Following his recent departure from WIBC/Indianapolis after a 22-year run, veteran news anchor Steve Simpson quickly resurfaces at WCCO/Minneapolis. Along with his various duties as a member of the WCCO news team, Simpson (pictured) will anchor the news during Dave Lee’s morning show from 5-9am weekdays beginning October 8th. He fills the anchor slot previously held by Steve Murphy who retired at the end of last year … California GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari will fill-in for KCBQ/San Diego host Mark Larson on Friday, September 19th. It’s Kashkari’s second foray into Talk radio, having previously hosted a show during the campaign season on Clear Channel News/Talker KFBK/Sacramento. Both KCBQ and KFBK have offered equal time to current Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown, but so far both stations report there’s been no response from the Guv’s office … Detroit Sports 105.1 has partnered with two Detroit Lions players to host shows on the station. Lions Wide Receiver Golden Tate will appear each Tuesday during the NFL season, as part of the station’s Ryan and Rico midday show, where he’ll give his view of things from the offensive side of the ball. Concurrently, Tate’s teammate, Lions’ Linebacker Stephen Tulloch, will join the Greater Media-owned Sports/Talker’s Matt Dery on Tuesday afternoons to give his perspective on the Lions’ defense … Internet radio talker Tom Leykis reports that bidding on his latest eBay auction, to have Tom broadcast his show live from a listener’s home anywhere in the continental U.S., has already topped $4,200! Get an update on the latest bid HERE.
Mike Wheeler has been appointed Program Director of Cumulus Media News/Talker WJR/Detroit. Raised in the Motor City, Wheeler started his radio career on-air at Detroit stations WNIC, WABX, WHYT and WCZY. He joins Cumulus from Clear Channel, where he has served for the past five years as Regional Program Manager for CC’s Connecticut stations. Prior to that, Wheeler’s radio resume includes serving as Program Director for CBS Radio’s DaveFM in Atlanta, and as Regional Vice President of Programming for Clear Channel in Atlanta, St. Louis, and Toledo. “WJR is a part of the fabric of Detroit,” said Wheeler (pictured) about his new gig. “The station is deeply connected to the people of Detroit and widely intertwined with the local business community. I look forward to nurturing and building on that tradition.” Wheeler assumes a post held most recently by Kevin Metheny — now programming Cumulus sister stations KGO and KSFO in San Francisco.
WSKY-FM/Gainesville, FL adds Westwood One’s syndicated talker Mark Levin (pictured) to fill the Entercom News/Talker’s nightly 6-9pm slot … Tim Clossen and Todd Alan are named Affiliate Sales Directors at Westwood One. Among his new duties Closson will affiliate the network’s Sports products, including CBS Sports Radio and NBC Sports Radio … Sun Broadcast Group’s syndicated Marilu Henner Show adds new affiliate KUSH/Cushing, OK and KJFF/Festus, MO … X3M’s The News That Makes You Think crosses the century mark, with company founder and talk host Kevin McCullough reporting the syndicated feature has claimed over 100 affiliates since it’s launch last June … Envision Networks welcomes four new meteorologists to the team at NWSVirtual Weather Reports, including Laura Huckabee, Bill Jacquemin, Greg Soulje and Kevin Williams … Wendy Venturini will co-anchor Performance Racing Network’s coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Sylvania 300 in New Hampshire on September 21st. Her debut will mark the first time a female has co-anchored radio coverage of a NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
As ABC News Radio White House Correspondent Ann Compton nears her previously announced retirement after 41 years in the television and radio news biz, ABC’s Jonathan Karl reminisces with the pioneering reporter in a feature for ABC News/Yahoo News. Asked about being the first female ever assigned to cover the President for a major U.S. network, Compton (pictured) said, “To come in as the first woman wasn’t that intimidating. To come in as somebody who was 26 or 27 years old, alongside of colleagues who had been in the motorcade when John F. Kennedy was shot, or in Panmunjom when the armistice was signed in Korea, I was out of my league.” Compton also talks about what it was like being aboard Air Force One with President George W. Bush on 9/11 and reveals her “most memorable moment on the job.” Find out what it was HERE.
At yesterday’s (9/9) RAIN Summit, held in Indianapolis, the name of those included on the 2014 RAIN News and Edison Research list of Audio’s 30 Under 30 were unveiled, including a number of pre-30 recipients from News/Talk/Sports radio. WDEL/Wilminton, DE Assistant News Director Amy Cherry is among those named as up-and-comers in the radio and audio industry, along with Grant Paulsen, host and beat reporter for CBS Radio/Washington, DC Sports/Talker 106.7 The Fan, and Jordan Bernfield, sportscaster and host at WGN Radio and 87.7 The Game/Chicago. Edison Research President Larry Rosin commented, “The 2014 list of future leaders in the audio industry truly reflects the diversity of our world today. Knowing that such fantastic young talent is now in the world of audio should make us optimistic for the future.” See the full list of all 30 recipients HERE.
That’s what CBS Radio News Vice President, Harvey Nagler, called the current state of the news media in remarks delivered as he accepted the RTDNA’s 2014 John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual’s contributions to journalism and freedom of the press. Here, in part, is some of the important message that Nagler had for the gathering of journalists and students at the RTNDA’s Excellence In Journalism event last weekend in Nashville: “It is a remarkable era of communication — an age in which everyone can be the media. Where anyone operating out of their kitchen, or even the street, can reach a huge number of people — perhaps the same number as our most respected news organizations. But as Thomas Friedman of the New York Times said, ‘Anyone with a cell phone today is a paparazzi, anyone with a Twitter account is a reporter, anyone with YouTube access is a filmmaker.’ But it is often hard to discern the big picture from individual snapshots of information that flood our devices, as well as the rumors, conjecture, speculation and opinions offered up each day. To place context on stories, many still seek out journalistic entities with traditional values. In the end, it proves we still need to be able to turn to journalists and news organizations we can trust. And the public’s appetite for news has never been greater. So, it is now our jobs – our responsibility and mission — to maintain that trust, as we broaden our roles on new platforms, while continuing to serve our audiences on our traditional platforms. That’s our challenge — and it’s a big one.” That’s Harvey pictured above (left) accepting his award from 2014 RTDNA Chairman and WDEL/Wilmington Director of News and Programming Chris Carl. Watch video of the event, including Nagler’s complete remarks HERE.
(Congratulate Nagler on his well-deserved honor HERE)
As tributes and memorials for comedian Joan Rivers filled the media over the weekend, few made note of her relatively brief but successful stint as a Talk radio host in the early 2000′s, heard locally on then Buckley Broadcasting-owned WOR/New York and nationwide via the now defunct WOR Radio Network. And while it’s likely to be her television and stand-up work that people will most remember Joan for, the woman who so famously asked us, “Can we talk?” proved she not only had the talking skills, but also the listening skills needed to succeed in a medium that she took to like a duck takes to water. Former WOR Program Director David Bernstein — who helped shepherd Rivers’ foray into Talk radio — told NTS MediaOnline Today, “Everyone who met her discovered that she really was interested in who you are. Individuals were always interesting to Joan and a compelling part of her research. It fueled her humor.” Meanwhile, ‘Radio’s Best Friend’ Art Vuolo managed to dig up a classic video clip from his vast archives, showing Joan in her radio days helping her then fellow WOR Radio host and pal Joey Reynolds pitch his world famous cheese cake in a made-for-local TV ad. Watch HERE.
Hey Chef, What’s Cookin’? That’s Las Vegas-based talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (left) hanging out in ‘The Biggest Little City In The World’ with Chef Robert Hesse from the hit TV show Hell’s Kitchen. Hesse is currently working his culinary magic at Reno’s Eldorado Hotel and Resort, while Dr. Daliah was in town to emcee a meeting of the National Academy of Family Physicians … Congrats to Greater Media/Boston Vice President and Market Manager Rob Williams on being named to the University of Massachusetts Center for Collaborative Leadership Board of Advisors … Hail To The Chief: Washington area radio veteran Jeff Matzka is named Chief Engineer for the Salem Radio Network’s DC operations, which include SRN News and Bill Bennett’s daily syndicated Morning In America. Matzka replaces David Terry who exited SRN in July … Paul Johnson is named Market Manager for Alpha Media/Richmond, VA. The 32-year broadcaster was most recently GM at FreeLance Star Radio Group/Fredericksburg, VA … Kudos to SportsRadio 94 WIP/Philadelphia as the CBS Radio-owned Sports/Talker’s recently held Radiothon raised a record-setting $290,000-plus to benefit the NFL Philadelphia Eagles Youth Partnership and its various programs for low income kids in the Delaware Valley region.
Bay Area listeners can be forgiven if they get a sense of Talk radio deja- vu on September 28th, when Rush Limbaugh returns to the lineup at Cumulus Media-owned KSFO/San Francisco. Limbaugh (left) will slide into his familiar 9am-noon (PT) timeslot some two years after leaving KSFO and moving his show to Clear Channel’s crosstown KNEW. Along with Rush, fellow Premiere Networks syndicated talkers Sean Hannity (right) and Glenn Beck are also migrating to KSFO from CC’s AM 960 The Patriot, where they’ll solidify a back-to-back primetime conservative Talk lineup that already includes Westwood One’s syndicated Michael Savage and Mark Levin, as well as local morning mainstay Brian Sussman with co-host Katie Green. The move comes as one of the first big plays by recently arrived KGO and KSFO Operations Manager Kevin Metheny who proclaimed, “The new KSFO lineup will be like listening to the Conservative Talk ‘All-Star Game’ all day, every day.”
As our Facebook friends and Twitter followers learned late yesterday (9/4), two back-to-back events at WGN/Chicago first brought joy, then sadness to the hallways of Tribune Tower. First, the good news came in the form of an announcement from station management that veteran host Steve Cochran — who returned to WGN a year ago — has inked a new four-year deal to continue in wake-ups at Tribune’s hometown News/Talk flagship. Longtime Chicago media reporter Robert Feder has full details on the renewal HERE.
Within minutes of the news about Cochran’s aforementioned renewal, the industry learned that pioneering Windy City talk host Roy Leonard died after a brief illness at the age of 83. Leonard had a long career at WGN, where he was heard from 1967 through 1998, when he opted to sign off after some 31 years on the air. Appropriately described by the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones as “a courtly, erudite New Englander who became one of Chicago radio’s biggest and most durable stars,” Leonard defined Talk radio civility, conducting respectful and non-confrontational interviews with anyone who was anyone that passed through Chicago during his tenure on the air. Read more HERE.