The Museum of Broadcast Communications announces the selection of 12 Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2023. The Legends inductees recognize the talents and efforts of on-air personalities, programmers and operators who contributed with greatness to the radio industry and have since passed away. The 2023 class includes: talk radio personality Bob Grant, Saga Communications chief Ed Christian, and talk personality Long John Nebel. Radio Hall of Fame co-chair Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “It’s heartfelt recognition to see these individuals and their career contributions to the radio industry recognized with this induction. They’ve made a forever impact on the audiences and businesses they interacted with and for that, we’re grateful.” See more about the Legends here.
Host/tech expert/serial entrepreneur, Kim Komando announces a stand-alone Friday evening hour of content, which will debut on Cumulus Media Chicago news/talk WLS-AM. The 7:00 pm hour CT will have new material not included in Komando’s weekend version. WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor opines, “Kim’s savvy consumer tech knowledge has been transforming lives in the Chicagoland area for years, offering a unique understanding of our technological journey and what lies ahead.” Talent management firm Sound Mind founder/president Kraig T. Kitchin comments that Komando is “not only entertaining and helpful, but also consistently delivers exceptional radio that captivates audiences. Kim continues to set the bar high.” Komando’s content airs on over 475 stations nationwide.
Noted talent manager, advisor and chair of the Radio Hall of Fame, Kraig T. Kitchin is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison states, “Kraig is one of the smartest, most-respected and congenial behind-the-scenes movers and shakers in the radio industry. His illustrious career goes back decades and his positive contributions to the radio business – including advising some of its greatest talents including the late Rush Limbaugh – have been indelible and immeasurable.” Kitchin was honored several weeks ago by the TALKERS magazine editorial board with the highly prestigious Jim Bohannon Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Radio. Since 2008, he’s been president of the talent management firm, Sound Mind, LLC. He also serves as a strategic advisor to Oxford Road, a media placement agency with more than 50 clients specializing in audio advertising. Kitchin also serves as chairman of the Radio Hall of Fame to which he was appointed in 2014. Prior to launching his own firm, after working his way up in the industry through local radio and then national agency sales, he was one of the founders of Premiere Radio Networks in 1987. Harrison and Kitchin discuss the quirky role of ego and psychology in the talent business as well as today’s rapidly changing fabric of communications and culture. Don’t miss this! Listen to the entire podcast here.
The late Jim Thompson, who lost his valiant struggle against throat cancer last August at the age of 75, has been named this year’s recipient of the TALKER S magazine Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Broadcaster – also referred to as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award. Thompson served successfully as the president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America between 2009 and 2022 guiding the charitable organization to more than quadruple the amount of financial aid it distributes to radio and TV professionals in acute need from $400,000 to nearly $2 million last year. “I am very proud to have known Jim for nearly 40 years as a colleague and a friend,” said Scott Herman, chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation. “Jim believed deeply in helping others and his passion and enthusiasm for life always lit up a room. He always saw the positive in every person and every situation.” Prior to his service to the industry as president of the BFoA, Thompson had been president and CEO of Group W Radio, the second largest radio company in the country during his leadership, and along with Mike Craven was co-owner of Liberty Broadcasting, a 19-station radio group concentrated on the East Coast. He began his broadcasting career as an account executive at KYW-TV, Philadelphia in 1971, where he rose to vice president and general manager. An innovator and visionary, Thompson created the Radio-Mercury Awards to encourage and reward excellence in radio creative. He served on the boards of the Radio Advertising Bureau and the Advertising Council, was vice chairman of the Pennsylvania State Broadcasters Association and a member of numerous committees, including the NAB Radio Futures Committee. A member of the U.S. Army, Thompson served in Vietnam. The presentation will be made by talk show host Harry Hurley of WPG, Atlantic City at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island.
The Humanitarian of the Year honor is one of four awards presented annually by TALKERS at its annual national conference. The others set for this year include the Freedom of Speech award to Tavis Smiley of KBLA Talk 1580, Los Angeles; the Woman of the Year award to Martha Zoller of WDUN, Gainesville, GA; and the award for Lifetime Achievement to Kraig T. Kitchin of Sound Mind, LLC. All three will be in attendance to make their acceptances. Jim Thompson’s award will be accepted by Broadcasters Foundation of America president Tim McCarthy.
TALKERS 2023 is nearing an advance sellout. See more about the agenda, registration, sponsorship and hotel information here.
The TALKERS editorial board has announced the selection of renowned radio industry executive Kraig T. Kitchin as the 2023 recipient of the newly renamed Jim Bohannon Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement. Mr. Kitchin will be presented the honor at the forthcoming TALKERS 2023 convention on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island, NY. In making the announcement, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison stated, “Although still a relatively young man, Kraig Kitchin’s illustrious career goes back decades and his positive contributions to the radio business – including the spoken word formats and some of its greatest talents including the late Rush Limbaugh – have been indelible and immeasurable.” Since 2008, Kitchin has been president of the talent management firm, Sound Mind, with a focused effort toward managing the businesses of high-profile radio and podcast personalities as well as production companies. He also serves as a strategic advisor to Oxford Road, a media placement agency specializing in audio advertising, with a focus on podcasts and audio integrations. The nine-year-old agency is a leader in the audio space on behalf of more than 50 clients. Kitchin also serves as chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame to which he was appointed in 2014. Since assuming the role, he has reinstituted national public voting for two of the six categories of induction and has doubled the voting participant panel. Under his leadership, more than 75 radio icons have been inducted. Prior to launching his own firm, Kitchin was one of the founders of Premiere Radio Networks, Inc., in 1987. The company grew to be the number one radio network in the country syndicating 90 radio programs and services to more than 4,600 radio affiliates, reaching 190 million listeners weekly. He started as executive vice president of sales and by 1998 at the age of 37, he assumed the role of president/COO, one of the youngest in the country to run a $300 multi-million-plus radio company. During his 10-year tenure at Premiere, Kitchin directed and oversaw all talk and music programming and services featuring the nation’s most popular personalities like Limbaugh, Delilah, Jim Rome, Glenn Beck, Casey Kasem, Bill Handel, Ryan Seacrest, Bob (Kevoian) and Tom (Griswold), Steve Harvey, Whoopi Goldberg, Blair Garner, George Noory, Maria Bartiromo, Jim Cramer, Matt Drudge, the late Art Bell, Donald Trump, Bob Costas and others. In addition, he supervised Premiere Radio’s other properties: Mediabase 24/7, the industry’s leading music monitoring service, MJI Programming, and FOX Sports Radio. Kitchin started his career in station management at WFMK-FM in Lansing, MI, and KTYD-FM in Santa Barbara, CA before serving as sales manager of the Katz Radio Group Network in Los Angeles. Kitchin will be one of 60 industry leaders speaking at TALKERS 2023. For more information, see story below.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications announces that the Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee is accepting suggestions for 2023 nominees today (2/1) through March 31 at https://www.radiohalloffame.com/nominate. Twenty-four names will be selected as nominees to be voted upon by industry personnel later this year, leading to the selection of the 2023 Radio Hall of Fame induction class. Radio Hall of Fame co-chair Kraig T. Kitchin says, “The ideas and suggestions from both industry members and listeners has provided for excellent conversations and deliberations amongst our nominating committee members, each of them also bringing their own suggestions to the difficult decision making that goes on. When we hear from as many interested people as we do with suggestions, it only reinforces the value of a nomination, let alone an induction.”
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.
Cumulus to Shutter Arkansas Radio Network. Arkansas Business reports that Cumulus Media is letting the 18 affiliates of its Arkansas Radio Network know that the network that has provided news, sports, and farm market reports for the last 50 years will end that service on March 20. The network is based at Cumulus’ news/talk KARN-FM, Little Rock and the notification was signed by KARN program director Toby Howell. The Arkansas Business piece by Kyle Massey reports that the 30-day notice does not offer a reason for the cessation of the news network but says “insiders and regular listeners said paid advertising has been sparse lately, with public service announcements prominent in ad spots.” The piece says the network had as many as 70 affiliate stations during its zenith in the late 1980s and affiliate count was around 50 stations as recently as a couple of years ago.
Radio Hall of Fame Accepting Nominations Through March 31. The Museum of Broadcast Communications announces that the Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee is accepting suggestions for 2022 nominees today through Thursday, March 31, 2022. You can submit your nominations here. The HoF is accepting nominations in the following categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more); Active Local/Regional (10 years or more); Networks/Syndication (10 years or more); Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more); Music Format On-Air Personality; and Spoken Word On-Air Personality. Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We desire the input and suggestions of both industry members and longtime radio listeners, both who have front row seats to radio programs hosted by very deserving air personalities the 2022 nominating committee members should give consideration to.” Nominating committee chair Dennis Green adds, “It is important to hear from those within the industry as well as the listening public to arrive at a deserving list of nominees for the 2022 Radio Hall of Fame Class. We welcome suggestions from around the country as we begin the process that will culminate with the induction of this year’s honorees later this year.” The annual Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set to take place in Chicago on Thursday, October 27, 2022.
‘Radio Night Live’ Presents ‘Broadcast for Broadway.’ The WNYM-AM, New York program “Radio Night LIVE with Kevin McCullough” recently presented “Broadcast For Broadway,” a follow-up to the September broadcast aimed at raising awareness of the 15 new shows opening in March and April. In September, the broadcast heralded 12 shows and the reopening of Broadway since the start of the pandemic. The two-hour, special broadcast emanated from longtime Broadway establishment Sardis in the heart of Times Square. The broadcast featured sneak previews of upcoming shows, conversations with Broadway critics and cast and producers from current hits like Come From Away and brand-new shows already receiving nomination rumors, such as Paradise Square. Pictured above are (from l-r): McCullough, original Come From Away cast member Tony LePage, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani assistant Cristyne Nicholas, and Come From Away producer Randy Adams.
‘New Jersey 101.5 Town Hall’ Presents ‘College Alternatives.’ This Thursday (2/24) at 7:00 pm, Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” presents the latest in its series of Town Hall broadcasts to help New Jersey residents navigate life in the Garden State. Hosted by senior political director Eric Scott, this edition examines alternatives to the traditional four-year degree. Scott says, “New Jersey is facing a real crisis in terms of a skilled labor shortage. These are solid careers, with excellent pay, and don’t come with the debt of a four-year degree. Not everyone needs a four-year degree to have a successful and rewarding career. New Jersey desperately needs workers in skilled trades.” The program’s expert panel will feature: John Tillman, founder of Ecliptic Financial Advisors; Aaron Fichtner, president of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges; Chrissy Buteas, chief government affairs officer with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association; and Amy Lombardo, with the New Jersey School Counselor Association. The program will also feature representatives from New Jersey trade unions that run their own certification schools for members.
WMVP-AM, Chicago Adds CDGA Golf Show to Lineup. Chicago sports talk outlet WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000” adds the “CDGA Golf Show” to its Sunday lineup in the 7:00 am to 9:00 am slot. The program, hosted by “ESPN 1000” personality Tyler Aki and Chicago District Golfer magazine editor Barry Cronin, allows fans to hear from their favorite golfers throughout the region, as well as news about the professional tours, other major golf events, and more. WMVP director of content Danny Zederman states, “We are excited to partner with The Chicago District Golf Association to create an entertaining and informational show every Sunday morning.”
Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Urban Crime, Trump Social Media App, Arbery Hate Crime Trial, and China’s Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/21). Western condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine incursion after his recognition of separatist provinces; the slowing rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Canada’s prosecution of trucker protesters; November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the politics surrounding the spike in urban crime and homelessness in America’s large cities; the Trump social media app launches amid technical glitches; the jury deliberates in the federal hate crime trial of the three men found guilty of killing Ahmaud Arbery; and the post-mortem on China’s Winter Olympic Games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.