Industry News

KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas-Fort Worth Celebrates 30 Years of Sports Talk

Cumulus Media’s sports talk KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas-Fort Worth is celebrating 30 years of sports talk withim a number of on-air and off-air events. The station is presenting a sold-out listener event at the House of Blues on Friday (1/26). The sports talk format was launched when Cardinal Communications bought then KAAM-AM from Bonneville International and changed the calls to KTCK-AM and debuted the sports talk format. Cardinal would sell to Susquehanna Communications which would be acquired by Cumulus Media in 2006. All the while, The Ticket would garner ratings and revenue as one of the nation’s more successful sports talk outlets.

Industry News

Dallas Sports Radio Host and Producer Mark Friedman Dies

Longtime Dallas sports radio host and producer Mark “Friedo” Friedman has died after a years-long health battle. The Morning News piece notes that Friedman “spent over two decades working in Dallasim sports radio, starting at 570 KLIF in 1994 and eventually joining host Norm Hitzges in moving to 1310 The Ticket [KTCK-AM] in 2000.” Friedman’s brother Joel posted the news of his passing on Facebook, says, “It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of my brother’s passing. Many of you knew about his health battle over the past several years, and he had been doing remarkably well considering everything he had gone through.” Read the Dallas Morning News story here.

Industry News

Cumulus Media and Former KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas Hosts Settle

The legal battle between Cumulus Media and former KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas midday sports talk hosts Dan McDowell and Jake Kemp is over as United States District Judge Karen Gren Scholer issues an order stating that the parties have resolved the matter and the parties are to file dismissal documents byim Friday (9/29). Cumulus objected to the two hosts publishing their “The Dumb Zone” podcast arguing that it violates the terms of their contracts, specifically the non-compete clause. McDowell and Kemp left “The Ticket” in July after being unable to come to terms on a renewal due to the two sides’ disagreement over digital initiatives. McDowell and Kemp had argued that Cumulus’ business is “the operation of terrestrial radio stations – old media – and it was only in that business that Plaintiff employed the Defendants.” Ultimately the two sides were ordered into mediation on the matter. The terms of the settlement have not been made public.

Industry News

Cumulus Sues Dan McDowell and Jake Kemp for Violating Non-Compete

Cumulus Media is filing suit in U.S. District Court in Northern Texas against former KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas-Fort Worth personalities Dan McDowell and Jake Kemp claiming the duo are in violation of several clauses in their contracts with the company. If you recall, McDowell and Kemp left Cumulus last month after they were unable toim come to terms on a renewal to remain with “The Ticket.” The sticking point was their desire to explore digital initiatives outside of their work with Cumulus. They have since launched a podcast via Patreon that Cumulus says violates their six-month non-compete. The company also alleges the two have violated the non-solicitation and non-disparagement clauses of their contract. It alleges the duo have “commandeered” company-owned social media accounts, threatened to release “conversations Defendants illicitly recorded” with company executives. Cumulus is seeking “emergency injunctive relief” plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

Industry News

New Hosts Join Cumulus Media’s “The Ticket” in Dallas-Fort Worth

Cumulus Media announces new personalities in middays on its sports talk outlet KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas-Fort Worth “The Ticket.” Former “Ticket” host Matt McClearin re-joins the station after two years on-air at the company’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham, Alabama. He’s partnering with “Ticket” personality Donovan Lewis for theim 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show, filling the role of retired “Ticket” host Norm Hitzges. New to the daily lineup is the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm duo of Sean Bass and David Mino. Bass has been with “The Ticket” for 22 years, most recently as producer of “The Norm and D Invasion.” Mino has been with the station for 11 years, most recently as producer of “The Hardline” afternoon drive show. Station program director Jeff Catlin comments, “I couldn’t be more excited for the midday makeover on ‘The Ticket.’ Matt, Sean, and Mino have all earned this opportunity. All three guys are well-known and well-liked by our passionate listeners and their ‘Ticket’ teammates. They will fit in well and make this a seamless transition.”

Industry News

Dallas-Fort Worth Sports Talk Legend Norm Hitzges Announces Retirement

Cumulus Media announces that KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas-Fort Worth “The Ticket” late morning personality Norm Hitzges will retire from the station on June 23 after 48 years in sports media and 23 years with “The Ticket.” Cumulus Media Dallas/Houston regional VP Dan Bennett says, “From the minute Norm hit the airwaves 36im years ago on KLIF and then ‘The Ticket’ you could tell he was a special communicator. He truly is one of Dallas radio’s great storytellers and he kept it going with Susquehanna and then Cumulus all these years. Not many have that kind of staying power. We wish him every happiness in his well-deserved retirement.” Hitzges states, “I’m so proud to be a part of what ‘The Ticket’ has built – a ratings dominator in a fantastic sports city. I shall so miss the daily ‘rush’ of being on the air. But after 48 consecutive years on the air in Dallas doing sports talk, it’s time to move on to the next phase of my life, whatever that may be.”

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, September 26, 2022

Monday Memo: You Don’t Say. Are you speaking the way listeners hear? In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke – a “recovering English teacher” – flags five common faux pas. Read it here.


Pending Business: The Assumptive Renewal. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says the client you currently have is the most efficient next sale you will make. So, don’t assume you’ll get that renewal and work to make it more beneficial for the client and for the station. He offers eight steps to servicing that relationship here.

Report: KEGL-FM, Dallas to Flip to Sports Talk as ‘The Freak.’ As reported by Richie Whitt at SI’s Cowboys Country site, iHeartMedia’s classic rock KEGL-FM, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” will flip to sports talk as “97.1 The Freak” and former crosstown KTCK personality Mike Rhyner is coming out of retirement to host a show on the station. The story indicates that “Ben and Skin” – Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade – will remain on the new station and will be joined by Dallas sports talk personalities including Jeff Cavanaugh, Julie Dobbs, and Mike Sirois. Whitt says the station should debut this week. Rhyner retired from KTCK “The Ticket” in January of 2020. It also notes that iHeartMedia acquired the domain on September 9.

Report: Changes at Miami Sports Talkers WQAM and WAXY. The Miami Herald reports that Audacy is making lineup changes at its Miami sports talkers WQAM and WAXY “790 The Ticket.” The company dropped Jonathan Zaslow’s “Zaslow Show” on Friday (9/23) and moved WAXY morning personalities Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart. Zaslow tweeted: “Today was the last day for the ‘Zaslow Show’ on local Miami radio. 18 years, very good run. Thanks to all my listeners!!!” The story also indicates that “The Joe Rose Show” morning show on WQAM will now be simulcast on “790 The Ticket” to replace the Tobin and Hoard show. Changes are expected to take place on October 3.

WWJ, Detroit’s Jim Matthews Victim of Attempted Murder-Suicide. According to a report by NBC News, WWJ-AM, Detroit overnight news anchor Jim Matthews died at his home in Chesterfield Township, Michigan on Friday in what is being described as an attempted murder-suicide. The report says that three other victims, including Matthews’ two children, were involved and have been hospitalized. The authorities say a 35-year-old woman escaped the scene with her 5-year-old daughter, flagged down a driver who called police. The police found Matthews and a 10-year old boy who was bound and in a closet. The boy is in critical condition. The police also found the 54-year-old suspect who was suffering from a self-inflicted wound and is in stable condition. Police say the suspect was known to the victims and frequently visited the home. The Audacy all-news station tweeted: “He would often speak with his co-workers about his love for his two children, and their adventures at school. He loved delivering the latest news to his listeners, and was incredibly dedicated to WWJ and the broadcasting industry. There have been many tears shed in our newsroom today and Jim will be greatly missed.”

TALKERS News Notes. Numerous media outlets, including Midwest Communications’ news/talk WSAU-AM, Wausau, Wisconsin are reporting that Brett Favre’s sports talk appearances are being suspended as the investigation into a welfare scandal in Mississippi that allegedly involves him has come to light. SiriusXM announced that Favre’s program on the satellite service is “on hold” as are Favre’s appearances on Good Karma Brands’ WKTI-FM “ESPN Milwaukee.” As the story unfolds, it appears Favre was aware that the money he was paid for speeches was actually meant for low-income families. Favre’s attorney has said that Favre did not knowingly take money meant for welfare recipients…..Former WHO, Des Moines personality Justin Brady launches “The Iowa Podcast.” The new, weekly show includes a 30-minute discussion with “Iowans who are at the forefront of business, culture or news.”

The Economy/Fed Raises Rates, Trump Legal Issues, Immigration, Russia-Ukraine War, Urban Crime, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Italy Elections, Iran Protests, and Hurricanes Fiona and Ian Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The record high inflation in the U.S. and abroad, the sell-off on the world’s financial markets, and the Fed’s raising interest rates; former President Donald Trump’s New York civil suit and the DOJ’s documents investigation; the Biden administration’s immigration policy and the transporting of migrants; Vladimir Putin’s threat of nuclear force in the Ukraine war; the rate of violent crime in America’s urban centers; the November midterm elections and the potential nominees for president in 2024; Giorgia Meloni leads the conservative alliance to victory in Italian elections; Iranians continue protests after death of Mahsa Amini while in custody of the morality police; and Hurricane Fiona hits Canada as Hurricane Ian threatens Cuba and Florida were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.