In a feature for Forbes magazine, contributing writer Michael Patrick Shiels pens a piece about the recent induction of the Class of 2016 into the national National Radio Hall of Fame — a place Shiels describes as, “Where radio and its greatest personalities living or dead are most visibly, and audibly, on display.” Read the feature HERE … Speaking of the NRHOF, on this ‘#GivingTuesday’ just a quick reminder from NTS MediaOnline Today that the non-profit Museum of Broadcast Communications — home to the National Radio Hall of Fame — continues to seek the ongoing support of broadcasters and other donors to help continue its mission of not only preserving the precious broadcasting history of America, but to also provide services to students, scholars, and the general public who seek information and analysis about the role of radio and television in society, through access to MBC’s archives of more than 85,000 radio and television programs. Learn more about how you can support the MBC’s and NRHOF’s efforts HERE.
A number of published sources are reporting that FOX News contributor, author, political commentator and Talk radio host Monica Crowley is being considered for a position in the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump. Various reports suggest Crowley (right) is under consideration for a role in the White House communications office and/or possibly as White House Press Secretary. Crowley told the New York Post she would be “honored” if asked to serve in Trump’s administration. Recent reports also suggested nationally syndicated Talk radio host Laura Ingraham may also be in consideration for a White House post … SB Nation Radio will launch a new weekly basketball show, In The Post, this weekend, featuring NBA Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes and co-host Joe George. The new show debuts this Saturday (12/3) at midnight (ET) … From our ‘Not Exactly Talk Media News’ Department: The American Forces Network (AFN), which serves U.S. military forces around the globe, has added Premiere Networks nightly Delilah show, effective immediately.
Those are the strong and understandably bitter words of FOX Sports West Spanish-language Major League Baseball broadcaster (and Cuban Sports Hall of Fame inductee) Amaury Pi-Gonzalez upon learning of the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro over the holiday weekend. Pi-Gonzalez (left), whose parents sent him and his brother to the United States in the early 1960s — and later joined them in America to escape the Castro dictatorship — shared his thoughts with NTS MediaOnline Today saying, “The news was bittersweet to me. My family never envisioned living in the United States. My father was a very hard working plumber who built his own small to medium size company in Havana, just to have it taken away by Fidel Castro’s communist dictatorship who forever changed our way of life. It makes me think of the many things Fidel Castro did to Cubans, like separating families, and killing and murdering many of the opposition. Fidel Castro did not have to come to the USA and ask for political asylum like my family. He is now burning in Hell — and that is a good thing.” Meanwhile, a flood of U.S. media headed to Cuba over the weekend upon news of the death of Castro, including ABC News Radio correspondent Jim Ryan (right) who was dispatched to Havana to report on the event for the network.
KFI/Los Angeles and SoCal charity Caterina’s Club will hold their 6th annual KFI PastaThon this Thursday (12/1), from 6am-10pm at Bruno Serato’s White House Restaurant. The 17-hour broadcast will benefit the charity (founded by Serato in 2005), which provides meals every night to more than 1,800 low-income children in more than 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. KFI personalities including Bill Handel, Aron Bender, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. will all be on site, encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, sauce and money to help feed the region’s underprivileged ’motel kids.’ KFI Program Director Robin Bertolucci reports the yearly event has raised over $1 million and more than 151,0000 pounds of food since it’s inception and adds, “This year we aim to raise $325,000 in one day!” … It’s been a few weeks since iHeartMedia/Madison, WI pulled the plug on progressive talker The Mic 92.1 (WXXM) and plugged in all-Christmas music — radio’s all-purpose, place-holding tool prior to a format flip. But Talk from either side of the aisle won’t be returning to the 92.1 frequency, as iHM has already jettisoned the temporary ‘ho, ho, ho’ playlist and relaunched the station as Classic Hits Rewind 92.1.
CONDOLENCES: To the family, friends and colleagues of former WOWO/Ft. Wayne broadcaster and 63-season voice of Ft. Wayne Komets hockey, Bob Chase, who died on Thanksgiving Day (11/24) at age 90. WOWO Program Director Ryan Reker has posted a tribute to the legendary Indiana broadcaster HERE … Legendary St. Louis talk personality and controversial community activist Richard ‘Onion’ Horton, has died following complications of Alzheimers Disease. He was 80 … Longtime music industry executive philanthropist and founder of the T.J. Martell Foundation, Tony Martell, died Sunday (11/27) at his home in New Jersey. He was 90. Radio has long supported and been involved in fundraising efforts for the foundation that Tony started in 1975 to honor his son, T.J., who died at the age of 19 following a battle with leukemia. The foundation’s website has posted a tribute to Martell HERE.
Rob Carson has exited KCMO/Kansas City after almost two years. Carson, who also hosts America Weekend for syndicator Envision Networks joined KCMO in 2015. “This was a budgetary decision and not a reflection of my performance as my show was leading all day parts,” said Carson. “I had a wonderful experience working for Cumulus Media/KC. Donna Baker and Lance Tidwell are a terrific pair of managers, and I greatly appreciate all they did for me.” … The latest Radio Impact Reports blog post from the RAB examines the recent mass broadcast of a Town Hall meeting with the mayor of Chicago, and how it reflects just how important and unique the connection is between radio and its local listeners, and why radio remains the medium that’s “always there” when you need it. Read more HERE … From our ‘Not Exactly Talk Media News’ Department: WMMR/Philadelphia midday host Pierre Robert marks a nearly unheard of 35 years on the air at the same radio station this month. A well-known personality around the Delaware Valley for his many years of involvement with local communities and causes, Robert joined the pioneering rock station back in 1981 … After 35 years of co-hosting The Loren & Wally Morning Show, Wally Brine has decided to ditch his alarm clock and retire, effective Friday, December 16th. The duo have been heard on the air together over the past three and a half decades on three different Boston stations: WVBF, WCLB and most recently WROR.
NextRadio, the mobile FM radio app, has launched Newsfeed, a new feature that serves up station-centric content, such as trending Tweets from the user’s favorite radio shows and more. NextRadio also partnered with Global Security Systems to provide ALERT FM emergency messages to users of Newsfeed via an available opt-in for emergency alerts that will show up in the user’s Newsfeed. NextRadio says it plans to utilize the new feature as a tool to continually explore unique types of content tied to radio stations and their listeners. “The app was built for avid local radio listeners,” said NextRadio VP/Product Development Ben Husmann. “We continually look for ways to help our broadcaster partners further integrate their programming into our mobile app. Newsfeed is a natural product evolution to create a more robust radio listening experience.”
Offering a recent example of how broadcast radio remains a “powerful medium,” Nielsen reports that 7-in-10 Chicago adults were “aware” of last week’s radio ‘Town Hall’ meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with an estimated one-third of Chicago’s population tuning in to “listen” to the broadcast that aired simultaneously across 47 radio stations. Read more from Nielsen’s post-broadcast survey HERE … Congrats to Alpha Media/Alaska Market Manager Scott Smith on being inducted into the Alaska Broadcasters Hall of Fame … From now through Tuesday, December 6th, SiriusXM is participating in Hungerthon 2016, the annual fundraiser by WhyHunger, a non-profit organization founded by the late singer/songwriter Harry Chapin. With funds raised from the 8th annual auction of rare memorabilia and experiences donated by popular musicians, athletes and celebrities, WhyHunger seeks to “fight against the root causes of hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world.”
News Radio 1140 WRVA/Richmond and afternoon host Jeff Katz (left) renew vows, in a deal that will keep Katz talking in the iHeartMedia News/Talker’s 3-6pm weekday time slot for the foreseeable future. Katz joined WRVA back in 2013 … The Fresno Bee’s Rick Bentley reports veteran radio industry programmer and manager Skip Essick has been named News Director for One Putt Broadcasting/Fresno’s seven station cluster. Essick’s previous experience in the Central California city includes a run as PD for KMJ-AM&FM and most recently as a minority owner and consultant to crosstown KGED … AJC.com’s Jim Galloway reports on Cox Media Group’s longtime Washington, DC news reporter Jamie Dupree (right) who has gone to “radio silence” in recent weeks, unable to speak more than “a few syllables before words begin shattering like broken glass.” And while the cause of the loss of his voice is unknown, the condition he’s suffering from does have a name. Read the full story HERE.
Pubcaster WAMU/Washington, DC has announced that a brand new show dubbed 1A, hosted by Joshua Johnson, will take the hours currently held by the retiring Diane Rehm, who has hosted the timeslot since 1979. Johnson (left) previously worked at KQED/San Francisco … Congrats to Alpha Media/Alaska on bringing home three awards — including Best Radio Newscast for the KFQD/Anchorage Morning News — at the recent Alaska Broadcasters Association 2016 Goldie Awards … CBS Radio/Houston VP/Programming and Operations Charese Fruge has announced her departure from that position. Fruge joined the stations in 2015 after holding a similar post at CBS Radio/Las Vegas … KDKT/Bismarck ups Program Director TJ Meyer to Station Manager.
CBS Radio has named industry veteran Fred Bennett to the newly created position of VP/General Manager, Traffic Operations and Partnerships. In his new job Bennett (right) will be charged with building an in-house traffic content and sales operation to serve the company’s 117 radio stations in 26 markets and their corresponding websites. He’ll also also oversee CBS Radio’s relationship with Radiate Media, which will become the company’s new traffic content partner next April. Most recently president and chief revenue officer for New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW-FM/Trenton), Bennett also had a lengthy run at Westwood One, where he held a number of roles including president of Metro Television, as well as both EVP/Affiliate Sales & Business Operations and SVP/Advertising Sales for Metro Traffic. Bennett will be based in New York City, reporting to CBS Radio COO Scott Herman who said, “Fred’s 20+ year background in the traffic business, coupled with his experience in radio station sales and management, makes him uniquely qualified to lead our traffic content and sales operations.”