Chris Camp Retires from WSB, Atlanta News Director Role. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that after 28 years leading the news department at Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, Chris Camp is retiring from that station and his role as news director. The story indicates that assistant news director Amanda Moyer will step up to the news director role and Jennifer Perry will rise to assistant news director. The 63-year-old Camp says that around Christmas of last year he made the decision to retire and return to New England where he’s from and where most of his family still lives. Camp tells the AJC, “It’s time for somebody else to shepherd this ship and take it to the new heights.”
Mike Missanelli and ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ Part Company. Philadelphia sports talk host Mike Missanelli announced to his listeners on Tuesday that it would be his last day leading the afternoon drive program on Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” According to a report by NBC 10 Philadelphia, Missanelli told his audience that his contract is expiring in a couple of weeks and “he and the company have decided to go in different directions.” He added that Beasley has a new program under contract to fill the daypart. Missanelli, who previously served with crosstown sports talker WIP, had been hosting at WPEN for 12 years.
Remembering William O’Shaughnessy. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this look at the life and career of radio executive William O’Shaughnessy, who passed away on Saturday (5/28) at 84 after a battle with cancer. Kinosian writes, “Those privileged to spend time with the perfectly coiffed president & editorial director of Whitney Radio’s WVOX-AM & WVIP-FM were guaranteed to be regaled with classic radio nuggets spun in extraordinary style and vibrant flair. Queries on any subject produced at least a handful of animated recollections, all eloquently crafted by the classy O’Shaughnessy, who frequently and delightfully referred to himself in the third-person.” Read his piece here.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Salem Media Group’s news/talk WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” is hosting what is expected to be the final GOP debate before the June 28 Illinois primary. The debate is taking place on June 23 at McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. News director Mike Scott will serve as moderator and WIND morning co-host Amy Jacobson and Illinois Radio Network’s Greg Bishop will serve as panelists. WIND program director Marcus Brown states, “As Chicago’s leading conservative media outlet, we look forward to providing a forum for the Republican candidates for governor to address our audience and make their closing arguments. We know that our listeners will be the ones that decide the outcome of this election, and we expect a spirited and informative exchange of ideas at our debate just a few short days before the election.”…..In celebration of Pride Month, Audacy all-news outlets WINS and WCBS-AM in New York are launching “It’s OK to Say Gay,” a new LGBTQIA+ podcast focused on various topics affecting the LGBTQIA+ community. The podcast is being hosting by managing producer of podcasts Femi Redwood, who says, “As some LGBTQ people feel like they’re being forced back into the closet due to legislation like the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bills, queer and trans voices are more important than ever before. With humor and honesty, the new ‘It’s OK To Say Gay’ podcast brings together diverse voices across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum that rarely get to be heard.”…..iHeartRadio announces a deal with Victoria’s Secret and Amanda de Cadenet to bring “VS Voices” to the iHeartPodcast Network. The podcast “builds on the Victoria’s Secret vision of being a leading advocate for women by highlighting stories of trailblazers who have paved the way for other women to succeed today and beyond.” De Cadanet says, “Storytelling with a purpose is what I have focused on for most of my career. I am looking forward to continuing that mission in partnership with iHeart, and to amplify the powerful life experiences that my guests share with me. With each of the podcasts we will be able to tell a wide variety of stories, from the profound and insightful, to those that are simply entertaining. I’m excited to be launching this audio trifecta!”…..Virtual News Center announces that a group of stations owned by Southern Broadcasting LLC joins its roster of affiliate stations. WTKI, Huntsville; WSLV, Ardmore, Tennessee; WIEZ, Decatur, Alabama; WYDL, Middleton, Tennessee; and WWGM, Selmer, Tennessee are now using the Virtual News Center services.
Uvalde Shooting Investigation/Gun Control, Inflation/Recession Fears, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19, Durham Investigation, SCOTUS Leak Investigation, and China’s Taiwan Ambitions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/31). The investigation into the timeline of the Uvalde, Texas shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead and the topic of gun legislation; the still soaring price of gasoline & food and the concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the global economic repercussions; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the impact of restrictions and mandates; special counsel John Durham’s probe into the Trump-Russia investigation and the acquittal of former Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussman; the intensifying investigation into the leak of the Supreme Court’s potential overturning of Roe v Wade; and China’s military interest in Taiwan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
KMOX, St. Louis Talk Host Charlie Brennan to Retire. Longtime KMOX, St. Louis talk radio personality Charlie Brennan announced to his listeners on Monday (3/28) that after nearly 34 years on the station, he will retire from his radio gig after his May 12 program. The Audacy station posted a story about Brennan’s retirement on its website that notes Brennan was hired in 1988 to work evenings and weekends and that, within two years, he was hosting the mid-morning show where he’s been ever since. It also recognizes Brennan’s community efforts, especially his local clean-up projects. In 2020, Brennan launched a four-day KMOX campaign raising $85,000 for Cardinal Children’s Hospital with assistance from actress Jenna Fisher, singer Michael McDonald, talk show host Andy Cohen, Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and comic Nikki Glazer. Over the years he’s helped raise funds and distribute supplies for flood victims both in the St. Louis region and other parts of the country; influenced legislation regarding traffic cameras, medical benefits, and food vendors; plus he’s organized five campaigns sending care packages to troops serving overseas. Brennan is the author of four books. Brennan also is a host of KETC-TV, St Louis’ “Donnybrook” program, among the highest-rated, locally-produced talk shows on PBS, a program he will continue to be a part of.
Compass Media Networks Promotes Nancy Abramson to SVP Sales & Content. Radio syndication pro Nancy Abramson is promoted to senior vice president of affiliate sales and content for Compass Media Networks. Abramson, who joined the company in 2014, will continue to be based out of the company’s New York office and will continue to spearhead its affiliate sales and affiliate marketing for select entertainment programming, including “DeDe in the Morning,” “Anna & Raven,” as well as services, including the Yamanair platform. Abramson comments, “The most important part of any job is that you are in a position where you admire, learn, and are stimulated by the people you work with – executives, colleagues, and clients. And if you are in sales, having great products to sell makes the job even more rewarding. I have all that at Compass Media Networks.” Prior to joining Compass, Abramson served as executive director of the Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal Radio Networks.
Mai Martinez Named Morning Co-Anchor at Chicago’s WBBM Newsradio. Television news pro Mai Martinez is named morning co-anchor and reporter for Audacy’s all-news WBBM Newsradio (WCFS-FM/WBBM-AM), effective April 4. In this role, Martinez will spend much of her time in the field, covering the diverse communities of Chicago, while also teaming with Cisco Cotto each morning from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Audacy Chicago regional president and market manager Rachel Williamson says, “This is a dream team of two experienced, talented journalists. Mai has a knack for uncovering the details that resonate with the people of this city. Together, she and Cisco have a passion for news plus warm and inviting voices that will greet our listeners each and every morning.” Prior to this role, Martinez spent 14 years as a general assignment reporter and weekend anchor at WBBM-TV. She comments, “Like so many Chicagoans, WBBM Newsradio has been a constant in my home and car for years. I’m honored to join such a talented team of hardworking and trusted journalists and continue the important work of informing and serving our community.”
Westwood One and NFL Renew Audio Media Partnership. Radio syndicator Westwood One and the National Football League announce the extension and expansion of their partnership with a new multi-year agreement. Westwood One, the official network audio broadcast partner of the NFL for more than 35 consecutive seasons and 50 years overall, will continue to provide play-by-play coverage for “Monday Night Football,” “Sunday Night Football,” “Thursday Night Football,” plus Thanksgiving Day, select international games, and the entire postseason including the Super Bowl. New elements of the deal include: Westwood One’s NFL primetime game broadcasts will be available free to fans on affiliated stations’ primary digital platforms and on the NFL App; Westwood One will offer expanded coverage of NFL tentpole events throughout the year, including NFL Honors, NFL Combine, NFL Draft, and NFL Schedule Release; and Westwood One and the NFL will explore creating new alternate game broadcasts in addition to the traditional Westwood One play-by-play. Westwood One president and Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes says, “What an honor it is for Westwood One to continue our multi-decade programming relationship with our iconic NFL partners by extending our exclusive network audio broadcast rights. Equally exciting is the opportunity to further grow our NFL fan base by expanding our relationship to include digital distribution rights as well as innovative, new content opportunities.”
Todd Starnes Show Gets Praise from Donald Trump. Pictured above is nationally syndicated talk radio host Todd Starnes (right) providing commentary from Donald Trump’s Commerce, Georgia rally on Newsmax TV. Starnes, who also spoke at the rally, says Trump, who has been a regular guest on his program, has praised his show.
Save a Life, Maybe Your Own. Radio pro and consultant Jon Quick writes in a piece for TALKERS magazine today not about programming talk radio as he’s done recently, but about a simple test he took that likely extended his life. Quick recently underwent quadruple bypass surgery after a heart scan revealed serious blockage in several of his arteries. Thanks to the test, he’s on the mend. And now, he’s an evangelist for this simple heart test. Read more here.
Audacy Launches Two New MLB Podcasts. A partnership between Audacy’s sports podcast studio and Major League Baseball results in the launch of two new programs: “Inside the Monster” and “Beat the Streak Daily: Inside the Hits.” “Inside the Monster” is a collaboration with the Boston Red Sox, hosted by Steve Perrault and Joey Copponi, that will have unprecedented access to Red Sox players, club personnel, reporters, front-office and beyond. Inspired by MLB’s popular “Beat the Streak” fantasy game where fans complete by picking players they think will get a hit each day in pursuit of breaking the all-time hitting streak record of 56 games, “Beat the Streak Daily: Inside the Hits” breaks down each day’s leaderboard and looks at stories that are developing around hitting. It’s hosted by WSCR, Chicago personality Matt Spiegel.
Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Midterms/ Trump & the GOP, and Will Smith-Chris Rock Incident Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the possible poisoning of Ukrainian negotiators, and blowback over President Joe Biden’s saying Vladimir Putin must not stay in power; high gas prices and inflation pushing consumer retail prices up; concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant; federal Judge David Carter issues ruling that Donald Trump “more likely than not” tried to subvert the 2020 election; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Hepola Out at WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. According to a report by Bring Me the News, late morning talk host Cory Hepola has exited Audacy’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. Hepola began hosting the show in January of 2019 after a career that included a four-year stint with KARE-TV as host of “KARE 11 Sunrise.” Audacy has not commented publicly about Hepola’s exit. He said after his departure that his work at WCCO changed his life “in positive ways that I didn’t expect.” He also wrote, “I felt the pressure from the start. I mean, this was a huge risk; I was giving up a successful career (in TV) I’d worked so hard for – to move into something new. What if I was a disappointment? What if I said something wrong? What if they fired me?” His last day on the show was February 8, the same day he told Minnesota Public Radio reporter Brian Bakst that he’s considering a run for governor of Minnesota. Since February 9, Blois Olson has been hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.
Radio Executive Ray Quinn Announces Retirement. After a career that has spanned more than 50 years, Ray Quinn is retiring from his position as area president for iHeartMedia’s Alabama area, effective, March 22, 2022. Quinn has been with iHeartMedia for 14 years. He has held leadership positions at several stations throughout his extensive career, including vice president/market manager for KOSI-FM, KALC-FM, and KQMT-FM in Denver; WMYX-FM, WXSS-FM, and WSSP-AM in Milwaukee; WOLX-FM, WMMM-FM, and WBZU-FM in Madison; and many more. The governor of Kentucky also recognized Quinn as a Kentucky Colonel for participating in numerous charitable projects in his community. He was awarded the March of Dimes “Order of the Battered Boot” for walkathon fundraising efforts over the years. iHeartMedia division president Shosh Abromovich says, “Ray is one of a kind. He is known as a unicorn of a leader with his passion, enthusiasm and constant innovative thinking. He has impacted so many of our lives in this industry for the better. We are beyond thankful for the many years Ray has led our teams and are truly excited for him to enjoy this next chapter of his life.” Quinn states, “It’s been an amazing 51 years in radio and 14 years with iHeartMedia. Along the way, I’ve worked for and with some of the most intelligent people in the business and I am grateful to iHeartMedia for allowing me to lead multiple markets in the Southeast. While I will miss my team and the day-to-day battles, it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation of leaders.”
TALKERS News Notes. The Central Florida operations of iHeartMedia is presenting the Florida Jobs Now Career Expo, an onsite resource event connecting job seekers to companies with exciting opportunities and benefits. The event will be held on Thursday, March 3 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm and attendees will have the opportunity to meet with companies throughout Central Florida offering hundreds of positions, as well as attend resume writing and interview preparedness workshops. iHeartMedia Orlando/Melbourne area president Barbara Latham says, “We look forward to bringing this important career event to Central Florida. As a business ourselves serving our local community here in central Florida, we recognize the significant need from our business partners to fill job openings. We feel uniquely poised to help connect these businesses with people living or moving to central Florida as an essential part of our efforts in our local communities.”…..Cumulus Media announces that it has entered into an exclusive long-term agreement for WNAM-AM, Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to remain the official radio broadcast home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the High-A affiliate of the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers. This year will be the 13th season that the Timber Rattlers have been broadcast on WNAM, with 23-year play-by-play voice Chris Mehring calling the action….. In advance of the 64th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday (2/20), Motor Racing Network announces additions to its content lineup and award-winning team of announcers. NASCAR Cup Series Championship winning crew chief, Todd Gordon joins MRN after 11 years with Team Penske. Gordon will provide race analysis on select NASCAR broadcasts and will be MRN’s competition and strategy expert across Motor Racing Network’s NASCAR programming. Suzy Armstrong will serve as host of MRN’s signature show “NASCAR TODAY.” The program is heard daily on 280 radio stations across the country in afternoon drive. During her two decades plus with the network Suzy has contributed her familiar voice to several shows and podcasts.
Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19 Mandates-Protests, Durham Probe, Inflation/Financial Markets, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Palin-NYTimes Case, Beijing Olympics, and Rams Win Super Bowl Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/14). The diplomatic tensions over Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the planned relaxing of mask mandates in numerous states, and the truckers’ protests; special counsel John Durham’s investigation into allegations of Hillary Clinton’s digital spying on Donald Trump; the still-soaring inflation and the activity on the world’s financial markets; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; a judge says he’ll toss Sarah Palin’s defamation suit against The New York Times; the politics behind the Beijing Winter Olympics; and the Los Angeles Rams’ victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.