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Nebraska Afternoon Host Fired Over Chauvin Verdict Tweet

“Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values, and we take this situation very seriously,” said C. Taylor Walet III, area president/Nebraska for iHeartRadio. “Chris Baker’s employment with our company has been terminated.”

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iHeartRadio fired its afternoon host in Omaha, Nebraska following a tweet that was deemed inappropriate which came minutes after the Derek Chauvin verdict.

Chris Baker, who hosted the afternoon show on NewsRadio 1110 KFAB tweeted a GIF image of four Black men wearing loincloths and body paint and dancing, possibly with spears in front of them with the word “guilty” in the body of the text. 

The station reportedly fired Baker almost immediately after it became aware of the tweet. Management called the post “completely inappropriate and unacceptable.”

“Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values, and we take this situation very seriously,” said C. Taylor Walet III, area president/Nebraska for iHeartRadio. “Chris Baker’s employment with our company has been terminated.”

Baker told the OmahaWorld Herald that he inadvertently selected the wrong image while doing multiple things at once: hosting his show, lining up guests and monitoring the unfolding news after the verdict.

KFAB’s 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. timeslot, which is normally filled by Baker, instead featured KFAB regulars Producer Josh and Meghan Bird. No mention was made of Baker’s tweet during the show.

News Radio

Skyview Networks Promotes Steve Jones to CEO, President

Jones will take over the position from Ken Thiele

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Some changes are coming to Skyview Networks as the company announced in a press release that Steve Jones, its COO/President, has been elevated to CEO/President.

Jones will take over the position from Ken Thiele, Founder and CEO, who will move to a new post, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board, where he will continue to engage in a high-level advisory role for the company.

“Over the last 25 years, Skyview has evolved into a dynamic solutions leader in network audio, and through our enduring growth, we have always maintained a commitment to innovation and quality,” Thiele said.

“I have had the privilege of working alongside Steve both as a client and as a leader within our company—he embodies these characteristics, which are also matched with an unyielding drive for excellence, keen business sense, and distinguished experience. I am privileged to welcome him to the role of CEO.”

Jones will lead the sales, content, broadcast distribution, and technology company in his new role.

“I am grateful to Ken for trusting me to steward the company he has built-in partnership with longtime EVP, Jeanne-Marie Condo,” said Jones. “During the last three years, despite pandemic challenges, Skyview Networks has become the fastest-growing leader in network audio sales, syndication, and distribution.”

“Our unwavering commitment to customer service and proven financial performance have convinced content creators and influencers to join Skyview while simultaneously providing advertisers effective, efficient and creative campaigns that achieve their marketing goals. At the core of this success is our company culture built on integrity and transparency, resulting in employees committed to one another and to our customers.”

Coming on board to Skyview Networks in 2019 as COO/President, Jones has helped diversify and expand the company’s business portfolio, leading to significant revenue and market share growth.

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News Radio

Nielsen Braces Clients For Potential Challenges As Covid-19 Surges

“Some delays in recruitment and slight volatility in intab levels could occur over the next month.”

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All Access is reporting that Nielsen has alerted its clients of potential difficulties due to the COVID-19 surge. The measurement company which works with the majority of the radio broadcasting business has also relayed details of how it plans to handle the situation in order to deliver accurate and consistent audience estimates.

In the letter, Nielsen says it will continue executing in-person field work while using its established multi-mode recruitment and remote installation and maintenance procedures. However, the company cautioned that some delays in recruitment and slight volatility in intab levels could occur over the next month.

Nielsen further shared that it expected to have intab levels stabilized and back to current levels by the end of February or early March, depending on Omicron recovery rates. In-tab levels are expected to be closely monitored and field resources will be evaluated and adjusted if necessary.

Being able to rely on accurate radio measurement is important to radio stations and their advertisers. Though Nielsen says it is actively monitoring COVID infection rates in key panel markets, and any possible impact to its PPM inventory due to global supply chain challenges, the admission of potential challenges in executing as expected is likely to give radio executives and sales professionals a few extra headaches. The company says that it is confident that its contingency plans will mitigate risk, allowing it to move swiftly to ensure the accuracy and representativeness of its audience estimates. Whether that holds true or not will be depend on a myriad of factors over the next month.

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News Radio

Chicago Public Media Board Approves Sun-Times Merger

Last October, the two parties entered into a non-binding letter of intent to have the Sun-Times become a subsidiary of Chicago Public Media once they finalized the deal. 

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The Chicago Public Media Board of Directors, the parent company of news/talk WBEZ (91.5), gave the green light to acquire the Chicago Sun-Times. 

Last October, the two parties entered into a non-binding letter of intent to have the Sun-Times become a subsidiary of Chicago Public Media once they finalized the deal. 

“I’m deeply grateful to the Chicago Public Media Board of Directors for their work in leading us to this milestone,” Chicago Public Media Board Chair Piyush Chaudhari said in a release

“This new venture will be on its best path forward as we bring together two of Chicago’s most respected news organizations in our city and our region.” 

With the two forms of media coming together, it will create one of the nation’s largest local nonprofit news organizations and operate as a national example for the future of local journalism.

“This is an important step to grow and strengthen local journalism in Chicago,” Chicago Public Media CEO Matt Moog added. “A vibrant local news ecosystem is fundamental to a healthy democracy, informed citizens, and engaged communities.”

“Together, WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times aim to tell the stories that matter, serve more Chicagoans with our unbiased, fact-based journalism, and connect Chicagoans more deeply to each other and to their communities.”

The merger is expected to be completed by January 31.

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