Maybe there’s something in the water, or perhaps its just the 2012 political season officially kicking into high gear, but there were an unusual number of host vs. host pile-ons this week. First, Talk Radio Network’s syndicated Michael Savage offered GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich $1 million to get out of the race. That prompted Cumulus Media Networks’ talker Mark Levin to put up $100,000 if Savage would quit his radio show. Today, Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher and Dial Global syndicated progressive talker Bill Press squared off, with Gallagher telling Press his “S.T.F.U.” comments about Denver QB Tim Tebow were “sheer evil,” prompting Press to call Gallagher a “cafeteria Christian” — someone who takes the parts of the Bible he likes and leaves the rest. Finally, we also note yet another confrontation between talk hosts, as WHO/Des Moines afternooner Simon Conway went one-on-one with Chris Matthews on live TV yesterday during MSNBC’s Hardball. Christmas may be just around the corner, but apparently that whole ‘peace on earth’ sentiment has not yet penetrated the world of Talk media!
That’s the advice of Paragon Media Strategies President and co-founder Mike Henry in a recent post to “The Blog” on the research company’s website. Henry (pictured) offers a five point plan for broadcasters, beginning with his ongoing call of the need to embrace a “new” radio model. “The old radio business model is broken,” says Henry. “It’s broken so bad that the only solution left for the mega-groups is to completely strip away the costs of producing local radio. Short-term, this strategy will satisfy shareholders. Long-term, this strategy is doomed to failure because it severs the relationship between radio and local audiences. More importantly, it opens the door for smaller and nimble operators to capitalize on the disengagement by others.” Read more of Henry’s “Time To Zag” post HERE.
Glenn Beck bids a not-so-fond farewell to NYC as his multi-media production company, Mercury Radio Arts, officially moves its base to Dallas where the Premiere Networks radio talker and GBTV personality says the company is building “world class” radio and TV facilities at the Studios At Las Colinas in Irving, TX … Anthony Michaels has the “interim” dropped from his title as he’s officially promoted to PD at Greater Media Talk/AC hybrid WLNK (The Link)/Charlotte. The nine-year station veteran will also continue his duties as evening host … WTKA/Ann Arbor ups APD and morning show producer Ira Weintraub to PD at the Cumulus Media-owned Sports/Talker … Ex-Congressman JD Hayworth (pictured) continues to search for his next full-time challenge. Meanwhile, the former KFYI/Phoenix host is staying busy over the holidays with fill-ins at, among other stations, WLS/Chicago, KXNT/Las Vegas, WGST/Atlanta, KOGO/San Diego and WPHT/Philadelphia. You can reach JD HERE … “Department of DOH!”: National Radio Hall of Fame founder Bruce DuMont notes a typo in this morning’s NTS MediaOnline Weekly. Legendary baseball announcer Bob Uecker was inducted into the Chicago-based NRHOF in 2001, not 2011 as reported. PS: DuMont also reports that over 1,000 visitors have toured the new NRHOF Gallery since it officially opened it’s doors on December 1st.
Broadcast veteran Jerry King has been named Director/Operations for Cumulus Media Networks. In his new role King will oversee operations at the network’s Dallas headquarters, as well as CMN’s fourteen 24/7 satellite delivered programming formats and their respective PD’s. Among the Talk programming syndicated by CMN are shows hosted by Mark Levin, Don Imus, John Batchelor and Red Eye Radio with Gary McNamara and Eric Harley. The move will reunite King with Cumulus SVP/Programming Mike McVay, with whom King has worked for the past 20 years as VP/Ops and Programming for McVay Media. Prior to that, over the course of two decades he held broadcast and programming management positions in numerous markets including Miami, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Indianapolis, Toledo and Mobile. “I’ve had one of radio’s best jobs over the past years as a consultant,” said King. “But, this network opportunity is simply too dynamic to pass on. I’m looking forward to re-joining Mike, working with the talented programmers at the Cumulus Media Networks and being a partner as we write new pages of radio history with the team at Cumulus.”
While pretty much all the GOP hopefuls were in Iowa for last night’s final debate prior to January’s statewide caucus, the Hawkeye State isn’t the only place where the candidates are spending time and money. Just a month away from the New Hampshire primary, WGIR/Manchester morning host Paul Westcott spent some time with former Massachusetts guv Mitt Romney during a recent Town Hall meeting held at the local VFW Hall in Hudson. In advance of the primary, Westcott has been hosting Town Hall events with GOP hopefuls all across the state in connection with the group, We The People.