Salem Media Group (SMG) is set to launch a new Talk station in Pittsburgh tomorrow (5/13), as the company completes its previously announced acquisition of former Radio Disney outlet WDDZ. The new AM 1250 The Answer will feature Salem’s signature Talk radio branding (already in place at 21 other company stations nationwide), along with Salem Radio Network’s regular roster including Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt. The Answer’s new lineup will also include Westwood One syndicated talker Mark Levin and longtime local Talk radio favorite Rose Tennent, the former co-host of Quinn & Rose, who had a long run on now defunct crosstown talker WPGB (Tennent’s former co-host Jim Quinn recently signed with crosstown WCNS). “Pittsburgh deserves a News/Talk station that reflects the conservative, hard-working heart and soul of its people,” said SMG/Pittsburgh General Manager Tom Lemmon. “We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to provide an intelligent, sensible, conservative voice to the market. We want to be a station that tackles solid local and national issues with an intelligent opinion committed to truth and integrity,”
Genesis Communications names industry veteran Tom Paleveda to the newly created position of VP/Programming for the company. In his new role Paleveda will oversee programming for the company’s broadcast and digital outlet SportsTalk Florida and NewsTalk Florida. Most recently Regional Program Director for Galaxy Communications, Paleveda’s radio resume also includes a 25-year stint at Cox Media Group/Atlanta, where he also served as Format Coordinator for that company’s AC stations nationwide. “Tom is the right guy to add to our senior management team,” said Genesis Communications CEO Bruce Maduri. “His ability to create awesome content for all of or brands is what we have been looking for in a leader for some time.” Expressing his enthusiasm about joining the independent radio company Paleveda said, “Genesis fits well with my career plans to manage programming in both the radio and digital space. Their digital engagement and social content is the best I’ve seen from any radio company. I’m looking forward to creating unbelievable content across our platforms!” Paleveda starts his new gig on May 26th.
New WLS/Chicago mid-morning host and Westwood One syndicated personality Jonathan Brandmeier joined veteran broadcaster, consultant and talent coach Larry Gifford for a no-holds-barred interview on the recent 100th edition of Gifford’s ‘Radio Stuff’ podcast. Asked by Gifford about his nearly two-year run at crosstown News/Talk WGN before joining Cumulus Media’s WLS this past February Brandmeier said, “The whole experience, I just did not like it. That’s the way it is. It’s just a fact. Anyone who knows me, knows that just wasn’t me.” Asked about another long-running radio (and now TV) host Howard Stern, Johnny B. said that what he admires most about ‘The King of All Media’ is that he’s never changed for anyone. “He just doesn’t let anyone push him one way or another,” he told Gifford. “He stays the course. That is what I wish I had. I let people push me around a little bit and I shouldn’t have done it. I should’ve just said, ‘No, I’m not doing it.’” You can hear the full podcast in which Brandmeier shares more career stories and speculates on the future of radio HERE.
Recently, Salem Media Group hosted a reception at the United States capitol building in DC to honor freshman members of both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Salem Radio Network hosts mingled with the first-year legislators, many of whom rotated in and out of the event to return to the House floor where a budget vote was taking place. Following the reception, New York City-based SRN host Mike Gallagher headed to Washington’s Union Station to catch the Amtrak back to the Big Apple. As he boarded Gallagher noticed some 18 seats were blocked off in the car and the place was crawling with Secret Service agents. Suddenly a smiling and handshaking Vice President Joe Biden hopped aboard, greeting and chatting with passengers en route to his home in Wilmington, DE. Before Biden exited, Gallagher managed to capture this cell phone evidence of his evening spent ‘Riding the rails with the Veep.’
In a new post to their Breakthrough Management blog, longtime media strategist John Parikhal and company co-founder Phillippe Denichaud tackle a problem that pretty much anyone who has ever hired someone for a job has faced: How do you know from an interview if the individual is truly competent to do the job you need? Parikhal and Denichaud say the key is to avoid what they call “the gap” in the interview process. “Even though they are hoping to determine if the candidate is ‘competent’ to do the job, too often job interviews focus mostly on two things — a discussion of the candidate’s ‘knowledge’ and ‘understanding’ necessary to do the job. Often, the interviewer doesn’t focus on overall competence for the specific function and they don’t focus sufficiently on a third element — the critical proven ability to do the job. There is huge gap between ‘knowledge and understanding’ and ‘ability.’ And that gap is the trap.” Learn more on how to improve your odds of making the right hire and how to better test for a candidate’s true ability to do the job you’re hiring them to do HERE.
Ty Wansley, a 35-year member of the Chicago radio community, has died at age 63. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder reports that Wansley died of congestive heart failure. Most recently a part of iHeartMedia’s Windy City stations, Wansley began his radio career in St. Louis at KWK before moving to Chicago in 1979, where his three-and-a-half decade career would include stints at WBMX, WJPC, WVON, and at then ABC Radio-owned WLS. There he was paired with local politician and prominent attorney Ed Vrdolyak to co-host the weekday afternoon Ty & Ed Show, where Wansley used his microphone to try to bring black and white Chicagoans together on issues. “Ty’s interaction with Ed was radio gold,” said former WLS Radio VP/GM Tom Tradup, now VP News & Talk Programming at Salem Radio Network. “And oh, how his voice is missed today — replaced by hothead blabbermouths like Rev. Al Sharpton who only incite and divide. Ty was a unique and totally real person who left us way too soon.”
News anchor and radio personality Molly Paige is joining Doug Stephan as co-host of one of the longest running nationally syndicated talk shows on radio — Doug Stephan’s Good Day. Most recently an anchor for NBC News Radio/Westwood One News in Washington, DC, Paige (pictured) has also served as a regular fill-in for Jim Bohannon on WW One’s syndicated America in the Morning. Her broadcast resume also includes previous stints at Los Angeles stations KABC, KLOS, KRLA and KCBS-FM, and WOAI/San Antonio. She joins a roster of ‘Good Day’ regulars that already includes Rich McFadden, Jennifer Horn and Ken Kessler. “I knew this would be the situation worth waiting for from the very first time I talked with Doug,” said Paige (pictured) about her new gig. “Doug has created a show that informs his audience with the top trending news stories and then entertains them with his personal insight. I look forward to adding my perspective to the show.”
It’s no secret that quite a few News and Talk stations in PPM markets have experienced listening declines over the past few years, much of it coinciding with the introduction of electronic ratings measurement for radio. Consequently, in recent weeks, NTS MediaOnline Today has offered extensive coverage of the growing debate over the accuracy of PPM, and it’s ability to capture all of a station’s listening — something Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio) told radio broadcasters that it would do far better than diaries. Leading the charge has been Harker Research founder Richard Harker, who wonders if it’s not high time that broadcasters re-open the debate over the PPM system — a system that he notes “we know does not capture 100% of exposed listening.” And when it comes to the reliability of diaries vs. PPM Harker says maybe it’s time for radio to do a little bit more thinking on the topic saying, “Given what we now know about PPM’s flaws, isn’t it more likely that the diary got it right (or at least closer to the truth) than PPM? Isn’t it time to reopen the matter?” Read more about what Harker had to say in his latest post, Did Arbitron Sell Radio A Bill of Goods with PPM?, HERE.
Entercom has tapped 26-year media pro Stephanie Callihan as VP/GM for the company’s Austin cluster, including Talk Radio 1370 KJCE. The gig marks a return to Austin for Callihan, who has lived in the Texas State capitol city three times during her professional career. Most recently she served as Regional Manager for iHeartMedia/Wichita. “Stephi is a dynamic and accomplished leader with extensive experience leading sales organizations,” said Weezie Kramer, Entercom Station Group President. “I am thrilled to bring her experience and passion for the business to our team in Austin.” Already in the house and on the j-o-b Callihan (pictured) commented, “I’m honored to lead the team at Entercom. Our brands are iconic in the Austin community and I am excited for the opportunity to grow our stations and continue to drive results for our clients. And I am blessed to return to one of the most vibrant cities in America, where I have family, my dearest friends and longtime business relationships.”
Industry veteran Tom Hoyt has been appointed as General Manager for Salem Media Group/Louisville News/Talker WGTK-AM and Christian Teaching and Talk WFIA-AM&FM. Hoyt (pictured) comes to the position with a radio resume that includes previous management experience at Emmis and Entercom, and most recently with Cox Communications in Louisville. “We were looking for a General Manager with a combination of strong leadership skills, management experience and a proven sales orientation,” said Salem VP Operations, Mike Moran. “I believe with Tom we found a man who delivers on all those fronts and brings the additional benefit of knowing and loving the city of Louisville.” Hoyt takes the GM’s chair currently occupied by Tim Hartlage, who is transitioning out of the position, but will continue to work for Salem, leading the company’s ministry efforts.
Just in case you might have forgotten to pencil in Monday’s (5/4) holiday on your calendar, may we remind you that May 4th (… cue stirring theme music in your head here …) is officially ‘Star Wars Day’ across the galaxy. A day that’s near and dear to the hearts of Star Wars fans everywhere, ABC Radio and Slacker Radio will celebrate the event with a special digital station, Star Wars: May The Fourth Be With You, hosted by ABC News Radio Entertainment Correspondent David Blaustein and the network’s Entertainment Contributor Matt Wolfe. The special station will feature insights and perspectives from expert and celebrity fans, including Ivan Reitman, Tom Hardy, Morgan Spurlock, Sebastian Stan, Adam Goldberg and Josh Groban. It will also include interviews with actors from the original trilogy, including Billy Dee Williams, Jeremy Bulloch and Carrie Fisher. Officially endorsed by Lucasfilms, the “pop-up” ABC Radio/Slacker station will explore some of the most memorable scenes and events from a galaxy far, far away, and also feature memorable audio from the iconic film series.