‘Rush Radio’ 99.5 WRNO/New Orleans host John Osterlind was out and about in the Big Easy recently, when he noticed a local restaurant sign he’d not seen before. Intrigued and inspired by the restaurant’s name, Chicken and Watermelon, Osterlind immediately headed for the studio where he and his producer created an original song about the place and ran it as a bit on the air for a week. Meanwhile, the restaurant’s owner noticed a sudden uptick in business and a lot of new faces at the tables. After asking around he learned that most all of the new customers had heard about it from hearing the song on Osterlind’s show. The result? A brand new satisfied WRNO advertising client! Show producer James Parker sums things up succinctly: “The new place opened up. John saw the sign. We write the song. I mix the jingle and edit together a video. We play it as a bit, the restaurant notices a pop in business, credits it to our song and buys a commercial schedule.” Watch and listen to a video of Osterlind and Parker’s creation HERE.
Harry Donahue, the longtime morning anchor at CBS Radio all-newser KYW/Philadelphia, has announced he’ll retire this Friday (8/22) after some five decades on Philly’s airwaves. Donahue (pictured) joined his hometown radio station back in 1973 and has occupied the morning news anchor chair for the past 35 years. He also serves as the play-by-play voice of Temple University athletics, something he will continue to do following his retirement from day-to-day broadcast duties at KYW … BRAGGIN’ RIGHTS: Congrats to Sun Broadcast Group as company CEO Jason Bailey announces that Inc. Magazine has named SBG to its list of the fastest growning companies in America, according to percentage of revenue growth over three years. During the period measured to receive this year’s honor, Bailey notes Sun’s revenue jumped more 520% and the company also added 15 full time positions between its New York City and Boca Raton, FL offices … Bryan Kelly is named Director of Sales for Clear Channel/West Palm Beach, FL. The eight station cluster includes FM talker WZZR, and AM News/Talkers WJNO and WZTA. Kelly began his career with CC in Allentown, PA and has previously served in a variety of sales positions at the company’s Tampa and Sarasota stations.
(Department of “DOH!”) In yesterday’s (8/19) edition of NTS MediaOnline Today, many readers reported that due to an error in posting, the audio link in our story about a caller to KFTK/St. Louis’ and Radio America’s syndicated ‘Dana Loesch Show’ was inactive. Here is the CORRECT LINK to that audio featuring the phone call that put Loesch and her radio show smack dab in the middle of the current controversy in Ferguson, MO.
Twenty-five year News/Talk radio veteran Dan Mandis has been named Program Director for Cumulus Media’s Music City FM News/Talker, Super Talk 99.7 (WWTN/Nashville). Currently WWTN’s weekday noon-3pm host, Mandis (pictured) developed his radio chops at KFI in his hometown of Los Angeles, where his early career responsibilities included doing news, traffic and production. Following a long stint as the producer of Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s then KFI-based nationally syndicated radio program, in recent years Mandis moved on to pursue a programming and hosting career that included stints at KHOW and KKZN in Denver and WOWO Ft. Wayne, before joining ‘WTN as midday host earlier this year. “WWTN is an amazing station with some great local talent,” said Mandis. “I’m looking forward to my expanded role with Cumulus and I appreciate the faith the company has shown in me to take ‘WTN to the next level.” Mandis grabs the programming reins at Super Talk 99.7 immediately.
Talk radio host Dana Loesch (pictured) found her show suddenly at the center of the current crisis in Ferguson, Missouri when a caller to the the daily program, identifying herself as a “friend” of the officer that fatally shot 18-year old Michael Brown, offered a radically different account of the controversial incident that has sparked racial unrest and protests in that city and elsewhere across the country for more than a week now. Hear the full audio of the call to Dana’s program (syndicated nationally by Radio America and airing from flagship KFTK/St. Louis) HERE.
Meanwhile, in a related news item Radio Television Digital News Association Chairman Chris Carl, who is also Director of News and Programming at News/Talk WDEL/Wilmington, DE, has released a statement of support, along with a cautionary note to journalists who are covering the unfolding story in Ferguson: “To the journalists who are covering the continued crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, RTDNA admires your efforts to chronicle the volatile situation, and we stand behind you,” writes Carl. “RTDNA is doing everything we can to ensure you are not being denied access and your First Amendment rights are protected. On behalf of the RTDNA Board of Directors and members, please stay safe as you bring this important national story home to your readers, listeners and viewers.
As part of the ‘Solidarity Israel’ trip organized by former Senator Rick Santorum, WHO/Des Moines afternoon host Simon Conway is broadcasting his afternoon drive show live from Jerusalem this week. Noting that he lived in Jerusalem for a year as a teenager, Conway (pictured) promises to send some “powerful radio” to his listeners back home in Iowa … Dr. Joy Browne is moving her talk show from current distributor, Radio America, to Genesis Communications Networks (GCN), which will distribute Browne’s daily noon-3pm (ET) show, along with a Saturday night ‘Best of” edition that airs from 1-4am (ET) weekly. Browne recently announced her return to the New York City radio airwaves via a new nightly time slot on Salem Communications News/Talker AM 970 The Answer (WNYM) … NTS MediaOnline Today sends our get well wishes to veteran air personality and voiceover pro Robin Marshall who posted on her website that she has been diagnosed with stage two uterine cancer. Currently Production Director at Sound Solutions, a division of Cumulus Media, Marshall also recently released her second book, Diary of A Sugar Mom. Email your best wishes to Robin for a full recovery HERE.
Las Vegas-based nationally syndicated radio and local TV personality Dr. Daliah Wachs has announced the formation of The Doctor Daliah Foundation For Kids, with an initial goal of raising funds to build a pediatric wing for Vegas’ Community Outreach Medical Center to serve thousands of underserved and uninsured kids in the region. A tireless fundraiser for numerous causes in her community over the years, the ‘Doc’ (pictured) is turning her considerable fundraising energies toward an effort that she says is long overdue. “We currently do not have a weekday medical clinic for children — there is one other in town that is only open a few days a month — so this clinic, located in the center of town and near low income communities, is much needed,” she told NTS MediaOnline Today. “This will hopefully become a citywide effort that gives the underserved medical community the attention and funds they deserve.”
Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk adds new affiliates KARN/Little Rock, WBRN/Big Rapids, MI, WNDA/New Albany, IN and simulcast partner WLRS/Eminence, KY, and WINT/Willoughby, OH … WPTK/Raleigh, NC adds Free Talk Live (FTL) to the station’s weeknight lineup. Both FTL and Gresham’s week show are syndicated by Talk Shows USA … Don Bischoff is named Chief Communications Manager and Tony Cutillo as Executive Creative Director at Tampa-based Eclectic Media PR. Both will report to company president and founder Shannon Rose … Out Of The Friend Zone, hosted by Heidi Selexa (pictured) debuts on CRN Digital Talk Radio. The one-hour show is billed as, “An open platform to expose and explain misunderstood signals, signs and messages between the sexes.”
Ann Compton, who has covered seven U.S. Presidents during her years at ABC News, will retire next month after a 41-year run with the network on both television and radio. Just weeks after the resignation of Richard Nixon, Compton (pictured) became the first woman ever to cover the White House full-time for a television network. She went on to cover the administrations of every succeeding President, including George W. Bush, with whom she spent the day on 9/11 as the only broadcast reporter aboard Air Force One when Bush was unable to return to DC following the terrorist attacks. The Emmy and Peabody-winning journalist is also a 2005 inductee of the Museum of Broadcasting’s National Radio Hall of Fame. (photo: ABC News/Steve Fenn)
That’s the word from ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones as he told staffers in a memo this afternoon about the pending retirement of the network’s veteran White House Correspondent Ann Compton. “Last winter Ann raised a subject she’s hinted at before and that I’d previously managed to avoid: her retirement. She told me how amazing it was being a new grandmother and suggested that, after 40-years at ABC News, perhaps it was time to transition to the next phase of her life. I listened, smiled and told her we’d chat again, hoping she’d change her mind. But, by the spring, it was clear to me that Ann was ready to leave the job she has loved so that she can spend more time with the people she loves: her wonderful family.” Not wanting to put the proverbial cart in front of the horse Jones added, “We have a date set in late September for us to celebrate Ann’s career in a setting that will let her friends and co-workers offer tributes and recollections about one of the most amazing women in journalism and one of the greatest friends and colleagues I have had the pleasure to work with. For now, though, Ann has asked that she be allowed to continue reporting from the White House without distraction. We’ll have plenty of time next month to celebrate her career and express our admiration, appreciation and love.”
In a letter to Thomas Jackson, Chief of Police for the embattled City of Ferguson, MO, Radio Television Digital News Association Executive Director Mike Cavender condemned actions by police authorities this week that resulted in the arrest and detainment of two news reporters — Wesley Lowry of the Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of the digital Huffington Post. Cavender (pictured) called the assault on and arrest of the reporters by cops “unconscionable” and called for such actions to be “stopped immediately.” Copying Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and the state’s Attorney General Chris Koster, as well as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on his letter to the Chief, Cavender made the RTDNA’s position on the issue crystal clear. “The journalistic community is demanding that you, other command officials and all law enforcement officers involved in this continuing situation, respect the rights of reporters and other journalists to provide news coverage in Ferguson so long as they operate legally — which these two reporters were doing. Harassment and abuse of anyone in a similar situation cannot be accepted and must not be tolerated by you and others charged with maintaining the peace and security in Ferguson.”