Cumulus Media appoints Tricia Walker VP/market manager for its Cumulus Tri-Cities, Tennessee station group, effective October 1. The Tri-Cities includes Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol. She was most recently director of sales at the company’s Beaumont, Texas/Lake Charles, Louisiana operations. The cluster includes news/talk WJCW-AM, sports talk WXSM-AM and two music brands. Walker says, “I’m extremely excited to be joining our Tri-Cities team. Cumulus Media is a great company to be a part of, supporting its employees with many great resources for our success. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to serve our Tri-Cities team, advertisers, and community. I have family in the market and can’t wait to call Tri-Cities home.”
One of the many informative highlights of the forthcoming TALKERS 2023 conference will be a special panel discussion focusing specifically on the medium of podcasting as it applies to and relates to professional talk radio broadcasters. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “So much of the discussion of podcasting we see at media events around the country approach the subject from a very broad-strokes perspective and water down their focus to the thousands of amateurs in the game and micro-niches utilized for obscure interests. The effective utilization of podcasting from the perspective of talk radio professionals – as a tool to increase revenue, expand branding, offer on-demand distribution, produce ancillary products and extend independent careers – is a specific realm of focus. That’s what this panel will explore.” The session will include an introduction by Guy Benson, host, FOX News Radio; moderation by Lisa Wexler, host, WICC, Bridgeport, CT; and panelists Steve Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media; Ron Hartenbaum, managing member, WYD Media; Chris Oliviero, market president, Audacy New York; David Pakman, host, The David Pakman Show; and Larry Young, host, The Larry Young Podcast. Casey adds, “Each of these distinguished broadcasters brings a formidable level of expertise and field experience to the subject of podcasting’s role within the talk radio universe.” There will be more than 60 distinguished industry speakers at TALKERS 2023, the 26th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important annual gathering. For more agenda, registration, sponsorship and hotel information, see story below or click here.
Steve Wexler Steps Down from Daily Management Duties at Good Karma Brands Milwaukee. Radio management pro Steve Wexler – vice president and market manager for Good Karma Brands Milwaukee – will wrap up his 35-year career and transition into a coaching and development role at the company. The announcement was made today (11/15) by GKB founder and CEO Craig Karmazin, who says, “We are appreciative and grateful Steve “Wex” joined Good Karma to lead the Milwaukee team through a time of significant growth and transition. His passion for local news and his community-focused approach to broadcasting and media led the team through a pandemic, the launch of a new station, and award-winning coverage of so many significant moments of the past several years. We’re looking forward to continuing to learn from his knowledge and leadership expertise as he moves into a coaching role within the GKB home office.” The company says that EVP Emily Dillinger will assume the role of interim market manager for GKB’s three Milwaukee stations talk WGKB-AM/W269DL “101.7 The Truth,” sports talk WKTI-FM, “ESPN Milwaukee,” and news/talk WTMJ “Newsradio 620.” Wexler comments, “I’m looking forward to tapping into my experiences and many lessons learned to help our content, sales and management teammates continue to grow their skills and knowledge. I’m very grateful to Craig for the opportunity to do what I do best and what I enjoy most which is spending time coaching and developing our team.” Wexler led the sale of the 36-station, 8-market Scripps Radio Group in late 2018 to several broadcast companies, including GKB in Milwaukee, where he assumed the role of market manager in 2019. He began his broadcast career at WTMJ in Milwaukee as an intern and has been an on-air personality, program manager, and radio and television general manager before running the radio division for Journal Communications, which merged with Scripps in 2018.
Cox Media Group Names Market Leaders for Houston and Orlando. The company announces the appointment of new VP/market managers for its Houston and Orlando clusters. In Orlando, where Cox Media Group operates news/talk WDBO-AM/FM and five music brands, JC Campese assumes the leadership role. CMG operates three music brands in Houston where Stephanie Callihan is named to the top position. She has served with several radio groups, including Audacy where she was most recently an SVP and market manager. Campese launched his career with CMG in 2000 and rose to director of sales for the Orlando cluster prior to this promotion. CMG executive vice president Rob Babin says, “We are excited to tap into our amazing internal CMG leadership talent and announce the promotions of JC and Stephanie. JC and Stephanie have a fantastic range of experiences and talents that will make a positive impact on CMG and our talented teams in Orlando and Houston. I look forward to the difference they’ll make as CMG continues to evolve to meet the needs of our listeners, clients, and our communities.”
AWM Presents Gracies Leadership Awards. The Alliance for Women in Media hosted the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon yesterday (11/14) at the Tribeca 360° in New York City. Soledad O’Brien served as keynote speaker stating that the group of honorees represent “stories not just of grit, vision, and opportunity, but of women helping women and celebrating women and the story of how those women didn’t forget that they got into media to elevate people and issues and struggles that were not in the spotlight.” The seven female leaders honored (and pictured above) were: Valerie Blackburn; Nancy Daniels, chief of content, NTets, Discovery, Animal Planet &Science Channel; Marie Donoghue, vice president, global sports video, Amazon; Kim Godwin, president, ABC News; Wendy Goldberg, chief communications officer, iHeartMedia, Inc; Chelsey Maddox-Dorsey, CEO, A wonder Media Company; Debra O’Connell, president, networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution; and Dawn Porter, founder, Trilogy Films. AWM Foundation chair Heather Cohen states, “This is a pivotal event for us because it covers all three of our pillars- it’s recognition, it’s education, and it’s connection. We shine a light on exceptional women in media- those who have shattered glass ceilings and proven their leadership and notable today, what an honor to have Soledad O’Brien, one of the greatest storytellers of our time as our keynote.”
TALKERS News Notes. Audio research and analytics firm Veritonic announces the second annual Audio Intelligence Summit is scheduled for February 15 at Second Floor in New York City. Veritonic says, “The summit will once again gather industry-leading brands, agencies, and publishers to dive deep into the data and analytics that are driving today’s successful audio and podcasting strategies. We look forward to coming together with fellow publishers, platforms, brands and agencies to collectively improve upon and consider the data and analytics that are making audio’s ever-expanding influence increasingly efficient and impactful.” Find details about the summit by visiting https://audiointelligencesummit.com…..Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks announce the launch today of the quirky new comedic podcast, “The Neurotic Vaccine,” created and hosted by Andy Cowan, award-winning writer for “Seinfeld,” “Cheers,” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.” In “The Neurotic Vaccine,” Cowan invites fellow neurotics to share his mini-therapy sessions with co-host, clinical and forensic psychologist, Dr. Scott Kopoian. Together with their guests – including inaugural guests Jay Leno and Cathy creator, Cathy Guisewite – Cowan and Kopoian work toward the daunting goal of immunity to neurosis. “The Neurotic Vaccine” podcast includes celebrity guests, post-session postscripts, comedy featurettes and more. Future sessions of “The Neurotic Vaccine” will feature stars including Leave It To Beaver’s Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow (in his final interview), “Curb Your Enthusiasm” guest star comedian Elon Gold, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, CNN host Michael Smerconish, and actress Marilu Henner…..Quu Inc., announces radio veteran Laura Gonzo joins the company as senior director of affiliate services. In this role, Gonzo will work with stations and sales teams to ensure the successful implementation of Quu’s advertising products. Gonzo served as affiliate director for “The Bob & Tom Show” from 1997 through 2008. She says, “Quu’s powerful technology is truly a game-changer for radio. Beyond elevating the station’s visual appeal, Quu offers a huge opportunity to increase sales and drive stronger returns for clients. I’m thrilled to join the team of passionate experts at Quu and to help stations make the most of these transformative products.”…..SiriusXM announces that Andy Cohen has signed a three-year contract extension and that his exclusive SiriusXM channel Radio Andy “will now serve as the audio subscription service’s definitive home for pop culture with “Andy Cohen Live” and “Smith Sisters Live” expanding to daily shows.” Cohen says, “SiriusXM allows me to dig deeply into two of my passions – pop culture on Radio Andy and music on the Kiki Lounge. I’m so proud of what we’ve developed over the last seven years on Radio Andy. I’ve loved programming the channel, and my longform interviews with celebrities and authors feed my soul. Programming the Kiki Lounge brought me incredible joy during the pandemic and listening to it is a romp through my expansive music vocabulary.”
Midterms Aftermath, Trump in ’24, Biden-Xi Meeting, The Economy, Crypto-Crash, G-20/Russia-Ukraine War, and UVA Killings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14). The results of last week’s midterm elections that leave the Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate and the Republicans likely to assume control of the U.S. House; former President Donald Trump’s expected announcement he’ll run for president in 2024; Monday’s meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping; inflation and fears of a recession; the fall of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the 75% decline of crypto value over the last 12 months; the G-20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia and the pressure on attending nations to officially condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and the fatal shooting of three University of Virginia football players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.