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Paul Mason to Program WGFX-FM, Nashville. Programming pro Paul Mason is named program director for Cumulus Media’s sports talk WGFX-FM, Nashville. He takes over for Brad Willis who exited to take a position with the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Mason has most recently been serving as program director for Hubbard Radio’s news/talk WFTL-AM, West Palm Beach and sports talk WMEN-AM “FOX Sports 640.” Cumulus Nashville vice president Allison Warren says, “WGFX is more than a radio station; it is an entire sports ecosystem. From our on-air talent to the Tennessee Titans and University of Tennessee Volunteers play-by-play, to our on-demand audio on 1045thezone.com, WGFX is the live and local sports leader for Middle Tennessee. We are thrilled to announce Paul Mason as the next program director for ‘104-5 The Zone.’ Paul is an experienced programmer who brings a passion for sports and a fresh perspective to sports entertainment. We’re confident that he’ll lead WGFX to new heights.”
Williams Re-Ups with WGN-AM, Chicago. On-air pro John Williams signs a new contract with Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago. Williams hosts the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program as well as the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm “Wintrust Business Lunch.” He says, “What we do at WGN Radio has never felt more vital and I think we’ve never done it better. It’s a privilege to host a show here.” Williams has been a midday personality at the station since becoming a full-time host in September of 1997. The term of the new contract was not revealed.
Morning Hosts Exit Tyler Media’s Sports KRXO, Oklahoma City. The economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic have forced Tyler Media to make changes at sports talk KRXO-FM, Oklahoma City “107.7 The Franchise.” Personalities Mike Steely and Jessi Stone revealed their exit from the company via social media with Steely saying he “chose to go in a different direction” and may begin doing a program on Twitch. Handling mornings on the station now are Eddie Radosevich and Todd Lisenbee.
New York Festivals Radio Awards 2020 Winner Announced. The New York Festivals Radio Awards announced the 2020 Storytellers Gala award winners. NYFestivals says, “A global crisis could not prevent the Radio Awards Grand Jury from their commitment to judging world-class work. Compelling podcasts and audiobooks, dramas, documentaries, breaking news coverage, entertainment and music specials created by storytellers around the globe impressed judges.” Vice president and executive director Rose Anderson adds, “New York Festivals also wanted to honor our commitment to honor the men and women of the creative community around the world whose work so impressed the Grand Juries this year by keeping to the original date of the storytellers gala even though we are all at home.” Gold medal winners from the United States included: Westwood One, CBS News Radio, Bloomberg, ESPN, and Wondery. You can see all the winners here. Also, this year The National Press Club was honored with the 2020 York Festivals Storytellers Gala Lifetime Achievement Award. The National Press Club, since 1908, has been recognized as the World’s Leading Professional Organization for Journalists.
Herman Cain to Join Newsmax TV. Talk radio pro, business executive, and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is joining Newsmax TV as an analyst and contributor. Cain will appear on Newsmax TV’s top shows to discuss the political scene in Washington and around the nation. Cain says, “I’m very excited to be joining Newsmax TV, which has enjoyed extraordinary growth to become one of America’s leading cable news networks.” Cain joins recent high-profile additions to Newsmax TV including former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, White House correspondent Emerald Robinson, and former FOX host Greg Kelly. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy comments, “Herman is an American original, a true success story. He’s a brilliant business leader and canny political observer who can navigate Capitol Hill blindfolded. He pulls no punches with his opinions.”
Executive Moves at Connoisseur Media. Two changes take place at Connoisseur Media as the company moves Jim Condron from his SVP and market manager position at the Long Island cluster to the newly created chief creative officer position at the company’s full-service marketing division Ferocious Media. At the same time, company chief operating officer David Bevins is assuming the market manager position for Long Island. Connoisseur CEO Jeff Warshaw says that as they looked for an experienced executive to lead its creative function, he realized he had the ideal candidate in house. “We talked about the skills the person would need in the job and realized the ideal candidate was in our midst in the form of Jim Condron, who was running our Long Island operation. I’m excited for Jim and our company that he agreed to take the role. He has proven himself as a true leader and visionary. I can’t imagine a better person to oversee creative and lead the crafting of terrific campaigns for clients of Ferocious Media.” Condron comments, “Having spent decades developing creative campaigns for clients, this opportunity will allow me to be part of leading the charge in creating a world-class, full-service marketing company in Ferocious Media. I am incredibly excited about what we can build.”
Artificial Intelligence Expert Neil Sahota to Host Show for Sports Byline USA. Artificial intelligence expert Neil Sahota is hosting a radio program called “The Deal with Neil” that debuts tomorrow (4/23) on the Sports Byline USA network. The weekly shows will initially be included in the network’s other programs: “Titillating Sports with Rick Tittle,” “Wrestling Observer Live with Bryan Alvarez,” and “Sports Byline USA with Ron Barr.” Sports Byline USA president Darren Peck says, “Neil Sahota is a futurist who has earned a powerful reputation as the best interpreter of how artificial intelligence is becoming such a huge part of life these days, and he’s now going to use his skills to help us understand how AI plays increasing roles in sports and elsewhere.”
Coronavirus Statistics and Projections, Trump Immigration Order, Missouri Sues China, Financial Markets Activity/Oil Crash, New Stimulus Package, and Iran Launches Military Satellite Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/21). The tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections about future cases; President Trump puts a 60-day hold on all green cards; the state of Missouri files suit against China for its role in the coronavirus pandemic; the activity on the world’s financial markets and the crash of oil prices; the Senate passes a $480 billion relief package; and Iran launches a military satellite 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. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the life of radio programming pro Darrin Arriens, who was serving as director of operations for Entercom’s Charlotte cluster and program director for hot AC WLNK-FM, Charlotte at the time of his passing. Arriens was 52 years old. During his career he’d served with Cumulus/Citadel; WRIF, Detroit; WLZR, Milwaukee; KSKS, Fresno and many more…..In Cleveland, Radio One makes Matty Willz the new midday host at hip hop WENZ-FM “Z107.9.” Willz currently serves as the local producer for “The Morning Hustle” on the station, a duty he will continue. Former midday personality DJ Angel Baby is moving to the company’s Charlotte station group to take on a new role there. Willz states, “I’ve always just tried to stay committed to the process. Instead of worrying about timing and things outside of my control. I just stayed focused on being prepared and doing the best I could do every day. In that, I learned if you put in the work, dreams really do come true.”
Legendary Programmer David Bernstein Named General Manager of TalkersRadio. Prolific radio industry programming and management executive David Bernstein has been named general manager of TalkersRadio, the online experimental talk radio station being developed by TALKERS magazine for launch in mid-August. Bernstein, a leading talk industry consultant and talent coach, has served as PD, OM or GM of such heritage stations as WOR, New York; WRKO, WBZ, and WAAF, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; WPRO, Providence; and KVON, Napa/San Francisco among others as well as VP/programming of Air America. TalkersRadio will operate as a 24/7/365 streaming station located on the TALKERS website (www.talkers.com) with links strategically situated on major aggregating portals and websites on the internet. Its primary target audience will be members of the broadcasting industry itself, serving as what TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey describes as a “laboratory or somewhat of a ‘skunkworks’ where we can experiment with talk shows that fall outside the typical and safe fare found on AM/FM radio.” Casey continues, “It will be an industry farm system, gym and spring training camp all rolled into one where new show ideas and programming concepts can be developed in a professional setting with high standards but without the restraints of commercial, ratings or corporate pressure that currently restrict most professional operations from doing what radio MUST do to survive in the long term, and that is to take chances. It will not only be a place to nurture new talent but a platform upon which current well-known players can work out new approaches to their craft. We are doing this as a service to the talk radio industry, which, of course, is keeping with the mission of TALKERS magazine.” On announcing the appointment, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The acquisition of the fulltime services of David Bernstein is a major coup for us – one that we have been working on for almost a year, while he’s been finishing up a number of projects for which he was responsible as president of Bernstein Talent. I have known David for almost 25 years and consider him to be one of the most intelligent, creative, versatile and talent-friendly radio managers I have ever met. He is a man of vision and integrity. All of us at TALKERS are absolutely delighted!” Bernstein states, “This is a radio ‘dream job’ and I am enthusiastic beyond words about the challenge ahead whereby I can hopefully be part of an initiative that will ‘make a difference’ in the radio business.” His responsibilities in the new position include scouting, recruiting and developing talent for TalkersRadio as well as advising its day-to-day operations and entering into strategic partnerships with other broadcasting operations. He states, “We will be developing TalkersRadio as a showcase and workshop for new programs to play ‘out of town’ so to speak in front of listening audiences before they open on the big stages of the business. TalkersRadio will give some suddenly-terminated hosts the opportunity to do farewell shows for their listeners and ‘bridge shows’ to carry them to their next gig. It will be a place for ‘orphan shows’ that don’t quite fit existing AM/FM formats to get an airing and see if they have traction. We will give some existing high-profile talent the opportunity to do programs about subjects that they are not ‘known’ for doing within their present situations. For example we are in discussions with a major political news/talk personality who has always had the desire to do a show about metaphysics and parapsychology – stay tuned, it will be mega-cool.” In addition to his responsibilities with TalkersRadio, Bernstein will advise operations of its sister platform PodJockey (“a boutique for outstanding podcasts”) and assume a seat on the TALKERS editorial board. He can be contacted at email@example.com. TalkersRadio will utilize the groundbreaking software developed by its technical partners Backbone Networks of Westborough, Massachusetts, revolutionizing the convenience and accessibility of remote spoken word internet broadcasting.
Arbitron to Re-Issue Phase 2 Arbitrends for Fresno Market. Arbitron reports that after learning that six Spring 2013 Phase 2 Fresno Metro diaries were returned from a media-affiliated household, the ratings company will re-issue the data. Arbitron states, “We have confirmed that these diaries, which were In-Tab for the originally issued Spring Phase 2 Arbitrends data, should not be included in the In-Tab sample. Revised Spring Phase 2 Fresno Arbitrends data, based on an In-Tab sample that excludes these diaries, will be released on Monday, July 8, at 12:00 noon PT. Audience estimates reported for KJWL-FM and KYNO-AM may be substantially affected. Estimates for KFIG-AM may be affected to a lesser extent. In addition, estimates to stations that were not recorded in the deleted diaries may be slightly affected as a result of sample balancing and reprocessing procedures that accompany deletion of any diary from the sample.”
Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh Moves to PM Drive at WIND, Chicago. Former Illinois Congressman and leading Tea Party voice Joe Walsh moves up from his 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot at Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” to the PM drive slot – 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm beginning this afternoon (7/3). The time opened up with the mutually agreed upon departure of Steve Cochran from the afternoon show. WIND general manager Jeff Reisman and program director Marcus Brown say Walsh’s effect on the station has been outstanding. Reisman says, “In just three months, the response to Joe’s show has been overwhelmingly positive from both our listeners and advertisers.” Brown notes, “The only complaint was from Joe…he had more to say than we could fit into two hours, so we added an extra hour and moved his show to drive time. Joe isn’t just a rising star in talk radio. He’s a meteor, and his potential for success in this business is enormous.” Walsh states, “Doing a talk show is hard work, but it’s a labor of love. I’m able to talk with real people every day about all of the critical issues facing our state and our country. As it turns out, there are more important issues to talk about on Chicago radio than just sport. I’m hoping the new time enables Mayor Emanuel and Governor Quinn to listen more often. They might learn something.”
Fox News Channel Re-Ups Contracts with Prime Time Personalities; Megyn Kelly to Join Prime Time. Fox News Channel announces it has signed long-term contract extensions with its prime time talent including Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, and Greta Van Susteren. At the same time the cable news/talk channel says that when midday “America Live” host Megyn Kelly returns from maternity leave she will join the prime time schedule but FNC does not say in what capacity. In a statement, Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes says of Kelly, “Megyn is an exceptional talent who has successfully filled and surpassed each role we have given her at the network. Her ability to command the screen, delve into the facts and lead a debate is what makes her one of the most sought-after anchors in the business.”
Peter Boyles Debuts on KNUS, Denver. After a snafu that kept former KHOW, Denver talk radio personality off Salem Communications’ news/talk KNUS, Denver for two days, it appears whatever legal technicality prevented Peter Boyles from going to work there on Monday has been ironed out. As has been reported, Boyles was let go from his longtime perch at Clear Channel’s KHOW after getting into a physical tussle with producer Greg Hollenback. He admitted being at fault in a regular column he writes for the Cherry Creek Chronicle but also took the time to take a swipe or two at Clear Channel. Regardless, Boyles made his debut on KNUS this morning (7/3) where he’ll hold down the 6:00 am to 9:00 am slot on the station.
Sports Byline USA Host Nick Bonsanto to Host Mornings at ‘103.7 The Game’ in Lafayette; Serve as PD. Nick Bonsanto hosts his eponymous program from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET on the Sports Byline USA Network and he’ll continue in that role. Now, he joins Delta Media Corporation’s sports talk KLWB, Lafayette, Louisiana “103.7 The Game” to host the AM drive program and serve as the station’s program director. Bonsanto says, “Sports is my canvas for the show…like a good artist, you never know what brush strokes I will put on the sports canvas, so what the final picture looks like…will be one of a kind.”
Brian Kilmeade Does “Reality Show” Segment on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” Taking Viewers Behind the Scenes of His Fox News Radio Program. As reported yesterday, multimedia talk star Brian Kilmeade took viewers of the morning show he co-hosts on Fox News Channel, “Fox and Friends,” behind the scenes of his midday Fox News Radio program “Kilmeade and Friends” this morning (7/3) with a cleverly produced reality show-style feature. In case you missed it, please click here. It’s a lot of fun and Kilmeade comes across as the cool and extremely likable guy he is.
WGAC-AM/FM, Augusta, Georgia Senior AE Debbie Pretzello Named ‘President’s Club Overall Winner.’ Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. announces news/talk WGAC-AM/FM, Augusta, Georgia senior account executive Debbie Pretzello has been named the company’s “President’s Club Overall Winner” for the calendar year 2012, the second time that she has earned this prestigious award. The President’s Club consists of Beasley sales executives inducted annually for their abilities to meet or exceed individual and market goals, attain accreditation from the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) as Certified Radio Marketing Consultants (CRMC), and over-deliver their clients’ expectations on a daily basis. One account executive in each market is named to the Club monthly, and after the year ends the individual with the highest ranking from this illustrious pool of top performers is named the “President’s Club Overall Winner” for the previous calendar year. Pretzello has been a member of the company’s President’s Club for the past four consecutive years (2009 – 2011) and additionally earned the coveted “Overall Winner” status in 2010.
Congressman Doug Lamborn Reintroduces Bill to Outlaw CPB Funding of NPR. This is the same bill that passed through the U.S. House in 2011 but was unable to make it to the floor of the U.S. Senate. As it is written it would forbid public radio stations to use Corporation for Public Broadcasting grants to pay fees to NPR for programming. The Colorado Republican says in a statement, “At a time when millions of federal workers are being furloughed, schoolchildren are barred from visiting the White House, and many military training flights are grounded to save money, it is unacceptable that taxpayers are still on the hook for millions of dollars each year to subsidize National Public Radio. Additionally, it was highly inappropriate for NPR to move into a lavish new headquarters building partly paid for by taxpayers, many of whom continue to struggle under the worst economy since the Great Depression.” Current.org reports NPR financed the new headquarters Lamborn refers to using “$35.2 million from the sale of 635 Massachusetts Ave. and $165.8 million in tax-exempt bonds, issued with assistance from the D.C. government. The new building is located in NoMa (shorthand for “north of Massachusetts Avenue”), an area near the Capitol Hill transportation hub Union Station that is now a focus of D.C. redevelopment. Building the new headquarters cost NPR $201 million, with $78 million of that spent on construction, according to financial details provided by NPR. Additional costs include $44 million to outfit the building for multimedia production and distribution. According to IRS records, NPR netted $80 million on the redevelopment contract after paying off $30.4 million in debt attached to the property at 635 Massachusetts Avenue, the broker’s commission and other costs.”
Egypt Power Struggle, ObamaCare, NSA Surveillance/Snowden Whereabouts, George Zimmerman Trial, and Abortion Legislation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/2). The power struggle between Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the military; the promotion and effect of the Affordable Care Act; the NSA surveillance program and the whereabouts of Edward Snowden; the ongoing trial of George Zimmerman; and abortion legislation being proposed in various states and nationally were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
TALKERS Offices Closed for Independence Day Weekend. The offices of TALKERS magazine will be closed for the four day holiday (7/4-7). The daily emailed headlines will return on Monday (7/8). We wish all our readers a restful and safe holiday weekend and a happy birthday with good times ahead to our great nation.