Talk radio personality Michael DelGiorno posts news on his Facebook page that he’s taking over the morning show on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WLAC-AM/W252CM, Nashville on November 6. The 5:00 am to 8:00 am show will be simulcast on the company’s KTOK-AM, Oklahoma City and KAKC-AM, Tulsa. iHeartMedia Nashville market president Dan Endom says, “We are thrilled to welcome Michael, a true broadcasting legend, to iHeartMedia Nashville. Michael’s extensive knowledge of the airwaves coupled with his innate ability to connect with audiences will elevate our programming to new heights.” DelGiorno served with Cumulus Media’s crosstown WWTN-FM, Nashville from 2007 through March of this year. He also previously hosted shows on KFAQ and KRMG in Tulsa.
New York City talk radio personality Mark Simone signs a new, three-year deal with iHeartMedia’s news/talk 710 WOR to continue hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show. Simone says, “There’s no better place to be in the radio world than iHeartRadio. Thanks to the finest broadcasting executives around, Tom Cuddy, Thea Mitchem and Bernie Weiss for making it all happen. Walking to work every day is like walking through the Radio Hall of Fame. Just to get to my studio, I pass Elvis Duran, Jim Kerr, Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee and other all-stars.” WOR program director Tom Cuddy adds, “When I joined WOR almost 11 years ago, Mark was my first hire. Since then, it’s been a blast watching Mark grow into becoming the highest-rated radio talk host in his time slot, along with digital numbers that are among the highest in the country.”
EDITOR’S APOLOGY: The above story about Mark Simone’s new contract at WOR originally ran yesterday (9/5) in TALKERS. Unfortunately, our art department utilized a combination of hand-rendered illustration, CGI and AI in creating a headline banner image that apparently missed its mark. The premise was to depict Simone as the proverbial “800 pound gorilla” of New York radio in which his avatar – a Simone lookalike – inspired by the legend of King Kong, was depicted as a determined figure climbing the Empire State Building. As it turned out, the King Kong reference was not clear to our readers because there was no actual ape depicted and Simone received a large number of emails telling him that TALKERS ran a photo of the wrong guy. We meant it to be a caricature but our creative plan backfired. Simone was upset by the image telling TALKERS, “I have had dozens of caricatures done of me in the past. They are usually somewhat cute. Never had a problem with them. Yours looked hideous and really cheap. When radio people try to do it, they have no skill at it… no one thought it was a caricature and no one thought it was me. The 13 emails I got from radio execs asked me why you used a picture of someone else, so they never thought for a second it was supposed to be a caricature and no one noticed anything to do with the Empire State Building.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement, “Simone is right. Looking back at it now, with the increased objectivity of having a full day to think it over, I can understand why he was upset, although there was nothing specifically disparaging about the image. It just wasn’t clear that it was meant to be him and that he was supposed to be climbing a building in an iconic scenario. After all, a media personality’s sound and image are their brand and they must be protective of its depiction. We have subsequently pulled the banner from the website and replaced it with a more standard format with the same copy but a different graphic (see above). The irony is Mark Simone and I have been friendly for more than three decades and I’ve often stated that he is one of the greatest and most successful radio personalities in New York and the nation, not to mention a top notch human being. I still think that. All of us at TALKERS deeply regret this mistake which was the result of an overly-zealous attempt at being creative. In the world of publicity there’s the old saying ‘as long as they spell your name correctly.’ Well, I guess in this case we spelled Mark Simone’s face wrong.”
Pictured above is former President Donald Trump (center) posing for a photo with Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk radio personality Wayne Allyn Root (right) and his wife Cindy (left) at Mar-A-Lago on Sunday evening. Root is one of the talk media industry’s staunchest supporters of the former president. After taking the photo, Trump announced to the dining room, “This man Wayne is the greatest. The most important man in Las Vegas.”
Rising multi-platform talk media star and talk radio personality Asa Andrew, M.D. (known to his fans as Doctor Asa) is partnering with the newest division of the NFL, called NFL Alumni Health. Doctor Asa’s parent full-service media company, Asa Media is now the official media partner, outlet, and overall voice for NFL Alumni Health. Under the new agreement, Asa Media will create exclusive content for all digital, social media, reality docu-series, radio, television, and podcasts for NFL Alumni Health to tell their story. Doctor Asa, whose syndicated radio health-based talk show continues to gain affiliates, was recently appointed the role of “ringside physician” for Impact Wrestling which doubles as a serious medical position as well as an entertainment position. Doctor Asa tells TALKERS, “The NFL, just like combat sports, includes years of high-impact play, raising concerns for long-term wellness. Concussions, joint injuries, cardiovascular health, obesity, and neurological complications are the norm as the average career for an NFL player is very short.” Doctor Asa will be speaking and educating as the leading health and wellness voice for NFL Franchises and Alumni with strategies for optimal health, performance, and longevity. He continues, “The NFL is a worldwide sports giant with some of the greatest athletes. The players are the ones we need to make sure are in the best position to enter the sport well and exit with their greatest win, their health. NFL Alumni Health has a passion to educate the players for better current play health and longevity choices which creates a better post-play outcome. Many former NFL Alumni Players are losing quality of life and facing serious health challenges. NFL Alumni Health is on a mission to create a better way. I’m here to be the voice, the storyteller, and catalyst to inspire the NFL and its Alumni, and influence others to reach their potential and becoming the best version of themselves.” Dr. Asa Andrew will be speaking on “The Big Picture” panel at TALKERS 2023, June 2 at Hofstra University.
WTOP, Washington’s Joel Oxley Testifies on Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. At a Senate subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC on Wednesday (2/2), numerous media executives provided testimony as the subcommittee considers the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act that “creates a four-year safe harbor from antitrust laws for print, broadcast, or digital news companies to collectively negotiate with online content distributors (e.g., social media companies) regarding the terms on which the news companies’ content may be distributed by online content distributors.” Joel Oxley, general manager of Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington, DC testified on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters. He said, “Quality journalism delivered through our uniquely free service has only been made possible over many decades through advertising revenues. As you all are aware, these revenues have experienced a free-fall in recent years, due almost exclusively to the rapid, often anticompetitive, expansion of the dominant online platforms who have upended the advertising marketplace. The market power of the tech platforms undermines the online advertising model for local broadcast journalism in two important ways. First, the tech platforms’ role as content gatekeepers stifles our ability to generate user traffic. Second, anticompetitive terms of service and a ‘take it or leave it’ approach leave local broadcasters with a below-market sliver of those advertising revenues derived through their products. For local broadcasters and our viewers and listeners who rely on quality journalism, this is a real catch-22: To attract online user traffic, we must be accessible through the major platforms, yet the terms of access dictated by the online platforms devalue our product. For example, not only is WTOP not being compensated by Facebook and Google for its content, WTOP is actually paying to make sure its content is being accessed on their platforms.” He added, “The dominant online platforms have flourished, siphoning off huge amounts of advertising revenues that are the lifeblood of free, local journalism. Consider the big storm that just blew through the Northeast over the weekend – a nor’easter and blizzard conditions. Tons of work at a lot of cost and time for local broadcasters to cover it for millions of people. But not for Facebook, Google and the like. They simply take our coverage and profit from it, and virtually nothing comes back to us. But without local news, my guess is a lot of people would have not evacuated places like Cape Cod last weekend, and lives would have been risked. We just can’t have that.” You can read his complete testimony here.
Erick Erickson Show Adds New Affiliates; Reports Ratings Growth. Nationally syndicated talk radio personality Erick Erickson announces the addition of two new affiliate stations as Audacy’s KXNT, Las Vegas and Willamette Broadcasting’s KYKN, Salem, Oregon add the show to their program schedules. The show says, “In every Nielsen PPM market carrying his show, either live or delayed, Erickson is generating higher ratings than the show he replaced, including Rush Limbaugh’s show in Atlanta, Georgia on Erickson’s flagship station, WSB Radio. Erickson is also seeing robust digital growth. From June to December 2021, Erickson’s live-streaming audience increased 339% and his podcast audience grew 188%.”
Terry Foxx Named to Programming Role at Public Outlet KUT, Austin. Radio programming pro Terry Foxx is joining public radio station KUT, Austin as director of programming and audience. The organization says Foxx will oversee KUT 90.5’s on-air programming and KUT and KUTX Studios’ podcast strategy. He will collaborate with the KUT newsroom and sister station KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience, on developing audience-centered engagement strategies and expanding KUT’s reach. Foxx has most recently been serving as brand manager for Radio One’s sports talk WFNZ-AM, Charlotte and sister AC WLNK-FM. KUT and KUTX general manager Debbie Hiott comments, “Terry has deep knowledge and experience when it comes to identifying and expanding audiences. He grew up in Texas, has always had family in Austin, and understands how KUT can serve our community. With those things he will help us develop and provide programming that reaches into new areas important to Central Texas.” Foxx says, “KUT has a rich heritage and is part of the fabric of Central Texas. I look forward to joining the strong team at KUT and engaging new listeners in creative ways.”
BIN: Black Information Network Names Andrea Coleman News Director; Ramses Ja to Host New Daily Podcast. News pro Andrea Coleman is promoted from news anchor to news director for iHeartMedia’s BIN: Black Information Network. In this new role, Coleman will be responsible for leading day-to-day newsroom operations, reporter and anchor development, and coordinating live news and specialty programming. She’ll be based in Atlanta, reporting to Tanita Myers, VP/news operations for the Black Information Network. Coleman joined iHeartMedia as an anchor/reporter for the Black Information Network in the summer of 2020. She says, “I welcome the opportunity to serve as news director of the Black Information Network and to continue to be a part of the dynamic team of Black professionals who have made the Network a relevant, trusted source of news and information for our community. We look forward to keeping our listeners informed and educated on all matters important to the Black experience.” BIN: Black Information Network also announces that media personality Ramses Ja is joining the Network as the host of the new daily podcast, “Our Daily Story with Ramses Ja.” The program will feature Black journalists from across America telling the most meaningful stories of the day, from their perspective. The daily talk show-style podcast will premiere later this month, with new episodes launching every weekday morning. Ja says, “I’m excited to be partnering with BIN: Black Information Network. This partnership helps show the company’s commitment to helping create a more equitable experience for Black people in this country, and the other projects we have in the works are also sure to continue that trend.” BIN: Black Information Network president Tony Coles comments, “As BIN: Black Information Network continues to grow, I am thrilled to have Ramses Ja and Andrea Coleman as part of our team. They are incredibly talented, with proven track records, and dedication to delivering significant and trusted news coverage to the Black community. I know they will contribute to the network’s mission and ongoing success.”
Newsmax Claims Big Ratings for Trump Rally Coverage. Citing Nielsen data from last weekend, Newsmax says it was the big ratings winner with its exclusive cable coverage of former President Donald Trump’s rally in Texas. Newsmax reports “some 2.9 million cable viewers tuned in to watch the event live from Conroe — and 1.1 million of them were adults ages 35-64, the demographic craved by advertisers… though Newsmax is carried in 20 million fewer homes than FOX, total audience impressions for both networks during Trump’s speech was almost at parity, both drawing around 1.4 million viewers per minute, according to Nielsen.” Newsmax points to a piece in Business Insider that said, “Newsmax’s audience skyrockets during Trump rallies that other networks, including FOX News, ignore.’” Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy comments, “We can’t speak to FOX News’ decisions, but we believe this rally was a significant news event that was worthy of coverage.”
TALKERS News Notes. Former WIBC, Indianapolis talk host Greg Garrison has filed papers to run for prosecutor of Hamilton County, Indiana. According to the Indianapolis Star, the 74-year-old Garrison will face off against three-term Republican prosecutor D. Lee Buckinham in the primary. Garrison, who also had a long career as a personal injury lawyer, retired from his radio program in 2017. He was part of the prosecution team that helped convict boxer Mike Tyson of rape charges in 1992…..Reporter Mara Hoplamazian is named New Hampshire Public Radio’s energy and environment reporter, a role in which they will anchor NHPR’s “By Degrees” climate reporting initiative. NHPR news director Dan Barrick says, “Awareness and dialogue are the best tools we have to fight climate change. The work of journalists such as Mara are crucial not simply to inform but to create awareness of what is at risk, and what we can do together.” Hoplamazian came to NHPR as the Barbara and Dick Couch Fellow. Before joining NHPR, Hoplamazian worked as an investigative reporting intern at The Sacramento Bee and a media intern at the Smithsonian Institution.
Trump & the GOP/Midterm Elections, January 6 Investigation, Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Spotify’s Joe Rogan Controversy, Whoopi Goldberg Suspension, Financial Markets/Economy, CNN’s Zucker Resigns, Beijing Olympics, Winter Weather, and Washington Football Team Reveals New Name Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/2). Former President Donald Trump’s influence within the GOP and November’s midterm elections; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the latter’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad and mask & vaccine mandates; the controversy over artists pulling their music from Spotify because of the conspiratorial tone of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast; ABC is slammed for suspending Whoopi Goldberg over her holocaust comments; the world’s financial markets and concerns about the COVID-hampered U.S. economy; Jeff Zucker resigns from CNN after failing to acknowledge his romantic relationship with an employee; the political aspects of the Beijing Winter Olympics; severe winter weather affecting much of the U.S.; and reactions to the NFL’s Washington franchise revealing its new Commanders moniker were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.