Tag: "Tomm Looney"
How Radio Is Handling Harvey. Tropical storm Harvey was a hurricane when it hit the Gulf Coast of Texas on Friday evening and is being called the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in more than 10 years. Obviously, the intense rain brought by the storm has caused widespread flooding in the region and Houston has been the recipient of some of the most serious floodwaters. iHeartMedia’s Houston news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” is being simulcast across all of the company’s Corpus Christi stations. In Houston, talk KPRC is off the air due to water damage to its transmitter, but “Sunny 99.1,” “94.5 The Buzz,” “93.7 The Beat,” KTRH, and “Sports Talk 790 AM” have been broadcasting around the clock since Friday morning. The company says the region lost a station vehicle and numerous employees’ homes have been affected by the storm, on-air talent, operational staff, sellers and managers are on-site to answer phones and direct listeners to the appropriate community resources. Also, the Red Cross is featured across all of iHeartMedia’s station websites letting people know where to find information and to encourage donations. Salem Media Group’s Salem Radio Network News and Townhall News have been airing round-the-clock appeals for donations for the non-profit relief organization Save The Children, already on the ground in Texas and Louisiana. SRN vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “With SRN based in Dallas — and Salem radio colleagues operating in Houston and San Antonio — this critical national news story took on an even more compelling, personal nature because Hurricane Harvey was devastating our friends, colleagues, and families throughout the region.” Tradup says Salem deployed veteran talk host Sam Malone in Houston and SRN News southwest correspondent Val DeOre in Corpus Christi to offer analysis and perspective on the impact of Harvey’s high winds and 25-30 inches of rain.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Comes to Aid of Broadcasters. Broadcasters affected by Hurricane Harvey are being encouraged to find out if they qualify for emergency aid from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Broadcasters can complete the emergency grant request form on the website at https://broadcastersfoundation.org/emergency-grant-form/. The Broadcasters Foundation’s emergency relief program distributes one-time grants of $1,000 each after a disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, or other serious misfortune. The expedited emergency grant application process is streamlined to provide assistance as quickly as possible. BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “The Broadcasters Foundation is a safety net in an emergency. When a colleague’s roof is suddenly blown away, their belongings destroyed, or their families displaced, the Broadcasters Foundation can step in quickly. We need everyone in our business to help us ensure that all broadcasters in need are aware of the Broadcasters Foundation.” The BFoA works closely with state broadcast associations to ensure that colleagues who are in need know about the foundation and that they can apply for aid. The Texas and Louisiana Broadcasters Associations already have been contacted and are working with the Broadcasters Foundation to get the message to broadcasters in their area who might need help. Following last year’s floods in Louisiana, the Broadcasters Foundation awarded nearly $100,000 to radio and TV professionals, including account executives, on-air personalities, producers, program, music, and traffic directors, and more. The Broadcasters Foundation also delivered aid to colleagues who were struck by Hurricane Sandy in the New York area in 2012, the tornadoes in Joplin in 2011, and Hurricane Matthew in the Carolinas last year. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Broadcasters Foundation awarded a total of $250,000 to 250 broadcasters.
Westwood One Reveals Audience Demos for On-Demand Listening. The data indicating who is using on-demand audio comes from Nielsen’s Total Audience measurement delves into the demographics of those listening to its local on-demand content from Cumulus Media-owned radio stations and national on-demand content from Westwood One syndicated programs. Cumulus Media EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “It’s hard to believe, but this is the first ever study of the demographic profile of on-demand radio content. Our biggest finding is that on-demand content skews more female than AM/FM radio content across all genres. This is an incredible insight for brands and content creators, as it opens up new opportunities to connect with women.” Other key findings include: Information-based on-demand shows (news/talk, sports) skew younger than the AM/FM audience, while entertainment-based on-demand shows attract a similar audience to AM/FM; the median age of news/talk on demand listeners is eight years younger than the AM/FM audience, and the sports audience is seven years younger; among adults 25-54, more than 40% of on demand news/talk listeners are women, compared to 30% of AM/FM listeners; and the younger the listener, the more likely they are to consume on-demand content on a mobile device. See more here.
FOX Sports Radio Adds R.J. Bell for Weekends. Las Vegas sports-betting pro R.J. Bell – who is also founder and CEO of Pregame.com – joins FOX Sports Radio to host weekend programs for the network. “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” debuts on September 1, airing live Fridays from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET and on Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. FSR says Bell and Las Vegas radio personality Steve Cofield, along with Pregame.com’s top analysts, will give listeners the true Vegas perspective on all the leading sports stories and the major games, including how breaking news and injury updates affect the odds. Bell will continue to serve as a contributor to FOX Sports Radio’s 24/7 lineup, including Colin Cowherd’s “Blazing Five” podcast, the “JT The Brick Show with Tomm Looney,” and “Steve Gorman SPORTS.” Premiere Networks and FOX Sports Radio VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro says, “We’re excited to welcome R.J. Bell to FOX Sports Radio, adding to the strongest lineup of sports-talk personalities in the industry. There has never been more demand for the Vegas perspective in the world of sports. R.J. has proven to be a credible national voice for years who brings a uniquely interesting outlook for both casual and hardcore sports fans.”
TALKERS News Notes. Listeners to Hearst’s news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY “98 Rock” for Baltimore Ravens programming this year will hear four former Ravens on the radio. Dennis Pitta, Todd Heap, Justin Forsett and Jarret Johnson will appear for four games each, joining play-by-play team Gerry Sandusky and Stan White…..SiriusXM is announcing the addition of former NFL quarterback Phil Simms to the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel where the longtime CBS Sports television color man will join host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo each week for “Simms and the Mad Dog,” an hour-long program where the duo will discuss the news from the league that week and preview the coming weekend’s matchups. Simms will make his debut on Thursday, September 7 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET…..Also, former Florida State and NFL quarterback Danny Kanell is joining SiriusXM as a daily host on the college sports channel. Beginning today (8/28), Kanell will host “Playbook” every weekday afternoon from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET with co-host Jason Horowitz. Kanell says, “I’m honored and thrilled for the opportunity to join the SiriusXM family and I look forward to contributing to a company that is made up of such incredible people.”
Harvey Hits Texas, Trump Pardon’s Arpaio, Trump Targets China Tariffs, Berkeley Rally Violence, ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Finale, MTV’s Video Music Awards, Mayweather-McGregor Fight, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Hurricane Harvey dumps enormous amounts of rain on Texas hitting Houston and the Gulf Coast particularly hard; the reaction to President Trump’s pardon of convicted former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio; Trump reiterated desire for tariffs on Chinese imports to level trade imbalance; “anti-facists” attack conservative protestors at rally in Berkeley, California; the finale of this season’s “Game of Thrones” series; Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards and the politically oriented speeches at the event; Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather–Conor McGregor fight; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
Brian Joyce Serves as PA Announcer at Chattanooga Lookouts Game. Pictured above is WGOW, Chattanooga and WYAY, Atlanta talk show host Brian Joyce in the broadcast booth at AT&T Field. After hosting his 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show on WGOW, then his afternoon drive show on WYAY, Atlanta “Newsradio 106.7,” Joyce hustled down to the ballpark to serve as PA announcer for the Lookouts’ game against the Mississippi Braves.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking on the assistant operations manager position at Cumulus Media’s Peoria station group is Brian Scott. As of September 5, he’ll be working with country WFYR “NASH FM 97.3” and CHR WZPW. Cumulus Peoria OM Matt Bahan says, “We’re thrilled that Brian Scott is taking the programming reigns in Peoria with WFYR and WZPW. His passion is obvious, and his attention to detail and history of great ratings and success speak for themselves. Brian will be a tremendous asset to our already strong programming team.”…..WPRI-TV, Providence is one of a number of media outlets reports that religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation has signed a deal to buy FM signal WBRU, Providence. The station has been affiliated with Brown University since the 1960s as a rock and alternative rock outlet. The station was put up for sale in the spring after the not-for-porofit Brown Broadcasting Service board determined was not a viable business under the current operating structure. It’s expected EMF will install the “K-Love” format on the station, possibly as early as Friday (9/1)…..From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes news that, “after roughly six weeks, Tiny exits as morning host at Swick Broadcasting-owned hot AC WLKI, Angola, Indiana” ( in the northeast corner of the state). Mike Scott will take over the morning show. He’ll also voice-track airshifts for the Swick Broadcasting-owned Local Radio Networks country and classic hits 24 hour formats…..Indiana-based Woof Boom Radio acquires a five-station cluster in Lima, Ohio from Childers Media Group. The company is acquiring CMG from principal Matt Childers who will continue to manage the Lima cluster for Woof Boom. Childers bought the stations from Maverick Media four years ago…..iHeartMedia Portland launches the new “Alt 102.3, Portland’s New Alternative” and brings in the syndicated “The Woody Show” to anchor mornings. The station is fed from the HD2 channel of iHeartMedia’s CHR KKRZ to translator K272EL at 102.3 FM. Program director Ben Marcotte says, “Portland has an avid alternative rock fan base and ‘The Woody Show’ has built an incredibly compelling and entertaining brand that we can’t wait to share with our listeners.”…..Marc Radio closes on purchase of classic hits WXJZ, Gainesville from JVC Broadcasting. Marc paid $500,000 for the station and says in a press release that it is “bullish on the Gainesville-Ocala market.” Marc Radio says it has no plans to change the format. General manager Dave Cobb comments, “What’s especially important about this purchase is that it provides our company with yet another signature item on the menu for advertisers to reach the audiences they covet.”…..“Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo has posted a video tribute to late actor and radio personality Jay Thomas, who passed away last week at age 69 of cancer. See the video here.
J.T. the Brick Hosting Local Show on ‘95.7 The GAME’ in San Francisco. Nationally syndicated sports talk star J.T. The Brick begins hosting a 10:00 am to 12:00 noon local show on Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The GAME” today. J.T. The Brick, a.k.a. John Tournour, is syndicated by FOX Sports Radio live from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET with co-host Tomm Looney. Speaking about his station’s new show, KGMZ program director Don Kollins says, “I am excited to welcome J.T. back to the local market and to the ‘95.7 The GAME’ family. He’s an accomplished radio and television personality with high energy, strong Bay Area ties and stronger opinions. I think he brings appointment listening back to the 10:00 am-12:00 noon time slot.” J.T.’s ties to the Bay Area include six years as host of the Oakland Raiders pre- and post-game radio shows in San Francisco, host of “Behind the Shield” and the “Raiders Report” for Silver and Black Productions on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area as well as numerous guest appearances on FOX, CNBC and MSNBC network television programs. He will continue his syndicated radio show.
Jon Marks to Exit ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ in Philly. According to Philly’s Crossing Broad, morning drive personality Jon Marks – who currently co-hosts sports talk WPEN-FM’s “Mornings with Anthony Gargano” – is exiting the station when his contract expires in October. There’s some speculation in Philadelphia about the future of WPEN-FM after Beasley assumes ownership from Greater Media. We know for sure based on Beasley’s recent presentation to lenders that it intends to realize $6.2 million in synergies from the combination of the two companies, but there are no specific plans announced for the sports talk outlet. Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe reports that Beasley interim CEO Caroline Beasley told the Philadelphia Inquirer’s John Takiff that the company has no plans to change the formats or talent of the Philly stations. While WPEN-FM scored a 1.5 share (persons 6+) in the August PPM survey against competitor WIP-FM’s 3.8 share, it’s unknown how revenue at WPEN-FM stacks up against expenses.
Salem’s KRLA, Los Angeles Hosts Town Hall Forum in Pasadena on 2016 Election. An all-star panel of talk radio talent appeared at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium last night (9/18) as Salem Media Group’s KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” presented the latest in its TOWNHALL 2016 series titled, “Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump – Who Will Best Lead Our Country over the Next Four Years?” In the photo above are (from l-r): moderator Hugh Hewitt, KRLA’s Brian Whitman, KRLA’s Elisha Krauss, SRN’s Larry Elder, SRN’s Mike Gallagher, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, SRN’s Michael Medved, SRN’s Dennis Prager, and KRLA’s Ben Shapiro.
Harvey Nagler and Radio Journos Honored by RTDNF. Pictured here accepting the Barney Oldfield Award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation is CBS RADIO News vice president Harvey Nagler (left). Nagler is pictured with the RTDNF chair Amy Tardif (right). The award is named for the founder of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation and presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the success of the Foundation. Nagler is departing the board after serving two terms as a director at-large. He was a recipient of the Association’s John F. Hogan Award in 2014. Also honored this year was KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City news director Sheryl Worsley, who received the Bob Priddy Award, named for the Association’s longtime board member and two-time chairman. Worsley serves as RTDNA’s region 3 director and chairs the Association’s digital committee.
Odds & Sods. Nationally syndicated talk show host Chad Benson is now airing on Cox Media Group’s KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa. The Radio America-syndicated program is airing in the early morning, leading into KRMG’s “Morning News with Dan Potter.” Potter comments, “The next generation of talk radio is here right now, and his name is Chad Benson. KRMG is enthusiastic about adding the Chad Benson show to a weekday daypart, leading into our NAB Marconi Award winning local programming.”…..A new podcast titled, “The Tackling Life Podcast” with NFL great Ray Lewis and emotional management expert Dr. Christian Conte is launching. It’s being exclusively repped by AdLarge Media. The podcast will help “listeners set goals, overcome obstacles, and achieve happier, more successful lives.”…..Greater Media senior vice president Heidi Raphael is named among the class of 2016 Women of Influence in Western New York by Buffalo Business First, a leading business publication. She’s being honored at luncheon on Thursday (9/22) at the Millennium Hotel in Buffalo. The recipient selection process was based on professional success and community involvement. Raphael is an avid philanthropist in her hometown of Buffalo. She’s involved on a number of boards, including the Board of Trustees of Medaille College and serves as president of the board of directors of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association and vice president of the Buffalo History Museum board of managers…..The NAB Education Foundation and the Broadcast Education Association are announcing the winners of the Freedom of Speech Public Service Announcement Contest for college communications students. The winners are being awarded a $2,500 scholarship for their submissions of 30-second spots that creatively address, “What Freedom of Speech means to me.” Felicia Tonga of Andrews University won in the television category for “Protect Our Future,” and Melvin Johnson III of American Broadcasting School won in the radio category for “More Than Words.” Stations are encouraged to run the spots during Free Speech Week, October 17-23…..Houston-based radio pro Doug Harris, founder of the digital broadcast platform Radio Brave, is putting a call out for the next star podcaster. Not only that, he’s putting his money where his mouth is and offering a $5,000 cash prize plus a one-year development, distribution and promotion contract with Radio Brave. Harris says, “Radio Brave’s purpose is to bring new content, from new people, to new audiences. We began with weekly, one-hour shows, but since our studios and crew are perfectly suited to produce and distribute shorter formats, we’re making podcasts, podcasting, and podcasters our focus.” Radio Brave’s Master ‘Caster Talent Search will begin accepting entries on October 3 Slam@RadioBrave.com. Official rules are posted at the bottom of the home page at RadioBrave.com…..Fans near and far (from Houston, Dallas and Washington DC) came out for late talk show host Jerry Doyle’s tribute that happened at No Regrets Bar in Las Vegas on Saturday night (9/17). Radio people in attendance included Wayne Allyn Root, Heidi Harris, Alan Stock, Talk Media Network’s Josh Leng, KDWN GM Tom Humm, and KDWN PD John Shaffer. GCN-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (pictured above with Root) helped organize the event and tells TALKERS, “We miss our beloved Jerry so much and hope he is at peace, though we made a helluvalotta noise!”
The Presidential Race, Saturday’s Manhattan Bombing/Minnesota Stabbings, Putin Party Wins Russian Elections, Syrian Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions, Sunday’s Emmy Awards, NFL Action and MLB Playoffs Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the Saturday night bombing in NYC, the bombs found at a New Jersey train station, and the ISIS-inspired stabbings in Minnesota; Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party wins a majority in parliamentary elections; the unsteady Syrian cease-fire, the U.S.’ bombing of Syrian troops, and the tensions between the U.S. and Russia; Sunday evening’s politically charged Emmy Awards ceremony; Sunday’s NFL action and the playoff push in Major League Baseball were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
iHeartMedia Appoints GSMs in San Francisco and D.C. There are two GSM appointments within iHeartMedia to report. Suzy Rufail is named general sales manager for the San Francisco station group, while Todd Freundlich has been tapped for similar duties at the company’s Washington, DC cluster. iHeartMedia major market executive vice president of operations Hartley Adkins declares, “Suzy will be a great addition to the San Francisco sales team. Her extensive experience creating personalized, creative and strategic cross-platform marketing solutions for clients will be an amazing asset for the cluster. Suzy is an accomplished sales and marketing leader with a successful track record. She will be a valued member of the San Francisco sales leadership team as we continue to provide a greater reach than any other media company.” Market president Katie Wilcox comments, “Suzy has a robust background in senior management, experience in complimentary formats and a successful record of leading high performing organizations. I am confident she will be a vibrant contributor to the San Francisco team.” Rufail remarks, “I am honored to join a company that I have long admired for its strategy and innovation. I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with a dynamic leader like Katie Wilcox and the exceptional team of talent she has brought together in this thriving market.” On the opposite coast, iHeartMedia Washington, DC and Baltimore vice president of sales Ken Roberts observes of Freundlich, “Todd is a terrific leader whom I have admired for years. I am proud to add his professionalism and market expertise to our stellar management team. His passion and focus for clients fits perfectly in our culture.” Freundlich states, “It is a privilege to be able to join iHeartMedia – a cutting edge company with products and platforms second to none. I look forward to working alongside the iHeartMedia DC sales team and contributing to the high standards and strong foundation they have created in this market.” For the past nearly three years, Rufail was American General Media’s Albuquerque market manager and director of sales. She previously worked as senior account manager for Cox Orlando rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3”; was general sales manager for Univision Radio Albuquerque; and general manager of Ramar Communications Albuquerque’s KRTN-LP and KTEL-LP. For the last five years, Freundlich was general sales manager of Cumulus Media Washington, DC talker WMAL.
Fox Sports Radio Network Adds Rich Eisen to Daily Schedule. This is the second show produced by DirecTV that Fox Sports Radio Network and Premiere Networks are distributing in radio syndication – Dan Patrick is the other. Beginning November 3, FSRN begins making the Rich Eisen show available to affiliate stations in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot. In order to make room, Jay Mohr moves to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET, Steve Gorman slides back to 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET, JT The Brick ft. Tomm Looney will air from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET and Jason Smith’s show is cut by an hour, airing from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am. Premiere Networks is repping the show. Eisen – whose primary gig is with the NFL Network – debuted his TV/radio show yesterday (10/6) on DirecTV’s audience channel.
Boortz to Podcast Via ConnectPal. Retired talk show legend Neal Boortz is joining the Andy Dean-founded ConnectPal to produce a program two to three times per week that will be available to subscribers of the service. Boortz left his full-time gig in the radio business in January of 2013.
iHeartMedia and Omnicom Media Announce Partnership. In a deal that the two sides say could be worth $200 million, iHeartMedia and ad giant Omnicom Media Group announce they will work together in a way that will “result in increased access to exceptional creative services and campaign ideation for Omnicom Media Group’s vast array of advertising clients.” In a press release, the companies say they will also “collaborate on developing new, groundbreaking audio and cross-platform opportunities for clients that leverage technologies and insights from both companies.” iHeartMedia president, national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli states, “At iHeartMedia we’re constantly searching for ways to utilize our unparalleled reach and insights into our consumers to help our advertising partners cultivate creative and cost-effective individualized marketing campaigns. What makes this new partnership with Omnicom so exciting is that it allows us to do that and more. Ultimately, our collective goal is to leverage iHeartMedia’s technologies, insights, and comprehensive media offerings to provide Omnicom clients with richer media and marketing campaigns. We believe that with this new partnership, Omnicom Media Group clients will have the ability to leverage their partnerships with us to accomplish bigger and more impactful solutions.”
Odds & Sods. Detroit all-news WWJ is bringing Dr. Deanna Lites aboard to serve as the station’s health reporter. She’ll be an on-air contributor and serve as a writer for CBS RADIO’s Detroit website…..News comes from Christopher Seward at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Turner Broadcasting Systems – parent company of CNN – is announcing it will trim its workforce by 10% or some 1,475 positions in an effort to “reduce redundancies, focus resources and prioritize investment in programming, monetization and innovation.” Almost 1,000 of the cuts will affect workers in Atlanta but less than 300 will come from CNN Worldwide…..Cher Ames exits the director of marketing and promotion position at CBS RADIO’s WBBM-AM and WCFS, Chicago. She’d been with the stations for 14 years…..The NBA’s Portland Trailblazers will be heard in the Eugene-Springfield, Oregon market after the team agrees to a deal with Eugene Comedy Radio-owned KLZS, Eugene “All Comedy 1450.”…..Executive vice president and chief content officer Kinsey Wilson exits NPR after a six-year stint with the public media company.
Cool Job Opportunity. Digity Media seeks morning show co-host for male-leaning show in Myrtle Beach. Here’s the scoop: Our long time co-host of 8½ years is leaving for an opportunity in TV. That means you have a rare chance to replace her, move to the beach and be a part of a long-running, winning morning show. Here’s some of the things we are looking for: Proficient in Cool Edit/Adobe Audition, able to find a story in anything, energetic, self-motivated, connected to what’s happening now and a Rolodex of guests wouldn’t hurt either. Morning show experience not required but helpful. Send resume and aircheck (preferred) to email@example.com or via mail to: 1016 Ocala Street, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577. Attention: B.J. Kinard. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE. Digity Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
CBS Radio News Collects at the Murrow Awards. Photos here are from the Edward R. Murrow Awards ceremony at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. It waspresented last night (10/6) by the Radio Television Digital News Association to honor outstanding achievements in electronic journalism. CBS Radio News won in three categories: Best Audio Continuing Coverage: Boston Marathon bombing; Best Audio Newscast: World News Roundup; and Best Writing: Bob Schieffer Weekly Commentary. Schieffer is pictured at left accepting his award and at right is national correspondent Dan Raviv accepting a Murrow Award from correspondent Steve Hartman for coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Nice Station Vehicle! At the world-famous 43rd annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Cumulus Media news/talker KKOB’s balloon was flying high. Program director Pat Frisch took this photo. He tells TALKERS, “The event was started by 770 KKOB as part of the station’s 50th birthday party in 1972. That year there were 14 balloons at the event. This year there are more than 550 balloons. The event has now grown to a nine-day festival with more than a million people attending and 23 countries represented with balloons. Pretty cool!”
SCOTUS Gay Marriage Ruling, Ebola Pandemic Threat, Obama Immigration/Amnesty Policy, U.S. Military vs. ISIS, Joe Biden ISIS Remarks, and Affleck-Maher Islam Kerfuffle Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/6). The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear cases challenging several appellate court rulings overturning same-sex marriage bans in five states; the U.S. cases of Ebola and the threat of a pandemic; President Obama’s policy in immigration and amnesty; the U.S.-led military strikes against ISIS and questions about intelligence accuracy; Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks accusing Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates of aiding ISIS; and the argument between Ben Affleck and Bill Maher over Maher’s criticisms of Islam on his HBO program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Rick Sanchez Joins WIOD, Miami in New Lineup. Clear Channel Media + Entertainment news/talk WIOD, Miami announces a new program lineup that includes cable news/talk veteran Rick Sanchez in the late morning slot. Program director Grace Blazer says on the station’s website, “Our new lineup reflects 610 WIOD’S strengthening commitment to high-quality local news, accurate weather, important traffic conditions, and the perfect balance of highly talented local and national personalities. The result will be a topical, informative and entertaining listener experience for the residents and businesses of South Florida.” The lineup includes “South Florida’s First News with Jimmy Cefalo” in morning drive, Sanchez from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon followed by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. The new program schedule takes effect on January 6.
Cuts at CBS Chicago Leave Anchor/Reporter Steve Grzanich Out. Chicago media writer Robert Feder has been writing about budget-related cuts at the CBS Radio cluster in Chicago for several days and now we know more about who’s been affected. At all-news WBBM-AM, anchor/reporter Steve Grzanich exits after 20 years with the station. ChicagoRadioandMedia.com tips us that Grzanich posted the following message on his Facebook page: “Dear Friends: I have breaking news…about me! After 20 years, I am signing off at WBBM Newsradio to explore other opportunities. I am hungry for a new challenge and must embark on the journey to find it starting now. But don’t go away! I’ll still be here in Chicago and on Facebook with news, weather and other stuff…just not on the 8s. Thank you for listening! Stay tuned for news about my next chapter.” The cluster also saw the release of longtime production/imaging staffer Michael Horn who worked for sister CHR WBBM-FM “B96.” Horn has been working with Killer Hertz since May of 2012 and ChicagoRadioandMedia.com reports he will continue to do freelance imaging work while he looks for his next opportunity. Feder reports that a number of sales staffers have been let go from the cluster.
Other CBS Radio Cuts Hit Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Atlanta. According to sources in Southern California, there have been four layoffs at CBS stations there including KTRH news anchor Bob Malik and KNX traffic reporter Tommy Jaxson. The two others are believed to be front office staffers. In Pittsburgh, changes come to sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” as Vinnie Richichi exits the Vinnie & Cook midday program and Paul Alexander leaves the morning drive show. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bob Smizik reports that Richichi and Ron Cook never got along, it was obvious on the air and that led to Richichi’s departure, plus morning host Gregg Giannotti was not happy working with Alexander. Finally, in Atlanta Kendra G. and Christopher “Crash” Clark exit the Ryan Cameron morning show at urban contemporary WVEE “V103.”
Lineup Changes at Fox Sports Radio Network in the New Year. The national lineup from Fox Sports Radio Network will look a little different come January 5, 2014. Gone from the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot will be Pat O’Brien and Steve Hartman from “Fox Sports Primetime” with replacement(s) to be announced later. J.T. the Brick moves from the overnight slot to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET slot accompanied by sidekick Tomm Looney, displacing the current Petros & Money show. Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith will continue to be heard on Clear Channel’s KLAC, Los Angeles. Rob Dibble and Amy Van Dyken leave “Fox Sports Tonight” and the NFL Network’s and Fox Sports Network’s Jason Smith takes over that show airing from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET while Fox Sports Radio weekend personality Ben Maller becomes the 2:00 am to 6:00 am host.
Cox Enterprises Promotes Dyer to President/CEO. Current chief operating officer John Dyer will be elevated to Cox Enterprises president/chief executive officer when he officially succeeds retiring CEO Jimmy Hayes on Wednesday, January 1. Cox Enterprises is the parent company of Cox Media Group. According to Cox Enterprises chairman Jim Kennedy, “In the 36 years John has worked at Cox, he has always done a terrific job and always risen to meet every new challenge he was presented. He has been an incredible chief operating officer and he understands all our businesses. He is committed to our employees and our customers. I am excited to work with [him] as he leads our company in an exciting future.” Dyer comments, “Cox is a company that values its employees, delivers superior products and services to its customers, and strives to be a responsible and sustainable corporate partner in the communities in which we operate. I am excited about the ways we will continue to grow our existing businesses and invest in future opportunities.” In addition to Cox Media Group, Dyer will be responsible for Cox Communications, Manheim, and AutoTrader Group, as well as corporate functions including financial operations, human resources and administration.
Bob Murray Takes Leave from WTAX, Springfield to Battle Brain Tumor. “Morning Newswatch” host Bob Murray tells listeners in an open letter that he is taking time from the Saga Communications news/talk outlet to focus on “getting better and being with loved ones.” Murray writes: “As you have probably heard, I have decided to elect for an extended medical leave of absence from my post as the host of the ‘WTAX Morning Newswatch’ due to newly discovered health concerns. Many people have enquired (sic) into what is going on, and I thought it would be best you hear it from me. I have been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer and will be taking this leave from work as an opportunity to focus my time on getting better and being with family and loved ones. While this is far from an ideal situation, we are remaining positive and focusing on staying strong. In the days following the announcement, it has been so incredibly humbling to feel the outpour of prayers and support from all directions, and I am pretty positive I will never be able to properly express how much that means to my family and me. I also want to thank the WTAX family and central Illinois area for their many years of loyal listenership. It has truly been an honor to start each day with you, tackling the issues that matter to us. I hope to be back in the capital soon, focusing on what I love, delivering the news, sports, entertainment and important local happenings to you.”
‘Jay Talking’ Permanent Overnight Show on WBZ-AM, Boston. Bradley Jay’s “Jay Talking” program is now the official overnight program on CBS Radio’s news and talk WBZ-AM, Boston. Jay has been working in the news and talk realm for some time (he also serves as the executive producer for “Nightside with Dan Rea”) but he got his start in music radio and worked at the legendary rock outlet WBCN. In fact, he hosted the last show at “The Rock of Boston” before a frequency swap and format change ended the station’s run.
NRG, Omaha Names Davis KOOO Brand Manager. In addition to being appointed brand manager of NRG Media, Omaha adult hits KOOO “Big O 101.9,” talk host Crash Davis takes on marketing director duties for that Nebraska market’s entire NRG cluster. Operations manager Jeff Lynn comments, “Crash has been an integral part of our team for the past year. He is very versatile and has a keen sense of what the Omaha listener wants and loves about ‘Big O.’ He brings many of the talents and skill sets we need to propel ‘Big O’ to new heights in the ratings and to drive results for our advertisers.” Davis remarks, “I am delighted to have a more prominent role on a station I have watched evolve over the past several years. I have great respect for [morning talent] Dave Wingert and the rest of the on-air team. Our great variety of music and the content we talk about resonates with listeners. I will do my part to enhance our reputation with the listeners and advertisers.” Davis has been in Omaha radio the past 15 years, including as a host on NRG talk outlet KOIL “The Mighty 1290” and as the afternoon drive talent on cross-town Clear Channel-owned talk station KFAB.
Salem Selects Dr. Frank Wright As President/COO. Eleven-year National Religious Broadcasters president/chief executive officer Dr. Frank Wright will join Salem Communications Corporation on Wednesday, January 1 as president/chief operating officer. Dr. Wright will report directly to Salem chief executive officer and director Edward Atsinger. “Frank has more than 20 years of experience working in – and with – broadcast media organizations,” Atsinger comments. “He has also developed a robust network among DC-based public policy organizations, as well as DC-based political organizations. Frank is an effective leader and team-builder with a strong entrepreneurial background, and he has extensive executive experience in strategic planning and organizational structure. I expect him to hit the ground running and work closely with me in executing our business strategies.” Before joining the NRB, Dr. Wright spent seven years as executive director of the Center for Christian Statesmanship; he has a doctorate in finance.
Will Salem Purchase Eagle Publishing on January 15? The story that Politico reported late last week is a done deal, according to BuzzFeed which states staffers at Eagle Publishing have been told the sale will take place on January 15. According to the BuzzFeed piece, Salem Communications will add to its conservative print and digital assets with the acquisition and that as many as 90% of staffers will remain with the Eagle division; it’s the upper management positions that will be eliminated due to redundancy. Eagle operates RedState.com, Human Events and Regnery Publishing. Salem recently acquired Twitchy.com from conservative pundit, columnist and author Michelle Malkin.
Sean’s New Digs! Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Sean Hannity (right) is pictured here with pundit and author Ann Coulter (center) and fellow Premiere star Glenn Beck (left) at Hannity’s new Premiere Networks studios at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Hannity leaves his longtime home base at WABC, New York at the end of the year and his program will emanate from flagship WOR, New York beginning in January.
Budget Deal, NSA Data Mining Ruling, ObamaCare Criticism, Mega Millions Jackpot, and Limbaugh-Pope Francis Marxism Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17). The battle in the U.S. Senate over the details of the Congressional budget deal; the aftermath of a judge’s ruling the NSA data mining program “probably unconstitutional”; scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot; and the continuing flap over Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Pope Francis’ “Marxist” economic philosophy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.