Triton Digital’s ranker of the top U.S. podcasts for August (July 31 – Sept. 3) based on weekly average downloads has been released and not much has changed in the top ranks. NPR’s “NPR News Now” remains ranked #1, followed by audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” at #2, and NBCUniversal New Group’s “Dateline NBC” at #3. Radio related podcasts in the top 25 of this ranker include: Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” at #7, Cumulus Podcast Network’s “Mark Levin Podcast” rising four spots to #19, and Salem Podcast Network’s “The Charlie Kirk Show” at #22. Just as it did last month, Triton notes that Cumulus experienced data collection issues with the Daily Wire shows (such as “The Ben Shapiro Show” which ranked #3 in the June report) during this period. See the August ranker here.
Cumulus Media announces it is flipping KTUC-AM, Tucson to talk as the all-new “Freedom 1400,” Tucson’s Conservative Talk Station. It had been airing an adult standards format. It is now airing syndicated talk radio shows including FOX News Radio’s “Brian Kilmeade Show” and the “FOX Across America with Jimmy Failla,” Westwood One’s “Dan Bongino Show” and the “Chris Plante Show,” plus Ben Shaprio and FNC’s Guy Benson. KTUC program director Herb Crowe states, “We’re thrilled to unveil ‘Freedom 1400,’ Tucson’s Conservative Talk Station. As we embark on this exciting journey, we’re committed to providing a platform for open dialogues, diverse viewpoints, and robust discussions that matter to our community. With our esteemed lineup of talk show hosts, we’re confident that ‘Freedom 1400’ will become an essential source of information and insight for our listeners.”
Triton Digital is releasing the July 2023 U.S. Podcast Report that ranks podcasts based on weekly average downloads for participating publishers. NPR’s “NPR News Now” remains in the #1 position, with audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” taking over the #2 spot from NBCUniversal News Group’s “Dateline NBC,” now at #3. Radio related podcasts in the top 25 include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” at #7, Salem Podcast Network’s “The Charlie Kirk Show” at #21, and Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Mark Levin Show” at #22. Triton notes that Cumulus experienced data collection issues with the Daily Wire shows (such as “The Ben Shapiro Show” which ranked #3 in the June report) during this period. See the complete July ranker here.
Triton Digital reveals the results of its June 2023 U.S. Podcast Report that ranks the top podcasts from participating networks in the U.S. based on weekly average downloads. NPR’s “NPR News Now” remains locked in the #1 position while NBCUniversal News Group’s “Dateline NBC” rises to the #2 rank. Rounding out the top five is audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” at #3, Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” at #4, and NPR’s “Up First” at #5. Also in the top 10 for June was Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” at #7. See the complete ranker here.
According to Podtrac’s latest stats, the average U.S. “Unique Monthly Audience” for the Top 20 publishers dipped 3% month-to-month, but improved by that same percentage compared to June 2022. “Total Global Downloads” for the Top 20 publishers remained steady month-to-month; however, it declined 3% versus this time last year. The combined audience for the Top Sales Networks was up 5% month-to-month. The top ten podcasts by US Unique Monthly Audience (June 2023) are: “The Daily” (New York Times); “Dateline NBC” (NBC News); “Morbid” (Wondery); “Up First” (NPR); “NPR News Now” (NPR); “SmartLess” (Wonderly); “The Ben Shapiro Show” (Daily Wire); “Stuff You Should Know” (iHeartPodcasts); “Pardon My Take” (Barstool Sports); and “The Dan Bongino Show” (Dan Borgino). With a US “Unique Monthly Audience” of 31,625,000 (and 833 active shows), iHeartPodcasts is the top podcast publisher. It is followed by Wondery; NPR; NBC News; New York Times; Daily Wire; The Walt Disney Company; Barstool Sports; Vox Media; and PRX.
Triton Digital releases its May 2023 U.S. Podcast Report that ranks podcasts listened to in America based on weekly average downloads and NPR’s “NPR News Now” is again the #1 podcast on the ranker. At #2 is audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie,” followed by Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show,” which rises from #4 to #3. Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” was steady at #7, while the company’s “The Matt Walsh Show” climbed two spots to #19. The Salem Podcast Network’s “The Charlie Kirk Show” fell two spots to #21. See the complete ranker here.
By Walter Sabo
Host/Producer, Sterling on Sunday
Lucille Ball earned 50 shares with her classic TV series, “I Love Lucy.” Every year during her summer hiatus she would make a movie. Name a Lucille Ball movie.
Lucy was the all-time star of television but couldn’t open a movie. Each medium creates its own stars and rarely does a star transfer from one medium to another.
Some examples: “NYPD Blue” first season star David Caruso couldn’t wait to break out from TV and become a movie star. He recently retired from 10 years of work on the TV show “CSI Miami.” Exceptions? Maybe three: Michael J Fox, Will Smith, Steve McQueen.
The phenomenon of single medium stardom is true throughout all crafts. Great magazine writers struggle to turn in a publishable book. Book authors are challenged to condense their thoughts to 1,000 words. Megyn Kelly is a cable star but couldn’t cross the golden bridge to broadcast TV.
Every year a local TV weather person bugs the local talk station to fill-in on a talk show over a holiday. How does it go? Beware the fifth minute. After five minutes all of the passionate feelings the TV talent has about their pet topic have been expressed. With two hours and 55 minutes to go, the local weatherman is in trouble hosting an unscripted radio show. Where is the prompter? Where are the phone calls? But put a radio morning host on TV and the results are just as awful. The radio host looks fat because they have no idea how to dress for TV, they don’t understand the cue lights on the cameras and the prompter is confusing.
Which brings us to the relationship between radio and podcasting
One of the burdensome falsehoods of the moment is that radio talent should be churning out original content podcasts. It’s just audio right? Radio is good at talking! Podcasting has fostered its own stable of stars including Joe Rogan, Adam Carolla, Anna Farris and Ben Shapiro (I know he’s a radio guy, but he’s a better podcaster). To a listener, the production styles of a podcast and live radio are strikingly similar, but you know that the production environments are completely different. Talent who intuitively understand on-demand audience preferences thrive hosting commercial-free podcasts. Radio talent excel within the disposable, often-interrupted flow of a live broadcast. Podcasts allow for thinking time, pausing, editing, correcting and fancy production beds. Live radio? You just better get to the next thing. The mindset of a podcast star versus a radio star must of necessity be appropriate to their unique performance stage.
Most radio managers have met with resistance when asking their talent to make original content podcasts. (Not air checks.) Radio talent is right to resist! Creating a very good radio show is demanding and often exhausting. After three or more hours on the air, no performer has the energy to hop into a production chair and attract a million downloads. Tragically mandatory podcast dictates leave little opportunity for talent to say, “I can’t do a podcast well. I’m a radio performer and isn’t that what you hired me for?” My goodness – such a radio talent would be labelled insubordinate, not a team player, and not part of the future!!!
To be productive and on-brand podcasts offered by a radio station should be hosted by podcast stars. The odds of a radio star creating a winning podcast are about the same as finding a Lucille Ball hit movie.
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. www.waltersterlingshow.com. email@example.com
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, “Like a Pendulum Do,” looks back at this past week of 9/5 to 9/9. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Tim Van Horn, talk show host, KWAM, Memphis; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Sandy Rios, talk show host, American Family Radio; Matthew B. Harrison, VP/associate publisher, TALKERS; and Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. 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 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.
Podcast Movement Apologizes to Ben Shapiro; Way Forward Still Unclear. The controversy surrounding the surprise appearance of Ben Shapiro at the recent Podcast Movement convention in Dallas that apparently upset at least one other attendee continues as the organization has issued an apology to Shapiro. As you may recall, Podcast Movement immediately apologized to the offended party via Twitter in a since-deleted tweet, causing Cumulus Media to cry foul and announce it would not support the 2023 convention. Podcast Movement tweeted on Thursday (9/8): “As we stated, we’re continuing to evaluate our policies guiding social media & events with inclusivity, diversity & respect for all. We have to start by sincerely apologizing to Mr. Shapiro for our reaction when he visited a booth we sold his company. That wasn’t right. Podcast Movement began in 2014, with four podcasters who had an idea to create a vibrant community that was for podcasters, by podcasters. We’re still those people with the same idea, and recognize there’s work to do as we grow. We are now looking to move forward, as we focus on that original mission from 2014 – being a hub for podcasting events, resources, news, and thought leadership.” Naturally, those with no tolerance for conservative thought are not happy with this apology and this puts Podcast Movement in a difficult situation. On one hand, it can refuse to include conservatives in future gatherings and appease the “no tolerance” segment of its constituency. But big-time podcast publishers such as Cumulus, iHeartMedia, and Audacy produce a large number of podcasts. While most of those are not political at all, some are and are hosted by polarizing personalities. Does Podcast Movement want to alienate them to appease a small but very vocal minority? On the other hand, if it says, “everyone’s welcome,” you can bet those intolerant of others’ opinions will protest loudly, and the annual event then becomes a referendum on political partisanship. Podcast Movement has less than a year to figure this out.
Round Three of August PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s August 2022 sweep covered July 21 – August 17. 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 grows by a full share to post a 9.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that lifts the station to #1, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KEX-AM rises by seven-tenths for a 3.1 share that boosts it to the #13 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOAI-AM, San Antonio adds seven-tenths to finish with a 4.6 share pushes it to the #8 rank, while Alpha Media’s crosstown news/talk KTSA rises by two-tenths for a 3.2 share but falls one position to the #12 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-AM/FM, Salt Lake City remains ranked #1 even after dropping a half share for a 9.1 share finish. Meanwhile, Bonneville’s crosstown news/talk KSL-AM/FM adds a half share and closes the survey with a 6.1 share good for the #4 rank. In Kansas City, Audacy’s news/talk KMBZ-FM tacks on eight-tenths for a 4.7 finish that lifts it from #11 to #5, while Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KCMO-AM also adds eight-tenths for a 1.5 share finish putting at the #20 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first two groups) here.
Triton Digital Releases Streaming Rankers for July 2022. The latest data from Triton Digital’s monthly ranking of top streaming properties is released for the July 2022 period. Triton ranks streamers based on Average Active Sessions (AAS). In the U.S. for 6AM-12AM Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is the #1 streamer with 278,576 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (67,269 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (61.293 AAS). Other radio-related companies on Triton’s chart includes: Cumulus Streaming Network ranked #4 (37,569 AAS), Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (16,157), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (13,676), Salem Communications at #10 (7,763 AAS), and Urban One at #11 (7,533). You can see the complete ranker here.
Big Radio Announces News and Sports Talent Additions. At Scott and Ben Thompson’s Big Radio in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, two new staffers join the company. At the Janesville, Wisconsin operations, Sean Maloney is now part of the news team working on news coverage across the group and being part of local high school sports broadcasts. He joined the company from Magnum Media in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. John Barry, award-winning sportswriter previously with the Janesville Gazette, also joins the company to work on its local sports coverage. Big Radio says its sports department consists of nearly 40 individuals working together to provide over 400 local high school sports broadcasts annually throughout Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Company CEO Ben Thompson says, “Local news, information and entertainment is what people look for from their local stations and Big Radio injects local news, sports, entertainment and conversation wherever we can across our 10-station group. We are grateful that both Sean and John bring those values with them to help reinforce our commitment to local programming.”
TALKERS News Notes. The 2022-23 NFL season is underway and Audacy announces a series of podcasts to cater to fans. New podcasts produced by the company’s 2400Sports studio include: “Kickoff with Boomer and Valenti” starring WFAN, New York morning host Boomer Esiason and WXYT-FM, Detroit afternoon host Mike Valenti; “The Crew” with senior NFL insider Josina Anderson, Hollywood actor Morris Chestnut, and former NFL cornerback Fred Smoot; “In The Huddle” starring former NFL player and current Audacy NFL insider Brian Baldinger and Audacy NFL insider and NFL reporter Jason La Canfora; “1st & Pod with Parkins and Poni” starring WSCR, Chicago’s Danny Parkins and KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh’s Andrew Fillipponi…..Skyview Networks partners with iHeartMedia Milwaukee to be the play-by-play radio broadcast distributor for Green Bay Packers games. As part of the deal, Skyview’s AdView inventory management software will be used. Skyview SVP business development and communication Andrew Kalb says, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with iHeartMedia Milwaukee and its Green Bay Packers radio rightsholder, ‘The Game 97.3.’ We look forward to collaborating on taking the Packers network to the next level and I am confident that with our technology, they will see new efficiencies and greater insight into revenue.”…..iHeartMedia and Warner Music Group announce a multi-year deal in which the two companies will co-produce a slate of shows that range from ongoing weekly podcasts to limited-run series, beginning this fall. As part of the collaboration, WMG’s Interval Presents will distribute its podcasts through the iHeartPodcast Network widely to all podcast consumption platforms. iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne states, “Joining forces with an iconic music company like Warner Music Group, known for their dedication to advancing the voices and careers of artists, is a seamless fit for iHeartMedia. Our team is thrilled to be co-producing a slate of shows to elevate inspiring, diverse voices and important conversations in this vein – and can’t wait to get started.”
Mar-a-Lago Aftermath and Trump Legal Issues Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 5 – 9. The Department of Justice’s appeal of Judge Aileen Cannon’s order for a Special Master to oversee the documents former President Donald Trump had stored at Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s other legal issues combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was politics and the midterm elections, followed by crime, violence, and homelessness 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.
Michael Harrison “Idiots” Tour Off and Running. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has appeared as a guest on a number of major local and national radio talk shows covering several hundred stations across the nation during the past two weeks discussing the musical track “Idiots” on which he appears as lead vocalist with the iconic classic rock band, GUNHILL ROAD. “Idiots” is a catchy song with an ear-worm hook and provocative lyrics taking aim at what Harrison describes as the “growing wave of idiocy that’s spreading across America and threatening the nation’s democracy.” Harrison wrote the song in collaboration with his bandmates – Steve Goldrich, Paul Reisch and Brian Koonin. Since its release in late August, the song’s music video (www.idiotsvideo.com) has racked up thousands of views on YouTube and gotten airplay on dozens of talk shows and radio station websites from WABC, New York to KXL, Portland – including KTSA, San Antonio; WBT, Charlotte; KSCO, Santa Cruz; KFNX, Phoenix; WPG, Atlantic City; WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; WRVA, Richmond; WTIC, Hartford; WVLY, Wheeling; WTNN, Nashville; KWAM, Memphis; KDFD, Denver; WLIR-FM, Long Island; WRHU-FM, Hempstead, NY and many more including exposure on Talk Media Network; Doug Stephan’s “Good Day”; Virginia Talk Radio Network, Nevada Talk Network, John Fredericks Radio Network, Podcast Radio Network in the U.K. and more. “Ironically, the song is becoming somewhat of a talk radio hit,” says Harrison. “The music stations haven’t a clue what to do with it because it doesn’t fit conveniently into their cookie cutter categories. Today’s music radio doesn’t have the flexibility to include those ‘odd’ and ‘offbeat’ songs that would occasionally come down the pike and become hits in pop’s golden era. However, talk radio programmers get it.” One of the song’s qualities that adds to its talk show appeal and support from both liberals and conservatives is its non-partisanship. Harrison calls it an “equal opportunity offender.” Lyrics include such lines as: A fool will always be a fool… left, right, blue or red… it pays to have an open mind, but not an empty head. Another: They (idiots) cherry pick and reaffirm half-baked dumb ideas… agree with almost anything that feeds their hate and fears… always blaming others for their own damn lack of vision… they buy the crap that’s sold them from the merchants of division. That last line is punctuated on the video by the famous “turd” emoji emanating from the rear ends of an elephant and donkey. Harrison plans to continue the Talk Radio Idiots Tour through the fall. Shows and hosts interested in booking him as a guest can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Click here to see the video.
Cumulus Unfriends Podcast Movement After Ben Shapiro Incident. After an incident at Podcast Movement’s recent Dallas convention at which Westwood One talk host Ben Shapiro made an impromptu appearance that bothered an attendee, prompting them to complain to the organizers, and Podcast Movement actually issuing an apology, Cumulus Media announces it is severing its relationship with the organization. Shapiro has one of the most-listened-to podcasts in the U.S. based on numerous surveys. It is published by The Daily Wire and repped by Cumulus Podcast Network. Cumulus was a sponsor of the event based on its purchase of a booth and Shapiro says he stopped by while in town on other business. This, according to The Washington Examiner, caused one attendee to tweet: “Hey @PodcastMovement what the f***. As a trans person, as a queer person, as someone with a uterus, this does not make me feel welcome. This does not make me feel safe.” Podcast Movement then tweeted an apology. Both of those tweets have since been deleted. On Tuesday (9/6), Cumulus issued the following statement: “At Cumulus Media, our tenet is that Every Voice Matters and we support conferences and trade events where differing political viewpoints can be expressed and received with respect. As such, we were dismayed and disappointed by Podcast Movement’s handling of the reaction to our partner, top podcaster, and conservative talk leader Ben Shapiro’s mere presence at Podcast Movement. After giving the leaders of Podcast Movement sufficient time to appropriately address their misstep, we are disassociating from Podcast Movement, including canceling our 2023 sponsorship plans.” Meanwhile, The Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing states, “I’m glad to see our longtime partner Cumulus/Westwood One taking such a strong and public stand against Podcast Movement’s outright and abject bigotry. Though Podcast Movement quietly removed their bigoted tweet thread over the weekend, they still have yet to retract and publicly apologize for their hateful comments about Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire. In an illiberal moment such as the one we’re currently living in, if we don’t stand up to this kind of bigoted behavior it’s only going to get worse. I certainly hope Cumulus’s strong response to Podcast Movement is the first of many others like it.”
Houston Sports Media Figure John McClain Takes on Senior Columnist Role at ‘Sports Radio 610.’ Longtime Houston sports columnist and KILT-AM contributor John McClain takes on the new title senior Texans columnist for “Sports Radio 610.” The Audacy station says that in this role, McClain will provide weekly postgame observations, team report cards and Texans-driven columns throughout the season. He’ll also continue to appear regularly on its programs “Payne and Pendergast,” “In the Loop with John Lopez and Landry Locker,” and “Clint Stoerner and The Show.” McClain will also co-host the Houtopia Football Podcast alongside “Sports Radio 610” morning show host Sean Pendergast. KILT-AM brand manager Parker Hillis says, “To officially bring a Houston legend in John McClain onto our team is incredible. John has always been one of our biggest proponents in the market and I’m thrilled that Texans fans will now be able to read his observations and opinions at SportsRadio610.com, on top of his weekly radio appearances.” McClain adds, “I’ve been doing sports talk on 610 for 23 years, and I’m fired up about the opportunity to write for the station’s website. I’m especially excited to work with Brandon Scott, one of my favorite reporters in Houston. I think Brandon does a terrific job covering Houston sports, and it’s an honor to cover the Texans with him.”
SummitMedia Appoints Justin Ragland Corporate VP of Events and Promotions. Promoted from his role managing SummitMedia LLC’s Birmingham market promotions department to the corporate position vice president of events and promotions is Justin Ragland. He’ll now oversee events and promotions at 46 stations in nine markets nationwide. SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer says, “We are very pleased to have Justin leading our events and promotions efforts. He has done an outstanding job for us in Birmingham, and we are excited for him to bring his unique skillset to the entire company.” Ragland, who will remain based in Birmingham, comments, “My goal is to be an instrumental team member in every SummitMedia market to help grow each brand in both ratings and revenue. Joining the leadership team for this company is a privilege and one that I am excited about.”
Round One of August PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 2022 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. Nielsen’s August 2022 sweep covered July 21 – August 17. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media Group’s news/talk WABC/WLIR-FM tacks on two-tenths for a 4.3 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish but drops back to the #8 rank. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR adds one-tenth to wrap with a 2.0 share and remains ranked #18. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles rises to the #4 rank after climbing three-tenths for a 4.8 share finish, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KNX-AM/FM adds three-tenths for a 3.3 share that lifts it to the #10 rank. In Chicago, Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN-AM is up three-tenths for a 3.3 share that pushes it up to the #8 rank, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM is steady with a 4.6 share that keeps it ranked #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
Robin Sloan Named EVP of Audio Sales for AdLarge. Audio sales pro Robin Sloan joins AdLarge as executive vice president of audio sales. In this new role, Sloan will work directly with chief revenue officer Don Wachsmith on revenue strategy development and agency relationships. She will also focus on driving revenue with the audio sales team and managing the day to day activity. Most recently, Sloan was the director of national partnerships at Westwood One. AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas comments, “I’m delighted to have Robin join our team. She’s a veteran recognized in the audio industry for bringing her exceptional relationships and in-depth experience in sales, management and sports to the AdLarge audio sales efforts. I could not find a more perfect person to fit this role and continue to help us grow our business.”
TALKERS News Notes. Revisions to its 2022 third quarter revenue estimates are being announced by Salem Media Group, Inc. The company says that taking into account the postponement of the forthcoming book, 2000 Mules by Dinesh D’Souza, until the fourth quarter, lower than expected revenue on SalemNOW, and the impact on advertising revenue due to the weakening economic environment, the company now expects third quarter 2022 total revenue to be between flat and an increase of 2% over third quarter 2021 total revenue of $66 million…..A new podcast by Bloomberg News and iHeartMedia that investigates a massive transfer of wealth a century ago, out of Osage hands and into White ones – facilitated by the United States government — and how the Osage Nation is fighting to reverse decades of land loss today is being produced. The podcast, called “In Trust,” is hosted by Bloomberg reporter Rachel Adams-Heard, who says, “A hundred and fifty years ago, the Osage Nation bought a stretch of prairie the size of Delaware, in what’s now Oklahoma. The Osage owned the land and everything beneath it. Today, much of present-day Osage County has left Osage hands. In some cases, appropriation was swift and brutal: Dozens of Osages were murdered for their share of lucrative mineral rights to this oil-rich land, a period often referred to as the Reign of Terror. But other transfers of wealth played out more subtly—dollar by dollar and acre by acre, over decades—helped along by policies created by the US government. ‘In Trust’ is the story of that system. A system that moved wealth from Native hands to White ones. One that three brothers learned to operate, laying the foundation for a modern American dynasty of land and influence that continues to this day.”…..iHeartMedia announces that chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference on Tuesday September 13 at 1:45 pm ET. A live webcast of the session will be available to the general public at the start of the session through a link on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.
Special Master Ruling, Georgia Election Investigation, Midterms & 2024 Presidential Race, Russia-Ukraine War, Saskatchewan Stabbings Investigation, and Western Heatwave Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/6). Controversy over federal Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling to appoint a Special Master to review the documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence; the investigation into Donald Trump’s and Lindsey Graham’s interactions with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the breach of that state’s voting system allegedly by fake Trump electors; Tuesday’s primary races for the November midterms and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; the investigation into the deadly stabbings in Saskatchewan; and the brutal heatwave affecting the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Tim Van Horn of KWAM, Memphis is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes him as “one of the most likeable radio talk show hosts in America.” Tim Van Horn, host of “Wake-Up Memphis” – heard mornings on heritage station KWAM, Memphis – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Van Horn is familiar to radio and TV audiences in Memphis. For over a quarter century, he’s been a longtime meteorologist at NBC affiliate WMC-TV, a play-by-play commentator of Memphis 901 soccer games on ESPN+ and a radio personality on iHeart’s WREC-AM before joining the Todd Starnes-owned independent news/talker in 2020. Van Horn is a prime example of a local personality and family man whose roots run deep within a community and is considered an upstanding friend and a neighbor to the local population. Harrison and Van Horn take a deep-dive into the world of local radio and the elements that keep in ticking as an iconic medium of American culture. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Mike Hulvey Succeeds Beth Neuhoff as CEO of Neuhoff Communications. The leadership of Neuhoff Communications officially changes as longtime company COO Mike Hulvey is promoted to CEO and Beth Neuhoff steps down. Neuhoff – who assumed leadership of the company after the death of her husband Geoff 10 years ago – says, “Mike has a bold vision for where this company is going. He is an excellent team builder and knows what it takes to make Neuhoff the most important and community-focused local media operation in every market we serve. With his deep understanding of our operations and ability to lead both at our company and industry level, I can’t think of a better person to take the reins of this very special company.” In a letter to employees, Beth Neuhoff says the change is the result of “a thoughtful process dating back a few years. In fact, it likely would have happened sooner, but with the global pandemic and devastating impact it had on our company and industry, plans were delayed. While there is still work to do and business isn’t 100% back to normal, our recovery is well underway. Now is the right time to make the move. Mike has earned it.” Hulvey comments, “It is my distinct honor to assume the reins at Neuhoff Communications. We’ve worked hard to build this award-winning organization. I’m ready to build upon our firmly held values of community, innovation, grit, and excellence as this business evolves and grows into the future.” At the same time, the company announces a governance transition. Beth Neuhoff will be transitioning her role as corporate trustee of the company to Julian Hickman and Makena Neuhoff, grandchildren of the late broadcaster, Roger Neuhoff, over the next few months. Beth Neuhoff says, “It is exciting to see the next generation of Neuhoff’s take an active role in the company’s future. Their enthusiasm and breadth of experiences in business will be of tremendous benefit.”
Triton Digital Releases Top Podcast Report for June. The June 2022 Top Podcast Report from Triton Digital has been published. The report of the 100 top podcasts is based on weekly average downloads and in June, Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” jumped up to the #1 spot, edging NPR’s “NPR News Now” out of the lead and into the #2 spot. Steady in the #3 position is audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie.” Other radio-related podcasts of note on the chart include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” at #8, Salem Podcast Network’s “The Charlie Kirk Show” at #14, and Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Matt Walsh Show” and “The Mark Levin Show” at #18 and #21 respectively. See the complete chart here.
TALKERS News Notes. On Monday (7/25), KCMO-AM, Kansas City morning drive host Pete Mundo will host a special “Politics and a Pint” discussion with Missouri U.S. Senate Candidate Eric Greitens at the Jewel KC Event Space in Downtown Kansas City. This live event is KCMO Talk Radio’s fourth “Politics and a Pint” event featuring U.S. Senate Candidates and will feature Mundo having a candid conversation with Greitens, then opening the floor for a few questions from the audience…..Disruptor Radio, LLC is adding New York Yankees baseball to the programming schedule on WJFP-AM, Chester, Pennsylvania “Liberty Radio,” effective tonight. Disruptor president and CEO John Fredericks says, “We are thrilled to partner with the highest profile brand in baseball, the New York Yankees. We are very proud to be an official radio affiliate of the New York Yankees offering baseball fans in the greater Philadelphia area an opportunity to catch every pitch of every Yankees game.”…..Las Vegas-based, USA Radio Network syndicated talk host Wayne Allyn Root is launching a weekly TV show on the Real America’s Voice television network in which he’ll be talking about the “biggest stories of the week that every conservative, Christian, American patriot and Trump warrior needs to know.”…..Salem Radio Network’s SRN News is presenting a week-long special series on “The Future of NRB.” Beginning Monday (7/25), SRN News will explore the immediate and long-term outlook for the National Religious Broadcasters association. Featured prominently in the week’s reporting will be content from an extensive interview with the NRB’s new president and CEO Troy Miller.
January 6 Hearings, Midterms/2024 Election, The Economy, Heatwave/Global Warming, Abortion/LGBTQ Rights, Russia-Ukraine War, and COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/20). The ongoing January 6 hearings; November’s midterm elections, Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP, and speculation about the nominees in 2024; high gas & food prices, financial market activity, and fears of a recession; the record-breaking heat in Europe and the heatwave hitting much of the U.S. plus talk about global warming; the Roe v Wade protests and the House bill that would secure gay marriage rights; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the fast-spreading BA.5 subvariant pushing COVID-19 numbers up were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Pending Business: It Should Be Easy. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says in today’s column that advertising with your news/talk station should be easy. But, is it? He says, “I’m betting it’s more difficult than you think.” If you’ve never done it, try to call your station – from outside the building – and go through the process of reaching the sales department. Lapa offers a “self-check” to see how you do in the area of communication. Read more here.
Monday Memo: Bad News. Following-up last week’s column about how stations can better-exploit “good news,” consultant Holland Cooke outlines a playbook for “handling the gaffes inevitable in talk radio.” Read more here.
Cumulus Media and Daily Wire Partner for Local Digital News. A new syndication agreement between conservative news and entertainment media company The Daily Wire and Cumulus Media will include delivering Daily Wire digital content to Cumulus radio station websites in key markets across the United States. Under the terms of the deal, Daily Wire breaking news, original reporting, sports, and entertainment coverage by The Daily Wire is available on more than 50 Cumulus radio station websites, with plans to expand in the coming weeks. Cumulus Media EVP of corporate marketing and president of Westwood One, Suzanne Grimes, says, “This new deal expands our partnership with Daily Wire to include yet another Cumulus distribution platform. Our listeners now have a new way to engage with high quality content from The Daily Wire, in real time, on our Cumulus local stations’ websites.” Westwood One and Daily Wire already partner to deliver “The Ben Shapiro Radio Show.” Last year, Westwood One and Daily Wire announced they were expanding broadcast programming offerings with the addition of “The Michael Knowles Show” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.
‘The Regular Joe Show’ Enters Syndication with Genesis Communications Network. Talk radio host Joe Giganti announces he and Genesis Communications Network are partnering to nationally syndicate his “The Regular Joe Show.” His program has been regionally syndicated throughout Wisconsin from his home base at Midwest Communications’ WTAQ, Green Bay since 2020. Giganti says, “When I moved to Green Bay in 2007 from my native Washington, D.C., I quickly recognized the pivotal role Wisconsin specifically and the heartland generally play in our national political identity. This impact was drawn into crystal-clear focus with the intrigue surrounding the 2020 elections.” GCN affiliates director Adam Miller comments, “The GCN family is excited to welcome ‘The Regular Joe Show’ to its morning lineup! With a proven track record in Green Bay and markets across Wisconsin as a whole, we look forward to seeing this broadcast perform at a national scale as our country transitions into an uncertain and polarized future.”
iHeartMedia Names Whalley VP of Sales for WOR-AM and WAXQ-FM in New York. Radio sales pro Brittany Whalley joins iHeartMedia New York as vice president of sales for news/talk WOR-AM “The Voice of New York” and classic rock WAXQ-FM “Q104.3.” In this role, Whalley will be responsible for overseeing the Q104.3 and 710 WOR sales teams, including sales growth and strategic partnerships. She will report to SVP of sales Steve DeLusant. Whalley joins the iHeartMedia New York team from Cox Media Group’s Long Island station group where she was general sales manager. She says, “iHeartMedia is a massive leader in the audio space and I am ecstatic to be joining their NYC team. I look forward to collaborating with the incredibly talented sales team and achieving goals the leadership team has put in place. The abundance of resources available at iHeartMedia to super-serve clients is a dream come true.”
TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated early afternoon program “The Todd Starnes Show” has two new affiliates in the Sunflower State as Steckline Communications adds the 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET show to KQAM, Wichita and KIUL, Garden City, Kansas…..ESPN Radio announces that it is teaming former New York Giants star Chris Canty (left) and sports radio pro Chris Carlin (right) for the new 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET “Canty & Carlin” program, effective April 25. Canty says, “I’m fired up to work with Carlin. We were able to establish chemistry going back to our days working at 98.7 FM in New York. He’s a pro’s pro that puts in the work to be at his best and also bring out the best in others. We both take sports seriously, but we won’t take ourselves seriously. We’ll keep our audience informed, make them think and hopefully get a few laughs along the way.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that current WBBM-FM “B96” weekend personality Gabe Ramirez is beginning a dual role with Audacy Chicago. He’s now a regular fill-in host on sports talk WSCR “The Score.” He begins his work with the station hosting the evening show this week. Also, WSCR promotes Chris Tannehill to senior audio producer…..Federal Communications Commission chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt will participate in a fireside chat on the NAB Show on April 25 in Las Vegas. LeGeyt says, “In today’s hyper-competitive media landscape, a regulatory framework that allows local radio and television stations to evolve, adapt and better serve their audiences is of vital importance. Broadcasters look forward to hearing from chairwoman Rosenworcel about her role as the head of a critical agency and her outlook on the future of our industry.”
Russia-Ukraine War, the Economy/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Hunter Biden Investigation, January 6 Committee/Greene Challenge, Macron-Le Pen Race, COVID-19, and Elon Musk & Twitter Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and the U.S.’s reaction to the war; the state of the U.S. economy, including high gas and food prices; the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the ongoing DOJ investigation into Hunter Biden’s international business ventures; the January 6 committee’s investigation into the Capitol assault and a challenge to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s candidacy for re-election based on allegations she encouraged the January 6 attack; the race for France’s presidency between liberal Emmanuel Macron and conservative Marine Le Pen; concerns about a new wave of COVID in the U.S. as China continues harsh lockdowns; and Elon Musk declines to take a seat on Twitter’s board after acquiring a 9% stake in the company were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.