It’s a pretty safe bet that anyone who’s ever listened to Salem Radio Network syndicated talker Dennis Prager would likely characterize him as being conservative in his views. But it’s also fair to say the veteran talk host is well-known among colleagues and listeners as a gentleman and genuine nice guy — certainly not the kind of person who would say or post things that would get him censored. But according to the Wall Street Journal, that’s exactly what happened to the SRN host (pictured), reporting that more than 15 of his Prager University educational videos and lectures have been tagged as “restricted” by YouTube. WSJ reports that a spokesperson for the video website told the newspaper the tag means a number of ‘Prager U’ videos won’t show up for those users who have turned on optional filtering, adding that the tag is ‘based on algorithms that look at a number of factors, including community flagging of videos.’ Among the 21 titles listed as “restricted” are: Are The Police Racist?; Is America Racist?; What is the University Diversity Scam? and more. A petition to get the videos “unrestricted” that’s posted on the ‘Prager U’ website, currently shows close to 70,000 signatures from people protesting YouTube’s move.
In this presidential election year, many News/Talkers across the country have tried to “think outside the box” in how they’ve approached their coverage of the contentious race and the recent debates between the candidates. During this week’s final debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, WBAL/Baltimore tried a new angle, inviting a group of listeners to be part of a live studio audience to participate in WBAL’s pre-debate and post-debate programming. Program Director Scott Masteller tells NTS MediaOnline Today, “We recruited the listeners from our two midday talk-shows via WBAL.com. The guests participated in the conversation on-air with hosts ‘C4’ and Derek Hunter. Overall I’d say the reaction was very positive, and we think it’s an idea that could offer an interesting approach for similar future programming events.” WBAL Digital Content Manager John Laur has put together some photos and audio from the station’s debate-night experiment HERE.
George Noory, host of Premiere Networks’ Coast To Coast AM and ringmaster of the nightly nationwide discussion of all things unexplained and stuff that makes you go, ‘hmmmmm’ — was a featured guest and panelist at the recently held Lee Harvey Oswald Conference in New Orleans. At the group’s 3rd annual Conference (which is dedicated to conspiracy theories about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy) Noory (left) spoke about how the current race for the White House and the overall political climate is offering increasing support for many of the charges he and fans of the late-night radio talk show have been discussing for years. “What we’ve been talking about [on Coast to Coast AM] for 14-plus years — about conspiracies, about the unknown — it’s proven us to be right,” he told New York Times reporter Campbell Robinson in a feature about the Conference. “These things are real, and they are happening.”
Veteran Bay Area News anchor/reporter and Talk radio personality Melanie Morgan — currently anchoring mornings at KSRO/Santa Rosa — told fans, “After 30 years of setting an alarm clock for an unbelievably crazy early hour, I have decided to end my reporting and anchoring stint for morning drive radio.” Prior to her past two and a half years at KSRO, Morgan had a long run in San Francisco at both KGO and KSRO — where she co-hosted wake-ups on the conservative Talk station for 14 years. Making a point that she’s simply hitting the pause button Morgan added, “I am not writing my obit, I am not retiring, and I won’t be leaving the airwaves until after November, or as late as December in order to allow time for my boss to find my replacement. So until then, see you on the radio at 0’dark hundred.” Read Melanie’s Facebook post with more details HERE.
THIS JUST IN: During an appearance earlier today on Cumulus Media News/Talker WPRO/Providence former Boston Red Sox pitching ace Curt Schilling told WPRO host John DePetro that he plans to run for the United States Senate, taking on incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Needless to say, the Twitter world went a little bit nuts (both for and against the idea) and WPRO was the fortunate beneficiary of tons of local and national news coverage, courtesy of Curt’s exclusive announcement.
Westwood One announces the Cumulus Media-owned network will give WMAL/Washington, DC host Chris Plante a national roll-out. Beginning January 2, 2017, The Chris Plante Show will air from 9am-noon (ET) in the time slot previously occupied by Jonathan Brandmeier. Plante (right) joined Cumulus’ DC News/Talker in 2005, following a 17-year run at CNN’s Washington Bureau where he served as the network’s Pentagon Correspondent … Midwest Communications’ Kalamazoo, MI Brand Manager Jay Morris has announced he’s leaving that post for a job outside the broadcasting biz. Director of Ops and Programming Steve Mills is handling Jay’s former duties on an interim basis … There is still time to sign up for this weekend’s MMTC Tech Prep Summit, October 22nd at the University of DC Van Ness Campus’ Theater of the Arts. The free, all-day event, hosted by The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council is designed to introduce students of color to the boundless opportunities in tech employment and entrepreneurship. Learn more HERE … A North Dakota judge has dismissed charges of inciting a riot against Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now host/reporter Amy Goodman. Those charges, which arose from Goodman’s coverage of protests by Native Americans of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, have sparked concerns over freedom of the press among journalists and news organizations across the country.
In a recent post to Paragon Media’s ongoing blog, company owner and CEO Mike Henry sounds a wake-up call to NPR affiliates about how Low Power FM outlets are rapidly filling a hole in local radio news programming that he says NPR stations (and commercial radio) have left wide open. “Local NPR News stations must replicate what NPR News does for national and international news on a local basis,” writes Henry (pictured), who spent five years consulting what was then called National Public Radio. “That means local breaking news, local in-depth news, local investigative reporting, local stories behind the news, and in essence, everything that NPR News does better than any media in the nation, but at a local level to seal the deal.” Noting that he hears too many local NPR stations simply acting as a repeater for NPR’s national programming Henry adds, “Shame on them for operating no better or differently than the cost-cutting commercial radio groups they rail against.” Read more HERE.
Salem Radio Network VP/News and Talk Programming Tom Tradup pens an op-ed for conservative news and opinion website TownHall.com, in which he expresses his concerns about some comments made recently by President Obama, in which the President said Americans need “some sort of curating function that people agree to,” to scrutinize the news and information they get. Tradup reports during a speech last week in Pittsburgh the president suggested Americans should have “some way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic ‘truthiness’ tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.” Tradup (pictured), a longtime radio news veteran, worries about the impact such an action could have on the future for a free press, and also wonders who would have the final say on which news stories make the ‘truthiness’ cut and which don’t, should such a theory ever become a reality. Read Tom’s opinion HERE.
The presidential debate media circus train is rolling into Las Vegas this week, where the third and final debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton will take place on Wednesday. KXNT/Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris (right) reports that PBS is already staking out the network’s turf in Sin City, with a crew from the PBS News Hour dropping by to film her in-studio during this morning’s show and interviewing her for a feature scheduled to air on tomorrow (10/17) night’s broadcast … Alpha Media names 35-year broadcaster Bob Rose as Market Manager for the company’s three Mankato, MN stations. The sales and management veteran most recently managed stations in Sioux Falls and St. Cloud.
Michael Czarnecki has been promoted to Program Director at WRKO/Boston. He assumes the role after spending the last 15 months as Assistant PD and Operations Manager for the heritage New England News/Talker. Prior to joining WRKO, Czarnecki served as APD for iHeartMedia’s WHYN-FM and WRNX-FM/Springfield, MA. He’s also held previous on-air and programming positions in Boston, Hartford, Medford, OR and Manchester, NH. “Michael tweaked the station’s line-up and groomed our entire air staff to be at peak performance for this election cycle,” said Phil Zachary, VP/Market Manager for Entercom/Boston. “We’re now reaping the benefits of his coaching and vision as new cume flocks to WRKO every day. This promotion is well deserved and overdue.” Commenting on getting opportunity to finally get the official nod as Program Director Czarnecki said, “It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of revitalizing the heritage brand that is WRKO and this is just the beginning. Special thank you to Phil Zachary, and to Entercom, for having faith in me, and giving me the guidance and tools needed to get here.”
News/Talk 1380 WNRI-AM/Woonsocket, RI is facing a major clean-up of its broadcast facility today, after a driver crashed his SUV into the building in the wee small hours of this morning. Thankfully, no one in the building was injured by the overnight crash, but as you can see from the photo, damage to WNRI’s facilities was fairly extensive. David Dean, co-host of the Bouchard Broadcasting-owned station’s weekday Daybreak Southern New England show, told CBSLocal/Boston that WNRI was able to remain on the air throughout the chaos and has continued to broadcast as usual today. Reports say police transported the driver of the car (who was charged with OUI and possession of narcotics) to a local hospital, where he was treated for what was described as minor injuries. (photo credit: David Dean, WNRI)