WRVA, Richmond Talk Mainstay Jeff Katz is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the elite local hosts in talk radio, Jeff Katz – heard 3:00-6:00 pm daily on WRVA, Richmond – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Katz has been a radio talk show host since the early 1990s on major stations in Boston, Hartford, Charlotte, Philadelphia and currently in Richmond since 2013. He grew up in Philadelphia and was aiming for a career as an attorney until his father suffered a heart attack that set him on a different path so that he could help support his family. Katz graduated at the top of his police academy class and then served as a police officer in Philadelphia until he traded in his badge for a microphone and started his broadcasting odyssey. He’s a fan favorite in Richmond and his program has repeatedly been chosen as the best afternoon radio show by the readers of Richmond Magazine and STYLE Weekly. In 2020, the Richmond Times-Dispatch named Katz the “Best Afternoon Radio Show” in Central Virginia. Over the years, Jeff has volunteered thousands of hours to help members of the local community with a special focus on law enforcement officers and disabled children. He and his wife are parents of a disabled child and that experience has had a tremendous impact on their lives and on Katz’s work. Michael Harrison describes Katz as “one of talk radio’s true humanitarians and an inspirational role model for us all.” President Trump honored Katz by presenting him with the President’s Award for Volunteer Service. In addition, FBI Director Christopher Wray honored him as the recipient of The Director’s Community Leadership Award for 2019. Don’t miss this fascinating conversation in which Harrison and Katz discuss the state of the radio business, politics, parenting, law enforcement and the art of “keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Ramsey Solutions Presents ‘Money & Marriage’ Livestream Event. Ahead of Valentine’s Day on Monday, Ramsey Solutions is presenting a livestream event called “Money & Marriage.” The press release says, “Marriage isn’t for the faint of heart. Whether it’s lack of communication, financial stress or a difference in parenting, marital strain is inevitable. But Ramsey Solutions wants to equip couples with the tools to build a stronger relationship.” The Friday 7:00 pm ET event will feature Rachel Cruze and mental health expert Dr. John Delony “for an evening of laughter and intentional conversation. Couples can enjoy this date night from home, all while covering topics ranging from fear avoidance to the importance of practicing connection.” Cruze says, “What you have to understand, first and foremost: it’s nearly impossible to win with money when you’re not on the same page as your spouse. Coming together practically and emotionally not only unifies you but gets you to your goals faster.” Tickets for the event can be had here.
Richardson and Gallant to Replace Charlie Pallilo at KFNC-FM, Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s Matt Young reports that Gow Media is naming Vanessa Richardson and Paul Gallant hosts of the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on sports talk KFNC-FM. This comes a day after longtime market sports personality Charlie Pallilo announced he is no longer with the station. Richardson is a former KPRC-TV sports anchor and reporter and Gallant previously served as a host at iHeartMedia’s crosstown KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610.” Richardson will be the only woman working in sports radio in Houston. She says, “I’ve wanted to host a show for a long time and I’m SO excited to do that on ESPN radio in Houston.”
Tee Gentry and Beasley Announce Renewal Deal. Programming pro Tee Gentry and Beasley Media Group announce they have signed a multiyear renewal deal for Gentry to continue with the company. Gentry, who has been with the company for the past 26 years, currently serves as Beasley’s vice president of brand strategies and regional operations manager of its Augusta, Georgia and Fayetteville, North Carolina radio clusters. Beasley chief content officer Justin Chase says, “Tee is one of the most brilliant programmers that I’ve had the opportunity to work with. During his many years with the company in markets like Augusta, Fayetteville, and Tampa, he’s only had success. We’re lucky to lock Tee in for another multiyear deal!” Gentry says, “It’s an absolute privilege to work with [regional VP] Kent Dunn and the incredible people in Augusta and Fayetteville. They are what local radio is all about! I look forward to continuing to be a part of the Beasley Media Group family for years to come.”
Salem Radio Network’s Larry Elder Featured in Newsweek Feature Story. The February 18 issue of Newsweek features the cover story, “The Rise of Black Conservatives: Will the GOP’s Bet Pay Off?” that includes Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder, among other Black conservatives such as media figure Candace Owens, Virginia Lt. Governor Winsome Sears, and Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker. Elder, who was the highest vote-getter in the recent recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom, is quoted in the piece saying, “Donald Trump, to a greater degree than any Republican presidential candidate that I’ve seen, went to the inner city and tried to get Black votes. The message is this: Don’t act as if Black people cannot be convinced. They can be. Don’t condescend. Tell the truth. Talk about the issues, talk about how these issues benefit you.” Elder is also quoted saying the GOP needs to continue to work to attract Black voters. “Do I think that the Republican Party has done a poor job of marketing itself to Black voters? I do. They have written off Black people or they’ve assumed they’re going to vote for the Democratic Party.”
TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk legend Chris “Mad Dog” Russo – heard nationally on SiriusXM Radio – will again join ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim on the “First Take” program on Wednesday February 16. ESPN says Russo will then return for weekly appearances every Wednesday beginning March 2. In January, Russo and Smith debated Barry Bonds’ Hall of Fame campaign and the episode turned out to be the show’s most-watched episode ever. ESPN EVP and executive editor Norby Williamson says, “We couldn’t be more excited to add another marquee name in Chris “Mad Dog” Russo to our weekly rotating lineup and further build this momentum going forward, providing viewers with the best possible debates, topics and content.”…..Cumulus Media and DCP Entertainment announce that the new season of DCP’s podcast “democracy-ish” on the Cumulus Podcast Network will feature Wajahat “Waj” Ali as the new co-host alongside veteran host Danielle Moodie. Cumulus says, “The podcast hosts aim to keep it real, blunt, and entertaining as they discuss how to achieve a multiracial democracy, cover all the ground left behind by mainstream media, and seek to make sense of the nonsense.”…..Award-winning reporter Nate Hegyi joins New Hampshire Public Radio as host and senior producer of “Outside/In,” the program that delves into the natural world and how we use it. Hegyi most recently worked as a reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a consortium of NPR member stations covering the region. NHPR president and CEO Jim Schachter says, “‘Outside/In’ is well on its way to becoming a leading national source of engaging, empowering environmental journalism. With Nate as host, the show can build a community of people across the United States and beyond who care deeply about the natural world and humankind’s responsibility for it.”…..WMFE and WMFV, the NPR affiliates serving the Orlando area and nine counties across Central Florida, name longtime public media journalist and consultant Judith Smelser president and general manager. Smelser has served as WMFE/WMFV’s interim president and general manager since September 2021 and has a long history with the station as an award-winning reporter from 2004-2007, and then news director until 2011, before she was recruited away by Colorado Public Radio in Denver.
COVID-19/Freedom Convoy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Inflation, Cheney-Kinzinger Censure, Ukraine Tensions, Social Media & Cancel Culture, Beijing Olympics, and Super Bowl LVI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/9). The rate of COVID-29 cases in the U.S., plans to pull back mask mandates in numerous states, and the Canadian truckers’ Freedom Convoy; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the U.S. is set to record the highest rate of inflation in 40 years; the GOP’s internal squabble over the RNC’s intent to censure Senators Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for criticizing Trump’s January 6 actions; the diplomatic tensions between Russia and the West over the Russian military presence at the Ukraine border; the politics of social media platform rules and Spotify’s tightrope walk over Joe Rogan’s popular podcast and its critics; the controversies at the Beijing Winter Olympics; and the buildup to Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Nielsen and Bubba The Love Sponge Settle $1 Million Suit. The trial was scheduled to begin on July 23 after more than two-and-a-half years of preparation and paying lawyers, but on Friday afternoon (7/6), a settlement was announced and from what we’ve learned, Nielsen came out on top. If you remember, Nielsen sued Bubba Clem for $1 million claiming that his attempts to manipulate the PPM survey in the Tampa market had caused damage to its reputation and the PPM methodology. Bubba countersued claiming, among other things, that Nielsen and competitor Cox Media Group conspired against him. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but in a press release from Nielsen, the company says Bubba will make a cash payment to Nielsen (that amount will likely never be known) and a number of statements from both sides were made public. Bubba’s statement includes the following: “I understand how important it is to the radio industry that the Nielsen ratings be free from bias and I deeply regret interfering with Nielsen’s collection of listening data.” He promises never to do it again and, if he does, “any future infractions by Clem will be punishable by a court-ordered injunction and additional financial damages payable to Nielsen.” One has to wonder what changed for Bubba. He had numerous attempts to settle via mediation. The discovery process should have indicated to him and his lawyers that Nielsen’s case had more merit than his criticism of Nielsen’s methodology and his theory of a conspiracy between Nielsen and Cox. It seems clear the big winners here were the lawyers who notched a lot of billable hours.
TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion Titled Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio. Today (7/9), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8. Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 10th installment is the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven. Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, Asa; Bold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince Benedetto; Howie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy Carr; Westwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling. Other videos already posted include the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ; a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin; a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan; Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman. Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter. To view the page, please click here.
Attorneys Counter Arguments Against Tribune Merger in FCC Filing. The proposed acquisition of Tribune Media by Sinclair Broadcast Group is almost entirely about the merger of two television companies – except for Tribune’s lone radio property: news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago. Responding to those who’ve argued that this acquisition would put too many local television stations under the control of Sinclair, lawyers for both companies write in a petition to the FCC that “contrary to Petitioners’ rhetoric, the sky is not falling. Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune will not radically disrupt the media marketplace or impede viewers’ access to quality local news, nor will it violate any FCC rules or policies.” They argue – as have many radio operators seeking de-regulation of their industry – that the modern media landscape makes concerns about this level of ownership outdated. “Petitioners ask the Commission to make decisions based on Petitioners’ subjective disagreement with content that airs on Sinclair stations and to review this transaction as if it took place in a time when there were seven TV channels and phones were simply used to call someone to say hello, rather than to watch a full-length movie or live newscast. But today there are hundreds of TV channels, OTT video services are proliferating and being subscribed to by tens of millions of households, and the lines between telephone companies, internet providers, MVPDs, programmers and broadcasters have long since disappeared.” Sinclair currently operates just three radio stations – in the Seattle market: all-news KOMO-AM/FM, news talk KVI, and hot AC KPLZ.
TALKERS News Notes. Longtime all-news KYW, Philadelphia director of news and programming Steve Butler is leaving the Entercom station. In a memo to staffers, Butler assures them that he’s not being forced out. “This is really, really my decision, and a really tough one.” Butler says he wants to enjoy doing things he’s always wanted to explore while still in good health. Butler says he’ll stay on until Entercom Philly market manager David Yadgaroff finds his successor…..New York City sports talk personality and radio voice of the New York Yankees Michael Kay is being inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame. Kay hosts the afternoon drive show on ESPN-owned WEPN, New York. He’ll be honored on October 18 along with the rest of the class of 2018. Kay states, “I am extremely humbled by this honor. To stand alongside the others who have been inducted to this prestigious hall is somewhat surreal for a kid from the Bronx who started out in this business as a newspaper man. I thank those who voted for me; it is greatly appreciated.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago afternoon drive traffic reporter Veronica Carter has exited the Entercom all-newser in order to move back to California. Carter has been with the station for the past 12 years. She worked at crosstown WGN-AM before that. Her Facebook message states: “My kids have grown up and now I have zero obligations, so I’m going to do what I want for the next two or three decades! That includes spending a lot of time outdoors, visiting my mother, sisters and other family members, and of course chillaxing on the beach!”…..Comic and SiriusXM personality Dean Obeidallah has won a judgement against neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin and his website The Daily Stormer. The judgement was declared by a federal court clerk in Columbus, Ohio, but Anglin was not present in court – he’s been avoiding the matter. Numerous attempts to personally serve Anglin were unsuccessful. The issue is that Anglin posted a phony story on the website that stated Obeidallah admitted to being the mastermind behind the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK last year.
Herskovitz: Commercial Cycles. Radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about some of the trends in commercial styles and how they’ve changed and, in some case, come full circle. The full-sing spot was at one time very common. Iconic jingles were credited with creating and enforcing brand loyalty for many products over the years. In some current instances, creative is returning to the jingle with some very effective results. Read Herskovitz’s column here.
Confer Radio Talent Institute Opens at Bloomsburg University. This is the sixth annual Confer Radio Talent Institute in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and it’s taking place at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg Pennsylvania beginning today (7/9). Sessions over the 10-day institute cover almost every aspect of radio – from sales to on-air in music radio, sports, news, production, promotions, digital, social media, and engineering. Twenty-two students have been accepted from eight universities, including: Susquehanna University, Clarion University, Temple, Stockton, Alvernia University, Pace University, and California University of Pennsylvania, as well as Bloomsburg University. Pictured here is Kirby Confer addressing some of the students.
Georgia Beasley Named RAB’s Professional Development Manager; Kim Johnson Promoted to Director of Sales. The Radio Advertising Bureau announces that Georgia Beasley has been named professional development manager. In this role, Beasley will work closely with SVP professional development Jeff Schmidt on the overall training curriculum offered at the RAB. This includes the Rising Through the Ranks program – dedicated to the support and advancement of women in radio sales management positions – of which Georgia herself is a graduate. Beasley was most recently director of TopicPulse Strategic Initiatives at Futuri Media. She has also held various sales management positions at Beasley Media Group. At the same time, RAB says Kim Johnson has been promoted to the director of sales position. Prior to this role, she worked with the RAB’s CRM tool as an account development manager. Johnson will be responsible for the sales of the entire suite of RAB’s professional development training courses.
Illegal Immigration Policy, Trump Supreme Court Nominee, Trump-Russia Investigation, Thailand Cave Rescues, Tariffs and Trade War Concerns, North Korea Nuclear Program, MLB and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The treatment of families in enforcing illegal immigration laws; speculation about President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court and questions about the fate of Roe v Wade; special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the rescue of five of the dozen boys trapped in underwater caves in Thailand; Trump’s tariffs and concerns about the effects of a trade war; suggestions that North Korea is continuing its nuclear weapons program despite the recent Trump-Kim Jong Un summit; Major League Baseball action; and World Cup soccer were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles-based morning drive urban contemporary star Big Boy is heading to the small screen. iHeartMedia and Fuse Media announce they will begin televising the KRRL “Real 92.3”-based, nationally syndicated “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” program on television’s Fuse Music channel beginning July 30. The program features Big Boy and castmates Natalia Perez, Louie G, Ayyde, and DJ VickOne. iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes says, “This new partnership with Fuse is the continuation of an exciting trend of our iconic iHeartRadio personalities extending their reach to television. Big Boy is a legend in music and this is the next logical step as he extends his brand.”…..At Urban One’s WKYS, Washington, DC, Angie Ange is named new host of the morning drive show, effective July 16. Ange has been hosting the evening show on the station. In mornings, she’ll be joined by Déja Perez and DJ Money. Ange says, “Growing up I would have fun listening to Tom Joyner, Russ Parr, and Donnie Simpson. To reach this height in my career and be in a position to give that same energy while also inspiring and enlightening our listeners as they start their day is the opportunity of a lifetime.”…..Impact Radio Group announces the debut of the new “Joey & Lauren” (pictured at left) morning show on hot AC KZMG, Boise “MY 102.7.” Station program director James Garner says, “After an extensive nationwide search for a quality morning show, my team and I found ourselves right back in the Treasure Valley with Joey and Lauren Jenkins…The easiest option would have been to select a cookie-cutter, ready-made program, but we decided to create a new show from the ground up, with genuine personalities that our listeners can relate to. I am excited to present this fun and unique local morning show to our listeners in the Treasure Valley.”…..In Cincinnati, Tropikana joins Radio One’s cluster as music director for hip hop WIZF “101.1 The Wiz.” Operations manager Bill Black says, “Tropikana is an important part of the puzzle that we are building at ‘The Wiz!’ I am very excited about what she will bring to The Wiz’s team.”
Company to play major role at forthcoming Talkers New York 2014
By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief
LOS ANGELES —Radio’s collective resume is remarkably rich with astounding seminal moments and some breathtaking benchmark events; however, open for conjecture, of course, is the one singularly most important to the medium.
Few can dispute that a 62-minute October 30, 1938 segment would be at – or near – the top of a multitude of related “Top 10” lists.
That was when, without commercial interruption, the CBS Radio Network aired “The Mercury Theater on the Air” adaptation of H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel “The War of the Worlds.” Directed, narrated, and starring Orson Welles, the program suggested that a Martian invasion was in progress.
As much as any other solitary program, this particular stunning piece of radio history was responsible for linking the medium to the term “theater of the mind.”