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Paul Mason to Program WGFX-FM, Nashville. Programming pro Paul Mason is named program director for Cumulus Media’s sports talk WGFX-FM, Nashville. He takes over for Brad Willis who exited to take a position with the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Mason has most recently been serving as program director for Hubbard Radio’s news/talk WFTL-AM, West Palm Beach and sports talk WMEN-AM “FOX Sports 640.” Cumulus Nashville vice president Allison Warren says, “WGFX is more than a radio station; it is an entire sports ecosystem. From our on-air talent to the Tennessee Titans and University of Tennessee Volunteers play-by-play, to our on-demand audio on 1045thezone.com, WGFX is the live and local sports leader for Middle Tennessee. We are thrilled to announce Paul Mason as the next program director for ‘104-5 The Zone.’ Paul is an experienced programmer who brings a passion for sports and a fresh perspective to sports entertainment. We’re confident that he’ll lead WGFX to new heights.”
Williams Re-Ups with WGN-AM, Chicago. On-air pro John Williams signs a new contract with Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago. Williams hosts the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program as well as the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm “Wintrust Business Lunch.” He says, “What we do at WGN Radio has never felt more vital and I think we’ve never done it better. It’s a privilege to host a show here.” Williams has been a midday personality at the station since becoming a full-time host in September of 1997. The term of the new contract was not revealed.
Morning Hosts Exit Tyler Media’s Sports KRXO, Oklahoma City. The economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic have forced Tyler Media to make changes at sports talk KRXO-FM, Oklahoma City “107.7 The Franchise.” Personalities Mike Steely and Jessi Stone revealed their exit from the company via social media with Steely saying he “chose to go in a different direction” and may begin doing a program on Twitch. Handling mornings on the station now are Eddie Radosevich and Todd Lisenbee.
New York Festivals Radio Awards 2020 Winner Announced. The New York Festivals Radio Awards announced the 2020 Storytellers Gala award winners. NYFestivals says, “A global crisis could not prevent the Radio Awards Grand Jury from their commitment to judging world-class work. Compelling podcasts and audiobooks, dramas, documentaries, breaking news coverage, entertainment and music specials created by storytellers around the globe impressed judges.” Vice president and executive director Rose Anderson adds, “New York Festivals also wanted to honor our commitment to honor the men and women of the creative community around the world whose work so impressed the Grand Juries this year by keeping to the original date of the storytellers gala even though we are all at home.” Gold medal winners from the United States included: Westwood One, CBS News Radio, Bloomberg, ESPN, and Wondery. You can see all the winners here. Also, this year The National Press Club was honored with the 2020 York Festivals Storytellers Gala Lifetime Achievement Award. The National Press Club, since 1908, has been recognized as the World’s Leading Professional Organization for Journalists.
Herman Cain to Join Newsmax TV. Talk radio pro, business executive, and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is joining Newsmax TV as an analyst and contributor. Cain will appear on Newsmax TV’s top shows to discuss the political scene in Washington and around the nation. Cain says, “I’m very excited to be joining Newsmax TV, which has enjoyed extraordinary growth to become one of America’s leading cable news networks.” Cain joins recent high-profile additions to Newsmax TV including former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, White House correspondent Emerald Robinson, and former FOX host Greg Kelly. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy comments, “Herman is an American original, a true success story. He’s a brilliant business leader and canny political observer who can navigate Capitol Hill blindfolded. He pulls no punches with his opinions.”
Executive Moves at Connoisseur Media. Two changes take place at Connoisseur Media as the company moves Jim Condron from his SVP and market manager position at the Long Island cluster to the newly created chief creative officer position at the company’s full-service marketing division Ferocious Media. At the same time, company chief operating officer David Bevins is assuming the market manager position for Long Island. Connoisseur CEO Jeff Warshaw says that as they looked for an experienced executive to lead its creative function, he realized he had the ideal candidate in house. “We talked about the skills the person would need in the job and realized the ideal candidate was in our midst in the form of Jim Condron, who was running our Long Island operation. I’m excited for Jim and our company that he agreed to take the role. He has proven himself as a true leader and visionary. I can’t imagine a better person to oversee creative and lead the crafting of terrific campaigns for clients of Ferocious Media.” Condron comments, “Having spent decades developing creative campaigns for clients, this opportunity will allow me to be part of leading the charge in creating a world-class, full-service marketing company in Ferocious Media. I am incredibly excited about what we can build.”
Artificial Intelligence Expert Neil Sahota to Host Show for Sports Byline USA. Artificial intelligence expert Neil Sahota is hosting a radio program called “The Deal with Neil” that debuts tomorrow (4/23) on the Sports Byline USA network. The weekly shows will initially be included in the network’s other programs: “Titillating Sports with Rick Tittle,” “Wrestling Observer Live with Bryan Alvarez,” and “Sports Byline USA with Ron Barr.” Sports Byline USA president Darren Peck says, “Neil Sahota is a futurist who has earned a powerful reputation as the best interpreter of how artificial intelligence is becoming such a huge part of life these days, and he’s now going to use his skills to help us understand how AI plays increasing roles in sports and elsewhere.”
Coronavirus Statistics and Projections, Trump Immigration Order, Missouri Sues China, Financial Markets Activity/Oil Crash, New Stimulus Package, and Iran Launches Military Satellite Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/21). The tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections about future cases; President Trump puts a 60-day hold on all green cards; the state of Missouri files suit against China for its role in the coronavirus pandemic; the activity on the world’s financial markets and the crash of oil prices; the Senate passes a $480 billion relief package; and Iran launches a military satellite were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the life of radio programming pro Darrin Arriens, who was serving as director of operations for Entercom’s Charlotte cluster and program director for hot AC WLNK-FM, Charlotte at the time of his passing. Arriens was 52 years old. During his career he’d served with Cumulus/Citadel; WRIF, Detroit; WLZR, Milwaukee; KSKS, Fresno and many more…..In Cleveland, Radio One makes Matty Willz the new midday host at hip hop WENZ-FM “Z107.9.” Willz currently serves as the local producer for “The Morning Hustle” on the station, a duty he will continue. Former midday personality DJ Angel Baby is moving to the company’s Charlotte station group to take on a new role there. Willz states, “I’ve always just tried to stay committed to the process. Instead of worrying about timing and things outside of my control. I just stayed focused on being prepared and doing the best I could do every day. In that, I learned if you put in the work, dreams really do come true.”