Tag: "Todd Schnitt"
‘970 The Answer’ Presents Special 9/11 Show. On the anniversary of 9/11, Salem Media Group news/talk WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” is presenting a special program today (9/11) from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on location from the kitchen table of Red Apple Group chief John Catsimatidis (soon-to-be owner of WABC, New York) with host Kevin McCullough and former New York Governor George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. McCullough says, “The unique and intimate broadcast will take place on location around the Catsimatidis kitchen table and will bring the two leaders together in person in a way seldom seen since this fateful day.”
WHO, Des Moines Listeners Respond to Call for Flag Planting. Afternoon drive personality Simon Conway tells TALKERS magazine that WHO, Des Moines listeners planted almost 3,000 flags in a local park to commemorate those who died in the 9/11 attacks after the city decided to cancel the annual event. Conway says, “About four months after I arrived in Des Moines, there was a meeting. How were we going to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11? Some people wanted to rent the big arena in town and have a solemn service. I pointed out that was a big risk. It was the first or second NFL Sunday and how terrible would it be if no one showed up. Eventually, I came up with the idea of planting a flag in the ground for every person who was murdered that day. We have done that ever since. Yesterday morning my listeners started to contact me saying that the city had cancelled this year’s [event] due to lack of flags and volunteers (total garbage by the way – they want to move on!). There was no way I was going to let that happen and so using social media and the opening of my show yesterday, I directed people to the park. All the nearly 3,000 flags were in the ground before 5:00 pm! THAT’S the power of the very best audience in talk radio!”
Entercom Wrestling with ‘Technical Issues.’ The company has been pretty tight-lipped about the technical issues that may have been caused by a cyber-attack that occurred over the weekend. Entercom’s email system has been compromised and those trying to email someone at the company receive a message saying it is dealing with technical issues and directs them to call the local market via phone. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that the issue – again, the company won’t confirm it’s an “attack” – also has affected music scheduling, production, and billing. Radio trade site RadioInsight is calling it a ransomware attack and reports the attacker(s) is asking for $500,000. Whether it’s an actual ransomware attack or just the work of a devious hacker, the company has a lot of work to do. Entercom’s public statement on the matter is that it is working around the clock to fix the problems. An internal memo staffers received on Monday morning said they should not expect things to be back to normal for three or four days.
WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Does Damage Control After Gay Slur Tweet. Openly gay WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans evening sports talk host Seth Dunlap was the target of a tweet containing a gay slur that appears to have emanated from within the station. According to a piece in The Advocate, many of Dunlap’s listeners may have learned of his sexuality after he wrote a personal essay questioning New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ affiliation with Focus on the Family, an organization that, among other goals, promotes gay conversion therapy. Brees has recorded a video for the organization about the upcoming “Take Your Bible to School” day. Entercom removed the offensive tweet and tweeted out the following: “We are aware of a tweet that went out today from the WWL account. The content of the tweet is categorically offensive and abhorrent to the station. We are actively investigating this incident and will take swift and appropriate action once we determine how this occurred.”
Todd Schnitt and Fark.com Partner for New Podcast. On-air pro Todd Schnitt and FARK.com founder Drew Curtis are launching a new podcast called, “Fark and Schnitt,” “a humorous approach to some of the more unusual story lines in the news cycle.” It’s being managed by Steve Lapa and Lapcom Communications and represented by Crossover Media Group. It’s being promoted as “an entertaining, irreverent look at the stories you may have missed. The ‘Fark and Schnitt’ podcast blends entertaining content with polished production to bring the audience the famous and the forgettable in an engaging format.” New episodes are posted each Tuesday. Schnitt says, “The explosive growth of podcasts cannot be ignored, and this delivery method will continue to grow exponentially. While I’ve been part of repurposing my radio shows for many years, ‘Fark and Schnitt’ is all new exclusive quality content just for the podcast universe. Soon, I’ll be Adam Carolla’s golf caddy.” FARK.com is a successful news aggregator site with more than 2,000 link submissions daily, 20 million page views per month with more than 1 million uniques.
TALKERS News Notes. Joining the meteorologist staff at EnvisionVirtualServices Weather is Tom Hauf, who will deliver custom daily weather forecasts and severe weather coverage for affiliated stations. Hauf says, “I’ve been passionate about weather forecasting since childhood, delivering my first forecast at age 10. Weather is one of a very few things in the world that affects every single person every day.” Hauf has 30 years of experience as a radio weatherman and possesses a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist certification from the American Meteorological Society. EnvisionVirtualServices Weather Reports from Envision Networks offer a complete locally derived weather solution for radio stations. The team of major market meteorologists deliver multiple daily reports and are ready to spring into action whenever inclement weather hits…..PodcastOne announces that it is teaming with Kc Wayland Productions for production, marketing and sales for the “We’re Alive” podcast series that has more than 160 million downloads to date. The new season, “We’re Alive: Goldrush,” features guest-star appearances from actors Danny Trejo and Christy Carlson Romano as well as former “Bachelorette,” Kaitlyn Bristowe. PodcastOne says “‘Goldrush’ is a multi-layered story that fully utilizes the audio drama medium, employing a multitude of audio-focused comedic gags, plot devices that force visualization, and scenes that take advantage of the soundscape.” PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Coming on the heels of our huge success with ‘22 Hours: An American Nightmare’ and the continuing strong showing of ‘Cold Case Files,’ our partnership with A&E Networks, the launch of ‘Goldrush’ not only gives us a strong, new entry into the scripted category, but also shows the strength of our content and promotional resources.”…..KPOJ-AM, Portland afternoon drive sports talk personality Travis Demers is named the new play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers. Demers has been the substitute play-by-play voice recently, filling in for Brian Wheeler who has been dealing with health issues. Wheeler recently retired, leaving the position open. Demers says, “It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, it’s an absolute dream job. I’m thrilled to be able to live out that dream in Rip City.”
Beasley Announces Esports Initiative at UNLV. Broadcaster Beasley Media Group is collaborating with the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies to launch Checkpoint XP On Campus. Beasley XP is the company’s esports division that is leading this endeavor. Under this initiative, the school will serve as the primary content creation and production hub for Checkpoint XP’s college-targeted brand extension. Plans include a college-agnostic esports weekly video and podcast show, as well as extensive online content that will be featured under the Checkpoint XP On Campus section on CheckpointXP.com. The weekly video and podcast will be officially launched tomorrow (9/12) on RADIO.com, as well as Twitch, YouTube, and via a podcast on bPod Studios. It’s being hosted by Beasley XP’s Norris Howard, along with UNLV student anchors Daniel Agbuya and Jacob Brothers, with Kevin Kelly serving as the managing editor. Additionally, UNLV will work closely with Checkpoint XP to recruit student correspondents from more than 30 of the country’s top journalism and esports colleges to provide additional coverage on the growing esports scene across many of the nation’s college campuses. Beasley chief digital content officer Lori Burgess says, “The convergence of sports and entertainment has never been more real than with the esports academic curriculums, sports teams and arenas that are changing the face of campuses across the country. Checkpoint XP On Campus intends to capture this lifestyle-based competitive sport as it continues to gain popularity and become a more serious part of the university experience.” Pictured above at yesterday’s announcement are (from l-r): Dr. Kevin Stoker, director of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV; Dr. Robert Ulmer, Dean of the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs; Caroline Beasley, CEO of Beasley Media Group; Norris Howard; and Leslie Fitzsimmons, director of underwriting and corporate sponsorship for UNLV’s public media outlets.
Trump Fires John Bolton, 2020 Presidential Race, NC Special Elections, U.S.-China Trade War, Immigration Policy, Antonio Brown Rape Allegation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10). National Security Advisor John Bolton is fired by President Trump; the Democrats and Republicans vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Republican Dan Bishop wins a North Carolina congressional special election; the war of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the Trump administration’s immigration and asylum policies; and the rape allegations leveled against Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Cool Radio Opportunities in Phoenix. There are two positions that WestStar Multimedia Entertainment is seeking to fill. First, the Kim Komando show is looking for an on-air call screener and sidekick. They ask: “Do you have an engaging personality? Quick-witted? Funny? And this is very important, have a passion for consumer electronics and all things digital? We are looking for a superstar talent who’s hard working and wants to be part of national radio show and global TV show!” See more about the position and to apply here. Also, WestStar is seeking an affiliate relations manager with at least two years’ experience. The company says, “Kim Komando Multimedia is rapidly expanding in many divisions, as we are one of the fastest growing broadcast media companies in America! For over 20-years, Kim Komando has led the industry in tech-lifestyle programming within the national radio category, reaching millions of people every week.” For more on this position and to apply, click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Sales and management pro Donald St. Sauveur is upped to chief operating officer for Northeast Broadcasting and its stations triple A outlets WXRV, Boston “92.5 The River” and WNCS, Montpelier “The Point.” St. Sauveur has been serving as general manager for WXRV for the past 11 years. Northeast Broadcasting CEO Ed Flanagan says, “Donald has shown an uncanny ability to integrate the sales and programming elements of the station, while simultaneously building brand and customer loyalty. We are looking forward to seeing him succeed in this new role.”…..Programming pro Leigh McNabb joins Saga Communications’ classic hits KIOA, Des Moines as program director. She comes to Saga from her most recent gig as PD and midday personality at Entercom’s hot AC KZPT, Kansas City “99.7 The Point.” Saga Des Moines vice president and general manager Tom Nankival says, “We are thrilled to be able to bring someone with Leigh’s experience and qualifications back to her hometown. Her passion for KIOA’s heritage is unparalleled and the fact that she is already so well respected in our building made her the obvious choice to rejuvenate the station and lead our terrific team.”…..Premiere Networks syndicated morning star Bobby Bones is offering his listeners the opportunity to put their personal twist on The General Insurance’s jingle for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas to see Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots perform. Fans can enter the contest by creating their own video showcasing their spin on the jingle. The winning video will receive a three-day, two-night trip to Las Vegas to meet Bobby Bones and attend the Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots performance on November 15 at Reynolds Hall at Smith Center.
Liberty Media Puts in Offer for iHeartMedia Ownership. Out of the blue, Liberty Media – controlling owner of SiriusXM and minority stakeholder in Pandora – is offering $1.159 billion for a 40% stake in the new iHeartMedia. This comes as iHeartMedia is very close to defaulting on a $103 million debt payment that could push the company into bankruptcy. As it stands, iHeartMedia is negotiating with senior creditors to arrive at a pre-packaged bankruptcy that would greatly reduce the company’s $20 billion in debt in exchange for equity. The Liberty offer is designed not to replace the current offer by senior creditors but to add Liberty to the mix. Liberty’s offer is for a 20% stake held by Liberty, another 20% held by SiriusXM, four seats on the new company’s nine-member board, and Clear Channel Outdoor would be spun off as a taxable transaction. Some experts say this offer has no chance of being accepted. Sources quoted in a New York Post story say the offer undervalues iHM’s 850 radio stations – putting its value of iHeartMedia at $7.5 billion, less than the $8.5 billion Franklin Resources places on it. Franklin is leading the senior creditors group. One source expects iHM to proceed with a bankruptcy filing on March 3.
Post Theater Columnist Michael Riedel Named WOR, New York Morning Co-Host. It’s been four months since radio talk host Todd Schnitt exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR. He’d been co-hosting the morning program with Len Berman but was unable to come to terms on a renewal agreement. Now, the company announces that New York Post theater critic Michael Riedel will join Berman on 710 WOR for the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program. In addition to his work for the Post, Riedel hosted the PBS program “Theater Talk” for 24 years and published the best-seller, Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway. iHeartMedia calls the new show a “four-hour variety show, showcasing the most important stories of the day to New Yorkers, including local news, entertainment, humor, political stories, and interviews with newsmakers and celebrities.” WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “After a four-month search, we are super fortunate to have a triple-triple threat like Michael joining WOR. He has been a successful newspaper writer for decades. He co-hosted a TV show for over 20 years and now he’s joining us in a full-time capacity to pursue a lifelong passion for radio.” Len Berman is quoted saying, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Michael as my new co-host,” said Berman. I loved working with him when he was guest hosting. We come from two different worlds: Michael from newspaper and Broadway, me from TV and sports. Factor in that we don’t see eye to eye politically and I’m convinced it all adds up to entertaining morning radio.”
The Honorable Senator from California, Mr. Michael Savage? Is this just Savage shtick or is Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Michael Savage really serious about being courted to challenge Dianne Feinstein for her U.S. Senate seat? The Los Angeles Times reports Savage told his audience that “some very important people” are asking him to run for the seat as an independent, and he put the question of whether he should run to his audience. Though it’s hard to imagine the 76-year-old talk host giving up his radio show (he’d have to, right?) and traveling all over the Golden State to campaign (an exhausting business, to be sure), Savage has wasted no time in using this to express his political wish list for California. Savage says his platform would include such polarizing issues as eliminating multi-lingual ballots (English only) and building a wall on the Mexican border that would be a “citadel,” all while lowering California’s tax rate (that’s not really up to the U.S. Senate, though). The Times notes that Feinstein, who was just dealt a blow by the California Democratic Party with its non-endorsement of her as she seeks a fifth full term, has a war chest of $9.8 million.
FOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes to Moderate NRB Conference Panel. The focus of the panel will be Internet censorship and will talk place Thursday (3/1) as part of the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Nashville. FOX News Radio nationally syndicated personality Todd Starnes will moderate the panel discussion with panelists including Salem Radio Network personalities Larry Elder and Dennis Prager, plus Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, and Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.
SRN’s Tom Tradup at World Premiere of New Christian Film. Christian musical artist Brandon Heath (left) is pictured here with Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) last night (2/26) at the world premiere of the film, I Can Only Imagine, based on the hit song by Mercy Me. Tradup was joined on the red carpet by stars Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, and artists Mandisa, Michael W. Smith and others.
TALKERS News Notes. College station WRHU, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University 88.7 FM” is airing the Long Island Nets Coach’s Show every Friday at 4:00 pm, hosted by WRHU’s Bryan Clark and featuring Nets coach Ronald Nored. WRHU airs play-by-play of the NBA G League team that’s affiliated with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets…..SiriusXM is broadcasting games from 24 NCAA Division I college basketball conference tournaments this postseason, offering live play-by-play of 134 men’s and women’s conference tournament games to a nationwide audience. It will air every men’s tournament game from the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, American Athletic, and Mountain West conferences, and select games from the Ivy League Tournament. Listeners also get every game of the Women’s ACC and SEC Tournaments. Conference tournament broadcasts heard on SiriusXM are produced by ESPN Radio, Westwood One, IMG, Learfield, and Compass Media.
Gun Control Debate, Parkland Shooting Investigation, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, SCOTUS Declines Trump Request on ‘Dreamers’ Policy, Universal Basic Income Proposals, Xi Jinping Power Grab, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6). The debate over gun control issues in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre; the investigation into prior complaints about Nikolas Cruz and whether police acted appropriately during the shooting; the NRA’s lashing out at Delta and other companies for ending their business relationships with the lobbying organization; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Supreme Court declines to rule immediately on President Trump’s wish to kill the DACA; the proposals for a universal basic income for those Americans below the poverty line; the move by Chinese president Xi Jinping to eliminate his term limit and remain president indefinitely; the post-mortem on the PyeyongChang Winter Games; and NBA action 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. On-air pro Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou is named morning co-host at Entercom’s Phoenix country outlet KMLE “@ 107.9.” Niko is partnering with Nina D. for KMLE’s new “The Breakfast Buzz” program. He was most recently at the company’s New York alternative station WBMP “Alt 92.3” as APD, music director and midday personality. He also worked in NYC as evening personality at CHR WHTZ “Z100.” Niko says, “After almost 20 years in the radio industry, I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge of mornings. Given the opportunity to work with such a legendary team and station, I’m excited to bring what I have to offer to Phoenix. A huge thanks to Tim Richards, Dave Pugh, Mike Moore, Chris Oliviero and Pat Paxton for the confidence in me. Nina D. and I are going to have a blast waking up the KMLE Nation.”…..In Albany, Pamal Broadcasting is announcing two new executives who’ve joined the organization. A.J. Bodden is named market manager for the six-station radio cluster in Albany. He comes to Pamal from Townsquare Media where he managed a division of the company’s corporate live events business. Simultaneously, John Damboragian is named Pamal’s new director of digital and will oversee digital sales and assets for all of Pamal’s 23 radio stations. He was most recently digital manager for Gannett Media in New York’s Westchester County.
Todd Schnitt Leaves WOR, New York Morning Show. WOR, New York listeners woke up to morning personality Len Berman hosting the show solo after the departure of Todd Schnitt from the station yesterday (10/19). Berman explained that Schnitt and iHeartMedia weren’t able to come to terms on a new contract. Schnitt – who also hosts a separate, successful syndicated afternoon drive talk show for Compass Media Networks – joined WOR in 2015 as morning drive host.
Charges Against Former KOA, Denver Host Steffan Tubbs Dropped. The charge of suspicion of domestic violence, disturbance by phone filed against Steffan Tubbs back in July cost him his job as co-host of “Colorado Morning News” at iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver. Yesterday, he revealed via social media that the charge has been dropped by prosecutors. Denver alt-weekly Westword reports that the charge stemmed from his July 30 arrest for the content of voice messages that contained “vulgar language” with the “intent to annoy the victim.” Tubbs reportedly had been in a relationship with the person for a period of time. Saying he is the victim of domestic abuse, he Tweeted a photo of himself wearing a purple tie with the caption, “Always innocent. Prosecutors dismissed charges against me today. I wore this on #PurpleThursday for all DV victims, including me. End it.” See the Westword story here.
Former Producer Sues St. Louis Talker Frank O. Pinion. The unnamed plaintiff alleges that St. Louis talk host Frank O. Pinion discussed the plaintiff’s stint in a rehab facility on his radio show on several occasions, thereby violating his privacy. The allegations stem from Frank O. Pinion’s time at CH Holdings’ KTRS, St. Louis (named as a co-defendant for failing to prevent the O. Pinion from talking about the matter). O. Pinion, a.k.a. John Craddock, was not an employee of KTRS. He brokered his show and the plaintiff was his employee. (He currently is brokering his services to crosstown KFNS-AM.) In the complaint, the plaintiff says that while in a rehab facility in August, he heard that his situation was being discussed by O. Pinion and it was also being posted on social media. He’s seeking “in excess of” $50,000. Read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch coverage here.
Boston Herald Radio Talk Show Host, Adriana Cohen’s Star Continues to Rise. Boston Herald newspaper columnist and Boston Herald Radio conservative talk show host Adriana Cohen has been added to Creators Syndicate’s all-star lineup boasting 44 million daily readers. She will continue to write her popular exclusive columns for the Herald as well. Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca tells TALKERS, “We’re very proud of Adriana’s work and so pleased she is getting this well-deserved national recognition.” David Yontz of Creators Syndicate describes Cohen’s column as “dynamic, provocative and thoughtful.” He adds, “Hers is an important voice in today’s political climate.” In today’s Herald Cohen says, “I’m proud that in the very liberal state of Massachusetts I have not been afraid to support our president or express my conservative opinions. I’m equally proud of the Herald, our top-notch editors and publisher for truly protecting free speech by not muting me or watering down my opinions in fear of losing readers or offending someone. The fact that a conservative columnist’s content is resonating, even in the bluest state in the nation, is proof that there is a strong thirst for diverse opinions beyond what educational institutions and mainstream media spoon-feed us on a daily basis.” In addition to her column, Cohen is host of Boston Herald Radio’s “The Adriana Cohen Show.” She is a regular guest on Fox News and mentors Harvard University female undergraduate business students.
Jim Bohannon to Host WW1 Vietnam Special on Veterans Day Weekend. Vietnam veteran Jim Bohannon is hosting a Westwood One News special radio program titled, “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later,” available to Westwood One News affiliates, Westwood One music format stations, and Cumulus-owned stations for air the weekend of Veterans Day. In their own voices, combat veterans share their stories with Vietnam War veteran and Westwood One talk host Jim Bohannon, and former Westwood One executive, White House press secretary, and NBC News Vietnam War correspondent, Ron Nessen. Bohannon will look back 50 years on his own war experience and will cull new perspectives on the war in assorted interviews, including one with filmmaker Ken Burns, director of the recently broadcast, 10-part documentary, The Vietnam War.
CBS News Radio Brings Interview Show ‘The Takeout’ to Network Radio. Host Major Garrett says the program “The Takeout” is “a dream come true for me.” The CBS News chief White House correspondent and CBS News political director Steve Chaggaris co-host the weekly, one-hour program about politics, policy and pop culture. The show was a podcast first and launches on radio tonight at 10:00 pm ET. This show is produced in a casual atmosphere – each episode recorded over a meal in a Washington, DC restaurant. Recent guests have included: Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget; Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX); Sen. Al Franken (D-MN); Carly Fiorina; Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD); Corey Lewandowski; and comedian Samantha Bee. Tonight’s guest is Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. Garrett says, “‘The Takeout’ is a conversation, not an interrogation. And we edit nothing. Our guests never have to fidget about context. They are heard fully. We discuss news of the week and try to translate Beltway buzzwords so America can join the conversation. I never stop learning from and enjoying this humble audio odyssey.” It’s debuting on CBS RADIO’s KMOX, St. Louis; WCCO-AM, Minneapolis; KXNT, Las Vegas and others.
TALKERS News Notes. WABC, New York is adding a new show to the Sunday evening lineup featuring New York businessman Tom Maoli as host. Titled, “Go Big or Go Home,” the program gives Maoli the platform to “spread his entrepreneurial, business and lifestyle messages to listeners all across the Northeast.” Maoli says, “I was approached by WABC to do a radio show. At first, I was unsure, but the more I thought about it, I began to think that with so many young people, not to mention mid-career executives, starting to think about starting their own businesses, the idea of doing a radio show would provide me with an opportunity to reach that audience and tell them about my story and how they can do the same.” The program airs on the Cumulus Media news/talker at 7:00 pm.…..It’s a homecoming for the radio stations owned by News-Gazette Media in Champaign, Illinois as its three radio stations move into the same building with the News-Gazette newspaper. Seventy years ago, WDWS-AM was co-located with the newspaper, but not since then. Now, news/talk WDWS – named for then-publisher of the News-Gazette, David W. Stevick – along with sister stations adult contemporary WHMS and classic hits WKIO are moving into new, digital studios…..SiriusXM and Formula 1 announce a new, multi-year deal for the former to serve as the exclusive North American radio broadcaster of all Formula 1 races, starting with this weekend’s United States Grand Prix from Austin, Texas. Listeners will hear the BBC 5 live radio broadcast for the races.
Trump Tax Reform Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 16-20. The effort of the Trump Administration to present its tax reform plans was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing in the #1 position on the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the deaths of four American servicemen in the deadly ambush in Niger and the related controversy over presidential condolences to the families of fallen soldiers. Coming in at #3 was the Harvey Weinstein sexual predation scandal and the #MeToo movement, followed by North Korea’s threats against the U.S. 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.
Rascal Flats Surprises at Vegas Strong Fundraiser Concert. Pictured above at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas last night (10/19) are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group EVP of programming Justin Chase, FOX News Channel/Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity, Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox, and KKLZ-FM PD/morning host Mike O’Brian. Beasley Media Group organized the “Vegas Strong: A Night of Healing” concert featuring Big & Rich and Cam. Country legends Rascal Flatts surprised the crowd with an unannounced appearance. The proceeds from the concert benefit the Steve Sisolak Las Vegas Victims’ Fund.
Kip Moore Drops by ‘NASH Nights Live.’ Country artist Kip Moore (center) poses for a pic with “NASH Nights Live” hosts Elaina Smith (left) and Shawn Parr (right). Moore stopped by the show to talk about “everything from his latest single to Halloween.” Parr and Smith are decked out in the pink they were wearing to a breast cancer awareness event.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country legend and radio personality Kix Brooks is hosting Westwood One’s tribute to the men and women throughout America’s history who served and are still serving in the U.S. armed forces. The program is “A Salute to Our Military Veterans,” and is available for air Friday, November 10 through Sunday, November 12. Brooks is joined by friends including: Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Chris Young, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts, and more, who talk about their appreciation for the nation’s military…..SiriusXM announces a performance by Grammy Award-winning superstar Kelly Clarkson at a special, invitation-only show for SiriusXM listeners on Friday, November 3. The performance will take place at the Highline Ballroom in New York City and will feature songs from her new album, Meaning of Life, along with some of her biggest hits. The performance premieres on Wednesday, November 8 at 5:00 pm ET on SiriusXM Hits 1.
BRADENTON, Fla. — All is well right now, but last week, as Hurricane Irma screamed toward my home in Manatee County, Florida, the lights went out, the TV screen went blank, the phones went dead, the image on the computer screen vanished, the iPad lost connection with the Internet. So, there I was sitting in the dark as the roaring wind and the pounding rain lashed my house — isolated and completely out of touch with the outside world.
Linietsky Named to Digital Business Post at Cumulus Media. This is a newly created position at Cumulus Media and digital media pro Larry Linietsky joins the company as vice president, digital operations and business development from his most recent position as SVP, business & partner development at iHeartMedia. Cumulus says Linietsky “will lead and shape digital operations and business development with a focus on developing, sourcing, and monetizing digital products and services for the radio station group and Westwood One. He’ll report to Suzanne Grimes, EVP, corporate marketing, Cumulus Media, and president, Westwood One. Cumulus CEO Mary Berner states, “We are focusing on our digital strategy and I am thrilled to welcome Larry at this transformational time when we are poised for game-changing digital expansion. Larry is uniquely qualified to leverage the company’s assets and identify and build digital growth opportunities.”
Senator Ted Cruz Joins Trey Ware and KTSA, San Antonio for Live Town Hall Broadcast. Pictured above are Texas Senator Ted Cruz (left) and KTSA, San Antonio morning drive personality Trey Ware (right) appearing before a live audience at Alpha Media’s KTSA Alamo Lounge. Cruz joined KTSA during the Senate’s Fourth of July break as part of a series of town hall meetings. Ware says topics discussed during the one-hour event included health care, terrorism, the economy, fake news, and the future of America, and he adds, “It was a pleasure to host Senator Cruz in the Alamo Lounge. He is on the front line of so much going on in our country and world today that I know our listeners enjoyed hearing straight from him.”
WVNN, Hunstville’s Dale Jackson Launches TV Show. Alabama radio personality Dale Jackson is launching a television show via his Yellowhammer Multimedia on WZTZ-TV, Athens, Alabama “ZTV 11.” It debuted today (7/11), airing from 5:00 am to 5:30 am. It’s also being posted to Yellowhammernews.com/yhtv/ at 1:00 pm. Jackson’s radio show airs on Cumulus Media’s WVNN-AM/FM, Huntsville from 7:00 am to 11:00 am. The television program features Jackson and a rotation of guest panelists in a roundtable format. The show’s guest panelists will range from astronauts to college professors, providing viewers with a diverse take on the most relevant topics of the day. Jackson says, “I’m excited to host this Yellowhammer program because it will cover the topics our viewers care about and in a way that’s interesting and entertaining. One thing I can assure you is, just like my radio program, this show will not be dull.”
Newsmax TV Now on DirecTV and U-verse Platforms. Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Newsmax TV launched on both the DirecTV and U-verse television platforms. The three-year-old video platform was created and launched by Newsmax Media to serve as an “independent news and information source for millions of Americans who want the latest in breaking news, politics, health, and finance.” Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy comments, “With our launch on DirecTV and U-verse, Newsmax TV has the opportunity to serve more viewers. Newsmax TV has a unique audience of Americans seeking news they can’t get from other major networks.” The channel offers 14 hours of live, daily shows featuring hosts, anchors and contributors, including former congressman J.D. Hayworth, Miranda Khan, John Bachman, Michael Reagan, and Alan Dershowitz. Newsmax TV also signed deals to simulcast talk radio personalities such as Todd Schnitt, Wayne Allyn Root, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, Joe Walsh and Howie Carr.
TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/11) with Dr. Asa Andrew, David Bernstein and Karen Hunter. 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); and the first and second in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” beginning with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter) as well as the second in that series featuring Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto in conversation with DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum. Today (7/11), the third in the series is posted featuring a conversation between nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter). Within the following days and weeks, 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 Networks, Broadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp. To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.
NAB Announces 2017 Marconi Finalists. The finalists in the 20 categories for the 2017 Marconi Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters have been announced. The five finalists for News/Talk Station of the Year are: Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY-FM, Minneapolis-St. Paul; Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; CBS RADIO’s KNX-AM, Los Angeles; Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM, Atlanta; and Cox’s WDBO-FM, Orlando. The finalists for Sports Talk Station of the Year are: Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia; Cumulus Media’s KTCK-FM, Dallas; Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston; Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS-FM, St. Louis; and CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, Boston. Among talk hosts as finalists in other categories, Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity and WestStar’s Kim Komando are vying for Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year; Bert Baron of WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey is a finalist for Large Market Personality of the Year; Steve McIntosh and Ted Woodward of KNSS-AM, Wichita are finalists for Medium Market Personality of the Year; and Joel Heitkamp of KFGO-AM, Fargo is a contender for Small Market Personality of the Year. See all the finalists here.
TALKERS News Notes. Talk radio personality Shannon Burke and Cumulus Media come to terms on a new, multi-year contract renewal to keep him hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WYAY-FM, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7.” Burke joined the station last summer after winning the station’s Casting Call competition to “win” a talk show. Burke has also worked at WHPT, Tampa and WTKS-FM, Orlando during his career…..Tomorrow (7/12) at 2:00 pm ET, Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein and Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs are teaming up for a webinar to discuss how new in-home technologies are affecting radio listeners. They’ll share insights from Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey13 and other critical data about new listening patterns and new devices, including: smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home; cord cutting as people shed cable TV for streaming services; music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music; and how the mobile phone is displacing the clock radio. Register here…..Longtime Philadelphia radio personality Paul Barsky joins Alpha Media’s news/talk WFTL, Fort Lauderdale to host the afternoon drive program. Barsky was with the station three years ago but exited to take a medical leave. In Philly he hosted at WCAU-FM, WYSP, WMMR, and others. His arrival bumps the Westwood One-syndicated Michael Savage to the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot…..Townsquare Media and the University of Alabama renew their deal to keep radio play-by-play of the school’s athletics on the company’s Tuscaloosa stations for another seven years…..Cumulus Media and Learfield’s Redbird Sports Properties agree to a five-year deal to air Illinois State contests on the company’s news/talk WJBC-AM 1230 and country WJBC-FM “93.7 NASH Icon” in the Bloomington-Normal, Illinois market…..Radio America is now syndicating the weekend “Tech It Out” program hosted by technology pro Marc Saltzman.
Chris Christie WFAN, New York Fill-In Draws Attack from Regular Caller. As outgoing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took to the mic at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York on Monday – sitting in along with Evan Roberts for Mike Francesa – regular WFAN caller Mike from Montclair was waiting on hold to unleash his attack on Christie. The caller criticized Christie’s holiday weekend stunt of using the New Jersey shore beach at the beach house available to the governor. That and other beaches were closed to the public by Christie to spite the legislature for not passing his state budget. But Christie was ready and willing to play the caller’s game. He called him a communist and appeared happy to verbally spar with the caller.
Donald Trump Jr-Russia Connection, GOP Health Care Plan, Trump G20 Aftermath, Chelsea Clinton’s Ivanka Trump Criticism, Western Wildfires/Heatwave, Jane Sanders Land Deal Investigation, and MLB All-Star Break Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/10). Speculation about the significance of Donald Trump, Jr’s meeting with a Russian attorney during the 2016 campaign; the GOP health care plan and attempts to pass the legislation before Congress’ August break; the aftermath of President Trump’s attendance at the G20 summit in Hamburg, including his meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the flap over Chelsea Clinton’s criticism of Ivanka Trump sitting in for her father at the G20 summit; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s summer heatwave; the investigation into Jane Sanders’ land deal while serving as president of the now-defunct Burlington College; and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game activities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The multi-platform video and music network Music Choice is teaming up with Billboard as the official music partner for the 2017 Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival taking place August 19-20 at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on Long Island, New York. Artists performing will include Demi Lovato, DJ Khaled, Camila Cabello, Major Lazer, Big Sean, Zedd, Bebe Rexha, Marshmello, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Echosmith, Capital Cities, Tinashe, T-Pain, Lil Yachty, Ty Dolla $ign, Young Thug, Waka Flocka and more…..Cumulus Media’s classic hits WJJK, Indianapolis has been partnering with the City of Fishers, Indiana to bring a free, Friday night summer concert series to area music fans for the past four years. On July 7, the station and the city welcomed 80s hitmakers Loverboy to the Nickle Plate District Amphitheater to perform before a record crowd of more than 8,000 people. Pictured at right are (from l-r) WJJK personalities Greg Browning, Nikki Miller, and Joni Michels…..Earlier today the Steve Harvey Morning Show’s entire cast appeared on Harvey’s daytime TV program. This was a first-ever appearance on Harvey’s TV show by the crew, which includes Shirley Strawberry, Nephew Tommy, Junior, Carla Ferrell, Mississippi Monica, and the newest edition to the show, J. Anthony Brown. Also joining the crew was Kidada Brown of Jackson, Mississippi – a self-proclaimed “Super Fan” of the “Steve Harvey Morning Show.” Brown was invited to be a part of the studio audience. He surprised her by giving her a free trip for two to his “Sand & Soul Festival” in the Bahamas (October 6-9), including a VIP room package at the Atlantis, with two tickets to all of the events, including performances by En Vogue, Keith Sweat, Salt-N-Pepa and Doug E. Fresh.
Newsmax TV Adds Todd Schnitt and Wayne Allyn Root Shows. Two new shows are added to the lineup at Newsmax TV. “The Schnitt Show” and “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” will air for one hour at 3:00 pm ET and 8:00 pm ET, respectively. Todd Schnitt’s radio talk show is syndicated by Compass Media Networks and airs live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET. Root’s radio show is a joint venture with USA Radio Network and airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. Newsman CEO Chris Ruddy states, “At Newsmax TV, we hear from our audience that they are hungry for thoughtful, passionate voices for viewpoints that other media outlets ignore. Todd Schnitt and Wayne Allyn Root are proven broadcasting leaders and we’re sure our viewers will engage with them.”
Wading Across the Widening Mainstream. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says that it was no surprise that Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones fell short of NBC’s expectations in the ratings and that President Donald Trump is effectively adhering to a carefully honed strategy by playing exclusively to his base – even though it is resulting in an extremely low (by recent standards) approval rating. It is all a part of what Harrison describes as the new rules of the “widening mainstream.” In a provocative new article posted today (6/23), Harrison argues, “We are immersed in the digital era marked by a dizzying number of media platforms and their attendant human interests. Yet, we still hear the expression ‘mainstream media’ (MSM) used as though news and entertainment are still dominated by a handful of media outlets and patronized by a largely homogeneous society. We actually still believe there is a ‘general public.’ I laugh when I hear, ‘The American people have spoken.’ Who are they?” Harrison continues, “If we are going to insist on clinging to the ‘mainstream’ analogy for media we should at least recognize that it is no longer the narrow, deep river in which we used to swim as kids – capable of supporting the ocean liners that were network television. Now it’s a wide-but-shallow marsh only capable of supporting smaller, specialized vessels.” Harrison goes on to say that the strategy being employed by Donald Trump in maintaining his power within this environment is – at least for now – “Unstoppable” and explains why. To read the entire piece, please click here.
NRHOF Class of 2017 Includes Hannity, Handel and Quivers. For the past three years, voting for entrance into the National Radio Hall of Fame has been split into two segments – one voted on by the public and one the result of votes from industry people. This year, the National Radio Hall of Fame reports an unprecedented level of audience participation with nearly 300,000 votes cast for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality. Those 2017 inductees will be Premiere Networks’ Bobby Bones and KFI, Los Angeles/Premiere Networks personality Bill Handel, respectively. The industry panel chose the following inductees in four categories: Active Local/Regional, 10+ years – Tom Barnard of KQRS, Minneapolis; Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years – John Records Landecker; Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years – Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity; and Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years – Robin Quivers of the Howard Stern show. The National Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee also voted to induct two individuals for their contribution to the industry. They are: Joseph M. Field, chairman/founder Entercom Communications Corp. and Robert S. “Bob” Sievers, the late legendary Fort Wayne, Indiana air personality who was on WOWO Radio for 51 years. National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “Each year the enthusiasm and participation from those in our industry and the voting public grows by leaps and bounds. We’re so happy to induct this truly deserving, talented group of broadcasters this year into the National Radio Hall of Fame.” The induction ceremony takes place on November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago.
TALKERS News Notes. Washington, DC sports media figure Andy Pollin is entering the world of podcasting, launching a new weekly show beginning July 3. The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg writes about the former, longtime WTEM personality’s new project, noting that Pollin will use the Chatter studio facility in DC built by fellow former WTEM personality Tony Kornheiser and his business partners. Pollin co-hosts a weekly Saturday morning sports talk show with Thom Loverro on WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan.”…..Cumulus Media enters into a multi-year partnership with IMG College to broadcast Air Force Academy athletic events. As part of the deal KVOR, Colorado Springs will continue to serve as flagship for Air Force football and men’s basketball games. Jim Arthur continues as the radio “Voice of the Falcons.”…..Sinclair Broadcast Group buys Seattle news/talk KOMO-FM from Greg Smith’s South Sound Broadcasting for $6.75 million. Sinclair has been operating the FM signal under an LMA since acquiring KOMO-AM from Fisher…..Salem Radio Network morning drive personality Hugh Hewitt will host his nationally syndicated program from Bold Gold Media-owned affiliate station WTRW, Scranton “94.3 The Talker” tomorrow and Wednesday (6/27-28). Hewitt is speaking at the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s event and dinner tomorrow evening.
TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Begin Posting Tomorrow (6/27). The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and, beginning tomorrow (6/27), its sessions will be posted to Talkers.com. Tomorrow, the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor will be posted. On Wednesday (6/28), the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke will be posted. On Thursday (6/29) the “Fireside Chat” between Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity will be posted. Closing out the week on Friday (6/30) the “Fireside Chat” between Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa will be posted. Within the following weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.
BFoA Names Three to Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Kim Guthrie, president of Cox Media Group, and DuJuan McCoy, president/CEO and founder of Bayou City Broadcasting have joined its board of directors, and that Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott joins as an officer and vice president. The new members and Talbott were voted in during the Board meeting that took place in New York City last week. BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “The addition of these highly respected industry leaders to our board and executive ranks will further enhance awareness of our mission to provide assistance to broadcasters in need. Their dedication to helping our colleagues who need it most is an inspiration that I hope will reverberate across our industry so that we can help more broadcasters in need.”
Republican Health Care Plan, Russian Election Hacking Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, Johnny Depp ‘Assassination’ Comments, State of the Democratic Party, ‘Pizzagate’ Shooter Sentenced, Sinking Oil Prices, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The GOP plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; the testimony from former Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russia’s attempts to hack the U.S. presidential election; the special counsel investigation into possible connections between Donald Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; reaction to actor Johnny Depp’s “assassination” of President Trump joke; speculation about the state of the Democratic Party in the wake of its loss in the Georgia House special election; Edgar Maddison Welch is sentenced to four years for firing an assault rifle in DC’s Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor while attempting to investigate the fake news story about a Hillary Clinton-run child sex ring; the recent dramatic fall in oil prices; and Major League Baseball 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. St. Louis radio personality Paul Cook announces that he’ll be missing some time on the radio as he begins treatment for cancer. Cook hosts afternoon drive on CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYKY “Y98.” He posted via Facebook, “In case you’re wondering where I have gone for big chunks of the next six months. The reason is that I will be getting treated for stage four colorectal cancer. Big surprise to me as well. I have the best doctors, so much love around me and there is no better place to work than right here during something like this.”…..Alpha Media flips classic hits KOOI, Tyler Texas from its “Sunny 106.5” brand to “106.5 Jack FM.” Alpha VP of programming Ronnie Stanton comments, “Jack FM is such a fun, exciting brand and we are excited to add another Jack to the Alpha stable. We believe we will bring a refreshing new sound to East Texas and some of the genuine fun the Jack brand is famous for around the world.”…..iHeartMedia’s country WSIX “The BIG 98” is presenting the 7th annual “ACCU-CHEK Guide Guitar-B-Que,” a live concert and guitar auction to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on August 23 at Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville. WSIX personalities Tige & Daniel, Amy Paige, McKiddy and more will host the event that will feature performances by Brett Eldredge, Chris Janson, Michael Ray, Devin Dawson and DJ Sinister…..Pictured at left are WLNK, Charlotte and nationally syndicated morning hosts Bob & Sheri (background) behind Martha, the Neapolitan Mastiff just crowned 2017 World’s Ugliest Dog, and her owner. Bob & Sheri again emceed the international event that draws media coverage from around the world, including coverage on “Good Morning America,” the “Today” show and in People magazine. Held in Petaluma, California, The World’s Ugliest Dog contest benefits animal rescue and has been an annual event since 1962.
PPM Analysis: CHR. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth and final format analysis based on data from the May PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on CHR. Comparing station performances to 6+ data from the April PPM survey, Kinosian concludes, “Virtually as many mainstream CHR panelists are up April 2017 – May 2017 (45%) as are down (47%), with the remaining 8% flat.” Comparing year-over-year results, he notes, “Over half the CHR stations in this sample are down May 2016 – May 2017 (57%); roughly one of three improve (36%); and 7% remain steady.” In May, seven CHR stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets. They were: KQMV, Seattle; KDWB, Minneapolis; WBLI, Long Island; WHTZ, Long Island; WNCI, Columbus; WZPL, Indianapolis; and WRVW, Nashville. See the entire report here.
KOGO, San Diego Adds Higgins to Evening Lineup. San Diego news/talker KOGO adjusts its evening lineup by announcing that the station’s Marilyn Hyder and Jack Cronin are now co-hosting “San Diego’s Evening News” weeknights from 6:00 to 7:00 and that it is welcoming local personality Ben Higgins back as host of “KOGO at Night,” from 7:00 to 9:00. Higgins has served with the iHeartMedia station as a talk host, and anchor on the “San Diego’s Morning News” program. He is also sports director at Scripps TV’s KGTV-TV “ABC 10News,” a position he’ll continue to hold. Higgins comments, “I’m thrilled to return to my KOGO roots and work alongside San Diego’s top talk radio professionals. It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to carry on a nightly conversation about the things that make us laugh, shake our heads or make us want to scream.” Program director Brian Long adds, “I’m excited about Marilyn and Jack co-hosting ‘San Diego’s Evening News’ and Ben’s return to the station. Ben is a smart and versatile talent who brings a lot of experience and a strong sense of community and with these two shows, KOGO will deliver a top-notch evening line-up for San Diego listeners.”
Nielsen: 18+ Consumption of News Spikes in 2016. Election years are traditionally good to producers of news content, and 2016 measured up very well, according to data from Nielsen‘s Total Audience Report. This latest piece of data does not compare the election cycle of 2012 to 2016, but instead compares 2015 to 2016. Still, the increase in minutes of news (by persons 18+) consumed jumped 18% year-over-year. Nielsen reports that last year, adults 18+ spent more than 72.5 billion minutes consuming news in the average week, with most of the increase coming from national cable news networks. For this report, Nielsen is using its panel methodology for national TV, local TV in LPM markets, radio in PPM markets, and digital. Measured in billions of minutes, consumption of radio news in PPM markets increased by 0.9, while consumption of news via smartphones was up just 0.5. As mentioned earlier, national cable news TV consumption spiked by 8.3 billion minutes from 2015 to 2016. See the Nielsen report here.
CBS Sports Radio Adds Reiter for Nights. Starting April 17, Bill Reiter begins hosting his “Reiter Than You” sports talk show on CBS Sports Radio from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET. CBS Sports Radio says the show will “feature Reiter’s refreshing style of spirited and insightful commentary and analysis coupled with special guests, including players, coaches and sports experts.” Director of programming Eric Spitz states, “The talented Bill Reiter will bring a fresh new voice and an energizing perspective to CBS Sports Radio’s already stellar lineup featuring the best sports talk shows and personalities around. His candid commentary and keen analysis will be a welcome addition to the network.” The addition of Reiter’s show comes after moves to new dayparts for “Tiki and Tierney” and “The DA Show.”
Freeman Named LSM at Cox Media Group Jacksonville. Taking on the role of local sales manager at Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville radio cluster is Jacque’ Freeman. She comes to CMG Jacksonville from her most recent position as sales manager for Beasley Broadcast Group in Charlotte. In this role, she’ll be responsible for all local sales for the cluster of stations, digital products and events. She also will focus on new business and growing account managers. In Jacksonville, CMG operates news/talk WOKV “News 104.5,” adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 106.5,” CHR WAPE, classic hits WJGL “Eagle 96.9,” hip hop “Power 106.1” (W291CI), alternative WXXJ “X1029,” and urban contemporary “HOT 99.5” (W258CN). CMG Jacksonville director of sales Bob DeBlois comments, “We are so excited to have Jacque join our team. Her experience, creativity and ‘can do’ attitude is a huge win for our team and for North Florida businesses.”
Bob Kevoian ‘Unretires’ for Open Day Remote Bob & Tom Broadcast. Pictured above on stage at the JACK Casino in downtown Cincinnati are (from l-r): Tom Griswold, legendary Cincinnati Reds radio voice Marty Brennaman, and Bob Kevoian during yesterday’s special remote broadcast of the Bob & Tom show from Reds Opening Day hosted by longtime affiliate WOFX. Kevoian retired from the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show at the end of 2015. He joined Monday’s broadcast as a special “guest host.”
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Susan Rice-Trump Surveillance Connection, Gorsuch Filibuster, Russian Terror Attack, FOX News-O’Reilly Scandal, Revived GOP Health Care Bill, and Monday Night’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3). Questions about Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking Donald Trump campaign associates in surveillance of Russian operatives; whether or not Senate Democrats will filibuster the vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch; the deadly train bombing in Moscow; a former FOX News contributor asks for an investigation into the news operation’s sexual harassment history after reports of payoffs to Bill O’Reilly accusers surfaces; Vice President Mike Pence’s shopping around a revised health care bill to influential Republicans; and the build-up to Monday night’s NCAA Championship between North Carolina and Gonzaga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Michael Harrison Candidly Comments on Radio’s Economic Issues on Providence Media Station. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison joined “GoLocal LIVE” (4/3), a daily video feature of Providence, RI’s hyper-local media station, GoLocalProv.com, and discussed, via Skype, the near bankruptcy of two of the largest radio groups in America, the state of talk radio in Providence, and the future of media. Harrison (pictured on screen alongside host and GoLocalProv.com founder Josh Fenton) says that the merger of CBS RADIO and Entercom may change the sports radio scene in Boston as the combined company owns the two leading franchises — WEEI and WBZ-FM “98.5 the Sports Hub.” He also discusses the future of WPRO-AM post Buddy Cianci and the departure of John DePetro. Cianci died in February of 2016 and DePetro left the station late in the year. To watch a segment of the discussion, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. In Washington, DC, regional vice president of operations David Ruleman announces he’s retiring from Salem Media Group at the end of June. Ruleman moved from the company’s San Diego offices in 1992 when Salem acquired WAVA-FM and turned it into a Christian teaching talk-formatted station. WAVA-FM station manager Tom Moyer is assuming the station’s general manager role from Ruleman…..iHeartMedia names Rahul Sabnis to the newly created position executive creative director for iHeartRadio. In this role, the company says he’ll “guide the development of breakthrough content that delivers value for advertisers and brands, and will help iHeartMedia and its clients prove what’s possible across all of the iHeartMedia platforms: Broadcast radio, digital, mobile, video, social and events.” Sabnis comes to iHeartMedia from MullenLowe Profero, where he was the executive creative director and head of creative. He’ll report to iHeartRadio president Darren Davis.
Opening Day at Citi Field. The New York Mets opened the 2017 MLB season at Citi Field and flagship WOR, New York talk talent were on hand for the broadcast. Pictured here are (from l-r): Mets play-by-play voice Howie Rose, WOR morning drive co-hosts Todd Schnitt and Len Berman, Mets color man Josh Lewin, and Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo.
Account Executive Gig Open at Entercom Charlotte. The Charlotte station group of Entercom is seeking an account executive for the soon-to-be trio of news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNC, and hot AC WLNK. For information about the position and to apply, click here.
Casey Carter to Program Country WTQR, Greensboro. Country radio pro Casey Carter joins iHeartMedia Greensboro to serve as program director for WTQR “Q104.1.” In this new role, Carter will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee on-air, digital and music programming, as well as booking artist appearances and interviews for the radio station brand and their local events. Carter was most recently midday personality and APD with the company’s WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.” iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina region SVP of programming Rich McMillan states, “We are very fortunate to announce Casey Carter as the new program director at ‘Q104.1.’ She is an impressive radio talent and successful programmer who brings tons of enthusiasm and excitement to our building. I’m anxious to hand her the keys to the station and to introduce her to Lexington BBQ!”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Joe Krauss is named the new morning personality at Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary WLDB, Milwaukee “B93.3.” Krauss was most recently on CBS RADIO’s WQAL, Cleveland “Q104” in middays as Average Joe…..Air personality Tara McClure returns to the station where she got her start as an intern when she becomes part of the morning show on Scripps’ CHR KHTT, Tulsa “106.9 K-HITS.” She’ll work alongside morning host Jacob “Chubbs” Day…..Taylor Morgan returns to the airwaves on Beasley Media Group’s rhythmic oldies WUKS, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Old School 107.7 Jamz.” Morgan has been serving as off-air program director for the station for the past four years. She says, “I am honored to be back in the booth! I have enjoyed working both on-air and as program director at Beasley. But, to do both is the best!”…..CBS RADIO Las Vegas announces its “SPF” (“SUN.POOL.FUN.”) national concert returns to the city Saturday, May 20 at Boulevard Pool inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas featuring performances by DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Derulo, Niall Horan and Post Malone…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit says it is continuing its 30-year anniversary celebration by giving local fans a concert performance by Detroit’s own The Romantics at the 2nd Annual WCSX Summer BBQ event on Saturday, June 10. VIP tickets are available for $30 but general admission is free…..iHeartMedia rock KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the return of BFD 2017 at Starplex Pavilion on May 28 featuring: Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Skillet, The Pretty Reckless, Fozzy and Dorothy. iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis says, “BFD has quickly become a summer concert staple. We are very proud of our lineup this year and excited for our listeners to once again celebrate the season with us and their favorite artists.”…..iHeartMedia launches a new country outlet on translator W227CX in the West Palm Beach market branded “WAVE 93.3.” The station is airing the Premiere Networks syndicated Bobby Bones show, air personality Eric Hunter and others.
Bernadette Duncan’s Highly Anticipated Book About Talk Radio, Yappy Days, Released Today. The long-awaited book is provocatively titled, YAPPY DAYS: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016) and it is receiving rave reviews from readers inside and outside the industry. For example, Westwood One syndicated personality Jim Bohannon writes, “How good is a quarterback without the left tackle who has his back? For 26 years, producer Bernadette Duncan was left tackle for some of the biggest quarterbacks in talk radio. From the Super Bowl egos to bone-jarring clashes, Bernadette takes you inside the talk radio huddle. Yappy Days is an MVP – most valuable publication.” Written by the veteran talk show producer and wife of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, it chronicles her 26-year career in the trenches of big-time talk radio during its most dramatic decades (1983-2009) – set against the backdrop of America’s pre- and post-9/11 realities when in one fateful day, talk radio went from its post O.J. Simpson default of covering celebrity murder mysteries (Gary Condit, Jon-Benet Ramsey, etc.) to an obsession with the reality and ongoing threat of civilian mass murder at the hands of terrorists. She worked for some of the biggest names in the business during their glory days – Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and many more. She captures through anecdotes and gentle analysis her experiences being a news/talk producer at ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and United Stations Radio Networks as well as local New York City radio landmarks, WMCA and WOR. In addition to dishing insights into “the character of characters,” including literally hundreds of industry and newsmaker names in this extremely candid account, Bernadette makes a compelling case on behalf of the importance of the position of radio producer – which she describes as being “the most under-rated, under-paid and under-appreciated job in commercial media.” Fox Radio and TV star Alan Colmes comments, “Yappy Days is a must read for anyone who ever produced or wants to produce media – and for anyone who ever consumes it. More than a producer’s manual, as you travel with Bernadette on her exciting journey, you realize it’s a life manual as well.” WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley adds, “I couldn’t put the book down. Rarely, if ever do you learn about the radio and television industry from the inside out versus the outside in. With integrity and a flair to properly tell a great story, Bernadette’s Yappy Days delivers the goods.” Although she never worked directly with or for Rush Limbaugh, she interviewed him early in his career for the New York Daily News and crossed paths with him at several key junctures in his career, presenting a compelling study of his evolution in the chapter, “Brushes with Rushes,” that media consultant Holland Cooke describes as “nothing short of poignant.” Bernadette kicks off a national radio/media tour this evening with a guest shot on the Jim Bohannon Show. Producers and hosts interested in booking Bernadette Duncan on their shows can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To read a special review and feature story about the book by TALKERS/RadioInfo VP/executive editor Kevin Casey posted today (8/22), please click here. The book is available at Amazon.com.
Stigall Re-Ups with CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philly. Signing a new, multi-year contract to continue hosting the morning drive show on CBS RADIO’s WPHT is Chris Stigall. Under the terms of the deal, Stigall will continue in his current role, as well as being the face of “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT” with charitable endeavors, events, and digital content creation. Stigall says, “In a blink, five-and-a-half years have come and gone since we launched our show at WPHT. In an ever-evolving industry, I can’t express how grateful I am to CBS RADIO Philadelphia’s leadership for their unflinching support and unwavering commitment.”
Armstrong & Getty Show Added to Four New Cumulus Stations. The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” show adds four new Cumulus Media-owned stations to its growing roster of affiliates. iHeartMedia produces Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty’s program which landed its first Cumulus affiliate earlier this year when venerable KGO, San Francisco added the morning drive program. Now, KKAT, Salt Lake City; KTBL, Albuquerque; KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; and KVEN, Ventura, California are picking up the program.
Cross Platform Media Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Former USA Radio Networks owner Cross Platform Media has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. The Sam Hassell-owned Cross Platform sold USA Radio Networks to Liftable Media back in October of 2015. USA Radio Networks syndicates the growing “Trending Today with Rusty Humphries” program. Triangle Business Journal lists Cross Platform’s assets at $1,200 with near $1.5 million in liabilities.
Former WJBO, Baton Rouge Morning Host Kevin Meeks Dies in Motorcycle Accident. The accident that took the life of 60-year-old Kevin Meeks took place on Friday evening (8/19) in Baton Rouge. The Advocate reports that Meeks turned in front of an oncoming vehicle while riding his Harley Davidson. Meeks worked at WJBO from 1996 through 2015. He co-hosted the morning show on the station with partner Matt Kennedy for 14 of those years. Meeks was let go from the station in 2015.
The Presidential Race, Turkish Wedding Terror Attack, U.S. Race Relations/Milwaukee Cop Shooting Aftermath, Lochte Scandal/Rio Olympics, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the deadly attack on a wedding party in Turkey that claimed 51 lives; the state of race relations in the U.S. and the aftermath of the shooting death of an armed black man in Milwaukee by police; the unfolding truth about U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte’s “holdup” in Rio de Janeiro and the wrap-up of the Olympic Games; and the Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Glenn Beck is taking part in the American Gospel Celebration taking place in Louisville September 1-3. The event is organized by Pastor John Hagee, founder of the San Antonio mega-church Cornerstone Church. The Premiere Networks talk host will speak on September 3. Hagee says, “Glenn Beck stands on the front lines of key issues facing America today and speaks boldly about the value of faith and freedom. I can think of no one more fitting to join us as we celebrate these two foundational pillars of our nation at the American Gospel Celebration and as we honor those who have sacrificed for us.”…..At CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas, the Compass Media Networks-syndicated Todd Schnitt show is added to the program lineup for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart…..KEIR, Idaho Falls host Mark Richardson is giving up the daily version of his “Probing America” show that airs from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm for a teaching gig at a local high school. He’ll continue to host “Probing America” on the station Saturdays from 7:00 am to 9:00 am…..Southern Illinois Radio Group flips simulcast WINI, Murphysboro/W228DC, Carbondale, Illinois from news/talk to oldies as “COOL 93.5 and 1420.”…..KBET, Las Vegas talk show host Wayne Allyn Root is joining the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a columnist, appearing in the Nevada local section every Wednesday and Sunday, beginning September 7.
Profile: Multi-Media Industry Player Jennifer Horn. TALKERS magazine managing editor profiles industry pro Jennifer Horn, whose curricula vitae includes: vice president of affiliate sales & marketing for CRN Digital Talk Radio; cast member of “Good Day” with Doug Stephan; co-host of “The Jen & Don Show” (with Don Dix); and cast member on KRLA, Los Angeles’ “The Morning Answer” with Brian Whitman, Ben Shapiro, and Elisha Krauss. Horn, daughter of CRN founder Mike Horn, juggles all of these on-air gigs with her CRN position because she’s a radio lover going all the way back to her childhood, and because she enjoys being a woman on the radio able to express her opinions. She says, “With experience on the air, you own your opinions and explain them in an eloquent way. I feel as though I am just getting to that point in my career.” Read it all here.