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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

| January 5, 2021

Mike Luery Named Assistant News Director for KFBK, Sacramento. Radio and television news pro Mike Luery joins iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento “News 93.1” as 24/7 News and KFBK assistant news director for iHeartMedia’s Pacific region. iHeartMedia Pacific region news director Jayson Campadonia says that in this role, Luery will “help oversee news in California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska. He’ll report on everything from breaking news to politics to state fairs. With his vast experience in the news business, he will additionally play a critical role in developing young news talent.” KFBK program director Bill White states, “We look forward to Mike being an integral partner in contributing to the news content on ‘The KFBK Morning News with Cristina Mendonsa and Sam Shane’ as well as ‘The KFBK Afternoon News with Kitty O’Neal.’ Mike, with his decades of news experience in Sacramento, will be an excellent addition to our team of Northern California news veterans.” Luery served with Hearst Television’s KCRA-TV, Sacramento for 24 years. He began his career as news director at KZOZ-FM in San Luis Obispo, California.

WGY-AM/FM, Albany Adds Doug Goudie to Morning Show. Longtime Boston media figure Doug Goudie becomes part of the morning show at iHeartMedia’s WGY-AM/FM, Albany on Thursday (1/7), partnering with current air personality Kelly Lynch. Goudie assumes the role left vacant after Chuck Custer retired from the station in December following a 36-year career with WGY. Goudie, a.k.a. V.B. – short for Virgin Boy – got his nickname from Boston talk radio legend Howie Carr during his time working on Carr’s show at WRKO, Boston where he began his media career back in the late 1990s. WGY program director Jeff Wolf says, “With Doug’s rich experience as a recent midday talk host on iHeartMedia Boston’s WRKO, TV commentator on WFXT-TV, and long-stint on The Howie Carr Radio Show, I’m confident that he will satisfy the expectations of WGY listeners for years to come. The heart of what brings so many Capital Region listeners to WGY in the morning will remain unchanged. Doug and Kelly will both entertain and inform with meaningful conversations on the important local and national stories of the day but having fun will continue to be part of the show as well.”

Steve Czaban Exits WTEM, Washington; No Change to WRNW-FM, Milwaukee Gig. Sports talk host Steve Czaban announced via Twitter that he’s exited Washington, DC sports talk outlet WTEM “The Team” as his contract was up and new owner Entercom took control of the station from Urban One. While he won’t be doing a daily show in Washington, he will remain with Entercom on a part-time basis and will host a Saturday morning program on sister sports talker WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan.” The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that Czaban says the change in DC has no effect on his Milwaukee radio show heard daily in morning drive on iHeartMedia’s WRNW-FM “97.3 The Game.” Czaban calls his exit from WTEM a mutual one, telling the MBJ, “As my contract was coming to an end, I had been contemplating a change of pace and direction for some time now. This is the right move for me at the right time. I am very excited and thankful for this opportunity, and any others that may present themselves in the future.”

Beasley Media Group Begins 60th Anniversary Celebration. The logo you see here is being unveiled by Beasley Media Group to commemorate the company’s 60th anniversary. The company says, “On December 2, 1961, a young high school principal named George Beasley launched WPYB-AM in Benson, North Carolina with the vision of providing a voice for the voiceless in the local community! Today, Beasley Media Group is a multiplatform media company providing advertising and digital marketing solutions across the United States with 64 radio properties located in 15 large and medium markets across the country. Beasley also offers capabilities in audio technology, esports, podcasting, ecommerce, and events. Featured on the NASDAQ, BBGI is ranked among the publicly traded media companies in America.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley adds, “We are so thrilled to be able to celebrate the incredible legacy that our father, George, began back in 1961 when he built his very first AM station in Benson, North Carolina. It’s such a privilege to be able to build upon his forward-thinking vision and continue to blaze new innovative trails in today’s ever-changing industry with our outstanding employees and management team. Here’s to the next 60 years!”

Noted Record Producer and “Urban Philosopher” Robbie Stevens Rejoins TalkersRadio.  The TALKERS editorial board announces the return of Robbie Stevens to the talent roster of TalkersRadio. Stevens, who was the first talent signed for TalkersRadio – a service of TALKERS magazine – when it launched in the fall of 2013, has agreed to perform as a commentator on the platform for a “limited engagement” that will run through June of 2021. The Bronx-based New York City native is well-known in the music industry for his years of innovative studio work with a wide variety of high-profile artists, most recently on behalf of the estate and fans of the late John Lennon, for which he has achieved critical acclaim for his “raw” remix of the legendary artist’s Imagine album. He also most recently executive produced 13 Billboard #1 Dance Chart singles in a row, for Yoko Ono’s innovative ensemble Ono. He also recently produced (with Yoko Ono) the “John Lennon Anthology,” a four-CD set of unreleased material that was Rolling Stone magazine’s boxed set of the year. During his colorful career, he’s played on, mixed, or produced records by Herbie Hancock, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and other high-profile musicians going back decades. During this time, Stevens has developed an alternative career as a talk radio host and commentator heard occasionally via on-air and online outlets provided by heritage NYC stations WOR and WNYM (in addition to TalkersRadio). On the return of Stevens to TalkersRadio, TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations (and former WOR PD) David Bernstein says, “Robbie brings a real East Coast urban perspective that is reflective of both the street and academia to the news/talk radio conversation. His ‘tell it like it is’ style is a provocative blend of gruff ‘everyman’ street talk and intelligent, eclectic inquiry into the mysteries of the universe, combining politics with pop culture, science and down-to-Earth sociology. You don’t hear his progressive position that often on today’s terrestrial news/talk radio and frankly, regardless of your politics, it is amazingly refreshing.” For example, Stevens has served as vice president of the board for a well-known youth basketball/education program that’s won national championships and helps kids from diverse backgrounds reach their academic goals. To listen to Robbie Steven’s new series of commentaries on TalkersRadio, please click here. TalkersRadio is an “experimental” talk radio platform launched in 2013 by TALKERS magazine to provide the industry with a “work out space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts.” Since its launch it has been a temporary home to a number of spoken-word talents – both high-profile and obscure – who’ve used it to work and showcase concepts that have gone on to achieve terrestrial radio exposure and even national syndication. In addition to Stevens, current TalkersRadio hosts include Claire CarterMeg McDonald, and UK sensation, Graham Mack. At the time of his passing, Alan Colmes was working on a series concept called “Healed Planet” heard on TalkersRadio which offered a glimpse into the late FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel star’s metaphysical interests. Files of that fledgling show remain archived on TalkersRadio as a tribute to Colmes. For more information about TalkersRadio, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Radio Advertising Bureau Updates Board of Directors. With the new year comes an update to the board of directors for the Radio Advertising Bureau. Connoisseur Media CEO Jeffrey Warshaw is the vice chair and Townsquare Media COO Erik Hellum is the finance chair. The RAB also announces that Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes joins the executive committee. Neuhoff Media COO Mike Hulvey continues to serve as chair and Univision president and regional radio general manager Sabina Widmann is serving as secretary.

New York Public Media Names Nsikan Akpan Health and Science Editor. Joining New York Public Media’s WNYC Newsroom is Nsikan Akpan, who begins his role as health & science editor on January 11. Akpan was most recently serving with National Geographic as science editor, overseeing COVID-19 coverage in addition to other types of science, health and technology news. Prior to that, he served for more than four years at “PBS NewsHour.” He and his team won a 2020 Emmy for the PBS NewsHour series “Stopping a Killer Pandemic” and in 2019 received a George Foster Peabody Award for the PBS NewsHour series “The Plastic Problem.”

Georgia Runoff Elections/Trump GA Appearance, Trump’s Call to GA Sec. of State, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, UK Lockdown, China and Pandemic’s Origin, Iran Seizes South Korean Oil Tanker, and the NYSE’s Chinese Telecom Delisting About Face Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4). The buildup to today’s runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats and Donald Trump’s appearance to stump for the Republicans; the controversy over Trump’s call to Georgia’s Secretary of State seeking to overturn his loss in that state; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; the UK orders a lockdown to stem the tide of COVID cases; questions about China’s stifling the investigation into the origin of the coronavirus; Iran seizes a South Korean oil freighter in the Persian Gulf; and the New York Stock Exchange reverses course on plans to delist three Chinese telecom companies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, May 6, 2019

| May 6, 2019

Cumulus Media Names Brian Philips EVP of Content and Audience; Mike McVay to Return to Consulting. Effective today, radio and television executive Brian Philips is being appointed executive vice president, content and audience for Cumulus Media, taking over for Michael McVay, who is returning to full-time consulting, with Cumulus as his first client.  Philips previously served as president of Viacom/MTV Network’s CMT channel.  The press release notes that there, Philips led “the music network’s successful forays into long-form script series, tentpole awards shows, concert specials, and feature films.  He also developed CMT’s successful national radio network.”  Prior to working in TV and film, Philips worked in radio programming with such stations as Cumulus’ WNNX-FM and WWWQ-FM in Atlanta, and KPLX-FM, Dallas.  Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner says, “We are excited that Brian is joining our leadership team.  A highly accomplished executive, leader, and innovator with substantial experience across today’s media landscape, he comes to us with an impressive and successful track record of growing ratings and expanding audiences.  We look forward to benefiting from the skills and expertise he brings to his new role. I would also like to thank Mike for his significant contributions to Cumulus and for being such a great partner to me.”  McVay underscores that the decision to leave Cumulus and return to consulting was entirely his.  In praising McVay, Berner adds, “Mike’s accomplishments since his appointment as EVP, content and programming in 2015 are too numerous to count.  To name just a few, under Mike’s leadership of the office of programming, we reversed four years of ratings share declines, and saw years of ratings share growth.  We are currently posting the best ratings since 2011 on some of our biggest and most important stations.  Mike has helped to expand Westwood One’s programming, participating in the launch of several new shows, including the very successful ‘The Ben Shapiro Show.’  Mike has also led us in increasing our reach beyond over the air listening to include smart speakers and all online listening.”

Monday Memo: Show Me Your Show. On smart talk stations, weekends are appointment listening and might be the two most profitable days of the week, “NOT incompatible goals” according to consultant Holland Cooke.  “Yet,” he notes, “programming Saturdays and Sundays can be high-maintenance for stations, and getting airtime is challenging for talent.” In this week’s Monday Memo, HC recommends a win-win road map to weekend airtime.  Read it here.

Simonson Named Director of Sales at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Radio sales pro Gregory Simonson is appointed director of sales for Hubbard Radio’s recently acquired West Palm Beach station group that includes news/talk WFTL, Fort Lauderdale and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach “640 The Hurricane,” and four music-formatted stations.  Simonson was most recently general sales manager with Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma states, “I’m very happy to welcome Gregory to the Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach family.  His extensive track record of success in traditional and digital media as well as his passion for helping sales people succeed make Gregory a perfect choice to lead our sales team to new heights.”  Last fall, Hubbard agreed to acquire the cluster from Alpha Media for $88 million.

‘Our American Stories’ Passes 180-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from American Private Radio announces the addition of eight new affiliate stations to the program’s roster, putting over the 180-station mark. APR president and show host Lee Habeeb says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly, they love the topics we share every night, and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  New stations include Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast is being launched starring iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, titled, “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing,” on the iHeartPodcast Network beginning on May 14.  The program will feature interviews with “visionary executives from the media and entertainment industries.”  In the first two episodes. Pittman talks with Maurice Levy, who, during his tenure as CEO of Publicis Groupe, increased the value of the company by 100 times and expanded a French agency into a true global advertising and communications leader; and Scooter Braun, renowned talent entrepreneur, investor and entertainment executive who boosted the careers of international superstars such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and many others…..Boston Herald-based nationally syndicated columnist and Boston Herald Radio show host Adriana Cohen recently hosted President Trump on her weekly program. Cohen tells TALKERS that the almost-20-minute interview went viral after being picked up by Politico, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Fox News, The Blaze, The Hill, and others…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that staffers at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM are getting some backing from fellow union members as they negotiate with the company for raises for the newsroom’s eight assistant producers.  The Writers Guild of America will rally outside the WBBM studios in the Prudential Building today (5/6)…..Washington University in St. Louis is awarding seven people with honorary degrees at a ceremony during the school’s 2019 commencement on May 17 and one of those is SiriusXM Urban View talk host Joe Madison.  The commencement address will be delivered by Michael Bloomberg.  Madison graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in 1971…..WTMJ, Milwaukee cleaned up at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards Gala in Madison over the weekend.  The Good Karma Brands news/talk station won first place in 21 categories, including: News/Talk Large Market Station of the Year, Radio News Operation of the Year (Large Market); Social and Digital Operation of the Year (Large market); Best Newscast: Wisconsin’s Afternoon News; and more. Pictured below with the station’s awards are WTMJ staffers (from l-r): Nick Van Wagenen, Erik Bilstad, Jordan Gasiorowski, Steve Wexler, Steve Scaffidi, Jane Matenaer, Jay SorgiBrad Lane, Doug Russell, Melissa Barclay, and Mike Spaulding.

Mueller Report/Trump on Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Politics, China Trade War Escalation, U.S.-Iran Tensions, North Korea Missile Test, Israel-Gaza Violence, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Avengers: Endgame, Kentucky Derby Disqualification, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the release of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s tweets saying Robert Mueller should not testify before congress; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; markets react as Trump threatens to ramp up U.S.-China trade war; U.S. carrier group heads to Iran in response to reports of Iranian threats to U.S. interests in the region; reaction to North Korea’s latest missile test; the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza; Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the Avengers: Endgame movie sets new record; the Kentucky Derby winner is disqualified; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

George Beasley Inducted into PA Radio Hall of Fame. Pictured above is Beasley Broadcast Group founder and chairman George Beasley at center with his wife Ann and surrounded by their family at the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters’ 2019 Gold Medal Awards Dinner yesterday (5/5) in Hershey where he was inducted into the PAB’s Hall of Fame.  Beasley was inducted with fellow honorees: comic and actor/director Bob Saget, Pittsburgh Steelers great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, and C-SPAN correspondent Steve Scully.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles alternative rocker KROQ announces the debut of the afternoon drive “Stryker and Klein” program featuring Ted Stryker (left) and Kevin Klein (right).  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “Pairing Stryker and Klein is something we could never have imagined just a few years ago.  Individually, they’ve both had tremendous success throughout their careers.  Adding great content to our afternoon programming is something that we’re very committed to and these guys do a fantastic job connecting the music to fun and interesting conversations.”  Stryker has been with the station since 1999.  Klein hosted mornings on the company’s KITS-FM, San Francisco “Live 105.” He was slated to be the morning host at sports talk KWFN, San Diego but the infamous Coronado Bridge social media post bit derailed his gig on that station…..The search is on for the new morning show at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago “US99” after Doug Stylz and Justin Roman exited the station on Friday (5/3).  The duo previously hosted the morning show at sister CHR WBBM-FM, “B96” before taking on the morning show role at “US99.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated evening personality Delilah recently hosted the “Our Town, Our Heroes Celebration,” a local event recognizing listeners for their outstanding work in the Wilmington, Delaware area, produced by Beasley-owned affiliate WJBR, Wilmington “Mix 99.5.”  In addition to helping honor local citizen’s Delilah was surprised by WJBR as the station honored her for her philanthropic efforts with her non-profit foundation, Point Hope, that serves as a voice for forgotten children in the U.S. foster care system and in West Africa.

Friday, August 24, 2018

| August 24, 2018

Tom Langmyer to Exit WTMJ and WKTI-FM in Milwaukee; Steve Wexler to Lead the Stations for Good Karma. Management and programming pro Tom Langmyer will be replaced at heritage Brew Town news/talker WTMJ-AM and country WKTI-FM by a familiar face – former Journal Communications and E.W. Scripps executive Steve Wexler.  He headed Journal’s radio division and stayed with the stations after they became part of E.W. Scripps.  Buffalo native Langmyer – who rose from program director at KMOX, St. Louis to station manager, then served as GM of WGN, Chicago – will stay with the stations until Good Karma assumes control.

Francesa’s Mike’s On App Is Released. New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s new app – dubbed Mike’s On after the name of his new WFAN show – has been released.  The new digital platform for Francesa is a collaborative effort between Francesa’s agency CAA and WFAN owner Entercom.  In addition to giving listeners digital access to his daily radio show, it will include exclusive extras such as a Saturday college football show and a Sunday NFL show. Francesa also is promising to comment on sports stories as they happen, anytime day or night.  The app is $8.99 a month – a price point that some are criticizing for being higher than the typical media app.  In a press statement, Francesa says, “I wanted to create my own exclusive platform to provide fans and subscribers with fresh content to complement the WFAN program they have known and trusted for decades, but with a level of information and immediacy they have never experienced before.  If it’s breaking news at 7AM or 1AM after a crushing defeat, fans will hear from me instantaneously. No barriers. No restrictions.”

KKNT, Phoenix Host Seth Leibsohn to Sue Political Consulting Firm Over Services. According to a report by the Arizona Republic’s Ronald Hansen, KKNT, Phoenix “960 The Patriot” afternoon drive talk show host Seth Leibsohn is suing political consulting firm Compass Strategies for its failure to assist him in getting enough qualified signatures in his bid to run for U.S. Rep. in Arizona’s 9thcongressional district.  After ending his bid for congress – for which he was prepared to leave his radio show due to equal time concerns – Leibsohn spoke about the matter on his radio show and said he was assured by Compass that all was well with the nomination signatures.  The paper quotes Leibsohn saying, “I am embarrassed about it and I am ashamed over it and I am committed to doing everything I can to give the donors to this campaign their money back.  We were assured on multiple occasions all was going well and there was no problem.  Indeed, some on the campaign staff joked…about other campaigns having problems but not ours.  Well the joke as it turned out — the terrible, awful joke — was on me and on you.  The others had the signatures and we did not.”  The story notes that the Leibsohn campaign had raised $144,000 as of June.  Read the Republic piece here.

Michael Harrison Says Trump Uses His Contentious Relationship with the Press to Political Advantage.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison participated in a discussion about media and news bias in covering President Trump in a conversation on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) yesterday (8/23) on “Across America with Carol Costello.”  In a conversation with the show’s host, Carol Costello, and media analyst Bill Carter, former media reporter for The New York Times, Harrison says that there is blatant bias being perpetrated by both the pro- and anti-Trump media.  He attributes it to the long-running trend of the media “targeting audiences for commercial purposes” and confirming people’s pre-determined opinions (pro and con) about the president in the process.  Harrison states, “There is nothing wrong with political opinion – it’s a cherished tradition in journalism – as long as it is disclaimed as such and done in good spirit and good will.  We’ve lost sight of that and a lot of people don’t know the difference.”  As far as Trump complaining that 80% of the coverage of his presidency is fake news, Harrison says, “Trump uses the contentiousness [with the press] to his advantage with his base and wouldn’t want it any other way.”  To view the entire segment, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured at right is Jack Phillips (second from left) – the Colorado baker whose refusal to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple based on religious beliefs that was the subject of the recent 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court victory – visited the Salem Media Group Los Angeles offices seeking support for his Alliance Defending Freedom legal team.  From left to right are: Salem Radio Network host Dennis Prager, Phillips, SRN vp/news & talk programming Tom Tradup; and SRN talk host Larry Elder…..On today’s edition of the syndicated “John Fredericks Radio Show,” U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) – who serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces – sat in as guest host…..iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee sports talker WOKY “The Big 920” is going local in the midday, replacing FOX Sports Radio’s Colin Cowherd with Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play man Ted Davis, WISN-TV sports director Dan Needles, and former WAUK “540 ESPN” personality Mitch “Thunder” Nelles hosting “The Crossover” from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm daily…..Entercom’s WWEI-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and the University of Massachusetts renew their deal for the station to serve as flagship for football and men’s basketball play-by-play broadcasts.  Additionally, the station will air the weekly “UMass Insiders Show” featuring UMass football head coach Mark Whipple, men’s basketball head coach Matt McCall and men’s hockey head coach Greg Carvel.  WWEI-FM carries sports talk programming from Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston…..At the recent Beasley Media Group managers meeting, Jonathan Kraft, president of The Kraft Group and the New England Patriots, was the featured guest speaker. Kraft participated in a lunchtime “fireside chat” with WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” midday personality Marc Bertrand at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston.  Pictured below (from l-r) are: Dr. Bob Beasley, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Kraft, Beasley Media Group founder and chairman of the board George Beasley, COO/EVP Brian Beasley and president Bruce BeasleyPhoto: HSA Photo.

Lars Larson Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Veteran radio talk show host, Lars Larson is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Operating out of KXL in Portland, Oregon, he is an “iron man” hosting six hours of radio every weekday.  He starts this daily marathon by hosting 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm PT on a network of about 20 regional stations, including KXL, on Alpha Media’s Radio Northwest Network.  Then he immediately plugs into his Compass Media Networks coast-to-coast roster of about 150 radio stations and does a national show from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT.  He shows up to work every day prior to going on the air at around 6:00 am and puts in about six hours of prep time to be up to date on all the local, regional, and national issues.  And he performs his shows standing up to attain proper breathing and projection!  He’s been hosting radio shows in the Northwest for more than four decades since he was 16 years old and he just celebrated his 15th anniversary in national syndication.  Along the way, he also did some top-notch work for 20 years as a television reporter and news anchorman… but radio is his first love.  Larson is a highly regarded dyed-in-the-wool conservative who has received more than 70 awards from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Press Club, including two Emmy’s and a Peabody for his reporting and documentaries.  Harrison and Larson take a deep dive into exploring the state of talk radio, the changing nature of journalism, the differences between radio and TV, and his personal recipe for on-air durability.  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 of every page on Talkers.com.

Longtime Garden Show Host Paul Parent Dies Unexpectedly.  Condolences go out to the family and friends of Boston-based garden show host Paul Parent.  His son Michael contacted TALKERS magazine to let the industry know that Paul passed away unexpectedly last week.  He’d been hosting a gardening show on the radio for the past 34 years.  Beginning his “Paul Parent Garden Club” at WRKO in 1984 during the reign of talk radio greats Jerry Williams and Gene Burns, he worked there for 15 years before going into national syndication. At the time of his death, his show was syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.

Manafort Conviction and Cohen Guilty Plea Top News/Talk Stories for Week of August 20-24.  The conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on financial fraud charges and the guilty plea by former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to campaign finance violations tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia Investigation. Coming in at #3 was the Mollie Tibbetts murder case, followed by President Trump’s ordering Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate South Africa’s farm expropriation program and Trump’s Jeff Sessions criticisms tied 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. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Brian Paiz is named SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Columbus and Albany, Georgia markets.  He joins the company from IBX Media in Greenville, North Carolina where he was brand manager for WRHD-HD2.  Paiz has also held several programming positions for iHeartMedia, including program director for iHeartMedia’s “100.1 The Beat” and director of urban programming for WIBB and “V101.7” in Macon, Georgia…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Wolfman Jack Radio Show” picks up new affiliate stations as KEDB-FM, Des Moines; KRWN-FM, Farmington, New Mexico; KIWA-FM, Sioux City; and WRHL, Rockford, Illinois add the program to their lineup.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “Wolfman Jack is back and blowing up the airwaves again. In my 30-plus years of launching network programming for radio stations to broadcast, I have never seen these many affiliations so quickly.  The Wolfman legend continues.”…..Univision’s hip hop KBBT, San Antonio “The Beat 98.5” is adding Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” featuring Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy for morning drive…..iHeartMedia announces Mike “McCabe” Kerr is named program director at CHR WERZ, Exeter, New Hampshire “Z107.” McCabe will also host the afternoon drive program.  iHeartMedia New Hampshire SVP of programming Tim Moore says, “Mike’s talent and experience stood out immediately and we are thrilled to have him join the iHeartMedia New Hampshire team. He’s a true radio geek — which I love — from on-air to programming — and even engineering!  This guy is the real deal and we can’t wait for him to help take ‘Z107’ to even greater heights!”  McCabe joins the New Hampshire market from Saga Communications Ithaca where he most recently served as the program director and morning host for WFIZ “Z95.5.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

| March 21, 2016

beasleygeorgeBeasley CEO George Beasley on Medical Leave.  Filling in for company chief executive officer George Beasley is EVP/CFO Caroline Beasley.  According to a statement from Beasley Broadcast Group, she’ll be interim CEO during his absence.  The notice of medical leave for George Beasley does not go into specifics but says the changes take effect immediately.  Caroline Beasley – George Beasley’s 53-year-old daughter – has served as the company’s executive vice president, chief financial officer,beasleycaroline treasurer and secretary since 1994 and as a director since 1983.  Caroline Beasley comments, “George’s passion for radio and his entrepreneurial spirit have made a positive and lasting impact on the industry and in the development and long-term success of Beasley Broadcast Group.  On behalf of Company employees, family, friends and business associates, our heartfelt thoughts are with George during his medical leave.  Out of respect, we will be honoring his request for privacy and will not be commenting further on his condition at this time.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio: News/Talk Format a ‘Political Powerhouse.’  Looking at data from its February 2016 PPM survey, Nielsen Audio reports that – as it did during the presidential race of 2012 – the format is experiencing a ratings surge that has put it to “nearly in double-digit listener share territory.”  Citing the contentious primary races as having sparked interest in the races and the issues, Nielsen states, “News/talk is up two-10ths from January to February (9.7% to 9.9%) among all listeners (aged 6 and older).  Listenership for adults 25-54 also climbed two-10ths to a 6.9% share in February while listener share for adults 18-34 remain flat at 4.1%.  With more than seven months to go before the election, news/talk radio should remain a political powerhouse on the radio dial.”  Nielsen also notes in the report that sports talk has seen a dip – from 5.1% to 4.2% — for persons 6+.  However, February is traditionally a down month for sports talk in the aftermath of the NFL season and with baseball still two months away.  Nielsen says, “The good news is that All Sports tends to start a multi-book trend up after February thanks to March Madness, the start of baseball in April and post-season hockey and basketball in May.  This was true in 2015 and every prior year we have been tracking monthly format trends in PPM.”  See the study here.

The Presidential Race, Paris Terror Suspect Captured, Obama Visits Cuba, Open SCOTUS Seat, Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Case, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president; the capture of Paris terror attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam; President Obama arrives in Cuba on diplomatic mission; the controversy over the replacement of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; the verdict in Hulk Hogan’s suit against Gawker for releasing video of his sex tape; and the action in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

shoredaveNew Afternoon Duo for ‘Detroit Sports 105.1.’  Replacing Matt Dery and Drew Sharp in the afternoon drive slot on Greater Media’s sports talk WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” are former Detroithunterlindsey Pistons great Lindsey Hunter and station PD Dave Shore.  They begin hosting the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show this afternoon (3/21).   Hunter retired from the NBA after the 2010 season and most recently was assistant coach at Golden State serving under Mark Jackson during the 2013-2014 season.  Shore joined the station as PD a year ago.  Prior to that, he was on-air talent and operations manager at ESPN Radio-owned KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPN LA 710.”

wbalWBAL, Baltimore Makes Program Schedule Changes.  Two local personalities at Hearst’s news/talk WBAL, Baltimore “Newsradio 1090” are getting expanded duties.  First, late morning talk personality Clarence M. Mitchell IV, a.k.a. C4, sees his show expand to 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (adding the noon hour).  At the same time, talk host Derek Hunter continues his daily talk show (trimmed to two hours) from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm but adds political analyst duties for the station in which he’ll cover local and national races and issues and appear on other WBAL programs.

Odds & Sods.  Covering President Obama’s trip to Cuba is Westwood One News correspondent Bobww1newscostantini16 Costantini.  He’s pictured at right in Jose Marti Monument Plaza in Havana getting some man-on-the-street reaction to president Obama’s trip to the city.  Today, Costantini will be inside the presidential palace for the statements from President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro…..ABC News Radio is also on the abcNewsStoneCuba16scene in Havana covering President Obama’s visit.  Pictured at left is ABC News Radio’s Alex Stone creating a video of the news organization’s broadcasting base camp in a park in Havana.  If you click on the link here, you can watch the whole video on Facebook that shows the media encampment…..Cumulus Media announces Jeff Pezzano is named VP of sales for its Youngstown, Ohio operations,  Pezzano will lead sales development and strategy for the eight-station cluster that includes: CHR WHOT “HOT 101,” country WQXK “K105 FM,” classic rock WYFM “Y103,” rock WWIZ “Rock 104,” sports talk WBBW “1240 AM ESPN,” sports talk WLLF-FM, “Sports Radio 96.7,” news/talk WPIC, and talk WSOM.

Friday, February 12, 2016

| February 12, 2016

johnsonchrisJohnson Joins WTEM as PD. More accurately, as of next Monday (2/15), Chris Johnson will again occupy the programming chair at Red Zebra Broadcasting sports outlet WTEM “ESPN 980,” Washington, DC – just as he did from 2005 to 2008. Red Zebra Broadcasting chairman Terry Bateman states, “We are excited to have someone with Chris’ experience and skill to help us build and grow ‘ESPN 980.’ We have a great lineup of talent and great content. We look forward to putting it all together to give our listeners the best sports talk radio in the Washington, DC market.” Most recently, Johnson covered MLB‘s Washington Nationals as a reporter for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. He previously was a producer of NFL and NCAA games for Westwood One; Johnson’s prior connection with WTEM lasted from 1996 – 2008. Down for the third straight ratings period (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9 -1.6, 6+), “ESPN 980” finishes #20 in the “Holiday” 2015 report, while its format challenger – CBS Radio-owned WJFK-FM “The Fan” – also off for the third successive sweep (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1 -1.9, 6+) – is #18. The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH (5.9 – 6.1 – 7.0 – 12.0, 6+).

careytrevorTrevor Carey Promoted to Afternoons at ‘PowerTalk 96.7’ in Fresno.  Radio pro Trevor Carey had been hosting the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s sister “PowerTalk” brand in the Stockton-Modesto market – “PowerTalk 1360” on KFIV and KWSX – in addition to hosting the 6:00 pm hour on “PowerTalk 96.7” (KALZ-FM and KRZR-AM in Fresno-Visalia).  Now, with Christopher Gabriel’s recent exit from the PM drive slot, Carey takes over the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  He’ll also host the 6:00 pm hour on the Stockton-Modesto duo.

talkersten logoNew Hampshire Primary/Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 8-12.  Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and the activities of the candidates for president were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Hillary Clinton email case investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the recent financial markets activity and related concerns about a recession followed by the effects of the Syrian civil war at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and it is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

hannitySean Hannity to Speak and Host Breakfast at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  In what has become an annual talk media industry tradition, Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will host “Breakfast with Hannity” and preside over the opening keynote discussion at the forthcoming 19th annual installment of the field’s largest, longest-running and most important national convention.  In making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Sean’s contributions to this storied event, as well as to the industry in general, are incalculable.  He has spearheaded discussions about crucial issues attendant to the ratings, consolidation, lowering the demos and free speech, just to scratch the surface.  He has provided inspiration and encouragement to new generations of broadcasters coming into the field.  When Sean walks in the door at this event, all politics are left outside and he becomes a true statesman of the business offering insight, experience and intelligence about the many issues and challenges we face in common.  We are delighted that he will again play such an important role in this conference – especially considering its forward-motion theme of bridging the generations.”  Over 60 outstanding speakers will participate in TALKERS 2016, set for Friday, May 20 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

beasley logoBeasley Broadcast Group 2015 Q4 Net Revenue Up 6.2%.  That figure is based on Beasley’s reporting of combined operations – both continuing and discontinued operations – and that’s relative to the 2014 Q4 asset swap with CBS RADIO that saw Beasley exchange five radio stations in the Philadelphia and Miami-Fort Lauderdale markets for 14 CBS stations in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, Charlotte and Philadelphia markets.  Net revenue of combined operations for the wholebeasleygeorge of 2015 was $105.9 million, an increase of 4.4% over 2014.  Beasley CEO and chairman George Beasley states, “Throughout 2015 we implemented a broad range of operating, programming, sales and local strategies intended to extract operating and financial synergies from the stations acquired in the 2014 Asset Exchange.  I am pleased to report that we achieved our goal of our clusters outperforming the markets that report to Miller Kaplan for the first time in December 2015 and expect this trend to continue in 2016.  Success with our integration and profitability initiatives is also reflected in fourth quarter 2015 station operating income of $9 million and an SOI margin of 31.7%, as well as net income of $3.3 million or $0.14 per diluted share.”

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO Revenue Dips 5%.  Radio is not the primary focus of CBS Corp. but new CBS chairman, president and CEO Les Moonves has always said he likes the radio business – especially its cash flow.  Radio is lumped in with CBS Television Stations to make up the Local Broadcasting category, but the company breaks the two apart in these reports and radio’s revenue was down 5% on “continued softness in the radio advertising marketplace and lower political advertising.”  The television sector was down 11% compared to the same Q4 period in 2014 – a period that benefitted from mid-term election political spending.

Odds & Sods.  WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning” spoke on the radio with GOPbermanschnitt presidential candidate and fellow New Yorker Donald Trump yesterday morning (2/11).  Responding to criticism that he doesn’t have the temperament to be president, Trump told the WOR audience, “as we get closer, you will be shocked at how presidential I will carrollbillbe.”…..Talk host Bill Carroll had been doing an afternoon talk show for Corus-owned news/talk CFMJ, Toronto from Los Angeles while he was still working at iHeartMedia’s KFI (a gig he exited in early January).  Now, he’s also leaving the CFMJ show with rumors he’s soon to land at a new station in Canada…..A special edition of the Joan Hamburg show will air on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC, New York this weekend as the Big Apple radio host covers New York’s annual Fashion Week.  For the second year, Hamburg speakshamburgjoan with New York’s fashion elite in “The Business of Fashion Week” airing on Saturday (2/13) from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ( a special replay will air Sunday night at 9:00 pm).  Hamburg speaks with New York Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis, “The Real Housewives of New York City” star Countess Luann de Lesseps, New York style icon Nick Wooster, Harpers Bazaar editor Avril Graham, and Ben Stiller, director and star of the Zoolander films…..AccuWeather appoints Sarah Katt vice president of product development and operations for the AccuWeather Network.  She’ll report to John Dokes, general manager of the AccuWeather Network and chief marketing officer of AccuWeather.