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Thursday, June 23, 2022

| June 23, 2022

Complete Video of ‘Independent Radio Station and Small Group Operations’ Panel Posted. Today, TALKERS magazine posts the third video from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on June 10 at Hofstra University on Long Island. This session was moderated by KFNX-AM, Phoenix owner Bill Brady. He was introduced by Binnie Media director of brand operations Michael Czarnecki. Panelists included: Marc Beaven, general manager, WCBM, Baltimore; Paul Gleiser, owner/host, KTBB, Tyler, Texas; Todd Starnes, owner, KWAM, Memphis/host The Todd Starnes Show; Paul Vandenburgh, owner/host, WGDJ, Albany, New York; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO, Santa Cruz, California.  See the video here.

 

Industry Heavyweights Add Insight and Expertise to Introducer Role at TALKERS 2022. A number of talk media professionals served as introducers for panels and presentations at the recent TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University. Though limited to brief speeches due to the jam-packed schedule, they provided informative and relevant introductions to the conference presentations. Pictured below is 1010 WINS, New York morning anchor Lee Harris serving as introducer to the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel discussion.

 

Pictured above is Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein introducing the “Programming News/Talk Radio in the Digital Era” panel at TALKERS 2022.

 

Audacy Announces Debut of Web3-Focused Program. A new Sunday morning program and podcast from Audacy titled, “Inside Web3,” is being launched. Audacy says that show, hosted by Shira Lazar, will delve into “the latest in cryptocurrency, NFTs, the Metaverse and beyond.” It will air on stations including KNX, Los Angeles “News 97.1 FM”; KIFM-AM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320”; KWFN-FM, San Diego “97.3 The Fan”; and KCBS-AM, San Francisco.  Audacy Southern California regional president Jeff Federman says, “We’re thrilled to jump right into this rapidly growing space with the launch of ‘Inside Web3’ and give our listeners a home for smart, informative content every week. Shira has a sharp perspective of the Web3 world, which we trust will resonate with listeners looking to learn more about everything blockchain technology related.” Shira Lazar is the founder and CEO of the Emmy-nominated digital media brand, What’s Trending. She is a Web3 advocate, collector, and advises as well as consults with companies in the space relating to cryptocurrency, NFTs and the metaverse.

 

Stan Lehr to Retire from WIBC-FM, Indianapolis. News anchor and reporter Stan Lehr will retire from news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis on July 1, according to the Indianapolis Star. Lehr has served with the station for the past 28 years. He joined WIBC before Emmis Communications bought the station. Emmis recently announced that it is selling WIBC and its other Indianapolis stations to Urban One for $25 million. WIBC news director Chris Davis states in a memo to staffers that Lehr has always been known as a “stickler.” “When I say the word stickler, here is what I mean: Though Stan is gifted with a voice that could have taken him far on its own, he has never wanted recognition for that gift. Instead, he made it clear to all who work or have worked with him that strong writing, accuracy and excellence in delivery are the best ways to serve the listeners.”

 

Dom Giordano Day Celebrated in Wildwood, New Jersey. Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia midday talk show host Dom Giordano (left) accepting a gift clock from Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron (right) on Wednesday as June 22 was again declared Dom Giordano Day. Two years ago, Byron designated June 22 Dom Giordano Day for the City. This year, Giordano and his WPHT crew broadcast live from Mulligan’s Shore Bar and Grill.

 

FOX News Digital Tops in Multiplatform Minutes for May. According to data from Comscore, FOX News Digital finished May 2022 as the top-performing news organization in the competitive set in multiplatform minutes for the 15th consecutive month. FOX News Digital closed out the month reaching over 2.9 billion total multiplatform minutes compared to closest competitor CNN.com with 2.3 million total multiplatform minutes. FOX News Digital also topped CNN.com in multiplatform total views, 1.47 billion to 1.43 billion. However, in the category of multiplatform unique visitors, CNN.com dominated with 131.7 million to FOX News Digital’s 80 million.

 

47th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon Held in New York City. Yesterday (6/22), the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation presented the 47th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Host Hannah Storm, anchor of “ESPN SportsCenter,” led the program alongside presenters Paul “Cubby” Bryant, Co-Host “106.7 LiteFM Morning Show” with Christine Nagy; Linsey Davis, ABC News Live Prime anchor, Weekend “World News Tonight” anchor, and ABC News Correspondent; Larry O’Connor, Host, “O’Connor & Company on WMAL”; Kate Snow, “NBC Nightly News Sunday,” anchor and NBC News senior national correspondent; and Shelley Wade, Afternoon Host, New York City’s “94.7 The Block” and podcast host “All the Rage with Shelley Wade.” Pictured above is the board of the AWM Foundation with host Hannah Storm and entertainer Hannah Ellis. See the complete list of honorees here.

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TALKERS News Notes. Social media platform LinkedIn names Audacy one of its inaugural Top Companies 2022: Media and Entertainment. Through this list, LinkedIn ranks the 25 best companies to grow a career in the industry, aiming to provide a go-to resource for professionals at every stage of their career journeys. Audacy COO Susan Larkin comments, “At Audacy, we strive to not only help propel the audio industry forward but cultivate an organization full of team members who lead that charge. We’re honored to have been recognized by LinkedIn on their list spotlighting media and entertainment companies and sit alongside some of our industry’s best innovators, champions and influencers. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”…..Sounds Profitable, in partnership with Edison Research, has put together a comprehensive study profiling podcast creators in America. Next Tuesday (6/28), the results of the study will be revealed during a 1:00 pm webinar. Sound Profitable and Edison Research say that “The Creators 2022” is the first iteration of a study that will track trends and changes in the podcast creator space annually. “Much of the research in the podcast space up to this point has been related to listening, so ‘The Creators’ will fill a gap in industry knowledge about those who create podcasts.”…..iHeartMedia announces the launch of “Prop Culture” – a first-of-its-kind podcast hosted by iHeartMedia’s very own Non-Fun Squad NFTs and voiced by top comedians and celebrities. The announcement was made at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity during a metaverse and innovation panel featuring Paris Hilton, the self-proclaimed “Queen of the Metaverse.” iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group president Conal Byrne states, “iHeartMedia continues to be on the cutting edge of the audio world. We’re excited to introduce ‘Prop Culture’ at Cannes, pioneering the first-ever podcast series voiced by NFTs. The metaverse is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the audio and podcasting space, and we’re thrilled to be on the forefront of this new frontier.”

 

The Economy, Gun Legislation, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Supreme Court Term, COVID-19, and Uvalde Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/22). High gas & food prices, sinking financial markets, and recession fears; the Senate’s compromise on a gun legislation bill; the ongoing January 6 hearings and the case the Committee is making against Donald Trump; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the toll it’s taking on the world’s economy; the end of the Supreme Court’s term and the expected overturning of Roe v Wade; the appearance of two new Omicron subvariants that are better at evading vaccines; and the investigation of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

| August 29, 2019

Good Karma Brands Inks Deal to Operate ESPN’s WMVP-AM, Chicago. Yesterday’s announcement by sports talk radio WMVP-AM owner ESPN that Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands would begin operating “ESPN 1000” beginning next month took the industry by surprise.  But as ESPN Audio SVP Traug Keller says, Karmazin’s company has a long track record with ESPN.  “Good Karma has proven to be an excellent local affiliate that has shown expertise in local media operations and sales while being a strong steward of the ESPN brand.”  Keller adds, “This is a smart business decision that allows us to continue to serve local sports fans with the compelling content they crave.”  As a result of this long-term LMA between ESPN Radio and Good Karma, the latter will “expand its affiliate relationship with ESPN Radio and the station will retain the ‘ESPN 1000’ name.  ESPN Radio Chicago will feature a lineup of local and national sports talk programming and ESPN Radio’s national play-by-play lineup that includes NBA, MLB, NFL and college football, including the College Football Playoff.”  The LMA begins on September 29.  Longtime ‘ESPN 1000’ VP and general manager Jim Pastor will exit his role.  He says, “Few people will ever match the experience I’ve had over 27 incredible years with Disney, including the last 15 with ESPN.  I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished at ‘ESPN 1000’ or be more supportive of the decision to affiliate with Good Karma.  Walking away now becomes infinitely easier knowing [Good Karma Brands president] Steve Politziner, Craig Karmazin, and the rest of the Good Karma team will be running the show.  For me, I’m ready to dial it back, spend more time with the family and go back to sitting in the cheap seats.”  Craig Karmazin – whose company also owns operates ESPN-affiliated stations in Cleveland, Madison, Milwaukee, and West Palm Beach – says, “Our Midwest roots have afforded us the opportunity to see the passion of Chicago sports fans up close for over two decades.  We are so excited to extend our commitment to being ESPN’s best-in-class local operator into what will now be our largest market.”  ESPN Audio continues to operate WEPN-FM, New York and KSPN-AM, Los Angeles.

WJBC, Bloomington’s Laughlin Retires; Miller Takes Over AM Drive Show. At Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, longtime morning personality Scott Laughlin is retiring from the station and afternoon drive personality Scott Miller will take over as morning drive host. Miller – who inked a new, multi-year deal with the company – will work with news director Katherine Murphy on the morning show.  Back in May, Laughlin announced he was taking a leave of absence from the WJBC morning show for health reasons.  He has since decided to make his leave permanent.  He says, “I had planned to retire next summer.  My circumstances have speeded up that plan.”  Station operations manager Dan Westhoff says, “We wish nothing but the best for Scott Laughlin as he focuses on his health.  Emotionally, it’s not easy to move forward in a situation like this, but we must.  We look forward to having Scott Miller in the morning and know he will do a great job.” The station is searching for a new afternoon talk host.

‘FOX Sports 910’ in Phoenix Makes Drive Time Changes; Dan Sileo Joins for Afternoons. Beginning Tuesday (9/3), iHeartMedia’s KGME, Phoenix “FOX Sports 910” is moving afternoon drive personality Jody Oehler’s “The Drive” program to the 5:00 am to 10:00 am daypart, replacing FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick.  The station says that Oehler’s “‘The Drive’ has brought a signature blend of truth, humor and originality to the Phoenix airwaves.  Throughout the run of the show, Oehler has had some of the biggest names in sports on-air regularly, including: Donovan McNabb, Jake Plummer, Ian Rapoport, Kent Somers, and Greg Amsinger, as well as everyone’s favorite radio segment, ‘Top 5 Thursday,’ which ranks the top five sports stories every Thursday.”  Oehler says, “I’m incredibly excited to be moving to mornings. In a city like Phoenix with all the local teams and transplant residents, I relish the opportunity to offer my reaction to the biggest local and national sporting events.  We’ll do it better than anyone in the market with truth, humor, and fun.  And as a bonus, I won’t get into a near fist fight with myself on the air.”  The station is expected to announce its plans for the afternoon drive daypart very soon. Taking over the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot is sports talk host Dan Sileo, most recently with Entercom at KWFN-FM, San Diego “97.3 The Fan.”  The station says Sileo’s show “will feature engaging sports talk with features such as ‘Cardinals Rewind,’ where Sileo analyzes the Cardinals by recapping the biggest hits and misses from each game, and ‘Stump Sileo,’ a daily segment where listeners have the opportunity to challenge Sileo to a game of six degrees of separation, in which Sileo has to find a way to connect himself to the listener’s favorite sports icon.”  Sileo says, “It’s an honor to come home to iHeartMedia, where I spent the majority of my 24-year radio career, for this amazing opportunity to host afternoons on ‘FOX Sports 910.’  I will promise my listeners this – we will have the most compelling sports show in The Valley.  It will be a show for Phoenix, about Phoenix.  We’re going to bring on the biggest stars in sports and entertainment and give listeners a show they’ll never forget.”

WLAC, Nashville Host Steve Gill Remains in Jail; ‘Terrified’ Wife Files for Divorce. More legal woes arise for embattled WLAC, Nashville talk radio host Steve Gill, who remains in jail in Williamson County, Tennessee for failure to pay $170,000 in child support to ex-wife Kathryn Gill.  Now, Gill’s current wife – who is not named by The Tennessean in its report since she’s under an order of protection from the court – is filing for divorce from Gill and told the court in her request for the order, “I need protection.  I am terrified.  He is ‘influenced’ and ‘powerful’ and he used that to try to keep me from escaping.”  As a witness in Gill’s child support case, she testified that he was lying under oath in court.  The court has ordered Gill not to contact his current wife; to stay away from her home and workplace; to vacate the family home; undergo a certified batterers’ intervention program; and cannot possess any firearms (the order notes he has numerous weapons).

Palm Springs Morning Host Bill Feingold Off the Air for Cancer Treatment. Coachella Valley morning drive personality Bill Feingold is on medical leave from Alpha Media’s news/talk brand “K-News” – KNWZ-AM/KNWQ-AM/K232CX/K274DA – after being diagnosed with stage four liver cancer.  Feingold tells the Desert Sun that he’s aware of the gravity of his diagnosis but is hopeful he can return to the air after undergoing chemotherapy, which begins on September 12.  He and co-host Kevin Holmes have been together on the radio in Palm Springs since 2004.  Feingold says, “Alpha Media is hoping for a semi-miracle so I can come back.  I would come back in a second.”

TALKERS News Notes. Detroit journalist Bankole Thompson is returning to Kevin Adell-run WFDF-AM, Detroit “910AM Superstation” to host the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm program, beginning September 9.  Previously, the Detroit News columnist hosted the program, “Redline,” on the station.  Thompson says, “I’m happy to be back at ‘910AM Superstation’ and I’m looking forward to making Detroit’s recovery and poverty the front and center of our conversation.”…..The conservative Christian K-Star Talk Radio Network announces it is adding independent journalist and radio host Will Johnson’s newly syndicated talk radio program, “Fire Power News,” to its 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET slot, effective September 9.   K-Star program director Angeline Marie says, “I am so excited to add Will Johnson’s program to the K-Star schedule.  He is young, energetic, intelligent, and really passionate about making a difference.”…..Entravision Communications announces it’s bringing listeners “the most extensive Spanish-language radio broadcast coverage” of the upcoming 2019 NFL Centennial season.  The company will broadcast 46 games across 17 U.S. markets on its owned-and-operated stations, as well as on affiliate stations across the country.  Entravision president and COO Jeffrey Liberman says, “The start of the NFL season is always exciting and this year we’re especially proud to have the most extensive Spanish radio broadcast coverage of the NFL. The game of football has really found a home in the Latino market and there are more passionate NFL fans than ever.”…..Actors Gabrielle Carteris and Camryn Manheim have been chosen by SAG-AFTRA’s national membership to fulfill the respective roles of president and secretary-treasurer, two of the union’s highest ranking offices.  Their two-year terms begin today.

Legendary Radio Executive Dwight Case Dies at 90.  Earlier this month, Dwight Case – onetime publisher of Radio & Records and general manager of KHJ, Los Angeles – died at the age of 90. Case started in radio in 1948 KFRE-AM, Fresno.  During his long career, he also managed KROY, Sacramento; served as president of RKO’s radio division; founded Transtar Satellite Radio Network; and served as publisher and CEO of R&R from 1983-1987.  Read more at LARadio.com.

Trump vs the Media, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade War, Queen Suspends UK Parliament, Jessi Combs Dies in Crash, and Hurricane Dorian Heads for Florida Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/28). The president’s renewed frustration with the media’s coverage of his presidency; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the war of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the Queen agrees to suspend the UK Parliament; driver and television personality Jessi Combs dies trying to set a land speed record; and Hurricane Dorian’s projected path toward Florida 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. Media executive Winter Horton joins Meruelo Media as chief operating officer, reporting to president and CEO Otto Padron.   Horton was most recently COO for LBI Media Inc.  Padron says, “Meruelo Media has enjoyed extraordinary growth in the past few months.  The task to solidify our L.A. super cluster position and continue our expansion is my highest priority.  To achieve this, I’m proud to announce the addition of Winter Horton as our chief operating officer.  Winter brings a wealth of experience and a unique skill set to help us create even greater value as we optimize our strategy of growth.”…..Cumulus Media’s rock WNDX, Indianapolis “93.9X” announces that Abe Kanan takes over as morning drive personality, effective September 3.  Kanan has served with stations including WLUP-FM and WKQX in Chicago and WBGG in Miami, as well as on the Howard 101 channel on SiriusXM.  He says, “If I could create my own radio station, it would sound just like ‘93.9X.’ In 2019, this is exactly how a rock station should sound.  I am beyond excited and honored to be chosen as the first morning show host on the soon-to-be world-famous 93.9X!”…..SummitMedia names Sheba Foxx news & community affairs director for the Greenville, South Carolina cluster.  Foxx takes over for Rhonda Rawlings who left the position to serve as South Carolina media rep for Cory Booker’s presidential campaign…..Alternative KTBZ, Houston “94.5 The Buzz” morning personality Dinah Powers is leaving the station’s Rod Ryan show after Friday’s broadcast.  She tells the Houston Chronicle that she elected not to renew her contract and is leaving the radio business and hopes to go back to school and work in the mental health field…..After 62 years in the same Takoma Park, Maryland location, Washington Adventist University’s WGTS-FM, Washington, DC celebrates the grand opening of its new broadcast ministry center in Rockville, Maryland.  The new 13,000 square-foot facility contains two identical on-air studios, three production rooms and a television studio.  It replaces the 3,000 square-foot World War II-era building that has served as the headquarters of the ministry since 1957…..Former, longtime WDVE, Pittsburgh air personality Jack Maloy died yesterday (8/28).  Maloy spent 36 years on the air at the iHeartMedia rock outlet, mostly in overnights.  The station says Maloy loved the shift so much that when he was promoted to the evening show, he was miserable and requested to return to the overnight show where he stayed until his retirement in 2013.