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Thursday, February 10, 2022

| February 10, 2022

WRVA, Richmond Talk Mainstay Jeff Katz is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the elite local hosts in talk radio, Jeff Katz – heard 3:00-6:00 pm daily on WRVA, Richmond – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Katz has been a radio talk show host since the early 1990s on major stations in Boston, Hartford, Charlotte, Philadelphia and currently in Richmond since 2013. He grew up in Philadelphia and was aiming for a career as an attorney until his father suffered a heart attack that set him on a different path so that he could help support his family. Katz graduated at the top of his police academy class and then served as a police officer in Philadelphia until he traded in his badge for a microphone and started his broadcasting odyssey. He’s a fan favorite in Richmond and his program has repeatedly been chosen as the best afternoon radio show by the readers of Richmond Magazine and STYLE Weekly. In 2020, the Richmond Times-Dispatch named Katz the “Best Afternoon Radio Show” in Central Virginia. Over the years, Jeff has volunteered thousands of hours to help members of the local community with a special focus on law enforcement officers and disabled children. He and his wife are parents of a disabled child and that experience has had a tremendous impact on their lives and on Katz’s work. Michael Harrison describes Katz as “one of talk radio’s true humanitarians and an inspirational role model for us all.” President Trump honored Katz by presenting him with the President’s Award for Volunteer Service. In addition, FBI Director Christopher Wray honored him as the recipient of The Director’s Community Leadership Award for 2019. Don’t miss this fascinating conversation in which Harrison and Katz discuss the state of the radio business, politics, parenting, law enforcement and the art of “keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Ramsey Solutions Presents ‘Money & Marriage’ Livestream Event. Ahead of Valentine’s Day on Monday, Ramsey Solutions is presenting a livestream event called “Money & Marriage.” The press release says, “Marriage isn’t for the faint of heart. Whether it’s lack of communication, financial stress or a difference in parenting, marital strain is inevitable. But Ramsey Solutions wants to equip couples with the tools to build a stronger relationship.” The Friday 7:00 pm ET event will feature Rachel Cruze and mental health expert Dr. John Delony “for an evening of laughter and intentional conversation. Couples can enjoy this date night from home, all while covering topics ranging from fear avoidance to the importance of practicing connection.” Cruze says, “What you have to understand, first and foremost: it’s nearly impossible to win with money when you’re not on the same page as your spouse. Coming together practically and emotionally not only unifies you but gets you to your goals faster.” Tickets for the event can be had here.

Richardson and Gallant to Replace Charlie Pallilo at KFNC-FM, Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s Matt Young reports that Gow Media is naming Vanessa Richardson and Paul Gallant hosts of the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on sports talk KFNC-FM. This comes a day after longtime market sports personality Charlie Pallilo announced he is no longer with the station. Richardson is a former KPRC-TV sports anchor and reporter and Gallant previously served as a host at iHeartMedia’s crosstown KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610.” Richardson will be the only woman working in sports radio in Houston. She says, “I’ve wanted to host a show for a long time and I’m SO excited to do that on ESPN radio in Houston.”

Tee Gentry and Beasley Announce Renewal Deal. Programming pro Tee Gentry and Beasley Media Group announce they have signed a multiyear renewal deal for Gentry to continue with the company. Gentry, who has been with the company for the past 26 years, currently serves as Beasley’s vice president of brand strategies and regional operations manager of its Augusta, Georgia and Fayetteville, North Carolina radio clusters. Beasley chief content officer Justin Chase says, “Tee is one of the most brilliant programmers that I’ve had the opportunity to work with. During his many years with the company in markets like Augusta, Fayetteville, and Tampa, he’s only had success. We’re lucky to lock Tee in for another multiyear deal!” Gentry says, “It’s an absolute privilege to work with [regional VP] Kent Dunn and the incredible people in Augusta and Fayetteville. They are what local radio is all about! I look forward to continuing to be a part of the Beasley Media Group family for years to come.”

Salem Radio Network’s Larry Elder Featured in Newsweek Feature Story. The February 18 issue of Newsweek features the cover story, “The Rise of Black Conservatives: Will the GOP’s Bet Pay Off?” that includes Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder, among other Black conservatives such as media figure Candace Owens, Virginia Lt. Governor Winsome Sears, and Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker. Elder, who was the highest vote-getter in the recent recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom, is quoted in the piece saying, “Donald Trump, to a greater degree than any Republican presidential candidate that I’ve seen, went to the inner city and tried to get Black votes. The message is this: Don’t act as if Black people cannot be convinced. They can be. Don’t condescend. Tell the truth. Talk about the issues, talk about how these issues benefit you.” Elder is also quoted saying the GOP needs to continue to work to attract Black voters. “Do I think that the Republican Party has done a poor job of marketing itself to Black voters? I do. They have written off Black people or they’ve assumed they’re going to vote for the Democratic Party.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk legend Chris “Mad Dog” Russo – heard nationally on SiriusXM Radio – will again join ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim on the “First Take” program on Wednesday February 16. ESPN says Russo will then return for weekly appearances every Wednesday beginning March 2. In January, Russo and Smith debated Barry Bonds’ Hall of Fame campaign and the episode turned out to be the show’s most-watched episode ever. ESPN EVP and executive editor Norby Williamson says, “We couldn’t be more excited to add another marquee name in Chris “Mad Dog” Russo to our weekly rotating lineup and further build this momentum going forward, providing viewers with the best possible debates, topics and content.”…..Cumulus Media and DCP Entertainment announce that the new season of DCP’s podcast “democracy-ish” on the Cumulus Podcast Network will feature Wajahat “Waj” Ali  as the new co-host alongside veteran host Danielle Moodie. Cumulus says, “The podcast hosts aim to keep it real, blunt, and entertaining as they discuss how to achieve a multiracial democracy, cover all the ground left behind by mainstream media, and seek to make sense of the nonsense.”…..Award-winning reporter Nate Hegyi joins New Hampshire Public Radio as host and senior producer of “Outside/In,” the program that delves into the natural world and how we use it. Hegyi most recently worked as a reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a consortium of NPR member stations covering the region. NHPR president and CEO Jim Schachter says, “‘Outside/In’ is well on its way to becoming a leading national source of engaging, empowering environmental journalism. With Nate as host, the show can build a community of people across the United States and beyond who care deeply about the natural world and humankind’s responsibility for it.”…..WMFE and WMFV, the NPR affiliates serving the Orlando area and nine counties across Central Florida, name longtime public media journalist and consultant Judith Smelser president and general manager. Smelser has served as WMFE/WMFV’s interim president and general manager since September 2021 and has a long history with the station as an award-winning reporter from 2004-2007, and then news director until 2011, before she was recruited away by Colorado Public Radio in Denver.

COVID-19/Freedom Convoy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Inflation, Cheney-Kinzinger Censure, Ukraine Tensions, Social Media & Cancel Culture, Beijing Olympics, and Super Bowl LVI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/9). The rate of COVID-29 cases in the U.S., plans to pull back mask mandates in numerous states, and the Canadian truckers’ Freedom Convoy; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the U.S. is set to record the highest rate of inflation in 40 years; the GOP’s internal squabble over the RNC’s intent to censure Senators Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for criticizing Trump’s January 6 actions; the diplomatic tensions between Russia and the West over the Russian military presence at the Ukraine border; the politics of social media platform rules and Spotify’s tightrope walk over Joe Rogan’s popular podcast and its critics; the controversies at the Beijing Winter Olympics; and the buildup to Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

| September 1, 2021

KIRO-AM, Seattle Launches Mike Salk Morning Show. Seattle sports talk outlet KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” announces the launch of “The Mike Salk Show” that takes over the morning drive daypart on September 7. The move ousts the “Danny & Gallant” show hosted by Danny O’Neill and Paul Gallant. Salk is the station’s former program director. His show will air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am and the “Jake & Stacy” show hosted by Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost adds an hour, starting at 10:00 am and airing until 2:00 pm. Bonneville says, “‘The Mike Salk Show’ will regularly feature influential and notable voices, past and current, within the Seattle sports landscape such as Jerry Dipoto, Scott Servais, Pete Carroll, Matt Hasselbeck, Brock Huard, Shannon Drayer, Michael Bumpus, and many more.” KIRO-AM program director Kyle Brown comments, “We’re excited and fortunate to be able to add such a talented host back into our daily lineup. Mike is a passionate, opinionated broadcaster with long-standing connections to Seattle’s teams and fans. With daily appearances from Brock Huard and John Clayton and weekly interviews with Pete Carroll, Matt Hasselbeck and Jerry Dipoto, this show will be a can’t-miss destination for sports fans in the region.” Salk is also co-host of the “Brock & Salk” podcast with Brock Huard.  The “Brock & Salk Show” aired in various dayparts on “710 ESPN Seattle” from 2009-2019 and continues exclusively as a weekly podcast. For the new show, Salk will be joined by executive producer and on-air contributor Justin Barnes and producer Maura Dooley.

Michigan Sports Network Hosts Move to ‘The Game.’ A report at MLive.com says two of the Michigan Sports Network’s sports talk radio programs moved to a new flagship station – iHeartMedia’s WMAX-FM, Grand Rapids “The Game 96.1.” “The Huge Show” featuring Bill Simonson and “X’s & Bro’s” with Anthony Bellino moved to “The Game 96.1” from Cumulus Media’s sports talk WJRW-AM/W291DJ this week. Simonson says in a statement, “The move to 96.1 means that I get back to reaching a wider audience on the FM dial. It’s good for all the listeners in West Michigan, our marketing partners based in West Michigan, the local charitable organizations we support and the community. The show hasn’t changed since I came on the air September 23, 2001, and I’ll always offer my Huge opinions on local, state, national and world-wide topics.”

Orlando Franklin Leaves KKFN, Denver to Join 49ers Coaching Staff. Former Denver Broncos offensive lineman Orlando “Big O” Franklin is leaving Bonneville’s KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” to take a coaching position with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. Denver TV station KUSA reports Franklin told his audience that he’s leaving the late morning show he’s been co-hosting with Sandy Clough for the past two years. Franklin said, “My coaching internship with the 49ers was a tremendous experience, and I was honored that Coach Shanahan offered me the opportunity to continue with the team this season. While it’s bittersweet leaving my radio show here on ‘The Fan,’ the chance to continue learning from Coach Shanahan and working closely with my father-in-law Bobby Turner was one I just couldn’t pass up.”

G-Networks Responds to Wolkoff Suit; Requests Complaint Be Dismissed. In a 12-page response to Danno and Laura Wolkoff’s breach of contract suit against it, G-Networks LLC basically says it stands by its actions when it terminated the Wolkoffs from their positions and accused them of costing the business some $1.8 million in damages due to “gross negligence” and “gross incompetence” in the performance of their duties as chief development officer and VP of business operations, respectively. The Wolkoffs sold their company Envision Networks to then-Sun Broadcast Group and entered into employment agreements to serve in the positions noted above. The Wolkoffs say in their complaint that they are owed $2.1 million based on the deal to sell Envision and their employment contracts. G-Networks is asking that the complaint be dismissed with prejudice and that the Wolkoffs be ordered to pay all costs, expenses and attorney’s fees.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Todd Starnes delivered a speech at the recent Donald Trump rally in Alabama. The former president also appeared on Starnes’ radio program on Monday (8/30) and made news by announcing that “he’s heading to Iowa,” hinting that he’s already considering a run for president in 2024…..Audacy Buffalo announces multi-year radio broadcast contract extensions with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. As part of the partnership sports talk WGR-AM will continue as the flagship radio station for the Bills and Sabres, airing all pre-season, regular and post-season games for both teams. Audacy Buffalo SVP and market manager Tim Holly says, “We’re delighted to extend our partnerships with the Bills and Sabres to continue delivering premier gameday and supporting content. These partnerships will allow WGR 550 to continue to serve as the home for everything fans need to stay up to date surrounding these two iconic franchises and we look forward to entertaining and informing our listeners throughout both teams’ seasons.” WGR 550 will kick off its Bills gameday broadcasts with three pregame shows, “Breakfast with the Bills Fantasy Style,” “Bills Game Day,” “Countdown to Kickoff,” and wrap up with two postgame shows “Bills Network Postgame Show” and “The Overtime Show.” In addition to gameday content, the station will air “Buffalo Bills Football Monday” and “Football Friday,” which will feature team-focused content with special guests. Morning show “Howard and Jeremy” will welcome Bills play-by-play announcer John Murphy on Monday and Friday mornings and Bills head coach Sean McDermott each Friday morning. Afternoon show “Schopp & Bulldog” will speak with former Bills center Eric Wood every Monday and professional football writer John Clayton every Thursday. WGR 550 will also air pregame and postgame shows for its Sabres gameday broadcasts. “Howard and Jeremy” will welcome head coach Don Granato each Tuesday morning. “Schopp and Bulldog” will speak with Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams each month…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio program hosted by Chris Hill adds new affiliate New Hampshire Family Radio’s WKXL-AM/W280EC, Concord to its roster of stations…..Pictured below donating blood is GCN-syndicated talk radio host Dr. Daliah Wachs. Regular donating of blood – as well as the promotion of National Blood Donation Day (Sept. 4) and National Blood Donation Week (Sept. 1-7) – is something Dr. Wachs is passionate about and she encourages her fellow talk hosts to use their platforms to stress the importance of keeping our nation’s blood banks stocked.

Afghanistan Withdrawal, COVID-19, Ida Aftermath, California Wildfires, Texas Abortion Law, January 6 Investigation, and Jeopardy’s Mike Richards Fired Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/31). The criticism of President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan; the rate of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., states dealing with full ICUs, and mask & vaccine mandates; the Caldor wildfire threatens the California resort town of Lake Tahoe; the Texas law outlawing abortion after six weeks goes into effect; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens telecom companies that comply with the January 6 committee’s request for phone records; and Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards is fired were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, September 27, 2019

| September 27, 2019

The WWL, New Orleans-Seth Dunlap Case Gets More Bizarre; Station Accuses Host of Extortion.  According to coverage of this story in the Times-Picayune, the reason Entercom went from an internal investigation of the anti-gay slur tweet against sports talk host Seth Dunlap to turning it over to the police (as TALKERS reported yesterday), is because it believes Dunlap himself sent the text and is attempting to extort $1.85 million out of the company.  The New Orleans police department says WWL believes the tweet was sent from Dunlap’s cell phone.  The police report also notes that the station is accusing Dunlap of threatening to go “scorched earth” over the matter and is demanding $1.85 million in order to get out of personal financial trouble.  The station adds that it has been receiving letters regarding wage garnishment for Dunlap as creditors attempt to collect for unpaid credit card bills and personal loans.  The police are currently working to corroborate WWL’s conclusions.  Right now, they are calling it a possible extortion case.  Dunlap’s lawyer, Megan Kiefer, says Dunlap didn’t have access to the station’s Twitter account and that the station is “attempting to blame the victim of its own anti-LGBT culture.”

New KIRO-AM, Seattle Program Schedule Unveiled. As a result of the semi-retirement of longtime KIRO-AM personality Dave “The Groz” Grosby and the transition of the “Brock & Salk” morning show to a podcast, Bonneville’s sports talk KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” announces its new lineup, effective Monday (9/30).  First, in afternoon drive, Bob Stelton moves from the early afternoon show to afternoon drive with Dave Wyman and Jim Moore for the “Bob, Dave and Moore” show.  Stelton’s departure from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show results in Tom Wassell being joined in the daypart by Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps for the “Tom, Jake and Stacy” show.  Rost is a Seahawks insider who has served as a writer and editor with 710Sports.com and host with KIRO-AM. Heaps played quarterback at BYU, Kansas and Miami.  He had pro stints with the Jets and Seahawks and joined the station in 2018.  That show will be produced by current “Brock & Salk” producer Kyle Brown.  Taking over the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show is the “Danny and Gallant” program, featuring Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant.  O’Neil moves from his current afternoon drive role on the “Danny, Dave and Moore” show and Paul Gallant arrives from Houston where he’d most recently been hosting mornings at Entercom’s KILT-AM.  Jessamyn McIntyre will produce the “Danny and Gallant” program.  Mike Salk leaves his daily show to focus on his program director role with the station but, as noted above, he and Brock Huard will produce a weekly podcast version of their show, beginning next week.  As TALKERS reported previously, Grosby steps away from his daily show but will do a segment with John Clayton at 11:45 am and will serve as a guest host.  He’s also going to have an expanded role with 710Sports.com.

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (9/20).  The new episode titled “Whistle a Yappy Tune!” looks back at this past explosive week of September 23-27, 2019.  Recorded at this week’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC, the show features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine;  Dale Jackson, WVNN, Huntsville, AL; Michael Brown, KHOW, Denver; Gordon DealCompass Media NetworksCasey Hendrickson, WRTC, South Bend, IN; Michael Patrick Leahy, WLAC, Nashville; Martha Zoller, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Dan “Ox” Ochsner, KNSI, St. Cloud, MN; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami; and John De Petro, WNRI, Woonsocket, RI.     This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

SRN’s ‘Battle for America’s Soul’ Tour Hits Phoenix. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network talk show hosts in Phoenix as SRN’s “Battle for America’s Soul” tour stopped at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.  SRN says the sellout crowd of more than 1,000 heard the hosts discuss topics from impeachment to the culture wars.  From left to right are: SRN hosts Larry Elder and Dr. Sebastian Gorka, two unidentified KKNT, Phoenix listeners, Twitchy.com founder Michelle Malkin, and moderator/SRN talk host Mike Gallagher.

Seen and Heard at the Radio Show. TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay reports from the 2019 NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas.  He says Thursday’s sessions focused on podcasting and sales, culminating in the annual Marconi Awards ceremony.  He notes that 139 students interested in radio and media from across the country attended the Radio Show as part of the Broadcast Education Association’s mentoring program.  Executive director Heather Birks says of the 400 or so students who’ve taken part in the last five years, 75% are now working in media and about 50% are working in radio.  Read Jeff McKay’s report here.

2019 Marconi Award Winners Honored. At last night’s awards dinner at the 2019 NAB/RAB Radio Show, the Marconi’s were handed out.  Spoken-word winners of this year’s honors include: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington for Major Market Station of the Year; Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle for News/Talk Station of the Year; and Beasley Media’s WBZ-FM, Boston for Sports Station of the Year.  WBZ-FM’s “Felger and Massarotti” – Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti – were honored with the Major Market Personality of the Year award.  WRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University” was honored with the “College Station of the Year” award.  See all the winners here.

TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Katie Couric is hosting an iHeartRadio Original podcast titled, “Next Question with Katie Couric.”  The show becomes part of iHeartMedia‘s iHeartPodcast Network and will “explore some of today’s most important issues and transformative trends through insightful and engaging conversations that span news, politics, and pop culture.” Topics addressed in the 12 episodes include: ABC’s of CBD, Jennifer Garner’s foray into entrepreneurship, whether ageism is the last socially acceptable “ism,” the eSports universe, and a conversation with a former white supremacist who now works to deradicalize others…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “The Johnny Carson Channel,” on October 1.  The month-long special programming will feature the top, handpicked episodes of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”  The programs will highlight notable classic moments, including the first “Tonight Show” stand-up appearances by Jerry Seinfeld (1981), Jay Leno (1977), and Ellen DeGeneres (1986), and Eddie Murphy (1982). There are also interviews with Lucille Ball, Muhammad Ali, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Billy Crystal, and Oprah Winfrey.

The Impeachment Inquiry Is the Top News/Talk Story for the Week of September 23-27. The Democrats decision to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Ukraine phone conversation flap.  Coming in at #3 was immigration reform, followed by the UN General Assembly and climate change tied 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Sports Talk and Album Rock Radio Pioneer Richard Neer Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  There have been a number of stories these past couple of weeks from the world of popular culture.  They include the milestone of Bruce Springsteen reaching his 70th birthday and the impact of his political outspokenness on how his fans might view him.  The deaths of rock stars Ric Ocasek and Eddie Money – also in their seventies; the disturbing saga of football wide receiver Antonio Brown; and the growing popularity in the podcasting world of the “true crime” genre.  WFAN, New York, sports talk personality Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Harrison describes Neer as “one of my oldest and best friends… and one of my top go-to guys on the subjects of sports, music and crime.”  Neer has been a sports talk show host on WFAN in New York since 1988.  He is also a pioneer of album rock radio having worked in the golden era at WLIR on Long Island and WNEW-FM in New York.  He wrote the milestone book about rock radio titled FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) and has a growing following of fans for his series of murder mysteries featuring the ongoing adventures of Riley King, Private Investigator.  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 of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air personality Joe “Flu Season” Lewis joins Cumulus Media as afternoon host and programming assistant at urban contemporary KTCX, Beaumont, Texas “Magic 102.5.”  He was most recently the evening host at Cumulus’ WLZN-FM, Macon, Georgia.  KTCX program director Kelly Mac says, “Joe is a passionate, multi-skilled on-air talent who brings an array of experience to the table.  He not only gets the on-air aspect of radio, but strongly embraces the community as well as the digital, imaging, and branding aspect of radio, which made him a perfect fit for this role.  I look forward to watching him grow and succeed with the Cumulus team.”…..Leaving his brand/content director post with Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH-FM, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” for a yet-to-be-revealed position is programming pro Scott Roddy.  He joined the station in February of 2016…..Below is Premiere Networks personality Amy Brown (right) with Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott (left).  Scott appeared on the “4 Things with Amy Brown” podcast to talk about the band’s new album and the single, “Ocean.”  She’s also a guest on Scott’s weekend radio program, “Women of iHeartCountry.”

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

| June 5, 2019

Cumulus Makes $115 Million Term Loan Prepayment.  In a statement, Cumulus Media announces that it has made a $115 million on its first lien senior secured term loan.  It adds that in the year since emerging from bankruptcy, it has reduced its total outstanding debt by $200 million and bringing net leverage down from approximately 5.8x at emergence to approximately 4.8x with this payment. Cumulus made the debt prepayment with proceeds from sale of six radio stations to Educational Media Foundation that brought in $103.5 million in cash.  Cumulus is also agreeing to sell KLOS-FM, Los Angeles to Meruelo Media for $43 million and plans to use those net proceeds to pay down more debt. Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “In our ongoing efforts to strengthen the business, Cumulus has been relentlessly focused on executing our key strategic priorities and meeting our financial objectives.  The milestone we achieved today — $200 million of debt reduction in the first year since we emerged from Chapter 11 — resulted from those efforts and is another example of the progress we continue to make in implementing our business plan.  I would like to thank the entire Cumulus team for the hard work and dedication which have produced such a tremendous record of achievement over the past year, and I have every confidence that, together, we will be able to further improve our financial position and continue to deliver on the goals we have laid out for the business.”

PPM Analysis: Internet Streams. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the internet stream ratings from Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey.  In this report, Kinosian ranks stations based on streaming listening – iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles ties with Entercom’s rock KISW, Seattle at the top with a 0.7 (weekly, 6+ AQH share).  He also breaks down streaming listening by format (sports talk comes out on top in the PPM markets) and by market.  See him entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, former WLS-AM, Chicago personality Garry Meierwill be doing some sub work on the Cumulus Media news/talk station.  Meier was on WLS-AM with then-partner Steve Dahl during the early 1980s and again with former partner Roe Conn from 1995 to 2004. He’ll sit in with current WLS-AM morning host Mancow Muller on June 21 and them fill in for him during the week of June 24…..In Houston, sports talk media personality Paul Gallant announces via social media that he’s exited Entercom’s sports talk KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” where he was most recently co-host of the “Mad Radio” morning show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne.  Gallant had been working without a contract since the beginning of the year.  He continues to co-host the weekly, Friday night “Just Sayin” television program with Patti Smith and John Granato on KUBE-TV…..New York sports talk radio host Tony Paige – overnight personality on Entercom’s WFAN – announced to his listeners that he’ll retire from the station on September 14.  He’s been with WFAN for the past 16 years.  He told his listeners that his health is fine, he just thinks it’s time…..KGO, San Francisco afternoon drive host Chip Franklin riled up FOX News Channel host Leland Vittert during a recent appearance on the cable news channel.  Franklin held up a photo (pictured at right) of John McCain, causing Vittert to ask him why he was doing it. Franklin told him, “In the off-chance the president’s watching.  Real heroes out there, Pete Buttigieg, others that have served this country, just a thought.”

TALKERS Convention Set for This Friday in New York City. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running and most important convention in the talk media industry (radio, television, satellite, internet) – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story – is set for this Friday, June 7 in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater. More than 67 speakers will address the hottest issues, challenges and opportunities facing talk radio and its related media and business communities before a sold-out crowd of media professionals. TALKERS will provide on demand video coverage of the key sessions of this colorful event shortly after it takes place for those who have been locked out due to on-site space limitations. For the latest agenda and information about this historic convention, please click here.

Trump in England, Trade Wars with China and Mexico, 2020 Presidential Race, Impeachment Talk, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, Parkland Deputy Charged, Red Meat/White Meat Controversy, and Holzhauer’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Run Ends Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/4). The official state visit to the U.K. by President Trump; the tariffs the U.S. is placing on Chinese exports and threatening to put on Mexican exports; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; Democrats increasing talk of impeachment proceedings against President Trump; the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into possible Big Tech anti-trust activity; former Parkland, Florida deputy Scot Peterson is charged with failing to protect the students at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School; the new report equating white meat and red meat in high cholesterol potential; and James Holzhauer’s improbable “Jeopardy!” run ends were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Iconic LA Jock Humble Harve Dies at 84.  Legendary radio personality and Boss Radio jock Humble Harve, a.k.a. Harvey Miller, died at his home in Camarillo, California yesterday (6/4) at the age of 84. The Philadelphia native arrived in Southern California in the mid-1960s as PD and air personality at KBLA.  He worked at KHJ-FM, Los Angele from 1967 to 1971. Read more at Don Barrett’s LARadio.com here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Raleigh-Durham market, Curtis Media Group drops the classic country on WQDR-HD3/W225DF and launches a new hot AC format branded as “STAR 92.9.”  The station will feature the Charlotte-based “Bob & Sheri” show in morning drive. Curtis general manager Terry Ratliff says, “Our success with our top 40 station, ‘Pulse FM 96.9/102.5,’ led us to launch the new ‘STAR 92.9.’  It gives us the opportunity to go beyond today’s hits to play a deeper library of superstars.  We are also very excited to welcome Bob and Sheri to the Triangle.  They have a proven track record in other North Carolina markets, and we look forward to introducing them to the Triangle on ‘STAR 92.9.’”…..Jason “Budman” Paige is the new co-host and executive morning show producer for the “Big Mama and the Wild Bunch Show” Beasley Media Group’s CHR WXKB-FM, Cape Coral, Florida (Ft. Myers/Naples market). Beasley SWFL operations manager Adam Star says, “‘Budman’ is a game changer.  He has so many different unique skillsets to bring to the table.  We are ecstatic to have him on the ‘Big Mama and the Wild Bunch’ team.”…..Adams Radio names Lisa Layne vice president and market manager for its Salisbury/Ocean City, Maryland group that includes rock WZBH “The Beach,” CHR WOCQ “OC 104,” classic rock WGBG “Big 107.7,” country WUSX, and classic hits WOCQ-HD2/W282AW “KOOL FM.”  She says, “I am so excited for this next chapter of my radio career. I’m confident that as the new leader for Adams Radio Delmarva we will grow our brands and get even better results for our clients.  I look forward to serving the community and building a legacy we all at Adams Radio can be proud of.”

Thursday, May 24, 2018

| May 24, 2018

‘Sports Radio 610’ in Houston Adds New Talent to Lineup.  The Entercom sports talk station announces its new lineup that includes new voices Paul Gallant, Fred Davis, and Landry Locker.  Gallant joins the AM drive “Mad Radio” show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne on KILT-AM.  Fred Davis and Landry Locker are co-hosting the midday “In the Loop” show with John Lopez.  The changes take effect on Tuesday (5/29).  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “‘SportsRadio 610’ has long been the sports leader in Houston and part of remaining on top is continuing to evolve with the needs of our audience.  I’m excited about the energy that Paul will bring to mornings and Fred and Landry will bring to middays.”

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. As Garrett Morris’ fictional “Saturday Night Live” character Chico Escuela used to say, “Baseball been berry, berry good to me!” Stations that serve as flagships for MLB teams certainly hope that baseball will be good to them each season.  Today, TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian presents the first PPM analysis of the 2018 baseball season that looks at 6+ numbers from Nielsen’s April PPM survey for those stations. Some of the stations that appear to have benefitted from the first month of the season compared to their March numbers include: Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis (up 2.3 shares); Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (up 2 shares); and Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (up 1.9 shares).  See Kinosian’s full report here.

Redberg Rises to VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities. Sales pro Michelle Redberg is promoted to vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis market that includes news/talk KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk,” sports talk KFXN-FM “K-Fan,” eight music brands, plus franchise partnerships with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football, basketball and hockey. Vice president of sales for the Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander states, “Michelle is one of the bright stars of our company.  She has a contemporary approach to leadership along with a compassion for our advertisers and an understanding of today’s marketing and business challenges.  Michelle’s passion, skills, energy and drive made her an obvious choice to help lead our strong Twin Cities brands.”

Michael Young Exits Entercom Pittsburgh Market Manager Position.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that market manager Michael Young has exited the position at Entercom’s four-station cluster there that includes news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM.  Young was manager of the cluster when it was owned by CBS RADIO and stayed in his position as Entercom assumed ownership.

iHeartMedia Appoints Mark Boudreaux New Orleans Market President.  New Orleans native Mark Boudreaux assumes the market president position at iHeartMedia New Orleans, effective June 11.   iHeartMedia operates news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT, plus six music formats in the market.  Boudreaux was most recently business development manager at South Central AV. iHM region president Eddie Martiny says, “Who better to run our iHeartMedia New Orleans market than a native New Orleanian?  Mark has a proven track record in the Crescent City as a seller, sales manager and vice president of sales.  We are excited to have Mark and his infectious personality leading iHeartMedia New Orleans.”

Saga Comminucations’ Warren Lada to Retire.  Longtime Saga Communications executive Warren Lada is retiring from the company and his position as chief operating officer at the end of next month.  Saga president and CEO Ed Christian comments, “Warren has been an integral part of Saga for the past 27 years and we will deeply miss his contributions to Saga and its radio stations across the US.” Prior to taking on the corporate role of COO, Lada was president and general manager for Saga’s WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show “Free Talk Live” – led by principals Ian FreemanMark Edge, and Darryl W. Perry (pictured from l-r at right) — announces a number of new affiliates for the program.  WWMN-FM in Traverse City, Michigan and KUSG-AM in Guam add the program to their schedule and WTTN-AM, Columbus, Wisconsin joins the simulcast of existing progressive talk affiliate WRRD-AM, Waukesha…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM “Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan” and WDNC-AM “620 the Ticket” in Raleigh are broadcasting live, play-by-play for all games of this year’s ACC Baseball Championship series that runs through this Sunday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham.  Vice president of programming Dennis Glasgow says, “It is our pleasure to bring as much live content as possible over the next five days with our ACC Baseball coverage to everyone in The Triangle.  We have an excellent arsenal of announcers lined up to bring our listeners and baseball fans the very best play-by-play and analysis from the ACC Baseball Championship at DBAP.”…..cabana, the digital audio division of AdLarge Media, is expanding its podcast portfolio by adding the true crime genre with the podcast “Crime Junkie,” hosted by Ashley Flowers.  “Crime Junkie” launched in December and, according to AdLarge, has been averaging 40,000 downloads per episode…..Tag Station announces that the NextRadio smartphone app for listening to local FM stations is being launched for smartphone users in Mexico.  Tag Station president Paul Brenner comments, “We’re thrilled that NextRadio is now available for use on both iOS and Android devices in Mexico.  We want to empower all users to enjoy local FM radio without having their content restricted by geographic location or choice of device.”…..KXL, Portland news staffers Steve Leader and Rosemary Reynolds were recently honored with awards from the Associated Press.  Leader is AM drive anchor at the Alpha Media station and Reynolds is a reporter.  Leader received the Best Enterprise Reporting award for his series “Walk in the Hood,” a look at the way African American communities have changed in Portland through the eyes of two African Americans who grew up in Portland.  Reynolds received the Best Public Service award for her series “Wanted: Foster Parents,” that addressed the 11,000 children in Oregon in need of foster care…..Pictured below is FOX Sports Radio nationally syndicated talk show host JT “The Brick” emceeing the 11th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic.  This was JT’s fifth year serving as emcee for the event that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

Hobnobbing at The Gracies. Pictured above at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards on Tuesday (5/22) at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles are: Sun Broadcast Group CEO Jason Bailey (left), Weiss Agency EVP and AWMF director Heather Cohen, and Kris Bailey.

Cool Job Opportunity for KNX Full Time Writer/Producer. Entercom’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is looking for a fearless, aggressive, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative team player. The right candidate is a real show producer and not just a guest booker. Must have a strong rolodex, good news judgment and the ability to write quick, clear, compelling and concise scripts without the usual cliché’s or news speak. Must work and play well in a fast, high-pressure all-news environment. Intimate knowledge of socializing content in all platforms is a MUST. Prior major-market producing and news writing experience required. Strong multi-tasking and computer skills required. Familiarity with Southern California including politics, pop culture, lifestyle, etc. preferred. Must be available to work all hours, overnights, and weekends. Required to join the Writers Guild of America. For more information, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Status of North Korea Talks, U.S.-China Relations, New NFL Anthem Protest Rule, Parents Evict Son Case, Milwaukee Police Tase NBA Player, Iran Nuclear Deal, Primary Races, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the uncertain status of scheduled talks between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the state of relations between the U.S. and China after the latter is uninvited from joint military exercises; the NFL bans sideline anthem protests; the court case of the New York couple evicting their 30-year-old son; the Milwaukee police apologize after Bucks player Sterling Brown is tased during a parking violation incident; the aftermath of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal; Tuesday’s primary races in Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs 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. There’s news from Chicago as Windy City media maven Robert Feder writes today about legendary jock Dick Biondi’s official exit from Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Feder says that at some point Biondi’s status changed from inactive employee – Biondi was hospitalized in April of 2017 for an ailment – to former employee.  Biondi had been hosting a weekend morning show on WLS-FM.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren told him Biondi’s employment with the station ended “months ago.”…..Robert Feder also reports that Entercom is promoting weekend and fill-in jock Richard Milne to full-time afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm) personality on triple A WXRT.  The move bumps Jason Thomas to weekend and fill-in duties as well as host of Monday evening’s “The Big Beat” show…..Tomorrow (5.25), Entercom New York’s classic hits WCBS-FM 101.1, New York’s Greatest Hits is broadcasting the “Shannon in the Morning Summer Beach Blastoff” featuring “Scott Shannon & The Big Show” live from the boardwalk at Coney Island.  Hosting the event will be Scott Shannon with Patty Steele, Sue Aller, John Elliot and Brad Blanks, with special performances by Taylor Dayne and Smash Mouth.