Week of 09.06.10
SMAHH Communications president/CEO Scott Hennen relinquishes day-to-day operational oversight of the four-station Fargo, ND-based company, although he’ll remain a shareholder. Hennen is also off talk "The Flag 1100" WZFG where he hosted a morning (8-11am) show. A memo to staff says WZFG will put more emphasis on local news and information going forward. Hennen left WDAY, Fargo two years ago to help launch "The Flag." No successors have been named for either the CEO position or the vacant WZFG timeslot.
Webcaster AccuRadio.com has brought on veteran urban radio programmer Barbara Prieto to program and market "AccuRadio R&B," the company’s new selection of urban and R&B music. Prieto’s experience in the ‘80s and ‘90s included stints at legendary urban stations WGCI, Chicago where she was music director and assistant program director – and WKYS, Washington where she was PD.
Clear Channel’s country WTQR, Greensboro, NC (104.1) hires Jeff Wicker for afternoon drive. Wicker is a veteran of stations in Chicago, Charlotte and Richmond. He’s also been in numerous commercials, movies and television shows including: One Life To Live, One Tree Hill and Dawson's Creek.
Dee Dee "Spinderella" Roper
Perhaps best known as half the 1980s duo Salt N’ Pepa, Dee Dee "Spinderella" Roper is also host of SupeRadio’s syndicated "BackSpin" mix show. In her second move into local radio, Roper signs-on to become the midday personality at Radio One urban AC "94.5 K-Soul" KSOC, Dallas. She previously was an air personality at Radio One’s now-defunct "92.3 The Beat" KKBT, Los Angeles. Radio One also hires Roper’s "BackSpin" on-air partner David "DJ MoDav" Johnson to co-host the midday timeslot — giving the station a rare two-person midday team.
Bonneville sports "710 ESPN" KIRO, Seattle program director Owen Murphy exits after less than one year in the position after being promoted from assistant PD. He previously worked for ESPN Radio and MLB.com.
Stephen J. Dubner
American Public Media and New York Public Radio announce a production deal with Freakonomics co-author Stephen J. Dubner to create "Freakonomics Radio" starting this fall. The public radio program will include the best-selling book's iconoclastic approach to everyday economics. Freakonomics Radio will become a biweekly features for APM's weekday business program "Marketplace" and a new podcast will be launched in early 2011. Dubner will continue to maintain, with co-author Steven Levitt, the Freakonomics blog on the New York Times website.
Cumulus Tallahassee has a new VP/market manager: Dot Ealy. She’s been at the cluster since 2008 first as general sales manager for the five-station operation, and most recently as director of sales.
Clear Channel’s San Diego VP of sales Brad Samuel exits the seven-station cluster after five years in the position. No replacement has been named. Samuel previous worked with the Clear Channel Los Angeles cluster.
Timeless Cool hires singer-songwriter Ruby Amanfu for middays on the new 24/7 music network. The Ghana-born Amanfu has been a soul/blues solo artist and half of the Sam & Ruby singing duo with hits in the U.S. and Europe.
Connoisseur Media hires Randy Dunn to be general manager of its Huntington, WV stations including soft AC "Magic 97.9" WMGA and adult hits "101.5 Bob FM" WXBW. Dunn joins from Clear Channel’s Huntington cluster where he most recently was general sales manager.
Peak Broadcasting’s "93.7 Kiss Country" KSKS, Fresno PD/morning host Tom Jordan exits after a three years stint with the station. Peak chose not to renew his contract. Filling morning drive are existing KSKS personalities Greg Lane and "Gnarley" Charlie Fitzgerald. Former KSKS morning co-host Erica Pierce slides into middays. Peak says additional programming changes and news of a new PD are forthcoming.
Westwood One network division president Gary Schonfeld exits after two years at the company. He returns to his consultancy, ADLARGE Media. Schonfeld’s duties overseeing network sales and operations will be absorbed by Westwood One president Rod Sherwood.
Envision Radio Networks promotes Matt Wardlaw to director of operations. In his new role, Wardlaw will help oversee programming while also helping to review and develop new programming. Wardlaw, who spent the past four years as Envision’s director of marketing, and will continue to oversee Envision’s marketing efforts. Wardlaw previously spent three years in affiliate relations for the syndicator. He also hosts "The Inner Sanctum" on CBS Radio’s modern rock "Radio 92.3" WKRK-FM, Cleveland.
Mary Lee Robinson
Former Jacor and Clear Channel director of sales Mary Lee Robinson has been tapped as market manager for Bustos Media’s Salt Lake City operations including three radio stations and one TV station. Robinson had been serving as the interim manager since late May while finishing up work with her advertising agency, Hula Girl. Robinson started her career in her native Cincinnati and rose to sales manager with CBS before relocating to Salt Lake City with Jacor in 1997. Prior to forming Hula Girl, she and two partners created the still successful Salt Lake City agency Fuel.
Schurz Communication's "News Talk 960" WSBT, South Bend, IN hires radio vet Bill Gamble as operations director. Most recently Gamble served as program director for CBS Radio in Chicago and was recently named as a consultant for AccuRadio.com’s country music channels.
Crista Broadcasting has named Tim McCoy GM of "105.9 the River" KFMK, the Austin station it’s acquiring from the Aloha Station Trust, Clear Channel’s holding entity. Crista says it will re-launch the station’s contemporary Christian format September 20th, pending final confirmation of the license transfer from the FCC. A third-generation radio manager, McCoy’s background ranges from on-air talent to engineering to sales to sales management to general manager. Most recently, he served as VP/GM of Univision’s Austin cluster from 2003 to 2009. He’s also worked in management roles for Pulitzer Broadcasting, Susquehanna Radio and Hispanic Broadcasting.
Forever Broadcasting’s country "Froggy" WGYY (100.3) and WGYI (98.5) in Meadville/Franklin, PA program director and midday host Ron Smith died September 2 of heart failure. He was 49. Smith was known to listeners as "James Pond." It’s the second loss of a "Froggy" air personality this year. The station’s previous midday host – Karie "Crickett" Shields" – died May 3.
In an era of less news on music stations, Guyann Corp. announces it will expand news on all its Flagstaff, AZ stations. Newscaster Peter Bruce will offer live and local updates on all four of the cluster’s stations in morning drive. Bruce most recently was morning host on the classic country KAFF (930). That position will now be filled by afternoon host Cody Dugan, who’ll pull a split shift.
Press Communications’ CHR "Hit 106" WHTG, Monmouth-Ocean, NJ PD/afternoon personality Matt Knight exits. No word on a successor.
Kantar Media hires Jeffrey Boehme as chief research officer for its North American operations. Boehme was most recently in charge of Nielsen’s television initiatives. He’ll serve as the chief liaison for Kantar's Audiences sector with industry associations.
Former Scarborough Research executive Evan Goldfarb joins the media measurement agency Rentrak as senior vice president of sales for its Advanced Media and Information division that works with ad agencies. Goldfarb previously worked for Simmons Market Research and most recently was a sales manager at the marketing strategy firm Merkle.
After close to 30 years in mornings at Clear Channel’s “the Big 98” WSIX, Nashville, House says his “House Foundation” will air its final show December 15. House says he wants to devote more time to the other major writing projects he’s involved with.