosted “Teddy Bart’s Round Table” with co-host Karlen Evins several stations in the market.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is currently looking for a passionate and innovative individual to join our team in the role of Web Developer.  This is a big year for Greater Media technology where you can be part of rolling out all-new, state-of-the-art brand experiences for some of the best radio stations in Charlotte: News/Talk 1110 WBT, 107.9 The Link, and The Bob & Sheri Network.  You must have a solid grasp of and demonstrated experience with modern web technologies and standards such as HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery. You must also be a proficient developer in PHP and MySQL. Experience with WordPress and WordPress plugin development along with a minimum of 2 years’ experience is required.  The daily activities of this position include: Designing and developing new digital experiences, features and functionality for our programming and promotions departments across our radio stations’ web and mobile app properties; Collaborating with our sales department to create and traffic engaging advertising opportunities for our clients; Talking to people.  Seriously, you’ll interact in some form or fashion with just about everyone in the company so you’ll need to have “people skills.”  So, if you’ve got a great eye for digital design and terms like responsive design, Node.js, git, Bootstrap and API integration get you excited, please reach out to us!  Please send your cover letter and resume to: Greater Media Charlotte, WBT/WLNK Human Resources, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC  28208. hired@gmclt.com  704-338-3079 (fax) No phone calls please. EOE.

Legal Analysis: FCC Properly Rules in Favor of Redskins

| December 22, 2014

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS 
Legal Editor

 

weismanwriterBOSTON — There has been much discussion in recent years about the use of the name “Redskins” for the NFL’s Washington franchise and I believe that such discussion is a healthy exercise of free speech.  The propriety of the name “Redskins” was even determined last June to be inappropriate for continued trademark protection because the name disparages a group.   That decision is presently under appeal.

However, one place that the discussion of the propriety of the name had absolutely no business being discussed was at the FCC during the course of an objection to the radio station license renewal application of Washington, DC radio station WWXX-FM.  This radio station is owned by Dan Snyder, the owner of the NFL’s Redskins, and is part of the team’s radio network.  An objection was filed by a law professor and others to the license renewal, as was his or anyone else’s right.  However his reasoning was totally spurious as recognized by the FCC which showed a little political testosterone and rightfully rejected all of the professor’s objections and renewed the application of WWXX-FM.

Read More

Friday, December 19, 2014

| December 19, 2014

redskins logoSnyder Scores FCC Victory. Ruling that the name of the NFL‘s Washington, DC franchise does not fall under its definition of profanity and it is not equivalent to obscenity, the FCC on Thursday (12/18) refused to order radio and television stations to cease using the team’s Redskins moniker. George Washington University Law School professor of public interest law John Banzhaf is behind the challenge and he comments, “Virtually everyone seems to assume that no radio or television station which repeatedly and unnecessarily used racial slurs on the air would be allowed to continue broadcasting, much less have its valuable broadcasting license renewed.  All we seek is that Native Americans be given the same protection as African Americans, Asians, and other racial and ethnic groups.”  An appeal of Thursday’s decision within the agency and subsequently to the U.S. Court of Appeals is likely. Dan Snyder – who owns the Washington team as well as Red Zebra flagship WTEM – insists he will not change the franchise’s nickname.

pinskydrew

Cumulus Media Expands Relationship with Dr. Drew.  As part of a new, expanded relationship with Dr. Drew Pinsky and radio co-host Mike Catherwood, the “Dr. Drew Midday Live with Mike Catherwood” show will air on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles beginning in early January.  At the same time, the company’s Westwood One syndication division also will begin syndicating “Loveline” starting January 1.  “Loveline” will now be airing on a total of 35 Cumulus-owned stations.  According to Cumulus, thekabclogo new KABC midday show will “offer LA listeners unique access to Dr. Drew’s comprehensive advice on a broad range of topics.  Listeners will be encouraged to call in Monday through Friday and enter the discussion with one of the country’s most trusted physicians and media personalities.”  Westwood One currently handles ad sales for “Loveline” and beginning January 1 will also be responsible for syndicating the nightly show to local radio stations nationwide.  “Loveline” will continue to be available digitally via PodcastOne.  Drew Pinsky comments, “I’m really looking forward to becoming part of the Cumulus family and proud to be on the air at the legendary KABC in Los Angeles.  It will be a great platform to connect with listeners during the daytime.  And while ‘Loveline’ continues to be anchored at KROQ, I am thrilled that the show is expanding into new markets at night.  This is a tremendous opportunity and I am grateful.”

businessrockstars radioBusiness Rockstars Welcomes Andy Schuon as Investor, New Board Member.  The multi-platform network Business Rockstars LLC announces media heavyweight Andy Schuon has made an equity investment in the company and has joined the board of directors.  Schuon rejoins longtime collaborator Steve Lehman, chairman of the Business Rockstars, along with co-founder and president Ken Rutkowski, who hosts “Business Rockstars,” the company’s flagship daily radio and television program.  The company says Schuon brings decades of experience to Business Rockstars.  He is co-founder of REVOLT Media & TV with Sean “Diddy” Combs.  Schuon previously programmed KROQ, Los Angeles and served as EVP, programming and production at MTV, MTV2 and VH1.  He also was CEO of pioneering Sony/Universal online music subscription service Pressplay (now Napster).  He worked with the world’s top artists as executive vice president/general manager of Warner Bros. Records, was the head of digital and president, Artist Services at Live Nation/Ticketmaster, president of Infinity Broadcasting and has served on the boards of Premiere Networks, Hot Topic Stores, iLike.com, and Coinstar/Redbox’s new ventures.  Lehman says, “Andy and I have a long history of success together, so his joining our board is a homecoming of sorts.  With Andy on our board of directors, our already rapidly growing entrepreneurial media, mobile and social platform will be kicked into overdrive.  Andy is a world class visionary when it comes to building networks, so we look forward to his contributions as we amplify the culture around entrepreneurial content and programming.”

Odds & Sods.  Sports talker KXTG-AM, Portland “750 The Game” is now being heard on the FM dial on translator K274AR at 102.9.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “Adding the FM frequency to our sports station will not only help increase revenue and ratings but will play a key role in opening up new live and local kxtg logoopportunities.”…..Play-by-play for Houston Astros games will continue to air on iHeartMedia’s KBME, Houston for the next four years as the two sides agree on a contract renewal.  KBME is also the flagship for the NBA’s Houston Rockets…..ESPN Radio continues its coverage of college football with a 30-game postseason bowl schedule that will include all matchups from the inaugural College Football Playoff and the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented to take place on January 12.  Veteran play-by-play voice Mike Tirico will call the final alongside analyst Todd Blackledge, with reporters Holly Rowe and Joe Schad…..SiriusXM is also on board for college football as the satcaster will offer broadcasts of 35 bowl games including all three games of the College Football Playoff.

pavlinahannityPavlina Returns ‘Most Interviews’ Crown to U.S.  Teen talk host Pavlina Osta (pictured here with Sean Hannity at Talkers New York 2014) has returned the “most interviews” world record to the United States interviewing 347 people in 24 hours to claim the Guinness World Records title.  The record was set at the Walmart in Port Orange, Florida.  Each interview consisted of a minimum of five questions and every question was unique.  The entire 24-hour period (on 11/22-23) was broadcast live on Ustream.tv and via Live365.  For each interview conducted, Pavlina donated one can of pet food to Sophie’s Circle. The previous record holder, Claudio Siepi of Italy had 256 interviews and had held the record since 2012.

sonyradioWalking the Walk.  Media consultant Walter Sabo posted a timely sentiment on his Facebook page for holiday season shoppers.  Sabo’s message shows a picture of a portable Sony radio and the caption reads: “To those of you who love radio and talk about radio all the time I hope you are in fact giving something like this to every single person you know.”

stockMenorahAlan Stock Emcees Menorah Lighting.  KDWN, Las Vegas morning personality Alan Stock is pictured here in downtown Summerlin, Nevada at the community’s Menorah lighting ceremony on December 16.  Stock says almost 300 people turned out for the ceremony braving chilly temperatures.

North Korea-Sony Pictures Hack Case Tops Talkers TenTM This Week.  The hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer system – possibly by North Korean operatives – and the threats against the release of the new film The Interview, was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of December 15-19.  Coming in at #2 was the renewed Cuba relations issue.  At #3 was the Taliban school massacre in Pakistan tied with ISIS violence followed by the Sydney café siege 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 at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

| December 18, 2014

podcastone logoPodcastOne, Associated Press Enter Into Collaboration. The arrangement will deliver real-time news reports in on-demand podcasts. PodcastOne chairman and chief executive officer Norm Pattiz comments that, “The podcast industry is moving faster than ever [and] this is another example of PodcastOne investing heavily in the future of the platform. This has never been done before, because there has never been a podcast platform with the technology, excellent content, and sheer number of shows with enough audience to cover all time-periods every day of every week. The Associated Press recognizes the opportunity, and it will be a great to work with. This cutting-edge movement is another step in the digital evolution of spoken-word audio.” Director of broadcast markets for The Associated Press Michael Fabiano remarks, “We are very pleased to provide AP news and information for PodcastOne and industry pioneer Norm Pattiz. The Associated Press has multiple forms of content, including text, images, video, audio and assignment services for a variety of emerging digital platforms.” Starting next month (January 2015), PodcastOne will be able to make the most current 60-second AP news feature available to listeners at the exact time the podcast is downloaded.

parkerdonParker Picks Up Sacramento Duties. In addition to overseeing programming for iHeartMedia‘s six San Francisco stations, vice president of programming Don Parker expands his role to include the company’s six-station Sacramento cluster.  iHeartMedia executive vice president of programming Brad Hardin comments, “Don’s programming leadership in San Francisco has resulted in significant increased listenership and engagement for our brands.  The additional responsibility for our Sacramento stations is well deserved and I look forward to partnering with Don to grow our reach in Northern California.”  According to Parker, “Our Sacramento stations have evolved greatly.  With market veteran John Geary at the helm, our leadership team and talent in the Sacramento market is shaping up to be among the best in the business.  I am grateful to iHeartMedia for the amazing opportunity.”  The six Sacramento stations involved include country KBEB “B-92.5”; news/talk hybrid KFBK-AM/FM; rhythmic hot AC KHYL “The Beat of Sacramento”; adult hits KQJK “Jack-FM”; and talk KSTE “Talk 650.”  Parker joined iHeartMedia San Francisco in 2009 as operations manager.  He previously was NextMedia‘s vice president of programming and has been a PD in Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Fresno.

toscanoNewscastWestwood One News Debuts.  Pictured here doing the very first newscast for the new Westwood One News is correspondent Michael Toscano.  The new news service was announced by Cumulus Media earlier this fall and is “powered” by CNN.  The company says Westwood One News was “the only network bureau and staff reporting out of Cuba Wednesday on the major breaking story of a change in relations and the release of Alan Gross – held hostage for five years.”  WW1 also says correspondent Steve Kastenbaum was in Philadelphia, reporting live on the unfolding story of six people shot dead and the killer’s subsequent suicide.

foxnewsradioWYD Media Ad Sales to Rep Fox News Radio Shows.  Beginning on December 29, the national advertising sales for Fox News Radio’s long-form talk shows – John Gibson, Alan Colmes, Tom Sullivan, Kilmeade & Friends and “Fox News Sunday” – will be handled by WYD Media Ad Sales.   WYD will provide customizable opportunities for the ad community while also developing alternative programming options.  WYD Media Ad Sales president John Murphy says, “This is a great way to kick off the New Year.  Fox News Radio is a powerful brand, particularly within the spoken-word format.  Their on-air personalities are proven brand influencers who provide a loyal audience to the advertising marketplace.”  Fox News Radio is currently repped by Westwood One.

deckerjonTwo Join Fox News Radio.  Joining the Fox News Radio operations are Jon Decker and Gurnal Scott.  Decker comes aboard as a White House correspondent based in Washington.  Scott will serve as a national correspondent.  At the same time, Fox News Radio’s Jessica Golloher transitions from her role as a national reporter based in New York to Middle East correspondent based in Jerusalem.

Odds & Sods. WBAL, Baltimore welcomes Clinton Box as general sales manager.  He arrives at the Hearst Radio talk station from similar duties at iHeartMedia San Francisco…..As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Chicago journalist Dan Miller is taking over the hosting duties of the television version of the syndicated “Beyond the Beltway” program as Bruce DuMont steps down from that role.  DuMont will still host the radio edition of the show.

yahoosportssmallFour New Air Personalities Join Yahoo! Sports Radio.  With the New Year, Yahoo! Sports Radio welcomes four new talents to the lineup: longtime sports talk host Anthony Pepe daily from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Matt Perrault for weekends 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm; Tim Murray for Sundays 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm; and Jason McIntyre for Sundays 11:00 am to 2:00 pm (all times ET).  Perrault will put the spotlight on the week in sports and Murray will focus on professional and college football and college hoops.  McIntyre is founder and publisher of The Big Lead and will provide a roundup of the week’s sports headlines and entertainment.

Sony Pictures Hack Case, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Cuba Relations Issue, Russian Economy/Sinking Oil Prices, Taliban School Massacre, and Battle Against ISIS Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17).  Sony Pictures’ decision to halt the Christmas Day release of “The Interview” after the company’s computers were hacked and theaters threatened with violence; the potential candidates for president in 2016; a call by President Obama to renew relations with Cuba; the troubled Russian economy and the sinking price of oil; the massacre of more than 150 school children in Pakistan by the Taliban; and the battle against ISIS were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.