When KFI/Los Angeles evening host Tim Conway, Jr. heard that there was an Ebola-zapping robot prowling the halls at a nearby Orange County, CA hospital, he decided to invite “Neil” (named after astronaut Neil Armstrong) and the germ-killing robot’s pal, Dr. Ray Casiari, to the KFI studios for a visit and a germ sweep. The robot, which was developed by San Antonio-based Xenex, looks a bit like a droid straight out of a Star Wars casting call. Using Xenon, the robot emits ultraviolet C-light, which, as Casiari explained to Conway, kills viruses, bacteria and even spores. When the time came for “Neil” to clean KFI’s Burbank broadcast studios, Conway and fellow KFI host Mark Thompson were required to vacate the premises, because the bright disinfecting light can damage the human eye. Local L.A. FOX Television affiliate KTTV has video of the rare public appearance by the germ-killing robot at the iHeartMedia News/Talker’s studios HERE.
Former Bill Clinton campaign operative, turned conservative political pundit and Talk radio host, Dick Morris told his WPHT/Philadelphia listeners yesterday (10/22) that he will leave the show and the station following Election Day next month. Morris reportedly said he’s leaving because he wants to devote more of his future time campaigning for Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential election. CBS Radio/Philadelphia President/Market Manager Marc Rayfield told the Philadelphia Daily News’ ”Philly Gossip” column that Morris has done “a great job” for the News/Talker and that an announcement about the future of the station’s 3-6pm slot is pending. Meanwhile, the Daily News also reported that Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo had been seen around the halls at WPHT recently, fueling speculation the longtime Talk consultant might be getting involved with the station. Rayfield said he was “unaware” of Sabo having been in the building. Read more HERE.
A story by Chris Quintana in the Santa Fe New Mexican reports that WABC/New York morning host and Westwood One syndicated personality Don Imus is putting his 2,400 acre New Mexico ranch on the market for $32 million. Founded by Imus and his wife Deirdra in 1998, the ranch was developed into a non-profit operation that, over the years, has hosted more than 2,000 kids with cancer for summer ranch experiences. Imus told the newspaper he’s selling the property because he believes he and his family can support more charities with the proceeds from a sale. He also noted that he hopes to sell to a group interested in continuing the goals of the non-profit Imus Ranch. The newspaper reports the facility — located just outside Santa Fe — includes 28 bedrooms and 34 bathrooms, located in 11 buildings. Read more HERE.
NTS MediaOnline Today always likes to salute stations for doing good deeds — something that radio does often and well. Today we send props out to Alpha Media/San Antonio, where News/Talker KTSA and its five Alamo City clustermates recently raised over $128,000 in donations during the stations’ Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner Radiothon. Now in its 7th year, the Radiothon supports a San Antonio tradition – ’A Feast of the Heart’ – that started some 35 years ago when a local restaurant owner, the late Raul Jimenez, offered free Thanksgiving dinners to a couple of hundred people in need. Raul’s daughter, Patricia, remains the driving force behind the event that, this year, will serve meals to more than 25,000 needy and elderly people in the region. “We associate our stations with so many wonderful organizations, but this one is one of the most genuine,” said Ops Manager Greg Martin about the annual fundraiser. “It’s family run and family executed, with the help of the community of San Antonio. There’s no worry about high salaries and big overhead — you know exactly where your money is going.”
A feature in today’s Washington Post — which prominently features a long outdated photo of Rush Limbaugh alongside the provocative headline, ‘The GOP Hates The Lamestream Media’ — details a recent Pew Research study focused on where people got their news in the past week. Not surprisingly, those respondents who identified as “mostly” or “consistently” conservative preferred FOX News by a wide margin, while those who call themselves “consistently” or “mostly” liberal prefer CNN over all other cable and broadcast network news rivals. One item that stands out from the study is that those who consider themselves to be conservatives also cite Talk radio personalities, including Premiere Networks syndicated hosts Rush Limbaugh (pictured above in a far more recent photo), Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck – as well as Beck’s digital venture The Blaze – as favorite and most-used sources for news. Meanwhile, left leaning news consumers don’t name any particular radio personalities as a source for news, but they do cite public radio NPR as a favorite source. Read the Times’ analysis and opinion on the Pew study HERE.
You’ve likely read about last weekend’s Pumpkin Fest riots in Keene, NH, a town that also happens to be the home of Free Talk Live host Ian Freeman. Ian (pictured) was on the ground and witnessed crowds of drunken college students destroying property, as well as what he terms, “an unnecessarily aggressive police response” to the situation. Station newsrooms, hosts and producers who would like to get Freeman’s up-close-and-personal views on the chaotic weekend scene in the small New Hampshire town can reach him HERE … WYD Media Ad Sales has inked a deal with Spreaker to rep ad sales for the digital talk media and audio content distribution platform. Additionally WYD will assist Spreaker with overall brand management and creation of alternative and customized opportunities for the advertising community … Carlos Lamadrid has been appointed Vice President of National Sales and Strategic Partnerships for Entercom. Lamadrid, most recently SVP at TC Media, will report to Entercom Station Group President Weezie Kramer.
When the mother of a North Dakota college student decided to publicly dispute official conclusions that her son’s recent death was a suicide, she chose to speak only to KFGO/Fargo’s News & Views host Joel Heitkamp. Tammy Sadek, whose 20-year old son’s body was found in the Red River in Breckenridge, MN, says she chose to speak exclusively to the Fargo radio veteran and former state senator because she felt that she could “trust” him. Sadek told Heitkamp that her son was wearing clothes she didn’t recognize when found and also did not have his cell phone with him. During her live appearance on KFGO, Sadek charged that agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension won’t look beyond their initial findings of suicide, saying she believes her son was murdered after being forced into becoming a confidential drug informer for the Southeast-Multi-County Drug Task Force after being caught with marijuana. Read more HERE.
Red Zebra Broadcasting has responded to objections filed against renewal of the license of WWXX-FM/Buckland, VA. The station is part of a multi-station simulcast of DC Sports/Talker 980 ESPN (WTEM), operated by Washington Redskins owner and Red Zebra Broadcasting founder Dan Snyder. Groups including three Native Americans have petitioned the FCC to deny WWXX’s renewal, saying that frequent use of the term ‘Redskins’ on the station should be considered a “racial slur.” Red Zebra CEO Rick Carmean responded to those objections today with the company’s own filing stating: Our response makes clear that under the Communications Act and the First Amendment the FCC should not be in the business of censoring the content of radio stations. Any debate about the Washington Redskins’ name and its meaning should be had in the free marketplace of ideas, not in the halls of the FCC or any other governmental agency. Meanwhile, Andrew G. McBride, counsel for Red Zebra said of the filing, “We hope that the FCC will swiftly reject this transparent attempt to use the license renewal process to intimidate broadcasters across the country with the baseless threat that accurately reporting on the Washington Redskins football franchise by using the team’s full name violates any law or FCC regulation.”
Three Salem Communications stations are gearing up for the upcoming November midterm elections with listener rallies in Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago. The first event will be hosted by Dallas News/Talker 660AM The Answer (KSKY) tomorrow night (10/18). The sold-out event will feature potential GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz, along with Premiere Networks nationally syndicated host Sean Hannity and local hosts Mark Davis and Jon David Wells. Sunday night (10/19) will see L.A.’s AM 870 The Answer (KRLA) host Townhall 2014, featuring morning hosts Brian Whitman, Ben Shapiro and Elisha Krauss, along with Salem Radio Network hosts Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt. Next weekend, AM 560 The Answer (WIND) will host a two-day event (10/24-25) in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, IL, featuring former Congressman Joe Walsh, local Windy City morning team John Howell and Amy Jacobson, Premiere’s Sean Hannity, Radio America syndicated host Dana Loesch, and potential presidential candidate, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
Nationally syndicated Talk radio host and New York Times best-selling author, Dave Ramsey, presented his Legacy Journey LIVE! tour in Seattle yesterday (10/16) in conjunction with affiliate KTTH. Dave (shown taking the stage) and his daughter Rachel Cruze packed the Emerald City’s Benaroya Hall for the live event … Former WABC-WPLJ/New York President and General Manager Steve Borneman has been named GM for Times-Shamrock Communications’ four station Scranton-Wilkes Barre, PA cluster. The move reunites Steve with his former ABC Radio colleague Mitch Dolan, now COO of Times-Shamrock … Congrats to KQTH/Tucson host Jon Justice (pictured right) on winning as ‘Best Talk Radio Host’ in the 2014 edition of Tucson Weekly’s annual Best of Tucson poll. It’s the 6th time that Justice (pictured) has topped the newspaper’s list … CBS Radio/Chicago promotes Ashley Fields to Director of Marketing for All-News combo WBBM-AM & WCFS-FM, and Sports/Talker WSCR. Fields, who previously served in the same capacity solely for ‘The Score,‘ first joined CBS Radio’s Windy City cluster as an AE.