Craig Carton Sentenced to 42 Months in Prison. Former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in federal prison plus three years probation today (4/5) after being found guilty of fraud charges in connection with a bogus concert tickets resale scheme involving $5.6 million. Prosecutors had sought six to seven years. After today’s sentencing, Carton is releasing a short film he produced called, “The Reckoning,” that reveals his gambling addiction and what it did to his life. Carton opens up about the astonishing amounts of cash he was wagering while proclaiming on his radio show that he was a “blackjack savant” – until the morning of September 6, 2017 when the FBI arrested him on fraud charges. The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick writes about it here.
Remembering Bruce Reese. Former longtime Bonneville International and Hubbard Radio president and CEO Bruce Reese passed away earlier this week at age 70 after a long illness. He retired from full-time duties with Hubbard in 2014. During his career he also chaired the NAB’s Joint Radio and Television Boards as well as the NAB Education Foundation. For a number of years, he served as a board member of the Radio Advertising Bureau. Years ago, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian wrote a feature piece about Reese. You can read that here.
KWMU, St. Louis Host Resigns After Manager Questions Guest Greeting. St. Louis Public Radio host Don Marsh resigned from his role with the pubcaster after management told him his greeting a guest by telling her she “looked great” was “on the line” of acceptable. Eighty-year-old Marsh made the comment to 75-year-old Karen Foss (a longtime television personality in the market) who did not complain and even posted a social media comment saying she was not offended, calling his words a “common way for those of us who are aged to greet each other.” The complaint came from a producer who witnessed the exchange. Marsh told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he hadn’t wanted to retire from the station and called the incident “very much a generational thing.”
Joyce Littel Named PD at WAOK, Atlanta. As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, urban news/talk WAOK, Atlanta names acting PD Joyce Littel program director for the station. Littel also serves as the evening personality on urban contemporary WVEE “V-103.” She has been handling programming responsibilities at the station since the retirement of Jean Ross last fall. Littel is quoted from a press release saying, “I’d like to get back to WAOK’s roots. My goal is to further expand the station’s heritage by pushing boundaries to reach new heights in our communities with education, entertainment, and financial literacy.”
Gorka Draws Sell-Out Crowd in Dallas. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network host Dr. Sebastian Gorka (left) and KSKY, Dallas “660 The Answer” morning host Mark Davis (right) along with the crowd from last night’s sold-out “An Evening with Sebastian Gorka” event at the Palace Arts Center in historic downtown Grapevine, Texas. Gorka fielded questions from the audience for two hours, discussing breaking news and 2020 presidential politics.
TALKERS News Notes. Michigan’s Hillsdale College is launching a new, nationally syndicated radio program produced by the school called, “The Radio Free Hillsdale Hour.” So far, the program is airing on nine stations in three states. WRFH “Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM” general manager Scot Bertram – who hosts the show with production assistance from students – says, “The ideas and arguments discussed here at Hillsdale College are relevant to all citizens and this new radio program is one way to share them with people across the country. Talk radio listeners already know Hillsdale by reputation. Now they’ll have the opportunity to hear from the school’s faculty, staff, alumni, and others directly.” The program addresses public affairs and news through the lens of classical liberal arts education…..Westwood One is presenting exclusive hole-by-hole coverage from the 83rd Masters Tournament beginning Thursday, April 11 and running through Sunday, April 14. Mike Tirico is joining the network to anchor the coverage from the 18th green at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. This year marks the 64th consecutive year that Westwood One has provided Masters radio coverage, the longest continuous sports broadcast partnership in network radio history.
Mueller Report Aftermath Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 1-5, 2019. The aftermath of the Mueller Report completion was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump tax returns issue. Coming in at #3 was President Trump and the Mexican border, followed by Joe Biden’s #MeToo problem 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.
Westwood One: TV and AM/FM Beat Google/Facebook for Site Traffic Lift. This study is the subject of Westwood One’s blog post this week. Westwood One and LeadsRx say the report on media attribution and awareness of the direct-to-consumer (DTC) retail category indicates, among other things, that “combined TV and AM/FM radio ads generate twice the site traffic lift of Google/Facebook ads.” Further, WWO says LeadsRx found that “TV and AM/FM radio drove a combined 40% site traffic lift, compared to 17% for Google/Facebook.” Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Two-thirds of podcast advertisers today are DTC brands and they report stunning sales effect and spectacular ROI with podcasts. With this report, we now have hard evidence that AM/FM radio generates significant impact for DTC brands too.”
Harrison Podcast Focuses This Week on Health Care Issues. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host and noted physician Dr. Daliah Wachs is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Wachs, a Las Vegas-based physician, teacher, author, public speaker and radio talk show host, is a member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred as one of America’s leading radio MDs and is a past recipient of the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award for her significant charity work over the years. These accomplishments were highlighted by her direct initiative in 2014 to replenish hospital blood supplies, in which she worked with United Blood Services and the American Red Cross to create a state Blood Donation Day in Nevada. In 2016, this effort was taken nationally to create state Blood Donation Days in the majority of states as well as National Blood Donation Week. No longer operating a private family practice, Wachs has developed an extraordinary footprint in media hosting a nationally syndicated talk show on the Genesis Communications Network. She is heard on iHeartRadio and multiple affiliates worldwide. She also makes multiple television appearances commenting on medicine and health-related issues. Harrison and Wachs take a deep, non-partisan dive into President Trump’s relaunched campaign to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as well as the vaccination controversy that is currently being debated in the national conversation. Harrison states, “Dr. Daliah Wachs is a broadcast industry treasure. She can always be counted on to bring a sense of intellectual clarity, honesty and first-hand experience to touchy health care topics that transcends the partisan bickering so common in this arena.” 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 on Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Tamara G. and Entercom agree to a contract extension for her to continue co-hosting the morning show on adult contemporary WLYF, Miami “101.5 Lite FM” with co-host Julie Guy. Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley states, “Tamara G. is the yin to Julie’s yang and we are thrilled to have her remain on the ‘101.5 LITE FM’ team. Their morning show is so uniquely catered to South Florida listeners and features two of the market’s most loved personalities.”…..As reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, iHeartMedia makes a morning show change at classic hits WRIT, letting Meg McKenzie and Dave Murphy go after 11 years at the station. Station PD Brett Andrews takes over the morning show. The duo wrote in a Facebook post that programming change was a “business-related” decision by the company and they understand that…..Programming pro Jay Dixon is named program director for Radio One’s Philadelphia stations rhythmic oldies WRNB and WPPZ. Radio One corporate vice president of programming Colby Tyner says, “I’m excited to be working with Jay. He’s a seasoned pro who understands the urban format and has a strong track record of success. We’re glad to have him on the Philly team.”…..JVC Media announces two on-air changes at its Gainesville-Ocala market stations. Fifteen-year market pro Leroy joins Jenn Ryan to co-host the morning show on CHR WFMQ “Q92.9.” Leroy comes from the company’s country WXUS “US 102.3” where he was hosting mornings. Taking over for him on WXUS is Barry Michaels. The changes take effect on Monday (4/8).
KQED Names Blakley Executive Director/Radio Programming. Four-year Minnesota Public Radio program director Jonathan Blakley is appointed executive director of radio programming for Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED, San Francisco. The Western Michigan University graduate previously was a senior producer and editor at NPR and launched all-news on WKZO, Kalamazoo. He has also worked for all-news WWJ, Detroit and the Associated Press. In other station news, KQED promotes executive director of news Holly Kernan to chief content officer. She will now oversee news, arts, science, and education for radio and TV programming. Kerman joined the station in 2014 from San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW, where she was news and public affairs director. Meanwhile, managing editor Ethan Lindsey succeeds Kernan as executive director of news. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 report for San Francisco, KQED is #1 for the eighth straight month. Its gain of four-tenths pulls the plug on five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). In San Jose, KQED progresses from sixth to fourth. It finished first in that Bay Area market between January and June.
Harrison: Neither Side is as Bad as Political Opponents Claim. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, described by TV anchor/moderator/commentator Carol Costello as “the voice of reason” appeared today as a panelist on CNN’s Headline News channel (HLN) to discuss the impact of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation on the coming mid-term elections. He joined other panelists Republican Scott Jennings and Democrat Nomiki Konst. Jennings supported the President’s assertion that the Democrats and Liberals have become an unruly mob unfit to govern. Konst expressed the opposite view that working people have never faced the level of economic inequality that presently exists and that the Kavanaugh addition to the Supreme Court feeds into the “women are doomed” scenario. When asked by Costello if we as a nation are “going to remain as divided – men versus women, Democrat versus Republican – as we are now permanently forever more?” Harrison replied by saying “Hopefully not permanently. Let’s hope it ebbs and flows as it has through history. Both sides are extremely energized. The coming mid-term election promises to be as exciting, if not more, than a presidential election. But we can’t tell which side will feel that way in a few weeks on Election Day when it will be decided by voter turn-out. From a media standpoint, which is the lens through which I view this, even though both sides in ‘biased media’ express righteous indignation – and there is extreme bias on both sides in the media – both sides are loving this because this is a golden era for media that plays the news for the American public viewing it as a spectator sport. The demonization of the ‘other side’ is just that – excessive hyperbolic demonization. Nothing is going to be so terrible no matter how it plays out. Women are not doomed and the Democrats are not a mob. And if for some reason Trump loses his majority in Congress, he’ll work that to his advantage as well. It’ll be his excuse for not fulfilling all his campaign promises to his base.”
One Putt Lands O’Rorke as VP/GM. Ten-year Lotus Broadcasting Fresno market manager Kevin O’Rorke joins cross-town One Putt Broadcasting as vice president and general manager, succeeding Josh Riley. One Putt partner John Ostlund comments, “We are excited to have Kevin on our team. His passion for radio, [as well as his] experience with many of our clients and involvement in non-profit organizations, makes him a great fit.” Another One Putt partner – Chris Pacheco – notes, “I have known and worked with Kevin many times over the years – he brings tremendous experience to our team.” California State University-Fullerton alum O’Rorke adds, “Radio is an exciting industry, but locally-owned radio with the kind of community focus that Chris and John have demonstrated over the years is very unique. I am looking forward to getting started and making a difference.” One Putt’s Fresno cluster includes sports talk KFIG “940 ESPN Radio”; KFRR “New Rock 104.1”; classic rock KJFX “95.7 The Fox”; triple A KJWL “K-Jewel 105.5”; CHR KWDO “99.3 Now FM”; and classic hits-oldies KYNO-AM.
Daniel Joins Fresno’s KVPR and Bakersfield’s KPRX As News Director. News/talk KQED, San Francisco reporter Alice Daniel is appointed news director of similarly-formatted KVPR, Fresno and KPRX, Bakersfield. Valley Public Radio interim president Joe Moore comments, “Alice is a talented reporter and educator, who always finds a way to bring out something special or unexpected in her stories. Six years ago, we didn’t have any local reporters at the station; now, we have three. Our work is increasingly being recognized with awards at the regional and national level.” Daniel remarks, “I am excited by the prospect of working with other reporters to cover this diverse and story-rich region in a way that makes a difference for the community at large. I love the creative process of figuring out the best way to tell a compelling story. There is nothing I love more in journalism than finding that gem of a story that no one else has unearthed.” In addition to contributing to Success Magazine, Daniel – who has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University – has taught journalism for 17 years at Fresno State University.
TALKERS News Notes. In a presentation to be made this coming Saturday (10/13), Cumulus Media San Francisco news/talk KSFO morning host (5:00 am – 9:00 am) Brian Sussman will receive the Don Sherwood Award from the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. The listener-voted honor recognizes the Bay Area’s favorite news/talk radio broadcaster for 2018. Sussman replaced Lee Rodgers in morning drive on KSFO in February 2010 ….. Beginning this Thursday (10/11), The New York Times debuts “The Argument,” a weekly opinion podcast hosted by three of the paper’s op-ed columnists – David Leonhardt, Ross Douthat, and Michelle Goldberg ….. As reported by the St. Louis Dispatch, “Real Housewife of Orange County” Meghan King Edmonds will appear with “Meghan’s Must Haves” every week on the Sunday morning edition of Rick & Tracey Ellis’ show on Entercom St. Louis news/talk KFTK “FM Newstalk 97.1.” The segment starts this Sunday (10/14). Edmonds is the wife of former St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels outfielder/current Fox Sports Midwest analyst Jim Edmonds ….. The former six-year general manager of Tri-States Public Radio and an adjunct instructor at Western Illinois University, Jonathan Ahl, will be a Rolla, Missouri-based reporter for University of Missouri-St. Louis news/talk KWMU. Ahl previously was news director and reporter at Iowa Public Radio ….. KTTC-TV, Austin (Minnesota) multimedia journalist James Bunner has been fired for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while covering President Trump’s appearance last Thursday in Rochester, Minnesota. KTTC news director Noel Sederstrom said Bunner was let go for wearing campaign gear while covering the political event – not because of his personal politics. Sederstrom told BuzzFeed News, “[Bunner] violated our policy so he’s no longer with us. We don’t allow our people to wear campaign clothing while on assignment.” On the day of Trump’s inauguration, Bunner posted a video of himself on Facebook dancing to “Celebration” (Kool & The Gang). KTTC removed Bunner’s online profile from its website last Friday ….. Listeners will be able to use touch and voice to tune into live iHeartRadio radio stations on Portal and Portal+ – Facebook’s home video communications devices. The Portal comes with a variety of features such as AI-powered video cameras, smart sound technology, and crystal-clear audio. Powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice control system, the video chat devices were introduced today (10/8).
Richard Neer Pens Sixth Murder Mystery Book. Longtime TALKERS columnist Richard Neer, a 30-year sports talk veteran at WFAN, New York and former WNEW-FM, New York radio great, has released his sixth Riley King murder mystery, An American Storm (Amazon Digital Services, 2018). This one has a strong radio sub-plot as King’s cohort Rick Stone deals with a career crisis after moving from making big dollars at a large market station to a small labor-of-love outlet, attempting to create a free form talk and music format. He is frustrated by a dearth of callers and the aging demo. Neer is well-known for his landmark radio non-fiction FM, the Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) and is developing a large following as a writer of the mystery fiction genre. He can be reached for interviews at firstname.lastname@example.org. The new book is available at Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions.
Kavanaugh Confirmation and Ensuing Protests Across the Nation Top the List of Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio Over the Weekend. The U.S. Senate Confirmation and Swearing-in of controversial Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the protests that took place during and after the vote topped the list of stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend. These stories were followed by the US-China trade war; November midterm elections and the battle for control of Congress; the new USMCA deal; the disappearance of the head of Interpol after traveling to China; NFL action during week number five and the MLB divisional playoffs which were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Welsh, Porreca Join JAM Media Solutions. East Orange, New Jersey-based JAM Media Solutions names Donovan Welsh executive vice president of sales and Kerry Porreca executive vice president of finance. JAM Media Solutions closed on its media properties last Wednesday (10/3). They take over eight media properties in Outer Banks, North Carolina and Muscatine, Iowa. The Outer Banks properties include WCMS “Water Country”; hot AC WCXL “Beach 104”; WVOD “99.1 The Sound – The Outer Banks’ Alternative”; WZPR “Classic Rock 92.3”; and “The Outer Banks Voice.” The Muscatine properties include classic rock KMCS “Vintage Sound 93.1”; KWPC “The Voice of Muscatine; and “The Voice of Muscatine.” JAM Media Solutions president and CEO Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. remarks, “In the early years of my career in New York, I worked with Mr. Welsh and am honored that he has decided to join JAM Media to oversee our sales efforts. Mrs. Porreca is a veteran finance executive and has extensive knowledge of the Outer Banks. She is uniquely positioned to help us achieve our goal of giving back to the communities we seek to serve. I am humbled to step into the next phase of our collective journey. Our goal is to deliver a first-rate experience for the communities we serve. We love our radio local and our listeners will come to know that for themselves.” Most recently, Welsh was sales manager of Entercom New York sports talk WFAN. Porreca has spent the majority of her professional career in the manufacturing and advertising areas.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Additions at Entercom Los Angeles CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” find DJ Vice hosting “DJ Vice in the Mix” weekdays from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm and Krystal Bee joining the station’s weekend lineup. According to Entercom Los Angeles senior vice president and market manager Jeff Federman, “DJ Vice and Krystal Bee have been household names in the Southern California radio and music scene for more than 25 years collectively. We look forward to them delivering a fresh listening experience for fans.” DJ Vice remarks, “As someone who was born and raised in Los Angeles, it is an honor to be a part of the ‘97.1 Amp Radio’ family. This mix is so fulfilling to do for my city, and hopefully, I can ease the pain of our listeners as they sit in L.A. traffic.” Krystal Bee notes that, “[KAMP] has a vision for radio that is so exciting. I have loved working with the team and I am excited about everything the future holds for me, the station, and our amazing listeners.” In 2011, DJ Vice was named one of “America’s Best DJs” by DJ Times. Prior to joining Entercom, Krystal Bee held on-air roles for cross-town rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” since 2011 ….. Following last week’s departure of brand manager/program director Ron Valeri, Entercom Boston-owned WAAF “The Only Station That Really Rocks” names Joe Galgaro, PD of Saga Communications Milwaukee’s WHQG “102.9 The Hog,” as Valeri’s replacement ….. Most recently doing mid-days for Beasley Media Group Tampa’s WQYK “99.5 New Country Hits,” June Knight joins Entercom Miami’s similarly-formatted WKIS “Country 99.5” as morning drive co-host, where she will pair with assistant program director/music director Tim “TC” Conlon as “TC & June. Knight previously worked in Boston at CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” and WODS … As we reported last week, Louie Diaz is promoted to vice president/contemporary for the Cumulus Radio Station Group, continuing his role as operations manager for Cumulus Media Atlanta and as PD for CHR WWWQ “Q100.” Associated with that move, Cumulus Media vice president/contemporary programming (CHR and hot AC) Cat Thomas departs. Thomas joined Cumulus Media nearly three years ago, after a 27-year career with CBS Radio Las Vegas where he was vice president/programming. For approximately 20 years, he programmed that company’s Las Vegas CHR, KLUC ….. Morning co-host Brian Fowler exits WGAR. He joined “Country 99.5.” in 2011 to team with LeeAnn Sommers, who remains with the iHeartMedia Cleveland outlet ….. Next year’s iHeartRadio “ALTer Ego” officially sold out on the first day on sale. The second annual music event, which will broadcast live (1/19/2019) across over 70 iHeartRadio alternative and rock stations, reportedly sold out in less than a minute of being on sale to the general public. The “ALTer Ego” lineup at Los Angeles’ Fabulous Forum includes The Killers, Weezer, Rise Against, Twenty One Pilots, Muse, Bishop Briggs, and The Revivalists. Chief programming officer for iHeartMedia Tom Poleman notes, “It was remarkable to watch how fast tickets sold out. All tickets immediately went the moment we made them available. It speaks to the power of the lineup and how fast the ALTer Ego brand has grown in just two years.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia president/national sales, marketing & partnerships Tim Castelli comments, “The lineup is incredible and reaches the millennial trend leaders who make up the mega-event’s core audience. Given such an amazing response, we are expecting this to break social chatter records like we have done with our lineup on our other iHeart marquee events” ….. Former WPIA “98.5 Kiss FM,” Peoria (Illinois) program director Jonathan Steele is named to a similar position at Martz Communications Pittsburgh urban contemporary WAMO …..Tennessee Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and congressional hopeful Jim Cooper have picked up a big-name endorsement – Taylor Swift. The singer usually doesn’t express her political beliefs but notes on Instagram, “Due to several events in my life and in the world the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.” Bredesen and Cooper are Democrats ….. At the box office, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s “A Star Is Born” remake took in $41.3 million. According to comScore, with $174.5 million in tickets sold at United States and Canadian theaters, it was easily the best October weekend ever…. Starting today (10/8), iHeartMedia Columbus CHR WNCI-originated “Dave (Kaelin) & Jimmy (Jam)” will air (6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Alpha Media Canton (Ohio) hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix” 94.1.” WHBC-FM operations manager Bo Matthews comments, “Dave & Jimmy are Ohio guys [who] celebrate the region with their content. They experience all the pain that comes with being Cleveland sports fans. I am super excited for the show they will be providing us every weekday morning.” According to Jimmy Jam, “Canton is my hometown so I have about 200 relatives [who] will be listening every day.”