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Denver Talk Radio Host Peter Boyles Announces Retirement. Longtime Denver talk radio personality Peter Boyles called in to his own show on Salem Media Group’s KNUS-AM while on vacation to tell his listeners that he will be retiring from his radio program. As reported by Westword, his March 21 call to substitute host George Brauchler included Boyles saying, “Everything has a beginning and a middle and an end. And I see an end coming.” Boyles recently suffered a health episode while on air that he referred to as an “event” and a “mini-stroke.” Boyles, who will soon turn 79, announced that there will be a five-hour “going away” show on April 1 that will include former KOA personality Mike Rosen. Boyles spent a large part of his Denver talk career at iHeartMedia’s KHOW where he hosted the morning drive show for almost 20 years. He was fired from KHOW in 2013 after getting into a physical confrontation with producer Greg Hollenback, but quickly landed his current gig with Salem’s KNUS. Boyles said during his call-in, “I remember the old-timers saying, ‘When the time comes, you’ll know it.’”
Charlie Kirk Latest Talk Host to Have Twitter Account Frozen. A report from Benzinga indicates that Salem Media Group personality Charlie Kirk’s Twitter account was frozen yesterday (3/22) after the social media platform ruled that his tweet about transgender Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine violated its rules against “hateful conduct.” Kirk tweeted: “Richard Levine spent 54 years of his life as a man. He had a wife and family. He ‘transitioned’ to being a woman in 2011, Joe Biden appointed Levine to be a 4-Star Admiral, and now USA Today has named ‘Rachel’ Levine as a ‘Woman of the Year’ Where are the feminists??” Kirk responded, “Everything I said was precisely accurate and yet, Twitter still suspended my account. That should terrify every American, even those who disagree with me. What they want is submission. They have become the enemy of the truth.”
Leila Rahimi Promoted at Chicago TV Station; Will Continue Part Time with ‘The Score.’ Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sports radio personality Leila Rahimi, co-host of the late morning show on Audacy’s WSCR-AM “The Score,” is being promoted at WMAQ-TV to full-time sports anchor. The move means that Rahimi will reduce her work with co-host Dan Bernstein at “The Score” to part time. WSCR program director Mitch Rosen says in an email to his staff, “Leila will be in studio each and every Wednesday [from 9 a.m. to noon], co-hosting with Dan and adding great commentary and her unique perspective on the world of sports. Leila is a tremendous asset to The Score, and we are grateful she remains a big part of our team and that Score listeners will continue to hear Leila across all of our platforms.”
Audacy Rebrands Greenville-Spartanburg Sports Talker as ‘The Fan Upstate.’ Sports talk WORD-AM/WYRD-AM in Greenville-Spartanburg is rebranding as “The Fan Upstate” after Audacy ends the stations’ affiliation with ESPN and signs on with CBS Sports Radio. The company says, “‘The Fan’ will continue delivering live, local content including the award-winning ‘Rob Brown Show’ and award-winning ‘Offsides with Marc Ryan’ and will now be home to CBS Sports Radio and BetQL programming. ‘The Fan Upstate’ will also continue to serve as the play-by-play home for Furman University Paladins football and basketball as well as Byrnes High School football.” Audacy SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “After years of constantly changing, syndicated ESPN content, we have made the exciting move to bring new and relevant sports talk content to our listeners in the Upstate. ‘The Fan Upstate’ will aim to provide the best original sports talk and sports betting content that our fans crave.”
Round Two of February 2022 PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s February 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s February 2022 sweep covered February 3 – March 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets. In Washington, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM rises a half share to finish with a 4.9 share (6+, weekly AQH share) and climbs to the #9 rank. Meanwhile, Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP loses seven-tenths, finishing with a 7.3 share and slides from the #2 rank to #4. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston drops nine-tenths to post a 3.6 share and falls from #7 to #10, while the company’s all-news WBZ-AM sheds two-tenths and wraps the survey with a 6.2 share good for the #5 rank. In Seattle, Bonneville International’s news/talk KIRO-FM sits at #1 after adding a half share and finishing with a 7.4 share while Lotus Communications’ crosstown all-news KNWN-AM/FM rises a half share to a 5.7 share and climbs from #5 to #2. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first round) here.
TALKERS News Notes. In the wake of the recent passing of NFL insider and KIRO-AM “Seattle Sports” personality John Clayton, the station and owner Bonneville International are launching the “John Clayton Memorial Fund” to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society, an MS research organization supported by Clayton, as well as his wife, Pat. The Fund has received an initial investment of $10,000 donated by Bonneville. Bonneville Seattle SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “The MS Society was an important charity for John and his wife Pat. The John Clayton Memorial Fund is a wonderful way for everyone to honor his memory and make a difference in the lives of others through a cause that meant so much to John.” Clayton served with the station for 14 years. He died on March 18 after an illness…..SiriusXM announces the upcoming launch of “Basic!,” an original SXM Podcast series, produced in conjunction with Pantheon Media and hosted by media veteran Doug Herzog and TV critic Jen Chaney. The series explores “the glory days of cable television, celebrating an era in pop culture when networks like MTV, Comedy Central, FX and ESPN changed the television landscape with groundbreaking, innovative programming.” Each episode will include guests who thrived and starred on cable TV including Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Schumer, Fab Five Freddy, Cindy Crawford, Neal Brennan, Tim Gunn and many more. The podcast premieres on May 18 and will also begin airing on SiriusXM’s Volume channel this spring.
Russia-Ukraine War, Jackson Confirmation Hearings, Biden European Trip, COVID-19, Gas Prices/Inflation, Chinese Airliner Crash, and Severe Southern Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/22). The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rest of the world’s reactions; the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees Ketanji Brown Jackson; President Joe Biden begins his visit to Europe; concerns about the spread of the Omicron BA.2 variant in the U.S.; the still-soaring price of gas at the pump and the high consumer retail prices; the mystery of the deadly crash of a Chinese passenger airliner; and the severe weather hitting the U.S. South that spawned a tornado in New Orleans were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Don Imus Signs Extension with Cumulus to Remain on WABC and in Syndication. Radio legend Don Imus inks a deal that will keep him in the morning slot on WABC, New York for another three years. The 72-year-old broadcasting icon has been hosting mornings on WABC for the past five years. Cumulus chief operating officer John Dickey says in a statement, “I am delighted that our listeners and advertisers have the certainty of knowing Don and his amazing team at ‘Imus In The Morning’ will remain on 77 WABC for at least three more years. Don is a radio legend and is an important part of our team.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was quoted in The New York Times addressing the quality of the Imus audience when asked by reporter Ben Sisario about Imus’ ratings relative to other big-name talk hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Harrison told the Times, “Although ratings count, they don’t count as much with Imus. He’s always had a very loyal and upper-echelon clientele. They’re active, affluent, and tuned in to politics, business and popular culture on the kind of level that radio companies and ad agencies like.”
The Laura Ingraham Watch Continues; Cumulus Denies Rumors of Ingraham Deal. Rumors of where talk media personality Laura Ingraham will surface with a new, nationally syndicated talk show after parting from Talk Radio Network several weeks ago continue to pop up. But Cumulus Media COO John Dickey tells TALKERS there is no truth to the rumor she is joining his company for a national syndication deal. TALKERS sources are hearing rumblings that instead of hooking up with a broadcasting corporation that also owns stations (Clear Channel, Cumulus), Ingraham is busy working on a project for a new radio talk show with legendary syndicator Norm Pattiz in that effort. Ingraham mentioned on Fox News Channel on December 7 that she would announce something this week but, as most broadcasters know, issues can pop up that delay these types of announcements.
“The Big Picture: Spoken Word Radio” Panel from LA Seminar Now on TALKERS TV. One of the main panels at the recent TALKERS magazine New Media Seminar 2012 held in Los Angeles is now playing on TALKERS TV. “The Big Picture: Spoken Word Radio” features an outstanding lineup of industry leaders from various points on the spectrum of talk radio programming including Don Martin, VP programming, Fox Sports Radio/OM, KLAC, Los Angeles; Ron Hartenbaum, president, WYD Media/WYM Media; Phil Boyce, VP/director, Spoken Word Format, Salem Communications; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Mike McVay, senior VP programming, Cumulus Media; and Harvey Nagler, VP, CBS Radio News. The panel is moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison who describes the session as “a sweeping overview of the key issues facing talk radio in 2012.” To view it please see the TALKERS TV box on the right side of this page.
Red Zebra Suspends Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin for “Intolerant” and “Insensitive” Language. Afternoon drive hosts Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin – hosts of the “Sports Reporters” program on Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” – were suspended for two days this week after they were deemed to have engaged in “intolerant” and “insensitive” behavior while talking about a transgender athlete. The segment centered around an article about 50-year-old Gabrielle Ludwig, a junior college basketball player who wants to get back into organized sports to set an example for others. During the conversation, Czaban and Pollin referred to Ludwig as “it.” Director of programming Chuck Sapienza wrote in a statement, “We strongly believe two of our employees crossed the line when discussing a transsexual person on their program last Thursday. Such intolerance and insensitivity will never be tolerated by this company. Due to the nature of their conversation, the pair have been temporarily removed from ESPN980’s ‘Sports Reporters’ program.” On Monday’s program the two read an apology on air.
KCSP, Kansas City Names John Hanson Program Director. Entercom’s sports talk KCSP, Kansas City “610 Sports Radio” announces John Hanson is the new program director, taking over for Ryan Maguire who exited to take the PD post at CBS Radio’s sports outlet KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh. Hanson comes to KCSP from the Minneapolis market where he has worked with KSTP-TV and KSTP-AM “1500 ESPN.” Previously he programmed both KBAD “ESPN Radio 920” and KENO “Fox Sports Radio 1460” in Las Vegas. Entercom vice president and market manager Dave Alpert states, “Kansas City is a highly competitive sports radio market. I know that John’s drive and passion for sports radio, along with his extensive radio and broadcast experience, will build on the station’s success and take it to the next level.” On taking the gig at KCSP, Hanson says, “I’m leaving an excellent situation in my own hometown to take this opportunity at ‘610 Sports Radio.’ That sums up how much I think of what has been built there, and what can still be accomplished. Kansas City and ‘610 Sports Radio’ are simply too great for me to pass up.” Hanson begins his new post on January 14.
Odds & Sods. SiriusXM gives comedian and Opie & Anthony co-host Jim Norton his own weekly advice program on the O&A channel. Norton, who also hosts a music show called “Norton’s Obsessed” on Ozzie’s Boneyard channel, begins his one-hour, call-in show at 10:00 am today (12/12)…..WOLB, Baltimore morning drive host Larry Young will do a live broadcast at The AFRO headquarters from 6:00 am to 10:00 am for the 12th Annual Toy Teddy Bear and Clothing Drive. Young says, “I’m always excited about Christmas and being able to help others, especially the children. Last year we took care of more than 500 kids and we expect to at least match that this year.”…..Vox Radio Group eliminates the news anchor position of 16-year market veteran Tom Conklin who handled morning news duties at WBEC-FM, Pittsfield, Massachusetts and WSBS, Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
Fighting Golic. ESPN Radio and ESPN2 morning show co-star Mike Golic gives the camera his best “Fighting Irish” pose after being presented with a 50th birthday cake in the same image. Golic’s alma mater Notre Dame — for which his two sons currently play — is facing Alabama in the National Championship game January 7.
‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle, NC ‘Choose Life’ License Plate Flap, Syria Violence, Egypt Protests, and North Korea Rocket Launch Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11). The fight in Washington over solving the “fiscal cliff” problem; the political controversy in North Carolina over the court’s ruling on its “choose life” license plate; continuing violence in Syria and the threat of chemical weapons use; protests in Egypt and the region’s instability; and North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.