Joe Walsh May Mount Primary Challenge Against Trump. Talk media personality and former U.S. Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL) tells Politico that he’s seriously considering launching a Republican primary campaign to challenge President Trump for the nomination. Calling the president an “unfit, divider-in-chief,” Walsh tells the publication he believes he can raise the money to compete against the president. He adds that if he decides to run, he’ll make an announcement soon. Walsh hosts his eponymous 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET talk radio program syndicated by Salem Radio Network.
Sports Talker George Plaster to Return to Nashville Airwaves. Recently, Nashville sports media personality George Plaster went back on the radio in Nashville after a three-year stint as associate athletics director and Belmont College. But his gig with Grand Ole Opry’s WSM-AM lasted only one month. Now, The Tennessean reports that Plaster is joining Southern Wabash Communications’ sports talk WNSR-AM “Sportsradio 560” to host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show, effective September 3. Before Plaster left the radio biz to serve with Belmont College, he had served with Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM and WGFX-FM, as well as Cromwell Group’s WPRT-FM as a sports talk host in the market.
PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of his four-part series looking at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July PPM survey. Today’s report looks at stations that serve as MLB flagships. In it, see charts logging the changes in weekly, 6+ AQH share from the June survey to July’s; from July of 2018 to this year; based on market rank; and more here.
WLAC, Nashville Host Steve Gill Arrested for Non-Payment of Child Support. According to coverage in The Tennessean, talk host and conservative media personality Steve Gill was arrested on Tuesday (8/20) and placed in the Williamson County Jail for non-payment of child support to his ex-wife. The piece states that Gill, who hosts “The TN Star Gill Report” on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WLAC, Nashville, is being ordered by a county judge to pay Kathryn B. Gill $170,000 in support. The court is also ordering that Gill remain in jail until he pays the money owed. In January of this year, Kathryn Gill initiated a petition for civil contempt that sought $86,000 in child support, $4,400 in medical expenses, $133,000 in college expenses, and $11,000 for a car for the children’s use.
Epoch Times Responds to NBC/MSNBC Attacks with Scathing Rebuttal. Once again, NBC News has attacked the independent New York-based international news organization with Chinese roots, The Epoch Times, in a harsh “expose” based on its unwavering support of President Donald Trump, its non-traditional reporting on so-called “conspiracy theories,” its connection to the growing Chinese spiritual practice of Falun Gong, and its unambiguous opposition to the Chinese Communist Party. The article, written by NBC reporters Brandy Zadrozney and Ben Collins, posted Tuesday (8/20) is titled, “Trump, QAnon and an impending judgment day: Behind the Facebook-fueled rise of The Epoch Times.” It’s headline subtitle states, “Started almost two decades ago with a stated mission to ‘provide information to Chinese communities to help immigrants assimilate into American society,’ The Epoch Times now wields one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet.” During the past year, The Epoch Times has gained significant popularity as a news and guest source among conservative talk media hosts for what they see as its fresh perspective on a wide array of hot topics, from the Mueller Report to the Southern Border immigration crisis. But, specifically, it is The Epoch Times’ first-hand connection to China and the growing importance of U.S.-China relations in the national conversation that have elevated it to must-read status among a growing number of conservative and independent media practitioners beefing up their intelligence in this rapidly emerging arena. In today’s online edition of The Epoch Times, the news organization responds with a point-by-point rebuttal penned by its editor-in-chief/US editions, Jasper Fakkert titled, “Why NBC, MSNBC’s Reporting on The Epoch Times is Textbook Fake News.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “This troubling media skirmish prompted by the NBC ‘expose’ of The Epoch Times is yet another example of a disturbing trend in which diverse news organizations are attacking each other based on political bias and journalistic practices for the sheer purpose of providing affirmation to their target audiences. It has become a widespread exercise of the pot calling the kettle black. We all know that there’s plenty to criticize about any media outlet in today’s highly polarized political arena – and that ‘cherry picking’ isolated issues and piling them up out of context into a damning case has become routine in today’s increasingly normal practice of seeking victory at the expense of truth. It is journalism’s brand of the kind of ‘negative campaigning’ that has turned politics into an odious form of mud wrestling.” Harrison continues, “My statement here is not to endorse nor oppose the editorial positions of The Epoch Times – I stay out of that kind of stuff – but rather to support the legitimacy of its role in the world media as one of the most influential outlets along the leading edge of the Chinese people’s resistance to the repressive Communist control of their homeland for the past 70 years.” To read the NBC story, please click here. To book an interview with editor Jasper Fakkert or a reporter from The Epoch Times please contact Victoria Jones of DC Radio Company at 202-227-7067 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon Raises $3.5 Million for Cancer Charity. The past two days – August 20-21 – Entercom sports talk WEEI-Boston produced the 18th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon with cable TV partner New England Sports Network. This year’s radio-telethon helped raise $3,471,104 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Pictured above is Boston comic Lenny Clarke (center) with WEEI morning show personalities Greg Hill (right) and Danielle Murr (left).
Matt Senne to Lead Hubbard Radio’s Central Minnesota Cluster. Radio pro Matt Senne is named to the general manager position for Hubbard Broadcasting’s radio station group in the Alexandria and Wadena, Minnesota markets. Hubbard acquired the stations from Omni Broadcasting in a 2015 deal. Hubbard VP and regional manager Dan Seeman says, “I can’t tell you how excited we are to bring Matt into Hubbard Broadcasting. Matt‘s background provides the perfect fit for the experience, passion and creativity we need in the Alexandria and Wadena markets. He comes from a great family company at Leighton Broadcasting and we look forward to welcoming him to the Hubbard family and Hubbard Broadcasting.” Senne served with Leighton for 21 years, serving as morning show host, program director, operations manager and director of programming. Most recently he was the general manager for Leighton in Winona, Minnesota .
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Joining FOX News as Contributor. Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is joining FOX News as a contributor, effective September 6. Variety’s Brian Steinberg has the scoop here. Sanders has been Trump’s longest-serving White House press secretary, logging two years in the position. In this position she’ll make appearances on FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, FOX News Digital and the FOX Nation streaming service.
U.S.-China Trade War, Financial Markets Activity/Recession Fears, 2020 Presidential Race, Immigration Reform, U.S.-Israel Relations, Trump’s Greenland Purchase Controversy, and Sean Spicer-Dancing with the Stars Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21). The tariffs the U.S. and China are placing on each other’s exports; the volatility of the world’s financial markets and the fears of a recession; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the Trump administration’s efforts to re-shape U.S. immigration and asylum rules; U.S.-Israel relations in the aftermath of the latter’s travel ban on U.S. Reps Tlaib and Omar; the controversy over Trump’s comments about buying Greenland; and the reactions to former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer’s appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Dana Cortez Talks with Chance the Rapper in Central Park. Nationally syndicated multi-media star Dana Cortez (right) is pictured above in Central Park in New York City chatting with Chance the Rapper (left) about his new album and his status as an expecting father preparing to go out on the road to support the record. “The Dana Cortez Show” is a cooperative effort of ABC Radio and Skyview Networks. See the video here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Los Angeles, KYSR-FM “ALT 98.7” imaging director Josh Jensen exits the station after a year. He moved to KYSR in 2018 after a lengthy gig at iHeartMedia’s rock WXTB “98 Rock” and country WUFS “US 103.5” in Tampa. Jenson plans to re-locate to Nashville while continuing to handle imaging duties for The Mix Group.
CRTV Expands Content in 2018; Andrew Wilkow to Host Thrice-Weekly Show. The digital video platform CRTV is announcing new programming to launch in the New Year. Joining the existing programming will be a program hosted by Andrew Wilkow that will offer new episodes three times per week. Wilkow hosts the daily satellite radio show, “The Wilkow Majority,” on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel. He says, “CRTV has been rapidly signing talent and creating content for dedicated followers on constitutional conservative and libertarian thought. I am honored to join the team led by Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin, Phil Robertson, Steven Crowder, Matt Kibbe, Deneen Borelli, and Gavin McInnes. For those that love ‘The Wilkow Majority,’ this new TV program will be a natural extension.” Two other new programs debuting in January are “Roaming Millennial: Uncensored,” starring YouTube sensation Roaming Millennial, and twice-per-week videos from Allie Stuckey. CRTV is parent of the Conservative Review.
Friends and Stars Abound on Mike Francesa’s Penultimate WFAN Show. Today’s final show will be a bit more subdued that Thursday’s program done live at the Paley Center for Media. Mike Francesa says today it’ll be just callers and him, with the last half hour or so just him talking to his fans. But, Thursday’s show involved a gaggle of friends and fellow broadcasters saluting – and ribbing – Francesa on the second-to-last day of his 30-year career at WFAN, New York. Newsday reports the count of guests was 85 and included former WFAN partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, former WFAN colleague Don Imus, Carl Banks, Tiki Barber, John Calipari, Brian Cashman, Chris Christie, Bob Costas, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz, Dick Ebersol, Jim Fassel, Joe Girardi, Keith Hernandez, Eli Manning, Tim McCarver, Jim Nantz, Regis Philbin, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Tannenbaum, Lawrence Taylor, Suzyn Waldman, Bernie Williams and Kurt Warner.
CMG Radio News Pro Jamie Dupree Profiled by Politico. He serves Cox Media Group as radio news director of the Washington bureau. But, about a year-and-a-half ago, Jamie Dupree became increasingly unable to speak due to a condition that was eventually diagnosed as tongue protrusion dystonia. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the rare affliction and it’s unknown if he’ll ever get his speaking voice back. He still works for CMG covering the DC political beat because, as M. Scott Mahaskey writes in his piece in Politico, his Cox bosses realize that the connections and trust he’s built up in DC over the past 30 years are “really valuable.” Back when his voice worked, Dupree was a regular contributor to not only CMG stations, but he made regular appearances on Sean Hannity’s Premiere Networks radio show. Read more about Dupree’s story here.
SRN’s Greg Clugston Delivers Annual Christmas Poem. News pro Greg Clugston continues the tradition he began 20 years ago – writing a politically tinged Christmas poem to the rhythm of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. You can read the entire poem here as USA Today printed the poem for international distribution. Salem Media Group vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “We are proud to have Greg as part of our SRN News team and to know he has continued this annual tradition under both Democratic and Republican administrations for two decades.” Clugston (left) is pictured here with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (right) after he read the poem to her and his colleagues from the White House Press Corps.
Roy Moore’s Loss to Doug Jones in Alabama Senate Race Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 11-15. The special election for the vacant Alabama U.S. Senate seat that saw Democrat Doug Jones beat embattled Republican Roy Moore was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the various allegations of sexual misconduct against celebrities and politicians. Coming in at #3 was the Republican tax reform plan, followed by the Trump-Russia investigation 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. View this week’s entire chart here.
Live from London. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison sat in this morning for Doug “VB” Goudie, co-hosting with Kim Carrigan from 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET on the WRKO, Boston morning show from his hotel room in central London using his trusted Comrex Access unit. Harrison has been on a special UK radio tour gathering material on British media. Harrison says, “It is amazing how reliable and in-studio-sounding Comrex equipment is, not to mention how easy it is to use. We had to remind listeners throughout the show that I was several thousand miles away from Kim, producer Jim Clerkin and board operator Marita Mackinnon on the other side of the ocean and not in the same room with them.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At country KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull,” Alpha Media adds Jenn Hays to the “Tony and Jake in Mornings” and re-brands the show “Bull Mornings with Tony, Jake and Jenn,” effective January 8. Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Lisa Decker says, “Following an exhaustive nationwide search it was clear that Jennifer Hays is uniquely qualified to join The Bull’s morning show. She is very talented, a native of Portland, a huge country music fan and growing up, KUPL was her favorite country station. She will bring her talent, wit, enthusiasm for Portland and country music home. The next chapter for The Bull’s morning show is about to be written. We look forward to a fun and compelling local show as Jenn joins her co-hosts Tony Russell and Jake Byron.”…..Spanish music radio pro Rico Hernandez is named by iHeartMedia Phoenix to the position of morning show talent and executive station producer for KOY-AM/K229DB “El Patron.” Hernandez will continue to serve as midday personality on the company’s KXEW-AM, Tucson “Tejano 1600.” iHeartMedia EVP of programming West Division Steve Geofferies comments, “We’re looking forward to Rico’s Spanish expertise and experience. This is the start of a very exciting time for El Patron in Phoenix.”…..SiriusXM is presenting a special, invitation-only show at Los Angeles’ Troubadour on Tuesday (12/19) by Brian Setzer and his 19-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra. This is the third consecutive year the show will happen. The “Christmas Rocks!” concert will air Friday, December 22 at 8:00 pm ET on the Outlaw Country channel.
Music and Radio Pro Roxy Myzal to Retire. Her career in the music and radio businesses spanned 42 years but now, Roxy Myzal is ready to take it a bit easier and is retiring from her current position with United Stations Radio Networks. During her career, Myzal was music director at long-ago rock station WXLO-FM, New York; she worked promotions at Atlantic and Chrysalis Records; and served with Rolling Stone creating the “Rolling Stones’ Continuous History of Rock and Roll” radio show. Most recently, she’s been with USRN overseeing its hardDrive brand.
By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent
WASHINGTON, DC — In the era of industry-wide consolidation and moves to cut costs with syndication over local talk hosts, longtime radio and media veteran Kirby Wilbur could be the poster child for reinventing a career while helping others to start their own. Washington, DC-born and Seattle-raised, Wilbur made a name for himself in the Pacific Northwest not from his job as a real estate appraiser, but as a frequent caller to talk shows, a non-paid “hobby” that ultimately led him to his own talk show on KVI in 1993. For the next 16 years, he was a staple on Seattle airwaves, along with numerous appearances on TALKERS magazine’s “Heavy Hundred” list of the most important radio talk show hosts in America, and also as a fill-in host for the Sean Hannity Show, until he was cut loose from KVI in October, 2009.
Fortunately for Wilbur, his Republican ideology, political activism and ability to articulate points allowed him to move directly into politics, becoming the chairman of the Washington State Republican Party. During his tenure, Republicans picked up majorities in the Washington State House and State Senate. However, an offer came his way that has not only changed him, but is also developing a new generation of members of the media.