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Posts Tagged ‘Don Imus’

Cumulus Taps Kim Bryant as New York Market Manager

Industry veteran Kim Bryant has been named executive in charge of Cumulus’ New York radio cluster. She’ll oversee all sales and station operations.

Bryant will lead the talk giant WABC with aging, albeit still a rating draw, Don Imus, and WPLJ on the FM.

“As you would expect, we had hundreds of applicants for this position and Kim, with her passion for radio and incredible resume, was always our first choice,”COO/EVP Jon Pinch, tells All Access. “With WFME expected to close shortly, Cumulus will own and operate a significant cluster in market number 1 and Kim’s leadership will be essential for our continued success.”

Bryant joins Cumulus after more than 25 years in radio and television, most recently serving as EVP/marketing and sales for international cable channel Cinemoi.

“I believe this is one of the most exciting times in broadcasting. With all of the platforms at our reach from digital, video to social media and the important roll that radio plays in all of it,” Bryant said. “There is no place that I would rather be then with a progressive company like Cumulus and in one of the most important markets like New York City. I am thrilled to be working with the Cumulus team and one of the fastest growing radio companies in the U.S. today.”

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Taking the ‘McKay Way’ to WPLJ, WABC

There are dozens of radio traffic reporters in the New York market. Many of them could be deemed “interchangable” with a cookie cutter sound. Only a select few in the last 20 years have been able to make a career, and be known to a large number of listeners. And then there’s Jeff McKay!

McKay is clearly the most engaging traffic reporter in the business. Therefore, his stock is constantly on the rise. After many years as a full-time gridlock guy on 1010 WINS, mainly nights and weekends, McKay landed as the morning traffic anchor with a managerial role at Merlin Media’s ill-conceived, FM News. But McKay has never been ill-conceived. His reports stay true every 10 minutes, never crossing into gimmicky. He straddles a line effortlessly from entertaining to informing like few in the traffic world have ever done.

Once the writing was on the wall at Merlin last year, and Merlin fired the majority of its staff, McKay began his quest for the next radio home.

“I was looking at a number of scenarios, in radio, television and outside of broadcasting, and had received several offers I liked,” McKay admits. “However, the possibilities with Radiate Media and Cumulus was the best position for me and my family.”

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Cumulus Gives Don Imus a Multi-Year Extension

Don Imus, the legendary morning man, has extended his relationship with Cumulus Media through 2015. The I-Man has inked a deal keeping him anchored to the 77 WABC 6 a.m. to 10 a.m shift for another three years. Imus in the Morning is syndicated to all 50 states.

“I am delighted that our listeners and advertisers have the certainty of knowing Don and his amazing team at ‘Imus in the Morning’ will remain on 77 WABC for at least three more years,” said John Dickey, co-chief operating officer at Cumulus. “Don’s a radio legend and is an important part of our team.”

Following a stint in Cleveland, Imus headed to New York’s WNBC in 1971. After being fired by that station in 1977, Imus was back at 660 in 1979. From 1982 to 1985, Imus formed a one-two punch with afternoon personality Howard Stern that led to famous ad campaign with the radio stars,”If we weren’t so bad, we wouldn’t be so good.”

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Current TV Bets on Progressive Radio Stars Bill Press, Stephanie Miller

During his time at MSNBC, programming executive David Bohrman took the bold step of giving radio personality Don Imus a TV simulcast. Those would turn out to be the earliest days of what is now a booming cable format, especially at Current, where Bohrman is currently president.

Added in March, the network’s six-hour “morning block” features three hours with Washington D.C. based Bill Press, followed by three more led from Burbank by Stephanie Miller. Intriguingly, Press remembers those Imus simulcast days well.

“At the time, Imus didn’t have a huge following nationwide, but he did in D.C.,” Press tells FishbowlLA via telephone earlier this week from the TCA. “In a sense, Bohrman is attempting to repeat his experiences at MSNBC with this Current morning block.”

Press says the expansion of his program to TV has brought only minor changes: he puts on a little powder each morning to reduce the glare and his producers are making an effort to up the number of in-studio guests. Miller on the other hand tells us that she goes straight from the radio show each day to a spinning class, so for her, it’s sweatpants and her naturally scrubbed complexion.

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Gustavo Arellano Takes His Taco Act to Chelsea Lately

When we first wrote about OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano’s great book Taco USA, we noted that he was having no trouble drumming up publicity. Tonight, that statement reaches a new level of “truthiness” thanks to his scheduled appearance on Chelsea Lately. Per Arellano:

Rest assured, we’re not just going to gab on a couch. There will be eating and drinking and Chuy, and hopefully it’ll be better than my laughable appearance on The Colbert Report in 2006. Tune in TONIGHT!!!!

This definitely rates as must-si TV, so set your DVRs. And honestly, any author who manages to chat with both Don Imus and Chelsea Handler about a food history book has covered all the PR bases.

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Mike Francesa ‘50-50’ on Renewing WFAN Contract in Two Years

Whether you call him arrogant, curt, opinionated, argumentative, abrupt, or intolerant, Mike Francesa agrees.

However, as we conclude our celebration of WFAN’s 25th anniversary, the longtime afternoon host was nothing but open and candid during our wide-ranging, sit-down interview.

Francesa, the station’s signature talent, an afternoon mainstay for 23 years, is starting to think about retirement.

“My contract will expire in two years from right now. For the first time ever, we’re not going to negotiate until a year from now,” Francesa admits to FishbowlNY. “… When we’re a year out, we will have a conversation, Dan [Mason, CBS Radio, president and CEO], Mark [Chernoff, WFAN operations manager]. Les Moonves [CBS, president and CEO], if he gets involves. He did last time.

“…Two years could be enough. It would be 25 years. I don’t know. It depends on a lot of things… Right now, I’d say it’s ’50-50,’ it could go either way.”

Francesa, 58, realizes that any decision about his future would be made for him once he stopped being a revenue generator.

“I am an economic realist. I’ve understood from the beginning this is a business,” Francesa says. “And that’s why I feel blessed that I’ve been able to be here in this position for 25 years.”

Of course, the bulk of those years Francesa shared, sometimes contentiously, with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo. Their 19-year partnership ended suddenly in 2008 when Russo (“Mad Dog”) bolted for Sirius XM.

“I didn’t begrudge him leaving for one second. I never had an issue with that,” Francesa says. “It just wasn’t handled properly, which I think he now understands it and would readily admit.”

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The Chernoff Chronicles: Celebrating 25 Years of WFAN

The nation’s first all-sports radio station is about to celebrate 25 years, and FishbowlNY is joining in the accolades.

Beginning today, we start a special, week-long series commemorating WFAN’s silver milestone July 1.

There are interviews with two charter members of the station, the first person on the air, and the signature voice a quarter-century later.

But we begin with a look back through the eyes of operations manager Mark Chernoff, who joined WFAN in 1993.

WHN owned the frequency at 1050 when Emmis suits, led by Jeff Smulyan, decided country music had run its course.

Smulyan, sales manager Joel Hollander, and others flipped the battle-tested country format in 1987 to sports. It was a mixed blessing, as WFAN was an untouched canvas on the radio easel.

“Its earliest incarnation was very different from what the ‘FAN eventually became,” Chernoff says.

Specifically, the programs were national in flavor, with many short-form features interspered within the shows. Original programming also consisted of 4 sports updates per hour, as opposed to today’s “20-20″ version. The Mets and WFAN have been perfect together since the station’s inception.

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Imus Annual Radiothon Still Tallying for Charity

Don Imus‘ annual Radiothon is still generating big money for good causes. Imus used his radio show Thursday and Friday to raise funds for several worthy organizations.

The money goes toward CJ Foundation for SIDS, Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund, and the Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer.

As of today, Imus.com states that radiothon has raised $764,000, and they are still tallying the figures.

Those interested can still call-in donations to 1-888-284-IMUS. Furthermore, listeners can make a $10 donation by texting the word IMUS to 20222.

The Imus Radiothon is also conducting an online auction with various pieces of sports merchandise. Also on the auction docket, a chance to be a guest alongside the I-Man on his daily WABC morning show, syndicated across the country.

FishbowlNY: Year in Review

As we get ready to usher in 2012, let’s take one more look at the biggest broadcasting stories that FishbowlNY covered in 2011.

In January, Scott Clark closes out a brilliant career at WABC, retiring after nearly a quarter-century at Channel 7.

Maurice DuBois makes his debut as WCBS/Channel 2 lead anchor when he is promoted to nights opposite Kristine Johnson. Chris Wragge shifts his energy to The Early Show, but that wasn’t the last we would hear from him.

Also as 2011 began, veteran radio talk host Curtis Sliwa adds an afternoon shift to his Apple/WNYM duties.

In February, among the notable events, WNBC/Channel 4 welcomes home Shiba Russell from Boston. She was named weekend anchor with David Ushery. Russell fueled speculation that she was Sue Simmons’ “heir apparent,” as the main (if not exclusive) fill-in for the legendary anchor, who started at Channel 4 in 1980.

On the radio, Craig Allen, a veteran in his own right, agrees to a three-year extension as WCBS 880’s chief meteorologist. Two months later, Allen marked 30 years at the station.

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Bob Pittman, One-Time WNBC-AM Programmer, Named a Clear Channel CEO

Bob Pittman, whose had a successful media run as broadcasting executive, has been named Clear Channel CEO of Media Holdings.

Pittman joined the company last November as chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms, helping to transform Clear Channel from a traditional “old media” company to a media and entertainment company for the digital age. 

In his new role, Pittman will oversee the company’s global media properties, including broadcast, digital and mobile syndication, media representation and outdoor.

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