Gray Radio, LLC partners with FOX Sports Radio to bring the network’s programming to its new sports station WAAW-FM, Augusta “FOX Sports 94.7 FM,” effective July 3. The station will carry the entire FOX Sports Radio lineup including “Two Pros and a Cup of Joe with LaVar Arrington, Brady Quinn & Jonas Knox,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” and more. Gray president Tony Gray says, “WAAW is extremely excited to bring FOX Sports to local Augusta sports fans. We’re confident that the home of the Masters Tournament will embrace the station’s new format.”
iHeartMedia Anchorage unveils the new KTZN-AM “FOX Sports 550 – The Zone.” The station is airing the full network lineup including “Two Pros and a Cup of Joe with LaVar Arrington, Brady Quinn & Jonas Knox,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “The Doug Gottlieb Show,” “Covino & Rich,” “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker,” “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” and “The Ben Maller Show.” The station also features FOX Sports Radio around the clock on weekends. iHeartMedia Anchorage SVP of programming Mark Murphy says, “‘FOX Sports 550 – The Zone’ is very excited to be a part of the FOX Sports family, all day, every day. It’s great to have the biggest names in sports talk radio like Dan Patrick and Colin Cowherd jump start the day, followed by an impressive lineup that will keep listeners engaged 24/7!”
Last night (3/14), the 5th annual iHeartPodcast Awards were presented virtually as the ceremony was hosted by actor and comedian Brian Baumgartner. The iHeartMedia-produced awards “brought together the most influential names in podcasting to honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of 2022, celebrating the incredible talent and wide variety of leaders across the podcasting industry.” The event was exclusively video streamed on iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel and Facebook page and broadcast across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on the iHeartRadio app. The winners included: “Las Culturistas” honored with the Podcast of the Year Award presented by Autonomy; FOX Sports Radio personality Colin Cowherd presented the Best Sports Podcast of the Year Award to “The Draymond Green Show”; Angela Yee presented the Audible Audio Pioneer Icon Award to technology journalist and podcaster Kara Swisher; The New York Times won Best News Podcast for “The Daily”; and “NPR Politics Podcast” was named the Best Politics Podcast. See all the winners here.
iHeartMedia, Inc. announces that it will report its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2022 and the full year on February 28. The company will also conduct a conference call at 4:30 pm to discuss its financial results and business outlook. A live audio webcast of the call will be available on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.
FOX Sports Radio unveils its plans for its 23rd annual Super Week coverage that begins Monday (2/6). Its sports talk programming will emanate from Arizona during the week, with “The Dan Patrick Show” originating from Scottsdale Stadium, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” live from State Farm Stadium (2/9-10), and the rest of its lineup broadcasting from Radio Row at the Phoenix Convention Center.
SiriusXM is also broadcasting from Arizona during Super Week and will also broadcast the game itself, with subscribers able to hear the Kansas City Chiefs team broadcast, the Philadelphia Eagles team broadcast, the Westwood One national radio broadcast and a Spanish-language broadcast. SiriusXM NFL Radio hosts will broadcast during the week from Radio Row at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Dave Ramsey Joins RAB’s ‘Radio Works’ Series. The RAB announces that as part of its Radio Works initiative, the next presentation in the series, titled, “Radio Works for Financial Services,” will feature remarks by talk radio star and financial expert Dave Ramsey. RAB says next Wednesday’s webinar “will focus on the expansive financial services category and key segments such as retail banking, investment banking and credit cards with a concentration towards the challenges and opportunities ahead in 2023.” The webinar will also feature Peter Nelson, president of Glenwood State Bank in Minnesota and Chris Uhde, sales manager, Leighton Broadcasting in Alexandra, Minnesota to discuss how the community bank is navigating through the current economic climate, its impact on their customers and radio’s role in their approach. The presentation – free for RAB members – is on November 16 at 1:00 pm ET. You can register here.
FOX Sports Radio Adds ‘The Paulie & Tony Fusco Show’ to Podcast Lineup. The satirical sports talk podcast, “The Paulie & Tony Fusco Show,” joins FOX Sports Radio’s slate of podcasts. FSR says, “Each week on ‘The Paulie & Tony Fusco Show,’ former ‘Herd with Colin Cowherd’ producers Andrew Samson and Sharief Ali hilariously portray die-hard Philadelphia sports fans and ‘legendary’ cable TV stars who think they have the best sports takes when they actually have the worst.” FOX Sports Radio SVP of sports programming Scott Shapiro jokes, “When the Phillies were 21-29, I made a wager that the Phillies wouldn’t make the World Series for another decade. I now significantly regret that ill-advised wager as the result is having to take on this so-called podcast. If you value your time, please DO NOT listen to this podcast.”
College Hoops Star Drew Timme Launches Podcast. A collaborative effort between iHeartMedia’s iHeartPodcasts and the College Athletes Network (CAN) results in the new podcast, “Gimme Timme,” starring Gonzaga basketball star Drew Timme. iHeartMedia says this weekly podcast expands on its partnership with CAN to “bring college sports-centered podcasts hosted by the athletes themselves to fans.” The podcast will also include co-host Noah Buono – a former walk-on at Duquesne University and host of CAN’s “Walkie TalkieZ.” Timme says, “I’m super excited to do this podcast. It’s my senior season and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to take people along for the ride. I love listening to Draymond Green’s podcast. I want my podcast to have the same angle, just from a college perspective. Listeners will get the full Drew experience each and every episode.”
Bob Pittman and Bud Walters Among Honorees at LABF’s Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts. Next Tuesday (11/15) Library of American Broadcasting Foundation presents its “Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts” annual celebration at Gotham Hall in New York City. LABF says the ceremony honors “the distinguished individuals who have – for the past century – been the creators, innovators, journalists, leaders, performers, and producers that have brought the electronic arts to the prominence they occupy in the United States and the world today, and who have set the stage for the future.” Among this year’s group of honorees are radio’s Bob Pittman, chairman & CEO of iHeartMedia, and Bud Walters, president of Cromwell Media. Also being honored are: Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports; S. Epatha Merkerson, actress, “Chicago Med,” “Law & Order”; Adam Symson, president & CEO, The E.W. Scripps Company; Peter Williams, justice correspondent (Ret.), NBC News; Fareed Zakaria, CNN anchor, author, columnist for The Washington Post; and Julia Child, TV chef, (posthumously).
RAB Board of Directors Elects New Directors for 2023. The Radio Advertising Bureau announces the results of its Fall Board of Directors meeting in Chicago on November 1-2. Newly elected officers include Chair: Jeff Warshaw, chief executive officer, Connoisseur Media; Vice Chair: Erik Hellum, chief operating officer, Townsquare Media; Finance Chair: Sabina Widmann, president, regional general manager, TelevisaUnivision; Secretary: Mike Dowdle, executive vice president of business affairs, Bonneville International; Immediate Past Chair: Mike Hulvey, chief executive officer, Neuhoff Media. Warshaw says, “I am proud to serve as the RAB chair and further support the organization and the industry as we continue to advocate for radio.” Joining the RAB board of directors are David Bevins, Connoisseur Media, Felipe Chávez, Bustos Media, Julie Koehn, Lenawee Broadcasting Company and Kevin Perry, Perry Publishing & Broadcasting. Jonathan Brewster of El Dorado Broadcasters will be rejoining the board. Exiting the board are Keith Lawless, formerly at Cox Media Group, Art Rowbotham, Hall Communications, Inc., Jeff Smulyan, Emmis Communications and Pat Walsh, Emmis Communications.
TeshMedia and Compass Media Networks Expand Their Relationship. The two organizations announce that they are expanding their long-standing partnership. Compass Media Networks will now manage affiliate sales, in addition to continuing as The TeshMedia Group’s exclusive advertising representative for the full array of The TeshMedia Group’s audio brands. John Tesh says, “For nearly a decade we have trusted our friend, Peter Kosann, and Compass Media Networks for our advertising sales. And so, it only makes sense that we would take the next step and partner with Compass’ awesome affiliate relations team to help us super-serve our stations.” Kosann comments, “TeshMedia is a unique treasure to the radio industry – delivering unique, compelling, exclusive, and awesome content that drives ratings and revenues for affiliates. We are extremely proud and humbled to expand this wonderful relationship with Connie, Gib, John and their full team of producers and writers.”
TALKERS News Notes. Connecticut talk radio host Lisa Wexler is returning to her program at Connoisseur Media’s news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport after her leave to run for re-election for probate judge in Connecticut’s Westport-Weston District. Wexler won the race with 72% of the vote. Interestingly, she ran this time as a Democrat after having previously won three elections as a Republican in the same district. Connoisseur Media SVP Kristin Okesson says, “We congratulate Lisa on her re-election as probate judge and are looking forward to having Lisa back on-air after this brief election hiatus. Our listening community has clearly missed her on WICC.”…..Benztown announces that it is appointing Leon McWhorter as head writer. The company says, “McWhorter is the newest addition to Benztown and client partner Yamanair Creative’s writers’ room, serving commercial production clients across the U.S. He will report to MJ Bloch, Benztown’s East Coast director of commercial production, and Darren Silva, West Coast director of commercial production.
Midterm Election Results, Trump 2024 Presidential Bid, The Economy, Elon Musk & Twitter, Russia-Ukraine War, and Hurricane Nicole Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/9). The results of the midterm elections and the Georgia runoff election that may determine control of the U.S. Senate; former President Donald Trump’s expected announcement that he’ll run for president in 2024; inflation and concerns about a recession; the chaos surrounding Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact on Europe’s winter energy crisis; and Hurricane Nicole makes landfall in Florida among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Monday Memo: #NABShowNY. Consultant Holland Cooke reports “many long-time-no-see hugs among 9,500 of us at the Javits Center” as the National Association of Broadcasters rebooted the October event interrupted, “like much of life” by COVID. In this week’s column, HC offers “numbers for radio broadcasters fretting that listeners have wandered-off.” And about podcasting: Winners’ tips, and well-intended mistakes to avoid. Read it here.
Pending Business: The ‘Who Cares?’ Test. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says it’s always a good idea to review your sales proposal strategies to make sure they are as effective as they can be. How you pitch your talent’s host read spots is important because the host read spot is so important to news/talk stations. He says, “Radio advertising is still a real-time, single-digit growth business and competitive change is an important daily dynamic that’s out of your control. In plain English, if you are to grow your income through ad sales it will come to you through one of two obvious sources: new business or your competition.” He offers a four-point checklist for assessing your basic pitch features here.
WDAE, Tampa Announces New Program Schedule. Tampa sports talk outlet WDAE-AM/W237CW is beginning this week with a new program lineup. The iHeartMedia station says the “Pat and Aaron Show” – starring Pat Donovan and Aaron Jacobson – is the new morning drive program. They are followed by Premiere Networks’ “The Dan Patrick Show” in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot. The early afternoon program is the new “Jay And Z Show” featuring Jay Recher and Zac Blobner, followed by the “Ronnie & TKras Show” with Ronnie Lane and Tom Krasniqi now in the afternoon drive daypart. FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm with ESPN Radio airing overnight.
Radio America Unveils New Sara Carter Podcast ‘Darkwars: The Border.’ Tomorrow (10/25), Radio America releases its new podcast, “Dark Wars: The Border,” hosted by award-winning investigative journalist Sara Carter as she “shares her perilous journey to expose how the porous U.S.-Mexico border has facilitated a deadly trail from China to your home town, with cartels, slavery, and death in between.” Carter is an investigative reporter, host of “The Sara Carter Show” on Radio America and a FOX News contributor. She says, “I am excited to release this podcast, which is a culmination of my on-the-ground investigative reporting of our border crisis. I embedded with border patrol agents via foot, horseback, car and helicopter – talking to coyotes and migrants alike – to reveal chilling stories about the opioid crisis and human trafficking that you haven’t read about in the news. I traveled to the native countries of these migrants to understand how cartels use social media to recruit migrants under the guise of easy passage and a better life. But in reality, they encounter abuse, rape, and death. ’m telling the stories of those being ignored by the media.” Radio America says, “The premiere episode features a wide range of perspectives, from U.S. Senators such as Rand Paul and Marsha Blackburn to Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei to coyotes that work for the cartel among others, all to reveal a border crisis that is more serious and disturbing than what is reported in media. It’s a shocking portrayal of money and power that connects the Chinese government and Mexican cartels to the neighborhoods of everyday Americans.”
WGN, Chicago Schedules ‘Spook-tacular’ on Halloween. On Halloween, Nexstar Media’s WGN Radio in Chicago will air the “WGN Radio Theatre Spook-tacular with Carl Amari” from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am. The six-hour special will feature classic Halloween shows including “My Favorite Husband” starring Lucille Ball, “The Whistler,” “Our Miss Brooks,” starring Eve Arden, “Suspense,” starring Ronald Colman and more. WGN says that host Carl Amari has spent decades licensing and preserving original radio broadcasts and is the curator of the Classic Radio Club and board member of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.
Midterm Elections, Trump Legal Issues, Russia-Ukraine War, British Politics, U.S. Math Scores, RSV/COVID-19, and World Series Matchup Set Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November midterm elections, speculation about control of Congress, and voter fraud issues; the several legal battles facing former President Donald Trump; Vladimir Putin’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and the attacks on its infrastructure; Rishi Sunak emerges as the next prime minister of the United Kingdom; the report indicating that math scores for U.S. students plummeted after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; the soaring rate of respiratory syncytial virus cases among young children in the U.S. and concerns about new COVID-19 variants; and the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros win their league championships to face off in the World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Attorney Arthur Aidala to Host Nightly Show on Salem’s ‘AM 970 The Answer.’ New York news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” adds Big Apple attorney Arthur Aidala to the daily lineup with 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm “Aidala Power Hour: Making The Case For The City He Loves” program. Salem Media Group New York operations manager Matthew Sambolin says, “Arthur Aidala puts on a show in the courtroom, and now he gets to do it in front of the biggest judge of all – the New York City Tri-State region. Can’t wait to hear what he brings to afternoon drive, with no objections!” Aidala is the managing partner of the Law Offices of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, P.C. and the former senior DA of Kings County, New York. He currently represents such high-profile clients as Alan Dershowitz, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Harvey Weinstein. He has been a recurrent guest on ‘The Joe Piscopo Show’ and ‘Radio Night Live’ with Kevin McCullough, as well as a legal commentator for 12 years on FOX News Channel. Aidala says, “I am honored and excited to join the talk radio team lineup at ‘AM 970 The Answer.’ With the ‘Power Hour’, we will be sitting down with the key New Yorkers to get to the heart of what makes this city tick.”
Vining Named PD at Cumulus Media’s ‘Talk 99.5’ in Birmingham. Talk radio pro Valerie Vining is named program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WZRR-FM, Birmingham “Talk 99.5.” Vining has been serving as morning drive co-host of the “Dixon & Vining” program (with Richard Dixon), a role in which she will continue. Prior to that, she spent more than 13 years as news director for Cumulus Birmingham. Vining says, “I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to take on the role of program director for WZRR ‘Talk 99.5’ Birmingham. My radio career, which spans over 30 years, has prepared me for this moment and challenge and I look forward to taking my team to the next level. Thank you to James Robinson and Ryan Haney for believing in me and my abilities. I’m so proud to work for Cumulus Media.”
Ramsey Solutions Hosts Free ‘Building Wealth’ Livestream. This Thursday (1/13), nationally syndicated radio star Dave Ramsey will host a free livestream at 8:00 pm ET titled, “Building Wealth in 2022.” Joining Ramsey will be New York Times bestselling author Rachel Cruze and host of “The Fine Print” podcast, George Kamel. According to Ramsey Solutions’ State of Personal Finance study, more than half of Americans (56%) feel behind on investing. And 42% aren’t saving for retirement at all. Dave Ramsey says, “There are a lot of investing trends right now claiming they’re the best way to get rich. But I’ve done stupid with a lot of zeros at the end, and I’ve coached people who hit bottom from bad investments. From my 30 years on the radio, I’ve seen over and over that real millionaires follow a proven plan for their money, not a get-rich-quick scheme. This free event will show you it’s possible for you too. Now is the time to prepare for your future.”
On-Air Changes at iHeartMedia’s ‘XTRA 1360’ San Diego. Drive time changes take place at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLSD-AM, San Diego “XTRA 1360.” New to morning drive is “The Hartman and Rich O Show” with Steve Hartman and Rich Ohrnberger and in afternoon drive, the “Jon and Jim” show with Jon Schaeffer and Jim Russell debuts. Hartman and Ohrnberger currently work together on FOX Sports Radio and have successfully hosted together on XTRA 1360’s “Loose Cannons” show. Schaeffer and Russell also host “The Wrap-Up Show” following San Diego Padres games. “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd continues to air weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, followed by “The Darren Smith Show” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest says, “This exciting new lineup caters to the desires of sports fans in San Diego. In addition to providing the very best sports talk, we’ll also continue to provide our listeners with unparalleled access to the NFL, the Padres, San Diego State University athletics, and all San Diego sports news.”
BIN: Black Information Network Wins Innovation Award. The Black American-targeted radio format from iHeartMedia – BIN: Black Information Network – wins the 2022 BIG Innovation Award in the media category from the Business Intelligence Group. BIN: Black Information Network was launched in June of 2020 as a 24/7 comprehensive national audio news network dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news with a Black voice and perspective. It is focused on service to the Black community and providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding. It is heard over the air in 32 markets and is distributed nationally through the iHeartRadio app. Business Intelligence Group COO Maria Jiminez says, “Innovation is driving growth in the global economy. We are thrilled to be honoring Black Information Network as they are one of the organizations leading this charge and helping humanity progress.” BIN president Tony Coles comments, “Innovation has been one of BIN’s core values since our inception. It drives us to keep growing and creating spaces for the Black community to hear and contribute to the news that matters most to them. It’s an honor to be recognized with an incredible lineup of organizations and individuals who share the value of innovation and prove it in their work every day.”
AdLarge and G Networks Announces Sales Partnership. The two firms announce that they have entered into an ad sales partnership that will create “a new dynamic and impressive ad sales powerhouse in network audio.” In addition to continuing to represent content producers, AdLarge will oversee the management, sales, and fulfillment of the network audio ad sales inventory for both companies. G Networks will continue to offer and affiliate their premium programming and services through their existing affiliations team to radio stations across the U.S. G Networks president Warren Friedland states, “We’re excited to partner with AdLarge. AdLarge has a reputation for delivering innovative campaigns to help brands reach their media goals. AdLarge’s ad sales efforts coupled with our own extremely targeted networks will lead to a better return on investment for advertisers, brands, and agencies.” AdLarge co-CEO Gary Schonfeld adds, “This unique partnership will enhance our already robust ad sales networks, as well as generate greater critical mass and increased coverage of major markets. This is a win-win for the advertisers and the network audio community. The partnership with G Networks will greatly benefit the audio campaigns of our advertisers and agency partners.”
TALKERS News Notes. Personality Jesse Watters is named host of FOX News Channel’s 7:00 pm ET hour. The new program, “Jesse Watters Primetime” will launch on January 24. Watters will continue his current role as a co-host on “The Five.” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “Jesse’s versatility and hosting acumen has grown exponentially over the last five years, and he has developed a deep connection to the audience through two hit shows, ‘The Five’ and ‘Watters’ World.’ We look forward to watching him expand his connection even further through this new solo weeknight hour.”…..Cumulus Media and DCP Entertainment unveil the second season lineup for DCP’s award-winning podcast, “Say Their Name,” on the Cumulus Podcast Network. The series focuses on the stories of Black individuals who were assaulted and killed by police and in ‘Stand Your Ground’ states, with an emphasis on the women who often get overlooked. The first episode in the series marks the one-year anniversary of the attack on the United States Capitol with a look back at Miriam Carey, who was killed in 2013 by law enforcement.
Broadcasters Foundation to Honor Lesley Visser with Lifetime Achievement Award. Sports media legend Lesley Visser is being honored by the Broadcasters Foundation of America with its Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented during the Golden Mike Award gala and fundraiser, being held on March 14, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Visser is the only sportscaster – male or female – to have worked on network broadcasts of the Final Four, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, the Triple Crown, the Olympics, the U.S. Open, and the World Figure Skating Championship. BFoA Foundation chairman Scott Herman says, “Lesley has an extraordinary number of ‘firsts’ in her accomplished and impressive career. We’re very proud to recognize her many accomplishments, not only as a pioneering female sportscaster, but as a prominent leader in sports broadcasting, overall.” Visser says, “I am enormously honored to be recognized by the Broadcasters Foundation of America, which is vital to our colleagues who find themselves in need of help during times of unimaginable hardship. It’s essential that we acknowledge and support such a charitable endeavor.”
COVID-19, Voting Rights, January 6, Midterm Elections, Economy/Supply Chain, U.S.-Russia Relations, and Bob Saget Passing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/10). The soaring rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Omicron variant, vaccine mandates, and school policies; President Joe Biden’s pressure to change filibuster rules for voting rights legislation; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the November midterm elections and Joe Biden’s low approval ratings; the state of the U.S. economy and the ongoing supply chain woes; the U.S. and Russia negotiate over Ukraine; and TV icon Bob Saget dies unexpectedly at 65 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.