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Thursday, December 16, 2021

| December 16, 2021

Cumulus to Flip R&B WNBM-FM, New York to Talk as ‘Talk FM 103.9.’ Beginning on January 3, 2022, Cumulus Media’s R&B WNBM-FM, New York will flip to news/talk as WFAS-FM “Talk FM 103.9.” The station is being billed by Cumulus as “the only all-talk FM station in the New York metropolitan area.” The station will simulcast the programming on WFAS-AM “AM1230Digital” the first all-digital AM station to broadcast in the New York metropolitan area. Programming will be Westwood One’s lineup, including: “The Dan Bongino Show,” “The Ben Shapiro Show,” “The Chris Plante Show,” “The Michael Knowles Show,” “The Rich Eisen Show,” and “The Jim Bohannon Show.” Also heard on the station will be “America in the Morning,” “First Light,” “Red Eye Radio,” “America this Week/Week in Review,” and “Real Estate Today.” Cumulus Media president of operations Dave Milner says, “Extending our marquee talk programming into New York City is a win-win for Cumulus. The addition of the WFAS-FM signal will allow us to reach even more listeners with the well-known talk shows they expect from us and also provide our advertising partners with premium opportunities in the number-one metro area.” Cumulus says that with the addition of WFAS-FM’s footprint, the signal will reach well beyond Westchester County, and into large portions of New York City (Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan), the north shore of Long Island, and northern New Jersey.

WGN-AM, Chicago and Bob Sirott Sign Extension. WGN-AM, Chicago morning drive personality Bob Sirott and the Nexstar Media news/talk station have agreed to a two-year contract extension to keep Sirott in the morning drive daypart. WGN Radio VP and general manager Mary Boyle says, “We are delighted to announce that Chicago’s Very Own Bob Sirott and his uniquely entertaining morning show will continue to be heard on Chicago’s Very Own WGN Radio 720. Bob has been an iconic voice in Chicago since 1973 and we’re fortunate to have his voice and talent as we head into our 100th year and beyond.”  Sirott says, “The station calls it work. I call it fun. It’s a forgotten commodity at most radio and TV stations today. But [Nexstar president, networks] Sean Compton, a true fan of radio, gets it. And who knows, someday I may turn into a morning person.”  The one change is that the show will start an hour later, airing from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.

WaPo: ‘Sports Junkies’ Celebrate 25 Years. A piece by Scott Allen in the Washington Post’s D.C. Sports Blog column profiles “The Sports Junkies” radio show as it celebrates 25 years on the air. The WJFK-FM, Washington morning show starring J.P. Flaim, John “Cakes” Auville, Eric “E.B.” Bickel and Jason “Lurch” Bishop began life as a cable access show on Bowie Community Television in August 1995. A year later, after a positive review from the Washington TimesDick Heller, “The Sports Junkies” got picked up for a weekend show on WJFK-FM. From there they transitioned to AM drive after Howard Stern’s move to satellite radio. Flaim recently authored a chronicle of the program titled, Still Barking. Flaim tells the Post, “The book is about the radio show and friendship and brotherhood, but none of it would’ve happened but for having an amazing audience. We have been very lucky to have people that have followed us and supported us for 25 years. Without them, we’re nothing.”

FOX News Channel Tops Competitors for 2021 in Nielsen’s Primetime and Total Day. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel was the highest rated cable news channel for 2021 (12/28/20-12/09/21) in both primetime and total day. In primetime, FOX News Channel averaged 2,365,000 viewers and 374,000 with A25-54 along with 233,000 in A18-49. Meanwhile, in total day, the network delivered 1,328,000 viewers and 223,000 in the younger 25-54 demo and 135,000 in A18-49. Also, according to data from Nielsen/MRI Fusion, this year, “more independents and democrats tuned into FNC than CNN while delivering the largest independent audience in cable news, making FNC’s audience the most politically diverse in cable news.” FNC holds 44% of the cable news audience in total day viewership and 41% of the audience with A25-54. In primetime, the network holds a 47% audience share in total viewers and 43% in the younger A25-54 demo. As a result, FNC increased its share of the cable news audience with A25-54 from 2020 to 2021. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “As we embark on our 20th year as the leader in cable news, the last six of which as number one in all of cable, I am incredibly proud of the unrivaled success we’ve had at FOX News Channel. Not only were we the only network to grow our audience share, but we did so while changing our lineup and transforming the entire late-night television landscape in the process, ensuring our continued momentum for many years to come.”

Newsmax Names Rich Grenell VP, Analyst. The former Acting Director of National Intelligence and U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is joining Newsmax Media as a national security contributor and executive for international partnerships. Newsmax says that Grenell, a former FOX News contributor, “will play a key role in offering security and international analysis for the network.” He’ll also serve as vice president for international development, helping the company’s foreign branding and content expansion. Newsmax currently licenses its brand and content in eight European nations. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Ric Grenell is a master of politics, media and government and we believe our viewers will gain great insight from his broad experience and public service.”

The ‘Coast to Coast AM Paranormal Podcast Network’ Launches. “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory and Premiere Networks are partnering for the launch of the Coast to Coast AM Paranormal Podcast Network.  This new project will focus on producing a slate of podcasts focused on the paranormal, supernatural, and unexplained. Co-produced by Noory and his long-time “Coast to Coast AM” senior producer Tom Danheiser, the network debuts with three new podcasts: “Shades of the Afterlife with Sandra Champlain,” “Strange Things with Joshua P. Warren,” and “Dark Becomes Light with Heidi Hollis.” Noory comments, “With these new programs, and more to come, we’re focused on producing the best content for paranormal fans. There’s so many facets of this entertaining and intriguing format, and we’re excited to kick off the network with three fan favorite guests from ‘Coast to Coast AM’ who are experts in their fields – Sandra Champlain, Joshua P. Warren and Heidi Hollis.” Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott adds, “We’re excited to partner with George to expand the ‘Coast to Coast AM’ brand with this new podcast network, creating a platform for new programing focused on the fascinating world of the paranormal. This new network will provide us with the opportunity to further engage and entertain George’s broad-reaching, worldwide audience.”

KBOI, Boise and USMC Collect Toys and Cash in 10-Day Drive. Pictured above is an unidentified staff member of Cumulus Media’s news/talk KBOI, Boise at the fifth “Idaho’s Largest Toy Drive” done in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps. Held November 26 through December 6, this was the longest toy drive of the past five years, collecting 38,822 toys and $36,213. KBOI program director Nate Shelman says, “With supply chain concerns and inflation being possible negative factors, we decided to extend this year’s efforts. The Treasure Valley residents came through in fine fashion to support the USMC and kids in the area.”

COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Economy/Supply Chain, Software Flaw, Build Back Better Negotiations, S.F. Mayor Actions/Urban Crime, and Extreme Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15). The spread of the Omicron variant, vaccines, and mandates; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack, the release of media personalities’ texts, and the contempt of Congress charge against former Donald Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows; the high rate of inflation, the Fed’s plan to raise interest rates, and the supply chain breakdown; a pervasive software flaw that’s giving foreign hackers an entrance into crucial systems; the negotiations between the Biden administration and Senator Joe Manchin over the Build Back Better plan; San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s promise of strong actions to combat crime issues and urban crime spikes in other cities; and the aftermath of the Kentucky and Illinois tornadoes and the threat of more violent weather were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, July 6, 2012

| July 6, 2012

Paul Ihander Named News Director at Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  Paul Ihander leaves his role as director of news, talk and sports programming at Clear Channel’s Albany cluster to take on the role of news director and assistant program director at Bonneville Phoenix Media Group’s “News/Talk 92.3 KTAR.”  Ihander states, “My career’s taken me to some incredible stations and cities across America, and my family and I are truly blessed to have the opportunity to join another first-class media organization.  I’m looking forward to joining the talented Phoenix crew – continuing KTAR’s rich traditions and establishing new ones.”  Bonneville Phoenix vice president of news and sports content Ryan Hatch says, “Paul is a team leader who raises the level of everyone around him and has been a proven winner everywhere he’s been.  His innovative spirit and vision of news for a new generation of consumers on radio, online, and on-the-go, make him the perfect fit for the KTAR brand.”

Rhode Island Supreme Court Clears WPRO, Providence Talk Host Dan Yorke of Slander Charge.  The state Supreme Court in Rhode Island upheld a lower court ruling that dismissed a slander charge against WPRO, Providence midday talk host Dan Yorke leveled by local restaurateur Robert Burke.  The case also involved a libel charge against the Providence Journal and writer Katherine Gregg.  Here’s the basic story:  Gregg wrote a piece in the Journal about a St. Patrick’s Day roast of local dignitaries and politicians that was held at Burke’s restaurant.  The press was invited but was told – unlike in previous years – that all jokes would be “off the record.”  On his radio show, Dan Yorke read Gregg’s article about the event, obviously critical of the “off the record” request, and teed off on Burke in what the court called “an acrimonious and childish on-air rant.”  Yorke himself referred to his rant as “a bit of a bender.”  Regardless, ultimately the court wrote that, “the plaintiffs failed to allege any intentional acts by Yorke or Citadel that were aimed at interfering with a potential client relationship.  The plaintiffs have pointed to nothing to suggest that the effect of Yorke’s comments – if any – was more than ancillary or incidental.  Because the plaintiffs did not allege any intentionally disruptive conduct by Yorke or Citadel, the count was correctly dismissed by the motion justice.”

Spoken Word Radio: The Big Picture.  One of the hottest panels at the recent TALKERS 2012 New Media Seminar/NYC was this discussion involving eight key industry leaders seen in the video in the Talkers TV box on this page.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison presented topics including the precarious nature of radio ratings, dealing with advertiser boycotts, employing damage control in the face of controversy, negativity about the formats’ ad models and more.  Taking part in this sizzling presentation were (from l-r in banner above and as you watch the video):  Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, WGN, Chicago; Phil Boyce, VP/director, spoken word format, Salem Communications; Nancy Abramson, executive director, The Wall Street Journal Radio Network; Chris Oliviero, SVP programming, CBS Radio; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Mark Masters, CEO, Talk Radio Network; Mike McVay, SVP programming Cumulus Media; and Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC.  The June 7 New York event was the first installment of the TALKERS bi-coastal 2012 New Media Seminar.  The second installment takes place October 11 in Los Angeles.  Details coming soon.  (Videography by Art Vuolo of Vuolo Video.)

WGN, Chicago Promotes Judy Pielach to Managing Editor of News.  Award-winning news pro Judy Pielach has been with Tribune’s WGN, Chicago since 1986 and she now moves up from her newsroom coordinator role to managing editor.  In her new post she’ll be leading day-to-day operations of the WGN Radio news department, handling news assignments, coordinating coverage and setting and implementing newsroom policy and procedures in conjunction with WGN’s director of programming and news, Bill White. She will also continue to be heard as the station’s midday news anchor.  Her 2008 series on her struggle with breast cancer, “Why Not Me?” and her 2007 series on suburban teen heroin addiction, “Smack in the Suburbs,” earned her two Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association.  In 2007, she was also named best reporter by the Illinois Associated Press.

Mancow to Simulcast Radio Show on Chicago TV.  The Chicago Tribune reports Erich “Mancow” Muller is in the process of finalizing a deal to have two hours of his nationally syndicated Talk Radio Network morning radio show simulcast on Fox Television’s WPWR-TV channel 50.  The show will begin in the fall and air from 6:00 am to 8:00 am.  The Tribune story notes the Mancow show will replace infomercials and the national “Better TV” lifestyle program.

 

“Coast to Coast AM” Host George Noory Launches Anti-Obesity Campaign.  Premiere Networks personality George Noory is announcing the beginning of his campaign to encourage his listeners to lose 15 million pounds.  Noting that the Centers for Disease Control states one-third of adult Americans are obese, Noory will dedicate the first hour of his Thursday evening program in July to encouraging his millions of late-night listeners to improve their health, shed excess pounds and help fight weight-related diseases.  As part of the effort, he’ll welcome special guests to give advice on nutrition, weight loss, health benefits and much more.  Noory says, “Listeners of ‘Coast to Coast’ know that in addition to exploring the mysteries of the universe, I’m also interested in improving my health and wellness.  This ‘Shape Up’ campaign is a great opportunity for America to encourage and inspire each other to increase our longevity and live better lives.”

Talk Host Laura Smith and Cumulus Debut New Show on AC WFAS-FM, White Plains, New York.  Radio personality Laura Smith hosts “Living Better with Laura Smith” on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York on Saturday afternoons.  Now, Smith is resurrecting a show she hosted on SiriusXM back in 2008 called, “Above and Beyond with Laura Smith.”  Smith tells TALKERS the show is “a hybrid of psychics, mediums and self-help experts with the best music variety, in a Sunday night soiree.”  She says her guests will include the best and most renowned in the category, like John Edward, Susan Miller, Thomas John, James Van Praagh, Lisa Williams, The Feng Shui Guy, The 30-Second Therapist and countless others.  Smith goes on to say, “The country and world are starving for comfort, love, and advice and the number of people seeking it in ways that are a little less conventional, such as with psychics, mediums, astrologers, or life coaches, is unprecedented.”  It airs at 9:00 pm ET.

ABC News Radio Announces Olympic Coverage.  The 2012 Summer Olympics begin in London on July 27 and run through August 12 and ABC News Radio announces its schedule for affiliate stations.  The network is delivering one-minute updates at :10 and :40 from 5:10 am ET to 6:40 pm ET.  In London covering the games for ABC are news correspondents Alex Stone, Tom Rivers and Todd Ant.  ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones says there is no additional inventory for ABC News affiliates and ABC Sports affiliates to air the coverage that is being delivered for the duration of the games.

The Supreme Court’s ObamaCare Decision Aftermath Claims Top Spot on the Talkers TenTM.  The aftermath of the SCOTUS ruling on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 2-6.  Coming in at #2 was the 2012 presidential campaign.  At #3 was the Mid-Atlantic storm damage tied with the Colorado wildfires and at #4, the Fourth of July holiday tied with the summer weather.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published at Talkers.com every Friday.  View the entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds WVKO, Columbus and WAMM, Woodstock, Virginia to its roster of affiliates…..The George Jarkesy show is added to the program schedule at KDOW, San Francisco; KYCR, Minneapolis; and KVCE, Dallas/Ft. Worth…..The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “The Wall Street Journal Reports” are now airing on the American Forces Radio Network’s “The Voice” channel as part of the top-of-the hour newscast…..“On the House” with the Carey Brothers and Rebecca Cole adds KPSI, Palm Springs, California to its affiliate list.