Stunner: KGO’s Owens Transitions from Host to Commentator. At the conclusion of last Friday’s (1/12) program on Cumulus Media San Francisco’s news/talk KGO, Ronn Owens revealed the plug has been pulled on his 42-year “Ronn Owens Show” in favor of a daily, ten-minute “Ronn Owens Report,” which debuts tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16) at 12:50 pm. According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, “A test version included commentary on president [Donald] Trump’s vulgar reference to Haiti and African nations, as well as whether a work requirement should be imposed on able-bodied food stamp recipients.” Owens tells the paper that his “goal” with the weekday commentary “is to be a 2018 version of Paul Harvey and Andy Rooney.” Two years ago, Cumulus Media announced it would move Owens from KGO to co-owned news/talk KSFO, a decision that was reversed one month later. The most recent contract for the 72-year-old Owens expired in December; he reportedly didn’t expect it to be renewed at the same salary level. A 2015 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Owens apparently isn’t the only KGO on-air talent off the weekday schedule. On Facebook, 2:00 – 4:00 pm host Brian Copeland writes that his show has been scrubbed; Copeland states management would like him to remain with the station in some capacity. Although unconfirmed, KGO’s revised weekday on-air lineup is believed to be: Armstrong & Getty (5:00 am – 10:00 am); Ethan Bearman (10:00 am – 12:50 pm); Owens (12:50 pm – 1:00 pm); a simulcast from Los Angeles sibling KABC of Dr. Drew Pinsky and Mike Catherwood (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); and Chip Franklin (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).
Nashville’s “Zone” Expands Local Coverage. Changes extending local dayparts on Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk/Tennessee Titans flagship WGFX “104.5 The Zone” go into effect today (Monday, 1/15). Program director Brad Willis states that “The Zone” has “long been Nashville’s preeminent sports station. In an effort to devote more time to Nashville’s continually evolving sports landscape, we feel it is time that we are all local, all day long. I look forward to having our team cover the teams and sports that are important to Nashville nonstop from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm every weekday.” Hosts of the (now 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) “Midday 180” show Chad Withrow, Jonathan Hutton, and Paul Kuharsky have been signed to multi-year contracts and they state, “We are looking forward to loading up with even more great interviews with important people, giving more commentary on the local teams and the issues of the day. Our commitment remains the same: In and out of season, we will crush on a daily basis.” Meanwhile, Brent Dougherty, Mickey Ryan, and Dawn Davenport of the lengthened 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm “3HL” program add, “Nashville sports fans are the best in the country and we are excited about the opportunity to spend more time with them. During that time, we plan to continue to focus heavily on the sports and storylines that are most important to our listeners.” The Mark Howard, Kevin Ingram, and Blaine Bishop-hosted “Wake Up Zone” continues daily from 6:00 am -10:00 am.
“Whoa Nellie” – The Passing of Keith Jackson. If you ever watched a college football game on television, you knew the unmistakable voice and style of Keith Jackson and his trademark catch-phrase, “Whoa Nellie.” The legendary play-by-play man for the first season of ABC-TV’s “Monday Night Football” and at the microphone for a variety of other sports, 89-year-old Jackson died Friday (1/12) in Los Angeles. ABC parent Walt Disney Company chief executive Robert Iger succinctly states, “For generations of fans, Keith was college football.” While Jackson worked on ten Summer and Winter Olympics and on “ABC’s Wide World of Sports,” his resume includes radio, as well. The western Georgian native joined the Marines as a teenager, then attended Washington State University, where he received a degree in broadcast journalism in 1954. Jackson spent ten years at KOMO, Seattle in news, sports and production, before becoming sports director of ABC Radio West. He began broadcasting college football for ABC Sports in 1966. The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named him “Sportscaster of the Year” five consecutive times (1972 to 1976). Working a largely regional schedule close to his Southern California home, Jackson retired after broadcasting the 2006 Rose Bowl game.
Terry Takes Commentary to KKNT. Longtime Phoenix on-air personality Terry Gilberg joins Salem Media Group news/talk KKNT “960 The Patriot” in the Valley of the Sun to do “Terry’s Take.” According to KKNT general manager Jim Ryan, “Terry Gilberg delivers compelling commentary, capsulized in a nutshell – a dose of reality and common sense delivered daily with reason and passion. She covers what you are thinking and what you are feeling. It is timely talk and we are happy to have her points of view.” Some of Gilberg’s favorite subjects include media bias; housing and education in America; socialized medicine; and national security. In addition to her new duties at “The Patriot,” journalist-turned-talk host Gilberg continues hosting/producing Radio America’s two-hour “Think! America,” which airs in 53 markets. Prior to doing talk radio, Gilberg was a television news anchor.
News-Gazette Media Continues U.I. Pact. The renewed partnership – that has spanned more than three decades – keeps University of Illinois athletics on News-Gazette Media Champaign (Illinois) WDWS “News Talk 1400” and co-owned adult contemporary WHMS “Lite Rock 97.5.” News-Gazette Media chief executive office and publisher John Reed remarks, “We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with UI Athletics and Fighting Illini Sports Properties. The fast-paced world of college athletics is a part of our business where we have consistently invested in top-tier talent for our organization. I am personally thrilled with the opportunity to continue working with two entities who share the same philosophy. The future looks bright for ‘The Fighting Illini,’ and we very much look forward to being a part of it.” According to Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman, “We are pleased to continue our long-time relationship with News-Gazette Media and WDWS and WHMS. Fighting Illini fans in the Champaign-Urbana area have known for decades that those stations are the radio homes to our games; this new agreement will increase the presence of our programs even more.” Over 150 live events a year will be aired, including football; men’s and women’s basketball; baseball; and women’s volleyball. Football and men’s basketball will be simulcast on the two stations, while baseball, women’s volleyball, and select softball games will be carried on WDWS.
TALKERS News Notes. In response to a high volume of requests, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) extends the call for entries for the 43rd annual Gracie Awards to next Thursday (1/25) at 11:59 pm (ET). Alliance for Women in Media Foundation chair Sarah Foss states, “Now, more than ever, we need to celebrate women for their exceptional work and contributions, especially in the media industry.” The Gracies recognize programming created by, for, and about women in radio, television, cable and interactive media. Honorees are selected in national, local, and student markets, including both commercial and non-commercial outlets. Qualified judges are chosen by AWMF leadership after meeting specific published criteria ….. San Diego sports talk host, television sports anchor/weathercaster C.S. Keys died Saturday (1/13) in La Mesa. Most recently, Keys hosted a weekend show for Interamericana de Radio sports talk XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090,” San Diego. The station’s program director, Mike Shepard, writes, “All of us at ‘The Mighty 1090’ are stunned and saddened by the untimely passing of our teammate, C.S. Keys. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his fans, and the San Diego sports community at this difficult time.” According to La Mesa police, the death was not suspicious, but it was not yet clear how Keys died. Keys previously was a weathercaster at San Diego television outlet KUSI-TV; sports anchor at cross-town XETV-TV; and worked on-air at KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh and WTVD, Raleigh. He was 54 years old and is survived by two sons and a daughter … Those expecting to hear Marc “Beetle” Bertrand on Saturday’s (1/13) AFC Divisional playoff pre-game show prior to the New England Patriots – Tennessee Titans showdown, heard Chris Gasper instead. “Beetle” couldn’t fulfill his duties on Entercom-owned Patriots flagship WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub,” but had a legitimate reason that was nearly tragic. On Saturday at 6:37 pm (ET), he posted on Facebook, “I am lucky to be alive. I was involved in a motor vehicle crash in Norwood [Massachusetts] on my way to [Gillette Stadium in] Foxboro. While driving down the road, another car exited a parking lot on a straight line at full speed and struck the passenger side of my Dodge Ram. I only saw the car for a split second before going for a [rollercoaster] ride when my truck rolled and eventually came to a stop on its side. For reasons I cannot explain, I am relatively okay. I did sustain injuries but I have already been released from the hospital. I cannot express in words how thankful I am for the Norwood fire/EMS and police departments. They were on the scene in what seemed like seconds. I was trapped in the truck and NFD worked quickly to free me with the jaws of life. They do amazing work like this every single day. Thank you to all my ‘Sports Hub’ colleagues for covering for me, especially Chris Gasper who hosted pre-game on very short notice. I hope I’m talking to everybody again on the radio this week. Go Pats! Beetle.” As for Saturday’s game, the Patriots defeated the Titans by three touchdowns, 35-14 ….. WOWO, Fort Wayne, and WBAT, Marion (Indiana) talk show host and current president of internet talk station Indiana Talks, Gary Snyder, files paperwork to run for the Democratic nomination for the State Senate in Indiana’s 17th district. Snyder ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for a county council seat in the November 2008 general election, months after he lost the May 2008 primary for a state representative seat in which he ran as a Republican. He lost a bid for county clerk in 2010 as a Republican.
Hawaii False Alarm “Totally Unacceptable.” What proved to be an incorrect alert sounded on hundreds of thousands of cellphones across Hawaii this past Saturday (1/13), warning residents to seek shelter because of an inbound ballistic missile threat. In a statement issued yesterday (Sunday, 1/14) regarding that incident, FCC chairman Ajit Pai notes, “The false emergency alert sent in Hawaii was absolutely unacceptable. It caused a wave of panic across the state – worsened by the 38-minute delay before a correction alert was issued. Based on the information we have collected so far, it appears that the government of Hawaii did not have reasonable safeguards or process controls in place to prevent the transmission of a false alert.” The erroneous alert was reportedly caused by Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi “pushing the wrong button.” Miyagi took responsibility for the mistake, stating the error happened during a shift change around 8:00 am. Pai said officials at all levels needed to identify vulnerabilities, and that the FCC would look into steps “to prevent a similar incident.” Working with the FCC to investigate the issue, Democratic Senator Brian Schatz remarks, “This system failed miserably. We need to improve it and get it right.” According to a CBS News report, Miyagi – who has been with the agency for ten years – was re-assigned within the emergency operations center.
Remembering Lisa McKay. After a brief battle with cancer, Curtis Media Group vice president of radio/program director of Raleigh’s WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” Lisa McKay (Blake) passed away peacefully yesterday (1/14) morning. Curtis Media Group President/COO Trip Savery notes, “It is with very heavy hearts that we share the news of Lisa’s passing. She had a tremendous and positive impact on so many people’s lives and careers, and will be greatly missed by all of us. Please send your love, support, and prayers to Lisa and her family.” Word of McKay’s death comes just two days after it was announced she would be taking an indefinite leave of absence, owing to medical reasons. In what proved to be her last message, McKay remarked, “I am grateful beyond belief for the opportunity given to me by Curtis Media Group; I know this team will continue to excel.” Scores and scores of tributes already populate McKay’s Facebook page, with virtually all conveying the same sentiment of a remarkably talented, caring programmer. Distinguished Cleveland and Akron-area program director Sue Wilson (Cordle) vice president of operations for the Rubber City Radio Group, reflects, “I admired her so much, not only as a tremendous programmer but as a lovely person. I had only been at WQMX [Akron] a short while and met her on an industry trip. There were very few women program directors in [the] country [format]; I was so impressed by her knowledge and talent. I connected with her then and followed her continued success. Our industry lost an incredible talent and our country music family will miss her so much. Things like this put life in perspective. How precious it is and that we have no time to waste. Deepest sympathy to her family and friends and to all of us who will mourn her loss.” Operations manager of SummitMedia Richmond Mel Chase laments, “My heart is in a million pieces right now. When Lisa McKay took someone under her wing, you knew you were in a special place. I wouldn’t have a career in radio without her love and nurturing. Lisa saw something in me when I was an intern that I never saw and she made sure I worked hard to make radio my career – even hiring me for my first job. She was my constant reminder that a leader doesn’t bark orders, they dive in, get their hands dirty and share the work with the team. She’s the absolute best, no one is on her level. Lisa changed my whole world and I will forever be indebted to her for everything I have because of her patience, kindness and love.” The program director of iHeartMedia Boston urban AC WKAF, Chris Malone, states, “Lisa played a big role in my career, I’d go as far to say I’d still be a kid in my hometown working to make ends meet until she came along. Lisa opened the door for me in Raleigh and graciously held my hand through my first ‘on the road PD gig.’ Her kindness and warmth could be felt from the moment I met her. On my interview, she said, ‘Here take my car while I’m on air and get to know the town.’ At age 24, I thought who would say this? That’s just how she treated those who were fortunate enough to know her. It’s a badge of honor to have known Lisa, work for her, and learn from one of the brightest, creative, [tenacious] programmers in the business. So many good memories, generous gifts, and valuable lessons that I’ll hold on to forever.” Veteran programmer Chris Shebel remarks, “We were competitors during my time in Raleigh. Lisa is a first-class programmer who built a great station and genuinely cared about the country community and the ‘Triangle.’ Condolences to her family and colleagues. I’m sure there is much sadness today, but she will be remembered for many great things.” According to Kevin Kolbie, “A few months ago, I got the opportunity to be back on the radio at WQDR. Lisa was the one who took the chance on me. Over the years, Lisa and I went from clients to friends and finally to co-workers. After my first air-shift, I asked her if she had any advice. She smiled and said, ‘Just have fun.’ Even as I type the words, it’s still hard to comprehend [that she has died].” Recently-arrived to do mornings at Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB, Morgan Thomas comments, “RIP, my sweet friend. To work with you again was a major reason I came back to Raleigh. I am just so grateful you are no longer in pain. ‘Fly away my sweet bird over the land.’” McKay-programmed WQDR was the Country Music Association (CMA) large market “Station of the Year” in 2017.
PPM Analysis: December 2017’s Ups & Downs. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a December 2017 ratings overview “Extra” as he examines the impact made by stations that transitioned to all-Christmas music. See which formats benefitted the most this sweep and which were negatively impacted. In addition to scoring honors for largest (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 improvement (+6.6), Bonneville Salt Lake City adult contemporary KSFI boasts the largest 6+-share of any station in the 48 PPM-markets (13.6). Approximately half of the adult contemporary properties that improve by at least one full-share (November 2017 – December 2017, 6+) wind up finishing first. There are market-by-market breakouts, as well as a comparison chart of November 2017 versus December 2017 market ranks. See Mike Kinosian’s extensive report here.
SBS, Grupo Radio Centro Interference Lawsuit Resolved. An agreement has been reached to settle a long-standing lawsuit involving Spanish Broadcasting System and Grupo Radio Centro. Nearly two years ago, SBS filed a multi-million-dollar grievance, alleging tortious interference and unfair competition when Grupo hired air personality Martin Romero Hernandez (“El Raton”) from SBS Los Angeles regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza.” Hernandez left “La Raza” in January 2016 to join cross-town competitor – Grupo’s KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9.” SBS claimed Grupo attracted Hernandez by recruiting and soliciting his entire “La Raza” morning team to move with him to “Radio Centro,” despite SBS having him under contract through 2020 and having matched the GRC offer. Spanish Broadcasting System general counsel Richard Lara comments, “We are extremely pleased to have amicably resolved the matter. As has always been its practice, SBS will not hesitate to take legal action when necessary to defend its contractual rights and business interests.” The settlement is confidential; terms cannot be disclosed.
FLR Names Mike Kankelfritz PD/Afternoon Driver. After ending a nearly six-year run in November as morning show co-host on Educational Media Foundation Indianapolis contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive and Encouraging K-Love,” Mike Kankelfritz joins Tucson-based Family Life Radio as program director and afternoon drive talent. FLR’s chief broadcast engagement officer Sally Barton comments, “Mike’s professional and personal reputation testifies to his faithful love and care for God’s people. We see God’s timing in the journey that brought Mike and his family to us, and we’re eager to see him use his extensive experience and creativity to share the message of hope in Christ.” Kankelfritz adds, “The Family Life Radio team felt like family from the minute I walked in the door. When I learned that the backbone of this network came from Dr. Randy Carlson’s vision of intentional living, I realized that his principles were already a part of my DNA. I am so excited to help more people connect to God in a deeper way through this amazing ministry of Family Life Radio.” Listener-supported Family Life Radio has approximately 40 affiliates. Prior to joining WKLU in 2011, Seattle native and John Brown University graduate Kankelfritz spent six years at Houston contemporary Christian KSBJ and three years at KXOJ, Tulsa.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The producer of the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Mo! Show” on Hubbard Phoenix alternative KDKB “Alt AZ 93.3” – Dayton Banas – fills the station’s promotions director opening ….. Five-year KOLA, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario morning co-host Irma Blanco steps down from the Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet to spend more time with her family. Blanco and co-host Jesse Duran made the announcement on-air last Friday (1/12) ….. Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16), “Stacey & Jonah” take over afternoon drive duties on Hubbard Radio St. Louis’ WIL “New Country 92.3.” For the last six years, Stacey K Boyer & Jonah Griss-Bush did mornings on KHTH “Hot 101.7,” Santa Rosa (California), an Amaturo Sonoma Media Group CHR outlet that Boyer programmed. WIL program director Scott Roddy comments, “While most radio companies are reducing local talent, Hubbard is adding to our stable of show hosts. Stacey and Jonah’s charm, wit and humor make them the perfect companion while sitting in traffic on Highway 40 during the drive home.” Stacey & Jonah add, “We are so excited to join the Hubbard family and ‘New Country 92.3.’ It is an honor to join a company that believes in people and talent.” ….. Following eight years with Bonneville Sacramento hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5,” assistant program director/music director Sonia Jimenez takes on music director responsibilities for co-owned KNCI “New Country 105.1.” Bonneville Sacramento vice president of programming Chad Rufer states, “Sonia is a true pro – one of the best out there.” ….. Columbus alternative WWCD “CD-102.5” program director and “The Stash” host Mase Brazelle replaces afternoon driver Lesley James, who left the station approximately two weeks ago ….. Songwriter/pianist Jim Brickman adds four affiliates for his four-hour lifestyle/music/interviews program, which features co-hosts “Brynne” and “Bob.” New to the show are WWFW “Sunny 103.9,” Fort Wayne (Indiana); WZIM “Magic 99.5,” Peoria (Illinois); WNCV “Coast 93.3,” Fort Walton Beach (Florida); and KMWX “Mix 92.5,” Abilene (Texas).
Never Be The Same. After a performance on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” to mark the release of her debut solo album (“Camila,” which includes the single “Never Be The Same”), singer Camila Cabello (left) chats with ABC Radio’s Andrea Dresdale.
Report: ESPN to Break Up ‘Mike & Mike.’ According to a report in SI.com by Richard Deitsch – and picked up by numerous other news outlets – ESPN is moving ahead with plans to move Mike Greenberg from the ESPN Radio morning show he’s co-hosted with Mike Golic since 1998 and place him at the helm of the new morning show on cable TV’s ESPN. If true, what the sports giant does with the longtime – and reportedly revenue-producing – morning show includes a couple of options. Deitsch’s piece speculates that the odds-on candidate to move to mornings is current ESPN personality Trey Wingo. He could partner with Golic or – if Golic is not retained – head up a new morning show. Golic’s son, Mike Golic Jr., is a staffer with ESPN and it’s being reported that Golic Jr. could join a re-tooled version of the morning program. Deitsch reports that it’s not known when these moves will happen but his sources say the changes will happen sooner rather than later. Read the SI.com piece here.
WYM Media to Syndicate Devil’s Advocates Radio. The Devil’s Advocates Radio Show – co-hosted by Dominic Salvia and Mike Crute formerly aired on iHeartRadio’s progressive talk WXXM, Madison “Mic 92.1” prior to the station’s format flip late last year. Now, the issues talk show is going into national syndication via WYM Media with distribution by Westwood One. WYM says the show is launching on 16 affiliates in the Northeastern, Midwest, West, and Southwestern, as well as on the Armed Forces Radio Network. It airs live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET. WYM adds, “The Devil’s will take their show back on the road, broadcasting events and protests from Donald Trump’s Inauguration week in Washington D.C. January 18-20. Additionally, the Devil’s will provide an anchored livestream from the Women’s March on Washington, on Saturday January 21.” The Devil’s Advocates is an independent production of DC Communication, LLC, based in Wisconsin.
Four New Shows to Launch on ‘Forbes on PodcastOne.’ Building on the recent partnership with the Norm Pattiz-founded digital platform PodcastOne, Forbes Media is preparing to debut four new podcasts on the “Forbes on PodcastOne” network. The new shows are: “The Forbes Interview,” “Forbes Under 30,” “Forbes Lists” and “Forbes Sports Money,” and will launch this month and next. Forbes Media chief product officer Lewis D’Vorkin says, “Our focus this year is about taking Forbes content off domain and monetizing those experiences. Podcasts represent yet another avenue for us to diversify our revenue streams.” PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Forbes’ initial conversation podcast will feature Adam Carolla, the most downloaded podcaster of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Adam will discuss his own personal journey, the building of Carolla Digital, and a lot of other extremely interesting things from questions put forth by ‘The Forbes Interview’ podcast host, Steve Bertoni. Future shows will include leaders from business, technology, entertainment and sports – the kinds of people that you would likely see on the cover of Forbes. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership.”
Ryan Wrecker Exits WOWO, Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne’s Federated Media makes changes in the management structure at heritage news/talk WOWO and program director Ryan Wrecker exits after more than four years at the programming helm. During his time at WOWO, Wrecker was instrumental in creating the station’s podcast platform. WOWO won a Marconi Award from the National Association of Broadcasters in 2014.
Trump Press Conference Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 9-13, 2017. President-Elect Donald Trump’s first press conference after winning the November election was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the allegations of Russia’s hacking the DNC emails tied with the Trump ‘dossier’ purported to detail his bizarre sexual behavior while visiting Moscow. Coming in at #3 was the Trump cabinet nominee hearings, followed by the Justice Department’s announcement it would investigate its own and the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email server matter 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.
WNDB, Daytona Beach’s Marc Bernier Hosts FOX News’ Brett Baier at Embry-Riddle. Pictured above are FOX News Channel personality Brett Baier (left) and WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (right) at the more recent installment of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Speaker Series. Bernier serves as the director for the series. At the event, Baier conducted his nightly “Fox Report” from the school’s campus before sitting down for a town hall-style interview with Bernier.
Michael Harrison and Sid Rosenberg Talk About Sports, News/Talk, Radio, Personal Demons, Redemption and Life. In a powerfully candid conversation, WABC, New York mid-morning co-host Sid Rosenberg is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” For the past year, Rosenberg has been successfully co-hosting the station’s 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program with his old friend, Don Imus show executive producer, Bernard McGuirk. The daily news/talk program, “The Bernie and Sid Show,” has done so well in attracting an audience and creating positive buzz in its first 11 months that WABC has just expanded it by an hour to a 9:00 am start. Rosenberg came up through the ranks of NYC and South Florida sports talk radio, recently making the transition to news/talk – although he still serves as a sports commentator on the Imus show that precedes the mid-morning program. Rosenberg has a colorful track record of landing big jobs based on his sheer talent and enthusiasm…and then losing them due to highly-publicized issues he’s faced battling personal demons. It seems that Rosenberg has gained control over these problems and as Harrison puts it, “is on a healthy track to redemption and success.” Harrison continues, “Sid Rosenberg is one of the most authentic, vibrant and ‘human’ radio personalities on the air today. He exudes infectious energy and captures the very essence of being a New Yorker – thus contributing greatly to WABC’s local flavor. What a great radio story! I’m rooting for him to stay on his present path and go all the way.” To listen to the entire podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Legendary Louisville Talk Host Milton Metz Dies at 95. The Louisville Courier-Journal writes in its obituary for Milton Metz that, according to former WHAS colleague Wayne Perkey, Metz was “a role model and father figure for a younger generation of broadcasters” that included himself, Terry Meiners, and Jack Fox. Metz began his lengthy career on WHAS in 1959 and the “Juniper 5-2385” show (named after the phone number) ran until 1993. His son, Perry Metz, is quoted saying, “If civility is old-fashioned, you could say he was old-fashioned.” Read the Courier-Journal obit here.
Odds & Sods. In the Hickory, North Carolina market, Long Communications adds an FM translator to the signal of news/talk WHKY. The station’s programming is now also heard on W272DU at 102.3 FM…..SiriusXM is announcing that in the lead-up to next month’s Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, it will broadcast a special series titled, “The Road to CPAC 2017” with hosts Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, and his wife Mercedes Schlapp, columnist and FOX News contributor on its Patriot Channel. The inaugural show will feature the Schlapps in conversation with Steve Bannon, senior counselor to President-elect Trump and former host of “Breitbart News Daily” on SiriusXM.
Cool SoCal Talk Gig. This position is in Los Angeles. Conservative SoCal fast growing blowtorch KRLA and KTIE are looking for ‘Morning Answer’ replacement for exiting Ben Shapiro. Must be a conservative for this particular slot on the morning show. Knowledge of politics/news/events required. Talk radio experience preferred but not required. Must be able to peacefully co-exist with other ‘Morning Answer’ show members. If you’re not interested in being part of a team environment, please look elsewhere. The “Morning Answer” focuses on today’s highest interest news and events, and the hosts opinions and commentary. It’s a fast-paced and generally upbeat take on mornings in Los Angeles. Now’s a great time for conservative radio…help us ride the wave and reflect the sentiment that ushered in unprecedented political change. Materials to: firstname.lastname@example.org. EOE.
‘Bootleg Kev’ Named Night Jock at ‘LIVE 101.5’ in Phoenix. Air personality Kevin Ratliff, a.k.a. “Bootleg Kev,” is named the new evening personality on CBS RADIO’s Phoenix CHR KALV “LIVE 101.5.” Phoenix vice president of programming Tim Richards states, “Kev is a radio vet and an incredible personality who brings a breadth of experience to ‘LIVE 101.5.’ He is a hometown guy who was born and raised in Phoenix – he knows the market and what our listeners want. We are excited to have him join the ‘LIVE 101.5’ family.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Hibbing, Minnesota country outlet KGPZ – owned by Midwest Communications – adopts the Envision Networks and Kroeger Media classic country format “DUKE FM” and takes on the brand “96.1 DUKE FM.”…..In San Diego, 23-year “Jeff & The Showgram” staffer Randy Hoag announces via Facebook that he’s been let go by the CBS RADIO hot AC KYXY…..Triple A KMMS, Bozeman, Montana brand manager Michelle Wolfe announces she’s leaving the Townsquare Media station to take time off from her career to pursue personal goals…..Cumulus Media Charleston, South Carolina parts ways with programmer Terry Base, who’s been with the company for the past 19 years. He served as PD for hip hop WWWZ “93Jamz,” and urban adult contemporary WMGL “Magic 107.3.”
Ed Sheeran Visits with CBS RADIO New York. Pictured above with artist Ed Sheeran (right) is CBS RADIO SVP of programming Jim Ryan (left). Sheeran appeared at CBS RADIO New York’s Adorama Live Theatre to chat WNEW-FM and WBMP-FM hosts about his new album, Divide. Sheeran spoke with “Fresh 102.7” morning show hosts Jeffrey Jameson and Karen Carson and “92.3 AMP Radio” personalities Shoboy and Nina. Photo: CBS RADIO New York.
Dr. Joy Browne Dead at 71. This report – confirmed by a Facebook post by her sister Alannah Sinclaire and a conversation today between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and her brother David Oppenheim – indicates that talk radio star Dr. Joy Browne died on Saturday, August 27 at age 71. The exact cause is unknown at this time, but Sinclaire writes that she was on the phone speaking with Dr. Joy “chatting about movies reviews, recipes, and favorite memories from a recent birthday party for our 95-year-old mom when the phone suddenly disconnected; her heart had stopped as well.” At the time of her death, Browne’s long-running talk show had been syndicated to stations across the country by Genesis Communications Network. Browne received her M.A. and a Ph.D. from Northeastern University in Boston. It was in Boston that she got her start in talk radio but she launched into national syndication from New York’s heritage WOR in the early 1990s and built a strong roster of affiliate stations all across the country. After the demise of the WOR Radio Network, Browne continued to host her syndicated program via various independent distributors, finally working with GCN. Browne was also the author of numerous self-help books and well known for her love of theater and movies. Dr. Joy Browne was ranked at #25 on the TALKERS magazine 2016 Heavy Hundred – The Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America. Memorial services are pending. Friends and admirers of Dr. Joy Browne will likely be encouraged to make donations in her memory to her international charitable foundation, the Joy to the World Foundation. In a statement, released moments ago Michael Harrison says, “I am personally devastated, Joy was one of the greatest talents in the history of radio, a humanitarian and wonderful human being. All of us in radio and her vast listening audience have suffered a terrible loss.”
Conservative Talk Hosts Debate Their Role in the Rise of Donald Trump. Several weeks ago, TALKERS magazine published a story about a coming piece in Business Insider by Oliver Darcy in which WTMJ, Milwaukee conservative talk host Charlie Sykes wondered if decades of mainstream media bashing by he and his colleagues has created a “monster” – an ultra-conservative constituency that won’t believe anything that doesn’t come from Fox News, Breitbart, or Drudge. The full piece was recently published and you can read it here. Quoted in the story are talk hosts Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and John Zeigler, as well as a few political operatives, and, of course, Sykes. TALKERS editors are not prepared to conclude that conservative media alone created Trump’s presidential campaign success. After all, it likely took more than just conservative media junkies to get Trump the nomination. But the piece is an interesting read and certain to be the subject of debate among talk radio people and media theorists.
Nielsen Audio Releases First Round of August 2016 PPM Data. The first of four rounds of August 2016 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 August 2016 survey period covered July 14 through August 10. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
KFTK-FM, St. Louis Weekend Host to Appear in NRA Documentary. From a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the news that KFTK-FM weekend personality Stacy Washington will be part of a recently filmed National Rifle Association documentary. Washington is host of the Sunday evening “Stacy on the Right” program and makes appearances on the station’s morning drive program hosted by Jamie Allman. Washington tells the Post-Dispatch that the filming consisted of her answering questions about guns and gun rights. She is an Air Force veteran who also appears on the “NRA News” show that airs on SiriusXM.
TTWN Looks to Bolster Services with Baron Partnership. This cooperative effort between iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather Network and “weather intelligence” firm Baron is a multi-year, data-collaboration partnership. The technological agreement will combine TTWN’s real-time traffic incident and flow data, with Baron’s expertise in location-specific weather products, including the patented Baron Telematics Weather safety solution. In a press release, the companies say that this partnership will “create the next generation of integrated traffic and weather solutions offering enhanced road and weather safety capabilities to automotive manufacturers, tier-one suppliers, insurance companies, media and public safety markets. The first integration is designed to enhance the connected car driving experience providing better road guidance, smoother commutes and increased safety, and will be immediately available for all TTWN automotive traffic and weather partners.”
Odds & Sods. As reported by Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, today (8/30) Kayla Blakeslee rejoins Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne as news director. She’s been serving with the Ohio Department of Transportation…..A new golf show launches on Emmis’ news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin with hosts Ed Clements and Scotty Sayers. Titled, “The Fifteenth Club,” the program airs Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm and will involve the hosts taking calls and interviewing golf pros and celebrities…..SiriusXM is airing live coverage of the 2016 US Open Tennis Championships from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York. Coverage began yesterday and runs through the Women’s and Men’s Finals on September 10 and 11…..Just because broadcasting legend Charles Osgood is retiring from his Sunday morning television program after 22 years doesn’t mean he’s leaving his radio gig. Westwood One assures stations Charles will still “see you on the radio” with his daily “Osgood File” programs delivered four times a day, five days a week.
The Presidential Race, Weiner-Abedin Separate, Hacking of Election Systems, Shooting Death of Dwayne Wade’s Cousin, Colin Kaepernick National Anthem Protest, ObamaCare Troubles, Gene Wilder Dies, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29). The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; Clinton aid Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner separate after Weiner’s latest sexting incident; elections systems in Arizona and Illinois are breached by hackers; the aftermath of the Chicago shooting death of NBA star Dwayne Wade’s cousin, Nykea Aldridge; the response to Colin Kaepernick’s statements about not standing for the National Anthem; the troubles facing ObamaCare exchanges; the death of actor Gene Wilder; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to research from TALKERS magazine.
Cooke: Think Radio Is Challenged? Try TV. Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the challenges facing not just radio but TV, as well. For those who thought that digital technology and consolidation is only affecting radio and newspapers, new statistics show TV is now reeling. Cord-cutting is the bane of the TV biz. Cooke reports that 60% of American homes have Internet-connected TVs and more than half of US households subscribe to an on-demand video service. And radio’s ability to be local remains its saving grace. At this Friday’s TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on Long Island, Cooke will present, “Talk Media: The Next Generation,” during which Cooke will present advice for news/talk operators. Read more here.
Michael Graham Named MediaDC Creative Director. Joining MediaDC – parent company of Washington Examiner, The Weekly Standard, and Red Alert Politics – is WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7” late morning personality Michael Graham. He is named to the newly created position of creative director. The company calls it “part of an expansion of multi-media and social media projects.” MediaDC says Graham also helped create the award-winning Boston Herald Radio online platform, has guest-hosted for Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham, and also hosts the popular Weekly Standard podcasts. MediaDC president and COO Stephen Sparks says, “We’re creating terrific content that should be made more available, and Michael will help us make that happen.”
JVC Media’s ‘LI News Radio’ to Address Political Corruption. In an effort to give voice to Long Island residents in the wake of recent convictions of New York politicians on various corruption charges, JVC Media’s news/talk WRCN, Riverhead, New York “LI News Radio” is presenting the “Citizens State of Suffolk County” this Thursday (5/19). From 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm, “LI News Radio” will turn over its airwaves to the residents of Suffolk County. They will have the opportunity to “sound off on issues, politics and the recent and constant corruption from our elected officials.” JVC Broadcasting VP of news operations Matt Goldapper says, “103.9 LI News Radio’s phones and email have been inundated by residents who are disgusted and need to vent, they are tired of not having their voice heard and politicians not listening to their concerns. This is why we created LI News Radio.” Station morning host Jay Oliver adds, “Suffolk County residents are done with all the corruption and abuse of power by their elected officials and they want them to know it.” The six-hour open phones program will allow “local leaders, community residents and concerned citizens” to be heard.
Livestream Set to Video Stream TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Live on Talkers.com. The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention is an early sellout but don’t despair – the entire event will be video streamed live on Talkers.com. The streaming will be provided by Livestream, the leader in providing video streaming services to the broadcasting industry. Livestream, a sponsor of the event, will also be exhibiting their services in the technology display area of the conference. Livestream helps broadcasters monetize their content and reach their audience wherever they are. Whether they are syndicating their primary content, looking to broadcast live on their website/apps, or producing ancillary content for their online viewers, Livestream has the tools to make it as easy as possible. Viewers can watch on any device, including desktops, tablets, mobile devices, and Roku-connected TVs. TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This is the first time we have chosen to actually broadcast video of this event live on the internet. We are delighted to be associated with the pros at Livestream on this project. Now thousands of people around the world will be able to watch the TALKERS convention while it’s happening. For more information about Livestream, please click on www.Livestream.com. For the full convention agenda, please click here.
iHeartMedia and Debt Holders Still Negotiating. Today (5/16) is the day the temporary restraining order against certain of the company’s debt holders’ notices of default expires, but given the recent SEC filings by iHeartMedia and said creditors, both sides are still working to find a compromise. Should they not come to terms, the two sides will be back in court arguing over whether iHeartMedia’s transfer of Clear Channel Outdoor stock to its own Broader Media Inc. violated the existing debt covenants. If the court were to find iHeartMedia violated those terms, as much as $6 billion in debt could come due within 60 days, likely triggering bankruptcy. Clearly, both sides want to avoid that scenario. This story is very fluid as more action on the part of the company and its creditors is expected today.
WOWO, Fort Wayne Releases 90th Anniversary Station History in Podcast Format. The venerable Fort Wayne news/talk station celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015, a milestone for which it created a two-and-a-half hour audio history of its operation. Now, the station is making the documentary available for download. Program director Ryan Wrecker says, “We look back at the past 90 years of WOWO Radio history, along with some never-before-heard pieces of audio and memorable moments that made the station legendary.”
Odds & Sods. At ABC News Radio, Scott Goldberg is named midday anchor on the Information Network. Goldberg assumes the position formerly held by Cheri Preston, who left the midday daypart to become morning drive anchor on the Information Network…..In San Antonio, Geoff Sheen exits iHeartMedia’s KTKR-AM “Ticket 760” where he was afternoon drive personality. In another case of iHeartMedia’s Austin and San Antonio stations sharing staff and programming, KTKR will air sister sports talker KVET-AM, Austin’s afternoon show, “The Sports Buffet” with hosts Craig Way and Rod Babers.
The Presidential Race, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, April Global Temp Record-Global Warming, Woody Allen Allegations, Venezuela Unrest, Facebook Anti-Conservative Allegations, NBA and NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of the candidates for president; concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public allegations on Sunday that Iran intends to attack Israel; global temperature data indicating April was the warmest April on record; renewed Woody Allen child molestation allegations as his new film debuts at the Cannes Film Festival; political and economic unrest in Venezuela; Facebook responds to charges it has tweaked its trending stories to avoid pro-conservative issues; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Michael Harrison Issues Plea to Help the ‘Working People’ of the Radio Industry When Personal Tragedy Strikes. TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison sent out a massive email blast to all of his trade publications’ thousands of subscribers this past Friday afternoon (5/13) containing a personal video message calling for the “working people” of the radio industry to support the Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFOA). The BFOA is a non-profit 501(c) (3) in operation now for more than six decades. The mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America is to improve the quality of life and maintain the personal dignity of men and women in the radio and television broadcast profession who find themselves in acute need. The Foundation reaches out across the country to identify and provide an anonymous safety net in cases of critical illness, advanced age, death of a spouse, accident and other serious misfortune. According to Harrison, “Radio is a tough business – especially for its ‘working people’ – the people in the trenches doing the shows, selling the spots, managing the stations, engineering the equipment and making the day-to-day wheels go around.” He continues, “Since the crash of ’08 and consolidation stretching the limits of economic integrity – life has been downright brutal for the working people of the radio industry. However, we persevere – because radio people are driven and resilient. We always find a way to make a living…even if we have to turn to the dreaded last resort of seeking employment in another business to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. After all, we are talented, creative, resourceful and in tune with people, the street and the times. All handy assets if you have to go into PR, real estate sales or teaching – unless personal tragedy strikes. And unfortunately, sometimes it does. When radio professionals are stricken by horrible accidents or catastrophic illnesses that make it impossible to work, hold a job or make a living in ANY business, the results can be disastrous. Especially, if they don’t have a nest egg to fall back on… which unfortunately is the case for so many folks in this business struggling to make ends meet when the rent is due or from mortgage to mortgage payment. Radio is one of the only forms of mass media and entertainment in which charity and community involvements are part of its fundamental fabric. How many other forms of media are so quick to raise money for victims of disaster as radio? A significant percentage of the stories we cover in the trade press are about radio broadcasters rising to the occasion to help people in need – sick children, homeless veterans, single moms, victims of natural disasters, and catastrophic illnesses. Helping people is a key part of all our formats. It’s what we do. But who’s out there to help individual broadcasters when WE are stricken by tragedy and have the rug pulled out from under us? That’s when the Broadcasters Foundation of America steps up to the plate.” To see and hear Michael Harrison’s dramatic presentation in its entirety, please click here.