In an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, program director Ken Charles reveals the reasons for the programming changes that have taken place at Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM over the past year. Charles says that when longtime morning host Scott Slade announced he was stepping back from his duties, that allowed the station to use internal research to consider the best options to tweak its programming. That resulted in the station naming longtime station reporter and anchor Chris Chandler the new morning host, swapping late morning and afternoon hosts Mark Arum and Eric Von Haessler, and making Shelley Wynter solo host in evenings and giving his former co-host MalaniKai Massey her own Saturday night program. Charles says, “I feel very comfortable that we’ve got the right people in the right slots. We are set to grow our success.” Read the AJC story here.
Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta “95.5 WSB” announces that Chris Chandler (left) is named the host of “Atlanta’s Morning News,” airing daily from 5:00 am to 9:00 am. Chandler, a longtime afternoon drive anchor, takes over for Scott Slade, who announced he would step away from the program earlier this year. At the same time, the station moves host Mark Arum (center) from afternoon drive to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart and “The Von Haessler Doctrine” hosted by Eric Von Haessler (right) shifts to the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot. Station director of branding and programming Ken Charles comments, “‘95.5 WSB’ has such a deep roster of talent, and I’m excited to promote Chris to this new role. As part of the process, we took the time to examine the entire station lineup. Additionally, we asked our audience what they expected from WSB. These changes reflect those expectations and leverage our local stars to position the station for the future.” About his new role, Chander says, “It is the honor of a career to step into one of the great heritage radio news programs in the country. Scott Slade can’t be replaced, but I’m committed to maintaining the integrity, consistency, and fairness he brought ‘Atlanta’s Morning News’ over his legendary run.”
Talk radio host Erick Erickson and Cox Media Group announce that Erickson will continue hosting his popular show for three more years from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta “95.5 WSB.” His program is also heard on CMG news/talk stations WDBO, Orlando; WGAU, Athens, Georgia; KRMG-FM, Tulsa; WOKV-FM, Jacksonville, and WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton. WSB director of branding and programming Ken Charles says, “For more than a decade, Erick has done a great job of entertaining and informing the WSB audience about the biggest news stories of the day. I’m proud we’ll continue our partnership for another three years, and I’m excited about what new things we can create moving forward. The best is yet to come!” Erickson says, “‘95.5 WSB’ is not just home, it’s the gold standard of talk radio, with incredible leadership from Ken Charles and Jaleigh Long. I fell into the role by accident 12 years ago. It’s not just the longest job I’ve had, it’s three hours of joy every day working with the best people in radio. I simply cannot imagine doing anything else anywhere else with any team other than the hard-working talent at ‘95.5 WSB.’”
Cox Media Group Atlanta announces that air personality Scott Slade will temporarily step away from the 4:30 am -9:00 am shift. Slade plans to create something new for WSB-AM/WSBB-FM that reflects his passion for listeners and the community. Slade says, “After 32 years hosting ‘Atlanta’s Morning News,’ I’m looking forward to my next chapter with 95.5 WSB. This has been my radio home for nearly 40 years, so stay tuned – after a break to recharge my batteries, I’m excited about the freedom of exploring some new horizons here. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to spending more time with family, friends and colleagues without being preoccupied with the next time the alarm will go off!” CMG Atlanta VP and market manager Jaleigh Long comments, “There is no one else like Scott Slade. His credibility, professionalism, and passion for delivering the best for listeners is unmatched. I’m excited for what the future holds as we take these next steps with Scott, our audience and our clients.” Slade joined WSB in 1984 as the overnight music host. He was one of the “founding fathers” of “Atlanta’s Morning News” in 1991. Slade initiated the “WSB Radio Care-a-Thon” in 2000, benefiting the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The annual event has raised more than $30 million to fight children’s cancer and blood disorders. WSB director of branding and programming Ken Charles says, “The ‘S’ in WSB stands for Scott. His dedication to the show and station, and his commitment to excellence, are unparalleled. He is truly the GOAT of morning radio!”
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Crazy, Crazy, Crazy!” looks back at this past week of 8/15 to 8/19. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Todd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; Pat Fant, commentator, The Otis Advisory; Chris X, talk show host, KSEV, Houston; Dr. Daliah Wachs, physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Claire Carter, founder/host, Good For You Radio. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Ken Charles to Lead Programming at CMG’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta. News and talk programming pro Ken Charles is named the new director of branding and programming at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta news/talk giant WSB-AM/WSBB-FM “95.5 WSB,” effective September 12. Charles, who most recently was programming Audacy’s all-news KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles, takes over the role at WSB that opened when Drew Anderssen left to take the brand manager role at Audacy’s all-news KRLD-AM, Dallas/Fort Worth and the Texas State Networks. This is a return to Atlanta for Charles who programmed iHeartMedia’s news/talk WGST-AM from 1998 – 2000. CMG Atlanta VP and market manager Jaleigh Long says, “Ken has an impressive track record for growing top talent and exceptional content. It’s exciting to add Ken’s experience and passion to the WSB legacy and top performance in Atlanta.” Charles comments, “I’m excited to join the amazingly talented team at 95.5 WSB. Thanks to Jaleigh Long, Rob Babin and Chris Eagan for giving me the chance to be a part of one of America’s top brands. I can’t wait to get back to Atlanta and build on WSB’s 100-year commitment to local news and community service.”
RI Talk Host John DePetro Attacked by Man with Lawnmower. According to a report by WLNE-TV, Providence, WNRI, Woonsocket talk host John DePetro was assaulted on Wednesday night (8/17) by a man outside the same home in Warwick, Rhode Island where DePetro was arrested for willful trespassing the night before. For the second night in a row, DePetro was doing a Facebook Live stream outside the house that authorities investigating the disappearance of Charlotte Lester say she frequented. This time, DePetro was allegedly assaulted by Mark Perkins with a lawnmower. In the video that you can see here, Perkins charges DePetro with the mower before the video cuts out. Police charged him with assault with a deadly weapon, first degree robbery, malicious damage to property and disorderly conduct. DePetro tells WLNE-TV, “Tonight while doing a follow up on the Charlotte Lester missing person case, I was violently attacked by Mark Perkins with a lawn mower and punched and kicked me to the ground on Staples Avenue. He smashed my equipment and threatened to kill me. I am cooperating fully with Warwick police.” DePetro has a September 1 court date for the willful trespassing charge.
WWJ-AM, Detroit News Anchor Roberta Jasina Victim of Audacy Cuts. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, Roberta Jasina, morning drive news anchor at Audacy’s all-news WWJ-AM, Detroit was let go on Tuesday (8/16) as part of the company’s ongoing staff reduction at its radio stations. The 68-year-old Jasina had been with WWJ for the past 34 years and told the paper she’s sad about losing her job. In an audio message she posted on Facebook, Jasina says she was told this was about budget cuts and not about her performance but adds, “My heart was broken. I loved WWJ. I had the best job in the world.” Jasina also said that the day after she was let go, she learned that her husband Alan has been diagnosed with cancer and asked for prayers for her family. She tells the Free Press that she’s been heartened by the well-wishes she’s received from listeners and the community.
Mike Max Cut from Audacy’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. A report from BringMeTheNews indicates that evening sports talk personality Mike Max is out at Audacy’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis as part of the company’s staff reductions. Max hosted “Sports to the Max” weeknights from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. He also serves as sports director at CBS Broadcasting’s WCCO-TV. The report says WCCO-AM will move Henry Lake from late nights to the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot and will fill the late night daypart with CBS Audio’s “Eye on the World with John Batchelor.” Also exiting WCCO-AM with the departure of Max is his show’s producer Craig “Hammer” Schroepfer.
Audacy Eliminates Bob Salter’s New York Public Affairs Position. Twenty-eight-year Audacy on-air staffer Bob Salter is exiting the company after his final show on Sunday, August 21 as his public affairs position is being eliminated. Salter’s work was heard on Audacy’s New York stations that include WFAN-AM/FM, WCBS-FM, WNEW-FM, and WNYL-FM. Salter says, “It was nice to put some life into Sunday morning radio in NYC.”
Salem to Launch New Podcast Starring Sekulow Brothers. The latest podcast to debut on Salem Media Group’s Salem Podcast Network is the “Sekulow Brothers Podcast with Jordan and Logan Sekulow,” set to start on September 12. Jordan and Logan Sekulow are sons of Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice and a member of the Donald Trump legal team during the first impeachment trial. Salem Media SVP spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “Salem is so excited to launch this podcast with the Sekulow Brothers. Logan and Jordan are at the tip of the spear in this culture war we are fighting, and they know the issues better than anybody. This is going to be a ‘must-listen’ podcast.” Jordan Sekulow (left) is the executive director of the ACLJ and Logan Sekulow (right) is the director of media for the organization. Jordan Sekulow says, “Our family is known for our intensity. Through the work of the ACLJ, we always showcase hard-hitting analysis and legal work. But with this new podcast, you’ll see us in a casual environment three times a week. You’ll learn about our lives, our unique perspectives, where we agree and where we differ. And we will break down our views on news, politics, family, and culture.”
TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk program that emanates from Good Karma Brands’ Madison and Milwaukee stations are being added to the company’s Beaver Dam, Wisconsin station WBEV-AM “1430 ESPN.” The company says “Wilde and Tausch” – starring Jason Wilde and Mark Tauscher – and “Scalzo and Brust” – featuring Greg Scalzo and Ben Brust – will be heard on “1430 ESPN” beginning Monday (8/22). Good Karma Beaver Dam general manager Ryan Gabel says, “We are excited to integrate ESPN Wisconsin programming into our lineup with the launch of ‘1430 ESPN.’ Every morning, fans in Dodge County will hear from Packers Hall-of-Famer Mark Tauscher and award-winning Packers reporter Jason Wilde. In the afternoon, they can tune into former Wisconsin Badger basketball star Ben Brust and longtime ESPN Radio host Greg Scalzo. The versatility and analysis from each of the shows will make ‘1430 ESPN’ a one-stop sports station for our listeners.”…..Voiceover artist Cayman Kelly is celebrating his third year on ESPN as he renews his contract before the start of the 2022 fall sports season. Kelly says, “Working with ESPN has been a dream come true and I remain just as excited now as I was three years ago when I first became the national voice of ESPN Audio.”
Liz Cheney’s Loss, Partisan Politics and Elections Tie for Top News/Talk Story This Week. U.S. Rep Liz Cheney’s loss in the Wyoming primary, the partisan politics, and the primaries leading up to the November midterms combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of August 15-19 and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the tie between FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s legal issues, and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani being investigated, followed by the state of the U.S. economy and the electric car incentive at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
WSVA Radio Has A Rare Opportunity For You To Join Our News Staff. Live and work in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley. WSVA has been covering Virginia news since 1935 and in these days of cutbacks and consolidation in the radio industry, WSVA continues its commitment to local news. We’re looking for a full-time news reporter/anchor who can be a storyteller with a news mindset. If you’re charismatic and have a sense of humor; if you’re active in your community; if you’re interesting; if you’re an elite communicator, we’re looking for you. We want someone who understands how to reach the local listeners and make a story interesting. We want an individual who loves to connect with listeners and community leaders. Duties include gathering and reporting news for our news/talk station, delivering updates on our music stations and keeping our digital site up-to-date. If you enjoy doing play by play sports, there’s opportunities to help our sports department too. Local radio news is alive and well on WSVA! To apply, send your resume, on air demo and references to Frank Wilt at email@example.com. Saga Communications is an equal opportunity employer and a long-term radio only company dedicated to the principles of excellence in radio.
Salem Media Group Seeks Producers. Attention producers! Salem Media Group is looking for producers. Salem has great radio stations, the Salem Radio Network, the Salem Podcast Network, and the Salem News Channel, and we always need producers to help us create our great products. If you have experience producing radio or TV shows, please send your resume and keep ‘em coming to: Phil Boyce, Senior VP of Spoken Word Formats, Salem Media Group Philip.firstname.lastname@example.org. Salem is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Ken Charles to Step Away from KNX, Los Angeles. News radio programmer Ken Charles announces that he’ll be leaving Audacy’s all-news KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles when his contract expires on July 22. Charles made the announcement in a Facebook post. He says, “This is one of the hardest emails I have ever written. I’ve made the difficult professional and personal decision not to renew my contract and am stepping down as brand manager for KNX and format VP for Audacy. It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the 102-year history of KNX and to lead this amazing group of professionals. I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together. We’ve covered every type of story imaginable, fires, earthquakes, a global pandemic, protests in the streets, two of the most intense elections ever, a Dodgers World Series victory, a Lakers NBA championship, the Rams first LA Super Bowl title (sorry Kings) and so many more. We celebrated KNX’s 100th anniversary and won the first two national Edward R. Murrow awards in the station’s 54-year all-news history. We’ve evolved the station’s sound, grown our ratings, expanded our digital footprint and become a leader in the company. Finally, we moved KNX to the FM dial and became KNX News 97.1 FM. There are so many of you I want to individually acknowledge and thank for making my seven years at KNX an amazing experience, but I don’t want this to become an Oscar speech and be played off this email. However, I do want to thank my partner in our success, our news director, Julie Chin. None of the above happens without Julie’s help, counsel, insight, friendship and hard work. She will continue to be a steady hand in the continuing success of KNX and keep the momentum we’ve built going.”
New TALKERS 2022 Video Posted. The latest video from the June 10 TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University has been posted. This fireside chat was introduced by John Caracciolo, president/CEO of JVC Broadcasting and featured FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel star Brian Kilmeade being interviewed by WPG, Atlantic City morning drive host Harry Hurley. See the complete video of this session here.
Danny Marang Joins Midday Show at “1080 The Fan” in Portland. Sports media pro Danny Marang is named midday show co-host at Audacy’s sports talk KFXX-AM, Portland “1080 The Fan.” Marang joins longtime station host Dusty Harrah on the new “Danny and Dusty” show that airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. Marang is a 10-year Portland media veteran who also hosts “Jacked Ramsays,” a Portland Trail Blazers-focused podcast alongside “1080 The Fan” morning show host Brandon Sprague. Marang previously served as host of Trail Blazers pregame and postgame shows on NBC Sports Northwest and as a writer for SB Nation website “Blazers Edge.” He also served as an operations intelligence officer in the United States Air Force. Audacy Portland SVP and market manager Kim Martinez states, “Danny brings a rich breadth of experience covering this area’s sports scene, and we’re pleased to team him up with Dusty Harrah for the launch of a brand-new midday show. Together, Danny and Dusty will deliver fresh, entertaining and informative content to carry our listeners through their workdays.”
Triton Digital Releases Streaming Rankers for May 2022. The monthly ranker of top performing digital audio publishers for May 2022 has been published by Triton Digital. This ranker is based on Average Active Sessions (AAS) and represents the average number of sessions at any point in time in the reported time period, with invalid sessions omitted. AAS can be calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period (AAS=TLH/Hours in period). For the United States and measuring 6am-12am Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is ranked #1 with 298,936 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (73,102 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (62,820 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,251 AAS). Other radio-related companies ranking in the top 25 include Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (19,321 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,079 AAS), Salem Communications at #11 (8,599 AAS), Urban One at #12 (8,357 AAS), and Bonneville International at #14 (6,789 AAS). See the complete ranker here.
New Jersey Theatre Unveils ‘Beasley Media Group Green Room.’ The nonprofit State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick – one of the oldest operating theatres in the state – announces that its green room is now named the “Beasley Media Group Green Room” as part of its Next Stage Campaign. The naming commemorates Beasley Media Group’s commitment to the arts community and longtime support of State Theatre New Jersey, which is currently celebrating its 100th Anniversary Season. The extensive renovations at the theatre are helping preserve its rich history while continuing to serve the community as a state-of-the-art cultural center far into the future. The renovations, which were completed in October 2021, included newly renovated lobbies, all new restrooms, upgraded HVAC systems, a new elevator for access to all levels, brand-new theater seats, and renovations to the backstage area, including the green room. Beasley SVP and market manager Dan Finn says, “We are honored and thrilled with the naming of the Beasley Media Group Green Room in the historic and beautiful State Theatre New Jersey. Congratulations to the State Theatre on the success of the Next Campaign and for celebrating the recent milestone of 100 years of live entertainment.”
July 4 Shooting/Gun Control, January 6 Hearings/Georgia Election Probe, The Economy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, and Boris Johnson Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/5). The Fourth of July shooting in suburban Chicago that left seven people dead and talk about gun control issues; the January 6 hearings and the subpoenaing of Senator Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani and others in the Georgia investigation into allegations of election interference by former President Donald Trump; the high price of gas & food, the sinking financial markets, and threats of a recession; the midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and Boris Johnson’s tenuous hold on his prime minister position were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.