Radio Coming to Aid of Harvey Victims in Form of Fundraisers. Radio stations and radio companies are concentrating their efforts to assist those in Texas affected by Harvey by raising money on-air, mostly for the American Red Cross. Today at 4:29 pm, more than 30 Chicago area radio stations will simultaneously air a spot for the Red Cross urging Chicagoans to contribute to relief efforts. The move was orchestrated by the Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland. Chairman Matt Scarano says, “We are using the power of radio in both English and Spanish to help out those in need. In a time of crisis, Chicago radio is willing to help in any way we can.” Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated Bobby Bones country morning show kicked off its fourth annual Joy Week celebration on Monday, and has raised more than $150,000 to benefit the Hurricane Harvey relief effort through the sale of #PimpinJoy apparel, (as well as more than $50,000 benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital). Country stars Maren Morris and Brett Eldredge have appeared on the show encouraging listeners to choose joy, spread happiness and do good things for others. Limited-edition neon #PimpinJoy apparel was made available for purchase with proceeds benefiting Hurricane Harvey victims. Summit Media’s classic rock WBPT, Birmingham “106.9 The Eagle” is airing a “Pay to Play” on-air donation drive today from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The station is asking listeners to call and make a $25 minimum donation to the American Red Cross along with their song request. No matter the request or genre, if the station can find the songs, they will play the music. E.W. Scripps’ Springfield, Missouri cluster – country KTTS, news/talk KSGF, CHR KSPW, and adult hits KRVI – raised $7,151 for Harvey victims after a three-hour event today (8/30) at the Battlefield Mall. Money raised will go to Convoy of Hope.
CBS RADIO Houston FMs in Constant Storm Mode. In order to provide information about storm updates, evacuation info, and disaster relief, CBS RADIO’s Houston stations have been in storm/disaster mode since Saturday. The company says the cluster is running a four-station, commercial-free simulcast of long-form coverage across KILT-FM/AM, KHMX-FM and KKHH-FM. Meanwhile, sports talk KIKK is airing a continuous loop of evacuation information, routes and shelters. KIKK was granted Special Temporary Authority by the FCC to run for 24 hours during this emergency period. Also, Spanish-language station KLOL-FM is airing a commercial-free simulcast of Telemundo until further notice. CBS RADIO Houston SVP/market manager Sarah Frazier states, “Our employees are 100% dedicated to broadcasting the latest information to help evacuate Houston residents, keep them safe and connected to loved ones. This is a difficult time for everyone in the area but we are all working together to get through it. In emergency situations such as this, the power of local radio is undisputed, unparalleled and reaches everyone in the community. We are all proudly #HoustonStrong.” At Cumulus Media Houston, CHR KRBE program director Leslie Whittle reports that her station’s live, local coverage continues. “The whole crew is at the station, so Kevin Quinn, Freddy Cruz, Corinna Delgado and Phoenix (who have all been on the air since Sunday morning), are finally able to get some rest. At one time, we had over 600 reported areas of significant high water around the city, so of course one of the biggest services we continue to provide are road closure/high water updates at least twice an hour. We remain focused on keeping our listeners safe and informed, and I couldn’t be more proud of the job the entire KRBE team has done serving our great community.”
Harvey’s Devastation, Trump Visits Texas, Tax Reform Plan, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Transgender Troops Issue, Feinstein’s Trump Comments, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29). The devastation caused by Harvey and the storm’s second landfall that’s bringing more rain to the region; analysis of President Trump’s visit to Texas; the Trump tax reform plan to be promoted today in Missouri; North Korea’s continued threats against the U.S.; the Trump edict preventing transgender citizens from serving in the military and the responses by U.S. military leaders; Diane Feinstein astonishes San Francisco crowd by saying Trump could be a “good president”; Major League Baseball action; and pre-season NFL activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
August Cable News/Talk Ratings Out; FOX News Channel and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Winners. That may seem like a contradiction, but the upshot of the August Nielsen ratings for the cable news/talk channels is that MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow was the most-watched cable talk host in both total viewers and in the 25-54 demographic. She was just ahead of FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity in total viewers for the month – 2.783 million to 2.679 million. But FOX News Channel was still the most-watched network in total viewers in prime time, averaging 2.2 million. That continues FNC’s 14-month streak as the most-watched cable news/talk network in prime time and its 188-month streak as most-watched in total day and prime time. Back to the individual shows, after Maddow and Hannity in the top two slots for total viewers, FOX News Channel’s Tucker Carlson was third with 2.483 million, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell finished fourth with 2.352 million and FOX News Channel’s “The Five” followed with 2.351 million. Tallying the prime time numbers for the 25-54 demographic, FOX News Channel was in first place with a 466,000 (average over the month), CNN came in second with 418,000, and MSNBC was close behind with 410,000.
Former WBSM, New Bedford Personality Stan Lipp Passes. New Bedford, Massachusetts radio legend Stan Lipp died on Monday (8/28) in Florida at the age of 89. Lipp is remembered in the area for hosting the WBSM talk show “Open Line” from 1964 through 2001.
Radio Veteran Bob Shannon Releases Updated Edition of His 2009 Classic, Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946-1996 (Eckhartz Press, 2017) as an eBook. The book that Michael Harrison describes as “one of the most important books ever written about music radio of the second half of the 20th century” has just been released (in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley) as an updated eBook. Radio veteran Bob Shannon’s Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946-1996 (Eckhartz Press, 2017) features in-depth stories about 58 great radio talent and programming figures. The full list includes: Lee Abrams, Jack Armstrong, Dick Biondi, Chuck Blore, Jerry Boulding, Scotty Brink, Kent Burkhardt, Al Casey, Ron Chapman, Dick Clark, Frank Cody, Larry Daniels, Rick Dees, Tom Donahue, Ken Dow, Bill Drake, Paul Drew, Chuck Dunaway, Bill Figenshu, Alan Freed, Jack Gale, Les Garland, Bob Henabery, Dan Ingram, Ron Jacobs, Tom Joyner, Casey Kasem, Murry the K, Art Laboe, Larry Lujack, Bill Mack, Gordon McLendon, John McRea, Ruth Meyer, Robert W. Morgon, Bruce Morrow, Pat O’Day, Gary Owens, Dewey Phillips, Dick Purtan, Bobby Rich, Steve Rivers, Art Roberts, John Rook, Dr. Don Rose, Tom Rounds, Ed Salamon, John Sebastian, Scott Shannon, Rick Sklar, Michael Spears, Gary Stevens, Todd Storz, Charlie Tuna, Rusty Walker, Todd Wallace, Fred Winston, and Wolfman Jack. In addition to updated information, the book features a forward by RAB president/CEO Erica Farber. Shannon tells TALKERS, “The book is a compilation of columns I wrote for Radio & Records (“Legends with Bob Shannon”) and allaccess.com (“All Them Big Dogs”) between 2001 and 2008. Secretly, I always thought of it as a public service to radio folks who weren’t familiar with our history, the second golden age of radio when top 40 was king, and FM was about to ascend to the throne. As for why I decided to release an eBook this year, it’s pretty simple – since the book came out in 2009, 13 of the people I wrote about have died.” Shannon adds, “The stories in Turn It Up! don’t focus on industry wide initiatives. Instead, they offer a behind-the-scenes look at the folks on the front line, the men and the women who created the radio stations that inspired so many to, as Paul Harvey once said, ‘run away and join the radio.’ Between the lines, a picture emerges of a time gone by, one that will never be repeated, when radio was an important part of American life, disc jockeys were stars, and their listeners cared about them.” Shannon concludes, “I believe that media in the 21st century offers unlimited possibilities, but I also believe that it would be sad to forget, or worse yet, to never know what came before, and how and why it set the stage for the future.” Shannon can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the book, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio management pro Mark Thomas is named market manager for Alpha Media’s Saginaw, Michigan cluster that includes news/talk WSGW-AM/FM, urban contemporary WTLZ, hot AC WGER, and country WCEN. Thomas has served with iHeartMedia in the Riverside, California market and with Regent Communications and Townsquare Media in Flint and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Alpha EVP of the Midwest Region George Pelletier says, “Mark has great experience as a local market manager. He brings an exceptional understanding of local programming, sales and community broadcasting to the Alpha team in Saginaw. We are happy to welcome Mark ‘home’ to Michigan.”…..SAG-AFTRA and Spanish Broadcasting System are at odds over alleged labor law violations. The union held an event at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to draw attention to what it says is SBS’ disregard for its staffers. SAG-AFTRA says some SBS employees at KLAX “La Raza 97.9 FM” and KXOL “MEGA 96.3 FM” were unlawfully terminated after a 2016 majority vote to unionize. The union also says SBS has “failed to negotiate a fair contract with the union, and refuses to engage in good faith bargaining over economics, including wages.” SAG-AFTRA delivered a letter to California Labor Commissioner Julie Su requesting her department “vigorously investigate the rampant violations of California wage and hour laws at SBS. Over the past 12 months, the company has also engaged in extensive and severe unfair labor practices, which are currently pending before the National Labor Relations Board. It has also done everything possible to hamper its negotiations with SAG-AFTRA.”…..In Denver, Entercom promotes part-timer Rosa Jad to full-time evening personality on rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS1075.” Jad has been with the station for four years and says, “I’m super excited to be the new night show host for ‘KS107.5!’ It’s been a dream of mine for years! I’m looking forward to putting on an entertaining show for the city!”…..SiriusXM announces today The National will perform a special, intimate show exclusively for SiriusXM on Friday, September 8, to celebrate the release of their new album, Sleep Well Beast. The performance live from the Bowery Ballroom in New York City will air on the SiriusXMU channel.
Jack Swanson to Lead KCBS, San Francisco Programming. Legendary spoken-word programmer Jack Swanson is named director of news and programming for KCBS “All News Radio 740AM and 106.9FM.” CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “Jack has a distinguished track record of leading iconic radio stations. He’s a terrific leader with a deep understanding of how a market leading station such as KCBS can be a trusted and active member of its community.” Swanson served for years as vice president of programming at Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO, San Francisco. He began his radio career as a news anchor/reporter for WLS, Chicago before becoming the news and program director for KGO, San Francisco. From there he became president and general manager for KING-FM, Seattle. He says, “Being asked to lead one of the best news teams in the country is one of those rare situations that don’t present themselves often. I’m looking forward to contributing to the amazing growth of this legendary station in the years ahead.”
Fruge, Thomas Involved in CBS Radio Programming Changes. Concurrent with CBS Radio Las Vegas vice president of programming Charese Fruge transferring to Houston for similar duties (and to be operations manager there), the company promotes Cat Thomas to succeed Fruge in Las Vegas. Thomas will continue as day-to-day programmer of Las Vegas’ KXTE “X107.5 – Alternative First”; talk KXNT AM & FM; and KXST “CBS Sports Radio 1140.” Senior vice president and CBS Radio Houston market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “Charese is a talented programmer and leader. Her longstanding relationships in the music industry, passion for radio, and ability to create special experiences for the listener are an integral part of why she is such a great fit for Houston. We are thrilled to have her join the Houston team, as we continue to grow and build upon our brands under her guidance.” Fruge remarks, “This role is the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to finally be back in the south. I am honored and am looking forward to working with the Houston team to help take these amazing brands to the next level. I have made lifelong friends in Las Vegas and appreciate them always making me look good.” Meanwhile, senior vice president and CBS Radio Las Vegas market manager Jerry McKenna states, “Cat Thomas is a veteran programming executive whose experience in this market is unmatched. He has successfully programmed [CHR] KLUC for the better part of two decades and most recently, has been the driving force behind the success of our spoken-word brands. Our stations are in very capable hands.” According to Thomas, “This is a dream come true. We have the biggest brands in the market. I have loved this group since we put these stations together in 1996. None of this would be possible without the passion of our staff. As [the late Ohio State University football coach] Woody Hayes said, ‘You win with people,’ and we have great people from top to bottom.” A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Fruge will oversee programming for hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5”; sports outlets KIKK-AM and KILT-AM; country KILT-FM “The Bull”; CHR KKHH “Hot 95-7”; and Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101.” She starts her new assignment – which will include day-to-day PD responsibilities for “Mix” and “Hot” – one week from Monday (5/4). Her resume includes on-air and programming stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, Denver, and New Orleans. In addition to KXTE, KXNT AM & FM, and KXST, Ohio State University alum Thomas will oversee CHR KLUC “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” and hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1.” Eight years after being night personality at KLUC, Thomas was elevated to program director (1996); he became PD of KXNT AM & FM, KXST, and KXTE last year. Similar to Fruge, Thomas’ first day on his new job is one week from Monday (5/4). Elsewhere at CBS Radio Las Vegas, KLUC assistant program director John “J.B. King” Bernard is promoted to program director and “Mix” assistant program director/music director Jonathan “J. Love” Campbell is boosted to PD of that station. Bernard joined KLUC 17 years ago and has been APD since 2001. He previously worked in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Sacramento. With CBS Radio Las Vegas the past three years, Campbell formerly programmed in Providence, Oxnard-Ventura (California), and Reno (Nevada).
The Howie Carr New England Juggernaut Rolls On. In a remarkable display of just how potent an independent regional talk radio network can be, radio/newspaper/author phenomenon Howie Carr continues to expand the reach of his Howie Carr Radio Network north into New Hampshire and southeast into Connecticut. Bringing the growing lineup to 22 radio stations (including flagship WRKO, Boston) are WASR, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire as well as Connecticut’s WMRD, Middletown and WLIS, Old Saybrook. On penetrating the Nutmeg State, Carr tells TALKERS, “I’ve always had a sizable audience in Connecticut, and I’m happy that my listeners there can now find me even more easily. As a kid, I wanted to go to Wesleyan, and now I’m in Middletown — and Old Saybrook.” Don DeCesare, president/GM of WLIS/WMRD adds, “We’re thrilled to have Howie Carr as part of our onair lineup. Howie has been New England’s voice for years. We’re proud to add that voice now and be his stations in Connecticut.” Regarding this latest expansion of Carr’s network, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is only going to be a matter of months before the flood dam bursts and Howie Carr becomes a major national host eventually heard in all 50 states. He is at the top of his game.” Meet Howie Carr at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12. The annual conference is on the verge of a sellout. For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413 or click here.
Salem Radio Network Welcomes Michael Medved Back. It’s a gradual return to his daily, syndicated talk radio show, but Michael Medved is slowly working his way back after treatment for throat cancer. Medved announced his hiatus from the program back on January 30. Now, SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “We are SO grateful to have Michael Medved transitioning back into his SRN talk show. Monday he appeared by phone, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday he has been in his Seattle studio, hosting guests like U.S. Senator John McCain for discussion of today’s Obama apology for U.S. raids killing two hostages, plus the Senate confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General of the United States.” Medved has been a nationally syndicated host for the past 18 years.
Jim Gearhart and New Jersey 101.5 Morning Show to Broadcast from Battelship New Jersey. In recognition of Memorial Day, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning host Jim Gearhart and the rest of the morning show will broadcast from the deck of the Battleship New Jersey on May 22. In a letter inviting listeners to attend the broadcast, Gearhart writes, in part, “While the nation celebrates the start of summer this year, I invite you, your family and friends to honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans and active military during a special live broadcast of the ‘New Jersey 101.5 Morning Show’ aboard America’s most decorated battleship. The morning show team will be on the deck of Battleship New Jersey, located on the waterfront in Camden on Friday, May 22 joined by veterans, honor guards, military agencies and state dignitaries for patriotic music, discussions and storytelling…As a Naval veteran and the father of two enlisted men, it is my privilege to commemorate our military this Memorial Day Weekend, and I encourage all active and retired servicemen and women, as well as civilians, to come enjoy the show and share their appreciation for those who make America the land of the free and home of the brave.”
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update. The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Joy Browne show is added to the program schedule on WOMI, Owensboro, Kentucky…..Tom Gresham’s “Gun Talk” adds new affiliate stations WCGO, Evanston, Illinois; WMXI-FM, Laurel, Mississippi; KFEQ, Saint Joseph, Missouri; and KELY, Ely, Nevada to its roster…..AdLarge Media reports “The National Marijuana News” program is added to the lineup at: WHIG, Colorado Springs; WPEK-AM, Asheville, North Carolina; and WNOS, New Bern, North Carolina…..Christian radio offering “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister” is two months into syndication and already heard on nearly 100 stations including recent new affiliates: WGEN-FM, Chicago and the MyGen Radio Network; WTRJ-FM, Jacksonville; and WCLN-FM, Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Iran Nuclear Negotiations Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 20-24. The negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the ISIS violence tied with the military action taking place in Yemen. Coming in at #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects tied with the scrutiny of the operation of the Clinton Foundation, followed by the death of two hostages at the hands of American drones 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. View this week’s entire chart here.