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Thursday, August 23, 2018

| August 23, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his final format analysis of station performances based on data from the July 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  This report addresses news/talk radio.  Comparing June’s 6+ AQH shares to the July numbers indicates just as many news/talk stations went up as went down – 42% each.  But 63% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise, with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland leaping by 2.2 shares, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando rising by 1.9 shares, and Cumulus Media’s KSFO up by 1.7 shares.  While three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in July, another eight ranked in the top five.  Number one finishers in July were Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; and Townsquare Media’s WKQX, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See the entire report here.

Westwood One Names New ‘First Light’ Host. Current “First Light” host Evan Haning is stepping back from full-time work with Westwood One but will continue as a part-time news anchor and fill-in for the morning news magazine.  With his decision, Westwood One names WWO News correspondent Michael Toscano the new host. He is a former host of the Wall Street Journal Radio afternoon news program “The Daily Wrap.”  At the same time, Westwood One News also announces that Mike Moss is taking on the role of full-time news anchor.  Moss has been part of Westwood One News’ operation since joining as a part-time anchor and fill-in guest host earlier this year.  He is well-known in the nation’s capital from his many years as morning drive anchor at all-news WTOP, Washington.

Cristina Mendonsa Named Co-Host of KFBK, Sacramento Morning Show. Market news pro Cristina Mendonsa joins Dan Mitchinson as co-host of “The KFBK Morning News” on iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento.  Mendonsa served with KXTV-TV, Sacramento “ABC 10” for more than 21 years – most recently as a news anchor.  KFBK program director Bill White says, “Cristina’s a team builder, passionate journalist, and storyteller with deep connections to the communities we serve.  A consummate pro, Cristina will further enhance KFBK’s news reputation not only on the radio but also on our digital and social media platforms through informative and thought-provoking podcasts and video content.”  Mendonsa comments, “KFBK is approaching a century of serving Northern California.  I’m so honored to become part of this team and legacy.  I’ve missed talking with listeners and viewers and collaborating with a team of passionate professionals.  Informing and engaging our community on a daily basis once again will be satisfying and fun!”

Athans Appointed New Radio Media CDO. Cultivating political talk programming will be Tom Athans’ (left) primary responsibility as chief development officer of Michigan-based New Radio Media. The company’s chief executive officer, Paul Bensman (right), comments, “We are excited to have Tom join our company.  Tom brings a wealth of experience in creating exciting new shows from the ground up that will resonate across the country.” Athans adds, “After a decade-long detour in the arena of government relations, I’m excited to be returning to my true love of talk and entertainment media and it’s a real privilege to join the NRM team.  In the early days of progressive talk, we were predicting that digital platforms were not far off in the future; well, the future is here. The NRM team is poised to do some really great things in the media landscape – particularly in political talk media. The political environment in this nation is more toxic and divisive than we’ve ever seen in modern American history. There hasn’t been a greater need or opportunity than right now to launch a new generation of exciting and compelling voices in the nation. Through digital media, those programs will be unconstrained. Anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection will be able to tap into their favorite show at their convenience – live or on-demand.”  Formerly co-founder and chief executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based Democracy Radio, Athans developed/launched syndicated programs for progressive talk hosts Ed SchultzStephanie Miller, and Leslie Marshall. In addition, he was executive vice president for Air America Radio and managing director at Talk USA Media.

Musicoomph Publishes Infographic Highlighting Podcasting Data.  The images here are from the infographic published by Musicoomph that reveals some of the most compelling data about the growth of podcasting and the medium’s potential as a revenue stream.  The graphic’s date is culled from multiple 2018 studies of podcasting by Edison Research, Nielsen Audio, and others. It states, “With 550,000 active podcasts and rapidly growing, podcasting is indeed on a meteoric rise.  In fact, 64% of the U.S. population is already familiar with what a podcast is.  To put that into perspective, only 40% know the name of the vice president!”  The graphic above indicates the growth of podcasting revenue over the years as well as its projected growth.  The graphic below illustrates where people are listening to podcasts.  See the whole infographic here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa has recently been speaking to the media about his forthcoming Mike’s On app and what it will mean to his brand, but he’s a believer in radio he tells The New York Times Magazine in an interview piece with Jay Caspian Kang.  Read it here…..Pictured below is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley surrounded by “The Bombshells” at Wednesday’s eight-hour live broadcast from the 16th annual Atlantic City Airshow, “Thunder Over the Boardwalk.”  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that the estimated attendance for the event was between 400,000 to 500,000.  Hurley adds, “The Atlantic City Airshow is the largest mid-week Airshow in America. This mega-event generates more than $27 million in direct spend and more than $33 million in overall financial impact.”

Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Plea, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mollie Tibbetts Murder, Trump vs ESPN, Urban Meyer Suspension, Hurricane Lane, Asia Argento #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and the illegal status of the suspect; President Trump encourages petition to ESPN over new policy of not showing national anthem during game broadcasts; Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is suspended for three games for role in assistant coach’s domestic violence case; Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii; Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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 Phoenix country outlet KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” Entercom moves afternoon personality Alana Lynn from the afternoon drive program to “The Breakfast Buzz” morning program with co-host Niko Petrou.  Lynn maintains her music director role with the station.  This change includes current morning personality Nina D moving to the afternoon drive show. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Alana and Nina D both bring incredible talent and commitment to KMLE.  We’re looking forward to them continuing to raise the bar for the station and connecting with audiences in their new time slots.”…..Detroit-based iHeartMedia personality Joe Carballo is upped to assistant program director and music director for CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  He’s also heard on iHeartMedia stations WKSC, Chicago “103.5 Kiss FM,” WZEE, Madison “Z104,” and WSNX, Grand Rapids…..In Tuscaloosa, alternative WQRR brand manager Meg Summers is promoted to operations manager for the Townsquare Media cluster that includes country duo WFFN and WTBC, urban AC WTUG, plus sports talk WTID and Gospel WTSK.  She is also adding brand manager responsibilities for WFFN…..Exiting the operations and programming roles at Alpha Media’s hot AC WHBC-FM and news/talk WHBC-AM in Canton, Ohio is John Stewart.  He’d been with the stations for the past six years.

Friday, July 6, 2018

| July 6, 2018

Report: PE Firm Silver Lake Partners Interested in iHeartMedia.  According to a report in the New York Post, private equity firm Silver Lake Partners is interested in buying iHeartMedia when it emerges from Chapter 11 reorganization. iHeartMedia is expected to exit Chapter 11 in October with a reduced debt load of $10 billion – down from the current $20 billion.  The report says Silver Lake is in talks about the purchase with iHM’s creditors, who will own the company upon bankruptcy protection exit.  The report adds that leading creditors believe iHeartMedia is worth between $12 billion and $15 billion.

Remembering Ed SchultzTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the talk media career rise of Ed Schultz, who passed away on July 5 at the age of 64. The former college football quarterback spent 15 years doing sports media – mostly on television at WDAY-TV, Fargo – before launching a talk radio career.  As most regular TALKERS readers are aware, Schultz was a conservative talker in the beginning, but his politics – and his radio program – morphed in large part due to an encounter with the woman who would become his wife, Wendy Schultz.  Read the full piece about Schultz’s life and radio career here.

Dave Bourne Named Operations Manager at KYKN, Salem, Oregon.  News/talk KYKN, Salem, Oregon announces Dave Bourne joins the station to serve as operations manager.  Prior to joining KYKN, Bourne led the programming at KUIK, Portland.  KYKN general manager Mike Frith says Bourne brings his extensive experience developing a “large local footprint.”  Frith adds, “Without LOCAL we are just another station.  We’ve had a good presence locally and we are going to have a GREAT local presence.  We will begin to broadcast high school football and basketball this fall in the Salem metro with a population of 404,000.  We are now going to have 150 “live remotes” at local sponsors and events over the next 12 months.  We’re pleased that Dave will lead us in this major effort.”

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Panel Discussion About Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018.  Today (7/6), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s ninth installment features the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018.”  It is moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president Kathy CarrWestwood One president Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner Michael Zwerling.  Videos already posted include the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

SB Nation Promotes Larson to COO; Announces Lineup Tweaks. Sports radio network SB Nation Radio promotes network program director Craig Larson to chief operating officer.  Larson says, “It’s just a joy to wake up and come to work every day.  As I enter my 20th year with the network, I am proud of my team and optimistic about our future.”  Also, SB Nation announces that the morning show “SB Nation AM” will feature Tony Desiere and Ronn Culver as co-hosts.  Desiere has been with the network for six years.  Culver joined back in 2014 and currently serves as executive producer.  Finally, the network adds “The Gold Standard” with host Alex Gold to the lineup, airing from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.

Radio Talent Agent Heather Cohen Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the radio industry’s leading talent agents, Heather Cohen, EVP of the Weiss Agency is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Cohen, who is also the co-chair of the Gracie Awards, discusses the state of the radio business as it applies to talent including a look at the status of women in the industry with a fascinating historical retrospective. Harrison and Cohen also discuss the methods available to young people breaking into the radio and television industries going forward. 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 on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. The company that syndicated the daily, two-hour magazine-style program “Our American Stories” announces the feed time for the program is moving from 9:00 pm ET to 6:00 am ET, effective August 1.  American Private Radio CEO and program host Lee Habeeb says the change reflects the desire by many programmers to get a same-day feed for earlier placement in the day. “More than half of our affiliates now carry ‘Our American Stories’ outside of evenings, so it made sense to provide an early morning feed to accommodate stations who wish to run the timely program earlier on the day.”  Our American Stories is heard in more than 130 markets…..Benztown is announcing the launch of a new, 30-second daily featuring starring radio and television sportscaster Vic “The Brick” Jacobs titled, “This Day in Sports History.”  The show is available to stations through Benztown’s Adrenaline Sports Imaging Library.

Illegal Immigration/Abolish ICE Movement Top News/Talk Stories for Week of July 2-6.  Debate about the U.S.’s illegal immigration policies and the related movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the open Supreme Court seat and President Trump’s likely three top candidates.  Coming in at #3 was the impending meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, tied with the related Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the Scott Pruitt investigation and his subsequent resignation as head of the EPA at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Rare Audio File from 2013:  The Late Nick Michaels Interviews Michael Harrison About Music and the Golden Age of Progressive Rock Radio.  A rare audio interview conducted by the late Nick Michaels (left) with Michael Harrison (below, on WNEW-FM circa 1972) has been located by TALKERS archivists on the website www.thedeependwithnickmichaels.com.  The legendary Michaels – the renowned radio imaging master, voice actor, and host of the classic rock syndicated show “The Deep End” – passed away on May 25 due to a sudden heart attack.  The unplanned conversation took place between recording sessions when Michaels and Harrison were collaborating on a music radio two-hour special titled, “The Classic Rock Summer of ’13 Kick-Off,” as the temporary team of Michael and Michaels.  In this 30-plus minute interview, Michaels asks Harrison about his early days as a pioneer in progressive rock radio and his opinion about various classic artists as well as the state of music radio in general.  Students of music radio history and devotees of album rock will find this conversation extremely informative and entertaining.  To listen to it in its entirety, please click here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Tampa market, evening personality Terry Young “The Motormouth” moves to morning drive at NIA Broadcasting’s rhythmic AC WTMP-AM/W248CA, effective July 9…..Yea Networks’ syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” program is added to the evening daypart at Mapleton Commuications’ CHR KZBD, Spokane “107.5 NOW.”…..SiriusXM’s Heart & Soul and Kirk Franklin’s Praise channels are broadcasting live interviews from the 2018 Essence Music Festival taking place in New Orleans this weekend.  SiriusXM hosts Cayman Kelly, Michel Wright and Meta Washington will be live on the Ford Stage interviewing some of the biggest singers and actors.

Remembering Ed Schultz

| July 6, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — When Ed Schultz “touched down” on Jones Radio Networks in January 2004, it was an honor for me (then as special features editor of Inside Radio) to profile the former All-American quarterback, who died yesterday (7/5) of natural causes at his Washington, D.C. residence; Schultz was just 64.

Even in 2004, the list of conservative talk show hosts was seemingly endless. Producing a laundry list of nationally heard personalities with an opposing viewpoint was a considerably more difficult task. “As they say in just about every reality-based show these days,” I somewhat eerily wrote (given the outcome of the 2016 presidential election), “things as you know them are about to change.” The specific reference was to Schultz’s three-hour (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, ET) JRN show, which debuted on January 5, 2004.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

| July 5, 2018

Talk Media Personality Ed Schultz Dead at 64.  Details are few at this time but Fargo-based InForum.com is reporting that progressive talk media personality Ed Schultz has died of natural causes at his home in Washington, DC.  Schultz began his media career working as a radio and television host in the Fargo market.  Schultz started his broadcast career working in sports on TV.  He served as the sports director at WDAY-TV, Fargo during the 1980s. He was a conservative when he launched his talk radio career but a life-changing encounter with the woman who would become his wife turned his politics around.  He originally started on radio on WDAY-AM, Fargo in 1992 and moved to KFGO, Fargo in 1996.  His radio show went into syndication via Jones Radio Network and Dial Global.  He began hosting “The Ed Show” on MSNBC in 2009.  Various forms of the show aired on the cable network until 2015.  Most recently, he had hosted a program on RT America.  In a statement, the network said, “We at RT America are sad to announce the passing of Edward Andrew Schultz.  Ed Schultz passed quietly early morning on July 5 at his home in Washington, D.C.  This announcement comes as a shock to all of us here at RT America.”  Upon learning of Schultz’s untimely death, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement:  “The passing of Ed Schultz is a terrible loss to the talk media community and industry.  He was a powerful media presence known for his independent thinking and courage in the face of both ideological and corporate obstacles.  In addition, his entrepreneurship was an inspiration to literally hundreds of broadcasters who followed his example of taking one’s career into one’s own hands in the dawn of the digital era.  I am stunned and deeply saddened by this news.”

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Special Presentation About Smart Speakers and Radio by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein.  Today (7/5), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s eighth installment features the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality Dr. Daliah Wachs.   Videos already posted include a special presentation by PodcastOne Chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s Fireside Chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Hyper-Local Pioneer Valley Radio Personality Brad Shepard Emcees Huge Western Mass July 4th Parade.  For over a decade, Springfield, MA-based online media station, Pioneer Valley Radio’s morning host and GM Brad Shepard has been the master of ceremonies/announcer from the reviewing stand for the East Longmeadow Fourth of July Parade.  This parade has become the signature Fourth of July Parade for the entire region featuring the participation of most of its cities and towns.   Shepard tells TALKERS, “I’ve just realized that I’ve been doing this long enough – first as morning man on WHYN radio and now as a personality with Pioneer Valley Radio – to be able to recognize folks marching in the parade and to do first name ‘shout-outs’ from the stage!  It’s tremendously gratifying to hear them returned!”  The excessive 94-degree heat did not deter thousands of all ages from coming out and lining the parade route and cheering on many service organizations, groups and dignitaries in Western Massachusetts.  “I look forward to this every year; it’s an honor to be their choice and it is fantastic exposure and community-connection for our exciting 21st century platform.”

Illegal Immigration Policy/Abolish ICE Movement, Open Supreme Court Seat, Trump-Putin Meeting, Fourth of July Holiday, Rising Gas Prices, Summer Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/4).  The Trump administration’s illegal immigration policy and the related movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau; the open Supreme Court seat; President Trump’s impending meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the rising cost of gas at the pump; the Fourth of July holiday; the summer heatwave affecting much of the U.S.; and Major League Baseball action 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. Programming pro Randy Fox joins American General Media to serve as program director for rhythmic CHR KKSS “Kiss 97.3” and hot AC KKRG “Mix 105.1” in Albuquerque, effective July 23.  Fox was most recently program director at hip hop KSFM, Sacramento before its transfer from CBS RADIO to Entercom.  AMG Albuquerque general manager Larry Lemanski says, “I am very happy to welcome Randy to the AGM cluster in Albuquerque.  We actually competed with each other in California.  It’s nice to now have such a pro on our team here.”…..Air personality Justin Pierce is named afternoon drive jock at Riverbend Communications’ country KTHK, Idaho Falls “105.5/105.9 The Hawk.”  He takes over for Cory Daniels, who exited the station in April…..Nationally syndicated rock radio morning show “Free Beer and Hot Wings” is pictured below in Green Bay entertaining a sold-out house as part of its “Morning Show at Night” summer tour.  The tour started in Nashville at the world-famous Wildhorse Saloon, hit home market Grand Rapids, went on to Albany and Portland, Maine before stopping in Green Bay.  The next tour stop is at the Jersey Shore on July 13.  The program is syndicated by Compass Media Networks.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

| October 19, 2017

The State and History of Presidential Radio Rows.  This week’s Donald Trump White House talk radio row (10/17) created a huge buzz in the industry, sparking an interesting broadcast conversation last night between RT America TV evening host Ed Schultz and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about the history and journalistic integrity of these events (pictured above).  Schultz, one of the longtime leading progressive host/commentators in talk media, criticized the event for its ideological one-sidedness, describing it as “propaganda,” and took the Democrats to task for not actively complaining about the use of taxpayer dollars to fund a media-targeted political rally within the Executive Office Building.  Harrison, one of the original creators and organizers of the presidential radio row concept back in the early 1990s, shared the history and evolution of these events over the years, explaining what they mean to talk radio, its hosts, and the national political discussion.  According to Harrison, they started out as bi-partisan events but as talk radio became increasingly ideologically targeted format-wise, the broadcast invitees reflected a political view friendly to the occupant of the White House at the time, left or right.  Harrison went on to say that the Trump presidency has provided fascinating “material” that has been good business-wise not just for talk radio, but talk television and newspapers as well.  He describes the Trump presidency as “the most compelling reality show of all time.”  To see the entire conversation, please click here.

Eboni K. Williams Leaves WABC Radio Gig.  Announcing her decision to leave Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York after just four months co-hosting the midday show with Curtis Sliwa, Eboni K. Williams told listeners that it is with a “heavy heart” that she leaves the station.  Williams told listeners she accepted the WABC gig at about the same time that she was made part of “The Specialists” show on FOX News Channel.  But the departure of FNC’s Eric Bolling in the wake of sexual harassment allegations and FNC’s decision to cancel the show “had a domino effect” on Williams.  Saying that she’s a television host and needs to find another TV job, she’s been talking about possible gigs but has not accepted anything yet.  Williams replaced longtime Sliwa co-host Ron Kuby back in June.

RTDNA Co-Sponsors First Amendment Event Tomorrow (10/20).  Tomorrow in Washington, DC the Radio Television Digital News Association is collaborating with the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and Reel Media Group to co-host a discussion on the First Amendment and reporters’ rights.  The event will take place at the National Press Club from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm ET.  It’s being streamed on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/RTDNA.RTDNF.  The panel includes: Vikram Bhagat, in-house counsel at American Public Media Group and Minnesota Public Radio; Ellen Crooke, VP of news for TEGNA and an RTDNA director-at-large; Scott MacFarlane, veteran investigative reporter for NBC Washington; Paul Safier of the prestigious Washington law firm Ballard Spahr.  Moderating the event will be Reel Media Group co-founders Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel and Bram Weinstein.  RTDNA notes that Free Speech Week is a yearly event to raise public awareness of the importance of free speech in America’s democracy and to celebrate that freedom.

Radio One Names Host of Philadelphia Public Issues Show.  At the Philadelphia station group of Radio One, Solomon Jones is appointed to the position of host for the new “Your Voice” talk show on Gospel-formatted WPPZ-FM.  The program, airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon Monday through Saturday.  Jones is a media pro who serves as a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and previously was the morning show host at WURD Radio-owned urban news/talk WURD-AM.  Radio One Philadelphia operations manager Karen Vaughn comments, “We want to engage our listeners with not only the inspirational music they love, but the information they need to be socially aware, community engaged and woke overall.  Solomon is a well-known local radio and media personality and is the perfect fit to provide this new music infused talk show format on ‘Praise.’”

Niger Ambush Aftermath, U.S.-China Relations, Trump Tax Reform Plan, Iran Nuclear Pact, North Korea Tensions, Weinstein Scandal-#MeToo Movement, Melania Body-Double Flap, Quebec Face-Covering Law, Richard Spencer University of Florida Appearance, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18).  The controversy over the Niger ambush that left four U.S. soldiers dead and President Trump’s comments about consoling soldiers’ relatives; the tense relations between China and the U.S. over the South China Sea military installations and economic policy; the Trump Administration’s tax reform plan; the Iran nuclear deal and Trump’s intent not to recertify compliance; the military bluster from Kim Jong Un and concerns about the regime’s missile program; the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein sexual predation scandal and the related #MeToo movement; the social media-spurred suggestion that Melania Trump has a body double; Quebec’s new law making it illegal to cover one’s face in public; the controversial appearance at the University of Florida by white separatist Richard Spencer; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the NFL anthem protests and game action 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.  After 23 years in the market, starting as the first general manager of hot AC KALC, Denver “Alice 105.9” and most recently as VP and market manager for Entercom’s cluster there, Amy Griesheimer exits the company.  Denver alt-weekly Westword reports her departure and reports that industry watchers are speculating that “the move was made because of ratings and revenue shortfalls in an industry that continues to struggle with the fallout from technological changes and shifting listener habits.”  The story says that current Entercom RVP Doug Abernathy will serve as acting market manager for the interim.  The Westword piece makes no mention of the pending Entercom-CBS RADIO merger.  Read it here…..In Columbus, alternative rock WWCD “CD 102.5” announces that staffer Lesley James is giving up her program director duties after eight years to focus on her afternoon drive program.  Taking over the PD role at the WWCD, LTD-owned station is evening personality Mason “Mase” Brazelle.  He’s served with alternative WKZQ, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and with iHeartMedia’s former crosstown alt rocker WXZX “105.7 The X.”…..Air talent and programmer Dylan Salisbury is named the new afternoon drive host at Entercom’s Indianapolis CHR WZPL.  He’ll also serve as music director.  He handled both duties at his most recent gig with iHeartMedia’s CHR KKDM, Des Moines “107.5 Kiss FM.”…..Buffalo Business First reports that Cumulus Media is planning to turn an 11-acre parcel of land close to its Buffalo studios into an open-air event space.  In that market, Cumulus operates WGRF-FM “97 Rock”, alternative WEDG “The Edge 103.3” and WHTT “Oldies 104.1.”  Cumulus Buffalo vice president and general manager Steve Bearance tells the publication, “We’re not talking about an amphitheater, but more of a place to do our special events.  It’s more like a festival grounds than anything else.”  As the article points out, for live events, stations cede control and add to their costs by having to rent space.