Friday, June 3, 2022
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Short Week,” looks back at this past week of 5/30 to 6/3. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; Joe Thomas, talk show host/program director, WCHV, Charlottesville, VA; Renee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist/podcaster, MDEdge Psychcast; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston/founder Samicide.com; and Daliah Wachs, M.D., physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas; WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Podcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Wynter and Massey Promoted to Full Time at WSB, Atlanta. As reported by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, air personalities Shelley Wynter and MalaniKai Massey are joining the Cox Media Group Atlanta staff as full timers. They began co-hosting “Word on the Street” on news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM on a weekly basis back in 2019. Later, the program was given nightly status airing at 9:00, but conservative Wynter and more liberal Massey remained part-time employees. Along with this promotion, “Word on the Street” assumes the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, effective June 13. Massey tells the AJC that getting the full-time status was a “test of faith and endurance and perseverance. There were times I wanted to quit and give up before I was on WSB. But I kept pushing and keeping an eye on the prize. This has been very emotional.”
Alex Jones Trial Damages Phase Set for September After Bankruptcy Scheme Fails. Several reports, including this one from Kate Marino at Axios, reveal that Alex Jones’ attempt use bankruptcy laws to avoid what could be large damages paid to families of the Sandy Hook school massacre victims, has failed and the September damages trail in Connecticut remains scheduled. At issue here was Jones’ strategy to use a new subchapter of the U.S. bankruptcy code to declare Chapter 11 for three of his companies that did little or no business and thereby triggering an “automatic stay” on the case. But the subchapter was designed to help struggling small business delay payments to creditors while reorganizing and not as a strategy to simply delay a trial. In addition to the Justice Department’s bankruptcy watchdog seeking to dismiss the bankruptcy cases for Jones’ companies, the Sandy Hook families also dropped their suits against those companies but are continuing to seek damages from Alex Jones himself. The piece notes that in the Connecticut state court damages trial, “Jones may face much higher penalties than the $10 million he offered in the bankruptcy deal.”
Alpha Media Flips CHR KTFM to Sports Talk as Simulcast of KZDC-AM in San Antonio. Sports talk outlet KZDC-AM “San Antonio Sports Star” gets a full-market FM signal as Alpha Media flips CHR KTFM at 94.1 to a simulcast of KZDC. Afternoon host Jason Minnix writes a blog piece on the station’s site announcing the additional signal. He says, “Moving to 94.1 is huge – the signal is 37 times bigger than what we had yesterday. You know I am a music guy so this is like a band that started playing clubs, moved to arenas and is now playing massive stadiums. Like going from Wolff Stadium to Jerry’s World… This move to 94.1 gives San Antonio one of the biggest sports stations signal wise in the state. Dallas has a sports station with a bigger signal. Houston doesn’t. Austin doesn’t.”
TALKERS News Notes. In a move announced by the company’s board of directors, Saga Communications declares a quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share, an increase from the previous quarterly dividend of $0.16 per share. This dividend will be paid on July 1, 2022, to shareholders of record on June 13, 2022. The aggregate amount of the payment to be made in connection with the quarterly dividend will be approximately $1.2 million. The quarterly cash dividend will be funded by cash on the company’s balance sheet. Including this dividend, the company will have paid over $79 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012…..iHeartMedia and acclaimed film and television producer Meryl Poster, the founder of Superb Entertainment, announce the season two launch of “Call Your Grandmother,” the show that features New York grandmothers – 83-year-old Ellin Grodsky and 92-year-old Rita Kaye – and celebrates Jewish grandmothers and the irreverent qualities that make them natural comedians…..Mark Fratrik, Ph.D., BIA Advisory Services’ SVP and chief economist, is retiring from the company, effective June 30. BIA says he’ll continue as a strategic advisor and analyst to the company offering continuity for the firm’s forecasting, insights and analytics services that will now be led by Nicole Ovadia, VP of forecasting and analysis. BIA CEO and founder Tom Buono comments, “When I look at the accomplishments of BIA over Mark’s 21-year tenure at BIA, there’s a direct correlation between our success and Mark’s dedication and expertise. Mark’s competence in analyzing the economic forces driving the local media industry has guided our forecasting efforts and allowed us to continuously deliver high-quality, reliable data and insights. His analyses have been integral to informing and influencing decisions at the highest levels of our industry and the government, and his service to BIA has been immeasurable.”
Mass Shootings Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 30 – June 3. The recent spate of mass shootings and the controversy over gun control legislation was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between the state of the economy, the national mood, and Elon Musk’s battle with Tesla employees, followed by the infection rate of COVID-19 cases 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 Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.