Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Compass Media Networks announces that Connoisseur Media’s stations in Connecticut and Long Island are charter affiliates for SPECai, a joint venture between Compass Media Networks, Benztown, and ENCO, that provides radio stations with creative custom spec commercials in mere seconds using AI technology.

Former sports talk KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” programmer Raj Sharan joins Cumulus Media’s country KATC-FM, Colorado Springs as afternoon host and promotions director for the station.

Industry News

Denver Sports Talk Scene Examined

There are two interesting pieces published recently that look at the sports talk radio scene in Denver – one an interview with market sports talk personality Darren “Dmac” McKee by Doug Ottewill in Mileim High Sports, the other a piece by Michael Roberts in alt-weekly Westword that analyzes the state of Bonneville’s KKFN “104.3 The Fan.” McKee (along with several others) was let go by “The imFan” in September after the station was beat in the ratings by Stan Kroenke’s crosstown KKSE-FM “Altitude Sports Radio.” “The Fan” PD Raj Sharan was ousted shortly thereafter, and former ESPN Radio programmer Amanda Brown was recently brought aboard as PD to right the ship. Roberts’ piece chronicles the rise of “The Fan” – as well as its recent struggles. Ironically, shortly after being let go, McKee found work at his former competitor and now co-hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show at “Altitude Sports Radio” with former “Fan” host Tyler Polumbus and Scott Hastings. Read the Westwood “Dmac” interview here. See the Mile High Sports piece here.

Industry News

Bonneville Denver Names Amanda Brown PD for “104.3 The Fan”

Bonneville Denver names Amanda Brown program director for sports talk KKFN-FM “Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan.” Brown served with ESPN Radio for the past 20 years, most recently as PD of KSPN,im Los Angeles. She takes over for Raj Sharan, who exits the station after four-and-a-half years. Bonneville Denver SVP and market manager Katie Reid says, “We are thrilled to welcome Amanda to the Bonneville family. She brings an extensive amount of experience, knowledge, and leadership to our team. Her understanding of the evolving sports landscape, and tremendous passion for digital media embodies everything we strive for at Denver Sports and on 104.3 The Fan.” Brown begins her new gig on December 4.

Industry News

Bonneville’s “104.3 The Fan” in Denver Unveils New Lineup

Bonneville sports talk outlet KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” revealed its new daily program lineup (effective 9/19) that also sees four hosts exit the station. Longtime “The Drive” host Darren “DMac” McKee, as well as Orlando Franklin, Nate Jackson, and Chad Brown, are no longer with the station. In announcing the new hosts, the station says, “‘The Drive with Zach Bye and Denver, Colorado’s ownim Phillip Lindsay’ begins a new era for the station’s flagship program airing weekdays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Bye moves to afternoons after serving on the midday show. Replacing Bye as Brandon Stokley’s partner is Josh Dover on the “Stokley and Josh” program airing in the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm daypart. Dover previously served with Kroenke Sports and Entertainment’s KKSE-FM, Denver. At the same time, the station is extending the “Schlereth and Evans” morning show to air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. Bonneville Denver SVP and market manager Katie Reid says, “We are proud to usher in a new generation here on ‘104.3 The Fan.’ This new lineup will provide a stable and consistent listening experience for our audience. We’re extremely excited to welcome both Phil and Josh, as their high character, dynamic personalities and passion for their Denver community will resonate deeply with our audience.”

Industry News

Derek Wolfe Exits Denver’s 104.3 The Fan

According to a report by KUSA-TV, Denver, former Denver Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe has exited Bonneville’s sports talk KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” where he co-hosted the afternoon show with Darren “Dmac” McKee.  Wolfe posted the following to his Instagram account: “Hello everyone! I wanted to share someim news with you first. I have made the tough decision to step down as co-host of The Drive on the Fan due to persistent scheduling conflicts. It has been an incredible journey with my radio crew, and this choice was not easy to make. Lately, my passion for outdoor pursuits has taken me on an exciting and unexpected journey, prompting me to continue chasing my dreams. I genuinely appreciate your understanding and support throughout this process!” The station paired Wolfe with McKee in October of last year.

Industry News

Ryan Edwards Moves to PM Drive at KOA, Denver

Radio personality Ryan Edwards moves from his role as co-host of KOA, Denver’s evening “Broncos Country Tonight” program with Benjamin Allbright to afternoon drive as part of “The KOA Sports Zoo” alongside hostsDenver Broncos - KKFN Dave Logan and Alfred Williams. Edwards began his radio career at Bonneville’s crosstown sports talk KKFN “104.3 The Fan” before joining iHeartMedia Denver and co-hosting “First & Ten at 10” on KDFD-AM “Orange & Blue 760.” Edwards says, “I am thrilled to join radio and football legends Dave Logan and Alfred Williams on ‘The KOA Sports Zoo.’ I look forward to bringing a fans’ perspective to the Denver Broncos and all things Denver sports.”

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

It’s Official: KEGL-FM, Dallas Flips to Hot Talk as ‘97.1 The Freak.’ After a cryptic message from longtime Dallas sports talk personality Mike Rhyner two weeks ago fueled speculation that iHeartMedia would flip rock outlet KEGL-FM “97.1 The Eagle” to sports talk, the company finally reveals that the change will actually be to hot talk. KEGL-FM is now “97.1 The Freak.” The company says that “The Freak” will be “a broad-based personality radio station that connects in a personal way with the DFW audience.” It will feature “The Speakeasy” from 7:00 am to 11:00 am starring Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs and Matt Cather, followed by “The Ben & Skin Show” with Ben Rogers, Jeff  “Skin” Wade, Krystina “K-Ray” Ray and Michael “Grubes” Gruber; and “The Downbeat” in afternoon drive hosted by former longtime KTCK personality Mike Rhyner, with Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber. iHeartMedia Dallas regional VP of programming Patrick Davis says, “We’re beyond excited to introduce “97.1 The Freak.” The level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas-Fort Worth!”

Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2022 Legends of Radio Inductees. The Museum of Broadcast Communications announces the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022, “recognizing the talents and efforts of air personalities, programmers and operators who contributed with greatness to the radio industry and have since passed away.” They are: Doug Banks, nationally syndicated on-air personality; James Brown, legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE, Knoxville; Bob Coburn, host of the syndicated “Rockline” show; Chick Hearn, play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers; Bernice Judis, owner and general manager, WNEW-AM from the 1930s through the 1950s; Sid Mark, host of syndicated program, “Sounds of Sinatra”; Bobby O’Jay, on-air personality, WDIA-AM, Memphis; Pervis Spann, on-air personality, WVON-AM, Chicago; James Thompson, Group W Broadcasting president and president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America; and Rosalie Trombley, music director of CKLW-AM, Detroit in the 1960s–1970s. Radio Hall of Fame co-chair Kraig T. Kitchin says, “The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100-plus-year-old industry. I’m thrilled to see the nominating committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.” The Radio Hall of Fame recognizes its 2022 class of inductees at the in-person 2022 Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Tuesday, November 1, at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Acqua Hotel.

Derek Wolfe Joins Darren McKee for Afternoons at ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Television station KUSA-FV “9News” is reporting that recently retired Denver Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe joins Bonneville’s sports talk KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” as co-host of the weekday afternoon sports show “The Drive” with Darren “Dmac” McKee. Wolfe takes over the co-host role on the afternoon drive show after the company did not renew the contract of fellow former Bronco and Colorado Buffalo Tyler Polumbus.

Cumulus Unveils New Morning Show at ‘104.5 The Zone’ in Nashville. Beginning tomorrow (10/5), Cumulus Media’s sports talk WGFX-FM, Nashville “104.5 The Zone” features two new co-hosts alongside Ramon Foster. Kayla Anderson – who’s been sports anchor, reporter and more for WKRN-TV, Nashville “News 2 TV” – joins the program as does current WGFX-FM high school play-by-play voice, Titans post-game show host and fill-in host Will Boling. Station operations manager Paul Mason says, “Ramon Foster has a tremendous natural ability to connect with sports fans in morning radio, and our listeners love him. Bringing Ramon together with experienced television sports anchor and reporter Kayla Anderson and hometown broadcaster Will Boling creates a truly special dynamic that will make for some great morning sports radio!”

BFoA Delivers Aid to Broadcasters Puerto Rico, Florida, and Carolinas. The Broadcasters Foundation of America says it is providing emergency aid to qualifying colleagues in the radio and TV industry who have been personally hit hard by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian. BFoA says that so far, requests have come in from individuals who work at Spanish Broadcasting System, America CV Station Group, Telemundo, and Univision, with the first of those checks going out to qualifying individuals this week. BFoA president Tim McCarthy states, “Our Emergency Grant Program is set up with a streamlined vetting process that allows us to move quickly and get checks to those in desperate need quickly. Broken pipes, power outages, displacement, and more have brought devastation to many of our colleagues.” Broadcasters can apply for emergency aid and see if they qualify by clicking here.

AWM Names Gracies Leadership Awards Honorees. The Alliance for Women in Media announces the seven honorees for the Gracies Leadership Awards that will be presented on Monday, November 14 at Tribeca 360 in New York. Google News Initiative is a presenting sponsor of the awards. AWM says the annual event provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the significant impact women have made in the media industry, while also spurring to action and emboldening female leaders in attendance. The list of this year’s honorees include the following: Nancy Daniels, chief of content, TNets, Discovery, Animal Planet, & Science Channel; Marie Donoghue, vice president, Global Sports Video, Amazon; Kim Godwin, president, ABC News; Wendy Goldberg, chief communications officer, iHeartMedia, Inc.; Chesley Maddox-Dorsey, CEO, American Urban Radio Networks; Debra O’Connell, president, Networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution; and Dawn Porter, founder, Trilogy Films. AWM president Becky Brooksstates, “It is an exceptional honor to recognize and celebrate this strong lineup and powerhouse of women leaders in our industry. Soledad O’Brien as our keynote speaker will undoubtedly create an unforgettable event for everyone in attendance.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between SiriusXM and Dan AbramsLaw&Crime TV network adds the network to the satcaster’s streaming channel lineup. Abrams says, “I’ve loved being part of the SiriusXM family and am thrilled to be expanding our collaboration. We have been talking with SiriusXM for years about a Law&Crime channel that would bring compelling trial coverage and crime content to the platform, so it’s really exciting to see this come to fruition.” In addition to his Law&Crime network, Abrams is also the host of “The Dan Abrams Show” heard from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. channel as well as the host of “Dan Abrams Live” on NewsNation, the chief legal analyst for ABC News and host of “On Patrol: Live on Reelz.”…..NHPR will be celebrated on Thursday, October 20, 2022, as the recipient of The Nackey S. Loeb School’s Quill & Ink Award. This award is not given annually, but instead is reserved to honor significant contributions to the First Amendment. NHPR is being honored for continuing to produce high-quality accountability journalism in the face of legal threats and vandalism directed at some staff members and their families. NHPR president and CEO Jim Schachter says, “This is a fitting tribute to our newsroom’s outstanding work and our journalists’ courage. I’m glad that it recognizes the entire organization, because it takes everyone at NHPR to make our journalism possible.”

Russia-Ukraine War, Hurricane Ian Aftermath, Inflation/Recession Fears, Trump Legal Issues, November Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Oath Keepers Trial, and Brazilian/European Politics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3). Russian president Vladimir Putin’s move to call up more troops and to attempt to annex parts of Ukraine; the destruction in southwest Florida left by Hurricane Ian; the record-setting inflation and fears of a recession; the legal issues facing former President Donald Trump and his defamation suit against CNN; the November midterm elections and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the Washington, DC trial of several Oath Keepers on seditious conspiracy charges relative to the January 6 Capitol riot; and the political situation in Brazil and in Europe were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.