Industry News

Hillsdale College Student Wins Best Documentary from IBS

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Pictured above is Hillsdale College student Thérèse Boudreaux (’24) who won first place for Best Documentary at this year’s Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards presented at the organization’s conference hosted in New York City. Boudreaux’s entry was PFAS: Forever Chemicals,” and this award marks WRFH/Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM’s eighth national first-place award from the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System. WRFH general manager Scot Bertram states, “Our students produce impressive content, and once again their hard work has been recognized. Our students have a passion for audio and storytelling. They’ve dedicated themselves to creating high-quality programming and that effort is reflected in their accomplishments.”

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TALKERS News Notes

Edison Podcast Metrics data from Edison Research indicates that the podcast, “New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce,” has skyrocketed in listening over the last two months. Since Travis’ romance with Taylor Swift became public, the show has experienced a staggering four-and-a-half times increase in weekly reach among podcast listeners age 13 and older in the U.S. The influx of Swifties appears to have contributed to these numbers. Not only has the high-profile romance between Kelce and Swift helped grow the show’s weekly reach, but it has also significantly changed the gender breakdown of the show’s listeners. Before the pairing, the show’s listening base was 32% female, now the much-larger audience is 50% women.

AdLarge Podcast Network announces that three programs are joining the network. The company says the inclusion of “The Moments Podcast” featuring Lexi Hidalgo, “Dear Young Married Couple,” and “The Mother Daze ” exemplifies AdLarge’s ongoing dedication to championing and elevating the voices of women in podcasting.

Virtual News Center adds new affiliate KTNK, Lompoc, California to its growing roster of radio stations. Jared Cerullo provides local newscasts for the Sticks Media, LLC station.

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Salem Washington DC Reports from “March for Israel” Rally

Media coverage of Tuesday’s “March for Israel” event at the National Mall included Salem Mediaim Group’s general manager for Christian talk WAVA-FM, Washington, DC Chuck Olmstead. Olmstead tells TALKERS, “It was an amazing day to be at that at that gathering. I met some amazing people. One Jewish woman I interviewed has a home in Bethesda, MD as well as a home in Israel. She was at her home in Israel on 10/7 and continued to stay in Israel but came back for the rally. She was articulate and had a great story to tell. It is interviews like that, that are hard to distill down to sound bites.”

Industry Views

Monday Memo: What Aren’t You?

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

imThanks to those who sent comments on last week’s column “Gradually, they know you,” which recommended brevity in explaining to listeners who you are.

Equally important: Clarity that you’re NOT what listeners DON’T want. If you’re a host or programmer, you want to understand listener turn-offs as well as Viking Riverboat Cruise Lines seems to know their prospects.

Promising that “We do not try to be all things to all people,” the Viking brochure promises:

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No children under 18.

No casinos.

No nickel and diming.

No charge for Wi-Fi.

No charge for beer & wine at lunch & dinner.

No umbrella drinks.

No photography sales.

No art auctions.

No inside staterooms.

No smoking.

No waiting in lines.

No format lights, butlers or white gloves.

And the brochure details an “Environmentally Considerate” culture “reducing impact through design & technology,” i.e., solar panels, recycling & waste management, etc.

With SO many audio competitors, we can’t risk ambiguity.

Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Confidential: Negotiation Checklist for Weekend Talk Radio;” and “Close Like Crazy: Local Direct Leads, Pitches & Specs That Earned the Benjamins.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke

Industry Views

Monday Memo: Sell Yourself a Schedule

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

imI asked my pal, longtime radio seller, now retired: “How often were you asked, ‘How much would you charge for ONE commercial?’”

“Many times!” he guffawed. “I told ‘em ‘Keep your money! It won’t work!’” And he would explain to the prospect that repetition is the key to radio advertising.

Pitch like your happiest advertisers

Smart reps schedule commercial flights using the Radio Advertising Bureau’s Optimum Effective Scheduling formula (OES), because “message retention and recall begins after three exposures.”

Don’t stop there. I don’t know WHEN I’ll need to buy a tire, but when that next nail finds me, I know WHERE I will buy, because that retailer advertises enough to own “tires” in my mind. Purchasing a whole car is more foreseeable, and I’ve read that it takes many buyers 90 days to pull the trigger. So, if the copy is just right, always-on always works.

Programmers: Are you selling your station, on its own air, with the frequency we preach to clients? And – no matter how often you freshen your imaging – is the benefit statement as consistent as the many ways “Liberty-Liberty-Libbberty” assures us “you only pay for what you need?”

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Sales 101: “Your best prospect is…”

Say it with me: “…an existing customer.”

To be clear: Nothing you say on-air will add cume, because the only people who hear your imaging are already listening.

Hey, who wouldn’t want a bigger budget for billboards over the Interstate? But it’s…the Interstate. Many who give it a glance (at most) don’t even live here. Some of those who do might give you a try. And whether they do or whether they don’t, there’s very little you can do to keep them sitting in a parked car, listening. So how can we invite them back more often?

Tip: On-hour news appointments, “a quick [name of network] update, throughout your busy day” as the world we live in has listeners wondering “What NEXT???” This is increasingly useful for music stations, with music now commoditized by non-broadcast competitors.

Rip me off

On-air promos accomplish three things:

— Defining the station, labeling your button in the listener’s mind.

— Asking for more occasions of listening, thus the newscast tip above.

— Listeners REMEMBER having-listened. Not just opportune in diary markets, where we want diarykeepers to round-up. 😉 In PPM markets, awareness drives use. So, in both cases, ratings are a memory test. And this matters even if you don’t subscribe to ratings, because advertisers need prospects to hear that tire commercial multiple times.

So, it’s worth your time to review all imaging and promos now airing. Of each piece, ask yourself: What does this accomplish? Does this convey why/when/how the listener should/can listen more often?

To hear 21 examples of imaging work I’ve done for client stations, click “DO listeners understand why to spend more time with you?” at HollandCooke.com

OK…ONE exception…

I asked my bud, who sold a lotta radio for a lotta years: “What if the request to buy ONE commercial was a pop-the-question surprise, to air when the hopeful groom knew she would be listening?”

“Ka-CHING!” he winked, “and I’d nick him good! You know what that ring cost?”

Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and “Your Trusted Voice: How to Attract New Clients More Efficiently than Competitors Who Spend a Fortune on Advertising.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke

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KBLA, Los Angeles Expands “A More Perfect Union”

Smiley Audio Media’s Los Angeles talk station KBLA “Talk 1580” announces the expansion of the program hosted by the station’s chief national affairs analyst Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey titled, “A More Perfect Union” that now airs daily from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. KBLA says, “Dr. Quartey, an ‘Oprah’ showim alumni and Washington, D.C. insider with L.A. street credibility promises a daily dose of what’s trending in national politics that goes beyond the headlines… now airing five days per week, ‘A More Perfect Union’ promises to deliver national news of consequence, informed opinion, and analysis beyond the headlines… This one-hour national public affairs program, executive produced by Tavis Smiley, will feature notable journalists, industry leaders, lawmakers, changemakers, tastemakers and ordinary people motivated to do their part to reach beyond today’s divisions, make sense out of news of the day, and offer us all a chance to build a more perfect union.”

Industry News

Michael Harrison Appointed Executive Advisor to UNESCO for the UN’s Celebration of World Radio Day 2024

TALKERS founder and longtime radio programming pioneer Michael Harrison has been appointed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to the position of Executive Advisor for the 2024 presentation of World Radio Day (WRD), celebrated each year on February 13.

The theme of the 2024 celebration is Radio: A century informing, entertaining and educating.  

Harrison issued the following statement: “In an era marked by the dizzying speed of technological innovation and the rapid obsolescence of one shiny new platform after another, radio is beginning its second century of service as one of the most dependable and widely-utilized forms of media in the world. WRD’s mission in 2024 will be to shine a broad floodlight on radio’s remarkable past, relevant present and promise of a dynamic future. The opportunity provided by the 100-year-plus milestone of radio along with the medium’s endorsement by the United Nations begs to be trumpeted at full volume. I am honored and invigorated at this delicate time in history to be able to participate in helping to celebrate this glorious, iconic medium on a global level.”

UNESCO has posted the following statement: “For many generations, radio has remained the most far reaching, easily accessible communication medium that informs and entertains all sectors of society. While in some regions it has been used to fuel hatred, divisions and conflicts, a lot of progressive legislation and regulatory mechanisms have been passed in many countries resulting in radio that broadcasts balanced news, programs and practices independent journalism in general.”

The statement continues: “Over the years radio practitioners have received training to improve their professionalism and adapt to changing editorial and ethical demands as well as technological developments especially radio’s incorporation into new popular digital platforms. Increasing access to reliable information and reaching audiences in remotest parts of countries in different languages, regardless of literacy levels, have been some of the greatest attributes of radio, still to be surpassed by any other media.”

Every year, UNESCO offers radios stations copyright-free material and suggests some ideas that radio stations could include following the annual themes decided by the WRD Committee, such as special radio shows and audios, open house, broadcast exchanges and increased listener interaction, among others.  Harrison will play a key role in facilitating these processes for 2024.

While UNESCO coordinates World Radio Day activities at a global level, UN member countries, through their radio stations and media stakeholders, celebrate the day in a variety of ways they see fit, including offerings of some optional 13 program ideas offered by UNESCO, information, news, audio and video resources every year.

Harrison will be reaching out to radio industry leaders worldwide to, as he says, “Do our best to raise awareness of radio’s ongoing importance and value and help the broader industry achieve that worthy goal, integrating into the new technology and social norms of this remarkable new era.”

Industry Views

Pending Business: No Time for the Fat Lady

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

imIf you are a seller in the terrestrial radio business, please listen carefully. That faint voice you hear could be the Fat Lady warming up – old Brunhilde ready to wrap it up and put an end to that long, sad Wagnerian opera, known as traditional, transactional radio sales.

I’m not kidding here, folks.

When one of the big boys on the ownership side starts getting serious about real-time bidding for radio inventory, we are talking GoogleYouTubeAdSense-style modeling and that can move your radio station’s ad inventory faster than the super computers used to create this year’s NFL schedule.

Did you hear about what it takes to appease CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, Paramount, ESPN, Amazon, and YouTube when they spend $112 billion in rights fees? Let us just say, you can’t please all the buyers all the time, but if you want to please some of the buyers some of the time you forget the sticky notes and call in the super-computer guys. I digress.

Not familiar with the bidding process developed by Google for ads primarily on YouTube videos? It is as easy and as much fun as eBay, Vegas, and your favorite silent charity auction all rolled into one.

Recent estimates put Google’s YouTube ad income at about $30 billion, arguably double the size of the entire commercial radio business. This of course does not include the estimated $165 billion from Google search ads, etc. They know the real-time bidding process better than any of us.

Imagine yourself a radio station owner, like I was, only this time having the daily revenue responsibility of 16 commercials per hour on 25 news/talk radio stations. Even if you focus on Monday-Friday and the traditional 6A-7P model, do your math, then think like a pro. NFL 2023-style supercomputer or old school peddle power? The caveat? Has anyone reading this column spoken to a human seller from the Google bidding platform? OOPS! There goes that Fat Lady again, getting a little louder this time.

Not so fast, Fat Lady, there is a silver lining for the skilled, high-achieving seller in this high stakes, real-time bidding future. Remember, Bugsy Siegel started some of this “bidding” on the Vegas strip in 1946. “Monday Night Football” launched in 1970 moving TV coverage into a multi-billion-dollar ad machine and Google started the online version of all this somewhere in 2005. My point is that fine-tuning for profit takes time and resources. The big boys just gave you a peek behind the curtain and showed you the future. The sellers who worked for me heard this opera in 2007, when one million iPhones were sold. That number now is over 2.3 billion. The future is here and moves fast. Refine your skills daily, learn, grow, and become so valuable to your organization, your name is always at the top of the “Don’t even think about it” list.

Someone please tell the Fat Lady to stop warming up and find a different stage… for now.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve@Lapcomventures.com

Industry News

Top News/Talk Media Stories for Week of June 26 – 30

The Hunter Biden plea deal and allegations of Justice Department interference in the IRS investigation came together as the most-talked-about story in news/talk media this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Supreme Court’s rulings, including shooting down the independent legislature theory, followed by the 2024 presidential election 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 Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

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TuneIn Offers Free Digital Transmission to AM Radio Stations

Audio content aggregator TuneIn is offering FCC-licensed AM broadcasters in the U.S. access to its analytics service Amplifier and increase the sound quality of their digital broadcasts for free with TuneIn On-Air. The company says, “With the accessibility of terrestrial radio on the decline, from electric vehicles without receivers to smart home systems that rely entirely on digitallyim streaming content, the industry is at a critical crossroads. TuneIn On Air digitally optimizes the reach of audio content to over 30 million TuneIn users across the country. Accessibility of AM content also increases to over 200 connected devices that partner with TuneIn, including, but not limited to, Amazon Alexa; Google Home; Sonos and Bose speakers; all iPhones and Android-based phones; and Tesla, Fisker and VinFast electric vehicle integrations.” TuneIn CEO Rich Stern adds, “The future of AM Radio is on the top of all of our minds. TuneIn is committed to helping AM radio thrive in the digital world. It offers such a vast and rich library of audio programming that is integral to millions of Americans’ daily lives. Offering AM broadcasters the opportunity to digitize through TuneIn On Air for free is one way we can build a brighter future together.”

Industry News

WFNC-FM Food Drive Assists Fayetteville Food Bank

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Cumulus Media’s news/talk WFNC-FM, Fayetteville, North Carolina announces that the station collected a total of 15,780 pounds of non-perishable food items for Fayetteville’s Second Harvest Food Bank through a food drive and live broadcast on Saturday (5/13). Morning show host Jeff “Goldy” Goldberg (pictured above posing for a picture with some donors) broadcast live from a Food Lion grocery store.

Industry News

“Trench Warriors” Sales Panel Set for TALKERS Conference

A tell-it-like-it-is sales panel has been set for TALKERS 2023. Titled, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in A Digital World,” the roster will feature a diverse group of speakers focusing on the sales challenges facing middle market owners and operators keeping their outlets financially afloat in an increasingly competitive and disruptive media environment. The session will be introduced by Doug Stephan, host of the industry’s longest-running daily nationally syndicated radio talk show, “Good Day” and CEO/founder of Stephan Multimedia, its (and a number of other programs’) parent company. The panel will be moderated by nationally respected radio sales consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp and former longtime GM of South Florida blow torch WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami. Panelists include (in alphabetical order):  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media GroupPaul Gleiser, host/owner, KTBB-FM-AM, Tyler, TX; Todd Starnes, host/president, “The Todd Starnes Show” syndication/owner, KWAM, Memphis; Paul Vandenburgh, host/owner, WGDJ, Albany, NY and Michael Zwerling, host/owner, KSCO-AM/K281CA and KOMY, Santa Cruz. TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This session features a panel of radio professionals who are in the trenches, wearing several hats, and facing the challenges of balancing local business with agency revenue set against the backdrop of digital disruption that is affecting everyone in today’s media. It will focus on overcoming objections while capitalizing on amazing opportunities.” There will be more than 60 distinguished industry speakers at TALKERS 2023, the 26th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important gathering. It is quickly heading toward an early sellout – so register now.  See more about the agenda, registration, sponsorship and hotel information here.

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Wisconsin Firm Attempting Counterpoint to Conservative Talk

A story in WisBusiness profiles the new statewide radio network in Wisconsin called Civic Media whose goal is to “offer a ‘counterpoint’ to conservative talk radio while elevating local and state-level issues.” Company CEO Sage Weil – described as “a successful software developer and a major Dem donor in the state” tells the publication that the “ongoing erosion” of local media is an obstacle that needs to be overcome. He says, “Civic Media’s mission is to refocus our attention on state and local issues, and we’re doing that by building a network across Wisconsin of hometown radio stations that are bringing as much local and state-based content to the airwaves as we possibly can.” The piece says that Civic Media has been acquiring radio stations, but it appears it is leasing at least some of them, such as WMDX-AM/W224EG, Madison “Mad Radio” which is owned by Good Karma Brands. Regardless, it is presenting programming on about a dozen stations with its eye on having about 20 stations in its network. Weil says the network is trying not to be positioned as liberal talk. “We don’t take sides as far as one political party over the other, except that our core values and mission … are around things like democracy, transparency and so on. It’s very difficult to be pro-democracy and not be voting for, you know, Democrats these days.” Read the whole story here.

Industry News

Audacy Q4 2022 Revenue Down Slightly; Full Year Revenue Up 3%

Reporting its financial results from the fourth quarter of 2022 and for the full year, Audacy says net revenue in Q4 was $342 million, a decline of 0.8% over the same period in 2021. The company reported income of $12 million for the quarter. For the full year of 2022, net revenue was $1.25 billion, an increase of 3% over the full year 2021. However, the company’s posted loss widened as it reports a loss of $140.7 million, compared to the loss of $3.6 million it reported for 2021. Audacy breaks its report down by revenue source and reveals local andLogo - Graphics national spot revenue for 2022 was $798 million, down 0.2% from 2021. Digital revenue for 2022 was $259 million, an increase of 8.9% over 2021. Network revenue in 2022 was $89.9 million in 2022, an increase of 6.9% over 2021. The company also breaks down its radio revenue by format and notes that while revenue from music-formatted stations in 2022 was down 1.3%, revenue from news and talk stations was $199.7 million – up 2.3%, and revenue from sports talk stations was $264.3 million – up 5.2%. Audacy president and CEO David J. Field says, “Having started 2022 on a great note with revenues up 14% in the first quarter, we ended the year with revenues down 0.8% in the fourth quarter as challenging ad market conditions persisted. For the full year, revenues were up 3%. Fourth quarter David J. Field - Audacyexpenses grew 9% due to accelerated recognition of podcast expenses, but we anticipate that expenses will be up low single digits in the first quarter and fall below 2022 levels beginning in the second quarter. We continue to vigorously execute our plan to navigate the storm and to position the company for recovery when business conditions improve. Our liquidity improved from $115 million at the end of September to $145 million at year end. With the sale earlier this month of $17 million of towers, we have now completed $73 million in non-strategic asset sales to bolster our liquidity and to support our continued compliance with our financial covenants. We are making solid progress on our key growth drivers including our reinvented streaming audio platform, our national enterprise business development, our podcasting and digital marketing solutions businesses, and our promising ad tech and ad product roadmap. Looking beyond the challenging current macro environment, Audacy has a strong and differentiated, scaled, competitive position in the dynamic and growing audio space and is deeply focused on continuing the work to capitalize on the opportunities and drive a healthy recovery.”

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iHeartMedia Q4 2022 Net Revenue Rises 6%; Full Year Up 10%

iHeartMedia reveals operating results from the fourth quarter of 2022 and for the full year of 2022. The company says net revenue for Q4 was $1.12 billion, an increase of 6% over the same period in 2021, and full year net revenue for 2022 was $3.9 billion, up 10% over the previous year. The company reports net income of $80.6 million for Q4 of 2022 and a net loss of $262 million for the full year. iHeartMedia breaks its results intoiHeart - Logo three segments. The Multiplatform Group (including broadcast stations, networks and sponsorships & events) reports Q4 revenue of $732 million – a 0.9% increase over Q4 2021. Broadcast revenue grew $3 million, while Networks declined $5.5 million (4.1%). Revenue from Sponsorship and Events increased by $8.1 million (12.1%). The Digital Audio Group reports revenue of $301 million in Q4 of 2022 – up 10.2% Robert Pittman - MTVover Q4 of ’21. Podcast revenue increased by $16.4 million (16.9%). The Audio & Media Services Group reports Q4 2022 revenue of $94.5 million – an increase of 44.3% over the same period in 2021. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are pleased to report another quarter of solid operating results for iHeart in consumer usage, revenue, and earnings growth. The fourth quarter was our best quarter for Revenue and Adjusted EBITDA – and on a full-year basis, in 2022 we generated the highest revenue and the second highest Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow year in iHeart’s history. Even in this continuing challenging and uncertain economic environment, we continue to make strong progress in our transformation of iHeart into a true multiplatform audio company – driven by innovation, supported by data and technology, and powered by the largest sales force in audio – and we are positioning iHeart to take advantage of the coming economic recovery.”

Industry News

WWO: New Data Shows Sports Listeners More Engaged

In a new blog post from the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group reveals data from new studies of the AM/FM radio audience for play-by-play sports. Westwood One says, “Two new studies reveal while NCAA March Madness games are available both on TV and AM/FM radio, each broadcast has a very different audience profile. The TV audience consists of casual sports fans. The AM/FM radio play-by-playWestwood One - Westwood One audience is far more passionate and engaged. This distinction has a significant impact on advertising effectiveness.” Highlights of the analysis include: 1) NCAA Basketball AM/FM radio listeners are a desirable group of consumers: They are more likely to work full time and are younger than the average American; 2) The NCAA March Madness AM/FM radio audience is highly engaged with sports: MRI Simmons finds NCAA March Madness AM/FM radio listeners attend many sporting events, seek out sports information on their phones, and are likely to play fantasy sports. The high levels of engagement translate into greater advertising effectiveness; and 3) NCAA March Madness AM/FM radio listeners are likely to make purchases across key consumer categories: AM/FM radio delivers consumers who are likely to buy a new or used vehicle, switch insurance providers, move residence, and refinance their mortgage. See the complete study results here.

Industry News

Curtis Sliwa Promises GOP Will Take on AOC and Caban

77 WABC Radio talk host – and New York City Republican operative – Curtis Sliwa is quoted in the New York Post saying the Republicans will field candidates to challenge U.S. Rep Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) andCurtis Sliwa - The Curtis Sliwa Show Queens councilwoman Tiffany Caban in the next elections. Sliwa tells the Post, “We’re going into the belly of the beast of the Democratic Socialists of America in New York City. We’re going to take on AOC and Caban. This is Concord and Lexington. We’re talking to regular people in Astoria. They don’t support defunding the police and defunding the jails.” Sliwa hosts the daily “Rip ‘n’ Read with Curtis Sliwa” show that airs from 12:15 pm to 1:00 pm on Red Apple Media’s WABC-AM and WLIR-FM. Read the Post story here.

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Audacy’s Cadence13 podcast studio launches, “WEAPONIZED with Jeremy Corbell & George Knapp,” a multi-platform, investigative podcast series hosted by investigative filmmaker Jeremy Corbell and award-winning investigative journalist George Knapp in which they “pull back the veil on the world of the known to explore the world of the unexplained. They break news and share never-before-seen footage, previously suppressed documents, original recordings, and hard evidence related to UFOs, the paranormal, cutting-edge science, cover-ups, conspiracies, and big-time crimes.”

The nationally syndicated travel show “RMWorldTravel” starring Robert and Mary Carey officially surpasses the 500-station mark and is now heard on 510 affiliate stations across the U.S.

The Weather Channel and Skyview Networks announce the expansion of their partnership with the inclusion of SnoCountry Ski Reports. With this expansion, The Weather Channel and SnoCountry will utilize Skyview Networks’ network audio sales platforms and regionalization capabilities to provide winter ski reports to unique geographic audiences, giving listeners valuable ski resort conditions through the winter season.

SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio is broadcasting from this year’s PGA Show in Orlando today (1/24) through Friday (1/27). The PGA Show is not open to the public and SiriusXM’s hosts will share with their audience insight into the latest in golf instruction, equipment, apparel and more. Listeners will also hear one-on-one interviews with many of the PGA Professionals in attendance at the event.

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

WPHT, Philadelphia Midday Star Dom Giordano is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The “Dean of Philadelphia Talk Radio,” Dom Giordano is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Giordano is a former public school teacher considered one of the media’s leading advocates for education and activists for education reform. He has also been an outspoken voice of reason in the conversation about Philadelphia’s alarming crime, drug and homelessness problems. Harrison and moderate conservative Giordano take a deep-dive into these topics in addition to discussing fascinating post-midterms Pennsylvania politics as well as the strong possibility that the GOP and news/talk radio are approaching a major fork in the road regarding their support of baggage-laden Donald Trump versus rising new Republican stars such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Don’t miss this eye-opening conversation! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here.

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Skippy Leaves KMJ-AM/FM Fresno After Three Years Co-Hosting Afternoons. The Fresno Bee reports that Frances Echeverria – a.k.a. Skippy (right) – has left Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno. After leaving alternative rock KFRR-FM’s morning show in 2019, she joined KMJ-AM/FM to host the afternoon drive show alongside Philip Teresi (left). But on Friday (11/11), she announced that she’s retiring from radio. She told her audience, “The station has meant more for me personally that I can ever explain.” Echeverria called the change a lifestyle change, as much as a career change. The Bee notes that she wrote in a post on the website, “I didn’t want to do radio anymore. It wasn’t that it was bad. In fact, the chemistry with my partner was continually evolving into something better. I had good bosses. I felt like I was making a difference, whatever that means. Working there made me smarter. And yet I was done. Deep in my heart and down in my soul. Done.” Echeverria also works as a therapist and is a professor at Fresno State.

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FOX News Media Extends Deal with Mark Levin. Talk media personality Mark Levin and FOX News Media agree to an extension of Levin’s current multi-year deal in which he’ll remain host of “Life, Liberty & Levin” that airs Sunday nights at 8:00 pm ET on FOX News Channel. Levin says, “FOX News Channel and I are extending my show. Suzanne Scott trusted that I could do a show and I want to thank her and her team and all the folks in between who’ve supported this. I want to thank you. I want to thank FOX. I want to thank my family.” FOX News Media says “Life, Liberty & Levin” is the second highest-rated cable news program on weekends, averaging 1.7 million viewers on Sundays at 8:00 pm for 2022 to date. “With Levin at its helm, the show’s total audience almost triples CNN’s programming in the timeslot and nearly quadruples MSNBC’s total and A25-54 demo viewership. In October 2022, the program earned 1.6 million viewers and 127,000 in the demo, making it the number one program in weekend primetime programming.”

WNYC Produces Podcast Series Titled ‘The Divided Dial’ That Focuses on Salem Media Group. The latest news organization to present a report on news/talk radio is WNYC. In this case, the project from WNYC Studio’s On The Media is a five-part podcast titled, “The Divided Dial,” that “charts the growth of broadcasting company Salem Media Group.” WNYC says Salem is “a once small, conservative Christian radio network that quietly expanded their reach in far-right media through the hard to monitor, difficult to fact check, and minimally scrutinized medium of talk radio. With holdings of over 100 radio stations (many in the top 25 markets) and shows syndicated to over 3,000 stations across the country, the series uncovers how Salem exerts influence behind many conservative figures in America — while receiving considerably less media attention than other far-right news sources. The series also puts Salem’s growth in the context of nearly nine decades of radio history, illuminating how conservative dominance of the airwaves was aided by long-term regulatory erosion and strategic pressure from the right.” The project is reported and hosted by Katie Thornton and includes conversations with scholars, journalists, and media experts, as well as a “rare on-the-record” interview with Salem SVP Phil Boyce. You can find the first podcast in the series here.

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LABF Celebrates ‘Industry Trailblazers’ at ‘Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts’ Event. The 2022 Library of American Broadcasting Foundation’s “Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts” event took place last night (11/15) at Gotham Hall in New York. The annual event was hosted by ABC News’ “Nightline” co-anchor Juju Chang and celebrated “distinguished individuals who have – for the past century – been the creators, innovators, journalists, leaders, performers, and producers that have brought the electronic arts to the prominence they occupy in the United States and the world today, and who have set the stage for the future.” Net proceeds from the event will benefit the Library of American Broadcasting collection located at the University of Maryland and support LABF awards for students and scholarly works about the history of broadcasting and their impact on American society and culture. Pictured above are: (standing, l-r) Chang; Jack Goodman, LABF co-chair; Adam Symson, president & CEO, E.W. Scripps; Bob Pittman, chairman & CEO, iHeartMedia; Pete Williams, justice correspondent, NBC News (ret.); Sean McManus, chairman, CBS Sports; Joyce Tudryn, IRTS president & CEO; Heidi Raphael, LABF co-chair; Fareed Zakaria, CNN anchor, author, columnist, The Washington Post; (sitting l-r) Alex Prud’homme; Deb McDermott, CEO, Standard Media Group; S. Epatha Merkerson, actress; and Bud Walters, president, Cromwell Media. Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross

TALKERS News Notes. A new content distribution deal between VSiN, The Sports Betting Network and Gow Media will put VSiN’s longform sports betting shows and Brent Musburger’s one minute “Action Updates” on Gow Media’s SportsMap network. VSiN says it expects the deal to more than double its terrestrial radio affiliates. Gow Media CEO David Gow says, “We are thrilled to be working with VSiN. VSiN has set the standard for sports gambling content. Through this content distribution deal, we will bring together some of the most influential personalities in sports radio to entertain and inform our combined audiences.” VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musberger adds, “David Gow has created a powerhouse in the U.S. radio industry, and we couldn’t be more excited to be his choice to deliver real-time sports betting news, analysis and insights to the growing SportsMap radio audience.”…..CNN Audio announces that Matt Martinez joins the network as showrunner for “The Assignment with Audie Cornish” – CNN’s newest weekly podcast premiering tomorrow (11/17). Previously, Martinez was a senior producer at On Being Studios, producing radio shows and podcasts for “On Being with Krista Tippett.” He was also the director of content at KNKX Public Radio in Tacoma.

Colorful Radio Station Owner Michael Zwerling Announces That He Is Offering Heritage Talker KSCO, Santa Cruz for Sale. According to an extensive article published by the Times Publishing Group, Inc. of California’s Central Coast (and an advertising campaign in TALKERS) legendary broadcasting industry owner and personality Michael “MZ” Zwerling is offering KSCO and associated properties for sale after a 31-year stint at the operation’s helm. The article states, Michael Zwerling has been in love with KSCO since he was a high school kid broadcasting Santa Cruz High On The Air in the mid-1960s. As the station owner since 1991, he’s created a radio station that’s a voice for pretty much everyone. But now, at 71 — his birthday was Nov. 9 — he has a new love in his life, Amy Hao, co-host of the “China Watch” show on KSCO and a veteran traveler, and he wants to spend his time traveling with her. The couple, who met in 2019, are “totally into free speech,” Zwerling said. They recently returned from a two-week safari in Africa. “Amy’s not happy unless she’s traveling, and she wants to take me to all these places,” Zwerling said. That’s why he’s looking for a buyer for KSCO 1080 AM and its FM translators, along with sister station KOMY 1340, and the one-acre of flat land at 2300 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, overlooking Corcoran Lagoon. The asking price is $1.5 million cash for the two radio stations and the broadcasting business. The asking price is $6 million cash for the property, which includes the Art Deco studio building, garage, parking lot, concrete event patio, plus the three broadcast towers in the lagoon, which give the 10-kilowatt station the power of a 50-kilowatt station on dry land, according to Zwerling. To read the entire story, please click here. Photo: KSCO GM Michael Olson standing in front of KSCO’s historic Art Deco studios along Silicon Beach in Santa Cruz, CA. Times Publishing Group.

Trump Announces ’24 Bid, Midterms Aftermath, The Economy/FTX Collapse, Immigration, Abortion, Biden-Xi Meeting, G-20/Russia-Ukraine War, Trump Org Trial, and NASA’s Artemis Launches Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/15). Former President Donald Trump announces his run for president in 2024; the aftermath of the midterm elections, including the Republicans’ expected control over the U.S. House and Rick Scott’s challenging Mitch McConnell as top Republican in the U.S. Senate; the rate of inflation, concerns about a recession, and the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX; a judge halts the use of Title 42 to expel migrants from the U.S.; Georgia’s strict abortion ban is struck down in court; the meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping; the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia and its condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; former Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg testifies at the company’s fraud trial; and NASA launches its Artemis rocket that re-boots the U.S. moon program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

The Radio Sales Arena is Changing and We Are On the Leading Edge. The key to sales growth in radio going forward is multi-platform digital marketing. In the coming decade, “radio” will simply be the engine driving an increasingly complex and sophisticated array of digitally powered platforms creating endless packages and options for the advertiser. The keys to success will be in branding that cuts through the noise and surgical targeting that delivers optimum efficiency for agencies that know exactly what they want. The Salem Media Group is leading the way and the opportunities for our sales team are endless. But, right now, we need that special individual who has the tools, the vision and the ambition to get it done. That one special person who truly “gets it.” Jerry Crowley, the longest-running GM in the nation’s largest market, says, “We want one outstanding seller who can take it to the moon! Compensation will reflect potential and performance – salary will range from 50k- 85k plus substantial bonuses and generous commissions.” Candidates should send cover letter and resume to Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, Salem Media Group, NY (WMCA 570am The Mission/WNYM 970am The Answer) at Jcrowley@nycradio.com.

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Steve Wexler Steps Down from Daily Management Duties at Good Karma Brands Milwaukee. Radio management pro Steve Wexler – vice president and market manager for Good Karma Brands Milwaukee – will wrap up his 35-year career and transition into a coaching and development role at the company. The announcement was made today (11/15) by GKB founder and CEO Craig Karmazin, who says, “We are appreciative and grateful Steve “Wex” joined Good Karma to lead the Milwaukee team through a time of significant growth and transition. His passion for local news and his community-focused approach to broadcasting and media led the team through a pandemic, the launch of a new station, and award-winning coverage of so many significant moments of the past several years. We’re looking forward to continuing to learn from his knowledge and leadership expertise as he moves into a coaching role within the GKB home office.” The company says that EVP Emily Dillinger will assume the role of interim market manager for GKB’s three Milwaukee stations talk WGKB-AM/W269DL “101.7 The Truth,” sports talk WKTI-FM, “ESPN Milwaukee,” and news/talk WTMJ “Newsradio 620.” Wexler comments, “I’m looking forward to tapping into my experiences and many lessons learned to help our content, sales and management teammates continue to grow their skills and knowledge. I’m very grateful to Craig for the opportunity to do what I do best and what I enjoy most which is spending time coaching and developing our team.” Wexler led the sale of the 36-station, 8-market Scripps Radio Group in late 2018 to several broadcast companies, including GKB in Milwaukee, where he assumed the role of market manager in 2019. He began his broadcast career at WTMJ in Milwaukee as an intern and has been an on-air personality, program manager, and radio and television general manager before running the radio division for Journal Communications, which merged with Scripps in 2018.

Cox Media Group Names Market Leaders for Houston and Orlando. The company announces the appointment of new VP/market managers for its Houston and Orlando clusters. In Orlando, where Cox Media Group operates news/talk WDBO-AM/FM and five music brands, JC Campese assumes the leadership role. CMG operates three music brands in Houston where Stephanie Callihan is named to the top position. She has served with several radio groups, including Audacy where she was most recently an SVP and market manager. Campese launched his career with CMG in 2000 and rose to director of sales for the Orlando cluster prior to this promotion. CMG executive vice president Rob Babin says, “We are excited to tap into our amazing internal CMG leadership talent and announce the promotions of JC and Stephanie. JC and Stephanie have a fantastic range of experiences and talents that will make a positive impact on CMG and our talented teams in Orlando and Houston. I look forward to the difference they’ll make as CMG continues to evolve to meet the needs of our listeners, clients, and our communities.”

AWM Presents Gracies Leadership Awards. The Alliance for Women in Media hosted the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon yesterday (11/14) at the Tribeca 360° in New York City.  Soledad O’Brien served as keynote speaker stating that the group of honorees represent “stories not just of grit, vision, and opportunity, but of women helping women and celebrating women and the story of how those women didn’t forget that they got into media to elevate people and issues and struggles that were not in the spotlight.” The seven female leaders honored (and pictured above) were: Valerie Blackburn; Nancy Daniels, chief of content, NTets, Discovery, Animal Planet &Science Channel; Marie Donoghue, vice president, global sports video, Amazon; Kim Godwin, president, ABC News; Wendy Goldberg, chief communications officer, iHeartMedia, Inc; Chelsey Maddox-Dorsey, CEO, A wonder Media Company; Debra O’Connell, president, networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution; and Dawn Porter, founder, Trilogy Films. AWM Foundation chair Heather Cohen states, “This is a pivotal event for us because it covers all three of our pillars- it’s recognition, it’s education, and it’s connection. We shine a light on exceptional women in media- those who have shattered glass ceilings and proven their leadership and notable today, what an honor to have Soledad O’Brien, one of the greatest storytellers of our time as our keynote.”

TALKERS News Notes. Audio research and analytics firm Veritonic announces the second annual Audio Intelligence Summit is scheduled for February 15 at Second Floor in New York City. Veritonic says, “The summit will once again gather industry-leading brands, agencies, and publishers to dive deep into the data and analytics that are driving today’s successful audio and podcasting strategies. We look forward to coming together with fellow publishers, platforms, brands and agencies to collectively improve upon and consider the data and analytics that are making audio’s ever-expanding influence increasingly efficient and impactful.” Find details about the summit by visiting https://audiointelligencesummit.com…..Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks announce the launch today of the quirky new comedic podcast, “The Neurotic Vaccine,” created and hosted by Andy Cowan, award-winning writer for “Seinfeld,” “Cheers,” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.” In “The Neurotic Vaccine,” Cowan invites fellow neurotics to share his mini-therapy sessions with co-host, clinical and forensic psychologist, Dr. Scott Kopoian. Together with their guests – including inaugural guests Jay Leno and Cathy creator, Cathy Guisewite – Cowan and Kopoian work toward the daunting goal of immunity to neurosis. “The Neurotic Vaccine” podcast includes celebrity guests, post-session postscripts, comedy featurettes and more. Future sessions of “The Neurotic Vaccine” will feature stars including Leave It To Beaver’s Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow (in his final interview), “Curb Your Enthusiasm” guest star comedian Elon Gold, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, CNN host Michael Smerconish, and actress Marilu Henner…..Quu Inc., announces radio veteran Laura Gonzo joins the company as senior director of affiliate services. In this role, Gonzo will work with stations and sales teams to ensure the successful implementation of Quu’s advertising products. Gonzo served as affiliate director for “The Bob & Tom Show” from 1997 through 2008. She says, “Quu’s powerful technology is truly a game-changer for radio. Beyond elevating the station’s visual appeal, Quu offers a huge opportunity to increase sales and drive stronger returns for clients. I’m thrilled to join the team of passionate experts at Quu and to help stations make the most of these transformative products.”…..SiriusXM announces that Andy Cohen has signed a three-year contract extension and that his exclusive SiriusXM channel Radio Andy “will now serve as the audio subscription service’s definitive home for pop culture with “Andy Cohen Live” and “Smith Sisters Live” expanding to daily shows.” Cohen says, “SiriusXM allows me to dig deeply into two of my passions – pop culture on Radio Andy and music on the Kiki Lounge. I’m so proud of what we’ve developed over the last seven years on Radio Andy. I’ve loved programming the channel, and my longform interviews with celebrities and authors feed my soul. Programming the Kiki Lounge brought me incredible joy during the pandemic and listening to it is a romp through my expansive music vocabulary.”

Midterms Aftermath, Trump in ’24, Biden-Xi Meeting, The Economy, Crypto-Crash, G-20/Russia-Ukraine War, and UVA Killings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14). The results of last week’s midterm elections that leave the Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate and the Republicans likely to assume control of the U.S. House; former President Donald Trump’s expected announcement he’ll run for president in 2024; Monday’s meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping; inflation and fears of a recession; the fall of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the 75% decline of crypto value over the last 12 months; the G-20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia and the pressure on attending nations to officially condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and the fatal shooting of three University of Virginia football players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.