Stationality Forces Cumulus’ Hand in Cancellation of Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano Show on WLS-AM. Windy City news/talk WLS-AM is making a change to its programming lineup in January and husband-and-wife midday team Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano are the casualties of the change. WLS-AM will import Cumulus-syndicated Chris Plante for the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show and push Premiere Network’s Rush Limbaugh back to an 11:00 am start in order to air live. Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren tells Chicago media writer Robert Feder that he respects Sirott and Murciano greatly. “The lane we’ve chosen to be in is the conservative talk station in this marketplace. We just don’t think that’s what they bring to the table.”
Portland Sports Talker KPOJ Re-Branded; Cable-Radio Simulcast for New Local Shows. A major co-operative effort between iHeartMedia’s sports talk KPOJ, Portland and NBC Sports Northwest is announced that will include a cable TV simulcast of the station’s local shows to be produced at “a new state-of-the-art radio studio being built at NBC Sports Northwest.” The current morning show “Rip City Mornings with Dan & Nigel” and afternoon program “Rip City Drive with Travis & Chad” will be joined by the new “Dwight Jaynes & Aaron Fentress Show” (airing 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) for the simulcast. Meanwhile, starting in January, the station will call itself “NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio.” It will continue to air FOX Sports Radio’s Rich Eisen from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. iHeartMedia Markets Group president of Pacific Northwest Region Robert Dove says, “We are excited to partner with NBC Sports Northwest to bring ‘Rip City Radio’ listeners the best in local sports programming. Our combined assets will provide even more access for Portland sports fans across both TV and radio, including enhanced audio and visual content for Trailblazer fans all in one destination.”
WABC’s Curtis Sliwa to Be Off Air While Recovering from Crohn’s Surgery. New York radio personality Curtis Sliwa is undergoing surgery to alleviate the problems he’s been dealing with from Crohn’s disease over the past two years. Sliwa tells TALKERS the Crohn’s has taken a toll on his health. “I have lost my muscle mass and, in the process, 60 pounds. The pain throughout has been horrific. At times, it caused me to pass out and gather into a fetal position on the floor. Often times the only way that I could keep broadcasting was to take ‘Hillbilly Heroin,’ a.k.a Oxycodone, to suppress the overwhelming pain. The cause of the ulcerated intestines that will be removed during the procedure were the five gun shots I was hit with in my lower extremities in the summer of 1992, the result of a hit ordered on me by John Gotti for what I was saying on the radio about the Gambino Crime Family. Best-case scenario is that it will take me a week of recovery at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. Worst-case scenario, a month or more.” Sliwa says WABC management will be using a series of replacements for both of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show and the “The Drive Home” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Mike Francesa Hosts Penultimate WFAN Show from Paley Center. Tomorrow afternoon (12/14), New York sports talk radio legend Mike Francesa will broadcast his second-last show on Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio 660 AM – 101.9 FM” live before a studio audience from the Paley Center for Media. Entercom is inviting the media to cover the event and is making Francesa available for one-on-one interviews prior to the show. Francesa – who has been a bit cagey about his post-WFAN plans – has said he’ll broadcast solo on Friday with no guests or special content. He is being replaced by the trio of Chris Carlin, Bart Scott, and Maggie Gray, effective in January.
WFDF, Detroit Suspends Reverend W.J. Rideout’s Show for Accusation Lacking ‘Journalistic Standards.’ As reported by the Detroit Free Press, WFDF, Detroit “910AM Superstation” founder and CEO Kevin Adell has suspended the program of local pastor Reverend W.J. Rideout III after the latter accused three members of the Detroit media of sexual harassment but was unable to point to any victims or reports of allegations. Adell tells the paper that the suspension was handed down for obvious reasons. “Rev. Rideout was making these accusations and I asked, where are the victims? He had no victims…My question is where are the standards? What are the journalistic standards? Where are the victims? Former victims? You have to have journalistic standards. I don’t want people to use my airwaves to feather a nest for media attention.” Rideout said that WXYT-TV, Detroit general manager Mike Murri received complaints about anchors Malcolm Maddox and Steven Clark but refused to investigate. He also accused Detroit Free Press journalist Stephen Henderson.
TALKERS News Notes. Texas talk show host Sam Malone – based at Salem Media Group’s KNTH, Houston “AM 1070 The Answer” – was embedded with the Roy Moore campaign reporting for Salem Radio Network on the Alabama Senate special election, yesterday (12/12). Malone (left) is pictured here with former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon (right), who is now co-hosting the “Breitbart News Daily” program on SiriusXM…..Tribune news/talk WGN, Chicago is debuting “The WGN Radio Holiday Spectacular,” – a live, variety show featuring the station’s talent – on Friday (12/15) from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. It’s being co-hosted by Bill Leff and Dometi Pongo. Listeners will be treated to seasonal songs, classic stories, yuletide poetry and a live report from a certain workshop at the North Pole over the course of the two-hour show. This holiday revue stars: Steve Cochran, Andrea Darlas, Roe Conn, Anna Davlantes, Nick Digilio, Patti Vasquez, Justin Kaufmann, Lou Manfredini, and many more with a dramatic reading from the great Bill Kurtis. Retro rock and roll band Rosie and the Rivets will perform as the house band…..From December 18 through New Year’s Day, SiriusXM’s Howard 100 channel will feature the best of Howard Stern’s celebrity interviews from 2017. Some of the stars featured on “Howard 101: The Interviews” include: Miley Cyrus, Kevin Hart, Scarlett Johansson, David Letterman, Adam Levine, Robert Plant, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, and more, as well as news figures ranging from Rachel Maddow to Robert O’Neill, the Navy Seal credited with killing Osama Bin Laden…..Speaking of Kevin Hart, he’s getting his own channel with SiriusXM called Laugh Out Loud. The channel extends Hart’s Laugh Out Loud brand to radio for the first time. It will launch in 2018 and will feature a weekly show hosted by Hart. He’ll also handpick a selection of diverse comedic voices to create, produce and star on the channel’s wide range of comedy programming…..…..Entercom Communications announces new call letters for “CBS Sports 910” in Hesperia, California from KRAK to KMPS-AM. The announcement comes after Entercom’s merger with CBS RADIO…..The sale of translator W290AT, Plattsburgh, New York from Saranac Lake Radio LLC to Vox AM/FM LLC closes. The buyer paid $20,000 cash at closing and the exclusive broker for the deal was Patrick Communications.
Roy Moore-Doug Jones Special Election; Larry King Allegations/NFL Network Suspensions, NYC Pipe Bomb Attack, North Korea Nuclear Program, Jerusalem Recognition Aftermath, California Wildfires, Bitcoin Activity, Last Jedi Criticism, Facebook ‘Guilt,’ NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/12). Yesterday’s special election between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat; allegations of groping against Larry King and the suspension of numerous NFL Network personalities during an investigation of sexual misconduct; Monday’s pipe bomb attack and information about the suspect; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the US; the effects of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel; the raging wildfires in Southern California; the hoopla over Bitcoin activity; the critical previews of the new Star Wars film The Last Jedi; a former Facebook exec’s public expression of remorse over social media’s effects on society; and NFL and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
PPM Analysis: CHR. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey, today focusing on CHR. Comparing 6+ weekly AQH shares from October’s survey to this month, Kinosian says, “Nearly the same number of our mainstream CHR panelists are up October 2017 – November 2017 (47%) as are down (41%); the remaining 12% are unchanged.” A year-over-year comparison shows different results. “Six of 10 stations in this mainstream CHR sample are down November 2016 – November 2017 (60%); roughly one of three improve (35%); and 5% remain steady.” The high-cuming format racked up 17 stations ranking in the top five in their respective markets in November. But, just one – iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108 FM” – ranked #1. See the entire report here.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Washington cluster of iHeartMedia, Elizabethany is the new assistant program director and afternoon drive personality for CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5.” Beginning in January, she’ll host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show. “HOT 99.5” program director Rob Kruz comments, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Elizabethany in this new role at iHeartMedia Washington. Her energy and creativity both in and out of the studio, combined with a track record of ratings success, make her the perfect choice to take over afternoons on ‘HOT 99.5!’”…..iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles radio stations are launching the iHeartRadio So Cal Fire Relief Project to raise funds for victims of the ongoing Southern California wildfires. The effort is in conjunction with Westfield – owner of four malls in the LA area. iHeartMedia talent will broadcast live from those locations, encouraging people to donate to the fund. All donations are being distributed through three local organizations including the American Red Cross, The Humane Society of Ventura County and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation…..Cumulus Media Des Moines is hosting the Big Country Bash 2018 – a two-day country music festival on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23, 2018 at Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater in St. Charles, Iowa. Artists including Brett Eldredge, Midland, Aaron Watson, and Russell Dickerson are already signed up to appear, with more artists to be announced later…..Entercom Philadelphia’s station group is producing the first annual “Holiday Hops Craft Beer Festival.” Attendees aged 21 years and older are invited to revel in the holiday spirit by enjoying a wide variety of beers and wearing their ugly sweaters. The festive event will include a photo booth with mistletoe, free parking and live music along with unlimited samplings from some 25 craft breweries…..Entercom announces it’s bringing new call letters to its Seattle adult contemporary “94.1 The Sound,” importing KSWD-FM from its longtime position as the calls for the Los Angeles classic rocker. The station was sold to Educational Media Foundation as part of the company’s divestiture of stations prior to the CBS RADIO merger. It’s now a Christian contemporary station with the calls KKLQ.
‘Radio’s Best Friend’ Honored in NYC. “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo was “surprised out of his wits” last Saturday night when – while attending a private client party in Manhattan hosted by voiceover pro Steve Kamer and “Entertainment Tonight” producer Kevin Gershan – it was announced that Vuolo was a “special guest.” Vuolo was presented with a cake and a microphone trophy with a gold plaque commemorating the event. Vuolo says, “It’s truly special to be so appreciated.” Pictured above are (from l-r): Gershan, Kamer, and Vuolo.