While daily radio industry news tends to gravitate toward stories about stations and personalities in the limited universe of those 48 Nielsen PPM-measured radio markets, over the years NTS MediaOnline Today has always been on the look-out for stories spotlighting the people and radio stations that create great radio everyday in small cities and towns all across the country. With that in mind today we salute:
KLGR/Redwood Falls, MN Farm Director Dustin Hoffmann (no ‘Mrs. Robinson’ jokes, please), on being honored by the Minnesota Farmers’ Union with their 2016 Agriculture Communicator of the Year award, and the Redwood Area Cattlemen’s Association’s names new Hot Shot Award, recognizing “individuals who have made a great impact on the beef industry.” Hoffman (right) joined the Alpha Media-owned News/Talker in 2010, and was named Farm Director in 2014.
Meanwhile, at Alpha Media/Topeka News/Talker WIBW, pioneering farm broadcaster Kelly Lenz has been inducted into the Kansas Association of Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame. Joining WIBW in 1978 as Assistant Farm Director, Lenz (left) went on to become Farm Director for the station and, in 1983, the host of Ag Issues — one of the nation’s first long-form talk shows focused on agricultural industry issues. The 38-year station veteran has also developed and hosts an annual agricultural conference for farmers and ranchers that’s now held in four different locations and attracts more than 725 attendees.
Former Augusta, GA mayor Deke Copenhaver has segued from politics to Talk radio host, launching a new 9am-noon weekday show — There It Is — on News/Talk 580 & 95.1 (WGAC/Augusta). With local roots that run deep, Copenhaver (who served as Mayor of the city from 2005-2014) debuted yesterday (12/5), hosting a show that draws on his long and many relationships with local, regional and national government officials, as well as high-level executive decision makers throughout the southeast and beyond. “We are delighted to have Deke join us at WGAC,” said Beasley Media Group/Augusta VP/Market Manager Mark Haddon. “He brings a fresh approach to the current issues of the day that are important to our local community. We think Deke will have a little something for everyone, so it should be enlightening and entertaining… a great way to keep up with what’s going on in Georgia’s Central Savannah River Area.”
After getting pink-slipped due to a budget cut last April, veteran talk show host Greg Knapp returned to KCMO/Kansas City today as the Cumulus Media outlet’s new morning show host. Previously heard in afternoons on the station, Knapp is now handling wake-up hours that were anchored until recently by Rob Carson, who exited KCMO just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Knapp, whose radio resume also includes stints at KLIF/Dallas and a national show syndicated by Radio America, also hosts a daily syndicated radio feature, The Motivation Minute, and is a speaker. life coach and author. “This feeds my love of radio and allows me to continue my speaking, writing, and coaching business as well,” said Knapp in a post on his Facebook page announcing his return.
SAN DIEGO, December 2, 2016 – Broadcast industry veteran Al Peterson will publish the final editions of NTS MediaOnline Today and NTS MediaOnline Monthly, on Friday, December 16, 2016. The founder and publisher of the respected News/Talk/Sports industry publications arrived at the final decision to end their 10-year run over the Thanksgiving holiday.
“After serving as the News/Talk/Sports editor for 10 years at the iconic industry newspaper Radio & Records, to then creating NTS MediaOnline and building it into a reliable and trusted hub for news, information and conversation about Talk Radio for the last decade, it just feels right to start a new chapter in my life – one where I’m not waking before sunrise to a blank page and a daily deadline. This was not a decision based on economics, health, or anything of the sort. This is truly a personal decision on my part to turn the page and seek out new ways contribute my knowledge and experience to the industry I’ve loved and worked in for more than four and a half decades.”
Commenting on his NTS MediaOnline partner (and current RAB SVP/Membership) Brooke Williams, Peterson says, “Through the majority of these past 20 years, I’ve had the great fortune of having my good friend and longtime sales and marketing partner Brooke working by my side. Her efforts and contributions made our success possible while first at R&R and then as we built and grew NTS MediaOnline Today together. She’s one in ’10’ million, and I cannot thank her enough for her friendship, her profound professionalism … and for helping me put my kids through college!”
(The NTSMediaOnline.com website and associated email addresses for both Peterson and Williams will remain active through the end of 2016).
About Al Peterson
Al Peterson is a 45-year broadcast industry professional. For the last 20 of those years, he reported on the business and personalities of News/Talk and Sports/Talk radio, first as the News/Talk/Sports radio editor for Radio & Records and the architect of its annual Talk Radio Seminar, and then as the founder and publisher of NTS MediaOnline.
Prior to that, Al served as VP/Programming at San Diego’s Par Broadcasting, where he oversaw the market’s first duopoly ownership group. He was instrumental in returning the legendary KOGO call letters to the market and re-launching AM 600 as a News/Talker in the mid 1990s.
From the early 1980s until the early 1990s, Peterson helped develop programming and management strategies for radio stations nationwide and internationally as founder of his own firm, Peterson Media Services. Prior to that, he served as EVP of the Los Angeles- based radio consulting firm Pollack Media Group. In 1992, he joined Unistar Radio Networks when the company relocated its long-form, satellite-delivered format service to Valencia, Calif., where he served as national affiliates consultant for 1,200 Hot AC, AC, AOR, Nostalgia and Country affiliates. His early radio career included programming and on-air positions in Northern New Jersey, Rochester, N.Y. and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.
A born and raised ‘Jersey Boy,’ Peterson has happily called Southern California his home for nearly 35 years.
The Washington, DC-based News Media Alliance (NMA) — a nonprofit organization representing nearly 2,000 news organizations and their multi-platform businesses in the United States and Canada — has sent a new ‘white paper’ to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team outlining policy positions on regulations and existing laws that NMA says deter investment and limit growth in the news media industry. “While news organizations are innovating and adapting to a vastly different media landscape, antiquated government regulations and imbalanced policies are unnecessarily hindering investment and growth at news media companies,” said David Chavern, President/CEO of the Alliance. “We encourage the new Administration to revisit these regulations and policies as it charts a new course for our nation’s economic growth.” Read the full contents of the NMA white paper report HERE.
KFI/Los Angeles host Tim Conway Jr., recently touched the life of a young listener, Jack Chavez. The 11-year-old caller — who lost his father three years ago — told Conway he listened to the show because his dad used to listen when he had to go in for his regular dialysis treatments. During their chat Jack also mentioned spending his birthday with his mom in the hospital because of his congenital heart disease. Conway (pictured with the young fan and his mom) decided to set up a GoFundMe page to help send Jack to Disney World for his birthday. Within a week, the page raised over $34,000 to help give Chavez not only the birthday of a lifetime, but also money leftover to help his mom pay off bills and help him go to college — something Jack told Conway his dad always wanted him to do. Read more good deeds being done by local radio stations and hosts all across the country via the NAB’s monthly ‘Licensed To Serve’ round-up HERE.
WBZ-AM/Boston afternoon co-anchor Diane Stern announces her retirement after 33-years with the CBS Radio News/Talker. A Massachusetts native, Stern (pictured) joined WBZ back in 1983 following previous stints at crosstown WEEI, WITS and WMEX … KDKA-AM/Pittsburgh afternoon co-host Shelley Duffy has exited the CBS Radio News/Talker after a year and a half in the chair alongside Robert Mangino on the KDKA Afternoon News … Five-time NBA All-Star and TNT basketball analyst Chris Webber will host Fearless or Insane with Chris Webber, a new weekly show from PodcastOne in which Webber and his guests will discuss “sports and athletes, and their impact on culture, politics, society, and the life issues that affect everyone.” New episodes of the podcast, which debuted yesterday, will be available every Tuesday on the PodcastOne website and app, and via iTunes … Braggin’ Rights: Nationally syndicated BizTalk Radio reports that during the past year, under new owners CenterPost Ltd., the business and financial news network is now heard in five of the country’s top 10 markets, and 17 of the top 25. BizTalk Radio has recently added new affiliates in Dallas, Houston, Tampa, St. Louis and Ft. Myers.
After five years of being on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, last Wednesday (11/23) WBEN/Buffalo traffic and news reporter Alan Harris got the call he’d been waiting for just before going on the air. “Apparently they’ve got a kidney for me”, said Harris (right) as he wrapped up a traffic report on WBEN cluster-mate Star 102.5. Emotions were immediately sent sky-high around Entercom’s Buffalo radio station cluster, as Harris set off to get his new kidney in what staffers were calling a ‘Thanksgiving miracle.’ Alas, WBEN PD Tim Wenger reports that after spending all of the rest of that day in a hospital bed awaiting the planned surgery, later that evening doctors informed Harris the kidney they’d hoped to give him was not suitable and called off the transplant. In a comment posted to his Facebook page a philosophical-sounding Harris wrote, “They apparently received two kidneys from the same donor. They operated on someone else and were not happy with the results. They decided not to take a chance and I thank them for that. At least I know I am at the top of the list now.” Harris will be back on the air next Monday (12/5) following a week of vacation.
WYM Media Management has confirmed that Herman Cain will end his nationally syndicated talk show (which airs on a reported 120 affiliates nationwide) at the end of December. Cain (right), who is based at Cox Media Group News/Talker WSB/Atlanta, will continue to air on his hometown flagship, as well as on co-owned CMG News/Talkers WDBO/Orlando, KRMG/Tulsa, WHIO/Dayton and WOKV/Jacksonville, FL … Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and PodcastOne have signed a long-term partnership to create PodcastOne Australia, a brand and platform that will “bring the best in podcasting directly to listeners.” SCA will operate PodcastOne Australia as the exclusive partner in that country and in New Zealand, with select SCA podcasts made available in the U.S. on the PodcastOne platform. PodcastOne Australia will be available early in 2017 via mobile app and online … The GCN syndicated Dr. Daliah Show has been added to the lineup at new affiliate KZWY-FM/Sheridan, WY … Skip LaCombe, co-host of TheBlaze Radio Network’s Morning Blaze (alongside Doc Thompson) has announced he will not be returning to the show. LaCombe, who has been on sabbatical from the program for awhile, tweeted he was not fired and praised both network founder Glenn Beck and his show partner Thompson for their support.
KFI/Los Angeles and SoCal charity Caterina’s Club will hold their 6th annual KFI PastaThon this Thursday (12/1), from 6am-10pm at Bruno Serato’s White House Restaurant. The 17-hour broadcast will benefit the charity (founded by Serato in 2005), which provides meals every night to more than 1,800 low-income children in more than 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. KFI personalities including Bill Handel, Aron Bender, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. will all be on site, encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, sauce and money to help feed the region’s underprivileged ’motel kids.’ KFI Program Director Robin Bertolucci reports the yearly event has raised over $1 million and more than 151,0000 pounds of food since it’s inception and adds, “This year we aim to raise $325,000 in one day!” … It’s been a few weeks since iHeartMedia/Madison, WI pulled the plug on progressive talker The Mic 92.1 (WXXM) and plugged in all-Christmas music — radio’s all-purpose, place-holding tool prior to a format flip. But Talk from either side of the aisle won’t be returning to the 92.1 frequency, as iHM has already jettisoned the temporary ‘ho, ho, ho’ playlist and relaunched the station as Classic Hits Rewind 92.1.
CONDOLENCES: To the family, friends and colleagues of former WOWO/Ft. Wayne broadcaster and 63-season voice of Ft. Wayne Komets hockey, Bob Chase, who died on Thanksgiving Day (11/24) at age 90. WOWO Program Director Ryan Reker has posted a tribute to the legendary Indiana broadcaster HERE … Legendary St. Louis talk personality and controversial community activist Richard ‘Onion’ Horton, has died following complications of Alzheimers Disease. He was 80 … Longtime music industry executive philanthropist and founder of the T.J. Martell Foundation, Tony Martell, died Sunday (11/27) at his home in New Jersey. He was 90. Radio has long supported and been involved in fundraising efforts for the foundation that Tony started in 1975 to honor his son, T.J., who died at the age of 19 following a battle with leukemia. The foundation’s website has posted a tribute to Martell HERE.