Industry News

TALKERS magazine Publishes the 2024 Heavy Hundred

TALKERS magazine publishes the 2024 edition of our long-running feature the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America, also known as the Heavy Hundred. Talk hosts making this prestigious list are nominated and voted on by the TALKERS magazine editorial board based on hard and soft factors including (in alphabetical order): courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent, and uniqueness. TALKERS editors acknowledge that compiling this annual list is as much art as science and that results are arguable. TALKERS magazine VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Putting together this list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America never gets any easier. The number of hard-working talk radio hosts across the country make winnowing this down to merely 100 a painstaking task. That said, the editorial board believes this year’s Heavy Hundred truly reveals a snapshot of the makeup of the American talk radio industry in 2024. Congratulations to those hosts making this year’s Heavy Hundred.” See the list here.

Industry News

TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond Conference Set for Friday, June 7 at Hofstra University

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The 27th annual presentation of the longest running and most important national talk media gathering scheduled for Friday, June 7 at Hofstra University on Long Island is being organized with 60+ industry notables set to speak. Highlights include a special guest keynote address by Premiere Networks superstar Glenn Beck in addition to exclusive morning and afternoon “Fireside Chats” with WBZ-FM, Boston (“98.5 FM The Sports Hub) morning co-host Fred Toucher and FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel host Brian Kilmeade, respectively. This power-packed, one-day event will again be presented by TALKERS in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio and the school’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. To register for TALKERS 2024 or to obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. For a look at the full list of speakers, stories about key panel discussions & presentations, as well as a list of nearby hotels, click here.

Industry News

WPHT, Philadelphia Launches Live “Politics and Pints” Series

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Audacy’s Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Philadelphia launched the first in a series of live presentations titled, “Politics and Pints,” hosted by its legendary midday (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm) personality Dom Giordano. It took place at the Zlock Performing Arts Center at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA last evening (4/12) between 7:00 pm and 8:15 pm. The event featured U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) as its inaugural guest, pictured above (r) in conversation with Giordano (l). A cash bar for soft drinks, beer, wine and cocktails available for purchase was set up in the lobby of the Center. Tickets for the successful presentation were $50.00+fees and included a signed copy of Senator Paul’s book: Deception: The Great COVID Cover-Up.

Industry News

Salem Launches “This Week on the Hill”

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Pictured above at the Salem Media Group studios in Washington, DC are (from l-r): Family Research Council president (and program host) Tony Perkins, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), and Salem Radio Network v.p./news and talk programming (and program executive producer) Tom Tradup. Early this morning, they taped the first edition of the new, hour-long weekly news program, “This Week on the Hill,” that premieres this weekend on the Salem Radio Network with additional releases on the Salem News Channel, Salem Podcast Network and on TOWNHALL.com. Topics covered this weekend include Johnson’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s “motion to vacate” the Speaker’s position, the battle over reauthorization of the FISA program, and the latest controversy over abortion laws in America. Tradup states, “We are so proud to have Speaker Johnson as the centerpiece of our ‘This Week’ program. He brings a depth of experience that delves beyond the surface skirmishes in Congress and really gives our audience eye-level insight that only a man two-heartbeats from the presidency can offer.”

Industry News

KNX, Los Angeles to Host Mayor Karen Bass at Town Hall

Audacy all-news KNX, Los Angeles is presenting a live, one-hour town hall broadcast featuring Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass at the Audacy SoundSpace on Wilshire Boulevard on Tuesday (4/16) atim 7:00 pm. KNX says, “In her first broadcast town hall as mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass takes the stage at KNX News to take questions from Angelenos on a broad range of public safety-related topics the day after her State of the City address. As the City searches for a new chief to shape the future of the LAPD, Mayor Bass will hear from constituents about what they want that future to look like.” The show is being aired on KNX News 97.1 FM, the Audacy app, and streamed live on YouTube.

Uncategorized

WGN and the Blackhawks Announce Three-Year Extension

The Chicago Blackhawks and Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM, Chicago announce a three-year extension to their broadcast rightsholder deal. The agreement will keep Blackhawks hockey on WGNim through the 2026-27 National Hockey League season. Troy Murray and John Wiedeman have also agreed to a three-year extension for live game coverage with pregame, intermission and postgame shows led by Joe Brand. WGN VP/GM Mary Sandberg Boyle comments, “The Chicago Blackhawks are a premium sports franchise, and we take pride in being able to deliver exciting Blackhawks hockey to the best fans in the NHL, wherever and however they choose to listen. In addition to providing high-quality, live game broadcasts, the collaborative partnership between WGN Radio and the Chicago Blackhawks ensures that fans and partners will be superserved for every game.”

Industry News

Paul Rotella Recognized by the PDFNJ

In an acknowledgment of his tireless dedication and impactful leadership, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) is honoring Paul S. Rotella, Esq. with the esteemed J.P. Miele Lifetime Achievement Award at its 30th Angel of Hope Gala on May 15, 2024, at the Liberty House in Jersey City.im This tribute recognizes Rotella’s pivotal role in combating substance misuse during his 14-year tenure as president and CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA). Rotella says, “One of my first official acts as the chief executive officer of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association was to aid and assist the Partnership for a Drug-free New Jersey and its ongoing mission. Now, more than ever, the good work of the Partnership is essential to educate the public in combating the insidious scourge drug abuse is on our society and community. This work remains one of our most worthwhile endeavors and I’m so very proud of their initiatives. The Partnership’s vital objective is strengthened through relationships with all community organizations across the Garden State, like the NJBA, so as to continue to be successful. It’s a privilege to be associated with the partnership and its leadership!”

Job Opportunity

Baltimore Station Seeks GSM

A heritage radio station in Baltimore, MD is seeking a creative, hands-on manager with a passion for helping account executives develop their skills and meet and exceed company goals.

Candidates should have a record of success in media sales and management, experience selling a conservative talk format, and a strong background in digital sales. The ideal candidate should be an expert in coaching and developing all levels of sellers.

This is a full-time position with compensation to include salary, overrides, and incentives.

Please send your resume or contact information to radiosalesmanager@gmail.com.

Job Opportunity

WHO, Des Moines Seeks Talk Host

iHeartMedia is seeking a talented talk show host in a rare opportunity to join one of America’s great radioim stations… the legendary WHO in Des Moines, Iowa. Des Moines is a wonderful place in which to live with terrific amenities. You will work with strong local management invested in your success. WHO is a ratings and revenue leader that is looking for opportunities to grow and win. You could be the next chapter in the second century of WHO serving Iowa! Find out more and apply here.

Job Opportunity

Stonecom Has Openings in Cookeville, Tennessee

Stonecom Cookeville has three positions open. They are seeking a broadcast journalist/news reporter who is a lover of news who wants to lead their team and do news the right way. It is radio but on-air does NOT have to be part of the job. Writing and reporting MUST be part of the job. Send writing samples,im airchecks, and salary requirements to the address below. The company also seeks an on-air talent and programming assistant to be a part of the Lite Rock 95.9, Rock 93.7, 106.9 Kicks Country, News Talk 94.1, 93-3 The Dawg, Sports Radio 104.7, 101.9 / AM 920 WLIV, 96-9 Hwy 111 Country team. Send your resume. Send an aircheck. Send two sentences describing your goal in work and why this job interests you. You must do all three. And finally, Stonecom is seeking a graphic artist who designs clean, attention-getting logos, posters, mailers and web graphics. A great opportunity to supplement your income, add additional clients to your growing repertoire, or work from home. Send at least five examples of your work – along with your resume. Reply to: Stonecom, Attn: Human Resources, 1 Stonecom Way, Cookeville, TN 38501 Or email marcia@stonecomradio.com. Stonecom is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Job Opportunity

Saga Looking to Fill Weather Director/News Reporter Role

Saga Communications’ Spencer Radio Group is looking to hire a full-time weather director and news reporter for KICD-AM; BIG Country 107.7; MORE 104.9 and PURE Oldies 98.3/98.5 in Spencer, Iowa.im They seek someone who understands small-market, local radio and is willing to be involved in the community. Knowledge of radio automation software, Adobe audition, WordPress, and general computer experience is preferred. SRG offers paid vacation and great benefits including – health, vision, dental and 401K. Send your resume and demo! No phone calls. No voicetrack inquiries. Saga Communications of Iowa, LLC is an EOE. Kevin Tlam, Operations Manager, Spencer Radio Group, P.O. Box 260, Spencer, Iowa 51301 ktlam@spencerradiogroup.com

Job Opportunity

Cumulus Seeks OM/PD for Albuquerque

CUMULUS MEDIA | Albuquerque is looking for a dynamic operations manager/program director. Our staff takes pride in our community and value teamwork. If you can deliver lifestyle headlines, be focused, creative and multi-task and most of all… love radio, we should talk.  Board work, remotes, production,im and podcasts are all a part of what we do, so show us what you’ve got. The successful candidate will be responsible for all aspects of programming including scheduling content, coaching on-air staff, station and AM/FM cluster strategy, development of on-air/online promotions and generating associated revenue, oversight and content creation for digital extensions (including streams, websites and podcasts), and have a strong customer service approach towards listeners, staff, & sales. Additionally, the candidate will act as the program director for Legendary News Radio KKOB and KNML The Sports Animal. Find out more and apply here. Cumulus is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Industry News

Top News/Talk Media Stories for Week of April 8 – 12

The presidential race was the most-talked-about story in news/talk media during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was abortion, including the Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling outlawing most abortions and former President Donald Trump saying he would not sign a federal law outlawing abortion. And at #3 this week was the state of the U.S. economy. 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 Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Industry News

New Local Show Debuts on Sports Talk WSSP, Milwaukee

Audacy sports talk WSSP-AM, Milwaukee “1250 AM The Fan” is launching a new local weekday show hosted by Steve “Sparky” Fifer called “Wisconsin Sports Daily” airing from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm,im beginning Monday (4/15). Fifer says, “I’m super excited to be hosting ‘Wisconsin Sports Daily,’ and I can’t wait to talk about our favorite sports teams with our loyal listeners. The opportunity to host great guests to add to our conversations is a plus. Let’s bring some passion back into sports talk radio in Milwaukee!” Fifer serves as assistant program director and on-air host at 1250 AM The Fan. He also hosts a Milwaukee Bucks postgame show and numerous podcasts, including “Curd & Long,” “Green and Growing” and “Spare/Time Bowling Show.” He also helps run Audacy’s BetQL Network in other markets.

Industry News TALKERS 2024

TALKERS Conference 2024 Set for Friday, June 7

Powerful Speaker Roster Being Set for TALKERS 2024 – Glenn Beck, Fred Toucher and Brian Kilmeade to Appear in Key Roles 

The 27th annual presentation of the longest running and most important national talk media gathering scheduled for Friday, June 7 at Hofstra University on Long Island is being organized with 60+ industry notables set to speak.  Highlights include a special guest keynote address by Premiere Networks superstar Glenn Beck in addition to exclusive morning and afternoon “Fireside Chats” with WBZ-FM, Boston (“98.5 FM The Sports Hub) morning co-host Fred Toucher and FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel host Brian Kilmeade, respectively.

The power-packed, one-day event will again be presented by TALKERS  in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio. TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “We are delighted to be able to join forces again with our colleagues at Hofstra – the site of our very successful 2023, 2022, 2021 and 2016 events – and enjoy the remarkable resources that its Lawrence Herbert School of Communication brings to the table.” TALKERS 2024 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. The focus, as always, will be on talk radio and its changing relationship with the larger arena of “audio” and “video” including podcasting, satellite, and digital venues. News/talk, sports talk, all-news, and general talk will be amply covered. The conference will also provide participants with unique and powerful networking opportunities.

The speakers already confirmed include (in alphabetical order) Dr. Asa Andrew, host/owner, The Doctor Asa Show/The Doctor Asa Network; Michael “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield, MA; Glenn Beck, host, “The Glenn Beck Show”/Premiere Networks; Vince Benedetto, CEO/founder, Bold Gold Media Group; David Bernstein; GM, broadcast operations, TALKERS; Scot Bertram, GM, WRFH/Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM; Grace Blazer, VP, national NTS brand coordinator, director of news and AM programming Florida region, iHeartMedia Miami; Phil Boyce, SVP, spoken word format, Salem Media Group; Ops VP, New York region/WMCA/ AM 970 The Answer; Bill Brady, owner/host, KFNX, Phoenix; John Caracciolo, President/CEO, JVC Broadcasting; Howie Carr, host, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kathy Carr, president, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS; Heather Cohen, president, The Weiss Agency; Alex Fife, VP operations, Southeast, iHeartMedia – Total Traffic & Weather Network; Rob Finnerty, host, “Wake Up America,” Newsmax TV; John Fredericks, owner/host, John Fredericks Radio Network; Mike Gallagher, host, Salem Radio Network; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Steven Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media; Dave Gorab, VP/GM, talk programming, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Lee Habeeb, CEO/host, “Our American Stories”/American Private Radio; Lee Harris, director, integrated operations, NewsNation/WGN, Chicago; Matthew B. Harrison, VP, associate publisher TALKERS/senior partner, Harrison Media Law; Michael Harrison, publisher, TALKERS; Ron Hartenbaum, managing member, WYD Media; Scott Herman, chairman, Broadcasters Foundation of America; Bill Hess, corporate program director, news/talk, Cumulus Media/PD, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, host, WPG, Atlantic City; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Jeff Katz, host, WRVA, Richmond; Brian Kilmeade, host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Kraig T. Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Chris Krok, host, WBAP, Dallas; Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York; Steve Lapa, president, Lapcom Communications Corp; Josh Leng, CEO/founder, Talk Media Network; Danielle Lin, host, “The Art of Living and the Science of Life”; Chad Lopez, president, WABC, New York/Red Apple Audio Network; Mark Lukasiewicz, dean, Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, Hofstra University; Mike McVay, president, McVay Media Consulting; Frank Morano, host, WABC, New York/Red Apple Audio Networks; John T. Mullen, GM, WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University; Chris Oliviero, market president, Audacy New York; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, “The Joe Pags Show”; Deborah Parenti, publisher, Radio Ink/RBR+TVBRWalter Sabo, consultant, Sabo Media Implementers/host “Sterling On Sunday,” TMN; Greg Stocker, brand manager, WPHT, Philadelphia; Tavis Smiley, host/owner, KBLA, Los Angeles/Smiley AudioMedia; Todd Starnes, host/president, The Todd Starnes Show Syndication/owner, KWAM, Memphis; Doug Stephan, CEO/founder, Stephan Multimedia/host “Good Day” morning show; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Joe Thomas, host/PD, WTON, Staunton, VA; Fred Toucher, co-host, morning show, WBZ-FM, Boston (“98.5 The Sports Hub”); Paul Vandenburgh, owner/host, WGDJ (Talk 1300), Albany, NY; Dr. Daliah Wachs, host, Genesis Communications Network; Brett Winterble, host, WBT, Charlotte; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and Martha Zoller, host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA.  More speakers will be named in the coming days.

Attendance at the conference is limited to members of the working media and directly associated industries as well as communication students enrolled in accredited learning institutions. All attendees will be required to register in advance on the phone payable by credit card. Because attendance will be limited and the agenda outstanding, the conference is again expected to be an early sellout. The all-inclusive registration fee covering convention events, exhibits, food, and services for the day is $379. Because space will be limited and a sellout is anticipated, all registrations are non-refundable. To register for TALKERS 2024 or to obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. The closest hotel to the conference is the nearby Long Island Marriott-Uniondale but it is nearly sold out. For a list of area hotels within a short drive to Hofstra, please click here.

Industry News

Cumulus Announces Further Extension of Exchange Offer

Cumulus Media’s subsidiary Cumulus Media New Holdings Inc further extends the expiration time in its previously announced Exchange Offer and Consent Solicitation in which it offers to exchange any and all of its outstanding 6.750% Senior Secured First-Lien Notes due 2026 (the “Old Notes”) for new 8.750% Senior Secured First-Lien Notes due 2029 (“New Notes”). The new expiration time is 5:00 pm New York City time on April 12, 2024. As of April 9, approximately $15 million aggregate principal amount of the Old Notes had been validly tendered pursuant to the Exchange Offer and Consent Solicitation and not withdrawn.

Industry News

ENCO, Benztown and Compass Partner with vCreative for SPECai Integration

ENCO Systems, Inc., Benztown, Compass Media Networks, and vCreative announce that they have entered into an innovative new partnership to bring SPECai, the leading AI spec ad service, to vCreative’s customers by integrating SPECai into its suite of creative workflow platforms for broadcasters. For stations affiliated with both vCreative and SPECai, the integration will streamline the process of requesting a spec spot, as well as save time. Account executives can prepare for client meetings ahead of time, or be ready to create on the spot, by utilizing the integration to select the SPECai option from within the vPPO or vProMedia order form to create compelling spec spots to present to their clients. SPECai is a game-changer for media organizations and their sales reps, allowing them to create spec commercials in seconds using AI right in front of clients. SPECai blends AI scripts and AI voices with Benztown music beds to easily create fully produced spec commercials in seconds.

Industry News

Yesterday’s (4/10) Top News/Talk Media Stories

The presidential race; inflation ticks up, the stocks selloff and the Fed’s stance on interest rates; former President Donald Trump’s legal battles; the Arizona abortion law; President Joe Biden’s Pacific leaders summit; the Israel-Hamas war and U.S.-Israel relations; the GOP battle over FISA reform; the White House plan to close “gun show loopholes”; and the severe weather affecting the Southeastern U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Industry News TALKERS 2024

Heavyweight Revenue Session Set for TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond

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 As its amazing agenda begins to take shape, a stellar panel of industry luminaries has been set for TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond coming up at Hofstra University on Long Island Friday, June 7.  “Generating Revenue for Talk Radio” will feature (in alphabetical order) Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; John Caraciollo, president/CEO, JVC Broadcasting; Kathy Carr, president, Howie Carr Radio Network; Ron Hartenbaum, managing member, Crossover Media Group; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. The session, moderated by Steve Lapa, president, Lapcom Communications Corp. will explore the financial state and future of talk radio as well as radio in general from a number of perspectives encompassing advertising sales, special events, ratings, and digital vehicles including podcasting, websites, and non-traditional revenue. To register for the event or receive sponsorship information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or email info@talkers.com.

Industry News

Formal Campaign Finance Complaint Filed Over Ted Cruz Podcast

Two organizations – End Citizens United and the Campaign Legal Center – have filed a formal campaign finance complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) may have improperly directed iHeartMedia to contribute $630,000 to the Truth and Courage PAC, whoseim purpose is to ensure Cruz’s reelection. The amount donated would exceed the $5,000 ceiling on solicitation of funds for a super PAC. The Texas Tribune reports that the terms of iHeartMedia’s payments are unclear because the company’s agreement with Cruz for distributing his podcast is not public, hence the complaint seeking an investigation. However, the complaint asserts “the payments were improperly reported as ‘other receipts’ rather than campaign contributions. ‘Other receipts’ is generally reserved for interest or income on assets already owned by a PAC.” The complaint continues, “By soliciting or directing $630,850.08 of iHeartMedia’s corporate funds to or on behalf of TCP in connection with his 2024 election, Cruz appears to have brazenly violated these federal campaign finance laws.” See the Texas Tribune story here.