NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” looks back at this past week of December 7 – December 11, 2020. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Michael Berry, talk show host, KTRH, Houston / Michael Berry Radio Network; Grace Curley, talk show host, WRKO, Boston / Howie Carr Radio Network; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston / founder Scamicide.com; Graham Mack, talk show host, Podcast Radio, UK; and Robbie Stevens, record producer / commentator, TalkersRadio. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
NYPost: Craig Carton to Host ‘Responsible Gambling Show.’ According to a story in the New York Post, WFAN, New York afternoon drive co-host Craig Carton will host a Saturday show called “Hello, My Name Is Craig” that is being called a “responsible gambling show.” The show is a partnership between Entercom’s sports talk WFAN and problem gambling help network 1-800-GAMBLER. Carton said on WFAN, “They’re going to bring their expertise into it. I’ll tell the stories of gambling and the way my addiction manifested itself in the bad decisions I made, which became criminal.” It was the need to pay off gambling debts that caused Carton to create a phony concert tickets brokerage scheme that put him in prison for fraud after a November 2018 conviction.
WJR-AM, Detroit’s Mitch Albom Radiothon Raises $1.5 million for Local Charity. During Thursday’s daylong radiothon, WJR, Detroit afternoon drive host Mitch Albom helped raise more than $1.5 million for SAY Detroit – a local organization that helps the needy with health care, housing, food and education. The “9th Annual Mitch Albom SAY Detroit Radiothon” included appearances by special celebrity guests including Kate Hudson, Hugh Jackman, Katie Couric, Lily Tomlin, Hank Azaria, Tim Allen, and Anderson Cooper.
WGN-AM, Chicago’s Dean Richards to Return to Air After COVID Case. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Windy City media personality and WGN-AM weekend talk host Dean Richards is returning to the air after a couple weeks off due to a bout with COVID-19. The 66-year-old Richards will broadcast from his home for the next week or two before returning to the Nexstar Media Group station’s studios. Richards tells Feder his symptoms were relatively mild and adds that he’s not sure how he caught the coronavirus because he was being very careful. “The moral of my story is no matter how careful you think you’re being, be ten times more careful than that. Because I thought I was being super careful. I know I was being super careful.”
News/Talk KBOI, Boise Holds Successful Toy Drive for Marine Corps Reserve Campaign. Last Thursday through Sunday (12/3-6), Cumulus Media’s news/talk “NewsTalk 670” KBOI, Boise and Idaho Central Credit Union hosted Idaho’s biggest toy drive to benefit the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program for Treasure Valley children in need this holiday season. The event helped bring in more than 70,000 toys and $27,000 in cash donations. Pictured above (from l-r) are: US Marine Corps Reserve Charlie Company Marines Elmore and Perez, a smitten stuffed bear, Miss Idaho USA Katarina Schweitzer, and KBOI’s Mike Kasper and Nate Shelman.
WMAL-FM, Washington Fisher House Radiothon Raises More Than $360,000. During last weekend’s annual two-day WMAL Operation Fisher House Radiothon, the Cumulus Media news/talk station helped raise $368,000 for the Fisher House Foundation. WMAL listeners have donated more $7.5 million dollars over the last 15 years to support the efforts of the Fisher House Foundation to provide housing to families of injured military members who are undergoing treatment. Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and WMAL program director Bill Hess says, “We are humbled by the response of our listeners each and every year. Their response is incredibly heartwarming.”
COVID-19, Vaccines, Stats, and Protection Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 7-11. The fast-rising number of positive COVID cases in the U.S., the status of hospitals, hope for effective vaccines, and warnings about holiday get-togethers combined for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Donald Trump’s continuing efforts to overturn the election results. Coming in at #3 was Joe Biden’s transition appointments and nominations, followed by the Georgia senate runoff elections 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 complete chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Milwaukee urban contemporary “HOT 105.7” (WXSS-HD2) adds two air talents to the program schedule. Entercom announces that former crosstown WKKV-FM personality Promise is now hosting mornings while DJ Gee A moves from sister CHR WXSS-FM to afternoons on “HOT 105.7.” Entercom Milwaukee market manager Andrea Hansen says, “We’re excited to welcome Promise and DJ Gee A to our on-air lineup and introduce them to our listeners. Both have deep roots in this community with valued experience entertaining and connecting with the listeners of this city. We trust that combination will quickly resonate with our fans and round out our locally focused programming lineup.”…..The nationally syndicated “Ashley & Brad” show – hosted by Ashley Paige and Brad Abrell and produced by Skid Trax and distributed by Sun Broadcast Group – adds new affiliate stations as KFLX-FM, Chino Valley, Arizona; KPPT-FM , Depoe Bay, Oregon; KQBG-FM, Rock Island, Washington; and KHKM-FM, Hamilton, Montana add the program to their schedules.
iHeartMedia’s Fourth Chapter 11 Re-Org Does the Trick. When it comes to eliminating billions of dollars of debt in a Chapter 11 re-organization, someone is not going to be happy with what they get (or don’t get). Certain debt holders are likely to feel they’re not getting what they deserve. But Houston Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur liked what he saw enough to approve iHeartMedia’s fourth crack at its Joint Chapter 11 Re-Organization Plan. Yesterday’s approval of the adequacy of the disclosure statement sets the stage for more deadlines and court dates as iHeartMedia still hopes to exit Chapter 11 by the end of this year. The deadline for voting on this plan is set at November 9. The Plan Objection deadline is November 28. A pre-trial conference is set for December 7 and the Confirmation Hearing is set for December 11.
Hannity Talks with President Trump in Las Vegas. The screenshot above is from FOX News Channel and the “Hannity” show’s coverage of President Trump’s rally in Las Vegas last night (9/20). After the president addressed the crowd he spoke with host Sean Hannity about a number of issues, including the allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and the midterm elections.
iHeartMedia Adds FM Translator to WLAC, Nashville; Expands Steve Gill Reports. Nashville news/talker WLAC has an FM presence now that iHeartMedia adds translator W252CM at 98.3 FM to WLAC’s broadcast. The station is also being transmitted on WSIX-FM’s HD-2 signal. As the company says, the 250-watt translator is heard “across the southern portions of the Nashville area, including Williamson County and the Franklin area.” The translator had been carrying country WSIX-FM’s broadcast. At the same time, the station announces that it is expanding the “Tennessee Star Report” so that the Steve Gill-hosted program now airs from 5:00 am to 8:00 am. Tennessee Star executive editor Michael Patrick Leahy co-hosts the program with Gill, who comments, “It’s been great being back on the air in Nashville over these last few weeks. Adding a big booming FM signal on WLAC will be a great opportunity for us to reach voters in the final month of this election season and we will be right in the thick of things.”
Tony Howard Named Interactive Sales Manager for Alpha Media Portland. Digital sales pro Tony Howard joins Alpha Media to serve as interactive sales manager for the company’s Portland operations that include news/talk KXL “FM News 101”and sports talk KXTG-AM/FM “102.9 The Game.” Howard was most recently with Clip Interactive as VP of sales and affiliate partnerships. He’s also served with Tribune, CBS RADIO, and iHeartMedia. Alpha Portland VP of sales Amy Leimbach states, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Tony Howard when he was at CBS RADIO and again when he handled affiliate partnerships at Clip Interactive. Tony is creative, competitive, and has a drive to succeed – all qualities that correlate with Alpha’s core values. I am looking forward to having Tony join the Alpha Portland team.”
KBOI, Boise’s Paul J Schneider to Retire After 51 Years. Incredibly, Paul J Schneider has been working on the air at KBOI, Boise since June of 1967. Back then he worked on both TV and radio. He was a news anchor and voiced the TV replay of Boise State football games. He shifted to radio only in 1976. Now, after 51 years on the station, he’ll retire after his December 14 program to finally sleep in for a change. During his career at KBOI he enjoyed one of the country’s largest radio audience shares as a part of “Dunn & Schneider,” that aired from 1973 to 1993. Since 2001, he’s hosted “Idaho Talks Live” with Chris Walton. and throughout his career, Paul J and his morning partners have been at the top of station ratings. Schneider says, “I have been privileged to work with great morning show partners and to be on AM radio in its heyday. I was able to call the Boise State games through their growth trajectory and when not all the games were broadcasted live on TV.” Schneider plans to produce weekly features and blog for NewsTalk 670 KBOI as well as continue covering Boise State football for Learfield Sports.
TALKERS News Notes. The San Diego Reader is reporting that local photographer Jesse Cuevas has received a settlement from Entercom over talk host Kevin Klein’s unauthorized use of his photo of San Diego’s Coronado Bridge in the ill-advised social media post that derailed his gig as morning host on what is now sports talk KWFN. If you recall, Klein’s post teased his debut as the station’s new AM host with the phrase “Jump to a new morning show.” The Coronado Bridge has been the scene of hundreds of suicides during its existence. Cuevas can’t reveal how much he was paid but the paper speculates that settlements in cases like this are usually in the five figures…..PodcastOne reports that award-winning investigative journalist and WTOP, Washington national security correspondent J.J. Green recently spoke with a former Russian internet troll named Marat Mindiyarov on his podcast “Target USA.” Mindiyarov served with the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg where his job was to “trick Americans on Facebook,Twitter and other social media platforms.” During the interview Mindiyarov says one of the main objectives was to impact the U.S. presidential election by promoting Russian government views to Americans by pretending to be Americans on social media. Listen to the episode here…..Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley is launching a brand-new podcast series. In the premiere episode, Beasley speaks with Dr. Shawn DuBravac, author of the best-seller Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live, and Communicate (Regnery, 2015). Beasley says, “Podcasting is an area of growth in the audio space that I am personally very passionate about as we continue to grow as a company. It was such a privilege to speak with Shawn and hear his valuable thoughts about the future role of smart cities, the transformation of automotive industry and more!” Listen to the podcast here.
Talk Media Public Relations Pioneer Richard Strauss Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The man who literally opened the White House doors to talk radio and gave the medium top tier access to the executive branch of the Federal Government for decades to come, Richard Strauss, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Strauss, the founder and president of Washington, DC-based Strauss Media Strategies was the first-ever White House radio director, appointed at the age of 23 and serving between 1993 and 1996, the first three years of President Bill Clinton’s administration. During that time, Strauss elevated the burgeoning medium of news/talk radio to equal status with newspapers and television in enjoying access to the presidency. Prior to that, radio was a second-class citizen in that arena – at least during the modern era going all the way back to the Eisenhower years. According to Michael Harrison, “What Richard Strauss did for talk radio, while still a kid, is a major piece of the medium’s colorful history and should serve as an inspiration for aspiring youngsters looking to make their mark in this industry going forward. I am so glad we have a chance to tell his story on this week’s program.” Media freaks, historians and audiophiles will not want to miss this podcast! 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 on every page of Talkers.com.
Kavanaugh Assault Allegation Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 17-21. The allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents. Coming in at #3 was the growing trade war between the U.S. and China, followed by the GOP spending bill and President Trump’s criticism it provides no funding for a Mexican border wall 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.
Noted Record Producer and Social Commentator Robbie Stevens Launches Short-Form Series on TalkersRadio. TALKERS magazine is pleased to welcome noted record producer and iconoclastic social commentator Robbie Stevens to its experimental talk radio platform, TalkersRadio, beginning today (9/19). Stevens is launching a series of short-form features titled “I Don’t Do Podcasts” in which he randomly shares his views and experiences about a variety of subjects including politics, media, education, sociology, philosophy, psychology, sports and, of course, music. He is well-known for decades in the record business for his prolific contributions as a musician, recordist, mixer, and/or producer on records by such artists as Herbie Hancock, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the late Gil-Scott Heron, John Lydon a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, Afrika Bambaataaa, the posthumous John Lennon catalog, and many more. Stevens most recently headed up the production of Yoko Ono’s remarkable run of 13 Billboard #1 dance singles with her EDM band, ONO and just concluded the exciting 2018 surround sound re-mix of key elements from John Lennon’s “Imagine” album called “Raw” as a soon-to-be released box set titled “John Lennon’s Imagine – the Ultimate Collection” (Universal). A Columbia University graduate, this fascinating raconteur was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and now resides in the Bronx. Bringing what can be described as an “outer-borough” grit to the microphone, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has referred to Stevens as the “Bronx Philosopher” as well as the “Rogue from Riverdale.” TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations David Bernstein says, “I first became aware of Robbie almost a decade ago when he came to my attention as a successful record producer who liked to dabble in news/talk radio. He briefly did some interesting work on WNYM in New York and WOR’s short-lived online ancillary talk show platform where his well-informed, ‘streety’ take on hot topics generated a positive buzz. I am beyond thrilled that he is clearing the time in his busy schedule to get back to trying new things in spoken word programming on TalkersRadio. This guy is an original and that’s what TalkersRadio is all about.” TalkersRadio was launched in 2013 as an experimental radio workshop/lab where new ideas in talk programming could be tested and showcased by newcomers to the industry as well as seasoned pros looking to expand their repertoire. Since then, a number of shows have been developed on TalkersRadio that have gone on to achieve success in terrestrial radio and/or podcasting. To listen to the first episode of “I Don’t Do Podcasts with Robbie Stevens” please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Panama City, Florida market, Powell Broadcasting enters into an agreement to sell CHR WPFM-FM to religious not-for-profit broadcaster Educational Media Foundation……….Programmer Candy Cintron is promoted to program director for Entercom’s Spanish pop outlet WLZL, Washington “El Zol 107.9.” She’s been morning show producer and assistant program director since 2015. SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “Candy has invested close to a decade of her career in making ‘El Zol’ a vital, vibrant voice in DC’s Hispanic community. This promotion honors her past, present and, most importantly, her future contributions to the ‘El Zol’ legacy.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports on the unexpected death of Chicago radio sales pro Laura Hangren, who died after a heart attack on Saturday (9/15) at age 56. She’d most recently been an AE at Weigel Broadcasting’s WRME-FM “Me-TV FM.” She’d also worked at such heritage Windy City signals as WLS-FM and WLUP-FM…..The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated alternative morning program “The Woody Show” hosted Foo Fighters Dave Grohl (left) and Taylor Hawkins (right) recently. They’re pictured below with show host Woody (center). During their visit, they talked about how they met, the evolution of rock music, the upcoming Foo Fighters-curated “Cal Jam 18” festival, being parents, and more.