Triton Digital releases its ranking of the top 100 podcasts in the U.S. for the month of February (based on weekly average downloads) and NPR’s “NPR New Now” continues in the #1 position. NBCUniversal News Group’s “Dateline NBC” moves up two positions to bump audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” out of the #2 spot. Some of the radio-related podcasts in this ranker include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” which remains at #6, and “The Dan Bongino Show” which rises one spot to #7, Salem Podcast Network’s “The Charlie Kirk Show” is steady at #15, and Audacy Podcast Network’s “We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle” falls five spots to #21. See Triton Digital’s complete February podcast ranker here.
Edison Research’s latest ranking of the Top Podcast Networks in the U.S. based on total network reach for Q3-Q4 2022 among weekly podcast listeners age 13+ is released and SiriusXM Podcast Network (formerly SXM Media), Spotify, and iHeartRadio take the top three spots, respectively. This ranker – measuring reach as a percentage of the weekly podcasting audience – is based on total audience reach from Edison Podcast Metrics, and Edison says the Q3-Q4 ranker includes increased sample size implemented last year and is based on surveys of 10,579 weekly podcast listeners age 13+. The rest of the top 10 are: 4) Wondery/Audible/Amazon Music, 5) Audioboom, 6) The New York Times, 7) NPR, 8)Audacy, 9) Acast Creator Network, and 10) Cumulus Podcast Network.
The January 2023 U.S. Podcast Report from Triton Digital is published and NPR’s “NPR News Now” regains the #1 spot on the ranker, overtaking audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie,” which falls to #2. Commercial radio-related podcasts making the ranker of the top 100 podcasts include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” steady at #6, Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” up one spot to #8, Salem Podcast Network’s The Charlie Kirk Show up two spots to #15, and Audacy Podcast Network’s “We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle” up seven spots to #16. See the complete ranker here.
Edison Research releases the 2022 fourth quarter results of its Edison Podcast Metrics that ranks the most listened-to podcasts in the U.S. Keeping the hold on the #1 spot is “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Podcasts with a commercial radio connection that made the top 50 include The Daily Wire’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” at #6, Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” at #19, and The Ramsey Network’s “The Ramsey Show” at #22. This latest ranker shows the Top 50 Podcasts based on weekly audience reach and reflects two significant updates to the service. Edison says the sample has been expanded to include weekly podcast listeners age 13-17. This measurement allows podcast producers and networks to understand the teen segment of the Gen Z podcast listeners. The Q4 ranker includes increased sample size implemented last year, which allows for more recency in reporting and robust cuts of data. The latest ranker includes measurement from the previous two quarters with a total sample size of 10,597 weekly podcast listeners age 13+.
Triton Digital’s ranking of the top 100 U.S. podcasts from participating networks for the period of December 2022 based on weekly average downloads is published and audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” is again #1. At #2 again this month is NPR’s “NPR News Now,” followed by NPR’s “Up First” at #3, Wondery’s “Morbid” at #4, NBCUniversal News Group’s “Dateline NBC” at #5 and Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” at #6. Podcasts from radio-related companies making the top 20 for the period include: Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” at #9 and Salem Podcast Network’s “The Charlie Kirk Show” at #17. You can see the complete ranker of the top 100 podcasts here.
The late-night talk radio program formerly hosted by the late Jim Bohannon is renamed after the host who took over broadcasting during the daypart after Bohannon died in November. Cumulus says conservative commentator Rich Valdés assumed the radio time period from broadcasting legend Jim Bohannon last year and now launches his own distinct programming. “Rich Valdés America at Night” airs each weeknight from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET. “The Best of Rich Valdés America at Night,” a compilation of the week’s finest moments, airs each Saturday from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am ET. The Cumulus Podcast Network introduces the new podcast “Rich Valdés America at Night,” which provides on-demand access to Valdés daily content following the live over-the-air show. Valdés’ current podcast, “This is America with Rich Valdés,” moves to the Cumulus Podcast Network and will publish each Friday. Cumulus says, “In this podcast, Valdés breaks down American politics, taking his listeners on a journey through poverty, prosperity, and politics with humor, analysis, and a dash of sofrito.”
‘CarPro’ Automotive Industry Expert Jerry Reynolds is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Since its invention in the early 20th century, the automobile’s impact on society (not to mention radio) has been immeasurable… and it continues to be to this very day. The horseless carriage has shaped our culture and influenced us economically, architecturally, culturally, and even psychologically. Jerry Reynolds is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Reynolds is a giant in the world of automotive media. With over 40 years in the automotive industry, much of it as a hugely successful Ford dealer in Dallas, he is a trusted source of automotive news, insider insight, and new car reviews. For the past two decades he, along with co-host Kevin McCarthy, has hosted a Saturday midday talk radio show about cars called “CarPro.” It’s heard for three hours locally on WBAP in the Dallas/Fort Worth market, where Reynolds is a household name, and then for an additional two hours nationally on news/talk stations across America via the CarPro Radio Network. It’s no wonder that the show is such a success – information about automobiles ties in directly with most of the topics discussed on the news/talk format… the economy, the environment, and the day-to-day necessities of living. And a solid show about cars is a magnet for a wide and deep array of potential advertisers. Reynolds’ stated mission is to educate consumers about the car buying process and provide them with the latest information, so listeners can make the best car buying decisions for their needs and budgets. Harrison and Reynolds take an enlightening deep-dive into how today’s automotive industry operates. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
NAB Reveals 2022 Marconi Award Winners; KTAR-FM Named Legendary Station of the Year. The National Association of Broadcasters presented the 2022 NAB Marconi Radio Awards during a dinner celebration held last night (10/19) at the Javits Center at NAB Show New York. Established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. Bonneville’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix was named Legendary Station of the Year. Bonneville Phoenix SVP and market manger Ryan Hatch states, “For more than 100 years, KTAR has been built on the backs of broadcasting legends. We are honored and thrilled to win one of the most coveted awards in broadcasting. I’m so proud of our talented Bonneville Phoenix team who continues to embody the legacy of building up, connecting, and informing the community that we serve.” Other spoken-word stations and personalities recognized by the NAB include: Joel Oxley of Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington was honored as Legendary Radio Station Manager; Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year went to Premiere Networks’ Dan Patrick; Major Market Personality of the Year is Greg Hill of Audacy’s sports talk WEEI, Boston; Major Market Station of the Year went to Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Pathfinder Communications’ WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne was honored as Medium Market Station of the Year; CMG’s KRMG-FM, Tulsa was named News/Talk Station of the Year; Audacy’s WXYT-FM, Detroit took home Sports Station of the Year; and College Station of the Year went to Hofstra University’s WRHU-FM, Hempstead, N.Y. See the complete list of winners here.
Radio America to Syndicate ‘The Todd Herman Show.’ Former tech executive and current media personality Todd Herman is joining Radio America as the network is entering into a new distribution and sales agreement with his daily podcast and the debut of the new weekend program, “The Todd Herman Show,” beginning November 5. Herman hosted a regular program on KTTH-AM, Seattle for eight years and, for six years of that time, was a regular fill-in for Rush Limbaugh until Rush’s passing in 2021. Radio America president and CEO Mike Paradiso says, “Todd is a phenomenal talent that knows how to connect with listeners and advertisers. His daily podcast is a great addition to our podcast lineup and we love the opportunity to bring his show back to a national radio audience.” Herman a CEO and founder of a start-up and an executive with Microsoft, says, “I am feeling such gratitude to be welcomed to Radio America, where our God-given right to speak freely is practiced by some of the greatest voices in radio and podcasting. I thank God, my team, and my podcast family for getting us here.”
Triton Digital Releases Top U.S. Podcast Report for September. This report ranks the top podcasts in the U.S. for the month of September 2022, based on average weekly downloads. There was a little jockeying at the top of the chart as “NPR News Now” returns to the #1 position and audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” falls to #2. Wondery’s “Morbid” climbs to #3 and Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” falls back to #4. Other radio-related podcasts near the top of the chart include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” steady at #7, Salem Podcast Network’s “The Charlie Kirk Show” up one notch to #14, and Cumulus’ “The Mark Levin Podcast” is at #19. You can see the complete chart ranking the top 100 podcasts here.
PodcastOne Teams with XG Productions for ‘Talk to Me’ Podcast. A new partnership between PodcastOne and XG Productions includes the new podcast series, “Talk to Me.” On this program, listeners will be taken into the exciting inside story of the world’s first hostage negotiation team, which was created inside America’s largest police department, the NYPD in the early 1970s. The first episode of “Talk to Me,” tells the story of the infamous Attica prison riots. Written and narrated by veteran South Bronx detective and New York Times bestselling author Edward Conlon, “Talk to Me” tells the inside story of how and why the field of hostage negotiations was created. In the wake of major 1970s tragedies such as the Attica prison riot, the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, and the Brooklyn bank robbery that inspired the film “Dog Day Afternoon,” the NYPD recognized an urgent need to develop a protocol for handling incendiary hostage incidents. With news archives and first-hand accounts from hostage team founders Frank Bolz and Harvey Schlossberg, the podcast brings to life cases big and small to explore what worked — and what didn’t. The world’s first hostage negotiation team pioneered the use of psychology in saving lives and created a model that is still used around the world today.
GBH, El Planeta, and Harvard Medical School Team for Spanish-Language Podcast and Radio Show. Public media organization GBH announces it is teaming up with the journalists at the local outlet El Planeta (and its national counterpart, El Tiempo Latino), to produce “Salud,” a podcast and 30-minute radio show focused on health issues important to the Hispanic community. GBH News will lend its production facilities and distribution channels to the program. The Harvard Medical School Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership will provide expertise and guidance on medical matters. “Salud” will air on WGBH-FM 9:30 am on Saturdays, beginning on October 22 for an initial run of eight weeks. The show will be available on demand on YouTube and all major podcast platforms the Thursday before each broadcast date. GBH general manager for news Pam Johnston says, “Collaborating with El Planeta and the Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School allows us to super-serve the local and national Hispanic communities with in-depth stories of significant importance to their health and well-being. Bringing these stories to the audience in their native language further reflects our deep commitment to engage with a broad and growing range of listeners.”
The Economy/New Tax Brackets, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms, Donald Trump Legal Issues, Truss on the Ropes, and Kanye West Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/19). Inflation, the up-and-down financial markets, and fears of a recession, combined with the IRS’ announcement of new, lower tax brackets; Russia’s kamikaze drone strikes on Ukraine’s infrastructure; the debates ahead of November’s midterm elections; the numerous legal issues facing former President Donald Trump; Liz Truss’ tenuous hold on her Prime Minister role with Britain’s Conservative Party; and the anti-Semitic rants from rapper and fashion mogul Ye were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire Radio Row 2022 Brings Hosts and Guests Together in Washington, DC. Today (9/22) is the second day of the two-day radio row presented by Federation for American Immigration Reform. The 15th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” began on Wednesday with more than 65 talk media personalities interviewing politicians and immigration experts and discussing the hot-button issue of immigration reform and the problems the nation faces with the recent surges of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Pictured above are two of the hosts taking part in the radio row. Above left is WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island personality John DePetro flanked by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and above right is WRVA, Richmond afternoon host Jeff Katz with the media personalities Diamond and Silk.
WPHT, Philadelphia Talent Shuffle Includes New Morning Show; Zeoli Moves to PM Drive. A change in the programming schedule at Audacy’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia includes a new morning drive program titled, “Kayal and Company,” led by Nick Kayal and including Dawn Stensland and Greg Stocker (who also serves as station PD). Current morning drive host Rich Zeoli moves to the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart. Dom Giordano remains in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot and Stensland continues her solo program from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. The changes become effective on October 3. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff comments, “For the first time ever, WPHT will be live and local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm, which further cements this fan favorite as the voice of Philadelphia and a reliable destination for our listeners. We’re excited to welcome Nick, who is trading in his sports background for his passion for politics, to our morning drive, and move Rich and his highly-successful program to entertain and inform listeners as they wind down their days.” Kayal previously worked in the market on sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”
The Ramsey Network Launches ‘Smart Money Happy Hour’ Podcast. A new podcast from the Ramsey Network is launched titled, “Smart Money Happy Hour,” starring Rachel Cruze and George Kamel. The podcast is described as “a mix of solid advice and snark from two friends who also happen to be money experts.” The show joins the Ramsey Network roster of podcasts that includes “The Ramsey Show,” “The Dr. John Delony Show,” “The Rachel Cruze Show,” “The Ken Coleman Show,” “The Fine Print,” “Borrowed Future” and “The EntreLeadership Podcast.” Ramsey Network EVP Blake Thompson says, “Rachel and George have such unique chemistry. One minute I was laughing along with them, the next I was thinking about money in a whole new way. People are going to love the pop culture references and the casual, pour-a-glass-of-wine environment these two have created in this new podcast.” Some of the “Smart Money Happy Hour” topics include: Is Convenience Culture Worth Being Broke?; HGTV: The Network That Brainwashed Us; How to Leave a Royal Legacy for Your Family; and Can the Middle Class Still Afford to Go to Disney?
SmileyAudioMedia Offering ‘Agenda for America’ Election Programming to Stations. As a part of its continuing election coverage, Tavis Smiley, SmileyAudioMedia, Inc. and KBLA, Los Angeles “Talk 1580” announce that they are offering exclusive election programming to urban stations nationwide. SmileyAudioMedia, Inc. and KBLA Talk 1580 are producing a live, four-part series titled, “Agenda for America: An African American Perspective” that is executive produced by Smiley and moderated by KBLA’s radio hosts. The company says these four national conversations featuring influential Black voices will be offered at no charge to other talk- and urban-formatted radio stations and audio platforms across the country. The four programs are: “The State of Black Women in America,” hosted by Areva Martin; “The State of Black Men in America,” hosted by Zo Williams; “The State of Black Youth in America,” hosted by Dominique DiPrima; and, “Why We Can’t Wait: The Urgency of Now,” hosted by Tavis Smiley. The series airs live on Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT on KBLA “Talk 1580.” Smiley says, “KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ is not only a portal for talk and opinions for the progressive African American listening audience, but also a content provider of relevant programming for urban stations around the country. We intend for KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ to be the epicenter of election coverage, addressing local, state and national issues, affecting what matters most to our people.”
Audacy’s All-News WWJ, Detroit Unveils New Anchor Lineup. Beginning on October 3, the news anchor lineup changes at Audacy’s all-news WWJ, Detroit “News Radio 950.” The station says longtime anchor Jackie Paige (right) moves to mornings, joining Jonathan Carlson (left) from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Paige will also host middays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Brooke Allen follows from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Tony Ortiz takes over at 2:00 pm and is joined by Allen from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Ortiz also hosts from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Erin Vermeulen remains the evening news anchor from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “We are excited to announce our new lineup, which is full of news anchors who are seasoned and well known in the community. This new slate will allow WWJ to continue its mission of keeping listeners informed of breaking news and the top stories of the day.”
BIA Advisory: WTOP Maintains Top Biller Spot for 2021. A report from BIA Advisory Services tallying radio’s top billers for last year reveals that Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington stayed in the #1 position with an estimated $70 million in revenue in 2021. BIA Advisory says that figure was an increase of 12.9% from $62 million in 2020. It goes on to say, “This surpasses the overall growth rate of 10.3% that BIA forecasts for over-the-air radio from 2020 to 2021, as the industry started to pull out of the pandemic slump. WTOP-FM is also the only station on this list to surpass its pre-pandemic revenue figure of $69.8 million in 2019.” The spoken word stations on the 2021 list that showed improvement include Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago – up to the #4 spot from #5 in 2020 ($34 million); Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston rose from #6 to #5 ($33.4 million); Audacy’s all-news WINS, New York was up from #9 to #8 ($31.6 million); its sports talk WFAN, New York rose from #10 to #9 ($31.5 million); and its all-news WCBS-AM, New York entered the top 10 at #10 ($30.9 million). The big change from the 2020 list to the 2021 list was Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta falling from #4 to #12. BIA also ranked the top billing by radio companies. You can see both charts here.
Triton Digital Releases August 2022 U.S. Podcast Report. This report from Triton Digital ranks the most popular podcasts in the U.S. for the month of August based on Average Weekly Downloads. Changes from the July 2022 report include audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” rising from #3 to #1, bumping Cumulus Podcast Network’s “Ben Shapiro Show” from #1 to #3. Remaining in the #2 spot is NPR’s “NPR News Now.” You can see the complete list of the top 100 U.S. podcasts from Triton Digital here.
TALKERS News Notes. The New York City Radio Committee, a joint partnership of all the major radio broadcasters in New York City, is developing a marketing campaign to promote the power of radio. The campaign includes radio messaging on over 20 of New York’s most-listened-to stations, digital and social media marketing along with trade media. The multi-media campaign runs through November. The focus of the initiative is on advertising agencies and businesses that purchase advertising. Audacy New York market president and chairman of the New York City Radio Committee Chris Oliviero says, “Radio has been and continues to be a critical and valued part of millions of New Yorkers’ daily lives. These iconic brands, from music to news to sports, provide the soundtrack of the city. This campaign offers a fresh, fun and innovative approach to highlighting the efficacy of radio for media planners and advertisers. The collaboration of the city’s major broadcasters shows a clear commitment to our belief that local radio, consumed on FM or AM or streaming or in podcasts, is an essential tool in any overall marketing strategy in the media capital of the world.”…..iHeartMedia extends the contract of Michael McGuinness through June 1, 2027 and changes his title from EVP – finance and deputy chief financial officer to EVP, deputy chief financial officer of the company and chief financial officer – multiplatform and digital segments…..FOX News Channel names Trace Gallagher anchor of “FOX News @ Night.” Gallagher takes over for Shannon Bream, who was recently promoted to anchor of “FOX News Sunday.” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “When it comes to breaking news coverage, Trace Gallagher is one of the best in the business and having a seasoned journalist at the helm of this hour ensures our viewers unrivaled 24/7 news coverage.”…..“The Todd Starnes Show” adds new affiliate KHTS, Santa Clarita, California to its roster of stations.
Inflation/Interest Rate Hike, NY Sues Trump Org, Trump Documents Case, Immigration/Migrant Transportation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Zelenskyy UN Speech, Iran Protests, and Hurricane Fiona Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/21). Inflation, the rising price of gasoline, and the Fed’s interest rate hike; New York Attorney General Letitia James files a civil fraud suit against Donald Trump, his children, and Trump Org officers; an Appeals Court rules DOJ can resume criminal probe of Donald Trump documents case; the immigration troubles at the U.S.-Mexico border and the transporting of migrants from Southern states to Northern cities; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for president in 2024; Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the UN General Assembly pressing for punishment for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the protests in Iran over the death of a woman in custody of the country’s “morality police”; and the destruction caused by Hurricane Fiona were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Cumulus Unfriends Podcast Movement After Ben Shapiro Incident. After an incident at Podcast Movement’s recent Dallas convention at which Westwood One talk host Ben Shapiro made an impromptu appearance that bothered an attendee, prompting them to complain to the organizers, and Podcast Movement actually issuing an apology, Cumulus Media announces it is severing its relationship with the organization. Shapiro has one of the most-listened-to podcasts in the U.S. based on numerous surveys. It is published by The Daily Wire and repped by Cumulus Podcast Network. Cumulus was a sponsor of the event based on its purchase of a booth and Shapiro says he stopped by while in town on other business. This, according to The Washington Examiner, caused one attendee to tweet: “Hey @PodcastMovement what the f***. As a trans person, as a queer person, as someone with a uterus, this does not make me feel welcome. This does not make me feel safe.” Podcast Movement then tweeted an apology. Both of those tweets have since been deleted. On Tuesday (9/6), Cumulus issued the following statement: “At Cumulus Media, our tenet is that Every Voice Matters and we support conferences and trade events where differing political viewpoints can be expressed and received with respect. As such, we were dismayed and disappointed by Podcast Movement’s handling of the reaction to our partner, top podcaster, and conservative talk leader Ben Shapiro’s mere presence at Podcast Movement. After giving the leaders of Podcast Movement sufficient time to appropriately address their misstep, we are disassociating from Podcast Movement, including canceling our 2023 sponsorship plans.” Meanwhile, The Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing states, “I’m glad to see our longtime partner Cumulus/Westwood One taking such a strong and public stand against Podcast Movement’s outright and abject bigotry. Though Podcast Movement quietly removed their bigoted tweet thread over the weekend, they still have yet to retract and publicly apologize for their hateful comments about Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire. In an illiberal moment such as the one we’re currently living in, if we don’t stand up to this kind of bigoted behavior it’s only going to get worse. I certainly hope Cumulus’s strong response to Podcast Movement is the first of many others like it.”
Houston Sports Media Figure John McClain Takes on Senior Columnist Role at ‘Sports Radio 610.’ Longtime Houston sports columnist and KILT-AM contributor John McClain takes on the new title senior Texans columnist for “Sports Radio 610.” The Audacy station says that in this role, McClain will provide weekly postgame observations, team report cards and Texans-driven columns throughout the season. He’ll also continue to appear regularly on its programs “Payne and Pendergast,” “In the Loop with John Lopez and Landry Locker,” and “Clint Stoerner and The Show.” McClain will also co-host the Houtopia Football Podcast alongside “Sports Radio 610” morning show host Sean Pendergast. KILT-AM brand manager Parker Hillis says, “To officially bring a Houston legend in John McClain onto our team is incredible. John has always been one of our biggest proponents in the market and I’m thrilled that Texans fans will now be able to read his observations and opinions at SportsRadio610.com, on top of his weekly radio appearances.” McClain adds, “I’ve been doing sports talk on 610 for 23 years, and I’m fired up about the opportunity to write for the station’s website. I’m especially excited to work with Brandon Scott, one of my favorite reporters in Houston. I think Brandon does a terrific job covering Houston sports, and it’s an honor to cover the Texans with him.”
SummitMedia Appoints Justin Ragland Corporate VP of Events and Promotions. Promoted from his role managing SummitMedia LLC’s Birmingham market promotions department to the corporate position vice president of events and promotions is Justin Ragland. He’ll now oversee events and promotions at 46 stations in nine markets nationwide. SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer says, “We are very pleased to have Justin leading our events and promotions efforts. He has done an outstanding job for us in Birmingham, and we are excited for him to bring his unique skillset to the entire company.” Ragland, who will remain based in Birmingham, comments, “My goal is to be an instrumental team member in every SummitMedia market to help grow each brand in both ratings and revenue. Joining the leadership team for this company is a privilege and one that I am excited about.”
Round One of August PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 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. Nielsen’s August 2022 sweep covered July 21 – August 17. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media Group’s news/talk WABC/WLIR-FM tacks on two-tenths for a 4.3 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish but drops back to the #8 rank. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR adds one-tenth to wrap with a 2.0 share and remains ranked #18. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles rises to the #4 rank after climbing three-tenths for a 4.8 share finish, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KNX-AM/FM adds three-tenths for a 3.3 share that lifts it to the #10 rank. In Chicago, Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN-AM is up three-tenths for a 3.3 share that pushes it up to the #8 rank, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM is steady with a 4.6 share that keeps it ranked #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
Robin Sloan Named EVP of Audio Sales for AdLarge. Audio sales pro Robin Sloan joins AdLarge as executive vice president of audio sales. In this new role, Sloan will work directly with chief revenue officer Don Wachsmith on revenue strategy development and agency relationships. She will also focus on driving revenue with the audio sales team and managing the day to day activity. Most recently, Sloan was the director of national partnerships at Westwood One. AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas comments, “I’m delighted to have Robin join our team. She’s a veteran recognized in the audio industry for bringing her exceptional relationships and in-depth experience in sales, management and sports to the AdLarge audio sales efforts. I could not find a more perfect person to fit this role and continue to help us grow our business.”
TALKERS News Notes. Revisions to its 2022 third quarter revenue estimates are being announced by Salem Media Group, Inc. The company says that taking into account the postponement of the forthcoming book, 2000 Mules by Dinesh D’Souza, until the fourth quarter, lower than expected revenue on SalemNOW, and the impact on advertising revenue due to the weakening economic environment, the company now expects third quarter 2022 total revenue to be between flat and an increase of 2% over third quarter 2021 total revenue of $66 million…..A new podcast by Bloomberg News and iHeartMedia that investigates a massive transfer of wealth a century ago, out of Osage hands and into White ones – facilitated by the United States government — and how the Osage Nation is fighting to reverse decades of land loss today is being produced. The podcast, called “In Trust,” is hosted by Bloomberg reporter Rachel Adams-Heard, who says, “A hundred and fifty years ago, the Osage Nation bought a stretch of prairie the size of Delaware, in what’s now Oklahoma. The Osage owned the land and everything beneath it. Today, much of present-day Osage County has left Osage hands. In some cases, appropriation was swift and brutal: Dozens of Osages were murdered for their share of lucrative mineral rights to this oil-rich land, a period often referred to as the Reign of Terror. But other transfers of wealth played out more subtly—dollar by dollar and acre by acre, over decades—helped along by policies created by the US government. ‘In Trust’ is the story of that system. A system that moved wealth from Native hands to White ones. One that three brothers learned to operate, laying the foundation for a modern American dynasty of land and influence that continues to this day.”…..iHeartMedia announces that chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference on Tuesday September 13 at 1:45 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.
Special Master Ruling, Georgia Election Investigation, Midterms & 2024 Presidential Race, Russia-Ukraine War, Saskatchewan Stabbings Investigation, and Western Heatwave Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/6). Controversy over federal Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling to appoint a Special Master to review the documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence; the investigation into Donald Trump’s and Lindsey Graham’s interactions with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the breach of that state’s voting system allegedly by fake Trump electors; Tuesday’s primary races for the November midterms and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; the investigation into the deadly stabbings in Saskatchewan; and the brutal heatwave affecting the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Kim Shepard Joins All-News KNWN-AM/FM, Seattle. Radio news pro Kim Shepard joins Lotus Communications’ all-news KNWN-AM/FM, Seattle as afternoon drive co-anchor alongside Rick Van Cise. Shepard has served with public radio news/talk KUOW-FM, Seattle as a senior producer and announcer as well as with iHeartMedia as a news anchor. Van Cise, who also serves as the station’s program director, says, “Kim brings a wealth of radio experience that makes her a perfect fit for our KNWN NewsRadio family.” Shepard states, “I feel so fortunate that my career has led me to the PNW and even more fortunate that I will get to spend my next chapter at KNWN. As I get to know Rick and the whole talented team, it’s become clear that our goals and passions align in the best possible way: leading the future of radio with timely information from trusted voices. I’m grateful to join the chorus.”
Cumulus Media and TuneIn Expand Content Partnership. The expansion of the content deal between Cumulus Media streaming audio service TuneIn includes the addition of 325 podcasts from the Cumulus Podcast Network to the TuneIn platform. In addition to the podcasts, TuneIn will continue to make Cumulus Media’s local sports, news, talk and entertainment programming across 405 owned-and-operated radio stations in 86 U.S. markets available to TuneIn listeners. Cumulus Media chief content officer Brian Philips states, “This is an ideal time to expand our relationship with TuneIn. Listeners win as we offer more ways for them to discover Cumulus’ premium audio content, custom-delivered on their terms and timelines. This partnership advances our audio-first content strategy, as we deliver our best shows and podcasts to TuneIn’s 75 million active monthly users.” TuneIn CEO Richard Stern adds, “TuneIn aims to be anywhere listening is occurring. In announcing this expanded partnership with Cumulus Media, TuneIn listeners not only have access to Cumulus’ 405 local stations in markets across the U.S., but also 325 of Cumulus Podcast Network’s most popular podcasts. This partnership with the premier audio-first media company is a milestone for TuneIn and we are looking forward to building this relationship and giving our listeners the best listening experience.”
‘Seattle Sports’ Adds ‘KJ Wright Show’ for Wednesday Mornings. Sports talk outlet KIRO-AM, Seattle “Seattle Sports” announces “The KJ Wright Show” becomes part of the morning drive “Brock & Salk” show each Wednesday from 8:00 am to 9:00 am. The former Seattle Seahawks pro bowler brings an insider’s perspective to the show’s coverage of the Seahawks and the NFL. Station PD Kyle Brown comments, “The addition of KJ Wright solidifies ‘Seattle Sports’ as the premier outlet for Seahawks coverage in Seattle. Having spent 11 years in the NFL, and 10 playing under Pete Carroll, KJ will share a perspective on the game that’s unmatched in the PNW. We’re ecstatic to have him join the Seattle Sports team.”
Townsquare Media Launches Washington State News Network. This new venture from Townsquare Media Inc. will provide radio stations with “the only source of local, regional, and statewide news that is available to broadcasters and listeners in the State of Washington.” The Washington State News Network offers short-form news reports broadcast on select Townsquare Washington radio stations, including KONA-AM 610 (Tri-Cities), KFLD-AM 870 (Tri-Cities), KIT-AM 1280 (Yakima), and KPQ-AM 560 (Wenatchee), as well as third party affiliates throughout Washington State. These news reports come in the form of eight 90-second reports per day, Monday – Friday. Kevin O’Rorke is vice president of news & ag networks for Townsquare’s Western region and he says, “We are thrilled to bring quality local, regional and statewide news to the many communities in Washington State that are starving for more local information in their communities. Many broadcasters were forced to cut news staff and content during the pandemic, and we couldn’t be more excited to fill that void for both broadcasters in need of the service and listeners wanting the latest breaking news.”
Sid Rosenberg’s Second Book – Sid-izens United – Hits Shelves. WABC, New York morning drive co-host Sid Rosenberg’s second book is published. Sid-izens United: Salacious Spiels, Stories, Suggestions, and Solutions to Withstand a Woke World (Post Hill Press, 2022) is described by the publisher as follows: “The legendary radio personality and equal-opportunity offender delivers authentic and unapologetic takes on the state of everything—from politics to sports, and pop culture to fitness—all with his inimitable style and humor. Phonies and frauds, beware. Whether you’re an athlete, entertainer, or politician—Sid Rosenberg leaves nobody unscathed. Sid helps navigate the tough topics of today, clearly laying out his thoughts and opinions in the one-of-a-kind style and charm that has made him one of the top radio and TV talents in the country. He also provides a ‘call-to-action’ to the reader with his Sid-izen Solutions at the end of each hot-topic chapter.”
Judge Grants Trump Special Master, Trump Rally, Russia-North Korea Weapons Deal, Saskatchewan Stabbings, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, and Truss Replaces Johnson Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. A federal judge grants former President Donald Trump a Special Master for the probe of the Mar-a-Lago documents; Trump holds Pennsylvania rally after President Joe Biden’s address in Philadelphia; Russia enters in to a weapons deal with North Korea as its invasion of Ukraine continues; the deadly stabbing spree by two brothers in Saskatchewan that’s taken the lives of 10 and wounded 18; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; and Liz Truss assumes the prime minister role in Great Britain were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Rhode Island Talk Radio Host John DePetro Arrested During Facebook Live Stream. According to a report from WLNE-TV, Providence, WNRI-AM, Woonsocket talk radio personality John DePetro was arrested on Tuesday (8/16) after producing a Facebook Live stream outside a home in Warwick, Rhode Island that was previously investigated relative to the disappearance of a local woman named Charlotte Lester who’s been missing since May of this year. DePetro was charged with willful trespassing. He tells WLNE-TV, “We can continue to search for answers into the disappearance of Charlotte Lester. We will offer a vigorous courtroom defense and I expect to be fully exonerated at trial where we will call the owner of the home to the stand.” DePetro has a September 1 court date.
Triton Digital Releases Top U.S. Podcasts Chart for July 2022. The most recent monthly chart of the Top 100 Podcasts in the U.S. from Triton Digital is released for the month of July 2022. Triton Digital’s chart is based on Average Weekly Downloads and ranks entities that opt-in for measurement. Sitting at the #1 spot again this month is “The Ben Shapiro Show” from Cumulus Podcast Network/Westwood One. “NPR News Now” is #2 and audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” is #3. Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” rises to the #7 rank in the July chart. Other shows related to the radio business that went up in rank from June to July include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “Mark Levin Podcast” at #18 and “The Michael Knowles Show,” which rises to #22.
Edison Research’s Top 50 U.S. Podcasts for Q2 2022 Published. This chart of the U.S. Top 50 Podcasts Q2 2022 from Edison Research ranks the 50 biggest podcasts by audience size, based on Edison Podcast Metrics. Edison notes that Edison Podcast Metrics is “the only podcast measurement service that measures the relative audience size and demographics of all podcast networks in the U.S. It is the only measurement based on actual podcast listening, not downloads, and does not require an opt-in from podcast networks.” The top six podcasts did not change from the previous survey: #1 is “The Joe Rogan Experience,” “Crime Junkie” from audiochuck is #2, and “The Daily” from The New York Times is #3. Other radio related shows on the chart include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” at #7, Cumulus’ “The Dan Bongino Show” at #16, and “The Ramsey Show” from Ramsey Networks at #29. Edison says its Top 50 Podcasts of Q2 2022 list is derived from data collected continuously Q3 2021 – Q2 2022, from surveying podcast consumers ages 18 and older in the U.S. Participants indicate which podcasts they listened to in the past week along with a variety of demographic, psychographic, and purchase behavior information.
Andrew Williams Named Brand Manager for BetQL Network. Radio producer and programming pro Andrew Williams is named brand manager for Audacy’s BetQL Network. In this Washington, DC-based role, Williams will oversee all producers, talent and audio content for the BetQL Network’s 100 hours of original content per week. Audacy SVP of sports Matthew Volk says, “Andrew possesses a proven track record of creatively reaching audiences through the creation and development of rich multimedia content, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to BetQL Network as that is one of the core principles of the network. We look forward to welcoming him and his leadership to our brand, which has seen rapid growth across all platforms over the last year and watching his experience and expertise help continue to grow the network.” Williams most recently served as senior producer for SiriusXM in Washington D.C.
AdLarge Names Matt Turck Head of Podcast Growth and Strategy. Podcast advertising pro Matt Turck is named head of podcast growth and strategy at AdLarge. In this role, Turck is charged with overseeing revenue development, partnership growth and with contributing to the overall strategy of the podcast portfolio. Turck co-founded Megaphone (acquired by Spotify in December of 2020) and most recently served as the head of Megaphone Publisher Solutions at Spotify. AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas says, “Matt brings an abundance of experience and expertise to the AdLarge team. With the speed at which the marketplace continues to move, it’s wonderful to have him on board to help us continue our expansion as well as provide exceptional service and products to the industry.”
FBI Raid/Documents Investigation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Giuliani Grand Jury Testimony, Inflation, CDC Overhaul, U.S.-Taiwan-China Tensions, Russia-Ukraine War, Opioid Ruling, and Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/17). The aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the documents investigation; Liz Cheney’s primary loss on Tuesday, the November midterms, and the 2024 presidential race; Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s appearance before a grand jury in Atlanta related to the 2020 election; inflation’s effect on U.S. household income; the CDC promises an overhaul after admitting shortcomings dealing with COVID and Monkey Pox; the tensions between the U.S. and China over Taiwan; Russia’s losses in Crimea after Ukraine strikes; a judge awards damages against CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart in the opioid crisis; and the ongoing drought were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Pending Business: When Controversy Strikes. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says, “If you’ve been selling or managing talk radio for a longer than you would like to admit, there is a good chance you’ve experienced the pushback when a talent inadvertently steps over a line. When it becomes a deal breaker or a cancellation, you’re not alone. Sometimes a talent will make an honest mistake and your management will step in to right the ship. Sometimes not, and we all know how that ends.” Read more here.
Monday Memo: The Resourceful Podcaster, Parked. The pandemic shutdown forced radio and TV broadcasters into working remotely. Many in radio continue to. “They’re podcasters with transmitters” consultant Holland Cooke quips. In this week’s column, his scrappy tip for giving podcasts the polish that broadcast listeners expect. Read it here.
iHeartRadio Tops Podtrac’s July 2022 Top Podcast Publishers Chart. The Top Podcast Publishers chart for the month of July has been published by Podtrac. The chart, based on unique monthly audience (United States), places iHeartRadio in the #1 spot with a UMA of 29.5 million. Wondery comes in second place with a UMA of 21.2 million, followed by NPR at #3 with a UMA of 17 million. Other podcast publishers of note making the Top 20 chart include: PodcastOne at #8 (UMA 6.1 million), FOX Audio Network at #11 (UMA 4.4 million), and Cumulus Podcast Network at #15 (UMA 3.6 million). See the complete chart here.
Joe Benigno Returning to WFAN, New York in Part-Time Capacity. During an appearance on the afternoon drive “Carton & Roberts” show on WFAN, New York on Friday (8/5), former midday talk host Joe Benigno revealed he’s going to be returning to WFAN to host a regular Saturday morning show on the station as well as a Monday segment with midday hosts Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney. He says he’ll also do some fill-in work on “The Fan.” Benigno, who co-hosted the midday show with Evan Roberts, retired from the Audacy sports talk station last November.
Inflation Reduction Act, CPAC 2022, China’s Taiwan Threats, Alex Jones Trial, Gaza Fighting, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19/Monkey Pox Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Senate’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act that moves to the House this week and President Joe Biden’s claim of victory for American families should it become law; the CPAC 2022 weekend convention highlighted by a keynote speech by former President Donald Trump; China ramps up military exercises near Taiwan in the aftermath of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to the island; the Texas jury in the Alex Jones defamation case levies $45.2 million in punitive damages against him; the fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in Gaza; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine; the rate of COVID cases in the U.S. and the global spread of Monkey Pox were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Tim Van Horn of KWAM, Memphis is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes him as “one of the most likeable radio talk show hosts in America.” Tim Van Horn, host of “Wake-Up Memphis” – heard mornings on heritage station KWAM, Memphis – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Van Horn is familiar to radio and TV audiences in Memphis. For over a quarter century, he’s been a longtime meteorologist at NBC affiliate WMC-TV, a play-by-play commentator of Memphis 901 soccer games on ESPN+ and a radio personality on iHeart’s WREC-AM before joining the Todd Starnes-owned independent news/talker in 2020. Van Horn is a prime example of a local personality and family man whose roots run deep within a community and is considered an upstanding friend and a neighbor to the local population. Harrison and Van Horn take a deep-dive into the world of local radio and the elements that keep in ticking as an iconic medium of American culture. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Mike Hulvey Succeeds Beth Neuhoff as CEO of Neuhoff Communications. The leadership of Neuhoff Communications officially changes as longtime company COO Mike Hulvey is promoted to CEO and Beth Neuhoff steps down. Neuhoff – who assumed leadership of the company after the death of her husband Geoff 10 years ago – says, “Mike has a bold vision for where this company is going. He is an excellent team builder and knows what it takes to make Neuhoff the most important and community-focused local media operation in every market we serve. With his deep understanding of our operations and ability to lead both at our company and industry level, I can’t think of a better person to take the reins of this very special company.” In a letter to employees, Beth Neuhoff says the change is the result of “a thoughtful process dating back a few years. In fact, it likely would have happened sooner, but with the global pandemic and devastating impact it had on our company and industry, plans were delayed. While there is still work to do and business isn’t 100% back to normal, our recovery is well underway. Now is the right time to make the move. Mike has earned it.” Hulvey comments, “It is my distinct honor to assume the reins at Neuhoff Communications. We’ve worked hard to build this award-winning organization. I’m ready to build upon our firmly held values of community, innovation, grit, and excellence as this business evolves and grows into the future.” At the same time, the company announces a governance transition. Beth Neuhoff will be transitioning her role as corporate trustee of the company to Julian Hickman and Makena Neuhoff, grandchildren of the late broadcaster, Roger Neuhoff, over the next few months. Beth Neuhoff says, “It is exciting to see the next generation of Neuhoff’s take an active role in the company’s future. Their enthusiasm and breadth of experiences in business will be of tremendous benefit.”
Triton Digital Releases Top Podcast Report for June. The June 2022 Top Podcast Report from Triton Digital has been published. The report of the 100 top podcasts is based on weekly average downloads and in June, Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” jumped up to the #1 spot, edging NPR’s “NPR News Now” out of the lead and into the #2 spot. Steady in the #3 position is audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie.” Other radio-related podcasts of note on the chart include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” at #8, Salem Podcast Network’s “The Charlie Kirk Show” at #14, and Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Matt Walsh Show” and “The Mark Levin Show” at #18 and #21 respectively. See the complete chart here.
TALKERS News Notes. On Monday (7/25), KCMO-AM, Kansas City morning drive host Pete Mundo will host a special “Politics and a Pint” discussion with Missouri U.S. Senate Candidate Eric Greitens at the Jewel KC Event Space in Downtown Kansas City. This live event is KCMO Talk Radio’s fourth “Politics and a Pint” event featuring U.S. Senate Candidates and will feature Mundo having a candid conversation with Greitens, then opening the floor for a few questions from the audience…..Disruptor Radio, LLC is adding New York Yankees baseball to the programming schedule on WJFP-AM, Chester, Pennsylvania “Liberty Radio,” effective tonight. Disruptor president and CEO John Fredericks says, “We are thrilled to partner with the highest profile brand in baseball, the New York Yankees. We are very proud to be an official radio affiliate of the New York Yankees offering baseball fans in the greater Philadelphia area an opportunity to catch every pitch of every Yankees game.”…..Las Vegas-based, USA Radio Network syndicated talk host Wayne Allyn Root is launching a weekly TV show on the Real America’s Voice television network in which he’ll be talking about the “biggest stories of the week that every conservative, Christian, American patriot and Trump warrior needs to know.”…..Salem Radio Network’s SRN News is presenting a week-long special series on “The Future of NRB.” Beginning Monday (7/25), SRN News will explore the immediate and long-term outlook for the National Religious Broadcasters association. Featured prominently in the week’s reporting will be content from an extensive interview with the NRB’s new president and CEO Troy Miller.
January 6 Hearings, Midterms/2024 Election, The Economy, Heatwave/Global Warming, Abortion/LGBTQ Rights, Russia-Ukraine War, and COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/20). The ongoing January 6 hearings; November’s midterm elections, Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP, and speculation about the nominees in 2024; high gas & food prices, financial market activity, and fears of a recession; the record-breaking heat in Europe and the heatwave hitting much of the U.S. plus talk about global warming; the Roe v Wade protests and the House bill that would secure gay marriage rights; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the fast-spreading BA.5 subvariant pushing COVID-19 numbers up were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Dave Tepper to Program iHeartMedia’s KOA, Denver. Heritage talk outlet KOA-AM/K231BQ, Denver “Colorado’s News, Talk & Sports Station” has a new program director as iHeartMedia names Dave Tepper to the post. Tepper most recently served with KSE Radio’s crosstown sports talk KKSE-AM/FM “Altitude Sports Radio” as program director and operations manager for classic hits KXKL-FM and hot AC KIMN-FM. In his new role with iHeartMedia, Tepper will oversee KOA, the Rockies Radio Network and Broncos Radio Network and will lead and manage all aspects of the on-air experience, including talent, content, programming, and online presence. Tepper comments, “I’m thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to take the legendary KOA brands to new heights, including the game-changing chance to work with the Broncos, Rockies and Colorado Buffaloes radio networks. My proud journey that includes working with a variety of sports and talk formats, talents and sports radio networks has prepared me for this unique and once-in-a-lifetime step.”
Salem Brings Haley Bianco Aboard for News on OTT TV Network. Television news pro Haley Bianco joins Salem Media Group as the company makes her the first news anchor on its OTT Salem News Channel. In this role, Bianco will do news capsules at the top and bottom of the hour, between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm weekdays. Salem says Bianco is the first of several anchors joining the network. Bianco joins Salem News Channel from WICZ-TV “FOX 40” in Binghamton, New York, where she served as managing editor and primetime anchor. Salem broadcasts shows hosted by Andrew Wilkow, Brandon Tatum, Dinesh D’Souza, and Eric Metaxas during the 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm daypart. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce states, “Haley brings a wealth of TV news experience to SNC and will give us the news credibility we are looking for as we continue to grow and expand our emerging TV network.”
Final TALKERS 2022 Convention Video Posted. The last of the videos documenting the panel discussions and presentations at the June 10 TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University is now posted. The Closing Reception video includes the presentation of TALKERS magazine’s Freedom of Speech Award to “Free Talk Live” co-founder and co-host Ian Freeman (the award was accepted on his behalf by “Free Talk Live” co-founder Mark Edge). See the video, as well as video of all other sessions, here.
‘Talk Ville’ Joins Cumulus Podcast Network. A brand-new podcast hosted by Tom Welling, who starred as Clark Kent/Superman, and Michael Rosenbaum, who played Lex Luthor on the hit television show “Smallville,” titled, “Talk Ville,” is debuting on the Cumulus Podcast Network on July 13. The podcast series will revisit each episode of the television series show by show, as Welling and Rosenbaum re-watch “Smallville” and share information and anecdotes from behind the scenes. A new episode of “Talk Ville” will drop each subsequent Wednesday. The Cumulus Podcast Network will distribute, market, and monetize “Talk Ville.”
Midterms/Trump & the GOP, January 6 Hearings/Georgia Election Probe, The Economy, 4th of July Shooting/Gun Control, Boris Johnson to Resign, Immigration, Russia-Ukraine War, and Monkeypox Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/6). The efforts by Republicans to retake the House and Senate in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the January 6 Committee hearings and Georgia’s investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election results; the high price of gas & food, financial markets activity and concerns about a recession; the aftermath of the Fourth of July shooting in suburban Chicago and gun control efforts; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agrees to resign; the immigration issues at the U.S.-Mexico border; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the spread of monkeypox were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Monday Memo: Inflation Hacks. Inflation is changing listeners, advertisers and OUR lives, in almost every way. Consultant Holland Cooke vows that, “Rather than joining the blame-game unison, I will be using this column for the entire month of July to offer solutions, dozens of ways you can share on-air, and use yourself.” He begins a week early, with “a renegotiation hit list.” Read it here.
Pending Business: Roe v Wade. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade could present opportunities for talk radio. He asks, “As the ruling to reverse Roe v Wade works through societal and financial issues, could 50 years of history be reversed? Could the impact change the next 50 years of talk radio? He suggests three possible shifts. Read about them here.
TEACHING NEW GENERATIONS ABOUT “RADIO.” New C. Crane Emergency Radio a Big Hit at TALKERS 2022. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Walter Sterling of “Sterling on Sunday” scored a home run with his grade-school-aged daughter Samantha (shown above) upon returning from TALKERS 2022 with a magical device known among communications wizards as the CCRadio Solar. The first 200 registrants to arrive at the June 10 TALKERS 2022 convention were surprised and delighted to find a real special premium, individually handed to them by iconic radio manufacturer/distributor C. Crane for their conference goodie bag. Each attendee received an amazing CCRadio Solar radio unit – valued at $99.99 retail – and the result was raves all around. The CCRadio Solar is a small digital portable radio that is successful as an emergency radio, but the form and format function invite its owner to use it daily. When placed in a sunny window, it’s perfect for the morning news. Audio quality is a surprise; it’s accurate, pleasing and has two modes. A miser mode to conserve battery power in a true emergency and a high-power mode for an even better audio experience. Reception is good for the size. The almost brick-size depth and unique UV resistant rubber perimeter is concave on the bottom which makes it inherently stable. The flashlight is above average in brightness and color because of the selected high-quality LED. The hand crank folded (that’s right, it can be cranked for power) and inlaid on in the back is the only visible clue that it’s an emergency radio. The included lithium-ion battery can be recharged by wind-up, solar panel, your USB port, or optional AC power adapter (not included). When the lithium-ion battery is fully charged, the radio will run more than 50 hours or charge your phone from the approximately 50% level to 100% level. It can also be powered by three “AA” alkaline batteries (not included) for approximately 50 hours in low power mode or 35 hours in high power mode. C. Crane founder Bob Crane tells TALKERS, “I brought the first CCRadio Solar home and my wife absconded with it until our designer/illustrator had to beg to get it back for documentation. To get it back from him was also overly arduous. I have never seen a radio so coveted. It is about hand-size and it stays charged in a sunny window with an oversize solar panel which means it may not need a power assist for years.” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “The radio industry owes a great debt of gratitude to C. Crane for keeping the appliance known as a ‘radio’ alive in the consumer electronic marketplace and ever-innovative for decades after the business itself abandoned the idea that it would be a good thing to promote and support the appliance as being at least as important a device as a can opener. Shame on the NAB as well as the rest of us for committing this potentially lethal negligence.” To learn more about this fabulous device and enjoy a TALKERS discount on C.Crane purchases, please click here.
New TALKERS 2022 Video Posted: Today, TALKERS magazine posts the latest in an ongoing series of video presentations from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on June 10 at Hofstra University on Long Island. Today’s video addition features RAB president/CEO Erica Farber moderating a panel session titled, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in a Noisy Digital World.” Panelists include Erik Hellum, chief operating officer, Townsquare Media, New York/RAB Chad Lopez, president, Red Apple Media; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks, and Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group, New York/RAB. Introduction provided by Gary Krantz, CEO, Krantz Media Group. You can watch the video here.
Introducers Play Vital Role at TALKERS 2022. Last week, TALKERS began highlighting the talk media professionals who introduced the panel discussions and presentations at the recent TALKERS 2022 at Hofstra University. Today, we continue to give a little digital ink – as well as our tremendous thanks for their outstanding efforts – to those who took the time to prepare brief speeches that provided informative and relevant information prior to the conference presentations. Pictured below is Rich Zeoli, morning drive host at WPHT, Philadelphia, who introduced the panel titled, “Strategizing a Talk Show Hosting Career.”
“NPR News Now” Tops Triton Digital’s May Podcast Report. The latest (May 2022) U.S. podcast report from Triton Digital finds “NPR News Now” leading for average weekly downloads. In descending order, the top ten in that category includes: “NPR News Now”; “The Ben Shapiro Show”; “Crime Junkie”; Dateline: NBC”; “Morbid: A True Crime Podcast”; “Up First”; “The Dan Bongino Show”; “My Favorite Murder”; “Fresh Air”: and “Last Podcast On The Left.” Meanwhile, the top 10 podcasts by average weekly users are: “Crime Junkie”; “Up First”; “Morbid: A True Crime Podcast”; Dateline: NBC”; “The Ben Shapiro Show”; “NPR News Now”; “Smartless”; “My Favorite Murder”; “The Dan Bongino Show”; and Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend.” Rankers indicate Stitcher Media is the top network based on average weekly users. That top 10 includes: Stitcher Media; Audacy Podcast Network; Audioboom; NPR; Wondery; Cumulus Podcast Network; NBCUniversal News Group; Warner Media; Kast Media; and Paramount. Extremely similar to this list is the top 10 networks by average weekly downloads: Stitcher Media; NPR; Audacy Podcast Network; Wondery; Cumulus Podcast Network; Audioboom; NBCUniversal News Group; Paramount; Warner Media; and Kast Media. The top three highest indexing shows for women 18+ are: “Watch What Crappens” (Stitcher Media); “Something Was Wrong” (Wondery); and “The Viall Files (Kast Media). The top three highest indexing shows for men 18+: “The Pat McAfee Show 2.0” (Stitcher Media); “The Fighter & The Kid” (Kast Media); and “2 Bears 1 Cave with Tom Segura & Bert Kreischer” (Stitcher Media). Based on downloads, top podcast genres were: “News” (27%); “True Crime” (20%); “Comedy” (18%); “Society & Culture” (7%); and “Sports” (6%). More than nine of ten (93%) episodes were downloaded on mobile devices; 1.8% occurred on a desktop or laptop. Numbers do not include all shows and exclude those not participating in this particular measurement system. The entire report is available on TritonRankers.com.
Legislation Gains Steam To Allow Cannabis Ads on Radio. Language on a House Appropriations committee bill advanced last Friday (6/24) would prevent the FCC from taking administrative action against broadcasters accepting cannabis advertisements consistent with the law of the state or jurisdiction in which the station is licensed. NAB spokesman Alex Siciliano comments, “We are pleased to see this bipartisan language has advanced in the House. As the vast majority of states have legalized cannabis in some form, today marks a long overdue step toward finally allowing broadcasters to receive equal treatment regarding cannabis advertising that other forms of media have had for years. While we welcome [Friday’s] progress, local broadcasters will continue to work with all policymakers towards a broader resolution of this competitive disparity and in support of our unique service to local communities.” New York State Broadcasters Association president David Donovan adds, “We are grateful to House Appropriations Committee chair Rosa DeLauro; subcommittee chair Mike Quigley; and members of the committee for recognizing the unfairness of the present situation with respect to cannabis advertising. The provision in this appropriations bill is a major step forward for leveling the playing field for local broadcasters. We believe the law of the state in which a station is licensed should determine whether a station can accept cannabis advertising, if they so choose. We look forward to working with members of Congress and the administration to help restore parity between local broadcasters and other media outlets.” In states that have approved cannabis for medical and/or adult use, local radio and television stations have been unable to accept advertisements from legally-authorized cannabis distributors. Meanwhile, cable; satellite; internet; print; magazine; billboards; and social media platforms are free to accept and transmit these ads.
Sigma Delta Chi Journalism Award Winners Announced. Honorees were cited by the Society of Professional Journalists in a video presentation last Thursday (6/23). In Sigma Delta Chi’s category of “Radio Breaking News Reporting, Market 1-100 or Network Syndication,” CBS News Radio’s staff won for “Assault on the U.S. Capitol.” Other winners included: Chicago Public Media-owned public radio news/talk WBEZ’s Esther Yoon-Ji Kang, Susie An, and Alden Loury for “Fertile Soil For Abuse: A Reckoning at Covenant Fellowship Church” (“Radio Investigative Reporting, Large Market”) and Virginia Tech public radio news/talk WVTF, Roanoke’s Sandy Hausmang for “COVID-19 in Virginia Prisons” (“Radio Investigative Reporting, Small Market”). NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang won for “Immigration Hard-Liner Files Reveal 40-Year Bid Behind Trump’s Census Obsession” (“Radio Feature Reporting, Large Market”), while Wichita State University public radio news/talk KMUW’s Suzanne Perez won for her piece on 3,000 Kansas kindergartners (“Radio Feature Reporting, Small Market”). Elsewhere, University Radio Foundation public radio news/talk WFAE, Charlotte’s David Boraks was victorious in the “Radio Documentaries, Large Market” category for “Asbestos Town.” Reports regarding healthcare mistreatment in Maine State Prisons by Maine Public Radio’s Susan Sharon and Mark Simpson won in “Public Service in Radio Journalism.” The award for “Narrative Podcast” went to NBC News’ Ayman Mohyeldin and Preeti Varathan for “American Radical.”
Lee Named to Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. On October 5, Kristi Lee – the co-host and news director of Westwood One’s “Bob & Tom Show” – will be among six Hoosiers to be inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame Class of 2022. Indiana Broadcasters Association executive director Dave Arland notes, “The 2022 Hall of Fame Class is comprised of well-known broadcasters who pushed the boundaries of innovation and made the Indiana communities they served better, more informed places to live. For decades, our newest group of Hall of Famers have provided critical eyes, ears, and voices for listeners and viewers in Indiana and beyond. They have told wonderful stories and are each also active members of their communities. We are honored to add our 2022 honorees to the honor roll of the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.” Lee – who has covered sports for ESPN and the Indiana Pacers – comments, “I am humbled and honored to be included amongst these prestigious honorees. As a lifelong Hoosier, I have been lucky enough to spend my entire career in my home state. I cannot imagine a more meaningful award.” Over 100 stations carry “The Bob & Tom Show.”
BetMGM Becomes Exclusive Sportsbook of the BetQL Network. The partnership is a multi-year agreement that expands the current relationship between BetMGM and Audacy. Audacy chair, president and chief executive officer David Field comments, “We are delighted to expand our strategic partnership with BetMGM, highlighted by their new exclusive position with the BetQL Network. Barely a year old, the BetQL Network has a bright future ahead of it as legalized sports betting continues to expand over the next decade.” BetMGM chief revenue officer Matt Provost notes, “We’re excited to further our strategic partnership with Audacy and to bring our market-leading sports betting and gaming entertainment content to millions of listeners nationwide across the entire BetQL Network platform.” Since its launch last June, the BetQL Network has expanded from two markets to 31. Beginning in September, BetMGM will have category exclusivity of the network’s full slate of programming, including flagship “You Better You Bet” and “BetQL Daily,” “The Daily Tip,” and “BetMGM Tonight.” Audacy will produce content for live audiences at various MGM Resorts across the country. Audacy first announced a partnership with BetMGM in March 2021. The BetQL Network is a live, linear digital channel that distributes approximately 100 hours of original content per week on the Audacy and BetQL digital platforms and YouTube.
TALKERS News Notes. Ramifications on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade will be discussed tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday, 6/28) on Boston public radio news/talk WGBH’s “Community Conversation: The Roe v. Wade Ruling” (2:00 pm – 3:30 pm). WGBH general manager/news Pam Johnston comments, “The Supreme Court’s opinion on Roe v. Wade will impact our lives in Massachusetts in ways we haven’t even begun to understand yet and opens up a host of questions for people across the Commonwealth. We invite people to gather at the ‘GBH Studio inside the Boston Public Library to discuss and unpack these critical and far-reaching issues.” WGBH hosts Callie Crossley, Margery Eagan, and Paris Alston will be joined by Reproductive Equity Now executive director Rebecca Hart Holder and Suffolk University professor Renee Landers … Taking effect this Friday (7/1) will be a ten-year extension between Learfield and the University of Oklahoma athletics department. Learfield executive vice president/university partnership group Mike Hamilton notes, “We’re extremely proud to have the opportunity to continue representing the Sooner brand. We appreciate Oklahoma University Athletics’ longtime trust in us. The unprecedented agreement commencing in July speaks to the forward-thinking, strategic decisions necessary in today’s rapidly evolving college sports landscape.” Oklahoma University vice president/director of athletics Joe Castiglione comments, “As with any challenge and change our industry experiences, we intentionally seek cutting-edge collaborations to move us forward in the marketplace. [Learfield’s] leadership continues to help our administration navigate through areas such as evolution in the content game and digital innovation.” Sooner Sports Properties’ newly-named vice president/general manager Kelly Collyar remarks, “We are genuinely excited about this extension and how it will transform the way our brand partners integrate with our fans. Through the expansion of categories and assets, sponsorship will truly take on a new meaning at Oklahoma University.” Meanwhile, pending finalization of a deal first reported by The Grand Forks Herald, radio rights to University of North Dakota athletics broadcasts will be awarded to iHeartMedia, which currently airs Fighting Hawks sports. According to the report, Leighton Broadcasting also bid on the radio package … Several major media and entertainment companies such as Comcast, Discovery, Disney, Meta, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, and Warner Bros. will cover travel costs for employees seeking abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Morning Talk Show Co-Host at ‘Rock 102,’ Springfield is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Often referred to by Michael Harrison as a “talk radio pound-for-pound champion” Mike “Bax” Baxendale – who has reigned over Western Massachusetts radio ratings and revenue for the past 27 years on an extraordinary level – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Known to his loyal legion of listeners simply as “Bax,” Baxendale has been enormously successful as a key member of the evolving WAQY “Rock 102” morning team since 1995 and is still going strong. First, he enjoyed an amazingly long run with talented co-host John O’ Brien (Bax & O’ Brien) and now the momentum continues with co-hosts Steve Nagle and Dave Coombs (“Bax, Steve and Dave”). See photo (l-r) Bax, Steve Nagle and Dave Coombs. Bax has become, according to Harrison, “a quintessential example of the notable breed of radio talker operating within the context of a duo or team on a music FM station where politics is mostly local, unpredictably non-partisan and not the only focus of interest.” Harrison continues, “This hard-working broadcaster talks politics, music, sports, and a wide scope of day-to-day issues and his range covers silly to serious, irreverent to respectful.” Harrison and Bax talk about the business realities faced by duos and teams on radio as well as the differences between how talk show hosts on music radio stations approach their audiences in terms of subject matter and attitude and those who perform on traditional news/talkers. Harrison refers to his own talk roots in FM music radio. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Podtrac Releases Top Podcast Publishers and Podcasts for May. Releasing its Top Podcast Publishers and Top Podcasts for the month of May based on U.S. unique monthly audience, Podtrac reports that iHeartRadio is #1 with a unique monthly audience of 29.4 million. NPR comes in at #2 with a unique monthly audience of 18.9 million. Other publishers in the top 20 include Daily Wire at #7 (repped by Cumulus Podcast Network), PodcastOne at #8 FOX Audio Network at #11, Blaze Media at #13, and Cumulus Podcast Network at #16. For the top 20 podcasts based on unique monthly audience, Podtrac ranks “The Daily” from The New York Times at #1, followed by “NPR News Now” at #2. “The Ben Shapiro Show” is ranked #5. Other radio-related shows include iHeartRadio’s “Stuff You Should Know” at #8, “FOX News Radio Hourly Newscast” at #11, and “The Dan Bongino Show” at #13. See the complete charts here.
Glades Media Names 25-Year Rush Limbaugh Engineer as Chief Operating Officer. Radio pro Brian Johnson – who served for 25 years as the radio broadcast engineer for “The Rush Limbaugh Show” – is the new chief operating officer for Glades Media. The company co-founders – Robert Castellanos, chairman and chief executive officer, and James Johnson, chief financial officer – will continue their roles. Castellanos says, “For the past year, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Brian and seeing first-hand what an outstanding broadcaster he’s become. Brian’s passion for radio and people is evident in how he approaches every opportunity and challenge. I look forward to building upon our business partnership as we continue navigating the broadcast media landscape.” Johnson spent 25 years as Limbaugh’s personal engineer, a role that began when the conservative radio icon moved to Palm Beach in 1996. Johnson comments, “It was a blessing to work side by side with the greatest broadcaster in our business. I’m eager to apply that experience and insight into my new role at Glades Media.” Johnson also owns BMZ Broadcasting, LLC and leases WLMX-FM to Glades Media.
Bret Burkhart Joins Audacy’s All-News KCBS-AM, San Francisco. Bay Area news pro Bret Burkhart is joining Audacy’s all-news KCBS-AM as a news anchor. Burkhart joins the station after spending the last 23 years at Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KGO-AM and most recently was an anchor during the station’s morning and midday shows. Audacy San Francisco SVP and market manager Stacey Kauffman states, “We are incredibly fortunate that Bret is continuing his already illustrious career as an anchor for his hometown KCBS. He brings to KCBS a comprehensive and complex skill set that we will all benefit from. Bret knows politics, the Bay Area, what makes a good story and how to tell it, and we look forward to welcoming him aboard.” Burkhart comments, “KCBS is the gold standard for news around the Bay Area and beyond and I feel so fortunate to be joining an amazing group of broadcasters and storytellers.”
Adams Radio Launches Voluntary Employee Donation Drive to Benefit the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The company says that this voluntary employee donation drive is designed to “help create awareness and raise funds for the Broadcasters Foundation of America, a 501(c)3 charity that provides aid to fellow broadcasters in acute need from life-altering illness, accident, or other disaster.” The plan allows all Adams Radio Group employees the opportunity to set up automatic payroll deductions, in any amount, as donations to the Broadcasters Foundation. Adams president Ron Stone states, “When I learned that the sole mission of the Broadcasters Foundation is to provide financial assistance to our colleagues who, through no fault of their own, are in desperate need, I knew we had to get involved. These broadcasters are our colleagues. I would ask every radio group to consider helping the only charity that is dedicated solely to helping our colleagues.” BFoA co-president Jim Thompson says, “We’re very grateful to Ron for launching a voluntary employee donation drive to benefit the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation. With help from broadcasters like Ron, we can continue to provide aid to those in our industry who need it most.”
Cumulus Media Extends ABL Credit Facility. The company states that its indirect wholly owned subsidiary – Cumulus Media New Holdings Inc. – is entering into an amendment of its existing $100 million revolving credit facility. The amendment, among other things, extends the maturity from 2025 to 2027 subject to certain springing maturity conditions. As of June 8, 2022, there were no amounts outstanding under the Revolving Credit Facility. Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary G. Berner says, “By extending the ABL through 2027, we are locking in a long-term, favorable source of liquidity – enhancing our already strong balance sheet and increasing our financial flexibility as we continue to evolve from a one-dimensional radio broadcaster to a multi-dimensional audio media company. This action follows the expiration of the $25 million tender offer pursuant to our $50 million share buyback program and demonstrates our continuing commitment to making operational and financial decisions that enhance shareholder value.”
iHeartMedia Rebrands WBZT-AM, West Palm Beach as “1230 The Gambler.” The West Palm Beach sports talk station is rebranding as “Sports Radio 1230 The Gambler” and is using content from VSiN, The Sports Betting Network iHeartMedia’s WBZT-AM will air 22 hours of live VSiN programming daily in addition to Miami Marlins baseball games and University of Florida football and basketball matchups. Additionally, ‘The Gambler’ will feature “The Greek Zone” live from South Florida, weekday afternoons from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Station PD Brian Mudd comments, “We’re thrilled to bring this informative and entertaining brand of sports talk to local sports fans. Sports betting as a 24/7 format, and specifically the expert analysis from VSiN and our very own Greek, is a perfect choice for ‘The Gambler.’”
Primary Elections/Trump & the GOP, January 6 Hearings, the Economy, Attempted Kavanaugh Attack, Gun Violence-Legislation, Russia-Ukraine War, Extreme Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/8). The results of Tuesday’s primary elections, the ouster of San Francisco’s liberal DA, and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; today’s beginning of the January 6 Committee hearings; the soaring price of gasoline & food and concerns about a recession; a California man is arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home intending to do him harm; the recent spate of gun violence and attempts to craft gun control legislation; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and is effect on the global economy; and the severe heatwave forecast for the Southwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.