Dominic ‘Zakk’ Zaccagnini Named PD for WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse. Radio programming pro Dominic “Zakk” Zaccagnini is named program director for “NewsRadio WHAM 1180,” classic rock WAIO-FM “Radio 95.1” in Rochester and news/talk WSYR, Syracuse, effective immediately. He will report to Tias Schuster, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Upstate New York. Zaccagnini joins the iHeartMedia Rochester and Syracuse markets from Cumulus Media’s rock KSAN-FM, San Francisco where he was program director and afternoon drive host while also handling pregame host duties for the Kansas City Chiefs on KCFX-FM, Kansas City. Schuster says, “Zakk is a winner with deep programming knowledge coming from multiple formats and major markets. We look forward to his vision, energy, and leadership that he will bring to our stations.” Zakk comments, “It is a privilege for me to join so many talented professionals and become part of these amazing brands in this management role. I am grateful and very excited for this opportunity. Thanks to everyone at iHeartMedia for making it happen!”
Jeff Austin Adds ‘ESPN 1320’ Sacramento Brand Manager Duties. Programming pro Jeff Austin is named brand manager for Audacy’s KIFM-AM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320.” Austin continues his current role with the company as brand manager for sports talk outlets KFXX-AM “1080 The Fan” and KMTT-AM “910 ESPN” in Portland. He assumes the duties from Danny Freisinger, who was recently promoted to director of sports for Audacy’s 2400Sports podcast studio. Audacy Sacramento and San Francisco SVP and market manager Stacey Kauffman says, “We’re delighted to bring Jeff’s ability to mold local sports brands to our market and have his oversight at the helm of KIFM. His experience managing two favorites in Portland will serve him well as he expands his role with us, and we look forward to watching ‘ESPN 1320’ continue to build on its success.”
WBZ-FM, Boston’s Tony Massarotti Named Color Commentator for NESN’s Red Sox Coverage. Boston sports media personality Tony Massarotti is named the TV color commentator for NESN’s presentation of Boston Red Sox games this season. Massarotti co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Michael Felger on Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” Massarotti also hosts “The Baseball Hour with Tony Mazz” on “98.5 The Sports Hub” during the baseball season. He served as the Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Herald from 1994-2008. He’s also the co-author of Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits, with David Ortiz, and Knuckler: My Life with Baseball’s Most Confounding Pitch, written with Tim Wakefield. Massarotti says, “I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity, but it was obviously a unique circumstance that required the sacrifices and cooperation of many people. I can’t say enough about the support and open-mindedness of the people at Beasley Media Group, The Sports Hub, NESN and the Red Sox for their parts in making this work. In all my time reporting on and talking about baseball, I can’t ever remember being more excited about an approaching Boston baseball season than I am for this one.”
WSB, Atlanta Celebrates 100 Years of Service. Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM is celebrating its 100th anniversary serving the market today (3/15). Cox Media Group says its flagship brand, WSB Radio, broadcast across the airwaves for the first time on March 15, 1922 and was the first radio station in the Southeast. The station’s call stood for “Welcome South Brother.” CMG says the station was soon nicknamed The Voice of the South and today continues delivering the news, weather, sports and traffic that matter to listeners while giving back to the Atlanta community. The company adds, “WSB expanded in 2010 to a full-time simulcast on 95.5 FM, extending its footprint across the metro Atlanta area. With its expanded reach, WSB set its sights on innovating its content, digital platforms, programming, sales, production, promotions and engineering, all contributing to the brand’s ongoing success and longevity.” CMG Atlanta and Athens VP/GM Jaleigh Long states, “As we celebrate this milestone, we are honored to have such a talented and diverse team who have served WSB through the years to help us remain at the forefront of innovation that keeps us connected to our audience and local advertisers. 100 years of community service is in our DNA and if there’s anything we are proud of, it’s the station’s rich history of uplifting the surrounding community. WSB’s never-ending commitment to innovation and embracing change will propel the us into the next century and beyond.”
Media Execs Spencer Brown and Charles Steinhauer Form New Firm Gemini XIII. The new company, Gemini XIII, is described in a press release as “the podcasting and radio industries’ new home for premium audio content, production and marketing services.” The company is being founded by Cadence13 and Dial Global founder Spencer Brown (left) and former Westwood One COO Charles Steinhauer (right). At the same time, Gemini XIII announces it has acquired The Infinite Agency, a full-service digital advertising agency based in Dallas, as well as Phantom Producer, an audio imaging service from Australian audio producer Jeff Thomas that includes web and mobile app user interfaces. Jonathan Ogle is remaining in his president role with The Infinite Agency and Thomas will continue to lead Phantom Producer. Gemini XIII is based in New York, with offices in Dallas and Sydney, Australia. Gemini XIII CEO Spencer Brown says, “We are pleased to announce the launch of Gemini XIII with the acquisition of two of audio and advertising’s most innovative companies, The Infinite Agency, and Phantom Producer. These great companies are a formidable launching pad for what we expect to be Gemini XIII’s growing portfolio of audio’s most exciting brands. We welcome the talented professionals at these organizations to the Gemini XIII family and look forward to serving our partners and customers with the very best in content and services.” Company COO Charles Steinhauer adds, “These two companies represent a solid foundation of talented people from which Gemini XIII will continue to build. We are committed to bringing new resources and capabilities to audio and to offer new and creative ways to tell stories in audio. We are actively exploring opportunities to complement these organizations to once again build and grow a new breed of audio company.”
WWO Audio Active Group: Radio Helps Reach More Swing Voters. According to data from Nielsen VP of cross platform insights Tony Hereau, “the addition of AM/FM radio to a political media plan can generate an extraordinary amount of incremental voter reach.” Hereau recently presented the findings to the American Association of Political Consultants in a report called, “The 10% Solution: Optimizing the Political Media Plan with Radio to Reach Swing Voters.” Some of the key findings in his report include: 1) 45% of voters are zero/light TV viewers who are impossible to reach with TV ads: Nielsen finds there has been a sharp increase in voters who watch little or no TV; 2) The combination of connected TV and AM/FM radio can reach voters who are zero/light TV viewers: AM/FM radio reaches 82% of zero/light TV voters. Connected TV reaches 62% of zero/light TV voters. Combined, CTV and AM/FM radio can significantly supplement the political media plan; 3) Zero/light TV voters reached by AM/FM radio are younger, upscale, and more likely to have kids; 4) AM/FM radio is a rich source of swing voters: 40% to 50% of AM/FM radio programming format audiences are swing voters, according to Nielsen; and 5) AM/FM radio advertising was the untold secret ingredient to Glenn Youngkin’s Virginia gubernatorial victory. See more from this post here.
BIA: Local Audio Ad Spend Forecast for 2022 is $14.7 Billion. According to a new forecast from BIA Advisory Services, $14.7 billion will be spent in ad-supported local audio platforms including broadcast radio and digital audio. BIA says the local audio advertising marketplace is becoming more competitive with more streaming services and podcasts. While the shares of local radio OTA (Over-the-Air) advertising is eroding, radio digital is increasing, providing radio stations an avenue to still increase their sales. BIA’s local audio estimate breaks out advertising revenue forecast for 2022 from each of the following local ad-supported local audio platforms: Radio OTA: $12.7 billion – All revenues generated by local radio stations for sale of time to either national or local advertisers from their over-the-air broadcasts. Does not include any advertising sold by the national radio networks. Radio Digital: $1.7 billion – All revenues generated by local radio stations from national, regional and local advertisers targeting a local market from their online activities. Includes display and streaming advertising revenue other than Pandora. Pandora: $400 million – Audio and display advertising revenue generated by Pandora from national, regional and local advertisers targeting a local market.
TALKERS News Notes. New York City talk radio host Mark Simone tells TALKERS magazine that his 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR-AM “has set a new ratings record, getting the largest total audience (Persons 6+) of any radio station in New York, beating all of the 85 other stations – the only talk show to do that in this century.” Simone’s program garnered a 6.7 share for the two-hour period in Nielsen’s January 2022 PPM survey…..WABC, New York talk host Sid Rosenberg has a cool TV gig on the side. As reported by InsideRadio, Rosenberg plays Dave Busco, a soldier in a crime family, in the Amazon Prime series “Gravesend.”…..Salem Radio Network’s 24/7 national news service SRN News is providing live, comprehensive coverage of a rare “virtual” address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tomorrow (3/16). SRN live coverage begins at 9:00 am ET anchored by SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston, featuring remarks by Zelensky followed by recap and analysis of the Urkrainian leader’s address. Additionally, the network’s nationally syndicated “Mike Gallagher Show” on Wednesday will not only feature highlights of Zelensky’s remarks but a special “America Reacts” segment as listeners from coast-to-coast weigh in with their instant reaction to the latest development in the four-week Russia/Ukraine conflict…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is again presenting complete coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Coverage will tip off with First Four action on Tuesday, March 15 and run through the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 2 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 4 in both English and Spanish. Westwood One is also announcing the expansion of its coverage of NCAA Women’s Championship events. For the first time, both the Women’s Frozen Four and the Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship will be broadcast nationally on radio. Westwood One’s women’s coverage will also include the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament featuring every game from the Sweet Sixteen through the Final Four and National Championship Game, as well as every game of the Women’s College World Series…..Audacy’s Cadence13 podcast studio announces a partnership with creator-focused new media company Puck and the launch of the program “The Powers That Be Daily,” that brings listeners inside the four corners of power in America: Wall Street, Washington, Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Emmy Award-winning journalist Peter Hamby and Puck’s team of founding partners, including Julia Ioffe, Matt Belloni, Dylan Byers, Theodore Schleifer, Tina Nguyen, Eriq Gardner, Baratunde Thurston, and William D. Cohan, “pick up where the news ends to explore the story behind the stories driving the day’s headlines across Wall Street, Washington, Silicon Valley and Hollywood with a digestible and dishy 15-20 minute daily rundown featuring insider insights.”
Chicago Radio Legend Pervis Spann Dies at 89. WGN-TV reports that Chicago radio legend Pervis Spann has died of complications from Alzheimer’s. During his career in radio he served as a DJ and helped build WVON-AM where his daughter Melody Spann-Cooper currently serves as president and general manager.
Russia-Ukraine War, U.S.-China Relations, Gas Prices/Inflation, COVID-19/People’s Convoy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, January 6, and Urban Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the U.S.’s role in sanctions and arming the Ukrainian military; the U.S.’s relations with China as Russia asks Xi Jinping for military aid; soaring gas prices and the still rising costs of retail consumer goods; the leveling of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the lockdowns in China, and the still-active People’s Convoy protesting mandates in Washington, DC; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Gini’s admission to attending the rally prior to the raid on the Capitol on January 6, 2021; the capture of a man suspected of killing homeless people and the arrest of an NYC man who beat an elderly Asian woman were some of the top stories discussed on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Talk Radio Revolution! Conservative News Talk Morning Radio Producer based in Richmond, VA. Emerging and exciting independent conservative talk-news radio stations/media network is seeking top-notch career-oriented executive for morning producer.
The company’s morning show host is a nationally known figure who owns radio stations across the mid-Atlantic region. This is not a remote position, as the producer must work in the flagship studio in south Richmond, VA. The AM hours are 5:30 AM to 2:30 PM. The position requires solid radio production knowledge, creativity, perseverance and the ability to multi-task in the morning. The right candidate will produce the morning show, field phone calls from high-level political figures and live callers, manage the clock, run the ads and navigate through normal live radio issues.
The show host is usually remote traveling the nation. Once the show is completed, the successful candidate is responsible for all post-production as well as running the next show. The successful candidate must be very internet and social media savvy and enjoy a lightning fast-paced environment and work well in the sandbox with others.
This position offers incredible freedom of expression and you will not be micro-managed in a corporate-bean counter driven mentality. You must be able to work independently with little day to day direction. If you love radio but hate the direction our industry is headed with corporate empty suits telling you what to do every fifteen-minutes then we are the company for you!
We play :60-:75 seconds of classic rock music in the morning before each segment so you have to be selecting songs to connect with our audience. We are an independent network and growing. This is a conservative-talk enterprise with the leading America First hosts in the nation, so you should feel comfortable in that environment.
While our competitors are shrinking and laying staff off – we are buying and growing. Come join our talk radio revolution! We are an equal opportunity employer. Competitive salary. Please send a short cover letter and your resume to: ApplyJFMN@gmail.com – Include producer in the subject line. The base salary is $40-50K depending on experience. This is a self-relocation if you live outside of RVA.
Monday Memo: “America Is Running Out of Everything.” Dealers want to buy your car. Paper towels and toilet paper are getting scarce again. Need to replace the dishwasher you KO’d during the shutdown? “Lotsa luck,” says consultant Holland Cooke, as conveyor belts that shut-down during the shutdown are slow-to-start. “Like the pandemic that precipitated it, the supply chain interruption is a years-long event that will interrupt and change listeners lives.” In this week’s column, HC outlines the opportunity for radio and its advertisers. Read it here.
Pending Business: Who Cares? Sales pro Steve Lapa writes today about avoiding that very response from your prospect. Imagine you’ve prepared a proposal with your best pitch points and “every #1 position you can muster is so baked into your pitch you can recite the numbers in your sleep. If your station is not in the business of ratings, you find another #1 strategy. Your talent bios show a spectrum of photos that range from influential guests to family photos that warm the coldest hearts… but has your proposal passed the ‘Who Cares?’ test when it comes to all these perceived salient points? Have you considered what is truly relevant to this advertiser?” Read more here.
Sterling: Actions That Get You Booked. If your goal is to get booked on a talk radio program, consider the wise counsel in this piece from nationally syndicated talk host Walter Sterling. It will help you avoid mistakes that turn hosts off to you. Sterling says, “A compelling, appealing guest is very valuable to every radio show. It doesn’t matter if you are famous or have lived in the White House. To get booked on major radio shows requires a few fairly simple actions. Once a host ‘likes’ you it won’t take long for you to quickly become a go-to guest.” Read more here.
Audacy Adds Mark Willard to Midday Show. The new “Willard and Dibs” midday show – starring Mark Willard and incumbent midday host Dan Dibley – debuts on Audacy’s KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” today (10/11). Willard comes to Audacy from his most recent position with Cumulus Media’s crosstown sports talker KNRB. “95.7 The Game” brand manager Matt Nahigian says, “I am absolutely thrilled that Mark is joining us. He is a great talent that understands this fan base as well as anyone in the market. He solidifies a new lineup that I think the Bay Area is going to love.” Willard comments, “I’m beyond excited to join ‘95.7 The Game’ and continue to talk about our home town teams with the fans I love. I look forward to getting started at such an exciting time in Bay Area sports.” Willard also currently serves as a studio host for Pac-12 Network and hosts the “Inside Giant Moments Podcast.”
‘Because of Anita’ Podcast Debuts from Audacy. This new podcast from The Meteor and Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios is the premiere of an exclusive first conversation between professor Anita Hill and Dr. Christine Blasey Fordon the third episode of the “Because of Anita” series. Hosted by The New York Times’ Dr. Salamishah Tillet and Cindi Leive, co-founder of The Meteor, the four-part series examines the impact of Hill’s testimony, from 1991 to 2021 and “looking at how far we’ve come, or haven’t, in making the world and the workplace safer for all. It digs into the aftermath of the hearings and their enduring impact 30 years later on everything from our political systems to our journalism to our ideas about violence, safety, race, and gender.”
Biden’s Infrastructure & Reconciliation Bills, COVID-19, Border Crisis, January 6 Investigation, Trump Rally, Columbus Day Controversy, Virginia Governor Race and Southwest Woes Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The status of President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion Infrastructure bill and his $3.5 trillion Reconciliation bill; the declining rate of COVID cases in the U.S., mask & vaccine mandates, and Merck’s anti-viral pill; the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; former President Donald Trump’s weekend rally in Iowa and his intentions in 2024; the controversy over Columbus Day versus Indigenous People’s Day; the high-profile Virginia Gubernatorial race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin; and Southwest Airlines cancels 2,000 flights were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Mark Wainwright
Talk Show Host
CNN’s “The Story of Late Night” overlooked both “Broadway Open House” and the brilliant young comedian/host who was stricken by tragedy on the eve of his network television debut.
SYRACUSE — Although I’ve enjoyed the first three episodes of “The Story of Late Night,” I was surprised that CNN barely acknowledged Jerry Lester and NBC’s “Broadway Open House,” which was TV’s first late night comedy/variety show. NBC aired it live, five nights a week between 11pm and midnight, and while a couple different personalities took brief turns hosting the program, most of the show’s run was emceed by the veteran vaudeville comic Jerry Lester.
Lester led a small troupe of performers through sketches, musical numbers, audience-participation gags, and whatever other silliness he could improvise. The program debuted in May of 1950, and after some early success, the show began to fade a bit over time. And when Lester walked away from the show a year later – evidently frustrated that cast member Jennie “Dagmar” Lewis was accidentally becoming the true star of the show, at his expense – that doomed the whole effort. NBC pulled the plug on August 24, 1951.