Tag: "Melody SPann Cooper"
Limbaugh Sits Down with Hannity on FNC. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh sat down with Sean Hannity on the latter’s FOX News Channel program last night (10/18) for a freewheeling hour in which the two talked about everything from Limbaugh’s historic success as a radio personality, the radical left’s alleged “mob violence” tactics, the importance of the midterm elections, the Kavanaugh confirmation, Limbaugh’s concern for the future of America, and more.
Dibs Re-Ups with ‘The Game’ in San Francisco. Morning drive personality Dan Dibley signs a long-term deal to continue as a host on the “Joe, Lo & Dibs” show on Entercom sports talker KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.” Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Dan brings a unique style full of knowledge and humor to ‘95.7 The Game.’ He plays an important role on our morning team and we are excited to keep him around for years to come.” Dibley was part of the first morning show when the station was launched in 2011. He left the station in 2014 and returned the following year. Dibley works with co-hosts Joe Fortenbaugh and Lorenzo Neal.
Former Radio Financial Advice Host Convicted of Fraud. This story is even stranger than so many of the past cases of financial advisers who bilked listeners to their (usually brokered) financial advice talk shows out of their life savings. The backdrop to the case against Dawn Bennett was tinged with allegations of her use of “hoodoo” spells to prevent authorities from catching her. The jurors who convicted Bennett on 17 counts of securities fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud and others did not hear about her attempts to keep investigators silent through the use of a “hold your tongue” spell using cow tongues nor her spending some $800,000 to pay Hindu priests to pray to keep investigators at bay. But it certainly gave the press something to add to its coverage of the case. Bennett was convicted of diverting millions of dollars from investors – both radio listeners and personal friends – to pay for her “lavish lifestyle.” Her weekly “Financial Myth Buster” program was heard on WWRC, Washington.
More Than 500 Attend OAS and WHO, Des Moines Newt Gingrich Event. Pictured above is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on stage before a crowd of 500-plus at the Iowa Historical Building in Des Moines. “An Evening with Newt Gingrich” was presented by iHeartMedia news/talk WHO-AM and Lee Habeeb’s rapidly growing, nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program (heard evenings at 10:00 pm on WHO).
TALKERS News Notes. Two tidbits of news from Chicago from media journalist Robert Feder. First, all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM weekend anchor Regine Schlesinger is stepping away from the station after a 45-year career there. She left her full-time anchor role with the radio news outlet in 2016 and has been handling weekend anchor duties since then. She first joined the station as an anchor and producer in 1973. Also from the Windy City, at urban talk outlet WVON-AM, general manager Melody Spann-Cooper gets some relief from a Cook County Circuit Court judge who issues a stalking no-contact order against a former station account executive whom Spann-Cooper and her husband Pierre Cooper say has been harassing them. She issued a public statement, “This has been a difficult chapter, having to prosecute someone who once had such great potential in our industry. But history has shown that you cannot take threats and intimidation lightly, especially in the workplace. My priority has been and will always be protecting my staff, my family, and myself.”…..A new podcast is launched on the iHeartRadio platform. “Alchemy This,” a new improv comedy podcast hosted by award-winning comedian Kevin Pollak makes its debut. Pollak is the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and was named one of the Top 100 Comedians of All Time by Comedy Central. Each episode his team of alchemists will act out bizarre comical scenarios, giving listeners the opportunity to choose the settings/scenes…..SiriusXM is unveiling its new Big Ten Radio channel in cooperation with the Big Ten Network and the Big Ten Conference. Big Ten Radio will feature live play-by-play broadcasts from several Big Ten men’s and women’s sports including football, basketball, baseball, softball and more. The new channel’s programming will feature exclusive new shows hosted by former Big Ten athletes, journalists and conference insiders, including former Ohio State star and 2005 Lombardi Award winner A.J. Hawk; former Illinois All-America offensive lineman Brad Hopkins; former Iowa defensive lineman Anthony Herron; former Penn State basketball player Jon Crispin; former Ohio State tight end Ben Hartsock; as well as Jason Goff, Tom Luginbill, Pete Pistone and Matt Schick…..Also from SiriusXM, the satcaster is presenting a special stand-up show, “Ricky Gervais and Friends: A Work In Progress,” featuring actor and comic Ricky Gervais. It will take place at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on November 8. “Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius” premiered on the Comedy Greats channel in October 2017 and featured Gervais interviewing an eclectic group of guests, including musician Noel Gallagher and renowned scientist Richard Dawkins. In the second year, Gervais is expected to sit down with Jerry Seinfeld and other celebrities, as well as friends and fellow comedians…..In the Florence-Muscle Shoals, Alabama market, Singing River Group is buying a station group from URBAN Radio Broadcasting that includes news WVNA-AM, rock WVNA-FM, hip hop WMSR, country WLAY, and urban contemporary WMXV. The price has not been announced. George Reed of Media Services Group was the exclusive broker for the transaction.
The Case of Presumed-Dead Saudi Journalist Top News Talk Story for Week of October 15-19. The case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – presumed murdered for his criticism of the Saudi regime – and the effect on U.S.-Saudi relations, tied with the numerous parties who’ve backed out of attending an investment conference in Saudi Arabia in response was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the November midterm elections and speculation about the 2020 presidential race. Coming in at #3 was Senator Elizabeth Warren’s video revealing her ancestry test results, followed by the Robert Mueller’s expected release of a report on the Trump-Russia investigation at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.
Radio, Real Estate and Real Life: Former ‘Shock Jock’ Carolyn Fox Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the first female radio personalities to be called a “shock jock,” former New England disc jockey and talk show host Carolyn Fox, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, Fox was a major personality on a variety of leading radio stations in Boston and Providence with a growing national reputation in the industry. She is a two-time recipient of Billboard’s Radio Personality of the Year award and has been inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame. But when the 21st century rolled around, things began to unravel for Fox in terms of both her career and marriage. Her career sputtering and simultaneously going through a painful divorce, this mother of two decided to make a major change. She packed up and headed to New York where she launched a new career and life as a real estate salesperson in Manhattan. Playing upon her connections in radio, colorful history, and superb communication skills, she forged a dynamic career in the lucrative but highly competitive Manhattan real estate market as a member of the prestigious Corcoran Group’s sales team. Harrison and Fox talk candidly about changes in radio including what it takes to “move on” and explore the fascinating idiosyncrasies of Manhattan real estate. Harrison says, “Let’s not hide from the fact that the shrinking of the radio industry since consolidation has forced thousands of broadcasting pros to reinvent themselves and find new ways to make a living, not to mention keep their heads on straight. I think this conversation provides an enlightening and even inspirational glimpse into that process.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” in the right-hand column of the TALKERS newsletter and on every page on Talkers.com.
Envision Networks Seeks Talent Booker. If you’ve got the talent, we’ve got the cash. Do you have the contacts to book top celebrities for morning radio shows across the U.S.? We’re seeking a highly motivated, freelance, go-get-’em type to book tours with everyone from Hollywood and TV types to classic rock artists and quirky people making headlines or going viral. Good commissions and there’s no limit to the amount of $$ you can make. Please have at least three years of experience as a talent booker. If you have the connections, we want to connect with you. Send a resume along with a list of celebrities you’ve booked in the past to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programming pro Borna Velic is promoted to program director for Saga Communications’ WHQG, Milwaukee “102.9 The Hog,” taking over for Joe Calgaro, who recently left the station to program Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston. Velic has been serving as music director and afternoon drive personality (with co-host Mitch Paget). He’ll remain on the afternoon show in his new position. WHQG general manager Annmarie Topel says, “Borna has been a major contributor since he joined us and an integral part of The Hog’s success. He has great music intuition and knowledge of the format, coupled with a solid analytical ability that is essential in programming. It doesn’t hurt that the staff likes and respects him.”…..Farther north at Cumulus Media’s alternative WWWX, Appleton, Wisconsin “96.6 The Fox,” the station brings air personality Max back to host the afternoon drive show, effective Monday (10/22). He’s most recently been serving as operations manager at Case Communications’ triple A WLGE “FM 106.9 The Lodge” and classic hits WQDC “Rewind 97.7” in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. He worked at the Cumulus Appleton station group from 2002 through 2009.
WPEN-FM, Philadelphia Reveals New Morning and Midday Shows. A little more than a week after rumors in Philly swirled about the departure of Anthony Gargano from the morning drive show at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” the company announces its plans. The new AM drive show is “Farzetta and Tra In the Morning” with Philly sports media personality Marc Farzetta and former Eagles star William “Tra” Thomas. The new midday program (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) will star Anthony Gargano and current midday host Jason Myrtetus. Both shows launch on October 8. Farzetta currently serves as co-host of NBC Sports Philadelphia’s “Philly Sports Talk.” Previously, he served as an associate producer for NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Farzetta and Thomas will be joined by longtime Philadelphia sports journalist and current morning show co-host Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch. Station content manager Eric Johnson says, “We are very excited to be adding Marc Farzetta and Tra Thomas to ‘The Fanatic’ lineup. I’ve been a fan of Marc’s since he started on the air in Philly in the mid 2000s. He’s evolved into a major talent in town, growing from update anchor and time out entertainer at Temple basketball games to radio talk show anchor and NBC Sports Philadelphia host. Tra has a natural gift of compelling story telling. With Anthony Gargano leading our midday show with Jason Myrtetus, these moves will put the station in a much stronger competitive position. This really ushers in a new era for a great brand…’97.5 The Fanatic!’”
Bob Pittman to Present at Advertising Week New York. The title of this panel discussion is “An America Divided: Are We Listening?” and it takes place this afternoon at day one of Advertising Week New York (AWNY runs through Thursday). iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman will host a roundtable featuring Amy Brown, co-host of the “Bobby Bones Show”; Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino; WHTZ, New York-based syndicated radio star Elvis Duran; and Stephanie Ruhle, the anchor of “MSNBC Live.” Noting that the ad business is run by those living and working mostly in Manhattan and that often skews its perspective, Pittman’s presentation addresses that fact that “the Hispanic population of America is now 18%; the African American population is now 13%; and a quarter of a billion people live outside New York and Los Angeles. Effective marketers need to understand everyone – not just their neighbors here [in NYC].” The panel will explore what the multiple voices are in America today, what marketers don’t understand about this audience, and the best way to reach them.
Bob Brinker Ends Weekend ‘MoneyTalk’ Program. One of the longest-running weekend financial talk programs wrapped on Sunday (9/30) as Bob Brinker steps away from “MoneyTalk,” the program he’s been hosting for more than 32 years. Westwood One says that Brinker has decided to spend more weekend time with his family. He’ll continue to author his award-winning investment letter, “Marketimer.” Brinker began his radio career as a news anchor on KYW, Philadelphia in 1966. In 1970 he entered the investment banking business with Provident National Bank as a portfolio manager. He began a financial investment talk show on WMCA, New York in 1981 and went syndicated with the program in 1986 via the old ABC Radio Network. The show eventually transitioned to syndication through Westwood One.
Sales Pro Chuck Deskins Returns to iHeartMedia as SVP of Inside Sales. Sales and management pro Chuck Deskins Jr. is rejoining iHeartMedia as senior vice president of inside sales, effective immediately. He’ll be based in St. Petersburg, Florida and will report to EVP of inside sales, James Donovan. Deskins was most recently a partner at C3 Media but spent the majority of his career with iHeartMedia. He launched his career as an account executive with Jacor in Cincinnati and became a Clear Channel staffer when it acquired Jacor. In his new position, Deskins will “manage iHeartMedia’s team of inside sellers and managers and create advertising opportunities for brands and iHeartMedia partners across the company’s vast array of platforms including radio broadcasting, digital, mobile, outdoor, live concerts and events and more.” He comments, “I spent most of my career at iHeartMedia and couldn’t be more excited to help our clients tap into such a powerful combination of marketing assets. The iHeartMedia inside sales team is the best in the business and I look forward to working with our great team of professionals.”
TALKERS News Notes. From Chicago media writer Robert Feder comes news that WSCR, Chicago sports director Brendan McCaffrey is exiting the Entercom sports talk station after 10 years there to join SiriusXM’s NFL Radio as a producer. Feder quotes station operations director Mitch Rosen’s staff memo in which he said, “It is hard putting into words what Brendan McCaffrey has meant to ‘The Score’ for the last 10-plus years because B-Mac has done just about everything at the station and knows more about the inner workings more than anyone. I, like many of you, will miss Brendan’s humor, wit, and most importantly his interest and care for others around him.”…..Also from Robert Feder is the reported move of urban talk WVON and regional Mexican WRLL to new offices in the South Loop. Midway Broadcasting is moving the stations from their South Side offices to 800 South Wells Street by the end of this year. Midway chair Melody Spann-Cooper is quoted saying, “We will miss the South Side terribly, and the sentimental value of being here can’t be overstated. However, I am excited about the move. Like Cumulus, WGN, the Trib and the Sun-Times, it is time for Midway to downsize for efficiency and we embrace this new chapter.”…..KXL, Portland associate producer Jackson Sager (right) is leaving his role with the Lars Larson (left) show to launch his own talk show on sister news talk KUFO “Freedom 970.” The weekend program will air Saturdays at 7:00 am. Sager tells TALKERS that he’s also doing podcasting and voice-over work and says the time and dedication necessary to produce the Lars Larson show wouldn’t allow him to handle his other duties as he pursues his dream of having his own talk show…..In the screen shot below of this past weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” opening skit, Salem Radio Network East Coast director of affiliate relations Jim Bligh can be seen behind and to the right of host Matt Damon as an extra. Bligh’s second career has landed him roles in a number of New York-filmed movies as well as an extra on “SNL,” which he’s done several times. SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says Bligh told him, “Toughest thing was to keep from laughing at the guy lying on the floor next to me, who you can’t see, holding the Alyssa Milano pop-up on a stick!”
Well-Known Broadcasting Professional and TALKERS Exec Al Herskovitz Pens New Book. Korean War veteran and renowned broadcasting industry “veteran” Al Herskovitz who, following his service to America, embarked upon a 68-year career in the radio business that’s still going strong, has written a new book published by TALKERS. In The Tall, Skinny Jewish Kid with Eyeglasses from Bridgeport: A Radio Guy’s Chance Encounters with the Colorful and Famous (Talkers Books, 2018), he recalls the fascinating characters whom he met growing up in Bridgeport, Connecticut as a child of hard-working Jewish, Hungarian immigrants, a young man in the army, and a broadcaster at some of the nation’s leading radio stations. They include show business celebrities, sports stars, politicians, mysterious international figures (including a couple of spies), and even a few mobsters! Stories include details about the world famous movie actress who served as his babysitter before she was a star; a local radio co-worker who went on to become a quirky TV actor with a scandalous lifestyle; an articulate young man he met at a dinner party who became a present-day world leader; a major presidential candidate whose campaign he served as media consultant; and the touching story of his family’s search for relatives lost in the Holocaust. The book also recalls numerous wild and wacky radio promotions and provocative insights into the lives of a parade of celebrities. Herskovitz’s fascinating life in the idiosyncratic world of radio brought him into contact with an array of hundreds of figures from Kate Smith and Bob Dylan to Steve Forbes and Benjamin Netanyahu. He writes about everything from skills he employed playing ping pong in the army recreation center to the pain of losing an officer friend accidentally blown up by a hand grenade in a war games maneuver. It’s a story set against the backdrop of almost nine decades of American history – wars, protests, rapidly evolving pop culture and social norms – all the way to the author’s current activities on the leading edge of the digital era! Today, pushing 90, Al remains fully engaged in the communications field and serves as senior marketing director for TALKERS. He lives in Bradenton, Florida and is an active member of the Sarasota-based Media Round Table. To arrange an interview with Al Herskovitz, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
Kavanaugh FBI Investigation, Kanye West’s ‘SNL’ Trump Speech, New U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement, Midterm Elections, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Relations, Warren Re-Considers Presidential Run, California Net Neutrality Law, NFL Action, and MLB Regular Season Finale Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; rapper Kanye West’s controversial pro-Trump speech on “SNL”; the U.S., Mexico and Canada agree to new NAFTA deal; November’s midterm elections and the battle for control of congress; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the trade war between the U.S. and China; Senator Elizabeth Warren’s statement she’s considering running for president; the Trump administration sues California over its net neutrality law; the weekend’s NFL action and the final weekend of baseball’s regular season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. KOST, Los Angeles morning personality Ellen K is launching The Ellen K Podcast Network designed to share “behind-the-scenes stories from Ellen K’s career and dive deeper into the stories of the day.” The network will launch three new podcasts on iHeartRadio that will give listeners an in-depth look at what really goes on at the Ellen K shows. Ellen K says, “I’m so excited to invite listeners into our studio through The Ellen K Podcast Network. The opportunity to explore daily topics and everyday situations in a deeper way is thrilling to me. I used to get in trouble in school for talking too much during class, and thanks to iHeartRadio I can continue my passion for connecting with listeners after the morning radio show is off air.”…..At Entercom’s classic hits KLUV, Dallas “98.7 K-LUV,” Jeff Miles is the new morning personality alongside Rebekah Black and David Rancken on the new “Miles in the Morning” program. Miles takes over for Jody Dean, who exits the program but will continue with KLUV in other capacities…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for its 2nd annual ALTerEgo concert taking place on January 19 at the Forum in Los Angeles. The bill for the event includes: Twenty One Pilots, The Killers, Muse, Weezer, Rise Against, Bishop Briggs, and The Revivalists. iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “This will be one of the strongest alternative performance lineups to ever appear on one stage. It’s such a strong lineup that it’s impossible to refer to any one of these incredible artists as the headliner – in fact, several of the performers have told us that it’s a show they would want to go to even if they weren’t already on the bill.”
Lawyers to Appear in Court Tomorrow in Alex Jones Defamation Case. Attorney Mark Bankston – representing three of the Newtown, Connecticut families who lost children in the Sandy Hook assault in 2012 – will be in court tomorrow (8/1) along with Alex Jones attorney Mark Enoch as the two argue Enoch’s motion to dismiss the defamation case against Jones. According to a story in the Austin American-Statesman, Enoch intends to use the Texas Citizens Participation Act (signed into law in 2011 and designed to protect citizens’ First Amendment rights) to have the case tossed. Enoch’s argument is that the suit is an attempt to silence people with views that differ from reports in the “mainstream media.” Bankston argues that Jones’ InfoWars platform publishes stories and videos with a reckless disregard for the truth in an attempt to get “hits” and thereby make money. Read the American-Statesman piece here.
Charles Thomas Exits WVON, Chicago. Chicago journalist Charles Thomas
(right) exits urban news/talk WVON where he was co-host of “The WVON Morning Show with Maze Jackson” (left). A press release from the station notes that Thomas joined the morning show 13 months ago “with the intent of only staying a few weeks after retiring from ABC-7 following a 45-year career in journalism.” Midway Broadcasting Corporation chair Melody Spann Cooper states, “I thanked Charles for his tremendous commitment and contribution to the station and the community. We were honored to have him for such a short stay and look forward to assisting him in his future endeavors of building his brand in the Black media landscape. We know there are big things on the horizon for him.” Chicago media pro Robert Feder writes that Thomas’ exit comes on the heels of a Politico Illinois Playbook report connecting co-host Jackson to a political consultant working for the Governor Bruce Rauner re-election campaign. But Thomas tells Feder his exit was about “getting my life back.” Thomas says after retiring from ABC-7, he didn’t “envision getting up at 3 o’clock in the morning every day.” The station says that Thomas’ departure is the first of several major personality changes that will be taking place before the end of the year.
Gallagher Mingles with Fans at Film Premiere. Pictured above being photographed with a listener is Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher. He was at the Camelot Cinema in Greenville, South Carolina for the standing-room-only screening of the new Dinesh D’Souza film Death of a Nation.
TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between United Stations Radio Networks and celebrity and entertainment news website TheBlast.com results in the availability of exclusive content for affiliated radio stations. USRN says that to kick off this new relationship, the majority of the content will be delivered as customized live reports from top producers at The Blast. “Eventually, USRN and The Blast will expand their collaborative coverage of celebrity and entertainment news to include pre-recorded reports and feeds that allow stations to maximize the share-ability of this exclusive content.”…..Univision Deportes and SiriusXM announce the launch of the Univision Deportes Radio channel on the SiriusXM satellite service. Spanish-language content is also available via the SiriusXM app and on the streaming web player at SiriusXM.com…..Podcast and talk show producer Joel Meyer joins pubcaster KUER, Salt Lake City – the statewide NPR affiliate – as its director of programming and promotion. Meyer was most recently an executive producer at WNYC Studios. Prior to that, he was an executive producer of talk programming at WBEZ Chicago, a managing producer of podcasts at Slate.com and the executive producer of Soundcheck at WNYC.
L.A. Newsman Dave Zorn Passes at 73. Longtime KNX, Los Angeles news anchor Dave Zorn died recently at a hospice in Michigan at age 73 after a battle with liver cancer. Zorn served with the station for 25 years and for many of those years was afternoon drive anchor.
Trump-Russia Investigation/Giuliani’s CNN Interview, Manafort Trial, Religious Liberty Task Force, Child Immigrant Order, ICE vs Portland Mayor, ‘Quiet Skies’ Monitoring Program, North Korean Rocket Program, the California Wildfire, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents tied with the related Rudy Giuliani interview on CNN regarding the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian delegation; the trial of former Donald Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort; Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces creation of new “religious liberty task force”; a California judge rules on policy for authorities’ handling of immigrant children; Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents criticize Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for ordering Portland police not to assist ICE agents; the revelation of the government’s “Quiet Skies” programming monitoring airline passengers who are not on watch lists or suspected of anything; new information indicating North Korea is continuing its ICBM program; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and imaging pro Chris “Fish” Shatek moves from Entercom’s WKIS, Miami “Kiss Country 99.9” to the company’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N @ 102.9” as midday personality and imaging director, effective August 1. Shatek says, “I am so grateful to not only be back in the Twin Cities, but also back on ‘BUZ’N @ 102.9,’ a station I helped to get started. I get to work in my hometown, at a station I love, and with an incredible group of people. I couldn’t be more excited.”…..In Charlotte, morning drive co-host Meg Butterfly is exiting her full-time position at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat” for a gig outside the radio business. She’ll continue to pull a weekend shift and host her blog on the station’s website. She has worked for the past nine years on the station alongside morning personality Paul Schadt…..Philly rock personality Debbi Calton is celebrating 25 years as host of the midday program on Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK. On Friday, August 17, the station will mark the occasion with a live broadcast with Andre Gardner celebrating Debbi’s big day from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Tap 24 in Calton’s hometown of Media, Pennsylvania. Calton says her favorite aspect of her gig at WMGK are the listeners. “I’ve formed 25-year relationships with so many of them. We talk on the request line or see each other at concerts. Yes, we’re still going to plenty of rock concerts.”…..Programming pro Scott “Lugnut” Dwyer joins Max Broadcasting Group’s rhythmic CHR KFCO “FLO 107.1” and rhythmic AC KJHM “JAMMIN’ 101.5” in Denver as program director. Dwyer comes to the Mile-High City after serving most recently at Ohana Media in Anchorage.
Alex Jones’ Radio Persona At Issue in Child Custody Case. In a story in the Austin Statesman by Jonathan Tilove, the child custody case between Infowars founder Alex Jones and his ex-wife could involve asking the jury to decide whether Alex Jones is a capable father whose radio persona is not the same as his everyday persona or if he’s – as his ex-wife claims – “an unstable person.” According to the report, Kelly Jones is asking District Court Judge Orlinda Naranjo to allow jurors to see video of Jones doing his radio show and creating videos as evidence. But Jones’ attorney, Randal Wilhite, told the judge during a recent pretrial hearing that Jones’ on-air persona is an act, like Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of The Joker in the film “Batman.” Judge Naranjo has made it clear the case is about the welfare of the Jones’ three children (ages 14, 12, and 9), and not about Infowars. Alex and Kelly Jones divorced in 2013. Read the Statesman story here.
McGill and WVON, Chicago Part. Chicago urban news/talk WVON and morning drive personality Matt McGill are parting ways. Midway Broadcasting Company says that McGill “arrived at WVON 13 years ago as a radio neophyte, but rose to become a recognized local talk show host.” Midway recently added Maze Jackson to the morning show and it’s clear from both the company’s and McGill’s perspective that the addition of Jackson to the show is the reason McGill is leaving. Midway chairwoman Melody Spann Cooper says, “Matt is a tremendous talent and will be missed. Change is inevitable in this business. Our listeners can be assured that we will continue our reputation of delivering top-notch talent, news and information that will empower the communities we serve. That has always been and remains our priority.”
WNIS, Norfolk Adds ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ to Lineup. The FOX News Radio show starring Brian Kilmeade will air live from 10:0 am to 12:00 noon on Sinclair Communications’ WNIS, Norfolk, Virginia, beginning today (4/17). “Kilmeade & Friends” is also carried on the company’s KLBJ-AM, Austin. Kilmeade says, “It has been a privilege to be a part of the morning programming at KLBJ 590 AM in Austin, Texas and we are thrilled to be the newest addition to their sister station’s schedule. For the past eight years, ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ has been dedicated to providing our audience with fresh perspective on the most important news stories. I am heartened to know many of our listeners in the Norfolk area will be military families.”
TALKERS News Notes. WSKO, Syracuse afternoon personality Mike Lindsley is honored by the New York State Broadcasters Association with an Excellence in Broadcasting Award for Best Sportscast (medium market). Lindsley hosts “In the Cell with ML” on the Cumulus Media-owned station. Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “In addition to being The Score 1260’s brand ambassador, Mike truly has his finger on the pulse of the Central New York sports fan. Whether it’s a good or bad day in Syracuse sports, our listeners count on hearing Mike’s well-informed take. We’re proud that his talent is recognized by his fellow broadcasters!”…..The nationally syndicated Sean Salisbury sports talk show is now being simulcast on TV via program producer Gow Media and the beIN Sports television network. Gow CEO David Gow says, “We are really excited about the partnership and the opportunity to give Sean’s radio show a national TV platform. This is a significant step for our company, as we can now offer our advertising partners radio, digital media and television – and we can do so on a local, regional or national basis.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program adds new affiliate stations: KKGX-AM/FM, Palm Springs, California; KYAH-AM, Delta, Utah; and KTRC-AM, Santa Fe…..Last week, WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano interviewed FOX News Channel correspondent Jesse Watters during a sold-out event at the National Constitution Center.
North Korea Threats/Pence Visit, U.S.-Russia Relations, Kushner-Bannon Power Struggle, Berkeley Trump Rally Violence, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketches, Cleveland Facebook Killing, Easter/Passover Holidays, Celtics Star Plays After Sister’s Death, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The development of nuclear missiles by North Korea, its threats against the U.S., and Vice President Mike Pence’s weekend visit to the Korean DMZ; the tense relations between the U.S. and Russia in the wake of the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria; reports of the power struggle between President Trump’s advisers Stephen K. Bannon and Jared Kushner; the violence between Trump supporters and protesters at a rally in Berkeley, California; Saturday’s “SNL” sketches poking fun at Trump Administration staffers; the manhunt for a Cleveland man suspected of posting the murder of his elderly victim on Facebook; the Easter and Passover holidays; Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas plays the day after his sister is killed in a car accident, and the NBA and NHL playoff games were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Mary Berner Named Recipient of TALKERS 2017 “Woman of the Year” Award. The TALKERS editorial board has selected Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner as the recipient of the 2017 TALKERS Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Talk Radio Industry by a Woman (a.k.a. “Woman of the Year”). Mary Berner assumed leadership of Cumulus in October 2015. As the country’s second-largest radio company, Cumulus owns and operates 447 radio stations broadcasting in 90 U.S. media markets (including eight of the top 10), and provides content to more than 8,200 broadcast radio stations affiliated with its Westwood One network, as well as numerous digital channels. For over three decades, Berner has led some of the world’s top media companies and brands, building and directing them to increase productivity and financial performance. Before joining Cumulus, Berner served as president/CEO of MPA -The Association of Magazine Media, where she leveraged her deep understanding of media to aggressively champion and advocate for that industry. Berner also previously served as CEO of Reader’s Digest Association, where she developed and executed a successful turnaround strategy, oversaw the restructuring of the company’s acquisition-related debt and the subsequent doubling of the company’s stock price and optimized its brands and assets. Upon making the announcement of Berner being selected as this year’s recipient, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is no secret that the biggest radio companies – Cumulus, iHeart and others – are being smothered under the burden of crippling debt accrued over many years following deregulation and the runaway growth of consolidation. Since assuming her extremely challenging role as the head of Cumulus, there have been measurable improvements in the company in terms of programming, infrastructure and employee morale – developments that offer reasonable hope that its financial situation will begin to improve. Hope is something that the good people who work in the radio business can use more of as we head into what has the potential to be an exciting new era bursting with opportunity.” The annual TALKERS “Woman of the Year” award goes back to 2001, named after its first recipient the late Judy Jarvis, an independently syndicated host who helped pave the way for women to make progress as players in the male-dominated talk radio field. Jarvis, a non-smoker, received it posthumously after succumbing to lung cancer at a young age during the peak of her career. Recent recipients include Ginny Morris, Robin Quivers, Julie Talbott, Heather Cohen, Robin Bertolucci, Laurie Cantillo, Grace Blazer, Stephanie Miller, Laura Ingraham, Randi Rhodes, Adriane Gaines and Kim Komando, among others. The award will be presented on Friday, June 2 at TALKERS 2017: A New Era in New York.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Mo Lightning is the new morning host on Mid-West Family Broadcasting-owned rock outlet WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois. It’s part of a number of changes at the station including Kyle Hutchinson’s move from afternoon drive to midday and program director Wes Styles’ move to the afternoon program. Lou Brutus is hosting the evening “Harddrive XL” show…..At SummitMedia’s urban contemporary WJMZ, Greenville, South Carolina, Tone Hollywood takes over the midday show, moving over from his previous role hosting in morning drive at sister rhythmic CHR WHZT “HOT 98.1.”…..iHeartMedia wins a Shorty Award for the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival in the Best in Live Events category. The 9th annual Shorty Awards recognize “the most influential, popular, and culturally relevant brands and influencers across social media.”…..Triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is launching an all-Milwaukee music platform in its HD-2 channel branded “414Music.fm.” The channel and stream will debut on June 20 and the station is inviting Milwaukee musicians to submit their music, recently recorded or from past years, to Radio Milwaukee for possible inclusion on “414Music.fm.”