Tag: "Mitch Levy"
CBS RADIO VP Sports Programming Mike Thomas Signs Contract Extension. Programming pro Mike Thomas signs a multi-year contract extension with CBS RADIO to continue his roles with the company as corporate vice president of sports programming and VP of programming for the Boston cluster. CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Mike is an accomplished programming executive whose outstanding talent has led our company to success across both music and spoken word formats, which is a rare feat in our industry. I look forward to partnering closely with Mike for years to come on growing our Boston properties along with our industry leading sports platform coast to coast.” Thomas’ almost-20-year management resume includes work as PD for classic rock WZLX, rock WBCN and sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”
The Triad’s WSJS Officially Launches as Sports Outlet. The change from news/talk sports to full-on sports talk on Curtis Media’s WSJS, Winston-Salem officially took place on Friday (9/1). Curtis Media Triad general manager Al Bunch comments, “Local sports fans have been asking for a forum like this. ‘WSJS SPORTS’ is the Triad’s new destination for sports talk. Our roster of a local afternoon sports talk show, local high school football, NC college sports, NASCAR, and popular FOX Sports Radio hosts is unmatched. We’re excited to offer this untapped audience to local businesses market-wide.” The program schedule includes “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” for mornings, followed by Dan Patrick. The regionally syndicated David Glenn show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, followed by local personality Kyle Schassburger in PM drive. “WSJS SPORTS” airs on four stations and their FM translators: WSJS, Winston-Salem/W267AM; WMFR, High Point/W285EU; WCOG, Greensboro/W229CH; and WSML, Graham/W283BT.
Binnie Media and Gen Media Partners Announce Strategic Alliance. Station owner Binnie Media announces it is shifting its national ad sales representation to Gen Media Partners. The companies state that this move is “part of a unique strategic alliance to drive regional and national ad revenue.” As part of the agreement, Binnie Media’s Boston office will handle all national business for Gen Media Partners, giving both companies, as well as Gen Media Partners’ other station partners, expanded Boston and New England presence and increased regional opportunities. Binnie president Lee Kinberg comments, “Considering where national and regional business has been heading, we were looking for a partner open to a new kind of relationship that would capitalize on each company’s platforms to grow revenue. We needed a sales and marketing team that was open to breaking down the lines of the traditional rep-station relationship without the inherent conflicts of interest that sometimes arise in the national representation business.” Sales pro Jimmie Vereault will handle national ad sales for Gen Media Partners out of their Boston office and use the combined Binnie Media-Gen Media Partners’ platforms to drive regional as well as national business.
KJR-AM, Seattle Sports Talker Mitch Levy Nabbed in Prostitute Sting. A prostitution sting in Bellevue, Washington netted 110 “Johns” – among them was KJR-AM, Seattle morning drive sports talk personality Mitch Levy. According to The Seattle Times, Bellevue Police and the King County Sheriff’s Office orchestrated the sting in a condominium complex. Levy, who was arrested and charged with misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute, told the detectives he’d been playing golf earlier in the day was there to receive a massage. iHeartMedia has not issued a public statement on the matter.
TALKERS News Notes. The 2017 NFL regular season begins on Thursday and NCAA football season is already underway. This year, Focus 360 and Sports USA are again offering a slate of NCAA football games to affiliate stations. Focus 360 announces that it has partnered with Gen Media Partners for national ad sales. The Sports USA schedule includes 16 regular season games plus four bowl games: Sun, Outback, Las Vegas, and Independence…..Westwood One is airing this Thursday night’s matchup between the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. In the booth are Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason with Tony Boselli. Jim Gray hosts the pregame and halftime with contributions from Pats’ quarterback Tom Brady and Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald…..SiriusXM is offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the NFL season, featuring live broadcasts of every game. In addition to live play-by-play, subscribers get daily NFL talk on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
North Korea Bomb Test, Threat of Hurricane Irma, Utah Nurse Arrest Incident, Trump’s ‘Dreamer’ Decision, Harvey Aftermath, Senator Menendez Trial, Elon Musk’s WWIII Prediction, Labor Day Holiday, MLB Action, and NFL Roster Cutdowns Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. North Korea’s detonation of its largest nuclear warhead yet and threats to launch another ICBM test; Florida braces for a possible hit from Hurricane Irma; the viral video of a Utah nurse being arrested for following hospital procedure; President Trump to end DACA or the “Dreamer” act within six months; the aftermath of Hurricane/tropical storm Harvey; U.S. Senator Robert Menendez’s corruption trial; Elon Musk predicts World War III in the race to develop the most powerful artificial intelligence; the Labor Day holiday weekend; Major League Baseball action; and the cutdown to 53 for NFL clubs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to research from TALKERS magazine.
National Radio Hall of Fame Recognizes 100 Years of American Radio. The National Radio Hall of Fame announces that it will debut its “100 Years of Radio” exhibit housed in Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications in fall 2019 – the year leading up to the official anniversary in 2020. A press release says, “To create a tribute worthy of the medium, the current space will undergo renovation, creating an interactive experience through emerging technologies and architecture. Patrons of the museum will have access to audio performances and histories of inductees as well as valuable artifacts ranging from microphones of iconic personalities to instruments from live radio theater productions.” National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin adds, “This is an exciting time as we get to innovate and modernize the presentation of our medium’s rich history. Plus, we’re looking forward to bringing the ceremony to New York City, especially since we received great feedback when we brought it to Los Angeles in 2014.”
Deep in the ‘Hot’ of Texas. Broadcasters and netcasters are in Austin this week for the NAB + RAB Radio Show, and today’s RAIN Summit. TALKERS magazine conventionista contributore Holland Cooke (pictured above) reports all this week.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago radio personality Gary Spears revealed to his listeners on CBS RADIO’s classic hits WJMK, Chicago “K-Hits 104.3” that he’s leaving the station in mid-October to relocate to Florida. He’s been with WJMK since 2011 and had worked at a number of Chicago stations during his career, including CBS’ CHR WBBM-FM…..iHeartMedia names Nikki Corl marketing director for the Charlotte market and the Carolinas. She was most recently with the company’s Richmond, Virginia cluster as promotions director. iHeartMedia EVP of programming for the Northeast Division Meg Stevens says, “Nikki is a proven leader. She is the right choice to lead a very diverse and creative team in The Queen City.”…..iHeartMedia’s KVDU, New Orleans shifts from classic hits to adult hits as “104.1 The Spot.” The station says its core artists created hits during the 70s, 80s and early 90s and include: Madonna, Boston, Bon Jovi and Duran Duran. KVDU program director Joseph Sergio comments, “New Orleans has a classic rock station and we have an easy listening station, but ‘104.1 The Spot’ will take the best from those worlds, sprinkle in some more recent favorites and play all of the hits, non-stop, 24/7.”…..Alpha Media Dayton installs the “Jack FM” format on former adult contemporary WGTZ as “92.9 Jack FM.” WGTZ had been airing a soft rock AC format. Alpha Media VP of programming Ronnie Stanton says, “What a fun day for Dayton! Turning on a new ‘Jack’ is always a happy day and we have high hopes for this one. A great new radio station in one of America’s great cities.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that DLC Media drops sports talk and the ESPN Sports Radio affiliation on WFNF, Brazil, Indiana/W258BA, Terre Haute, and begins airing the adult standards format from Westwood One. DLC changes the call letters of WFNF to WAMB and begins using the new brand, “Timeless 1130 and 99.5 WAMB.”…..Programming pro Deon Cole joins Music Choice as manager, urban programming. During his career, Cole has served with urban contemporary WGIV, Charlotte “Streetz 103.3”; hip hop WPEG, Charlotte; and Beasley Media Group in Charlotte.
WTOP PD Cantillo Departs. Late Friday afternoon (3/13), WTOP, Washington, DC program director (and co-author of “Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World,” 1998) Laurie Cantillo teased her social media followers with this post: “Spring is a time of new beginnings … excited for the future.” That message is actually a follow-up to what was shared earlier in the day with the staff at the Hubbard all-news operation. “The decision has been made to not renew Laurie Cantillo’s contract,” general manager Joel Oxley writes. “The decision was reached mutually by Laurie and me.” In another internal memo, Cantillo states, “Our anchors and reporters have never sounded better and page views for WTOP.com are off the charts. Morale is as high as the International Space Station, where we conducted a historic live interview this morning. We are on ‘TOP’ in every respect, which makes this the right time for me to pursue my next adventure. There is no finer multimedia newsroom in America and I will miss seeing you every day. My immediate plan is to co-create a screenplay and finally get around to writing my next best seller.” Although she notes, “Radio and digital media innovation will continue to be a big part of my life,” she did not indicate if there is a particular station in her future. WTOP news director Mitchell Miller, senior news and sports director Mike McMearty, and managing editor Darci Marchese will share in assuming Cantillo’s duties. WTOP chalked up a mammoth +3.1 to 9.2 (Nielsen Audio PPM, January 2015, 6+) as it progresses from third to first. It is the station’s best mark in exactly one year, equaling the 9.2 it logged in January 2014. WTOP was #1 (6+) for 11 straight monthlies before iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH took the top spot in December and “Holiday” 2014. Simultaneous with graduating from the University of Colorado, Cantillo landed a full-time reporting job in Boulder and she had a 13-year tenure at Denver’s KOA. She was selected to program KTAR, Phoenix in 1997 and was later recruited by cross-town KFYI in a similar capacity. The former WABC, New York programmer joined WTOP in 2011 and officially became program director there upon the retirement of vice president of news and programming Jim Farley.
Positive 2014 Q4 for Journal Broadcast Group’s Radio Sector. With the merger with E.W. Scripps expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, Journal Communications reports a positive fourth quarter of 2014 – up 13.6% on revenue of $122 million. For the radio sector, the fourth quarter saw revenue rise to $22.1 million – an increase of 7.7% (excluding the change in the fiscal year, revenue increased 5.5%). The company reports that radio political and issue revenue was $0.7 million compared to $0.1 million. Excluding political and issue, total revenue increased 4.9%, local revenue increased 6.5%, though national revenue decreased 0.9%. Automotive revenue, up 13%, was a driver of local growth. For the full year, radio revenue increased 3.0% to $79.1 million. Excluding the change in the fiscal year, revenue increased 2.4%. Radio political and issue revenue was $1.3 million compared to $0.4 million. Excluding political and issue revenue, total revenue increased 1.8%, local revenue increased 2.6%, though national revenue, a small component of our revenue, decreased 6.6%. When the merger deal closes next quarter, Journal and E.W. Scripps will merge their broadcast and digital media assets under a company retaining the E.W. Scripps name and be based in Cincinnati. Their newspapers and community publications and related digital products will comprise a firm to be called Journal Media Group, based in Milwaukee.
KJR, Seattle Re-Ups Levy; Adds Powell for Middays. Morning drive personality Mitch Levy — with iHeartMedia’s sports talker KJR-AM, Seattle for the past 20 years – will continue in his morning drive role after inking a new contract. At the same time, the station announces the arrival of Chuck Powell to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show. He most recently was with Bonneville in Phoenix at both sports talk KTAR-AM and the former adult hits KPKX. Former Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren is also returning to the station this NFL season to serve as NFL expert and contributor.
NSPCA Honors KDWN’s Alan Stock. For the past 10 years, Las Vegas talk show host Alan Stock has been featuring the Pet Pick of the Week in an effort to get local pets adopted. Earlier this week, the Nevada SPCA surprised Stock with special recognition for his work. Pictured here (from l-r) are: Master Magician Lance Burton (former headliner at the Monte Carlo), Stock, and NSPCA president Kathy Jung. She’s holding Keno, who was in this year’s Puppy Bowl before the Big Game.
Kevin McCullough’s XtreMEDIA to Present Holy Week-Themed Radio Drama Across U.S. and International Radio Networks. The audio drama is based on the one-man play being performed in Chicago by actor and radio personality Stephen Baldwin titled, “Heaven, How I Got Here: A Night with the Thief on the Cross.” McCullough says, “Easter weekend on five American radio networks and the biggest networks in the United Kingdom (our first jaunt into international broadcasting) a compelling ‘audio drama’ of the same role Stephen is portraying on stage, will be aired on both religious and mainstream spoken word stations across Europe and America. Thus far 1500-plus stations have signed on and in some clusters/markets like Salem NYC the drama will air nine times from Good Friday evening through end of Easter Sunday. There is no cost to take the broadcast. We commissioned the Grammy and Dove award winning composer Dick Tunney for an original soundtrack, we created a completely digital sound design, and Stephen re-created the character he will portray on stage to give voice to the ‘thief’ to whom Jesus historically said, ‘This day you will be with me in paradise.'” McCullough says stations wishing to take the radio special can email him at email@example.com and he’ll be glad to add them to the growing surge of stations gobbling it up.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is now heard on Iredell Broadcasting’s WSIC-AM/FM/TV, Statesville, North Carolina, which includes transmission on over-the-air digital TV channel 21.2…..The GCN-syndicated “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney adds affiliate stations in: WSMN, Nashua; WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi; KIXW, Victorville, California; KTFL, Higley, Arizona and KLOE, Goodland, Kansas…..Syndication Networks-syndicated “Those Weekend Golf Guys” joins the weekend lineup at KQV, Pittsburgh…..“Business Rockstars” is added to the program schedule at KTMS, Santa Barbara and KTVA, Oxnard/Ventura.
Iran Nuclear Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 9-13. The controversy over President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and the group of GOP senators who sent a letter to Iran contesting the president’s right to unilaterally make such deals was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week. Coming in at #2 was the probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email for State Department business. At #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects followed by the amnesty/immigration issue 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. View this week’s entire chart here.