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‘Our American Stories’ Hits 100-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program announces it has hit the 100-affiliate station mark with the recent addition of such notable American news/talk station as Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Crawford Broadcasting’s KLZ, Denver and WYDE-AM/FM, Birmingham. The daily, two-hour program is produced by American Private Radio and is hosted by Lee Habeeb. He says the show is showing such phenomenal growth due to the desire for values-based, non-political programming. “Amidst the divisiveness of today’s political landscape, the growth of our program proves stations want something that inspires people, not drives them apart, and ‘Our American Stories’ focuses on what makes America special in the first place. We want to tell the story of America to Americans, from our great heritage in art and sports and innovation, to the great things ordinary people do every day in this great country. So much of the good and the great gets lost in the noise of hardline politics…People love good story telling and there is such a rich catalogue of American stories out there – from sports, business, entertainment, even personal stories of community heroes, past and present.” KMOX, St. Louis operations manager Steve Moore comments, “We were looking for something to complement our nighttime programming and ‘Our American Stories’ provides positive-impact stories that appeal to a broad base of listeners. The show is not only driving great listener response, but a new way of thinking about driving revenue.”
WSCR, Chicago Announces New Lineup. As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported yesterday, Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score” is making a number of changes to its lineup. Jason Goff and Matt Spiegel exit their roles as show co-hosts and “The Score” brings both Dan McNeil and Connor McKnight back to full-time roles. McNeil is being partnered with Danny Parkins on the 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and McKnight pairs up with Dan Bernstein to host the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm program. In a press release, WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen says, “Jimmy [de Castro] and I are pleased to announce that we have signed two Chicago radio free agents — the return of ‘Score’ original Danny Mac, who will join Danny Parkins in afternoon drive, and former ‘Score’ on-air host Connor McKnight, who will join Dan Bernstein in middays. Adding these two players makes our all-star team even better.” McNeil has been hosting a Sunday morning program and McKnight had been a sports anchor with Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM.
WABC, New York Adds Chris Plante to Midday Schedule. With the move of Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg to the morning drive daypart on April 2 (taking over for Don Imus), Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talker WABC, New York will add the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante program to the schedule airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. In a memo to staff, WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Chris has been a pentagon correspondent for CNN and an Edward R. Murrow award-winner for his work during the terrorist attacks on September 11…Expect Chris to make the trip to NYC often as he wants to become part of the WABC family and grow NYC endorsement opportunities for WABC.”
WJOX-FM, Birmingham Announces New Midday Show. After moving “The Roundtable” starring Jim Dunaway, Lance Taylor, and Ryan Brown to the morning daypart on March 5, Cumulus Media names the hosts of the new midday program on sports talk WJOX-FM, Birmingham. Former Auburn Tigers star Cole Cubelic, Tuscaloosa News writer Aaron Suttles, and Landrum Roberts are the new personalities set to assume the midday show beginning March 26.
Entercom Announces Executive Changes; Susan Larkin to Manage New York Cluster. Radio management pro Susan Larkin is taking on the role of market manager for Entercom’s New York cluster. She will continue her position with the company as regional president overseeing San Francisco and Sacramento. Entercom COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are thrilled to have Susan take on the market manager role for Entercom New York. She has demonstrated incredible leadership skills and is a strong, strategic player who builds great teams and drives outstanding results. With her energy and experience, there is no better person to take on the management responsibility in America’s #1 media market.” Larkin says, “I am looking forward to joining Entercom New York. As a native New Yorker, it is exciting to be home and at the center of the media universe, representing some of Entercom’s most iconic brands, including 1010 WINS and WFAN.” Concurrent with this move, Entercom names Gregory Nemitz senior vice president/market manager of the San Francisco cluster. Kieran Geffert is upped to vice president/director of sales in the same market, and Jeff Federman assumes regional oversight of the Southern California markets, including San Diego, Riverside and Palm Springs, while continuing in his post as SVP/market manager of Entercom Los Angeles.
TALKERS News Notes. It’s not certain what format Salem Media Group will flip KZTS-FM, Little Rock to when it begins operating it under a Local Marketing Agreement on April 1, but it’s a safe bet that hip hop will remain the format. Salem is buying KZTS from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million. KZTS is licensed to Cammack Village, Arkansas – northwest of downtown Little Rock – but its primary signal covers much of the Little Rock market. Salem is currently operating KHTE as conservative news/talk “96.5 The Answer” in the market so it seems unlikely that KZTS will flip to news/talk…..Cox Media Group names Michelle Miguelez VP of communications and public affairs, effective immediately. The company says that in her new role, Miguelez will “create proactive communications strategies that align with business objectives and engage employees, further strengthening CMG’s role as an employer of choice.” Miguelez joins from her most recent position as director of corporate communication for Georgia Power.
Trump Ousts Tillerson, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Issue, PA Special Election, Feds vs California/Immigration Policy, Poisoned Russian Spy, National School Walkout, Austin Package Bombs, and NFL ‘Legal Tampering’ Period, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13). Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exits as President Trump names Mike Pompeo his replacement; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the battle by porn star Stormy Daniels to talk publicly about her affair with President Trump; Tuesday’s Pennsylvania special election between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone; the Feds’ suit against California over its sanctuary policies, the Mexican wall and immigration policy; Britain’s attacks on Russia and Vladimir Putin after the poisoning of a former double agent; today’s National School Walkout in response to the Parkland, Florida shooting and gun laws; the deaths in a series of package bombings in Austin, Texas; the NFL’s “legal tampering” period; and NBA Action 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. More news from the Little Rock market as iHeartMedia flips classic hits KHKN to CHR as the new “HOT 94.9, All The Hits.” iHeartMedia Red River Region president Clyde Bass says, “The new ‘Hot 94.9’ is playing 10,000 songs in a row for Central Arkansas with ten chances at $1,000 dollars every weekday and soon there will be first-ever opportunities to win tickets to live events like Wango Tango and the national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour. Central Arkansas has needed a hit music station that connects listeners with their favorite artists both on-air and backstage, so I’m excited that the new ‘Hot 94.9’ is finally here.”…..SiriusXM launches a new music channel curated by GRAMMY award-winning producer and DJ Diplo, titled, “Diplo’s Revolution.” The channel will feature global rhythmic music hand-selected by Diplo, as well as regular original shows hosted by Diplo, Dillon Francis and Major Lazer members Jillionaire and Walshy Fire. Diplo’s exclusive SiriusXM channel will launch with a special live performance from the Faena Theater in Miami Beach on Thursday, March 22 at 9:00 pm ET.