‘Rush Radio’ 99.5 WRNO/New Orleans host John Osterlind was out and about in the Big Easy recently, when he noticed a local restaurant sign he’d not seen before. Intrigued and inspired by the restaurant’s name, Chicken and Watermelon, Osterlind immediately headed for the studio where he and his producer created an original song about the place and ran it as a bit on the air for a week. Meanwhile, the restaurant’s owner noticed a sudden uptick in business and a lot of new faces at the tables. After asking around he learned that most all of the new customers had heard about it from hearing the song on Osterlind’s show. The result? A brand new satisfied WRNO advertising client! Show producer James Parker sums things up succinctly: “The new place opened up. John saw the sign. We write the song. I mix the jingle and edit together a video. We play it as a bit, the restaurant notices a pop in business, credits it to our song and buys a commercial schedule.” Watch and listen to a video of Osterlind and Parker’s creation HERE.
Harry Donahue, the longtime morning anchor at CBS Radio all-newser KYW/Philadelphia, has announced he’ll retire this Friday (8/22) after some five decades on Philly’s airwaves. Donahue (pictured) joined his hometown radio station back in 1973 and has occupied the morning news anchor chair for the past 35 years. He also serves as the play-by-play voice of Temple University athletics, something he will continue to do following his retirement from day-to-day broadcast duties at KYW … BRAGGIN’ RIGHTS: Congrats to Sun Broadcast Group as company CEO Jason Bailey announces that Inc. Magazine has named SBG to its list of the fastest growning companies in America, according to percentage of revenue growth over three years. During the period measured to receive this year’s honor, Bailey notes Sun’s revenue jumped more 520% and the company also added 15 full time positions between its New York City and Boca Raton, FL offices … Bryan Kelly is named Director of Sales for Clear Channel/West Palm Beach, FL. The eight station cluster includes FM talker WZZR, and AM News/Talkers WJNO and WZTA. Kelly began his career with CC in Allentown, PA and has previously served in a variety of sales positions at the company’s Tampa and Sarasota stations.
(Department of “DOH!”) In yesterday’s (8/19) edition of NTS MediaOnline Today, many readers reported that due to an error in posting, the audio link in our story about a caller to KFTK/St. Louis’ and Radio America’s syndicated ‘Dana Loesch Show’ was inactive. Here is the CORRECT LINK to that audio featuring the phone call that put Loesch and her radio show smack dab in the middle of the current controversy in Ferguson, MO.
Greater Media/Philadelphia Sports/Talker 97.5 The Fanatic (WPEN-FM) will debut a new 10am-noon show on September 2nd, hosted by former Philadelphia Eagles stars Brian Westbrook and Brian Baldinger, who will co-host the show with Harry Mayes on alternating days … CBS Sports Radio unveils several new weekend programming additions coming to the Westwood One syndicated network this fall including Eye On College Football with Rich Ackerman (Saturdays/noon-8pm) and Eye On Fantasy Football with rotating co-hosts Adam Aizer, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg (Saturdays/10pm-midnight). On Sundays, WFAN/New York’s long running Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday will now also air nationwide on CBS Sports Radio from 9-11am, along with other new Sunday lineup additions Fantasy Football Today (11am-noon) and Eye On Football anchored by Rich Ackerman (noon-8pm) … Soon to launch Sports/Talker KFWB/Los Angeles picks up Westwood One’s NFL and NCAA coverage for 2014-15. The NBA Los Angeles Clippers will also return to KFWB for their fifth season, along with Trojans Live, featuring USC men’s head football coach Steve Sarkisian, which returns to KFWB for its second season.
Those are the words of Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) founder Bruce DuMont as he paid tribute to an old friend and colleague, Don Pardo, who died this past weekend at age 96. “Don Pardo was a key factor in launching the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1992,” DuMont (pictured) told NTS MediaOnline Today. “Along with our host that first year, Paul Harvey, Don helped give the event instant credibility.” Pardo would go on to also announce the 1993 and 1994 Hall of Fame ceremonies and attend numerous other events in support of the MBC over the years. “I’m truly saddened by the death of Don Pardo, who was a gentle and kind man,” DuMont continued. “He was the last of the booming network announcers — an iconic voice that touched several generations. And if you close your eyes, you can still hear him.”
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan visited the studios of ABC News Radio this week, where he spoke with affiliates about his new book The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea. That’s ABC News Radio’s Brianna Gays grabbing an office wall souvenir with the Republican representative and 2012 GOP Veep candidate.
Twenty-five year News/Talk radio veteran Dan Mandis has been named Program Director for Cumulus Media’s Music City FM News/Talker, Super Talk 99.7 (WWTN/Nashville). Currently WWTN’s weekday noon-3pm host, Mandis (pictured) developed his radio chops at KFI in his hometown of Los Angeles, where his early career responsibilities included doing news, traffic and production. Following a long stint as the producer of Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s then KFI-based nationally syndicated radio program, in recent years Mandis moved on to pursue a programming and hosting career that included stints at KHOW and KKZN in Denver and WOWO Ft. Wayne, before joining ‘WTN as midday host earlier this year. “WWTN is an amazing station with some great local talent,” said Mandis. “I’m looking forward to my expanded role with Cumulus and I appreciate the faith the company has shown in me to take ‘WTN to the next level.” Mandis grabs the programming reins at Super Talk 99.7 immediately.
Talk radio host Dana Loesch (pictured) found her show suddenly at the center of the current crisis in Ferguson, Missouri when a caller to the the daily program, identifying herself as a “friend” of the officer that fatally shot 18-year old Michael Brown, offered a radically different account of the controversial incident that has sparked racial unrest and protests in that city and elsewhere across the country for more than a week now. Hear the full audio of the call to Dana’s program (syndicated nationally by Radio America and airing from flagship KFTK/St. Louis) HERE.
Meanwhile, in a related news item Radio Television Digital News Association Chairman Chris Carl, who is also Director of News and Programming at News/Talk WDEL/Wilmington, DE, has released a statement of support, along with a cautionary note to journalists who are covering the unfolding story in Ferguson: “To the journalists who are covering the continued crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, RTDNA admires your efforts to chronicle the volatile situation, and we stand behind you,” writes Carl. “RTDNA is doing everything we can to ensure you are not being denied access and your First Amendment rights are protected. On behalf of the RTDNA Board of Directors and members, please stay safe as you bring this important national story home to your readers, listeners and viewers.
Don Pardo, whose voice became familiar to millions of Baby Boomers and Millenials as the announcer for NBC’s Saturday Night Live, died Monday (8/18) in Arizona. He was 96. Prior to becoming the voice of SNL, Pardo (pictured) — who began as a staff radio and TV announcer for NBC in 1944 — lent his unique and unmistakable announcing style to such popular network television shows as Jeopardy, The Price Is Right, The Colgate Comedy Hour and hundreds of network commercials. A part of SNL from its debut in 1975, Pardo went on to announce all but one season of the show — a total of 38 years behind the SNL microphone. Even after “retiring” and moving to Tucson in 2004, producers of the late night comedy program convinced Pardo to continue announcing just for Saturday Night Live, flying him from Arizona to New York City weekly, until recent years when he reduced his travel and recorded his portions of the show in Tucson. He was last heard on SNL’s final show of the 2014 season that aired in May. According to Pardo’s official bio, he and the legendary Bob Hope are the only two people to have ever been given a lifetime contract with NBC. Expect a tribute to the iconic broadcaster when SNL returns for it’s new season next month.
As part of the ‘Solidarity Israel’ trip organized by former Senator Rick Santorum, WHO/Des Moines afternoon host Simon Conway is broadcasting his afternoon drive show live from Jerusalem this week. Noting that he lived in Jerusalem for a year as a teenager, Conway (pictured) promises to send some “powerful radio” to his listeners back home in Iowa … Dr. Joy Browne is moving her talk show from current distributor, Radio America, to Genesis Communications Networks (GCN), which will distribute Browne’s daily noon-3pm (ET) show, along with a Saturday night ‘Best of” edition that airs from 1-4am (ET) weekly. Browne recently announced her return to the New York City radio airwaves via a new nightly time slot on Salem Communications News/Talker AM 970 The Answer (WNYM) … NTS MediaOnline Today sends our get well wishes to veteran air personality and voiceover pro Robin Marshall who posted on her website that she has been diagnosed with stage two uterine cancer. Currently Production Director at Sound Solutions, a division of Cumulus Media, Marshall also recently released her second book, Diary of A Sugar Mom. Email your best wishes to Robin for a full recovery HERE.
Legendary sportscaster Chet Coppock (center) dropped by WGN/Chicago for a visit with afternoon drive co-hosts Wendy Snyder and Bill Leff. Coppock is currently making the media rounds to chat-up his just-released autobiography, Laying It On The Line.