Cumulus Media announces new personalities in middays on its sports talk outlet KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas-Fort Worth “The Ticket.” Former “Ticket” host Matt McClearin re-joins the station after two years on-air at the company’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham, Alabama. He’s partnering with “Ticket” personality Donovan Lewis for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show, filling the role of retired “Ticket” host Norm Hitzges. New to the daily lineup is the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm duo of Sean Bass and David Mino. Bass has been with “The Ticket” for 22 years, most recently as producer of “The Norm and D Invasion.” Mino has been with the station for 11 years, most recently as producer of “The Hardline” afternoon drive show. Station program director Jeff Catlin comments, “I couldn’t be more excited for the midday makeover on ‘The Ticket.’ Matt, Sean, and Mino have all earned this opportunity. All three guys are well-known and well-liked by our passionate listeners and their ‘Ticket’ teammates. They will fit in well and make this a seamless transition.”
iHeartMedia promotes Blake Fulton to market president for the Alabama markets of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. Fulton has been serving with the company as a regional SVP of sales. iHeartMedia Midsouth Area president Ronnie Bloodworth says, “Blake will bring his energy and leadership skills to our teams and help serve our clients, listeners and communities to be the best in the industry. I’m excited for the future.” Fulton comments, “The plan and vision the leadership team at iHeartMedia shared with me, along with the wildly talented teams in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa, has me beyond excited about the days ahead. I can’t wait to collaborate, both internally and externally, to develop market leading content and drive results for the thriving business communities in these three amazing markets.”
Salem to Acquire Four More Miami Signals for Spanish Programming. A day after announcing that it is acquiring Miami market station WMYM-AM and translator W254DT (98.7 FM) from Actualidad Media Group, LLC, Salem Media Group reveals its deal with Fenix Broadcasting Corporation and co-owned WRHC Broadcasting Corporation to buy the assets of Spanish news outlet WWFE-AM 670 and translator W276DV (103.1 FM) along with Spanish news WRHC-AM and translator W254DV (98.7 FM). Salem says it intends to continue broadcasting in Spanish post-closing. Salem Media executive chairman Edward Atsinger comments, “From this nation’s early days its voices of freedom spoke loudly and were heard. This is one reason we are a true democracy, and not a totalitarian regime. At a time when the voices of freedom in Spanish-language programming are threatened, it is our duty to step up and serve the South Florida audience. For over four decades Salem Media Group has provided a platform for conservative voices on-air, and now online, and in print. Now we will do the same for South Florida’s Spanish-speaking community as well, as we add leading Spanish-speaking voices of freedom to our lineup. The recent passing of Fenix Broadcasting’s president and founder Jorge Rodriguez, Sr. makes this effort even more timely as we work to build upon the broadcast legacy that he and his wife Ana, and son Jorge, Jr. have created. Jorge Sr.’s passionate fight for freedom defined his operation of WWFE AM 670 ‘La Poderosa’ and WRHC AM 1550 ‘Cadena Azul.’ We are grateful to be entrusted with these legendary stations as a platform for our new Spanish-language conservative programming.”
Cumulus Media Names Sly King Promotions Director for Birmingham Station Group. Seventeen-year radio pro Sly King is named promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham cluster that includes news/talk WAPI-FM/WZRR-FM, sports talk outlets WJOX-FM, WJOX-AM, and WJQX-FM, plus urban AM WUHT-FM. King started his radio career as an intern with WUHT-FM, and later serving the station as producer of the popular nationally syndicated morning program, “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.” In addition to King’s new role as promotions director, he continues his on-air role on WUHT-FM. Cumulus Birmingham VP and market manager James Robinson comments, “I am excited to announce Sly King as our new promotions director in Birmingham. I am proud to promote from within our Birmingham team, someone who has been committed to the Birmingham community for many years. I believe Sly will continue his dedicated hard work and will take the Cumulus Birmingham team to new heights.”
Podtrac to Unveil New Sales Network Ranking. The company says its new Podtrac Sales Network Ranking “showcases the reach and delivery of podcast networks that provide important advertising options to the industry across all of the shows they represent.” Podtrac says this new ranking “provides advertisers with free monthly access to Podtrac reach and delivery information for top sales networks. The networks on the new ranking represent more than 38,000 podcasts and 500 million monthly downloads.” Topping the list is Wondery’s sales network with a US monthly audience of 25 million which includes podcasts they represent on their Art19 platform. Other networks on the ranking include podcast ad and publishing platforms Acast and Libsyn AdvertiseCast, both newly measured by Podtrac, plus PodcastOne. You can see the inaugural ranking here. Since 2016, Podtrac has published its monthly ranking of Top Podcasts and Top Podcast Publishers.
TALKERS News Notes. The National Football League and iHeartMedia announce the NFL Podcast Network’s fall programming lineup. In September, the NFL and iHeartMedia launched a series of new shows including: “NFL Now,” with Andrew Siciliano; “NFL Total Access”; and “NFL GameDay View,” with Rachel Bonnetta, Cynthia Frelund, Gregg Rosenthal and Patrick Claybon. This month, they will debut new podcasts including: “The Season with Peter Schrager”; “El Huddle,” hosted by Will Selva and MJ Acosta-Ruiz; and “NFL Players: Second Acts,” with former All-Pro Charles “Peanut” Tillman and former Pro-Bowler Roman Harper…..CNN Audio launches the new podcast, “The Assignment with Audie Cornish,” on November 17. CNN says, “In this candid weekly show, Cornish will convene conversations with everyday people at the center of debates that are rocking the culture with topics spanning the arts, education, politics, business, and sports – people living behind the headlines in the very heart of the zeitgeist. Listeners will hear stories from inside the communities and cultures shaping what we experience.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals announces the second season of the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning investigative franchise, “Gone South.” In season 2, producer and journalist Jed Lipinski investigates the Dixie Mafia, “a rag-tag confederation of traveling criminals who terrorized the Southeastern United States beginning in the early 1960s.”…..Audacy, Inc. says it will report its 2022 third quarter financial results before the market opens on Tuesday, November 8. The company will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast at 11:00 am ET that morning to review the results and recent progress against its strategic initiatives. Previously, Cumulus Media Group announced that it would present its 2022 third quarter financial results on October 28…..VSiN, The Sports Betting Network, adds new affiliate stations as iHeartMedia’s KEGL-FM, Dallas-Fort Worth “97.1 The Freak” and WAIO-FM, Rochester add VSiN programming to their weekend schedules.
Midterms, Trump Legal Issues, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy, Ye-George Floyd Case, Xi Jinping, Iran Protests, and Dan Snyder Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18). The debates ahead of the November midterm elections and speculation about which party will control the House and the Senate; the various legal battles former President Donald Trump is facing; Russia’s use of kamikaze drones to target Ukraine’s infrastructure; high food & gas prices, the up & down financial markets and predictions of a recession; the daughter of George Floyd announces $250 million suit against Ye for statements about Floyd’s cause of death; China’s President Xi Jinping is named to third five-year term; the protests rocking Iran’s power structure; and Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder defends himself after allegations he’s hired private investigators to find “dirt” on his fellow owners were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Attorney Arthur Aidala to Host Nightly Show on Salem’s ‘AM 970 The Answer.’ New York news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” adds Big Apple attorney Arthur Aidala to the daily lineup with 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm “Aidala Power Hour: Making The Case For The City He Loves” program. Salem Media Group New York operations manager Matthew Sambolin says, “Arthur Aidala puts on a show in the courtroom, and now he gets to do it in front of the biggest judge of all – the New York City Tri-State region. Can’t wait to hear what he brings to afternoon drive, with no objections!” Aidala is the managing partner of the Law Offices of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, P.C. and the former senior DA of Kings County, New York. He currently represents such high-profile clients as Alan Dershowitz, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Harvey Weinstein. He has been a recurrent guest on ‘The Joe Piscopo Show’ and ‘Radio Night Live’ with Kevin McCullough, as well as a legal commentator for 12 years on FOX News Channel. Aidala says, “I am honored and excited to join the talk radio team lineup at ‘AM 970 The Answer.’ With the ‘Power Hour’, we will be sitting down with the key New Yorkers to get to the heart of what makes this city tick.”
Vining Named PD at Cumulus Media’s ‘Talk 99.5’ in Birmingham. Talk radio pro Valerie Vining is named program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WZRR-FM, Birmingham “Talk 99.5.” Vining has been serving as morning drive co-host of the “Dixon & Vining” program (with Richard Dixon), a role in which she will continue. Prior to that, she spent more than 13 years as news director for Cumulus Birmingham. Vining says, “I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to take on the role of program director for WZRR ‘Talk 99.5’ Birmingham. My radio career, which spans over 30 years, has prepared me for this moment and challenge and I look forward to taking my team to the next level. Thank you to James Robinson and Ryan Haney for believing in me and my abilities. I’m so proud to work for Cumulus Media.”
Ramsey Solutions Hosts Free ‘Building Wealth’ Livestream. This Thursday (1/13), nationally syndicated radio star Dave Ramsey will host a free livestream at 8:00 pm ET titled, “Building Wealth in 2022.” Joining Ramsey will be New York Times bestselling author Rachel Cruze and host of “The Fine Print” podcast, George Kamel. According to Ramsey Solutions’ State of Personal Finance study, more than half of Americans (56%) feel behind on investing. And 42% aren’t saving for retirement at all. Dave Ramsey says, “There are a lot of investing trends right now claiming they’re the best way to get rich. But I’ve done stupid with a lot of zeros at the end, and I’ve coached people who hit bottom from bad investments. From my 30 years on the radio, I’ve seen over and over that real millionaires follow a proven plan for their money, not a get-rich-quick scheme. This free event will show you it’s possible for you too. Now is the time to prepare for your future.”
On-Air Changes at iHeartMedia’s ‘XTRA 1360’ San Diego. Drive time changes take place at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLSD-AM, San Diego “XTRA 1360.” New to morning drive is “The Hartman and Rich O Show” with Steve Hartman and Rich Ohrnberger and in afternoon drive, the “Jon and Jim” show with Jon Schaeffer and Jim Russell debuts. Hartman and Ohrnberger currently work together on FOX Sports Radio and have successfully hosted together on XTRA 1360’s “Loose Cannons” show. Schaeffer and Russell also host “The Wrap-Up Show” following San Diego Padres games. “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd continues to air weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, followed by “The Darren Smith Show” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest says, “This exciting new lineup caters to the desires of sports fans in San Diego. In addition to providing the very best sports talk, we’ll also continue to provide our listeners with unparalleled access to the NFL, the Padres, San Diego State University athletics, and all San Diego sports news.”
BIN: Black Information Network Wins Innovation Award. The Black American-targeted radio format from iHeartMedia – BIN: Black Information Network – wins the 2022 BIG Innovation Award in the media category from the Business Intelligence Group. BIN: Black Information Network was launched in June of 2020 as a 24/7 comprehensive national audio news network dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news with a Black voice and perspective. It is focused on service to the Black community and providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding. It is heard over the air in 32 markets and is distributed nationally through the iHeartRadio app. Business Intelligence Group COO Maria Jiminez says, “Innovation is driving growth in the global economy. We are thrilled to be honoring Black Information Network as they are one of the organizations leading this charge and helping humanity progress.” BIN president Tony Coles comments, “Innovation has been one of BIN’s core values since our inception. It drives us to keep growing and creating spaces for the Black community to hear and contribute to the news that matters most to them. It’s an honor to be recognized with an incredible lineup of organizations and individuals who share the value of innovation and prove it in their work every day.”
AdLarge and G Networks Announces Sales Partnership. The two firms announce that they have entered into an ad sales partnership that will create “a new dynamic and impressive ad sales powerhouse in network audio.” In addition to continuing to represent content producers, AdLarge will oversee the management, sales, and fulfillment of the network audio ad sales inventory for both companies. G Networks will continue to offer and affiliate their premium programming and services through their existing affiliations team to radio stations across the U.S. G Networks president Warren Friedland states, “We’re excited to partner with AdLarge. AdLarge has a reputation for delivering innovative campaigns to help brands reach their media goals. AdLarge’s ad sales efforts coupled with our own extremely targeted networks will lead to a better return on investment for advertisers, brands, and agencies.” AdLarge co-CEO Gary Schonfeld adds, “This unique partnership will enhance our already robust ad sales networks, as well as generate greater critical mass and increased coverage of major markets. This is a win-win for the advertisers and the network audio community. The partnership with G Networks will greatly benefit the audio campaigns of our advertisers and agency partners.”
TALKERS News Notes. Personality Jesse Watters is named host of FOX News Channel’s 7:00 pm ET hour. The new program, “Jesse Watters Primetime” will launch on January 24. Watters will continue his current role as a co-host on “The Five.” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “Jesse’s versatility and hosting acumen has grown exponentially over the last five years, and he has developed a deep connection to the audience through two hit shows, ‘The Five’ and ‘Watters’ World.’ We look forward to watching him expand his connection even further through this new solo weeknight hour.”…..Cumulus Media and DCP Entertainment unveil the second season lineup for DCP’s award-winning podcast, “Say Their Name,” on the Cumulus Podcast Network. The series focuses on the stories of Black individuals who were assaulted and killed by police and in ‘Stand Your Ground’ states, with an emphasis on the women who often get overlooked. The first episode in the series marks the one-year anniversary of the attack on the United States Capitol with a look back at Miriam Carey, who was killed in 2013 by law enforcement.
Broadcasters Foundation to Honor Lesley Visser with Lifetime Achievement Award. Sports media legend Lesley Visser is being honored by the Broadcasters Foundation of America with its Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented during the Golden Mike Award gala and fundraiser, being held on March 14, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Visser is the only sportscaster – male or female – to have worked on network broadcasts of the Final Four, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, the Triple Crown, the Olympics, the U.S. Open, and the World Figure Skating Championship. BFoA Foundation chairman Scott Herman says, “Lesley has an extraordinary number of ‘firsts’ in her accomplished and impressive career. We’re very proud to recognize her many accomplishments, not only as a pioneering female sportscaster, but as a prominent leader in sports broadcasting, overall.” Visser says, “I am enormously honored to be recognized by the Broadcasters Foundation of America, which is vital to our colleagues who find themselves in need of help during times of unimaginable hardship. It’s essential that we acknowledge and support such a charitable endeavor.”
COVID-19, Voting Rights, January 6, Midterm Elections, Economy/Supply Chain, U.S.-Russia Relations, and Bob Saget Passing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/10). The soaring rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Omicron variant, vaccine mandates, and school policies; President Joe Biden’s pressure to change filibuster rules for voting rights legislation; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the November midterm elections and Joe Biden’s low approval ratings; the state of the U.S. economy and the ongoing supply chain woes; the U.S. and Russia negotiate over Ukraine; and TV icon Bob Saget dies unexpectedly at 65 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.