Don Benson (right), who served for over a decade as President/CEO of Lincoln Financial Media, will receive the National Radio Award during the Radio Luncheon at the 2016 NAB/RAB Radio Show, September 21st-23rd, in Nashville. Benson also served multiple terms on the Executive Committee of the NAB’s Board of Directors and as Radio Board Chair for three consecutive terms. In addition, he also served as a multi-year member of the Board of Directors of the Radio Advertising Bureau and as Chair of the Arbitron Advisory Council, representing the top 50 continuously rated radio markets. “Don Benson has advanced the radio business with his strategic and thoughtful leadership,” said NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David. “This recognition is timely and fitting for Don, who is held in the highest regard for his integrity and genuine commitment and service to broadcasting.”
Longtime CBS News reporter and 60 Minutes anchor Morley Safer died earlier today at his home in New York. He was 84. Safer had been suffering from declining health when he announced his retirement last week, just ahead of a planned 60 Minutes retrospective on his career that aired this past Sunday night (5/15). A part of the 60 Minutes team for 46 years, Safer joined the long running television news magazine in 1970, replacing another legend, Harry Reasoner. The Canadian-born Safer, who began his career with the CBC, made his mark at CBS News with his early career reporting from Vietnam, where he did three tours from 1964-1966 and served as head of the network’s Saigon bureau. In a post to the CBS News website, CBS Corp. chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves said, “Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever. He broke ground in war reporting and made a name that will forever be synonymous with 60 Minutes. He was also a gentleman, a scholar, a great raconteur – all of those things and much more to generations of colleagues, his legion of friends, and his family, to whom all of us at CBS offer our sincerest condolences over the loss of one of CBS’ and journalism’s greatest treasures.” Read more on Safer’s fascinating and colorful career HERE.
The NFL Miami Dolphins and WQAM/Miami have entered into a long-term partnership that will make the CBS Radio Sports/Talker the team’s official flagship radio partner. The Dolphins previously aired on WQAM from 1997-2004, and again from 2007-09. In addition to airing on WQAM, all games will also be simulcast on Country clustermate Kiss 99.9, and feature expanded pre, halftime and postgame shows. “We have rich broadcast history with the Miami Dolphins and are proud that the team is returning to Sportsradio 560 WQAM,” said CBS Radio President Andre Fernandez. “This further demonstrates our strong and steadfast commitment to the Sports radio format, and making continued moves in delivering extensive and exclusive programming on our stations.” Most recently ‘Fins’ games aired on crosstown iHeartMedia stations WINZ and Big 105.
Genesis Communications forges a new relationship with longtime Tampa Tribune columnists Ira Kauffman, Tom Jackson and Joe Henderson, who will all serve as contributors to the company’s digital publications, NewsTalkFlorida.com and SportsTalkFlorida.com. Together Kauffman, Henderson and Jackson bring over 70 years of combined journalism experience in Florida markets to their new roles with Genesis. “It is both a pleasure and an honor to add such a talented trio to our multi-platform digital team, said Genesis Communications Digital Director Jim Williams. “Joe Henderson and Tom Jackson have been friends of mine for nearly 40 years, so I can say without hesitation that few people understand the Tampa Bay Area better than they do. Their work has entertained and enlightened generations of readers. Then add the talents of the brilliant Ira Kaufman to the mix and we now have three ‘Hall of Fame’ writers who we will be showcasing on our many platforms to a whole new audience and sponsor group.”
Legendary comedian and actor Carol Burnett visited the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago this week, recalling fond memories of radio’s ‘golden days’ when she opened Fibber McGee’s famous closet — a permanent exhibit located in the museum’s National Radio Hall of Fame gallery.
It’s ‘Power Players’ week on the long-running TV game show Jeopardy all this week, and host Alex Trebek is welcoming players from politics and political media competing to earn money for charity. Monday night’s big winner was CNN host, columnist and political commentator S.E. Cupp (left), who won a cool $50,000 for the ‘No Kid Hungry’ campaign from Share Our Strength. Last night’s Jeopardy came down to a photo finish, with CBS News correspondent Lara Logan (right) snatching a “Final Jeopardy” win from CNN anchor Anderson Cooper to claim the evening’s $50K prize, which she donated to the Committee To Protect Journalists. Look for CNN’s Kate Bolduan, the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart and comedian Louis C.K. manning the buzzers for tonight’s edition of the show. Check your local listings, as they say.
WTMJ/Milwaukee recently sponsored two Stars and Stripes Honor Flights, flying 140 local veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit their War Memorials and other sites in our nation’s capitol. WTMJ afternoon host John Mercure led a ‘WTMJ Cares’ fundraising project last October, and the E.J. Scripps News/Talker’s listeners donated over $250,000 to fund the flights through two radiothon events held on-air and via online giving. “After serving as an Honor Flight guardian to a brave Marine from the Korean conflict, I am humbled by our veterans’ service and the generosity of our listeners,” said WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer about last weekend’s trip. “The ‘WTMJ Cares’ campaign, led by John Mercure, is just another example of how live, local radio can impact a community.” See a moving video of of the honored veterans walking through a special ‘Welcome Home’ reception line following their visit to DC HERE. (photo by WTMJ’s Jane Matanaer)
Gamut, the digital media services company owned by Cox Media Group, names Heather Boethin as Director of Sales/South, based in Dallas. In her new job Boethin (left) — most recently Manager of Cox Local Solutions for the company’s radio and TV outlets in Tulsa — will oversee all digital sales for CMG properties in Atlanta, Dallas, and their respective regions. “In her many years at Cox Media Group, not only has Heather proven herself to be a strong sales leader, but also a collaborative team player,” said Rachel Williamson, VP/General Manager of Gamut. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to promote proven talent from within, and we are thrilled to add her to the Gamut team. Her unique perspective, great work ethic, and diversified skillset will play a crucial role in transforming the way we do business.”
Coast-to-Coast AM host George Noory will present a special, live stage version of his Premiere Networks syndicated overnight show at Lindenwood University in St. Louis — the city where Noory’s local Nighthawk radio show first caught the attention of Premiere execs back in 2003, who then tapped him to succeed Art Bell as host of the long running late night show. Guests for the live broadcast will include UFO-logist and nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman, rock historian and author R. Gary Patterson, St. Louis Radio Hall of Famer Mark Klose of FM NewsTalk 97.1 (KFTK/St. Louis), and Mark Farley, founding member of the St. Louis Paranormal Society and frequent guest of KFTK’s Dave Glover Show. The live audience for the ticketed event (that will also be available on pay-per-view) will also be treated to music from the Jim Manly Band and much more.
Comedian and Hollywood actor Will Ferrell dropped in for a visit with Sports/Talker Dan Patrick in his Los Angeles ‘Mancave’ this week. Ferrell spent a full hour on the set, chatting and even kicking some footballs with Dan and the DirecTV/FOX Sports Radio syndicated show’s crew.