Industry News

TALKERS 2023: Speakers Added to Powerful Agenda

Registration and Hotel Information Available

TALKERS 2023, the 26th annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest running and largest convention is shaping up to be one of the storied event’s most important installments.  The power-packed, one-day event will be presented by TALKERS on Friday, June 2, 2023 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “We are delighted to be able to join forces again with our colleagues at Hofstra – the site of our very successful 2022, 2021 and 2016 events – and enjoy the remarkable resources that its Lawrence Herbert School of Communication brings to the table.” As was the case last year, this event will be held in a COVID-19 compliant environment based upon the circumstances at the time of the convention. TALKERS 2023 will boldly address key issues – some existential – facing the talk radio and talk media industries at this dramatically critical juncture of rapidly accelerating technological and societal change as well as identifying the remarkable opportunities inherent in these developments. It will also provide participants with unique and powerful networking opportunities. The all-inclusive registration fee covering convention events, exhibits, food, and services for the day is $379. Take advantage of the early bird fee of $329 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, March 31. Because space will be limited and a sellout is anticipated, all registrations are non-refundable. You can see the list of in-person speakers and get registration and hotel information here.

Industry News

NPR Cancels Four Podcasts Amid Staff Cuts

As reported by NPR’s David Folkenflik and Mary Yang, the public media giant has dropped four podcasts as part of a companywide move to cut costs. The podcasts “Invisibilia,” “Louder Than a Riot” “Rough Translation” and “Everyone & Their Mom” are being dropped in order to close what’s being reported as a budget gap of $30 million. NPR CEO John Lansing says, “We literally are fighting to secure the future of NPR at this very moment by restructuring our cost structure. It’s that important. It’s existential.” The report notes that “NPR intends to cut back its workforce from approximately 1,200 to about 1,050 employees. The nonprofit network’s layoffs represent its largest reduction in staff since the 2008 recession.” In other moves, NPR is bringing its newsroom and programming divisions together as Lansing notes the “current separation artificially cleaved NPR’s journalism and editorial creations.” At this time, none of the NPR radio programs have been canceled. Read the full story here.

Industry News

Round Two of February PPM Released

The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s February 2023 sweep covered February 2 – March 1. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, DC, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM adds four-tenths to finish the survey with a 3.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains ranked #7, while Hubbard Broadcasting’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM jumps eight-tenths to an 8.6 share lifting it to the #2 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston rises four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 4.1 share good for the #9 rank, while sister all-news WBZ-AM falls seven-tenths to finish with a 4.6 share that leaves it ranked #6 in the market. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM sheds seven-tenths to close with a 5.4 share that moves it from the #2 rank to #5, while Lotus Communications’ crosstown all-news KNWN-AM/FM falls 1.2 shares to finish with a 4.3 share and falls from #3 to #9. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

Industry News

“105.7 The Fan” Brings Back “Baltimore Baseball Tonight”

Audacy sports talk outlet WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” announces the return of “Baltimore Baseball Tonight” to its program lineup with the new season coinciding with the Baltimore Oriole’s Opening Day on March 30. New to the “Baltimore Baseball Tonight” broadcast team is Ryan Ripken, son of baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. Ripken joins Bob Haynie – host of the midday “Vinny & Haynie” show – Baltimore Hall of Famer Mike Bordick, and longtime voice of Baltimore baseball Jim Hunter. 105.7 The Fan brand manager Chuck Sapienza comments, “We are thrilled to be bringing ‘Baltimore Baseball Tonight’ back to Baltimore baseball fans. The show was received so well last season, and we look forward to building off that momentum again this season. Adding Ryan to the team brings a critical young voice to the show, and his perspective having been a part of the organization and his deep family ties to the team are invaluable.” When the Orioles are home, the show is broadcast on-site at Pickles Pub near Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Industry News

Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame Unveils Class of 2023

The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association announces the 2023 inductees into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame. From the radio side, this year’s inductees include former rock jock Donna L. Halper, currently a communications professor at Lesley University, and Spanish music radio station entrepreneur Pat Costa. Halper is also receiving the Hall of Fame Pioneer Award, given “to individuals who have distinguished themselves over decades for lasting contributions made to the broadcast industry and through a leadership role in their particular craft.” Other inductees are WCVB-TV, Boston sports anchor Mike Lynch, the late and beloved WHDH-TV videographer Therman Toon, late WBZ-TV reporter Bill Shields, and WBZ Radio’s heralded news reporter and “poet laureate” Carl Stevens.

Industry News

Top News/Talk Media Stories for Week of March 20 – 24

The numerous legal battles facing former President Donald Trump, including the probable indictment in the Stormy Daniels hush money allegation was the most-talked-about story in news/talk media this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the aftermath of the Silicon Valley Bank failure and concerns about the security of the global banking system, followed by the state of the U.S. economy and the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates again at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed in news/talk media during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at See this week’s complete chart here.

Industry News

Two Leading Edge CEO Fireside Chats Set for TALKERS 2023

Two leading CEO “Fireside Chats” have been scheduled for TALKERS 2023 adding to the impact of a power-packed day of sessions and presentations set for the talk media industry’s major annual gathering. The event will feature approximately 60 outstanding speakers on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island.

Connoisseur Media CEO/founder Jeff Warshaw and Newsmax Media CEO/founder Christopher Ruddy will each engage in candid one-on-one conversations with TALKERS publisher/founder Michael Harrison about the present and future state of talk media.

Jeff Warshaw describes himself as a “lifelong broadcaster.” He built his first station while still a student at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1993, he founded Connoisseur Communications Partners LP, a 39-station group which he later sold to Cumulus Broadcasting in 2000 for $258 million. At this time, he pioneered notable progress in integrating legacy media with emerging digital technology. In 2004, he formed Connoisseur Media which now operates 13 radio station brands and digital assets in five markets. Highly respected and celebrated industry-wide for his outspoken candor and bullish approach to radio station ownership, Jeff Warshaw serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Broadcasters, the executive committee of the Radio Advertising Bureau, and is chairman of the Nielsen Audio advisory council. Harrison describes Warshaw as “one of the most knowledgeable, emerging forces to be reckoned with among radio industry leaders.”

Christopher Ruddy founded Newsmax in 1998 to publish online and offline content in the fields of news, politics, health and finance. ranks consistently as one of the country’s most-trafficked news websites. Newsmax TV, a cable and over-the-top media service news channel started in 2014, has shown remarkable growth becoming one of the nation’s leading television news and political opinion sources.  Newsmax recently entered the field of talk radio with a syndication arm and is reportedly exploring expansion into radio station ownership. As a journalist, Christopher Ruddy previously worked at the New York Post and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. He was also awarded a Media Fellowship at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. He holds a BA summa cum laude in history from St. John’s University and a Master’s in Public Policy from the London School of Economics. Harrison describes Ruddy as “a key player in emerging 21st century media.”

For more information about TALKERS 2023, see story below

Job Opportunity

Smiley Audio Media and KBLA, Los Angeles Seek Director of Sales

KBLA Talk 1580/SmileyAudioMedia, Inc. is seeking a director of sales who can plan, direct, and coordinateLogo - Graphics the actual distribution or movement of service to the customer. Coordinate sales distribution by establishing sales territories, quotas and goals, and establish training programs for sales representatives. Analyze sales statistics gathered by staff to determine sales potential and inventory requirements and monitor customers’ preferences. Candidates can learn more details here.

Job Opportunity

AUN Television Network Seeking Ground Level Entry Executive

Rick Trader, president/CEO of the AUN Television Network informs TALKERS that he is looking to expand his two-year-old ultra-conservative audio and video talk media platform. He’s looking for a sales and management executive (as well as acquiring additional programming). Over the past two years, AUN (American Uncensored Network) – which is billed as a “conservative/faith-based network” – has gained clearance on some 11 TV stations in California and Nevada. Its shows are hosted by an array of well-knownVehicle registration plate - Neon Sign commentators as well as up-and-comers. Trader tells TALKERS he “honestly believes AUN is one of the fastest growing TV and streaming networks in the country.” He states, “Now it is time to expand once again. Our goal is to be broadcasting in every major market in the next two years! This is maybe where an ambitious, hard-working manager can become part of this dream. I am looking to develop a management team to make it happen. If a candidate has expertise in managing finances and accounting, recruiting, human resources, overseeing and developing technologies, as well as creating company policy, sales and marketing, then such an individual might be looking for the challenge of a lifetime.” Trader continues, “I am looking to work with conservative/faithful, passionate ideologs like myself who are concerned with the direction our great republic is heading and want to return it to the Judeo-Christian, faith-based patriotic roots our founding fathers created! Here is the catch: all our progress and success has been achieved on a very tight budget! In fact, we cannot offer salaries. What we can offer is incentives for those who produce to be rewarded.” Interested candidates can contact Rick Trader, president/CEO, AUN TV Network at

Industry News

Round One of February PPMs Released

The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s February 2023 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s February 2023 sweep covered February 2 – March 1. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeways from this group of markets. In New York City, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC-AM is flat with a 3.9 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and falls to the #10 rank, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR-AM is steady with a 1.9 share but rises one spot to the #18 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles is flat with a 4.1 share but rises one spot to the #5 rank in the market. In Chicago, Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM sheds two-tenths to finish with a 3.2 share good for the #10 rank, while Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM rises three-tenths to finish with a 4.8 share and remains ranked #4. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

Industry News

WEEI, Boston Host Suspended After Racist Remark

A number of media outlets are reporting on the incident that took place on the Wednesday edition of the “Greg Hill Show” on Audacy’s WEEI, Boston, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, that’s led to the suspension of co-host Chris Curtis. Hill, Courtney Cox and Curtis were discussing a local proposal to ban the 1.7-ounce liquor bottles commonly known as nips. When Cox asked about each host’s favorite nip and named several brands of liquor, Curtis replied, “I’d probably go Mina Kimes.” Nip is also a pejorative term for Japanese. Kimes is of Korean descent. When the Boston Globe reached out to Audacy for comment, the spokesperson declined to address it specifically but suggested Curtis meant to say Mila Kunis. Today, Curtis apologized on air and said he’s been suspended until next week. Curtis explained he didn’t intend to say Mina Kimes. “In a pathetic, failed attempt at a one-liner, I attempted to bring up Mila Kunis, which was not really that funny, sophomoric and sexist. But for reasons I don’t understand, I said Mina Kimes.”

Industry News

Good Karma Brands Celebrates 25 Years of “ESPN 1000”

Good Karma Brands is celebrating the 25th anniversary of “ESPN Chicago” (WMVP-AM, Chicago) with a sold-out live broadcast tomorrow (3/24) from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm at the House of Blues in downtown Chicago. Good Karma SVP Keith Williams says, “When GKB purchased ‘ESPN 1000,’ we knew the incredible impact of the station and its most notable figures have had in the Chicagoland area. The standout moments over the last 25 years are endless, and we are excited to celebrate with our partners, fans and teammates at the House of Blues.” Those scheduled to appear at the live broadcast include former Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould, former Chicago Bears quarterback and past guest of “Waddle & Silvy,” Jay Cutler, Chicago native and American musician Billy Corgan, ESPN analyst and co-host of “Pardon the Interruption,” Michael Wilbon, and ESPN reporter, host, and television personality Sarah Spain. “ESPN 1000” director of content Danny Zederman adds, “‘ESPN 1000’ is thrilled to host the station’s biggest names and most impactful people in one room on Friday to celebrate 25 years. We will look back at our success and also look forward to our exciting future as the home of the Chicago Bears and the Chicago White Sox.”

Industry News

Justin Shackil Joins WFAN’s Yankees Broadcasts

Audacy announces Justin Shackil is joining WFAN, New York’s flagship broadcast coverage of New York Yankees baseball as the station’s primary postgame show host for the Yankees Radio Network. He will also fill in for legendary play-by-play voice John Sterling for approximately 30 games, alongside Suzyn Waldman, during the 2023 season. Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero states, “Justin is no stranger to the Bronx and his passion for the pinstripes make him the ideal person to join the iconic duo of John and Suzyn in the booth. His contributions to the broadcast last season were terrific and well received, so we’re excited to see him return in this enhanced role.”