Sykes Joins CCM&E Executive Ranks
January 17, 2012

Hot on the heels of the company’s recent name change, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment has tapped longtime industry veteran John Sykes as President of CC’s newly created entertainment division. The move reunites Sykes with Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman with whom he worked at MTV when the cable music video channel first launched in 1981. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Sykes — who has a long broadcast and music industry resume that includes stints at Champion Entertainment, Chrysalis Records, CBS Radio and VH-1 – said he hopes to use the “muscle and reach” of CC’s radio stations to turn the company from “850 independent shops” to “a large scale media company.” The newspaper has more details on Sykes’ appointment and what it could mean for Clear Channel’s future HERE.

Beck’s GBTV Rolls Out New Primetime Block
January 17, 2012

Tomorrow (1/18) talk host Glenn Beck will rollout a new prime time programming block on his GBTV venture. Along with Beck’s nightly 5-7pm (ET) program, GBTV will also feature a new daily news series, Real News from The Blaze, along with the premiere of a new weekly reality show, Independence USA. The half-hour weekly show follows “Frank” and his family as they “venture off the grid and prepare for the worst … with inventions that rival those of the pioneers.” Tomorrow night also marks the return of The B.S. of A, hosted by “GBTV’s chief humorist” Brian Sack, who will take a comic look at the news of the day through a “non-partisan lense.” Meanwhile, Beck (pictured) — who continues hosting his daily Premiere Networks Talk radio show while building his new independent digital network — offers a backstage look at his growing Dallas studio facilities HERE.

Talk Media News Notes
January 17, 2012

Former WYSP/Philadelphia staffer Spike Eskin – son of legendary WIP/Philadelphia Sports/Talker Howard Eskin — has been tapped as the sports editor at CBSPhilly.com. Concurrently, he’ll serve as a sports anchor at CBS Radio all-newser KYW and also handle hosting chores at WIP … Rumblings out of Beaumont, TX where local brokered talker KSET pulls the plug, leaving behind a website with a message that simply says “under construction” and a Facebook page that also sheds little light on what’s next for the independently owned outlet … The Small Biz Success Summit 2012 — an online event hosted by SocialMediaExaminer.com to help you achieve social media success — takes place from February 1st through the 23rd. Some 28 social media experts are slated to offer virtual sessions during the month long cyber-conference. Get more details and registration info HERE … Yet another member of the Talk media family gets a “shout out” in a book. In his autobiography Where There’s Smoke, actor William B. Davis (a.k.a. the notorious villain Cancerman on the X-Files TV series) Sabo Media namesake Walter Sabo (pictured) gets a brief nod, with the author referring to the longtime media mogul as “a wealthy businessman.”

Please Update Your ESPN Audio Scorecard
January 17, 2012

Some organizational changes announced today at ESPN Audio as Jim Roberts transitions from Senior Director/Affiliate Sales to Senior Director/ESPN Deportes Local Radio. Roberts will also continue in his management role at the Spanish language sports network’s Dallas outlet. Concurrently, Senior Director/Audio National Accounts Patrick Polking transitions to the new position of Senior Director II/Distribution and Business Development, where he’ll now oversee development and execution of strategies to further monetize ESPN Audio’s products. Lastly, Senior Director II/Radio Content Scott Masteller will now collaborate with ESPN Digital Audio Group Manager Dave Austin to ensure that ESPN Audio is aligned when it comes to the production of the network’s digital audio.

Paying Tribute To Bill Heywood
January 17, 2012

Pictured at last Friday night’s (1/13) tribute to former KTAR/Phoenix host Bill Heywood are the on-air and production crew behind the special show including (l-r) Steve Wood; Preston Westmoreland; Jeff Scott; Tim Hattrick; Diane Bonilla (Executive Producer); Bruce Kelly; Michael Dixon; Pat McMahon; Jay Lawrence and Carole Bartholomeaux. In what was an apparent double suicide, Heywood — who spent some 45 years on the air in Phoenix at KTAR, KOY and KFNN — was found dead in a Scottsdale, AZ hotel room earlier this year along with his wife Susan.