Salem Radio Network’s nationally syndicated talk hosts have voiced and are distributing to affiliates public service announcements designed to rally listeners to support the AM Radio For Every Vehicle Act. The PSAs encourage listeners to Public Service Announcements rallying listeners to reach out to their U.S. Senators and Congressman to support the AM Radio For Every Vehicle Act, Senate Bill 1669…stopping automakers from removing the AM band from new models they are manufacturing. SRN hosts Mike Gallagher, Charlie Kirk, Sebastian Gorka, Hugh Hewitt, Brandon Tatum and Dennis Prager are featured in the PSAs. SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup comments, “This action is one way the 80-million people who depend on AM radio for news, critical weather updates and vigorous debate on issues can peacefully and patriotically approach their lawmakers directly to share their views.”
Pictured above Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Dennis Prager addressing the annual summit of “Moms For Liberty,” a conservative group advocating parental rights, education reform, and other political/social issues. Also attending the event were 2024 presidential candidates former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Dirty Water & Laundry,” looks back at this past week of 8/29 to 9/2. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, host, WPG, Atlantic City; Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York; Daliah Wachs, M.D., host, Genesis Communications Network; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston/founder, Scamicide.com; and Beth Troutman, host, WBT, Charlotte. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Salem Announces Talk Hosts Fall Tour of Battleground States. The second half of October will see the Salem Media Group talk radio hosts tour the battleground states to “assist listeners and voters to understand how important it is that they get out to vote as well as vote with an understanding of the issues, and the candidates that will be leading our government.” Dubbed the Battleground Talkers Tour 2022, Salem hosts Dennis Prager, Charlie Kirk, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Mike Gallagher, Eric Metaxas, Brandon Tatum, and Hugh Hewitt will hit tour stops in Tampa on October 16, Orlando on October 17, Atlanta on October 18, Philadelphia on October 19, Pittsburgh on October 20, Columbus on October 21, Cleveland on October 22, and Phoenix on October 23 where Salem news/talk stations will host the events. Hosts will broadcast their radio and TV shows from many of these cities. Salem Media Group SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce comments, “I do not think we have ever seen the kind of energy and excitement that we have witnessed now building up to the November 2022 election. Getting our hosts in front of our listeners and viewers and encouraging them to vote wisely is something each of our hosts is passionate about doing. There has never been a more important mid-term election than this one, and Salem is thrilled to be front and center, leading the charge.”
Ronnie Bloodworth Named Area President for iHeartMedia’s Mid-South Region. Radio management pro Ronnie Bloodworth is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia’s Mid-South region that encompasses Alabama, Mississippi, and Memphis, effective immediately. Bloodworth has been serving as market president for Mobile, Biloxi and Pensacola. In this new role, he’ll be responsible for oversight of stations in Birmingham, Gadsden, Huntsville, Montgomery, and the Tuscaloosa markets, as well as stations in Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Laurel, Memphis, Mobile, Pensacola, and Tupelo. iHeartMedia division president Shosh Abromovich says, “This is a very exciting announcement to bring these markets together; the alignment of these outstanding leaders, talent, teammates and communities are set up to truly flourish. Ronnie’s culture-first attitude, drive for success and high bar he sets for himself and his team will take this newly combined area to all new levels of achievement and opportunity.” Bloodworth comments, “Helping people identify their strengths, find their motivation and then achieve their goals is something I have enjoyed from day one. Helping our teams in Mobile, Pensacola, Memphis and Mississippi find their stride and excel is something I take pride in. We strive to be the best in the business and enjoy what we do and where we do it. I look forward to having the high-quality and high-performing teams across the state of Alabama join us as I move into this new role.”
Alpha Media Names Clay Church OM for Dayton and Canton. Radio programming pro Clay Church joins Alpha Media as operations manager for the company’s Dayton and Canton, Ohio clusters that include news/talk WHBC-AM Canton and sports talk WING-AM, Dayton, plus five music brands. Church was most recently director of content and operations at Townsquare Media’s Flint, Michigan operations. Alpha Media SVP/market manager Brett Beshore says, “After a lengthy, nationwide search, we found the best possible candidate to lead our successful teams in Dayton and Canton, and Clay brings all of Alpha’s core values to the market. He knows how to lead a team, build strong brands, and execute digital strategies to grow our ratings and revenue. We’re excited to welcome him aboard.” Church comments, “I’m very excited to take the next step in my career with Alpha Media and the incredible people in Dayton and Canton. The great stations in both markets are a direct reflection of the talent inside the buildings. I hope to add my skillset to the outstanding teams already in place.”
Good Karma’s ESPN Madison Inks Badger Keeanu Benton to NIL Partnership. Madison sports talk outlet WTLX-FM ESPN Madison announces it has agreed to a NIL (name-image-likeness) partnership with Wisconsin Badgers’ nose tackle Keeanu Benton for him to make weekly appearances on the “Rutledge and Hamilton” show each Wednesday at 2:30 pm. Good Karma Brands Madison market manager Tom Olson says, “Our ‘ESPN Madison’ team is thrilled to have Keeanu Benton join us this football season. This is our very first NIL agreement, and we’re excited for the opportunity to work with someone as accomplished and as charismatic as Keeanu. This will be an exclusive opportunity for our fans to hear weekly insights from Keenau and get to know him better as a person.”
Holland Cooke’s Inflation Hacks Now an Online Course at CECNA. The e-book Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins by media consultant Holland Cooke has become an online course from the Washington-area-based nonprofit Consumer Education Council of North America. CECNA founder and chairman Jim Hood says, “Inflation is like climate change: It’s a big problem that everybody talks about although no one seems to have the solution. But broadcast personality Holland Cooke has researched it and come up with a list of everyday steps that consumers can use to trim hundreds of dollars from their monthly budgets. He’s assembled his thoughts in a CECNA Learning Center course called ‘Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins.’ The title refers, of course, to Benjamin Franklin, whose image adorns the $100 bill and who once cautioned, ‘Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.’” The CECNA offers the course here.
TALKERS News Notes. Sales and advertising pro Scott McRoberts is named Midwest sales director for home improvement media brand Today’s Homeowner Media. In this role, McRoberts will be responsible for growing the brand’s presence in the Midwest while creating innovative solutions for the company’s partners. Company president Danny Lipford says, “I am thrilled to have Scott join the team. We provide our partners with custom advertising solutions to meet their goals and connect them with our highly qualified audience of homeowners. Our partners will benefit from Scott’s experience providing innovative solutions and his collaborative style.”…..Progressive talk host Stephanie Miller announces that her “Sexy Liberal Save Democracy Tour” has three events scheduled for this fall. The comedy tour that includes John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks and Frangela will stop in Washington, DC on September 10 at Sidney Harman Hall with special guest Glenn Kirschner; in Chicago on September 24 at Harris Theater with special guests Jill Wine Banks and Rep. Jan Schakowsky; and in Los Angeles on October 22 at Saban Theater with special guests Rep. Adam Schiff and Rob Reiner…..iHeartMedia announces the debut of a new iHeartRadio original podcast titled, “Unbreakable with Jay Glazer: A Mental Health Podcast.” This project is an extension of his widely acclaimed, best-selling book Unbreakable in which the FOX NFL Insider shares his personal mental health journey with the audience, including the tools and techniques he’s developed to “live in the gray” – his term for living and thriving with anxiety, depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder…..iHeartMedia Chicago’s radio stations, including WMFN-AM “BIN: Black Information Netwotrk” announces the 10 winners of the “Brilliantly Black Business Awards” in partnership with the Chicago Urban League. The “Brilliantly Black Business Awards” ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 8 at 2:30 pm at the iHeartMedia Chicago Studios. The project was launched in 2020 to support local Black-owned businesses, restaurants and non-profits. Since its inception, iHeartMedia Chicago has showcased nearly 1,300 Black-owned businesses through digital, on-air features and the “Brilliantly Black” podcast. The 10 winners have been selected to receive $100,000 of in-kind media on iHeartMedia Chicago radio stations and a small business development cohort from the Chicago Urban League. iHeartMedia Chicago president Matt Scarano states, “iHeartMedia Chicago created the first-of-its-kind ‘Brilliantly Black’ community resource initiative. We are proud to expand the initiative and award 10 local Black-owned businesses a combined total of $1 million in marketing and advertising to further promote their products and services, while elevating economic growth for their businesses. The Chicago Urban League shares our mission and stepped up to provide small business master-level education training for the award winners as well.”
The FBI Raid of Mar-a-Lago, DOJ Documents Probe and Trump Legal Troubles Combine as Top News/Talk Story This Week. The aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago, the Department of Justice’s investigation into top secret documents, and Trump’s legal troubles combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of August 29 – September 2 and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between partisan politics, the midterm elections, and Sarah Palin’s special election loss, followed by the state of the U.S. economy at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
By Kevin Casey
IRVING, Tex. — The last few years have brought enormous change to the media landscape and one of the bright lights in the sea of change is what’s been happening at Salem Media Group. Officials at the company say its rise to prominence in the conservative media arena has been building for more than 10 years. In fact, in April 2019, The Hollywood Reporter published an article titled, “How Salem has Quietly Become a Giant in Conservative Media.” In the three-plus years since, the Irving, Texas-based company has continued that trajectory and in many eyes verifies the claims in that piece. When it comes to conservative media, it’s impossible not to see Salem’s giant footprint.
Walter M. Sterling is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The host of the syndicated 10:00 pm – 1:00 am weekend talk show “Sterling on Sunday” – Walter M. Sterling – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Actually the roles are reversed and Sterling interviews Harrison in a two-segment excerpt from his program this past Sunday night (5/22). Sterling had Harrison on to discuss the impact of digital age technology – specifically the smart phone – on the wiring of the human nervous system. “This is a watershed leap in the evolution of Homo Sapiens,” says Harrison. “While grappling with the question of what it is to be American, society is going to have to increasingly deal with the vastly deeper issue of what it is to be human.” Walter M. Sterling is the on-air persona of historically influential radio programming innovator and management advisor Walter Sabo. Don’t miss this provocative and illuminative conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Salem Media Group Signs Julie Hartman to Multiplatform Deal. This new pact with recent Harvard University grad Julie Hartman comes three months after she began doing a weekly podcast with Salem Radio Network personality Dennis Prager, titled, “Dennis and Julie.” Hartman’s new deal with Salem Media Group involves her doing projects for the Salem Podcast Network, Salem News Channel, and Salem Radio Network. Senior vice president of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Julie represents a new generation of young media professionals, and we are adding some to the Salem platform, proving that even at Harvard you can come out a conservative if you keep your wits about you. Her story is compelling and even riveting and will probably be a book and a movie someday.” In September, Hartman will begin hosting two shows every weekend on Salem News Channel, three podcasts a week on the Salem Podcast Network, and substitute hosting on various Salem Radio Network programs. Hartman says, “I am honored that Salem Radio Network has entrusted me with this responsibility. Finding Dennis Prager’s work and getting to know him has illuminated my life’s vocation. Because of him, I’ve been able to collaborate with many other remarkably talented people at Salem. My generation needs courageous, independent, truth-telling voices. My goal is to be among the best of them.”
FOX News Media to Launch ‘The Senate Project’ Debate Series with Lindsey Graham and Bernie Sanders on June 13. A new debate series called The Senate Project – being created by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate – premieres on June 13 in a debate between Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Bernie Sanders. Moderated by FOX News Channel’s Bret Baier, the 12:00 noon ET broadcast will be a one-hour policy debate between the two senators streaming on FOX Nation. The second debate, hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, will be held in July at George Washington University, carried live and on demand across C-SPAN platforms, including streamed on C-SPAN Now. A third debate will be held by the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation in Utah this fall. The press release states, “The goal of The Senate Project debate series is to reintroduce the culture of seeking common ground and consensus that has been the essence of the Senate since it was conceived in 1789. We hope it will inspire policymakers to not only make the case for their points of view, but to then work towards the example set by Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Orrin Hatch for bipartisan bridge-building.”
WSJS-AM, Winston-Salem Transitions to News/Talk/Sports. Triad sports talk station WSJS-AM, Winston-Salem (along with its four FM translators) is transitioning to a news/talk/sports format, effective June 6. Truth Broadcasting says, “In the legacy of Wally Williams, Wayne Willard, George Lee, Glenn Scott, Gene Overby and Smith Patterson, WSJS is returning to a local news/talk/sports format with Jeffrey Griffin behind the microphone as the host of “Triad Today” (7:00 am to 10:00 am). Midday programming will include familiar voices and award-winning programming from Brian Kilmeade, Todd Starnes and Charlie Kirk.” The station is continuing local sports talk “The Drive with Josh Graham” in afternoon drive. Truth Broadcasting COO Michael Carbone says, “It’s an incredible thrill, as well as a responsibility, to return the voice of the people to WSJS. A local talk station belongs to the listeners – our neighbors – to share their thoughts, their favorite things, favorite teams, their passion for the Triad, their celebrations, their issues, their dreams. We will restart that conversation and let the voices of the city color our days again.”
FANTASTIC SPEAKER LINEUP AND AGENDA for TALKERS 2022. TALKERS is presenting the 25th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running, largest and most important convention, TALKERS 2022, on Friday, June 10, 2022 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio.
TALKERS 2022 will be a “who’s who” of the talk media industry…
Red Apple Media CEO/WABC, New York owner John Catsimatidis is set to keynote with special guest addresses to be provided by iconic Key Networks personality Bill O’ Reilly and FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel star Brian Kilmeade.
See the complete agenda here.
TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “We are delighted to be able to join forces again with our colleagues at Hofstra – the site of our very successful 2021 and 2016 events – and enjoy the remarkable resources that its Lawrence Herbert School of Communication brings to the table.”
As was the case last year, this event will be held in a COVID-19 compliant environment based upon the circumstances at the time of the convention. As is its tradition, TALKERS 2022 will boldly address key issues – some existential – facing the talk radio and talk media industries at this dramatically critical juncture of rapidly accelerating technological and societal change as well as identifying the remarkable opportunities inherent in these developments. It will also provide participants with unique and powerful networking opportunities. Attendance at the conference is limited to members of the working media and directly associated industries as well as students enrolled in accredited learning institutions. All attendees will be required to register in advance on the phone with credit cards. Attendance will be limited, and the conference is again expected to be an early sellout. Full details about the agenda (more than 50 in-person, luminary speakers) sponsorship opportunities and hotel information will continue to be posted in TALKERS in the days ahead. The all-inclusive registration fee covering convention events, exhibits, food, and services for the day is $349. Because space will be limited and a sellout is anticipated, all registrations are non-refundable.
To register or to obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
Travel and Hotel Information for TALKERS 2022. The full-service Long Island Marriott Uniondale is serving as the closest and best hotel for TALKERS 2022. To reserve rooms, please click here. All New York area airports are a car ride away from the hotel and Hofstra: JFK (18 miles), LaGuardia (24 miles), MacArthur (34 miles), Newark (47 miles). Free and convenient parking information at Hofstra will be posted here shortly.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago market media pro Bob Sirott – host of Nexstar Media’s WGN Radio morning show – will receive the Dante Award from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans at a luncheon today (5/26). The organization says that since its inception in 1971, more than 40 Chicago journalists have received the Dante Award, which recognizes media professionals who pursue truth in their work. Sirott says, “Looking at the long, impressive list of previous Dante Award winners, it makes me realize that the highly respected selection committee who decides who gets this award realized they had given this to every media person in Chicago except me. They simply ran out of names.”…..Salem Media Group announces that it will present at the LD Micro Invitational XII in Westlake Village, California on Tuesday, June 7 at 6:30 pm ET. LD Micro began in 2006 as an independent resource to the microcap world…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One, in its capacity as the official network radio partner of the NCAA, will air the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Semifinals and Championship Games over the Memorial Day weekend holiday. For the first time, Westwood One will broadcast the Women’s National Semifinal and Championship games in addition to the Men’s contests.
Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Presents 47th Annual Gracie Awards. Pictured above at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California is the board of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. Tuesday’s 47th Annual Gracie Awards Gala was hosted by Holly Robinson Peete and “recognized exemplary programming created by women, for women and about women in all facets of media and entertainment.” Local and student winners will be honored at the Gracie Awards Luncheon on June 22 in New York City. Photo: Getty Images for AWM
Texas School Massacre/Gun Control, Primary Races/Trump & the GOP, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, and U.S.-China Relations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/25). The aftermath of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers and the battle over gun control legislation; Tuesday’s primary races in Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, & Georgia and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the high cost of food & gas, the shortage of baby formula, and the tech stock selloff; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the rest of the world; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the high rate of COVID-19 cases in parts of the U.S.; and U.S.-China relations in the wake of President Joe Biden’s visit to Asia were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Musky and Murky,” looks back at this past week of 5/9 to 5/13. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Derek Hunter, talk show host WCBM, Baltimore/Talk Media Network; Dr. Daliah Wachs, physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Claire Carter, talk show host/founder, Good For You Radio; Martha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; and Dr. Murray Sabrin, emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College, NJ/libertarian scholar. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas; WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Podcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Bill O’Reilly’s Killing the Killers Debuts at #1. This new book is the 11th in the “Killing” series and it’s the 11th to be a #1 New York Times bestseller. Sales in this series are roughly 19 million copies worldwide and have spent close to 340 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In the new book, Killing the Killers – The Secret War Against Terrorists (2022 St. Martin’s Press) Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard report on America’s intense global war and manhunt against terrorist extremists who both masterminded the horrific 9/11 attacks as well as executed hundreds of others on American and international soil. They trace America’s efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and ISIS worldwide. O’Reilly and Dugard gained access to top secret national security documents as well as interviewed the highest national security officials in the U.S. The publisher says that primed with deeply sourced information, detailed maps and revealing photographs, O’Reilly and Dugard have created a riveting account that has never been reported to this scope and depth. Bill O’Reilly’s radio programs – including the new, national daily one-hour “No Spin News,” show – are syndicated by Key Networks.
Salem: 2000 Mules is Most Successful Political Documentary in a Decade. The new film, 2000 Mules, from director Dinesh D’Souza and executive producer Salem Media Group is being billed by Salem as “the most successful political documentary in a decade.” Salem says that 1 million people have seen the movie – available for download and DVD purchase on SalemNOW.com – and has become a huge hit on Rumble and its Locals platform. D’Souza says, “The movie is a success financially for sure, but also it is successful in its political and cultural influence. It’s the most-talked-about movie out there right now, making headlines in multiple publications, and is trending extremely high on social media.” The film purports to provide proof of illegal ballot harvesting, both in geo-targeting of cell phone data, and in actual video surveillance of the many unmanned ballot boxes in the five key battleground states. The movie’s conclusion of illegal ballot harvesting is based on research by True The Vote. It features five Salem radio talk show hosts as they walk through the process of learning what the evidence shows, and then discussing what this means for the American belief in free and fair elections. Salem says those hosts, Dennis Prager, Sebastian Gorka, Charlie Kirk, Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder, all came away disturbed at what they learned really happened to hand the election victory to Joe Biden.
iHeartMedia Names Jorge Lopez VP of Sales for Hispanic Brands in Tampa and Jacksonville. Sales and marketing pro Jorge Lopez is promoted to vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Tampa and Jacksonville Hispanic brands that include broadcast and digital brands encompassing more than 10 music, talk, and news formats. iHeartMedia operates the Spanish news outlets WHNZ-AM/W290BJ, Tampa “Acción 1250 & 105.9” and WFXJ-AM/W247CF, Jacksonville “Acción 97.3.” Lopez says, “I am very grateful for this new role in my career. I’ve been with iHeartMedia for more than six years and I think it’s great to have this distinguished opportunity where I contribute with my experience and skills to the expansion and growth of the brand. With the continuing growth of the Hispanic population in Florida it is very important that we serve our community with an authentic voice and a compelling product.”
Abortion Rights Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 9-13. The fallout from the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft decision to overturn Roe v Wade, including the protests at justices’ residences, was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Russia-Ukraine war tied with the larger topic of U.S. foreign policy, followed by the economy, including inflation, supply chain woes, the financial markets and recession fears at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
Urban One First Quarter 2022 Net Revenue Rises 23%. Reporting financial data for the first quarter of 2022, Urban One, Inc. – parent of Radio One – says its net revenue was approximately $112.3 million, an increase of 23% from the same period in 2021. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $48.4 million, an increase of 33% from the same period in 2021. Net income was approximately $16.4 million or $0.32 per share (basic) compared to $7,000 or $0.00 per share (basic) for the same period in 2021. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III, states, “We had extremely strong first quarter performance across the platform, with advertising revenues up double-digit percentages in all of our operating segments. Digital revenues were up 49.5%, cable TV advertising revenues were up 46.9%, and radio advertising, excluding political and digital, was up 17.4%. This enabled us to grow Adjusted EBITDA by 38.9% year-over-year, and by $14.3 million or 51.6% vs. Q1 2019. Looking back at pre-pandemic revenues, when we aggregate our radio broadcasting, syndication, events and digital operations, net revenues were up 11.5% compared to Q1 2019. Second quarter core radio advertising is pacing up mid-single digits, as we start to lap the tougher comps from 2021. Our balance sheet continues to strengthen, with $166.4 million of cash and net leverage down to 4.07x.”
Cumulus Announces $25 Million Stock Buyback. On the heels of yesterday’s first quarter financial report and the board’s authorization of a $50 million buyback program, Cumulus Media Inc. announces its intention to commence a “modified Dutch auction” tender offer to purchase up to $25 million of shares of its Class A common stock, or such lesser number of shares of its Class A common stock as are properly tendered and not properly withdrawn, at a price not greater than $16.50 and not less than $14.50 per share of Class A common stock, to the tendering shareholder in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest (the “Offer”). Cumulus president and CEO Mary G. Berner says, “Following yesterday’s announcement of the board’s authorization of a $50 million share buyback program, we are launching this tender as a first step in our capital return plan. This action is underpinned by our strong financial and operating momentum, our continued belief that the company is significantly undervalued and our desire to allow shareholders who seek it the ability to take advantage of the liquidity we can provide them. It is also our expectation that, even with this tender offer, we will be below our target of 3.5x net leverage by year end with significant continuing liquidity and financial flexibility for accretive M&A.” Cumulus will conduct the Offer by means of a procedure commonly called a “modified Dutch auction.” This procedure allows shareholders to select the price, within a price range specified by Cumulus, and the number of shares they are willing to sell at that price (or, should a higher price be determined as the “purchase price,” such higher price). The Offer is being made under Cumulus’s previously announced $50 million share repurchase program.
Saga Communications Net Revenue Increases 12% in Q1 of 2022. For the first three months of 2022, Saga Communications, Inc. net revenue increased 12% to $25 million compared to $22.3 million for the same period in 2021. Station operating income increased 17.8% to $5.6 million and operating income was $1.7 million compared to $883,000 for same period a year ago. Saga reports net income of $1.2 million compared to net income of $758 thousand for Q1 of 2021. The company paid a quarterly dividend of $0.16 per share on April 8, 2022. The aggregate amount of the quarterly dividend was approximately $970 thousand. Additionally, the company paid a quarterly dividend of $0.16 per share and a special dividend of $0.50 per share on January 14, 2022. To date Saga has paid over $78 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012. Saga Communications reports that it had $55.2 million in cash on hand as of March 31, 2022.
Russia-Ukraine War Correspondent Gregg Stebben is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Veteran media editor/reporter Gregg Stebben is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Stebben is a former longtime editor of Men’s Health magazine who served 20 years as its radio spokesperson. He is currently reporting on a volunteer basis back to the U.S. via the beamz.live platform from Poland and Ukraine where he has been interviewing refugees and local citizens in both adjacent nations in addition to doing whatever he can to provide comfort and support to the frightened, displaced people in conjunction with international humanitarian groups. Harrison caught up with Stebben on the Ukrainian side of the border on May 2. They discuss the human element of the crisis and the catastrophic impact and escalating deadly potential of the war. Harrison states, “Not only is the information being gathered by Stebben of great value, he is a shining example of independent talk radio reporting in action serving as a one-man field unit reporting on the war while supporting Ukraine as a volunteer. I find his effort truly inspirational.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Premiere of 2,000 Mules Takes Place at Mar-a-Lago. The premiere of Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary film 2,000 Mules took place last night (5/4) at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida as former president Donald J. Trump presided over the event. The film was executive produced by Salem Media Group and a number of its current and former talk hosts appear in the documentary. Pictured above are (from l-r): D’Souza, Sebastian Gorka, Eric Metaxas, Trump, Larry Elder, Charlie Kirk, and Dennis Prager.
Triton Digital Streaming Metrics Ranker for March 2022 Released. The Streaming Metrics Ranker for the U.S. for March of this year has been released by Triton Digital. The ranker is based on Average Active Sessions and charts the top 25 performing digital audio publishers. For the daypart 6am-12am Mon-Sun, iHeartMedia leads the pack with 303,162 AAS. Some of the other radio-related companies appearing in the ranker include at #2 NPR Member Stations (81,035 AAS), #3 Audacy (69,281 AAS), #4 Cumulus Streaming Network (42,569 AAS), #7 Beasley Broadcasting Corporate (19,203 AAS), #8 Hubbard Broadcasting (15,233 AAS), #11 Salem Communications (9,591 AAS), #12 Urban One (8,577 AAS), and #13 Bonneville International 7,612 AAS). See the complete ranker here.
WCKG-AM, Chicago Owner Buying Time on WLS-AM to Reach Voters for U.S. Senate Campaign. Chicagoland radio station owner Matt Dubiel – whose company DuPage Radio LLC owns and operates talk outlet WCKG-AM, Elmhurst – is running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican and is taking an interesting tack in his campaign. He says in a press release that “in the spirit of former presidential candidate and businessman Ross Perot, Illinois businessman Matt Dubiel has purchased airtime on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890-AM.” He will host a two-hour show every Saturday afternoon from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm until the primary election on June 28. Dubiel adds, “Nothing can replace the reach of radio. I’m consistently being shadow-banned on social media, corporate media refuses to cover my campaign, and the issues we need to discuss like CRT/SEL in schools, medical freedom, and other hot topics are virtually banned on social platforms that censor We the People, in America! The Illinois GOP even has me blocked on Twitter, and I’m running on their ticket! Hosting my own show on the radio home of Bongino, Shapiro, and Levin will allow Dubiel to speak directly to the people. The people in every county across Illinois need to know they have a guy who will actually represent them for a change. I am looking forward to talking to ALL Illinoisians about the issues that matter to them.” The 45-year-old Dubiel says he began his career in radio at 17, interning for the legendary Steve Dahl. He worked his way up through the radio ranks in Chicago, serving as a producer and talent, before transitioning into management.
Jeff Katz Show Honored by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz (right) with Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (left) as the governor recognizes the 6th anniversary of Katz’s “Lt. Jan McTernan Blue Friday Honors Program” that pays tribute to Central Virginia police officers by highlighting their positive contributions.
TALKERS News Notes. Radio pro Jon Zaghloul is being promoted to sports director at DuPage Radio LLC’s WCKG-AM, Elmhurst, Illinois. In this new role, Zaghloul will continue to host his weekend program “Sports Talk Chicago” on the station. He says, “I am honored to be a part of this exciting new challenge with WCKG. Over the past two years with the station, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the chance to provide Chicagoans with hard-hitting sports opinions and insightful interviews. Now, it is time to expand our iconic brand, and I am actively on the hunt for both fresh, and established local sports talent to bolster our daily lineup.”…..Los Angeles Comic Con, partners with iHeartRadio to produce the podcast, “Comic Con Meta*Pod.” The show launched on Wednesday (5/4) with a “May the 4th Star Wars” special featuring “Mandalorian” actor Giancarlo Esposito, “Clone Wars” and “Bad Batch” composer Kevin Kiner, and more. The podcast is hosted by Hector Navarro and art/culture critic Joelle Monique…..Pictured below is “Florida Man Radio” afternoon drive host Shannon Burke (left) with former New York City police chief Bernard Kerik (right). Kerik appeared on Burke’s radio show on Wednesday (5/4) and the two discussed Kerik’s former police chief role in New York City, working with Donald Trump, the January 6 Committee, and more. “Florida Man Radio” is broadcast on WDYZ-AM/W288CJ, Orlando and WZLB-FM, Fort Walton Beach.
Roe v Wade Leak/Protests, Fed Raises Interest Rates/Economy, Midterm Primaries/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, and Dave Chapelle Attack Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4). The leak of a draft Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Roe v Wade and the protests taking place around the country; the Fed raises interest rates a half percent and the effect of high gas and food prices; the primary elections for November’s midterm races and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its effects on Europe and the global economy; Donald Trump Jr. sits for testimony before the January 6 committee; concerns about new Omicron variants causing a summer wave of infections; and Dave Chapelle is attacked while on stage at the Hollywood Bowl were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Radio One Swaps Frequencies in Charlotte; Sports Talk WFNZ Gets Full Market FM Signal. Charlotte sports talk WFNZ-AM is getting a full-market FM signal as Radio One swaps FM frequencies between WFNZ and hip hop/R&B “92.7 The Block.” WFNZ is now heard on WFNZ-FM at 92.7 (in addition to WFNZ-AM at 610) and “The Block” airs on FM translator W273DA at 102.5. Radio One Charlotte/Richmond regional VP Marsha Landess says, “Charlotte has continued to grow as a great sports city and Sports Radio WFNZ will continue to grow with it! Now on a more powerful FM signal, with continued live and local talent, we will be able to superserve more of our listeners and clients with broader market coverage on the FM dial.”
Audacy Unveils New Audacy Digital Audience Network. In an effort to present advertisers with a “high-performing audience solution,” Audacy launches the Audacy Digital Audience Network, “an addressable aggregate of over 60 million listeners that other audio platforms and streaming platforms do not reach.” Audacy says that each month, it connects with 200 million fans across its broadcast and digital assets. Over 60 million of these listeners can be found on ADAN across its streaming content, on the Audacy app and on its podcasts. Through this, ADAN can target precise audiences at scale and deliver high-performing digital audio media strategies for Audacy’s advertising partners.” The company says it “continues to provide exclusive content across news, sports, talk, music and podcasts that its listeners seek and trust as a daily habit. ADAN audiences skew more affluent, are more likely to be college educated and are more diverse – collectively bringing the highest value consumers to advertisers. ADAN provides an unduplicated reach to listeners that other audio platforms do not deliver.” Components of the Audience Network include over 230 of Audacy’s broadcast brands and thousands of podcasts. Exclusive stations, curated music stations from Audacy brands, talent and influencers and digital streams of MLB play-by-play broadcasts via flagship partnerships are also included in ADAN.
WWO Blog: AM/FM Radio, Print, and Podcast Ads Lead in Attentiveness. The Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group releases a new Media Attentiveness and Ad Skipping Report that incorporates several new studies that examine consumer attentiveness and concentration levels when using various media platforms, ad-skipping tendencies, and the reasons why listeners choose to use various audio platforms. Cumulus EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Our new Media Attentiveness and Ad Skipping Report demonstrates that AM/FM radio leads all media in advertising attentiveness with the lowest levels of ad skipping. Consumers also devote very high levels of concentration to podcasts since listeners actively seek them out to learn something new, which justifies premium CPMs for podcasts.” Some of the highlights of the report include: 1) Attention grows in importance among marketers and agencies: Nearly half of advertisers have discussed consumer attentiveness as a metric. Two out of three say it is important for measuring media investments; 2) Traditional media ads have greater engagement compared to digital ads: AM/FM radio, print, and podcast ads lead in attentiveness. Consumers skip social and digital ads the most; 3) Social media disconnect: Agencies/marketers overestimate consumer concentration of social media. Two consumer studies reveal social media has the lowest attentiveness of media platforms; 4) AM/FM radio CPMs should be a premium to Pandora and Spotify: Pandora/Spotify audio impressions are not the same as AM/FM radio impressions. The greater proportion of spoken word content on AM/FM radio generates much higher levels of concentration and attentiveness. The information and personalities of AM/FM radio satisfy consumer needs for information and connection. See the full blog post here.
KLIF-AM, Dallas Adds ‘Markley, van Camp & Robbins’ Show. The Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated news/talk program “Markley, van Camp and Robbins” is added to the program lineup at Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM, Dallas in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot. KLIF-AM program director Bruce Collins says, “These guys were just what we were looking for to add to KLIF’s lineup, news and information and a whole lot of laughs and fun. They understand entertaining radio.” The program stars Jamie Markley, David van Camp, and Scott Robbins. Van Camp says, I’m excited and honored to be on the legendary KLIF. Having spent several years in the Metroplex, being on that station means a lot to me. Many thanks to Bruce Collins, who’s been a great partner and supporter of the show from the beginning.”
Todd Starnes Speaks at CPAC 2022. Nationally syndicated talk radio host and best-selling author Todd Starnes was a featured speaker at last weekend’s CPAC 2022 in Orlando. In addition to appearing on the conference’s agenda, Starnes broadcast his national radio show from the CPAC radio row during which he interviewed former President Donald Trump and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (pictured here with Starnes).
KYW, Philadelphia Honors 2022 GameChangers. Pictured above are the recipients of the 2022 GameChangers honors from Audacy’s all-news KYW, Philadelphia. The annual GameChangers recognize people making a difference in communities of color around the Philadelphia region. This year’s honorees were recognized at a ceremony at Audacy’s Philadelphia headquarters on February 27. KYW Newsradio community impact reporter Racquel Williams, who has been highlighting the GameChangers honorees throughout February, hosted the ceremony. The 2022 recipients were nominated by members of the audience and selected by a panel of previous honorees. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “KYW Newsradio shines light on the stories of people from all backgrounds doing amazing things in our communities who might not otherwise get the recognition they deserve. That’s part of our mission 365 days a year, and we’re proud to award these meaningful honors to these outstanding community leaders during Black History Month.”
Cumulus Media’s WJR, Detroit Helps Raise $1.74 million for Salvation Army. Detroit news/talk WJR-AM helped raise more than $1.74 million for The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit during a 27-hour radio fundraiser that took place on February 24 and 25. The Cumulus Media station presented the 35th Annual Bed & Bread Club Radiothon as station personalities including Paul W. Smith (pictured here), Sean Baligian, Kevin Dietz, Lloyd Jackson, Chris Renwick, Mitch Albom, Ken Brown, Steve Courtney, Kevin O’Neill and Guy Gordon broadcast from The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Divisional Headquarters in Southfield, Michigan.
Norm Lewis to Perform at BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Dinner and Ceremony. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that this year’s entertainment for the Golden Mike Award Gala will be Broadway, film, and TV star Norm Lewis. Following a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the BFOA Golden Mike Award Dinner and Ceremony returns this year on Monday, March 14 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The annual event is the biggest fundraiser for the Broadcasters Foundation, whose sole mission is to provide financial aid to broadcasters in acute need from critical illness, accident, or serious misfortune. This year’s BFOA Golden Mike Award honoree will be Hilton Howell, Jr., chairman of the board and CEO of Gray Television and Atlantic American Corporation. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors a broadcaster who has made invaluable contributions to the television and radio industries. This year, it will be presented to renowned sportscaster Lesley Visser.
TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast starring Dennis Prager and Julie Hartman is joining the Salem Podcast Network. After reading Prager’s book, Still the Best Hope, Hartman – a senior at Harvard University – realized she actually held many conservative beliefs. She reached out to Prager, who was so impressed with her that he invited her on to his national talk show. Not long after, she sat in for him for all three hours of the show. Now, the two are launching a weekly podcast titled, “Dennis and Julie.” She says, “Finding Dennis’ work changed my life. I discovered the historic significance of the American value system and just how much our society today has come to be guided by the wrong principles. I hope that Dennis and I can make the world more understandable to our audience and impart to our listeners — especially those my age — how important it is to resist the far-left push that comes at them every day. I’m honored to work with Dennis and I’m grateful to Salem for trusting me with this opportunity.”…..CNN debuts three new podcasts. “Breaking News Alerts” – previously only available to smart speaker listeners – this audio version of CNN’s breaking news alerts offer podcast listeners a more contextualized understanding of breaking news. “Tug of War” takes listeners to the most volatile corners of the world to document some of the greatest power struggles of our time – a mission that now feels more relevant than ever – and offers historical, political, and social context for the Russia-Ukraine conflict. “Diversifying” – hosted by Delyanne Barros – presents insightful discussions about how the financial system can work for us, instead of against us. It creates a space for people who have traditionally been left out of conversations around personal finance, and who are often faced with the challenge of balancing cultural expectations against their own financial needs…..ESPN Audio says that the 2021 Share of Ear from Edison Research finds that ESPN Audio accounts for over half of all sports listening, at 53%, marking a nine percentage point increase in the same category from 2020. ESPN Audio was also shown to account for 63% of the digital sports listening space and 47% of the terrestrial sports audio space, both up a significant 8% points from 2020, respectively…..SiriusXM announces that Hope Solo, the World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist goalkeeper, will launch a new and original SiriusXM podcast, “Hope Solo Speaks,” that debuts across all podcast platforms March 2. Solo will discuss a variety of topics on her mind, including her relentless fight for women’s rights and gender equality, motherhood and family, changing trends in sports and much more. Solo will be joined on episodes of the podcast by guests from various walks of life including world-class athletes, artists, and influencers for candid conversations on their experiences, passions and topics of the day.
Russia’s Attack on Ukraine, COVID-19, State of the Union, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, UN Climate Report, and Sacramento Murder-Suicide Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). Russia’s continued attacks on the Ukraine and the rest of the world’s response; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and relaxing mask mandates; tonight’s State of the Union address by President Joe Biden; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the dire warning on the effects of climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and the murder of three children and their chaperone by the children’s father in a Sacramento church were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.