Charlie Wilkinson has been named Market President for iHeartMedia’s six-station Dallas cluster. Most recently serving as a Regional Market President overseeing the company’s Charlotte and Raleigh markets, Wilkinson takes over for Deidre Richter, who segues to iHeart’s national sales division to lead the South Central Connections Team … WABC/New York midday duo Curtis & Kuby will be “roasted” Monday (4/7) at the Gotham Comedy Club in NYC. If you’re in the NY area and would like to watch the fun in person, limited tickets are still available at the Cumulus Media News/Talker’s website HERE … Finally today: that’s ABC Radio entertainment correspondent David Blaustein (pictured) getting to hang out and chat with actress Juliette Lewis about her starring role on the new ABC-TV series Secrets and Lies.
Former HLN host, broadcast journalist and bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell (left) is launching a new show via Andy Dean’s ConnectPal.com, featuring original, behind the scenes video content from her new venture JaneUnchained.com, which is dedicated to “spread the word about what’s really happening to the planet and the people and animals on it.” … Dr. David Samadi, Chief of Robotic Surgery at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, is named Chief Medical Correspondent for Salem Media Group’s NYC stations, AM 970 The Answer (WNYM) and AM570 The Mission (WMCA) … iHeartMedia has sold it’s former San Antonio headquarters building and will lease back reduced space in the building that was the longtime home of the original Clear Channel Radio under the ownership of pioneering broadcaster Lowry Mays … Along with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s previously announced address to broadcasters at the upcoming NAB Show, the four remaining Commissioners will also be on the bill, with Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, Michael O’Rielly, Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel headlining four separate sessions within the Broadcast Management Conference, April 12th-15th, during the annual confab held in Las Vegas.
In a bit of good news for broadcast radio operators, a new study conducted by research firm Ipsos for iHeartMedia concludes that AM/FM radio remains the overwhelmingly preferred audio entertainment option in the car. While consumers use new streaming services, virtually all consumers (99%) are comfortable with the current AM/FM in-car radio operation. And 91% of consumers say they prefer physical AM/FM radio buttons and controls built into the car dashboard, rather than AM/FM being an app that appears in the car’s electronic interface, with only 9% saying they would want it changed into a dashboard app.. An additional finding — one that many may find surprising — was that while AM/FM radio remains paramount in the car, consumers use their in-car CD player three and a half times as much as they use any digital music service. “Overall, this study makes it clear that in spite of consumers’ love of apps and new digital products, they have a great attachment to their AM/FM radio and an overwhelming desire to keep its operation and function as it is,” said Thomas Spinelli, Vice President of Ipsos MediaCT. “This study shows that the consumer isn’t replacing existing services and products with new ones; instead, they want them all — with a number of choices at any given time.” Conducted in January 2015, the study was based on a nationally representative sample of 1,036 adults 18-plus.
Sun Broadcast Group syndicated Talk radio host Marilu Henner (pictured) will be a featured speaker at the upcoming Hivio 2015. Hosted by media researcher Mark Ramsey, the “un-convention” will be held June 4th and 5th in Los Angeles … Happy Anniversary to The Storm Report, which just celebrated it’s 10th year of providing customized local weather reports and updates to radio stations across the U.S. Co-founded by meteorologist and broadcaster Dan Holiday, The Storm Report is produced by Dan Holiday Productions and syndicated to a reported 166 affiliates by Benztown Radio Networks … From The Business Desk: On a conference call this week Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey told investors that the previously announced search for a new EVP/Radio for the company has been halted, saying internal changes have eliminated the need for such a position. Dickey will continue to personally oversee operations and planning for all of the company’s radio stations nationwide.
THIS JUST IN: Chris McGorrill, Operations Manager for Saga Communications’ Portland (Maine) Radio Group for the past 25 years, has resigned to pursue a new, but unannounced opportunity that is believed to be outside of the radio industry. Market Manager Bob Adams is now on the hunt for a new Brand Manager/News Director to lead heritage News/Talker WGAN and it’s sister brands in the market. Email your resume and supporting material to Bob asap HERE. (EOE)
Entercom promotes veteran radio executive and popular radio personality Lee Rogers (left) to News Director for it’s six station Greenville, SC cluster, including News/Talker 106.3 WORD-FM … Rachel Williamson is named Director of Digital Revenue Development for Cox Media Group, where she’ll be charged with focusing on CMG’s 59 radio brands across the country to drive digital revenue growth and integrated sales. Williamson was most recently Director of National Sales at Cumulus Media, where she managed national local spot business for more than 480 radio stations in over 95 markets … … Among the U.S. radio industry pros scheduled to speak at the upcoming Radiodays Europe gathering (March 15-17, in Milan, Italy) are longtime Talk programmer and media strategist David G. Hall, programming and talent consultant Larry Gifford, Edison Research exec Larry Rosin, iHeartMedia VP/Talent Development Dennis Clark, Z100/New York morning host and Premiere Networks syndicated personality Elvis Duran and Coleman Insights President/COO Warren Kurtzman. Find out more about Radiodays Europe HERE … ABC Entertainment and PodcastOne launch a new, original podcast series that will take an in-depth look at ABC’s new television drama American Crime, which premieres March 5th. Hosted by film critic and radio personality Elvis Mitchell, the new podcast will be available via the PodcastOne website and app, and on iTunes … CONDOLENCES: To the family, friends and former colleagues of retired WCCO/Minneapolis newsman Dick Chapman, who has died following a long illness. Retired since the early 1990s, Chapman spent nearly 40 years with the Twin Cities’ “Good Neighbor” station. WCCO has more on Chapman’s career HERE.
As expected, the Federal Communications Commission has passed major new regulations on the Internet that will impact just about any and every American who uses the Internet. On a strictly party-line vote, Democratic commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel sided with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to pass the new rules, while Republican appointed commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Reilly strongly opposed the move. The outspoken Pai pulled no punches, calling it “sad” to witness the Commission replacing Internet freedom with government control, adding that the agency only voted on the new rules due to intrusion in the FCC process by President Obama. O’Reilly was no less blunt, calling the move a “monumental and unlawful power grab.” Meanwhile, Chairman Wheeler scoffed at the criticism saying, “This plan is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech.” Legal challenges are expected to delay implementation of the newly approved regulations anytime soon. You can view video of the meeting (held earlier today) on CSPAN HERE.
Industry veteran Mel Karmazin will be honored with the 2015 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award during the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s annual breakfast at the upcoming NAB Show in Las Vegas. Recognized as an industry leader and innovator, Karmazin (pictured) was the Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of SiriusXM when he retired in 2013. Before moving to the then fledgling satellite radio business, Karmazin was President/COO of Viacom. Previously, he served as President/CEO of CBS Corp., after having first joined CBS in January 1997 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Radio, following the merger of Westinghouse, CBS and Infinity Broadcasting, where he’d been President/CEO. His early career years were spent in sales and management at Metromedia. The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.
Bruce DuMont, longtime host and founder of the weekly syndicated political chat fest Beyond The Beltway, says that despite learning that last weekend’s show would be the final airing of the program in Chicago on WLS, his four decade on-air streak in the Windy City will remain unbroken, thanks to independently-owned AM 1590 WCGO/Evanston-Chicago which wasted no time signing up as the new Chicagoland broadcast radio home of BTB. Ironically, it’s not the first time Bruce has been heard on AM 1590, where he actually began his radio career in 1973 as a weekend quiz show host on then WLTD! DuMont says he has been heard on the air in Chicago every week since then, on one station or another. “I’m happy that my 42 consecutive years on-air streak is still alive and pleased that it will keep going, thanks to the current ownership of the station where I spoke into my first microphone,” said DuMont (pictured). WCGO is owned and operated by Kovas Communications, Inc.
WTOP/Washington and sister station Federal News Radio do a bit of restructuring in their sales office, promoting long-time National Sales Manager, Jeffrey Wolinsky to Director of Federal and National Sales, and upping Account Manager Diane Pelton to National Sales Manager to assist with national responsibilities … Award-winning writer, producer director, political activist and current host of CNN’s Inside Man, Morgan Spurlock, has been added to the lineup of special guests at the upcoming annual NAB Show in Las Vegas. Best know for his documentary film Super Size Me, Spurlock (pictured) will participate in a special Super Session on April 13th … SiriusXM launches Startup School Radio, a weekly show featuring tech minds from Silicon Valley offering subscribers stories and practical advice from founders of early-stage startup tech companies and success-focused investors. The new show debuts March 11th, at 10pm (ET) on SiriusXM’s Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School channel
Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that for the first time in three and a half decades, the weekly Bruce DuMont-hosted Beyond The Beltway will not be heard in the Windy City, after Cumulus Media News/Talker WLS-AM announced it’s replacing the show with paid/brokered programming. BTB continues in national syndication, as Bruce seeks a new flagship for the long running weekend talk show … Congratulations to industry good guy and SVP of iHeartMedia’s 24/7 News Source Chris Berry and his bride-to-be Angela DeRosa on their engagement to be married. As evidenced by the photo (right) Berry improved his odds of getting a ‘yes’ just a bit by asking his now fiancé for her hand while on the beach in Hawaii. Offer your best wishes to the happy couple via Berry’s Facebook page HERE … Retired Moody Radio/Chicago host Mike Kellogg will be inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame during ceremonies to be held tomorrow night (2/25) at the NRB International Christian Media Convention, going on this week in Nashville … DEPARTMENT OF DOH!: In yesterday’s edition of NTS MediaOnline Today we inadvertently misidentified KFMB/San Diego host Mike Slater, who is moving to the station’s PM drive slot next month, when current host Roger Hedgecock retires from daily duty. We regret the error.