Week of 01.17.11
Gross Communications hires Pete DeSimone as VP/general manager for smooth AC WLOQ, Orlando (103.1). It’s a return to the market for DeSimone, who previously spent ten years at Cox Media Group AC WMMO (98.9). He also was general sales manager at CHR WAPE-FM, Jacksonville (95.1) for Cox. Most recently he was market manager for Oasis Radio Group’s Ft. Wayne, IN cluster.
Pandora hires Draftfcb director of media innovations Kim Luegers as its first director of mobile and emerging media. It’s a strong signal the online streaming music website sees its future not just on desktops and dashboards, but also in mobile devices. Luegers previously worked at OMD and was a media planner for mediaedge:CIA from 2000 to 2005.
The first news director for National Public Radio, Cleve Matthews, died January 14 in Asheville, NC. He was 84. The Texas native was a print reporter then editor who worked his way to Washington, DC. In 1971 he joined NPR as news director, where he and director of programming Bill Siemering launched the flagship “All Things Considered” broadcasting. Mathews left NPR in 1974 to become a journalism professor, first at Wichita State University in Kansas then at Syracuse University’s Newhouse, where he remained until retiring in 1991.
CBS News Radio senior producer and writer Liz Dribben has died December 20 after a long illness. She was 73. The Buffalo, NY native worked in television in her home market at WKBW-TV during the 1960s before heading to New York to join CBS News. She spent 21 years at CBS, including producing radio features hosted by Mike Wallace, Dan Rather and Charles Osgood. After retiring in 1993 she became a commentator for New York Public Radio’s WNYC-FM (93.9) and ABC’s WEVD (1050). She also taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Dribben was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2001.
Buck “Sammy Mack” Wilde
Service Broadcasting urban “K-104” KKDA, Dallas shifts morning host Buck “Sammy Mack” Wilde to overnights. No successor has been named, but co-host DeDe McGuire will fill the timeslot in the meantime. Wilde joined KKDA last October from Cox Media Group urban “95.7 Jamz” WBHJ, Birmingham.
Clear Channel sports “The Zone” KVET, Austin names Bucky Godbolt as its new morning show host. It’s a return to the station for Godbolt, who has most recently been co-hosting mornings on country sister KVET-FM (98.1) alongside Bob Cole.
Cumulus Media Partners country “99.5 The Wolf” KPLX, Dallas morning co-host Chris Sommer exits after nearly 20 years at the station. In a Facebook post he says his wife had major back surgery last month and her recovery isn’t going as well as hoped. KPLX morning host Paul Koffy exited the station last week. That leaves Lisa Taylor as the remaining morning show member.
Wayne Carlyle, Tommy Garrett
NextMedia “Your Country 95.1” WRNS, New Bern/Morehead City, NC program director/morning host Tommy Garrett announces he’ll resign from the station after 23 years at month’s end. Assistant PD/MD/afternoon host Tommy Garrett has been interim program director. Part-time personality Ed Hawkins is slotted in afternoons.
Larry Wachs, Eric Von Haessler
Known to listeners as “Regular Guys,” Cumulus Media has signed a new three-year contract with “Rock 100.5” WWWQ, Atlanta morning hosts Larry Wachs and Eric Von Haessler. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports co-host “Southside” Steve Rickman is still negotiating a new contract.
CBS Radio AC “Fresh 102.5” KEZK, St. Louis hires John Carney as its new morning host, as he moves over from news/talk sister KMOX (1120). Carney has been on KMOX for 12 years. KMOX is the station where his late father Jack also worked for many years. John Carney previously worked at WEW, St. Louis as well as at stations in Denver; Carbondale, IL and Columbia, MO. CBS recently re-launched KEZK under the “Fresh” brand.
Jeff Detrow, Jerry Cesak
Veteran San Diego morning personalities Jeff Detrow and Jerry Cesak, known to listeners as hosts of the “Jeff and Jer Showgram,” return to the air on CBS Radio AC KYXY (96.5). The pair has worked in San Diego for 23 years, most recently at Clear Channel hot AC “Star 94.1” KMYI from 2005 to 2009. They previously worked at modern AC “Star 100.7” KFMB-FM (1997-2005), “Q-106” KKLQ (1993-1997), “B-100” KFMB-FM (1990-1993) and “Y-95” KKYY. The new show cast includes producer Tommy Sablan, Laura Cain and Randy Hoag.
Lu Ann Stoia
Clear Channel’s news/talk WTVN, Columbus, OH (610) news director Lu Ann Stoia and reporters Greg Kurtz and Ron Smith are the latest staff cuts as part of the companywide reconfiguration of newsgathering. The Columbus Dispatch reports WTVN had been a regional news “hub” for Ohio stations, but those operations have been shifted to WLW, Cincinnati (700).
Entercom’s Madison, WI cluster promotes Jessica Seeland to director of marketing, succeeding Sarah Tood, who exits. Seeland has been with Entercom since 2005, most recently as director of digital content for the Madison stations.
Rev. Duane Stenzel
Louisiana broadcasters are remembering Rev. Duane Stenzel, a Catholic radio operator in the state, who died January 18. He was 83. Stenzel launched “Radio Maria” KJMJ, Alexandria, LA (580).
The Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) honors Westwood One writer/producer Jana Polsky with the 2010 AWM Achievement Award. AWM selected Polsky for the award in recognition of her accomplishments in strengthening the role of AWM within the industry as well as her contributions to the media. The 2010 Achievement Award will be presented to Polsky at AWM’s Leadership Training and Women in Media Ownership Symposium in Washington, D.C., March 24-25, 2011.
Tribune Broadcasting’s “Radio 720” WGN, Chicago hires Bill White as program director, succeeding Kevin Metheny. He joins from Greater Media’s Charlotte cluster where he was operations director. White had been at WBT (1110) since 2001 as program director. He’s also programmed KDKA, Pittsburgh; KMBZ, Kansas City; WTVN, Columbus and WTIC, Hartford.
Phathead, Marty Mitchell
JVC Broadcasting hires veteran personality Phathead as program director/morning host for “My Country 96.1” WJVC, Long Island, NY. He’s previously programmed JVC’s rhythmic CHR “Party 105.3” WPTY, Long Island and Spanish “La Fiesta” WBON (98.5). He also worked at modern rock “K-Rock” WXRK, New York and rhythmic CHR WBLI, Long Island (106.1). JVC also hires “Party Marty” Mitchell as assistant PD/music director/afternoon host. He’s also worked at Barnstable Broadcasting’s AC “K-Joy” WKJY and oldies “B-103” WBZO on Long Island. Mitchel also worked at the former country “Y-107” WYNY, New York format.
Minnesota Public Radio-American Public Media hires Randi Yoder as senior vice president for development. She joins from the Greater Twin Cities United Way, where she has served as senior vice president for donor relations.
Clear Channel reportedly downsizes at this Bakersfield, CA cluster. Exiting are news director Miranda Whitworth and rock KRAB (106.1) night host Marcus Mills, whose shift will be covered by the syndicated “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” according to the Californian newspaper.
Jason Goodman, Doug McKnight
Dick Broadcasting’s classic rock “Rock 92” WKRR, Greensboro/Winston-Salem (92.3) PD/MD Doug McKnight exits after six years at the station. Dick Broadcasting director of programming Jason Goodman will absorb his duties. Goodman is program director/afternoon host of sister CHR WKZL (107.5)
Adelle Marie Borchetta
McVay New Media hires Adelle Marie Borchetta as vice president of social media. She will be responsible for selling and representing the musical digital social media marketing services of McVay New Media. She most recently ran her own artist promotion company based in Nashville. While best known for its radio work, McVay Media has developed and manages the social platforms of artists, management companies, and labels.
Jeff Swank, Greg Heindel
Clear Channel news/talk WMAN, Mansfield, OH (1400) news director Jeff Swank and newscaster Greg Heindel have been laid-off reports the Mansfield News Journal. It’s part of a reorganization of the news department. Swank had been at WMAN for 13 years.
Entercom adult alternative “The Mountain” KMTT, Seattle (103.7) welcomes back former air personality hot Marty Riemer for afternoon drive, filling a slot opened by John Fisher, who returns to mornings. Riemer previously worked for 12 years at KMTT but was fired in September 2009. The opening was created by the exit earlier this month of morning host Sean Demery.
Juan Varleta, Charlie Maxx
AC “B-101” WBEB, Philadelphia promotes 11-year station veteran Juan Varleta to music director. The Philadelphia Enquirer reports station personality Charlie Maxx has been promoted to fulltime to take Varleta’s evening shift.
Veteran radio programming Tracy Cloherty joins BET Networks as vice president of talent. Cloherty is a former VP of programming at Emmis, where she programmed rhythmic CHR “Hot 97” WQHT, New York. Cloherty was also PD for CBS Radio’s “K-Rock” WXRK, New York which has since flipped to CHR “92.3 Now.”
“Big Rick” Stuart
Cumulus adult alternative KFOG, San Francisco (104.5) evening host “Big Rick” Stuart exits the station after a 10-year run. No successor has been named. Stuart hints he may turn up at Citadel cross-town “News Talk 810” KGO.
Clear Channel’s “The Sports Animal” WDAE, Tampa (620) personality Whitney Johnson exits the station. He’d been at WDAE since 1998. Most recently he’d been doing sportscasts during afternoon drive.
Beasley Broadcast Group’s rhythmic CHR “Wired 96.5” WRDW, Philadelphia promotes acting program director Kannon to PD, succeeding Leo Baldwin who exited last month. Kannon had been music director/afternoon drive host, which he’ll continue to handle. He also hosts the syndicated “Open House Party” on Sunday nights.
Raymond Royal Marshall
Syndicated host Neal Boortz's engineer and sidekick Raymond Royal Marshall died January 15 of a heart attack. He was 43. Marshall collapsed at his home and paramedics were unable to revive him. Marhsall had his own nighttime talk show on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB, Atlanta (750) in the mid-1990s, but was best known for the 17 years he spent as part of Boortz’s team.
Jay “Jammer” Scott
Brewer Broadcasting’s news/talk “Pulse Radio” WPLZ, Chattanooga (95.3) afternoon drive personality Jay “Jammer” Scott exits the station in what he says via Facebook was a “difference of opinion regarding direction of show.” The station promotes midday host Stuart James to afternoons. Scott previously was the afternoon host on Citadel’s “Talk Radio 102.3” WGOW-FM.
Townsquare Media’s hot AC “Channel 95.7” WLHT-FM, Grand Rapids (95.7) hires veteran market personality Sabrina Fairchild for middays, replacing Wendy Reed who moves to nights. She previously was part of the morning show on the formerly country WOOD-FM (105.7) from 2005-2007 and worked at CHR WSNX, Muskegon (104.5) from 1993-2005.
Saga hot AC WKNE, Keene, NH (103.7) hires “Sunny” Joe Allen for afternoons. He joins from the Syracuse, NY market where he worked at rhythmic AC “Movin 100.3” WMVN and country “Wolf 105.1” WOLF-FM.
The Albany and Utica, NY markets are remembering Larry Oyer, who died January 11 after a brief illness. Oyer was 57. He spent most of his 24-year radio career at “Rock 107” WTLB, Utica, under the air name “Larry Williams” but he also worked in the Albany, NY market at AC “B-95.5” WYJB, “Country 107.7” WGNA and news/talk WROW (590) before joining the Albany Times Union newspaper.