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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

| August 18, 2021

RTDNA Announces Winners of 2021 National Edward R. Murrow Awards. The Radio Television Digital News Association announces the national winners of the 2021 Edward R. Murrow Awards that recognize more than 100 outlets for outstanding work in digital, radio and television journalism in technical and editorial categories. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley states, “A core pillar of RTDNA is celebrating the best in journalism, and one of the ways we do that is through the Edward R. Murrow Awards. This year especially, we are honored to recognize outstanding achievements in broadcast and digital journalism. The past 18 months have been some of the most challenging in the history of our profession, and these recipients — among thousands of other journalists — clearly fulfilled their obligations to serve the public.” There were more than 5,200 entries this year. In May, RTDNA recognized more than 750 winners of the Regional Murrow Awards, which automatically advanced to the national competition. Eight organizations received national awards for Overall Excellence in their categories, including ABC News in the Radio Network category. ABC News was also honored with wins for: Breaking News – COVID-19: President Trump Tests Positive, for its overnight coverage of President Trump’s positive COVID test; Continuing Coverage – A Nation Divided, for its reporting on the murder of George Floyd and the protests and anger that swept the nation; News Series – Pandemic: A Nation Divided, which covered the pandemic’s significantly worse impact on communities of color and working class America; and Investigative Reporting – Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein, for the ABC News Investigative Unit’s podcast on the investigation into Epstein. Two Audacy radio stations were winners with KRLD “Newsradio 1080” recognized for its coverage of the protests against the death of George Floyd and police brutality in the award’s Breaking News Coverage in Large Market Radio category and KMOX, St. Louis “News Radio 1120” receiving top honors in the award’s Newscast in Large Market Radio category for its “Total Information AM 7:00 a.m.” newscast on March 18, 2020. You can see the complete national winner list here.

iHeartMedia Flips KBRU-FM, Oklahoma City to Sports Talk as ’94.7 The Ref.’ In a deal with SportsTalk Media’s KREF-AM, Norman, Oklahoma, iHeartMedia flips its KBRU-FM, Oklahoma City from rock to sports talk and is simulcasting KREF’s 6:00 am to 6:00 pm schedule on KBRU and re-brands it “94.7 FM The Ref.” From 6:00 pm to 6:00 am, KBRU will air FOX Sports Radio programming including: Chris Broussard, Rob Parker, Jason Smith, Mike Harmon and Ben Maller. iHeartMedia area president for Oklahoma Jon Phillips states, “We are thrilled to enter the sports talk arena with such an outstanding lineup. This talent base is very aligned with Oklahoma University sports and we feel this will give us a unique advantage in creating content that is focused on the biggest sports entity in the state. Hats off to SportsTalk Media in Norman for collecting and producing such compelling radio. We feel this partnership will greatly benefit both parties and ensure that Sooner fans can get reliable, accurate and timely coverage.” The station’s lineup is: Toby Rowland and TJ Perry in AM drive, Chris Plank and Josh Helmer from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, Mike Steely and Parker Thune from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm, Teddy Lehman and Tyler McComas from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, followed by FOX Sports Radio shows “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker,” “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon,” The Ben Maller Show,” “Outkick The Coverage.”

Cumulus Media Dallas Announces Sales Promotions. There are a number of promotions and appointments to report from the Cumulus Media Dallas station group. With the retirement of the cluster’s director of sales Alec Drake at the end of this month, new positions effective September 1 include Dawn Girocco rising from her director of sales post for three of the cluster’s music outlets to VP of sales for the entire six-station group. Filling her role with the three music outlets is Dean Canter, who becomes general sales manager. On the spoken word side, RJ Lane rises from general sales manager for sports talk KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket,” news/talk WBAP-AM, and news/talk KLIF-AM to director of sales for the stations. Also, Steve Holm is promoted from sales manager for the spoken word stations to general sales manager and Janet Dupree, digital sales manager, remains in charge of the station cluster’s digital sales efforts. Cumulus Dallas/Houston regional VP Dan Bennett says, “Dawn Girocco’s vast experience as a DOS and market manager made her a great choice to lead our Dallas sales operation as our new VP of sales. Dawn is an around-the-clock engaged manager who is accessible to our sellers 24/7. She has earned this opportunity and our sales team will benefit greatly from her leadership. I cannot begin to thank Alec Drake enough for his huge contributions over the years to our organization. He has been an incredible leader – especially through the Covid pandemic. Keeping Cumulus Dallas as the company’s top revenue market has always been our goal and Alec pushed the limits every day to ensure we kept that position. Thank you, Alec, from our entire team!”

Gracie Awards Gala Moves to Virtual Celebration. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that the 46th annual Gracie Awards Gala, originally scheduled for Monday, September 27, is being moved to a fully virtual celebration. Details of the air date and streaming are being finalized to ensure the best experience to recognize all winners in an important year as AWM’s 70th anniversary. AWMF president Becky Brooks says, “Gracie winners are responsible for creating and telling the important stories of the most compelling content in our history. We were informed, enlightened, and entertained by women in media across all platforms. Our focus remains celebrating this incredible group of women who have demonstrated their commitment to sharing emotionally charged, timely, and compelling content. While our goal was to be in person in September, we are thrilled to bring our winners to the world.”

TALKERS News Notes. KIVA-AM, Albuquerque station owner and talk host Eddy Aragon is running for mayor of the city. According to KOAT-TV, Aragon has gathered enough signatures to run in this November’s election though he’s still waiting for certification from the county clerk. Aragon is challenging incumbent Mayor Tim Keller. Sheriff Manny Gonzales is also running as a Republican. If none of the three candidates get 50% of the vote, the two with the most votes face a run-off election. Aragon tells the station, “I just want to live in a better place. And, when there wasn’t anybody there that was speaking up for the conservatives, the Republicans and the independents out there, that’s when I immediately jumped on board.”…..Virtual News Center adds Legend Communications of Wyoming, LLC radio stations KLGT, KBBT, KZZS, and KHRW in Sheridan, Wyoming to its roster of affiliate stations. Virtual News Center will provide newscasts for all four stations anchored daily by Lisa Rodman and Jim Taylor. Virtual News Center CEO Joel Dearing says, “We are excited to expand with Legend Communications. We currently do news for their station in Gillette and have now added their stations that serve the Sheridan market. Brady Sasfranek has a strong cluster and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”…..Audacy and the NFL’s Washington Football Team have announced a new radio broadcast partnership in which Spanish hits WLZL, Washington “El Zol 107.9” will air the Spanish broadcast for all of the team’s regular and postseason games. Spanish broadcasts had previously aired on sister station WJFK-AM, “El Zol Deportes” for the past three seasons

Taliban Takes Afghanistan, COVID-19 Stats & Mandates, COVID Booster, Western Drought & Wildfires, and Gavin Newsom Recall Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/17). The Taliban takes control of Afghanistan and former President Donald Trump’s media appearances blaming President Joe Biden; the rise of COVID-19 cases in numerous U.S. states and the controversy over mask and vaccine mandates; the expectation the U.S. will recommend COVID booster shots after eight months; the drought and wildfires plaguing the U.S. West; and the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, July 12, 2013

| July 12, 2013

wgnlogoBob Sirott and Marianne Murciano Upped to Full Time at WGN, Chicago.  The husband-and-wife team have been hosting the 9:00 pm Sunday evening program on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago and now the company announces they will become part of the legendary news/talker’s full-time lineup.  The question is, where?  Station officials are justsirottmurciano saying the change will take place “later this summer.”  But with midday personality Mike McConnell holding down the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm shift, it’s not a bad guess it’ll be sometime in the midday hours.  WGN president and general manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Bob’s respected reputation and vast experiences on radio and television make him the perfect fit for ‘Chicago’s Very Own 720.’  I’m excited to expand Bob’s role and allow him to share more of his rich Chicago stories.  And Marianne adds another strong female voice to the tradition of WGN Radio.”  Sirott hosted “The Noon Show” on WGN Radio from 2007 to 2010 and currently co-anchors the “Fox Chicago News at 9” weeknights with Robin Robinson.  He’s also worked at CBS Radio’s WBBM-FM and Cumulus Media’s WLS radio and garnered national and local Emmy awards for his work on CBS, NBC and PBS television.  Murciano has co-anchored WFLD-TV’s “Fox Thing in the Morning” with Sirott and working as a feature reporter for WTTW-TV’s “Chicago Tonight.”  Sirott comments, “When I was growing up in Chicago, WGN was the ‘Radio home of millions throughout mid-America,’ and this is still very much true. Marianne and I are thrilled to call WGN our radio home.”

tylermediaOK City to Get New Sports Talk Outlet.  Tyler Media will move classic rocker KRXO from its 107.7 FM frequency to new translator K283BW at 104.5 (it will also be simulcast on 107.7’s HD2 channel) and 107.7 will become a full-fledged sports talk station.  Tyler media president Ty Tyler says in a statement that they are still in the process of hiring local talent and are not ready to release information about how the station will be branded but he says, “We are excited to expand our portfolio of stations.  A big league city needs a big league sports station.”  Tyler does say the station will air Oklahoma University play-by-play and plans to air a full slate of NFL games as well.  The Oklahoman speculates that local sports talk personality Mike Steely, who most recently was heard on crosstown Cumulus sports talk WWLS “The Sports Animal” but hasn’t been on the air since June 29, will join the new station.

lonsberrybobAward-Winning Talk Host Bob Lonsberry Offers Advice to Producers.  In a powerful, tell-it-like-it-is column posted today (7/12), WHAM, Rochester/WSYR, Syracuse talk show host Bob Lonsberry writes an open letter-style “Note to Talk Radio Producers” in which he offers advice to the person on the other side of the glass that so many talk show hosts have been grumbling about for years.  In this not-to-be-missed piece, Lonsberry advises: 1) listen to the show (claiming producers do not always pay attention to what is on the air); 2) be a broadcaster (if he the host gives you the chance to say something on the air – be ready); 3) handle callers well (don’t just “screen” them – rate them and rank them); and 4) think like a reporter (be proactive and creative in gathering information and booking guests). And that’s just for starters. To read Lonsberry’s entire piece, please click here (and then pass it on to every producer you know).

wilkersonkennethLongtime New Orleans Sports Broadcaster to Be Remembered.  WWL, New Orleans sports radio fixture Kenneth Wilkerson lost his battle with cancer last week and funeral services are scheduled for next Tuesday.  Wilkerson began his career with Entercom’s WWL as a sideline reporter for New Orleans Saints games in 1997.  He moved into the sports talk radio realm as co-host of WWL’s “Sports Talk” with co-hosts including the late Buddy “D” Diliberto and former Saints QB Bobby Hebert.  Wilkerson was diagnosed with cancer 15 months ago.

SONY DSCSRN’s Mike Gallagher Thrilled with Success of First Responders Bible Project.  A while back TALKERS wrote about Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher’s First Responders Bible project in which – via his Gallagher’s Army charitable foundation – he distributes King James Bibles to first responders corps across the country to help the individuals deal with the daily stresses of the occupation.  So far, thousands of specially produced King James Bibles have been distributed to first responders throughout the country as part of an effort to help these men and women gain the spiritual fitness needed to cope with the stress they face each time they are called to respond to an emergency.  The First Responders Bible includes a spiritual fitness guide as well as counseling and spiritual tips on how to stay strong and faith-filled when faced with catastrophic life-or-death situations.  Gallagher says, “These police officers and EMTs and firefighters encounter all kinds of ghastly things in the course of their day-to-day duties.  This Bible serves as a spiritual fitness manual for these oftentimes husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers.”  Mike Gallagher’s foundation director Joey Hudson (who also serves as Gallagher’s business manager) says, “I am excited to say we were well received.  Many sheriffs expressed that our ministry was much needed, and we did not have a single person not accept a Bible and they promised to have their chaplains follow up with us to request shipments for more.  Additionally, we had a number of requests to attend future state sheriffs’ meetings in the coming year.”  For more information on Gallagher’s Army and the First Responders Bible, visit gallaghersarmy.com.  In the photo here, Joey Hudson is seen at the organization’s booth at the annual conference of the National Sheriffs’ Association held last month in Charlotte.

ratharunOdds & Sods.  NPR names Arun Rath host of “Weekend All Things Considered” airing on Saturdays and Sundays.  Rath states, “‘Weekend All Things Considered’ manages to cover the full range of human experience in an hour.  It’s hard work but the payoff is amazing.  I’m especially excited to join the show as it reinvents itself at NPR West.  The intense diversity of Los Angeles is invigorating – all the racial, economic and political diversity smashed together – it’s what’s best and most exciting about America.”…..Clear Channel’s rock WPYX, Albany “PYX 106” re-ups with the NFL’s New York Giants to broadcast play-by-play for the next three seasons.

bearmanethanTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Premiere Networks Sean Hannity program is added to the program lineup at Clear Channel’s KQNT, Spokane…..GCN-distributed “Smoke Filled World” hosted by Ethan Bearman has its first hour added to the program schedule at TalkSuperstation.com…..GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs’ daily program is picked up by WVNJ, Oakland, New Jersey…..Farm Journal Media’s “AgriTalk” radio program is added to the lineup on SiriusXM’s new Rural Radio Channel and AM stations KFRM, Clay Center, Kansas; KNDK, Langdon, North Dakota; and KMBS, West Monroe, Loiusiana.

Immigration Reform/Amnesty Top Talk Radio Story This Week.  The issues surrounding immigration legislation and amnesty for illegal aliens currently in the United States were #1 on the Talkers TenTM this week.  Other stories on the chart of this week’s most-talked-about are, at #2, Egypt civil and political turmoil.  At #3 is ObamaCare criticism followed by the Asiana Airlines crash landing at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.