Cumulus Media appoints Jay Philpott operations manager for the Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin station group that includes news/talk WOSH-AM and four music brands. Philpott will also serve as PD and air talent for classic hits WVBO-FM. Philpott comments, “I knew very quickly after speaking to and meeting with [regional VP] John Rowe that rejoining Cumulus in Appleton/Oshkosh was the right move for me. I am thrilled to work with the incredible programming team there, and to continue working with [SVP programming operations] John Dimick and [chief content officer] Brian Philips. Coming over from Minnesota for my third tour of Wisconsin radio, I’ll still be wearing purple… but only the stuff related to Prince! Here’s to continue making great radio that our listeners love!”
Kim Shepard Joins All-News KNWN-AM/FM, Seattle. Radio news pro Kim Shepard joins Lotus Communications’ all-news KNWN-AM/FM, Seattle as afternoon drive co-anchor alongside Rick Van Cise. Shepard has served with public radio news/talk KUOW-FM, Seattle as a senior producer and announcer as well as with iHeartMedia as a news anchor. Van Cise, who also serves as the station’s program director, says, “Kim brings a wealth of radio experience that makes her a perfect fit for our KNWN NewsRadio family.” Shepard states, “I feel so fortunate that my career has led me to the PNW and even more fortunate that I will get to spend my next chapter at KNWN. As I get to know Rick and the whole talented team, it’s become clear that our goals and passions align in the best possible way: leading the future of radio with timely information from trusted voices. I’m grateful to join the chorus.”
Cumulus Media and TuneIn Expand Content Partnership. The expansion of the content deal between Cumulus Media streaming audio service TuneIn includes the addition of 325 podcasts from the Cumulus Podcast Network to the TuneIn platform. In addition to the podcasts, TuneIn will continue to make Cumulus Media’s local sports, news, talk and entertainment programming across 405 owned-and-operated radio stations in 86 U.S. markets available to TuneIn listeners. Cumulus Media chief content officer Brian Philips states, “This is an ideal time to expand our relationship with TuneIn. Listeners win as we offer more ways for them to discover Cumulus’ premium audio content, custom-delivered on their terms and timelines. This partnership advances our audio-first content strategy, as we deliver our best shows and podcasts to TuneIn’s 75 million active monthly users.” TuneIn CEO Richard Stern adds, “TuneIn aims to be anywhere listening is occurring. In announcing this expanded partnership with Cumulus Media, TuneIn listeners not only have access to Cumulus’ 405 local stations in markets across the U.S., but also 325 of Cumulus Podcast Network’s most popular podcasts. This partnership with the premier audio-first media company is a milestone for TuneIn and we are looking forward to building this relationship and giving our listeners the best listening experience.”
‘Seattle Sports’ Adds ‘KJ Wright Show’ for Wednesday Mornings. Sports talk outlet KIRO-AM, Seattle “Seattle Sports” announces “The KJ Wright Show” becomes part of the morning drive “Brock & Salk” show each Wednesday from 8:00 am to 9:00 am. The former Seattle Seahawks pro bowler brings an insider’s perspective to the show’s coverage of the Seahawks and the NFL. Station PD Kyle Brown comments, “The addition of KJ Wright solidifies ‘Seattle Sports’ as the premier outlet for Seahawks coverage in Seattle. Having spent 11 years in the NFL, and 10 playing under Pete Carroll, KJ will share a perspective on the game that’s unmatched in the PNW. We’re ecstatic to have him join the Seattle Sports team.”
Townsquare Media Launches Washington State News Network. This new venture from Townsquare Media Inc. will provide radio stations with “the only source of local, regional, and statewide news that is available to broadcasters and listeners in the State of Washington.” The Washington State News Network offers short-form news reports broadcast on select Townsquare Washington radio stations, including KONA-AM 610 (Tri-Cities), KFLD-AM 870 (Tri-Cities), KIT-AM 1280 (Yakima), and KPQ-AM 560 (Wenatchee), as well as third party affiliates throughout Washington State. These news reports come in the form of eight 90-second reports per day, Monday – Friday. Kevin O’Rorke is vice president of news & ag networks for Townsquare’s Western region and he says, “We are thrilled to bring quality local, regional and statewide news to the many communities in Washington State that are starving for more local information in their communities. Many broadcasters were forced to cut news staff and content during the pandemic, and we couldn’t be more excited to fill that void for both broadcasters in need of the service and listeners wanting the latest breaking news.”
Sid Rosenberg’s Second Book – Sid-izens United – Hits Shelves. WABC, New York morning drive co-host Sid Rosenberg’s second book is published. Sid-izens United: Salacious Spiels, Stories, Suggestions, and Solutions to Withstand a Woke World (Post Hill Press, 2022) is described by the publisher as follows: “The legendary radio personality and equal-opportunity offender delivers authentic and unapologetic takes on the state of everything—from politics to sports, and pop culture to fitness—all with his inimitable style and humor. Phonies and frauds, beware. Whether you’re an athlete, entertainer, or politician—Sid Rosenberg leaves nobody unscathed. Sid helps navigate the tough topics of today, clearly laying out his thoughts and opinions in the one-of-a-kind style and charm that has made him one of the top radio and TV talents in the country. He also provides a ‘call-to-action’ to the reader with his Sid-izen Solutions at the end of each hot-topic chapter.”
Judge Grants Trump Special Master, Trump Rally, Russia-North Korea Weapons Deal, Saskatchewan Stabbings, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, and Truss Replaces Johnson Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. A federal judge grants former President Donald Trump a Special Master for the probe of the Mar-a-Lago documents; Trump holds Pennsylvania rally after President Joe Biden’s address in Philadelphia; Russia enters in to a weapons deal with North Korea as its invasion of Ukraine continues; the deadly stabbing spree by two brothers in Saskatchewan that’s taken the lives of 10 and wounded 18; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; and Liz Truss assumes the prime minister role in Great Britain were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Monday Memo: R.I.P. Bill Balls. “He’s the Central Casting baritone, shouting or growling-through whatever promo copy the station sends.” And consultant Holland Cooke warns that “because radio ratings – and your advertisers’ results – are a memory test, conformity is detrimental to station imaging.” In this week’s column – and now that we’re a Month into the MLB season – HC points to baseball’s unlikeliest success story as a template for freshening station imaging. Read it here.
Pending Business: Drop These Excuses to Earn More. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about two tired old excuses that no seller should be uttering in today’s media landscape. When negotiating rates, are you still arguing with your client using the phrases, “We don’t give it away” and “We have hard costs?” If so, Steve explains why this is dated and is only harming your potential commission. Read more here.
Sarah van Mosel Named EVP of iHeart Audience Network. Digital audio revenue pro Sarah van Mosel is named executive vice president for iHeartMedia’s iHeart Audience Network. She was most recently chief revenue officer at Stitcher, where she led podcast revenue strategy across SiriusXM, Pandora and Stitcher. The iHeart Audience Network is iHM’s new audience-based buying service that provides advertisers with inventory “sourced from the expansive iHeartRadio database and other premium publishers across streaming and podcasting.” In her new role, van Mosel will assist with iAN sales operations, publisher development and podcast slate partnerships and will report to Conal Byrne, CEO of the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group. Byrne says, “The iHeart Audience Network is the first and only audio marketplace that seamlessly unifies all forms of audio with one common set of audiences, and we’re thrilled Sarah is bringing her expertise, vision and talent to take these unique capabilities to their full potential for advertisers and publishers. She’s been at the forefront of innovation in podcasting from the very beginning and her unique perspective on the rapidly growing medium will ensure this venture becomes the premier service for all brands. The team is looking forward to seeing where she takes iAN next.”
Cumulus Media Ups Brian Philips to Chief Content Officer. Rising to chief content officer for Cumulus Media is Brian Philips, who has been serving the company as EVP of content and audience since 2019. Cumulus president and CEO Mary G. Berner says, “Brian Philips is an exceptional executive and the perfect choice to lead our programming efforts as we continue to execute our audio-first strategy, which is transforming the company from a traditional radio broadcaster into a multi-dimensional audio media company. This promotion reflects Brian’s tremendous contributions, and I have full confidence in his creative vision, operational expertise, and savvy leadership to guide us through this critical evolution.”
TALKERS TIP. Excellent Correspondent Available for Interviews from War. News directors and talk show hosts take note. Gregg Stebben, who spent years being interviewed every month by talk stations all over the country as an editor for Men’s Health magazine, is now in Poland and Ukraine as a volunteer doing radio interviews about the Ukraine situation. He’s available to be “Your-Man-in-Poland/Ukraine.” In an interview, he can talk about the situation with refugees in Poland and all over Europe, his personal experiences with Ukrainian refugees, and the mood in Poland and Western Ukraine. Are the Polish overwhelmed by absorbing almost 3 million refugees and/or terrified they might be next on Putin’s list? He can also talk about his trip to the Ukraine border, and what he’s seen and heard in Poland that makes him fear this Russian invasion will turn into a global conflict if Putin is successful in Ukraine. To schedule an interview with him: Gregg@Stebben.com, 843.722.3100 (cell or text).
WBAP, Fort Worth/Dallas Celebrates 100 Years of Service. Fort Worth/Dallas news/talk station WBAP-AM begins celebrating its 100th year of service to the market today (5/2) from its Victory Park studios. Station program director Bruce Collins says, “We begin the celebration today and have exciting things planned throughout the year to celebrate. WBAP has meant so much to the DFW community. It is going to be a fun year.” The celebration was kicked off this morning as the “WBAP Morning News” team featuring Hal Jay and Brian Estridge welcomed back notable contributors, including former on-air talent and executives that “helped WBAP become a trusted leader in Dallas-Fort Worth.” The station plans to continue its centennial celebration with historical audio clips played on the station daily, the launch of a podcast series highlighting the key figures in the station’s 100 years, and a celebration in the fall. WBAP signed on for the first time under the direction of famed Fort Worth businessman Amon G. Carter on Tuesday, May 2, 1922, operating at 10 watts of power. Within the first six months, WBAP established itself as a service to the community, becoming the first station to air livestock market reports and weekly church services. As the station continued to evolve, WBAP would become the first to broadcast a rodeo, air remote broadcasts, and send a war correspondent to Europe in the early days of World War II. Additionally, WBAP was the first station with regularly scheduled newscasts. Today, WBAP operates as a 50,000-watt, clear-channel station operated by Cumulus Media.
Tom Webster to Leave EVP Role with Edison Research. Announced in his “I Hear Things” blog on Friday (4/29), Edison Research SVP Tom Webster will be stepping away from his role with the company next month. He outlines his new professional goals, saying, “…I want to continue to work to establish a podcast industry: a place where established networks and independent podcasters alike have fair access to information, revenue, and opportunity. I think there are some structural issues in podcasting, and some information arbitrage, as well. I want to work on both of these issues, and help to create the sandbox I wish to continue to play in for years to come.” You can read it here.
The Economy, White House Correspondents Dinner, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War/Pelosi Visit, Elon Musk & Twitter, COVID-19, NFL Draft, and Naomi Judd Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The state of the U.S. economy, high gas & food prices, and threats of a recession; Saturday evening’s White House Correspondents Dinner; the primary races leading up to the November mid-term elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and Nancy Pelosi’s visit with Volodymyr Zelensky; the controversy surrounding Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter; the rate of COVID-19 infections in the U.S., the debate over masks, and China’s zero-COVID policy; the weekend’s 2022 NFL Draft; and the death of country legend Naomi Judd after a long battle with mental illness were some of the most-talked-about stars on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Today’s Homeowner Media Founder and Host Danny Lipford is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Home ownership issues, from the rising cost of housing to the maintenance and improvement required to protect and enhance one’s investment, are deeply tied into the national conversation about America’s economy. One of talk media’s leading experts on the myriad issues facing homeowners is Danny Lipford, founder/host of the notably successful “Today’s Homeowner” syndicated radio and TV programs. Lipford is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison methodically taps into Lipford’s educated perspective on current concerns about inflation, supply chain backups, and the labor force shortage in addition to the programming and advertising compatibility of the home improvement genre with the news/talk radio station format. Don’t miss this extremely informative conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Cumulus Media Signs VP of Programming Operations Doug Hamand to Long-Term Extension. Programming executive Doug Hamand and Cumulus Media sign a new, long-term agreement that will keep the vice president of programming operations with the company for the foreseeable future. Hamand joined the company in January of 2016 after having served with iHeartMedia in a number of executive programming positions for 21 years. Cumulus SVP, programming operations John Dimick says, “Doug is a fierce competitor and expects the best from our content teams. His expertise and experience with multiple formats have enabled Cumulus Media to maintain its leadership position. Doug has definitely earned this new deal and many thanks for the hard work, dedication and commitment to Cumulus Media.” Hamand says, “Working the last five years with this team of exceptionally talented format VP’s, alongside Brian Philips, John Dimick and Greg Frey has been rewarding! I am glad to have helped PDs and market managers in key Cumulus cities achieve success in ratings and revenue. I look forward to serving these markets and the industry for more years to come.”
Jon Hansen’s ‘Your Money Matters’ Added to WGN-AM Program Schedule. Local media figure Jon Hansen joins the daily program schedule at Nexstar Media’s WGN-AM, Chicago as host of “Your Money Matters” beginning February 7. The program – featuring topics including the basics of personal finance, investing and wealth management, financial security, financial literacy, and retirement planning will air from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm Monday through Thursday. Hansen says, “I’m looking forward to learning things along with the audience. Just like them, I’m someone looking for ways to save money, smart ways to spend money, and how to prepare my family for life’s surprises. I’m looking forward to engaging with experts who can help everyone – no matter their financial background. ‘Your Money Matters’ will be a show driven by the listeners’ questions with their needs and financial goals in mind – and I promise we’ll have a lot of fun along the way.” WGN VP/GM Mary Sandberg Boyle comments, “No one is more knowledgeable in hyper-local business and community news than Jon Hansen. He is the perfect host to navigate these challenging topics and make them relatable to our audience.” Hansen also hosts “Let’s Get Legal” on WGN Radio on Saturday afternoons.
Bill Michaels Clears Non-Compete; Show to Air on iHeartMedia’s WOKY-AM, Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Bill “The Big Unit” Michaels will return to the airwaves in Milwaukee after a false start five months ago. Michaels’ program had been airing on Audacy’s crosstown sports talk WSSP-AM prior to that station’s programming changes that saw the show dropped. iHeartMedia added “The Bill Michaels Show” to its sports talker WOKY-AM on August 30, but received a cease-and-desist from Audacy because Michaels had a non-compete in the Milwaukee market that kept him off the air there until now. Michaels’ show airs in the Madison market on Mid-West Family Communications’ WOZN-AM/FM. The 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show will begin on WOKY-AM “The Big 920” on Monday (1/17).
iHeartMedia Atlanta and John Hope Bryant to Launch ‘BUILDING the Good Life’ Podcast. The Atlanta operations of iHeartMedia are teaming up with entrepreneur, philanthropist and globally recognized financial literacy advocate John Hope Bryant to launch a new iHeartRadio Original podcast titled, “BUILDING the Good Life with John Hope Bryant.” iHeartMedia says the podcast showcases “Bryant’s gift for delivering inspiration through authentic and intimate conversations with some of the world’s most extraordinary people, culled from his unique orbit of leaders from business, entertainment, sports, media and government including Killer Mike, CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman and Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar.” Bryant says, “This show is all about the magic of aspiration, inspiration, growing and maximizing human potential – delivered through the reach of the largest podcaster in the country. I have been a builder since I began my entrepreneurial journey as a 10-year-old boy in Compton, California, later creating Operation HOPE in response to the Rodney King riots, which evolved into the building of over 40 for-profit and non-profit organizations. This drive to build began as I listened to stories from those around me growing up in South Central Los Angeles and began to recognize the importance of everyone’s story: that by listening we can hear, by hearing we can see, and by seeing we can reach our full potential.”
WABC, New York Owner John Catsimatidis Offers $10k Reward for Arrest and Conviction of Teen’s Killer. WABC-AM owner and Red Apple Media CEO John Catsimatidis is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the man who shot and killed 19-year-old Kristol Bayron Nieves during the robbery of an East Harlem Burger King restaurant last weekend. The perpetrator appears in surveillance video wearing dark clothes and a mask. He got away with about $100 dollars. Nieves had been working at the restaurant at 116th and Lexington Ave for about three weeks.
FOX News Channel Promotes Jeanine Pirro to Co-Host of ‘The Five.’ FOX News Channel personality Jeanine Pirro is promoted to full-time co-host of “The Five.” Pirro has been a substitute co-host of the show since 2020 in addition to her work with FNC as a legal analyst and host of the weekend program, “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” Pirro joins the program that features a rotating cast that includes: Harold Ford Jr., Geraldo Rivera, and Jessica Tarlov as the co-hosts for the liberal seat and conservatives Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino and Jesse Watters. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “‘The Five’ continues to be a beloved show by the American audience. Each of the co-hosts are accomplished and insightful talent with diverse opinions and terrific chemistry who will certainly help drive this ensemble program going forward.” Pirro will continue hosting “Castles USA” on FOX News Media’s streaming service FOX Nation, where she dives into the rich history of iconic castles around the country.
COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Voting Rights, Economy/Inflation, U.S.-Russia Relations, and Prince Andrew’s Legal Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/12). The high rate of COVID-19 cases across the U.S., the fate of the Omicron variant, and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s spat with Senators Rand Paul and Roger Marshall; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announces refusal to cooperate with House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol; speculation about which party will control Congress after the 2022 midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; President Joe Biden’s push for Congress to take up the Voting Rights Act; the state of the U.S. economy and the high rate of inflation; the U.S., NATO and Russia meet over the Russian troops amassed at the Ukraine border; and Prince Andrew faces a civil suit brought by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.