Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Compass Media Networks announces that Connoisseur Media’s stations in Connecticut and Long Island are charter affiliates for SPECai, a joint venture between Compass Media Networks, Benztown, and ENCO, that provides radio stations with creative custom spec commercials in mere seconds using AI technology.

Former sports talk KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” programmer Raj Sharan joins Cumulus Media’s country KATC-FM, Colorado Springs as afternoon host and promotions director for the station.

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TALKERS News Notes

The latest editions of Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes’ podcast “Chachi Loves Everybody” features two radio executives as Denes interviews Dennis Green, COO, Key Networks and Sun & Fun Media, and Jeff Warshaw, founder and CEO of Connoisseur Media. Listen to the podcasts here.

Edison Research announces that The Infinite Dial 2024 will be presented on March 28 live at Podcast Movement Evolutions in Los Angeles. A free streaming option will be available for those not attending the conference in person. Edison says, “The study provides important benchmark measures for usage and behavior around streaming audio, podcasting, radio, smart audio, social media, and more. The 2024 Infinite Dial will be presented by Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick.

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TALKERS News Notes

Benztown will release the 10th Annual Benztown 50 List of Radio’s Biggest Imaging Voices, “the radio industry’s exclusive listing of the top 50 voiceover artists in the U.S. and Canada.” The Benztown 50 list is based on several criteria, including number of radio station affiliates, station size and market. Benztown has partnered with P1 Media Group to compile and analyze industry data that will be the foundation for this distinction. Apply now through March 1. Voice talent can apply here.

Syndicated Solutions, Inc celebrates its 25th Anniversary. The company was founded in February 1999 by Robert Carey and has successfully syndicated many radio shows over the years, including the current travel show “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa,” and the “Rick & Bubba Show” that is in the process of being transitioned into “The Rick Burgess Show.” Carey says, “It’s incredibly gratifying to have incubated SSI from a business trip conversation with George Green while working for Disney/ABC and successfully growing it into the company that SSI became for so many of our operating years, as well as the evolution into the more focused firm that we are today.”

FOX Sports Radio’s “The Paulie and Tony Fusco Show” was awarded the 2024 Sports Podcast Award for “Best Sports Comedy,” from The Sports Podcast Group. “The Paulie and Tony Fusco Show” is a satire of sports talk radio and “hot take” media personalities. It is written, produced, and hosted by veteran sports talk producers Andrew Samson and Sharief Ali, who play two Philadelphia Eagles fans who claim to have the “smartest” sports takes, when in reality their takes are terrible.

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TALKERS News Notes

Audacy files applications for entry of an order authorizing the retention and employment of four firms with the bankruptcy court. Those include Porter Hedges LLP as co-counsel for the debtors, FTI Consulting Inc as financial advisor to the debtors, PJT Partners LP as investment banker to the debtors, and Latham & Watkins LLP as bankruptcy co-counsel for the debtors and debtors in possession.

Benztown, P1 Media Group, and Global Radio Ideas Facebook Group are hosting a free webinar for radio professionals around the globe, titled, “How Radio Talent Can Survive and Thrive in 2024.” It features special guest Paul Anderson, CEO of Workhouse Media. The 40-minute webinar will be hosted by Benztown CEO Andreas Sannemann and P1 Media Group partner Ken Benson. Get more info and register here.

AUN Television Network president and CEO Rick Trader announces the launch of a 12-part special designed to educate Americans about the Constitution and its amendments. Titled, “Our Country, Our Freedoms, Our Constitution: Lessons for Freedom,” the programs debut on February 4 across the network and its 11 broadcast television stations.

New England Public Media unveils a new, weekly radio show and podcast called, “The Rundown with Carrie Saldo,” that premieres Friday (2/2) 9:00 am to 10:00 am following NPR’s “Morning Edition” on WFCR-FM, Amherst, Massachusetts “88.5 NEPM.” The station says, “Each week, listeners will hear a lively conversation with reporters from newsrooms around western Massachusetts, giving their take on the news and events that shaped the week, and providing analysis, context, insights, and varying perspectives.”

Industry Views

Benztown CEO/Founder Andreas Sannemann is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast

The CEO/founder of Benztown, one of the world’s most successful creators and suppliers of radio station jingles and imaging, Andreas Sannemann is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Sannemann is a leading international audio imaging specialist, composer and entrepreneur based at Benztown’s European headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. He joined forces with Dave “Chachi” Denes (who is a past guest on this podcast) and Oliver Klenk in 2008 to form the company.  Benztown’s American headquarters are located in Glendale, California. The international production giant provides imaging and other types of programming content and branding to radio stations in the United States, Germany, England, Australia, New Zealand, and more servicing over 2,300 affiliates on six continents. Audio imaging for the 21st Century and beyond – that’s Sannemann’s mission! Michael Harrison says, “I’ve been talking with broadcast industry leaders around the globe, as we lead up to the United Nations ‘World Radio Day 2024’ on February 13, to acquire a greater comprehension of the massive scope of this medium beyond the US. Sannemann and I discuss the state of radio around the world from his knowledgeable perspective in Germany.  I’ve always had a special place in my heart for jingles and imaging. The audio jingle has gone through many incarnations over the years, but our modern world has not grown so sophisticated as to relegate them to being a relic of the past. Catchy, ear-wormy jingles are still a major part of product branding, and this continues to be a rich and valued tradition in the radio business where personalities, shows and especially stations regularly present a harmonic group of people singing names and call letters. Jingles and imaging are a key part of the radio ‘esthetic.’ Radio-lovers and audiophiles will find this conversation illuminating.” Harrison is serving as executive advisor to UNESCO for “World Radio Day 2024.” Listen to the podcast in its entirety here

Industry News

Affiliate Sales Pro Tim McDonald Retires

Imaging and voiceover firm Benztown announces that longtime affiliate sales pro Tim McDonald is retiring from the radio business after a successful 40-year career. McDonald joined Benztown in 2019 as a member of its affiliate sales team. Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes says, “I’ve learned immensely from Tim. He’s contributed greatly to our success and I’m thankful to have worked with him over the last five years. We thank him for sharing his talents with us and wish him every success in his next chapter.”

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TALKERS News Notes

FOX News Channel correspondent Benjamin Hall traveled to Kyiv, Ukraine this past weekend for the first time since the attack that left him catastrophically injured in March of 2022. The trip, organized by Fox Corporation executive chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch, included a sit-down interview with Volodymyr Zelenskyy that will air on “Special Report with Bret Baier” November 21. Amid enduring more than 30 surgeries over the last 20 months, Hall chronicled his journey in Saved: A War Reporter’s Mission to Make it Home which was published in March 2023 and became a New York Times bestseller.

Cox Media Group Atlanta’s radio stations partnered with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to collect 14,478 pounds of food between November 11-18. The effort by news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and its three music-formatted sister stations, generated 16,965 meals for food-insecure individuals in Georgia. CMG Atlanta VP and market manager Jaleigh Long says, “This year was a record-breaking year for pounds of food collected that will make a positive impact on our community. We’re thankful for the partnership with Atlanta Community Food Bank and grateful to be able to help struggling families during this time of ‘thanks’ and ‘giving.’”

Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes has dropped new episodes of his “Chachi Loves Everybody” podcast and one is an interview with newly elevated president of The Weiss Agency, Heather Cohen.

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TALKERS News Notes

PodcastOne is planning a studio launch party on Monday in Beverly Hills with special guests including its longtime star podcaster Adam Carolla.

Benztown is releasing the holiday imaging and programming library “Christmas in a Box” that comes free to stations with Benztown library subscriptions. It includes more than 5,000 tracks of audio Christmas cheer.

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TALKERS News Notes

Benztown announces that the StudioTexter texting service and contesting and communications platform created exclusively for radio stations has signed 28 new affiliates in Q3 and Q4, bringing the total number of station affiliates to 100. Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes says, “More than 50% of American consumers respond to a text within two minutes, checking their messages around 11 times a day. StudioTexter is a powerful tool, enabling more efficient and authentic engagement with your audience like never before.”

Salem Media Group, Inc announces that it plans to report its third quarter 2023 financial results after the market closes on November 13, 2023. The company plans to host a teleconference to discuss its results that day at 5:00 pm ET.

Premiere Networks and media executive and consultant Buzz Knight announced a partnership to bring Knight’s podcast “Takin’ A Walk: Music History on Foot” to the iHeartPodcast Network, effective immediately. The show features “insightful conversations with interesting people who discuss their love of music. In each episode, Knight takes listeners on a journey through music history with guests who share stories and insights about musicians, bands and the music they create.”

Industry News

ENCO, Benztown and Compass Partner on SpecAI Service

ENCO joins forces with Benztown and Compass Media Networks to bring its SpecAI ad creation solution to the North American radio broadcast market. The companies say the SpecAI technology can help broadcasters create spec ads for sponsors on demand, alleviating the time, energy, and costs of traditional production methods while accelerating the sales process and time to market. Compass CFO Hiram Lazar says, “AI adoption has swiftly moved forward over the last few months, and as the largest player in spec commercials for over 10 years we recognized it was time to offer an AI solution for our clients. Using Benztown’s libraries, we can now give our clients the option to produce ads with an AI voice or a live voice to customize prerecorded spec commercials.”

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher began yesterday’s program launching an emergency campaign raising funds for Israeli victims through the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Gallagher’s campaign is also being highlighted on other Salem Media Group platforms including SRN News, TOWNHALL.com, and several local morning shows including Mark Davis’ program on KSKY, Dallas and Joey Hudson’s show on WGTK-FM in Greenville, South Carolina as well as TOWNHALL News.

According to an article in the New York Post (10/7) by reporter Brooke Kato, scientists have unsheathed an electrifying new treatment for erectile dysfunction that’s possibly better than popping a little blue pill — AM radio waves!  New research published in the International Journal of Impotence Research suggested that self-administered, low-intensity radio frequency zaps to the penis could be effective for ED treatment due to anatomical and physiological changes in the penile tissue. When used at lower frequencies, the radio waves create heat, due to the interaction between molecules and ions, triggering “structural changes” and the creation of collagen and elastic fibers, according to study author Dr. Ilan Gruenwald. Read the complete article here.

International imaging firm Benztown and research company P1 Media Group are hosting a free webinar for radio professionals titled, “Checking in on the World’s First AI Presenter – Is This Radio’s Future?” The 40-minute webinar will be hosted by Andreas Sannemann, CEO, Benztown, and Ken Benson, partner, P1 Media Group, and will feature AI pioneer Dylan Salisbury, content director, “Live 95.5,” in Portland, OR, and creator of the first AI radio personality in the world, “AI Ashley.”

The Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) announces that radio legend Delilah will be honored with the inaugural Gracies Icon Award at the 2023 Gracies Leadership Awards. The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated personality “will be celebrated for her outstanding contributions to the world of radio and her unwavering commitment to uplifting and empowering listeners.” AWM will honor her at the Gracies Leadership Awards on November 13 at Tribeca 360° in New York City, alongside previously announced honorees.

The Broadcasters Foundation of America elects Adrienne Roark, president of content development and integration for CBS News, Stations, and CBS Media Ventures to its Board of Directors.

Industry News

LABF to Present Webinar Series

The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation is presenting a webinar series titled “LABF Radio & Podcast Power Session.” The series was created by Benztown president and LABF board member Dave “Chachi” Denes with support from the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) and theim University of Maryland. Industry experts presenting in the three-part series include: programming with consultant Mike McVay; promotion and marketing insight with Benztown marketing director Susan Aksu-Magarian; and behind the scenes of owning a station with Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan, among others. Denes says, “I was honored to lead the ‘LABF Radio & Podcasting Power Session,’ and I want to thank the incredible talent and executives that participated for their contributions and presentations as well as technical producers, Robby Gessel and Trevor Adams. We have high hopes that this session will prove valuable to students and ignite their enthusiasm for the radio and podcasting mediums that hold a special place in our hearts.”

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TALKERS News Notes

Benztown and Envisionwise are hosting a free webinar for radio professionals titled, “Keeping it Real in the Digital Age,” with host Mike McVay, president of McVay Media, and guests Jackie Parks, founder/CEO of Envisionwise; Peter Smyth, former chairman and CEO of Greater Media, Inc; and Sheri Lynch, co-host of “The Bob & Sheri Show.” The 45-minute webinar on Friday (10/6) at 1:00 pm ET will provide specific tools and strategies for increasing stations’ digital revenue. You can register here.

Audacy announces an expansion of its relationship with Puck and the launch of “About a Boy: The Story of Vladimir Putin” – a five-part documentary podcast series exploring the forces that shaped Russian President Vladimir Putin’s childhood (and life) and why it’s critical to understanding what he might do next in the war against Ukraine. The series is written and narrated by Julia Ioffe, Puck founding partner and Washington correspondent, and one of the leading journalists covering Russia and Putin.

Salem Media Group says “Grace and Truth with Owen Strachan” is joining the Salem Podcast Network. Owen Strachan is provost and research professor of Theology at Grace Bible Theological Seminary and is the author of 20 books, including his latest, The War on Men: Why Society Hates Them and Why We Need Them (Salem Books, 2023). Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce comments, “Salem Podcast Network continues to add multi-talented podcasters who share our worldview. Owen is an amazing voice for what is true and right in America, and adding him to our platform is a home run. I can’t wait to become a regular listener when he gets started.”

iHeartPodcasts announces the return of the “Work in Progress” podcast for its third season. The program features actor, producer, and activist Sophia Bush and in the first two episodes she interviews former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki along with an interview with actor Matthew McConaughey.

Industry News

Benztown Offers Free Halloween AudioPack

The imaging pros at Benztown are offering a free Halloween AudioPack with more than 20 thrilling audioim pieces designed to bring some eerie seasonal sounds to stations of all formats. Sounds featured in the free Benztown Halloween AudioPack include: ghoulish whispers, clinking chains, blood-hungry zombies, creepy-crawly SFX, hauntingly horrific musicbeds, and more sonic treats and audio hocus pocus. Get it now through October 31by visiting Benztown here.  

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes’ latest episodes of his “Chachi Loves Everybody” podcast feature Workhouse Media CEO Paul Anderson and former Greater Media chairman and CEO Peter Smyth. You can hear the podcasts here.

Hope Media Group announces that Mike McCall is named chief of donor engagement for the firm. He most recently served in a similar position with Educational Media Foundation. Hope Media Group says, “Mike has been blessed with a 30-year journey of building successful donor relationships and leading large teams of development officers.”

Industry News

Benztown Offers Free Labor Day AudioPack

Radio imaging, voiceover, programming, podcasting, and jingles company Benztown is offering radio stations a free Labor Day Weekend AudioPack. Available now through September 1, the Benztown Labor Day Weekendim AudioPack has 20 pieces of audio available to download including SFX and musicbeds. It includes party ambiance, sunny musicbeds, Labor Day listener drops, glass clinking, beer-drinking, BBQ sizzlin’, pool splashing SFX. Find out more here.