Longtime San Diego-based Talk radio host Roger Hedgecock has announced he will end his Radio America nationally syndicated show next month. After an early career in law and politics — including serving as Mayor of San Diego — in 1986 Hedgecock (right) began his Talk radio career at KSDO/San Diego, later moving to crosstown KOGO, then to AM 760 KFMB, where he’s been heard since 2011. Hedgecock will continue to be heard locally on KFMB in a new role, offering twice daily commentaries on the heritage News/Talker, and also serving as a special election coverage correspondent for co-owned KFMB-TV. Concurrent with Hedgecock’s departure from full-time duty, KFMB-AM midday host Mike Slater will move up to the station’s 3-6pm afternoon drive slot, meaning there’s a prime on-air opportunity opening in America’s Finest City. If you believe you have the right stuff, email your resume and audio to PD Dave Sniff directly HERE.
Meanwhile, Radio America announces that Chad Benson will become the network’s newest nationally syndicated show host. Benson (pictured) will takeover Hedgecock’s nightly 6-9pm (ET) time slot on Monday, March 30th. A release from Radio America calls Benson “part of a New Generation of talk hosts” and characterizes him as, “conversational, informative, irreverent and very funny.” The 22-year radio veteran, who began his career in music radio, first honed his Talk radio skills across the pond at TalkRadioUK. Since his return to the U.S. he has hosted talk shows at ‘K-News’ in Palm Springs and KTSA/San Antonio.
Effective today, WHO/Des Moines afternoon host Simon Conway (left) is now pulling statewide double-duty, adding wake-up hosting chores at iHeartMedia sister News/Talker WMT/Cedar Rapids. Meanwhile, Conway (along with several other Iowa talk hosts) is singled out by Bloomberg as one of the Hawkeye State’s Talk radio “gatekeepers” for GOP presidential hopefuls, as the 2016 race for the nomination and the White House heats up. Read the feature HERE … audioBoom and AdLarge Media partner to launch a new podcast hosted by comedian/actor Russell Brand. The 45-minute show will be available via audioBoom every Wednesday and Sunday, beginning February 25th … In a related news item, an early release from the 2015 Infinite Dial study by Edison Research and Triton Digital reports that the monthly reach of podcasting is now up to 17% of Americans (12+), or approximately 46 million people. Read more about this finding HERE.
The Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) will posthumously honor the late CBS News reporter and 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon with RTDNF’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the group’s 25th annual First Amendment Awards ceremony, on March 11th, in Washington, DC. Simon (right), one of the most honored journalists at CBS News, was tragically killed in a recent auto accident in New York City … The National Association of Broadcasters announced today that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will speak to attendees at the upcoming 2015 NAB Show in Las Vegas, on Wednesday, April 15th at 9am … WVBZ-FM/Greensboro will become the new exclusive radio flagship for North Carolina State University football and basketball games, beginning with the upcoming fall season.
Beasley Media Group has debuted MoneyTalk 1010 AM, billed as “the Tampa Bay area’s only exclusively financial talk formatted radio station.” Along with timely financial information and news of economic and business trends, the new station will also offer “an assortment of health, lifestyle, and general information programs delivered by a wide variety of local and national broadcasters.” The newly re-branded station will be led by market veteran and former CBS Radio exec, Charlie Ochs (most recently a financial professional with Prudential Financial in Tampa), who has been named General Manager. “When I retired from the radio business in 2008 returning to it was not a remote thought, but it was never a question with Beasley Media Group’s acquisition of the stations and the opportunity to work with [Market Manager] Kent Dunn and Brian Beasley,” said Ochs (pictured). “Managing the only exclusively business Talk radio station in the Tampa Bay area is a great combination of my radio and financial background.”
George Noory, host of Premiere Networks’ Coast-To-Coast — the nightly Talk radio trip into all things unexplained — has teamed up with actor comedian Richard Belzer and investigative journalist David Wayne for a new book entitled, Someone Is Hiding Something, a look into the strange disappearance of Malyasia Airlines Flight 370. The trio scrutinize some of the theories behind the plane’s disappearance given by authorities to date, and also put forth some of their own possible explanations on what may have happened to the giant Boeing 777 loaded with passengers. Noting that nearly a year after the still unexplained disappearance of MA 370 there is still no sign of the plane — no debris, no bodies, no sign of the black boxes — the authors say they and millions of others, including the victims’ families, want to know what happened. The title of the book comes from a line that was spoken some two months after the incident by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed. Released today (2/17) the new book is available both in hardcover and as an e-book.
Envision Networks launches The John and Leah Show, a weekend talk show offering a look at the week’s news focusing on media, politics, sports and pop culture with hosts John Ziegler and Leah Brandon. The show airs live Sundays at 10pm (ET). Ziegler (pictured) and Brandon previously worked together at KFI/Los Angeles … The Players Tribune — the “athlete inspired media platform” founded by New York Yankees star Derek Jeter — partners with SiriusXM to offer subscribers The Players’ Tribune on SiriusXM, a new show available every Wednesday at 7pm (ET) on the satcaster’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel. Athletes who are editors or contributors to the ‘Tribune’ include Kobe Bryant, Russell Wilson, Matt Harvey, Paul Pierce, Blake Griffin, Julius Thomas, Brandon McCarthy, Sean Avery, Chris Long, Danica Patrick and Shawne Merriman, among others.
Diane Rehm, the popular NPR and WAMU/Washington talk host, is highlighted in a Washington Post piece about the right-to-die movement in America. Read the story of how Rehm (pictured) has become an activist for the movement following the death of her husband John (who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease) HERE … WABC/New York host and FOX News Channel personality Geraldo Rivera missed it by that much, finishing second in this season’s edition of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice. Although coming in as the runner-up to TV personality Leeza Gibbons, Geraldo’s appearance on the show paid off big, raising more than $700,000 for his designated charity, Life’s WORC … After just four months on the job, WKZO/Kalamazoo and morning host Wayne Powers have parted ways … Kudos to the crew at KDKA/Pittsburgh as the CBS Radio News/Talker’s annual ‘Warm-A-Thon’ to benefit the Dollar Energy Fund raised over $400,000 to help over 1,100 families in the region maintain basic utility service and keep the heat on during another cold Pittsburgh winter … Jennifer Horn, who has served as a co-host of Doug Stephan’s Good Day syndicated morning show for nearly a decade, adds a local show to her daily duties, teaming up with citizen activist Donald Dix for The Jen and Don Show, nightly at 6pm on Salem Communications News/Talker AM590 The Answer (KTIE-AM/San Bernardino, CA).
CBS News Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett will serve as the keynote speaker at KDKA/Pittsburgh’s annual Larry Richert Honors our Hometown Heroes event, coming up on March 5th at PNC Park. Each year the KDKA Morning News host honors five ordinary individuals from the local community who have done extraordinary things, with all proceeds from this year’s ceremonies benefitting the It’s About The Warrior Foundation … Chicago media watcher Robert Feder reports that former WLS-AM morning co-host Dan Proft will slide into wake-ups alongside Amy Jacobson at crosstown Salem Communications talker WIND. In what you might call a game of Windy City radio musical chairs, Proft grabs the open seat at WIND that was recently vacated by Big John Howell when he moved to mornings at WLS last month … Tanya Van Pool is named VP/Research for the National Association of Broadcasters, taking over as head of NAB Research — a division of the NAB Communications Department — in a position previously held by Sharon Warden, who retired at the end of 2014 … Condolences: To the family, friends and colleagues of New York Times media columnist David Carr, who died suddenly yesterday (2/12) after collapsing in the Times’ newsroom. He was 58. More on Carr’s career HERE.
As our Facebook fans and Twitter followers learned late last night, longtime CBS News reporter Bob Simon was killed in an auto accident last night (2/11) in New York City. The 73-year old newsman is best known for his war reporting for the network, from Vietnam to Iraq — where, in 1991, he and his crew were captured and held for more than 40 days. While a familiar face to millions from his years on television, CBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler told NTS MediaOnline Today that one of the things he loved most about Simon was that he also loved doing radio — as this story from CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley clearly demonstrates: “During the first Gulf War we had a plan that if there was ever an air raid where our CBS Bureau was, we’d all muster in the bureau, everyone would be accounted of and we’d go to the bomb shelter. Well, one night, sure enough the air raid sirens go off, the scud missiles are coming into Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and there are explosions everywhere. Everybody musters in the bureau, but we can’t find Bob. Then I found him — on the roof of the building and on the phone with CBS Radio, describing the explosions. In that moment, I said to myself, ‘Got it! That’s what a war correspondent does.'” Simon was a part of the CBS News family for nearly five decades. He’s survived by his wife Francoise, daughter Tanya (a 60 Minutes producer), son-in-law Dr. Evan Garfein and grandson Jack.
Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher has been summoned by the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) of the Police Department of the City of New York to appear before them on April 9th. That’s when the group will present Gallagher with its 108th annual SBA Heroism Award. The honor is being given in recognition of Mike’s ongoing support of law enforcement through his on-air broadcasts, as well as through his non-profit Gallagher’s Army Fallen Officer’s Fund. Commenting on the pending award Gallagher said, “I am honored to be given this special award, since it further cements the connection The Mike Gallagher Show has with the men and women serving in law enforcement from coast-to-coast.” Gallagher, who has a lengthy on-air history in NYC, airs daily on Salem’s New York City News/Talk flagship, AM 970 The Answer (WNYM) and SRN affiliates nationwide.