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New Morning Programming for WFLA, Tampa. Effective January 4, iHeartMedia’s Tampa Bay news/talk WFLA begins new morning drive programming. “AM Tampa Bay with Jack Harris” will air from 5:00 am to 7:00 am and the new “Ryan Gorman Show” will air from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. “The Ryan Gorman Show” stars Ryan Gorman alongside co-host Aaron Jacobson and producers Katie Butchino and James Burlander and will “feature the biggest news stories and trending topics from the local Tampa Bay community. Every morning will be filled with the latest headlines, news, weather and traffic updates, plus discussions and interviews with local and national dignitaries presented as the talk of Tampa Bay.” Gorman says, “I’m excited to make the move to mornings and follow Jack Harris, a Tampa Bay and talk radio legend, and bring something unique and different to talk radio. We’re going to cover the biggest stories of the day and have fun doing it. Plus, we’ll feature guests who have the inside scoop on what’s happening in Tampa Bay and across the country and how it will impact you. I’d like to thank the incredible leadership team at iHeartMedia Tampa for the opportunity to host a morning show in my hometown.” Gorman has been host of “PM Tampa Bay” on the station since March 2018. He will continue to host “iHeartRadio Communities,” a show focusing on important national topics that runs on iHeartRadio stations across America and often anchors coverage of national breaking news events.
WCCO Unveils New Morning Show Hosted by Vineeta Sawkar. Taking over as morning drive personality on Audacy’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis on January 3 is Vineeta Sawkar, who’ll host “The Morning News with Vineeta Sawkar” from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Sawkar – a longtime KSTP-TV broadcast journalist – fills the role held by Dave Lee, who retired from the station back in April. WCCO brand manager Brad Lane states, “After an extensive search, we are excited to welcome Vineeta to 830 WCCO and are thrilled that the tradition of news and personality in the morning will continue. Her rich experience, journalistic integrity and warm personality make her the perfect choice to evolve our station’s longstanding tradition of delivering the biggest headlines in the morning while exploring the news and events that matter most to Minnesotans.” Sawkar comments, “I’m truly humbled, honored and excited to host ‘The Morning News’ on WCCO. No one can replace Dave Lee. He is a broadcasting legend and a friend as well. This station is so rich with history and memories for so many of us. I hope the ‘Good Neighbor’ station you once listened to in the mornings for school closings is the place you can continue to listen for news and information to get your day started…with some fun, too.”
Audacy Puts All-News KNX on the FM Band. Southern California all-news KNX-AM is getting an FM simulcast partner as Audacy announces the launch of “KNX News 97.1 FM” in Los Angeles as it ends the CHR format on KNOU-FM. Audacy regional president Jeff Federman says, “For over 100 years, KNX has been the station Southern California has depended on for breaking news, important events and life changing moments. With spoken-word audio consumption at an all-time high, this move allows us to significantly upgrade the existing KNX brand and create a news destination for a new generation. KNX is a powerful and trusted brand in this market, and we look forward to delivering the same award-winning content on crystal-clear FM radio.” The company adds that the launch “underscores Audacy’s commitment to its local news brands, reflective via a multiplatform transformation announced earlier this year. The station will launch with a two-minute tribute to some of the station’s biggest headlines over the last 100 years, while previewing the next chapter of its history.”
Round Four of November PPMs Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s November 2021 sweep covered October 14 – November 10. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM adds a full share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) to finish the survey with a 7.3 share and remains ranked #4 while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF rises seven-tenths for a 2.9 share and finishes ranked #12. Emmis Communications’ Indianapolis news/talk WIBC-FM climbs to the #2 rank after adding six-tenths for a 7.8 share. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN takes over the #1 rank after adding a full share to finish with a 10.3 share while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ falls to #2 after shedding 2.2 shares for a 7.6 share finish. Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville dips two-tenths for an 8.0 share finish and falls to the #3 rank in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here.
Good Karma Brands Promotes Prince to Vice President. West Palm Beach market manager Stephanie Prince is promoted to vice president in which Good Karma Brands says she’ll continue to lead “ESPN West Palm’s content, marketing, and sales departments for ‘ESPN 106.3 FM,’ ‘Deportes Radio 760 AM,’ ESPN on WPTV Newchannel 5 & WFLX Fox 29, the Roofclaim.com Boca Raton Bowl, and the team’s ESPN digital assets, while furthering her role as a leader throughout Good Karma Brands.” Prince says, “I’m thrilled to continue to grow within GKB and to lead ESPN West Palm. Our dedicated and passionate team provides value for our partners and great content for our consumers across all of our assets. Palm Beach County has been home for the last 14 years, and I’m excited about our community, ESPN West Palm and GKB as we continue to expand, grow and evolve.” Good Karma Brands president Steve Politziner comments, “Stephanie is the ultimate example of a teammate whose hard work and determination have continued to lead to successes and new opportunities within GKB & ESPN West Palm. Witnessing her career ascension has been one of the great thrills of my professional career. The ESPN West Palm team and all assets she oversees are in great hands under her leadership.”
December 7, 1941: When ‘Radio News’ Came of Age. Voice over and talk radio pro Mark Wainwright writes in a piece for TALKERS magazine about how radio covered the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He says, “In the midst of today’s 24/7/365 news cycle, when “breaking news” is an hourly occurrence, it’s worth remembering that broadcasting was very different 80 years ago. The concept of news on the radio barely existed in the early days of the medium. While radio had been covering important happenings since its beginning – Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats,” political conventions, elections, major sports events and such – news, as we know it, was a low priority. It wasn’t until radio’s “Golden Age” in the 1930s that regular updates of the day’s news began to take hold. Americans typically depended on newspapers to get their daily news fix, even more so when “breaking news” happened. Radio wasn’t really equipped to handle these situations, so it fell to the wire services and newspapers to break the news.” Read his piece here.
TALKERS News Notes. Veteran Washington reporter James Rosen is joining Newsmax as chief White House correspondent. Rosen has served as a correspondent for FOX News and Sinclair Broadcast Group and has reported from the White House, the State Department, Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, the Pentagon, and the campaign trail. He has filed stories from nearly all 50 states and some 40 foreign countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, China, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, and Haiti. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “James Rosen is not only a reporter’s reporter, but also a great thinker and author who can share complex issues on a TV screen and explain them in clear and understandable ways.”…..A new podcast company from Imagine Entertainment – called Imagine Audio – is launching as part of a collaboration with iHeartMedia. Imagine chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard announced the launch of the deal that will include a slate of co-produced, unscripted podcasts, further expanding Imagine’s IP verticals beyond the traditional screens. The partnership will collaborate to launch six new series over the next two years distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network…..United States Senator Michael D. Brown (D-D.C.), in solidarity with SiriusXM talk host Joe Madison, is beginning a weekly fast every Monday for D.C. statehood. Last month, Madison began a hunger strike for voting rights and has subsisted on a liquid diet for the past 29 days. Senator Brown joins to make sure that the issue of D.C. statehood is included in the national narrative on voting rights…..Beasley Media Group recently took over Tao in New York City to celebrate the company’s 60th Anniversary. The 4th Annual Holiday Soiree event, which thanked the company’s valued advertising partners, featured special live performances from Curb recording artist Lee Brice and acclaimed actor and musician Kiefer Sutherland. Pictured below are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group president Bruce Beasley, CFO Marie Tedesco, Sutherland, CEO Caroline Beasley, Brice, VP of operations Brad Beasley, chief content officer Justin Chase, and VP of music and entertainment and director of Charlotte operations John Reynolds. Photo: Joseph Frazz Photography
Mike Bendixen Exits ‘Newstalk 1010’ Toronto. Downsizing at Bell Media’s news/talk CFRB, Toronto “Newstalk 1010” affects the programming department as station program director and company national format director news & talk programming Mike Bendixen exits. Bendixen had been programming the station since 2009 and had been with the company since 1998. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Omicron Variant, Biden-Putin Call/Russian Military Buildup, U.S. Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics, January 6 Investigation, ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy, and Nunes to Leave Congress for Trump Media Outlet Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/6). The Omicron coronavirus variant and vaccine mandates; President Joe Biden’s scheduled call with Vladimir Putin and Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; China reacts to Biden’s plan for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and former Mike Pence staffer Marc Short’s cooperation with the House committee; the Biden administration continues the Trump era “Remain in Mexico” policy for migrants; and California Republican Congressman Devin Nunes will leave the House to join Donald Trump’s new media company were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.