NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Another Week in the Year of Fear!” looks back at this past week of August 24-28, 2020. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Dale Jackson, talk show host / program director, WVNN, Huntsville, AL; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/physician; Walter Sterling, nationally syndicated talk show host / WABC, New York; and Michael Medved, talk show host, KTTH, Seattle/CRN Digital Talk Radio Network. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Buck Sexton Show Expands on WOR, New York. The Premiere Networks-syndicated Buck Sexton show is growing from two to three hours on iHeartMedia’s “710 WOR, The Voice of New York.” The program begins airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Monday (8/31). Sexton says, “I’m thrilled to be extending my presence on the far-reaching airwaves of WOR. I look forward to expanding my nightly conversation with fellow New Yorkers and Tri-Staters about the issues that matter most to us.” WOR program director Tom Cuddy adds. “Since COVID-19 hit us, Buck has been broadcasting from his apartment in mid-town Manhattan and has never missed a day. He has done an outstanding job giving New Yorkers everything they need to know to survive this pandemic, along with his thoughts on the political stories of the day.”
Beasley Promotes Tee Gentry to Regional OM for Augusta and Fayetteville. Longtime company programmer Tee Gentry is promoted to regional operations manager for Beasley Media Group’s radio stations in Augusta, Georgia – including news/talk WGAC-AM/FM and five music brands – and Fayetteville, North Carolina’s six music brands. Gentry has been serving as operations manager for the Augusta cluster. Gentry has spent the majority of his 25-year radio career with Beasley Media Group, serving more than 20 years as operations manager and PD at country WKXC-FM, Augusta and three years in Tampa as operations manager and PD at country WQYK-FM. Beasley VP and general manager Kent Dunn says, “Tee has done a tremendous job over the past 20 years at Beasley Media Group. He has done a great job leading our Augusta team and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Fayetteville team.”
The RNC, Presidential Race, the USPS and Defunding Police Controversies Tie for Top Spot on Talkers TenTM. This week’s Republican National Convention, the presidential race and the controversies over the U.S. Postal Service and the move to defund police departments tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was race relations, urban violence, the suburban housing controversy, and the NBA demonstration. Coming in at #3 was COVID-19 statistics and projections, followed by health care, meds, masks, and the CDC testing flap tied 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. See this week’s complete chart here.
TALKERS News Notes. Dallas sports talk host Norm Hitzges revealed to listeners on Thursday that he is undergoing treatment for bladder cancer. The 76-year-old Hitzges – who co-hosts the “Norm and D Invasion” program on Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” with Donovan Lewis – says he’ll continue to work while going through the treatment, according to a story in the Dallas News…..In Asheville, North Carolina, WISE-AM sports talk host Pat Ryan is battling a recurrence of colon cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. WLOS-TV reports that Ryan was first diagnosed and treated in 2018. He learned last month that more chemotherapy is needed. But Ryan tells WLOS that doing his daily, afternoon drive show on the Saga Communications station rejuvenates him and helps with the cancer treatment…..Salem Radio Network says it will have a front row seat to President Trump’s first campaign stop after last night’s acceptance speech as SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston travels aboard Air Force One to Manchester, New Hampshire today (8/28). Clugston is also credentialed for all four debates (three presidential, one vice presidential) sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates this fall…..iHeartMedia, Inc chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and COO and CFO Rich Bressler are participating in a question-and-answer session during the BofA Securities 2020 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference taking place on September 10 at 11:40 am ET. iHeartMedia says a live webcast of the session will be available to the general public through a link on the Investors homepage of its website (https://investors.iheartmedia.com/). A replay of the video webcast will be available in the Events & Presentation section of iHeartMedia’s Investors homepage.
45th Annual Gracie Awards to Stream Virtually on September 10. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that the 45th annual Gracie Awards program will air live on AWMF’s Facebook page on September 10 at 7:00 pm ET. The virtual event will recognize esteemed honoree Katy Perry, who will receive the Gracies Impact Award, presented to an artist who has made a positive impact on society through their music. Dr. Sanjay Gupta will deliver a special tribute to frontline journalists who covered breaking news regarding the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, and women in television, radio, and digital media being honored for their contributions this year include: Naomi Watts, Michelle Williams, Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, Tamron Hall, and Angela Yee. AWMF adds that Danai Gurira, Norah O’Donnell, Fiona Shaw, Andrea Mitchell and Gayle King will appear in the virtual show along with country artist Mickey Guyton who will perform twice throughout the night, and Grey’s Anatomy’s “Silent All These Years” episode will receive the Grand Award for the incredibly powerful episode which brought attention to sexual assault survivors. AWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “There’s no doubt that this year has been indescribable – but one thing that has stayed consistent is the level of content that continues to be generated by and for women. We understand that people are going through unprecedented times and it’s our commitment to bring the world in for the first time and see the magic of the Gracie Awards as we celebrate some of the brave and poignant, storytellers of our time.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Flipping from Gospel to adult contemporary is Beasley Media Group’s WGUS-FM, Augusta, Georgia “Sunny 102.7.” Core artists include: Billy Joel, Hall & Oates, Whitney Houston, Journey, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, and more…..Entercom is kicking off “DTS Sound Space Sundays” with a special broadcast of Foster the People’s performance at “KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2017.” The broadcast will air at 9:00 pm ET August 30 via RADIO.COM. An exclusive new interview with band frontman Mark Foster will follow the performance. Entercom regional president Jeff Federman says, “We’re looking forward to opening our archives and sharing this classic Foster the People performance with a national audience via RADIO.COM. HD Radio has served as a great partner over the years and we’re excited to spotlight their sister brand, DTS, through our Sound Space and Sound Space Sundays content.”
Sid Rosenberg Tells TALKERS, ‘The [NYC] Market is Ripe for the Taking.’ Big Apple AM drive shows beware, Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg (“Bernie & Sid”) are fired up and ready for their WABC morning show debut this Monday (4/2) that replaces the retiring Don Imus. Both broadcasters have strong roots and ties to Imus, playing various side-kick and producer roles with the legend over the years. Rosenberg tells TALKERS, “I think it’s fair to say that in our almost-20-year relationship, Imus and I are closer now than we’ve ever been. I think that’s the case on and off the air. It’s been special walking with Imus down memory lane these past few months.” What about the program’s targeting and positioning? In an exclusive TALKERS interview, Rosenberg says, “I think our new morning show will appeal to a wide range of audience. It’s fair to assume the 40-year-old male and female will enjoy our brand. WFAN’s morning show targets the enthusiastic sports fan. WOR? Well, I’m not sure whom they target. Politics – local and national – news, sports, pop culture, and entertainment will all take center stage daily on our new show. We’ve already received commitments from big name guests from all the arenas I just mentioned. Plus, the competition can’t come close to contending when you include the daily laughs Bernie and I will provide.” Rosenberg confidently concludes, “With Imus saying goodbye, Howard Stern on satellite radio and Craig Carton off mornings on WFAN, the market is ripe for the taking. Bernie and I have talked about and waited for this opportunity for the better part of 18 years. We have a decidedly better product than the competition and we expect to win!”
WRKO, Boston and Howie Carr Sign Long-Term Extension. There was probably no one happier than Boston-based talk show host Howie Carr when it was announced iHeartMedia was acquiring Boston talk station WRKO. He’d always expressed admiration for the company’s dedication to the news/talk format and he’d certainly butted heads with previous owner Entercom over the years. As Carr and iHeartMedia announce the signing of a new long-term agreement, Carr is quoted in the presser saying, “iHeart is the gold standard of talk radio in America. I am so happy to be associated with the best company in the industry.” iHeartMedia Boston Region president Alan Chartrand says, “We are so glad to have Howie with our iHeart family here in Boston. Howie is a staple in this market and we are excited to have his brand be a part of the iHeartMedia Boston team.”
Cumulus Names New Market Managers – John Lewis to Lead Huntsville; Steve Chessare to Manage Bridgeport. In the Huntsville, Alabama and Bridgeport, Connecticut markets, Cumulus Media names new market managers. Most recently with USA Today/Gannett, John Lewis assumes the vice president and market manager role at the company’s Huntsville cluster that includes news/talk WVNN and sports talk WUMP. This is a return to the company for Lewis who had served with Cumulus in Albany, Georgia; Pensacola; Lexington, Kentucky; and Memphis. He takes over for Ray Nelson, who is retiring. Stephen Chessare joins Cumulus Bridgeport, Connecticut as vice president and market manager from his most recent role as market manager for Greater Media Detroit. In Bridgeport, Cumulus operates news/talk WICC and adult contemporary WEBE.
‘Ben & Woods’ New Morning Hosts on San Diego Sports Talk ‘The Mighty 1090.’ Since previous morning personality Dan Sileo exited the morning daypart on Broadcast Corporation of the Americas’ XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” to join Entercom’s new crosstown sports/guy talk KEGY “97.3 The Machine,” the station has been searching for his replacement. Now, management reveals Ben Higgins and Steve Woods are hosting the new “Ben & Woods” morning show, starting today (3/27). Higgins is the sports director and evening sports anchor at KGTV-TV, San Diego. Woods has served at a number of San Diego stations. Most recently he was with iHeartMedia as a weekend, fill-in host on rock KIOZ. He co-hosted the “Cantore + Woods” morning show on alternative KBZT “FM 94.9” with Chris Cantore. XEPRS vice president of programming Mike Shepard says, “These guys really are the ‘Odd Couple’ of San Diego radio. It’s super-nice, straight-arrow Ben along with loud, opinionated and funny Steve Woods. They really have chemistry and genuinely like each other. It’s going to be fun.”
Nielsen Providing Monthly Insights Reports for Diary Markets. This new set of reports is available to diary market subscribers of PD Advantage and Arbitrends. Nielsen says the Diary Monthly Insights Reports will “provide audio clients with more granularity and specificity about diary listening behavior and trends and will be delivered to subscribers on a monthly basis.” Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly says, “In today’s hyper-competitive environment, it’s vital for radio stations to be able to detect changes in their listening audience as early as possible. Radio stations require faster, more granular insights to understand their listeners. The Diary Monthly Insights Reports are an advanced new tool offering users the programming edge that comes with a quicker, more discrete read on the radio listening marketplace.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk hosts Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher are hosting “Overtime with Hewitt & Gallagher” on Sunday, April 29 in Minneapolis. The live event is presented by Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot” and features Salem Radio Network personalities Hewitt and Gallagher discussing the current political climate and the upcoming mid-term elections in Minnesota with moderator Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com…..WGN, Chicago is inducting a new class into its Walk of Fame on Friday, May 18 at the Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue. This is the fifth class to be inducted and will include: Pierre Andre, David Kaplan, Chuck Swirsky, Roger Triemstra, and Mary Van De Velde. WGN Radio station manager Todd Manley says, “In this year’s class, we give tribute to two prominent Chicago sports personalities, an affable weatherman, an announcer from the ‘golden days of radio,’ and a trusted voice in morning drive for over two decades.”…..Bristol Broadcasting promotes Jason Reed, a.k.a. Chris Arnold, to the operations manager position at the Bristol-Johnson City-Kingsport cluster that includes news/talk WFHG…..Westwood One continues its coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament with the Final Four live from the Alamodome in San Antonio this weekend, followed by the National Championship game on Monday night.
Stormy Daniels ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Expels Russian Diplomats, Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump Approval Rating Up, Ryan Resignation Rumor, FTC Facebook Investigation/British Cambridge Analytica Probe, Kim Jong Un in China, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26). Sunday night’s “60 Minutes” interview with Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump expels 60 Russian diplomats in the aftermath of the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K.; former Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, is named Trump’s National Security Adviser-Designate; a CNN poll shows President Trump’s approval rating is at 11-month high; the rumor that House Speaker Paul Ryan will resign within “three to six months”; the Federal Trade Commission reveals it is investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie’s testimony before a British Parliamentary committee; reports that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un may be visiting China; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; the NFL’s free agency period; and NBA action 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. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” names John O’Connell program director. Entercom SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are looking forward to having John join the ‘Kiss Country 99.9’ team. His expertise and passion for country radio, along with knowledge of Miami listeners, will be an asset to the team. John is a remarkable leader and we are confident he will take on this heritage brand with vigor.” O’Connell adds WKIS programming duties to his current responsibilities as program director for alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark.”…..WDRV, Chicago “97.1 The Drive” midday personality Bob Stroud re-ups with Hubbard Radio to continue his duties with the classic rock station. WDRV program director Rob Cressman comments, “Bob is not only an exemplary brand ambassador for ‘The Drive,’ he is an iconic brand in Chicago. His experience with classic rock’s artists and his deep understanding of what makes the genre timeless have ensconced him as one of Chicago’s premiere sources for music curation. His contributions to the classic rock format have been widely celebrated throughout his career. We are thrilled to know that the daily companionship Bob provides the Chicago community will endure for many years to come.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints programming pro John Candelaria program director for rhythmic oldies WMGC, Detroit “105.1FM The Bounce.” Candelaria is the company’s urban format captain and has most recently been the operations manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS and hot AC KVGS in Las Vegas. Beasley Detroit VP and market manager Mac Edwards says, “John’s proven track record as a strategic programmer and tactician makes him the perfect choice to lead our very talented air team. He ‘gets’ this format and is bringing the ideas and energy to fuel the next phase of growth for ‘105.1 The Bounce.’ This should be fun!”