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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

| January 27, 2021

WCBS-AM, New York News Pro Rich Lamb to Retire. After 50 years as a radio news pro, Rich Lamb announces that he’s retiring from Entercom’s all-news WCBS-AM on February 26. Lamb is currently city hall reporter for WCBS 880. WCBS news director Tim Scheld says, “Rich is a one of a kind reporter and human being. He will be missed not just for his broadcast journalism and eloquent story telling but Rich is a selfless friend, colleague and mentor whose influence and friendships can be seen across the New York City landscape in business, journalism and politics. Rich may be leaving, but he has left each one of us at WCBS 880 with something to help us carry on his legacy.” Lamb says in an internal memo to fellow staffers, “My career began in 1970 in the Detroit market. After working at 3 stations there, in 1974 I landed at WXLO, New York, known then as 99X, a rock station. In the course of doing street work, the legendary WCBS political reporter Steve Flanders, after whom the plaza in front of City Hall is still named, urged me to try out for the reporter’s position being vacated by the renowned Jerry Nachman. I assured Steve there was ‘no way’ that would happen. But, in December of 1977, news and program director Lou Adler hired me. His first assistant Rob Sunde called to say the station had a budget issue, and that my start date would be February 26, 1978. Thus, I have requested that my last day will be February 26, 2021, 43 years to the day after my first assignment covering the ‘Polar Bear Plunge’ in Coney Island.”

Sandra Golden Leaving Atlanta’s ‘The Fan’ Next Month. According to a report by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, morning drive personality Sandra Golden announces she’s leaving Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WCNN-AM/W229AG “93.7/680 The Fan” after the February 19 program. Station owner David Dickey tells the AJC, “It was Sandy’s decision. She recently got married. Her folks are older and she wanted to focus on family. As she put it, she has done tremendous things in sports radio and sports journalism. She has been fantastic.” Golden is married to former “Regular Guys” personality Larry Wachs, who worked for two rock stations in the market but now works in the mortgage industry, according to Ho’s report. Golden says she’s leaving the station on “great terms” but says, “The show with me, Steak [Shapiro] and Brian [Finneran] was the best one I’ve ever been a part of.” But says that the COVID-related departures of Shapiro and [midday personality] John Kincade in the fall caused her to assess her situation. “I didn’t like Steak and John leaving. They were legends at the station, two of the best voices in the market. It shook me. I had to do a reset.” John Michaels and Brian Finneran will continue to host the morning show as a duo.

‘America’s Healthcare Advocate’ Expands to Two Hours. The Radio America-syndicated health advice program, “America’s Health Advocate” adds an hour and now airs from 8:00 am to 10:00 am ET on Saturdays. Radio America says, “‘America’s Healthcare Advocate’ is a weekly program that helps listeners understand the complexities of America’s healthcare industry, navigate the system, and make informed choices.” Guests include prominent experts and industry leaders in medicine, insurance, health and wellness. “America’s Healthcare Advocate” – hosted by nationally recognized healthcare policy expert and Benefits By Design president Cary Hall – currently airs on more than 100 stations across the U.S.

iHeartMedia Names Yesenia Bello SVP of Diversity and Inclusion. This is a lateral move into a newly created position at iHeartMedia for Yesenia Bello, who’s been serving as senior vice president of multicultural sales since October of 2019. In this new role as SVP of diversity and inclusion, Bello will work closely with chief human resources officer and chief diversity officer Michele Laven “and iHeartMedia’s executive leadership and Human Resources divisions to drive comprehensive long-term and measurable diversity and Inclusion strategies across iHeartMedia, as well as develop and implement specific Diversity and Inclusion goals and solutions for employee, community, client and agency engagement that drive inclusive behaviors and business practices.” Bello states, “I’m excited to move into this critical new role at iHeart at such an important time for our company and our country. I’ve seen iHeart’s commitment to diversity and inclusion up close since joining the company in 2019, and I’m looking forward to working closely with our entire company on new, exciting initiatives to continue to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion at iHeart.” Prior to joining iHeartMedia, Bello served at Telemundo Network, Hulu’s Latino division and Google, where she focused on Multicultural strategy and sales for YouTube advertisers.

Application Deadline Extended for MIW’s Mildred Carter Mentoring Program. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group announces the application window for the 2021 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program is being extended through Friday, February 5. The MIW’s annual mentoring initiative connects mentees with accomplished women recognized as leaders, mentors, and game-changers within all aspects of radio broadcasting. This year’s program is being sponsored by vCreative. Four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry within the sales, marketing, programming, and digital disciplines will be selected for the 2021 program. Mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply can be found here. Entercom VP, national partnerships Lindsay Adams – who also serves as chair of the mentoring program and was a 2009 mentee – says, “The MIW’s Mildred Carter Mentoring Program has been instrumental in providing guidance, leadership, and bridging connections within the industry.  From personal experience, I can attest it’s an invaluable experience that helps shape and curate career paths and potential.”

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Issues/New Strain Concerns, Trump Impeachment, Capitol Attack Investigation, Biden-Putin Phone Call, Conway Family Social Media Mess, and Runup to Super Bowl Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26). The problems plaguing the efficient rollout of vaccines across the U.S. and concerns about their effectiveness against new virus strains; the process of the second impeachment of Donald Trump; the investigation into the attack on the Capitol building; President Joe Biden’s first phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin; the chaotic social media messages from the Conway family and allegations Kellyanne Conway may have posted a semi-nude picture of daughter Claudia; and the runup to Super Bowl LV were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

| November 21, 2017

FOX News Channel Taps Mark Levin for Sunday Evening Program.  The name of the new program is “Life, Liberty & Levin” and will debut in February and air at 10:00 pm ET on Sunday nights.  FOX News Channel says Mark Levin’s show “will explore the fundamental values and principles undergirding American society, culture, politics, and current events, and their relevance to the nation’s future and everyday lives of citizens.  The hour-long program will feature Levin’s lively, in-depth and long-form interviews and powerful debate style with consequential guests covering history, philosophy, and economics.”  FNC president of programming Suzanne Scott adds, “Mark’s passion for the principles found in the Constitution and success in talk radio has made him a distinct figure in the media landscape.  We look forward to adding this spirited program to our weekend lineup.”  Levin says, “I am honored to join FOX News, a network I have enjoyed appearing on as a guest for quite some time.  As a proud citizen of the United States, I am delighted to share the significance of American values with such a wide audience and look forward to engaging with important guests about crucial topics.”

Jim Blasingame Celebrates 20 Years of ‘The Small Business Advocate.’  The nationally syndicated “The Small Business Advocate” program, hosted by Jim Blasingame, debuted on November 17, 1997 and is still the only syndicated, live weekday program “dedicated to Main Street businesses.”  Blasingame says, “When we began, we wanted to provide Main Street entrepreneurs with the information, resources and inspiration they need to start, run and grow a small business.  Thanks to the support of our audience, Brain Trust members and corporate partners, we’ve accomplished that goal and continue to deliver multi-media resources for small businesses, including a mobile site and a video series.”  In addition to his radio work, Blasingame is a prolific writer with three books to his credit (plus, one due out next year!) and a weekly, syndicated column that’s appeared in newspapers and business journals, plus online publications, including Forbes.com, BizJournals.com, Manta.com and Nasdaq.com, plus his own weekly ezine.  Forbes Media chairman Steve Forbes comments, “Congratulations to Jim Blasingame on his 20th anniversary.  I’ve been a regular guest on Jim’s show for years.  He really knows Main Street business, is a great interviewer, and his peerless commitment to serving small businesses and promoting entrepreneurship comes through in everything he does.  Well done, Jim.”

Salisbury Gives Up Local Show on KFNC-FM, Houston to Focus on Network Program.  Sports talk personality Sean Salisbury is leaving his post at Gow Media’s KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” where he co-hosts the “Unfiltered: with Sean Salisbury & John Granato” to “focus his energies exclusively on his national radio and TV show.”  His eponymous sports talk show is heard from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET on the SB Nation Radio Network.  The program is also simulcast from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on beIn Sports TV.   Gow Media CEO David Gow says, “The Sean Salisbury show is on a really strong trajectory with a ton of momentum.  The show has recently picked up new radio station affiliates in Lubbock, Phoenix and Atlanta.  And we are excited to have Sean focus his efforts on the next wave of growth for the show.”

Dickey Broadcasting Drops ‘The Regular Guys’ on ‘The Fan 2.’  The four-month experiment with Larry Wachs’ new version of “The Regular Guys” hosting mornings at WFOM, Atlanta “The Fan 2” is over.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that station chief David Dickey says the company is going to focus on an all-sports lineup on the station.  Both Dickey and Wachs tell Ho that everyone put in a good effort to get the show off the ground but, in the end they agreed that it just wasn’t going to work.  Read Ho’s piece here.

Schieffer Faces Daytona Beach. Pictured above is former “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer (left) being interviewed by WNDB, Daytona Beach afternoon drive personality Marc Bernier (right).  The two appeared at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University last night (11/20) as part of the school’s Speaker Series.  The two discussed the current state of reporting and Schieffer’s new book, Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News (Rowland & Littlefield, 2017).  Photo: David Massey.

Roy Moore Case, New Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Sanctuary Cities Ruling, GOP Tax Plan, Charles Manson Dies, Putin-Assad Meeting, Trump vs Marshawn Lynch, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/20). The allegations of sexual predation against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; the latest round of allegations of sexual misconduct against Charlie Rose, Senator Al Franken, and NYT reporter Glenn Thrush; a federal judge rules against President Trump’s order to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities”; analysis of the possible effects of the Republican tax reform plan; Charles Manson dies at age 83; Vladimir Putin meets with Bashar al-Assad over Syria’s civil war; President Trump’s criticism of Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch for standing during the Mexican national anthem; and the weekend’s NFL 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. At Detroit country outlet WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1,” Cumulus Media appoints Jessica Tyler midday personality, APD and music director.  Tyler comes to Detroit from her most recent post with Summit Media at country WQNU, Louisville “Q103.1” where she was morning drive co-host and APD.  Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges states, “I’ve known Jessica a long time and the special bond she creates with listeners on and off the air, the friendships she develops with the artists, songwriters and managers, plus the relationships she has with the record community in Nashville are second to none.”…..Madison radio pro Sara Freeman is giving up her full-time afternoon drive show on Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s adult contemporary WMGN “Magic 98” to take a position with her husband’s real estate firm.  She’ll continue to handle weekend shifts.   Coming aboard the station is former WKTI, Milwaukee personality Jillene Kahn.  She’ll host middays until Freeman exits, then take over afternoon drive.  On tap to fill the midday slot after that is Julie Jacobs…..Former WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” weekend personality Mike McGinn joins Beasley Media Group to host the afternoon drive show on WMGQ, New Brunswick, New Jersey “MAGIC 98.3.”  WMGQ program director Debbie Mazella says, “I am really excited to have Mike on the air and make ‘MAGIC 98.3’ his home.  He’s got the energy we are looking for in afternoon drive.  Take a listen and you will hear what I mean!”…..In Jacksonville, Cox Media Group swaps frequencies between alternative WXXJ and adult contemporary WEZI.  WXXJ moves to the class A signal at 106.5 and WEZI slides down to the class C frequency at 102.9.  CMG Jacksonville market vice president Dan Lawrie states, “Our ‘Easy’ listeners told us they wanted a larger signal and we listened!”…..iHeartMedia’s Detroit adult hits WDTW flips to alternative rock as “ALT 106.7.”…..Sun Broadcast Group announces  Shelby Wood Wasicki joins the company as national account manager.  In this role, she’ll forcus on products including: Shazam For Radio, The Hit List with Fitz, Country Fried Mix with DJ Sinister, Sun Select RADAR, Sun Latino Networks, and many others.

Monday, October 23, 2017

| October 23, 2017

FCC Commissioner: It Is Time to Update Our Rules to Reflect the Current Media Marketplace.  Those are the words of Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly in his FCC blog post titled, “Thoughtfully Modernizing the Commission’s Media Ownership Rules.”  In the post, O’Rielly points to reforms already made under current Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and names the reforms he thinks should be adopted next.  He writes, “If a form is not needed, it should be eliminated.  If a study is duplicative or useless, it should be junked.  When public notice requirements are outdated, at the very least they should be modified.  And when FCC rules are no longer necessary, they should be removed from our books.”  Noting that for almost 10 years the FCC has failed to adequately complete the Quadrennial Review, O’Rielly states, “It is time we fulfilled not only a congressional mandate but the congressional intent of keeping our rules current.  And this can and should be done thoughtfully, consistent with the fundamental propositions of localism, diversity, and competition.  We owe this not only to our broadcasting industry but more importantly, to the American people, who are paying for – in one form or another – market inefficiencies resulting from our rules.”  Among the five principles he outlines for media ownership reform are the elimination of the cross-ownership bans.  “As consumers demand innovative platforms and seamless experiences to consume content, the FCC imposes bans preventing broadcasters and newspapers from delivering synergies that could result in innovative products and more, not less local content.  Eliminating the restrictions on newspaper/radio, radio/television, and newspaper/television combinations is a crucial step.  Previous commissions and bipartisan legislation from Congress already recognized the need for an update.  It’s time to act.”  Read O’Rielly’s entire post here.

NYT: Former FOX News Channel Star Bill O’Reilly Paid $32 Million to Settle Sexual Harassment Case.  In an expose published in The New York Times over the weekend, it’s being reported that former FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly in January agreed to pay $32 million to longtime network analyst Lis Wiehl to settle sexual harassment allegations, a month before the network agreed to a contract renewal with O’Reilly that was to pay him $100 million over four years.  The paper reports that O’Reilly settled five other harassment allegations in years prior.  FNC tells the Times it was aware of Wiehl’s allegations against O’Reilly but says it was unaware of the amount of the settlement as that was a matter between O’Reilly and Wiehl.  The NYT piece notes that News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James had been working to convince both staffers and the public that they were trying to clean up the cable news channel’s image and had recently fired FNC president Roger Ailes in the wake of his sexual harassment troubles, and would let O’Reilly go as well.  This latest matter of workplace sexual harassment in the entertainment world comes as Hollywood is reeling from the Harvey Weinstein harassment scandal.  See the Times piece here.

Bruce Kelly Joins Grenax Broadcasting’s Flagstaff, AZ Cluster.  Radio pro Bruce Kelly is named director of programming and operations at Grenax Broadcasting’s Flagstaff, Arizona station group that includes news/talk KBTK “97.1 The Big Talker” and music outlets classic hits KFLX “Rewind 92.5/104.1,” country KSED “107.5 Kolt Country,” and classic rock KWMX “96.7 The Wolf.”  Grenax general manager Stan Pierce says, “[Kelly] is a talented programmer with a long history of on-air success and a creative thinker on the marketing front.  Bringing in someone of Bruce’s caliber reflects our commitment to provide our community of Northern Arizona with top-quality radio.”

Changes at WFOM, Atlanta ‘The Fan 2.’  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, the pairing of Larry Wachs and Bob Whitfield on Dickey Broadcasting-owned sports talker WFOM, Atlanta “The Fan 2” has ended with owner David Dickey stating he’s looking for a new show partner for Wachs on the newly reconstituted “Regular Guys” show on WFOM (2:00 pm to 4:00 pm).  He also says he wants to build a show around Whitfield with the possibility of adding local programming to WIFN “The Fan 3.”  Read Ho’s piece here.

Westwood One Unveils Kurt Warner Podcast.  New to the Westwood One Podcast Network is a weekly show featuring NFL great and football analyst Kurt Warner, titled “The Kurt Warner Quarterback Podcast.”  The program is delivered fresh every Tuesday morning during the NFL season and features Westwood One play-by-play voice Kevin Harlan.

North Korea War Talk, Trump Tax Plan, McCain-Trump Feud, New O’Reilly Settlement Allegation, Carter NYT Interview, Potential Uranium One Probe, James Toback Harassment Accusations, Mueller Investigates Podesta Group, Astros Win AL Pennant, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The saber rattling between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump; the Trump Administration’s tax reform plan; the ongoing feud between Trump and John McCain and McCain’s shot at the president over Vietnam War draft deferments; new allegations of a $32 million settlement between Bill O’Reilly and a sexual harassment accuser; Jimmy Carter’s New York Times interview; Robert Mueller’s investigation into an Obama-era deal with Russian firm Uranium One; director James Toback is accused of sexual harassment by numerous actresses; the Houston Astros beat the Yankees to win the American League pennant; and Sunday’s NFL action and poor attendance at a number of stadiums were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Sally Quinn Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Longtime Washington Post journalist, columnist, television commentator, Washington insider, author and legendary social hostess, Sally Quinn is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  She candidly discusses her Watergate-era, wildly romantic, extra-marital love affair, and subsequent enduring marriage of more than four decades to legendary Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, as well as her idiosyncratic relationship with religion, sexual harassment in politics as well as media… and much more.  (She claims the late U.S. Senator John Tower tried to rape her in the back of a taxi.)  Quinn is currently promoting her new book, Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir (HarperOne, 2017) and Harrison was granted one of her first interviews.  To hear this fascinating podcast in its entirety, 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.  At Cumulus Media’s Detroit country station WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1,” Jessica Poxson exits her role as midday personality, assistant PD and music director…..There’s a new CHR station in the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina market as Curtis Media Group flips modern rock WXNR “99X” to rhythmic CHR as “HOT 99.5.”…..The morning duo of Jake and Tanner are back together at Woodward Radio’s WKSZ, Appleton, Wisconsin “95.9 Kiss FM,” effective today (10/23).  Jake Kelly and Tanner Jay joined E.W. Scripps’ country WKTI, Milwaukee for mornings in October of 2015.  Tanner Jay left the program earlier this year for family reasons and Kelly stayed on solo for a while before exiting the station as well.  The two were hosting the morning show on WIXX, Green Bay prior to joining WKTI…..Radio One celebrated the 40th career anniversary of legendary Washington, DC radio and television personality Donnie Simpson last night (10/22) at the Warner Theatre.  The star-studded concert featured Simpson’s favorite regional and national artists, including: Doug E Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, BBD, Chante Moore; and Rare Essence…..The Cumulus Media “neXt2rock 2017” national search for the nation’s newest rock star has so far drawn more than 1,800 submissions.  Emerging artists are being rated by Cumulus listeners through October 25.  Ultimately, the winner of this four-month-long competition will receive a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records and exposure via Cumulus radio stations nationwide.  Mentor judges for the competition’s finale include Big Machine Label Group president & CEO Scott Borchetta; musician, songwriter and producer Desmond Child; record producer Bob Ezrin; Sex Pistols guitarist and host of “Jonesy’s Jukebox,” Steve Jones; and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.