NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Trick or Tweet,” looks back at this past week of 10/31-11/4. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Dr. Murray Sabrin, professor emeritus of finance, Ramapo College, NJ; Mark Davis, talk show host, 660 AM The Answer, Dallas/Fort Worth; Bobbie Winston a.k.a. La Femme Bobbie, musician/artist/American ex-pat, Rio de Janeiro; Renee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist/podcaster, Somerset, NJ; Matthew B. Harrison, Esq., associate publisher, TALKERS/law professor, Springfield, MA. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on 100-plus broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here.
iHeartMedia Q3 Revenue Up 7%. Reporting its financial data for the third quarter of 2022, iHeartMedia says revenue was $989 million, an increase of 7% over the same quarter a year ago. The company is also posting an operating loss of $211 million for the third quarter of 2022 compared to the operating income of $80 million it reported for Q3 of 2021. Additionally, iHeartMedia reports a net loss of almost $310 million compared to the net income of $3.6 million it posted in the third quarter of 2021. iHeartMedia breaks its operations into three segments. Third quarter results for those segments are as follows: the Multiplatform Group that includes its radio stations and program networks was basically flat with a revenue increase of 0.1% “as a result of increased political advertising revenue as 2022 is a midterm election year, partially offset by a decrease in revenue due to a more challenging macroeconomic environment. Broadcast revenue grew $2.1 million, or 0.4% year-over-year, driven by higher political advertising revenue and an increase in trade and barter revenue, partially offset by lower spot revenue, while Networks declined $(0.7) million, or 0.5% year-over-year.” The Digital Audio Group was up 23.4% on revenue of $254 million. This group’s revenue increased by $48.2 million compared to the prior year, “including growth from Digital, excluding Podcast revenue, which grew $21.1 million to $162.7 million, driven by increased demand for digital advertising as well as Podcast revenue which increased by $27.1 million to $91.3 million, driven by higher revenues from the development of new podcasts as well as growth from existing podcasts. Digital Audio Group revenue increased as a result of general increased demand for digital advertising and the growing popularity of podcasting.” And the Audio & Media Services Group was up 17.7% on revenue of $77.8 million. Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We’re pleased to report another quarter of solid operating results for iHeart, and our performance in the midst of the current climate of economic uncertainty is a strong indication of the successful transformation this company has undergone in which our high-growth digital revenues comprises 26% of total company revenues. Our Digital Audio Group continues to deliver industry-leading growth, and our Multiplatform Group has again demonstrated its resiliency during a difficult economic environment. We believe the strong positions of both of these groups with both consumers and advertisers give us the ability to both navigate through this period of economic uncertainty and position us for continued growth through the recovery and beyond.”
Salem Media Group Total Revenue Rises 1.3%. The company reports that its total revenue for the third quarter of 2022 was $66.9 million, an increase of 1.3% over the same period in 2021. Salem Media Group also reports an operating loss of $8.8 million compared to operating income of $15.8 million in Q3 of 2021, and a net loss of $11.9 million compared to the net income of $22.1 million is reported during the same period in 2021. Salem presents its financial data in three segments. The Broadcast segment reports revenue of $51.1 million, an increase of 3.1% over Q3 of 2021, Digital Media revenue was $10.2 million, down 4.3% from the third quarter of 2021, and Publishing revenue was $5.5 million, a decrease of 3.7% from the same period a year ago.
Round Four of October PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s October 2022 sweep covered September 15 – October 12. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In the Raleigh market, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM tacks on three-tenths to wrap the survey with a 9.1 share that puts it in the #1 spot, while Curtis Media Group’s news/talk WPTF sheds one-tenth for a 1.8 share finish to remain ranked #15. The top dogs in Milwaukee flip as iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN adds a full share for a 10.6 share finish that lifts it from #2 to #1, while Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ loses 1.9 shares for an 8.1 share finish that drops it from #1 to #4. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence adds on nine-tenths for wrap the survey with a 6.4 share that lifts it from #6 to #5. And in Jacksonville, Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM is up one-tenth to a 7.9 share good for the #3 rank in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the previous three groups) here.
Comrex Unveils New BRIC-Link III Audio Codec. The company officially unveils BRIC-Link III – the newest addition to its popular BRIC-Link family of codecs. Comrex says there are more than 10,000 BRIC-Link codecs circulating world-wide, and BRIC-Link III is an updated version that takes advantage of the latest improvements in IP audio transmission technology. BRIC-Link III is a true codec, offering a full-duplex stereo encoder and decoder in each box. A jitter buffer manager is incorporated that automatically balances delay and stability, dynamically increasing and decreasing delay based on network performance. BRIC-link III offers a wide range of encoding algorithms including stereo and mono linear mode, FLAC modes, AAC/HE-AAC modes, Opus, G.722 and G.711. BRIC-Link III features a new, more powerful processor for improved reliability. It also features enhanced front panel indicators, including four buttons which will trigger contact closures by default and configurable for auto-connections to other Comrex IP audio codecs. BRIC-Link III is compatible with all other Comrex IP audio codecs, including the ACCESS codec line as well as older BRIC-Link models. BRIC-Link III also works with Gagl, a new service now available for purchase for audio contribution. Gagl turns any Comrex IP audio codec into a hub for up to five remote participants. Like other BRIC-Link codecs, BRIC-Link III includes CrossLock VPN technology, Comrex’s proprietary suite of reliability tools. In addition to bonding technology, CrossLock also includes a Redundancy Mode for mission-critical applications. BRIC-Link III can take advantage of HotSwap, meaning that users can set a 4G/5G modem as a backup connection to only be engaged when the primary internet fails, providing an extra layer of reliability. Customers can also choose to purchase an optional one-time license per codec to utilize SwitchBoard, a private server that Comrex maintains which allows for easy connections between IP codecs. You can get more information on this and other Comrex products here.
GAB Radio Talent Institute Returns to University of Georgia. The RAB’s National Radio Talent System announces the return of the GAB Radio Talent Institute at the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. The institute takes place in person May 15 – 24, 2023 thanks to sponsorship from The Georgia Association of Broadcasters. The talent incubator spans 10 days and is led by broadcast professionals that bring their real-world industry knowledge from around the state and country to educate students. RAB says that college students from universities throughout the state and region apply to be accepted into the GAB Radio Talent Institute. This provides an ideal networking pool for the students and a wide variety of potential interests within the classroom for industry professionals to identify and actively recruit from. Upon completion of the Institute, students can further their networking capabilities with the ability to access the National Radio Talent System’s Career Center. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “We are delighted to have the GAB Radio Talent Institute make its return after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Collaborating with Bob Houghton and the Georgia Association of Broadcasters enables us to bring this world-class program to life in the southeast and further develop the next generation of broadcasters.”
TALKERS News Notes. Inside Towers’ Leslie Stimson writes an interesting piece about the FCC’s creation of a Space Bureau. Stimson writes that FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the move at the Satellite Industry Association meeting yesterday (11/3). “She said the growth of satellite broadband internet plays a big part in why the agency is making the move. ‘Ninety-eight percent of all satellite launches in 2021 were deployed into low-earth orbit to provide internet connectivity back here on Earth. They can help advance the FCC’s goals to connect everyone, everywhere,’ Rosenworcel said. ‘More than that, the success of these low-earth orbit communications satellites could be seen as an early litmus test for the broader commercialization of space.’” Read Stimson’s entire piece here…..Three Hillsdale College students have won national College Broadcasters, Inc. awards for their work with “Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM.” The awards were announced at the National Student Electronic Media Convention in Baltimore. Sophomore Lauren Smyth placed first in Best Newscast or Sportscast category for “Lauren Smyth News,” senior Josh Barker placed third in Best Hard News Reporting for his feature “The Policy Corner: Michigan Voting Laws,” and Rachel Kookogey (class of ’22) received both first and second place for two segments of her feature, “Sports Story Time.” WRFH general manager Scot Bertram says, “I’m very proud of our students for their well-deserved wins. It is great to see our students being recognized on the national level for their continued hard work and dedication.”…..SiriusXM announces its play-by-play coverage of the 2022-23 college basketball season that begins Monday (11/7). The opening night schedule features 24 teams from the men’s Associated Press Top 25, including defending national champion and #5-ranked Kansas facing Omaha and top-ranked North Carolina, coming off their 12th National Championship appearance, hosting UNC Wilmington…..Host Bethenny Frankel, the most successful business mogul to emerge from “The Real Housewives” franchise, and iHeartPodcasts launch a first-of-its-kind rewatch podcast titled, “ReWives.” Frankel, formerly of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York,” breaks down the franchise that launched her career. In each episode, she’s “joined by unexpected celebrity guests ranging from superfans to Housewives newbies for hilarious conversations and surprising insight on real topics.” “ReWives” premieres on November 14 with Elisabeth Moss as Frankel’s first guest. New episodes will post each Monday with additional guests including Jerry Springer, Suze Orman, Kevin Nealon, Dave Portnoy, Griffin Johnson and more.
Broadcaster Raising Awareness of Need for Organ Donors. Western Massachusetts broadcaster and public relations pro Mark Auerbach (pictured) is revealing his battle with kidney disease in an effort to raise awareness of the need for organ donors. Auerbach hosts “ArtsBeat,” “On The Mark” and “Athenaeum Spotlight” on WCPC15 and 89.5fm/WSKB. He’s also the ArtsBeat reporter for Pioneer Valley Radio. On today’s program that you can see here, Auerbach reveals his battle with Stage 5 kidney disease and the need for donors. Auerbach says people can help by taking any of three steps: 1) becoming an organ donor upon your death; 2) consider donating while you’re alive (get details at kidney.org); and 3) donating to him at Mass General Hospital’s living donors program (https://mghlivingdonors.org/).
Politics and Midterms Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 31 – November 4. The politics leading up to Tuesday’s midterm elections were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy combined with the Fed’s rate hike, followed by the aftermath of the Pelosi home invasion at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.