Tag: "Kalil & Co"
Radio HOF Announces “Class of 2019.” The nine newest members of the Radio Hall of Fame who will be inducted at a November 8 ceremony in New York City’s Gotham Hall are: Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton; Harry Harrison; Kevin Ryder & Gene “Bean” Baxter (“Kevin & Bean”); Joe Madison; Jim Rome; Ryan Seacrest; John Tesh; and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Radio HOF chair Kraig Kitchin remarks, “I am especially proud to welcome these individuals into the Radio Hall of Fame. Their on-air performances and audience relationships are especially remarkable. Each of our 2019 nominees [is] worthy of induction. I’m appreciative of all those who participated in our process of selecting our Class of 2019, who will join the 238 Radio Hall of Fame inductees already recognized for their great work.” Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton does afternoon drive on iHeartMedia New York rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” and his “Weekly Top 30 Countdown” is syndicated by Premiere Networks. Harry Harrison (“Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years”) was a mainstay New York City morning talent on WMCA, WABC, and WCBS-FM. Kevin and Bean (“Active Local/Regional, 10+ years”) have been overseeing mornings on Entercom Los Angeles alternative KROQ. Joe Madison – “The Black Eagle” – is heard on SiriusXM’s “Urban View” channel. Jim Rome (“Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years”), whose show was called a “freaking jungle” by a listener – and the term stuck – airs on CBS Sports Radio. Ryan Seacrest’s multi-platforms include mornings on iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” and Premiere Networks’ “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” and “American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest.” John Tesh (“Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years”) hosts Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Intelligence For Your Life.” Meanwhile, “The Dr. Ruth Show” was heard on NBC Radio and she hosted “Sexually Speaking” on New York City’s WYNY. Four inductees were determined by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. Another four were voted on by the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, two with input from the public. The outcome of the listener vote for a music format and spoken-word format on-air personality counted as one vote among the committee votes. The Radio HOF voting process was administered by Votem and overseen by the certified public accounting firm Miller Kaplan Arase LLP.
Monday Memo: “Hollywood,” Co-starring AM Radio. The Los Angeles Times calls “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” “the year’s first surefire Oscar Best Picture nominee.” And the soundtrack — assembled after writer/director Quentin Tarantino listened to 14 hours of 1969 KHJ airchecks — may also grab a statuette. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke’s panel explains what made radio so “sticky” then, and what it would take to reclaim the foreground on today’s crowded audio landscape. Read his column here.
Karem’s Press Pass Suspended. The White House Correspondents Association is “closely monitoring” the White House press secretary’s decision to suspend for 30 days the pass of CNN political analyst Brian Karem. Association president Jonathan Karl states, “We sincerely hope this White House does not again make the mistake of revoking a reporter’s hard pass. The WHCA has stood up to violations of due process rights before and we stand ready to safeguard those rights for all reporters who work to hold our government accountable.” CNN’s Brian Stelter reports the suspension letter Karem received specifically cited the confrontation he got into with former Trump aide/Salem Radio Networks talk host Sebastian Gorka at the White House social media summit a few weeks ago. Via Twitter, Gorka writes, “From this day forth the punk @BrianKarem will be called Brian Karma.” Meanwhile, on that same social media platform, Karem notes that he intends to appeal the White House’s decision. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke with Gorka moments after that summit wrapped. That conversation is archived here on the TALKERS website (Friday, July 12, 2019).
Beasley Broadcast Group Q2 Net Revenue Increases 6.5%. The $4 million (6.5%) year-over-year gain (to $65.7 million) during the three months ended June 30 reflects increased revenue in Beasley Broadcast Group’s Philadelphia cluster, primarily due to the September 2018 acquisition of country WXTU, and increased revenue from its Boston stations. Net revenue for the three months ended June 30 was comparable to net revenue for the same period in 2018 at the company’s other clusters. Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley comments, “The strategic and financial benefits of our initiatives to further expand and diversify Beasley’s broadcast and digital platform are evident in our second-quarter financial results and further highlights the progress we are making to reinforce and grow Beasley’s leadership position across all audio platforms in our markets. Record second-quarter net revenue of $65.7 million was driven by the strength of our station clusters in three of our top five largest revenue markets, as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and more than offset approximately $1 million in combined political and United States Traffic Network (USTN) revenue recorded in the comparable 2018 period, which was non-recurring in 2019.” In June, Beasley Broadcast Group entered into a definitive agreement with Urban One to acquire Detroit’s WDMK and three translators used to broadcast WDMK’s HD2 signal for $13.5 million. Caroline Beasley notes, “This transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow, excluding one-time transaction costs. The acquisition of WDMK-FM and the WDMK-HD2 translators represent a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position in Detroit with a strong cluster of four FM stations in the country’s thirteenth largest market.”
iHM Hikes Hyland to Region President/Washington & Baltimore. Most recently region senior vice president of sales and market president for iHeartMedia Washington D.C./Baltimore, Aaron Hyland is elevated to region president of those two markets. He succeeds Mike Preacher, who becomes president for government initiatives and partnerships for iHeartMedia Markets Group. Preacher will report to iHeartMedia Markets Group president Greg Ashlock, while Hyland will report to iHeartMedia west division president Kevin LeGrett. According to Ashlock, “With Aaron, we are fortunate to have someone so talented, experienced and knowledgeable of the area to make the natural progression to the role of region president. With Mike, we are grateful for the amazing job he has done leading our D.C./Baltimore region and excited about the incredible wealth of experience and success he brings to the table in managing our government initiatives and partnership division. This is a win-win.” Hyland, who began his radio career as local sales manager for iHeartMedia Albany (New York), comments, “The iHeartMedia Washington D.C. region has a strong presence in both Washington and Baltimore with advertisers throughout the community. I’m excited to build on our success here, giving our advertisers efficient and effective marketing solutions as well as providing our listeners the best programming and content.” Preacher notes, “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done in the Washington D.C. region. Aaron has been instrumental to our growth and I am highly confident that he and the team will enjoy continued success. Regarding my role moving forward, we have very high growth expectations for our government initiatives and partnerships division. I am looking forward to resourcing and spearheading the team’s efforts.” The iHM DC cluster consists of news/talk WONK, adult contemporary WASH, country WMZQ, CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5,” alternative WWDC “DC-101,” and WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock,” while its Baltimore owned-and-operated stations are CHR WZFT “Z-104.3,” adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack-FM,” WPOC “93.1 Baltimore’s Country Station,” and gospel WCAO “Heaven 600.”
2020 Local Political Advertising to Top $6.5 Billion. That’s the estimate from BIA Advisory Services, which forecasts over-the-air television will earn the majority of the spending (47% or $3.08 billion). That compares to just over $312 million (4.8%) for radio. Meanwhile, online/digital outlets will receive $1.37 billion (21%), while multichannel video programming distributors are expected to rake in $919 million (14%). The balance will go to other media. BIA Advisory Services chief economist/senior vice president Mark Fratrik opines, “It is going to be a very interesting political year. Some very large markets will not see much in political advertising while some small markets will see an extraordinary amount of advertising due to competitive gubernatorial, senate and house races along with the presidential election. Campaigns will continue to rely on television as a dominant platform for advertising while supplementing with digital advertising across mobile and desktop. In some smaller markets, one thing to keep an eye on is how the huge volume of political advertising could crowd out other local advertisers during primary and general election seasons. That may have an impact on advertisers and media companies. We will certainly factor that into our forecasting as we go through the fall.” It is believed that the three top local political revenue generating markets will be Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Philadelphia. In each market, TV OTA will receive more than $130 million in advertising with online/digital ad spend getting over 25% of the total spend.
Hart Heads to Albuquerque. Former six-year Entercom Philadelphia news/talk WPHT program director Jared Hart relocates to Albuquerque to become AM operations manager for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB-AM (which he will program), sports talk KNML “The Sports Animal,” and business talk KTBL. Cumulus Media Albuquerque vice president/market manager Jeff Berry comments, “Jared brings the experience, skill, and vision to lead our three AM stations – including the legendary KKOB-AM – back to a position of market dominance. We are so excited for him to join our team and help guide our cluster to new heights.” Hart adds, “I’m excited by the opportunity to join the passionate and forward-thinking team at Cumulus Albuquerque. It’s hard to overstate the power and impact of KKOB-AM and ‘The Sports Animal’ across New Mexico and the potential for KTBL. I’m honored to help drive the future success of these great stations and can’t wait to jump in.” Prior to his tenure at WPHT, Hart was assistant program director for Cumulus Media San Francisco news/talk siblings KGO and KSFO.
Four Staffers Added to Westwood One Podcast Network. Joining Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One Podcast Network are senior producer, core content Madena Parwana; senior producer, development Lou Pellegrino; audio mixing engineer/studio technician Rebekah Wineman; and associate producer Sarah McCrory. All four will report to executive editor John Wordock, who comments, “This latest round of hiring further demonstrates Westwood One’s commitment to quality and scale as we grow our podcast business and serve our extraordinary partners and content providers. Madena, Lou, Rebekah, and Sarah have diverse and distinctive skillsets that will greatly contribute to the success and evolution of podcasting at Westwood One.” Parwana will help manage and produce podcasts that cover news, lifestyle and entertainment, sports, and business/money. She previously was a producer in the global radio division of Bloomberg LP, where she produced Bloomberg’s “Masters in Business” and “The Business of Sports” podcasts. Parwana was also senior podcast producer and co-host of “Unique Radio with Will Castro.” Pellegrino will manage and assess in-bound podcast pitches as well as help to develop pilots and shows. He formerly was executive producer of podcasts for Cadence 13 where he produced “The Woj Pod” and was involved with “Pod Save America.” In addition, Pellegrino was a producer for NBC Sports Radio and worked as a freelance producer for “The Dan Patrick Show” and MSG Networks. Wineman will support post-production, sound quality, field engineering, and studio maintenance. She previously worked as an audio engineer for The Wall Street Journal, where she mixed the “What’s News” podcast. Wineman served as a mixing and mastering engineer for NPR’s “Latino USA” and “In the Thick.” McCrory will support hosts, help edit and produce shows, and book guests. Before joining Westwood One, she worked as a production coordinator and podcast coordinator for Fox News Channel in New York City and Washington, DC, working on the podcasts “Livin’ the Bream” and “The Fox News Rundown.”
TALKERS News Notes. Sports reporter/anchor Carol Maloney joins Cumulus Media Washington DC’s WSBN-AM “ESPN 630” for 10:00 am – 12:00 noon duty. Cumulus Washington, DC program director Bill Hess states, “I’ve admired Carol’s energy, passion, and journalism since we first worked together a dozen years ago. Her relationships with the players, coaches, reporters, and sports fans in our town are unmatched.” Maloney notes, “I couldn’t be more thrilled and thankful for this opportunity. I’ve spent most of my career in the nation’s capital passionately following and covering the sports teams in town. Luckily, I’ve made a lot of friends and contacts along the way and will be calling on all of them.” Maloney has worked for Comcast SportsNet and NBC Sports Washington. She continues as a field reporter/show host for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) on Washington Nationals telecasts. “The Carol Maloney Show” debuts tomorrow (Tuesday, 8/6) ….. Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” rebrands as “560 The Joe.” While the Entercom sports talk outlet is the flagship of the Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, and University of Miami Hurricanes, its weekday lineup is taking more of a national lean: SportsCenter All Night (1:00 am – 5:00 am); First & Last with Jason Fitz (5:00 am – 6:00 am); The Joe Rose Show with Zach Krantz (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Dan Le Batard with Stugotz (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); Stephen A. Smith (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); Hoch & Crowder (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); “Best of ‘560 The Joe’” (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Spain & Company (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm); and Freddie & Fitzsimmons (9:00 pm – 1:00 am). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WAXY “AM 790 The Ticket” is the key station of the NBA’s Miami Heat. Its on-air roster includes: Amy Lawrence (2:00 am – 6:00 am); Tobin, Leroy, & The Beast (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Zaslow & Amber (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); Hoch & Crowder (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Zack Duarte (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and Scott Ferrall (10:00 pm – 2:00 am).
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At a time when high-profile stations such as WPLJ, New York; WRQX, Washington, DC; and WYAY, Atlanta (among others) are flipping to contemporary Christian, Tucson is losing a religious-geared outlet. Specifically, Tucson Radio LLC officially closes on its $650,000 purchase of KFLT “AM 830” & K269FV Oro Valley (Arizona) from Family Life Broadcasting and transitions it to “The Drive” (pending calls KDRI), an “original format” of music and local, live personalities. The ownership team of Arizona-based Tucson Radio, which has no other broadcast interests, is longtime Tucson businessman and community activist Fletcher McCusker (board chair); Bobby Rich (president); and Jim Arnold (general manager). McCusker is the only one without extensive radio or broadcast background. According to Arnold, who has nearly 40 years of experience in Tucson radio and TV stations, “The Drive” will debut commercial-free as he begins hiring a sales staff this week. Today’s 6:00 am launch (Monday, 8/5) follows stunting as “The Worm,” a mix of novelty songs. With a catalogue of over 2,000 songs, “The Drive” is designed to appeal to baby boomers and originates 24/7 broadcasting from downtown Tucson. Its FM signal is heard throughout the Tucson valley, while the 830 AM signal carries from the Mexican border to Phoenix. Rich tells RadioInfo/TALKERS, “This has been developing for more than eight months; I recently realized I’ve never done a total build from scratch. I have gone back-and-forth from high anxiety to beyond thrilled of building something new, from concept to call-letters to months sorting song lists to finding talent before I could tell them what it was or what it would sound like. We didn’t buy studios or broadcast equipment – just a pair of transmitters and a tower rental agreement. Everything was kept confidential, which was extremely difficult. Some of the staff just learned the branding and what titles are in the library. We’re in empty offices working from a temporary studio while the real studios are being built across the hall. It is crazy, fun stuff. I’m more than a little overwhelmed but so happy. It’s a dream come true for all of us – a chance to select our own music and manage content that matters to Tucson and have incredible fun while making great radio. It’s crazy to start a new radio station, but we are just crazy enough and have the passion-to make it work.” Immediately prior to his 25-year tenure as program director/morning drive host at Tucson adult contemporary KMXZ “Mix 94,” Rich was vice president/general manager/morning show talent for Seattle’s KMGI. His voluminous resume also includes programming stops in New York City (WXLO “99-X”); Los Angeles (KHTZ “K-Hits 97”); Philadelphia (WWSH); San Diego (KFMB-FM “B-100,” where he famously formulated the “Rich Brothers”); and director/programming consultation for Drake-Chenault. Rich worked on-air in Los Angeles at KHJ and KFI, as well as WMYQ, Miami. The on-air lineup for “The Drive” is comprised of Rich and Hill Bailey (morning drive); former program director of cross-town CHR KRQQ Ken Carr (mid-days); Mike Esparza (afternoon drive); and onetime Bobby Rich intern Tyler Russell (nights). Evan Carlson-headed, Arizona not-for-profit corporation Family Life owns stations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Kalil & Co. brokered the transaction ….. While retaining its “Que Buena 92.7” identity, Univision Radio New York’s WQBU transitions from regional Mexican to Spanish AC. Core artists will include Chayanne, Juan Gabriel, Juan Luis Guerra, Enrique Iglesias, Jose Jose, Ricky Martin, Luis Miguel, Laura Pausini, and Shakira. Univision Radio New York president and general manager Roberto Yanez comments, “We are excited to launch a format that reflects distinct tastes of the Latino community in the Tri-State area. By reformatting our audio portfolio to include the only Spanish AC station in the region, we are able to give our audience more of the music they love, whether they’re listening at home, at work, or during their commute.” Its adjusted on-air lineup now includes: Mildre Aquino (6:00 am – 10:00 am); El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); Jose Luis Arcos (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Cesar Lozano (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm); and El Free-Guey with La Bronca (8:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 New York City report, WQBU ranks #34 (.3); it is #37 in Long Island (.2, 6+, June 2019) ….. One-year KVIL, Dallas “Alt 103.7” morning talent Jenn Marino exits the Entercom alternative outlet. Marino formerly co-hosted Premiere Networks’ Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx. Her other on-air credits include Baltimore outlets WHFS “Alternative 99.1”; WWMX, “Mix 106.5”; and WIYY “98 Rock,” as well as KRXO, Oklahoma City …. Launched in 2018, YEA Networks’ “Tino Cochino Radio” debuts next Monday morning (8/12, 6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas CHR KVGQ “Q-106.9.” Hosted by Tino Cochino, Raquel, and DJ Nicasio, the show is now heard in more than 40 markets. KVGQ program director Gabriela “Lady g.” Loredon comments, “I’m excited to welcome Tino and the TCR team to our ‘Q-106.9’ family. TCR is the perfect fit for mornings here in Vegas and can’t wait to win” ….. American Idol winner Maddie Poppe and Whitney Woerz are among those scheduled to appear at the third annual “Survive Live” concert presented by Entercom Madison hot AC WMHX “Mix 105.1.” The October 3rd event will raise money for breast cancer awareness ….. “I’m Roger Carroll and I play records.” For 20 years (1959 – 1979), listeners of Los Angeles’ once powerhouse KMPC heard Kolman Carroll Rutkin begin his “R.C. Get Together” that way; the 90-year-Carroll died last week in Long Beach, California. Andrew Rutkin notes that his father “lived an amazing life; was surrounded by family; and his passing was peaceful.” The son of Eastern Europe immigrants, Roger Carroll was born in Baltimore in 1928 and moved away at 15 to work as an announcer at Frederick, Maryland’s WFMD. After World War ll, he relocated to Los Angeles, and at age 18, became the youngest announcer ever on the ABC Radio Network. Carroll, who worked at Los Angeles’ KABC from 1946 – 1959, became executive producer of the “Lawrence Welk Radio Show” in 1981 and owned KWIP, Salem (Oregon), a station he sold in 1991. For many years, he was the off-camera voice for such TV shows as “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “Bonanza,” “The Danny Thomas Show,” and “Tony Orlando and Dawn.” In 2017, he started a streaming internet station, Roger Carroll’s Best Sounds in Town.” Commenting about his father, Andrew Rutkin states, “We will all miss him terribly. I’ll especially miss his wealth of stories and his amazing talent for mucking up his computer.”
Charlamagne Tha Guest. A number of the 2020 presidential candidates have made Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” a must-stop on their campaign trail. Last week, the show’s Charlamagne Tha God made the media rounds himself, appearing on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (the two are shown here) and CNN’s “OutFront” with Erin Burnett. Among other things, he talked about how the Democrats performed in the recent debates; who his favorite candidate is so far; and how he approaches interviews. Originating from iHeartMedia New York urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1,” the 4.5-hour “Breakfast Club” features Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee.
Mapleton Communications Sells 37 Stations in Seven Markets to Stephens Media Group. This is an exit from the radio business for California-based, Jim Shea-led Mapleton Communications. The price for the 37 stations in Medford, Oregon; Merced, Monterey, and Redding, California; Spokane, Washington; and Alexandria and Monroe, Louisiana was not revealed in the press release. But, with Mapleton previously agreeing to sell KSFN-AM, San Francisco and its Chico, California stations to Bustos Media, it will have divested of all of its radio assets. The buyer in this transaction is Oklahoma-based Stephens Media Group, led by David Stephens. Stephens begins operating the stations immediately under an LMA. Stephens Media owns stations in Tulsa and Ardmore, Oklahoma; Watertown, Ogdensburg, Massena, and Rochester, New York; and Yakima and the Tri-Cities in Washington. Several news/talk and sports talk stations are involved, including KYOS-AM, Merced; KQMS-FM and KNRO-AM in Redding; KCMX-AM in Medford; and KGA-AM in Spokane. You can see Mapleton’s stations here. KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.
KMOX Promotes Amy Marxkors to Daily On-Air Role. Effective immediately, Amy Marxkors begins a regular on-air role with Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis joining station institution Charlie Brennan as a co-host of the “Total Information AM Overdrive” Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 am to 9:00 am and will stay on the air for “The Charlie Brennan Show” from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Marxkors joined the station in 2018 as a sports reporter and host. Prior to joining Entercom, she served as co-host of the St. Louis Blues weekly hockey show “Chili’s Week in Hockey” in 2016, that aired on KMOX. She joined the Blues radio broadcast in 2017 and became the first woman to host the pre- and post-game of a radio broadcast for any St. Louis professional sports team in February 2019. Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “Amy is a rising star in radio and has shown tremendous growth on air while covering everything from the Blues Stanley Cup run to discussing local and national issues during our long-form talk shows. She has a very bright future and I’m looking forward to the impact she can make on KMOX.” In addition to her role on the morning show, Marxkors will continue to cover the St. Louis Blues and the National Hockey League by hosting a weekly hockey podcast.
Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continues Posting Today with Lee Habeeb of “Our American Stories” Delivering Official Welcoming Address. TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story. Today’s post presents the convention’s official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the tremendously successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories.” The first two videos already posted today are of RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history. TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com. To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.
News and News/Talk Radio Analysis. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an assessment of “the temperature of spoken-word stations as a complete entity in all 48 PPM-markets.” Formats involved in this report are news/talk, all-news (including business or financial news), and public radio news/talk. As this report is based on Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys, the rating metric is weekly, 6+ AQH share from subscribing stations. Looking at the May PPM survey, the #1 market for news and news/talk is Washington, DC. On the strength of Hubbard’s all-news WTOP-FM, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, and American University’s public radio news/talk WAMU-FM, the format garnered a 22.7 share in May. Rounding out the top three markets are Milwaukee and San Francisco. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
TALKERS News Notes. Sources in Philadelphia tell TALKERS magazine that news/talk WPHT program director Jared Hart has exited Entercom. We’ve reached out to Entercom Philadelphia for confirmation but have not yet heard back…..In addition to his work as a nationally syndicated talk show host for the Salem Radio Network, Hugh Hewitt also serves as president of the Richard Nixon Foundation. In that capacity, he announces two coming events being held at the library in Yorba Linda, California centered around the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969. On July 20, the “Earth to Moon: The Longest Distance Phone Call in History” celebration will commemorate Nixon’s call to the Apollo 11 astronauts on the surface of the moon. Nixon White House officials Dwight Chapin, Larry Higby, and John Price – who were with Nixon the night he made the historic call will be in attendance. Then, on July 23, the library will present the “Splashdown Celebration” with Dr. Buzz Aldrin to honor the legendary Apollo moonwalker…..ESPN’s annual ESPYS Auction benefiting the V Foundation for Cancer Research is again teaming up with eBay for Charity for its 15th year. Bidding for the 80-plus VIP packages and experiences is now available on eBay and will remain open through July 10. Senior vice president of ESPN Audio Traug Keller says, “Everyone at ESPN Radio is beyond proud to have played a role in raising funds for cancer research with the ESPYS Auction the last 15 years. Seeing the support from fans bidding on experiences or directly donating to the V Foundation is truly something unique and special.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program reports the addition of new affiliate station WSLW-AM/FM in Lewisburg, West Virginia and the expansion of carriage of the show on existing affiliate KINN-AM/FM in Alamogordo, New Mexico…..The Houston Chronicle reports that longtime market radio news pro Charles L. “Chuck” Scott died on June 28 after complications from a fall and previously diagnosed lung cancer. Scott most recently served with Houston Public Media’s KUHF-FM. During his long career he worked in the news department KIKK-AM, KNUZ-AM, and KQUE-FM. He also worked for a number of years in the late 1960s and early 1970s at WLS-AM, Chicago.
Simmons Takes Over for Ryan at Salem Boston. At Salem Media Group’s three-station Boston cluster, Pat Ryan retires as general manager and general sales manager Carole Howley Simmons is promoted to the GM position. Salem operates three Christian stations in the market – WROL-AM, WEZE-AM, and WWDJ-AM. Salem regional VP Jeff Reisman says, “Throughout Carole’s tenure she has proven herself to be a creative and compassionate leader, skills that will serve her well as GM. Carole brings a wealth of local-market knowledge and tenacity that will be instrumental in growing the Salem Boston radio stations/digital services to their full potential.”
Trump’s Meeting with Kim Jong Un, U.S. Tariffs Strategy, U.S.-China Trade Talks, 2020 Presidential Race, Immigration Reform-Detention Facilities, and Iran Nukes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/1). The meeting in the DMZ between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; the U.S.’s tariffs strategy, including proposed tariffs on European Union goods; President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping enter into trade talks; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the Trump Administration’s immigration reform efforts and controversial reports of conditions at border detention centers; and Iran’s violation of the nuclear 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. Classic call letters are returning to California’s Central Coast as Cumulus Media announces the launch of classic hits KRUZ. At the same time, the company announces that classic hip hop KVYB at 103.3 FM signs off in the Santa Barbara market and moves to the 106.3 FM frequency in the Oxnard market. Cumulus Oxnard/Ventura RVP and market manager Sommer Frisk says, “Everything good takes time. And, after more than a decade, it’s time we bring KRUZ 103.3 FM back to the Central Coast! It’s also the right time to move ‘106.3 The Vibe’ to Oxnard to give the fans what they’ve been begging for. With the combination of KRUZ 103.3’s powerful signal, along with the synergy of its legendary sister brand ‘106.3 The Vibe,’ we will provide new and exciting ways for our listeners and marketing partners to engage with the fans up and down the Central Coast.”…..Entercom names Brian Shannon morning show co-host for classic rock KGON. Shannon joins Terry Boyd on “Terry Boyd’s World,” effective July 8. Shannon says, “I am incredibly excited to be going home to radio and to be working alongside one of Portland’s best, Terry Boyd. Radio is my happy place and I’m planning to be a part of this station and this city for a long time.” Prior to joining Entercom, Shannon was an editor and anchor for KROI, Houston “News 92 FM.”…..iHeartMedia re-brands country WCKY-FM, Toledo as “Buckeye Country, 103.7 ‘CKY.” Market president Shosh Abromovich says, “We’re so excited to once again be playing some of country music’s greatest songs from the 80s and 90s through today. You may even hear some older classic country from time-to-time.” The Bobby Bones show remains in morning drive. Bob Delmont and Bob Pickett will split middays. Meaghan Mick continues in afternoon drive. Tom Travis handles evenings and “CMT with Cody Allen” airs in the overnights…..Speaking of Bobby Bones, his Premiere Networks-syndicated “Country Top 30 with Bobby Bones” program is now airing on the Chris Stevens-owned “Chris Country” format heard in numerous markets in the UK. Also joining “Chris Country” is “Women of iHeartCountry,” an hour-long weekend program hosted by Bones and Amy Brown. Each week on the show, they spotlight music from both established female country music artists and promising up-and-comers…..Last weekend, Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah welcomed more than 100 guests to her home outside Seattle for the fifth-annual “Farm to Table” fundraiser for her non-profit foundation Point Hope. 2019 marks Delilah’s 15-year commitment to Point Hope, an organization she established as a voice for forgotten children everywhere. The immediate focus of the Foundation is supporting children in the U.S. foster care system, as well as refugee children in Ghana. Pictured below is Delilah (left) and four-time Grammy Award-nominated artist Chris Daughtry, who performed for the dinner guests.
Lars Larson Inks New Deal with Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland. Talk radio star Lars Larson signs a new deal to continue hosting his daily program on Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” through 2024. As part of the deal, Larson’s 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm PT show is also broadcast to 21 stations in the Pacific Northwest via Alpha Media’s Radio Northwest Network. Larson’s national radio show airs live on some 125 affiliate stations from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT via syndicator Compass Media Networks (with whom Larson also holds a multi-year contract). Alpha Media SVP and market manager Lisa Decker says, “With the biggest local talk radio audience in the region, ‘The Lars Larson Show’ reaches more than 3.5 million listeners. All of us at Alpha Media Portland, our listeners, and our advertisers are excited to extend our relationship with Lars for the next five years.” Larson comments, “I’m thrilled to renew my relationship with a station I’ve been with through half a dozen presidents, a dozen NW governors, a live volcano eruption, and more than 25 years as a reporter, anchor, and now talk host.”
Cumulus Makes WABC Programmer Change Official. Yesterday (6/3), TALKERS magazine reported that former hot AC WPLJ, New York program director Dave LaBrozzi has taken over the programming reigns of Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talk WABC, New York, replacing Craig Schwalb. Now, the company makes it official with a press release. LaBrozzi joined WPLJ in May of 2018. Prior to that he was VP of programming for what is now Entercom’s Baltimore cluster (when it was owned by CBS RADIO) that includes sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” and WJZ-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1300.” He previously served as regional vice president of programming for iHeartMedia (back when it was Clear Channel) overseeing stations in Pittsburgh; Wheeling, West Virginia; and Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Cumulus New York VP and market manager Chad Lopez says, “Dave will be an incredible asset to 77 WABC and Radio 103.9/WNBM-FM, and brings experience in both the news/talk and urban AC formats to his new role with Cumulus New York. We are looking forward to continuing to grow these stations and to giving their passionate listeners even more of the content and community connection that they rely on and enjoy every day.”
The Thompson Family’s Big Radio to Acquire Two More in Janesville, Wisconsin. Two historical Janesville, Wisconsin radio stations are changing hands as Skip Bliss’ Southern Wisconsin Broadcasting (a subsidiary of Bliss Communications) agrees to sell heritage news/talk WCLO-AM and country WJVL-FM to Ben Thompson-led Big Radio for an undisclosed sum. Buyer Big Radio operates eight stations in the Southern Wisconsin markets of Beloit, Freeport, Monroe, and Janesville. Skip Bliss’ father put WCLO on the air in 1930 and WJVL-FM launched in 1947. Meanwhile, Big Radio was founded by Ben’s father Scott Thompson in 1996 with the purchase of two Monroe stations. The sale announcement states that “[u]nder Ben’s leadership, Big Radio remains committed to its founding ideals, providing superior coverage of the community’s local news, sports, entertainment, and information. Big Radio provides local news 365 days a year and its sports department broadcast over 350 regional high school sporting events last year. Ben Thompson and Big Radio believe the future of radio is local, and aggressively pursue this strategy to the benefit of its listeners and advertisers.” Kalil & Co., Inc. represents the buyer in this transaction.
New York’s WOR to Present Live Event Speaker Series. Big Apple news/talk WOR is launching an event series called “WOR Live” that will feature in-depth interviews and compelling speakers. iHeartMedia announces that for the first event, station morning personality Len Berman will moderate a panel that will analyze the news business in 2019. Joining Berman will be New York news personalities Rosanna Scotto – co-host of WNYW-TV’s “Good Day New York” – and Ernie Anastos, news anchor at WNYW “FOX News 5.” The event also features networking opportunities and lunch and takes place at the Cutting Room on June 19 at 11:30 am.
Entercom’s New York All-News Stations Win Big at NYSAPA. WCBS-AM and WINS-AM – both all-news outlets operated by Entercom Communications – won a total of 16 2018 New York State Associated Press Association Awards. WCBS 880 received first place in seven categories, including top honor for “Outstanding News Operation for Radio.” Sister station 1010 WINS was recognized with top honors in three categories, including for Best Newscast and Best Weathercast. The stations collectively received second place finishes in six categories. Winners were honored at NYSAPA’s annual awards dinner on June 1 in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Trump’s UK Visit, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Virginia Beach Shootings, U.S.-China Tensions, Mexican Tariff Proposal/Immigration Issues, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and Holzhauer’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Run Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3). The official state visit to the U.K. by President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the aftermath of the shootings in Virginia Beach that left 12 dead; the diplomatic and economic tensions between the U.S. and China over the tariffs the U.S. has slapped on Chinese exports; the Trump Administration’s plan to place tariffs on Mexican exports and the Southern border immigration issues; the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into possible Big Tech anti-trust activity; and James Holzhauer’s improbable “Jeopardy!” run 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. In Detroit, iHeartMedia names Bill Black director of urban programming for hip hop WJLB and urban contemporary WMXD “MIX 92.3,” taking over for Nate Bell, who left that position earlier this year. Black comes to Detroit from his most recent position with Radio One in Cleveland programming hip hop WENZ and urban contemporary WZAK. He says, “I am really thrilled to join the iHeartMedia team and be able to do what I love. The talented programmers that I get to collaborate with, coupled with these legendary Detroit urban stations are unmatched and I’m excited to get to work.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Dustin “Fletcher” Matthews program director for alternative WEND, Charlotte “106.5 The End,” effective June 10. Matthews moves from the company’s St. Louis region where he was director of alternative rock programming. iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region SVP Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht says, “Dustin is one of the best alternative format programmers in the country. His unmeasurable creativity and distinctive out-of-the-box thinking will be a great addition to our super passionate and strategic programming family here at iHeartMedia Charlotte.”…..Alpha Media announces that programmer Brown is moving from his PD position in Louisville to Columbia, South Carolina where he’ll serve as operations manager. He continues as format captain for the company’s urban, urban AC, and gospel brands. Alpha Media regional president Mike Hartel says, “Brown is a natural leader and he has been a star in our company for a while now. We can’t wait to bring his big ideas and his big heart to our organization and our community in Columbia!”…..This past weekend, Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah (left) appeared on the Food Network program, “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” hosted by country star Trisha Yearwood (right). Yearwood also sat down for an interview with Delilah for her podcast “Love Someone with Delilah.” The three-time Grammy Award-winner discussed her life and career, including her first full-length studio album in more than 10 years, Let’s Be Frank: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra…..Entercom expands its LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network CHANNEL Q to new markets, including: Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, and Washington D.C. The network now brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music to listeners in a total of 19 local markets and via the RADIO.COM app nationwide…..WAQX, New York morning personality Shelli Sonstein – longtime co-host of Q104.3’s “Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show” – led her fundraising team in the 2019 NYC Tunnel to Towers Climb that benefits the families of first responders and military personnel killed in action. Sonstein led her team (pictured below) in their age group with a record time climbing the 104 stories of the World Trade Center. She says, “I would like to thank Elvis Duran and my co-host Jim Kerr for their very generous donations, and of course, ‘Q104.3’ and iHeartMedia for supporting my efforts. My entire team finished this very difficult climb and vows to be back again next year to raise even more funds and awareness of this great organization.”
iHeartMedia Announces Completion of Restructuring. Almost 14 months after entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, iHeartMedia announces it has “successfully completed its restructuring process. As a result of the comprehensive balance sheet restructuring, iHeartMedia’s debt has been significantly reduced – from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion.” With the balance sheet reorganization comes the separation of iHeartMedia and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings into two independent, publicly traded companies. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are pleased that iHeartMedia now has a capital structure that matches our exciting operating business. The focused dedication of our employees and the unwavering support of our new owners and advertising partners enabled iHeartMedia to seamlessly complete the restructuring process and reach this final milestone. iHeartMedia enters this next phase of growth as a multi-platform audio company with a vastly improved financial profile. We are well-positioned to continue to innovate and offer cutting-edge technologies, products, and services to our audiences and advertisers.” Pittman continues to serve as chairman and chief executive officer of the new iHeartMedia, Inc. Rich Bressler continues to serve as president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer. A new board of directors has been appointed, including Bob Pittman, Rich Bressler, and the following members: Jay Rasulo, Gary Barber, Brad Gerstner, Sean Mahoney, and Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan.
David Field on Spoken-Word Radio and Sports Gambling. During the first quarter earnings call with analysts yesterday (4/30), Entercom president and CEO David Field talked about the value of his spoken-word formatted radio stations, saying the group – all-news, news/talk, and sports talk – account for “roughly about 40% of our revenue mix across our stations.” The company operates 235 stations and, by TALKERS‘ count, approximately 30% of its stations are spoken-word. Separately and responding to a question about the gambling category and the trend towards legal sports gambling across the country, Field expressed hopes for the future of the sports gambling advertising category, saying the company’s large group of sports talk stations should be able to capitalize on that. He stated, “We have seen estimates that the sports gambling advertising market could be in the neighborhood of $2 billion. If you think about radio getting a chunk of that, a reasonable chunk of it and Entercom’s prowess in the sports market, we think this could become a $1 million or $2 million category for Entercom over time. That is certainly a reasonable aspirational goal.” Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript. Subscribers can see the rest of the transcript here.
‘The O’Reilly Update’ Show Launches. This is the week “The O’Reilly Update” – the new, 15-minute daily radio program featuring Bill O’Reilly – debuts on more than 100 stations. Key Networks is syndicating the program and reports that inaugural affiliates include: WBAL, Baltimore; WDTK, Detroit; WHK, Cleveland; KUFO, Portland; and KTSA, San Antonio. Key Networks says the program is airing in four of the top 10 DMAs, nine of the top 20 DMAs and 18 of the top 50 DMAs. It is also being rolled out on 21 non-news/talk stations, including on country and classic hits outlets. The show – with all network spots included within the show and two minutes of local avails – is delivered daily at 11:30 am ET. WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian says, “Bill O’Reilly has a track record of insightful and unfiltered commentary on vital topics and issues. His familiar voice and dynamic point of view augments our lineup of outspoken hosts and commentators.” Alpha Media news/talk/sports content director Bruce Collins says, “Bill is a true natural storyteller. I’m extremely excited to have him on-air in Portland on ‘Freedom 970.’” Meet Bill O’ Reilly at the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Storywhere he will be delivering a special keynote address. The convention is rapidly nearing a sellout. For registration information, please click here.
TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Overcoming the Public’s Distrust of the Media Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention. The highly polarized nature of today’s political climate has created a widespread public distrust of the media in general. Dealing with this complex issue has become one of the fundamental challenges facing news/talk hosts of all political stripes. It also creates new opportunities. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, is featuring a panel discussion addressing this concern and all matters of credibility titled “Overcoming Distrust of the Media.” Panelists include (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, host, WYD Media; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, “The Joe Pags Show;” Doug Stephan, CEO/host, Stephan Multimedia; and Rick Ungar, host, “The Rick Ungar Program”/editor-in-chief, TheDailyCentrist.com. Don’t miss this session! The discussion will be moderated by Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One. The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout. To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.
Midwest Closes on Alpha Media Acquisitions. The $21.6 million deal between Alpha Media and Midwest Communications that gives Midwest six Peoria market radio stations closes. The station group includes news/talk WMBD-AM/W262BY and five music-formatted signals. The Duke Wright-led Midwest Communications owns 75 other radio stations in states including: Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. This is its first Illinois acquisition. At the time the sale was announced, Wright stated, “The first time my wife and I visited Peoria was to visit son Michael enrolled at Bradley University. We were most impressed with the city and its radio stations. My thought was that here was a market that would probably nicely fit into the Midwest Communications radio group.” KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.
Indiana’s Legendary WHBU-AM Relaunches as Talk-Music Hybrid. The Anderson, Indiana-licensed station is owned by Woof Boom Radio and the company is re-launching the “oldest commercial station” in the state to more intensely serve the Muncie-Marion market. The station will feature talk shows to focus on Anderson and Madison counties plus classic hits from the 60s and 70s. New morning host (and Hoosier native) Mitch Henck handles the 7:00 am to 9:00 am show. He says, “I am really excited to help launch a new morning news/talk show on WHBU. We really put Anderson and Madison county first. We want to capture stories about the special people who live here as they pursue their hopes and dreams every day.”
Dan Mason Named Chairman of VSiN. Longtime radio executive Dan Mason is named chairman of VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network) the media network dedicated to sports betting information. In this role, Mason will “work closely with VSiN’s management team to capitalize on the emerging growth and partnership opportunities in the sports betting and media space.” VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musburger says, “There are few media executives with both the experience and reputation that Dan brings to the table. He’s already brought invaluable guidance to our team as a senior adviser and investor, and we look forward to having even greater access to his unmatched depth of knowledge and relationships in this industry. We’re thrilled to work even more closely with this consummate leader and better leverage his C-level expertise to build on and accelerate the recent growth we are experiencing at VSiN.” Mason adds, “Brian and his team have caught lightning in a bottle here. Besides establishing itself on the satellite platform, recently extending its agreement with SiriusXM, VSiN has made tremendous inroads into the OTT space with Sling TV and fuboTV, as well as growing its own subscription offerings. We will now look to further expand our reach across video and audio channels, including terrestrial radio where sports have thrived for decades.”
TALKERS News Notes. The National Association of Broadcasters is announcing it is accepting nominations for the 2019 NAB Marconi Radio Awards through May 31. The NAB’s Marconi Radio Awards recognize overall excellence and performance in radio. Finalists will be announced in July and winners will be honored at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the Radio Show in Dallas on September 26. Stations and on-air personalities may nominate themselves in the categories of “Station of the Year by Market Size,” “Station of the Year by Format,” “Personality of the Year by Market Size,” “Legendary Station,” and “Best College Radio Station of the Year,” which has been renamed from “Noncommercial Station of the Year.” Nominations will also be accepted for new awards categories of “Legendary Manager of the Year” and “Best Radio Station Podcast.” Syndicators and affiliates may also submit nominations for the category of “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year.” Nominations must be submitted online here…..Radio America‘s nationally syndicated “The Dana Show” starring Dana Loesch announces new affiliate stations WJJF-FM, Nassau (Long Island); WSIC-AM/FM Charlotte; WFTW-AM Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; and KPNW-AM/FM Eugene, Oregon all add the program to their daily lineups…..Bustos Media’s news/talk KVOI, Tucson announces that two of its programs – “Eye on the Ball” with Steve Rivera and “Around the Table” with Dawn and Jennifer English – are swapping dayparts. Rivera moves to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot and the English’s move to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot. Also, the station adds the independently syndicated Dave Ramsey show to the program schedule, airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm…..This month is being declared the Second Annual Maryland Podcast Month. Brian Griffiths founded Maryland Podcast Month last May in order to “bring together podcasts of all stripes and cross-collaborate and cross-promote in order to create more opportunities for podcasts to get new listeners.” It’s non-partisan and non-ideological and consists of all sorts of locally produced content, including podcasts about news, politics, sports, life, culture, food, wrestling, and other shows. Being featured in Maryland Podcast Month are a couple of shows from WBAL, Baltimore personalities…..Team Broadcasting‘s sports talk KQTM, Albuquerque “ESPN Radio 101.7 The Team” is partnering with local soccer club New Mexico United to bring 15 of the team’s matches to the station’s airwaves. New Mexico United is in its inaugural season in the USL Championship, a professional soccer league that has a partnership with Major League Soccer…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” recently hosted The Stanley Cup, the oldest trophy in professional sports, on the “Felger & Massarotti” show. Pictured below in the “Sports Hub” studio in Boston are (From l-r): host Mike Felger, 985thesportshub.com hockey writer Ty Anderson, WBZ-FM personality Big Jim Murray, and host Tony Massarotti.
Mueller Report Release/Barr Testimony Request, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Tax Returns/Business Earnings Issues, Venezuela Unrest, Deadly UNCC Shooting, Southern Border Crisis, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30). The release of the Mueller report, Robert Mueller’s disagreement with Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the report and Barr’s requested testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee; the Democrats vying to run against President Trump in 2020; the request by New York State for Trump’s tax returns and the investigation into Trump business deals with foreign governments; the political unrest in Venezuela; the shooting at University of North Carolina Charlotte that took the lives of two and injured others; the migrant influx status at the U.S.-Mexico border; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action 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. In Phoenix, midday personality and music director Tom Peake is leaving his on-air role with Entercom’s classic hits KOOL-FM. He’ll continue to serve as music director. Peake tells the Arizona Republic that it was not his idea to give up his air shift, but he understands the reasons and has no ill feelings. Peake started at the station as a part-time jock in 1979. He became the full-time evening personality in 1981…..Beasley Media Group’s hot AC WJBR, Wilmington, Delaware “The New Mix 99.5” names John Baublis, a.k.a.Johnny B, program director. Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Johnny’s a programming veteran with years of proven success and past experience in the Wilmington market. Plus, he shares our values of great local radio with an emphasis on serving the community. We’re proud to have someone like Johnny on our team at JBR.”…..Two programming announcements from Midwest Communications. First, Ryan Fantozzi is named brand manager for rock WOZZ, Wausau, Wisconsin “Rock 94.7,” effective May 13. Fantozzi comes to Midwest from NRG Media where he was PD at rock WBWB, Bloomington, Illinois. Fantozzi replaces Terry Stevens, who is promoted to operations manager for the company’s Lansing, Michigan cluster. Stevens will oversee the operations of rock WJXQ, CHR WLMI, country WWDK and adult hits WQTX.
Alpha Media Sells Peoria Cluster to Midwest Communications. We don’t know the price yet, but Alpha Media has filed with the FCC to sell its six stations in the Peoria, Illinois market to Midwest Communications. The cluster includes news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM. The Peoria group was acquired by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting from Triad Broadcasting in 2013. L&L and Alpha merged a year later. Alpha has been in sell mode recently, having just closed on the $88 million sale of its West Palm Beach cluster to Hubbard Radio. It is selling its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth for $2.5 million and last year closed on the $1.82 million sale of its Bluefield, West Virginia cluster to First Media Services. After this latest deal is consummated, Alpha will own 201 stations in 44 markets. Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “It’s been an honor to work with Mike Wild and the great team in Peoria. They have been an integral part of Alpha and will be missed. We are sad to see them go but know they are in great hands with Duke Wright and the Midwest Communications family.” Midwest Communications owns 75 radio stations in Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.
Bo Jaxon Named OM at SummitMedia Springfield. At its Springfield, Missouri station group, SummitMedia names Bo Jaxon operations manager for the cluster that includes news/talk KSGF-AM/FM, CHR KSPW-FM, classic hits KRVI-FM, and country KTTS-FM. He’ll also serve as program director for KTTS. Jaxon was most recently with iHeartMedia as morning personality at country KBWL, Denver “The Bull 106.7.” SummitMedia Springfield president Janelle Moffett says, “Bo brings a ton of energy and great ideas to Springfield. I’m confident that under Bo’s leadership our stations will be an even greater source of entertainment and information for our community.”
WBZ-AM, Boston Legend Gary LaPierre Dies at 76. The man who anchored mornings on WBZ-AM, Boston for almost 44 years passed away on Monday (2/4) after a battle with leukemia. Gary LaPierre retired from his morning host role on WBZ-AM in 2006. His obituary on WBZ’s website notes that LaPierre’s “calm and steady voice prepared New Englanders for the day ahead.” LaPierre began his career in the mail room of WBZ in the 1960s and worked as a general assignment reporter before moving into the anchor booth.
TALKERS News Notes. The latest podcast from Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley features a conversation between her and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. In her “Beyond the Business” program, Beasley and Pittman discuss a variety of topics centered on innovation, ranging from the latest technology featured at CES 2019 to the state of the audio business and how the industry can best collaborate moving forward…..Tonight’s State of the Union Address is being covered for affiliate stations by ABC News Radio. The organization will provide live coverage of the address and response anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky. He’ll be joined by correspondent Karen Travers from the White House, correspondent Brad Mielke and ABC’s Ali Rogin from the Capitol, political director Rick Klein and contributor Steve Roberts from Washington, D.C., and contributors Alex Castellanos and Kristen Soltis Anderson. It will offer a one-hour preview program (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm)…..Talk radio pro Rob Carson inks a deal to present his more than 100 cooking videos on the internet destination Spoony.com – a platform dedicated to food, wine, and lifestyle…..Valdosta, Georgia station owner and morning drive talk show host Scott James, a.k.a. Scott James Matheson, announces he’s running for mayor of Valdosta this fall. James owns Smalltown Broadcasting, operator of news/talk WDDQ-FM – licensed to Adel, Georgia…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, former television news anchor Joan Esposito is named the afternoon talk show host at Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT, Chicago. She’s been the interim host since Ben Joravsky was let go from the station in December…..Nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” adds a new affiliate station as the program joins the weekend evening schedule at iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington. Also, several affiliate stations also expand their carriage of “Free Talk Live” as WGOW-FM, Chattanooga adds two hours of the program for weekday evenings and KHMO, Hannibal, Missouri and KBKW-AM/FM, Aberdeen, Washington add an hour of the program to their weeknight schedules…..Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch alerts us to the fact that Neuhoff Media is moving Jared Jesulaitis from his program director role at CHR WXXB-FM, Lafayette to sports director for the Lafayette operations and morning co-host at sports talk WASK-AM/W269DJ “101.7 The Hammer” alongside Kyle Charters. Meanwhile, assistant PD Joe LaCay moves up to program director for WXXB…..All this week, SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio is presenting “Players Week” – in which current major league players, including All-Stars and World Series winners, will join SiriusXM hosts for special extended feature segments. “These players will have a national platform, an hour of airtime, and the freedom to guide the conversation and discuss the teams and topics from baseball that most interest them.”…..Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis showed its disdain for the Los Angeles Rams – the city is still bitter about losing the NFL franchise – by airing game six of the 2011 MLB World Series on Sunday evening as much of the rest of the country was paying attention to the Super Bowl. The move did, apparently, get a lot of local media attention. It was the game between the hometown Cardinals and Texas Rangers that went 11 innings as St. Louis pulled out a victory and went on to win the World Series.
State of the Union Address, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ralph Northam Controversy, ‘Green New Deal’ Proposal, DC Circuit Court Nominee, U.S.-China Relations, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4). Anticipation of President Trump’s State of the Union Address; the political battle over President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the charges of racism dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam; the “Green New Deal” proposal from freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; Democrats’ challenge to President Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the DC Circuit Court; the tense economic relations between the U.S. and China; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago country outlet WBGG, Chicago “BIG 95.5” announces afternoon personality Brooke Taylor is adding assistant PD duties to her responsibilities at the iHeartMedia station. Simultaneously, fill-in personality Trace Hamilton is named the station’s evening host…..Making the transition from television to radio is well-known television meteorologist Kim Adams. She joins Entercom’s adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” as midday personality. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Kim Adams is an award-winning television personality and one of metro Detroit’s most recognizable faces. We’re excited to welcome Kim to our team and know she’ll help our listeners breeze through their day.” During her career, Adams has worked on air at WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV in Detroit as well as WBNS-TV, Columbus…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that market radio personality Ramonski Luv returns to the radio as evening host on Future Vision Entertainment’s urban AC “95.1 FM Clubsteppin.’” The station emanates from the leased WLEY-HD2 signal of WLEY Licensing and is heard on translators W236CF and W236CG, both at 95.1 FM. Luv was most recently hosting weekends on urban AC WVAZ…..Radio One moves programmer Yonni “Rude” O’Donoghue from its Richmond cluster where he’s been OM since 2016 to Detroit where he’ll serve as operations manager for the three station group that includes hip hop WGPR “Hot 107.5,” urban contemporary WDMK and the three-signal Gospel format the Praise Network…..On-air pro Lady B, a.k.a. Wendy Clark, is the new midday host at Radio One’s rhythmic oldies WPPZ, Philadelphia “Classix 107.9.” In addition to the midday show, she’ll also co-host the “Basement Party” mix on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
Alpha Media to Sell Biloxi Stations to TeleSouth. Portland-based Alpha Media announces it has filed to sell its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million. The deal includes sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM “103.5 The Champ,” (no mention is made of translator W278CE, Biloxi on which the sports format is heard) rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM. TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state. To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM. Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt states, “We are happy our group of great broadcasters in Biloxi/Gulfport are being sold to a good operator located in the state of Mississippi that is dedicated to live and local. We have a special place for everyone at these stations and wish them the very best.” Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.
ESPN’s Dan Le Batard to Launch Podcast. Next Tuesday (12/18), ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard is premiering his new podcast called “South Beach Sessions.” That’s being called a “preview episode” and the show will begin in earnest on Tuesday, January 8. The program will feature a one-on-one interview each week and it’s the first original podcast from the newly created Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network. The guest for the December 18 preview is former ESPN staffer Jemele Hill, who has worked extensively with Le Batard over the years on TV and radio. Le Batard says, “This is really exciting for us and for people who inexplicably want more of us. ESPN has given us a digital podcast network to create and control as part of a ‘Le Batard and Friends’ universe that will be in equal measure a part of ESPN and apart from ESPN.” Le Batard hosts the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” daily from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm as well as the ESPN television show “Highly Questionable” weekday afternoons on ESPN2.
TALKERS News Notes. Public radio pro Jennifer White is named as host of “The Morning Shift” on public radio news/talk WBEZ-FM, Chicago. She takes over the morning program hosting duties at the NPR member station from Tony Sarabia, who is retiring from the station after almost three decades. White joined WBEZ in 2016 and has been hosting the Friday edition of The Morning Shift, leading its Friday roundtable discussions. She’s also hosted some of WBEZ’s podcasts, including: “Making Oprah,” “Making Obama,” and “16 Shots.”.….In the Erie, Pennsylvania market, religious broadcaster Inspiration Time, Inc. has re-launched AM signal WZTE, Union City, calling it “Freedom 1530” and is airing “a unique reading of the United States Constitution, mixed with patriotic band music.” Haydn Tidball, a 2018 graduate of McDowell High School and Jennifer Natalie, 2018 graduate of Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, have voiced WZTE’s continuous reading of the entire U.S. Constitution, with amendments included and changes noted. Station manager Joel Natalie states, “We are so excited to present these young voices reading this very old document. We are calling it, ‘Madison’s and Hamilton’s Greatest Hits.’”…..Alpha Media news/talk KTSA, San Antonio hosted the 20th annual “Wrappin’ with Jack” event at Six Flags Fiesta Texas on Tuesday (12/11). More than 800 people turned out to help KTSA talk show host Jack Riccardi wrap thousands of gifts for needy families in San Antonio served by Family Service Association. While listeners wrapped gifts, they enjoyed live music from the Ken Slavin Band, holiday treats, carousel rides, and pictures with Santa. Riccardi says, “Our 20th ‘Wrappin’ with Jack’ was our best gift drive, wrapping party, and broadcast yet. I truly believe people in San Antonio and South Texas have the impulse and instinct to give. Our event just creates a way to help people that is local and real.”
WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta Shifts Show Times. According to Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the need for more traffic reports in the 4:00 pm hour to better serve commuters is the reason for shifting two drive-time shows on Cox Media Group‘s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM an hour earlier. WSB program director Pete Spriggs says as the heavy traffic is beginning earlier than in the past, the need for a clock that allows traffic reports every six minutes means bumping the second two hours of Sean Hannity’s show to the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot is necessary. Hannity’s 3:00 pm hour will air live, followed by Erick Erickson’s program now airing from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Mark Arum’s show moving to the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot.
Trump-Russia Investigation and Cohen Sentencing Tie for Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 10-14. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related sentencing of former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Trump’s border wall negotiations and the threat of a federal government shutdown. Coming in at #3 was the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by financial markets activity at #4. 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 entire chart here.
Washington Examiner Editorial Director Hugo Gurdon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The Washington Examiner, located in the nation’s capital, has built a growing reputation with increasing influence for its coverage of politics, public policy and the federal government from an independent, moderate conservative perspective. It has evolved through various platform iterations both in print and online since its roots as a group of suburban DC news outlets collectively known as the Journal Newspapers, Inc. which was purchased in 2004 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Philip Anschutz. Anschutz combined them into a single news entity, the Washington Examiner in 2005 under the umbrella of his holding company Clarity Media Group, which in turn operates the publishing company Media DC. Today, Media DC owns and operates the Washington Examiner, which has grown into a full-service online news organization, along with its weekly print arm, the Washington Examiner Magazine, that has been functioning effectively as a DC insider’s close up look at the workings of the federal government. It also owns the separately operated national conservative political opinion print magazine, the Weekly Standard. The Washington Examiner is currently in the process of boldly expanding its weekly magazine to take on a larger scope both in its subject matter and geographic distribution. Beginning in 2019, it will remain in print, but be nationally distributed and targeted to political observers across America interested in the goings on in Washington, DC. Washington Examiner editorial director Hugo Gurdon is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Gurdon is a distinguished journalist with an international background. He joined the Washington Examiner after serving as editor-in-chief of The Hill. Before that, he was an editor and reporter at the Daily Telegraph of London and the National Post of Canada. His writing has also appeared in such publications as the European edition of the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and The Guardian. In this conversation, Harrison and Gurdon discuss the general state of print journalism in the ever-expanding digital era as well as the inner ideological struggles and debates that impact the media within the American conservative movement during the turbulent Age of Trump. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston country outlet WKLB “Country 102.5” names Ayla Brown (left) co-host of “The Jackson and Ayla Brown Show” alongside Jackson Blue (right), effective Monday (12/17). Brown is a former Boston College basketball star and was a finalist on season five of “American Idol.” She’s been living in Nashville performing and writing music the past few years. About joining the Beasley Media Group stations, she says, “Country music has brought me all around the world and back to Boston again. Many have seen me perform, but I am so excited for our listeners to get to know me in a whole new way. Thank you to the ‘Country 102.5’ team for this incredible opportunity!”…..In Seattle, Sinclair Broadcast Group flips morning and afternoon talent on hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.” Program director Kent Phillips moves to afternoons with cast members Jen Pirak and Marina Rockinger. However, his longtime partner Alan Budwill retires from the morning show after more than 30 years. Moving to mornings on January 2 is the current afternoon team “Curt & Corine” with current AM show producer Leonard Barokas…..iHeartMedia nationally syndicated personality and KOST, Los Angeles morning host Ellen K is named the first-ever TCL Chinese Theatre ambassador and permanent master of ceremonies for its famed celebrity handprint-footprint ceremonies. Her first emcee gig is today (12/14) as musical artist Pitbull is honored with a hand and footprint ceremony…..Pictured below is Chicago hit radio legend John Records Landecker with the “Bob & Tom” show. The Radio Hall of Famer appeared at the show’s Indianapolis studios to surprise cast member Chick McGee on his birthday. From left to right are: Grace Yinger, Tom Griswold, Kristi Lee, Josh Arnold, Landecker, and McGee. (Photo: Art Vuolo)
Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Host Jamie Allman, Emmis and Entercom Argue Over Motion to Dismiss His Breach of Contract Suit. If you’ve been following the legal case in which talk show host Jamie Allman is suing Emmis and Entercom for his firing from news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis, there’s an update to report. Remember that Allman was let go after the blowback from his tweet in which he referenced Florida school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg saying, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.” Emmis/Entercom asked the court to dismiss the case and on Tuesday (7/24), each side filed arguments for and against the motion to dismiss. Allman argues to convert the Motion to Dismiss to a motion for summary judgement due to Emmis/Entercom’s attachment of the contract’s Assignment and Assumption Agreement and news stories about his tweet to its argument and second, due to his claim that he’s a third-party beneficiary of the contract because of FCC ownership cap issues affecting the Emmis-Entercom stations sale. Emmis/Entercom argue that their attachments comply with the rules for filing for the Motion and that Allman’s ownership cap argument is irrelevant because that matter is governed by the FCC. Allman also argues that whether Emmis/Entercom legally fired him based on the language of his contract should be decided by a jury, not by a judge in the form of a dismissal. It appears Jamie Allman is in this fight for the long haul.
‘New Jersey 101.5’ Suspends Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco for ‘Turban Man’ Comment. After catching heat for comments made by midday personalities Dennis Malloy (right) and Judi Franco (left) about New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” has suspended the pair “until further notice.” During a radio conversation about Gurbir’s decision to not prosecute low-level marijuana arrests for the next month, the duo referred to Gurbi – a practicing Sikh – as “turban man.” The comments went viral on social media and the station posted its response on its website. It says, “We are aware of the offensive comments made by Dennis and Judi during today’s broadcast. We have taken immediate action and have taken them off the air until further notice. We are investigating the matter and will have further comment shortly.”
Mike Pintek Takes Leave from KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. After being off the air for a few weeks, KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh talk host Mike Pintek announces he’s on leave from the station to focus on his health. In May of 2017, Pintek announced he’s been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and is under the care of Dr. Nathan Bahary at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. He says in a statement posted on the KDKA website, “At this point, I need to take some time and really focus on my health. I know a number of listeners have reached out to the station to get an update on my condition since I haven’t been on the air for a few weeks. I want everyone to know how much I appreciate all your prayers, kind words, encouragement and support.” Pintek recently suffered a stroke but his doctors believe his rehab from that will be successful and he’ll return to his course of chemotherapy.
SiriusXM CEO Says AM/FM Must Improve Its Product to Survive. Commenting on the competitive nature of today’s audio services industry during Wednesday’s Q2 investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer says that his company has been addressing the threats of new and improved audio services since he’s been with the company. In talking about that, he also gave his opinion about AM/FM radio’s future. “I’ve been here almost 14 years, and during those 14 years I’ve seen a couple of moments where people have said, ‘Oh, competition and what’s it going to do?’ And yet, you look at the unbelievable things that have occurred over the last 10 years – the unbelievable surge in technology and yet you still look at the number of people that listen to AM/FM radio every day, okay? And honestly, that’s the area I think that’s got a problem. If they don’t vastly improve their product, that’s the area where I think listener hours are finally going to come or finally going to shift away to other things. If you really want to know where I think it inevitably shakes out.”
SiriusXM Second Quarter Revenue Up 6%. CEO Jim Meyer wasn’t taking a potshot at radio in the story above, but he makes his comments standing on pretty firm ground as far as SiriusXM’s business is concerned. The company announces its 2018 second quarter revenue was $1.4 billion, up 6% over Q2 of 2017. Net income for the quarter was $292 million, a gain of 42% over last year’s $202 million figure. Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM’s strong start to 2018 accelerated in the second quarter. We added 483,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the quarter with an impressive 1.6% self-pay churn rate, our best-ever performance. Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, and we are thrilled to increase our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.”
Nielsen 2018 Q2 Revenue Flat. Ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings plc announces 2018 second quarter financial results. Nielsen was basically flat on revenue of $1.6 billion, up 0.2% compared the same period in 2017. Nielsen Audio is part of the company’s Watch segment that was up 4.5%, but the audio revenue was basically flat for the quarter. The Audience Measurement of Video and Text and Marketing Effectiveness revenues accounted for a large portion of the Watch segment’s growth.
Nielsen’s Mitch Barns to Retire at Year’s End. Also on Wednesday (7/25), Nielsen’s board of directors announced that CEO and board member Mitch Barns will retire from the company at the end of 2018. James Attwood, current chairman of the board, is named executive chairman. Barns will remain through the end of the year and Attwood, a managing director at The Carlyle Group will assume a more active role and will direct the search for the new CEO. Attwood says, “Mitch has left an indelible mark on Nielsen – his commitment to integrity, openness, values and engagement will continue to be the heart of this company for years to come. I, along with the rest of the board of directors, thank him for his service.”
Salem Selling KOTK-AM, Omaha to Hickory Radio. Omaha-market news/talk KOTK-AM “The Answer” and religious KCRO-AM (and their translators) are being sold by Salem Media Group to Hickory Radio, an affiliate of Walnut Radio. The deal includes the stations continuing to operate in those formats and with their respective brands, as Salem is licensing “The Word” and “The Answer” to Hickory. Salem president/broadcast Dave Santrella says, “We are thrilled to put these radio stations in the capable hands of Walnut Radio, a broadcaster with deep roots in the area and with a commitment to maintain the quality of broadcast our ministry partners, advertisers and listeners have come to expect.” No price has been announced yet.
News/Talk KVOI, Tucson Sold to Bustos Media. The Doug and Mary Martin-owned company Good News Communications agrees to sell news/talk KVOI, Tucson to Amador Bustos’ Bustos Media Holdings. No sale price has been announced yet but Bustos says in a statement, “As a long-time Spanish language broadcaster, we are excited to step into the arena of news/talk radio in Tucson, Arizona, a city we have worked in before and have loved for many years.” KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.
TALKERS News Notes. The new voice of the New Orleans Saints is former Saints player Zach Strief, who begins handling play-by-play duties on flagship Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Strief will work alongside former teammate Deuce McAllister. Entercom New Orleans SVP and market manager Chris Wegman states, “When we set the criteria for the new ‘Voice of the Saints’ we were looking for someone who would make the professional play calls, as well as someone who has a deep connection to the team, the fans, and our community. Zach possesses all of those qualities, knows the game firsthand and is a fixture in the New Orleans community. We’re very excited about adding him to the team.”…..Envision Networks announces that it has brought aboard new affiliate relations manager Josh Friedman. He comments, “After being able to intern with Envision Networks, I was excited to join the team full time when the opportunity came. I look forward to working with Danno, Laura, and the rest of the team and to continue to grow Envision’s affiliate base while upholding the superlative level of customer service established by Envision.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that iHeartMedia Chicago chief engineer Bob Fukuda has exited the station group. Feder notes that Fukuda was a 30-year veteran of iHeartMedia, as well as its predecessors Clear Channel and Evergreen Media…..WBUR, Boston names Meghna Chakrabarti and David Folkenflik co-hosts of the NPR-syndicated midday program “On Point.” They will assume their new on-air duties on August 20. They take over for Tom Ashbrook, who exited back in February after allegations of workplace abuse. Folkenflik is an NPR correspondent and Chakrabarti is host of WBUR’s “Radio Boston.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show, hosted by Chris Hill, adds new affiliate station WTAX, Springfield, Illinois.
Trump-Cohen Tapes/Russia Investigation, U.S.-E.U. Meeting, Trump Pushes Back Putin Meeting, Rosenstein Impeachment, YouTube Bans Alex Jones Videos, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, U.S.-China Trade War, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25). The release of some of the recordings made of Michael Cohen’s conversations with President Trump and the investigation into possible Russian connections with the Trump campaign; President Trump’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues; the next Trump-Putin meeting is pushed off into 2019; GOP House members introduce articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; YouTube bans three Alex Jones videos from its platform; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; the effects of the U.S.-China trade war; and Major League Baseball action 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. A new, nationally syndicated weekend program featuring Ellen K is being launched by iHeartMedia. Dubbed “The Ellen K Weekend Show,” it will be a four-hour adult contemporary weekend program emanating from Los Angeles where Ellen K also hosts morning on the company’s KOST. The company calls it “custom-tailored content for an audience that wants to feel informed on lifestyle trends, inspired by ‘feel good’ moments and enhanced by shareable factoids. Listeners will also enjoy the latest showbiz news and interviews with the biggest names in music like John Legend, Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson and more.”…..Beasley Media Group names Joel Weiss music director for alternative WBOS “ALT 92.9,” effective August 6. Weiss spent the past 13 years as music director and air personality at Cox Media Group’s alternative WSUN, Tampa “97X.” WBOS program director Ken West says, “I’m excited to welcome Joel to ‘ALT 92.9.’ He loves music, loves radio, and loves Boston. His passion and energy for the alternative format will help push ‘ALT 92.9’ to new heights!”