WABC’s McGuirk Tribute Airs Today. The day-long remembrance of Bernie McGuirk on Red Apple Media New York news/talk WABC-AM & WLIR-FM “77 Talk Radio” began at 6:00 this morning (Wednesday, 10/12). The 65-year-old McGuirk passed away last Wednesday (10/5) from prostate cancer. For the past four and a half years, he and Sid Rosenberg co-hosted “Bernie & Sid in the Morning.” According to Red Apple Media owner John Catsimatidis, who purchased WABC two years ago, “We are airing this all-day tribute to honor our friend and colleague, who loved New York, radio, and his listeners. We’ll have the opportunity to bid farewell to a wonderful man who reached WABC radio listeners around the world every morning with his unique take on the news.” Red Apple Media/WABC radio president Chad Lopez notes, “Bernie’s observations and analysis of world and local news and politics were not only insightful – they were authentic. His brilliant mind, combined with that New York attitude, [gave] listeners what they wanted – the truth; we will miss him.” News anchor/air personality Charles McCord worked with McGuirk during their years together on “(Don) Imus in the Morning” and will appear this morning in the 9:00 hour. Among others scheduled to be part of the tribute are: New York City mayor Eric Adams; comedian/longtime “Imus” cast member Rob Bartlett; sports talk host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo; former “Imus In The Morning” sports personality Warner Wolf; NBA play-by-play announcer Mike Breen; actor/author Chazz Palminteri; Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean; and WABC host Bill O’Reilly. McGuirk joined WABC in 2007 as “Imus in the Morning” producer/on-air contributor. He’d previously been with Imus at New York’s WNBC and WFAN. In 2016, WABC teamed McGuirk and Rosenberg in mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon), before boosting them to morning drive. Rosenberg reflected on McGuirk with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. Listen to their conversation by clicking here.
Round Four of August PPMs Released. The fourth round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; Providence; Norfolk; Jacksonville; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; Memphis; and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets. Three news/talk outlets are included in West Palm Beach’s top twenty (6+). A four-tenths improvement from August 2022 by iHeartMedia’s WZZR (1.8 – 2.2, 6+) coupled with co-owned WJNO’s half-share dip (1.8 – 1.3, 6+) results in “92.1 Real Radio” (ninth to eighth) overtaking “News Radio 1290” (#9 to #11). Also in that Florida market’s mix is Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WFTL “News Talk 850,” which drops two-tenths (1.1 – .9, #13 to #14, 6+). Although they only yield a combined 5.0 (6+), four Hartford news/talk stations crack the top twenty. Leading that group is Audacy’s WTIC-AM, although “News Talk 1080” logs a full-share deficit from August (4.6 – 3.6, 6+), slipping from eighth to ninth; its internet stream is unchanged in share and market rank (.2 and #20, respectively). Meanwhile, Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-AM “The Talk of Connecticut” picks up two-tenths (.8 – 1.0, #15 to #14, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410 AM & 100.9 FM,” which had been unlisted since April, resurfaces with a .2, (#20, 6+). See Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here.
Charges Dropped Against Subject Of “Serial” Podcast. Baltimore prosecutors yesterday (Tuesday, 10/11) dropped charges against Adnan Syed in the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee, a case that was chronicled in the first season of the podcast “Serial.” Laura Nirider, co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, tweeted, “After the latest round of DNA testing generated results that, like previous rounds of testing, excluded Adnan Syed, he has now been formally exonerated.” A Baltimore judge last month overturned Syed’s murder conviction and ordered him released from prison, where the 41-year-old had spent more than two decades. Circuit judge Melissa Phinn gave prosecutors 30 days in which to decide whether to retry Syed or drop the charges. Syed captured the attention of millions in 2014 when the debut season of “Serial” focused on the case and raised doubts about some of the evidence, including cellphone tower data. Syed served more than 20 years in prison for strangling the 18-year-old Lee. Her body was found weeks later buried in a Baltimore park. More than a decade later, “Serial” revealed little-known evidence and attracted millions of listeners, shattering podcast-streaming and downloading records. Prosecutors failed to tell Syed’s defense attorneys about evidence that would have allowed him to defend himself, including details that established two other people had threatened Lee’s life. In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, the state’s attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, said that recently tested DNA completely exculpated Syed from the crime. She declined to say if any other known suspects may be implicated in the recent DNA testing, saying that the investigation is ongoing.
TALKERS News Notes. Effective next Monday (10/17), Jeff Rowe will join Southern California Public Radio Pasadena-Los Angeles news/talk KPCC and LAist as vice president/programming. Southern California Public Radio chief content officer Kristen Muller comments, “As we reach more audiences, we need to rethink the way we program across multiple platforms. Jeff brings an entrepreneurial spirit and innovative mindset – these are critical skills that will be a huge asset.” Co-founder of Okanjo and Zap2it, Rowe has worked at AOL; Journal Communications; Tribune Media; NBC; and VH1. … Three-year KDWN “The Talk of Las Vegas” program director Steve Hoffman exits the Beasley Media Group news/talk station. … College Station, Texas news/talk WTAW celebrated its 100th anniversary last Friday (10/7). The Bryan Broadcasting-owned outlet began as experimental station 5XB in 1914 and was officially licensed as WTAW by the Commerce Department in 1922. Vice president/general manager Ben Downs comments, “When we followed the [Rush] Limbaugh wave into talk in 1989, it was a great day for the station. We still control the 25+ demos, which isn’t bad for a 100-year-old station – even though we don’t look a day over 70.” … Attorney/Corporation For Public Broadcasting board chair Bruce Ramer will be honored tonight (Wednesday, 10/12) with CPB’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.” CPB president/chief executive officer Patricia Harrison notes, “Bruce Ramer’s award is in recognition of his extraordinary leadership and guidance given to CPB over the nearly 14 years of his service. He led CPB’s support for innovation, interconnection, infrastructure, and access to content over many platforms. [Bruce] was committed to strengthening local, national, and international public media journalism and editorial integrity. On a meaningful level, he always advanced diversity and inclusion personally and professionally.” CPB vice chair Laura Gore Ross adds, “Bruce’s leadership has strengthened CPB and public media when we needed it most. On his watch, CPB was able to distribute $75 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding and $175 million in CARES Act stabilization funding to public media stations. He has provided wise counsel through thick and thin that’s been felt by all.”
SiriusXM To Open Miami Broadcast Center. Scheduled for completion in 2023, the Miami Broadcast Center venue will feature several radio and recording studios, a 50-seat performance space, as well as office space. SiriusXM president/chief content officer Scott Greenstein notes, “We are excited to open our Miami broadcast complex and deepen our ties in such a multicultural and entertainment-rich city. Our Miami facility will feature a world-class performance space for our special events. Its artist-first recording studios will be a destination for major stars and emerging personalities to connect with listeners.” SiriusXM’s other facilities include its New York Rockefeller Center headquarters; West Hollywood studios; and studios/offices in Washington, DC and Nashville.