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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

| June 30, 2021

TALKERS 2021 Conference Video Posted – “Welcome to the ‘20s” and “A Fireside Chat with Bill O’Reilly.” The third video, under the direction of Art Vuolo, from the TALKERS 2021 Conference that took place at Hofstra University on June 11 is posted. This installment contains two consecutive sessions conducted by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. The first segment features a greeting from Harrison in which he reflects upon his 54-year career in radio and his view of the state of the industry. The second segment features a one-on-one conversation (“fireside chat”) he conducted with Key Networks commentator and talk media icon, Bill O’Reilly. Both segments are chock full of interesting and productive takeaways. TALKERS will be posting a new video from TALKERS 2021 each business day until all 10 are archived and available for on-demand viewing.

Townsquare Media Consolidates Digital and Programming Teams; Jared Willig Named Chief Content Officer. Leading the newly consolidated radio and digital platforms is Jared Willig, who has been serving Townsquare Media as digital leader. In his new role as chief content officer, Willig will oversee all content for the company across all its radio and digital platforms and consumer touchpoints, including all platforms for 322 local radio stations, over 350 local websites and mobile apps, and national music and entertainment brands XXL Magazine, Taste Of Country, Loudwire, Ultimate Classic Rock, ScreenCrush, and PopCrush. He will also continue to oversee AMPED, the monetization of the digital platforms of the company’s owned and operated local and national brands. Willig will oversee the newly created Townsquare content team, consisting of team members with varied expertise across platforms, formats and disciplines, in order to drive the company’s 360-degree strategy in radio, digital, on demand, mobile apps, social, and video. Additionally, longtime Townsquare radio programming head Kurt Johnson expands his role across all media to become SVP, content and programming, while continuing to lead the company’s music industry relations. Jackie Corley, who had been overseeing Townsquare’s digital content team, also widens her purview to become the VP of local content and programming. Willig says, “For over 10 years now, I’ve had the great privilege of running Townsquare’s digital content strategy and operations, and while our company is Digital First, radio has always been at our core. So, by merging all platforms into one content team, we are simply making official what we’ve already been doing for over a decade. There is no better programmer in the industry than Kurt Johnson, and no better local digital content expert than Jackie Corley, so with their expanded roles, I couldn’t be more excited and confident for our continued success in audience and brand growth across all forms of media.”

Lee Habeeb’s ‘Our American Stories’ Joins Premiere Networks. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” franchise is joining the Premiere Networks radio lineup, effective August 2. The program, created and hosted by radio pro Lee Habeeb, will continue to be available to stations Monday through Friday for two hours to air between 7:00 pm and 12:00 midnight. Additionally, the show will feature separate two-hour Saturday and Sunday options for weekend clearance. “Our American Stories” will also be available as a podcast on the iHeartRadio Podcast Network. The program is currently heard on some 200 affiliate stations across the country. Habeeb says, “We have spent the last five years telling stories about all that is good and decent in America, and why millions of people from around the world still wish to call our country home. The show has grown because Americans want more than conflict and bad news: they crave positive, redemptive stories from our past and present – many from our listeners – that lift their spirits and inspire them, and that’s what we do each and every day on our show.” Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott adds, “We’re excited to offer this entertaining and compelling program to even more stations nationwide. Lee and his team are masterful storytellers and they’ve created a unique and inspiring program that resonates widely with audiences.”

WEEI, Boston’s Glenn Ordway Retires from Afternoon Show. Boston sports radio personality Glenn Ordway – one of the architects of the station when it flipped to sports in 1991 – announces he’s retiring from the afternoon drive show after 34 years. Ordway will leave the show he currently hosts with Christian Fauria and Lou Merloni but will remain with the Audacy station as host of “The Real Post Game Show” following every Patriots’ game in the fall, in addition to making other station appearances and developing a podcast. He says, “To be able to do something I’ve loved doing daily for nearly five decades has been a blessing, but to do it in the best sports city during the best championship run in the history of sports…what more can you ask for. I’ve had the opportunity over the years to do it with some of the best talent in the business on a legendary radio station. Though I’m walking away from the daily hosting role, I’m excited about new opportunities and my continued presence at WEEI and maybe a little free time every once in a while.” Audacy regional president Mark Hannon says, “Glenn has been an ever-present force at WEEI, both on air and off air, for over three decades. He was the station’s first program director and oversaw some of the most dominant years in Boston radio. He has been an enduring on-air presence and has been side-by-side talking to Boston sports fans through the best and worst times. Glenn will go down as one of the most influential players in sports radio format history, and thankfully his presence will continue on the station into the future.”

Bill O’Reilly Announces New Book, Killing the Killers. The next book in Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing” series is slated for release in November and it titled, KILLING THE KILLERS: The
Secret War Against Terrorists
(St. Martin’s Press, 2021). Co-authored with Martin Dugard, this 11th book in the series “reports on America’s intense global war and manhunt against the terrorist extremists that not only carried out the attacks on 9/11 but also executed hundreds of others both on American soil and globally. The authors trace America’s efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and ISIS worldwide. In addition, O’Reilly and Dugard have gained access to top secret national security documents as well as interviewed the highest national security officials in the United States.” St. Martin’s says the current book in the “Killing” series, Killing the Mob, topped the New York Times hardcover nonfiction best-seller list for six weeks and sales of the series are approaching 19 million copies worldwide. O’Reilly’s radio program – “The O’Reilly Update” – is syndicated nationally via Key Networks.

Kim Komando’s Cryptocurrency 101 eBook Tops Amazon Best-Sellers List. The
new ebook Cryptocurrency 101 by digital technology radio host and entrepreneur Kim Komando hit the #1 position on Amazon’s Money & Monetary Policy best-seller list. According to Amazon, the book “breaks down the basics of the cryptocurrency boom. If you want to invest in cryptocurrency, it can be very complicated to know where to even begin. Kim goes through your options when it comes to buying and storing digital currency and gives you pro tips to keep you safe from hackers and scammers. In this quick, thorough guide, you’ll learn what you need to know to get started, the safe way.”

Salem’s David Santrella Elected NAB Joint Board Chair. Broadcasting executive David Santrella – president of broadcast media for Salem Media Group – has been elected chairman of the NAB Joint Board of Directors. He assumes the role previously held by Hearst Television, Inc. president Jordan Wertlieb. At the same time, Bill Wilson, chief executive officer of Townsquare Media Group, has been elected Radio Board chair by the NAB Radio Board. John Zimmer, president and owner of Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri, Inc., was elected Radio Board first vice chair, while Kevin Perry, vice president and chief operating officer of Perry Publishing and Broadcasting Company, was elected Radio Board second vice chair. Collin Jones, senior vice president of corporate development & strategy for Cumulus Media, was elected to the Radio Board’s major group representative seat on the NAB Board’s Executive Committee.

Newsmax Adds Eric Bolling to Talent Roster. Television host and best-selling author Eric Bolling joins the talent roster at Newsmax. Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy says, “Eric Bolling is a consummate media professional who isn’t afraid to ask tough questions, get provocative answers and challenge establishment thinking. His background in business and politics separates him from the competition.” Bolling has begun his work with Newsmax as a guest host for shows and is slated to host a new program in July with details to be announced soon. Most recently, Bolling hosted “America This Week With Eric Bolling” airing on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s 200 television stations. He’s also served with FOX News Channel, having filled in for Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Bolling says, “Like myself, Newsmax is concerned with the direction that Big Tech and Big Corporate Media have taken journalism and our nation. I’m excited to join an organization that delivers programming you can trust.”

COVID-19, Condo Collapse, Northwest Heatwave, NYC Mayoral Voting Snafu, Big City Gun Violence Spike, House January 6 Investigation, and Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/29). The spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the rate of vaccinations in the U.S., and mask controversy; the search for victims of the Florida condo collapse and the building’s safety history; the deadly heatwave affecting the Pacific Northwest; the New York City mayoral race is hit by a voting counting problem; the spiking gun violence in America’s large cities; the U.S. House moves to investigate the January 6 Capitol attack; and the bipartisan infrastructure deal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

| January 10, 2017

Matt Smith to Lead Philly Station Group’s Sales Efforts for Beasley.  Sales and management pro Matt Smith moves up from Beasley Media Group’s Wilmington, Delaware operations, where he was market manager, to Philadelphia where he’s now vice president and general sales manager.  In Philly, Beasley operates sports talkersmithmatt wpen-fmWPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” WTEL-AM “610 M Sports,” and brokered/ethnic WWDB-AM.  Smith says, “I’m a proud Philadelphia sports fan, and a ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ P1!  I’m thrilled to be back in the most passionate sports town in America leading a top sales team, and working with some of the top professional and collegiate sports brands in the country.”   Philly market manager Joe Bell states, “I’m very impressed with the enthusiasm and management capabilities of Matt Smith.  His history with Beasley has been stellar and he will be instrumental in the continued growth of Beasley’s Philadelphia cluster!”

Chad Benson Show Added to KSTE, Sacramento in Middays.  The program is syndicated nationally bybensonchad Radio America and announces it is now airing in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot at iHeartMedia news/talker KSTE, Sacramento “Talk 650” KSTE.  KSTE program director Bill White says of the Chad Benson show, “Chad’s experience abroad and here at home, along with his Sacramento roots, makes him a great addition to the Talk 650 KSTE lineup.”  Radio America COO Mike Paradiso adds, “Chad is the next generation of talk and the perfect fit following ‘Armstrong and Getty’ on ‘Talk 650’ KSTE.  We’re excited to be working with iHeart’s great team in Sacramento.”

Townsquare Appoints Andy Meyer to New Video Content Position.  The new title television and digital media pro Andy Meyer has is vice president/original programming and head of video for Townsquare Media.  The company says that in this role, Meyer will oversee its video programming on all digital platforms, as well as for meyerandylinear TV and branded entertainment.  Townsquare senior vice president of digital Jared Willig says, “We are thrilled that Andy has joined Townsquare to lead video programming and production.  Andy’s executive experience, his creativity as a producer, and his proven track record in creating compelling programming will enable us to grow our already thriving slate of original video franchises.”  In addition to radio stations, Townsquare operates the music and entertainment brands, XXL, Taste of Country, Loudwire, Ultimate Classic Rock, ComicsAlliance, PopCrush, Diffuser, and ScreenCrush, plus numerous live events including, “Mountain Jam,” “Taste of Country Music Festival,” and We Fest.”

DGital Media Partners to Launch ‘Pod Save America.’  On-demand entertainment creator DGital Media is partnering with actor and filmmaker Jon Favreau, former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, former Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor, and former Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer to launch a new podcast titled “Podpodsaveamerica Save America.”  DGital Media says, “The twice-weekly show brings together some of the most influential voices in politics, journalism and entertainment for a freewheeling conversation designed to inform and inspire listeners to become more active in the political process.”  DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran adds, “Talent of this level, both in their influence on the world of politics combined with their skillful and entertaining style of communicating with each other, is rare.  There is probably no better time in American history to have informed, fun and intelligent conversation around the world of politics, and this series will consistently raise the bar and deliver all of that and more.  DGital Media is honored to be partnering with this unmatched team and compelling series.”

CBS RADIO News Now on Amazon’s Alexa.  The company says it’s the first commercial news network to make its product available via Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service.  CBS Radio News listeners are now able to hear full five-minute newscasts and one-minute news briefs on all Alexa-enabled devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Amazon Fire TV.  Listeners can get the latest news updated hourly through the Flash Briefing on those devices.  By going to the settings menu on the Amazon Alexa app and selecting Flash Briefing, listeners will be able to activate both five-minute newscasts and shorter one-minute news briefs to play on demand.

Golden Globes Anti-Trump Speeches, Russian Hacking Allegations, Jeff Sessions AG Hearings, GOP ObamaCare Plans, Trump Names Kushner to WH Post, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9/).  The controversy over Meryl Streep’s and other celebrities’ anti-Trump speeches at Sunday’s Golden Globes Awards; the ongoing talk of allegations Russia hacked the DNC’s emails and President-Elect Donald Trump’s disagreement with the intelligence community on the matter; anticipation of today’s confirmation hearings for attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions; the Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; Trumps names son-in-law Jared Kushner to White House staff, raising questions about violation of the anti-nepotism law; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York talk show host Curtis Sliwa announced to his audience on the “Drive at Five”sliwacurtis show on the Cumulus Media news/talk station that he’s re-upped with the station for another two years.  He dedicated his announcement to his late hero and mentor, legendary New York talk host Bob Grant…..Las Vegas-based GCN-syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs celebrated her 8th year on the air as a radio talk personality on Monday, January 9…..ESPN Audio is launching a weekly podcast titled, “Adam Schefter’s Know Them from Adam” that’s an interview series featuring long-form conversations with individuals who have a connection to pro football.  ESPN says the show will “touch upon football topics and go much deeper, exploring life lessons, philosophies, what motivates the interview subjects, and more.”  His first guest is Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones…..Audio sales firm Skyview Networks promoted three of its national audio sales managers to vice president positions.  Those affected are: Lloyd Hyman, Kim Ball and Karen Henderson.   Skyview specializes in play-by-play sports and ABC Radio sales.  The company says the three will be given heavy responsibilities in their new roles…..Pubcaster WBUR, Boston – the markets NPR news station – names Yasmin Amer to the position of “Morning Edition” field producer.  She joins WBUR after six years at CNN…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh holds its fourth annual gastro fest “eat.drink.PITTSBURGH” on February 18.  News/talk KDKA-AM, sports talk KDKA-FM, and its hot AC and country sister stations are producing the promotion at Rivers Casino that allows attendees to “experience a culinary escape as they enjoy tasty food and beverage samples from some of Pittsburgh’s hottest restaurants and bars.”

kpamCool Office Gig.  Oregon’s “Radio Station of the Year,” NEWS TALK 860 KPAM, Portland and sister station Sunny 1550, has an immediate opening for a traffic manager to manage all phases of commercial traffic and billing for two radio stations.  The successful candidate will have at least four years’ experience in radio or television broadcast traffic.  Experience using Marketron traffic software is preferred, but not mandatory.  We offer comprehensive compensation and benefits plans in a locally owned and employee-focused environment.  Please send resume to: General Sales Manager, radiosales@kpam.com  No phone calls please.  EOE.

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Jonesy’s Book and More Programming News from KLOS, Los Angeles.  A number of news items from Cumulus Media’s Southern California classic rocker KLOS.  Former Sex Pistols guitarist and current host of the midday “Jonesy’s Jukebox” show, Steve Jones, is releasing his memoir titled, Lonely Boy: Tales from A Sex Pistol (Dakloslogo Capo 2017).   The U.S. release of the book comes at the time of the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols’ debut album, Never Mind the Bollocks.  Jones is on a nationwide press tour for the next two weeks, including an appearance on “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” and two Los Angeles stops for a sold out Q&A and signing at the Grammy Museum tonight (1/10).  On the programming side, KLOS is creating “The Frosty, Heidi & Frank Night Shift” that airs Monday through Thursday from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  It features a mix of “best of” material from the KLOS morning show, plus new content never before heard from the show.”  Finally, comic and comedy writer Greg Beharrell joins KLOS for weekends and as a key writer and digital/social content creator.  Beharrell was previously at KITS, San Francisco “Live 105.”  He’ll continue to do his radio shows in Canada, in addition to holding down duties as the Canadian voice of JACK-FM.

Ron Parker Tapped for Afternoons at WLS-FM, Chicago.  New afternoon drive personality Ron Parker hosts his first shift at Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM, Chicago today.  The station announces that Parker as parkerronmost recently on air at the company’s country WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7.”  He also achieved #1 ratings at two different dayparts at CBS RADIO’s classic hits WCBS-FM, New York.  Parker has held on-air and programming posts in markets including: San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Tallahassee.   WLS program director Brian Thomas comments, “Ron is one of the premier talents of the classic hits format and has always achieved ratings success.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  It’s all Chicago now for WEBG “BIG 95” morning personalities Mason & Remy.  The duo had been doing mornings at iHeartMedia’s Windy City country outlet and at the company’s KSD, St. Louis “93.7 The Bull.”  Now, they are exiting the KSD gig.  Program director and midday host Dusty assumes afternoons and Billy Greenwood is handling middays for now…..Also from iHeartMedia, JB Webb is named senior vice president of programming for the company’s western Ohio station group that includes country WIMT, Lima; CHR WBKS, Columbus Grove; hot AC WMLX, St. Marys; rock WZRX, Fort Shawnee; and news/talk WIMA-AM, Lima…..A series of talent moves take place at Guaranty Broadcasting’s WDGL, Baton Rouge “98.1 The Eagle.”  Richard Condon and Anna Betts move to the morning drive “Condon Uncensored” show.  They are joined by former “Eagle” personality Scott RobbMike Benson is the new midday personality and Scotty Drake moves to afternoons to host “The Drive with the Drake.”

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Third Anniversary for ‘NASH Nights Live.’  Celebrating the third anniversary of the “NASH Nights Live” country radio program at the NASH Campus in Nashville are (from l-r): producer Ryan Kershner; NASH Network director of programming John Shomby, co-host Elaina Smith, co-host Shawn Parr, and producer Brian Egan.