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.
It isn’t all that surprising that Salem Communications VP/Director Spoken Word Format Phil Boyce would be the subject of a lengthy feature published yesterday (4/9) in the New Jersey Herald. But what is surprising is that the article is not about Phil’s long Tri-State Talk radio career, nor does it focus on his role as Mayor of his hometown, Andover Township, NJ. The feature, penned by reporter Eric Obernauer, tells the story of Boyce’s recent visits to Guatemala and Haiti on behalf of the non-profit Food For The Poor organization — trips that the longtime broadcaster has characterized as life-changing experiences. After being approached by the charity to solicit support from Salem/New York stations WMCA and WNYM, Boyce (pictured) said he wanted to check out the group’s efforts for himself. “If I was going to go on the air and ask our listeners to give money, I wanted to make sure we were doing our due diligence by making sure this was a worthy charity,” Boyce told the newspaper. “In the end, I found out about what they were doing in a much more personal way than I’d ever anticipated. Having been there and seen what I saw, I came back changed.” Recently returned from his second trip to Haiti, Boyce says he’s already planning a return trip to that island nation, or to one of the other 17+ countries across the Caribbean and Latin America where Food For The Poor is working. “I think it’s important that I keep going back,” he said. “In order to do a fundraiser, you have to tell a story and these are the personal stories I want others to hear. Sometimes we all have to look at life as bigger than just ourselves.” Read the full story in the NJ Herald HERE.
In the wake of the recent departure of WGAN/Portland Brand Manager/News Director Jeff Wade (now ND at Binnie Media’s New Hampshire One statewide news network), General Manager Bob Adams goes to his bench, splitting the duties as he elevates current afternoon news anchor Frank Alosa to News Director, while expanding Ops Manager Chris Mac’s role to include programming duties for 560 NewsRadio. “It is always exciting when you have someone in the building who is ready and motivated to grow professionally and take on an expanded role,” said Adams about the internal staff promotions. Alosa (pictured), who joined WGAN in 2012 after a six-year stint as ND at WKXL/Concord, NH, commented on his step up the company ladder saying, “This really is a great opportunity to take the reins as News Director at a station with such a rich history in this market. I look forward to continuing and expanding upon WGAN’s news tradition.” 560 WGAN, which is also heard on AM 1400 in York County and on 93.1 FM HD-2, is part of the Portland Radio Group.
Among the radio stations honored at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters 2014 Crystal Radio Awards ceremonies were Bonneville News/Talker KTAR-FM/Phoenix; CBS Radio all-newser WWJ/Detroit; Riverfront Broadcasting’s hometown News/Talker KYNT/Yankton, SD; and Cromwell Group’s Talk 101 FM, WZUS/Decatur, IL. All were first-time recipients of the prestigious award, which was established by the NAB in 1987 to recognize radio stations for “outstanding year-round commitment to community service.” The 27th annual Crystal Radio Awards were handed out during yesterday’s (4/8) NAB Show Radio Luncheon, an event that also included the induction of Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio personality and TV talker Steve Harvey into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame and a keynote address by Yahoo! tech columnist David Pogue. NTS MediaOnline Today congratulates the News and Talk stations noted, along with all of this year’s winning radio stations. Tomorrow (4/10) marks the closing day of the NAB Show in Vegas, which attracted a reported 98,000 broadcast and media professionals from around the world to Sin City. That’s up from last year’s tally of 93,850 attendees for the yearly broadcasters’ confab.
As our Facebook friends first learned from a post late yesterday (4/7), syndicated Talk radio host and MSNBC personality Ed Schultz recently uttered what we like to call around here, “An indiscretion in front of a live microphone.” Violating that unbreakable rule of no cussin’ in the studio, ’Big Eddie’ lost his cool with a caller to his radio show and dropped one of those infamous ‘F-bombs,’ along with another decidedly un-FCC friendly word that begins with an ‘A’ and ends with a ‘Hole.’ Following the outburst, Schultz obviously instantly realized what he’d just said and can be heard frantically asking if producers had hit the “dump” button before the lip-slip went out over the air saying, “Did we catch that one? I need some direction, did we catch that one, yes or no?” Audio from the big ‘ooops’ moment — which actually happened last week — went viral quickly after fellow nationally syndicated talk host Laura Ingraham reportedly played it on her Courtside Entertainment Group-syndicated radio show on Monday (4/7). Industry folks may recall that Schultz was suspended from his MSNBC television show back in 2011 after calling Ingraham “a right wing slut” on his radio program. He subsequently apologized publicly and personally to Ingraham, calling his own remarks “vile and not of the standards that I or any other person should adhere to.”
CBS Radio News White House Correspondent Peter Maer is now the proud recipient of another Merriman Smith Award for Presidential Coverage Under Deadline Pressure from the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA). Maer (pictured), who has been honored with the award on four previous occasions, is also a multi-Edward R. Murrow Award winner. The latest ‘Merriman’ cites him for his reports from the Hampton Roads, VA shipyard, where President Obama traveled to make his case on last year’s sequestration. A statement released about the award by the WHCA was positively effusive in its praise of the veteran newsman’s work saying, “Peter Maer’s story on the potential impact of budget sequestration did what White House reporters too rarely do: It humanized a national political story, and managed to do so on an extremely tight deadline, no less. Maer’s initiative took what could have been tossed off as just another speech story and instead put a complex issue in context, through his use of distinctive new voices and his own background knowledge of the story. He gives listeners a piece that is concise without shortchanging any of the issues or emotions. Richly detailed, good storytelling all around on an important breaking news story.” Maer will receive the award at the upcoming annual White House Correspondents Association dinner next month in DC.
In a shameless plea for gratuitous publicity that apparently worked on us, Compass Media Networks syndicated talker and KXL/Portland host Lars Larson emails NTS MediaOnline Today to report he’s hitting the road for a monthlong tour of live broadcasts. Larson, who maintains a two-shows-a-day daily schedule, says that in the next 30 days he and producer Tony King will be racking up the frequent flier miles courtesy of an itinerary that kicks off this week with live broadcasts from ‘Radio Row’ at the annual Hold Their Feet To The Fire rally in Washington,DC. From there Lars takes his ‘Have Mouth, Will Travel’ philosophy to nearby Charlottesville, VA, for a live broadcast with affiliate WCHV before hopping a flight to Vegas where he’s scheduled to keynote the Nevada GOP’s annual gathering. “Next up,” say Lars, “We head to the campus of Oregon State University in Corvalis, where I’ll do both shows in conjunction with my affiliate KLOO and the College Republicans — who raffle off an AR-15 every year to raise money for 2nd amendment causes. A few days later we fly to Anchorage for a live broadcast at an event for U.S. Senate Candidate Joe Miller and Alaska affiliates KOAN and KVNT, followed by a trip to Seattle on May 1st, where I’ll broadcast the shows from Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Museum with affiliate KVI. In between, I’ll be doing my usual two or three hits a week for Fox News shows.”