Longtime radio personality and executive Dick Bertel died on Monday (9/11) at the age of 92. During his career Bertel served as an executive at Voice of America, an NBC Radio News anchor, and announcer at WTIC-AM/WTIC-FM/WTIC-TV in Hartford, among others posts. His family says, “One of Bertel’s lasting legacies to the broadcasting industry is a collection of interviews about the pre-war heyday of radio network entertainment programming. From 1970 to 1977 he hosted ‘The Golden Age of Radio’ on WTIC which attracted some of radio’s greatest stars. Their accounts of their participation in early radio broadcasting constitutes an oral history which memorializes how radio dominated the American media culture before the advent of television.”
Monday Memo: Plan NOW For The Big Story. “When-the-fit-hits-the-shan, news/talk stations need to be conspicuous.” In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke uses that colorful quote as he provides four suggestions for stations to re-familiarize themselves with their network’s continuing coverage routine.” Read Holland Cooke’s column here.
Pending Business: To Do Lists. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa knows the importance of being organized in running a sales department or being a seller in this business. He gains inspiration from Benjamin Franklin – an incredibly busy man known for creating “To Do” lists – in drawing up five important things he suggests you include in creating yours each day. Read it here.
Bohannon’s Final Bow Set For This Friday. One of the most proficient and classiest talk/radio personalities the country has ever heard – Jim Bohannon – will hang up the headsets on his eponymous program this Friday (10/14). Having appeared on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” an astounding 27 consecutive years, the highly affable “Jimbo” is calling it quits due to health reasons. Beginning next Monday (10/17), Rich Valdes will succeed Bohannon on the weeknight, three-hour (10:00 pm – 1:00 am) Cumulus Media Westwood One broadcast. Bohannon states, “It’s been a great 40 years with Westwood One – the last 30 of which as host of ‘The Jim Bohannon Show.’ I’ve enjoyed every minute of our daily nighttime town hall with my guests, callers, and all of America. “Now, I’d like to introduce Rich Valdes, a very bright, vibrant young man who will be taking over in the same tradition.” Cumulus Media executive vice president of corporate marketing/Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes remarks, “We celebrate Jim’s long radio history and all his achievements, including his induction into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame; the First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association; the Lifetime Achievement Award from TALKERS Magazine; and his inductions into the National Radio Hall of Fame and the Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. We are especially proud that Jim has been an invaluable member of our Westwood One family these many years – he is truly an industry legend. As we pass the baton to Rich Valdes, we’re excited to bring a new name and voice to talk radio. We look forward to continuing our tradition of providing the best programming to our affiliates and listeners.” Valdes notes, “No one can ever fill Jim’s shoes. I consider it a blessing and great honor to be part of the next generation of late-night talk show hosts, following the tradition of Jim Bohannon and Larry King.” TALKERS founder/publisher Michael Harrison has a very candid conversation with Bohannon on PodcastOne’s “The Michael Harrison Interview,” which drops tomorrow (Tuesday, 10/11). Bohannon joined Westwood One in 1983 and spent over 31 years as host of the early morning weekday news magazine “America in the Morning” and previously hosted “America This Week.” He began his career in 1960 at KLWT-AM, his hometown station in Lebanon, Missouri.
Sid Rosenberg Pays Tribute to Bernard McGuirk. WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg shares personal feelings about his longtime broadcasting colleague Bernard McGuirk who succumbed last week (10/5) after a courageous battle with prostate cancer. The two co-hosted the highly successful “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program since April of 2018 bringing it to the top of the ratings in the competitive Big Apple AM drive daypart. But their relationship went back many years before that to their days together as part of team backing the legendary “Imus in the Morning” program and more. Rosenberg discusses their history together and his loving perspective on McGuirk as a broadcaster and a friend in an exclusive conversation with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. To listen to the tribute, please click here.
Scheld Schedules His WCBS-AM Departure. In a memo to the staff of WCBS-AM, news director/brand manager Tim Scheld notes he will be leaving the Audacy New York all-news facility before the end of the year. Lauding the WCBS-AM team and Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero, Scheld writes that “Audacy New York is in great hands.” Also included in the memo, Scheld states an Audacy arrangement with SAG-AFTRA signifies a new strategy, combining WCBS-AM’s resources with those of co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS. “[It’s] a plan I have endorsed and frankly helped design.” Scheld was a WCBS-AM reporter from 1987 – 1994 and rejoined the station in 2003, after a nine-year stint as a correspondent for ABC Radio News. In addition to his WCBS-AM duties, he’s chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association.
KGO Betting On The Spread. Confirming a story reported here last Friday (TALKERS, 10/7), Cumulus Media San Francisco today transitions longtime news/talk KGO to “The Spread 810 AM,” the Bay Area’s first station focused on sports betting. Cumulus San Francisco vice president/market manager Larry Blumhagen comments, “This is a bittersweet day for us, as it’s hard to say goodbye to the legendary KGO, which has been a part of listeners’ lives for so many years. We want to thank all the people who have been a part of KGO’s historic run these many years and the listeners who loyally tuned into the station. Times change, and we must change with them. We are excited about this new chapter and look forward to serving the Bay Area’s passionate sports fans in an incomparable way.” Cumulus San Francisco sports talk KNBR and KTCT program director Kevin Graham adds PD duties for “The Spread” and notes, “We are pleased to introduce sports-betting radio to our community. The station will feature a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage. While [KGO] will feature specific gambling information, we believe our entertaining presentation will make it a favorite for all Bay area sports fans and a perfect complement to the legendary KNBR and KTCT.” The station’s weekday programming lineup includes: Joe Ostrowski, Joe Giglio, and Erin Hawksworth (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Jim Rome (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley (12:00 noon – 4:00 pm); Quinton Mayo, Trysta Krick, and Ryan Horvat with “Bet MGM Tonight” (4:00 pm – 8:00 pm); and CBS Sports Radio (8:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 San Francisco sweep, KGO “810 AM” was up two-tenths from August 2022 (1.5 – 1.7, #21 to #20). In San Jose, KGO registers its fourth straight uptick for a combined +1.0 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+) and ranks #13.
Round Three of September PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of 12 markets. News/talk packs a one-two punch (6+) in Salt Lake City, where iHeartMedia’s KNRS-AM & KNRS-FM “Talk Radio” erupts with a +2.5 (9.1 – 11.6, 6+) to rank on top for the eighth month in succession, while Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” adds six-tenths (6.1 – 6.7, 6+), advancing from fourth to second. In addition to SLC, the format registers number one showings in Sacramento with iHeartMedia’s KFBK-AM & KFBK-FM “News 1530 AM & 93.1 FM” gaining eight-tenths (8.1 – 8.9, third to first, 6+), and in Cincinnati, where co-owned WLW “700 Cincinnati’s News Radio” – despite being off six-sixths – is on top for the seventh consecutive month (11.7 – 11.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group-owned WDBO “Orlando’s News Talk” dials up a +1.3 (3.7 – 5.0, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). The largest (6+) August 2022 – September 2022 increase by any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is in Columbus, where Tegna-owned sports talk WBNS-FM logs a +2.6 (6.8 – 9.4, 6+); “97.1 FM The Fan” vaults from fourth to first. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” for this group of 12 markets (as well as the first two groups) here.
Hurley Charity Event Hauls in $65,00+. The fourteenth Annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Dinner and Silent Auction was held last Friday (10/7) at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel. This year’s event raised more than $65,000 and featured congressman Jeff Van Drew as guest of honor/keynote speaker. An additional supplemental live on-air auction is still to be staged. According to “Hurley in the Morning” Charity founder/chair Harry Hurley (pictured at the right with Jeff Van Drew), “It was an amazing, ‘Who’s Who’ evening, which will directly benefit many worthy non-for-profit organizations throughout New Jersey and beyond. For example, this special event will make it possible for the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” to make a $7,000 contribution [next June] to The Broadcasters Foundation of America. Jeff Van Drew arrived early and was the last to leave.” To date, The Harry Hurley charity has donated $21,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.” Hurley, who does morning drive (6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG “WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM & 1450 AM,” reveals that Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade will be guest of honor/keynote speaker September 29, 2023 at “our fifteenth annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Dinner and Silent Auction.”
TALKERS News Notes. As part of cutbacks at Beasley Media Group Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Toucher & Rich morning show producer Mike Lockhart and nighttime Adam Jones Show co-host Christian Arcand exit. Meanwhile in Philadelphia at co-owned/similarly-formatted WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” John Kincaid Show member Jaimie Lynch departs. … Almost seven months to the day from his kidney transplant, Zimmer Broadcasting Cookeville (Tennessee) news/talk WHUB “News Talk 107.7 and 1400 The Hub” program director/6:00 am – 8:00 am host/promotion director/assistant news director Brent Carl Fleshman won two first-place trophies at last week’s inaugural Tennessee Association of Broadcasting’s “Excellence Awards.” Fleshman was named “Best Local On-Air Personality” and “Best Local Talk Show” in the “Small Market Radio Division,” which consists of stations not in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.In 2016, Fleshman won the NAB Marconi Award as “Small Market Personality of the Year” and was a finalist for that award in 2019. … “Fridays with Frankie,” a limited-edition Audacy series hosted by reality show star Frankie Grande, debuted last Friday (10/7). Each episode will feature a different topic and will be live aired on Audacy’s digital platform at 8:00 am (ET) and replayed until 12:00 midnight (ET). The show will also air across Audacy’s Channel Q’s network of stations. … The Society of Professional Journalists names the headquarters of the Voice of America – 330 Independence Avenue SW in Washington, DC – as a Historic Site in Journalism. The Voice of America is the editorially independent international broadcaster funded by the United States government. SPJ international community co-chair Dan Kubiske states that, “For 80 years, the Voice of America has been a source of solid and honest journalism. From its beginning in 1942, despite being a U.S. government agency, through custom, charters and law the editorial independence of VOA journalists has not wavered.”
Greta Van Susteren Joins Newsmax for Nightly Show. Talk media personality and news anchor Greta Van Susteren is joining Newsmax as host of her own daily signature show, “The Record with Greta Van Susteren.” The program will be based in Washington, D.C. and will premiere on Tuesday, June 14. Newsmax says it will “lead the network’s evening lineup with a solid hour of factual, fair, and independent perspective on the news.” Van Susteren comments, “With all that is going on in the world, I am getting back to my roots — a daily live news show with real reporting from the places where things are happening. I have been friends with [Newsmax CEO] Chris Ruddy for years, and he is giving me this great opportunity to return, giving me the complete freedom to cover the news that really matters to people. I have been impressed by Newsmax’s team and their success and would love to be part of a news network that is really growing.” Van Susteren’s career includes high-profile positions at CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC, as well as her recent work with the Gray television network and as a contributor to Voice of America. Ruddy states, “No one in journalism better exemplifies Newsmax’s mission to provide fact-based news and fact-based opinion than Greta Van Susteren. We are so pleased and honored to have Greta lead our nightly news lineup of programs.”
WBAL-AM, Baltimore Pairs Torrey Snow and Dan Joseph for Afternoon Drive. Charm City radio personalities Torrey Snow (left) and Dan Joseph (right) have been working together at Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL-AM in a limited fashion but now are officially the afternoon drive team. Effective yesterday (5/23), “Torrey and Dan” is the permanent 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. Torrey helmed “The Torrey Snow Program” on WBAL since August of 2020. Joseph had hosted his own program on the station before being partnered with Snow. WBAL president and general manager Dan Joerres says, “‘The Torrey and Dan Show’ is a terrific opportunity for two top-notch hosts to join forces and offer our listeners a dynamic show that touches on a wide range of topics every day. Our responsibility is to our listeners and this show further amplifies that commitment as the leading news/talk station in Baltimore and beyond.”
KMOX, St. Louis Announces New Midday Show. St. Louis news/talk KMOX announces that with the retirement of longtime talk host Charlie Brennan, it will debut its new midday program on May 31. Audacy announces that it is expanding the “Total Information AM” program to 10:00 am, “bolstered by co-anchors Carol Daniel, who returns to the newsroom and Megan Lynch, investigative reporter. Together with Debbie Monterrey and Tom Ackerman, they will deliver the news, traffic and weather listeners depend on, including analysis, in-depth interviews and open conversation.” The new midday program will consist of Amy Marxkors, Kevin Wheeler and Chris Rongey, and air weekdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Wheeler transitions from host of “Sports Open Line” and Cardinals baseball pregame and postgame host, while Rongey expands his part-time role. The station will immediately begin a search for a new host of “Sports Open Line” and Cardinals pregame and postgame programming. As a result of the changes, midday personality Ryan Wrecker exits the station. He says via Twitter, “Yesterday was my last day at KMOX. I would like to think we created some great moments in the last five years in St. Louis. At this point, I have no idea what will happen next, but I trust it’s set up to move in the right direction. Again, thank you all.” Audacy St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan states, “This series of updates underscores our overarching commitment to delivering news and balanced talk shows to the people of St. Louis, while accentuating the strength of our top-level hosts. From our award-winning morning show to our unrivaled coverage of the Cardinals, we want to elevate the conversation.”
KFI, Los Angeles Takes Eight Honors at 72nd Golden Mike Awards. Los Angeles news/talk KFI-AM took home eight awards at this past Saturday’s 72nd Annual Golden Mike Awards at Universal City. The press release says the Golden Mike Awards is Southern California’s most prestigious, and most coveted, broadcast journalism prize and one of America’s longest running broadcast news award programs. Robin Bertolucci, program director for the iHeartMedia station, says, “The content being produced by the KFI news department is exceptional and I am so proud of the KFI news team and the talented people who have produced these award-winning broadcasts and podcasts. And it’s exciting to note that KFI won twice as many awards as any other station in our division.” KFI won the following: Best Radio Documentary: “The Death and Life of Kobe Bryant,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producer Eric Sklar; Best Public Affairs Program: “After the Verdict, A Path Forward,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producers Kayla Austin and Clay Roe; Best Digital News Reporting: “Unhoused, A look at Homelessness in LA and OC,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producers Mark Mennie and Lt. Geoff Deedrick; Best Podcast – News: “9/11, Two Decades Later,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez, with associate producers Nico Melendez and Sheron Bellio; Best Podcast – Feature: “The Death and Life of Kobe Bryant,” produced by Steve Gregory and Jacob Gonzalez; Best Serious Feature Reporting: “Illegal Street Racing in the SFV,” produced by Steve Gregory; Best Government and Political Reporting: “2020 Voter Fraud Fear,” produced by Corbin Carson; and Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: “KFI News with Michael Crozier,” produced by Michael Crozier.
WTAM, Cleveland and Bloomdaddy Raise $460k for Mike Trivisonno Fund. Yesterday’s radiothon on iHeartMedia Cleveland’s news/talk WTAM launched the “The Mike Trivisonno Fund” to benefit Coats for Kids and the special, seven-hour broadcast brought in $460,000 to the fledgling charity bearing the name of the station’s late PM drive personality. Current afternoon personality Bloomdaddy announced the $400,000 commitment to the charity from The Figgie Foundation. The broadcast included a visit from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Bloomdaddy says, “Triv always said it’s not the kids’ fault and I could not agree more. There is one thing I’m also passionate about and that is doing anything I can to help kids both on and off the air. I’m honored to carry the Coats for Kids torch and make sure Triv’s legacy lives on.” Pictured above are (from l-r): “Bloomdaddy Show” executive producer Carmen Angelo, iHeartMedia Cleveland Area metro president Keith Hotchkiss, DeWine, and Bloomdaddy. Photo by Mike Picha/iHeartMedia
SportsMap Launches New Daily Show with Jeff Michael. A new, daily program is launching on June 6 on SportsMap Radio called “The Rundown with Jeff Michael.” The 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show “will be an energetic and fast-paced program featuring the biggest guests and hottest takes in sports talk radio.” Jeff Michael has been a part-time host on the network since 2020 and has created numerous successful podcasts. He says, “Sports talk radio always meant the world to me. Having an opportunity to reach such a large national audience is something I do not take lightly. While I’m so grateful for the opportunity, my focus will always be on creating captivating and informative content.”
TALKERS News Notes. This Thursday (5/26) at 7:00 pm, Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” presents the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts. “The Summer of ’22 – Back to the Beach” kicks off summer in the Garden State and the station’s Eric Scott will lead a panel of tourism officials, local mayors, law enforcement and travel experts. Tourism came roaring back after pandemic restrictions were lifted in 2021, but the surge in visitors has also caused disruptions and chaos in many shore towns, as was seen in Long Branch over the weekend when thousands of partygoers showed up at Pier Village for a pop-up party, leading to a curfew and over a dozen arrests. This year, there is also concern about the impact legal marijuana sales will have on tourism and law enforcement. Scott says, “From wild pop-up parties, groups of rowdy teens taking over the boardwalks and changes in policing laws, towns are trying to avoid a repeat, and provide the best possible experience for vacationing families.”…..The RTDNA is announcing the winners of Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and iHeartMedia Boston’s all-news WBZ-AM wins three awards in the categories of Breaking News Coverage, Best Newscast, and Continuing Coverage. iHeartMedia Boston VP of news, talk & sports Rob Sanchez says, “These awards speak to the professionalism and bravery of our news team, who strive to deliver vital news coverage to those who rely on WBZ NewsRadio each day.”…..D’Annette Roy joins C-SPAN as the network’s new director of legal affairs and business risk management. She will provide legal advice, risk mitigation strategies, and project management acumen while also serving as a value-added partner aligned in achieving C-SPAN’s strategic goals. Roy joins C-SPAN from Black News Channel, where she was the manager of standards and practices.
Biden Asia Tour, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Inflation-Recession Fears, Title 42, COVID-19/Monkeypox, and Kellyanne Conway Book Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). President Joe Biden’s tour of Asia in which he met with prime ministers from India, Australia and Japan; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the global economy; the primary elections for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the high price of gas & food and fears of a recession; the Biden administrations challenge to Title 42 that prevents migrants from entering the U.S.; the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in parts of the U.S. and the spike in monkeypox cases around the world; and former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway’s new memoir were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.