Multi-media mogul Sean Hannity is apparently interested in expanding to the Hollywood film biz. The Hollywood Reporter says Hannity (left) is partnering with actor Kevin Sorbo to produce Let There Be Light, a film about a “world renowned atheist whose beliefs are dramatically challenged.” Read the full story HERE … Chicago media reporter Robert Feder and other media reports say WLS-AM has dropped Westood One’s syndicated Michael Savage from the Cumulus Media News/Talker’s lineup. Sister Cumulus News/Talk station WMAL/Washington also recently dropped its affiliation with The Savage Nation … Beasley Media Group adds stripes to Nick Pinto’s title, upping him to Vice President of Information Technology for the expanding company … Now ex-FOX News contributor, author and Talk radio host, Monica Crowley (right), has been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as Deputy National Security Advisor in his new administration. Crowley served as a foreign policy assistant to former President Richard Nixon prior to her media career.
Cox Media Group/Jacksonville, FL has named Nick Figueredo Director of Branding and Programming for News 104.5 WOKV, effective immediately. Figueredo (left) has worked for CMG/Orlando for the past seven years, where he most recently served as Assistant Director of Branding and Programming for News 96.5 WDBO. “I’m very excited and thankful for the amazing opportunity at WOKV,” said Figueredo. “From the day I was hired at WDBO, I knew my future was with CMG, and now I’m taking the next step in my career. I owe a great deal of credit to [WDBO Director of Programming and CMG News/Talk Format Coordinator] Drew Anderssen for his leadership and mentoring during my time at WDBO, as well as CMG Executive VP of Radio Bill Hendrich, Regional VP of Jacksonville and Orlando Radio, Susan Larkin, CMG’s VP of Radio Programming Steve Smith, WOKV’s News Director Rich Jones, and CMG/Jacksonville Director of Operations Todd Shannon, for believing in me and giving me this chance to prove myself!”
AM 560 The Answer (WIND/Chicago) and morning show host Dan Proft announce a multi-year contract extension that will keep Proft as co-host of Chicago’s Morning Answer, alongside Amy Jacobson. Prior to his career in Talk radio, Proft served in a number of local and Illinois political campaigns, and mounted his own unsuccessful campaign for Governor in 2010. He joined WIND in 2015 after a run at crosstown Cumulus Media News/Talker WLS-AM. “It’s an exciting time to be in Talk radio, and AM 560 and Salem Media are at the epicenter of that excitement,” said Proft. “I’m thankful to be able to carry on as a part of Chicago’s Morning Answer. Our show has been the beneficiary of tremendously loyal listeners and a supportive management team. We’ll work diligently to continue to earn that backing each day, by providing uniquely informative and entertaining content.”
What a difference a few years makes. Back in 2013, then Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey openly feuded in the mainstream and industry press with Rush Limbaugh (left) during renewal talks between the company and Limbaugh’s syndicator Premiere Networks. This time around things are sounding much friendlier, as Premiere and Cumulus announce a three-year renewal of their affiliation agreement that will keep The Rush Limbaugh Show on 33 Cumulus Media radio stations through 2019. Coming on the heels of Limbaugh’s recent 28th anniversary in national syndication, Premiere says the multi-million dollar deal “represents Limbaugh’s increased power and audience appeal as the most-listened-to national radio talk show host in America.” The iHeartMedia-owned network supports that accolade, citing year-to-year Nielsen Audio results for Rush: “Nationwide, The Rush Limbaugh Show has experienced significant year-over-year audience growth during 2016 with Persons 12+ (+21%); Adults 25-54 (+13%); Adults 18-34 (+12%); and Women 25-54 (+17%). Commenting on the deal renewal, Premiere Networks President Julie Talbott said, “Rush continues to be a dominant force in Talk radio. From continued ad sales growth and increased audience levels, to unparalleled audience connection, having an iconic talent like Rush in a station’s lineup drives valuable opportunities for advertisers and strategic partners. We’re delighted to continue our partnership with Cumulus.”
Salem Media Group has named Gregg Stiansen as the new General Manager for its Philadelphia stations, News/Talk WNTP and Christian Talk WFIL. Stiansen (left) brings over 34 years of broadcast radio experience to his new gig, having previously held management roles with Nassau Media, Nassau Broadcasting, Connoisseur Media, and Keystone Broadcasting. Stiansen succeeds Russ Whitnah, who previously announced plans to retire at the end if this month, after 23 years in the corner office at Salem’s radio outlets in the City of Brotherly Love … Joe Bell is returning to Beasley Media Group as the newly named Market Manager for the company’s Philadelphia station cluster. The move marks a return to the company for Bell who, from 1998 to 2014, managed stations for Beasley in both Ft. Myers and Miami, Florida. “Joe made us proud as he served at the helm of our Miami cluster, including heritage Sports/Talker WQAM, Power 96 and Kiss Country,” said company President Bruce Beasley. “As our company has grown, we have benefitted tremendously from Joe’s successful team management skills. Joe will hit the ground running in Philly!”
Veteran News/Talk programmer Bob Shomper has left the building at WCCO/Minneapolis. During Shomper’s six-year tenure with CBS Radio’s heritage Twin Cities News/Talker, WCCO has been honored with a boat load of awards, including the NAB’s Marconi Award and Crystal Award, as well as several Edward R. Murrow Awards and the coveted Service to America Award. Before joining WCCO in 2011, Shomper (left) served as News Director at KTAR-FM/Phoenix. Prior to that, he’d programmed both WLS and WGN/Chicago, and WBAP/Dallas. NTS MediaOnline Today reached out to CBS Radio/Minneapolis management for comment on Shomper’s quiet departure from the station, but there was no reply as of the time of this post. Also, no word yet on Bob’s next move, however friends and colleagues can reach out to him via email HERE.
Cox Media Group/Atlanta has announced several programming changes that are coming to Atlanta’s News 95.5 and AM750 WSB. The Mark Arum Show will move to an earlier weeknight 7pm time slot, while Eric Von Haessler — who hosts The Von Haessler Doctrine Sundays at noon — will move to weekdays, where he’ll host a new one-hour show from 11am-noon (ET). Herman Cain, who recently ended his nationally syndicated program, will continue to host his number one-rated local talk show on WSB, weekdays from 9-11am. “We are pleased to add even more local content by adding Eric to our weekday lineup,” said Donna Hall, CMG/Atlanta Radio VP and General Manager. “It’s also been exciting to watch Mark’s success in the late evenings, and by moving him up to 7pm, we’re giving even more listeners an opportunity to get to know him through his show. Mark and Eric are both true radio professionals, and we are fortunate to have them as part of our team.” WSB’s lineup revisions will take effect on January 9th.
Chris Kampmeier, SVP/Programming for iHeartMedia’s Orlando stations and RVP/Programming for iHM’s North Florida region, has announced his retirement after over four and a half decades in radio — the past two of those at iHM’s O-Town cluster that includes pioneering FM talker Real Radio 104.1. Kampmeier’s radio resume also includes programming gigs at WYNY/New York, WDAE/Tampa, WPLR/New Haven, KESZ/Phoenix and KMGR/Salt Lake City, along with a stint as Vice President of Programming for the Unistar/Westwood One/Dial Global Radio Networks in Los Angeles. “iHeartMedia’s North Florida station brands are recognized as industry leaders in ratings, digital, revenue, profit and innovation,” said Kampmeier. “Going out on my own terms and on top is a good thing! My partnership with our amazing executive team has been deeply satisfying and I am grateful for their support over the years. My biggest honor has been to serve alongside the programmers and air talent, and the wondrous creativity they bring every day. I am proud to have been a radio man for the last 47 years and am excited for the long term future of our industry.” Kampmeier’s final day will be December 31st.
(Email Chris and wish him ‘Happy Trails’ HERE)
In the wake of Chris Kampmeier’s pending retirement (see story above), at iHeartMedia/Orlando, 19-year cluster veteran Rick Everett has been named to succeed Chris as both Orlando’s new programming boss, and as the new Region Vice President of Programming, overseeing 41 radio station brands across eight markets in iHM’s North Florida region. Everett most recently served as Program Director for Orlando’s WJRR and Sports/Talker 96.9 The Game. Concurrently he also served as Director of Marketing and Promotions for iHM’s O-Town stations. “With change comes opportunity,” said Linda Byrd, President, iHeartMedia/North Florida Region. “Rick has been in training for this job a long time. He is a natural, having worked side by side with me and the Orlando team for over 19 years. He is trusted and respected by everyone in our building. I’m lucky to have him on the bench and can’t wait to see how he embraces this new position.”
KRDO/Colorado Springs reports that morning co-anchor Paul Richards was found dead at his home on Sunday morning (12/11). He was 55. A veteran of the Colorado Springs radio market, where he worked at various music and Talk stations going back to the 1980s, Richards joined News/Talker KRDO in 2013, where he was paired in wake-ups with Mike Lewis. “All of us here at KRDO are saddened by Paul’s passing” said KRDO General Manager Tim Larson. “He was always upbeat and a true professional. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and children. He will be greatly missed.” As of this post there was no additional information on the cause of death, nor about plans for a memorial service for Richards, who is survived by his wife and five children. KRDO has more on the Colorado radio veteran’s career HERE.