Tag: "Dawn Bennett"
by Steven J.J. Weisman
BOSTON — While his lawyer, Robert Gottleib, has said that he will appeal the conviction of former WFAN sports talk host Craig Carton by a federal court in New York earlier this week, a jury’s verdict of guilty after five hours of deliberations on charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit fraud most likely brings a sad end to a once-promising career.
Carton and his co-conspirators represented to investors that they had special relationships with the promoters of major concerts of artists such as Adele, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Barbra Streisand that enabled them to purchase large blocks of tickets at low prices and then resell the tickets at tremendous profits that would then be passed on to the investors. The truth is that there were no contracts to purchase any tickets and the money received by Carton was used for his own personal expenses including extensive gambling debts.
Limbaugh Sits Down with Hannity on FNC. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh sat down with Sean Hannity on the latter’s FOX News Channel program last night (10/18) for a freewheeling hour in which the two talked about everything from Limbaugh’s historic success as a radio personality, the radical left’s alleged “mob violence” tactics, the importance of the midterm elections, the Kavanaugh confirmation, Limbaugh’s concern for the future of America, and more.
Dibs Re-Ups with ‘The Game’ in San Francisco. Morning drive personality Dan Dibley signs a long-term deal to continue as a host on the “Joe, Lo & Dibs” show on Entercom sports talker KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.” Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Dan brings a unique style full of knowledge and humor to ‘95.7 The Game.’ He plays an important role on our morning team and we are excited to keep him around for years to come.” Dibley was part of the first morning show when the station was launched in 2011. He left the station in 2014 and returned the following year. Dibley works with co-hosts Joe Fortenbaugh and Lorenzo Neal.
Former Radio Financial Advice Host Convicted of Fraud. This story is even stranger than so many of the past cases of financial advisers who bilked listeners to their (usually brokered) financial advice talk shows out of their life savings. The backdrop to the case against Dawn Bennett was tinged with allegations of her use of “hoodoo” spells to prevent authorities from catching her. The jurors who convicted Bennett on 17 counts of securities fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud and others did not hear about her attempts to keep investigators silent through the use of a “hold your tongue” spell using cow tongues nor her spending some $800,000 to pay Hindu priests to pray to keep investigators at bay. But it certainly gave the press something to add to its coverage of the case. Bennett was convicted of diverting millions of dollars from investors – both radio listeners and personal friends – to pay for her “lavish lifestyle.” Her weekly “Financial Myth Buster” program was heard on WWRC, Washington.
More Than 500 Attend OAS and WHO, Des Moines Newt Gingrich Event. Pictured above is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on stage before a crowd of 500-plus at the Iowa Historical Building in Des Moines. “An Evening with Newt Gingrich” was presented by iHeartMedia news/talk WHO-AM and Lee Habeeb’s rapidly growing, nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program (heard evenings at 10:00 pm on WHO).
TALKERS News Notes. Two tidbits of news from Chicago from media journalist Robert Feder. First, all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM weekend anchor Regine Schlesinger is stepping away from the station after a 45-year career there. She left her full-time anchor role with the radio news outlet in 2016 and has been handling weekend anchor duties since then. She first joined the station as an anchor and producer in 1973. Also from the Windy City, at urban talk outlet WVON-AM, general manager Melody Spann-Cooper gets some relief from a Cook County Circuit Court judge who issues a stalking no-contact order against a former station account executive whom Spann-Cooper and her husband Pierre Cooper say has been harassing them. She issued a public statement, “This has been a difficult chapter, having to prosecute someone who once had such great potential in our industry. But history has shown that you cannot take threats and intimidation lightly, especially in the workplace. My priority has been and will always be protecting my staff, my family, and myself.”…..A new podcast is launched on the iHeartRadio platform. “Alchemy This,” a new improv comedy podcast hosted by award-winning comedian Kevin Pollak makes its debut. Pollak is the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and was named one of the Top 100 Comedians of All Time by Comedy Central. Each episode his team of alchemists will act out bizarre comical scenarios, giving listeners the opportunity to choose the settings/scenes…..SiriusXM is unveiling its new Big Ten Radio channel in cooperation with the Big Ten Network and the Big Ten Conference. Big Ten Radio will feature live play-by-play broadcasts from several Big Ten men’s and women’s sports including football, basketball, baseball, softball and more. The new channel’s programming will feature exclusive new shows hosted by former Big Ten athletes, journalists and conference insiders, including former Ohio State star and 2005 Lombardi Award winner A.J. Hawk; former Illinois All-America offensive lineman Brad Hopkins; former Iowa defensive lineman Anthony Herron; former Penn State basketball player Jon Crispin; former Ohio State tight end Ben Hartsock; as well as Jason Goff, Tom Luginbill, Pete Pistone and Matt Schick…..Also from SiriusXM, the satcaster is presenting a special stand-up show, “Ricky Gervais and Friends: A Work In Progress,” featuring actor and comic Ricky Gervais. It will take place at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on November 8. “Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius” premiered on the Comedy Greats channel in October 2017 and featured Gervais interviewing an eclectic group of guests, including musician Noel Gallagher and renowned scientist Richard Dawkins. In the second year, Gervais is expected to sit down with Jerry Seinfeld and other celebrities, as well as friends and fellow comedians…..In the Florence-Muscle Shoals, Alabama market, Singing River Group is buying a station group from URBAN Radio Broadcasting that includes news WVNA-AM, rock WVNA-FM, hip hop WMSR, country WLAY, and urban contemporary WMXV. The price has not been announced. George Reed of Media Services Group was the exclusive broker for the transaction.
The Case of Presumed-Dead Saudi Journalist Top News Talk Story for Week of October 15-19. The case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – presumed murdered for his criticism of the Saudi regime – and the effect on U.S.-Saudi relations, tied with the numerous parties who’ve backed out of attending an investment conference in Saudi Arabia in response was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the November midterm elections and speculation about the 2020 presidential race. Coming in at #3 was Senator Elizabeth Warren’s video revealing her ancestry test results, followed by the Robert Mueller’s expected release of a report on the Trump-Russia investigation 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.
Radio, Real Estate and Real Life: Former ‘Shock Jock’ Carolyn Fox Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the first female radio personalities to be called a “shock jock,” former New England disc jockey and talk show host Carolyn Fox, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, Fox was a major personality on a variety of leading radio stations in Boston and Providence with a growing national reputation in the industry. She is a two-time recipient of Billboard’s Radio Personality of the Year award and has been inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame. But when the 21st century rolled around, things began to unravel for Fox in terms of both her career and marriage. Her career sputtering and simultaneously going through a painful divorce, this mother of two decided to make a major change. She packed up and headed to New York where she launched a new career and life as a real estate salesperson in Manhattan. Playing upon her connections in radio, colorful history, and superb communication skills, she forged a dynamic career in the lucrative but highly competitive Manhattan real estate market as a member of the prestigious Corcoran Group’s sales team. Harrison and Fox talk candidly about changes in radio including what it takes to “move on” and explore the fascinating idiosyncrasies of Manhattan real estate. Harrison says, “Let’s not hide from the fact that the shrinking of the radio industry since consolidation has forced thousands of broadcasting pros to reinvent themselves and find new ways to make a living, not to mention keep their heads on straight. I think this conversation provides an enlightening and even inspirational glimpse into that process.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” in the right-hand column of the TALKERS newsletter and on every page on Talkers.com.
Envision Networks Seeks Talent Booker. If you’ve got the talent, we’ve got the cash. Do you have the contacts to book top celebrities for morning radio shows across the U.S.? We’re seeking a highly motivated, freelance, go-get-’em type to book tours with everyone from Hollywood and TV types to classic rock artists and quirky people making headlines or going viral. Good commissions and there’s no limit to the amount of $$ you can make. Please have at least three years of experience as a talent booker. If you have the connections, we want to connect with you. Send a resume along with a list of celebrities you’ve booked in the past to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programming pro Borna Velic is promoted to program director for Saga Communications’ WHQG, Milwaukee “102.9 The Hog,” taking over for Joe Calgaro, who recently left the station to program Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston. Velic has been serving as music director and afternoon drive personality (with co-host Mitch Paget). He’ll remain on the afternoon show in his new position. WHQG general manager Annmarie Topel says, “Borna has been a major contributor since he joined us and an integral part of The Hog’s success. He has great music intuition and knowledge of the format, coupled with a solid analytical ability that is essential in programming. It doesn’t hurt that the staff likes and respects him.”…..Farther north at Cumulus Media’s alternative WWWX, Appleton, Wisconsin “96.6 The Fox,” the station brings air personality Max back to host the afternoon drive show, effective Monday (10/22). He’s most recently been serving as operations manager at Case Communications’ triple A WLGE “FM 106.9 The Lodge” and classic hits WQDC “Rewind 97.7” in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. He worked at the Cumulus Appleton station group from 2002 through 2009.
Glenn Beck Cuts Workforce at TheBlaze and Mercury Radio Arts. According to a piece by Benjamin Mullin at Poynter.org, talk radio star Glenn Beck has cut the staff at his Mercury Radio Arts and six-year-old news and opinion digital platform TheBlaze by about 20% due to “structural challenges facing media companies today.” In announcing the changes being made at his companies, Beck is quoted stating, “This year has been one of the hardest years of my life. I’ve learned so much about myself, my friends and co-workers, and basic human nature. I have also learned a lot about my business and what I believe it will take to succeed in tomorrow’s America. The industrial revolution took 100 years to unfold; industry-altering change now occurs in days, not centuries.” See the Poynter piece here.
Investigation of Former Financial Talk Show Host Dawn Bennett Turns Up Bizarre Finds. Sadly, stories of financial experts who broker time on news/talk stations and end up being investigated by the authorities for wrongdoing are too common. But the case of former financial talk host Dawn J. Bennett is more colorful than most. Kyle Swenson details the investigation in The Washington Post. He writes that Bennett was being investigated for running a Ponzi scheme when FBI agents gained access to her Chevy Chase, Maryland home last month. In it they discovered biographical information about SEC officials and a handwritten “Beef Tongue Shut Up Hoodoo Spell” designed to – with the help of an animal tongue – prevent SEC officials from providing information about her. There were two freezers inside the home in which there were “dozens of sealed jars, many inked on the lids with the initials of SEC staff” for the purpose of silencing SEC investigators via magic. Arrested on August 25, Bennett is being charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements in loan and credit applications. She’s being accused of using her weekly radio show to raise money targeting “elderly and financially unsophisticated investors by materially misrepresenting the company’s profitability and by claiming the company had the resources to pay annual rates of return as high as 15 percent.” Read the Post piece here.
KILT, Houston Sports Talk Host John Lopez Rescues Harvey Victims. KILT, Houston sports talk personality John Lopez is featured in a piece in USA Today after he spent Tuesday afternoon on a 16-foot fishing boat rescuing people stranded by the floodwaters created by Hurricane Harvey. Lopez told the paper, “These were regular people. They never thought the water would get that high, so you get them out and they just hug your neck and you never see them again, but you feel good you did it.” Read the story here.
TALKERS News Notes. There’s controversy in the sports talk radio world in Seattle after the sportswriters for The Seattle Times were banned from any further appearances on local radio or TV, effective September 5. Why would that happen? SeattleSportsNet.com reports that the edict comes directly from Times CEO and publisher Frank Blethen and revolves around controversies over sports arena projects in the city. Blethen has backed one project and sports talk radio – primarily KJR-AM – has been critical of that project (and Blethens/The Times’ support). Some seven Times writers are affected by this order. Read more about it here…..In Chicago, WSCR sports talk personality Laurence Holmes is also signed up to host Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s game day coverage of Chicago Bears football, starring on the “Bears Pregame Live” and “Bears Postgame Live” programs. Holmes will work with Bears greats Lance Briggs, Jim Miller, and Alex Brown on the shows…..ESPN Radio begins presentation of NFL and NCAA football games this season. Pro football coverage starts on September 10 with a doubleheader – Eagles at Redskins followed by Colts at Rams. College football play-by-play begins this Saturday (9/2) with #17 Florida vs #11 Michigan, immediately followed by #1 Alabama vs #3 Florida State…..SB Nation Radio is announcing that “The Sports Grind” – with host Calvin Casey and co-hosts Rudy J and Salami – launches on Tuesday (9/5) from flagship KTKR, San Antonio “Ticket 760.”
Pittsburgh’s Sheridan Broadcasting Shuts Down News and Sports Arm. According to a piece in the Pittsburgh Courier, the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation has let 10 staffers go with the closure of its news and sports service. Rob Taylor Jr. writes in the paper that Sheridan COO and general counsel Ron Davenport Jr. said they weren’t able to generate the revenue they needed. “It’s a little more difficult than selling cars or something. It’s a unique skill set, so we’ve been searching for some time and we have someone who has been working on our behalf and he’s just been unsuccessful, unfortunately, and we’re not able to continue.” Sheridan had been providing news and sports broadcasts to about 60 affiliate stations. The company is continuing to operate the Sheridan Gospel Network. Read the Courier story here.
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 28-September 1. The devastation caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey and the political issues surrounding the disaster were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump tax reform plan. Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s plan to end the ‘Dreamer’ program, followed by the Trump-Russia investigation 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 on ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Promoting Concert for America. Pictured here in the studio at business talk WAFS, Atlanta “biz talk 1190 AM” is host Dana Barrett (second from left) and performers Hal Sparks (far left) and Seth Rudetsky (second from right).
Walter Sabo Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Noted radio executive-turned-consultant-turned-talent Walter Sabo joins Michael Harrison as guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.” In an amazing conversation that spans the depth and breadth of radio as both a business and pop culture institution, the two broadcasters engage in a free-wheeling conversation that explores Sabo’s recent transformation from a behind-the-scenes figure into an innovative radio personality named Walter Sterling. The three-year-old Sunday late-night show hosted by Sterling, that eschews standard political fare in favor of the day-to-day topics of general life, has grown from a local WPHT, Philadelphia boutique item into a major Westwood One nationally syndicated feature, now clearing on major outlets such as: KMOX, St. Louis; WLS, Chicago; WMAL, Washington, DC; KDKA, Pittsburgh; KARM, Little Rock and many more. This dialogue is a radio freak’s delight and should not be missed. 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. In Louisville, Alpha Media flips hot AC WXMA “102.3 The Max” to adult hits using the JACK FM format. Alpha Media VP of programming Ronnie Stanton comments, “What an exciting day for Alpha Media and the great city of Louisville. ‘Jack’ will be a breath of fresh air both musically and in its fun attitude.”…..Programming pro John Richards is appointed brand manager at Midwest Communications-owned country outlet WDEZ-FM Wausau, Wisconsin. He’ll also host the midday show. Richards was most recently serving as operations manager for Instad Radio in the Yakima, Washington market…..Rob Creighton exits the Ramar-owned station group in Lubbock, Texas where he was morning show host on hot AC KLZK “107.7 YES FM” as well as OM for that station and sister classic hits KXTQ “Magic 106.5.”…..Another Alpha Media flip as sports talk is jettisoned from the simulcast of WRNN-AM/W288DK, Myrtle Beach for throwback hip hop and R&B oldies as “G 105.5.” Sister CHR WMYB “Energy 92.1” program director Zack Williams states, “We’re crazy excited to bring throwbacks to Myrtle Beach. You can take your radio to the beach, cruise up and down Ocean Blvd and have a great time listening to the best throwback hip hop and R&B!”
To Reach Millennials, Get Real. In a column posted today (9/29), media consultant Holland Cooke reports from the recent Maine Association of Broadcasters conference where a major topic of conversation was reaching the Millennial generation. Cooke writes that the news for radio operators today with regard to this generation is a good news/bad news scenario: The good is that Millennials like the idea of an audio-only medium but the bad news is they don’t want it to sound like it did for generations past – they have very different media sensibilities. “Keeping it real” is the mantra for this generation as comments from the “How Millennials Use Media” panel indicate. Cooke reports college-age panelists said things like, “People our age find radio gimmicky,” and, “Authenticity is a huge factor.” Read Cooke’s entire column here.
Talent Rant in Chicago. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, a war of words was started over the weekend after Windy City radio legend Steve Dahl broke out the heavy verbal artillery against WGN, Jimmy de Castro and pretty much everyone who works on air at WGN. Apparently sparked by his take that WGN president de Castro is a “glory hog” (for appearing in the front row during a group photo of the staff and WGN Walk of Fame honoree Pat Hughes), Dahl let loose with his opinion of the personalities and the station. That brought a return volley from WGN morning personality Steve Cochran who wrote an open letter published by Feder in which he asked, simply, “Why so bitter, Steve?” You can read Feder’s coverage of the Dahl podcast rant here and check out Cochran’s reply here.
Kansas City Woman’s Court Victory at Entercom’s Expense Serves Up Lessons for Broadcasters. Friday’s court victory for a Kansas City law student who was incorrectly identified as a “local porn star” by the “Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz” show on Entercom’s alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” provides more lessons for broadcasters in how to avoid falling victim to a (in this case) $1 million dollar penalty for something that could have been avoided. As you are probably aware by now, Ashley Patton was misidentified by the morning show as a “local porn star” after confusing her name with that of a text-message suggestion by a listener who wrote to the show that Ashley Payton put pornographic images of herself online. On Friday, the jury awarded $250,000 in actual damages and the two sides agreed to punitive damages of $750,000, which Entercom will not appeal. Entercom had believed that its hosts had not actually engaged in negligent behavior since the identification of Patton was accidental and the station fixed the mistake as soon as it found out about it, as reported in the Kansas City Star’s coverage of the case. But that’s not exactly what happened. It stands to reason the station may have been able to avoid further angering Patton – and avoid the subsequent lawsuit – if it had acted quickly when Patton spoke with program director Scott Geiger hours after the bit aired. According to court records, during that conversation, Geiger questioned Patton’s statement that she was not a porn star, even asking her, “How do you know that you’re not a porn star?” He also promised to call her back after investigating the incident but never did.
Radio America to Syndicate ‘Financial Myth Busting.’ The weekend program “Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett” is being syndicated nationally by Radio America. The show is described as being “designed to help Americans separate financial facts from fallacies.” Host Dawn Bennett is the CEO of Bennett Group Financial Services and she says, “Our message of being true to what is really happening in the financial world as it relates to geopolitical events has struck a chord with listeners. We’ve brought an array of guests on the show to report on subjects that deserve more attention. Partnering with Radio America allows us to take these important ideas to a much larger audience, and I couldn’t be more excited.” Radio America COO Mike Paradiso adds, “Dawn has a way of cutting through the noise and providing clarity in the cluttered world of financial and economic opinion.”
Accepting the Buckley Award for Media Excellence. WABC, New York-based and nationally syndicated talk personality Mark Levin is pictured here accepting the William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence from the Media Research Center at its 2014 Gala on Thursday, September 25, 2014. Levin joins conservative broadcasters Rush Limbaugh, the late Tony Snow, and Brit Hume as a recipient of the award. During his acceptance speech, Levin made a case for Republican candidates to return to the conservative principles of Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley.
Odds & Sods. In honor of the 25th anniversary of news personality Brian Lehrer’s time with WNYC, the New York public radio outlet is airing a special program titled, “25 Years in 25 Days: Then and Now with Brian Lehrer.” The “five-week series takes a look back at the defining global and local news stories from each year that Lehrer has been on the air.”…..The United Nations Department of Public Information announces the debut of audio news available to broadcasters via its new in-language mobile app. Audio content from the United Nations in eight languages is now accessible. Covering meetings and events at UN Headquarters in New York, UN Radio also produces news features and analyses on a variety of social, political, economic, development and cultural issues involving the UN and its work.