In the hours and days following the recent terrorist attacks on Paris, as is too often the case in such breaking news situations rumors vied for facts when it came to reporting on the unfolding story. Sadly, as is often also the case in these times of one-click forwarding of information, a lot of reports ultimately were found to contain incorrect or even downright false information. Once again, such errors offer a teaching moment for both newscasters and Talk radio hosts who talk about current news — get the story, but first confirm the facts and get it right. In a feature at Poynter.org, Alexios Mantzarlis offers six tips for reporters, producers and hosts on how to debunk fake news stories by yourself before running with them. Among the tips Mantzarlis advocates for is, “First, do no harm. Before you even start debunking, make sure you are not sharing false rumors yourself. Avoid becoming one of the thousands who give credence to a false tweet by retweeting it.” Learn more HERE.
In what has become a long-standing Coast to Coast AM tradition, listeners to the Premiere Networks nightly syndicated talk show will not be hearing re-runs this holiday season. Instead, fans will be treated to live, holiday-themed programming — including music, special guest appearances, open lines and surprises — on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Commenting on the tradition to broadcast the show live for the holidays, Coast To Coast AM host George Noory (right) said, “Many people don’t have friends and family to spend the holidays with, so radio is a very special connection for them. Years ago, I made the decision to host live programming during this time of year, and I’ve keep that promise all my career, so no one has to be alone.” Coast To Coast AM airs Monday-Sunday from 1-5am (ET) on a reported 570+ stations nationwide.
Townsquare Media announced today that longtime New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW/Trenton) morning host Jim Gearhart — who has been on an extended leave of absence from the station of late, following a recent injury — will not be returning to his daily program due to the extent of those injuries. Gearhart has been with the pioneering FM talk station for a quarter century, during which time he’s covered the ‘Great New Jersey Tax Revolt’ of the 1990s, ten New Jersey governors’ administrations, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and more. Prior to his move to mornings at NJ101.5, the New Jersey Broadcasting Hall of Famer’s career included major market stints in New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Seattle. “All of us at New Jersey 101.5 will miss Jim,” said Townsquare Media Market President Fred Bennett. “He is an extraordinary broadcaster and we thank him for his 25 years of service to NJ101.5 and the entire New Jersey community. Jim is in our thoughts and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
Concurrently, Townsquare has named Bill Spadea to succeed Gearhart in morning drive, effective December 1st. A familiar voice to NJ101.5 listeners from his daily feature Bill Spadea’s New Jersey and as a regular fill-in for Gearhart, Spadea will also continue to host Chasing News, a television show that airs in both the New York and Philadelphia markets. “I love New Jersey,” said Spadea, a longtime Garden State resident. “The NJ101.5 team is the best in the business and I’m proud to be a part of this successful family. I’ve always looked up to Jim Gearhart as a legend in New Jersey media. His shoes are too large for me to ever fill completely, but I am honored and humbled and will try my best to live up to his legacy of unequaled radio and service to the people of New Jersey.”
Cumulus Media has expanded the role of Corporate Program Director for News/Talk and WMAL/Washington, DC Program Director Bill Hess to include Operations Manager duties for the DC station cluster. Hess’ 38-year radio career has included on-air and News/Talk/Sports programming positions at crosstown WTEM/Washington, WHJJ/Providence and WHYN/Springfield, MA. He’s also served as Brand Manager for Clear Channel Radio/iHeartMedia, and as Senior Vice President/Programming for Air America Radio in New York City. In addition, Hess’s radio resume also includes music radio programming stints at WASH and WBIG/Washington and WSNE-WWBB/Providence. “Bill is an exceptional programmer and is deserving of this recognition,” said Mike McVay, SVP, Content and Programming for Cumulus “The growth that WMAL has experienced under his direction is nothing short of astounding. He has excelled as a Corporate PD and will continue in that role and as PD for WMAL, while now also expanding his involvement with our other DC stations.”
The radio industry has lost yet another legendary broadcast personality, as WCCO/Minneapolis reports retired morning show host Charlie Boone, who along with his radio partner Roger Erickson ruled wake-ups in the Twin Cities for nearly four decades, died Sunday (11/22) following a brief illness. He was 88. A story posted at the WCCO website reports, “Boone & Erickson arrived at WCCO the same year (1959) and hosted their own programs featuring music and information. Erickson’s afternoon show aired just before Boone’s and when the two began to chat and share jokes a legendary radio team was born. Erickson retired in 1998 while Boone (pictured) continued hosting a Saturday morning show until 2010.” WCCO reporter Susie Jones has more on Charlie Boone’s storied radio career, and also shares video and audio clips of the beloved local radio personality HERE.
Nobody will ever fault Las Vegas-based syndicated talker Dr. Daliah Wachs for giving her all to the numerous causes and charities she believes in. And she also ain’t too bad at creatively garnering a little extra media publicity for her various fundraising efforts. Which explains a lot about the photo she sent us today (left), in which the ‘Doc’ is …. uhhhh, well … “taking a little personal time” to remind folks that a reported 2.4 billion people around the world have no access to safe, public restrooms. “Not only are they exposed to unsanitary conditions, but also many women and children are vulnerable to assault when they’re trying to use makeshift, unsecured stalls. We’re raising awareness by posting pics [on Social Media] of us on the toilet and reminding people how blessed we are to have safe sanitation.” If you’re not comfortable posting a photo of yourself ‘on the throne,’ the host of The Dr. Daliah Show is urging her Talk radio colleagues to mark World Toilet Day (11/19) with a donation HERE.
In what can certainly be called a “happy ending” to a rather rough year for Salem Radio Network host Michael Medved, the syndicated talker and the Salem Media Group-owned network have reached agreement on a contract extension, in a deal that will keep Medved (right) on SRN through the end of 2018. “Michael has overcome great odds this year, and extending his deal with us is a great reward for his heart, persistence and hard work,” said SRN Senior VP Phil Boyce. “Michael has logged 18 consistently successful years with Salem and this deal means we’ll continue to provide stations across the country with one of the most entertaining, provocative and popular shows on the air.” Medved, who missed several weeks of hosting his daily 3-6pm (ET) show earlier this year to undergo treatment for cancer, also commented on his new deal saying, “I feel unbounded enthusiasm and gratitude at the prospect of three more years to connect with the most wonderful and engaged audience in Talk radio. Especially after my recovery from throat cancer, the ability to speak to people about the issues that matter most is a gift that I cherish and never take for granted. I know that the prayers and good wishes of literally hundreds of thousands of listeners have helped make possible my super-energized return. We’ll be sharing exciting and significant times in the months ahead.”
Congratulations are in order for the whole crew at WCCO/Minneapolis, where Program Director Bob Shomper checks-in to alert NTS MediaOnline Today about the midwest’s ‘Good Neighbor’ station’s latest fundraising efforts to help people in need in and around the Twin Cities. WCCO teamed up with Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities yesterday (11/17) for their annual Radiothon and the result was a brand new fundraising record! During the CBS Radio News/Talker’s all-day event, held at Minnesota’s world famous Mall of America, WCCO helped the Mission raise more than $315,800. That’s $40,000 more than the previous Radiothon record set last year. And even though the Radiothon is over, those who’d like to contribute to WCCO’s fundraising effort can still donate online HERE.
SiriusXM will offer a special eight-part satellite radio series focused on the history behind several of the most storied rivalries in the history of college football. Gridiron Grudges: College Football’s Fiercest Rivalries will debut on Monday (11/23) and will be available to subscribers throughout the Thanksgiving holiday week. Rivalries that will be explored include Ohio State vs. Michigan (a series that dates back to 1897), Auburn vs. Alabama (a rivalry which began in 1893) and Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State (a gridiron battle first waged in 1904). The special series will play nationwide on the satcaster’s SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel … Sun Broadcast Group’s syndicated Marilu Henner Show adds new affiliate 1490 KMET/Banning, CA. Henner now airs from 9am-noon (PT) on the SoCal Talk station …. Stephan Multimedia nationally syndicated talker Doug Stephan (pictured) is gearing up for his annual holiday gift to Talk radio, offering stations in markets where his daily Good Day morning show doesn’t already air, the opportunity to try the show with no contract or long-term commitment during the holiday season. “We welcome any station that wants to deliver live programming through the holidays to try the show for free,” says Doug. “We’ll be working live on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.”
The Rich Eisen Show debuted today on new ‘Sunshine State’ affiliate WHOO/Orlando. The daily show, hosted by veteran Sports/Talker Rich Eisen (left), produced by DirecTV and syndicated via FOX Sports Radio, will also soon join the respective lineups at KTIX/Yakima, WA and WDTX/Wausau WI … Tom Gresham, host of the Talk Shows USA-syndicated Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk, takes on a new role as an opinion columnist for the Washington Times, where he’ll pen a bi-monthly column about guns and gun politics for the DC-based newspaper … This Wednesday (11/18) at 2pm (ET), Westwood One will host a live webinar roundtable entitled, The State of American Podcasting, featuring new insights and research. WW One CMO Pierre Bouvard will moderate a discussion featuring Brendan McDonald, Executive Producer and co-creator, WTF with Marc Maron; Stuart Last, VP, audioBoom; and Jenna Weiss-Berman, Director of Audio, Buzzfeed. Get additional details and register in advance for the event HERE … The new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan (R-WI), phoned in for a live chat this morning with his old boss and current Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated Talk radio host Bill Bennett. In their conversation Ryan — who in his early career served as an aid to Bennett at the Empower America think tank — talked about the recent Paris terrorist attacks and about holding President Obama accountable for an overarching strategy to defeat ISIL. Hear the interview HERE.