The latest blog post from Cumulus Media | Westwood One’s Audio Active Group presents more information from the Cumulus Media-Signal Hill Insights Podcast Download Fall 2023 report conducted by MARU/Matchbox. Some of the findings of this survey of 608 weekly podcast consumers include: 1) Podcast consumers connect with their favorite hosts on social platforms. Podcast consumers are looking to connect with their favorite hosts and shows on social media. Half of weekly podcasts consumers follow their favorite podcast hosts on one of the social platforms; 2) Younger 18-34 podcast consumers are more likely to follow their favorite hosts on social media. Compared to 35-49 and 50+ podcast consumers, 18-45 podcast consumers are more engaged socially with podcast hosts. 68% of podcast consumers 18-34 follow their favorite hosts on social media. 55% of 35-49s follow favorite hosts on social. 40% of those 50+ follow favorite podcast hosts on social; and 3) YouTube towers as a podcast discovery platform: 19% of weekly podcast consumers use YouTube to find podcasts. When asked which social platform they’ve used to find podcasts, 19% of podcast consumers are turning to YouTube, more than all other social media platforms combined. See the blog post here.
Compass Media Networks announces that Connoisseur Media’s stations in Connecticut and Long Island are charter affiliates for SPECai, a joint venture between Compass Media Networks, Benztown, and ENCO, that provides radio stations with creative custom spec commercials in mere seconds using AI technology.
Former sports talk KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” programmer Raj Sharan joins Cumulus Media’s country KATC-FM, Colorado Springs as afternoon host and promotions director for the station.
Pictured above is KKOB-AM/FM midday talk host Brandon Vogt at a January 30 community blood drive remote broadcast. Cumulus Media partnered with Vitalant Blood Donation and collected 114 pints of blood for the Albuquerque blood bank. All listeners that stopped by to “Give a Pint, Get a Pint,” received a pint of ice cream for donating a pint of blood, courtesy of Blue Bell Ice Cream.
This week’s Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog looks at the results of 17 attribution studies the company commissioned from LeadsRX for AM/FM radio campaigns for various goods and services. Some of the conclusions drawn from these studies include: 1) On average, AM/FM radio campaigns generated a +14% lift in site traffic across the 17 campaigns. Campaigns are measured against LeadsRx benchmarks to determine the performance of attributed lift. The scale ranges from a small attributed lift (0% to +3% lift) to excellent (+15% or more). Across the 17 campaigns analyzed, the average attributed lift was +14%. Three tax preparation service campaigns achieved “excellent” status ranging from a +30% to +48% attributed lift; 2) On average, the 17 AM/FM radio campaigns saw the highest percentage of impressions at the start of the week, peaking on Mondays and Tuesdays. Compared to the Nielsen impressions, the AM/FM radio campaigns outperformed on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Advertisers should increase their use of AM/FM radio on the weekends. AM/FM radio campaigns on weekends drive impact and results; and 3) On average, evenings have a greater share of attributed web sessions due to available devices and free time of consumers. Mornings historically underdeliver their share of impressions since consumers are busy getting ready for work and school. This expected pattern should not be a reason to move campaign weight out of morning drive. Morning drive exposure results in web sessions during later dayparts when consumers have the time and available devices to respond. Read the full blog post here.
The Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Blog says the changes to auto download policy in Apple’s iOS 17 will benefit content creators as well as advertisers. It used to be that if a consumer subscribed to a podcast and signed up for auto downloads, their iPhone would often download all, of the back episodes published before they subscribed. Since many if not most of those were never listened to, the data about listening habits was inaccurate. As the blog notes, podcasts that publish frequently will be most affected. “This is a crucial reset for the podcast industry, a much-needed rightsizing of audience data. This is a defining moment advertisers and podcast creators should both welcome. As hosts look at their downloads and reach for the Advil, they should know Apple is putting the podcast industry on the road to more accurate data. Better audience data inspires more confidence among advertisers and agencies.” Another new feature in iOS 17 is that users who haven’t listened to five downloaded episodes over the past two weeks will stop getting automatically downloaded podcasts. See the blog post here.
Cumulus Media announces that its Dallas-Fort Worth radio station group raised $2,696,127 for charities in the region during 2023, topping the 2022 total by more than $400,000. In the Dallas-Fort Worth market, Cumulus operates news/talk WBAP-AM/FM, news/talk KLIF-AM/FM, sports talk KTCK-AM/FM and two country music brands. Cumulus regional vice president Dan Bennett says, “I can’t say enough about our air talent and programming team who understand that serving our community in Dallas-Fort Worth means raising awareness for organizations that give a lift to people who need it. They give so much of their time to make a difference and 2023’s efforts show the incredible results.”
The fourth of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2023 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. The survey period covers December 7, 2023 – January 3, 2024. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM falls a full share to finish with a 5.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that leaves it ranked #5, while Curtis Media’s news/talk WPTF loses two-tenths for a .6 share finish good for the #22 rank. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN sheds six-tenths to wrap the survey with a 9.0 share, but remains ranked #1 for the fourth consecutive survey, while Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ declines 1.2 shares for a 6.4 share finish that leaves it ranked #5. In Nashville, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM falls four-tenths to a 3.9 share good for the #12 rank, while iHeartMedia’s news/talk WLAC-AM dips three-tenths to a 1.2 share and remains ranked #19. See Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets – as well as the other 36 markets – here.
OutKick announces that FOX News contributor, New York Times best-selling author and former professional wrestler, Tyrus, a.k.a. George Murdoch, joins the platform to host the new show, “Maintaining with Tyrus.” The first episode launches on February 1 featuring a sit-down with talk TV host Piers Morgan, followed by interviews with Wolf of Wall Street inspiration Jordan Belfort, and “How America Works” host Mike Rowe.
ESPN is expanding the reach of its ESPN podcast offerings starting January 29 as ESPN2 will televise an ESPN video podcast every weekday from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET. The premiering lineup will include: “First Draft,” “The Hoop Collective,” “The Lowe Post,” “The Mina Kimes Show” and “The Elle Duncan Show.” Mike Foss, ESPN SVP, production says, “This strategic content initiative provides our ESPN podcasts with a tremendous opportunity for continued growth and audience expansion, while simultaneously lending compelling content to our ESPN2 television lineup.”
New England Public Media promotes Elizabeth Román to managing editor – daily and digital news. NEPM says, “Although her title did not dramatically change, her responsibilities have evolved and Román will now be taking the lead on delivering daily news programming on the radio, NEPM website and social media channels.” Román says, “As a lifelong Springfield resident and Western Massachusetts native. I’m excited to continue working with our skilled news department to bring you even more stories that highlight the needs, concerns and successes of the people living and working in this community.”
Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting play-by-play coverage of this weekend’s NFL Conference Championships presented by lead sponsor Intuit Turbo Tax. Doubleheader coverage begins with the pregame show at 2:00 pm ET on Sunday before the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens meet for the AFC Championship game and the Detroit Lions battle the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2023 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. The survey period covered December 7, 2023 – January 3, 2024. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM dips four-tenths to a 3.1 share (weekly, 6+ AHQ share) but remains ranked #9, while Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM loses three-tenths to finish with a 6.3 share good for the #4 rank. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO added two-tenths for a 3.1 share finish that lifts it to the #9 rank, while sister all-news WBZ-AM declines four-tenths to a 4.7 share but remains ranked #5. In Detroit, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR rises one-tenth to a 2.4 share and climbs to the #15 rank, while Audacy’s all-news WWJ is steady at a 4.3 share and remains ranked #9. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
Cumulus Media is bringing Indianapolis sports media personality Dan Dakich back to the radio in the market as host of “The Dan Dakich Show” on WXNT-AM “Indy’s Sports Ticket 1430 AM,” effective Monday (1/29). Dakich, who played basketball at Indiana University under Bobby Knight and coached basketball there (as well as at Bowling Green State University), was most recently on air at Urban One’s WFNI, Indianapolis “The Fan.” After leaving “The Fan,” Dakich began hosting a late morning program streamed on the Outkick Network. Cumulus Indianapolis VP and market manager Darlene Park says, “Indiana’s very own Dan Dakich returns to the airwaves as opinionated as ever and ready to break down all things sports on ‘Indy’s Sports Ticket 1430 AM’ every weekday from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. He is an Indiana sports legend, and we are so excited he is bringing his game to our team.” Dakich comments, “Couldn’t be more thrilled to join the fantastic team at ‘Indy’s Sports Ticket 1430 AM.’ The state of Indiana and I have had a lifetime love affair that extends way beyond sports and sharing that daily is going to, once again, be a blast! Can’t wait to get started as we build ‘Indy’s Sports Ticket 1430 AM’ into Indy’s go-to home for all things sports.”
The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2023 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). The ratings period covered December 7, 2023 – January 3, 2024. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC adds two-tenths to finish with a 3.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and remains ranked #11, while iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR tacks on one-tenth for a 1.2 share finish good for the #21 rank, and Audacy’s all-news WINS-FM falls two-tenths to a 3.9 share but rises to the #9 rank. In Los Angeles, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI loses half a share to finish with a 4.6 share pulling it from the #2 to the #4 rank, while Audacy’s all-news KNX-AM/FM loses two-tenths to finish with a 2.5 share good for the #12 rank. In Chicago, Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM dips two-tenths for a 2.6 share finish leaving it ranked #11, while Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM is steady at a 1.7 share good for the #19 rank, and Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM loses three-tenths to finish with a 4.9 share and remaining ranked #4. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.
Cumulus Media names Detroit sports media personality Anthony Bellino co-host of WJR’s “SportsWrap,” alongside Lomas Brown. WJR parted ways with the program’s previous co-host Sean Baligian in December. Bellino currently serves as an in-game host for Detroit Lions and University of Michigan football broadcasts and is public address announcer for University of Michigan men’s and women’s basketball programs and the University of Toledo men’s and women’s basketball programs. WJR notes that Bellino spends his free time helping his family at their Monroe, Michigan grocery store, Danny’s Fine Foods, where he works as a fourth-generation butcher. WJR program director Ann Thomas says, “Anthony Bellino started his broadcasting career as an intern for the ‘Paul W. Smith Show’ in 2007. I could not be more pleased to welcome him back to the ‘Great Voice of the Great Lakes’ as a seasoned sports professional ready to bring our listeners timely and thoughtful insights on Detroit’s sports scene.” Bellino comments, “What an honor and a privilege it is to be joining the ‘Great Voice of the Great Lakes,’ 760 WJR. I can’t wait to contribute to the station’s legendary broadcasting history and make some new history of our own. The phone call from WJR was really a full-circle moment… I can’t wait to get started and to host ‘SportsWrap’ with my good friend Lomas Brown.”
Dallas sports talk personality Corby Davidson – who co-hosts the afternoon drive “The Hardline” show with Bob Sturm and Dave Lane at Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas-Fort Worth – announces on X that he’s signed a new, five-year deal with the station. He tweets, “30 years ago I walked into the Ticket radio station as a kid, and I knew within about 5 seconds it’s where I wanted to be. It was a magical place. The energy was off the charts. I was hooked. From intern, to overnight board op, to fill in producer to full time producer, to host… it didn’t matter what I did there, it just mattered that I WAS THERE. Well here we are, 30 years down the road, and I’m still here. And I still have a blast every single day, and it’s still such a magical place. I know I’m lucky. So I just signed a 5 year deal, ensuring I will begin and end my work life there. Love my team, love our show, and love that place. Cheers to you, good P1s, Let’s go.”
Westwood One’s Audio Active Group blog presents data from the Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights Podcast Download report. The companies retained MARU/Matchbox to conduct an in-depth study of 608 weekly podcast consumers in October 2023 and this blog post focuses on podcast ads. The study finds that podcast consumers prefer funny and entertaining ads but 78% say they currently hear more ads that communicate dry features/benefits. Additionally, research indicates that converting existing demand and creating future demand require different creative/copy approaches and different media strategies. Converting existing demand is most efficiently achieved by tightly targeting those “in the market” with rational messaging of product and price information that persuades them to choose the advertiser’s product over others. Creating future demand is most efficiently achieved by targeting very broad audiences of “all category buyers” with emotional messaging that is designed to stand out and be enjoyed by consumers, creating positive memories of the brand that will influence future purchase decisions. Finally, podcast consumers are invested in the success of their favorite shows. Half of weekly podcasts consumers said they wouldn’t mind a couple of extra ads per show so their favorite podcasts could continue. See the full blog post here.
The FCC knocked $6,000 off the forfeiture amount for Cumulus Media’s failure to post its EEO public file report for the Albany, Georgia cluster in a timely manner and fines the company $26,000. Cumulus asked for a reconsideration of the Notice of Apparent Liability arguing that it completed the EEO report but admitted to failing to upload it to its station websites on time. But the FCC concluded, “[C]ompiling the Annual Report alone, without also uploading it to its intended destination in a timely manner, here more than nine months late, may, in certain circumstances, constitute (and here does constitute) a violation of the requirements to analyze the Stations’ EEO program. The length of time during which Cumulus failed to upload its Annual Report is persuasive evidence that Cumulus did not ‘routinely analyze the adequacy of their various EEO program elements in achieving broad outreach to all segments of the community’ and address any problems found as a result of such analysis… Consequently, given the specific circumstances of this case, we reject Cumulus’s argument that any self-evaluation it did in fact undertake was adequate and satisfied the self-assessment rule.”
Cumulus Media announces that Westwood One’s daily news magazine program, “America in the Morning,” is joining the Cumulus Podcast Network. The John Trout-hosted program presents “up-to-the-minute news reports from around the country and across the globe, with the latest overnight developments in business, breaking news, politics, sports, entertainment, and weather.” This year, “America in the Morning” celebrates its 40th anniversary and adds the “America in the Morning” podcast to its distribution. The program was originally hosted by the late Jim Bohannon beginning in 1984. He hosted the show through December of 2015, when Trout took over. The show has been recognized multiple times as Best News Magazine by the New York Festivals Radio Awards, and John Trout is a two-time recipient of the Achievement in Radio Award.