According to a report by Amrita Khalid in The Verge, Audacy and American Public Media have agreed to end their podcasting partnership a year early, on August 31. The deal between Audacy’s Cadence13 and APM was inked in 2021 and included Cadence13 and APM developing and producing new shows and made Audacy the exclusive podcast sales rep for APM. The piece further notes that Audacy CEO David Field referenced the deal during his Q2 2023 earnings commentary saying, “In June, we successfully negotiated an early exit to an onerous Podcast ad representation contract, which resulted in a restructuring charge of $5.9 million in the quarter and the accelerated recognition of $4.5 million of prepaid content expense. We believe exiting this agreement will have a positive impact on our podcast margins, without materially impacting our future podcast revenue growth opportunity.” Read The Verge story here.
Audacy promotes Jenna Weiss-Berman to EVP of Podcasts, taking over for Chris Corcoran, who leaves the company to pursue other opportunities. In this role, Weiss-Berman will oversee Audacy’s podcast network and studios, including Pineapple Street Studios and Cadence13, along with strategy and development of new podcast content and distribution partnerships. She will also collaborate with programming leadership in sports and news in the growth and development of new original podcast content for podcast studio 2400Sports and across Audacy’s 28 local newsrooms in top U.S. markets. Audacy chief digital officer and president, podcast and streaming J.D. Crowley says, “As we commit to accelerating our digital growth and enhancing performance, we’re thrilled to expand Jenna’s role to further unify and streamline our content and business efforts across our leading podcast portfolio, enabling even more rapid development of new and original IP and better leveraging our talent across the entire Audacy portfolio. Jenna’s strong leadership and deep industry relationships will propel us forward on our mission to be a leading partner of audio creators, while super-serving listeners of all backgrounds and interests and enabling our sales teams to better serve our customers and partners with unique and compelling podcast opportunities.”
— Saga Communications, Inc. will release its fourth quarter and year end 2022 financial results at 9:00 am ET on Thursday, March 9. The company will also hold a conference call on the same day at 11:00 am ET.
— SiriusXM renews the weekly program “Let’s Go!” that stars Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray. It will air each week on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio and SiriusXM NFL Radio channels. Following those airings, the full-length podcast versions of Gray’s extended conversations with Brady and Fitzgerald will be available in the SXM App.
— Audacy’s Cadence13 and Parallel are producing a 15-part podcast series “This Little Light,” created and hosted by Red Hot Chili Peppers founding member Flea. The series is about falling in love with music, music education, and finding beauty in the chaos of the creative process. Flea, co-founder of the nonprofit Silverlake Conservatory of Music, invites musical guests from all genres to talk about how they fell in love with music, including the teachers that guided them, the influences that inspired them, and how the lessons they learned as young musicians have shaped their creativity, resilience, and careers. Guests range from legends to rising stars, and include Rick Rubin, Patti Smith, Thundercat, Margo Price and Cynthia Erivo.
— iHeartMedia and the NBA announce the new podcast, “Maxey On The Mic,” hosted by Philadelphia 76ers guard and 23-year-old Texas native Tyrese Maxey. Maxey says, “I’m thrilled to tip off my new podcast and can’t wait to tap in with my lineup of amazing guests. I’ve always wanted to do something like this and I’m grateful to the NBA and iHeartMedia for giving me this amazing platform.”
Audacy’s Cadence13 podcast studio launches, “WEAPONIZED with Jeremy Corbell & George Knapp,” a multi-platform, investigative podcast series hosted by investigative filmmaker Jeremy Corbell and award-winning investigative journalist George Knapp in which they “pull back the veil on the world of the known to explore the world of the unexplained. They break news and share never-before-seen footage, previously suppressed documents, original recordings, and hard evidence related to UFOs, the paranormal, cutting-edge science, cover-ups, conspiracies, and big-time crimes.”
The nationally syndicated travel show “RMWorldTravel” starring Robert and Mary Carey officially surpasses the 500-station mark and is now heard on 510 affiliate stations across the U.S.
The Weather Channel and Skyview Networks announce the expansion of their partnership with the inclusion of SnoCountry Ski Reports. With this expansion, The Weather Channel and SnoCountry will utilize Skyview Networks’ network audio sales platforms and regionalization capabilities to provide winter ski reports to unique geographic audiences, giving listeners valuable ski resort conditions through the winter season.
SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio is broadcasting from this year’s PGA Show in Orlando today (1/24) through Friday (1/27). The PGA Show is not open to the public and SiriusXM’s hosts will share with their audience insight into the latest in golf instruction, equipment, apparel and more. Listeners will also hear one-on-one interviews with many of the PGA Professionals in attendance at the event.
- Audacy’s Cadence13 podcast studio and Tenderfoot TV announce the expansion of their relationship through 2024, with an agreement that includes the renewal of hit series “Up and Vanished,” “To Live and Die in LA,” “Culpable” and “Radio Rental”; a new slate of weekly podcast series; ongoing series development; and a first-look opportunity at new limited series. Cadence 13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “Tenderfoot TV is at the top of its game and we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with them and continue to create innovative, thought provoking and compelling content.”
- Virtual News Center adds Radio Cleveland, Inc’s WMJW, WAID, WKDJ, and WCLD in Cleveland, Mississippi to is roster of affiliate stations. Virtual News Center is providing local newscasts anchored by JP bZet.
- The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that sports talk WNML, Knoxville personality John Hyams is retiring from the station after 25 years on air. He currently co-hosts the “SportsTalk” show with John Wilkerson. Hyams began a journalism career in the 1960s and transitioned to sports radio in 1998. He worked for many years at the News Sentinel. He says, “Not everyone can say they have loved their job spanning seven decades. I can. But now it’s time to say good-bye… But I’m ready for the daily grind to end. I’m ready to pass the torch. As the great John Ward once said when he retired: ‘It’s time.’”
WABC, New York’s Bernard McGuirk Dies from Prostate Cancer at 64. Longtime New York City radio personality Bernard McGuirk – most recently co-host of the “Bernie & Sid” show on WABC, died on Wednesday evening (10/5) after a battle with prostate cancer. WABC calls McGuirk “the brains of the 77 WABC ‘brains and muscle’ team of ‘Bernie & Sid in the Morning.’” McGuirk had been with WABC since 2007 as executive producer of the “Imus in the Morning Show,” where he was also featured as the program’s quick-witted, on-air contributor. McGuirk added color to local and national news updates with his own take on the serious and not-so-serious news of the day. McGuirk was with the “Imus In the Morning” show since its latter days at WNBC Radio. He made the move with Imus to WFAN, New York in 1988 and remained there until 2007. McGuirk was also part of the Imus team when the show became nationally syndicated in 1993. WABC says that McGuirk, who had been co-host of its “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” with Sid Rosenberg since April of 2018, helped bring WABC back to the top in New York, reaching #1 in share of the 12+ audience in morning drive in the August Nielsen ratings. The station says there will be a tribute and moment of silence for McGuirk on 77 WABC today, during the morning drive program. A special tribute for McGuirk, including memories and thoughts from the WABC staff, will air on Tuesday, October 11. Red Apple Media Group chief John Catsimatidis says, “We are all devastated by the loss of Bernie. He was a true New Yorker whose talent and intelligence propelled him to the top of New York morning radio. He had incredible insights on local, national, and world news that his listeners respected. He will be missed by everyone at WABC and his fans around the world.” Sid Rosenberg says, “Bernie was my partner and my friend. He was always the smartest guy in the room, and I was fortunate to be the guy next to him. I know our listeners join me in grieving the loss to radio and to New York.” Born in the Bronx in 1957, McGuirk was a graduate of the College of Mount St. Vincent. He is survived by his wife Carol, and their two children, Brendan and Melanie.
Tavis Smiley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Independent radio station owner/operator and longtime multi-platform media commentator Tavis Smiley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Smiley’s accomplished, three-decade career includes having hosted shows and making appearances on such national television platforms as BET, CNN, ABC, and PBS, as well as radio stations KABC and KGFJ in Los Angeles. He’s a prolific author and dynamic purveyor of the African American perspective in the media with his current radio focus representing the majority liberal side of the nation’s diverse black population. In 2021, Smiley’s company, SmileyAudioMedia, Inc., acquired a radio station in Los Angeles – the former hip hop legend KDAY, and turned it into a brand-new station and format launched on Juneteenth of that year – KBLA Talk 1580 – where he’s assembled an outstanding air staff, including himself, with the passionate mission of “unapologetically” serving people of color and political progressives. Harrison states, “Tavis Smiley is to be applauded for bringing two rare but extremely important entities to America’s talk media universe – an African American-owned-and-operated major market station as well as a commercial talk radio outlet that actually embraces liberalism. Putting his money where his mouth is, his belief in and support of radio itself is needed and inspirational.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Howard Stern Praises Old Boss Bill Nosal Upon News of His Passing. Legendary radio personality Howard Stern had high praise for former longtime WCCC, Hartford program director Bill Nosal, who died recently at age 77. Stern said on his SiriusXM program that Nosal hired him in a move that brought Stern from a small station to a top 50 market and would give him the visibility needed to become the superstar that he is. Stern said his first audition for Nosal didn’t go well, but he got a second interview anyway. Stern said, “Either he was a genius like on the level of Lorne Michaels … or he was a complete moron who had no idea what he was doing. I choose to think he was a genius. He saw a diamond in the rough in me [when] no other person did.” Nosal would eventually leave WCCC and the radio programming business to launch his own advertising agency. You can read Stern’s comments here.
Report: Audacy Exploring Sale of Cadence13 Podcasting Unit. According to a piece by Axios, Audacy has retained investment firm Evolution Media Capital to explore the sale of its podcast studio Cadence13 in order to “alleviate some of the company’s debt as it faces financial challenges.” The story notes that in addition to Cadence13, Audacy has acquired Pineapple Street Studios, and podcast monetization platform Podcorn. While Audacy is not commenting on the matter, the Axios piece notes that on Audacy’s most recent quarterly conference call, company president and CEO David Field stated that the company’s podcast growth is coming from its local sports and news radio stations – as well as Audacy’s new sports podcast studio 2400Sports. The piece concludes that Audacy is shifting its podcast strategy to programs “based on its own intellectual property from its radio [holdings], rather than bidding on premium podcasts to distribute, which is Cadence13’s specialty.”
Triton Digital Releases August 2022 Streaming Ranker. The August 2022 Streaming Metrics Ranker from Triton Digital is released. Triton ranks streaming publishers based on Average Active Sessions or AAS that represents the average number of sessions at any point in time in the reported time period. iHeartRadio remains ranked #1 with 305,156 AAS. Other radio-related companies making the ranker include: NPR Member Stations at #2 (71,378 AAS), Audacy at #3 (64,858 AAS), Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (42,893 AAS), Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,144 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,154 AAS), and Salem Communications at #10 (8,871 AAS). You can see the complete ranker here
TALKERS News Notes. The newest podcast from Newsweek is “The Kristal Knight Show,” hosted by Knight, whom the news organization calls “a leading voice on the progressive left.” She most recently served as the political director for Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC, during the 2020 election cycle. Knight says, “I have worked on elections across the country in big cities and small towns. People vote with their party when their party reflects their values, but if their values aren’t reflected, they either don’t vote or vote third party. The Democratic Party today is bifurcated and on ‘The Kristal Knight Show,’ we want to present both sides in this ‘interparty debate,’ so people can decide for themselves what the party truly stands for at this juncture.”…..The board of directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association announces that Michael Strahan is named its Broadcaster of the Year for 2022. Strahan currently co-anchors ABC’s “Good Morning America.” During the NFL football season, he serves as an analyst of “FOX NFL Sunday,” for which he received a 2019 Sports Emmy Award nomination for “Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Analyst” and a 2020 Sports Emmy Award nomination for ‘Outstanding Studio Show – Weekly.” Strahan also hosts the top-rated primetime game show favorite “$100,000 Pyramid” on ABC…..ESPN and host and commentator Bomani Jones have agreed to a new contract extension. Jones will continue to lead his popular ESPN Podcast, “The Right Time with Bomani Jones,” three times per week. Jones will continue to make regular guest appearances across ESPN Radio’s sports talk programming. He will also continue to be a key contributor across ESPN’s television studio lineup, including “SportsCenter,” “First Take,” “Pardon the Interruption” and more. Jones says, “I’m very happy to continue ‘The Right Time’ with ESPN. I remain indebted to everyone who has worked to build the podcast, particularly my producer Gabe Basayne.”…..SiriusXM announces that Dave LaGreca, the lead host of the pro wrestling show “Busted Open,” signs a new multi-year extension with the company. LaGreca says, “I am very happy to cement my relationship with SiriusXM. The platform will continue to be the home for ‘Busted Open’ and I appreciate every SiriusXM team member who has made the show a success.”
Russia-Ukraine War, Mar-a-Lago Documents Case, DACA Ruling, Biden Visits Florida/Ian Aftermath, The Economy/OPEC Decision, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race and ‘Rust’ Settlement Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/5). The annexation of parts of Ukraine by Russia’s Vladimir Putin and his attacks near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; the legal battle over former President Donald Trump’s storing of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago; an Appeals Court rules that the DACA – that provides a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants – is illegal; President Joe Biden visits the destruction in Florida from Hurricane Ian and the search for missing residents; the high rate of inflation, financial markets activity, and OPEC’s decision to cut oil production; the November midterm elections and speculation over the nominees for president in 2024; and Alec Baldwin settles with the family of the cinematographer killed on the set of Rust were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, 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, “Comes the Fall,” looks back at this past week of 9/19 to 9/23. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Gregg Stebben, talk show host Beamz/Live; Jeff Katz, talk show host, WRVA, Richmond; Jack Heath, talk show host, “The Pulse of NH”; Daliah Wachs, M.D., physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Renee Kohanski, M.D., podcast commentator/forensic psychiatrist. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 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. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is 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.
What ‘Serial’ Has Meant to the Audio Industry. The release of Adnan Sayed from prison last week put the investigative podcast “Serial” back in the spotlight. Sayed – convicted of killing his girlfriend Hae Min Lee – was one of the subjects of the first season of the podcast and, as it turned out, the true crime genre would become one of podcasting’s most popular. Eight years ago, radio consultant Bill McMahon of The Authentic Personality wrote a piece about the first season of “Serial,” explaining why the program was so appealing. Today, he says that column also “explained why podcasts containing journalism, news reporting, and storytelling similar to ‘Serial’ are among the most-listened-to podcasts today.” McMahon adds, “This quote from an interview the Nieman Lab conducted with ‘Serial’ creator Sarah Koenig just prior to the launch of ‘Serial’ speaks volumes about how the status quo, conventional wisdom and groupthink that is so pervasive in broadcasting stifles creativity and innovation: ‘For us, that it’s a podcast is so liberating. We can tell it as long as we need to tell it, and we don’t have to worry about it.’” You can read McMahon’s original column published in TALKERS here.
Media Research Council Holds 35th Annual Gala. Pictured above at the Media Research Council’s 35th annual gala in Washington, DC on Wednesday (9/21) are (from l-r): conservative author Andrew Klavan, Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing, Salem Radio Network host Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Newsmax TV host and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Epoch TV executive producer Matthew Faraci. The event was titled, “Night of the Unwoke,” and featured speakers Larry O’Connor of WMAL-FM, Washington and Cal Thomas, whose daily commentaries are syndicated by the SRN.
Binnie Media Promotes Czarnecki. One of the nation’s most successful regional media groups, Binnie Media, promotes Michael Czarnecki from director, brand operations to VP of programming for the company’s Maine operations for the company’s New Hampshire news/talk stations branded as “The Pulse of New Hampshire.” Heath Cole continues his role as VP of programming for the company’s New Hampshire operations. Both Czarnecki and Cole will report to company president Massimo Rosati. Binnie Media is New England’s largest locally owned media company with radio, digital and outdoor assets covering Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.
iHeartMedia Partners with Neustar for Marketing Attribution. This partnership between iHeartMedia and Neustar, Inc. includes broadcast radio in end-to-end marketing attribution. A press release says the “new solution combines iHeart’s unparalleled audio reach with Neustar’s industry-leading marketing attribution solution to measure consumer engagement and the sales impact of broadcast radio alongside all other advertising channels.” It expands the Neustar Unified Measurement Solution, which spans Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) and Marketing Attribution solution to include the iHeart broadcast radio universe. The release also says that Neustar is the first attribution service to unify the measurement of radio, which reaches over 90% of Americans a month, with all other channels into one platform. This innovation provides critical insights into the incremental contribution the massive reach of broadcast radio has on consumer purchase behavior. iHeartMedia chief data officer and president of revenue strategies Brian Kaminsky says, “The scale and effectiveness of broadcast radio is undeniable. Now with Neustar, we are able to offer brands a new level of granular user-level consumer analysis, to ensure that all media channels –including broadcast radio, are used to optimize their marketing plans and drive the results they are seeking.”
TALKERS News Notes. On yesterday’s edition of “The Todd Starnes Show,” former President Donald Trump was a guest and addressed a number of topics, including the civil suit filed against him, his children and two Trump Organization officers in New York, as well as the “Contract with America” he says Republicans will soon announce…..WRVA, Richmond talk host Jeff Katz’s program is named “Best Local Afternoon Radio Show” by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in it’s “The Best” feature for the third consecutive year…..The NBA’s Golden State Warriors sign a multi-year contract extension with Audacy sports talk outlet KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” for the station to continue serving as the team’s flagship radio station. Tim Roye, who is entering his 28th season as the radio voice of the Warriors, will once again handle play-by-play duties. Jim Barnett will continue to join Roye in the booth as color analyst for all road games, with Tom Tolbert handling analyst duties for home games. Audacy San Francisco regional vice president Stacey Kauffman says, “We’ve been so fortunate to give listeners a front row seat to the sounds of three championships over the last decade, and we’re thrilled to extend our partnership with the NBA’s premier franchise.”…..Audacy’s Cadence13 releases the trailer and announces initial guests for “K[no]w Mercy with Stephen A. Smith,” the sports personality’s first podcast. The podcast launches on Monday (9/26) guests will include: Snoop Dogg, Sean Hannity, LL COOL J, Chris Cuomo, and Sue Bird…..Cumulus Media and YAP Media agree to a deal for Cumulus to monetize, market, and distribute YAP Media’s existing and forthcoming podcasts. Joining the Cumulus Podcast Network is YAP Media’s flagship podcast, “Young and Profiting,” hosted by YAP Media founder and CEO Hala Taha. Additional YAP Media podcasts joining the Cumulus Podcast Network include “Creating Confidence with Heather Monahan,” “True Underdog with Jayson Waller,” “A Feminine Impression with Dr. Michelle Daf,” “The Murdaugh Family Murders with Matt Harris and Seton Tucker,” “Chapter a Day Audio Bible read by Pastor John Stange,” and “The Greatness Machine with Darius Mirshahzadeh.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals unveils the second season of “It Was Said,” the podcast franchise that looks back on some of the most powerful, impactful, and timeless speeches in history. Season 2 will feature an all-new lineup of generation-defining speeches from towering figures in history, including: Winston Churchill’s “The Finest Hour,” JFK’s “We Choose to go to the Moon,” Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena,” Margaret Thatcher’s “The Lady’s Not for Turning,” Nelson Mandela’s “I am Prepared to Die,” and Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day….. National Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda is joining fellow Hall of Famer and teammate at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups Tony Meola to host the popular SiriusXM FC afternoon show “Counter Attack.” Wynalda previously hosted “Wynalda Talks Football” on SiriusXM.
The Economy, Inflation, and Fed Interest Rate Hike Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 19-23. The state of the U.S. economy, the high food and gas prices and the Fed’s raising intertest rates by three quarters of a point combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was former President Donald Trump being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James for fraud and the Department of Justice’s classified documents investigation, followed by the Russia-Ukraine War and foreign affairs at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.
TALKERS 2022 Convention Explores News/Talk Programming. At the TALKERS 2022 convention held Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University, news/talk programming pros spoke on the “Programming News/Talk Radio in the Digital Era” panel, moderated by McVay Media Consulting president Mike McVay (inset). Pictured above are (from l-r): Grace Blazer, VP, national NTS brand coordinator, director of news and AM programming, Florida region, iHeartMedia; Greg Stocker, program director, WPHT, Philadelphia; Kevin DeLany, VP, news & talk programming, Westwood One; Phil Boyce, SVP, spoken word format, Salem Media Group, Salem Radio Network/operations VP, New York region; and Dr. Asa Andrew, The Dr. Asa Health Network.
Complete TALKERS 2022 Session Videos Being Posted Today, TALKERS magazine begins posting complete videos of each session from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University. The first video posted is the Breakfast Session during which KOA, Denver talk host Mandy Connell was presented the “Woman of the Year” award and WRVA, Richmond, Virginia talk host Jeff Katz was honored with the “Humanitarian of the Year” award. See the video here.
Steven Cohen Named VP of Business Development and Partnerships at Crossover Media Group. Radio and podcasting pro Steven Cohen joins Crossover Media Group in the newly created position of vice president of business development and partnerships. For the past seven years, Cohen has served with Audacy-owned podcast creator Cadence13. In his new role with Crossover Media Group, he’ll be tasked with developing new business opportunities and partnerships. Crossover managing member Sue Freund states, “Steven is one of the most recognizable faces in podcasting from both the advertising and content sides. Given his background in both the audio and the digital podcast space, he brings a wealth of experience to the team which fits ideally with our content lineup. He’s relentlessly client-focused and he ‘gets’ the business of podcast advertising.”
Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Celebrate One Year in Syndication. Today (6/21) marks the first anniversary of the national syndication of “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” by Premiere Networks. Premiere says the show debuted on more than 400 affiliates last summer, marking one of the biggest launches in talk radio history and is continuing to experience rapid growth and success across multiple platforms. It also says that program’s total AQH audience has increased 32% since the launch in the key demo of Adults 25-54. Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “We’re so proud of the program Clay and Buck have developed together over the past year. We knew they had the talent, passion and enthusiasm to deliver something new and exciting to the talk radio format. We couldn’t be happier with the result and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones together.” Pictured above at a private, intimate party in New York City to celebrate the anniversary are (from l-r): Dan Metter, Premiere Networks EVP, director of personality sales; Clay Travis; Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott; Buck Sexton; and Alan Korowitz, president of National Platforms at iHeartMedia Photo: Cate Groubert for iHeartMedia.
WRVA’s Jeff Katz Does Election Day Hit on ‘FOX & Friends.’ Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond, Virginia afternoon drive host Jeff Katz (left) on with Brian Kilmeade (right) from FOX News Channel’s “FOX and Friends” program broadcasting live from iconic Richmond diner McLean’s Restaurant. Katz, who tells TALKERS he “knows a thing or two about pancakes and coffee,” joined Kilmeade to talk Virginia Congressional primary races as well as efforts to roll back gas and grocery taxes in the Old Dominion.
KTAR, Phoenix Recognizes 100 Years of Service. Phoenix, Arizona news/talk station KTAR “News 92.3 FM” is celebrating 100 years as the “Trusted Voice of the Valley.” KTAR-AM began broadcasting the news/talk format that is now heard on KTAR-FM. Bonneville SVP and market manager Ryan Hatch comments, “As we reflect on a century of broadcasting for KTAR, we are honored to have such a tremendously talented team that continues to serve this community and innovate to keep our audiences connected and informed and deliver extraordinary results for our local business partners. While many voices have changed over the years, KTAR’s commitment to produce news that Arizonans can trust when it matters the most has never been stronger.”
Radio Personality Matt Pinfield Addresses Addiction in ‘Sound, Sobriety & Success’ Podcast. Radio & TV personality and rock journalist Matt Pinfield is partnering with Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks to host the new podcast “Sound, Sobriety & Success.” Pinfield says, “Living clean and sober is a beautiful gift for those of us who have struggled with addiction. Through this podcast, I am grateful to share the success stories of people in recovery to help others fight and understand their battles with alcoholism and addiction. I want to help people identify similarities in others’ stories to understand how they have successfully made their life changes. This podcast is a natural for me, as I have been transparent about my own struggles and journey in recovery and how it has completely changed my life for the better. I think this podcast is a great way to be of service through storytelling – sharing the faith, strength and hope that many of my contemporaries and friends have experienced.”
TALKERS News Notes. Joining the programming at DuPage Radio’s WCKG-AM, Chicago is the Chicago Bears program “The Sick Podcast,” hosted by the NFL Network’s Adam Rank. The program will air each Friday from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. WCKG sports director Jon Zaghloul says, “Adam’s passion for the Bears makes for such quality content. I’m proud to bring his show to where it belongs – WCKG, Chicago. Listeners should look forward to Adam’s opinions, guests, and commentary on all things Chicago Bears. This is a great move for our brand, and I’m excited to get things started.”…..Public media producer GBH announces the hiring of Sandra Lopez Burke as managing director of community and government relations. In this new role, Lopez Burke will build on GBH’s community engagement efforts, creating greater diversity among audiences, thought leaders, and supporters, while managing strategic partnerships to further the organization’s goals…..“The BOB & TOM Show” raised $12,000 on Friday (6/17) to help send Indianapolis-area children to summer camp through its Pop-Up Comedy For A Cause event at the historic Irving Theater in Indianapolis. The program featured performances by Willie Griswold, Jeff Oskay, Josh Arnold and Pat Godwin.
The Economy, Primaries/Donald Trump & the GOP, SCOTUS Term, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Israeli Government, and Heatwave/Western Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20). The high price of gas & food, the sinking financial markets, and concerns about a recession; today’s primary races for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the Supreme Court prepares to end its term as the expected reversal of Roe v Wade looms and the safety of justices is debated; today’s continuation of the January 6 Committee’s hearings and speculation about prosecuting those – including former President Donald Trump – responsible for orchestrating the Capitol breach; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the world’s economy; Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett steps down and disbands the governing coalition, prompting new elections; and the heatwaves in the U.S. and abroad, combined with the drought facing the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Geraldo Rivera to End WTAM, Cleveland Radio Show. The daily, local program that Geraldo Rivera hosted for iHeartMedia on Cleveland news/talk WTAM will ends after the April 1 program. Rivera has been hosting the one-hour show from 9:00 am to 10:00 am but will end the program due to his busy schedule. WTAM says, “Geraldo is a once-in-a-generation broadcaster, storied journalist, and tireless philanthropist. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that after his 50-plus years of broadcasting, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Rivera refuses to slow down. Unfortunately, with an increased travel schedule for the FOX News Network and additional production projects, Geraldo has decided that after nearly four years, the final episode of ‘Geraldo in Cleveland’ will air on Friday, April 1, 2022 from 9:00 am until 10:00 am on Newsradio WTAM 1100. Even though the WTAM chapter of his career is closing, Geraldo will continue to live in his adopted hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio with his wife Erica and daughter Sol. We will always consider Geraldo to be a treasured member of the WTAM family and are honored to have had a front row seat to his storied career.”
WPHT, Philadelphia Raises $65,000 for Veterans Organization. Pictured above is the staff of Audacy’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia at the fifth annual “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Travis Manion Foundation Radiothon” during which it raised more than $65,000 in support of veterans in partnership with the Travis Manion Foundation. The Travis Manion Foundation is led by veterans and families of the fallen that develops, unites and strengthens communities by training, developing, and highlighting the role models that lead them. The radiothon was broadcast live from Audacy corporate headquarters in Philadelphia on March 25 and was hosted by station talent, including Rich Zeoli, Dom Giordano, Dawn Stensland and special guest Ryan Manion, Gold Star Sister and president of the Travis Manion Foundation, along with the team at the organization.
Beasley Names Tim Jorgenson Integrated Sales Manager for Detroit. Sales pro Tim Jorgenson is promoted to integrated sales manager for Beasley Media Group’s Detroit operations. He was most recently the company’s national digital automotive specialist. In his new role, he’ll lead the digital sales efforts of the company’s Motor City stations that include sports talk WCSX-HD2/W228CJ “Motor City Sports Talk – The ROAR” and four music brands. Beasley Media Group director of sales Patti Taylor says, “We are beyond excited to have Tim move into the position as integrated sales manager for Detroit. Tim’s depth of knowledge in the automotive industry, coupled with his skill and passion for digital, will drive Beasley Detroit’s efforts to the next level. Tim’s approach is thoughtful and smart – and our team is so excited to be working with him.”
TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is all-news WINS-AM, New York “1010 WINS” brand manager Ben Mevorach (left) accepting the 2022 World Radio Day Award, presented by the American Academy of Radio. The theme of this year’s award is citizens’ trust in radio. The award was established in 2018 as part of the worldwide UNESCO celebration of radio and its value in the lives of people across the world. Mevorach says of the Audacy station, “No station personifies the city of New York quite like 1010 WINS. We are thrilled to be recognized for our relentless dedication to our guiding principles of fairness, trust, inclusion, and information so that, together with our listeners, we improve the communities we serve.” Pictured with him are American Academy of Radio jurors Deborah Parenti, president, Streamline Publishing (center), and Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency (right)…..A collaboration between iHeartMedia and European podcast studio Novel is producing the new program, “The Superhero Complex.” Hosted by David Weinberg, the series captures the rise and fall of Phoenix Jones, Seattle’s real-life, crime-fighting vigilante who infamously ascended from local icon and leader of The Rain City Superhero Movement, to a dejected and humiliated figure waiting for a verdict on a charge of selling MDMA to undercover cops. By day, Phoenix is a semi-pro MMA fighter — but by night, he slinks through the streets of Rain City, patrolling Seattle for crime amongst a motley crew of former soldiers, ex-cops, recovered addicts, and reformed criminals. As remarkable a group and a mission as The Rain City Superhero Movement was, ultimately, the truth behind the myth is far more complicated. Told with a balance of in-depth reportage and empathetic character study, “The Superhero Complex” reveals the betrayals, crumbling marriage, and career-ending drug charge that underscored the legacy of Phoenix Jones — confronting our society’s fascination with superheroes and figures beyond the law in the process…..C13Originals, the Peabody Award-nominated documentary division of podcast studio Cadence13, an Audacy company, announces the launch of “Origins: HBO: Present, Past, and Future,” the seventh chapter of the podcast series written and hosted by award-winning journalist and bestselling author James Andrew Miller, featuring new interviews with the most important figures who shaped HBO’s half-century drive to fundamentally change television. In his recent, critically acclaimed book Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, Miller told the explosive and uninhibited true story of HBO and how it burst onto the American scene and screen to detonate a revolution and transform our relationship with television forever. Now, in “Origins: HBO: Present, Past, and Future,” Miller offers new material and interviews with top executives, programming chiefs, and executive producers for a deep dive on the business side of the blockbuster media company that has revolutionized the industry time and again.
Russia-Ukraine War, Recession Fears/Soaring Consumer Prices, Biden Budget/Tax Hike, Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law, Hunter Biden Investigation, COVID-19, January 6 Probe, Will Smith-Chris Rock Incident Aftermath, and Big Tech Antitrust Legislation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/29). Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the rest of the world; financial experts fear a recession is imminent and Americans bemoan high gas and food prices; President Joe Biden unveils his fiscal 2023 budget that includes a new tax on the wealthiest Americans; the controversy over Florida’s law that prohibits schools from discussing sexuality in grades K-3; the ongoing Justice Department investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business activities; concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant that’s sweeping the UK and parts of Asia; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol assault and a judge’s ruling that Donald Trump “more likely than not” intended to obstruct the election certification; the aftermath of Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock at the Oscars; and the Department of Justice endorses antitrust proposals designed to prevent big tech from giving preferential treatment to their own products were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Dominic ‘Zakk’ Zaccagnini Named PD for WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse. Radio programming pro Dominic “Zakk” Zaccagnini is named program director for “NewsRadio WHAM 1180,” classic rock WAIO-FM “Radio 95.1” in Rochester and news/talk WSYR, Syracuse, effective immediately. He will report to Tias Schuster, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Upstate New York. Zaccagnini joins the iHeartMedia Rochester and Syracuse markets from Cumulus Media’s rock KSAN-FM, San Francisco where he was program director and afternoon drive host while also handling pregame host duties for the Kansas City Chiefs on KCFX-FM, Kansas City. Schuster says, “Zakk is a winner with deep programming knowledge coming from multiple formats and major markets. We look forward to his vision, energy, and leadership that he will bring to our stations.” Zakk comments, “It is a privilege for me to join so many talented professionals and become part of these amazing brands in this management role. I am grateful and very excited for this opportunity. Thanks to everyone at iHeartMedia for making it happen!”
Jeff Austin Adds ‘ESPN 1320’ Sacramento Brand Manager Duties. Programming pro Jeff Austin is named brand manager for Audacy’s KIFM-AM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320.” Austin continues his current role with the company as brand manager for sports talk outlets KFXX-AM “1080 The Fan” and KMTT-AM “910 ESPN” in Portland. He assumes the duties from Danny Freisinger, who was recently promoted to director of sports for Audacy’s 2400Sports podcast studio. Audacy Sacramento and San Francisco SVP and market manager Stacey Kauffman says, “We’re delighted to bring Jeff’s ability to mold local sports brands to our market and have his oversight at the helm of KIFM. His experience managing two favorites in Portland will serve him well as he expands his role with us, and we look forward to watching ‘ESPN 1320’ continue to build on its success.”
WBZ-FM, Boston’s Tony Massarotti Named Color Commentator for NESN’s Red Sox Coverage. Boston sports media personality Tony Massarotti is named the TV color commentator for NESN’s presentation of Boston Red Sox games this season. Massarotti co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Michael Felger on Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” Massarotti also hosts “The Baseball Hour with Tony Mazz” on “98.5 The Sports Hub” during the baseball season. He served as the Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Herald from 1994-2008. He’s also the co-author of Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits, with David Ortiz, and Knuckler: My Life with Baseball’s Most Confounding Pitch, written with Tim Wakefield. Massarotti says, “I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity, but it was obviously a unique circumstance that required the sacrifices and cooperation of many people. I can’t say enough about the support and open-mindedness of the people at Beasley Media Group, The Sports Hub, NESN and the Red Sox for their parts in making this work. In all my time reporting on and talking about baseball, I can’t ever remember being more excited about an approaching Boston baseball season than I am for this one.”
WSB, Atlanta Celebrates 100 Years of Service. Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM is celebrating its 100th anniversary serving the market today (3/15). Cox Media Group says its flagship brand, WSB Radio, broadcast across the airwaves for the first time on March 15, 1922 and was the first radio station in the Southeast. The station’s call stood for “Welcome South Brother.” CMG says the station was soon nicknamed The Voice of the South and today continues delivering the news, weather, sports and traffic that matter to listeners while giving back to the Atlanta community. The company adds, “WSB expanded in 2010 to a full-time simulcast on 95.5 FM, extending its footprint across the metro Atlanta area. With its expanded reach, WSB set its sights on innovating its content, digital platforms, programming, sales, production, promotions and engineering, all contributing to the brand’s ongoing success and longevity.” CMG Atlanta and Athens VP/GM Jaleigh Long states, “As we celebrate this milestone, we are honored to have such a talented and diverse team who have served WSB through the years to help us remain at the forefront of innovation that keeps us connected to our audience and local advertisers. 100 years of community service is in our DNA and if there’s anything we are proud of, it’s the station’s rich history of uplifting the surrounding community. WSB’s never-ending commitment to innovation and embracing change will propel the us into the next century and beyond.”
Media Execs Spencer Brown and Charles Steinhauer Form New Firm Gemini XIII. The new company, Gemini XIII, is described in a press release as “the podcasting and radio industries’ new home for premium audio content, production and marketing services.” The company is being founded by Cadence13 and Dial Global founder Spencer Brown (left) and former Westwood One COO Charles Steinhauer (right). At the same time, Gemini XIII announces it has acquired The Infinite Agency, a full-service digital advertising agency based in Dallas, as well as Phantom Producer, an audio imaging service from Australian audio producer Jeff Thomas that includes web and mobile app user interfaces. Jonathan Ogle is remaining in his president role with The Infinite Agency and Thomas will continue to lead Phantom Producer. Gemini XIII is based in New York, with offices in Dallas and Sydney, Australia. Gemini XIII CEO Spencer Brown says, “We are pleased to announce the launch of Gemini XIII with the acquisition of two of audio and advertising’s most innovative companies, The Infinite Agency, and Phantom Producer. These great companies are a formidable launching pad for what we expect to be Gemini XIII’s growing portfolio of audio’s most exciting brands. We welcome the talented professionals at these organizations to the Gemini XIII family and look forward to serving our partners and customers with the very best in content and services.” Company COO Charles Steinhauer adds, “These two companies represent a solid foundation of talented people from which Gemini XIII will continue to build. We are committed to bringing new resources and capabilities to audio and to offer new and creative ways to tell stories in audio. We are actively exploring opportunities to complement these organizations to once again build and grow a new breed of audio company.”
WWO Audio Active Group: Radio Helps Reach More Swing Voters. According to data from Nielsen VP of cross platform insights Tony Hereau, “the addition of AM/FM radio to a political media plan can generate an extraordinary amount of incremental voter reach.” Hereau recently presented the findings to the American Association of Political Consultants in a report called, “The 10% Solution: Optimizing the Political Media Plan with Radio to Reach Swing Voters.” Some of the key findings in his report include: 1) 45% of voters are zero/light TV viewers who are impossible to reach with TV ads: Nielsen finds there has been a sharp increase in voters who watch little or no TV; 2) The combination of connected TV and AM/FM radio can reach voters who are zero/light TV viewers: AM/FM radio reaches 82% of zero/light TV voters. Connected TV reaches 62% of zero/light TV voters. Combined, CTV and AM/FM radio can significantly supplement the political media plan; 3) Zero/light TV voters reached by AM/FM radio are younger, upscale, and more likely to have kids; 4) AM/FM radio is a rich source of swing voters: 40% to 50% of AM/FM radio programming format audiences are swing voters, according to Nielsen; and 5) AM/FM radio advertising was the untold secret ingredient to Glenn Youngkin’s Virginia gubernatorial victory. See more from this post here.
BIA: Local Audio Ad Spend Forecast for 2022 is $14.7 Billion. According to a new forecast from BIA Advisory Services, $14.7 billion will be spent in ad-supported local audio platforms including broadcast radio and digital audio. BIA says the local audio advertising marketplace is becoming more competitive with more streaming services and podcasts. While the shares of local radio OTA (Over-the-Air) advertising is eroding, radio digital is increasing, providing radio stations an avenue to still increase their sales. BIA’s local audio estimate breaks out advertising revenue forecast for 2022 from each of the following local ad-supported local audio platforms: Radio OTA: $12.7 billion – All revenues generated by local radio stations for sale of time to either national or local advertisers from their over-the-air broadcasts. Does not include any advertising sold by the national radio networks. Radio Digital: $1.7 billion – All revenues generated by local radio stations from national, regional and local advertisers targeting a local market from their online activities. Includes display and streaming advertising revenue other than Pandora. Pandora: $400 million – Audio and display advertising revenue generated by Pandora from national, regional and local advertisers targeting a local market.
TALKERS News Notes. New York City talk radio host Mark Simone tells TALKERS magazine that his 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR-AM “has set a new ratings record, getting the largest total audience (Persons 6+) of any radio station in New York, beating all of the 85 other stations – the only talk show to do that in this century.” Simone’s program garnered a 6.7 share for the two-hour period in Nielsen’s January 2022 PPM survey…..WABC, New York talk host Sid Rosenberg has a cool TV gig on the side. As reported by InsideRadio, Rosenberg plays Dave Busco, a soldier in a crime family, in the Amazon Prime series “Gravesend.”…..Salem Radio Network’s 24/7 national news service SRN News is providing live, comprehensive coverage of a rare “virtual” address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tomorrow (3/16). SRN live coverage begins at 9:00 am ET anchored by SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston, featuring remarks by Zelensky followed by recap and analysis of the Urkrainian leader’s address. Additionally, the network’s nationally syndicated “Mike Gallagher Show” on Wednesday will not only feature highlights of Zelensky’s remarks but a special “America Reacts” segment as listeners from coast-to-coast weigh in with their instant reaction to the latest development in the four-week Russia/Ukraine conflict…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is again presenting complete coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Coverage will tip off with First Four action on Tuesday, March 15 and run through the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 2 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 4 in both English and Spanish. Westwood One is also announcing the expansion of its coverage of NCAA Women’s Championship events. For the first time, both the Women’s Frozen Four and the Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship will be broadcast nationally on radio. Westwood One’s women’s coverage will also include the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament featuring every game from the Sweet Sixteen through the Final Four and National Championship Game, as well as every game of the Women’s College World Series…..Audacy’s Cadence13 podcast studio announces a partnership with creator-focused new media company Puck and the launch of the program “The Powers That Be Daily,” that brings listeners inside the four corners of power in America: Wall Street, Washington, Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Emmy Award-winning journalist Peter Hamby and Puck’s team of founding partners, including Julia Ioffe, Matt Belloni, Dylan Byers, Theodore Schleifer, Tina Nguyen, Eriq Gardner, Baratunde Thurston, and William D. Cohan, “pick up where the news ends to explore the story behind the stories driving the day’s headlines across Wall Street, Washington, Silicon Valley and Hollywood with a digestible and dishy 15-20 minute daily rundown featuring insider insights.”
Chicago Radio Legend Pervis Spann Dies at 89. WGN-TV reports that Chicago radio legend Pervis Spann has died of complications from Alzheimer’s. During his career in radio he served as a DJ and helped build WVON-AM where his daughter Melody Spann-Cooper currently serves as president and general manager.
Russia-Ukraine War, U.S.-China Relations, Gas Prices/Inflation, COVID-19/People’s Convoy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, January 6, and Urban Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the U.S.’s role in sanctions and arming the Ukrainian military; the U.S.’s relations with China as Russia asks Xi Jinping for military aid; 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 battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Gini’s admission to attending the rally prior to the raid on the Capitol on January 6, 2021; the capture of a man suspected of killing homeless people and the arrest of an NYC man who beat an elderly Asian woman were some of the top stories discussed on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Talk Radio Revolution! Conservative News Talk Morning Radio Producer based in Richmond, VA. Emerging and exciting independent conservative talk-news radio stations/media network is seeking top-notch career-oriented executive for morning producer.
The company’s morning show host is a nationally known figure who owns radio stations across the mid-Atlantic region. This is not a remote position, as the producer must work in the flagship studio in south Richmond, VA. The AM hours are 5:30 AM to 2:30 PM. The position requires solid radio production knowledge, creativity, perseverance and the ability to multi-task in the morning. The right candidate will produce the morning show, field phone calls from high-level political figures and live callers, manage the clock, run the ads and navigate through normal live radio issues.
The show host is usually remote traveling the nation. Once the show is completed, the successful candidate is responsible for all post-production as well as running the next show. The successful candidate must be very internet and social media savvy and enjoy a lightning fast-paced environment and work well in the sandbox with others.
This position offers incredible freedom of expression and you will not be micro-managed in a corporate-bean counter driven mentality. You must be able to work independently with little day to day direction. If you love radio but hate the direction our industry is headed with corporate empty suits telling you what to do every fifteen-minutes then we are the company for you!
We play :60-:75 seconds of classic rock music in the morning before each segment so you have to be selecting songs to connect with our audience. We are an independent network and growing. This is a conservative-talk enterprise with the leading America First hosts in the nation, so you should feel comfortable in that environment.
While our competitors are shrinking and laying staff off – we are buying and growing. Come join our talk radio revolution! We are an equal opportunity employer. Competitive salary. Please send a short cover letter and your resume to: ApplyJFMN@gmail.com – Include producer in the subject line. The base salary is $40-50K depending on experience. This is a self-relocation if you live outside of RVA.
Dave Ramsey Releases New Book, Baby Steps Millionaires. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey has published his most recent book, Baby Steps Millionaires (Ramsey Press, 2022). A press release for the book says, “In his first trade book in eight years, Ramsey proves that anyone can become a millionaire — no matter their starting point. The No. 1 national bestselling author and host of ‘The Ramsey Show’ tells real stories about ordinary people who spent years busting through barriers and digging out of debt so they could build wealth. Now, they’re millionaires.” The book takes a deeper look at how Ramsey invests and builds wealth — and teaches readers how they can do the same. It also includes Ramsey Solutions’ The National Study of Millionaires, the largest study of millionaires ever done in North America. Dave Ramsey says, “This is a book 30 years in the making. I’ve coached millions of people on ‘The Ramsey Show’ over that last 30 years, and people come up to me all the time saying they’re millionaires because they followed the Ramsey Baby Steps. The stories of real Baby Steps Millionaires will show you this is really possible — because these millionaires are just like you!”
Sun & Fun Media Celebrates 25th Anniversary. Founded in 1996 by chief executive officer Rob Koblasz, Sun & Fun Media is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Sun & Fun is a leading network radio company offering radio stations a unique suite of products and services designed to increase sales, improve ratings, and reduce expenses for 100% barter. It serves more than 1,400 stations across the U.S in nearly all 50 states. Sun & Fun says it is the radio industry’s go-to supplier of virtually all products and services needed by radio stations for barter, including vacations, incentives, gift cards, vehicle wraps, branded station merchandise, and bill pay for NTR events, television and billboard advertising for stations, research, consultants, transmitters and other equipment, software and more. The company has even paid electric bills on barter, as well as worked with large radio groups to cover costs for corporate managerial meetings and office holiday parties. Koblasz, who is also CEO for Key Networks, says, “Over the last 25 years, Sun & Fun Media has built a dream team of former radio GMs and network executives who deliver big for our clients time and time again. Our team has an extensive radio background. We understand the needs of stations and the challenges they face, and we’re able to provide turnkey solutions to improve their top-line revenue and reduce their expenses. We are proud to have set the standard as a barter partner to radio stations across the country. We thank our team members for their outstanding service and commitment to our customers, and our loyal customers who continue to grow with us.
iHeartMedia Reveals Plans for Development in the Metaverse and Web3. Audio giant iHeartMedia says it is taking “an important next step in extending its presence into web3 and the metaverse, beginning with plans for the creation of iHeart events and experiences for listeners and music fans” on online gaming platform and game creating system Roblox and “committing to launch tokenized communities for its users and creators.” It also says it will “use its industry-leading consumer reach of over 90% of Americans every month and strong engagement to create the awareness and demand necessary to bring new metaverse and web3 platforms to the mass market.” If you’re not familiar with these terms, XRToday defines metaverse as “a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world.” Wikipedia defines web3 as “an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web based on blockchains, which incorporates concepts including decentralization and token-based economics.” iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Although there are a number of great new products for the metaverse and web3 from a wide array of creators, with our unparalleled audience reach, multiple platforms, and our trusted broadcast and podcast hosts, iHeartMedia is uniquely positioned to build the consumer awareness, understanding and demand necessary for those new products and platforms from both us and others to succeed. We see this as a unique opportunity to serve our listeners’ needs, provide an important new layer of growth for the company, and help develop the advertising and consumer potential for the metaverse and web3.” The press release says that this year, “iHeartMedia plans to bring immersive musical moments to the over 47 million daily active users on the Roblox platform and launch its first tokenized community, building a new token that will incentivize and reward the iHeart creator community in new ways and give iHeart’s fans unique access to offerings across its multiple platforms, and a series of collectible non-fungible tokens (NFTs), building on the success of its previously launched iHeartRadio Music Festival NFTs in partnership with Green NFT platform OneOf in September 2021.
Premiere Networks’ Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Enjoying Rapid Growth. According to data presented by Premiere Networks, the nationally syndicated radio program “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” continues to experience rapid growth and success across multiple platforms since its debut in June 2021. Premiere says, “In addition to marking one of the biggest launches in talk radio history on more than 400 stations nationwide, the program’s total AQH audience increased 40% from June to November among PPM markets in the key demo of Adults 25-54. The powerhouse duo is also driving No. 1 rankings in many markets, including KTRH-AM, Houston; KOGO-AM, San Diego; KNRS-FM, Salt Lake City; KFBK-AM, Sacramento; WTKK-FM, Raleigh-Durham; and WISN-AM, Milwaukee. Additionally, ‘The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show’ closed out 2021 by setting a new podcast record with 10.3 million monthly downloads in December. The popular program is also connecting and engaging with fans online, with unique visitors to www.ClayandBuck.com growing 239% since its launch in June 2021.”
Compass Media Networks Promotes Alexander to Senior Director of Research. The company announces that Kareem Alexander is promoted to senior director of research. Compass Media Networks says that Alexander, who’s been with the company since 2015 and previously held the director of research title, will oversee and manage the research, data, and analytics of Compass Media Networks’ 16 national advertising networks and audience measurements of the affiliate base. Compass president of sales & marketing Paul Gregery comments, “Kareem always goes above and beyond to deliver timely research and data for our sales staff and advertisers.”
AURN and Superadio Networks Offer Free MLK Jr. Weekend Programming. This weekend is Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and American Urban Radio Network and Superadio Networks are offering free programs to honor and celebrate Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The informative and provocative one-hour special celebrating the life and legacy of King is titled, “King…Realizing the Dream.” It was originally produced in 2002 and chronicles the life of the Baptist minister and freedom fighter and explores how we as a society have carried on King’s legacy. The special includes excerpts from his inspiring speeches and examines the messages behind the words by those who walked with him to contemporary leaders who have carried the torch for justice and equality. This offering also includes a series of one-minute MLK vignettes titled, “Inspiring Moments,” and “Remembering the Dreamer.”
Loker Promoted to VP of Politics/Senior Executive Producer at FNC. Producer Jessica Loker is promoted to vice president of politics and senior executive producer of “FOX News Sunday” at FOX News Channel. In this role, Loker will oversee all political newsgathering and logistics in addition to managing “FOX News Sunday,” the network’s one-hour Sunday public affairs program that airs on FOX Broadcasting and FNC. Alan Komissaroff will continue overseeing all political coverage as the SVP of news & politics. FOX News Media president & executive editor Jay Wallace says, “Jessica’s exceptional skills and extensive understanding of politics in Washington and beyond have made her an asset to our news division. We look forward to her continued contributions to the network.”
TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast from Audacy’s Cadence13 called “Fly on the Wall” is launching. The program stars former “Saturday Night Live” alums Dana Carvey and David Spade who sit down with past and present cast, hosts, writers, and musical guests to reminisce about their favorite moments, memories, and sketches from the iconic sketch comedy program. Each week, Carvey and Spade invite listeners to be a “fly on the wall” as they sit down for in-depth conversations with a who’s who of SNL, as well as other special guests and friends, to take listeners behind the scenes and share never-before told stories about their careers and time on the show. Guests include: Chris Rock, Tom Hanks, Darrell Hammond, Kevin Nealon, Jon Lovitz, Martin Short, Melanie Hutsell, Ana Gasteyer, Tim Meadows, Laraine Newman, Rob Lowe, and Will Forte…..AdLarge announces that the “Honeydew Me” podcast joins the company’s podcast sales network portfolio. Expanding the focus on female health, wellness, and self-love, “Honeydew Me” podcast – hosted by Emma Norman and Cass Anderson – pushes old boundaries and breaks antiquated rules and expectations by openly discussing women’s sexual wellness, and normalizing conversations, questions and experiences. AdLarge co-founder Cathy Csukas says, “Emma and Cass have created something that is uniquely compelling, informative, and honest. They have provided a space to openly and authentically address female health and insecurities in a casual and safe environment. Proven by their explosive engagement on social media and with the podcast, it’s abundantly clear these are questions women everywhere want to find answers to.”…..Public media’s WNYC welcomes two new staffers as Steve Smith joins as the culture & art editor and Ann Givens assumes the public safety editor role. Smith was most recently with NPR as a senior editor on the arts, culture and books desk. Givens comes to WNYC from The Trace, a nonprofit news outlet dedicated to covering guns and gun violence in America.
COVID-19, Voting Rights, Facebook Anti-Trust Complaint, U.S.-Russia Relations, 2022 Midterms/Trump & the GOP, January 6 Investigation, and Boris Johnson Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/11). The soaring rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Omicron variant, and the face-off between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Senator Rand Paul; President Joe Biden’s Atlanta speech promoting the Voting Rights Act; Facebook loses its bid to have the FTC’s anti-trust complaint against it tossed; the U.S., NATO and Russia’s planned meeting over the Russian troops amassed at the Ukraine border; the battle for control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence within the GOP; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol; and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is called out for attending Downing Street party that violated COVID protocols were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.