Monday Memo: Who Will Replace Rush? Consultant Holland Cooke says the short answer is, of course, nobody. However, he points out that affiliate stations may soon have to find a solution for those 15 hours per week that they didn’t have to worry about before. He also asks, “Who will replace Clark Howard?” Find out what he has to say here.
Pending Business: This Year in Review. Sales and marketing pro, and Lapcom Communications Corp president, Steve Lapa says that just many aspects of our daily lives changed after 9/11, so too has the pandemic changed much about our lives – including how we work and consume media. In today’s column, he offers some thoughts about how selling radio will be different this year. Read it here.
WTIC, Hartford’s Joe D’Ambrosio Exits Morning Show. After stating back in early November that he was disillusioned with management’s directives about political opinion on the air, WTIC-AM, Hartford, morning drive co-host Joe D’Ambrosio said he would leave the station when his contract was up in June of 2021 after 28 years with the Entercom station. However, he and management reached an agreement on an early buyout and D’Ambrosio’s last shift was December 31. D’Ambrosio co-hosted the morning drive show with Ray Dunaway. The Hartford Courant reports D’Ambrosio saying he never adapted to waking up for the program’s 5:30 am start and he found it difficult to work within station’s conservative political framework.
Chris Ryan Takes Over ‘New Hampshire Today’ Morning Show. New Hampshire radio pro Chris Ryan is named the new host of the “New Hampshire Today” program heard on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WGIR-AM, Manchester and WQSO-FM, Portsmouth. Ryan fills the role previously held by Jack Heath, who exited “NH Today” to join Binnie Media’s three-station simulcast in New Hampshire for the late morning daypart back in October. iHeartMedia says that Ryan is an award-winning talk show host and political commentator based in Concord who most recently served as general manager for New Hampshire Family Radio’s news/talk WKXL, Concord. iHeartMedia New Hampshire market president Joe Graham says, “It was of utmost importance that the new host of ‘NH Today’ would be a person of integrity and character, someone who would hold themselves to the highest professional standards. We are thrilled that Chris will be joining our iHeart NH team!” The “New Hampshire Today” program is also heard on WKXL.
Leila Rahimi Named Co-Host for WSCR, Chicago’s Late Morning Show. Radio and television sports personality Leila Rahimi is promoted to regular co-host of the late morning program alongside Dan Bernstein on Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago “670 The Score.” Entercom Chicago regional president and market manager Rachel Williamson says, “We are thrilled to be amplifying Lelia’s role at ‘The Score.’ She’s a seasoned professional with experience engaging with sports fans across multiple platforms and cities and has built a great reputation with Chicago’s sports fans. Adding her voice and perspective consistently creates a more dynamic midday lineup for ‘Score’ listeners.” She assumes the role left vacant when Entercom let co-host Connor McKnight go back in April. Rahimi has appeared on “670 The Score” both as a contributor to various shows on the station, and as a co-host since 2017. She’s also hosted, reported and anchored for NBC Sports Chicago. She was a rink-side reporter for NBC Sports’ coverage of the Women’s Hockey Tournament at the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018. She’s also served with NBC Sports Philadelphia, CSN Houston, the San Diego Padres, FOX Sports Southwest, and KLIF-AM and KTCK-FM/AM in Dallas.
Ian Beckles & Jay Recher New Afternoon Hosts on Sports Talk WDAE, Tampa. Sports talk WDAE, Tampa announces that Ian Beckles and Jay Recher are the new afternoon drive program co-hosts, taking over the daypart from retiring Tampa Bay radio icon Ron Diaz. WDAE program director John Mamola says, “We are thrilled to announce our new afternoon drive program featuring Ian Beckles and Jay Recher. Teaming Ian’s long-standing history in the market both as a player, entrepreneur, and radio personality with the knowledge and passion for Tampa Bay sports from Jay Recher will provide a dynamic program for sports fans in Tampa Bay to embrace. This announcement further enhances and strengthens WDAE’s standing as the voice for Tampa Bay sports fans.” Beckles was a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles during his eight-year NFL career and he joined WDAE in 2002. Recher began his career at WDAE in 2014 and has served as executive producer of multiple programs including the previous “Ron and Ian Show.”
David Rubini Launches Conspiracy Radio Network. Former Art Bell and John B. Wells producer David Rubini is launching the Conspiracy Radio Network. Rubini officially leaves Dark Matter Digital Network and “Midnight In The Desert” to begin “his own unique vision” and take his “pioneering spirit to the all-new 24/7 digital streaming platform and subscription archive service in the new radio landscape of 2021.” Rubini is now hosting his own program titled “David Rubini After Midnight AM” that will broadcast “two to three live shows each week on alternating days from 1:00 am to 5:00 am ET with “The Best of David Rubini After Midnight AM” on all Rubini off days. He says, “Unlike what we did with Art, we will get political at CRN, that’s for sure. The political climate has drastically changed since we left ‘Dark Matter.’ And with the 2020 election confusion and rise of ‘fake news’ awareness and questioning, uncensored alternative news, info, and talk are more in-demand right now than any time in modern history. Our staff of professionals are convinced CRN will absolutely fill this void in the digital content delivery space.” Terrestrial radio affiliate relations expert Ted Edwards says, “What programmers have to realize is that variety in political talk is hot right now and the political landscape has never been more fascinating to discuss and to share opinions about both like-minded and dissenting talk radio voices. CRN should have remarkable growth over the next four to eight years. I love David Rubini’s pioneering vision and I plan to help see it all the way through to fruition, responsibly performed by Rubini on-air in terrestrial syndication.” Joining this new venture are: Jordan Maxwell, Dr. Richard Alan Miller, Flat Earther Math Powerland, and controversial and polarizing YouTube sensation, Russianvids, as well as former Art Bell Network News anchor Leo Ashcraft, Ross Mitchell, Dr. John Illias, Michael Decon, Blake Walley, and Joshua Chaires
TALKERS News Notes. At Starnes Media Group’s KWAM, Memphis, Brodee Scott joins to serve as operations director. Scott previously served at iHeartMedia in Memphis. He is a longtime Memphis radio pro having also served at Flinn Broadcasting and Rebel Radio in Oxford, Mississippi. In this new role, Scott will also oversee KWAM’s growing podcast and digital platforms. KWAM general manager Dalton Glasscock says, “Brodee was born and raised in Memphis and he understands how important it is to have a locally owned, locally run news/talk radio station.”…..Indianapolis talk radio personality Tony Katz shifts his syndicated “Tony Katz Today” program from the late morning daypart to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot. Katz is host of the morning drive show at Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis. He says, “The numbers in Indianapolis have been incredible. The show has been doing great in its current setup, it was just in a weird place, bridging two standard time slots being 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. This move shows a lot of faith in the show from WIBC and opens up a lot of opportunity.”…..WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte afternoon drive talk host Brett Winterble achieved what he calls a career milestone on December 30 when he filled in for Rush Limbaugh. About sitting in for Limbaugh on his Premiere Networks syndicated show, Winterble says, “I am just overjoyed at the chance to connect with the greatest audience in all of talk radio. It is a homecoming. I have kept in close touch with everyone at the Rush Limbaugh show over these years and nothing could be more special than to sit in that legendary seat for a man I consider a friend and mentor.” Winterble started his career with Limbaugh’s original syndicator EIB/EFM Media in 1995 and was with the show until early 2006…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago is adds an hour to Big John Howell’s afternoon drive show. The program now airs from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Howell takes the 4:00 pm hour from Westwood One’s syndicated Ben Shapiro program that continues to air from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston announces the new program schedule that takes effect with the new year that includes the addition of Grace Curley and Jesse Kelly. Curley’s program airs from 12:15 pm to 3:00 pm and Key Networks’ syndicated Jesse Kelly airs from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am (Kelly’s show will move to the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm daypart effective February 15. iHeartMedia Boston VP of news, talk, and sports Rob Sanchez says, “We’re excited about the addition of Grace and Jesse to WRKO’s lineup. Their talents complement the established success of Jeff Kuhner in the morning and the legendary Howie Carr in afternoons.”…..Cumulus Media promotes Jon Laing to vice president and market manager for its Cincinnati cluster. Laing rises from his previous role as vice president of sales for the station group. He takes the market leadership reins from Dave Crowl, who retired in December…..Salem Radio Network and TOWNHALL news White House correspondent Greg Clugston is traveling aboard Air Force One with President Trump today (1/4) to cover a campaign rally for the Republican U.S. Senate candidates ahead of tomorrow’s runoff elections. In addition to filing special reports for SRN News and TOWNHALL News, Clugston will also serve as White House pool reporter for all other national radio networks…..VSiN, The Sports Betting Network, expands its partnership with iHeartMedia by moving its dedicated streaming radio station to digital platform iHeartRadio. VSiN had previously broadcast its content via SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
Skyview Networks OM Andy Luberda Passes After COVID Battle. Condolences to the family, friends, and co-workers of Skyview Networks operations manager Andy Luberda, who died on December 29 of complications from COVID-19. Luberda joined Skyview Networks in the broadcast operations department as a board operator in 2012. In 2015, Luberda was promoted to operations manager in which he focused on managing one of the company’s largest clients, TuneIn. In 2016, Luberda’s son, Kade, joined Skyview’s operations team as a board operator. Aaron Mellis, Luberda’s longtime friend and manager shares, “We were fortunate to have Andy on the team, and as his role grew, it made a positive impact on our company and our clients. Andy’s warm heart and genuine care for his colleagues will continue to be a part of the Skyview Networks culture.” Skyview has set up a GoFundMe page for his family to help raise funds for medical and memorial costs and to provide financial support for Kade during this difficult time.
GOP Senators to Challenge Election Results/Trump Georgia Phone Call, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Georgia Runoff Elections, Pelosi Keeps Speaker Post, and Texas Church Shooting Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The move by a group of GOP senators to challenge the election results and the recording of President Trumpasking the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” votes in his favor; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; the Georgia runoff election for its two U.S. Senate seats; Nancy Pelosi retains her House Speaker position; and the fatal shooting at a Texas church were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Salem Radio Network to Distribute Steve Bannon’s ‘War Room: Impeachment.’ The nightly radio show and podcast produced in cooperation with Virginia-based station owner and network operator John Fredericks is being made available on the Salem Radio Network from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET. “War Room: Impeachment,” hosted by former Breitbart exec and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon – with co-hosts Raheem Kassam and Jason Miller – is taking over the first hour of the re-feed of “America First” with Sebastian Gorka.
Steve Duemig to Be Honored at Tampa Bay Lightning Game. Late Tampa sports talk radio host Steve Duemig – who passed away back in May after a long battle with brain cancer – will be honored by the Tampa Bay Lightning and Duemig’s longtime radio home, iHeartMedia’s WDAE. The ceremony will take place this Saturday (11/16) as the iHeartMedia Tampa Bay suite will be renamed the “Duemig Den” during the first period intermission. iHeartMedia Tampa market president Chris Soechtig says, “Steve Duemig was a legendary, one-of-a-kind talent that created a bond with his fan base like few others have. ‘The Big Dog’ was a true champion for Tampa Bay Sports and is deeply missed by his iHeartMedia family. We are honored to join the Tampa Bay Lightning to create a permanent tribute at Amalie Arena.” Duemig worked at WDAE from 1996 through his final show in February of 2018. He also served as the Lightning’s radio color analyst for two seasons, hosted a weekly show on the FOX Sports Radio network, and co-hosted a program on The Golf Channel.
TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee progressive talk radio outlet WRRD-AM, Waukesha “Resistance Radio” adds an FM translator to its broadcast. The 200-watt signal W269DL, Milwaukee is at 101.7 FM. Station owner and “Devil’s Advocate” program co-host Michael Crute says in a statement, “Our first official act as an FM radio station will be to broadcast history, the impeachment of Donald J. Trump. This is the completion of my vision since the day Trump was elected. We’ve created a Wisconsin political talk network to compete with the 81 conservative talk formatted, Trump supportive radio stations across Wisconsin.” The station’s programming is also heard on Madison signals WTTN-AM, Columbus/W224EG, Madison as “Talk 92.7 Madison.”.…..The Boston Globe reports that Jon Wallach is taking a leave of absence from WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” where he works on the “Toucher & Rich” morning drive show. Wallach was recently diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma – a tumor behind his right eardrum – that is, fortunately, benign…..There’s rumor of a potential split about to take place at ESPN Radio. The Big Lead reports that Trey Wingo – one half of the “Golic & Wingo” morning drive program on ESPN Radio – wants off the radio show he co-hosts with Mike Golic. The Big Lead says, “Trey Wingo hopes to leave ‘Golic & Wingo’ on ESPN Radio by the time next football season rolls around … It is currently unknown whether or not he will remain with ESPN — he’s been a fixture in Bristol since 1997 — when his deal expires in late 2020 but even if he does it is highly unlikely to be in the capacity of morning drive radio.”…..New York Post columnist Andrew Marchand continues to write about the imminent programming changes at sports talk WFAN with the announced departure of afternoon drive host Mike Francesa from the radio schedule. Marchand pulls no punches as he scrutinizes the Entercom station. He says that both Greg Gianotti – Boomer Esiason’s AM drive partner – and midday personality Bart Scott are both set to be free agents at the end of the year. Read his take on the state of WFAN here…..Tomorrow (11/15), Eric Goranson, host of Envision Networks’ “Around The House With Eric G,” and Jeff “JT” Tracy, host of Envision Networks’ “Barbecue Nation,” will participate in the live radiothon on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KPAM-AM, Portland “AM 860 The Answer” to raise money for Operation Helping Our Heroes. Eric G. says, “It is an honor to work with a group like the Clark County Veterans Assistance Center, where 100% of the proceeds go directly to helping the needs of our servicemembers, veterans and their families.”
Impeachment Hearings, Roger Stone Trial, Trump Tax Returns Ruling, 2020 Presidential Race, Dow Hits Record High, Trump-Erdogan Tensions, China Black Death Cases, Hong Kong Violence, College Admissions Scandal, Venice Floods/Climate Change Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13). The impeachment hearings taking place before the House Intelligence Committee; the trial of former Trump adviser Roger Stone on charges of obstruction of Congress, lying to Congress and witness tampering; a U.S. Appeals Court declines to hear President Trump’s appeal of a lower court ruling that Congress has the right to eight years of Trump’s tax records; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the addition of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick into the race; the Dow closes at an all-time high of 27,783.59; President Trump meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Trump’s letter advising Erdogan “not to be a fool”; two reported cases of the plague in China; a former California insurance exec is sentenced in the college admissions scandal; and Venice suffers record flooding after unusual high tide blamed on climate change were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
New York Festivals 2020 Radio Awards Open for Entries; Winners to Be Honored at NAB Show in Las Vegas. The New York Festivals 2020 Radio Awards is now open for entries and, for the first time in the 38-year history of the awards, the NYF’s Radio Awards winners will share the stage and the spotlight with NYF’s TV & Film Awards medal and trophy winners at the inaugural “Storytellers Gala.” Both competitions will be honored on Tuesday, April 21 at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas. New York Festivals VP and executive director Rose Anderson states, “Stories give us a common language – that’s the way we communicate with each other – and today’s technology provides so many opportunities that weren’t possible or even imaginable in the past. This spring, we will celebrate the men and women from around the world whose innovative work impressed our grand jury panels.” The “Storytellers Gala,” celebrating global content creators from radio, TV & film, and across all platforms, marks the 10th year of NYF’s strategic partnership with NAB Show. The 2020 multi-competition gala will feature award-winning guest presenters from around the globe and will bring a new level of prominence, interest, and recognition for all participants that will continue in the year ahead. The Radio Awards receives entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from over 30 countries around the globe. The mission of the competition is to honor the achievements of content creators who make up the global storytelling community. You can see the 2019 Winner’s Showcase here. The deadline to enter the 2020 Radio Awards competition is February 1, 2020. To enter please click here. For additional information visit: Rules and Regulations.
Nielsen: 98% of Small and Medium Market Adults Use Radio. From its just-released Audio Today Medium & Small Market Edition report, Nielsen finds that in small and medium markets, 98% of adults 18+ use radio monthly in these markets; 94% of adults 18-34 do, as well, along with 99% of adults aged 25-to-54. In the study, Nielsen examines a new, in-depth profile of radio audiences by age, gender, employment, and other factors. The report details the buying power of these important consumers and reveals how, when and where they consume audio content – including podcast use and smart speaker adoption in smaller markets. The study finds that the top radio formats in medium and small markets are: country (14.1% share of audience), news/talk (11.8%), pop contemporary hit radio (8.3%), adult contemporary (7.3%) and classic rock (6.2%).
William O’Shaughnessy Publishes New Book, Radio Active. Westchester, New York broadcasting legend William O’Shaughnessy has published his latest book – a compendium of interviews, editorials, and musings – under the title, Radio Active (2019, Whitney Media Publishing). The president and chief executive of Whitney Global Media says that he’s first and foremost a defender of the First Amendment. “I’ve been accused, among other unflattering appellations, of being a First Amendment voluptuary. It’s a moniker I proudly wear…I’ve tried to do my bit on this vital and essential subject. But I haven’t done nearly enough. My own meager and sporadic efforts pale in comparison to the valuable, unrelenting work of First Amendment warriors I’ve always admired. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of their sandals.” O’Shaughnessy has long served as editorial director of radio stations WVOX-AM and WVIP-FM in New Rochelle. He says, “At WVOX and WVIP our mantra has always been ‘Where Many Different Voices Are Heard in the Land.’” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes O’ Shaughnessy’s latest book as “an inspiring hodgepodge of politics, popular culture, and an array of voices representing the best of American diversity as expressed in the media marketplace – just like his radio stations.” Harrison goes on to say, “Bill is one of the radio industry’s most outspoken and courageous champions of the First Amendment. Part 1 of this book is totally devoted to his research, analysis, and explanation of the First Amendment and should be required reading for all of today’s practitioners of talk media.”
45th Gracie Awards Announces Call for Entries. The call for entries is open for the 45th Annual Gracie Awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on May 19, 2020, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, and the Gracie Awards Luncheon takes place on June 24, 2020, in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street. AWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “Each year, the Gracie Awards celebrate and honor truly exceptional content by, for, and about women. It is our belief that recognizing expertise, courage, and contributions across television, radio, and interactive/digital media is essential to ensuring continued growth for our industry. As our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Gracies enables the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to deliver on its promise of furthering the connection, education, and recognition of women in media.” AWMF says that each year, attention is given to evaluating categories, and this year that included adding a category for showrunners in television and creating more avenues for radio hosts/co-hosts by adding categories for Outstanding News Anchor and Weekend Host Personality. Serving again as chairs for the 2020 Gracie Awards are McVay Media Consulting president Mike McVay and AWMF board members Heather Cohen, executive vice president at The Weiss Agency, and Annie Howell, co-founder and managing partner at The Punch Point Group. Vicangelo Bulluck, an Emmy Award-winning veteran in awards production, has produced the Gracie Awards since 2016 and will return to produce the Gracie Awards Gala in 2020. The 2019 Gracie Awards entry eligibility air dates are from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. Early Bird rates for entries end on December 12, 2019, at 11:59 PM Eastern. The deadline for all entries is January 16, 2019, at 11:59 PM Eastern. Entry details including pricing, updated categories can be seen here. See more about the 2019 Gracie Awards, including the media release and past video, here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Bailey moves from iHeartMedia’s KTCL-FM, Denver “Channel 93.3” to Entercom’s alternative KVIL-FM, Dallas where she’ll be music director and midday personality, effective December 2. Entercom Dallas regional president and market manager Brian Purdy says, “Jim Fox [vice president of programming] and I are excited to have Bailey bring her nearly 20 years of music programming and on-air experience to ‘ALT 103.7.’ With her extensive knowledge of the alternative format and its audience, Bailey is perfectly suited to serve our listeners.” Bailey began her radio career in Boston at legendary alternative outlet WFNX…..On-air pro Quincy Harris exits Radio One’s urban AC WRNB, Philadelphia where he’d been handling morning show duties alongside K Foxx. He’d been with the station for two years. K Foxx moves to middays while a replacement AM drive show is yet to be announced…..At Curtis Media Group’s Greenville-New Bern, North Carolina hip hop WIKS “101.9 Kiss FM,” Jane Dough is named program director, November 18. She comes to WIKS from her most recent post as midday personality and music director at Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WZFX, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Foxy 99.” Dough says, “Although it was hard to say goodbye to my Beasley Media Group family, I’m excited for a new beginning and the chance to grow even more in my career. The transition to New Bern has been easier than I expected thanks to the wonderful staff and co-workers at Curtis Media Group.”…..Townsquare Media and Compass Media Networks are launching a new, syndicated radio show called “XXL HIGHER LEVEL RADIO,” starring WBLK, Buffalo “Power 93.7” evening personality DJ Wire. The show’s name is tied to Townsquare’s XXL Magazine, website and app. The program features exclusive artist interviews, hip-hop news from the XXL news desk, DJ mixes, and a countdown of top hits. The show’s playlist is driven by data from XXL. Townsquare SVP of digital Jared Willig says, “When Townsquare acquired XXL Magazine in 2014, our mission was to expand the iconic brand via social, video, podcasting, events and more, while maintaining the core print magazine which is so important to the community. ‘XXL HIGHER LEVEL RADIO’ is the next phase of that strategy, and like the XXL brand itself, we are excited for it to be influential, interactive and digital-forward.”