iHeartMedia news/talk KFI, Los Angeles is presenting the special program “Maui Island Inferno,” hosted by award-winning investigative journalist Steve Gregory (right). The program features exclusive interviews conducted by Gregory, who was on the island of Maui covering the wildfires, including the devastating fire in the historic town of Lahaina. The show explores the government’s response, the views of Maui islanders, and what happens next. iHeartMedia says, “Gregory became the center of controversy when, during a press conference, he pushed Hawaii Governor Josh Green for answers and access to the fire scenes. Local and national media covered the exchange and became the foundation for other reporters to push back, seeking transparency and accountability.” The radio special and podcast are produced by Gregory and Jacob Gonzalez for iHeartMedia Los Angeles and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network.
iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles is presenting a special, two-hour news program on Sunday (6/25) at 4:00 pm titled, “He Said, She Said, They Said…,” addressing the conflict between schools and parents over the ongoing introduction of books, curricula, and instruction about alternative lifestyles. This KFI News Special is being produced by the award-winning team of Steve Gregory and Jacob Gonzalez with associate producer Nick Pagliochini. KFI says, “Parents and protesters continue to gather at school board meetings around the country to express their frustration over districts’ that try to introduce books and language which address the transgender community and other LGBTQ+ issues. Faith-based leaders have also joined the protests along with advocacy groups that represent parents of public-school students. Critics say these issues should be addressed exclusively in the home while supporters say it is critical to be inclusive of all lifestyles to better prepare children for the real world. ‘He Said, She Said, They Said…’ features multiple sides of the issue. There is also a companion podcast with extended content that will be available immediately following the broadcast on the iHeartRadio App.”
iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles news/talk outlet KFI-AM announces the launch of “HATE: Modern Antisemitism,” a limited podcast series that investigates the spike in hate crimes and how people inside and outside the Jewish community are helping to raise awareness with the goal of stopping Antisemitism and all incidents of hate. The series – produced by the award-winning team of Steve Gregory and Jacob Gonzalez – features Ted Deutch, the CEO of the American Jewish Committee. The AJC is a global advocacy organization that monitors Antisemitism around the world and offers education and support to the Jewish community as well as engaging with leaders at the highest levels of government. KFI program director Robin Bertolucci says, “I, along with others, recently watched in horror as anti-Semitic protesters were seen making Nazi salutes to passersby on the 405 freeway. As broadcasters, it is our duty to educate and inform our listeners and this podcast brings attention to the unseemly underbelly of Antisemitism which is sadly alive and well online and in our communities.” Other guests include Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean and director of Global Social Action Agenda for the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles; Dr. Matthew Schumacher, a clinical and operational psychologist who is on assignment with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau; Dr. Michael Berenbaum, curator of the installation of the only authorized traveling exhibition of Auschwitz; Rabbi Michael Barclay, founding rabbi of Temple Ner Simcha in Westlake Village, California.
Embattled Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León Sits for Interview with KBLA, Los Angeles’ Tavis Smiley. One of the several Los Angeles city officials who were recorded using racist language during a closed-door meeting appeared for a sit-down interview with KBLA, Los Angeles owner and air personality Tavis Smiley. Kevin de León, who is refusing to resign from his council seat, again apologized to Smiley and the station’s listeners while admitting that saying sorry is not enough. KTLA-TV’s coverage of the interview includes Smiley telling de León, “When I hear that tape and when other Black folk I know hear that tape, they hear y’all plotting and planning in that meeting to come for Black folk. Y’all shanked us in that meeting. You don’t see it that way?” While two other council members have resigned in the wake of the scandal, de León tells Smiley he won’t because, while he should not have used the language he did, he believes the council ultimately protected Black districts.
Shawn Kiser Named Brand Manager for KFIZ, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The Mountain Dog Media news/talk station announces that Shawn Kiser – who served with the station from 1995 through 2004 – is returning to take on the brand manager role. The Fond du Lac native will also host the morning drive program and serve as vice president and assistant general manager for the company. Kiser says, “KFIZ is one of America’s radio pioneers, and I’m honored to be back home to once again serve as its leader as well as the host of its flagship morning show. I’m looking forward to building on the station’s legacy and making it an even greater source of information, entertainment, and advocacy for the community.” The station says, “Kiser possesses a wealth of broadcasting experience, spending more than 16 years in radio and television. He’s also spent more than 10 years helping non-profits across northeast Wisconsin raise millions of dollars and has served as emcee for dozens of fundraising galas.” Earlier this year, Kiser began producing a special series celebrating KFIZ’s historic 100th anniversary called “Inside the Studio: KFIZ @ 100” featuring conversations with some of the station’s biggest and brightest all-time personalities. Kiser’s first day on-air as morning show host will be October 31 as he replaces the retiring Jerry St. John.
WOLB-AM, Baltimore’s Larry Young to Be Honored for 25 Years of Service. Morning drive talk host Larry Young will be honored tomorrow (10/27) at an anniversary and retirement dinner ahead of his planned retirement from the Urban One station at year’s end. On June 10 of this year, Young was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from TALKERS magazine at the TALKERS 2022 Convention at Hofstra University at which he announced he would be retiring from the station in December. Young served in Maryland government for 28 years – first in the House of Delegates, then in the State Senate – before launching his full-time radio career in 1998. You can see Young speak about his career during his acceptance speech at TALKERS 2022 here.
KFI, Los Angeles News Department Produces New Podcast Series, ‘Deadly Pill.’ This new iHeartMedia Los Angeles/iHeartRadio Podcast Network limited series podcast and radio news documentary airs on KFI, Los Angeles on Sunday 10/30 at 4:00 pm. “Deadly Pill” is hosted by award-winning investigative journalist Steve Gregory and is co-produced by award-winning producers Jacob Gonzalez and Alex Razo. It investigates the fentanyl crisis and begins with an introduction to the issue by Bill Bodner, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special agent in charge of Los Angeles. Bodner explains how illicit fentanyl took everyone by surprise and how the agency had to change tactics to go after the makers and the sellers. The podcast also features an associate professor of clinical pharmacy from the University of Southern California who walks us through the history of fentanyl and how future pharmacists are being trained to watch for signs of opioid abuse. The series also explores the challenges of the medical field to catch up with the overwhelming number of people who have become addicted to opioids or have caused severe injury to themselves. The medical examiner of Los Angeles County provides sobering stats on the number of bodies his operation has had to handle because of overdose deaths, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.
TALKERS News Notes. A new sports podcast from Audacy launches titled, “The Best Football Show.” The 15-minute daily podcast is hosted by WIP-FM, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” Eagles reporter and host of the “Go Birds” podcast Eliot Shorr-Parks. Audacy SVP of sports Matthew Volk says, “We are excited to marry the unique perspectives of Eliot Shorr-Parks with the full breadth of our robust podcast network and iconic sports brands. This launch provides our fans with the most topical, entertaining and complete coverage from the people who live and breathe the sport.”…..Global Media Services announces the nationwide syndication of “Spiritual Food For Thought,” a 60- second, weekday feature hosted by Malone that contains an original uplifting, and engaging thought from a positive perspective. She says, “In a world where listeners are barraged with an almost steady stream of negativity and bad news, I give them something positive every day. Most of the time, it’s as simple as looking at things in our daily lives with a new perspective.”…..Virtual News Center is adds new affiliate stations has added Bay and Beyond Broadcasting’s classic hits KKHA, country KIOX, and KMKS to its roster.
Debates/Midterms, January 6/Trump Legal Issues, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, and Ye Controversies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25). This week’s debates taking place ahead of the November midterm elections and speculation about which party will control the House and Senate in January; the DOJ’s attempt to force former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin to testify about their conversations with former President Donald Trump and the other legal battles facing Trump; inflation and concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure; and the compounding loss of deals and contracts for Ye in the aftermath of his latest anti-Semitic comments were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
iHeartMedia Launches Sports Talker in Tallahassee. The company flips classic hip hop WTLY-AM/W243EG to sports talk as “96.5 THE SPEAR – Tallahassee’s Sports Radio” using content from FOX Sports Radio. iHeartMedia says, “Tallahassee is home to a variety of elite sports programs, both high school and college, and iHeartMedia is giving Tallahassee what it is missing, ‘96.5 The SPEAR – Tallahassee’s Sports Radio.’ With the market’s already established partnerships with FSU and Learfield, ‘The Spear name symbolizes iHeartMedia Tallahassee’s commitment to the fans, alumni, athletes, coaches, and faculty of one of America’s best universities.” iHeartMedia Tallahassee market president Paul Rogers comments, “Tallahassee has been without a full-time sports radio station for over a year. The fans deserve a radio station that highlights the numerous elite athletic programs here, and ‘96.5 THE SPEAR’ is that station. We just staked our claim on the sport’s real estate here in Tallahassee, and now it’s time to build the stadium with the support of Tallahassee sports fans.”
Finding Your Next Great Salesperson. Longtime radio sales professional Kathy Carr, president of the Howie Carr Radio Network, writes today in an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine about the most important quality to look for in your next great salesperson. She says, “Recently, I had lunch with some top executives from one of our major affiliates. Our discussion quickly turned to the subject of what makes a successful radio salesperson in 2022. Is it age, personality, good looks or experience, or some combination thereof? After a while, we all agreed that it was none of the above. The one trait that matters above all others is passion for the product.” Read more here.
KFI, Los Angeles Debuts Season Three of Unsolved with Steve Gregory.’ The third season of “Unsolved with Steve Gregory” is being launched by iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk station KFI-AM 640. The weekly true crime podcast series features cold cases, challenging cases, missing persons, and high-profile criminals. iHeartMedia says it is one of the most successful in Los Angeles radio, with more 59,000 podcast downloads in the first month. Listeners can hear season three of “Unsolved with Steve Gregory” beginning Saturday, August 20 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on KFI as well as on iHeartRadio and all other platforms. The podcast is hosted and produced by the award-winning team of Steve Gregory (pictured at right) and Jacob Gonzalez. For more than 30 years, host Gregory has established a trusted working relationship with detectives, chiefs of police, and county sheriffs. In season one, Gregory explored cases like the unsolved murder of Mark Leonard, the father of NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard. In addition, Gregory also observed the 75th Anniversary of the Black Dahlia, the most notorious unsolved case in the history of the LAPD. The LAPD’s Tear Drop Rapist case remains one of the show’s most popular downloads. In the season three opener, Gregory will focus on the 2013 case of Bryce Laspisa, a missing student who was driving home from college to visit his family in Orange County. He was last seen in Kern County, but his overturned SUV was found in north Los Angeles County off Lake Hughes Road near Castaic Lake. The evidence inside the vehicle included blood stains which matched those of the college sophomore. The case remains one of the most unusual missing persons cases in Los Angeles County. Season three will also explore forensics, including a medical examiner, a cybercrimes detective, and the science of arson investigation. Gregory was invited to attend the US Forest Service’s Arson Investigation School – the first time a journalist has ever been allowed to do so. A case from the US Department of State’s Cyber Security division will also be featured. Several agencies have participated in the program including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the US Forest Service, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the Fontana Police Department, the Pomona Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the DEA, and the FBI. It is estimated there are more than 10,000 unsolved cases in Southern California.
iHeartMedia Promotes Taylor Walet to Area President for Nebraska-Iowa. Company executive Taylor Walet is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia’s Nebraska-Iowa area. Walet has been serving as market president for Omaha since 2007. In this new role, Walet will oversee more than 36 stations the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport markets as well as the Sioux City, Omaha, and Ogallala markets. He will continue to report to Shosh Abromovich, division president for iHeartMedia. Abromovich says, “We have an exceptional team of talent and leaders throughout the states of Nebraska and Iowa. The synergy of this new area will help drive additional cohesion and shared success. Taylor’s leadership skills, focus on a collaborative and winning culture, along with attention to our local communities, will drive more success across these six markets.”
TALKERS News Notes. This week’s Westwood One Audio Group blog looks at Big Audio Datamine, an enormous AM/FM radio ad effectiveness report from UK radio industry group Colourtext and Radiocentre. The study of 1,002 campaigns finds that AM/FM radio can strongly impact the two jobs of marketing: Converting existing demand and creating future demand. The study concludes that AM/FM radio “consistently delivers significant uplifts for advertisers across a wide range of long- and short-term effectiveness outcomes”; AM/FM radio creates future demand by increasing awareness and building positive brand sentiment: The 1,002 studies reveal AM/FM radio campaigns generate significant lift in crucial top funnel metrics such as ad recall, brand relevance, and brand trust; and AM/FM radio converts existing demand by increasing purchase consideration and stimulating online response: Among those in the market to buy now, the 1,002 studies reveal AM/FM radio advertising drives significant lower funnel impact. See the blog here…..AdLarge announces the addition of the “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast to the AdLarge Podcasting Network. Hosted and created by national best-selling author Cathy Heller, the “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast is the “authentic shot of honesty and inspiration aimed directly at women to find true purpose in their life and get paid for doing what they love to do.” Weekly episodes include conversations with A-list celebrities and well-known entrepreneurs and game-changers, such as Matthew McConaughey, Rob Lowe, and Jenna Fischer, as well as authors Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin, and Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz. Heller says, “I’m so excited to work with the expert team at AdLarge. With their knowledge and industry acumen, we’ll be able to take my podcast to the next level. I often remind my audience that life is too short to be building someone else’s dream. This is just another example of building upon my true purpose and happiness.”
FBI Raid, Primaries/2024 Race, Giuliani Targeted, Biden Climate Change & Healthcare Bill, Gas & Food Prices, and U.S. Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/15). The controversy over the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago; today’s primary races for the November midterm elections and speculation about the 2024 presidential nominees; Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is notified he’s a target in the probe into the attempt to change Georgia’s 2020 election outcome; the passage of President Joe Biden’s climate change & health care bill; the falling gasoline prices and the still-rising cost of groceries; and the drought affecting most of the U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Greta Van Susteren Joins Newsmax for Nightly Show. Talk media personality and news anchor Greta Van Susteren is joining Newsmax as host of her own daily signature show, “The Record with Greta Van Susteren.” The program will be based in Washington, D.C. and will premiere on Tuesday, June 14. Newsmax says it will “lead the network’s evening lineup with a solid hour of factual, fair, and independent perspective on the news.” Van Susteren comments, “With all that is going on in the world, I am getting back to my roots — a daily live news show with real reporting from the places where things are happening. I have been friends with [Newsmax CEO] Chris Ruddy for years, and he is giving me this great opportunity to return, giving me the complete freedom to cover the news that really matters to people. I have been impressed by Newsmax’s team and their success and would love to be part of a news network that is really growing.” Van Susteren’s career includes high-profile positions at CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC, as well as her recent work with the Gray television network and as a contributor to Voice of America. Ruddy states, “No one in journalism better exemplifies Newsmax’s mission to provide fact-based news and fact-based opinion than Greta Van Susteren. We are so pleased and honored to have Greta lead our nightly news lineup of programs.”
WBAL-AM, Baltimore Pairs Torrey Snow and Dan Joseph for Afternoon Drive. Charm City radio personalities Torrey Snow (left) and Dan Joseph (right) have been working together at Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL-AM in a limited fashion but now are officially the afternoon drive team. Effective yesterday (5/23), “Torrey and Dan” is the permanent 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. Torrey helmed “The Torrey Snow Program” on WBAL since August of 2020. Joseph had hosted his own program on the station before being partnered with Snow. WBAL president and general manager Dan Joerres says, “‘The Torrey and Dan Show’ is a terrific opportunity for two top-notch hosts to join forces and offer our listeners a dynamic show that touches on a wide range of topics every day. Our responsibility is to our listeners and this show further amplifies that commitment as the leading news/talk station in Baltimore and beyond.”
KMOX, St. Louis Announces New Midday Show. St. Louis news/talk KMOX announces that with the retirement of longtime talk host Charlie Brennan, it will debut its new midday program on May 31. Audacy announces that it is expanding the “Total Information AM” program to 10:00 am, “bolstered by co-anchors Carol Daniel, who returns to the newsroom and Megan Lynch, investigative reporter. Together with Debbie Monterrey and Tom Ackerman, they will deliver the news, traffic and weather listeners depend on, including analysis, in-depth interviews and open conversation.” The new midday program will consist of Amy Marxkors, Kevin Wheeler and Chris Rongey, and air weekdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Wheeler transitions from host of “Sports Open Line” and Cardinals baseball pregame and postgame host, while Rongey expands his part-time role. The station will immediately begin a search for a new host of “Sports Open Line” and Cardinals pregame and postgame programming. As a result of the changes, midday personality Ryan Wrecker exits the station. He says via Twitter, “Yesterday was my last day at KMOX. I would like to think we created some great moments in the last five years in St. Louis. At this point, I have no idea what will happen next, but I trust it’s set up to move in the right direction. Again, thank you all.” Audacy St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan states, “This series of updates underscores our overarching commitment to delivering news and balanced talk shows to the people of St. Louis, while accentuating the strength of our top-level hosts. From our award-winning morning show to our unrivaled coverage of the Cardinals, we want to elevate the conversation.”
KFI, Los Angeles Takes Eight Honors at 72nd Golden Mike Awards. Los Angeles news/talk KFI-AM took home eight awards at this past Saturday’s 72nd Annual Golden Mike Awards at Universal City. The press release says the Golden Mike Awards is Southern California’s most prestigious, and most coveted, broadcast journalism prize and one of America’s longest running broadcast news award programs. Robin Bertolucci, program director for the iHeartMedia station, says, “The content being produced by the KFI news department is exceptional and I am so proud of the KFI news team and the talented people who have produced these award-winning broadcasts and podcasts. And it’s exciting to note that KFI won twice as many awards as any other station in our division.” KFI won the following: Best Radio Documentary: “The Death and Life of Kobe Bryant,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producer Eric Sklar; Best Public Affairs Program: “After the Verdict, A Path Forward,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producers Kayla Austin and Clay Roe; Best Digital News Reporting: “Unhoused, A look at Homelessness in LA and OC,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producers Mark Mennie and Lt. Geoff Deedrick; Best Podcast – News: “9/11, Two Decades Later,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez, with associate producers Nico Melendez and Sheron Bellio; Best Podcast – Feature: “The Death and Life of Kobe Bryant,” produced by Steve Gregory and Jacob Gonzalez; Best Serious Feature Reporting: “Illegal Street Racing in the SFV,” produced by Steve Gregory; Best Government and Political Reporting: “2020 Voter Fraud Fear,” produced by Corbin Carson; and Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: “KFI News with Michael Crozier,” produced by Michael Crozier.
WTAM, Cleveland and Bloomdaddy Raise $460k for Mike Trivisonno Fund. Yesterday’s radiothon on iHeartMedia Cleveland’s news/talk WTAM launched the “The Mike Trivisonno Fund” to benefit Coats for Kids and the special, seven-hour broadcast brought in $460,000 to the fledgling charity bearing the name of the station’s late PM drive personality. Current afternoon personality Bloomdaddy announced the $400,000 commitment to the charity from The Figgie Foundation. The broadcast included a visit from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Bloomdaddy says, “Triv always said it’s not the kids’ fault and I could not agree more. There is one thing I’m also passionate about and that is doing anything I can to help kids both on and off the air. I’m honored to carry the Coats for Kids torch and make sure Triv’s legacy lives on.” Pictured above are (from l-r): “Bloomdaddy Show” executive producer Carmen Angelo, iHeartMedia Cleveland Area metro president Keith Hotchkiss, DeWine, and Bloomdaddy. Photo by Mike Picha/iHeartMedia
SportsMap Launches New Daily Show with Jeff Michael. A new, daily program is launching on June 6 on SportsMap Radio called “The Rundown with Jeff Michael.” The 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show “will be an energetic and fast-paced program featuring the biggest guests and hottest takes in sports talk radio.” Jeff Michael has been a part-time host on the network since 2020 and has created numerous successful podcasts. He says, “Sports talk radio always meant the world to me. Having an opportunity to reach such a large national audience is something I do not take lightly. While I’m so grateful for the opportunity, my focus will always be on creating captivating and informative content.”
TALKERS News Notes. This Thursday (5/26) at 7:00 pm, Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” presents the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts. “The Summer of ’22 – Back to the Beach” kicks off summer in the Garden State and the station’s Eric Scott will lead a panel of tourism officials, local mayors, law enforcement and travel experts. Tourism came roaring back after pandemic restrictions were lifted in 2021, but the surge in visitors has also caused disruptions and chaos in many shore towns, as was seen in Long Branch over the weekend when thousands of partygoers showed up at Pier Village for a pop-up party, leading to a curfew and over a dozen arrests. This year, there is also concern about the impact legal marijuana sales will have on tourism and law enforcement. Scott says, “From wild pop-up parties, groups of rowdy teens taking over the boardwalks and changes in policing laws, towns are trying to avoid a repeat, and provide the best possible experience for vacationing families.”…..The RTDNA is announcing the winners of Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and iHeartMedia Boston’s all-news WBZ-AM wins three awards in the categories of Breaking News Coverage, Best Newscast, and Continuing Coverage. iHeartMedia Boston VP of news, talk & sports Rob Sanchez says, “These awards speak to the professionalism and bravery of our news team, who strive to deliver vital news coverage to those who rely on WBZ NewsRadio each day.”…..D’Annette Roy joins C-SPAN as the network’s new director of legal affairs and business risk management. She will provide legal advice, risk mitigation strategies, and project management acumen while also serving as a value-added partner aligned in achieving C-SPAN’s strategic goals. Roy joins C-SPAN from Black News Channel, where she was the manager of standards and practices.
Biden Asia Tour, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Inflation-Recession Fears, Title 42, COVID-19/Monkeypox, and Kellyanne Conway Book Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). President Joe Biden’s tour of Asia in which he met with prime ministers from India, Australia and Japan; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the global economy; the primary elections for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the high price of gas & food and fears of a recession; the Biden administrations challenge to Title 42 that prevents migrants from entering the U.S.; the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in parts of the U.S. and the spike in monkeypox cases around the world; and former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway’s new memoir were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
‘The Jimmy Malone Show’ to Debut on WTAM, Cleveland. Morning drive radio host Jimmy Malone – whose eponymous program airs on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WARF-AM “FOX Sports 1350 AM The Gambler” from 6:00 am to 9:00 am begins hosting a daily one-hour show on sister news/talk WTAM “The Big One” that will air from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on April 12. The show takes the place of the one-hour “Geraldo in Cleveland” program that had been airing in the slot for the past four years. iHeartMedia says Malone will host conversations with politicians, community and business leaders, journalists and more, all with the goal of making a difference in Northeast Ohio. In addition, Malone will feature fun and entertaining segments including his signature feature, “Knuckleheads In The News.” The program will feature veteran producer Rob Rozycki and contributor Cache Roberts. iHeartMedia Cleveland SVP of programming Keith Kennedy says, “We’re thrilled to launch ‘The Jimmy Malone Show’ on WTAM. Jimmy is a passionate talk show host, a generous philanthropist, and lover of all things Cleveland. We are thrilled to add yet another powerful local voice to a station that means so much to the community.” Malone was a co-host on WMJI-FM, Cleveland’s morning show from 1991 through 2021 when he left that show to launch his WARF program. He says, “I’m thrilled with the opportunity to connect with the WTAM audience. WTAM is the news and information leader in the market, and it’s humbling to have the opportunity to join such a legendary radio station. I simply can’t wait to get started.”
Bruce St. James Exits WLS-AM, Chicago. According to a story by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM and morning drive host Bruce St. James have parted company after 16 months. St. James, who’s worked much of his career in Arizona, took over the morning program from Erich Mancow Muller. St. James posted the following to Facebook: “Arizona, I’m coming home. Chicago is an amazing city and I truly enjoy it here (even with the snow!), but for a variety of reasons I need to be back in the Valley.” For now, Ramblin’ Ray Stevens will host mornings along with contributor Judy Pielach until the company names a permanent morning program for the station.
Alex Jones Sits for Deposition in Sandy Hook Suit. Several days after Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that talk media figure Alex Jones was in contempt of court for failing to sit for depositions in the complaints against him by several families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook School shooting, Jones sat for depositions on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, according to a report by NBC News. The story indicates that Jones, who was being fined $25,000 per day for each day not sitting, paid a fine of $75,000 prior to the deposition. Jones’ attorney said that Jones didn’t sit because he was under doctor’s orders to stay home and avoid stress, but the attorney also admitted that Jones left his home to record his programs. This week’s depositions were for a looming trial that will determine how much Jones pays the eight families of victims suing him. Last year, Jones was found guilty of defamation when the families of the victims were harassed and threatened after Jones’ broadcasts accused them of being “crisis actors” even though he knew the 2012 massacre was real.
iHeartMedia and KFI, Los Angeles Launch Season 2 of ‘Unsolved with Steve Gregory.’ The second season of the weekly, true crime podcast “Unsolved with Steve Gregory” launches on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles and on the iHeartRadio platform. The series – hosted by KFI national correspondent Steve Gregory (pictured here) – features cold cases, challenging cases, missing persons, and high-profile criminals. iHeartMedia says it is one of the most successful in Los Angeles Radio, with more 59,000 podcast downloads in the first month. It also airs on KFI Saturdays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. It is produced by Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez and digital producer Andro Mammo. In season one, Gregory explored cases like the unsolved murder of Mark Leonard, the father of NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard. In addition, Gregory also observed the 75th Anniversary of the Black Dahlia, the most notorious unsolved case in the history of the LAPD. In season two, Gregory will focus on the case of a missing man who owned his own video music production company and was known for working with members of both the Crips and the Bloods – two of the most well-known gangs in the United States. The man also grew up in Compton with childhood friends and hip-hop artists Kendrick Lamar and Jayceon Taylor, a.k.a. The Game. Season two will also explore the science of forensics, including a medical examiner, a cybercrimes detective, and a drone pilot who searches for mass graves.
SportsMap Radio Network to Launch ‘Journey Through Life and Sports.’ A new program is launching on April 22 at 7:00 pm ET on the SportsMap Radio Network titled, “Journey Through Life and Sports.” SportsMap says the show is a roundtable interview show, “taking listeners on journeys through the lives of sports and entertainment professionals. The program will focus on the role that sports has had in building the legacies and the opportunities to inspire future generations.” The show is hosted by multi Emmy award-winning sports anchor and broadcast journalist Scott Murray; award-winning sportswriter (and the first female Dallas Cowboys beat writer) Marjorie Herrera Lewis; and CEO, inspirational speaker, author, and philanthropist Marnie Schneider. The three say, “We’re looking forward to sitting at the table with our well-known guests, sharing their wisdom with our listeners, as we engage in conversation that takes us back in time with sports favorites. Why did a Hall of Famer take up football? Why did a tennis player defect from her country to build a career and life in the U.S.? We anticipate listening to the unforgettable stories of iconic athletes as they share their great legacies with moments our listeners have likely never heard before.” Pictured here is the program’s first guest, Cowboys great Drew Pearson (left) with (from l-r) Lewis, Schneider, and Murray.
CORRECTION: In the April 5 edition of TALKERS, we published a story about The Spectator Washington editor Amber Athey being fired from WMAL-FM, Washington for a tweet critical of Vice President Kalama Harris that Cumulus said violated its social media policy. In our story, we wrote that Athey said Harris’ brown pant suit worn during the State of the Union Address made her look like a Hershey chocolate bar. In truth, Athey wrote that others made the comparison. Athey wrote that Harris “looks like a UPS employee.” TALKERS regrets the error.
TALKERS News Notes. The city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, are proclaiming April 10, 2022, as WBT Day in recognition of News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT’s 100th anniversary. Also, various Charlotte organizations will light the Charlotte skyline that night in the station’s colors of red, white and “WBT Blue.” As the third radio station officially licensed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the first in the Southeast, WBT has served the city of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and listeners “From Canada to Cuba” since April 10, 1922. WBT program director Mike Schaefer says, “Quite simply, we are humbled and honored. Recognition by the city and county of this unique milestone, and their proclamations of WBT Day means everything to the 25 team members of WBT, and to the over 100 hard-working members of our extended Radio One Charlotte family.”…..FOX Nation is debuting a new series hosted by award-winning actor, producer and director Kelsey Grammer titled, “Kelsey Grammer’s Historic Battles for America” on May 1. The series will take viewers on an inside look at eight key battles that left an indelible mark on this nation, spanning the American Revolution, the Texas Revolution, the Civil War, and the American Indian Wars. FOX Nation president Jason Klarman says, “Kelsey is a legend in the entertainment industry, and we are proud to bring his talents to our platform with ‘Kelsey Grammer’s Historic Battles for America.’ His affinity for our nation’s history and charismatic delivery will provide FOX Nation subscribers with an entertaining yet educational viewing experience they can’t get anywhere else.”…..Paul Martin is named chief of development for Hope Media Group. Currently serving as senior partner at DickersonBakker, Martin brings decades of experience in donor development and business development in both radio and digital media. WAY Media and Hope Media Group announced earlier this year their intent to merge into one media organization. Company CEO Joe Paulo says, “Paul possesses the perfect mix of leadership, experience, and knowledge we’ve been looking for to lead the revenue-generating strategies for the newly merged Hope Media Group. His heart for God and passion for why we exist is obvious, and contagious. Our bright future just got even brighter with Paul joining our leadership team, and I could not be more excited.”
Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, Hunter Biden Investigation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Jackson Confirmation, January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, Elon Musk & Twitter, Severe Southeastern Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/6). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the allegations of war crimes by Russian soldiers in Bucha, and the new economic sanctions that include targeting Vladimir Putin’s daughters; high gas and food prices and Wednesday’s testimony before Congress by big oil executives about oil prices; the DOJ’s investigation of Hunter Biden’s international business dealings; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; the first January 6 participant to be charged and found not guilty and Ivanka Trump’s testimony before the January 6 committee; the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions and concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant; Elon Musk becomes the largest Twitter shareholder and gets a seat on the board; and the severe weather doing damage across the Southeastern U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.