Tag: "Roe Conn"
Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder Out in New WGN, Chicago Program Schedule. Two months after new management ousted station manager Todd Manley from his role at WGN, Chicago and hinted more changes were on the horizon, the Nexstar-owned news/talk outlet announces its new programming lineup and late morning duo Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder are the odd couple out. After the close of the Tribune-Nexstar deal, Sean Compton became executive vice president and director of news and operations Mary Sandberg Boyle was named interim programming manager. Yesterday (11/20), Boyle announced the changes via internal email. Among the changes effective December 2 are: Steve Cochran’s morning show starts an hour earlier, airing from 5:00 am to 9:00 am; John Williams moves from his current 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot to 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; Ji Suk Yi takes over hosting the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm “Wintrust Business Lunch” show; and Anna Davlantes leaves the co-host role on the afternoon drive Roe Conn program to host her own 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm talk show. Conn remains in afternoons, followed by Justin Kaufmann from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, followed by Nick Digilio from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am. WGN will simulcast the “WGN-TV Early Morning News” from 4:00 am to 5:00 am. Read Chicago media writer Robert Feder’s coverage here.
WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli Interviews President Trump. Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Rich Zeoli interviewing President Trump in the Oval Office as part of Tuesday’s White House Radio Row on the United States Mexico Canada trade deal. The president also talked about the 2020 election and the impeachment hearings. Zeoli says, “The president was incredibly gracious with his time and said how much he loves talk radio.” Photo: Andrea Hanks
John Fredericks Show Interviews VP Mike Pence. At Tuesday’s White House Radio Row on the USMCA treaty, Virginia talk station owner and statewide talk radio personality John Fredericks (right) posed for a photo with Vice President Mike Pence (left) and Fredericks’ wife, Anne (center), who serves as CFO of the John Fredericks Network.
Cumulus Inks ‘The Ticket’ Morning Show ‘The Musers’ to Multiyear Extension. Dallas sports talkers George Dunham, Craig Miller, and Gordon Keith – collectively known as “The Musers” – sign contract extensions to continue hosting the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s sports talk KCTK-AM/FM, Dallas “The Ticket.” The Cumulus Dallas-Houston regional vice president Dan Bennett says, “For 25 years, the Morning Musers’ George Dunham, Craig Miller, and Gordon Keith have performed at a market dominant level and we are excited that will continue for many more years in Dallas!” The Musers comment, “We are very pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with Cumulus and the wonderful leadership of the Dallas/Fort Worth market. This company has made us feel appreciated and we are extremely thankful for their support of such a special station. ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas/Fort Worth is our home and the bond that we have with our listeners is something we will cherish for as long as we breathe.”
Salem Covers A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Premiere. Above is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) interviewing director Marielle Heller (right) at last night’s premiere of the SONY Pictures film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The film stars Tom Hanks as television icon Fred Rogers. The premiere took place in Pittsburgh where the “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show was produced at WQED-TV.
Skyview Networks Sponsors Panels at MLB Rightsholders Conference. The photo above shows the participants in this year’s MLB Audio Rightsholders Conference in Las Vegas. More than 20 teams and organizations participated in panels covering technology, audio sales strategies, and the future of emerging non-terrestrial mediums. Digital content captured the main focus of the conversations as franchises shared strategies for monetizing this evolving platform. Skyview Networks president and COO Steve Jones says, “Skyview Networks is proud to return as the title sponsor of this conference, which hosts an innovative group of baseball and broadcast executives as they discuss the critical role radio and digital audio play in fan engagement. We look forward to developing additional technology to serve our partners in this evolving audio space.” Additional panel topics included maximizing ad sales with an emphasis on innovative features and creating awareness for franchises’ ancillary digital content, especially concerning podcasts. As the digital listenership rapidly increases, the franchises are hyper-focused on monetizing the platform.
TALKERS News Notes. The NM Political Report says that KIVA-AM/K229CL, Albuquerque owner Eddy Aragon is considering running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Tom Udall, who is not running for re-election. Aragon – a staunch conservative – hosts the afternoon show on the station branded, “the Rock of Talk.” He tells NM Political Report this is something he’s only considering at this point. “You have to imagine the tremendous sacrifice that I have to consider. Being off [the air] during the year Donald Trump is running in 2020, that’s a sacrifice to my radio station.”…..KIDO, Boise morning drive talk host Kevin Miller is pictured below talking to KTVB-TV, Boise news about his annual Miller’s Mission Turkey Drive to help provide the hungry and homeless in Boise with a warm dinner for the holidays. The goal is to collect 3,000 turkeys for the Boise Rescue Mission Ministries. Each year Miller dons his turkey suit and broadcasts live from a local Walmart parking lot to collect turkeys and cash donations.
Impeachment Testimony, 2020 Presidential Race/Atlanta Debate, Epstein Case/Prince Andrew Troubles, U.S.-China Trade Talks/Hong Kong Human Rights Act, and Mexicans Sue Walmart Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/20). Wednesday’s impeachment hearing with testimony from EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Wednesday’s Atlanta debates; the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s death and the aftermath of Prince Andrew’s BBC interview; U.S. trade talks with China and the U.S. House’s Hong Kong Human Rights Act; and Mexicans’ suit against Walmart over the mass shooting in El Paso 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. Programming pro Robyn Simone exits Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “Kiss 103.1” where she’d been serving as program director for the past year. She says, “Working at Cumulus Media in Columbia was a challenge, but I gained a lot of knowledge in my short time there. As the program director/air talent for ‘Kiss 103.1,’ I’m a stronger and more knowledgeable PD because the experience. I would like to thank [VP programming operations] John Dimick and VP/urban programming Kenny Smoov for the opportunity and their commitment to set new standards for urban radio.”
Talk Host Scott Robbins Profiled in Comeback from Serious Health Issues. The story by Steve Tarter in the Peoria Journal Star is accurately titled “From death’s door to three radio shows a day” as it recounts the scary health odyssey of radio talk host Scott Robbins. Regular TALKERS readers remember Robbins was co-hosting a successful talk show with Jamie Markley on Alpha Media’s WMBD-AM/W262BY, Peoria in 2015 when a massive heart attack felled him. Five bypass surgeries later Robbins was on a challenging road to recovery, but he made it and today is back as a cast member on WMBD’s midday “Markley and van Camp” show (with David van Camp), his own sports talk show on Alpha’s WPBG-HD3/W240DM, Peoria and the morning drive show on Great Plains Media’s news/talk WRPW, Bloomington “Cities 92.9.” Robbins admits his previous lifestyle wasn’t ideal – drinking lots of beer, smoking cigars, and not seeing a doctor for two decades. He says the convalescing was a challenge. “It’s a dark tunnel. I know that three years ago I couldn’t walk or talk. I try to give others (in that situation) some sense of encouragement.”
Lauren Lapka Named Afternoon Traffic Reporter for WGN-AM, Chicago. WGN-AM, Chicago brings news pro and air personality Lauren Lapka aboard to handle traffic reports during the John Williams midday show and the PM drive Roe Conn show with Anna Davlantes. She’ll also host the “Weekend Warnings” video series on wgnradio.com and cover transportation stories for WGN Radio News. WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “Having Lauren back in the WGN Radio family is a huge win for afternoon drive. Her playful intelligence is the perfect complement to Roe & Anna and John Williams.” Lapka previously served with Tribune Media on the short-lived sports station “The Game 87.7 FM.” In 2015, she transitioned to TV as a news reporter and anchor for KODE-TV and KSNF-TV in Joplin, Missouri. As Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports in his column, Lapka was working as morning anchor for Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KVAL-TV, Eugene, Oregon when she refused to record the now-infamous promotional video the corporation had crafted that basically accused most other media sources of being “fake news.”
TALKERS News Notes. Former Trump Administration official Sebastian Gorka is giving up his contributor role at FOX News Channel in order to focus on his Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated radio show and his work with television operator Sinclair Broadcast Group. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gorka stated, “I’m still supporting Sean Hannity and other Fox shows as a free agent as my new schedule permits.”…..iHeartMedia and Skyview Networks agree to terms for the former’s news/talk KOA, Denver to implement Skyview’s AdView live read capture software for Colorado Rockies play-by-play broadcasts. As part of the agreement, all Colorado Rockies Radio Network live advertiser mentions will be cataloged by time, date, and advertiser in a personalized database and scheduled across the entire season. The data and proof-of-performance provided by the system streamlines the billing process, which will allow KOA to manage and bill live reads alongside standard commercial units. iHeartMedia Denver VP of sports sales Jeff Johnson says, “We’re excited to enter into this broadcast agreement with Skyview Networks. The AdView system will allow us to serve our advertisers and partners with the Colorado Rockies better.”…..Tegna’s San Diego news/talk KFMB-AM is presenting a live event for listeners at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts on March 28 called “News, Views and Brews” that will feature the station’s personalities will talk about current events while listeners enjoy a beer or coffee. Taking part are Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty of the Armstrong & Getty morning show, Mark Larson, Mike Slater, Brett Winterble, and Roger Hedgecock…..New York Public Radio announced COO Depelsha McGruder will become interim CEO, beginning April 1. She takes on this role after Laura Walker left the CEO post following a 23-year career with the public radio organization. McGruder joined NYPR in October 2018 after a 17-year career with Viacom.
Four Stations to Leave the Aloha Media Trust for EMF. This deal between the Aloha Media Trust (former Clear Channel stations waiting to be sold off) and religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation gives iHeartMedia ownership of six translators it’s been leasing from EMF in exchange for four full-market FM stations. EMF will take over WEKL-FM, Augusta, Georgia; WSFF-FM, Roanoke, Virginia; WSNZ-FM, Lynchburg, Virginia; and WLRX-FM, Huntington, West Virginia. iHeartMedia gets translators W277BF, Shoreview, Minnesota (KQQL-HD2 “ALT 93.3”); W292DH, Pittsburgh (WBGG-AM “ESPN Pittsburgh”); W221CR, Memphis (WREC-AM), K266BD, Carmel Valley, California (KOCN-FM), K253BV, Oklahoma City (KBRU-FM); and W248BQ, Nashville (WNRQ-HD2).
House Trump Investigation, Trump-Russia Probe, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, AOC Campaign Violation Allegation, Deadly Alabama Tornadoes, Luke Perry Dies, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4). The U.S. House begins investigating the operations of the Trump organization; the status of the probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the growing list of Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the allegation of a major campaign finance violation by the chairman of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s election campaign; deadly tornadoes kill 23 in Alabama; actor Luke Perry dies at 52 after suffering a stroke; and NBA and NCAA hoops action 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. Programmer Kris Abrams is appointed FM operations manager for Cumulus Media’s five Albuquerque FM stations and program director for country KRST “NASH FM,” classic country KBZU “NASH Icon,” and adult hits KDRF. Abrams returns to the Albuquerque market after serving with Cleveland-based Futuri Media since March of 2016. Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry says, “I’m so excited to announce the return of Kris Abrams to ABQ. He has a strong history with and passion for these stations, our company and Albuquerque. We’re looking forward to having Kris’ extensive product knowledge, experience and leadership skills back in our building and at work for our listeners and advertisers.”…..In the Bakersfield market, Alpha Media names Danny Palacios operations manager and program director for CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3.” Palacios adds these responsibilities to his PD role with rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3.”…..On-air personalities Jordan Soto and Michael Mason are the new hosts on Townsquare Media’s country KUAD, Fort Collins/Greeley, Colorado. The “New Country Mornings with Jordan and Michael” launches on Monday (3/11). Townsquare Fort Collins market president Evan Harrison states, “At Townsquare we are completely focused on entertaining and engaging our local community in Northern Colorado. Jordan and Michael are the perfect duo to lead this charge on ‘New Country Mornings.’ Jordan lives the new country lifestyle completely and is a Colorado native. Like so many of us living here, Michael is new to the area and he is so eager to dive in to experience it all.”…..Air personality Jen Lewis is the new midday jock at Max Media’s adult contemporary WVBW, Norfolk, Virginia “92.9 The Wave.” She takes over for Rusty James, who is giving up is air shift to focus on his vice president of operations and programming role. James says, “I’m so excited to get one of Hampton Roads’ most-loved radio personalities back on the radio at ‘92.9 The Wave.’”…..SiriusXM says that country star Trisha Yearwood is debuting a new, weekly show called “Trisha’s Café” on The Garth Channel. Yearwood is well known for her home cooking and has published three best-selling cookbooks. She also hosts the EMMY-winning “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” cable TV show.
Zellner Promoted to President of Programming Operations at iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group. The company says that Jon Zellner is moving up from his EVP of programming operations to president of programming operations for its national programming group. In this new role he’ll continue to manage the division’s operations, “ensuring that iHeartMedia’s 850 local radio station brands in 150 markets are able to best utilize the company’s unparalleled national resources. In addition to managing iHeartMedia custom programming, daily connection to the local markets, on-air partner integration and event broadcast operations, Zellner will also now partner with other divisions within the company to expand programming technology and provide key support to iHeartMedia’s national team of programmers at market-leading radio brands that serve more than a quarter of a billion listeners a month in the U.S.” iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “Jon’s leadership in the growth of our custom programming and providing the delivery of our at scale national resources to our markets for their use at the local level has been invaluable to our company. We are excited that he’ll be taking on an even larger role in our company-wide programming initiatives.”
Tori Kahl Named Market Manager for iHeartMedia New Orleans. Radio sales pro Tori Kahl moves from iHeartMedia’s Mobile-Pensacola cluster where she was SVP of sales to New Orleans where she is the new market president for the station group that includes news/talk WRNO-FM sports talk WODT-AM plus six music radio outlets. iHeartMedia area president for Baton Rouge and New Orleans Michael Hudson says, “iHeartMedia is big on promoting our super stars within the company. Tori has done an incredible job growing our Mobile properties and its employees. I have no doubt that Tori Kahl will do great things for the New Orleans market.” Kahl comments, “As I join the iHeartMedia New Orleans team, I am humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented professionals in the industry, representing the power of iHeartMedia and the heritage of our brands in the market. The city of New Orleans, its culture, and its people are unparalleled. I am born and raised in Louisiana – it feels good to be home!”
News Anchor Kim Gordon Moves to PM Drive on WGN, Chicago. Twelve-year WGN news staffer Kim Gordon is named the new afternoon drive news anchor at Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago. The station says, “Gordon will assume a role as both a leader in the WGN Radio news room and an essential voice on ‘The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes.’” WGN director of news and operations Stephanie Tichenor adds, “For more than a decade at WGN, Kim has been a key player in our newsroom and in our hallways. Her ability to gather and deliver news with a Chicago filter makes her the best voice for our afternoon drive team.” Gordon started her career at legendary Louisville news/talk station WHAS.
A.J. Hoffman Appointed KFNC-FM, Houston PD. At sports talk KFNC-FM, Houston “ESPN 97.5,” A.J. Hoffman is promoted to program director. Hoffman currently co-hosts the Gow Media station’s afternoon drive program, “The Blitz,” with Fred Faour – a duty he will continue in addition to his new programming responsibilities. WFNC general manager Todd Farquharson says, “We are excited to elevate AJ to the PD position. He has demonstrated excellent programming instincts and we think his experiences and leadership abilities make him a natural for this opportunity.” Farquharson says “ESPN 97.5FM” has grown significantly over the past two years. “In a competitive Houston landscape, the station has finished #1 for M25-54 nearly every month of 2018. In the fall of 2017, we committed to a nearly all local lineup. We were able to bring back Lance Zierlein, reuniting John [Granato]and Lance in the mornings, and insert Charlie Pallilo in middays. With this talented group, our audience totals are up 50% year-over-year.”
Former WBAL-AM Morning Host Dave Durian Dies at 72. Former longtime WBAL-AM, Baltimore news and morning drive personality Dave Durian died yesterday (1/28) at 72 after suffering complications from cancer and a stroke. The Baltimore Sun’s obituary chronicles his career, especially his time at WBAL. The Iowa native arrived in Baltimore in 1982 as an anchor at WBAL-TV. After three years there, worked in public TV before returning to Hearst as morning talk show host for WBAL-AM. WBAL morning news anchor John Patti is quoted saying, “He was the smoothest reader of the news I’ve ever met. He could read it cold — you could give him a piece of news copy and he read it so effortlessly he made it sound like it had been news all morning.”
Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Frigid Forecast for Midwest, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls-Schultz Considers Run, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Venezuela Unrest/Bolton Columbia Note, PG&E Files for Bankruptcy, SAG Awards, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/28). The political battle in congress over President Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall; the report that Robert Mueller is close to wrapping his Trump-Russia investigation and the indictment of Roger Stone; the record cold set to hit the Midwest; the 2020 Democratic hopefuls and a possible run by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz; the trade tensions between the U.S. and China and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the Venezuelan political crisis and the flap over national security adviser John Bolton’s ‘5,000 troops to Columbia’ note; PG&E files for bankruptcy in the wake of charges filed against it over the recent California wildfires; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
iHeartCountry Festival Acts Announced. The iHeartCountry Festival at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on Saturday, May 4 will be the sixth edition of the concert event produced by iHeartMedia. This year, the acts committed to performing include: Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Dan and Shay, Luke Combs, Little Big Town, Lauren Alaina, Old Dominion, Chris Janson, Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots, and Tenille Townes. Syndicated personality Bobby Bones will serve as host on the main stage. He says, “I look forward to the iHeartCountry Festival every year. It’s always special to have so much of the country music community together in one place, including some really talented new artists we have been supporting on Women of iHeartCountry.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer John E. Kage is named program director at iHeartMedia’s CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party.” He moves across town from his most recent position as program director for Bonnville’s country KYGO. Kage says, “I am excited to remain in my adopted home of Denver, Colorado where I have 20 years of deep roots and relationships. iHeartMedia’s unparalleled platforms provide a tremendous opportunity for present and future growth in a rapidly changing environment. I look forward to working with my team to help contribute to 95.7 The Party’s ongoing success.”…..The afternoon team of Matty Blake and Nick Stevens exits Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston and are being replaced – at least on an interim basis – by Bob Hannah. Blake and Stevens took over the afternoon drive slot in 2017…..Cumulus Media announces that country KHAY, Oxnard-Ventura OM/PD Chris Cox is retiring from the station and the business after a 45-year career. He’s been with KHAY since 2012 and had worked in numerous markets during his career, including Los Angeles, Houston, Cincinnati, Louisville, and more. Cumulus regional VP Sommer Frisk says, “Oxnard-Ventura-Santa Barbara has been extremely fortunate to have benefited from Chris’s stewardship over the last seven years. What we will miss about Chris is his dedication, hard work, professionalism and relentless commitment to the success of our cluster. What we will miss MOST about Chris is his leadership, character and compassion. We wish him well in his much-deserved retirement.”…..As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Melissa McGurren is leaving the traffic reporting department at Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX to begin an expanded role on the “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip” show. As previously reported, Violeta Podrumedic is leaving WGN-AM to join WTMX as morning drive traffic reporter…..KJCK-FM, Manhattan, Kansas adds Westwood One’s Adam Bomb show to its programming lineup.