According to a report by Andrew Marchand at the New York Post, Good Karma Brands – which is currently leasing WEPN-FM, New York from Emmis Communications for its “ESPN New York sports radio brand – will not continue the lease after it expires on August 31, 2024. Good Karma owns WEPN-AM, New York and company chief Craig Karmazin tells the Post, “We’re committed to serving the New York sports fan and with the combination of our AM signal, the ESPN New York app, podcasts, smart speakers, YES and other additional audio and video distribution, investing in an FM signal was not relevant in the way it was a decade ago.” The piece states the lease price for the signal is “in the $12.5 million per year range.” It also reports that sources indicate Emmis is seeking roughly $50 million in a purchase deal. Read the Post piece here.
According to a piece by John Ourand at Sports Business Journal, ESPN has struck a deal to have Good Karma Brands handle sales for the ESPN Radio network and its ESPN podcasts. ESPN will remain in charge of the content, distribution and marketing its audio segment. Good Karma chief Craig Karmazin tells SBJ, “This is the culmination of what we’ve been working towards for the last 20-plus years. For us over the last 20 years, we’ve been focused on the medium and focused on the ESPN brand. Now for us to be able to run the sales operations of the entire network and the podcast business, it truly is like a culmination of everything we’ve been working towards in this partnership with them.” Read the Sports Business Journal story here.
Steve Wexler Steps Down from Daily Management Duties at Good Karma Brands Milwaukee. Radio management pro Steve Wexler – vice president and market manager for Good Karma Brands Milwaukee – will wrap up his 35-year career and transition into a coaching and development role at the company. The announcement was made today (11/15) by GKB founder and CEO Craig Karmazin, who says, “We are appreciative and grateful Steve “Wex” joined Good Karma to lead the Milwaukee team through a time of significant growth and transition. His passion for local news and his community-focused approach to broadcasting and media led the team through a pandemic, the launch of a new station, and award-winning coverage of so many significant moments of the past several years. We’re looking forward to continuing to learn from his knowledge and leadership expertise as he moves into a coaching role within the GKB home office.” The company says that EVP Emily Dillinger will assume the role of interim market manager for GKB’s three Milwaukee stations talk WGKB-AM/W269DL “101.7 The Truth,” sports talk WKTI-FM, “ESPN Milwaukee,” and news/talk WTMJ “Newsradio 620.” Wexler comments, “I’m looking forward to tapping into my experiences and many lessons learned to help our content, sales and management teammates continue to grow their skills and knowledge. I’m very grateful to Craig for the opportunity to do what I do best and what I enjoy most which is spending time coaching and developing our team.” Wexler led the sale of the 36-station, 8-market Scripps Radio Group in late 2018 to several broadcast companies, including GKB in Milwaukee, where he assumed the role of market manager in 2019. He began his broadcast career at WTMJ in Milwaukee as an intern and has been an on-air personality, program manager, and radio and television general manager before running the radio division for Journal Communications, which merged with Scripps in 2018.
Cox Media Group Names Market Leaders for Houston and Orlando. The company announces the appointment of new VP/market managers for its Houston and Orlando clusters. In Orlando, where Cox Media Group operates news/talk WDBO-AM/FM and five music brands, JC Campese assumes the leadership role. CMG operates three music brands in Houston where Stephanie Callihan is named to the top position. She has served with several radio groups, including Audacy where she was most recently an SVP and market manager. Campese launched his career with CMG in 2000 and rose to director of sales for the Orlando cluster prior to this promotion. CMG executive vice president Rob Babin says, “We are excited to tap into our amazing internal CMG leadership talent and announce the promotions of JC and Stephanie. JC and Stephanie have a fantastic range of experiences and talents that will make a positive impact on CMG and our talented teams in Orlando and Houston. I look forward to the difference they’ll make as CMG continues to evolve to meet the needs of our listeners, clients, and our communities.”
AWM Presents Gracies Leadership Awards. The Alliance for Women in Media hosted the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon yesterday (11/14) at the Tribeca 360° in New York City. Soledad O’Brien served as keynote speaker stating that the group of honorees represent “stories not just of grit, vision, and opportunity, but of women helping women and celebrating women and the story of how those women didn’t forget that they got into media to elevate people and issues and struggles that were not in the spotlight.” The seven female leaders honored (and pictured above) were: Valerie Blackburn; Nancy Daniels, chief of content, NTets, Discovery, Animal Planet &Science Channel; Marie Donoghue, vice president, global sports video, Amazon; Kim Godwin, president, ABC News; Wendy Goldberg, chief communications officer, iHeartMedia, Inc; Chelsey Maddox-Dorsey, CEO, A wonder Media Company; Debra O’Connell, president, networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution; and Dawn Porter, founder, Trilogy Films. AWM Foundation chair Heather Cohen states, “This is a pivotal event for us because it covers all three of our pillars- it’s recognition, it’s education, and it’s connection. We shine a light on exceptional women in media- those who have shattered glass ceilings and proven their leadership and notable today, what an honor to have Soledad O’Brien, one of the greatest storytellers of our time as our keynote.”
TALKERS News Notes. Audio research and analytics firm Veritonic announces the second annual Audio Intelligence Summit is scheduled for February 15 at Second Floor in New York City. Veritonic says, “The summit will once again gather industry-leading brands, agencies, and publishers to dive deep into the data and analytics that are driving today’s successful audio and podcasting strategies. We look forward to coming together with fellow publishers, platforms, brands and agencies to collectively improve upon and consider the data and analytics that are making audio’s ever-expanding influence increasingly efficient and impactful.” Find details about the summit by visiting https://audiointelligencesummit.com…..Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks announce the launch today of the quirky new comedic podcast, “The Neurotic Vaccine,” created and hosted by Andy Cowan, award-winning writer for “Seinfeld,” “Cheers,” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.” In “The Neurotic Vaccine,” Cowan invites fellow neurotics to share his mini-therapy sessions with co-host, clinical and forensic psychologist, Dr. Scott Kopoian. Together with their guests – including inaugural guests Jay Leno and Cathy creator, Cathy Guisewite – Cowan and Kopoian work toward the daunting goal of immunity to neurosis. “The Neurotic Vaccine” podcast includes celebrity guests, post-session postscripts, comedy featurettes and more. Future sessions of “The Neurotic Vaccine” will feature stars including Leave It To Beaver’s Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow (in his final interview), “Curb Your Enthusiasm” guest star comedian Elon Gold, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, CNN host Michael Smerconish, and actress Marilu Henner…..Quu Inc., announces radio veteran Laura Gonzo joins the company as senior director of affiliate services. In this role, Gonzo will work with stations and sales teams to ensure the successful implementation of Quu’s advertising products. Gonzo served as affiliate director for “The Bob & Tom Show” from 1997 through 2008. She says, “Quu’s powerful technology is truly a game-changer for radio. Beyond elevating the station’s visual appeal, Quu offers a huge opportunity to increase sales and drive stronger returns for clients. I’m thrilled to join the team of passionate experts at Quu and to help stations make the most of these transformative products.”…..SiriusXM announces that Andy Cohen has signed a three-year contract extension and that his exclusive SiriusXM channel Radio Andy “will now serve as the audio subscription service’s definitive home for pop culture with “Andy Cohen Live” and “Smith Sisters Live” expanding to daily shows.” Cohen says, “SiriusXM allows me to dig deeply into two of my passions – pop culture on Radio Andy and music on the Kiki Lounge. I’m so proud of what we’ve developed over the last seven years on Radio Andy. I’ve loved programming the channel, and my longform interviews with celebrities and authors feed my soul. Programming the Kiki Lounge brought me incredible joy during the pandemic and listening to it is a romp through my expansive music vocabulary.”
Midterms Aftermath, Trump in ’24, Biden-Xi Meeting, The Economy, Crypto-Crash, G-20/Russia-Ukraine War, and UVA Killings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14). The results of last week’s midterm elections that leave the Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate and the Republicans likely to assume control of the U.S. House; former President Donald Trump’s expected announcement he’ll run for president in 2024; Monday’s meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping; inflation and fears of a recession; the fall of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the 75% decline of crypto value over the last 12 months; the G-20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia and the pressure on attending nations to officially condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and the fatal shooting of three University of Virginia football players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Pines and DiMarco to Lead Good Karma Brands’ Los Angeles and New York Sports Talkers. Two radio executives are being named to market manager roles with Good Karma Brands’ newly acquired sports talk stations in Los Angeles and New York City. The company announces that GKB partner and SVP Sam Pines will serve as market manager for KSPN-AM “ESPN Los Angeles” and former ESPN Audio senior director of sales Vinny DiMarco will hold the same position for WEPN-AM “ESPN New York.” Good Karma Brands founder and CEO Craig Karmazin says, “I couldn’t be more excited to have both Sam and Vinny in their respective roles. Sam has distinguished himself as a leader both inside and outside the company and will bring creativity and take a relationship-focused and marketing savvy approach to ‘ESPN Los Angeles.’ Vinny’s background at ‘ESPN New York’ and his relationships within New York City and throughout both Good Karma and ESPN make him a well-liked and respected leader who will keep teammates, advertising partners and our fans at the forefront of all that we do and achieve.” Pines joined Good Karma Brands in 2000, and since 2006 has led ESPN Cleveland as a market manager and sales manager. DiMarco joins Good Karma Brands from ESPN, where he managed multi-market, multi-platform sales across ESPN radio affiliates, and oversaw emerging categories, including sports betting and cryptocurrency. He started his ESPN career at ESPN New York as general sales manager.
JVC Broadcasting Adds New Programming to ‘Florida Man Radio’ Stations. New talent join JVC Broadcasting’s “Florida Man Radio” network in Orlando (WDYZ-AM/W288CJ/WOTW-HD3) and Fort Walton Beach (WZLB-FM). “Florida Man Radio” adds Orlando radio veteran Lil’ Shawn as co-host and producer of late morning program “The Justin Clark Show.” Westwood One’s “The Dan Bongino Show” is added to the lineup in Orlando and Compass Media Networks’ “Markley, Van Camp, and Robbins” moves from evenings to middays in Fort Walton Beach. Lil’ Shawn served for 20 years with Cox Media Group at CHR WPYO, Orlando. JVC Florida director of programming Stevie Demann says, “As this unique radio station continues to grow exponentially, we will always look for exciting new ways to deliver Florida, America, and the world’s most ‘unfiltered and unafraid’ content. Lil’ Shawn brings a unique and relatable perspective on local and national events to ‘The Justin Clark Show,’ Dan Bongino’s connections and experience in the national political landscape gives our listeners exclusive access and opinions into politics and social conversation, and ‘The MVR Show’ in Fort Walton Beach is such a fun and informative show to listen to!” JVC president and CEO John Caracciolo adds, “The great talent and notoriety of our hosts has given our audiences true personality-driven talk radio. ‘Florida Man Radio’ continues to fulfill its promise of delivering humorous, topical, and compelling discussions on the radio that everyone can enjoy.”
Bonneville Rebrands KIRO-AM as ‘Seattle Sports.’ Sports talk outlet KIRO-AM, Seattle is leaving behind its “710 ESPN Seattle” moniker and is rebranding as “Seattle Sports.” Bonneville International says, “The flagship home of the Mariners and Seahawks will still feature the same great insider content and programming, now with a new name showcasing the commitment to the best in local Seattle Sports.” The station will continue to be the exclusive ESPN affiliate in the Seattle market and home to the Seattle Sports Radio Network. Bonneville Seattle SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “Our focus and investment has always been live and local. We are more than a radio station. We are ‘Seattle Sports,’ a content creator that distributes the best in Seattle sports across multiple platforms.”
Broadcasters Foundation of America Breakfast Set for April 27. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the date and place for its annual Breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas will be April 27 at 7:00 am in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel. During the Breakfast, the Broadcasters Foundation will present the Leadership Awards to individuals in recognition of their career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large. This year, they will be: Byron Allen, founder, chairman, and CEO of Allen Media Group; Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer, Cumulus Media; Ralph Oakley, retired, president and CEO, Quincy Media; Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group; and Dennis Wharton retired EVP, media relations, NAB. At the Breakfast, former NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith will receive the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.
TALKERS News Notes. Music and talk show personality Zach Sang is launching a new, live streaming program on Amazon’s new Amp service. After his recent exit from Westwood One, Sang has partnered with OBB Media for a new show produced by its audio division OBB Sound in association with FanMade Inc. A press release says Sang is “taking an ambitious next step to create a more social music and talk show designed for Gen-Z.” He’ll also release a premium interview-of-record as a weekly podcast and full video on his YouTube channel.…..Radio syndicator Salem Radio Network becomes a client of Reatro Ventures and will use the company’s ARC software to research, analyze, sign and maintain affiliate deals across their lineup. ARC is a full-service media research platform providing detailed station and personnel information, revenue analysis, a full CRM, as well as Nielsen data for every radio broadcast signal across America…..iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question-and-answer session during Deutsche Bank’s 30th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Florida on March 15 at 2:50 pm ET. A live webcast of the session will be available to the general public at the start of the session through a link on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.
Russia-Ukraine War, Financial Markets/Gas Prices/Inflation, COVID-19/Florida Child Vax Policy, Anti-Lynching Act, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Brown Confirmation Process Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7). The ongoing Russian attack on the Ukraine and the rest of the world’s response to it; financial markets roiled by the Ukraine war, the soaring price of gasoline at the pump and the continuing high retail prices for consumer goods; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the loosening of mask mandates, and Florida’s bucking the CDC to recommend children not get vaccinated; the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act makes lynching a federal hate crime; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the Republican strategy for the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
FOX News Media Seeks Freelance Radio Anchor. This New York-based position with FOX News is as a freelance radio anchor to work on air for FOX News Radio Network/FOX News Headlines 24/7 Sirius XM Channel 115. In this role, you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top-notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a day’s notice. See more about this position and apply here.
FOX News Audio Looking for Podcast Producer. This is also a New York-based position with FOX News Audio as a podcast producer to be part of the fast-paced and growing FOX News Podcast Network. This position’s responsibility will be to develop ideas, pitch stories, and work with FOX News Channel talent in crafting daily and weekly podcasts. They will direct bookings, edit shows for broadcast, and work with production teams to create high-quality products every day. In addition to their production duties, they will also lead creative on social media posts and website write-ups to promote the products. See more about this position and apply here.