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Thursday, October 4, 2012

| October 4, 2012

September PPM Numbers Continued: Highlights of Talk and Sports Stations.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian reports on the September PPM numbers rolling in and writes about the movement of some talk and sports stations.

  • In market # 11 Detroit…this is the second straight month that CBS Radio controls the top four spots; however, country WYCD (+.5 from August) trades places with sports sibling WXYT-FM, which is down one full share.
  • In market # 13 Seattle, Bonneville’s talk KIRO-FM remains in the top three with a slight jump (+.1 from August) to a 4.8 share while sister sports talk KIRO-AM slides (- .4 from August) to a 3.8.
  • In Phoenix – market #14 – Clear Channel’s news/talk KFYI rises nicely one full share to a 5.3 while Bonneville’s KTAR-FM slides (- .4 from August) to a 3.2.
  • In market #16 Minneapolis, news/talk WCCO tumbles seven-tenths to 6.4 (#3 to #5).  The last time the CBS Radio talk powerhouse had a 6+ stat that low was in July 2011 (6.4, as well).  Also, tied in August at 3.1, sports rivals Clear Channel-owned KFXN (+.3, #13) and Hubbard‘s KSTP-AM (-.4, #16) are now separated by seven-tenths.

For more PPM data and ratings analysis, visit our sister publication RadioInfo’s ratings section here.

KDWN, Las Vegas Talk Host Alan Stock to Host Special Election Season TV Program.  Morning drive host Alan Stock also hosts a nightly interview and news show produced for Vegas TV (cable 14/HD1014) airing at 9:30 pm called “Eye on Vegas with Alan Stock.”  This month, Stock will add a special weekly show to his work on Vegas TV called “News & Views 2012” set to air Wednesdays at 5:30 pm.  Stock tells TALKERS, “It is a special series for the election season only on during the month of October.  The great news is it is already sold out from an advertising standpoint.  The show includes a panel of four people – two liberals and two conservatives.  The first show aired on Wednesday the 3rd on the topic of the economy.  Other topics will include civil rights (gay marriage, etc.), illegal immigration, foreign policy and Obamacare/medical care in general although the topics might be modified depending on what news is breaking.”

WTKK, Boston Sells Out ‘Ultimate Town Hall Meeting.’  Greater Media news/talk outlet WTKK, Boston “News Talk 96.9” announces its “Ultimate Town Hall Meeting” set for Saturday, October 13 at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall has sold out all 800 seats but the station will give away five Presidential Packages (including front row seats, exclusive meet-and-greets, and more) to listeners starting next week.  The “Ultimate Town Hall Meeting” is moderated by WTKK morning hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan and includes a prominent panel of WTKK’s on-air hosts and contributors including local personality Michael Graham, WYD Media’s Michael Smerconish, Cumulus Media Network’s John Batchelor, Compass Media NetworksRon Insana and the Boston Globe’s Brian McGrory.  Program director Grace Blazer states, “News Talk 96.9’s all-star panel will debate the ‘state of the state’ of the 2012 presidential election and the hotly contested Scott BrownElizabeth Warren Massachusetts Senate race.  Our entire team is looking forward to engaging in smart and entertaining debate for our audience and our advertisers.”

WGN, Chicago Honored at 2012 Radio Mercury Awards.  Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago won a 2012 Radio Mercury Award in the “Radio Station Produced” category for the “Shifty Eyes” spot created for local business Oak Park Natural Pet & Fish.  The commercial was written and produced by WGN Radio commercial services manager Jason Skaggs.  WGN vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “We’re honored as a station and proud to have such a talented person in Jason on our team.  Jason creates unique and memorable messages that deliver real results for our advertisers.  He gets it.”  The 2012 Radio Mercury Awards are part of the 2012 Advertising Week Conference in New York.  The Radio Mercury Awards, the only competition exclusively devoted to radio, was established in 1992 to encourage and reward the development of effective and creative radio commercials.  For more on other winners, see the coverage at our sister publication RadioInfo’s site here.

Changes at the Top at Blue Star Media Group.  Effective immediately, Blue Star Media Group president and CEO Michael Metter exits to pursue interests outside the radio business and former executive vice president Jeff Weber returns to the company to lead it as consulting operations executive.  Blue Star owns and operates Business TalkRadio Network; Lifestyle TalkRadio Network; WLFP, Pittsburgh; WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut and recently sold KNUU, Las Vegas.  Weber, who resigned from Blue Star in December of 2011 after 10 years of running the operations, says, “What a great opportunity to return to work with our exceptional staff and the fine content product we provide our more than 1,000 affiliates and the outstanding programs our owned stations air for their listeners.”

Breaking with Your Church on a Secular Talk Station.  KDKA, Pittsburgh weekend talk show host Johnna Pro writes about a recent discussion about contraception on her program that led to, as she calls it, a crisis of faith.  Pro’s experience is one many religious talk show hosts who work on secular stations face – agreeing with or breaking with Church teachings in the course of discussing the issues and having an opinion – something talk show hosts must have to survive in this business.  Read Pro’s story of how one Catholic talk show host handled a real on-the-air conflict here.

Kuhner in Boston.  Washington Times columnist and host of “The Kuhner Report” on Entercom’s WRKO, Boston (airing from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon daily) Jeff Kuhner is pictured here in the Boston studios of WRKO.  Kuhner visited the station earlier this week.  WRKO assistant program director Bill Cooksey says, “The response to Jeff has been overwhelming.  He’s going to be a star in no time at all, and I’m glad he’s with us.”

Presidential Debate, Libya Consulate Attack Investigation, Obama ‘Race Speech,’ and Iran Nukes Program Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3).  Anticipation of last night’s presidential debate; the ongoing analysis of the fatal attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya; controversy over the video of a 2007 Barack Obama campaign speech in which he questions why largely African-American Katrina victims were treated differently than other disaster victims; and Iran’s nuclear weapons program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 21, 2012

| September 21, 2012

Radio Show Presents a Talk Radio Panel (or Was It Really an All News Radio Panel?).  The NAB/RAB Radio Show presented a panel for the talk radio format semi-prejudicially titled “ Is News the New Talk for Radio?” featuring Phil Boyce, VP spoken word format, Salem Communications; Mark Masters, president/CEO, Talk Radio Network; and Ed Shane, CEO, Shane Communications.  It was moderated by Jim Farley, VP news and programming, WTOP-FM, Washington, DC.  Farley set the topic up by mentioning the Rush Limbaugh ad boycott and asked the question “[With big time advertisers shying away from talk radio and controversial products] is it time to consider all-news as the new talk for the future?”  He referenced the success of WTOP which is undeniable.  The station has been the #1 biller in the nation for two straight years.  Ed Shane gave a case study for what they have done at “92 News” in Houston, a Radio One station.  He said there were three things you have to have if you want to create an all-news station: guts, money, and patience.  He talked about the expense of running that station, saying they took on $2 million in talent costs and had to re-build the radio station’s facility.  Shane played some of the imaging for the station which uses the slogan “All News, No Spin.”  TRN exec Jim Watkins subbed for Masters who was unable to attend at the last minute.  Watkins said smaller stations can do the all-news format using his company’s America’s Radio News Network.  He claimed 500 affiliates when you add them up. (Some are taking the top-of-the-hour product,  just under 200 take the morning drive show and the other stations taking some  of the other long-form shows,  AARN has all-news product from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.)  BOYCE STEPS UP TO THE PLATE:  After all the conversation about how talk is dead and all-news is the savior,  Phil Boyce started by saying “I feel like the last man standing at the U.S. embassy in the Middle East, with the protesters outside calling for my head and chanting ‘Death to Talk’.”  Boyce repeated the line “Listeners have a Vote” and did his best to convince the crowd that while there was some short-term damage from the Rush boycott, it did not hurt traditional talk radio.  He mentioned that both Sean Hannity and Mark Levin told him this week their sales are up 20%-25% over last year, despite the boycott.  “There is a website out there listing all the advertisers Rush still has on encouraging the protestors to go after.”  Boyce mentioned some of them and said there were 68 of them on this list.  “Not bad for a show that has 18 minutes a day of network commercial time.”  He then pointed out, “The Premiere sellers have figured out that there are a lot of advertisers who are bullet-proof when it comes to ad boycotts.  They just don’t care because they know talk radio moves product, and they know the 1,000 angry e-mails or Facebook posts do not come from their client base.  If the angry tweet says, “We’ll never shop with you again,” they can check their database and discover they never shopped there in the first place.  These direct advertisers are who we need to do business with.  The transactional big-name advertisers may never come back, but there are plenty out there who can replace them.”  Boyce went on to mention the new movie “2016 Obama’s America” had record box office business and used talk radio as its primary advertising medium.  He said, “This ad boycott thing is nothing new.  They tried to kill Glenn Beck two years ago, and at one point had a list of 100 advertisers who would not advertise with him and they claimed victory in driving him off the Fox News Channel, dancing on his grave.  The problem was, he was not in that grave and one year ago this month he went out and formed his own TV news channel with 300,000 subscribers.”  Boyce did the math for the panel…$32.4 million a year, from subscriptions.  “That does not count his book sales, appearance fees, and the $100 million dollar five-year deal they just did with Premiere.  What they meant to kill him only made him stronger.”

2012 Marconi Awards Presented at Radio Show.  The 2012 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards were announced last night (9/20) at the annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show held at the Radio Show in Dallas.  Winners in the spoken-word formats included:  “Legendary Station” – KSTP, St. Paul;  “Network/Syndicated Personality” – Dan Patrick, Direct TV/Premiere Networks;  “Major Market Station” – WTOP-FM, Washington, DC;  “Medium Market Station” – WHO-AM, Des Moines;  “Major Market Personality” – Mike Francesa, WFAN, New York;  “Medium Market Personality” – Jan Mickelson, WHO-AM, Des Moines;  “News/Talk Station” – WTOP-FM, Washington, DC;  and “Sports Station” – WEEI-FM, Boston.  Marconi finalists were selected by a task force of broadcasters, and the winners were voted on by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy. The votes were tabulated by an independent firm.

NAB/RAB Radio Show Wraps Up Today.  More than 2,000 radio broadcasters from around the nation are wrapping up their gathering and saying their goodbyes at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas this afternoon as the annual “Radio Show” jointly presented by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) comes to its conclusion.  Most observers agree it has been a productive and successful three-day industry event.  The main topics covered include radio’s pressing need for the smartphone radio chip to be “turned on” as well as debate and concern over music royalty fees; the pros and cons of streaming; the challenges facing commercial spot sales/programming; living in a PPM world; cross platform audience measurement;  and the challenge of generating digital revenue.  On a basic level, the underlying concern of the conference was the very survival of terrestrial radio in the unfolding digital era and mapping out a course to achieve the industry’s vitality and relevance in it.

Roger Hedgecock to Appear on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” Show on HBO Tonight.  Radio America nationally syndicated talk show host Roger Hedgecock will get national TV exposure on a very popular HBO show as he’ll be one of the guests on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”  Hedgecock will appear on the program with Chris Matthews, Salman Rushdie, Eugene Jarecki and Rana Foroohar.  The program airs live tonight from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.

Mel Making Out Swell.  According to an SEC report on insider trading Siruis XM CEO Mel Karmazin has exercised options and sold over 76.7 million shares of Sirius XM stock since April 18 – including 20.36 million shares on Wednesday (919).  That brings his overall take to $172 million since April 18.  Either he’s raising a lot of money for something, or he’s exercising options before he either leaves on his own or is asked to leave by Liberty Broadcasting head John Malone who has been adding to his stake in Sirius as Mel has been cashing in shares.  Definitely fuels speculation that Mel’s days with Sirius might be numbered.

Advice for the Industry in Tough Times.  Nationally syndicated talk radio sensation Dave Ramsey is pictured here speaking to a packed Wedgwood Ballroom inside the Hilton Anatole at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas yesterday (9/20).  In this Super Session titled “Succeeding in This Economic Environment,” Ramsey delivered inspirational ideas and strategies for thriving in the radio industry.  The Ramsey organization says the proven business concepts discussed were developed over Ramsey’s 20 years in the radio business.

WCOA, Pensacola PD and ND Allen Caudle Exits Station.  TALKERS hears program director and news director Allen Caudle leaves Cumulus Media’s Pensacola, Florida news/talk outlet WCOA after four-and-a-half years on the job.  He’s looking for his next opportunity and can be reached at 850-324-7149.

Tax Relief for New Jersey Town Credited to Governor’s Show on New Jersey 101.5.  A bout of tax relief coming to residents of Monroe Township New Jersey is being credited to the monthly “Ask the Governor” show on Townsquare Media’s New Jersey 101.5.  Governor Chris Christie hosts the monthly show with NJ101.5’s Eric Scott and during the August program callers protested high property tax increases.  Christie blasted Monroe Township Mayor Richard Pucci and promised to look into the matter.  He recently reported on Jim Gearhart’s morning drive show on NJ101.5 that the tax hike violated the state’s property tax increase cap and all residents would be credited for the overage.  Christie is pictured here at New Jersey 101.5’s studios.  (Photo by Annette Petricionne.)

Premiere Networks Host Clyde Lewis Featured in Portland Magazine Piece.  The very popular Portland, Oregon-based nighttime talk show host Clyde Lewis was the subject of a lengthy piece in the city’s About Face magazine on his radio show “Ground Zero” that’s being syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks.  The extensive interview covers Lewis’ takes on any and all conspiracy theories and paranormal subjects that can be part of his show content.  Lewis’ program is produced by Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland, airs nightly from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am PT and was put into national syndication by Premiere after it became one of the most-listened-to shows on Portland radio.  Read the piece here.

New Studios Dedicated.  Tribune’s WGN, Chicago will officially unveil its refurbished Allstate Showcase Michigan Avenue studio on the Garry Meier show this afternoon.  This past May WGN announced the new partnership with longtime sponsor Allstate.  Following the station’s move to the 7th floor of Tribune Tower this summer, the Allstate Showcase Studio underwent technical upgrades and an interior studio wrap featuring WGN Radio and Allstate graphics was installed.

Waikiki Weekend.  Fox Sports Radio Network “Loose Cannon” Vic “The Brick” Jacobs (r) is pictured here with one of the winners of the show’s annual “Waikiki Weekend” contest getting ready for a canoe ride.  “Loose Cannons” Jacobs, Steve Hartman and guest co-host and NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson accompanied the winners to Waikiki last weekend for the trip that included a live broadcast and, of course, lots of fun Hawaiian-style.

Mitt Romney’s 47% Comments Top the Talkers TenTM for the Week of September 17-21.  Mitt Romney’s comment that President Obama’s 47% support was dependent on government and the fallout from it was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Following at #2 was the anti-America protests tied with the Libya consulate attacks analysis.  At #3 was the cost of ObamaCare for the middle class and at #4 was the presidential race polls.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See the charts in their entirety for this week here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

| July 19, 2012

Lessons Learned from the Merlin Meltdown.  Consultant and former all-news programmer (WTOP) Holland Cooke offers several key reasons why Merlin Media’s all-news FMs in New York and Chicago failed to gain listeners as well as lessons to be learned from the story by all spoken-word radio management and talent alike..  He writes the operators made some crucial mistakes during the startup and ignored the primary aspect of how audiences use news radio.  Read Holland’s piece here.

Arbitron Gets Accreditation for the PPM in Five Markets.  Three of those markets are new: Los Angeles, Baltimore and San Antonio.  The other two markets – Tampa/St. Petersburg and Riverside/San Bernardino – had accreditation at one point but lost it in January of this year.  This gives Arbitron the Media Rating Council “seal of approval” for 14 markets being served by the Portable People Meter.  Arbitron’s EVP of service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Lindner states, “We are pleased the MRC has recognized the progress we have made; at the same time we understand there is still work to be done.  We will continue our efforts to maintain the MRC double checkmarks in our currently accredited PPM markets and to achieve service-wide accreditation for all PPM markets.”

Hubbard Radio Signs on with TuneIn.  Minneapolis-based Hubbard Radio will make its 21 major market radio stations – including all-news giant WTOP, Washington; sports KSTP-AM, Minneapolis; and sports WXOS, St. Louis – available via the internet through aggregator TuneIn.  Hubbard Radio president and CEO Bruce Reese says, “With their listener-first approach, TuneIn is the obvious fit for us as we continue to build upon our nearly 100 years of broadcasting excellence.  Through this strategic alignment, all our great programming can be heard by anyone from anywhere around the country.  With TuneIn, we’ve made a great leap onto the digital stage and look forward to inviting new listeners to our stations.”

WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Morning Host/PD Dan Gaffney Exits.  He tells WBOC-TV his sudden departure is not a stunt and that he has no issues with the Resort Broadcasting station or its management.  But he says he’s been in discussions with the company for more than a year and their differences are not about money.  Either way, program director and morning drive host Dan Gaffney leaves the news/talk station and Andrew Murr is the interim morning drive host.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  SiriusXM adds DirecTV/Premiere Networks’ “Nick & Artie Show,” featuring Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange, to its sports channels on both the Sirius and XM platforms…..ESPN’s total donations for The V Foundation for Cancer Research tops $1.8 million.  The “Don’t Give Up ESPYs V Foundation Auction” raised $766,606 from the more than 250 items and experiences auctioned either online from July 1-11 or as part of the ESPN Radio 16-hour radiothon on July 11. That figure is added to the $1 million raised from the recent Celebrity Golf Classic…..Scott Lindy is promoted to operations director at Lincoln Financial Media’s Atlanta cluster that includes sports talk WQXI and the Atlanta Falcons Radio Network…..CNSNews White House correspondent Fred Lucas has just published his book, The Right Frequency: The Story of the Talk Radio Giants Who Shook Up the Political and Media  Establishment (History Publishing 2012).  In it Lucas delves into the depth, reach and power of the talk radio giants in the American political landscape and provides some insight into the personalities of those larger than life figures.  Lucas is currently doing media interviews promoting the book and commenting on talk radio’s potential impact on the 2012 presidential election.

Good Old-Fashioned Book Burning!  That’s the Alan Cox show crew from WMMS, Cleveland — (from l-r) Erika Lauren, Alan Cox and Chad Zumock – standing in the volleyball pit at a local bar preparing for a tongue-in-cheek burning of the popular adult novel 50 Shades of Grey (image from WKYC-TV).  The idea came after a discussion of the improbably popular book prompted men to call Cox’s PM drive talk show and complain their wives and girlfriends are more thrilled by the book than they are by them.  So, Cox responded with a good old-fashioned book burning to allow men (and some women) to express how they feel about the book.

Congressional Debate in Boston.  WXKS, Boston – Talk 1200 – morning drive host Jeff Katz (r) moderates the live radio debate between three Republican candidates for Congress at the Clear Channel Boston studios on Wednesday, July 18.  The three Republicans (from l-r) – David Steinhof, Elizabeth Childs and Sean Bielat – are battling in the Republican primary to face the Democrat candidate for the seat long held by retiring Congressman Barney Frank.

2012 Presidential Campaign, Bernanke Economy Testimony, Arpaio’s Obama Birth Certificate Conclusion, and Syrian Officials Killed Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/18).  The Mitt RomneyBarack Obama battle for the White House; Fed chair Ben Bernanke’s testimony before Congress about the nation’s economy; Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s conclusion that President Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate is a fake; and the assassinations of major officials in the Syrian regime were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, August 22, 2011

| August 22, 2011

Premiere Networks Talk Star Glenn Beck to Hold “Restoring Courage” Rally in Israel; Spending $1 Million of his Own Money on Events. The long-promised week of Glenn Beck-sponsored events in Israel are beginning and lead up to Wednesday’s “Restoring Courage” rally at the Southern Wall excavations site in Jerusalem. Gil Hoffman writes in the Jerusalem Post that there was an event for Christians last night in Caesarea and a Holocaust-related event is planned for today (8/22). Beck has been criticized in some quarters for the events. Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater wrote in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal that Beck’s events are “nothing more than a media driven, money-making, self-serving, end-of-times messianic-lunacy circus show.” But Beck says the Wednesday rally will be nothing of the kind and encourages his critics to watch it. He states he’s losing about $1 million of his own money sponsoring the event. He’s quoted in the Jerusalem Post saying, “I am doing it because I’m obedient and I do what I’m supposed to do: to show the world the courage of Israelis and the choice between good and evil and life and death, and to remind people that life’s not a spectator sport.” Beck claims the event is not political and simply serves to show the world that Israel does not stand alone. Some Arab Knesset members are warning Beck’s rally could spark violence. (August 22, 2011)

Michael Harrison to Deliver Annual “State of Talk Radio” Address at Forthcoming NAB/RAB Radio Show in Chicago. For the seventh consecutive year, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will deliver his annual “State of Talk Media” address at a special Info-Session at the NAB/RAB Radio Show. This year’s presentation, sponsored by TALKERS, will take place during the national confab’s first morning between 10:30 am and 11:45 am on Wednesday, September 14 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago hotel and is open to all registrants of the conference. During this year’s address, Harrison will be focusing on The 10 Most Important Things Broadcasters Need to Know about the Enormous Changes Taking Place in Talk Media at this Very Moment. They will include an analysis of the invasion of FM by talk formats, the material impact of the PPM on talk radio programming, what we can all learn from sports talk radio, the changing political spectrum of talk stationality, the relationship between automobiles and talk radio, new formats on the horizon, and how the internet is rewiring the human brain — among others. Harrison will be introduced by McVay/Cook Media consultant Holland Cooke. (August 22, 2011)

Townsquare Media Officially Closes on the Millennium Properties. Townsquare Media chairman and CEO Steven Price announces the company closes on its acquisition of the 11 Millennium Radio Holdings, LLC stations, including FM talk giant WKXW-FM Trenton – New Jersey 101.5. Price states, “The acquisition of Millennium is consistent with our strategy of owning market-leading media properties in small and mid‐sized markets. We are excited to continue to add premier assets to our portfolio including, New Jersey’s leading talk radio station, WKXW 101.5. The strength and depth of the Millennium team is an excellent addition to Townsquare Media and we are excited to add new advertisers and to broaden our audience reach.” Zoe Burdine-Fly oversees the former Millennium operations for Townsquare Media. (August 22, 2011)

KSTP, Minneapolis Pairs “Mr. Phunn” with Judd Zulgad. Hubbard Broadcasting announces evening host Joe “Mr. Phunn” Anderson moves to middays to co-host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show with Judd Zulgad beginning September 6. Zulgad is the Minneapolis Star Tribune sports columnist who’s exiting his newspaper gig to focus on his sports talk host career at KSTP. Zulgad has hosted a weekend show on the station since February and it was recently announced he’ll be joining KSTP for a daily show. KSTP program director Brad Lane has not announced who will fill Anderson’s 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm evening show but says of the pairing of Zulgad and Anderson, “We think this duo will not only provide Twin Cities sports fans a new option for 9:00 am to 12:00 noon apart from their normal listening routine, but become a mainstay in the market and a wonderful lead in for Reusse & Mackey.” (August 22, 2011)

Citadel’s WLS, Chicago Woos Mary Frances Bragiel from WBBM. Veteran Chicago news person Mary Frances Bragiel leaves CBS Radio’s all-news WBBM, Chicago to become the afternoon and evening news anchor and reporter at Citadel’s news/talk WLS, according to Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder. There’s been a lot of movement in the radio news game in Chicago recently and Feder observes, “The position Bragiel fills has been open since WLS promoted Dave Stewart to midday news anchor, and both Lise Dominique and Monica DeSantis moved to FM News 101.1. The realignment puts seasoned Chicago radio veterans in every weekday news slot on WLS, including John Dempsey in mornings, Stewart in middays, Jim Johnson in afternoons, and Bragiel in evenings.” (August 22, 2011)

WWRL, New York to Broadcast Live from National King Memorial Dedication and Rally. The Access.1 Communications station is broadcasting live from Washington, DC on Saturday, August 27 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm with Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network. The broadcast will be anchored by Professor Ron Daniels and Rennie Bishop. Sharpton, whose radio program airs on WWRL, states, “There are relatively few moments in our lives that make history. The weekend of August 27-28, 2011 will be one for the history books as we not only commemorate the 48th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have A Dream Speech,’ but also when the world bears witness to the unveiling of the National King Memorial. As the rally and march will signify, and for those who may be quick to forget the legacy of Dr. King, let us remember that he died while fighting for worker’s rights and the basic human dignity of all.” (August 22, 2011)

Clear Channel Houston Promotes Two in Sales. Clear Channel Houston director of sales Bo Brown announces two promotions. Bob Merril takes on the role of general sales manager for news/talk KTRH, Houston. He’s been serving as GSM for two other AM stations in Houston. Of Merril, Brown says, “Bob and I have worked together for the last seven years building a solid AM team. His sports marketing background and never-quit attitude have been a key factor in our success.” Jeff Rovinsky returns to the Houston cluster from Charlotte where he was local sales manager with Clear Channel. He’ll be general sales manager for sports KMBE and news/talk KPRC. Brown says, “When Jeff was offered the local sales manager position in Charlotte a year ago we lost a very talented media executive that excelled in relationship building and direct sales. Bringing him back as a general sales manager for KBME/KPRC is an opportunity we never expected. He is a perfect fit.” (August 22, 2011)

Griese to Replace Mandich for Dophins Radio Broadcasts. Bob Griese and Jim Mandich were both part of the legendary 1972 Miami Dolphins team that went undefeated to a Super Bowl victory. Mandich, who’d been a sports talk host on Beasley’s WQAM and was a longtime voice of the Dolphins on its radio play-by-play broadcasts, died in April after a battle with bile duct cancer. Griese retired from his TV career last year but will be part of Dolphins radio play-by-play this season as he joins Jimmy Cefalo and Joe Rose in the broadcast booth. (August 22, 2011)