iHeartMedia Fires ‘Kimberly & Beck’ from WAIO, Rochester. The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle has the story today after iHeartMedia took immediate action against classic rock WAIO, Rochester “Radio 95.1” afternoon duo “Kimberly & Beck” – Kimberly Ray and Barry Beck – for racist language used on the show during a discussion of the looting taking place in Rochester. The paper quotes iHeartMedia president Upstate New York Robert J. Morgan issued the following statement, “We made the decision to terminate Kimberly and Beck yesterday as soon as we learned of their comments and informed them early this morning. We will not tolerate this kind of behavior, which is antithetical to our core values and beliefs and to our commitment to our community and everyone in it.” At issue was the duo’s discussion about the viral video of local shop owners being beaten by looters in which they did not use the “N-word” but referred to it in comments such as when Kimberly Ray said, “Okay, let me ask you a question. Were they acting N-word-ish?” And, were they acting “N-word-ly.” The incident quickly blew up on social media and the duo were dismissed this morning (6/3).
Grant Napear and Bonneville’s KHTK, Sacramento Part Ways. In a public statement, Bonneville International announces its sports talk outlet KHTK, Sacramento and longtime Sacramento Kings play-by-play voice Grant Napear have severed their ties. In addition to no longer handling Kings broadcasts, Napear loses his afternoon drive program on KHTK. This comes after Napear, in a Twitter back-and-forth with former Kings player DeMarcus Cousins stated, “all lives matter.” Napear apologized but less than 24 hours later, his status with the radio station changed. Bonneville says, “We were saddened by the comments Grant Napear recently made on Twitter. While we appreciate Grant’s positive contributions to KHTK over the years, his recent comments about the Black Lives Matter movement do not reflect the views or values of Bonneville International Corporation. The timing of Grant’s tweet was particularly insensitive. After reviewing the matter carefully, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with Grant.”
Rudy Giuliani to Host Sunday Morning Show on WABC, New York. Beginning this Sunday (6/7), former New York City Mayor and current personal attorney to President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, will host a one-hour show on Red Apple Media’s WABC “TALKRADIO 77” titled, “Uncovering the Truth with Rudy Giuliani.” The show airs at 10:00 am immediately following “The Cats Roundtable” hosted by Red Apple CEO John Catsimatidis. WABC says, “‘Uncovering the Truth with Rudy Giuliani’ will take a unique approach to talk radio. Each week, Giuliani will discuss a hot topic with a guest expert and explore all sides of the story as they strive to get to the truth. Giuliani will then take calls from listeners who will act as jurors by sharing their perspective. The show will conclude with a wrap-up and closing argument from Giuliani.” John Catsimatidis adds, “New Yorkers want to hear the truth, and that’s exactly what we’re going to give them on 77 WABC. As U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Rudy prosecuted numerous high-profile cases, and his leadership as Mayor of New York, especially post 9/11, has been unparalleled. I am delighted that he is joining our on-air team.”
PPM Analysis: A Sweep Unlike Any Other. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an “extra” look at the performances of radio stations during Nielsen Audio’s April 2020 PPM survey. He notes that when looking at news/talk radio stations there were nearly four times as many weekly, 6+ AQH share jumps of one full share or more from the previous month than there were in the April 2019 PPM survey. However, that doesn’t mean all-news news, news/talk, or public radio news/talk stations were shoe-ins for the #1 rank in their markets. What appears unprecedented is that 29% of news/talk outlets achieved a rating boost of a full share or more during the April sweep. Interestingly, the format that had the second-best increase was classic rock, with 15% of those stations going up by a full share or more. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.
NAB and RAB Cancel 2020 Radio Show. A joint announcement from Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Erica Farber and National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon H. Smith reveals the organizations have decided to cancel the Radio Show planned for Nashville this September. Their statement says, in part, “As the radio industry and our entire nation face an unprecedented crisis, the Radio Advertising Bureau and the National Association of Broadcasters commend radio broadcasters for your dedication to serving local communities and advertisers while enduring considerable hardship. Just as you put your listeners’ interests first, your wellbeing is our top priority. With that in mind and considering the circumstances of the ongoing pandemic, we have decided not to move forward with the 2020 Radio Show in Nashville as previously scheduled for September 13-16. Instead, we will produce a digital event incorporating the best of what the Radio Show has to offer… Despite our disappointment at not being able to gather in person this year, we are excited to announce the future locations and dates for the Radio Show, which in 2021 will be held September 21-24 in New Orleans. In 2022, we will return to Nashville October 5-7.”
TALKERS News Notes. WABC, New York midday personality and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa may have suffered a broken jaw last night in a melee with looters in the East Village, according to a piece in the New York Daily News. Sliwa tells the paper he figured the Foot Locker store would be a target. “This was the jewel in the crown. They were looking for the sneakers, limited edition. This neighborhood has everything they want as looters.” He said, “We ran inside and started throwing guys out the door. There was loot on the floor.” He added that “the looters carried aluminum baseball bats, lock cutters, and backpacks with tools to pry off plywood.”…..Brian Kilmeade hosted President Trump on his FOX News Radio nationally syndicated talk show today (6/3). The president and Kilmeade discussed New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision not to call in the National Guard to deal with looters and the president’s experience during Sunday evening’s chaos in Washington, DC in which he said he did not spend any time in the White House bunker that night but inspected it earlier in the day. He also responded to criticism of his visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church saying many religious leaders “loved” his visit but that the “fake news makes everything bad.” Also discussed was the record of his putative Democratic opponent Joe Biden and Trump promised a robust economy by the time of the election in November.
George Floyd Protests, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Trump vs Social Media, and the Presidential Race/GOP Convention Dominate News/Talk Radio Conversation Yesterday (6/3). The continuing protests over the death of George Floyd in cities across America and the destruction from the violence and looting in many places; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections as the country re-opens its economy; President Trump’s war against Twitter and Facebook; and the November presidential election, tied with the Republican National Committee’s moving its convention out of North Carolina were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. A signal swap takes place at iHeartMedia’s West Palm Beach cluster as talk WZZR-FM “Real Radio 92.1” moves to the class C3 FM signal 92.1 and Spanish Hits WRLX-FM “Mia” takes over the class C2 FM signal at 94.3. iHeartMedia West Palm Beach market president Mark McCauley comments, “While both frequencies do a great job of reaching Palm Beach County, 94.3 has better penetration in some of our most southwestern communities and will help serve the growing Hispanic communities there as the new ‘Mia 94.3.’ Naturally, both ‘Mia 94.3’ and ‘Real Radio 92.1’ can be heard anywhere via iHeartRadio, including simply asking your smart speaker to play those stations on iHeartRadio.”…..A new Gospel outlet is launching in Philadelphia from JAMJACKJR ENTERPRISES, LLC on WJBR-HD3/W264BH at 100.7 FM. The station is branded “Favor 100.7.” The station is the brainchild of JAMJACKJR ENTERPRISES, LLC. president and CEO Jonathan A. Mason, Sr. and will feature inspirational music and gospel hits highlighting artists such as Marvin Sapp, Kirk Franklin, Kanye West, Fred Hammond, Travis Greene, Kierra Sheard, and Anthony Brown.
JVC Media Unveils New ‘Florida Man Radio’ Format. The new format on WDYZ-AM/W288CJ in the Orlando market (licensed to Altamonte Springs and Oviedo, respectively) will feature Shannon Burke and Bubba the Love Sponge, along with Scott Ledger and attorney Justin Clark. JVC Media says “Florida Man Radio” will formally launch in early September 2019 with a live press conference from the JVC Orlando studios hosted by the air staff. JVC Orlando director of programming Len Shackelford says, “This will be a personality-driven talk station focused on Central Florida. There will be NO topics off limits, including topics specifically about our on-air staff. Think sports, politics, pop culture… if you talk about it in your life or on social media, ‘Florida Man Radio 660 AM and 105.5 FM’ will talk about it.” The lineup will be Bubba in morning drive, “Scott Ledger’s Dangerous Conversation” in middays, Shannon Burke in afternoon drive, and attorney Justin Clark’s “You Have Power” from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. JVC CEO John Caracciolo adds, “This is exactly what radio needs right now – fresh, new, funny, and local – this is ‘Florida Man Radio.’ The vision of a locally based talk station that isn’t afraid to confront the big topics while not taking it too seriously, screams the mantra of JVC. We aren’t afraid to buck the norms – keeping live and local radio working for our clients and listeners, providing great results for clients, and continuing to invest in great programming. I’m thrilled for the future of our stations across the country.”
Bonneville Announces Management Restructuring and Promotions at Seattle Station Group. It was last Friday that Ryan Maguire exited his role as director of news and programming for news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle. Bonneville Seattle Media Group had been quiet about that change but now announces a number of management promotions and duty realignments that includes the elimination of Maguire’s old director of news and programming position. Four new directors have been named: Mike Salk rises from program director of sports KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” to director of programming, overseeing KIRO-FM, KIRO-AM “710 ESPN,” and news/talk KTTH-AM; Tina Sorensen is promoted from KIRO/KTTH sales manager to director of digital, managing both content and revenue for the Bonneville Seattle digital properties; Cathy Cangiano is upped from “710 ESPN” sales manager to director of sales for KIRO-FM, KIRO-AM, KTTH-AM, and Seattle Mariners Radio; Alison Lichtbach is promoted from controller to director of finance, managing the business and operations departments. Current Bonneville Seattle managers whose duties are expanding are: Bryan Buckalew as the KIRO-FM program director; Colleen O’Brien as the KIRO-FM managing editor leading the news department; and Ethan Kelly as sales manager for the KIRO/KTTH sales staff. Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Dave Pridemore says, “These are proven leaders within our organization who are ready for their challenging assignments. They are innovative and prepared to provide guidance as we look to the future of our dynamic and far reaching audio and digital products. This new structure ensures our success in 2020 and beyond and elevates our daily focus on our digital business, which is imperative, as Bonneville Seattle is well positioned in this space to generate significant audience growth and to deliver solid ROI to our clients.”
iHeartMedia Launches New Philly Sports Talk Outlet. The company is flipping WDAS-AM/W273DO from adult hits to sports talk as “FOX Sports – The Gambler” available on 1480 AM, 102.5 FM, 105.3 HD2 and online via iHeartRadio. iHeartMedia says, “The Gambler will feature FOX Sports’ compelling and entertaining brand of sports talk programming including ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd,’ ‘The Dan Patrick Show,’ ‘Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,’ ‘Straight Outta Vegas with RJ Bell,’ and others, as well as ‘The Daily Ticket’ hosted by Sean Brace, owner of phillyinfluencer.com, a well-known local sports website. iHeartMedia Philly SVP of sales Jeff Moore adds, “Whether you’re heading to Atlantic City or one of our four local sports books, we’ll have what you need to keep you informed. It’ll be a great mix of national sports talk icons with the local edge to inform and entertain the gambling audience in a groundbreaking way.”
Satire, Parody and Perspective in the Age of Political Correctness. The co-founder and head writer of The Capitol Steps, the long-running Washington, DC-based political comedy troupe, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Elaina Newport joins the TALKERS founder in a provocative discussion about the changing nature of satire, parody, and the expression of political perspective in the current age of hyper-political correctness. The Capitol Steps, formed in 1981 by a group of newly unemployed senate staffers whose bosses had lost re-election, is a non-partisan equal opportunity offender. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.
Talk Show Host Wayne Allyn Root Referenced in Four Presidential Tweets. Nationally syndicated, Las Vegas-based talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root played a role in the week’s national conversation when his statement that President Trump “is the best president for Israel in the history of the world. And the Jewish people love him like he is the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God. And then in America, American Jews don’t like him” was Tweeted by the president. This was related to the larger story about the president’s “disloyalty” comment about Jews who vote Democrat. Root’s talk program is syndicated by USA Radio Network and simulcast on Newsmax TV and he became an important facet of the viral story. In another Tweet, Trump shared a segment of Root’s program. Root says of all the attention focused on him, “That was a 24-hours for the record books!”
New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, will be posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC at approximately 4:00 pm ET today (8/23). The new episode titled, “The China Syndrome!” looks back at this past week of August 19-23, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Dana Cheng, senior editor China news, The Epoch Times; Phil Valentine, talk show host, WWTN, Nashville; Gerald Celente, publisher, Trends Journal; Darlene Love, legendary singer/inductee Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; and Victoria Jones, executive director, the DC Radio Company. The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation point for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast hosted by longtime ESPN commentator and award-winning sports columnist Woody Paige is debuting on PodcastOne. “The Woody Paige Podcast” features the sports media personality, known for his trademarked “Around the Horn” chalkboard, as he welcomes sports and entertainment legends for in-depth and news-making conversations. The premiere episode spotlights ESPN’s Adam Schefter and EA Sports designer Clint Oldenburg…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that radio personality Kathy Hart – formerly of the “Eric & Kathy” morning show (with Eric Ferguson) on Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX – is re-locating to Bozeman, Montana for personal and family reasons. Hart left WTMX in 2017 and has been doing fill-in talk host work for Tribune Media’s news/talk WGN-AM. She says she’s open to working in radio in Montana but has nothing lined up…..SiriusXM is presenting 77 live college football games over the period of August 24 through September 2 as the 2019 season begins. The opening week schedule features games with every team from the Associated Press Top 25 poll, including #1 Clemson vs. Georgia Tech, #2 Alabama vs. Duke, #3 Georgia vs. Vanderbilt, and the season’s first Top 25 matchup: #11 Oregon vs. #16 Auburn.
U.S.-China Trade War Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 19-23. The ongoing tariff battle was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Hong Kong Protests. Coming in at #3 were the fears of a recession, followed by the 2020 presidential race at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top 10 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. See this week’s entire chart here.
The Best of Beasley. Pictured above are the 2019 winners of Beasley Media Group’s “Outstanding Achievement Awards.” The presentations were made during a special dinner that took place at the company’s annual management meeting at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia on Wednesday (8/21). From l-r are: BMG Philadelphia chief engineer Keith Smeal (Technology Award winner), BMG Philadelphia director of sales Paul Blake (DOS of the Year), BMG spoken word brand manager & WBZ-FM program director Mike Thomas (Program Director of the Year), BMG Boston VP/market manager Mary Menna (Market Manager of the Year), BMG CEO Caroline Beasley, BMG COO/EVP Brian Beasley, BMG president Bruce Beasley, BMG New Jersey RVP/market manager Dan Finn, BMG Tampa VP/market manager Steve Triplett, BMG Philadelphia VP/market manager Joe Bell, and WMMR-FM/WMGK-FM program director & BMG rock format brand manager Bill Weston. Photo: Chorus Photography
Cool News/On-Air Opportunity. NRG Media – Lincoln is looking for a news anchor/reporter who can double as morning co-host for Lincoln’s #1 news/talk station. KLIN says, “This is your chance to inform and entertain during morning drive in Nebraska’s Capital City and Home of the Cornhuskers! The show is loaded with personality, and we talk about today’s issues in a fun and entertaining environment. If you are energetic, love radio, are passionate about local news, know how to enterprise, can connect with the community, are able to create compelling & award-winning content, we want to talk with you! You will share the mic with a talented group of professionals who all love radio and each of its digital platforms. We want someone who wants to be part of our amazing morning show, knows news and who can interact with our hosts and listeners. Your daily work will include preparing, producing and editing news, delivering that news on-air, and posting it online, as well as general reporting duties and reporting live from the field as needed. In addition, you will co-host KLIN’s popular morning drive program. The ideal candidate will have a degree from a four-year institution and at least one year of radio and/or other relevant media experience or and equivalent combination of education and experience. If you have excellent announcing and production skills, excellent computer skills using Office products, Adobe Audition and WordPress, and radio systems like NexGen Digital Broadcast, send us your resume! NRG Media is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.”
PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian turns his eye to the music radio world in this analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 PPM survey. Just over half of the adult hits stations on our panel see their weekly, 6+ AQH share rise (52%), while 43% dip and 5% remain the same, compared to their numbers in the June 2019 survey. Comparing July 2018 to July 2019, although 55% of the stations on our panel are down, winners include KBPA, Austin (+1.7); KJAQ, Seattle (+1.6); WLKO, Charlotte (+1.4); and WRRK, Pittsburgh (+1.3). KBPA, Austin “103.5 Bob FM” was the only adult hits station to rank #1 (6+) in its respective market in July. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new morning drive show is launching on Cumulus Media’s CHR WHTS, Grand Rapids “105.3 HOT FM.” “The Gray and Green Show” – starring Rachael Gray and Jackie Green (pictured here) debuts on Monday (8/26). Cumulus calls it “the first and only morning radio show in West Michigan presented by two female hosts.” Gray has been hosting the morning show on WHTS for the past seven years. Green joins her from the station’s afternoon drive program. Green previously served with crosstown alternative WGRD-FM and as a feature reporter for WXMI-TV “FOX 17.” WHTS program director Lori Bennett comments, “We are so excited to present this one-of-a-kind show to the West Michigan audience! Rachael and Jackie are two of the most dynamic personalities I’ve ever worked with and their emotional connection as part of the West Michigan community is unmatched. Sure, they’re about ‘girl power,’ but actually, it’s ‘people power.’”…..Beasley Media Group’s country WKLB, Boston “Country 102.5” announces that actor and musician Kiefer Sutherland will serve as the official celebrity host of the eleventh “Country 102.5 Street Party” featuring headliner Maren Morris with performances by Mitchell Tenpenny, Lindsay Ell, Ryan Hurd, Matt Stell, and Jordan Davis. WKLB brand manager David Corey states, “This is our best lineup to date. Maren is one of the hottest acts in the country format and beyond! It’s a privilege to have her headline the show!”…..iHeartMedia names Jerry Houston program director for iHeartRadio’s “PRIDE Radio, the Pulse of LGBTQ America,” effective October 1. iHeartMedia Northern California Region SVP and PRIDE Radio general manager Don Parker says, “Jerry has been an integral part of PRIDE Radio for many years as our assistant program director and I’m thrilled to elevate him to program director of this important brand. With his dedicated focus on the PRIDE brand, we have the opportunity to grow this well-established network further, expanding our LBGTQ+ offerings with podcasting, community events and meaningful partnerships.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is offering two exclusive pop and rock Labor Day Weekend music specials hosted by singer/actress Sabrina Carpenter and Incubus lead singer Brandon Boyd. “Last Big Weekend of Summer,” hosted by Carpenter, is a four-hour CHR special. “Last Official Weekend of Summer,” hosted by Boyd, is a four-hour rock special that looks back at the big summer festivals and provides a preview of upcoming fall concert tours. Both are designed to air from Saturday, August 31 through Monday, September 2.
Jamie Allman Sues Entercom and Emmis Over Firing. Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning talk show host Jamie Allman has filed suit against both Entercom and Emmis over his dismissal from the station in the aftermath of his social media comment about Parkland, Florida student David Hogg. If you recall, Allman’s Tweet about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student – whose anti-gun stance Allman was attacking – included the phrase “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.” Allman’s television show on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV was canceled immediately and he was let go from KFTK-FM several days later. In his suit, Allman contends that immediately after the incident, he was assured by management that it was not serious enough that the company PR department couldn’t handle it. However, six days later he was summoned to a meeting and let go. Allman is suing both companies because Emmis owned the station at the time but Entercom was operating it under an LMA in anticipation of owning it (that sale recently closed). His breach of contract suit centers on the contention that the Tweet does not rise to the level of an offense for which he could be fired “for cause.” He is seeking either reinstatement of his job or payment of his salary through 2020 (the term of his contract), waiver of the non-compete clause if he’s not reinstated, plus damages of $25,000.
USTN Announces Partnership with Entercom. Today’s announcement isn’t long on details but reports that United States Traffic Network – recently sold to Fair and Equal LLC by Global Traffic Network — has entered into an agreement with Entercom Communications that includes an “equity position” for Entercom in USTN. Fair and Equal LLC is led by USTN president Ivan Shulman. He says, “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Entercom and look forward to their new role as an equity-holder as we continue to build out the new face of U.S. Traffic Network. Involving media groups at an equity level is an unprecedented move in the industry and we couldn’t be more excited about our prospects for the future. As one of the largest radio companies in the United States, Entercom is and will remain an invaluable part of our company and this partnership is just the first step in revolutionizing the broadcast traffic industry.” USTN says Entercom is the “first of many media groups with respect to which USTN intends to partner.” Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are pleased to announce our new partnership with USTN. Their new management team has moved quickly to fix their issues and establish a solid business model following the company’s separation from its former corporate parent. We look forward to participating in their future growth as they capitalize on the significant opportunities in this attractive market segment.”
Wisconsin Broadcaster Settles Debt Issues, Seeks Bankruptcy Exit. According to the La Crosse Tribune, Mississippi Valley Broadcasters is filing a petition with the bankruptcy court to allow subsidiary La Crosse Media Group – operator of news/talk WLFN, adult contemporary WXLR-FM, classic hits KQEG-FM, classic rock WKBH-FM, and country WQCC-FM – to exit bankruptcy as it has come to agreements with creditors. The station group was put up for sale but, according to the piece, none of the offers contained enough cash to pay off the debts. The company reports that the cluster is profitable. The primary creditors agree that bankruptcy would not provide any substantive benefit to unsecured creditors. See the story here.
TALKERS News Notes. A series of moves at Capitol Broadcasting’s stations in the Raleigh-Durham market changes the frequencies of two of its sports talk stations and adds a new music-formatted station to the market. Capitol had been – in addition to sports talk WCMC-FM “99.9 The Fan” – airing sports talk on WDNC-AM and its two translators as “Buzz Sports Radio” as well as on WCLY-AM, its translator and WCMC-HD3 as “95.7 The Ticket.” Now, “Buzz Sports Radio” is available via WCMC-HD2, W243DK, and W257CS while “95.7 The Ticket” moves to WDNC-AM and WCMC-HD3 as “620 The Ticket.” The new music format that appears to be a hybrid of Americana, country, R&B, folk, and rock airs on WCLY-AM and W239CK as “That Station 95.7.” Capitol is currently running a contest and will award $1,000 to the listener who comes up with the best name for the station to give to the charity of his or her choice…..Saga Communications drops the sports talk on Asheville, North Carolina signals WOXL-HD3 and W247BV. They are now simulcasting oldies as “Pure Oldies 97.3.” Saga still operates sports talk WISE-AM/WYSE-AM/W275CP as “WISE Sports Radio” on 102.9 FM and 1310 AM in the Asheville market…..Katz Media Group recently raised more than $34,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America during its 9thannual two-week, company-wide membership drive. The Katz Membership Drive was initiated in 2010 by Stu Olds, the former CEO of Katz Media Group. The drive has continued annually, raising more than $300,000 since its inception. All money raised during the drive goes to the Stu Olds Memorial Fund, which was established following the beloved industry leader’s passing in 2011. BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “Katz Media Group has been a longtime champion of the Broadcasters Foundation. We are extremely grateful to the Katz family for their belief in ‘giving back’ and continuing this charitable tradition. Their annual donation makes a huge impact for our colleagues in need.”
Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kanye West Comments, North-South Korea Talks, Mexico Border Security/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Trump Doctor Story, Iowa Abortion Law, Southwest Plane Window Incident, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents whether President Trump will be subpoenaed; porn star Stormy Daniels’ suit against President Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s statement that President Trump reimbursed attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 hush payment; Kanye West’s controversial comments about slavery and his support of President Trump; the peace talks between North and South Korea; security at the U.S.-Mexico border and the status of the caravan of asylum seekers; former Trump doctor Harold Bornstein’s statement that the president’s bodyguard and lawyer raided his office and that the president dictated his own health status report; Iowa passes restrictive abortion law; a second Southwest Airlines plane suffers a window break while in flight; Major League Baseball action, and the NBA playoffs 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. Rock radio pro “Uncle Joe” Benson is assuming the hosting duties at Townsquare Media’s syndicated evening program “Ultimate Classic Rock.” The former KSWD, Los Angeles midday host and former star of Westwood One’s “Off the Record” program takes over for Zach Martin, who’s been hosting the show since it debuted in 2015. Townsquare SVP of programming Kurt Johnson says, “Joe’s name is synonymous with great rock radio. We’re excited to have him crack the mic nightly on the 50+ national affiliates of ‘Ultimate Classic Rock,’ and to share commentary, stories, interviews and videos with our audience on UltimateClassicRock.com.”…..On-air pro Jenn Marino is joining Entercom to be part of the company’s new alternative outlet KVIL, Dallas “ALT 103.7.” In a statement, the company says Marino will “lead morning drive as well as all three prime dayparts. She is the first on-air host to join KVIL since its commercial-free launch as an alternative station.” Entercom Dallas SVP and market manager Brian Purdy says, “We have an opportunity to build a powerful brand with ‘ALT 103.7’ and it begins with identifying incredibly talented people. Jenn is passionate about radio and driven to win and we’re looking forward to having her energy and drive on-air.” Marino was most recently co-host of Premiere Networks’ “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx.”…..Connoisseur Media promotes air personality Kara Reifert to co-host of the WKJY, Hempstead, New York “K-98.3” morning program, the “K-98.3 Morning Crew with Steve Harper.” Jon Daniels programs the Long Island adult contemporary station and he says, “Kara has been a member of the ‘K-98.3’ family for many years and, in addition to being a familiar, friendly voice, is someone who we feel Long Islanders can really relate to.”…..Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, New York presents the “95.5 PLJ Pepsi Summer Kick Off” on Friday, May 25 at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. During the “Todd & Jayde in the Morning” show, listeners will be treated to live performances from Jason Mraz, Echosmith, MAX, and John Splithoff…..Hubbard Radio Seattle’s new country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” partners with Super Late Model division race car driver Molly Helmuth of Molly Helmuth Racing (pictured below). KNUC program director Lisa Adams says, “The ‘New 98.9 The Bull’ is fast-paced by nature and partnering with Molly Helmuth Racing only solidifies that. She is one of the few up-and-coming female superstars in the sport and we can’t wait to see our name and image flying down the track with her. What goes better together than NASCAR and country music? Nothing!”