Good Karma Brands Inks Deal to Operate ESPN’s WMVP-AM, Chicago. Yesterday’s announcement by sports talk radio WMVP-AM owner ESPN that Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands would begin operating “ESPN 1000” beginning next month took the industry by surprise. But as ESPN Audio SVP Traug Keller says, Karmazin’s company has a long track record with ESPN. “Good Karma has proven to be an excellent local affiliate that has shown expertise in local media operations and sales while being a strong steward of the ESPN brand.” Keller adds, “This is a smart business decision that allows us to continue to serve local sports fans with the compelling content they crave.” As a result of this long-term LMA between ESPN Radio and Good Karma, the latter will “expand its affiliate relationship with ESPN Radio and the station will retain the ‘ESPN 1000’ name. ESPN Radio Chicago will feature a lineup of local and national sports talk programming and ESPN Radio’s national play-by-play lineup that includes NBA, MLB, NFL and college football, including the College Football Playoff.” The LMA begins on September 29. Longtime ‘ESPN 1000’ VP and general manager Jim Pastor will exit his role. He says, “Few people will ever match the experience I’ve had over 27 incredible years with Disney, including the last 15 with ESPN. I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished at ‘ESPN 1000’ or be more supportive of the decision to affiliate with Good Karma. Walking away now becomes infinitely easier knowing [Good Karma Brands president] Steve Politziner, Craig Karmazin, and the rest of the Good Karma team will be running the show. For me, I’m ready to dial it back, spend more time with the family and go back to sitting in the cheap seats.” Craig Karmazin – whose company also owns operates ESPN-affiliated stations in Cleveland, Madison, Milwaukee, and West Palm Beach – says, “Our Midwest roots have afforded us the opportunity to see the passion of Chicago sports fans up close for over two decades. We are so excited to extend our commitment to being ESPN’s best-in-class local operator into what will now be our largest market.” ESPN Audio continues to operate WEPN-FM, New York and KSPN-AM, Los Angeles.
WJBC, Bloomington’s Laughlin Retires; Miller Takes Over AM Drive Show. At Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, longtime morning personality Scott Laughlin is retiring from the station and afternoon drive personality Scott Miller will take over as morning drive host. Miller – who inked a new, multi-year deal with the company – will work with news director Katherine Murphy on the morning show. Back in May, Laughlin announced he was taking a leave of absence from the WJBC morning show for health reasons. He has since decided to make his leave permanent. He says, “I had planned to retire next summer. My circumstances have speeded up that plan.” Station operations manager Dan Westhoff says, “We wish nothing but the best for Scott Laughlin as he focuses on his health. Emotionally, it’s not easy to move forward in a situation like this, but we must. We look forward to having Scott Miller in the morning and know he will do a great job.” The station is searching for a new afternoon talk host.
‘FOX Sports 910’ in Phoenix Makes Drive Time Changes; Dan Sileo Joins for Afternoons. Beginning Tuesday (9/3), iHeartMedia’s KGME, Phoenix “FOX Sports 910” is moving afternoon drive personality Jody Oehler’s “The Drive” program to the 5:00 am to 10:00 am daypart, replacing FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick. The station says that Oehler’s “‘The Drive’ has brought a signature blend of truth, humor and originality to the Phoenix airwaves. Throughout the run of the show, Oehler has had some of the biggest names in sports on-air regularly, including: Donovan McNabb, Jake Plummer, Ian Rapoport, Kent Somers, and Greg Amsinger, as well as everyone’s favorite radio segment, ‘Top 5 Thursday,’ which ranks the top five sports stories every Thursday.” Oehler says, “I’m incredibly excited to be moving to mornings. In a city like Phoenix with all the local teams and transplant residents, I relish the opportunity to offer my reaction to the biggest local and national sporting events. We’ll do it better than anyone in the market with truth, humor, and fun. And as a bonus, I won’t get into a near fist fight with myself on the air.” The station is expected to announce its plans for the afternoon drive daypart very soon. Taking over the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot is sports talk host Dan Sileo, most recently with Entercom at KWFN-FM, San Diego “97.3 The Fan.” The station says Sileo’s show “will feature engaging sports talk with features such as ‘Cardinals Rewind,’ where Sileo analyzes the Cardinals by recapping the biggest hits and misses from each game, and ‘Stump Sileo,’ a daily segment where listeners have the opportunity to challenge Sileo to a game of six degrees of separation, in which Sileo has to find a way to connect himself to the listener’s favorite sports icon.” Sileo says, “It’s an honor to come home to iHeartMedia, where I spent the majority of my 24-year radio career, for this amazing opportunity to host afternoons on ‘FOX Sports 910.’ I will promise my listeners this – we will have the most compelling sports show in The Valley. It will be a show for Phoenix, about Phoenix. We’re going to bring on the biggest stars in sports and entertainment and give listeners a show they’ll never forget.”
WLAC, Nashville Host Steve Gill Remains in Jail; ‘Terrified’ Wife Files for Divorce. More legal woes arise for embattled WLAC, Nashville talk radio host Steve Gill, who remains in jail in Williamson County, Tennessee for failure to pay $170,000 in child support to ex-wife Kathryn Gill. Now, Gill’s current wife – who is not named by The Tennessean in its report since she’s under an order of protection from the court – is filing for divorce from Gill and told the court in her request for the order, “I need protection. I am terrified. He is ‘influenced’ and ‘powerful’ and he used that to try to keep me from escaping.” As a witness in Gill’s child support case, she testified that he was lying under oath in court. The court has ordered Gill not to contact his current wife; to stay away from her home and workplace; to vacate the family home; undergo a certified batterers’ intervention program; and cannot possess any firearms (the order notes he has numerous weapons).
Palm Springs Morning Host Bill Feingold Off the Air for Cancer Treatment. Coachella Valley morning drive personality Bill Feingold is on medical leave from Alpha Media’s news/talk brand “K-News” – KNWZ-AM/KNWQ-AM/K232CX/K274DA – after being diagnosed with stage four liver cancer. Feingold tells the Desert Sun that he’s aware of the gravity of his diagnosis but is hopeful he can return to the air after undergoing chemotherapy, which begins on September 12. He and co-host Kevin Holmes have been together on the radio in Palm Springs since 2004. Feingold says, “Alpha Media is hoping for a semi-miracle so I can come back. I would come back in a second.”
TALKERS News Notes. Detroit journalist Bankole Thompson is returning to Kevin Adell-run WFDF-AM, Detroit “910AM Superstation” to host the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm program, beginning September 9. Previously, the Detroit News columnist hosted the program, “Redline,” on the station. Thompson says, “I’m happy to be back at ‘910AM Superstation’ and I’m looking forward to making Detroit’s recovery and poverty the front and center of our conversation.”…..The conservative Christian K-Star Talk Radio Network announces it is adding independent journalist and radio host Will Johnson’s newly syndicated talk radio program, “Fire Power News,” to its 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET slot, effective September 9. K-Star program director Angeline Marie says, “I am so excited to add Will Johnson’s program to the K-Star schedule. He is young, energetic, intelligent, and really passionate about making a difference.”…..Entravision Communications announces it’s bringing listeners “the most extensive Spanish-language radio broadcast coverage” of the upcoming 2019 NFL Centennial season. The company will broadcast 46 games across 17 U.S. markets on its owned-and-operated stations, as well as on affiliate stations across the country. Entravision president and COO Jeffrey Liberman says, “The start of the NFL season is always exciting and this year we’re especially proud to have the most extensive Spanish radio broadcast coverage of the NFL. The game of football has really found a home in the Latino market and there are more passionate NFL fans than ever.”…..Actors Gabrielle Carteris and Camryn Manheim have been chosen by SAG-AFTRA’s national membership to fulfill the respective roles of president and secretary-treasurer, two of the union’s highest ranking offices. Their two-year terms begin today.
Legendary Radio Executive Dwight Case Dies at 90. Earlier this month, Dwight Case – onetime publisher of Radio & Records and general manager of KHJ, Los Angeles – died at the age of 90. Case started in radio in 1948 KFRE-AM, Fresno. During his long career, he also managed KROY, Sacramento; served as president of RKO’s radio division; founded Transtar Satellite Radio Network; and served as publisher and CEO of R&R from 1983-1987. Read more at LARadio.com.
Trump vs the Media, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade War, Queen Suspends UK Parliament, Jessi Combs Dies in Crash, and Hurricane Dorian Heads for Florida Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/28). The president’s renewed frustration with the media’s coverage of his presidency; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the war of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the Queen agrees to suspend the UK Parliament; driver and television personality Jessi Combs dies trying to set a land speed record; and Hurricane Dorian’s projected path toward Florida 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. Media executive Winter Horton joins Meruelo Media as chief operating officer, reporting to president and CEO Otto Padron. Horton was most recently COO for LBI Media Inc. Padron says, “Meruelo Media has enjoyed extraordinary growth in the past few months. The task to solidify our L.A. super cluster position and continue our expansion is my highest priority. To achieve this, I’m proud to announce the addition of Winter Horton as our chief operating officer. Winter brings a wealth of experience and a unique skill set to help us create even greater value as we optimize our strategy of growth.”…..Cumulus Media’s rock WNDX, Indianapolis “93.9X” announces that Abe Kanan takes over as morning drive personality, effective September 3. Kanan has served with stations including WLUP-FM and WKQX in Chicago and WBGG in Miami, as well as on the Howard 101 channel on SiriusXM. He says, “If I could create my own radio station, it would sound just like ‘93.9X.’ In 2019, this is exactly how a rock station should sound. I am beyond excited and honored to be chosen as the first morning show host on the soon-to-be world-famous 93.9X!”…..SummitMedia names Sheba Foxx news & community affairs director for the Greenville, South Carolina cluster. Foxx takes over for Rhonda Rawlings who left the position to serve as South Carolina media rep for Cory Booker’s presidential campaign…..Alternative KTBZ, Houston “94.5 The Buzz” morning personality Dinah Powers is leaving the station’s Rod Ryan show after Friday’s broadcast. She tells the Houston Chronicle that she elected not to renew her contract and is leaving the radio business and hopes to go back to school and work in the mental health field…..After 62 years in the same Takoma Park, Maryland location, Washington Adventist University’s WGTS-FM, Washington, DC celebrates the grand opening of its new broadcast ministry center in Rockville, Maryland. The new 13,000 square-foot facility contains two identical on-air studios, three production rooms and a television studio. It replaces the 3,000 square-foot World War II-era building that has served as the headquarters of the ministry since 1957…..Former, longtime WDVE, Pittsburgh air personality Jack Maloy died yesterday (8/28). Maloy spent 36 years on the air at the iHeartMedia rock outlet, mostly in overnights. The station says Maloy loved the shift so much that when he was promoted to the evening show, he was miserable and requested to return to the overnight show where he stayed until his retirement in 2013.
‘The Groz’ to Retire from KIRO-AM, Seattle Midday Show. One-third of the “Bob, Groz and Tom” show on Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” is retiring from the program, effective September 20. Dave “The Groz” Grosby announces that due largely to health-related issues, he feels compelled to step down from his position on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program. In a message to listeners on the station’s website, he says, “This past year I simply have not been able to answer the bell enough as it were and missed far too many days of work, and it has been unfair to my co-hosts and to the radio station. Though my health has improved over the past month I cannot be sure it won’t be an issue again.” Groz says that he will continue to co-anchor the daily, 11:45 am segment with John Clayton and will also do some fill-ins and occasionally appear as a guest. He adds, “I am also going to be exploring the online world and look forward to being a regular presence in a yet-to-be-determined role on 710Sports.com. I have been lucky to be a part of the start of two great sports radio stations in Seattle over the past 29 years, but the best part of the job for me has been meeting and having fun with listeners over the years. I love you guys.”
‘Big Al’ Williams Officially Named PM Drive Co-Host on KOA, Denver. Shortly after Alfred “Big Al” Williams left Bonneville’s crosstown sports talk KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” in March of this year, it was announced that he would join iHeartMedia after sitting out his non-compete. Now, iHeartMedia announces that Big Al will work with co-host JoJo Turnbeaugh on KOA’s 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show. iHM Denver president Tim Hager says, “There’s no bigger voice and no bigger laugh in afternoon radio than Alfred Williams. We are honored to welcome Big Al and his legions of fans to KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM. Big Al joins an expanded live and local lineup that truly embodies KOA’s new slogan, ‘The Voice of Colorado.’”
New Affiliate Stations Add Erick Erickson’s WGAU, Athens-based Show. The new late morning talk radio show hosted by Georgia media personality Erick Erickson is adding new affiliate stations, two weeks after its debut on flagship WGAU, Athens. The program is designed to address Georgia news and politics in a way that Erickson can’t on his afternoon drive WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta. Cox Media Group owns both WSB and WGAU. New Georgia stations include: WCHM, Clarkesville; WRGA, Rome; WBLJ, Dalton; and WYYZ, Jasper. The show is distributed by the Georgia News Network. See erickericksonshow.com for more.
TALKERS News Notes. Detroit radio personality and comic Coco is joining talk WFDF “910AM Superstation” to host the daily 7:00 am to 9:00 am program. Coco was most recently co-hosting mornings with John Mason on Radio One’s urban AC WDMK, Detroit “105.9 Kiss.” Prior to that she served with WJBL, Detroit for 17 years. Coco takes over the time slot formerly occupied by the Noah Finley show…..FOX Sports enters into a deal with Skyview Networks to bring USC football and men’s basketball to a broader audience. USC games are heard locally on KABC-AM, Los Angeles. Skyview’s Matt Stys says, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to partner again with the iconic collegiate rights holder, FOX Sports. Skyview Networks is known for delivering sports play-by-play to the hometown fan and the strong Trojan following across the US makes us the ideal partner for the USC growth initiative. This is an exciting time for USC play-by-play audio and we are proud to be a part it.”…..Entercom and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors announce a multi-year extension for sports talk KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” to serve as flagship station for the team’s radio broadcasts. Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Greg Nemitz says, “The Warriors are the premiere franchise in this market and have emerged as one of the elite sports brands worldwide. As the team embarks on a new era at Chase Center, we’re proud and excited to continue bringing our listeners exclusive, unparalleled coverage of the team both on and off the court.”…..SiriusXM is launching a new weekly show on the SiriusXM NFL Radio channel dedicated to the Cleveland Browns that will cover the present day team as well as the storied history of the franchise. “Dawg Pound Radio” will debut September 4 (airing each Wednesday at 7:00 pm ET) co-hosted by Browns legend Bernie Kosar and longtime Browns radio broadcaster Jim Donovan…..Motor Racing Network is partnering with Spire Motorsports as the sponsor of the No. 77 Motor Racing Network Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, driven by Reed Sorenson, for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend. The livery (note the calls in this photo) will pay tribute to MRN’s 50 years as “The Voice of NASCAR” and celebrate 11 radio stations who have carried and supported NASCAR racing since the network’s inception. MRN director of radio partnerships Cheryl Knight says, “Our radio partners are the original ambassadors of Motor Racing Network and this sport. Every one of our 600 stations have played a significant role in MRN’s growth and success. Having 11 stations air our broadcasts consistently since 1970 is remarkable and we are proud to honor them this weekend by placing their call letters on the No.77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.”
2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade War, Recession Fears, U.S.-Iran Talks, Prince Andrew Allegations, Johnson’s Brexit Ploy, Dorian on Track to Hit Florida Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27). The Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the battle of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the rise in mortgage foreclosures and concerns about a recession; Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says sanctions must be lifted before meeting with President Trump; alleged Jeffrey Epstein victims intensify allegations against Prince Andrew; Prime Minister Boris Johnson asks Queen Elizabeth to shut down Parliament in bold Brexit move; and Tropical Storm Dorian’s possible track toward Florida were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
RAB Visits Scranton, PA. In what turned out to be an exciting “homecoming” of sorts, Radio Advertising Bureau VP/membership Dolores “Dee” Nolan paid a visit to the Scranton, PA headquarters of the legendary multi-media firm Times-Shamrock Communications where it all began for her in the late 1970s. Times-Shamrock Communications, established in 1895 by E.J. Lynett, is still locally owned and operated by the Lynett and Haggerty families. Enjoying a national reputation for excellence, the company has among its assets four daily newspapers, six weekly newspapers, and nine radio stations most of which are located in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Nolan was an intern at the company’s WEJL-AM and WEZX-FM during her last semester as a student at Marywood University. Upon graduation, she began her illustrious career in broadcasting as traffic manager and continuity director for the stations and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. Today, she is a key contributor to the RAB team’s herculean efforts under the superb leadership of its president/CEO Erica Farber to support the radio industry’s generation of advertising and marketing revenue during the medium’s challenging transition from the analog era to the 21st century digital era. Nolan (l) is pictured with Times-Shamrock market manager Terry Deitz (r). To learn about RAB member benefits, please click here.
Wisconsin Radio Station Using JVC Video System for Sports Broadcasts. It is getting easier and less expensive to present quality video and a great example of a station taking advantage of that is non-profit WGTD-FM, Kenosha, Wisconsin (pictured above). It’s using a JVC system to stream local high school sports via Facebook Live. Gateway Technical College owns the station and is using three GY‑HM250SP 4KCAM sports production streaming camcorders and a ProHD Studio 4000S sports production and streaming studio to produce coverage of the games. WGTD digital director and development specialist Troy McDonald says, “The cameras are absolutely incredible. They are lightweight and easy to use. The picture is so clear – people are impressed.” In an effort to find a new revenue stream, the station decided to explore new ways to find an audience by covering Kenosha and Walworth County high school football and basketball. With its classical, jazz, and news programming, the radio station attracts an older audience that creates a challenging sales environment. The station tested the idea using iPads as cameras that were wirelessly connected to a master iPad running iOS-based switcher software. The system relied on cellular service, so there were a lot of connectivity issues. McDonald says, “It was just not pretty. It’s a miracle we generated an audience to prove the concept.” The Studio 4000S allows for graphics for the score and player names, plus it produces slow-motion replays. McDonald adds, “It lets us have that feature that heightens the drama and keeps viewers engaged. The software is so easy to use. It’s made a huge difference for us.” WGTD covers one game per week during the regular season, plus playoffs. It a local high school with a communications program to coordinate paid student production crews. During the year, students also produce local commercials that run during breaks in the sports coverage. McDonald said the student crews gain valuable experience, while the local student athletes get recruiting footage that looks professional.
Cool Talk Radio Sales Opportunity. In New York City, Salem Media Group is seeking an account executive for radio and digital sales. Here’s the ad: Salem Media Group is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer” and the legendary WMCA “AM570/102.3FM The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.” Compensation is commensurate with degree of experience and skills. This is a fabulous career opportunity for the right individual with one of the finest broadcasting companies in America. Ideal candidate has a proven track record of success with radio and digital sales. Interested candidates should apply online and email cover letter and resumes to Jerry Crowley’s attention.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Jon Manley is named APD and music director for Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago. The Chicagoland native returns home from his most recent position with Entercom’s alt-rock KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End.” Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren comments, “The beauty of ‘101 WKQX’ is that when a position becomes available, the talent lines up. Jon epitomizes the type of talent we were looking for. He’s smart, has an outstanding knowledge of music, and is a Chicago guy coming home who knows exactly what the audience wants. He’ll be a rock star on the air and an alt rock star working with [program director] Troy Hanson on the product.” Manley will also host the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show…..In Denver, Max Media names Rick Thomas vice president of programming and operations in which he’ll lead rhythmic oldies KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5” and hip hop KFCO “Flo 107.1.” Thomas was most recently operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tampa stations…..Riviera Broadcasting ups Ron “Geronimo” Price to program director for its hot AC stations KMVA, Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona and KZON-FM, Phoenix “Mix 96.9.”…..Pictured below is Dana Cortez, host of “The Dana Cortez Show,” and Déjà Vu, host of the “Déjà Vu Show,” along with listeners and others at the meet-and-greet atop the Empire Hotel in New York City. The event was the culmination of promotions by the two shows that included giving listeners the opportunity to see “Good Morning America” and hear Chance the Rapper at the “GMA Summer Concert Series.”
TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Navigating Year Three of the Trump Presidency. The president’s idiosyncratic governing style, his social media habits, and his war on the media have made the Donald Trump presidency one of the most challenging for talk radio hosts – but they’ve also made his presidency a bonanza for hosts who handle it properly. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, is featuring Phil Boyce, who is Salem Media Group SVP/spoken word format and VP/operations Salem Radio Network, as he delivers a presentation titled, “Navigating Year Three of the Trump Presidency.” In this session, Boyce explains the programming strategies his Salem personalities use to capitalize on the Trump presidency. There is still time to register but the conference is rapidly approaching sellout status. To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.
Changes Take Place at WICC, Bridgeport. Programmer Mike Bellamy exits news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport, Connecticut as Connoisseur Media takes over operation of the station under an LMA. Connoisseur is acquiring the station as part of a swap with Cumulus Media. Bellamy, who’d been with the station for 12 years, announced his departure in a Facebook post. Bellamy also co-hosted the morning drive show with Tony Reno. He remains on board and air personality Melissa Sheketoff moves to the morning show as his co-host.
KYW, Philadelphia to Present ‘Jill on Money Live.’ Philadelphia all-news outlet KYW Newsradio is presenting “Jill on Money LIVE” – a local event featuring CBS business analyst Jill Schlesinger at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel on May 22. The live chat is in support of Schlesinger’s first book, The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money: Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs, and will focus on matters pertaining to retirement, college financing, insurance, real estate, and more. Schlesinger’s presentation will be followed by a question and answer session with audience members.
TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Joe Madison is being asked to be the keynote speaker at the NAACP’s 110th annual convention taking place in July in Detroit. Madison hosts a daily morning show on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel. He’s being asked to address the Membership Luncheon on July 23…..The talk radio scene in Delaware gets a profile from Out & About magazine’s Ken Mammarella, who talks with staffers from WDEL, Wilmington and WXDE-FM, Lewes for the piece. WDEL’s Rick Jensen, WXDE’s Dan Gaffney, WDEL programmer Chris Carl, and WDEL’s Allan Loudell, all talk with Mammarella for the story you can read here…..TMZ is reporting that Westwood One syndicated talk star and DailyWire founder Ben Shapiro and his family were the target of “serious death threats” and that the FBI has taken a suspect into custody in Kent, Washington. The investigation and subsequent arrest of the suspect came after Shapiro filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WMVP “ESPN 1000” sports talk host David Kaplan has a new deal to remain in his other gig as a personality on NBC Sports Chicago. He hosts the weeknight “SportsTalk Live” program on the cable channel and his new contract will allow him to take on new duties, including “creating ‘fan-focused content’ over a variety of platforms.”…..Political commentator and activist Charlie Kirk is launching a new podcast on PodcastOne. “The Charlie Kirk Show” will feature “the inside scoop on the biggest news of the week and what’s really going on behind the headlines.” Kirk says he considers the new show “a report from the frontlines of the culture war, and what’s really going on from America’s college lecture halls to the halls of Congress.” The debut episode features an unfiltered interview with Donald Trump, Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle…..SiriusXM is again offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. The satellite radio service has a deal with Horse Racing Radio Network to cover all Triple Crown races – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes – as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Kentucky Derby is provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One.
WFDF, Detroit Adds Michael Baisden Show for PM Drive Time. Detroit talk station WFDF “910 AM Superstation” is adding the Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Michael Baisden show for afternoon drive, airing from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, starting May 6. The Baisden show is described as “four hours of music, engaging content, daily thought-provoking conversation, and is the premier destination for listeners to be entertained, inspired, and educated.” WFDF CEO Kevin Adell says, “I’m excited to bring Michael Baisden back to the State of Michigan on ‘910AM Superstation,’ the full-power station with 50,000 watts, because we do a super job,”
Trish Johnson Promoted to CFO of NAB. The National Association of Broadcasters announces the promotion of Trish Johnson to chief financial officer and SVP of finance. She rises from her previous SVP and controller, finance position. NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “In her two years at NAB, Trish and her finance team have demonstrated consistency and keen professionalism in steering our organization’s finances. NAB member stations are well served by Trish’s competence and leadership, and we are pleased to reward her with this well-deserved promotion.” Prior to joining NAB in 2017, Trish worked for Public Broadcasting Service and public TV station WETA-TV, Washington DC.
Barr Hearings/Mueller Report Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Rising Anti-Semitism Statistics, Southern Border Crisis, Trump Tax Returns/Business Records, Venezuela Unrest, NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1). The testimony of Attorney General William Barr before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the wake of the release of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the global rise in anti-Semitism and the attack on the LA synagogue; the status of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; the attempts to get President Trump’s tax returns and his suit to prevent Deutsch Bank and Capital One from releasing his business’s records; the political instability in Venezuela; 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. The deal that transfers ownership of three Panama City, Florida stations – adult hits WASJ-FM, classic rock WRBA-FM and country WKNK-FM – from Powell Broadcasting to Gulf Coast Broadcasting closes. Powell decided to sell the stations after suffering damages to the facilities and tower from Hurricane Michael in 2018. Gulf Coast paid $375,000 for the stations. Prior to the hurricane, Powell had sold WPFM-FM, Panama City to Educational Media Foundation for $472,000…..The Hollywood Reporter is premiering a new video conversation series titled, “Emerging Hollywood,” hosted by The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne Tha God. The weekly series will feature “on-the-rise voices in entertainment sharing their views on topics including inclusion, racial politics, gender, and body positivity.” The first guest is “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah. Charlamagne says, “I don’t do interviews. I do conversations. I love conversations because through conversation, you hear people’s stories, and through people’s stories, you get information and inspiration. That’s all I want people to get out of these conversations is information and inspiration.”
Talk Host Lars Larson at Center of Gun Rights Issue in Portland. According to a piece on Campus Reform’s website, KXL, Portland-based radio talk show host Lars Larson was required by the administration of Portland State University to promise not to bring his permitted gun (legal in Oregon) to a Second Amendment event on the campus being sponsored by the PSU College Republicans. Larson was vocally critical of the school for making the request and for threatening the College Republicans if they invited Larson knowing he would bring his conceal carry weapon. Ultimately, the group cancelled the event. Larson is quoted saying he fought the school’s request for obvious reasons. “It would be the height of hypocrisy, for me to say ‘I’m going to go talk to these kids about the importance of their Second Amendment rights,’ while voluntarily forfeiting mine.” Larson also tells Campus Reform he plans to do a broadcast from the school. “Later this week, my producer and I will walk up, sit down in the student union, and I’m gonna do five or 10 minutes on a Facebook Live stream, explaining the entire background. I cannot speak to the students unless I give up my civil rights, I cannot do the broadcast that I wanted to do, and the students have been threatened.”
Nielsen Reports Q3 Financials; Net Income Down 32.4%. Ratings and consumer research giant Nielsen Holdings plc releases financial data for the third quarter of 2018 and reports revenue of $1.6 billion, down 2.5%, or 0.6% on a constant currency basis, compared to the third quarter of 2017. Free cash flow for the third quarter of 2018 decreased to $266 million, compared to $425 million in the third quarter of 2017. The company’s audio ratings service falls under its Watch segment and for the third quarter, Audio revenue dipped 1.6%, from $127 million in 2017 to $125 million in Q3 of 2018. However, the company reports “Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 4.7%, or 5.2% on a constant currency basis, due to continued client adoption of our Total Audience Measurement system and our ongoing investments, including Gracenote.” Nielsen executive chairman Jim Attwood says, “The third quarter revenue and earnings are consistent with our updated 2018 guidance despite a number of near-term challenges in our markets. We have a number of key initiatives and actions that we are pursuing to improve our future outlook. Together with the board of directors, we are aligned on a set of operational priorities to drive the business forward. In addition, the board of directors, with the assistance of our advisors and management team, is focused on the expanded strategic review that we announced in September, which includes a broad review of strategic alternatives for Nielsen and its businesses.”
SiriusXM’s Jim Meyer on Pandora Acquisition. During yesterday’s third quarter investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer talked about the company’s bid to acquire streaming pure play Pandora. He said the two platforms have the ability to cross-promote. He adds that the goal, obviously, is not to convince paying SiriusXM subscribers to leave for a cheaper or free version of Pandora. “At SiriusXM, we are running about 23 million trials in new and used cars this year. And the truth, as the flip side of our conversion statistics will tell you, is that most people don’t want to pay for radio at the end of the day. I feel there is a strong opportunity if we can link non-converters back to a Pandora or maybe a Pandora with a bit more content in a way that makes our combined business bigger, better, and more profitable. There are many ways we believe that one plus one will exceed two very quickly and we plan to give you additional color on that over the next few months.” The company is still waiting for anti-trust approval from the FTC and Justice Department before meetings with Pandora can affect any change there, but it is downplaying the synergies that might be realized from a combined operation. Meyer adds, “Last week, while I was out in Oakland for a Pandora board meeting, I had the privilege of speaking with a large group of Pandora’s talented employees. It was fantastic to talk about our shared future, what we can do with all of our financial resources, vast troves of data, unmatched content, enormous user bases, and some of the most talented people in radio and technology. I am confident that together, these two companies will be even stronger.”
TALKERS News Notes. Detroit’s “910 AM Superstation” – Kevin Adell -owned WFDF – brings local media personality Charlie LeDuff aboard to host a weekly, one-hour program airing Mondays at 4:00 pm, titled, “No BS News Hour.” LeDuff is a former Detroit News and WJBK-TV, Detroit reporter. The weekly show is being designed as a companion to LeDuff’s Michigan-focused podcast of the same title. LeDuff says, “If you suffer from insomnia, I recommend you watch the news. If you want the news, I recommend you tune into the ‘No BS News Hour.’ Original reporting, nowhere else.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliates news/talk KGVO-AM/FM and KMPT-AM “Montana’s Progressive Talk” in Missoula for the weekly program. Hill tells TALKERS magazine that the addition of the Townsquare Media stations puts the program at the 52-affiliate mark…..SiriusXM is adding “The Dan Abrams Show: Where Politics Meets The Law” to its P.O.T.U.S. channel programming, effective October 29. The ABC News chief legal analyst will host a show that will “analyze the biggest news stories of the day from a legal perspective.” Abrams says, “The legal side of news stories is more important and prominent than ever. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity on SiriusXM to really dig in and separate the legal realities from the wishful spin for listeners and people calling in to the show.”…..New York Public Radio names longtime Viacom executive Depelsha McGruder chief operating officer. McGruder was most recently senior vice president of programming for BET Networks. NYPR operates not only public radio news/talk WNYC-AM/FM, but WNYC Studios and New Jersey Public Radio, as well…..Legendary college basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is hosting the premiere episode of the 14th season of his SiriusXM talk show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” tonight at 6:00 pm ET.
SRN’s Larry Elder to Attend Meeting of Young Black Conservatives at Trump White House. According to a report in the New York Post, President Trump will entertain a group of hundreds of young, black conservatives gathered for the Young Black Leadership Summit, an event produced by Turning Point USA. Also attending this evening’s kick-off of the conference will be Salem Radio Network talk show host Larry Elder and actress-turned-conservative-pundit Stacey Dash. Donald Trump Jr. will also speak to the group this evening, as will HUD Director Ben Carson.
Pipe Bombs Sent to Top Democrats and CNN; Financial Markets Activity, Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Mega Millions Jackpot, Khashoggi Murder Aftermath, Halloween ‘Blackface’ Issue, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/24). The news of pipe bombs sent to CNN and top Democrats including the Obamas and the Clintons; the Dow loses 600 points and the activity in other world financial markets; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border; one winning ticket in South Carolina is sold for the $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery; the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; the issue of schools warning students not to dress in blackface for Halloween; the week’s NFL action; and the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox 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. Seattle CHR KBKS-FM “106.1 KISS FM” is stunting in preparation for a format change. The stunt began on Wednesday with jockless programming peppered with mysteriously worded sweepers teasing the change. The status of the air staff with owner iHeartMedia is not known but numerous reports indicate AM drive personality Bender has exited…..Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” promotes afternoon drive personality Jason Cage music director, effective immediately. He’ll continue hosting his 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm program. Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Jason has proven to be a very valuable contributor to the overall sound and feel of KHMX and has helped to lead culture here at Entercom Houston. We are excited to elevate him to the role of music director.”…..As a result of the flip of SummitMedia’s WJSR, Richmond from classic hits to adult hits as “Jack FM,” morning show team Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins exits after a four-year stint.