Current WIP-AM & FM/Philadelphia Program Director Jeff Sottolano has been upped to Director of Programming for CBS Radio, a new position from which he will offer support to the company’s 27 major market PD’s and help to drive overall growth for CBS’ 126 radio stations. “Jeff has consistently and successfully answered every challenge he’s faced during his career at CBS Radio,” said EVP/Programming Chris Oliviero in a release announcing Sottolano’s move up the corporate ladder. “With such diverse format experience and a respected reputation, both in and outside our company, I have no doubt he is ready to tackle this exciting and critical next chapter. Jeff will be a great complement to our corporate programming team.” Sottolano joined CBS Radio in 2001 at WZNE/Rochester, rising from intern to Program Director and on-air personality during his tenure with the station. In 2006 he moved to WYSP/Philadelphia, where he was promoted to PD in 2008 and also was instrumental in launching Danny Bonaduce’s morning show that same year. In 2011 he assumed programming oversight at WIP when the heritage AM Sports/Talker launched an FM simulcast on WYSP as ‘SportsRadio 94 WIP.’ Sottolano also created the lineup for Phillies 24/7, the WOGL-HD4 channel dedicated to all things Philadelphia Phillies. In his new New York City-based gig, Sottolano (pictured) will also be charged with “maintaining ongoing communication with external industry and charitable organizations,” as well as “working closely with the division’s digital media business to ensure a seamless cross-platform product and brand experience.”
Effective January 1st, Clear Channel will move The Rush Limbaugh Show in 3 major markets. As already expected, Limbaugh’s Premiere Networks syndicated daily show will move from WABC/New York to CC’s crosstown WOR. Additionally, Limbaugh will move from his current home at KKSF/San Francisco to Clear Channel clustermate KNEW which will rebrand as an all-conservative Talk outlet. But the big news is that Rush will be moving from his longtime Los Angeles affiliate KFI, to co-owned KTLK, which will flip from it’s current progressive Talk lineup and rebrand as new all-conservative talker ‘The Patriot.’ CC says the moves in SoCal and the Bay Area are being made to utilize the audience draw of Limbaugh’s show to build underdeveloped stations in both clusters, with the goal of giving the company two strong Talk stations in each market. Clear Channel has previously made similar moves with Limbaugh’s program in a number of other markets including Houston, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and others. Brian Glicklich, acting as a spokesperson for the Limbaugh camp, commented on the pending moves telling NTS MediaOnline Today, “Rush Limbaugh has built the ratings and revenue of hundreds of America’s most successful radio stations, and is looking forward to doing the same at these new Clear Channel homes.”
Industry veteran Peter Bolger has been named Operations Manager and Program Director for Cumulus Media News/Talker WLS-AM/Chicago. Bolger was most recently PD at Clear Channel News/Talk News/Talk WOAI and Sports/Talker The Ticket 760 in San Antonio. Prior to his years in Texas, Bolger had a nearly 20-year run at WIOD and WINZ/Miami. Bolger inherits a lineup at WLS-AM that includes the Bruce Wolf & Dan Proft Morning Show (the duo replaced the long running Don Wade & Roma Show in wake-ups last year following the illness and subsequent death of Don Wade), John Kass & Lauren Cohn, the Roe Conn Show with Richard Roeper and Premiere Networks syndicated Rush Limbaugh Show. “I think Chicago radio is the best there is,” said Bolger (pictured) about his move to the Windy City. “Fortunately, we have incredible talent and deep resources at WLS-AM and FM. I want to thank John Dickey, Mike McVay and Donna Baker for the opportunity to be part of the historic WLS brand. I can’t wait to get started.” Tracy Slutzkin, who has served as PD since former OM/PD Drew Hayes moved to co-owned KABC/Los Angeles last January, will return to her previous post as Assistant Program Director.
Veteran News/Talk radio programmer Randall Bloomquist is joining Cumulus Media as Corporate Program Director for the company’s News/Talk stations. Most recently head of marketing communications and content creation firm Bloomquist Media, Randall’s prior Talk radio programming resume includes stints at WMAL/Washington, WGST/Atlanta, WBT/Charlotte and WRVA/Richmond. “I’m thrilled to join Cumulus at this exciting time in the history of radio and audio content,” said Bloomquist (pictured). “Cumulus is a true audio platform company well-positioned to help shape the future of our industry. I look forward to working with John Dickey, Mike McVay and the rest of the Cumulus News/Talk team to create great radio that resonates with listeners and delivers for clients.” Concurrent with Bloomquist’s arrival at Cumulus’ Atlanta headquarters, Jim Mahanay — who has been overseeing programming for all of Cumulus’ News/Talk and Sports/Talk stations, will now concentrate his efforts on the company’s growing focus on Sports radio with the newly minted title of Corporate Program Director/Sports.
Longtime WLW/Cincinnati programmer and Clear Channel corporate News/Talk radio programming VP Darryl Parks has been let go after more than a decade at the Ohio cluster. Talk industry wags across the country reacted with surprise to the news of Parks’ abrupt dismissal from a company that he’s called home for more than two decades — dating all the way back to the pre-Clear Channel days of Jacor Communications. Veteran Cincinnati media reporter John Kiesewetter (who first broke the news of Parks exit), labeled him as “arguably the most influential person in Cincinnati radio” during his tenure as PD at WLW, where he guided ‘The Big One’ to a decade of #1 ratings. Darryl’s also a familiar voice to WLW listeners as host of a weekly 9-11am talk show every Saturday. Read more from Kiesewetter HERE. Friends and industry colleagues — not to mention smart managers out there with an opportunity to lock up the experienced Talk radio pro — can email Darryl directly HERE.
As NTS MediaOnline Today first reported in a “Breaking News” email earlier today, industry veteran Nancy Abramson has joined Clear Channel Media & Entertainment in the newly-created role of Director, Digital Affiliates for National Media Groups. Abramson, who joins CCM+E following a long run as Executive Director of The Wall Street Journal Radio Network, will be based in New York and report to Julie Talbott, President of Content and Affiliate Services for National Media Groups, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. In her new role, Nancy will be focused on the company’s digital partnerships with radio ownership groups and stations, providing a dedicated point of contact for communication and conducting business surrounding the company’s digital platforms, including iHeartRadio and Premiere Networks’ programming and personality websites and audio streams. She’ll also be responsible for expanding Premiere’s network of radio station groups and affiliates. ”Nancy’s proven track record of successfully leading affiliate sales and marketing efforts in the News/Talk format, as well as her amazing relationships with broadcasters, makes her a tremendous asset for us,” said Talbott. “Her passion and expertise are a winning combination, and we are very fortunate to have her join our team.” Reach out to congratulate Nancy on her new gig HERE.
Legendary Chicago radio personality Don Wade has died after battling brain cancer for the past year. His on-air partner and loving wife Roma was with him when he passed. A statement from Roma posted on the website of his longtime Windy City radio home, WLS/Chicago reads: “Last Friday morning (9/6), my hero, my best friend, my soulmate left this mortal coil behind and entered the realm of spirit while wrapped in my loving arms. God blessed us with almost an entire year since Don’s surgery to embrace life, love, family, and adventure, all while knowing that his time on this beautiful earth was drawing to a close. What a gift! What a joy to be entrusted with my magnificent man’s care for that precious time. I love him more than life itself. Thank you for all your messages of love and appreciation. You kept Don’s spirit alive in your hearts and we bless you for every thought. Just know that we had a lifetime of blessings together and one of the very best was sharing our thoughts, our family, our joys and sorrows with YOU, our radio family. You meant the world to us.” Read the rest of Roma’s statement, along with WLS’ tribute to Don HERE.
A statement released Wednesday (9/4) by Talk Radio Network Enterprises, LLC and its associated companies — Talk Radio Network-FM, Inc., Talk Radio Network Entertainment, Inc., America’s Radio News Network, National Weekend Radio Syndications, Inc., and Talk Radio Network Operations, Inc. — calls for blocking the announced pending acquisition of Dial Global by Cumulus Media, saying that “antitrust and First Amendment rights are at stake.” Here is the full statement released today:
Over the past five years, Dial Global has become a monopoly. Dial engaged in a long list of illegal and unethical behavior, including failing to pay us our share of advertising revenues generated by our programming. We have detailed that conduct in two cases pending against Dial (and others) in federal court in Manhattan and Oregon. Dial’s illegal conduct has continued recently, as it has refused even to pay to us our advertising revenues, which Dial collected as our ad rep. We believe that discovery in our actions will show that Dial’s conduct was part of a deliberate strategy to acquire or destroy viable companies by interfering with revenue streams that Dial controls as a result of its monopoly power.
Dial’s history shows that all members of the industry should be concerned about, and should act to prevent, Cumulus’s proposed acquisition of Dial. In our view, if the transaction goes forward, the combined company could dominate both the radio station platforms in the top 100 markets and the talk and news content for broadcast in those markets. At the same time, we are concerned that Dial’s history of illegal and unethical conduct could infect Cumulus and affect the way the merged entity does business. The threat that this merger poses is not just to us. It is to every independent content provider, to many other members of the industry, and more generally to a vibrant marketplace of ideas on radio.
We will continue to pursue our claims against Dial vigorously, and we will take all necessary actions to oppose Cumulus’s proposed acquisition, including in our pending litigation with Dial, with appropriate governmental authorities, and in the media. We have heard from other members of the industry with similar concerns. Given the implications for others, we encourage all independent content providers and other affected members of the industry to rise up and express opposition in every proper forum.
As NTS MediaOnline Today first told you via a “Breaking News” email this morning, veteran broadcast programmer Jason Wolfe, Vice President of Programming and Operations at Sports WEEI and Talk WRKO, has “left the building” after a more than two-decade run at Entercom/Boston. “Being involved in the growth of WEEI has been a tremendous honor,” said Wolfe (pictured). “WEEI went from a single radio station, to a regional sports network, added a world class digital platform because the demand for our content is so strong; and today, is one of the biggest radio brands in any format, anywhere in the country. We were #1 for six straight years through the fall of 2008. We’ve won four Marconi Awards and have given back so much to the community, helping to raise millions and millions of dollars for charity, including over $31 million for the Jimmy Fund. I couldn’t be more proud to have played a role in all of the station’s success. I am thankful to everyone at Entercom for all they’ve done to support me and I wish them all the best in the future. It’s now time for me to move on and begin the next chapter of my career.” Entercom is expected to announce who will succeed Wolfe at the Boston stations shortly.
As our NTS MediaOnline Today subscribers learned via a ‘Breaking News’ email earlier today, veteran broadcaster Tom Langmyer has been named Vice President, News/Talk Programming for Journal Broadcast Group. In his new role, Langmyer will oversee the programming of the company’s News/Talk flagship WTMJ/Milwaukee. He’ll also work closely with Journal VP/Programming Beverlee Brannigan on strategies for the company’s News and Talk stations nationwide. Langmyer has most recently been consulting WTMJ and other stations across the country as President of The Blue Water Group. Prior to that he served as VP/GM at WGN/Chicago from 2005 until leaving that post late last year. Tom’s radio resume also includes stints as VP/GM at CBS Radio News/Talker KMOX/St. Louis, where he also served as the company’s VP of News/Talk Programming. He began his broadcast career in Buffalo at WBEN and WGR. “I am thrilled to welcome Tom to the Journal family,” said Steve Wexler, Journal Broadcast Group EVP/Television & Radio Operations. “He is a trusted leader with a well-known track record of success. He understands the importance of heritage stations like WTMJ. I’ve known Tom for years and am happy to finally be able to call him a fellow employee.”