Portland, OR-based Alpha Broadcasting has named Milt McConnell as Senior Vice President/Market Manager of the broadcast company. The 35-year broadcasting veteran most recently led the 8-station former Citadel/Albuquerque cluster (now owned by Cumulus Media) that is home to heritage News/Talker KKOB-AM and 610 KNML, The Sports Animal. Commenting on the announcement, Alpha Broadcasting’s President/COO, Bob Proffitt said, “Milt is a 100% radio guy. I’d rather have Milt on our side any day than compete with him, and am proud to have the opportunity to work with him again. He gets results, period.” Talking about the move that will reunite him with Proffitt and Alpha founder Larry Wilson, McConnell (pictured) said, “I am just thrilled to get back to live and locally owned radio. What Larry Wilson and Bob Proffitt have crafted with these premier brands at Alpha/Portland is incredible, and I am excited about growing our influence in this dynamic city. The Alpha culture is very reminiscent of the boom years when we were growing Citadel.” Alpha Broadcasting operates 750 “The Game” KXTG-AM, 101.9 “True to the Music” KINK-FM, The New 98.7, “The Bull” KUPL-FM, “FM News 101 KXL”, “Live 95.5” KBFF-FM and “Freedom 970” KUFO-AM. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Alpha Broadcasting is the only locally owned radio group in the Portland metro area, reaching more than one million listeners a week with six stations covering rock, country, pop, news, talk and sports.
Following a two week trial and enough sideshow drama to please Barnum & Bailey, it took a Tampa jury in the Todd “MJ Kelli” Schnitt vs. Todd ‘Bubba The Love Sponge’ Clem trial just about three hours to return a verdict, finding Bubba “not guilty” on all counts. Radio personalities have watched the proceedings with more than casual interest as many believed that the final verdict could have had future free speech implications for all on-air talents. The Tampa Bay Times has been keeping a close watch on the defamation suit and has details on the trial’s final day HERE.
As NTS MediaOnline Today subscribers first learned early this morning via a “Breaking News” email, veteran Talk programmer Kevin Metheny joins Cumulus Media-owned WJR/Detroit as Program Director effective January 16th. Metheny’s resume includes programming and operations positions with Clear Channel, Tribune Broadcasting, CBS and Jacor. He’s perhaps best known for his recent success with Clear Channel and for having programmed the legendary WNBC/New York. Metheny also served stints as VP/Programming and Production at MTV and VH1 television, and spent ten years at WTAM/Cleveland, where he is credited with re-launching that brand and re-building the station into its dominant position. “I’ve long admired WJR from 90 miles across Lake Erie, where I put 760 on a button the day I landed in Cleveland,” said Metheny. “The Great Voice of The Great Lakes is a gold standard collection of impossible to duplicate treasures and I’m thrilled to join the Cumulus team.”
(UPDATED): As we first alerted you via a “Breaking News” email earlier today, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has named 30-year Sports radio executive Bruce Gilbert to the newly created position of Senior Vice President of Sports Operations. Gilbert, who comes to CCM+E from CBS Radio, will report to Carl Anderson, EVP News, Talk and Sports Programming for Premiere Networks. In his most recent role as VP/News, Talk and Sports Programming for CBS Radio/Dallas, Gilbert oversaw operations at Sports/Talk 105.3 The Fan, “NewsRadio 1080″ KRLD and the Texas State Network. Prior to that, he headed up Washington, DC-based Red Zebra Broadcasting as CEO, where he grew the company from three to 13 stations. His national Sports radio resume also includes a stint as VP/GM at ESPN Radio, where he led programming, affiliations and sales for the network and worked with owned and operated ESPN stations. Commenting on his latest gig Gilbert said, “I’m honored to join the talented team at Clear Channel. The sports business is one of the most dynamic, entertaining, personality-driven businesses in media today. The resources of CCM+E give us the opportunity to grow our sports brands in an intelligent and fun way, while uniquely serving sports fans, our partners and our advertisers.” In a related item, NTS MediaOnline Today has confirmed that longtime Clear Channel veteran Don Martin – currently Premiere’s SVP/Sports Programming and GM/PD at AM 570 FOX Sports Radio (KLAC/Los Angeles) — will retain both of his titles and continue to serve in both roles, working with Gilbert.
NTS MediaOnline Today has confirmed that Clear Channel Media & Entertainment has officially named former WABC-WPLJ/New York GM Steve Borneman as Station Manager for the company’s recently acquired WOR/New York. Concurrently, former longtime WPLJ/New York VP of Programming Tom Cuddy has been tapped to head up both broadcast and digital programming efforts at WOR. The move reunites the veteran PD with Borneman, with whom he worked at WPLJ/WABC under several previous owners of those stations, including ABC Radio, Citadel Communications and Cumulus Media. With the new management team now officially in place, the pace of changes at venerable News/Talker WOR is expected to ramp up significantly in the days and weeks ahead.
As NTS MediaOnline Today readers first learned via our ‘Breaking News’ email earlier today, veteran Talk radio host and FOX News contributor Laura Ingraham has inked a new radio syndication deal with Courtside Entertainment Group, LLC, a recently launched multi-platform production company formed by network veteran Norm Pattiz. The deal will return Ingraham to her familiar 9am-noon (ET) time slot, Monday-Friday, and reunite her with Pattiz, who helped guide her early syndication career at Westwood One. Additionally, her show will be available via Launchpad Digital Media, a recently debuted new division of Pattiz’ Courtside Entertainment Group. Through Launchpad, Laura’s live three-hour show will be streamed online, made available as an on-demand podcast, and also offer new original on-demand content that will be produced by Ingraham’s Dream In My Head Productions. The Laura Ingraham Show will be produced by Dream In My Head Productions, with ad representation handled by Courtside. “I look forward to resuming the conversation with the greatest audience in radio and those who have never listened before – making news, creating laughs, and talking about the things that really matter,” said Ingraham. “People need more laughter and fewer lectures; more fresh insights and fewer stale talking points. Each day our show will drive the national conversation with humor and inspiration for a nation that sorely needs it.” Ingraham returns to the air on January 2nd.
BREAKING NEWS: Cumulus Media and Don Imus – who is just about to complete his 4th decade on New York City radio — have renewed their vows in a deal that will keep Imus In The Morning on the show’s flagship WABC/New York, and also syndicated nationwide via Cumulus Media Networks through 2015. “I am delighted that our listeners and advertisers have the certainty of knowing Don and his amazing team at ‘Imus In The Morning’ will remain on 77 WABC for at least three more years,” said John Dickey, co-COO of Cumulus Media. “Don is a radio legend and is an important part of our team.” Imus’ daily morning show is also currently simulcast on cable television’s FOX Business Network.
Someone opened fire Friday afternoon (11/30) on the office building housing CBS Radio’s Dallas station cluster — including News/Talk KRLD and Sports/Talker KRLD-FM 105.3 The Fan. CBSDFW.com’s Ryan Crowe and L.P. Phillips report that the bullets went through the outside panes of glass on two floors of the 12-story CBS Radio building off Central Expressway at Fitzhugh Avenue. The bullet shattered the entire outer window of the office located at the corner of the KRLD Newsroom. No injuries have been reported. More details and pictures from the CBS/Dallas website HERE.
As our NTS MediaOnline Today readers first learned via a “Breaking News” email earlier today, Talk Radio Network has officially confirmed that Laura Ingraham has not renewed her contract and has parted ways with the network that has syndicated her daily talk show for most of the past decade. Veteran talk host Tammy Bruce is temporarily filling Laura’s midday hours, even as TRN reports the network will soon have “great news” about a replacement show. In a memo to fans now posted on her website Ingraham quips, “After much thought and reflection, I have decided to pursue my first loves — modern dance and the xylophone. In the highly unlikely event that these efforts do not prove fruitful, I intend to return to radio.” The talk host goes on to say she expects her hiatus from radio to be “brief” and adds, “I anticipate making an announcement concerning the show in the near future. Stay tuned!”
Salem Communications — which recently agreed to acquire WJKR-FM/Columbus, OH from Radio One – has immediately LMA’d the station and launched its 25th News/Talk outlet, 98.9 The Answer. The new FM News/Talker, which debuted earlier today (11/1), features a lineup that includes Salem Radio Network hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt, along with Dial Global syndicated talker Dennis Miller and Compass Media Network’s syndicated Lars Larson. The move will put Salem in head-to-head competition with Clear Channel’s heritage News/Talker in Ohio’s capitol city, AM 610 WTVN. “I can’t think of a better time to launch a News/Talk station than right now, in Ohio the biggest of all battleground states,” said station General Manager Tom Heyl. “Columbus is ready for a contemporary News/Talk radio station relevant to today’s culture.”