Talk Media News Notes
March 27, 2015

Steve Goldstein (left) is stepping down from his 28-year post as EVP and Group Programming chief at Saga Communications. Concurrently, Steve announces the formation of Amplifi Media, a new venture that will specialize in the development of digital audio-on-demand/podcast content. Steve will continue to serve as a consultant to Saga’s stations … WSCR/Chicago hosts Matt Spiegel and Dan Bernstein managed to ‘tweet’ their way into a Windy City media storm this week, when the duo posted a back-and-forth about the physical attributes of Comcast SportsNet Chicago sportscaster Aiyana Cristal. The Chicago Tribune’s Ed Sherman has an update HEREWABC/New York debuts Above and Beyond with Laura Smith, a new weekend show described by Smith as “conversations with the some of the a world’s most popular thought leaders, and then the biggest celebrity psychics, mediums and astrologers giving free readings live on the air.” The program airs Sundays at 7pm (ET) … Triton Digital and Major League Baseball ink a deal that gives Triton exclusive rights to sell and deliver streaming audio ads for every MLB game, beginning this season.

Developing Sports Radio’s Next Generation
March 26, 2015

Yahoo Sports Radio is partnering with Sportscasters Talent Agency of America (STAA) to launch of STAA University, a unique and interactive online university to develop and discover the next generation of top sportscasting talent. The partnership marks a joint mobilization to “create and educate the future of the business” from an inside perspective, led by veteran broadcasters and established executives, through a long-form academy program. “I have always dreamt of building upon my history in broadcasting by creating a place to develop our successors and, not only present them an industry-rooted education, but share the creativity and excitement of broadcasting to keep our tradition alive,” said Yahoo Sports Radio EVP Corporate Strategy Jeffrey Schwartz. “STAA University with Yahoo Sports Radio is that place, and we are proud to partner with [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik in this venture.” Learn more HERE.

Have Cocktails & Conversation With Mel @ NAB
March 25, 2015

Mel Karmazin, the former head of SiriusXM, CBS and Viacom, will share his insights on the current and future state of media in a conversation with Wall Street Journal media and entertainment reporter Joe Flint on Tuesday, April 14th, from 5:30 – 6:30pm, at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The general session, billed as Mel Karmazin Totally Unplugged: Cocktails and Conversation, is open to all NAB Show attendees and will feature complementary beverages (including beer and wine). “Mel Karmazin is a legend in the media business who helped build multiple media empires throughout his extraordinary career,” said NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith. “We are thrilled to have him speak at our show and look forward to this uniquely candid conversation with one of the industry’s greatest entrepreneurs and business strategists.”

Talk And Media News Notes
March 24, 2015

The National Association of Broadcasters will honor comedian and humanitarian Jerry Lewis (left) with the NAB Distinguished Service Award during the 2015 NAB Show in Las Vegas. The award recognizes members of the broadcast community who have made significant and lasting contributions to broadcasting … Blue Sun Media, a creative digital agency founded by Russ Gilbert, has launched, a new digital service for radio that builds custom station websites for the cost of one 60-second spot per day (Mon-Fri/6am-midnight) …  CBS News President David Rhodes — who joined the network in 2011 — extends his deal to remain in his current role through 2019. CBS Radio News is distributed nationally by Westwood One … Gerry McCracken is named Operations Manager for Cumulus Media/Lake Charles. He joins the company after nearly 20 years as a Program Director and Format Captain for Cox Media Group … Joseph Robinson is upped from EVP/Strategic Development to President of iHeartMedia Ventures, where he’ll work to “develop high-value strategic opportunities with media, technology, and content companies.”

Talk Media News Notes
March 23, 2015

Cox Media Group has promoted Bob DeBlois (left), GSM at News/Talker WOKV/Jacksonville, FL, to Director of Sales for CMG’s entire six-station north Florida cluster … In a feature entitled Jeb’s Talk Radio Problem, Politico.com Senior Staff Writer Michael Kruse analyzes the impact that Talk radio — and most specifically Rush Limbaugh – is having on the field of GOP presidential hopefuls as the 2016 race for the White House shapes up. Read more HERE … Following several years pursuing both a local and national Talk radio career, Erich ‘Mancow’ Muller is returning to music radio to host mornings at Cumulus Media-owned WLUP (The Loop)/Chicago. He’ll reunite with original show cast members, Al Roker, Jr., Luv Cheeze and Cathy Vlahogiannis beginning March 3oth Condolences: To the family, friends and many industry colleagues of veteran broadcaster, consultant and Shane Media Services founder Ed Shane, who died over the weekend as the result of colon cancer. Friends are posting tributes to Ed on his Facebook page HERE.

Talk And Media News Notes
March 20, 2015

While NBC Sports Radio Under Center hosts Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone take some vacation days next week, NBC Sports Radio weekend host Brian Webber (left) will fill one chair, with a bevy of NFL pros joining him as co-hosts, including Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (3/23); two-time NFL Pro Bowler Brian Westbrook (3/24); three-time Super Bowl Champion Troy Brown (3/25); two-time Super Bowl Champion and Super Bowl MVP Terrell Davis (3/26); and two-time Super Bowl Champion Rodney Harrison … iHeartMedia/Augusta promotes Jay Cruze to Senior VP Programming for the six-station Georgia cluster … CBC Radio One, the English-language news and information radio network of the publicly owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and mobile tech platform AudioNow ink a partnership that extends the reach of the network and allows U.S. audiences to hear live and recorded daily programs from the north-of-the-border news service on any mobile device.

A “Bold” Proposal For Talk Radio’s Future
March 19, 2015

Northeast Pennsylvania-based Bold Gold Media has debuted the Bold Gold Broadcasting and Media Foundation, dedicated to “supporting the advancement and training in spoken-word formats, such as Talk, News/Talk and All-News.” The just announced non-profit organization aims to better prepare and train “tomorrow’s broadcasters of liberty” for jobs in a changing radio media world. “It is critical that tomorrow’s thought leaders in the field of spoken-word formats be prepared to articulate, defend, educate and communicate principals important to the millions of Americans reached daily by radio,” reads the mission statement posted on the Foundation’s website. “The Foundation provides financial support, including scholarships, as well as equipment and expertise to educational organizations and programs that teach and train in the fields of broadcast communications and media. Creating educational and training opportunities for the best-and-brightest who aspire to a career in broadcasting is the most important need in Talk radio and spoken-word formats right now. In order for these formats to thrive they must remain relevant and attract new generations of listeners and broadcasters.” Find out more HERE.

Talk And Media Industry News Notes
March 19, 2015

Broadcast radio veteran Tom Schurr joins the executive ranks at Cumulus Media as the company’s new SVP/Operations. Reporting directly to President/CEO Lew Dickey, Schurr will oversee Cumulus station operations in multiple markets, including Dallas and Houston, with additional market responsibilities to be announced at a later date. Schurr (left) most recently served as President of Operations for Clear Channel/iHeartMedia … The Hartford Courant reports that former WTIC/Hartford talk host (and the controversial ex-governor of Connecticut) John Rowland has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison following his conviction for seven crimes associated with a conspiracy to break federal campaign law. Read more HERE … Media 11 founder Michael Fischer  joins Sun Broadcast Group in the newly created role of Strategic Development Advisor, focusing on expansion of the company’s Shazam for Radio division … NY Times deputy tech editor Molly Wood is leaving that post to join American Public Media where she’ll contribute to the roster of programing produced under the Marketplace banner … New York City radio management veteran Maire Mason – who previously held sales and management positions at CBS RadioMerlin Media and Univision —  is upped from GSM to VP/GM at Cumulus Media’s Big Apple Country outlet NASH-FM 94.7.

R.I.P. Jack ‘Charlie Brown’ Woods
March 19, 2015

Retired legendary radio personality Jack Woods – a.k.a. ‘Charlie’ of  National Radio Hall of Famer’s ‘Charlie & Harrigan’ (left) — has died from complications following a stroke he suffered last month. He was 80. On the Charlie & Harrigan Facebook page, Paul ‘Irv Harrigan’ Menard — Jack’s friend and on-air partner for some 50 years — commented on his loss saying simply, “I will love him forever and will miss him equally as long.” Meanwhile, Dallas radio icon Ron Chapman  the original ‘Harrigan’ who was paired with Woods for a couple of years beginning in 1962 at then Gordon McClendon-owned KLIF/Dallas – told Dallas Morning News reporter Robert Wilonsky, “Jack was the act. He has a touch. He had a subtlety, a sincerity to him.”

Woods, a former United States Marine and an iron worker, got into radio somewhat accidentally, deciding he needed a “safer” job after an iron beam fell on him, breaking his arm and fracturing his skull. Starting his career off in Davenport, IA, Woods went on to stints in New York, Washington, DC, Cleveland and other cities — most notably his final lengthy run in San Diego, where he and Menard took two stations — KFMB and later KCBQ — to #1 in morning drive before retiring. In an interview last year with the San Diego UT, prior to Charlie & Harrigan’s National Radio Hall of Fame induction, it was Jack himself who summed up his career best: “Radio was my life for nearly 50 years, and every single day was more fun than the day before. And I got paid for it!” Funeral details are pending.

(A Personal Note From Your Editor: As a former member of the San Diego radio broadcasting community and a longtime resident of ‘America’s Finest City,’ I have had the privilege of sharing a friendship with ‘Charlie & Harrigan’ for nearly two decades. I will always treasure the memories of my regular lunches with Jack and Paul over the years, where the duo would entertain me (and pretty much everyone within earshot at tables close by) with their non-stop banter and antics, and hilarious tales from their glory days in radio. Recently, I was asked by ‘the boys’ to introduce and induct them into the National Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014  — an honor and an evening that I will always treasure. So now I raise my glass — full of Jack’s favorite wine of course — and offer a toast: “Here’s to my friend Jack — one of radio’s truly good guys … and a really great broadcaster!”)

Bouvard Checks-In At Cumulus Media
March 18, 2015

Veteran media research, sales and marketing executive Pierre Bouvard has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer for Cumulus Media. Well known to the radio industry from his years as President of Sales for Arbitron – where he led the sales and marketing effort to launch Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) — in his new job Bouvard (left) will lead marketing strategies for the company’s local and national brands,  reporting directly to Cumulus President/CEO Lew Dickey. Bouvard’s 25-year sales and marketing resume also includes an early career gig as EVP of  research and consulting firm Coleman Insights, and his most recent position as Senior Vice President of Sales for TiVo Research & Analytics.