Tag Archives: WCBS 880

Tributes for Veteran Business Anchor Ken Prewitt, Dead at 68

Ken-PrewittKen Prewitt, a man who brought his strong knowledge of financial news to radio and TV for decades, has died. He was battling brain cancer since 2012. Prewitt was 68.

In command of his copy, Prewitt was known for long stints providing business news updates on various stations, primarily WCBS 880, first with Wall Street Journal Radio, then through Money Magazine.

During the last decade, Prewitt redefined his spot as one of the best business broadcasters, bringing his booming voice to Bloomberg Radio in 2005, serving as morning host for much of that time until his illness forced a leave in 2013.

Veteran broadcaster Janice Kirkel shares a unique perspective on Prewitt, having worked together at Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

“Ken was someone you could talk about absolutely anything with — not just business news, but theater, history, politics, music,” Kirkel, a WFAN update anchor, tells Tuned In. “He always had great stories to tell and a great sense of humor.”

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Dow Jones Cuts the Cord with Wall Street Journal Radio

wsjIt’s happened before and it will likely happen again. In this case, Dow Jones has abruptly decided to cease its Wall Street Journal Radio Network and Marketwatch Radio operations.

It’s the ultimate reduction of staff–completely doing away with all content and talent, effective December 31, making for a bittersweet holiday season for those with pink slips in their stockings.

It’s believed approximately 15 people at WSJ and a few dozen others at Marketwatcb are impacted.

On a personal note, I’ve been a freelance anchor for the Wall Street Journal Radio since July 2013. But fortunately, since February, I have a full-time job at 77 WABC as my main gig.

Dow Jones’ parent company is News Corp. Dow Jones CEO William Lewis says in a statement, “It will come as no surprise that in order to do even more, we must do fewer things that are not core to our business so that we can move faster in pursuit of our goals.”

Since the 1980s, the Wall Street Journal Radio has been heard on hundreds of affiliates, including WCBS 880.

There are also national Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Money reports.

On WCBS, you’ve likely heard Jen Ursillo giving the biz headlines with afternoon anchors Wayne Cabot and Steve Scott. Bruce Vale is veteran of the WSJ and WCBS.

Joe Connelly, the popular, longtime morning anchor, known for his witty repartee.

Another voice “giving the business” on 880 is Frank Cipolla, a man with so many years and experiences in the industry that he recently penned an autobiography (It Shocked Even Us).

Cipolla says he’s treasured the six years at the WSJ, but had a weird feeling just hours before the fateful announcement.

“[Tuesday] night – while I was alone in the newsroom – there was this very heavy feeling in the room. Almost dark. Then as I left after my last newscast I did something very uncharacteristic.”

At that point, Cipolla realized he didn’t have a photo of his work space.

“I stopped, took a shot of the newsroom and walked out,” Cipolla says. “[The next] morning the phone call came that it was all over. I’m not big on sixth senses, but I did sense something last night.”

Looking for a ‘Fresh’ Start; Jim Douglas Out at WWFS

Jim-DouglasVeteran morning personality Jim Douglas is on the radio sidelines after his exit from WWFS/Fresh 102.7 this week. Douglas had been teamed with Kim Berk for nearly 20 years, including the last five at the CBS-owned FM.

“I wish my partner, Kim, well,” Douglas tells Tuned In. “She’s an amazing talent so whomever they put in that chair, she’ll make them better than they thought they could be.”

But for now, sources indicate Berk will fly solo on the morning show.

Douglas and Berk, a.k.a. “Jim and Kim” started waking up Long Island listeners in the mid-1990s at KJOY/WKJY (now branded K 98.3). The native New Yorker was born in Bellerose, Queens, and grew up on Long Island.

WWFS is housed on Hudson Street with the entire stable of CBS New York radio stations.

“I got to know lots of the people at WINS AND WCBS AM. I’ll miss watching the amazing work they do,” Douglas adds.

No word on Douglas’ next venture, but “I[‘ve] got lots of golfing to get in!”

Yankees Switch Dial Positions, Heading to WFAN in 2014

yankeesThe Yankees are staying put in the CBS Radio family, but leaving WCBS 880 for a multi-year deal with WFAN 660/101.9 FM.

In a short press release by CBS, the words New York Mets were not mentioned. The Amazins were the cornerstone of the fledgling all-sports format in 1987, grandfathered in from their 1050 WHN days.

The likely home for the Mets would appear to be ESPN 98.7 FM, which switched from 1050 to eventually secure baseball play-by-play rights. WOR has been mentioned online as another possible home for the Mets.

The Yankees, who in the last couple of years, inked one-year extensions with WCBS, may have been swayed by the 50,000 watt flamethrower that is WFAN. On a clear night, 660 is heard in Florida.

“We are extremely excited to have reached an agreement with CBS Radio,” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. “The paramount consideration was how our fans would best be able to hear our games. Having the Yankees on WFAN-AM/FM provides listeners in the New York metropolitan area and beyond with superior broadcast quality and vast territorial signal strength.”

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Jared Max is Done at ESPN 98.7 FM

jared-max-headshot1In a abrupt announcement, ESPN and Jared Max have ended their association. We don’t know much about Max leaving ESPN New York 98.7 FM/WEPN, but it can be inferred from his statement that this wasn’t choice.

“I am sorry that Maxed Out will not continue on ESPN New York. I treasure the experiences I had working with and learning from such good men and women — broadcasters, producers and interns,” Max says.

Robin Lundberg was added as co-host of Max’s Maxed Out from 4 to 6 a.m. Max also provided local updates during the national Mike and Mike show. Max left the company as of Wednesday. Reportedly, Lundberg will host the show solo for the foreseeable future.

“My ESPN experience elevated and prepared me for the next exciting chapter in my career in a way which I could not have foreseen,” Max adds. “In the past two and a half years at ESPN, I achieved seismic growth — professionally and personally.”

In March 2011, after 11 years as WCBS 880 morning sports anchor he joined ESPN Radio in New York. Just two months later, Max took to the airwaves and sent shockwaves through the industry when he told his ESPN listeners that he was gay.

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It’s Official: Scott Stanford and Tamsen Fadal to Co-Anchor WPIX News at Night

Scott_StanfordWPIX has its evening anchor team in place. It’s a name that Tuned In told you exclusively last week was “95 percent” certain to get the gig. Scott Stanford will co-anchor the weeknight 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Tamsen Fadal beginning September 16.

Related: Scott Stanford is Almost a Certainty to Join Tamsen Fadal

Stanford has four New York Emmy Awards, but for sports anchoring. His personality has been on display as the weekend sports anchor at WNBC. Prior to his Channel 4 experience, viewers watched Stanford’s antics on WNYW and sister station WWOR. Stanford first gained a following as afternoon sports anchor on WCBS 880.

But his news experience is extremely thin. This year, Stanford began filling in as anchor on WNBC’s CoziTV (formerly New York Nonstop). No matter — news director Mark Effron is ready with his biggest hire since joining the station in April.

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No Change in the July Arbitron Ratings: WLTW Take First, WCBS-FM Keeps Second

wltw_2010_200x90If the familiar is boring, then WLTW/LITE-FM is the most boring station. Of course, WLTW is also the most popular, winning the overall (6+) Arbitron ratings for July. WLTW did see a slight drop from June (6.8 to 6.6), but its nearest competitor WCBS-FM also made an about-face. The classic hits station took a .4 nosedive for the month, after closing within a tenth of a point behind the Clear Channel juggernaut.

WBLS held third place with a 6.0 (down .2 from June).

No change for Z100/WHTZ. Fresh off celebrating its 30th anniversary last Friday, it maintained a 5.5.

The first gains of the month are registered by Spanish station WSKQ in fifth position. The SBS-owned station jumped .9 to 5.1.

Status quo for rocker WAXQ/Q104.3 at 4.5, while sister station WKTU made a modest improvement to 4.6.

WINS took a step back to 3.9 (down .4 from last month). WCBS 880 kept pace at 3.6.

Emmis’ lone New York entry Hot 97/WQHT saw a nice .5 boost to 3.1.

WFAN, with its dual AM-FM simulcast, dropped slightly to 2.9. However, ESPN 98.7/WEPN also took a step back to 1.4.

New York’s Country home: NASH-FM/WNSH-FM landed at 2.0, losing minimal ground from June.

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Mourning The Sopranos Kingpin, James Gandolfini of The Sopranos

Gandolfini and CausiBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

He was a Tony Award nominee, had numerous roles, mostly supporting, in films, but James Gandolfini will forever be Tony Soprano.  He died yesterday of a massive heart attack in Italy. Gandolfini was just 51.

As the Don in HBO’s groundbreaking mafia drama The Sopranos, Gandolfini won three Emmy Awards as Tony Soprano. Gandolfini’s portrayal didn’t only earn him trophies, it won him praise from viewers and colleagues worldwide.

His legacy is cemented with the tortured role, where he battled with his family and the family business.

And yet, Gandolfini’s Soprano is recognized as one of the most endearing characters in television history.

He touched millions of people each Sunday night, but there are many others who were fortunate enough to have a personal connection with the TV giant. One of those is WCBS-FM’s Joe Causi (above with Gandolfini).

“I met him at various fundraisers. [He was] always doing good for so many charities,” Causi tells Tuned In.

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Debate Time in New York; NY1, WCBS, and WNBC Get Selected

WNBC new logoBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

Election season is upon us, and that means we’re about to be inundated with debates. The New York City Campaign Finance Board yesterday made its debate sponsors official. Actually the stations were announced exclusively by this reporter in April.

The confirmation and schedule is now available. NY1, WCBS/Channel 2, WNBC/Channel 4 will participate in up to 15 citywide debates, of course led by the mayoral campaign. A Democratic mayoral runoff is planned as needed. But there will be a four primary debates, two for each party.

WNBC will host one of each. The Democratic debate is scheduled for Tuesday, September 3 at 7 p.m. The following Sunday at 11:30 a.m., the Republican hopefuls spar about the issues. Both debates will also be broadcast by WOR Radio.

A WNBC spokesperson tells Tuned In that anchor David Ushery and political reporter Melissa Russo will lead the questioning. They will be joined by journalists from sister station Telemundo Nueva York/Channel 47 and the Wall Street Journal.

NY1 and WNYC broadcast the other Democratic primary on August 21 at 7, while WCBS-TV and WCBS 880/1010 WINS air the other Republican debate.

As for the general election, there are two debates on the docket. First up is the Channel 2/WCBS 880-WINS triumvirate on October 22 at 7 p.m. Sister station WLNY airs the debate in Spanish.

The next Tuesday, October 29, also at 7 p.m., WNBC and WOR 710 have the final mayoral debate.

Election day is November 5.

WLTW Holds at Number One; WCBS-FM Closes Gap Slightly in 2nd

wltw_2010_200x90By JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

It’s a familiar pattern: WLTW/Lite-FM was the top-rated station in the 6+ Arbitron PPM ratings for May.

The nearest competitor, WCBS-FM, dropped .1 to 6.1, but it was still the Classic Hits home’s closest position to WLTW in many books.

WBLS remains locked in third with its newfound success as part of YMF Media. It saw a .3 rise to 5.9.

Z100 arrived at 5.9 from the opposite direction, slipping .1.

It was an impressive month for Classic Rocker WAXQ/Q104.3, gaining .3 to 4.6 to fifth place.

WINS was next with a 4.5, down .2 from May. WCBS 880 was on the slight uptick to 3.7. Sister station WFAN (with its combined AM and FM simulcast) had a 2.8, a slight improvement.

ESPN New York/WEPN-FM remains in the distance with a 1.6, although jumping .3.

WNYC had the biggest fall for June, losing .5 to 1.8.

Cumulus’ NASH-FM, in “plateau mode,” picked up .1 to 1.9, while Penn Plaza co-tenant WPLJ improved .2 to 3.2 just missing a Top 10 showing.