‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ – Day 2. Pictured above is conservative writer and media figure Ann Coulter (left) speaking on the air with Bill Meyer of KMED-AM, Medford, Oregon (right) at the 13th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row, presented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill. This year, 72 talk radio hosts are taking part in the radio row, debating immigration policy, interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, and those who live and work along the Southern border.
WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Talk Host Seth Dunlap to Sue Entercom; Company Brings Police into Anti-Gay Slur Incident. WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans owner Entercom released a statement yesterday (9/25) regarding its investigation into the use of the station’s Twitter account to publish a gay slur about station sports talk host Seth Dunlap on September 10. At the same time, Dunlap’s lawyer – Megan Kiefer – released a long public statement implying that Entercom has not shown Dunlap any proof of its investigation into trying to find the perpetrator and concludes saying they are preparing a suit against Entercom. (Read that in Kevin Allman’s piece in Gambit.) Dunlap has been on leave from the station since September 12. However, Entercom says in its statement, in part: “WWL has completed its investigation into the highly offensive, unauthorized tweet sent from WWL’s Twitter account on September 10, which directed a homophobic slur at Seth Dunlap. WWL conducted this investigation with the assistance of and external digital forensic firm and outside counsel, and expended considerable internal resources both in New Orleans and on our corporate staff. We determined that the most appropriate next step is to involve law enforcement. At this point, the investigation is in the hands of law enforcement and it is not appropriate for us to comment any further on the substance of our findings.” Kiefer says in her statement that Dunlap has taken and passed a polygraph test indicating he is not responsible for the tweet and, in promising the lawsuit, she adds that Dunlap has endured a “history of discrimination” during his eight years with the station.
Alpha Media and Salem Media Group Content to Be Available on Entercom’s RADIO.COM. The content distribution partnerships between Entercom’s RADIO.COM and broadcasting companies Alpha Media and Salem Media Group will put live channels for all of Alpha’s and Salem’s radio stations on the digital platform and provide a destination for the companies’ on-demand audio and podcasts. Entercom’s growth of the RADIO.COM platform beyond hosting just its own content is seen in recent content distribution agreements with CNN, Bloomberg Media, Cox Media Group, and Bonneville. Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “These partnerships further position RADIO.COM as the premiere destination for live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content in markets all across the U.S.” Alpha Media content to be available on RADIO.COM includes livestream broadcasts from 183 stations in 12 markets. Salem Media Group content to be available on the digital platform includes livestreams from their portfolio of 115 radio stations, including 73 stations in the nation’s top 25 markets and 25 stations in the top 10, and over 700 podcasts. Salem Media Group will also partner with RADIO.COM to reach listeners directly and share information about local events, programming and promotions from their portfolio of stations.
‘WOR Live’ at The Cutting Room. Pictured above are WOR, New York personalities and their guests who appeared in the second installment of “WOR Live,” yesterday (9/25) at The Cutting Room in New York City. They had a spirited conversation about some of the day’s top stories, their radio careers, what has changed in radio in recent years, and how news reporting has changed in the wake of 9/11. From left to right are: WABC-TV reporter Toni Yates, WOR personalities Mark Simone, Joe Bartlett, Len Berman, Michael Riedel, Joe Concha, and WABC-TV reporter N.J. Burkett.
Seen and Heard at the NAB/RAB Radio Show. TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay checks in from the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas in which he reports on the “2020 and Beyond: Insights from the Top” session with executives from top radio companies, as well as thoughts about monetizing podcasting and terrestrial radio in the era of media convergence. Read his report here.
TALKERS News Notes. On the same day that e-cigarette manufacturer Juul announced it is suspending all marketing efforts in the wake of the recent deaths being attributed to vaping, Entercom sent an internal email to its sales force that it is no longer accepting advertising for vaping products. Earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency and banned the sale of all vaping products for four months…..The new podcast from Lemonada is titled, “Last Day,” and is hosted by Lemonada co-founder Stephanie Wittels Wachs. The program addresses the opioid crisis – reported to have taken 72,000 lives in the U.S. in 2017 – focusing on the last day of a victim’s life. Wachs lost her brother Harris to opioid addiction. She says, “We’re telling my brother’s story because it’s emblematic of so many stories of people taken too soon by this disease, and we think demystifying one person’s last day and their overall experience will help remove the stigma and shine light on solutions.”…..Season 4 of iHeartRadio’s Original Music Podcast, “Disgraceland” – produced and hosted by Jake Brenan – premieres today (9/26) on the iHeartPodcast Network. iHeartMedia says, “In the first episode of the musical true crime podcast, Brenan covers hip hop legends N.W.A., the self-proclaimed, ‘most dangerous hip hop group in America.’ Other programs this season include and examination of: Led Zeppelin and the dangers of the band’s guitarist, Jimmy Page; the story behind Madonna’s difficult and deeply saddening rise to fame; and even explores Eric Clapton’s drug addiction and his murderous drummer.”
Trump-Ukraine Controversy/Impeachment Inquiry, 2020 Presidential Election, Brexit Chaos, Jacques Chirac Dies, and Joker Screening Threats Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25). The controversy over President Donald Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the Democrats’ move to begin an impeachment inquiry; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the political chaos in Britain over Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy; the death of former French President Jacques Chirac; and the reports of possible threats of violence and public screenings of the new film, The Joker, were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Charlotte Job Opportunity. In the Charlotte, North Carolina market, Entercom is seeking a part-time news anchor for news/talk WBT-AM/FM. The company posts the following job description: “You’re an engaging, experienced on-air personality. You’re a great storyteller. You know how to get to the heart of a story and make it relatable to the listener. You’re never satisfied with knowing just the “Who?, What?, Where?, and When?” of a story; you always seek to know, “Why?” If this sounds like you, News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT Charlotte would like to hear from you.” Get more information and apply here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In New York City, iHeartMedia names Greg T the new co-host for the morning show on hot AC WTKU. The new “Carolina with Greg T in the Morning Show” debuts on October 9. Carolina Bermudez says, “After a summer of having the opportunity to share the studio with some of the best and brightest on-air hosts across the country, it just made sense to welcome my brother Greg T to the KTU family. I couldn’t be happier and can’t wait to welcome him to his new radio home!” Greg T has been a part of the Elvis Duran show for the past 23 years. As he moves across the hall to his new gig, Duran says, “Greg T is a major part of our show’s 25-year success story and I will miss him dearly. We applaud his courage and determination to keep moving forward. I am so proud of him!”…..iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNR, Las Vegas “Sunny 106.5” names AJ Maguire morning drive personality in which he joins the station’s Joanna Baumann for the “AJ and Joanna Morning Show.” iHeartMedia SVP of programming Tony Matteo says, “We’re excited to have AJ anchoring morning drive on ‘Sunny 106.5.’ Adding AJ’s skill as a storyteller and entertainer to the already strong ‘Sunny 106.5’ Las Vegas brand puts the station in the perfect position for growth and success.” Maguire joins the station from Cox Media Group, where he most recently served as the afternoon host for country WWKA and classic hits WMMO in Orlando for the past three years…..Entercom’s hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” names programming pro Jerry McKenna program director, effective September 30. McKenna was most recently with Cape Cod Broadcasting as director of programming. He previously served with Entercom in Springfield and Boston, Massachusetts. Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “I am excited for Jerry McKenna to bring his breadth of knowledge to ‘Star 94.1.’ His insight and experience will be invaluable as we continue to deliver the engaging content Atlanta listeners deserve and expect from our station.”…..Skyview Networks announces “The Dana Cortez Show” is added to the program schedule at Riviera Broadcast Group’s hip hop KKFR-FM, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market). This is the first top 15 market station to add the show to its lineup…..Sun Broadcast Group reports the Michael Baisden show is back on the air in his hometown of Chicago on dance-formatted W236CF, Chicago/W236CG, Bolingbrook “95.1 FM Club Steppin.”…..Townsquare Media Billings, Montana brings Michael Foth aboard as brand manager for classic rock KMHK “103.7 The Hawk.” He says, “Reaching people on digital platforms is something that was only imagined by most terrestrial broadcast companies 10 or 15 years ago. Radio is in the middle of a unique transformation and Townsquare Media is a leader in the industry. I’m excited to be a part of this evolution.”
Serving Local Listeners – A Blueprint for Talk Success
By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent
MEDFORD — If you leave Portland, Oregon and head just over four hours south down Interstate 5, before you reach the California border you’ll drive right into the town of Medford. About 75 miles inland through rugged terrain from the Pacific Ocean, Medford is a small town with a population of 76,000, but is also an economic hub for Southern Oregon and a home for the state’s growing wine industry.
Medford is also the home of KMED-AM (1440), a news/talk station owned by Bicoastal Media and the oldest radio station in Medford. It’s weekday lineup includes syndicated conservatives Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, along with Glenn Beck and Alex Jones. However, what drives the station is their morning show, and Bill Meyer has not only made the morning show his own, he has been able to create a blueprint of how to package a large market type of local show and imprint that on a small market audience, giving the station a very sellable show, while the listeners get the interaction and local flavor they would not get with a nationally syndicated program.
And, he does it all on his own – without a show producer.