Multi-media mogul Sean Hannity is apparently interested in expanding to the Hollywood film biz. The Hollywood Reporter says Hannity (left) is partnering with actor Kevin Sorbo to produce Let There Be Light, a film about a “world renowned atheist whose beliefs are dramatically challenged.” Read the full story HERE … Chicago media reporter Robert Feder and other media reports say WLS-AM has dropped Westood One’s syndicated Michael Savage from the Cumulus Media News/Talker’s lineup. Sister Cumulus News/Talk station WMAL/Washington also recently dropped its affiliation with The Savage Nation … Beasley Media Group adds stripes to Nick Pinto’s title, upping him to Vice President of Information Technology for the expanding company … Now ex-FOX News contributor, author and Talk radio host, Monica Crowley (right), has been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as Deputy National Security Advisor in his new administration. Crowley served as a foreign policy assistant to former President Richard Nixon prior to her media career.
Answering the oft-asked, ‘will he stay, or will he go?’ question, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced today in an open meeting of the agency that he will step down at the end of President Obama’s term next month. Wheeler’s tenure as Chairman of the FCC has not been without turmoil, and his relations with Republicans on the Commission have often been strained. The 3-2 Democratic majority while he’s chaired the agency have frequently passed measures along party lines, including Wheeler’s controversial ‘Net Neutrality’ rules and regulations that are likely to get a review under a Republican majority ahead. Pending future appointments by President-elect Donald Trump, Wheeler’s departure will temporarily leave the Commission with two Republicans — Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly — and one Democrat — Mignon Clyburn, whose term expires in mid-2017. Commenting on Wheeler’s departure announcement, NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith released a prepared statement saying, “Chairman Wheeler has been a tenacious fighter on telecommunications issues during a period of remarkable change in the media landscape. We wish him well in whatever the future may hold.”
As we wrap up another year, NTS MediaOnline Today pauses to remember our industry friends and colleagues who ‘hung up their headphones’ for the final time in 2016:
Former WPRO/Providence talk host and controversial two-time mayor of the city, Buddy Cianci … Rochester, NY radio legend Nick Nickson … Motor Racing Network anchor Barney Hall … Former Dallas and Los Angeles talk host Benjamin Dover … Comedy and radio legend Bob Elliott … Longtime Portland, OR Talk radio personality Dave Anderson … Retired network veteran Ron Werth … Longtime KFGO/Fargo broadcaster Scott Miller … Former broadcast radio and music industry exec Ric Lippincott … Industry veteran and sales trainer Jim ‘Taz’ Taszareck … Former WOAI/San Antonio news anchor Bob Guthrie … Legendary Top 40 radio DJ Charlie Tuna … Respected radio industry veteran John Rook … Legendary radio programmer Ron ‘Whodaguy’ Jacobs.
Longtime San Diego radio broadcaster Ernie Myers … Legendary Philadelphia radio and TV host Harry Gross … Major League Baseball legend turned popular sports broadcaster Joe Garagiola … Longtime Denver radio personality Paul “Mr. Fix-it” MacGregor … WBBM-AM/Chicago traffic reporter and longtime Windy City broadcaster David Mitchell … Pioneering Talk radio host Dr. Toni Grant … Longtime urban radio personality Doug Banks.
KPCC/Los Angeles Morning Edition host Steve Julian … Legendary WOOD/Grand Rapids personality Bruce Grant … Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Famer and publishing executive Bill Phalen … Longtime CBS News reporter and 60 Minutes anchor Morley Safer … KARN-FM/Little Rock morning news anchor Gary DiGiuseppe … KARN/Little Rock anchor/reporter Donna Kelley … Rochester, NY radio marketing and promotion pro Orest Hrywnak … Syndicated Talk radio host, actor and EpicTimes.com founder Jerry Doyle … WGOW/Chattanooga sports reporter and talk host Gary ‘Dr. Basketball’ Haskew.
Longtime WCBM/Baltimore host Tom Marr … E.W. Scripps/Tucson morning news and traffic reporter Bruce Daniels … Legendary WISM/Madison, WI newsman Bill Short … Los Angeles marketing and promotions pro Karen Tobin … RBR founder and publisher Jim Carnagie … Pioneering KXIC/Iowa City host Dottie Ray … Former WJBO/Baton Rouge morning co-host Kevin Meeks … Longtime nationally syndicated personality Dr. Joy Browne … KTKK/Salt Lake City host Jim Kirkwood … Former KKOB/Albuquerque broadcaster and 41-year voice of University of New Mexico football and basketball Mike Roberts … San Antonio radio and television icon Ricci Ware … Chicago radio legend Herb Kent … Former WOAI/San Antonio PD and host Pat Rodgers … Former WOWO/Ft. Wayne personality and 63-year voice of Ft. Wayne Komets hockey Bob Chase … Controversial St. Louis talk host and community activist Richard ‘Onion’ Horton … Music industry executive and founder of the T.J. Martell Foundation Tony Martell … KRDO/Colorado Springs morning co-anchor Paul Richards … Former WNEW-AM/New York personality and recording artist Jim Lowe … Longtime WBAL/Baltimore host Allan Prell.
Salem Media Group has named Gregg Stiansen as the new General Manager for its Philadelphia stations, News/Talk WNTP and Christian Talk WFIL. Stiansen (left) brings over 34 years of broadcast radio experience to his new gig, having previously held management roles with Nassau Media, Nassau Broadcasting, Connoisseur Media, and Keystone Broadcasting. Stiansen succeeds Russ Whitnah, who previously announced plans to retire at the end if this month, after 23 years in the corner office at Salem’s radio outlets in the City of Brotherly Love … Joe Bell is returning to Beasley Media Group as the newly named Market Manager for the company’s Philadelphia station cluster. The move marks a return to the company for Bell who, from 1998 to 2014, managed stations for Beasley in both Ft. Myers and Miami, Florida. “Joe made us proud as he served at the helm of our Miami cluster, including heritage Sports/Talker WQAM, Power 96 and Kiss Country,” said company President Bruce Beasley. “As our company has grown, we have benefitted tremendously from Joe’s successful team management skills. Joe will hit the ground running in Philly!”
Talk radio veteran, consultant and author, Valerie Geller, was a recent guest on Brandwidth, “The 15-minute podcast about making great radio,” hosted by self-described recovering broadcast programmer and Brandwidth founder, Kipper McGee. In this edition, Geller gives her three building blocks for creating ‘Powerful Radio,’ and offers actionable examples to help you gain advantage over the competition starting today. Listen on-demand HERE … KABC/Los Angeles personality Doug McIntyre inks a two-year contract extension to continue hosting McIntrye In The Morning on the Cumulus Media News/Talker … Mark Gross, founder and Creative Director at Highdive Advertising has been tapped as Chief Judge for 2017’s 26th annual Radio Mercury Awards competition, produced by the RAB. Gross is a previous three-time ‘Best of Show’ recipient of the prestigious annual award.
Chicago media watcher Robert Feder first reported on yesterday’s (12/12) announcement by Westwood One syndicated host Jonathon Brandmeier (left) that the program airing was the last’ live’ show he’d be hosting for the network. Earlier this year, Johnny B. told fans he’d been informed that WW One would end syndication of his WLS/Chicago-based program in February 2017, two years following it’s launch. Feder also notes Brandmeier had some pointed words for management at the Cumulus Media-owned network and the decision to end his daily show. Read more HERE … In other Chicago radio news, heritage News/Talker WGN has signed legendary Windy City news anchor Bill Kurtis to be the station’s new signature voice. Kurtis, who has voiced numerous documentaries and other projects — including the Will Ferrell comedy Anchorman — will be heard voicing WGN’s promos and ID’s beginning with the New Year … Kudos to WSB/Atlanta’s consumer crusader Clark Howard, as his 26th annual Christmas Kids Project reached this year’s goal of providing gifts to nearly 8,400 children living in foster care in the region. Howard was joined in the effort by the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, St. Vincent de Paul Georgia and Walmart for this year’s project.
CONDOLENCES: To the family, friends and former colleagues of legendary New York City radio personality Jim Lowe — best known for his lengthy stint at then-Adult Standards WNEW-AM — who died yesterday at his home on Long Island. He was 93. Along with his on-air career Jim also had a #1 hit record, Green Door, which topped the charts in 1956 … WBAL/Baltimore reports the death of long time talk host Allan Prell, who died over the past weekend. He was 79. WBAL reports Prell had undergone surgery several months ago, however he remained active on Facebook — most recently during the recent presidential election.
Chris Kampmeier, SVP/Programming for iHeartMedia’s Orlando stations and RVP/Programming for iHM’s North Florida region, has announced his retirement after over four and a half decades in radio — the past two of those at iHM’s O-Town cluster that includes pioneering FM talker Real Radio 104.1. Kampmeier’s radio resume also includes programming gigs at WYNY/New York, WDAE/Tampa, WPLR/New Haven, KESZ/Phoenix and KMGR/Salt Lake City, along with a stint as Vice President of Programming for the Unistar/Westwood One/Dial Global Radio Networks in Los Angeles. “iHeartMedia’s North Florida station brands are recognized as industry leaders in ratings, digital, revenue, profit and innovation,” said Kampmeier. “Going out on my own terms and on top is a good thing! My partnership with our amazing executive team has been deeply satisfying and I am grateful for their support over the years. My biggest honor has been to serve alongside the programmers and air talent, and the wondrous creativity they bring every day. I am proud to have been a radio man for the last 47 years and am excited for the long term future of our industry.” Kampmeier’s final day will be December 31st.
(Email Chris and wish him ‘Happy Trails’ HERE)
In the wake of Chris Kampmeier’s pending retirement (see story above), at iHeartMedia/Orlando, 19-year cluster veteran Rick Everett has been named to succeed Chris as both Orlando’s new programming boss, and as the new Region Vice President of Programming, overseeing 41 radio station brands across eight markets in iHM’s North Florida region. Everett most recently served as Program Director for Orlando’s WJRR and Sports/Talker 96.9 The Game. Concurrently he also served as Director of Marketing and Promotions for iHM’s O-Town stations. “With change comes opportunity,” said Linda Byrd, President, iHeartMedia/North Florida Region. “Rick has been in training for this job a long time. He is a natural, having worked side by side with me and the Orlando team for over 19 years. He is trusted and respected by everyone in our building. I’m lucky to have him on the bench and can’t wait to see how he embraces this new position.”
CBSLocal/New York is reporting that AM 970 The Answer (WNYM/New York) host and Saturday Night Live alumnus Joe Piscopo (left) strongly hinted he just might run to succeed Chris Christie as governor of New Jersey in 2017, during a recent appearance for the NJ Boys & Girls Club — an organization for which he serves as a spokesperson. Read more HERE … OK, We’re Going To Say This Just ONE More Time: In yet another example of why, in today’s media world, the same rules always apply, whether you are on-air or online: ‘If you wouldn’t say it on the air, don’t post it on social media!’ Former Brady Bunch child star turned talk host, Susan Olsen, has apparently learned that one the hard way. Olsen (right) and online radio site LATalkRadio have parted ways after she reportedly unleashed a profanity-laden rant on a gay actor who had criticized her on Facebook following his appearance on her Two Chicks Talkin’ Politics online radio show. FOX News has more details HERE … From our ‘Not Exactly Talk Media’ News Department: Beasley Media Group released a statement today announcing the company will make a “format adjustment” at WBRN/Tampa-St. Petersburg resulting in the exit of Todd Clem — a.k.a. Bubba The Love Sponge (left) — from the rocker’s lineup. WBRN has temporarily re-branded as Santa 98.7 and is airing all-Christmas music pending the aforementioned format adjustment. BMG also notes Bubba’s show will continue to air on co-owned 96 Rock, WRXK/Ft. Myers, FL.
As 2016 winds down and the New Year looms just around the corner, many radio managers will move into a new season of that time honored ritual ordered by most corporate HR departments — the dreaded employee performance review. And while being on the receiving end of one of those meetings is often stressful, most employees would be surprised to learn just how many managers are also uncomfortable, especially when having to deal with issues of ‘non-performance.’ In a recent post by Breakthrough Management partner John Parikhal, the veteran media and business advisor cautions managers who let those little non-performance issues slide vs. nipping them in the bud risk “cascading consequences down the line, where the ‘little’ problem has now become a much bigger one, with a more serious negative impact on the people or the organization.” Parikhal (pictured) cites three important things managers can do to help neutralize discomfort on both sides of the desk when dealing with ‘non-performance’ issues, starting with reminding yourself, “It is not about you and the employee personally, it is only ever about the job.” Read more insights HERE.