Industry News

Michael Harrison Appointed Executive Advisor to UNESCO for the UN’s Celebration of World Radio Day 2024

TALKERS founder and longtime radio programming pioneer Michael Harrison has been appointed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to the position of Executive Advisor for the 2024 presentation of World Radio Day (WRD), celebrated each year on February 13.

The theme of the 2024 celebration is Radio: A century informing, entertaining and educating.  

Harrison issued the following statement: “In an era marked by the dizzying speed of technological innovation and the rapid obsolescence of one shiny new platform after another, radio is beginning its second century of service as one of the most dependable and widely-utilized forms of media in the world. WRD’s mission in 2024 will be to shine a broad floodlight on radio’s remarkable past, relevant present and promise of a dynamic future. The opportunity provided by the 100-year-plus milestone of radio along with the medium’s endorsement by the United Nations begs to be trumpeted at full volume. I am honored and invigorated at this delicate time in history to be able to participate in helping to celebrate this glorious, iconic medium on a global level.”

UNESCO has posted the following statement: “For many generations, radio has remained the most far reaching, easily accessible communication medium that informs and entertains all sectors of society. While in some regions it has been used to fuel hatred, divisions and conflicts, a lot of progressive legislation and regulatory mechanisms have been passed in many countries resulting in radio that broadcasts balanced news, programs and practices independent journalism in general.”

The statement continues: “Over the years radio practitioners have received training to improve their professionalism and adapt to changing editorial and ethical demands as well as technological developments especially radio’s incorporation into new popular digital platforms. Increasing access to reliable information and reaching audiences in remotest parts of countries in different languages, regardless of literacy levels, have been some of the greatest attributes of radio, still to be surpassed by any other media.”

Every year, UNESCO offers radios stations copyright-free material and suggests some ideas that radio stations could include following the annual themes decided by the WRD Committee, such as special radio shows and audios, open house, broadcast exchanges and increased listener interaction, among others.  Harrison will play a key role in facilitating these processes for 2024.

While UNESCO coordinates World Radio Day activities at a global level, UN member countries, through their radio stations and media stakeholders, celebrate the day in a variety of ways they see fit, including offerings of some optional 13 program ideas offered by UNESCO, information, news, audio and video resources every year.

Harrison will be reaching out to radio industry leaders worldwide to, as he says, “Do our best to raise awareness of radio’s ongoing importance and value and help the broader industry achieve that worthy goal, integrating into the new technology and social norms of this remarkable new era.”

Industry News

Outkick Celebrates YouTube Growth

Sports media platform OutKick announces that its YouTube subscriptions rose more than 140% from March to April 2023. Outkick also says it enjoyed a record month of video views on YouTube with 284.2 million – up 909% versus March 2023, according to Shareable. Additionally, the platform finished April 2023 ahead of itsim custom competitive set in year-over-year growth across multiplatform unique visitors, page views, and minutes spent, according to data from Comscore. OutKick delivered over 8 million multiplatform total unique visitors, up 394% year-over-year, 32 million multiplatform total views, and 36 million multiplatform total minutes. OutKick founder Clay Travis says, “OutKick continues to be the only platform that drives the sports, culture, and political intersection and that separates us from the rest of the field. Our authentic and unfiltered reporting across the board is unmatched which is a direct result of the significant increases we’re seeing every month.”

Industry News

Beasleys Honored by B+C Hall of Fame

Beasley Media Group late company founder George Beasley and his daughter, CEO Caroline Beasley, were among the inductees honored at the 2023 Broadcasting + Cable Hall of Fame Gala on Wednesday (5/3) in New York City. Caroline Beasley (pictured at right accepting the honors) says, “It is very humbling to be aim part of such an outstanding class of inductees. The only thing better would have been to have my late father, George, by my side, to accept this incredible honor together in person.” Other inductees included Deborah Roberts, ABC News national senior affairs correspondent, and contributing anchor of 20/20, and her husband Al Roker, weather and feature anchor and co-host of the third hour of NBC’s “Today Show,” Matt Bond, chairman, content distribution, NBCUniversal; Ray Cole, president and chief operating officer, Citadel Communications; Frank Comerford, CRO and president, local sales, NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships; Ray Hopkins, president, U.S. Networks Distribution, Paramount Global; Wonya Lucas, CEO, Hallmark Media; Soledad O’Brien, CEO of SO’B Productions and host/producer of “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien”; and Rachael Ray, TV food personality and host of “The Rachael Ray Show.” In addition, Jim Nantz of CBS Sports received the Lifetime Achievement Award and AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was named the Iconic Series for 2023. Late past president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America, Jim Thompson, was posthumously honored with the Chairman’s Award for his career achievements and tireless dedication to helping broadcasters in need.