Jack Sunday Retires from Full-Time KFGO, Fargo Role. Longtime Fargo talk radio personality Jack Sunday has retired from his full-time role as an on-air talk host on Midwest Communications’ news/talk KFGO-AM. Sunday had been co-hosting the late morning show with Amy Iler, who wrote a nice piece about Sunday that you can see here. Iler is now partnered with JJ Gordon on the “It Takes Two” program. Sunday acknowledged his decision to leave the position was difficult and noted that he is caring for his wife who suffers from a rare neurological condition. Sunday first joined KFGO in 1989 and over the course of 30 years served as program director, afternoon host, and midday personality. He tells KFGO’s Joel Heitcamp, “I am convinced that there is probably no other radio station in the country like KFGO… we have 17 or 20 people who are on the air live as personalities for extended periods of time… a four-person news team, a meteorologist and sports. We have two great sportscasters here, plus on-air personalities with producers that become personalities themselves.” Sunday will develop a podcast to be part of the station’s podcast offerings.
Appeals Court Tosses Prager’s YouTube Lawsuit. The suit by Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager’s non-profit educational organization, Prager University, against Google’s YouTube platform was shot down by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday (2/26). Prager University had sued YouTube claiming it had violated its First Amendment rights and the Lanham Act (false advertising), but the District Court dismissed the suit. PragerU appealed and the Appeals Court agreed with the lower court. At issue here was PragerU’s claim that YouTube’s Restricted Mode violated the conservative educational organization’s First Amendment rights by making certain of its video unviewable for those under a certain age due to its Restricted Mode guidelines. It also claimed that YouTube’s promotional language touting the importance of people being able to “speak freely” while putting certain videos in Restricted Mode violated the Lanham Act. Judge M. Margaret McKeown writes in the decision, “The panel held that despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a public-facing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment. The panel noted that just last year, the Supreme Court held that ‘merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.’ The panel held that the Internet does not alter this state action requirement of the First Amendment. The panel therefore rejected plaintiff’s assertion that YouTube is a state actor because it performs a public function. Addressing the false advertising claim under the Lanham Act, the panel held that YouTube’s statements concerning its content moderation policies do not constitute ‘commercial advertising or promotion’ as the Lanham Act requires. Nor was YouTube’s designation of certain of plaintiff’s videos for Restricted Mode part of an advertising or promotion or a misrepresentation as to the videos. Finally, the panel held that YouTube’s braggadocio about its commitment to free speech constituted opinions that are not subject to the Lanham Act.”
Former News Staffer Sues Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco. A lawsuit filed in California Superior Court by former KCBS-AM, San Francisco news staffer Sheryl Raines accuses the station of retaliation, failure to prevent harassment, unlawful termination and more. The complaint centers around allegations of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment on the part of engineer Dan Denton. Raines says she reported Denton’s alleged behavior to superiors, but it continued. She was terminated in May of 2019 and was told that the station wanted “a different sound.” In her complaint, she states her replacement was a woman of similar demographic makeup with a “startlingly similar” on-air voice to her own. She is seeking unspecified damages.
ABC Audio Appoints Lakeia Brown to Senior Producer, Race & Culture Audio Insights Post. The senior producer, race & culture audio insights position is a newly created one at ABC Audio and Lakeia Brown will assume that post on March 9. She has been serving in the ABC News research department. She has more than 15 years of experience in consumer insights and analytics for television networks including: ABC, Disney, Comedy Central, Nick @ Nite, TV Land and BET. She starts with ABC Audio on March 9. ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku says that in this position Brown will “act as a storyteller, researcher, and social connector all rolled into one. She’ll work closely with our amazing team to create and deliver new radio news products and podcasts, maximize sponsorship opportunities and participate in editorial story development, all while focusing on expanding Audio’s reach with multicultural audiences. Lakeia will also serve as ABC Audio’s in-house expert on all things research, connecting insights to actionable strategies that help drive reach and revenue for ABC Audio.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated home improvement radio show, “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford,” hits the 300-affiliate station mark as it celebrates its 10th year under the direction of Lipford. Along with Lipford’s Emmy-nominated TV show, “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford,” airing in 91% of the U.S., Lipford is a familiar figure in the home improvement industry. “Today’s Homeowner” radio dates back to 2009 when Lipford took over a small radio show called “Homefront.” He re-branded the program, officially launching “Today’s Homeowner” radio which began airing on 60 stations. Over the past decade, Lipford and his team have strategically grown the show’s footprint by 200%.…..In Virginia Beach, Max Media names Tim Donnelly executive producer of the Nick Cattles show on sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1.” Donnelly was most recently with Monticello Media’s WRAD-AM, Blacksburg, Virginia where he hosted his own sports talk show. Max Media VP of operations and programming Rusty James says, “Tim lives and breathes sports and we are so excited to have his passion on ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’”…..Townsquare Media’s sports talk WTMM, Albany adds another hour to the “Big Board Sports” show. The program, hosted by Rodger Wyland and Chris Onorato, now airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm…..Salem Radio Network assures us that nationally syndicated late morning talk host Mike Gallagher does not have the coronavirus, but he did test positive for influenza and has to miss the opening day of CPAC 2020 in Washington. So, filling in for him is Kurt Schlichter (right) who is pictured below interviewing American Conservative Union president Matt Schlapp (left).
Lee Abrams Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most influential music radio programmers of the past 50 years, Lee Abrams, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Abrams was the chief architect of an approach to FM album rock radio known back in the seventies as the “Superstars” format and, as a consultant, guided hundreds of stations across the country to commercial success utilizing its systems and techniques. He went on to be one of the original programming forces behind today’s satellite radio during the first decade of its development and then served a couple of years with the Tribune Company helping that organization revamp its newspapers and television stations for the 21st century. Today, Abrams is the head of a newly launched, Chicago-based consultancy, MediaVision, which is focused on radio (terrestrial and beyond) and music for 40-plus consumers as well as revolutionary approaches to video news and television. Harrison and Abrams take a deep dive into the past, present, and future of pop culture including a retrospective on the days they spent as two of the top thought-leaders in AOR (album oriented rock) radio. This program is a must-listen for anyone in the radio business. 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 on every page of Talkers.com.
Talk Radio at CPAC. Numerous radio talk show hosts from around the nation are attending this year’s CPAC gathering in National Harbor, MD with many broadcasting from the conservative event’s radio row. Pictured covering CPAC for her national commentary is Victoria Jones (l) executive director of DC Radio Company visiting the broadcast setup of John Fredericks (r) of the John Fredericks Radio Network.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Names FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Recipient of Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award. The recipient of this year’s Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America is Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. The honor will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation Annual Breakfast on Wednesday, April 22 at the 2020 NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award salutes its namesake and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation. Past recipients include Bill Clark, Eddie Fritts, Cathy Hughes, Mel Karmazin, Jeff Smulyan, Dick Wiley, and others.
Coronavirus Pandemic Fears, Presidential Race, Financial Markets Activity/China Productivity, Deadly Milwaukee Brewery Shooting, and India Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26). Concerns about Covid-19 developing into a global pandemic; the Democrats battling to face President Trump in the November election; the reaction of the world’s financial markets to the coronavirus and the virus’ effect on China’s productivity; a fired brewery worker returns to the plant in Milwaukee and kills five co-workers before killing himself; and the deadly sectarian violence in India were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Scotty Kay is adding midday hosting duties at Entercom’s St. Louis CHR KNOU “NOW 96.3” to his responsibilities. Kay also serves as co-host of the morning show at country WUSN-FM, Chicago “US99.” Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “I’ve been a fan of Scotty and his unique ability to become one with his audience and we’re delighted to add him to our team. Scotty will be a vital part of the puzzle as we continue to grow ‘NOW 96.3’ into the dominant contemporary hit radio brand in St. Louis.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Rex Long program director for Austin CHR KHFI “96.7 KISS FM.” He was most recently with the company’s Salt Lake City cluster. iHeartMedia Austin/San Antonio region president Matt Martin says, “Rex’s abundance of energy, his creative ideas to connect with listeners, combined with his strategic vison to be a fabric of Austin’s culture make Rex a perfect fit to continue building the ‘KISS’ brand.”…..Cumulus Media names Bev Rainey program director of country KRST, Albuquerque. She’ll also host the late morning show. Rainey served for the past 20 years with iHeartMedia’s crosstown country KBQI, the last seven as program director. Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry says, “KRST provides the very best in country music and entertainment for our listeners and unmatched results for our promotional partners. I could not be happier to have Bev join this fantastic team. She is known and loved by the audience and respected by the industry. This is a great day for one of America’s great country brands.”…..Berkshire Broadcasting flips WAXB-AM/W233CF, Danbury, Connecticut “B945” from classic hits to classic rock as “945 The Hawk.” Berkshire CEO Irv Goldstein says, “‘B945’ has been continuously evolving over the years. Morphing from a traditional oldies station to an 80s based classic hits/classic rock mix. We just felt that now was the right time to get off the fence and go all in. ‘945 The Hawk’ is classic rock that really rocks.”
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on the June 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on sports talk radio. Across the PPM markets, only 25% of sports talk stations saw their 6+ AQH rise from the May 2018 survey to last month. However, when comparing year-over-year numbers, 67% of sports talk stations realized gains in their 6+ AQH. A look at market rank shows three sports talk stations in the top five in their respective markets with three Entercom stations – WXYT-FM, Detroit; KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh; and WFAN-AM/FM, New York ranking #5 (WFAN’s #5 ranking was in the Middlesex-Somerset-Union market). See Kinosian’s entire report here.
Hubbard’s Marc Kaye Stepping Down After 45-Year Career. Seattle vice president and market manager Marc Kaye is retiring from Hubbard Radio and the radio business after a 45-year career that started at WGBB, Long Island – then owned by Susquehanna Broadcasting – as an account executive. Kaye says, “I promised myself that when I hit the 45-year mark in the great business of radio, I was going to get a bit selfish and consider that milestone was enough to prove I have given it my all. I am looking forward to spending a whole lot more time with my wife and see what new challenges and chapters I can write as I move forward. I have been fortunate to have worked with the very best and for this I am very grateful.” Kaye rose quickly through the ranks at WGBB, becoming general manager at age 27. At the same time his sales career was beginning, he held on to his sports broadcaster dreams by working as the radio voice of the St. John’s University basketball team and working for the brand new (at the time) cable sports channel, ESPN. During his career he managed in markets including: St. Petersburg, Houston, Seattle, Tampa and Los Angeles for companies such as Harte-Hanks, Westinghouse, Gannett, and Jacor. Hubbard chair Ginny Morris comments, “Having the opportunity to work with Marc Kaye has been one of the great delights of my career. Marc’s positive spirit, creativity and passion for life made working with him a great joy. Marc will be very hard to replace but we are very happy that he will stay in his position through the transition and will help us find his replacement.”
iHeartMedia Chicago Appoints Steve Vicenteno VP of Automotive. Most recently with Chicago Tribune Media Group as sales director, Steve Vicenteno joins iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region as vice president of automotive. In this position, Vicenteno will be responsible for “overseeing automotive sales opportunities for the Chicago region that deliver a strong return on investment for clients reaching consumers through iHeartMedia’s unmatched assets, including on-air, online, social media, personalities and live events.” Vicenteno says, “I’m really excited to join the team at iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region. I’m thankful for the opportunity to bring my media and auto sales experience to such a reputable and vibrant organization. I’m ready to get started!”
We’re #24! KSTE, Sacramento-based, syndicated morning duo Armstrong & Getty are pictured above in a still from a recent video the duo made celebrating their place on the TALKERS magazine Heavy Hundred 2018 list. They say, “TALKERS has acknowledged ‘The Armstrong & Getty Show’ as the 24th most influential talk show in the entire U-S of A! Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty wish to thank TALKERS, while complimenting them on their good taste and extraordinarily fine judgement!” See the hilarious video here.
TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “The Talk Rumble.” Today (7/18), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8. Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 16th installment is the panel discussion titled “The Talk Rumble.” It is moderated by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon; introduced by WABC, New York host, Curtis Sliwa; and featuring panelists WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom Giordano; WYD Media host, Thom Hartmann; DC Radio Company executive director, Victoria Jones; USA Radio Network host, Wayne Allyn Root; Fox News Radio host, Todd Starnes; and WOLB, Baltimore host, Larry Young. Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.” It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike Bendixen; iHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb; the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.” It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris Berry; Beasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin Chase; Weiss Agency EVP, Heather Cohen; Cumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott. Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.” It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry Hurley; Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian Kilmeade; Westwood One host Chris Plante; Talk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.” It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt; a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson; convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan; the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, Asa; Bold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince Benedetto; Howie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy Carr; Westwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling; the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ; a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin; a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan; Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter. To view the page, please click here.
Air Staff for UConn IMG Radio Network Named. Hartford sports talk outlet WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford’s Sports Station” is carrying University of Connecticut play-by-play and the UConn IMG Radio Network is announcing the talent covering contests this school year. Bob Joyce will serve as executive producer and voice of UConn women’s basketball. Mike Crispino, five-time Emmy-winning broadcaster will serve as the voice of UConn football and men’s basketball. Wayne Norman returns for his 37th season as the color analyst for UConn football and men’s basketball, along with Debbie Fiske – a former UConn Women’s Basketball player – who will return for her seventh season as the color analyst for UConn women’s basketball. Adam Giardino joins the team as the sideline reporter for UConn football and color analyst for UConn hockey. Former Husky athlete Randy LaVigne rounds out the UConn IMG Radio Network broadcast team. UConn coverage on the iHeartMedia station begins August 1.
Trump-Putin Meeting Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, NATO Meeting Fallout, Illegal Immigration Policy, Obama in South Africa, MGM Sues Las Vegas Victims, and MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/18). The aftermath of President Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the international reaction to President Trump’s appearance at the recent NATO meeting; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum policies; former President Obama’s tour of Africa and his comments about the state of world politics; reaction to MGM’s suit to prevent victims of last fall’s Las Vegas shooting from suing it; and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Denver radio personality Denise Plante joins iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull” as midday host. iHeartMedia Denver Region president Tim Hager says, “Few names in Denver are as recognizable as Denise Plante. She’s a best-in-class personality who has a knack for connecting with listeners and business leaders in a meaningful way. I’m thrilled to welcome Denise to the iHeartMedia family and I look forward to watching her grow with the largest media company in the land.”…..In the San Jose market, Alpha Media names Nancy Newcomer production assistant and air personality at classic hits KBAY “94.5 BAY FM” and sister hot AC KEZR “Mix 106.” She previously was midday personality at classic rock KUFX, San Jose “KFOX.” She says, “I’m thrilled to make ‘94.5 BAY FM’ my new radio home. The South Bay has been good to me and I can’t wait to get back on the air. Thanks to Dave Numme, Lori Hereen and the entire Alpha Media crew for welcoming me into the fold.”…..Dick Broadcasting adds midday duties at alternative WKZQ, Myrtle Beach for Josie Cothran. She also handles the midday program at the company’s CHR WKZL, Greensboro…..Saga Communications’ urban contemporary WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” adds the syndicated “DeDe in the Mornings,” starring DeDe McGuire to the program schedule for morning drive…..Pictured below is Big Machine Records recording artist Carly Pearce (right) with “NASH Nights Live co-host Elaina Smith (left) at the NASH Campus in Nashville. Pearce spoke with Smith for her new “Women Want to Hear Women” podcast with NASH Country Daily. In addition to talking openly about what it’s like being a woman in country music, Pearce did two exclusive performances for the podcast – a cover of Dolly Parton’s classic “9 to 5” and her own current single, “Hide the Wine.”
‘Sports Radio 610’ in Houston Adds New Talent to Lineup. The Entercom sports talk station announces its new lineup that includes new voices Paul Gallant, Fred Davis, and Landry Locker. Gallant joins the AM drive “Mad Radio” show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne on KILT-AM. Fred Davis and Landry Locker are co-hosting the midday “In the Loop” show with John Lopez. The changes take effect on Tuesday (5/29). Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “‘SportsRadio 610’ has long been the sports leader in Houston and part of remaining on top is continuing to evolve with the needs of our audience. I’m excited about the energy that Paul will bring to mornings and Fred and Landry will bring to middays.”
PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. As Garrett Morris’ fictional “Saturday Night Live” character Chico Escuela used to say, “Baseball been berry, berry good to me!” Stations that serve as flagships for MLB teams certainly hope that baseball will be good to them each season. Today, TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian presents the first PPM analysis of the 2018 baseball season that looks at 6+ numbers from Nielsen’s April PPM survey for those stations. Some of the stations that appear to have benefitted from the first month of the season compared to their March numbers include: Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis (up 2.3 shares); Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (up 2 shares); and Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (up 1.9 shares). See Kinosian’s full report here.
Redberg Rises to VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities. Sales pro Michelle Redberg is promoted to vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis market that includes news/talk KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk,” sports talk KFXN-FM “K-Fan,” eight music brands, plus franchise partnerships with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football, basketball and hockey. Vice president of sales for the Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander states, “Michelle is one of the bright stars of our company. She has a contemporary approach to leadership along with a compassion for our advertisers and an understanding of today’s marketing and business challenges. Michelle’s passion, skills, energy and drive made her an obvious choice to help lead our strong Twin Cities brands.”
Michael Young Exits Entercom Pittsburgh Market Manager Position. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that market manager Michael Young has exited the position at Entercom’s four-station cluster there that includes news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM. Young was manager of the cluster when it was owned by CBS RADIO and stayed in his position as Entercom assumed ownership.
iHeartMedia Appoints Mark Boudreaux New Orleans Market President. New Orleans native Mark Boudreaux assumes the market president position at iHeartMedia New Orleans, effective June 11. iHeartMedia operates news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT, plus six music formats in the market. Boudreaux was most recently business development manager at South Central AV. iHM region president Eddie Martiny says, “Who better to run our iHeartMedia New Orleans market than a native New Orleanian? Mark has a proven track record in the Crescent City as a seller, sales manager and vice president of sales. We are excited to have Mark and his infectious personality leading iHeartMedia New Orleans.”
Saga Comminucations’ Warren Lada to Retire. Longtime Saga Communications executive Warren Lada is retiring from the company and his position as chief operating officer at the end of next month. Saga president and CEO Ed Christian comments, “Warren has been an integral part of Saga for the past 27 years and we will deeply miss his contributions to Saga and its radio stations across the US.” Prior to taking on the corporate role of COO, Lada was president and general manager for Saga’s WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show “Free Talk Live” – led by principals Ian Freeman, Mark Edge, and Darryl W. Perry (pictured from l-r at right) — announces a number of new affiliates for the program. WWMN-FM in Traverse City, Michigan and KUSG-AM in Guam add the program to their schedule and WTTN-AM, Columbus, Wisconsin joins the simulcast of existing progressive talk affiliate WRRD-AM, Waukesha…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM “Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan” and WDNC-AM “620 the Ticket” in Raleigh are broadcasting live, play-by-play for all games of this year’s ACC Baseball Championship series that runs through this Sunday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham. Vice president of programming Dennis Glasgow says, “It is our pleasure to bring as much live content as possible over the next five days with our ACC Baseball coverage to everyone in The Triangle. We have an excellent arsenal of announcers lined up to bring our listeners and baseball fans the very best play-by-play and analysis from the ACC Baseball Championship at DBAP.”…..cabana, the digital audio division of AdLarge Media, is expanding its podcast portfolio by adding the true crime genre with the podcast “Crime Junkie,” hosted by Ashley Flowers. “Crime Junkie” launched in December and, according to AdLarge, has been averaging 40,000 downloads per episode…..Tag Station announces that the NextRadio smartphone app for listening to local FM stations is being launched for smartphone users in Mexico. Tag Station president Paul Brenner comments, “We’re thrilled that NextRadio is now available for use on both iOS and Android devices in Mexico. We want to empower all users to enjoy local FM radio without having their content restricted by geographic location or choice of device.”…..KXL, Portland news staffers Steve Leader and Rosemary Reynolds were recently honored with awards from the Associated Press. Leader is AM drive anchor at the Alpha Media station and Reynolds is a reporter. Leader received the Best Enterprise Reporting award for his series “Walk in the Hood,” a look at the way African American communities have changed in Portland through the eyes of two African Americans who grew up in Portland. Reynolds received the Best Public Service award for her series “Wanted: Foster Parents,” that addressed the 11,000 children in Oregon in need of foster care…..Pictured below is FOX Sports Radio nationally syndicated talk show host JT “The Brick” emceeing the 11th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic. This was JT’s fifth year serving as emcee for the event that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.
Hobnobbing at The Gracies. Pictured above at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards on Tuesday (5/22) at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles are: Sun Broadcast Group CEO Jason Bailey (left), Weiss Agency EVP and AWMF director Heather Cohen, and Kris Bailey.
Cool Job Opportunity for KNX Full Time Writer/Producer. Entercom’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is looking for a fearless, aggressive, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative team player. The right candidate is a real show producer and not just a guest booker. Must have a strong rolodex, good news judgment and the ability to write quick, clear, compelling and concise scripts without the usual cliché’s or news speak. Must work and play well in a fast, high-pressure all-news environment. Intimate knowledge of socializing content in all platforms is a MUST. Prior major-market producing and news writing experience required. Strong multi-tasking and computer skills required. Familiarity with Southern California including politics, pop culture, lifestyle, etc. preferred. Must be available to work all hours, overnights, and weekends. Required to join the Writers Guild of America. For more information, please click here.
Trump-Russia Investigation, Status of North Korea Talks, U.S.-China Relations, New NFL Anthem Protest Rule, Parents Evict Son Case, Milwaukee Police Tase NBA Player, Iran Nuclear Deal, Primary Races, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the uncertain status of scheduled talks between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the state of relations between the U.S. and China after the latter is uninvited from joint military exercises; the NFL bans sideline anthem protests; the court case of the New York couple evicting their 30-year-old son; the Milwaukee police apologize after Bucks player Sterling Brown is tased during a parking violation incident; the aftermath of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal; Tuesday’s primary races in Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s news from Chicago as Windy City media maven Robert Feder writes today about legendary jock Dick Biondi’s official exit from Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM. Feder says that at some point Biondi’s status changed from inactive employee – Biondi was hospitalized in April of 2017 for an ailment – to former employee. Biondi had been hosting a weekend morning show on WLS-FM. Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren told him Biondi’s employment with the station ended “months ago.”…..Robert Feder also reports that Entercom is promoting weekend and fill-in jock Richard Milne to full-time afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm) personality on triple A WXRT. The move bumps Jason Thomas to weekend and fill-in duties as well as host of Monday evening’s “The Big Beat” show…..Tomorrow (5.25), Entercom New York’s classic hits WCBS-FM 101.1, New York’s Greatest Hits is broadcasting the “Shannon in the Morning Summer Beach Blastoff” featuring “Scott Shannon & The Big Show” live from the boardwalk at Coney Island. Hosting the event will be Scott Shannon with Patty Steele, Sue Aller, John Elliot and Brad Blanks, with special performances by Taylor Dayne and Smash Mouth.
Johnny Donovan Retires from WABC, New York. Capping a WABC, New York career that goes back to 1972, legend Johnny Donovan is retiring from the Cumulus Media-owned news/talk station. He’s been handling daily announcing and production director duties at WABC. In a press release announcing his retirement, the company notes that Donovan was a music jock during the influential WABC top 40 era. When the station flipped to talk in 1982, he remained on as staff announcer and production director – a position he held for more than 30 years. An amateur radio operator in his youth, Donovan became a DJ on WHVW in Hyde Park, New York after helping build the station in 1963. He went on to work at radio stations in Kingston (WBAZ) and Binghamton (WENE), New York, with a stop at Atlantic City, New Jersey’s WMID. In 1968, Donovan arrived in New York City as an overnight music host on WOR-FM. Four years later, Donovan brought his talent to the AM band and WABC. Cumulus SVP content and programming Mike McVay states, “Johnny Donovan was THE sound of 77 WABC. He joins the ranks of legends like Don Pardo, Ed McMahon and Ernie Anderson. His production and imaging skills are legendary. He will be missed at WABC, but more than that, he will be missed in our industry.” Donovan will continue to be heard as the voice of the Rush Limbaugh show – a position that he’s held since 1988 – and will continue his own voice-over business.
Goodbye, Mr. Letterman. And Thanks! Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall says farewell to his professional inspiration in a column published at TALKERS today (5/20). Tonight will air the final new episode of “Late Night with David Letterman” and the WPHT, Philadelphia talk host shares his personal admiration — perhaps even obsession – with one of the undisputed legends of late night talk television. In the piece, Stigall explains his attraction to Letterman as a performer. “I was a high school kid with big dreams of hosting his own show one day, but never felt like I was attractive or popular enough to make it. David Letterman taught me there’s something very good, right, and rewarding about being an individual. The more I watched and read about Letterman, the more fixated I became. Not just his comedy – which I loved. It was his ‘damn the torpedoes’ approach to this hallowed thing called television. It was everyday people from his shows’ staff cast in bits. It was random souvenir shop and deli owners turning into unintentional comedy stars.” Read Stigall’s entire piece here.
Creative Promotions Lead to New Sales. Radio marketing pro Al Herskovitz writes in a column published today that a radio sales pro worth his or her salt should never overlook the value of a creative radio promotion to solidify current clients and attract new ones. He says commonplace ticket giveaways and the like are fine but do little to make a client’s goods or services memorable, and such prizes usually go to station P1s anyway. How about having your morning host attempt to give a lion a bath? Sound too dangerous? Read Herskovitz’s entire column here for the details and his thoughts about using the promotion as a sales tool.
Bold Gold Foundation Inaugural Event Draws Hundreds. The inaugural fundraising and awards event for the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation took place over the weekend at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Northeast Pennsylvania and drew hundreds of supporters who gathered to cheer on and support the organization’s efforts to help prepare tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders. The Foundation celebrated broadcast radio’s legacy, while positioning to help lead the effort to bring new recruits into the news and talk ranks. Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto laid out the Foundation’s mission, explaining, “Broadcast radio continues to be the modern day town square where the news and issues of our times are related, debated and discussed in communities across America. The power of this medium, now amplified and synergized with the power of mobile and social media, can be positioned to influence the local and national narratives in more powerful ways than ever before. Our work will be focused on helping the best and brightest get the education and resources they need to write the next chapters of communication history.” Honored at the event was Northeast Pennsylvania entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Tambur. He was presented the 2015 Atlas Award for Citizenship. Benedetto says Tambur is “an example of someone who builds and creates, sees problems and boldly sets out to fix them. He shows what is possible to achieve in a free society and is the standard by which all future recipients will be measured.” Special guest speaker, citizen-journalist James O’Keefe of Project Veritas, provided a riveting audio and video presentation showing his past and ongoing efforts to expose corruption and hypocrisy in government and media. Benedetto says, “James shows what just one person, armed with the courage to report the truth is able to accomplish.” The event was emceed by David Madeira, morning show host of Bold Gold’s Scranton-based talk station, WTRW “94.3 The Talker.”
Odds & Sods. An extension of the affiliation deal just completed between ABC Radio News and Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago includes an expansion of shared editorial resources in the Chicago market. Simultaneously, WGN’s Ryan Burrow will be a contributor to ABC News Radio and report from Chicago and around the country. ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones comments, “Ryan Burrow is a talented, award-winning reporter who understands how to tell stories that capture an audience’s interest. Through ABC News Radio’s expanded partnership with WGN, Ryan will cover stories of interest to our national audience from across the Midwest region and around the country.”…..Washington-based political consultant Raynard Jackson sits in for Roland Martin on his nationally syndicated radio show “News One Now” airing from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET…..Joe Ligotti is named morning host at WMEX, Boston, replacing the syndicated “Dr. K Show.”
Dee Snider Podcast to Launch on PodcastOne. Musician and media personality Dee Snider is debuting a new, weekly podcast called, “Snider Comments,” on the PodcastOne Network. The program promises to “pull back the curtain on the world of rock and expose the raw and untold stories of current and past rock ‘n’ roll superstars.” PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz states, “This is the latest music insider podcast on the PodcastOne Network. There are plenty of places for consumers to listen to their favorite music, but very few to get a more personal, behind-the-scenes view from the artists that live in that world every day. Dee is not only a rock star and an icon, he’s a great personality and a terrific communicator. I couldn’t be more pleased to have him on our network.”
Jim Rome Visits Portland’s KXTG-AM. Appearing in the Portland market from affiliate KXTG-AM “750 & 102.9 The Game” was CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome. He hosted his national syndicated sports talk show from Alpha Media’s SKYPE LIVE STUDIO on Friday, May 15. Guests joining Rome in the studio included Oregon Ducks head football coach Mark Helfrich, Portland Trailblazers president Chris McGowan, and Fox Sports analyst Joey Harrington. Pictured here (from l-r) are: Alpha Portland SVP/GM Milt McConnell, KXTG-AM promotions director Derek House, Rome, and KXTG-AM program director Mike Ragz.
Hillary Clinton Email Controversy, Stephanopoulos Clinton Donation Scandal, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Takes Ramadi, California Oil Spill, N. Korea Nuke Threats, Saudi Beheadings Controversy, and ‘Deflategate’ Matter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/19). The ongoing talk of Hillary Clinton’s private emails that are alleged to have been used for State Department business; the scandal involving George Stephanopoulos’ donations to the Clinton Family Foundation; the potential candidates for president in 2016 including talk of Democrat Martin O’Malley officially entering the race; the taking of Ramadi, Iraq by ISIS; the coastal California oil spill; North Korea’s saber-rattling and talk of its new nuclear technology; the increase in beheadings in Saudi Arabia; and the latest on the NFL’s “Deflategate” case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.