Wolkoffs’ Wrongful Termination Suit Against G-Networks Goes to Mediation. Last summer, Danno and Laura Wolkoff sued former employer G Networks LLC in US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division for wrongful termination, seeking $1.2 million in damages. The complaint states that the Wolkoffs were informed by G Networks in late June of this year that the company was accusing them of costing the business some $1.8 million in damages due to “gross negligence” and “gross incompetence” in the performance of their duties as chief development officer and VP of business operations, respectively. The Wolkoffs argue that G Networks failed to offer any “specific conduct constituting alleged grounds for termination for cause or any specific, reasonable measures to cure such conduct, thereby interfering with, and effectively rendering impossible,” their “bargained-for right to cure.” The Wolkoffs sold their company Envision Networks to then-Sun Broadcast Group (at the time headed by Jason Bailey) and entered into employment agreements to serve in the positions noted above. Now, both sides have agreed to stay all case deadlines pending the outcome of private mediation filed by G Networks. That stay is in effect until January 17, 2022, a date by which the parties are ordered to file a joint status report informing the Court of the outcome of the mediation, and if the matter is not resolved, jointly propose revised case deadlines. If the parties are unable to resolve the matter by then, the Court will reset the case deadlines at that time.
Daily Beast: Salem Radio Network Not Bothered by MyPillow Ad Cancellation. According to the Daily Beast, the Salem Radio Network is not upset with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s decision to cease advertising his products on its radio talk shows. As TALKERS magazine reported on Monday (11/29), Lindell criticized SRN and its hosts during his 96-hour livestream “Thanks-a-Thon” last week saying he’s not appeared on any of the SRN programs for a “long, long time” and promised to drop his advertising with the company. Lindell is still actively promoting the “stolen election” theory. Salem SVP and director of spoken word format Phil Boyce tells the Daily Beast the company is not upset with Lindell’s decision. “He has the right if he wants to do that.” Lindell stated that Salem hosts had reached out to him to try to “heal the business partnership,” but Boyce says he’s not aware of any hosts attempting to reconcile with Lindell. He added that Salem hosts don’t operate under content restrictions. “There is no block on any of my hosts from talking about the Supreme Court or anything else. My hosts are not banned from talking about anything.” The Daily Beast asked Boyce if the company hopes that Lindell reconsiders his decision and he replied, “No.”
Beasley Media Group Celebrates 60 Years in Radio Business. Tomorrow (12/2), Beasley Media Group employees across the country will gather to celebrate the company’s official 60th anniversary in broadcasting. The company’s founder George G. Beasley, who passed away in June of this year due to complications from COVID, officially launched the company with the acquisition of his first radio station, WPYB-AM, Benson, North Carolina on December 2, 1961. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our Dad’s commitment to our employees, communities we serve, and the industry was unparalleled and continues to serve as a shining example to all of us as to what is possible through humility, passion and hard work. We are so very proud to continue his vision and pioneering spirit well into the future.” In addition to hosting individual market celebrations, Caroline Beasley is doing interviews with local on-air talent to talk about the history of the company. The stations will also air specially produced on-air messages thanking listeners, advertisers, and local communities for their continued support over the past six decades. Today, Beasley Media Group is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ consisting of 62 radio stations located in 15 markets across the United States, digital operations and an esports division.
KKOB-AM/FM, Albuquerque Raises $28,000 to Fight Hunger. Pictured above (from l-r) are KKOB “96.3 News Radio” personality TJ Trout and radiothon sponsors Shasta Erickson and Robert Gabaldon at the November 18 “3rd Annual Radiothon to Fight Hunger in New Mexico” event. The Cumulus Media station helped raise $27,288 to benefit the Roadrunner Food Bank. Trout says, “Albuquerque has shown once again what a caring and giving community we are. On behalf of Roadrunner Food Bank, I want to thank each and every one of our listeners who participated in our Radiothon and donated so generously. The need here is obvious. And Roadrunner is a shining example of how we can make a difference if we all pull together.” Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry adds, “We’re so honored to be able to give back to our community this year and are consistently humbled by the generosity of our audience. We couldn’t help the Roadrunner Food Bank each year without the people who support our radio station, and we’re so thankful to them.”
TALKERS News Notes. Today, Salem Radio Network personality Charlie Kirk’s interview with Kyle Rittenhouse will air on his SRN-syndicated radio program and as the focus of Kirk’s podcast. During the interview, Rittenhouse shares his candid views on the trial itself, his opinions that his initial legal counsel may have misused funds raised for his defense, and what the future holds for him as a student at Arizona State University. Kirk’s program airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET and his podcast is part of the Salem Podcast Network…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces the nomination period for the 2022 NAB Technology Awards has opened. The awards will be presented at the 2022 NAB Show, to be held April 23 – 27 in Las Vegas. The awards are: Radio and Television Engineering Achievement Awards; The Digital Leadership Award; The Technology Innovation Award; the Best Paper Award. NAB EVP and chief technology officer Sam Matheny says, “These awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that have distinguished themselves by transforming our industry. We are delighted to honor the industry’s technical and engineering achievements at NAB Show.” The deadline for nominations is January 11, 2022. Find out more here…..SiriusXM announces that golf personality David Feherty is joining the company for a new weekly show. The former tour pro-turned-broadcaster will team up with SiriusXM host and fellow former pro John Maginnes to host “Feherty and Maginnes” Monday evenings on the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel. SXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “David’s unique blend of wit and golf wisdom, and his experience from a lifetime in the game, really make him one of a kind. SiriusXM is the perfect platform for his many great stories and the insightful and revealing conversations he’ll have with his guests. We are thrilled to pair him up with John and bring together two terrific personalities who will deliver an entertaining, must-listen show for our listeners.”…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” program hosted by Chris Hill is now heard on Max Media’s business news WGH-AM/W265EF, Norfolk/Virginia Beach.
COVID-19 Omicron Variant, CNN Suspends Chris Cuomo, SCOTUS Abortion Case, Michigan School Shooting, January 6 Investigation, Dr. Oz to Run for Senate, China Military Aggression, and Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/30). The new Omicron coronavirus variant and concerns about its vaccine evasiveness; CNN indefinitely suspends prime time star Chris Cuomo for allegedly working to investigate brother Andrew Cuomo’s accusers; the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments in the Mississippi abortion law case; the deadly school shooting in Michigan that’s taken the lives of three students and wounded eight others; former Donald Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows agrees to cooperate with House investigators in the January 6 Capitol attack; television star Dr. Mehmet Oz announces bid for U.S. Senate as Pennsylvania Republican; China’s ongoing military aggression against Hong Kong and Taiwan; and the trial of accused Jeffrey Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
FOX News Media Seeks Radio Anchor. There’s a full-time news anchor position available with FOX News Media. The company says this New York-based position is as an on-air talent for FOX News Headlines 24/7, Sirius XM Channel 115. In addition to that role, the successful candidate may be asked to anchor on the FOX News Radio affiliate network. As a radio news anchor, you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top-notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a days’ notice. Find out more about this position and apply here.
CBS Sacto Raises Rufer to VP/Programming. Hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5,” Sacramento program director Chad Rufer is boosted to vice president programming of CBS Radio‘s five-station cluster – which includes “Now 100.5” – in California’s capitol city. CBS Radio Sacramento senior vice president and market manager Steve Cottingim comments, “I am looking forward to working with Chad on cluster-wide programming initiatives. He has consistently delivered outstanding results. I am confident that he will have a significant impact growing ratings for the cluster.” Rufer remarks, “I am very humbled by the trust that Steve Cottingim and the executive team at CBS Radio has in me. Taking on this new role and being surrounded by such an all-star programming team is truly a dream come true.” Prior to joining CBS Radio Sacramento six years ago, Rufer was director of programming for Fort Myers Broadcasting Company; programmed KKMG, Colorado Springs; and operations manager of Saga Communications Clarksville, Tennessee. With each station’s July 2016 6+-share and 6+-rank in parentheses, the CBS Sacramento cluster consists of adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” (7.6, #2); hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5” (4.7, #5); country KNCI (4.4, #7); rhythmic CHR KSFM “KS-102.5” (3.5, #10); and KHTK “Sports 1140” (1.3, #20).
LA Rams Ready NFL Return with Radio Team. The city of Los Angeles welcomes back the NFL with the return of the Rams from St. Louis. As TALKERS reported last Friday (8/5), former Rams player D’Marco Farr announced that after seven years, he is leaving Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” and the afternoon drive “The Fast Lane” show for “new opportunities.” From the “That Didn’t Take Long” file, the “new opportunity” for Farr is handling sideline reporting for the team’s English-language radio broadcasts on flagship ESPN Sports KSPN “ESPN LA 710” and simulcast partner Entercom classic rocker KSWD “100.3 The Sound.” Set to call game action and analysis are J.B. Long from the Pac-12 Network and former UCLA, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Oakland Raiders running back Maurice Jones Drew. KNBC-TV (channel 4), Los Angeles weekend sports anchor Mario Solis and Fox Deportes’ Troy Santiago will call the games on the team’s Spanish-language flagship – Lotus Spanish sports KWKW “ESPN Deportes 1330.” KSPN vice president and general manager Scott McCarthy states, “We could not be more thrilled about the broadcast team who will be bringing Rams games to life for listeners in Southern California and beyond. J.B., Maurice, and D’Marco are experienced and outstanding play-by-play broadcasters. We look forward to hearing them on ‘ESPN LA 710’ during Rams games and also during the week.” KWKW director of programming Juan Rodriguez comments, “Mario Solis and Troy Santiago are admired by the Latino sports enthusiasts for their professionalism and the profound emotion which they bring to each and every broadcast.” Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff remarks, “We are excited these two dynamic teams will bring our games to fans across the region in our first season back in Los Angeles. All of these announcers combine unique experience, passion for the game, and ties to Southern California, which will help connect our fans to Rams football during this historic year.” KSPN midday co-host Steve Mason; former Raiders, Jaguars, and Buffalo Bills linebacker Kirk Morrison; and former NFL cornerback Eric Davis will do KSPN’s three-hour pre-game show. Meanwhile, KSPN morning co-host Travis Rodgers will host the two-hour post-game show, while Jeff Biggs will report at halftime. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2016 PPM report for Los Angeles, KSWD ranks #16 (2.6); KSPN #32 (1.0); and KWKW is unlisted.
Max Media Norfolk Cuts Ties With Nielsen Audio. When Norfolk PPM ratings information was released last Thursday (8/4), five Max Media outlets were noticeably absent and the reason was a financial decision. In a message to clients and agencies, Max Media Norfolk general manager Dave Paulis explained why the cluster is no longer a Nielsen Audio subscriber. “This decision is one we have been discussing for many years,” he writes, “and it comes down to one simple issue – return on investment. Since the advent of PPM in this marketplace in 2008, ratings have dwindled to the point where even the leading stations are not in the position to price [themselves] to match their market position. The elimination of this burdensome subscription will allow Max to diversify, make our products better, and free up dollars to market the radio stations.” Noted with June 2016 6+-rank and 6+-share in parentheses, Max Media Norfolk includes classic hits-oldies WVBW “92.9 The Wave” (#3, 6.0); country WGH-FM “Eagle 97.3” (5.0, #7); CHR WVHT “Hot 100.5” (#9, 3.8); sports WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1″ (#12, 2.3); and gospel WGH-AM “Star 1310” (#15, 1.9).
Turnbeaugh Takes Over As iHM Nevada/Central California Programmer. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Las Vegas JoJo Turnbeaugh is elevated to senior vice president of programming for the company’s stations in Nevada and central California. According to Nevada/central California region president Glynn Alan, “JoJo’s broad scope of both format and multi-market experience – combined with his winning attitude and track record – will bring extensive benefits to our region.” The region’s executive vice president of programming Steve Geofferies comments, “JoJo has a history in the central California region and he knows the brands in each of those markets. He added new duties earlier this year and created exceptional results in Las Vegas. We expect more of the same for our region.” Turnbeaugh remarks, “I am honored by the faith and trust that Glynn Alan and Steve Geofferies are placing in me. I am also very excited to work with the great team of leaders already in the region.” Turnbeaugh previously programmed KCCY, Colorado Springs; was assistant program director for KKFN “104.3 The Fan,” Denver; and was an on-air talent at KYGO, Denver.
Westwood One, Dr. Gupta Extend Their Partnership. Practicing neurosurgeon and CNN‘s multiple Emmy award winning chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta signs a multi-year agreement to continue hosting Westwood One’s “A Better Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.” Westwood One chief operating officer Charles Steinhauer comments, “Dr. Gupta is one of the most trusted voices on health issues. We are delighted to extend our relationship so that we can continue to meet the demand of listeners who want to live better lives.” Dr. Gupta notes, “I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to share the secrets of a happier and healthier life that I have learned as a doctor and as a roving reporter who has traveled the world for the last 15 years. There are little things we can do to live a better life and I will teach you how to make them a part of your life.” The weekday, 60-second feature airs on 400 stations, including nine of the top ten markets.
The Presidential Race, US Cash Payment to Iran, Rio Olympics Troubles/Action, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend (8/6-7). The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the controversy over the US’ payment of $400 million to Iran the day Americans were released from that country; the problems facing Rio De Janeiro (as well as the actual action of the games) as it entered its opening weekend; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this past weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. Returning for its second season this Thursday (8/11) is “Undeniable with Joe Buck,” a weekly show produced for radio by AT&T/DirecTV, and Vince Vaughn‘s Wild West Television. Affiliates include Entercom sports outlet KGMZ “The Game,” San Francisco; CBS Radio Washington, D.C.’s WJFK “106.7 The Fan”; iHeartMedia-owned KGME, Phoenix; and CBS Radio St. Louis talker KMOX. Among those Buck will interview in season two are Brett Favre, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Torre, Joe Theismann, and Kerri Walsh Jennings ….. Oldies WKVA, State College-Lewistown (Pennsylvania) becomes the 38th affiliate of “Animal Radio News Update,” a minute-long, weekday segment featuring worldwide pet news. Host Hal Abrams comments that, “America’s love affair with their pets is growing at breakneck speed. With the pet industry nearing $63 billion dollars yearly, more and more stations are realizing a new way to increase revenue with our weekday offerings.”