Industry News

Motor Racing Network Co-Founder Ken Squier Dies at 88

Motor Racing Network co-founder Ken Squier passed away on November 15 at age 88. Squier, who was Motor Racing Network’s first anchor, was also known for his time broadcasting NASCAR on theim CBS Television Network and later with TBS. MRN says that NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. encouraged Squier to build a nationwide network of radio stations to cover the growing sport. He began with his family-owned WDEV-AM/FM in Waterbury, Vermont and Daytona Beach’s WNDB-AM – both of which still air MRN programming today.  He added hundreds more stations to air the very first MRN broadcast of the Daytona 500 in 1970.

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

PodcastOne announces deals to extend top performing and fan favorite podcasts “LadyGang,” “Gals on the Go” and “Melissa Gorga On Display.” PodcastOne president and co-founder Kit Gray comments, “PodcastOne prides itself on being talent first and ‘LadyGang,’ ‘Gals on the Go’ and ‘Melissa Gorga On Display’ are some of the most talented hosts in the medium. We’re incredibly fortunate to build on a legacy of groundbreaking audio driven entertainment for women. Being able to grow these podcasts in partnership with their hosts has truly been a pleasure over the last several years, and we look forward to what the future has in store.”

VSiN, The Sports Betting Network, adds new affiliate stations in Medford, Oregon and Abilene, Texas. VSiN general manager Len Mead says, “Following new radio affiliates in New Hampshire and North Carolina late this summer, the new football season brings continued expansion of VSiN’s leading sports betting radio network. We’re excited to welcome new fans in Medford and Abilene as we continue to expand our distribution footprint to inform and entertain more listeners than ever before.”

iHeartPodcasts and Novel announce the launch of brand-new weekly podcast, “28 Dates Later with Grace Campbell.” Comedian and writer Campbell goes on 28 dates across two months, only dating people who are the total opposite of her usual type. Listeners not only hear audio from the actual dates, but are also be given a ringside seat to the post-date debrief between Grace and her friends Roz and Dan.

NASCAR crowns it’s Premier Series Champion this Sunday (11/5) at Phoenix Raceway capping its historic 75th Anniversary season. When Motor Racing Network completes its live broadcast from Phoenix, it will signal the end of approximately 350 hours of NASCAR related content produced by the network in 2023.

Industry News

MRN Begins Coverage of 75th NASCAR Season and Daytona 500

This week begins the build-up to NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season and the 65th running of the Daytona 500 next Sunday (2/19). Motor Racing Network announces talent and coverage plans for the week in Daytona. Joining play-by-play veterans Alex Hayden and Jeff Striegle in the booth will be NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace providing insight and analysis from his 25 years of competing at NASCAR’s highest level. They will be joined by expert pit reporters Steve Post, Kim Coon, and Dillon Welch. The familiar voices of Dave Moody, Mike Bagley and Kyle Rickey will call the action from high atop the Speedway’s 31-degree banked turns.

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Hepola Out at WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. According to a report by Bring Me the News, late morning talk host Cory Hepola has exited Audacy’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. Hepola began hosting the show in January of 2019 after a career that included a four-year stint with KARE-TV as host of “KARE 11 Sunrise.” Audacy has not commented publicly about Hepola’s exit. He said after his departure that his work at WCCO changed his life “in positive ways that I didn’t expect.” He also wrote, “I felt the pressure from the start. I mean, this was a huge risk; I was giving up a successful career (in TV) I’d worked so hard for – to move into something new. What if I was a disappointment? What if I said something wrong? What if they fired me?” His last day on the show was February 8, the same day he told Minnesota Public Radio reporter Brian Bakst that he’s considering a run for governor of Minnesota. Since February 9, Blois Olson has been hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.

Radio Executive Ray Quinn Announces Retirement. After a career that has spanned more than 50 years, Ray Quinn is retiring from his position as area president for iHeartMedia’s Alabama area, effective, March 22, 2022. Quinn has been with iHeartMedia for 14 years. He has held leadership positions at several stations throughout his extensive career, including vice president/market manager for KOSI-FM, KALC-FM, and KQMT-FM in Denver; WMYX-FM, WXSS-FM, and WSSP-AM in Milwaukee; WOLX-FM, WMMM-FM, and WBZU-FM in Madison; and many more. The governor of Kentucky also recognized Quinn as a Kentucky Colonel for participating in numerous charitable projects in his community. He was awarded the March of Dimes “Order of the Battered Boot” for walkathon fundraising efforts over the years. iHeartMedia division president Shosh Abromovich says, “Ray is one of a kind. He is known as a unicorn of a leader with his passion, enthusiasm and constant innovative thinking. He has impacted so many of our lives in this industry for the better. We are beyond thankful for the many years Ray has led our teams and are truly excited for him to enjoy this next chapter of his life.” Quinn states, “It’s been an amazing 51 years in radio and 14 years with iHeartMedia. Along the way, I’ve worked for and with some of the most intelligent people in the business and I am grateful to iHeartMedia for allowing me to lead multiple markets in the Southeast. While I will miss my team and the day-to-day battles, it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation of leaders.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Central Florida operations of iHeartMedia is presenting the Florida Jobs Now Career Expo, an onsite resource event connecting job seekers to companies with exciting opportunities and benefits. The event will be held on Thursday, March 3 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm and attendees will have the opportunity to meet with companies throughout Central Florida offering hundreds of positions, as well as attend resume writing and interview preparedness workshops. iHeartMedia Orlando/Melbourne area president Barbara Latham says, “We look forward to bringing this important career event to Central Florida. As a business ourselves serving our local community here in central Florida, we recognize the significant need from our business partners to fill job openings. We feel uniquely poised to help connect these businesses with people living or moving to central Florida as an essential part of our efforts in our local communities.”…..Cumulus Media announces that it has entered into an exclusive long-term agreement for WNAM-AM, Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to remain the official radio broadcast home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the High-A affiliate of the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers. This year will be the 13th season that the Timber Rattlers have been broadcast on WNAM, with 23-year play-by-play voice Chris Mehring calling the action….. In advance of the 64th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday (2/20), Motor Racing Network announces additions to its content lineup and award-winning team of announcers. NASCAR Cup Series Championship winning crew chief, Todd Gordon joins MRN after 11 years with Team Penske. Gordon will provide race analysis on select NASCAR broadcasts and will be MRN’s competition and strategy expert across Motor Racing Network’s NASCAR programming. Suzy Armstrong will serve as host of MRN’s signature show “NASCAR TODAY.” The program is heard daily on 280 radio stations across the country in afternoon drive. During her two decades plus with the network Suzy has contributed her familiar voice to several shows and podcasts.

Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19 Mandates-Protests, Durham Probe, Inflation/Financial Markets, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Palin-NYTimes Case, Beijing Olympics, and Rams Win Super Bowl Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/14). The diplomatic tensions over Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the planned relaxing of mask mandates in numerous states, and the truckers’ protests; special counsel John Durham’s investigation into allegations of Hillary Clinton’s digital spying on Donald Trump; the still-soaring inflation and the activity on the world’s financial markets; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; a judge says he’ll toss Sarah Palin’s defamation suit against The New York Times; the politics behind the Beijing Winter Olympics; and the Los Angeles Rams’ victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.