According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, new program director Dominic “Zakk” Zaccagnini has put into effect some changes to the program lineup at iHeartMedia‘s sports/hot talk KEGL-FM, Dallas “91.7 The Freak,” effective today (7/24). Personalities Danny Balis and Mike Sirois move from the afternoon drive show to the morning drive program alongside Kevin “KT” Turner and takes on “The Downbeat” as its name. Jeff Cavanaugh and Julie Dobbs move from the morning daypart to afternoons alongside Mike Rhyner for “The Speakeasy” program. The show times are altered by an hour with the morning program airing from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, the midday “Ben and Skin” show airing from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, followed by the afternoon show airing from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Zaccagnini tells the Dallas Morning News, “The catalyst for this change was to make a better fit for our same staff to further excel in a weekday lineup that best suits their professional and personal lifestyles.” Read the full story here.
Salem to Acquire Four More Miami Signals for Spanish Programming. A day after announcing that it is acquiring Miami market station WMYM-AM and translator W254DT (98.7 FM) from Actualidad Media Group, LLC, Salem Media Group reveals its deal with Fenix Broadcasting Corporation and co-owned WRHC Broadcasting Corporation to buy the assets of Spanish news outlet WWFE-AM 670 and translator W276DV (103.1 FM) along with Spanish news WRHC-AM and translator W254DV (98.7 FM). Salem says it intends to continue broadcasting in Spanish post-closing. Salem Media executive chairman Edward Atsinger comments, “From this nation’s early days its voices of freedom spoke loudly and were heard. This is one reason we are a true democracy, and not a totalitarian regime. At a time when the voices of freedom in Spanish-language programming are threatened, it is our duty to step up and serve the South Florida audience. For over four decades Salem Media Group has provided a platform for conservative voices on-air, and now online, and in print. Now we will do the same for South Florida’s Spanish-speaking community as well, as we add leading Spanish-speaking voices of freedom to our lineup. The recent passing of Fenix Broadcasting’s president and founder Jorge Rodriguez, Sr. makes this effort even more timely as we work to build upon the broadcast legacy that he and his wife Ana, and son Jorge, Jr. have created. Jorge Sr.’s passionate fight for freedom defined his operation of WWFE AM 670 ‘La Poderosa’ and WRHC AM 1550 ‘Cadena Azul.’ We are grateful to be entrusted with these legendary stations as a platform for our new Spanish-language conservative programming.”
Cumulus Media Names Sly King Promotions Director for Birmingham Station Group. Seventeen-year radio pro Sly King is named promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham cluster that includes news/talk WAPI-FM/WZRR-FM, sports talk outlets WJOX-FM, WJOX-AM, and WJQX-FM, plus urban AM WUHT-FM. King started his radio career as an intern with WUHT-FM, and later serving the station as producer of the popular nationally syndicated morning program, “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.” In addition to King’s new role as promotions director, he continues his on-air role on WUHT-FM. Cumulus Birmingham VP and market manager James Robinson comments, “I am excited to announce Sly King as our new promotions director in Birmingham. I am proud to promote from within our Birmingham team, someone who has been committed to the Birmingham community for many years. I believe Sly will continue his dedicated hard work and will take the Cumulus Birmingham team to new heights.”
Podtrac to Unveil New Sales Network Ranking. The company says its new Podtrac Sales Network Ranking “showcases the reach and delivery of podcast networks that provide important advertising options to the industry across all of the shows they represent.” Podtrac says this new ranking “provides advertisers with free monthly access to Podtrac reach and delivery information for top sales networks. The networks on the new ranking represent more than 38,000 podcasts and 500 million monthly downloads.” Topping the list is Wondery’s sales network with a US monthly audience of 25 million which includes podcasts they represent on their Art19 platform. Other networks on the ranking include podcast ad and publishing platforms Acast and Libsyn AdvertiseCast, both newly measured by Podtrac, plus PodcastOne. You can see the inaugural ranking here. Since 2016, Podtrac has published its monthly ranking of Top Podcasts and Top Podcast Publishers.
TALKERS News Notes. The National Football League and iHeartMedia announce the NFL Podcast Network’s fall programming lineup. In September, the NFL and iHeartMedia launched a series of new shows including: “NFL Now,” with Andrew Siciliano; “NFL Total Access”; and “NFL GameDay View,” with Rachel Bonnetta, Cynthia Frelund, Gregg Rosenthal and Patrick Claybon. This month, they will debut new podcasts including: “The Season with Peter Schrager”; “El Huddle,” hosted by Will Selva and MJ Acosta-Ruiz; and “NFL Players: Second Acts,” with former All-Pro Charles “Peanut” Tillman and former Pro-Bowler Roman Harper…..CNN Audio launches the new podcast, “The Assignment with Audie Cornish,” on November 17. CNN says, “In this candid weekly show, Cornish will convene conversations with everyday people at the center of debates that are rocking the culture with topics spanning the arts, education, politics, business, and sports – people living behind the headlines in the very heart of the zeitgeist. Listeners will hear stories from inside the communities and cultures shaping what we experience.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals announces the second season of the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning investigative franchise, “Gone South.” In season 2, producer and journalist Jed Lipinski investigates the Dixie Mafia, “a rag-tag confederation of traveling criminals who terrorized the Southeastern United States beginning in the early 1960s.”…..Audacy, Inc. says it will report its 2022 third quarter financial results before the market opens on Tuesday, November 8. The company will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast at 11:00 am ET that morning to review the results and recent progress against its strategic initiatives. Previously, Cumulus Media Group announced that it would present its 2022 third quarter financial results on October 28…..VSiN, The Sports Betting Network, adds new affiliate stations as iHeartMedia’s KEGL-FM, Dallas-Fort Worth “97.1 The Freak” and WAIO-FM, Rochester add VSiN programming to their weekend schedules.
Midterms, Trump Legal Issues, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy, Ye-George Floyd Case, Xi Jinping, Iran Protests, and Dan Snyder Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18). The debates ahead of the November midterm elections and speculation about which party will control the House and the Senate; the various legal battles former President Donald Trump is facing; Russia’s use of kamikaze drones to target Ukraine’s infrastructure; high food & gas prices, the up & down financial markets and predictions of a recession; the daughter of George Floyd announces $250 million suit against Ye for statements about Floyd’s cause of death; China’s President Xi Jinping is named to third five-year term; the protests rocking Iran’s power structure; and Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder defends himself after allegations he’s hired private investigators to find “dirt” on his fellow owners were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
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 Abrams’ Law&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.
Monday Memo: You Don’t Say. Are you speaking the way listeners hear? In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke – a “recovering English teacher” – flags five common faux pas. Read it here.
Pending Business: The Assumptive Renewal. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says the client you currently have is the most efficient next sale you will make. So, don’t assume you’ll get that renewal and work to make it more beneficial for the client and for the station. He offers eight steps to servicing that relationship here.
Report: KEGL-FM, Dallas to Flip to Sports Talk as ‘The Freak.’ As reported by Richie Whitt at SI’s Cowboys Country site, iHeartMedia’s classic rock KEGL-FM, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” will flip to sports talk as “97.1 The Freak” and former crosstown KTCK personality Mike Rhyner is coming out of retirement to host a show on the station. The story indicates that “Ben and Skin” – Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade – will remain on the new station and will be joined by Dallas sports talk personalities including Jeff Cavanaugh, Julie Dobbs, and Mike Sirois. Whitt says the station should debut this week. Rhyner retired from KTCK “The Ticket” in January of 2020. It also notes that iHeartMedia acquired the domain 971TheFreak.com on September 9.
Report: Changes at Miami Sports Talkers WQAM and WAXY. The Miami Herald reports that Audacy is making lineup changes at its Miami sports talkers WQAM and WAXY “790 The Ticket.” The company dropped Jonathan Zaslow’s “Zaslow Show” on Friday (9/23) and moved WAXY morning personalities Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart. Zaslow tweeted: “Today was the last day for the ‘Zaslow Show’ on local Miami radio. 18 years, very good run. Thanks to all my listeners!!!” The story also indicates that “The Joe Rose Show” morning show on WQAM will now be simulcast on “790 The Ticket” to replace the Tobin and Hoard show. Changes are expected to take place on October 3.
WWJ, Detroit’s Jim Matthews Victim of Attempted Murder-Suicide. According to a report by NBC News, WWJ-AM, Detroit overnight news anchor Jim Matthews died at his home in Chesterfield Township, Michigan on Friday in what is being described as an attempted murder-suicide. The report says that three other victims, including Matthews’ two children, were involved and have been hospitalized. The authorities say a 35-year-old woman escaped the scene with her 5-year-old daughter, flagged down a driver who called police. The police found Matthews and a 10-year old boy who was bound and in a closet. The boy is in critical condition. The police also found the 54-year-old suspect who was suffering from a self-inflicted wound and is in stable condition. Police say the suspect was known to the victims and frequently visited the home. The Audacy all-news station tweeted: “He would often speak with his co-workers about his love for his two children, and their adventures at school. He loved delivering the latest news to his listeners, and was incredibly dedicated to WWJ and the broadcasting industry. There have been many tears shed in our newsroom today and Jim will be greatly missed.”
TALKERS News Notes. Numerous media outlets, including Midwest Communications’ news/talk WSAU-AM, Wausau, Wisconsin are reporting that Brett Favre’s sports talk appearances are being suspended as the investigation into a welfare scandal in Mississippi that allegedly involves him has come to light. SiriusXM announced that Favre’s program on the satellite service is “on hold” as are Favre’s appearances on Good Karma Brands’ WKTI-FM “ESPN Milwaukee.” As the story unfolds, it appears Favre was aware that the money he was paid for speeches was actually meant for low-income families. Favre’s attorney has said that Favre did not knowingly take money meant for welfare recipients…..Former WHO, Des Moines personality Justin Brady launches “The Iowa Podcast.” The new, weekly show includes a 30-minute discussion with “Iowans who are at the forefront of business, culture or news.”
The Economy/Fed Raises Rates, Trump Legal Issues, Immigration, Russia-Ukraine War, Urban Crime, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Italy Elections, Iran Protests, and Hurricanes Fiona and Ian Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The record high inflation in the U.S. and abroad, the sell-off on the world’s financial markets, and the Fed’s raising interest rates; former President Donald Trump’s New York civil suit and the DOJ’s documents investigation; the Biden administration’s immigration policy and the transporting of migrants; Vladimir Putin’s threat of nuclear force in the Ukraine war; the rate of violent crime in America’s urban centers; the November midterm elections and the potential nominees for president in 2024; Giorgia Meloni leads the conservative alliance to victory in Italian elections; Iranians continue protests after death of Mahsa Amini while in custody of the morality police; and Hurricane Fiona hits Canada as Hurricane Ian threatens Cuba and Florida were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.