JB Wilde Rises to VP of Content & Programming for Townsquare Media. Programming pro JB Wilde is promoted to vice president of content & programming for Townsquare Media. Wilde, who joined the company in 2016 as director of content for the Rochester, Minnesota station group, was most recently regional content director for the company’s New York and New Jersey stations. Townsquare says that in this new role, Wilde will “help drive the company’s live and local strategy and lead a group of regional content directors who work closely with multiple Townsquare clusters of local media brands to entertain, inform, and grow audience across all platforms – broadcast, digital, social and events.” In addition to Wilde’s promotion, Townsquare Media is promoting two local leaders to the corporate Content and Programming Group. Christopher “Sweet Lenny” Barber is elevated to regional content director from the company’s Rockford, Illinois cluster, where he has spent the last six years as director of content. Danielle Kootman also joins as regional content director after spending the last six years in the company’s Cedar Rapids, Iowa cluster as digital managing editor. Townsquare SVP/content and programming Kurt Johnson comments, “Could not be happier to promote JB and add Danielle and Lenny to the Content and Programming team. They’ve succeeded at every job we’ve given them, and their skills will strengthen the team and continue Townsquare’s growth as the leading local media company in our markets.”
Sound Bites from NAB2022. “No matter how well-planned the agenda,” consultant Holland Cooke says he’s “always found that the most valuable part of a convention is…convening, catching-up with old friends and making new ones.” And being the first NAB Show in three years, HC gathered some quotable quotes. Read them here.
New York Festivals Radio Awards Announces 2022 Winners. The New York Festivals Radio Awards announced the 2022 Storytellers Gala award-winners at the virtual event held yesterday (4/26) in conjunction with the NAB Show. NYFestivals says, “Innovative audio work created by world-class storytellers from 24 countries were celebrated at the April 26 Storytellers Gala virtual event. Creative and compelling audio entries from around the globe were recognized by the 2022 Radio Award Grand Jury including engaging podcasts and audiobooks, masterful dramas, and documentaries, up-to-the-minute news coverage, entertainment and music specials all created by world renowned storytellers.” Some of the American companies that took home Gold first-place trophies include: CBS News Radio, which won “Best Coverage of Breaking News” and “Best Coverage of Ongoing News”; NBC News for “Narrative/Documentary Podcast”; and SiriusXM for “Health Podcast.” You can see all the winners here.
NAB Announces Winners of 2022 Crystal Awards. The National Association of Broadcasters announced the 10 winners of the 35th annual NAB Crystal Radio Awards yesterday (4/26) at the NAB Show. The NAB Crystal Radio Awards recognize radio stations for their year-round commitment to community service. The 10 2022 NAB Crystal Radio Award recipients were chosen from 50 previously announced finalists. Spoken-word radio stations that won include: Bonneville International’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix; Hubbard Radio’s talk KTMY-FM, Minneapolis-Saint Paul; and Audacy’s all-news KYW-AM, Philadelphia.The winners were chosen by a panel of judges representing the broadcast industry, community service organizations and public relations firms.
The Economy/Recession Fears, Russia-Ukraine War, Twitter, January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Trump Org Investigation, and Harvard Slavery Atonement Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/26). The sell-off in U.S. financial markets, inflation, and experts’ fears of a recession; Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine, its cutting off gas to Poland and Bulgaria, and the threat of nuclear attacks; Elon Musk’s victory in acquiring Twitter; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the low rates of hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. and the ongoing lockdowns in China; the battle for control of congress in the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the New York AG’s investigation into the financial dealings of the Trump Organization; and Harvard University acknowledges past ties to slavery and pledges $100 million to atone for it were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WFAN, New York Unveils New Evening and Overnight Shows. Sports talk WFAN, New York announces new evening and overnight programming. The Audacy station brings aboard Keith McPherson to host the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show and promoted part-time talk host Sal Licata to host of the 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am show. Both programs debut on November 15. Audacy New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “Keith and Sal will form a dynamic evening one-two punch, as both have the passion and drive to usher in an exciting new era on ‘The Fan.’ These hours became a must listen for decades with the iconic Steve Somers behind the microphone, and that will continue as Keith and Sal entertain the tristate area nightly be it on the road or even at home under the covers.” McPherson was most recently social media manager and podcast host for Jomboy Media. He says, “This is really a dream come true. I find no greater joy or entertainment than live sports and it’s a blessing and an honor to have this opportunity at a place like WFAN. I look forward to talking sports every day in New York and helping to lead this station into the future.” Sal Licata started his broadcasting career as an intern at WFAN in January 2003 and worked his way up to part-time host. In addition to his work at WFAN, Licata has been with SNY since 2010 and can be seen weeknights on “Geico Sportsnite” and weekly on “Baseball Night in New York.” Licata says, “Having a full time show on WFAN means everything to me. It’s an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity to talk sports every night with the most passionate fans, in the greatest city in the world, on the best sports talk station ever created. It’s all I have ever wanted.”
New York Festivals 2022 Radio Awards Now Accepting Entries. The 2022 New York Festivals Radio Awards competition is now open for entries. New York Festivals Radio Awards honors storytellers from around the globe. Since 1957 NYF has celebrated excellence and innovation across all genres and platforms, keeping pace with industry-wide developments and global trends. Vice president and executive director Rose Anderson says, “When we added nine categories for social justice content last year, radio producers and the global audio storytelling community responded with thought-provoking work. This year, we are thrilled to announce the debut of our new trophy, the iconic NYF Tower in hand-polished Gold, Silver, and Bronze.” For the second year in a row, New York Festivals welcomes JusticeAid, an organization that promotes justice through the arts and public engagement, as a partner. The NYF Radio Awards receives entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from over 30 countries around the globe. The mission of the competition is to honor the achievements of the men and women who make up the global audio storytelling community. New York Festivals invites award-winning industry leaders from around the world to become members of their world-class Radio Awards Grand Jury. The 2022 Grand jury will be set in the coming months. Those jurors will include some of the world’s most recognizable voices and captivating content producers in the radio industry. Entries are judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium. You can see the 2021 winners here. Although the 2021 in-person NAB Show was cancelled due to pandemic quarantine restrictions, NYF pivoted with a 90-minute virtual ceremony Storytellers Gala featuring highlights and acceptances from 100 winning teams of men and women coming from their homes in 40-plus countries. The 2022 Storytellers Gala will take place at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 26, 2022. This is the 12th year of NYF’s strategic partnership with NAB Show. The deadline to enter the 2022 Radio Awards competition is February 9, 2022. Find out more about entering here.
Brian Kilmeade is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Multi-media talk star Brian Kilmeade is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Kilmeade is a longtime member of the trio that co-hosts the FOX News Channel cable TV morning show “FOX & Friends” in addition to hosting his own nationally syndicated midday program on FOX News Radio. Kilmeade is ranked #4 on the 2021 TALKERS Heavy Hundred list. He is the author of seven books – two about sports and he’s just published his fifth about key figures and stories in American History. This series brings new insights into the lives, times, and impact of icons such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston and his new one is titled, The President and the Freedom Fighter: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and their Battle to Save America’s Soul. Harrison and Kilmeade discuss the deeply nuanced relationship between Lincoln and Frederick Douglass (not to be confused with Stephen Douglas) which so directly relates and connects to the reckoning between the races currently taking place in the national conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
iHeartMedia Names Bekki Yang SVP of Sales for Twin Cities. Radio sales pro Bekki Yang is promoted to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis station group that includes news/talk WCTS-AM “Twin Cities News Talk,” sports KFXN “KFAN,” and KQQL-HD2/W227BF “Black Information Network,” and five music brands. iHeartMedia Minneapolis market president Greg Alexander says, “Bekki thinks big and acts big. Innovation and creative thinking are at the core of her career success. I’m thrilled to promote her to senior vice president of sales.” Yang has a 22-year history with iHeartMedia, most recently serving as the vice president of sales for Minneapolis. Yang says, “I’ve had a very long career with iHeartMedia and I couldn’t be more excited to take on this new role with the iHeartMedia Minneapolis team. I look forward to the continued success that Minneapolis has established while adding new ideas and leadership to the team.”
Winners of 2021 Marconi Awards Announced. The National Association of Broadcasters announces the winners of the 2021 NAB Marconi Radio Awards, honoring radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. The awards were announced during the virtual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Celebration. Spoken-word winners of note include: WSB-AM, Atlanta, Legendary Station of the Year; KTCK-AM, Dallas’ The Musers, Major Marker Personality of the Year; KRMG-FM, Tulsa’s Dan Potter, Medium Market Personality of the Year; KYW-AM, Philadelphia, Major Market Station of the Year; KTMY-FM, Minneapolis, Large Market Station of the Year; KRMG-FM, Tulsa, Medium Market Station of the Year; WTOP-FM, Washington, News/Talk Station of the Year; and KTCK-AM, Dallas, Sports Station of the Year.
Alabama Host Cam Marston Announces Effort to Expand Radio Show. “What’s Working” – the radio show hosted by Cam Marston that focuses on trends in the workplace, workforce, and marketplace – is expanding. The program is based at WAVH-FM, Mobile and over the past four years has included interviews with a broad array of businesspeople from foresters, to brewers, to manufacturers, to authors, to Tony Award-winning actors. Marston says, “The focus of my show has always been for the benefit of my listeners in and around the Mobile, Alabama market. Now I want to bring the show across the state where I can connect with a larger spectrum of businesses.”
Inflation/Supply Chain, January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, COP26/U.S.-China Deal, Kamala Harris in Paris, and Belarus-Poland Refugee Crisis Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/10). Soaring retail and fuel prices and the broken global supply chain; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and former President Donald Trump’s attempts to prevent the House panel from getting presidential records; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the battle over mask & vaccine mandates; the COP26 summit in Glasgow and the U.S.-China emissions reduction deal; Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to France; and the refugee crisis at the Belarus-Poland border were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte’s Pat McCrory Leaving Radio Show to Run for U.S. Senate. Yesterday (4/13), former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory told his WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte listeners that he is leaving his radio gig to run for the U.S. Senate seat that Senator Richard Burr will give up in 2022. McCrory co-hosts the mid-morning program on the Radio One station with morning drive personality Bo Thompson from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. The 64-year-old McCrory was mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009. He served as governor from 2013 through 2016 when he lost a re-election bid to Democrat Roy Cooper.
SRN’s Sebastian Gorka Interviews Donald Trump. Pictured above is a screen shot of Salem Radio Network’s Dr. Sebastian Gorka hosting his nationally syndicated program “America First with Sebastian Gorka” yesterday (4/13) during his exclusive 40-minute interview with former President Donald Trump. SRN says the two discussed a wide range of topics including “the COVID-19 pandemic, deteriorating foreign policy situations with Russia and China, and the crisis on America’s border with Mexico brought on by Joe Biden’s immigration overhaul.” Gorka served as White House national security strategist in the Trump Administration prior to joining SRN.
NAB Announces 2021 Crystal Award Winners. The National Association of Broadcasters announces the 10 winners of the 34th annual NAB Crystal Radio Awards. Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their year-round commitment to community service. The winners were selected from 50 finalists and honored during NAB Show Premiere, available exclusively on NAB Amplify. The winners of the 2021 Crystal Radio Awards are: KSL-FM, Salt Lake City; KRSP-FM, Salt Lake City; KSTP-FM, Saint Paul; WBAP-AM, Dallas; WDRV-FM, Chicago; WFXE-FM, Columbus, Georgia; WJJY-FM, Brainerd, Minnesota; WMMR-FM, Philadelphia; WSB-FM, Atlanta; and WWRM-FM Tampa. Five-time NAB Crystal Radio Award winning station WHUR-FM, Washington, D.C. also received the Crystal Heritage Award during the special event. Only nine other stations have received this honor.
Cleveland Media Figure Bob Becker Dies After Long Battle with Dementia. Cleveland radio and television personality Bob Becker died on Monday (4/12) at the age of 67 after an almost 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Becker, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 58, worked at numerous Cleveland radio stations during his career, including: WGAR, WWWE, WTAM, WERE, WHK, WMMS, M105, WNCR, WKYC, and WVIZ. He was a host with the Ohio Lottery for more than two decades and accumulated Emmy, Telly, and Silver Apple awards, as well as repeated recognition from the Cleveland Press Club and Cleveland Radio-TV Council. His obituary posted at WTAM’s website here says Becker “was definitely a class act. In an often-cutthroat industry, he followed a different approach that valued integrity, humor, civility, and a genuine care for others. Bob was respected and liked by colleagues and listeners alike.”
KYW, Philadelphia to Air District Attorney Debate. With the current spike in violent crime and “a public reckoning over law enforcement and criminal justice reform,” Audacy’s all-news KYW-AM/WPHI-FM, Philadelphia is joining television outlets WCAU-TV “NBC10” and WWSI-TV “Telemundo62” to present a debate between incumbent DA Larry Krasner and challenger, former homicide prosecutor Carlos Vega on May 5 at 7:00 pm. The debate will include a panel of reporters, including KYW Newsradio crime & justice reporter Kristen Johanson and community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg, plus NBC10 political reporter Lauren Mayk. NBC10 anchor Jacqueline London will serve as moderator. The event will also be streamed live on each station’s digital platforms, including the Audacy app and KYWNewsradio.com.
TALKERS News Notes. The change in streaming policy by Major League Baseball is allowing SiriusXM to expand its agreement with the league, allowing SiriusXM subscribers with a streaming-only subscription to now have access to live play-by-play broadcasts of every MLB game…..Fort Myers Florida Weekly reports that former WBUR, Boston station manager Corey Lewis is named general manager of Florida Gulf Coast University’s public media outlet WGCU, Fort Myers. Lewis served as station manager for Boston University’s WBUR for 15 years. He says, “I knew that WGCU and Florida Gulf Coast University was the place for me when I learned more about the tremendous impact that the institution has on Southwest Florida. The region is red and blue, old and new, yet WGCU is among the strongest NPR and PBS services in the nation. This success tells me that the entire country has the potential to celebrate our common ground and our differences in the same way as WGCU engages Southwest Florida.”…..Educational Media Foundation closes on its acquisition of Twin Cities radio stations KZGO-FM, St. Paul and KQGO-FM, Edina. The non-profit religious broadcaster bought the signals from Pohlad Companies for $2.45 million.
COVID-19, Minneapolis Police Protests/Derek Chauvin Trial, Border Crisis/Immigration Policy, U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan, and Matt Gaetz Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/13). The “pause” being put on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reports of blood clots, the rollout of vaccines, and the high numbers of COVID cases in some parts of the U.S.; protestors’ clashes with police in Minneapolis and several other cities after the shooting death of Daunte Wright and the ongoing trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; the large numbers of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; President Joe Biden’s move to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by September 11; and the investigation into allegations U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz paid for sex with minors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Round One of March PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2020 PPM survey have been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The March survey covered February 27 through March 25. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his Ratings Takeaways from this batch of markets. The Covid-19 crisis began hitting the U.S. halfway through this survey – around March 13 – and the big gainers were the all-news stations. In New York, Entercom’s all-news stations WCBS-AM and WINS-AM were both up (weekly, 6+ AQH share) from the February survey – +0.5 and +1.1, respectively. iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles rose 0.4 shares for a 4.2 share and the #5 rank in the market. Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago increased six-tenths for a 4.5 share and the #5 rank, while Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago spikes 1.9 shares – the biggest February to March jump in this group of 12 markets – to finish March with a 7.7 share and the #1 rank in Chicago. Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco is up 1.2 shares for a 9.9 share and the #1 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta tacks on another 1.5 shares to finish March with a 12.9 share and its ninth straight #1 finish. Entercom’s KYW-AM, Philadelphia added 1.9 shares for a 6.6 share and a leap from #8 to #3. See Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.
KGO, San Francisco Brings John Rothmann Back for Evenings. Back in 2011, talk show host John Rothmann was let go from Cumulus Media’s news/talk KGO, San Francisco along with a number of other local air talent. Now, nine years later Rothmann is back on the air holding down the 6:00 pm to 9:00 program (5:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Saturdays). Rothmann is featured in a story in The Jewish News of Northern California and he tells the paper that being on the air during this pandemic comes at a time that people want to connect. “There is a huge hunger for KGO as a community forum, and I’m helping fill that role, and people are responding. My board is loaded from the time I come in until the time I head home.” He adds, “People crave contact with others, and because we no longer have the physical contact, talk radio is the most intimate, immediate medium, and KGO is the only live, local talk show.”
WABC Launches New Weekend Show. Dubbed, “The Right vs The Left,” the Sunday afternoon show on Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York “TALKRADIO 77 WABC” “pits a WABC air personality on the right vs. well-known political commentators and activists on the left to offer listeners opposing sides of a range of current issues.” This Sunday (4/19), WABC morning co-host Sid Rosenberg takes on left-leaning actor Michael Rapaport at 4:00 pm and WABC midday co-host Curtis Sliwa spars with “The Aggressive Progressive” Christopher Hahn at 5:00 pm. WABC program director Dave LaBrozzi says, “At WABC, our goal is to present both sides of the story so that our listeners can get to the truth of every issue. This special program does that in an entertaining joust between two strong, knowledgeable, opinionated-yet-open-minded personalities. The result is engaging talk radio that pulls in the audience and keeps them there.” The station says the program debuted last weekend with morning show co-host Bernard McGuirk going against Hahn and overwhelming response from listeners spurred it to set up the second and third matches, with the possibility of more right vs. left battles in the coming weeks.
President Trump Wanted to Host Daily Talk Radio Show; But Didn’t Want to Affect Rush Limbaugh’s Program. According to a piece in The New York Times, President Trump was eager to launch a daily, two-hour talk radio show in which he would take calls from Americans – without a call screener – to talk about the coronavirus pandemic. However, he balked because he didn’t want to compete with conservative media icon and supporter Rush Limbaugh. He would have wanted to do the program in afternoon, the time when Limbaugh’s Premiere Networks show airs live.
Coronavirus Statistics and Projections, WHO Funding, Trump vs Governors, Health Care System, China Under Scrutiny, and the November Election Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15). The official tally of U.S. coronavirus cases and deaths and projections of future cases; the controversy over President Trump’s order to suspend funding to the World Health Organization for its deference to China; the question of the president’s power versus that of the states’ governors; the state of health care and the health of medical personnel in the cities where hospitals are being overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients; questions about China’s truthfulness about its handling of the outbreak in Wuhan; and how the November elections will be handled in the U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
KTRS, St. Louis Longtime Morning Host and PD McGraw Milhaven Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The morning host and program director of independently owned and operated KTRS, AM 550 in St. Louis, McGraw Milhaven, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Milhaven, a perennial member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred, discuss what it’s like broadcasting from home during Covid-19 and President Trump’s handling of the crisis as well as the state of political news/talk radio in a timely conversation of interest to industry pros and listeners alike. 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 on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. A special, four-week tribute series hosted by Ryan Seacrest and streamed LIVE on iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel and broadcast across more than 90 iHeartMedia stations debuts this Friday. It’s called, “iHeartRadio’s First Responder Fridays with FirstNet, Built with AT&T,” and is designed to honor first responders and medical professionals on the front lines during the Covid-19 pandemic. Seacrest is asking listeners on air on iHeartRadio stations across the country, online and through social media to share stories of how their lives have been positively impacted by police, fire, EMS and hospital workers by using #iHeartFirstResponders on social media and calling 1-833-3FRIDAY. In honor and support of these first responders and medical professionals, AT&T is committing $5.5 million to provide much needed support in the form of nourishing meals through World Central Kitchen, Feeding America, Salvation Army, and Team Rubicon…..RCN Boston and iHeartMedia are partnering to honor local community heroes of the coronavirus pandemic. The partnership was developed to show appreciation during these uncertain times to the people who are working tirelessly to keep the community safe and comfortable. These heroes include medical professionals, first responders, delivery service workers, cleaning staff, cooks, teachers, stock clerks and others. RCN and iHeartMedia Boston are asking for nominations of individuals or organizations who are going above and beyond during these unprecedented times. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, April 24. Ten heroes will be selected to receive a $250 gift card to continue their amazing work for which they are being recognized…..On-air pro Bryan “B-Dub” Washington announces via Facebook that he’s leaving his afternoon personality and APD/MD roles at iHeartMedia’s country KWBL, Denver “106.7 The Bull.” He writes, “The last two years have been absolutely amazing. I’ve had some of the coolest experiences of my entire life here, and it’s so hard to say goodbye, but the time has come. I’ll have more to tell you, soon. It was by choice, and when I am able to, I’ll explain why.”…..The company’s cost-saving policy forces midday air personality Jodee Woods out of Midwest Communications’ country KVOX-FM, Fargo…..Condolences to the family and friends of All Pro Broadcasting owner Willie D. Davis, who passed away yesterday (4/15) at age 85 after a long illness. In addition to his career as a broadcaster and businessman, Davis was a Pro Football Hall of Famer who was a key defensive player on the 1960s-era Green Bay Packers. He won five NFL championships (including two Super Bowls) as a member of the team before retiring from the game in 1969. All Pro Broadcasting owns hot AC KHTI and adult contemporary KATY-FM in the Riverside-San Bernardino market. Davis also formed Milwaukee Radio Alliance LLC with Bill Lynett in 1996. It owns adult contemporary WLDB-FM, alternative WLUM-FM, and oldies WZTI-AM.