Industry Mourns Passing of Gary Fries. Former Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Gary Fries has died. Details of his passing are few but current RAB president and CEO Erica Farber issued the following statement about the man who led the organization from 1991 through 2006: “It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our friend and colleague, Gary Fries. Gary served the RAB and industry for 14 years and during his tenure as radio’s leading advocate he provided tremendous leadership and guidance. Under his direction, the RAB increased its membership and introduced and advanced numerous sales training programs. He spearheaded radio to the forefront in media accountability, playing a dominant role in the development of RAEL working with advertisers, agencies and broadcasters to further the industry’s understanding of how radio advertising works. He also encouraged radio to embrace electronic data interchange, urging the industry to adopt electronic invoicing. Upon his departure from the RAB, he left with the title of president emeritus and continued to hold a seat on the RAB Board to his very last day. With a large physical presence and a strong personality, he always made his presence known. On a personal note, Gary and I partnered together on many initiatives and I always found a welcoming partner and friend. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.”
Senator Nelson Gets Behind FM Chip Activation. According to a story from WBBH-TV, Fort Myers, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) is serious about pushing the government to require that smart phone manufacturers activate the FM chips in their devices. The story says Nelson is citing the recent hurricanes that hit Florida and the public’s need to get emergency information in his efforts to see that action is taken. Though no legal avenue to force manufacturers to activate the chips has been explained, Nelson wants to get the FCC involved. Currently, Samsung, AT&T and T-mobile are agreeing to activate the chips but Apple has not been interested in conversations about the matter. See the WBBH-TV story here.
CMG Names Two to Market Manager Posts. This week, Cox Media Group named two radio management pros to new market manager positions. Cathy Gunther assumes the market vice president position for the converged Tulsa operations that includes “FOX 23 News,” “My41,” and “MeTV” television stations and radio stations news/talk KRMG “News102.3 AM740,” classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle,” hot AC KRAV “Mix 96.5,” country KWEN “K95.5,” and Christian contemporary “Spirit 105.7.” She was previously VP/GM for the TV stations. In Jacksonville, Dan Lawrie takes on the market vice president position for the converged cluster that includes: “Action News Jax FOX30” and “CBS47” TV stations and radio stations news/talk WOKV “News 104.5,” urban contemporary W258CN “Hot 99.5,” adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 106.5,” CHR WAPE, classic hits WJGL :The Eagle 96.9,” hip hop W291CI/WJGL-HD2 “Power 106.1,” and alternative rock WXXJ “X102.9.” CMG EVP Bill Hendrich comments, “Both Dan and Cathy are successful media veterans and proven leaders on the Cox Media Group leadership team. We are fortunate to have great leadership within CMG to promote from within for these two new critical roles as we converge our Jacksonville and Tulsa media markets. They will work with our teams in these markets to take our award-winning brands to new heights.”
Ramsey Solutions Event Stops in Indy. Pictured above is Ramsey Solutions personality Chris Hogan on stage at the Old National Centre in Indianapolis last night (9/21). Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money event took place there as Pilgrim Communications news/talk WFDM “Freedom 95” and WXLW “Freedom 950” joined forces with Ramsey Solutions to promote it. Pilgrim Communications VP/GM Randy Tipmore says, “As usual, when Dave Ramsey or one of his team, such as Chris Hogan, comes to Indianapolis, excitement and enthusiasm goes up as do station sales. ‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ is the number one selling tool we have at ‘Freedom 95.’”
GOP Health Care Bill Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 18-22. The Cassidy-Graham bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation, focusing on Paul Manafort’s role. Coming in at #3 was North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the new sanctions placed on the hermit kingdom, followed by President Trump’s Tuesday speech before the UN General Assembly 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. View this week’s entire chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Michael La Crosse is appointed to the program director position for iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary KKCW “K103” and classic hits KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” in Portland. La Crosse, who begins his new duties on October 9, was most recently with the company in Los Angeles programming ACs KOST and KHHT. iHeartMedia SVP of programming Tim Herbster states, “Michael’s skillset is a natural match for taking the reins of KKCW and KLTH in Portland. His vast experience in programming for these formats and working with top talent is second to none.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Federated Media classic hits outlet WFWI, Fort Wayne adds Cliff to the program schedule, hosting the afternoon drive show. He also serves the company as production director for the cluster…..Cumulus Media names broadcasting executive Cheryl Salomone to the vice president/market manager position at its for its four-station cluster in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Salomone was most recently serving at Pamal Broadcasting’s White Plains, New York offices as director of NTR and local sales manager for WXPK…..Emmis Communications’ WQHT, New York is bringing its “HOT 97 Summer Jam” back to Tokyo in November for the second year in-a-row. The company is working with Japan’s Avex Entertainment on the concert. Emmis president Patrick Walsh comments, “We’re thrilled to bring ‘HOT 97’ and ‘Summer Jam’ back to Tokyo as we take the next step in growing these venerable brands for the passionate and growing global hip hop audience. Our collaboration with our partners last year laid the foundation for an even larger event in November and further expansion in the coming years.”
The Occasional RadioInfo New Music Review. RadioInfo music editor Duane Doobie Jr. writes: The group Cold Engines brings together some of the finest musicians on Boston’s north shore. Together, they deftly weave soul, new wave, rock, and dance into an instantly identifiable sound that really drives triple-A playlists. Founder/frontman David Drouin paired with former band mate Aaron Zaroulis after ‘The Brew,’ a long-running band from the Boston area dissolved amicably. Both Drouin and Zaroulis are seasoned indie musicians with previous stages at popular venues of Boston including The House of Blues and The Paradise Rock Club. Additional hand-picked bandmates include Eric Reingold (Jamantics, Black Light Ruckus), a journeyman musician who brings his passion for the thundering bass, and Casey Herlihy (Slipkey, Flake), an award-winning musician whose insane chops on guitar seem to only be matched the spirit of his vocals, and Geoff Pilkington (Soul Rebel Project, Mighty Mystic, and Left Over Wine), brings his infectious grooves with each performance behind the drums and percussion. After exploding on the Northeast scene in 2015, and releasing three records inside of 18 months, the band garnered national attention, playing well over 150-plus shows a year supporting musicians such as Black Keys, Gregg Allman, Bruce Hornsby, Michael McDonald, moe., and The B-52s. Cold Engines dropped their most ambitions album, Physical Education, this summer setting the bar even higher. The title track has found a place in my ears and should be considered for a place in your station’s playlist. To listen, click here.
Receptionist/Office Manager Opportunity. WDST-FM, Woodstock, New York “Radio Woodstock” is looking for an outgoing, friendly and highly motivated receptionist/office manager who is well-organized with the ability to follow directives and complete projects. Candidates need to be able to multi-task, and assist various departments including the sales team, business manager and promotions manager. Customer service experience is a plus. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office is necessary. Mail cover letter and resume to: Cynthia V. Huggins, WDST-FM, PO Box 367, Woodstock, NY 12498 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of four format analyses of station performances based on data from the June 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, focusing today on news/talk. Kinosian notes that based on 6+ share numbers from subscribing stations, “nearly the same number of stations…improve between May 2017 – June 2017 (43%, 6+) as decline (46%), with the remaining 10% unchanged.” Looking at year-over-year improvement, “well over half the stations on this news/talk panel improve…(57%) and 36% decline; the remaining 7% are flat.” Big gainers here include Cox Media Group’s WOKV, Jacksonville (+1.9), iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego (+1.8), and iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee (+1.8). Thirteen news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the June PPM survey. CMG’s WSB-AM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” ranked #1. See the rest of the data here.
Smidt: PPM Sample Change Hypothesis. Broadcast advisor Clark Smidt writes today about the relationship between changes in the panels for Nielsen Audio’s PPM survey and movements – up or down – of more than a half-share for subscribing stations. Smidt says he believes that during the April, May and June surveys there appears to have been significant shuffling of panelists in 21 markets that showed remarkable movement of a half-share or more. Read his entire piece here.
Connoisseur Media Names Robin Faller VP Digital Sales. Radio company Connoisseur Media acquires the Connecticut operations of Driven Local and names Robin Faller vice president digital sales. Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw comments, “We are so excited to bolster our team and assets in this growing part of our business. Robin is uniquely qualified to lead the charge, with her experience as a radio market manager and then the head of sales of a major digital company. We will be putting her expertise to work in order to get the best possible results for our clients.” Faller will be based at Connoisseur’s Westport, Connecticut offices.
Fox News Radio Seeks to Have Discrimination Suit Dismissed. Saying that plaintiff – former Fox News Radio correspondent – Jessica Golloher’s suit is not viable under the New York State Human Rights law because she’s not a resident of the state, Fox is seeking to have the suit dismissed. Golloher is suing her former employer claiming gender discrimination and retaliation by superiors for her requesting to speak with the company’s independent investigator. Fox News Radio adds in the petition to dismiss that Golloher’s contract requires arbitration in such cases. It also says Golloher’s claim against former Fox VP Mitch Davis is a “petty grievance” that doesn’t rise to the level of gender discrimination. Read the Hollywood Reporter account here.
WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton Celebrating ‘Nostalgia Week.’ Heritage Dayton, Ohio news/talk WHIO-AM/FM is celebrating its impact on the region as it presents “WHIO Radio’s Nostalgia Week.” The Cox Media Group station aired a special program on Sunday (7/23) and broadcast a special edition of this morning’s “Miami Valley’s Morning News with Larry Hansgen.” Throughout the week, listeners can hear “classic jingles, stories and voices from WHIO Radio’s past.” Hansgen tells WHIO-TV, “I’ve had a blast revisiting with old friends and colleagues, hearing their stories about their experiences working here, as well as the impact WHIO Radio has, and continues to make, on the community.” On Friday morning at 9:00, the station will open up the phones to listeners to share their WHIO stories.
TALKERS News Notes. At the Los Angeles operations of Salem Media Group, Chuck Tyler is promoted to director of programming for the entire cluster. At the same time, Scott Valentine takes on the program director role at Christian contemporary KFSH, Los Angeles in addition to his work co-hosting the station’s morning program. Salem Los Angeles general manager Terry Fahy comments, “Scott brings many years of experience not only as an on-air personality and syndicated host, but also 12 years of experience as program director at KCMS in Seattle. This reassignment of responsibilities will allow Chuck to devote more time and energy to [Christian talk] KKLA, [news/talk] KRLA and KTIE programming.”…..Local Radio Networks announces the addition of three new staffers: Chris Reeves is the new EVP of programming and operations; Chris Hatton is now director of 24/7 Creative Services; and Jonathan Steele joins as director of programming operations. All three most recently served with Westwood One…..Nine years after the program’s debut, show host John Hockenberry is leaving the WNYC-produced “The Takeaway,” after August 7. According to TheCurrent.org, in a letter to client stations, Hockenberry stated, “Ultimately, in every challenging career, there comes a time when it is important to know when to move on.” He also said he wants to “directly experience how the media, citizens, and people in power can come together in new ways to create the functioning democracies of the 21st century.” TheCurrent reports that “The Takeaway” Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich will host while a search for Hockenberry’s replacement is underway.
TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/24) with Michael Berry, Tom Leykis and Scott Lakefield. The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day. Already posted are:
– The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).
– The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).
– The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).
– The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).
– The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).
– The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).
– The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman, Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein. All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.
– A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).
– A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).
– A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).
– The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.” They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess (introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).
– The first in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).
– TODAY (7/24) we posted the second in the above series of “one-on-one” dialogues “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry (again, facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).
Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year. The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone Networks, Broadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp. To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.
Sean Spicer Exits White House-Scaramucci In, Future of ObamaCare-GOP Health Care Plan, Trump vs NYTimes on Baghdadi Issue, Trump-Russia Connections, Russia Sanctions Legislation, San Antonio Smuggling Deaths, McCain Health-Senate Seat, Dunkirk Film, ‘GoT’ Episode 2, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The resignation of White House press secretary Sean Spicer, the appointment of Sara Huckabee Sanders as his replacement and the naming of Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director; speculation about the fate of the Affordable Care Act and whether the GOP can pass a new health care act; President Trump’s accusing The New York Times of publishing military intelligence that prevented the capture of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the paper’s refutation of the allegation; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Congress agrees to sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea; the deaths of nine in a semi-truck human trafficking incident in San Antonio; the health of Senator John McCain and his role in the GOP; the success of the new WWII film, Dunkirk; Sunday night’s episode two of this season’s “Game of Thrones”; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Record Hospital Transports at ‘HOT 93.7 Hot Jam.’ It’s not logical to place blame on CBS RADIO for the apparent record number of concertgoers taken to area hospitals in Hartford on Friday (7/21) from the “HOT 93.7 Hot Jam” concert at Xfinity Center, but the PR is not what the owner of hip hop WZMX was hoping for. From a story in the Hartford Courant, public safety officials say at least 90 people were hospitalized and 50 arrested for underage drinking at the concert headlined by Chance the Rapper. Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley says a typical concert requires 20 to 30 transports to hospitals, but Friday’s 90 transports put a heavy strain on the city’s resources. Read the Courant story here.
KOGO, San Diego Adds Higgins to Evening Lineup. San Diego news/talker KOGO adjusts its evening lineup by announcing that the station’s Marilyn Hyder and Jack Cronin are now co-hosting “San Diego’s Evening News” weeknights from 6:00 to 7:00 and that it is welcoming local personality Ben Higgins back as host of “KOGO at Night,” from 7:00 to 9:00. Higgins has served with the iHeartMedia station as a talk host, and anchor on the “San Diego’s Morning News” program. He is also sports director at Scripps TV’s KGTV-TV “ABC 10News,” a position he’ll continue to hold. Higgins comments, “I’m thrilled to return to my KOGO roots and work alongside San Diego’s top talk radio professionals. It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to carry on a nightly conversation about the things that make us laugh, shake our heads or make us want to scream.” Program director Brian Long adds, “I’m excited about Marilyn and Jack co-hosting ‘San Diego’s Evening News’ and Ben’s return to the station. Ben is a smart and versatile talent who brings a lot of experience and a strong sense of community and with these two shows, KOGO will deliver a top-notch evening line-up for San Diego listeners.”
Nielsen: 18+ Consumption of News Spikes in 2016. Election years are traditionally good to producers of news content, and 2016 measured up very well, according to data from Nielsen‘s Total Audience Report. This latest piece of data does not compare the election cycle of 2012 to 2016, but instead compares 2015 to 2016. Still, the increase in minutes of news (by persons 18+) consumed jumped 18% year-over-year. Nielsen reports that last year, adults 18+ spent more than 72.5 billion minutes consuming news in the average week, with most of the increase coming from national cable news networks. For this report, Nielsen is using its panel methodology for national TV, local TV in LPM markets, radio in PPM markets, and digital. Measured in billions of minutes, consumption of radio news in PPM markets increased by 0.9, while consumption of news via smartphones was up just 0.5. As mentioned earlier, national cable news TV consumption spiked by 8.3 billion minutes from 2015 to 2016. See the Nielsen report here.
CBS Sports Radio Adds Reiter for Nights. Starting April 17, Bill Reiter begins hosting his “Reiter Than You” sports talk show on CBS Sports Radio from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET. CBS Sports Radio says the show will “feature Reiter’s refreshing style of spirited and insightful commentary and analysis coupled with special guests, including players, coaches and sports experts.” Director of programming Eric Spitz states, “The talented Bill Reiter will bring a fresh new voice and an energizing perspective to CBS Sports Radio’s already stellar lineup featuring the best sports talk shows and personalities around. His candid commentary and keen analysis will be a welcome addition to the network.” The addition of Reiter’s show comes after moves to new dayparts for “Tiki and Tierney” and “The DA Show.”
Freeman Named LSM at Cox Media Group Jacksonville. Taking on the role of local sales manager at Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville radio cluster is Jacque’ Freeman. She comes to CMG Jacksonville from her most recent position as sales manager for Beasley Broadcast Group in Charlotte. In this role, she’ll be responsible for all local sales for the cluster of stations, digital products and events. She also will focus on new business and growing account managers. In Jacksonville, CMG operates news/talk WOKV “News 104.5,” adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 106.5,” CHR WAPE, classic hits WJGL “Eagle 96.9,” hip hop “Power 106.1” (W291CI), alternative WXXJ “X1029,” and urban contemporary “HOT 99.5” (W258CN). CMG Jacksonville director of sales Bob DeBlois comments, “We are so excited to have Jacque join our team. Her experience, creativity and ‘can do’ attitude is a huge win for our team and for North Florida businesses.”
Bob Kevoian ‘Unretires’ for Open Day Remote Bob & Tom Broadcast. Pictured above on stage at the JACK Casino in downtown Cincinnati are (from l-r): Tom Griswold, legendary Cincinnati Reds radio voice Marty Brennaman, and Bob Kevoian during yesterday’s special remote broadcast of the Bob & Tom show from Reds Opening Day hosted by longtime affiliate WOFX. Kevoian retired from the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show at the end of 2015. He joined Monday’s broadcast as a special “guest host.”
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Susan Rice-Trump Surveillance Connection, Gorsuch Filibuster, Russian Terror Attack, FOX News-O’Reilly Scandal, Revived GOP Health Care Bill, and Monday Night’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3). Questions about Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking Donald Trump campaign associates in surveillance of Russian operatives; whether or not Senate Democrats will filibuster the vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch; the deadly train bombing in Moscow; a former FOX News contributor asks for an investigation into the news operation’s sexual harassment history after reports of payoffs to Bill O’Reilly accusers surfaces; Vice President Mike Pence’s shopping around a revised health care bill to influential Republicans; and the build-up to Monday night’s NCAA Championship between North Carolina and Gonzaga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Michael Harrison Candidly Comments on Radio’s Economic Issues on Providence Media Station. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison joined “GoLocal LIVE” (4/3), a daily video feature of Providence, RI’s hyper-local media station, GoLocalProv.com, and discussed, via Skype, the near bankruptcy of two of the largest radio groups in America, the state of talk radio in Providence, and the future of media. Harrison (pictured on screen alongside host and GoLocalProv.com founder Josh Fenton) says that the merger of CBS RADIO and Entercom may change the sports radio scene in Boston as the combined company owns the two leading franchises — WEEI and WBZ-FM “98.5 the Sports Hub.” He also discusses the future of WPRO-AM post Buddy Cianci and the departure of John DePetro. Cianci died in February of 2016 and DePetro left the station late in the year. To watch a segment of the discussion, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. In Washington, DC, regional vice president of operations David Ruleman announces he’s retiring from Salem Media Group at the end of June. Ruleman moved from the company’s San Diego offices in 1992 when Salem acquired WAVA-FM and turned it into a Christian teaching talk-formatted station. WAVA-FM station manager Tom Moyer is assuming the station’s general manager role from Ruleman…..iHeartMedia names Rahul Sabnis to the newly created position executive creative director for iHeartRadio. In this role, the company says he’ll “guide the development of breakthrough content that delivers value for advertisers and brands, and will help iHeartMedia and its clients prove what’s possible across all of the iHeartMedia platforms: Broadcast radio, digital, mobile, video, social and events.” Sabnis comes to iHeartMedia from MullenLowe Profero, where he was the executive creative director and head of creative. He’ll report to iHeartRadio president Darren Davis.
Opening Day at Citi Field. The New York Mets opened the 2017 MLB season at Citi Field and flagship WOR, New York talk talent were on hand for the broadcast. Pictured here are (from l-r): Mets play-by-play voice Howie Rose, WOR morning drive co-hosts Todd Schnitt and Len Berman, Mets color man Josh Lewin, and Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo.
Account Executive Gig Open at Entercom Charlotte. The Charlotte station group of Entercom is seeking an account executive for the soon-to-be trio of news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNC, and hot AC WLNK. For information about the position and to apply, click here.
Casey Carter to Program Country WTQR, Greensboro. Country radio pro Casey Carter joins iHeartMedia Greensboro to serve as program director for WTQR “Q104.1.” In this new role, Carter will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee on-air, digital and music programming, as well as booking artist appearances and interviews for the radio station brand and their local events. Carter was most recently midday personality and APD with the company’s WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.” iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina region SVP of programming Rich McMillan states, “We are very fortunate to announce Casey Carter as the new program director at ‘Q104.1.’ She is an impressive radio talent and successful programmer who brings tons of enthusiasm and excitement to our building. I’m anxious to hand her the keys to the station and to introduce her to Lexington BBQ!”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Joe Krauss is named the new morning personality at Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary WLDB, Milwaukee “B93.3.” Krauss was most recently on CBS RADIO’s WQAL, Cleveland “Q104” in middays as Average Joe…..Air personality Tara McClure returns to the station where she got her start as an intern when she becomes part of the morning show on Scripps’ CHR KHTT, Tulsa “106.9 K-HITS.” She’ll work alongside morning host Jacob “Chubbs” Day…..Taylor Morgan returns to the airwaves on Beasley Media Group’s rhythmic oldies WUKS, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Old School 107.7 Jamz.” Morgan has been serving as off-air program director for the station for the past four years. She says, “I am honored to be back in the booth! I have enjoyed working both on-air and as program director at Beasley. But, to do both is the best!”…..CBS RADIO Las Vegas announces its “SPF” (“SUN.POOL.FUN.”) national concert returns to the city Saturday, May 20 at Boulevard Pool inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas featuring performances by DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Derulo, Niall Horan and Post Malone…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit says it is continuing its 30-year anniversary celebration by giving local fans a concert performance by Detroit’s own The Romantics at the 2nd Annual WCSX Summer BBQ event on Saturday, June 10. VIP tickets are available for $30 but general admission is free…..iHeartMedia rock KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the return of BFD 2017 at Starplex Pavilion on May 28 featuring: Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Skillet, The Pretty Reckless, Fozzy and Dorothy. iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis says, “BFD has quickly become a summer concert staple. We are very proud of our lineup this year and excited for our listeners to once again celebrate the season with us and their favorite artists.”…..iHeartMedia launches a new country outlet on translator W227CX in the West Palm Beach market branded “WAVE 93.3.” The station is airing the Premiere Networks syndicated Bobby Bones show, air personality Eric Hunter and others.
Hubbard Radio Phoenix Names Karis VP/Sales. It marks a return to the day-to-day radio business for Susan Karis, who is appointed vice president of sales for Hubbard Radio Phoenix. She has spent the last nearly four years as group publisher of Cities West Publications and will begin her new duties in several weeks. Hubbard Radio Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb comments, “Having someone of Susan’s stature and background join our cluster and company is an incredible opportunity.” Karis remarks, “Every once in a while, an opportunity comes along that you just know is right – joining Hubbard Radio Phoenix is one of them. I am excited to come back to radio with Trip and his team, and to become part of Hubbard Radio.” For seven years, Karis was Phoenix-based executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia (Clear Channel); one year as senior vice president of operations; and six years as market manager/director of sales. Prior to that, the Arizona State University grad logged 13 years (1985 – 1998) as general sales manager for Nationwide Communications. Karis replaces Jeff England, who became market manager of Hubbard’s stations in Chicago. The Hubbard Radio Phoenix cluster consists of classic rock KLSX (6.0, #2, 6+, Nielsen Audio PPM, November 2016); KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” (5.1, #3, 6+); KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (2.4, #19, 6+); KAZG “Oldies 1440 & 92.7” (1.2, #26, 6+); and KDUS “AM 1060 NBC Sports Radio” (.1, #32, 6+). The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.3, 6+).
Johnston Joins Beasley Las Vegas As GSM. After five months as senior account executive at crosstown Cox Business, Karolyn Johnston is appointed general sales manager of Beasley Media Group’s five-station Las Vegas cluster. Beasley Las Vegas director of sales Mark Sturcken states that years ago, he “had the pleasure working alongside Karolyn. Her energy, enthusiasm, relationships in the Las Vegas market, knowledge and passion for our business are second to none. With more than two decades of media experience, Karolyn brings tremendous value to our leadership team.” According to Johnston, she is “so happy to be on board. There are great things on deck for us [owing to] Beasley Media Group’s reputation in Las Vegas, along with the smart, seasoned roster of media professionals that make up this group. I simply could not be more delighted to be a part of this team as we move into the new year.” Johnston previously was integrated marketing specialist at iHeartMedia Las Vegas; account executive for Cumulus Media Atlanta; senior account manager for Atlanta’s WQXI-AM “The Zone”; and an account executive for Seattle’s KIRO-TV. From November 2002 to March 2009, she was an account executive at Cox Media Group Las Vegas. With their November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM (6+) average quarter hour share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Las Vegas consists of classic hits-oldies KKLZ (7.2, #1); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.8, #4); country KCYE “The Coyote” (2.5, #15); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.3, #19); and talk KDWN (1.1, #24).
Figueredo Named WOKV Director/B&P. Most recently assistant director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group Orlando talker WDBO-FM, Nick Figueredo transfers to similarly-programmed Jacksonville sibling WOKV as director of branding and programming. Cox Media Group Jacksonville director of radio operations Todd Shannon remarks, “After working closely with Nick over the past three months as we interviewed for the position, it became very apparent that he has the passion, vision, and leadership to take WOKV to even greater ratings success.” Figueredo – who has worked for the company’s Orlando cluster the past seven years – notes, “I am very excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity. From the day I was hired at WDBO-FM, I knew my future was with Cox Media Group. I am now taking the next step in my career.” Powered by a hefty October 2016 – November 2016 gain of +1.7 (7.2 – 8.9, 6+), WOKV finishes first in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 Jacksonville PPM report.
Mason to Mark KEX Homecoming. After leaving KEX, Portland three years ago, Mark Mason will return to the iHeartMedia talk facility for a daily three-hour air-shift beginning next month (1/23). Along with the late Dave Anderson, Mason co-hosted “The Mark & Dave Show” on KEX. He notes that Anderson’s passing and his own health issues involving a blood clot in his leg changed his perspective on life. “It has been such a tumultuous ride that when I found myself able to breathe again, I felt an overwhelming need to take control of my life again,” he writes. “My decision to come back home to KEX was part of it.” Most recently, the public-address announcer for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers was an on-air talent at crosstown Pamplin’s KPAM-AM. Just over three weeks ago (11/23), Michael Castner departed KEX to begin a podcast. Among persons 6+ in the November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM, KEX finishes in a four-way tie at #17 (2.1), while Alpha Media talker KXL-FM is at #6 (4.9, 6+). KEX adult contemporary sibling KKCW “K-103” and public KOPB are tied for the lead (7.7, 6+).
Crowley Chosen As NSC Senior Director/Strategic Communications. Immediately rumored to be in line for a position in the Trump administration, former syndicated radio host Monica Crowley will be senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council. “I am deeply honored, humbled, and grateful to be asked by the president-elect to join the extraordinary national security team he is assembling,” the Fox News Channel commentator and Washington Times columnist comments. “With vision, courage, and moral clarity, he is committed fully to re-establishing America’s singular place in the world. He is also committed to selecting the best people for the jobs of keeping the American people safe and the country secure. It will be a great privilege to serve with them.” Prior to her combined 10 years of doing syndicated talk radio for Westwood One and Talk Radio Network, Crowley spent four years as an on-air host in New York City on Cumulus Media talker WABC.
Pinto Promoted to BMG VP/Information Technology. Two-year Charlotte-based information technology director for Beasley Media Group – Nick Pinto – is bumped up to vice president of information technology. The company’s chief technology officer Mike Cooney comments, “Nick has proven himself over the past several years and he was invaluable during our recent Greater Media acquisition. Nick will be overseeing the capital budget for IT and supervising the IT managers in the local markets. His strong customer service skills made him the obvious choice for this new corporate position.” Pinto remarks, “I am honored to join our dedicated Beasley corporate team. I have always believed that working hard will you give you many rewards – this promotion is one of them. My thanks to Mike Cooney for his faith in my abilities and to market manager Bill Schoening for his constant support for more than a decade.” Pinto has been overseeing the IT infrastructure in Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster since 2004.
Public WUSF Adds Colombini as Producer. Former WCBS-AM, New York City reporter Stephanie Colombini is named producer of “Florida Matters,” the public affairs show of University of South Florida-owned WUSF, Tampa. In addition, Colombini will contribute to state and local news coverage as part of the “Health News Florida” team. WUSF Public Media general manager JoAnn Urofsky states, “Stephanie will be a wonderful addition to our news team. She has a wide variety of skills, and I know she will play a major role in enhancing ‘Florida Matters’ and many other WUSF programs; we are fortunate to have her here.” New York native/Fordham University graduate Colombini comments, “It is a real honor to join such an esteemed group of journalists. I am excited to start covering news in the Sunshine State.” WUSF ranks tenth (4.1) among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 PPM report, while Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is the pacesetter with a 9.4 (6+).
Odds & Sods. Budget cutbacks at KNX result in the departure of three familiar voices. Exiting the CBS Radio Los Angeles all-news operation are mid-day anchor Linda Nunez, who had been with the station the past 26 years; sports director Steve Grad (23 years with KNX); and reporter Ed Mertz who transitioned to KNX in 2009 from former news cluster-mate KFWB where he had been since 2000 ….. Word out of the Windy City via reliable source RobertFeder.com is that after three years on Chicago’s WLS-AM, Westwood One’s Michael Savage will disappear from the Cumulus Media talker at the end of the year. WLS-AM had been delay-broadcasting Savage from 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight ….. Ordinarily, an item about a forthcoming movie wouldn’t warrant much of our attention. In this case, however, it is he identity of the executive producer of “Let There Be Light,” a film about an atheist finding religion, that is noteworthy as it is none other than … Premiere Networks’ host and Fox News Channel talent Sean Hannity ….. In its sixth annual, 17-hour, December 1 “Pasta-thon,” iHeartMedia Los Angeles talker KFI raised over $320,000 and collected 90,000 pounds of food for “Caterina’s Club.” Throughout the KFI “Pasta-thon,” station personalities Bill Handel, Aron Bender, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. were on-site, encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce, and money to help feed underprivileged children. Everything gathered helps provide a balanced meal every night to more than 1,800 low-income children in over 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange County ….. Earlier this month (12/3), Alpha Media talker WFTL, West Palm Beach helped to raise more than $40,000 as part of the city’s “Walk to Cure Arthritis.” Station on-air talent Rich Stevens comments, “My mom has been affected by this awful disease and I see the pain it causes her. Now that I have been involved, I know it has nothing to do with age. It can affect anyone at any age, which is why I wanted to be part of this great cause to help find a cure.” Arthritis Foundation development manager Lisa Roeberg remarks, “It was truly inspiring to see so many of our arthritis champions taking another step toward victory.” ….. When Townsquare Media-owned WPGG “Talk Radio 104.1,” Atlantic City (New Jersey) morning man Harry Hurley learned that 100 children who attend Pleasantville’s Christian Ministry Impact of God Church were not going to have Christmas this year, he thought “that was unacceptable” so, the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” is writing a cash grant for the church today (Friday, 12/16). Hurley tells TALKERS, “I have partnered with Atlantic County Toys for Kids program and, we have obtained 100 new children’s toys for the church. I am also going to help raise $500 more in cash donations on-air this morning.”
‘Tis The Season. Celebrating last night (Thursday, 12/15) at the Beasley Media Group Las Vegas Christmas party are Las Vegas-based GNC Network syndicated personality Dr. Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP; market general manager Tom Humm; and KDWN program director-news director-morning anchor John Shaffer.
Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominees Top News Talk Stories for Week of December 12-16. The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for this week. At #2 was the allegation the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC computers, tied with the CIA’s refusal to testify before congress on the matter. Coming in at #3 was Donald Trump’s meeting with Silicon Valley executives, followed by the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates and the record high Dow Jones industrial average 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 View this week’s entire chart here.
Howard B. Price: Radio’s Role on a ‘Typical Friday Night.’ When important news breaks on a “typical summer Friday night,” news and talk stations have the opportunity to be there for people tuned into the station. ABC Television director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes today about the bevvy of news stories that broke on June 26 and what he observed. “If you were online, or near a TV, or fortunate enough to be within earshot of one of the country’s 31 all-news radio stations on June 26, (and perhaps many news/talk stations, too), you were very much aware of what was going on. You heard history being made at the Supreme Court as same-sex marriage became the law of the land. You heard the president lead thousands in “Amazing Grace,” as he eulogized the nine souls murdered by a racist assassin, in oratory so stirring even some of the president’s critics acknowledged it as some of the best of his or any other presidency. You heard about not one, not two – but THREE bloody terrorist attacks in three different countries. And you heard about the dragnet that cornered and killed one of two murderous escapees from a maximum-security prison in northern New York State. But if you were listening to many music stations, and even some spoken-word stations programmed almost exclusively via satellite and with no local or network news service – you may have heard little or nothing about any of these major news events.” Price was traveling in rural New York State on that night and says that because no local radio station was reporting these stories, he learned about them on the Internet. But it didn’t have to be that way. Read Price’s entire piece here.
Nielsen Audio Releases First Round of June 2015 PPM Data. The first of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The June 2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17. You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
Warren Ballentine Gets Light Sentence in Fraud Conviction. Being indicted two years ago on charges of fraud in connection with mortgage fraud schemes cost attorney and media personality Warren Ballentine his Reach Media-syndicated talk show that had been heard on some 35 signals across the country. After last fall’s conviction on six counts of fraud, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly sentenced Ballentine to three years’ probation, 300 hours community service, and restitution of $140,940. Ballentine claimed he was just a representative attorney and had no knowledge of any plan to defraud.
Cox Media Group Names Schachter WOKV, Jacksonville PD. With the recent dismissal of longtime program director Mike Dorwart, Cox Media Group doubles up duties for other programmers in order to provide news/talk WOKV, Jacksonville with a leader. Music programmer Aaron Schachter will let go of alternative WXXJ “X102.9” in order to become director of branding and programming for WOKV. He maintains his other responsibilities as morning host and program director for sister classic hits WJGL “96.9 The Eagle.”
Cumulus Transitions KCSF, Colorado Springs to All Sports as ‘Xtra Sports Radio 1300.’ By transitioning KCSF, Colorado Springs from talk to sports as “Xtra Sports Radio 1300,” Cumulus Media gives the market what it calls “Southern Colorado’s first radio station offering ‘All Sports, All The Time.’” The station will carry national hosts from CBS Sports Radio Network — Jim Rome and Doug Gottlieb – as well as afternoon personality Matt Pauley, who also becomes PD of the new station. Pauley also serves as one of the play-by-play announcers for Colorado Springs Sky Sox Triple A baseball team and is sports reporter for cluster mate KVOR. Cumulus Colorado Springs OM Bobby Irwin says, “Matt’s enthusiasm for this station has been a force throughout our cluster for quite some time. It’s exciting to see him take the reins of this upgrade and create a station that both listeners and advertisers have been clamoring for.”
Entercom’s ‘Sportsradio 105.7 The Fan’ in Milwaukee Adds ‘Save Our Bucks Radio Hour’ Program. The status of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks is in jeopardy after the league declared the city’s Bradley Center “unfit” for an NBA team. Now, Entercom sports talk simulcast WSSP-AM and W289CB, Milwaukee (105.7 FM) “Sportsradio 105.7FM The FAN” is addressing the matter adding a one-hour, weekly program called the “Save Our Bucks Radio Hour.” The show is being hosted by Paul Henning, a representative from Save Our Bucks – a fan-based, grassroots community group founded to help support the team and the proposed arena project to keep the team in the market. WSSP personality Joe Zenzola will co-host the program that debuts tomorrow (7/9) at 6:00 pm. ‘The FAN’ program director Tom Parker states, “We’re excited to partner with Paul for this important community show. Paul’s been at the forefront on this issue and he cuts through partisan politics to give our listeners clear, actionable facts that are absent from many other shows and news outlets. This is a show that will share ALL sides of the debate.” Henning will also be heard on the station’s regular programs on the matter.
Bubba the Love Sponge’s Attorneys Found Guilty in Florida Bar Trial. Just what the punishment will be for Bubba the Love Sponge’s attorneys in his defense against former rival Todd Schnitt remains to be seen but Steven Diaco, Robert Adams, and Adam Filthaut were found guilty of multiple ethics violations by the Florida Bar for conspiring to get Schnitt counsel Phil Campbell arrested on DUI charges. MyFoxTampaBay reports that the three could get fines, suspensions or disbarment when sentencing takes place on August 5. Read the MyFoxTampaBay account here.
Digital Sales Pro Jeff Miller Named VP/GM of Entercom’s SmartReach Digital. The SmartReach Digital division of Entercom provides the company’s local and regional clients with a broad range of digital marketing solutions, products and services. Now, the company brings Jeff Miller aboard as vice president/general manager of SmartReach Digital. He spent the last seven years with ReachLocal, most recently as senior director of sales for virtual markets. Entercom regional president Michael Doyle comments, “We are excited to find an executive with Jeff’s talent and experience available to help us continue to build our market-leading portfolio of digital products and services. Our focus is on helping local advertisers understand the power of combining the unmatched reach of radio with the best available digital advertising tools to generate outstanding results. Jeff provides us with cutting-edge thinking on both the product development and sales execution sides of the digital business.”
Odds & Sods. WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” personality Grant Paulsen – co-host of the midday “Grant and Danny” show – is joining WTTG-TV, Washington “FOX 5” as a Washington Redskins reporter. According to the Washington Post, Paulsen will appear on newscasts and on the “Redskins Game Time” program…..On Monday and Tuesday (7/13-14) ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic will broadcast live from the Moerlein Lager House in Cincinnati – across the street from the Great American Ball Park – site of this year’s MLB All-Star festivities. Guests scheduled to appear on the show include Hall-of-Fame pitcher John Smoltz, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, former All-Star Frank Thomas, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred…..Morning drive personality Tim Greene is promoted to assistant program director and music director of non-com and NPR affiliate WSGE, Charlotte. In his new role, he’ll assist in overseeing all programming operations while continuing to host the morning drive slot following NPR’s “Morning Edition.”
Cool Job Opportunity. “NewsRadio1620” in Pensacola, Florida is looking for an experienced afternoon drive talk host. Our simulcast FM106.5 launches next month. Our ideal candidate will entertain our listeners with a three-hour, host-driven show with minimal guests. A host who covers the big national issues and current buzz — but gives equal attention to local news and issues. We’re looking for a host who covers the local scene as an ombudsman. Who creates conversation, makes our listeners smile and gives them something to talk about. Pensacola is an active news market with a growing economy. “NewsRadio1620” has a high community profile and our on-air team has won seven Edward R. Murrow awards since 2010. Our sister station, “CatCountry 98.7” is the top FM in the market. Nine hours of local talk, plus local news every 30 minutes every weekday. Totally locally owned and operated. Fox News Radio affiliate. 401k/ health/dental plans available. Best of all, live and work in paradise on the Gulf Coast of Florida’s NW Panhandle. Check out www.NewsRadio1620.com and Facebook. Send resume and most recently unedited audio/link to Anne Schiller at: email@example.com. EOE.
2016 Presidential Prospects, Steinle Slaying-Illegal Immigration, Cosby Testimony Released, Confederate Flag Issue, Greek Debt Crisis-EU Tensions-Chinese Stock Market Dive, OK Ten Commandments Case, Iran Nuke Talks, and U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup Victory Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/7). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the slaying of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, the debate over the nation’s illegal immigration policy, and the controversy over “sanctuary cities”; the release of decade-old testimony from Bill Cosby admitting he gave Quaaludes to women in order to have sex with them; the ongoing discussion over the status of the Confederate flag; the Greek debt crisis, its effect on the European Union and concerns over a Chinese stock market crash; the Oklahoma capitol Ten Commandments monument case; the talks with Iran over its nuclear program; and the U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup victory were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.