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Michael Grey Returns to WBBL, Grand Rapids. The Cumulus Media-owned sports talk station says popular Grand Rapids radio personality Michael Grey returns to the morning show daypart with new co-host Ryan Schuiling. Grey co-hosted mornings on WBBL, Grand Rapids from 2009 through 2011 with Bret Bakita. He’s also worked at KXSP, Omaha and KIRO, Seattle. WBBL program director Dave Jaconette says, “We are thrilled to have Michael Grey back on 107.3 WBBL. After successful stints in Omaha and Seattle, Michael is back to talk with fans about the teams he loves. And I’m very happy that Ryan Schuiling will be joining him on what will be one of West Michigan’s most exciting sports talk shows.”
ESPN Radio Reports Increased Streaming Numbers. Referring to second quarter 2015 streaming data, ESPN Radio Network announces it accrued more than 2.5 billion total listening minutes compared to the same period in 2014. That’s an increase of 31%. The sports giant also reports that its on-demand audio downloads were up 27% over last year with more than 90 million downloads. ESPN SVP, production business divisions Traug Keller says, “Sports fans consume audio across multiple platforms and the compelling content that ESPN Audio offers through streaming and podcasts is making an impact on listening.”
Philly Sports Talk Wars Invade Print Turf. The hand-grenade lobbing between CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM and Greater Media’s WPEN-FM in Philadelphia has moved to the print media with WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” afternoon host Mike Missanelli writing a column for Philly Mag in which he lambastes afternoon host Josh Innes for his on-air style, former host Tony Bruno for similar reasons and suggests the former duo’s ratings successes against his show are not all they seem. According to a story at Philly.com, Innes lashed back at Missanelli on his radio show saying the piece was “basically the last ramblings of a desperate man who’s trying to politic his way into the hearts of a few people by basically reading comment sections and seeing what appeals to meatballs.” Read the Philly.com coverage of the feud here.
Nielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of June 2015 PPM Data. The fourth of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The June 2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17. You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
Odds & Sods. Another personnel move in Philly sports talk as Pat Gallen leaves Greater Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” to join CBS’ KYW-TV as sports anchor. Gallen served with WPEN-FM as a sports anchor and reporter. His move to KYW-TV comes just a week after former NFL great Beasley Reece was let go from his sports anchor post at the station…..After nine years with NAB – the last four as EVP of government relations – Kelly Cole announces she’s leaving the organization to open her own advocacy firm. In an email to NAB’s board of directors, Cole said, in part, “Over nine years, I’ve seen NAB make amazing strides. Gordon Smith is a tremendous leader. Our relationships with state associations are at an all-time high, and we have EVPs in every department who work cohesively and collaboratively. NAB is viewed with respect on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, and our government relations team is the strongest it has ever been during my time at NAB. It has been an absolute privilege to be a member of this amazing team, to be a part of NAB history, and to work with all of you.”…..Matt Martinez moves from his most recent position with NPR as senior producer to Pacific Public Media-owned non-com KPLU, Seattle where he’ll serve as director of content…..KNTK, Lincoln, Nebraska sports talk personality Tom Stephens is recovering after suffering a heart attack on June 26. Stephens co-hosts the midday show with John Gaskins on the Home Field Communications station. According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, the 51-year-old is undergoing speech and occupational therapy and is anxious to get back on the air.
Eric Metaxas at Radio City Music Hall. Author and Salem Radio Network talk host Eric Metaxas appears here on the big screen in Times Square on Friday (7/10) as the guest speaker at evangelist Luis Palau’s “City Fest” at Radio City Music Hall. Metaxas’ address was beamed out to the crowd in Times Square. Palau hosted an event the next evening in Central Park that drew some 60,000 attendees.