Industry News TALKERS 2024

TALKERS Conference 2024 Set for Friday, June 7

Powerful Speaker Roster Being Set for TALKERS 2024 – Glenn Beck, Fred Toucher and Brian Kilmeade to Appear in Key Roles 

The 27th annual presentation of the longest running and most important national talk media gathering scheduled for Friday, June 7 at Hofstra University on Long Island is being organized with 60+ industry notables set to speak.  Highlights include a special guest keynote address by Premiere Networks superstar Glenn Beck in addition to exclusive morning and afternoon “Fireside Chats” with WBZ-FM, Boston (“98.5 FM The Sports Hub) morning co-host Fred Toucher and FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel host Brian Kilmeade, respectively.

The power-packed, one-day event will again be presented by TALKERS  in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio. TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “We are delighted to be able to join forces again with our colleagues at Hofstra – the site of our very successful 2023, 2022, 2021 and 2016 events – and enjoy the remarkable resources that its Lawrence Herbert School of Communication brings to the table.” TALKERS 2024 will boldly address key issues – some existential – facing the talk radio and talk media industries at this dramatically critical juncture of rapidly accelerating technological and societal change as well as identifying the remarkable opportunities inherent in these developments. The focus, as always, will be on talk radio and its changing relationship with the larger arena of “audio” and “video” including podcasting, satellite, and digital venues. News/talk, sports talk, all-news, and general talk will be amply covered. The conference will also provide participants with unique and powerful networking opportunities.

The speakers already confirmed include (in alphabetical order) Dr. Asa Andrew, host/owner, The Doctor Asa Show/The Doctor Asa Network; Michael “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield, MA; Glenn Beck, host, “The Glenn Beck Show”/Premiere Networks; Vince Benedetto, CEO/founder, Bold Gold Media Group; David Bernstein; GM, broadcast operations, TALKERS; Scot Bertram, GM, WRFH/Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM; Grace Blazer, VP, national NTS brand coordinator, director of news and AM programming Florida region, iHeartMedia Miami; Phil Boyce, SVP, spoken word format, Salem Media Group; Ops VP, New York region/WMCA/ AM 970 The Answer; Bill Brady, owner/host, KFNX, Phoenix; John Caracciolo, President/CEO, JVC Broadcasting; Howie Carr, host, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kathy Carr, president, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS; Heather Cohen, president, The Weiss Agency; Alex Fife, VP operations, Southeast, iHeartMedia – Total Traffic & Weather Network; Rob Finnerty, host, “Wake Up America,” Newsmax TV; John Fredericks, owner/host, John Fredericks Radio Network; Mike Gallagher, host, Salem Radio Network; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Steven Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media; Dave Gorab, VP/GM, talk programming, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Lee Habeeb, CEO/host, “Our American Stories”/American Private Radio; Lee Harris, director, integrated operations, NewsNation/WGN, Chicago; Matthew B. Harrison, VP, associate publisher TALKERS/senior partner, Harrison Media Law; Michael Harrison, publisher, TALKERS; Ron Hartenbaum, managing member, WYD Media; Scott Herman, chairman, Broadcasters Foundation of America; Bill Hess, corporate program director, news/talk, Cumulus Media/PD, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, host, WPG, Atlantic City; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Jeff Katz, host, WRVA, Richmond; Brian Kilmeade, host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Kraig T. Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Chris Krok, host, WBAP, Dallas; Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York; Steve Lapa, president, Lapcom Communications Corp; Josh Leng, CEO/founder, Talk Media Network; Danielle Lin, host, “The Art of Living and the Science of Life”; Chad Lopez, president, WABC, New York/Red Apple Audio Network; Mark Lukasiewicz, dean, Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, Hofstra University; Mike McVay, president, McVay Media Consulting; Frank Morano, host, WABC, New York/Red Apple Audio Networks; John T. Mullen, GM, WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University; Chris Oliviero, market president, Audacy New York; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, “The Joe Pags Show”; Deborah Parenti, publisher, Radio Ink/RBR+TVBRWalter Sabo, consultant, Sabo Media Implementers/host “Sterling On Sunday,” TMN; Greg Stocker, brand manager, WPHT, Philadelphia; Tavis Smiley, host/owner, KBLA, Los Angeles/Smiley AudioMedia; Todd Starnes, host/president, The Todd Starnes Show Syndication/owner, KWAM, Memphis; Doug Stephan, CEO/founder, Stephan Multimedia/host “Good Day” morning show; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Joe Thomas, host/PD, WTON, Staunton, VA; Fred Toucher, co-host, morning show, WBZ-FM, Boston (“98.5 The Sports Hub”); Paul Vandenburgh, owner/host, WGDJ (Talk 1300), Albany, NY; Dr. Daliah Wachs, host, Genesis Communications Network; Brett Winterble, host, WBT, Charlotte; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and Martha Zoller, host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA.  More speakers will be named in the coming days.

Attendance at the conference is limited to members of the working media and directly associated industries as well as communication students enrolled in accredited learning institutions. All attendees will be required to register in advance on the phone payable by credit card. Because attendance will be limited and the agenda outstanding, the conference is again expected to be an early sellout. The all-inclusive registration fee covering convention events, exhibits, food, and services for the day is $379. Because space will be limited and a sellout is anticipated, all registrations are non-refundable. To register for TALKERS 2024 or to obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. The closest hotel to the conference is the nearby Long Island Marriott-Uniondale but it is nearly sold out. For a list of area hotels within a short drive to Hofstra, please click here.

Industry News

Kilmeade Visits Affiliate WCHV, Charlottesville

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Pictured above are FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio talk personality Brian Kilmeade (left) and WCHV, Charlottesville PD and morning host Joe Thomas (right) during Kilmeade’s visit to his affiliate station. Kilmeade participated in a meet-and-greet with listeners and helped collect enough money and food donations to feed 4,300 Central Virginians with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank! In the photo above, Thomas is showing Kilmeade his old staff jacket from his time working at WRCN-FM on Long Island when it was a rock station. Kilmeade’s radio show is carried on the JVC Media station and Kilmeade often uses the WRCN studios for his program.

Industry News

Talk Hosts Kilmeade and Katz Catch Up in Richmond

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Pictured above are FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio talk personality Brian Kilmeade (left) with WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz (right) at the historic McLean’s Restaurant in downtown Richmond. Kilmeade – whose show recently joined the lineup at WRVA – was in town broadcasting live and Katz joined Kilmeade to offer insight on the issues of the day.

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Audacy’s WRVA, Richmond adds FOX News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show” to its daily lineup airing from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

PodcastOne acquires the exclusive sales and distribution rights to Jackie Schimmel’s “The Bitch Bible Podcast.” PodcastOne president and co-founder Kit Gray comments, “PodcastOne is thrilled to welcome Jackie and ‘The Bitch Bible’ to the network. From our very first meeting there was an instant connection and our visions for growth were aligned, and we immediately offered Jackie equity in PodcastOne understanding the value she brings to PodcastOne and our partners. Our team at PodcastOne will provide the support needed to improve and expand the show, and we’re incredibly excited to work together to achieve and surpass our mutual goals.”

iHeartPodcasts and host and creator Emily Tisch Sussman announce that the award-winning podcast, “She Pivots,” is now a part of the iHeartPodcast Network. Sussman says, “‘She Pivots’ is changing the cultural conversation around how women talk about and think about their careers. I am excited to join forces with the No. 1 podcast publisher, iHeartPodcasts, and continue to make a show that inspires and empowers women to trust their instincts and skills. I want women to know that everything you have done has given you the toolkit you need to make your pivot. You have everything you need inside of you, and I can’t wait to showcase the stories of women who have proven just that in season three.”

Industry News

Brian Kilmeade is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast

FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel talk media star Brian Kilmeade is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Kilmeade, ranked number three on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred, is seen every morning as one of three co-hosts on the popular FOX News Channel TV show “FOX & Friends” and heard on numerous stations across the country hosting his own daily midday program on FOX News Radio…among a number of other FOX projects and programs including the weekend, “One Nation with Brian Kilmeade.” He is the author of eight books – two about sports and he’s just published his sixth about key figures and stories in American history. Subscribing to the tried-and-true adage, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it,” Kilmeade brings new insights into the lives, times and impact of icons such as George WashingtonThomas JeffersonAndrew JacksonSam HoustonAbraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass. His latest book is titled, Teddy and Booker T: How Two American Icons Blazed A Path For Racial Equality (Sentinel, 2023) referring to the relationship between Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington and its impact on race relations in America. Listen to the podcast in its entirety here.

Industry News

15th Annual “Hurley in the Morning” Charity Dinner & Silent Auction Succeeds in Spite of Weather in AC

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One of the most respected and impactful local talk radio-related charities in America – Townsquare Media-owned WPG, Atlantic City, NJ host Harry Hurley’s “Hurley in the Morning Charity Dinner & Silent Auction” – took place Friday evening (9/29) at the Resorts Casino Hotel’s iconic Ocean Ballroom. This marks the 15th installment of one of the Garden State’s most important annual civic events. More than 263 paid guests attended including a who’s who of elected officials, business leaders and broadcast industry luminaries as well as various members of the community. FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel superstar Brian Kilmeade was this year’s guest of honor and keynote speaker. Kilmeade autographed copies of his soon-to-be released historical book, Teddy and Booker T.: How Two American Icons Blazed a Path for Racial Equality (Sentinel, 2023). Former State Senator Bill Gormley (R-NJ) received the event’s first-ever lifetime achievement award. Since its establishment, the Hurley in the Morning Charity Foundation has raised more than $1.3 million to help non-profit public service organizations throughout New Jersey and beyond including the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Both houses of the legislature voted to officially make this past Friday “Harry Hurley Day” in Atlantic County, New Jersey. Adding a dramatic note to the event, Kilmeade’s appearance was jeopardized at the last minute by the terrible flooding that took place in New York City that day. Hurley tells TALKERS, “The effort that Brian made to be our guest of honor and keynote speaker in the face of severe weather obstacles was truly extraordinary.” Hurley wrote the details of this experience dealing with the official state of emergency declared in New York City due to a second strike by tropical storm Ophelia in his WPG blog that you can read here. Hurley says, “Brian has materially and directly helped me to raise more than $100,000 for the Harry Hurley in the Morning Charity.” 

Industry News

15th Annual “Hurley in the Morning” Charity Dinner & Silent Auction Set for Tonight (9/29) in AC

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One of the most respected and impactful local talk radio-related charities in America – Townsquare Media-owned WPG, Atlantic City, NJ host Harry Hurley’s “Hurley in the Morning Charity Dinner & Silent Auction” – is set for tonight (9/29) at the Resorts Casino Hotel in its iconic Ocean Ballroom. This marks the 15th installment of one of the Garden State’s most important annual civic events. More than 263 guests are expected to attend including a who’s who of elected officials, business leaders and broadcast industry luminaries as well as various members of the community. FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel superstar Brian Kilmeade will be this year’s guest of honor and keynote speaker. Kilmeade will be signing copies of his soon-to-be released historical book, Teddy and Booker T.: How Two American Icons Blazed a Path for Racial Equality (Sentinel, 2023). Former State Senator Bill Gormley (R-NJ) will receive the event’s first-ever lifetime achievement award. Since its establishment, the Hurley in the Morning Charity Foundation has raised more than $1.3 million to help non-profit public service organizations throughout New Jersey and beyond including the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Both houses of the legislature have voted to officially make today “Harry Hurley Day” in Atlantic County, New Jersey.

Industry News

FNC Adds Lawrence Jones to FOX & Friends

FOX News Channel expands the lineup of its morning drive program “FOX & Friends” with the addition of Lawrence Jones as a co-host. Beginning Monday (9/18), Jones joins co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET and will also continue in his role as theim franchise’s enterprise reporter. The announcement was made on this morning’s program with Doocy, Earhardt and Kilmeade as well as Will Cain, Rachel Campos-Duffy and Pete Hegseth who co-host “FOX & Friends Weekend,” senior meteorologist Janice Dean and Todd Piro & Carley Shimkus who helm “FOX & Friends First.” Jones’ current weekend program “Lawrence Jones Cross Country” will be sunset, and “One Nation with Brian Kilmeade” will now air at 9:00 pm ET on Saturday evenings. FNC SVP of morning programming Gavin Hadden says, “Lawrence has his finger on the pulse of what matters to communities across America and his insight has proved invaluable to the ‘FOX & Friends’ audience. We look forward to welcoming him to our family as he wakes up America alongside our star co-hosts each morning.”

Industry News

KTUC-AM, Tucson Relaunches as “Freedom 1400”

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,”im 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.”

Industry News

TALKERS 2023: Video of “Making the Connections Between Local and National Radio and Television” Panel Discussion Posted

During the coming days, videos of all of TALKERS 2023’s numerous sessions conducted June 2 at Hofstra University will be posted, continuing today (6/22) with the panel discussion, “Making the Connections Between Local and National Radio and Television.” The three-way conversation, sponsored by the Michael Berry Show, was facilitated by WPG, Atlantic City (and regular FOX News Radio guest star), Harry Hurley (pictured above and below at center). Participants included president/CEO JVC BroadcastingJohn Caracciolo (pictured above and below at left) and FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel superstar Brian Kilmeade (pictured above and below at right). See video of the session here

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Industry News

Kilmeade, Caracciolo, and Hurley Talk Connections at Conference

A special discussion exploring the delicate balance between local, national and cross-platform talk media elements is set as one of the many sessions comprising the forthcoming TALKERS 2023 conference on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island. Brian KilmeadeJohn Caracciolo, and Harry Hurley will engage in a conference-closing conversation titled, “Cross Currents of Talk Media.” It will examine the delicate balance between local, national, and multiplatform elements of the ever-evolving talk media space. Brian Kilmeade is a nationally known talk star hosting separate shows on FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel (TV).  His syndicated radio show is carried on Long Island (where he also lives) by news/talk WRCN-FM, Riverhead “Long Island News Radio.” The station which serves Eastern Long Island is owned by JVC Broadcasting of which John Caracciolo is president/CEO. Harry Hurley, morning host at WPG, Atlantic City, NJ (and regular guest host on FOX News Radio who occasionally fills in for Kilmeade) will serve as moderator of what promises to be a fascinating three-way conversation. See all the speaker, registration, and hotel information for TALKERS 2023 here.

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Audacy Third Quarter Net Revenue Falls 4%. The company reports Q3 net revenue of $317 million – a decline of 4% over the same period in 2021. Additionally, Audacy reports an operating loss of $151.9 million compared to operating income of $29.3 million in Q3 of 2021. The company reports a net loss of $141 million for the third quarter of 2022 compared to the net loss of $4.76 million it reported during the third quarter of 2021. Breaking down Audacy’s revenue by segment, it reports local and national spot business was $205 million, a decline of 7.2% over the same period in 2021. Digital revenue (including podcasting) was $62.7 million, an increase of 2.1% over Q3 of 2021. Network revenue was $23.7 million, up 0.9% over the third quarter of 2021. Audacy chairman, president & CEO David J. Field comments, “Our third quarter revenues declined 3.8% as advertising headwinds impacted company performance. Solid double-digit growth in streaming audio and digital marketing solutions were offset by declining radio revenues. Our radio revenues were negatively impacted by our concentration in the country’s largest markets as small to medium market radio outperformed large market radio by 8% during the quarter. We remain deeply focused on executing our action plan to navigate the storm and emerge healthy and strong. We completed the sale of $56 million in real estate to enhance our financial position with additional sales in the pipeline. We launched the next generation of our Audacy streaming platform with innovative features including segment chaptering of live spoken-word radio shows. Since launch, digital listeners are up 25% while registrations have increased 15% and we have high expectations for the impact of the new platform on our future growth. We also continue to make progress on core strategic growth drivers such as national enterprise business development and our ad tech product roadmap to open important pools of demand and accelerate future performance. Looking beyond the challenging current macro environment, Audacy has been transformed into a leading, scaled multi-platform audio content and entertainment company, better able to serve listeners and customers than ever before. We are excited by the opportunities ahead and are deeply focused on continuing to best position the company to compete for significant growth in the dynamic audio market.”

Audio Pros Gather at FOX News for Reception. Pictured above are (from l-r) “FOX Across America” host Jimmy Failla, Westwood One SVP, head of operations Tim Seymour, FOX News Audio account manager, affiliate sales & marketing Tamara Karcev, and TuneIn chief content officer Kevin Straley at FOX News headquarters in New York as FOX hosted the reception to showcase its collection of radio and podcast offerings with media pros in town for the NAB Show New York last week. FOX News Audio vice president John Sylvester along with hosts Brian Kilmeade, Guy Benson, and Jimmy Failla spoke during the cocktail reception.

Talk Host Austin Petersen Joins Missouri’s ‘Real Talk’ Network. Former KWON, Jefferson City, Missouri morning drive talk host Austin Petersen – a former Libertarian candidate for president and U.S. Senate – joins Ellis Broadcasting & Media LLC’s “Real Talk” format as host of the 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. The programming airs on a
number of Missouri radio stations including: KXEN-AM, St. Louis; KRTK-FM, Hermann; KVMO-FM, Vandalia; and KRTE-FM, Steelville. Petersen says, “I can’t wait to take on this new challenge and get the chance to talk about the big issues with the good people in the St. Louis region. It’s a huge opportunity and I couldn’t be more grateful. You can expect hard-hitting interviews, freedom rants, and plenty of jokes and fun. I love gold, guns, freedom and my smokin’-hot, redheaded wife. We’ll look at the issues from all angles. We’ll think outside the box, avoid groupthink, and declare our independence from the tyranny of big government. Most of all, we’ll make freedom fighting fun again!” The network is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Rick and Tracy Ellis. Tracy Ellis says, “When Rick and I started the ‘Real Talk Radio Network’ it was always important to us to make sure our listeners were kept up to date not only on local news and politics, but throughout the state of Missouri. We have followed Austin Petersen for some time and with his home base in Jefferson City, we felt he was the perfect fit to the puzzle at ‘Real Talk.’ Many local politicians came to us directly and spoke highly of Austin and how much they enjoyed being on his former show and would love to hear him on our stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. Announcing its coverage of the midterm elections, SiriusXM says it is presenting programming on its original political channels – Patriot, P.O.T.U.S. and Progress – with team coverage that extends from its regular daytime schedule into new live primetime and overnight programming. Additionally, on SiriusXM Triumph, starting at 9:00 pm ET Megyn Kelly will host a special live, commercial-free edition of her program on which she’ll share her perspective and analysis of election results as they come in, and will speak with leading experts and political observers. The Urban View channel, which focuses on issues affecting the African-American community, will also be live with special programming from 8:00 pm – 12:00 am ET…..PodcastOne is partnering with original “Friday Night Lights” cast members Zach Gilford, Scott Porter and self-proclaimed “Friday Night Lights” superfan Mae Whitman for an exclusive podcast and vodcast, “It’s Not Only Football: Friday Night Lights and Beyond” that debuts on Thursday (11/10). Each week, the trio will break down an episode of “Friday Night Lights,” giving listeners and viewers exclusive, behind-the-scenes stories and the latest going on in their lives. Episodes will feature guests that range from fellow cast members to close friends and colleagues…..Virtual News Center adds Flagler Broadcasting’s WBHU, St. Augustine Beach, Florida to its growing list of affiliate radio stations. Virtual News Center will provide local newscasts anchored by Amy Cherry with daily reporting from Rich Petschke.

Midterm Elections/Trump in 2024, The Economy, Elon Musk & Twitter, Russia-Ukraine War, January 6, Powerball Delay, and Subtropical Storm Nicole Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7). Today’s midterm elections that will determine control of the House and Senate for the next two years and former President Donald Trump’s teasing his bid for the White House in 2024; inflation and fears of a recession; the uncertain state of Twitter in Elon Musk’s second week as owner of the social media platform; Ukrainians and Europeans brace for a long, cold winter as Vladimir Putin continues his war; the Oath Keepers on trial for seditious conspiracy related to the January 6 Capitol attack; the record $1.8 billion Powerball jackpot drawing is delayed due to “security protocol issue”; and the development of subtropical storm Nicole were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, October 10, 2022

Monday Memo: Plan NOW For The Big Story. “When-the-fit-hits-the-shan, news/talk stations need to be conspicuous.” In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke uses that colorful quote as he provides four suggestions for stations to re-familiarize themselves with their network’s continuing coverage routine.” Read Holland Cooke’s column here.

Pending Business: To Do Lists. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa knows the importance of being organized in running a sales department or being a seller in this business. He gains inspiration from Benjamin Franklin – an incredibly busy man known for creating “To Do” lists – in drawing up five important things he suggests you include in creating yours each day. Read it here.

Bohannon’s Final Bow Set For This Friday. One of the most proficient and classiest talk/radio personalities the country has ever heard – Jim Bohannon – will hang up the headsets on his eponymous program this Friday (10/14). Having appeared on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” an astounding 27 consecutive years, the highly affable “Jimbo” is calling it quits due to health reasons. Beginning next Monday (10/17), Rich Valdes will succeed Bohannon on the weeknight, three-hour (10:00 pm – 1:00 am) Cumulus Media Westwood One broadcast. Bohannon states, “It’s been a great 40 years with Westwood One – the last 30 of which as host of ‘The Jim Bohannon Show.’ I’ve enjoyed every minute of our daily nighttime town hall with my guests, callers, and all of America. “Now, I’d like to introduce Rich Valdes, a very bright, vibrant young man who will be taking over in the same tradition.” Cumulus Media executive vice president of corporate marketing/Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes remarks, “We celebrate Jim’s long radio history and all his achievements, including his induction into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame; the First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association; the Lifetime Achievement Award from TALKERS Magazine; and his inductions into the National Radio Hall of Fame and the Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. We are especially proud that Jim has been an invaluable member of our Westwood One family these many years – he is truly an industry legend. As we pass the baton to Rich Valdes, we’re excited to bring a new name and voice to talk radio. We look forward to continuing our tradition of providing the best programming to our affiliates and listeners.” Valdes notes, “No one can ever fill Jim’s shoes. I consider it a blessing and great honor to be part of the next generation of late-night talk show hosts, following the tradition of Jim Bohannon and Larry King.” TALKERS founder/publisher Michael Harrison has a very candid conversation with Bohannon on PodcastOne’s “The Michael Harrison Interview,” which drops tomorrow (Tuesday, 10/11). Bohannon joined Westwood One in 1983 and spent over 31 years as host of the early morning weekday news magazine “America in the Morning” and previously hosted “America This Week.” He began his career in 1960 at KLWT-AM, his hometown station in Lebanon, Missouri.

Sid Rosenberg Pays Tribute to Bernard McGuirk.  WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg shares personal feelings about his longtime broadcasting colleague Bernard McGuirk who succumbed last week (10/5) after a courageous battle with prostate cancer.  The two co-hosted the highly successful “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program since April of 2018 bringing it to the top of the ratings in the competitive Big Apple AM drive daypart. But their relationship went back many years before that to their days together as part of team backing the legendary “Imus in the Morning” program and more.  Rosenberg discusses their history together and his loving perspective on McGuirk as a broadcaster and a friend in an exclusive conversation with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison.  To listen to the tribute, please click here.

Scheld Schedules His WCBS-AM Departure. In a memo to the staff of WCBS-AM, news director/brand manager Tim Scheld notes he will be leaving the Audacy New York all-news facility before the end of the year. Lauding the WCBS-AM team and Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero, Scheld writes that “Audacy New York is in great hands.” Also included in the memo, Scheld states an Audacy arrangement with SAG-AFTRA signifies a new strategy, combining WCBS-AM’s resources with those of co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS. “[It’s] a plan I have endorsed and frankly helped design.” Scheld was a WCBS-AM reporter from 1987 – 1994 and rejoined the station in 2003, after a nine-year stint as a correspondent for ABC Radio News. In addition to his WCBS-AM duties, he’s chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association.

KGO Betting On The Spread. Confirming a story reported here last Friday (TALKERS, 10/7), Cumulus Media San Francisco today transitions longtime news/talk KGO to “The Spread 810 AM,” the Bay Area’s first station focused on sports betting. Cumulus San Francisco vice president/market manager Larry Blumhagen comments, “This is a bittersweet day for us, as it’s hard to say goodbye to the legendary KGO, which has been a part of listeners’ lives for so many years. We want to thank all the people who have been a part of KGO’s historic run these many years and the listeners who loyally tuned into the station. Times change, and we must change with them. We are excited about this new chapter and look forward to serving the Bay Area’s passionate sports fans in an incomparable way.” Cumulus San Francisco sports talk KNBR and KTCT program director Kevin Graham adds PD duties for “The Spread” and notes, “We are pleased to introduce sports-betting radio to our community. The station will feature a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage. While [KGO] will feature specific gambling information, we believe our entertaining presentation will make it a favorite for all Bay area sports fans and a perfect complement to the legendary KNBR and KTCT.” The station’s weekday programming lineup includes: Joe Ostrowski, Joe Giglio, and Erin Hawksworth (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Jim Rome (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley (12:00 noon – 4:00 pm); Quinton Mayo, Trysta Krick, and Ryan Horvat with “Bet MGM Tonight” (4:00 pm – 8:00 pm); and CBS Sports Radio (8:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 San Francisco sweep, KGO “810 AM” was up two-tenths from August 2022 (1.5 – 1.7, #21 to #20). In San Jose, KGO registers its fourth straight uptick for a combined +1.0 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+) and ranks #13.

Round Three of September PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of 12 markets. News/talk packs a one-two punch (6+) in Salt Lake City, where iHeartMedia’s KNRS-AM & KNRS-FM “Talk Radio” erupts with a +2.5 (9.1 – 11.6, 6+) to rank on top for the eighth month in succession, while Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” adds six-tenths (6.1 – 6.7, 6+), advancing from fourth to second. In addition to SLC, the format registers number one showings in Sacramento with iHeartMedia’s KFBK-AM & KFBK-FM “News 1530 AM & 93.1 FM” gaining eight-tenths (8.1 – 8.9, third to first, 6+), and in Cincinnati, where co-owned WLW “700 Cincinnati’s News Radio” – despite being off six-sixths – is on top for the seventh consecutive month (11.7 – 11.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group-owned WDBO “Orlando’s News Talk” dials up a +1.3 (3.7 – 5.0, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). The largest (6+) August 2022 – September 2022 increase by any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is in Columbus, where Tegna-owned sports talk WBNS-FM logs a +2.6 (6.8 – 9.4, 6+); “97.1 FM The Fan” vaults from fourth to first. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” for this group of 12 markets (as well as the first two groups) here.

Hurley Charity Event Hauls in $65,00+. The fourteenth Annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Dinner and Silent Auction was held last Friday (10/7) at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel. This year’s event raised more than $65,000 and featured congressman Jeff Van Drew as guest of honor/keynote speaker. An additional supplemental live on-air auction is still to be staged. According to “Hurley in the Morning” Charity founder/chair Harry Hurley (pictured at the right with Jeff Van Drew), “It was an amazing, ‘Who’s Who’ evening, which will directly benefit many worthy non-for-profit organizations throughout New Jersey and beyond. For example, this special event will make it possible for the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” to make a $7,000 contribution [next June] to The Broadcasters Foundation of America. Jeff Van Drew arrived early and was the last to leave.” To date, The Harry Hurley charity has donated $21,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.” Hurley, who does morning drive (6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG “WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM & 1450 AM,” reveals that Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade will be guest of honor/keynote speaker September 29, 2023 at “our fifteenth annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Dinner and Silent Auction.”

TALKERS News Notes. As part of cutbacks at Beasley Media Group Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Toucher & Rich morning show producer Mike Lockhart and nighttime Adam Jones Show co-host Christian Arcand exit. Meanwhile in Philadelphia at co-owned/similarly-formatted WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” John Kincaid Show member Jaimie Lynch departs. … Almost seven months to the day from his kidney transplant, Zimmer Broadcasting Cookeville (Tennessee) news/talk WHUB “News Talk 107.7 and 1400 The Hub” program director/6:00 am – 8:00 am host/promotion director/assistant news director Brent Carl Fleshman won two first-place trophies at last week’s inaugural Tennessee Association of Broadcasting’s “Excellence Awards.” Fleshman was named “Best Local On-Air Personality” and “Best Local Talk Show” in the “Small Market Radio Division,” which consists of stations not in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.In 2016,  Fleshman won the NAB Marconi Award as “Small Market Personality of the Year” and was a finalist for that award in 2019. … “Fridays with Frankie,” a limited-edition Audacy series hosted by reality show star Frankie Grande, debuted last Friday (10/7). Each episode will feature a different topic and will be live aired on Audacy’s digital platform at 8:00 am (ET) and replayed until 12:00 midnight (ET). The show will also air across Audacy’s Channel Q’s network of stations. … The Society of Professional Journalists names the headquarters of the Voice of America – 330 Independence Avenue SW in Washington, DC – as a Historic Site in Journalism. The Voice of America is the editorially independent international broadcaster funded by the United States government. SPJ international community co-chair Dan Kubiske states that, “For 80 years, the Voice of America has been a source of solid and honest journalism. From its beginning in 1942, despite being a U.S. government agency, through custom, charters and law the editorial independence of VOA journalists has not wavered.”

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Personality Rob Kendall Sues Political Activist for Defamation. WIBC-FM, Indianapolis late morning personality Rob Kendall is suing conservative political activist Gabriel Whitley, Spencer McDaniel, and Young Conservatives of Southern Indiana for defamation after the group posted comments on Facebook in which they refer to Kendall as “Pedo Rob,” implying that he’s a pedophile. The Evansville Courier & Press reports the story, noting that Whitley is a declared candidate for mayor of Evansville. Kendall co-hosts the late morning program on Radio One’s WIBC-FM with Casey Daniels. Kendall is being represented by fellow WIBC personality Abdul Hakim-Shabazz. McDaniel says the Facebook page is a satire page and as such is protected speech. He says, “Gabriel Whitley had no part in this, I run the page but it was a joke and I take full responsibility for the joke. We will win and all charges will be dropped.” The suit states, “The satiric effect emerges only as the reader concludes by the very outrageousness of the words that the whole thing is a put-on.” Hakim-Shabazz says that “the context of the post does not allow a reasonable reader to think the defendant’s words were a ‘put on.’” Kendall is seeking $50,000 in damages, punitive damages as the court deems proper,  attorney fees and court costs, and other relief the court deems proper.

Comrex Unveils New Remote Contribution Solution. The new cloud service for remote, on-air or production contribution from Comrex is called Gagl, and it allows between one and five users to send and receive audio from computers and smartphones. Each user receives their own mix-minus to hear other connected guests, and the Gagl audio is delivered to a Comrex hardware codec (such as ACCESS or BRIC-Link, usually in a studio). All participants can hear other participants and the codec “sends” audio back to them. Comrex says that participants can connect and send audio by simply clicking a link using any common web browser. Gagl is designed to be used with consumer grade equipment, so contributors only need a device and a headset to get on the air. Gagl uses the Opus audio encoder, with a bit rate that delivers both voice and music in excellent quality. Gagl also delivers audio directly to a Comrex codec with all the stability enhancements, pro-grade audio connections, and features that hardware codecs provide. The simple user interface makes it easy for users with any level of technical experience to use. Comrex adds that Gagl could be used as the hub for a news program or for a morning radio show to support multiple simultaneous contributor connections. Because it offers low latency, it’s appropriate for call-in talk radio. Gagl could also be used to allow a single contributor to connect back to the studio from a computer or smartphone. Gagl works with Comrex hardware IP audio codecs including the AES67-compatible ACCESS NX Rack IP audio codec and ACCESS MultiRack multi-channel IP audio codec as well as the BRIC-Link series. Find out more about Gagl here.

Edison Research: Spotify Takes Over as Top U.S. Podcast Network. The latest Q2 2022 data from Edison Research’s ranking of the Top Podcast Networks in the U.S. reveals that Spotify, SXM Media, and iHeartRadio take the top three spots, respectively. Spotify surpassed SXM Media’s weekly reach by a tiny margin. Edison’s ranking is based on surveys of 8,000 podcast listeners in the U.S. and measures reach as a percentage of the weekly podcasting audience. Rankings are compiled by measuring the total unduplicated reach of all the shows represented by a given network. See the complete list of the top 30 podcast networks here.

Podtrac: iHeartRadio Top Podcast Publisher for August 2022. The ranking of top podcast publishers from Podtrac has been released for August and, based on Unique Monthly Audience, iHeartRadio is ranked #1 with more than 35.5 million UMA for its 689 active shows. Wondery is ranked #2 (24.5 million UMA) for 204 shows, and NPR comes in at #3 (19.7 million UMA) for 49 shows. See Podtrac’s entire chart of the top 20 podcast publishers for August 2022 here.

Brian Kilmeade in Albany. Pictured above is FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (center) on stage at The Egg Performing Arts Center in Albany on September 8. With him is FOX News Channel producer Alyson Mansfield (left) and news/talk WGDJ, Albany owner Paul Vandenburgh (right). Kilmeade’s radio program is heard from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on WGDJ.

KFAN’s Dan Barreiro to Be Enshrined in Hall of Fame. Longtime Twin Cities sports talk personality Dan Barreiro – host of “Bumper to Bumper with Dan Barreiro” and “Sunday Sermons with Dan Barreiro” – is being honored this Saturday (9/17) at the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Barreiro was a sports columnist at the Star Tribune for 17 years. He joined iHeartMedia’s KFXN-FM, Minneapolis “KFAN 100.3” in 1992. iHeartMedia Minneapolis market president Greg Alexander says, “Dan epitomizes the make-up of a tremendous talk show in the Twin Cities. He puts together compelling interviews and has the ability to break down any and every topic to entertain our listeners. He is a true talent.” Market SVP of programming Gregg Swedberg adds, “There isn’t a radio personality who has had the kind of ratings success over the last three decades that Dan Barreiro has. He has done it by hosting intelligent, entertaining, and compelling radio. He’s more than the ‘Big Ticket,’ he is the blueprint.”

Audacy’s I’m Listening Mental Health Campaign to Produce Sixth Annual Special Program. The ongoing mental health public service campaign from Audacy includes the two-hour audio program, “I’m Listening,” once again co-hosted by Carson Daly and by Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble. Each year, Audacy activates “I’m Listening” through national campaigns featuring artists, celebrities, and athletes who share their experiences with mental health. Partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, these events help raise awareness and support of issues that we all face in our daily lives. Guests on this year’s program will include: Carrie Underwood, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Vice President Kamala Harris, Lizzo, Ricky Williams, Maren Morris, Charlie Puth and Stephen A. Smith, who will share personal mental health stories. The special airs nationwide on Wednesday, September 21 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm local time across more than 230 Audacy stations and will be live streamed via its digital app and website. Also, returning to the Hollywood Bowl for its ninth year, the star-studded concert “We Can Survive” takes place on Saturday, October 22 with featured acts including Alanis Morrisette, Garbage, Halsey, OneRepublic, Weezer and more.

Trumps vs DOJ, Inflation/Financial Markets/Railroad Strike, Lindell Search Warrant, Russia-Ukraine War, British Royalty, Musk-Twitter Case, and Ken Starr Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/13). Former President Donald Trump’s battle with the Department of Justice over its investigation into documents he kept at Mar-a-Lago; the still rising rate of inflation, Tuesday’s financial markets beating, and the looming railroad strike; MyPillow founder Mike Lindell has phone taken by FBI in warranted search; Ukraine’s retaking of territory from Russian forces; the royal family’s activities in the aftermath of Queen Elizabeth’s death; the court battle between Elon Musk and Twitter over his canceled acquisition bid; and former special prosecutor Ken Starr dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Ken Charles to Step Away from KNX, Los Angeles. News radio programmer Ken Charles announces that he’ll be leaving Audacy’s all-news KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles when his contract expires on July 22. Charles made the announcement in a Facebook post. He says, “This is one of the hardest emails I have ever written. I’ve made the difficult professional and personal decision not to renew my contract and am stepping down as brand manager for KNX and format VP for Audacy. It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the 102-year history of KNX and to lead this amazing group of professionals. I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together. We’ve covered every type of story imaginable, fires, earthquakes, a global pandemic, protests in the streets, two of the most intense elections ever, a Dodgers World Series victory, a Lakers NBA championship, the Rams first LA Super Bowl title (sorry Kings) and so many more. We celebrated KNX’s 100th anniversary and won the first two national Edward R. Murrow awards in the station’s 54-year all-news history. We’ve evolved the station’s sound, grown our ratings, expanded our digital footprint and become a leader in the company. Finally, we moved KNX to the FM dial and became KNX News 97.1 FM. There are so many of you I want to individually acknowledge and thank for making my seven years at KNX an amazing experience, but I don’t want this to become an Oscar speech and be played off this email. However, I do want to thank my partner in our success, our news director, Julie Chin. None of the above happens without Julie’s help, counsel, insight, friendship and hard work. She will continue to be a steady hand in the continuing success of KNX and keep the momentum we’ve built going.”

New TALKERS 2022 Video Posted. The latest video from the June 10 TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University has been posted. This fireside chat was introduced by John Caracciolo, president/CEO of JVC Broadcasting and featured FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel star Brian Kilmeade being interviewed by WPG, Atlantic City morning drive host Harry Hurley. See the complete video of this session here.

Danny Marang Joins Midday Show at “1080 The Fan” in Portland. Sports media pro Danny Marang is named midday show co-host at Audacy’s sports talk KFXX-AM, Portland “1080 The Fan.” Marang joins longtime station host Dusty Harrah on the new “Danny and Dusty” show that airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. Marang is a 10-year Portland media veteran who also hosts “Jacked Ramsays,” a Portland Trail Blazers-focused podcast alongside “1080 The Fan” morning show host Brandon Sprague. Marang previously served as host of Trail Blazers pregame and postgame shows on NBC Sports Northwest and as a writer for SB Nation website “Blazers Edge.” He also served as an operations intelligence officer in the United States Air Force. Audacy Portland SVP and market manager Kim Martinez states, “Danny brings a rich breadth of experience covering this area’s sports scene, and we’re pleased to team him up with Dusty Harrah for the launch of a brand-new midday show. Together, Danny and Dusty will deliver fresh, entertaining and informative content to carry our listeners through their workdays.”

Triton Digital Releases Streaming Rankers for May 2022. The monthly ranker of top performing digital audio publishers for May 2022 has been published by Triton Digital. This ranker is based on Average Active Sessions (AAS) and represents the average number of sessions at any point in time in the reported time period, with invalid sessions omitted. AAS can be calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period (AAS=TLH/Hours in period). For the United States and measuring 6am-12am Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is ranked #1 with 298,936 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (73,102 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (62,820 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,251 AAS). Other radio-related companies ranking in the top 25 include Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (19,321 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,079 AAS), Salem Communications at #11 (8,599 AAS), Urban One at #12 (8,357 AAS), and Bonneville International at #14 (6,789 AAS). See the complete ranker here.

New Jersey Theatre Unveils ‘Beasley Media Group Green Room.’ The nonprofit State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick – one of the oldest operating theatres in the state – announces that its green room is now named the “Beasley Media Group Green Room” as part of its Next Stage Campaign. The naming commemorates Beasley Media Group’s commitment to the arts community and longtime support of State Theatre New Jersey, which is currently celebrating its 100th Anniversary Season. The extensive renovations at the theatre are helping preserve its rich history while continuing to serve the community as a state-of-the-art cultural center far into the future. The renovations, which were completed in October 2021, included newly renovated lobbies, all new restrooms, upgraded HVAC systems, a new elevator for access to all levels, brand-new theater seats, and renovations to the backstage area, including the green room. Beasley SVP and market manager Dan Finn says, “We are honored and thrilled with the naming of the Beasley Media Group Green Room in the historic and beautiful State Theatre New Jersey. Congratulations to the State Theatre on the success of the Next Campaign and for celebrating the recent milestone of 100 years of live entertainment.”

July 4 Shooting/Gun Control, January 6 Hearings/Georgia Election Probe, The Economy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, and Boris Johnson Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/5). The Fourth of July shooting in suburban Chicago that left seven people dead and talk about gun control issues; the January 6 hearings and the subpoenaing of Senator Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani and others in the Georgia investigation into allegations of election interference by former President Donald Trump; the high price of gas & food, the sinking financial markets, and threats of a recession; the midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and Boris Johnson’s tenuous hold on his prime minister position were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

TALKERS 2022 Convention Explores News/Talk Programming. At the TALKERS 2022 convention held Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University, news/talk programming pros spoke on the “Programming News/Talk Radio in the Digital Era” panel, moderated by McVay Media Consulting president Mike McVay (inset). Pictured above are (from l-r): Grace Blazer, VP, national NTS brand coordinator, director of news and AM programming, Florida region, iHeartMedia; Greg Stocker, program director, WPHT, Philadelphia; Kevin DeLany, VP, news & talk programming, Westwood One; Phil Boyce, SVP, spoken word format, Salem Media Group, Salem Radio Network/operations VP, New York region; and Dr. Asa Andrew, The Dr. Asa Health Network.

 

Complete TALKERS 2022 Session Videos Being Posted Today, TALKERS magazine begins posting complete videos of each session from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University. The first video posted is the Breakfast Session during which KOA, Denver talk host Mandy Connell was presented the “Woman of the Year” award and WRVA, Richmond, Virginia talk host Jeff Katz was honored with the “Humanitarian of the Year” award. See the video here.

 

Steven Cohen Named VP of Business Development and Partnerships at Crossover Media Group. Radio and podcasting pro Steven Cohen joins Crossover Media Group in the newly created position of vice president of business development and partnerships. For the past seven years, Cohen has served with Audacy-owned podcast creator Cadence13. In his new role with Crossover Media Group, he’ll be tasked with developing new business opportunities and partnerships. Crossover managing member Sue Freund states, “Steven is one of the most recognizable faces in podcasting from both the advertising and content sides. Given his background in both the audio and the digital podcast space, he brings a wealth of experience to the team which fits ideally with our content lineup. He’s relentlessly client-focused and he ‘gets’ the business of podcast advertising.”

 

Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Celebrate One Year in Syndication. Today (6/21) marks the first anniversary of the national syndication of “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” by Premiere Networks. Premiere says the show debuted on more than 400 affiliates last summer, marking one of the biggest launches in talk radio history and is continuing to experience rapid growth and success across multiple platforms. It also says that program’s total AQH audience has increased 32% since the launch in the key demo of Adults 25-54. Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “We’re so proud of the program Clay and Buck have developed together over the past year. We knew they had the talent, passion and enthusiasm to deliver something new and exciting to the talk radio format. We couldn’t be happier with the result and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones together.” Pictured above at a private, intimate party in New York City to celebrate the anniversary are (from l-r): Dan Metter, Premiere Networks EVP, director of personality sales; Clay Travis; Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott; Buck Sexton; and Alan Korowitz, president of National Platforms at iHeartMedia Photo: Cate Groubert for iHeartMedia.

 

WRVA’s Jeff Katz Does Election Day Hit on ‘FOX & Friends. Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond, Virginia afternoon drive host Jeff Katz (left) on with Brian Kilmeade (right) from FOX News Channel’s “FOX and Friends” program broadcasting live from iconic Richmond diner McLean’s Restaurant. Katz, who tells TALKERS he “knows a thing or two about pancakes and coffee,” joined Kilmeade to talk Virginia Congressional primary races as well as efforts to roll back gas and grocery taxes in the Old Dominion.

 

KTAR, Phoenix Recognizes 100 Years of Service. Phoenix, Arizona news/talk station KTAR “News 92.3 FM” is celebrating 100 years as the “Trusted Voice of the Valley.” KTAR-AM began broadcasting the news/talk format that is now heard on KTAR-FM. Bonneville SVP and market manager Ryan Hatch comments, “As we reflect on a century of broadcasting for KTAR, we are honored to have such a tremendously talented team that continues to serve this community and innovate to keep our audiences connected and informed and deliver extraordinary results for our local business partners. While many voices have changed over the years, KTAR’s commitment to produce news that Arizonans can trust when it matters the most has never been stronger.”

 

Radio Personality Matt Pinfield Addresses Addiction in ‘Sound, Sobriety & Success’ Podcast. Radio & TV personality and rock journalist Matt Pinfield is partnering with Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks to host the new podcast “Sound, Sobriety & Success.” Pinfield says, “Living clean and sober is a beautiful gift for those of us who have struggled with addiction. Through this podcast, I am grateful to share the success stories of people in recovery to help others fight and understand their battles with alcoholism and addiction. I want to help people identify similarities in others’ stories to understand how they have successfully made their life changes. This podcast is a natural for me, as I have been transparent about my own struggles and journey in recovery and how it has completely changed my life for the better. I think this podcast is a great way to be of service through storytelling – sharing the faith, strength and hope that many of my contemporaries and friends have experienced.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Joining the programming at DuPage Radio’s WCKG-AM, Chicago is the Chicago Bears program “The Sick Podcast,” hosted by the NFL Network’s Adam Rank. The program will air each Friday from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. WCKG sports director Jon Zaghloul says, “Adam’s passion for the Bears makes for such quality content. I’m proud to bring his show to where it belongs – WCKG, Chicago. Listeners should look forward to Adam’s opinions, guests, and commentary on all things Chicago Bears. This is a great move for our brand, and I’m excited to get things started.”…..Public media producer GBH announces the hiring of Sandra Lopez Burke as managing director of community and government relations. In this new role, Lopez Burke will build on GBH’s community engagement efforts, creating greater diversity among audiences, thought leaders, and supporters, while managing strategic partnerships to further the organization’s goals…..“The BOB & TOM Show” raised $12,000 on Friday (6/17) to help send Indianapolis-area children to summer camp through its Pop-Up Comedy For A Cause event at the historic Irving Theater in Indianapolis. The program featured performances by Willie Griswold, Jeff Oskay, Josh Arnold and Pat Godwin.

 

The Economy, Primaries/Donald Trump & the GOP, SCOTUS Term, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Israeli Government, and Heatwave/Western Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20). The high price of gas & food, the sinking financial markets, and concerns about a recession; today’s primary races for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the Supreme Court prepares to end its term as the expected reversal of Roe v Wade looms and the safety of justices is debated; today’s continuation of the January 6 Committee’s hearings and speculation about prosecuting those – including former President Donald Trump – responsible for orchestrating the Capitol breach; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the world’s economy; Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett steps down and disbands the governing coalition, prompting new elections; and the heatwaves in the U.S. and abroad, combined with the drought facing the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, June 13, 2022

TALKERS 2022 Exceeds Expectations.  The 25th annual installment (and second pandemic-era edition) of the talk media industry’s longest-running, largest, and most important national convention – TALKERS 2022 – took place this past Friday, June 10 and by all accounts significantly exceeded expectations. It was widely hailed by many of its longtime participants as “the best ‘TALKERS’ ever!” It was presented by TALKERS in association with Hofstra University’s award-winning radio station WRHU-FM/WRHU.org. Some 275 passionate media professionals from all over the country traveled to the beautiful campus of Hofstra on Long Island to see, hear and meet more than 60 luminary speakers – from talk media programming, management, station ownership, syndication, sales, marketing and technology – tackle the most compelling issues, opportunities and challenges currently at play in the industry. It was a power-packed day of non-stop panels, solo addresses, fireside charts, award presentations, exhibits and networking opportunities. The TALKERS editorial staff is now sifting through hundreds of photos and hours of video preparing extensive coverage of the conference and its enormous treasure trove of content that will be appearing in TALKERS magazine for days and weeks ahead. Please stay tuned for forthcoming stories, photos and complete video coverage of all sessions. TALKERS founder and convention producer/director Michael Harrison says, “We are deeply grateful to all the attendees and sponsors as well as our colleagues at Hofstra University for making TALKERS 2022 such a rewarding and memorable experience.” Photos:  Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo playing the National Anthem during the opening ceremony (above right), and (above left) WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley interviewing FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade.

 

Monday Memo: Identify ‘Piano Movers.’ In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke asks, “What is difficult for most people but comes easy to you?” It’s a new business brainstorm for sales reps, and what HC calls “a Side-Hustle Alert for on-air talent.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Happy Father’s Day. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa wonders if your station had a sales meeting solely focused on Father’s Day. “Unlike Mother’s Day where ‘natural’ categories like flowers, candy, dinner, spa days, even jewelry make the annual target list, what did your target list look like for Father’s Day? The irony is, the National Retail Foundation projects only an $80 difference in the average gift spends between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. So how creative was your Father’s Day targeting? Was that list much different from your Christmas targeting for dad?” Read his column here.

 

NJBA President Paul Rotella’s Struggles, Courage and Imminent Victory Over Adversity.  One of the most compelling stories in the radio industry has been the personal and professional journey of New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) president Paul Rotella. He is thankfully on the mend after suffering a terrible health struggle with rare form of meningitis that took him to the brink of death. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, seeing Paul Rotella at this past Friday’s TALKERS 2022 (6/10) bravely walking with the help of a cane and enthusiastically watching, absorbing, cheering and delighting in the comradery of being with his fellow broadcasters, was SO moved that he pulled together his sources, resources and data to pay tribute to the man as quickly as possible. Harrison states, “I consider Paul Rotella to be a spectacular human being, family man, broadcaster, attorney and spokesman not only for the broadcasting community of the Garden State – but a force of nature in spreading a prideful image of the State of New Jersey, in general, across America – not always an easy task.” Harrison penned a tribute to Rotella including a remarkably candid and personal print interview with him that appears in today’s TALKERS. To read it, please click here.

 

WWO Blog: Pharmaceutical Brands Realize Benefits of AM/FM Advertising. In this week’s blog from the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group comes information from a comprehensive analysis of the pharmaceutical category that included data from Nielsen Media Impact, Nielsen’s media plan optimization tool; a MARU/Matchbox national study conducted over the course of two years from February 2020 through October 2021; and pharmaceutical ad creative testing results from the Advertising Benchmark Index. Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes, says, “Pharmaceutical brands have discovered network radio, and it is one of our fastest growing categories. The big revelation for pharma brand advertising is that audio does all the heavy lifting, and the visuals are secondary. ABX creative testing reveals radio creative performs at 90% of the effectiveness of TV for 25% of the CPM.” Some of the highlights of the studies include: 1) According to Nielsen Media Impact, pharmaceutical/OTC brands see an average incremental reach increase of +38% when including AM/FM radio with TV; 2) Shifting 20% of an arthritis medication’s TV budget to AM/FM radio afforded the brand a significant reach advantage versus its competition (+29%) and increased its total share of voice from 22% to 39%; and 3) A pharmaceutical brand saw its TV reach drop -33% over a four-year period with the same spend due to the erosion of TV audiences. Shifting 30% of the October 2021 TV budget to AM/FM radio recovered the lost reach, generating a +51% lift in campaign reach. See more from the blog here.

 

Chris Williams Exits KXNO-AM/FM, Des Moines. Sports talk radio personality Chris Williams reveals via Twitter that he’s exited iHeartMedia sports talk outlet KXNO-AM/FM, Des Moines in order to focus on his family life. Williams has been serving as co-host of the afternoon drive program “The Sports Fanatics” with Ross Peterson. Williams tweeted, “When I was attending journalism school at Iowa State in the mid 2000s, my dream was to one day host a sports talk show on the iconic 1460 KXnO. For the last seven-plus years, I have had the privilege to live this dream. A lot has changed since then. I now have two beautiful daughters Cami (7) and Elyse (2), who I love more than I knew was even possible. Ross Peterson was my friend. He is now a brother who will be family forever. I recently made the decision to leave KXnO as a daily host to focus on my young family. The 3-6 time slot is an honor to fill, but also takes a major toll on family when you have young kids (especially when you have aspirations to be the best little league softball coach in the metro). I leave KXnO excited to be a better husband, son, friend and human being.”

 

The Economy, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Gun Legislation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Western Heat-Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The soaring price of gasoline and food, sinking tech stocks, and worries about a recession; today’s scheduled second January 6 Committee hearing; Russia’s advances in the war in Ukraine and the conflict’s effect on the world economy; the attempts at bi-partisan gun legislation; the ousting of San Francisco’s progressive DA, the November midterm elections, and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the Western heatwave and drought were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Walter M. Sterling is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The host of the syndicated 10:00 pm – 1:00 am weekend talk show “Sterling on Sunday” – Walter M. Sterling – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Actually the roles are reversed and Sterling interviews Harrison in a two-segment excerpt from his program this past Sunday night (5/22). Sterling had Harrison on to discuss the impact of digital age technology – specifically the smart phone – on the wiring of the human nervous system. “This is a watershed leap in the evolution of Homo Sapiens,” says Harrison. “While grappling with the question of what it is to be American, society is going to have to increasingly deal with the vastly deeper issue of what it is to be human.” Walter M. Sterling is the on-air persona of historically influential radio programming innovator and management advisor Walter Sabo. Don’t miss this provocative and illuminative conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

Salem Media Group Signs Julie Hartman to Multiplatform Deal. This new pact with recent Harvard University grad Julie Hartman comes three months after she began doing a weekly podcast with Salem Radio Network personality Dennis Prager, titled, “Dennis and Julie.” Hartman’s new deal with Salem Media Group involves her doing projects for the Salem Podcast Network, Salem News Channel, and Salem Radio Network. Senior vice president of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Julie represents a new generation of young media professionals, and we are adding some to the Salem platform, proving that even at Harvard you can come out a conservative if you keep your wits about you. Her story is compelling and even riveting and will probably be a book and a movie someday.” In September, Hartman will begin hosting two shows every weekend on Salem News Channel, three podcasts a week on the Salem Podcast Network, and substitute hosting on various Salem Radio Network programs. Hartman says, “I am honored that Salem Radio Network has entrusted me with this responsibility. Finding Dennis Prager’s work and getting to know him has illuminated my life’s vocation. Because of him, I’ve been able to collaborate with many other remarkably talented people at Salem. My generation needs courageous, independent, truth-telling voices. My goal is to be among the best of them.”

 

FOX News Media to Launch ‘The Senate Project’ Debate Series with Lindsey Graham and Bernie Sanders on June 13. A new debate series called The Senate Project – being created by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate – premieres on June 13 in a debate between Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Bernie Sanders. Moderated by FOX News Channel’s Bret Baier, the 12:00 noon ET broadcast will be a one-hour policy debate between the two senators streaming on FOX Nation. The second debate, hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, will be held in July at George Washington University, carried live and on demand across C-SPAN platforms, including streamed on C-SPAN Now. A third debate will be held by the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation in Utah this fall. The press release states, “The goal of The Senate Project debate series is to reintroduce the culture of seeking common ground and consensus that has been the essence of the Senate since it was conceived in 1789. We hope it will inspire policymakers to not only make the case for their points of view, but to then work towards the example set by Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Orrin Hatch for bipartisan bridge-building.”

 

WSJS-AM, Winston-Salem Transitions to News/Talk/Sports. Triad sports talk station WSJS-AM, Winston-Salem (along with its four FM translators) is transitioning to a news/talk/sports format, effective June 6. Truth Broadcasting says, “In the legacy of Wally Williams, Wayne Willard, George Lee, Glenn Scott, Gene Overby and Smith Patterson, WSJS is returning to a local news/talk/sports format with Jeffrey Griffin behind the microphone as the host of “Triad Today” (7:00 am to 10:00 am). Midday programming will include familiar voices and award-winning programming from Brian Kilmeade, Todd Starnes and Charlie Kirk.” The station is continuing local sports talk “The Drive with Josh Graham” in afternoon drive. Truth Broadcasting COO Michael Carbone says, “It’s an incredible thrill, as well as a responsibility, to return the voice of the people to WSJS. A local talk station belongs to the listeners – our neighbors – to share their thoughts, their favorite things, favorite teams, their passion for the Triad, their celebrations, their issues, their dreams. We will restart that conversation and let the voices of the city color our days again.”

 

FANTASTIC SPEAKER LINEUP AND AGENDA for TALKERS 2022. TALKERS is presenting the 25th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running, largest and most important convention, TALKERS 2022, on Friday, June 10, 2022 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio.

TALKERS 2022 will be a “who’s who” of the talk media industry…

Red Apple Media CEO/WABC, New York owner John Catsimatidis is set to keynote with special guest addresses to be provided by iconic Key Networks personality Bill O’ Reilly and FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel star Brian Kilmeade.

See the complete agenda here.

TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “We are delighted to be able to join forces again with our colleagues at Hofstra – the site of our very successful 2021 and 2016 events – and enjoy the remarkable resources that its Lawrence Herbert School of Communication brings to the table.”

As was the case last year, this event will be held in a COVID-19 compliant environment based upon the circumstances at the time of the convention. As is its tradition, TALKERS 2022 will boldly address key issues – some existential – facing the talk radio and talk media industries at this dramatically critical juncture of rapidly accelerating technological and societal change as well as identifying the remarkable opportunities inherent in these developments. It will also provide participants with unique and powerful networking opportunities. Attendance at the conference is limited to members of the working media and directly associated industries as well as students enrolled in accredited learning institutions. All attendees will be required to register in advance on the phone with credit cards. Attendance will be limited, and the conference is again expected to be an early sellout. Full details about the agenda (more than 50 in-person, luminary speakers) sponsorship opportunities and hotel information will continue to be posted in TALKERS in the days ahead. The all-inclusive registration fee covering convention events, exhibits, food, and services for the day is $349. Because space will be limited and a sellout is anticipated, all registrations are non-refundable.

To register or to obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Travel and Hotel Information for TALKERS 2022. The full-service Long Island Marriott Uniondale is serving as the closest and best hotel for TALKERS 2022. To reserve rooms, please click here. All New York area airports are a car ride away from the hotel and Hofstra: JFK (18 miles), LaGuardia (24 miles), MacArthur (34 miles), Newark (47 miles). Free and convenient parking information at Hofstra will be posted here shortly.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago market media pro Bob Sirott – host of Nexstar Media’s WGN Radio morning show – will receive the Dante Award from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans at a luncheon today (5/26). The organization says that since its inception in 1971, more than 40 Chicago journalists have received the Dante Award, which recognizes media professionals who pursue truth in their work. Sirott says, “Looking at the long, impressive list of previous Dante Award winners, it makes me realize that the highly respected selection committee who decides who gets this award realized they had given this to every media person in Chicago except me. They simply ran out of names.”…..Salem Media Group announces that it will present at the LD Micro Invitational XII in Westlake Village, California on Tuesday, June 7 at 6:30 pm ET. LD Micro began in 2006 as an independent resource to the microcap world…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One, in its capacity as the official network radio partner of the NCAA, will air the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Semifinals and Championship Games over the Memorial Day weekend holiday. For the first time, Westwood One will broadcast the Women’s National Semifinal and Championship games in addition to the Men’s contests.

 

Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Presents 47th Annual Gracie Awards. Pictured above at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California is the board of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. Tuesday’s 47th Annual Gracie Awards Gala was hosted by Holly Robinson Peete and “recognized exemplary programming created by women, for women and about women in all facets of media and entertainment.” Local and student winners will be honored at the Gracie Awards Luncheon on June 22 in New York City. Photo: Getty Images for AWM

 

Texas School Massacre/Gun Control, Primary Races/Trump & the GOP, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, and U.S.-China Relations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/25). The aftermath of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers and the battle over gun control legislation; Tuesday’s primary races in Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, & Georgia and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the high cost of food & gas, the shortage of baby formula, and the tech stock selloff; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the rest of the world; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the high rate of COVID-19 cases in parts of the U.S.; and U.S.-China relations in the wake of President Joe Biden’s visit to Asia were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Advice

Monday Memo: RIP Bill Balls

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The 1970s-sounding “Star Wars” type lasers and WHOOSH that still plague sound-alike station imaging now seem as dated as those 1960s TV “Batman” fight-scene graphics: “POW!” And doggedly dodging them all is the Central Casting baritone, shouting or growling-through whatever copy the station sends.

“To stand out, take whatever you think is normal, and do the exact opposite.”

50 years ago, I was an English teacher; and I’ve been assigning reading ever since. And here’s a page-turner that will not only inform your station’s on-air marketing, it may inspire your career.

(more…)

Front Page News Industry News

Friday, January 21, 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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Manchinian Candidate,” looks back at this past week of 1/17 to 1/21. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSDave Elswick, talk show host, KDXE 101.1 The Answer, Little Rock; Joyce Kaufman, talk show host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale-Miami- Palm Beaches; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD MediaVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/Physician.  The show airs each weekend 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; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; 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 NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine 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.

Steve Jones Named CEO and President for Skyview Networks. Network executive Steve Jones is promoted to CEO and president of Skyview Networks from his previous COO/president role. In this new role, Jones will lead the sales, content, broadcast distribution and technology company. Founder and CEO Ken Thiele transitions to founder and executive chairman of the board, in which he’ll continue to engage in a high-level advisory role for the company. Thiele says, “Over the last 25 years, Skyview has evolved into a dynamic solutions leader in network audio, and through our enduring growth, we have always maintained a commitment to innovation and quality. I have had the privilege of working alongside Steve both as a client and as a leader within our company — he embodies these characteristics, which are also matched with an unyielding drive for excellence, keen business sense, and distinguished experience. I am privileged to welcome him to the role of CEO.” Jones comments, “I am grateful to Ken for trusting me to steward the company he has built in partnership with longtime EVP, Jeanne-Marie Condo. During the last three-years, despite pandemic challenges, Skyview Networks has become the fastest growing leader in network audio sales, syndication and distribution. Our unwavering commitment to customer service and proven financial performance have convinced content creators and influencers to join Skyview, while simultaneously providing advertisers effective, efficient and creative campaigns that achieve their marketing goals. At the core of this success is our company culture built on integrity and transparency, resulting in employees committed to one another and to our customers.”

FOX News Channel Reveals New Weekend Primetime Lineup. Effective the weekend of January 29, FOX News Channel debuts a new Saturday primetime lineup. Lawrence Jones will host a new, one-hour show titled, “Lawrence Jones Cross Country” airing at 10:00 pm ET and Brian Kilmeade will host his eponymous show at 8:00 pm ET. “Unfiltered with Dan Bongino” moves to the 9:00 pm ET slot. The 8:00 pm ET hour was formerly hosted by Jesse Watters who was named solo host of the weeknight “Jesse Watters Primetime” program. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says the promotion renders Jones, 29, the youngest Black solo host of a program in cable news. In addition to this new role, Jones will continue as the enterprise reporter for the “FOX & Friends” franchise. “Lawrence Jones Cross Country” will focus on newsmakers from across the political and cultural spectrum, spotlighting the leading concerns facing Americans nationwide. Kilmeade remains a co-host of FNC’s morning franchise “FOX & Friends” while also hosting the three-hour daily “Brian Kilmeade Show” on FOX News Audio and “What Made America Great” on FOX News Media’s streaming service FOX Nation. Scott says, “Lawrence has been an impact player since joining the network in 2018 and we are thrilled to add his critical insights to our weekend lineup.” Kilmeade comments, “I am truly honored that Suzanne has given me another incredible opportunity at FOX News Media. My ultimate goal is to create a program that will always seek solutions rather than sow division.”

Triton Digital Publishes December 2021 Podcast Report. The U.S. Podcast Report from Triton Digital is released and ranks podcast networks and podcasts from participating podcast networks based on average weekly downloads in the U.S. For the period of November 29 to January 2, Stitcher Media was the #1 podcast network with 43.1 million active downloads. NPR was #2 with 31.7 million, Audacy Podcast Network was #3 with 28.7 million, and Cumulus Podcast Network was #4 with 18 million. The report also ranks individual podcasts by average weekly download and audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” was #1. At #2 was “NPR News Now,” followed by Cumulus’ “The Ben Shaprio Show” at #3. You can see the complete rankers for the top 20 networks and the top 100 podcasts here.

SiriusXM Talk Host Joe Madison Ends Hunger Strike. In the aftermath of the failure of the Democrats to get the Senate to take up the Voting Rights Act, SiriusXM Urban View channel morning drive host Joe Madison ended his hunger strike. Madison spoke at length on his program about what, in the face of the Democratic leadership’s failure, his 74-day hunger strike accomplished. The SiriusXM PR staff transcribed his monologue and you can read it here.

Talk Radio Host Dr. Asa Pursuing Pro Wrestling Dream. Nationally syndicated talk radio and television personality Dr. Asa Andrew (right) is pursuing his dream of being a pro wrestler at the not-so-tender age of 50 – and he’s doing it with the help of WWE three-time World Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page (left). But after turning 50 and being asked if he has any regrets considering his vast accomplishments in medicine and media, he said, “I started a professional wrestling career years ago, and due to several life events, I wasn’t able to finish. I finish everything that I start.” In 2000, Dr. Asa was invited to an open tryout at the original WCW Power Plant in Atlanta. There he was one of two out of 35 that made it and was offered a contract. Paul Orndorff and Jody Hamilton ran the facility and told him to go finish his doctorate, and then he would start. Dr. Asa had nine months left to complete his degree, and during that time Vince McMahon bought WCW, and the opportunity was gone. His next chance had to be passed on as Dr. Asa’s father was dying of cancer and Asa knew he had to be there for him. Years later, Dr. Asa and his friend Dallas Page – whose backstory is that he is the oldest to successfully start a career in professional wrestling – decided the time is now to start that journey. Dallas called Cody Rhodes and QT Marshall with AEW’s affiliated developmental school, The Nightmare Factory, in Atlanta, and Dr. Asa started their training camp in October. As Dr. Asa continues to pursue his dream, he and Dallas Page are filming a new documentary on helping others transform their health that will be released sometime in the upcoming year.

WWO: NCAA Men’s Basketball Listening Reaches 33 Million. A study called the NCAA Men’s Basketball Listening Report from the CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group concludes that 33 million people listen to NCAA Men’s Basketball each season on Westwood One. This report includes a just-completed Nielsen PPM analysis of season-long audiences and brand-new data from a MARU/Matchbox study tracking a day in the life of an NCAA basketball fan. The study also found that among persons 18-34, Westwood One reaches 59% of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Audience and is the number two platform, ahead of linear television (behind streaming video). The younger the NCAA audience, the greater the reach and resonance of Westwood One’s audio platform. It also concludes that its audio coverage maximizes the value of an NCAA television media plan, generating incremental reach (+19%) and frequency. Executive vice president of marketing for Cumulus Media and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “There is no denying the fervor of the NCAA basketball audience and the excitement March Madness generates. Our Westwood One broadcasts cater to everyone, from the casual fan to the diehard, and they all are just the kind of listeners advertisers want – upscale, employed, and listening on the go.” See the complete study here.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio talk host Dave Elswick signs a new, one-year extension with Salem Media Group’s KDXE-FM, Little Rock “101.1 The Answer” to continue hosting the station’s morning show. He’s been with KDXE for the past eight years after serving for 14 years with crosstown news/talk KARN-FM…..The Radio Mercury Awards, produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau and funded by the Radio Creative Fund, announces that Alejandro Ortiz, executive creative director, Campbell Ewald, is the 2022 chief judge for the 31st annual edition of the Radio Mercury Awards. In his role, Ortiz leads the creative teams in New York, for a number of clients, including Empire State Development, I❤️NY, Port Authority of NY and NJ, a number of spirits and beverage brands at Constellation, and the New York Power Authority, as well as Shamrock Farms. Call for Entry for the 2022 Radio Mercury Awards will open in a few weeks. Learn more information on this year’s Call for Entry guidelines and deadlines here.

Biden Anniversary Press Conference & Agenda Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 17-21. Wednesday’s press conference by President Joe Biden on the first anniversary of his taking office, criticism of his first year, and his agenda going forward were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, coming together atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Supreme Court denying Donald Trump’s request to keep White House notes from the January 6 House Select Committee tied with the New York attorney general’s investigation into the Trump Organization. Following at #3 was the rate of COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, vaccine & mask mandates and the effect on the nation’s schools. 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.

 

 

KFRU-AM/FM, Columbia Seeks Talk Show Host. KFRU-AM/FM, Columbia, Missouri is looking for a dynamic full-time, talk show host who will hit the ground running and immediately contribute to the successful community-based heritage radio station. The successful candidate understands the broadcast business and takes pride in their work. This candidate needs to be a strategic and pro-active thinker. We require creative idea generating skills to constantly put the station in a position to succeed. Candidate needs a deep understanding of on-air, digital, and social media branding as well as a passion for impacting listeners in the community. If you enjoy a fast-paced work environment and have the gift to talk, please apply. Send your information to: casey.bartholomew@cumulus.com