2020 has been a difficult year for broadcasters and the companies they work for. Though many expect the business to rebound in 2021, there are no guarantees. To make sure the future is maximized to its fullest, organizations are looking for ways to strengthen themselves internally and externally.
One on the industry’s largest groups, Entercom, believes the answers will come from experienced leadership. CEO David Field issued an internal memo last night announcing the promotion of 10 key people and the addition of another who will be depended on to lead the company to brighter days.
In the memo Field stated “Our greatest strength and our most important and valued asset are our people and we are incredibly fortunate to have such a talented team across the country. Today, we have an opportunity to recognize several of them, each of whom has made great contributions to our work, as they continue to grow and expand their responsibilities within the company. I am pleased to announce the following promotions across our organization:”
• Chris Ebbott: Vice President, Programming
• Chad Fitzsimmons: Senior Vice President, Promotions & Experiences
• Rose Isard: Vice President, Senior Counsel
• John Kennedy: Senior Vice President, Engineering
• Jennifer Morales: Vice President, Corporate Communications & PR
• Nancy Muir-Gaire: Vice President, Facilities Management
• Johnny Palumbo: Vice President, Senior Counsel
• Reggie Rouse: Vice President, Programming
• Jeff Sottolano: Executive Vice President, Programming
• Stephanie Taylor: Vice President, Benefits, Compliance and Talent Acquisition
The names that will resonate most with sports radio professionals are Rouse, Sottolano, and Morales. Rouse has been helping to lead 92.9 The Game in Atlanta (along with V103) following the exit of Terry Foxx. Sottolano has been involved with Radio.com and serving as a resource to sports radio programmers. Morales has provided sports media outlets with support on PR opportunities involving company talent and executives.
Also mentioned in the release was the addition of Bill Smee as the company’s new Vice President of News. Smee’s background includes holding leadership roles with CNN, NBC News and Slate. He’s expected to work with Entercom’s NewsTalk brands on improving their programming and delivering new products and capabilities across broadcast, digital, podcast, and smart speaker platforms.
Field also praised the growth of Radio.com, the company’s podcasting business, and the work done by Entercom’s newly formed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force led by Rick Caffey and Sarah Harris. He also mentioned that remote work will continue thru the end of the year.
A classy gesture by Field in the memo included acknowledgement of the passing of 97.1 The Ticket host Jamie Samuelsen. After highlighting Jamie’s career accomplishments and track record in Detroit, Field offered thoughts and prayers to Jamie’s family and friends and stated that the company was grieving his heartbreaking passing.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Alpha Media Ends San Antonio Sports Star Simulcast, 1250 AM Goes All ESPN Radio
“Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.”
San Antonio now has a frequency where people can find local sports talk and the full ESPN Radio lineup.
RadioInsight reported owner Alpha Media has tweaked what was on 1250 AM, launching it as ESPN 1250. The station will be San Antonio’s 24/7/365 home for ESPN Radio. That will include NBA, NFL and MLB play-by-play on top of talk.
San Antonio’s Sports Star had been simulcasting on 1250, but Alpha will carry on with live and local programming on the stronger FM frequency. Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.
Sports Star is the home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers in San Antonio.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group
“The programming on the station does not change.”
Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1 ESPN.
“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”
The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.
“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”
Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.
SiriusXM Plots Super Bowl LVII Coverage
“SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM.”
SiriusXM has announced its extensive plans for coverage of Super Bowl LVII and the events leading up to the big game.
A dedicated Super Bowl pop-up channel on SiriusXM Channel 104 will be just one of the avenues SiriusXM plans to cover the event. Amber Theoharis will conduct interviews with players, and personalities making their way through Radio Row throughout the week that will air on the pop-up channel.
Mad Dog Sports Radio will have a large presence on Radio Row, with shows hosted by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, Dusty Dvoracek, Danny Kanell, and Steve Torre all airing live on location in Arizona. Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on hand to host I Am Athlete Tonight from the event, as well.
“With all eyes and ears focused on Phoenix for Super Bowl Week, SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.
“With multiple game broadcasts, several channels in Phoenix covering the latest news and providing expert analysis on the teams, interviews with many of the celebrities in town for the game, and our exclusive concert with Luke Combs, our subscribers will have exceptional access throughout the biggest week on the NFL calendar.”
ESPNU Radio hosts Colt McCoy, Rick Neuheisel, and Max Starks will also be in Arizona on Radio Row, in addition to Dusty and Danny hosting their shows each day from Radio Row.
Fantasy football expert Jeff Mans and SportsGrid Radio host Scott Ferrall will also originate content from Radio Row.
SiriusXM will offer four different game broadcasts of Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles home broadcasts will each air, as will the national Westwood One call. Additionally, a Spanish-language broadcast will also be provided. Listeners will also be able to hear the halftime show — performed by pop star Rihanna — on Sirius XM Hits 1, The Heat, and Super Bowl LVII Radio.