Tag: "Jerry Del Colliano"
By Holland Cooke
NBC uses affiliates’ air to ask viewers to watch Peacock instead. They even cannibalize their own linear channels. As President Trump recently addressed Congress, Lester Holt anchored on NBC, while MSNBC “Morning Joe” stars anchored coverage on Peacock. As if Brian Williams + talking-heads on MSNBC and Shepard Smith + talking-heads on CNBC weren’t splintering viewership already.
Monday Memo: Own the Vaccine. Consultant Holland Cooke says in today’s column, “This pandemic tests the selflessness of our society, and tests the relevance of radio. Science – and the snail’s-pace inoculation launch – foretell a crisis as long as the three-plus years my dad was overseas during The War. So, get used to the mask.” He says stations that own the vaccine availability news going forward will benefit. Read his piece here.
Pending Business: Updating Your To-Do List. Sales and marketing pro, and Lapcom Communications Corp president, Steve Lapa says that as working remotely “is still the norm for many sellers and managers. The layers of interruption and disruption can and will hamper performance. Previous in-person interactions that have now shifted to online contact has led to more delays that start with ‘this time of year…’ The need to stay and keep organized has never been greater. If you are selling or managing, you are part of the income stream. Let’s look at updating how you develop your daily sales to-do list.” Read his column here.
Boyce: Talk Radio – America’s Last Best Hope Out of this Mess. You’re probably not going to find a lot of progressives who agree with this, but Salem Radio Network SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce believes it is. In a memo to his staff, he says, “There is one institution left standing that can potentially be the best hope to save America from utter collapse. Talk radio is that institution. Since the fairness doctrine was abandoned as a failure in 1987 under President Reagan, talk radio has become the barometer of what is right and wrong with America. In many ways, talk radio is the pressure valve on this giant pressure cooker that is set to blow at any moment. This pressure valve allows both sides to debate the issues without exploding. We don’t need the fairness doctrine, talk radio is the fairness doctrine.” Read the full memo here.
Washington Post Reports on Cumulus Mandate. Picking up on the piece written by Inside Music Radio by Jerry Del Colliano and reported on by TALKERS magazine last Friday (1/8), the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi covers the story in his Media beat column today (1/11). Del Colliano’s story highlights a companywide memo from Cumulus EVP of content Brian Philips warning hosts among other things, not to suggest “that the election has not ended.” Farhi writes, “The memo appears to reflect the reality that voters, presidential electors, courts and now Congress have accepted or certified that Biden won the election and is the president-elect. It may also be an attempt to cool down emotions that led to Wednesday’s invasion of the Capitol, and to mollify advertisers that are concerned about being associated with programs that could be inciting listeners to violence. But it also reveals some of the hidden corporate hand behind what is said and discussed on talk-radio programs. Rather than a medium of freethinking individuals expressing passionately held beliefs, the memo reminds that hosts are subject to corporate mandates and control.” Read his piece here.
KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno’s Ray Appleton Suspended for ‘Hanging’ Remarks. Longtime Fresno talk radio host Ray Appleton has been suspended by Cumulus Media for his comments aired on news/talk KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno. On Thursday (1/7), Appleton was complaining about the different ways he perceives news outlets cover protests and riots, implying that “progressive” causes get softer treatment than “conservative” causes, and said “certain news editors should be hanged, maybe.” Appleton said later during that show that he was joking but Cumulus Media said in a statement, “Cumulus Media operates from a clearly defined set of programming principles and there is no question that Ray Appleton’s comment is a direct violation of those principles. As a result, we have suspended him.” In a written apology, Appleton said, “I realize that my reckless choice of words was irresponsible, and I would never condone violence toward anyone. I want to specifically apologize to my colleagues at KMJ and all who serve in the media. After 50 years in broadcasting, I understand that my choice of words matters and I made a mistake that won’t happen again. I humbly ask for your forgiveness.” It’s not clear how long Appleton will be off the air.
Bill Michaels Exits WSSP-AM, Milwaukee; Butler, Ellerson, Fifer to Host Midday Show. OnMilwaukee’s Matt Mueller reports that longtime Milwaukee sports talk personality Bill Michaels is out at Entercom’s WSSP “1250 AM The Fan” where he hosted the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show. Executive producer Joe Zenzola read the following, penned by Michaels, at the end of last Friday’s show: “There comes a time in your time when some stresses begin to drag you down. In doing so, your effort and attention is pulled in numerous directions, leaving you with the inability to focus on your sole task. At this time, I’m going to take a brief break from the airwaves. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Entercom as a company, and I thank them for helping me build a dream. I can’t thank my co-workers and friends enough for their support, energy, effort, and professionalism. You are all the best. I love radio and its ability to touch so many people informatively as well as passionately. That drives me every day and will continue to run deep in my soul. I believe that if you trim back the dead branches, ultimately, the tree grows stronger. I hope to do just that.” Michaels built a regional syndication network for his program that launched on WSSP in 2011. He’d served with crosstown news/talk WTMJ for 12 years prior to that. Entercom announces that the new midday program will be “The Wendy’s Big Show” co-hosted by former Green Bay Packers star LeRoy Butler, Gary Ellerson, and Steve Fifer.
Rush Limbaugh Deactivates His Twitter Account. BusinessInsider is reporting that Rush Limbaugh deactivated his Twitter account, in apparent solidarity with Donald Trump, whose account was permanently suspended by the company in the aftermath of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters. BusinessInsider reports that Twitter also suspended the accounts of former national security advisor Michael Flynn, pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, and Ron Watkins. Regarding the suspensions, Twitter states, “The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity. We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content.”
WJFK-FM, Washington ‘106.7 The Fan’ Promotes ‘Grant and Danny’ to Afternoon Drive. Midday sports talk hosts Grant Paulsen (left) and Danny Rouhier (right) have been moved to the afternoon drive daypart (2:00 pm to 6:30 pm) on Entercom’s Washington, DC sports talker WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan.” This move comes several months after PM drive talk host Chad Dukes was fired for content on his podcast that the company deemed racist. With the “Grant and Danny” move, Entercom says air personality Pete Medhurst will host middays on an interim basis. Entercom Washington DC SVP and market manager Ivy Savoy-Smith says, “Grant and Danny mix the smartest and most credible sports opinion and information in Washington with their own unique personalities and humor. They’ve built an incredible community of listeners and we’re thrilled that they’ll be entertaining DC sports fans on their drives home for years to come.” Both personalities joined WJFK in 2009 and launched their show together in middays in January of 2014.
Kirby Wilbur Retiring from KVI, Seattle. Seattle talk radio legend Kirby Wilbur is retiring from Sinclair Broadcast Group’s news/talk KVI, Seattle after his January 27 program. Last week, Wilbur told listeners that he and family are moving to McKinney, Texas. The 67-year-old Wilbur did two stints at KVI, the first from 1993 to 2009 and the second from 2015 through the end of this month. Wilbur explained to listeners that his decision to re-locate to Texas was spurred by the chaos that took place in Seattle during the Black Lives Matter protest that turned a portion of the downtown into the so-called CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone).
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago financial editor Len Walter is retiring from his position after 52 years with the Entercom all-news station. Walter tells Feder, “To be able to work as a journalist for the bulk of my career has been a blessing. It’s what I wanted to do since I was a youngster and was fortunate to be able to gear my education toward that end. In this era of world turmoil, it’s critical that listeners hear the unvarnished truth presented without bias. That is what they get at WBBM from an amazing staff of principled professionals.”…..Sports media personality Jason Whitlock is leaving his role with Clay Travis’ Outkick the Coverage after seven months. Whitlock – who once-upon-a-time filled in for Jim Rome on his old Premiere Networks syndicated show – wants to “carve his own career path,” according to Travis in a story posted at Outkick…..The GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show adds two new affiliate stations to her roster as Bethune-Cookman University’s WELE, Ormond Beach, Florida and WDOC, Prestonsburg, Kentucky add her program to their lineups.
Trump Impeachment/Invoke 25th Amendment, Trump Cut Off from Social Media/Parler Threaten App Vendors, Biden Transition, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, WHO Investigators in China, and Deadly Indonesia Plane Crash Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is saying the House will proceed with impeachment proceedings if Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office; Donald Trump is permanently banned from Twitter and temporarily off Facebook plus conservative platform Parler is booted from major app stores; the transition of the Joe Biden administration; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; World Health Organization investigators to enter China to seek the origin of COVID-19; and the investigation into the deadly crash of a Boeing 737-500 after takeoff in Indonesia were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of 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. This new episode titled, “Responsibility, Integrity, and Credibility,” looks back at this past week of January 4-8, 2021. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/medical doctor; Erick Erickson, talk show host, WSB, Atlanta / talk show host, regional syndication; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Anne Eller, talk show host / station owner, WCRS, Greenwood, SC; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine 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.
KMJ, Fresno’s Ray Appleton Under Scrutiny for “Hanging” Comment. Fresno talk radio host Ray Appleton – heard daily from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM/FM – is being taken to task, at least by the Fresno Bee, for saying on his program that “certain news editors should be hanged… maybe.” Appleton’s comment came during a monologue in which he complained about the media’s coverage of the attack on the U.S. Capitol compared to coverage of protests and riots in Portland and other cities, implying that reporting on those events was more sympathetic. He posted a clarification to his Facebook page that was later removed. In it, he says the comment was “clearly tongue in cheek.” On his program Thursday, he said, “So if you were upset by that, I didn’t mean it. I humbly apologize. I’m not talking about taking every news editor and hanging them. I mean, come on. Get with it.” The Bee reports that a call to KMJ for comment on Appleton’s comment was not returned.
Del Colliano: Cumulus Corporate Flips on Election Talk Mandate. According to InsideMusicMedia publisher Jerry Del Colliano, who cites an internal memo from Cumulus Media EVP of content Brian Philips, the company did an about-face on Wednesday as the assault on the Capitol building was taking place in Washington, DC. Del Colliano says that contrary to what many of the company’s talk hosts were saying up to that point about the legitimacy of the election results, Philips’ memo ordered all Cumulus and Westwood One personalities not to continue presenting any illegitimacy claim. He wrote, “We need to help induce national calm NOW. Cumulus and Westwood One will not tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended. The election has been resolved and there are no alternate acceptable ‘paths.’” He adds, “If you transgress this policy, you can expect to separate from the company immediately.” Del Colliano writes, “Some employees felt the sudden change in direction was so onerous that it in effect dictated what air talent could not broach on the air even after many years of tolerating if not encouraging controversial political talk for the purpose of increasing ratings.”
WFAN, New York Debuts Craig Carton-Hosted Gambling Addiction Program. The program is titled, “Hello, My Name is Craig,” and will air on WFAN-AM/FM, New York on Saturday mornings at 9:30. The 30-minute program is being hosted by Craig Carton and is being presented by 1-800-GAMBLER. In the program, Carton will “drive candid conversations with listeners about different aspects of gambling and provide resources and outlets to those seeking help or looking for ways to help their loved ones.” Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie will be a regular contributor and the program will feature various guests to share stories of indulgence, falls from grace, and the fight to overcome gambling addiction. Guests will include medical and therapy experts, members of the 1-800-GAMBLER team, founders of rehabilitation treatment centers, and more. Entercom New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “Legalized gambling is a growing part of the modern sports experience and the everyday fans’ conversations. Our obligation and commitment are to serve not only the audience that can responsibly enjoy these gaming elements, but also in a meaningful way help those, like Craig, who have an addiction. With Craig’s voice and unique perspective, along with outstanding partners and the influence of the WFAN platform, we will do just that.” Carton adds, “Each week, we will tackle different aspects of what for some is a fun recreation but for others is an addiction that forever alters and sometimes ends lives. The show will be a raw and revealing look into the fastest-growing vice in the country and I look forward to providing my first-hand perspective for both those dealing with the grip of their gambling compulsions as well as the loved ones in their lives.” Carton, who hosted mornings on WFAN with Boomer Esiason from 2007 to 2017, was convicted of fraud he perpetrated in order to pay off gambling debts. He served a year of a three-year sentence in prison. He returned to WFAN this fall to host the WFAN afternoon show with Evan Roberts.
WCCO-AM, Minneapolis Talk Host Dave Lee Announces Retirement. WCCO-AM, Minneapolis morning drive personality Dave Lee announces he’ll retire from the Entercom news/talk station at the end of April. Lee joined the station in September of 1989 from KFGO, Fargo where he was program director and afternoon drive personality. He first joined the station as a weekend and fill-in host and gradually became part of the Charlie Boone and Roger Erickson morning show. Lee took over sole hosting duties of the morning show in 1997. During his career he’s also done play-by-play for the Minnesota Gophers and he filled in as a Minnesota Twins announcer from 1991 to 1996. He continues to do play-by-play for the television broadcasts of the Minnesota State High School Boys and Girls basketball tournaments, while serving as the radio voice of the University of St. Thomas football on WCCO. He’s been named Minnesota’s Sportscaster of the Year six times and has won three Emmys for his television work.
“Free Talk Live” to Migrate from GCN to Talk Media Network. “Free Talk Live” co-founder Ian Freeman announces that his New Hampshire-based, nationally syndicated program will move from current syndicator Genesis Communications Network to Talk Media Network, effective January 18. Freeman says that while GCN has been “a great radio syndication partner” since 2004, for a few reasons (some of them technical) he’s made the hard decision to sign up with TMN. He says, “Talk Media Network is, like GCN, an affiliate-focused network. They don’t have makegoods or cramdowns or other undesirable, unfriendly corporate syndication crap. TMN’s CEO Josh Leng came up through the industry and has himself been a successful talk radio programmer. He knows what it’s like in the trenches and has built his company with the desires of radio stations and programmers in mind. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know Josh and I appreciate his passion for radio.” Freeman continues, “TMN’s also an interesting new take on a syndicate – they don’t have a network studio. Their shows feed directly to Westwood One’s uplink facility. That means that TMN’s overhead is reduced and the potential for failures is lower. It also means we had to start producing our show 100% from the FTL studio, which was no problem, since I’ve had that capability here for years but never used it until now. Since we’re now fully in charge of our program content, phones sound better and our feed on XDS should be a little higher quality as the audio won’t be re-encoded and re-processed at the network studio, since there isn’t one… We will stay on GCN for some time in order to give our stations plenty of time to make the jump. I’m grateful to the crew at GCN for their professionalism and support over the years and especially now. I don’t ever want to burn a bridge and I have nothing but respect and appreciation for Ted, George, Adam, and the rest of the crew there and wish them only the best.”
SportsGrid Content to Air on SiriusXM. There’s a new sports betting-oriented channel on SiriusXM as the satellite broadcaster inks a deal with SportsGrid. The new SportsGrid Radio channel will feature personalities including Scott Ferrall, Gabe Morency, Ariel Epstein, and Jared Smith plus expert contributors and guest analysts. The channel streams live from its production facilities adjacent to New York’s Madison Square Garden and at the Meadowlands inside the FanDuel Sportsbook. SportsGrid says its real-time reporting includes the daily odds, lines, matchups, injury reports, news and more across pro football, basketball, baseball, hockey, college sports, golf, tennis, and soccer.
iHeartMedia Completes Warrant Exchange for Stocks. The company announces that it has completed an exchange of iHeartMedia Warrants (financial instruments that give the holder the right to buy underlying shares at a specific price on or before a specified date) into shares of iHeartMedia Class A Common Stock, the Company’s publicly traded equity, or Class B Common Stock. The company reports that as of December 31, 2020, there were approximately 65 million shares of Class A Common Stock, 7 million shares of Class B Common Stock, and 75 million Warrants outstanding. Following the exchange, there will be approximately 110 million shares of Class A Common Stock, 29 million shares of Class B Common Stock, and 7 million Warrants outstanding. The exchange was authorized by a previously issued Declaratory Ruling from the Federal Communications Commission approving an increase in iHeartMedia’s authorized aggregate foreign ownership from 25% to 100%. Certain shares of Class B Common Stock and Warrants were not converted into Class A Common Stock due to current regulatory restrictions applicable to certain shareholders. iHeartMedia expects additional conversions of Class B Common Stock and Warrants into Class A Common Stock.
Attack on Capitol Building Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 4-8, 2021. Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol Building in Washington by hundreds of Donald Trump supporters was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Donald Trump’s continuing denial of the election results combined with his phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State seeking to overturn his loss there. Coming in at #3 was Tuesday’s Georgia runoff election that saw both Democrats beat their Republican opponents. 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.
By Phil Boyce
Salem Media Group
VP/Director, Spoken Word Format
Operations VP, New York Region
NEW YORK — Two years ago, after getting disgusted with talk radio haters predicting the death of this format, I wrote a column published here in TALKERS magazine called, “Why Talk Radio is NOT Dying.” I received more than 200 “likes” from people who thanked me for standing up for the format that we all have come to know and love. I recently found the column by accident and thought it’s time to re-visit it two years later.
To paraphrase the great Mark Twain, “The rumors of our death have been greatly exaggerated.” Usually when you find people predicting the demise or death of this format it comes from two sources: a) people who don’t truly understand this format and, b) people who do understand it, and loathe it. When Jerry Del Colliano predicted the death of talk radio would come in 2014, I asked him what he thought about the format in general, and he admitted he hated it.