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Cumulus Promotes Todd Livingston to General Sales Manager


Todd Livingston
Todd Livingston

Cumulus Media promotes Todd Livingston to General Sales Manager in Birmingham. He's a 32-year media executive who joined the local cluster in July, 2021 as Account Executive. Prior to that, he was Local Sales Manager for Spectrum Reach in Tuscaloosa. Livingston was Market Manager for Cumulus' former station group in Tuscaloosa from 2008-2014. He began his career in 1989 as an Account Executive with WTUG-FM and WTSK-AM in Tuscaloosa. He later became Sales Manager and then Director of Sales for Radio South's Tuscaloosa station group.

Cumulus Birmingham VP/Market Manager James Robinson said, "We are excited to have Todd on our team as General Sales Manager. Todd has deep roots and broadcast experience in Alabama and his ability to create actionable ideas for our client partners make him a valuable asset to our team in Birmingham."

Livingston commented, "I would like to thank James Robinson and the rest of the Cumulus family for the opportunity to be a part of the management team as one of the Sales Managers for Cumulus Media in Birmingham."

Audacy Names Two Additions to Performance Sales Team


Shirin Peykar and Dan Wolman
Shirin Peykar and Dan Wolman

Audacy welcomes Shirin Peykar as Senior Vice President of Performance Sales, effective January 19. In this role, Peykar will lead Audacy's performance sales team and sell across its portfolio of products, leaning heavily into the company's podcast library. Audacy also welcomes Dan Wolman as Vice President of Performance Sales. He'll work with performance clients and agencies to sell across Audacy's portfolio of digital audio brands, with a focus on its podcast business.

"Shirin's rich experience leading multi-faceted ad sales operations for premier media and entertainment companies makes her a valuable addition to our performance sales business," commented Executive Vice President of Digital Sales Ken Lagana. "We're equally as excited about the addition of Dan to the team, which will collectively strive to drive revenue, market share and profit performance for our portfolio of assets."

"I've been watching Audacy's progression in the podcast space over the past couple of years and their commitment to building a world class podcast portfolio has really impressed me," said Peykar. "When you couple that dedication to the podcast space and audio in general, I couldn't be more excited about bringing this portfolio to our performance clients and agencies."

Peykar is a 20-year advertising sales executive with experience at 33 major television networks. She joins Audacy after spending the last two years as Senior Vice President of Direct Response Ad Sales for Stitcher. Prior to that, she served as Vice President of Direct Response for Midroll Media, a Stitcher company. She launched her career as a sales coordinator for USA Networks in 2000.

"Audacy is the industry leader in audio while remaining innovative, representing chart-topping content, generating loyal listeners, and serving as the home to influential talent," said Wolman. "This is a performance sellers dream! I am excited to leverage my linear, OTT and audio experience with this role and celebrate many wins with Audacy and our client partners."

Wolman also joins Audacy from Stitcher, where he spent the last two years as Vice President of Performance Sales for the company and SXM Media. Prior to that role, he served in various sales executive roles for Hulu, Univision Communications and Turner Broadcasting, helping to build and grow their performance sales teams.

Waterloo Media/Austin Launches ''The New Mega 102.7''


''The New Mega 102.7''
''The New Mega 102.7''

Waterloo Media flips Adult Hits K274AX to "The New Mega 102.7"" today at noon as Austin's newest Rhythmic CHR outlet. Mega will feature Spanish and English Contemporary hits from Soda Estero, Camilo, Ariana Grande, Shakira and Bad Bunny. Plus Spanish Pop classic songs such as Natalia Lafourcade, Paulina Rubio, Moenia, Camila, Reik, and more.

Mega Program Director Roberto Ruiz said, "The Team and I are ecstatic to present a product that appeals to a generation of long-forgotten listeners who we feel will find comfort, nostalgia, and a sense of community in this broad spectrum of music. And we look forward to adding another successful brand to the Waterloo Media profile."

Ruiz will continue to program sister station KLZT (107.1 La Z), while searching for the best on-air talent for Mega. A full on air lineup will be announced soon, and the station can be streamed live now at mega1027.com.

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Bennett Zier wins MLK Jr. Community Leaders Award


Bennett Zier
Bennett Zier

Bennett Zier, Audacy Virginia Senior Vice President and Market Manager, is the recipient of The Urban League of Hampton Roads' annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders Award. Zier was honored Monday night at The Urban League of Hampton Roads' 38th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders event.

"I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the Audacy stations in Hampton Roads," said Zier. "It's our goal every day to embrace our local communities and partner with local leaders to build awareness in key areas like education, health and job growth...all while promoting compassion in our daily lives."

This award is presented to individuals or groups who exemplify service, demonstrate the values modeled by Dr. King, and make significant contributions to the Hampton Roads community. This year, Pharrell Williams served as the keynote speaker for the virtual event to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and recognize dedicated leaders in the Hampton Roads community.

PodcastOne Launches Show with Cobra Kai Star Martin Kove


Cobra Koves
Cobra Koves

PodcastOne is launching the Cobra Koves podcast and vodcast with "Cobra Kai" star Martin Kove. The program will make its debut on January 20 and features Kove and his children, fraternal twins Jesse and Rachel, as they recap episodes of the Netflix global television series, share stories from the original Karate Kid trilogy of films and give insight into their close-knit family bond.

Kove (aka "Sensei John Kreese") and his two kids, actor and entrepreneur Jesse Kove and mental health expert and businesswoman Rachel Kove, invite you into their family life as they unpack episodes of "Cobra Kai." The Koves will feature guests, including actors, athletes, musicians and psychology experts as they discuss Cobra Kai, Hollywood, pop culture, spirituality, mental health, bullying and more.

"As a Karate Kid fan growing up, and now a Cobra Kai fan, I could not be more excited to welcome the Koves to the PodcastOne family. The stories and insight that Martin, Jesse and Rachel will share on Cobra Koves will capture and charm everyone from television fans, to film buffs to listeners looking for a set of dynamic hosts delivering top notch content. We cannot wait to share this podcast with the world," said PodcastOne President Kit Gray.

SiriusXM and PGA Tour Agree to Multi-Year Extension


SiriusXM
SiriusXM

The PGA Tour and SiriusXM have reached a multi-year extension to their broadcasting agreement, which will continue to deliver tournament coverage on the SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio channel for subscribers nationwide through 2024. SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio carries live coverage of every round of 38 events throughout the season -- including The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs, the biennial Presidents Cup and many others. Listeners can tune in live this week to The American Express on January 20-23.

"We are very pleased to extend our relationship with the PGA TOUR. Our extensive schedule of in-depth tournament broadcasts will continue to ensure golf fans can follow the best players in the world as they compete all season long," said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein. "With live event broadcasts every week, and a daily original programming lineup that features some of the most entertaining voices in the game, the best golf coverage in audio entertainment, bar none, continues to be on SiriusXM."

"We are excited to continue our relationship with SiriusXM who provides a significant avenue for the Tour to reach fans across the country," added PGA Tour Chief Media Officer Rick Anderson. "Since 2005, SiriusXM has delivered crucial play-by-play and colorful commentary of the best golf in the world to fans that are driving in their cars, at home or on the go."

AWMF Extends Deadline for the 2022 Gracie Award Entries


The Gracies
The Gracies

The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) announces that the final deadline to submit entries for the 47th annual Gracie Awards has been extended until January 27. The regular deadline, with no additional fee, is January 20. The Gracie Awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, celebrates programming and individual achievement by, for and about women in radio/audio, television and digital media. Submissions from all facets of media are encouraged.

AWMF says the media community has been working tirelessly to keep the public informed the past two years of the ever-evolving pandemic while also learning to produce content in new ways. "It is an important time to celebrate storytellers and content creators who are informing, entertaining and creating new ways to engage the audience," said the organization. A full list of the categories can be found here.

"We know the circumstances of the past two years led to delivering content to audiences in ways we never expected, which is why we are more committed than ever to honoring the remarkable work that has been created by, for and about women," said AWMF president Becky Brooks. "As our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Gracie Awards enable the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to deliver on its promise of furthering the connection, education and recognition of women in media even during times of uncertainty."

The Gracie Awards Gala is still currently scheduled for an in-person celebration May 24 at the famed Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire and Gracie Awards Luncheon for June 22 at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Los Angeles Talk Radio Legend Michael Jackson Dead at 87


Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson

Legendary KABC Radio and veteran Los Angeles talk personality Michael Jackson died Saturday at his home in Los Angeles, after suffering from Parkinson's Disease for the past decade. He was 87. Jackson's radio career spanned five decades and he spent 32 years at KABC Radio in Los Angeles (1966-1998) and was syndicated on the ABC Radio Network for nearly a decade.

Jackson had interviewed hundreds of public figures, including Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush along with heads of state, governors, senators, a-list movie and TV stars, authors, musicians, singers and artists.

"The world knew and adored our Michael Jackson. But Michael's home was California, Los Angeles, America. For that we are grateful," said Barbara Boxer, former California Senator (1993-2017) and frequent guest on the "Michael Jackson Show" in a statement.

Throughout his career, Jackson received numerous accolades and awards including: Induction into the Radio Hall of Fame (2003), Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1984), four Golden Mike Awards, Los Angeles Times "Number One Radio Talk Host of the Year" (1997-98), honorary Doctorate of Laws from Western School of Law, presentation of the French Legion of Merit Award, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). In addition, more than two thousand of his iconic historic radio interviews housed in the Library of Congress.

"It was a testament to Michael, that so many of the guests and celebrities preferred to actually come in studio, rather than do phoners," said Jackson's Show Producer Lyle Gregory of 30 years and close family friend. "With his British accent and boyhood charm, Michael made people comfortable, they opened up. That was his gift. Michael molded an interview into conversation, news and information. Like two people sitting at a kitchen table talking. A table, an open window, where millions tuned in daily across the nation, so many of them referring to Michael as their personal University."

In 1965, Jackson married Alana Ladd, daughter of movie star Alan Ladd. She died in 2014. Together they had three children and five grandchildren. Jackson is survived by his children Alan Jackson, Alisa Magno and Devon Jackson, their spouses, Heidi, Tom and Sarah and his Grandchildren Taylor, Emily, Adeline, Amelia and Hugo.

Jackson's children asked, "Everyone honor his time-honored legacy by being polite and good to one another. To unite as one people and to uphold Democracy in the America that our Father so cherished and promoted though out his life on-air and at home. We are grateful for our Loving Father and to those of you who loved him too."

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MIW Welcomes Three New Members to Board of Directors


Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio
Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio

Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) has announced three new members to its board of directors, including Haley Jones of MRC Data, Melissa Mitchell of Bonneville International and Brittney Jackson of Urban One/Radio One. MIW consists of top-level female radio professionals who use their experience, influence and resources to help other women in radio develop management and leadership skills.

Brittney Jackson currently serves as the General and Digital Sales Manager for Urban One/Radio One in Richmond, VA where she is responsible for recruiting and developing new talent, leading multi-platform sales efforts and increasing annual revenue. A graduate of MIWs 2016 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program, Jackson has participated in numerous leadership programs and has served as a speaker at National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation's Media Sales Institute and the RAB/NAB Radio Show.

Haley Jones serves as Head of Independents for MRC Data where she oversees independent labels, small radio groups and managers with music intelligence for today -- whether that's airplay, consumption data (sales or streaming), or helping clients understand changing consumer behaviors. Haley, who currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, previously spent over 20 years programming radio, shaping brands such as KFOG in San Francisco, KGSR in Austin and KMTT in Seattle.

Melissa Mitchell is Bonneville International's Director of Finance, Corporate Controller and located in their Denver market. In her role with Bonneville, she is responsible for financial accounting and reporting, accounts payable, consolidated traffic operations, and operational process and reporting improvement for the company's six markets in Denver, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City and Seattle. Mitchell has over 25 years of broadcast experience. She has been an active member of the Media Financial Management Association and its board since 2008 and is currently serving as Immediate Past Chair.

MIW Board President Ruth Presslaff said, "We are extremely fortunate to have not one but three powerhouses join our board. Their success speaks for itself; it's their willingness to pay it forward for the good of women and our industry that makes each so special and appreciated. I'd be remiss in not thanking the three Members leaving our Board as their terms end: Kay Olin, Principal Olin & Associates and past MIW Spokeswoman, whose constant leadership, dedication, and long term participation profoundly impacted MIW and me personally; Valerie Blackburn, Principal VKB Consulting, whose financial expertise led MIW through the arduous process of establishing a formal 501(c)(3) status; and Beth Neuhoff President & CEO Neuhoff Media who provided invigorating energy and challenging ideas that MIW will push ever forward."

In addition to these three new members, the 2022 MIW board of directors includes Lindsay Adams, Vice President, National Partnerships for Audacy; Corinne Baldassano, Senior Vice President Programming & Operations at Take On The Day, LLC/The Dr. Laura Program; Angie Balderas, Senior Vice President and Market Manager with Entravision Communications; Erica Farber, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Radio Advertising Bureau; Tricia Gallenbeck, Vice President and Market Manager with Cumulus; Valerie Geller, Consultant/Author Geller Media International; Sheila Kirby Senior Vice President Sales Acceleration for Audacy; Denyse Mesnik, President of The Mesnik Group; and Ruth Presslaff, President of Presslaff Interactive.

Townsquare Utica Announces Bill McAdams Retirement


Bill McAdams
Bill McAdams

Townsquare Media/Utica, NY home to WFRG (Big Frog 104), WLZW (Lite 98.7), WODZ (96.1 The Eagle), WIBX 950 (WIBX) and WOUR-FM, has announced the retirement of Brand Manager Bill "Tad Pole" McAdams, who's also the co-host of the "Tad and Polly" morning show on Big Frog 104. His co-host and spouse, Stacey "Polly Wogg" McAdams, will get a new morning partner with the addition of Carl Neff.

"We are so incredibly thankful for Bill McAdams' immeasurable contributions to Townsquare Media. As a programming leader over the last decade, he has helped build WFRG/Big Frog 104 into a mammoth radio brand, and helped expand WFRG and all of our stations into successful, multi-media brands," said Townsquare Utica Market President Karen Carey. "We wish Bill the absolute best in his well-deserved retirement."

Carey continued, "We are excited to welcome Carl Neff back home to our Townsquare Media team, as Big Frog 104's new Morning Show Co-Host, with Polly. Carl is a fresh, energetic talent who is excited to connect with the Big Frog 104 audience. Carl is starting with this sage advice: Put on your seatbelt, Carl, because you are in for one heck of a ride with Polly!"

"We are ready to kick off 2022 by welcoming home Carl Neff. I know our audience on Big Frog 104 will be excited to have him on-air with Polly, and to follow their crazy shenanigans on our station app," added Townsquare Utica Director of Content David Wheeler. "Bill McAdams has been an incredible Brand Manager for Big Frog 104, and an incredible coach in our industry, for so many years. It's sad to see him go, but we are happy he will be able to have some relaxing time on the golf course when the snow finally thaws out. We wish him nothing but the best in retirement, and look forward to watching Polly yell at his cooking on Facebook."

"Getting this opportunity with Big Frog is huge for me. As someone who has grown up listening to Big Frog, joining the morning show is an unbelievable feeling. I have worked hard to get where I am, ever since I got my first opportunity on-air six years ago. Replacing Tadpole, a Central New York staple, has left me with big shoes to fill. But I can assure you, Polly and I will prove doubters wrong. We both have the same drive and love for media. Thank you to Townsquare for giving me this opportunity. I'm living my dream in the place I call home," commented Neff.

Carl Neff first joined Townsquare Media as an intern in 2018 and worked his way up to weekend parttime on 96.1 The Eagle and Big Frog 104. After graduating SUNY Oswego for Broadcasting in 2020, he worked as afternoon news anchor on WHCU in Ithaca New York. He returns to his hometown and Townsquare to co-host mornings with Polly on Big Frog 104.

Ben Boyd Named Manager of Cardinals Radio Network


Ben Boyd
Ben Boyd

Audacy News/Talk KMOX-AM and K254CR/St. Louis Executive Producer Ben Boyd is appointed Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals Radio Network, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He replaces Anne Carroll, who retired after 34 years heading the MLB team's radio network. Boyd joined KMOX in 2011 and previously served as a producer at SiriusXM MLB Network Radio, Sports WXOS-FM (101 ESPN)/St. Louis and Sports KSLG-AM (1380 ESPN)/St. Louis.

AdLarge Expands Portfolio with Murdaugh Murders Podcast


Murdaugh Murders
Murdaugh Murders

AdLarge welcomes the "Murdaugh Murders" podcast into the company's ad sales network portfolio. Named #5 in the top new shows of 2021 by Apple Podcasts, the "Murdaugh Murders" podcast is hosted by journalist and FITSNews.com News Director, Mandy Matney, and provides insight into several horrific deaths, botched investigations and newly-uncovered crimes that are all interconnected. Matney was interviewed on ABC's 20/20 episode last Friday, covering the twists and turns of this ongoing investigation.

Focused on three missions; expose the truth, get the story straight and give a voice to the voiceless, Mantney is an investigative journalist who's been covering the powerful Murdaugh family of South Carolina since the 2019 boat crash that killed Mallory Beach. Listeners follow along with Mandy's reporting in real time from South Carolina as her exclusive sources guide audiences on a journey to the truth.

"AdLarge has an unparalleled track record of delivering for podcasters on a mission," said Matney. "This partnership enables me to focus on exposing the truth wherever it leads while reaching a bigger audience."

AdLarge Co-CEO and Co-Founder Cathy Csukas said, "Mandy dives deeper than any other news coverage on this case. Her in-depth research and insight has generated an extremely captivated and engaged audience. We can't wait to share the powerful reach of her podcast with our advertiser partners."

UTA brokered the deal on behalf of Mandy Matney and Murdaugh Murders. "Mandy is a gripping storyteller and exceptional journalist. We're thrilled that this partnership with AdLarge will provide her and the project with an even larger platform as she pursues justice," said UTA Audio Agent Shelby Schenkman.

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WDRV/Chicago Honored With Two Silver Dome Awards


WDRV-FM
WDRV-FM

Hubbard Radio Classic Rock WDRV-FM (97.1 The Drive)/Chicago has been honored by the Illinois Broadcasters Association with two Silver Dome Awards. The station won the "Best Radio Station Community Service" award for The Drive's "Friday Night Singalong." In this series, the City of Chicago partnered with WDRV and lit up the downtown Chicago Skyline in red, white and blue during the surge in the pandemic every Friday night.

The station also won an award for the "Behind The Song" podcast series, hosted by Janda Lane. Now entering its fifth year, "Behind The Song" dives into the lyrics of some of Classic Rock's most legendary titles with details and perspective on the singers, songwriters and inspirations that provided the foundation for each song.

WDRV PD/Brand Manager Rob Cressman said, "We are so very proud to have been considered for this high honor from The Illinois Broadcasters Association. Our team at The Drive is second to none and I am fortunate to be associated with such a talented group. To see such hard work and perseverance recognized is highly rewarding. It fuels our collective determination to perpetually strive for excellence in all that we do. Accepting these awards in the midst of the ongoing pandemic furthers our resolve to reach higher heights in spite of the associated obstacles and challenges."

Joel Burke Joins KORA/Bryan-College Station as PD


Joel Burke
Joel Burke

Joel Burke inks a a three-year deal to become the new Program Director of Brazos Valley Radio's Country KORA-FM in Bryan-College Station, TX, effective Tuesday, February 1. He succeeds Rob "Edwards" Murch, who left in December. Previously, Burke was Operations Manager of Country KBEY/Marble Falls, TX, since last May. Before that, he was PD of Contemporary Christian KCBI/Dallas from 2013-2021.

He previously served as PD of Country KASE and KVET/Austin and Country KYGO/Denver.

KVVL/Maryville, MO Flips to Real Alternative Radio


KVVL-FM
KVVL-FM

Classic Rock KVVL-FM/Maryville, MO flips to "97.1 Real Alternative Radio" with syndicated Bob & Tom Show in morning drive. KVVL's will air Alternative and New Wave artists such as The Cars, Talking Heads, R.E.M., The Cure and U2. The station will also feature a "Smells Like Lunch Show" with all '90s and a Five@5 segment that will spotlight a different theme each day.

Regional Media Rock Formats Director Dave Levora commented, "KVVL is not a cookie-cutter 'alternative' with a narrow safe playlist curated by algorithms or soulless research done in auditoriums a thousand miles away from Missouri. Real Alternative Radio is crafted specifically for people who don't care to hear the same 150 songs over and over."

He continue, "We'll play a ton of new Alternative, as well as Classic Alternative, Indie Rock, Grunge, Punk, New Wave, Britpop. There's more than 40 years of meaningful music to explore and I'm stoked to offer Maryville and beyond KVVL 97.1, Real Alternative Radio."

Report: Maine Hosts Fired After Calling HS Girls Overweight


WHOU-FM
WHOU-FM

WHOU-FM/Houlton, ME, which puts a fringe signal into Presque Isle, fired Jim Carter and Steve Shaw on Thursday after receiving complaints from parents about the comments the two made regarding the teen girls' weight, the reported the Portland Press-Herald. The duo made the comments after viewing a live stream of a varsity basketball game between Easton High School and Central Aroostook High School on a hot mic. Neither realized the mic was live.

"Two girls out here extremely overweight," said one of the announcers. "Awful." Laughter the followed the disparaging comments reported the newspaper. Shaw then talked about finding "uniforms that fit the girls," and Carter singled out one of the girls by her uniform number. "Wow," he said, according to NBC affiliate WCSH. "Would you look at her?"

Easton Superintendent Mark Stanley said in a statement, "We're a small school up here, we know all our kids really well, we're lucky in that regard, and so we know every single player that was on that team being talked about. I think anger is probably the reaction everybody had when they saw and heard what happened."

Both Shaw and Carter had provided commentary for the past month, the Press-Herald said. Shaw is a former athletic director at Easton and Carter a former coach from another school.

Parent Joseph Leach, who has a daughter who plays for one of the teams felt "mostly shock," according to the Press-Herald. "I was home after the games and somebody shared the video with us and I instantly knew it was Jim Carter and Steve Shaw talking, and I really just couldn't believe what they were saying, honestly," he said.

Cumulus Signs Long-Term Deal with VP/P&O Doug Hamand


Doug Hamand
Doug Hamand

Cumulus Media signs a new long-term agreement with Vice President, Programming Operations Doug Hamand. He joined the company in January, 2016 as VP/P&O and was previously Senior Vice President, Programming for iHeartMedia and Clear Channel, where he served that company in various senior programming posts, including Regional Vice President Programming in Tampa-St. Petersburg for 21 years.

Cumulus Media SVP, Programming Operations John Dimick commented, "Doug is a fierce competitor and expects the best from our content teams. His expertise and experience with multiple formats have enabled Cumulus Media to maintain its leadership position. Doug has definitely earned this new deal and many thanks for the hard work, dedication and commitment to Cumulus Media."

Hamand remarked, "Working the last five years with this team of exceptionally talented Format VP's, alongside Brian Philips, John Dimick and Greg Frey has been rewarding. I am glad to have helped PDs and Market Managers in key Cumulus cities achieve success in ratings and revenue. I look forward to serving these markets and the industry for more years to come."

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