Cox Enterprises’ Deal with Apollo Global Management Closes. According to Jessica Saunders’ report in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Cox Enterprises’ sale of its radio, TV, Ohio print brands, and affiliated businesses to an Apollo Global Management-controlled company has closed. The new company goes by an old name – Cox Media Group – and Cox Enterprises maintains a minority stake in the new firm. The company is led by president and CEO Kim Guthrie and Bill Hendrich is EVP of radio. CMG now consists of 13 television stations in 10 markets; 54 radio stations in 10 markets; three Ohio newspapers, the CoxReps TV sales division; digital ad and OTT products and services segment Gamut; and the Northwest Broadcasting 20 TV station group.
Wilson Re-Ups with Entercom’s ‘Ticket’ in Miami. South Florida sports talk host Amber Wilson signs a multiyear contract extension to continue co-hosting the midday show on Entercom’s WAXY, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket.” Wilson co-hosts the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm “Zaslow & Amber” show with Jonathan Zaslow. She joined the station in 2016 after serving with CBS Television in Miami and SNY in New York. She says, “I’m very fortunate to have a job that I enjoy doing every single day and I’m thrilled to be continuing my career at Entercom. It is an honor that [program director] Len Weiner and [SVP/market manager] Keriann Worley continue to trust me to entertain South Florida with sports talk.”
Matthew Jarecki Named PM Drive Host at ‘FOX Sports 910’ in Phoenix. At iHeartMedia’s Phoenix sports talker KGME-AM “FOX Sports 910,” Matthew Jarecki is named host of the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show. Jarecki comes to KGME from his most recent position with Northern Arizona University’s KLJX-LP, Flagstaff. He also handled play-by-play and color analyst work for Lumberjacks athletics. KGME program director Aaron Trimmer says, “Matthew is a future superstar in the sport talk world. His perspective and unique commentary on sports make him the perfect fit to lead afternoon drive on ‘FOX Sports 910.’ We are thrilled to have him join our lineup.” KGME briefly hired Dan Sileo to host afternoons, but he lasted just a week in the role in early September after the Phoenix Coyotes hockey club objected to Sileo’s hiring based on some of his controversial social media posts. KGME is the flagship for Coyotes play-by-play.
Nielsen: News/Talk Top 6+ Format in PPM Markets This Year. The data from Nielsen Audio’s year-end tally of the most-listened-to formats in radio in its PPM markets shows news/talk is #1 in the 6+ demographic (9.5% weekly AQH share). In the 25-54 demo, news/talk ranked #4 (6.7%), behind only AC (7.7%), CHR (7.6%), and country (6.8%). However, there is an asterisk of sorts associated with these figures as Nielsen includes non-commercial, public radio news/talk in its definition of the format. Public news/talk skews younger than commercial news/talk. Sports talk ranked #9 in the 6+ demo and #8 in the 25-54 demo. Nielsen used an average of data from the January through November PPM surveys.
Magnum to Acquire Three Wisconsin Signals from NRG Media. The deal between Wisconsin’s Magnum Communications and Iowa-based NRG Media will transfer news/talk WFAW-AM and adult contemporary WSJC-FM in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, along with classic hits WKCH, Whitewater, Wisconsin to Magnum. NRG president and CEO Mary Quass says, “We have been fortunate to have worked with the great people at the stations in Fort Atkinson for many years. The dedicated broadcasters at the stations will continue to provide the Fort Atkinson community with great local radio and know they will contribute to the success of Magnum Communications going forward.” Magnum chief Dave Magnum adds, “I’m a sentimental person so two aspects of these acquisitions really struck me. First, my maternal grandmother grew up on a Fort Atkinson farm. My Mom and her remaining siblings get together at Lake Ripley each summer in her honor. Second, we’re again getting to work with NRG. Back in the 90s, my late wife Lynn had the chance to speak with Mary Quass several times at conventions. She considered Mary a role model. In 2007, five years after Lynn passed, I acquired three stations from NRG. That transaction went as smooth as silk. We look forward to the same outcome with the acquisitions of WFAW, WSJY and WKCH.” KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.
KSCO, Santa Cruz Initiates Its Own ‘Person of the Year.’ On the heels of the controversy over youthful Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg being named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” Michael Zwerling-owned news/talk KSCO, Santa Cruz is creating its own “Person of the Year” award and naming President Donald Trump for the past four years. Zwerling says, “I empathize with the president’s frustration of not being named Time magazine’s person of the year. After all, the designation does not necessarily indicate an endorsement of its recipient’s policies – just acknowledgement that they have made the biggest impact on the news. Clearly, Donald Trump has been the most influential person in the news since 2016. And that has not stopped.” See all four “Person of the Year” covers here.
Impeachment, IG FBI Report Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade Negotiations, Financial Markets Activity, Fiat Chrysler-Peugeot Merger Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17). The impeachment against President Donald Trump; the aftermath of the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s use of the secret FISA court; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China; the record high Dow and activity in the world’s financial markets; and the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot to make the third largest auto firm were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. Appearing on fubosportsnetwork.com’s “Call It A Night” program with host Julie Stewart-Binks, WFAN, New York and Radio.com sports talk personality Mike Francesa says he’ll delve into politics during his daily, one-hour Radio.com show. Asked why, Francesa said, “There’s not a show, there’s no political coverage anywhere that is unbiased. It’s all biased. It’s either left or right. It is so significantly left or right. Give me a network, I’ll tell you – FOX is right, MSNBC is left. Everybody has a bias. Everybody is one or the other, most on the left, there are some rights. There’s nothing down the middle.” Francesa’s Radio.com show will stream from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET prior to his half-hour WFAN program airing at 6:00 pm ET…..Talk radio pro Phil Valentine and his son Campbell Valentine are celebrating the fact that their podcast “The PodGOATs” has been named one of the Top 10 History Podcasts for 2019 by Podbean – a global podcast hosting site. “The PodGOATs” is produced by Comworld Media. Phil Valentine says, “I’m in shock, to be honest with you. Campbell and I have worked really hard this year on this podcast. We bill it as ‘The History of Everything,’ which is a lofty goal. We’re closing in on episode 100 and we have over 360,000 downloads, so we’re getting’ there.” Comworld Media will launch two more Phil Valentine podcasts in 2020…..Westwood One adds “Esports 30 with Kevin Knocke” to its Westwood One Podcast Network. The show is an original podcast covering esports news and in-depth interviews with industry personalities, celebrities, athletes, influencers, and enthusiasts. Knocke says, “Esports is now big enough that it can’t rely on the sunshine and rainbows perspective that it’s the ‘next big thing’ so we need to understand how to develop a sustainable infrastructure for the long term. I’ll be inviting on guests with a broad viewpoint of the industry as a whole as well as game-specific experts who are willing to take an honest look at their game and reflect on improvements needed.”…..Longtime New York City radio news pro Pat Farnack retires from Entercom’s WCBS-AM “Newsradio 880.” Farnack also served with KYW-AM and KYW-TV in Philadelphia as well as WWDB-FM, Philly during her career. She joined WCBS-AM in December 2000. The WCBS website notes that Farnack also “spent time at WNBC in New York delivering news in the days of Don Imus and Howard Stern and even did a several-month stint as traffic reporter in the flying ‘N’ copter.”…..iHeartMedia and NostalgiaCon, LLC are working together to produce the NostalgiaCon Miami ‘80s pop culture convention on April 25-26 at the MANA Convention Center in Miami’s Wynwood arts district. iHeartMedia’s participation includes sponsorship collaborations for branded activations, VIP fan experiences, contests, giveaways, and grassroots promotions…..Pictured below are actors Jamie Foxx (left) and Michael B. Jordan (center) with SiriusXM Urban View host Mike Muse (right) chatting before a live audience at SiriusXM studios in New York. Foxx and Jordan visited on a promotion tour for their new film, Just Mercy, hitting theaters on Christmas Day. Photo: Cindy Ord/ Getty Images for SiriusXM.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer and air personality Adam “Kash” Kashner moves from Cumulus Media’s Indianapolis cluster where he was APD at country WFMS-FM to Pensacola where he’s the new program director for country radio station WXBM-FM “NASH 102.7 FM.” At the same time, Cumulus adds APD stripes to current WXBM afternoon host Matt Fisher. Cumulus Pensacola VP and market manager Gary Mertins says, “Kash is such an up-and-coming programming talent within Cumulus and we’re so proud to have him join us in Pensacola. He’s really done some great things and proven himself in Indianapolis. WXBM is a heritage country station and we know that we’ve found the right person in Kash to lead it to further greatness.”…..Air personality Amanda Valentine is leaving her radio gig at Hubbard Broadcasting’s country WUBE, Cincinnati “B105” to work full time on her fitness career. Valentine was co-host of the afternoon show with Jesse Tack, who continues the show solo. Valentine noted on her Facebook page: “Health and fitness is a huge passion of mine. After going through a significant weight loss journey myself, helping others on their own journeys fills my heart in ways I can’t even describe. So, I’ve made the decision to follow my heart and devote my time and energy into helping as many people as possible discover just how life changing a healthy lifestyle can be.”…..Milwaukee non-commercial triple A WYMS-FM “88Nine” bestowed honors on the winners of its 2019 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards last Saturday (12/14). Winners of the awards covered a wide swath of musical genres. WYMS-FM’s 12th annual music awards were based on 6,278 votes online by area music fans and selections of ‘88Nine’ music staff and local music writers. Station program director Jordan Lee says, “This year’s awards reflect the strong avant-garde sound that is developing here in Milwaukee. It’s really hard to put the music of Klassik, SistaStrings, or Browns Crew in a genre box. These new sounds are defining the sound of our city in an exciting and inspiring way.”
It’s a New Deal for Cumulus Programmer Bill Hess. Programming pro Bill Hess and Cumulus Media sign a new, multi-year contract extension. Hess is the company’s vice president of news/talk, program director for WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, and operations manager for the Washington, DC cluster. During his 41-year career, Hess has programmed WTEM, Washington; WHJJ, Providence; and WHYN-AM/FM, Springfield, Massachusetts. He served as SVP of programming for Air America Media and has programmed music outlets WASH and WBIG in Washington. Cumulus Media Washington VP/market manager Jake McCann says, “This is an exciting time for news/talk in our nation’s capital and we have the privilege of being led by one of the strongest program directors in the country. Under Bill Hess’ leadership and hands-on approach, WMAL has consistently grown ratings. He works daily with on-air staff to guarantee they are delivering a top-level product to their audience.”
Stone Canyon Buys Northern Arizona Station Group. This deal has three broadcast management pros organized as Stone Canyon Radio and Marketing, LLC buying four Northern Arizona signals from Grenax II Broadcasting for an as yet undisclosed sum. The stations are: news/talk KBTK-FM/K246AA “97.1 The Big Talker,” country KSED “107.5 KOLT Country,” classic rock KWMX “The Wolf-Classic Rock 96.7,” and 80s rock KFLX “Rewind 92.5/104.1.” Stone Canyon’s principals are former Cherry Creek Media CEO Joe Schwartz (left), Emmis SVP John Beck (right), and Withers Broadcasting and Dana Communications president Dana Withers (center). Schwartz states, “This is a wonderful opportunity for three veteran broadcasters to pool our years of broadcast experience to create exceptional programming, on-the-street marketing, top digital assets, and to bring the best advertising services available to the Flagstaff-Prescott area. In addition, I can’t wait to work with current VP & general manager Stan Pierce and his team.” Schwartz will be relocating to the Flagstaff area to work with the cluster team and Beck and Withers will remain in their current positions in St. Louis and Mt. Vernon, respectively. The start of an LMA is expected to be announced in the near future.
WMAL’s Mary Walter to Host Fisher House Foundation’s Talk Radio Special. The Fisher House Foundation’s annual talk radio special, “Home Away from Home – The Fisher House Story,” is being hosted this year by WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning co-host Mary Walter. The Fisher House Foundation and The Jeff Wyatt Group are producing the program for talk stations around the country to be aired any time from Veterans Day (11/11) through the holidays. Regular TALKERS readers are aware that the Fisher House program provides “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes provide temporary, free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis. This year’s three-hour radio special will feature stories of our nation’s heroes, families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey. Show producer Jeff Wyatt says Mary Walter’s love of the military will add to the quality of the program. “Her talent, well known support for our military, and broad base of listening across the U.S. makes her a great fit to support our wounded, injured, and ill service members and their families.” Stations interested in the program can contact Wyatt at: email@example.com
TALKERS News Notes. Rhode Island talk radio host John DePetro is celebrating 20 years on talk radio in the Ocean State this month. DePetro says that he was working part-time air shifts on WABC, New York while also serving as national sales manager for WABC and sister WPLJ when he was offered a weekend show on WHJJ, Providence in his home state. After a few months, he took over the full-time job of mid-morning host on WHJJ in January of 1999. He currently is heard in Rhode Island on WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island.…..iHeartMedia announces the fruit of its partnership with technology platform creators Jelli and Foursquare is a new attribution product for broadcast radio that will offer marketers “a unique combination of iHeartMedia’s massive reach and Jelli’s programmatic buying capabilities, with the attribution and insights tools from location technology company Foursquare.” iHeartMedia says this is the next step in its effort to make radio easier to buy and measure. It says it “invested in Jelli’s programmatic platform to make the purchase of data driven radio campaigns as easy as digital, and now with the addition of Foursquare, more in-depth campaign measurement and real-world attribution data is now available to advertisers who buy via Jelli’s demand side platform SpotPlan.” iHM president of revenue and data operations Brian Kaminsky adds, “This initiative with Foursquare and Jelli is the next evolution in the development of our platform, providing retailers and QSRs the same measurement and accountability for broadcast radio as Google is in search and Facebook is in social.”…..Entercom and Telemundo’s KTMD-TV, Houston announce a multi-platform media partnership that includes distribution of content across all partner channels, including KTMD-TV and Entercom’s Houston stations sports talk KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio 650,” plus country KILT-FM, Spanish KLOL, and hot AC KHMX. Content will also be distributed across each entity’s websites and social media platforms. Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “We are excited to partner with Telemundo and further serve our community with enhanced coverage. We’re looking forward to continue bringing our listeners improved access and coverage of live, local news.”…..Sun & Fun Media announces it has hired Tim Closson to join the company as a senior AE. He was previously manager of affiliate sales for country & sports at Westwood One. Sun & Fun Media offers a “suite of products and services designed to increase sales, improve ratings, and reduce expenses for 100% barter.”…..Donna Hardwick is appointed chief marketing officer for PRX, the public media program supplier that recently merged with PRI. Hardwick was most recently senior director of communications & distribution for ITVS.
Kavanaugh Assault Allegations/Cruz Restaurant Protest, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein’s Status, Midterm Elections, U.S.-China Trade War, Iran Threatens Attacks, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24). The allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the related restaurant protest that forced Senator Ted Cruz and his wife to leave; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related uncertainty over the status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein; the coming midterm elections; the trade war between the U.S. and China; Iran’s threats against Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the U.S. after the deadly attacks on its military parade; the weekend’s NFL 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. In the Charlotte market, Beasley Media Group announces promotions at urban contemporary WBAV “V 101.9” and hip hop WPEG “Power 98.” Brian “Mr. Incognito” Robinson is upped to program director for both stations. He was most recently APD for WPEG and previously held the music director, afternoon drive host, and morning drive co-host positions. At the same time, the company bumps Janine Davis up from traffic correspondent for both stations to midday personality at “V 101.9.” Nikki “Ya Girl Nikki” Davis rises from evening host to afternoon drive personality on “Power 98.” Finally, John Reynolds is promoted to operations manager for the entire cluster. Reynolds most recently served as the program director and operations manager at CHR WNKS “KISS 95.1” and Adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7.” Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening comments, “John is an exceptional leader and very committed to the success of all of our Beasley Media Group Charlotte radio stations. I am looking forward to seeing him continue to build our strong brands for many years to come.”…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Collin Raye’s Rewind Country” adds new affiliate stations WVWF-FM, Waverly, Tennessee and WPAY-FM, Garrison, Kentucky. “Rewind Country” is a daily, one-minute vignette that “highlights amazing stories behind the greatest country hits, shared by Raye and friends such as Dolly Parton, John Michael Montgomery, and Lorrie Morgan…..ABC Radio, Skyview Networks, and Front and Center Entertainment are introducing radio versions of the PBS programs “The Front and Center Sessions” — for country stations — and “The Speakeasy Sessions” for rock outlets. Both series will feature 12, two-hour programs that are being produced exclusively for ABC Radio’s distribution. ABC Radio VP and general manager Steve Jones says, “We are excited to work with today’s greatest performers in country and classic rock music. We’re taking a wealth of content and weaving it into fast-paced radio programming that features great music and riveting behind-the-scenes stories and never-before-shared anecdotes from some of the biggest country and rock stars.”…..Westwood One is launching a new urban morning show on its 24/7 network starring former WHQT, Miami “Hot 105 FM” personality Rick Party (right) and former WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1” jock Sasha the Diva (left). Comedian Benji Brown is also named as part of the cast. WWO says it has 20-plus stations initially lined up to carry the program that is targeted to females 35-44.
FCC Commissioner: It Is Time to Update Our Rules to Reflect the Current Media Marketplace. Those are the words of Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly in his FCC blog post titled, “Thoughtfully Modernizing the Commission’s Media Ownership Rules.” In the post, O’Rielly points to reforms already made under current Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and names the reforms he thinks should be adopted next. He writes, “If a form is not needed, it should be eliminated. If a study is duplicative or useless, it should be junked. When public notice requirements are outdated, at the very least they should be modified. And when FCC rules are no longer necessary, they should be removed from our books.” Noting that for almost 10 years the FCC has failed to adequately complete the Quadrennial Review, O’Rielly states, “It is time we fulfilled not only a congressional mandate but the congressional intent of keeping our rules current. And this can and should be done thoughtfully, consistent with the fundamental propositions of localism, diversity, and competition. We owe this not only to our broadcasting industry but more importantly, to the American people, who are paying for – in one form or another – market inefficiencies resulting from our rules.” Among the five principles he outlines for media ownership reform are the elimination of the cross-ownership bans. “As consumers demand innovative platforms and seamless experiences to consume content, the FCC imposes bans preventing broadcasters and newspapers from delivering synergies that could result in innovative products and more, not less local content. Eliminating the restrictions on newspaper/radio, radio/television, and newspaper/television combinations is a crucial step. Previous commissions and bipartisan legislation from Congress already recognized the need for an update. It’s time to act.” Read O’Rielly’s entire post here.
NYT: Former FOX News Channel Star Bill O’Reilly Paid $32 Million to Settle Sexual Harassment Case. In an expose published in The New York Times over the weekend, it’s being reported that former FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly in January agreed to pay $32 million to longtime network analyst Lis Wiehl to settle sexual harassment allegations, a month before the network agreed to a contract renewal with O’Reilly that was to pay him $100 million over four years. The paper reports that O’Reilly settled five other harassment allegations in years prior. FNC tells the Times it was aware of Wiehl’s allegations against O’Reilly but says it was unaware of the amount of the settlement as that was a matter between O’Reilly and Wiehl. The NYT piece notes that News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James had been working to convince both staffers and the public that they were trying to clean up the cable news channel’s image and had recently fired FNC president Roger Ailes in the wake of his sexual harassment troubles, and would let O’Reilly go as well. This latest matter of workplace sexual harassment in the entertainment world comes as Hollywood is reeling from the Harvey Weinstein harassment scandal. See the Times piece here.
Bruce Kelly Joins Grenax Broadcasting’s Flagstaff, AZ Cluster. Radio pro Bruce Kelly is named director of programming and operations at Grenax Broadcasting’s Flagstaff, Arizona station group that includes news/talk KBTK “97.1 The Big Talker” and music outlets classic hits KFLX “Rewind 92.5/104.1,” country KSED “107.5 Kolt Country,” and classic rock KWMX “96.7 The Wolf.” Grenax general manager Stan Pierce says, “[Kelly] is a talented programmer with a long history of on-air success and a creative thinker on the marketing front. Bringing in someone of Bruce’s caliber reflects our commitment to provide our community of Northern Arizona with top-quality radio.”
Changes at WFOM, Atlanta ‘The Fan 2.’ According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, the pairing of Larry Wachs and Bob Whitfield on Dickey Broadcasting-owned sports talker WFOM, Atlanta “The Fan 2” has ended with owner David Dickey stating he’s looking for a new show partner for Wachs on the newly reconstituted “Regular Guys” show on WFOM (2:00 pm to 4:00 pm). He also says he wants to build a show around Whitfield with the possibility of adding local programming to WIFN “The Fan 3.” Read Ho’s piece here.
Westwood One Unveils Kurt Warner Podcast. New to the Westwood One Podcast Network is a weekly show featuring NFL great and football analyst Kurt Warner, titled “The Kurt Warner Quarterback Podcast.” The program is delivered fresh every Tuesday morning during the NFL season and features Westwood One play-by-play voice Kevin Harlan.
North Korea War Talk, Trump Tax Plan, McCain-Trump Feud, New O’Reilly Settlement Allegation, Carter NYT Interview, Potential Uranium One Probe, James Toback Harassment Accusations, Mueller Investigates Podesta Group, Astros Win AL Pennant, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The saber rattling between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump; the Trump Administration’s tax reform plan; the ongoing feud between Trump and John McCain and McCain’s shot at the president over Vietnam War draft deferments; new allegations of a $32 million settlement between Bill O’Reilly and a sexual harassment accuser; Jimmy Carter’s New York Times interview; Robert Mueller’s investigation into an Obama-era deal with Russian firm Uranium One; director James Toback is accused of sexual harassment by numerous actresses; the Houston Astros beat the Yankees to win the American League pennant; and Sunday’s NFL action and poor attendance at a number of stadiums were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Sally Quinn Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast. Longtime Washington Post journalist, columnist, television commentator, Washington insider, author and legendary social hostess, Sally Quinn is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” She candidly discusses her Watergate-era, wildly romantic, extra-marital love affair, and subsequent enduring marriage of more than four decades to legendary Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, as well as her idiosyncratic relationship with religion, sexual harassment in politics as well as media… and much more. (She claims the late U.S. Senator John Tower tried to rape her in the back of a taxi.) Quinn is currently promoting her new book, Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir (HarperOne, 2017) and Harrison was granted one of her first interviews. To hear this fascinating 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. At Cumulus Media’s Detroit country station WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1,” Jessica Poxson exits her role as midday personality, assistant PD and music director…..There’s a new CHR station in the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina market as Curtis Media Group flips modern rock WXNR “99X” to rhythmic CHR as “HOT 99.5.”…..The morning duo of Jake and Tanner are back together at Woodward Radio’s WKSZ, Appleton, Wisconsin “95.9 Kiss FM,” effective today (10/23). Jake Kelly and Tanner Jay joined E.W. Scripps’ country WKTI, Milwaukee for mornings in October of 2015. Tanner Jay left the program earlier this year for family reasons and Kelly stayed on solo for a while before exiting the station as well. The two were hosting the morning show on WIXX, Green Bay prior to joining WKTI…..Radio One celebrated the 40th career anniversary of legendary Washington, DC radio and television personality Donnie Simpson last night (10/22) at the Warner Theatre. The star-studded concert featured Simpson’s favorite regional and national artists, including: Doug E Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, BBD, Chante Moore; and Rare Essence…..The Cumulus Media “neXt2rock 2017” national search for the nation’s newest rock star has so far drawn more than 1,800 submissions. Emerging artists are being rated by Cumulus listeners through October 25. Ultimately, the winner of this four-month-long competition will receive a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records and exposure via Cumulus radio stations nationwide. Mentor judges for the competition’s finale include Big Machine Label Group president & CEO Scott Borchetta; musician, songwriter and producer Desmond Child; record producer Bob Ezrin; Sex Pistols guitarist and host of “Jonesy’s Jukebox,” Steve Jones; and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.