Here Today, Gone … With The Wind
June 26, 2015

In the wake of the current media frenzy to ban display of the Confederate ‘Stars & Bars’ flag, moves by major retailers to stop sales of any merchandise including its image, and calls to ban or re-name just about anything connected to the history of the Confederacy, Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher was particularly taken by a suggestion to ban the 1939 Academy Award winning Gone With The Wind — a film widely acclaimed as a Hollywood classic by critics and filmgoers. In response, Gallagher is asking listeners to “support freedom of speech” and stand-up to what he called “the book-burners” by purchasing a DVD of Gone With The Wind on his website. As of this posting, Gallagher reports that several hundred copies of ‘GWTW’ DVD’s have already been purchased since he first mentioned the idea on his program earlier today, with more orders coming in. Proceeds will will fund Mike’s appearances across the nation on behalf of organizations that support free speech in America

WRKO/Boston Updates Weekday Lineup
June 25, 2015

WRKO/Boston has officially announced how its daily lineup will look in the post-Rush Limbaugh era for the Entercom News/Talker. Beginning June 29th, WRKO’s current morning show, The Kuhner Report with Jeff Kuhner, will move to the noon to 3pm slot previously held by Limbaugh (who is moving to iHeartMedia/Boston’s new crosstown Talk 1430 WKOX). Taking over the 6-10am wake-up slot on WRKO will be The Morning Show, a new venture in cooperation with the Boston Globe, hosted by local TV news anchor Kim Carrigan (pictured) live from the newsroom. She’ll be joined by former WEEI/Boston morning personality and play-by-play talent Jon Meterparel and producer David Cullinane. Along with the lineup changes, WRKO will also unveil a new station logo and a new slogan, ‘The Voice of Boston,’ as part of a stated commitment to provide “live and local” programming during primetime weekday hours. Commenting on the soon to debut lineup (that keeps Barry Armstrong’s Financial Exchange in its current 10am-noon hours, and Howie Carr in his traditional 3-7pm afternoon drive slot) VP/Market Manager Phil Zachary said, “This new lineup, anchored by our alliance with New England’s second largest news website, squarely positions WRKO for the next decade.”

2015 National Murrow Winners Announced
June 24, 2015

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced the winners of the 2015 National Edward R. Murrow Awards. For the second year in a row, ABC News Radio won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence at the network level. ABC’s radio news team also won awards for Breaking News, Sports Reporting and Writing. CBS Radio News won three awards, picking up Murrows for Best Newscast and Best Continuing Coverage for the third straight year, as well as for Feature Reporting. NPR took home awards for Hard News, Use of Sound and Investigative Reporting. Pictured above celebrating the news of this year’s Murrow wins for ABC are (l-r): ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones and ABC News President James Goldston with Robin Roberts, David Muir and the ABC News Radio team. A complete list of winners with links to the winning entries for this year’s National Edward R. Murrow Awards can be found HERE.

Security Threat @ ‘Road To Majority’ Event
June 23, 2015

Last Friday (6/19), as Salem Radio Network host Michael Medved was preparing to broadcast live from Ralph Reed’s Road to Majority conference held in Washington, DC, officials at the Omni Shoreham Hotel announced they had received a bomb threat and that the conference meeting rooms, plus SRN’s broadcast booth, would need to be evacuated. With GOP presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum all in attendance, security was already heightened for the event. A sweep of the meeting rooms revealed no danger and everyone was back by the time Medved’s SRN program began at 3pm. Medved (pictured) was also a featured speaker at the event that drew some 2,000+ attendees.

WTOP Names New Program Director
June 22, 2015

Longtime WTOP/Washington News Director Mike McMearty is promoted to Director of News and Programming for DC’s top-rated news station. McMearty has been at WTOP for 23 years, where he’s served as an editor, producer, reporter, anchor, sports reporter, Assistant News Director and — for the past 15 years –as News Director. He succeeds former PD Laurie Cantillo who left the Hubbard Radio-owned all-newser last March to join NASA’s Office of Communications. “Mike has been an integral part of our success for more than two decades,” said SVP/GM Joel Oxley. “He has led the newsroom to hundreds of industry awards for excellence in journalism, including 18 National Murrow Awards and more than two dozen honors already in 2015. I look forward to him taking the department to new heights.”

Apple Planning Big Bite Into Digital News Biz
June 22, 2015

While headlines across the industry trades today focused on pop power-player Taylor Swift’s victory in getting Apple to back down on a plan to not pay artist royalties during a three month trial of the company’s new streaming music service, another move by Apple that will deepen its involvement into the news biz has gotten considerably less industry press. Published reports would suggest that Apple News, an app that will come with the upcoming iOS 9 operating system, marks the leading edge of Apple’s bigger plan to become the dominant news source for iPhone and iPad users. And, unlike Facebook and other rival digital news sources that use algorithms to curate content, Apple is looking to hire a staff of experienced news journalists to gather, write and deliver news content for the app. A job posting on the Apple website states in part: “The Apple News team is looking for passionate, knowledgeable editors to help identify and deliver the best in breaking national, global, and local news. These editors will help News users find the best and most timely coverage of major news events, while also managing select categories based on their areas of professional expertise.” Find out more HERE.

Talk And Media News Notes
June 22, 2015

Mike Mc Mearty’s move up the company ladder at WTOP/Washington (see story above) results in several promotions and new assignments for other staffers at the DC all-newser. Mitchell Miller is promoted to Senior News Director managing the newsroom weekday mornings, Darci Marchese moves up to a full-time News Director weekday afternoons, and Jamie Forzato is upped to Weekend Managing Editor. Meera Pal moves to Social and Digital Engagement Director, reporting to Julia Ziegler who moves from Web and Operations Manager of to News Director for WTOP.comJim Battagliese continues in his current role as Director of Traffic, Transit and Weather … CONDOLENCES: To the family friends and colleagues of longtime Dallas-Ft. Worth newsman Bob Morrison (KRLD, WBAP, KVIL) who died yesterday (6/21) after an extended illness. Friends are posting memories of Bob on his Facebook page HERE … CBS Radio News correspondents Jim Krasula and Peter King (pictured) have been among the media reporting from Charleston, SC for the past several days, following last week’s shootings at that city’s Mother Emmanuel A.M.E. Church. The duo provided ongoing updates for the network and custom interviews with CBS Radio News affiliates.

Did Voltair Double Talk Show’s Ratings?
June 19, 2015

Veteran researcher Richard Harker — who has been carrying the torch to get broadcasters to urge Nielsen to respond to the alleged deficiencies in PPM the debate over Voltair has uncovered, says he’s just finished seeing how Voltair raised the ratings for a well-known national Talk host at one of that host’s affiliates. “We’d prefer to look across stations, but only one station was willing to provide data,” says Harker (pictured). “Until Nielsen issues its own communique you can expect stations to remain extremely cautious about releasing ratings information or even admitting they’ve installed Voltair. We’re working with the few cooperative stations that have come forward with data.”  To determine the impact of Voltair on the unnamed talk show’s ratings, Harker Research compared listenership for two weeks in 2014 and the same two weeks in 2015. So, what were the results from comparing random days and quarter-hour credit by PPM pre- and post-Voltair? “The show almost doubled its numbers,” reports Harker. Read more HERE.

Lawson To SVP/Programming @ iHeart/Denver
June 18, 2015

Jim Lawson is promoted to SVP/Programming for iHeartMedia/Denver, effective July 1st. Lawson, who joined the company in 2001 as PD of KFMD/Denver, has most recently served as SVP/Programming for iHeartMedia’s Colorado Regional Markets — Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Ft. Collins — and as Hispanic Brand Manager for the company’s National Programming Platforms. He’ll oversee programming for the eight-station cluster that includes News/Talkers KOA, KHOW and KKZN, where he’ll work alongside iHeart’s Mile High City VP News/Talk Sports Greg Foster. “We are excited to have Jim join the iHeartMedia team here in Denver, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in driving ratings growth across multiple platforms and providing strong advertiser ROI,” said Market Manager Pat Connor. “Adding Jim’s leadership to an already very talented team of programmers will help drive even more success to our stations.”

Management Shake-Up At KABC And KLOS
June 17, 2015

Marko Radlovic, who has served as President/Market Manager at Cumulus Media/Los Angeles stations KABC and KLOS for the past two years, has left the building. Radlovic (right) joined the stations back in the fall of 2011, following two tours of duty at SBS, where he held senior management roles for that company in both Miami and Los Angeles. The gig at News/Talker KABC and Rock clustermate KLOS was Radlovic’s second run at Cumulus, having previously managed stations for the company in Oxnard-Ventura and Santa Barbara, CA. A company spokesperson confirmed to NTS MediaOnline Today that Cumulus Media SVP Operations Tom Schurr will oversee management of the stations on an interim basis, adding that “the company expects to announce a new Market Manager within 30 days.”