Kevin Graham has been tapped as the new Program Director for Cumulus Media/Dallas News/Talkers WBAP and KLIF. Most recently Brand Manager for WEEI/Boston and the Red Sox Radio Nework, Graham (left) — who previously worked for Cumulus as PD and afternoon host at KFNZ (‘1320 K-Fan’)/Salt Lake City — will succeed Tyler Cox, who announced his retirement from the stations effective next month. Graham’s radio programming resume also includes prior stints at KTAR/Phoenix, WXYZ/Detroit and WEPN/New York. “Kevin is one of the country’s brightest spoken word PD’s and is an innovative thinker who will take us into the next chapter of WBAP and KLIF’s on-air and digital growth,” said Cumulus Media/Dallas-Houston Regional Vice President Dan Bennett. “His major market experience in Boston and New York has prepared him for this next step in his career.”
Bonneville News/Talker KTAR-FM/Phoenix will kick-off the New Year with the debut a new local evening talk show, Reality Check with Darin Damme, replacing the station’s Arizona’s Evening News in the 6-8pm weeknight time slot. Damme (right) is a familiar name around the Valley of the Sun from his years as a morning personality at crosstown CHR outlets KZZP and KZON. Characterizing the launch of the new program as an elevation of KTAR’s commitment to local programming, Bonneville/Phoenix VP/Content & Operations Ryan Hatch said, “Darin is an exciting talent who will bring a conservative voice and strong opinions that will represent the values of so man in the Valley. Born and raised in Arizona, he also has a passion to improve our community and deliver a voice for a better Phoenix.”
CBS Radio has named industry veteran Fred Bennett to the newly created position of VP/General Manager, Traffic Operations and Partnerships. In his new job Bennett (right) will be charged with building an in-house traffic content and sales operation to serve the company’s 117 radio stations in 26 markets and their corresponding websites. He’ll also also oversee CBS Radio’s relationship with Radiate Media, which will become the company’s new traffic content partner next April. Most recently president and chief revenue officer for New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW-FM/Trenton), Bennett also had a lengthy run at Westwood One, where he held a number of roles including president of Metro Television, as well as both EVP/Affiliate Sales & Business Operations and SVP/Advertising Sales for Metro Traffic. Bennett will be based in New York City, reporting to CBS Radio COO Scott Herman who said, “Fred’s 20+ year background in the traffic business, coupled with his experience in radio station sales and management, makes him uniquely qualified to lead our traffic content and sales operations.”
Salem Media Group has promoted 6-year Director of Sales Jeff Mitchell to General Manager for the company’s Dallas-Ft. Worth station cluster, including News/Talker 660 AM The Answer (KSKY). Mitchell assumes the chair recently vacated by John Peroyea, who stepped down from that post in September, but will remain a consultant to the cluster’s Christian Contemporary KLTY-FM. A 25-year broadcast radio veteran, Mitchell has held prior sales and management roles with iHeartMedia and CBS Radio. “We are excited to have Jeff at the helm in Dallas,” said Salem Senior Vice President, Linnae Young. “He has consistently demonstrated strategic, effective leadership.”
Total Traffic & Weather Network, which provides a reported 2,000 radio stations and 200 TV affiliates with traffic, weather, news and sports reports in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, has elevated two company executives to newly expanded roles. Roger Nadel (left) is named Senior Vice President/Affiliate Operations, while Jack Dunkle (right) rises to SVP/Affiliate Sales. Prior to joining TTWN in 2008, 35-year media veteran Nadel spent the majority of his career with CBS Radio. Before joining TTWN Dunkle (who had an early career stint as an airborne traffic reporter for what was then Metro Networks) served in executive positions with Westwood One, ultimately rising to SVP/Affiliate Sales for the network. Both Nadel and Dunkle will report to Premiere Networks President Julie Talbott.
Kudos to WRKO/Boston as the Entercom News/Talker’s recently held Radiothon to benefit Disabled American Veterans (DAV) raised more than $71,000 for DAV during the nine-hour marathon broadcast … News/Talk WHBC/Canton, OH and sister station Mix 94.1 recently hosted the McKinley-Massillon Food Fight, a friendly annual face-off between two local high school rivals to collect food and monetary donations benefitting a local food bank. The schools collected more than 31,000 pounds of food in groceries and cash donations this year, adding to a total of over 116,000 pounds of groceries collected to date from the “food fight” … KIRO 97.3 FM/Seattle’s Ron & Don Show, the Seattle Police Department (with the support of the Seattle Police Foundation), and mattress retailer Sleep Train have teamed up to provide 300 beds to children in need through the 2016 Beds for Kids Project. KIRO hosts Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill (pictured) have been dedicated and passionate advocates for the project since it was founded in 2014 by Seattle Police officers Jeremy Wade and Ryan Gallagher.
CBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler (right) told staffers in a memo today that he will retire from his post at the network after a 50 year career in broadcasting — 18 of those spent with CBS. “There is never a good time to leave but there is a right time,” writes Harvey. “I feel very confident that I am leaving our network in the most capable of hands. This has been a hard decision. You are an extraordinarily talented group of individuals and you have made my job richly rewarding. It has been my privilege to work with you.” Nagler has long been one of radio’s true ‘good guys’ and a well-respected and multi-honored journalist with a trophy case full of hardware to prove it. “I leave with a great sense of accomplishment,” he continued in his memo. “Over the last ten years you have won more than 50 Edward R. Murrow Awards, including Overall Excellence seven years in a row — a record that is not likely to be replicated. These honors have covered such major events as 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, the death of Osama bin Laden, terrorist attacks throughout the world, the elections of Presidents Bush and Obama, Superstorm Sandy, the mass shootings at Sandy Hook and many more. You and I have truly been a witness to – and have reported – the first drafts of history.” Nagler’s last official day at CBS News will be on January 6th, 2017.
With last week’s election of Donald Trump as America’s 45th President, tongues were wagging over the weekend on reports that talk host Laura Ingraham (left) could be under consideration to be the White House Press Secretary in Trump’s new administration. A former practicing attorney and Supreme Court law clerk before launching her Talk radio career, Ingraham has been a loyal supporter of Trump throughout the contentious primaries and during the 2016 presidential campaign. Obviously no one except the President-elect knows whether or not the rumor — first reported by TheHill.com’s Jonathan Swan — is true. However, we note that when NTS MediaOnline Today reached out to her radio show’s syndicator for comment, a spokesperson for Courtside Entertainment said no one there had any information about the reports, but added Ingraham is signed to a long-term deal with the Los Angeles-based company. We’re gonna file this one under, “Stay tuned.”
On his weekly WPHT/Philadelphia Sunday night talk show, Walter Sterling (a.k.a. Walter Sabo) welcomed CJAD/Montreal host Jon Pole (left) to the program and asked the Canadian for his thoughts on all the American celebrities who had vowed to move to ‘The Great White North’ if Donald Trump won the White House. “We have no interest in B-List celebrities coming to Canada,” said Pole. “We know celebrities, we have real celebrities. Wait until your stars realize that 90 percent of our TV shows are made in the United States, and that they’d have to go home to continue to work.” Later in his program, Walter reports a 22-year old UAW worker called in to comment on how he felt about being labeled as an ‘uneducated white male voter’ in so much of the post-election analysis by the media. “I have three degrees from Penn State,” said the caller. “I’m a trained tradesman and I know exactly what’s right and wrong with your car.”
In a joint announcement that will impact almost every News/Talk/Sports station in the country, as well as any stations that carries network radio programming, Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One report that the networks are moving forward with plans to migrate their broadcast radio affiliates from satellite AMC-8 at 139 degrees West Longitude, (which has exceeded its design life and is not being replaced by an equivalent C-band satellite at the same location) to AMC-18/SES 11, a new main satellite for the commercial networks. While there will be an overlap period of several months during which the radio networks will provide service on both AMC-8 and AMC-18/SES-11, all radio stations currently receiving programming from AMC-8 will have until June 30, 2017 to re-point their downlink antennas. At that time, AMC-8 will no longer serve as the radio network “neighborhood” and there will not be a suitable replacement satellite at the 139 degree position. Stations can repoint their satellite downlinks as early as February 2017. Learn more about this important info HERE.