Tegna Putting San Diego’s KFMB-AM and KFMB-FM Up for Sale. According to Ken Leighton’s report in the San Diego Reader, Tegna has put news/talk KFMB-AM and classic hits KFMB-FM up for sale and intends to announce a potential new owner by November 15. The story indicates radio station staffers learned about Tegna’s plans in a memo last week. Tegna bought the two radio stations as part of its acquisition of two San Diego television outlets – KFMB-TV and KFMB-DT2 – back in December of 2018. The piece reports that iHeartMedia is rumored to be interested and goes on to speculate that KFMB-AM could become a sports talk station, with programming from iHeartMedia’s crosstown KLSD moving to KFMB-AM’s better signal. However, such an acquisition would put iHeartMedia over the ownership cap in the market and require divestitures.
Hofstra’s WRHU-FM Wins Third Marconi Award. At this year’s Marconi Awards at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas, Hofstra University’s WRHU, Hempstead, New York took home its third Marconi Award. The school’s station won the Noncommercial Station of the Year in 2014 and 2017. This year, the station won the inaugural College Station of the Year honor. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a feature-length look at Hofstra’s WRHU. Kinosian writes that several things make WRHU unique. “Operated primarily by a roughly 250-member student staff, which in itself is fairly mind-blowing, the noncommercial, educational, community-oriented facility has another 20 or so ‘community volunteers.’” Read the entire piece here.
TALKERS News Notes. Indianapolis sports talk host Dan Dakich is serving a one-week suspension from his show on Emmis Communications’ WFNI-AM “The Fan” for “a failure last year on Dan’s part to adhere to the journalistic principles valued by Emmis,” according to a report in the Indianapolis Star. However, neither Emmis nor Dakich are responding to inquiries about the specifics of his transgression. Former Indiana Pacers player Scot Pollard is sitting in as host of Dakich’s 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show…..Entercom sports talk personality Christian Fauria is doing a marathon radio broadcast on WEEI, Boston to raise awareness of diabetes and raise funds for the American Diabetes Association. “Christian Fauria’s 25 for 25k” entails Fauria broadcasting live for 25 hours straight from 2:00 pm on November 13 to 3:00 pm on November 14 in an effort to raise $25,000. Fauria’s son was recently diagnosed with diabetes and during the broadcast, he’ll discuss his family’s journey with diabetes and welcome special guests, including New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, diabetes patients, medical professionals, and Susan Sarro, executive director of the American Diabetes Association in New England…..This week’s Westwood One blog looks at the levels of awareness, usage, and enrollment in their rewards programs for Uber and Lyft among AM/FM radio listeners. According to a national MARU/Matchbox study commissioned by Westwood One, heavy AM/FM radio listeners are big users of ridesharing. 60% of heavy AM/FM radio listeners used Uber in the past year compared to 37% of light AM/FM radio listeners. A greater proportion of heavy AM/FM radio listeners used Lyft in the last year (49%) versus only 21% of light AM/FM radio listeners. See more here…..ESPN Radio is reporting that its summer ratings (June 20-September 11) with men 25-54 in PPM markets were up 4% over the same period in 2018 (6a-6p). The upward trend was aided by an increase in time spent listening of 6%. The morning drive “Golic and Wingo” show was up 5% year-over-year with men 25-54 and enjoyed a 17% increase in TSL for the same period.
Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Tells TALKERS, “We live in a time of journalism by clickbait.” Criticism of today’s media and journalism is not the exclusive domain of President Donald Trump. Nor is the observation that the national party committees are above putting their thumbs on the scale to help certain candidates of their own choosing. Interestingly, a candidate who is ideologically as far from the president as anyone in the race – Marianne Williamson – shares his view that both today’s media journalism and political party machinery can use improvement when it comes to honesty, integrity, and competency. Although Williamson has not qualified for inclusion in the last two debates, her candidacy remains very much alive. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison caught up with Williamson last week shortly after the Democratic debate on CNN. To listen to the conversation, please click here.
John McConnell to be Honored by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Radio industry veteran programmer, executive, and talent agent John McConnell has been named the 2019 recipient of prestigious Arnold Schneider Visionary Award by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for his work on behalf the organization’s mission to improve quality of life and speed the development of treatments for paralysis and breakthroughs in spinal cord research. The award will be presented at the Foundation’s annual Gala dinner in the Big Apple in November. McConnell is executive vice president of Workhouse Media and runs the talent agency’s New York office. One of his clients, the legendary Scott Shannon of WCBS-FM, New York tells TALKERS, “Since the moment he first joined the ranks as a fundraiser and now vice chair, John has left an indelible mark as a leader. He fractured his neck in 2005 after flipping over his bike. While he recovered, this experience ignited a passion and purpose to help the Foundation accelerate its mission. A year to the day after the injury, John ran the New York City Marathon. He’s since completed multiple marathons, raising millions under the Reeve banner.” Shannon continues, “I’ve known John for 30 years. Our love of radio brought us together and we have a wonderful friendship. And I’m proud to call him my agent.” This year’s Gala is titled “A Magical Evening” and it is set for Thursday, November 14 at Cipriani South Street located at 10 South Street in New York City. Those interested in attending or making a contribution may contact the Gala office at 973-933-7114 or firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Egan Named GSM for Alpha Media Portland. The Alpha Media Portland station group that includes news/talk KXL-FM, talk KUFO “Freedom 970,” and sports talk KXTG-AM “750 The Game,” and four music brands names Michael Egan its new general sales manager, effective November 4. Egan was most recently general manager at Pitt Learfield/IMG College Sports Marketing in Pittsburgh. Prior to his six-year stint at Learfield/IMG, Egan held senior roles in corporate sponsorship sales for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Portland Trail Blazers. Alpha Media Portland director of sales Cressy Walton says, “We are very excited to have Mike join us and look forward to the ideas, relationships, and experience he is bringing to our team. His knowledge, sense of humor, leadership, work ethic, and Oregon roots are a perfect fit.”
Impeachment Inquiry Delay, Syria Withdrawal, 2020 Presidential Race/Gabbard-Clinton Clash, Trudeau Ekes Victory in Canada, Netanyahu Fails to Form Government, and Brexit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22). The Democrats delay the impeachment inquiry against President Trump; debate over the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Northeastern Syria; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Hillary Clinton’s calling Tulsi Gabbard a “Russian asset”; Justin Trudeau wins Canada’s prime minister race but will lead a minority government; Benjamin Netanyahu fails to form a government in Israel; and Boris Johnson’s asking Parliament to approve his Brexit deal 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. Changes are taking place on air at Connoisseur Media’s Connecticut operations. Air personality Allan Lamberti is moving from mornings on classic rock WFOX, Southport “95.9 The Fox” to sister adult contemporary WEBE, Westport for afternoons, taking over for Jay Michaels, who is stepping down this week. Charlie Padgett will assume morning duties on WFOX. Lamberti says, “I grew up in Trumbull, live in Bridgeport, and have long listened to and admired WEBE108. I’m extremely excited to take over in my new role on afternoons on such a legendary signal.”…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop KMEL, San Francisco announces the lineup for its 2019 “Holiday House of Soul” taking place on Saturday, December 14 at The Masonic in San Francisco. The event will feature live performances from artists including Layton Greene, SiR and DVSN. iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “The KMEL ‘Holiday House of Soul’ is a Bay Area tradition and frequently showcases some of the biggest new stars in R&B. Previous shows have included talent such as SZA and The Weeknd, just as their careers were in their earliest stages. We’re proud to again feature several of today’s freshest R&B artists who’ve all had a breakout year in 2019 with big things to come in the years ahead.”
By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality
“Most journalists share the same skill sets and the same approaches to stories, seek out the same sources, ask similar questions, and produce relatively similar stories. Across the news industry, processes and procedures for news gathering are guided by standardized news values, producing standardized stories in standardized formats that are presented in standardized styles. The result is extraordinary sameness and minimal differentiation.”
WTOP, Washington’s Jim Farley: “We’re Engaged Across All Platforms.” Hubbard Broadcasting’s Jim Farley, vice president of news and programming at WTOP, Washington, speaks with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison in this TalkersTV video interview. Farley tells Harrison that although WTOP is a heritage radio station, they think of it differently, “We don’t think of it as a radio station; we think of it as a digital news organization…we compete with everybody who does news.” Farley praises WTOP ownership – both current and past – for having the foresight to invest in staff and equipment to compete in the 21st century news game. Farley says they recently added a digital editor for the overnight shift so the organization has a radio and digital editor on the clock at all times. “Whenever there is a story – middle of the night or on weekends – we’ll be engaged across all platforms.” See the TalkersTV video in the box on this page.
Former WCCO, Minneapolis Talk Host Don Shelby Joins BringMeTheNews. Longtime Twin Cities TV and radio personality Don Shelby (pictured at left) begins a new position as morning drive news anchor at BringMeTheNews – the radio news network and online news site for Minnesota founded by Twin Cities news pro Rick Kupchella (pictured at right) in 2009. Shelby, a longtime WCCO-TV newsman who retired from his midday talk show at WCCO radio in 2010, will be morning anchor for the service heard on some 30 stations around the state. He’ll also handle original news reporting. Shelby states, “I am so pleased that I’ll be back in the game – not just to be back in the game, but to satisfy the needs of people who, for 32 years, trusted me to tell them the truth. I miss them and I miss the opportunity to do that.”
Sports Talk Talent Moves in San Diego; Rosenberg and Williams to XEPRS. Josh Rosenberg and Charod Williams jump from KLSD, San Diego “Xtra Sports 1360” to crosstown (actually, cross-border) XEPRS XX 1090 for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm shift beginning Monday, March 26. The move pushes Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton to the 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot, Darren Smith to the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm shift and John “The Coach” Kentera to the 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm show when Padres baseball is not airing. KLSD has not announced who will replace Rosenberg and Williams in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm shift.
Asheville, North Carolina Talk Host Matt Mittan Returns to Air in the Market. Talk show host Matt Mittan left Clear Channel’s WWNC, Asheville five months ago. Now, after continuing to produce his program along with co-host and producer Agnes Cheek online and self-syndicating it in various formats to a number of stations in the region, the program returns to Asheville on gospel WZGM. More than that, Mittan and Cheek have taken operational control over the HRN Broadcasting-owned station. Mittan tells the Asheville Citizen-Times the station will still air gospel music in the morning plus Dial Global’s Clark Howard, his program from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and Dial Global’s Neal Boortz from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Eventually, he’d like to add more local talk to the station.
Beasley Broadcasting Names Rafe D’Amico NSM for Las Vegas Cluster. Rafe D’Amico already serves as national sales manager for Beasley stations on Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. Now he’s named NSM for the entire Las Vegas cluster that includes news/talk KDWN. Beasley Las Vegas director of sales Cory Cuddeback says, “I’m thrilled that Rafe is joining our Vegas team. Rafe has an impeccable reputation along with a solid background in the industry and will be a tremendous asset for our cluster moving forward.”
Promotions at Clear Channel Toledo. A number of staffers at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Toledo cluster are being promoted including news/talk WSPD executive producer Katie Hileman who is named assistant program director for the station. Sports WCWA program director Tom Riggs also takes on the cluster’s digital content director responsibilities.
WLW, Cincinnati Celebrates 90th Anniversary This Week. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s venerable WLW, Cincinnati is celebrating its 90th year in operation this week. The station was put on the air on March 23, 1922 by Powel Crosley, Jr. In 1934 WLW would receive permission to broadcast at 500,000 watts – the only station to do so – and for the next five years earned the nickname “The Nation’s Station.” The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter details a very cool, quick history of WLW in his column here.
KABC, Los Angeles To Give Away New Sidewalk in “Sidewalk Insanity” Promotion. In an affectionate nod to Los Angeles’ notoriously decrepit sidewalks, Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles is running a “bracket-like” contest in which one lucky winner gets a new sidewalk courtesy of sponsor Capital Construction. The station says, “L.A. is world famous for having the world’s worst sidewalks – more than 4,000 miles of jagged cliffs of cracked and tree-root-raised barricades – making walking, skateboarding or wheelchair access virtually impossible.” Contestants are encouraged to send a photo of their lousy sidewalk to AM drive host Doug McIntyre (pictured here holding a chunk of broken concrete) for their chance to enter the bracket and have listeners vote on the worst of the worst.
KOIN-TV, Portland News Anchors to Fill In on KPAM Radio. Pamplin Media Group program director Dennis Glasgow reports KOIN-TV, Portland news anchors Jeff Gianola and Kelly Day will fill in for talk host Bob Miller on the 7:00 am to 11:00 am show today. Glasgow states, “Not only is this going to be great radio, but this is a great example of sharing talent and resources. We value this important and exclusive local partnership with KOIN and look forward to having Jeff and Kelly grace our airwaves, I know our listeners will feel the same way.”
Illinois Primary/2012 Presidential Race, Federal Budget Debate, Florida Youth Slaying, Iran Nuke Ambitions and Afghanistan Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20). The GOP primary election in Illinois and the larger 2012 presidential campaign issues, the ongoing debate over cuts to the federal budget, the controversial killing of an unarmed Florida teen, Iran’s nuclear weapons program and continuing tensions for U.S. troops in Afghanistan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.