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Self-Syndication Has Been Berry, Berry Good

| October 13, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

HOUSTON — Seldom are talk radio hosts at a loss to fill two or three hours of airtime.

Situations though have become wildly frenetic in a calendar year that has already seen among countless other things:

  • January impeachment trial of a first-term president that concluded with a February acquittal
  • (Hopefully only) a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic that has taken a toll of American lives rapidly approaching 215,000, cratered the economy, and erased millions of jobs
  • Presidential campaign unlike any other
  • Significant racial injustice, protests, and rise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement
  • West Coast wildfires and East Coast hurricanes
  • Controversy over the evenhandedness of nominating a Supreme Court justice only weeks before a presidential election
  • Brief/mysterious hospitalization of the sitting POTUS who tested positive for the coronavirus

Still to come in 2020’s more than two-and-one-half remaining months are the presidential election itself, not to mention the already anticipated precedent-setting intensity possibly contesting it.

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

| August 22, 2019

Joe Walsh May Mount Primary Challenge Against Trump. Talk media personality and former U.S. Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL) tells Politico that he’s seriously considering launching a Republican primary campaign to challenge President Trump for the nomination. Calling the president an “unfit, divider-in-chief,” Walsh tells the publication he believes he can raise the money to compete against the president.  He adds that if he decides to run, he’ll make an announcement soon.  Walsh hosts his eponymous 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET talk radio program syndicated by Salem Radio Network.

Sports Talker George Plaster to Return to Nashville Airwaves.  Recently, Nashville sports media personality George Plaster went back on the radio in Nashville after a three-year stint as associate athletics director and Belmont College.  But his gig with Grand Ole Opry’s WSM-AM lasted only one month.  Now, The Tennessean reports that Plaster is joining Southern Wabash Communications’ sports talk WNSR-AM “Sportsradio 560” to host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show, effective September 3.  Before Plaster left the radio biz to serve with Belmont College, he had served with Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM and WGFX-FM, as well as Cromwell Group’s WPRT-FM as a sports talk host in the market.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of his four-part series looking at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July PPM survey.  Today’s report looks at stations that serve as MLB flagships.  In it, see charts logging the changes in weekly, 6+ AQH share from the June survey to July’s; from July of 2018 to this year; based on market rank; and more here.

WLAC, Nashville Host Steve Gill Arrested for Non-Payment of Child Support. According to coverage in The Tennessean, talk host and conservative media personality Steve Gill was arrested on Tuesday (8/20) and placed in the Williamson County Jail for non-payment of child support to his ex-wife.  The piece states that Gill, who hosts “The TN Star Gill Report” on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WLAC, Nashville, is being ordered by a county judge to pay Kathryn B. Gill $170,000 in support.  The court is also ordering that Gill remain in jail until he pays the money owed.  In January of this year, Kathryn Gill initiated a petition for civil contempt that sought $86,000 in child support, $4,400 in medical expenses, $133,000 in college expenses, and $11,000 for a car for the children’s use.

Epoch Times Responds to NBC/MSNBC Attacks with Scathing Rebuttal.  Once again, NBC News has attacked the independent New York-based international news organization with Chinese roots, The Epoch Times, in a harsh “expose” based on its unwavering support of President Donald Trump, its non-traditional reporting on so-called “conspiracy theories,” its connection to the growing Chinese spiritual practice of Falun Gong, and its unambiguous opposition to the Chinese Communist Party. The article, written by NBC reporters Brandy Zadrozney and Ben Collins, posted Tuesday (8/20) is titled, “Trump, QAnon and an impending judgment day: Behind the Facebook-fueled rise of The Epoch Times.”  It’s headline subtitle states, “Started almost two decades ago with a stated mission to ‘provide information to Chinese communities to help immigrants assimilate into American society,’ The Epoch Times now wields one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet.”  During the past year, The Epoch Times has gained significant popularity as a news and guest source among conservative talk media hosts for what they see as its fresh perspective on a wide array of hot topics, from the Mueller Report to the Southern Border immigration crisis.  But, specifically, it is The Epoch Times’ first-hand connection to China and the growing importance of U.S.-China relations in the national conversation that have elevated it to must-read status among a growing number of conservative and independent media practitioners beefing up their intelligence in this rapidly emerging arena.  In today’s online edition of The Epoch Times, the news organization responds with a point-by-point rebuttal penned by its editor-in-chief/US editions, Jasper Fakkert titled, “Why NBC, MSNBC’s Reporting on The Epoch Times is Textbook Fake News.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “This troubling media skirmish prompted by the NBC ‘expose’ of The Epoch Times is yet another example of a disturbing trend in which diverse news organizations are attacking each other based on political bias and journalistic practices for the sheer purpose of providing affirmation to their target audiences.  It has become a widespread exercise of the pot calling the kettle black.  We all know that there’s plenty to criticize about any media outlet in today’s highly polarized political arena – and that ‘cherry picking’ isolated issues and piling them up out of context into a damning case has become routine in today’s increasingly normal practice of seeking victory at the expense of truth.  It is journalism’s brand of the kind of ‘negative campaigning’ that has turned politics into an odious form of mud wrestling.” Harrison continues, “My statement here is not to endorse nor oppose the editorial positions of The Epoch Times – I stay out of that kind of stuff – but rather to support the legitimacy of its role in the world media as one of the most influential outlets along the leading edge of the Chinese people’s resistance to the repressive Communist control of their homeland for the past 70 years.”  To read the NBC story, please click here.  To book an interview with editor Jasper Fakkert or a reporter from The Epoch Times please contact Victoria Jones of DC Radio Company at 202-227-7067 or victoria@dcradiocompany.com.

WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon Raises $3.5 Million for Cancer Charity.  The past two days – August 20-21 – Entercom sports talk WEEI-Boston produced the 18th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon with cable TV partner New England Sports Network.  This year’s radio-telethon helped raise $3,471,104 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Pictured above is Boston comic Lenny Clarke (center) with WEEI morning show personalities Greg Hill (right) and Danielle Murr (left).

Matt Senne to Lead Hubbard Radio’s Central Minnesota Cluster. Radio pro Matt Senne is named to the general manager position for Hubbard Broadcasting’s radio station group in the Alexandria and Wadena, Minnesota markets.  Hubbard acquired the stations from Omni Broadcasting in a 2015 deal.  Hubbard VP and regional manager Dan Seeman says, “I can’t tell you how excited we are to bring Matt into Hubbard Broadcasting. Matt‘s background provides the perfect fit for the experience, passion and creativity we need in the Alexandria and Wadena markets.  He comes from a great family company at Leighton Broadcasting and we look forward to welcoming him to the Hubbard family and Hubbard Broadcasting.”  Senne served with Leighton for 21 years, serving as morning show host, program director, operations manager and director of programming.  Most recently he was the general manager for Leighton in Winona, Minnesota .

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Joining FOX News as Contributor. Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is joining FOX News as a contributor, effective September 6.  Variety’s Brian Steinberg has the scoop here.  Sanders has been Trump’s longest-serving White House press secretary, logging two years in the position.  In this position she’ll make appearances on FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, FOX News Digital and the FOX Nation streaming service.

U.S.-China Trade War, Financial Markets Activity/Recession Fears, 2020 Presidential Race, Immigration Reform, U.S.-Israel Relations, Trump’s Greenland Purchase Controversy, and Sean Spicer-Dancing with the Stars Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21).  The tariffs the U.S. and China are placing on each other’s exports; the volatility of the world’s financial markets and the fears of a recession; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the Trump administration’s efforts to re-shape U.S. immigration and asylum rules; U.S.-Israel relations in the aftermath of the latter’s travel ban on U.S. Reps Tlaib and Omar; the controversy over Trump’s comments about buying Greenland; and the reactions to former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer’s appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Dana Cortez Talks with Chance the Rapper in Central Park.  Nationally syndicated multi-media star Dana Cortez (right) is pictured above in Central Park in New York City chatting with Chance the Rapper (left) about his new album and his status as an expecting father preparing to go out on the road to support the record.  “The Dana Cortez Show” is a cooperative effort of ABC Radio and Skyview Networks.  See the video here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Los Angeles, KYSR-FM “ALT 98.7” imaging director Josh Jensen exits the station after a year.  He moved to KYSR in 2018 after a lengthy gig at iHeartMedia’s rock WXTB “98 Rock” and country WUFS “US 103.5” in Tampa.  Jenson plans to re-locate to Nashville while continuing to handle imaging duties for The Mix Group.

Friday, September 21, 2018

| September 21, 2018

iHeartMedia’s Fourth Chapter 11 Re-Org Does the Trick. When it comes to eliminating billions of dollars of debt in a Chapter 11 re-organization, someone is not going to be happy with what they get (or don’t get). Certain debt holders are likely to feel they’re not getting what they deserve.  But Houston Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur liked what he saw enough to approve iHeartMedia’s fourth crack at its Joint Chapter 11 Re-Organization Plan.  Yesterday’s approval of the adequacy of the disclosure statement sets the stage for more deadlines and court dates as iHeartMedia still hopes to exit Chapter 11 by the end of this year.  The deadline for voting on this plan is set at November 9.  The Plan Objection deadline is November 28.  A pre-trial conference is set for December 7 and the Confirmation Hearing is set for December 11.

Hannity Talks with President Trump in Las Vegas. The screenshot above is from FOX News Channel and the “Hannity” show’s coverage of President Trump’s rally in Las Vegas last night (9/20).  After the president addressed the crowd he spoke with host Sean Hannity about a number of issues, including the allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett KavanaughRobert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and the midterm elections.

iHeartMedia Adds FM Translator to WLAC, Nashville; Expands Steve Gill Reports. Nashville news/talker WLAC has an FM presence now that iHeartMedia adds translator W252CM at 98.3 FM to WLAC’s broadcast.  The station is also being transmitted on WSIX-FM’s HD-2 signal.  As the company says, the 250-watt translator is heard “across the southern portions of the Nashville area, including Williamson County and the Franklin area.” The translator had been carrying country WSIX-FM’s broadcast.  At the same time, the station announces that it is expanding the “Tennessee Star Report” so that the Steve Gill-hosted program now airs from 5:00 am to 8:00 am.  Tennessee Star executive editor Michael Patrick Leahy co-hosts the program with Gill, who comments, “It’s been great being back on the air in Nashville over these last few weeks.  Adding a big booming FM signal on WLAC will be a great opportunity for us to reach voters in the final month of this election season and we will be right in the thick of things.”

Tony Howard Named Interactive Sales Manager for Alpha Media Portland. Digital sales pro Tony Howard joins Alpha Media to serve as interactive sales manager for the company’s Portland operations that include news/talk KXL “FM News 101”and sports talk KXTG-AM/FM “102.9 The Game.”  Howard was most recently with Clip Interactive as VP of sales and affiliate partnerships. He’s also served with TribuneCBS RADIO, and iHeartMedia.  Alpha Portland VP of sales Amy Leimbach states, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Tony Howard when he was at CBS RADIO and again when he handled affiliate partnerships at Clip Interactive.  Tony is creative, competitive, and has a drive to succeed – all qualities that correlate with Alpha’s core values.  I am looking forward to having Tony join the Alpha Portland team.”

KBOI, Boise’s Paul J Schneider to Retire After 51 Years. Incredibly, Paul J Schneider has been working on the air at KBOI, Boise since June of 1967.  Back then he worked on both TV and radio.  He was a news anchor and voiced the TV replay of Boise State football games. He shifted to radio only in 1976. Now, after 51 years on the station, he’ll retire after his December 14 program to finally sleep in for a change. During his career at KBOI he enjoyed one of the country’s largest radio audience shares as a part of “Dunn & Schneider,” that aired from 1973 to 1993. Since 2001, he’s hosted “Idaho Talks Live” with Chris Walton.   and throughout his career, Paul J and his morning partners have been at the top of station ratings.  Schneider says, “I have been privileged to work with great morning show partners and to be on AM radio in its heyday.  I was able to call the Boise State games through their growth trajectory and when not all the games were broadcasted live on TV.”  Schneider plans to produce weekly features and blog for NewsTalk 670 KBOI as well as continue covering Boise State football for Learfield Sports.

TALKERS News Notes. The San Diego Reader is reporting that local photographer Jesse Cuevas has received a settlement from Entercom over talk host Kevin Klein’s unauthorized use of his photo of San Diego’s Coronado Bridge in the ill-advised social media post that derailed his gig as morning host on what is now sports talk KWFN.  If you recall, Klein’s post teased his debut as the station’s new AM host with the phrase “Jump to a new morning show.”  The Coronado Bridge has been the scene of hundreds of suicides during its existence.  Cuevas can’t reveal how much he was paid but the paper speculates that settlements in cases like this are usually in the five figures…..PodcastOne reports that award-winning investigative journalist and WTOP, Washington national security correspondent J.J. Green recently spoke with a former Russian internet troll named Marat Mindiyarov on his podcast “Target USA.”  Mindiyarov served with the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg where his job was to “trick Americans on Facebook,Twitter and other social media platforms.”  During the interview Mindiyarov says one of the main objectives was to impact the U.S. presidential election by promoting Russian government views to Americans by pretending to be Americans on social media.  Listen to the episode here…..Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley is launching a brand-new podcast series.  In the premiere episode, Beasley speaks with Dr. Shawn DuBravac, author of the best-seller Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live, and Communicate (Regnery, 2015).  Beasley says, “Podcasting is an area of growth in the audio space that I am personally very passionate about as we continue to grow as a company.  It was such a privilege to speak with Shawn and hear his valuable thoughts about the future role of smart cities, the transformation of automotive industry and more!”  Listen to the podcast here.

Talk Media Public Relations Pioneer Richard Strauss Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The man who literally opened the White House doors to talk radio and gave the medium top tier access to the executive branch of the Federal Government for decades to come, Richard Strauss, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Strauss, the founder and president of Washington, DC-based Strauss Media Strategies was the first-ever White House radio director, appointed at the age of 23 and serving between 1993 and 1996, the first three years of President Bill Clinton’s administration.  During that time, Strauss elevated the burgeoning medium of news/talk radio to equal status with newspapers and television in enjoying access to the presidency.  Prior to that, radio was a second-class citizen in that arena – at least during the modern era going all the way back to the Eisenhower years.  According to Michael Harrison, “What Richard Strauss did for talk radio, while still a kid, is a major piece of the medium’s colorful history and should serve as an inspiration for aspiring youngsters looking to make their mark in this industry going forward.   I am so glad we have a chance to tell his story on this week’s program.”  Media freaks, historians and audiophiles will not want to miss this podcast!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegation Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 17-21. The allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents. Coming in at #3 was the growing trade war between the U.S. and China, followed by the GOP spending bill and President Trump’s criticism it provides no funding for a Mexican border wall at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Noted Record Producer and Social Commentator Robbie Stevens Launches Short-Form Series on TalkersRadio.  TALKERS magazine is pleased to welcome noted record producer and iconoclastic social commentator Robbie Stevens to its experimental talk radio platform, TalkersRadio, beginning today (9/19).  Stevens is launching a series of short-form features titled “I Don’t Do Podcasts” in which he randomly shares his views and experiences about a variety of subjects including politics, media, education, sociology, philosophy, psychology, sports and, of course, music.  He is well-known for decades in the record business for his prolific contributions as a musician, recordist, mixer, and/or producer on records by such artists as Herbie Hancock, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the late Gil-Scott HeronJohn Lydon a.k.a. Johnny RottenAfrika Bambaataaa, the posthumous John Lennon catalog, and many more.  Stevens most recently headed up the production of Yoko Ono’s remarkable run of 13 Billboard #1 dance singles with her EDM band, ONO and just concluded the exciting 2018 surround sound re-mix of key elements from John Lennon’s “Imagine” album called “Raw” as a soon-to-be released box set titled “John Lennon’s Imagine – the Ultimate Collection” (Universal).  A Columbia University graduate, this fascinating raconteur was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and now resides in the Bronx.  Bringing what can be described as an “outer-borough” grit to the microphone, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has referred to Stevens as the “Bronx Philosopher” as well as the “Rogue from Riverdale.”  TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations David Bernstein says, “I first became aware of Robbie almost a decade ago when he came to my attention as a successful record producer who liked to dabble in news/talk radio.  He briefly did some interesting work on WNYM in New York and WOR’s short-lived online ancillary talk show platform where his well-informed, ‘streety’ take on hot topics generated a positive buzz.  I am beyond thrilled that he is clearing the time in his busy schedule to get back to trying new things in spoken word programming on TalkersRadio.  This guy is an original and that’s what TalkersRadio is all about.”   TalkersRadio was launched in 2013 as an experimental radio workshop/lab where new ideas in talk programming could be tested and showcased by newcomers to the industry as well as seasoned pros looking to expand their repertoire.  Since then, a number of shows have been developed on TalkersRadio that have gone on to achieve success in terrestrial radio and/or podcasting.  To listen to the first episode of “I Don’t Do Podcasts with Robbie Stevens” please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Panama City, Florida market, Powell Broadcasting enters into an agreement to sell CHR WPFM-FM to religious not-for-profit broadcaster Educational Media Foundation……….Programmer Candy Cintron is promoted to program director for Entercom’s Spanish pop outlet WLZL, Washington “El Zol 107.9.” She’s been morning show producer and assistant program director since 2015.  SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “Candy has invested close to a decade of her career in making ‘El Zol’ a vital, vibrant voice in DC’s Hispanic community.  This promotion honors her past, present and, most importantly, her future contributions to the ‘El Zol’ legacy.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports on the unexpected death of Chicago radio sales pro Laura Hangren, who died after a heart attack on Saturday (9/15) at age 56.  She’d most recently been an AE at Weigel Broadcasting’s WRME-FM “Me-TV FM.” She’d also worked at such heritage Windy City signals as WLS-FM and WLUP-FM…..The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated alternative morning program “The Woody Show” hosted Foo Fighters Dave Grohl (left) and Taylor Hawkins (right) recently.  They’re pictured below with show host Woody (center).  During their visit, they talked about how they met, the evolution of rock music, the upcoming Foo Fighters-curated “Cal Jam 18” festival, being parents, and more.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

| September 4, 2018

Steve Gill Returns to the Nashville Airwaves on WLAC. Nashville-based media personality Steve Gill ended his syndicated radio program that was heard in mornings on WLAC and distributed via Radio America in January of 2013. Now, he’s returning to the WLAC “TalkRadio 1510” air with his “Tennessee Star Gill Report” that is airing from 7:30 am to 8:00 am daily.  Gill is the CEO of Gill Media and the political editor of The Tennessee Star.  He was also morning drive host on WWTN-FM, Nashville prior to joining WLAC in 2006.  iHeartMedia Nashville region president Dan Endom says, “There isn’t a more credible or recognizable conservative voice in Tennessee than Steve Gill.  With the top names in national conservative talk already on TalkRadio 1510 WLAC, including Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, the addition of a Tennessee conservative voice like Gill rounds out the lineup with a strong local connection.” “Tennessee Star Gill Report” also airs on several radio stations across Tennessee, including WETR, Knoxville and WNWS, Jackson.  Gill says, “Our goal with the radio show is the same as with The Tennessee Star news site: to provide the critical news and insight that the liberal mainstream media overlooks, ignores or in too many cases covers up.  Based upon the numbers that The Tennessee Star has generated in the first 18 months of operation, with over 8 million visitors, there is clearly a demand for the facts, news and analysis that we provide on line and now, on air.”  In the past two weeks Nashville-based Star Digital Media has launched two new online news sites in addition to The Tennessee Star, The Ohio Star (www.theohiostar.com) and The Minnesota Sun (www.theminnesotasun.com).  The company plans to expand into additional states over the next few months.

Bonnie-Jill Laflin Joins KNBR, San Francisco Morning Show. Radio and social media personality Bonnie-Jill Laflin is appointed to the on-air team of the “Murph & Mac” morning show on Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco, hosted by Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey.  Laflin is a former cheerleader for the Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco 49ers. Her radio experience includes hosting SiriusXM’s “The Rush Hour” and “Fantasy Football Show.”  The station says she’ll appear in station videos across knbr.com and its social media platforms, in addition to her role on-air.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to add the talented Bonnie-Jill Laflin to the KNBR lineup.  A San Francisco native, she has maintained her passion for Bay Area sports and has a deep-rooted connection to the KNBR brand.  Her experiences and relationships built in the front office, on the sidelines, behind the microphone, and on camera will provide our core audience a rare perspective on their favorite local teams.  Bonnie-Jill is an established personality that will connect with our listeners on a multitude of platforms and keep KNBR on the leading edge of content creation from day one.”

iHeartMedia’s Bob Pittman and NPR’s Jarl Mohn Keynote Closing Session at IAB Podcast Upfront. At this Thursday’s Interactive Advertising Bureau’s fourth annual podcast upfront in New York, iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and NPR CEO Jarl Mohn will host the closing fireside chat titled, “Leaders of the Audio Revolution Debate the Future of Sound.”  It will be moderated by IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg.  IAB says U.S. podcast advertising captured $314 million in revenue in 2017, a rise of 86% over $169 million in 2016, according to the latest IAB/PwC Podcast Advertising Revenue Study for full-year 2017 and is predicted to continue to surge to $659 million by 2020.  The press release goes on to say, “iHeartMedia is the largest commercial radio podcaster and NPR is the largest non-profit radio podcaster in the U.S. and these two media titans will share their views on the power of audio, the future of the audio/podcast ecosystem, the role of spoken word and the driving factors behind on demand and podcast listening.”

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured above is music mogul Clive Davis (center)after announcing on WOR, New York that he is organizing a memorial concert for Aretha Franklin at Madison Square Garden on November 14.  He told WOR’s Len Berman (left)and Michael Riedel (right)that it was scheduled before her passing as a tribute show but will now be a memorial concert…..In the U.K., the country’s most-listened-to morning host Chris Evans is leaving the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show on December 21 after 13 years at the station to join Virgin RadioWireless CEO Scott Taunton says, “We are beyond thrilled that Chris has chosen to come back to Virgin Radio. He is the biggest name in radio and is synonymous with the brand.  He has the most exciting breakfast show in the industry and has an energy that captivates audiences.”  The station relaunched two years ago and is heard in the UK only on DAB and online…..After a 12-year stint with RadiOhio’s Columbus sports talk WBNS-FM “97.1 The Fan,” program director Jay Taylor announces he’s leaving the station as his current contract ends…..Today the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh begin before the Senate Judiciary Committee and Salem Radio Network is presenting gavel-to-gavel coverage each day from Capitol Hill correspondent Wally Hindes.  Additionally, the network’s nationally syndicated Hugh Hewitt show will have exclusive commentary and perspective from U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) each day.  Hewitt show executive producer Duane Patterson says, “It is quite a coup to land color commentary on these important hearings from Senator Sasse – a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee – each day.”…..Midwest Communications is flipping sports talk WQTX, Lansing, Michigan “The Team 92.1-FM” to adult contemporary on Wednesday (9/5).  A report in the Lansing State Journal quotes Midwest Communications Lansing vice president and market manager Mark Jaycox saying the station wasn’t profitable as a sports talk outlet.  It carried three shows syndicated by the Spotlight Radio Network: “Michigan’s Big Show with Michael Patrick Shiels,” “The Drive with Jack Ebling,” and “The Spartan Beat with Rico Beard.”  It also aired programming from FOX Sports Radio Network…..iHeartMedia Cincinnati and E.W. Scripps’ WCPO-TV are entering into a deal in which the TV station will provide the radio stations – including news/talk WLW and WKRC – with local weather forecasts and news features.  WCPO-TV reports that it will also provide “Don’t Waste Your Money” consumer reports from the station’s John Matarese to the iHM radio stations…..Westwood One begins its 32nd consecutive year as the exclusive network radio partner of the National Football League.  Thursday’s opening night game will be called by play-by-play man Kevin Harlan and color analyst Boomer Esiason will make his final appearance in the booth for his farewell broadcast.  NFL Hall-of-Famer Kurt Warner is taking over the lead color analyst role on Monday.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Jeff Sessions Criticism, Kavanaugh Hearings, Labor Day Holiday/State of U.S. Economy, Nike’s Kaepernick ‘Just Do It’ Campaign, First Man Controversy, NBC News-Ronan Farrow Battle, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, tied with the related criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions by President Trump; the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the Labor Day holiday weekend and the state of the U.S. economy; Nike’s use of national anthem protestor Colin Kaepernick in its new “Just Do It” campaign; the controversial omission of the U.S. flag planting on the moon in the new film First Man; the argument between NBC News and Ronan Farrow over the news organization’s handling of the Harvey Weinstein investigative report; the NFL pre-season; and the MLB playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Corinna Delgado moves from Cumulus Media’s CHR KRBR, Houston to the company’s hot AC WRQX, Washington Mix “107.3” to star as the midday host.  She started her career at KMVN in her hometown of Anchorage after serving in the U.S. Army Reserves as a combat medic.  WRQX program director Rob Roberts says, “There were so many great candidates, but Corinna blew me away with her passion for the job. She also possesses an incredible set of digital and social skills.  Plus, anyone trained as a combat medic obviously has a place in radio today.”…..Urban radio pro Lou Bennett is appointed program director for Cumulus Media’s urban adult contemporary WRBO, Memphis.  He was most recently with Elite Radio Group as director of operations and program director for its Natchitoches, Louisiana stations.  Cumulus Media Memphis operations manager Danni Bruns states, “We are exhilarated to have Lou as our newest team member at Cumulus Memphis. WRBO was built on soul just like our unique city and Lou has the exact soul we need to keep 103.5 WRBO a powerhouse on the air, as well as in the community.  I look forward to watching him grow WRBO’s ratings and plant his feet in The Bluff City.”…..In San Diego, Jeremy Pritchard is promoted from APD and music director to program director for Entercom’s alternative KBZT “ALT 94.9.”  He assumes the PD role from cluster operations manager Kevin Callahan…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Ramonski Luv exits his role at iHeartMedia’s urban AC WVAZ where he was hosting the Friday evening and Sunday afternoon shows…..The nationally syndicated “Bob & Sheri” show is the new morning drive show at Cumulus Media’s hot AC WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina “B-106,” effective today (9/4).

Friday, October 9, 2015

| October 9, 2015

ramseyNashville15Dave Ramsey Packs the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dave Ramsey brought his Smart Money live event to his hometown of Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry House last night (10/8).  The program, which also included Ramsey Solutions personality and speaker Chris Hogan, was promoted with the assistance of local affiliate, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WLAC.  iHeartMedia market president Dan Endom says, “Newsradio 1510 WLAC is extremely proud to be part of the Dave Ramsey Smart Money Tour stop in Nashville.  Dave has helped millions take control of their financial futures and, this event provides a live and in-person platform for folks, through a common sense approach, to achieve financial freedom.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Endom, Ramsey and Craig Hahn, SVP of sales iHeartMedia/Nashville.

wabc logoWABC Names Libertini Staff Announcer and Production Director.  On the heels of the retirement of New York radio legend Johnny Donovan back in May, Cumulus Media announces it is appointing veteran voice talent and creative audio production prolibertinichristopher Christopher Libertini staff announcer and production director for 77 WABC Radio.  Libertini’s resume includes stints with Howard Stern, NFL Radio, SiriusXM, ESPN, MLB, and CBS RADIO.  Currently, Libertini’s voice can be heard on Cartoon Network, The Biography Channel, New York Lottery ads and various documentaries.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Though you cannot truly replace a legend like Johnny Donovan, you can find the next generation of production enthusiasts with indelible voices that resonate with your audience.  Chris is proof positive that the sonic element of a talk radio station is vital and worth investing in.”

brownejoyDr. Joy Browne Back on Daytime Live in New York Market.  The daily GCN-syndicated show hosted by perennial talk radio mainstay Dr. Joy Browne has been added to the lineup of WVNJ 1160 “The Voice” where it will be heard live between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm.  This marks the first time the longtime TALKERS Heavy Hundred superstar has been on the air in the Big Apple during daytime hours since leaving WOR, New York several years ago when that station changed ownership from Buckley Broadcasting to then-Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) and revamped its programming lineup to suit the company’s direction.  Since then, Dr. Joy Browne has been heard in New York on Salem Media’s WNYM 970 “The Answer” but DB’d during the overnight hours.  Browne tells TALKERS, “I am so grateful to the wonderful folks at WNYM for keeping the show on the air in New York during this period… but live during the daytime is hard to resist.”  She adds, “I am thrilled to be back on the air live in New York where I have enjoyed so many years of fabulous support during my live and local days on WOR – and where I am very well-known and connected in the community.”  WVNJ is family-owned by Universal Broadcasting of New York. The station, licensed to Oakland, NJ pumps out a powerful 20,000 watts and can be heard throughout much of the Tri-State area including large swaths of New Jersey, New York City, Westchester and Long Island.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Tampa Bay PPM Numbers.  After a delay of more than a week, Nielsen Audio has released the September 2015 PPM survey for the Tampa Bay market.  The ratings were delayed after Nielsen determined there was evidence of tamper that was found to be executed by Bubba the Love Sponge, whose independently syndicated program airs on Beasley Broadcast Group’s WBRN-FM.  Bubba admitted to the charge and Beasley reports it is taking action against him but the program will remain on the station that’s been crafted around his morning drive program.  See TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” from the Tampa ratings at RadioInfo.com.

Odds & Sods.  Denver talk host Dan Caplis is interested in running for one of Colorado’s U.S. Senate seats,caplisdan according to Jason Salzman in the Huffington Post.  Caplis is an attorney who hosts the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show on Salem Media’s KNUS, Denver.  If he decides to take on Democrat Michael Bennet, he’ll know within the next six to eight weeks…..News/talk WVLK, Lexington, Kentucky adds an FM signal with the sign-on of translator W266AN at 101.1 FM.  Cumulus Media corporate program director Jim wvlkMahanay says, “We are extremely pleased to announce that our audience in Lexington can now enjoy WVLK’s exceptional news/talk programming — including Larry Kudlow, John Batchelor, Mark Levin and ‘The Savage Nation’ — on the all-new simulcast at 101.1 on the FM dial.”…..Hockey’s St. Louis Blues and CBS RADIO’s St. Louis stations extends the multi-year broadcast rights agreement for play-by-play and related programming.  The agreement expands the existing deal that includes Newsradio 1120 KMOX, hot AC KYKY “Y98” and adult contemporary KEZK.  One of the most significant changes under the agreement is the creation of new Blues-related programming on KMOX.  In addition to existing game coverage, KMOX will introduce three new weekly shows during the season and will also carry a 30-minute Blues postgame show.

talkersten logoRussia’s Syria Military Campaign Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of October 5-9.  The Russian military campaign in Syria was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Close behind at #2 was the related U.S. policy for battling ISIS.  At #3 were the activities of the candidates for president in 2016 followed by the Oregon college massacre and Hillary Clinton’s gun control plan tied at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

| November 14, 2013

bolgerpeterPeter Bolger Named OM/PD at WLS-AM, Chicago.  Most recently with Clear Channel as director of AM programming in the San Antonio market, Peter Bolger joins Cumulus Media to head up programming and operations at its Chicago news/talk WLS-AM.  In a statement, Cumulus COO John Dickey says, “Chicago radio is a competitive and important market where we’re excited to add Peter’s expertise that positions up for future growth.  Bolger adds, “I think Chicago radio is the best there is.  Fortunately, we have incredible talent and deep resources at WLS.  I want to thank John Dickey, Mike McVay and Donna Baker for the opportunity to be part of the historic WLS brand.  I can’t wait to get started.”

walkerdwightWalker Announces His Retirement.  Six-year Entercom, San Francisco vice president/market manager Dwight Walker has been in radio for 30 years – the last 25 in the Bay Area.  He will be departing the company’s four-station (all are on FM) Bay Area operation, which is comprised of adult contemporary KOIT-FM, classic rock KUFX “The Fox,” sports KGMZ “The Game,” and urban AC KBLX.  “It has been a fun, rewarding, stimulating, and fantastic time,” he comments. “I have cherished my years with Entercom, a world-class company.  The vision of Entercom management and their commitment to radio is what will keep our industry and this cluster moving forward in a thriving and robust way.”  Family, travel, and Tahoe will become Walker’s top priorities, but he insists, “San Francisco will always be a part of an amazing and charmed life that I hold near and dear to my heart.”  According to Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer, “Dwight Walker is one of the best in the business.  Everyone at Entercom deeply appreciates Dwight’s years of hard work and leadership.  He will be missed in San Francisco and across the radio industry.”  Prior to joining Entercom, Walker was vice president of sales for cross-town Cumulus-owned KNBR, KFOG, and KSAN.  For nine years (1997 – 2006), he was general manager of KFOG and KSAN when Susquehanna owned those facilities.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Changes Nashville Affiliates.  Nationally syndicated financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey moves to a new Nashville affiliate station beginning in the New Year as it joins Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk WLAC to air in the 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm time slot.  Since January of this year, Ramsey’s show has been airing on Cromwell Radio Group’s sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game.”  In a piece in The Tennessean, Cromwell’s Bud Walters admits the melding of Ramsey’s show and sports talk wasn’t the best fit and that the move is a mutual one.  “We have beenwlac logo friends for more than 20 years, and while we enjoyed this partnership from a personal standpoint, we both realize that from a business perspective our brands would be better served if we return to our respective formats.”  Dave Ramsey VP of broadcast Brian Mayfield states, “It’s great to be back on a news/talk station in Middle Tennessee.  WLAC has a long-standing tradition of quality radio in Nashville, and now with the addition of our show, offers the top three talk shows in America back to back.”  CC Nashville OM Michael Bryan adds, “We’re very excited to add the Dave Ramsey show to WLAC in the New Year.  Dave’s a legend in Nashville radio, and this aligns the power of his brand with the very best platform in talk radio.  It is a true home run for our listeners and advertisers.”

schultzedEd Schultz to Launch Live Theatrical Tour in 2014.  Nationally syndicated radio talk show host and MSNBC star Ed Schultz will be taking a show live to theaters in 2014.  Working in conjunction with Ron Hartenbaum‘s WYD Media, “The Ed Tour” commences on Saturday, February 8 with a booking in Fort Lauderdale and then several stops in the West including Seattle on Friday, February 21 with more locations to be announced shortly.  WYD Media has paved the way via an effective working model for talk show hosts to take theater-style shows on the road with the wildly successfully “Sexy Liberal Tour” starring Stephanie Miller which has also revved up for a number of dates in the remainder of 2013 and throughout 2014.

westwoodone logoWeather Channel and WestwoodOne Renew Ad Sales Agreement.  WestwoodOne and The Weather Channel announce that they have signed a multi-year agreement for the former to provide ad sales representation for The Weather Channel’s radio service.  The renewal runs through 2016.  The Weather Channel provides daily, customized cross-platform weather reports to individual radio stations around the country giving up-to-the-minute information on local weather or critical storm warnings.  WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine says, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with The Weather Channel and to represent its superior brand across the radio community.  Weather is a hugely covetable component in the audio space, and serves as a critical resource for listeners.  In fact, we have found that listeners are more likely to tune or tap in for weather information than most all other content.  We are happy to know we can continue to provide our listeners access to the best weather information available.”

sbaaire logoSBS Readies AIRE Radio Networks.  Set to debut January 1, Spanish Broadcasting System‘s AIRE Radio Networks will reach listeners in nine of the top 10 markets with a weekly audience reported to be approximately 12 million listeners – roughly one-quarter of the U.S. Hispanic population.  AIRE Radio Networks will feature shows focused on current events, health and family, finances, education, sports and entertainment.  “This creation solidifies SBS’ expanding presence in Hispanic media and entertainment,” explains SBS chairman/president/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon.  “We’re excited about capitalizing on syndication growth opportunities.  AIRE Radio Networks will extend our top-ranked offerings to advertisers and listeners nationwide.”  Aire Radio Networks senior vice president of network operations & affiliate sales Elisa Torres comments, “We have put together a stupendous lineup to deliver a national platform.  With AIRE Radio Networks’ targeted choices and vehicles, we anticipate rapid growth for clients seeking to embrace nationwide Hispanic listeners.”  The Aire Networks include the “Advantage Network,” targeting Hispanic men; “Young Adult Network,” geared to Hispanics 18-49; “Millennial Network,” targeting Hispanics 18-34; “Prime Family,” aimed at families on weekends; and “The Mandril Network,” featuring Ricardo “El Mandril” Sanchez of Los Angeles’ KLAX “La Raza.”

truesteveWAUK, Milwaukee Sports Talk Personality Steve “The Homer” True Injured in Car Accident.  Sports talk host and Marquette University men’s basketball play-by-play voice Steve “The Homer” True was in critical condition yesterday at a Milwaukee hospital after his car was hit by an alleged drunk driver at 10:00 am on Wednesday morning.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports WAUK owner Craig Karmazin issued a statement late last night saying, “I spoke with Homer’s wife, Nancy, tonight.  She said Homer is doing pretty well and that doctors want to monitor his condition overnight.  On behalf of the True family and all of us at ESPN Wisconsin, I’d like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.”  True suffered a head injury in the crash.  He has worked for Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting at WAUK for the past eight years.

nasba logoNASBA Fires Off Letter to Washington Opposing Elimination of Advertising Deductions.  The National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations submitted an official letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Ranking Member Sander Levin detailing the opposition by the member state broadcasters associations to the possibility of altering the current deduction businesses may take for advertising expenses.  The letter reminds the legislators that any change to the deduction would harm broadcasters, notes that advertising has been part of the allowed deductions since the Tax Code was adopted 100 years ago and that radio stations generally receive 96% of their revenue from advertising (Television’s percentage is 94).

Odds & Sods.  Clear Channel’s KBME, Houston – flagship station for Houston Rockets hoops – will simulcast some of the team’s games on other CC stations in the cluster.  Some games will air on news/talk KTRH and a select number of Saturday games will simulcast on AC KODA and classic rock KKRW…..ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” will be broadcasting live from Pardee Plaza on the campus of USC tomorrow in advance of the Stanford at USC game that ESPN Radio will air this weekend.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, GOP 2014 Strategies, Iran Nukes Deal, and Typhoon Haiyan Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The debate in Washington over fixing the rollout of the Affordable Care Act or scrapping it altogether; Republican strategies for the mid-term elections in 2014; the proposed nuclear technology development deal between the United States and Iran; and the aftermath of deadly Typhoon Haiyan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.