Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Laura Schlessinger earned a Ph.D. in Physiology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and received post-doctoral certification in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling from the University of Southern California. She was in private practice for 12 years.
Since 1975, she’s been on the air at stations including KWIZ, KMPC, KABC and KFI. In 1994 she moved into national syndication and Premiere Radio Networks began distributing her program in 1997. She went independent in 2005 and joined SiriusXM in 2011. She was the first woman to win the National Association of Broadcaster’s Marconi Award for “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year.”
Dr. Laura has raised millions of dollars for veterans with the proceeds from her online boutique, featuring jewelry and glass art she designs and hand-crafts. The author of thirteen New York Times best-sellers, she has a black belt in martial arts, and is the first woman skipper to sail in the Transpacific Yacht Race from California to Hawaii.
To date, Dr. Laura has offered no-nonsense advice infused with a strong sense of ethics, accountability, and personal responsibility to millions of listeners weekly. The fierce advocate for children and family values is, indeed, “her kid’s mom.”
All it took was a 2nd grade field trip to WWJ, Detroit for Jim Kerr to know what he wanted to do with his life. He began his career at age 14 in Ypsilanti, Michigan and has been on the air ever since.
After working at stations in Howell and Ann Arbor Michigan, Kerr joined WORJ, a progressive rock station in Orlando, Florida. At 18, he returned to his hometown and joined the airstaff of WKNR, Detroit. At 19, he served as morning host at WDAI, Chicago, at 20 he moved to the legendary WLS, and when he was 21, he became New York’s youngest morning show host at WPLJ. Kerr has been the morning show host on six NYC stations, most notably 15 years at WPLJ and as of 2018, 15 years at WAXQ.
Active for decades in civic and charitable affairs, in 2018 he was a 32-year board member of HeartShare Human Services of New York and a member of the board of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. He’s also a Vice President of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
Kerr is the longest running morning radio personality in NYC history.
Jonathon Brandmeier’s radio career began at age fifteen at WFON-FM in his hometown of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. In January 1980, he was at WOKY-AM Milwaukee, Wisconsin when he was selected as one of the top five deejays in the country in a Los Angeles-based talent search, alongside Howard Stern.
A month later, he accepted an offer from KZZP-FM in Phoenix, where he tripled the ratings in only six months. In 1983, Chicago’s WLUP-FM, The Loop won a nationwide battle for his services. Brandmeier became “The King of Chicago Mornings” and his band, The Leisure Suits, was the hottest performing act in Chicago.
During his years at The Loop, Brandmeier made appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Arsensio Hall, which led to a television development deal at NBC. In 1995, he won the Marconi Radio Award for “Personality of the Year.”
In 1997, after The Loop was sold, Brandmeier moved his morning show to Los Angeles. He returned to Chicago in 2005 for a final run at The Loop. In 2013, while at WGN Radio, Governor Pat Quinn declared a “Johnny B Day” in Illinois. In 2015, The Jonathon Brandmeier Showwas nationally syndicated.
Joan Hamburg grew up on Long Island, New York and graduated from Barnard College. Right after graduation she wrote New York on $5 a Day which was self-published by then litigation lawyer Arthur Frommer. It sold 35,000 copies in less than three months.
Because of that book, she became the toast of the town. While writing for New York Magazine, her boss encouraged her to audition for a radio show on WMCA-AM in New York. She got the job because the station was bombarded with thousands of letters from listeners, “mostly relatives,” who wanted more.
She has received countless awards such as the prestigious “Matrix Award for Excellence in Radio Broadcasting” from New York Women in Communications, The Mother’s Day Council’s “National Mother of the Year,” the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation’s “Gracie Lifetime Achievement Award,” and the Anti-Defamation League’s “Woman of the Year.”
Known as New York’s “First Lady of Radio,” Hamburg views her audience as family and genuinely cares about each listener. When asked for career advice, she says “Never give up curiosity and be willing to work your tail off.”
Mark Levin was born in Pennsylvania in 1957. A magna cum laude graduate from Temple University Ambler with a B.A. in Political Science at 19, Levin earned his J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 1980.
Levin served as an advisor to several members of President Reagan’s cabinet, including as Chief of Staff to the Attorney General Edwin Meese, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, and Deputy Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
As a highly respected legal and constitutional scholar, Levin brought his compelling perspectives to talk radio as a frequent on-air guest of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. WABC-AM in New York offered Levin his own show in 2002, and in 2006, The Mark Levin Show launched into national syndication.
Today, he’s one of the most respected political radio hosts in the country heard by millions each week on terrestrial and satellite radio. Levin also hosts digital and cable television programs where he provides keen insight into today’s national and international issues. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Levin is also a New York Times best-selling author of seven books, and Chairman of the Board of Landmark Legal Foundation.
Kid Kelly grew up in Brooklyn, New York where he started his radio career in 1983. He earned just $130 dollars a month, so he slept in a 1970 Chevy Nova he bought for $200 and subsisted on unsold chicken wings from KFC that he got for 25 cents.
Kelly enjoyed success at WKSE-FM Buffalo where he dominated evenings with unprecedented ratings. He then spent more than a decade at Top 40 powerhouse, WHTZ-FM Z100 New York. During the 1980s, he was the most listened to night jock in America. Proving to be just as talented off mic, he programmed and did mornings at Hot 97 WBHT-FM in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, putting that station on the map. He then returned to Z100 New York and became the Operations Manager in 1998.
Additionally, Kelly created and still hosts the first weekly nationally syndicated 80s radio program BACKTRAX USA. It airs on more than 300 stations worldwide. With the successful formula, Kelly launched another first-of-its-kind, BACKTRAX USA the 90s, which airs on more than 150 stations nationwide.
Today, the multiple Billboard Award winning personality continues to shape radio history as he reigns as the afternoon host on SiriusXM Hits 1 and serves as Vice President of Music Programming for the Pop Format.
Mike & Mike
From 2000-2017, ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic -- Mike & Mike -- covered top sports news, analyzed the action on the field, and discussed the drama off of it. Mike & Mike broadcasted from some of the biggest sporting events – the Super Bowl, NBA and MLB All-Star games and the NFL Draft -- and interviewed luminaries including the President of the United States, the Commissioners of the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, among others. In 2006, they received a Sports Emmy for their “Off Mikes” animated comedy series. In April 2010, the duo released Mike & Mike’s Rules for Sports and Life, which reached number three on the New York Times Best-Sellers list.
Golic, a nine-year NFL veteran, joined ESPN in 1995 as an NFL studio analyst. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he captained the football team his senior year. Golic currently co-hosts ESPN Radio’s Golic and Wingo, alongside Trey Wingo.
Greenberg joined ESPN in September 1996 as an anchor on ESPNEWS and later also anchored SportsCenter. He has published four books and is a graduate of the Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. Greenberg now hosts ESPN’s weekday morning program, Get Up!
Mike Francesa was born and raised in Long Beach, New York. The St. John’s University graduate started working at CBS Sports in 1982 as a researcher. He would ultimately prove to be an invaluable sports analyst, laying the foundation for his more than 30-year radio career.
When WFAN-AM debuted in 1987, Francesa joined the lineup and quickly began dominating the New York sports scene. In 1989, he teamed up with Christopher Russo to create Mike and the Mad Dog, the program that launched a sports talk radio revolution. Due to the duo’s impact, ESPN chronicled their accomplishments in the 30 for 30 documentary series.
In 2008, Francesa ventured alone on WFAN-AM and took the program to even greater heights, earning numerous awards and accolades. He’s the only sportscaster to win the National Association of Broadcasters’ prestigious Marconi Award for “Large Market Personality of the Year” twice. In 2017, he announced his retirement, only to return to WFAN-AM in 2018, which dominated news headlines for an entire week.
Throughout his radio career, he has worked in film and television and has lent his support to charities and causes like Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund, St. Francis Hospital, SIDS, World Hunger Year and the Connecticut Sports Foundation.
Born and raised in Detroit, Fred Jacobs is a graduate of both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Early in his career, he joined Frank N. Magid Associates, and later became its Director of Research for their radio division. Jacobs married his love of rock music with audience research and joined ABC Radio where he became research director for their Owned FM stations. He went on to successfully program ABC’s WRIF in Detroit before stepping out on his own to form Jacobs Media in 1983.
Jacobs is known as a creator of the Classic Rock format, which debuted in the early 80s. Classic Rock is now heard in hundreds of markets in the U.S. and around the world.
Recognizing the emergence of digital media in the 90s, Jacobs pivoted his company toward new media, starting with nationwide Techsurveys that helped identify changing audience tastes. He and his brother, Paul Jacobs, launched jacapps, a mobile app development company in 2008.
Jacobs also created the DASH conference, connecting the automotive and radio industries. The popularity of his JacoBLOG has reinforced his place as an industry thought-leader, helping to guide and support broadcast radio’s future.
Nanci Donnellan, known as The Fabulous Sports Babe, began her radio career in Boston on WRKO-AM and WEEI-AM. Her encyclopedic knowledge, sharp wit and aggressive, controversial style made her a trailblazer as she was among the first to employ this approach and the only woman doing it.
In 1982, she joined WNSI-AM in Tampa, Florida. By 1989, WFNS-AM, also in Tampa, became the market’s first all-sports station and hired Donnellan. Then in 1991, KJR-AM in Seattle, Washington changed to an all sports format and brought her in as their signature personality. Only three years later, she debuted The Fabulous Sports Babe Showon the ESPN Radio Network, making her the first and only woman to host a national sports talk radio show.
Heard by millions of listeners every weekday on more than 300 radio stations, she also developed a loyal following for her critically acclaimed daily ESPN2 television show. The award-winning broadcaster went on to work at the Sports Fan Radio Network, various stations nationwide, and ultimately landed back in Tampa.
She also penned The Babe in Boyland, a behind-the-scenes book about her professional life that includes inspirational stories about how she “kicked and clawed” her way through the boys’ club of sports radio and prevailed.