Tag: "Ron Kuby"
WABC, New York Pairs Curtis Sliwa and Rita Cosby for Midday Show. A programming tweak at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York partners 77 WABC political editor Rita Cosby with incumbent midday talk radio personality Curtis Sliwa for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show. The new “Curtis + Cosby” show debuts today (2/6). WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “This is basically a New York dream team – two veteran New York broadcasters and celebrated New York personalities that our listeners simply adore. It’s an incredible combination.” Cosby states, “I am thrilled to co-host the brand new ‘Curtis + Cosby’ show with my longtime friend, radio superstar Curtis Sliwa. With such an unprecedented barrage of endless news topics, now is the perfect time for us to join forces and engage our listeners in a way you will hear nowhere else.” Sliwa adds, “This is an actual first in a large radio market. Two Polish-Americans who are teamed together. Rita has reported from throughout the world and has made solid contacts with newsmakers and cultural figures that she has brought to the microphones of 77 WABC. And in this age of ‘ME TOO,’ she brings a female voice to our talk radio industry that has been sorely missed.” Sliwa had been partnered with liberal foil Ron Kuby at WABC until May of last year. Then, FOX News Channel personality Eboni K. Williams served as Sliwa’s co-host through October of 2017 before departing for new opportunities.
Talk Host Chris X Joins ‘Conservative Cartel’ Show. Signing on with Pinnacle Broadcast Holdings, Inc to co-host “The Conservative Cartel” program with Matt Locke is Chris X, former host of ChrisXradio. In a press release, Pinnacle says Chris X “got his start at a local Houston TV news station where he quickly moved into radio to help launch Houston’s only business radio station, 650 AM [KIKK]…He graduated to co-hosting the highly rated afternoon drive-time show, ‘StreetTalk.’” Pinnacle shared owner and executive producer Ron Phillips states, “Chris X is an amazing talent. I’ve known him for more than two years and somehow I knew at the beginning that we’d be working together!” Host Matt Locke adds, “2018 is going to be a great year in radio. Chris X is a radio innovator and a true mover and shaker. I’m thrilled to welcome him to the Cartel family!” The program airs weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and the Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program is carried via TheBlaze.
Beasley Promotes Shoulder to Cry on for Patriots Fans. After the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” launched an ad blitz — including the image above — in the Boston Herald and on billboards. Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “The move was in response to our heartbreaking loss and the need to give our Patriots fans a vehicle to express themselves.”
Westwood One Names Motel 6 and GEICO Winners of Sports Sound Awards. For the fifth straight year, Westwood One has been honoring the advertisers whose Super Bowl ads ranked as the most engaging audio commercials. This year, 2018 Westwood One Sports Sound Awards recognize Motel 6 and GEICO. Motel 6 won the Listeners Choice Award, its third win in five years. The hotel chain’s “Slam Poetry” spot featuring Tom Bodett promotes the motel chain in rhyme, culminating with an impressive mic drop. Hear it here. GEICO was winner of the Media Choice Award with its “Beatboxing” ad that offers a vocal percussion calling for clean-up on aisle 14, after a customer drops a jar of pickles. Hear it here. Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “Congratulations to Motel 6 and GEICO for their creative ingenuity! Their clever use of sound through slam poetry and beatboxing resonated emotionally and elevated their audio creative to make a connection with consumers. We’re proud of this year’s competition, and our exclusive live broadcast of the Super Bowl, which offered our marketing partners a riveted audience and a dedicated platform to build and reinforce their brands sonically.”
iHeartMedia’s Thea Mitchem Signs New Deal. National Programming Group EVP Thea Mitchem signs a contract renewal with iHeartMedia to continue serving in that capacity for the Northeast Division. The company says Mitchem will continue to report to National Programming Group EVP and general manager Brad Hardin, as well as iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck. The company says that “under the new agreement, Mitchem will continue to partner with iHeartMedia Markets Group Division president Tom McConnell to collaborate with its regions located in the East, providing national programming assets, services and resources.” She’ll also continue overseeing programming of 60-plus iHeartMedia stations in over a dozen markets, including New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia. And, she will remain a key member of iHeartMedia’s urban brand management team. iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman states, “Thea is unquestionably one of the most influential women in the radio industry. We’re thrilled that she will continue to oversee programming efforts for our Northeast markets. Under her leadership, we have seen unparalleled ratings success in several markets including Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City, where ‘Power 105.1’ has posted the best ratings in the station’s more-than-15-year history.”
MIW Releases Gender Analysis Report. The latest MIW Gender Analysis Study has been released by the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group. The study tabulates the number of women in management positions in the radio business. The 2017 edition of the study finds that “out of 11,301 AM and FM radio stations, accounted for by PrecisionTrak, as of December 31, 2017, 1,974 stations, or 18.1%, have women holding the general manager position in 2017. This is an increase from 2016 which was 17.8% and continues to show growth from 2004, 13 years ago when the percentage was only 14.9%. The annual study is compiled, analyzed and released by the MIW Group from information provided by PrecisionTrak.” MIW says, “Overall, the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management. In 2017, 31.9% of all stations have a female sales manager, which is up almost a half-point from last year.” MIW also looks at women in programming position and reports, “The greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be as program directors. Women currently program only 10.5% of all radio stations in the country, and that percentage has basically remained flat for the last 11 years. The news is better in the top 100 radio markets where women programmers represent 11.7%; however, that number is unfortunately down slightly from last year. In an effort to further support that particular segment of the industry, the MIW Group announced a new mentoring opportunity in 2017, the MIW-Nielsen Music Mentoring Program. MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik comments, “Compiling this data is one of the most significant projects we undertake each year. Our hope is that the MIW Gender Analysis sparks conversation within each company, and at each radio station, about ways to develop internal efforts that encourage the advancement of female leadership.”
TALKERS News Notes. Public news/talk WAMU, Washington names Jeffrey Katz (not to be confused with WRVA, Richmond talk host Jeff Katz) news director for the station. Katz has been interim news director since November. He joined the station in May of 2017 as senior managing editor. Prior to that he was director of digital content for National Geographic. He’d been with NPR in numerous capacities over a 15-year period…..After almost 10 years with ESPN as part of its brand, Red Zebra-owned sports talk WTEM, Washington returns to the “Team” brand. The station is still an ESPN affiliate and is airing ESPN Radio network content – mostly in evenings and on weekends.
Dow Plunges Again, Trump-Russia Investigation, Democrat FBI Memo Rebuttal, Pennsylvania Gerrymandering Case, Eagles Upset Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5). The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops more than 1,100 points on Monday after Friday’s selloff and experts’ predictions that the sellout is not over; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Congressional Democrats’ desire to release their memo they say clarifies the GOP FBI surveillance memo; the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to overturn Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s mandate that congressional maps be redrawn due to gerrymandering; the Philadelphia Eagles upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea 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 are on-air changes taking place at iHeartMedia’s country KWBL, Denver “106.7 The Bull.” The station announces that Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new APD, music director and afternoon drive personality, effective immediately. He joins the station at the same time as it adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show for morning drive. iHeartMedia launched the country format on the station back on December 18. iHeartMedia SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh states, “Following an extensive nationwide search, it was clear that B-Dub is uniquely qualified and the perfect fit to join the ‘106.7 The Bull’ family. B-Dub’s vast knowledge of the country format, outstanding relationships within the country music scene, and incredible work ethic are exactly what we need to take ‘106.7 The Bull’ to new heights.” Washington was most recently with the company’s Sacramento station group programming KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that Woof Boom Radio closed on the $608,000 purchase of WKHL, West LaFayette from Educational Media Foundation. The new calls will be WLQQ, and Woof Boom will reveal its format flip later today (2/6)…..Today at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Edison Research is presenting data from its “Country Radio: At Home With Smart Speakers” study. Edison says that “country fans are more likely to use their smart speakers to listen to the radio than do fans of other kinds of music, and they listen longer…Edison researched more than 1,800 adults ages 18-plus in a variety of studies, in addition to one-on-one interviews. The purpose of the presentation is to help country and other broadcasters take advantage of a device that has the potential to ‘put radio back in the home,’ where AM/FM radios are quickly disappearing, but at the same time makes it easier to listen to digital music and other forms of content.”…..GMPT Media, the joint venture between Gen Media Partners and The Tacher Company, signs Magnum.Media’s 16 Wisconsin radio stations to exclusive national ad sales representation. Magnum.Media founder Dave Magnum says, “We’re enthused about Gen Media Partners and Tacher joining forces. GMPT is bullish on radio and so are we.”…..Howard Stern and SiriusXM are producing a special program to honor late rocker David Bowie. “The Howard Stern Tribute to David Bowie” will premiere on the Howard 101 channel on Friday, February 9. Stern says, “When I got into rock ‘n’ roll music, one of the artists that I first really got into was David Bowie. He was always evolving, he was always on top of things, he was just a great musician and a great songwriter and a great singer. I want to make sure that people remember David Bowie.” The program will feature “a wide variety of artists inspired by the late musician, performing his songs with their own inventive styles and interpretations,” including: Peter Frampton, Daryl Hall, Todd Rundgren, Greta Van Fleet, Biffy Clyro, The Struts, and more.
PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on urban contemporary. Comparing 6+ data from the December survey to the Holiday survey, urban contemporary fared pretty well, “over half the stations (53%) on our urban contemporary panel improve between December 2017 – Holiday 2017; 34% are down; and the remaining 13% are steady.” A year-over-year comparison paints a different picture, “In a virtual flip of the month-to-month results, 53% of this urban contemporary panel regresses year-to-year; 39% improve; and 5% are unchanged from Holiday 2016.” No urban contemporary outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four stations ranked #3 in their respective markets, 6+. They were: Entercom’s WVEE, Atlanta “V103”; Radio One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92Q Jams”; iHeartMedia’s WOWI, Norfolk “103 Jamz”; and iHM’s WHRK, Memphis “K97.” See the entire report here.
Senators Request Hearing on the State of the News Media. As reported at Multichannel.com, two U.S. senators – Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Tom Udall (D-NM) – have written to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) requesting a hearing on the state of the news media. The two also reached out to the FCC requesting information on the May 18 incident in which a reporter was roughly handled by a security guard for trying to ask an FCC commissioner a question after a public meeting. The letter to Chairman Thune says, in part, “The journalism industry is grappling with a changing media landscape: from the changing dynamics of how people access news, to changing financial calculations, to the proliferation of so-called ‘fake news’ (both actual disinformation campaigns and the use of the term to slander legitimate news reporting), to a challenging relationship between news media and the Executive branch. There have been a series of recent incidents in which hostility has been exercised against members of the press by members of the Administration, including just last week when a reporter was allegedly manhandled and threatened by security guards after a news conference at the Federal Communications Commission headquarters.” The last time the Commerce Committee held a hearing on the state of the media was 2009.
PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Of all the subgenres of spoken-word talk radio, public radio news/talk appears to have benefitted the most from the election of Donald Trump, according to data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of public news/talk stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey. Kinosian notes, “Well over half the stations showing year-to-year (6+) growth do so by at least one full share, including Boston University’s WBUR (2.4 – 4.3, +1.9, 6+), which jumps by nine rankers (#17 to #8).” Additionally, nine public news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets during the April survey. See the whole report here.
Rob Whiteside Named Digital PD for iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region. This is an internal move as iHeartMedia names Rob Whiteside digital program director for its Virginia/Carolina Region. He’s been serving as digital operations director for the company’s Central Region. In this new position, Whiteside’s responsibilities will include growing digital resources and reach for the region’s 54 radio station brands, as well as day-to-day digital programming for the Raleigh market. Whiteside and his team “will work closely with the programming and sales departments to deliver key messages on digital platforms, including station and on-air personality websites, mobile and social media.”
Kuby Confirms Departure from WABC, New York a Budget Move. As TALKERS magazine speculated yesterday, the firing of Ron Kuby from WABC, New York’s “Curtis & Kuby” show was financially motivated. Kuby issued a statement that reads, in part, “Yesterday I was informed by WABC management, after my show, that I had just done my last show. Those of you who know the business know this is a standard (if unpleasant) way of discharging people. I was told that the reason was budgetary, and I no reason to doubt that explanation. I had already made the decision that this year would be my last, and I informed management in December. The election of Trump and the threats he poses to civil rights and liberties requires more of me than being a part-time lawyer. I feel a moral compulsion to be the best and hardest working advocate I can be, using the skills I have been taught for over three decades. Thanks to WABC management for giving me the opportunity that I have (mostly) enjoyed for the past three 1/2 years.”
Westwood One Brings Aboard Sales Pros Lang and Johnston. Two radio biz sales pros are joining Westwood One as director, national partnerships. Delanne Lang was most recently with AdLarge as a national accounts manager. She’ll be based in New York and will report to EVP of Northeast sales Ron Russo. Diane Johnston comes to WW1 from Premiere Networks. She’ll be based in Detroit and report to EVP of Midwest sales Doug Johnston.
TALKERS News Notes. Dallas sports talkers “The Musers” – George Dunham, Craig Miller and Gordon Keith – heard on Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM “Sportsradio 1310/96.7 FM The Ticket” – interviewed President George W. Bush on Monday’s program broadcast live from the Warrior Open at the Prestonwood Golf Club in Dallas. The Warrior Open is a competitive golf tournament for America’s wounded warriors established by the Bush Institute in 2011 that honors U.S. service members and heralds the organizations that support men and women of the U.S. military and their families…..Tomorrow (5/25), WGN, Chicago will induct 10 honorees into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame. The induction ceremony will be broadcast live with hosts Wendy Snyder and Steve Bertrand. The inductees – three sports legends, four renowned traffic reporters, one story chaser and two present-day voices, consist of: Leonard Baldy, Lou Boudreau, Nick Digilio, Lincoln Hampton, Vince Lloyd, Mike Mathis, Anne Maxfield, Judy Pielach, Jack Rosenberg and Larry Schreiner.
TALKERS Institutes New Annual Award to Recognize College Radio Broadcasters. The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has instituted a new annual award designed to shed light on the burgeoning world of college radio and emphasize the important role it plays in providing 21st century broadcasting with fresh talent and management prospects. The award is titled “The Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster” – named after the late radio and TV talk personality Alan Colmes who passed away earlier this year. Colmes was a student at Hofstra University in the late 1960s and is a charter inductee in the school’s WRHU Hall of Fame. WRHU-FM/WRHU.org recently received the NAB Marconi Award as Best College Radio Station in the nation and is widely recognized by leading authorities as one of the leading outlets in American college radio year after year. The first recipient of this award (also dubbed TALKERS “College Radio Broadcaster of the Year”) is Hofstra University student Maria Santana. Santana is a sophomore who, as student station manager of WRHU, manages a staff of 277 at the radio station. She hosts and produces a morning drive, magazine-style talk show and a weekly half-hour women’s topics talk show. She also co-hosted a half-hour special talk show on education during Debate 2016 and produces news packages for the station’s live, local half-hour newscast, “Newsline.” Her on-air work was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists Press Club’s Long Island Chapter. She earned the Jeffrey C. Kraus Endowed Radio Award for her leadership skills. Her stellar work ethic helped her emerge from over 110 other staffers to be named WRHU rookie of the year in 2016. Hofstra Entertainment Access TV named Santana its assistant general manager. She currently holds the two highest student media leadership positions at Hofstra in both its radio and TV divisions. WRHU operations manager John T. Mullen describes Maria Santana as “a true example of a young, converged media executive with a bright future.” Maria Santana will be presented the award at TALKERS 2017: A New Era on Friday, June 2 in New York.
Joe Pyne the Subject of Smithsonian Magazine Piece. A story published in Smithsonian Magazine titled, “Joe Pyne Was America’s First Shock Jock,” tells the story of the man who set the stage for what would become the contemporary television and radio talk show that featured heated arguments led by an aggressive, name-calling host. Joe Pyne’s vituperative style comes off as campy in this day and age, but most media historians agree that Pyne was the first in-your-face, issues-oriented conservative talk show host. But more interesting to talk radio fans and industry insiders is the work being done by a man named Charles Churchman. He’s currently attempting to digitally archive more than 100 episodes of the old Joe Pyne television show. The shows were recorded on 2-inch videotape that is quickly decaying from age. For a summary of Pyne’s career, a look at who was influenced by him, and the story of the preservation of the TV show tapes, read the Smithsonian piece here.
Manchester Terror Bombing, Trump Visits The Vatican, the Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Budget Proposal, Philippines Martial Law, Seth Rich Controversy, Roger Moore Dead at 89, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). The aftermath of the Manchester terror bombing; President Donald Trump visits Pope Francis on his international tour; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; the Trump administration’s federal budget proposal; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law order and his praise from President Trump; controversy over theories that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich leaked information to Wikileaks; actor Roger Moore dies at the age of 89; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS magazine Publishes 2017 Heavy Hundred. The 2017 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – known as the “Heavy Hundred” – has been published. This 23rd edition of the Heavy Hundred consists of a ranking of radio talk show hosts by the editors of TALKERS magazine based on a number of hard and soft factors, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness. Regular TALKERS readers and talk radio aficionados will recognize a number of personalities who are perennial members of the list. But there are some newcomers as well as some hosts who’d made the list in years past and are making a return. Yes, this list – like many that are created by editors of industry publications – is subjective to some degree or another. It will raise questions as to who is on the list, who is not, and where those on the list are ranked. But, that’s part of the fun of it! Regardless, TALKERS editors take this project very seriously and wish to congratulate all the members of the 2017 TALKERS Heavy Hundred. See it here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT officially names John Farneda music director. He’s been serving in the post in the interim since early last month, succeeding Kelly Ransford after she moved to iHeartMedia Denver. This is a return to WXRT for Farneda who worked at the station from 1983 through 2014 – the last 13 years as music director. WXRT OM/PD Greg Solk says, “Christmas has come early to WXRT. John’s rich history here and his unequalled knowledge of the Chicago rock market make him the perfect programming partner. John is WXRT.”…..At Mountain Dog Media’s WFON, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin “107.1 The Bull,” afternoon personality Big Al moves to morning drive to co-host with incumbent morning jock Stef Z for the newly renamed “The Morning Radio Rodeo” show…..Cumulus Media’s New York hot AC WPLJ is presenting the Pepsi Summer Kick Off at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey this Friday (5/26). The event will feature live performances from Andy Grammer, The Band Perry, LP and Wrabel.
Ron Kuby Exits WABC, New York. So far, there’s no explanation from Cumulus Media about the sudden departure of Ron Kuby from the Curtis & Kuby midday show on news/talk WABC, New York. The WABC website indicates Curtis Sliwa is staying on to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show solo and it appears likely that Kuby’s departure is the result of budget cuts. Sliwa and Kuby returned to WABC after a six-year absence back in 2014. The liberal Kuby and conservative Sliwa had worked together successfully at WABC from 2000 until 2008 when their show was canceled. Sliwa hosted a solo show at Salem’s crosstown WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” for a number of years between 2008 and 2014.
Clark Howard Suffers Near-Fatal Medical Episode. Nationally syndicated consumer issues talk host Clark Howard tells WSB-TV, Atlanta that his doctors have a working theory that the antibiotic ciprofloxacin combined with his cholesterol medication may have been responsible for the life-threatening illness he recently suffered. Howard was prescribed the antibiotic as a precautionary measure to ward off infection after a routine biopsy to monitor his prostate cancer. However, days later he was admitted to the hospital and ultimately diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis – and affliction that he says results in your muscles basically eating themselves. Doctors flushed his system with IVs and he’s recuperated.
Three Fox News Staffers File Discrimination Suits. Responding to the suits filed in District Court in New York, Fox News says, “We believe these latest claims are without legal basis and look forward to proving that Fox News at all times has acted appropriately, and lawfully, in connection with these matters.” The suits were filed by the New York employment law firm Wigdor LLP on behalf of claimants Kathleen Lee, currently a shift editor at Fox News Radio, former accounts payable coordinator Naima Farrow, and former accounts receivables specialist Vidya Mann. Lee claims that she suffered retaliation after reporting sexual harassment. Farrow alleges she was fired after notifying her supervisor that she was pregnant. And Mann – who was not a full-time staffer – says she was let go after having her baby. You can see the Bloomberg account here.
Joe Madison Re-Ups with SiriusXM. Talk radio pro Joe Madison is staying on with SiriusXM after signing a new, multi-year contract to continue hosting the 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET program on the satcaster’s Urban View channel. SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein comments, “Joe is the foundation of our Urban View channel, a tireless campaigner for social change and one of the best interviewers working in radio today. We are thrilled to have him exclusively on SiriusXM and look forward to many more years of great radio with Joe.”
Alpha Media Closes on Purchase of WFTL and WMEN in West Palm Beach. The company had been operating news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN in the West Palm Beach market under an LMA from ACM JCE IV B LLC for almost two years. Earlier this year, Alpha Media agreed to purchase the stations for $2 million. The stations were acquired by ACM JCE IV B LLC from the bankruptcy restructuring of James Crystal Enterprises in 2013. Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson states, “We are delighted to add WFTL and WMEN to our dynamic group of stations in South Florida. Elizabeth Hamma and her outstanding team are the best in the business and this acquisition represents our confidence in their ability to continue to dominate the Palm Beach market.” Alpha also operates hot AC WRMF, AC WEAT “Sunny 107.9,” country WIRK, urban contemporary WMBX “X102.3,” and hip hop W242CI “Beatz 96.3.”
TALKERS News Notes. It’s a milestone for Compass Media Networks’ “Mike Lupica Podcast” as it passes the one million download mark. The longtime New York sports writer and media figure was recently nominated for a 2017 Webby Award for Best Sports Podcast. Lupica comments, “Doing this podcast has been even more fun than I thought it would be. We’re a year in and already we’ve had really insightful conversations with some of the biggest names in sports, media and politics.”…..Edison Research announces it appoints Dr. Nino Japaridze to the new role of vice president for public affairs research. Japaridze will be based in Washington to lead Edison’s public affairs and international research practice. She more than 20 years of experience in the fields of public affairs and international research, most recently as vice president of public affairs at Ipsos North America where she led global media research and political risk practice areas and was responsible for partnering with technology-based companies to extend research capabilities across digital platforms…..WSGW, Saginaw, Michigan news director Ann Williams is named president of Michigan Associated Press Media Editors. Williams was installed at the APME banquet in Lansing last month. At the same event, the Alpha Media station was honored with three first place awards by the organization for Best Sportscast, Best Digital Presence, and Best Use of Photography. WSGW program director Dave Maurer comments, “We are so proud of Ann. She has done an outstanding job with her great attention to detail and her mentoring skills in our news department and now she will share her talents on a statewide basis in this top leadership position.”…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is hosting its 3rd Annual Sports Radio Open golf tournament on June 20 to benefit the Helene Foundation, which provides immediate support for mothers fighting cancer to positively impact their families.
New York Festivals Announces Finalists for International Radio Program Awards. The finalists have been announced for The New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for 2017. The Grand Jury selected 336 finalists from entries submitted from 32 countries across the globe. Entries were judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium. All entries achieving finalist status proceed to the medal round. Entries from the U.S. moving on to the medal round come from companies including: ABC Radio Network, CBS RADIO Boston, ESPN, iHeartMedia, SiriusXM, Westwood One, and more. The World’s Best Radio Programs will be announced at the 2017 awards ceremony on Monday June 19 Manhattan Penthouse in New York City. See all the finalists here.
Trump in the Middle East, Trump Budget Proposal, British Concert Bombing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ford CEO Fired, NC Redistricting Ruling, Confederate Monuments Removal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/22). President Donald Trump’s visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian territory; President Trump’s budget proposal and GOP leaders’ reactions; the deadly terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England; the investigation into possible links between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; Ford fires CEO Mark Fields and installs Jim Hackett; SCOTUS throws out North Carolina redistricting ruling it was based on racial gerrymandering; the tensions in the South over the removal of Confederate monuments; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Beasley Media Group Announces New Format Captains. Four Beasley Media Group programmers are adding format captain to their business cards. The company is promoting WMMR-FM and WMGK-FM, Philadelphia program director Bill Weston to format captain for rock; Boston OM and WMJX-FM and WBQT-FM PD Cadillac Jack to format captain for CHR and AC; Las Vegas OM and KOAS-FM and KVGS-FM PD John Candelaria to format captain for urban; and WSOC-FM and WBCN-FM, Charlotte OM and PD DJ Stout to format captain for country. Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase, “Not only will these programmers offer additional insight and assistance for our other PDs, they will also create more synergy and leverage in order to better compete in the markets we serve. We feel this team, with its unique strengths, will provide incredible support when situations arise.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. WLNK, Charlotte afternoon duo Matt Harris and Ramona Holloway sign a new, multi-year contract to remain with Entercom Charlotte’s hot AC station. Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “Matt and Ramona’s commitment to our listeners and the community set them apart from any other afternoon entertainment in Charlotte. That is precisely why they continue to be the dominant ratings leader for WLNK-FM. Their commitment to community, brilliant entertainment and passion for our listeners make them an ideal program for the culture we foster at Entercom Communications.”…..iHeartMedia Nashville is bringing market legend Gerry House back to the station to serve as its official voice talent for classic country W252CM “The BIG Legend at 98.3,” effective May 26. House says, “The truth is, the good times, the spirit and the hits we played back when the House Foundation morning show was on the air will be on The BIG Legend at 98.3.” House was heard on WSIX-FM, Nashville from 1983 to 2010…..Radio pro Jay Philpott is making a move within Cumulus Media to move from rock WNNX, Atlanta “Rock 100.5” to his hometown of Minneapolis to join rock KQRS “Q92” to host the evening show. Philpott says he’ll exit WNNX on June 2 and start at KQRS on June 12. He will continue to host his national show on the Westwood One network.….Myra Ellison announces she’s leaving her director of promotions, marketing & web gig at Entercom’s Madison cluster due to health issues…..Westwood One is kicking off the summer season with two exclusive Memorial Day Weekend music specials. One is called “Get Out and Play” and is hosted by Ed Sheeran. It celebrates the beginning of summer with four hours of music, information on this summer’s hottest tours, plus talk about the beach, summer vacation spots and new box office releases. “Memorial Day Mania” is hosted by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and “ignites the summer season with tour and summer music festival talk, new music coming out this summer, road trips, and more.”
O’Heron Rises to SVP, Live Entertainment & Events for iHeartMedia. Prior to his new position, Dennis O’Heron was iHeartMedia’s national event brand manager for national programming in addition to being the VP of marketing for the iHeartMedia Boston cluster. The company says he’s been “an instrumental contributor to many of iHeartMedia’s marquee events for several years, including working very closely with us on the very first iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011.” Now, O’Heron joins the company’s national programming group as the SVP, Live Entertainment & Events. iHM adds, “Dennis brings many years of experience and has a proven track record in the Boston market, including being part of the team that created the initial idea of a multi-band radio show at ‘KISS 108,’ which eventually led to the inception of the Jingle Ball concerts and many others. Dennis is already a well-respected leader and his extensive programming, event planning, digital and marketing experience make him the perfect person for this critical role.” He reports to national programming group president Tom Poleman.
Nielsen Seeks Dismissal of Bubba Counterclaim. In a motion filed in District Court in Tampa, Nielsen is asking the court to dismiss the counterclaim filed against it and Cox Media Group by Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, arguing that it’s a “classic shotgun pleading.” Bubba Clem’s counterclaim alleged that Nielsen and Cox Media Group conspired to entrap Bubba into trying to manipulate Nielsen’s PPM panel in the Tampa market with the help of a “double agent” panelist. Nielsen is suing Bubba Clem for $1 million, claiming previous attempts to tamper with the Tampa PPM panel caused it to suffer damages. Nielsen states that Bubba’s counterclaim is merely “wild and far-fetched accusations” and that it should be dismissed because it “fails to provide any plausible claim for relief under the standards the U.S. Supreme Court.”
WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Commemorates 95 Years on Air with Inductions into Station Hall of Fame. On Monday (4/10), Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte celebrated the heritage station’s 95th anniversary with the airing of special programming highlighting important moments in the station’s history, as well as inducting three broadcasters – Ray Gooding, Henry Boggan and John Hancock into the WBT Hall of Fame. Hancock currently is the station’s afternoon drive personality. He joined the station in 1990. WBT calls him a “passionate community leader” who “raises awareness and funds for community issues through his annual Pancake Breakfast and Bike Drive events as well as his continued partnership with the Kid’s First Charity.” Gooding was one of the first African American on-air personalities in Charlotte. He began his career in 1960 and joined WBT 1110 AM in 1971 as the host of the “The Sunday Night Hall of Fame.” He also served as WBT’s director of public affairs for more than 10 years. Boggan joined WBT in 1979 as the host of the nighttime talk show, “Hello Henry,” that featured celebrities and special guests as well as listeners from the local community and became a staple in the city of Charlotte. His program was on air for 17 years until Boggan’s retirement in 1996. Check out the station’s 95th anniversary tribute here.
‘Pubs and Politics’ Live on 77WABC from The Cutting Room. Pictured above, WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby hosts the sold-out “Pubs and Politics” live broadcast event from The Cutting Room in Midtown Manhattan on April 6. The “lively discussion” by WABC talk show hosts revolved around the Trump Administration’s first 100 days. Pictured (from l-r) are: Curtis Sliwa, Lionel, Ron Kuby, Rita Cosby, Sid Rosenberg, and Bernard McGuirk.
KFI, Los Angeles Host Dr. Wendy Walsh Goes Public with Bill O’Reilly Claim. Southern California psychologist, professor and radio host Dr. Wendy Walsh went public on April 3 with her claim of an inappropriate advance by embattled FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly. Walsh hosts an eponymous 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Sundays on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles. She’s billed as a “thought leader on relationships and the authority on love, sex and romantic relationships.” She and her attorney revealed her claim that during dinner in a Los Angeles restaurant in 2013, O’Reilly invited her to his hotel room. Walsh says she assumed the dinner meeting was about her segment on his “The O’Reilly Factor” and the possibility of a great role with FOX. After she turned down O’Reilly’s offer, her appearances on O’Reilly’s show ended. FOX has stated that the segment was dropped by O’Reilly because of poor ratings. Read the Washington Post account here.
TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” sports talk host (and former Seahawks and University of Washington quarterback) Brock Huard and Bonneville Seattle Media Group are launching a new, original podcast, “Above and Beyond – The Intersection of Faith and Sports.” The first episode drops today (4/11) featuring former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Huard says, “I am thrilled to get to share my life and faith in a way I never have before, through the medium of podcasts, and even more so through relationships that have shaped my journey. Through my years as an athlete, in real estate and now in the media world I have always thirsted for deep rooted relationships. These podcasts will dig into those encounters with athletes like you’ve never heard before. I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from both Bonneville and Compassion International.”…..WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Jeff Wagner is heading up the station’s “Jeff Wagner Insight 2017” event on April 19 at Country Springs Hotel. Special guests are expected to include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and others. Wagner says, “Insight 2017 is my opportunity to go one-on-one with the state’s leaders to get past the headlines and find out what is really going on in Wisconsin.” WTMJ will broadcast the entire three-hour event the following day…..Oink Ink announces the winner of its 18th annual Dead Radio Contest – the annual contest that “aims to give a second chance to great radio scripts that clients deemed too risqué, too zany or were simply overlooked.” This year’s winning submission from Emmanuel Torres, an art director at Cundari’s Toronto offices, is a 60-second spot called “PUSH” for client fixauto.com. Interestingly, Torres had the idea for the script seven years ago in his first advertising class in college. Through the years, he has pitched it numerous times but was never able to convince a client to take such an edgy approach. Oink Ink co-founder Dan Price comments, “Emmanuel’s story – how he actually wrote his script while at ad school – is exactly what this contest is all about. We’re thrilled to have been able to rescue 18 spots that belonged on the air but for various reasons hadn’t been given the chance.” See Oink Ink here…..Talk host Patzi Gil just celebrated the 2nd anniversary of her book-related radio show “Joy on Paper” (www.radio-joyonpaper.com) that originally launched on WTAN, Clearwater, Florida. The program will soon be featured on the Starcom Radio Network in more than 40 markets across the country. Gil says she expects the show to clear on more than 100 stations by the end of the year.
Syria-Russia Alliance/U.S. Syria Strikes, North Korea Nuclear Program, United Passenger Removal Video, San Bernardino School Shooting, New York’s Free College Plan, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The alliance between Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad and the responses to the U.S. strikes on a Syrian air base; the movement of U.S. warships near the Korean peninsula in response to North Korea’s nuclear missile program; the viral video of a passenger being pulled off a United Airlines flight; a murder suicide at a San Bernardino elementary school that also claimed the life of a student; analysis of the plan by the state of New York to offer tuition-free college to qualifying families; the allegations by several women of sexual harassment by FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly; and Major League Baseball 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. Dayton radio personality Gina Ferraro moves from iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMMX “MIX 107.7,” where she was part of the morning show, to sister CHR WCHD “Channel 999” to serve as program director and afternoon drive host…..iHeartMedia alternative rock WRFF “Radio 104.5” is again presenting its popular Summer Block Parties starting Sunday, June 18 at Festival Pier featuring live performances by The Revivalists, Missio, July Talk, Irontom, and The Vital Stats. The series of Block Parties continues on June 18, July 23 and August 20 and culminates with Radio 104.5’s new “Endless Summer Show” at XFINITY Live! on September 16 with artists TBA…..Alpha Media rocker WIIL, Waukegan-Kenosha raised a total of $127,385 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation during the station’s 10th annual fundraising event held March 4 at The Legendary Brat Stop in Kenosha. The “Tom and Emily Morning Show” broadcast live, during which host Tom Kief shaved his head and personally raised almost $34,000. St. Baldrick’s is a volunteer-powered charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. Government.
KJR-AM, Seattle’s Rich Moore Upped to SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Seattle. Programmer Rich Moore is promoted to senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Seattle station group. A 23-year iHeartMedia Seattle staffer, Moore has recently been serving as PD for sports talk KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio,” a position in which he will continue. He’ll also oversee signals including CHR sisters KBKS “Kiss FM” and KPWK “POWER-FM,” hip hop KUBE, alternative KFOO “ALT-FM,” classic hits KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” and sports talk KHHO “FOX Sports Radio.” Market president Kent Haehl says, “Rich has had a long and successful tenure at iHeartMedia Seattle. He is a brilliant, creative and innovative leader who understands how to create deep relationships with listeners and we look forward to tapping into those skills across all our Seattle brands.” At the same time, the company announces that Kevin Shockey is named to the assistant program director position for KJR-AM.
Mayhem at WABC, New York!?! In the still photo you see here, WABC, New York air personality Curtis Sliwa (right) threatens fellow host Sid Rosenberg (left) with a baseball bat in the news/talk station’s studio. In the video which you can see in full here, Sliwa is threatening Rosenberg for “stealing” producer Flipper, a.k.a. Jill Vitale, for his show and for subbing for him on what was supposed to be a “mental health” day off the air for Sliwa. Sliwa co-hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Ron Kuby and Rosenberg co-hosts the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with “Imus in the Morning” cast member Bernard McGuirk. Sources inside WABC tell TALKERS that the video is not contrived and that Sliwa was very upset about losing Flipper to the other show. TALKERS editors, however, remain suspicious about the spontaneity of the video given WABC’s presenting it (proudly, it seems) on its website. What, if anything, happens after this is unclear, however most employers discourage threatening fellow employees with baseball bats. Stay tuned…
The Presidential Race, Obama’s Cuba Trip, Battle Against ISIS, Syria Conflict-Russian Involvement, and Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Suit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21). The activities of the candidates for president; coverage of President Obama’s trip to Cuba and his meeting with Raul Castro; the ongoing battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the Syrian civil conflict and Russia’s military involvement; and the jury awards for Hulk Hogan in his suit against Gawker for releasing portions of his sex tape were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Michael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Kurt Hanson. In this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” the TALKERS magazine publisher conducts a candid and informative conversation with online radio pioneer Kurt Hanson from the convention floor of the recently concluded Radiodays Europe in Paris, France. Hanson wears two feathers in his cap. He is the founder and CEO of the tremendously successful online radio music service, AccuRadio, that provides hundreds of thousands of music fans with a wide spectrum of music genres both old and new. He also is publisher and founding editor of RAIN Enterprises. RAIN provides the industry with two major services, the Radio and Internet Newsletter and its annual RAIN conference on the relationship between radio and the internet held in conjunction with the NAB Radio Show. According to Harrison, “Kurt Hanson is a visionary in the merging fields of radio and digital broadcasting as well as being a heck of an entrepreneur. He’s also a ‘Star Trek’ fanatic and I’m delighted to present our fascinating Paris conversation to the world’s ‘media freaks’ this week.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
WBBM-AM, Chicago’s Felicia Middlebrooks and Lola Vanderpuye Among Gracie Award Winners at CBS RADIO. Winners of 2016 Gracie Awards include WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago “Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM” morning drive co-anchor Felicia Middlebrooks and WBBM coordinating producer Lola Vanderpuye. The Gracie Awards — from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation — honor exemplary programming for, by and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individuals who have made contributions to the industry. Middlebrooks is being honored for anchor of a local news or news magazine program, and Vanderpuye is being recognized for local imaging for the Chicago Cubs. Other CBS RADIO staffers being honored include: Marla Diamond, WCBS, New York “Newsradio 880” for Local Reporter/Correspondent; Nina Hajian, WNEW-FM, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” for Local Host of Entertainment/Information; Jane Tillman Irving, WCBS, New York “Newsradio 880” for Local Hard News Feature; Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio for National Host of a Sports Program; Loren Raye, WODS, Boston “103.3 AMP Radio”; Suzyn Waldman, WFAN, New York for Local Sports Program; and Shila Nathan for Afternoon Drive Personality-Local (while at WUSN, Chicago).
Cumulus Media Staffers Honored with Gracies. Here’s a rundown of the Cumulus Media employees who will be recognized for their work by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation with a 2016 Gracie Award: “NASH Nights Live” personality Elaina D. Smith for National Radio Special; Rita Cosby, WABC, New York for Talk Show, News-Local Radio, and Host, Non-News/Non-Fiction-Local Radio; and Joan Hamburg, WABC, New York for Soft News Feature-Local Radio.
Odds & Sods. The annual live political event “Charlie Sykes Insight 2016” – presented by E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee and Sykes’ RightWisconsin.com – will include an appearance by GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz tomorrow (3/23). During the program at Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee, Sykes and Senator Cruz will have an exclusive, one-on-one discussion…..Chicago news pro Andrea Darlas is being honored with the Diogenes Award for Excellence in Media from the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois at the organization’s 90th Anniversary Dinner Meeting on Thursday, March 24 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. BBB president and CEO Steve Bernas explains, “The Diogenes Award is presented to a media person who exemplifies the goals and principles of the Better Business Bureau to support and foster an ethical marketplace benefiting both consumers and businesses.” Darlas is currently the morning news anchor on Tribunes’s WGN Radio, a reporter on its WGN-TV and CLTV as well as a contributor to the nationally syndicated TV show, “House Smarts.”…..In Canada, Bell Media news/talk stations are now carrying the NPR-syndicated “TED Radio Hour.” The show, hosted by Guy Raz, currently airs in the U.S. on public radio outlets and is available as a podcast.