While it’s the voice of the talent behind the mic at Talk radio that gets all of the attention and accolades, everyone who has been in the business for more than a cup-of-coffee knows that, behind the scenes, there are many talented people who contribute mightily to the success of even the best of talk show hosts. On his Premiere Networks-syndicated radio show today, Rush Limbaugh paid emotional tribute to one such individual, announcing that his program’s Chief of Staff, Christopher “Kit” Carson, died early this morning following a 4-year fight with brain cancer. He was 58. The show’s longest-running employee, Kit began his relationship with Rush over 27 years ago, screening calls and answering mail for the show when it first went national from New York. “Everybody here is … even though we’ve known this was coming for a few weeks, still … it leaves a huge void in everybody’s heart,” said Limbaugh in the opening minutes of his show today. “Kit was in all ways, every way I can of think of, a special human being and person. Because whenever he was on the other end of something you knew there was going to be a laugh, or a joke, or a smile. You knew you were talking to somebody who actively loved being alive. He loved his job, he loved the country, and he loved his kids and his wife Teresa, so much.” Read the full transcript of Rush’s poignant on-air tribute to his longtime friend, and find out just how an unknown guy with a cowboy’s name grew to become the “aide-de-camp” to America’s biggest Talk radio host HERE.
KFI/Los Angeles reporter Steven Gregory (pictured) proudly cradles the seven trophies that he and the KFI news department took home over the weekend at the 65th annual Radio & Television News Association of Southern California (RTNA) Golden Mike Awards gala. Included among the trophies Steve is holding is one for ‘Best Radio News Special’ for a three-hour special, Breaking Down The Border Crisis, produced in conjunction with Univision reporter Oswaldo Borraez … Meanwhile, crosstown CBS Radio all-newser KNX also took home seven Golden Mike Awards at this year’s ceremonies, including one for “Best News Public Affairs Show” for the station’s monthly Ask The Mayor program. The live, one-hour Q&A broadcast, featuring L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti , is anchored by KNX’s Charles Feldman and Tom Haule. See a list of all this year’s SoCal RTNA radio and TV award winners HERE.
Sad news to report from our friends at KKOB-AM/Albuquerque today, as Operations Manager Pat Frisch alerts NTS MediaOnline Today that popular station weekend host Terrie Q. Sayre has died suddenly. She was just 54. A former Mrs. Nevada and also a former show girl at Harrah’s and Caesars Lake Tahoe, Sayre previously hosted weekends at Cumulus Media sister News/Talker KKOH/Reno for a number of years before moving to The Land of Enchantment, where she has spent the past seven years hosting weekends at KKOB. She’d recently completed a new book, More Pet Friends, a second volume of pictures featuring local people and their pets — including many with the KKOB staff — with all proceeds benefitting local animal charities. “It is with deep sadness that I tell you we lost a true friend and a bright light in the 770 KKOB family,” wrote Frisch in a memo to staffers announcing Sayre’s untimely passing. “She was a wonderful woman who did so much for the community and this community is shocked.” No word yet on funeral services or plans for any public memorial for Sayre.
In an interview airing on Genesis Communication’ Sunshine State trimulcast, News/Talk Florida, former CBS Evening News anchor and veteran White House correspondent Dan Rather offered his take on the state of news in today’s new media environment. Asked by the stations’ Florida Live host Dan Maduri if he thinks the news media will ever reverse today’s trend toward sensational and lifestyle entertainment news, Rather replied, “Well, for the foreseeable future I think the ‘let’s keep up with the Kardashians,’ or some version of that, is likely to continue to prevail. But I’m optimistic that somehow, some way, the pendulum may swing just a little bit back to what I call ‘quality news of integrity.’ But the biggest thing that’s happened to journalism in the last 10 to 15 years is that entertainment values have completely overwhelmed news values, and with few exceptions most news programs — or what are called news programs — are in fact entertainment programs masquerading as news, I’m sorry to say.” Hear more of what Rather had to say about today’s news business and how the world has become a far more dangerous place for journalists to do their jobs HERE.
NTS MediaOnline Today sends a shout-out to the whole crew at the Dave Ramsey Show, as Dave begins the New Year with news that the independently syndicated talk show is now heard on over 550 affiliates nationwide. Ramsey Media VP Brian Mayfield reports the show — launched in 1992 — is now the third largest Talk radio show in the nation, as well as the largest independently owned-and-operated syndicated talk show in the country, reaching a reported 8.5 million-plus listeners weekly. Hosted by New York Times best-selling author, Dave Ramsey (pictured), the daily talk show focuses on life and how much of it just happens to revolve around money. Along with the program’s broadcast affiliates, Ramsey’s show is also available via a 24-hour streaming online video channel HERE and via the show’s smartphone App. You can also access it through Ramsey’s 24/7 iHeartRadio channel, or via Dave’s Podcast, which boasts an audience of more than 125,000 daily downloads.
KCMO (Talk Radio 710 AM and 103.7 FM)/Kansas City will debut a new line-up on February 2nd, when Rob Carson signs on as the station’s new morning host (5-9am), followed by veteran D.C. correspondent and Edward R. Murrow Award winner, Chris Plante from 9am-noon. Concurrent with the new staff arrivals, current wake-up host Greg Knapp moves to afternoon drive (4-7pm) … AM 970 The Answer (WNYM/New York) Executive Producer and talk show host Frank Morano has scored the first radio interview with John A. “Junior” Gotti, son of ‘The Teflon Don’ John J. Gotti, to talk about his new book Shadow of My Father. The book recounts his life growing up as the son of arguably the most famous gangster in America, and his time inside and outside the world of organized crime. Morano will conduct the interview as he fills-in for regular WNYM midday host John Gambling tomorrow (1/23) from 11am-1pm … Westwood One syndicated talker Dennis Miller and talk host, TV personality and longtime podcaster Emily Morse (both pictured above) will host the 10th annual Podcasting Awards on April 14th during the upcoming NMX Conference. Co-located with the NAB Show, NMX will take place April 13-16 in Las Vegas. Nominations are now being accepted for this year’s awards HERE.
As NTS MediaOnline Today subscribers learned early this morning via a special ‘Breaking News’ email, Emmy Award winning sportscaster and New York Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster Len Berman and WFLA/Tampa and nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt are teaming up to host Len Berman & Todd Schnitt In The Morning on iHeartMedia’s heritage New York City talker WOR. Debuting January 26th, the new show will be focused on New York and local listeners in the Tri-State region, with Berman and Schnitt talking news, sports, entertainment and pop culture, and also offering interactive audience features. “This is the entertaining, informative and locally focused morning show that New Yorker’s have been waiting for,” said Thea Mitchem, SVP/Programming, iHeartMedia. “We are confident the show will quickly become an essential part of New Yorkers’ mornings.”
Meanwhile, Schnitt — who for many years hosted both mornings on WFLZ/Tampa and afternoon drive on sister station WFLA — will once again be pulling weekday double-duty, continuing to host his daily 3-6pm (ET) Compass Media Networks syndicated talk show in addition to his new WOR morning show with Len Berman. “Locating our show in the heart of New York City will be a huge benefit to our national listeners and help drive ratings for our affiliates,” said Schnitt. “I look forward to continuing to work with Compass Media Networks, our affiliates and sponsors.” The Schnitt Show is carried on a reported 60+ affiliates nationwide, including Tampa Bay flagship outlets 1250 WHNZ and 970 WFLA.
Longtime Dallas-Ft Worth newsman, Ron DeRoxtra, has joined the Salem Radio Network as an anchor/reporter for the SRN News Dallas Bureau. DeRoxtra (pictured) has served as a news anchor, editor and producer for a number of broadcast radio operations, including KLIV/San Jose, and both KVIL-FM and KLIF in Dallas-Ft. Worth. The move to SRN News reunites DeRoxtra with Salem Radio Network VP/News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup, who was DeRoxtra’s boss when they both worked at KRLD/Dallas back in the 1980’s. “Ron is a stellar on-air talent and a solid, award-winning journalist,” said Tradup. “We are pumped to have him as part of our Dallas Bureau and also covering Southwestern regional stories for SRN News in Washington, DC.”
Earlier this week the industry learned that longtime Chicago radio personality Roe Conn (pictured) is moving to afternoons at WGN later this month, following a 25-year run at crosstown Cumulus Media News/Talker WLS. Now we get the rest of the puzzle pieces as WGN officially confirms that current after-nooners Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder will be sticking around, sliding into a new 9am-noon daily time slot upon Conn’s arrival. Those hours are opening up as veteran WGN personality John Williams — also heard daily in afternoon drive on CBS Radio News/Talker WCCO/Minneapolis — cuts back his workload on Tribune’s Windy City radio flagship to a new weekend-only show. Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano continue to host WGN’s weekday noon-3pm hours, including The Business Lunch from noon-1pm.
In an effort to continue the expansion of WTOP/Washington’s news coverage across all platforms, the Hubbard Radio all-newser has released a new mobile-optimized website as well as an interactive mobile app. The new WTOP.com utilizes “responsive” technology which formats the website appearance to match whatever device the user is on. In addition, WTOP has launched a new mobile app — developed by AudioNow Digital and available for iPhone and Android — that allows a user to easily interact with the station. Director of Digital Media John Meyer says, “News consumption is no longer constrained to a single device or medium. We need to be able to consistently and seamlessly distribute news, traffic, and weather to people in their cars, on their phones, at their desks and on their tablets.”