Congrats to WMAL/Washington as the Cumulus Media-owned News/Talker’s listeners contributed a record $350,000 during the station’s recently held two-day Radiothon to benefit Fisher House. Over the course of the last 11 years, WMAL listeners have donated more than $4.5 million for the charity, which supports wounded warriors and their families. Group homes located at Bethesda, Walter Reed, the VA, Dover AFB, and more than 50 locations across the country, provide a comfortable place for loved ones to live while remaining close to their recovering injured family member. Pictured during this year’s live broadcast (L-R) are: WMAL morning personalities Brian Wilson and Larry O’Connor, and midday host Chris Plante.
A recent news item about the late ABC News Radio commentator Paul Harvey’s influence on modern Talk radio prompted Gary Theroux — producer of the holiday radio special The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time — to email NTS MediaOnline Today to say, “One thing about Paul Harvey that few ever knew was that he had a secondary career as a recording artist. He released a string of spoken word LPs on the small, mostly religious Word label — albums which were little promoted, distributed, or known to the public. 1975′s Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor included ‘The Man and the Birds,’ a Yuletide story Harvey used to repeat every year. Since that time that track has only been reissued once, on a CD that I compiled and released through Reader’s Digest music.” Theroux reports that ‘The Man and the Birds’ will be included as a bonus track in this year’s 10-hour holiday hits countdown, that’s hosted by Wink Martindale and syndicated by Envision Networks.
WBAP-KLIF/Dallas-Ft. Worth morning drive news reporter Alan Scaia was hospitalized last Friday night (12/5) after being involved in a head-on auto collision. Police report that Scaia was hit by a southbound pickup truck that crossed into his path as the newsman was traveling northbound on FM 51 about thirty miles northwest of Ft. Worth. Scaia — whose condition was upgraded from critical to serious over the weekend — and a passenger in the other vehicle involved were flown by separate air ambulances to a hospital in Ft. Worth, while the driver of the truck was driven by ambulance to a Decatur hospital. In a post about the accident on the WBAP website, News Director Rick Hadley reports that he visited Scaia on Saturday and said, “It was very encouraging to get the word of Alan’s improvement. He is certainly badly hurt, but having seen the photos (right) from the accident scene we are relieved this is not much, much worse. Alan is a good friend and important part of our team, and right now our main concern is for him and the others inujured in the wreck to get better.” Read more HERE.
Beginning Monday (12/8) Tara Servatius will host a new local morning show, from 6-10am, on WORD 106.3/Greenville, SC. She’ll be followed from 10am-noon by another new daily local show hosted by Vince Coakley. Servatius joins the station from her most recent stint at WTMA/Charleston, while Coakley is a 20-year market radio and TV veteran who has been hosting a weekend show and doing regular fill-in work at WORD for the past year. The sudden death of longtime morning host Russ Cassell last month, left the Entercom News/Talker with a big pair of shoes to fill, and VP/Market Manager Steve Sinicropi expressed confidence in the new lineup. “We are energizing morning radio with the launch of these vibrant, live and local shows,” he said. “Both Tara and Vince will deliver fresh, thought-provoking commentary on the issues and news our community cares about most.” Veteran WORD newscaster Lee Rogers will continue as morning news anchor on The Tara Show when it debuts next week.
KOIL/Omaha talker Tom Becka is o-u-t at the NRG Media-owned News/Talker after management informed him that his current contract will not be renewed. Prior to joining KOIL in late 2012, Becka had a long run at crosstown KFAB, where he was heard from 2004-2011. In a conversation with the Omaha World-Herald’s Micah Mertes, Becka said he had been receiving a “very heartwarming” response from fans to news of his departure and while he hopes to find another radio opportunity soon, he is considering all options. “I love this city, I love what I do,” he told the newspaper. Meanwhile, Becka is continuing to offer podcasts of his show via his own website. In his latest audio post, he explains his exit from KOIL and makes a pitch to potential employers. Hear it HERE.
KXL/Portland inks another renewal deal with one of the Alpha Media News/Talker’s hosts, as Clyde Lewis (pictured) extends his contract to continuing hosting Ground Zero, weekday evenings, from 7pm-midnight. The nightly show is also syndicated nationally via Premiere Networks … A quick follow-up on Larry Elder’s abrupt departure from the lineup at KABC/Los Angeles earlier this week: Elder wants his fans to know that he is continuing to host his weekday talk show online at his official website, ElderStatement.com, from 3-6pm (PT) … After barely a year on the job, Greg Strassel exits his post as SVP/National Programming Platforms for iHeart Media … Premiere Networks gives Executive Director/International Business Development Tanya Juhasz VP stripes. Based in Los Angeles, Juhasz will continue to report to network President Julie Talbott as she identifies and develops opportunities for Premiere’s programming to reach audiences worldwide … DEPARTMENT OF “DOH!”: A quick correction to our story about Mike Florio’s new NFL-centric NBC Sports Radio show that debuts next month: Florio will assume hours currently occupied by Newy Scruggs, who moves to the 9am-noon time slot now hosted by Brian Kenny, who will exit the Westwood One-distributed sports network at the end of the year. Please adjust your score cards!
Larry Elder has left the building at KABC/Los Angeles. It’s the end of a second tour of duty at the now Cumulus Media-owned News/Talker for Elder (pictured), who first hosted afternoon drive on the then ABC Radio-owned station from 1994-2008, then returned to that same time slot in 2010. In the 2000s, ‘The Sage of South Central’ was also syndicated nationally on the ABC Radio Networks. His face also became familiar to millions of Americans nationwide as the host of the TV show, Moral Court, which was syndicated across the country by Warner Bros. Television. No official word from KABC on Elder’s exit (although all references to him have been thoroughly scrubbed from the station’s website), nor about who might be in line to takeover his afternoon hours. Lead by veteran PD Drew Hayes, KABC’s current prime time lineup includes local hosts Doug McIntyre, Bryan Suits, Midday L.A. with Jillian Barberie and John Phillips, Peter Tilden and Westwood One syndicated talker Mark Levin.
NBC Sports Radio and Westwood One will debut a new three-hour football-focused program next month, featuring Mike Florio, creator of ‘ProFootballTalk’ on NBCSports.com, and co-host of Pro Football Talk on the NBC Sports Network. ProFootballTalk Live with Mike Florio premiers Monday, January 5th at Noon (ET), featuring Florio’s “critically-acclaimed NFL insight, all-encompassing coverage of the league with the most current news and analysis, and thought-provoking debate.” In addition, Florio (pictured) will conduct interviews with a wide variety of NFL insiders, experts, players and coaches. “Is there enough NFL news to fill a three-hour show every day?” asks Florio. “Definitely. If I’m wrong, I’ll just talk really slowly.” Florio’s new show will air in hours currently occupied by Newy Scruggs.
FM News 101 KXL/Portland, OR has entered into an exclusive partnership with locally-based drone company Aerial Technology International that will give the Alpha Media-owned News/Talker the ability to assign drones to cover breaking news events in the Pacific Northwest. “KXL continues to innovate by launching the world’s first radio news drone,” said Alpha EVP/Programming Scott Mahalick. “I’m proud to be working with such a visionary team of people leading the News/Talk industry in America.” Meanwhile Stephen Burtt, co-founder and co-owner of Aerial Technology expressed his enthusiasm for the new partnership saying, “We are very excited to be working with KXL. Together we intend to bring a whole new perspective to breaking news and live events. It is the perfect partnership between two progressive and visionary companies.”
The Radio Television Digital News Association announces that the window to submit entries for 2015 Edward R. Murrow Awards is now open. You may Submit your entries using RTDNA’s online registration system through February 3rd. Stories told between January 1st and December 31st, 2014 on radio, television and digital media are eligible for entry in the 2015 contest. Also open are the 2015 Kaleidoscope Awards (formerly the RTDNA/UNITY Awards) and for the first time, students are invited to compete in the Student Edward R. Murrow Awards competition. RTDNA has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. For complete contest rules, see the Call for Entries.