Entercom Names Rick Dayton Afternoon Host at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. Almost three months after former afternoon drive talk host Wendy Bell was taken off news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s air for suggesting park rangers shoot people caught defacing public monuments (she was officially fired on October 16), Entercom names local news pro Rick Dayton host of “KDKA Radio Afternoon News hosted by Rick Dayton,” effective December 7. Dayton has worked in television news in North Carolina, at WOWK-TV, Charleston, West Virginia; and at KDKA-TV, Pittburgh. He’s most recently been a fill-in host for the station. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Rick is ingrained in the local community and has a tremendous news reputation in the market. He is a beloved personality who will engage the listeners daily with content and information and I’m excited to welcome him to our weekday lineup.” Dayton adds, “After spending more than a decade back home in western Pennsylvania, I am honored to join KDKA Radio and build on its iconic legacy. To talk with KDKA’s loyal listeners each day and to discuss important issues is something I do not take lightly. I cannot wait to get those conversations started on Monday afternoon.”
WPEN-FM, Philadelphia Fires Morning Host Marc Farzetta. According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, morning drive host Marc Farzetta is out at Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” after a little more than two years in the daypart. Farzetta let fans know about his departure via Twitter in which he said: “I was informed a few hours ago that today was my last day hosting the Morning Show at 97.5 The Fanatic… I’m so proud of the work we did taking that time slot to heights it hadn’t seen in the station’s 15-year history in the sports format.” Farzetta had been hosting the show with Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch. At this time, it’s not clear if they remain with the station or not.
OPINION: Broadcasting’s Free Speech Responsibility. In the response to the on-air statement by Trump campaign attorney Joe diGenova about former cybersecurity official Chris Krebs, WYD Media Management and Crossover Media Group Sales president Ron Hartenbaum pens a piece for TALKERS explaining his take on the responsibilities of broadcasters who find themselves in such a position. diGenova, while appearing as a guest on “The Howie Carr Show,” said, “Anybody who thinks the election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity. That guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot.” Read Hartenbaum’s response here.
UNCF First Recipient of iHeartMedia’s Media Grant Program. The new iHeartRadio Communities Spotlight Media Grant Program from iHeartMedia is designed to “support organizations that are making a positive impact within the communities iHeart serves and to use iHeart’s multi-platform media network to deliver messaging that is timely, relevant and hyper-targeted to most effectively serve impacted communities.” The company says that the inaugural Spotlight Grants will provide a nationwide platform for Black-focused community organizations to “inspire, educate, and empower listeners to take a stand against systemic racism and promote social justice; celebrate Black excellence, achievement, and culture; help members of the Black community express themselves and address the unique needs of their communities; and invest in educational programs and individuals that are inspiring the next generation of Black journalists and leaders.” Long-time partner UNCF, an organization that helps fund 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), has been named the first partner and will receive a minimum media grant of $350,000 to be used through the end of the year. The all-new PSA airs now through the end of the year across all iHeartMedia radio stations and will bring attention to the many social, financial, educational and mental health challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has caused to communities of color and the threat to America’s progress for a more equitable society. UNCF is asking listeners to donate $10 online at UNCF.org/donate to help HBCU students who had to withdraw from school because of COVID-19 challenges get back to college in the spring. Additionally, iHeart will again host UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax as a guest on the iHeartRadio Communities public affairs show in the coming weeks.
TALKERS News Notes. There’s a new sports channel coming to SiriusXM as the satellite radio company and NBC Sports have partnered to create NBC Sports Audio on SiriusXM that will launch tomorrow (12/3). Sirius XM SVP of sports programming Steve Cohen says, “The NBC Sports Audio channel is a terrific addition to the SiriusXM lineup. Fans of NBC Sports’ great programming and talent will get access to an outstanding sports talk lineup every weekday, and our subscribers will get access to live play-by-play of many top events on the sports calendar.” Shows airing on the channel will include: “PFT Live featuring Mike Florio and Chris Simms,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Rich Eisen Show,” “Brother From Another with Michael Holley and Michael Smith,” and more…..Entercom Chicago is presenting its 25th annual “Good Neighbor Radiothon” on all-news WBBM Newsradio (WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM) to raise money for The Salvation Army. Hosted by WBBM Newsradio news anchor Pat Cassidy, the live program will encourage listeners to donate through the station’s phone bank or online via the station’s website…..Prior to Thanksgiving, Cox Media Group Atlanta’s radio stations – including news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM – partnered with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to collect food and monetary donations to supply holiday meals for local families in need and collected a grand total of 2,127 pounds of dry food, 1,325 pounds of frozen turkey, and monetary donations that will provide 25,816 meals for hungry children, hardworking families and struggling seniors…..Entercom Milwaukee is presenting WSSP-AM 1250AM The Fan’s 14th annual “FAN Toy Drive,” to benefit Children’s Wisconsin. This year’s 24-hour virtual on-air event will aim to raise funds and toys for the hospital’s patients. Listeners will be encouraged to donate via the station’s website…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One, Imperative Entertainment’s Podcast Division and Pegalo Pictures are premiering the podcast, “American Coyote” that tells the true story of America’s most successful coyote, Elden Kidd. While active, Elden was responsible for ushering over a thousand people across the border — and was unfazed even after cheating death multiple times and spending two years incarcerated in a Mexican prison…..iHeartMedia Stockton’s “Fox Sports AM1280, Stockton’s Only Sports Station,” announces an extension of its broadcast agreement with the University of the Pacific to continue to broadcast the university’s men’s and women’s Pacific Tiger basketball games through the 2020-2021 basketball season.
COVID-19/Vaccines, Trump Tactics/Barr Statement, DOJ Pardon Bribery Investigation, Georgia Runoff Elections, Iran Nuke Scientist Death, and the NFL’s COVID Problem Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/1). The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, concerns about private gatherings fueling the pandemic, and the promise of soon-to-be-available vaccines; Donald Trump’s ongoing attempts to call the election results into question and Attorney General William Barr’s public statement that his agency had found no evidence of widespread election fraud; the DOJ’s investigation into a possible bribery scheme involving pay for pardons; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; the fallout from the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear weapons scientist; and the NFL’s strategy for dealing with growing COVID-positive players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In a move that’s not too surprising to the staffers at the Pohlad family’s Northern Lights Broadcasting, the company’s two radio stations – hip hop KZGO-FM and alternative KQGO-FM in Minneapolis – are being sold to religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation for an undisclosed sum. The Pohlad family owns MLB’s Minnesota Twins and until 2018 games were broadcast on KQGO. Now, with Twins broadcasts on WCCO-AM, the family has little use for the signals. Both stations will flip to religious formats in the New Year. KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction…..SiriusXM and the family of Bob Marley announce a new, exclusive year-round channel dedicated to the legacy of Bob Marley. Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Radio launches tomorrow (12/3) and will feature the cultural icon’s entire music catalog, both live and recorded, including rare recordings, some of which have never been made available to the public. The channel is being curated by the Marley family and will include a wide range of Caribbean music from its inception to present day.
Radio Show: ‘Broadcast Finance 2020 – The Pandemic Edition’ As the Coronavirus shutdown and racial unrest have challenged society at large, radio’s response has leveraged “local-local-local.” Two of our industry’s more respected CEOs explain the Return On Investment in station staffing. Pictured above are (from l-r): moderator Scott Flick of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Hubbard Radio‘s Ginny Morris, and Connoisseur Media‘s Jeffrey Warshaw. Read Holland Cooke’s coverage of the virtual 2020 Radio Show here.
Mid-West Family Debuts ‘The Farm’ in Madison. The new station from Mid-West Family is a blend of country music and farm news airing on its WHIT-AM/W249DH signals in the Madison, Wisconsin market. Mid-West Family Madison operations manager Randy Hawke says, “This is a destination for those who are farmers, farm advocates or people that just love spending the day outdoors. We all know farming isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle and this is the soundtrack.” In addition to country music, the station will feature the Fabulous Farm Babe, Pam Jahnke. The station says that for more than 30 years, Jahnke has lived in and reported on the world of agriculture to people across the state of Wisconsin. Along with Josh Scramlin from the “Mid-West Farm Report,” they’ll present expanded coverage and late breaking farm news 24 hours a day. Jahnke adds, “Today, more than ever, people care about who’s producing their food. ‘The Farm’ will let us share that story across many platforms 24/7.”
Brazier Rises to Cluster Content Director for Townsquare Killeen-Temple. On-air and programming pro Shannon Brazier, a.k.a. Trey the Chok-Lit Jock, is promoted to director of content for Townsquare Media’s Killeen-Temple, Texas cluster that includes news/talk KTEM-AM, hip hop KOOC-FM “B106,” urban contemporary KSSM “Kiss 103.1,” country KUSJ-FM “US 105.5,” and classic rock KLTD-FM “K-Rock 101.7.” Brazier has been serving as brand manager for “B106” and “Kiss 103.1.” He says, “Townsquare Media is a unique company that I’ve been so proud to be a part of for the past five years. Local content is what we do and we do it best. I am very thankful for Kurt Johnson and Todd Lawley who have given me an opportunity to continue to lead our local team into 2021 and beyond. I’m ready for the challenge.”
TALKERS News Notes. Sales pro Jaime Frankel is among those named the 2020 Women of Distinction by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Frankel is general sales manager for Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” The annual selection process recognizes Philadelphia’s most influential women who are making a difference in the region’s business community. Beasley Philly VP of sales Paul Blake says, “Jaime has been an instrumental part of The Fanatic’s growth and has been an amazing contributor to our company for nearly 15 years. She’s literally done it all – national sales manager, local sales manager, general sales manager. Jaime certainly has distinguished herself with all of us and now the rest of the city realizes it!”…..Among the shows joining the iHeartPodcast Network is “The GOAT: Tom Brady, ” a series that covers the unparalleled career of legendary quarterback Tom Brady. Sports journalist and author Gary Meyers examines Brady’s journey from late-round draft pick and 2nd-stringer to the unequaled highs of nine Super Bowl appearances, six World Championships and three MVP awards. Also part of the program are never-before-heard interviews with Brady, rival Peyton Manning, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others…..SiriusXM announces that Howard Stern will host a week-long tribute to some of his greatest guests who have passed away over the years. “Gone But Not Forgotten” will feature brand new commentary from Stern, who weaves his memories throughout replays of his best conversations with the late guests. The special programming takes over Stern’s exclusive SiriusXM channel Howard 101 for the week of October 12. The interviews include first appearances from comedians Sam Kinison (1986), Flip Wilson (2004), and Don Rickles (2007), plus musical moments from James Brown (1998), Stone Temple Pilots’ Scott Weiland (1996), and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell (2007) and more…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network White House correspondent Greg Clugston outside Kingsburg Hall at the University of Utah prior to last night’s vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris. Clugston provided special reports and live commentary from the debate for Salem Radio Network affiliates.
The Presidential Race/VP Debate, Trump’s COVID Case/U.S. Stats & Projections, Stimulus Deal/Unemployment Claims, Amy Coney Barrett Nomination, BLM Movement/Jonathan Price Slaying, NFL COVID Issues, Hurricane Delta, and Eddie Van Halen Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/7). The November presidential election and Wednesday evening’s vice-presidential debate; President Trump’s COVID-19 case and the current U.S. disease statistics and projections for fall and winter cases; stimulus negotiations put off until after the election and the most recent new jobless claims; the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court; the Black Lives Matter movement and the killing of unarmed Black man Jonathan Price in Texas; the NFL deals with positive COVID tests; Hurricane Delta heads for Louisiana; and the death of guitar legend Eddie Van Halen were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Founder/Author/Radio Host John McEuen Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Legendary country, bluegrass, folk and rock musician John McEuen, founder of the groundbreaking Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” McEuen has personally logged more than 9,500 concert appearances and traveled more than three million miles on the road both during his time as a member of NGDB and now as a solo performer. He is also in the 15th year of hosting his “Acoustic Traveler” show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. McEuen released an autobiography in 2018 titled, The Life I’ve Picked. The spoken word version of the book is set for release next spring – enhanced with original songs, additional stories and some of his film score-style music. In addition, he has two coffee table books set for release next year. The first, titled, The Russian Trip, features over 200 photos (many unreleased) chronicling NGDB’s famous tour of the Soviet Union in 1977. They were the first US band to be allowed behind the Iron Curtain, playing 28 sold-out shows in the spring and summer of that year. The second, titled, 50 Years: The Circle Album Keeps Going features almost 100 photos from the recording sessions for Will The Circle Be Unbroken – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 1972 album hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the most important records ever to come out of Nashville. Fans of music and radio will enjoy the loose, freewheeling chat between Harrison and McEuen that covers a wide range of topics including the decades-long struggle faced by country music in navigating the highly subjective and often porous border it shares with rock ‘n’ roll. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Skyview Networks nationally syndicated “Dana Cortez Show” was recently named “Best Radio Morning Show” by Phoenix New Times’ Best of Phoenix 2020 issue. Cortez says, “I’m so honored the city of Phoenix voted us ‘Best Morning Show,’ after having started on ‘Power 98.3’ less than a year ago. During this time especially, we know trust is important and it means so much that our listeners, who we consider extended family, know we’re here to not only entertain them, but also to deliver up-to-date information with compassion.”…..Nashville Public Radio announces that its soon-to-launch triple A WNXP “91.ONE” names Mickey Lernard Parks assistant program director and on-air host. The company says that when the station launches later this fall it will be a platform for new local music and serve as “Nashville’s Music Experience.” Program director Jason Moon Wilkins says, “Mickey Lernard Parks has deep roots in the city and is well known for introducing so many music fans to their future favorites through his work at Grimey’s and WRVU. We are so fortunate that his desire to return to music coincided with the launch of this station.”…..The 2020 iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina is celebrating the best in Latin culture and music during Hispanic Heritage Month today (10/8). This year’s virtual event will feature remote performances from artists’ homes and studios around the world, as well as stories from members of the Latin community who have changed the world of art, television, cinema, radio and politics. The event is being hosted by iHeartLatino chairman and chief creative officer Enrique Santos and feature performances by Ozuna, Prince Royce, Anitta, Manuel Turizo, Myke Towers, Camilo, and Nicky Jam.