Tag: "The Sports Hub"
Mike Thomas Exits Boston’s ‘Sports Hub’ for WMVP, Chicago Market Manager Role. This move means a program director role at one of the top-performing sports talk radio stations in America is open. Beasley Media Group announces that it is “looking for the Bill Belichick of sports radio” as it seeks a PD for WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.” Mike Thomas, who also serves as Beasley Media Group’s national spoken word and podcast brand manager, announces he’s leaving Boston to accept a new position in Chicago – market manager for Good Karma-operated WMVP “ESPN 1000” – in order to be closer to his family and fulfill a career goal of becoming a market manager. Beasley says he will continue to remain as a consultant to the station and actively participate in the search process. Thomas says, “This was an incredibly difficult decision. This radio station is a once-in-a-career station, with a once-in-a-career staff. I would like to thank Caroline and Brian Beasley and the entire corporate team for everything. Locally, Mary Menna, Cadillac Jack, and Buzz Knight have been fantastic to work with! I also want to thank every single ‘Sports Hub’ employee for 10 years of winning! I know our relationships won’t end here.” Beasley Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack says, “I want to thank Mike for the instrumental part he has played in leading our award-winning brand throughout its first decade and wish him continued success in his next chapter. They’re big shoes to fill and we look forward to meeting a lot of great talent in the process as the coming days and weeks unfold.”
Ex-FOX News Radio Personality Todd Starnes Launches Syndicated Commentary. Former FOX News Radio personality Todd Starnes – who exited the company last week – announces he’s unveiling a syndicated commentary that “more than 750 radio stations have signed on to carry.” The “Todd Starnes News & Commentary” short-form program is produced by his Starnes Media Group and syndicated by Hamilton Strategies. Additionally, a three-hour, caller-driven radio talk show will debut on November 4. Starnes says that program will feature major newsmakers, entertainers, artists, and Christian leaders. He says, “I am first and foremost a radio guy. I love the format and I believe that radio will continue to have a lasting impact on the nation. We are also deeply committed to super-serving our radio affiliates with first class service.” The commentaries are broadcasting on Bott Radio Network, American Family Radio, CSN Network, and a number of commercial radio stations. For information about broadcasting Starnes’ commentaries or his talk show, contact Deborah Hamilton at Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.
Tammy O’Dell Assumes VP/Market Manager Role at Cumulus Columbia. Sales and management pro Tammy O’Dell is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Columbia, South Carolina cluster. This is a return to Cumulus after serving most recently as local sales manager for Spectrum Reach in Cary, North Carolina. She was formerly Cumulus’ VP/MM in Charleston, South Carolina. The Columbia cluster includes sports talk duo WNKT-FM “107.5 The Game” and WISW-AM “1320 The Fan” and three music brands. Cumulus Media EVP of operations Bob Walker says, “We are excited to welcome Tammy back to the Cumulus family in Columbia. Her passion for the Carolina region and her success in building a winning sales culture make her a great addition to the team in Columbia.”
SiriusXM Woos Denise Karkos from TD Ameritrade. Marketing pro Denise Karkos is joining SiriusXM as the new chief marketing officer, a position in which she’ll be responsible for brand and digital marketing of both the SiriusXM and Pandora brands and helping support and drive the growth of SiriusXM subscribers and Pandora listeners. Karkos was most recently CMO at TD Ameritrade where she was named 2019 CMO of the Year by Ad Age. SiriusXM president, sales, marketing and operations Jennifer Witz says, “Denise is exceptionally innovative and forward thinking and we are very pleased and excited that she will be leading our marketing efforts as we continue to grow the SiriusXM and Pandora brands. She and her team will execute a cohesive marketing strategy to drive brand relevance and consideration through to customer conversion, with a deep focus on digital, social, and mobile marketing.”
FOX Sports Radio Reports Digital Audience Gains. Citing data from August and September of this year, FOX Sports Radio – a division of Premiere Networks – is announcing audience growth “across several digital platforms, including podcasts, streaming and www.FOXSportsRadio.com.” FOX Sports Radio says it set a new record for total monthly podcast listens in September, reaching more than 11 million monthly listens. It also notes total podcast listens have grown nearly 60% since January. FSR says it experienced its third-highest streaming audience in the history of the network with the streaming numbers growing 8% from August of 2018 to August 2019 and a 25% increase over August 2017.
Cumulus CEO Mary Berner to Receive Gracies Leadership Award. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is honoring Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner with a 2019 Gracies Leadership Award. The Gracies Leadership Awards are presented annually to women executives who have made a significant impact on the media industry, while also spurring to action and emboldening other female leaders. The award will be presented to Berner and five other female media executives at the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on Thursday, November 21, 2019. AFWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “The Alliance for Women in Media is proud to showcase female executives for their extraordinary accomplishments and deep contributions across the media landscape. The Gracies Leadership Awards are one way AWM recognizes and connects women who serve in all areas of the media and entertainment industry. By honoring these outstanding women, including Mary Berner, we are empowering all women, at every level, to take that next step in elevating their careers and their contributions.”
TALKERS News Notes. In Denver, Bonneville brings former Denver Broncos offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus aboard as co-host of “The Drive” on sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.” Polumbus joins hosts Darren “DMac” McKee and Nick Ferguson on the afternoon drive show. He takes over for Tom Nalen who exits the station for personal reasons…..A “Free Talk Live” co-host is making news as he takes on two other candidates for mayor of Keene, New Hampshire. But there’s more to the story. In August, Rich Paul filed in New Hampshire probate court to change his name to Nobody. Today’s ballot gives voters three choices for mayor: Mitchell “Mitch” Greenwald, George S. Hansel, and Nobody. “Free Talk Live” host Ian Freeman tells TALKERS magazine Nobody’s mayoral campaign is just the beginning. He’s already announced his 2020 campaign to take on New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and is even considering a presidential run in a few more years. Check out his campaign website: ElectNobody.com…..Edison Research is making three of its presentations originally delivered at the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas available to the industry at its website. Available for your perusal are: “The Top 10 Findings from Edison Research in 2019 (so far)”; “The Secret to Longer TSL”; and “What Does it Mean for Radio to Be Local.” Check them out here…..In Northern Michigan, an application is filed with the FCC to transfer the licenses of eight stations from Sovereign Communications, LLC to AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC. The stations are: news/talk WMIQ-AM, classic rock WIMK-FM, and hot AC WZNL-FM in the Iron Mountain/Escanaba area and news/talk WDMJ-AM and WIAN-AM, country WJPD-FM, classic rock WUPK-FM, and oldies WNGE-FM in the Marquette area. Sovereign Communications is headed by Bill Gleich. AMC Partners Escanaba is a Wisconsin-based company headed by Terry Shockley and Chris Bernier. KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction…..The University of San Francisco and Cumulus Media San Francisco announce a multi-year agreement for KTCT-AM “KNBR 1050 The Sports Leader” to serve as flagship station for the school’s men’s basketball games. Pat Olson will serve as play-by-play voice for broadcasts of the USF Dons games.
Impeachment Inquiry, Bidens Investigation, Trump’s Syria Decision, 2020 Presidential Race, Omar Files for Divorce, NBA-China Rift, and Joker Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/7). The impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the report of a second whistleblower; the reported activities of Joe and Hunter Biden with regard to business in foreign countries; President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Northern Syria in deference to Turkey; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar files for divorce amidst rumors of an affair with a Democratic operative; the rift between the NBA and China over the Houston Rockets’ general manager’s comments; and the Joker film 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. Bay Area sales pro David Drutz is named vice president and market manager for Alpha Media’s San Jose duo KBAY-FM and KEZR-FM. Drutz was most recently vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco. Drutz says, “I’m incredibly excited to be part of a company as visionary as Alpha Media and lead classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR. Both brands not only dominate Silicon Valley but also have tremendous reach throughout the Bay Area. It’s going to be great fun in managing these stations to even more success!”…..Programming pro JT Bosch is promoted to senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Greensboro station group, effective October 14. Bosch will also serve as program director for rock WVBZ-FM “105.7 MAN UP!” Bosch has been with iHeartMedia since 2001 and most recently served as the assistant program director, music director and afternoon show host for country WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.” He says, “The opportunity to lead our programming efforts in Greensboro is so incredible. We are ushering in a new era and I’m honored to be a part of it. Thanks to the entire iHeartMedia senior leadership team for their continued support.”…..Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Mike Moore program director for country WKHX-FM, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5.” Moore comes to Atlanta from his most recent position as VP of programming for Entercom’s Portland cluster where he also programmed country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf.” Cumulus EVP of content and audience Brian Philips states, “As we met a strong field of senior candidates for WKHX, Mike Moore pushed his way to the front with thoughtful ideas and hard-driving enthusiasm. His wartime country radio leadership experience will enable him to build the team that changes the Atlanta landscape.”
iHeartMedia Moves News/Talk Programming to New Signal in Boston. The lineup of predominantly Premiere Networks-syndicated news/talk shows moves from WKOX to WXKS-AM in Boston. WXKS-AM had been leased to Bloomberg for its news radio format, but that deal is not renewed and iHeartMedia elects to shift the conservative talk format from WKOX’s 1430 AM to WXKS-AM’s 1200. The station continues to be simulcast on WJMN-HD2. iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “We are proud to have the best talent in talk radio on ‘TALK 1200.’ With a more powerful signal, we can now reach a wider audience.”
Michael Holley Exits WEEI, Boston. Thirteen-year WEEI, Boston personality Michael Holley leaves Entercom’s sports talker for a larger role on cable’s NBC Sports Boston. His emotional farewell announcement on yesterday’s program probably shocked fans. The “Dale & Holley Show with Rich Keefe” has been a consistently high-performing show for the station and Holley was offered a multi-year contract extension, but he elected to focus on an expanded role on TV. For now, the afternoon drive show on the station will be co-hosted by Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe while Entercom seeks a replacement for him.
Cumulus’ WJOX-FM, Birmingham Replaces AM Drive Show with Midday ‘JOX Roundtable’ Program. “The Opening Drive” show starring Jay Barker, Al DelGreco and Tony Kurre has been canceled by Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham and is being replaced by the midday “JOX Roundtable” program that features Jim Dunaway (center), Lance Taylor (right) and Ryan Brown (left). The shift takes effect on Monday (3/5). Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are extremely excited and pleased to be able to put our most successful show in the mornings and introduce this fantastic program to more JOX listeners. These guys know how to win and with their work ethic and talent, we are expecting great things.” Program director Ryan Haney adds, “The listener response to the ‘JOX Roundtable’ has been exceptional over the years. We look forward to continuing to build upon the momentum and passion shared by both the show and its loyal fan base.”
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio. It’s not surprising that 77% of stations in the panel saw their 6+ shares increase following the Holiday 2017 PPM survey that is so dominated by Christmas music listening. Comparing January 2017 to January 2018, 61% of stations enjoyed an increase in their 6+ shares. Just one sports talk station in PPM markets was ranked #1 (6+) during the January survey and that honor went to Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia – flagship of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston “The Sports Hub” ranked #2 in its market as did Minnesota Vikings flagship KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN.” See the entire report here.
iHeartMedia Misses More Interest Payments. Because it is expecting to enter into some form bankruptcy protection very soon, iHeartMedia has elected not to make interest payments totaling $138 million. That total is from outstanding 11.25% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $59.1 million due – and outstanding 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $78.8 million due. This kicks in a 30-day grace period before default, but as the company’s filing with the SEC indicates, it is in continuing negotiations with debt holders over a comprehensive debt restructuring to reduce its more than $20 billion in debt. This is the second non-payment of interest for the company. It’s February 1 non-payment on $106 million goes into default after tomorrow (3/2).
TALKERS News Notes. A new conservative television talk show will hit the airwaves on PBS – at least for an eight-week trial run. The program, called “In Principle” and starring columnist Michael Gerson and commentator Amy Holmes, debuts on April 13. As reported by AP, the program “will take its cue from William F. Buckley’s ‘Firing Line,’ which aired from 1966 to 1999.” It goes on to say that each show will feature interviews with two guests for in-depth discussions about such issues as race, gun control, and more. Gerson is quoted saying, “I think the Trump era has been a very difficult time for traditional conservative discourse. I think a lot of institutions and places have been co-opted in this era. I view conservatism not only as a belief but a state of mind, a respect for tradition but also a respect for facts.”…..Beasley Broadcast Group chief financial officer Marie Tedesco is presenting at next week’s Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom & Business Services Conference in Palm Beach, Florida. In addition to the presentation, Tedesco will meet with institutional investors at the conference…..iHeartMedia and entertainment industry publication Variety are teaming up to produce a new podcast titled, “PLAYBACK,” a film-focused program hosted by Variety awards editor Kris Tapley. The weekly podcast will be available on the iHeartRadio platform and feature exclusive, in-depth interviews with the talents behind many of today’s hottest movies.
Hope Hicks Resigns, Trump’s Televised WH Meeting, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, Parkland Shooting Investigation, FISA Abuse Matter, Oprah Presidential Bid, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). White House communications director Hope Hicks’ announcement she’s resigning from her position; President Trump’s televised White House meeting during which he proposes new gun restrictions; the NRA’s battle with Delta over the termination of their business relationship and threats by Georgia politicians to punish the airline; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ongoing investigation into the police response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting; President Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for asking the Inspector General’s office to look into allegations of FISA abuse; Oprah Winfrey’s statement she’s waiting for a sign from God whether to run for president; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
BFoA to Honor Urban One’s Cathy Hughes. At the Broadcasters Foundation of America annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 11, the organization will honor Urban One founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes as recipient of the 2018 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award. The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually upon an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation. Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate across radio, television, and digital media. In 1980 she founded Radio One (now Urban One), which became the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.
Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison appears as a guest on this week’s installment of the popular podcast, “Viral Podcasting,” hosted by media/financial consultant Kerry Lutz. Harrison and Lutz discuss the rise of podcasting and its relationship to terrestrial radio. Harrison says that podcasting (originally a term that originally related to the Apple iPod) is just a word that in a broader sense means “programming on demand.” He explains how the internet and digital age are undoing the culture of “mass media” that grew out of 20th century technology. He suggests that to be successful at podcasting “you can’t just mail it in as you could when consumers had fewer choices in terms of media products and platforms.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three air personalities are returning to Westwood One’s 24/7 Formats division. The company announces that rock personality Marconi – who’s served with WKQX, Chicago; KUFO, Portland; and KNDD, Seattle – returns to the Rock 2.0 format. Well-known Los Angeles jock Jay Coffey returns to host middays on the classic hits service. Tony Scott, who has worked at KLOS, KRTH, and KSWD in Los Angeles, is returning to host the evening show on the classic rock service. Westwood One also announces that Lynn Briggs is taking on the afternoon daypart on its adult contemporary service. Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “Hundreds of our affiliates, along with their listeners coast-to-coast, are hearing their old friends on radio once again, on a multitude of formats here at Westwood One. Marconi, Jay, Tony and Lynn are deeply experienced radio pros and I am very pleased to welcome them to the 24-Hour Format where they will bring great value to our customers.”
16 More Station Divestitures Named in Entercom SEC Filing – Boston’s News/Talk WRKO, All-News WBZ-AM, and Sports Talk WBZ-FM Being Sold. Which stations will not be part of the new Entercom after its merger with CBS RADIO has been one of the most eagerly awaited radio news stories since the deal was first announced. And now, with Entercom’s SEC filing, we know of 16 more stations – in addition to the three being sold to the Educational Media Foundation – that will go to new owners. When all the deals are consummated, Entercom will realize $264.8 million in proceeds from the divestitures that CEO David Field says will be used to pay down debt and, maybe, buy more stations. No one thought Entercom would be allowed to keep two FM sports talk giants in Boston, so it’s not surprising that WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” is being divested (Entercom will keep its longtime sports talkers WEEI-FM and WEEI-AM “ESPN Radio 850”) along with heritage all-news WBZ-AM and classic rock WZLX. Those are the CBS stations. Entercom will also divest its own news/talk WRKO and urban contemporary WKAF. In the Pacific Northwest, CBS Seattle signals adult hits KJAQ, classic rock KZOK, and sports talk KFNQ-AM are headed for divestiture. Down the coast in San Francisco, Entercom will shuck its own adult contemporary KOIT, urban contemporary KBLX, and classic rock KUFX (San Jose) as well as CBS’ CHR KMVQ. In the Sacramento market, CBS stations country KNCI, adult contemporary KYMX, hot AC KZZO, and sports talk KHTK will go to new owners. The filing does not indicate who the prospective new owners are. What David Field does say is that he still expects the deal to close before the end of the year.
PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from the September 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. Today’s report looks at all-news-formatted stations. As Kinosian notes in the story, all but three of the all-news stations in this report are CBS RADIO-owned properties. The last PPM survey was good to all-news with “three of four stations on this particular news panel up August 2017 – September 2017 (75%); roughly one in five are down (19%) and the remaining 6% remain flat (6+).” Comparing year-over-year ratings, “two of three stations on our eligible all-news sample improve September 2016 – September 2017 (67%, 6+), while one in three shows a decrease (33%).” All-news outlets generally do well in the 6+ ratings and September was no different with seven stations finishing in the top five in their respective markets. One, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington, finishing #1. Read the whole report here.
Salem’s KRLA/KTIE Keeps Whitman for Mornings. Morning personality Brian Whitman inks a new contract with Salem Media Group to continue anchoring the morning drive show on news/talk stations KRLA, Los Angeles and KTIE, Riverside/San Bernardino. The Southern California radio pro has worked at such stations as KABC and the old KLSX-FM. He started with Salem in April of 2012. Currently, Whitman and Jennifer Horn co-host “The Morning Answer” that’s simulcast on the conservative news/talk stations. KRLA program director Chuck Tyler comments, “Brian is a one-of-a-kind talent. I’m thrilled to know that he will be anchoring the ‘Morning Answer’ for years to come.”
TALKERS News Notes. The Virginia-based John Fredericks show begins airing on Salem Media Group’s WWRC, Washington “AM 1260 The Answer” in the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot, effective Monday (10/16). Fredericks’ program airs live from 6:00 am to 10:00 am and is also heard on WHTK, Hampton Roads; WNTW, Richmond; and WBRG, Lynchburg…..At William Pollack-owned, suburban Chicago talk station WCGO, Evanston, “The Citizen Kelly Show” moves from middays to the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot. Show host William J. Kelly made news locally after recently announcing he plans to challenge Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner in the 2018 Republican primary race…..Syndicated Solutions, Inc announces that the nationally syndicated travel radio show “Rudy Maxa’s World with the Careys” has added 60 new radio affiliates through the first three quarters of 2017. Robert and Mary Carey say, “We’re truly delighted and thankful for the strong support our program enjoys from network affiliates, leading sponsors and a loyal audience across our various platforms. Our radio program is unlike anything found or heard out there – and it’s rewarding to realize so many people enjoy and respect what we do.”…..Pictured at right is a scene from last Friday’s fundraising event for the Puppy Jake Foundation – a charity founded by WHO, Des Moines afternoon talk host Simon Conway that acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Friday’s fourth annual, free sandwich giveaway raised more than $28,500 for the charity.
Trump-Corker Feud, Weinstein Scandal, Iran Nuclear Deal, N. Korea Hacks U.S. War Plans, GOP Tax Plan, California Wildfires, MLB Playoffs, NFL Action/Anthem Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/11). The war of words between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker; the accusations of sexual predation and rape against entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein; the allegations that Iran’s nuclear weapons program has not been halted and President Trump’s indication he will not certify Iran’s compliance; reports that North Korean agents hacked joint U.S.-South Korea military plans involving the North; the GOP’s formulation of its tax reform plan; the deadly California wildfires that have killed at least 17; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and NFL action and the ongoing controversy over national anthem protests 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. Programming pro Scott Jameson signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue as vice president of classic rock and operations manager for its Minneapolis stations and program director for classic rock KQRS. The company’s other music stations in the Twin Cities are active rock KXXR “93X” and classic hip hop trimulcast, WGVX/WRXP/WWWM “105 The Vibe.” Jameson says, “I have a great job in a city I love, a wonderful family and a dream team staff at KQRS who impress and inspire me daily. I’m a very lucky guy. Thanks to all who have helped me along the way. Special thanks to Mike McVay for his motivational leadership.”…..At Cumulus Media’s alternative WNNX, Atlanta “99X,” the original three hosts of “The Morning X” program that aired on the station from 1993 through 2003 are coming back for a special broadcast on October 26 – the station’s alternative format 25th anniversary. Steve Barnes, Leslie Fram and Jimmy Baron will return to the Atlanta airwaves for the first time in more than a decade as part of the station’s celebration. WNNX says listeners can expect a healthy dose of laughter and gags, celebrity interviews and nostalgic banter from the trio, who “ruled Atlanta’s morning airwaves from 1993 to 2003.”…..E.W. Scripps’ country WKTI “94.5 KTI COUNTRY” launches a nationwide search for a superstar country morning show host to fill the slot left vacant by the departure of Jake Kelly. The station notes that most recently, it added Milwaukee icon and Country Radio Hall of Fame host Karen Dalessandro for afternoons. WKTI program director Ryan Wild says, “We’re looking a fun, entertaining morning show that loves country music. To help us complete the job of winning in Milwaukee, the right show will run for office with our listeners every day, and embrace living in Wisconsin. Very few people understand how to be a great local host, we are looking for someone that does!” To apply, visit www.scripps.com/careers. Local radio pro Carol Vonn is handling the morning show until a permanent host is named.
WISN, Milwaukee to Re-Align Programming in New Year; Dan O’Donnell Adds Daily Show. Milwaukee news/talker WISN is adding a new local, daily talk show featuring current news anchor, reporter and fill-in host Dan O’Donnell. The iHeartMedia station is also shuffling the lineup around a bit, effective January 3. In January, morning host Jay Weber’s show will be trimmed to 6:00 am to 9:00 am, O’Donnell’s show will air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh will air live from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Vicki McKenna, currently heard from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, will be heard from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, followed by longtime afternoon drive personality Mark Belling from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Evenings will still feature Premiere’s Sean Hannity followed by Westwood One’s Mark Levin. WISN program director Jerry Bott comments, “WISN is blessed with a lineup of extremely strong, popular local talk show hosts. Adding someone with Dan’s level of talent is an excellent opportunity to make that lineup even better.” O’Donnell joined WISN in 2013 and is currently a drive-time news anchor, reporter, and a substitute host for all of WISN’s local talk shows. Dan also serves as a Wisconsin correspondent for FOX News Radio, HLN’s “The Nancy Grace Show,” ABC News Radio, Wall Street Journal Radio Network and CBS Radio News. In addition, O’Donnell is known for his extensive coverage of the 2007 Steven Avery murder trial in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and subsequent “Rebutting A Murderer” podcast following the 2015 Netflix special “Making a Murderer.” Previously O’Donnell served as a news anchor for Journal Broadcasting for almost 12 years.
WEEI, Boston Fills Roles with Rich Keefe. Boston writer and personality Jerry Thornton left Entercom’s WEEI, Boston and WEEI.com to return to Barstool Sports as a senior columnist. Now, Entercom announces that Rich Keefe is joining the company effective Tuesday (12/6) to serve as the third voice on the afternoon drive “Dale & Holley” show with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley and as a columnist for WEEI.com, penning his popular “Keefer Madness” blog. WEEI notes that Keefe is “a nine-year sports radio veteran in Boston and has worked in an array of capacities for CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, ‘The Sports Hub.’ He also hosts the pre- and post-game shows on Patriots.com and has substituted on play-by-play broadcasts for the Boston Celtics Radio Network.” In addition to his new role on the “Dale & Holley” program, Keefe will co-host with Mike Mutnansky, weekdays from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. WEEI program director Joe Zarbano says, “We are proud to add a rising talent like Rich Keefe to our team. Rich brings an entertaining, opinionated and fresh outlook on the Boston sports landscape, and I have no doubt he will be a great addition to the ‘Dale & Holley’ show.”
CBS Radio News Pros Take Buyouts and Exit. According to a story in the New York Post, a number of longtime CBS Radio News staffers are agreeing to take buyouts and exit the news organization as it trims its payroll. Last month, CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler announced he would be retiring from the company in early January after a 50-year career in the business and the last 18 years spent with CBS. Nagler’s retirement appears to be just that, but the Post is reporting that among those who took the early buyout are: executive producer Charlie Kaye; Washington correspondent Barry Bagnato; afternoon anchor Harley Carnes; and “CBS World News” anchor Bill Whitney. A source tells the Post that the new deal with Westwood One (for ad sales and affiliate sales) requires some cost-cutting on CBS Radio News’ part.
Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominations, Election Recount Effort, ‘SNL’ Trump Skits, Dakota Pipeline Project, Italian Referendum/Renzi Quits, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of the Trump Administration during the transition period and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations; the election recounts taking place in several states; Saturday Night Live’s skits poking fun at Donald Trump’s Twitter habit; the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline and the Army Corps of Engineers’ denial of the permit for its current planned route; Italy votes “no” on a referendum to shrink its legislature and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s promise to resign; the college football weekend games and the subsequent playoff seeding; and the weekend’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.
Odds & Sods. It’s a name change for Radiate Media as the deal to be acquired by Global Traffic Network closes. Global’s American operation is now United States Traffic Network. In addition to the American business, Global also serves clients in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and Brazil. United States Traffic Network begins providing traffic services for CBS RADIO beginning in April…..In the case of Nielsen Audio vs. Bubba the Love Sponge, the two sides have done an about-face and are telling the court that they believe – after new evidence from the discovery phase – a settlement can now be reached. The sides are asking for a U.S. Magistrate Judge to preside over a settlement hearing. Nielsen is suing Bubba for damages it claims to have suffered as the result of Bubba’s PPM ratings tampering.