In response to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s circulating a quadrennial media ownership review affecting broadcast ownership regulations, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton released a statement on behalf of the broadcasters’ group, characterizing the plan as an indefensible FCC charade. “We’re disappointed that Chairman Wheeler continues to ignore the will of both the courts and Congress by proposing to retain broadcast ownership rules that long ago outlived their usefulness,” said Wharton. “It is shocking that regulators who bless mammoth mergers like AT&T/DirecTV and Charter/Time Warner Cable would still bar common ownership of two TV stations or broadcast and newspaper combinations in a local market. Ultimately, NAB hopes the five-member FCC, Congress or the courts end this indefensible FCC charade, and that meaningful ownership reform is adopted for the benefit of the millions of Americans reliant on free and local broadcasting.” Read a ‘Fact Sheet’ regarding Wheeler’s quadrennial media ownership review HERE.
NTS MediaOnline Today sends a shout-out to the crew at Alpha Media News/Talker KSAL/Salina, KS on being named ‘Favorite Station’ and the home of the city’s ‘Favorite Radio Host’ — Clarke Sanders — in the 2016 Salina Journal Readers’ Choice Awards. Market Manager Bob Protzman said the honors “speak to the ties KSAL has to central Kansas,” and also “shows AM radio is alive and well — all it takes is quality, local programming.” … iHeartMedia promotes Morgan Huelsman to Digital Program Director for the company’s Nashville cluster, including News/Talk WLAC. Huelsman (left)) segues to Music City from her current post as Digital Content Director for iHM’s Wichita stations … Hot off the success of his recently held 2016 HIVIO event in Los Angeles, researcher and media strategist Mark Ramsey has a new post asking broadcasters, “Where Are Your Stars, Radio?” Ramsey poses the pointed question in light of the recent launch of Facebook Live, noting that Facebook “is not counting on non-stars to evolve into stars, they’re counting on stars to attract audiences.” Read the full post HERE.
Condolences: To the family friends and colleagues of 14-year 102.9 Newsradio KARN/Little Rock anchor/reporter Donna Kelley, who died at her home over the weekend (6/26). Kelley, 66, reportedly died of natural causes. Funeral arrangements are pending. Market Manager Keith Liesmann called Kelley (right) “an outstanding reporter/anchor who served with the highest degree of journalistic integrity” and “a friend to everyone she worked with.” It’s the second death to be mourned in the newsroom at the Cumulus Media News/Talker in recent weeks. Morning anchor Gary DiGiuseppe was killed last month when he was hit head-on by a wrong-way driver while on his way to work.
It’s day two of the 2016 ‘Hold Their Feet To The Fire’ event, hosted by FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) in Washington, DC. Among the Talk radio hosts who are on site broadcasting live from Radio Row at this year’s gathering is KXNT/Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris (pictured)… WEEI/Boston and Mike Adams, host of the Entercom Sports/Talker’s Planet Mikey show, has left the building after a 10-year run. With Red Sox baseball pre-empting Adams’ show for the next few months, no announcement about who will assume his former hours is expected for awhile … Writing for local community news website — EastCountyStyle — Rick Griffin profiles KCBQ/San Diego morning host Mark Larson (right), as the longtime So Cal resident and radio veteran enters his 41st year on-the-air in America’s Finest City — making him the longest-running, continuous radio personality in the market. Read more HERE.
iHeartMedia/St. Louis has launched Pride Radio St. Louis, the company’s fourth radio station in the country that features programming devoted to the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community . Along with music, the station will also include an emphasis on community news coverage. “It’s Pride Week in St. Louis, and as the exclusive radio partner of the event, we can’t think of a better time to launch Pride Radio St. Louis,” said Tony Banks, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHM’s Gateway City cluster. “Our city has one of the most passionate LGBT communities in America and we look forward to an even greater bond with our local listeners as they engage with our on-air personalities and programming, customized for our city!” The new Pride Radio St. Louis, a broadcast extension of the digital Pride Radio channel on iHeartRadio, can now be heard via PrideRadioSTL.com, iHeartRadio.com, the iHeartRadio mobile app, and at 107.7-HD2 in St. Louis.
Cumulus Media has named John Abbot as Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer for the company, effective July 1st. Most recently EVP/CFO of Telx Holdings Inc., Abbot (left) brings more than 20 years of financial and operations management experience to Cumulus Media. He’ll succeed Joseph “J.P” Hannan, who recently resigned after a six year run to pursue other interests. In his new role, Abbot will be responsible for finance, treasury, accounting, tax, engineering, purchasing, real estate, information technology and systems. “We are fortunate to attract a leader of John’s caliber with such extensive financial and operational experience to Cumulus as we work to accelerate the progress we have made in the company’s multi-year turnaround,” said Mary Berner, President and CEO of Cumulus Media. “His expertise and versatility will be invaluable as we continue to focus on managing the business to improve revenue performance while maintaining cost discipline and exploring available options to improve the balance sheet. We thank J.P. for his significant contributions to the expansion of Cumulus and are grateful for his dedication to the business.”
The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced the 2016 national Edward R. Murrow Award winners, recognizing outstanding work produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world. This year — the 45th anniversary of the awards — RTDNA is presenting 103 national Murrow Awards in 13 categories including Newscast, Investigative Reporting, Overall Excellence and more. For the third year in a row, ABC News Radio won for Overall Excellence at the network level. The Disney-owned radio news network also won awards for Breaking News and Hard News. Meanwhile, for the fourth year in a row CBS Radio News took home Best Newscast honors for the June 19th, 2015 broadcast of World News Roundup in the aftermath of the Charleston church shootings. Minnesota Public Radio also won an Overall Excellence trophy for Large Market Radio, while Delmarva Broadcasting News/Talker WDEL-AM&FM/Wilminton, DE took home Small Market Radio honors in that category. Congratulations to all of this year’s Murrow Award winners, who will be honored at Gotham Hall in New York City on October 10th. See a complete list of the 2016 winners HERE.
Recently, NTS MediaOnline Today told you about a long-running, friendly Twitter “war” between KFBK/Sacramento morning co-host Dan Mitchinson and legendary actor William Shatner. Well, it seems that Dan finally got to consummate his ‘Bro-mance’ with the one and only ‘Captain Kirk’ last weekend while covering the Wizard World Comic-Con, where Shatner was appearing. After grabbing an office wall souvenir (left), Mitchinson returned home to find a tweet posted from Shatner about their meeting that read, “And I didn’t even make fun of that jacket…out loud anyway!” … ESPN Chicago 1000 (WMVP) signs a multiyear agreement to broadcast every Notre Dame football and men’s basketball game beginning with the 2016-17 seasons. The new agreement returns the ‘Fighting Irish’ to WMVP, which previously served as the home for Notre Dame sports from 1999-2005. ESPN Chicago 1000 will produce Notre Dame basketball games, while IMG will produce Notre Dame football games, as part of IMG’s Notre Dame Football Network … Comedian Bill Engvall has partnered with PodcastOne to launch My Two Cents with Bill Engvall. New episodes are now available every Wednesday at PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), through its PILOT program, is accepting submissions for its first-ever PILOT Innovation Challenge to “recognize creative ideas that leverage technological advances in the production, distribution and display of engaging content.” The program will also provide support to the winners for development. This year’s challenge question is: “How can local television and radio broadcasters engage their communities with next generation content on any device, whether big, small or moving?” A panel of judges from the broadcast, venture capital, media and technology industries will choose 10 semi-finalists in late September. A smaller panel of judges will determine the top three winners who will receive $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively, to assist with prototyping the winning concepts. Additionally, the top three winners will receive expert guidance, access to key broadcast executives and exclusive exposure at industry events, including the NAB Show New York and NAB Show. The submission deadline is September 23rd, 2016. Learn more about the PILOT Innovation Challenge and get full application details HERE.
Starting today (through June 30th), your station’s listeners can text to vote for their favorite radio personalities in two categories to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, on November 17th, in Chicago. 2016 nominees for the Spoken Word On-Air Personality category are: Premiere Networks nationally syndicated Talk radio personality Sean Hannity (right); WFAN/New York host Mike Francesa and SiriusXM host Chris Russo (for their years together co-hosting WFAN’s former Mike and the Mad Dog show); longtime WAMU/Washington–NPR host Diane Rehm; and Westwood One/Cumulus Media nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage. Public voting is also now open for nominees in the Music Format On-Air Personality category. View them all — and get full text-voting information to share with your listeners — HERE.
Curtis Media Group officially promotes Trip Savery to President/COO of the North Carolina-based broadcaster. Savery has been working closely with company Chariman/CEO Donald W. Curtis for the past year, while also serving as SVP/General Manager for the company’s WQDR/Raleigh … NTS MediaOnline Today sends a shout-out to FOX Sports Radio host JT ‘The Brick’ (right) on his pending induction into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. ‘JT’ — heard nightly on a reported 260+ stations nationwide — will be among the Class of 2016 to be honored August 20th at the Four Seasons Las Vegas … Alpha Media/Portland promotes KBFF Promotions Director Kelsey McDaniel to Director of Marketing for the seven station cluster, including News/Talk KXL, Sports/Talk KXTG and conservative talker KUFO … Cox Media Group/Atlanta welcomes Amanda Allwood as Promotions Director for its hometown cluster that includes heritage News/Talker WSB. Allwood was most recently Senior Manager of Promotions and Event Marketing for Sirius/XM in New York … Gus Swanson is promoted to Marketing Director at CBS Radio/Seattle. Swanson, most recently Digital Content Director for the cluster, succeeds Beth Sylves, who recently announced plans to step down in early July.