WABC, New York to Move ‘Bernie & Sid’ to AM Drive. After Don Imus wraps his legendary radio career on March 30, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York will move the late morning “Bernie & Sid” show into the morning drive daypart, effective Monday, April 2. Longtime Imus sidekick (and executive producer) Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg have been together hosting their late morning show since January of 2016.
WWBA, Tampa Launches Chris Ingram Show. A new late morning show debuts on Genesis Communications’ WWBA, Tampa/W252DF, Largo “News/Talk Florida” on Monday (3/12) starring Chris Ingram. The station says the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program follows “the new and very mellow ‘Bubba The Love Sponge Show.’ Chris is a well-known political commentator and is seen as a frequent guest on ‘Bay News 9,’ CNN and other cable news shows. He was recently chair of the Tiger Bay Club, a political think tank in the Tampa Bay area. His first guests include Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Jim Greer, former chairman to the Republican Party of Florida.” Genesis VP of content Steve Kyler says, “Chris brings a fresh, independent look at politics, social issues, and the happenings in entertainment right here in Tampa Bay. Listeners will have a real treat by listening to him every day.”
Alpha Media Appoints Cort Johnson National Digital Content Producer. Although Cort Johnson’s primary responsibility will be creating national digital content for Alpha Media’s rock formats, the company says he’ll also be a major contributor to streaming and podcasting strategies. In announcing Cort Johnson’s new role as national digital content producer, Alpha Media national director of digital content Ernie Martinez comments, “I am thrilled to be collaborating with Cort! His skillset, experience, and knowledge in both the digital and traditional radio space are going to be pivotal in driving content on Alpha Media’s digital and social platforms.”
Weekly eSports Show Added to KFXX, Portland Lineup. Portland, Oregon sports talker KFXX “1080 The Fan” is adding a new, weekly eSports-focused program to its lineup. Entercom says is partnering with Westwood One to bring “Checkpoint Radio” – hosted by gaming industry experts Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan – to the station’s program schedule. Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Bill Ashenden states, “We are excited to partner with Westwood One to bring eSports content to our community. The popularity of eSports is growing rapidly among the digital generation and, as the leaders in sports audio, we are committed to expanding our offerings to engage with these listeners.” “Checkpoint Radio” managing partner Rick Scott adds, “By taking this step with eSports and gaming, the Entercom Portland team are the trailblazers in Portland. We value having ‘The Fan’ join our growing family of ‘Checkpoint Radio’ partners and look forward to serving the eSports community there.” The program airs Thursdays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
TALKERS News Notes. Longtime WSBT, South Bend morning host Jon Thompson, a.k.a. JT, wraps a 42-year radio career at the station as Mid-West Family Broadcasting replaces his morning show with ESPN’s Golic & Wingo show. The South Bend Tribune reports the 70-year-old JT “was surrounded by his family: wife Marilyn; daughters Sarah and Rebecca, both in town for their father’s final show; and son Josh, a Navy aviator who came in from the East Coast.” Thompson started his career in 1971 and moved to South Bend in December of 1975…..Farmington Hills, Michigan-based New Radio Media announces the launch of its digital streaming entertainment network that offers original online audio and video content featuring topics of interest to metro Detroiters. New Radio Media says the programming currently consists of 13 shows across five channel categories: business, lifestyle, community, Geektainment, and arts & entertainment. New Radio Media CEO Paul Bensman says, “The demand for streaming entertainment by the consumer grows every year and we are creating a delivery platform for now and for the future. The community is going to help to shape the programming we offer so if anyone has an idea for a show, we want to hear it. Engaging fresh voices and opinions and undiscovered musical talent, plus experienced presenters and nationally recognized entertainers, will offer Detroit a new and exciting network for entertainment.”
Trump Tariffs/Trade War Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 5-9. The proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum and the related talk of trade wars tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Stormy Daniels–Donald Trump relationship and legal actions. Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia Investigation, followed by the Justice Department’s suit against California over the state’s sanctuary policies 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.
Renowned Relationship Builder, Social Engineer, International Networking Consultant and Podcaster Jordan Harbinger Is This Week’s Guest on The Michael Harrison Interview. Named by Forbes magazine “one of the 50 best relationship-builders in the world,” social dynamics expert, attorney, digital era networking consultant and podcaster Jordan Harbinger joins Michael Harrison in a fascinating and informative dialogue on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Harbinger discuss the pros and cons of social media, building an audience in the era of niches, the art of interviewing, America’s role in an increasingly sophisticated world, the generational divide, the need for educational reform and more. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Today, Chicago says good-bye to WLUP-FM “The Loop” as the venerable rock outlet powers down and Educational Media Foundation starts operating the station under an LMA and flips it to Christian contemporary at midnight. As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, legendary WLUP-FM personality Steve Dahl will be ringmaster of the station’s final program as a rock outlet. Dahl will talk with special guests – and former WLUP personalities – Sky Daniels and Kevin Matthews. Read Feder’s column here…..In related news from Chicago, Cumulus Media – still operating Merlin Media-owned alternative WKQX under an LMA – brings Tim Virgin aboard to host the afternoon drive show. His addition to the program schedule bumps Walt Flakus to the evening show. Virgin had been doing the afternoon show on WLUP-FM. Also joining WKQX from “The Loop” is James VanOsdol who becomes digital content captain for the Cumulus Chicago cluster…..In Baltimore, Entercom names Bethany Linderman co-host of “Mix Mornings” on hot AC WWMX “MIX 106.5.” with incumbent host Reagan Warfield. She was most recently at Townsquare Media’s country WGNA, Albany, New York co-hosting the morning show. She says of her new gig, “I’m excited to get to know my new town and connect with MIX 106.5’s listeners. I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue to build this great morning show with Reagan on one of America’s premiere hot AC stations.”
Hubbard’s WTOP Retains Top Biller Status; Clear Channel’s News/Talk KFI, Los Angeles Jumps to #3. For the second year in a row, Hubbard Broadcasting’s Washington, DC news juggernaut WTOP grabs the top biller title with $64 million billed in 2011. According to BIA/Kelsey’s 2011 estimates, all news was a big money maker and CBS Radio had a number of winning horses in the race. Its WBBM, Chicago came in at #4 billing $48 million and WCBS, New York followed at #5 taking in $47.5 million. CBS’ WINS, New York was #8 with $42 million. While Chicago market WBBM topped each of the New York-market all-newsers, it’s pretty impressive that CBS Radio billed $89.5 million between all-newsers WCBS and WINS. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s ratings and revenue news/talk giant KFI, Los Angeles was the only talk station to make the top 10, showing off the power of its high-cuming talk personalities – especially AM drive host Bill Handel and PM drive duo John & Ken – coming in at #3 billing $48.1 million (up from the #4 spot in 2010). And sports talk cracked the top 10 as CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York rounded out the list at #10 billing $40.5 million.
A View Behind the Scenes at #1 Biller WTOP, Washington. TALKERS TV recently visited the studios at Hubbard Broadcasting’s Washington, DC news operation WTOP. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison visits with WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo and news director Mitchell Miller as they show off the very high-tech, multi-platform and extremely well-staffed news operation (a whopping 120 employees) in the Nation’s Capital. View the video in the TALKERS TV box on the right side of this page.
Court Strikes Down Ban on Political Ads on Public Broadcasting Outlets. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has iced the ban on political and issues ads that could lead to a ton of such fare hitting the airwaves of pubcasters as the November presidential election approaches. A 2-1 vote of the three-judge panel upholds the ban on advertisements for goods and services from for-profit companies. But the decision is rocking the world of pubcasters – many of whom are not commenting publicly at this juncture – because they fear they will be, to a degree, pulled into the world of commercial broadcasters as a result of this decision. But the Court’s ruling was based on free speech grounds. Judge Carlos Bea wrote for the main opinion stating that the FCC ban was overly broad and there’s no evidence the educational nature of public broadcasting would be affected, “Public issue and political speech in particular is at the very core of the First Amendment’s protection. Public issue and political advertisements pose no threat of ‘commercialization.’ By definition, such advertisements do not encourage viewers to buy commercial goods and services. A ban on such advertising therefore cannot be narrowly tailored to serve the interest of preventing the ‘commercialization’ of broadcasting.” Dissenting Judge Richard Paez wrote, “For almost 60 years, commercial public broadcasters have been effectively insulated from the lure of paid advertising. The court’s judgment will disrupt this policy and could jeopardize the future of public broadcasting. I am not persuaded that the First Amendment mandates such an outcome.”
WOR Radio Network to Syndicate “Rasmussen Report” Feature. The vignette will be available three times daily and feature reports by the nationally known “political pulse-taker” Scott Rasmussen. WOR VP/GM Jerry Crowley states, “Scott has fast become the go-to guest for many of our programs when we want to let our listeners know where the country stands on the important headlines. We are thrilled to now take our relationship with him to this next level and share his fantastic radio content with radio stations across the country.” The WOR Radio Network makes the reports available to affiliates beginning Monday, April 16.
Tribune’s WGN Inks Deal for Studio Naming Rights with Allstate. Beginning May 1, WGN, Chicago’s showcase studio on Michigan Avenue will be unveiled as the Allstate Showcase Studio. WGN VP/general manager Tom Langmyer says, “We are proud of the partnership we have developed with Allstate over the years through programs like the community-driven WGN Radio Hometown Voices Tour and are pleased to extend that partnership to the Showcase Studio. The Showcase Studio has been a mainstay on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue for over 25 years and home to many legendary broadcasters. We are excited to announce this next chapter in WGN’s history with such a valued partner.” The sponsorship includes an interior studio wrap featuring WGN Radio and Allstate graphics and on-air naming recognition.
CBS Radio’s KYW, Philadelphia Awards Scholarship Money to “Newstudies” Student. CBS Radio’s KYW, Philadelphia has been offering the six-week student reporter program called “Newstudies” to high school juniors and seniors for more than 45 years. This year, 171 local students graduated from the program and KYW selected Upper Moreland High School student Gavin Lichtenstein to receive the Richard Monetti Scholarship award of $2,000 for being the student in the program demonstrating the most potential and enthusiasm. The scholarship was named after 1986 Newstudies graduate Richard Monetti who perished on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. CBS Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield states, “KYW Newsradio is proud to continue the tradition of introducing high school students to the broadcast industry. It’s also nice to be able to award those that did exceptionally well and keep the memory of a former Newstudies graduate alive.”
WSBT, South Bend Adds FM Translator at 96.1. Schurz Communications’ news/talk WSBT, South Bend, Indiana acquired the FM translator from Christian station WFRN-FM last year for $135,000. Now, according to the South Bend Tribune, WSBT will add to what program director Bob Montgomery calls “the strongest signal in the market” – AM 960. Montgomery also tells the paper the station is continuing to focus on news and information for the Michiana market. “We’re still doing increased news in our morning show – trying an all-news approach. We thought since that’s why people listen to news/talk during their morning drive, we would concentrate on that.”
Weekend Home Show “The Money Pit” Hits 300-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated home improvement show “The Money Pit” – co-hosted by Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete – announces it has added more than 20 new affiliate stations during the first quarter of 2012 to bring its affiliate roster to 300. The program will celebrate its success in conjunction with a special Earth Day broadcast from New York City on Friday, April 20 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm from the “Crossroads of the World” in New York’s Times Square. Tom Kraeutler states, “I am so grateful to our team for the hard work that got us to this point, to our loyal affiliate stations for making our content available to millions of people across the country and to our always growing list of top sponsors that have made this possible.”
Rick Santorum’s Suspension of His Presidential Campaign Is Top News/Talk Story for the Week of April 9-13. The news of Rick Santorum’s exit from the GOP primary race – effectively giving the nomination to Mitt Romney – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week and landed at #1 on the Talkers TenTM. Following at #2 was the 2012 presidential campaign in general. At #3 was George Zimmerman’s being charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin followed by recent reports of weak U.S. job growth and the stock market’s reaction at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America during the week, and is based upon ongoing research from TALKERS and is published each Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “The Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” adds KOA, Denver…..Genesis Communications Network’s Dr. Daliah Wachs program picks up WRJM-AM/FM, Charleston, Illinois and WHOW-AM/FM, Bloomington/Decatur, Illinois.