NTS MediaOnline Today sends out congrats to Westwood One syndicated talker Michael Savage, who will celebrate 21 years in radio tomorrow (3/24), marking the occasion with a special 3-6pm (ET) broadcast taking a look back on his more than two decades on the air. Along with playing back some rare archival show segments from over the years, Savage will also air his original Talk radio demo tape, as well as a collection of clips from the earliest years of The Savage Nation, a show he first developed in 1994. “I am elated to celebrate this momentous occasion with the millions of listeners who have supported me over the past 21 years,” said Savage of tomorrow’s milestone broadcast. “Taking The Savage Nation across the country with Cumulus Media to more than 200 stations has been a tremendous honor and I look forward to many more years on the air.”
Indefatigable Larry King — the former longtime Westwood One Talk radio host and current host of AARP features airing on Cumulus Media stations nationwide — was honored earlier this week at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The Newseum is setting up a special Larry King exhibit that will include his radio microphone, part of his CNN television studio set, those ever-present suspenders and other items from Larry’s long and storied career in radio and TV. Pictured celebrating with Larry (right) at the Newseum are Bart Tessler (left), Westwood One EVP/News and Talk, and Pat Piper (center), Assignment Manager for Westwood One News. ‘Back in the day’ as they say, Pat was the Producer and Bart was the Executive-in-Charge of King’s groundbreaking Talk radio show.
Veteran news journalist Michael Oreskes has been tapped as Senior Vice President/News and Editorial Director for NPR. Currently VP/Senior Managing editor at the Associated Press, Oreskes takes a chair that has been open since former SVP/News Margaret Low Smith departed the network last year shortly after the arrival of new NPR CEO Jarl Mohn. Former All Things Considered Executive Producer Christopher Turpin, who has been leading the newsroom on an interim basis, has accepted a newly created role as VP/News, reporting to Oreskes. In an interview with NPR’s David Folkenflick, Oreskes — who is also a former New York Times editor — said, “We’re living through just this remarkable moment, where so much is being turned on its head. As journalists, I think we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to help guide the really best journalistic institutions through this disruption.” Read more HERE.
Northeast Pennsylvania-based Bold Gold Media has debuted the Bold Gold Broadcasting and Media Foundation, dedicated to “supporting the advancement and training in spoken-word formats, such as Talk, News/Talk and All-News.” The just announced non-profit organization aims to better prepare and train “tomorrow’s broadcasters of liberty” for jobs in a changing radio media world. “It is critical that tomorrow’s thought leaders in the field of spoken-word formats be prepared to articulate, defend, educate and communicate principals important to the millions of Americans reached daily by radio,” reads the mission statement posted on the Foundation’s website. “The Foundation provides financial support, including scholarships, as well as equipment and expertise to educational organizations and programs that teach and train in the fields of broadcast communications and media. Creating educational and training opportunities for the best-and-brightest who aspire to a career in broadcasting is the most important need in Talk radio and spoken-word formats right now. In order for these formats to thrive they must remain relevant and attract new generations of listeners and broadcasters.” Find out more HERE.
In a memo to staffers of ABC News Radio today, VP/GM Steve Jones discussed the progress the network has seen to date, since ABC/Disney reclaimed responsibility for affiliations, sales and distribution of ABC Radio some seven months ago. “All of the metrics we set for our success — affiliating over 1,200 radio stations, maximizing audience impressions and increasing revenue — have been met or exceeded as we continue to define and grow what we’re convinced is a dynamic business,” said Jones (right). “We are smarter today than we were seven months ago about how best to position ourselves for continued growth and greater success.” As part of the growth plan, Jones plans to “expand the core team of people who have both editorial and production skills that allow them to shift seamlessly throughout the day to meet the many demands of our evolving marketplace.” To that end, he announced the network will be posting more than a dozen new staff openings, including reporters, writers and associate producers. Conversely, he confirmed that some current positions will be eliminated over the next 60 days, reportedly fewer than the number of new hires that are planned. “These are difficult decisions, yet necessary to strengthen our operations for the future,” Jones told newsroom staff. “We notified employees today who are impacted by these changes. They will be invited to apply for the new positions we’re posting in the weeks ahead, while receiving support to seek job placement elsewhere, inside or outside of the company, through an independent outplacement service.”
It’s been a busy first few months of 2015 for Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt. After scooping all media by breaking the news that Mitt Romney would not run for President in 2016, and a subsequent announcement that Hugh will be among panelists questioning GOP presidential hopefuls during an upcoming series of candidate debates produced by Salem Media Group and CNN, the National Journal says that Hewitt is “having a moment” as the 2016 presidential race approaches. “He is not the most-heard Talk radio host,” writes Shane Goldmacher in the feature that appears in the March 14th edition of the publication. “Yet as the 2016 cycle gets underway, he appears to be emerging as the preferred pundit of the Republican establishment — a sort of bridge between the conservative grassroots and elite Beltway politics.” Hewitt also says that in his 15 years in Talk radio, he’s come to believe that, “There are two types of people in our business.” Learn just what those two types are HERE.
Following last Friday’s (9/13) surprise announcement that WTOP/Washington PD Laurie Cantillo was checking out at the Hubbard Broadcasting all-newser, a memo to staff from SVP/Market Manager Joel Oxley (left) reaffirmed the decision to not renew Cantillo’s deal with the station was reached “mutually.” He also outlined the immediate news and programming chain-of-command at WTOP in the wake of Cantillo’s departure: “Effective immediately, Mitchell Miller will be in charge of the newsroom Monday through Friday, from when he arrives in the morning until 10am. Mike McMearty will oversee the newsroom Monday through Friday, from 10am until he leaves in the late afternoon. Darci Marchese will continue to oversee the newsroom on Sundays. At all other times, the Editor is in charge.” Oxley added that for now newsroom managers will report to him, and that he’s put the hiring an additional news director (a ‘Gig Alert’ recently publicized here in NTS MediaOnline Today and elsewhere) on hold for now. “My goal is to spend a lot of time talking to all of you in the ‘WTOP newsroom to help determine our needs and how to best solve them.”
By an overwhelming 20-0 vote, non-on air personnel at KGO and KSFO/San Francisco have elected to have SAG/AFTRA represent them as their union. The new bargaining unit will cover producers, board operators, web producers and other off-air employees of the stations. In voting to be part of SAG-AFTRA, the bargaining unit joins their on-air counterparts at both stations, as well as staff at cluster mate KNBR, who also recently voted to become members of the union. News/Talk KGO, conservative talker KSFO, and Sports/Talk KNBR are all owned by Cumulus Media. In a press release issued by SAG/AFTRA following the recent vote, board operator Karen Reid said, “We’re pleased to join our on-air colleagues and unite with them for a fair contract.”
As our subscribers first learned earlier today via a ‘Breaking News’ email, NTS MediaOnline Today has confirmed that WTOP/Washington Program Director Laurie Cantillo is leaving the Hubbard Broadcasting-owned all-newser. Cantillo joined WTOP in 2011 from WABC/New York, where she had served as PD. For the next year or so, Cantillo worked directly under longtime WTOP VP/News and Programming Jim Farley, in a well-planned management transition that culminated with Cantillo officially taking the programming reins at the station following Farley’s retirement at the end of 2013. Both Cantillo and SVP/Market Manager Joel Oxley called the break-up “mutual” and friendly.
In a note to staffers, Cantillo (left) said, “WTOP is exceeding 2015 revenue goals and according to the latest ratings we’re the #1 radio station in Washington, DC, both 6+ and 25-54. Our anchors and reporters have never sounded better. Uniques and page views for WTOP.com are off the charts. We’re on the brink of an exciting partnership with NBC4. Morale is high: as high as the International Space Station, where we conducted a historic live interview this morning. It was electrifying! We’re on ‘TOP’ in every respect, which makes this the right time for me to pursue my next adventure. I thank Joel and Jim and the amazing people at Hubbard for the opportunity to lead WTOP. There is no finer multimedia newsroom in America and I will miss seeing you every day. My immediate plan is to co-create a screenplay – based on [her husband Beau Phillips] Beau’s book – and finally get around to writing my next best seller (Cantillo is co-author of the 1998 book Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World). Radio and digital media innovation will continue to be a big part of my life, so stay tuned!”Friends and colleagues can reach Laurie via email HERE.
When Las Vegas based talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs got a request from the American Red Cross and United Blood Services to help re-stock local blood banks, where this year’s harsh winter weather has caused blood shortages in Nevada and nationwide. “To start, I have organized a statewide Blood Donation Day in Nevada on April 25th with 12 locations, from Reno in Northern Nevada to Las Vegas and Henderson in Southern Nevada.” said the host of the Doctor Daliah Show. “I am also recruiting the Governor’s office and state legislators to help make this day our annual Nevada Blood Donation Day. And I’ll be reaching out to other state Red Cross and United Blood Service Centers to help organize Blood Donation Days in their states once we’ve succeeded in implementing this program.” The ‘Doc’ already has a supporting Facebook page for the drive HERE.