iHeartMedia announces that Spencer Bynes moves from his role as area president for the Texas region to metro president for the Atlanta market, effective February 1. iHeartMedia says that in his new role, Bynes will be responsible for overseeing all programming and marketing for iHeartMedia’s Atlanta-based radio brands, as well as developing and managing key partnerships with current and potential clients across all iHeartMedia platforms. Additionally, he will actively build and foster community relationships across the market and region, while providing leadership, guidance and oversight to the team. Division president Kim Guthrie says, “Spencer has done a superb job in his leadership role in Texas, where he drove positive changes in culture and performance. In addition, his talents on how best to recruit, develop and coach a leadership team make him a wonderful fit for our needs here in Atlanta.” Bynes comments on his new position, saying, “What an extraordinary opportunity! Atlanta has a robust and flourishing economic business environment, a fascinating community of people from every part of the world and an incredible music culture and heritage. I am honored to join this team. I look forward to expanding iHeartMedia’s reach and influence and helping our customers thrive and grow their businesses.”
As of Tuesday (1/24), Newsmax TV is not available on AT&T’s DirecTV satellite television service. AT&T says in a statement that it wanted to continue to offer the channel but says Newsmax’s demand for an increase in its carriage fee would have meant “significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base.” But, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax.” Newsmax says, “DirecTV pays cable license fees to all top 75 cable channels and to all 22 liberal news channels it carries. Almost all of these channels are paid hefty license fees significantly greater than Newsmax was seeking — and despite the fact that most of the channels have far lower ratings than Newsmax.” Ruddy adds, “The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T’s DirecTV, but [in their view] Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed.” Conservative channel OAN was removed from the DirecTV platform in April of 2022.
LiveOne announces that Jim Berk is joining the board of directors for PodcastOne. The company says that Berk has over 25 years serving as chief executive, including his prior experience as CEO of PodcastOne, knowledge of the entertainment and media sector, and his expertise in strategic planning, operations, mergers, and acquisitions. Berk is currently chairman and CEO of Goodman Media Partners, investing in early-stage media and tech companies. PodcastOne co-founder Kit Gray comments, “Jim has an impressive track record of working with public companies and has extensive knowledge of our business. We are thrilled to bring his expertise back in the company and on our board during this crucial period of growth for PodcastOne as we are launching our IPO.”
The Kevin McCarthy-led House and the removal of top Democrats from the Intelligence Committee; the matter of classified government documents found in the possession of Joe Biden, Mike Pence, and Donald Trump; Russia’s aggressive response to the provision of tanks to Ukraine from Germany and the U.S.; the questions about George Santos’ true source of the freshman congressman’s campaign funds; Facebook reinstates former President Donald Trump; the state of the U.S. economy and concerns about a recession; and Pope Francis “decriminalizes” homosexuality were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Audacy announces several personnel moves at its all-news stations WCBS-AM and WINS-AM/FM in New York City. Journalism pros Brigitte Quinn and Lynda Lopez will handle midday anchor duties with Lopez joining 1010 WINS and Quinn moving from WINS to sister station WCBS 880, where she will host and serve as managing editor of the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm “Newsline” program. Additionally, Audacy is promoting reporter Sophia Hall to Long Island bureau chief. Ivan Lee is brand manager for the two news stations and he says, “Since we embarked on our journey of two unique brands but one cohesive news organization, we have made tremendous strides increasing our coverage of the tri-state area and today’s announcements continue that exciting trend. Lynda’s knowledge of New York City is a perfect fit for the legendary 1010 WINS, while Brigitte and ‘Newsline’ allows WCBS 880 to go beyond the headlines. Plus, Sophia’s experience will make sure that we have focused coverage on one of the largest and most important parts of our listening area – Long Island.”
The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). 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 New York, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC-AM & WLIR-FM dips two-tenths to a 3.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) good for the #10 rank, while Audacy’s all-news WINS-AM/FM adds four-tenths to finish with a 4.6 share that lifts it to the #5 rank. Audacy all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago dips one-tenth to a 4.8 share that keeps it locked in the #4 rank, while Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN falls two-tenths to finish with a 2.8 share good for the #12 rank. In Dallas, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth tacks on four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 3.7 share that puts it in the #7 rank. And Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta falls one share for a 4.4 share finish good for the #7 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
Salem Media Group announces that South Florida radio host and activist Ninoska Pérez Castellón is joining the lineup of its new Spanish-language talk format on WWFE-AM, Miami “La Nueva Poderosa 670 AM.” Salem recently acquired the signals that will comprise “La Nueva Poderosa 670 AM.” Pérez Castellón served with Univision Radio for 26 years, leaving WAQI “Radio Mambi 710 AM” after its recent change of ownership. Pérez Castellón, a well-known South Florida media personality who was born in Cuba and raised in Miami and is an activist in the fight for freedom in Cuba, has appeared in national and international media outlets including “Nightline,” CNN, “Hannity,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” Al Punto Univision, and MSNBC as an expert on Cuban issues. Salem Media Miami VP and general manager Monica Rabassa comments, “We are extremely happy and honored to have Ninoska Pérez Castellón join Salem Media Miami. Ninoska’s unrelenting voice in support of freedom and just causes now has a new home at ‘La Nueva Poderosa 670 AM.’” Pérez Castellón states, “I am thankful that Salem Media, a powerhouse in conservative thought, has stepped up and given Hispanic conservative voices a home at a time when we have been under attack for the sole purpose of silencing us. I am extremely happy to be back on the airwaves connecting with the audience I love.” In addition to Ninoska’s program, the station’s revised lineup will also feature Father Albert Cutié, a.k.a. Padre Alberto, who currently hosts a television talk show produced and transmitted by Mega TV in South Florida, and nationally on DirectTV and AT&T U-verse.
Triton Digital released its first-ever U.S. Year-End Podcast Report for the year 2022 that delves into the evolving U.S. podcast landscape and addresses such issues as listening habits and insights into audience demographics. According to the report, podcast downloads increased by 20% in 2022 over 2021, with an average of 3.8 hours of content downloaded per listener, per week. Other notable findings include: 1) Listeners downloaded 5.6 episodes per week, on average, and News was the most downloaded genre, followed by Comedy and True Crime; 2) Monthly podcast listeners are younger than the general population with over 25% of monthly podcast listeners between the ages of 25 to 34, and tend to skew more male; 3) Compared to the general U.S. population, podcast listeners tend to have a higher household income (121 index for HHI $100K+), be more educated (131 index for College Graduate+) and be more diverse (115 index for Hispanic ethnicity, 109 index African American); and 4) The most downloaded podcast in 2022 was “NPR News Now” and the number one top new show was “Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra” (NBCUniversal News Group). Triton SVP measurement products & strategy Daryl Battaglia says, “As the podcast industry continues to grow, we look forward to sharing these insights to help publishers and advertisers make more informed decisions. Podcasting is an engaging and powerful storytelling medium and our inaugural year-end podcast report acts on our commitment to provide our customers with credible, insightful and trusted data around the consumption of podcast content and listener habits.” See the complete podcast study here.
Pictured above is Cumulus Media Charleston, South Carolina senior marketing consultant Cynthia Alston Bell (right) with WICV-TV anchor and WMGL-FM midday host Tessa Spencer (left) at the 2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. Portrait Awards at which Bell was honored for outstanding service to the community. Spencer served as emcee for the event.
The classified government documents found in the possession of President Joe Biden and the news that classified documents were also found in possession of former Vice President Mike Pence; House Speaker Kevin McCarthy blocks Democrats from Committees; Tuesday’s U.S. Senate hearing addressing Ticketmaster parent Live Nation and the fiasco selling Taylor Swift concert tickets; Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ ban on an AP African American studies course; Germany agrees to join the U.S. in sending tanks to Ukraine to help in the battle against Russia’s invasion of the country; the deadly shootings in Northern California; and the ongoing media coverage of Congressman George Santos’ backstory were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Lisa Wexler, a woman of many accomplishments and talents, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Wexler hosts the daily 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show on Connoisseur Broadcasting’s western Connecticut news/talk giant WICC, Bridgeport. In 2013, she was elected Westport/Weston Connecticut Probate Judge – and re-elected two more consecutive times as a Republican and recently a fourth time as a Democrat…. all by wide margins. Wexler has been the recipient of numerous broadcasting awards and accolades, including the prestigious Gracie Award. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the New York University School of Law. She is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars. She co-wrote the international best-seller, Secrets of a Jewish Mother (Penguin/Dutton, 2010) with her mother, Gloria Kamen (an advice columnist) and her sister, Jill Zarin (one of the original Housewives of New York City). Listen to the podcast here.
News/talk and sports radio pro Kent Sterling joins Sarkes-Tarzian, Inc’s WGCL-AM/W245DP, Bloomington, Indiana as program director and host of the 7:00 am to 9:00 am “Sterling in the Morning” program. In announcing Sterling’s joining the station, the company says, “Kent Sterling spent six years majoring in journalism and minoring in fun at Indiana University where he met his wife, made lifelong friends, and learned about basketball from Bob Knight. He has spent his career in media hiring great talent and becoming a respected host himself. Dan Dakich, Michael Grady, and Matt Taylor are among those Kent hired into radio. He led ‘The Fan’ in Indianapolis (WFNI-AM) and ‘101 ESPN in St. Louis (WXOS-FM) to dominant positions in sports radio and helped head WIBC-FM [Indianapolis] to four Marconi Award wins for radio excellence and another national Crystal Award for public service. Kent’s proudest professional accomplishment is founding the WIBC Radiothon to Benefit The Salvation Army, which has raised over $3,000,000 to help Hoosiers in need. It continues to generate money and awareness for the organization as it helps Hoosiers in need.”
Audio content producer and advertising representative Crossover Media Group announces the addition of “Justice Matters with Glenn Kirschner” to its rapidly expanding podcast roster. Kirschner is an American attorney, a former U.S. Army JAG, former career prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice, and an NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst. In this podcast, he addresses matters related to politics, the law, government ethics, and the criminal judicial system. The podcast is published each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Crossover Media Group managing member Sue Freund says, “Glenn has earned an admirable reputation as one of America’s most respected legal and political analysts. He’s an ideal fit with our wide and diverse lineup of talk hosts appealing to listeners across demographics.” Crossover says this new podcast “joins a wide array of shows produced and/or represented by Crossover Media Group spanning the spectrum of political talk, analysis and opinion. The Crossover Media Group lineup also includes dozens of other popular podcasts and personalities in the genres of news, sports, true-crime, history, business, science, lifestyle, entertainment and pop culture – a content portfolio which recently expanded with the addition of ‘The Official Yellowstone Podcast.’”