According to numerous reports from Bay Area media outlets, Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR, San Francisco has let go a number of staffers, including former programmer Lee Hammer, morning show personality Paul McCaffrey, evening host FP Santangelo, and some in the digital department. McCaffrey has been co-host of the “Murph and Mac” show with Brian Murphy, who appears to still be employed with the station. The dismissal of Santangelo spells the end of the evening call-in show that’s been part of the station for the past 51 years. Station program director Adam Copeland– who also co-hosts the afternoon show with Tom Tolbert – said on the program, “It’s been a really difficult day. I love this building, I love this station, I love working with you, Tom, and I’ve listened to you for years. I love a lot of people. I love the guys we let go of today. I’m looking forward to the future, but I really think we need to tip our cap and applaud the work that those guys have done.” Read the SFGate piece here.
Cumulus Media promotes KNBR, San Francisco afternoon drive co-host Adam Copeland to program director for its three sports talk stations – KNBR-AM/FM, KGO-AM, and KTCT-AM. He’ll continue in his on-air role on the “Tolbert & Copes” program. Copeland joined KNBR in 2009 as an intern in the promotions department at KNBR and was later hired at KNBR as a part-time board operator. In 2017, Copeland was promoted to full-time producer of “KNBR Tonight,” was then named host of “The Leadoff Spot,” and served as producer/board operator of the “Murph and Mac Show.” In 2018 he began co-hosting the San Francisco Giants pre-game show on KNBR and then joined KNBR’s coverage of 49ers pre- and post-game shows. Cumulus San Francisco and Los Angeles regional VP and market manager Larry Blumhagen says, “We are excited to have Adam Copeland as program director for these iconic stations. In his active role as a KNBR on-air personality, Adam has a connection with our listeners and a unique grasp of what they want from our platforms.”
Monday Memo: Read Me, Please! “Few opportunities to engage are more powerful than the ongoing email conversation you have with listeners.” Consultant Holland Cooke calls it “a relationship that Pandora and Spotify and your robotic AM/FM competitors can’t emulate.” In this week’s column, HC shares tips for the most important words of your email: its subject line. Read about it here.
Pending Business: Sell Carefully. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says the war in the Ukraine has the potential to bring more information and opinion-hungry listeners to your news/talk station and provides a sales opportunity. “The loyal audience base your station has worked hard to develop will lock in regularly for information updates and the clarity your air talent can bring to a complex and intimidating situation that could affect everything from the price of gas at the local pump to a roller coaster ride in their stock portfolio.” He offers six tips for selling during this historic news storm. Read more here.
KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco Promotes Adam Copeland to Afternoons. Sports talk radio pro Adam Copeland is promoted to co-host of the afternoon drive with longtime host Tom Tolbert on Cumulus Media’s KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco. This comes after Cumulus parts ways with Tolbert’s former co-hosts Larry Krueger and Rod Brooks. Tolbert tweeted last week about their departure, saying, “Rod and Larry are no longer on the show. It sucks. I’m always saddened when something doesn’t work. I love both of those guys. I consider them friends. I can’t tell you why some things work and some don’t work. It’s a bummer. It stinks.” The new “Tolbert and Copes” show airs from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Copeland joined KNBR as an intern in 2009 and was hired in 2016 as a board operator. He eventually became the producer of “KNBR Tonight with Ryan Covay.” In 2018, after time as a fill-in host on the station, Copeland was named host of his own talk show, “The Lead Off Spot with Adam Copeland,” airing weekday mornings from 5:00 am-6:00 am. He also served as a producer of the “Murph and Mac” morning program. Copeland says, “Having the opportunity to host ‘The Leadoff Spot’ and hang with Murph and Mac for the past four years has been a dream come true since I was 16 years old, and I’m forever indebted to all the loyal listeners, callers, and guests who made the show as fun and engaging as it was. It’s been the honor of my life. I look forward to bringing that same energy and enthusiasm to afternoon drive with the legendary Tom Tolbert. I know I have big shoes to fill, and I hope to make my fellow Bay Area sports fans proud. Onward and upward.”
Round Four of January PPM Survey Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 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 January 2022 sweep covered January 6 – February 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. In the Raleigh market, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM jumps 1.1 shares for a 7.4 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish and the #3 rank in the market, while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF tacks on nine-tenths for a 3.3 share finish good for the #11 rank. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis recaptures 1.8 shares to wrap the survey with a 10.6 share and climbs to the #2 rank. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN-AM leaps to #1 after adding nine-tenths for a 9.7 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ-AM rises half a share for a 7.2 share finish good for the #4 rank. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville tacks on eight-tenths to put up a 6.9 share that gives it the #2 rank in the market. Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville is back at #1 after shooting up 2.6 shares for a 9.6 share finish. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.
Nielsen Holdings Reports 2021 Q4 Revenue Up 2.5%; Full Year Revenue Rises 4.1%. Ratings giant Nielsen Holdings plc reports its financial data from the fourth quarter of 2021 and for the full year, revealing Q4 revenue was $894 million, an increase of 2.5% over the same period in 2020. Revenue of the whole of 2021 was $3.5 billion, a year-over-year increase of 4.1%. For the full year of 2021, Nielsen reports net income from continuing operations attributable to Nielsen shareholders was $551 million, compared to $191 million in 2020. Nielsen CEO David Kenny says, “We delivered strong results in 2021. We successfully sold Nielsen Global Connect, hit significant product milestones, and exceeded all of our original 2021 guidance metrics despite facing some unanticipated challenges. We are strongly positioned within the media ecosystem, with growing relevance as audiences shift to streaming, and we are delivering value to clients across our three essential solutions. We made measurable progress toward becoming a digital-first company, and our strategy aligns with where growth in the industry is coming from. We are piloting the first iteration of Nielsen ONE, which we launched in January, with a representative group of clients across media buyers and sellers and feedback has been positive. We also made progress on strengthening our balance sheet, reducing our net debt leverage by over half a turn in 2021. We now have the flexibility to return more capital to shareholders while continuing to invest in organic growth initiatives and pursue strategic, tuck-in M&A. Our $1 billion share repurchase authorization reflects our board’s confidence in both our short and long-term growth prospects and enables us to deliver value to our shareholders.” The company reports its financial position, stating, “As of December 31, 2021, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $380 million and gross debt of $5.626 billion, resulting in net debt of $5.246 billion.”
Russian Ukraine Invasion, COVID-19, The Economy/Financial Markets, CPAC 2022/Trump & the GOP, William Barr Book, State of the Union, and SAG Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Russian invasion of the Ukraine and the domestic and global responses to Vladimir Putin’s gambit; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the relaxation of mask mandates, and the U.S. trucker convoys destined for Washington, DC; the state of the U.S. economy as the Ukraine invasion affects global markets, the ongoing inflation affecting consumer retail prices, and the financial markets activities; the weekend’s CPAC 2022 conference and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; former Attorney General William Barr’s new memoir containing criticism of Donald Trump is teased; anticipation of Tuesday’s State of the Union Address; and Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild 2022 awards ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.