FOX News Media names a new advertising sales leadership team. Trey Gargano rises to EVP of ad sales, overseeing all FNM platforms, including FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, FOX News Digital, FOX News Audio, FOX Weather and FOX Nation. He takes over for Jeff Collins, who was recently elevated to president of the division for FOX Corporation. Additionally, Ryan Roelle is promoted to SVP of national sales where she will focus on endemic and national advertising in addition to leading linear and digital sales across the country. In making the announcement, Collins says, “Over the past four years, Trey’s vast knowledge and deep understanding of the news marketplace helped drive new revenue streams while Ryan has increased the effectiveness and performance of our endemic and national sales teams. Together, they will ensure continued growth across FOX News Media platforms and success for our valued partners.”
Just before Christmas, FOX News Media announced that two of its staffers had passed away. Director of Chicago bureau operations Adam Petlin passed away at 58 after a long illness. He was a FOX News original, starting with the company in August of 1996 as one of the first six field photographers hired. He led the first FOX camera crew on scene in downtown Manhattan on September 11th and captured the devastation that immediately unfolded that day, delivering the very news that changed the world to millions of viewers. The organization also lost Matt Napolitano, who passed away after a brief illness at age 33. Napolitano began his FOX career in 2015 as a writer for SiriusXM news channel FOX News Headlines 24/7. He soon became a sports reporter for the service and further excelled in that position. He also appeared on FOX Business Network’s “Cavuto Coast to Coast.”
FOX News Media promotes three senior executives on its digital leadership team. Jason Klarman is named chief digital and marketing officer and continues to report to CEO Suzanne Scott. Porter Berry is promoted to president, FOX News Digital and editor-in-chief, dually reporting to Klarman and FNM president & executive editor Jay Wallace on editorial. Lauren Petterson assumes Klarman’s former role as president of FOX Nation while also continuing as president of talent development and will relinquish her role as president of FOX Business Network. She reports dually to Scott on talent development and Klarman on FOX Nation. Jay Wallace assumes oversight of FBN and continues reporting to Scott. Additionally, Megan Albano is named EVP of morning programming & program development and Gavin Hadden is named SVP of FOX Nation. Suzanne Scott says, “As we move our thriving business forward, we are reimagining the roles of some of our most talented executives to solidify our incredibly successful digital platforms for further growth and expansion. Jason, Lauren, Porter, Megan, and Gavin are each uniquely suited for these positions, and I am confident they will grow each of their respective areas of FOX News Media to new heights.”
FOX Business Network brings Kelly Saberi aboard as a Chicago-based correspondent. She begins her new role later this month, replacing Grady Trimble who now serves as a Washington based correspondent for the network. Since 2021, Saberi has served as a reporter for “Good Day Austin” at FOX affiliate KTBC-TV, Austin. She got her start as a FOX News Media college associate in the summer of 2017 where she worked on “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”
SiriusXM and FOX News Media announce they have signed a new, longterm agreement for SiriusXM to continue carrying FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network and FOX News Headlines 24/7 exclusively across SiriusXM’s platforms. Additionally, FOX News On-Demand Audio will remain available on the SiriusXM app. FOX News Media president and executive editor Jay Wallace says, “We value our relationship with SiriusXM and are pleased to extend our broadcast agreement, ensuring their audience continued access to their favorite FOX News personalities and powerful primetime lineup.”
FOX News Media has an opportunity for a full-time news anchor for “FOX News Headlines 24/7” on SiriusXM. The company says, “As a radio news anchor, you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top-notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a day’s notice.” Requirements include at least five years’ experience as a news anchor and strong writing skills & audio editing experience. Find out more and apply here.
FOX News Media and Bret Baier agree to a multi-year contract extension that allows him to continue his roles as chief political anchor and anchor & executive editor of “Special Report.” Baier will continue to co-anchor 2024 election coverage and host “The Bret Baier Podcast” on FOX News Audio. President and executive editor Jay Wallace says, “We are thrilled to have Bret continue leading our political coverage as we head into the 2024 election season and beyond.” Baier has been the anchor of “Special Report” on FOX News Channel since January 2009, when he took over for the legendary Brit Hume who created and launched “Special Report” in 1998.
FOX Business’ Stuart Varney and Dana Perino will be joined by Univision’s Ilia Calderón in co-moderating the second Republican presidential primary debate on September 27 from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. It will be broadcast live on FOX Business Network, FOX News Channel and Univision. It will also be livestreamed via FOX Nation. FOX News Media president and executive editor Jay Wallace says, “We are very proud to have Stuart Varney and Dana Perino co-moderating the second debate with Univision to provide Americans with a comprehensive view of the qualifying candidates vying for the Republican nomination for president.”
FOX News Media says that according to data from Nielsen Media Research, its “Democracy 24: FOX News Republican Primary Debate” was the most-watched telecast in all of linear television, digital and streaming on Wednesday (8/23), averaging 12.8 million viewers and 2.8 million viewers in the 25-54 demo. That, FOX says, tops more than 70% of all presidential primary debates in the last two cycles (2016 and 2020).
SiriusXM announces it opens the 2023 college football season offering 87 live games during the week (8/26-9/4). SiriusXM says this slate includes games from every team from the Associated Press Top 25 poll, including the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs vs UT Martin; #13 Notre Dame vs Navy in Dublin, Ireland; and #5 LSU vs #8 Florida State.
OutKick’s signature programs “OutKick The Show with Clay Travis,” “Tomi Lahren Is Fearless” and “Gaines For Girls” officially launch on FOX News Media’s subscription streaming service FOX Nation. Outkick says more of its programs will be made available on FOX Nation in the coming months. OutKick founder Clay Travis says, “OutKick has seen rapid growth over the last two years and we are thrilled to begin streaming our authentic content with the loyal audience that FOX Nation has cultivated.”
FOX News is looking for a Freelance Radio Anchor to join the FOX News Audio family as on-air talent for FOX News Radio Network/FOX News Headlines 24/7 SiriusXM Channel 115. As the Freelance Radio Anchor, you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top-notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a day’s notice. See more and apply here.
FOX News Audio is looking for a motivated and creative Associate Producer/Writer. As an Associate Producer/Writer, you will write compelling and conversational copy on a wide variety of news topics. You have exceptional scriptwriting skills and impeccable grammar. Your news judgment is exemplary, and you have knowledge of and passion for current events and politics. You will need to work well under constant deadline pressure. The news content will be written and produced for our terrestrial syndication affiliates, affiliate website, digital audio streams and smart speaker platforms, and in addition on FOX News Headlines 24/7 platforms on SXM Radio. See more and apply here.
Two months after the controversial exit of prime time star Tucker Carlson from the FOX News Channel lineup, the cable news/talk channel announces its new prime time schedule that takes effect on July 17. Taking over the 8:00 pm ET hour formerly held by Carlson is Jesse Watters, who moves from the 7:00 pm hour. Laura Ingraham’s program moves from 10:00 pm to the 7:00 pm hour, and Greg Gutfeld’s show moves from 11:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Sean Hannity stays in the 9:00 pm slot, and “FOX News @ Night” with Trace Gallagher slides up one hour to start at 11:00 pm. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “FOX News Channel has been America’s destination for news and analysis for more than 21 years and we are thrilled to debut a new lineup. The unique perspectives of Laura Ingraham, Jesse Watters, Sean Hannity, and Greg Gutfeld will ensure our viewers have access to unrivaled coverage from our best-in-class team for years to come.”
FOX News Media is presenting the third installment of “The Senate Project” series on June 12 at 11:00 am ET from the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston and will feature Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in a forum moderated by FOX News Channel chief political anchor Bret Baier. The hour-long event will focus on a variety of topics, including foreign policy and homeland security.
Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces it is broadcasting every game of the Women’s College World Series beginning with the preliminary games on June 1 through the finals on June 9. The broadcast crews for the Women’s College World Series will feature Ryan Radtke and Chris Plank as play-by-play announcers; former Oklahoma and Team USA outfielder Destinee Martinez and Hall of Famer Leah (O’Brien) Amico.
WPHT, Philadelphia Midday Star Dom Giordano is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The “Dean of Philadelphia Talk Radio,” Dom Giordano is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Giordano is a former public school teacher considered one of the media’s leading advocates for education and activists for education reform. He has also been an outspoken voice of reason in the conversation about Philadelphia’s alarming crime, drug and homelessness problems. Harrison and moderate conservative Giordano take a deep-dive into these topics in addition to discussing fascinating post-midterms Pennsylvania politics as well as the strong possibility that the GOP and news/talk radio are approaching a major fork in the road regarding their support of baggage-laden Donald Trump versus rising new Republican stars such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Don’t miss this eye-opening conversation! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 177)
Skippy Leaves KMJ-AM/FM Fresno After Three Years Co-Hosting Afternoons. The Fresno Bee reports that Frances Echeverria – a.k.a. Skippy (right) – has left Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno. After leaving alternative rock KFRR-FM’s morning show in 2019, she joined KMJ-AM/FM to host the afternoon drive show alongside Philip Teresi (left). But on Friday (11/11), she announced that she’s retiring from radio. She told her audience, “The station has meant more for me personally that I can ever explain.” Echeverria called the change a lifestyle change, as much as a career change. The Bee notes that she wrote in a post on the website, “I didn’t want to do radio anymore. It wasn’t that it was bad. In fact, the chemistry with my partner was continually evolving into something better. I had good bosses. I felt like I was making a difference, whatever that means. Working there made me smarter. And yet I was done. Deep in my heart and down in my soul. Done.” Echeverria also works as a therapist and is a professor at Fresno State.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 178)
FOX News Media Extends Deal with Mark Levin. Talk media personality Mark Levin and FOX News Media agree to an extension of Levin’s current multi-year deal in which he’ll remain host of “Life, Liberty & Levin” that airs Sunday nights at 8:00 pm ET on FOX News Channel. Levin says, “FOX News Channel and I are extending my show. Suzanne Scott trusted that I could do a show and I want to thank her and her team and all the folks in between who’ve supported this. I want to thank you. I want to thank FOX. I want to thank my family.” FOX News Media says “Life, Liberty & Levin” is the second highest-rated cable news program on weekends, averaging 1.7 million viewers on Sundays at 8:00 pm for 2022 to date. “With Levin at its helm, the show’s total audience almost triples CNN’s programming in the timeslot and nearly quadruples MSNBC’s total and A25-54 demo viewership. In October 2022, the program earned 1.6 million viewers and 127,000 in the demo, making it the number one program in weekend primetime programming.”
WNYC Produces Podcast Series Titled ‘The Divided Dial’ That Focuses on Salem Media Group. The latest news organization to present a report on news/talk radio is WNYC. In this case, the project from WNYC Studio’s On The Media is a five-part podcast titled, “The Divided Dial,” that “charts the growth of broadcasting company Salem Media Group.” WNYC says Salem is “a once small, conservative Christian radio network that quietly expanded their reach in far-right media through the hard to monitor, difficult to fact check, and minimally scrutinized medium of talk radio. With holdings of over 100 radio stations (many in the top 25 markets) and shows syndicated to over 3,000 stations across the country, the series uncovers how Salem exerts influence behind many conservative figures in America — while receiving considerably less media attention than other far-right news sources. The series also puts Salem’s growth in the context of nearly nine decades of radio history, illuminating how conservative dominance of the airwaves was aided by long-term regulatory erosion and strategic pressure from the right.” The project is reported and hosted by Katie Thornton and includes conversations with scholars, journalists, and media experts, as well as a “rare on-the-record” interview with Salem SVP Phil Boyce. You can find the first podcast in the series here.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 179)
LABF Celebrates ‘Industry Trailblazers’ at ‘Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts’ Event. The 2022 Library of American Broadcasting Foundation’s “Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts” event took place last night (11/15) at Gotham Hall in New York. The annual event was hosted by ABC News’ “Nightline” co-anchor Juju Chang and celebrated “distinguished individuals who have – for the past century – been the creators, innovators, journalists, leaders, performers, and producers that have brought the electronic arts to the prominence they occupy in the United States and the world today, and who have set the stage for the future.” Net proceeds from the event will benefit the Library of American Broadcasting collection located at the University of Maryland and support LABF awards for students and scholarly works about the history of broadcasting and their impact on American society and culture. Pictured above are: (standing, l-r) Chang; Jack Goodman, LABF co-chair; Adam Symson, president & CEO, E.W. Scripps; Bob Pittman, chairman & CEO, iHeartMedia; Pete Williams, justice correspondent, NBC News (ret.); Sean McManus, chairman, CBS Sports; Joyce Tudryn, IRTS president & CEO; Heidi Raphael, LABF co-chair; Fareed Zakaria, CNN anchor, author, columnist, The Washington Post; (sitting l-r) Alex Prud’homme; Deb McDermott, CEO, Standard Media Group; S. Epatha Merkerson, actress; and Bud Walters, president, Cromwell Media. Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross
TALKERS News Notes. A new content distribution deal between VSiN, The Sports Betting Network and Gow Media will put VSiN’s longform sports betting shows and Brent Musburger’s one minute “Action Updates” on Gow Media’s SportsMap network. VSiN says it expects the deal to more than double its terrestrial radio affiliates. Gow Media CEO David Gow says, “We are thrilled to be working with VSiN. VSiN has set the standard for sports gambling content. Through this content distribution deal, we will bring together some of the most influential personalities in sports radio to entertain and inform our combined audiences.” VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musberger adds, “David Gow has created a powerhouse in the U.S. radio industry, and we couldn’t be more excited to be his choice to deliver real-time sports betting news, analysis and insights to the growing SportsMap radio audience.”…..CNN Audio announces that Matt Martinez joins the network as showrunner for “The Assignment with Audie Cornish” – CNN’s newest weekly podcast premiering tomorrow (11/17). Previously, Martinez was a senior producer at On Being Studios, producing radio shows and podcasts for “On Being with Krista Tippett.” He was also the director of content at KNKX Public Radio in Tacoma.
Colorful Radio Station Owner Michael Zwerling Announces That He Is Offering Heritage Talker KSCO, Santa Cruz for Sale. According to an extensive article published by the Times Publishing Group, Inc. of California’s Central Coast (and an advertising campaign in TALKERS) legendary broadcasting industry owner and personality Michael “MZ” Zwerling is offering KSCO and associated properties for sale after a 31-year stint at the operation’s helm. The article states, Michael Zwerling has been in love with KSCO since he was a high school kid broadcasting Santa Cruz High On The Air in the mid-1960s. As the station owner since 1991, he’s created a radio station that’s a voice for pretty much everyone. But now, at 71 — his birthday was Nov. 9 — he has a new love in his life, Amy Hao, co-host of the “China Watch” show on KSCO and a veteran traveler, and he wants to spend his time traveling with her. The couple, who met in 2019, are “totally into free speech,” Zwerling said. They recently returned from a two-week safari in Africa. “Amy’s not happy unless she’s traveling, and she wants to take me to all these places,” Zwerling said. That’s why he’s looking for a buyer for KSCO 1080 AM and its FM translators, along with sister station KOMY 1340, and the one-acre of flat land at 2300 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, overlooking Corcoran Lagoon. The asking price is $1.5 million cash for the two radio stations and the broadcasting business. The asking price is $6 million cash for the property, which includes the Art Deco studio building, garage, parking lot, concrete event patio, plus the three broadcast towers in the lagoon, which give the 10-kilowatt station the power of a 50-kilowatt station on dry land, according to Zwerling. To read the entire story, please click here. Photo: KSCO GM Michael Olson standing in front of KSCO’s historic Art Deco studios along Silicon Beach in Santa Cruz, CA. Times Publishing Group.
Trump Announces ’24 Bid, Midterms Aftermath, The Economy/FTX Collapse, Immigration, Abortion, Biden-Xi Meeting, G-20/Russia-Ukraine War, Trump Org Trial, and NASA’s Artemis Launches Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/15). Former President Donald Trump announces his run for president in 2024; the aftermath of the midterm elections, including the Republicans’ expected control over the U.S. House and Rick Scott’s challenging Mitch McConnell as top Republican in the U.S. Senate; the rate of inflation, concerns about a recession, and the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX; a judge halts the use of Title 42 to expel migrants from the U.S.; Georgia’s strict abortion ban is struck down in court; the meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping; the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia and its condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; former Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg testifies at the company’s fraud trial; and NASA launches its Artemis rocket that re-boots the U.S. moon program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
The Radio Sales Arena is Changing and We Are On the Leading Edge. The key to sales growth in radio going forward is multi-platform digital marketing. In the coming decade, “radio” will simply be the engine driving an increasingly complex and sophisticated array of digitally powered platforms creating endless packages and options for the advertiser. The keys to success will be in branding that cuts through the noise and surgical targeting that delivers optimum efficiency for agencies that know exactly what they want. The Salem Media Group is leading the way and the opportunities for our sales team are endless. But, right now, we need that special individual who has the tools, the vision and the ambition to get it done. That one special person who truly “gets it.” Jerry Crowley, the longest-running GM in the nation’s largest market, says, “We want one outstanding seller who can take it to the moon! Compensation will reflect potential and performance – salary will range from 50k- 85k plus substantial bonuses and generous commissions.” Candidates should send cover letter and resume to Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, Salem Media Group, NY (WMCA 570am The Mission/WNYM 970am The Answer) at Jcrowley@nycradio.com.
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 “Turbulence” looks back at this past week of 9/12 to 9/16. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Holland Cooke, media consultant; Lynn Woolley, talk show host, KJCE, Austin; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Graham Mack, broadcaster/journalist, London. 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.
New Jersey Child Psychologist Sues Bill Spadea and Townsquare Media for Defamation and More. In a civil suit filed in New Jersey Superior Court, psychologist Steven Tobias is suing WKXW-FM,Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning drive talk host Bill Spadea, the station, and Townsquare Media for defamation, business disparagement, and more. In the complaint Tobias says that he’d appeared on “New Jersey 101.5” numerous times over the years as an expert guest and, when the pandemic began, he appeared a number of times to offer advice on how to assist children struggling with wearing masks as well as with returning to school after remote learning. Tobias says he agreed to appear on Spadea’s program on September 21, 2021 after Spadea’s producer assured him he would not be pressured into taking a stand on whether children should wear masks and that his appearance would not be politicized. Tobias claims that after his appearance, Spadea launched a “vicious attack on him personally and professionally.” He says Spadea called him a “crackpot” and said Tobias “should literally be indicted for child abuse,” and more. Tobias says the attacks have damaged his reputation and his business, the Center for Child and Family Development. Tobias is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, and more. Bill Spadea did not immediately respond to TALKERS’ request for comment on the lawsuit.
Dave Ramsey Presents Building Wealth Events to Sellout Crowds in Phoenix. Pictured above on stage at Central Christian Church in Mesa, Arizona is Ramsey Solutions’ Dave Ramsey presenting his Building Wealth live event before a sold-out audience. Ramsey Solutions says that retirement is the number one long-term savings goal among Americans, but according to the latest edition of The State of Personal Finance study by Ramsey Solutions, inflation and the cost of living are the two biggest factors impacting people’s savings plans. The report also found that nearly 60% of respondents said they worry about their general finances daily, and about half have lost sleep in the last three months due to financial worries. Partnering with local affiliate KTAR-FM, Ramsey Solutions produced the event on September 12 and 13. Each night included presentations from Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Cruze and other Ramsey Personalities, including Dr. John Delony, Ken Coleman and George Kamel. Dave Ramsey states, “The reality is, you work too hard to feel this broke. In hard economic times and in good economic times, you have to prepare for your financial future. From my 30 years on the radio, I’ve seen over and over that real millionaires follow a proven plan for their money. This event will show you it’s possible for you too.”
Michael Biondo Promoted at iHeartMedia. The company promotes Michael Biondo to the position president of business development and strategic partnerships, effective immediately. He has been serving the company as EVP, strategic business operations of the iHeartMedia Networks Group. In his new role, Biondo will “oversee the evolution of iHeartMedia’s partnerships and deals with key companies across iHeartMedia’s field of view – from tech startups to established automotive companies, from the entertainment industry to international distribution.” iHeartMedia Digital Group CEO Conal Byrne states, “Mike has had a long, varied career at iHeartMedia, and has gained experience and wisdom across a diverse set of priorities, vendors and partners. With Mike in this new role, our company will be even better prepared to approach the market in a thoughtful, streamlined, strategic manner every day, and in every conversation.”
FOX News Media Names Jennifer Griffin Chief National Security Correspondent. Journalist Jennifer Griffin inks a new, multi-year deal with FOX News Media to serve as FOX News Channel’s chief national security correspondent. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “Jennifer is one of the industry’s premier journalists and has proven to be an indispensable asset on a consequential beat with unrivaled experience spanning more than three decades in multiple war zones. We are extremely proud that she will continue her incredible career at FOX News Media.” Griffin adds, “It has been an honor to provide viewers with trusted reporting from the Pentagon and across the world on issues that are paramount to all of us – the security and safety of our fellow citizens and allies. I am looking forward to continuing to inform the FOX News audience alongside the best journalists in the business.”
Colleen Grant Upped to Metro President for iHeartMedia Detroit. Management and sales pro Colleen Grant is named metro president for iHeartMedia Detroit. Grant has been serving the cluster as SVP of sales. The Detroit market is home to WDFN-AM “BIN Black Information Network” and five music brands. iHeartMedia division president Tom McConnell comments, “Colleen has been instrumental to the success in Detroit. She has created a culture of high performance, accountability and respect and is the perfect choice to lead the Detroit market.” Grant also served as the region vice president of automotive for iHeartMedia’s Detroit Region, and as co-host of iHeartMedia Detroit’s public service program, “Light Up the D.” She says, “This is a childhood dream come true for me. Having a father who was the general manager of television stations, I’d always wanted to oversee stations as he did. I saw the care for people it required, the creativity necessary to generate growth, and his commitment to the community. These are the things I plan to bring to this opportunity, and I couldn’t be more excited to do it.”
Politics and Elections Tie for Top News/Talk Story This Week. The combination of politics and the last of the primary elections before the November midterms was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the state of the U.S. economy tied with the averted rail strike, followed by former President Donald Trump’s legal issues 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.
Pioneering Broadcaster, Anti-Ageism Activist and TALKERS Principal Carole Marks Dies at 86. The longtime host of the groundbreaking, upper-demo syndicated radio talk show, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups,” Carole Marks Scott of Mystic, CT passed away this past Sunday (8/7) at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, CT. She was 86. Ms. Marks was the host and founder of the groundbreaking and long-running upper-demo-targeted radio talk show, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups” and a principal in Talk Media, Inc., the parent company of TALKERS – a partner in both ventures with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison and radio executive Shelley McBreairty. Ms. Marks graduated from Oxford School and attended Connecticut College. She had four children. As a newly single mature woman, she went back to school and earned her college degree from the University of New Haven when three of her four children were adults. She found her passion as director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of New London. In that position, Ms. Marks was interviewed in the media about issues concerning senior citizens on WSUB, New London and was invited to start her own radio show, “Senior Focus with Carole Marks” in the mid-nineties. The idea of a radio show aimed at an older demographic was unique at the time, and upon joining forces with Michael Harrison as her partner and co-host, her show was syndicated nationally with a new name, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups.” The show ran for two decades accruing thousands of listeners and establishing Ms. Marks as one of America’s leading experts on upper demographic issues as well as a champion in the battle against ageism. She waged a relentless campaign on a number of media fronts to make, as she put it, “the lives of the 50-plus generation as meaningful, fulfilling and as productive as possible.” Her mission was to counter negative senior stereotypes and she spoke before civic groups, professional associations, and industry conventions all across the country as a supporter of the group she liked to call “seasoned citizens.” At its peak, “A Touch of Grey” was heard on more than 50 stations across America, including at different times, New York City’s WOR, WABC and WNYM. Her guests included the biggest names in health care, politics, sports and the arts, including presidents of the United States. She boldly tackled such problems as the rising cost of prescription drugs, the future of Social Security and Medicare, challenges facing the “sandwich generation” who must take care of young adult children on one side and elderly parents on the other, planning retirement during difficult economic times, the best ways to choose a nursing home, safe and effective ways to diet and exercise, understanding leading edge technology, and countless other subjects. Ms. Marks would often take her show on the road and broadcast live from such diverse places as the United States Senate Office Building, the jungles of Africa, the Taj Mahal, the North American Orient Express, or a glacier in Antarctica. She was proudest of being in the White House press room and on Air Force One with President Obama. She said, “I want people to know that just because you’ve put on a few years doesn’t mean you can’t go out and explore the world and life, and, most importantly, continue to learn and grow.” Travel became a second passion, as she went on worldwide trips to all seven continents and had a map in her kitchen showing all of the places she had visited, including Dharamshala, India where she met the Dalai Lama. In 2004, Ms. Marks found love again and was married for the second time, to J Irving Bird Scott. In 2005. She wrote the book Modern Aging: A Guide for Seasoned Citizens to Achieve Health, Happiness and Purpose (Talkers Books 2005). TALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “Carole was one of the finest human beings I have had the privilege to know in my life. Her role as my friend and business partner were invaluable in contributing to the longevity and success of our media enterprises. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, as well as a consequential thought-leader, businesswoman, humanitarian and philanthropist who supported numerous public service organizations and non-profits.” Her business partner Shelley McBreairty adds, “Carole was more than a beloved colleague and source of guidance and inspiration. She treated me and my daughters as a mother and a grandmother. We all love her dearly.” A public celebration of life for Carole Marks Scott will be announced in the near future. In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation to The Garde Arts Center, 325 State Street New London, CT 06320, or Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, 365 Montauk Avenue, New London, CT 06320.
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, “Vic or Perp?” looks back at this past week of 8/8 to 8/12. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Dr. Murray Sabrin, emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College, NJ; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/founder, Scamicide.com; Greta Van Susteren, talk show host, Newsmax TV; Martha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; and Holland Cooke, media consultant. 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.
Round Four of July PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s July 2022 sweep covered June 23 – July 20. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM is steady with an 8.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that keeps it locked in the #3 rank, while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF is up one-tenth for a 1.8 share good for the #15 rank. Although it sheds 1.5 shares, Emmis’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis remains ranked #2 after posting a 7.9 share. The news/talk battle in Milwaukee flips as iHeartMedia’s WISN leaps into the #1 rank after adding nine-tenths for a 9.9 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ drops 1.8 shares, finishes with a 9.6 share and falls to #2. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville dips seven-tenths for a 6.2 share finish that drags it from #4 to #6, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WLAC rises eight-tenths to a 2.5 share good for the #13 rank. In West Palm Beach, Hubbard Broadcasting’s news/talk WFTL spikes by 2.4 shares for a 3.4 share finish that moves it from #13 to #7, while iHeartMedia’s talk WZZR dips three-tenths to a 2.1 share good for the #10 rank and sister news/talk WJNO rises three-tenths to a 1.7 share and the #11 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.
RTDNA Announces 2022 National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. The Radio Television Digital News Association announces the national winners of the 2022 Edward R. Murrow Awards in recognition of outstanding work in digital, radio and television journalism in technical and editorial categories. RTDNA president and CEO Dan Shelley says, “The Edward R. Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious in journalism. More than 750 Regional Murrow winners advanced to the national competition, and over the past few months, an expert panel of journalists has meticulously reviewed and deliberated over every entry. That’s why I’m confident in saying today’s winners represent the absolute best of the best. So, let me be the first to say congratulations to our newest National Edward R. Murrow Award winners.” RTDNA chair Allison McGinley adds, “Thank you to every journalist who played a role in the pieces that were submitted. Not everyone can be a Murrow Award winner, but all of you make a difference in your communities. Thank you for the work you do.” See all the winners here.
LATimes: No One Listens to Sports Talk Radio in L.A. Why the People in Charge Aren’t Worried. Los Angeles Times writer Bill Shaikin looks at the question of why Los Angeles – of all the major markets – has the lowest listenership to sports talk radio, according to Nielsen Audio ratings. In the piece, Shaikin talks to WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” afternoon drive hosts Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti – and others – about why East Coast cities like Boston and Philadelphia have huge sports talk listener audiences while Los Angeles pales in comparison. Read his story here.
TALKERS News Notes. The new permanent host of FOX News Channel’s “FOX News Sunday” program is Shannon Bream. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says Bream – the first woman to host the 26-year-old program – will start on September 11. She will continue as the network’s chief legal correspondent. Scott says, “Shannon is an outstanding journalist, reporter and anchor who has cultivated a strong and enduring relationship with the FOX News Media audience.”…..The National Sports Network is partnering with in USA Radio Network to offer a slate of NCAAfootball games for radio stations. Beginning the schedule this season is the September 3 game Alabama vs Utah State. Other September games include Tennessee at Pitt and Oklahoma at Nebraska. See the whole schedule here…..iHeartMedia Nashville is presenting the 20th annual Wine on the River event on September 10. This year, the funds raised will go to The DISTRICT’s initiative 2ndavestrong, which helps restore the vitally important historic district of 2nd Avenue. The initiative was created in response to the damage resulting from the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville in 2020. News/talk WLAC and its sister stations are promoting the event…..WBUR, Boston unveils its fall season for CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center, “a state-of-the-art live event venue for cutting-edge conversations, adventurous art and innovative ideas. Bringing WBUR’s journalism alive on stage, CitySpace conversations feature some of the nation’s leading thinkers on timely topics such as the changing media landscape, the state of national politics, climate change and the challenges of American motherhood.”
FBI Raid/Trump Legal Issues Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 8-12. The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago as well as his legal battle with the State of New York combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics and the week’s primary elections, followed by urban crime, gun control, and policing issues 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.