In his daily newsletter today Glenn Beck reveals that he is expanding his media footprint yet again, with plans for a new film division at Mercury Radio Arts. That’s the parent company behind Beck’s daily Talk radio show (syndicated by Premiere Networks), as well as his Dallas and New York-based digital audio and television media venture, TheBlaze. Beck has spent the past year renovating The Studios at Las Colinas in Irving, TX since he purchased the movie and TV production facility last June. Find out more about plans for at least three theatrical films that the ever-busy Beck currently has in the works HERE.
Don Bouloukos, Senior Vice President and Market Manager for CBS Radio/New York, has announced he’ll retire next month after more than four decades in the industry. CBS Radio EVP/Operations Scott Herman will expand his role, assuming Bouloukos’ NY market responsibilities along with his current duties. Bouloukos (pictured) joined CBS in 1998 when the company acquired American Radio Systems (ARS), where he was then co-COO. Prior to that, he served as President of Capital Cities/ABC Radio Stations from 1986-96. Bouloukos began his radio career as an account executive at then ABC Radio-owned WLS-AM/Chicago. “It’s never an easy decision to leave an industry you love and a company and cluster of stations that have been such an important part of your life,” said Bouloukos. “But after 41 years, it is time. My only regret is that I am not 21 years old and starting all over again.” Among the stations in CBS Radio’s NYC cluster are all-newsers WCBS-AM and WINS, and pioneering Sports/Talker WFAN-AM & FM.
In the many years that your NTS MediaOnline Today editor has been covering News/Talk radio, few stations in any size market can lay claim to making a stronger commitment to local radio news than heritage News/Talker WJBC/Bloomington, IL. With a seven member news team, including an agribusiness reporter, WJBC proudly boasts it produces more around-the-clock local news coverage “than any other station in Central Illinois.” Over the years, the Illinois Associated Press has honored the station with awards for Outstanding News Operation, Best Reporter, Best Newscast and Best Spot News. This week, the now Cumulus Media-owned outlet added to its trophy case as it was named Station of the Year at the Illinois AP’s Broadcast Excellence Awards ceremony held in Peoria. Pictured here is the crew that made it all possible including (l-r): sports writer Bryan Bloodworth; reporter/anchor Adam Studzinski; News Director Stephanie Pawlowski; reporter/anchor and Sports Director Eric Stock; reporter/anchor Zac Dietmeier; and WJBC Ops Manager Dan Westhoff.
KOIL/Omaha talk host Tom Becka was among those who “took the plunge” yesterday (4/14) as part of a fundraiser for Landon Shaw, a Missouri boy with cancer who has inspired Facebook fundraising challenges. Becka (pictured) was joined by several fellow NRG Radio/Omaha personalities and local politicians, as they all “took a dive” in the balmy 50 degree waters of Lake Manawa in Council Bluffs, IA. Read more HERE … FM News 101 KXL-FM/Portland welcomes new afternoon news co-anchor Val Stouffer. Stouffer, who has had previous news gigs at WLS and WMAQ in Chicago, as well as at both KIRO and KOMO in Seattle, joins current PM drive news anchor Dan Mitchinson in the Alpha Broadcasting News/Talker’s 4-7pm weekday slot … Singer and songwriter Paul Simon will receive the 2014 Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) for his long-time commitment to providing healthcare to underserved children across the country. Simon will receive the award at NABEF’s annual Celebration of Service to America Gala on June 17th.
Ed Kiernan, Vice President and General Manager, since 1991, of WBAL-AM and WIYY-FM, the Hearst Television Inc. radio stations serving Baltimore, will retire this summer, capping over four decades in radio. Under Kiernan’s leadership, WBAL-AM 1090 has been the radio home of Major League Baseball’s Baltimore’s Orioles, the NFL Baltimore Ravens and Navy football, and has been Baltimore’s longtime radio News/Talk leader. A regional radio powerhouse, WBAL-AM has won multiple “Best News Operation” honors from the AP, Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, an NABEF Service to Children Radio Award and National Headliner Awards from the Press Club of Atlantic City. Prior to joining WBAL, Kiernan (pictured) spent 17 years at CBS Radio, where he was Vice President and General Manager of All-News WCBS-AM/New York, as well as VP/GM of CBS Radio Reps. He also held a variety of sales and management positions within CBS Radio. Hearst is expected to name who will fill Kiernan’s considerable shoes in Baltimore in the weeks ahead. Email your best wishes to Ed on his pending retirement HERE.
Legendary New York City radio personality and bonafide ‘radio royalty’ John Gambling returned to Gotham City’s airwaves today at his new home, AM 970 The Answer (WNYM/New York). Gambling (pictured) joked that “apparently there is a limit to how much golf one man can play” as he comfortably slid into his new weekday 11am-1pm slot on Salem Communications’ NYC News/Talk flagship less than four months after announcing his retirement from crosstown Clear Channel News/Talker WOR at the end of last year … Cumulus Media/New York, including News/Talk WABC, will be part of a combined cluster event, “The Best of The Tri-State,” on April 22nd. The evening event will showcase the best of everything across the region as voted by listeners to WABC, WPLJ and Nash FM 94.7 … The Southern California Broadcasters Association has announced a new outreach program, designed to reach the next generation of broadcasters through a series of speaking engagements by SCBA President Thom Callahan. The appearances will take place at broadcast and communications classes at colleges and universities throughout Southern California and, via Skype, in London, England. Asked about the goals of the speaking series Callahan said, “Ultimately, the SCBA wants to attract the best and the brightest to our robust and growing radio industry, so we are making our case directly to students before they choose their career path.”
Rumor out of Des Moines is that changes are up at 98.3 WOW-FM (KWQW). Word is that a name and branding change is imminent at the Cumulus Media FM talker, along with several lineup revisions that are planned by incoming PD Robert Rees, who – according to his Facebook page — will also host a daily show on the station starting April 21st. No official comment from Cumulus folks on the report of the changes that were published over the weekend by RadioInsight’s Lance Venta … Talk radio veteran Tom Leykis, who has been a pretty vocal critic of broadcast radio and has been heard only online and on-demand for the past couple of years, is slated to make a return — albeit briefly — to over-the-air radio this Friday (4/18) when he fills-in for Gil Gross on Clear Channel’s Bay Area talker KKSF/San Francisco from 3-7pm (PT). Leykis tells NTS MediaOnline Today the show will be both “the show I do and the show Gil does” and notes that it will air simultaneously on-air and online at Tom’s website … Speaking of podcasting, the topic gives us as good an excuse as any we could come up with to run the above photo of Robin Antin, the dancer, choreographer and actress most famous for her modern burlesque troupe The Pussycat Dolls. Antin is set to launch her very own podcast tomorrow via Norm Pattiz’ PodcastOne. Along with her brother and “noted stylist” Jonathan Antin, Robin will be joined on her debut podcast by the one and only Kim Kardashian.
Herb Emory, who has guided drivers on the roadways and Interstate highways of Atlanta for over 40 years, died unexpectedly over the weekend of an apparent heart attack. According to a report posted at Cox Media News/Talker WSB’s website — Emory’s radio home since 1991 — the veteran traffic reporter had stopped to help at a car accident when he suddenly felt ill. He was taken to a local hospital where he later died. WSB’s tribute to Emory (pictured) called the untimely death of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster “the loss of a great friend and colleague,” and added, “For the first time in 20 years there will be no ‘Good morning and good driving to ya!’ from one of the most beloved figures in all of the metro Atlanta area.” Emory earned his honorary title of “Captain” when he was told to introduce himself as Colonel Herb Emory by management prior to airing his first report on WSB more than 20 years ago. Apparently it was quickly decided that the combination of Colonel with his name was too hard to say, so Herb’s rank was changed to ‘Captain’ — a nickname that stuck with him for the rest of his radio and TV traffic reporting career. WSB reports Emory’s funeral will be private, but says there will be a Celebration of Life and Memorial Service for him, which will be open to the public. Details on that event are forthcoming HERE.
Chris Cichon, a “behind-the-scenes” staffer at Hubbard Broadcasting all-newser WTOP/Washington, joined a crowd of hopefuls at last night’s casting call for the ABC-TV hit The Bachelor that was held at Maryland Live! Casino. Cichon (pronounced Chee-on) says friends challenged him to try out and reports that getting ready for the audition has been a great motivator. “I’ve been working out a lot,” the 26-year old, 6’4″ Bachelor wannabe told fellow WTOP staffer Kristi King in a feature posted on the station’s website. Saying his ideal first date is “an intimate dinner and long walk,” Cichon says he doesn’t have a “type” of woman that he prefers but would like to pair up with someone who shares his interest in being aware of what’s happening in the world “Someone who cares what’s going on around them and not just about what their job is everyday and then going home and cooking dinner,” he told King. WTOP Program Director Laurie Cantillo says Cichon (pictured) has been getting tons of advice from his female co-workers as he prepped for his audition in recent weeks, along with some expected ribbing from the guys around the station.
Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh gave listeners 500,000 reasons to join him in supporting today’s 24th annual Cure-A-Thon to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. “I never do these radio Cure-A-Thons without first doing what I’m asking you to do,” Limbaugh told listeners to his radio program. “So I always make a donation to lead it off. Some years I announce what it is, other years I don’t. I’m always nervous about expressing how much — my parents always said, ‘Don’t do that, people are going to think you’re bragging,’ while others say they want to know, so I’ll just tell you that this year Kathryn and I are going to kick this off with a cool half a million. I’m just gonna start with that and then throw it open to you.” The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated Talk radio host is also offering a variety of Rush Limbaugh Show ‘swag’ items for varying levels of donations. Over the past quarter century Rush’s yearly fundraiser has been a huge success, raising millions to fund research and progress toward finding cures for blood cancers. Rush fans wishing to donate to this year’s fundraising effort can do so HERE.