Word out of the Motor City is that WJR/Detroit host Mitch Albom’s annual S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon raised over a million bucks (and counting!) for the charity during this week’s 15-hour event that was broadcast live on the Cumulus Media News/Talker … Actress and animal rights activist Tippi Hedren (pictured) will guest-host the December 17th edition of nationally syndicated Animal Radio. Hedren — who will be forever linked to her role in the classic Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds — is a frequent guest on the weekly pet talk show that airs on a reported 133 affiliates nationwide … Psssssst! Wanna know the “secret formula” to creating great radio ads? Some of the industry’s best creative minds share their thoughts on radio’s continuing relevance as “a great storytelling” platform in the latest issue of Radio Impact Reports from the RAB. Read more HERE.
Many News/Talk/Sports broadcasters — both those actively employed and others who find themselves ‘on the beach — have started hosting and producing podcasts in recent years. Few in radio would argue it’s a medium that seems tailor-made for spoken-word programming, but for those banking on the quick success of the platform, media strategist and researcher Mark Ramsey offers some cautions in light of several recent optimistic reports about podcasting’s growth. “I think folks in the audio space are missing the bigger story,” he says. “Only 21% of us have listened to even one podcast in the past month. Meanwhile, more than 85% of us watch TV and more than 90% listen to the radio – and not just to one show in 30 days!” Saying he isn’t citing those stats to diminish the importance and very real growth of podcasting in recent years, Ramsey adds, “I’m suggesting that the podcasting world should stop slapping itself on its back and ask the bigger question: Why are we still so small?” Answering his own question Ramsey says he doesn’t believe the problem is about choice or with easy access for listeners. “The problem is the absence of a hit,” he says. Read the full post HERE.
iHeartMedia/Indianapolis has tapped Brad Polston (left) as Market President for it’s four-station Hoosier State cluster, including FOX Sports Radio 97.5/1260. Polston brings more than 20 years experience in the media biz to his new post, most recently serving as General Manager for Comcast Spotlight in Indianapolis. His new gig marks a homecoming of sorts for Polston who commented, ““I am thrilled to join the iHeartMedia family and to lead our efforts in Indianapolis. Having grown up in Indy, Q95 (WFBQ) was a big part of my life, and to have the opportunity to work with the great talent at that station — as well as WNDE, WOLT and WZRL — is exciting. I’m ecstatic and eager to help build on our relationships with listeners, advertisers and the community.” Look for Polston to be on the j-o-b next Monday (12/12).
Jessica Lichtenfeld has joined media research firm Coleman Insights as an associate consultant, Most recently a senior strategist with Raleigh-based THREE Group, Lichtenfeld (left) has spent more than a decade in media and research, holding previous positions with E-Poll, Viacom and Feld Entertainment … Bonneville/Seattle News/Talker KIRO 97.3 FM, in partnership with Treehouse — a non-profit agency that ensures kids in foster care have access to the essential services required to help them make it to high school graduation and beyond — will host their 28th annual Foster Child Holiday Magic Fundraiser on December 14th 2016 from 7am-7pm. Over the past four years, listener and sponsor donations have totaled over $500,000 each year, so hopes are high that this year’s event will equal and maybe even exceed those totals … ON THIS DAY IN 1980, during the telecast of a Monday Night Football game on ABC-TV, legendary sports announcer Howard Cosell was the first voice who told many Americans that singer and songwriter John Lennon had been shot and killed by an assailant outside of his apartment in New York City. Hear Cosell deftly interrupt the action to make the shocking announcement HERE.
Cumulus Media President/CEO Mary Berner has been named to The Hollywood Reporter’s 2016 Women in Entertainment Power 100 list. Berner (left) is the only radio executive to make the list and is one of 26 new names appearing this year on the annual list of Hollywood’s most powerful women in the entertainment industry. Check it out HERE … The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group is accepting applications for the 2017 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program. Now in its 16th year, the program pairs up-and-coming women currently working in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media. Applications must be submitted by no later than January 6th, 2017. Learn more HERE … Janice McDuff joins Beasley Media Group as the expanding company’s new VP/Finance. Most recently Corporate Controller at Dallas-based HKS, Inc., McDuff assumes the chair currently occupied by Marie Tedesco, who will take a step up the company ladder and become BMG’s Chief Financial Officer as of next month.
Imaging and production firm Benztown has kicked-off its 3rd annual Cans-4-Cans Holiday Benefit to help drive donations to the Los Angeles Food Bank. From now through December 22nd, Benztown invites friends in the radio industry to post a photo wearing your headphones (aka “cans”) to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #cans4cans. For every photo posted, Benztown will donate a can of food to the Los Angeles Food Bank on your behalf.
News Radio 1200 WOAI/San Antonio hosted a Radiothon and Silent Auction last weekend, raising a record breaking $243,034 in two days to benefit The Elf Louise Christmas Project, a local non-profit organization that purchases and delivers toys during the holiday season for the region’s less fortunate children. Louise Locker, the woman behind the Elf Louise Christmas Project, is in her 48th year of delivering toys and other gifts to needy children in the San Antonio area.
We know that during the holiday season lots of worthy organizations will be hitting you up for donations and support. Among that group is the Broadcasters Foundation of America, which kicked off their one and only annual appeal for contribution’s to their all-important Guardian Fund this week, to support the Foundation’s unique mission of helping broadcasters — past and present — who find themselves in extreme need due to unforeseen circumstances. No donation is too large or too small to help the Broadcasters Foundation offer year-round humanitarian assistance to those who have worked behind a radio mic, in front of a TV camera, or behind the scenes and are in need of assistance. As so many in our industry have already unfortunately learned, a natural disaster, illness or even an unexpected death can be a life changing experience for any broadcaster and their family — and that’s where the Broadcasters Foundation comes in. Over the past year, they’ve granted and distributed more than $800,000 in aid. “Our grant recipients had robust careers as producers, managers, on-air talent, engineers, account executives, and more,” said Dan Mason (right), Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation. “Now, through disease, accident, or advanced age, they and their families are in need of our assistance. It is up to us to come together and help them.” Learn more about the various ways in which you can support BFA’s annual appeal for donations HERE.
Cumulus Media names Scott Chiasson (left) Vice President/Market Manager for it’s Lafayette, LA cluster. A local Bayou Country native, Chiasson’s resume sports some 18 years of experience in broadcast sales and operations management, including stints with E.W. Scripps, iHeartMedia, Metro Networks, Cox Media and CBS Radio … Another familiar name joins the Beasley Media Group corporate staff, as Jami Beasley (right) — most recently a partner with the Florida law firm Kopelowitz Ostrow P.A. — has been named to serve as Associate General Counsel for the company, based at its headquarters in Naples, FL … Bryan Moffett has been promoted from General Manager to Chief Operating Officer at National Public Media, which manages corporate sponsorship opportunities for NPR, PBS and member stations.
CBS Radio/Baltimore promotes Tracy Brandys from VP/DOS to Senior Vice President/Market Manager and Director of Sales for the Charm City cluster that includes Sports/Talkers 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports Radio 1300 (WJZ-FM and AM). Reporting to company COO Scott Herman, Brandys — a long-timer at CBS Radio — takes over the corner office from former Baltimore market manager Bob Philips, who recently stepped up the company ladder to become Chief Revenue Officer. “Tracy’s years of sales and management experience coupled with her intimate knowledge of our Baltimore stations and the overall market made her the natural choice to take on this important role,” said Herman. “Throughout her tenure with CBS Radio Tracy has proven to be a powerhouse salesperson, who has led and grown our revenue and market share in Baltimore, and a trusted leader to our valued employees. We are delighted to reward her accomplishments with this well-deserved promotion.”
WISN/Milwaukee goes to their bench, naming Dan O’Donnell as host of a new 9-11am local weekday talk show that debuts January 3rd. A drive-time news anchor, reporter, and regular fill-in host on the iHeartMedia News/Talker since 2013, O’Donnell (right) is well-known for his extensive coverage of the 2007 Steven Avery murder trial in Manitowoc, WI, and the subsequent Rebutting A Murderer podcast following the 2015 Netflix special Making a Murderer … Meanwhile, just a bit farther north in the land of Cheeseheads, WHBY/Appleton-Oshkosh adds an FM translator at 103.5 to expand the footprint of the Woodward Radio Group-owned News/Talker … From our ‘Not Exactly Talk Media News’ Department: Fresh off her recent induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame last month, longtime Premiere Networks syndicated personality Delilah has been named the 2017 inductee into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame. The single-monikered nightly radio host will be honored during the annual Radio Luncheon at next April’s NAB Show in Las Vegas … Longtime Colorado Springs radio exec (KILO/KXRP) Lou Mellini has announced he’s retiring after a 35-year broadcasting career, with 11-year station sales and management veteran Virginia Swanson named to succeed him in the General Manager’s office. The Colorado Springs Gazzette’s Wayne Heilman has more details HERE.
‘GRACIES’ DEADLINE: The Alliance For Women In Media reminds you that the deadline for ‘Early Bird’ rates for entering the Gracie Awards is fast approaching. Your entries for outstanding programming by, for and about women, plus individual achievement, must be complete and paid in full by no later than 11:59pm (ET) this Thursday December 8th. Find out more and get details on entry requirements HERE.