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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

| December 1, 2021

Wolkoffs’ Wrongful Termination Suit Against G-Networks Goes to Mediation. Last summer, Danno and Laura Wolkoff sued former employer G Networks LLC in US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division for wrongful termination, seeking $1.2 million in damages. The complaint states that the Wolkoffs were informed by G Networks in late June of this year that the company was accusing them of costing the business some $1.8 million in damages due to “gross negligence” and “gross incompetence” in the performance of their duties as chief development officer and VP of business operations, respectively. The Wolkoffs argue that G Networks failed to offer any “specific conduct constituting alleged grounds for termination for cause or any specific, reasonable measures to cure such conduct, thereby interfering with, and effectively rendering impossible,” their “bargained-for right to cure.” The Wolkoffs sold their company Envision Networks to then-Sun Broadcast Group (at the time headed by Jason Bailey) and entered into employment agreements to serve in the positions noted above. Now, both sides have agreed to stay all case deadlines pending the outcome of private mediation filed by G Networks. That stay is in effect until January 17, 2022, a date by which the parties are ordered to file a joint status report informing the Court of the outcome of the mediation, and if the matter is not resolved, jointly propose revised case deadlines. If the parties are unable to resolve the matter by then, the Court will reset the case deadlines at that time.

Daily Beast: Salem Radio Network Not Bothered by MyPillow Ad Cancellation. According to the Daily Beast, the Salem Radio Network is not upset with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s decision to cease advertising his products on its radio talk shows. As TALKERS magazine reported on Monday (11/29), Lindell criticized SRN and its hosts during his 96-hour livestream “Thanks-a-Thon” last week saying he’s not appeared on any of the SRN programs for a “long, long time” and promised to drop his advertising with the company. Lindell is still actively promoting the “stolen election” theory. Salem SVP and director of spoken word format Phil Boyce tells the Daily Beast the company is not upset with Lindell’s decision. “He has the right if he wants to do that.” Lindell stated that Salem hosts had reached out to him to try to “heal the business partnership,” but Boyce says he’s not aware of any hosts attempting to reconcile with Lindell. He added that Salem hosts don’t operate under content restrictions. “There is no block on any of my hosts from talking about the Supreme Court or anything else. My hosts are not banned from talking about anything.” The Daily Beast asked Boyce if the company hopes that Lindell reconsiders his decision and he replied, “No.”

Beasley Media Group Celebrates 60 Years in Radio Business. Tomorrow (12/2), Beasley Media Group employees across the country will gather to celebrate the company’s official 60th anniversary in broadcasting. The company’s founder George G. Beasley, who passed away in June of this year due to complications from COVID, officially launched the company with the acquisition of his first radio station, WPYB-AM, Benson, North Carolina on December 2, 1961. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our Dad’s commitment to our employees, communities we serve, and the industry was unparalleled and continues to serve as a shining example to all of us as to what is possible through humility, passion and hard work. We are so very proud to continue his vision and pioneering spirit well into the future.” In addition to hosting individual market celebrations, Caroline Beasley is doing interviews with local on-air talent to talk about the history of the company. The stations will also air specially produced on-air messages thanking listeners, advertisers, and local communities for their continued support over the past six decades. Today, Beasley Media Group is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ consisting of 62 radio stations located in 15 markets across the United States, digital operations and an esports division.

KKOB-AM/FM, Albuquerque Raises $28,000 to Fight Hunger. Pictured above (from l-r) are KKOB “96.3 News Radio” personality TJ Trout and radiothon sponsors Shasta Erickson and Robert Gabaldon at the November 18 “3rd Annual Radiothon to Fight Hunger in New Mexico” event. The Cumulus Media station helped raise $27,288 to benefit the Roadrunner Food Bank. Trout says, “Albuquerque has shown once again what a caring and giving community we are. On behalf of Roadrunner Food Bank, I want to thank each and every one of our listeners who participated in our Radiothon and donated so generously. The need here is obvious. And Roadrunner is a shining example of how we can make a difference if we all pull together.” Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry adds, “We’re so honored to be able to give back to our community this year and are consistently humbled by the generosity of our audience. We couldn’t help the Roadrunner Food Bank each year without the people who support our radio station, and we’re so thankful to them.”

TALKERS News Notes. Today, Salem Radio Network personality Charlie Kirk’s interview with Kyle Rittenhouse will air on his SRN-syndicated radio program and as the focus of Kirk’s podcast. During the interview, Rittenhouse shares his candid views on the trial itself, his opinions that his initial legal counsel may have misused funds raised for his defense, and what the future holds for him as a student at Arizona State University. Kirk’s program airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET and his podcast is part of the Salem Podcast Network…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces the nomination period for the 2022 NAB Technology Awards has opened. The awards will be presented at the 2022 NAB Show, to be held April 23 – 27 in Las Vegas. The awards are: Radio and Television Engineering Achievement Awards; The Digital Leadership Award; The Technology Innovation Award; the Best Paper Award. NAB EVP and chief technology officer Sam Matheny says, “These awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that have distinguished themselves by transforming our industry. We are delighted to honor the industry’s technical and engineering achievements at NAB Show.” The deadline for nominations is January 11, 2022. Find out more here…..SiriusXM announces that golf personality David Feherty is joining the company for a new weekly show. The former tour pro-turned-broadcaster will team up with SiriusXM host and fellow former pro John Maginnes to host “Feherty and Maginnes” Monday evenings on the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel. SXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “David’s unique blend of wit and golf wisdom, and his experience from a lifetime in the game, really make him one of a kind. SiriusXM is the perfect platform for his many great stories and the insightful and revealing conversations he’ll have with his guests. We are thrilled to pair him up with John and bring together two terrific personalities who will deliver an entertaining, must-listen show for our listeners.”…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” program hosted by Chris Hill is now heard on Max Media’s business news WGH-AM/W265EF, Norfolk/Virginia Beach.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant, CNN Suspends Chris Cuomo, SCOTUS Abortion Case, Michigan School Shooting, January 6 Investigation, Dr. Oz to Run for Senate, China Military Aggression, and Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/30). The new Omicron coronavirus variant and concerns about its vaccine evasiveness; CNN indefinitely suspends prime time star Chris Cuomo for allegedly working to investigate brother Andrew Cuomo’s accusers; the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments in the Mississippi abortion law case; the deadly school shooting in Michigan that’s taken the lives of three students and wounded eight others; former Donald Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows agrees to cooperate with House investigators in the January 6 Capitol attack; television star Dr. Mehmet Oz announces bid for U.S. Senate as Pennsylvania Republican; China’s ongoing military aggression against Hong Kong and Taiwan; and the trial of accused Jeffrey Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

FOX News Media Seeks Radio Anchor. There’s a full-time news anchor position available with FOX News Media. The company says this New York-based position is as an on-air talent for FOX News Headlines 24/7, Sirius XM Channel 115. In addition to that role, the successful candidate may be asked to anchor on the FOX News Radio affiliate network. As a radio news anchor, you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top-notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a days’ notice. Find out more about this position and apply here.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

| June 18, 2020

KKOB-AM/FM, Albuquerque Names John Summers News Director. Radio news and programming pro John Summers is named news director for Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talk KKOB-AM/FM, Albuquerque. Cumulus says Summers is an award-winning journalist who was most recently brand manager and news director for Saga Communications’ WHCU-AM/FM, Ithaca, New York. Prior to that, he was regional program director and news director for the Northwest News Radio Network and the Washington Ag Network. Cumulus Albuquerque operations manager Jared Hart says, “We are thrilled to welcome John to the News Radio KKOB family. He’s a great fit to lead this iconic Albuquerque station into an exciting new chapter and to help capitalize on our recent expansion of the KKOB brand.” Summers says, “I’m thrilled to become part of the awesome Southwest legend, KKOB. I really appreciate Jeff Berry and Jared Hart’s confidence in my journalistic vision for the giant AM/FM signals involved – and I love New Mexico. This is going to be fun.”

Disruptor Radio LLC Acquires WNTW-AM, Richmond. Virginia media company Disruptor Radio, LLC announces it has closed on the purchase of WNTW-AM and translator W224EB – both licensed to Chester, Virginia in the Richmond market. Disruptor Radio is operated by John Fredericks, whose radio show airs in morning drive on the simulcast and is based at Disruptor’s WJFN-FM, Goochland, Virginia. It’s distributed by the John Fredericks Radio Network. Fredericks says the combination of the three signals “gives JFRN the largest footprint and most coverage in central Virginia.” John Fredericks says, “As of June 17, we have the most dynamic and engaging news/talk network lineup in America right here in central Virginia. Our combined three-stick radio reach now goes to Petersburg in the south, Fredericksburg to the north, west to Charlottesville, southwest to Longwood University in Farmville and east to Newport News and the Northern Neck. We now have a bigger footprint then-rival legacy station WRVA in Richmond and we look forward to the opportunity to offer central Virginia radio listeners an exciting alternative in the news/talk arena.” Fredericks adds he’s not shy about further expansion potential and he’s bullish on the future of talk radio.

Firings at U.S. Agency for Global Media Draw Rebuke from Democrats. The U.S. Senate confirmation of conservative filmmaker Michael Pack and his subsequent firing of four news organization chiefs has drawn the ire of congressional Democrats. According to Edward Wong’s story in The New York Times, those let go on Wednesday evening were: Bay Fang of Radio Free Asia, Jamie Fly of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Alberto M. Fernandez of Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Emilio Vazquez of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and Libby Liu of the Open Technology Fund. The story adds that Pack also “disbanded the bipartisan boards that govern and advise those five organizations. He replaced the members, which are the same across the organizations, largely with Trump administration political appointees, including himself as chairman.” On Monday of this week, Radio Free America director Amanda Bennett and deputy director Sandra Sugawara resigned their positions.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the sports talk format. Obviously, without any sports contests being played since March, the format has suffered, but the downward trend the format experienced in March and April is leveling off. Sixty-two percent of sports talk stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up, led by Bonneville’s KKFN, Denver (+1.0, 3.1share). Comparing May 2019 to May 2020, just 32% of stations are up with 65% down. The year-over-year gainers are led by iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis (+1.8, 5.9 share). No sports talker came close to ranking #1 in its market in May. Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia was the top ranker in the format, finishing at #4 with a 5.9 share. Read Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

John Bolton Book, BLM Protests/Rayshard Brooks Case, Trump Police Reform Order, COVID-19 Statistics/Beijing Outbreak, Aunt Jemima Retired, Presidential Race, China-India Clash, and Return of the NBA Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/17). The controversy and legal battle over former national security adviser John Bolton’s yet-to-be-released book; the Black Lives Matter protests and the officers being charged in the death of Rayshard Brooks; President Trump issues a police reform executive order; the COVID-19 statistics in the U.S., the states seeing increases, and the outbreak in Beijing; the Aunt Jemima brands are retired by PepsiCo; the November presidential election; the deadly clash between China and India over a disputed Himalayan border region; and the NBA prepares to return to action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Scott Herman Elected Chair of Broadcasters Foundation of America. The board of directors of the Broadcasters Foundation of America elects radio executive Scott Herman chair of the charitable organization. Herman served for years with CBS RADIO and Group W and he’s currently CEO of SHH Media Management. He takes over for Dan Mason, who remains on the board of directors. Hearst Television president Jordan Wertlieb is re-elected as vice chair. Additionally, Skyview Networks president and COO Steve Jones is elected to the board. Dan Mason says, “It has been an honor to serve the broadcasting industry as chair of the Broadcasters Foundation, and I look forward to continuing my involvement as a board member of this unique charity that helps our colleagues. I am pleased to turn over the chair seat to Scott, who I know to be both capable and caring. He loves this industry as much as I do and will work tirelessly to help those in our business who need it most.” Herman is a longtime member of the Foundation’s board and has served as vice chair since 2017.

DOUBLE HEADER: ‘Two Men, Two Games’ – Sean Spicer and Colin Cowherd Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. Former White House press secretary and current Newsmax TV host Sean Spicer and FOX Sports Radio/Television host Colin Cowherd are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” In a two-part program titled, “Two Men, Two Games,” Harrison discusses a wide array of current issues with two of the most colorful individuals in talk media focusing on the impact that today’s turbulence is having on media, business, sports, and society. Harrison and Spicer talk about the seismic changes that have taken place in the relationship between the presidency and the press during the Donald Trump administration in addition to ongoing debate over government regulation of social media. Spicer also offers his perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement and offers a few tips on how to approach this president in an interview or ask him questions at a press conference. Harrison and Cowherd (who is ranked number one on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio) discuss the impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns on professional sports, the delicate art of simulcasting a talk show on radio and television, the responsibility team owners have to the fans, as well as a fascinating breakdown on the political leanings of sports talk radio listeners. Don’t miss this power-packed installment of one of the world’s most-respected, media-oriented podcasts. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After last week’s exit from SummitMedia by SVP of programming Beverlee Brannigan, the company announces that Randy Chase is joining the company in the same capacity. SummitMedia says Chase joins the leadership team and will oversee all country music stations. He’ll report to EVP of programming Bill Tanner. SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer states, “Randy’s experience across all formats and his passion to serve our listeners make him an excellent addition to our team. His ability to innovate in our industry and drive consumer engagement are attributes we are particularly excited about.” Chase has served with the Educational Media Foundation as VP of radio for the past seven years. Prior to that he led national country branding and programming for Cox Media Group. Chase will be based in Knoxville and will also serve as program director for country WCYQ, Knoxville “100.3 The Wolf.”…..Hubbard Radio makes changes to the air staff at Chicago hot AC WTMX “101.9 THE MIX.” Eric Ferguson remains in mornings but everything else changes. Sixteen-year afternoon drive personality Kevin “Koz” Koske leaves that daypart and will be director of creative services for both WTMX and sister AC WSHE. He’ll also handle some weekend and fill-in shifts. Taking over afternoon drive is evening host Chris Petlak and midday jock Lisa Allen. Taking over Allen’s midday slot is music director Nikki Chuminatto. Weekend personality Jordan “Dash” Weiss is upped to evening personality…..In Charlottesville, Virginia, Saga Communications lets classic rock WWWV morning host and imaging director Max Hoecker go and replaces his show with the Westwood One syndicated “Bob & Tom” Show…..United Stations Radio Networks announces a new program hosted by Grammy and Emmy award-winning musician Kenny Loggins. Titled, “Kenny Loggins: The Real Thing,” the program will debut at a yet-to-be-finalized date this summer and will be delivered as completely flexible segments allowing stations to build their imaging and music around voice tracks supplied by Kenny Loggins.