Pictured at the recently held KFI/Los Angeles reunion — which attracted a wide cross section of both current and former KFI staffers — are (L-R): Geller Media International namesake Valerie Geller, Wimmer Research founder Roger Wimmer, former KFI Program Director David G. Hall and longtime KFI News Director Chris Little.
In recent years, what was once known as Clear Channel Radio — a company with its roots in Texas, the home of CC founder Lowry Mays — changed its name to Clear Channel Media & Entertainment, a moniker that, at the time, was said to better reflect the totality of the company’s operations. Today, CCM&E announced that it will jettison Clear Channel from its corporate name altogether to become iHeart Media – a name that Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman once again says better reflects the company that Clear Channel has become. “iHeartMedia reflects our commitment to being the media company that provides the most entertainment to the most engaged audiences wherever they go, with more content and more events in more places on more devices,” said Pittman. To those wondering if the name change signals a reduction in commitment to the company’s 859 broadcast radio stations across some 150 markets Pittman added,” iHeartMedia was created by the strongest broadcast radio stations in the country, and we will continue to build this company the same way — on the country’s strongest radio stations. We are especially excited because our digital platform extends the reach and impact for our wildly popular on-air personalities and it’s a platform that only iHeartMedia provides.” Get more details on the newly dubbed iHeart Media HERE.
Two well-respected broadcast radio and media researchers have gone on record with some fairly sharp criticisms about last week’s NAB/RAB Radio Show held in Indianapolis. In a post to his company’s blog entitled 2014 Radio Show: Going Through The Motions, Harker Research namesake Richard Harker (pictured) writes, “The 2014 NAB Radio Show will be remembered as one of the most glitch-free Radio Shows in memory. No major on-stage gaffes, everything was on-time, and there were some great moments. However, those great moments can’t disguise the fact that it felt like the NAB was simply going through the motions. In that regard, radio’s trade representative was all too representative of the state of radio.” Read more of Harker’s analysis of radio’s long running national convention and what he believes it needs to do to better serve and prepare broadcasters for the future HERE.
Meanwhile, longtime media guru and Mark Ramsey Media namesake, Mark Ramsey (pictured), has a beef with one of the NAB/RAB Radio Show’s most talked about keynoters, Bob Hoffman. The noted advertising executive called online advertising “a fraud” when he spoke to attendees at last week’s confab in Indy. In a post entitled, Is Bob Hoffman’s Argument Full of Crap? Ramsey writes, “Tongues are wagging about NAB keynoter and self-styled ‘ad contrarian’ Bob Hoffman’s profanity-laced critique of online advertising — wagging for all the wrong reasons. Bob conveniently chose convenient facts and then conveniently wrapped those facts with absurd conclusions.” Read Mark’s point-by-point takedown of Hoffman’s assertions about online advertising, social media, brand building and more HERE.
30-year radio broadcasting professional Tim Lewis has been named Program Director and Afternoon Drive Host for Cumulus Media-owned News/Talker WJBC-AM 1230/Bloomington — The Voice of Central Illinois. Lewis (pictured) joins the station from Riverbend Communications News/Talk KBLY/Idaho Falls, where he was Program Director and morning drive host. His radio resume also includes prior news stints at KSL/Salt Lake City, KOA/Denver, WLW/Cincinnati, and KLO/Ogden, UT. Lewis is a two-time Murrow Award recipient for his work at KOA, and was recently named Personality of the Year by the Idaho State Broadcasters Association for his KBLY morning show. “I’m incredibly humbled at the opportunity to come to Cumulus Media and help direct the operations at such a heritage station like WJBC,” said Lewis. “So much history in the building, and close to 90-years of quality radio. I am eager to hit the ground running and continue to bring the listeners in Central Illinois great talk and the best sports coverage. I welcome the challenge of maintaining the quality of the past, and pressing forward boldly.”
FOX Sports Radio launches on WODT/New Orleans. The iHeart Media-owned Big Easy Sports/Talker will air the Premiere Networks syndicated Sports radio service’s full line up, including Jay Mohr Sports, Steve Gorman Sports!, FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and Mike North, and The JT ‘The Brick’ Show … The Philadelphia Phillies and CBS Radio/Philadelphia have reportedly inked a one-year extension that will keep the MLB team on the company’s News/Talk WPHT and SportsRadio 94 WIP … espnW presents The State of the NFL, airing on ESPN Radio and ESPNRadio.com tonight from 9-11pm (ET). Co-hosted by Jemele Hill and Cari Champion and featuring espnW voices Jane McManus, Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain, the group will discuss how the NFL is handling players involved in recent violent crimes … Legendary South Florida football coach Howard Schnellenberger (Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes and Florida Atlantic University Owls) — who serves as the booming voice of WQAM/Miami’s afternoon program The Marc Hochman Show with Zach Krantz — has been honored with the renaming of Florida Atlantic University’s football facility to Howard Schnellenberger Field. The ‘coach’ (pictured above with Hochman and Krantz) said he was “truly humbled” by the gesture and pleased that the FAU Owls will forevermore play their games on the field that now bears his name.
NBC Sports Radio and Cumulus Media Sports/Talker KNBR/San Francisco teamed up this past Sunday night (9/14) to help celebrate the opening of Levi’s Stadium, the new home of the 49ers. Broadcasting their Under Center show live from the new Levi’s Plaza, hosts Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone welcomed a number of guests to the program, including Levi’s president James ‘JC’ Curleigh. Following the broadcast McNabb and Malone pitched in to help pack backpacks and school supplies for Levi’s Giving Back To Schools program.
Justin Wittmayer has been appointed Vice President and Market Manager for Cumulus Media/San Francisco. Most recently VP/Sales for Clear Channel/Miami, Wittmayer’s radio resume also includes prior stints as GSM for Clear Channel’s crosstown San Francisco cluster, as well as GSM and DOS for CC’s San Jose stations. He’ll now oversee Cumulus Media’s seven Bay Area radio stations, including News/Talkers KGO and KSFO, and Sports/Talk duo KNBR and KTCT. “I am overcome with excitement to be joining the Cumulus team in San Francisco,” said Wittmayer (pictured). “Cumulus has afforded me a prodigious and challenging opportunity to partner with a brilliant organization and legendary brands in my hometown. I can’t wait to get started.”
That’s ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones (standing/center) and assorted members of the network’s team surrounding former Boeing and Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally and ABC News Nightline co-anchor Dan Harris (seated/left and right, respectively) for a souvenir photo moment following the pair’s well-received one-on-one ‘Super Session’ during last week’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Indianapolis. Although Harris was more than just a little direct in asking the now Google board member whether or not he might, as has been rumored, consider a run for the White House, Mulally deftly and politely dodged those questions. However, Harris did note for the record after asking several times, “I just want to point out that he didn’t say no.”
NTS MediaOnline Today sends props to our old friend and Westwood One host Jim Bohannon as he celebrates the 30th anniversary of both of his daily nationally syndicated shows, America In The Morning and the nightly Jim Bohannon Show. Commenting on the milestone, WW One EVP News and Talk Bart Tessler said, “Congratulations to our radio Hall of Famer, who consistently plays at the top of his game. Jim’s friends and colleagues salute him as we continue to enjoy listening to his wit and wisdom.” Email your personal congrats to ‘Jimbo’ (pictured) HERE … Jesse Kage joins co-host Kirk McEwen along with Roxanne Wilder and Special Ed on 98.7 The Fan/Tampa’s new Kirk & Kage morning show. Kage most recently hosted the Kage Kult afternoon show on crosstown WXTB/98 Rock. Prior to that, he spent 4 years at Tampa Bay’s WSUN … Grant Giessinger has been named General Sales Manager for Clear Channel’s stations in Minneapolis, including Sports/Talker KFAN. Grant most recently led sales at CBS Radio’s crosstown Twin Cities cluster … Longtime radio and TV talk host and commentator Lionel will take the stage at New York City’s The Cutting Room for a live show on Saturday, October 11th. Get details and ticket info HERE … Last week’s NAB/RAB Radio Show saw Clear Channel Media and Entertainment win the Ad Council’s Crystal Bell Award. The annual award is given to a radio outlet that demonstrates leadership and provides exceptional support in disseminating Ad Council public service messages.
In last Friday’s (9/12) edition of NTS MediaOnline Today, we incorrectly reported the number of NAB Marconi Awards that have been won by Rush Limbaugh. For the record, the Premiere Networks syndicated talker has amassed five of the coveted annual trophies, including his most recent nod as 2014′s Nationally Syndicated Personality of the Year (Limbaugh’s been nominated 12 times). The win, announced at last week’s Radio Show in Indianapolis, ties Rush with the late Paul Harvey – the only other five-time Marconi Award winner. “I just want to take a moment to sincerely thank everybody in the broadcast business,” Limbaugh said on his long running national radio program. “Since television was invented, radio has always been considered — by the entertainment media, anyway — to be among the lowest rungs of the show biz ladder. And it’s the only media that I have ever really loved. I have a deep devotion to the importance of radio, to the history and legacy of it. I actually believe, and always have, that radio done well can have as much impact, if not more so, than television.” Read more comments from Rush on his latest Marconi win HERE.