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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

| September 13, 2022

Sales vs Customer Service. Longtime radio sales professional Kathy Carr, president of the Howie Carr Radio Network, writes today in an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine that in radio’s halcyon days of the 1990s, a salesperson could make a good living filling agency avails. “Those were the days of sitting in front of that huge desktop computer and typing out a schedule in Tapscan to make the cost per point. But was that really sales or was it mere customer service?” Carr says real salespeople will always be able to find a job and reveals five questions she asks a prospective seller to determine if they are really a salesperson. Read it here.

Salem Media Group To Boost Power. In a promotion that takes effect at the beginning of next year, Salem Media Group senior vice president Allen Power will be elevated to president/broadcast media. Chief executive officer David Santrella comments, “Allen Power and I have worked and collaborated closely for 18 of my 21 years with Salem. His keen operational experience, combined with his strong hand of leadership, provides a perfect combination to build a better future for the broadcast division.” Power notes, “My years with Salem have been the most rewarding of my career. Our dual focus on doing well – while doing good – provides a culture unique in media. I’m grateful for the leadership of our founders, Edward Atsinger and Stuart Epperson, and to Dave Santrella for the opportunity to play this role as our company continues to grow as a multimedia platform.” In other SMG news, senior vice president of operations Linnae Young is upped to executive vice president of operations & revenue development. “Linnae has been my go-to person every time we’ve had an opportunity to sell multiple marketing elements from several divisions to new clients,” Santrela states. “Her work in our industry on Salem’s behalf with many clients made this an easy decision for me. Linnae brings out the very best from those she works with; I look forward to seeing her touch across the entire division.” Meanwhile, Salem’s Chicago general manager/regional vice president Jeff Reisman is upped to senior vice president/operations, where he will oversee the company’s stations in eastern markets. According to Santrella, “Allen [Power] and I have worked closely with Jeff for many years. His track record in Chicago speaks for itself. He was the first building block to what is now our digital marketing agency, Salem Surround. These three promotions [of Power, Young, and Reisman] are all from within our Salem team, which is further proof that Salem appreciates/believes in our employees and rewards hard work and success.”

Remembering Lowry Mays. The founder and chief executive officer of what is now iHeartRadio, Lowry Mays, died yesterday (Monday, 9/12) at the age of 87. Mays co-founded San Antonio Broadcasting Company with Red McCombs 50 years ago (1972). They purchased their first radio station, San Antonio’s KEEZ-FM; three years later (1975), they bought a second San Antonio outlet (currently iHeartMedia news/talk) WOAI. The company became Clear Channel Communications then iHeartRadio. Born in Harris County Texas on July 24, 1935, Mays graduated with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University in 1957 and enlisted in the United States Air Force. Upon his discharge, Mays earned an MBA from Harvard University and became an investment banker. Mays continued his affiliation with Texas A&M by serving two non-consecutive terms (1985 -1991 and 2001- 2007) on the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, including as chair from 2003 – 2005. In 2002, the school renamed its business school after Mays. Texas A&M University System chancellor John Sharp comments, “A really big tree fell in the Aggie forest. We will never forget what he did for Aggieland.” Texas A&M’s school of business was endowed by Mays in 1996 with a $15 million gift and was renamed the Lowry Mays College & Graduate School of Business. The university renamed the school once more in 2002 to Mays Business School. In 2017, the Mays Family Foundation gifted an additional $25 million, the largest single commitment in the business school’s history. Both gifts were part of an overall lifetime giving of $47 million. A 1999 Texas Business Hall of Fame inductee, Mays served as chair of the United Way of San Antonio and was a member of the associates board at Harvard Business School. In 2003, Mays testified before the Senate that the deregulation of the telecommunications industry had not hurt the public. In an interview that same year with Fortune Magazine, however, he remarked, “We’re not in the business of providing news and information. We’re not in the business of providing well-researched music. We’re simply in the business of selling our customers products.” Mays was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004, but suffered a stroke the following year. He stepped down as Clear Channel’s chief executive officer and was succeeded by his son, Mark.

Bloomberg Media Chief Mayers Is Retiring. Having joined the company in 2001 as Bloomberg Radio’s station manager, Bloomberg Media global head of radio and television Al Mayers is retiring from the company. Announcing the news in a staff memo, Bloomberg Media chief executive officer M. Scott Havens and Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait write, “Al has been a tireless leader at Bloomberg for over two decades, first in radio and now in his wider broadcast role. During COVID, it often seemed as if Al was single-handedly keeping us on the air. His retirement is a prompt for us to redesign the editorial side of Bloomberg Media – both in line with that philosophy and the broader changes in journalism and the media world. The lines between audio, video, print and live events have become ever harder to distinguish, especially as our audience decides when they want to watch, read or listen to our content. We need a unified approach not just to fit this world, but also to reflect the fact that Bloomberg Media is now an integrated global business, which surged almost 50% last year and has just realized another 24% increase in the first six months of 2022. So after Al leaves this month, David Merritt will become head of a new position, Bloomberg Media Editorial. [He] will oversee the editorial side of all of our media platforms – the website, all our audio and video, including BTV, radio, Quicktake, podcasts, events and our magazines. We are forever grateful for what Al has done for this company and wish him all the best in his next chapter on Cape Cod.” Mayers previously was general manager of Bloomberg Radio, overseeing the station’s programming, syndication and business operations. Michael Bloomberg named Mayers chief of Bloomberg’s global TV division in 2015.

Omnipresent air talent/media executive Nick Cannon will host next month’s (10/19) Marconi Radio Awards dinner during the NAB Show in New York. The ceremony returns in-person after a (COVID-caused) two-year hiatus. NAB executive vice president/industry affairs April Carty-Sipp comments, “NAB is excited to be joined by the talented Nick Cannon to honor the on-air voices and local stations that have shined brightest over the past year. We look forward to welcoming the broadcast community to this crowd-pleasing and lively celebration of the best in radio.” Ryan Seacrest will be presented with the NAB “Distinguished Service Award”; Paul and Fred Jacobs will receive the “National Radio Award.” Established in 1989 and named after inventor/Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. Nominees for “News/Talk Station of the Year” include: KNX, Los Angeles; KRMG, Tulsa; KTMY, Minneapolis; WKXW, Trenton (New Jersey); and WLW, Cincinnati. “Sports (Talk) Station of the Year” nominees include: KNBR, San Francisco; WBZ-FM, Boston; WIP, Philadelphia; WMFS, Memphis; and WXYT-FM, Detroit. Finalists for this year’s awards in all categories can be found here.

TALKERS News Notes. “Game Time With Boomer Esiason,” the syndicated TV interview show done by Audacy New York sports talk WFAN’s morning co-host, now has a podcast version. Introduced via Audacy’s 2400 Sports podcast studio, the standalone product will feature material not included in the broadcast version. Esiason remarks, “I’m really excited about the opportunity to expand our in-depth conversations with some of the biggest stars in sports through the launch of this new podcast. This show will enable us to dig deeper into what makes these icons tick and will deliver can’t-miss content for listeners across the country.” … Co-host of the podcast “For Colored Nerds,” Brittany Luse, succeeds Sam Sanders as host of NPR’s “It’s Been A Minute.” Vice president of programming & new content development Yolanda Sangweni notes, “Brittany is one of the most exciting and essential voices in pop culture podcasting. She brings deep curiosity, empathy, and joy to the mic and to her storytelling. We are beyond thrilled to be re-imagining ‘It’s Been A Minute’ with Brittany at the helm.” Luse states, “I’ve spent the entirety of my eight-year hosting career helping audiences to connect the dots between culture and current events. I look forward to continuing and expanding that work at my new home.” Formerly host of podcasts “The Nod” and “Sampler,” Luse will begin her new duties next month (10/7). … Following four months of being interim local host for New Hampshire Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” Julia Furukawa has the job permanently. New Hampshire Public Radio president/chief executive officer Jim Schachter notes, “In Julia, we have a serious journalist in the ‘All Things Considered’ anchor chair. [She] connects with listeners across a broad, diverse spectrum; loves exploring New Hampshire; and understands that reporting the news is both a joy and a responsibility. Everyone at our studios knows she’s fun to be around, and now ‘ATC’ users can hear that.” Furukawa adds, “I came to NHPR [two years ago] thinking I’d mostly be behind the scenes, not behind the microphone. The team here has given me the chance to grow into a role I’ve always dreamt of being in; I couldn’t be more grateful and excited for what’s to come.” … Best known for her many reports from the front lines of world events, NPR international correspondent Anne Garrels has died at the age of 71. When Garrels arrived at NPR in 1988, she already had ten years of experience in television news at ABC, where she was bureau chief in both Moscow and Central America. Her NPR backdrops included the Soviet Union, Tiananmen Square, Bosnia, Chechnya, the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. … VSiN launches three-hour (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) weeknight sports betting content on iHeartMedia Providence news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920.” In addition, Brent Musburger’s “Action Updates” will air twice a day. Meanwhile in Kansas City, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is airing short-form VSiN-produced betting features throughout the weekend. VSiN’s betting analysts will breakdown betting lines for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, the AFC West and other big games on that week’s slate. Elsewhere, Salem Media Group Honolulu sports talk KGU & K236CR “Hawaii Sports Radio Network AM 760 & 95.1 FM” airs VSiN’s “Final Countdown with Stormy Buonantony & Matt Brown” at 11:00 am. … For the second year in a row – and fifth time overall – Syndicated Solutions’ “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” earns the SATW Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Award in the “Travel Audio – Radio” category. The hosts comment, “Week after week, [our team] helps us create the most diverse and engaging network radio program. Collectively, we love the world of travel and all that it encompasses; we’re truly thankful to the wonderful sponsors who are aligned with us. We look forward to continuing to keep engaging, enticing, entertaining and empowering travelers to go explore the world. When that happens, it has such a positive impact on travelers, the travel industry and our society in general. The powerful megaphone we have to successfully impact travel is a blessing that we don’t take for granted.” The program is heard on 495 affiliates.

Nine To Be Inducted Into The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association HOF. Among those to be honored are Eric Jackson from Boston public radio news/talk WGBH; former Boston Red Sox television play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough, most recently doing a select number of games on the Red Sox Radio Network; and one-time Boston Celtics Broadcasting president Gerald Walsh, who helped create Boston sports talk (and Red Sox radio flagship) WEEI. Massachusetts Broadcasters Association chair/Beasley Media Group Boston vice president and market manager Mary Menna remarks, “The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association is thrilled to be able to gather in person to celebrate these individuals’ lifelong achievements and contributions to our broadcasting community and to welcome them into the Hall of Fame.” Other inductees include Mike Baxendale and John O’Brien (“Bax & O’Brien”), who partnered together for over twenty years in Springfield on WAQY “Rock 102”; Laura Carlo, who did mornings for more than 25 years on Boston classical WCRB; Nancy Quill, a 38-year veteran on Boston adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7”; WCVB-TV, Boston journalist Jorge Quiroga; and broadcast executive Paul Kelley, the recipient of the 2022 “Pioneer Award.” Hall of Fame committee chair Peter Brown explains that award is given “to an individual who has distinguished himself/herself over decades for lasting contributions made to the broadcast industry and through a leadership role in his or her particular craft. The award was established to recognize individuals who do not appear on-air, but their role helped influence and inspire the Massachusetts broadcast community to reach a pinnacle of excellence.” The Hall of Fame ceremony will be held next Thursday (9/22) at the Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel.

Friday, April 29, 2016

| April 29, 2016

WEEI-FMRed Sox-WEEI Streak Continues. While financial terms of the highly expected deal were not disclosed, Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI will carry on its role as the radio flagship of the Boston Red Sox through (at minimum) the 2023 MLB season. WEEI and the Red Sox have been partners since 1995. Entercom chief operating officer David Field states, “WEEI and Entercom are delighted to be extending our outstanding relationship with the Boston Red Sox well into the future. It is a true privilege to be partnered with this extraordinary, iconic organization and their world-class team of professionals, both on and off Boston-Red-Soxthe field. Red Sox fans across the country will continue to hear outstanding Sox play-by-play broadcasts and 24/7 team coverage on WEEI and WEEI.com, the home of Red Sox baseball.” Red Sox president Sam Kennedy comments, “We are pleased to extend our partnership with WEEI for another seven seasons. We look forward to this new phase of our partnership and sharing more winning baseball through the airwaves with our fans across New England.” The WEEI play-by-play crew consists of Red Sox Hall of Fame announcer Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett, who this year succeeded Dave O’Brien (now doing Red Sox telecasts on NESN); Hamden, Connecticut native Castiglione is in his 34th year in the Red Sox radio booth. In addition to WEEI, the Red Sox Radio Network consists of 55 affiliates throughout the six New England states. To see how WEEI-FM and 28 other MLB radio flagships performed in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM sweep, please read today’s exclusive TALKERS special features piece which appears below.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian introduces Major League Baseball‘s 2016 radio flagships with a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2016 PPM survey period. Highlighted are each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; and a special breakout chart featuring the flagships by league/division. See the first of Mike’s exclusive special feature pieces about MLB flagships here.

Talkers2016 logo lgTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Is Nearing a Sellout!  If you haven’t made your reservations to attend the forthcoming 19th annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, now is the time to do so.  It is nearing an early sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place three weeks from now on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY (on Long Island, just outside of NYC).  Featuring a powerful lineup of more than 60 luminous speakers, panel discussions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, closing reception, techno exhibits, live broadcasts and more – this is shaping up to be the most exciting and productive industry networking events of its kind in years.  Registration cost is $299 per person and can only be arranged with credit card over the phone. The event is only open to media professionals and communications students.  Please call 413-565-5413 for registration, sponsorship, and hotel information.  Complete up to date agenda info can be found by clicking here.

Knapp, GregKnapp, KCMO-AM Cut Ties. After more than five years as KCMO-AM, Kansas City’s afternoon drive host, Greg Knapp departs the Cumulus Media talk outlet. Regarding his dismissal, Knapp writes on his Facebook page, “I was told repeatedly it was not about my performance. My general manager was very kind in telling me how much she appreciated my show and my work [but] corporate decided it was cheaper to run syndicated programming than it was to pay me a salary. I have consistently had the highest ratings on the station; everyone at Cumulus Kansas City has been very good to me. The good news is I learned a long time ago to always have more than one source of income. I am now ramping up my personal development business [but] I am also looking for new opportunities in radio.” Knapp previously did afternoon drive on KLIF, Dallas; was a syndicated Radio America talk talent; and owned a guest-hosting service. Down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), KCMO-AM ranks #21 in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM report for Kansas City; Entercom hot AC KZPT “The Point” is the market leader (6.5, 6+).

Talkers Ten LogoPresidential Race Tops “Talkers Ten” for Week of April 25 – 29. Activities of the presidential candidates and the battle for delegates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 were the European terrorism investigations and the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, tied with the United States’ Syria military policy.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over state laws affecting public restroom use and gender identification, followed by North Korea’s recent missile tests 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.

KXLRobbins & Markley” Becomes “Markley & van Camp.” Owing to health concerns that have sidelined Scott Robbins since late-August (2015), there is a title change for the weekday program on Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” and co-owned WMBD, PeoriaWMBD (Illinois). David van Camp will permanently join Jamie Markley for the “Markley and van Camp Show,” which airs 9:00 am – 12:00 noon on KXL and from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm on WMBD. Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick comments that, “David van Camp brings a unique perspective to the show and a great balance to Jamie Markley; together, they are magical.” The first official day of the newly-named “Markley and van Camp Show” will be next Monday (5/2).

Sirius-XM-Logo (2)SiriusXM Q1 Revenue Rises 11%. The increase is to a record $1.2 billion, with SiriusXM net income up 62% to $171 million; adjusted EBITDA improves 11% to $441 million. The satcaster adds nearly one-half million new subscribers, ending with almost 30.1 million. First quarter results exceeded expectations of chief executive officer Jim Meyer who comments, “I am especially pleased we were able to add 465,000 net new subscribers, leading to an 8% increase in subscribers over the prior year. With excellent subscriber growth so early in the year, we are raising our guidance for full year net subscriber additions to 1.6 million. We set first quarter records for revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow, and we are on track to achieve all of our financial goals this year. With a new full-time music channel from Kenny Chesney, live broadcasts from major music festivals, special popup channels for David Bowie, and Billy Joel, as well as new talk shows, and unmatched coverage of the presidential primaries, SiriusXM continues to be the leader in audio entertainment. We are always looking to deliver new, compelling content to our subscribers.” Chief financial officer David Frear notes that during the first quarter, “We reduced our outstanding share count by about 3%, spending $588 million to repurchase 159 million shares of our common stock. Our debt to adjusted EBITDA remained low at just 3.4 times, leaving plenty of flexibility to continue capital returns to our stockholders or make acquisitions while also making investments in our technology, content, and new satellite infrastructure.”

NYMRADState of the New York Market Report Released. Among the findings from a New York Market Radio Association (NYMRAD) overview is that several industries expanded their footprint in the New York area contributing to a strong first-quarter start. NYMRAD executive director Debbie Beagan remarks, “With luxury retailers and department stores opening locations across the Tri-State area, radio offers high-end businesses an engaging environment for reaching consumers with household incomes of $250,000 and higher. New York market radio reaches 91% of high-income households, $250,000+, [as well as] over 90% of those who own a second home; those planning on buying a luxury car; dined in upscale restaurants; purchased fine jewelry in excess of $500; and vacations in excess of $10,000.” The report addresses latest information about New York’s economy, commuting information, radio and politics, and national radio advertising/usage. Analysis of the New York marketplace is designed to help advertisers understand radio’s impact on consumers and its role in the local advertising landscape. NYMRAD’s “State of the Market Report” provides business trends as well as local information from a variety of sources including Nielsen Audio, Media Monitors, and The New York Times.”

The BlazeExecs Named to Build Digital Content Network for TheBlaze. Three digital media industry veterans have been added to TheBlaze‘s leadership team. Former Core Media Group chief marketing officer Chris Gannett joins as senior vice president of marketing; previously with CNN and the weekend edition of ABC-TV‘s “Good Morning America,” Matt Frucci is appointed senior vice president of content & programming; and Lisa Fowler – from BET Networks – joins as vice president of talent and culture. TheBlaze president Stewart Padveen notes, “TheBlaze is investing heavily in our mission to redefine the way digital media is delivered and consumed. Chris, Matt, and Lisa are a significant part of a new high-performing culture and a diverse lineup of superstar talent.” Ironically, the additions at Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze come after cuts across offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington (D.C.), and Columbus, where a documentary group had been based. Sources tell TVNewser, between 35-45 staffers have been pinkslipped. These layoffs follow what a source calls a “brain drain” of talent over the last year. Chief executive officer Betsy Morgan left the company last summer and her interim replacement, former Premiere Networks chief operating officer, Kraig Kitchen, exited earlier this year. According to The Daily Beast, the latest cuts are meant to “satisfy the requirements of a multi-million dollar bank loan taken out recently to keep Beck’s revenue-challenged enterprise running.” TheBlaze is consolidating the company’s operations to its Irving, Texas headquarters.

Friday, August 28, 2015

| August 28, 2015

owensronnRonn Owens to Return to KGO, San Francisco on Monday.  Weeks after undergoing surgery for phase one of Deep Brain Stimulation treatment for his Parkinson’s Disease, legendary Bay Area talk personality Ronn Owens posts on his Facebook page that he’s feeling better – minor complications notwithstanding – and will return to KGO, San Francisco’s airwaves on Monday.  Here’s what he had to say: “Just checking in (with a three-day growth of beard!) to let you know that I’m feeling much better and plan to be back on the show on Monday.  Falling down the stairs after the Deep Brain Stimulation surgery slowed my recovery due to the resulting blood clot on the surface of the brain, along with another blood clot in the lung and a nasty cough.  Those factors have also forced my doctors to postpone the second phase of the DBS process (implanting a battery pack in my chest) until late October.  Nonetheless, the DBS procedure is still on track for success and I look forward to it being able to reverse my Parkinson’s symptoms by 5 to 7 years when it’s complete in early November.”  Prior to his recent surgery, Owens spoke with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on the latter’s international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” on the PodcastOne platform.  You can check out that discussion here.

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wnnhNew Hampshire Gets New FM N/T Station – Howie Carr Headlines Lineup.  Beginning Monday (8/31) Binnie Media-owned WNNH-FM, Concord, New Hampshire will re-launch as “99.1 NH1 News, New Hampshire’s Newsradio.”  The station will provide the Concord area with what is being described as “continuous local news updates on the top stories from around the Granite State, along with opinion and analysis from nationally recognized personalities, including Howie Carr weekday afternoons.”  The “NH1” brand has been serving New Hampshire as a major statewide TV and radio newscarrhowie organization.  “99.1 NH1 News” will feature hourly updates from the NH1 News staff. The NH1 Radio News Network will continue to broadcast on 12 radio stations in New Hampshire, including stations in Concord, Nashua, Portsmouth, the Lakes Region, and Lebanon.  In 2014, NH1 News received a Granite Mike Award for the Best Radio Newscast from the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.  The local news coverage on “99.1 NH1 News” will be augmented by the world and national resources of CBS News.  Binnie Media EVP Lee Kinberg tells TALKERS, “This is the next logical step in the growth of NH1 News.  Last month NH1 News on WBIN-TV was the #1 10:00 pm news in New Hampshire and in less than a year, NH1.com is achieving over 800,000 page views a month. “99.1 NH1 News” brings our comprehensive local news coverage to Concord’s radio listeners.”  In addition to Carr, nationally known personalities including Don Imus, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, and Michael Savage round out the weekday lineup.  Carr tells TALKERS, “It’s an honor to be working with all the great professionals at NH1 News, and to be able to reach a whole new audience in the Granite State — especially with the presidential primaries coming up in less than six months.”  This marks the 24th affiliate for Howie Carr’s rapidly-growing independent regional talk network.  Binnie Media owns 16 stations in Maine and New Hampshire.

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sullivanbobBob Sullivan Exits Daily Role on KOGO, San Diego.  His comments to the San Diego Union-Tribune about leaving his co-host role on the afternoon drive show with former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio are pretty sanguine, still there’s a tenor of disappointment in Bob “Sully” Sullivan’s comments that he and the station have different philosophies about what the show’s topics should be.  Sullivan tells the paper, “I like to talk red-meat topics — illegal immigration, gun control and minimum wage — and I think the station wants that segment to go more toward local politics, pension reform and the water crisis.  Carl is very passionate about that stuff and I just am not.”  Sullivan’s 16-year tenure with the station will continue as he’ll still be business editor and serve as a fill-in host.  DeMaio has been on the program for the past five months – shortly after losing a race for a seat in Congress.

cosbyritaRita Cosby to Host Weeklong Web Series on Education.  The hour-long program – titled “Back to the Books Radio” – will appear exclusively on WABC, New York’s website beginning Monday, August 31.  On the program, Rita Cosby will “discuss timely and critical issues in American education with some of the nation’s most prominent voices in education, including highlighting: teacher and student standards, busing, charter schools, Common Core, and illegal immigrants and who should pay for their education.  The series is a provocative and no-holds-barred look at the issues that are important to those who are concerned that the educational system is failing the country’s children — what is working, and what is not.  The series looks in-depth at New York City’s massive public education system with more than one million students and 1,700 schools.”  Each show features interviews with top experts and thought leaders in New York and U.S. education.

townhallcomSalem Media Group Re-Brands TOH News with Townhall.com Collaboration.  Raising the radio profile of its conservative website Townhall.com will likely be one of the effects of Salem Media Group’s decision to rename its top-of-the-hour news product with the brand Townhall.com.  SMG says the site “reaches 3 million unique visitors every month.  This will be a brand extension to the powerful SRN News product that provides both news/talk and Christian talk stations a strong 24/7 radio news service.”  Salem says it will continue to produce the SRN News feed at :55 past the hour,  primarily for Christian stations and that the Townhall.com branded product will be designed for news/talk stations.   Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce comments, “We will continue to offer the outstanding reporting that is a hallmark of SRN News with great anchors and respected correspondents like Greg Clugston at the White House, Linda Kenyon at the Senate and Wally Hindes at the House.  The new brand extension will allow us to better market the product for news and talk stations and we can’t think of a better partner than Townhall.com which is so respected and well-known.”

wmen logo‘640AM Sports’ in Fort Lauderdale Shuffles Hosts.  Midday sports talk host Joe Raineri moves to afternoon drive on WMEN, Fort Lauderdale “640AM Sports,” replacing Hank Goldberg.  Currently, the midday daypart consists of DirecTV/FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and Rich Eisen from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm but there is speculation that the station will opt for adding Colin Cowherd’s new FOX Sports Radio program – set to debut in September – to the slot currently held by Eisen.

Odds & Sods. Abundant, thunderous changes taking place with Major League Baseball‘s Boston Red Soxobriendave have even spread to the broadcasting booth. While it doesn’t take effect until next year, Dave O’Brien will shift from radio play-to-play to the television side, calling Red Sox games on NESN. O’Brien, who has a renowned national presence from his ESPN television exposure, will succeed Don Orsillo, whose contract isn’t being renewed. No word yet on a successor to O’Brien on the Red Sox Radio Network, whose flagship is Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI-FM. Quincy, Massachusetts native O’Brien miklaszberniejoined the Red Sox radio booth for the 2007 season – when the Red Sox wound up winning the World Series…..St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz returns to Hubbard Radio‘s WXOS “101ESPN” on Monday, August 31  to revive his sports talk show.  The longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports writer is exiting his position with the paper to begin hosting the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  He will also write for the station’s 101sports.com website…..ESPN Radio announces that Ian Fitzsimmons will host the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot with Will Cain, Trevor Matich, and Freddie Coleman next week.  The network is reportedly preparing to officially announce Dan LeBatard will assume that daypart permanentlyzaklana later in September…..Former Philadelphia Eagles great Brian Westbrook is reprising his football expert role at Greater Media‘s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” on the AM drive Anthony Gargano show.  Westbrook will be part of the Monday program from 9:00 am to 10:00 am following Eagles games during the NFL season…..ABC News announces Lana Zak is the newest member of the Multi-Platform Reporter team.  Zak began her career with ABC News as an anchor producer for Diane Sawyer at “Good Morning America.”  Most recently, she has served as a coordinating producer for ABC’s Specialized Units.

New Economic News Program to Debut in January.  This new offering comes from Walter O’Connell Tax Services, LLC on a weekly basis beginning January 2, 2016.  According to O’Connell, “Economics-Weekly.com” is a one-hour radio program featuring selected readings in economics from top economic bloggers from around the world and “was founded on the belief that liberty and free trade are created, and sustained, through economic understanding.”  O’Connell says, “Our current weekly syndicated radio program is a perfect pre-air or post-air program for news, business, economic, political or current event programing.”

hannity montgomerygentry15Country Duo Montgomery Gentry to Appear on ‘Hannity’ Tonight.  Country music will be a topic on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” this evening (8/28) as country superstars Montgomery Gentry will be on the program.  Eddie Montgomery (left) and Troy Gentry (right) recently spoke with Sean Hannity (center) about their new Blaster Records album, Folks Like UsPhoto: Monarch Publicity.

TV Reporters Slayings/Gun Control Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of August 24-28.  The tragic slayings of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward and the related issue of gun control were the most-talked-about stories during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.  Coming in at #3 was the debate over immigration policy followed by the possible presidential candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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