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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

| August 18, 2021

RTDNA Announces Winners of 2021 National Edward R. Murrow Awards. The Radio Television Digital News Association announces the national winners of the 2021 Edward R. Murrow Awards that recognize more than 100 outlets for outstanding work in digital, radio and television journalism in technical and editorial categories. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley states, “A core pillar of RTDNA is celebrating the best in journalism, and one of the ways we do that is through the Edward R. Murrow Awards. This year especially, we are honored to recognize outstanding achievements in broadcast and digital journalism. The past 18 months have been some of the most challenging in the history of our profession, and these recipients — among thousands of other journalists — clearly fulfilled their obligations to serve the public.” There were more than 5,200 entries this year. In May, RTDNA recognized more than 750 winners of the Regional Murrow Awards, which automatically advanced to the national competition. Eight organizations received national awards for Overall Excellence in their categories, including ABC News in the Radio Network category. ABC News was also honored with wins for: Breaking News – COVID-19: President Trump Tests Positive, for its overnight coverage of President Trump’s positive COVID test; Continuing Coverage – A Nation Divided, for its reporting on the murder of George Floyd and the protests and anger that swept the nation; News Series – Pandemic: A Nation Divided, which covered the pandemic’s significantly worse impact on communities of color and working class America; and Investigative Reporting – Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein, for the ABC News Investigative Unit’s podcast on the investigation into Epstein. Two Audacy radio stations were winners with KRLD “Newsradio 1080” recognized for its coverage of the protests against the death of George Floyd and police brutality in the award’s Breaking News Coverage in Large Market Radio category and KMOX, St. Louis “News Radio 1120” receiving top honors in the award’s Newscast in Large Market Radio category for its “Total Information AM 7:00 a.m.” newscast on March 18, 2020. You can see the complete national winner list here.

iHeartMedia Flips KBRU-FM, Oklahoma City to Sports Talk as ’94.7 The Ref.’ In a deal with SportsTalk Media’s KREF-AM, Norman, Oklahoma, iHeartMedia flips its KBRU-FM, Oklahoma City from rock to sports talk and is simulcasting KREF’s 6:00 am to 6:00 pm schedule on KBRU and re-brands it “94.7 FM The Ref.” From 6:00 pm to 6:00 am, KBRU will air FOX Sports Radio programming including: Chris Broussard, Rob Parker, Jason Smith, Mike Harmon and Ben Maller. iHeartMedia area president for Oklahoma Jon Phillips states, “We are thrilled to enter the sports talk arena with such an outstanding lineup. This talent base is very aligned with Oklahoma University sports and we feel this will give us a unique advantage in creating content that is focused on the biggest sports entity in the state. Hats off to SportsTalk Media in Norman for collecting and producing such compelling radio. We feel this partnership will greatly benefit both parties and ensure that Sooner fans can get reliable, accurate and timely coverage.” The station’s lineup is: Toby Rowland and TJ Perry in AM drive, Chris Plank and Josh Helmer from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, Mike Steely and Parker Thune from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm, Teddy Lehman and Tyler McComas from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, followed by FOX Sports Radio shows “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker,” “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon,” The Ben Maller Show,” “Outkick The Coverage.”

Cumulus Media Dallas Announces Sales Promotions. There are a number of promotions and appointments to report from the Cumulus Media Dallas station group. With the retirement of the cluster’s director of sales Alec Drake at the end of this month, new positions effective September 1 include Dawn Girocco rising from her director of sales post for three of the cluster’s music outlets to VP of sales for the entire six-station group. Filling her role with the three music outlets is Dean Canter, who becomes general sales manager. On the spoken word side, RJ Lane rises from general sales manager for sports talk KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket,” news/talk WBAP-AM, and news/talk KLIF-AM to director of sales for the stations. Also, Steve Holm is promoted from sales manager for the spoken word stations to general sales manager and Janet Dupree, digital sales manager, remains in charge of the station cluster’s digital sales efforts. Cumulus Dallas/Houston regional VP Dan Bennett says, “Dawn Girocco’s vast experience as a DOS and market manager made her a great choice to lead our Dallas sales operation as our new VP of sales. Dawn is an around-the-clock engaged manager who is accessible to our sellers 24/7. She has earned this opportunity and our sales team will benefit greatly from her leadership. I cannot begin to thank Alec Drake enough for his huge contributions over the years to our organization. He has been an incredible leader – especially through the Covid pandemic. Keeping Cumulus Dallas as the company’s top revenue market has always been our goal and Alec pushed the limits every day to ensure we kept that position. Thank you, Alec, from our entire team!”

Gracie Awards Gala Moves to Virtual Celebration. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that the 46th annual Gracie Awards Gala, originally scheduled for Monday, September 27, is being moved to a fully virtual celebration. Details of the air date and streaming are being finalized to ensure the best experience to recognize all winners in an important year as AWM’s 70th anniversary. AWMF president Becky Brooks says, “Gracie winners are responsible for creating and telling the important stories of the most compelling content in our history. We were informed, enlightened, and entertained by women in media across all platforms. Our focus remains celebrating this incredible group of women who have demonstrated their commitment to sharing emotionally charged, timely, and compelling content. While our goal was to be in person in September, we are thrilled to bring our winners to the world.”

TALKERS News Notes. KIVA-AM, Albuquerque station owner and talk host Eddy Aragon is running for mayor of the city. According to KOAT-TV, Aragon has gathered enough signatures to run in this November’s election though he’s still waiting for certification from the county clerk. Aragon is challenging incumbent Mayor Tim Keller. Sheriff Manny Gonzales is also running as a Republican. If none of the three candidates get 50% of the vote, the two with the most votes face a run-off election. Aragon tells the station, “I just want to live in a better place. And, when there wasn’t anybody there that was speaking up for the conservatives, the Republicans and the independents out there, that’s when I immediately jumped on board.”…..Virtual News Center adds Legend Communications of Wyoming, LLC radio stations KLGT, KBBT, KZZS, and KHRW in Sheridan, Wyoming to its roster of affiliate stations. Virtual News Center will provide newscasts for all four stations anchored daily by Lisa Rodman and Jim Taylor. Virtual News Center CEO Joel Dearing says, “We are excited to expand with Legend Communications. We currently do news for their station in Gillette and have now added their stations that serve the Sheridan market. Brady Sasfranek has a strong cluster and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”…..Audacy and the NFL’s Washington Football Team have announced a new radio broadcast partnership in which Spanish hits WLZL, Washington “El Zol 107.9” will air the Spanish broadcast for all of the team’s regular and postseason games. Spanish broadcasts had previously aired on sister station WJFK-AM, “El Zol Deportes” for the past three seasons

Taliban Takes Afghanistan, COVID-19 Stats & Mandates, COVID Booster, Western Drought & Wildfires, and Gavin Newsom Recall Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/17). The Taliban takes control of Afghanistan and former President Donald Trump’s media appearances blaming President Joe Biden; the rise of COVID-19 cases in numerous U.S. states and the controversy over mask and vaccine mandates; the expectation the U.S. will recommend COVID booster shots after eight months; the drought and wildfires plaguing the U.S. West; and the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

| August 2, 2017

CBS News Radio and Skyview Partner.  Another big network news deal for Skyview Networks after the company announced its renewed deal with ABC Radio last week.  This partnership with CBS News Radio for distribution, inventory management and sales begins on January 1 of 2018.  A press statement says, “The new exclusive multi-year agreement will enable CBS News Radio to further strengthen its direct relationship with its prominent family of affiliated stations and control its affiliate relations, marketing, sales, distribution and best-in-class technology in-house.”  Skyview president Ken Thiele says, “We are proud to forge a new partnership with CBS News Radio.  This agreement powers CBS News Radio on sales and broadcast distribution operations to provide the finest and most accessible experience for affiliates, listeners and advertisers.”  CBS News CFO Charles Pavlounis adds, “Our new agreement with Skyview Networks will strengthen our distribution and advertising sales efforts.  This collaboration will assure our 30 million weekly listeners that they will continue to get the highest level of quality journalism they are accustomed to, while also providing for new opportunities for growth.”  CBS News Radio is currently distributed by Westwood One.

Urban One Q2 Net Revenue Down 4.1%.  Citing net revenue of $117.6 million during the second quarter of 2017, Urban One – formerly Radio One – reports that figure represents a decrease of 4.1% compared to the same period a year ago.  Breaking it down, the company says broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $41.8 million, a decrease of 14.6% from the same period in 2016.  Operating income was approximately $12.1 million for the quarter, compared to $27.7 million for the same period in 2016.  Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III, says, “Our radio broadcasting revenues improved sequentially from Q1, and also within the quarter itself with June being up 2.3% vs 2017.  According to Miller Kaplan, we outperformed our markets by 190Bps in June, which is encouraging.  This sequential improvement looks likely to continue for Q3, which is currently pacing (–2.9%).  Reach Media continued to experience a soft marketplace for multi-cultural network advertising spend, which was somewhat offset by the success of their Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage cruise.  TV One experienced soft ratings, which resulted in a 5.9% decline in net advertising revenues for the quarter. We still believe that TV One will achieve the Adjusted EBITDA guidance of $82-84 million provided on the last earnings call, driven by improved affiliate revenues projected for H2.  Our digital segment revenues benefitted from the acquisition of the Bossip and Madame Noire brands, and we have continued to invest in short-form video and data analytics which should help drive long-term growth for our digital businesses.”

WFLA, Tampa Morning Co-Host Tedd Webb Recovering from Heart Attack.  Officials at iHeartMedia Tampa are not saying how long they expect morning personality Tedd Webb to be away from the microphone but station manager David Bell tells the Tampa Bay Times, “We want him to do what is best for him.”  Webb – who co-hosts the AM drive show on news/talk WFLA-AM with Jack Harris – has a history of heart issues.  He had a quadruple bypass in 1999 and has since battled congestive heart failure, according to the Times piece.  Read it here.

Dean Canter Named SVP of National Sales for PodcastOne. Media sales pro Dean Canter joins PodcastOne as SVP of national sales.  Canter will “oversee all regional sales offices for the company, in addition to developing strategic initiatives, innovating new advertiser opportunities, and driving industry trends in the rapidly growing podcast market.”  PodcastOne executive chairman and founder Norm Pattiz says, “It’s rare to find someone with an extensive radio background who understands podcasting as well as Dean does.  Working with Kit Gray, Greg Batusic, and our existing management team and sales force, Dean brings history and an uncanny appreciation of the medium that fits perfectly with our expansion.”

Entercom New Orleans Market Manager Chris Claus to Retire.  Thirty-five-year broadcasting pro Chris Claus will retire from his current position as vice president and market manager for Entercom’s New Orleans cluster on August 31.  Claus has been in this position with Entercom since 2007.  Entercom president of sales Deborah Kane says, “Chris championed New Orleans during the critical post-Katrina period, during Hurricane Gustav in 2008 and throughout the Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil spill in 2010.  Chris’ engaging style of management, his unwavering professionalism and his heart has made an indelible imprint on Entercom employees and the community at large.”  Claus says, “I am grateful for these 10 years in the New Orleans cluster working with exceptional colleagues and being a part of this great community.  I had a wonderful experience and now I look forward to spending time with my family.”

TALKERS News Notes. TVNewser reports the July ratings for the cable news/talk channels and notes that MSNBC “finished No. 1 across cable news in weekday prime time among viewers from the ad-friendly A25-54 demographic as well as in the younger A18-49 demo.”  MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow finished the month #1 across all demos – A18-49, A25-54, and total viewers.  Although MSNBC was tops A25-54 in prime time (8:00 pm to 11:00 pm) for the month, Fox News Channel maintained its #1 standing among all viewers…..In Denver, former college and pro football star Mike Pritchard joins the KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” staff as a contributor.  Pritchard will also co-host the “Pritchard and Cecil” program alongside Cecil Lammey weekdays from 9:00 am to 10:00 am, starting August 16.  Pritchard most recently co-hosted a show on Lotus Broadcasting’s KWWN, Las Vegas “1100 ESPN.”  He’s also been doing color commentary for UNLV football…..American Urban Radio Networks elevates Lenore Williams to SVP/affiliate operations and compliance.  Williams began her career as traffic manager with one of AURN’s owned-and-operated stations.  Since 2006, she’s been VP of affiliate operations and compliance…..Yesterday (8/1), Ken Lormand celebrated his 18th year with Salem Radio Network as managing editor and Washington bureau chief.

Congressional Health Care Hearings, Trump West Wing Changes, North Korea Nuke Threats, Sessions Opioid Crisis Speech, Maduro’s Venezuelan Dictatorship, Seth Rich Story Lawsuit, Peanut Butter Jailbreak, MLB Action, and NFL Training Camps Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1).  The Senate agrees to hold bi-partisan health care hearings on fate of Affordable Care Act; the various changes in the Trump Administration’s West Wing, including the exit of Anthony Scaramucci and Reince Priebus and the arrival of new Chief of Staff John Kelly; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the U.S.’ military options; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ scheduled speech in Ohio today addressing the nation’s opioid crisis; the U.S.’s response to Nicolas Maduro’s ruling of Venezuela; Fox News and the White House alleged to conspire in creating Seth Rich-Wikileaks connection in private investigator’s lawsuit; Alabama cons escape prison using peanut butter; Major League Baseball action; and NFL training camps underway among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (8/2) with luncheon address by Salem Radio Network host Joe Walsh (with introduction by Phil Boyce).  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          Three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtimeTALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

–          Presentation of the 2017 “Woman of the Year” award to Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (8/2) we post the special luncheon greeting by Salem Radio Network syndicated host Joe Walsh (with introduction by SRN VP Phil Boyce).

Within the following days, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programmer Mat Bates is the new program director at Cumulus Media’s San Francisco triple A KFOG.  Most recently Bates was with Pandora as head of programming – rock formats.  He’d also served with Rdio as global head of music and curation; as senior manager/radio programming with Slacker; and at KXTE, Las Vegas; XETRA, San Diego and more.  Cumulus Media San Francisco vice president and market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Mat Bates is poised to take the Bay Area’s most indelible rock brand – KFOG – into the future with his unique professional background and successes marrying broadcast radio with digital platforms.  He lives the format, is well connected in the Bay Area, and brings a new mindset to KFOG.  Mat will work with the KFOG team to bring rock’s past and future together in a powerful alchemy that listeners and advertisers will respond to in a big way.”  Bates adds, “I’ve spent the last decade applying the best parts of broadcast radio to emerging digital platforms.  I’m really excited to now take the things that music tech does well and apply those to such a legendary and beloved radio station.  KFOG already has all the necessary pieces; it’s up to us to assemble them correctly now.”…..In Milwaukee, market radio pro Wes McKane is let go by Entercom where he was co-hosting the morning drive program with Elizabeth Kay on hot AC WMYX.  McKane wrote on Facebook, “Today I close a long chapter in my life.  After almost 16 years at ‘103.7 KISS FM’ and ‘99.1 The Mix’ I am no longer with the company.  I accept that my former management had to make a difficult decision.  I got a chance to work with some of the best radio personalities in the industry with Rahny, Riggs, Elizabeth Kay, David Stein, other personalities, sales staff, promotions, business office and management.”…..It’s official in Atlanta as Cox Media Group CHR WSB-FM “B98.5” names Charly Morgan midday personality.  CMG Atlanta director of branding and programming Chris Eagan says, “I’ve been listening to Charly on WNGC for years – her sound, personality and style are a perfect fit for ‘B98.5.’  She’s warm, friendly, and fun on the air and off, a great addition to our Atlanta team.”…..CBS RADIO adult contemporary outlet KYKY, San Diego announces the addition of the “AJ Mornings” program – featuring AJ Machado and Sara Perry – starting August 7.  KYKY program director Chris Patyk comments, “We’re super excited about this new morning show and have been looking forward to making this announcement.  AJ’s been waking up San Diego for 17 years and counting.  The addition of Sara – who has logged nearly the same amount of time on the air – will make the new KYKY morning show an exciting and fresh way for our listeners to start their day.”…..The “Sunday Night Blues Room,” featuring long time radio veteran Steve Pringle, returns to the Portland airwaves on Entercom’s classic rock KGON.  Program director Chris Crowley says of the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show, “The ‘Sunday Night Blues Room’ began on KGON and it’s only fitting that we host it once again.  The addition of the show and host Steve Pringle only serve to prove that KGON is committed to our community and committed to playing the greatest music ever recorded.”