Tag: "Phil Valentine"
The Nitty Gritty of Online Listening. WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7” afternoon drive talk show host Phil Valentine writes in a piece for TALKERS magazine about news/talk listening habits in the current coronavirus crisis and how online listening is affecting ratings. Valentine says some of his fellow hosts were concerned about losing listeners since fewer people are commuting and therefore are not in their cars to listen. But, he says, that’s not what happened. His show’s ratings, as well as the station’s overall, went up. “What’s really interesting is our ‘universe’ in PM drive only shrank 4% overall with listeners 6+. Even more interesting is our weekly cume with adults and men 25-54 actually went up. So did our time spent listening, which is understandable. If people are listening, they’re primarily listening from home without the constraints of a commute. This same scenario is being replicated on talk stations in many places all across the country. If they’re listening at home, it probably means more people are moving their listening to the Internet rather than listening to the on-air signal. The big question is, if more people are listening online are we getting credit for it?” Valentine contacted Nielsen Audio to find out. Read the column here to find out what he learned.
Las Vegas-Based Talk Host Wayne Allyn Root Organizing ‘Patriot Caravan’ on Las Vegas Boulevard. Talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root – heard in Las Vegas on KBET-AM and syndicated nationally via USA Radio – is organizing what he calls the “Open Nevada, Unleash Prosperity, Save America Patriot Caravan” up Las Vegas Blvd. tomorrow afternoon (4/24) at 3:00 pm. Root says, “We will have biggest caravan in Vegas Strip history on Friday to demand our governor re-open the economy.” He calls it a “massive show of force by WAR Army – made up of small business owners, patriots, conservatives, capitalists, and every employee left penniless by closure of the entire Strip.” Root says he has designed it to adhere to government guidelines about social distancing as all participants will be in cars. He will broadcast his entire show from his car at the head of the “parade.” He adds, “This event is a political version of drive-in church service.”
KID-AM, Idaho Falls Owner Explains Morning Duo’s Departure. On Monday (4/20), TALKERS magazine published a summary of the East Idaho News’ report on the resignation of KID-AM, Idaho Falls morning team of Neal Larson and Julie Mason. Rich Broadcasting owner Richard Mecham tells TALKERS their decision to resign “had nothing to do with a disagreement with the owner [which is how TALKERS phrased it in our coverage]. What it had to do with was the fact that their comments were irresponsible, they were challenging the governor’s order, and could have potentially put our license in jeopardy. I invited them to discuss the issue over lunch and they quit with no notice.” Mecham shares his email to Larson and Mason and further explains what happened in a piece you can read here.
SmartTalk Radio Network’s ‘CoronaLert’Airing on 300-plus Stations. The month-old “CoronaLert” program hosted by Cary Harrison and syndicated by SmartTalk Radio Network and Sun Broadcast Group is airing on more than 300 stations across the country. SmartTalk says Harrison “presents slickly produced, 60-second rapid-response features that draw from the top scientific and medical minds available today. ‘CoronaLert’ is the first of its kind with both volume of daily segments and a custom fleet of professionally produced companion videos for stations’ websites.” SmartTalk CEO Chuck Duncan comments, “‘Facts Not Fear’ is the basis for ‘CoronaLert’ and provides listeners on all platforms and devices with a daily topic or development that is covered in a solution-oriented, easy-takeaway format. SmartTalk Radio Network presents a forum for discussion, info, and entertainment covering myriad life topics, including COVID-19 and its lasting effects on our world.”
Entercom Expands Relationship with Sonos for RADIO.COM. Content from Entercom’s RADIO.COM will soon be available via the new Sonos Radio streaming service from Sonos. Numerous Entercom stations are currently available as an integration on the Sonos platform. Entercom corporate business development VP David Rosenbloom states, “Sonos provides a premier listening experience and we’re pleased to expand our relationship with them and bring RADIO.COM’s stations to millions of listeners across the country. Through this partnership, Sonos customers can access RADIO.COM’s music, sports, and news content on their Sonos system, providing them with an enhanced listening experience of their station of choice from the comfort of their homes.”
TALKERS News Notes. The new American Uncensored News Network (AUN-TV) has launched with the goal of creating “uncensored” news, talk, and documentary programming from independent media and grassroots producers. Currently, AUN-TV shows air on seven stations in Northern California, including in San Francisco, Sacramento, Fort Bragg, Santa Rose, and more. The network has appointed Rick Trader CEO, general manager and president of program development. He says, “I am thrilled and excited at the prospects of AUN-TV! Now, many great shows, views and voices will have a television platform to call their own. The AUN-TV Network is badly needed to report on the stories the alphabet networks do not want the American people to know of. Our goal is to bring original, thought-provoking programs to the viewing public that has a thirst for the truth, and to return our country to the principals of Liberty, Rule of Law and Judeo-Christian ethics our founding father created it for.”…..JVC Media is bringing infectious disease expert Dr. Rajeev Fernandez aboard as a contributor to its radio programs in three of its markets. Dr. Fernandez joins “Steve and Leeana Mornings” on CHR WPTY, Long Island “Party 105.3,” “The Shannon Burke Show” on “Florida Man Radio” (talk WDYZ, Orlando and WYGC, Gainesville), and news/talk WRCN, Long Island “103.9 LI News Radio.” JVC Media president and CEO John Caracciolo states, “When we founded JVC, the goal was to be hyper-local and community focused. Having Dr. Rajeev Fernandez available to our loyal listeners does so much good for the communities we serve. The doctor is so relatable, likable, and easy to listen to. It’s like a friend giving us the answers to this crazy puzzle called coronavirus. I’m grateful to Dr. Fernandez and our hard-working JVC family for working together to super-serve our hard-hit communities. It can’t be said enough, we WILL get through this together.”…..The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program with host Lee Habeeb adds new affiliate stations including: Entercom’s KRLD-AM, Dallas; Second Amendment Foundation’s KITZ-AM, Seattle; KBNP, Portland, and KSBN, Spokane; Futures and Options Inc’s KFNX-AM, Phoenix; Alpha Media’s KFOR-AM, Fargo; and STARadio’s WTAD-AM, Quincy, Illinois. Habeeb, who is also CEO of producer American Private Radio, says, “There is no question people are starving for positive, original radio programming that celebrates this great country. Partnering with one of the great stations in America, the legendary KRLD, means so much to our team at American Private Radio. Now, we can bring our great stories to more people of not one, but two of America’s greatest cities under the banner of the 50,000 watt blow-torch of KRLD-AM.”…..Sports betting information network VSiN is partnering with Skyview Networks for the latter to handle affiliate sales. Skyview CEO Ken Thiele states, “Skyview is in a strong position to partner with content creators as a full-service audio shop and is actively engaging in deals that bring exciting, high-demand content, like VSiN’s programming and analysis to the industry.”…..Radio’s “Best Friend” Art Vuolo handled editing duties for a film called iPot made by retired radio personality Joey Reynolds back in 2014 about the marijuana-growing industry in Humboldt County, California. Reynolds’ daughter is in the growing business and that piqued his curiosity to investigate the newly legal industry. Longtime Los Angeles radio personality Shotgun Tom Kelly is among a number of special guests who appear in the film that you can see here.
U.S. Coronavirus Statistics and Projections, Southern States Re-Opening Plans, COVID-19 Disinformation Campaign, Transferred HHS Doc Controversy, Financial Markets Activity/Oil Glut, U.S.-Iran Tensions, and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/22). The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and the death toll, plus the projections for future cases; several Southern states announce plans to begin re-opening their economies, clashing with President Trump’s advice; allegations that China, Russia, and Iran are mounting a social media disinformation campaign blaming the U.S. for the coronavirus pandemic; the controversy over Dr. Rick Bright’s transfer from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for opposing widespread use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to combat the coronavirus; the world’s financial markets’ response to the pandemic and the oil crash; and the November presidential election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
American Urban Radio Networks DC Bureau Chief April Ryan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The Washington, DC bureau chief and White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks, veteran journalist April Ryan, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Ryan, who is also a political analyst for CNN, is an African American single mother of two who has been covering the White House since Bill Clinton’s second term. She was thrust into the national spotlight with the advent of the Trump Administration when she attracted controversy for standing up to the president and his press secretary at White House briefings and press conferences by asking tough questions and holding her ground for follow-ups. Among her many awards and honors, the National Association of Black Journalists named Ryan its “Journalist of the Year” in 2017. To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Westwood One-syndicated urban AC morning show “Rick and Sasha” is the new morning show on WNBM, New York. The program airs in more than 30 markets. Cumulus Media vice president of urban programming Kenny Smoov states, “The ‘Rick and Sasha’ show is growing fast and going BIG! New York is going to love this show! There is nothing like getting a historic first-year report card. Rick and Sasha, with George Willborn, not only sounds better than it ever has but is also showing remarkable ratings growth – extraordinary for a second-year show. It is refreshing when the actual numbers match my ear test. This show is poised for long-term greatness.”
By Phil Valentine
Talk Show Host
NASHVILLE — The talk radio world has been holding its collective breath as March numbers come in. I had to talk several colleagues off the ledge who thought ratings were going to take a nose dive. After all, they said, nobody’s in their cars. They’re all at home. Drive time, especially, is going to take a beating, I was told.
I had to explain that ratings come from the universe of people who are listening to the radio, not the population at large. Even if that universe is smaller, talk radio’s numbers should be higher, not lower. If you’re listening to the radio these days, odds are you’re listening for information and perspective. That’s where talk radio shines.
JVC Media Unveils New ‘Florida Man Radio’ Format. The new format on WDYZ-AM/W288CJ in the Orlando market (licensed to Altamonte Springs and Oviedo, respectively) will feature Shannon Burke and Bubba the Love Sponge, along with Scott Ledger and attorney Justin Clark. JVC Media says “Florida Man Radio” will formally launch in early September 2019 with a live press conference from the JVC Orlando studios hosted by the air staff. JVC Orlando director of programming Len Shackelford says, “This will be a personality-driven talk station focused on Central Florida. There will be NO topics off limits, including topics specifically about our on-air staff. Think sports, politics, pop culture… if you talk about it in your life or on social media, ‘Florida Man Radio 660 AM and 105.5 FM’ will talk about it.” The lineup will be Bubba in morning drive, “Scott Ledger’s Dangerous Conversation” in middays, Shannon Burke in afternoon drive, and attorney Justin Clark’s “You Have Power” from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. JVC CEO John Caracciolo adds, “This is exactly what radio needs right now – fresh, new, funny, and local – this is ‘Florida Man Radio.’ The vision of a locally based talk station that isn’t afraid to confront the big topics while not taking it too seriously, screams the mantra of JVC. We aren’t afraid to buck the norms – keeping live and local radio working for our clients and listeners, providing great results for clients, and continuing to invest in great programming. I’m thrilled for the future of our stations across the country.”
Bonneville Announces Management Restructuring and Promotions at Seattle Station Group. It was last Friday that Ryan Maguire exited his role as director of news and programming for news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle. Bonneville Seattle Media Group had been quiet about that change but now announces a number of management promotions and duty realignments that includes the elimination of Maguire’s old director of news and programming position. Four new directors have been named: Mike Salk rises from program director of sports KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” to director of programming, overseeing KIRO-FM, KIRO-AM “710 ESPN,” and news/talk KTTH-AM; Tina Sorensen is promoted from KIRO/KTTH sales manager to director of digital, managing both content and revenue for the Bonneville Seattle digital properties; Cathy Cangiano is upped from “710 ESPN” sales manager to director of sales for KIRO-FM, KIRO-AM, KTTH-AM, and Seattle Mariners Radio; Alison Lichtbach is promoted from controller to director of finance, managing the business and operations departments. Current Bonneville Seattle managers whose duties are expanding are: Bryan Buckalew as the KIRO-FM program director; Colleen O’Brien as the KIRO-FM managing editor leading the news department; and Ethan Kelly as sales manager for the KIRO/KTTH sales staff. Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Dave Pridemore says, “These are proven leaders within our organization who are ready for their challenging assignments. They are innovative and prepared to provide guidance as we look to the future of our dynamic and far reaching audio and digital products. This new structure ensures our success in 2020 and beyond and elevates our daily focus on our digital business, which is imperative, as Bonneville Seattle is well positioned in this space to generate significant audience growth and to deliver solid ROI to our clients.”
iHeartMedia Launches New Philly Sports Talk Outlet. The company is flipping WDAS-AM/W273DO from adult hits to sports talk as “FOX Sports – The Gambler” available on 1480 AM, 102.5 FM, 105.3 HD2 and online via iHeartRadio. iHeartMedia says, “The Gambler will feature FOX Sports’ compelling and entertaining brand of sports talk programming including ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd,’ ‘The Dan Patrick Show,’ ‘Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,’ ‘Straight Outta Vegas with RJ Bell,’ and others, as well as ‘The Daily Ticket’ hosted by Sean Brace, owner of phillyinfluencer.com, a well-known local sports website. iHeartMedia Philly SVP of sales Jeff Moore adds, “Whether you’re heading to Atlantic City or one of our four local sports books, we’ll have what you need to keep you informed. It’ll be a great mix of national sports talk icons with the local edge to inform and entertain the gambling audience in a groundbreaking way.”
Satire, Parody and Perspective in the Age of Political Correctness. The co-founder and head writer of The Capitol Steps, the long-running Washington, DC-based political comedy troupe, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Elaina Newport joins the TALKERS founder in a provocative discussion about the changing nature of satire, parody, and the expression of political perspective in the current age of hyper-political correctness. The Capitol Steps, formed in 1981 by a group of newly unemployed senate staffers whose bosses had lost re-election, is a non-partisan equal opportunity offender. 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 and on every page of Talkers.com.
Talk Show Host Wayne Allyn Root Referenced in Four Presidential Tweets. Nationally syndicated, Las Vegas-based talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root played a role in the week’s national conversation when his statement that President Trump “is the best president for Israel in the history of the world. And the Jewish people love him like he is the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God. And then in America, American Jews don’t like him” was Tweeted by the president. This was related to the larger story about the president’s “disloyalty” comment about Jews who vote Democrat. Root’s talk program is syndicated by USA Radio Network and simulcast on Newsmax TV and he became an important facet of the viral story. In another Tweet, Trump shared a segment of Root’s program. Root says of all the attention focused on him, “That was a 24-hours for the record books!”
New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, will be posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC at approximately 4:00 pm ET today (8/23). The new episode titled, “The China Syndrome!” looks back at this past week of August 19-23, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Dana Cheng, senior editor China news, The Epoch Times; Phil Valentine, talk show host, WWTN, Nashville; Gerald Celente, publisher, Trends Journal; Darlene Love, legendary singer/inductee Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; and Victoria Jones, executive director, the DC Radio Company. The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation point for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network. 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.
TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast hosted by longtime ESPN commentator and award-winning sports columnist Woody Paige is debuting on PodcastOne. “The Woody Paige Podcast” features the sports media personality, known for his trademarked “Around the Horn” chalkboard, as he welcomes sports and entertainment legends for in-depth and news-making conversations. The premiere episode spotlights ESPN’s Adam Schefter and EA Sports designer Clint Oldenburg…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that radio personality Kathy Hart – formerly of the “Eric & Kathy” morning show (with Eric Ferguson) on Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX – is re-locating to Bozeman, Montana for personal and family reasons. Hart left WTMX in 2017 and has been doing fill-in talk host work for Tribune Media’s news/talk WGN-AM. She says she’s open to working in radio in Montana but has nothing lined up…..SiriusXM is presenting 77 live college football games over the period of August 24 through September 2 as the 2019 season begins. The opening week schedule features games with every team from the Associated Press Top 25 poll, including #1 Clemson vs. Georgia Tech, #2 Alabama vs. Duke, #3 Georgia vs. Vanderbilt, and the season’s first Top 25 matchup: #11 Oregon vs. #16 Auburn.
U.S.-China Trade War Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 19-23. The ongoing tariff battle was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Hong Kong Protests. Coming in at #3 were the fears of a recession, followed by the 2020 presidential race at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top 10 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.
The Best of Beasley. Pictured above are the 2019 winners of Beasley Media Group’s “Outstanding Achievement Awards.” The presentations were made during a special dinner that took place at the company’s annual management meeting at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia on Wednesday (8/21). From l-r are: BMG Philadelphia chief engineer Keith Smeal (Technology Award winner), BMG Philadelphia director of sales Paul Blake (DOS of the Year), BMG spoken word brand manager & WBZ-FM program director Mike Thomas (Program Director of the Year), BMG Boston VP/market manager Mary Menna (Market Manager of the Year), BMG CEO Caroline Beasley, BMG COO/EVP Brian Beasley, BMG president Bruce Beasley, BMG New Jersey RVP/market manager Dan Finn, BMG Tampa VP/market manager Steve Triplett, BMG Philadelphia VP/market manager Joe Bell, and WMMR-FM/WMGK-FM program director & BMG rock format brand manager Bill Weston. Photo: Chorus Photography
Cool News/On-Air Opportunity. NRG Media – Lincoln is looking for a news anchor/reporter who can double as morning co-host for Lincoln’s #1 news/talk station. KLIN says, “This is your chance to inform and entertain during morning drive in Nebraska’s Capital City and Home of the Cornhuskers! The show is loaded with personality, and we talk about today’s issues in a fun and entertaining environment. If you are energetic, love radio, are passionate about local news, know how to enterprise, can connect with the community, are able to create compelling & award-winning content, we want to talk with you! You will share the mic with a talented group of professionals who all love radio and each of its digital platforms. We want someone who wants to be part of our amazing morning show, knows news and who can interact with our hosts and listeners. Your daily work will include preparing, producing and editing news, delivering that news on-air, and posting it online, as well as general reporting duties and reporting live from the field as needed. In addition, you will co-host KLIN’s popular morning drive program. The ideal candidate will have a degree from a four-year institution and at least one year of radio and/or other relevant media experience or and equivalent combination of education and experience. If you have excellent announcing and production skills, excellent computer skills using Office products, Adobe Audition and WordPress, and radio systems like NexGen Digital Broadcast, send us your resume! NRG Media is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.”
PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian turns his eye to the music radio world in this analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 PPM survey. Just over half of the adult hits stations on our panel see their weekly, 6+ AQH share rise (52%), while 43% dip and 5% remain the same, compared to their numbers in the June 2019 survey. Comparing July 2018 to July 2019, although 55% of the stations on our panel are down, winners include KBPA, Austin (+1.7); KJAQ, Seattle (+1.6); WLKO, Charlotte (+1.4); and WRRK, Pittsburgh (+1.3). KBPA, Austin “103.5 Bob FM” was the only adult hits station to rank #1 (6+) in its respective market in July. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new morning drive show is launching on Cumulus Media’s CHR WHTS, Grand Rapids “105.3 HOT FM.” “The Gray and Green Show” – starring Rachael Gray and Jackie Green (pictured here) debuts on Monday (8/26). Cumulus calls it “the first and only morning radio show in West Michigan presented by two female hosts.” Gray has been hosting the morning show on WHTS for the past seven years. Green joins her from the station’s afternoon drive program. Green previously served with crosstown alternative WGRD-FM and as a feature reporter for WXMI-TV “FOX 17.” WHTS program director Lori Bennett comments, “We are so excited to present this one-of-a-kind show to the West Michigan audience! Rachael and Jackie are two of the most dynamic personalities I’ve ever worked with and their emotional connection as part of the West Michigan community is unmatched. Sure, they’re about ‘girl power,’ but actually, it’s ‘people power.’”…..Beasley Media Group’s country WKLB, Boston “Country 102.5” announces that actor and musician Kiefer Sutherland will serve as the official celebrity host of the eleventh “Country 102.5 Street Party” featuring headliner Maren Morris with performances by Mitchell Tenpenny, Lindsay Ell, Ryan Hurd, Matt Stell, and Jordan Davis. WKLB brand manager David Corey states, “This is our best lineup to date. Maren is one of the hottest acts in the country format and beyond! It’s a privilege to have her headline the show!”…..iHeartMedia names Jerry Houston program director for iHeartRadio’s “PRIDE Radio, the Pulse of LGBTQ America,” effective October 1. iHeartMedia Northern California Region SVP and PRIDE Radio general manager Don Parker says, “Jerry has been an integral part of PRIDE Radio for many years as our assistant program director and I’m thrilled to elevate him to program director of this important brand. With his dedicated focus on the PRIDE brand, we have the opportunity to grow this well-established network further, expanding our LBGTQ+ offerings with podcasting, community events and meaningful partnerships.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is offering two exclusive pop and rock Labor Day Weekend music specials hosted by singer/actress Sabrina Carpenter and Incubus lead singer Brandon Boyd. “Last Big Weekend of Summer,” hosted by Carpenter, is a four-hour CHR special. “Last Official Weekend of Summer,” hosted by Boyd, is a four-hour rock special that looks back at the big summer festivals and provides a preview of upcoming fall concert tours. Both are designed to air from Saturday, August 31 through Monday, September 2.
Milwaukee’s ‘97.3 The Game’ Brings Steve Czaban in for AM Drive. Sports talk radio personality Steve Czaban is the new morning drive host on iHeartMedia’s WRNW-FM, Milwaukee “97.3 The Game, Milwaukee’s Sports Talk That Rocks.” “The Steve Czaban Show” debuts on Monday (5/6) and will air from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. With the arrival of Czaban, the current “Drew & KB” program moves to afternoon drive. Czaban, who also hosts afternoon drive at Radio One’s WTEM, Washington, DC, most recently was a cast member at crosstown rock WHQG’s “Bob & Brian” show. He’s also served with Sporting News, ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, Yahoo Sports Radio, and SB Nation Radio. He comments, “The chance for me to do more in Milwaukee was too good to pass up. This is exactly the style and attitude of sports radio that I love to do. Nobody hustles in front of a winning parade better than me! I plan to celebrate the highs, curse the lows, and laugh at all the absurdity in between – just like I’ve always done. The program lineup at ‘The Game’ is amazing and I’m humbled to be a part of it.”
WICC-AM, Bridgeport Announces New Local Shows. Yesterday, TALKERS magazine reported the departure of programmer Mike Bellamy from WICC-AM, Bridgeport, Connecticut as well as the pairing of Melissa Sheketoff with incumbent morning personality Tony Reno for the new morning show. Connoisseur Media, now operating the station under an LMA as it waits to close on the swap with Cumulus Media, also announces it’s going local in afternoons with well-known market personality Paul Pacelli hosting the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program. Joining Pacelli to produce the show and provide local sports content is former Waterbury Republican and CT Post writer Aaron Johnson. Pacelli states, “I’m thrilled and honored to be on board at a heritage powerhouse like WICC, a station synonymous with greater Bridgeport and Southwestern Connecticut. My goal is to present a passionate, entertaining, and vital platform for local newsmakers, personalities, and residents.” Station OM Keith Dakin adds, “For a station like WICC to have continued success on the AM dial it needs to fully embrace the community. We want to make this station come alive on all levels from podcasting to social to an on-air product that the Bridgeport community can be proud to call their own.”
New Programming Announced for Entercom’s RADIO.COM Sports. Two new, original shows are debuting on Entercom’s RADIO.COM Sports. Both “Big Time Basketball” and “Big Time Baseball” are twice-weekly shows that “feature expert analysis from RADIO.COM Sports insiders providing the most up-to-date news, commentary and happenings.” “Big Time Basketball” is hosted by former NBA player, coach, and Celtics television commentator Brian Scalabrine and KGMZ-FM, San Francisco personality Matt Steinmetz. “Big Time Baseball” is hosted by Jon Heyman, veteran play-by-play voice Josh Lewin, and a rotation of guest hosts, including Joe Girardi, Bob Nightengale, and others to be announced. RADIO.COM Sports is also adding new football insiders, including Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger, and Philadelphia Eagles insider Eliot Shorr-Parks. Shorr-Parks and Baldinger will host a weekly football digital show on May 14. Entercom president of sports Mike Dee comments, “With the addition of these three new shows, RADIO.COM Sports continues to expand our digital content offering for fans across the country. We look forward to continuing to build the RADIO.COM Sports digital platform with more native content in the weeks and months ahead.”
Michael Harrison and TALKERS Debut New Weekend Radio Show on iHeart’s Washington’s WONK-FM. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has agreed to host a one-hour, weekend magazine-style program on the recently launched iHeartMedia project WONK-FM, Washington, DC “Washington’s WONK-FM,” beginning tomorrow (5/4). The program titled, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” features interviews and commentary by the heritage broadcaster that provide a politically even-handed and balanced analysis of the most prevalent points of view being discussed each week in talk media per the research gathered by TALKERS. Interviews are conducted with newsmakers, pundits and, of course, talk show hosts from around the country and subject matter reflects the information published each week on the TALKERS top topics charts. Harrison, who was a major market and nationally syndicated air personality in both music and talk formats during the pioneering days of album rock and then the modern talk era, has been back on the air hosting shows for the past two years as a fill-in on such stations as WRKO, Boston; WMAL, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz; and several others, in addition to anchoring the weekend syndicated ensemble program, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups” (hosted by Carole Marks). Harrison says, “It all began when I started doing the weekly podcast, ‘The Michael Harrison Interview,’ with PodcastOne four years ago. People in the business would say things like, ‘I didn’t know you could actually do radio like that!’ My juices began flowing again and not only have I been enjoying the experience as if I were 19 years old breaking into radio again, but the first-hand knowledge I have gained working in the trenches of the modern industry has significantly enhanced my understanding of how it actually operates in the real world and has helped me do my job at TALKERS with an even keener perspective.” Harrison adds, “I love being part of this new WONK-FM experiment because it encourages me to follow my natural inclination to remain ideologically objective and independent and avoid the hyper-partisanship that comes with seeking victory at the expense of truth whereby you simply target audiences to affirm their preconceived notions. I like what iHeartMedia is doing with this station and I love having the opportunity to collaborate with the station’s PD Michael Czarnecki (who is also PD of the iHeart Podcast Channel) – a young up-and-coming programming star with whom I happily crossed paths at WRKO over the past couple of years.” “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation” airs on WONK-FM Saturday mornings at 9:00 am ET. It is a production of Goodphone Communications in association with TALKERS magazine.
Griffin Communications Appoints Randy Smith Director of Radio Sales. Oklahoma media firm Griffin Communications announces Randy Smith joins the company as director of radio sales. Griffin owned just television stations and digital platforms in Oklahoma City and Tulsa prior to acquiring five Tulsa radio stations – including news/talk KFAQ – from Scripps last summer for $12.5 million. Griffin director of radio operations and programming Steve Hunter says, “Randy brings years of experience, an abundance of local connections, and a can-do spirit to our already winning team. He is a clear standout in motivating people to maximize their potential and bottom-line impact, a skill that will prove invaluable as he joins our Griffin family.” Prior to joining Griffin, Smith served as director of sales-radio for Cox Media Group.
Valentine Podcast Sponsors NASCAR Driver. The picture above shows the logo of talk radio host Phil Valentine’s podcast, “PodGOATs,” on the hood of NASCAR driver Tommy Joe Martins’ Toyota Supra. “PodGOATs” is co-hosted by Valentine and his son, Campbell. Valentine says they talk about everything from the history of alcohol to dating to advertising to the history of the mob – a unique blend of a wide array of topics from two different perspectives, from a Baby Boomer and a Millennial. Valentine explains the sponsorship, “I know this may sound rather random, but Diamond Gusset Jeans – one of our main sponsors – approached us with this opportunity and it was just too good to turn down. Somebody has to be a pioneer in podcast sponsorships in this arena. It’s fertile ground.” The PodGOATs will be in the pit tomorrow (5/4) in Dover, Delaware for the Allied Steel Buildings 200. Valentine’s radio talk show is heard daily on Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “99.7 WTN” from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
WGFX-FM, Nashville’s Jonathan Hutton Named ‘Man of the Year.’ Sports talk personality Jonathan Hutton was recently honored by the Tennessee Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as its 2019 Man of the Year. Hutton led the effort by WGFX “104-5 The Zone” that raised $152,499.31 during the 10-week fund drive that included: an off-the-record event with Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, a HORSE-style basketball tournament, a Masters-themed golf competition at Top Golf, and a chalk talk draftee breakdown and dinner with NFL Films’ Greg Cosell. Pictured above at the “Evening with Amy” event are (from l-r): Kenneth Adams, Titans Ownership Group; Eddie George, former Titan; Logan Ryan, current Titan; Hutton; Strunk; John McClain, Houston Chronicle/WGFX analyst; Blaine Bishop, former Titan and WGFX morning host; Kevin Byard, current Titan; David Quesenberry, current Titan.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR, Chicago “The Score” producer Eli Hershkovich is taking on a role with Entercom’s RADIO.COM as a producer/sports gambling analyst. WSCR operations manager Mitch Rosen is quoted saying, “This is truly a great example of someone building, growing, and advancing their brand into a new, innovative position within Entercom and Radio.Com Sports, which is growing and expanding into the content creation business rapidly.”…..The Duluth News-Tribune reports that KDAL-AM/W280FB, Duluth, Minnesota talk host Kenneth Kalligher has been charged with misdemeanor domestic assault. Kalligher, who hosts the “Midday Live” show on the Midwest Communications-owned station, pleaded not guilty. The story reports that court documents indicate the female complainant said she and Kalligher “were arguing when he struck her in the right temple, causing her to ‘see stars’ and fall to the ground.” Kalligher was off the air for two days but returned to his program yesterday (5/2). He’ll be back in court later this month…..B’nai B’rith International produces a podcast and on the current episode, Pamela Nadell, the Patrick Clendenen chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University’s Department of History and the author of America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today, is the guest with B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin for a discussion on the history of Jewish women in American life. In this episode, Nadell and Mariaschin discuss the societal roles of Jewish women across classes, professions, and time periods, as well as their roles in pivotal social movements in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the labor movement, women’s suffrage and the feminist movement. Check out the podcast here.
Barr Hearing/Mueller Report Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 29 – May 3. Wednesday’s appearance by Attorney General William Barr before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the related release of the Mueller Report were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the 2020 presidential race and related politics. Coming in at #3 was the San Diego synagogue shooting and the rise of anti-Semitism, followed by the UNCC shooting and gun violence at #4. The Talkers TenTM is 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.
Rising Radio Star and Master Storyteller Lee Habeeb Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The host and producer of one of the fastest-growing, syndicated properties in talk radio, Lee Habeeb, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The nightly, two-hour program is called “Our American Stories” and since its launch three years ago, the spoken-word juggernaut is making waves on commercial news/talk stations as well as music formats across the nation. Habeeb was inspired by public radio shows such as “This American Life,” which tap into the art of storytelling, in conceiving the highly researched and meticulously produced “Our American Stories.” Although conservative in its values, the program is distinctly non-partisan and strives to bring Americans of all political ideologies together based on our cultural commonality. It explores popular culture, politics, business, science… the spectrum of topics, people and angles that make up the rich and intricate fabric of America, its history and its people. The program is breaking new ground on many levels, not just in its programming approach, but in its business model as well, again tapping into the public radio paradigm. It is set up as a non-profit and investing a tremendous amount of capital in the quality of its original content programming. Habeeb describes “Our American Stories” as an innovation in the commercial talk radio sphere – no politics, no opinions, just stories. He says, “We tell a story and the audience tells us their stories — with raw emotional power. Daily bringing the campfire scene to your ears.” 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 daily TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com. Meet Lee Habeeb at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story in New York on Friday, June 7 where he will be discussing storytelling as a key component of successful radio.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The owner of classic rock WWRR, Scranton says the station has made radio history by accumulating more than 1 million Likes on Facebook. Bold Gold Media Group says the Northeast PA station “has become a social media juggernaut over the past decade, mastering the art of leveraging on-air and social to rapidly grow its following. The station has become the most-followed social media page based within Northeast PA and one of the most-followed radio station social sites in the entire United States.” Bold Gold president & founder Vince Benedetto says, “We’ve really enjoyed watching our stations become online influencers. Our stations have always been unique… from our highly visible studio inside the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino, our state-of-the-art RadioBOLD mobile platforms, and with our engaging social media, we’ve tried to be a different and more entrepreneurial media group. We’re thrilled to make some radio history and also bring some attention to the combined power of radio and social media.”…..Connoisseur Media announces that Storm N. Norman is returning to Westport, Connecticut adult contemporary WEBE to host mornings, beginning Monday (5/6). Norman served on-air on WEBE for 30 years. He says, “WEBE 108 has been my radio home for most of my adult life and I am thrilled to again wake up families in Southern Connecticut. It’s a great opportunity to work with Jeff Warshawand the incredible folks at local Connoisseur Media.”…..Programming pro Miggy Santos joins Midwest Communications Battle Creek, Michigan station group as brand manager for country WNWN “WIN 98.5.” He was most recently with Neuhoff Media as operations manager for CHR duo WWHX, Bloomington “HOT 100.7” and WSOY-FM, Decatur, Illinois “Y103.”…..iHeartMedia Milwaukee announces the deal with local furniture franchise Steinhafels in which the latter is sponsoring iHM’s new performance lounge (pictured below). The new Steinhafels Relax Lounge is located in the iHeartMedia Milwaukee station headquarters and will showcase musical talent, live broadcasts, viewing parties, and more. It will also be furnished by Steinhafels, allowing the store to showcase the latest contemporary furniture it offers.