According to a report by WDEF-TV, Chattanooga, former news/talk WGOW-AM/FM program director Kevin West died yesterday morning (9/18) at the age of 62 after suffering a medical emergency. West retired from the Cumulus Media station in June and had begun working as the public affairs director for the Chattanooga Police Department. West was a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, retiring two years ago with the rank of captain. He is survived by his wife Carlene and five children.
Cumulus Media announces that Jed Mescon is named program pirector and on-air host for news/talk WGOW-AM/FM, Chattanooga. Mescon will debut as morning drive host on Monday (8/21). Cumulus says, “Mescon brings 28 years of morning programming experience on local television to WGOW, and most recently worked in marketing and community engagement for Chattanooga’s Erlanger Health System, TVFCU, and the Skyuka Hall School. A beloved media personality, Mescon’s signature style, boundless energy, and passion for the community have made him a household name throughout the Chattanooga region.” Cumulus Chattanooga VP and market manager John Lewis states, “We are thrilled to welcome Jed to WGOW and our Cumulus Chattanooga team. Jed has amassed an impressive career in media and his unique perspective, connection to the community, and skillset will undoubtedly take WGOW to the next level.” Mescon comments, “I spent 28 years waking up at 2:45 am to bring the news to Chattanooga. This brings me back to my roots, doing both news and co-hosting mornings from 6-10am on WGOW Talk Radio 102.3.”
WBEN/Buffalo Adds the Armstrong & Getty Show. The Armstrong & Getty Show has added yet another major market – WBEN, Buffalo. The Audacy-owned outlet is one of the most respected news/talk radio stations in the country having won numerous state, regional, and national awards for its news reporting. It is also one of the country’s heritage stations, tracing its beginning to 1922. WBEN operations director/Audacy news talk format VP Tim Wenger tells TALKERS, “We’re thrilled to have Armstrong & Getty as part of the evening lineup at WBEN. Their entertaining approach to current events and politics is a refreshing way to cap off the daylong programming on the station.” In a joint statement, Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty (pictured above left) say, “We’re excited to join the list of great radio voices that have been part of Buffalo and WBEN. Now, more than ever, it’s important that folks get a perspective from outside the mainstream media. We’re here to be that honest voice.” For more information about The Armstrong & Getty Show, contact Eric Weiss at The Weiss Agency: Eric@TheWeissAgency.com or Craig Whetstine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PodcastOne Obtains Rights. LiveOne subsidiary PodcastOne obtains exclusive network distribution/advertising sales rights to “Some More News” and its Cody Johnston & Katy Stoll-hosted spinoff podcast, “Even More News.” PodcastOne president Kit Gray notes, “With ‘Some More News’ and ‘Even More News,’ Cody and Katy host two intelligent, insightful and incredibly funny vodcasts. Their engaged audiences pair well with our existing programming. As we enter into a never-ending cycle of election year news, we’re looking forward to Cody’s and Katy’s comedic take on what promises to be an endless flood of attention-grabbing headlines. We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with this team to grow their shows and their advertiser audience.”
Portnoy Joins ABC News Radio. Here just yesterday (TALKERS, Tuesday, 7/11), it was reported that, “Following an eight-and-a half-year run with CBS News Radio, White House correspondent Steven Portnoy is exiting CBS News ‘for a new opportunity.’ It didn’t take long to learn where he’s landing as ABC Audio vice president Liz Alesse today notes Portnoy is national correspondent for ABC News Radio. In a memo, she writes, “Steven has earned his reputation as an insightful, straightforward journalist with over two decades of reporting on politics and breaking news. His work has been recognized with numerous prestigious awards. As we embark on another pivotal presidential election season, ABC News Radio is committed to upholding those high ideals; Steven’s integrity and tenacity as a journalist will help us achieve that mission.” It is a homecoming for Portnoy who joined ABC News in 2002 as an intern for the White House unit of “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.” In 2006, he was named Washington correspondent for ABC News Radio, providing coverage of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections and the 2011 death of Osama bin Laden. Portnoy extensively reported on the recent prisoner swap that led to the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner from Russia.
WSJ: Audacy Initiating Debt Restructuring Discussions. Per a Wall Street Journal report, Audacy is about to initiate discussions with creditors regarding a restructuring of the company’s $1.9 billion of debt. Lawyers representing two different groups of creditors have reportedly signed nondisclosure agreements. The report states that one group of senior lenders has hired one law firm, while another group of second lien bondholders has employed another entity to represent them in confidential negotiations. Audacy executed a thirty-for-one reverse stock split at the end of June to initiate compliance with the New York Stock Exchange.
Alpha Portland Change. Alpha Media Portland (Oregon) content director Keith Abrams exits as his position has been eliminated. The Alpha Media Portland cluster includes news/talk KXL “FM 101 News”; sports talk KXTG “750 The Game”; and news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970.”
Bannister Joins WONE. Starting next Monday (7/17), Marty Bannister will begin hosting a daily 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm show on iHeartMedia Dayton sports talk WONE “Fox Sports 980.” Bannister does play-by-play of Ohio University men’s and women’s basketball for ESPN3 and high school sports for Spectrum. He previously worked in Columbus as an update anchor for sports talk WBNS-FM “97.1 The Fan.”
TN HOF Banquet To Honor Legacy Class. The Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame awards ceremony and banquet later this month (7/29) in Columbia, Tennessee is a sell-out. The “Legacy Class of 2023” includes: Phil Valentine (Nashville); Sam Phillips (Memphis); E.G. Blackman (Nashville); Johnny Eagle (Chattanooga); Art Gilliam (Memphis); Al “Adams” Johnson (Knoxville); Devon O’Day (Nashville) and Dick Ellis (Tri-Cities). Joining the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame’s board of directors for a two-year term is Jeff Jarnigan from Cumulus Media Knoxville. In addition, Melissa McDonald returns to the board.
Las Vegas Abuzz Over Raiders and Jimmy Garoppolo. Nationally syndicated, Las Vegas-based TALKERS Heavy Hundred host Dr. Daliah Wachs of the Genesis Communications Network met and received a jersey signed by the new Las Vegas Raider‘s quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The two are pictured (right) at an NFL “Salute To Service” event at Nellis Air Force Base. Wachs tells TALKERS, “The region is hopeful that Garoppolo will add that winning spark to the team if only he stays healthy.”
Cumulus Media is looking for a program director for its Chattanooga, Tennessee news/talk stations. The program director will be responsible for growing and operating strong brands and must have a strong programming background and passion for growing others and a passion for the local community. You will program two legendary news/talk stations. Energy, enthusiasm, attention to detail and experience in news writing/delivering and talk show hosting is a necessity. You must have the ability to interact with listeners and handle multiple phone calls at one time. You will be responsible for all aspects of programming including managing and motivating on-air staff, imaging, station strategy, developing and executing revenue generating sales & programming promotions, website & social media, digital content and have a strong understanding of the core audience of a news/talk format. The position also requires a daily AM drive air-shift, along with live appearances and live broadcasts! See more and apply here.
Tri-State Radio’s WFLI-AM/W262DQ launches a news/talk/sports format, flipping back to spoken-word from the classic hits format it’s been airing. The station’s lineup includes a simulcast of WTVC-TV’s “Good Morning Chattanooga” from 4:30 am to 7:00 am, followed by the syndicated “Rick & Bubba” show from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Real estate expert Del Walmsley hosts “Lifestyles Unlimited” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, followed by Premiere Networks’ “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, “The Sean Hannity Show” from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Outkick’s “Hot Mic” with Chad Withrow and Jonathan Hutton from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Tri-State Radio president Evan Stone says, “We felt like there was a void for more regional and local news, talk and sports – that was the motivation behind putting this lineup together. The ability to add the two biggest shows in conservative talk in Hannity and Clay and Buck was a no-brainer. It’s hard to find a bigger name in news talk than Sean Hannity and Clay Travis with his connection to the state of Tennessee… aligns us very well for success. Throughout the day we’ll feature local and regional newscasts and sportscasts every hour.”