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JVC Media Giving Away Free Airtime. The company that operates stations in New York and Florida is announcing it is opening the airwaves of all of its stations to help promote local essential businesses and services that are still open and still serving the community. JVC Media’s Florida stations include talk outlet WDYZ-AM/W288CJ “Florida Man Radio.” Its Long Island group includes news/talk WRCN “LI News Radio 103.9.” The company says the message is simple: “In Florida call the Quarantine Speed Advertising line at 407-647-5332, in NY call 631-542-5441, and leave a 30 second voicemail showcasing your business. The JVC team will produce your message and play it on the appropriate radio station free of charge.” JVC president and CEO John Caracciolo says, “This is the time for radio to shine. We are not closed, we are not automated, we are live, local, and serving our local communities. I don’t see the streaming or satellite services offering something like that.”
Neuhoff Media Using Radio to Connect Teachers and Students. In an effort to ameliorate the disconnect between teachers and students in Central Illinois, Neuhoff Media announces the Louise Neuhoff Educational Access Project initiative. The project is named in honor of the Neuhoff Media co-founder. The company will make available specific periods of time each day for public school teachers to present lessons, read books, and review specific material on air. These programs will ensure educators are readily accessible to all students and their parents while under stay-at-home orders. Neuhoff Media president and CEO Beth Neuhoff comments, “We have the ability for teachers to talk directly to students each day regardless of technology. We wanted to find some small way to help bridge the gap between teachers and primary students. We are simply providing local educational leadership the opportunity to use our most popular radio stations to connect with students and their parents.”
Bonneville Outlines Coronavirus Initiatives. Company president Darrell Brown issued a press release outlining Bonneville International’s plans to ramp up its coronavirus crisis efforts. Brown says, “Bonneville has always prioritized our purpose above our profits. Our mission and the reason our company was created was to be a trusted voice that builds up, informs, connects and celebrates the families and communities we serve, and there is a great need right now for all of those things.” Some of the company’s initiatives include: News/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix is providing statewide newscasts for other radio groups and supporting local businesses through an “Open for Business” campaign; in Salt Lake City, the cluster is operating the “Stronger Together Utah” campaign to promote local businesses while “Newsradio” KSL-AM/FM is hosting a daily coronavirus call-in show and a related podcast; and Seattle’s news/talk KIRO-FM is producing the podcast “COVID-19: Seattle” as the station’s “Gee and Ursula Show” started a “Letters of Hope” project to send messages of encouragement to the elderly.
TALKERS News Notes. Pittsburgh talk show host Wendy Bell is trending on Twitter for stating on the air that she’s “on the fence” about the conundrum of saving lives versus protecting people’s livelihoods. According to a piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the KDKA-AM personality said, “We’re told that we need to shut down the economy. There’s a cost. Everything shuts down, but to what end? Yes, every life lost is one too many. Yes, that’s the talking point. That’s what we’re going to say. But ultimately dollars and cents boil down to, ‘Are you going to bankrupt America and the future for less than 1% of our population?’ Many of whom are already ill or aged. I’m on a fence.”…..The nationally syndicated “Small Business Advocate” program hosted by Jim Blasingame adds new affiliate stations KFAQ, Tulsa and KSHP, North Las Vegas, Nevada. The program is syndicated by Skip Joeckel’s Talk Shows USA. Joeckel says, “Small businesses need all the help they can get and Jim’s program has been dedicated to helping them since 1997!”…..This year’s National Headliner Awards – bestowed since 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City – have been announced and in the radio division, Cumulus Media’s Westwood One News wins first place for “Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event” for coverage of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio last year. Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco took home the first-place honor for “Radio Stations Newscast (all markets)” category for its morning news coverage of the Kincade Fire on October 24, 2019. Hearst’s WBAL-AM, Baltimore won first place for “Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event” for “FBI Raids Mayor Pugh’s Home” by reporter Scott Wykoff and the station’s news staff. Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington won first place in the “Radio Stations Feature and Human Interest Story” category for “Rock Creek Rescue” in which reporter Megan Cloherty recounted the “riveting and fascinating story about a WTOP staffer who becomes a hero after saving a woman who had fallen into an icy, life-threatening Rock Creek.” See all awards here…..Entercom reports that according to data from Podtrac, Triton, and Apple Podcast Top Charts, it is experiencing “blockbuster audience growth across its Podcast Network, which includes Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, outperforming recent softness in listening reported among other leading podcasters.” Entercom says it hit new record listenership of 28 million listeners worldwide during the month of March.
WCCO, Minneapolis Meteorologist Mike Lynch Retires. After a 40-year career with Entercom’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis, meteorologist Mike Lynch is retiring from the station. In a Facebook post, Lynch says, “It’s been an incredible run that I have been so blessed to have the privilege of doing. I grew up in Richfield, Minnesota and WCCO Radio has been part of my life from the get-go. I can picture in my mind my parent’s kitchen radio on corner shelf at 6617 Lakeshore Dr. I remember hearing greats like big Bob De Haven, Howard Viken, Joyce Lamont, Randy Merriman, and others. When I was delivering morning newspapers, I loved to listen with a transistor radio and laugh out loud at 5:00 am with Roger Erickson and Maynard Speece. When I came home every day from Holy Angels High School the ‘Cannon Mess’ was on in our kitchen… It was Steve Cannon though who took me under his wing and launched my career. I couldn’t have done it without his kind heart. I’ve had so many wonderful experiences at WCCO Radio.”
Glenn Beck Publishes New Book, Arguing with Socialists. Nationally syndicated talk host Glenn Beck releases his latest book, Arguing with Socialists (2020, Threshold Editions). According to the publisher, the Premiere Networks personality’s new book “arms readers to the teeth with information necessary to debunk the socialist arguments that have once again become popular and proves that the free market is the only way to go.”
U.S. Coronavirus Infections/Deaths/Projection, Sanders Drops Out, Vote-By-Mail Debate, Trump WHO Criticism, Financial Markets Activity, and Linda Tripp Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/8). The tally of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases, the death toll, and the death projection; Bernie Sanders drops out of the Democratic race for the nomination; the debate over the potential for the November election to be handled by mail; President Trump’s criticism of the World Health Organization, claiming it acquiesced to China in downplaying Covid-19 early on; the world’s financial markets react to the coronavirus pandemic; and Clinton whistleblower Linda Tripp dies among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Red Apple Media President Chad Lopez Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The president of Red Apple Media, the New York City-based firm that recently acquired heritage radio outlet 77WABC from Cumulus Media, Chad Lopez, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Red Apple Media is a division of the Red Apple Group – a multi-billion-dollar company in the energy and supermarket businesses owned by its CEO and founder, John Catsimatidis. Catsimatidis, in addition to being a self-made business mogul and a former top-tier NYC Republican mayoral candidate, is a talk show host in his own right with a syndicated weekly show, “The Cats’ Roundtable,” that emanates from friendly cross-town talk rival WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”. He is also a lover of radio and has an extremely warm spot in his heart for WABC and its legacy. Chad Lopez comes to the position of president of this new endeavor with an extraordinary background in New York City radio management and sales. He was a kid from Queens who grew up listening to NYC radio and, after attending college in the area and serving four years in the Navy as a petty officer on the aircraft carrier USS Independence, worked his way up through the ranks of Big Apple radio that included 16 years in sales managing at CBS Radio – including such giant outlets as WFAN, WINS, WCBS AM/FM and the New York Yankees Radio Network. He stepped up the corporate ladder after his time with CBS and became VP/market manager for the New York cluster of Cumulus Media which involved overseeing hot AC WPLJ, urban WNBM, country WNSH “NASH-FM” and news/talker 77WABC. When Red Apple Media acquired 77WABC, Lopez was promoted to president of the company. Commenting on the purchase of WABC by Catsimatidis, Michael Harrison recently stated, “This is quite possibly the most important radio ownership transaction of the past several years. A local businessperson with significant assets who has demonstrated a lifetime love for radio acquires a major market heritage station with the promise of strengthening its service. This could be just the model that sets the stage for radio’s next renaissance! The industry’s eyes and ears will be on this one.” Harrison and Lopez discuss Red Apple’s plans for 77WABC along with the state of radio in this extraordinarily transitional year for New York City, the nation, the world and the American broadcasting industry. This is a deep-dive conversation about the business that professional radio broadcasters should not miss! 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. Non-commercial triple A WYMS-FM, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” names Kevin Sucher executive director. Milwaukee native Sucher worked as a professional musician for several years, teaching himself recording and sound engineering skills that eventually led to a career as a music producer. Through his producing work, he built relationships with artists and influential professionals in the entertainment industry and that led to a national career in artist management in which he worked with artists, including: Eric Benét, David Foster, Train, The Tenors, and Michelle Branch. Radio Milwaukee board president Juli Kaufmann comments, “While rooted in Milwaukee, Kevin brings connections and innovative ideas drawn from his national music industry experience. He is an inclusive leader who brings fresh perspective to enhance our already exceptional team. We are thrilled to advance our mission under Kevin’s leadership.”
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk (Part 2). TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a second look at the performances of sports talk stations in Nielsen Audio’s PPM markets during the November 2019 survey. This report ranks sports talk listening by market and details the increases and decreases in 6+ ratings by market. Which PPM markets registered the most sports talk listening during the November survey? The top three are all East Coast markets: Philadelphia (11.2 share), Boston (11.1 share), and Long Island (9.3 share). See how the rest of the markets stack up here.
NYPost: Benigno and Roberts for WFAN, New York Afternoons. Sportswriter Andrew Marchand says in his December 16 New York Post column that the new, permanent program schedule for Entercom’s sports talk WFAN, New York “The Fan” will indeed be Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno in afternoon drive (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm) and Maggie Gray and Mark Malusis in the midday slot (10:00 am to 2:00 pm). It’s already public knowledge that current WFAN midday personality Bart Scott is heading across town to work at ESPN and its radio outlet WEPN-FM “ESPN New York.” These changes come after Mike Francesa’s transition from afternoons to a daily 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm show.
Programmer Buzz Knight Leaving Beasley for Consultancy Venture. Programming pro Buzz Knight is leaving his post with Beasley Media Group as executive vice president of strategy and innovation to launch his consultancy, Buzz Knight Media. Beasley says, “In his new role, Knight will continue to advise Beasley Media Group’s various brands on multiple projects and initiatives as well as focus on enhancing brand health for other media companies, with an eye on maximizing audience and revenue.” Knight says, “I’m very grateful to Caroline Beasley, Bruce Beasley, Brian Beasley, and Justin Chase for providing me with the incredible opportunity to join the company three years ago. The great teams in the markets continue to perform at the highest level and I’m very proud to be able to continue to be associated with them. Special thanks to Caroline for providing me with the privilege of extending my relationship with Beasley Media Group as I fulfill a lifelong dream of launching my own consultancy firm.”
WABC, New York Raises $200,000-plus for Children’s Hospital. Pictured above at the recent “Radiothon for the Kids” broadcast from TALKRADIO 77 WABC are (from l-r): WABC program director Dave LaBrozzi, talk host Curtis Sliwa, Joshua Berg, and talk host Juliet Huddy. During the radiothon broadcast live from Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York on Friday (12/13), a total of $205,213 was raised for the Children’s Miracle Network hospital.
TALKERS News Notes. The final round judging panel for the 29th Annual Radio Mercury Awards is announced. The Radio Mercury Awards are governed by the Radio Creative Fund and produced by the RAB. The RAB says the panel of top-level agency creative leaders represents radio’s top advertising categories, including automotive, communications, financial services, OTC, packaged goods, quick-serve restaurants, retail and spirits. Robin Fitzgerald, chief creative officer at BBDO Atlanta is 2020 chief judge. On the panel are: Justine Armour, chief creative officer, Grey NY; Nathalie Brown, executive creative director, VMLY&R New York; Gary Du Toit, VP creative director, BBDO New York; Kevin Jones, creative director, Wieden & Kennedy Portland; John Matejczyk, chief creative officer and co-founder, M/H VCCP San Francisco; Andrés Ordóñez, chief creative officer, FCB Chicago; Alejandro Ortiz, vice president and creative director, Casanova//McCann; and Sherman Winfield, vice president and creative director, Fitzco//McCann…..There are a number of end-of-year programs being made available to affiliates from ABC Audio, including four longform programs featuring top news stories, interviews and major events from the past year and eight short-form series looking at the year in politics, entertainment, health, sports and more. The longform shows include: “Playback 2019” in which ABC News correspondents Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky look at the biggest stories of the year; the three-hour “2019: The Year in Review” told through highlights of ABC News Radio’s live breaking news coverage; a special, decade-end edition of “Perspective,” ABC News Radio’s weekly newsmagazine exploring the biggest stories of the 2010s; and “World News This Year” – a special edition of the “World News This Week” program…..SiriusXM announces year-end and decade specialty programming across its music, talk, and entertainment channels. SiriusXM chief entertainment anchor Jess Cagle will host “Top 100 Interviews of 2019” – a limited-run channel that will launch on Thursday, December 19 and run through Tuesday, December 31. “Top 100 Interviews of 2019” will feature interviews by SiriusXM hosts including Andy Cohen, Jenny McCarthy, Hoda Kotb, Jess Cagle, Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, and more…..iHeartRadio is introducing iHeartRadio Family in time for the holiday season, now available on Roku, Android TV (set to launch later this year) and Facebook Portal’s latest device, Portal TV, with support for new Portal tablets coming this January. iHeartRadio says, “Some of the cool features included are customized parental controls, artist radio – with the family-friendly versions of their favorite artist songs, animations like a disco ball and a ‘slime drip’ to complement certain audio experiences, and now a variety of fun kid-friendly podcasts to listen to and more. In addition, iHeartRadio Family fans who use Amazon Fire TV will also be able to enjoy an upgraded experience with the addition of podcasts that are kid-friendly added to the platform.”
JVC Media’s Long Island News/Talk Station Vandalized with Anti-Trump Graffiti. Pictured above is the remote studio for JVC Media’s news/talk WRCN, Riverhead, Long Island “LI NEWS RADIO 103.9,” located at the Long Island MacArthur Airport. In the inset is an image of the anti-Trump graffiti that staffers found on large stickers affixed to the glass windows of the studio. JVC uses the studio for live shows during the day and it is not occupied overnight. JVC Media president and CEO John Caracciolo says, “It is unfortunate that someone took out their expression of anger against our president on our broadcast studio. We pride ourselves on fair and balanced news reporting. I understand people are angry, but maybe next time the culprit can call in to our afternoon show and express his or her feelings in a more civilized way.” Long Island MacArthur Airport police are investigating the incident and are reviewing the many video cameras in and around the radio broadcast center. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison discussed the incident with John Caracciolo. To listen, click here.
Impeachment, Ukraine Controversy, 2020 Presidential Race, FBI Report Aftermath, Boeing 737 Production Halt, and Record Dow Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/16). The House’s impeachment against President Trump; Trump attorney Rudy Guiliani’s explanation about why Marie Yovanovich was removed as Ambassador to Ukraine; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the aftermath of the inspector general’s report critical of the FBI’s surveillance operations; Boeing’s decision to suspend production on the 737 Max; and Monday’s record-setting Dow were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Second in the Series of Talk Media Forums on US-China Relations Now Posted! The second installment of the Talk Media Forums on US-China Relations co-presented by TALKERS and The Epoch Times Tuesday morning (12/10) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC is now posted here on Talkers.com as well as other online platforms. The conversation again focused on the US-China trade war, the Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more. The 90-minute event featured a panel of three experts on the state of US-Chinese relations including Nan Su of NTDTV, and Joshua Philipp and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times, plus four leading talk radio hosts – John Fredericks of the John Fredericks Radio Network; Dr. Sebastian Gorka of the Salem Radio Network; Larry O’ Connor of WMAL, Washington, DC; and Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia. According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who again moderated the discussion, “The numerous pressing issues that exist under the umbrella of US-China relations promise to be a major component of talk media conversation for years to come and it is important that its practitioners stay on top of these complex concerns free of the spin and propaganda constantly manufactured by the Communist regime in Beijing. Our colleagues at The Epoch Times are firmly situated on the leading edge of the Chinese resistance to the Communist grasp on their homeland and serve the culture’s diaspora in the United States and around the world with bold, truthful reporting of the facts.” The Epoch Times was formed in 2000 by Chinese Americans and is now published in multiple languages around the world. To view the video in its entirety, please click here. Photo: Samira Bouaou/Epic Times
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix “Country 107.9,” Gunner Jackson and Cheyenne Davis (pictured below) are named hosts of the new “Gunner & Cheyenne” morning show, effective tomorrow (12/18). They join KMLE from KDBL-FM, Yakima, Washington. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “We are excited to introduce our audience to Gunner and Cheyenne. Together, they will bring a ton of energy and positivity to the show and are the perfect hosts to help our listeners begin their mornings.” The duo were recently honored with a 2019 Yakima Herald-Republic Readers’ Choice Award for Best Radio Personality…..iHeartMedia announces Trevor Morini joins the Raleigh station group as senior vice president of programming, effective January 21. Morini will also serve as program director for CHR WDCG-FM “G105.” He’s been serving the company as program director for KHFI “96.7 KISS FM” and alternative KASE-HD/W248CU “ALT 97.5” in Austin…..On-air pro Jeanne Ashley exits Entercom’s adult contemporary KSWD, Seattle “94.1 The Sound” where she was assistant program director and morning drive co-host with John Fisher. Ashley posts on her LinkedIn account, “Thanks to budget cuts, I’m taking time to take stock while I take the long way from Seattle back to NJ.”…..Caldwell Media’s KERL, Caldwell, Arkansas flips from classic rock to adult hits using Envision Networks’ and Kroeger Media’s BOB FM format…..Spanish-language media company MLC Media is assuming management of XHLNC-FM, Tijuana, Mexico and is launching “Mas Flo” on the San Diego signal tomorrow (12/18). The company says,”‘Mas Flo’ will feature a blend of the hottest and latest Spanish urban music from the top Latin artists in the industry. The music genres will include reggaeton, trap, tropical, and urban from artists like: J Balvin, Maluma, Nicky Jam, Rosalia, Bad Bunny, and more…..ABC Audio is making the music special, “2019 Rewind: The Biggest Country Hits of the Year” – hosted by country star Morgan Wallen – available to affiliate stations for year-end programming. The special rounds up all of the year’s hottest songs and includes interviews with Dan + Shay, Eric Church, Runaway June, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell, Carrie Underwood, Maren Morris, Old Dominion and more.