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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

| March 17, 2021

Saga Adds New Talk Station to Clarksville, Tennessee Cluster. The Saga Communications station group in Clarksville, Tennessee – known as 5 Star Media Group – has acquired WNZE-AM and translator W288DQ from Consolidated Media (the AM’s previous calls were WJZM). According to the report at Clarksville Now, the news/talk station – called “NewZee 105.5 FM and 1400 AM” is airing a slate of nationally syndicated talk programming including: Compass Media Networks’ “This Morning with Gordon Deal,” Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager, Premiere NetworksSean Hannity, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, and more. Speaking about the acquisition, 5 Star Media Group general manager Katie Gambill says, “When this station became available, we saw it as a golden opportunity to round out our portfolio with radio talk while also expanding what we can do with local news. And it gives our business partners new ways to reach more customers.”

KTRS, St. Louis to Celebrate 25 Years Next Month. The CH Holdings-owned news/talk outlet KTRS-AM is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary next month. Current KTRS morning host and program director McGraw Milhaven says, “It was April 1996, when 550 KTRS radio signed on in St. Louis. At the time, the St. Louis business community, upset that corporate radio was gutting the fabric of St. Louis, started KTRS with the idea of bringing local back to local. The corporate radio reaction? ‘Local talk? All day long? With no syndication? We give it six months.’ Well 25 years later KTRS is celebrating 25 years of local talk radio. Some changes along the way. The general manager who put the deal together, longtime St. Louis radio executive Tim Dorsey, retired and was replaced by his brother Mark Dorsey, but the mission continues. Local talk, all day long. With great support from the local St. Louis community and local businesses, KTRS has only grown stronger over the years. Now, 25 years later, local talk is more important than ever and KTRS is here to prove once and for all that local radio can not only survive but thrive.”

Westwood One Blog: Podcasting Data from ‘Infinite Dial’ Most Compelling. Calling two of the slides from Edison Research’s and Triton Digital’s “Infinite Dial 2021” “the most compelling aspect of the study,” Westwood One’s Pierre Bouvard says in this week’s WWO blog that they’ve summarized “the most crucial data on the U.S. podcast audience.” Bouvard cites the following data as important to viewing the changes in the U.S. podcasting audience over the past five years: Nearly eight in ten 12+ Americans are familiar with the term podcasting, up from 60% in 2017; 57% of Americans have ever listened to a podcast, a near 50% increase since 2017 (40%); 41% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month, a 71% increase versus 2017 (24%); among persons 12-34, podcast usage has crashed through the 50% barrier with a monthly reach of 56%; The weekly podcast audience (28%) has nearly doubled over the same period from 15% in 2017; and podcast habituation is up with 68% of the monthly podcast audience having also listened in the past week, an 8% increase from 2017. Looking back 10 years, the study shows that 10 years ago, the podcast audience was 58% male and 42% female while today the monthly podcast audience is more evenly split between men and women. Over the past 10 years, the audience is diversifying as the persons 55+ proportion of the monthly podcast audience has grown from 14% to 21%; the persons 12-34 audience composition has increased from 46% to 50%; and the persons 35-54 audience composition has dropped from 40% to 29%. Also, the podcast audience is more diverse: The ethnic audience composition of monthly podcast listeners is up from 32% in 2011 to 43% in 2021. The Hispanic audience composition has surged from 11% to 16% over the 10-year period. See more here.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM morning drive personality Bob Sirott is being honored by the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois with the 2021 Diogenes Award for Excellence in Media. Sirott will receive the honor at the organization’s March 25 annual meeting…..iHeartMedia announces a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast hosted by actress and singer-songwriter Minnie Driver called, “Minnie Questions with Minnie Driver. ” iHeartMedia says in the intimate talk show-style podcast, Driver will ask a wide-range of celebrity guests the same seven “mini” questions to uncover larger truths and help us better understand ourselves and the world around us. Driver says, “I have wanted to share this crazy idea for a podcast for such a long time. I question everything about the world around me, and I’m so excited to share these questions I’ve discovered and host these conversations that can help other people find happiness, self-love and belonging, too.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One – as the official network radio partner of the NCAA – begins its presentation of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship tomorrow (3/18) at 5:00 pm ET. WWO will present play-by-play from all 67 games, including eight first-round and second-round games, plus regional semifinals and finals. Games will air on more than 400 affiliate stations across the country and via SiriusXM…..Entercom’s Pittsburgh radio stations – including news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” – raised funds to provide more than 650,000 meals for people in need through the “Giant Eagle Feed the Need Radiothon” that took place yesterday (3/16). Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “This is a great example of Pittsburghers taking care of each other and using the power of radio to spread the message of the need in our region. Helping the community is part of the fabric of what we do. On behalf of our amazing team at Entercom Pittsburgh, I want to once again thank our listeners for stepping up to help our neighbors in need.”

Atlanta Spa Slayings, Migrant Border Crisis, Cuomo Allegations, Stimulus Package, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Dems Attack on the Filibuster, Newsom Recall Effort, U.S. Sanctions 24 Chinese and Hong Kong Officials, and the Oscar Nominations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16). The shooting deaths of  eight Asians at several spas in the Atlanta area by a white suspect; the Biden administration’s immigrant problem as thousands of parentless children amass at the U.S.-Mexico border; the sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the fellow Democrats calling for his resignation; Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package becomes law; the number of COVID cases in the U.S., concerns about variants, the removal of mask mandates in some states, and the rollout of vaccines; Democrats fight with Republicans over the former’s attempt to kill the Senate filibuster; California Governor Gavin Newsom battles the recall effort against him; the U.S. sanctions 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act; and the unveiling of this year’s Oscar nominations were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pictured above is Michael Harrison contemplating lyrics to “I Know You’re Real” while walking in the woods that surround his Western Massachusetts home searching for The Tree Of To Be.

Calling All Animals! TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has put out an open “casting call” to the talk media industry readers of this publication to submit royalty free original photos of animals that are, as he puts it, “special in their lives.” Some of the photos submitted will be used in a music video project Harrison is developing for release next month about the animal welfare movement of which he is a longtime advocate. Harrison has co-written a song about the relationship between human beings and other species titled, “I Know You’re Real,” which addresses the subject of animal welfare in what he describes as an “inspirationally spiritual manner.” It has been recorded by the legendary rock band Gunhill Road of which Harrison is now an official member and will appear on the storied 50-year-old ensemble’s forthcoming 13-song album, What Year Is This! scheduled for release in April. Harrison says, “We are looking for photos of people’s domestic pets, farm animals or personal wildlife photography subjects to use in the video.” Please send JPG photo files of animals that are royalty free to Harrison at michael@talkers.com. Include the name of the animal (if it is a pet) and a statement that the photo and rights to its use are being donated to the Gunhill Road Video Project without expectation of payment or credit. (Attempts will be made to properly credit the animals and photographers if and where possible.) Two versions of the song will appear on the album. One will feature Harrison delivering the lyrics in spoken word fashion and the other will be a fully sung version featuring lead vocals by Gunhill Road member (and highly accomplished Broadway musician) Brian Koonin. The 2021 incarnation of Gunhill Road consists of founding members Steve Goldrich and Glenn Leopold, longtime member Paul Reisch, and recently added members Harrison and Koonin. Harrison and the other band members will be available for talk media interviews upon the release of the album. Stay tuned to TALKERS for more information about this project coming in early April.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

| November 7, 2018

Brown Moves to Nights on KOA, Denver; ‘Caplis and Kafer’ Launches on KHOW in PM Drive. Programming changes at iHeartMedia Denver take place as former Under Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of FEMA Michael Brown moves from KHOW to sister KOA to launch the live “Heckuva Show with Michael Brown,” airing weekday nights from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm at first, then expanding to 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm on December 3.  On KHOW, the new “Caplis and Kafer” show with Dan Caplis (left) and Krista Kafer (right) assumes the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  iHeartMedia Denver region president Tim Hager says, “Adding these new shows on both KOA NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM and TalkRadio 630 KHOW further enhances our commitment to original, local content.  We’re fortunate to have Michael, Dan, and Krista in these key roles and I’m confident they will quickly become a trusted source of information and entertainment for our listeners, clients and partners.”  Brown tells TALKERS magazine, “The opportunity to create a live, local evening program on iconic KOA News Radio is a chance most radio hosts rarely get to pursue.  I am especially grateful for iHeart’s confidence in this venture by entering into a multi-year contract extension, allowing me to build a live show in this unique time slot.  AM radio needs live evening programming and this is a fantastic opportunity to fill that need and eventually grow the program to a broader audience outside the Denver metropolitan area.  KOA News Radio is heard in 38 states during the evening hours and that is a solid foundation for building a broader program.  It is great to be back on the ‘blowtorch’ of Denver radio.”

KTRS, St. Louis Announces Air Talent Changes After Jon Grayson’s Exit.  Last week, station general manager Mark Dorsey told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after letting late morning talk host Jon Grayson go, “Jon is a great guy and a great broadcaster.  We just decided to go in a different direction.”  Grayson had been co-hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program with Jennifer Blome.  He joined CH Holdings‘ KTRS in 2017 after 16 years as overnight host at crosstown KMOX. Now, KTRS moves Jay Kanzler from the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show to co-host the “Jennifer & Jay” program in the late morning daypart.  The Post-Dispatch reports that station on-air producer Josh Gilbert takes over the late night show as host.  Unrelated to the previous moves, KTRS announces market radio personality Wendy Wiese is joining the morning drive McGraw Milhaven show as a Monday co-host, with Kelly Jackson continuing to co-host Tuesday through Friday.

Cox Media Group to Split WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville Simulcast; AM to Become ESPN Radio Affiliate. The change will take effect in January and will end the AM/FM simulcast of Cox Media Group’s successful “News 104.5 WOKV.”  While the FM will continue as a news/talk outlet, the AM becomes “ESPN 690AM.”  CMG Jacksonville market VP Dan Lawrie says, “We’re very excited to expand the coverage of ESPN Sports in Jacksonville.  From NFL football, to college sports, to high school football, we can cover more sports for Jacksonville sports fans than any other local radio station.”  The station will air the bulk of the ESPN Radio lineup but appears to be considering a local afternoon drive show as the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot is still to-be-determined.

Bustos Experimenting with Local Talk/Brokered Format on KVOI, Tucson. The recent closing on Bustos Media’s purchase of news/talk KVOI, Tucson took place last week and the company swiftly dropped the network programming and added local talk shows to make the station all local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm (Bloomberg Radio airs the rest of the time). Although it’s not clear from the piece posted at Tucson.com how many hosts are brokering their programs, it quotes company president Amador Bustos saying, “It’s an experiment for all of us.  I don’t necessarily know if it’s going to take root in this market.”  He adds he’ll give it about a year to see if it’s financially tenable.  The piece notes local talk personality John C. Scott assisted putting the lineup together. He’ll also host the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  As for the rest of the shows, management expanded morning host Chris DeSimone’s program to 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Mark Bishop hosts a “local variety show” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Bill Buckmaster continues his local talk show from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm, followed by Steve Rivera’s sports talk program from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and Dawn English’s local cultural programming from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Hannity Appearance at Trump Rally Results in Public Statement from FNC; Tweets from Hannity. Nationally syndicated talk radio host and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity appeared on the stage at President Trump’s rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Monday evening after stating in a Tweet earlier in the day that he was only there to cover it and interview the president.  When he took the stage Monday night, he referred to the press in the back of the room – which included FOX News reporters – as the “fake news.” On Tuesday, FOX News issued the following statement: “FOX News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.  We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work.  This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”  Hannity later Tweeted about the issue, saying, “What I said in my tweet yesterday was 100% truthful.  When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president’s request. This was NOT planned.”  He also addressed the “fake news” comment: “To be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks.  They do amazing work day in and day out in a fair and balanced way and it is an honor to work with such great professionals.”

Entercom Names Kevin Cassidy NOLA Cluster Chief. Moving from Entercom’s Dallas station group to New Orleans to assume the SVP and market manager position is Kevin Cassidy.  He’ll lead the cluster that includes legendary news/talk WWL-AM/FM and music outlets CHR WEZB “B97,” classic rock WKBU “Bayou 95.7,” AC WLMG “Magic 101.9,” and rhythmic oldies WWWL-AM/W225CZ “New Hot 92.9 FM.”  Cassidy says, “I am excited to start the next chapter of my career overseeing this strong portfolio of stations in New Orleans.  I relish this opportunity to work with the team and I look forward to leading our stations to anticipated growth in this market.” Cassidy previously served as president of D&R National Radio Sales and vice president and director of sales for iHeartMedia in Dallas.

Midterm Elections Dominate News/Talk Radio on Tuesday.  As happens every so often when the big news story of the day is so all-encompassing, talk about the midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate dominated the topics on news/talk radio yesterday (11/6), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  Other campaign-related topics such as the migrant caravan, foreign relations, and financial markets activity were also part of the larger discussion.

TALKERS News Notes. “New Jersey 101.5” evening talk host Steve Trevelise tells TALKERS magazine that comic and former Howard Stern cast member Artie Lange (pictured here in the “New Jersey 101.5” studios) revealed on his radio show that he’s seeking inpatient treatment for addiction. Trevelise writes, “Monday night, Artie met with City Of Angels founder Kevin Meara, who just returned from the first-ever DOJ Opioid Summit in Washington DC, and with Artie’s good friend and comedian ‘The Reverend’ Bob Levy in the ‘New Jersey 101.5’ conference room.  Now a recovery coach, actress Amy Locane shared her story making a connection, saying that even in the darkest place, through recovery you begin to see light.”  Read the whole story here…..Tomorrow night (11/8), Walter M. Sterling, host of network radio’s “Sterling on Sunday,” is guest starring on Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Westwood One is now the exclusive radio partner of 24/7 weather reporting service Weatherology.  WWO is handling affiliate sales for the service to build on its “existing 600 affiliates in the Upper Midwest.”  Cumulus Media EVP marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “We’re partnering with Weatherology because of their unparalleled immediacy, currency, and quality.  From day-to-day forecasts to storm emergencies, weather on the radio is a vital service to local communities.  Winter is coming soon and Westwood One is ready to offer this service to stations everywhere, including our massive 24-hour format customer base.”…..Entercom sports talk outlet KGMZ-AM, San Francisco “1550-AM The Game” agrees to extend its partnership with the University of San Francisco to broadcast the school’s men’s basketball games.  As part of the deal, select games will be simulcast on KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game.”  Pat Olson, longtime play-by-play voice of the Dons, and former USF men’s basketball head coach Jim Brovelli will continue to call the action…..United Stations Radio Networks announces that Bloomberg Radio Network is again producing the series “Tax Tips” to be broadcast during the 2019 tax season.  The 30-second segments are written and anchored by Bloomberg’s team leader for tax coverage, Alexis Leondis…..Entercom’s Pittsburgh stations – including news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM are supporting the 20th annual “NRG Santa Spectacular” on November 16 at Point State Park in Pittsburgh  This year’s event will feature a musical performance by “American Idol” contestant and Pittsburgh native Gabby Barrett, as well as other family friendly activities.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Since 1998, ‘Santa Spectacular’ has been a staple for families in Pittsburgh and we are excited to continue this tradition.  We are looking forward to bringing the city together for this great event.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  The survey month was generally good to public radio news/talk stations with 57% seeing an increase in their weekly 6+ AQH share compared to the September survey.  The comparison to the October 2017 survey shows about half the stations went up, less than half went down and two stations saw no change.  A total of five public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the October survey: KQED, San Francisco; KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; KOPB, Portland; and KUT, Austin.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Boston, iHeartMedia promotes Amanda Jo Parker to assistant program director for country WBWL “101.7 The Bull.” She’ll continue hosting her evening show there as well as her duties as afternoon personality on the company’s WRNX, Springfield, Massachusetts “KIX 100.9.”…..Orlando Rosa joins iHeartMedia as program director for regional Mexican WBZY, Atlanta “El Patron 105.3.”  He was most recently operations manager at Phoenix-based Riviera Communications.  Regional SVP of programming Brian Michel says, “We are thrilled to welcome Orlando to the iHeartMedia Atlanta team because of his wealth of experience and vast market knowledge.  Orlando brings passion, energy, and a strong commitment to super-serving our listeners, partners, and the Atlanta community.”

Friday, May 4, 2012

| May 4, 2012

CNN Ratings Cause for Concern at Headquarters.  The executives at Time Warner and subsidiary CNN/U.S. are displeased with cable news/talk channel CNN’s performance in the April Nielsen ratings after much time and money has been spent tweaking the programming there.  The New York TimesBrian Stelter reports that sources say Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes has made his dissatisfaction with the channel’s performance known to his subordinates.  Over the past 18 months CNN has made numerous programming changes including replacing Larry King with Piers Morgan in the 9:00 pm ET slot; the addition of Soledad O’Brien as host of the morning show; and a new 7:00 pm ET show with Erin Burnett.  CNN has long stated publicly that it delivers a unique news product around the clock with which advertisers like being associated.  In fact, the entire CNN unit (including other domestic and international channels) is poised to make a record $600 million in operating profit this year.  The company issued the following statement in response to reports about the April ratings.  “Despite the perennial ratings stories and quotes from anonymous sources, CNN continues to deliver quality journalism which is uniquely valuable to audiences, advertisers and distributors.  In fact, CNN is on track to deliver its highest profits in its history and continues to reach more people on more platforms than any other TV network.”  Still, as Brian Stelter writes, “Performance of CNN/U.S. drives public perception — and employee pride — and declines there may gradually damage CNN’s networks as a whole.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “CNN would probably do better in both ratings and revenue if they stopped obviously competing with Fox News Channel and MSNBC in trying to be entertaining and opinionated concentrating, rather, on really being journalistic on a level not seen for years on American television.  There is an opening in the marketplace for such a product a mile wide and a deep need and hunger for it by a significant segment of the public.”

CC Media Holdings Reports Q1 Revenue Hike of 3%.  That 2012 first quarter revenue increase comes as CC Media Holdings posts $1.36 billion in revenue compared to the $1.32 for the same period a year ago.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment – which excludes the parent company’s outdoor divisions – was up 6% or $39 million compared to the first quarter of 2011.  CC Media Holdings CEO Bob Pittman states, “Since the start of 2012, we have continued to invest in our rapidly growing digital products and services, while strengthening our operations to better serve our marketing partners and our consumers.  We have enhanced our ability to help our partners take advantage of the unique size and scale of our media, entertainment and outdoor assets, with a particular focus on multi-platform solutions that no other company is able to deliver.”

KTRS, St. Louis Officially Announces Martin Kilcoyne Midday Host.  Monday’s story announced CH Holdings’ KTRS, St. Louis was parting company with midday talk host JC Corcoran and would replace him with KTVI-TV, St. Louis sports director Martin Kilcoyne.  The station makes that official with general manager and partner Mark Dorsey stating, “Martin is a proven broadcaster, both in television and radio, and KTRS looks forward to bringing his personality, wit and opinions to the airwaves.”  Kilcoyne will assume the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show beginning Monday, May 14.  He says of his new gig, “I am thrilled to have an opportunity like this.  I’m a sports guy, but I love to talk about all things.  The plan is to have a show that St. Louis will find lively, topical and fresh.  I’m not Ted Koppel, but I’m also not Ted Baxter.”

First Quarter Positive for Salem Communications.  The first quarter of 2012 has been pretty good for Salem Communications and subsidiary Salem Broadcasting.  The parent company is reporting an increase of 6.1% on revenue of $54.3 million compared to the same period one year ago.  On the broadcasting side, Salem is up 2.9% on revenue of $44 million.  Broadcasting still makes up the bulk of Salem’s revenue but digital continues to perform well rising 33% over the same period in 2011 on revenue of $7.4 million.  The company is bullish about Q2 projecting a revenue increase of a couple percentage points with a total revenue goal of more than $55 million for the quarter.

Legal Battle May Ensue Over Merlin Media’s Blago Billboard.  This billboard pictured here is one of several purchased by Merlin Media in the Chicago area promoting all-news WIQI-FM – FM News 101.1.  Crain’s Chicago Business reports Merlin consultant John Gehron commenting on the marketing campaign saying, “We wanted to have something that we thought would be fun and get people’s attention.”  And apparently it has.  Attorney Sheldon Sorosky, who represents former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich – currently serving a 14-year prison sentence for corruption – says the use of Blagojevich’s image may violate an Illinois law prohibiting one’s image from being used for commercial gain without one’s consent.  Sorosky tells Crain’s it’s called the Right to Publicity Act and it states, “A person may not use an individual’s identity for commercial purposes during the individual’s lifetime without having obtained previous written consent from the appropriate person or persons.”  Sorosky says they have not decided whether to take legal action or not at this point.

Ric Edelman Celebrates 20 Years on the Radio This Weekend.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Ric Edelman, host of “The Truth About Money with Ric Edelman,” marks 20 years on the radio with his broadcast this weekend.  Edelman, an award-winning financial advisor, heard along with financial advisors Brandon Corso and Anderson Wozny, is heard in 56 markets including on WABC, New York; WLS, Chicago; and WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC.  He says, “It is a genuine privilege to do this show.  As I always say, ‘Money doesn’t come with instructions,’ so I’m honored for the opportunity to share my knowledge with so many listeners from across the country.”  Edelman, a member of TALKERS 2012 “Heavy Hundred,” is also seen on public television across the country as his TV program of the same name is in its second season.

Pamela Furr to Join New Atlanta All-Newser.  Talk show host and news anchor Pamela Furr confirms via Facebook that she’s headed to Atlanta to become part of the Cumulus Media FM all-news outlet slated for WYAY-FM in a few weeks.  The company has confirmed it will turn the outlet into an all-news station soon and obviously has begun hiring.  Furr most recently worked full time at Clear Channel’s WPTI-FM, Greensboro-Winston-Salem as co-host of the morning drive show.  She’s been freelancing doing news at CC’s WRDU-FM, Raleigh the past few weeks.

Atlanta Business Chronicle to Provide Content for Cumulus’ “All News 106.7.”  When Cumulus Media flips the switch on WYAY-FM, Gainesville, Georgia turning it into “All News 106.7,” the Atlanta Business Chronicle will provide exclusive business updates at :20 and :50.  In a statement, Cumulus co-COO John Dickey says, “Our partnership with the Atlanta Business Chronicle is consistent with our mission of bringing the most credible news and information to Atlantans 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  ABC is the definitive business news brand in Atlanta and 106.7 will be the definitive radio news and information brand in Atlanta.”  ABC publisher Ed Baker states, “It’s exciting that intelligent Atlantans are finally getting a much-needed all-news format.  We’re very excited to be a part of something new and different.  Quality business reporting is more important than ever and this partnership will allow us to deliver something special to our community.”

Cumulus Brings Celebrity News Blogger Perez Hilton Aboard for Nightly Radio Show.  At the same time the company announces that the new “Perez Nights Live” will replace Dial Global’s “Billy Bush Show” on stations where it airs and expects the show to debut on about 50 affiliate stations.  “Perez Nights Live” will feature Perez Hilton and co-host Adam Bomb and will consist of celebrity news chatter and music.  Cumulus co-COO John Dickey states, “Successful contemporary stations all have one thing in common: They keep their listeners on the cutting edge of music and pop culture.  Leading stations in our business set trends.  Perez doesn’t report on pop culture, he is pop culture.  ‘Perez Nights Live’ will take the important evening daypart and turn it into a brand enhancing experience.”

2012 Presidential Race Lands Atop Talkers TenTM for Fifth Straight Week.  The 2012 presidential campaign was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of April 30 – May 4, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  The race barely beat the case of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng which landed at #2 followed very closely by President Obama’s Afghanistan visit and the government’s release of Osama bin Laden documents tied at #3.  The shocking death of retired NFL star Junior Seau came in at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published each Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart for this week here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup.  The “At Home with Bob Vila” feature from Compass Media Networks debuted this week on such signals as KOGO-AM/FM, San Diego; WTKK-FM, Boston; KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; KFNN, Phoenix; and KVON, Napa, California…..Courtside Media Group’s “One Minute Clinic with Dr. Drew” is being aired on Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP-FM, Washington…..“The Small Business Advocate with Jim Blasingame” is picked up by WZFG, Fargo; WHTX, Youngstown; and WGGH, Marion, Illinois….. “The Doctor’s Orders Radio Show” with Dr. Kipp Van Kamp is added to WTKI-AM/FM, Huntsville, Alabama and WEKI-AM/FM, Decatur, Alabama.

Profiling Courage.  That’s KIRO-FM, Seattle talk show host Dave Ross (r) pictured with Sgt. Leroy Petry (l).  Ross recently interviewed the Medal of Honor recipient for inclusion in the Memorial Day radio special “A Grateful Nation” – a one-hour program produced by the Fisher House Foundation and distributed by Premiere Networks.  Sgt. Petry is an Army Ranger who lost his hand while saving two comrades after he grabbed and tossed an enemy grenade during a battle in Afghanistan.