NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Like a Pendulum Do,” looks back at this past week of 9/5 to 9/9. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Tim Van Horn, talk show host, KWAM, Memphis; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Sandy Rios, talk show host, American Family Radio; Matthew B. Harrison, VP/associate publisher, TALKERS; and Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Podcast Movement Apologizes to Ben Shapiro; Way Forward Still Unclear. The controversy surrounding the surprise appearance of Ben Shapiro at the recent Podcast Movement convention in Dallas that apparently upset at least one other attendee continues as the organization has issued an apology to Shapiro. As you may recall, Podcast Movement immediately apologized to the offended party via Twitter in a since-deleted tweet, causing Cumulus Media to cry foul and announce it would not support the 2023 convention. Podcast Movement tweeted on Thursday (9/8): “As we stated, we’re continuing to evaluate our policies guiding social media & events with inclusivity, diversity & respect for all. We have to start by sincerely apologizing to Mr. Shapiro for our reaction when he visited a booth we sold his company. That wasn’t right. Podcast Movement began in 2014, with four podcasters who had an idea to create a vibrant community that was for podcasters, by podcasters. We’re still those people with the same idea, and recognize there’s work to do as we grow. We are now looking to move forward, as we focus on that original mission from 2014 – being a hub for podcasting events, resources, news, and thought leadership.” Naturally, those with no tolerance for conservative thought are not happy with this apology and this puts Podcast Movement in a difficult situation. On one hand, it can refuse to include conservatives in future gatherings and appease the “no tolerance” segment of its constituency. But big-time podcast publishers such as Cumulus, iHeartMedia, and Audacy produce a large number of podcasts. While most of those are not political at all, some are and are hosted by polarizing personalities. Does Podcast Movement want to alienate them to appease a small but very vocal minority? On the other hand, if it says, “everyone’s welcome,” you can bet those intolerant of others’ opinions will protest loudly, and the annual event then becomes a referendum on political partisanship. Podcast Movement has less than a year to figure this out.
Round Three of August PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s August 2022 sweep covered July 21 – August 17. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM grows by a full share to post a 9.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that lifts the station to #1, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KEX-AM rises by seven-tenths for a 3.1 share that boosts it to the #13 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOAI-AM, San Antonio adds seven-tenths to finish with a 4.6 share pushes it to the #8 rank, while Alpha Media’s crosstown news/talk KTSA rises by two-tenths for a 3.2 share but falls one position to the #12 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-AM/FM, Salt Lake City remains ranked #1 even after dropping a half share for a 9.1 share finish. Meanwhile, Bonneville’s crosstown news/talk KSL-AM/FM adds a half share and closes the survey with a 6.1 share good for the #4 rank. In Kansas City, Audacy’s news/talk KMBZ-FM tacks on eight-tenths for a 4.7 finish that lifts it from #11 to #5, while Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KCMO-AM also adds eight-tenths for a 1.5 share finish putting at the #20 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first two groups) here.
Triton Digital Releases Streaming Rankers for July 2022. The latest data from Triton Digital’s monthly ranking of top streaming properties is released for the July 2022 period. Triton ranks streamers based on Average Active Sessions (AAS). In the U.S. for 6AM-12AM Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is the #1 streamer with 278,576 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (67,269 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (61.293 AAS). Other radio-related companies on Triton’s chart includes: Cumulus Streaming Network ranked #4 (37,569 AAS), Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (16,157), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (13,676), Salem Communications at #10 (7,763 AAS), and Urban One at #11 (7,533). You can see the complete ranker here.
Big Radio Announces News and Sports Talent Additions. At Scott and Ben Thompson’s Big Radio in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, two new staffers join the company. At the Janesville, Wisconsin operations, Sean Maloney is now part of the news team working on news coverage across the group and being part of local high school sports broadcasts. He joined the company from Magnum Media in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. John Barry, award-winning sportswriter previously with the Janesville Gazette, also joins the company to work on its local sports coverage. Big Radio says its sports department consists of nearly 40 individuals working together to provide over 400 local high school sports broadcasts annually throughout Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Company CEO Ben Thompson says, “Local news, information and entertainment is what people look for from their local stations and Big Radio injects local news, sports, entertainment and conversation wherever we can across our 10-station group. We are grateful that both Sean and John bring those values with them to help reinforce our commitment to local programming.”
TALKERS News Notes. The 2022-23 NFL season is underway and Audacy announces a series of podcasts to cater to fans. New podcasts produced by the company’s 2400Sports studio include: “Kickoff with Boomer and Valenti” starring WFAN, New York morning host Boomer Esiason and WXYT-FM, Detroit afternoon host Mike Valenti; “The Crew” with senior NFL insider Josina Anderson, Hollywood actor Morris Chestnut, and former NFL cornerback Fred Smoot; “In The Huddle” starring former NFL player and current Audacy NFL insider Brian Baldinger and Audacy NFL insider and NFL reporter Jason La Canfora; “1st & Pod with Parkins and Poni” starring WSCR, Chicago’s Danny Parkins and KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh’s Andrew Fillipponi…..Skyview Networks partners with iHeartMedia Milwaukee to be the play-by-play radio broadcast distributor for Green Bay Packers games. As part of the deal, Skyview’s AdView inventory management software will be used. Skyview SVP business development and communication Andrew Kalb says, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with iHeartMedia Milwaukee and its Green Bay Packers radio rightsholder, ‘The Game 97.3.’ We look forward to collaborating on taking the Packers network to the next level and I am confident that with our technology, they will see new efficiencies and greater insight into revenue.”…..iHeartMedia and Warner Music Group announce a multi-year deal in which the two companies will co-produce a slate of shows that range from ongoing weekly podcasts to limited-run series, beginning this fall. As part of the collaboration, WMG’s Interval Presents will distribute its podcasts through the iHeartPodcast Network widely to all podcast consumption platforms. iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne states, “Joining forces with an iconic music company like Warner Music Group, known for their dedication to advancing the voices and careers of artists, is a seamless fit for iHeartMedia. Our team is thrilled to be co-producing a slate of shows to elevate inspiring, diverse voices and important conversations in this vein – and can’t wait to get started.”
Mar-a-Lago Aftermath and Trump Legal Issues Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 5 – 9. The Department of Justice’s appeal of Judge Aileen Cannon’s order for a Special Master to oversee the documents former President Donald Trump had stored at Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s other legal issues combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was politics and the midterm elections, followed by crime, violence, and homelessness at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
Michael Harrison “Idiots” Tour Off and Running. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has appeared as a guest on a number of major local and national radio talk shows covering several hundred stations across the nation during the past two weeks discussing the musical track “Idiots” on which he appears as lead vocalist with the iconic classic rock band, GUNHILL ROAD. “Idiots” is a catchy song with an ear-worm hook and provocative lyrics taking aim at what Harrison describes as the “growing wave of idiocy that’s spreading across America and threatening the nation’s democracy.” Harrison wrote the song in collaboration with his bandmates – Steve Goldrich, Paul Reisch and Brian Koonin. Since its release in late August, the song’s music video (www.idiotsvideo.com) has racked up thousands of views on YouTube and gotten airplay on dozens of talk shows and radio station websites from WABC, New York to KXL, Portland – including KTSA, San Antonio; WBT, Charlotte; KSCO, Santa Cruz; KFNX, Phoenix; WPG, Atlantic City; WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; WRVA, Richmond; WTIC, Hartford; WVLY, Wheeling; WTNN, Nashville; KWAM, Memphis; KDFD, Denver; WLIR-FM, Long Island; WRHU-FM, Hempstead, NY and many more including exposure on Talk Media Network; Doug Stephan’s “Good Day”; Virginia Talk Radio Network, Nevada Talk Network, John Fredericks Radio Network, Podcast Radio Network in the U.K. and more. “Ironically, the song is becoming somewhat of a talk radio hit,” says Harrison. “The music stations haven’t a clue what to do with it because it doesn’t fit conveniently into their cookie cutter categories. Today’s music radio doesn’t have the flexibility to include those ‘odd’ and ‘offbeat’ songs that would occasionally come down the pike and become hits in pop’s golden era. However, talk radio programmers get it.” One of the song’s qualities that adds to its talk show appeal and support from both liberals and conservatives is its non-partisanship. Harrison calls it an “equal opportunity offender.” Lyrics include such lines as: A fool will always be a fool… left, right, blue or red… it pays to have an open mind, but not an empty head. Another: They (idiots) cherry pick and reaffirm half-baked dumb ideas… agree with almost anything that feeds their hate and fears… always blaming others for their own damn lack of vision… they buy the crap that’s sold them from the merchants of division. That last line is punctuated on the video by the famous “turd” emoji emanating from the rear ends of an elephant and donkey. Harrison plans to continue the Talk Radio Idiots Tour through the fall. Shows and hosts interested in booking him as a guest can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Click here to see the video.