Beasley Media Group announces that Rachel Pitts is named digital program director for its Philadelphia stations, including sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” and four music brands. Most recently, Pitts has been serving in a similar role with the company’s Tampa stations. Beasley chief content officer Justin Chase says, “One of Beasley’s goals for 2023 is growing our digital audience and Rachel has been one of the company’s top digital content leaders. She has helped to build a massive digital audience in Tampa, and we’re excited to watch her develop a similar strategy for our amazing Philadelphia digital brands.” Pitts comments, “I am excited to continue to help expand the digital footprint of Beasley Media Group. To have the opportunity to work with the legendary talent and brands of the company’s Philadelphia stations has been a big career goal!”
Skyview Networks issued a statement to its affiliate stations after they began having issues receiving news programming via XDS receiver that affected transmission of CBS Radio News and ABC News Radio. Skyview stated: “Skyview Networks experienced unauthorized access to its IT environment, resulting in interrupted technical services. Immediately upon learning of the incident, Skyview activated its comprehensive incident response plan. We have initiated advanced monitoring and threat detection across our systems and data. We have also engaged third party forensic experts to help us contain and investigate the incident. These efforts are fully underway.” Skyview also cautions affiliates to not reboot their XDS receiver.
American Urban Radio Network announces that William “Andy” Anderson is promoted to chief revenue officer for the company. He’s been serving as president of sales for the past four years. AURN says, “With his extensive experience in the industry and a proven track record, Anderson will be leading the charge in maximizing revenue opportunities, product acquisitions and original content creations for the company. AURN CEO Chesley Maddox-Dorsey adds, “Andy’s success in developing a vision and providing strong leadership for growing company-wide activities and strategies focused on generating, maintaining and increasing revenue is unparalleled. This is a well-earned promotion.” The company adds that under Anderson’s tenure, it has seen its station affiliations grow, launched the AURNGAMING division and realized various digital expansions including podcasts and programmatic marketing.
Nielsen says that it will begin marketing Edison Research’s Share of Ear and Edison Podcast Metrics services to advertising agencies. Nielsen says, “Edison’s Share of Ear is a highly regarded and widely cited service that provides deep insights about the complete audio landscape, including broadcast radio, streaming, podcasting, downloaded audio, smart speakers and other sources of audio content… Edison Podcast Metrics measures persons-based listening estimates using frequently updated surveys to provide a complete view of the rapidly growing podcast audience.” Jon Kaiser is head of Nielsen’s agency and advertiser-direct businesses and he says, “The media landscape is evolving quickly and agencies have a vital need to understand how all the media puzzle pieces fit together. Edison’s insights are best-in-class and Nielsen is excited to work together with them to provide media planners and buyers with deep insights into the total audio landscape and the rapidly growing podcasting audience.”
Southern California Public Radio’s news/talk station KPCC, Pasadena is rebranding as “LAist 89.3.” KPCC says this move is intended to “address audience confusion and better communicate cross-platform initiatives. Los Angeles listeners have long mixed the station up with L.A.’s other NPR affiliate, KCRW, and more recently wondered what the connection is between KPCC and LAist.” Southern California Public Radio acquired LAist.com and its archives in 2018. This rebranding puts the radio station, website and podcast creator LAist Studios under the same banner.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications announces that the Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee is accepting suggestions for 2023 nominees today (2/1) through March 31 at https://www.radiohalloffame.com/nominate. Twenty-four names will be selected as nominees to be voted upon by industry personnel later this year, leading to the selection of the 2023 Radio Hall of Fame induction class. Radio Hall of Fame co-chair Kraig T. Kitchin says, “The ideas and suggestions from both industry members and listeners has provided for excellent conversations and deliberations amongst our nominating committee members, each of them also bringing their own suggestions to the difficult decision making that goes on. When we hear from as many interested people as we do with suggestions, it only reinforces the value of a nomination, let alone an induction.”
The efforts in Washington to come together to solve the U.S.’s debt ceiling issue; the classified government documents in the possession of Joe Biden, Mike Pence and Donald Trump; the aftermath of the police beating death of Tyre Nichols and the police brutality issue; the United States and Germany are declining to send fighter jets to Ukraine to help it fend off Russia’s invasion; nine states ask a federal judge in Texas to block the Barack Obama-era DACA program providing protection to immigrants brought to the U.S. as children; and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ continuing moves to dismantle diversity and inclusion initiatives at Florida’s universities were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
One of the most colorful figures in the modern radio industry, Dave “Chachi” Denes is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Denes is president and co-founder of Benztown, a Southern California-based, multi-faceted firm specializing in high-quality imaging support for music and spoken-word radio stations across the nation. Denes co-founded Benztown in 2008 with international radio producers Andreas Sannemann and Oliver Klenk, both based in Stuttgart, Germany. Since 2008, the company has grown to include an international syndication arm, Benztown Radio Networks that provides radio stations around the world with top-of-the-line programs by such talent as Rick Dees, Todd-N-Tyler, R Dub! and more. Today Benztown has studios in Los Angeles, New York, and Stuttgart, Germany. Denes is also executive producer of the more recently launched Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks establishing a beachhead in the burgeoning podcasting industry. Through Benztown, Denes hosts his own radio industry-oriented podcast titled, “Chachi Loves Everybody.” Denes began his radio career in the late 90s at great music stations including KFMB-FM, KIIS-FM, KOST-FM and KBIG-FM in Southern California where he worked as a producer and eventually a renowned program director. Harrison and Denes talk about their respective careers as well as the past, present and future of radio. Don’t miss this! Listen to the podcast in its entirety here.
The satellite service announces that it is adding three new weekend programs to the schedule on its Urban View channel. Political consultant, writer, and commentator Shermichael Singleton hosts the Saturday 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. He’s a former contributing host of Vox Media’s “Consider It” and the host of “ScreenShare” on MSNBC’s Peacock. The program features diverse guests and conversations that “tackle the biggest issues in culture, entertainment, media, and politics.” Best-selling author, advocate, speaker, and strategist Reecie Colbert hosts the Saturday 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm program that addresses politics, culture, current events, entertainment, and lifestyle topics. And broadcaster, news analyst, business executive, college dean, university professor, lecturer, entrepreneur, and advocate Dr. Rashad Richey is host of the Sunday 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm hour that SiriusXM calls “your one-hour Sunday ‘all things’ political, social, and economic empowerment show!”
Radio sales pro Jeff Clewett is promoted to the director of sales position at Bonneville Denver, which operates sports talkers KKFN-FM “Denver Sports” and KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver,” plus two music brands. Clewett has been serving the company as general sales manager for KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports.” Bonneville Denver SVP and market manager Katie Reid says, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Jeff join our sales team. I know he will show our clients exceptional results and take Denver sales to the next level through his keen strategic thinking, business acumen and strong focus on community.” Clewett comments, “I am humbled and excited to work with such a talented team and iconic brands that are so meaningful to the market. The Bonneville Denver sales team has a track record of tremendous success and I look forward to finding new ways to maximize revenue, deliver extraordinary results for our partners and develop our people.”
CNN Audio announces that Steve Lickteig joins the network as the executive producer of podcast and audio content, managing production and strategy. Lickteig is the co-founder of Small Good Thing, a podcast consulting and development company. Prior to that, he was the executive producer of podcasts and audio for NBC News and MSNBC. Lickteig will report to Katie Hinman, CNN’s vice president of development. He begins on February 6.
Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is not interested in the potential afternoon drive opening at WEPN-FM “ESPN Radio New York.” James Kratch sums up Russo’s feelings about the idea at Elite Sports New York, writing, “The WFAN legend told Newsday he is happy at SiriusXM and speculation he could return to terrestrial radio to replace Michael Kay is ‘probably not realistic.’ ‘I’m not going to leave Sirius, let’s put it that way,’ Russo told sports media columnist Neil Best. ‘I love Sirius so much. They’ve been good to me. … I’m going to do that as long as they’ll have me, to make a long story short.’” ESPN Radio New York PM drive host Michael Kay’s contract is up and, after 23 years there, it’s expected he may move on.
At SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio, this week is the annual “Players Week” in which several current major league players and top prospects join SiriusXM hosts for special extended feature segments. During this special programming, players have a “national platform, an hour of airtime, and the freedom to guide the conversation and discuss the teams and topics both on and off the field that most interest them.”
Chris Haynes, senior NBA Insider for TNT and Bleacher Report, and Marc Stein, veteran NBA reporter and publisher of The Stein Line on Substack, announce they’ve partnered for the new iHeartPodcast program, “#thisleague UNCUT.” The two insiders “break down the latest hot topics with candor and bold opinions” twice per week.
The classified documents investigations and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan’s request of investigation documents from the DOJ; Ukraine’s plea for fighter jets to prevent Russia from continuing its invasion; security failures at the U.S.-Mexico border; the aftermath of the police beating death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis; former President Donald Trump’s legal issues in Georgia relating to alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election and in New York City for allegedly paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels; May 11 is set as the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency; and the winter storm moving across the country and affecting air travel were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.