“Newsradio 1080” KRLD-AM, Dallas and Texas State Networks brand manager Drew Anderssen is promoted to vice president to lead brand and format strategy and execution for Audacy’s news/talk stations. He will continue to serve as brand manager for KRLD. Anderssen joined Audacy in May of 2022 after serving with Cox Media Group for 24 years in markets including Atlanta, Orlando and Tulsa. Audacy EVP and head of programming Jeff Sottolano states, “Drew is an experienced leader with bold ideas for the future of the news/talk format. With his proven expertise, we are confident that Drew will lead the way in shaping our brand and format strategy, delivering exceptional content and driving continued success for our local brands and our digital platforms.”
Audacy promotes Clay Walker to vice president of content operations in which he’ll oversee a newly created content operations department. Audacy says Walker is now “responsible for content operations across the company to ensure innovation, standardization, and delivery of a premium product at the local, regional and national levels.” The company adds that the content operations department is also responsible for developing the requirements and business objectives that drive the short and long-term goals and funding for content creation, curation, and operational systems. Walker has been serving the company as director of programming and operations for Audacy Greensboro. At the same time, Audacy says SVP of technical operations John Kennedy will oversee a refocused broadcast engineering function. The company says Kennedy “will manage and maintain Audacy’s acquisition, distribution and production equipment and solutions at the local, regional, and national levels, including Audacy’s network operations center. Audacy EVP head of programming Jeff Sottolano comments, “Clay has already proven himself to be an adept and innovative thinker as it relates to the evolution of our content production and distribution systems. I am excited to see him and John partner more closely with our central, regional and local content and technical operations teams.”
Audacy announces that all-news and news/talk radio pro Craig Schwalb will take over as brand manager and news director for WBBM Newsradio on January 23, succeeding the retiring Ron Gleason. In this role, Schwalb will oversee content strategy, talent, operations and branding for the station. Audacy Chicago VP of programming and operations Greg Solk tells TALKERS, “When Ron Gleason announced his retirement last summer, we knew we had a major challenge in replacing him, since Ron has been the driving force behind WBBM for nearly two decades. We believe we have struck gold in tapping Craig Schwalb as WBBM’s new brand manager. Craig’s vast experience in news and spoken word formats, most recently running content and operations at WTOP in Washington, gives him the ideal skill set to lead this brand and drive innovation and growth for Chicago’s most trusted news voice.” Schwalb comments, “The chance to lead WBBM is an incredible opportunity that doesn’t come around often. It brings me back to my home state and to a city that I adore, while working with the team behind one of the nation’s elite news radio brands. Thank you to Jeff Sottolano, Rachel Williamson, Greg Solk and Bill Smee for their support in allowing me the honor of leading this great station.”
Drew Anderssen Jumps to Audacy’s KRLD-AM, Dallas. After a long career with Cox Media Group in Tulsa, Orlando and, most recently, at news/talk giant WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, news/talk programming pro Drew Anderssen joins Audacy as brand manager of KRLD-AM, Dallas “Newsradio 1080” and the Texas State Networks. In this role, Anderssen will oversee content strategy, talent, operations and branding for the station and networks. Audacy regional president and market manager Brian Purdy says, “We’re delighted to bring Drew aboard to lead KRLD and TSN. For over two decades, Drew has proven to be a winning brand leader across multiple formats, which we trust will serve him well as he takes the reins of DFW’s news and information brand.” Anderssen comments, “I’m thrilled to join Audacy and work with the phenomenal team at KRLD and the Texas State Networks. This was a tremendous opportunity to return to the city where I grew up and fell in love with radio, and work with such a prestigious brand and decorated team. I’m grateful to Susan Larkin, Jeff Sottolano, Brian Purdy and Gavin Spittle and I can’t wait to hit the ground running in the Lone Star State.”
Round One of March PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s March 2022 sweep covered March 3 – March 30. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Audacy’s all-news WINS tacks on one-tenths for a 4.1 share (6+, weekly AQH share) finish to remain ranked #7. Red Apple Media’s crosstown news/talk WABC/WLIR-FM adds nine-tenths to finish with a 3.8 share good for the #8 rank. iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles news/talk KFI is up seven-tenths for a 4.7 share finish that boosts it to the #5 rank while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KNX-FM rises six-tenths to wrap the survey with a 3.9 share and the #7 rank. In Atlanta, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM dips by half a share for a 6.9 share finish and falls from #2 to #3. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets here.
Ramsey Press Publishes Dr. Jon Delony’s New Book. Titled, Own Your Past, Change Your Future, the latest book from Ramsey Solutions’ Dr. Jon Delony “reminds readers there’s a better, healthier way to live.” Ramsey Press says, “Normalizing stress has left us more disconnected than ever. In fact, Americans have gotten so used to loneliness that 82% of people said they don’t even feel close to or known by the friends they spend the most time with. What we’ve failed to realize is loneliness and chronic stress debilitate our physical and mental health. Dr. John Delony reminds readers they are worth being well, meeting them in the trenches of their anxiety and loneliness with easy-to-understand concepts that ultimately lead to healing.” Dr. Delony adds, “We’re living life like every second is the Super Bowl, and we’re doing it all by ourselves. Humans were not designed to shoulder immense pressure alone. Enough is enough. We’ve got to get back to basics and connect with others in ways that are deep and meaningful.”
George Plaster to Leave WNSR for Main Street Media. According to a report in the Tennessean, sports media personality George Plaster is leaving Southern Wabash Communications’ sports talk outlet WNSR “Nashville Sports Radio” to launch a streaming program via Main Street Media. When the streaming platform debuts this summer, Plaster’s show will stream from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily. Main Street Media founder Dave Gould says, “We couldn’t be more excited about having George join Main Street Media. George is a Nashville sports icon, and we believe our audience will really enjoy listening to him and the shows we have planned.” The report indicates that Plaster’s co-host and former Vanderbilt University football coach Watson Brown will join him in the move. Plaster says, “I’m excited about the opportunity to join Watson Brown in this new venture. I am really impressed with Main Street Media; it’s an incredible media story. I also want to say a big thank you to Ted Johnson and the WNSR staff for a really fun sports talk experience. I can’t wait to get started at Main Street Media.”
‘Sounds of Sinatra’ Host Sid Mark Passes at 88. The man who hosted the nationally syndicated Frank Sinatra radio show based at Audacy’s WPHT, Philadelphia for the past 22 years has died. Sid Mark died at age 88 on Monday (4/18). Sid Mark’s “Sounds of Sinatra” was syndicated for 43 years and was carried by radio stations airing different formats, including full-service AM outlets and news/talk stations. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “He presented the music of Frank Sinatra from the standpoint of a friend as well as a fan. As the host of the longest running, single artist, syndicated radio program in America, Sid was the leading authority on Frank Sinatra and his entertainment legacy. His personal relationship with Sinatra began in the mid 1960s and allowed Sid to offer more than just the remarkable music but insights into Sinatra’s career with personal anecdotes and stories behind the timeless music.”
Russia-Ukraine War, Travel Mask Mandate/COVID-19, Biden Approval Ratings/Midterm Elections, the Economy/Inflation, January 6-Ginni Thomas Controversy, School Curriculum Battles, and Musk vs. Twitter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, NATO’s reaction, and the economic impact of the war; a judge rules the air travel mask mandate is illegal, the concerns about the BA.2 variant, and the brutal lockdowns in Shanghai and Hong Kong; President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections; the state of the U.S. economy and high gas & food prices; the controversy over Ginni Thomas’ purported role in the January 6 Capitol attack; the Florida-led fight over sex-gender issues and critical race theory in public school curricula; and Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter and take it private were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.