Report: Ryan Maguire to Lead Programming at Good Karma’s WTMJ and WKTI in Milwaukee. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, radio programming pro Ryan Maguire is moving from his role as executive producer of the Chicago White Sox Radio Network at WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000” to the Milwaukee operations of Good Karma Brands where he’ll serve as director of content for news/talk WTMJ and sports talk WKTI-FM “ESPN Milwaukee.” Maguire is quoted in Barrett Sports Media saying, “I’m going to miss working with everyone in the Windy City; in particular, Len Kasper, Darrin Jackson, Connor McKnight and our entire team that put White Sox radio broadcasts together this past season. I’m happy to call them lifelong friends.”
Monday Memo: Talk Topic Two-fer. “Making the phone ring today will be easy,” consultant Holland Cooke reckons, predicting lots of calls about the Super Bowl (commercials). But next Monday, Presidents Day, is a holiday for many “whose habit listening will be disrupted.” So, in this week’s column, HC details two sure-fire call-in topics for next Monday. Read it here.
Pending Business: A Customer-centric Pitch. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says he recently saw a sign in a New York dry-cleaner/laundry window that proclaimed, “We do a better shirt.” The sign then explained the seven reasons this was true in clear, simple language. “The real lesson here is how elegantly simple this merchant crafted a customer-centric ‘pitch’ that showed the difference and advantage of buying the service they offered versus the competitors down the block and across the street.” Is your pitch to radio advertising prospects as customer-focused? Read more here.
Longtime Detroit Talk Radio Personality Frank Beckmann Dead at 72. Almost a year after retiring from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR-AM, Detroit, Frank Beckmann has died at the age of 72. Cumulus says Beckmann died on Saturday evening. In January 2021, the WJR late morning host announced his retirement after a 48-year radio career in Detroit. He hosted “The Frank Beckmann Show” on weekdays from 9:00 am-12:00 noon for 18 years prior to his retirement. Beckmann was recognized as Michigan’s top sportscaster for his work as the only person to broadcast games for all four of Detroit’s major sports teams and his creation of Detroit’s first sports talk show, “Sportswrap,” in 1981. He was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and was also inducted into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the VIP Mentoring Coaches Challenge Hall of Fame. In 1981, he succeeded Bob Ufer as the University of Michigan football play-by-play announcer, a job he did for 33 seasons. Over the course of his storied career, Beckmann helped raise tens of millions of dollars for Detroit area charities, including: The Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund; Dutton Farm, which serves those with Down Syndrome; the Autism Alliance of Michigan; and numerous other nonprofit organizations. Beckmann was also a longtime major supporter of the March of Dimes and hosted an annual golf tournament fundraiser for the charity for 37 years. Fellow WJR personality Paul W. Smith commented, “In all my years of broadcasting and all the people I’ve had the privilege of working with, Frank Beckmann was one of a kind. All of us at WJR, and for that matter, all of Detroit, have been lucky to have him.”
WINA, Charlottesville Host Rob Schilling Sues Congressional Democrats Over Records Request. According to a story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, WINA-AM/W255CT, Charlottesville midday talk show host Rob Schilling is suing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House clerk Cheryl L. Johnson and chief administrative officer of the U.S. House Catherine Szpindor alleging they denied him public records related to climate change hearings. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in D.C., says Schilling’s request for documents related to House Committee on Oversight & Reform called “Fueling the Climate Crisis: Exposing Big Oil’s Disinformation Campaign to Prevent Climate Action” have been ignored or he’s been told no such records exist. Schilling’s complaint includes allegations that “the committee’s investigation into the fossil fuel industry’s climate disinformation campaign” is not in furtherance of Congress’ duty. He also argues that it appears “consultants were hired without following the process set forth in the House rules.” The Times-Dispatch story says no hearings related to this suit are currently scheduled.
WTOP, Washington to Debut ‘DMV Download’ in April. A new, daily local podcast from Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington will launch in April. WTOP says “DMV Download” is “the first local daily podcast that dives deeper into the biggest and most interesting news stories impacting Washingtonians – from Anacostia to Ashburn, Silver Spring to Upper Marlboro.” The program is hosted by WTOP investigative reporter Megan Cloherty and WTOP producer Luke Garrett. WTOP director of content integration and operations Craig Schwalb states, “Launching the DMV Download highlights WTOP’s continued focus on innovation with an investment in two accomplished and respected journalists excited to bring a fresh, local news podcast to life for the DC area.” Cloherty adds, “In 20 minutes, we’ll offer listeners context on the day’s biggest stories, going past the headlines with our deep bench of sources and reporters. In my mind, if we can wrap up your workday with dependable, interesting content about our community, we’ve done our job.”
TALKERS News Notes. Boston public news/talk outlet WGBH-FM announces what it is calling “a reimagined ‘Morning Edition’ with co-hosts Paris Alston and Jeremy Siegel. GBH News says alongside the NPR “Morning Edition” broadcast, Alston and Siegel “will bring audiences into the center of these stories, adding local context and depth.” GBH general manager of news Pam Johnston says, “Our audiences have told us that mornings matter most when it comes to news. This is when people seek out the information they need to get them going and set the tone for the day ahead. Paris and Jeremy have the intelligence, energy and authenticity we need to start our mornings right. I know local audiences will relate to their informative and dynamic style.”…..Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios announces the debut of the new five-part podcast series “Love Thy Neighbor,” that looks at the 1991 Crown Heights riots. Emmy-award winning journalist Collier Meyerson hosts the show that explores the lasting impact those four days of violence had on Crown Heights residents and the future of New York City. Through deeply personal, new and archival interviews with residents, scholars, and activists, “Love Thy Neighbor” will show how those four days in 1991 were a flashpoint that shaped a dark new era of politics, policing, anti-semitism and anti-Black racism in New York City.
Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19/Trucker Protest, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Crime Wave-Violence Against Cops, January 6 Investigation, Beijing Olympics, and Super Bowl LVI Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The diplomatic tensions over Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; the relaxing of COVID-19 mandates and the dismantling of the Freedom Convoy blocking the bridge from Windsor to Detroit; the battle for control over Congress in the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the wave of violent crime in America’s large cities and the spate of violence against cops; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the search for Trump administration records; the politics surrounding the Beijing Winter Olympics; and the Los Angeles Ram’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.