December 18, 2015



December 18, 2015
December 18, 2015
The Year That Was: 2015
Only a few more calendar pages left to flip before 2015 is one for the
history books. This edition of NTS MediaOnline Monthly takes a look
back at some of the people, topics and issues that made news in the world
of News/Talk/Sports radio and media this past year.
JANUARY: Len Berman
and Todd Schnitt are teamed
for mornings on WOR/New
York… Randall Bloomquist
exits as corporate PD for
Cumulus Media News/Talk stations …Ken Charles exits iHeartMedia
…’Big’ John Howell moves to mornings at WLS-AM/Chicago … Scott
Shapiro named VP/Sports Programming for Premiere Networks … Mark
Levin inks a long-term extension with Westwood One … Bill White
named PD for KFBK & KSTE/Sacramento … Beasley Broadcast Group
rebrands as Beasley Media Group, Inc … Entercom/Greenville ups Mark
Hendrix to Operations Manager at WORD, as Bob McLain becomes Ops
Manager Emeritus … Kim Bryant promoted to EVP/West Coast Sales for
Westwood One … Dave Ramsey marks a milestone as his daily syndicated
talk show tops 550 affiliates … Westwood One and talker Michael Savage
reach a deal extension … Eric Brooks promoted to Assistant Program
Director at WTMJ/Milwaukee … WJR/Detroit Program Director Mike
Wheeler promoted to Operations Manager for Cumulus Media/Detroit.
FEBRUARY: Pam Coulter succeeds retiring Peter Maer as White House
Correspondent, and Steven Portnoy is named Congressional Correspondent
at CBS Radio News … Scott Masteller named Program Director for
WBAL/Baltimore …Westwood One inks a multi-year extension with
Jim Bohannon … SRN host Michael Medved takes a hiatus to undergo
treatment for throat cancer … iHeartMedia EVP Programming/Midwest
Carl Anderson adds additional duties as Talk Brand Manager, assisted by
three Talk Brand Coordinators, including Grace Blazer (iHeartMedia/
Miami); Greg Foster, (iHeartMedia/Denver); and Kelly Carls,
(iHeartMedia/Louisville) … KSL/Salt Lake City morning co-host Grant
Nielsen announces his retirement after 22 years in wake-ups … Jason
Dixon, steps down as PD at Greater Media Sports/Talker Detroit Sports
105.1, succeeded by Sports radio veteran Dave Shore … Amanda Gifford
promoted to Senior Director/Daytime Programming at ESPN Audio …
KCBS/San Francisco Director/News and Programming Ed Cavagnaro
announces his retirement after more than three and a half decades at the
all-newser … Roger Hedgecock ends his Radio America nationally
syndicated show and reduces his role to commentator at hometown flagship,
KFMB/San Diego … Salem Communications rebrands as Salem Media
Group … Owen Murphy exits as PD of KFWB/Los Angeles … Steve
McCoy hired for mornings at WYAY/Atlanta … Westwood One launches
a new WLS/Chicago-based show hosted by Jonathon Brandmeier
in hours previously held by Dennis Miller, who steps away from radio.
MARCH: Cumulus/Chicago VP/Market Manager Donna Baker named
Midwest Regional VP, based in Kansas City, succeeded in Chicago by
market veteran Peter Bowen … Chris McGorrill, Operations Manager
for Saga Communications’ Portland (Maine) Radio Group, leaves
after a 25-year run … Charlie Wilkinson named Market President at
iHeartMedia/Dallas … Howie Carr returns to the WRKO/Boston
lineup via his self-syndicated show … WTOP/Washington PD Laurie
Cantillo leaves the all-newser and the radio biz to join NASA’s Office
of Communications … WTEM/Washington PD Chuck Sapienza exits
… Tom Schurr joins Cumulus Media as SVP/Operations … Pierre
Bouvard named Chief Marketing Officer for Cumulus Media … Steve
Sutton named Program Director at KCMO/Kansas City … Tom Lee
named PD at KFWB/Los Angeles … Steve Goldstein steps down as Saga
Communications EVP/Group Programming Chief, launches Amplifi
Media, focused on developing digital audio on-demand and podcast
content … Dan Mitchinson joins KFBK/Sacramento for mornings.
APRIL: Cumulus Media promotes Mike McVay to SVP/Content &
Programming … WLW/Cincinatti morning host Jim Scott signs off
after 50 years on the air in the Queen City … Voltair makes its public
debut at the NAB Show in Las Vegas … WBZ/Boston afternoon co-host
Anthony Silva retires after 36 years with the station … WHAS/Louisville
afternoon host Terry Meiners re-ups … CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer
announces retirement ... Dan Mason retires as President/CEO of CBS
Radio. He’s succeeded by former Journal Communications President/
COO/CFO Andre J. Fernandez … Sports radio programming veteran
Ryan Maguire is named PD at WQAM/Miami … Scott Hopeck is named (continued on pg. 2)
December 18, 2015
President/Market Manager for iHeartMedia/New York. Linda Little
succeeds him as President/Market Manager at iHeartMedia/Phoenix …
Anthony Gargano moves to mornings at WPEN (95.7 The Fanatic)/
Philadelphia … Entercom/Sacramento promotes Lance Richard to VP/
Market Manager … Jack Swanson replaces the retiring Ed Cavagnaro
as Director of News and Programming at KCBS/San Francisco … Dan
Zampillo is named PD at WTEM/Washington.
MAY: Entercom Communications promotes Louise ‘Weezie’ Kramer
to Chief Operating Officer … Cumulus Media taps Lori Lewis as Vice
President/Social Media … RAB Senior VP/Professional Development
John Potter announces his retirement after 50 years in broadcasting …
Tom Paleveda named VP/Programming for Genesis Communications’
SportsTalk Florida and NewsTalk Florida … Greg Foster adds stripes
as VP News/Talk/Sports for iHeartMedia/Denver. Concurrently, Josh
Everett is named Program Director for KHOW and KKZN, reporting to
Foster, who continues as PD for KOA … Johnny Donovan retires from
WABC/New York, where he’s served as Staff Announcer and Production
Director for more than thirty years … Barbara Haynes exits Cumulus
Media/Providence, succeeded by Cumulus/Worcester VP of Sales
John Sutherland … Don Kollins exits CJCL/Toronto to become PD at
Entercom/San Francisco Sports/Talker KGMZ-FM.
JUNE: Ken Charles named PD at KNX/Los Angeles … SRN host
Michael Medved is declared “cancer free” and returns full-time to his daily
show … iHeartMedia/Albany, NY names Jeff Wolf PD/News Director
for WGY and Fox Sports 980 … Larry Mendte tapped for mornings
on iHeartMedia/Delaware’s WILM and WDOV … Cumulus Media
promotes WMAL/Washington, DC PD Bill Hess to Corporate Program
Director for News/Talk … Greg Strassell joins Hubbard Radio as SVP/
Programming … Canada’s ratings organization Numeris bans stations from
using Voltair or any other post-encoding processor in their audio chain …
KABC-KLOS/Los Angeles President/Market Manager Marco Radlovic
exits … Ben Ferguson exits at WBAP/Dallas as Chris Salcedo succeeds
him in the 9-11am slot … Longtime WTOP/Washington News Director
Mike McMearty is promoted to Director of News and Programming …
Media industry veteran Kraig Kitchin assumes interim CEO duties at
Glenn Beck’s multi-media digital venture, TheBlaze, as Betsy Morgan
exits …WBAP-KLIF/Dallas News Director Rick Hadley leaves after a
10-year run … The Broadcasters Foundation of America names former
CBS Radio President/CEO Dan Mason Co-Vice Chairman and Treasurer
of the group’s Board of Directors.
JULY: The battle over Voltair vs. Nielsen’s PPM continues to gain
heat as Nielsen announces it will not support Voltair and promises future
enhancements to improve PPM … Doctors order a 30-day radio silence for
Glenn Beck due to strained vocal cords … Bonnie Petrie joins WTMJ/
Milwaukee to co-anchor newscasts on Wisconsin’s Morning News with
Gene Mueller … After 45 years on the radio Sports/Talker Tony Bruno
exits his WIP/Philadelphia show and broadcast radio to pursue podcasting
Page 2
and other interests … After 33 years on the job Delmarva Broadcasting
President/CEO Pete Booker retires. He’s succeeded by Jeff Boden …
Meghan McCain joins Premiere Networks as host of America Now …
Freda Ross is promoted to News Director for WBAP and KLIF/Dallas …
Colin Cowherd exits ESPN … KFMB-AM & FM/San Diego GM Gina
Landau announces her retirement after a 35-year career in the market …
CBS Radio names Scott Herman COO… Longtime First Light host and
Westwood One News anchor Dirk Van retires … Legendary sportscaster
Dick Enberg receives Major League Baseball’s Ford C. Frick Award for
broadcast excellence.
AUGUST: Glenn Ordway returns to WEEI/Boston after a nearly twoyear hiatus … The Rush Limbaugh Show celebrates it’s 28th year
in national syndication … Dawn Girocco joins Cumulus Media/Los
Angeles as VP/Market Manager for KABC and KLOS … KGO/San
Francisco host Ronn Owens undergoes deep brain stimulation surgery to
combat the effects of Parkinson’s … Lance Tidwell is named Senior Vice
President/Programming for iHeartMedia/San Antonio … Westwood
One syndicated talker Mark Levin’s book, Plunder and Deceit, hits #1
on the New York Times’ bestsellers list … Colin Cowherd inks a new TV
and radio deal with FOX Sports 1 and Premiere Networks’ syndicated
FOX Sports Radio … Ben Ferguson returns to PM Drive at WREC/
Memphis … Bob Agnew exits as PD at KLAA/Orange-Los Angeles and
segues to a new post as Media Director for Irvine, CA-based sports and
entertainment marketing firm Sports 1 Marketing … WDBO/Orlando
reporter/anchor Monica Rix joins FOX News Radio as a New York Citybased reporter … WDBJ-TV/Roanoke news reporter Alison Parker and
photo-journalist Adam Ward are shot and killed on live television by a
disgruntled former colleague … Vin Scully announces he plans to return
in 2016 for his 67th season in the Los Angeles Dodgers broadcast booth
… Salem Media Group rebrands its top-of-hour news product in a joint
partnership with
SEPTEMBER: 95-year old WCCO/Minneapolis sportscaster Sid
Hartman marks an unprecedented 60 years with the CBS Radio News/
Talker … Michael Czarnecki named Operations Manager and Assistant
Program Director at WRKO/Boston … ESPN Radio host Dan Le
Batard and Jon ‘Stugotz’ Weiner takeover Colin Cowherd’s former
10am-1pm midday slot on the network … After 30 years Van Harden
steps down as PD at WHO/Des Moines, but continues hosting his longrunning morning show with co-host Bonnie Lucas … Angela Corral is
promoted to News Director at KGO/San Francisco … Brett Winterble
joins KFMB/San Diego to host PM Drive … Dave Cadeau succeeds
Don Kollins as PD at CJCL/Toronto … WTMJ/Milwaukee Assistant
PD Eric Brooks is promoted to the newly created position of Program
Manager … HeartMedia/Tampa Bay re-signs Jack Harris to a contract
extension that will keep the market legend on WFLA for at least the next
three years … iHeartMedia promotes Carl Anderson to Market President
and Senior Vice President/Programming for the company’s seven station
Tucson cluster. He’ll also continue to serve as the company’s News/Sports/
December 18, 2015
Page 3
(continued from pg. 2)
Talk Brand Manager … On the eve of the 2015 NAB/RAB Radio Show,
Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey is ousted by the company’s Board and
replaced by Board member and former magazine industry executive Mary
Berner. Concurrently John Dickey, EVP Programming and Content also
exits … CBS Radio/Minneapolis SVP/Market Manager Mick Anselmo
announces his retirement.
OCTOBER: Bill Plaschke and Jeanne Zelasko are paired as morning
co-hosts at KFWB/Los Angeles … Heidi Harris and Alan Stock return
to KXNT/Las Vegas, hosting the station’s AM and PM drive shows,
respectively … Smokey Rivers is named Operations Manager for KQTH
and KFFN/Tucson … WYAY/Atlanta morning host Steve McCoy is
fired for re-editing and airing an old interview with Donald Trump and
passing it off as a newly obtained conversation with the GOP presidential
hopeful … Rusty Humphries is named SVP/Programming for Liftable
Media’s newly acquired USA Radio Networks, where he’ll also host a
new daily talk show, Trending Today USA … Brian Freeman, Director
of Spoken Word Formats and News at Curtis Media Group exits after an
eight-ear run with the company … KSPN/Los Angeles Senior Director/PD
Mike Thompson gets pink-slipped in a round of cost cutbacks at ESPN
Radio … Jeff Sottolano is promoted from Director of Programming
to VP/Programming at CBS Radio … Salem Radio Network signs
independently syndicated talker Steve Deace to air in the network’s 9pmmidnight (ET) slot.
NOVEMBER: Broadcast Company of the Americas promotes Mike
Shepard to VP/Programming and Operations for San Diego Sports/
Talker Mighty 1090 … Jim Ward and John Melendez join WYM
Media Management’s syndicated Stephanie Miller Show as co-hosts
… ‘Too Tall’ Tom Szymanski is named Chief Meteorologist at KFGO/
Fargo … Compass Media Networks inks a multi-year extenstion
with Gordon Deal to continue anchoring CMN’s daily syndicated
This Morning: America’s First News … Tim Hager named Market
President at iHeartMedia/Denver … The Chicago Cubs move their
play-by-play to WSCR/Chicago starting with the 2016 baseball season
… Michael Medved re-ups with Salem Radio Network through 2018
… 25-year New Jersey 101.5 morning host Jim Gearhart -- on an
extended leave of absence following a recent injury -- announces he’ll
not be returning to his daily show due to the extent of those injuries. Bill
Spadea succeeds him in wake-ups … Cumulus Media adds a new title
to Corporate Program Director for News/Talk and WMAL/Washington,
DC PD Bill Hess’ business card to also include Operations Manager for
the DC station cluster … Cumulus Media/San Francisco promotes Lee
Hammer to Operations Manager for KGO and KSFO, while Bay Area
radio veteran Mike Anthony is named PD for the stations. Hammer also
continues to serve as OM/PD for Sports clustermates KNBR and KTCT.
DECEMBER: Shannon Knoepke is named Senior Vice President/Market
Manager and Director of Sales for CBS Radio/Minneapolis-St. Paul …
WTMJ/Milwaukee names Brew City radio news veteran Jane Matenaer
as co-anchor of Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller … Rob
Stadler joins WYAY/Atlanta as Executive Producer and morning show
host … iHeartMedia/Sacramento ups SVP/Sales Sara McClure to
Market President … Areka Spencer named National Director of Digital
and On-air News Content for Midwest Communications … ABC News
Radio anchor Doug Limerick retires. Cheri Preston succeeds him as
the network’s morning drive anchor … Bonneville/Denver has named
Armen Williams Program Director for Sports/Talkers KKFN-FM and
KEPN-AM as Nate Lundy exits … KOA/Denver host Mike Rosen
retires. Mandy Connell moves from mornings at co-owned KHOW to
succeed Rosen in middays at KOA … WABC/New York host Geraldo
Rivera files a lawsuit charging Cumulus Media with reneging on a deal
to extend his contract through next year … Beasley Broadcast Group
promotes John Candelaria to Operations Manager at its five-station Las
Vegas cluster … Kirby Wilbur returns to KVI/Seattle … Howard Stern
re-ups at SiriusXM … Mike Gallagher signs a contract extension with
Salem Radio Network … Art Bell pulls the plug on his recently launched
online show, saying this time he’s done for good, citing threats to his family
… Suzanne Grimes is named President of Cumulus Media’s Westwood
One Division and Executive Vice President of Corporate Marketing for all
of Cumulus … TO BE CONTINUED IN 2016!