Does News Media Need A ‘Truthiness’ Filter?
October 17, 2016

Salem Radio Network VP/News and Talk Programming Tom Tradup pens an op-ed for conservative news and opinion website, in which he expresses his concerns about some comments made recently by President Obama, in which the President said Americans need “some sort of curating function that people agree to,” to scrutinize the news and information they get. Tradup reports during a speech last week in Pittsburgh the president suggested Americans should have “some way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic ‘truthiness’ tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.” Tradup (pictured), a longtime radio news veteran, worries about the impact such an action could have on the future for a free press, and also wonders who would have the final say on which news stories make the ‘truthiness’ cut and which don’t, should such a theory ever become a reality. Read Tom’s opinion HERE.

Talk And Media News Notes
October 17, 2016

The presidential debate media circus train is rolling into Las Vegas this week, where the third and final debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton will take place on Wednesday. KXNT/Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris (right) reports that PBS is already staking out the network’s turf in Sin City, with a crew from the PBS News Hour dropping by to film her in-studio during this morning’s show and interviewing her for a feature scheduled to air on tomorrow (10/17) night’s broadcast … Alpha Media names 35-year broadcaster Bob Rose as Market Manager for the company’s three Mankato, MN stations. The sales and management veteran most recently managed stations in Sioux Falls and St. Cloud.

WRKO Ups Czarrnecki To Program Director
October 13, 2016

Michael Czarnecki has been promoted to Program Director at WRKO/Boston. He assumes the role after spending the last 15 months as Assistant PD and Operations Manager for the heritage New England News/Talker. Prior to joining WRKO, Czarnecki served as APD for iHeartMedia’s WHYN-FM and WRNX-FM/Springfield, MA. He’s also held previous on-air and programming positions in Boston, Hartford, Medford, OR and Manchester, NH. “Michael tweaked the station’s line-up and groomed our entire air staff to be at peak performance for this election cycle,” said Phil Zachary, VP/Market Manager for Entercom/Boston. “We’re now reaping the benefits of his coaching and vision as new cume flocks to WRKO every day. This promotion is well deserved and overdue.” Commenting on getting opportunity to finally get the official nod as Program Director Czarnecki said, “It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of revitalizing the heritage brand that is WRKO and this is just the beginning. Special thank you to Phil Zachary, and to Entercom, for having faith in me, and giving me the guidance and tools needed to get here.”

Just Call It “Drive-In News/Talk Radio”
October 12, 2016

News/Talk 1380 WNRI-AM/Woonsocket, RI is facing a major clean-up of its broadcast facility today, after a driver crashed his SUV into the building in the wee small hours of this morning. Thankfully, no one in the building was injured by the overnight crash, but as you can see from the photo, damage to WNRI’s facilities was fairly extensive. David Dean, co-host of the Bouchard Broadcasting-owned station’s weekday Daybreak Southern New England show, told CBSLocal/Boston that WNRI was able to remain on the air throughout the chaos and has continued to broadcast as usual today. Reports say police transported the driver of the car (who was charged with OUI and possession of narcotics) to a local hospital, where he was treated for what was described as minor injuries. (photo credit: David Dean, WNRI)

National Murrow Award Winners Honored
October 11, 2016

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) presented the 2016 National Edward R. Murrow Awards at its annual awards gala held last night in New York City. For the third year in a row, ABC News Radio and ABC News (television) both won Murrow’s for ‘Overall Excellence’ at the network level. Minnesota Public Radio nabbed the ‘Overall Excellence’ award in the Large Market radio category, while News/Talker WDEL-AM&FM/Wilmington, DE took home honors in that category for Small Market radio. Presenters for the event, that drew more than 400 attendees to NYC’s Gotham Hall, included NBC’s Lester Holt, ABC News Radio’s Aaron Katersky, NPR’s Michael Oreskes, ABC’s Byron Pitts, CBS’ Elaine Quijano and RTDNA Chairman Vincent Duffy. Pictured above is ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones accepting the Disney-owned network’s ‘Overall Excellence’ award last night, where he said in part, “It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers for the excellence of our work. We are deeply appreciative of the support we receive every day under James Goldston’s leadership and from all of our ABC colleagues.”

See the full list of 2016 National Murrow Award winners HERE.

Joanna Martens Joins WestStar Multimedia
October 11, 2016

Joanna Martens has joined the team at WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. Martens (right) will handle affiliate relations for the nationally syndicated Kim Komando Show, and other content offerings from WestStar Multimedia. Martens was most recently in charge of affiliate relations at NBCUniversal’s digital multicast network, Cozi TV in New York City. Her resume also includes a stint as a Production Services Coordinator for NBCUniversal in Burbank. Commenting on her company’s newest team member, ‘Digital Goddess’ and WestStar exec Kim Komando said, “Joanna has quickly demonstrated her skills as an effective communicator and facilitator. She hit the ground running and shows no signs of slowing down. She’s a perfect fit.” Martens returns Komando’s complimentary words saying, “Kim’s a trailblazer and innovator. Her dedication to excellence is demonstrated in developing smart, relevant content every day for her listeners.” Congratulate Joanna on her new gig HERE.


Helping Veterans One Puppy At A Time
October 10, 2016

Two years ago WHO/DesMoines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway adopted The Puppy Jake Foundation as his show’s official charity and hosted a BBQ in the parking lot of the iHeartMedia News/Talker, where he raised $4,000 in two hours. One year later, Conway (pictured) repeated the event and in the same two hours, hauled in over $6,000. But no one expected what happened last Friday (10/7), when Conway hosted the 3rd annual free sandwich giveaway to benefit the Foundation and it raised over $22,000 (!) in just two hours. “I was speechless … for about two seconds,” joked Conway. “People drove long distances, handed over huge sums of money and donated enough to acquire, train and ultimately hand over a service dog to a wounded Veteran for free!” The Puppy Jake Foundation acquires, raises and professionally trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded U.S. military Veterans. Since the beginning of 2016 the charity has given 11 service dogs to wounded veterans, with nine more ‘graduates’ scheduled to receive their diplomas in March 2017.


KNSS/Wichita Adds New FM Simulcast
October 7, 2016

Entercom/Wichita has announced that effective October 12th, Sports/Talker KFH-FM will move from its current frequency at 98.7 to a new translator at 97.5. Only the FM dial position will change for KFH, which will continue to also be heard at 1240AM. The move creates a long sought-after FM home for News/Talk clustermate KNSS, which will simulcast on KFH’s former 98.7 frequency while continuing to be heard at its longtime AM 1330 home. “We jumped on the opportunity to pick up a translator for KFH-AM and opening up the 98.7 frequency for KNSS,” said Jackie Wise, VP/Market Manager for Entercom/Wichita. “We’ve had numerous requests through the years to broadcast KNSS on FM, and now we have the opportunity to respond to our listeners and expand our audience. All of our popular KNSS 1330AM shows —  Steve and Ted in the Morning, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin — are now accessible to FM listeners, as well.”

“We’re About As Ready As We Can Be”
October 6, 2016

That’s the common sentiment we’re hearing from stations up and down the U.S. southeastern seaboard, as broadcasters prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. The now Category 4 storm is churning toward the U.S. mainland after smashing through the Bahamas and Haiti, where early reports say at least 130 have died on that poverty-stricken island. Stations from South Florida to South Carolina have activated emergency coverage plans, with most expected to be in wall-to-wall coverage by no later than this afternoon. In advance of the coming storm, Cox Media Group/Orlando Ops Manager Drew Anderssen commented on News/Talker WDBO’s plans — comments that echo what we’re hearing from most stations in Matthew’s potential impact zone. “Our team has made all of the necessary personal arrangements and we are prepared to keep Central Florida informed around the clock as needed, with expanded and/or wall-to-wall live programming,” said Anderssen (right). “We are encouraging listeners to take emergency preparedness precautions now, including downloading the News 96.5 WDBO App and having batteries and a battery powered radio on hand, so they can stay connected to our coverage in the event of power outages. We’re also cross-promoting our StormCenter coverage on our cluster’s music stations and WDBO will provide content to them as needed.” Latest National Hurricane Center models show Matthew coming ashore in South Florida later today, then spending most of the next 24-hours churning northward through The Sunshine State before moving on to the southern coastal regions of Georgia and South Carolina over the weekend. And while it’s still too early to be sure, at least a couple of rather ominous forecast models show Matthew heading back out into the Atlantic Ocean, then circling back westward, potentially hitting Florida again by the middle of next week! Hurricanes are unpredictable, but one thing is for sure —  it’s gonna be a long and worrisome several days for millions in the path of the killer storm.

Jimmy deCastro Exiting WGN At End Of October
October 5, 2016

Longtime Chicago media reporter Robert Feder broke the news early this morning (10/5) that WGN Radio President/GM Jimmy deCastro (right) is stepping down from that role after a three and a half year run in the corner office at Tribune’s heritage Windy City News/Talker. “I’ve done everything I can to respect and build on the legacy of this amazing place, and I believe I accomplished everything I set out to do,” deCastro told Feder. “It’s been great fun to work with the incredibly talented people here. Now the time is right for me to go back and build something new.” Feder reports the veteran media exec will return to focusing on The Content Factory, a new media and syndication company he formed in 2007. No word from Jimmy’s boss, Tribune Broadcast Media President Larry Wert about if, or when a successor to deCastro will be sought. Read Feder’s full report HERE.