The Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated Lars Larson show celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. Larson hosts a daily afternoon show on Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm in addition to the syndicated program heard 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT. Larson states, “20 years ago this month, Peter Kosann (then CEO of Westwood One) asked me to do a nationally syndicated radio talk show to replace a departing host. When Peter and I both left WWO and he formed Compass Media Networks, he asked if I would continue the partnership we had forged in the first six years. I quickly and happily agreed. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Effective immediately for inventory beginning next January, Compass Media Networks will be ABC Audio’s exclusive advertising representative. ABC Audio vice president Liz Alesse declares, “We are thrilled to usher in a new phase of growth for ABC Audio with the announcement of our strategic partnership with Compass Media Networks. “ABC News Radio remains steadfast in its mission to provide our news affiliates incisive, up-to-the-minute headlines; we’re equally committed to creating top-tier entertainment content. By maintaining our high standards in these areas, we do more than just serve our stations – we also create exceptional opportunities for our advertisers.” Compass Media Networks chief executive officer Peter Kosann remarks that, “Christmas has come early for us and our national sponsors. ABC Audio represents some of the most iconic brands and media assets in the world. We will move mountains to be a wonderful ambassador and advocate for our new partner.” As TALKERSnoted last Wednesday (7/5), ABC Audio and Skyview Networks agreed to end their similar arrangement. A Skyview statement read, “ABC Audio and Skyview Networks are committed to working together to ensure a smooth transition. Skyview will continue meeting the needs of the industry and its full-scale multi-partner relationships. Skyview Networks will continue representing ABC Audio network sales while also providing distribution service through 2023. We wish ABC Audio continued success in the years ahead.”
Radio personality Todd Schnitt announces he’s ending his Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated afternoon drive news/talk program to focus on his “MJ Morning Show” on CHR WRBQ-FM, Tampa. Launched in October of 2001, “The Schnitt Show” was eventually heard in more than 75 markets. Schnitt says, “For over 20 years, I have been working two daily jobs. The time has come for me to focus my full energies on ‘The MJ Morning Show’… This is bittersweet as it has been a joy and privilege to host ‘The Schnitt Show’ and I am forever grateful to our affiliates, sponsors, partners, and most importantly our listeners for supporting the show for so many years.” Compass Media Networks CEO Peter Kosann says, “How many people in the history of radio have hosted two-daily, drive time shows, targeting two completely different audiences, and doing it successfully for over two decades? The answer is virtually no one else. Kudos to Todd for his work ethic, creativity, ingenuity, and talent. It has been an honor to serve as Todd’s syndication partner all these years and we look forward to working with him on this next chapter.”
WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta-based talk radio host Erick Erickson and Compass Media Networks partner for the syndication efforts of his program. Erickson has been syndicating his program via his own Resurgent Radio LLC to about 30 affiliates but now begins working with Compass to grow the program that airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET. Erickson says, “We are thrilled to embark on this next chapter of our growth and are so appreciative of our friends and partners who have supported us.” Compass Media Networks CEO and founder Peter Kosann states, “At a critical time in our nation’s history and just as the public starts to turn their attention to the upcoming presidential election cycle, we are thrilled to bring Erick Erickson to the national stage. Erick is a winner by every metric, and we are lucky to call him our friend and colleague.”
Dave Ramsey Joins RAB’s ‘Radio Works’ Series. The RAB announces that as part of its Radio Works initiative, the next presentation in the series, titled, “Radio Works for Financial Services,” will feature remarks by talk radio star and financial expert Dave Ramsey. RAB says next Wednesday’s webinar “will focus on the expansive financial services category and key segments such as retail banking, investment banking and credit cards with a concentration towards the challenges and opportunities ahead in 2023.” The webinar will also feature Peter Nelson, president of Glenwood State Bank in Minnesota and Chris Uhde, sales manager, Leighton Broadcasting in Alexandra, Minnesota to discuss how the community bank is navigating through the current economic climate, its impact on their customers and radio’s role in their approach. The presentation – free for RAB members – is on November 16 at 1:00 pm ET. You can register here.
FOX Sports Radio Adds ‘The Paulie & Tony Fusco Show’ to Podcast Lineup. The satirical sports talk podcast, “The Paulie & Tony Fusco Show,” joins FOX Sports Radio’s slate of podcasts. FSR says, “Each week on ‘The Paulie & Tony Fusco Show,’ former ‘Herd with Colin Cowherd’ producers Andrew Samson and Sharief Ali hilariously portray die-hard Philadelphia sports fans and ‘legendary’ cable TV stars who think they have the best sports takes when they actually have the worst.” FOX Sports Radio SVP of sports programming Scott Shapiro jokes, “When the Phillies were 21-29, I made a wager that the Phillies wouldn’t make the World Series for another decade. I now significantly regret that ill-advised wager as the result is having to take on this so-called podcast. If you value your time, please DO NOT listen to this podcast.”
College Hoops Star Drew Timme Launches Podcast. A collaborative effort between iHeartMedia’s iHeartPodcasts and the College Athletes Network (CAN) results in the new podcast, “Gimme Timme,” starring Gonzaga basketball star Drew Timme. iHeartMedia says this weekly podcast expands on its partnership with CAN to “bring college sports-centered podcasts hosted by the athletes themselves to fans.” The podcast will also include co-host Noah Buono – a former walk-on at Duquesne University and host of CAN’s “Walkie TalkieZ.” Timme says, “I’m super excited to do this podcast. It’s my senior season and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to take people along for the ride. I love listening to Draymond Green’s podcast. I want my podcast to have the same angle, just from a college perspective. Listeners will get the full Drew experience each and every episode.”
Bob Pittman and Bud Walters Among Honorees at LABF’s Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts. Next Tuesday (11/15) Library of American Broadcasting Foundation presents its “Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts” annual celebration at Gotham Hall in New York City. LABF says the ceremony honors “the distinguished individuals who have – for the past century – been the creators, innovators, journalists, leaders, performers, and producers that have brought the electronic arts to the prominence they occupy in the United States and the world today, and who have set the stage for the future.” Among this year’s group of honorees are radio’s Bob Pittman, chairman & CEO of iHeartMedia, and Bud Walters, president of Cromwell Media. Also being honored are: Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports; S. Epatha Merkerson, actress, “Chicago Med,” “Law & Order”; Adam Symson, president & CEO, The E.W. Scripps Company; Peter Williams, justice correspondent (Ret.), NBC News; Fareed Zakaria, CNN anchor, author, columnist for The Washington Post; and Julia Child, TV chef, (posthumously).
RAB Board of Directors Elects New Directors for 2023. The Radio Advertising Bureau announces the results of its Fall Board of Directors meeting in Chicago on November 1-2. Newly elected officers include Chair: Jeff Warshaw, chief executive officer, Connoisseur Media; Vice Chair: Erik Hellum, chief operating officer, Townsquare Media; Finance Chair: Sabina Widmann, president, regional general manager, TelevisaUnivision; Secretary: Mike Dowdle, executive vice president of business affairs, Bonneville International; Immediate Past Chair: Mike Hulvey, chief executive officer, Neuhoff Media. Warshaw says, “I am proud to serve as the RAB chair and further support the organization and the industry as we continue to advocate for radio.” Joining the RAB board of directors are David Bevins, Connoisseur Media, Felipe Chávez, Bustos Media, Julie Koehn, Lenawee Broadcasting Company and Kevin Perry, Perry Publishing & Broadcasting. Jonathan Brewster of El Dorado Broadcasters will be rejoining the board. Exiting the board are Keith Lawless, formerly at Cox Media Group, Art Rowbotham, Hall Communications, Inc., Jeff Smulyan, Emmis Communications and Pat Walsh, Emmis Communications.
TeshMedia and Compass Media Networks Expand Their Relationship. The two organizations announce that they are expanding their long-standing partnership. Compass Media Networks will now manage affiliate sales, in addition to continuing as The TeshMedia Group’s exclusive advertising representative for the full array of The TeshMedia Group’s audio brands. John Tesh says, “For nearly a decade we have trusted our friend, Peter Kosann, and Compass Media Networks for our advertising sales. And so, it only makes sense that we would take the next step and partner with Compass’ awesome affiliate relations team to help us super-serve our stations.” Kosann comments, “TeshMedia is a unique treasure to the radio industry – delivering unique, compelling, exclusive, and awesome content that drives ratings and revenues for affiliates. We are extremely proud and humbled to expand this wonderful relationship with Connie, Gib, John and their full team of producers and writers.”
TALKERS News Notes. Connecticut talk radio host Lisa Wexler is returning to her program at Connoisseur Media’s news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport after her leave to run for re-election for probate judge in Connecticut’s Westport-Weston District. Wexler won the race with 72% of the vote. Interestingly, she ran this time as a Democrat after having previously won three elections as a Republican in the same district. Connoisseur Media SVP Kristin Okesson says, “We congratulate Lisa on her re-election as probate judge and are looking forward to having Lisa back on-air after this brief election hiatus. Our listening community has clearly missed her on WICC.”…..Benztown announces that it is appointing Leon McWhorter as head writer. The company says, “McWhorter is the newest addition to Benztown and client partner Yamanair Creative’s writers’ room, serving commercial production clients across the U.S. He will report to MJ Bloch, Benztown’s East Coast director of commercial production, and Darren Silva, West Coast director of commercial production.
Midterm Election Results, Trump 2024 Presidential Bid, The Economy, Elon Musk & Twitter, Russia-Ukraine War, and Hurricane Nicole Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/9). The results of the midterm elections and the Georgia runoff election that may determine control of the U.S. Senate; former President Donald Trump’s expected announcement that he’ll run for president in 2024; inflation and concerns about a recession; the chaos surrounding Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact on Europe’s winter energy crisis; and Hurricane Nicole makes landfall in Florida among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
iHeartMedia Ups Joe De Angelis to SVP of Promotions. This corporate promotion to SVP of promotions for the iHeartMedia Markets Group for Joe De Angelis comes after serving as director of marketing and promotions for iHeartMedia New York and national event brand manager since 2015. In his new role, De Angelis will “oversee promotions efforts across iHeartMedia’s entire roster of iconic brands and franchises — broadcast and digital — and align promotional efforts across iHeartMedia markets by creating and spearheading iHeartMedia’s Promotions Center.” De Angelis will report to Scott Hopeck, division president for the iHeartMedia Markets Group. Hopeck says, “I’m thrilled to promote Joe to senior vice president of promotions. During his time with iHeartMedia New York, Joe has proven that he is more than qualified for this role. He has extensive experience overseeing all marketing and promotions initiatives for our New York City stations, as well as our national tentpole events. Joe is a natural leader and an exceptional collaborator. I’m confident that he will effectively evolve how we develop and execute promotions for our brands and our partners.”
Audacy’s Bennett Zier Honored with MLK Jr Community Leaders Award. Radio executive Bennett Zier – who serves as Audacy Virginia SVP and market manager – was honored by The Urban League of Hampton Roads at its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders event with the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders Award. Zier says, “I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the Audacy stations in Hampton Roads. It’s our goal every day to embrace our local communities and partner with local leaders to build awareness in key areas like education, health and job growth…all while promoting compassion in our daily lives.” The award is presented to individuals or groups who exemplify service, demonstrate the values modeled by Dr. King, and make significant contributions to the Hampton Roads community. This year, Pharrell Williams served as the keynote speaker for the virtual event to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and recognize dedicated leaders in the Hampton Roads community.
Compass Media Networks Promotes Doug Ingold. Eight-year Compass Media Networks staffer Doug Ingold is promoted to vice president of affiliate sales for entertainment & music programming, effective immediately. Ingold will continue to be based out of the company’s Los Angeles office and will continue to spearhead distribution of some of the company’s entertainment shows, including “Big D & Bubba,” “Dave & Mahoney,” “Free Beer & Hot Wings,” “Rick Dees,” “Pop Crush Nights,” “Taste of Country,” “Ultimate Classic Rock” and many others. Ingold comments, “Compass Media Networks commitment to music & entertainment programming is strong and I’m grateful to be contributing to its long-term growth. It’s a privilege to serve our affiliates and partners with a tremendous roster of talent, shows and digital assets. Many thanks to our team for their support and much gratitude to Peter Kosann, Hiram Lazar, and Adam Wilbur.”
‘Today’s Homeowner’ Announces Backyard Makeover Promotion. The nationally syndicated home improvement television show “Today’s Homeowner” announces the 2022 edition of the “Backyard Paradise” promotion is now accepting entries through February 13. The winner of this contest, sponsored by Pavestone and Quikrete, will receive a backyard makeover and be featured on “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford.” Lipford’s Today’s Homeowner Media also syndicates a weekly radio program of the same name. Lipford says, “You can’t go wrong when developing an outdoor living area for your home. This contest is a highlight for me every year because it’s rewarding to work with homeowners who want to improve and invest in their homes. My team and I get to help bring a dream to reality, plus share some creative, practical inspiration with our audience.”
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that public radio WBEZ-FM’s parent company “is moving forward on plans to acquire the Chicago Sun-Times — a merger designed to assure survival of the money-losing newspaper while creating one of the nation’s largest nonprofit local news organizations.” Feder says that the “financial terms were not disclosed, but major funding is expected from Michael Sacks, lead investor in the Sun-Times, along with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Pritzker Traubert Foundation…..PodcastOne announces the launch of the “Cobra Koves” podcast and vodcast with beloved “Cobra Kai” star Martin Kove. The podcast will make its debut tomorrow (1/20) and will feature Kove and his children, fraternal twins Jesse and Rachel, as they recap episodes of the Netflix global hit television series, share stories from the original Karate Kid trilogy of films and give insight into their close-knit family bond…..Today’s episode of ABC News’ flagship daily podcast “Start Here,” is the 1,000th episode of the program hosted by Brad Mielke…..The PGA TOUR and SiriusXM sign a multi-year extension of their broadcasting agreement, which will continue to deliver extensive tournament coverage on the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel for subscribers nationwide through 2024. The deal provides for live coverage of every round of 38 PGA TOUR events throughout the season.
COVID-19, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Biden Press Conference, Violent Crime, Inflation/Supply Chain, Ukraine Standoff, Trump Organization Investigation, and Synagogue Attacker Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/18). The high rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, SCOTUS on Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, and mask purchase; the battle for control of Congress in the midterm elections and Donald Trump’s relationship with the GOP; today’s President Biden press conference; the rise of violent crime in America’s major cities; high retail and oil prices and the effect of the broken supply chain; relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Ukraine; the New York AG’s investigation into the Trump Organization; and the prior criminal record of Texas synagogue attacker Malik Faisal Akram were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.