Residents across the southern and central plains region of the U.S. experienced a tense weekend as dozens of tornadoes touched down across multiple states. Among the hardest hit was the small town of Woodward, OK, where six people have now been confirmed dead in the wake of a killer storm that touched down late Saturday night. Longtime local broadcaster and Omni Media Group President/CEO Doug Williams — who has spent most of the past 24 hours anchoring wall-to-wall emergency coverage — told NTS MediaOnline Today that this weekend’s storm was among the worst he’s seen and the first since 1947 in which any local residents had died as a result of a tornado. “This is not a new drill for our staff, we’ve had a lot of experience,” said Williams. “I’ve been doing this here for over 30 years, but this was the worst ever.” Omni’s K-101 FM (KWOX) was knocked off the air briefly when the twister hit, and early reports were that the station’s 1204 foot broadcast tower had been toppled. Fortunately those reports turned out to be incorrect and Williams said, thanks to a well-tuned back-up generator, the usually Country music station was quickly back on the air and in full News/Talk mode, providing much needed wall-to-wall emergency info to residents all through the night on Saturday and throughout the day on Sunday. “People here rely on local radio and told us that when K-101 went off the air, that’s when they knew something was really wrong,” said Williams. Pictured speaking with the media in the aftermath of the storm are (l-r) Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, State Insurance Commissioner John Doak (in blue shirt) and Williams.
Salem Communications has named former Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris (KDWN and KNXT) to the same role at KRLA/Los Angeles and Inland Empire sister station KTIE/Riverside. Harris (pictured) will take over the 6-9am slot currently occupied by Premiere Networks syndicated Glenn Beck Show beginning April 23rd. Concurrently, Salem VP/Director Spoken Word Programming Phil Boyce says both SoCal News/Talk outlets will undergo a rebranding as “The Answer” following on the heels of the recent similar rebranding of the company’s New York City News/Talker WNYM.
Meanwhile, on the east coast, Garden State FM talker NJ 101.5 has upped part timer Steve Trevelise to full-time status as he takes over the nightly 7-11pm slot on the Townsquare Media-owned station. A born and raised ‘Jersey Boy,’ Trevelise began his radio career in Long Branch and Trenton, moving on to gigs in Philadelphia while also working as a stand-up comedian. He’s been part of the NJ 101.5 staff for the past two years. Noting that Trevelise has “worked hard to earn this position,” PD/Brand Manager Eric Johnson adds, “There are few in radio that sound more Jersey than Steve. We’re thrilled he’s bringing his passion and knowledge of the state to evenings on NJ 101.5.”
The Fisher House Foundation recently recognized ABC News Radio for the network’s support of the group’s efforts to provide housing for the families of wounded warriors undergoing treatment at military and V.A. hospitals. That’s ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones pictured, accepting the honor from Fisher House VP/Community Relations Cynthia Campbell … NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith gave the annual “State of the Industry” address to open the 2012 NAB Show in Las Vegas this morning. Read the full text of Smith’s remarks to broadcasters HERE … The New York Post reveals the “secret life” of WNYM (The Answer)/New York morning host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa. Find out why the born and raised Roman Catholic’s trademark red beret is also doubling as a yarmulke these days HERE.
Clear Channel Media & Entertainment promotes Tim Castelli to the newly created role of President/National Sales, Marketing and Partnerships. He’ll lead the company’s new unified sales and marketing group with the help of Holly Lange, who is named VP/Marketing Solutions, and Chris Monteleone who joins as SVP Event Sponsorship Sales. Concurrently, current President of National Advertiser Platforms and longtime CC veteran Charlie Rahilly exits the company after a 20-year run to pursue new opportunities … Dial Global ups Michael Schreck to SVP/Director Corporate Sports for the network. In his expanded role Schreck will be responsible for all sports sales and marketing, as well as team and league negotiations, reporting to DG co-CEO David Landau … Compass Media Networks CEO Peter Kosann tells NTS MediaOnline Today that KOGO/San Diego, KMJ/Fresno and WTKK/Boston are among the charter affiliates who have already signed up for the network’s soon-to-debut daily feature At Home with Bob Vila (pictured) which rolls out nationwide on May 1st.
As every American knows, there is rarely a shortage of hot air in our nation’s capital and today is no exception, with DC temperatures expected to hit an unusual April high of 90 degrees! To get ready for the heat wave, WTOP/Washington morning anchors Mike Moss (left) and Bruce Alan ditched their usual office attire and broke out the sunscreen, shades and Hawaiian shirts to celebrate the early arrival of summer to the Hubbard all-newser’s “glass enclosed nerve center.” The eastern seaboard is expected to be unseasonably warm today and tomorrow, with a return to average temps for this time of year by mid-week.