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Friday, September 27, 2019

| September 27, 2019

The WWL, New Orleans-Seth Dunlap Case Gets More Bizarre; Station Accuses Host of Extortion.  According to coverage of this story in the Times-Picayune, the reason Entercom went from an internal investigation of the anti-gay slur tweet against sports talk host Seth Dunlap to turning it over to the police (as TALKERS reported yesterday), is because it believes Dunlap himself sent the text and is attempting to extort $1.85 million out of the company.  The New Orleans police department says WWL believes the tweet was sent from Dunlap’s cell phone.  The police report also notes that the station is accusing Dunlap of threatening to go “scorched earth” over the matter and is demanding $1.85 million in order to get out of personal financial trouble.  The station adds that it has been receiving letters regarding wage garnishment for Dunlap as creditors attempt to collect for unpaid credit card bills and personal loans.  The police are currently working to corroborate WWL’s conclusions.  Right now, they are calling it a possible extortion case.  Dunlap’s lawyer, Megan Kiefer, says Dunlap didn’t have access to the station’s Twitter account and that the station is “attempting to blame the victim of its own anti-LGBT culture.”

New KIRO-AM, Seattle Program Schedule Unveiled. As a result of the semi-retirement of longtime KIRO-AM personality Dave “The Groz” Grosby and the transition of the “Brock & Salk” morning show to a podcast, Bonneville’s sports talk KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” announces its new lineup, effective Monday (9/30).  First, in afternoon drive, Bob Stelton moves from the early afternoon show to afternoon drive with Dave Wyman and Jim Moore for the “Bob, Dave and Moore” show.  Stelton’s departure from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show results in Tom Wassell being joined in the daypart by Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps for the “Tom, Jake and Stacy” show.  Rost is a Seahawks insider who has served as a writer and editor with 710Sports.com and host with KIRO-AM. Heaps played quarterback at BYU, Kansas and Miami.  He had pro stints with the Jets and Seahawks and joined the station in 2018.  That show will be produced by current “Brock & Salk” producer Kyle Brown.  Taking over the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show is the “Danny and Gallant” program, featuring Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant.  O’Neil moves from his current afternoon drive role on the “Danny, Dave and Moore” show and Paul Gallant arrives from Houston where he’d most recently been hosting mornings at Entercom’s KILT-AM.  Jessamyn McIntyre will produce the “Danny and Gallant” program.  Mike Salk leaves his daily show to focus on his program director role with the station but, as noted above, he and Brock Huard will produce a weekly podcast version of their show, beginning next week.  As TALKERS reported previously, Grosby steps away from his daily show but will do a segment with John Clayton at 11:45 am and will serve as a guest host.  He’s also going to have an expanded role with 710Sports.com.

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (9/20).  The new episode titled “Whistle a Yappy Tune!” looks back at this past explosive week of September 23-27, 2019.  Recorded at this week’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC, the show features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine;  Dale Jackson, WVNN, Huntsville, AL; Michael Brown, KHOW, Denver; Gordon DealCompass Media NetworksCasey Hendrickson, WRTC, South Bend, IN; Michael Patrick Leahy, WLAC, Nashville; Martha Zoller, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Dan “Ox” Ochsner, KNSI, St. Cloud, MN; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami; and John De Petro, WNRI, Woonsocket, RI.     This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

SRN’s ‘Battle for America’s Soul’ Tour Hits Phoenix. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network talk show hosts in Phoenix as SRN’s “Battle for America’s Soul” tour stopped at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.  SRN says the sellout crowd of more than 1,000 heard the hosts discuss topics from impeachment to the culture wars.  From left to right are: SRN hosts Larry Elder and Dr. Sebastian Gorka, two unidentified KKNT, Phoenix listeners, Twitchy.com founder Michelle Malkin, and moderator/SRN talk host Mike Gallagher.

Seen and Heard at the Radio Show. TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay reports from the 2019 NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas.  He says Thursday’s sessions focused on podcasting and sales, culminating in the annual Marconi Awards ceremony.  He notes that 139 students interested in radio and media from across the country attended the Radio Show as part of the Broadcast Education Association’s mentoring program.  Executive director Heather Birks says of the 400 or so students who’ve taken part in the last five years, 75% are now working in media and about 50% are working in radio.  Read Jeff McKay’s report here.

2019 Marconi Award Winners Honored. At last night’s awards dinner at the 2019 NAB/RAB Radio Show, the Marconi’s were handed out.  Spoken-word winners of this year’s honors include: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington for Major Market Station of the Year; Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle for News/Talk Station of the Year; and Beasley Media’s WBZ-FM, Boston for Sports Station of the Year.  WBZ-FM’s “Felger and Massarotti” – Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti – were honored with the Major Market Personality of the Year award.  WRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University” was honored with the “College Station of the Year” award.  See all the winners here.

TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Katie Couric is hosting an iHeartRadio Original podcast titled, “Next Question with Katie Couric.”  The show becomes part of iHeartMedia‘s iHeartPodcast Network and will “explore some of today’s most important issues and transformative trends through insightful and engaging conversations that span news, politics, and pop culture.” Topics addressed in the 12 episodes include: ABC’s of CBD, Jennifer Garner’s foray into entrepreneurship, whether ageism is the last socially acceptable “ism,” the eSports universe, and a conversation with a former white supremacist who now works to deradicalize others…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “The Johnny Carson Channel,” on October 1.  The month-long special programming will feature the top, handpicked episodes of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”  The programs will highlight notable classic moments, including the first “Tonight Show” stand-up appearances by Jerry Seinfeld (1981), Jay Leno (1977), and Ellen DeGeneres (1986), and Eddie Murphy (1982). There are also interviews with Lucille Ball, Muhammad Ali, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Billy Crystal, and Oprah Winfrey.

The Impeachment Inquiry Is the Top News/Talk Story for the Week of September 23-27. The Democrats decision to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Ukraine phone conversation flap.  Coming in at #3 was immigration reform, followed by the UN General Assembly and climate change tied 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Sports Talk and Album Rock Radio Pioneer Richard Neer Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  There have been a number of stories these past couple of weeks from the world of popular culture.  They include the milestone of Bruce Springsteen reaching his 70th birthday and the impact of his political outspokenness on how his fans might view him.  The deaths of rock stars Ric Ocasek and Eddie Money – also in their seventies; the disturbing saga of football wide receiver Antonio Brown; and the growing popularity in the podcasting world of the “true crime” genre.  WFAN, New York, sports talk personality Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Harrison describes Neer as “one of my oldest and best friends… and one of my top go-to guys on the subjects of sports, music and crime.”  Neer has been a sports talk show host on WFAN in New York since 1988.  He is also a pioneer of album rock radio having worked in the golden era at WLIR on Long Island and WNEW-FM in New York.  He wrote the milestone book about rock radio titled FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) and has a growing following of fans for his series of murder mysteries featuring the ongoing adventures of Riley King, Private Investigator.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air personality Joe “Flu Season” Lewis joins Cumulus Media as afternoon host and programming assistant at urban contemporary KTCX, Beaumont, Texas “Magic 102.5.”  He was most recently the evening host at Cumulus’ WLZN-FM, Macon, Georgia.  KTCX program director Kelly Mac says, “Joe is a passionate, multi-skilled on-air talent who brings an array of experience to the table.  He not only gets the on-air aspect of radio, but strongly embraces the community as well as the digital, imaging, and branding aspect of radio, which made him a perfect fit for this role.  I look forward to watching him grow and succeed with the Cumulus team.”…..Leaving his brand/content director post with Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH-FM, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” for a yet-to-be-revealed position is programming pro Scott Roddy.  He joined the station in February of 2016…..Below is Premiere Networks personality Amy Brown (right) with Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott (left).  Scott appeared on the “4 Things with Amy Brown” podcast to talk about the band’s new album and the single, “Ocean.”  She’s also a guest on Scott’s weekend radio program, “Women of iHeartCountry.”

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

| August 28, 2019

‘The Groz’ to Retire from KIRO-AM, Seattle Midday Show. One-third of the “Bob, Groz and Tom” show on Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” is retiring from the program, effective September 20.  Dave “The Groz” Grosby announces that due largely to health-related issues, he feels compelled to step down from his position on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program. In a message to listeners on the station’s website, he says, “This past year I simply have not been able to answer the bell enough as it were and missed far too many days of work, and it has been unfair to my co-hosts and to the radio station.  Though my health has improved over the past month I cannot be sure it won’t be an issue again.”  Groz says that he will continue to co-anchor the daily, 11:45 am segment with John Clayton and will also do some fill-ins and occasionally appear as a guest. He adds, “I am also going to be exploring the online world and look forward to being a regular presence in a yet-to-be-determined role on 710Sports.com.  I have been lucky to be a part of the start of two great sports radio stations in Seattle over the past 29 years, but the best part of the job for me has been meeting and having fun with listeners over the years.  I love you guys.”

‘Big Al’ Williams Officially Named PM Drive Co-Host on KOA, Denver. Shortly after Alfred “Big Al” Williams left Bonneville’s crosstown sports talk KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” in March of this year, it was announced that he would join iHeartMedia after sitting out his non-compete.  Now, iHeartMedia announces that Big Al will work with co-host JoJo Turnbeaugh on KOA’s 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  iHM Denver president Tim Hager says, “There’s no bigger voice and no bigger laugh in afternoon radio than Alfred Williams. We are honored to welcome Big Al and his legions of fans to KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM.  Big Al joins an expanded live and local lineup that truly embodies KOA’s new slogan, ‘The Voice of Colorado.’”

New Affiliate Stations Add Erick Erickson’s WGAU, Athens-based Show. The new late morning talk radio show hosted by Georgia media personality Erick Erickson is adding new affiliate stations, two weeks after its debut on flagship WGAU, Athens.  The program is designed to address Georgia news and politics in a way that Erickson can’t on his afternoon drive WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta.  Cox Media Group owns both WSB and WGAU.  New Georgia stations include: WCHM, Clarkesville; WRGA, Rome; WBLJ, Dalton; and WYYZ, Jasper.  The show is distributed by the Georgia News Network.  See erickericksonshow.com for more.

TALKERS News Notes. Detroit radio personality and comic Coco is joining talk WFDF “910AM Superstation” to host the daily 7:00 am to 9:00 am program.  Coco was most recently co-hosting mornings with John Mason on Radio One’s urban AC WDMK, Detroit “105.9 Kiss.”  Prior to that she served with WJBL, Detroit for 17 years. Coco takes over the time slot formerly occupied by the Noah Finley show…..FOX Sports enters into a deal with Skyview Networks to bring USC football and men’s basketball to a broader audience.  USC games are heard locally on KABC-AM, Los Angeles.  Skyview’s Matt Stys says, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to partner again with the iconic collegiate rights holder, FOX Sports.  Skyview Networks is known for delivering sports play-by-play to the hometown fan and the strong Trojan following across the US makes us the ideal partner for the USC growth initiative.  This is an exciting time for USC play-by-play audio and we are proud to be a part it.”…..Entercom and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors announce a multi-year extension for sports talk KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” to serve as flagship station for the team’s radio broadcasts.   Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Greg Nemitz says, “The Warriors are the premiere franchise in this market and have emerged as one of the elite sports brands worldwide.  As the team embarks on a new era at Chase Center, we’re proud and excited to continue bringing our listeners exclusive, unparalleled coverage of the team both on and off the court.”…..SiriusXM is launching a new weekly show on the SiriusXM NFL Radio channel dedicated to the Cleveland Browns that will cover the present day team as well as the storied history of the franchise.  “Dawg Pound Radio” will debut September 4 (airing each Wednesday at 7:00 pm ET) co-hosted by Browns legend Bernie Kosar and longtime Browns radio broadcaster Jim Donovan…..Motor Racing Network is partnering with Spire Motorsports as the sponsor of the No. 77 Motor Racing Network Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, driven by Reed Sorenson, for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend.  The livery (note the calls in this photo) will pay tribute to MRN’s 50 years as “The Voice of NASCAR” and celebrate 11 radio stations who have carried and supported NASCAR racing since the network’s inception.  MRN director of radio partnerships Cheryl Knight says, “Our radio partners are the original ambassadors of Motor Racing Network and this sport.  Every one of our 600 stations have played a significant role in MRN’s growth and success. Having 11 stations air our broadcasts consistently since 1970 is remarkable and we are proud to honor them this weekend by placing their call letters on the No.77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.”

2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade War, Recession Fears, U.S.-Iran Talks, Prince Andrew Allegations, Johnson’s Brexit Ploy, Dorian on Track to Hit Florida Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27). The Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the battle of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the rise in mortgage foreclosures and concerns about a recession; Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says sanctions must be lifted before meeting with President Trump; alleged Jeffrey Epstein victims intensify allegations against Prince Andrew; Prime Minister Boris Johnson asks Queen Elizabeth to shut down Parliament in bold Brexit move; and Tropical Storm Dorian’s possible track toward Florida were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

RAB Visits Scranton, PA.  In what turned out to be an exciting “homecoming” of sorts, Radio Advertising Bureau VP/membership Dolores “Dee” Nolan paid a visit to the Scranton, PA headquarters of the legendary multi-media firm Times-Shamrock Communications where it all began for her in the late 1970s.  Times-Shamrock Communications, established in 1895 by E.J. Lynett, is still locally owned and operated by the Lynett and Haggerty families. Enjoying a national reputation for excellence, the company has among its assets four daily newspapers, six weekly newspapers, and nine radio stations most of which are located in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Nolan was an intern at the company’s WEJL-AM and WEZX-FM during her last semester as a student at Marywood University.  Upon graduation, she began her illustrious career in broadcasting as traffic manager and continuity director for the stations and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.  Today, she is a key contributor to the RAB team’s herculean efforts under the superb leadership of its president/CEO Erica Farber to support the radio industry’s generation of advertising and marketing revenue during the medium’s challenging transition from the analog era to the 21st century digital era.  Nolan (l) is pictured with Times-Shamrock market manager Terry Deitz (r).  To learn about RAB member benefits, please click here.

Wisconsin Radio Station Using JVC Video System for Sports Broadcasts. It is getting easier and less expensive to present quality video and a great example of a station taking advantage of that is non-profit WGTD-FM, Kenosha, Wisconsin (pictured above).  It’s using a JVC system to stream local high school sports via Facebook LiveGateway Technical College owns the station and is using three GY‑HM250SP 4KCAM sports production streaming camcorders and a ProHD Studio 4000S sports production and streaming studio to produce coverage of the games. WGTD digital director and development specialist Troy McDonald says, “The cameras are absolutely incredible. They are lightweight and easy to use.  The picture is so clear – people are impressed.”  In an effort to find a new revenue stream, the station decided to explore new ways to find an audience by covering Kenosha and Walworth County high school football and basketball. With its classical, jazz, and news programming, the radio station attracts an older audience that creates a challenging sales environment.  The station tested the idea using iPads as cameras that were wirelessly connected to a master iPad running iOS-based switcher software.  The system relied on cellular service, so there were a lot of connectivity issues.  McDonald says, “It was just not pretty.  It’s a miracle we generated an audience to prove the concept.”  The Studio 4000S allows for graphics for the score and player names, plus it produces slow-motion replays.  McDonald adds, “It lets us have that feature that heightens the drama and keeps viewers engaged.  The software is so easy to use. It’s made a huge difference for us.”  WGTD covers one game per week during the regular season, plus playoffs.  It a local high school with a communications program to coordinate paid student production crews.  During the year, students also produce local commercials that run during breaks in the sports coverage.  McDonald said the student crews gain valuable experience, while the local student athletes get recruiting footage that looks professional.

Cool Talk Radio Sales Opportunity. In New York City, Salem Media Group is seeking an account executive for radio and digital sales.  Here’s the ad: Salem Media Group is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer” and the legendary WMCA “AM570/102.3FM The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.”  Compensation is commensurate with degree of experience and skills.  This is a fabulous career opportunity for the right individual with one of the finest broadcasting companies in America.  Ideal candidate has a proven track record of success with radio and digital sales.  Interested candidates should apply online and email cover letter and resumes to Jerry Crowley’s attention.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Jon Manley is named APD and music director for Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago. The Chicagoland native returns home from his most recent position with Entercom’s alt-rock KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End.”  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren comments, “The beauty of ‘101 WKQX’ is that when a position becomes available, the talent lines up.  Jon epitomizes the type of talent we were looking for.  He’s smart, has an outstanding knowledge of music, and is a Chicago guy coming home who knows exactly what the audience wants.  He’ll be a rock star on the air and an alt rock star working with [program director] Troy Hanson on the product.”  Manley will also host the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show…..In Denver, Max Media names Rick Thomas vice president of programming and operations in which he’ll lead rhythmic oldies KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5” and hip hop KFCO “Flo 107.1.”  Thomas was most recently operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tampa stations…..Riviera Broadcasting ups Ron “Geronimo” Price to program director for its hot AC stations KMVA, Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona and KZON-FM, Phoenix “Mix 96.9.”…..Pictured below is Dana Cortez, host of “The Dana Cortez Show,” and Déjà Vu, host of the “Déjà Vu Show,” along with listeners and others at the meet-and-greet atop the Empire Hotel in New York City.  The event was the culmination of promotions by the two shows that included giving listeners the opportunity to see “Good Morning America” and hear Chance the Rapper at the “GMA Summer Concert Series.”