BrietbartNews.com reported late yesterday (9/26) that Westwood One syndicated talker Michael Savage was “abruptly pulled off the air on Monday afternoon after launching into a segment on Hillary Clinton’s delicate health.” The report goes on to say that WABC/New York — Savage’s Cumulus Media-owned local affiliate in the Big Apple — pulled The Savage Nation from it’s usual afternoon time slot, with longtime WABC local duo Curtis & Kuby taking over live as the presidential debate action at nearby Hofstra University was kicking into high gear. The Breitbart story also reported that Savage’s live network feed was “suddenly cut off to many of his other affiliates and a replay of an earlier episode was substituted.” Breitbart reporter Aaron Klein said Savage characterized the alleged pulling of his broadcast as, “Pure sabotage.” We’d call that a pretty serious accusation by a host aimed at his network, so that’s why NTS MediaOnline Today reached out to Bart Tessler, longtime EVP News & Talk Programming for Westwood One, who gave us the not-quite-so-sensational real story behind the whole brouhaha with this simple clarification. “WABC decided to go local during afternoon drive yesterday to cover the presidential debate at Hofstra, a local as well as a national story. Affiliates are permitted to pre-empt programming on certain occasions when there’s a big local story. That’s the whole deal. All other affiliates carried The Savage Nation yesterday as usual.”
News/Talkers and others across the country hosted all sorts of Debate Night parties and other events last night, taking advantage of the massive listener interest in the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Cox Media Group News/Talk/Sports Format Coordinator Drew Anderssen checks in to report how CMG’s News/Talk stations banded together “before, during and after the debate to swarm and own the biggest political story/election cycle of our lifetime!” CMG News/Talkers WDBO/Orlando, WSB/Atlanta, KRMG/Tulsa, WOKV/Jacksonville and WHIO/Dayton all aired a two-hour pre-debate show, anchored by WSB’s Chris Chandler, while three CMG stations — WDBO, WSB and KRMG — fielded live focus groups in their respective markets to watch the face-off, then participate in a 90-minute post-debate reaction show (pictured). The stations also employed Futuri Media’s #RateTheDebate feature on their apps and websites, and report heavy usage of the Open Mic feature available on the CMG stations’ apps. “All-in-all, last night was an innovative approach for radio that ultimately gave us the assets we needed to own the story throughout the day today, and moving forward toward the next debates,” Anderssen told NTS MediaOnline Today.
Dan Dibley (left) returns as morning co-host on Entercom/San Francisco Sports/Talker 95.7 The Game (KGMZ), alongside Joe Fortenbaugh and NFL veteran Lorenzo Neal. Most recently serving as a sports update anchor and fill-in host at the Bay Area outlet, Dibley was part of The Game’s original morning show when the station debuted in 2011 … National sports media personality Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo has signed a new three-year contract that will keep him exclusively on SiriusXM. Subscribers will continue to hear Russo host his weekday 3-6pm (ET) show, Mad Dog Unleashed, on the satcaster’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel, which he launched in 2008 … In more Sports news from SiriusXM, the satellite radio service is teaming up with Machinima, the first global ‘many2many’ programming service focusing on fandom and gamer culture, to create and broadcast a new daily radio show dedicated to e-Sports and the fast-growing world of competitive gaming. Machinima’s Inside eSports Radio, hosted by Alex “Axeltoss” Rodriguez and Joshua “Piscator” Lee, is now available every weekday from 6-7pm (ET) on SiriusXM’s Bleacher Report Radio.
Westwood One News will exclusively provide a live audio feed of CNN’s Town Hall with President Barack Obama, tomorrow (9/28) at 9pm (ET). CNN anchor and Chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper will talk with the President on numerous issues, and also take questions from the audience made up of active duty service members, veterans, and the military community. The one-hour live event will take place in Fort Lee, VA, home to the Combined Arms Support Command … iHeartMedia has announced iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access, two new subscription music services set to debut in January 2017 … Westwood One has renewed the network’s partnership with Intelligence For Your Life with John Tesh, Connie Sellecca and Gib Gerard, with a new multi-year agreement. WW One has exclusively represented the programs for the past 15 years … Fox Sports, multimedia rightsholder of Auburn University Athletics, has selected Skyview Networks as the official radio network provider for Auburn Football, Men’s Basketball, Baseball, and the weekly Tiger Talk show, providing production and distribution for the Tiger’s Radio Network of 54 affiliates, and for the Auburn Sports Network TuneIn channel.
At last night’s first Presidential debate of the 2016 election, CBS News Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett (center) joined WCBS/New York reporters Peter Haskell (left) and Steve Scott in the press ‘spin room’ to offer his take on the first face-to-face encounter between GOP hopeful Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Effective January 1st, 2017, longtime Cox Media Group (CMG) executive Kim Guthrie will become President of CMG, succeeding Bill Hoffman who has announced that he’ll retire at the end of this year, after a distinguished 38-year career in media. Guthrie (pictured) joined the company in 1998 and currently serves as CMG’s EVP/National Ad Platforms and president of its television ad rep firm, Cox Reps. She was previously responsible for all programming, operations and sales at CMG’s 59 radio stations located in 11 markets across the country. In her new role, Guthrie will report directly to Cox Enterprises EVP/Chief Operating Officer Alex Taylor. “Kim has been with Cox for nearly 20 years and is an inspirational leader who has helped our media properties transform,” said Cox Enterprises President/CEO John Dyer. “She played a key role in the successful creation of Cox Media Group in 2008 and has been recognized as one of the media industry’s most influential leaders. She’s a natural fit to ensure Cox Media Group continues to deliver innovative products and compelling news content.”
As first reported by the New York Post’s Clair Atkinson over the weekend, former Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey has penned a new book that includes what Atkinson characterized as “some gnarly words for those in terrestrial broadcasting.” It was just over a year ago — on the eve of the 2015 NAB/RAB Radio Show — that Dickey was ousted from his post by the Cumulus Board, which replaced him with current company Chief Exec Mary Berner. With editorial reviews from no less than the legendary Larry King and iHeartMedia Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman, Dickey’s new book — The New Modern Media — is described on its Amazon page as, “An indispensable guide to the profound and disruptive changes rocking the media industry.” Available now in hardcover and for Kindle, it’s a pretty safe bet Dickey’s book will draw lots of interest and comment from all across the radio industry, as the controversial former leader of Cumulus Media speaks out publicly for the first time since being removed from that position.
iHeartMedia/Tucson flips AM 1450 KTZR from Spanish-language programming to The Talk of Tucson, featuring a mostly syndicated weekday lineup that includes Glenn Beck, Rusty Humphries, Michael Savage, Michael Berry, Alex Jones, America Now with Meghan McCain, and Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis, along with local talker Rob Hunter. Neil Larrimore, PD for News/Talk KFYI, KFYI2 and Fox Sports 910 will add oversight of KTZR to his daily duties … Cumulus Media/Toledo is pulling the plug on its AM 1470 and turning the license back in to the FCC, citing the lack of return on costs it would take to fix the station’s transmitter site and other issues as the reason. The station’s current Talk lineup will segue to co-owned WQQQ-HD2 100.7FM. The Toledo Blade has details HERE … ABC News Radio will provide coverage of tonight’s Presidential debate, beginning at 8pm (ET) with a preview program anchored by ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky from Hofstra University. Katersky will be joined by ABC News’ Brad Mielke and Karen Travers from Washington, DC, and ABC News Radio political analysts Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin for the three-hour broadcast … Industry veteran Dwight Douglas (right) has announced plans to retire from his current role as VP/Marketing at RCS, where he’s spent the past 16 years of his more than four decade broadcasting career. Dwight tells NTS MediaOnline Today he plans to gleefully toss his alarm clock and focus on his writing career (he’s currently writing the follow-up to his first book, If God Could Talk). Congratulate Dwight on his pending next chapter HERE.
Along with coverage of Major League Baseball’s final days of the regular season, and a busy third-week Sunday in the NFL, Sports/Talk radio also found itself covering two deaths over the weekend — the sad but not totally unexpected news of the passing of 87-year old professional golf icon Arnold Palmer, and the shocking news of the death of 24-year old Miami Marlins pitching sensation Jose Fernandez, who died from injuries suffered in a boating accident in South Florida. “It was the kind of news that shook up the whole Miami Cuban-American community,” said Cuban-born Spanish-language radio voice of the Oakland Athletics, Amaury Pi-Gonzalez. “Even people that don’t follow baseball, knew who he was from his many local appearances in Miami in person, and his total involvement with the community. We will never know what kind of career the 24-year old Fernandez would have accomplished, but it’s fair for those of us that follow baseball professionally to say that he was one of the best five pitchers in all of Major League baseball at the time of his death.”
AM 670 The Score, WSCR/Chicago recently selected this year’s lucky listener of it’s annual Score Search contest, who will get to host his own segment on the CBS Radio-owned Sports/Talker’s weekly Fantasy Football show, which airs Sunday’s from 8-9am. Pictured above (L-R) are: former ‘Score Search’ winner Jack Thomason — now a co-host of the show, the 2016 winner Anthony Staggs, Joe Ostrowski, host of the Fantasy Football show, and WSCR Program Director Mitch Rosen.
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