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Tony Katz: CNN Needs a Return to Their Roots

Katz calls on CNN to return to its roots as a news outlet after the network canceled “Reliable Sources.”

Ryan Hedrick

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A photo of Tony Katz

WIBC Radio host Tony Katz is calling on CNN to get back to its roots as a news outlet after the network canceled “Reliable Sources” and dismissed its host, Brian Stelter. 

During his show Tuesday, Katz said that he’s curious about what’s next for CNN following Discovery’s takeover and the appointment of Chris Licht as its new CEO. 

“The housecleaning is not done,” said Katz. “Stelter was only there because Jeff Zucker wanted him there. Maybe because he just needed somebody he thought resembled him. Whatever he saw in Stelter, that’s the reason he (Stelter) had a career or any power.” 

Katz said the feedback and the ratings from “Reliable Sources” make it obvious that the show did not offer “anything of intellectual prowess.” 

“I don’t argue that some show on Sundays was going to be the juggernaut for the network,” he said. “I argue that as a host he (Stelter) made no effort and he had far less talent than anybody gave him credit for.” 

Katz remarked that he’s glad that “Reliable Sources” is gone if it means that CNN is going to get back to the news business. 

“That doesn’t mean that they should avoid the opinion business,” added Katz. “I’m not asking them to avoid the opinion business. I’m asking them to do things in a way that’s smart, that is valuable, that reaches an audience, and wants an audience to engage.” 

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News Radio

WAMU Institutes Round of Layoffs, 15 Employees Let Go

WAMU plans to launch a local program with hopes of adding an additional app for the station. It also plans to expand its political coverage to include Maryland and Virginia, in addition to Washington D.C.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the WAMU logo

WAMU, the NPR affiliate in Washington D.C., has instituted a round of layoffs that will see the jobs of 15 employees cut, with a shifting focus to audio upcoming.

The outlet is ending its DCist local news site amid the focus change, with the company saying the move allows it to prioritize its audio offerings.

“We’re making the choice to invest in what we’re better at than anyone else in this town, and that’s audio,” General Manager Erika Pulley-Hayes told Axios.

The report from Axios also claims WAMU plans to launch a local program with hopes of adding an additional app for the station. It also plans to expand its political coverage to include Maryland and Virginia, in addition to Washington D.C.

According to the latest Nielsen ratings, WAMU is the highest-rated station in the Washington D.C. market, finishing atop the rankings with a 12.7 share in the January ratings period in persons 6+.

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Sean Hannity: I’m Honest About My Agenda When So Many in Media Aren’t

“You can be honest about your agenda. Just be honest. People will respect you more.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Sean Hannity and his radio show logo

There are often charges from one side of the political aisle to the other about media bias. Sean Hannity believes you can avoid those criticisms if you’re honest about your intentions.

On The Sean Hannity Show Wednesday, the nationally syndicated host argued that while he’s often accused of being just a talking head, he’s a journalist.

“Yes, we practice journalism. And yes, I’m a member of the press, and yes, we do investigative reporting. Yes, we give opinion, but we’re honest about it, unlike the other liars, frauds in the mob and the media,” said Hannity. “We give opinion. They do, but they never admit it or acknowledge it, and claim ‘I’m a journalist.’

“No, you’re not. You’re a left-wing political hack with an agenda. But you can be honest about your agenda. Just be honest. People will respect you more.”

Hannity’s comments came after he reported that Jim Biden, the brother of President Joe Biden, was being deposed before the House Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee as part of an investigation into alleged bribes the President, his son, and brother, received from various foreign and domestic entities.

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News Radio

Bill Handel: Everyone Got Into Our Business Differently

“My way was different. (John) Kobylt’s way, Tim Conway’s was different. It’s just different.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Bill Handel and the KFI logo
(Photo: KFI)

In the talk radio space, there are many different origin stories. Some hosts are former politicians, some are former lawyers, and some came to the format after previously working in other genres. KFI AM-640 morning host Bill Handel shared that’s what makes the format great.

“I get up at three o’clock in the morning. I always get up and go read,” said Handel. “I’m reading a biography of Stanley Kubrick. Oh, really interesting, interesting guy, how he got into movies,” said Handel. “It’s always everybody has a different way of getting into movies.

“Everybody has a different way of getting this job. And that is a talk show host. It’s just all different ways of doing it. My way was different,” said Handel. “(John) Kobylt’s way, Tim Conway’s was different. It’s just different.”

Bill Handel — who was born in Brazil before immigrating to the United States when he was five years old — practiced law before ultimately landing a radio show. He now hosts mornings at KFI along with a nationally syndicated weekend show, Handel on the Law.

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