Tag: "Greg Papa"
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Soda, Pretzels and Fear,” looks back at this past week of 7/4 to 7/8. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Gary Sutton; talk show host, WSBA, York, PA; Daliah Wachs, M.D., talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Holland Cooke, media consultant, Holland Cooke Media; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Matthew B. Harrison, VP/associate publisher, TALKERS. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas; WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Podcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Nick Wilson Returns to 92.3 The Fan Cleveland in Afternoon Drive. Sports talk personality Nick Wilson is re-joining Audacy’s WKRK-FM, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” alongside Dustin Fox on the afternoon drive program, effective July 18. Wilson previously served as one of the station’s evening hosts from 2015 to 2018. He most recently served with Urban One’s sports talk WFNZ-AM/FM, Charlotte. Audacy Cleveland SVP and market manager Tom Herschel comments, “Having Nick back in Cleveland to rejoin our lineup is a great moment for ‘The Fan,’ the radio home of the Browns and the most local sports talk in Cleveland.” Wilson says of his return, “Leaving Cleveland was an impossible decision four years ago. It’s an honor to be rejoining ‘92.3 The Fan.’ Afternoon drive in Cleveland is hallowed ground, and I can’t think of a better person to team up with than Dustin Fox. I can’t thank Tom Herschel, Andy Roth and the entire leadership group at Audacy Cleveland enough for making my dreams come true again.”
Jake Kaplan Rises to Corporate Role at Audacy. Imaging and creative director for Audacy’s Los Angeles station group is promoted to the newly created corporate position director of imaging & sound design. Jake Kaplan had been in his previous role with Audacy LA since December of 2019 and had served as imaging director for KCBS-FM, Los Angeles since 2005. In this new role, Kaplan will oversee national vendor relationships, create collaborative teams for brand imaging projects, oversee exclusive station imaging, build format imaging teams, oversee campaigns for national initiatives and events and more.
Campanario Promoted to SVP Post at AURN. Digital media pro John Campanario is promoted to SVP digital media & brand communications for American Urban Radio Networks. Campanario joined AURN in 2018 and launched the company’s digital platforms. Prior to that, he served with WWRL-AM, New York when it was a progressive talk format. He led the national launch of “The Ed Schultz Show.” AURN CEO Chesley Maddox-Dorsey states, “John has more than proven himself as a great leader with both a creative vision and his uniquely approachable management style. With the expansion of our digital media department, we are excited to have his leadership which affords us continued growth as we explore more emerging digital areas.”
Jim Bohannon Addresses Absence from Air to Listeners. Legendary Westwood One nighttime talk show icon, Jim Bohannon, has been noticeably absent from his show for the past couple of months while battling with and recovering from a health challenge. His show has begun airing the following message that he recorded for his listeners: “Hi. This is Jim Bohannon, and I hope it sounds like me. I’m sure many of you have noticed my on-air absence of late. I have some health issues which will keep me off a bit longer. In the meantime, thanks to guest hosts Dom Giordano, John Trout, and Rick Valdez for continuing to fill in and I hope to return to the Jim Bohannon Show in the not-too-distant future.” Bohannon also sends his thanks to the many attendees of TALKERS 2022 who signed a large get-well card for him at the convention.
TALKERS News Notes. Sports media figure Greg Papa and the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers have agreed to an extension of Papa’s deal to remain the radio play-by-play voice for the team through the 2028 season. Papa, who also hosts the midday show on Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR, San Francisco (the 49ers flagship station), joined the 49ers after 21 seasons as the voice of the Oakland Raiders until their move to Las Vegas. 49ers president Al Guido says, “Our team has experienced incredible games, plays and moments on the field in the past few seasons, a large portion of which have been accompanied by memorable calls by Greg Papa. His voice has become synonymous with our organization, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to our radio booth for years to come.”…..iHeartMedia Central Florida announces its 2nd Florida Jobs Now Career Expo, an onsite resource event connecting job seekers to companies. The July 14 event will provide job seekers with the opportunity to meet with companies throughout Central Florida offering hundreds of positions, as well as attend and interview on-site the day of. iHeartMedia area president for Orlando and Melbourne Barbara Latham comments, “We look forward to bringing our second of three recruiting events this year to Central Florida. As a business ourselves serving our local community in Central Florida, we continue to realize the need from our business partners to fill jobs and is a top priority. We feel uniquely poised to help connect these businesses with people living or moving to Central Florida as an essential part of our efforts in our local communities.”…..SiriusXM announces the release of a special installment of its audio documentary series, which will remember the late comedian Gilbert Gottfried. “Obsessive Comedy Disorder: Boomers – The Gilbert Gottfried Is Dead Special” features comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried’s interview with Dan Pasternack and Aristocrats director Paul Provenza, who talk about the ‘80s comedy boom, his life, career, and more. SiriusXM says, “In what is believed to be the last long-form interview done with the voice that became comedy gold, this hour and a half conversation is an expansive and hilarious deep dive into the mind and memories of one of comedy’s most brilliant and unique talents.”
Fourth of July Shooting and Gun Control Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 4-8. The shooting in suburban Chicago that took the lives of seven on the Fourth of July and the issue of gun control combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was testimony before the January 6 Committee, followed by partisan politics and the primary races for the November midterm elections at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
Rare On-Air Opening at KOA, Denver. This opportunity hasn’t existed in 25-years! With the retirement of April Zesbaugh, we’re looking for our next morning voice to co-host “Colorado’s Morning News” on iHeartMedia’s KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM in Denver. You’ll work alongside a group of talented, award-winning journalists in one of the few 24/7 local radio newsrooms in America. Our facilities are top notch, with new studios, one of the best AM signals in the country and full-market FM coverage. Applicants must submit a hosting/anchoring demo as well news writing samples and a summary, with demo audio, of your commercial endorsement skills. See full details and apply here. iHeartMedia is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Radio News Opportunities. The Virtual News Center is looking for remote reporters who can gather, write, and produce daily news stories with audio from home. Ideal candidates will have calling capabilities to record interviews with newsmakers, or we can provide access to our VoIP system if needed. Knowledge of the business world would be a plus, as there are opportunities to produce specialized business pieces in addition to daily standard news stories. Please send an mp3 and resume to: email@example.com
It’s Official: Greg Papa Joins KNBR. The news of the arrival of Bay Area sports media figure Greg Papa at Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR is official – he’ll be co-hosting the midday show with John Lund, effective July 16. Papa, a longtime radio voice of the Oakland Raiders, also begins serving as play-by-play man for the San Francisco 49ers this season. This news from Cumulus comes a day after TALKERS reported that longtime KNBR air personality Gary Radnich is retiring from the station and that host Bob Fitzgerald (who serves as play-by-play voice of the Golden State Warriors) is exiting. The station’s new lineup has “Papa & Lund” airing from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Fitzgerald’s former partner Rod Brooks is joining the Tom Tolbert-led afternoon drive show, as is Radnich’s co-host, Larry Kreuger. The new “Tolbert, Kreuger & Brooks” show will air from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. This is a return to KNBR for Papa, who hosted his own show on the station from 2001 through 2003. He’s also worked with Lund in the past. KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “Greg brings unrivaled knowledge and top-notch entertainment value to every broadcast he leads. His connection with the Bay Area sports fan runs deep on many levels through his history in the local market, and we are proud to reunite him with John Lund in middays on ‘The Sports Leader.’” Regarding the exit of longtime personality Gary Radnich, Cumulus San Francisco VP/GM Doug Harvill says, “From the time Gary Radnich started at KNBR he was a pioneer in the sports talk format. He built a close relationship with listeners through his entertaining and intriguing perspective on sports and life. I cannot express how appreciative all of us at KNBR are for the opportunity to have partnered with him on his KNBR journey.”
Andrew Kalb Exits ABC Radio News. Radio news pro Andrew Kalb announces he’s exited ABC News as part of “a restructuring led by new management.” Kalb, who’s been with ABC News for the past 22 years, says, “It has been an honor to lead a talented team of broadcast and digital journalists and storytellers, and to successfully re-launch the ABC News Radio business, which now serves over 1,650 radio stations. Most recently, I also was executive producer and helped launch the ABC News daily audio podcast, ‘Start Here,’ which was recognized with a Murrow award last week for ‘innovation in journalism.’ Along the way, I have served our affiliates in partnership and with pride, understanding that all success is the result of teamwork and collaboration. To my many friends in radio, both at ABC and across the industry, thank you for the opportunity to work with you. I am looking forward to my next exciting opportunity.” Kalb can be emailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New York Festivals Radio Award Winners Presented in NYC. The winners of the 2019 New York Festivals Radio Awards were presented in New York last night and RTE Ireland was named Broadcaster of the Year for the third year running. Almost Tangible LTD. from the U.K. was named Production Company of the Year. ESPN Films was named Grand Winner for its “30 For 30” podcast. Pictured above is “30 For 30” producer and host Jody Avirgan (right) accepting the award at last night’s ceremony. You can see all the winners here.
TALKERS News Notes. New Jersey talk radio station WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” was honored with five of the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists’ Signature Awards at a ceremony held last Saturday (6/22) in Newark. Four of the Townsquare Media station’s full-time staffers and one freelancer were honored for “compelling news reporting on-air, online, and through the use of video.” Michael Symons and Sergio Bichao took 2nd place in the Investigative Reporting category for their four-part series on New Jersey’s pension system, detailing spiraling costs and sky-high individual payouts. Dino Flammia is the 2nd winner of the Herbert Morrison Award for Best Audio Story for his series on the challenges and successes seen in treating mental health issues in New Jersey. Michael Symons is the 3rd place winner of the Herbert Morrison Award for Best Audio Story, for the audio presentation of his and Sergio Bichao’s pension series. Louis C. Hochman is both the 1st and 3rd place winner of the Gabe Pressman Award for Best News Video. The first-place award is for his video of a community memorial service after a Long Branch teen killed his entire family and a friend. The 3rd place award, shared with freelancer Jay Lassiter, is of Lassiter’s long-form interview with former legislator Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, detailing her decision to publicly disclose a domestic violence incident…..Radio news pro Steve Nikazy is calling it a career at Entercom’s all-news KYW, Philadelphia. After 29 years with the station, Nikazy will retire on June 28…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis is honored with the distinction of making the St. Louis Top Workplaces list. The designation comes after a survey from Energage – a culture, technology, and workplace improvement research company. Hubbard operates sports talk WXOS-FM “101ESPN” and four music-formatted stations in the St. Louis market. Hubbard St. Louis vice president and market manager John Kijowski says, “This Top Workplace designation is especially important to us. In February of last year, we acquired KSHE and ‘105.7 The Point’ from Emmis Communications. We had twice the number of employees that we had to fit into the same square footage. We really worked hard to provide all of our employees with a great workspace. We focused on instilling confidence in the leadership and being attentive to the process of blending workplace cultures.”
Radio Exec Rick Devlin Dies at 75. Longtime radio executive Rick Devlin died on May 15 at the age of 75. During the course of his 40-year career, Devlin was general manager at WOR, New York; ABC Radio; and RKO Radio. He also served as president of the Radio Network Association and was a member of the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau.
Six-Station Deal in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. This deal will transfer six radio stations and an FM translator in the Williamsport, Pennsylvania market from Backyard Broadcasting PA LLC led by Daniel J. Farr to Backyard Broadcasting of Pennsylvania LLC led by Van A. Michael. The stations are: country WILQ-FM, hot AC WLMY-FM, sports talk WWPA-AM/W267BJ, rock WZXR-FM, rock WCXR-FM, and oldies WBZD-FM. The price of the sale has not been announced.
2020 Presidential Race, Iran Sanctions, Southern Border Migrant Issues, Trump Rape Accusation, Census Citizenship Question, and U.S.-China Relations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/24). The Democrats competing for their party’s nomination to face President Trump in 2020; the new sanctions placed on Iran in the aftermath of its shooting down a U.S. drone; the conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border and the politics of migrant issues; writer E. Jean Carroll’s allegation she was raped by Donald Trump in the early 1990s; the issue of including the question of citizenship on the next U.S. census; and the tensions between the U.S. and China over tariffs 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. Big news from Chicago as on-air legend Terri Hemmert announces she’s giving up her midday show at Entercom’s triple A WXRT, where she’s been working for the past 45 years. The 71-year-old personality will continue to serve with the station on a part-time basis, including continuing to host the Sunday morning “Breakfast with The Beatles” program…..LM Communications hands programming duties for its Charleston, South Carolina stations rock WYBB “98 ROCK” and triple A WCOO “The Bridge” to company PD Chili Walker, who is program director for its Charleston, West Virginia stations rock WKLC “ROCK 105” and classic hits simulcast WMXE/WWQB.
Big Changes at KNBR, San Francisco as Gary Radnich and Bob Fitzgerald Exit. Sports talk fans in the Bay Area are shocked by the unexpected tweet from KNBR, San Francisco personality Gary Radnich in which the 27-year station host announced he’s retiring immediately. He wrote, “Plan was to retire at the end of the year but with my 70th birthday ahead it makes sense now. Thank you audience for 36 years of TV-Radio!” Radnich has been partnered with Larry Krueger in middays. There’s considerable scuttlebutt in the Bay Area as to whether the sudden retirement was really Radnich being forced out by station owner Cumulus Media. The announcement comes on the heels of a report in The Athletic that Bay Area sports personality Greg Papa is exiting Entercom’s crosstown KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” for an on-air position with KNBR (he’d also handle radio play-by-play for 49ers games). For what it’s worth, The Athletic writes that Radnich was “let go.” Shortly after the Radnich news hit, we learned that KNBR also is parting ways with Bob Fitzgerald, who co-hosted the “Fitz and Brooks” show with Rod Brooks. It appears Brooks will continue hosting the show solo.
Drew Horowitz to Retire from Hubbard Radio. At the end of 2019, radio executive Drew Horowitz will retire from his president and COO position with Hubbard Radio. Horowitz has been with the company since it acquired Chicago stations (and clusters in three other markets) from Bonneville in 2011. Chicago media maven Robert Feder broke the news today. Horowitz says he’ll take some time off after December “and explore other opportunities, including serving on corporate boards, teaching, and taking classes.” Horowitz began his sales career with WFYR-FM, Chicago in 1976. During his career he served as chief of Lakeshore Communications, GSM at WCLR (now WTMX) including 19 years with Bonneville. In a memo to Hubbard staffers, chair and CEO Ginny Morris says, “Drew came to Hubbard Radio as a part of our transformational acquisition of four Bonneville markets in 2011. Since that time, Drew has been instrumental in helping us further grow the company as we added clusters in Phoenix and Seattle, bolstered our cluster in St. Louis and most recently, acquired our operations in West Palm Beach.”
Monday Memo: Retire ‘Trivia.’ In this week’s edition of the Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke recommends that you DO call-in questions that ask listeners to think, but that you DON’T call it “Trivia,” for four reasons. See what those reasons are here.
TALKERS News Notes. Veteran Philadelphia and New Jersey broadcaster Gary R’nel, guest-hosted last night (6/23) for Walter M. Sterling on the Westwood One syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” show…..Also from Philadelphia, several reports out of that city indicate that the KYW-AM air staff represented by SAG-AFTRA and Entercom have agreed to terms on a new contract for the on-air employees at the all-news station. The KYW staffers had been working without a contract for the past eight months…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reminds us that Windy City radio legend Garry Meier, who is currently producing his own podcast, is sitting in on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM all this week for morning drive personality Mancow Muller…..The most recent episode of the “Opie Radio” podcast from Gregg “Opie” Hughes is titled “R.I.P” in which Hughes says his deal with Westwood One for the podcast is ending. He says he intends to keep producing the podcast…..Westwood One News manager John Stolnis is pictured at right accepting the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award won by the news staff for breaking news coverage of last year’s Parkland Florida School shooting. The awards dinner was held Friday night at the National Press Club in Washington, DC…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago “The Score” announces the inaugural “McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing” (named for afternoon drive duo Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins) taking place on August 5 at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge, Illinois to benefit Turning Pointe Autism Foundation. Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “We’re very excited to launch the inaugural ‘McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing’ and to raise money for a fantastic organization like Turning Pointe. It should be a great day of golfing with ‘The Score’ talent and local sports celebrities.”…..Podcast producer Cadence13 launches the new program “Hacks on Tap,” a weekly podcast hosted by longtime campaign strategists and friends David Axelrod, chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, and Mike Murphy, a veteran political consultant for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign and many others. The two take listeners behind the scenes of top-level American politics and campaigns, offering their insider perspectives and analyses on the state of American politics in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.
PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk Radio. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk. Big gainers from April to May are KNPR, Las Vegas (+1.2); KXJZ, Sacramento; KCUR, Kansas City; and WPLN, Nashville – all up 1.0 share. Both KNPR and KCUR realized big year-over-year weekly 6+ AQH share increased with KNPR rising 3.8 shares and KCUR going up 2.2 shares. Just three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in May: KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KCFR, Denver. See the whole report here.
The Harry Hurley Charity Juggernaut Keeps Rolling. WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley’s “Hurley in the Morning” 12th Annual Charity Golf Open held this past Friday (6/21) at the Harbor Pines Golf Club was a huge success. The event, in conjunction with Hurley’s 11th Annual Charity Dinner at Resorts Casino Hotel (with Fox News personality Todd Starnes) held earlier this year, has raised a record $100,000 thus far in 2019 and has surpassed $900,000 over the past 12 years. Hurley, a former TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” recipient recently named the New Jersey Broadcasters Association “Broadcaster of the Year” for 2019, distributes the funds raised by his charity to worthy causes throughout New Jersey, the Northeast and across the nation.
Partying with Howie Carr. The two photos here are from the annual Summer Kick-off Party for affiliates, sponsors and industry friends of “The Howie Carr Show.” Howie and Kathy Carr held their annual get-together at their Boston-area home this past Friday evening (6/21). Above are Howie Carr (left) and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (right). Below are (from l-r): Yappy Days author, Bernadette Duncan; “Howie Carr Show” producer and on-air personality Grace Curley; and WBSM, New Bedford, morning host Phil Paleologos.
Steve Austin’s New Podcast Tops 1 Million Downloads. Returning from a six-month hiatus, Steve Austin’s latest podcast episode on PodcastOne gets more than 1 million downloads. PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since January, we’ve been running Steve’s classic podcasts from the last five years. There is no substitute for original content from the ‘global icon and national treasure,’ Steve Austin. He hits the ground running and is reaching his biggest audience ever. Welcome home, Steve.”
Three Named to Broadcasters Foundation of America Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces it has elected John David, senior advisor to the National Association of Broadcasters; Jinny Laderer, co-founder and CEO of vCreative; and Deborah Roberts, award-winning ABC News correspondent for “20/20,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” and “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir,” to its board of directors. BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “John, Jinny, and Deborah are industry leaders who have exemplified the Foundation’s philosophy of ‘giving back’ through their tireless efforts to advance broadcasting and to support our charitable mission of helping colleagues in need. It is with great pleasure that I welcome these highly respected professionals to our board of directors.”
Trump Calls Off Iran Strike, 2020 Presidential Race/Dem Primary Debates, Mayor Pete Town Hall, Immigration Policy/Deportation Ramp-Up, and Boris Johnson PM Bid Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The downing of a U.S. Air Force drone by Iran and President Trump’s calling off a retaliatory strike; the 2020 presidential race and this week’s TV debates between 20 of the Democratic candidates; presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg faces angry constituents over the police killing of a black man; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policy and the delay of a deportation program; and the call for British prime minister candidate Boris Johnson to explain a domestic incident in which police were called to his home were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York City hot AC WKTU has a new program director as Chris Conley – who also programs sister adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” – assumes the responsibilities. Conley is also brand manager for AC for iHeartMedia…..In Los Angeles, Taxi License Corporation names Jamillah Muhammad operations manager for urban contemporary KJLH-FM. She was most recently vice president for the marketing and management firm The Lewis-Kortez Group. She says, “I am extremely excited to join the KJLH family as the new operations manager. With my passion for radio, serving the community, and improving brands, I know we can lead this heritage station to success.”…..On-air pro Carmine Gialanella moves up from his evening show shift at iHeartMedia’s CHR WLDI, West Palm Beach “WiLD 95.5” to afternoon drive. Market SVP of programming Rad Messick says, “Carmine’s the ultimate team player for ‘WiLD 95.5.’ His enthusiasm and commitment is second to none. It’s a thrill to reward his performance with this well-deserved new afternoon opportunity.”…..Albany Broadcasting names Jeff Weber market manager for its six music-formatted stations in the Albany market. Weber joins the company from Charleston, South Carolina where he was general sales manager for a two-FM combo. Company COO Steve Borneman says, “Jeff has tremendous experience in radio and he has a local connection to Albany which makes him the perfect choice. We’re thrilled to have him…..Cumulus Media is spending $250,000 in technology to boost the signal strength of Worcester market hot AC WXLO-FM (licensed to Fitchburg, Massachusetts) to reach into the adjacent Boston market. Cumulus says, “Thanks to MaxxCasting, WXLO has the ability to bring its programming to as many as one million more listeners in the Boston area.” Cumulus RVP Bob Goodell adds, “We’re excited that the 450,000-plus listeners who tune into ‘104.5 XLO’ on a weekly basis, many of whom commute in and out of the City of Boston, will now be able to hear the radio station on their entire commute. MaxxCasting has also given us the opportunity to reach new listeners who live in the greater Boston area, giving us the opportunity to expand our footprint.”
Honolulu Morning Mainstay Rick Hamada Guests on this Week’s Harrison Podcast. Longtime, KHVH 830 AM, Honolulu morning host Rick Hamada is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Hamada and Harrison discuss the view of life – nationally and locally – seen from the perspective of an iHeartMedia-owned conservative news/talker in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They discuss the North Korea crisis, immigration reform, race relations and a number indigenous topics impacting the lives of those who call the 50th state home. Harrison says, “I met Rick Hamada at the recent FAIR ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ immigration reform radio row in Washington, DC and was a guest on his show. I was taken by his gentlemanly manner and articulate insights into the worldview from the United States of America’s most westerly outpost and knew right there I’d have to invite him on this podcast. I’m glad I did. This is a real cool conversation.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Digital Creates a New Ballgame For Boston’s WEEI. While some radio stations and companies are working harder and in some cases struggling to make digital dollars and traffic work for them, Boston’s WEEI (850AM/93.7FM) has proven digital can work extremely well for their station and brand. The Boston and New England region Entercom sports/talk powerhouse weaves its podcasts, along with an unusually strong presence on social media, into a mechanism that drives listeners to and from the radio and social media, and advertisers to multiple platforms. Success for WEEI’s digital arm didn’t happen overnight. The digital and social media launch came nine years ago as the stock market was tanking and businesses crumbling during the “great recession,” and now employs eight full and part-time staffers who also bring strong content to the radio while on-air sports radio hosts enhance their digital domain. To read all about TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s story covering this phenomenal success, please click here.
Davis Deal Keeps Him at iHM for Four More Years. On the heels of celebrating his 25th anniversary with the company, Darren Davis agrees to a four-year contract extension as president of iHeartMedia Networks Group. “We are pleased that Darren will continue to lead the integration of our Networks group that enables iHeartMedia to harness the unparalleled power, reach, and scale of our digital and broadcast platforms,” notes iHeartMedia chairman and chief executive officer Bob Pittman. “His 25 years of experience working in every facet of iHeartMedia means he has a unique understanding of every aspect of our company, from our broadcast radio stations and iHeartRadio to our sales teams and partnerships, and how they can all work together to best serve our consumers, partners, affiliates, and advertisers.” Davis, who was appointed to his current position three years ago, comments that he is always “amazed by iHeartMedia’s evolution, which is built on broadcast radio and now provides one-of-a-kind programming and opportunities to connect our advertising partners across our unparalleled range of multiple platforms in ways that no other company can.” Davis continues as president of iHeartRadio’s live-streaming and podcasting and oversees integration of the company’s multi-platform assets. He started at iHeartMedia Washington, DC in 1992 as an intern at WASH-FM (then owned by Evergreen), where he graduated to program director of the heritage adult contemporary outlet. The George Washington University alum later advanced to regional vice president of programming for the company’s Chicago and Detroit operations and to senior vice president of programming and executive vice president/general manager of national programming.
CBS Radio Second-Quarter Revenue Down 2.2%. While Q2 revenue for parent CBS Corp. rose 9% year-to-year to a record $3.26 billion from $2.98 billion in 2016, radio division revenue was reported at $306 million, down from $313 million (-2.2%) in 2016. Conversely, that figure is up from $250 million in 2017’s first-quarter. A noncash charge of $365 million for discontinued operations resulted from reducing the carrying value of CBS Radio to the level of the stock valuation of Entercom as it prepares to merge with Entercom in the second half of this year. In terms of CBS Corp. earnings, CBS Radio is classified as “held for sale,” adjusted each quarter based on Entercom’s stock price until that deal is finalized. CBS Radio recorded a $7 million restructuring charge tied with reorganizing some of its business operations, including severance costs and fees from ending some contractual obligations. According to CBS chairman and chief executive officer Les Moonves, “We continue to have more and more success as the landscape continues to change. Revenue was up 9% with top line growth in every one of our four business segments and EPS was up 12% to $1.04, representing our 30th consecutive quarter of EPS growth. Both of these totals were second quarter records for us. Our base advertising business is strong and growing, and at the same time, we’re laying new groundwork to ensure even more growth ahead. We are not only capitalizing on the changes in our industry, we are shaping the direction of these changes.” Local media revenue, which includes the company’s owned and operated television stations and CBS Local Digital Media, was $412 million, up 4% from $396 million last year.
PPM Data – Round One. Information for the July 2017 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. See the data from these 12-PPM markets here.
Frandsen, Hoffar to Host “KNBR Tonight.” Bay Area natives Kevin Frandsen and Drew Hoffar are the two on-air talents selected for “KNBR Tonight” on Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader.” The 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm program debuts next Monday (8/14). KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe opines, “Drew and Kevin are primed to make a huge impact in their new roles. Their work ethic is unmatched and both are committed to the smallest of details that will generate a great listener experience. They are relatable to the common fan, yet they each possess a vast knowledge of the overall sports landscape. I applaud Cumulus San Francisco for putting them in a position to shine.” A San Jose State University grad, Frandsen was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2004 and played for the team from 2006 – 2009, before joining the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2010), Philadelphia Phillies (2012 – 2013) and Washington Nationals (2014) before ending his 10-year MLB career with the Giants in 2015. He has filled in regularly on KNBR the past two years and remarks, “In my time as a major leaguer, I prided myself on performing in several roles as a utility player. Since arriving at KNBR. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the format’s most established personalities across a variety of timeslots. This evening post is a chance to advance my relationship with one of the best young talents in radio, connect with the best sports fans in the country, and move the KNBR brand forward into the digital age.” Hoffar grew up in San Leandro and has over 12 years of hosting experience and most recently served as lead host on KNBR morning show “The Audible,” alongside Frandsen. Hoffar previously held anchor and host positions at KGMZ, San Francisco and KHTK, Sacramento. “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to reach so many diehard Bay Area sports fans on a nightly basis,” he states. “Hosting evenings on KNBR carries a responsibility to serve fans the quality content they deserve as the daily news cycle hits a close. Kevin and I will provide a unique perspective on the games and will look to entertain/inform listeners every time we open the mics.” The station’s revised weekday on-air lineup is comprised of “The Show Hour with Patrick Connor” (5:00 am – 6:00 am); “Murph & Mac” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Gary Radnich & Larry Krueger (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); “Fitz & Brooks” (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); “Tolbert & Lund” (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); “KNBR Tonight with Drew Hoffar & Kevin Frandsen” (7:00 pm -10:00 pm); and CBS Sports Radio (10:00 pm – 5:00 am).
NPR Adds Bennett As Fourth White House Reporter. After serving as an NPR congressional reporter the past five months, Geoff Bennett is named White House reporter. In addition to Bennett, NPR’s team covering the White House now includes national political correspondent Mara Liasson, and White House correspondents Scott Horsley and Tamara Keith. NPR senior Washington editor Beth Donovan comments, “Just a few months into his return to NPR, Geoff has demonstrated the substantive reach, solid sourcing, and fluidity in stories. Those of us lucky enough to work alongside Geoff know he has done it with the grace and good humor we so need.” Before becoming a Washington reporter with NY1 News, Bennett spent almost six years at NPR as “Weekend Edition” editor.
McDonald Podcast Added to iHeartRadio. Two-time Emmy winner Rushion McDonald is making his “Money Making Conversations” podcast available on iHeartRadio. “I have known Rushion McDonald for over a decade and we have worked together on many projects,” states Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott. “I can honestly say he is one of the great creative business minds of our time. He has the uncanny ability to understand and solve the marketing needs of clients with innovative solutions involving talent, media, and events.” McDonald comments that he is “excited to share” his “Money Making Conversations” podcast “across iHeartRadio’s vast number of device platforms. Being available on iHeartRadio will allow me to help even more people reach their dreams through my meaningful discussions with celebrity friends and small business leaders.” Among others, guests thus far on McDonald’s podcast have included Cedric The Entertainer, Patti LaBelle, Carl Lewis, Roland Martin, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Sherri Shepherd, Rickey Smiley, Stephen A. Smith, Michelle Williams, and Charlie Wilson.
Salem Q2 Revenue Declines. Consolidated second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group decreased 2.5% year-to-year to $66.1 million. Net income was down from $3.4 million to $1.3 million and net broadcast revenue fell 1.4% to $49.3 million. Meanwhile, digital media revenue was off 1.6% to $10.9 million. Publishing revenue dipped 11.3% to $6 million. Salem Media Group is projecting third quarter total revenue to be off by 6% to 8% year-to-year, owing to lack of political revenue; reduced book release schedule; elimination of four loss-making magazines; and a continued soft Dallas market.
Texas Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Inductees. There are 16 new members of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. In alphabetical order, they include: Nick Alexander (Dallas/Fort Worth); Mark Carrillo (San Antonio); Ed Chandler (Marble Falls); R.W. “Catfish” Crouch (Houston); Bill Davis (Tyler); Roger W. Garrett (College Station); Bill Harrison & Dana Adams; Bill Ingram (Houston); Tempie Lindsey (Dallas/Fort Worth); Bobby Lopez (San Antonio); Sam Malone (Houston); John McCarty (Dallas/Fort Worth); Chrissie Murnin (San Antonio); Denise Partridge (Houston); and Mark Watkins (Dallas/Fort Worth). The class of 2017 will be honored in three months (11/4) at the Texas Museum of Broadcasting and Communications in Kilgore.
Comcast Advertising Execs to Headline Radio Breakfast. Members of Comcast Cable’s marketing team, including senior vice president of media strategy & sciences Kavita Vazirani, will participate in a discussion moderated by Radio Advertising Bureau president/CEO Erica Farber regarding the company’s relationship with radio. According to Farber, “Radio drives behavior, and Comcast Cable is a prime example of a top advertiser using radio as a method of communication to new and existing customers about new products and services. We look forward to welcoming Kavita Vazirani and her marketing team in Austin at the Radio Show to discuss radio’s role in their advertising mix.” The event will be held (Thursday) September 7 (7:30 am – 9:00 am) at Austin’s JW Marriott. The Radio Show is produced by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the RAB.
WNYC Studios Adds Bharara Podcast. “Stay Tuned with Preet,” a podcast hosted by former U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York Preet Bharara, has been picked up for distribution by WNYC Studios. The podcast – described by WNYC as being a series about justice and fairness – is produced by his brother Vinit Bharara’s media firm Some Spider Studios and Pineapple Street Media. According to New York Public Radio president and chief executive officer Laura Walker, “WNYC Studios is honored to add Preet Bharara’s compelling and timely podcast to our lineup. We have built our portfolio around distinct personalities; ‘Stay Tuned with Preet’ promises to bring podcast audiences and people interested in our political and legal culture something new, relevant, and utterly engaging.” Vinit Bharara adds, “I am really looking forward to Preet launching his podcast and sharing with the world his unique insights about justice and fairness – especially at a time when those two issues are at stake.” Initially asked to stay on board by the administration, Preet Bharara was fired by President Trump in March.
TALKERS News Notes. Hosted by NPR international correspondent Gregory Warner, “Rough Translation” is a new podcast about how topics that are discussed in America are handled in other countries. Debuting next Monday (8/14), “Rough Translation” will release new episodes weekly. Correspondents from NPR bureaus worldwide will contribute stories to the podcast, a product of NPR StoryLab ….. As first reported by the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Rich Peterson last Friday (8/4) closed out his 43-year radio career and 18 years as host of Townsquare Media Rochester, Minnesota news/talk KROC’s “Good Morning” show. In addition to two separate KROC “AM 1340” stints, Peterson worked at Omaha news/talk KFAB. Taking over the KROC morning slot are “This Morning with Gordon Deal” and Salem’s Mike Gallagher.
KDAY Back as Raiders’ Los Angeles FM Affiliate. Syndicated via Compass Media Networks and originating from Entercom San Francisco’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” Oakland Raiders football broadcasts will be carried in Los Angeles on Meruelo Media’s KDAY “Back in the Day Hits.” KDAY program director Adrian Scott declares that, “KDAY is the perfect [radio] home for the Raiders in Los Angeles. Hip-hop fans are the most passionate Raiders’ fans in Southern California and we are thrilled to continue to be the exclusive FM radio station delivering the Oakland Raiders.” The Raiders’ radio team consists of Greg Papa and former Raiders quarterback (1960 – 1966) and head coach (1979 – 1987) Tom Flores. The NFL franchise played in Los Angeles for 12 years (1982 – 1994) and have committed to move to Las Vegas upon completion of a stadium projected for the 2020 season.
O’Brien, Smith Added to WJXA Morning Mix. In two weeks (8/21), Midwest Communications Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” will debut a morning show featuring Brandon O’Brien and Ricki Smith. O’Brien most recently was the afternoon talent at Sinclair Telecable Norfolk country outlet WUSH “US-106.1,” while Smith arrives from Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” where he was morning co-host. They will join producer/co-host Clint Redwine and succeed Kim Leslie, who exited after 10 years to develop a non-profit organization. Meanwhile, former “Mix” morning co-host Anna Marie is segueing to nights. Vice president and market manager Dennis Gwiazdon states, “When you find the talent you feel will help add exciting new chapters to the storied history of ‘Mix,” you only have one choice – hire them. I can’t wait to hear this [morning] show come together. Anna has been the heart and soul of ‘Mix’ for a long, long time. I am delighted we can apply her special talents to the evening show where she can fully expand on her unique ability to connect with listeners.” Operations manager Barbara Bridges comments, “I am so excited to add Brandon and Ricki to the morning show. These two individuals have a ton of talent. This combination with Clint will elevate an already successful morning show to the next level – we are thrilled this all came together. Anna has a 20-year track record of success with our female audience; our fans absolutely love her. The warmth and connection she will bring to a special nighttime show will be amazing. I can’t wait to hear what we can do when Anna gets rolling.” O’Brien remarks, “Not only do I live in the greatest city in the world, I will also have an opportunity to be a huge part of the Nashville community and work alongside some amazing and talented folks.” Smith notes, “A personality looks for nothing more than what happens every day with this incredible team of talented people in Nashville. I am totally pumped about being able to contribute to the station’s continued success.” Anna Marie adds, “I love my listeners and this move gives me the opportunity to get closer to them. We have had a wonderful 20-year relationship so far – now we get a new time and space to get together.” July 2017 results will be released on Thursday (8/10), but among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2017 PPM report, “Mix” finishes in fifth-place (6.8, 6+), one full-share behind the pacesetter, iHeartMedia classic rocker WNRQ (7.8, 6+).
TKRN Taps Thomas for Affiliate Relations. Former program director and brand manager of Entercom Charlotte hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link” Darla Thomas joins the affiliate relations department of the Tom Kent Radio Network (TKRN), representing adult contemporary and hot AC products. TKRN senior vice president of affiliations Ed Douglas comments, “Having a pro of the stature of Darla Thomas join our affiliate team is a dream come true. She understands the adult contemporary world and she values the commitment Tom Kent has made to making great radio.” Thomas notes, “I have known Tom for years and I am so impressed by the network he has built across the country. When Ed asked me to join the team, I just couldn’t resist the chance to help build the TKRN brand and make it even bigger. I am excited to get started.” Thomas’ previous programming credits include iHeartMedia Charlotte adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake,” and five years as operations manager for Journal Broadcast Group Tucson, after programming that company’s Omaha hot AC KSRZ “Star 104.5.”
Charlotte’s “Block” Inks Dutchess. One of the stars of the VH1 series “Black Ink Crew” – Dutchess – is added to the on-air lineup of Radio One Charlotte urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block.” The Charlotte native and cum laude graduate of North Carolina A&T State University will handle Sunday 12:00 noon – 4:00 pm duty. Radio One Charlotte vice president and general manager Doug James states, “Dutchess is an exceptional artist and media personality. We are very excited that she is bringing her talents to our fantastic lineup.” Radio One Charlotte program director Mary K. notes, “I am thrilled to have Dutchess join [our] team. She has great energy, a contagious spirit, generous heart, and immeasurable talents.” Splitting time between North Carolina and New York, Dutchess opened a tattoo shop, Pretty in Ink, in Charlotte.
Sanderson, Ramsey Headed to WNFN for Middays, Nights. Arriving from iHeartMedia Nashville CHR WRVW “107.5 The River,” where she was assistant digital PD and part-time on-air talent, Kage Sanderson crosses the street to Midwest Communications’ similarly-programmed WNFN “i106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” for midday duty, as well as being the station’s social media coordinator. In addition, JR Ramsey from Townsquare Media Portland, Maine CHR WJBQ “Q-97.7” joins “i106.7” to handle nights. Sanderson comments that she is “stoked for this new role at WNFN. Doing radio in Nashville – an electric city that I truly love – is unbelievable. I can’t wait to connect with our listeners and be part of this fantastic growing station.” Ramsey notes, “I can’t express how excited I am to be making this big move to Nashville. I am really looking forward to cracking the mic and entertaining the city.” He and Sanderson begin their new assignments in roughly two weeks (8/21). Meanwhile, WNFN assistant program director/music director/9:00 am – 2:00 pm personality “Butter” adds on-air duties at co-owned adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” and will be videographer for WNFN; “Mix”; and co-owned adult hits WCJK “Jack-FM.”
Now Appearing – Harry Connick Jr. Currently promoting his television show “Harry,” Harry Connick Jr. stopped by iHeartMedia Milwaukee CHR WRNW “97.3 Now” prior to his guest appearance at the Wisconsin State Fair. Pictured left to right are “Now” morning show personalities Rahny Taylor and Binky Lee, Connick, and morning show producer “Dave.”
Cumulus Media Des Moines Tickets Taylor as Operations Manager. Six-year Townsquare Media St. Cloud, Minnesota operations manager Chad Taylor transitions to Cumulus Media Des Moines for similar duties at its five-station cluster. In addition to his OM duties, Taylor will host afternoon drive on country KJJY “92.5 Nash Icon.” Cumulus Media Des Moines vice president and market manager Craig Hodgson comments, “Chad is a highly-regarded operations manager, program director, and on-air talent. He is as active and community involved as they come. We will enjoy having him on our team and look forward to achieving great things together.” Taylor notes, “My wife was born and raised in Altoona. She is set to enjoy all things Iowa again and has already purchased a family pass to Adventureland. I’m beyond excited to work alongside the talented team at Cumulus Des Moines.” Prior to working in St. Cloud, Taylor was operations manager/program director for Community First Broadcasting’s three Iowa Great Lakes-area stations. The Cumulus Media Des Moines cluster consists of KBGG “1700 AM News-Talk-Sports”; KGGO “Classic Rock That Rocks”; KHKI “97.3 Nash FM”; KJJY “92.5 Nash Icon”; and KWQW “98.3 The Vibe Classic Hip-Hop.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Scheduled to perform at CBS Radio Los Angeles adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack’s 12th Show” October 7 at Irvine’s Fivepoint Amphitheater are 311, Cypress Hill, Gin Blossoms, Eve 6, Lit, and The Offspring. Proceeds will benefit Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) ….. Approximately 17% ($50,000) of the $294,091 Entercom Greenville, South Carolina helped raise during the Children’s Miracle Network radiothon was given by a father whose son was killed by a drunk driver ….. After hiring Tom Ferguson (“Ferg”) for afternoon drive duties, Entercom Wilkes Barre-Scranton classic rock WMQX “Max 102.3” operations manager Michael O’Donnell comments, “He is a born and raised Northeast Pennsylvania guy who knows his audience. He has a natural ability to relate to them and will raise the roof on PM drive.” Ferguson formerly worked at crosstown Times-Shamrock alternative WFUZ “Alt 92.1” ….. The former music director of Townsquare Media Flint, Michigan rhythmic CHR WRCL “Club 93.7” Art “Artemis” Smith remains in the Great Lake State as he joins Midwest Communications mainstream CHR WLMI “i-92.9,” Lansing today (Tuesday, 8/8) as brand manager. Midwest Communications vice president of programming Jeff McCarthy remarks, “We are excited to have Art lead our team. He has demonstrated a solid work ethic and strong working knowledge of the contemporary hit format.” Prior to working at WRCL, Smith was promotions director and night talent at WKHQ, Traverse City, Michigan ….. While a replacement hasn’t been named yet to succeed her, afternoon drive personality Nikki Reid (also known as Erika Kay) departs iHeartMedia Tulsa CHR KTBT “92.1 The Beat.” Reid/Kay joined “The Beat” in March 2016 from WNDV “U-93,” South Bend (Indiana) ….. Following an extended medical leave, former WSLC “Star Country 94.9” midday talent Robynn Jaymes returns to the Mel Wheeler-owned Roanoke, Virginia station for weekend/swing duty. Taking to Facebook, she writes, “When illness took me off the radio, I wondered if I would ever [again] have the privilege to be on the air, sharing music and connecting with [the audience. Returning] this past Sunday [8/6] was a dream come true.” Jaymes has undergone surgery and multiple treatments since 2011, when she began battling pancreatitis ….. Meanwhile, 2013 Country Radio Hall of Fame inductee Don Carpenter returns to Springfield, Missouri, signing on with Midwest Family country outlet KOMG “100.5 The Bull” to host a classic country show. In the 1980s, Carpenter did morning drive in the Missouri market at CHR KWTO-FM before grabbing similar duties as “Dr. Don” at CBS Radio Detroit’s country-formatted WYCD. In two separate tenures, “Dr. Don” spent 18 years at WYCD; he has been off the air the past two years ….. WUSW “US-92.7,” Springfield, Illinois program director and morning co-host Kellie Michaels will leave the Mid-West Family Broadcasting country station in two weeks (8/21). She has been co-hosting “Brian & Kellie” with her husband Brian Pierce for 25 years. After 15 years at co-owned adult contemporary WNNS, they went to country KFDI, Wichita (2007 – 2015), before returning to Springfield at “US-92.7.” Pierce will continue as morning co-host with Troy Armstrong assuming the co-host role. Michaels remarks, “I wanted to step back and spend more time on other interests. I’ve had a great time with Brian doing mornings. I will certainly miss the fun he and I have had, but certainly won’t miss the early morning hours.”
20th Annual TALKERS Convention Delivers Power Packed Day in NYC. The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place Friday (6/2) in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it fulfilled its promise to continue its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable one-day experience for its attendees. More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent comprised a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017. These included the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more. The major annual TALKERS awards were presented at the event. Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity received the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner received the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman. Emmis Communications president/CEO Jeff Smulyan received the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. Genesis Communications Network host Dr. Daliah Wachs received the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host. Hofstra University communications student Maria Santana received the new Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster. The entire convention was video recorded and will be featured here on Talkers.com shortly. Stay tuned for more story and photo coverage in the days ahead. Meanwhile, below are some photos from the event.
Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Woman of the Year” award to Mary Berner (r). Photo by Don Hurley.
Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Freedom of Speech” award to Sean Hannity (r). Photo by Don Hurley.
Kevin Casey (r) presenting “Lifetime Achievement” award to Jeff Smulyan (l). Photo by Don Hurley.
Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Humanitarian of the Year” award to Dr. Daliah Wachs (r). Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
Doug Stephan (l) presenting “Student of the Year” award to Maria Santana (r). Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
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Mike Kinosian (l) conducting “Fireside Chat” with Mike Francesa (r). Photo by Don Hurley.
Harry Hurley (l) presenting $1,000 check for Broadcasters Foundation to Dan Mason (r). Photo by Don Hurley.
PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz addressing the convention about podcasting and local radio.
Salem Media Group, SVP/spoken word format, Phil Boyce discussing the “Trump Effect” on talk radio.
Joe and Sharon Madison of SiriusXM Satellite Radio discussing “Radio that Makes a Difference.”
Holland Cooke discussing the forthcoming merger of CBS Radio and Entercom Communications.
Cumulus Adds Eboni K. Williams to WABC, New York Midday Show. The WABC, New York midday program becomes “The Curtis and Eboni Show” today (6/5) with the addition of Eboni K. Williams alongside Curtis Sliwa. Williams is a Fox News Channel personality who co-hosts “The Fox News Specialists” daily at 5:00 pm ET. She joins Sliwa on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show after the recent departure of Ron Kuby from the show. In addition to co-hosting the program with Sliwa, Williams will also contribute to 77 WABC Radio’s social media channels as well as produce an exclusive weekly podcast that will be published on wabcradio.com. At the same time, Sliwa will continue hosting “The Drive at Five” weekdays afternoons. WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Eboni breaks the mold for what a talk host can be today. She is equal parts intelligent, passionate, relatable, and exciting. Curtis and Eboni will be a must-listen in New York.”
Tom Poleman Promoted to Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. The new long-term agreement between radio pro Tom Poleman and iHeartMedia comes with a promotion to chief programming officer. Poleman has been the president of iHeartMedia’s national programming group since August of 2011 and he remains in that position, as well. Poleman will also continue to head up iHeartMedia’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and the On the Verge program, which have championed artists like Sam Smith, Maren Morris, Fifth Harmony and James Bay, as well as Sam Hunt, Bleachers and Lukas Graham, early in their careers. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman comments, “No one understands the intricate relationship between programming, on-air talent, artist relationships and live music events like Tom Poleman. He has always been a key part of the team that has shaped iHeartMedia into a multi-platform company. Tom’s unique vision has turned our National Programing Group into what it is today – an innovative nationwide network of the most talented people working as a team to bring constant innovation to our company and our industry. I’m thrilled that he will remain a key contributor in our company’s continued evolution and success.”
KXTG, Portland Names Dino Costa Afternoon Drive Host. Sports talk personality Dino Costa is taking over the afternoon drive program on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM “102.9/750 The Game,” replacing the “Justin and Chop” program, starting today (6/5). KXTG operations manager Bruce Collins says, “I am thrilled to bring a radio star like Dino Costa to ‘The Game.’ Get ready Portland for an entertaining, informative, fun ride each day on your way home. Dino has demonstrated the ability to build and sustain an audience wherever he has been and we look forward to him being the dominant sports radio personality in the Rose City.” Costa’s sports talk career includes a five-year stint at SiriusXM and five years airing his show on the Radio Colorado Network. Costa comments, “I’m thrilled and humbled by this extraordinary opportunity and look forward to working with everyone at Alpha Media to produce a sports radio show that leaves an indelible mark on Portland. I look forward to justifying the enormous faith of those who brought me to the Rose City with a radio show that resonates with listeners and marketing partners.”
The Power of Live and Local Talk Radio. WPG, Atlantic City morning drive talk show host Harry Hurley today writes of an experience that he says he can’t believe happened. A long-time listener to his program sent Hurley the Purple Heart he was given for injuries sustained during the Vietnam War. Hurley writes that a talk radio program’s listenership can become “family-like,” and his interaction with this veteran illustrates this point. Read Hurley’s story here.
Greg Papa Show Renewed on KGMZ, San Francisco. Bay Area sports media pro Greg Papa inks a new deal with Entercom to continue hosting his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm sports talk program on KGMZ “95.7 The Game.” Papa is well-known to Oakland Raiders fans as the longtime voice of Raiders football radio play-by-play. KGMZ program director Don Kollins states, “Greg Papa is an iconic personality in Bay Area sports media and we are thrilled to extend his contract. Sports fans can look forward to an expanded role for Papa on our airwaves; it’s an exciting time here at ‘95.7 The GAME.’” Papa has been with KGMZ since 2014. He’s a three-time California Sportscaster of the Year Award winner. The station says that in addition to his daily radio show, he’ll make frequent appearances in morning drive with Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley. He is also co-host of “The Happy Hour” on NBC Sports Bay Area, host of Warriors Pregame Live and Warriors Postgame Live.
TALKERS News Notes. Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster. In addition to overseeing operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM. Steele will also serve news/talk WXQW-AM as program director…..Ahead of Georgia’s 6th District runoff election, former GOP presidential candidate and WSB, Atlanta talk show host Herman Cain is bringing his radio show to Milton, Georgia next Monday (6/12) where he’ll tape before a live audience at the Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..Longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Fred Manfra leaves his post due to health problems. Manfra called his last game on Sunday evening (6/4).
Weekend London Terror Attacks/Trump Tweets, Trump Travel Ban, Portland Protests, Bill Maher ‘N’-word Flap/Kathy Griffin Blowback, Middle East Countries Break with Qatar, Wonder Woman Tops Weekend Box Office Battle, MLB Action and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The weekend terror attacks in London that claimed the lives of seven and injured more than 48 and the related tweets from President Donald Trump; renewed talk of President Trump’s travel ban that has been halted by the courts; the violent pro-Trump and anti-Trump protests that took place in Portland over the weekend; HBO’s Bill Maher under fire for using the “n”-word on his Friday evening program and the blowback against comic Kathy Griffin for her Trump severed head photo; several Middle East countries break diplomatic ties with Qatar for its suspected support of Islamic State; the film Wonder Woman tops the weekend’s box office receipts; and MLB action and the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Dr. Asa Andrew Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most colorful rising stars in talk media today, Dr. Asa Andrew (known to his audiences simply as Dr. Asa), is this week’s guest on the award-winning, weekly PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Dr. Asa just celebrated his 10th anniversary on the air with a daily alternative health and fitness radio show that continues to attract news/talk affiliates across North America. Dr. Asa, a dedicated media disciple of Dave Ramsey, discusses a wide variety of subjects with Michael Harrison including the potentially powerful role of credible doctor shows as ratings and revenue generators within the context of news/talk formats. They also talk about reality TV (he’s about to star in a series on the Discovery Channel) and Dr. Asa’s experiences as a student at the WCW school for professional wrestlers. Don’t miss this cool podcast. To listen to the entire program, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, afternoon drive personality Ian “Slacker” Richards is promoted to program director at CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio.” Richards also serves as music director for the station. CBS RADIO Detroit VP of programming Tim Roberts says, “Ian has demonstrated over and over an in-depth knowledge of the top 40 format, music and artists. He is also a natural leader both on and off the air for our staff and the WDZH brand.”…..Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster. He’ll oversee operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM. Steele will also serve WXQW-AM as program director. Steele joins Cumulus Media from iHeartMedia in Reading, Pennsylvania where he programmed adult hits WRFY-FM and tropical WRAW-AM/FM and served as morning show host on WRFY-FM. Cumulus Media VP of programming operations Doug Hamand says, “We are very excited to bring Jimmy’s amazing track record and high caliber talents to coaching and mentoring our fabulous programming team in Mobile. Our great radio stations already dominate the ratings here and with Jimmy’s vision, experience and focus, there’s no limit to what we can achieve together!….Alpha Media Savannah-Hilton Head announces WUBB’s “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” and WFXH’s Ryan Koch were each awarded Connect Savannah Reader’s Choice Awards. “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” won “Best Morning Radio Show,” while Ryan Koch was awarded “Best Local Personality.” Winners were chosen by local readers of Connect Savannah.
WRKO, Boston 50th Anniversary Reunion a Huge Success. The 50th anniversary WRKO reunion (celebrating the now-news/talk outlet’s switch to its legendary top 40 format a half century ago) took place this past weekend (6/2-3). More than 80 alumni and friends showed up for a dinner on Friday night followed by a special Saturday night broadcast on the heritage 50k station. Local voice talent Jordan Rich interviewed dozens of attendees at the dinner. Nearly all of the original cast of DJs from 1967 were on hand for a fascinating re-creation of a truly fun time in radio. It was organized by the station’s music-era PD Mel Phillips, along with technical expert George Capalbo, Jr. of Backbone Networks (son of WRKO’s late technical architect George Capalbo, Sr.) and a number of broadcast veterans of that historic era. The Saturday night show was streamed live on Facebook and by the end of the program, approximately 69,000 people were estimated to be listening and watching around the world! Entercom VP/market manager Phil Zachary was praised by organizers as being instrumental in making the event a reality. Industry videographer/historian Art Vuolo was on hand to capture the entire event for posterity telling TALKERS that he hopes to have the video edited and complete before the end of June. Pictured (l-r): J.J. Jeffrey, Al Gates, Mel Phillips, Joel Cash, Chuck Knapp and Arthur Katz.