Cumulus Media announces that it is launching “The Game Sports Radio Network” across three South Carolina markets. The network originates from the company’s WNKT-FM, Columbia “107.5 The Game” – which serves as the flagship for South Carolina Gamecocks sports. Network content is also now heard on former classic country WWFN-FM, Florence – now branded “100.5 The Game” – and sports talk WSEA-FM, Myrtle Beach, which re-brands as “100.3 The Game.” WNKT program director Terry Ford says, “‘107.5 The Game’ Columbia, has been keeping the Midlands sports fans informed, engaged, enlightened, entertained, and sometimes enraged for 16 years! Our live and local team of sports specialists interviews coaches, players, and fans, and invites listeners to participate via call, social media, and on-location events. At our core are the teams, coaches, players, and fans of the South Carolina Gamecocks. We are very excited about growing the ‘107.5 The Game’ brand into two markets in South Carolina and making our great content available to almost half of the state.”
According to a report in The State, Heath Cline exits Cumulus Media’s Columbia, South Carolina sports talk outlet WNKT-FM “107.5 The Game.” Cline has hosted the afternoon drive show since December 2007. Cline says he and the company were unable to come to terms on a new deal. He had the chance to speak about it with station PD Terry Ford on the air. He told his audience, “It’s not a money thing. I just hit 50 this year. There are some things in my career I still want to do. They really wanted to keep me in Columbia and focused on that, and we just couldn’t get to where we needed to… This isn’t anybody’s fault. It’s just how radio and how business works sometimes.” Meanwhile, Cline says he’ll serve as executive producer and sub host for Chuck Oliver’s regional, college football-focused show and will continue the weekend hosting and fill-in work he’s been doing for Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN, Atlanta “680 The Fan.” Read The State story here.
Las Vegas-based director of news content Rich Johnson departs USA Radio News. Johnson previously worked as an anchor/reporter for Fox Radio News; ABC News Radio; WTOP, Washington, and KIRO-FM, Seattle.
The Senate Commerce Committee will vote this Wednesday (7/12) at 10:00 am on the nomination of telecommunications attorney Anna Gomez as a new FCC commissioner, as well as re-nominations of Geoffrey Starks and Brendan Carr. Gomez is a senior advisor for international information and communications policy in the Bureau of Cyberspace & Digital Policy. She served for twelve years in various positions at the FCC, including deputy chief of the International Bureau and senior legal advisor to then-chair William E. Kennard. Before joining the Commission in 2015, Starks was senior counsel to the deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice. Meanwhile, Carr joined the agency as a staffer in 2012. He previously clerked for judge Dennis Shedd on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and worked as a lawyer in the private sector.
Five-year-old, Iowa-based RoadWorthy Drive Productions has been renamed TechMobility Productions. According to company chief executive officer – and a founding member of the Black Automotive Media Group – Ken Chester, “We changed the name to better reflect the actual content of our weekly programming. Our previous branding was confusing to both the radio industry and our listeners.” TechMobility Productions produces/distributes “The TechMobility Show”; “The TechMobility Minute”; and “TechMobility In Focus.” More than 50 stations nationwide carry the company’s programming.
Former Missouri state representative Ted Farnen’s “Columbia Today” (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm) will debut next Monday (7/17) on Cumulus Media Columbia, MO news/talk KFRU. Cumulus Columbia vice president/market manager Greg Renoe remarks, “We are excited to have Ted join our KFRU line-up in the afternoons. He brings experience and a local perspective that we believe will resonate well with the listeners of KFRU.” Program director Luke Swezy notes, “[Ted] brings a valuable and informed perspective on local issues that will strengthen our programming; Farnen notes, “For nearly 100 years, KFRU has been Columbia’s best source for news and entertainment. This will be a fun and informative show with a heavy concentration on local issues and guests. It will be a program to which everyone will be welcome, and it will complement the outstanding local programming KFRU already provides.”
Round One of September PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York City, Red Apple Media Group’s news/talk WABC drops 1.3 shares to post a 3.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share), falling into a tie at the #11 rank with Audacy’s all-news WINS, which adds two-tenths to finish with a 3.0 share. Although shedding one-tenth for a 4.7 share finish, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles remains ranked #4. In Chicago, Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM dips one-tenth for a 3.5 share finish good for the #9 rank, while Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM adds three-tenths to finish the survey with a 4.9 share that pushes it to the #3 rank. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth continues its upward trajectory by adding four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 4.9 share that lifts it to the #3 rank. After adding eight-tenths for a 6.3 share finish, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta remains ranked #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
New York Festivals Radio Awards 2023 Competition Open for Entries. The New York Festivals 2023 Radio Awards competition is open for entries. New York Festivals Radio Awards 65-year legacy provides a showcase to celebrate world-class storytellers from around the globe. The competition honors creative innovation and excellence in broadcast and audio content across all genres and platforms. NYFestivals VP and executive director Rose Anderson says, “Journalists today are finding new ways to keep viewers informed and engaged in our ever-changing and interconnected world. Here at New York Festivals, we want to be able to amplify their dedication with categories tailored for those purposes along with stories that show how individual actions can change the world and the ability of the human spirit to triumph over adversity.” This year, New York Festivals Radio Awards adds two additional categories that reflect the evolving industry: Investigative Journalism and Best Nonfiction Series. The 2023 Storytellers Gala will take place at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 18, 2023. This is the 13th year of NYF’s and NAB’s strategic partnership. Radio Award winners will have access to the multi-day event taking place April 15-19, 2023. New York Festivals Radio Awards receives entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from over 30 countries around the globe. The mission of the competition is to honor the achievements of the men and women who make up the global audio storytelling community. Also, New York Festivals invites award-winning industry leaders from around the world to become members of their world-class Radio Awards Grand Jury. The 2023 Grand jury will be recruited in the coming weeks. Those jurors will include some of the most world’s recognizable voices and captivating content producers in the radio industry. Entries are judged on production values, creativity, content presentation, direction, writing, achievement of purpose, and audience suitability. To see last year’s winners, click here. To see this year’s categories and for information about entering, click here.
Michael Harrison’s “Idiots” is an Internet Hit. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has appeared as a guest on a number of major local and national radio talk shows covering several hundred stations across the nation during the past month discussing the musical track “Idiots” on which he appears as lead vocalist with the iconic classic rock band, GUNHILL ROAD. “Idiots” is a remarkably catchy song with an ear-worm hook and provocative lyrics taking aim at what Harrison describes as the “growing wave of idiocy that’s spreading across America and threatening the nation’s democracy.” Harrison wrote the song in collaboration with his bandmates – Steve Goldrich, Paul Reisch and Brian Koonin. Since its release in late August, the song’s music video (www.idiotsvideo.com) has racked up more than 52,000 views on YouTube alone and gotten both audio and video exposure on hundreds of talk shows and radio station websites from WABC, New York to KXL, Portland. “Ironically, the song has become somewhat of a talk radio hit – if such a strange thing is possible,” says Harrison. “The music stations haven’t a clue what to do with it because it doesn’t fit conveniently into their cookie cutter categories. However, talk radio programmers get it.” Nationally syndicated talk radio star Lars Larson – one of the first to play the song on air – tells TALKERS, “The minute I put ‘Idiots’ on my talk show, emails flooded in. Gunhill Road hit the note that all of us have been sensing for a long time.” One of the song’s qualities that adds to its talk show appeal and support from both liberals and conservatives is its non-partisanship. Harrison calls it an “equal opportunity offender.” Lyrics include such lines as: A fool will always be a fool… left, right, blue or red… it pays to have an open mind, but not an empty head. Another: They (idiots) cherry pick and reaffirm half-baked dumb ideas… agree with almost anything that feeds their hate and fears… always blaming others for their own damn lack of vision… they buy the crap that’s sold them from the merchants of division. That last line is punctuated on the video by the famous “turd” emoji emanating from the rear ends of both an elephant and donkey. Harrison plans to continue the virtual Talk Radio Idiots Interview Tour through the fall. Shows and hosts interested in booking him as a guest can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Click here to see the video.
Zimmer Broadcasting Simulcasts Morning Show to KWOS-AM, Jefferson City. The Jefferson City news/talk outlet owned and operated by Zimmer Communications is adding the “Wake-Up Mid-Missouri with Branden Rathert” program to its lineup. The program emanates from the company’s news/talk KSSZ-FM, Columbia, Missouri. The company says that lead host Branden Rathert has been recognized for his work during the 2010 BP Gulf Coast oil spill, the unrest at University of Missouri in 2015, and has been awarded for documentaries on homelessness and SWAT teams. The program also features local attorney Stephanie Bell, Centralia native Hannah Adkisson, news director Brian Hauswirth, and fellow journalist John Marsh. Zimmer Communications operations manager Chris Carson says, “We are excited to take what has been an extremely successful show for Columbia and bring that to a much larger audience covering a broad portion of the center of the state. The way they approach each news story, no matter how local or national, and provide a take that appeals to every Missouri listener is incredible. Their service work to the community and relationships with newsmakers and political leaders across parties across the state is unmatched by any other radio show statewide! This is going to be fun!”
Bold Gold Foundation’s 7th Annual Event & Dinner to Pay Tribute to Abraham Lincoln. The non-profit arm of the Bold Gold Media Group, The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation, which supports educational programs that help students prepare for careers in broadcast journalism, announces that Abraham Lincoln will be the focus of this year’s 7th Annual Event and Dinner to be held on Friday, October 28 at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre. The Bold Gold Foundation has chosen the theme: “Abraham Lincoln – Leadership & Statesmanship in a Nation Divided.” Dr. Matthew Spalding – the Kirby Professor in Constitutional Government at Hillsdale College and the dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government at Hillsdale’s Washington, D.C. campus – will keynote the event. Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto says, “Our theme last year centered around Winston Churchill, as a defender of Western Civilization and free speech. Prior to this, we focused on the leadership of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. It seems only appropriate that we now turn our attention to the greatest statesman of the 19th century, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was a leader with great moral courage, who proved extremely capable of communicating and defending the American constitutional order and our founding principles. The purpose of the Bold Gold Foundation is to support the next generation of media leaders. What better way to learn about leadership and the communication of great ideals in times of deep division than by studying Abraham Lincoln?” The Bold Gold Foundation will also be honoring Northeast PA business leader William Rosado, of the Rosado Group and Milford Hospitality Group, with a special citizenship award during this year’s event. The Atlas Award for Citizenship is awarded to individuals who, through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibit extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism, patriotism, leadership, and virtue.
KWAM, Memphis Wins TAB Awards. Memphis news/talk KWAM “The Mighty 990” was honored with three Excellence in Broadcasting awards at the recent Tennessee Association of Broadcasters gala and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Tim Van Horn and Ben Deeter won second place honors for Best Talk Show. Grace Baker and the KWAM staff won first and second place for Best Digital Media. Pictured above are (from l-r): general manager Kevin Davis, KWAM political analyst Steve Gill, KWAM owner Todd Starnes, managing editor Caleb Parke, chief engineer Chuck Condron and CEO Dalton Glasscock.
TALKERS News Notes. The board of trustees of New York Public Radio are naming LaFontaine Oliver the next president and CEO of the organization that includes WNYC, WQXR, WNYC Studios, Gothamist, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and New Jersey Public Radio. His appointment is effective in January 2023. Oliver comes to WNYC from Your Public Radio (WYPR) in Baltimore, where he currently serves as president and CEO. WNYC says Oliver has led the station “through the unprecedented change of the pandemic while growing revenue and listenership, launching a new health vertical and podcast, and overseeing the acquisition of station WTMD from Towson University. Oliver also drove the significant expansion of the WYPR newsroom and launched a joint operating agreement with digital news startup, The Baltimore Banner.”…..PodcastOne adds to its roster podcasts from World Series Champion Nick Swisher, NBA Champion Bobby Portis and retired NFL running back Chris Howard, as well as the recent launch of “Hammered Heroes” hosted by Brendan Fitzgibbons and Sophie Santos. The quartet of shows all launch as part of the expanding PodcastOne’s sports vertical of programming for the podcast network. PodcastOne president Kit Gray comments, “Sports fans are loyal, they’re engaged and they’re passionate. With the growing PodcastOne sports vertical, we are producing and developing exclusive sports content shows from some of the most recognizable names in the game, adding to our diverse roster of original programming that advertisers and listeners won’t get from other networks. Our sports hosted shows offer something for everyone, from the parquet floors of the world of basketball to the spectacle of the wrestling ring.”…..iHeartRadio Raleigh is hosting a Hurricane Ian relief donation drive today (10/5) from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm at a local Walmart Supercenter. iHeartRadio Raleigh stations – including news/talk WTKK-FM – are encouraging listeners to donate much-needed supplies for those in Florida affected by the storm. “Our team has heard from many Triangle-area listeners who have a connection to Hurricane victims in Florida, whether it be friends or family,” says Trevor Morini, vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Raleigh. “The overwhelming desire to help those victims is what makes us proud to be part of this community.”…..Cox Media Group today kicks off a “Neighbors in Need” initiative at its TV and radio stations in Florida and Atlanta to support those impacted by Hurricane Ian. This follows WSB-TV’s and Atlanta Radio’s highly successful “Convoy of Care” that saw food, water and other provisions sent from Atlanta to those who needed it in Florida. CMG’s on-air talent across its Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa TV and radio stations will use their platforms to broadcast tales of heroism, discuss rescue efforts, and encourage audiences to donate to Hurricane recovery efforts.
Putin’s Ukraine Annexation, Hurricane Ian Aftermath, Trump Legal Issues, Inflation/Recession Fears, Musk & Twitter, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Record U.S. Debt, Oath Keepers Trial, and Tom Brady Marriage Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/4). The annexation of portions of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin; the search for missing Floridians in Hurricane Ian’s wake and President Joe Biden’s planned visit to the region; former President Donald Trump’s battle with the Department of Justice over the Mar-a-Lago documents; the record high inflation, OPEC’s potential reduction in oil output, and fears of a deep recession in the U.S.; Elon Musk’s reversal of his attempt to get out of acquiring Twitter; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the U.S. national debt hits a record $31 trillion; the trial of several Oath Keepers on seditious conspiracy; and rumors of a possible split for Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Monday Memo: News = Dog, Talk = Tail. Consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “events now unfolding around us can be ratings GOLD,” if news/talk stations “re-balance both aspects of the format franchise.” Read it here.
Pending Business: Worst Cold Call Ever. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes today about an absurd cold call that happened to him and reminded him that every now and then it’s a good idea for radio sellers to revisit some of the cold call basics. He has seven thoughts on the subject to share with readers here.
Cumulus Names Casey Bartholomew Host at WBAP, Dallas/Fort Worth. Talk radio pro Casey Bartholomew is joining Cumulus Media’s Dallas/Fort Worth news/talk WBAP as host of the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program. He takes over for Ernie Brown who was recently promoted to co-host of the station’s morning drive show. Bartholomew joins Cumulus DFW from Cumulus Columbia, Missouri, where he’s been serving as program director for news/talk station KFRU-AM/FM. WBAP and KLIF program director Bruce Collins says, “Casey is the ultimate pro and understands the top stories of the day that affect our listeners. We are excited to have him on the News Talk 820 WBAP team.” Bartholomew comments, “WBAP is a legendary station and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Looking forward to the challenge – This is going to be fun.”
iHeartMedia and ASU Agree to Hockey Broadcasts Deal. The new broadcast agreement between iHeartMedia Phoenix and Arizona State University puts play-by-play of the school’s men’s hockey games on sports talk KGME-AM “FOX Sports 910,” beginning October 11. The deal also includes a weekly coach’s show featuring head coach Greg Powers. Sun Devil for Life Tyler Paley returns to his roots as the first-ever play-by-play voice of Sun Devil Hockey Radio. A three-time ASU grad, Paley covered the ASU men’s ice hockey team extensively during his tenure at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2014-18. His experience spans years of various communications roles including multimedia journalist, anchor and reporter, social media strategist, commentator for Pac-12 Network and freelancer for CBS, FOX Sports and ESPN. iHeartMedia market president Linda Little says, “‘FOX Sports 910’ and iHeartMedia Phoenix are proud to partner with Arizona State University as they launch their inaugural radio broadcast for hockey play-by-play.”
Broadcasters Foundation of America Mourns Passing of Jim Thompson. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the passing of its longtime president Jim Thompson. The BFOA says Thompson, who fought a valiant struggle against throat cancer for nearly a year, passed away last night (8/14) in Summit, New Jersey, at the age of 75, surrounded by his family. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, which has been established by the Broadcasters Foundation in honor of Thompson’s dedication and service to the broadcasting industry and to the Foundation’s charitable cause of providing financial aid to radio and TV professionals in acute need. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “I am very proud to have known Jim for nearly 40 years as a colleague and a friend. Jim believed deeply in helping others and his passion and enthusiasm for life always lit up a room. Broadcasting has lost a great man, who always saw the positive in every person and every situation. He will be sorely missed.” Thompson took over the reins of the Broadcasters Foundation in 2009, guiding the charitable organization to more than quadruple the amount of financial aid it distributes to radio and TV professionals from $400,000 to nearly $2 million last year. BFoA chairman emeritus Phil Lombardo says, “When the board of directors was searching for a president, Jim’s reputation as a leader combined with his compassion for others and his ability to rally people together made him the perfect choice. His accomplishments over the past 13 years helped the many TV and Radio professionals who found themselves in unthinkable circumstances and in need of aid. Our sincere sympathies go out to his family.” Last October, Thompson announced he would be retiring at the end of 2022. Thompson had been president and CEO of Group W Radio, the second largest radio company in the country during his leadership, and along with Mike Craven was co-owner of Liberty Broadcasting, a nineteen-station radio group concentrated on the east coast. He began his broadcasting career as an account executive at KYW-TV, Philadelphia in 1971, where he rose to vice president and general manager. Thompson is survived by his wife Cindy, his five children, Meghan Cima, Shannon Gardiner and her husband James, Katie McElwee and her husband Tommy, James Thompson and his wife Madison, Molly Thompson, seven grandchildren, and his brothers John and Thomas. To make a donation to the Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, please click here: https://bfoa.app.neoncrm.com/forms/jimthompsonfund.
FSR’s Doug Gottlieb Broadcasts from LA Football Training Camps. Pictured above (right) is FOX Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb chatting with Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (left) during Gottlieb’s broadcast from the team’s training camp on August 9. Gottlieb broadcast from the Rams’ and the Los Angeles Chargers’ camps as part of the network’s annual NFL Training Camp Tour.
PodcastOne Strikes Deal with ActionPark Media. This new relationship between PodcastOne and Kevin Connolly’s boutique media network ActionPark Media gives PodcastOne exclusive distribution and advertising sales rights for APM’s current slate of podcast and vodcast programming. In addition, it allows for the two media companies to co-develop future podcast/vodcast based intellectual property, produce advertiser-sponsored live streaming and touring opportunities for host/talent and create exclusive licensing for podcast specific branded merchandise. PodcastOne president Kit Gray states, “Kevin and APM clearly have a knack for producing quality podcast content with ‘Victory the Podcast’ being one of the first shows giving a behind the scenes look at a hit television series and ‘The Morning After with Kelly Stafford’ consistently charting as one of the top shows for parents and families. This joint venture now gives us the ability to work together to grow the audience for a slate of incredible existing shows. Additionally, with LiveOne’s streaming partnerships, live event capabilities and merchandising division, we are excited to further enhance branding opportunities for the star-studded roster of hosts.”
Gunhill Road Spoken Word Music Video on Display as “Work of Art” in Show at Florida Gallery. The internet hit, “I Know You’re Real,” by talk-radio-friendly pop music band Gunhill Road, featuring TALKERS founder Michael Harrison as lead spoken word vocalist, has broken new ground in the genre of music video being recognized as fine art. The official video of the song which appears on Gunhill Road’s 2021 album, What Year Is This! addresses the subject of animal welfare celebrating all aspects of the deep relationship between human beings and other precious life forms on Planet Earth. The art show, being presented at the prestigious Martin Arts Court House Cultural Center Gallery in Stuart, FL, is cleverly titled, “Dog Days of Summer (and other pets too!).” The show centers on animal-related fine art (paintings and sculpture). It runs through October 1 and features a virtual gallery as well as a live presentation and includes charitable community outreach initiatives such as animal rescue and pet adoption. Martin Arts spokesperson Rickie Leiter tells TALKERS, “I grew up in the Northeast listening to Gunhill Road on the radio and was delighted to hear about this beautiful video with its sweet music, moving words and stunning images. It is indeed a work of visual, not to mention audio and poetic, art.” Gunhill Road co-founder (and devoted cat lover), Steve Goldrich tells TALKERS, “We are beyond honored to have our video on display among paintings at a fine art show of this caliber.” In addition to Goldrich and Harrison, Gunhill Road’s current lineup includes longtime member Paul Reich and famed Broadway instrumentalist Brian Koonin. An advance single (and video) titled, “Idiots,” from the group’s forthcoming album, spotlighting the danger of societal ignorance and also featuring Harrison on lead vocals, is scheduled to drop later this week. Both videos are produced by TALKERS VP/associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison. For more information about the show and Martin Arts please click here. To view the video, please click here.
FBI Raid/Bureau Threats, Inflation Reduction Act/The Economy, Salman Rushdie Attack, Immigration/Baja Violence, Midterms/2024 Race, Afghanistan Situation, and Anne Heche Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the subsequent threats against FBI offices; the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act spending, the falling price of oil, and the still climbing price of food; the attempted assassination of author Salman Rushdie; the migrant issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the weekend’s cartel violence in Baja cities near the border; the primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan a year after the U.S. military’s exit from the nation; and actress Anne Heche dies a week after a fiery car wreck were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Dennis Green is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The COO of Key Networks, Dennis Green, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Green’s background in network and syndication radio is extensive. Prior to joining Key Networks, he served 22 years at Westwood One and Cumulus Media Networks where he held several VP positions in affiliate sales and broadcast operations. During this period, he was instrumental in the launch of big shows for a wide variety of major talent. Prior to that he served as head of multimedia syndication at Bloomberg in New York in addition to holding other radio industry positions in his early career. Green is also the chairman of the nominating committee for the Radio Hall of Fame. Harrison says, “I love talking with Dennis Green about radio. His clear insights illuminate how the medium works as a business and relates to popular culture. Radio enthusiasts on both sides of the speakers will enjoy this panoramic conversation.” Harrison and Green take a deep dive into the history and culture of the radio business – past, present and future. To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here.
Round Three of April PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s April 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s April 2022 sweep covered March 31 – April 27. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Portland, while Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM adds one-tenth to finish with an 8.2 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share), it slides from the #3 rank to #4. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KEX, Portland loses seven-tenths for a 2.6 share finish good for the #16 rank. In Salt Lake City, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-AM/FM adds nine-tenths to wrap the survey with a 10.8 share and takes the #1 rank, while Bonneville’s crosstown news/talk KSL-AM/FM rises 1.3 shares for a 7.6 share finish that puts it in the #2 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WLW, Cincinnati posts a 1.2 share increase that gives the station a 13.4 share – good for the #1 rank – while sister news/talk WKRC adds three-tenths for a 5.4 share finish ranking it #4. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the two previous groups) here.
Former WNKT-FM, Columbia Sports Talk Host Tim Hill Launches Online Sports Talk Show While Challenging Cumulus Vaccine Mandate. According to a story at Outkick by Armando Salguero, sports talk host Tim Hill is launching a daily, two-hour sports talk program he’s streaming online that stands to compete with former employer Cumulus Media’s WNKT-FM, Columbia, South Carolina “107.5 The Game.” TALKERS magazine reported last fall that Hill was let go from the station for refusing to get a COVID vaccine – a policy Cumulus was instituting to bring its talent and most staffers back into the office. Hill requested an exemption to be allowed to broadcast his program from home as he’d been doing since the 2020 lockdown. The company refused. According to the Outkick story, Hill is also challenging Cumulus’ actions. He’s filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which is current investigating.
15th Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row Scheduled for September 21-22. The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces that the 15th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row broadcast in Washington will take place this year on Wednesday, September 21 and Thursday, September 22. This event brings talk hosts from across the nation to Washington to broadcast live both days debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, high-profile media personalities, and those who live and work along the southern border. FAIR executive director Bob Dane says, “F2F has now spanned four presidents and become America’s largest annual gathering of talk hosts, and the centerpiece of the immigration debate each year for the media. This September marks its 15th anniversary coinciding with the most consequential midterm election of our lives. Those outcomes will determine whether Biden’s Border Crisis continues and will also set the stage for 2024. This event is about harnessing the reach and influence of talk radio to properly inform voters on the immigration issue.” This year, “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” is being staged at its new location on the rooftop terrace of FOX News overlooking the Capitol at 400 North Capitol Street in Washington. D.C. The event accommodates 75 hosts in the broadcast center and fills up earlier each year. Reservations are required and hosts should call FAIR immediately to reserve a booth. As always, there is no cost to attend. Talk hosts interested in attending should contact Bob Dane at 202-742-1824 or email@example.com.
WGN-AM, Chicago Celebrates 100 Years of Broadcasting. Today (5/19) Chicago’s WGN Radio celebrates its 100th anniversary as the 50,000-watt voice of “Chicago’s Very Own” and will continue the celebration during the entire month of May and throughout all of 2022. On May 19, 1922, two young Chicagoans and radio enthusiasts named Thorne Donnelley and Elliott Jenkins started broadcasting from the Wrigley Building with their experimental station named WDAP. In 1924, the station acquired the WGN call letters with the takeover by new owner Col. Robert McCormick, editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. Tonight at 7:00 pm CT, WGN-TV will debut the documentary “100 Years of WGN Radio: A Retrospective.” The 45-minute documentary, produced by WGN Radio, tells the story of the radio station and journeys from its beginnings in 1922 through 2022. Today, WGN-TV’s Emmy Award-winning entertainment reporter and critic Dean Richards will be reporting live from WGN Radio’s studios throughout the day. Also, Metropolitan Brewing, Conrad Seipp Brewing Company, and the Chicago Brewseum will launch Chicago’s Very Own, a golden lager canned exclusively to celebrate WGN Radio’s 100th birthday. Chicago’s Very Own golden lager will first be available for public sale at the official beer release at Metropolitan Brewing on Friday (5/20) and will be available on draft at select locations around Chicagoland starting the week of May 23.
TALKERS News Notes. Radio pros Pete Benedetti and Lori Olsen join Quu Inc. as EVP of revenue and administrative and contracts manager, respectively. They will report directly to Quu CEO Steve Newberry. Benedetti is a longtime radio executive with deep experience acquiring, owning, and integrating radio stations in all market sizes…..Audacy announces the launch of a new show from its sports podcast studio 2400Sports in partnership with Major League Baseball. “Unwritten: Behind Baseball’s Secret Rules,” premieres June 1, is hosted by MLB broadcasters and former players Ron Darling and Jimmy Rollins, and explores a different unwritten rule of the game each week – bat flips, no-hitter jinxes, retribution and more…..SiriusXM is offering subscribers coverage of the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of thoroughbred racing’s 2022 Triple Crown, from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore this Saturday (5/21). SiriusXM will also air the Belmont Stakes as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Preakness Stakes is provided by NBC Sports Audio Network.
Midterm Primaries/Trump & the GOP, the Economy, COVID-19, Buffalo Shooting/Great Replacement Theory, and Disinformation Board Demise Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/18). The primary races for November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the selloff on Wall Street, inflation, the baby formula shortage and concerns about a recession; the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the debate over returning to mask mandates; the aftermath of the Buffalo shooting and the controversy over the Great Replacement Theory; and the shuttering of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Board 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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “The New Abnormal,” looks back at this past week of 1/3 to 1/7. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, talk show host WPG, Atlantic City; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/physician; Scott Sands, talk show host, WSPD, Toledo; Danny Lipford, host “Today’s Homeowner” Radio & TV; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each weekend on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Bill Bartholomew Joins WPRO, Providence as APD/Executive Producer. Rhode Island multimedia journalist Bill Bartholomew joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM “NewsTalk 99.7 FM & AM 630” as assistant program director and executive producer. Bartholomew is creator and host of “The Bartholomewtown Podcast,” a popular local political podcast that features in-depth interviews with local and national figures. He holds a degree in political science from University of Rhode Island and is also a regular contributor to Rhode Island PBS. WPRO program director Doug MacGunnigle comments, “I’m excited to welcome Bill to the team. His experience in the digital realm, standing in the community, and political savvy will add greatly to the success of WPRO and be a tremendous asset as we move into new and exciting frontiers, both on the air and beyond.” Bartholomew states, “Joining the team at legendary platform WPRO on a daily basis is a tremendous opportunity for me, and one that I take extremely seriously. For nearly a century, WPRO has been a trusted source for southern New Englanders, and I look forward to collaborating with the station to expand the reach of my perspective and insight into the issues that are important to the region, introducing radio to a new audience, and expanding WPRO’s reach in the rapidly expanding digital space.”
Mueller Named Program Director at Cumulus Media’s ‘Sports Animal’ in OK City. After last month’s retirement of program director Chris Baker, Cumulus Media brings Robert “Cisco” Mueller aboard as PD of WWLS-FM, Oklahoma City “The Sports Animal” to lead the station. Mueller says, “What an amazing opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Chris Baker who I’ve known for over 21 years. My wife and I are thrilled to be back home in OKC, close to our son… and it’s so fun to be working in familiar places with familiar faces. Truly humbled to work with the best sports talent on WWLS. I want to thank Jay Davis and Bruce Gilbert for this opportunity!” Chris Baker comments, “I am exceedingly excited that Robert “Cisco” Mueller will be my successor. I have known Cisco over two decades. His knowledge of the OKC metro, the Oklahoma sports landscape, and his prowess with new media makes him the perfect pick.”
CES2022: Cars, Cash, COVID. As the scaled-down yet still-enormous Las Vegas tech expo wraps – a day early, out of caution – Holland Cooke reports how tech trends that accelerated during the shutdown emerge as the New Normal. Read it all here.
Triton Digital Releases U.S. Streaming Rankers for November 2021. This data is a listing of the top performing digital audio publishers as measured by Triton Digital’s Streaming Metrics measurement services and is ranked based on Average Active Sessions (AAS is calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period) and includes only Triton clients. For the November 2021 period (Mon-Sun 6A-12M), iHeartRadio ranks #1 with 296,880 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (76,918 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (66,543 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,370 AAS). Other companies of note in the top 25 include: Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,053 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (13,831 AAS), Salem Communications at #11 (9,007 AAS), and Bonneville International at #13 (7,116 AAS). You can see the complete top 25 here.
New NAB Chief Curtis LeGeyt Pledges to Fight for Local Journalism. In a blog piece published on Thursday (1/6), NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt says he intends to “strongly advocate on behalf of America’s broadcasters and help fulfill their mission of providing trusted local journalism that keeps our communities safe, informed and connected.” LeGeyt writes, “Today marks the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Among the many lessons learned that day, the public was undoubtedly reminded of broadcasters’ critical role in bringing information to the public, especially during times of crisis. As misinformation runs rampant on social media, local radio and TV stations continue to bring the most trusted news to communities across the country. Millions of Americans have relied on broadcasters to be their eyes and ears during our nation’s most pivotal events.” Read the entire piece here.
Harrison Sings Hannity’s Praises on Radio Show. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison sang praises for Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity while guesting on the Scott Sands afternoon drive program on iHeartMedia’s WSPD, Toledo yesterday (1/6). Harrison was invited to discuss the anniversary of January 6 and the impact talk radio has had in covering the story. When asked about Hannity’s high-profile role in the story, Harrison responded with emphatic support of the talk show host’s involvement in it and his First Amendment rights as well as the value his connection to President Trump has played in illustrating the importance of talk radio in contemporary society. Harrison, known for his political neutrality but zealous support of the First Amendment and talk media industry, stated, “Sean Hannity is one of the most influential radio personalities of the medium’s 100-year history.” To listen to an excerpt of the conversation, please click here. Scott Sands is also the PD of WSPD as well as area SVP of programming, Ohio/West Virginia iHeartMedia Communities Division.
The COVID-19 Omicron Surge, Vaccines, Boosters & Politics Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 3-7. The soaring rate of COVID cases in the U.S. and abroad, the debate over vaccine mandates, the effectiveness of boosters and the politics that surround it combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol attack and the ongoing investigation into the Trump administration’s role in it, followed by the economy, inflation, the supply chain, and the labor shortage at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.