Industry News

2024 Black Effect Podcast Festival Held in Atlanta

Last Saturday (4/27), iHeartRadio and Charlamagne Tha God presented The 2024 Black Effect Podcast Festival at Pullman Yards in Atlanta designed to “highlight, uplift and amplify Black voices in the podcast industry.” For the second year in a row, the festival brought together podcast fans and The Blackim Effect Podcast Network’s top talent for a day of live podcast recordings from the network’s most popular shows including: “Carefully Reckless with Jess Hilarious,” “WHOREible Decisions,” “Black Tech, Green Money” and “Deeply Well with Devi Brown,” featuring special guests John Hope Bryant and Dr. Joy Harden-Bradford. The festival also featured special live recordings of hit shows “Pour Minds,” “The Baller Alert Show” and guests Wallo267 and Gillie Da King. Additionally, the event included the panel discussions “Podcasting 102: Money and Marketing” and “Content Authenticity x Brand Partnerships.”

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Longtime WIBC-FM, Indianapolis talk radio host Tony Katz is entering into national syndication via Key Networks, beginning April 22. “Tony Katz Today” will air live Monday through Friday from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET from Urban One’s news/talk WIBC-FM and a weekend program is also available for air on Saturday or Sunday.

iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God’s The Black Effect Podcast Network announces a new original series titled, “Family Therapy: The Podcast,” hosted by psychotherapist Elliott Connie. It will document a family’s journey to healing through live group and individual therapy sessions. President of creative development and production Dollie S. Bishop says, “We are excited to announce ‘Family Therapy: The Podcast’ and share this incredible journey with listeners. Elliott Connie is a brilliant counselor, and our hope is that this series will entertain, educate and empower people to prioritize mental wellbeing and strengthen familial bonds.”

Audacy Podcasts adds a new show from Puck, the new media company focused on putting journalists at the center of its business model, with “Fashion People,” hosted by Lauren Sherman, a leading voice in the fashion community and writer of Puck’s private email “The Line Sheet.”

A new podcast from New England Public Media uses a mix of storytelling, psychological insight, and societal commentary to examine the stories we don’t tell, what they say about our world, and what they do to our minds. “The Secrets We Keep,” is hosted by veteran NEPM reporter Karen Brown and uses the lens of secrets to explore societal taboos and stigmas around sexual orientation, abortion, genetic origins, family scandals, and money – through the voices of secret-keepers, and those kept in the dark.

Industry News

The Black Effect Podcast Festival Set for April 27 in Atlanta

iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God are bringing the Black Effect Podcast Festival back to Atlanta on April 27 at Pullman Yards. Charlamagne Tha God joins the festival alongside some of the Blackim Effect’s most popular personalities for a day full of live podcast tapings and informative discussions aimed at aspiring podcasters in the Black community. He says, “We are proud to return to Atlanta for the second year in a row to showcase the talent across our network, and some of the biggest shows in podcasting. Through culture-defining storytelling, unique brand partnerships, compelling panel discussions, special live podcast recordings and more, we are inviting everyone to experience the power of The Black Effect and the many ways Black creators are driving the culture forward.”

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Audacy sports talk KRLD-FM, Dallas-Fort Worth “105.3 The Fan” announces a multi-year extension to its flagship broadcast and digital partnership with the MLB’s world-champion Texas Rangers through 2027. As part of the extended partnership, English broadcasts of Rangers baseball will continue to be heard on “105.3 The Fan” and streamed digitally via the Audacy app for fans within the Rangers broadcast territory.

PodcastOne announces the January 24 premiere of “Varnamtown,” a limited eight-episode true crime genre podcast from Epic Magazine, Picture Perfect Federation and Full Picture. Hosted by Golden Globe Award winning actor Kyle MacLachlan and investigative journalist Joshua Davis, the series tells the little-known story of a small fishing village in North Carolina that reputedly did a deal with drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.

Audacy and Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Podcasts announce the launch of “The Chris Chatman Do-Over,” an improvised comedy podcast series starring actor, comedian, writer, director, and producer Ike Barinholtz. In the series, Barinholtz plays controversial shock jock Chris Chatman striving to improve his reputation after his hit podcast is canceled. Guest stars include Fred Armisen, Ashley Nicole Black, Jessica St. Clair, Ego Nwodim, Busy Philipps, and Alice Stanley, Jr.

iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God announce that the podcast “Woman Evolve with Sarah Jakes Roberts” joins The Black Effect Podcast Network. Charlamagne Tha God says, “The way she is able to showcase the intersectionality between GOD, faith, the word and how to navigate our mental health is extremely powerful. It is a privilege and honor to partner with ‘Woman Evolve’ and assist in amplifying her life changing messages.”

AdLarge announces today that “Infertile AF” has joined the company’s podcast portfolio. The program is hosted by New Jersey-based journalist, author and mother of two, Ali Prato, who keeps it “very real” while diving into the messy, frustrating, painful, absurd and sometimes humorous journey to have a baby. Or in some cases, to not have a baby.

The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation extends the deadline to submit entries for the 49th Annual Gracie Awards through January 25 (11:59 pm ET). The regular deadline, with no additional fee, is January 18 (11:59 pm ET). The Gracie Awards, presented by AWMF, has recognized programming and individual achievement by women across all media for nearly five decades. Submissions from television, streaming, radio, audio, and digital media are encouraged.

Industry News

Thrill of Possibility Summit Takes Place in Nashville


The Black Effect Podcast Network’s Thrill of Possibility Summit presented by Nissan took place over the weekend at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville. The event welcomed 50 HBCU students from across the country to participate in a STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math) industry mentorship event featuring professional development and personal success panels, 1:1 career mentorship sessions, informative iHeartMedia and Nissan internship discussions and networking opportunities with industry leaders and notable HBCU alumni. Pictured above is The Black Effect Podcast Network founder Charlamagne Tha God (left) and president of production & creative development Dollie S. Bishop (right). Photo: The Tyler Twins for iHeartMedia

Industry News

Talk Host Mark Simone Inks New Deal with WOR, New York

New York City talk radio personality Mark Simone signs a new, three-year deal with iHeartMedia’s news/talk 710 WOR to continue hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show. Simone says, “There’s no betterim place to be in the radio world than iHeartRadio. Thanks to the finest broadcasting executives around, Tom Cuddy, Thea Mitchem and Bernie Weiss for making it all happen. Walking to work every day is like walking through the Radio Hall of Fame. Just to get to my studio, I pass Elvis Duran, Jim Kerr, Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee and other all-stars.” WOR program director Tom Cuddy adds, “When I joined WOR almost 11 years ago, Mark was my first hire. Since then, it’s been a blast watching Mark grow into becoming the highest-rated radio talk host in his time slot, along with digital numbers that are among the highest in the country.”

EDITOR’S APOLOGY:  The above story about Mark Simone’s new contract at WOR originally ran yesterday (9/5) in TALKERS.  Unfortunately, our art department utilized a combination of hand-rendered illustration, CGI and AI in creating a headline banner image that apparently missed its mark.  The premise was to depict Simone as the proverbial “800 pound gorilla” of New York radio in which his avatar – a Simone lookalike – inspired by the legend of King Kong, was depicted as a determined figure climbing the Empire State Building.  As it turned out, the King Kong reference was not clear to our readers because there was no actual ape depicted and Simone received a large number of emails telling him that TALKERS ran a photo of the wrong guy.  We meant it to be a caricature but our creative plan backfired.  Simone was upset by the image telling TALKERS, “I have had dozens of caricatures done of me in the past. They are usually somewhat cute.  Never had a problem with them. Yours looked hideous and really cheap. When radio people try to do it, they have no skill at it… no one thought it was a caricature and no one thought it was me. The 13 emails I got from radio execs asked me why you used a picture of someone else, so they never thought for a second it was supposed to be a caricature and no one noticed anything to do with the Empire State Building.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement, “Simone is right.  Looking back at it now, with the increased objectivity of having a full day to think it over, I can understand why he was upset, although there was nothing specifically disparaging about the image. It just wasn’t clear that it was meant to be him and that he was supposed to be climbing a building in an iconic scenario.  After all, a media personality’s sound and image are their brand and they must be protective of its depiction.  We have subsequently pulled the banner from the website and replaced it with a more standard format with the same copy but a different graphic (see above).  The irony is Mark Simone and I have been friendly for more than three decades and I’ve often stated that he is one of the greatest and most successful radio personalities in New York and the nation, not to mention a top notch human being. I still think that.  All of us at TALKERS deeply regret this mistake which was the result of an overly-zealous attempt at being creative. In the world of publicity there’s the old saying ‘as long as they spell your name correctly.’ Well, I guess in this case we spelled Mark Simone’s face wrong.”

Industry News

Charlamagne Tha God Hosts Third Annual Mental Wealth Expo

iHeartMedia personality Charlamagne Tha God, in partnership with Mental Wealth Alliance is celebrating World Mental Health Day by hosting the third annual Mental Wealth Expo on October 7 at the Marriott Marquis inim Times Square, New York City. Attendees will hear from experts on everything mental health, panels, live podcasting, and breakout rooms including the podcast “MEternal,” that addresses the complexities of the Black maternal health crisis. Charlamagne Tha God says, “The Mental Wealth Expo was created for anyone who knows they need to start on their healing journey, but don’t know the first place to begin. It’s a day for folks to get exposed to mental health experts and resources that can get them on the right path and they get to receive this information for free! It is truly a blessing to be able to do this for a third consecutive year.”

Industry News

John Hope Bryant to Black Effect Podcast Net Board of Directors

The Black Effect Podcast Network, the joint venture between iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God, announces that John Hope Bryant joins its board of directors, effective immediately. Bryant is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc, the non-profit provider of financial literacy andim economic empowerment tools and services in the United States. He is also chairman and chief executive officer of John Hope Bryant Holdings, Bryant Group Ventures and The Promise Homes Company, a for-profit minority-controlled owner of institutional-quality, single-family residential rental homes in the U.S. “We are pleased to welcome John Hope Bryant to The Black Effect Podcast Network’s board of directors. John brings a strong track record of business success, broad leadership experience in philanthropy, education, public engagement and innovation, and a deep appreciation for black culture that makes him the perfect choice to help steer and shape the future of the network.”

Industry News

The 2023 Black Effect Podcast Festival


Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Charlamagne Tha God and iHeartRadio presented the first-ever Black Effect Podcast Festival at Pullman Yards in Atlanta on Saturday (4/22) designed to “highlight, uplift and amplify Black voices in the podcast industry.” The festival brought together thousands of podcast fans with the Black Effect Podcast Network’s top talent for a day of live podcast recordings from Black Effect’s most popular shows including “The 85 South Show,” “WHOREible Decisions,” “Big Facts,” and a special joint taping with “Reasonably Shady,” and “Checking In with Michelle Williams.” Additionally, the event included panel discussions aimed at aspiring and mentoring podcasters in the Black community with leading content creators and media executives. Pictured above is Charlamagne Tha God (center) with Black Effect Podcast Network president Dollie S. Bishop (front row, second from left) and the Black Effect Podcast team.

Industry News

“The Professional Homegirl” Joins Black Effect Podcast Network

iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God announce that “The Professional Homegirl Podcast” joins The Black Effect Podcast Network beginning March 21. The program, hosted by Eboné Almon, explores the lives of anonymous women who have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Almon says, “Since 2019, my mission has been to amplify the voices of women of color. I wanted to normalize conversations within my community to humanize women, especially Black women, that took roads less traveled. Through this new partnership with The Black Effect Podcast Network, I hope to tell more compelling stories and create a space where women of color don’t have to look far to see themselves.”

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

New TALKERS 2022 Video Posted: Today, TALKERS magazine posts the latest in an ongoing series of video presentations from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on June 10 at Hofstra University on Long Island. Today’s video addition features the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio in the Digital Era” moderated by Mike McVay, president, McVay Media Consulting.  Panelists include Dr. Asa Andrew, CEO/host, The Doctor Asa Health Network (“Believe”); Grace Blazer, VP, national NTS brand coordinator, director of news and AM programming Florida region, iHeartMedia Miami; Phil Boyce, SVP/spoken word format, Salem Media GroupSalem Radio Network/operations VP, New York Region; Kevin DeLany, VP, news & talk programming, Westwood One; and Greg Stocker, program director, WPHT, Philadelphia.  The introduction was provided by Steve Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media. You can watch the video here.

iHM Jacksonville Boosts Lawrence To Senior VP/Sales. Two-and-a-half-year iHeartMedia Jacksonville vice president/sales Stacey Lawrence advances to senior vice president/sales of that Florida cluster. Lawrence will report to iHeartMedia North Florida area president Paul Rogers, who comments, “When I joined the market [in March 2021], I took a long time to evaluate our team, including our management team. I wanted to learn their values, their work ethic, and observe their commitment to our team, our customers, and to iHeart. Stacey flat-out earned it, and her strong working relationship with vice president/digital sales Brooke Adams is going to be crucial and what takes us over the top.” Lawrence remarks, “I’m thrilled to step into my new role with this incredible team in Jacksonville. Although I’ve been with iHeartMedia less than three years, it did not take me long to realize this was where I belonged. [It’s] a forward-thinking company that is customer-centric at its core. Jacksonville is exploding and I plan on leading this team to their fullest potential. I look forward to making a difference in our community and helping businesses achieve their marketing goals through our world- class, multi-channel offerings.” Lawrence spent 14 years with Hibu (formerly YellowBook USA). She later held sales management positions for two Jacksonville TV stations, including Graham Media Group’s  WJXT-TV. Among the stations in iHM Jacksonville is Spanish news/talk WFXJ “Acción 97.3.”

Moore Becomes MAB’s Main Man. Most recently the vice president of programming for iHeartMedia New Hampshire, Tim Moore is named president/chief executive officer of the Maine Association of Broadcasters. Moore succeeds Suzanne Goucher, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. MAB board chair/WMTW-TV, Portland president/general manager David Abel states, “The Board was looking for someone with deep experience in Maine broadcasting and extensive relationships throughout the state; Tim stood out among some very qualified candidates. There is much to be done to position the MAB for the future and we are excited to have Tim lead that effort.” According to Moore, “I’ve loved the MAB for years and believe in the mission to advocate for broadcasters on every level. My thanks to David Abel; incoming chair Corey Garrison; and the entire board of directors for placing their faith and trust in me. I’m beyond excited to lead the MAB into the future and cannot wait to get started.” Moore began his Maine radio career in Bangor at WKSQ. He later went to Portland as operations manager of WHOM and WJBQ. A former MAB board chair, Moore is a member of the MAB Hall of Fame and was awarded the inaugural (2010) “Broadcast Achievement Award.” The Maine Association of Broadcasters was formed in 1947 to “cultivate a friendly spirit of cooperation in matters of common interest” to radio and television stations throughout the “Pine Tree State.”

Wexler Wins NFPW’s Top Spot For Best Radio Interview. Just hours after Jim Himes spent a marathon day and night at the U.S. Capitol following the January 6 (2021) riot, Connoisseur Media Bridgeport news/talk WICC’s Lisa Wexler interviewed the Connecticut congressman live on her 10:00 am – 12:00 noon show. That January 7 interview enabled Wexler to win first-place for “Best Radio Interview” in the National Federation of Press Women’s Awards. Wexler comments, “Interviewing congressman Jim Himes after he experienced all that transpired on January 6 felt like history in the making. I urge all to listen to it now, with the benefit of hindsight.” Connoisseur Media senior vice president Kristin Okesson remarks, “The role of radio is as vital as it’s ever been, and Lisa Wexler is a fantastic example of what makes the medium so critical right now. Lisa has developed a deep connection to her audience through her no-nonsense interview style and down-to-earth storytelling. Through these stormy past few years, Lisa was there to help guide her listeners through. She remains a reassuring voice during an uncomfortable time in our nation and the world. Connecticut and WICC are lucky to have Lisa Wexler behind the microphone.” NFPW is a nationwide organization of women and men pursuing careers across the communications spectrum, including radio, television print, electronic journalism, freelancing, new media, books, public relations, marketing, graphic design, photography, and advertising. Winners from throughout the country were honored this past Saturday (6/25) during the National Federation of Press Women communications contest ceremony in Fargo, North Dakota. Nearly 2,000 entries were judged in a wide variety of categories. Only first-place winning entries at the state level are eligible to enter the national contest. All entries were published or broadcast between January 1 – December 31 (2021). “The Lisa Wexler Show” took first place for the Jim Himes interview at the Connecticut Press Awards.

“Share Of Ear” Q1 2022 Findings. Among this week’s Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group blog highlights is that among registered voters, terrestrial radio has a 75% share of ad-supported audio. Meanwhile, AM/FM radio’s audience is 13 times bigger than Pandora and 19 times that of Spotify. Trending ad-supported audience shares from Q1 2020 to Q1 2022, terrestrial radio sees little change (78% to 76%). As podcast shares bump up from 7% to 11%, Pandora’s shares are down 25% (8% to 6%). Also in single-digits are Spotify (4%) and SiriusXM (3%). Terrestrial radio leads total ad-supported shares among key buying demographics; podcast shares are greater than Spotify and Pandora combined. In the car, AM/FM radio shares have been in the high-80s the last six years. Most Americans only listen to terrestrial radio and never listen to Pandora and Spotify. Over six years, the proportion of terrestrial radio listening occurring through online streaming has nearly doubled (8% to 15%). More radio listening is occurring via stream (15%) than the entire AM dial. With a 43% share, terrestrial radio leads ad-supported listening on the smart speaker. Edison Research’s quarterly “Share of Ear” study surveys 4,000 Americans to measure daily reach and time spent for all forms of audio.

TALKERS News Notes. The first-ever “Black Effect Podcast Festival” is set to take place August 28 at the Avant Gardner in Brooklyn. Premiere Networks’ “Breakfast Club” co-host Charlamagne Tha God will join the festival, along with some of the Black Effect Podcast Network’s most popular personalities for a day of live podcast tapings and discussions aimed at aspiring podcasters in the black community. According to Charlamagne Tha God, “The Black Effect Podcast Network was created to amplify black voices for new and established content creators and storytellers, giving them a space to showcase their creative vision in the ever-growing podcast game. I’m excited to celebrate the first-ever Black Effect Podcast Festival, where talented black creators and aspiring podcasters will come together for a day to uplift and inspire one another. This festival is for the culture and is one of many events the network will host for the black community.” Launched in September 2020 and curated by Charlamagne Tha God, the Black Effect Podcast Network has debuted 32 shows. Black Effect Podcast Network partners include AT&T, BetterHelp, Hulu, Molson Coors, Nissan and State Farm … Former Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is coming back to the organization to be part of this year’s radio broadcasts on iHeartMedia Charlotte. A first-round pick by the Panthers in 2012, Kuechly will be in the booth for six home games and the road trip to his hometown of Cincinnati. He comments, “I just love the Panthers. I want to be attached to the team and the game. I think it could be a lot of fun.” Kuechly played eight seasons in Carolina and retired following the 2019 season. Other members of the Panthers radio team are Anish Shroff; Jordan Gross; Jake Delhomme; Kristen Balboni; and Jim Szoke … Among the three specials ABC Audio will provide to affiliates this July 4th weekend is ABC News Radio’s three-hour Jason Nathanson-hosted “Press Play.” Nathanson and ABC News correspondents venture across the country thrill-seeking and learning new skills.

Podtrac Releases Weekly Podcast Data. Downloads for Podtrac-measured shows (June 20 – 26) are up 1% over the previous week and gain 70% versus the corresponding period last year. Whereas “Health & Fitness” displays the strongest week-over-week growth (+9%), “Comedy” registers the weakest week-to-week loss (-4%). The category with the strongest  year-over-year improvement is “Health & Fitness,” climbing 183%. Across all Podtrac-measured podcasts, download growth for the 52-week period (June 21, 2021 – June 26, 2022) was up 70%, while week-over-week (June 20 – 26, 2022) download advancement  was up 1%. Year-to-year download growth was +183% for “Health & Fitness”; +116%, “Comedy”; +87%, “True Crime”; +83%, “Sports”; +64%, “News”; +62%, “Business”; +60%, “Society & Culture”; +47%, “Science”; +44%, “History”; and  +12% for “Arts.” Download week-over-week gains are made by “Health & Fitness” (+9%); “Arts” (+3%); “News” (+3%); “Society & Culture” (+3%); and “Sports” (+2%). “History” remains even, while “Comedy” is -4%; “Science” and “True Crime” are both -3%; and “Business” is -2%.