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Phil Valentine Passes Away Due to Covid-19

Tony Cartagena

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Supertalk 99.7

Newstalk host Phil Valentine of SuperTalk 99.7 in Nashville has passed away after over a month long bout with Covid-19.

Valentine was diagnosed with the virus in mid-July, hospitalized shortly thereafter and then placed on a ventilator. His diagnosis helped encourage members of his family to immediately receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Valentine’s brother, Mark, posted this message to social media in late July.

Phil would like for his listeners to know that while he has never been an ‘anti-vaxer’ he regrets not being more vehemently ‘Pro-Vaccine’, and looks forward to being able to more vigorously advocate that position as soon as he is back on the air, which we all hope will be soon.”

Mark Valentine also spoke with CNN last month, acknowledging that his brother’s position on the vaccine may have affected his listening audience.

“He recognizes now that him not getting the vaccination has probably caused a bunch of other people not to get vaccinated, and that he regrets.”

Cumulus Nashville, which owns and operates SuperTalk 99.7 WTN where Valentine’s show aired, also paid their respects to Valentine. In a statement issued by the company, Market Manager Allison Warren said, “Phil Valentine was a charismatic broadcaster who entertained millions and enriched countless lives throughout his career. A beloved friend and mentor to many, his contributions to our city and his passion for his listeners cannot be overstated. We know he will be missed. We send our heartfelt condolences and prayers to Phil’s family and wish them peace during this difficult time. If you aren’t yet vaccinated, we fervently hope that you will honor Phil’s memory by taking to heart the urgent plea he made in the last weeks of his life and ‘PLEASE GO GET VACCINATED!’”

News Radio

Ben Shapiro: Donald Trump Endorsing People Doesn’t Carry a Lot of Power

During his show on Wednesday, Shapiro said Trump may hold power over the Republican party but when it comes to local political races, there are other factors at play.

Ryan Hedrick

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AFP/Getty Images/Jason Kempin

Syndicated radio host and author Ben Shapiro suggested that an endorsement from former President Donald Trump is not the golden ticket it’s portrayed to be.

During his show on Wednesday, Shapiro said Trump may hold power over the Republican party but when it comes to local political races, there are other factors at play.

“So, there’s a difference between Donald Trump endorsing a person, which I don’t think has a lot of power. And Donald Trump is destroying people,” Shapiro said via Mediate.

“He (Trump) actually talked about how Brian Kemp was terrible and horrible and no good and very bad. And Brian Kemp won because he had earned the loyalty of the Republican voting base in Georgia, despite Trump’s anger at Brian Kemp.”

Shapiro concluded that “Trump does not have the sort of stranglehold the media thinks he has on the Republican Party.” 

Recently, Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is one Trump-endorsed candidate that has backed away from the former president.

An Axios analysis of Oz’s social media and campaign website uncovered that the Republican candidate is no longer lauding his Trump endorsement ahead of the midterm elections this fall.

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Longtime WIBC News Anchor Retires After Nearly 30 Years

Stan Lehr is calling it quits with his final day coming July 1.

Ryan Hedrick

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Longtime WIBC-FM news anchor Stan Lehr is calling it quits after nearly 30 years behind the microphone. The Indianapolis Star reports that Lehr’s last day will be July 1. 

WIBC is owned by Emmis Communications who last week announced a move to sell its Indianapolis radio properties to Maryland-based Radio One. Lehr’s retirement reportedly had nothing to do with the news of the impending sale. 

“This will bring to an end a long chapter in the station’s history,” WIBC News Director Chris Davis wrote in his email. “His reputation as a stickler has been widely-known in the industry for decades.” 

Davis described Lehr as a “stickler” who never wanted recognition for his work. 

“Instead, he made it clear to all who work or have worked with him that strong writing, accuracy, and excellence in delivery are the best ways to serve the listeners,” added Davis. 

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WWL, FEMA Unveiling New Emergency Broadcast Studio

The news conference will occur at 9 a.m. CT, leading to official remarks, Q&A, a tour of the facility, and a live demonstration at the WWL PEP station emergency studio. 

Eduardo Razo

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FEMA and Audacy’s WWL-AM/FM will present the unveiling of an all-hazards upgrade to the “Primary Entry Point” facility on June 28th. 

The news conference will occur at 9 a.m. CT, leading to official remarks, Q&A, a tour of the facility, and a live demonstration at the WWL PEP station emergency studio. 

Some of the speakers at the event will include Erik Hooks, Deputy Administrator, FEMA, and Kevin Cassidy, Senior Vice-President, Market Manager, Audacy-WWL. 

“The modernization to the emergency studio increases WWL’s resiliency to continue broadcasting under all conditions, including natural disasters and acts of terrorism,” the statement said which Barrett News Media obtained. “This facility is one of 77 across the country that serve as a National Public Warning System Primary Entry Point (PEP) station, participating with FEMA to provide emergency alert and warning information to the public before, during and after incidents and disasters.”

“WWL is the 15th radio station in the country to work with FEMA to complete the all-hazards upgrade, which includes increased sheltering capabilities, expanded broadcast capacity, and sustainable power generation for all types of hazardous events.”

Anyone attending the event will arrive at check-in 15 minutes before the press conference starts.

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