Tag: "Mike Valenti"
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Like a Pendulum Do,” looks back at this past week of 9/5 to 9/9. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Tim Van Horn, talk show host, KWAM, Memphis; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Sandy Rios, talk show host, American Family Radio; Matthew B. Harrison, VP/associate publisher, TALKERS; and Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Podcast Movement Apologizes to Ben Shapiro; Way Forward Still Unclear. The controversy surrounding the surprise appearance of Ben Shapiro at the recent Podcast Movement convention in Dallas that apparently upset at least one other attendee continues as the organization has issued an apology to Shapiro. As you may recall, Podcast Movement immediately apologized to the offended party via Twitter in a since-deleted tweet, causing Cumulus Media to cry foul and announce it would not support the 2023 convention. Podcast Movement tweeted on Thursday (9/8): “As we stated, we’re continuing to evaluate our policies guiding social media & events with inclusivity, diversity & respect for all. We have to start by sincerely apologizing to Mr. Shapiro for our reaction when he visited a booth we sold his company. That wasn’t right. Podcast Movement began in 2014, with four podcasters who had an idea to create a vibrant community that was for podcasters, by podcasters. We’re still those people with the same idea, and recognize there’s work to do as we grow. We are now looking to move forward, as we focus on that original mission from 2014 – being a hub for podcasting events, resources, news, and thought leadership.” Naturally, those with no tolerance for conservative thought are not happy with this apology and this puts Podcast Movement in a difficult situation. On one hand, it can refuse to include conservatives in future gatherings and appease the “no tolerance” segment of its constituency. But big-time podcast publishers such as Cumulus, iHeartMedia, and Audacy produce a large number of podcasts. While most of those are not political at all, some are and are hosted by polarizing personalities. Does Podcast Movement want to alienate them to appease a small but very vocal minority? On the other hand, if it says, “everyone’s welcome,” you can bet those intolerant of others’ opinions will protest loudly, and the annual event then becomes a referendum on political partisanship. Podcast Movement has less than a year to figure this out.
Round Three of August PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s August 2022 sweep covered July 21 – August 17. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM grows by a full share to post a 9.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that lifts the station to #1, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KEX-AM rises by seven-tenths for a 3.1 share that boosts it to the #13 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOAI-AM, San Antonio adds seven-tenths to finish with a 4.6 share pushes it to the #8 rank, while Alpha Media’s crosstown news/talk KTSA rises by two-tenths for a 3.2 share but falls one position to the #12 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-AM/FM, Salt Lake City remains ranked #1 even after dropping a half share for a 9.1 share finish. Meanwhile, Bonneville’s crosstown news/talk KSL-AM/FM adds a half share and closes the survey with a 6.1 share good for the #4 rank. In Kansas City, Audacy’s news/talk KMBZ-FM tacks on eight-tenths for a 4.7 finish that lifts it from #11 to #5, while Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KCMO-AM also adds eight-tenths for a 1.5 share finish putting at the #20 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first two groups) here.
Triton Digital Releases Streaming Rankers for July 2022. The latest data from Triton Digital’s monthly ranking of top streaming properties is released for the July 2022 period. Triton ranks streamers based on Average Active Sessions (AAS). In the U.S. for 6AM-12AM Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is the #1 streamer with 278,576 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (67,269 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (61.293 AAS). Other radio-related companies on Triton’s chart includes: Cumulus Streaming Network ranked #4 (37,569 AAS), Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (16,157), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (13,676), Salem Communications at #10 (7,763 AAS), and Urban One at #11 (7,533). You can see the complete ranker here.
Big Radio Announces News and Sports Talent Additions. At Scott and Ben Thompson’s Big Radio in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, two new staffers join the company. At the Janesville, Wisconsin operations, Sean Maloney is now part of the news team working on news coverage across the group and being part of local high school sports broadcasts. He joined the company from Magnum Media in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. John Barry, award-winning sportswriter previously with the Janesville Gazette, also joins the company to work on its local sports coverage. Big Radio says its sports department consists of nearly 40 individuals working together to provide over 400 local high school sports broadcasts annually throughout Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Company CEO Ben Thompson says, “Local news, information and entertainment is what people look for from their local stations and Big Radio injects local news, sports, entertainment and conversation wherever we can across our 10-station group. We are grateful that both Sean and John bring those values with them to help reinforce our commitment to local programming.”
TALKERS News Notes. The 2022-23 NFL season is underway and Audacy announces a series of podcasts to cater to fans. New podcasts produced by the company’s 2400Sports studio include: “Kickoff with Boomer and Valenti” starring WFAN, New York morning host Boomer Esiason and WXYT-FM, Detroit afternoon host Mike Valenti; “The Crew” with senior NFL insider Josina Anderson, Hollywood actor Morris Chestnut, and former NFL cornerback Fred Smoot; “In The Huddle” starring former NFL player and current Audacy NFL insider Brian Baldinger and Audacy NFL insider and NFL reporter Jason La Canfora; “1st & Pod with Parkins and Poni” starring WSCR, Chicago’s Danny Parkins and KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh’s Andrew Fillipponi…..Skyview Networks partners with iHeartMedia Milwaukee to be the play-by-play radio broadcast distributor for Green Bay Packers games. As part of the deal, Skyview’s AdView inventory management software will be used. Skyview SVP business development and communication Andrew Kalb says, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with iHeartMedia Milwaukee and its Green Bay Packers radio rightsholder, ‘The Game 97.3.’ We look forward to collaborating on taking the Packers network to the next level and I am confident that with our technology, they will see new efficiencies and greater insight into revenue.”…..iHeartMedia and Warner Music Group announce a multi-year deal in which the two companies will co-produce a slate of shows that range from ongoing weekly podcasts to limited-run series, beginning this fall. As part of the collaboration, WMG’s Interval Presents will distribute its podcasts through the iHeartPodcast Network widely to all podcast consumption platforms. iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne states, “Joining forces with an iconic music company like Warner Music Group, known for their dedication to advancing the voices and careers of artists, is a seamless fit for iHeartMedia. Our team is thrilled to be co-producing a slate of shows to elevate inspiring, diverse voices and important conversations in this vein – and can’t wait to get started.”
Mar-a-Lago Aftermath and Trump Legal Issues Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 5 – 9. The Department of Justice’s appeal of Judge Aileen Cannon’s order for a Special Master to oversee the documents former President Donald Trump had stored at Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s other legal issues combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was politics and the midterm elections, followed by crime, violence, and homelessness at #3. 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 complete chart here.
Michael Harrison “Idiots” Tour Off and Running. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has appeared as a guest on a number of major local and national radio talk shows covering several hundred stations across the nation during the past two weeks discussing the musical track “Idiots” on which he appears as lead vocalist with the iconic classic rock band, GUNHILL ROAD. “Idiots” is a catchy song with an ear-worm hook and provocative lyrics taking aim at what Harrison describes as the “growing wave of idiocy that’s spreading across America and threatening the nation’s democracy.” Harrison wrote the song in collaboration with his bandmates – Steve Goldrich, Paul Reisch and Brian Koonin. Since its release in late August, the song’s music video (www.idiotsvideo.com) has racked up thousands of views on YouTube and gotten airplay on dozens of talk shows and radio station websites from WABC, New York to KXL, Portland – including KTSA, San Antonio; WBT, Charlotte; KSCO, Santa Cruz; KFNX, Phoenix; WPG, Atlantic City; WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; WRVA, Richmond; WTIC, Hartford; WVLY, Wheeling; WTNN, Nashville; KWAM, Memphis; KDFD, Denver; WLIR-FM, Long Island; WRHU-FM, Hempstead, NY and many more including exposure on Talk Media Network; Doug Stephan’s “Good Day”; Virginia Talk Radio Network, Nevada Talk Network, John Fredericks Radio Network, Podcast Radio Network in the U.K. and more. “Ironically, the song is becoming somewhat of a talk radio hit,” says Harrison. “The music stations haven’t a clue what to do with it because it doesn’t fit conveniently into their cookie cutter categories. Today’s music radio doesn’t have the flexibility to include those ‘odd’ and ‘offbeat’ songs that would occasionally come down the pike and become hits in pop’s golden era. However, talk radio programmers get it.” One of the song’s qualities that adds to its talk show appeal and support from both liberals and conservatives is its non-partisanship. Harrison calls it an “equal opportunity offender.” Lyrics include such lines as: A fool will always be a fool… left, right, blue or red… it pays to have an open mind, but not an empty head. Another: They (idiots) cherry pick and reaffirm half-baked dumb ideas… agree with almost anything that feeds their hate and fears… always blaming others for their own damn lack of vision… they buy the crap that’s sold them from the merchants of division. That last line is punctuated on the video by the famous “turd” emoji emanating from the rear ends of an elephant and donkey. Harrison plans to continue the Talk Radio Idiots Tour through the fall. Shows and hosts interested in booking him as a guest can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Click here to see the video.
Price: Who Else Must Die? Business continuity expert Howard B. Price writes about the importance of security at media outlet offices in the aftermath of the deadly attack on the Annapolis, Maryland newspaper Capital Gazette. “This is not the time for the media to cower in fear. This is the time for action. This is the time to stop talking about this issue of violence perpetrated against members of the media – and start DOING SOMETHING…The work we do every day – and the toxic environment in which we do it now – exposes print and broadcast journalists, crews and support staff to unspeakable risks that would have been unheard of just a few short years ago, except in war zones and riots. Yet, most often the response within our industry is – crickets. Or a series of lame excuses. Or an unending game of kick the can into the next budget cycle. Or the next. Or the next.” Read what Price has to say about developing a security and safety plan here.
Iowa Sports Media Pro Larry Cotlar Dies in Des Moines Flash Flood. Central Iowa sports radio personality Larry Cotlar died on Saturday (6/30) after being swept away by flash flood waters in Des Moines. The 65-year-old broadcaster had been the voice of Drake University men’s basketball for the past 12 seasons and was currently hosting a weekly sports talk show on Saga Communications’ KRNT, Des Moines “1350 ESPN.” According to WHO-TV, Cotlar’s van became stalled in high waters. Cotlar and unnamed occupants left the van but Cotlar was swept away. His body was found several hours later a couple of blocks from the van. Cotlar started his sports radio career on WHO-AM in 1981. He’s also served at Des Moines stations KXNO and KBGG in addition to producing and co-hosting the “Out of Bounds” show on KCCI-TV. Saga issued the following statement: “All of us at 1350 ESPN and the Des Moines Radio Group are devastated by the loss of our voice, our colleague, and our friend, Larry Cotlar… today, our thoughts are with his wife, Deb and their son, Zach. There is absolutely no replacing Larry. He will be thought of fondly and missed greatly by his family, friends, and his extended families in the sports and broadcasting communities.”
WCCO, Minneapolis’ John Hines to Retire at Summer’s End. Minneapolis-St. Paul news/talk station WCCO-AM announces that late morning talk show host John Hines is retiring from his position at the end of the summer (though he will continue to do part-time fill-in work for the station). He’s been with WCCO since 2012. He released a statement saying, “I am thankful to the many listeners who have supported me over the years and to WCCO in allowing me the opportunity to extend my career these past years. I am also pleased that WCCO has invited me to stay on in a part-time/fill in capacity.” During his career in the Twin Cities, he’s worked at WWTC, KSTP-AM, WLOL-AM, and KSTP-TV, among others.
Mike Valenti Signs New Deal with WXYT-FM, Detroit. Motor City sports talk personality Mike Valenti signs a new, long-term deal with Entercom sports talker WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” to continue as host of the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program. Valenti is a native New Yorker who made his way to Michigan to study at Michigan State and began his radio career as a producer in the Lansing market. Prior to joining WXYT-FM in 2007, he was co-host of “The Sports Inferno” on WXYT-AM. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Mike is an extraordinary talent who has a great rapport with Detroit sports fans. He has built a dedicated listener base and we’re thrilled to have him on the 97.1 team for years to come.”
Ex-“stream”-ly Enlightening Net Results. TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at how stations’ streams add to their (6+) ratings, based on data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys. Kinosian notes that during the most recent survey, “Among all formats throughout the entire 48 PPM markets, there are only 34 instances of a station’s online ‘stream’ appearing in print during the May 2018 sweep.” See which stations are getting credit for streaming listening and how it affects their overall ratings in Kinosian’s report here.
TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Special Presentation by WFAN, New York, Afternoon Drive Mega-Star, Mike Francesa. Today (7/2), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8. Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s sixth installment features the special presentation by WFAN personality Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan. Videos already posted include: Salem SVP Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?” Last week’s posts also include the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s Fireside Chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman. Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter. To view the page, please click here.
Talk Host Phil Valentine and Book Publisher Question Google’s Ad Rejection. As regular TALKERS readers are probably aware, Nashville-based, nationally syndicated talk host Phil Valentine is an author and filmmaker in addition to his radio work. He just published his latest novel, a spy-thriller titled, Barbican: A Sterling McQueen Spy Story, and publisher Oxley Durchville created a 30-second video ad to promote the book and submitted it to Google Adworks. They were surprised when the ad was rejected for “dangerous and derogatory content.” They’ve reached out to Google for further explanation but have not yet heard back. You can see the ad here. Oxley Durchville and Valentine are concerned the rejection has nothing to do with the ad but with Valentine being a conservative talk host. After viewing the ad, the consensus among TALKERS editors is that a rushed and harried censor probably noted the tone of the ad, saw the phrase “politically incorrect” connected with the book cover’s swastika image, and arrived at this conclusion. Time will tell if the two parties can resolve this issue.
Giordano Hosts Eagles QB Nick Foles at Speaker Series. Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia talk show host Dom Giordano (left) chatting with Philadelphia Eagles QB – and Super Bowl LII MVP – Nick Foles (right). The interview was a special installment of the station’s “Speakers Series.” Foles talked about his new book, Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure and Overcoming the Odds (2018, Tyndale Momentum). WPHT says listeners who attended the live event made it the largest audience to date for the series.
Veteran Talk Show Host Mike Siegel Broadcasts from the Free Iran 2018 Rally in Paris. Longtime radio talk show host and author Mike Siegel brought his microphone to Paris where he conducted numerous interviews on the site of yesterday’s (7/1) Free Iran 2018 rally. The rally is an annual call for a democratic Iran and included hundreds of dignitaries from around the world joining tens of thousands of Iranians supporting the ousting of the nation’s authoritarian regime. Pictured is Siegel (right) interviewing former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (left) who was one of the many speakers at the event.
TALKERS News Notes. The weekend “Hugh Hewitt Show” on MSNBC has aired its last episode. During Saturday’s program – which was a “best-of” format – Hewitt announced the end of the show that began a year ago. He offered no reason, but Mediaite’s coverage of the story notes that the weekend edition of “FOX & Friends” on FOX News Channel topped Hewitt’s program in the ratings. The Salem Radio Network-syndicated radio personality did say he will remain with MSNBC as a contributor and a guest on “Meet the Press.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program adds new affiliates. The Saturday night edition of the show is airing on Entercom’s WRKO, Boston. Other new stations include: KYCA-AM/FM, Prescott, Arizona; and WRKQ-AM, Madisonville, Tennessee. “Free Talk Live” is heard on 190 affiliate stations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that journalist, author, and radio personality Amy Guth is named executive director of the Midwest Independent Film Festival. Guth is a weekend personality on Tribune’s news/talk WGN.
Air Personality and Programmer Richard “Box” Bachschmidt Dead After Suicide. Radio programming and on-air pro Richard “Box” Bachschmidt has died after apparently committing suicide in Charleston, South Carolina. Most recently, he’d been hosting an Internet morning program. He left his gig with LM Communications where he was hosting AM drive on triple A WCOO, Charleston “The Bridge” in February. During his career he’d also served with iHeartMedia as host and PD at news/talk WSC, Charleston and APD at Cumulus’ WTN-FM, Nashville.
Saturday Immigration Policy Protest Rallies/Abolish ICE Movement, Open Supreme Court Seat, Iran Sanctions/Regime Change, New Canada Tariffs/Trade War Concerns, North Korea Nuclear Program, Lopez Obrador Wins Mexican Presidency, LeBron James Signs with Lakers, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Saturday’s “Keep Families Together” rallies and the related movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau; the open Supreme Court Justice seat; President Trump’s call for renewed sanctions in Iran and Rudy Giuliani’s statement that the Trump wants Iranian regime change; Canada puts tariffs on more American goods and concerns about the effects of a global trade war; new intelligence suggesting North Korea is expanding its nuclear missile program; leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wins the Mexican presidency; LeBron James’ new deal with the Los Angeles Lakers; and Major League Baseball action 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. Radio Hall of Famer Wolfman Jack is back on the air as Envision Networks begins offering digitally remastered programs. The classic radio show is available as a five-hour weekly show and contains Wolfman’s comedy bits, funny phone calls, crazy characters, celebrity interviews, and great music from the 60s and 70s. Wolfman Jack Licensing executive producer Jay Harvey says, “We are delighted to be working with Danno and his team at Envision Networks. The world famous Wolfman Jack Radio Show is back and sounding better than ever.”…..Country air personality Roxanne Steele exits Entercom’s WYCD, Detroit. The company has scrubbed her info from that station website and Steele posted the following message, “I’m back from vacation but on a permanent vacation from WYCD. I’m still having a hard time processing that I no longer wake up and go to a job I absolutely loved. This is like a bad dream that doesn’t seem real even though I’ve been through this before.”…..Anaheim Broadcasting’s rock KCAL, Riverside-San Bernardino is saying adios to longtime personality Kelli Cluque who is joining Cal State Bernardino to serve as operations manager for the school’s Coyote Radio station.
Marc Cox Takes Over Midday Show at KFTK, St. Louis. Effective today, the Marc Cox show is being heard in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot on Emmis Communications’ news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis. Program director Jeff Allen tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that replacing Dana Loesch with Cox has nothing to do with dissatisfaction with Loesch – who’s been with the station for the past seven years – but has more to do with the station’s desire to keep a live-and-local program schedule. Loesch syndicates her show nationally via Radio America and re-located her family to the Dallas area from St. Louis. About Cox’s promotion from Sunday nights to a daily program, Allen says, “We are thrilled to be able to expand Marc’s role at the station with a show that has already proven to have high appeal to our listeners. We are returning this weekday show back to its local roots because we need to be ‘live and local’ in that part of the day to serve the St. Louis Metro area best. We are excited about the debut of Marc’s show and I am sure our listeners will be too.” Cox is an Emmy award-winning, 25-year veteran of television news. He served with KMOV-TV, St. Louis as an anchor, reporter and producer for 19 years. KFTK notes Cox has been honored by the Associated Press and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, receiving multiple Emmy nominations and two Emmy awards.
WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Holds 8th Annual Charity Dinner at Congress Hall; Co-Headliner Joe Piscopo Hints at Gubernatorial Run. Atlantic City morning radio giant Harry Hurley hosted his eighth annual dinner at the venerable Congress Hall in Cape May, New Jersey on Saturday. It was an event that was co-hosted this year by WNYM, New York morning host Joe Piscopo. WPGG, Atlantic City’s Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that the evening was a “rousing success. We had members of the New Jersey legislature and the highest-ranking county, constitutional and local officials, as well as presidents of major industries in New Jersey in attendance.” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called in live and addressed the gathering that was being attended by Christie’s father Bill. During a Q&A with Piscopo, the comic and “Saturday Night Live” alum told Hurley that he is interested in running for the New Jersey governor’s seat next year and is “seriously looking into it.” Hurley will be honored with the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host by TALKERS magazine at the TALKERS 2016 Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (Long Island) on Friday, May 20. See more information about the conference here.
SiriusXM Boasts 30.1 Million Subscribers. The satellite radio company announces today that it added 465,000 net new subscribers in the first quarter of this year, putting it over the 30 million subscriber mark for the first time in company history. SiriusXM will report its financials on April 28 but says that as of March 31, self-pay net additions were 348,000 in the quarter, resulting in a self-pay subscriber base of 24.6 million at quarter’s end. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM has grown from a pioneering startup to a media powerhouse in less than 15 years of service by providing listeners with the best audio entertainment available. Our exclusive, unmatched content and ease of use has led us to this important subscriber milestone. I’d like to thank our dedicated employees, our valuable content creators and brands, our automotive distributors, and most of all our paying subscribers for their contribution to our success.”
WXYT-FM, Detroit Re-Ups with Afternoon Personality Mike Valenti. Detroit sports talk personality Mike Valenti – co-host of the afternoon drive “Valenti & Foster” program (with Terry Foster) – signs a contract extension with CBS RADIO to continue in that role with WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” on a long-term basis. Program director Jimmy Powers comments, “I am pleased Mike will continue to be part of many Detroiters’ drive home every day for years to come. He has the uncanny ability to give listeners a unique perspective, honesty and strong opinions like very few in the industry.” Valenti left his Upstate New York home to study journalism at Michigan State in 1998. He joined CBS and WXYT in 2004 when he was partnered with Foster. WXYT says Valenti & Foster have “maintained their #1 position among men 25-54 and adults 25-54 for more than five years.”
Odds & Sods. News pro Molly Paige is now part of the “Portland’s Afternoon News” program on Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland, working with managing editor Jim Ferretti, fellow anchor Joe Simons and reporters Mike Turner and Brett Reckamp. Paige had most recently been working in Washington for NBC News Radio as an anchor/writer and producer…..Anchorage, Alaska Assemblywoman Amy Demboski will be hosting a two-hour afternoon show on Alaska Integrated Media’s news/talk KVNT, Anchorage, effective April 20…..WHO, Des Moines-based afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway took his show on the road recently to raise funds for the Puppy Jake Foundation. Conway tells TALKERS magazine that more than $75,000 was raised while he was on the air. He’s pictured at right with service-dog-in-training Chris Kyle, named for the “American Sniper.” The Puppy Jake Foundation is dedicated to helping military veterans through the assistance of well-bred, socialized and professionally trained service dogs.
WTOP, Washington Nabs Eight National Headliner Awards. The National Headliner Awards have been recognizing journalistic excellence since 1934. They are awarded by the Press Club of Atlantic City. This year, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington is the recipient of eight National Headliner Awards, including: first place for best website for WTOP.com, first place for radio news series for Jamie Forzato’s “Heroin Epidemic,” and first place for online only writing by WTOP.com sports editor Noah Frank. Second place honors went to J.J. Green for his news series, “Quiet Killer,” best station newscast for the September Pope coverage, for feature and human interest story for “Canine Rehab” by Nick Iannelli, and for online only writing by WTOP.com living editor Rachel Nania. The WTOP staff won third place for its breaking news coverage of the Freddie Gray riots. WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “Our newsroom takes great pride in the recognition that comes with all awards, but the National Headliners are especially gratifying because of their long history and being judged on the national level.”
Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore Honored with National Headliner Award for Freddie Gray Coverage. Baltimore news/talk WBAL “NewsRadio 1090” took home the top national honor this week for “State of Emergency in Baltimore,” the best local radio newscast and coverage of Freddie Gray’s death the best breaking and continuing coverage. WBAL’s Scott Wykoff took third place for best radio feature or human interest story for a piece on a horse named Talk Show Man, after the late WBAL host Ron Smith. WBAL president and GM Cary Pahigian says, “These prestigious awards ratify WBAL NewsRadio 1090’s standing as Maryland’s No. 1 radio news source. It also recognizes an extremely talented group of anchors, reporters, producers and writers. It’s a great day for WBAL Radio.”
The Presidential Race/Colorado GOP Delegate Controversy, Boston Globe Trump Satire, Bill Clinton vs Black Lives Matter, North Korea Nuke Threats, and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of the candidates for president and the controversy over Colorado’s GOP delegate wins; the satirical front page published by the Boston Globe forecasting a Trump presidency; the backlash after Bill Clinton’s taking on Black Lives Matter protestors at a recent rally; concerns over North Korea’s nuclear weapons build-up; and Friday night’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
Irv Brown Retires from ‘Mile High Sports’ in Denver. Denver market sports talk personality Irv Brown officially retired from Mile High Sports-owned KDCO, Denver last week. Brown co-hosted the show with his longtime partner Joe Williams. The 81-year-old Brown recently had back surgery and his recovery has been slow and he’s still not cleared to drive a car. Brown had been working in the media in Denver for most of the past 40 years.