Dan Le Batard and Stugotz Sign Contract Extensions with ESPN. The inking of these new multi-year deals means the ESPN Radio-syndicated “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” and the television show “Highly Questionable” will continue for the foreseeable future. Le Batard (left) and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner (right) are cleared on 258 affiliate radio stations across the country. Le Batard’s father Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard appears with Dan Le Batard on the television program. As part of this deal, Le Batard will conduct six longform interviews each year that will live across multiple ESPN platforms, including TV and digital. Weiner will make appearances on “SportsCenter” and continue hosting and guesting on other ESPN Radio shows. ESPN SVP, audio and talent, Traug Keller says, “Dan and Stugotz have a chemistry and a viewpoint that is among the most unique in the business. They take what they do seriously, but not themselves, which bonds them with a growing group of loyal listeners. Dan’s sensibilities and intelligence combined with Stugotz’s incredible lack of either quality is a winning combination. I look forward to the stress of having to listen to the show in the years to come!”
RTDNA/Hofstra University Newsroom Survey: Newsroom Diversity. Based on a survey of radio and television stations conducted during the fourth quarter of 2017, the 2018 RTDNA/Hofstra University Survey was authored by Hofstra University emeritus distinguished professor of journalism Bob Papper. The radio portion includes valid responses from 415 radio news directors and general managers representing 1,110 radio stations. Some of the findings include: the percentage of people of color working in radio news slipped slightly in 2017 (compared to 2016) now comprising 11.3% of radio newsroom staffs; the percentage of news directors who are people of color dipped slightly from 6.2% to 5.9%; the percentage of newsroom staffs with women dropped nearly four points in the past year to 48.2%, while women fell from 36.1% of the radio news workforce to 34.3%. See the study here.
TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Fireside Chat Between Michael Harrison and Caroline Beasley. Today (6/28), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8. Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s fourth installment features the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley. This segment includes Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley. Yesterday’s post featured 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. Prior posts present opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan. In addition, KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivers the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduces Bearman. Also posted earlier this week: 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.
The 43rdAnnual Gracies Luncheon Takes Place in NYC. On Wednesday (6/27), the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation presented the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards at a luncheon at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. CNN’s Erica Hill led the program alongside presenters Pam Oliver of FOX Sports, WWPR, New York personality Angie Martinez, April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks and CNN, and Larry Mullins from Entercom’s all-news WINS, New York. Pictured at right are (from l-r): Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen, Angie Martinez, and WWPR program director Thea Mitchem. In the photo below are some of the Cumulus Media talent who were honored with Gracies. From left to right are: Westwood One president/Cumulus EVP Suzanne Grimes, WABC, New York personalityJoan Hamburg (honored for Outstanding Talk Show), WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning host Mary Walter (honored for Crisis Coverage), WABC host and political editor Rita Cosby (honored for Outstanding Talk Interview), WPLJ, New York personality Jayde Donovan (honored for Outstanding Co-Host), and Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner.
WOR’s Natalie Vacca Feted at Gracies. Also honored at the Gracies Luncheon in New York on Wednesday was WOR, New York morning show producer Natalie Vacca (Outstanding Local Radio Producer). Vacca is executive producer of the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” on the iHeartMedia news/talk station. Pictured above are (l-r): WOR APD Scott Lakefield, morning drive news producer Terry Trahim, Berman, Vacca, news director and morning drive news anchor Joe Bartlett, and program director Tom Cuddy.
TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” promotes John Kesler to chief operating officer for the program. Kesler has been serving as general manager for the show that is distributed to more than 100 affiliates via Westwood One. He joined the show in 2016 after serving with Emmis Communications’ WIBC, Indianapolis for almost 20 years…..Beginning today (6/28), Big 12 Conference fans have a new avenue of insight into all things Big 12 with the new “The Big 12 Podcast” on PodcastOne. Sports radio pro Chuck Cooperstein hosts the weekly podcast and provides listeners with a unique perspective of the Big 12 and its personalities. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby says, “We are excited to begin a partnership with PodcastOne as we continue to amplify the Conference brand. There are a number of exciting things going on in the Big 12 and we look forward to sharing these with our followers on a regular basis.”…..Also from PodcastOne, “Don’t Be Tardy” reality star Kim Zolciak-Biermann debuts her own podcast. She says, “I am so excited to be able to share this podcast with my fans and followers! It will be full of positivity, fun, life coaching, parenting struggles and advice, beauty and fashion advice, and so much more. It’s me, unedited and unfiltered! You definitely don’t want to miss this!”…..Westwood One launches a special podcast series hosted by publisher Judith Regan titled, “My Side of the Story With Judith Regan,” on the Westwood One Podcast Network. The program “features today’s newsmakers, trendsetters, cultural influencers, and troublemakers telling their side of the story, offering new insight into the issues that are the backdrop of American culture in 2018.” All 11 episodes of the show are available now…..Midnight Entertainment, LLC announces five new affiliates for the weekly, nationally syndicated program, “Geek Universe with Jim Yelton.” The program delves into the world of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres across movies, television, games and more. New affiliates include: KTRS, St. Louis; KCAA, Loma Linda, California; KMBZ-FM, Kansas City; KFRU, Columbia, Missouri; and KLIK, Jefferson City, Missouri. The show launched into national radio syndication in 2015.
Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire, SCOTUS Public Unions Decision, Tuesday’s Primary Results, Illegal Immigration Policy, Putin-Trump Meeting, Harassment of Administration Officials, Joe Jackson Dies, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/27). Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement; the Supreme Court’s ruling against mandatory contributions to public sector unions; the results of Tuesday’s primary elections; the U.S.’s illegal immigration policies; the planned meeting between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ call for harassment of administration officials in public; Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson dies; 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. Rock programmer Jacent Jackson is named program director for Cumulus Media’s heritage triple A KFOG, San Francisco and KFFG, San Jose. Jackson was previously PD at crosstown alternative KITS-FM. Speaking about his new gig, Jackson says, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to continue my broadcasting career here in the Bay Area with Cumulus. KFOG has some incredible talent between ‘The Woody Show’ in mornings and No Name in the afternoons. I can’t wait to join the fun, or as Woody would say it, #joinfun. Much, much gratitude to Doug Harvill, Troy Hanson, Mike McVay, Dave Milner, and the team at Cumulus for this incredible opportunity.”…..In the Columbus market, air personality Bobby Mitchell (left) is named new co-host of the morning show on Saga Communications’ adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95.” Mitchell will work alongside current morning personality Stacy McKay (right). Mitchell says, “I feel like the guy who was offered a ride on a rocket ship! I don’t care where it’s going – I’m just getting on! To be a part of this heritage radio station, with its incredible staff, and to live and raise my family in Columbus is very exciting.”…..Entercom Portland names Gary Sommer general sales manager for the cluster that includes seven music radio brands and two sports talk outlets. He was most recently with SagaCity Media in Portland…..SiriusXM is presenting an exclusive, invitation-only performance by The Killers on July 28 at The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, New York. SiriusXM president and CCO Scott Greenstein says, “We’ve loved collaborating with The Killers in the past and couldn’t be more thrilled that during their summer tour filled with major music festivals, The Killers are teaming up with SiriusXM for an intimate event at The Stephen Talkhouse. Our subscribers nationwide will hear a special show performed just for them from this wildly popular band.”
By Holland Cooke
For radio, “the camera” is iPhone; and nobody knows that better than WTOP, Washington reporter Neal Augenstein, a true digital newsgathering pioneer. His first iPhone is in the Newseum!
I left WTOP in 1991 and Neal got there in 1997, so he was amused to hear that, when I did the expense budget there way-back-when, we had a line item for batteries for cassette recorders. And our newsroom’s one portable phone was the size and shape of a lunchbox. And despite how expensive it was to make a call on that contraption, I couldn’t resist, in 1985, when – as I accompanied one of our reporters — I called my parents just to tell ‘em I was calling from the White House lawn.
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, R.I. — The turning point in my own career came in 1974, when WPRO, Providence program director Jay Clark hired me…just so I’d stop calling. Ask him.
Like many of today’s other news/talk AMs, WPRO was then Top 40, and I did 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. And it was a real street fight. At one point back then, five of the stations in market #29 — two of them new FMs – were playing the same songs. All staffed by local DJs 24/7.
“So keep it moving,” Jay winked. Meaning: DO be a personality, but try to get it done over the music whenever possible. Segue THEN talk, so channel surfers didn’t infer talk-over-the-fade-at-the-end-of-the-song as here-come-commercials. ‘Made sense.
And I noticed that the big guys making the big money in big markets took only nine seconds to say what minor league DJs took 19 seconds to spit-out. So we would concoct (or steal) succinct DJ quips that’d prompt a listener chuckle, and, hopefully, make a deposit in the diary keeper’s memory bank. Introducing the Elton John song as “Someone Shaved My Wife Tonight” was win-win kitsch. Those who got it got it; and those who didn’t heard non-stop music.
By Kevin Casey
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — It’s understood by anyone in the radio business that the big news stories of the day – whether they are local or national stories – generate the topics that drive the conversation on news/talk radio. But what are the roles of the newsroom, the reporter and the regular newscasts on today’s news/talk stations? The move of all-news to FM signals, the development of more national and regional radio news products and the addition of newswheel programs to some of the country’s most respected talk stations seem to indicate radio news has received a shot in the arm. But the decimation of many radio news departments that occurred in conjunction with consolidation still affects many radio operations and raises questions about the relevance of news elements to the successful operation of the modern news/talk station.