WBAL, Baltimore Adds Dan Joseph Show for Nights. Charm City news/talk WBAL announces the launch of a new nighttime show hosted by Dan Joseph. The Hearst station says he comes with “a unique background” that “includes acting, politics and media.” He’s previously served with Media Research Center producing man-on-the-street videos used by FOX News. WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Providing Baltimore and Maryland with the most local news and talk is job one at WBAL ‘Newsradio 1090.’ With Dan’s new 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm program, WBAL now is the area’s only destination weeknights for live and local conversation and insight.” Joseph adds, “I’m absolutely thrilled to be here at WBAL and I’m so grateful to discuss the issues of the day with the people of Baltimore, each night. It’s an honor to be part of the WBAL ‘Newsradio 1090’ lineup.”
Moyer to Lead Sales Efforts for Alpha Media’s Portland Talk Stations. This is a promotion for Alpha Media sales pro Geoff Moyer as he rises from local sales manager to general sales manager for the company’s Portland talk stations – KXL “FM News 101.1,” sports talk KXTG-AM/K275CH “102.9/750 The Game,” talk KUFO “Freedom 970,” as well as the 22-station Radio Northwest Network. Alpha Media VP of sales Amy Leimbach states, “Geoff is an excellent coach and talent developer who has rapidly become one of Alpha Media Portland’s most effective leaders. I’m excited to watch Geoff excel in his newly expanded role.” Moyer says of his promotion, “I am happy and excited about this great opportunity to continue growing at Alpha. It’s always exciting to work alongside so many great people. Every day brings new adventures and I am excited about our future.”
Johnson to Host Afternoons at ’94.3 The Game’ in Greenville, NC. Air personality Patrick Johnson is joining Inner Banks Media to host the afternoon show on sports talk WRHD-FM, Greenville, North Carolina “94.3 The Game.” He’ll also host the Eastern Carolina University football pre-game show this season. Johnson takes over on-air duties from Josh Graham who recently exited to join WSJS, Winston-Salem. Inner Banks Media vice president Hank Hinton says, “We are so excited that Patrick has agreed to return to Greenville. He is the perfect addition to our great sports talk lineup. He’s a real pro and quite a fun guy to listen to. ECU Pirate fans will love his new show on ‘The Game.’”
VSiN to Provide ‘The Sports Hub’ with Boston-Focused Updates. Continuing to expand its relationships with sports talk radio stations, VSiN – the first network dedicated to delivering daily information about sports gambling – signs a deal with Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” to provide it with Boston-focused updates. Beginning Monday (8/20), the station will run “VSiN Action Updates” covering how the sports betting markets are reacting to Boston’s sports teams. VSiN will supply one report at 12:13 pm ET and another at 6:13 pm ET each weekday from its Las Vegas studio at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. WBZ-FM program director Mike Thomas says, “Sports gambling laws are changing across the country and ‘The Sports Hub’ is proud to have a relationship with VSiN and the Musburger team to give our listeners the latest and most accurate information.” VSiN CEO Brian Musberger comments, “‘The Sports Hub’ joins a growing list of more than 25 terrestrial radio stations across the country bringing ‘VSiN Action Updates’ to their listeners – including ‘670 The Score’ in Chicago, KNBR in San Francisco, ‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego and ‘101 ESPN’ in St. Louis.”
Omarosa’s ‘Bitchiness’ Provoked Radio Producer to Use the F Word and Hang Up on Her. It happened back in 2009 during what was then referred to in the radio business as a “satellite tour.” It is a series of radio interviews in which a hot guest appears in brief interviews on one show after another across the country from a central location via telephone, ISDN or satellite hook-up. Famous radio producer Bernadette Duncan was coordinating one such tour on United Stations Radio Networks’ roster of client morning shows for Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth (Stallworth was her first husband) who was promoting her book, The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn it On and Off (Phoenix Books, 2008). The theme of the book was to inform women how to locate and properly use their “inner bitch.” According to a segment titled “Talk Show, Freak Show” in Duncan’s popular radio book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016), Omarosa was extremely nasty and difficult to work with. She called the usually affable producer a “fucking moron.” In retaliation, Duncan writes, “I flung an F-bomb back at her, the first and only time I ever did so with any guest.” Then Duncan hung up on Omarosa and fulfilled the remaining scheduled interviews herself, telling the story on the air about what had just happened. To read the entire excerpt, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. The Heidi Harris program on Kemp Communications’ KMZQ, Las Vegas is expanding by an hour. Previously heard from 9:00 am to 10:00 am each day, the show starts an hour earlier beginning Monday (8/20) and will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. Harris has hosted talk shows on numerous signals in the market, including KXNT and KDWN…..Former talk radio host Jerry Klein has died after a battle with esophageal cancer and non-alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. Klein had been in hospice care for the past 10 days. He was a talk host on WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte during the mid-1990s, later moving to WMAL-AM, Washington where he was an air personality and assistant program director.
Omarosa Recording and Book Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 13-17. The secret White House recording made by former Trump administration staffer Omarosa Marigault Newman and her tell-all book were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the ongoing Trump-Russia Investigation and the related firing of FBI agent Peter Strzok. Coming in at #3 was the Tuesday primaries, followed by the Pennsylvania Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal 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.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s a morning show change at Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WRRM, Cincinnati “WARM 98.5” as Jim Day and Amanda Orlando launch “The WARM Morning Show with Jim and Amanda” on Monday (8/20). They take over for Bob Goen and Marianne Curan who exit the station. Day has hosted morning shows on WHKO-FM, Dayton; KWEN-FM, Tulsa; and WSM-FM, Nashville. Orlando comes to WRRM from sister country outlet WNNF “NASH FM 94.1.” WRRM program director Brian Demay says, “Sometimes you just know! Jim and Amanda have obvious chemistry. They have both been a part of very successful morning shows. It’s time to put them together on ‘Warm 98.5.’…..Entercom is putting Weigel Broadcasting’s MeTV FM format on the HD2 channel of WMYX, Milwaukee. This format is syndicated by Envision Networks and is heard on flagship WRME-LP, Chicago. The format has been making news in the radio industry since achieving very good ratings for a signal at 88.7 FM…..Cumulus Media and WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” announce the NASH Next 2018 New York City Country Challenge Showcase – a live country music talent competition – taking place Tuesday (8/21) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Opry City Stage in Times Square. NASH FM 94.7 on-air personality Katie Neal will host Tuesday night’s competition with live music performances by 10 area country artists. The NASH FM 94.7 judging team includes: Country artist Jessie Chris; Dolly Chandler, talent buyer, Opry Entertainment Group; Leslie Slender, VP, brand partnerships, Cumulus Media; NASH FM 94.7 on-air personality Kylie Keene; and NASH FM 94.7 producer and on-air personality Jason Goldstein.
Salem Media to Air Dino Costa-Hosted Sports Talk Show on ‘AM 970 The Answer’ in NYC. The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman reports that Salem Media Group is bringing controversial sports talk personality Dino Costa to the Big Apple to host a sports talk show on conservative news/talk outlet WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.” The show will air from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am and launches tonight (Tuesday, January 9). Costa tells Raissman, “Obviously there is a lot of great sports radio in New York. I feel privileged to be a part of the New York sports radio scene and I hope I can do my part to provide another option for sports fans looking for something a little bit different.” Costa was most recently with Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG-AM, Portland as afternoon personality. He joined the station on June 5 but exited two months later after blowback from his on-air comments suggesting motorists should hit Black Lives Matter protesters who block roadways. During his career, Costa also served with SiriusXM, hosting a program on the Mad Dog Radio channel.
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on 6+ data from the December 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio. As the NFL regular season winds down toward the playoffs, it’s not unusual to see the flagship stations of playoff-bound teams benefit in the ratings, and that appears to be the case again this year. Comparing November 2017 data to December 2017, Kinosian says that “six of every 10 stations (60%) on this sports talk panel are down November 2017 – December 2017; 28% improve; and the remaining 12% are flat.” When comparing station performances from December 2016 to December 2017, “54% of these eligible sports talk stations are up year-to-year, while 34% regress; the remaining 12% are unchanged from a year ago.” Not a single sports talker ranked #1 (6+) in its market, but five stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets. Both Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia and iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis ranked #2. iHeartMedia’s WBZ-FM, Boston and Entercom’s WFAN, New York ranked #4 (WFAN achieved that in the New Jersey market of Middlesex-Somerset-Union counties), and Entercom’s WXYT-FM, Detroit ranked #5. See Kinosian’s complete report here.
Premiere Networks’ George Noory Celebrates 15 Years as Host of ‘Coast to Coast AM.’ This month marks the 15th year George Noory has been host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated late-night show, “Coast to Coast AM.” This broadcasting milestone comes on the heels of Noory’s renewed long-term contract with Premiere, signed last year. Noory comments, “I’m so excited about starting year 16 with my same, amazing staff, dedicated advertisers and, of course, our faithful listeners worldwide.” Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Entertaining millions of people in the middle of the night is no small feat, but George makes it look easy. His passion and dedication to delivering the best content for the ‘Coast to Coast AM’ audience is what drives the continued growth and success of the program. We’re proud to celebrate this special milestone with George, and look forward to many more.”
TALKERS News Notes. The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show gets underway this week in Las Vegas and iHeartMedia is announcing some new integrations for its iHeartRadio digital content platform during the show. The company says that now listeners will have the ability to access iHeartRadio through a bot for Facebook Messenger; Samsung’s new voice service, Bixby; Jibo, the first social robot for the home; Garmin’s new GPS running watch, the Forerunner 645 Music; and via Roku…..Speaking of the 2018 CES, media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the show for TALKERS magazine and will be reporting all this week. Watch for his show notes here at Talkers.com and in our daily emailer…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that former longtime WSCR, Chicago midday personality Dan McNeil has been sitting in on the Entercom sports talker recently. He appeared yesterday morning (1/7) co-hosting with the station’s Danny Parkins. Feder says McNeil will be back on WSCR next weekend with Tim Doyle. Feder says that McNeil has been hosting a sports-oriented podcast. He’s also been the voice of commercials for a Highland, Indiana Ford dealership where he’s on staff as a salesman…..Two former NFL players have been let go by ESPN after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis – both of whom also have worked in sports talk radio since retiring from the NFL – were named in a lawsuit by NFL Network wardrobe stylist Jami Cantor in which she accuses McNabb of sending sexually inappropriate texts and Davis of groping her and making suggestive comments.
Hintz Named Marketing Director at Envision Networks. Syndicator and sales firm Envision Networks announces Dave Hintz returns to the radio industry to serve as the company’s new marketing director. Hintz has been away from radio for the past 12 years, mostly with Progressive Insurance. Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We are thrilled to have Dave join our growing company. He brings a wealth of marketing and PR experience to our expanding business. Dave will oversee our marketing team as well as manage additional sales initiatives debuting in 2018.”
Fire and Fury Controversy, Frigid Weather in Eastern U.S., Jeff Sessions vs Legal Marijuana, Computer Vulnerabilities, Golden Globe Awards/#MeToo Movement, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The controversy surrounding Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, about the Donald Trump campaign and White House; the extreme cold that affected much of the Eastern United States; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to have the Justice Department reverse the Obama era directive to not apply federal law in states where marijuana has been legalized; the vulnerability of all computers due to flaws in their microprocessors; Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards and the activism of the #MeToo movement; and the NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” says it is bringing “Texas Country Music to Western Pennsylvania via a new weekly specialty program, ‘Red Dirt Revival.’” The new program is airing Sunday evenings from 9:00 to 12:00 midnight, hosted by Waynesburg, PA native and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jackson Gardner. The program will feature music by artists such as Aaron Watson, Pat Green, and Eli Young Band. Entercom SVP and Pittsburgh market manager Michael Young states, “These artists are making great contributions to country music overall and we are pleased to bring their great songs to the airwaves of Western Pennsylvania.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Alpha Media’s country WCCQ, Crest Hill, Illinois is rebranding as a classic country outlet, using the moniker “Today’s Country & The Legends.” His report indicates that the station will emphasize artists from the 1990s and the early 2000s…..Saga Communications announces that Paul O’Malley is appointed president and general manager for the company’s Charleston, South Carolina cluster. O’Malley was most recently SVP/strategic sales partnerships for Westwood One. Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Paul’s world-class reputation and experience, coupled with his love for Charleston, made this a perfect fit for us and our outstanding team in Charleston.”
20th Annual TALKERS Convention Delivers Power Packed Day in NYC. The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place Friday (6/2) in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it fulfilled its promise to continue its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable one-day experience for its attendees. More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent comprised a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017. These included the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more. The major annual TALKERS awards were presented at the event. Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity received the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner received the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman. Emmis Communications president/CEO Jeff Smulyan received the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. Genesis Communications Network host Dr. Daliah Wachs received the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host. Hofstra University communications student Maria Santana received the new Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster. The entire convention was video recorded and will be featured here on Talkers.com shortly. Stay tuned for more story and photo coverage in the days ahead. Meanwhile, below are some photos from the event.
Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Woman of the Year” award to Mary Berner (r). Photo by Don Hurley.
Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Freedom of Speech” award to Sean Hannity (r). Photo by Don Hurley.
Kevin Casey (r) presenting “Lifetime Achievement” award to Jeff Smulyan (l). Photo by Don Hurley.
Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Humanitarian of the Year” award to Dr. Daliah Wachs (r). Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
Doug Stephan (l) presenting “Student of the Year” award to Maria Santana (r). Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
[SlickSlider name=”4th marquee”]
Mike Kinosian (l) conducting “Fireside Chat” with Mike Francesa (r). Photo by Don Hurley.
Harry Hurley (l) presenting $1,000 check for Broadcasters Foundation to Dan Mason (r). Photo by Don Hurley.
PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz addressing the convention about podcasting and local radio.
Salem Media Group, SVP/spoken word format, Phil Boyce discussing the “Trump Effect” on talk radio.
Joe and Sharon Madison of SiriusXM Satellite Radio discussing “Radio that Makes a Difference.”
Holland Cooke discussing the forthcoming merger of CBS Radio and Entercom Communications.
Cumulus Adds Eboni K. Williams to WABC, New York Midday Show. The WABC, New York midday program becomes “The Curtis and Eboni Show” today (6/5) with the addition of Eboni K. Williams alongside Curtis Sliwa. Williams is a Fox News Channel personality who co-hosts “The Fox News Specialists” daily at 5:00 pm ET. She joins Sliwa on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show after the recent departure of Ron Kuby from the show. In addition to co-hosting the program with Sliwa, Williams will also contribute to 77 WABC Radio’s social media channels as well as produce an exclusive weekly podcast that will be published on wabcradio.com. At the same time, Sliwa will continue hosting “The Drive at Five” weekdays afternoons. WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Eboni breaks the mold for what a talk host can be today. She is equal parts intelligent, passionate, relatable, and exciting. Curtis and Eboni will be a must-listen in New York.”
Tom Poleman Promoted to Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. The new long-term agreement between radio pro Tom Poleman and iHeartMedia comes with a promotion to chief programming officer. Poleman has been the president of iHeartMedia’s national programming group since August of 2011 and he remains in that position, as well. Poleman will also continue to head up iHeartMedia’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and the On the Verge program, which have championed artists like Sam Smith, Maren Morris, Fifth Harmony and James Bay, as well as Sam Hunt, Bleachers and Lukas Graham, early in their careers. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman comments, “No one understands the intricate relationship between programming, on-air talent, artist relationships and live music events like Tom Poleman. He has always been a key part of the team that has shaped iHeartMedia into a multi-platform company. Tom’s unique vision has turned our National Programing Group into what it is today – an innovative nationwide network of the most talented people working as a team to bring constant innovation to our company and our industry. I’m thrilled that he will remain a key contributor in our company’s continued evolution and success.”
KXTG, Portland Names Dino Costa Afternoon Drive Host. Sports talk personality Dino Costa is taking over the afternoon drive program on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM “102.9/750 The Game,” replacing the “Justin and Chop” program, starting today (6/5). KXTG operations manager Bruce Collins says, “I am thrilled to bring a radio star like Dino Costa to ‘The Game.’ Get ready Portland for an entertaining, informative, fun ride each day on your way home. Dino has demonstrated the ability to build and sustain an audience wherever he has been and we look forward to him being the dominant sports radio personality in the Rose City.” Costa’s sports talk career includes a five-year stint at SiriusXM and five years airing his show on the Radio Colorado Network. Costa comments, “I’m thrilled and humbled by this extraordinary opportunity and look forward to working with everyone at Alpha Media to produce a sports radio show that leaves an indelible mark on Portland. I look forward to justifying the enormous faith of those who brought me to the Rose City with a radio show that resonates with listeners and marketing partners.”
The Power of Live and Local Talk Radio. WPG, Atlantic City morning drive talk show host Harry Hurley today writes of an experience that he says he can’t believe happened. A long-time listener to his program sent Hurley the Purple Heart he was given for injuries sustained during the Vietnam War. Hurley writes that a talk radio program’s listenership can become “family-like,” and his interaction with this veteran illustrates this point. Read Hurley’s story here.
Greg Papa Show Renewed on KGMZ, San Francisco. Bay Area sports media pro Greg Papa inks a new deal with Entercom to continue hosting his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm sports talk program on KGMZ “95.7 The Game.” Papa is well-known to Oakland Raiders fans as the longtime voice of Raiders football radio play-by-play. KGMZ program director Don Kollins states, “Greg Papa is an iconic personality in Bay Area sports media and we are thrilled to extend his contract. Sports fans can look forward to an expanded role for Papa on our airwaves; it’s an exciting time here at ‘95.7 The GAME.’” Papa has been with KGMZ since 2014. He’s a three-time California Sportscaster of the Year Award winner. The station says that in addition to his daily radio show, he’ll make frequent appearances in morning drive with Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley. He is also co-host of “The Happy Hour” on NBC Sports Bay Area, host of Warriors Pregame Live and Warriors Postgame Live.
TALKERS News Notes. Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster. In addition to overseeing operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM. Steele will also serve news/talk WXQW-AM as program director…..Ahead of Georgia’s 6th District runoff election, former GOP presidential candidate and WSB, Atlanta talk show host Herman Cain is bringing his radio show to Milton, Georgia next Monday (6/12) where he’ll tape before a live audience at the Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..Longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Fred Manfra leaves his post due to health problems. Manfra called his last game on Sunday evening (6/4).
Weekend London Terror Attacks/Trump Tweets, Trump Travel Ban, Portland Protests, Bill Maher ‘N’-word Flap/Kathy Griffin Blowback, Middle East Countries Break with Qatar, Wonder Woman Tops Weekend Box Office Battle, MLB Action and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The weekend terror attacks in London that claimed the lives of seven and injured more than 48 and the related tweets from President Donald Trump; renewed talk of President Trump’s travel ban that has been halted by the courts; the violent pro-Trump and anti-Trump protests that took place in Portland over the weekend; HBO’s Bill Maher under fire for using the “n”-word on his Friday evening program and the blowback against comic Kathy Griffin for her Trump severed head photo; several Middle East countries break diplomatic ties with Qatar for its suspected support of Islamic State; the film Wonder Woman tops the weekend’s box office receipts; and MLB action and the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Dr. Asa Andrew Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most colorful rising stars in talk media today, Dr. Asa Andrew (known to his audiences simply as Dr. Asa), is this week’s guest on the award-winning, weekly PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Dr. Asa just celebrated his 10th anniversary on the air with a daily alternative health and fitness radio show that continues to attract news/talk affiliates across North America. Dr. Asa, a dedicated media disciple of Dave Ramsey, discusses a wide variety of subjects with Michael Harrison including the potentially powerful role of credible doctor shows as ratings and revenue generators within the context of news/talk formats. They also talk about reality TV (he’s about to star in a series on the Discovery Channel) and Dr. Asa’s experiences as a student at the WCW school for professional wrestlers. Don’t miss this cool podcast. To listen to the entire program, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, afternoon drive personality Ian “Slacker” Richards is promoted to program director at CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio.” Richards also serves as music director for the station. CBS RADIO Detroit VP of programming Tim Roberts says, “Ian has demonstrated over and over an in-depth knowledge of the top 40 format, music and artists. He is also a natural leader both on and off the air for our staff and the WDZH brand.”…..Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster. He’ll oversee operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM. Steele will also serve WXQW-AM as program director. Steele joins Cumulus Media from iHeartMedia in Reading, Pennsylvania where he programmed adult hits WRFY-FM and tropical WRAW-AM/FM and served as morning show host on WRFY-FM. Cumulus Media VP of programming operations Doug Hamand says, “We are very excited to bring Jimmy’s amazing track record and high caliber talents to coaching and mentoring our fabulous programming team in Mobile. Our great radio stations already dominate the ratings here and with Jimmy’s vision, experience and focus, there’s no limit to what we can achieve together!….Alpha Media Savannah-Hilton Head announces WUBB’s “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” and WFXH’s Ryan Koch were each awarded Connect Savannah Reader’s Choice Awards. “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” won “Best Morning Radio Show,” while Ryan Koch was awarded “Best Local Personality.” Winners were chosen by local readers of Connect Savannah.
WRKO, Boston 50th Anniversary Reunion a Huge Success. The 50th anniversary WRKO reunion (celebrating the now-news/talk outlet’s switch to its legendary top 40 format a half century ago) took place this past weekend (6/2-3). More than 80 alumni and friends showed up for a dinner on Friday night followed by a special Saturday night broadcast on the heritage 50k station. Local voice talent Jordan Rich interviewed dozens of attendees at the dinner. Nearly all of the original cast of DJs from 1967 were on hand for a fascinating re-creation of a truly fun time in radio. It was organized by the station’s music-era PD Mel Phillips, along with technical expert George Capalbo, Jr. of Backbone Networks (son of WRKO’s late technical architect George Capalbo, Sr.) and a number of broadcast veterans of that historic era. The Saturday night show was streamed live on Facebook and by the end of the program, approximately 69,000 people were estimated to be listening and watching around the world! Entercom VP/market manager Phil Zachary was praised by organizers as being instrumental in making the event a reality. Industry videographer/historian Art Vuolo was on hand to capture the entire event for posterity telling TALKERS that he hopes to have the video edited and complete before the end of June. Pictured (l-r): J.J. Jeffrey, Al Gates, Mel Phillips, Joel Cash, Chuck Knapp and Arthur Katz.
WJR, Detroit Brings Motor City Broadcast Pro Guy Gordon Aboard for New Talk Show. Longtime market television journalist Guy Gordon will debut a new talk show on Cumulus Media’s WJR, Detroit from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm beginning January 3. Cumulus notes that Gordon has been a fixture on Detroit television news for more than 30 years and was recognized with two Emmy Awards for Best Anchor and six Emmy Awards for Best Writing, Reporting, and Documentary. Cumulus Detroit VP/market manager Tom O’Brien states, “We are thrilled to have a media professional of Guy’s caliber join the WJR team and to kick off 2017 with this vibrant new program. Guy has covered many of the biggest stories affecting Metro Detroit and its residents over the past three decades and has experienced the triumphs and challenges of our great city from a truly unique perspective and vantage point. WJR listeners will be captivated by what is sure to be a lively and provocative two hours with Guy and his guests each weekday afternoon.” Gordon’s show replaces “The Savage Nation” with Michael Savage.
WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Year Lineup. With the New Year come changes at E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee. With the retirement from radio of longtime WTMJ personality Charlie Sykes, the station moves midday personality Jeff Wagner to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon daypart. Hosting the “WTMJ Today” show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on an interim basis will be WTMJ alumnus John Jagler, who is now serving as a Representative for Wisconsin’s 37th State Assembly District. Previously, Jagler co-hosted “Wisconsin’s Morning News” with Gene Mueller until 2010. Jagler will work on air with WTMJ’s Erik Bilstad.
‘Brock & Salk’ Show to Air on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland. The KIRO-AM, Seattle-based sports talk show “Brock & Salk” – featuring Brock Huard and Mike Salk – is branching out to another Northwest market as the show begins a run on Alpha Media’s Portland sports talker KXTG-AM “750/102.9 The Game,” effective Monday, January 2. The show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and lead into KXTG’s “The Bald-Faced Truth with John Canzano.” Dave Pridemore, who manages KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” for owner Bonneville International, comments, “We are excited to expand our Seattle Sports Radio Network into the greater Portland area.”
Cumulus Pays Bonuses to Execs John Abbot and Richard Denning. Two of Cumulus Media’s executives have received one-time bonuses, according to a filing with the SEC. The Cumulus board of directors approved one-time, discretionary bonuses for EVP, treasurer and CFO John Abbot ($421875) and SVP and secretary and general counsel Richard Denning ($165,000). The filing notes that the bonuses are for “exceptional efforts and contributions made by those executive officers during 2016, both individually and as members of the management leadership team, in the initial phase of the company’s operational turnaround plan and ongoing operational and financial restructuring.”
Nielsen Audio Releases Round Two of December 2016 PPM Data. The second of four rounds of December 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. The December 2016 survey period covered November 3-30. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
‘Dogma Debate’ Launches on PodcastOne. The popular podcast produced by author and media figure David Smalley is joining the offerings at PodcastOne. “Dogma Debate” is described by Smalley as “fast-paced with a liberal slant…featuring discussion and debate on topics like atheism, science, politics and civil rights” and “priding itself on respectful debates, the show will make you laugh, cry and, most importantly, think, as you dive into taboo territory with Smalley and his guests each week.” Smalley comments, “For years, I’ve been aware of the quality and growth Norm Pattiz delivers, so I’m very excited about the future possibilities ‘Dogma Debate’ can have with PodcastOne.”
‘The Union Edge’ Talk Show Partners with the League of Women Voters. The nationally syndicated labor-oriented radio talk show “The Union Edge” announces a new partnership with the League of Women Voters that will mean League leaders will participating in regular radio segments to discuss voting rights, public policy issues and advocacy. Program host Charles Showalter says, “We are excited to partner with the League of Women Voters for their strong commitment to voter engagement, voter protection and education. Union members are Democrats, Republicans and Independents; all should have the unimpeded chance to vote their conscience. As a non-partisan organization, the League always brings a fresh perspective on the critical issues facing working people across the country.”
Talk Personality Rob Carson Building Digital Platform. Since recently exiting Cumulus Media’s KCMO, Kansas City, radio personality Rob Carson has been building his own digital platform for his various projects based out of his new home-based broadcast studio. He tells TALKERS that in addition to his digital content, he’s doing talk radio fill-in work (he’ll be on WTMJ, Milwaukee and WLS-AM, Chicago next week). “I now have a fully functional broadcast studio in my home. Since leaving KCMO a month ago, I was able to crowd-fund a new studio, complete with a Comrex Bric II. I have built a podcast and am working on a one-stop website for my podcasts, syndicated comedy, social media and dozens of comedy/lifestyle/cooking videos. As things grow, I’ve already started to talk to food processors and distributors about food products of my design to sell in stores and over the air.” Check out some of his cooking videos here.
Odds & Sods. January’s East-West Shrine Game – the nation’s longest-running college all-star football game – is airing on more than 100 stations via SB Nation Radio. Program director and COO Craig Larson states, “It’s a great honor to air the East-West Shrine game on SB Nation Radio. I have long supported the amazing work of Shriners Hospitals. This is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight many outstanding student-athletes and a tremendous organization.”…..One of the busiest talk radio hosts in America is at it again. WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway will host that show, his regular morning show on WMT, Cedar Rapids as well as subbing in morning drive on iHeartMedia sister station WFLF, Orlando today (12/21) through Friday…..The GCN nationally syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show is added to the program schedule at D.J. Broadcasting’s WKDE, Altavista, Virginia…..Sports media personalities Woody Paige and Jay Mariotti are launching a daily, 30-minute podcast titled, “Unmuted: The Daily Sports Podcast.” Paige and Mariotti are well known for their work on ESPN’s “Around The Horn” program.
Trump Transition, Obama Drilling Ban, Berlin Terror Attack, Russian Diplomat Assassination Aftermath, U.S. Embassy in Israel Move, Pulse Victims’ Families Sue Social Media, and NFL Pro Bowl Players Announced Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/20). The transition of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees; President Obama issues order banning drilling in Arctic and Atlantic Oceans; the search for the person responsible for the deadly truck attack in Berlin; the assassination of Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov in Ankara and its effect on international relations; controversy over the Trump plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the planned suit against Facebook, Twitter and Google by families of the victims of The Pulse nightclub massacre; and the announcement of the NFL’s 2016 Pro Bowl players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.