With Southern Californians on the front lines of the illegal immigrant crisis now happening along America’s southern border, veteran KFI/Los Angeles newsman Steve Gregory is teaming up with Univision Noticias Univision 34 television field reporter Oswaldo Borraez for a three hour special focusing on the hot-button issue that will air live on the Clear Channel News/Talker tomorrow (7/25) from 10am-1pm (PT). “The recent influx of unaccompanied child immigrants has triggered an onslaught of questions from affected border residents and local governments alike,” states a release from KFI as the genesis behind putting together the special show. “This news special will do a deep dive, not just interviewing those involved but also attempting to answer the tough questions surrounding this escalating situation.” Listeners outside of the L.A. region can check out KFI’s live stream of the show via iHeartRadio HERE.
As our Facebook friends and Twitter followers first learned late yesterday (7/23) afternoon, Premiere Networks has announced that Andy Dean (pictured), charter host of the network’s syndicated America Now, is stepping down from the show early next month to assume full-time management duties for his growing technology venture, ConnectPal.com. Premiere says details regarding a new host for the three year old nightly talk show will be announced after the Labor Day holiday. Meanwhile, Joe Pags, host of Premiere’s syndicated The Weekend, as well as The Joe Pags Show on WOAI-AM/San Antonio, KPRC-AM/Houston, KHOW-AM/Denver and KEX-AM/Portland, will serve as guest-host of America Now beginning Monday, August 11th. “Andy is a tremendous talent and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished together over the past three years with America Now,” said Premiere Networks President Julie Talbott. “We wish him all the best as he starts this new chapter of his career.” Friends and colleagues can reach Andy directly at ConnectPal HERE.
That’s a question posed and at least partially answered in a recent eMarketer report, How Boomers Still Matter: A Disruptive Life Stage Puts Their Consumer Behavior in Play. Among the findings is that, despite conventional wisdom that boomers are set in their consumer purchasing ways, they are actually “heading into a period of great disruption in their lives and it’s putting a good deal of their consumer activity in play.” The report also notes that, unlike their Millennial generation offspring, online shopping isn’t overtaking traditional brick and mortar store purchasing among Talk radio’s large and affluent baby boomer demographics, even though they are increasingly becoming more digitally savvy about their shopping efforts. In fact, eMarketer reports that in a January 2014 poll by Deloitte, just 18% of 60 to 70 year-olds (vs. 45% of 21 to 29 year-olds) agreed with the statement, “Online purchases are displacing purchases I used to make at my preferred brick-and-mortar retailer for stock-up purchases.” Get more news-you-can-use details from the study HERE.
WABC/New York welcomes veteran radio and TV broadcaster Larry Mendte to the Cumulus Media News/Talker’s Sunday evening lineup. Most recently a commentator for crosstown WPIX-TV, Mendte (left) previously hosted mornings at now defunct Merlin Media FM talker WWIQ/Philadelphia, and was the longtime 6 and 11pm multi-Emmy Award winning news anchor for CBS/Philly’s KYW-TV. Mendte also hosts a news and public affairs show for Me TV in Philadelphia that will soon also air on the channel’s New York outlet … The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia will honor its 2014 Hall of Fame inductees on November 21st with a gala to be held at the Hilton Philadelphia Hotel. Among those who will be inducted are long running WPHT/Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano (right), along with this year’s Person of The Year, Pat Delsi. Delsi, who began his Delaware Valley broadcast career in 1953, has worked at virtually every radio station in the Philly market at one time or another over his 60+ years in the business. See the full list of 2014 honorees HERE.
Cox Media Group/Atlanta has named Christa Dibiase to the newly created position of General Manager for Clark Howard Brands. Currently serving as Executive Producer of Howard’s daily nationally syndicated Talk radio show, in her new role Dibiase will be responsible for continuing to oversee Howard’s radio show, as well as the consumer crusader’s television products and all digital products, including ClarkHoward.com and consumer apps. In addition, she’ll continue to oversee the operation of The Consumer Action Center, a national service outreach that advises the public on money, financial and consumer questions via phone and internet. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to work with Clark and showcase what CMG is all about — collaborating with TV, radio, digital, and newspaper to create and distribute excellent content for our audience,” said Dibiase (pictured). “In addition, the assistance provided by the Consumer Action Center is right in line with Clark’s and CMG’s commitment to serving others in our communities. I’m amazed every day by the 80-plus volunteers who give their time and energy to help others with their consumer dilemmas.” The Clark Howard Show is based at CMG News/Talker WSB/Atlanta and is syndicated by Westwood One to a reported 200+ stations nationwide.
In the wake of last week’s abrupt departure of Skip Essick after a seven-year run as PD at KMJ-AM & FM/Fresno, Cumulus Media has named Blake Taylor as Program Director for the Central California News/Talker. Taylor has served as News Director/Assistant PD and morning drive news anchor for KMJ since 2007. Prior to that his radio programming resume includes stints at PD at KERN/Bakersfield and KBTK/Albuquerque. ”Blake Taylor’s news experience, digital savvy and competitive energy make him the perfect PD to bring a new generation of listeners to the legendary KMJ-AM and FM,” said John Dickey, EVP and co-COO of Cumulus. “We’re pleased that Blake continues to grow with Cumulus Media.” For his part Taylor — who’s promotion is effective immediately — added, “I’ve served as News Director at KMJ for almost 7 years now and we’ve experienced some amazing growth during that time. But there are many more opportunities ahead as we continue to grow our audience while maintaining our position as the go-to breaking news station in California’s Central Valley. I look forward to taking on the challenge!”
While pictures are often said to be worth 1,000 words, no medium can get you closer to the site of breaking news events more quickly than radio, where a reporter and a microphone is all the equipment needed to put listeners’ ears on the front lines of major news events wherever and whenever in the world they may take place. Reporting for CBS Radio News from eastern Ukraine, where a Malaysia Airlines jet apparently was shot out of the sky, Erin Lyall (left) spoke with a masked member of the pro-Russian separatist forces who are currently in control of the crash scene. Meanwhile, ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky is also in Ukraine covering unfolding events following the crash of Malaysia Flight 17. That’s the radio news veteran pictured (right) at Maidan Square in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.
TalkRadio 790 KABC/Los Angeles signs on to become the new radio flagship for the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Champion L.A. Kings. Cumulus Media-owned KABC will air all Kings’ regular season, playoff and preseason games, with Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans continuing to call the club’s broadcasts for KABC and the Kings Radio Network … Sean Adams will join SportsTalk AM 1300 KVET/Austin next month to host The Adams Theory from 2-6pm weekday afternoons. He’ll also play a prominent role on game day for the flagship station and its coverage of University of Texas Longhorns football. Based in Austin, for the past decade Adams has been a content contributor with ESPN, Yahoo Sports and other print and digital channels … DEPARTMENT OF “DOH!” In response to our story last Friday (7/18) about the new National Radio Hall of Fame exhibit dedicated to WLW/Cincinnati founder Powel Crosley, Jr., former longtime WLW Program Director Darryl Parks (now SVP at Cincinnati-based Simply Money Media) emailed over the weekend to correct one fact we reported about the station’s original transmitter. “It was a 500,000 watt transmitter, not 750,000 watts that powered the original WLW,” writes Parks. “Two 500,000 watt units were built by RCA, GE and Westinghouse. The second was scheduled to be put into WSM/Nashville, but it never went on the air.”
Longtime Entercom VP News/Talk Programming and Tech Ops Ken Beck (pictured) is ‘hanging up his headphones’ after some 40+ years in the radio biz. Lots of “high five” posts from friends and family on his Facebook page offered the first news of his departure from the industry, and Ken’s LinkedIn profile now lists him as officially “retired” although there’s been no official confirmation from Entercom of his departure as of this post. Beck first joined the company as Director of News/Talk Programming back in 2000 following early career programming and management stints at WWJ and WXYT/Detroit, KFWB/Los Angeles and KGO/San Francisco. Prior to his most recent corporate role, Beck served as VP/Market Manager for the Entercom/New Orleans cluster, where he spearheaded News/Talker WWL’s coverage efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Friends and industry colleagues can reach out to congratulate Ken on his retirement HERE.
Among the celebrity ‘people’ you’ll find in the pages of the July 21st edition of People magazine is Talk radio host Sean Hannity. The Premiere Networks syndicated talker appears in a feature (pg. 96) in which various celebs talk about what room in their home they consider to be their favorite. Sean identifies the kitchen of his Oyster Bay, NY home as his favorite room, recalling his days of making Sunday pancakes and eggs for his children. Pictured in his favorite room, along with his wife Jill and now teenage kids Merri and Patrick, Hannity says that an early career stint as a short-order cook in a restaurant defined his style in his home kitchen. “I’m full speed,” he tells People. “Everything’s finished at the same time. When I cook, you can tell. I leave a mess on every part of the counter!”