Front Page News Industry News

Monday, November 14, 2022

Industry Mourns Jim Bohannon.  Veteran talk radio host Jim Bohannon has died at age 78, at the Prisma Health Cottingham Hospice House in South Carolina after losing a hard fought battle with esophageal cancer. He was born January 7, 1944 in Corvallis, OR, where his father was stationed in the U.S. Army during WWII. After the war, the family moved back to their home town to Lebanon, MO, where Jim grew up and graduated from Lebanon High School in 1962. He attended Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, before joining the military. His service in the U.S. Army Security Agency with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade included a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967-68. Jim’s radio career began in high school working at KLWT, and in college at KICK, and KWTO.  After his return stateside, Jim was stationed at Vint Hill Farms Station, VA, and worked at radio stations WGAY, WTOP, and WRC in the Washington, DC market. He joined the Mutual Network in 1983, which later became Westwood One Radio. He began anchoring America in the Morning news magazine, hosting the Saturday night Jim Bohannon Show, and filling in on the Larry King Show. In 1993, Larry King moved to CNN, and the radio show became the Jim Bohannon Show, which Jim hosted until shortly before his death. His distinctive voice, wit and wisdom was aired on some 500 radio stations nationwide. Jim has been honored to be the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his talent and contributions to the radio industry. This includes his induction into the National Broadcasting Hall of Fame by the National Association of Broadcasters, the Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, the Radio Hall of Fame of the Museum of Broadcast Communication, and the Society of Professional Journalists, DC Chapter Hall of Fame. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from TALKERS magazine, and the First Amendment Award from the Radio and Television Digital News Foundation. He was especially pleased to receive the Gold Award from the International Radio Festival of New York for his documentary, “Pain and Pride- Remembering Vietnam,” and to be a 2003 inductee to the Wall of Honor in his hometown of Lebanon, MO. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Vietnam Veterans of America. Jim is survived by his wife, Annabelle Bohannon, of Westminster, SC, and daughter, Elizabeth Smith of Janesville, WI.  Per Jim’s wishes no formal services will be held at this time. The family is at their respective homes.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory are suggested to any organization of your choice that serves to support the needs of veterans.  A message of condolence may be written to the family by visiting www.sandiferfuneralhome.comTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states: “Jim Bohannon was one of the greatest radio broadcasters of all time, plain and simple.  His talent was only surpassed by the personal esteem in which his fellow broadcasters held him.  He was the very definition of a ‘good guy’ through and through.”  Harrison recently recorded the last official interview with Jim Bohannon that is posted on PodcastOne click here.

Remembering Overnight Sensation Jim Bohannon. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian had the pleasure of interviewing Jim Bohannon a number of times over the years for personality profile pieces in the radio trade press. He says, “‘Class act’ epitomized peerless communicator Bohannon, who – while enjoying the luxury of a national Westwood One platform – possessed a palpably authentic on-air style that enamored him to a huge, loyal following. Always remarkably accessible, ‘Jimbo’ was unfailing in offering his vast expertise to the industry as a whole and to aspiring broadcasters. Moreover, he exuded a truly unique warmth that will be missed beyond measure.” Read Mike Kinosian’s piece here.

Monday Memo: Your Podcast “Bones,” Part Deux. In last week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke recommended to podcasters that shorter-is-better. This week, HC recommends a format for longer-form episodes. Read his column here.


Pending Business: When the Crystal Ball Is Foggy. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that “the current economic cycle is being driven by a sweeping round of cutbacks and strategic business re-focus.” He says that as a result, “the clock is ticking on the adjustments you should consider to jump-start 2023.” He offers a quick checklist to consider as you deal with a changing economic climate. Read it here.


Urban One’s Sports Talk WFNZ, Charlotte Names New Midday Shows. Today (11/14) marks the launch of new midday programming on Urban One’s Charlotte sports talk WFNZ-AM/FM “Sports Radio 92.7.” The station introduces the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show “Wes & Walker” starring Wes Bryant (left) and Walker Mehl (right). Bryant is a host, producer, editor and voice-over artist for the ACC Digital Network in Charlotte.  He’s hosted ACC Digital Network’s “Kickoff Live,” a college football pregame show and “Wes Got Range,” a lifestyle show joining food and local area athletes together. Most recently he was the 2021-2022 season pre- and post-game host for the Charlotte Hornets broadcasts on Bally Sports South. Mehl hosts the “Locked on Hornets” podcast and has served as a guest host on WFNZ. Station PD Jeff Rickard says, “I’m excited to hear from two talented young men who are not only entertaining and engaging, but true native sons of the Queen City. I’m looking forward to hearing their hometown takes on all things Charlotte sports. I can’t wait for our listeners to learn more about them and enjoy the upcoming ride.” Rickard is also debuting his new late morning show titled, “Charlotte Sports Today,” that airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. The “Mac Bone” show continues is morning drive and Kyle Bailey remains the PM drive personality.

Audacy Names Seema Kumar SVP of Advertising Platforms. Advertising pro Seema Kumar joins Audacy as SVP of advertising platforms for the company. In this role, she’ll lead the team members responsible for the technology platforms for Audacy’s revenue organization, “ensuring that roadmaps and requirements are prioritized for vendors and IT ad tech engineers, aligned with ad product strategy and revenue goals, and optimized to meet business operational needs.” Kumar comes to Audacy from her most recent position as VP of advertising technology for WarnerMedia. Audacy EVP of advertising technology, products and platforms Terri Gunnell states, “We’re thrilled to welcome Seema to the team as we elevate our strategy and focus on the interoperability of our ad platforms to support growing our revenue in partnership with sales and creating efficiencies for sales operations. Her deep ad tech platform experience and forward-thinking business acumen will ensure we improve service to our internal and external clients and partners as well as enhance our ability to innovate in 2023 and beyond.”

WRKO, Boston’s Radiothon Raises $86,000 for Disabled Veterans. On Thursday and Friday of last week (11/10 & 11) iHeartMedia news/tak outlet WRKO, Boston produced its seventh annual DAV Radiothon to benefit the Disabled American Veterans Department of Massachusetts and raised $86,000. Over the two days, WRKO on-air personalities Jeff Kuhner, Chuck Zodda and Mike Armstrong encouraged listeners to donate and raise funds for the DAV of Massachusetts’ homeless shelter and transportation programs. iHeartMedia Boston VP of news, talk, sports Rob Sanchez says, “Every year the WRKO listeners amaze me with their generosity. Once again, they have helped to raise $86,883 for the DAV of Massachusetts. We’re proud to be able to support the DAV of Massachusetts and show that WRKO, our listeners and our sponsors are always willing to help the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our great country.” Since 2016, DAV Radiothon has raised more than $886,000 to benefit veterans in the community.

Midterm Results, Trump in ’24, Biden Meets Xi, G-20 Summit, The Economy/Crypto Meltdown, Deadly Virginia and Idaho Shootings, Russia-Ukraine War, and Social Media Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of last week’s midterm elections including the Democrats’ hold on the U.S. Senate and the still-unknown status of the U.S. House; former President Donald Trump’s expected run for president in 2024; President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping over tense issues including Taiwan; the meeting of G-20 leaders in Bali; U.S. inflation, job reports and concerns about a recession, combined with the freefall of crypto-currency; the fatal shooting of three at the University of Virginia and the deaths of four University of Idaho students; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its exit from Kherson; and the troubles at Elon Musk’s Twitter, Meta’s Facebook, and the future of social media were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.