Industry News

Talk Media Industry Mourns Loss of “Popular Guest” Joe Lieberman

The death of former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) yesterday (3/27) at the age of 82 sparked a wave of sad reaction across the talk media industry where he was fondly remembered as one of the most popular political guests during the height of his public career during the 90s and the first decade of the 2000s. During the turn of the century, he boldly straddled the boundaries between left and rightim ideology on an issue-by-issue basis – although infuriating his fellow Democrats on many an occasion. After leaving the Senate in 2012, he withdrew somewhat from the political spotlight to serve as an attorney in private practice and a college professor but remained outspoken on issues of politics and public policy. His most recent activities included founding the No Labels Group which condemns what Lieberman described as the “partisan polarization of our politics which prevents us from making the principled compromises on which progress in a democracy depends.” Lieberman said, “We need bipartisan leadership to break the gridlock in Washington that will unleash all the potential that is in the American people.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison had the opportunity to get to know Joe Lieberman very well while serving as a talk show host on Connecticut’s leading talk station, WTIC, Hartford in the early 1990s. Harrison states, “Joe Lieberman was always available at a moment’s notice to appear on the air with me during those golden days of talk radio’s modern era and it was apparent to me – as well as talk show hosts across the nation – that he wasn’t your ‘run of the mill politician’ who put party over country and avoided answering the tough questions. There was a profound honesty in his words and tone that inspired confidence, among even those who disagreed with him, that they were talking to a very solid, principles-based man.” Harrison continues, “Talk show hosts on both sides of the political divide loved him for his warmth, candor and accessibility.” Harrison concludes, “Al Gore would have been better served during his run for the presidency to have let Joe have freer reign over his media availability during the campaign, something the VP failed to do. Every request for Joe to be a guest – many of which were squashed – had to go through the Gore campaign which turned off a lot of Joe’s friends and admirers in both radio camps.”

In 2018, during the midpoint of the Donald Trump presidency, Michael Harrison scored a rare and illuminating interview with Joe Lieberman for his podcast and various platforms (including a “reunion” on WTIC).  Click here to listen. WABC, New York talk show host Frank Morano interviewed the former senator this past Friday (3/22) which is most likely his last radio interview.  Click here to listen.

Industry Views

Michael Harrison: The Future of Radio Depends Upon What Those of Us in the Business Make It

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TALKERS founder Michael Harrison appeared as a guest Wednesday on Frank Morano’s “The Other Side of Midnight” show (3/13) as part of his current “Scammers” interview tour promoting the new Gunhill Road “Damn Scammers (Get Off My Phone)” music video (www.scammersvideo.com). The conversation illuminated Harrison’s concerns about the rapid spread of scamming and fraud in the digital space but quickly expanded to a discussion about the pros and cons of AI and an existential look at the future of the radio platform itself.

Regarding the insidious growth of scams on the internet, Harrison said, “It is a major problem up there with terrorism, inflation, street crime, pandemics, uncontrolled immigration, and war… it’s corroding the quality of our lives, lowering the bar on integrity, and raising the level of disingenuousness that is becoming a ‘normal’ part of our culture.” Harrison attributes a major part of the problem to legislators being behind the curve on this, stating, “Historically, it takes time for legislation to catch up to changes in technology… now that technology is changing so rapidly it’s increasingly difficult for legislators to keep up with it. In many cases they don’t even have a clue as to how the internet operates.”

Regarding the issue of AI stealing jobs from broadcasters – particularly talent – going forward, Harrison was blunt: “Just like all technology, AI is a double-edged sword and can be dangerous.  But in the case of art, people have always accused new technologies in art as somehow being fake and ‘cheating’ but history has consistently shown that today’s technology is tomorrow’s art. Regarding the loss of jobs for radio talent, it all depends on what you bring to the table. If you are a basic announcer, meaning you read most of your content from a script or apply a very limited range of verbiage such as time, temperature, news and the simple intros and outros of songs – watch out, you will likely lose your job. But if you’re a talk show host, analyst, interviewer, or commentator – all you have to do is work a little harder… you have to be even more original. AI can only draw upon and synthesize what’s already out there. You’ll have to stay ahead of the AI learning curve. All AI can actually do is realistically recreate monologues and dialogue that are in the category of worn-out talking points. If that’s what you are currently doing on the air, you’ll be replaced by AI and no one will notice.”

Regarding the future of radio and its ongoing viability in the digital era, Harrison said that it depends on whether those of us in the industry actively create radio’s relevant future or abandon it out of fear or simple lack of ideas. Harrison warned, “The use of ‘audio’ as a description of this medium is short-sighted. Radio is an esthetic… complex and organic. All radio is audio but not all audio is radio. Putting up a sign on radio calling it audio would be like owning a restaurant and calling it ‘food’ or a specific brand car dealership and calling it ‘transportation.’” Listen to the interview here

Industry News

Frank Morano Added to KMOX, St. Louis Lineup

Red Apple Audio Networks nationally syndicated overnight talk host Frank Morano’s program is added to the nightly lineup at Audacy’s heritage news/talk KMOX, St. Louis. “The Other Side of Midnight with Frank Morano” airs on the station from 1:00 am to 5:00 am. KMOX brand manager Steve Mooreim states, “We are excited to air ‘The Other Side of Midnight with Frank Morano.’ We were looking for a live, informative, interactive and entertaining show that will rekindle the joy of overnight radio.” Morano comments, “I’m excited to join the KMOX lineup and bring live programming to overnights in St. Louis. St. Louis is a terrific market and KMOX is a legendary talk station, with an incredible audience and history that goes back nearly a century. I’m looking forward to being a big part of their history when the chapter on their next century is written. We’re going to have a blast.”

Industry News

WABC, New York’s Frank Morano Interviews George Santos

In what is believed to be his only talk radio interview to date since being removed from Congress, formerim Republican New York 3rd Congressional District representative George Santos appeared on Frank Morano’s “The Other Side of Midnight” program on Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York. Santos tells Morano that he’s writing a book that will detail everything that’s happened to him during his time in Congress. Morano tells TALKERS Santos “went off on his colleagues, says he’s making a ton of money on Cameo and will one day return to Congress.” Listen to the interview here.

Industry News

Michael Harrison Says AI is One of the Most Important Talk Topics of Our Times

TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has kicked off a nationwide guesting tour of talk shows promoting discussion of the upside and downside of AI in conjunction with the release of the new song, “I Got a Line in New York City,” by the long-established classic rock group, Gunhill Road. Harrison performs lead vocals on the track performed with band members Steve GoldrichPaul Reisch and Brian Koonin. The music video of the song (produced by Harrison’s son and TALKERS associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison) has been described as a computer’s “fever dream about the Big Apple.” Although the music is totally organic, all of the visual graphics on the video have been assisted in their creation by generative artificial intelligence. Harrison says, “There’s huge interest in the topic of AI including the existential issues of its potential impact on our species. In the art community, debate is raging over whether AI enhances originality and creativity or if it is ushering in the death of individual artists and the role they play in the humanities.” See that video here.

Harrison launched the tour late last week appearing on the Rich Valdes show on Westwood One and has subsequently appeared on network programs hosted by Doug Stephan, Dr. Daliah Wachs, and WABC’s Frank Morano, as well as Harry Hurley on WPG, Atlantic City,  Todd Feinburg on WTIC-AM, Hartford and Michael Zwerling on KSCO, Santa Cruz.  WOR, New York has posted the video and an  accompanying story here.

To book Michael Harrison please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or email info@talkers.com

Industry News

McIntyre Appears on Frank Morano’s WABC Show

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Former longtime late-night radio personality Doug McIntyre – along with his wife, actress and poet Penny Peyser – appeared live on Frank Morano’s “The Other Side of Midnight” show on WABC, New York on Tuesday (8/15). McIntyre, who launched the original version of the nationally syndicated overnight “Red Eye Radio” program, is in New York promoting his new novel Frank’s Shadow (Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2023). Today (8/16), Morano will moderate a Q&A with McIntyre at his appearance at Barnes & Noble on Long Island (Carle Place). Pictured above are (from l-r): Peyser, Morano, McIntyre.

Industry News

WABC’s Frank Morano Hangs with The Sopranos Cast Members

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Pictured above is WABC, New York overnight host Frank Morano with some of the cast of “The Sopranos,” who stopped by his “The Other Side of Midnight” program to talk about why people still care about “The Sopranos” so many years later, cigars, and the fascinating lives of the actors. In the photo are (l-r): Dan Grimaldi, who played Philly and Patsy Parisi; Morano; Robert Funaro, who played Eugene Pontecorvo; and Jason Cerbone, who played Jackie Aprile, Jr.

Industry News

TALKERS 2023: Video of “Navigating a Radio Talk Show Hosting Career” Panel Discussion Posted

During the coming days, videos of all of TALKERS 2023’s numerous sessions conducted June 2 at Hofstra University will be posted, continuing today (6/21) with the panel discussion, “Navigating a Radio Talk Showim Hosting Career.” The session, sponsored by C. Crane, was introduced by managing partner, Goldman McCormick PR and syndicated host, Ryan McCormick (pictured at right) and moderated by WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom Giordano (pictured above). Panelists (pictured below from left to right) include Heather Cohen, SVP, the Weiss AgencyMartha Zoller, host, WDUN-AM/FM, Gainesville, GA; Frank Morano, host WABC, New York; Rich Valdes, host, Westwood One; and Jeff Katz, host, WRVA, Richmond, VA. See video of the session here.

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Industry News

WABC, New York Recognized by Catholic Charities

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Pictured above are staffers from Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York at the recent Catholic Charities of NY 14thAnnual Gala at the American Museum of Natural History. At the event Cardinal Dolan gave a shout-out to WABC for the work it’s doing.From left to right, top row are: New York news anchor and WABC personality Ernie Anastos, WABC host Rita Cosby, WABC host Frank Morano, WABC host Dominic Carter, and Marilyn Carter. Left to right, bottom row: Red Apple Media CEO John Catsimatidis, Margo Catsimatidis, Red Apple general counsel Emily Pankow, and WABC president Chad Lopez.

Industry News

WABC, New York Wins Eight NYSBA Awards

Red Apple Media’s “Talkradio 77WABC” is honored with eight Excellence in Broadcasting Awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association. Honors include “Sid & Friends in the Morning” for Best Morning Show; Rita Cosby, Dominic Carter, Noam Laden for Bestim Election Coverage; Curtis Sliwa:  Closing of Lenny’s Pizza for Best Personality, Social Media; and “The Other Side of Midnight” host Frank Morano’s interview with William Shatner for Best Podcast. Red Apple Media CEO John Catsimatidis says, “I am proud of our talent and all station personnel that have worked hard to make 77WABC the station it once was. Our talent and staff are leaders in their field; our on-air personalities include the biggest names in New York. We’re just getting started. There is always more to come from the iconic 77WABC.”

Industry News

Today’s Radio Talk Show Hosts Face Unique Challenges

A special panel addressing the career management issues facing today’s talk radio talent has been set for TALKERS 2023 which will take place on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island. It’s always been difficult to forge a successful on-air career in radio – but today, it is particularly intense. Talk show hosts in 2023 must deal with integrating their on-air responsibilities with the multi-platform nature of modern media, fragmented pop culture, stifling budget restrictions, and highly distracted or corporately paralyzed management. This all plays out against the backdrop of controversy, political correctness, a dizzyingly non-stop news cycle and incessant technological change. The session titled, “Navigating a Radio Talk Show Hosting Career,” will be introduced by Ryan McCormick, managing partner, Goldman McCormick, PR and a syndicated talk show host in his own right; moderated by Heavy Hundred mainstay and the “Dean of Philadelphia Talk Radio,” Dom Giordano, WPHT, Philadelphia; and include panelists (in alphabetical order): super-agent, Heather Cohen, SVP, The Weiss Agency; Heavy Hundred member Mandy Connell,  KOA, Denver; Heavy Hundred member Jeff Katz, WRVA, Richmond; Heavy Hundred member Frank Morano, WABC, New York/Red Apple Audio Network, and Heavy Hundred member Martha Zoller, WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia.   More than 60 luminaries from the talk media industry are set to speak at a power-packed day of fireside chats, solo addresses, panel discussions, workshops, award presentations, new equipment showcases and endless networking opportunities. TALKERS 2023 is nearing an advance sellout. See more about the agenda, registration, sponsorship and hotel information here.

Industry News

Frank Morano to Be Honored at National Psoriasis Foundation Event

WABC, New York personality Frank Morano is being honored at an event called Fleur de Cure on Wednesday, April 19 at the New York Botanical Gardens in The Bronx to benefit the National Psoriasis Foundation. Morano says, “Clearly, the first 200 people that the National Psoriasis Foundation had on their list turned them down for next Wednesday, so I have the distinction of being honored. In all seriousness, I’m a big supporter of this organization and quite humbled that they picked me to be honored, so I’m hoping not to be too disappointing in terms of getting people to come and/or volunteer.” Morano is host of “The Other Side of Midnight” on the Red Apple Media talk station.

Front Page News Industry News

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Glenn Beck is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. 2022 marks the 20th anniversary that Glenn Beck’s show has been in syndication with Premiere Networks. The multi-platform star is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Heard by millions of listeners on more than 400 stations, Beck is a Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Marconi Award winner and past recipient of the prestigious TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. He’s a communications industry entrepreneur – the co-founder of Blaze Media – who’s made his mark on radio, TV (CNN, FOX), and live events – not to mention, being a 13-time #1 bestselling author and one of the few in history to have had #1 national bestsellers in the fiction, non-fiction, self-help and children’s picture book genres. He’s also a humanitarian who has raised significant funds for a number of charitable causes including helping families in Afghanistan and Ukraine, as well as fighting global sex trafficking and more. Harrison and Beck engage in a deep-dive conversation about politics, journalism, the media, privacy and the provocative topic of his latest book, The Great Reset: Joe Biden and the Rise of Twenty-First-Century Fascism (Mercury Radio Arts, Inc., 2022). Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

WMAL-FM’s Larry O’Connor Joins Salem News Channel for Prime Time Show. WMAL-FM, Washington morning drive personality Larry O’Connor is joining Salem Media Group’s OTT television network Salem News Channel to host a 9:00 pm ET show titled, “O’Connor Tonight.” O’Connor will be joined by top writers and editors from Salem’s Townhall.com where O’Connor also serves as a senior columnist and creative director. He says, “Salem News Channel represents the future of news content, going over the heads of the legacy media model and delivering informative, vital content directly to a passionate and informed audience. I am thrilled and honored to be affiliated with this dynamic company and am confident that ‘O’Connor Tonight’ will be an entertaining and relevant part of our daily American conversation.” Salem Media Group SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce comments, “Larry brings a wealth of experience and credibility to SNC and we are thrilled he has chosen to join us as we build this network. SNC’s prime time lineup of Andrew Wilkow, Brandon Tatum, Dinesh D’Souza, Eric Metaxas and now Larry O’Connor is second to none in the cable TV news world.”

Adams Radio Group Acquired by Adams Radio Acquisition Co., LLC.  This deal – expected to be completed by the end of this year – has Adams Radio Group being acquired by Adams Radio Acquisition Co., LLC.  This new entity is controlled by shareholders that were investors in Adams Radio Group when the group was originally formed in 2013. The company will continue operating under the Adams Radio Group banner. Adams president and CEO Ron Stone says, “I am grateful to [chairman and majority owner of the ownership group] Steve Adams for the opportunity to build a second Adams Radio Group. I served as Steve’s CFO in the original Adams Radio Corporation and had my first opportunity as a GM at KEZK, St Louis. The opportunity to work with Steve a second time and build a new group was a dream come true for me. We formed Adams in 2013 and it has been an incredible experience and I have been surrounded by some of the brightest people in the business. I look forward to seeing the company continue to grow and our most dedicated staff prosper under the new ownership and leadership.” Adams Radio owns and operates 18 stations in four markets. The press release states that sources close to the new shareholders say “plans are to continue to build upon the past 10 years and add new markets as opportunities present themselves.” Sharon Bordwell continues with the new company as CFO.  Ron Stone will continue to manage the group until closing. Stone says he expects to be busy for a few months post close wrapping up old company business and plans to take some time to assess new opportunities that will enable him to continue to make contributions to the radio industry, including continuing as president and executive director of the Independent Broadcasters Association. Kalil & Co Inc. was the exclusive broker on this transaction representing Adams Radio Group.

McFarlands Show to Launch on WNSR, Nashville. The Tennessean reports that Southern Wabash Communications’ sports talk WNSR-AM/W240CA, Nashville is launching a new mid-afternoon program starring radio pro Darren McFarland and television personality Justin McFarland, titled, “The McFarland Show with Darren and Justin.” The 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show will debut on Monday (10/3). Darren McFarland previously served with Cromwell Media’s crosstown sports talker WPRT-FM “The Game 102.5 FM” and has been the Nashville Predators radio studio host since 2013. Justin McFarland is a morning reporter for WZTV-TV “FOX 17 News.” WNSR general manager Ted Johnson states, “It’s great having two such talented, experienced and wonderful people joining our crew. Darren and Justin will make a great team that listeners will gravitate to and enjoy. They’ll be a great complement to our daily lineup.” The two fill the slot left open by Tennessee sports personality George Plaster’s exit from the station in April of this year.

‘The Trap Nerds’ Episode to Take Place in iHeartLand on Roblox. The podcast The Trap Nerds – a collaboration between iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God’s The Black Effect Podcast Network – debuts a special metaverse episode event in iHeartLand on Roblox, streaming for users on the main stage at State Farm Park. During this inaugural podcast event, hosts Dre, Eli, Tony and Exavier will discuss the last book they read, what it means to be a Black nerd (“Blerd”), Dragon Ball Z and more. iHeartLand visitors on Roblox will experience the event beginning today (9/29) and run for 48 hours through Saturday. This will be followed by an iHeartLand encore event in Fortnite beginning October 13 at 7:00 pm ET through October 19.

TALKERS News Notes. The Washington Examiner’s Juliegrace Brufke reports that Salem Radio Network talk host Sebastian Gorka hopes to be involved with any investigation into Hunter Biden that might take place if Republicans take control of the House after November’s elections. The story indicates Gorka met with U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL) “on Wednesday as the Florida Republican attempts to recruit the controversial conservative pundit to become a staff director if a select committee is formed to examine the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son, according to one source familiar with the meeting.”…..Red Apple Audio Networks, the syndication arm of John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media, owners of WABC, New York announces it has surpassed 100 affiliates across the country since it launched in February. The network’s roster consists of eight shows and features currently running on WABC, including Catsimatidis’s “The Cats Roundtable” and “The Other Side of Midnight with Frank Morano.”…..Television and radio pro Corny Koehl – formerly a programmer at ABC Radio Networks and former executive producer of Premiere Networks’ “The Dr. Laura Show” – is producing a weekly, short-form political satire podcast titled, “Thorn in the USA,” that she calls “an effort to counter the propaganda from elected officials on the far right.” It “centers on fictional host, Margaret Penelóp Taylor, aka Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s #1 fan girl/unofficial MTG whisperer. A self-described ‘Christian Nationalist’ and ‘Pro-Putin Pawn,’ Penelóp pours fuel on the culture wars and casts aspersions on her ‘libtard’ opponents. At the end of each episode is a ‘real’ call-to-action, followed by the host’s vivid sexual fantasies with her obsession, FOX News’ Tucker Carlson.”…..Cumulus Media announces the podcast “Afford Anything” joins the Cumulus Podcast Network. Creator and host Paula Pant focuses on helping listeners make smarter decisions about money, time, and life to align daily behaviors and habits with lifestyle goals. In the podcast, she also talks with guests about investing, travel, lifestyle design, financial independence, real estate, entrepreneurship, productivity, personal development, and the philosophy of money.

Hurricane Ian, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Trump Legal Issues, Harris Asia Trip, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Immigration/Drug Trade, and Brazil Elections Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/28). Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Southwestern Florida; record high inflation and the sell-off on the world’s financial markets; Vladimir Putin’s attempt to annex portions of Ukraine and his nuclear threats; the legal battles facing former President Donald Trump; Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Asia and her visit to the Korean DMZ; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the Biden Administration’s immigration policy and the influx of fentanyl from Mexico; and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s battle to win reelection were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Thursday, June 16, 2022

TALKERS 2022 Addresses Concerns of Independent Radio Station and Small Group Operations. At the TALKERS 2022 convention held at Hofstra University on Friday, June 10, the first panel session of the day was titled “Independent Radio Station and Small Group Operations” and probed the issues most pressing to owners of independent stations and those operating small groups of stations. The panel was moderated by KFNX-AM, Phoenix owner Bill Brady (inset), who was introduced by Binnie Media director of brand operations Michael Czarnecki. Appearing on the panel in the photo above were (from l-r): Marc Beaven, general manager, WCBM-AM, Baltimore; Paul Vandenburgh, owner/host, WGDJ-AM, Albany; Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz, California; Paul Gleiser, owner/host, KTBB, Tyler Texas; and Todd Starnes, owner, KWAM-AM, Memphis (and host of the syndicated Todd Starnes Show). Video of this complete session will be made available in the coming weeks.

 

‘Strategizing a Talk Show Hosting Career’ Among Panel Discussions at TALKERS 2022. Last Friday’s TALKERS 2022 convention held at Hofstra University also featured a panel discussion that illuminated some of the challenges that talk hosts face in the modern era, as well as presenting some solutions to those challenges. The panel was moderated by Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher (inset), who was introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Rich Zeoli. Appearing on the panel in the photo above were (from l-r): Bruce Avery, general manager, WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Martha Zoller, WDUN-AM, Gainesville, Georgia; Frank Morano, host, WABC, New York; Walter Sterling, host, “Sterling on Sunday”; and Brett Winterble, host, WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte. Video of this complete session will be made available in the coming weeks.

 

Round Three of May 2022 PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s May 2022 sweep covered April 28 – May 25. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM repeats in the #4 rank despite dipping three-tenths to a 7.9 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share), while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KEX-AM loses seven-tenths to finish with a 1.9 share good for the #20 rank. iHeartMedia’s KNRS-AM/FM, Salt Lake City is #1 again this month even though it shed 1.2 shares and wrapped the survey with a 9.6 share. Across town, Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM falls from #2 to #4 after losing 1.5 shares for a 6.1 share finish. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first two rounds) here.

 

Cumulus Media Brings ‘The Score’ Back to Providence. Gone for 15 years, Cumulus Media is reviving the sports talk format on WPRV-AM, Providence as “790 The Score.” The station has been airing a business news format since sports talk was jettisoned in 2008. In a YouTube video promoting the change, the company says the new incarnation of “The Score” will include programming from BetQL, CBS Sports Radio’s “Jim Rome Show,” and local personality Kevin McNamara, as well as New York Yankees baseball, Boston Celtics basketball and Brown University football and basketball.

 

WBZ-AM, Boston Brings ‘Tough as Nails’ Back for a Fifth Season. Local real estate and construction celebrity Cindy Stumpo’s “Tough as Nails” radio show is returning to iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston “NewsRadio 1030” Saturday evenings at 8:00. The station says, “Each week, Cindy and [daughter] Samantha welcome guests to unpack the worlds of construction, real estate, renovations, design and more. Cindy and her team are world-renowned for creating opulent floor plans coupled with impeccable attention to detail. Cindy is also known for her raw and uncensored perspective on everything about being a woman in a man’s world. Almost nothing is off limits: panic attacks, menopause, abuse, domestic violence, you’ll never know what’s coming next while being entertained and informed every show. Cindy’s social media presence is unstoppable with over 75,000 followers on Instagram and videos on her YouTube channel regularly garnering 100,000-plus views.  Cindy has shown that she is a multimedia force.”

 

BIA Advisory Services Downgrades U.S. Local Ad Revenue Projections; Significant Growth Still Expected in Radio Digital. This year’s U.S. local advertising forecast is being revised by BIA Advisory Services. The firm says its new estimate is $167.4 billion, down from its original estimate of $173.3 billion issued in December 2021. It cites “headwinds from overseas conflicts, continuing supply chain issues and deep cuts in ad spending from large verticals like automotive” for precipitating the reduction. Positives for the ad market still include an anticipated strong political ad year, the expansion of online gambling local advertising and consumer spending on leisure and recreational activities. BIA SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik comments, “The year didn’t start as strong as we had anticipated, making for a difficult first two quarters as some expected advertising spend started to retract. On the one hand, personal income continues to rise, but the cost of consumer goods, rising gas prices and inflation are having a major impact and we believe that will influence how advertisers will choose to use their ad dollars in the coming months. All of that must be weighed against what we see as positives for local advertising this year.” The latest forecast estimate still gives traditional media ad revenue a slight advantage over digital at 52.5 % of the ad spend ($87.9 billion), while digital media will get 47.5 % of the ad spend at $79.5 billion. Overall, BIA is decreasing digital estimates slightly from the original 2022 forecast due to mobile facing headwinds amid new privacy measures on iPhones. Additionally, there has been slower than anticipated growth. Even as both digital channels continue to grow, it’s at a reduced pace than originally expected. Significant growth is expected in TV OTA (+30.3 %), TV Digital (+18.3 %) and Radio Digital (+14.5 %).

 

47th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon Set for June 22. The leadership of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that ESPN SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm, will host the 47th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon set for June 22 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The Gracie Awards recognize exemplary content created by, for and about women in all facets of media and entertainment. AWMF chair Heather Cohen comments, “Throughout this past year we have seen a number of remarkable projects by and about inspirational women and Hannah Storm will serve as the ideal host to recognize their work.” AWMF president Becky Brooks adds, “We are honored to shine a spotlight on these women, whose stories have driven cultural awareness, offered entertainment that has made us laugh, cry, and everything in between. We are delighted to return to an in-person format so that we can properly celebrate together.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. The relationship between ESPN and Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions is expanding beyond the Monday Night Football “Manningcast.” Now, the two content organizations will premiere a new lineup of original shows, which will launch with six titles produced by Omaha Productions beginning June 20. Manning says, “One of the best parts of the Monday Night Football show is getting to talk about a sport I love with other folks who share the same passion for the game. With this audio network, we want to deliver those same entertaining and informative conversations from a great crew of folks at Omaha Audio, who are not only informed but genuinely love the sports and topics they cover.”…..Sports USA announces that it will cover live broadcasts of the NHL’s 2022 Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche. John Alhers will handle play-by-play, Joe Micheletti will serve as color analyst, Billy Jaffe will be the on-ice reporter and Ted Sobel will host the pre and post-game shows, along with the intermission reports…..ARC Software, Inc enters into an agreement with Compass Media Networks tp provide the service that allows networks, producers and other radio service providers to quickly find any radio station to connect with, affiliate, maintain agreements, compliance and much more…..iHeartMedia announces a new partnership with Martha Stewart to produce a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast. iHeartMedia says “The Martha Stewart Podcast” is a talk show style series that will feature intimate, in-depth, probing interviews with some of the most fascinating people in the world – all who are at the top of their respective fields. Stewart says, “I am thrilled to partner with iHeartMedia on my first-ever original podcast series. I think listeners will deeply enjoy these engaging conversations on life and business, which include many interesting takeaways from the notable guests I have the pleasure of interviewing.”

 

Former KMJ, Fresno Personality Bill Woodward Passes at 81. Former longtime KMJ, Fresno personality Bill Woodward passed away last month at the age of 81. For 37 years, Woodward served as the radio voice of the Fresno State Bulldogs. KMJ program director Blake Taylor says, “Bill was a wonderful mentor. Such gravitas. A true professional. A legend in the broadcasting industry. There’s a reason he’s forever remembered in the Fresno State Athletics Hall of Fame. I miss him, and his play-by-play of Bulldogs sports will always have a place in my heart.”

 

The Economy/Fed Interest Rate Hike, Primaries/Trump & the GOP, January 6 Hearings, Roe v Wade/Kavanaugh Plot, COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine War, and Western Drought & Extreme Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/15). Soaring gas prices, inflation, and the Fed’s decision to hike interest rates; Tuesday’s primary races and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the January 6 Committee hearings; the Supreme Court’s likely reversal of Roe v Wade and the plot to kill Justice Brett Kavanaugh; the rate of COVID-19 cases across the U.S.; Russia’s progress in securing the Luhansk region of Ukraine; and the drought and heatwave in the U.S. West and extreme flooding in Yellowstone were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Opinions

The Vastness of Night

by Walter Sterling
Talk Show Host

 

NEW YORK — The two most effective, engaging forms of advertising are in-theatre and overnight radio. Surrounded by darkness without distractions, the audience choses to receive the advertising message in the comfort of a bed, perfectly adjusted car seat, or reclining throne.

Overnight radio is 25% of the broadcast day. Twenty-five percent. A locally hosted all-night show in a major city is a gift to listeners and advertisers. The audience identifies with the references made by their neighbor, the radio host. Bonding is immediate.

(more…)

Front Page News Industry News

Friday, February 25, 2022

 

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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Putin Shootin,’” looks back at this past week of 2/21 to 2/25. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyFrank Morano, talk show host, WABC, New York; Dr. Daliah Wachs, physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkRoss Kaminsky, talk show host, KOA, Denver; and Matthew B. Harrison, attorney/associate publisher, TALKERS. 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; KQSP, Minneapolis; 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 NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine 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.

 

Round Three of January PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s January 2022 sweep covered January 6 – February 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM adds 1.7 shares for a 7.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and rises to the #4 rank, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KEX-AM tacks on a half share for a 2.8 share finish and the #15 rank. Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte rises a full share to finish the month with a 3.9 share and leaps to the #13 rank. In Salt Lake City, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-AM/FM rises by 1.9 shares for a 7.6 share finish and climbs to the #2 rank, while Bonneville’s crosstown news/talk KSL-AM/FM adds 1.2 shares for a 6.5 share finish and wraps the survey ranked #4. Audacy’s Kansas City news/talk KMBZ-FM leaps 2.2 shares to wrap the survey with a 7.2 share good for the #3 rank in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first two rounds) here.

 

Triton Digital Releases January Podcast Report. The January 2022 edition of Triton Digital’s U.S. Podcast Report has been released, revealing its ranking of the top 20 podcast networks and the top 100 podcasts based on average weekly downloads and on average weekly users for participating networks and publishers. Based on average weekly downloads, Stitcher Media (SXM Media) was the top podcast network (55.4 million AWD). It was followed by NPR at #2, Audacy Podcast Network at #3 and Cumulus Podcast Network at #4. For the ranking of top podcasts (based on average weekly download), “NPR News Now” (NPR) was #1. Following at #2 was “Crime Junkie” (SXM), with “The Ben Shapiro Show” (Cumulus Podcast Nework) at #3. There was a debut on the top 100 rank this month as “The Brian Kilmeade Show” (FOX News Podcasts) entered the chart at #87. You can see the complete report here.

 

Newsmax TV Has Boots on the Ground in Ukraine. The news and talk network Newsmax TV is delivering the latest from Ukraine thanks to its two correspondents Sarah Williamson and Chuck Holton. Since early February of this year, Newsmax has had two television correspondents stationed in Ukraine tracking the escalating tensions and full-scale invasion.  Australian Sarah Williamson joined Newsmax only in December and was quickly assigned to the European war zone. Her experience includes covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for Israel’s i24 News for four years. Veteran war correspondent Chuck Holton is described by Newsmax’s chief content officer Elliot Jacobson as the company’s conflict zone correspondent. Most recently, he was reporting from Panama about migrants moving north toward the U.S. border. Jacobson says of their work in Ukraine, “We’re getting some unique perspectives. We’re talking to people on the ground. We have interviewed Ukrainian officials. We’re not just reporting without any interaction with the locals.” Newsmax has taken a stance in the conflict saying it “strongly opposes Putin.” Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy adds, “Newsmax believes Russia has made a major transgression and this should be condemned strongly by all people. I think we are seeing for conservatives a clarity moment where FOX News’ main host is stating categorically, he is siding with Putin and Russia in support of the invasion. Newsmax supports President Biden’s efforts to stop this invasion. If anything we think he is not being strong enough. We believe there is a bipartisan consensus in opposition to this dangerous aggression.”

 

Trevor Morini Named VP of Programming for iHeartMedia Raleigh. Programming pro Trevor Morini is appointed vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Raleigh station group that includes news/talk WTKK-FM and four music brands, including CHR WDCG-FM, for which Morini will also serve as program director. He previously served with iHeartMedia as format center executive producer for iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group. Morini says,, “I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead the talented programming team in Raleigh. Together we will build upon their success and continue to grow our market-leading brands, and I am honored to be a part of it. Thank you to the iHeartMedia senior leadership team for their continued support.”

 

 

Salem Radio Network on Radio Row at CPAC. Pictured above at the CPAC 2022 radio row in Orlando are Salem Radio Network hosts Sebastian Gorka (left) and Charlie Kirk (right).  In addition to hosting his program from the convention, Gorka is also taking part in a panel discussion called, “Fire Fauci” that features talk radio host Todd Starnes, Dr. Peter McCullough, and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz.

 

Russian Invasion of Ukraine Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 21-25. The shelling and movement of Russian troops into the Ukraine was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Takers TenTM. At #2 this week was the state of the U.S. economy, the financial markets activity and the soaring inflation, followed by the COVID-related issues of masks, vaccines, mandates and the Truckers’ Convoy 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.

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

iHeartMedia 2021 Fourth Quarter Revenue Up 14%. Reporting its financial results from the fourth quarter of 2021 and the year as a whole, iHeartMedia, Inc. says Q4 revenue was $1.06 billion, up 14% over the same period in 2020. Reporting by segment, iHeartMedia says its Digital Audio Group revenue was $273.2 million, up 59% over Q4 in 2020; Podcast Revenue was $96.6 million, an increase of 130% year over year; and Broadcast Radio revenue was $519.1 million, up 4.9%. Net income for Q4 of 2021 was $112 million compared to net income of $2.9 million in Q4 of 2020. For the whole of 2021, the company reports a net loss of $8.4 million compared to the net loss of $1.9 billion reported for all of 2020. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “We are pleased to report another strong quarter and to wrap up a very strong year, further evidence of our momentum and the continuing digital transformation of iHeartMedia into a data-led, digital business with important new platforms like podcasting built on the unparalleled scale and audience reach of our broadcast radio assets. We believe that this strong performance in Q4 and full year positions us well for continued growth in 2022.”

 

Audacy Q4 2021 Revenue Climbs 8%. The company reveals that net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021 was $344.7 million, an increase of 8% over the same period in 2020, led by double digit growth in both digital and spot radio. Audacy reports that core spot revenue (local plus national excluding political) was $218.4 million, up 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 while digital revenue was $68.1 million, up 16% year over year. Operating income for the quarter was $48.1 million, compared to an operating loss of $204.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Audacy reports Q4 2021 net income of $21.4 million compared to the net loss of $162.3 million reported in Q4 2020. For the whole of 2021, Audacy reports a net loss of $3.6 million compared to the net loss of $242.2 million reported for all of 2020. President and CEO David J. Field states, “In 2021, we accelerated our organizational development through a number of important strategic acquisitions, organic growth initiatives, structural improvements, and content and senior talent additions. This was also the year in which we rebranded the company to reflect our evolution into a leading, multi-platform audio content and entertainment company with scaled audience reach and important leadership positions across the full spectrum of the dynamic, growing audio market. Our 2021 acquisitions of Podcorn and AmperWave, plus BetQL just prior to the start of the year, are important additions to our capabilities that will fuel accelerated growth and enhance how we serve our listeners and customers. Audacy today is well positioned to capitalize on the exciting growth opportunities within audio at the same time as we anticipate the continuing recovery of radio ad spending. We are off to a very good start to 2022 and our team is excited about the year ahead.”

 

Live From Donetsk. The Russia-Ukraine crisis has escalated to the major news/talk radio topic on the table triggering a scramble for hosts to sort out the facts from the fiction as a variety of perspectives – some quite controversial – are being aired out in the national conversation. WABC, New York all-night host Frank Morano provided the listeners of his program “The Other Side of Midnight” with something to think about early Monday morning (2/21) in terms of the “other side” of the story.  He conducted a long-distance, live phone interview with a man named Russell Bentley, an American expat and avowed communist who has lived in Donetsk for eight years after moving there to fight, alongside the separatists, against the Ukrainian government. Morano tells TALKERS, “I think Bentley did a good job not only describing what’s happening there with Russian troops being on the ground, but also explaining the mentality of how people there feel. I think it’s so unique compared to what folks are doing with this in talk radio. Russia’s recognition of Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic has drawn global condemnation, with the U.S. and several European countries agreeing to move quickly to respond with economic penalties. This was truly something different.” To listen to the entire interview, please click here.

 

Round One of January PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2022 PPM survey is released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2022 sweep covered January 6 – February 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York City, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR rose seven-tenths to a 2.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) to finish ranked #13 while Red Apple Media’s crosstown news/talk WABC-AM/WLIR-FM also rose seven-tenths to finish with a 3.0 share good for the #12 rank in the market. Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WFCS-FM, Chicago is back in the #1 spot after adding a full share for a 5.7 share finish. Across town at Nexstar’s news/talk WGN-AM, a 1.7 share increase gives the station a 5.2 share finish good for the #4 rank in the market. After a series of declines, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta tacks on 1.1 shares for a 6.9 share finish that pushes it up to the #3 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

 

 

WOR-AM, New York Turns 100. Pictured above is the staff of iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR-AM, New York celebrating the station’s 100th anniversary on the air. It was on February 22, 1922 that the station first went on air and the celebration included on-air reminiscences from past WOR personalities including: John R. Gambling, George Meade, Joan Hamburg, Shelly Strickler, Bill Korbel, and Daria Dolan. Above are (from l-r): assistant program director Scott Lakefield, creative services director Howard Hoffman; morning co-host Len Berman, morning show executive producer Natalie Vacca, morning co-host Michael Riedel, midday host Mark Simone, and program director Tom Cuddy.

 

 

Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Broadcast from Mar-a-Lago. The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk program “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” did a live remote broadcast from The Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Palm Beach on Tuesday (2/22) during which former President Donald Trump joined the program for a full hour to talk about subjects including the current crisis in Ukraine, COVID mandates, Democratic contenders in 2024, the Canadian Trucker protests, his future political goals and more. Trump also complimented the duo on the success of their show, saying “Congratulations. You’re knocking it dead. And that’s good. Rush would be proud of you.”

 

Michael Harrison Discusses the Concept of the “Media Station” on New PodcastTALKERS founder Michael Harrison presents a detailed explanation of the emerging concept he calls the “media station” in the debut installment of a new podcast titled, “Masters In Media,” hosted by Mark Goldman and Ryan McCormick of the firm, Goldman/McCormick Public Relations. Harrison explains the impact multimedia cross-platform branding is having on 20th century analog entities such as radio stations, TV stations, newspapers, magazines, movie theaters and record companies. He states, “All these different entities operated within their own lanes and were quite isolated from each other in terms of their mother platforms. Now there is no solitary mother platform for any media organization and companies cannot put all their ‘eggs in one basket.’ Today’s radio station is actually a media station. So are today’s newspapers and the like. They are all in the business of producing and distributing audio, video, graphics, text, information and entertainment.” Harrison also discusses what it takes to make it these days as a radio talk show host. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Radio syndication pro Adam Wilbur is promoted to SVP of affilaites sales & operations at Compass Media Networks. Wilbur continues to be based out of the company’s Los Angeles office and continues to spearhead the company’s affiliate sales, affiliate marketing, affiliate technical operations, and select content relationships. He says, “This 13-year journey has been an incredible ride. Thank you to all the hosts, producers, colleagues, affiliates and potential affiliates that make each day unique and unpredictable. I love it.”…..CNN Audio expands its podcast programming with the upcoming debut of “Diversifying” on February 28. Fostering insightful discussions about how the financial system can work for us, instead of against us, host Delyanne Barros creates a welcome space for people of color, women, single households, and others who have traditionally been left out of conversations around personal finance. Throughout the series, Barros speaks with real people, as well as with money experts, who are faced with the challenge of balancing cultural expectations with their own financial needs. Whether that’s struggling to negotiate pay as a woman of color, or supporting one’s parents as they enter retirement, “Diversifying” offers listeners actionable steps toward better financial health, all while validating struggles with money, no matter what the starting point.

 

Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, SCOTUS Trump Ruling, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Arbery Verdict/Floyd Case, Inflation/The Economy, and Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/22). The Western condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine incursion after his recognition of separatist provinces; the slowing rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., Canada’s prosecution of trucker protesters, and threats of a trucker protest in Washington, DC; the Supreme Court rules against Donald Trump in his bid to keep his records from the January 6 committee; November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the jury deliberates in the federal hate crime trial of the three men found guilty if killing Ahmaud Arbery; the soaring rate of inflation and the sliding financial markets; and the frigid winter weather affecting much of the U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Friday, January 14, 2022

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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Mandate Shmandate,” looks back at this past week of 1/10 to 1/14. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSDan Mandis, talk show host/PD, Supertalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; Derek Hunter, talk show host, WCBM, Baltimore/USA Radio NetworkLynn Woolley, talk show host, KJCE, Austin; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Frank Morano, talk show host, WABC, New York; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each weekend 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; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; 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 NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine 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.

Glenn Beck Battling Second COVID-19 Infection. During an appearance on Mark Levin’s Westwood One syndicated radio show, Premiere Networks talk radio star Glenn Beck revealed he has COVID-19 for the second time. Numerous news outlets picked up on the story, including Newsweek. Beck told Levin that his whole family had COVID in December of 2020 so they didn’t get vaccinated. He said he’s taking ivermectin and despite his second infection, feels great. “I am great, Mark. I am great…despite having COVID and seeing the destruction of our country, I’m great. I mean, I’ve been doing my show…It’s a lighter case but it’s now starting to go into my lungs today, a little disturbing. But I’m on all the medications and treatments and everything else, so we’ll see.” He also said he’s not taking monoclonal antibodies because they don’t “seem to be working for the new strain. But I’m on ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine—what is it, Fluvoxin? I’m on a bunch of different…I mean, my doctors are hitting it really hard.” He told Levin that he’s been battling COVID for about a week but is not concerned about the virus reaching his lungs. “Everybody’s getting sick because it’s very contagious but it’s not nearly as deadly. I’m a fatty fat fatso, so you know, that’s probably not the best thing…And I’ve got some other issues, but that’s just the way it is. We have got to move on with our lives.”

2021 Social Impact Report Reveals ‘Audacy Serves’ Achievements. The company releases its 2021 Social Impact Report that spotlights key achievements from its ongoing companywide Audacy Serves initiative. The report encompasses Audacy’s commitment to several pillars of impact: diversity, equity and inclusion, mental health, civic education, the environment, children’s health, and veterans and service members. Some of the achievements the company highlights include, in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion category, the arrival of eight new fellows – recent graduates from historically underrepresented communities within the industry have joined the team in a variety of sales, marketing and content roles. Yearlong fellowship experiences include curated on-the-job learning and growth opportunities; in the Mental Health category the company produced its 5th annual “I’m Listening” broadcast with influential names like Doja Cat, Luke Combs and Demi Lovato, who shared their personal struggles with mental health. The event helped Audacy connect with more than 200 million people and raise more than $800,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; in the Civic Education category, Audacy’s “Engaged Impressions” study found that 71% of weekly radio listeners tune in because they feel the content is relevant to their community. Audacy says research like this indicates that listeners continue to trust local media. Audacy further invested in its news business, adding over 50 journalists in eight of its newsrooms across the country in an effort to meet that demand for trusted quality content. Audacy VP of social impact Sarah Harris comments, “This report reflects our unwavering commitment to putting our values in action and our passion to use our collective voice for good within each of our pillars of impact. We are thrilled to share these significant results and moving stories of real human connection unfolding in our communities across the country.” You can see the complete report here.

Three New Shows Added to BetQL Network. Beginning this Sunday (1/16), three new shows will debut across Audacy’s BetQL Network. “BetQL 5 Star Weekend,” (8:00 am – 10:00 am ET) is hosted by KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh host Chris Mack and CBS Sports Radio’s Damon Amendolara and uses BetQL’s star rating system to preview all of the best bets for the day and the week ahead. “Sunday’s Bets,” (12:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET) is hosted by WTEM-AM, Washington morning show host Travis Thomas and BetQL Network hosts Quinton Mayo and Michael Jenkins and keeps listeners up to date with all of the best action from a busy day in sports. “BetNation,” (4:00 pm – 8:00 pm ET) is hosted by CBS Sports Radio’s Shaun Morash and Audacy’s alternative national evening host Kevan Kenney as they take the pulse of the nation from a sports betting perspective. Audacy VP of sports Matt Volk comments, “As football season turns the corner for the home stretch, we’re pleased to introduce three dynamic Sunday shows to help bettors get ready for all the action across the sports world. These three programs will continue to put fans in position to win on Sundays, no matter the season.” Announced at the same time is news that BetQL writer Lucy Burdge will join “Back to the Futures” and co-host alongside Brandon Sprague, Sunday nights from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.

TALKERS News Notes. The Little Rock stations owned by Cumulus Media report that their December 10 “Festival of Stars Toy and Donation Drive and Radiothon” raised $363,249 for Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Arkansas Children’s Northwest, the state’s local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The stations, including news/talk KARN-FM “News Radio 1029,” broadcast for 12 hours to encourage donations. The annual event has raised more than $3.6 million over the past 17 years…..The pro football playoffs begin this weekend and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting play-by-play coverage from all six games of the NFL Super Wild Card Playoffs. Scott Graham will host the pregame/halftime/postgame shows for the Saturday and Sunday games. Rich Eisen will be the studio host for the Monday night playoff game…..Beginning this Monday (1/17), Field of 68’s nightly college basketball show, “The Field of 68 AFTER DARK,” will air on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio channel. The show, currently broadcast on the network’s YouTube and social channels, is broadcast live nightly from 11:00 pm until 12:00 midnight ET and features a rotating cast of prominent sports figures. The lineup of rotating voices will include stadium insider Jeff Goodman, former college stars Robbie Hummel, Randolph Childress, Ashton Gibbs and Terrence Oglesby, as well as veteran coaches Sean Miller, Archie Miller and Steve Prohm. Field of 68 founder Rob Dauster says, “There’s a major void right now in this space with regard to college basketball. This will give diehard college basketball fans somewhere to go each night from the start of the season through the national title game to not only be informed, but also entertained.”…..iHeartRadio announces the launch of “Welcome to Our Show,” a “New Girl” rewatch podcast hosted by show stars Zooey Deschanel, Hannah Simone, and Lamorne Morris. Together, the trio will rewatch the Emmy-nominated series to reveal never-before-told stories, their favorite memories from creating the show, and divulge moments and scenes left on the cutting room floor. The first episode of “Welcome to Our Show” drops on January 24.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant, Vaccines, Masks, Mandates and School Closings Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 10-14. The fast-spreading Omicron variant, vaccine and mask mandates and battles over school policies combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy, soaring inflation and the ongoing supply chain and labor shortage issues, followed by the January 6 Investigation and the 2022 midterm elections tied 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.