Cox Enterprises’ Deal with Apollo Global Management Closes. According to Jessica Saunders’ report in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Cox Enterprises’ sale of its radio, TV, Ohio print brands, and affiliated businesses to an Apollo Global Management-controlled company has closed. The new company goes by an old name – Cox Media Group – and Cox Enterprises maintains a minority stake in the new firm. The company is led by president and CEO Kim Guthrie and Bill Hendrich is EVP of radio. CMG now consists of 13 television stations in 10 markets; 54 radio stations in 10 markets; three Ohio newspapers, the CoxReps TV sales division; digital ad and OTT products and services segment Gamut; and the Northwest Broadcasting 20 TV station group.
Wilson Re-Ups with Entercom’s ‘Ticket’ in Miami. South Florida sports talk host Amber Wilson signs a multiyear contract extension to continue co-hosting the midday show on Entercom’s WAXY, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket.” Wilson co-hosts the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm “Zaslow & Amber” show with Jonathan Zaslow. She joined the station in 2016 after serving with CBS Television in Miami and SNY in New York. She says, “I’m very fortunate to have a job that I enjoy doing every single day and I’m thrilled to be continuing my career at Entercom. It is an honor that [program director] Len Weiner and [SVP/market manager] Keriann Worley continue to trust me to entertain South Florida with sports talk.”
Matthew Jarecki Named PM Drive Host at ‘FOX Sports 910’ in Phoenix. At iHeartMedia’s Phoenix sports talker KGME-AM “FOX Sports 910,” Matthew Jarecki is named host of the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show. Jarecki comes to KGME from his most recent position with Northern Arizona University’s KLJX-LP, Flagstaff. He also handled play-by-play and color analyst work for Lumberjacks athletics. KGME program director Aaron Trimmer says, “Matthew is a future superstar in the sport talk world. His perspective and unique commentary on sports make him the perfect fit to lead afternoon drive on ‘FOX Sports 910.’ We are thrilled to have him join our lineup.” KGME briefly hired Dan Sileo to host afternoons, but he lasted just a week in the role in early September after the Phoenix Coyotes hockey club objected to Sileo’s hiring based on some of his controversial social media posts. KGME is the flagship for Coyotes play-by-play.
Nielsen: News/Talk Top 6+ Format in PPM Markets This Year. The data from Nielsen Audio’s year-end tally of the most-listened-to formats in radio in its PPM markets shows news/talk is #1 in the 6+ demographic (9.5% weekly AQH share). In the 25-54 demo, news/talk ranked #4 (6.7%), behind only AC (7.7%), CHR (7.6%), and country (6.8%). However, there is an asterisk of sorts associated with these figures as Nielsen includes non-commercial, public radio news/talk in its definition of the format. Public news/talk skews younger than commercial news/talk. Sports talk ranked #9 in the 6+ demo and #8 in the 25-54 demo. Nielsen used an average of data from the January through November PPM surveys.
Magnum to Acquire Three Wisconsin Signals from NRG Media. The deal between Wisconsin’s Magnum Communications and Iowa-based NRG Media will transfer news/talk WFAW-AM and adult contemporary WSJC-FM in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, along with classic hits WKCH, Whitewater, Wisconsin to Magnum. NRG president and CEO Mary Quass says, “We have been fortunate to have worked with the great people at the stations in Fort Atkinson for many years. The dedicated broadcasters at the stations will continue to provide the Fort Atkinson community with great local radio and know they will contribute to the success of Magnum Communications going forward.” Magnum chief Dave Magnum adds, “I’m a sentimental person so two aspects of these acquisitions really struck me. First, my maternal grandmother grew up on a Fort Atkinson farm. My Mom and her remaining siblings get together at Lake Ripley each summer in her honor. Second, we’re again getting to work with NRG. Back in the 90s, my late wife Lynn had the chance to speak with Mary Quass several times at conventions. She considered Mary a role model. In 2007, five years after Lynn passed, I acquired three stations from NRG. That transaction went as smooth as silk. We look forward to the same outcome with the acquisitions of WFAW, WSJY and WKCH.” KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.
KSCO, Santa Cruz Initiates Its Own ‘Person of the Year.’ On the heels of the controversy over youthful Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg being named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” Michael Zwerling-owned news/talk KSCO, Santa Cruz is creating its own “Person of the Year” award and naming President Donald Trump for the past four years. Zwerling says, “I empathize with the president’s frustration of not being named Time magazine’s person of the year. After all, the designation does not necessarily indicate an endorsement of its recipient’s policies – just acknowledgement that they have made the biggest impact on the news. Clearly, Donald Trump has been the most influential person in the news since 2016. And that has not stopped.” See all four “Person of the Year” covers here.
Impeachment, IG FBI Report Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade Negotiations, Financial Markets Activity, Fiat Chrysler-Peugeot Merger Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17). The impeachment against President Donald Trump; the aftermath of the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s use of the secret FISA court; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China; the record high Dow and activity in the world’s financial markets; and the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot to make the third largest auto firm were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. Appearing on fubosportsnetwork.com’s “Call It A Night” program with host Julie Stewart-Binks, WFAN, New York and Radio.com sports talk personality Mike Francesa says he’ll delve into politics during his daily, one-hour Radio.com show. Asked why, Francesa said, “There’s not a show, there’s no political coverage anywhere that is unbiased. It’s all biased. It’s either left or right. It is so significantly left or right. Give me a network, I’ll tell you – FOX is right, MSNBC is left. Everybody has a bias. Everybody is one or the other, most on the left, there are some rights. There’s nothing down the middle.” Francesa’s Radio.com show will stream from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET prior to his half-hour WFAN program airing at 6:00 pm ET…..Talk radio pro Phil Valentine and his son Campbell Valentine are celebrating the fact that their podcast “The PodGOATs” has been named one of the Top 10 History Podcasts for 2019 by Podbean – a global podcast hosting site. “The PodGOATs” is produced by Comworld Media. Phil Valentine says, “I’m in shock, to be honest with you. Campbell and I have worked really hard this year on this podcast. We bill it as ‘The History of Everything,’ which is a lofty goal. We’re closing in on episode 100 and we have over 360,000 downloads, so we’re getting’ there.” Comworld Media will launch two more Phil Valentine podcasts in 2020…..Westwood One adds “Esports 30 with Kevin Knocke” to its Westwood One Podcast Network. The show is an original podcast covering esports news and in-depth interviews with industry personalities, celebrities, athletes, influencers, and enthusiasts. Knocke says, “Esports is now big enough that it can’t rely on the sunshine and rainbows perspective that it’s the ‘next big thing’ so we need to understand how to develop a sustainable infrastructure for the long term. I’ll be inviting on guests with a broad viewpoint of the industry as a whole as well as game-specific experts who are willing to take an honest look at their game and reflect on improvements needed.”…..Longtime New York City radio news pro Pat Farnack retires from Entercom’s WCBS-AM “Newsradio 880.” Farnack also served with KYW-AM and KYW-TV in Philadelphia as well as WWDB-FM, Philly during her career. She joined WCBS-AM in December 2000. The WCBS website notes that Farnack also “spent time at WNBC in New York delivering news in the days of Don Imus and Howard Stern and even did a several-month stint as traffic reporter in the flying ‘N’ copter.”…..iHeartMedia and NostalgiaCon, LLC are working together to produce the NostalgiaCon Miami ‘80s pop culture convention on April 25-26 at the MANA Convention Center in Miami’s Wynwood arts district. iHeartMedia’s participation includes sponsorship collaborations for branded activations, VIP fan experiences, contests, giveaways, and grassroots promotions…..Pictured below are actors Jamie Foxx (left) and Michael B. Jordan (center) with SiriusXM Urban View host Mike Muse (right) chatting before a live audience at SiriusXM studios in New York. Foxx and Jordan visited on a promotion tour for their new film, Just Mercy, hitting theaters on Christmas Day. Photo: Cindy Ord/ Getty Images for SiriusXM.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer and air personality Adam “Kash” Kashner moves from Cumulus Media’s Indianapolis cluster where he was APD at country WFMS-FM to Pensacola where he’s the new program director for country radio station WXBM-FM “NASH 102.7 FM.” At the same time, Cumulus adds APD stripes to current WXBM afternoon host Matt Fisher. Cumulus Pensacola VP and market manager Gary Mertins says, “Kash is such an up-and-coming programming talent within Cumulus and we’re so proud to have him join us in Pensacola. He’s really done some great things and proven himself in Indianapolis. WXBM is a heritage country station and we know that we’ve found the right person in Kash to lead it to further greatness.”…..Air personality Amanda Valentine is leaving her radio gig at Hubbard Broadcasting’s country WUBE, Cincinnati “B105” to work full time on her fitness career. Valentine was co-host of the afternoon show with Jesse Tack, who continues the show solo. Valentine noted on her Facebook page: “Health and fitness is a huge passion of mine. After going through a significant weight loss journey myself, helping others on their own journeys fills my heart in ways I can’t even describe. So, I’ve made the decision to follow my heart and devote my time and energy into helping as many people as possible discover just how life changing a healthy lifestyle can be.”…..Milwaukee non-commercial triple A WYMS-FM “88Nine” bestowed honors on the winners of its 2019 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards last Saturday (12/14). Winners of the awards covered a wide swath of musical genres. WYMS-FM’s 12th annual music awards were based on 6,278 votes online by area music fans and selections of ‘88Nine’ music staff and local music writers. Station program director Jordan Lee says, “This year’s awards reflect the strong avant-garde sound that is developing here in Milwaukee. It’s really hard to put the music of Klassik, SistaStrings, or Browns Crew in a genre box. These new sounds are defining the sound of our city in an exciting and inspiring way.”