Cumulus Media Re-Vamps Mornings at KGO and KSFO in San Francisco. Station air personality Nikki Medoro is being promoted from her role on KGO’s Chip Franklin show in afternoons to host of her own “The Morning Show with Nikki Medoro” on KGO, effective March 2. Medoro will be joined by station news pro Bret Burkhart. The new show takes over for the KSTE, Sacramento-based, syndicated “Armstrong & Getty” program that is moving over to mornings at sister news/talker KSFO. That daypart at KFSO opened up when Brian Sussman chose to retire from the station last month. Cumulus San Francisco operations manager Lee Hammer says, “Nikki has done a tremendous job working with Chip Franklin in afternoon drive, and she’s earned this opportunity to host mornings on KGO. Nikki and Bret will bring a fresh approach to the day’s news, both locally and nationally. They’ll also invite the Bay Area’s listeners to join the conversation and share their opinions. I’m also excited that Armstrong and Getty will be staying in our station family, just moving down the dial to KSFO. Joe and Jack are fantastic entertainers, super knowledgeable and they’re not afraid to share their opinions. They’ll be a great addition to the KSFO lineup.”
Bonnie Lucas to Retire from WHO-AM, Des Moines Morning Show. After serving at iHeartMedia’s heritage news/talk WHO-AM, Des Moines for the past 25 years, Bonnie Lucas – one half of the “Van and Bonnie in the Morning” show – will retire after the March 6 program. Lucas told listeners to Wednesday’s program that she’s been thinking about retirement since last fall. She said she’s looking forward to spending time with her spouse, doing some traveling, and not getting up at 2:30 am on weekdays. Lucas joined co-host (and station PD) Van Harden in the early 1990s after Connie Murad left the morning show co-host role.
Presidential Race, Wuhan Coronavirus, Roger Stone Sentencing, Antarctic Iceberg/Global Warming, and Trump Budget/Growing Deficit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12). The aftermath of the New Hampshire Democratic primary; the status of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact; the controversy over the sentencing phase of Trump attorney Roger Stone’s trial; the report of a large iceberg breaking off Antarctica and the related ongoing climate change debate; and the Trump administration’s fiscal 2021 budget and the U.S.’s growing deficit were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Former Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer to Host Newsmax TV Show. The latest addition to the Newsmax TV program lineup is “Spicer & Co.” – hosted by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer. The program will debut on March 3 at 6:00 pm ET from broadcast studios near the White House. Newsmax Media says Spicer “will lead an ensemble of Washington insiders, experts, journalists, and power brokers to analyze the day’s top headlines from the Beltway and the key news from the U.S. and the world.” Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Sean has been on the inside of how decisions are made in a way so few have. He was a success as White House press secretary because he connected to ordinary Americans.” Ruddy notes that Spicer’s press conference ratings were “off the charts, a phenomenon that hasn’t happened before or since.” Spicer comments, “We are going to offer viewers a unique perspective and insights into what’s really happening – who is up, who’s down – and most importantly how it’s going to affect their lives. I’ve had a front row seat to how Washington works at the highest levels – in the White House, Congress, the Pentagon, and K Street. We are going to invite our viewers into a conversation that is totally unique. We will ask the questions and cover the topics that everyone in America is thinking about, but no one is asking or talking about.”
MIW Radio Group Releases Results of 20th Annual Gender Analysis Study. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group is releasing the results of its 20th annual MIW Gender Analysis Study that analyzes the number of women in radio broadcasting rising to management ranks. The data specifically tracks the progress of female professionals holding general manager, sales manager, and program director positions. The study reveals that 19.5% of 2,189 stations in the study had women holding the general manager position in 2019, an increase of almost a half of percentage point from 2018. This number continues to show consistent growth from 2004, when the percentage of female general managers was only 14.9%. MIW says the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management as 33.1% of 3,715 stations had a woman sales manager in 2019. But, the study also concludes that the greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be in the area of program director. Women currently program only 11.62% of 1,304 stations in the study versus 10.6% last year. However, on a positive note, this is the first time this number has grown in 14 years. MIW national spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik says, “The MIW Gender Analysis Study is the impetus for the MIW’s mentoring programs that serve female professionals in all aspects of the radio industry. When the numbers on our annual analysis rise, as they did slightly this year, we work even harder to encourage and mentor our female colleagues who are striving for, and/or have achieved, management positions in radio.”
Joe Pags Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the hardest-working, fastest-rising stars in syndicated talk radio, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Syndicated by Compass Media Networks and seen on Newsmax TV, “The Joe Pags Show,” broadcasts live weekdays 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET and is carried on more than 125 radio stations across America. Plus, his weekend show, “The Weekend with Joe Pags” is carried on more than 200 stations. Pags is ranked 14th on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred. In a free-wheeling conversation that sounds like a chat between two friends from Long Island, Pags – the grandson of immigrant Italian bricklayers – discusses his blue-collar roots and their impact on his view of today’s hot issues. Harrison and Pags talk about politics, polarization, and the president as well as music, pop culture, and social media in the digital era. In addition to being a world-class talker, Pags is also a professional saxophone player and musician – skills that are utilized in his broadcasts that include satirical song parodies and occasional appearances playing the national anthem at sporting events. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Stigall Billboards Adorn Philly Roadways. Commuters in the Philadelphia market are likely to see billboards like the one above for Chris Stigall’s new morning drive show on Salem Media Group’s WNTP-AM, Philadelphia “AM 990 The Answer.” Stigall tells TALKERS magazine, “At a time radio companies are scaling back, I’m so excited to work for Salem Media who thinks enough of their people and their products to tell the community at large about them! It’s a true investment – not just in me and my show – but in radio as a whole. What a statement! Salem believes in what they’re doing, and they put their money where their mouths are! In this case, where my mouth is.”
Lunching with TALKERS Convention Videographer Art Vuolo. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (l) had lunch with “radio’s best friend,” legendary videographer Art Vuolo (r) yesterday (2/12) in Jupiter, Florida to discuss plans for the forthcoming 23rd annual TALKERS Convention set for New York on Friday June 5. Vuolo will again be contracted to produce the video recordings of the event which is destined to be another historic industry milestone. Harrison states, “We are honored to have a radio-savvy artist of Mr. Vuolo’s caliber in charge of preserving the priceless content of this conference for posterity.” Talkers 2020: The Rise of the Media Station is only open to members of the broadcasting industry, related fields and communications students. It is again expected to be an advance sellout and non-refundable registrations can only be obtained via telephone with credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Chicagoland radio personality Mark Zander is joining Good Karma Brands-operated sports talker WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000” as a part-time and weekend host. Zander was most recently program director at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX-FM and sports talk WNTA-AM in Rockford…..On-air pro Rob Carson is auditioning for the late morning gig at WTZA-AM/W271CV, Atlanta all this week. Station co-operators Will Regan and Jamie Chapman are leasing the signals from K&Z Broadcasting. They have already launched the station with Shannon Burke and Kara Stockton in morning drive, Mike Brooks in early afternoon, and Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson in afternoon drive…..FOX Sports Radio says it set a “new benchmark in January, reaching more than 13 million podcast listens – an increase of +88% over the previous year.” It adds that “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” podcast was the strongest performer, up +59% year-over-year. The FSR stream also experienced its best month ever in January, increasing +25% year-over-year. FSR is a division of Premiere Sports Network…..Entercom sports talk KRLD-FM, Dallas “105.3 The Fan” and the MLS’ FC Dallas agree to a deal in which the station will assist in producing soccer shows for the 2020 season. KRLD-FM will host the “The Luchi Gonzalez Show,” on Thursdays at 1:30 pm during the 2020 MLS regular season, offering exclusive insight from the FC Dallas head coach…..Motor Racing Network is “throwing the Green Flag” on its 50th season of NASCAR coverage with almost 30 hours of programming originating from the “World Center of Racing,” Daytona International Speedway from February 8-16. Commonly known as Daytona Speedweeks, MRN announcers and production crew are producing six race broadcasts, three editions of the signature program “NASCAR LIVE,” five separate NASCAR Cup Series practices, and qualifying for the “Great American Race.” MRN Daytona programming culminates with the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 16 that will be carried live on more than 400 radio station partners across the country.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s hot AC KRSK-FM, Portland “105.1 The Buzz,” Liz Luda and Mike Vezzola join as morning show co-hosts. At the same time, Jamie Tanchyk comes aboard as assistant program director and afternoon drive host. Prior to joining Entercom, Luda served as a morning show co-host and promotions director for Flinn Broadcasting in Memphis. Vezzola was previously an on-air personality at WODS-FM, Boston; WTIC-FM, Hartford; and WZMX-FM, Hartford. Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Kim Martinez says, “Building a strong on-air team is why Entercom Portland is the platinum standard for our listeners and advertisers. Liz and Mike’s fun and energetic chemistry coupled with Jamie’s exuberant on-air style and programming prowess cements ‘105.1 The Buzz’ as the go-to for young, active listeners in Portland.”
Jimmy deCastro to Exit WGN, Chicago President and GM Role. Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the scoop as Windy City radio management legend Jimmy deCastro confirms he’s exiting the Tribune-owned, standalone news/talker after three-and-a-half years leading the heritage station. Telling Feder he’s “done everything I can to respect and build on the legacy of this amazing place,” deCastro says, “now the time is right for me to go back and build something new.” Larry Wert is the president of broadcast media for Tribune and comments, “Jimmy brought his unique leadership, experience and passion to the job every single day, and it made WGN a better, more focused radio station both on and off the air. I am eternally grateful to him professionally and personally.” Read Feder’s piece here.
Brandmeier and Westwood One to Part Company. From the statement made by Jonathon Brandmeier on his website, this decision by syndicator Westwood One to put the wraps on their deal when it expires in early 2017 is okay by him. Brandmeier writes, “I completely agree with that decision. I truly believe this is the best move for all involved. It was only a matter of time, and there are no hard feelings…I met some good people at Westwood One, we picked up new listeners from across this great nation of Murica, and I realized what has always driven me in this business was missing: the spirit of JUST HAVIN’ FUN. It’s time for me to get back to that. We plan to honor our agreement and continue on the air until it’s officially over – or until they literally pull the plug. I have no idea what the future holds, but I’m as pumped as ever to create content for the people of earth.” Brandmeier’s show emanates from his home base at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago airing from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. There’s no word yet what the end of the syndication deal means for WLS-AM.
Dave Adams Appointed SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Tucson. Programmer Dave Adams takes on a new role with iHeartMedia, moving west to become SVP of programming for the company’s Tucson cluster that includes CHR KRQQ, hot AC KMIY “My 92.9,” hip hop KOHT “Hot 98.3,” country KYWD “97.1 The Bull,” news/talk KNST, talk KTZR, and Tejano KXEW. Adams most recently was serving as brand manager for classic hits KLOU, St. Louis. iHeartMedia EVP of programming Steve Geofferies states, “What a great hire for the Arizona region and the Tucson market. Experience, steady hand, and a history of success. I’m looking forward to getting Dave to Tucson.”
SB Nation Names New Morning Show. With the exit of Steve Czaban from the lead role on the morning drive show, SB Nation Radio promotes from within and announces the Monday (10/10) debut of “SB Nation AM with Linn, Murray and Solly” featuring Scott Linn, Tim Murray and Steve Solomon. The three are rejoining the network after spending six years on the Steve Czaban show. Murray also hosted his eponymous Sunday evening show on the network. SB Nation Radio (formerly Yahoo! Sports Radio) CEO David Gow states, “This group is a talented trio. They have long been integral to the success of our network and we are excited to give them their own show.” All three have ties to WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.” Linn served as an anchor and OM at the station, Murray is afternoon anchor and host of “DMV Game Time,” and Solomon hosts a weekly show dedicated to mixed martial arts on “ESPN 980.”
Odds & Sods. A new deal from Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment and the NHL’s New York Islanders put Islanders hockey on numerous radio signals. CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN-AM/FM is named a broadcast partner of the Islanders Radio Network with the broadcast of 30 games during the regular season on 660 AM and simulcast on 101.9 FM, starting with the team’s home opener on Oct. 16. Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” will join the network and broadcast 52 regular season games. Plus, Hofstra University-owned WRHU-FM, Hempstead will continue to simulcast each game throughout the regular season and playoffs as part of the Islanders Radio Network…..Morning shows from five of CBS RADIO’s Chicago station group will broadcasting live from Wrigley Field prior to that evening’s game one of the Chicago Cubs National League Division Series versus either the Giants or the Mets. Broadcasting will be WSCR’s Mully and Hanley show, WJMK’s Dave Fogel, WBBM-FM’s “The J Show,” WUSN’s Stylz and Roman, and WXRT’s Lin and Mary…..Sales pro Michael Weiss joins SiriusXM as senior advisor to advertising sales from his most recent position as president of sales for CBS RADIO.
The Presidential Race/VP Debate/Trump’s Taxes, Syria Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions, U.S., Immigration Policy, Wikileaks Letdown, Hurricane Matthew, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/4). The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the build-up to last night’s vice presidential debate, and the dominant chatter about Trump’s tax history; the state of the civil war in Syria and the tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the latter’s role in the violence; the immigration policy in the U.S.; the lack of any document drop from Wikileaks on the occasion of the organization’s 10th anniversary; Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti and heads for the U.S.; the Major League Baseball playoffs begin; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Standing Room Only in Charlotte. The latest sold-out stop on nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour was the Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte. Last night (10/4), Ramsey spoke to attendees about winning with money, getting out of debt and investing for the future. Best-selling author and financial expert (and Dave’s daughter) Rachel Cruze joined him on stage. Cruze’s most recent book is titled, Love Your Life, Not Theirs (Thomas Nelson 2016). Pictured here at the event is Ramsey (center) and, from Charlotte affiliate WBT “News Talk 1110,” Rick Feinblatt, SVP/market manager for Greater Media Charlotte (left), and Greater Media Charlotte sales manager Carol Poteat (right). Feinblatt states, “Dave Ramsey continues to have a great impact on the listeners of WBT as indicated by the sold out show in Charlotte. His daily interaction with the listeners proves that the Dave Ramsey show is a great complement to the powerful lineup here at ‘News Talk 1110 WBT.’”
Lotus to Buy KFWB-AM, Los Angeles for $11.2 Million. The former Los Angeles heritage news signal (more recently sports talk before the March 1, 2016 sale) KFWB has been airing a Bollywood music format since Universal Media Access acquired it officially just seven months ago for $8 million. Now, Lotus Communications is agreeing to buy the signal for $11.2 million. It’s unknown what Lotus’ format plans are for the station.