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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

| June 30, 2020

iHeartMedia Launches BIN: Black Information Network. This new venture is a standalone unit within iHeartMedia that will be the “first and only 24/7 national and local all news audio service dedicated to providing an objective, accurate, and trusted source of continual news coverage with a Black voice and perspective.” iHeartMedia says BIN: Black Information Network “is focused on service to the Black community and providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding.” It is being led by Tony Coles – who also serves as division president of iHeartMedia markets group – as president of the unit. Tanita Myers – most recently with Reach Media – will be director of news operations.  iHM says national founding partners are: Bank of America, CVS Health, GEICO, Lowe’s, McDonald’s USA, Sony, 23andMe and Verizon. Content will be available on the iHeartRadio platform and on “dedicated all-news local AM/FM broadcast radio stations providing local news, weather traffic and sports in addition to national news – all focused on the Black community and from the Black perspective – in markets including Atlanta, Augusta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbus, GA, Detroit, Greenville, Macon, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Norfolk, Riverside, San Francisco and Seattle, with additional local markets being added over the next 60 days.” BIN will also provide the news service for iHeartMedia’s 91 hip hop, R&B, and Gospel stations across the country. iHM says, “BIN’s unique partner supported business model is tailored to its mission of providing comprehensive, accurate and trusted information and news. The national Founding Partners of BIN: Black Information Network will support building this new platform for Black journalism and trusted news, and this partnership support will enable BIN’s focus to be on providing a reliable, responsible, and responsive news service to the Black community without the daily pressure of ratings.” Coles says, “BIN: Black Information Network will fill a void by providing continual news and objective information with full focus on the Black community. We began developing our 24/7 Black news source last year, and events of the last few weeks, especially the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd, highlighted the need for this network. Now is the time for our voice to be heard, and I could not be prouder of our work and the team we are assembling at BIN.”

PPM Analysis: Has Pandemic-Related Listening Peaked? TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian wraps his “extra” ratings reports on the effects pandemic-related radio listening has had on Nielsen Audio’s PPM survey data by asking if pandemic-related listening has peaked after its unusual April spike. He says that in the PPM era, month-to-month gains or losses of a full share or more are noteworthy. “To underscore the genuine rarity of what transpired in the April 2020 survey period, there were nearly four times as many of these swings then as were registered in April 2019. Indexed against April 2020, roughly 70% as many stations notch declines of -1.0 or greater, while only approximately 40% as many stations rack up a +1.0 or more (May 2020 versus April 2020, 6+).” Kinosian says what’s truly amazing is that 75% of sports talk stations were up (weekly, 6+ AQH share) April to May with no live sports play-by-play since March. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Chicago Radio Host William Kelly Sues Illinois Governor and Chicago Mayor Over COVID-19 Restrictions. Illinois business owner and WCGO-AM, Chicago talk show host William Kelly – along with three other plaintiffs – are suing Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Major Lori Lightfoot, complaining that their acts violated the plaintiffs’ rights under several sections of the station constitution, violated their rights to equal protection under the law, and that both exceed their authority in several instances. Kelly says, “We have filed suit for the people of Illinois. Every other lawsuit has, so far, missed the mark. Lives are being destroyed. People are going bankrupt. If we succeed, Mayor Lightfoot and Gov. Pritzker will pay a price, in the form of legal damages, for the terrible harm they’ve caused to people’s lives and liberties.” See the complaint here.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former WGN-AM station manager and VP of content Todd Manley and his consulting company EarSight Studios is working with Crain’s Chicago Business to produce its podcast, “Crain’s Daily Gist.” Crain’s Chicago Business publisher and executive editor Jim Kirk says, “We are thrilled to partner with Todd to help us grow our audience in audio. We’ve had tremendous success with ‘The Daily Gist’ since its debut last year, and we expect even stronger growth with Todd’s production help.”…..According to a story at Crossing Broad, Entercom Philadelphia personality John Barchard is leaving the sports talk WIP-produced podcast “Go Birds” that he co-hosts with Eliot Shorr-Parks and James Seltzer. Citing family and health as concerns he must put to the forefront, Barchard says the decision to leave was his and he calls it one of the hardest decisions he’s had to make…..ESPN promotes commentator Pablo Torre to full-time host of the “ESPN Daily” podcast. This is part of a new, multi-year contract for Torre, who will also make appearances on ESPN shows such as “Highly Questionable” and “Around the Horn.” Current “ESPN Daily” host Mina Kimes is joining the network’s NFL Live team as an analyst and will host “The Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny” football podcast. She will continue to be a key contributor to “ESPN Daily.”

This Year’s Gracie Awards to Be Streamed on September 10. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces the 45th Annual Gracie Awards will be streamed virtually on September 10. The Gracies Gala, originally scheduled for May 19, was intended to be held at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills and the Gracies Luncheon, originally scheduled for June 24, was intended to be held in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street. The 2020 honorees will now be celebrated through a series of digital acceptance speech montages along with a virtual awards ceremony. AWM/F executive director Becky Brooks says, “The leadership of AWM/F, which annually presents the Gracies as our largest fundraiser, has had one singular focus – to appropriately acknowledge and celebrate our outstanding winners in whatever manner is feasible this year. Therefore, we have made the decision to shift this year’s events to virtual experiences to ensure recognition of all winners in this very important year.”

NEED A GUEST? We’ve Got Some Good Ones for You at ‘Expert Guests.’ Talk media hosts, producers, and bookers are advised to check out the newly expanded “Expert Guests” section of TALKERS. It is updated on a regular basis with outstanding experts and personalities available by telephone, Skype, or Zoom for booking on radio, TV, and online talk shows. This week you’ll find a wide array of guests that includes experts on the Chinese Communist Party, the USA gymnastics scandal, presidential race strategy, progressive rock, diversity management, campus safety during police reform, and much more. To visit “Expert Guests,” please click here.

SCOTUS Abortion Ruling, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Black Lives Matter Movement/St. Louis Guns Incident, Russian-Taliban Bounty Allegation, U.S.-China Relations, Iran Issues Trump Arrest Warrant, and Sports Leagues Plan Seasons Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/29). The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Louisiana law that would have limited abortion options; the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in re-opening states and projections about future infections; the protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and the case of the St. Louis couple who drew weapons on protesters; the allegation that Russia is offering the Taliban bounties for killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and President Trump’s reaction to the story; relations between the U.S. and China as the latter clamps down on Hong Kong; Iran issues an arrest warrant for Trump and numerous other officials in the death of General Qasem Soleimani; and sports leagues making plans to open or re-start their seasons 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. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the launch of the nationally syndicated “American Top 40” show, Premiere Networks announces that this weekend (7/4-5) host Ryan Seacrest will begin a yearlong celebration that will include his highlighting an iconic artist moment from the show’s archives every weekend – including interviews with the stars and the show’s creator and original host Casey Kasem. Listeners will also have the opportunity to win prizes and one-of-a-kind experiences throughout the year. Premiere president Julie Talbott says, “Over the past five decades, ‘American Top 40’ has become a cultural touchpoint for millions of people around the globe. Casey Kasem created the gold standard that we carry on today, and we’re so proud of how Ryan has expanded that legacy.  He’s taken the show to new heights over the past 16 years with added reach, engagement, and technology, while continuing to drive impressive results for our partners.” The program debuted the weekend of July 4-5, 1970…..Legendary rock bank U2 is getting its own channel on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The U2 X-Radio channel launches tomorrow (7/1) at 3:00 pm ET.  p.m. ET, exclusively on SiriusXM Channel 32. SiriusXM says, “U2 X-Radio is U2 as you have never heard them before. An extraordinary and unique audio experience exploring the band’s history, idols, influences, and current passions, plus inspiration, conversation, culture, commentary and ideas from the band and guests. All curated by U2. The dedicated and exclusive channel will come to life with music and radio shows that celebrate music from across the globally acclaimed, four-decade career of Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, including their biggest hits, deep cuts, live concert recordings and rarities, as well as music from artists that are connected to or inspire the band.”

Friday, May 25, 2018

| May 25, 2018

Gregg Henson Named WRVA and WRNL, Richmond Program Director.  Talk radio pro Gregg Henson is named program director for Richmond stations news/talk WRVA and sports talk WRNL “FOX Sports 910.” Entercom Virginia SVP Bennett Zier comments, “We are very excited about the addition of Gregg to the Richmond team.  Entercom is the leader in news and sports radio and we’re confident Gregg’s extensive industry experience will ensure that we continue to bring the most engaging content to our listeners.”  Henson has worked in sports talk in Detroit as well as in news/talk in markets including Dallas, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Townsquare Media Sells North American Midway Entertainment Back to Previous Owner.  Three years ago, Townsquare Media, Inc paid $75.5 million for North American Midway Entertainment and it was the lynchpin of the company’s Entertainment division.  Now, Townsquare is selling the mobile amusement company back to previous owner Danny Huston for $23.5 million. Townsquare has made no secret of the fact that the investment hasn’t panned out, so the sale is not surprising.  In addition to the cash sale price, Townsquare also stands to benefit if Huston sells the company within the next 10 years. It would get a 15% residual interest in any future proceeds of a sale.  Townsquare says it will hang on to the net proceeds from this sale, “pending future investment.”  For the year ended December 31, 2017, NAME generated net revenue of $92.2 million and a net loss of $33.7 million.

Alex Jones Sued by Sandy Hook Families.  The anger in Newtown, Connecticut – and beyond – over talk show host and InfoWars chief Alex Jones’ assertions that the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax has boiled over into a new lawsuit against the broadcaster filed by four families of the slain children, two families of killed educators, and one FBI agent.  The suit also names Wolfgang Halbig and Cory Slanka – who assisted in video production and website management – as well as Jones radio syndicator Genesis Communications Network.  The suit – filed in state court in Connecticut – alleges that Jones does not believe that the massacre was a hoax but continued to promote the narrative on his program and on his website. “Jones is the chief amplifier for a group that has worked in concert to create and propagate loathsome, false narratives about the Sandy Hook shooting and its victims and promote their harassment and abuse…the Jones defendants concoct elaborate and false paranoia-tinged conspiracy theories because it moves product and they make money.  Not because they truly believe what they are saying, but rather because it increases profits.”  The five counts in the suit are: invasion of privacy by false light; defamation; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; and unfair trade practices.  Jones addressed the suit on his radio program this week saying the allegations in the suit are “out of context.”  Jones is also being sued in Texas state court by two other families of Sandy Hook victims.

Entercom Promotes Nine in Senior Management. President and CEO David Field says, “We are fortunate to have such a talented team of leaders at Entercom and it is a pleasure to be able to promote several of them today in recognition of their increasing roles and responsibilities.  These are exciting times at the company and as we roll ahead with our investments and execute our transformational plans, we will continue to offer meaningful professional growth opportunities for our top performers.” The promotions include the following: Fred Bennett, senior vice president, Traffic Weather Information Network; JD Crowley, chief digital officer; Mike Dash, senior vice president and deputy general counsel; Liana Huth, senior vice president, programming innovation; Jen Morelli, senior vice president, events and experiences; Jenny Nelson, senior vice president, ad sales marketing; John Pacino, senior vice president, product and engineering; Sam Rogers, senior vice president, national sales; and Jeff Sottolano, senior vice president, radio and Radio.com programming.  Chief operating officer Weezie Kramer adds, “This is a strategic move to position ourselves for success in the long-term.  We are making great progress and we are excited about where we are headed.  With this new, elevated leadership structure, we are poised to maximize our capabilities and scale as one of the best radio broadcast operators in the industry.”

Canceled North Korea Summit Top News/Talk Story This Week. The canceled summit between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia Investigation.  Coming in at #3 was U.S.-China trade and military relations, followed by the state of the Iran nucleal deal 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. June 30 is the last publication day for most Cox Media Group’s sports verticals, including SECCountry.com, Landof10.com, and Diehards.com.  CMG has not explained the reason behind the move. Usually, lack of revenue is the reason for shutting down a business, but SEC Country’s Christopher Smith tweeted, “The Cox Media Group sports verticals grew traffic 36.9 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.  We were rocking it.  Even our Facebook traffic was up.”…..This morning (5/25), WFAN, New York morning team Boomer Esiason and Greg Gionnatti broadcast their show live from Headliner in Neptune, New Jersey for their “Boomer and Gio’s Kickoff to Summer” show. The program featured the live music of Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot. It also included a “Hairiest Back Contest” during the broadcast…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live play-by-play of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals. Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti are booth announcers for the series and former NHL center Ray Ferraro will serve as rinkside reporter with Florida Panthers announcer Steve Goldstein hosting the pre-game, intermission, and post-game reports.

Brian Kilmeade Scores Exclusive POTUS Interview.  When President Trump spoke at a forum in the Long Island community of Bethpage Wednesday (5/23) discussing the problem of violent MS-13 gang-related activity in that town and across the country, FOX radio and TV talk personality Brian Kilmeade was on hand to cover it.  In the process, Kilmeade scored an exclusive stand-up interview with the president that covered a variety of issues pertaining to gang violence and the broader topic of border security and immigration reform.  The president defended his recent comment describing gang criminals as “animals” by describing MS-13 members as being “stone cold killers…vicious killers.”  The extensive interview ran yesterday on the FOX News Channel’s morning show “Fox & Friends” co-hosted by Kilmeade along with Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt.

Radio Historian and Videographer Art Vuolo Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Noted radio historian and videographer Art Vuolo is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Vuolo has been chronicling radio conferences for nearly 30 years and archiving the very best radio personalities on video since 1979. He has recorded video of some of the greatest on-air legends in studio doing their shows. In many cases, these are the only recorded documents of these figures in existence. His entire library will be featured in a permanent exhibit soon to be unveiled at the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. Harrison describes Vuolo as “the biggest devotee of American radio that I have ever met.” He was aptly dubbed “Radio’s Best Friend” by legendary DJ (and current WCBS-FM, New York morning host) Scott Shannon in the early 1980’s… a moniker that has stuck over the years. On June 8, Vuolo will be the recipient of the prestigious 2018 Lifetime Achievement award at the annual TALKERS convention in New York City, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Harrison and Vuolo take a deep-dive conversation into the golden era of radio’s top 40/personality stations and then some. This interview is a radio freak’s delight. To listen to the entire podcast, 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.

TALKERS Magazine Posts the 2018 Heavy Hundred. The 2018 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” has been posted. This annual list – compiled by the editors of TALKERS and known informally as the Heavy Hundred – ranks American radio talk show hosts in importance from one to 100. Today, TALKERS presents the 24thedition of this prestigious list in which the editors use a number of hard and soft factors in creating the ranking, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness. TALKERS magazine executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Our editorial staff works very hard to consider all of the numerous personalities who qualify, and then whittle it down to just 100… a difficult task. This list is admittedly subjective to one degree or another but we at TALKERS take the task very seriously. Congratulations to all of the radio talk show hosts who made this year’s Heavy Hundred!” See the list here.

PPM Analysis: Classic Hits-Oldies. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on classic hits-oldies.  Kinosian reports that 59% of qualifying classic hits-oldies stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ numbers go up from April 2017 to April 2018.  There were nine stations that ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets and 21 that ranked in the top three.  iHeartMedia’s WWSW, Pittsburgh “3WS” wears the April crown for the highest 6+ market share at 11.2%.  See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The campaign to get a Detroit street named after Bob Seger continues as Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX-FM promises to play 24 hours of Seger’s music on June 2 to drum up support for the effort.  The “Big Jim’s House Morning Show” challenged WCSX-FM program director Jerry Tarrants, saying they could get more than 9,470 likes on the brand new “Make Bob Seger Boulevard” Facebook page.  Within only a few days, Bob Seger fans from all over the world made their voices known with likes for the page going well over the 9,470 likes needed.  As a result, listeners will be able to enjoy 24 hours of Seger on the station…..In Rochester, Entercom’s classic rock WCMF is hosting the annual Roc City Rib Fest – a BBQ and music festival featuring nationwide and local food favorites. The four-day, family-friendly festival will feature live music from Sean Patrick McGraw, Branded, and Kid Kurry, among others…..iHeartRadio is presenting holiday weekend-themed content.  Today it launched a suite of playlists “perfect for kicking back and enjoying this weekend.  From playlists to enjoy the unofficial start of summer to patriotic anthems to reflect and honor those who give everything for our freedom, iHeartRadio has what you are looking for.”

Monday, September 25, 2017

| September 25, 2017

Steele Returns to ‘FOX News 92.5’ in Naples-Ft. Myers; Radel to Drive Time.  Effective today (9/25), Sun Broadcasting’s news/talk WFSX, Naples-Fort Myers “FOX News 92.5” makes changes to its drive time programming, bringing Drew Steele back to the station for morning drive duties and moving Trey Radel to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  About the changes, program director Casey Bartholomew tells the Naples Daily News, “We wanted to better serve the market and what better way than with two live, local shows.  And Trey was more than happy to not have to get up (in the early morning).”  Steele was host of the morning show on WFSX from 2012 through 2016.  He comes back to Sun Broadcasting from Bonneville’s news/talk KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City.  Radel replaced Steele in mornings when he left for Salt Lake City.  Read the Daily News piece here.

Bowen Out at Cumulus Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio executive Peter Bowen exits the Cumulus Media cluster there after three years as vice president and market manager.  As Feder points out, Bowen was responsible for bringing White Sox baseball and Chicago Bulls hoops to WLS-AM.  The company told Feder, “Peter Bowen has left the company and we wish him well in his future endeavors.  The open market manager role in Chicago is a priority for us and we are working to find the right leader for this important market as soon as possible.” See Feder’s column here.

Steve Dahl Re-Ups with WLS-AM.  Also, as reported by Robert Feder, Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl re-ups with Cumulus Media to continue hosting his afternoon show on news/talk WLS-AM for another three years.  Dahl hosts the program with cast mates Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley.   Dahl tells Feder, “I’m proud of the work Dag, Brendan and I are doing every afternoon for WLS AM 890, and gratified that they like it, too.  The show is funny, informative and apolitical.  We could still use a little marketing, however, so I am currently in negotiations to buy the ‘Kathy’ half of the Eric and Kathy billboards.”  Read Feder’s report here.

TRN Files to Appeal Dismissal of Suit Against Industry Syndicators.  A year ago, the anti-trust lawsuit brought by Talk Radio Network against several industry syndicators including Westwood One, Compass Media Networks, WYD Media Management, and others was dismissed with prejudice and that dismissal affirmed.  TRN is filing to appeal that dismissal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The appellate court will decide if it will hear the case.

TALKERS News Notes. Launching this fall on CRN Digital Talk Radio is a new program titled, “HEAR IT NOW – A Radio Document of Our World,” hosted by Thomas Ross Bond II.  Bond calls the show “a program that focuses on the human-side of individuals who made an imprint on our world and the sounds of the times, in hope that another dimension is given to our understanding of our world and the human condition.  Unlike other programs concentrating on controversy, we strive to focus on the life of our ‘guest,’ the human side, to find out about ‘them,’ where they grew up, what influenced their life, why they made the choices they did.”…..The Rhode Island political talk radio show, “The Coalition – Talk Radio for Independent Minds,” moves from Cumulus Media’s WPRO, Providence to the digital platform of GoLocalProv.com.  The weekly, Friday evening show is hosted by Pat Ford, the chair of the Libertarian Party of Rhode Island and airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm…..SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive coverage of the Presidents Cup golf tournament September 28 through October 1 at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Trump Calls Out Athlete Protesters, North Korea Nuclear Threats/Sanctions, Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill, Merkel Re-Election, Maria-Devastated Puerto Rico, Kingsman Film, MLB Playoff Push, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The issue of athletes protesting during the national anthem after President Trump’s criticism; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and new sanctions put upon the hermit kingdom; the push by Republicans to pass the Graham-Cassidy health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act; Angela Merkel wins fourth term as Chancellor of Germany; the devastation of Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria; the new Kingsman film tops It at the box office; the weekend’s MLB games with playoff implications; Saturday’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KXL and Compass Media Talker Lars Larson Co-Starring Regular TV Segment.  Pictured here during the “Left Hook, Right Jab” segment on KGW-TV, Portland is news/talk KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks syndicated talk show host Lars Larson (right).  Going against Larson in the debate-style segment is former Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick (left).  Larson tells TALKERS magazine he’s been doing the TV segment for a few months now.  “They wanted a standard ‘he said, he said’ format but I suggested a chess clock format. Each of us gets 90 seconds.  Here’s the difference: we take turns leading off on a different question.  You can weigh in for, say 20-30 seconds (or shorter or longer), hit the bell and the other person has to respond.  He can go as long or short as he likes and then it switches back. Back and forth until both run out of time.  It moves fast.  It forces each to get right to the point (like Twitter).”

EXCLUSIVE TALKERS DIALOGUE: Terminated and Embattled KXNT, Las Vegas Talk Show Host Heidi Harris Speaks with Michael Harrison about the Events Leading Up to and Following CBS Choosing Not to Renew Her Contract as Morning Host.  In an exclusive TALKERS interview conducted Thursday evening (9/21), TALKERS founder Michael Harrison talks to former KXNT, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris about CBS RADIO’s decision not to renew her contract that was about to expire in a few weeks in the wake of a controversial social media comment about gay adoption posted by the broadcaster.  Although CBS has not cited the controversy as its reason for choosing not to renew Harris’ contract, the widespread speculation in the press and across the radio industry is that the host was let go because of negative blowback from organized activists in the gay community.  Discussing the interview, Harrison states, “I entered this conversation hoping to give Heidi the chance to present her side of the story, but, perhaps, wishfully to see if there was any chance to smoothen out the situation and set the stage for CBS to reconsider its decision if she clarified her position short of actually apologizing. Apologizing is not something I would expect or encourage her to do.  But it would be unfortunate if she left the station because of a misunderstanding of terms and today’s tendency for black and white thinking to rule the narrative.”  To listen to the interview, please click here.

Yappy Tour Rolls into NewsmaxTV.  Pictured above being interviewed by NewsmaxTV‘s John Bachman is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).   Former producer Duncan chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the remainder of 2017.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 85 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Milwaukee’s WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” brings Brew City radio personality Karen Dalessandro aboard to host the afternoon drive daypart.  Dalessandro is a Country Music Hall of Famer and a two-time CMA Personality of the Year who previously was a morning personality on iHeartMedia’s crosstown WMIL “FM 106” until “retiring” from the station back in March.  About this new gig, Dalessandro says, “I made the switch to ‘94.5 KTI Country’ to join a staff that is excited about country music, committed to winning and actually living in Milwaukee.  It’s refreshing to see this kind of radio still exists.  [Scripps Milwaukee ] GM Tom Langmyer and PD Ryan Wild deserve much credit for believing that real people doing real radio is important to the community they serve.  I spent 19 years hosting Milwaukee morning radio so to continue my career as music director/afternoons at WKTI is more than I could have imagined!”…..iHeartMedia names Nikki Corl marketing director for its Charlotte market operations and the rest of the Carolinas.  She was most recently promotions director at iHeartMedia’s Richmond station group…..In Nashville, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” announces that Wells Adams begins hosting the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show (starting tonight).  The 10-year market pro was most recently on the company’s sister classic rock WNRQ “105.9 The Rock” hosting afternoons.  Adams was also a recent contestant on ABC-TV’s “The Bachelorette.”  WRVW program director Jonathan Shuford says, “Wells is already a well-known and talented radio personality here in Music City, a reality show star, social influencer, and all-around great guy.  It just made sense to marry his pedigree with Nashville’s most-listened to station and we’re excited to launch this new chapter in Nashville radio.”…..CBS RADIO’s WUSN, Chicago is presenting its third annual “Stars and Strings” show in honor of America’s veterans and their families on Wednesday, November 15 at The Chicago Theatre. The all-star lineup features: Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Darius Rucker, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum, and Sam Hunt with a special appearance by Lindsay Ell. WUSN morning duo “Stylz & Roman” announced the concert on their program this morning.

iHeartRadio Music Festival Wraps Two Days in Las Vegas.  Pictured here are iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman (second from left) and iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes (right) with singer Demi Lovato (second from right) and an unidentified guest (left) backstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Some of the artists that played on Friday and Saturday night included: Coldplay, The Weeknd, DJ Khaled, Chris Stapleton, Lorde, Kings of Leon, Big Sean, P!NK, Miley Cyrus, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Niall Horan, David Guetta, Thomas Rhett, Harry Styles, Kesha and more, plus this year’s ‘Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Sta’ winner, James Maslow.

Monday, April 10, 2017

| April 10, 2017

Mike Hartel Promoted to VP Mid-Atlantic Region for Alpha Media.  Company exec Mike Hartel will continue to serve as Alpha Media’s senior vice president and market manager position for its Columbia, South Carolina station group.  But, he’s adding supervision of its clusters in Savannah-Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, Fredericksburg, and Bluefield as he rises to vice president of the Mid-Atlantic region.  Alpha president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “Mike Hartel has shown an incredible leadership style in form, function and results since he joined Alpha three years ago.  We are excited for Mike to share his considerable talent beyond Columbia to some of our other Southern markets.  Alpha loves to promote from within and this is not only deserved, but will be incredibly well received by our markets.”

Andy Gresh to Host Evening Sports Talk Show at WPRO-AM, Providence. Radio pro Andy Gresh exits his co-host gig at CBS RADIO’s WTIC-AM, Hartford to return to Providence to host his own evening sports talk show on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM & 99.7 FM.  Gresh started his on-air career at WPRO-AM’s sister station WPRV (then sports talker “790 The Score”).  Gresh went on to work at WFAN, New York; ESPN Radio; SiriusXM, WBZ-FM, Boston; and the New England Patriots Radio Network.  Gresh is a journalism grad from the University of Rhode Island where he was a starting offensive lineman on the URI football team.  About his new gig Gresh states, “I’m excited to come back to where it all started for me 20 years ago.  It’s time to turn nights at WPRO on its ear and let Rhode Island take back its sports talk.”  WPRO program director Tony Mascaro adds, “This market has waited almost 10 years to bring back local sports to the airwaves.  I am so thrilled to welcome Andy home.  The combination of our heritage talk team and ‘The Gresh Show’ with sports at night and his unique style will give Rhode Islanders that perfect mix of local talk and local sports.”

Conservative Media Figure Tomi Lahren Sues Glenn Beck and TheBlaze; Seeks TRO to Regain Administrative Control of Social Media.  Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren is taking her battle against TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck to court in Texas.  In a suit filed last Friday in District Court in Dallas County, Lahren is challenging the legality of the actions of former employer TheBlaze after she was ousted from the Glenn Beck-founded media firm, according to the complaint, because she espoused a pro-choice opinion on the television show “The View.”  In addition to seeking rescission of her employment contract, and recovery of attorneys’ fees and other costs, Lahren is asking for a temporary restraining order and temporary and injunctive relief regarding her access to administrative control of her social media.  In the complaint, Lahren says that after being fired by TheBlaze, “Plaintiff was told that she was to remain silent, she was directed to stay away from her Facebook page and other social media, and she was prohibited from making any public comments.  Distilled to its essence, Defendants wrongly insisted, with no legal support, that Plaintiff ‘go dark’ on social media.  Notably, none of these admonitions are grounded in any legal basis that can be supported by the Employment Contract.  Meanwhile, as Plaintiff heeded the unlawful admonitions, Beck and others within TBI embarked on a public smear campaign attacking Plaintiff and chastising her political views and opinions in a clear attempt to embarrass, humiliate, and undermine Plaintiff’s reach to her audience on social media and elsewhere.  Beck and others associated with TBI have continued to knowingly, intentionally, and/or consciously attack Plaintiff in wrongful retaliation for Plaintiff having expressed her personal viewpoint on a public television show.”

Black Organizations Putting Pressure on iHeartMedia Over Michael Berry Bit.  A story in the Chicago Tribune by Kim Janssen indicates that a number of black advocacy organizations, led by the Chicago Urban League, are promising not to give up on seeking satisfaction from iHeartMedia regarding concerns about talk show host Michael Berry’s radio bits they say mock the victims of violence in Chicago.  The story notes that a recent conference call with iHeartMedia executive Greg Ashlock resulted in Ashlock saying that Berry is a “good man” and that “they are working on some guidelines that their on-air hosts would follow.”  The protests arose after Berry was named the company’s “talk personality of the year.”  Urban activists say their protests over the “repeated jokes about Chicago murder victims” have been largely ignored.  Now, the Urban League and other organizations are threatening to start calling iHeartMedia advertisers if CEO Bob Pittman doesn’t meet with them, the company rescind Berry’s award, and the company publicly address the controversy and “take ownership of it.”  See Janssen’s Tribune piece here.

Report: ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic Signs Extension.  According to a report in Philly.com by Rob Tornoe, ESPN Radio morning personality Mike Golic recently inked a new deal with the sports entertainment giant.  It’s been widely reported for some time that ESPN is breaking up the Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic-hosted “Mike & Mike” show.  Greenberg has reportedly signed a new deal that pays him $6.5 million per year to move to the television side of the company.  Tornoe cites a Men’s Journal interview in which Golic says he’ll continue hosting the morning radio show but under what format or with whom remains unsettled.  See the Philly.com piece here.

PodcastOne’s ‘Geffen Playhouse Unscripted’ Debuts.  The new podcast from PodcastOne featuring “today’s most interesting creative voices” debuts with inaugural guest actor Rainn Wilson (pictured).  PodcastOne partners with GeffenPlayhouse.org to present “Geffen Playhouse Unscripted” – a series presents new episodes every Wednesday, hosted by veteran arts reporter John Horn.  Future guests will include: actor Jeffrey Tambor, actress and musician Rita Wilson, playwright Neil LaBute, and actress Beth Behrs.

James Andrew Miller and DGital Media Team for Podcast Series.  Award-winning journalist and best-selling author James Andrew MillerThose Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN (Back Bay Books 2011), Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live (Little, Brown & Company, 2014) – and content creator DGital Media are partnering on an original audio series called “Origins.”  DGital says the “podcast will explore beginnings – whether from the worlds of television, movies, sports, music, business, or even human relationships – to explain how greatness starts and how critical happenings come to be.”  DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “I’ve read every book Jim has written, in addition to his work for The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and I am a fan first, both of his incredible journalism and of his dedication to premium level storytelling and access.  Considering the credentials, reputation, access, trust of his peers and the storytelling ability that come with the name James Andrew Miller, a podcast is an unbelievably perfect medium with which to share a new phase of his reporting.”

Syrian Chemical Weapons Use-Russian Influence, Russian Nicaragua Outpost, Egypt Church Bombings, Stockholm Terror Attack, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Bannon-Kushner Power Struggle, FOX News and O’Reilly Accusations, Gorsuch Joins Supreme Court, and Sergio Garcia Wins the Masters Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The debate over responsibility for the deadly gas attack against Syrian civilians and questions about Russia’s alliance with Bashar al-Assad; report of a Russian outpost in Nicaragua of which U.S. intelligence is suspicious; the deadly Palm Sunday bombings at Christian churches in Egypt; the aftermath of last week’s terror attack in Stockholm; North Korea’s growing nuclear capabilities and its threats against the U.S.; reports of the power struggle between presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner; the allegations of sexual harassment against FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly; Neil Gorsuch is named to the Supreme Court after Mitch McConnell changes Senate rules; and Sergio Garcia wins the Masters golf tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Jersey Lt. Governor Guadagno Helps Harry Hurley Raise Money for Charities.  Pictured above are WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (right) and New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno at Hurley’s 9th Annual Dinner at Congress Hall (America’s oldest seaside resort).  The event helped raise more than $9,000 on Friday (4/7).  Lt Governor Guadagno is running for Governor of New Jersey and faces her first test in the June 6 Republican primary election.  Hurley’s major fundraiser for the Hurley in the Morning Charity is Friday, June 16 when his 10th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Harbor Pines Golf Club takes place.  The Hurley in the Morning Charity has raised more than $700,000 over the past 10 years.  Hurley has awarded grants to more than 150 not-for-profit organizations, including establishing along with TALKERS magazine founder and publisher Michael Harrison, an annual $1,000 grant for the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Stephanie Miller Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast. Multi-platform, independently syndicated (WYM Media Management), progressive talk show host Stephanie Miller is the guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Miller, a 30-year radio veteran, who stands as one of the leading anti-Donald Trump voices in talk media, has achieved top-tier radio success as a talker by early on expanding her daily morning show’s platforms of delivery beyond terrestrial radio to include online digital (streaming and podcasts), SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and cable TV modes of distribution, such as Free Speech TV. She has also broken exciting new ground during the past several years with her comedy touring road show, “The Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour,” – an organic, troupe-style production that sold out legitimate theaters in market after market. The election of Trump has given the show yet another chapter of life as it is being prepared to play a dozen dates across America in 2017 as “The Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour.” Michael Harrison says, “Stephanie Miller stands as an inspiration for any talk show host, left or right, who wants to maximize both their exposure and revenue streams in the digital era. Her stunning success in the theatrical touring arena alone is worthy of every radio broadcaster’s attention.” Harrison and Miller discuss the nuts and bolts of her media empire and the general impact the Trump presidency is having on the renewed potential of progressive talk broadcasting in America. Not to be missed! To listen to the entire podcast, 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. Los Angeles radio personality Rita Wilde renews her contract with Entercom Los Angeles to remain host of the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show on classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound.” Entercom Los Angeles VP/general manager Peter Burton comments, “Classic rock fans and artists have been listening to Rita since this music was new.  We’re proud to have her at ‘The Sound.’”…..Tampa adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9” names Danielle McBroom the new morning drive host.  Cox Media Group Tampa director of branding and programming for WWRM, WXGL, and WDUV, John Larson, says, “We are so excited to have Danielle join our ‘Magic’ team.  Her experience, creativity, social media expertise and infectious attitude bring a fresh, new sound to a huge brand like ‘Magic.’”  McBroom moves to the “Magic Mornings” program from sister alternative WSUN where she’s been on air for the past 10 years…..In the Pacific Northwest, iHeartMedia adds program director duties at alternative rock K272EL, Portland “Radio 102.3” to the responsibilities of KFOO, Centralia, Washington “ALT 102.9” (Olympia and Seattle/Tacoma markets) PD Ben Marcotte…..Also in the Seattle market, hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” afternoon personality, music director and APD Hunter Quinn accepts the additional role of assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s sister CHR KPWK “Power 93.3.”

Howard Stern’s Taxing Lawsuit

| February 23, 2017

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS
Legal Editor

 

BOSTON — When Judith Barrigas called the IRS on May 19, 2015 to discuss the possible misapplication of her income tax refund by the IRS  for the year 2014, she had no idea that her 45-minute conversation with IRS agent Jimmy Forsythe would end up being broadcast to the more than 1 million listeners of the Howard Stern show.  This unlikely occurrence was due to the fact that apparently prior to taking her call, Forsythe had called the Howard Stern show and, as often is the case, was put on hold.  Then, apparently while using another phone line, Forsythe took Barrigas’ call and spoke to her about her income tax issues for approximately 45 minutes without being aware that their conversation was being picked up by the other phone and broadcast to the listeners of the Howard Stern show.

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