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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

| January 5, 2021

Mike Luery Named Assistant News Director for KFBK, Sacramento. Radio and television news pro Mike Luery joins iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento “News 93.1” as 24/7 News and KFBK assistant news director for iHeartMedia’s Pacific region. iHeartMedia Pacific region news director Jayson Campadonia says that in this role, Luery will “help oversee news in California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska. He’ll report on everything from breaking news to politics to state fairs. With his vast experience in the news business, he will additionally play a critical role in developing young news talent.” KFBK program director Bill White states, “We look forward to Mike being an integral partner in contributing to the news content on ‘The KFBK Morning News with Cristina Mendonsa and Sam Shane’ as well as ‘The KFBK Afternoon News with Kitty O’Neal.’ Mike, with his decades of news experience in Sacramento, will be an excellent addition to our team of Northern California news veterans.” Luery served with Hearst Television’s KCRA-TV, Sacramento for 24 years. He began his career as news director at KZOZ-FM in San Luis Obispo, California.

WGY-AM/FM, Albany Adds Doug Goudie to Morning Show. Longtime Boston media figure Doug Goudie becomes part of the morning show at iHeartMedia’s WGY-AM/FM, Albany on Thursday (1/7), partnering with current air personality Kelly Lynch. Goudie assumes the role left vacant after Chuck Custer retired from the station in December following a 36-year career with WGY. Goudie, a.k.a. V.B. – short for Virgin Boy – got his nickname from Boston talk radio legend Howie Carr during his time working on Carr’s show at WRKO, Boston where he began his media career back in the late 1990s. WGY program director Jeff Wolf says, “With Doug’s rich experience as a recent midday talk host on iHeartMedia Boston’s WRKO, TV commentator on WFXT-TV, and long-stint on The Howie Carr Radio Show, I’m confident that he will satisfy the expectations of WGY listeners for years to come. The heart of what brings so many Capital Region listeners to WGY in the morning will remain unchanged. Doug and Kelly will both entertain and inform with meaningful conversations on the important local and national stories of the day but having fun will continue to be part of the show as well.”

Steve Czaban Exits WTEM, Washington; No Change to WRNW-FM, Milwaukee Gig. Sports talk host Steve Czaban announced via Twitter that he’s exited Washington, DC sports talk outlet WTEM “The Team” as his contract was up and new owner Entercom took control of the station from Urban One. While he won’t be doing a daily show in Washington, he will remain with Entercom on a part-time basis and will host a Saturday morning program on sister sports talker WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan.” The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that Czaban says the change in DC has no effect on his Milwaukee radio show heard daily in morning drive on iHeartMedia’s WRNW-FM “97.3 The Game.” Czaban calls his exit from WTEM a mutual one, telling the MBJ, “As my contract was coming to an end, I had been contemplating a change of pace and direction for some time now. This is the right move for me at the right time. I am very excited and thankful for this opportunity, and any others that may present themselves in the future.”

Beasley Media Group Begins 60th Anniversary Celebration. The logo you see here is being unveiled by Beasley Media Group to commemorate the company’s 60th anniversary. The company says, “On December 2, 1961, a young high school principal named George Beasley launched WPYB-AM in Benson, North Carolina with the vision of providing a voice for the voiceless in the local community! Today, Beasley Media Group is a multiplatform media company providing advertising and digital marketing solutions across the United States with 64 radio properties located in 15 large and medium markets across the country. Beasley also offers capabilities in audio technology, esports, podcasting, ecommerce, and events. Featured on the NASDAQ, BBGI is ranked among the publicly traded media companies in America.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley adds, “We are so thrilled to be able to celebrate the incredible legacy that our father, George, began back in 1961 when he built his very first AM station in Benson, North Carolina. It’s such a privilege to be able to build upon his forward-thinking vision and continue to blaze new innovative trails in today’s ever-changing industry with our outstanding employees and management team. Here’s to the next 60 years!”

Noted Record Producer and “Urban Philosopher” Robbie Stevens Rejoins TalkersRadio.  The TALKERS editorial board announces the return of Robbie Stevens to the talent roster of TalkersRadio. Stevens, who was the first talent signed for TalkersRadio – a service of TALKERS magazine – when it launched in the fall of 2013, has agreed to perform as a commentator on the platform for a “limited engagement” that will run through June of 2021. The Bronx-based New York City native is well-known in the music industry for his years of innovative studio work with a wide variety of high-profile artists, most recently on behalf of the estate and fans of the late John Lennon, for which he has achieved critical acclaim for his “raw” remix of the legendary artist’s Imagine album. He also most recently executive produced 13 Billboard #1 Dance Chart singles in a row, for Yoko Ono’s innovative ensemble Ono. He also recently produced (with Yoko Ono) the “John Lennon Anthology,” a four-CD set of unreleased material that was Rolling Stone magazine’s boxed set of the year. During his colorful career, he’s played on, mixed, or produced records by Herbie Hancock, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and other high-profile musicians going back decades. During this time, Stevens has developed an alternative career as a talk radio host and commentator heard occasionally via on-air and online outlets provided by heritage NYC stations WOR and WNYM (in addition to TalkersRadio). On the return of Stevens to TalkersRadio, TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations (and former WOR PD) David Bernstein says, “Robbie brings a real East Coast urban perspective that is reflective of both the street and academia to the news/talk radio conversation. His ‘tell it like it is’ style is a provocative blend of gruff ‘everyman’ street talk and intelligent, eclectic inquiry into the mysteries of the universe, combining politics with pop culture, science and down-to-Earth sociology. You don’t hear his progressive position that often on today’s terrestrial news/talk radio and frankly, regardless of your politics, it is amazingly refreshing.” For example, Stevens has served as vice president of the board for a well-known youth basketball/education program that’s won national championships and helps kids from diverse backgrounds reach their academic goals. To listen to Robbie Steven’s new series of commentaries on TalkersRadio, please click here. TalkersRadio is an “experimental” talk radio platform launched in 2013 by TALKERS magazine to provide the industry with a “work out space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts.” Since its launch it has been a temporary home to a number of spoken-word talents – both high-profile and obscure – who’ve used it to work and showcase concepts that have gone on to achieve terrestrial radio exposure and even national syndication. In addition to Stevens, current TalkersRadio hosts include Claire CarterMeg McDonald, and UK sensation, Graham Mack. At the time of his passing, Alan Colmes was working on a series concept called “Healed Planet” heard on TalkersRadio which offered a glimpse into the late FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel star’s metaphysical interests. Files of that fledgling show remain archived on TalkersRadio as a tribute to Colmes. For more information about TalkersRadio, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Radio Advertising Bureau Updates Board of Directors. With the new year comes an update to the board of directors for the Radio Advertising Bureau. Connoisseur Media CEO Jeffrey Warshaw is the vice chair and Townsquare Media COO Erik Hellum is the finance chair. The RAB also announces that Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes joins the executive committee. Neuhoff Media COO Mike Hulvey continues to serve as chair and Univision president and regional radio general manager Sabina Widmann is serving as secretary.

New York Public Media Names Nsikan Akpan Health and Science Editor. Joining New York Public Media’s WNYC Newsroom is Nsikan Akpan, who begins his role as health & science editor on January 11. Akpan was most recently serving with National Geographic as science editor, overseeing COVID-19 coverage in addition to other types of science, health and technology news. Prior to that, he served for more than four years at “PBS NewsHour.” He and his team won a 2020 Emmy for the PBS NewsHour series “Stopping a Killer Pandemic” and in 2019 received a George Foster Peabody Award for the PBS NewsHour series “The Plastic Problem.”

Georgia Runoff Elections/Trump GA Appearance, Trump’s Call to GA Sec. of State, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, UK Lockdown, China and Pandemic’s Origin, Iran Seizes South Korean Oil Tanker, and the NYSE’s Chinese Telecom Delisting About Face Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4). The buildup to today’s runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats and Donald Trump’s appearance to stump for the Republicans; the controversy over Trump’s call to Georgia’s Secretary of State seeking to overturn his loss in that state; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; the UK orders a lockdown to stem the tide of COVID cases; questions about China’s stifling the investigation into the origin of the coronavirus; Iran seizes a South Korean oil freighter in the Persian Gulf; and the New York Stock Exchange reverses course on plans to delist three Chinese telecom companies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

| June 18, 2019

WGN-AM, Chicago and Patti Vasquez Go Separate Ways.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the story of WGN’s decision to part ways with late-night talk show host Patti Vasquez after a five-year run.  Feder notes that Vasquez had been suspended several times during her stint with the station for various infractions of the rules but apparently the accidental airing of the f-word earlier this month proved to be the last straw. In a memo to the staff, WGN station manager and vice president of content Todd Manley wrote, “Patti Vasquez is no longer working with WGN Radio. Her departure is a private matter and will remain that way.  We are grateful to her for her service to WGN Radio, and wish her the best.”  The station will rotate various WGN personalities in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am daypart for now.  In a separate matter, Vasquez has announced she will seek the Illinois 10th District State Senate seat.

Michael Savage’s Trump Criticisms Focal Point of NYTimes Piece. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Michael Savage is the subject of a piece in The New York Times that looks into Savage’s criticism of President Trump – such as his failure to secure a border wall deal and the ballooning federal budget deficit – and how Savage’s audience is reacting to that criticism. As the story indicates, Savage still supports Trump and will vote for him in 2020, but Savage has never been one to avoid criticism of any politician if he believes it’s deserved.  What’s new is that Trump’s base appears to want none of that.  The Westwood One personality tells Times writer Jeremy W. Peters, “I don’t think they care very much about issues.  They’ll vote for him no matter what because he’s not ‘them.’  I think it’s come down to ‘them’ or ‘us.’”  Read the story here.

Contrite Craig Carton Heads Off to Prison. Sports talk radio personality Craig Carton began his three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for fraud yesterday (6/17).  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Carton was convicted of defrauding investors of millions in a phony concert tickets re-sale business. Carton, who had insisted that he was innocent of the charges, now admits his guilt.  He tweeted, “I made mistakes. Mistakes in judgments, decisions and how I was living my life.  I was wrong.  I have, will, and should continue to pay a dear price for those mistakes.  I also though, believe in redemption and earning second chances…I will work tirelessly to repay those whom I have hurt and to regain the trust that you all had in me.”  Carton was co-host of the morning show on WFAN, New York at the time of his arrest in September of 2017.

Gallagher Chats with Florida Trump Fans. Pictured above outside Amway Stadium in Orlando is Salem Radio Network talk radio host Mike Gallagher (center) with Donald Trump supporters “Kevin from Pompano Beach” and “Barry from Key West” — the first two people in line for tonight’s Trump 2020 kickoff rally.  Gallagher and fellow SRN host Dr. Sebastian Gorka are broadcasting their Tuesday programs from the nearby Hairy Buffalo sports bar.

New York Festivals Radio Awards Announces Ceremony Presenters. The New York Festivals Radio Awards announces the prominent radio industry professionals slated to present awards at the 2019 Radio Awards ceremony at Manhattan Penthouse in New York on June 24.  The 2019 ceremony segment presenters include: Richard Baker, senior investigative journalist, The Age, Melbourne, Australia; Jennie Cataldo, vice president of programming, BMP Audio, USA; Donal O’Herlihy, producer, “Documentary on One,” RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland; Tanya Springer, senior producer, CBC Podcasts, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada; and Mark Travis, associate director, media production, New York Philharmonic, USA.  For more information on the 2019 NYF Radio Awards gala or to purchase tickets, please click here.  See a complete list of all the 2019 New York Festivals Radio Award Finalists here.

Iran Nukes, 2020 Presidential Race, SCOTUS Virginia Gerrymandering Ruling, Illegal Immigration/Trump Announces Deportation Plan, U.S. Hacks Russia’s Power Grid, Stewart vs McConnell on 9/11 Victims Fund, and Raptors Victory Celebration Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/17).  Iran’s statement of intent to violate the terms of the previous nuclear deal and the U.S.’s talk of military options; the Democrats running for president and Donald Trump’s kick-off of the 2020 campaign; the Supreme Court rules against Republicans in the Virginia gerrymandering case; the immigration issues at the Southern border and President Trump’s statement that ICE will begin deporting millions; allegations the U.S. has hacked Russia’s power grid; Jon Stewart’s challenge to Mitch McConnell to fully fund the 9/11 victims fund; and the shootings at the Toronto Raptors victory celebration were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Collecting Pennies for a Good Cause. KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (right) helped collect more than 1.6 million pennies – for a total of $16,743 – to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.  Pictured with Miller is Todd Christensen of Cap Ed Credit Union (left) and Reverend Bill Roscoe of the Boise Rescue Mission (center).  To collect the pennies, Miller lived in a local Walmart for a week collecting coins, dollars, and other items.

Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Honor NBC TV 4, Los Angeles, Meteorologist Fritz Coleman.  NBC4 meteorologist Fritz Coleman was honored with the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award for his many distinguished years as a “TV Icon Weatherman and Comic Entertainer” during a ceremony at the Airtel Hotel in Van Nuys last week (6/14).  Pictured above at the event: TalkersRadio personality Meg McDonald (center) KFI, Los Angeles host Tim Conway, Jr. (left) and Pacific Pioneer Broadcaster board member and KTWV, Los Angeles host Mike Sakellarides (right). Photo: Roxanne Schorbach

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Providence country outlet WCTK-FM “Cat Country 98.1” moves midday personality Madelyn Grimaldi to mornings as co-host with Brian Mulhern.  Taking over the open midday slot is Courtney Kelley, who’s been with the station as a part-time and fill-in jock.  Hall Communications vice president of programming Bob Walker says, “Our philosophy is to hire great people and allow them to grow in our company and the industry. Being able to see these two talented personalities take on new challenges is what it’s all about.”…..Premiere Networks promotes Mary DelGrande from executive director of affiliate sales to vice president of affiliate sales.  New York-based DelGrande continues to oversee affiliate sales for Premiere’s roster of national entertainment programs, including: Delilah, “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan,” “ON with Mario Lopez,” and more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

| October 24, 2018

Steve Dahl to End WLS-AM, Chicago Show on December 21.  After yesterday’s report from Chicago media maven Robert Feder that Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WLS-AM will undergo programming changes in 2019, legendary Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl reached out to Feder in an email to announce his time with the station will end on December 21.  He’s been hosting the afternoon drive show for the past four years.  He says his podcast – that is still growing in terms of subscribers – will continue and will retain its relationship with Cumulus Media Chicago.  Dahl writes, “WLS-AM was always going to be an uphill battle, and circumstances just didn’t lend themselves to us being able to breakout like we hoped we would.  The podcast numbers continue to grow every day, so that’s encouraging.”  Read his entire email here.

SiriusXM Reports Q3 Net Income Up 24%. Satellite radio provider SiriusXM releases its third quarter 2018 numbers today and reports its revenue for the period was $1.5 billion, up 6% over the same period in 2017.  Net income was $343 million in the third quarter – up 24% over the same quarter last year.  Looking at subscriber numbers, SiriusXM says that it added 298,000 net new self-pay subscribers during the quarter to raise its self-pay subscriber total to 28.5 million. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “SiriusXM’s standout third quarter saw continued strength in subscriber additions and churn performance while adjusted EBITDA reached a quarterly record-high $589 million. Our revenue growth, adjusted for the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, totaled 8% in the quarter.  In addition to our operational excellence, we were thrilled this quarter to announce an agreement to acquire Pandora Media, which we expect to close in the first quarter of 2019.  With the end of the year in sight, we are increasing our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.  We have a relentless focus on creating and curating content our subscribers will love — our limited-run Dave Matthews Band Radio was a perfect example.  We also presented fiery live performances just for subscribers, like our recent show by The Killers in New York.  We’ve added provocative talent in talk and sports with a daily show from CNN’s Chris Cuomo, a new show from Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, the return of Brett Favre’s popular show, and a new program highlighting women in sports hosted by journalist Christine Brennan and retired tennis pro Rennae Stubbs.”

Phil Valentine Voted Best Conservative in Nashville. That’s right, not Best Talk Show Host (there is no such category), but Best Conservative, as voted by the readers of Nashville ScenePhil Valentine’s afternoon drive show is based at Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” and is syndicated nationally via subsidiary Westwood One.  He is also an award-winning filmmaker and bestselling author whose latest book, Barbican: A Sterling McQueen Spy Story, was released earlier this year.  Cumulus Nashville VP and market manager Allison Warren says, “Every year, the editors of Nashville Scene ask their readers what they love best about Nashville and it’s no surprise that Phil Valentine is at the top of the list.  We agree wholeheartedly that Phil brings his best to ‘SuperTalk 99.7 WTN’ and our listeners every afternoon.  His common-sense approach to talk radio cuts through the hype of the day’s news, challenging conventional wisdom on both sides and presenting actionable solutions that people respond to.  It’s gratifying that Nashvillians love Phil as much as we do and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Mega Millions Jackpot, Khashoggi Murder Aftermath, O’Connor Dementia Diagnosis, Financial Markets Activity, Gender Definition Issue, Trump Threatens to Exit INF Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, NFL Action, and the World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23). The November elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the Honduran migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border; the $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announces she’s been diagnosed with dementia; the wild swings in the financial markets and fears of a looming debt bubble; the Trump Administration’s plan to require legal gender based on genitalia at birth; President Trump threatens to exit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the weekend’s NFL action; and the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Almost seven weeks after announcing that he would be taking a leave from his morning drive duties at Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston, Kirk Minihane Tweets that he’ll “be back soon.” Minihane took a brief leave in early August after experiencing suicidal thoughts and checked himself into a hospital. In his September 7 message, Minihane said that he would this time take indefinite leave to deal with depression issues, he admitted that he came back to work too soon after the August hospital stay.  However, he Tweets that all is not necessarily well between him and Entercom management. “…I’ve been ready to work for the last week or so and have been kept off the air.  You build a show, take it to number one, step aside to get healthy and expect to be welcomed back. Hasn’t happened.”  During Minihane’s absence, WEEI personality Mike “Mut” Mutnansky has been sitting in with regular co-host Gerry Callahan…..From the podcast world, Westwood One Podcast Network adds the “Team Never Quit” podcast – co-hosted by former Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell and David Rutherford .  WWO says “Team Never Quit” is “an authentic, positive, and inspiring show that implores listeners to face their greatest challenges” and features “the incredible camaraderie between Mr. ‘Never Quit’ Marcus Luttrell and energetic ‘Instructor Rut’ David Rutherford, that not only comes from their time together on SEAL Teams but also due to their mutual 10 years of inspiring audiences of all types.”…..MSNBC star Rachel Maddow is host of a new podcast from the network titled, “Bag Man: A Rachel Maddow Original Podcast.” The weekly podcast will launch on October 30 with ad sales being handled by TuneIn.  The first episode will center on the corruption scandal that took down Vice President Spiro T. Agnew…..Nationally syndicated radio star Elvis Duran reveals his 4thAnnual Carney Awards – named in honor of the late Art Carney and dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s great character actors – is getting some help from legendary actor Harrison Ford, who will attend the October 28 ceremony in Santa Monica to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to M. Emmett Walsh with whom Ford appeared in 1982’s Blade Runner.

TalkersRadio’s Meg McDonald Active in Los Angeles Community Beautification Projects — Studio City-based media figure Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature titled “MEG!” on TalkersRadio, has become increasingly involved in Los Angeles beautification projects.  She recently played a role at a major fund-raising initiative.  California Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian secured $150,000 in the 2018 – 2019 fiscal year state budget for the long-needed revitalization of the Studio City Greenway along the Los Angeles River from Whitsett Ave. to Laurel Canyon Blvd.  The project will improve bike and pedestrian access points, restore the landscaping by eliminating invasive species, and enhance public health and safety along the Los Angeles River.  Pictured (l-r) joining in the funding celebration is Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy executive director Joe Edmiston; Assemblyman Nazarian; Studio City Beautification Association board member and host of MEG! on TalkersRadio Meg McDonald and Los Angeles City Councilor Paul Krekorian.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fayetteville, North Carolina market, Kenny J is named program director and brand manager for Beasley Media Group hip hop WZFX-FM “Foxy 99” and brand manager for sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7.” He most recently served with Cumulus Media as program director at urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City.  Beasley Fayetteville VP and market manager Erika Beasley comments, “I’m so excited to have Kenny J on the Beasley Fayetteville team.  We welcome his expertise and knowledge in programming both formats in large and small markets.  Kenny’s ability to coach and grow on-air personalities really sets him apart for this position.  We look forward to having his energy and positive attitude in our building and continuing to lead our brands to success!”…..Programming pro Nick Fox joins Cumulus Media as program director and midday personality at country WXBM, Pensacola, Florida “NASH FM 102.7.”  He comes to Cumulus from Saga Communications’ country WVVR, Clarksville, Tennessee where he was an air personality and APD.  He says, “I’m ecstatic to be back home as the PD of WXBM!  This station has a rich legacy and passionate listeners.  I am ready to hit the ground running in Pensacola.”…..SummitMedia is tweaking the format at WJSR, Richmond from classic hits as “Star 100.9” to adult hits as “Jack FM.”

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

| July 12, 2017

Salem to Hold White House Radio Broadcast. The theme of the July 25 special broadcast from the White House will be “Made in America” and will feature senior members of the Trump Administration as guests on some 20 Salem Media Group radio shows.  The press statement from Salem says that the special broadcast day is “part of a larger White House effort to broaden media access and bring in more local and regional media, including talk radio.”  Salem’s nationally syndicated talk radio hosts – Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Larry Elder and Eric Metaxas – will be joined by 13 local hosts from Salem Media Group-owned stations and will total 36 hours of live radio programming between the hours of 6:00 am to 9:00 pm ET on that day.  Salem Media Group CEO Ed Atsinger comments, “Donald Trump ran an unconventional campaign that reflected a broad public discontent with the status quo, and despite intense opposition and overwhelming odds, he was successful.  There is an unprecedented level of public interest in what is happening in Washington, DC…Salem Media Group’s audiences are highly active politically and very interested in both the policy components of the president’s agenda, as well as how the administration is accomplishing its objectives.”

Entercom Recruits Larkin for Regional VP Position. Radio management pro Susan Larkin is joining Entercom as a regional vice president.  She’s most recently been serving in the same capacity with Cox Media Group, in charge of the Orlando and Jacksonville markets.  During her career she also served with ABC-Disney in the Twin Cities.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer states, “Susan is a highly respected and top-performing radio veteran with a winning track record.  At Entercom, we are committed to being a best-in-class organization with A-level talent and we are excited to have Susan on board with us at this transformational time.”

Cumulus Unveils Its ‘Digital C-Suite.’ The Cumulus Digital C-Suite is a “comprehensive portfolio of digital marketing solutions” that Cumulus sellers will represent to local businesses in its 90 U.S. markets. Cumulus says it’s a “flexible local marketing solution, currently featuring digital solutions in three distinct areas that can be used in any combination to achieve a local advertiser’s digital marketing goal.  Local businesses can now work with a single point of contact to create stand-alone radio or digital campaigns, or holistic multi-media strategies.”  Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Cumulus is offering local marketers the formidable reach, frequency, and recall of radio combined with comprehensive custom digital marketing solutions that we know engage consumers.  We spent the last year in market testing digital solutions with local advertisers and have pulled together the most effective products that delivered the best results.  With C-Suite, our advertisers can now work with one partner to coordinate and optimize their campaign, messaging, and creative across multiple platforms.”  VP of digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky adds, “We’re evolving our broadcast business to maximize digital and social in support of our local partners’ needs.  Our plan is to vigilantly watch the ever evolving digital technology landscape for new products, innovations and opportunities for inclusion in the Cumulus Digital C-Suite.”

Radio Drops Out of Top Five in BIA Kelsey’s Local Media Advertising Forecast.  In this mid-year update to the 2017 U.S. Local Ad Revenues Forecast from BIA Kelsey, radio drops from the #5 spot to #6 with forecast total revenue of $15.6 billion.  Mobile inches ahead of radio with 11% of the advertising pie, or $16 billion.  The five-year forecast report states that total U.S. ad revenue will reach “approximately $174 billion by 2021 (Compound Annual Growth Rate: 3.8%.) This growth will be driven by double-digit increases in mobile and social advertising and local online and mobile video, all slated to experience at least a 17% increase by 2021.  For 2017, the firm has slightly decreased their advertising estimate to $147.9 billion. An overall weaker than expected economy in the beginning of 2017 has led to softness in advertising revenues.  However, future growth in online/digital advertising revenues will be higher than originally predicted, with a 2016-2021 CAGR of 11.9%.  Over the same period, traditional advertising revenues will see a slight decrease in the 2016-2021 period with a CAGR of -0.6%.”  See more here.

Meg McDonald Rejoins TalkersRadio with Solo Short-Form Commentary.  Longtime public relations specialist Meg McDonald is enjoying a second career as a talk radio commentator.  The daughter of a Hollywood show biz couple (actress Elizabeth Fraser and dancer Ray McDonald), she earned tremendous notoriety for many years as one of Southern California’s leading publicists.  She ran her own LA-based company, McDonald Media Services, and was married to an accomplished broadcaster, the late-Brent Seltzer, for more than three decades.  When Seltzer died almost two years ago, the couple were in the process of co-hosting a new, rapidly-growing, syndicated husband/wife midday chat show “Brent and Meg” on the Genesis Communications Network (GCN) that had gotten its launch as an experimental project on TalkersRadio.  Now McDonald is back as a solo performer with a compelling, short-form radio feature simply titled, “MEG!”  It’s a 2½-minute feature that showcases her unique and quirky observations about the “things and events” of daily life.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes McDonald as “a female version of the late-Andy Rooney, only far less curmudgeonly.”  “MEG!” can be used as a stand-alone interstitial feature or as an accompanying “kicker” for an already-existing radio program.  TalkersRadio is an experimental radio lab designed to give talent, programmers and producers a platform and industry showcase to try out new ideas and projects for talk radio.  Since its inception in 2013, TalkersRadio has launched a number of programs that have gone on to terrestrial radio success – the most recent being “American Family Farmer” with Doug Stephan, now heard weekends on approximately 150 terrestrial stations across the nation.  At the time of his death, Alan Colmes was experimenting with a program titled “Healed Planet” that explored the boundaries of human consciousness.  These shows are archived at TalkersRadio which can be accessed by clicking here.   For more information about TalkersRadio call GM David Bernstein at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/12) with Joe Madison, Sharon Madison and Dave Gorab.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first and second in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” beginning with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter) as well as the second in that series featuring Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto in conversation with DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, plus the third in the series featuring a conversation between nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter).  Today (7/12) TALKERS has posted a “one-on-one” chat titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).  Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Trump Jr.- Russia Meeting, GOP Health Care Plan, North Korea Threats/China Responsibility, ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ Controversy, Shia LeBeouf Arrest, and MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/11). The controversy over Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with a Russian attorney promising dirt on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign; the Republicans’ plan to attempt a vote on their health care plan before the August break; North Korea’s nuclear program and China’s statement that the hermit kingdom is not solely its responsibility; the concern of prominent zoologists that the world may be in a “sixth mass extinction” with large numbers of species disappearing; the flap over the arrest of actor Shia LeBeouf on public drunkenness charges; and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SiriusXM Host Rick Ungar Guests on Harrison Podcast.  This week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is the animation-heavyweight-turned-progressive-pundit, Rick Ungar.  Ungar, a former top executive with Marvel Entertainment and New World Animation, is the liberal co-host, with former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele, of the political talk show “Steele and Ungar” heard nightly on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s politically moderate POTUS Channel. The show is known for its collegial and civil approach to political left/right debate – a rarity in today’s radio.  Harrison and Ungar (who also writes the column “The Token Lefty” for Forbes.com) discuss a wide array of media topics including the moderate approach to political discussion, the POTUS Channel, the state of talk radio, and a whole bunch of cool stuff about superheroes, comics and animation in American popular culture.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Century Broadcasting Co-Founder George Collias Dead at 89.  According to a lengthy obit in the Chicago Tribune, George Collias – co-founder of Century Broadcasting – died of complications from Alzheimer ’s disease at age 89.  The Chicagoland native left his law practice in the mid-1960s and formed Century Broadcasting with a partner.  They started acquiring radio stations, first in suburban St. Louis (what became the legendary rock station KSHE-FM), then Dallas and Detroit and, in 1966 WFMF-FM in Chicago (currently WSHE-FM).  The company continued to buy FM stations in major markets – moves that many in the radio business thought were crazy, since FM was largely the domain of easy listening or Muzak at that time.  Few saw the rise of FM rock and pop stations on the horizon.  But Collias was proved prescient as the value of those stations skyrocketed in the 1970s.  Century began selling stations in the 1980s and by 1997 – a year after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 – Collias had sold his last station.  He confessed to the Tribune in a 1997 article that he thought the business would be successful, but he did not know it would reap the rewards it did.  Read the Tribune obit here.

Tony & Kris Named WIVK, Knoxville Morning Show. Knoxville country outlet WIVK finds a replacement for the popular “Andy & Alison” morning show, signing Tony Randall and Kris Rochester to handle the wake-up show.  Cumulus Media says that after a nationwide search, the station is hiring only the fourth morning show in the history of the station.  “Andy & Alison” retired earlier this year after 20 years with the station to leave the radio business.  “Tony & Kris” were most recently syndicated via United Stations Radio Networks.  They began their career together in 1991 at WHMA, Anniston-Oxford, Alabama.  Cumulus Knoxville VP/market manager Ken Salyer states, “The excitement level of the staff at the hiring of ‘Tony & Kris’ speaks to their track record of success.”  In addition to hosting mornings, the duo will develop a new, music-based weekend show for WIVK.

Monday, November 30, 2015

| November 30, 2015

wabc logoGeraldo Exit from WABC, New York Appears Official.  There’s been no announcement from Cumulus Media and we don’t really expect one.  All of the information on this story comes from Geraldo Rivera himself.  As TALKERS reported last Thursday, Rivera first said on his Facebook page that he was informed by new Cumulus CEO Mary Berner and Cumulus NYC market manager Chad Lopez that the company will not be honoring “theriverageraldo handshake deal I made with ousted company chief John Dickey, an agreement to extend my current contract for a year.  The decision to renege on our deal on the eve of Thanksgiving is especially upsetting coming in the wake of my emotionally charged and highly rated coverage of the Paris massacre and frantic efforts by authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.  Last year, The Village Voice named me the ‘2014 Best AM Radio Host in NYC’, writing in part, ‘Geraldo Rivera actually has something to say.  The guy understands the issues of the day and has enough confidence in his opinions to call bullshit on blowhards,’ which I’m doing here.”  Since then, Geraldo added to his post, writing that he intends to make this difficult for the company.  “That slight will not go unanswered.  Trust me on this; it is not about the money.  I have enough and give away to various charities more than most.  But because of their unforgivable disrespect I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in my salary.”  Geraldo goes on to write about the value of his show to the New York audience.  “The pity is this misguided management has deprived my loyal New York audience a program that they have followed and engaged with during a turbulent time of crucial interest…”  Whether Geraldo can prevail in court remains to be seen, but of course it’s within Cumulus’ right to fire or hire talent as the company sees fit.

bozedavidDavid Boze Exits Bonneville’s KTTH, Seattle.  Saying that he’s leaving the station to pursue “ventures that can only be done in presidential years,” morning drive personality David Boze leaves Bonneville International’s KTTH, Seattle after 13 years with the station.  He says, “I leave the stationktth I helped found in the hands of a great company and good people.  I am incredibly grateful for the loyalty and kindness of my listeners.  It is a wonderful thing to meet them and realize we are already friends thanks to the power of radio.  I’m also exceptionally grateful for my show sponsors, who have invested in my show year after year. Bonneville has been a great company to work for, and I will miss the people who have become such a meaningful, daily part of my life.”  The company has not named a permanent replacement for Boze.

hammerleeLee Hammer Adds KGO and KSFO OM Duties.  Already serving as operations manager and PD for sports talk outlets KNBR and KTCT, Lee Hammer is promoted from interim ops manager for sister talk stations KGO and KSFO to permanent OM for the pair.  Cumulus San Francisco VP and market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Lee has been instrumental in leading KGO and KSFO over the past year while continuing to deliver record breaking ratings for KNBR.  We are confident that with his considerable expertise in the talk format, he will take our news/talk stations to new heights.”

Odds & Sods.  Former longtime KVI, Seattle talk personality Kirby Wilbur is soon to be back with the iconicwilburkirby conservative talker.  It’s not known at this point what daypart Wilbur will be hosting.  He was part of the original lineup of KVI as a conservative news/talk station.  It’s for this period in history that it’s considered by many to be the first talk station to be purposely programmed as an all-conservative talk outlet…..Nationally syndicated talk host Kevin Jackson announces he is leaving USA Radio Networks and will self-syndicate his daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk show.

nielsen logoRound Three of November PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of November 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was October 8 – November 4.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

hickenlooperjohnSome Talk Radio Pros Take Issue with Colorado Governor’s Placing Blame for Shooting on Media and Campaign Rhetoric.  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, in addressing the deadly shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs over the weekend, hinted that talk show hosts and bloggers are in some way to blame for the deaths of the three victims and the nine people wounded.  The governor said, in part, “Certainly it’s a form of terrorism, and maybe in some way it’s a function of the inflammatory rhetoric we see on so many issues now, there are bloggers and talk shows where they really focus on trying to get people to that point of boiling over.  Just intense anger.  Maybe it’s time to look at howtraduptom do we tone down that rhetoric.  No one is going to try to reduce free speech in this country but that rhetoric — if people are in some way emotionally unstable or psychologically unbalanced – that intensity of rhetoric sometimes seems to pull a trigger in their brain that they lose contact with what reality is.”  Salem Radio Network VP of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS magazine, “Public officials who fail in their primary responsibility to protect the lives and property of the men and women who elect them should not use the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions on talk radio to scapegoat their own inadequacies.”

seltzerbrentHosp15Legendary News and Talk Personality Brent Seltzer Recovering from Brain Tumor Surgery.  Veteran radio personality Brent Seltzer, known most recently for his work on the nationally syndicated (GCN) “Brent & Meg Show” that he co-hosted with his wife Meg McDonald, is recovering from major surgery that took place in September at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank to remove a cancerous, golf ball-sized Glioblastoma Tumor Grade 4  from the front-left section of his brain.  This is the part of the brain that controls memory and language.  Seltzer’s colorful career dates back to the golden days of FM rock radio when he was a pioneer in the development of “rock ‘n’ roll radio style news” at such outlets as KGB, San Diego and KMET, Los Angeles among others.  He has also achieved considerable critical praise for his modern-era, short-form and podcast series, “Still at Large.”  Attendees at TALKERS conferences over the past four years will remember Brent & Meg as the events’ charismatic official greeters.  This past June, they served as emcees of Talkers 2015.  Seltzer (pictured here mugging for the camera after his surgery) tells TALKERS, “I have apparently been experiencing symptoms since September 2014 but it wasn’t until 11:15 am PT on Thursday, September 24, 2015 that my symptoms resulted in a seizure while sitting at my computer.  I crashed like a small bird out of a big tree.  If our ‘Brent & Meg’ radio show had not been on hiatus by that point, I would have had my seizure on the air.  In the months prior to the seizure, I was apparently doing some things without a clear memory.  My typing began to deteriorate and my quick recall for names, places and events often failed me.  I ignored symptoms that were bothersome but seemed innocuous and unrelated at the time.  But in truth, they were actually symptoms of a much bigger problem.”  Seltzer, who is now recovering at home while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy, adds, “I share these things to let everyone know that I have begun what we hope will be a stunning return.  My recovery is an uphill battle which I’m very eager to face as I prepare for alerting everyone as to what has happened and what will come next  and as much pain and discomfort I am in… I’m Popeye and nothing is gonna get me down!”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “I have known Brent all the way back to my radio days in San Diego in the early 1970s.  He is one of the nicest, smartest and most talented guys I’ve ever met in this business.  He and Meg are beloved members of our TALKERS family and we pray for his speedy and full recovery.”  Brent Seltzer can be contacted via email at: brent@mcdonaldmediaservices.com.

Colorado Springs Shooting Dominates Weekend Talk Stories.  The deadly shooting in Colorado Springs and the related debate over gun control were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend on stations that air live and local shows and/or live national talk shows.  Other topics included the Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday, and college and pro football, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.