According to Indianapolis news/talk WIBC-FM’s website, station personality and political journalist Abdul-Hakim Shabazz will enter the race for mayor of Indianapolis in the Republican primary. Shabazz made the announcement on the “Kendall and Casey” program that airs in middays on the Urban One station. He said, “I spoke to a lot of Hoosiers, a lot of folks in Indianapolis, in part parts of the city, Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians for that matter and their eyes just lit up. A very nice lady, she donated $5. She said ‘Abdul, that’s all I can afford to give, I really want you to be mayor.’ It’s for people like that who are of limited mean, who don’t have a lot to give, and just want to feel better about where they live.” Shabazz is a weekend host on WIBC-FM and is founder and publisher of IndyPolitics.org. He formed an exploratory committee late last year to look into the feasibility of a campaign for mayor. He joins Pastor James Jackson on the GOP ticket in the May primary.
Audacy announces the addition of Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to WCBS-AM’s flagship broadcast coverage of New York Mets baseball, beginning with the upcoming 2023 season. Raad will join as play-by-play and color commentator, teaming up with the voice of Mets’ radio, Howie Rose. McCarthy, the son of former Mets announcer Tom McCarthy, will serve as pregame and postgame host for broadcasts along with providing play-by-play for select games. Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero states, “As we round the bases towards Spring Training, we’re proud to officially welcome Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to our popular coverage of Mets baseball alongside Mets Hall of Famer Howie Rose. Once again, the Mets offseason has created anticipation and optimism for the 2023 Amazins’ and we’re looking forward to being the audio home for every moment on-air and digitally.”
Through its partnership with BetMGM, Audacy’s BetQL Network will broadcast exclusively from the new BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale, Arizona this week. The sportsbook is located next to State Farm Stadium, site of this year’s NFL Super Bowl. Audacy president of sports Mike Dee says, “We’re proud to leverage our partnership with our friends at BetMGM to bring sports bettors and our listeners over 50 hours of live, premier audio content – more than any other sports betting network – to get them ready for the biggest game in American sports.”
iHeartPodcasts and Storyglass are launching a new, eight-part podcast series, “False Profits: Hillsong,” a journey that dives into the Hillsong experience – “from Christian rock music to celebrity pastors and famous fans, to global status, enormous wealth, and shocking scandals. This series traces the rise and fall of Hillsong’s founder and peels back the layers of a culture of submission, exploitation, and discrimination.”
Audacy announces that Twin Cities news/talk WCCO-AM raised over $447,000 to benefit Second Harvest Heartland through its “Let’s Kick Hunger Day Radiothon.” The amount raised during the 14th annual radiothon held on February 2 brought the overall fundraising total to over $3.5 million since 2009. Audacy Minneapolis SVP and market manager Jeff Gonsales says, “Year after year, our fans open up their hearts to those in need. Lives are being impacted in significant ways, and we are incredibly grateful. WCCO’s long-standing partnership with Second Harvest Heartland means so much to us and to so many people who are helped by this community effort.”
The U.S. shoots down a Chinese spy balloon, icing the two countries’ diplomatic relations; President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech to be given on Tuesday; the battle in Congress over the United States’ debt ceiling; the 2024 presidential campaign launched by former President Donald Trump and the expected run to be announced by former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley; embattled freshman Congressman George Santos is accused of sexual misconduct by a prospective staffer; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; and a 7.8 magnitude earthquake kills close to 2,000 people in Turkey and Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Las Vegas talk radio host Steve Sanchez moves from the early evening daypart at Audacy’s news/talk KDWN-AM to afternoon drive beginning Monday (2/6). He moves from host of the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot currently held by Westwood One talk host Mark Levin. Sanchez says, “It is a thrill to be dominating my daypart in the format and I feel my audience growing exponentially right now. It’s a pleasure serving the Las Vegas market with the legendary station KDWN as my flagship.”
Talk host Dave Elswick tells TALKERS magazine that he’s signed a one-year contract extension with Salem Media Group to continue hosting the 7:00 am to 11:00 am program on KDXE-FM, Little Rock “101.1 FM The Answer.” Elswick notes that he’s beginning his 23rd year as a talk host in the Little Rock market. He says that with COVID protocols now in the rear-view mirror, he’s returning to hosting live broadcasts of the state legislature’s general session. Prior to joining Salem, Elswick served with iHeartMedia at crosstown news/talk KARN-FM.
iHeartMedia Houston announces that Stan Norfleet is joining KBME-AM, Houston “Sportstalk 790” as co-host of the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program “Next Up with Stan Norfleet & Chris Gordy” beginning February 13. He takes over for ND Kalu who is leaving broadcasting to focus on his growing real estate business. Norfleet was an NFL prospect who played football at the University of Virginia and Texas Southern University. Norfleet worked for the Houston Texans and the Houston Rockets before transitioning into broadcasting as a host, analyst, and sideline reporter. iHeartMedia Houston director of AM programming Bryan Erickson says, “Stan brings amazing passion to everything he does. He has strong local ties and we’re thrilled to add him to the team.” Norfleet comments, “It is a tremendous blessing and honor to join the renowned iHeartMedia Houston family. I have long been a fan and avid listener of ‘Sportstalk 790’ and respect the history and contributions of its personalities. My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”
iHeartMedia names Clyde Bass area president for its newly formed Texas/Arkansas Area. The region consists of more than 48 stations across 10 markets. Bass is responsible for all operations in Beaumont, Waco, Bryan, McAllen and Corpus Christi, Texas and Fayetteville, Fort Smith and Little Rock, Arkansas, along with Wichita, Kansas and Springfield, Missouri. iHeartMedia division president Nick Gnau says, “I am so excited to add Clyde’s leadership to an already strong cluster of markets in Texas. Clyde’s passion for our industry, his knowledge of our products and the success he has shown through many roles with iHeartMedia make him the perfect fit to lead this newly formed Area. I look forward to seeing these areas continue to succeed as one.” Bass most recently led the Arkansas Area. He comments, “It’s been my honor to be involved for the last 10 years with some of the legendary stations that I grew up listening to here in Arkansas, and now to be reunited as area president with the team in Texas makes me even more energized over what iHeartMedia provides to advertisers and listeners.”
iHeartMedia, Inc. announces that it will report its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2022 and the full year on February 28. The company will also conduct a conference call at 4:30 pm to discuss its financial results and business outlook. A live audio webcast of the call will be available on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.
FOX Sports Radio unveils its plans for its 23rd annual Super Week coverage that begins Monday (2/6). Its sports talk programming will emanate from Arizona during the week, with “The Dan Patrick Show” originating from Scottsdale Stadium, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” live from State Farm Stadium (2/9-10), and the rest of its lineup broadcasting from Radio Row at the Phoenix Convention Center.
SiriusXM is also broadcasting from Arizona during Super Week and will also broadcast the game itself, with subscribers able to hear the Kansas City Chiefs team broadcast, the Philadelphia Eagles team broadcast, the Westwood One national radio broadcast and a Spanish-language broadcast. SiriusXM NFL Radio hosts will broadcast during the week from Radio Row at the Phoenix Convention Center.
The state of the U.S. economy and the Fed’s raising of interest rates by a quarter point was the most-talked-about story in news/talk media this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the negotiations in congress over the United States’ debt ceiling, followed by the investigations into the possession of classified government documents by President Joe Biden, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former President Donald Trump 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.
Sports talk host Marc Bertrand signs a multiyear contract extension with Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.” Bertrand co-hosts the midday “Zolak & Bertrand” show with Scott Zolak. The station says, “Bertrand, or ‘Beetle’ as he’s affectionately known, became a co-host of the highly rated program in February 2015. The ‘Zolak & Bertrand’ show, along with Rob ‘Hardy’ Poole, have consistently maintained their #1 midday ranking in the market.” Bertrand comments, “I’m thrilled to be continuing at ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’ I take great pride in having been a part of the station since its inception. I’m fortunate to have great teammates on ‘Zolak & Bertrand’ and as a group, we are incredibly thankful for our loyal listeners. It is their support and engagement that makes this job fun every single day.” Program director Rick Radzik states, “We are very pleased to have Marc continue on with ‘the Sports Hub’ for the coming years. Marc, Zo & Hardy have been entertaining Boston sports fans since 2015. To have that relationship continue for the coming years is a win for everyone.”
New York Festivals Television & Film Awards/Radio Awards announces that it is honoring “The Kalb Report,” the public broadcasting series hosted by journalist Marvin Kalb, with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented at the Storytellers Gala on April 18. New York Festivals says this award recognizes prominent industry leaders, innovators, and driving forces in the broadcast industry whose accomplishments have advanced their field and made a lasting impression on the industry. “The Kalb Report” was created by Marvin Kalb in 1994 who partnered with former CBS Radio Network general manager Michael Freedman, who served as executive producer of the series for its entire 28-year run. (Freedman went on to become president of the National Press Club in 2020.) New York Festivals says, “During its nearly-three-decade run, the series has provided a forum for prominent newsmakers and journalists to discuss the news media’s impact on American democracy. The guest list included Supreme Court justices, civil rights icons, network news anchors, best-selling authors, members of Congress, and influential leaders from across the media landscape.” Trophy winning entries in the 2023 New York Festivals Radio Awards will be celebrated at the NYF Storytellers Gala on April 18 at the Centennial NAB Show in Las Vegas.
The company announces the relaunch of iONE Digital, formerly known as Interactive One. Urban One says, “iOne Digital’s dynamic portfolio of media brands deliver entertaining, engaging, culturally and socially aware original content from a fresh perspective connecting with over 24 million unique monthly visitors. This year, Urban One has rallied around the relaunch of the iONE Digital brand to integrate and maximize synergies across the digital portfolio fully. The relaunch brings a fresh perspective and bold storytelling serving the needs of a diverse audience while continuing to illuminate Black voices.” Chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins III says, “For over 42 years, Urban One has understood the need for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, especially in sharing our varied experiences. We are proud to be a leader with the largest African American footprint in the media space. As the needs and concerns constantly evolve, we are dedicated to helping brands understand, connect, and best translate to Black and Brown communities. In our next iteration, iONE Digital will continue to be a catalytic force in media.” The company says, “iOne Digital portfolio focuses on key passion points and interests, including men’s and women’s lifestyle, sports, beauty, fashion, and entertainment. The iONE portfolio is comprised of Cassius, HelloBeautiful, MadameNoire, Bossip, NewsOne, GlobalGrind, HipHopWired, BlackAmericaWeb and Elev8; plus the social network for urban millennials, BlackPlanet, and three YouTube brands – The Fumble, Hollyscoop, and Nerdwire… Looking to the future, iONE Digital has also immersed their visual identity into the world of audio and podcasting by conceptualizing a ‘video first’ approach centered around the amplification of the all-new Urban One Podcast Network – a platform which iONE helps to fuel by bringing a wide range of podcasts to life.”