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Thursday, December 10, 2020

| December 10, 2020

Longtime KFGO, Fargo Personality Bob Harris in Coma Battling COVID-19. According to a story posted on KFGO, Fargo’s website, station personality Bob Harris is in a coma suffering from the effects of COVID-19 at a Fargo hospital where he’s been since Thanksgiving. The piece notes that Harris – who hosts the “Nighttime Live” show and the “Harris Happenings” podcast – went to the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath. Harris’ sister Jeanie Smith says Harris has suffered two cardiac arrest events, but doctors say the pneumonia he’d been suffering has improved and there’s no indication that he’s suffered a stroke or brain damage. She says if he does not regain consciousness soon, he will undergo an MRI.

Christmas Special Available from ‘Our American Stories.’ For news/talk stations seeking quality holiday programming, Lee Habeeb’s American Private Radio is offering a multiple-hour “Our American Stories Christmas Holiday Radio Special,” featuring “behind-the-stories of our most cherished traditions, plus some extra special stories designed to warm the hearts and spirits of listeners everywhere.” APR says that in addition to the Friday, December 25 two-hour special edition of “Our American Stories,” several extra hours will also be made available to stations looking to expand their holiday programming (via FTP download). No contracts required. If you’d like more information, email Affiliates@Oanetwork.org
or call 855-276-8020.

Salem Names David Cruz VP of New Latino-Targeted Salem Si. Broadcasting pro David Cruz is joining Salem Media Group as vice president of Salem Si – a new digital streaming platform scheduled to launch in January that’s focused on the nation’s Latino market. Cruz began his career with Spanish International Network, the predecessor to Univision. He worked in various news capacities with ABCCBS, and NBC television network stations and became anchor of the nation’s first syndicated, bilingual news talk program for CNN Spanish Radio and Radio Centro in Latin America. Most recently, Cruz served with iHeartMedia in Los Angeles hosting a talk show on news/talk KFI and KEIB and as director of corporate and community partnerships in emerging markets. Salem broadcast media president David Santrella says, “We are very excited that David and Salem have entered into this collaboration that promises to reach and serve the youngest and fastest growing audience demographic in the United States. The challenges presented by COVID-19 have only accelerated the shift in listening patterns by Latinos who are seeking timely, relevant, and accurate information live and on-demand. David’s extensive background as one of the country’s established and well-known Latino broadcast network journalists makes him the ideal person to lead this new digital initiative with Salem Media Group.”

Heritage Foundation Honors Rush Limbaugh with Award; Names Studio After Him. Conservative Washington, DC think tank The Heritage Foundation presented Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh with its inaugural “Titan of Conservatism Award” during the organization’s annual President’s Club Meeting. In addition, the Heritage Foundation will honor Limbaugh by naming its new, state-of-the-art studios the Rush Limbaugh Radio Studios “to ensure his legacy continues to shape future generations.” Heritage Foundation president Kay C. James states, “If there was a ‘Conservative Hall of Fame,’ Rush would no doubt be a first-ballot entry. From behind the golden EIB microphone, he inspired millions of Americans to cherish our God-given rights and freedoms and the country and Constitution that serve to protect them. Rush helped bring the conservative movement together three hours a day for a family meeting, he helped everyday Americans realize they were conservative, and he brought millions of new people into the conservative movement. The extraordinary reach of his #1-rated radio talk show has allowed him to attract listeners with his common sense, everyday-language explanations of why conservatism works and how every American benefits because of it. The conservative movement simply wouldn’t be where it is today without the venerable Rush Limbaugh.

Armstrong & Getty Add Affiliates in Alaska and Nebraska. The KSTE-AM, Sacramento-based talk radio show “Armstrong & Getty” – co-hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – adds two new affiliate stations as Alpha Media’s news/talk KFOR, Lincoln, Nebraska and KFQD, Anchorage, Alaska agree to add the program to their lineups. KFQD content director Joe Campbell says, “Too much of the dial is dedicated to hardline opinion and ‘picking a side.’ We’re chopping the audience up into too many camps. It shouldn’t be about left or right, but rather entertaining the listener. Joe and Jack are a couple of guys you just want to hang out and have a drink with. They’re capable of serious political discussion, but it’s always entertaining and genuine. Armstrong & Getty just get it. I’m excited to have them on-board at KFQD.” Armstrong & Getty comment, “We’re really grateful that Alpha has invited us to join the team. We’re not beltway pundits. We’re Middle-American guys with families who are just trying to bring a little perspective, honesty, and humor to the day’s events. We’re patriots more than we’re partisans.”

Cherry Creek Media and CreativeReady Announce Deal. The audio creative firm CreativeReady and Cherry Creek Media announce a new partnership that will allow all 50 Cherry Creek radio stations to use CreativeReady’s on-demand creative assets. Cherry Creek CEO Jonathan Brewster says, “CCM is always working to provide our markets with the tools needed to help clients thrive. The CreativeReady platform will really help us deliver outstanding creative strategies for clients and improve efficiencies within our stations.” CreativeReady founder and CEO Jamie Alpin comments, “We believe the key to a successful seller/client relationship is in developing longterm creative ad strategies. It’s about giving the client our very best and the Cherry Creek culture aligns with that mindset perfectly. They have an outstanding reputation for going above and beyond for their clients and we couldn’t be happier with this partnership.”

COVID-19 Stats/Vaccines, Holiday Travel/Family Get-Togethers, Trump’s Fraud Claims, Feds & States Sue Facebook, Biden Transition, Georgia Runoff Elections, and Hunter Biden Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/9). The sharply rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S, the death toll, and the timetable for distributing vaccines; the warning from the CDC about traveling during the holidays and having large family get-togethers; Donald Trump’s continuing insistence on election fraud; the federal government and 48 states file anti-trust charges against Facebook; Joe Biden’s transition process; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; and the federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax reporting from his overseas business endeavors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Grace Curley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Rising millennial talk radio star, Grace Curley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” At 28, this multi-media conservative commentator is already known to thousands of New England radio listeners, newspaper readers, and podcast fans for her solid presence and longtime media accomplishments in the six-state region. She has successfully served as executive producer and on-air co-host for the regionally syndicated “Howie Carr Show” since 2014. She is a weekly columnist for the Boston Herald writing about media, politics, and popular culture. She is also the producer for “Dirty Rats” – a highly successful true crime podcast hosted by Howie Carr. And now she’s ready to become a major news/talk radio host in her own right as the Howie Carr Radio Network will be launching her into regional and potentially national syndication beginning January 4, 2021 and they’ve already gained an important clearance on the legendary WRKO, Boston in the daily 12:15 pm to 3:00 pm timeslot which serves as lead-in to the mega-popular Howie Carr show. Having followed her growth as an evolving media figure over the years, Michael Harrison states, “This outstanding young woman dazzles with millennial energy and across-the-board charm!” Harrison and Curley discuss the strong and productive relationship that has developed between her and her mentor, Howie Carr. They also talk about what it’s like being a young, female conservative commentator in liberal Massachusetts as well as Curley’s observations about the nature of today’s rapidly maturing millennial demographic. Check it out and be prepared to meet a fresh, exciting new talk radio voice. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. For classic rock stations seeking Christmas programming, Compass Media Networks is presenting the 25th annual “Uncle Joe’s Rockin’ Christmas Show.” The program is a four-hour show full of classic rock Christmas songs, exclusive artist interviews and stories. Contact Doug Ingold 310-242-8746 or at dingold@compassmedianetworks.com…..iHeartRadio Canada announces the first live international launch of “The Bobby Bones Show” on CIMX-FM, Windsor, Ontario “PURE COUNTRY 89” that also serves the Detroit market, effective December 14.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

| March 17, 2020

Salem Radio Network to Present ‘Coronavirus Pandemic: An SRN News Special Report.’  Tomorrow (3/18) at 6:00 pm ET, Salem Radio Network is producing and broadcasting a live, one-hour special report on the COVID-19 pandemic on most SRN affiliated stations.  SRN says the program will feature the latest updates on what is unfolding with this major breaking news story and provide listeners with critical, hands-on information.  The program will be co-hosted by SRN talk hosts Dr. Sebastian Gorka and Hugh Hewitt and will originate live from the SRN News studios in Washington DC.  It will also be streamed on Facebook Live.  SRN senior vice president Phil Boyce says, “The country has been shaken by the fast-changing news events of this important story and SRN is uniquely qualified to carry out this task with a live, one-hour special report.  We’ll rely on the expert commentary of both Gorka and Hewitt, with SRN News coverage from Greg Clugston at the White House.”  SRN hosts Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager will also participate in the program that will include reports from major SRN affiliate locations.  Stations wishing to carry this important live broadcast should contact their regional affiliate relations manager at the Salem Radio Network – East: Jim Bligh 212-419-4663; Central: Kelli DeShan 972-707-6882; and West: Jim Watkins 239-470-9297.

Armstrong & Getty Make Show Available to Stations in Need. KSTE-AM, Sacramento-based, syndicated news/talk program Armstrong & Getty – co-hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announces it is willing to assist radio stations trying to get through the COVID-19 crisis.  Effective immediately, the program is available to any station in need of a replacement show (as long as the program doesn’t already have an affiliate in that market).  The show airs live from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm ET and stations do not need an affiliation agreement.  Interested stations can contact Craig Whetstine at Armstrong & Getty Media at 503-975-6153.

ABC Audio Offers COVID-19 Digital Text Feed to Stations. As a public service, ABC Audio is offering a COVID-19 digital text feed to interested radio stations.  The company says that regardless of a station’s current affiliation with ABC Audio or ABC News Radio, it can utilize the new RSS feed to auto-populate their websites and apps with stories related to COVID-19 without a fee.  ABC’s feed will feature a selection of important news stories, including the latest developments in the coronavirus outbreak and updates from health authorities and medical providers, as well as entertainment stories about the impact COVID-19 has on the industry.  ABC Audio VP and general manager Stacia Deshishku says, “In these uncertain times ABC Audio is trying to help all radio stations keep their listeners informed.  As more station staff members work remotely, we want to offer ready-made material for as many platforms as possible.  This new digital feed and social media content will enable stations to concentrate on their audio operations secure in the knowledge that their listeners and readers are up to date with the latest COVID-19 information.”  Interested stations should email Christopher.Venice@abc.com or Mary.E.McCarthy@abc.com.

Beasley Initiates ‘Operation Gift Card: New England.’  In an effort to assist local businesses affected by the mandatory shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Beasley Media Group’s Boston-based radio cluster is unveiling Operation Gift Card: New England.  As part of the company’s “We Are All in This Together” campaign, the stations are inviting area restaurants, free of charge, to submit links to feature their gift card pages on all Beasley Media Group Boston websites. The sites currently receive over two million page views and have 750,000 unique users on an average monthly basis.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna comments, “With local restaurants and small businesses experiencing a number of restrictions, including restaurants moving towards a take-out/delivery only model, we wanted to show our support during these challenging times.  Our company is committed to being there for those in need. We are all in this together!”

Westwood One: Who’s Listening to What at Home? Working from home is becoming required for more Americans as the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.  This week, the Westwood One blog looks as data about listening to the radio from home, mostly via smart speakers.  Based on recent Edison Research “Share of Ear” data from the third quarter of 2019, 24% of listening (persons 13+) is to AM/FM radio.  That tops streaming services, satellite radio and podcasts by a substantial margin.  As people work more from home, additional data will be available in the future.  According to Triton Digital, over the past week, online shares for public radio and commercial news/talk radio have grown.  See the blog here.

Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Application Window Open. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group announces that the application window for its MIW Group 2020 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program is officially open.  This is the 19th year in which this notable experience pairs women working in radio with female professionals who are recognized leaders from all aspects of the broadcasting industry.  Four candidates will be selected for the 2020 program. Women with a minimum of five years of radio experience, and currently working in sales, marketing, programming, digital and/or engineering, are encouraged to review mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply.  See the mentee application here. The deadline to apply is April 6, 2020.  Lindsay Adams is a former mentee, is currently VP of national agency partnerships with Entercom, and serves as the mentoring committee chair for the MIW.  She says, “This unique initiative provides a wonderful opportunity for ambitious, experienced women in the industry to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and grow their professional network.  This program truly does propel the careers of women forward in our industry.  It is rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.”

Coronavirus Changes American Life, Financial Markets Battered/Recession Looms, and Biden vs Sanders/Ohio Postpones Primary Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16). The restrictions in place in most parts of America to prevent the spread of COVID-19; the world’s financial markets take another big hit on Monday and experts say the conditions are ripe for a global recession; and the Democratic presidential primary race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders plus Ohio’s postponement of its primary election were some of the top aspects of the coronavirus pandemic story discussed on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

| December 11, 2019

Entercom Announces Sale of $100 Million in Second Lien Senior Secured Notes. These notes are being offered as additional notes under an existing indenture, dated April 30, 2019, pursuant to which the Issuer previously issued $325 million in aggregate principal amount of Entercom Media Group’s 6.500% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027.  Net proceeds from the additional $100 million offering will be used to partially repay existing indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility.  They have the same terms as the existing notes.  They are offered and sold only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers.

AJ Lurie Assumes New Post with Beasley XP. Sales and management pro AJ Lurie is promoted to the newly created position of director of local market integrated partnerships at Beasley XP, Beasley Media Group’s recently created esports division.  Lurie began his career with Beasley Media Group in 2007 in Fort Myers and most recently served as the as vice president and market manager of its Wilmington, Delaware radio cluster.  In his new role, Lurie will be responsible for overseeing all of Beasley Media Group’s local market esports and gaming revenues by leveraging the company’s content and local market gaming-oriented events.  He says, “Beasley Media Group’s entrance into the esports industry is transformative for our company and I am honored to be a part of this initiative.  Leveraging our company’s assets will present tremendous growth opportunities.  I’m excited to work with some of Beasley’s best to help build this division for our organization.”  As Lurie moves to his new position, BMG Philadelphia vice president and market manager Joe Bell will add the Wilmington radio cluster management duties to his current responsibilities under the new structure.

Fatherly Talk Radio Advice from Bob Lonsberry. WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse talk radio personality Bob Lonsberry’s son Lee begins his new talk radio show on Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City today (12/11).  In the time honored tradition of fathers imparting advice to their sons, Bob Lonsberry offers his son his views on what it takes to become a successful talk radio host.  He says, “Be you. Know who you are, what you stand for, what your values and priorities are, and build a genuine radio character around that.  Don’t pretend, don’t act.  Entertain, yes.  Accentuate, absolutely. Pose, no.”  Read all of his advice here.

House Files Articles of Impeachment, Trump’s Pennsylvania Rally, Deadly Jersey City Shooting, USMCA, 2020 Presidential Race, Patriots Video Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10). The Democrat-led House files articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump; the president appears at a rally in Pennsylvania; a shooting at a Jewish market in Jersey City claims the lives of six, including a police officer and the two shooters; the House agrees on the Trump administration’s US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; and the controversy over the taping of the Cincinnati Bengals’ sidelines by a film crew hired by the New England Patriots were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Rush Limbaugh Announces $5 Million-Plus Raised for Tunnel to Towers Foundation. During an appearance on FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends” morning program, Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh announced that sales from his “Stand Up for Betsy Ross!” merchandise surpassed $5 million dollars.  All proceeds benefit The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that provides financial assistance to military heroes and their families, as well as first responders.  Limbaugh first launched the line of merchandise with a single T-shirt in July and quickly raised $2 million dollars for Tunnel to Towers.  It paid off the home mortgages of six fallen American heroes.  Limbaugh subsequently decided to expand the merchandise and continue the fundraiser through the end of 2019.  On the program, Limbaugh said, “Our fulfillment center is working around the clock.  The orders have not stopped coming in.  We owe a debt to the people who have participated in this.”

Armstrong & Getty Raise More Than $1 Million for Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station. Sacramento-based, syndicated morning drive duo Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announce that the show’s annual “Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station Radiothon” raised approximately $1.2 million to benefit the Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station charity that purchases plane tickets for injured warriors so they can spend the holidays at home and with their families.  Getty says, “We feel compelled to give back to those who served our country.  We owe it, as Americans, to support these guys.”  Armstrong adds, “In all kinds of different ways, WFFS creates a buffer zone between combat and civilian life, providing our injured warriors with sanctuary, a sense of community and the tools they’ll need to rejoin society.”

TALKERS News Notes. The regionally syndicated late morning talk radio show hosted by Erick Erickson begins airing on Cumulus Media’s WMAC-AM, Macon, Georgia, effective December 16.  Erickson hosts the afternoon drive show on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and he launched the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show in September to focus on Georgia politics and issues.  He says, “Macon is home.  My family goes to church in Macon.  Our kids go to school in Macon.  I broadcast from Macon.  We live here.  Now, I finally have an answer for people when they ask when they can hear me on the radio here.”…..iHeartMedia’s  news/talk KFI, Los Angeles raised a new record of more than $435,000 and 109,000 pounds of pasta during the ninth annual “KFI PastaThon” to benefit Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that feeds 25,000 underprivileged children, five days a week in more than 30 cities throughout Southern California.  During the 17-hour live broadcast on December 6, all KFI – including Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffmann, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, and Tim Conway Jr. were on site at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove encouraging listeners to donate money along with pasta and pasta sauce to help feed underprivileged children that live in motels without access to a kitchen…..Count former WEEI, Boston morning drive personality Gerry Callahan as the latest radio host to move into the podcast space.  Callahan, who was let go from his longtime morning gig in at the Entercom sports talk station in July, will post new shows Monday through Thursday, beginning January 6.  He announced the new venture on Kirk Minihane’s podcast.  Callahan and Minihane co-hosted the WEEI morning show for several years before Minihane’s exit from Entercom last year.  Callahan says the subtitle of his show will be “Politics, Sports, and Revenge.”…..cabana announces it has inked a deal with Critical Frequency Network to exclusively handle podcast ad sales representation.  Critical Frequency was founded by science and gender writer and journalist Amy Westervelt and features a diverse community of hosts – all women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ…..Condolences to the family and friends of former KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning news anchor Bob Kopler, who died yesterday (12/10) at the age of 81.  He worked in the Pittsburgh market for more than 40 years and at KDKA from 1988 through his retirement in 2007.

Talking Cryptocurrency on WBZ-AM. On Tuesday (12/10), iHeartMedia all-news WBZ-AM hosted some of Boston’s foremost experts in cryptocurrency to help explain what the savvy businessperson needs to know about the future of commerce.  More than 300 WBZ listeners joined the panel for breakfast as WBZ business reporter and AM drive news anchor Jeff Brown moderated the conversation.  Pictured above (l-r) are: Brown; Sir John Hargrave, author of Blockchain for Everyone; Christian Catalini, head economist at Calibra; Manasi Vora, head of product strategy at Sia; and Frank Makrides, founder & CEO of Tunnel.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI, Riverside “HOT 103.9,” midday host Sabrina Ruiz takes on music director duties, effective immediately. Station PD Rick Shaw comments, “It is with great pleasure that I can announce that Sabrina has accepted the position of ‘HOT 103.9’ music director.  Sabrina’s knowledge and passion for the music that we play on ‘HOT’ makes her the perfect person for the task.”…..On-air pro Kayla Morgan joins SummitMedia’s CHR WWST, Knoxville “Star 102.1” as evening personality.  Morgan was most recently with Entercom’s Detroit cluster as a personality on adult contemporary WDZH “98.7 The Breeze.”  SummitMedia Knoxville market president Chris Protzman states, “We are delighted to welcome Kayla to Knoxville and ‘Star 102.1’ nights.  Her personality and passion for the music is infectious. Knoxville is in for a real treat!”

Friday, December 6, 2019

| December 6, 2019

Weiss Named iHM NYC Market President. Region senior vice president of  sales for iHeartMedia’s New York group, Bernie Weiss, is appointed market president of iHeartMedia New York City. Weiss will continue to report to iHeartMedia market groups division president Scott Hopeck. At the same time in a corresponding move, director of sales Steve DeLusant takes over for Weiss. Hopeck states, “I’m thrilled to promote both Bernie and Steve. It is especially rewarding to find the best candidates for key leadership roles in your own building. They are extremely knowledgeable about our ever-evolving business and have built their personal brands by accelerating the growth of our iconic stations. I’m confident they will continue to elevate our New York operation to even greater heights.” Weiss remarks, “Listeners continue to crave companionship and advertisers continue to demand ROI – broadcast radio delivers on both fronts. iHeartMedia continues to be one of the most innovative media players, offering the best content and programming for hundreds of millions of listeners. I am looking forward to working with the New York team to build on our already strong connection with listeners, advertisers, and in the community.” Weiss joined iHeartMedia New York in 2004 as an account executive for urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” and previously held several radio general sales management positions in Europe. DeLusant was sales manager for several iHM New York City stations and earlier was senior account executive for Emmis Communications, where he specialized in multicultural marketing. Earlier in his career, he was a sales associate for iHeartMedia’s WLTW. In addition to news/talk WOR “The Voice of New York,” iHeartMedia’s New York City cluster consists of market-leading (adult contemporary) WLTW “106.7 Lite FM”; CHR WHTZ “Z-100”; classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3”; urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1”; and rhythmic CHR WKTU.

KABC Resets Its On-Air Lineup. Major changes going into effect January 1 at Cumulus Media Los Angeles news/talk KABC include Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty (“The Armstrong & Getty Show”) slotted in morning drive (6:00 am – 10:00 am). The syndicated duo succeeds locally-originated “The Morning Drive with Jillian Barberie & John Phillips.” Continuing at 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is Larry O’Connor (based from Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL). Aforementioned John Phillips segues solo from morning drive to assume the 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm slot occupied by Dr. Drew Pinsky and Leeann Tweeden (“Dr. Drew Midday Live”). Unchanged is Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), but the local 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm “Peter Tilden Show” will give way to Westwood One’s Michael Savage. Thus, displaced by the changes are Jillian Barberie, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Leeann Tweeden, and Peter Tilden. KABC general manager Drew Hayes comments, “KABC has a proud history as one of the first ‘all-talk’ radio stations in the United States. With these great additions to our lineup, KABC will offer our audience even more of the content that they love, featuring outstanding local and nationally recognized talent.” KABC will continue as the flagship for University of Southern California football and basketball. KABC more than doubled (+.4) its 6+ AQH share in three straight upticks (.3 – .4 – .5 – .7, July – August – September – October, Nielsen Audio, 6+) but “790 News-Talk-Evolved” forfeits one-tenth in the November 2019 sweep to .6 (#35 to #38, 6+).

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant 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 magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (11/22).  The new episode titled “The Trump Paradox!” looks back at this past week of December 2-6, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Blanquita Cullum, talk show host, WCGO, Chicago /Smart Talk Network; Brian Kilmeade, talk show host, Fox News Channel / Fox News Radio; Heidi Harris, talk show host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; Sid Rosenberg, talk show host, WABC, New York; William O’ Shaughnessy, CEO, Whitney Global Media. This acclaimed news/talk radio show first airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm; followed by WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. It also appears on the iHeart Radio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

WDAF To Become K.C. Chiefs Flagship in 2020. As part of a multi-year agreement between the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and Entercom Kansas City, country WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” will become the key station of the 70-station Chiefs Radio Network as of February 16, 2020. Sports talk sibling KCSP “610 Sports Radio” will become the official “broadcast partner” of the Chiefs, with rights to Chiefs programming, including radio broadcast rights to the Chiefs weekly in-season press conference with the club’s head coach (Andy Reid) and a weekly one-on-one interview with the starting quarterback (Patrick Mahomes). In addition, KCSP will broadcast the “Chiefs Kingdom Radio Show” (Monday, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm). Cross-town Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “101.1 The Fox” has been the team’s flagship since 1990. Entercom regional president/market manager Dave Alpert declares, “We are extremely pleased to enter into this new partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the NFL’s most well-respected and prestigious organizations. Entercom’s eight-station cluster of music, news and sports talk stations hosted by Kansas City’s leading personalities align with vast digital and podcast opportunities. We will deliver the premium and comprehensive coverage Chiefs Kingdom desires seven days a week, all season long.” Kansas City Chiefs president Mark Donovan comments, “We look forward to partnering with ‘106.5 The Wolf’ and the powerful Entercom family of stations. The ability to bring our game broadcasts and existing weekly radio shows under one roof is a large part of this change, but we are equally excited about creating new content and developing new opportunities for Chiefs fans to engage with their favorite team.” Returning for his 27th season as play-by-play announcer will be Mitch Holthus, who has called a franchise record 426 regular and postseason Kansas City contests.

ESPN Radio Taps Fitz To Succeed Smith. “First and Last” (5:00 am – 6:00 am) host Jason Fitz is selected to replace Stephen A. Smith in ESPN Radio’s 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (ET) slot. The change is effective next month (1/20) and allows Smith to devote more time to his ESPN TV duties. Smith, however, will make a regular weekly appearance on Fitz’s show, “First Take, Your Take with Jason Fitz,” which will be simulcast on ESPNews. Executive vice president/executive editor of production Norby Williamson states, “Sports fans are passionate and they love spirited debate. Jason will be joined daily by a lineup of experts and sports fans who call in to further the debate and deliver their strong opinions.” Fitz, formerly of country group The Band Perry and a regular on ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo,” comments, “I’m excited to host a show aligned with one of the biggest franchises at ESPN that will let me continue to push the ‘First Take’ topics forward and keep building my relationship with ESPN Radio listeners that means so much to me.” Fitz studied classical violin at The Julliard School. 

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 PPM survey period, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at performances in the sports talk format. Roughly half the eligible sports talk panelists improve October 2019 – November 2019 (52%, 6+) while just over one in three falter (37%); the remaining 11% are unchanged from last month. Meanwhile, essentially three of every five qualifying sports talk stations register November 2018 – November 2019 gains (61%, 6+), while one in three (33%) stumble; the remaining 6% are steady from a year ago. The format is #1 in Philadelphia (Entercom’s WIP) and Long Island (Entercom-owned WFAN-FM). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. One-year Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle vice president/market manager Ann Marie Mulholland has departed the cluster. Director/brand content Scott Mahalick is absorbing those duties on an interim basis. Mulholland previously worked in the market as general manager/director of sales for Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS; general sales manager of Entercom rocker KISW; local sales manager of Sandusky smooth Jazz KWJZ; and she was general sales manager of CBS Radio-owned (now Entercom) Pittsburgh hot AC WBZZ. In addition to KKNW “Alternative Talk 1150 AM,” Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle consists of adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9”; adult standards KIXI “AM 880”; CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station”; and country KNUC “98.9 The Bull.” ….. After spending the last ten years at Hubbard Broadcasting St. Louis sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN,” program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert departs. Per a Facebook post, he writes, “Well, I’ve written this and deleted it a million times trying to find the most articulate way to say this but as of this week, I am no longer a member of the ‘101 ESPN’ team. Tough to write and see but excited/terrified/anxious/hungry – and a bunch of other emotions – to see the next chapter.” Tommy Mattern, the program director of alternative cluster-mate KPNT “105.7 The Point,” adds WXOS PD duties ….. Radio/Audio nominees for the 2020 Writers Guild awards have been announced. In the “Radio/Audio News Script – Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin, or Breaking Report” category, the nominees are: “CBS News on the Hour with Norah O’Donnell – El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio – Communities in Mourning,” written by James Hutton, CBS News Radio; “Hail and Farewell: Remembering Some Headline Makers,” written by Gail Lee, CBS News Radio; “World News This Week, August 9, 2019,” written by Stephanie Pawlowski and Jim Ryan, ABC News Radio; and “World News This Week, September 13, 2019,” written by Joan B. Harris, ABC News Radio. In the “Radio/Audio News Script – Analysis, Feature, or Commentary” category, the nominees are: “The Enduring Legacy of Jackie Kennedy Onassis,” written by Dianne E. James and Gail Lee, CBS News Radio and “Woodstock: Back to the Garden,” written by Gail Lee, CBS News Radio. Winners will be announced February 1, 2020 in New York City at an event held in the Edison Ballroom.

Comrex Now Shipping ACCESS MultiRack. The rackmount multi-channel IP audio codec from Comrex occupies 1RU and can handle up to five full-duplex IP audio connections simultaneously. ACCESS MultiRack is compatible with all Comrex IP audio codecs, including ACCESS Rackmount; ACCESS Portable 2USB; ACCESS NX Portable; ACCESS NX Rack; BRIC-Link; and BRIC-Link II, as well as the FieldTap smartphone app. Comrex ACCESS MultiRack is Tech3326, AES67 and SMPTE 2110-30-compatible. ACCESS MultiRack includes Comrex CrossLock technology, a proprietary suite of tools that solidify connections over IP networks. By sending two identical streams through two separate networks (redundancy mode), or combining the network bandwidth of multiple networks (bonding mode), CrossLock provides a fail-safe in the event the primary network falters. Each of ACCESS MultiRack’s codec instances can deliver and receive four contact closures, as well as transfer ancillary data to the far-end using the serial data channel. Comrex has designed and manufactured broadcast equipment since its incorporation in 1961.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More than a quarter of a million dollars ($257,268) was raised in Entercom Philadelphia classic-hits oldies outlet WOGL’s 18th annual “98.1 WOGL Loves Our Kids Radiothon” to benefit Children’s Miracle Network at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff comments, “We are so grateful for WOGL listeners and community members who donated and also very thankful for the volunteers and on-air personalities who contributed their time and talent to help make this year’s radiothon a huge success.” Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia president/chief executive officer Madeline Bell notes, “The hospital programs funded by radiothon donations make a lasting difference in the lives of our patients and their families. Each year, we look forward to raising awareness of these very important services.” Airing this past Tuesday (12/3) and Wednesday (12/4), WOGL’s radiothon concluded with on-air hosts Marilyn Russell, Glenn Kalina, Bobby Smith, and Nicky G. presenting the check to CHOP ….. The 13th annual “An American Country Christmas with Kix Brooks” features special guests sharing holiday music, favorite traditions, and memories. Among those joining Brooks are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Brett Eldredge, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. Stations can air the show from Cumulus Media‘s Westwood One  6:00 am – 12:00 midnight  (Saturday) 12/21 through Christmas Day (Wednesday, 12/25) …..  For the third consecutive year, iHeartMedia San Diego CHR KHTS “Channel 93-3” morning drivers Kramer & Geena teamed up with “A Million Thanks” to send letters to deployed military members. Over 50,000 letters were collected from the San Diego community and are on their way to the troops ….. As part of Beasley Media Group Tampa rhythmic CHR WLLD’s eighth annual toy drive to benefit the Children’s Home Network, “Wild 94.1” program director/morning personality Orlando Davis climbs the toy drive platform today (Friday, 12/6) and will remain there until next Saturday (12/14). Davis will do his morning show from that platform every day next week ….. In its annual “Toys For Tunes” on-air event this past Wednesday (12/4, 6:00 am – 7:00 pm), Hubbard Broadcasting Cincinnati rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” raised over $8,00 for Cincinnati Children’s Child Life Program to ensure that every child staying at the hospital during the holidays receives a new toy. Listener song requests were granted, in exchange for a $20 donation ….. On “Giving Tuesday” (12/3), Mid-West Family Broadcasting Madison (Wisconsin) alternative WRIS “The Resistance Is On 106.7” announced that More Smiles Wisconsin is the recipient of its “Community Awareness Grant” for the coming year. WRIS launched a community awareness grant that will provide a local non-profit with $15,000 in advertising in 2020. Applicants were considered for the grant based on multiple factors including the organization’s history of community service, connection to the community, mission within the community, demonstration of need, population served, and geographic region served. More Smiles Wisconsin is a non-profit that provides access to quality dental care to Medicaid, BadgerCare, and uninsured populations of south central Wisconsin. “The Resistance” hopes to help in their goal of increasing funding and awareness so that they may continue to help a growing number of patients …..  WHHZ “100.5 The Buzz” morning host/music director Kaylan Moody is leaving the Marc Radio Gainesville-Ocala (Florida) alternative outlet in two weeks (12/20). Moody notes, “I am so grateful for all I’ve learned and the opportunities I’ve had, but I am excited to keep growing. I am moving to Nashville to pursue a career in the record label industry. The dream job is radio promotion, but I am excited to take on whatever opportunities may arise to get my foot in the door and to start learning.”

Friday, March 1, 2019

| March 1, 2019

Cumulus Assumes Operation of Entercom’s Indy Stations; Initial Staff Cuts Take Place. The recent deal that will see Cumulus Media take over ownership of three of Entercom’s Indianapolis stations enters the LMA phase.  Cumulus took over operations at 12:01 am (3/1) and staff being let go were told of their dismissal.  According to Blaine Thompson of Indiana Radio Watch, gone from sports talk WXNT is program director and afternoon drive host Kent Sterling.  He’d been with the station since 2014.  Also exiting their posts are social media coordinator Chelsie Nickell and adult contemporary WNTR-FM afternoon personality and APD Kari “KJ” Johll.

‘Big Al’ Williams Exits ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Sports talk personality Alfred Williams, a.k.a. Big Al, leaves his role with Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  The station says via social media that “Alfred ‘Big Al’ Williams has chosen to leave the station effective today.  We thank Alfred for his many contributions during his years with The Fan and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”  He hosted “The Drive” with Darren McKee.  Unknown at this time is who will join McKee on KKFN’s afternoon show and whether or not former Broncos linebacker Williams is soon to pop up on another Denver sports talk station.

Armstrong & Getty Out Front on Call for Firing of UC Davis Prof. The story of University of California Davis professor Joshua Clover’s statement, “Police officers need to be killed,” is making national news but it’s happening right in the backyard of KSTE, Sacramento-based, nationally syndicated talk hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  The University has condemned the words of Clover, but Armstrong & Getty are calling for his dismissal from the school.  The duo hosted the school paper’s associate opinion editor Nick Irvin on their radio show for a discussion about the story that you can hear here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Adds Jenniffer Weigel to Mancow Morning Show. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Windy City media personality Jenniffer Weigel is joining WLS-AM’s morning show alongside host Erich Mancow Muller as sidekick and traffic reporter.  Weigel is an author, broadcaster, and journalist who most recently was serving with the Chicago Sun-Times as director of community development and a content contributor.  Another accomplished Chicago media personality – former WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – sat in with Mancow in late January auditioning for a contributor role on the program.  It’s unclear if Weigel’s position (she begins on Monday, March 4) is the same one for which Pielach auditioned.

WABC, New York/Westwood One’s John Batchelor Battles Cancer While Continuing His On-Air Work.  Late night radio host John Batchelor has been handling his duties at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and Westwood One‘s affiliate stations while dealing with the effects of surgery and radiation treatments for oropharyngeal cancer that affected his tongue and, consequently, his ability to speak without effort.  Batchelor’s ordeal is the focus of a piece in the current edition of the publication Princeton Alumni Weekly.  Batchelor is a 1970 graduate of the Ivy League school.  He had surgery back in early November and that was followed by six weeks of radiation treatments that took a toll on his voice.  All the while, Batchelor was determined not to let it affect his work at WABC.  He intends to follow through on the plan to take his show on the road to Azerbaijan this month.

Entercom Responds to SAG-AFTRA’s Public Statement.  On Wednesday, TALKERS magazine reported a statement from the SAG-AFTRA union that its members working for Entercom in the Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco markets are disappointed with the company’s proposals for new union contracts.  Specifically, the union says they are unhappy the company is “seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”  Entercom has replied with the following public statement it shared with TALKERS magazine. “We are incredibly proud of the award-winning work of our on-air teams and value their contributions to the company and the communities we serve.  We have been negotiating with SAG-AFTRA in good faith to reach fair agreements.  These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS Radio, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”

Sean Hannity Airs Exclusive Trump Interview. Nationally syndicated radio star and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam to cover President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  Hannity was able to meet with the president for an exclusive interview and a portion of that was broadcast during his Premiere Networks radio program yesterday with additional coverage airing on his FNC program last night (2/28).  Hannity also broadcast from Singapore during last year’s first summit between the two leaders.

TeleSouth Closes on Biloxi Station Group. The deal that transfers ownership of six Biloxi, Mississippi radio stations from Alpha Media to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million has closed.  The stations are: sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM, rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM.  As noted back in December when the sale was first announced, TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Lineup Changes Announced at WKRD, Louisville. Sports talk WKRD, Louisville “Cards Radio 790” announces that “The Red Zone with Nick Coffey” moves from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot to mornings, airing from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, effective immediately. Taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart is FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”

WGY, Albany Launches ‘Upstate Unsolved’ Podcast. The new iHeartRadio Original Podcast “Upstate Unsolved” is hosted by iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany reporter Phoebe LaFave.  It investigates the March 2, 1998 disappearance of University of Albany student Suzanne Lyall that remains unsolved.  The debut episode is airing on WGY at 5:00 pm on March 2 with new episodes posting every Thursday on iHeartRadio.

Bill Clark to Be Honored with Lowry Mays Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The 2019 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award will be given to Bill Clark – the previous president of Shamrock Broadcasting and chairman of Chancellor Broadcasting – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  As president of Shamrock Broadcasting’s radio division, Clark created one of the first ‘super groups,’ decades before consolidation.  Under his leadership, Shamrock grew from nine radio stations to 21, with outlets in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City, and Minneapolis.  When the company was sold to Chancellor Broadcasting, Clark was named its chairman with responsibilities for both radio and television.

Michael Cohen Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 25 – March 1.  The congressional testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the trade war with China 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 of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

A Powerful Conversation Connecting the Dots Between Robert Kraft, Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Huawei, 5G and the Chinese Communist Party’s Unrestricted War to Control the World.  The story about New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s ensnarement in a Florida police sting busting a prostitution ring prompted TALKERS publisher and Pats fan Michael Harrison to produce a special installment of his weekly podcast inspired by the event.  Harrison states, “I annually spend a few months during the winter at my home and office in the small beachside town of Jupiter, Florida.  That’s where I was on Friday, February 22 – the day a local news story of national interest rocked the community…Robert Kraft getting busted for patronizing an allegedly illicit massage parlor operating under the seemingly innocent name, Orchids of Asia Day Spa, just one mile from my home here.  At first, the story seemed like another celebrity gossip story…a rich, powerful man gets in trouble for breaking the law regarding the victimless crime of prostitution – fodder for snickers and sports talk show speculation.  But it didn’t take long before the underlying seriousness of the story began to surface – the issue of sex trafficking and the broader issue of human trafficking.  It seems this so-called day spa was suspected of employing the services of female sex slaves – some possibly underage.  Whether Robert Kraft understood or cared about the connection of his activity to this nasty subject is to be determined at another time and another place. My thoughts on it, however, immediately turned to the China connection on human trafficking and its broader implications in the ongoing story of US/China relations – the Donald Trump trade war, the tariffs, the meeting this past week between US and Chinese leaders working toward a trade agreement, the impact of the giant Chinese telecom company Huawei at the recent MWC Barcelona in Spain, the world’s leading mobile electronics trade show, and the role of that murky technological innovation called 5G in determining who will in fact control the world going forward into the 21st century.”  Harrison turned to his “go-to” guy on US/China affairs, Joshua Philipp, to be his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Philipp is a senior investigative reporter at the New York-based, multi-language, international news organization The Epoch Times that specializes in keeping tabs on the Chinese Communist Party. The result is a fascinating and remarkably informative conversation that is a must-listen for talk show hosts and reporters seeking to gain a better understanding of a complex web of intrigue that significantly threatens United States national security.  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 the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Suzi Hanks exits her role on Houston classic rocker KGLK where she was a cast member on “The Dean and Rog Show.”  Hanks spent 17 years with the Cox Media Group station in a number of programming capacities.….The “BOB FM” format returns to the Panama City, Florida market after last October’s Hurricane Michael damaged Powell Broadcasting’s WASJ-FM, knocking it off the air.  Powell sold the station to Gulf Coast Broadcasting who is returning the Envision Networks-repped format to the station’s air.  Gulf Coast owner Sam Rogatinsky says, “We faced multiple hurdles getting these stations back up, but we are now ready to have fun and we invite the local community to call us with feedback.”…..Westwood One announces that Country Radio Hall of Famer Steve Harmon is the new morning host on its 24/7 Mainstream Country format, effective on Monday (3/4).  Harmon has served with KPLX, Dallas; WXTU, Philadelphia; KNIX, Phoenix and earned a CMA “Major Market Personality of the Year” award…..Pictured below is WAY-FM Mid-South regional manager & Dallas/Ft. Worth general manager Tim Dukes and his wife Susan posing for a photo with former President George W. Bush at a recent fundraiser held in Austin, Texas.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  See how stations performed (6+) compared to the Holiday 2018 survey, compared to January 2017, and where stations ranked in their respective markets here.

Cool Morning Radio Opportunity. There’s a full-time morning show opportunity at Connoisseur Media’s rock WPLR, New Haven on the “Chaz and AJ” show.  The company seeks a passionate, open, digital savvy, connected talent as the third voice, traffic reporter, and guest booker for “Chaz and AJ.”  This morning show personality must be a creative thinker and have the ability to be topical, relevant, connected, and authentic in their on-air work and connected to the demographics of PLR.  This candidate will also be expected to book guests, stay on top of current events, pitch topics/stunts and show arcs as well as build a relationship with the major players in the Connecticut political, entertainment, and news world.  Qualifications include: a minimum of 3 years on-air (TV or radio) experience; deliver traffic reports; an understanding of all aspects of social media; interact with the public at major events and an ability to demonstrate a professional appearance and demeanor in/outside of the radio station; and more.  If you are a qualified candidate, send a 3-minute demo with your resume and salary requirements to: connoisseurctjobs@gmail.com with “CHAZ AND AJ” in the subject line.