The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the recipients of the 2023 Leadership Awards that are given annually in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at-large. The Awards will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation Annual Breakfast on April 19 during the NAB Show. The 2023 Leadership Awards honorees are: Jim Doyle, founder, JDA Media; Steven Lanzano, president, Television Bureau of Advertising; Rush Limbaugh, radio host and political commentator, deceased, award accepted by his widow Kathryn Limbaugh; Debra O’Connell, president, networks, The Walt Disney Company; Deborah Parenti, president/publisher, Radio Ink/RBR+TVBR; and Heidi Raphael, chief communications officer, Beasley Media Group. The Broadcasters Foundation will also present the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award during the Breakfast. That honoree will be announced shortly. The Broadcasters Foundation Breakfast is complimentary to all in broadcasting. Registration is required, call 212-373-8250 or email email@example.com.
The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Rosanna Scotto, co-host of WNYW-TV, New York “FOX 5,” will honor this year’s Golden Mike Award recipient, Jack Abernethy, CEO of FOX Television Stations, and Jeff Smulyan, founder, CEO and chairman of Emmis Corporation, will pay tribute to the 2023 Edward F. McLaughlin Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Richard E. Wiley. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “We’re delighted to have such prestigious presenters at this year’s Golden Mike Award dinner. We’re looking forward to Rosanna and Jeff’s contributions to our program and thank them for lending us their time and talent, as broadcasters come together to honor Jack and Dick.” BFoA president Tim McCarthy adds, “The Golden Mike Award gala is one of our biggest fundraisers. We’ve seen an incredible uptick in requests for aid, and we thank everyone who has bought a table or ticket. The funds allow the Foundation to continue providing aid to hard-working individuals in our industry who have fallen on very challenging times due to illness or disaster.” For more information or to reserve a seat or table at the Golden Mike Award gala and fundraiser, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the renaming of its annual Lifetime Achievement Award to the Edward F. McLaughlin Lifetime Achievement Award, in honor of the iconic broadcaster, who passed away in 2018. The Edward F. McLaughlin Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made invaluable contributions to the television and radio industries. As previously announced, this year’s award will be presented to Richard Wiley during the Golden Mike Award gala on Monday, March 6, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. McLaughlin — a former ABC Radio Networks president — is widely recognized for syndicating talk host Rush Limbaugh, a move considered instrumental in the evolution of the modern news/talk radio format. McLaughlin was a longtime supporter of the Broadcasters Foundation and its mission to provide aid to people in radio and television who are in acute need. He served as the Foundation’s chairman for many years and held the title of chairman emeritus when he passed away in 2018. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “Ed was known as a leader and innovator. He recognized talent and daringly pushed forth new ideas that propelled network and AM radio forward. It’s fitting that the Lifetime Award be named in his honor.”
The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the host for this year’s BFOA Golden Mike Award dinner and ceremony is Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist and nationally syndicated talk show host Soledad O’Brien. The 2023 BFOA Golden Mike Award gala takes place on March 6 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The annual event is the biggest fundraiser for the Broadcasters Foundation, whose sole mission is to provide aid to radio and television professionals in acute need. BFoA president Tim McCarthy says, “We’re very excited to have Soledad host this year’s Golden Mike Award dinner. She is a multiple award-winning broadcast journalist whose reporting has brought awareness on numerous issues to the forefront. Combined with her philanthropic endeavors, she is the perfect person to host our special evening.” This year’s BFOA Golden Mike Award honoree is Jack Abernethy, CEO of FOX Television Stations. The Lifetime Achievment Award will be presented during the gala frundraiser to Richard E. Wiley, former chairman, commissioner, and general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission and one of the most prominent media and telecommunications lawyers in broadcasting.
Richard E. Wiley is a former chairman, commissioner, and general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission and one of the most prominent media and telecommunications lawyers. He will be honored with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America during the Golden Mike Award gala on Monday, March 6, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual who has made invaluable contributions to the television and radio industries. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “Dick’s commitment to fight for our industry in Washington has given broadcasters the opportunity to grow their business. His strong belief in our industry has extended to his support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to help those in our business who need it most. We are honored to present him with the Lifetime Achievement Award.” Wiley comments, “I am honored to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Broadcasters Foundation. Since arriving at the FCC more than 50 years ago and co-founding our DC law firm almost 40 years ago, it’s been a privilege to work with broadcasters on landmark innovations including the development of high-definition TV. I’m proud to be a part of this great industry’s evolution, and to support the Foundation’s mission of providing a critical safety net for members of the broadcast profession.” The annual Golden Mike Award gala is a major fundraiser for the Broadcasters Foundation, the only charity devoted exclusively to helping broadcasters in acute need. For information, or to reserve a seat or table at the Golden Mike Award gala and fundraiser, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or email@example.com.
Beasley Broadcast Group Q3 Net Revenue Rises 1.5%. Financial data from Beasley Broadcast Group’s third quarter of 2022 reveals net revenue of $63.8 million – an increase of 1.5% over the same period in 2021. The company reports operating income of $4.7 million in the third quarter of 2022 compared to $4.9 million in the third quarter of 2021. It says this slight decrease was driven by a $1.2 million increase in corporate expenses related to investments in its digital business as well as severance expense, partially offset by a year-over-year increase in Station Operating Income (SOI, a non-GAAP financial measure). Beasley reports net income of $500,000 compared to the net loss of $1.6 million it reported during the same period a year ago. Station operating income increased by 5.1% to $12.3 million in the third quarter of 2022, up from $11.7 million in the third quarter of 2021. The company says the increase is primarily attributable to higher net revenue, which more than offset higher operating expenses. Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley says, “Beasley delivered another strong period of operating and financial performance, reflecting the ongoing success of our digital transformation and revenue diversification strategies. Top-line growth was the primary factor contributing to a 5.1% year-over-year increase in SOI to $12.3 million and was driven by continued strength in local audio advertising and impressive growth in our digital business. Regarding the economic environment, like many companies, we are managing through some challenging market conditions with a focus on what we can control. We continue to experience increased volatility in national spot advertising, which accounted for approximately 15% of our third quarter net revenues. The ongoing strength of our digital and local audio advertising revenues is helping us to partially offset these declines. We are also taking actions on the expense side, and have implemented approximately $10 million in expense reductions, of which roughly half were from a reduction to headcount. Digital remains a key component of our revenue diversification strategy. Digital revenue increased 23.1% year-over-year representing 16% of total third quarter revenues, while our digital margin improved. Our digital performance benefitted from a first full quarter contribution from the white label digital agency we acquired in late June, which we believe will continue to accelerate our digital revenue growth and provide meaningful synergies with our growing digital platform. In both the second and third quarters, digital revenue accounted for a larger share of our revenue than national advertising, and we expect this revenue source to continue offsetting national spot weakness in the coming quarters. Total outstanding debt as of September 30, 2022 was $290 million. In summary, we believe these results demonstrate the strength and relevance of our industry-leading audio and digital content, as well as our teams’ extraordinary efforts to serve our listeners, customers and communities through challenging circumstances. And while we cannot control how the economic situation evolves in the coming months, we have already taken decisive steps to mitigate the impact of near-term headwinds and drive continued progress against our long-term growth strategy. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on maximizing our growth opportunities, managing our expenses and capital structure, serving our audiences and advertisers and delivering results for our stockholders.”
Monday Memo: Your Podcast ‘Bones.’ Like your on-air work, your podcast is a show. And consultant Holland Cooke figures that “as a professional broadcaster, you enter the on-demand audio arena advantaged over others…BUT…” In this week’s column, HC cautions that – given the way podcasts are consumed – your format is critical. Read it here.
Greg Renoe Promoted to Market Manager for Cumulus Columbia/Jefferson City. The company promotes Greg Renoe from his general sales manager position with the Columbia and Jefferson City, Missouri clusters to vice president and market manager. The station groups consist of news/talk KFRU, Columbia and news/talk KLIK, Jefferson City plus five music brands. Cumulus Media SVP of operations Mark Sullivan says, “Greg’s long-standing relationships with our staff, key advertisers, and civic leaders, together with his deep knowledge of the market and effectiveness as a leader, have earned him this promotion. I look forward to his continued success with our organization in Middle Missouri.” Renoe adds, “I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead the Cumulus team here in Middle Missouri. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead and sharing in many successes with my co-workers. There is no end to what we can accomplish together with our collective vision for these incredible assets.”
iHeartMedia Names Doug Hall Digital PD for LA and SF. Digital media pro Doug Hall is named regional digital program director for iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles and San Francisco clusters. Hall has been serving with the national iHeartRadio team as a senior digital director out of the Nashville headquarters. In this new role, Hall will be responsible for the strategy, audience growth, and maximizing iHeartMedia’s digital platforms in these markets. Hall will report to John Peake, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Los Angeles. Peake says, “Our iconic Los Angeles audio brands and on-air talent are the engines that are driving unprecedented digital growth. I’ve watched Doug grow and evolve from his time in promotions to leading winning teams in San Francisco, Miami and Nashville. We are fortunate to have him leading our LA digital efforts and rejoining the team in San Francisco.” Hall comments, “I’m excited for this full circle moment, coming back to Los Angeles, where it all started. I can’t wait to dive in and help both our Los Angeles and San Francisco markets continue to grow and innovate in the digital space.”
Megan Marcus Returns to Paramount as VP of Podcast Editorial. Producer and journalist Megan Marcus is named vice president of podcast editorial at Paramount where she will oversee content for CBS News’ slate of podcasts. In this new role, Marcus will oversee the full creative slate for CBS News podcasts in addition to working on editorial across all Paramount global podcasts. This marks a return to CBS News for Marcus, who produced the first two seasons of Mo Rocca’s award-winning podcast “MOBITUARIES” and also worked closely with the CBS News team. Paramount EVP of podcasting and audio Steve Raizes says, “Megan is a dynamic producer and leader in the podcasting field. She did an incredible job guiding ‘MOBITUARIES’ to the top of the podcast charts and is already at work on our current and future slate of CBS News Audio properties.”
Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches Year-End Giving Campaign. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is launching its annual year-end giving campaign. The appeal asks for tax-deductible donations to provide financial assistance to people in broadcasting whose lives have been shattered by debilitating illness, accident, or catastrophe. BFoA president Tim McCarthy says, “Our grantees are your colleagues. They are hard-working men and women who through no fault of their own need our help. Requests for aid continue to increase every year. We cannot turn our backs on those in our industry who need our help.” This year, the Broadcasters Foundation will award close to $2 million in monthly and one-time emergency grants. Since 2017, monthly grants have increased 70% and more than 600 emergency grants have been awarded. Over the past 20 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed more than $15 million to broadcasters in need. Broadcasters Foundation board of directors chairman Scott Herman adds, “Disaster often strikes without notice and extreme circumstances can deplete a life’s savings quickly. We need everyone in radio and TV to spread the word about the Foundation’s charitable mission across their station and company, in case they or someone they know needs our help.” More information, including how to make a personal or corporate donation or apply for aid is available at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, and by contacting the Foundation at 212-373-8250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.</p
Midterm Elections/Trump in 2024, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Elon Musk & Twitter, Daylight Saving Time Controversy, Astros Win World Series, and Powerball Jackpot Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Tuesday’s midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate, combined with expectations that Donald Trump will announce his bid for the 2024 Republican nomination shortly; inflation and concerns about a recession; Russia’s targeting of Ukraine’s infrastructure as the war grinds on; Elon Musk’s mercurial leadership tactics as owner of Twitter; the debate over Daylight Saving Time and whether to make it permanent in the U.S.; the Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series; and the now $1.9 billion Powerball jackpot were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
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, “Inflation Inflammation,” looks back at this past week of 10/17-10/21. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Jack Heath, talk show host, the Pulse of NH; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Jerry Reynolds, talk show host, CarPro Radio Network/WBAP, Dallas; and Matthew B. Harrison, Esq., associate publisher, TALKERS. 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.
Wisconsin Talk Hosts Avoid Prosecution for Entering Locked State House. According to coverage from Madison.com, charges against Michael Crute (left) and Dominic Salvia (right) – hosts of the progressive talk program, “The Devil’s Advocates Radio Show,” for entering the Wisconsin Capitol illegally on December 22 of 2020 are being dropped. Crute and Salvia’s program is heard in Milwaukee on Good Karma Brands’ WAUK-AM/W266DR, on WTTN-AM/W224EG in Madison and other Wisconsin signals. The duo, along with producer Bryan Kelly, accessed the locked Capitol during the pandemic lockdown to “put up a Christmas tree that included ornaments lampooning Republican lawmakers after Republican state Reps. Paul Tittl and Shae Sortwell and others put up their own tree in the Capitol rotunda and held other activities without a permit because Democratic Gov. Tony Evers had decided not to put up a tree during the pandemic.” Crute, Salvia and Kelly’s lawyer told the program’s listeners that his defensive strategy “was going to be the defense of selective prosecution” on the part of the district attorney. In the end it didn’t matter because ultimately the prosecution “did not feel at this time in the interest of justice jury trials in these matters was warranted.”
Salem Announces Midterm Election Coverage. The company says that its coverage of the November midterm elections will begin on Tuesday (11/8) at 7:00 pm ET and run through 2:00 am the next morning. Salem Media Group says that the Salem Radio Network will join forces with the new Salem News Channel platform to provide marathon “DECISION 22” Midterm Election coverage focusing on the battle over which political party will gain control of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for the next two years. “DECISION 22” will also track election results in hotly contested races for governor from coast-to-coast. SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup states, “This promises to be quite very possibly the most historic Midterm election and it will offer our audiences the first ever live broadcast partnership between our ground-breaking Salem News Channel and the Salem Radio Network nationwide.” For the first five hours starting at 7:00 pm ET, SNC’s Andrew Wilkow and SRN’s nationally syndicated talk hosts Hugh Hewitt and Dr. Sebastian Gorka will anchor the live coverage that will include perspective and analysis from invited guests including SRN hosts Mike Gallagher and Brandon Tatum live from midterm “watch parties.” Correspondents updating key races will include Chris Stigall of “AM990 The Answer” in Philadelphia covering the pivotal Pennsylvania U.S. Senate contest. SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston will provide breaking news throughout the evening from the Decision Desk in the Washington bureau. At 12:00 midnight ET coverage switches to the Los Angeles studios of Salem’s “870AM The ANSWER” for continuing coverage anchored by Jennifer Horn (host of The Morning Answer of KRLA and KTIE) and KRLA news anchor Larry Marino.
Mike Miller Named VP of Programming for iHeartMedia Central PA. Radio programming pro Mike Miller is named vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Central PA stations that include news/talk WHP-AM and sports talk WTKT-AM “FOX Sports 1460” in Harrisburg, as well as five music brands. iHeartMedia national programming group EVP Jeff Hurley comments, “Mike brings an unparalleled understanding of our business and operations. His track record of innovation speaks for itself. He has created and grown unique brands from the ground up for over 20 years in Central PA. We’re excited to welcome Mike back to our programming team, where he got his first start on ‘FM97’ in Lancaster at age 16.”
Broadcasters Foundation of America Lauded for Hurricane Assistance. After hurricanes swept through Puerto Rico and Southwest Florida, those working in the broadcasting business in the those areas have had to deal with personal and family issues in addition to having to keep up their professional duties to keep the public informed and apprised of everything that is happening in clean-up efforts. At best, it has been difficult for those in the broadcast community to continue working while also dealing with damage to their property or automobiles. At worst, they may be dealing with something such as injury to a family member or pet. While there is certainly no way to replace something as precious as life, the Broadcasters Foundation of America has stepped in to provide some financial security to those colleagues who are suffering from these natural disasters. Dozens of employees from various radio and television companies in those areas have reached out for help and the BFOA has either already delivered or is in the process of providing financial support. Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Hurricane Ian was one of the worst natural disasters to hit Southwest Florida in over a century. A near category 5 hurricane, the storm devastated communities that Beasley serves. Our employees worked around the clock, serving as a lifeline to listeners when radio was the only source of communication available to them with the outside world. Throughout the storm, Tim McCarthy and the Broadcasters Foundation of America team were front and center, checking in and offering assistance to our employees who were directly impacted by the hurricane. It’s that type of true commitment and dedication to broadcasters on the front lines every day that makes the BFOA so incredibly important and vital as they take care of those who selflessly take care of others every day. That is what the Broadcasters Foundation of America is all about!”
TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between SiriusXM and New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hollis gives SXM the exclusive rights to distribute and sell advertising for “The Rachel Hollis Podcast.” Additionally, the agreement calls for Stitcher to distribute the show across all podcast platforms. Hollis says, “Teaming up with SiriusXM allows us to further elevate the show, bringing it into an exciting new chapter. I believe we learn the most by listening to other people’s stories and sharing in conversation. My hope is to keep seeking out wisdom from our guests that spark curiosity and openness with an ever-evolving audience.”…..Salem Media Group is presenting at the Annual LD Micro Main Event XV investor conference at 5:00 pm ET on October 26. The presentation will be available on the investor relations portion of Salem’s website prior to the company’s presentation…..Dr. Daliah Wachs’ GCN-syndicated talk radio program adds a new affiliate as Fairview Broadcasting’s news/talk KWBG-AM, Boone, Iowa adds the show to its program schedule in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm daypart.
Politics and the Midterm Elections Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 17-21. The politics and the debates leading up to the November midterm elections combined as the most-talked-about-stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Takers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy – including inflation, the up-and-down financial markets, and fears of a recession – followed by the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine tied with other foreign affairs stories 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.
It’s Official: KEGL-FM, Dallas Flips to Hot Talk as ‘97.1 The Freak.’ After a cryptic message from longtime Dallas sports talk personality Mike Rhyner two weeks ago fueled speculation that iHeartMedia would flip rock outlet KEGL-FM “97.1 The Eagle” to sports talk, the company finally reveals that the change will actually be to hot talk. KEGL-FM is now “97.1 The Freak.” The company says that “The Freak” will be “a broad-based personality radio station that connects in a personal way with the DFW audience.” It will feature “The Speakeasy” from 7:00 am to 11:00 am starring Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs and Matt Cather, followed by “The Ben & Skin Show” with Ben Rogers, Jeff “Skin” Wade, Krystina “K-Ray” Ray and Michael “Grubes” Gruber; and “The Downbeat” in afternoon drive hosted by former longtime KTCK personality Mike Rhyner, with Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber. iHeartMedia Dallas regional VP of programming Patrick Davis says, “We’re beyond excited to introduce “97.1 The Freak.” The level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas-Fort Worth!”
Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2022 Legends of Radio Inductees. The Museum of Broadcast Communications announces the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022, “recognizing the talents and efforts of air personalities, programmers and operators who contributed with greatness to the radio industry and have since passed away.” They are: Doug Banks, nationally syndicated on-air personality; James Brown, legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE, Knoxville; Bob Coburn, host of the syndicated “Rockline” show; Chick Hearn, play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers; Bernice Judis, owner and general manager, WNEW-AM from the 1930s through the 1950s; Sid Mark, host of syndicated program, “Sounds of Sinatra”; Bobby O’Jay, on-air personality, WDIA-AM, Memphis; Pervis Spann, on-air personality, WVON-AM, Chicago; James Thompson, Group W Broadcasting president and president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America; and Rosalie Trombley, music director of CKLW-AM, Detroit in the 1960s–1970s. Radio Hall of Fame co-chair Kraig T. Kitchin says, “The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100-plus-year-old industry. I’m thrilled to see the nominating committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.” The Radio Hall of Fame recognizes its 2022 class of inductees at the in-person 2022 Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Tuesday, November 1, at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Acqua Hotel.
Derek Wolfe Joins Darren McKee for Afternoons at ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Television station KUSA-FV “9News” is reporting that recently retired Denver Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe joins Bonneville’s sports talk KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” as co-host of the weekday afternoon sports show “The Drive” with Darren “Dmac” McKee. Wolfe takes over the co-host role on the afternoon drive show after the company did not renew the contract of fellow former Bronco and Colorado Buffalo Tyler Polumbus.
Cumulus Unveils New Morning Show at ‘104.5 The Zone’ in Nashville. Beginning tomorrow (10/5), Cumulus Media’s sports talk WGFX-FM, Nashville “104.5 The Zone” features two new co-hosts alongside Ramon Foster. Kayla Anderson – who’s been sports anchor, reporter and more for WKRN-TV, Nashville “News 2 TV” – joins the program as does current WGFX-FM high school play-by-play voice, Titans post-game show host and fill-in host Will Boling. Station operations manager Paul Mason says, “Ramon Foster has a tremendous natural ability to connect with sports fans in morning radio, and our listeners love him. Bringing Ramon together with experienced television sports anchor and reporter Kayla Anderson and hometown broadcaster Will Boling creates a truly special dynamic that will make for some great morning sports radio!”
BFoA Delivers Aid to Broadcasters Puerto Rico, Florida, and Carolinas. The Broadcasters Foundation of America says it is providing emergency aid to qualifying colleagues in the radio and TV industry who have been personally hit hard by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian. BFoA says that so far, requests have come in from individuals who work at Spanish Broadcasting System, America CV Station Group, Telemundo, and Univision, with the first of those checks going out to qualifying individuals this week. BFoA president Tim McCarthy states, “Our Emergency Grant Program is set up with a streamlined vetting process that allows us to move quickly and get checks to those in desperate need quickly. Broken pipes, power outages, displacement, and more have brought devastation to many of our colleagues.” Broadcasters can apply for emergency aid and see if they qualify by clicking here.
AWM Names Gracies Leadership Awards Honorees. The Alliance for Women in Media announces the seven honorees for the Gracies Leadership Awards that will be presented on Monday, November 14 at Tribeca 360 in New York. Google News Initiative is a presenting sponsor of the awards. AWM says the annual event provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the significant impact women have made in the media industry, while also spurring to action and emboldening female leaders in attendance. The list of this year’s honorees include the following: Nancy Daniels, chief of content, TNets, Discovery, Animal Planet, & Science Channel; Marie Donoghue, vice president, Global Sports Video, Amazon; Kim Godwin, president, ABC News; Wendy Goldberg, chief communications officer, iHeartMedia, Inc.; Chesley Maddox-Dorsey, CEO, American Urban Radio Networks; Debra O’Connell, president, Networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution; and Dawn Porter, founder, Trilogy Films. AWM president Becky Brooksstates, “It is an exceptional honor to recognize and celebrate this strong lineup and powerhouse of women leaders in our industry. Soledad O’Brien as our keynote speaker will undoubtedly create an unforgettable event for everyone in attendance.”
TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between SiriusXM and Dan Abrams’ Law&Crime TV network adds the network to the satcaster’s streaming channel lineup. Abrams says, “I’ve loved being part of the SiriusXM family and am thrilled to be expanding our collaboration. We have been talking with SiriusXM for years about a Law&Crime channel that would bring compelling trial coverage and crime content to the platform, so it’s really exciting to see this come to fruition.” In addition to his Law&Crime network, Abrams is also the host of “The Dan Abrams Show” heard from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. channel as well as the host of “Dan Abrams Live” on NewsNation, the chief legal analyst for ABC News and host of “On Patrol: Live on Reelz.”…..NHPR will be celebrated on Thursday, October 20, 2022, as the recipient of The Nackey S. Loeb School’s Quill & Ink Award. This award is not given annually, but instead is reserved to honor significant contributions to the First Amendment. NHPR is being honored for continuing to produce high-quality accountability journalism in the face of legal threats and vandalism directed at some staff members and their families. NHPR president and CEO Jim Schachter says, “This is a fitting tribute to our newsroom’s outstanding work and our journalists’ courage. I’m glad that it recognizes the entire organization, because it takes everyone at NHPR to make our journalism possible.”
Russia-Ukraine War, Hurricane Ian Aftermath, Inflation/Recession Fears, Trump Legal Issues, November Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Oath Keepers Trial, and Brazilian/European Politics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3). Russian president Vladimir Putin’s move to call up more troops and to attempt to annex parts of Ukraine; the destruction in southwest Florida left by Hurricane Ian; the record-setting inflation and fears of a recession; the legal issues facing former President Donald Trump and his defamation suit against CNN; the November midterm elections and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the Washington, DC trial of several Oath Keepers on seditious conspiracy charges relative to the January 6 Capitol riot; and the political situation in Brazil and in Europe were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Monday Memo: Promoting Your Podcast with Email. Few opportunities to engage are more powerful than the ongoing conversation you have with followers. Consultant Holland Cooke calls it “a relationship that Pandora and Spotify and SiriusXM can’t emulate and smart radio hosts exploit well.” In this week’s column, HC lists tips from email experts. Read it here.
Pending Business: Electric Rapport. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the electric vehicle legislation passed in California and what the future of electric vehicle sales may mean for marketing via radio. He says, “Although the timing on this potential marketing tidal wave is a few years away, it is worth noting early stage marketing has indeed begun. Should you sharpen the relationships and trust-building skills that will improve your chances of being on the inside track of the planning? There is always room to improve those skills.” Read his column here.
Annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon Raises $3.5 Million. Pictured above is Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (left) on WEEI, Boston’s “Greg Hill Show” (l-r Courtney Cox, Jermaine Wiggins, Greg Hill) as the Audacy sports talk station teamed with regional sport net NESN to raise more than $3.5 million for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute during the 20th annual “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.” Since its inception, the two-day event has raised more than $65 million. Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Mike Thomas says, “This was the 20th anniversary of the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, and our listeners and sponsors came through like never before. To hear the doctors talk about the progress that is being made, the clinical trials that are ongoing, and to hear from patients about how Dana-Farber saved their life will forever be in our hearts and minds. There really is nothing like the two days of this fundraiser.” (Photo: 13 Photography)
Broadcasters Foundation of America Establishes Frank Boyle Memorial Fund. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the creation of The Frank Boyle Memorial Fund to honor the respected broadcaster and media broker who passed away Tuesday at the age of 96. Boyle began his radio career in 1953 at WJR, Detroit before joining Eastman National Radio Sales as Detroit office manager. He was soon promoted to New York office manager and continued to rise steadily, eventually becoming Eastman’s chairman of the board and CEO. Boyle founded Eastman Cable Representatives, the first national sales rep in the cable TV business and the largest for many years. He left Eastman Radio in 1979 to found Frank Boyle & Co., a well-regarded independent station brokerage and consultation company. The firm acquired radio stations in Albany, NY and Peterborough/ Keene, NH, along with a cable system outside of Binghamton, NY. Boyle served on the board of the Radio Advertising Bureau, was inducted in the Hall Fame of Broadcasting in 2006, and awarded the Giants of Broadcasting honor in 2021. He may be the only non-air talent and non-network executive or station group owner to be selected for both significant industry awards. His surviving family encourages donations to The Frank Boyle Memorial Fund by clicking here.
KJCE-AM, Austin to Co-Produce Pregame Show for Friday Night Football. Austin news/talk outlet KJCE-AM “Talk Radio 1370” is partnering with the Westlake High School football program to co-produce a pregame show prior to every Chaparrals football game this season. “Talk Radio 1370” serves as the flagship station of the team’s play-by-play broadcasts and the new show is being hosted by Joe Taylor, who serves as executive producer of the program and voice of the Chaparrals, and KJCE assistant brand manager Kasey Johns. Dubbed “ATX Kickoff, driven by Capitol Chevrolet,” the show will also feature Texas A&M play-by-play voice Andrew Monaco, University of Texas color analyst Roger Wallace and Austin American-Statesman community sports editor Thomas Jones. Audacy Austin SVP and market manager Bob MacKay says, “We’re excited to embark on this partnership with the Chaps and help bring the action home for Westlake Nation. This partnership aligns well with our expanded coverage of high school and college football each week.”
VSiN Announces New Programming; Brent Musburger to Host Weekly Show. The VSiN sports betting network announces its fall programming schedule that includes “Countdown to Kickoff with Brent Musburger,” the new show hosted by the Hall of Fame broadcaster and regular VSiN contributor since the network’s debut in 2017. The program will air Sundays from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm ET. VSiN general manager Len Mead says, “The addition of this new programming and its industry leading talent will position VSiN to provide the growing number of sports bettors in the U.S. with expert betting insights and premium content. Led by a team of sports betting experts, including the legendary Brent Musburger, we look forward to serving sports bettors by expanding our primetime programming and producing new weekend specials highlighting the week’s biggest games.”
SiriusXM’s Tom Brady Show Returns for Second Season. The program “Let’s Go!” starring Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, NFL All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald, and Hall of Fame Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Jim Gray begins its second season on September 5. Sirius XM says, “In its first season, ‘Let’s Go!’ reached the top of the charts among sports podcasts and Gray, Brady and Fitzgerald will continue their compelling and candid conversations every week this fall. Brady begins his historic 23rd season in the NFL when he takes the field for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 and Fitzgerald is one of the greatest receivers to ever play the game. Gray has known and interviewed these two future Hall of Famers since they came into the league. Listeners will hear their thoughts on the latest news around the league, as well as their lives away from the football field. The show will also feature appearances by high-profile guests.”
Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, FBI Raid/Documents Investigation, Biden Student Loan Plan, The Economy, Oregon Shooting, Russia-Ukraine War, and Artemis Launch Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November midterm elections and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the classified documents investigation; criticism of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan; inflation and concerns about a recession; the deadly shooting at a grocery store in Oregon; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; and the scheduled launch of NASA’s Artemis rocket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Political and Cultural Polarization Addressed at TALKERS 2022. At the recent TALKERS 2022 convention held on June 10 at Hofstra University on Long Island, five talk radio hosts representing various political perspectives participated in the panel discussion “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization.” The panel was moderated by WPHT, Philadelphia talk show host Dom Giordano (below), who was introduced by WINS, New York morning drive anchor Lee Harris.
WCHV, Charlottesville talk show host and program director Joe Thomas takes part in the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel.
KOA, Denver talk show host Mandy Connell speaks during her appearance on the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel.
WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz makes a point during his appearance on the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel.
GCN nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs during her appearance on the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel.
WICC, Bridgeport, Connecticut talk host and Connecticut probate judge Lisa Wexler speaks on the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel.
Complete TALKERS 2022 Session Videos Being Posted TALKERS magazine is posting complete videos of each session from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University. The video of the “Morning Greetings” session has been posted. This session includes: TALKERS 2022 emcee and TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey; the National Anthem performed on saxophone by WOAI, San Antonio and Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo; the “Welcome to Long Island” speech by JVC Broadcasting president/CEO John Caracciolo; the “Morning Wakeup” from FOX News Radio host Jimmy Failla; “A Gathering of Friends and Colleagues” presentation from Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity; and “Talk Radio in the Post-Rush Era” from Premiere Networks talk host Buck Sexton. See the video here.
KOA, Denver Programmer Greg Foster Among Staffers Let Go by iHeartMedia. The staff reductions taking place at iHeartMedia hit the Denver cluster recently with program director Greg Foster among those getting their pink slips. In addition to Foster, Tim Spence – program director for KHOW, Denver and KCOL, Fort Collins – was also let go, as was talk host Mike Rosen and producer for Mandy Connell’s program, Dave Lauer. Foster tells TALKERS magazine, “As for me, I’m certainly grateful for my 22-years with iHeart/Clear Channel. It was a good run!”
Westwood One Blog Reveals Results of Online Sports Betting Study. The CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group commissioned MARU/Matchbox to conduct a national brand awareness study of online sports betting brands and it surveyed 1,252 adults 21-plus in February. The study consisted of 483 respondents were from states that have legalized sports betting and 769 respondents were from states that have not. Some of the ley findings include: 1) The ideal target for online sports betting are adults 35-54 who are married, have kids, and work full time. Nearly half of those most interested in online sports betting are adults 35-54 (48%). Women are becoming more interested in online sports betting. The gender profile of those interested is more evenly distributed (men 54% vs. women 46%); 2) Based on media habits of online sports betting intenders, the optimal media allocation is 54% AM/FM radio and 48% TV. Compared to TV viewers, AM/FM radio listeners have far more experience with online sports betting, greater interest, greater awareness of, and greater engagement with online sports betting brands; 3) The audio sports betting media plan should contain a wide array of AM/FM radio programming formats and podcast genres. Those interested in online sports betting listen to a broad array of podcast genres and AM/FM radio programming formats beyond just Sports programming. Audio media plans that focus mostly on spoken word (news/talk and sports) will miss the majority of those who are engaged with online sports betting. Based on AM/FM radio programming format preferences among those interested in online sports betting, the ideal allocation is 20% of impressions to rock and then 10% each to the rest of the formats (classic rock, news/talk, sports, classic hits/oldies, country, Top 40, urban, and adult contemporary); and 4) Audio media plans should emphasize reach over frequency and increase weight to reach 60% of the market. Recent monthly AM/FM radio plans are only reaching 38% of the market. Brands should seek to reach at least 60% of the market each month.
AdLarge Names Brian Egan Director of Digital Content and Strategy. Joining AdLarge as director of digital content and strategy is Brian Egan, who most recently was creator and co-founder of Inlet TV, a digital multi-media live streaming platform focused on highly scalable HTTP live streaming technology. In his new role with AdLarge, Egan will “spearhead the expansion of strategic discovery methods to uncover new talent and content creators in order to develop authentic and re-imagined advertising opportunities for clients.” AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas says, “Throughout his career, Brian has had the opportunity to work with some of the largest podcasters in the world and brings an impressive depth of experience and entrepreneurial vision to the company. With his leadership, we’re focused on finding new marketing and content opportunities and look forward to reaching new levels of success for our clients in 2022.” Egan comments, “I can’t express how excited I am to join this incredible team of industry-leading professionals. I’m looking forward to contributing to the inspired work they already do for their content partners, with an eye toward expanding their footprint in emerging markets and products. For anyone looking to connect on podcast content, technology, or to just make an introduction – my inbox is wide open!”
Townsquare Media Closes on Cherry Creek Acquisition. The deal for Townsquare Media to acquire 34 radio stations in nine markets from Cherry Creek has closed. Townsquare is paying $18.75 million for the stations in Butte, Great Falls, and Missoula, Montana; Montrose, Colorado; Sierra Vista, Arizona; St. George-Cedar City, Utah; Tri-Cities and Wenatchee, Washington; and Williston, North Dakota. Townsquare is divesting six radio stations in Missoula, Montana, to Anderson Broadcasting, Legacy Broadcasting (a non-profit organization), and Missoula Community Radio (also a non-profit organization), and is placing two radio stations in Tri-Cities, Washington in a divestiture trust. This transaction is being funded with cash on hand and Townsquare CFO Stuart Rosenstein states, “This acquisition represents a compelling use of capital that aligns with our priorities of investing in our local business through both organic investments and prudent acquisitions that support our revenue and profit growth. This acquisition is net leverage neutral and due to the strong cash generation of our business and the acquired assets, will not impact our ability to reach our goal of 4x net leverage by year end.” KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.
ESPN Cleveland Hosts Inaugural Block Party. To celebrate the beginning of summer and to show off their new studios, Good Karma Brands’ WKNR-AM “ESPN Cleveland” will host the inaugural Block Party, presented by MGM Northfield Park, tomorrow (6/23) from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Fans can hear their favorite ESPN Cleveland hosts broadcast live, on stage, throughout the day. In addition to live show broadcasts, a second stage will host live music from a variety of local bands, vendors will sell local food and beverages, fans can participate in games with prizes, and even “dunk” their favorite ESPN Cleveland talent in the dunk tank. In addition, Cleveland’s pro sports teams are taking part in the event and all proceeds from it will benefit Muttley Crue Rescue – which rescues, cares for, and re-homes neglected, abused and/or homeless dogs. ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo states, “The block party is going to be great opportunity for fans, partners, and teammates to get together after a long two years. I know the highlight of the day will be Aaron Goldhammer in the dunk tank!”
FABULOUS OFFER: Epoch Times Extraordinary Freebie to TALKERS 2022 Attendees Temporarily Extended to All TALKERS Subscribers. One of the most popular perks of the recent TALKERS 2022 conference held on Long Island (6/10) was a free lifetime digital subscription presented to all of the event’s attendees by The Epoch Times. The 20-plus year old international newspaper based here in the United States is a favorite of news/talk media hosts. The rapidly growing publication is known for its independent reporting and devotion to upholding the First Amendment and American democracy. Readers of TALKERS interested in receiving a lifetime digital subscription – no strings attached – can do so by clicking here.
New C. Crane Emergency Radio a Big Hit at TALKERS 2022. The first 200 registrants to arrive at the recent TALKERS 2022 convention on June 10 were surprised and delighted to find a real prize individually handed to them by iconic radio manufacturer/distributor C. Crane for their conference goodie bag. Each attendee received an amazing CCRadio Solar radio unit – valued at $99.99 retail – and the result was raves all around. The CCRadio Solar is a small digital portable radio that is successful as an emergency radio but the form and format function invite its owner to use it daily. Placed in a sunny window it’s perfect for the morning news. Audio is a surprise; it’s accurate, pleasing and has two modes. A miser mode to conserve battery power in a true emergency and a high-power mode for an even better audio experience. Reception is good for the size. The almost brick-size depth and unique UV resistant rubber perimeter is concave on the bottom which makes it inherently stable. The flashlight is above average in brightness and color because of the selected high-quality LED. The hand crank folded (that’s right, it can be cranked for power) and inlaid on in the back is the only visible clue that it’s an emergency radio. The included lithium-ion battery can be recharged by wind-up, solar panel, your USB port, or optional AC power adapter (not included). When the lithium-ion battery is fully charged, the radio will run more than 50 hours or charge your phone from the approximately 50% level to 100% level. It can also be powered by three “AA” alkaline batteries (not included) for approximately 50 hours in low power mode or 35 hours in high power mode. C. Crane founder Bob Crane tells TALKERS, “I brought the first CCRadio Solar home and my wife absconded with it until our designer/illustrator had to beg to get it back for documentation. To get it back from him was also overly arduous. I have never seen a radio so coveted. It is about hand size and it stays charged in a sunny window with an oversize solar panel which means it may not need a power assist for years.” To learn more about this fabulous device and enjoy a TALKERS discount on C.Crane purchases, please click here.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces Radio Giving Day. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces its first annual Radio Giving Day taking place on Wednesday, June 29 and calls it “a day to come together as one community with one common goal – to support radio professionals in need of financial assistance due to a critical illness, accident, or disaster.” In addition, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the charitable mission of the Broadcasters Foundation so that a radio professional in acute need can apply for aid. BFoA co-president Tim McCarthy says, “We need to make sure everyone working in radio stations across America is aware of what we do. It’s a tragedy to think that one of our colleagues in need might qualify for aid but doesn’t know about us. We’re asking everyone in radio to spread the word, especially if they know someone who we might be able to help.” The Broadcasters Foundation is encouraging radio groups and stations to implement employee donation drives in support of Radio Giving Day. Several media companies and radio station groups have already committed to helping the Radio Giving Day initiative, including Alpha Media Group, Audacy, Beasley Media Group, Connoisseur Media, Educational Media Foundation, Good Karma Brands, iHeartMedia, Independent Broadcasters Association, Premiere Networks, Salem Media Group, Skyview Satellite Network, Spanish Broadcasting System, and Townsquare Media.
TALKERS News Notes. A new program is launching on SportsMap Radio Network on Saturday, July 2, from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon ET. “The Game Before the Money” pairs football author, podcast host, and oral historian Jackson Michael with author and former NFL executive Upton Bell. Michael and Bell reveal stories that few fans have access to or even know exist. The weekly, hour-long program merges narratives from the NFL’s past with today’s headlines and compares yesteryear’s All-Americans with current college stars. GOW Media CEO David Gow states, “This is a highly entertaining and informative program. Jackson and Upton are both amazing storytellers. This is a wonderful addition to our network.”…..SiriusXM is recognizing the 50th anniversary of the passing of Title IX with special programming on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel and on the SXM App that highlights the impact the law had on the future of women’s sports. On June 23, 1972, the federal civil rights law (Title IX) was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, prohibiting discrimination based on sex in any school or education program that receives funding from the federal government. The introduction of Title IX led to a considerable increase in the number of females participating in organized sports within American academic institutions and is considered to have been a significant step forward in the advancement of equality and equity for women and girls in sport. Tonight at 6:00 ET, SiriusXM’s Linda Cohn hosts “Title IX at 50,” which will examine the impact of Title IX on the world of sports, highlight significant moments that followed the passage of the law, and tell the stories of several groundbreaking women who have excelled in various sports.
The Economy, Primary Elections, Gun Legislation, SCOTUS Religious Education Ruling, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Heatwave/Western Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/21). The high price of gas & food, President Joe Biden’s considering federal gas tax relief, the sinking financial markets, and concerns about a recession; Tuesday’s primary elections for November’s midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Senate negotiators reach a deal on bi-partisan gun legislation; the Supreme Court rules against Maine’s ban on taxpayer funding for religious schools; the continuing January 6 Committee’s hearings; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the global economy; and the intense heatwaves taking place in the U.S. and abroad and the drought affecting the Western U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Morning Talk Show Co-Host at ‘Rock 102,’ Springfield is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Often referred to by Michael Harrison as a “talk radio pound-for-pound champion” Mike “Bax” Baxendale – who has reigned over Western Massachusetts radio ratings and revenue for the past 27 years on an extraordinary level – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Known to his loyal legion of listeners simply as “Bax,” Baxendale has been enormously successful as a key member of the evolving WAQY “Rock 102” morning team since 1995 and is still going strong. First, he enjoyed an amazingly long run with talented co-host John O’ Brien (Bax & O’ Brien) and now the momentum continues with co-hosts Steve Nagle and Dave Coombs (“Bax, Steve and Dave”). See photo (l-r) Bax, Steve Nagle and Dave Coombs. Bax has become, according to Harrison, “a quintessential example of the notable breed of radio talker operating within the context of a duo or team on a music FM station where politics is mostly local, unpredictably non-partisan and not the only focus of interest.” Harrison continues, “This hard-working broadcaster talks politics, music, sports, and a wide scope of day-to-day issues and his range covers silly to serious, irreverent to respectful.” Harrison and Bax talk about the business realities faced by duos and teams on radio as well as the differences between how talk show hosts on music radio stations approach their audiences in terms of subject matter and attitude and those who perform on traditional news/talkers. Harrison refers to his own talk roots in FM music radio. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Podtrac Releases Top Podcast Publishers and Podcasts for May. Releasing its Top Podcast Publishers and Top Podcasts for the month of May based on U.S. unique monthly audience, Podtrac reports that iHeartRadio is #1 with a unique monthly audience of 29.4 million. NPR comes in at #2 with a unique monthly audience of 18.9 million. Other publishers in the top 20 include Daily Wire at #7 (repped by Cumulus Podcast Network), PodcastOne at #8 FOX Audio Network at #11, Blaze Media at #13, and Cumulus Podcast Network at #16. For the top 20 podcasts based on unique monthly audience, Podtrac ranks “The Daily” from The New York Times at #1, followed by “NPR News Now” at #2. “The Ben Shapiro Show” is ranked #5. Other radio-related shows include iHeartRadio’s “Stuff You Should Know” at #8, “FOX News Radio Hourly Newscast” at #11, and “The Dan Bongino Show” at #13. See the complete charts here.
Glades Media Names 25-Year Rush Limbaugh Engineer as Chief Operating Officer. Radio pro Brian Johnson – who served for 25 years as the radio broadcast engineer for “The Rush Limbaugh Show” – is the new chief operating officer for Glades Media. The company co-founders – Robert Castellanos, chairman and chief executive officer, and James Johnson, chief financial officer – will continue their roles. Castellanos says, “For the past year, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Brian and seeing first-hand what an outstanding broadcaster he’s become. Brian’s passion for radio and people is evident in how he approaches every opportunity and challenge. I look forward to building upon our business partnership as we continue navigating the broadcast media landscape.” Johnson spent 25 years as Limbaugh’s personal engineer, a role that began when the conservative radio icon moved to Palm Beach in 1996. Johnson comments, “It was a blessing to work side by side with the greatest broadcaster in our business. I’m eager to apply that experience and insight into my new role at Glades Media.” Johnson also owns BMZ Broadcasting, LLC and leases WLMX-FM to Glades Media.
Bret Burkhart Joins Audacy’s All-News KCBS-AM, San Francisco. Bay Area news pro Bret Burkhart is joining Audacy’s all-news KCBS-AM as a news anchor. Burkhart joins the station after spending the last 23 years at Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KGO-AM and most recently was an anchor during the station’s morning and midday shows. Audacy San Francisco SVP and market manager Stacey Kauffman states, “We are incredibly fortunate that Bret is continuing his already illustrious career as an anchor for his hometown KCBS. He brings to KCBS a comprehensive and complex skill set that we will all benefit from. Bret knows politics, the Bay Area, what makes a good story and how to tell it, and we look forward to welcoming him aboard.” Burkhart comments, “KCBS is the gold standard for news around the Bay Area and beyond and I feel so fortunate to be joining an amazing group of broadcasters and storytellers.”
Adams Radio Launches Voluntary Employee Donation Drive to Benefit the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The company says that this voluntary employee donation drive is designed to “help create awareness and raise funds for the Broadcasters Foundation of America, a 501(c)3 charity that provides aid to fellow broadcasters in acute need from life-altering illness, accident, or other disaster.” The plan allows all Adams Radio Group employees the opportunity to set up automatic payroll deductions, in any amount, as donations to the Broadcasters Foundation. Adams president Ron Stone states, “When I learned that the sole mission of the Broadcasters Foundation is to provide financial assistance to our colleagues who, through no fault of their own, are in desperate need, I knew we had to get involved. These broadcasters are our colleagues. I would ask every radio group to consider helping the only charity that is dedicated solely to helping our colleagues.” BFoA co-president Jim Thompson says, “We’re very grateful to Ron for launching a voluntary employee donation drive to benefit the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation. With help from broadcasters like Ron, we can continue to provide aid to those in our industry who need it most.”
Cumulus Media Extends ABL Credit Facility. The company states that its indirect wholly owned subsidiary – Cumulus Media New Holdings Inc. – is entering into an amendment of its existing $100 million revolving credit facility. The amendment, among other things, extends the maturity from 2025 to 2027 subject to certain springing maturity conditions. As of June 8, 2022, there were no amounts outstanding under the Revolving Credit Facility. Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary G. Berner says, “By extending the ABL through 2027, we are locking in a long-term, favorable source of liquidity – enhancing our already strong balance sheet and increasing our financial flexibility as we continue to evolve from a one-dimensional radio broadcaster to a multi-dimensional audio media company. This action follows the expiration of the $25 million tender offer pursuant to our $50 million share buyback program and demonstrates our continuing commitment to making operational and financial decisions that enhance shareholder value.”
iHeartMedia Rebrands WBZT-AM, West Palm Beach as “1230 The Gambler.” The West Palm Beach sports talk station is rebranding as “Sports Radio 1230 The Gambler” and is using content from VSiN, The Sports Betting Network iHeartMedia’s WBZT-AM will air 22 hours of live VSiN programming daily in addition to Miami Marlins baseball games and University of Florida football and basketball matchups. Additionally, ‘The Gambler’ will feature “The Greek Zone” live from South Florida, weekday afternoons from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Station PD Brian Mudd comments, “We’re thrilled to bring this informative and entertaining brand of sports talk to local sports fans. Sports betting as a 24/7 format, and specifically the expert analysis from VSiN and our very own Greek, is a perfect choice for ‘The Gambler.’”
Primary Elections/Trump & the GOP, January 6 Hearings, the Economy, Attempted Kavanaugh Attack, Gun Violence-Legislation, Russia-Ukraine War, Extreme Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/8). The results of Tuesday’s primary elections, the ouster of San Francisco’s liberal DA, and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; today’s beginning of the January 6 Committee hearings; the soaring price of gasoline & food and concerns about a recession; a California man is arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home intending to do him harm; the recent spate of gun violence and attempts to craft gun control legislation; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and is effect on the global economy; and the severe heatwave forecast for the Southwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Announces Promotions and New Contracts for News Staffers. Charlotte news/talk WBT-AM/FM announces that it is “committed to remaining the news and information leader in Charlotte into its second century of broadcasting” with the promotion of veteran news reporter and host Mark Garrison to news director and the addition of a weeknight talk show for senior reporter Brett Jensen. Both Garrison and Jenson have signed new multi-year contracts and Radio One says it will be adding a news producer to its team. In the past two years, WBT has added anchors Anna Erickson, Mark Mueller, and Tony Marino to work alongside Garrison, Jensen, reporter Joe Gillespie, traffic reporters Pam Warner and Boomer Von Cannon, sports reporters Jim Szoke and Sharon Thorsland, and anchors Jeff Atkinson and Mike Dohn. The station says Garrison, long a leader in the Charlotte news community on both radio and television, has demonstrated his commitment to objectivity and journalistic integrity for decades. He will continue to host “Charlotte at Six” each weeknight, delivering his signature storytelling while supervising the day-to-day operations of the WBT newsroom. The station adds that in under four years at WBT, “Breaking Brett Jensen” has become synonymous with breaking news coverage, delivering exclusive content for the Charlotte community like no other. In addition to his reporting duties, Jensen will host “Breaking with Brett Jensen” each weeknight from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm where he will dive deeper into the stories that he has reported and take calls from listeners. Radio One regional VP and market manager Marsha Landess comments, “Mark and Brett are among the elite news professionals in the country, period. We are thrilled that their new appointments will strengthen the best news department in Charlotte.”
WVOX/WVIP’s William O’Shaughnessy Passes at 84. Longtime New York radio executive William O’Shaughnessy died Saturday (5/28) at his home in Litchfield, Connecticut at the age of 84 after a battle with urothelial cancer. He was widely considered one of the country’s most colorful community broadcasters, well-known for his editorials, commentaries, appreciations, elegies, and character portraits, which inspired The New York Times to declare that “Bill O’Shaughnessy’s commentaries make his New York TV counterparts look like so much mish-mash.” He served as president and editorial director of WVOX and WVIP in New Rochelle, New York – stations with which he was associated for 67 years. He began his career in 1957 at the original WVIP in Northern Westchester, a fabled suburban station owned by Martin Stone, producer of “Howdy Doody” and “Author Meets Critic.” He was the station’s top advertising salesman at the age of 21. He went on to serve as executive assistant to WNEW, New York’s general manager John Van Buren Sullivan. He was a longtime member of the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s board of directors and chairman of its Guardian Fund. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement, “Bill O’ Shaughnessy was more than an accomplished broadcaster and author. He was a living symbol of the radio medium’s most glorious ideals – both in substance and style – and he was one of modern-day America’s most influential and inspirational proponents of the First Amendment.” Services will take place at Lloyd Maxcy, 16 Shea Place in New Rochelle on Tuesday, May 31 4:00 pm-7:00 pm. The funeral mass will be held at St. Anthony of Padua, 49 South Street, Litchfield on Wednesday, June 1 at 11:30 am. In lieu of flowers, the O’Shaughnessy family would be grateful for a donation in his honor to the Broadcasters Foundation of America: https://broadcastersfoundation.org/donate/
WWO Audio Active Group: The Benefits of Emotion-Based Brand Building. In this week’s blog from the Westwood One Audio Active Group, two different types of advertising copy are studied – rational copy rooted in features and benefits and emotion-based copy that can be used to build brands. The blog reports that according to Binet and Field, the rational approach to advertising (relevant and useful targeted activation) works together with the emotion-based approach that “creates positive feelings and associations” via broad-reach ads that are “interesting and enjoyable.” The report also concludes that: 1) Emotion-based creative builds stronger brands and generates greater business outcomes; 2) Emotions guide and simplify our decision making: Positive emotional responses lead to a positive evaluation of choice; 3) According to authors John Kearon, Orlando Wood, and Tom Ewing, ads should build familiarity, create positive emotion, and make things easy to process; and 4) Podcast listeners prefer funny and entertaining ads but say they are more likely to hear rational podcast ads that communicate features/benefits. See the blog here.
TALKERS News Notes. The Radio Television Digital News Association has completed its announcement of the winners of Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and Audacy was honored with 23 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism. Seven Audacy markets were honored including Buffalo, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and St. Louis and WCCO, Minneapolis; KYW-AM/FM, Philadelphia; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; and KMOX, St. Louis all picked up “Overall Excellence” Awards. The National Edward R. Murrow Awards will be announced later this summer and winners will be honored on October 10 at a gala in New York City…..SiriusXM announces the debut of a new weekly show “Conversations with Joel,” starring Joel Osteen on Thursday, June 2 on Joel Osteen Radio. SiriusXM says, “Through one-on-one conversations with top leaders, athletes, entrepreneurs, celebrities and world-renowned influencers, ‘Conversations with Joel’ will empower listeners to unlock the champion within, overcome challenges, break through barriers, and be their best in every area of life. His scheduled guests include actor, comedian and director Kelsey Grammer; actor and television host Terry Crews; “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts; CBS Sports broadcaster James Brown; NFL agent Nicole Lynn; “FOX & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt; television personality and sports reporter Jay Glazer and others…..ABC News releases the trailer for its new three-part podcast series, “Reclaimed: The Story of Mamie Till-Mobley.” Hosted by historian and ABC News contributor Leah Wright-Rigueur, the new series chronicles the life and legacy of Mamie Till-Mobley, whose fight for justice after her son’s brutal murder helped spark the civil rights movement. The first episode of “Reclaimed: The Story of Mamie Till-Mobley” debuts Wednesday, June 1, with new episodes posting weekly…..iHeartRadio and Sound Argument LLC announce the launch of a new documentary podcast titled, “Class Action.” Hosted by Katie Phang, a trial lawyer, anchor, and host for MSNBC and Peacock, the 12-part podcast series will track a diverse cast of outstanding law students who are battling it out in mock trial competitions across the country. The first two episodes will debut on June 7 and can be heard on iHeartRadio and all other major platforms.
Uvalde Massacre Aftermath/Weekend Gun Violence/Gun Control, Russia-Ukraine War, Primaries/Trump & the GOP, Inflation/Recession Fears, SCOTUS Leak Investigation, Monkeypox, and Memorial Day Holiday Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into the police tactics during the attack on Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, the spate of gun violence in the U.S. over the weekend, and talk about gun control measures; Russian’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the conflict’s global effects; the primary races for November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the high price of food and gasoline and concerns about a looming recession; the intensifying investigation into the leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade; the spread of monkeypox; and the Memorial Day holiday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
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, “Staying Focused,” looks back at this past week of 4/25 to 4/29. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Matthew B. Harrison, media attorney/associate publisher, TALKERS; Gregg Stebben, correspondent, beamz.live; Bill Brady, talk show host/owner, KFNX, Phoenix; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs weekends 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; WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; 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 Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Podcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is 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.
Bill Cameron to Host Weekly Show for WLS-AM, Chicago. Legendary Chicago political reporter Bill Cameron is returning to Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to produce and host the Sunday radio program and podcast “Take 1 with Bill Cameron.” The program will debut from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on May 1 featuring Cameron’s unedited interviews with Chicago newsmakers and discussions about local breaking news. His first guest is Senator Dick Durbin. Cameron, who retired from full-time reporting in August 2021 after more than 50 years of covering Chicago politics, says, “It’s impossible to walk away from Chicago. This is the city with politics that wouldn’t be believable in a movie script, architecture that architects worldwide come to study, Nobel Prize-winning intellectuals, nationally renowned restaurants, performing arts, and museums, eight professional sports teams that alternately thrill and confound diehard fans, and more than 200 diverse neighborhoods in 78 community areas. ‘Take 1 with Bill Cameron’ is the kind of program ideally suited to radio. Ask a question, get out of the way, don’t interrupt, and let interesting people tell their stories – no sound bites, no spin, no shouting, no editing.” WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “We are delighted to welcome back Bill Cameron to ‘the Big 89.’ The news doesn’t stop and neither does Bill.”
Good Karma Brands Unveils Apps for New York and Los Angeles Stations. The two newest sports talk stations in the Good Karma Brands stable – ESPN Los Angeles and ESPN New York – are getting their own apps. The company announces the new apps “offer fans the opportunity to listen to all shows and content with limited recorded commercials.” ESPN LA SVP and market manager Sam Pines says, “It is a priority to invest in our fans and partners, and by creating a one-tap-to-listen app, we are able to deliver shows and content for free to fans across the country. The easily accessible content will include all of fans’ favorite ESPN LA voices.” ESPN New York market manager Vinny DiMarco adds, “We are continuing to invest in our fans and deliver best-in-class content at their convenience. Whether it’s hearing your favorite 98.7 ESPN host or live games, you’ll be able to listen anytime and anywhere.” Earlier this year, sports media and marketing company Good Karma Brands acquired ESPN LA 710 AM and ESPN 1050 AM in New York, as well as the agreement to perform ESPN’s obligations under the Local Marketing Agreement for 98.7 ESPN in New York.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Presents Leadership Awards. On Wednesday morning (4/27), the Broadcasters Foundation of America closed the NAB Show in Las Vegas by honoring several industry leaders at its annual Leadership Awards breakfast. The Leadership Award is presented by the Broadcasters Foundation annually to industry leaders who have made an impact on the broadcast industry and in their local communities. This year’s honorees are: Byron Allen, founder, chairman, and CEO, Allen Media Group; Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer, Cumulus Media; Ralph Oakley, retired, president and CEO, Quincy Media; Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group; and Dennis Wharton, retired, EVP, Media Relations, National Association of Broadcasters. Gordon Smith, former U.S. Senator and special advisor to the NAB, was honored with the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award, which is presented annually to a broadcast luminary who has made an impact on the industry through innovation, entrepreneurship, issue advocacy, community service, and philanthropy. Pictured above are (from l-r): Tim McCarthy, co-president of the Broadcasters Foundation and Scott Herman, chairman of Broadcasters Foundation, Byron Allen, Pierre Bouvard, Christine Travaglini, Dennis Wharton, Ralph Oakley, and Gordon Smith.
TALKERS News Notes. Cablefax publishes its Top 100 Power Players of the cable industry and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy is honored with inclusion on the list. Cablefax says its chart represents “exceptional leaders [who] have grown their organizations through a pandemic, rising inflation, M&A, an influx of streaming services and general uncertainty without ever dropping the ball.”…..Talk radio host Simon Conway is adding another gig to his already busy spring work schedule. Conway – heard in afternoon drive on iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines; WMT, Cedar Rapids; and WOC, Davenport, Iowa – has been filling in on Bud Hedinger’s morning show on WFLF, Orlando since March 24. This weekend, he’ll be hosting the Premiere Networks-syndicated talk show, “The Weekend.”…..iHeartRadio and 23andMe are debuting season three of the podcast “Spit,” that features a different guest podcast creator on each program diving into genetics, DNA, health and how it all ties together. Each host shows how knowledge of our DNA is a powerful tool in living our healthiest lives. Season three explores how specific information about our DNA can change our lives.
The Economy Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 25-29. The economy, including the sinking value of tech stocks, the high price of food and gasoline, and predictions of a major recession came together as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and the reactions on Wall Street and by the public, followed by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War and U.S. foreign policy 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.
‘Free Talk Live’ Co-Host Ian Freeman is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. A self-described “activist for liberty” for the past two decades, Ian Freeman co-hosts (with Mark Edge) the independently syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live.” The program emanates from Keene, New Hampshire and airs seven nights a week between 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET. In addition to the two co-hosts, the show presents a rotating panel of regular personalities – such as one individual whose legal name is Nobody – described as ministers of the Shire Free Church (the show’s parent organization) and features various voices from New Hampshire’s liberty activist community. It has guests and takes callers from across the nation. Although still on the air regularly, Freeman is currently under federal arrest on a wide array of charges ranging from money laundering to wire fraud. He maintains his innocence and claims the FBI and other government agencies are on the mission of shutting him up after years of dealing with the nuisance of the show’s activism and controversial information. Freeman will begin his trial later this year. Stand by for a fascinating conversation about the First Amendment, freedom of speech, liberty, civil disobedience, and the role and impact of cryptocurrency in our modern society – the connection to which a number of Freeman’s legal troubles are related. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Weber Named Interim Broadcast Managing Editor for WBBM, Chicago. According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Zac Weber is being promoted from his morning editor position to interim broadcast managing editor at Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago. This move comes three months after Julie Mann left the managing editor post at the station to take the public information officer role with Kane County, Illinois. WBBM Newsradio brand manager Ron Gleason says in a memo to staff, “Zac has done a tremendous job as morning editor, and there’s no question his skills of scouring the world for the latest news early each morning will pay off for all of us.”
Micah Goldberg Rises to SVP and Market Manager for Audacy Denver. Sales and management pro Micah Goldberg is promoted to SVP and market manager for Audacy’s Denver station group that includes sports talk KAMP-AM “The Bet 1430AM,” comedy KQKS-HD2 and three music brands. Goldberg – who was most recently director of sales for the cluster – takes over for John Fullam who had been serving as interim market manager since July 2021 and returns to his executive coaching business. Goldberg says, “Team Audacy is second to none. The pride I feel being able to continue contributing and leading a team I have such respect for is nearly indescribable. Following in John Fullam’s footsteps is no easy task, but I know Audacy Denver will continue to make him proud. Thanks to Audacy, Doug [Abernethy] and Susan [Larkin] for all the support and for this amazing opportunity.”
Edison: 39% of Americans 12+ Have No Radio in the Home. Calling it “radio’s hardware problem,” Edison Research says that data from its soon-to-be-released The Infinite Dial 2022 report indicates that over the last two years, the number of Americans 12+ who report not having a radio in their home has risen almost 10% with 39% reporting no radio in the home. Just 14 years ago that figure was 4%. Edison Research president Larry Rosin says, “Of course, nearly all cars have AM/FM radios easily available, and people can listen to the content of radio stations on their phones or smart speakers. However, the elimination of the standard, single-use radio from so many households makes the challenge that much harder in the location that most people spend the most hours.” Many consider the smart speaker to be the new in-home radio. Edison says it will present smart speaker adoption data when it reveals The Infinite Dial 2022 at Podcast Movement Evolutions on March 23.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thanks Joe Madison for Help with Antilynching Act. Pictured above at yesterday’s bill enrollment photo opportunity for H.R. 55, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which specifies lynching as a hate crime act, are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (third from right) and SiriusXM talk personality Joe Madison (far right). Speaker Pelosi thanked Madison for his efforts is raising awareness of the bill. Also pictured are: Chair Bennie Thompson, House Committee on Homeland Security (far left); Chair Joyce Beatty, Congressional Black Caucus (second from left); Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) (third from left); and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (second from right).
WJR, Detroit Named Station of the Year by MAB. News/talk WJR-AM, Detroit was named Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters as part of its 2021 Broadcast Excellence Awards. This is the fifth time in six years that the Cumulus Media station has been recognized as the Station of the Year. In addition, WJR was selected for 17 “Excellence” awards, and 7 “Merit” awards. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “Winning so many awards reflects the depth of talent on this all-star team. Winning Station of the Year is especially gratifying, as WJR celebrates our 100th Anniversary this year! We thank the MAB for this wonderful recognition.”
TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Erick Erickson Show” is being added to the program schedule at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s news/talk WMAY-AM/FM, Springfield, Illinois. Erickson launched the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program nationally in May of 2021. The show is based at Cox Media Group’s news/talk “95.5 WSB” in Atlanta. Erickson says, “We’re excited to be joining the lineup at WMAY in Springfield and look forward to many great things to come in 2022.”…..iHeartMedia, Inc. announces that it has named Sam Englebardt, general partner of Galaxy Interactive, to its board of directors. Galaxy Interactive is a venture capital franchise focused on companies operating at the intersection of content, finance and technology, with a particular emphasis on video game studios, NFTs, social platforms and financial marketplaces. Englebardt is also co-founder and partner at Galaxy Digital, a technology-driven financial services and investment management firm that provides institutions and clients with a full suite of financial solutions spanning the digital assets ecosystem. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Sam’s expertise and deep understanding of web3, exponential technologies and the potential of emerging consumer tech platforms like NFTs, tokens and shared virtual experiences, combined with his background in media and entertainment, will be uniquely valuable to us as we extend iHeart’s presence into web3 and the metaverse.”…..Audacy Pittsburgh raises funds to provide over 600,000 meals for people in need through Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The “Giant Eagle Feed the Need Radiothon” aired on February 25 on KDKA “News Radio 100.1 FM and 1020 AM,” KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” and its two music-formatted sister stations. Audacy Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Pittsburghers help their neighbors in times of need. Our community is at the core of everything we do at Audacy Pittsburgh. The results of the ‘Feed the Need Radiothon’ are a good showcase of radio’s power in our region. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to make this another successful year.”
Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces New Board Members and Officers. The Broadcasters Foundation of America elects Curtis LeGeyt, president and CEO for the National Association of Broadcasters, Dennis Lyle, president and CEO for the Illinois Broadcasters Association and the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation, and Chad Matthews, president of ABC Owned Stations, to its board. In addition, it names Heather Cohen, EVP of The Weiss Agency, and Judy Quaranta, a highly accomplished executive in the world of finance, as officers. Quaranta will also fill the role of vice president of finance for the BFoA. Chairman Scott Herman says, “We’re delighted to announce these esteemed individuals — Curtis, Dennis, and Chad – as members of our board. Their support of the Foundation’s charitable mission and their leadership in the broadcast industry is commendable. Heather and Judy are accomplished professionals in their individual fields, and as officers of the Broadcasters Foundation, they will help us advance our cause of helping our colleagues who are in great need.”
Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, Fed Rate Hike, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Daylight Saving Time Bill, and Cuomo Sues CNN Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16). The Russian invasion of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky’s appeal to the U.S. Congress, and China’s role in Russia’s gambit; the high price of gas at the pumps and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the Fed approves a quarter-percent interest rate hike; concerns about the Ba.2 Omicron variant and the rolling back of mask mandates in the U.S.; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the debate over the Senate-approved bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent; and Chris Cuomo sues CNN for $125 million claiming he was unlawfully fired were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to research from TALKERS magazine.
John Rosso Rises to President and CEO of Triton Digital. The company’s president of market development rises to president and CEO as Triton Digital founder Neal Schore transitions to managing advisor. John Rosso says of his new role, “I am extremely proud of Triton Digital’s achievements and market-leading innovations and accomplishments and I’m looking forward to guiding the company as we continue to fuel the growth of the global online audio industry. Neal has always insisted that Triton Digital provide unparalleled service, unrivaled expertise and a commitment to excellence, and I look forward to building on that legacy, further expanding Triton Digital and contributing even more to the industry as we move into the next stage of growth.” Schore comments, “I founded Triton Digital in 2006 to reinvent the online audio industry. It has been wildly fulfilling for me to experience Triton Digital delivering innovative technology, attracting the best of the best team, and building an incredible client base in over 80 countries, and I am so grateful to our team and clients for all their loyalty and trust since launching the company over 16 years ago. I’m pleased to assume the role of managing advisor, and to continue to support Triton Digital’s clients and employees under John’s exceptional leadership as Triton Digital continues to carry on our tradition of driving and leading our industry.”
Brett Beshore to Lead Alpha Media Dayton Cluster. Radio executive Brett Beshore joins Alpha Media as SVP/market manager for the company’s Dayton station group that includes sports talk WING-AM and four music brands. Beshore has served as market president for iHeartMedia Indianapolis for the past 10 years. Alpha Media regional president and chief compliance officer Bill McElveen commented on the announcement, “Since our former market manager in Dayton, Keith Wright, announced his retirement earlier this year, we’ve been searching for the best possible candidate to lead our awesome team in Dayton, and Brett brings all of Alpha’s core values to the market. He knows how to lead a team and serve a great market and we’re excited to welcome him aboard.” Beshore states, “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to join ‘the Pack’ at Alpha Media. Alpha’s Dayton stations have a highly talented team and a solid track record of success in the market with heritage brands such as WDHT-FM, WROU-FM, WGTZ-FM, WCLI-FM and WING-AM. I look forward to serving our advertiser partners and providing great content for our listeners. I can’t wait to tell the story and find ways to use our stations to build and promote the great city of Dayton.”
iHeartMedia Announces Deal with TicketSmarter. A new multi-year agreement between Digital Ally’s TicketSmarter and iHeartMedia is struck that includes national marketing campaigns, prominent website feature displays, and sponsorship of national contests. The national contests will be powered by TicketSmarter and allow iHeartRadio listeners the opportunity to win trips and experiences. TicketSmarter CEO Jeff Goodman says, “We are thrilled to kick off this agreement with iHeartRadio and their innovative marketing team. We look forward to building once-in-a-lifetime experiences for their listeners.”
Today’s David Grapples Goliath with Problem/Solution. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian today presents a profile of Tampa-based talk personality David Gornoski. The 33-year-old hosts a daily, two-hour show on Genesis Communications’ WHBO, Tampa that is also distributed as a podcast. He assesses his endeavor as “more of a mission,” rather than a conventional news/talk show, succinctly mentioning the “Neighbor’s Choice” title “felt right” when he started this project approximately seven years ago. “It actually began as an informal book club with some friends I gathered together. We try to make sense of current events through the lens of anthropology – I called our little group ‘a neighbor’s choice.’ I thought we need to shake things up by taking ideas we’ve been [discussing] in our neighborly community to the public. I wanted to introduce a new way of looking at things and began doing a podcast online in 2015.” He says that he views Joe Rogan’s podcast success as something radio should look at. “Joe Rogan does a fantastic show and has been able to build a parallel universe with a younger demographic. If we bring a young, relevant, fresh and interesting perspective to talk radio, there’s no reason why we can’t have 11 million young people tuning into a [terrestrial] radio show.” Read more here.
TALKERS News Notes. At 2022 SXSW yesterday (3/15), PodcastOne president Kit Gray took part in the panel titled, “Everything Old is New Again: The Podcast Biz Model, along with fellow panelists Gary Ousdahl of Advanced Management, Jenni Skaug of Sonic Influencer Marketing, and panel moderator Ilana Susnow, head of marketing & audience development for PodcastOne. The goal was to talk about the modern podcast business model and how it has adapted and adopted methods from content industries including TV, radio, streaming, and social media…..Good Karma Brands’ KSPN-AM, “ESPN Los Angeles” and the Los Angeles Lakers agree to extend their radio rights deal, continuing a long-standing partnership. The station will carry all regular-season games as well as all preseason and post-season games. The station has served as the official radio broadcast home of the Los Angeles Lakers since 2009. Handling play-by-play duties are John Ireland, currently in his 11th season as the Lakers radio play-by-play announcer, and Lakers legend and two-time World Champion, Mychal Thompson, who is in his 19th season as color commentator…..The Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, in collaboration with iHeartRadio, announce the release of “Payback,” a new multimedia series on the years-long fight by members of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) against what they allege is “institutionalized gender discrimination” in professional soccer. On February 22, 2022, the six-year legal battle between U.S. Soccer and the USWNT came to an end with an announced $24 million settlement and a pledge from the league’s governing body that steps would be taken to ensure equal pay between men’s and women’s teams in all competitions, including the World Cup. “Payback” examines some of the circumstances and events that led to the players’ filing.
Broadcasters Foundation Raises $300,000 at Golden Mike Award Gala. More than 270 radio and television broadcasters gathered at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on March 14 to honor Hilton H. Howell, Jr., chairman of the board and CEO of Gray Television and Atlantic American Corporation, with the 2022 Golden Mike Award and Lesley Visser, the first woman sportscaster to report on all major sporting events with the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. The gala was a fundraiser, raising over $300,000 to support the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America, which provides financial assistance to broadcasters in acute need. The annual event returned this year following a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Pictured here are Howell (left) and Visser (right).
Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, COVID-19, Daylight Saving Time, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Urban Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/15). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the U.S.’s role in sanctions and arming the Ukrainian military, and Volodymyr Zelensky’s planned address to Congress; soaring gas prices and the still rising costs of retail consumer goods; the leveling of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the lockdowns in China, and the still-active People’s Convoy protesting mandates in Washington, DC; the U.S. Senate approves a bill to keep Daylight Saving Time year round; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the capture of a man suspected of killing homeless people, the arrest of an NYC man who beat an elderly Asian woman, and other examples of violent urban crime were some of the top stories discussed on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Pines and DiMarco to Lead Good Karma Brands’ Los Angeles and New York Sports Talkers. Two radio executives are being named to market manager roles with Good Karma Brands’ newly acquired sports talk stations in Los Angeles and New York City. The company announces that GKB partner and SVP Sam Pines will serve as market manager for KSPN-AM “ESPN Los Angeles” and former ESPN Audio senior director of sales Vinny DiMarco will hold the same position for WEPN-AM “ESPN New York.” Good Karma Brands founder and CEO Craig Karmazin says, “I couldn’t be more excited to have both Sam and Vinny in their respective roles. Sam has distinguished himself as a leader both inside and outside the company and will bring creativity and take a relationship-focused and marketing savvy approach to ‘ESPN Los Angeles.’ Vinny’s background at ‘ESPN New York’ and his relationships within New York City and throughout both Good Karma and ESPN make him a well-liked and respected leader who will keep teammates, advertising partners and our fans at the forefront of all that we do and achieve.” Pines joined Good Karma Brands in 2000, and since 2006 has led ESPN Cleveland as a market manager and sales manager. DiMarco joins Good Karma Brands from ESPN, where he managed multi-market, multi-platform sales across ESPN radio affiliates, and oversaw emerging categories, including sports betting and cryptocurrency. He started his ESPN career at ESPN New York as general sales manager.
JVC Broadcasting Adds New Programming to ‘Florida Man Radio’ Stations. New talent join JVC Broadcasting’s “Florida Man Radio” network in Orlando (WDYZ-AM/W288CJ/WOTW-HD3) and Fort Walton Beach (WZLB-FM). “Florida Man Radio” adds Orlando radio veteran Lil’ Shawn as co-host and producer of late morning program “The Justin Clark Show.” Westwood One’s “The Dan Bongino Show” is added to the lineup in Orlando and Compass Media Networks’ “Markley, Van Camp, and Robbins” moves from evenings to middays in Fort Walton Beach. Lil’ Shawn served for 20 years with Cox Media Group at CHR WPYO, Orlando. JVC Florida director of programming Stevie Demann says, “As this unique radio station continues to grow exponentially, we will always look for exciting new ways to deliver Florida, America, and the world’s most ‘unfiltered and unafraid’ content. Lil’ Shawn brings a unique and relatable perspective on local and national events to ‘The Justin Clark Show,’ Dan Bongino’s connections and experience in the national political landscape gives our listeners exclusive access and opinions into politics and social conversation, and ‘The MVR Show’ in Fort Walton Beach is such a fun and informative show to listen to!” JVC president and CEO John Caracciolo adds, “The great talent and notoriety of our hosts has given our audiences true personality-driven talk radio. ‘Florida Man Radio’ continues to fulfill its promise of delivering humorous, topical, and compelling discussions on the radio that everyone can enjoy.”
Bonneville Rebrands KIRO-AM as ‘Seattle Sports.’ Sports talk outlet KIRO-AM, Seattle is leaving behind its “710 ESPN Seattle” moniker and is rebranding as “Seattle Sports.” Bonneville International says, “The flagship home of the Mariners and Seahawks will still feature the same great insider content and programming, now with a new name showcasing the commitment to the best in local Seattle Sports.” The station will continue to be the exclusive ESPN affiliate in the Seattle market and home to the Seattle Sports Radio Network. Bonneville Seattle SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “Our focus and investment has always been live and local. We are more than a radio station. We are ‘Seattle Sports,’ a content creator that distributes the best in Seattle sports across multiple platforms.”
Broadcasters Foundation of America Breakfast Set for April 27. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the date and place for its annual Breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas will be April 27 at 7:00 am in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel. During the Breakfast, the Broadcasters Foundation will present the Leadership Awards to individuals in recognition of their career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large. This year, they will be: Byron Allen, founder, chairman, and CEO of Allen Media Group; Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer, Cumulus Media; Ralph Oakley, retired, president and CEO, Quincy Media; Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group; and Dennis Wharton retired EVP, media relations, NAB. At the Breakfast, former NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith will receive the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.
TALKERS News Notes. Music and talk show personality Zach Sang is launching a new, live streaming program on Amazon’s new Amp service. After his recent exit from Westwood One, Sang has partnered with OBB Media for a new show produced by its audio division OBB Sound in association with FanMade Inc. A press release says Sang is “taking an ambitious next step to create a more social music and talk show designed for Gen-Z.” He’ll also release a premium interview-of-record as a weekly podcast and full video on his YouTube channel.…..Radio syndicator Salem Radio Network becomes a client of Reatro Ventures and will use the company’s ARC software to research, analyze, sign and maintain affiliate deals across their lineup. ARC is a full-service media research platform providing detailed station and personnel information, revenue analysis, a full CRM, as well as Nielsen data for every radio broadcast signal across America…..iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question-and-answer session during Deutsche Bank’s 30th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Florida on March 15 at 2:50 pm ET. A live webcast of the session will be available to the general public at the start of the session through a link on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.
Russia-Ukraine War, Financial Markets/Gas Prices/Inflation, COVID-19/Florida Child Vax Policy, Anti-Lynching Act, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Brown Confirmation Process Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7). The ongoing Russian attack on the Ukraine and the rest of the world’s response to it; financial markets roiled by the Ukraine war, the soaring price of gasoline at the pump and the continuing high retail prices for consumer goods; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the loosening of mask mandates, and Florida’s bucking the CDC to recommend children not get vaccinated; the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act makes lynching a federal hate crime; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the Republican strategy for the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
FOX News Media Seeks Freelance Radio Anchor. This New York-based position with FOX News is as a freelance radio anchor to work on air for FOX News Radio Network/FOX News Headlines 24/7 Sirius XM Channel 115. In this role, you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top-notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a day’s notice. See more about this position and apply here.
FOX News Audio Looking for Podcast Producer. This is also a New York-based position with FOX News Audio as a podcast producer to be part of the fast-paced and growing FOX News Podcast Network. This position’s responsibility will be to develop ideas, pitch stories, and work with FOX News Channel talent in crafting daily and weekly podcasts. They will direct bookings, edit shows for broadcast, and work with production teams to create high-quality products every day. In addition to their production duties, they will also lead creative on social media posts and website write-ups to promote the products. See more about this position and apply here.