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KOIN 6 Reporter Joel Iwanaga Resigns After Pleading Guilty to Shoplifting

Friday, April 03, 2015


Long-time KOIN 6 News reporter Joel Iwanaga resigned from his position with the station Monday after pleading guilty to one count of second-degree theft in March. 

Iwanaga entered the plea in Washington County Circuit Court March 23 to the misdemeanor charge. 

Iwanaga, 44, was arrested December 19 for stealing food items and clothing from a Whole Foods market in Hillsboro. He resigned March 30, according to KOIN 6. 

Iwanaga, part of a close-knit group of night-side producers and reporters, has worked at the station since 2001. 


Related Slideshow: Portland Media News

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David Solano Joins KOIN as Sports Anchor

According to Adweek's TVSpy, CBS' Portland affiliate KOIN has hired David Solano to be its new sports anchor. 

Solano currently works as a news anchor for WXYZ in Detroit. The move back to Portland proves to be full circle for Solano, who interned with KOIN during his time as a student at Portland State.

“Not many people in television get the chance to return home and work in front of their family and friends,” said Solano. “I’m very lucky that KOIN 6 is making that possible for me. I’m most excited about bringing viewers the stories of our amazing athletes.”

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KGW’s Reggie Aqui Leavs Portland for ABC San Francisco

KGW-TV news anchor Reggie Aqui is leaving Portland to join San Francisco ABC affiliate station KGO as an anchor and reporter. The news was first reported by Rich Lieberman on the 415 Media blog on July 28, 2015. 

Aqui was named one of Portland's 25 New Cool People by GoLocalPDX and one of People Magazine's Hottest Anchors last year.

Aqui started out as a television reporter for WKYT-TV in Lexington Kentucky. In 2007 Aqui went to work for CNN where he covered President Obama’s inauguration, the Virginia Tech shootings, and interviewed Dolly Parton for online news reports. For the last few years Aqui has been a reporter for KGW and one of the anchors of its 4 pm newscast. He eventually took over hosting duties for the “Live at 7” broadcast. 

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Former Oregonian Editor Peter Bhatia to Lead Cincinnati Enquirer

Former Oregonian Editor Peter Bhatia was named the new editor and vice president of audience engagement at the Cincinnati Enquirer on July 23, 2015. 

After working at The Oregonian for 20 years, he left in 2014 to teach Business Journalism at Arizona State University. 

Bhatia told the Enquirer, I'm very excited and honored to have the opportunity to join Enquirer Media. There is a great team in place in Cincinnati and across the new Gannett company, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in news to deliver meaningful and interesting work across platforms."

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Lars Larson Show Picked up By Seattle Talk Radio

The Lars Larson Show was been picked up by Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Seattle radio station, Talk Radio 570 KVI

With Seattle on board, Larson's show currently airs on 18 stations in the Pacific Northwest through the Radio Northwest Network. 

“We’re excited to bring Lars Larson’s northwest edition to America’s pioneer conservative radio station!  Lars has been a big part of KVI’s programming with his daily national show and frequent morning fill-ins,” said KVI Program Director Rick Van Cise. “Adding the northwest show is another way we’re boosting KVI’s commitment to covering local and regional issues with news and views you can’t get anywhere else!”

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Oregonian Publisher — Chris Anderson — Is Out

Chris Anderson, Oregonian’s Publisher since 2009, is out as the leader of Portland’s daily newspaper.

Under his tenure the paper saw major layoffs in the newsroom, a shift to four-day home delivery and a redesign to a tabloid size. “The Oregonian announced Thursday that it will be reducing home international delivery to four days a week. The paper will deliver on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will continue to publish daily,” reported Poynter in 2013.

Anderson who came to the Oregonian from the Orange County Register, was appointed by the Oregonian’s parent company, Advantage.

At the time, Wesley Turner, President of Strategic Planning for Advance Publications, Inc., parent company of The Oregonian said, “We are delighted to find a strong, creative leader for this great newspaper, and someone who is committed to upholding The Oregonian's long-standing tradition of serving its community.” 

During the past five years, the Oregonian has gone back and forth between a print first and digital first strategy. More recently, emphasis has been put on the OregonLive digital platform during a period of substantial loss of circulation and advertising revenue.

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KINK Radio Names New Music Director

Jared Aman, 101.9 KINK's former afternoon host, has officially been named as the Music Director of the radio station. 

“We are thrilled to be able to promote from within Alpha for this very special MD position,” stated Scott Mahalick, Alpha Media Executive VP of Programming. “Jared has a set of killer ears for the AAA format and is one heck of a hit picker.”

Aman began his radio career in Gresham, Oregon while attending Mt. Hood Community College. While there he had the opportunity to run a college radio and work in college radio. His career then took him to Eugene, Dallas and San Francisco. After being with LIVE 105 in San Francisco for eleven years he decided to move back to his home state. Jared has been working for KINK for four years, and has been hosting afternoons since August 2014. 

“I’ve always loved playing music for a living and to get to do it in Portland, Oregon is a bonus. It’s an honor to be promoted to MD with such a historic station such as KINK. I am following in amazing footsteps,” said Jared.

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Oregonian Lets Go of Decades Long News Room Employees

GoLocalPDX confirmed that at least two longtime members of The Oregonian news team were laid off on April 13th, including two of its top photographers. 

Longtime shooters Benjamin Brink and Michael Lloyd, who had been with the paper for over four decades, were both let go, according to sources.

Susan Gage, the director of local content for Oregonian Media Group has also been let go. 

Others are said to be retiring and there is at least one transfer that might include a move to Providence, Rhode Island. 

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KOIN 6 Reporter Joel Iwanaga Resigns After Pleading Guilty to Shoplifting

Long-time KOIN 6 News reporter Joel Iwanaga resigned from his position with the station Monday after pleading guilty to one count of second-degree theft in March. 

Iwanaga entered the plea in Washington County Circuit Court March 23 to the misdemeanor charge. 

Iwanaga, 44, was arrested December 19 for stealing food items and clothing from a Whole Foods market in Hillsboro. He resigned March 30, according to KOIN 6. 

Iwanaga, part of a close-knit group of night-side producers and reporters, has worked at the station since 2001. 

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Lars Larson Makes List of 100 Most important Radio Hosts in U.S.

Alpha Media announced today that Lars Larson has been named number 19 on Talkers magazine 2015 'Heavy Hundred' list of the 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America. 

The list draws upon a combination of factors including courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness. 

Lars Larson delivers six live hours of provocative talk, five days a week to 350,000 listeners in the Pacific Northwest, and 3 million nationally with over 180 syndication affiliates across the country.

"Lars is the number one talk host in the Northwest and it's nice to see his star rising across the nation," said Alpha Media Executive VP of Programming Scott Mahalick. "The rest of the world finally gets to see what Alpha has known all along. Lars Larson is a heavy hitter in the talk universe!"

Larson added, "It's a real pleasure to be in such good company on the only list in the business… Talkers Heavy Hundred."

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Portland's Alpha Media Promotes Amy Leimbach

Alpha Media, announced Amy Leimbach as its new Regional Director of Business.

A graduate of University of Oregon, Leimbach previously worked as the Director of Sales for CBS radio.

Until recently, Leimbach worked as Alpha Media’s Director of Sales and has been with the company since 2009, according to Randi P’Pool’s office.

During her time as Director of Sales, Leimbach helped cultivate the company’s customer centered sales tactics for six different radio stations. 

Amy Leimbach has received congratulatory remarks from many of Alpha Media’s executives, including the president of the company.

“Amy is supremely gifted in New Business Development and along with Lindi Glasgow and her team; will add another layer of resources for our clients and local account executives,” said Bob Proffitt, CEO and president of Alpha Media. 

Leimbach looks forward to the new position and already has a strong idea in place for what she will achieve.

“Developing results driven marketing solutions for clients has always been my passion and I couldn’t be more excited to take this to another level within Alpha Media,” said Leimbach.

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Alpha Media Hires Huggie For Live 95.5

Dan “Huggie” Amsden joined Live 95.5 every weeknight on Monday, March 2. 

Huggie moved to Minneapolis to pursue a degree in Audio Protection while fronting a band called “Touch Me! Touch You! From Minneapolis, he moved to Las Vegas to work at KVEG Hot 97.5. He then left Vegas to work nights at 103.3 Kiss FM (now 103.5 FM) in Boise, ID.

He is a very active member in the Boise Community and generous donator of his time, according to Alpha Media. 

Huggie is excited to be living in Portland and Alpha Media is excited to have him here as they feel his brand of weird, quirky behavior will go over well here.     

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Alpha Media Purchases Free Lance-Star Radio Stations

Alpha Media entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Free Lance- Star Radio. 

Alpha Media will own 93 stations, once the pending deals are completed. The 93 stations cover all formats including Top 40, Adult Contemporary, Spanish, Urban, News Talk, Sports, Rock, Country, and more. 

Robert Orr, Managing Director of Free Lance-Star Radio said, “We are proud to have been owners of the Free Lance-Star radio properties. The transaction with Alpha Media gives us great comfort in knowing that the stations will be in very capable hands.”

Alpha Media also owns the digital media and marketing company; Xapsis in Peoria, Illinois and the intimate performance venues, Bing Lounge in Portland, Oregon and Alamo Lounge in San Antonio, Texas.  

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Alpha Media Purchases Three California Radio Stations

Alpha Media entered into a definitive agreement to purchase radio stations from Coast Radio Company. 

Coast Radio Company owns three California-based radio stations: KUIC (FM) in Vacaville, HHIQ(FM) in Livermore and HHDV(FM) in Walnut Creek. Alpha Media will begin operating the Coast stations starting Feb. 1, 2015.

When pending deals are complete, Alpha Media will own 89 radio stations.

Larry Wilson, Chairman of Alpha Media said he is “thrilled to be buying from exceptional operators and management who really know radio.” He added that the three acquired stations will fit in with their “live and local game plan concentration in California.”

John Levitt; president & CEO of Coast Radio Company expressed pleasure in passing their company on to competent stewardship. The transaction will be filed with the Federal Communications Commission shortly and is subject to their approval.

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Lars Larson Signs Multi-Year Renewal Contract

Lars Larson signed a multi-year contract renewal with KXL and will continue his daily shows for years to come. 

Larson hosts two daily three-hour talk shows that air on KXL. His Northwest show also airs on 15 other stations that serve Oregon and Washington and his National talk show airs on 170 station around the country.

Larson's radio show, The Lars Larson Show, has run at KXL since 1997 and is arguably the most well-known conservative talk show in the region. Larson has over 10,000 followers on Twitter

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KINK-FM Program Director Chris Mays Has Leaves the Station

Chris Mays, longtime Program Director at KINK-FM radio, left the station.

No reason has been given on her sudden departure but, Mays did share the following thoughts with colleagues as well as GoLocalPDX: 

"I am extremely proud to have worked at some of the finest, most influential stations...and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to lend my talents and years of expertise to help those stations achieve unprecedented successes....Working in Portland has been no exception.  During my 4 years here, KINK was nominated for the Marconi Award for Best Rock Station in the nation in both 2011 and 2012. We won in 2012! I have been honored as Best Programmer in the Triple A format for the past two years. And KINK received the award for best station of the Year by our peers at the Triple A Conference this summer... We have enjoyed very high ratings in the format for much of my four years here. However, situations do change. While I will always cherish my time at KINK and Alpha Media, I feel it’s time for a change. And so it’s with mixed feelings that I’ve decided to move on. I’m going to take some time off to enjoy traveling and seeing family. After that, we’ll see what the future holds."

Mays departure comes on the heels of Marconi's ouster  (not to be confused with the award) less than two weeks ago. 

101.9 KINK is owned and operated by Alpha Broadcasting, along with The New 98.7, The Bull, 750 The Game, FM News 101 KXL, Live 95.5 and Freedom 970. 

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Marconi Out at KINK-FM Morning Show

Marconi—the co-host on the KINK-FM (101.9) radio morning show -- is no longer with the show. 

Marconi Bologna was newish to the station—he joined fellow co-host Sheila Hamilton in late July—but not to Portland. Marconi, who has appeared on local radio stations including KNRK-FM and KUFO-FM, became well known for a notorious incident on KNRK that involved some remarks he made after playing the audio portions of the beheading of an American hostage in 2004. He was let go from that job. 

And now he's been let go from KINK too. "Sheila and Marconi in the Morning," aired weekdays from 5 a.m.-10 a.m.  

Here's what KINK Program Director Chris Mays had to say on KINK's Facebook page about Marconi's abrupt departure: "Dear Kinksters,...Over the past few weeks we've received a lot of feedback about the changes on KINK. In response, we've decided to make a few tweaks. Most of you love the KINK Air Personalities, but for many of you, the addition of Marconi to the Morning Show didn't strike the right chord. So we've decided to resume our search for the perfect partner for Sheila Hamilton." 

In a radio spot that started to appear on the station this morning, Mays says that in their attempt to keep Portland weird, "maybe (KINK) got a little too weird". 



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