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Cumulus to Flip “The Bridge” in Memphis to News/Talk

WKIM will also become the new home for University of Memphis athletics

Ryan Hedrick

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A photo of the Cumulus Media logo

Cumulus Media in Memphis, Tennessee is rebranding 98.9 FM WKIM to a news/talk station that will build its image around the University of Memphis Tigers athletic program.

The new station will launch on Independence Day, July 4. 

The company did not publicly reveal what the talk programming schedule may look like. Several Cumulus stations around the country have included the new Dan Bongino show in their day-to-day lineups. The former Secret Service agent’s show debuted on Monday.

“At Cumulus, we believe strongly that ‘what’s good for Memphis is good for us,’ and that commitment to our community drives all that we do,” said Cumulus Memphis VP and market manager Morgan Bohannon. “One of our most important priorities and responsibilities as a local broadcaster is to help make Memphis a better place. Becoming the flagship radio partner of Memphis Tiger Athletics, an entity that is so beloved by our city and its residents, is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

A quick snapshot of the Memphis markets shows room for a solid, local news/talk station to establish itself. iHeartMedia WREC NewsTalk 92.1 FM and 600 AM runs primarily syndicated programming. 

“Cumulus Memphis has the largest live, local and homegrown team in the radio industry – all of whom are incredibly excited about becoming the radio home of the Memphis Tigers,” said Bohannon. “We are thrilled to put the full power of four 100,000-watt stations behind the partnership. KIX-106, 98.1 The Max, 103.5 WRBO and the all-new ‘News Talk 98.9 The Roar of Memphis’ will work in concert to raise the level of awareness and celebrate all that is Memphis Tiger Athletics.”

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News Radio

Joe Thomas to Launch Talk Format on Newly Purchased WTON on May 25th

“We’ll bring you coverage of the local stories from this wide area we’ll be covering as we develop the best local shows alongside an all-star lineup of shows all day.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Joe Thomas and the WTON logo
(Photo: Joe Thomas)

Former C-Ville 107.5 host Joe Thomas is set to launch a talk format on WTON and a pair of translators he purchased in March that led to his departure from his longtime radio home.

On Saturday, May 25th, Thomas will launch the talk format on the Staunton, Virginia station he purchased for $275,000, alongside FM translators on 98.9 in Harrisonburg and 101.1 in Crozet, VA.

“We want to hear your voice,” Thomas said in a statement to the Staunton News Leader. “We’ll bring you coverage of the local stories from this wide area we’ll be covering as we develop the best local shows alongside an all-star lineup of shows all day.”

After Monticello Media learned of Thomas’ purchase of the station in Staunton — which is roughly 45 minutes west of Charlottesville — the station ended its relationship with the morning drive host and Program Director. He had worked at the station since 2007.

Since his departure, Thomas has been hosting a digital program in preparation for his new station and program to launch.

With the new lineup on WTON, Joe Thomas will host the morning show that begins at 6 AM. The rest of the station lineup has yet to be finalized, he told the newspaper, stating that he’s still interested in formulating local programming before turning to nationally syndicated offerings.

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News Radio

Eric Von Haessler: Why Do We Even Need Debate Moderators?

“The moderator does not need to be a part of the debate and they always are. And it’s insane.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Eric Von Haessler
(Photo: 95.5 WSB)

CNN and ABC News have announced plans for presidential debates, with moderators yet to be announced. 95.5 WSB host Eric Von Haessler wonders why the position is even needed.

As reports surface that CNN will tab Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, while ABC News is considering using David Muir and Linsey Davis, Von Haessler said the mere idea of a moderate feels like a foreign concept.

“First of all, they’ll be terrible. I would rather have nobody. They’re all prima donnas. Prima donnas,” Von Haessler reiterated. “And it just turns out that anybody that you pick out of 24-hour news buildings, just full of prima donnas. Why do we need two moderators? That’s number one. And then number two, why do we need any moderators? I don’t think that Lincoln/Douglas, I don’t think they had a moderator there. There used to be a way of debating that each side knew how to do this. Or just have like, Kevin Hart, Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart, Bert Kreischer, I don’t care.

“The moderator does not need to be a part of the debate and they always are. And it’s insane. I think that there’s got to be some way that there’s somebody there who just sort of kicks it off just randomly. “But whoever moderates the debate should have gotten the short straw.”

Eric Von Haessler continued by joking that the job would be a perfect use of AI technology while adding that the likelihood that each moderator shows up to the debate with a mindset that the evening isn’t about them is incredibly low.

“We need someone who doesn’t have an agent. How about that? No one is allowed to moderate a presidential or vice presidential debate if they have an agent.”

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Bill O’Reilly: CNN Doesn’t ‘Have One Person On Their Roster That Can Do An Incisive Debate’

“And that’s the problem.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Bill O'Reilly
(Photo: Bill O'Reilly)

CNN and ABC News have both announced plans for a presidential debate in the coming months. Bill O’Reilly doesn’t like the prospects of what he’ll see, though.

While joining 77 WABC’s Sid Rosenberg Friday morning, Bill O’Reilly shared his belief that neither network is equipped with the correct talent to host a debate of this magnitude.

“They don’t have one person on their roster who can really do an incisive debate,” O’Reilly said of CNN, as Rosenberg agreed. “And that’s the problem. ABC is gonna have to throw up (George) Stephanopoulos because (David) Muir, the anchor of their nightly news, I don’t think he’s got the ability to do something like this.”

O’Reilly continued by pointing out past statements from CNN’s Jake Tapper, who many assume will be included as one of the debate moderators for the network’s June 27th event, where he was overly critical of the then-President.

Despite the insinuation by Bill O’Reilly that Muir would be over his head during such an event, a report from TVNewser claims Muir and current ABC World News Tonight Sunday anchor Linsey Davis will helm the moderator chairs in September. The same report says Tapper and Dana Bash will serve as moderators for CNN.

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