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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

| February 9, 2021

WSCR, Chicago Announces Parkins & Spiegel New Afternoon Show. Chicago sports talker WSCR-AM “670 The Score” brings Matt Spiegel back to the air in a full-time capacity, hosting the afternoon drive show with former partner Danny Parkins. The two co-hosted the midday program in 2017 and 2018 before Spiegel was bumped to a part-time role and Parkins moved to afternoons alongside Dan McNeil, who was let go from the station back in September after tweeting disparaging comments about ESPN sideline reporter Maria Taylor. WSCR program director Mitch Rosen says, “Matt has always been part of the ‘Score’ team, but the fact that he is now reunited with Danny in afternoons is great news most for fans. Matt’s popularity with our audience throughout all of our platforms is unwavering. The content he delivers on a daily basis is thoughtful, entertaining, opinionated sports talk, and data shows from the previous time together that listeners love this tandem of Danny and Matt.” Spiegel comments, “This is where I’m supposed to be: talking sports and more with this audience, creating a daily space for connection and companionship. There’s nothing like it. Danny Parkins is a great host and a good friend. What he and I had found in terms of chemistry was special three years ago, and I’m super excited to resume, move forward creatively and see where we can go.”

Sports Talk Host Bill Michaels Back on the Air in Wisconsin. After exiting Entercom’s sports talk WSSP-AM, Milwaukee “1250 AM The Fan” on January 8, sports talk personality Bill Michaels has a new flagship station for his midday program. Starting today (2/9), Michaels is being heard on Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s WOZN, Madison “1670AM and 96.7FM The Zone” from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Mid-West Family VP of programming Randy Hawke says, “We are excited to have one of the biggest names in Wisconsin sports talk history as part of our growing sports properties. Bill is known and loved throughout the state as the authority on all things Wisconsin sports, pro and college. Bill is the trusted voice, and we already have radio stations calling to secure his show.” Michaels’ program is being heard on Mid-West Family radio stations WKTY, LaCrosse and WAYY-AM/W286CK, Eau Claire. Mid-West Family says it plans to make the show available on a market exclusive basis throughout all of Wisconsin immediately. Michaels comments, “I’m grateful for this opportunity with Mid-West Family and I’m even more excited to get back to doing what I love. In addition, I’m so thankful and appreciative to all of my family, friends, listeners and sponsors for encouraging me to come back. I can’t even begin to tell you what your support has meant to me. Let’s go!”

‘The Dana Show’ Now Heard on KXNT, Las Vegas. The Radio America nationally syndicated talk program “The Dana Show” – starring Dana Loesch – joins the program schedule at Entercom’s Las Vegas news/talk outlet KXNT-AM for the 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm hour. Entercom Las Vegas SVP and market manager Dan Kearney states, “We are excited to bring the energy and originality of ‘The Dana Show’ to our listeners throughout Las Vegas and the Valley. Dana’s bold personality and sharp opinion will fit perfectly in our superstar KXNT lineup.”

SummitMedia Announces Management Changes. Birmingham, Alabama-based SummitMedia, LLC announces it has made a number of changes to its programming leadership team. Company CEO Carl Parmer says, “Our goal is to bring each Summit brand experience to life and innovate in the media space. While the past year disrupted radio as we knew it as well as experiencing the recent passing of programming legend Bill Tanner, we recognize the incredible opportunities before us for those who can deliver fresh ideas to the industry.” Parmer announces that programmer Randy Chase, who joined the company back in July as SVP of programming, is the new EVP of programming, a role in which he’ll lead the company’s strategic and programming charge and oversee the company’s team of brand and content leaders. John Olsen, continues as SVP of programming managing rock, classic rock and alternative along with special projects. Maurice DeVoe, most recently operations manager for the Greenville, South Carolina cluster, moves into the brand and content leader role for the company’s rhythmic top 40, hip hop and R&B stations. Rick Thomas, formerly the vice president of programming for Max Media in Denver, joins the company as the new brand and content leader for top 40, hot AC and AC formats. Chase comments, “We have assembled a team with both incredible experience and a tremendous hunger to capitalize on the disruption in the media space and arrive first into the next normal. With this leadership team in place, I believe we will deliver highly engaging products for our consumers and set up every member of the SummitMedia team to perform at their full potential.”

Rob Finnerty Named Anchor of Newsmax TV’s ‘Wake Up America.’ Television sports and news pro Rob Finnerty is appointed anchor of Newsmax TV’s new morning program, “Wake Up America” that airs from 6:30 am to 9:00 am ET.  Finnerty was most recently serving as an anchor and reporter for the CBS television affiliate in Tampa. Newsmax founder and CEO Christopher Ruddy comments, “Rob has the rock-solid journalistic credentials we look for here at Newsmax. Our viewers will be well-served by his honest, accurate reporting.” Finnerty, who also has served with New England Cable News; KCTV-TV, Kansas City; and KBAK-TV/KBFX-TV, Bakersfield; adds, “I couldn’t be more excited to join the network, especially at this moment in our history. Not only is Newsmax TV growing at an unbelievable pace, but with everything happening in our country politically, I don’t think there is a better place to be right now.’’

GeoBroadcast Solutions ZoneCasting Test Gets FCC Approval. The Federal Communications Commission grants approval for the fourth experimental operation to build and operate two new co-located on-channel boosters at two discreet locations to GeoBroadcast Solutions. The company calls the technology ZoneCasting and will conduct the test via Universal Media Access’ KSJO-FM, San Jose. This trial will demonstrate KSJO’s ability to add localized weather and traffic, news, advertising, and EAS tests during short parts of a broadcast hour. ZoneCasting allows the additional geo-targeting and geo-fencing of audio and graphical advertisements. GeoBroadcast Solutions says, “These emerging technologies give radio broadcasters the tools that are vital in order to compete in the face of innovations from online and other forms of message distribution.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Washington Post publishes a piece today (2/9) by Paul Farhi critical of the future of the talk radio business. Citing the stage 4 cancer diagnosis of Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh, Farhi’s story questions what the future of the format will be post-Limbaugh in a media world teeming with alternative platforms to radio, where the bulk of listeners are well beyond Madison Avenue’s coveted 25-54 demographic…..Public media’s WNYC, New York announces that Karen Rouse is promoted to newsroom editor where she will oversee a new audio, writing and editing training effort for reporters and editors, and work as part of a team of editors editing Gothamist and WNYC content. Rouse will also work with WNYC editor in chief Audrey Cooper and SVP of diversity, equity and inclusion Brenda Williams-Butts to develop a newsroom fellowship program aimed at bringing more Black and brown journalists into WNYC’s newsroom…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces the release of the first three episodes of “The Washies,” a 10-episode serialized fictional podcast from partner Omnicast Media. The serial is set in in the not-so-distant future of 2025, amid a backdrop of significant political unrest, in which a TV producer finds and promotes five millennials who happen to be direct descendants of George Washington. The three women and two men participate in a reality TV show that catapults them to both fame and infamy. As they struggle to slay their own personal demons, they also represent the paradox of George Washington — hero/slave owner. Through all this, they learn to love each other and truly become family, just as the country needs them most…..SiriusXM unveils a new, multi-part audio documentary titled, “Obsessive Comedy Disorder: Boomers – The Story of The ‘80s Comedy Boom and Bust,” that is airing all this week. As SiriusXM notes, the “comedy boom” of the 1980s was a critical time for stand-up comedy, as its popularity skyrocketed and new clubs emerged in New York, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between. This program is hosted and executive produced by Dan Pasternack, and chronicles this period, with major comedy stars offering their first-hand accounts, including: Chris Albrecht, Louie Anderson, Judd Apatow, Elayne Boosler, Tom Dreesen, Jeff Foxworthy, Gilbert Gottfried, Barry Katz, Robert Klein, Jay Leno, Larry Miller, Paula Poundstone, Kevin Pollak, Paul Provenza, Paul Reiser, Bob Saget, Jonathan Schmock, Yakov Smirnoff, Judy Tenuta, Jimmy Vallely, Marsha Warfield, and Keenen Ivory Wayans.

Trump Impeachment, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Stimulus Package Negotiations, Smartmatic Lawsuit, North Korea Hackers, and Super Bowl LV Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/8). Today’s beginning of the Donald Trump impeachment trial; the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the concern over variants, and the rollout of vaccines; the negotiations in Congress over the next COVID stimulus package; the Smartmatic lawsuit against FOX News and numerous Trump allies; North Korean hackers steal hundreds of millions to fund nuclear program; and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, September 19, 2011

| September 19, 2011

WBZ, Boston Celebrates 90 Years on the Air Today.  Yes, the building with its twin radio towers in the photo at the top of this page is the site of the original broadcast studios but you might be surprised to know it’s not in the Boston area.  The CBS Radio station’s history as the first “commercial license” radio station in the country began 80 miles west in Springfield, Massachusetts at the old Westinghouse plant.  Many of the nation’s oldest radio stations moved around the dial and WBZ was no exception.  It broadcast at 830 on the dial when it first went on the air from this location on September 19, 1921.  Read more about WBZ’s history here.

Cumulus Gives WMAL, Washington an FM Boost Today.  The victim is classic rock WVRX-FM at 105.9 as WMAL will simulcast beginning at 12:00 noon today in time for Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh to be heard in the Nation’s Capital on FM.  WMAL clearly has its sights set on some of the dollars crosstown competitor WTOP has been raking in on the FM band.  WMAL president and general manager Jeff Boden states, “By expanding our successful brand to the FM dial, we will be a viable listening and advertising option for many more people in the Washington, DC area.  There are many potential listeners who never listen on AM, and we are now making programs of wide interest available to the largest possible audience.”

George Plaster’s Status in Nashville Unknown.  Nashville sports talk host George Plaster was off the air at WGFX-FM on Friday and he tells the Tennessean, “There’s been a lot of rumors about where we’re going to end up.  At this point no decision has been made.  I want to do not only what’s good for my group, but I want to end up doing something good for our listeners.”  WGFX-FM was a Citadel station until the closing of the merger between Cumulus and Citadel.  Eight years prior, Plaster sued Cumulus to get away from that company and join Citadel’s WGFX-FM.  If there’s bad blood between the two parties, the question is will they be able to get over it and work together again?  Plaster’s show rakes in a reported $2 million annually for WGFX.  The complicating factor is the new crosstown FM sports talk station WPRT-FM “The Game,” operated by the Cromwell Group, which would no doubt love to bring Plaster over to get its new format off the ground with a popular, money-making talent.  Expect some decisions to be made soon.

Bill Cunningham Debuts on Daytime TV Today.  WLW, Cincinnati and Premiere Networks talk show host Bill Cunningham’s nationally syndicated eponymous TV show debuts today.  Cunningham tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter that this is a completely different program than his radio show.  Cunningham has been taping shows since late July and the content is very much the stuff of daytime TV talk shows – dysfunctional families, pot parties and other such fare.  Cunningham says they’ve remade his image with spray-on tans and expensive suits but producers of the program say they want his image as a father, family man and the guy-next-door to shine through.  Cunningham’s program debuts on 22 stations across the country, including in his home town of Cincinnati.

WTMM-FM, Albany Brings Bruce Jacobs in for PM Drive.  Sports talk and talk radio pro Bruce Jacobs is named the new PM drive host at Townsquare Media’s Albany/Schenectady FM sports talk outlet 104.5 The Team.  Jacobs has worked most recently in the Phoenix market.  Jacobs begins his new program Tuesday, September 20.  The Long Island native says, “After 20 years of being away, it’s so great to be home again.  It’s great to be back with the most passionate, hardcore fans in the world.”

John Olsen Named PD at Sports WZZN-FM, Birmingham.  Cox Media Group announces John Olsen is the program director at its new FM sports talk outlet Sports Radio 97.7 The Zone.  Olsen has been with Cox since 2001 in various capacities.  He says, “Thanks to Ben Reed, David DuBose, Ray Nelson and Justin Case for their vision to bring 97.3 The Zone to the air.  We have a terrific, unique station that will give sports fans a true sports station.”  Also at the CMG in Birmingham, programmer Justin Case is named operations manager for the cluster.

Eleanor Mondale Dies at 51.  Eleanor Mondale, daughter of former vice president Walter Mondale and former WCCO, Minneapolis talk show host, passed away on Saturday at age 51 after her second bout with brain cancer.  Mondale left her show on WCCO in March of 2009 after the brain cancer returned a second time.  She had surgery later that year to remove the tumor and it was reported at the time that the surgery was successful.  Mondale began her broadcasting career in 1989 as the entertainment reporter for WCCO-TV, Minneapolis.  She went on to network television gigs but returned to Minnesota and co-hosted a radio talk show on WCCO with Susie Jones in 2006.

KYW, Philadelphia’s Jack O’Rourke Passes Away at 80.  Shortly after covering the Phillies-Cardinals game Friday night, the KYW sports reporter collapsed and passed away.  O’Rourke began his career with KYW in 1966.  He worked with NBC Radio in New York for more than 20 years before returning to KYW.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup.  Premiere Networks’ “America Now” with Andy Dean is added to the program schedule at Cox Media Group’s KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa in the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot…..Genesis Communications Network’s “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney is now heard on WWNZ, Bangor…..Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory is picked up by CBS Radio’s new news/talk outlet WXYT for the 1:00 am to 5:00 am timeslot…..The talk-intensive, Premiere Networks-syndicated Elvis Duran morning show adds new affiliate WMXZ-FM, Ft. Walton Beach, Florida…..The “Health Insurance Advocate” show with Cary Hall joins the lineup at KBMV-FM, West Plains, Missouri…..“Armed American Radio” with Mark Walters adds KFLO-FM, Shreveport, Louisiana; KWKC, Abilene, Texas; KBMV-FM, West Pains, Missouri; and WBFD, Bedford, Pennsylvania…..“The Rose Hollywood Report” with Shannon Rose is cleared on KRDO-AM/FM, Colorado Springs.