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Monday, November 13, 2017

| November 13, 2017

Longtime ‘New Jersey 101.5’ PD Eric Johnson Joins Beasley for Philly Sports Talk Role.  After spending the last 19 years as brand manager and program director at Townsquare Media’s talk station WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5,” Eric Johnson is joining Beasley Media Group to take on the director of sports content position at the company’s Philadelphia operations, effective December 4.  In this role, Johnson will be responsible for programming sports talkers WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” and WTEL “610 Sports,” as well as managing the related digital platforms.  Beasley Media Philly VP and market manager Joe Bell states, “Eric Johnson has the perfect skill set and experience to help continue the growth of ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’  He’s a Philly guy who understands that Philly sports fans are the best in the country and he can deliver a product with as much passion and knowledge as they have.”

Frank Rush Exits WIBQ, Terre Haute.  As reported by Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, program director Frank Rush exits Midwest Communications’ news/talk WIBQ/W250BZ in Terre Haute (also simulcast on WBOW, Paris, Illinois).  The move appears to be budget related.  In a story in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, Dave Taylor reports that Midwest is producing news content for WIBQ at its Evansville operations.  Read the Tribune-Star piece here.

Trump in Asia/Putin Election Meddling, North Korea Nuclear Program, Roy Moore Pedophile Allegations/Hollywood Sexual Assaults, GOP Tax Plan, Roger Goodell Contract Demands, College Football Games, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The president’s trip to Asia and his statement about believing Vladimir Putin’s claim he did not meddle in the U.S. election in 2016; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un; the allegations Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore pursued several minor women when he was in his 30s and the expanding allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood players; the nuts and bolts of the Republican tax plan; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s reported demands for his new contract; the weekend’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WRKO Raises $90k for Disabled Veterans.  On Friday (11/10), news/talk WRKO, Boston presented a live radiothon from the Seaport Hotel from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm to benefit the Disabled American Veterans.  “Boston’s Morning Show” with Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie, “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong,” The Kuhner Report,” and the Howie Carr show highlighted inspirational stories from veterans of all ages and the DAV members who assist them.  Pictured above are WRKO PD Michael Czarnecki (second from right) and marketing director Adam Ralston (right) presenting the ceremonial check for $90,642.  Czarnecki says, “The passion the WRKO listeners have for our veterans continues to amaze me year after year!  It was an incredible day filled with energy and emotion and I am so thankful to the DAV and WRKO staff for all of their hard work.”

Broadcasting Veteran Dwight Douglas Pens Another Novel.  Longtime radio programmer and marketer turned author Dwight Douglas has just written and published a new, topical media-related novel that makes great fodder for talk radio conversation.  The book titled, If God Could Cry: The True Meaning of Mercy tells the story of a famous (fictitious) cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, who leaves New York on his quest to find truth.  He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism.  He once again asks, “If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?”  Since retiring from his 17-year stint as vice president of marketing at broadcasting software giant, RCS, Douglas penned If God Could Talk… The Diary of a Broadcast Journalist followed by Donald Trump: Repeal, Replace, Impeach.  This new book is his third.  Many TALKERS readers will remember Douglas from his days in album rock radio when he programmed several major market AOR stations and served as president of the radio consulting firm Burkhart-Abrams & AssociatesTALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “I used to work with Dwight back in the golden days of FM rock radio and always though he was extremely clever and very much in touch with the nuances of popular culture.  He was instrumental in the early career and rise of Howard Stern.  Now many decades later, it is exciting to read his books and see how his keen feel for the issues and culture of the times has matured into touching and powerful insights.  He makes a superb talk radio interview.”  For more information and to book an interview with Dwight Douglas, please click here.

MIW Accepting Applications for 2018 Mentoring Program. The window to apply for the 2018 Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program is open now through January 12, 2018.  This program from the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group “pairs up-and-coming women who currently work in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media.”  MIW says that Beasley Media Group is committing to provide support as the lead sponsor of the 2018 initiative.  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2018 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate and one spot designated for a digital candidate. For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, click here.   WSCR, Chicago/Chicago Cubs Radio Network general sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski says, “This unique initiative provides a wonderful opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.  It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.”

FOX Radio/TV Star Brian Kilmeade Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast.  Multi-platform talk show host and best-selling author Brian Kilmeade of FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”   Harrison and Kilmeade discuss a variety of current topics including the NFL’s struggles with controversial politics and the resurgence of baseball as well as the view of the Donald Trump administration from inside the president’s “favorite” cable TV news talk show, “Fox and Friends” (co-hosted by Kilmeade).  They also talk about the early decades of the fledgling American republic as chronicled in Kilmeade’s new history book, co-written with Don Yaeger, titled, Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017). To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Weekend and fill-in jock Juline Jordan is promoted to midday personality at Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit.  Beasley Detroit vice president and market manager Mac Edwards comments, “Juline is an outgoing personality who thrives on listener engagement on-air and in live settings.  She impressed us with an eagerness to share and assist in generating ideas for promotions and features that will continue to strengthen the WCSX classic rock brand!  Additionally, her creative digital and writing chops will help grow our social platforms in midday and beyond.”  Jordan has worked in the Detroit radio market for the past 20 years.  She’s also been heard on sister rock outlet WRIF.  She adds, “It’s my extreme pleasure to be given this opportunity and I’m more inspired than ever to give Detroit my very best.  I would like to thank my program director Jerry ‘JT’ Tarrants and our market manager Mac Edwards for believing in me and giving me this opportunity to rock Detroit every day!”…..At Entercom’s Denver cluster, oldies KEZW “Cruisin’ 1430” program director and morning personality Rick Crandall signs a new deal to remain with the station through 2020.  Entercom Denver VP of programming Mike Peterson states, “Rick is one of the best broadcasters in the business, with an undeniable passion for the community.  We’re lucky to have him!”

PPM Analysis: Urban AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the 6+ performances of urban AC-formatted stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 PPM survey.  Comparing the stations’ September and October numbers 6+ weekly totals, Kinosian notes that “for all practical purposes, half of this urban AC sample declines between September 2017 – October 2017 (51%); 43% of these stations are up; and the remaining 6% are steady.”  However, looking at October 2016 numbers and comparing them to October 2017, “these urban ACs virtually flip the month-to-month stats, as 53% of them are up year-to-year, while 41% decline; the remaining 6% remain steady.”  Seven urban AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the October 2017 survey – all of them in southern cities – they were: KMJQ, Houston; WHQT, Miami; WWIN-FM, Baltimore; WFXC, Raleigh; WVKL, Norfolk; WQMG, Greensboro; and KJMS, Memphis.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

| October 13, 2016

WRKO, Boston Elevates Czarnecki to Program Director.  For more than a year, Michael Czarnecki has been serving Entercom’s news/talk WRKO, Boston as APD and operations manager.  Now, vice president and market manager Phil Zachary announces Czarnecki is rising to program director for the station.  “Michael tweaked the station’s lineup and groomed our entire air staff to be at peak performance for this election cycle.  We’re nowczarneckimichael reaping the benefits of his coaching and vision as new cume flocks to WRKO every day.  This promotion is well deserved and overdue.”  Czarnecki comments, “It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of revitalizing the heritage brand that is WRKO, and this is just the beginning.  Special thank you to Phil Zachary and to Entercom for having faith in me and giving me the guidance and tools needed to get here.”   Prior to arriving at WRKO 15 months ago, Czarnecki was APD at iHeartMedia’s hot AC WHYN-FM and country WRNX-FM in Springfield, Massachusetts.

emmisEmmis Sells Terre Haute Signals in Three-Way Deal.  In this three-way transaction, Emmis Communications is, as had been promoted during the lead-up to the company’s go-private bid, selling off its Terre Haute, Indiana radio stations for a total price tag of $5.2 million.  Here’s how it breaks down: Midwest Communications is buying country WTHI and the intellectual property of classic rock WWVR “The River” for $4.3 million; the WWVR assets (minus the intellectual property), sportsmidwestcomm-logo WFNF-AM and its translator W258BA, plus hot AC WFNB, Brazil, Indiana goes to Dave Crooks-owned DLC Media for $900,000.  Since the acquisition would put Midwest over the FCC limit, Midwest will sell country WDKE, Seelyville, Indiana to DLC Media for an undisclosed smulyanjeffsum.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “The sale of our stations in Terre Haute, while difficult, will help us further our goal of de-levering our balance sheet.  We are thrilled the buyers value radio and have long traditions of success in smaller markets, like Terre Haute.  I’d also like to thank our people at these stations.  They have been tremendous stewards of their brands and wonderful ambassadors of Emmis’ culture.  We wish them continued success.”  The deal is expected to close in 2017.

Riehl Upped to Corporate Controller for Beasley Broadcast Group.  Rising from her position asriehlrobin business manager at Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster is Robin Riehl.  She becomes the corporate controller for the company, effective November 1, based at its headquarters in Naples, Florida.   Riehl comments, “The radio business is my passion and I am honored to fulfill my dream of working with Beasley in the corporate office!  The Beasley Media Group is my professional home and I remain deeply grateful for my start with Beasley in our outstanding Fayetteville cluster.”

TOMORROW is the Day for the Hillsdale College/TALKERS Magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate in DC. On Friday (10/14), TALKERS magazine and Hillsdale College join forces to present a dynamic talk radio debate about the Presidential Election of 2016. Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the diverse hillsdalelogousepanel of participants will include (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, syndicated host, WYD Media; Hugh Hewitt, syndicated host, Salem Radio Network; Joyce Kaufman, afternoon host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Larry O’ Connor, morning co-host, WMAL, Washington, DC; and Chris Stigall, morning host WPHT, Philadelphia. The event takes place tomorrow at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. It will start at 11:00 am and run for about 90 minutes followed by a “meet and greet,” one-hour lunch reception. The event will be open to members of the media and press but seating will be limited and pre-registration is required. To register, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Announcing the event, Michael Harrison states, “What a wonderful lineup! This debate will include all the key perspectives represented on American news/talk radio. TALKERS is delighted to be back in Washington, DC creating political talk happenings of this nature. We are looking forward to this being just the first of a long series of forums that we are planning to present in conjunction with the enlightened educators at Hillsdale College.” Hillsdale College, based in Hillsdale, Michigan and established in 1844, is widely recognized as one of the finest, private liberal arts colleges in America.

New PodcastOne Show Launches Starring Neil Strauss and Gabrielle Reece.  The first episode of “The Truth Barrel” podcast launched yesterday (10/12) featuring Rolling Stone contributing editor and author of best-podcastone-bsellers The Game and The Truth, Neil Strauss, and former pro volleyball star, NBC’s “Strong” host, and model Gabrielle Reece.  PodcastOne says the show grew out of Strauss and Reece’s regular, celebrity pool-fitness workouts, which end with alternating deep conversation in Reece’s 220-degree barrel sauna and plunges in a metal bath filled with ice.  “Each week, the co-hosts sweat the truth out of some of the most famous, knowledgeable, and interesting people in the world, from Grammy-winning musicians to gold-medal Olympians.  The end game is to learn from these experiences and solve the biggest challenges in life that most people are too afraid to discuss.”  New episodes appear every Tuesday at PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes.

Odds & Sods.  Lubbock, Texas news/talk KFYO adds an FM signal to its programming with the addition of translator K229BY, Lubbock at 95.1 FM.  Townsquare Media Lubbock market manager Philip Hand states, “Today is another banner day in KFYO’s storied 90-year history.  The addition of the 95.1 FM frequency to KFYO will allow KFYO’s highly rated news/talk programming to become more accessible in the largest population center we cover.”…..Sports media personality Trenni Kusnierek – whose day job is anchor and reporter for Comcastkusnierektrenni SportsNet New England – is joining Entercom’s WEEI-FM and the WEEI Sports Radio Network as a weekend and substitute program host.  Kusnierek’s resume includes time spent as a sports reporter and talk show host at Scripps’ WTMJ and Good Karma’s WAUK “ESPN 540” in Milwaukee.  She’s been a reporter and anchor for the MLB Network, the NFL Network and The Big Ten Network and she covered the 2016 Olympics from Rio de Janiero in August…..Salem Media Group Twin Cities is hosting the 4th annual “Clean Comedy” night starring comedian Amy Barnes.  This event is November 5 at Revive Brooklyn Park Church and, in conjunction with Second Harvest Heartland of St. Paul, also consists of a canned food drive to aid in the fight against hunger in the Twin Cities…..Neuhoff Media’s news/talk WSOY, Decatur, Illinois hosted the 15th Annual Food Drive at Airport Plaza Kroger and generated more than 1,400,000 pounds of food for 10 regional food pantries in the Decatur/Macon County area in 12 hours.  Local corporate partners, ADM and the Howard Buffett Foundation contributed $100,000 each, while schools, business and community groups combined for donations that resulted in the largest local food drive to date.

The Presidential Race, Wikileaks Document Dump, Clinton Emails Decision Questioned, U.S.-Russian Tensions, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/12).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the Wikileaks document dump revealing emails between Hillary Clinton and staffers; the Fox News report that investigators in the FBI and CIA were unhappy with James Comey’s decision not to indict Hillary Clinton in the private email server case; the tensions between the U.S. and Russia over military operations in Syria and allegations the Russians are meddling in the U.S. election; the Major League Baseball playoffs, and NFL action were among the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

lecorchickjimErie Radio Personality Jim LeCorchick Dead at 69.  Longtime Erie, Pennsylvania radio personality Jim LeCorchick passed away this morning (10/13) after collapsing at the Connoisseur Media studios.  According to GoErie.com, LeCorchick, who hosted the morning show at news/talk WJET-AM, walked into the studio of sister rock outlet WRKT “Rocket 101” and asked the jocks to call 911.  GoErie.com reports that LeCorchick was a commentator for both WJET-AM and the WFNN-AM “Sports Blitz” afternoon show.  He also served as a play-by-play and color commentator for area college and high school sports games over the years.

Friday, August 19, 2016

| August 19, 2016

Bannon Is the Latest in a Long Line of High-Profile Radio Talkers to Make a Splash in Politics.  Whereas most of the media coverage of Breitbart News, LLC chairman Stephen K. Bannon’s appointment this week as CEO of the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign, portrays him primarily as a “pugilistic”bannonstephenk media/business/financial figure, the controversial iconoclast was also a rising talent in the world of talk radio.  Until taking leave this week to join the Trump campaign, Bannon has served during the past year as the anchor/lead personality on the “Breitbart News Daily” 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET program on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio “Patriot” channel – a position he performed so effectively that it landed him on the 2016 edition of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “I distinctly got the impression, talking to Bannon, that he viewed himself as a ‘team-player’ in an ensemble production and not as the specific star of the show.  However, the TALKERS editors felt that he was a very distinct and powerful voice on the program worthy of inclusion on the prestigious list which focuses on stand-out personalities.”  Harrison adds, “There is an irony to Bannon now finding himself on the same team with former Fox News Channel head Roger Ailes – also involved with the Trump camp as a consultant.  Bannon viewed Fox as being a significantly different type of news reporting agency than Breitbart and aggressively approached the organization as a prime competitor.  He seemed quite proud of his depiction of Breitbart as being more news and journalistically oriented than Fox – as well as the rest of today’s big news media players – and more about reporting facts than personality-oriented opinion.  This could be an example of politics making strange bedfellows.”

WEEI, Boston Morning Personality John Dennis Steps Away from Daily Duties.  After 19 years as co-host of the morning show on Entercom’s sports talk WEEI, Boston, John Dennis is leaving his role as co-host of the program to deal with health issues.  In a statement announcing the move, Dennis says he’s making the decision on the advice of his doctors that he reduce his workload.  Dennis has been partnered with Gerry Callahan since the showdennisjohn launched.  Kirk Minihane joined the program in 2013.  Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Phil Zachary says the show will continue with Callahan and Minihane.   “John is a Boston weei logoradio icon and will remain an important part of the WEEI family going forward.  To that end, we have been working with John to define a new role for his considerable talents.”   Zachary says Dennis will work with station advertisers, act as an ambassador to sponsors and community organizations, and occasionally host WEEI programs.  “Most important to him is that John will continue his compassionate work with our annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon and will appear in our live broadcasts from Fenway Park, August 29 and 30.”  In April of 2015, Dennis took a leave of absence from the station to enter rehab for alcoholism.

Jan Mickelson Returns to WHO, Des Moines Airwaves.  After suffering a stroke in November of last year that made him unable to host his daily 9:00 am to 11:30 am show on iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines, Janmickelsonjan Mickelson returned to the air hosting a half-hour segment of his program live from the Iowa State Fair yesterday (8/18).  Mickelson’s show has been hosted by fill-in personalities since last fall.  Mickelson told KCCI-TV, Des Moines that after suffering the stroke and being treated in Iowa he traveled to China for a 2,400 needle acupuncture treatment and says he has a lot of his mobility back.  Mickelson will continue to host the 11:00 am to 11:30 am portion of the show as he continues to rehabilitate.

emmis logoJeff Smulyan Offers to Take Emmis Communications Private.  Via his E Acquisition Corp., Emmis Communications chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan is offering to take Emmis private by acquiring outstanding, publicly held shares of Emmis for $4.10 per share in cash.  That’s a 3% premium above the August 18 closing price of Emmis’ stock ($4.00).  Smulyan has backing lined up from Falcon Investment Advisors.  The offer also includes the commitment to sell many of its publishing assets as well as WLIB-AM, New York and its four Terre Haute, Indiana signals – country WTHI, classic rock WWVR, hot AC WFNB, and sports talk simulcast WFNF/W258BA.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of August 15-19.  The presidential campaign, including Donald Trump’s staff changes that bring Breitbart chief Stephen K. Bannon aboard to head the campaign, was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Close behind at #2 was the aftermath of the shooting death of an armed black man by police in Milwaukee.  Coming in at #3 was the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the controversy over a phony robbery claim by U.S. swimmers, followed by the battle for Aleppo and Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Odds & Sods.  If you live in the Charlotte area, you might want to know that Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM is seeking an experienced board operator.  It’s a part-time position of between 15 and 20 hours per week, including nights and weekends.  If you’re interested, contact program director Jason Furst at jfurst@wbt.com …..High School athletics is on the schedule this school year at E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee’s digital platform.  “Preps Live” is broadcasting high school football play-by-play in 2016, airing 26 contests via WTMJ.COM and the WTMJ Radio App.

wtmjconv16Community Conversation.  On Wednesday afternoon, E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee held a “Community Conversation” to address the shooting death of a young black man by a Milwaukee police officer and the protests that followed.  WTMJ vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer tells TALKERS magazine, “The community response has been overwhelming.  It’s WTMJ’s responsibility to help provide some longer-term historical context on this story.  The visceral reactions to Saturday’s events need to be countered with real in-depth perspective.  It’s really the story of a decades-long shift in the economy and social structure of an American city.  Similar stories have unfolded across the country, particularly in the Midwest and Northeast.  These stories require more than ‘video showbiz’ of demonstrations and quick sound bites.  We hope to make a difference, with a more thoughtful and deeper approach in our coverage.”  Pictured here in the WTMJ studio are (clockwise from the left): WTMJ afternoon anchor/host, John Mercure; Reverend Willie Briscoe, minister, New Covenant Baptist Church; Toron Brown, businessman and Sherman Park resident; Earl Ingram, president, Earl Ingram Media and former talk show host at WMCS, Milwaukee.