The WWL, New Orleans-Seth Dunlap Case Gets More Bizarre; Station Accuses Host of Extortion. According to coverage of this story in the Times-Picayune, the reason Entercom went from an internal investigation of the anti-gay slur tweet against sports talk host Seth Dunlap to turning it over to the police (as TALKERS reported yesterday), is because it believes Dunlap himself sent the text and is attempting to extort $1.85 million out of the company. The New Orleans police department says WWL believes the tweet was sent from Dunlap’s cell phone. The police report also notes that the station is accusing Dunlap of threatening to go “scorched earth” over the matter and is demanding $1.85 million in order to get out of personal financial trouble. The station adds that it has been receiving letters regarding wage garnishment for Dunlap as creditors attempt to collect for unpaid credit card bills and personal loans. The police are currently working to corroborate WWL’s conclusions. Right now, they are calling it a possible extortion case. Dunlap’s lawyer, Megan Kiefer, says Dunlap didn’t have access to the station’s Twitter account and that the station is “attempting to blame the victim of its own anti-LGBT culture.”
New KIRO-AM, Seattle Program Schedule Unveiled. As a result of the semi-retirement of longtime KIRO-AM personality Dave “The Groz” Grosby and the transition of the “Brock & Salk” morning show to a podcast, Bonneville’s sports talk KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” announces its new lineup, effective Monday (9/30). First, in afternoon drive, Bob Stelton moves from the early afternoon show to afternoon drive with Dave Wyman and Jim Moore for the “Bob, Dave and Moore” show. Stelton’s departure from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show results in Tom Wassell being joined in the daypart by Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps for the “Tom, Jake and Stacy” show. Rost is a Seahawks insider who has served as a writer and editor with 710Sports.com and host with KIRO-AM. Heaps played quarterback at BYU, Kansas and Miami. He had pro stints with the Jets and Seahawks and joined the station in 2018. That show will be produced by current “Brock & Salk” producer Kyle Brown. Taking over the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show is the “Danny and Gallant” program, featuring Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant. O’Neil moves from his current afternoon drive role on the “Danny, Dave and Moore” show and Paul Gallant arrives from Houston where he’d most recently been hosting mornings at Entercom’s KILT-AM. Jessamyn McIntyre will produce the “Danny and Gallant” program. Mike Salk leaves his daily show to focus on his program director role with the station but, as noted above, he and Brock Huard will produce a weekly podcast version of their show, beginning next week. As TALKERS reported previously, Grosby steps away from his daily show but will do a segment with John Clayton at 11:45 am and will serve as a guest host. He’s also going to have an expanded role with 710Sports.com.
New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, 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 on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (9/20). The new episode titled “Whistle a Yappy Tune!” looks back at this past explosive week of September 23-27, 2019. Recorded at this week’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC, the show features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dale Jackson, WVNN, Huntsville, AL; Michael Brown, KHOW, Denver; Gordon Deal, Compass Media Networks; Casey Hendrickson, WRTC, South Bend, IN; Michael Patrick Leahy, WLAC, Nashville; Martha Zoller, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Dan “Ox” Ochsner, KNSI, St. Cloud, MN; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami; and John De Petro, WNRI, Woonsocket, RI. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
SRN’s ‘Battle for America’s Soul’ Tour Hits Phoenix. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network talk show hosts in Phoenix as SRN’s “Battle for America’s Soul” tour stopped at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. SRN says the sellout crowd of more than 1,000 heard the hosts discuss topics from impeachment to the culture wars. From left to right are: SRN hosts Larry Elder and Dr. Sebastian Gorka, two unidentified KKNT, Phoenix listeners, Twitchy.com founder Michelle Malkin, and moderator/SRN talk host Mike Gallagher.
Seen and Heard at the Radio Show. TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay reports from the 2019 NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas. He says Thursday’s sessions focused on podcasting and sales, culminating in the annual Marconi Awards ceremony. He notes that 139 students interested in radio and media from across the country attended the Radio Show as part of the Broadcast Education Association’s mentoring program. Executive director Heather Birks says of the 400 or so students who’ve taken part in the last five years, 75% are now working in media and about 50% are working in radio. Read Jeff McKay’s report here.
2019 Marconi Award Winners Honored. At last night’s awards dinner at the 2019 NAB/RAB Radio Show, the Marconi’s were handed out. Spoken-word winners of this year’s honors include: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington for Major Market Station of the Year; Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle for News/Talk Station of the Year; and Beasley Media’s WBZ-FM, Boston for Sports Station of the Year. WBZ-FM’s “Felger and Massarotti” – Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti – were honored with the Major Market Personality of the Year award. WRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University” was honored with the “College Station of the Year” award. See all the winners here.
TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Katie Couric is hosting an iHeartRadio Original podcast titled, “Next Question with Katie Couric.” The show becomes part of iHeartMedia‘s iHeartPodcast Network and will “explore some of today’s most important issues and transformative trends through insightful and engaging conversations that span news, politics, and pop culture.” Topics addressed in the 12 episodes include: ABC’s of CBD, Jennifer Garner’s foray into entrepreneurship, whether ageism is the last socially acceptable “ism,” the eSports universe, and a conversation with a former white supremacist who now works to deradicalize others…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “The Johnny Carson Channel,” on October 1. The month-long special programming will feature the top, handpicked episodes of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” The programs will highlight notable classic moments, including the first “Tonight Show” stand-up appearances by Jerry Seinfeld (1981), Jay Leno (1977), and Ellen DeGeneres (1986), and Eddie Murphy (1982). There are also interviews with Lucille Ball, Muhammad Ali, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Billy Crystal, and Oprah Winfrey.
The Impeachment Inquiry Is the Top News/Talk Story for the Week of September 23-27. The Democrats decision to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Ukraine phone conversation flap. Coming in at #3 was immigration reform, followed by the UN General Assembly and climate change tied 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.
Sports Talk and Album Rock Radio Pioneer Richard Neer Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. There have been a number of stories these past couple of weeks from the world of popular culture. They include the milestone of Bruce Springsteen reaching his 70th birthday and the impact of his political outspokenness on how his fans might view him. The deaths of rock stars Ric Ocasek and Eddie Money – also in their seventies; the disturbing saga of football wide receiver Antonio Brown; and the growing popularity in the podcasting world of the “true crime” genre. WFAN, New York, sports talk personality Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison describes Neer as “one of my oldest and best friends… and one of my top go-to guys on the subjects of sports, music and crime.” Neer has been a sports talk show host on WFAN in New York since 1988. He is also a pioneer of album rock radio having worked in the golden era at WLIR on Long Island and WNEW-FM in New York. He wrote the milestone book about rock radio titled FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) and has a growing following of fans for his series of murder mysteries featuring the ongoing adventures of Riley King, Private Investigator. 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 or on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air personality Joe “Flu Season” Lewis joins Cumulus Media as afternoon host and programming assistant at urban contemporary KTCX, Beaumont, Texas “Magic 102.5.” He was most recently the evening host at Cumulus’ WLZN-FM, Macon, Georgia. KTCX program director Kelly Mac says, “Joe is a passionate, multi-skilled on-air talent who brings an array of experience to the table. He not only gets the on-air aspect of radio, but strongly embraces the community as well as the digital, imaging, and branding aspect of radio, which made him a perfect fit for this role. I look forward to watching him grow and succeed with the Cumulus team.”…..Leaving his brand/content director post with Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH-FM, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” for a yet-to-be-revealed position is programming pro Scott Roddy. He joined the station in February of 2016…..Below is Premiere Networks personality Amy Brown (right) with Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott (left). Scott appeared on the “4 Things with Amy Brown” podcast to talk about the band’s new album and the single, “Ocean.” She’s also a guest on Scott’s weekend radio program, “Women of iHeartCountry.”
‘Brock & Salk’ to Leave KIRO-AM, Seattle Airwaves for Podcast. Due to expanding duties in their other roles, KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” personalities Brock Huard and Mike Salk are ending their daily 7:00 am to 10:00 am talk show and will instead do a podcast. The two have been together on the air for more than a decade. Salk was recently promoted to director of programming, increasing his programming responsibilities at Bonneville Seattle, and Huard – a college football analyst – joined FOX Sports earlier this year. The “Brock & Salk” show will wrap on September 27 and the podcast will launch on October 2. The station has not said how it plans to fill the programming vacancy.
KGMZ-FM, San Francisco Officially Debuts ‘Damon, Ratto & Kolsky’ Show. Although former San Francisco Chronicle and NBC Sports Bay Area columnist Ray Ratto and San Francisco Examiner columnist Matt Kolsky have been on the KGMZ-FM, San Francisco air with Damon Bruce for a couple of months now, the Entercom station announces that the two have officially joined the show and it’s now the “Damon, Ratto & Kolsky” program. “95.7 The Game” says that Ratto recently agreed to a multi-year deal with the station. The program airs from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Salem Reduces Board Members to Cut Expenses. Four of the Salem Media Group, Inc. board members – James Keet Lewis, Jonathan Venverloh, Stuart W. Epperson Jr., and Edward C. Atsinger – have resigned from the company’s board of directors. Salem CEO Edward G. Atsinger III says in a statement, “The board members’ decisions to resign were not the result of any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies, or practices. During the last few years, Salem has faced several unique financial headwinds and we are looking for ways to cut costs while not impacting revenue. These resigning board members agreed that a reduction in board fees and travel costs would help improve the bottom line. I am grateful for the service of Messrs. Lewis, Venverloh, Epperson Jr. and Atsinger. Their years of service on the board contributed significantly to the impact Salem is making.” The Salem board now consists of: Edward G. Atsinger III, Stuart Epperson, Eric Halvorson, Rich Riddle, and Heather Grizzle.
TALKERS News Notes. Central New Jersey news/talk WCTC-AM “News Talk Radio 1450” is adding Compass Media Networks syndicated “This Morning – America’s First News with Gordon Deal” in the 5:00 am to 9:00 am daypart, effective September 23. The Beasley Media Group station makes the move two months after former morning personality Bert Baron left the station to take the public information officer position with New Brunswick’s mayor’s office. Alan David Stein has been hosting the program in the interim. The station says Jennifer Kushinka, the current morning drive news anchor, will provide the latest breaking national headlines during the show and WCTC news anchor Racquel Williams will provide local updates at the top and bottom of the hour “for a seamless blend of local and national news, along with sports traffic and weather.”…..Bay Area radio personality Victor Zaragoza – most recently afternoon host at Entercom’s rhythmic oldies KRBQ “Q102.1” – is now serving with the company as a sports anchor and traffic reporter for all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco…..Pictured here is FOX News contributor Tomi Lahren (left) with relationship expert Jennifer Styers (right) after recording Styers’ “LoveAbility” podcast. The two talked not politics, but “boundaries, putting up walls, confidence, and looking for love.” Lahren also gives her own raw and real relationship advice for women. Styers says, “The ‘LoveAbility’ podcast is all about having the conversations around dating, relationships and love. Tomi’s love story is a sweet one AND it is also full of the same challenges that each one of us face every day in our own personal relationships.”…..Public media company KQED held a groundbreaking for the renovation of its San Francisco headquarters. KQED says the $91 million project “will transform KQED’s headquarters to accommodate the station’s significant staff growth over the past decade and the expansive nature of the services it provides audiences today. It will also create brand new onsite spaces for in-person events, programs. and convening.” Over the past 25 years, KQED has grown from 200 to nearly 500 employees.
Westwood One Uses LeadsRx for Attribution Measurement. Syndication and sales company Westwood One is using LeadsRx for its attribution measurement. LeadsRx’s attribution software provides a comprehensive, quantitative analysis of how audio advertising drives advertiser search and site traffic. LeadsRx’s platform also depicts business outcomes such as sales of products, form completions, in-bound phone calls, and more. Cumulus Media EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “The LeadsRx platform gives Westwood One industry-leading marketing measurement capabilities that greatly benefit advertisers with comprehensive, digital-like attribution analytics.”
2020 Presidential Race, Lewandowski Testimony, Saudi Oil Attack, NYTimes Kavanaugh Story, Israeli Elections, GM Strike, Cokie Roberts Passes, and Imelda Threatens Houston Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/17). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee; the attack on a Saudi oil installation and allegations Iran is responsible; the controversy over the New York Times Brett Kavanaugh story; the Israeli elections and the fate of Benjamin Netanyahu; the UAW’s strike against General Motors; journalist Cokie Roberts dies after a battle with breast cancer; and Tropical Storm Imelda threatens Houston with severe flooding 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. Air personality and programming pro Alex Mac moves from iHeartMedia’s “ALT 106.3” in Des Moines where he was afternoon jock and APD to Raleigh to serve as APD and afternoon drive host at CHR WDCG, Raleigh “G105,” effective October 1. iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region SVP of programming AJ says, “Alex’s passion for music and entertainment is like no other. I look forward to him joining the team and I am thrilled about what he will bring to the Raleigh community as we build the next chapter of ‘G105.’”…..Public radio triple A WXPN, Philadelphia announces that it has named Raina Douris host of the nationally syndicated “World Café” program. Douris was most recently host and writer for the daily, national morning program “Mornings” from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Douris has also served as guest host and interviewer for various CBC Music and CBC Radio programs. She succeeds Talia Schlanger who announced earlier this year she is leaving the program to pursue new creative endeavors…..iHeartMedia names Brent Johnson general sales manager for four of its music-formatted stations in the Louisville cluster: country WAMZ, hot AC WLGX “100.5 KISS FM,” hip hop WTFX “Real 93.1,” and CHR WNRW “98.9 Radio Now.” iHeartMedia Kentucky-Indiana SVP of sales Kristy Beebe says, “We are proud to have Brent on our iHeartMedia Louisville team. Our team is highly impressed by Brent’s previous digital experience. His familiarity of the Louisville market will contribute greatly to the success of this team.”…..Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (left) is pictured below with Big Machine Label Group founder, president and CEO Scott Borchetta (right). Borchetta joined Beasley for her podcast, “Beyond the Business.” On it, the two discussed the transformation taking place at BMLG, as well as Borchetta’s thoughts on how the music industry is evolving to meet the needs of today’s consumers.
‘The Groz’ to Retire from KIRO-AM, Seattle Midday Show. One-third of the “Bob, Groz and Tom” show on Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” is retiring from the program, effective September 20. Dave “The Groz” Grosby announces that due largely to health-related issues, he feels compelled to step down from his position on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program. In a message to listeners on the station’s website, he says, “This past year I simply have not been able to answer the bell enough as it were and missed far too many days of work, and it has been unfair to my co-hosts and to the radio station. Though my health has improved over the past month I cannot be sure it won’t be an issue again.” Groz says that he will continue to co-anchor the daily, 11:45 am segment with John Clayton and will also do some fill-ins and occasionally appear as a guest. He adds, “I am also going to be exploring the online world and look forward to being a regular presence in a yet-to-be-determined role on 710Sports.com. I have been lucky to be a part of the start of two great sports radio stations in Seattle over the past 29 years, but the best part of the job for me has been meeting and having fun with listeners over the years. I love you guys.”
‘Big Al’ Williams Officially Named PM Drive Co-Host on KOA, Denver. Shortly after Alfred “Big Al” Williams left Bonneville’s crosstown sports talk KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” in March of this year, it was announced that he would join iHeartMedia after sitting out his non-compete. Now, iHeartMedia announces that Big Al will work with co-host JoJo Turnbeaugh on KOA’s 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show. iHM Denver president Tim Hager says, “There’s no bigger voice and no bigger laugh in afternoon radio than Alfred Williams. We are honored to welcome Big Al and his legions of fans to KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM. Big Al joins an expanded live and local lineup that truly embodies KOA’s new slogan, ‘The Voice of Colorado.’”
New Affiliate Stations Add Erick Erickson’s WGAU, Athens-based Show. The new late morning talk radio show hosted by Georgia media personality Erick Erickson is adding new affiliate stations, two weeks after its debut on flagship WGAU, Athens. The program is designed to address Georgia news and politics in a way that Erickson can’t on his afternoon drive WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta. Cox Media Group owns both WSB and WGAU. New Georgia stations include: WCHM, Clarkesville; WRGA, Rome; WBLJ, Dalton; and WYYZ, Jasper. The show is distributed by the Georgia News Network. See erickericksonshow.com for more.
TALKERS News Notes. Detroit radio personality and comic Coco is joining talk WFDF “910AM Superstation” to host the daily 7:00 am to 9:00 am program. Coco was most recently co-hosting mornings with John Mason on Radio One’s urban AC WDMK, Detroit “105.9 Kiss.” Prior to that she served with WJBL, Detroit for 17 years. Coco takes over the time slot formerly occupied by the Noah Finley show…..FOX Sports enters into a deal with Skyview Networks to bring USC football and men’s basketball to a broader audience. USC games are heard locally on KABC-AM, Los Angeles. Skyview’s Matt Stys says, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to partner again with the iconic collegiate rights holder, FOX Sports. Skyview Networks is known for delivering sports play-by-play to the hometown fan and the strong Trojan following across the US makes us the ideal partner for the USC growth initiative. This is an exciting time for USC play-by-play audio and we are proud to be a part it.”…..Entercom and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors announce a multi-year extension for sports talk KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” to serve as flagship station for the team’s radio broadcasts. Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Greg Nemitz says, “The Warriors are the premiere franchise in this market and have emerged as one of the elite sports brands worldwide. As the team embarks on a new era at Chase Center, we’re proud and excited to continue bringing our listeners exclusive, unparalleled coverage of the team both on and off the court.”…..SiriusXM is launching a new weekly show on the SiriusXM NFL Radio channel dedicated to the Cleveland Browns that will cover the present day team as well as the storied history of the franchise. “Dawg Pound Radio” will debut September 4 (airing each Wednesday at 7:00 pm ET) co-hosted by Browns legend Bernie Kosar and longtime Browns radio broadcaster Jim Donovan…..Motor Racing Network is partnering with Spire Motorsports as the sponsor of the No. 77 Motor Racing Network Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, driven by Reed Sorenson, for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend. The livery (note the calls in this photo) will pay tribute to MRN’s 50 years as “The Voice of NASCAR” and celebrate 11 radio stations who have carried and supported NASCAR racing since the network’s inception. MRN director of radio partnerships Cheryl Knight says, “Our radio partners are the original ambassadors of Motor Racing Network and this sport. Every one of our 600 stations have played a significant role in MRN’s growth and success. Having 11 stations air our broadcasts consistently since 1970 is remarkable and we are proud to honor them this weekend by placing their call letters on the No.77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.”
2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade War, Recession Fears, U.S.-Iran Talks, Prince Andrew Allegations, Johnson’s Brexit Ploy, Dorian on Track to Hit Florida Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27). The Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the battle of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the rise in mortgage foreclosures and concerns about a recession; Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says sanctions must be lifted before meeting with President Trump; alleged Jeffrey Epstein victims intensify allegations against Prince Andrew; Prime Minister Boris Johnson asks Queen Elizabeth to shut down Parliament in bold Brexit move; and Tropical Storm Dorian’s possible track toward Florida were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
RAB Visits Scranton, PA. In what turned out to be an exciting “homecoming” of sorts, Radio Advertising Bureau VP/membership Dolores “Dee” Nolan paid a visit to the Scranton, PA headquarters of the legendary multi-media firm Times-Shamrock Communications where it all began for her in the late 1970s. Times-Shamrock Communications, established in 1895 by E.J. Lynett, is still locally owned and operated by the Lynett and Haggerty families. Enjoying a national reputation for excellence, the company has among its assets four daily newspapers, six weekly newspapers, and nine radio stations most of which are located in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Nolan was an intern at the company’s WEJL-AM and WEZX-FM during her last semester as a student at Marywood University. Upon graduation, she began her illustrious career in broadcasting as traffic manager and continuity director for the stations and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. Today, she is a key contributor to the RAB team’s herculean efforts under the superb leadership of its president/CEO Erica Farber to support the radio industry’s generation of advertising and marketing revenue during the medium’s challenging transition from the analog era to the 21st century digital era. Nolan (l) is pictured with Times-Shamrock market manager Terry Deitz (r). To learn about RAB member benefits, please click here.
Wisconsin Radio Station Using JVC Video System for Sports Broadcasts. It is getting easier and less expensive to present quality video and a great example of a station taking advantage of that is non-profit WGTD-FM, Kenosha, Wisconsin (pictured above). It’s using a JVC system to stream local high school sports via Facebook Live. Gateway Technical College owns the station and is using three GY‑HM250SP 4KCAM sports production streaming camcorders and a ProHD Studio 4000S sports production and streaming studio to produce coverage of the games. WGTD digital director and development specialist Troy McDonald says, “The cameras are absolutely incredible. They are lightweight and easy to use. The picture is so clear – people are impressed.” In an effort to find a new revenue stream, the station decided to explore new ways to find an audience by covering Kenosha and Walworth County high school football and basketball. With its classical, jazz, and news programming, the radio station attracts an older audience that creates a challenging sales environment. The station tested the idea using iPads as cameras that were wirelessly connected to a master iPad running iOS-based switcher software. The system relied on cellular service, so there were a lot of connectivity issues. McDonald says, “It was just not pretty. It’s a miracle we generated an audience to prove the concept.” The Studio 4000S allows for graphics for the score and player names, plus it produces slow-motion replays. McDonald adds, “It lets us have that feature that heightens the drama and keeps viewers engaged. The software is so easy to use. It’s made a huge difference for us.” WGTD covers one game per week during the regular season, plus playoffs. It a local high school with a communications program to coordinate paid student production crews. During the year, students also produce local commercials that run during breaks in the sports coverage. McDonald said the student crews gain valuable experience, while the local student athletes get recruiting footage that looks professional.
Cool Talk Radio Sales Opportunity. In New York City, Salem Media Group is seeking an account executive for radio and digital sales. Here’s the ad: Salem Media Group is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer” and the legendary WMCA “AM570/102.3FM The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.” Compensation is commensurate with degree of experience and skills. This is a fabulous career opportunity for the right individual with one of the finest broadcasting companies in America. Ideal candidate has a proven track record of success with radio and digital sales. Interested candidates should apply online and email cover letter and resumes to Jerry Crowley’s attention.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Jon Manley is named APD and music director for Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago. The Chicagoland native returns home from his most recent position with Entercom’s alt-rock KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End.” Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren comments, “The beauty of ‘101 WKQX’ is that when a position becomes available, the talent lines up. Jon epitomizes the type of talent we were looking for. He’s smart, has an outstanding knowledge of music, and is a Chicago guy coming home who knows exactly what the audience wants. He’ll be a rock star on the air and an alt rock star working with [program director] Troy Hanson on the product.” Manley will also host the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show…..In Denver, Max Media names Rick Thomas vice president of programming and operations in which he’ll lead rhythmic oldies KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5” and hip hop KFCO “Flo 107.1.” Thomas was most recently operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tampa stations…..Riviera Broadcasting ups Ron “Geronimo” Price to program director for its hot AC stations KMVA, Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona and KZON-FM, Phoenix “Mix 96.9.”…..Pictured below is Dana Cortez, host of “The Dana Cortez Show,” and Déjà Vu, host of the “Déjà Vu Show,” along with listeners and others at the meet-and-greet atop the Empire Hotel in New York City. The event was the culmination of promotions by the two shows that included giving listeners the opportunity to see “Good Morning America” and hear Chance the Rapper at the “GMA Summer Concert Series.”
JVC Media Unveils New ‘Florida Man Radio’ Format. The new format on WDYZ-AM/W288CJ in the Orlando market (licensed to Altamonte Springs and Oviedo, respectively) will feature Shannon Burke and Bubba the Love Sponge, along with Scott Ledger and attorney Justin Clark. JVC Media says “Florida Man Radio” will formally launch in early September 2019 with a live press conference from the JVC Orlando studios hosted by the air staff. JVC Orlando director of programming Len Shackelford says, “This will be a personality-driven talk station focused on Central Florida. There will be NO topics off limits, including topics specifically about our on-air staff. Think sports, politics, pop culture… if you talk about it in your life or on social media, ‘Florida Man Radio 660 AM and 105.5 FM’ will talk about it.” The lineup will be Bubba in morning drive, “Scott Ledger’s Dangerous Conversation” in middays, Shannon Burke in afternoon drive, and attorney Justin Clark’s “You Have Power” from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. JVC CEO John Caracciolo adds, “This is exactly what radio needs right now – fresh, new, funny, and local – this is ‘Florida Man Radio.’ The vision of a locally based talk station that isn’t afraid to confront the big topics while not taking it too seriously, screams the mantra of JVC. We aren’t afraid to buck the norms – keeping live and local radio working for our clients and listeners, providing great results for clients, and continuing to invest in great programming. I’m thrilled for the future of our stations across the country.”
Bonneville Announces Management Restructuring and Promotions at Seattle Station Group. It was last Friday that Ryan Maguire exited his role as director of news and programming for news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle. Bonneville Seattle Media Group had been quiet about that change but now announces a number of management promotions and duty realignments that includes the elimination of Maguire’s old director of news and programming position. Four new directors have been named: Mike Salk rises from program director of sports KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” to director of programming, overseeing KIRO-FM, KIRO-AM “710 ESPN,” and news/talk KTTH-AM; Tina Sorensen is promoted from KIRO/KTTH sales manager to director of digital, managing both content and revenue for the Bonneville Seattle digital properties; Cathy Cangiano is upped from “710 ESPN” sales manager to director of sales for KIRO-FM, KIRO-AM, KTTH-AM, and Seattle Mariners Radio; Alison Lichtbach is promoted from controller to director of finance, managing the business and operations departments. Current Bonneville Seattle managers whose duties are expanding are: Bryan Buckalew as the KIRO-FM program director; Colleen O’Brien as the KIRO-FM managing editor leading the news department; and Ethan Kelly as sales manager for the KIRO/KTTH sales staff. Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Dave Pridemore says, “These are proven leaders within our organization who are ready for their challenging assignments. They are innovative and prepared to provide guidance as we look to the future of our dynamic and far reaching audio and digital products. This new structure ensures our success in 2020 and beyond and elevates our daily focus on our digital business, which is imperative, as Bonneville Seattle is well positioned in this space to generate significant audience growth and to deliver solid ROI to our clients.”
iHeartMedia Launches New Philly Sports Talk Outlet. The company is flipping WDAS-AM/W273DO from adult hits to sports talk as “FOX Sports – The Gambler” available on 1480 AM, 102.5 FM, 105.3 HD2 and online via iHeartRadio. iHeartMedia says, “The Gambler will feature FOX Sports’ compelling and entertaining brand of sports talk programming including ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd,’ ‘The Dan Patrick Show,’ ‘Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,’ ‘Straight Outta Vegas with RJ Bell,’ and others, as well as ‘The Daily Ticket’ hosted by Sean Brace, owner of phillyinfluencer.com, a well-known local sports website. iHeartMedia Philly SVP of sales Jeff Moore adds, “Whether you’re heading to Atlantic City or one of our four local sports books, we’ll have what you need to keep you informed. It’ll be a great mix of national sports talk icons with the local edge to inform and entertain the gambling audience in a groundbreaking way.”
Satire, Parody and Perspective in the Age of Political Correctness. The co-founder and head writer of The Capitol Steps, the long-running Washington, DC-based political comedy troupe, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Elaina Newport joins the TALKERS founder in a provocative discussion about the changing nature of satire, parody, and the expression of political perspective in the current age of hyper-political correctness. The Capitol Steps, formed in 1981 by a group of newly unemployed senate staffers whose bosses had lost re-election, is a non-partisan equal opportunity offender. 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.
Talk Show Host Wayne Allyn Root Referenced in Four Presidential Tweets. Nationally syndicated, Las Vegas-based talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root played a role in the week’s national conversation when his statement that President Trump “is the best president for Israel in the history of the world. And the Jewish people love him like he is the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God. And then in America, American Jews don’t like him” was Tweeted by the president. This was related to the larger story about the president’s “disloyalty” comment about Jews who vote Democrat. Root’s talk program is syndicated by USA Radio Network and simulcast on Newsmax TV and he became an important facet of the viral story. In another Tweet, Trump shared a segment of Root’s program. Root says of all the attention focused on him, “That was a 24-hours for the record books!”
New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, will be posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC at approximately 4:00 pm ET today (8/23). The new episode titled, “The China Syndrome!” looks back at this past week of August 19-23, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Dana Cheng, senior editor China news, The Epoch Times; Phil Valentine, talk show host, WWTN, Nashville; Gerald Celente, publisher, Trends Journal; Darlene Love, legendary singer/inductee Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; and Victoria Jones, executive director, the DC Radio Company. The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation point for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast hosted by longtime ESPN commentator and award-winning sports columnist Woody Paige is debuting on PodcastOne. “The Woody Paige Podcast” features the sports media personality, known for his trademarked “Around the Horn” chalkboard, as he welcomes sports and entertainment legends for in-depth and news-making conversations. The premiere episode spotlights ESPN’s Adam Schefter and EA Sports designer Clint Oldenburg…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that radio personality Kathy Hart – formerly of the “Eric & Kathy” morning show (with Eric Ferguson) on Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX – is re-locating to Bozeman, Montana for personal and family reasons. Hart left WTMX in 2017 and has been doing fill-in talk host work for Tribune Media’s news/talk WGN-AM. She says she’s open to working in radio in Montana but has nothing lined up…..SiriusXM is presenting 77 live college football games over the period of August 24 through September 2 as the 2019 season begins. The opening week schedule features games with every team from the Associated Press Top 25 poll, including #1 Clemson vs. Georgia Tech, #2 Alabama vs. Duke, #3 Georgia vs. Vanderbilt, and the season’s first Top 25 matchup: #11 Oregon vs. #16 Auburn.
U.S.-China Trade War Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 19-23. The ongoing tariff battle was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Hong Kong Protests. Coming in at #3 were the fears of a recession, followed by the 2020 presidential race at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top 10 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.
The Best of Beasley. Pictured above are the 2019 winners of Beasley Media Group’s “Outstanding Achievement Awards.” The presentations were made during a special dinner that took place at the company’s annual management meeting at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia on Wednesday (8/21). From l-r are: BMG Philadelphia chief engineer Keith Smeal (Technology Award winner), BMG Philadelphia director of sales Paul Blake (DOS of the Year), BMG spoken word brand manager & WBZ-FM program director Mike Thomas (Program Director of the Year), BMG Boston VP/market manager Mary Menna (Market Manager of the Year), BMG CEO Caroline Beasley, BMG COO/EVP Brian Beasley, BMG president Bruce Beasley, BMG New Jersey RVP/market manager Dan Finn, BMG Tampa VP/market manager Steve Triplett, BMG Philadelphia VP/market manager Joe Bell, and WMMR-FM/WMGK-FM program director & BMG rock format brand manager Bill Weston. Photo: Chorus Photography
Cool News/On-Air Opportunity. NRG Media – Lincoln is looking for a news anchor/reporter who can double as morning co-host for Lincoln’s #1 news/talk station. KLIN says, “This is your chance to inform and entertain during morning drive in Nebraska’s Capital City and Home of the Cornhuskers! The show is loaded with personality, and we talk about today’s issues in a fun and entertaining environment. If you are energetic, love radio, are passionate about local news, know how to enterprise, can connect with the community, are able to create compelling & award-winning content, we want to talk with you! You will share the mic with a talented group of professionals who all love radio and each of its digital platforms. We want someone who wants to be part of our amazing morning show, knows news and who can interact with our hosts and listeners. Your daily work will include preparing, producing and editing news, delivering that news on-air, and posting it online, as well as general reporting duties and reporting live from the field as needed. In addition, you will co-host KLIN’s popular morning drive program. The ideal candidate will have a degree from a four-year institution and at least one year of radio and/or other relevant media experience or and equivalent combination of education and experience. If you have excellent announcing and production skills, excellent computer skills using Office products, Adobe Audition and WordPress, and radio systems like NexGen Digital Broadcast, send us your resume! NRG Media is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.”
PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian turns his eye to the music radio world in this analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 PPM survey. Just over half of the adult hits stations on our panel see their weekly, 6+ AQH share rise (52%), while 43% dip and 5% remain the same, compared to their numbers in the June 2019 survey. Comparing July 2018 to July 2019, although 55% of the stations on our panel are down, winners include KBPA, Austin (+1.7); KJAQ, Seattle (+1.6); WLKO, Charlotte (+1.4); and WRRK, Pittsburgh (+1.3). KBPA, Austin “103.5 Bob FM” was the only adult hits station to rank #1 (6+) in its respective market in July. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new morning drive show is launching on Cumulus Media’s CHR WHTS, Grand Rapids “105.3 HOT FM.” “The Gray and Green Show” – starring Rachael Gray and Jackie Green (pictured here) debuts on Monday (8/26). Cumulus calls it “the first and only morning radio show in West Michigan presented by two female hosts.” Gray has been hosting the morning show on WHTS for the past seven years. Green joins her from the station’s afternoon drive program. Green previously served with crosstown alternative WGRD-FM and as a feature reporter for WXMI-TV “FOX 17.” WHTS program director Lori Bennett comments, “We are so excited to present this one-of-a-kind show to the West Michigan audience! Rachael and Jackie are two of the most dynamic personalities I’ve ever worked with and their emotional connection as part of the West Michigan community is unmatched. Sure, they’re about ‘girl power,’ but actually, it’s ‘people power.’”…..Beasley Media Group’s country WKLB, Boston “Country 102.5” announces that actor and musician Kiefer Sutherland will serve as the official celebrity host of the eleventh “Country 102.5 Street Party” featuring headliner Maren Morris with performances by Mitchell Tenpenny, Lindsay Ell, Ryan Hurd, Matt Stell, and Jordan Davis. WKLB brand manager David Corey states, “This is our best lineup to date. Maren is one of the hottest acts in the country format and beyond! It’s a privilege to have her headline the show!”…..iHeartMedia names Jerry Houston program director for iHeartRadio’s “PRIDE Radio, the Pulse of LGBTQ America,” effective October 1. iHeartMedia Northern California Region SVP and PRIDE Radio general manager Don Parker says, “Jerry has been an integral part of PRIDE Radio for many years as our assistant program director and I’m thrilled to elevate him to program director of this important brand. With his dedicated focus on the PRIDE brand, we have the opportunity to grow this well-established network further, expanding our LBGTQ+ offerings with podcasting, community events and meaningful partnerships.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is offering two exclusive pop and rock Labor Day Weekend music specials hosted by singer/actress Sabrina Carpenter and Incubus lead singer Brandon Boyd. “Last Big Weekend of Summer,” hosted by Carpenter, is a four-hour CHR special. “Last Official Weekend of Summer,” hosted by Boyd, is a four-hour rock special that looks back at the big summer festivals and provides a preview of upcoming fall concert tours. Both are designed to air from Saturday, August 31 through Monday, September 2.
KBME, Houston Drops Josh Innes Morning Show. Houston Chronicle writer David Barron reports that iHeartMedia has dropped sports talk radio host Josh Innes from its morning drive daypart on sports talk KBME, Houston. Innes’ info has been scrubbed from the KBME website and Barron reports that Innes tweeted yesterday that his show was dropped for “budget reasons” and “I do not have a show anymore.” Innes joined KBME in October of 2016 after returning to Houston from Philadelphia where he had served with sports talker WIP for three years. Barron reports that ratings appear to have been the cause for Innes’ departure, writing, “Innes’ ratings have mirrored those of the station and of Houston sports radio in general. KBME’s morning drive audience share as of the most recent Nielsen Audio ratings ranked 25th among all Houston radio stations among men 25-54, the key demographic for sports radio, and trailed the station’s competitors at KILT and KFNC ‘97.5 FM’.”
Bubba the Love Sponge Sues Cox Media Group, Personality Mike Calta, and Former Cast Member Matthew Lloyd. Florida-based talk radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, is suing Cox Media Group for anti-competitive actions and two individuals for allegedly playing roles in a purported conspiracy to ruin his show. The complaint, filed in Pinellas County, Florida alleges that Cox, along with the help of its own WHPT-FM, Tampa show host Mike Calta and former Bubba show staffer Matthew “Spice Boy” Lloyd, worked to destroy Bubba’s show that was airing at that time on Beasley Media Group’s then-WBRN-FM, Tampa. Bubba alleges Cox took actions that caused Nielsen Audio to ultimately sue him for damages due to allegations of ratings tampering. (Nielsen and Bubba reached a confidential settlement over that matter.) Bubba’s complaint says that the result of the tampering allegations was Nielsen not listing WBRN-FM’s ratings in October of 2015, thereby hurting the station’s ability to sell his show and that ultimately led to Beasley dropping Bubba’s show in Tampa and Fort Myers. Bubba also alleges that the defendants stole and leaked to Gawker a video of pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan having sex with Bubba’s then-wife. Hogan sued and settled with Gawker, netting a large award that forced Gawker out of business. The motive for all of this alleged behavior on the part of the defendants is Bubba’s success at the expense of former employer Cox, its station and staffers. Bubba is seeking damages (over $15,000) to be determined at a jury trial.
New Director of Sales at Entercom’s Greenville Station Group. Radio sales pro Devon van der Merwe is named director of sales for Entercom’s Greenville, South Carolina station group that includes news/talk WORD-FM “WYRD-FM”, sports talk WORD-AM “ESPN Upstate” and five music-formatted stations. Devon van der Merwe moves up from her general sales manager position. Entercom Greenville SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi states, “Devon has displayed an exceptional ability to lead sales efforts since she joined the Greenville market, and I am fully confident in her continued success. Under Devon’s direction, our sales teams will continue to thrive and reach new milestones.”
KIRO-AM, Seattle Partners with ‘Coaching Boys Into Men.’ The Bonneville sports talk station announces it is partnering with the local nonprofit Coaching Boys Into Men to focus on the goal of helping teach student athletes – as well as school coaches and athletic department leadership – to learn youth leadership skills, prevent domestic violence, and achieve healthy relationships. KIRO-AM program director Mike Salk says, “We are excited to partner with an organization that makes such an important difference in our community. Coaching Boys Into Men has a unique ability to positively affect young people by helping them grow as leaders, while also changing long-term views on consent and respect.”
TALKERS News Notes. The NHL’s Washington Capitals and Entercom sports talker WJFK-FM, Washington renew their deal for the station to serve as the flagship for radio play-by-play of the team’s games. Caps games will also air on the company’s RADIO.COM platform. Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Phil Zachary states, “We are thrilled to bring Capitals hockey to D.C.’s top-rated sports station ‘106.7 The Fan.’ In addition to all games, the station will provide fans with full coverage of their favorite team through premiere programming on air, online and on demand.”…..The Elvis Duran Group and SportsGrid are broadcasting live from this weekend’s National Fantasy Baseball Championships (3/15-16) via their Fantasy Sports Radio Network (FNTSY Radio). The broadcast team includes FNTSY Radio host Gregg Sussman, sports analyst and author of the best-selling Fantasy Black Book series Joe Pisapia, and former Major League Baseball pitcher Brad Ziegler…..Seven Bucks Productions, Andrew Jenks Entertainment, and Cadence13 announce the launch of a new interview series on the hit podcast “What Really Happened?” Written and hosted by documentarian Andrew Jenks, in the interview series he examines and contextualizes famous figures and historical or widely-publicized events while discovering untold stories and unraveling newfound narratives…..Cumulus Media is adding “The BOB & TOM Show” to the morning drive daypart at classic rock WKXS-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina “94.5 The Hawk,” effective Monday (3/18).
Manafort Sentenced/Trump-Russia Investigation, College Entrance Cheating Scheme, Boeing 737 Maxs Grounded, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/O’Rourke Joins Race, Clinton Email Matter Testimony, Brexit Chaos, Bomb Cyclone Hits U.S., NFL Signings, and NBA and NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13). Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort receives his second sentence and the related Trump-Russia investigation; the college entrance cheating scheme; the U.S. grounds Boeing 737 Maxs after pressure following the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Beto O’Rourke’s entrance into the race; just-revealed testimony from former FBI attorney Lisa Page that the agency was directed by the Obama DOJ not to charge Hillary Clinton in the email server investigation; the political chaos in England over Prime Minister Theresa May’s failed Brexit plan; the Mountain West and Midwest hit with bomb cyclone weather effects; the trades and free agent signings in the NFL; and NBA and NCAA basketball 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 Philadelphia, Entercom announces that former country WXTU personality Frank Lario is joining current morning host Marilyn Russell for the new “Frank and Marilyn Morning Show” on classic hits WOGL. The duo debut on Monday (3/18)…..On-air pro Sean Strife moves from iHeartMedia’s Cedar Rapids, Iowa CHR KOSY “HOT 95.7” to the company’s Madison CHR WZEE “Z104” where he’s the new afternoon host and APD/MD…..Air personality Audrey Constant is named afternoon personality at CodComm’s adult contemporary WKFY, East Harwich, Massachusetts (Cape Cod). She was most recently with Plymouth Rock Broadcasting’s AC WPLM-FM, Plymouth and takes over for Rob Walker…..Cumulus Media is adding “The BOB & TOM Show” to the morning drive daypart at classic rock WKXS-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina “94.5 The Hawk,” effective Monday (3/18).
Cumulus Media Preliminary Q4 2018 Net Revenue Up Near 5%. The company will not release its actual fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data until March 18. But Cumulus Media filed an 8-K form with the Securities Exchange Commission on Monday (2/25) that indicates it expects net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 to be up in the 4.5% to 5.2% range. For the full year of 2018, it expects net revenue to be in the $1.14 billion neighborhood – basically flat compared to the full year of 2017 when net revenue was $1.135 billion. Cumulus notes that these preliminary unaudited results are not adjusted to reflect the impact of the recently announced divestiture of six stations to Educational Media Foundation. That would have lopped $23 million to $25 million off the full-year net revenue figure. The filing also reveals that the company is pacing flat for the first quarter of 2019.
Henry Lake to Host Late Nights on WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. The Entercom Twin Cities news/talker adds a new, late-night show to its program schedule hosted by Henry Lake. WCCO-AM’s new “Lake Night” will debut on March 11. Lake comes to Entercom from his most recent gig as an air personality at the company’s sports talk KCSP, Kansas City. He’s served with Upper Midwest sports talk giant KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN” as a host in the past. Entercom Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “The introduction of a new late-night show allows for our station to better serve our listeners as they are winding down their days. We are thrilled to welcome Henry to our broadcast team in the Twin Cities and look forward to his fresh perspective on the daily events and topics that matter most.”
KIRO-AM, Seattle Announces New Programming Additions. Seattle sports talk KIRO-AM is adding air personalities Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps to the evening “Seattle Sports At Night” show hosted by Curtis Rogers. Rost is a reporter, website content provider and Seattle Seahawks insider for the Bonneville station and former Seahawk Heaps joined KIRO-AM last year as a part-time host and weekly guest on the “Bob, Groz, and Tom” midday show. KIRO-AM program director Mike Salk says, “Curtis has done an incredible job hosting this spot solo, but we are excited to add Stacy and Jake as hosts as well. Stacy has made a huge impact on our building and we are thrilled to add a regular hosting spot to her 710Sports.com writing duties. Jake has been a huge contributor as a guest host, football analyst, and digital/video star.” Curtis Rogers is also part of the new weekend show, “Seattle Sports Saturday,” with co-hosts Lydia Cruz and Taylor Jacobs that debuts on March 2 in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.
iHeartMedia Acquires Audio Tech Firm Radiojar. The press release makes no mention of the financial aspects of this deal but iHeartMedia says that, through its subsidiary RCS, it will acquire Greece-based Radiojar Information Technology S.A. – a firm whose technology is “a centralized, cloud-based audio playout platform.” The release further states that “with Radiojar’s sophisticated cloud-based assets and engineering, iHeartMedia and other RCS clients, will now have a platform to easily combine or parse individual audio elements such as DJ voice tracks, music, and broadcast spots to create, manage, distribute, and monetize streams, podcasts, and other audio content in real-time from anywhere.” iHeartMedia COO Rich Bressler says, “We recognize that broadcast radio has a very unique set of programming tools that make listening a smoother and more enjoyable experience. These new capabilities will allow for the seamless nature that has only been available on radio to transition to other audio mediums including digital stations and podcasts.”
SiriusXM Talk Host Dean Obeidallah Sues Neo-Nazi for $1 Million. According to a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Muslim-American comic and SiriusXM talk show host Dean Obeidallah is suing neo-nazi Andrew Anglin – founder of The Daily Stormer – for $1 million for falsely accusing him of being the mastermind behind the May 2017 terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Obeidallah is asking the court for $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages from Anglin. Obeidallah’s complaint charges that Anglin libeled him by falsely naming him as mastermind of the attack and went so far as to plant fake Twitter messages claiming responsibility that appeared to come from Obeidallah’s account.
TALKERS News Notes. This week’s summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is being covered extensively by the news networks. ABC News is broadcasting from Hanoi, Vietnam and will present coverage and analysis via ABCNews.com (in addition to regularly scheduled TV coverage) and ABC News Radio will provide extensive coverage anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky with reporting by correspondent Karen Travers, including special reports and one-minute status reports. The “Start Here” podcast will provide a special episode focusing on the summit…..Westwood One News is also in Hanoi for the summit. White House correspondent Bob Costantini is there providing dozens of live custom reports for affiliates, appearing on Westwood One long-form news and talk programs, and reporting on Westwood One newscasts.…..Bay Area progressive news/talk KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910” adds “The Big Interview” with Dan Rather to its program schedule. The show is being produced by AXS TV and is distributed by KMG Networks…..According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, two new podcasts are coming from radio broadcasters in the Windy City. First, WSCR “The Score” personality Julie DiCaro is launching “The Score: Behind the Headlines.” The first subject will be the 1993 murder of Michael Jordan’s father, James. Second, urban talk WVON morning host Maze Jackson and Salem Radio Network/WIND host Joe Walsh are producing a weekly podcast titled, “Uncomfortable Conversations,” an extension of their recent co-hosted live events of the same name…..Crossover Media Group is taking on ad sales responsibilities for the new podcast from Dr. Laura Schlessinger called, “Dr. Laura Call of the Day.” CMG is also handling ad sales and sponsorship support for the show’s social-media channels.
Trump-Kim Summit, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cohen Testimony, Border Wall/Emergency Declaration Vote, Kraft Arrest-Sex Trafficking Issue, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Venezuela Violence, Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandals, Sunday Night’s Oscars Show, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25). This week’s meeting in Vietnam of President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s scheduled congressional testimony; the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the effort to stop President Trump’s emergency declaration to pay for it; the arrest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on prostitution soliciting charges and the larger issue of human sex trafficking; the Democrats hoping to challenge Trump in the 2020 election; the violence in Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro tries to remain in power; Pope Francis addresses the numerous sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church; Sunday night’s Academy Awards telecast; and NBA and NCAA basketball 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. Programming pro Kashon Powell is promoted to vice president of programming for Radio One’s Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia markets. She’s been serving as operations manager for the six-station DC cluster while programming its urban contemporary WMMJ as well as the syndicated “Russ Parr Morning Show” and “Love and R&B with John Monds” programs. Radio One CEO David Kantor says, “I’m delighted to have Kashon in this position. Not only has she proved to be an outstanding programmer with the huge success of our Washington cluster, but it will be great to have the voice of a woman, our primary demographic, among our senior programmers. I know Kashon’s contributions to the company will be enormous.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country WRTB, Rockford, Illinois “95.3 The Bull” promotes afternoon drive personality Gordon Mays to assistant program director.
Tribune Terminates Sinclair Merger Agreement. Included in our story yesterday which dealt with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s second-quarter earnings report (Talkers.com, 8/8) was the following quote from Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley who addressed the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company: “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” It was announced early today that not only is the marriage between the two entities over, Tribune Media is suing Sinclair Broadcast Group for breach of contract; the suit was filed today (Thursday, 8/9) in Delaware Chancery Court. The proposed $3.9 billion deal hit a snag when the FCC designated it for a hearing, a red flag that the transaction would most likely not be approved. Last month, FCC chair Ajit Pai raised “serious concerns” about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70% of U.S. households. Tribune is charging that, “In an effort to maintain control over stations it was obligated to sell, Sinclair engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the FCC over regulatory requirements; refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval; and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay – all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations.” Tribune further claims, “Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement; but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.” According to Tribune chief executive officer Peter Kern, “In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever. This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the merger agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.” Revenue for Tribune’s only radio property – Chicago news/talk WGN – is not broken out in the company’s second-quarter financials. “Notwithstanding our disappointment regarding the outcome of the [Sinclair] transaction,” Kern remarks, “we are extremely pleased with our second quarter results, which were very strong. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA grew 69% versus the prior year period and 84% for the first half of the year. While net core advertising revenues declined 6%, we were able to drive consolidated revenue growth of 6% when excluding the impact of barter revenues, with solid growth in retransmission and carriage fees revenues and political advertising revenue. Our disciplined focus on cost management drove programming expenses down 29% and corporate and other cash expenses, excluding transaction costs, down 19% over the prior year period.”
Rumor Becomes Fact: Warner Is WW One’s Lead MNF Analyst. Just this past Tuesday (Talkers.com, 8/7), we referenced a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, hinting that Hall of Fame QB and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner would join Kevin Harlan as Westwood One’s lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” and the Super Bowl. It is now official: Warner’s first broadcast will be in a little over four weeks (9/10), when the Oakland Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams. He becomes only the fourth regular “MNF” analyst for Westwood One since its broadcast partnership with the NFL began 40 years ago. The others were Boomer Esiason (2000-2017); Matt Millen (1996-2000); and Hank Stram (1978-1984, 1987-1995). Ever since he retired from the NFL, Warner insists he has “been blessed” with tremendous broadcasting opportunities. “I am grateful to Westwood One for this opportunity and for believing in me with this role. The bar has been set extremely high by Boomer Esiason and others. I look forward to grabbing the torch, working hard, and maintaining the sense of excellence that has become synonymous with Westwood One. I also look forward to continuing my relationship with Kevin Harlan, who I believe is one of the best play-by-play people in the business.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We have been proud partners of the NFL for more than four decades and our best-in-class broadcasts feature the brightest stars from the league. Kurt Warner is a keen observer with a great eye and unique analysis. He adds another layer of authenticity, knowledge, and expertise to our roster. He is an incredible asset for our loyal and passionate listeners and engaged advertisers.” Westwood One Sports executive vice president/executive producer Howard Deneroff adds, “To have a player, and person, of Kurt Warner’s caliber become our lead analyst is incredibly exciting. We look forward to Kevin and Kurt working together full-time. We are confident that they will continue the legacy of great Westwood One broadcast teams which have informed and entertained listeners on Monday nights for decades.” A 2017 inductee in the pro football Hall of Fame, Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, leading two different franchises (St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals) to Super Bowl appearances. He was the NFL’s MVP in 1999 and 2001. He and wife, Brenda, created “The First Things First Foundation,” dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, and “Treasure House,” which provides a supportive living environment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Multi-Year TuneIn, Cumulus Deal Expands Streaming Partnership. The arrangement between the two principals calls for streaming of Cumulus Media’s 441 stations in 90 markets, as well as shows on co-owned Westwood One Podcast Network on the TuneIn platform. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner remarks, “We understand that consumers engage with content across multiple platforms and devices. We put our listeners first, and we have made it our mission to provide a modern and platform-agnostic listening experience. Expanding our partnership with TuneIn takes our distribution and promotional opportunities to the next level, exposing our portfolio of leading stations, shows, and programs to new fans.” TuneIn chief executive officer John Donham states, “As the world’s leader in live digital audio, we are thrilled to provide our listeners access to some of the best live-station programming across sports, news, talk, music, and entertainment, as well as popular podcasts and other on-demand content offered by Cumulus Media. We look forward to a long and successful partnership as we grow the next chapter of the audio business together.” Heretofore, Cumulus Media stations have been available through iHeartRadio, as well as TuneIn.
Salem Media Group Reports Mixed Q2 Results. Second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group increased .2% to $66.3 million; net broadcast revenue rose 2.7% to $50.6 million; and station operating income held steady at $13.3 million. Conversely, operating income fell 84.4% to $1.3 million and net income spiraled from a gain of $1.3 million to a loss of $2.2 million. In addition, EBITDA dropped 40.8% to $6 million and Adjusted EBITDA fell 9.4% to $11.2 million. A full-slate of Salem Radio Network talk shows aired on news/talk WBIX, Boston but, in early-January (2018), Salem Media Group agreed to sell “The Buzz” for $685,000 to the International Church of the Grace of God, which – through an LMA – flipped the station to a Portuguese format; the sale was finalized approximately two months ago (6/20). The second-quarter included a $5.7 million net loss on the sale of stations in Omaha and land in Covina, California. Salem Media Group projects third-quarter total revenue to be flat or up 2% from 2017’s $65.4 million.
Round Three of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.
TALKERS News Notes. Under newly-signed five-year deals, Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will return calling Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games. The NHL team’s radio broadcasts are split between Rogers sports talk CJCL “Sports Net 590 The Fan” and Bell Media sports talk CHUM “TSN Radio 1050.” Per The Toronto Sun, the deal is for radio only. This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt award winner – Bowen – has been calling Toronto Maple Leafs games since 1982; Ralph has been on the broadcasts since 1997 ….. Morning driver John Hines is retiring at the end of the month from heritage Entercom Minneapolis news/talk WCCO. Newly-arrived (from Entercom Philadelphia) operations manager Andy Bloom is holding on-air auditions to fill that upcoming “News Radio 830” vacancy. In a station memo obtained by City Pages, Bloom writes, “My only interest is getting someone that will generate an audience. The fact is, the majority of news/talk radio listeners are center-right.” ….. Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown is named co-host of KNBR’s pregame and postgame NFL coverage. This marks the 14th year of 49ers football on the Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk outlet. Program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Dennis Brown to the KNBR family. Dennis brings a Super Bowl champion’s perspective to our coverage, and he will maintain a regular analyst role throughout the week during our primetime talk programming. The addition of Dennis further strengthens KNBR’s NFL roster as the strongest in all of sports radio.” Brown, who was a 49ers television analyst from 2012 – 2017, adds, “As a Bay Area native, I’m very excited to be joining KNBR’s game-day broadcast team. I’ve listened to KNBR for decades and jumped at the opportunity to join their pregame and postgame coverage.” Brown was the 47th overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft and played all seven years of his career for San Francisco, including 1995, when he was part of the team that won Super Bowl XXIX ….. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Dave Wyman is named radio analyst for the NFL’s Seahawks on Bonneville-owned flagships KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” and news/talk KIRO-FM “Radio 97.3.” The former linebacker (Seahawks and Denver Broncos) will work alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Raible during the regular season; Jen Mueller and John Clayton return as sideline reporters ….. Cleveland-based podcast production and radio syndication network Front Porch Media Network acquires Pit Pass Media Group, producers of weekly two-hour motorcycle racing podcast “Pit Pass Moto,” which has had 785,015 episode downloads in the last four years. Front Porch chief executive officer Michael DeAloia notes, “We look forward to enhancing the brand and building new content. We continue to concentrate on building a dynamic and engaging podcast portfolio. ‘Pit Pass Moto’ is a prestigious podcast and one that merits additional resources and investment.” The podcast’s partner and guest host Ed Kuhlenkamp remarks, “We are excited about the Front Porch Media acquisition and what it means for the show’s fans. We believe Front Porch Media has the resources required to take the ‘Pit Pass Moto’ brand to the next level.”
Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.
Mueller Investigation; Ohio Special Election/Primaries; Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/8). The Robert Mueller probe; the special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfires and their possible causes; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/8), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Summer Camp,” a two-day, outdoor music concert showcasing the different sounds of alternative rock, will be held this Saturday (8/11) and Sunday (8/12) at Redmond, Washington’s Marymoor Park. Entercom Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End” hosts the tenth annual event, which will feature – among others – AWOLNATION, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Manchester Orchestra, Robert DeLong, and Elle King. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Pearl Jam’s “Home Fund” to fight homelessness in Seattle. The “Home Fund” is part of the Vitalogy Foundation, which supports the efforts of non-profit organizations and their work in the fields of community health, the environment, arts and education, and social change ….. Changes at Cumulus Media Syracuse find CHR WNTQ “93-Q The #1 Hit Music Station” music director/afternoon drive talent Rick Roberts boosted to assistant program director/digital content manager, while production director Joey Walker takes over as “93-Q” mid-day host/digital content manager for alternative WAQX “95-X” and rock WXTL “105.9 The Rebel.” Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “We are pleased to promote from within. In these new roles, both Rick and Joey will apply valuable fresh perspective to market leader ’93-Q.’ Rick assumes all APD duties, along with digital content oversight/management and the afternoon-drive air shift. Joey brings talent and enthusiasm to the ’93-Q’ midday slot. Both will continue to develop new opportunities for us in the digital and social media realm.” ….. Former 12-year vice president of operations for Rubber City Radio Akron’s WQMX “94.9 Your Station – Your Country,” Sue Wilson Cordle, restarts her voiceover business with Sue Wilson Creative. She previously was Cleveland adult contemporary WDOK’s director/programming for 12 years; a programming consultant for McVay Media; and director/programming of Salem Cleveland contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” and co-owned Christian talk WHKW “AM 1220 The Word.” ….. In conjunction with the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), Kizart Media Partners (KMP) will present the 18th annual “Power of Urban Radio Forum” October 4th and 5th in Washington, DC. This year’s National Service awardee, Procter & Gamble chief business officer Marc Pritchard, will be the keynote speaker. KMP founder/managing director Sherman Kizart notes, “We continue the tradition of bringing together influential marketers and advertising agencies to discuss the incomparable value that the African-American market and urban radio bring as key communications elements. The event coincides with NABOB’s 42nd annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference. NABOB and PURF conference registrations are $200 for members; $400 for non-members ….. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder is first to report that, sometime next year, legendary “Windy City” programmer/on-air talent Tommy Edwards will publish his memoir, which will feature stories of Edwards’ 54-year radio career. Highlights will surely include his time working with the iconic Larry Lujack and moonlighting as public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls. Four years ago, Edwards retired from CBS Radio’s classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (now Entercom-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams”) ….. Grammy-nominated country artist Cam will serve as the first host of Slacker Radio’s “Women Crush Everyday” (#WCE Country), a channel devoted to introducing and elevating female country artists. “Women Crush Everyday” will feature commentary and playlist selections from ladies in the music industry. Slacker’s country format captain Jess Wright declares, “We have amazingly talented women making music in Nashville and they deserve to be heard. In 2017, more than 97% of the artists who appeared on the year-end country top 40 were male. This doesn’t reflect the quality of music created by women – it reflects a lack of support from the gatekeepers of country music who believe that women have limited commercial appeal. Through Slacker, we can bring the music of female country artists directly to our audience, curated by the people who are most passionate about it – the women in Nashville’s music industry.” ….. Interim general manager of Bellevue Community College-owned KBCS, Seattle – Carol Handley – is named director of music programming at Friends of 88.5 FM’s KNKX in the same market and will begin her new duties one week from next Monday (8/20). Director of content Matt Martinez notes, “Carol has proven success in building and nurturing teams and on-air talent; an entrepreneurial spirit; and a love of storytelling. With her deep roots in the Seattle music scene, I am confident she will redouble our commitment to supporting this vital and vibrant community.” Handley succeeds Nick Francis, who is retiring after 13 years in that position. In Seattle’s July 2018 Nielsen Audio PPM report, KNKX ranks #14, dropping the six-tenths it gained in June (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+).
Rod Shares Red Roses With Dresdale. During his interview with ABC Radio‘s Andrea Dresdale (r), one of the most prolific pop star interviewers in radio, the ageless Rod Stewart (l) discussed his new album “Blood Red Roses” and his headlining tour with Cyndi Lauper.
Missouri Ex-Pol Gets Sunday Night Show on KFTK-FM, St. Louis. KFTK-FM, St. Louis brings former Missouri Speaker Tim Jones aboard to host a weekly program about local, state and national politics. The Tim Jones show will air Sundays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on “FM NewsTalk 97.1.” A press release says Jones will “draw from his political knowledge and experience gained from serving as a state representative and Speaker of the Missouri House.” He comments, “I could not be more excited to combine the skills I have obtained from my many talented colleagues at ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1’ with the unique knowledge I have of national and local politics and public policy, gained by serving at the one of the highest levels of government, to create a brand-new, cutting-edge weekly radio product.” Jones has served as a guest host for the station’s “Allman in the Morning,” Marc Cox, and Randy Tobler shows.
Compass Media Networks Acquires Yamanair Creative. Though the terms of the sale are not available, Compass Media Networks announces it has acquired the assets of Yamanair Creative – which operates the Cash-by-Creative and SPECByte services. Company founder and CEO Yaman Coskun will continue to head the business along with its management team. Yamanair Creative was founded in 2000 and a press release indicates provides services to radio groups including: Alpha Media, Beasley Broadcast Group, CBS Radio, Cherry Creek Radio, Cromwell Broadcasting, Connoisseur Media, Entercom Communications, Hubbard Radio, Saga Communications, Townsquare Media, Urban One and more. The company provides quick turnaround of spec spots for account executives and full-blown creative. Coskun comments, “Peter Kosann is a smart and passionate visionary. We both love, respect and believe in radio. After 10 years of flying solo, it was time for Yamanair to soar to new heights with the right partner. Compass Media Networks and Yamanair are a perfect match. Inevitably, both Compass Media Networks and Yamanair clients will benefit greatly from this merger of vision and resources.”
DGital Media to Launch ‘Book Tour’ Podcast with John Grisham. The partnership between DGital Media and Book Tour LLC is resulting in the development of the “Book Tour with John Grisham” podcast. A press statement suggests the weekly podcasts “will be a first of its kind foray into the lives of some of the greatest writers and media personalities of our time, all in conversation with one of the world’s most compelling and popular authors.” DGital Media CEO Spencer Brown says, “It is an honor for us to work with John and his team on this innovative series, which we think can be a model for elite media members and personalities going forward. This type of rare access in such a unique setting is what consumers crave and is a continued growing aspect of what we are able to provide as the leader in the on-demand audio space.” “Book Tour With John Grisham” will begin in conjunction with Grisham’s national tour for his new novel, Camino Island.
Sports Talk Personality Marc James Joins NESN. Sports talk personality Marc James joins cable’s Boston-based New England Sports Network as an anchor and reporter. James has worked in the radio end of the sports media biz, most recently as a weekend and fill-in host at CBS Sports Radio Network. Prior to that, he was with WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” and WFNZ, Charlotte “610 The Fan.”
John Clayton Exits ESPN; Remains on KIRO-AM, Seattle. Longtime ESPN personality John Clayton is one of the casualties of the recent cuts at the Bristol, Connecticut-based sports media giant. Clayton was a lead analyst for ESPN’s coverage of the NFL for many years. He confirmed via Twitter that his time with ESPN is over. Clayton continues to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon sports talk show on Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle.
TALKERS News Notes. This may never materialize but Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says he’s “looking into” an offer from Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity to guest host his national radio show. This comes from an interview Assange did with CNN. Assange does admit that his asylum status in the Ecuadorian embassy in London could make the offer difficult to arrange…..BizTalkRadio adds three new shows to its network lineup. Joining the network are the Scott Lumley show, “The Price of Business Radio,” and “Wall Street Raw with Mark Leibovit.”…..Radio pro Steve Harmon joins Sheet Happens Prep service in an affiliate relations and content creation role. Harmon has produced WBGG, Miami’s “Paul and Young Ron Morning Show” and co-hosted the “Harmon & Evans Morning Show” at KPLX, Dallas…..Longtime Charlotte radio personality Keith Larson tells TALKERS magazine that the first hour of his daily online radio show is being aired at 12:00 noon on sports talk WZVG, Charlotte “ESPN Charlotte” as the “Lunch Break.”…..On Monday (6/5), public voting begins for favorite radio personalities in two categories to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame on November 2, 2017. The nominees for Music Format On-Air Personality are: Bobby Bones, Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Guy Phillips, and Ryan Seacrest. For Spoken Word On-Air Personality, the nominees are: Mike & Mike, Bill Handel, Joe Madison and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Fans can vote for one personality in each category online at www.radiovote.com. Winners of the two categories will be announced June 26. In addition to the two listener-voting categories, there are four categories being voted on by a panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. For a list of nominees, check out www.radiohof.org…..The podcast of talk host Dr. Ronald Hoffman’s syndicated “Intelligent Medicine” show has surpassed the 4 million download mark…..NBC News and Euronews have closed on a deal in which NBC News is making a significant financial investment in Euronews. NBC News is acquiring 25% of the company, with the funding going to support expanded news coverage and programming across Europe. Media Globe Networks will continue to be the majority shareholder in Euronews. The company’s TV and digital platforms will ultimately be co-branded EuronewsNBC…..WMAL, Washington executive producer Heather Hunter and husband and WBAL, Baltimore midday host Derek Hunter welcome their daughter Quinn Carol Elizabeth Hunter, born on May 22.
Trump’s European Relationships, Paris Climate Deal Status, Trump/Kushner-Russia Investigation/Comey Testimony, Kathy Griffin Trump ‘Beheading,’ Deadly Kabul Bombing, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/31). President Donald Trump’s seemingly fractured relationships with European leaders; President Trump’s intent to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Treaty; the investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Russian agents, tied with looming congressional testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey; the backlash against comic Kathy Griffin for the image of her posing with a prop resembling Trump’s severed head; the bombing that killed 90 people in Kabul, Afghanistan’s diplomatic district; and MLB, NBA, and NHL 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. Some new air personalities join Urban One’s CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now.” Assuming the afternoon drive role is Laura Dickerson, a.k.a. On Air Laura; and joining for the evening show is Amir Diamond. Dickerson’s arrival moves music director Rich Pangilinan, a.k.a. DJ Riddler, moves from PM drive to middays…..Westwood One is celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band album with a special program. The program features producer Giles Martin (Sir George Martin’s son), who mixed the 50th anniversary album, and veteran WLS-FM, Chicago personality Jeff Davis. The two-hour program also features exclusive archive audio from the Fab Four themselves – John, Paul, George, and Ringo. The album was released in the U.S. on June 2, 1967.
Court Victory for Former KYGO, Denver Personality David Mueller in Taylor Swift Suit. The Hollywood Reporter says that Colorado federal judge William Martinez has ruled that David Mueller (who worked at country KYGO as “Jackson” on the morning show) can go ahead with his suit against Taylor Swift for tortious interference, but that the slander claim is being denied. Further, Judge Martinez ruled that Swift must be in attendance at the entire trial. As you know, Swift claims Mueller groped her at a backstage photo op. Mueller was fired by KYGO after the incident. The basis of Mueller’s suit is that Swift and her people interfered with his employment contract by getting him fired for something he maintains he did not do. The trial will begin August 7. See THR story here.