Tag: "David Bellavia"
David Bellavia Named WBEN-AM, Buffalo Late Morning Host. The replacement for longtime WBEN-AM, Buffalo 9:00 am to 12:00 noon personality Sandy Beach is former afternoon drive co-host David Bellavia. Beach is retiring at the end of this month after a long career on the Buffalo airwaves. Bellavia co-hosted the Entercom news/talk station’s afternoon drive program with Tom Bauerle from 2016 through 2019, at which time he took a leave from the station to tour the country on behalf of the U.S. Army following his receipt of the prestigious Medal of Honor. Bellavia is a former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant who joined the United States Army in 1999. He’s been awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the Second Battle of Fallujah, the Bronze Star, three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross. He says, “I have a deep respect for Sandy Beach and am truly humbled to have my own program on WBEN. My goal is to completely reinvent how local talk radio is perceived and make WBEN the place where Buffalo comes together to start their day.”
Entercom Amends Credit Agreement. The company announces that is has entered into an agreement to amend the financial covenants and other provisions under its Credit Agreement solely for the benefit of its revolver lenders. During the covenant relief period, which extends through December 31, 2021, unless terminated earlier by Entercom, the Amendment provides for a covenant holiday for the quarters ending September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2020, among other modifications. Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “We are pleased to announce this credit facility amendment, which addresses the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on the economy and our advertising revenues. As previously announced, we have taken a number of actions to reduce costs and enhance our business model to both weather the storm and emerge stronger. We ended the second quarter in a strong liquidity position with $208 million of cash on-hand, up from $189 million at the end of March. During the 2nd quarter, we saw sequential month-over-month improvement in our revenue performance from April and we see the same pattern of month-over-month improvement in our pacing data for the 3rd quarter. Entercom is well positioned to fully participate in the recovery and the attractive growth opportunities in the audio space, with strong leadership positions in broadcast radio and podcasting, the fastest growing digital audio platform, unparalleled leadership in news and sports, and strong data and analytics capabilities. We will provide further comments on our performance and the outlook for the 3rd quarter during our 2nd quarter earnings call on August 7.”
June 2020 Analysis: Cume & Coronavirus. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents part one of a look at how cume (based on Nielsen Audio data from the June 2020 PPM survey) is shaking out for radio stations during the COVID-19 pandemic with today’s focus on the all-news format. Kinosian’s previous four analyses from the June 2020 survey have used weekly AQH share as the metric. Entercom’s WINS-AM, New York was the highest cume all-news station during the June PPM survey with 1.09 million. You can see how the rest of the nation’s all-newsers fared as well as rankings of all-news outlets based on cume increases from May 2020 to June 2020; stations by cume market rank; and more. See it all here.
COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, GOP Stimulus Plan, NJ Judge’s Son Slain, Presidential Election, Portland Protests, St. Louis Couple Charged, and Sports Leagues Openings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/20). The rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous states and the projections for future cases; the battle between President Trump and GOP lawmakers in crafting a new stimulus plan; the shooting death of Judge Esther Salas’ son and the hunt for his killer; the November presidential race and the controversy over election procedures; the protests in Portland and President Trump’s use of federal troops in the city; a St. Louis couple is charged with weapons violations after aiming guns at protestors; and the attempts by U.S. pro sports leagues to start or continue their seasons were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk personality Freddie Coleman re-ups with ESPN on a multi-year deal to keep him co-hosting the evening ESPN Radio show “Freddie and Fitzsimmons” with Ian Fitzsimmons. Coleman says, “I have been blessed beyond compare to have been with ESPN Radio for 16 years and that I will have a chance to add to it humbles me beyond words. To continue to keep loving what I do and doing what I love at ESPN Radio is something that I never take for granted.”…..Washington, DC sport talk outlet WSBN “ESPN 630 – The Sports Capitol” is joining the Virginia Sports Radio Network. Jake McCann is vice president and market manager for station owner Cumulus Media, he says, “We are thrilled to be the Washington D.C. area’s home for all the University of Virginia’s football and men’s basketball games. The school has a great tradition of excellence in athletics and in the classroom. There are many alumni in the area who will be delighted to hear the games as well as exclusive content we will be providing on ‘ESPN 630-The Sports Capitol.’”…..iHeartMedia and Tenderfoot TV are expanding their relationship to collaborate on nine new iHeartRadio Original Podcasts to air now through 2022. The deal kicks off with the second season of “Sworn,” Tenderfoot TV’s criminal justice system podcast that exposes the untold stories and hard truths behind major cases. Additionally, new investigative series podcasts for the slate will include “MLK Tapes,” produced in partnership with author Bill Klaber, co-creator of “The RFK Tapes,” set to premiere January 2021; and the next installment of the “Monster” podcast series, which has over 100 million downloads with the success of “Atlanta Monster” followed by “Monster: The Zodiac Killer,” “Monster Presents: Insomniac” and “Monster: D.C. Sniper,” set to debut early next year.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The iHeartRadio Music Festival is on this year – its 10th – but the show will be enjoyed by fans remotely. It’s being hosted by Ryan Seacrest will feature live performances recorded on stages in Los Angeles and Nashville in front of a virtual audience that will include a Capital One Fan Wall of iHeartRadio station winners. The two-day festival will be streamed on The CW App, and CWTV.com, and broadcast on iHeartMedia stations nationwide on September 18 and 19 at 9 pm ET. The CW Network will broadcast the two-night televised iHeartRadio Music Festival on Sunday, September 27 (8:00 pm -10:00 pm ET) and Monday, September 28 (8:00 pm -10:00 pm ET). Artists performing will include: BTS, Coldplay, Kane Brown, with Special Guests Khalid, Keith Urban, Migos, Miley Cyrus, Thomas Rhett, Usher and more…..Neuhoff Media promotes Mike Shamus to vice president and general manager for its Lafayette, Indiana station group. Shamus was previously vice president of programming, cluster OM, and PD for country WKOA-FM. Company CEO Beth Neuhoff says, “Shamus, as we all know him, is an exceptional leader. His work with our award-winning programming team demonstrated his capacity for team building and getting the best out of people. When this position came available, he was the natural choice. I know he will lead this market to a new level.”…..Beasley Media’s classic rock WCSX-FM is working to raise $50,000 for Gleaners Food Bank. Morning show host Big Jim from Big Jim’s House will drive 27 hours on a rockin’ road trip from Detroit to Minnesota to raise the money with help from legendary artist Bob Seger. Big Jim will drive a Chevy truck (provided by Chevrolet) from Detroit to the North Star Bar in Minnesota where Bob Seger reportedly stopped and had a drink in his song, “Roll Me Away.” Big Jim will leave for Minnesota on Thursday, July 23rd and upon his return to the Motor City, Bob Seger and Chevrolet will make a $50,000 donation to Gleaners Food Bank of Detroit.
Tom Bauerle Solo Again in WBEN-AM, Buffalo Afternoons; Report Alleges Internal Strife and More. According to a report in the Buffalo Chronicle, talk show host Tom Bauerle is back to being a solo performer in afternoon drive on Entercom’s WBEN 930 AM after co-host David Bellavia left the show with no explanation. The piece says a rift between Bauerle and Bellavia is the reason for the change. It also reports speculation that Bellavia is in line to take over the late morning show from Sandy Beach as he is considering retirement. However, what’s far more bizarre is the Chronicle piece accuses Bauerle of “lashing out at members of his audience” and alleges that Bauerle sexually harassed the wife of a caller to the show. David Bellavia is still with WBEN. A station spokesperson tells TALKERS, “We have adjusted his duties to allow him the flexibility to continue with his Medal of Honor duties. We are incredibly proud to continue our relationship with him and will soon be announcing a new venture with him.”
Quote of the Week. There has been a lot of reaction, positive and negative, to Rush Limbaugh receiving the Medal of Freedom at the recent State of the Union Address. The following quote deemed “brilliant” by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is attributed to Steve Lapa (pictured above), president of South Florida-based Lapcom Communication Corp.: “How ironic is the talk radio world?! The man who was #1 on the ‘No Buy’ list received the #1 civilian honor by the President of the United States. How many agency marketing directors will open their thinking to what great talk radio is about… and the deep influence of great talent?”
iHeartMedia and VSiN Partner with XFL for Sports Betting Audio Content. The new XFL inaugural season begins on Saturday (2/8) and the league has teamed with Vegas Stats & Information Network and iHeartMedia to create audio BetCasts for two games each week during the 2020 10-week regular season and two-week post-season. The BetCasts will feature VSiN sports betting experts covering XFL games live from VSiN’s studios in Las Vegas through a wagering lens. These digital audio broadcasts, available on the iHeartRadio app, will deliver real-time odds, as well as in-depth analysis of the events behind those changing lines to inform fans during the live action of the games. VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musburger says, “It’s great to see a league like the XFL embrace sports betting as a way to drive fan engagement and interest. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the forward-thinking executives at both the XFL and iHeart to deliver the most credible and actionable sports betting content to football fans around the country on the number one audio platform.”
TALKERS News Notes. Retired Orlando talk radio personality Jim Philips authored an op ed piece in the Orlando Sentinel that decries the loss of local talent in radio. Pointing to the recent staff cutbacks and radio leaders such as iHeartMedia and Entercom, Philips says he’s a realist who understands the business is changing, but says, “This doesn’t mean I have to like it.” Philips hosted “The Philips Phile” on WTKS-FM “Real Radio 104.1” for 30 years prior to his retirement in 2018…..Lazer Broadcasting and MLB’s San Francisco Giants extend their radio partnership for three‐years – through the 2022 season – for games to air on its newly launched Spanish sports talk KSFN-AM, San Francisco “Unanimo Deportes.” Lazer Broadcasting chief revenue officer Gerardo Martinez says, “The San Francisco Giants are a first-class organization with legions of faithful Latino fans, and we’re excited to be the official home of the SF Gigantes in Español. The professional sports journalism that ‘Unanimo Deportes’ brings to sports fans is unmatched.”…..The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that “Inside Edition” Emmy Award-winning anchor Deborah Norville will host its 2020 Golden Mike Award dinner taking place Wednesday, March 4, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. This annual event is a major fundraiser for the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to help broadcasters in acute need. As previously announced, this year’s Golden Mike Award honoree will be Dave Lougee, president and chief executive officer of TEGNA Inc. and the Lifetime Achievment Award will be presented to George Beasley, founder and chairman of Beasley Media Group.
Puckett Named Sales Manager for Beasley Southwest Florida; Johnson Rises to National Sales Manager. Radio sales pro Ellen Puckett is promoted to sales manager for Beasley Media Group’s Ft. Myers station group that includes news/talk WJBX, sports talk WWCN “ESPN Southwest Florida,” and four music brands. She’s been with the cluster since September of 2016, most recently as a senior AE. She comments, “As I move into this new phase with Beasley Media Group, I’m delighted to be working with a strong existing sales team. I look forward to using my skills in training and development to help our team introduce new products into the marketplace while continuing to grow our existing core business to provide results for our advertisers.” At the same time, Todd Johnston is upped from his account executive position to national sales manager for the cluster. Director of sales Allyson Hillman says, “We are thrilled to be able to promote Todd to his new role. His talent in negotiating and research are guaranteed to help us win in the national arena in the Ft. Myers market!”
WELI-AM, New Haven Adds FM Signal. New Haven, Connecticut news/talk WELI-AM adds FM translator W245DK to its broadcast, giving listeners to the iHeartMedia station the option to hear it on the 96.9 FM frequency. iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb says, “We are thrilled to be able to increase the reach of these heritage programs to listeners in the northern part of Connecticut. With this new signal, listeners will get to experience our unique programming like never before.”
Impeachment Ends in Acquittal, Iowa Caucuses/Presidential Race, Russian ‘Information Warfare,’ Wuhan Coronavirus, Financial Markets Activity/Macy’s Announces Closures, and Kirk Douglas Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5). The Senate votes to acquit President Donald Trump of the impeachment charges against him; the Iowa caucuses technical woes and the race for the Democratic nomination; FBI Director Chris Wray’s warming that the Russians are engaging in “information warfare” over the 2020 election; the status of the Wuhan coronavirus; activity on the world’s financial markets and Macy’s news it will shutter 125 stores; and actor Kirk Douglas dies at 103 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. At the Cox Media Group stations on Long Island, longtime VP and general manager John Shea is retiring and the company announces that current director of sales Katelin Tinley will assume the VP/GM role. Tinley began her career with CMG as an AE back in 2005. The CMG Long Island operations includes CHR WBLI, classic rock WBAB and its digital media platforms. CMG EVP radio Bill Hendrich says of Shea, “John is the kind of passionate leader that we love at CMG. John loves his team. He loves his stations. And he loves Long Island. We are losing a friend and a great business partner but know that he has worked hard for this day and wish him the absolute best in his retirement.”…..SiriusXM announces that Pearl Jam will perform at Harlem’s world-famous Apollo Theater in a special invitation-only concert for SiriusXM subscribers and Pandora listeners on Thursday, March 26. The special event comes days before the band embarks on the U.S. leg of their Pearl Jam 2020 tour. The concert will take place just hours ahead of the release of the band’s new album Gigaton, that goes on sale at midnight. The concert will air live on the band’s dedicated SiriusXM’s Pearl Jam Radio channel.
Pittsburgh’s All-News KQV to Shut Down at Year’s End. According to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the news does not mean a format change or sale to a new operator – the Dickey Family-owned station is signing off at the end of the year after 42 years as a news operation. Robert W. Dickey Jr. (no relation to the Atlanta and Cumulus Dickeys) tells the paper, “Candidly, I think it’s a sad day for broadcasting.” The Dickey family has owned or co-owned the station since 1982. The historic signal has been on the air for almost 100 years. Dickey Jr. adds, “It’s fair to say we’ve been trying to provide a community service. The bottom line is I just can’t sustain the business model. We’re an independent, labor-intensive format, and we were happy to take it on as long as we could financially do it.” Barring some interest from a buyer or investor, the station – which employs about 20 people – will shut down on December 31.
Hubbard Announces Changes to Digital Leadership. At the corporate offices of Hubbard Radio, EVP/chief financial officer Dave Bestler announces that Jeremy Sinon is being elevated to VP/digital strategy and Steve Goldstein is being named senior director of digital sales strategy. Sinon was most recently the director of digital strategy for Hubbard Radio. He will work closely with Bestler, Hubbard Radio president/COO Drew Horowitz, and Hubbard Radio chair Ginny Morris to oversee day-to-day corporate digital initiatives as well as the strategy for Hubbard Radio’s long-term digital goals. Goldstein will split duties in Washington, DC where he also oversees the local digital sales effort as director of digital sales. Goldstein has been at WTOP and WFED in Washington, DC for the past 11-and-a-half years. As senior director of digital sales strategy, Goldstein will work with the local Hubbard markets to utilize best practices and maximize digital sales opportunities.
WBEN-AM, Buffalo’s Tom Bauerle Recovering from Successful Bypass Surgery. The Entercom news/talk station reports on its website that afternoon drive talk host Tom Bauerle underwent successful quadruple bypass surgery at Gates Vascular Institute on December 8. Previously, TALKERS magazine reported that Bauerle had been experiencing chest pain and, at the insistence of his co-host David Bellavia and Bauerle’s fiancé, he went to a local urgent care clinic and was then transferred to Gates where his heart condition was being evaluated. At that time, Bauerle stated he believed he’d miss time on the air to recuperate and may not return until later in January.
TALKERS News Notes. Embattled public TV personality Tavis Smiley says PBS “made a huge mistake here” – referring to the pubcaster’s decision to cut ties with his firm to distribute “The Tavis Smiley Show” to PBS affiliates after allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against him. Speaking during a live, sit-down interview on “Good Morning America,” Smiley said he’s never groped women nor has he coerced any women into relationships with him. He admits to romantic relationships with women while working on his show but says the relationships were consensual and he can prove that. See the ABC News story here…..An MSNBC spokesperson is saying that NBC made a “separation-related payment” to a former staffer of talk show host Chris Matthews after a complaint of sexual harassment against him. The amount paid as part of a severance package for the unnamed, former assistant producer for the “Hardball” program is in dispute, but the company says after a review of the accusation, Matthews was reprimanded. The Daily Caller reports that MSNBC deemed Matthews’ behavior “inappropriate and juvenile,” but not to be taken seriously as propositions…..Singer-songwriter and Sportsman TV Channel host Andy Ross has just released a new song – one that perfectly touches on the intersection of the holiday season and the turbulent political times – titled, “Make Christmas Great Again.” Ross, who has been a successful host of “Maximum Archery” on the Sportsman TV channel for years, was inspired to release the new song given the political climate. You can hear the song here. Ross makes a great guest on talk radio and is available for interviews. To book him, call Janet Fallon at 703-469-3766 or email her at Janet.Fallon@gmail.com.
California Wildfires, Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Sen. John McCain Health, ATL Airport Power Outage, North Korean Nuclear Program, Pope Speaks on Media ‘Sins,’ The Last Jedi, and NFL Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The now two-week-old Southern California wildfires; Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian agents and Mueller’s acquisition of key emails; the state of the GOP tax reform bill; Arizona Senator John McCain’s health as he returns to Arizona for treatment for brain cancer; a power outage at the Atlanta airport causes massive U.S. air travel problems; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the U.S.; Pope Francis says sensational journalism and fake news are sins; the latest Star Wars film The Last Jedi, and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
“Yappy Tour” Rolls in the UK. Pictured above being interviewed by famed British talk personality (BOB-FM, BBC) Graham Mack in London, England is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016). Duncan, a former producer, chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and others covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.” Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature including: Donald Trump, Omarosa Manigault, David Letterman, Joe Biden, Mike Huckabee, Geraldo Rivera, Joan Rivers and dozens more. Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation and now internationally to both the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on into 2018. Duncan has already appeared on more than 125 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016. Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
Guam Radio Broadcaster Ray Gibson of Choice Broadcasting’s ThePOINT is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Guam, a small tropical island in the Western Pacific, is the farthest outpost from the US mainland of all American territories. Aside from its active tourism industry, Guam is home to a major US military presence and has long played a very important role in American geopolitical interests. It is the American “tip of the spear” in terms of present-day heightened tensions between the US and North Korea. In spite of its remote location, Guam has always been an active market for American-style popular media – especially radio – with a colorful history of outstanding deejays and popular music formats ranging from old-style, top 40 to CHR and adult contemporary. Talk radio in Guam has mostly focused on local civic and lifestyle issues – until now. In recent weeks, Choice Broadcasting has soft launched a new format called “ThePOINT” on KUSG 1350 AM and 93.3 FM that emulates the traditional American conservative news/talk radio featuring a local show in the morning and syndicated national stars throughout the day. Such notables as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Jim Bohannon, John Gibson and others have begun airing in this exotic land of Asian, Spanish and American culture located on the other side of the International Date Line. The morning show that launches in January will be hosted by Choice Broadcasting managing partner and veteran Guam radio personality Ray Gibson who has been spearheading this initiative. Gibson, a Guam native and second-generation radio personality (the son of Bill Gibson), is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Don’t miss this fascinating and informative almost-8,000-mile telephone conversation! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country programming pro T Gentry is moving from Beasley Media Group’s operations manager in the Tampa market (where he also programmed country WQYK) to the company’s Augusta, Georgia cluster where he’ll be operations manager and program director for WKXC “Kicks 99,” effective today (12/18). Beasley Augusta VP and market manager Kent Dunn says, “T has done a tremendous job over the past 17 years at Beasley Media Group. He did great in Tampa, but has decided to return to Augusta to be closer to his family. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome him home to lead our team and ‘Kicks 99!’” Chris O’Kelly remains on staff as assistant program director and music director of “Kicks 99.”…..Charlotte country outlet WSOC announces the 11th Annual Stout Pull Guitar Pull is taking place on Tuesday, January 9 at Coyote Joe’s in Charlotte. The live event will feature Dylan Scott, Midland, and Devin Dawson. Beasley Media Group says the annual show draws country music fans from across the Carolinas to see their favorite artists collaborate in an intimate stage setting. The concert benefits Loaves and Fishes and ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music. WSOC program director DJ Stout says, “The Stout Pull has become a staple in Charlotte for country music lovers. It’s a unique environment with all artists performing on the stage at the same time. We keep the cost of the tickets low, so not only is it affordable, but we also give back to the community through music. It’s a great deal all around.”…..Classic rock WCSX, Detroit received a visit from rock legend Bob Seger last Thursday (12/14). He appeared on the “Big Jim’s House” morning show during which he talked about his new album, I Knew You When, his late friend Glenn Frey, and more. Pictured below are (from l-r): “Big Jim’s House” host Jim O’Brien, co-host Erin Vermeulen, Seger, and midday personality Juline Jordan.