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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

| January 21, 2020

Beasley Ups Justin Chase to Chief Content Officer. Programming pro Justin Chase is promoted from his EVP of programming position to chief content officer for Beasley Media Group.  The company says that in his new role, Chase “will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of on-air content and digital on behalf of the company.”  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Justin has done an incredible job overseeing our company’s on-air brands.  I look forward to him enhancing and expanding our content on all of our on-air and digital platforms across the company.”  Chase comments, “I am so grateful to the Beasley family and the entire corporate staff for their support and confidence in me taking on this new role within the company.  The programming and digital teams at Beasley are first class and I feel lucky to be surrounded by the best of the best every day.”

Lori Burgess Rises to Chief Operating Officer for Beasley Esports. Another executive promotion at Beasley Media Group has Lori Burgess moving from her chief digital content officer post to chief operating officer at Beasley Esports.  Prior to joining Beasley in her previous position, she consulted for the company on integrated marketing strategy.  Speaking about her new role leading Beasley Esports, Burgess says, “The esports industry is on the verge of going mainstream.  Our timing and expansion into this space will firmly poise Beasley Media Group to own and influence the next generation of consumers.  The company’s ability to provide compelling esports content, leverage strategic partnerships, and compete at the most elite levels will ensure our foundation as this sector begins to dominate the media and sports-market/entertainment conversation and commands more sponsorship partnerships.”  Burgess served for more than two decades in the publishing industry with brands including: The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

Crossover Media Group to Partner with Just the News for Podcasts and Video.  In yesterday’s edition of TALKERS, we wrote about the coming launch of the news organization, Just the News – a multi-platform news operation founded by award-winning investigative journalist and commentator John Solomon.  Today, it’s being announced that Crossover Media Group – a cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales firm – is entering into a partnership with Just the News to produce, sell, and distribute its audio and video programming.  CMG will handle advertising sales and distribution of the video and audio content and assist in production of programming that will be found at JustTheNews.com.  Among the inaugural audio programs will be: “John Solomon Reports,” a twice-weekly podcast featuring the veteran investigative reporter and editor in chief of Just the News; “David Brody’s Pods Honest Truth,” hosted by longtime CBN correspondent and Just the News senior contributing editor David Brody; and “The Sharyl Attkisson Podcast,” featuring the Emmy-Award winning investigative television correspondent.  The first “John Solomon Reports” podcast drops today at 3:00 pm ET and offers listeners new information regarding the discussion around the Ukraine matter at the center of the presidential impeachment trial.  Crossover Media Group managing member Ron Hartenbaum says, “Over the course of more than three decades reporting from the nation’s capital, John’s award-winning work has propelled him to senior positions at The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and the Center for Public Integrity, among other prominent organizations.  His gutsy, contrarian, enterprise journalism has unearthed insights that have helped drive the national conversation, stirred controversy, and withstood scrutiny.”  Solomon adds, “Ron and I have worked on projects for many years and his command of the audio/video marketplace, his relationships and his visionary insights are priceless.  We are excited by the extraordinary capabilities of Crossover Media Group and can’t wait to get started.  There’s an incredible opportunity to cut through the noise in Washington with exclusive reporting and analysis.”

Beasley and Bonneville Officers Co-Chair Media Financial Management Summit. The 2020 CFO Summit takes place March 5-6 at the Pelican Grand Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale presented by The Media Financial Management AssociationBeasley Media Group CFO Marie Tedesco and Bonneville International CFO Kent Nate – along with E.W. Scripps SVP, controller and treasurer Doug Lyons – will serve as co-chairs for the conference.  This 14th edition of the annual summit “provides an exclusive forum with real solutions to the challenges that CFOs face every day.”  Topics include an update from the Federal Reserve; an equity analyst’s look at cybersecurity concerns for media businesses; the future of media; local advertising; podcasting; political advertising issues and outlook; leadership; and a CFO roundtable.

Impeachment, Presidential Race, Putin Power Grab, Honduran Migrant Caravan, Chinese Coronavirus, Virginia Gun Rally, and NFL Championship Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/20). The process for handling the articles of impeachment against President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; Vladimir Putin’s push for constitutional changes in Russia that would extend his rule; a migrant caravan headed from Honduras to the U.S. is stopped at the Guatemala-Mexico border; fears of a global pandemic as China deals with the fast-spreading Coronavirus; the gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia; and Sunday’s NFL Conference Championship Games 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. At Hubbard Radio’s Chicago hot AC WTMX “The Mix,” afternoon drive co-host Jennifer Roberts, a.k.a. Jennifer Ashrafi, is leaving her role with the station to take a new corporate communications position.  Roberts, who co-hosted the show with Koz, a.k.a. Kevin Koske, announced the move in a social media post: “A lot of people get prematurely put ‘on the beach’ in this business and I’m thrilled that I’m making my exit completely on my terms.  There was no threat on the horizon, just a calling in my soul for something better.”…..In West Palm Beach, Hubbard Radio announces that programming pro Randi West joins the cluster as the new program director of hot AC WRMF and CHR WMBX-HD2/W242CI “Party 96.3.”  West was previously program director for iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMTX, Tampa.  Hubbard West Palm Beach operations manager Bruce Logan says, “WRMF is a one-of-a-kind radio station – huge heritage call letters, remarkably successful in ratings, and revenue with one of the best morning shows in the entire industry in ‘KVJ.’  We knew we needed a one-of-a-kind program director to match.  Randi’s passion and vision for the future as well as her energy made her the right fit.  I am thrilled to welcome Randi to the team and cannot wait to get out of her way and let her make WRMF even better.”

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

| August 29, 2017

KTRH, Houston’s Michael Berry Reports In; ‘Proud of Station’s Efforts.’  The radio stations that are on the air in Houston are all working around the clock to get information out to listeners, but iHeartMedia’s KTRH – the well-recognized news/talker in the market – is “the station the nation is turning to,” according to KTRH talk show host Michael Berry.  He tells TALKERS magazine his personal story as a resident of the area with a family whose job is to be at the station keeping the public informed.  “We’re going through what our listeners are suffering also.  I put my family up at the Omni Hotel.  Then the Omni had to be evacuated.  I was visiting our affiliate in Louisiana doing a fundraiser there.  I couldn’t get back into the city due to road closures.  My wife and kids had to be rescued by boat and waded in chest deep water.  This is my whole world in the picture you see here – that’s my wife and my two kids on a boat driven by a good Samaritan who pulled them from the hotel and deposited them on the freeway.  From there a volunteer put them in the back of a truck and drove them to high ground.  Getting to be on the radio these last few days and help other people is actually cathartic.  My own home flooded on the first floor and it took until today (8/28) to be able to get to see it.  But despite all of this we are seeing the best of our people as we come together as a community.”

Broadcasters in Gear Raising Funds for Harvey Victims.  Just a sample of the Harvey relief efforts underway at radio stations and radio groups across the country include the work of E.W. Scripps Milwaukee duo news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI (and sister television station WTMJ-TV) leading a fundraiser.  Yesterday afternoon (8/28), the stations hosted a fundraising phone bank to collect donations for the American Red Cross.  Vice president and GM for the Milwaukee stations, Tom Langmyer, states, “People in Wisconsin are looking for a way that they can help the victims of the Hurricane.  Using the power of local media, we can combine our efforts to enable giving on a large scale and truly make a difference to support the American Red Cross.”  Urban One’s Reach Media has been using its radio talent to call attention to the needs of Harvey victims.  Nationally syndicated personalities including Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Willie Moore Jr., Darlene McCoy, Erica Campbell, Russ Parr and Ed Lover have been interviewing people affected, news people covering the storm, and elected officials.  The “Tom Joyner Morning Show” launched the BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund to provide financial support to families impacted by the storm Hurricane Harvey.

WDAE, Tampa Returns to Local Morning Show. Tampa sports talk outlet WDAE returns to live and local mornings, dropping ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” show and sliding late morning duo Ronnie “Night Train” Lane and Tom “TKras” Krasniqi into the daypart.  The iHeartMedia station fills the late morning slot with FOX Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick.  It was just last October that the station in what was seen as a budgetary decision, let Tampa Bay Times sportswriters Rick Stroud and Tom Jones go and installed the “Mike & Mike” program.

Boston’s Emerson College the Site of Next Summer’s Radio Talent Institute.  Next summer, Beasley Media Group is partnering with Xperi and Marketron Interactive and the National Radio Talent System to present the 10-day Beasley Radio Talent Institute program at Emerson College in Boston.  The immersion program will bring broadcasting students together with more than 30 radio professionals who teach classes based on their individual areas of expertise.  Session topics will range from on-air, production, news, sports, interactive to social media, engineering, promotions and sales, and includes the Radio Advertising Bureau’s “Radio Marketing Professional” certification course. WERS, Boston general manager and Emerson adjunct professor Jack Casey states, “The Radio Talent Institute builds upon the quality education students are already receiving at their academic institutions and through working at their college radio stations.  We are grateful to Beasley Media Group for providing this incredible opportunity, along with other forward-thinking companies such as Xperi and Marketron Interactive.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime Chicago sports talk personality Mike North has announced he’s retiring from sports talk radio.  North is famous for having been a hot dog stand owner who morphed into one of the first personalities on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR.  He exited “The Score” in 2008 and for a time co-hosted “FOX Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman on the FOX Sports Radio Network.  Feder reports that North told WTTW-TV, Chicago’s Phil Ponce, “I’m heading in another direction because I think the timing is right.  I’m not leaving broadcasting. I’m leaving sports radio.”  Read Feder’s column here…..Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch is reporting that ESPN Radio personality Ryen Russillo is serving a two-week suspension after an incident at a Wyoming condominium in which a drunk Russillo entered the unit of another couple and basically passed out on a bed in a state of partial undress.  He was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and ESPN reportedly says he’ll return to the air on September 5…..CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is prepping for the NFL season with its daily “Pro Football Insiders Report” that will feature five pro football experts giving their reports four times per day.  Former Chargers great Dan Fouts’ reports air on Mondays, FOX broadcaster Chris Myers airs on Tuesday, former Rams star Jackie Slater’s reports air on Wednesday, broadcast pro Andrew Siciliano’s reports air on Thursdays, and Rams great Vince Ferragamo’s reports air on Fridays…..Ed Esposito is retiring from Rubber City Radio where he’s been serving as vice president/information media.  Esposito handled news duties on Jeff Kinzbach’s morning program on rock WONE, Akron in addition to his responsibilities managing the news and public affairs on sister stations country WQMX, and news/talk WAKR.  Esposito is also a former chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association…..SiriusXM and ESPN announce their deal to serve college sports fans via ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM.  The channel launches on Thursday (8/31)…..FOX Sports Radio’s NFL insider Jay Glazer is hosting a special three-hour football season preview tomorrow (8/30) during the Doug Gottlieb show.  Glazer will be joined by FOX Sports Radio host Dan Beyer.  Glazer recently renewed his multi-year deal with FSR to serve as its NFL insider and he’ll appear regularly across the network’s programs…..TuneIn is offering free coverage of live play-by-play of college football all season long.  TuneIn features the home and away calls of every game for more than 140 schools.  This programming comes via partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports, IMG College, JMI Sports, Learfield, and Outfront…..AdLarge Media brings Gina Suarez aboard as director of affiliate marketing and promotes Frank DeSantis to SVP of business development…..iHeartMedia news/talk KALZ, “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM1400” is serving as the official Los Angeles Chargers affiliate for Fresno and Visalia.  “PowerTalk” program director Jay Bohannon states, “We’re always looking for ways for ‘Powertalk 96.7’ to diversify our programming, particularly on a stage as large as the NFL.  It’s a dawn of a new era for the Chargers franchise and their fans and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

WPHT’s Chris Stigall Hosts Sharyl Attkisson at Live Event.  Pictured above are WPHT, Philadelphia morning personality Chris Stigall (right) speaking with Emmy award-winning journalist and author Sharyl Attkisson (left) before a sold-out audience at the Colonial Theatre.  Stigall tells TALKERS the conversation was “a blunt assessment of journalism today.”  Attkisson greeted fans and signed copied of her book, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think and How You Vote (Harper 2017).

Harvey Hammers Houston, Federal Flood Insurance Troubles, Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio, North Korea’s Nuclear Threats, Trump-Russia Investigation, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, Mayweather-McGregor Aftermath, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday.  Houston’s challenge dealing with the effects of Harvey and the threat of more rain; the shaky state of the federal flood insurance program; reactions to President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the launch of a missile over Japan; the investigation into possible connections between Trump operatives and Russia including the recent allegations Trump was looking into building a Trump Tower in Moscow; the season finale of “Game of Thrones”; the aftermath of the Floyd MayweatherConor McGregor fight; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity 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.  WAXQ, New York morning duo Jim Kerr and Shelli Sonstein are celebrating 40 years together on the New York City airwaves.  Kerr’s career began 50 years ago at the tender age of 21 hosting mornings on WPLJ.  On August 29, 1977, Sonstein became Kerr’s morning drive partner.  As Kerr puts it, one morning Sonstein surprised him by showing up at the WPLJ studios.  “I saw this woman and I didn’t know what she was doing there.  No one told me who she was and why she was there!”  Sonstein says, “When people ask Jim and me when we plan to retire, we both respond the same way, ‘why would we ever want to stop doing what we love?’”…..Changes take place at Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles operations as rhythmic AC KDAY/KDEY program director Adrian Scott resigns and hip hop KPWR PD Jimmy Steal becomes vice president of programming for KDAY/KDEY…..Purchased from the SLC Divestiture Trust for $1.1 million by Aerostar Communications is former Simmons Media Group signal KEGH-FM, Salt Lake City.  With that station come four booster signals: KEGH-FM1, Ogden; KEGH-FM2, Bountiful; KEGH-FM3, Salt Lake City; and KEGH-FM4, Provo. Aerostar is operating KEGH-FM under an LMA airing a Spanish music format…..SiriusXM is debuting a new, monthly show called “Off the Cuff,” hosted by Keith Richards’ daughter Theodora Richards.  The program will feature Richards chatting with musical guests and friends such as Sean Lennon, The Rolling Stones back-up singer Lisa Fischer and musician Peter Wolf, as they “discuss their love of music, latest obsessions and biggest musical influences.”  She’ll play music from a diverse range of artists such as Howlin’ Wolf, Luther Vandross, Chuck Berry and The Rolling Stones.