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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

| March 31, 2021

Watergate Co-Conspirator and Talk Show Host G. Gordon Liddy Dead at 90. Former talk radio host, author, and Watergate break-in architect G. Gordon Liddy died yesterday (3/30) in Mount Vernon, Virginia at the age of 90. Liddy’s son Tom told The New York Times that his father had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and had been in declining health recently. G. Gordon Liddy famously made the transition into the talk radio business in the early 1990s after then-Infinity chief Mel Karmazin heard him subbing on a talk radio show and offered him the midday show at the company’s hot talk WJFK-FM, Washington, DC – a station that at the time aired Howard Stern in mornings and Don & Mike in afternoons. Liddy’s program would later move into national syndication via Westwood One. He moved his syndication to Radio America in 2003. He retired from his regular radio program in July of 2012.

Remembering G. Gordon Liddy. On the occasion of the death of G. Gordon Liddy, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an overview of Liddy’s colorful career based on a profile piece he wrote while serving as special features editor for the radio trade publication Inside Radio in 2004. In the piece, speaking about his radio career, Liddy told Kinosian, “I hope I’ve changed for the better and have [improved] at what I do. It’s like playing golf: The more you do something, the better you get at it. If I spend as many hours playing golf each day as I do with the radio show, I might have a fair game.” Read Kinosian’s story here.

Pictured above is TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) presenting the Freedom of Speech Award to G. Gordon Liddy (right).

FLASHBACK 1995 – G. Gordon Liddy was at the Center of a Talk Radio First Amendment Award Controversy. In 1995, the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts (NARTSH) – a pivotal industry trade association that played an active role in the “modern era” rise of talk radio between the late 1980s through the 1990s – presented then-syndicated radio personality G. Gordon Liddy with its annual Freedom of Speech Award (the same award still presented annually by TALKERS magazine). The award was (and still is) non-partisan and has been presented over the decades to a variety of personalities ranging from Rush Limbaugh to Al FrankenMark Levin to Thom HartmannHoward Stern to Karen Hunter and Sean Hannity to Joe Madison. It has been awarded to broadcasters from both sides of the American political divide who have demonstrated through their words, deeds and courage the First Amendment in action, its purpose and how it operates.  Liddy received the award that year for facing a lot of heat in the aftermath of remarks he made on the air pertaining to the then-explosive controversy over how Americans can use their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves from armed federal agents breaking into their homes with the intent of shooting them first and asking questions later. This grew out of the activities occurring at the time prompted by the tensions building during the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas and other related tragic events involving the BATF. Needless to say, it was wildly controversial and a major test for talk radio in establishing a standard for its position on the First Amendment. The award was presented that year at the NARTSH Convention in Houston. To view Liddy’s acceptance speech at the Kennedy Space Center (including attorney and then KABC, Los Angeles talk show host Gloria Allred’s one-woman protest demonstration) please click here. To view a clip from a luncheon that took place at that same contentious convention in which convention chairman Michael Harrison stood up to U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-MO) over his call for NARTSH members to boycott the Liddy award presentation, please click here.

Update on Jail Status of ‘Free Talk Live’ Host Ian Freeman. In an interview with “Free Talk Live” co-owner, co-host, and head of sales Mark Edge, TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison gets the latest on the legal status of co-host Ian Freeman and the federal government’s charges against him. Yesterday (3/30), TALKERS published a summary of the story from the Manchester Union-Leader that included news of the government’s charges against Freeman that include fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. In addition to an update from Edge on the charges against Freeman, this interview contains some fascinating information, background, and insights into Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Listen to it here.

Brad Lane Returns to Twin Cities as WCCO-AM Brand Manager. Programming pro Brad Lane is named brand manager for Audacy’s news/talk WCCO-AM, effective April 19. Lane was most recently serving Good Karma Brands as director of content for news/talk WTMJ-AM and sports talk WKTI-FM/WAUK-AM “ESPN Milwaukee.” Prior to that, he spent 20 years at Hubbard Radio’s KSTP-AM in numerous capacities, including as program director. Audacy Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “WCCO Radio serves as an extremely important news brand for the people of the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota who rely on us to be informative, timely, relevant and entertaining. Brad brings a wealth of experience leading content teams and his leadership and vision will be instrumental to the success of our station. We’re looking forward to adding him to the team.”

KROF, Lafayette Adds ‘Todd Starnes Show’ for Early Afternoons. The nationally syndicated “Todd Starnes Show” is added to the program lineup at Townsquare Media’s KROF-AM, Lafayette, Louisiana “TalkRadio 960” in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. The program will also be broadcast on the company’s sister sports talk station KPEL-AM. Both stations will also air the short-form daily program “Todd Starnes News & Commentary.”

Ramsey Show Passes One Billion Downloads Mark. Over the course of the last 15 years, “The Ramsey Show” podcast with Dave Ramsey and his team of co-hosts has surpassed one billion downloads, what the Ramsey Network says is a rare milestone reached by only a handful of podcasts in the world. In addition, callers have paid off $500 million dollars in debt since the podcast began 15 years ago. Each weekday, “The Ramsey Show” podcast produces three episodes heard across every platform. Ramsey Network EVP Brian Mayfield says, “We’re teachers at the core. And podcasts are an extremely useful medium, giving us another megaphone to reach people. We’ve never seen anything grow the way the podcast world has grown, so we see tremendous opportunity there to continue to increase our audience.”

Alpha Media’s WSGW-AM/FM, Saginaw Takes Station of the Year Honors. Saginaw, Michigan news/talk outlet WSGW-AM/FM “100.5 & 790 Newsradio” is named Medium Market Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. This is the seventh time the Alpha Media station has earned Station of the Year honors from the MAB. Operations manager, Dave Maurer states, “This past year was challenging in our part of Michigan with a devastating flood that hit in May and captured the headlines for much of the year. This was on top of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections which were huge stories that demanded much of our staff’s focus. We are pleased that our team’s performance has won recognition for the quality of content gathered in difficult circumstances.” In addition to Station of the Year, WSGW won 12 other awards including six Best of Show and six Merit Awards in the MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards competition.

Jaleigh Long Officially to Lead Cox Media Group Atlanta and Athens. Sales and management pro Jaleigh Long has been interim market manager for Cox Media Group’s Atlanta and Athens, Georgia markets since earlier this year and now the company officially appoints her VP and market manager. The clusters include news/talk giant WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; news/talk WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens; sports talk WREF-AM, Athens “960 The Ref”; and seven music brands. Long comments, “I am abundantly proud and honored to lead this group of industry-defining stations. The great work we do in all areas of the business every day is making an impact on our audiences, advertisers, and communities we serve. The power of radio is exhilarating and fortunately we get to experience that firsthand each day through the powerful programming, compelling promotions, and important community initiatives that define and underscore CMG’s purpose.”

Keith Lawless to Lead Cox Media Group’s Tampa and Houston Markets. Broadcast executive Keith Lawless is promoted to regional vice president of Cox Media Group Tampa + Houston. He’s been serving as VP and market manager for the company’s Tampa cluster since 2009. Cox Media Group Radio SVP Rob Babin comments, “I am thrilled to announce Keith Lawless as regional vice president over two of CMG Radio’s key markets, CMG Tampa and now CMG Houston. Keith has demonstrated an unwavering commitment for many years and has made an incredible impact on CMG Tampa and successfully led many CMG Radio strategic initiatives. His passion for his team, CMG Radio, and our industry make him the ideal leader to take on the role of RVP.”

Tampa Radio Figure Tedd Webb Dies at 72. Longtime Tampa radio personality Tedd Webb died on Tuesday (3/30), a week after entering hospice following a long illness. WFLA-AM reports Webb’s passing, noting that he was a host at the station for more than 30 years. He co-hosted the “AM Tampa Bay” program with Jack Harris beginning in 1994 and ending in 2017 when Webb retired. Webb was born Henry Ruiz – son of Cuban immigrants – in Tampa and began his radio career at the age of 14. He was a music DJ for the first 15 years of his career before transitioning to talk. He hosted a sports talk show, worked with Nanci Donnellan “The Fabulous Sports Babe,” and as part of WFLA’s “Gardner and Company” morning show before partnering with Harris for “AM Tampa Bay.”

COVID-19 Stats/Variants/Vaccines, WHO COVID Report, Biden Stimulus-Infrastructure Plan, Violence Against Asians, Border Crisis-Immigration Policy, Derek Chauvin Trial, Voting Legislation, Trump Website, and Matt Gaetz Allegation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/30). The number of COVID-10 cases in the U.S., concerns about variants, and the rollout of vaccines; scrutiny of the WHO COVID origin report and criticism of China’s cooperation; President Biden’s $2 trillion economic stimulus and infrastructure plan; the brutal beating of a 64-year-old woman in New York and more reports of assaults on Asian Americans; the crush of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; Georgia’s new voting rules and the Democrats’ push for expanded voting rights laws; Donald and Melania Trump launch a new website; and the allegations against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of sexual relations with a minor were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

| March 24, 2021

Wendy Bell Promoted to Full Time Talk Host at WJAS-AM, Pittsburgh; Rose Tennent Added to Afternoons. According to a story in the Beaver County Times, St. Barnabas Health System-owned news/talk WJAS-AM, Pittsburgh bumps talk personality Wendy Bell to full time in which her 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show will air Monday through Friday. The station has also added Pittsburgh media personality Rose Tennent to the program schedule in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. Bell was a host on Entercom’s KDKA-AM until she and the company agreed to part company early last fall. Bell had been criticized for suggesting on her show that park rangers shoot anyone seen defacing a monument in a public park. Tennent co-hosted “The War Room” morning show on former talk outlet WPGB-FM, Pittsburgh with Jim Quinn. St. Barnabas Health System SVP J.D. Turco says, “Both women have very distinctive styles. WJAS is the only station featuring six hours of back-to-back conservative female programming. We are proud to have strong, intelligent, and informed talk radio with Wendy from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and Rose from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.”

Round Two of February PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s February 2021 survey period covered February 4 – March 3. All-news and news/talk stations benefitted from the January 6 Capitol attack and its aftermath as well as from the transition from the Trump administration to the Biden administration during the post-holidays period that is traditionally down from a ratings standpoint. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington rose by one-tenth to a 6.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and the #4 rank while Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM was unchanged with a 9.9 share good for the #2 rank. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s WRKO was steady at a 5.2 share and the #8 rank while sister all-news WBZ-AM dipped seven-tenths but remained ranked #1. In Seattle, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM lost just one-tenth, finishing the survey with a 7.3 share good for a repeat at the #1 rank. Sinclair Broadcast Group’s crosstown all-news KOMO-AM/FM dropped half a share to a 5.2 and slipped to the #5 rank. See all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways for this round of markets here.

Former WFLA-AM, Tampa Morning Host Tedd Webb Enters Hospice. Longtime Tampa Bay radio personality Tedd Webb has entered hospice, according to a statement from his son Lee Ruiz. He says his father’s dialysis and dementia have been “particularly taxing.” Webb co-hosted “AM Tampa Bay with Jack Harris from 1994 through 2017 when he retired. Webb has been dealing with health issues for some time. Ruiz says, “This wasn’t an easy decision for him to make and obviously no one wants to lose him, but there’s only so much one person can endure. He feels the time is right and, ‘that’s how he sees it’ as he would say… I know a lot of people would like to spend one more time with him, and as much as we would like to accommodate all of those wishes, it’s just not possible. Given his current state, and that this came about rather abruptly, we have a very tight window of time left which makes it difficult to pull off.”

Jeanna Berge Rises to Market President for iHeartMedia Eau Claire/Rochester. Radio sales pro Jeanna Berge is promoted to market president for iHeartMedia’s Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Rochester, Minnesota markets, effective April 1. She takes over the role from Rick Hencley who is retiring after 27 years with iHeartMedia. Berge will retain her role as SVP of sales for the Eau Claire market. She says, “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and I am beyond ecstatic to lead and learn from these incredible, dedicated, multi-talented teams in the Eau Claire and Rochester markets. Rick has been an inspiring leader throughout my career at iHeartMedia and I’m honored to have had him as my mentor. His passion to have his employees always strive to be the best is evident with the success of his career, and I am determined to share that same motivation, positivity and creativity to help these ambitious teams excel. My mission is to continue to build on our already strong connection while having a positive impact on our employees, listeners, advertisers and our communities.”

Gaby Dunn Partners with Westwood One for Podcast. Comedian and New York Times best-selling author Gaby Dunn is partnering with Cumulus Media’s Westwood One to bring her podcast “Bad With Money” to the Westwood One Podcast Network. The podcast will “unapologetically examine the intersection of finances and social justice. Every week, Gaby will bring a queer, feminist, and unabashedly radical point of view to conversations with top journalists, student loan experts, tax specialists, and mutual aid organizers.” Dunn says, “At a time when so many people are scared and out of work, I’m thrilled to be able to provide helpful and actionable advice for long-term financial security. Furthermore, ‘Bad With Money’ will now sit alongside other like-minded shows on Westwood One, where it can reach those who need to hear it most.”

Cumulus Media’s WSBN-AM, Washington to Air Baltimore Orioles Games. When the 2021 Major League Baseball season begins, Baltimore Orioles games will be heard in Washington, DC on Cumulus Media’s sports talk WSBN-AM “ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capitol.” Cumulus says the multi-year deal keeps the Orioles Radio Network on the Washington, DC airwaves and adds to ESPN 630 AM’s stable of sports broadcasts – which also includes the Washington Football Team and the University of Virginia. Cumulus Washington SVP and market manager Ken Roberts says, “We are thrilled to be associated with the Baltimore Orioles. From their classic venue, Oriole Park at Camden Yards to their Hall of Fame heritage, the Orioles have a rich history with the League and with the City of Baltimore.”

Traveling with 46. Pictured above (back to the camera, wearing headphones) is Salem Radio Network White House correspondent Greg Clugston covering President Joe Biden’s tour of the new, state-of-the-art Radiation Oncology Department at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University yesterday (3/23). Clugston traveled frequently on Air Force One during the Trump administration. Tuesday was his first flight accompanying the 46th president.

Deadly Colorado Grocery Shooting/Gun Control, COVID-19-Spring Break, Border Crisis-Immigration, Capitol Attack-Sedition Controversy, and Deshaun Watson Sexual Assault Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/23). The shooting at a Boulder, Colorado grocery store that left 10 dead and the related issue of gun control; the rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous U.S. states, concern about variants, the rollout of vaccines, and the chaos in Florida related to spring break revelers; the large number of child migrants appearing at the U.S.-Mexico border and the pressure on the Biden administration to deal with immigration policy; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and the controversy over a justice department lawyer’s suggestion sedition charges may be leveled against some; and Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson faces 14 sexual misconduct lawsuits were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

| September 20, 2017

Heidi Harris Exits KXNT, Las Vegas After Post Critical of Gay Adoption. The report from KVVU-TV, Las Vegas “FOX 5” notes that talk show host Heidi Harris’ exit from CBS RADIO news/talker KXNT came just days after she posted to Facebook a critique of a local ad promoting adoption that featured a gay couple.  Harris told KVVU-TV that the company is not renewing her contract but “couldn’t say whether it was because of her Facebook post.”  Harris’ Facebook post took aim at an ad for the Clark County Department of Family Services promoting adoption that showed two gay men holding a child.  She wrote, in part, “Another not-so-subtle attempt to normalize something that is NOT normal.  Even if it is normal for YOU it is not the best thing for the baby…Babies who are eligible for adoption should go to MARRIED people of the opposite sex.  That is the IDEAL situation for a baby, and political correctness, changing laws or attitudes cannot alter that REALITY.”  Neither CBS RADIO nor Harris would comment about whether the post had anything to do with the station’s decision to not renew her contract.  But Harris posted a Bible verse clearly aimed at addressing the matter.  Her post: “Though they intended evil against you and devised a plot, they will not succeed. (Even though they think they have) Psalm 21:12.”  Since Harris’ departure, afternoon personality Alan Stock is hosting the morning show.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following comment in response to Harris’ exit from the station, “Certainly CBS has the right to employ or terminate talent based on whatever political or positioning sensibilities are in vogue at the moment.  However, it continues to be an unfortunately perilous situation for talk talent to be hired and encouraged on one hand to take controversial positions that fit either the left or right paradigm that constitutes radio ‘stationality’ and then cut loose for doing that exact thing if they just happen to step over the constantly moving and ever-subjective line of political correctness.  Heidi Harris is a longtime, major and important player in this business and the issue of gay adoption is one that has been openly and legitimately discussed in this medium for years.  Considering the fact that her contract was coming up for renewal, perhaps there is a financial component to this story.  There is also the possibility that they buckled in the tyrannical face of advertiser pressure. Regardless, I strongly advise those corporations that are serious about playing in the talk radio arena to be prepared in advance to take the heat of controversy that is a normal part of doing business and stand behind their talent in these instances.”

Guy Phillips to Exit KYKY, St. Louis AM Show to Host Afternoons on Crosstown KTRS.  According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, morning personality Guy Phillips is leaving CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYKY, St. Louis and will take over the afternoon show at CH Holdings’ crosstown news/talk KTRS.  The paper reports that Phillips will leave KYKY in November and will likely start at KTRS in January.  KTRS afternoon personality Frank O. Pinion recently exited KTRS and will join crosstown sports talk KFNS on October 2 (though O. Pinion will host a general issues program).  Currently hosting the afternoon show at KTRS are KMOV-TV meteorologist Kent Ehrhardt and local radio pro Paul Harris.  The Post-Dispatch says that the rest of the current KYKY morning show – Courtney Landrum, Jen Myers, Kevin Berghoff and Lance Hildebrand – will remain on as hosts of the wake-up program.

Francesa to Leave WFAN in December as Scheduled.  New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa will do his last show for CBS RADIO’s WFAN on December 15 as scheduled, according to the New York Daily News.  Francesa had said, in the immediate wake of the Craig Carton matter, that if the station needed him to stay on for a period to avoid revenue losses in both drive time dayparts, that he would consider it.  But that’s apparently not necessary as Francesa told his listeners he’ll leave in December and that “the station is comfortable with that (decision) and I am, too.”  Read the Daily News piece here.

Tedd Webb to Retire from WFLA, Tampa.  The Tampa Bay Times reports that market radio pro Tedd Webb will retire from radio and his current gig as co-host of the morning show on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WFLA-AM, Tampa at the end of January.  The 68-year-old Webb has been plagued by health issues – congestive heart failure and diabetes – and those issues have intensified recently.  Webb tells the paper, “I had a heart attack.  I’m on dialysis three times a week.  I’m drained.  My heart wants to go on, but my body won’t let it.”  Webb works with radio partner Jack Harris and personality Aaron Jacobson.  Harris says, “It’s going to be tough without Teddy.  It’s like Sonny without Cher, Cheech without Chong.”  Read the Times piece here.

Buchanan Exits Connecticut Talker. Afternoon drive talk show host Jim Buchanan announces via Facebook that he’s exited Cumulus Media’s Bridgeport, Connecticut news/talk station WICC, where he anchored the “Talk of the Town” program.    Buchanan had hosted the afternoon drive daypart at WICC since 1982.  The nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show is now airing in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot.

TALKERS News Notes. A new, improved version of CBS RADIO’s Radio.com mobile app has been made available to consumers.  CBS says it has “a fresh new look and logo to complement an easy-to-navigate experience now with higher streaming quality.”  CBS EVP of digital J.D. Crowley states, “Audiences want choice and that’s exactly what we’ve given them with this relaunch of the Radio.com app.  By combining their favorite local radio stations and on-demand content, we are catering to the distinctive tastes of mobile-first audiences, giving them control over when and where they engage with our content through a free, best-in-class experience.”…..The nationally syndicated “America Outdoors Radio” program announces that it has surpassed the 50-affiliate mark after just 15 months on the air.  The John Kruse-hosted show is a weekly, one-hour look at fishing, hunting and the shooting sports…..As reported in SportsBusinessDaily, college sports marketing and media rights firms Learfield and IMG College are agreeing to a merger.  Learfield president and CEO Greg Brown will lead the combined companies, estimated by some to be worth $2 billion.  After completion, the new company will control the media rights to some 200 schools.

Trump UN Speech, North Korea Threats, Cassidy-Graham Health Care Bill, Hurricane Maria, Climate Change Debate, Hillary Clinton Book Tour, Trump-Russia Investigation, ‘Sanctuary’ Issue, MLB Payoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19).  Tuesday’s speech by President Trump before the UN General Assembly; North Korea’s threats against the U.S.; the move to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with the Cassidy-Graham health care plan; Hurricane Maria threatens a direct hit on Puerto Rico; the recent spate of hurricanes and the renewed debate over climate change after experts suggest it intensified the storms; Hillary Clinton’s What Happened book tour; the investigation into Paul Manafort by the special counsel as part of the Trump-Russia probe; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ battle against the various “sanctuary” policies; the Major League Baseball playoff push; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cleveland Radio Personality John Webster Dead at 74.  Legendary Cleveland radio personality John Webster passed away recently at the age of 74.  Webster was one half of the morning show duo “Lanigan and Webster” with John Lanigan on WMJI from 1984 to 1997.  He was also a talk radio pioneer who served on morning shows on WERE and WHK.  Cleveland programming icon (and oWOW Internet radio chief) John Gorman commented on Facebook: “When I arrived in Cleveland I was blown away by John Webster’s creation: The ‘People Power’ tabloid-style news/talk format on WERE with Gary Dee (and Webster) in mornings and other characters including George Forbes – when he was the controversial Cleveland City Council president.  At the height of the ‘people power’ format, Webster pulled the plug.  He later told me that he felt he went as far as he could go with the format…”  Cleveland.com reports that Webster’s stepson Jason Fox said “Webster died during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Florida.  He said Webster was recovering from hip surgery when the hurricane hit, knocking out power to his home for over a week.  ‘I think that was the final straw for John.’”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, classic hits WLS-FM morning show producer Daniel Wolfe is promoted by Cumulus Media to assistant program director.  He’ll continue to serve as producer for “The WLS Wake Up Call.” WLS PD and Cumulus VP/classic hits programming Brian Thomas says, “This puts Dan one step closer to his goals of becoming a PD at Cumulus after doing a great job as morning show producer.  I am looking forward to working with Dan in this new role.”…..At Cumulus Media’s West Michigan CHR WHTS, Coopersville (Grand Rapids market), air personality Ken Evans is partnered with current morning host Rachael Gray on the “105.3 Hot FM Morning Show.”  Evans previously hosted mornings in the market at iHeartMedia’s crosstown CHR WSNX.   Cumulus Grand Rapids market manager Jeff Cartwright comments, “We are excited at the direction ‘105-3 Hot FM’ will take with Ken now in our Cumulus Grand Rapids family.”…..Las Vegas radio pro Connie Breeze joins the MannGroup-syndicated weekend hip hop program “The Mack Attack” (with host Greg Mack) as chief entertainment correspondent.  Breeze also serves with Beasley Media Group at rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” as APD, music director, and afternoon personality.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

| August 2, 2017

CBS News Radio and Skyview Partner.  Another big network news deal for Skyview Networks after the company announced its renewed deal with ABC Radio last week.  This partnership with CBS News Radio for distribution, inventory management and sales begins on January 1 of 2018.  A press statement says, “The new exclusive multi-year agreement will enable CBS News Radio to further strengthen its direct relationship with its prominent family of affiliated stations and control its affiliate relations, marketing, sales, distribution and best-in-class technology in-house.”  Skyview president Ken Thiele says, “We are proud to forge a new partnership with CBS News Radio.  This agreement powers CBS News Radio on sales and broadcast distribution operations to provide the finest and most accessible experience for affiliates, listeners and advertisers.”  CBS News CFO Charles Pavlounis adds, “Our new agreement with Skyview Networks will strengthen our distribution and advertising sales efforts.  This collaboration will assure our 30 million weekly listeners that they will continue to get the highest level of quality journalism they are accustomed to, while also providing for new opportunities for growth.”  CBS News Radio is currently distributed by Westwood One.

Urban One Q2 Net Revenue Down 4.1%.  Citing net revenue of $117.6 million during the second quarter of 2017, Urban One – formerly Radio One – reports that figure represents a decrease of 4.1% compared to the same period a year ago.  Breaking it down, the company says broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $41.8 million, a decrease of 14.6% from the same period in 2016.  Operating income was approximately $12.1 million for the quarter, compared to $27.7 million for the same period in 2016.  Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III, says, “Our radio broadcasting revenues improved sequentially from Q1, and also within the quarter itself with June being up 2.3% vs 2017.  According to Miller Kaplan, we outperformed our markets by 190Bps in June, which is encouraging.  This sequential improvement looks likely to continue for Q3, which is currently pacing (–2.9%).  Reach Media continued to experience a soft marketplace for multi-cultural network advertising spend, which was somewhat offset by the success of their Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage cruise.  TV One experienced soft ratings, which resulted in a 5.9% decline in net advertising revenues for the quarter. We still believe that TV One will achieve the Adjusted EBITDA guidance of $82-84 million provided on the last earnings call, driven by improved affiliate revenues projected for H2.  Our digital segment revenues benefitted from the acquisition of the Bossip and Madame Noire brands, and we have continued to invest in short-form video and data analytics which should help drive long-term growth for our digital businesses.”

WFLA, Tampa Morning Co-Host Tedd Webb Recovering from Heart Attack.  Officials at iHeartMedia Tampa are not saying how long they expect morning personality Tedd Webb to be away from the microphone but station manager David Bell tells the Tampa Bay Times, “We want him to do what is best for him.”  Webb – who co-hosts the AM drive show on news/talk WFLA-AM with Jack Harris – has a history of heart issues.  He had a quadruple bypass in 1999 and has since battled congestive heart failure, according to the Times piece.  Read it here.

Dean Canter Named SVP of National Sales for PodcastOne. Media sales pro Dean Canter joins PodcastOne as SVP of national sales.  Canter will “oversee all regional sales offices for the company, in addition to developing strategic initiatives, innovating new advertiser opportunities, and driving industry trends in the rapidly growing podcast market.”  PodcastOne executive chairman and founder Norm Pattiz says, “It’s rare to find someone with an extensive radio background who understands podcasting as well as Dean does.  Working with Kit Gray, Greg Batusic, and our existing management team and sales force, Dean brings history and an uncanny appreciation of the medium that fits perfectly with our expansion.”

Entercom New Orleans Market Manager Chris Claus to Retire.  Thirty-five-year broadcasting pro Chris Claus will retire from his current position as vice president and market manager for Entercom’s New Orleans cluster on August 31.  Claus has been in this position with Entercom since 2007.  Entercom president of sales Deborah Kane says, “Chris championed New Orleans during the critical post-Katrina period, during Hurricane Gustav in 2008 and throughout the Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil spill in 2010.  Chris’ engaging style of management, his unwavering professionalism and his heart has made an indelible imprint on Entercom employees and the community at large.”  Claus says, “I am grateful for these 10 years in the New Orleans cluster working with exceptional colleagues and being a part of this great community.  I had a wonderful experience and now I look forward to spending time with my family.”

TALKERS News Notes. TVNewser reports the July ratings for the cable news/talk channels and notes that MSNBC “finished No. 1 across cable news in weekday prime time among viewers from the ad-friendly A25-54 demographic as well as in the younger A18-49 demo.”  MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow finished the month #1 across all demos – A18-49, A25-54, and total viewers.  Although MSNBC was tops A25-54 in prime time (8:00 pm to 11:00 pm) for the month, Fox News Channel maintained its #1 standing among all viewers…..In Denver, former college and pro football star Mike Pritchard joins the KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” staff as a contributor.  Pritchard will also co-host the “Pritchard and Cecil” program alongside Cecil Lammey weekdays from 9:00 am to 10:00 am, starting August 16.  Pritchard most recently co-hosted a show on Lotus Broadcasting’s KWWN, Las Vegas “1100 ESPN.”  He’s also been doing color commentary for UNLV football…..American Urban Radio Networks elevates Lenore Williams to SVP/affiliate operations and compliance.  Williams began her career as traffic manager with one of AURN’s owned-and-operated stations.  Since 2006, she’s been VP of affiliate operations and compliance…..Yesterday (8/1), Ken Lormand celebrated his 18th year with Salem Radio Network as managing editor and Washington bureau chief.

Congressional Health Care Hearings, Trump West Wing Changes, North Korea Nuke Threats, Sessions Opioid Crisis Speech, Maduro’s Venezuelan Dictatorship, Seth Rich Story Lawsuit, Peanut Butter Jailbreak, MLB Action, and NFL Training Camps Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1).  The Senate agrees to hold bi-partisan health care hearings on fate of Affordable Care Act; the various changes in the Trump Administration’s West Wing, including the exit of Anthony Scaramucci and Reince Priebus and the arrival of new Chief of Staff John Kelly; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the U.S.’ military options; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ scheduled speech in Ohio today addressing the nation’s opioid crisis; the U.S.’s response to Nicolas Maduro’s ruling of Venezuela; Fox News and the White House alleged to conspire in creating Seth Rich-Wikileaks connection in private investigator’s lawsuit; Alabama cons escape prison using peanut butter; Major League Baseball action; and NFL training camps underway among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (8/2) with luncheon address by Salem Radio Network host Joe Walsh (with introduction by Phil Boyce).  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          Three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtimeTALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

–          Presentation of the 2017 “Woman of the Year” award to Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (8/2) we post the special luncheon greeting by Salem Radio Network syndicated host Joe Walsh (with introduction by SRN VP Phil Boyce).

Within the following days, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programmer Mat Bates is the new program director at Cumulus Media’s San Francisco triple A KFOG.  Most recently Bates was with Pandora as head of programming – rock formats.  He’d also served with Rdio as global head of music and curation; as senior manager/radio programming with Slacker; and at KXTE, Las Vegas; XETRA, San Diego and more.  Cumulus Media San Francisco vice president and market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Mat Bates is poised to take the Bay Area’s most indelible rock brand – KFOG – into the future with his unique professional background and successes marrying broadcast radio with digital platforms.  He lives the format, is well connected in the Bay Area, and brings a new mindset to KFOG.  Mat will work with the KFOG team to bring rock’s past and future together in a powerful alchemy that listeners and advertisers will respond to in a big way.”  Bates adds, “I’ve spent the last decade applying the best parts of broadcast radio to emerging digital platforms.  I’m really excited to now take the things that music tech does well and apply those to such a legendary and beloved radio station.  KFOG already has all the necessary pieces; it’s up to us to assemble them correctly now.”…..In Milwaukee, market radio pro Wes McKane is let go by Entercom where he was co-hosting the morning drive program with Elizabeth Kay on hot AC WMYX.  McKane wrote on Facebook, “Today I close a long chapter in my life.  After almost 16 years at ‘103.7 KISS FM’ and ‘99.1 The Mix’ I am no longer with the company.  I accept that my former management had to make a difficult decision.  I got a chance to work with some of the best radio personalities in the industry with Rahny, Riggs, Elizabeth Kay, David Stein, other personalities, sales staff, promotions, business office and management.”…..It’s official in Atlanta as Cox Media Group CHR WSB-FM “B98.5” names Charly Morgan midday personality.  CMG Atlanta director of branding and programming Chris Eagan says, “I’ve been listening to Charly on WNGC for years – her sound, personality and style are a perfect fit for ‘B98.5.’  She’s warm, friendly, and fun on the air and off, a great addition to our Atlanta team.”…..CBS RADIO adult contemporary outlet KYKY, San Diego announces the addition of the “AJ Mornings” program – featuring AJ Machado and Sara Perry – starting August 7.  KYKY program director Chris Patyk comments, “We’re super excited about this new morning show and have been looking forward to making this announcement.  AJ’s been waking up San Diego for 17 years and counting.  The addition of Sara – who has logged nearly the same amount of time on the air – will make the new KYKY morning show an exciting and fresh way for our listeners to start their day.”…..The “Sunday Night Blues Room,” featuring long time radio veteran Steve Pringle, returns to the Portland airwaves on Entercom’s classic rock KGON.  Program director Chris Crowley says of the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show, “The ‘Sunday Night Blues Room’ began on KGON and it’s only fitting that we host it once again.  The addition of the show and host Steve Pringle only serve to prove that KGON is committed to our community and committed to playing the greatest music ever recorded.”

Monday, May 15, 2017

| May 15, 2017

WFAN Sells Studio Naming Rights for ‘Boomer & Carton’ to Investors Bank.  New York City sports talk WFAN enters into a multi-year partnership with Investors Bank under which the bank will become the exclusive studio naming rights partner of the station’s “Boomer & Carton” show.  Investors Bank CEO Kevin Cummings says, “As we look to expand our profile throughout the NY and NJ region, partnering with organizations that share our values is important to us.  Investors Bank is looking forward to a very strong relationship with WFAN and we’re excited about having the ‘Boomer & Carton’ show broadcast from the Investors Bank Studio at WFAN.”

Alpha Media Launches Peoria Sports Talker.  In Peoria, Alpha Media launches a sports talk outlet – the company’s seventh station in the market – branded “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  So far, the station features Fox Sports Radio programming including “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Dan Patrick and Doug Gottlieb and promises more programming news soon.  It airs on WNGY-HD2 and translator W251BQ.

Brown Named Sales Manager for WPHT, Philadelphia. Coming over to CBS RADIO from his most recent position with Greater Media as group sales manager for the company’s Philadelphia stations prior to their acquisition by Beasley Broadcast Group is Jim Brown. He’ll serve as sales manager for news/talk WPHT.  Brown is a Philly native well acquainted with the market, having started his career as an account manager at KYW-TV in 1983.  VP/director of sales for CBS RADIO Philadelphia Dave Scopinich comments, “We’re so fortunate to add someone of Jim’s talent and experience to our sales management team.  Jim is a natural coach and leader.  He understands how to create multi-platform campaigns that deliver results for clients.  He’s a perfect fit at 1210 WPHT.”

Sean Hannity, Jim Rome and Robin Quivers Among Nominees for National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2017. The voting for the National Radio Hall of Fame class of 2017 begins today (5/15).  There are 24 nominees in six categories.  Four of those categories will be voted on by a panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals.  The other two categories will be voted on by the public, beginning June 5 for eight nominations for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “As an industry, we should all be proud of our incredibly diverse community of talent who have made and continue to make radio great.  This year’s class of nominees is a fine representation of why millions of people connect to our medium on a daily basis.”  News/talk and sports talk radio nominees include: Sean Hannity; Jim Rome; Mike Greenberg & Mike Golic; the Fabulous Sports Babe Nanci Donnellan; Robin Quivers; Diane Rehm; KFI, Los Angeles’ Bill Handel; SiriusXM’s Joe Madison; WFLA-AM, Tampa’s Jack Harris & Tedd Webb; and public radio shows “Marketplace” and “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me.”  Inductees will be announced June 26.  The induction ceremony will be held November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.  See the full list of nominees here.

TALKERS News Notes. In New Hampshire, Great Eastern Radio agrees to sell three FMs to longtime Granite State broadcaster/engineer Dirk Nadon.  After FCC approval of the deal, he’ll take over the operation of sports talk WZEI, Meredith “Sportsradio 101.5,” sports talk WTPL, Hillsboro “The Pulse 107.7” and rock WLKZ, Wolfeboro “The Hawk 104.9.”  Nadon says, “I am very excited to return to ownership in New Hampshire radio which began when my father and I originally put on the air the 101.5 frequency that I am re-purchasing in this transaction.  I feel like it is a coming home for this station and for me.”  WZEI airs programming from the WEEI Sports Radio Network and Boston Red Sox baseball.  WTPL also carries Red Sox baseball along with local sports talk…..Salem Radio Network News is offering a five-part series on media bias to interested stations for free.  Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says the news series was produced by SRN News anchor Keith Peters and features comments from former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, Tim Graham of the Washington, DC-based Media Research Center, and others.  He says stations wishing to incorporate this material into local talk shows or newscasts will receive scripts and audio clips that is also free of any reference to SRN News.  If interested, email Tradup at ttradup@srnradio.com…..Compass Media Networks announces it will offer 72 college and pro football broadcasts this fall.  The slate of NCAA and NFL games includes exclusive coverage of Oakland Raiders games and full national coverage of Dallas Cowboys games.  Compass is also announcing its commitment to play-by-play announcer Chris Carrino’s fight against Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) by encouraging people to visit fightforchris.com and donate to the cause.

Reminder! AMC-8 Service Is Going Away.  From your friends at Westwood One comes this reminder that in 45 days, “radio stations around the country will lose all radio network programming from all major companies if they do not re-aim their satellites from AMC-8 to the new AMC-18 at 105 degrees West Longitude.  On June 30, AMC-8 will no longer serve as the radio network “neighborhood,” and there will not be a suitable replacement satellite at the 139 degree position.  It has exceeded its design life and is not being replaced by an equivalent C-band satellite at the same location.  The five major commercial radio networks – Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One – now have their full complements of satellite-delivered programming available on their new frequencies on AMC-18.  This also includes programming from syndicators who lease their satellite time from these five companies. For more information, click here.

TAB Radio Institute at University of Tennessee Begins Today. At the University of Tennessee in Knoxville today, more than 40 broadcast professionals will begin leading sessions for the 25 students accepted into the inaugural Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute.  The Radio Talent Institute is spearheaded by radio consultant Dan Vallie.  TAB president Whit Adamson says of the 10-day program, “The student preparation and focus for the Radio Talent Institute is like nothing else we could get involved with.  This course gets them ready for graduation and the next step in their careers, which is a valuable asset to any station. They have been exposed to all facets of a station and capable of sitting down at any broadcast radio or television facility and prepared to add something.”  Sessions throughout the Institute will be led by broadcasters from Midwest Communications, Scripps Radio Group, 5 Star Radio, Cumulus, Thunderbolt Broadcasting, Saga, iHeartMedia, Cromwell, Entercom, and others.  Vallie says, “We are very excited to be partnering with the University of Tennessee and working with Sam Swan and the College of Communication and Information, and with Benny Smith, at their award-winning college radio station, WUTK. And we couldn’t be happier to partner with Whit Adamson and the TAB, who have been supportive of the National Radio Talent System almost from the very beginning.”

Herskovitz: Emerging Trend in Radio Ads?  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz says we may be seeing the emergence of a new trend in radio advertising – the use of old, classic song snippets to hawk modern goods and services.  As Herskovitz notes, “The wide world of commercials is no different than any other segment of society.  It goes through its periods of fads and fashions.”  Although the radio ad jingle is not as popular as it used to be, and popular music songs have long been used in commercials, this trend involves a slightly different twist.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

Fox News Radio’s Starnes Delivers Commencement Address.  Pictured above are Fox News Radio personality Todd Starnes (right) and Toccoa Falls College president Dr. Robert Myers (left).  Starnes delivered the commencement address at the Toccoa Falls, Georgia school and was presented with the President’s Medallion in recognition of meritorious service.

Worldwide Cyber-Attack, Trump Threatens End of Press Briefings, Comey Firing Aftermath, North Korea Missile Test, ‘SNL’ Spicer-Trump Bit, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The ransomware attack that’s affected more than 100 countries; President Donald Trump’s threat to end press briefings for the sake of “accuracy”; the political effects of the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey and speculation about who will take his place; North Korea’s test of a long-range missile; the latest Sean Spicer-Donald Trump skit on “Saturday Night Live”; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The weekly “Country Club with Dee Jay Silver” show returns to Compass Media Networks.  The program airs Friday and Saturday nights and is currently heard on more than 60 country stations across the nation.  Dee Jay Silver says, “I am thrilled to rejoin Compass Media Networks.  This is where it all began for me a few years ago and I look forward to a long-term partnership.”  Compass is providing syndication and affiliate and ad sales…..Reach Media is launching a new weekend show called, appropriately, “The Weekend Blast” with co-hosts and hip hop legends Ed Lover and Monie Love.   Reach says that the two-hour show will “give listeners their hip hop culture fix with celebrity interviews, entertainment news and the best music for every generation.  It debuts on Saturday (5/20) in more than 15 markets including Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dallas.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

| December 1, 2011

KTRS, St. Louis Personality JC Corcoran Suspended for Twitter Activities.  There’s no official word from CH Holdings’ news/talk KTRS, St. Louis but the reports from St. Louis-area media seem to confirm that afternoon host JC Corcoran has been suspended from the station for two weeks after engaging in a back-and-forth Twitter argument with listener-followers in which he used foul language.  The incident started when Corcoran declared Cardinals star Albert Pujols would re-sign with the team by November 18.  When that didn’t happen, Corcoran was taken to task for his prediction on Twitter and his responses including questionable language went out on the internet.  This case illustrates that even though the “letter” of FCC rules applies specifically to over-the-air language on terrestrial radio, the “spirit” of the law can now extend to social media activities as well giving the morals clause found in most talent employment contracts expanded relevance.  Talk show hosts beware – you are what you tweet!

News/Talk KFBK, Sacramento Gets FM Signal.  As the historic AM station prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary early next year, Clear Channel announces it is ending the Hot AC on KGBY-FM and begins simulcasting news/talk KFBK on the signal as FM NewsTalk 92.5 today (12/1).  Vice president and market manager Jeff Holden states, “Today is a milestone for Sacramento broadcasting as KFBK expands to the 92.5 FM frequency to better serve the local community.  The void for quality, local and full service news and talk on FM has now been filled.  This will give a younger audience access to one of the most influential stations in, not only, Sacramento but all of Northern California.  KFBK has demonstrated leadership over the past 90 years and it continues with the same dedication and progressive nature that makes it unique.   KFBK will now reach the nearly 70 percent of the market that doesn’t tune into the AM band.”

WFLA, Tampa Adds Jock Corey Dylan to AM Drive Program.  Former WPOI-FM, Tampa DJ Corey Dylan is now part of the morning show at Clear Channel’s WFLA, Tampa.  The St. Petersburg Times reports Dylan joins Jack Harris and Tedd Webb as co-host on the “AM Tampa Bay” program and will serve as a lifestyle reporter for the station as well.  Program director Steve Versnick tells the paper, “We wanted to change the co-host role and Corey seemed a perfect fit.  She’s got a sterling reputation in the market and a broadcast journalism degree.  So while it might seem like stretch to go from an ’80s station to news/talk, her background and interest seem perfect.”

Georgia Talk Host Martha Zoller Zeroes in on Congressional Seat.  WXKT-FM, Gainesville, Georgia talk host Martha Zoller is preparing to take leave of her talk radio career to run for Congress in Georgia’s newly created 9th Congressional District.  Zoller is still heard on Cox Media Group’s WXKT-FM but has exited the Georgia News Network from which she was syndicated across the state.  Zoller says Cox attorneys say she can stay on the air until she’s officially qualified as a candidate in May but realistically expects to have to leave her program prior to that time.  Zoller reports she has excellent name recognition in the district – 62% of likely primary voters in the conservative district have heard of her – as she will face a battle against State Representative Doug Collins and possibly others in the Republican primary election.

Dial Global’s Bill Press to Remain on San Francisco Affiliate.  Yesterday we reported Clear Channel’s plans for its AM talk stations in San Francisco that include the end of progressive talk outlet Green 960 (KKGN).  Dial Global notes that although much of the progressive talk that’s currently heard on that station will be relegated to the KKSF-FM HD-2 signal and online, the Bill Press show will be heard in the early morning daypart prior to Premiere’s Glenn Beck on KNEW 960 in the new year.

WGN, Chicago’s John Williams Organizes Holiday Food Drive.  Upon learning that food banks and pantries across the country are reporting a shortage of peanut butter, WGN talk host John Williams is organizing the “Peanut Butter & Jolly” drive to rally his listeners to donate peanut butter to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  Peanut butter is sought after because of its protein content, appeal to children and long shelf life.  All day today (12/1), Williams will encourage listeners to donate to one of the many participating locations around Chicagoland that will be delivered to the depository tomorrow.  Williams says, “Everyone wants gifts at Christmas, but these people just need food.  If you give to this campaign, we can all say Merry ‘Chrithmath!’”

2012 Presidential Race, European Debt Crisis, Occupy L.A. Ousted and Penn State Abuse Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/30).  The GOP candidates for president in 2012, the ongoing efforts to deal with Europe’s debt crisis, the clearing of the Occupy Los Angeles protesters and additional allegations in the Penn State sexual abuse case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.  Pictured here is ABC Radio News correspondent Alex Stone covering the Los Angeles Police Department’s breakup of the Occupy L.A. camp.