Industry News

Round Four of Holiday 2022 PPM Survey is Posted

Bill Gates - usedThe fourth of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s Holiday 2022 sweep covered December 8 – January 4. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, despite picking up 1.2 shares for a 10.4 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM falls from the #1 to the #2 rank. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN dips 1.1 shares for an 8.8 share finish and falls from #1 to #3, while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ sheds four-tenths for wrap the survey with a 6.2 share to remain ranked #5. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville adds a half share to finish the survey with a 4.9 share good for the #7 rank, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WLAC-AM is off one-tenth, finishing with a 1.2 share, rising to the #17 rank. And in Hartford, Audacy’s news/talk WTIC-AM falls half a share to a 5.1 share that leaves it ranked #6, while Red Wolf Broadcasting’s crosstown news/talk WDRC-AM is flat at a 1.0 share and remains ranked #17. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets here.

Industry News

Edison Research to Present Boomer and Gen Z Podcast Reports

The company announces that it will present two podcast studies in the first quarter of this year. “Hit Play, Boomer: Podcasting’s 55+ Opportunity” from NPR and Edison Research focuses on podcast listeners age 55 and older. The study explores what Edison terms “this oft-overlooked but highly influential demo” and theirLogo - Graphics podcast listening behaviors. “The Gen Z Podcast Listening Report” from SXM Media and Edison Research “provides an in-depth look at the podcast habits and motivations of the elusive and much-desired Gen Z listener.” Edison vice president Megan Lazovick says, “Everything we do at Edison Research works to drive the audio space forward with the highest quality data. We believe these two studies will help advertisers understand the opportunities for audio to reach these two important generations and of course help the media companies who can deliver these audiences.”

Industry News

iHeartMedia and Miami Dolphins Announce Partnership

iHeartMedia Miami announces a new, multi-year deal to become the Miami Dolphins flagship radio broadcast partner. iHeartMedia and the Dolphins partnered for broadcasts previously from 2010-2015. Beginning in the 2023 season, live gameday broadcasts will air on classic rock WBGG “BIG 105.9 FM” and sports talk WINZ-AM “FOX Sports 940 AM” with plans to expand affiliate stations in Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico to makeiHeart - Logo Dolphins games accessible to fans in new markets. The stations will carry all Miami Dolphins football game broadcasts and play-by-play coverage as well as a pregame show, postgame show and weekly radio show featuring exclusive interviews with Dolphins’ personnel and guests from around the league. Game broadcasts will feature former Dolphins wide receiver Jimmy Cefalo handling play-by-play duties, former Dolphins tight end Joe Rose providing color commentary and former Dolphins linebacker Kim Bokamper giving analysis and updates from the sidelines. iHeartMedia Sports president Kevin LeGrett says, “We are excited about this partnership and honored to be the new broadcast home of the Miami Dolphins. The Miami Dolphins are the city’s premiere sports team and with the massive multiplatform reach and scale that iHeartMedia can provide, we have the ability to deliver great programming and coverage to millions of fans across the state and beyond.”

Industry News

The Weekend’s Top News/Talk Media Stories

The debate in congress over raising the United States’ debt ceiling; The protests over the beating death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five former Memphis police officers; Ukraine’s plea for military aid to defend itself from Russian aggression; the classified government documents found in the possession of President Joe Biden, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former President Donald Trump; the security problems at the U.S.-Mexico border; former President Donald Trump begins campaigning for the 2024 presidential race; the scandals plaguing freshman Congressman George Santos; and the NFL conference championship games were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Industry News

Scott Slade to Step Back from WSB, Atlanta Morning Show

Cox Media Group Atlanta announces that air personality Scott Slade will temporarily step away from the 4:30 am -9:00 am shift. Slade plans to create something new for WSB-AM/WSBB-FM that reflects his passion for listeners and the community. Slade says, “After 32 years hosting ‘Atlanta’s Morning News,’ I’m looking forward to my next chapter with 95.5 WSB. This has been my radio home for nearly 40 years, so stay tuned – after a break to recharge my batteries, I’m excited about the freedom of exploring some new horizons here. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to spending more time with family, friends and colleagues without beingWSB - Vehicle registration plate preoccupied with the next time the alarm will go off!” CMG Atlanta VP and market manager Jaleigh Long comments, “There is no one else like Scott Slade. His credibility, professionalism, and passion for delivering the best for listeners is unmatched. I’m excited for what the future holds as we take these next steps with Scott, our audience and our clients.” Slade joined WSB in 1984 as the overnight music host. He was one of the “founding fathers” of “Atlanta’s Morning News” in 1991. Slade initiated the “WSB Radio Care-a-Thon” in 2000, benefiting the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The annual event has raised more than $30 million to fight children’s cancer and blood disorders. WSB director of branding and programming Ken Charles says, “The ‘S’ in WSB stands for Scott. His dedication to the show and station, and his commitment to excellence, are unparalleled. He is truly the GOAT of morning radio!”

Industry News

Round Three of Holiday 2022 PPMs Released

Norm Pattiz - Talkers MagazineThe third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s Holiday 2022 sweep covered December 8 – January 4. 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 loses 1.4 shares to finish the survey with a 6.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and falls to the #5 rank, while iHeartMedia’s news/talk KEX declines nine-tenths for a 2.2 share finish that puts it in the #16 spot. Urban One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is steady with a 3.7 share but rises to the #10 rank in the market. In Salt Lake City, Bonneville’s news/talk KSL-AM/FM sheds seven-tenths, finishing the survey with a 4.6 share but rises to the #5 rank, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KNRS-AM/FM drops 2.3 shares for a 4.4 share finish that drops it to the #6 rank. Audacy’s news/talk KDWN-AM, Las Vegas adds 1.3 shares for a 2.3 share finish that pushes from the #26 rank to #16. And in Orlando, iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM is down a full share for a 5.1 share finish and the #7 rank, while Cox Media Group’s news/talk WDBO-AM adds three-tenths to finish with a 4.6 share that boosts it to the #8 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

Industry News

iHeartRadio Remains Atop Triton Digital Streaming Ranker

Triton Digital releases its streaming ranker for December of 2022 based on Average Active Sessions and iHeartRadio stays in the #1 position with 301,411 AAS (6AM-12AM Mon-Sun). Following at #2 is NPR MemberiHeart - Logo Stations at 70,695 AAS, with Audacy in the #3 position with 56,158 AAS, and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 with 36,692 AAS. Other companies that stream spoken word content in the top 25 include #6 Beasley Broadcasting Corporate (16,506 AAS), #8 Hubbard Broadcasting (13,313 AAS), #10 New York Public Radio (10,356 AAS), and #11 Salem Communications(7,648). You can see the complete top 25 ranker here.

Industry News

John Fredericks to Acquire WMLB-AM, Atlanta for $500,000

John FredericksDisruptor Radio LLC has been airing programming on Delmarva Educational Association’s WMLB-AM, Avondale Estates in the Atlanta market for almost two years. Now, FredericksWMLB - 1690 AM announces he’s assuming operation of the station as he is now acquiring it for $500,000. Shows airing on the station include “The John Fredericks Show” in morning drive, as well as Stephen K. Bannon’s “War Room,” Newsmax’s “Rob Carson Show,” “America’s Voice Line with Steve Gruber,” “The Water Cooler” with David Brody and more.

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Virtual News Center announces that it adds five of First Media Services, LLC’s Albany, Georgia stations to its roster of affiliate stations. Virtual News Center is providing local newscasts anchored by Jared Cerullo.

Public radio outlet WBUR, Boston relaunches its mobile listening app. The enhanced features allow listeners to never miss a live moment. The upgraded version of the application allows users to easily rewind, scrub and pause live broadcasts with a swipe. Plus, shows like “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace,” as well as WBUR podcasts, are available to stream or download.

Industry News

Top News/Talk Stories for the Week of January 23-27, 2023

The investigations into the possession of classified government documents by President Joe Biden, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s move to pull Democrats Adam Schiff and Eric Stalwell off the House Intelligence committee, followed by the battle in congress over expanding the U.S.’s debt ceiling 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 See this week’s complete chart here.

Industry Views

Remaining Optimistic About Radio

By Walter Sabo
A.K.A. Walter Sterling
Radio Host

An article in the Los Angeles Times shows a picture of a radio DJ next to a control board boasting the headline, THE RESURGENCE OF RADIO. Dateline: 1982.  This headline appears in various forms every few months in articles and blogs throughout the country. Writers discover radio! The power of radio! The popularity of radio! Why is radio either dying or being rediscovered when neither is true?

Recent artifacts: Every single press release from Nielsen reveals that radio is doing fine thank you. After decades of promoting its television clients and bashing radio, now that Nielsen measures radio – son of a gun – radio is thriving, it’s alive, it’s growing, it’s a success. Nielsen’s tone is one of surprise that radio attracts large, loyal audiences.

Why is radio’s 100 years of success a revelation rather an assumption? First it is because radio is ubiquitous. Walk into a store, radio. Turn on the car, radio. Wake up, radio. The sound of radio has always been everywhere and continues to be everywhere. Maybe once a year I go to a gym and hear Spotify, but I have to ask an employee where that music is coming from and they are never sure! Television is not everywhere; it has to be turned on. Magazines, websites, books, direct mail have to be considered and then opened. Not ubiquitous. Radio’s ubiquity renders it invisible on the media landscape. Radio wins by losing.

Radio salespeople sell radio to negotiators, time buyers. The job of a negotiator is to criticize and devalue the product being pitched. That’s their job. A salesperson spends nine hours a day with negotiators telling them that their product is at death’s door. To a radio salesperson, every day is a bad day. They become immersed in the pessimism of radio’s future.

“Do you realize that most 19-year-olds discover new music from the Internet?” declares a time buyer to a radio salesperson. Oddly, the fact that 19-year-olds occasionally find new music on other audio media is a dark mark against proven radio. Until this moment, the location of new music discovery had never been a deal point for the Honda dealer time buyer. But, boy this “discovery” business is charts-and-graphs serious!

To perform as a programmer or talent in radio one must be an optimist about its future. A programmer or host is intimate with listener response to their work. Radio stars see the millions and millions, and millions of dollars raised for quality charities every single year by their words, their appeal — their credibility. TV stations and newspapers rarely conduct fund drives. Have you ever heard a local TV anchor ask for donations for – anything? No, probably because it wouldn’t work as well as a pitch from the morning host on your station. A powerful, yet unseen, spokesperson can be quite persuasive to a listener to donate their money to a charity.

SiriusXM satellite radio’s lead investors, Apollo and Blackstone jointly engaged me to consult the company on site for many years. During that time, I became well-acquainted with the initiatives of all-digital audio platforms: AudibleAmazonPandoraSpotifyGoogle and many others.

At digital media conferences spokespeople for those companies would sit on panels and bash the dinosaurs called AM and FM. However, those same companies insisted on branding themselves as… radio! Spotify RADIO. Pandora RADIO!

Walter Sabo is a long-time radio industry consultant and thought leader.  He hosts and produces a network radio show titled “Sterling on Sunday” 10:00 pm-1:00 am ET.

Industry News

Round Two of Holiday PPMs Released

Norm Pattiz - WINSThe second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s Holiday 2022 sweep covered December 8 – January 4. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM loses one-tenth to finish with a 3.4 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but rises to the #7 rank, while Hubbard Broadcasting’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM falls eight-tenths but remains ranked #3 in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston tacks on one-tenth to wrap the survey with a 2.8 share good for the #13 rank and sister all-news WBZ-AM also adds one-tenth for a 4.8 share finish that puts it in the #6 spot. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM falls 1.1 shares to finish with a 5.5 share pushing it down to the #3 rank, while Lotus Communications’ all-news KNWN-AM/FM adds three-tenths for a 5.5 share that puts it in a tie for the #3 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

Industry News

“Mike & The Mad Dog” Reunion Happens on “First Take”

Next Wednesday (2/1), sports talk radio legends Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo will reunite for a two-hour appearance on ESPN’s morning show, “First Take,” with Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim. Russo and Francesa co-hosted their show on WFAN, New York from 1989 through 2008 and became theStephen A. Smith - Molly Qerim template by which sports talk debate shows were often created. Smith says, “When we think about sports debate shows’ inception, in my opinion it starts with talk radio. And there is no way on earth you can talk about talk radio without bringing up ‘Mike & The Mad Dog.’ This business has changed – and flourished – because of what they accomplished as a dynamic duo spanning 19 years. They are, unquestionably, the standard. So, it’s easy to says that not only am I looking forward to having them reunite on ‘First Take,’ I’m HONORED to have them. Can’t wait.”