Industry News

Newsmax Beats CNN in May 12 Prime Time Ratings

Newsmax reveals that, according to Nielsen ratings for Friday, May 12, Newsmax TV was the third-highest rated cable news channel in prime time, beating CNN in every hour of prime time. Newsmax notes that the 8:00 pm ET show “Eric Bolling The Balance” won the hour with 467,000 impressions, beating CNN’s “Andersonim Cooper 360” with 447,000. The new 9:00 pm ET show “Chris Plante The Right Squad” pulled an audience of 325,000 impressions, defeating CNN’s “Whole Story” with 293,000. And at 10:00 pm ET “Greg Kelly Reports” took first place with 278,000 viewers, compared to Chris Wallace giving CNN an audience of just 263,000. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Newsmax has witnessed a consistent, positive trend for weeks and we are looking forward to enormous interest in the network as we draw closer to the GOP primaries and ’24 election.”

Industry News

TALKERS 2023 Agenda Update

The agenda for TALKERS 2023 is now posted subject to daily updates. Please check it regularly. The 26th annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important conference takes place on Friday, June 2, 2023 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio. TALKERS 2023 will boldly address key issues – some existential – facing the talk radio and talk media industries at this dramatically critical juncture of rapidly accelerating technological and societal change, as well as identifying the remarkable opportunities inherent in these developments. It will also provide participants with unique and powerful networking opportunities. See the latest complete agenda here. The all-inclusive registration fee covering convention events, exhibits, food, and services for the day is $379. Attendance is only open to the working media and associated industries as well as students attending accredited learning institutions. Due to space limitations and the commitment to maintaining an intimate environment, the conference is again expected to be an early sellout. Don’t be shut out!  See convention registration and hotel information here.


TALKERS 2023 Agenda Update


June 2, 2023 – Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

Presented by TALKERS in association with WRHU Radio

 Sponsored by (in alphabetical order):

The Doctor Asa Show – Backbone Networks – Benztown – The Michael Berry Show – Broadcasters General Store – C. Crane – Collette – Comrex – The Epoch Times –- Goldman McCormick PR – – The Sean Hannity Show – Newsmax – Our American Stories – Premiere Networks – Radio America – The Ramsey Show – Dr. Murray Sabrin – Stephan Multimedia – The Todd Starnes Show – Talk Media Network – Visit Atlantic City



Registration Desk Open – 7:30 am to 6:00 pm – Lobby of John Cranford Adams Playhouse

Registration Director: Barbara Kurland, Business Manager, TALKERS

Assistant Registration Director: Olivia Mannarino, Associate, TALKERS


Breakfast – 8:00 am to 8:55 am – Reception Tent next to John Cranford Adams Playhouse

Breakfast Emcee: David Bernstein, GM/Broadcast Operations, TALKERS

“Woman of the Year Award”

Recipient: Martha Zoller, Host WDUN-FM-AM, Gainesville, GA

“Lifetime Achievement Award”

Recipient: Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC

Sponsored by Sean Hannity / Premiere Networks


Exhibits Open – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm – Lobby of John Cranford Adams Playhouse

Backbone Networks – Representative: Richard Cerny, President/CEO

Broadcasters General Store – Representative: Buck Waters, Marketing Executive

Collette – Representatives: Jim Edwards, VP, US Affinity Development; Paul Holly, Partnership Marketing Manager

Comrex – Representative:  Chris Crump, CBNE, Senior Director of Sales & Marketing


Morning Greetings – 9:00 am to 9:45 am – John Cranford Adams Playhouse

TALKERS 2023 Emcee: Kevin Casey, VP, Executive Editor, TALKERS

“National Anthem”

Performed by: TBA

“Morning Wakeup”

Speaker: Jimmy Failla, Host, FOX News Radio

“Setting the Stage: Triple Perspective”

Official Greeter: Todd Starnes, Host/President, The Todd Starnes Show Syndication/Owner, KWAM, Memphis

“Welcome to TALKERS 2023”

Introduction: Victoria Jones, Executive Director, DC Radio Company

Speaker: Michael Harrison, Publisher, TALKERS

Special Guest (by remote): Bob Pittman, CEO, iHeart Media

Sponsored by The Doctor Asa Show


Panel Discussion – 9:50 am to 10:25 am – John Cranford Adams Playhouse

“Programming News/Talk Radio in the Digital Era – Part 1”

Introduction: TBA

Moderator: Mike McVay, President, McVay Media Consulting


Michael Czarnecki, VP, Programming, Binnie Media

Tom Cuddy, Program Director, WOR, New York

Kevin DeLany, VP, News & Talk Programming, Westwood One

Eric Stanger, SVP, Operations, Sean Hannity Show, Premiere Networks

Joe Thomas, Host/Program Director, WCHV – Charlottesville, VA/PD, WRAD, River Valley, VA

Brett Winterble, Host, WBT, Charlotte

Sponsored by Premiere Networks

Fireside Chat Part 1 – 10:30 am to 10:50 am – John Cranford Adams Playhouse

Guest:  Christopher Ruddy, Founder/CEO, Newsmax Media

Host: Michael Harrison, Publisher, TALKERS

Sponsored by Collette

Fireside Chat Part 2 – 10:55 am to 11:15 am – John Cranford Adams Playhouse

Guest: Jeff Warshaw, Founder/CEO Connoisseur Media

Host: Michael Harrison, Publisher, TALKERS

Sponsored by Benztown


“Freedom of Speech Award” – 11:20 am to 11:40 am – John Cranford Adams Playhouse

Recipient: Tavis Smiley, Host/Owner, KBLA, Los Angeles

Presenter: Michael Harrison, Publisher, TALKERS

Sponsored by The Todd Starnes Show


Four-Way Discussion – 11:45 am to 12:10 pm – John Cranford Adams Playhouse

“The State of Sports Talk Radio”

Introduction: TBA

Facilitator: John T. Mullen, General Manager, WRHU-FM/, Hofstra University


Grace Blazer, VP, National NTS Brand Coordinator, Director of News and AM Programming Florida Region, iHeart Radio

Mark Chernoff, Sports Reporter, 107.1 The Boss, Long Branch, NJ/Sports Radio Talent Coach

Spike Eskin, VP, Programming, WFAN, New York and CBS Sports Radio

Sponsored by Backbone Networks


Lunch – 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm – Reception Tent next to John Cranford Adams Playhouse

Lunch Emcee: David Bernstein, GM, Broadcast Operations, TALKERS

“Welcome to Hofstra University”  

Speaker: Mark Lukasiewicz, Dean, Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, Hofstra University

“Special Lunch Greetings”

Speaker: Carl Higbie, Host, Newsmax TV

“Humanitarian of the Year Award”

Presenter: Harry Hurley, Host, WPG, Atlantic City

Recipient: Jim Thompson, Former President, Broadcasters Foundation of America (posthumously)

Accepter: Renee Cassis, Broadcasters Foundation of America

Sponsored by Newsmax


Panel Discussion – 1:20 pm to 1:55 pm

“Talk Radio and Podcasting”

Introduction: Guy Benson, Host, FOX News Radio

Moderator: Lisa Wexler, Host, WICC, Bridgeport, CT


Heather Cohen, SVP, The Weiss Agency

Steve Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media

Ron Hartenbaum, Managing Member, WYD Media

Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York

David Pakman, Host, The David Pakman Show

Larry Young, Host, The Larry Young Podcast

Sponsored by Visit Atlantic City


Panel Discussion – 2:00 pm to 2:35 pm – John Cranford Adams Playhouse

“Generating Talk Radio Revenue in a Digital World” 

Introduction: Doug Stephan, Host, Good Day Show/Founder Stephan Multimedia

Moderator: Steve Lapa, President, Lapcom Communications Corp


Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group

Paul Gleiser, Host/Owner, KTBB-FM-AM, Tyler, TX

Todd Starnes, Host/President, The Todd Starnes Show Syndication/Owner, KWAM, Memphis

Paul Vandenburgh, Host/Owner, WGDJ, Albany, NY

Michael Zwerling, Host/Owner, KSCO-FM-AM/KOME, Santa Cruz

Sponsored by The Ramsey Show


Panel Discussion – 2:40 pm to 3:15 pm – John Cranford Adams Playhouse

“The Big Picture”

Introduction: Matthew B. Harrison, Esq., Associate Publisher, TALKERS/President, the Harrison Legal Group

Moderator:  Michael Harrison, Publisher, TALKERS


Arthur Aidala, Esq. Founding Partner, `Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, PC/Host, AM 970 The Answer, New York

Dr. Asa Andrew, CEO/Host, The Doctor Asa Network

Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media

Lee Habeeb, Host/Producer, Our American Stories

Lee Harris, Morning Co-Anchor, WINS, New York

Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC

Sponsored by Newsmax


Panel Discussion – 3:20 pm to 3:55 pm – John Cranford Adams Playhouse

“Programming Talk Radio – Part 2”

Introduction: Alex Fife, VP Operations, Southeast, iHeartMedia – Total Traffic & Weather Network

Moderator: Walter Sabo, CEO, Sabo Media/Host/Producer, Sterling on Sunday


Phil Boyce, SVP, spoken word format, Salem Media Group; Ops VP, New York region/WMCA/AM 970 The Answer

Ross Kaminsky, Host, KOA, Denver

Josh Leng, CEO, Talk Media Network

Dan Mandis, Host/Program Director, WTN, Nashville

Matt Meany, Program Director, WABC, New York/Red Apple Audio

Greg Stocker, Brand Manager, WPHT, Philadelphia

Sponsored by Our American Stories


Panel Discussion – 4:00 pm to 4:35 pm – John Cranford Adams Playhouse

“Navigating a Radio Talk Show Hosting Career”

Introduction: Ryan McCormick, Managing Partner, Goldman McCormick, PR

Moderator: Dom Giordano, Host, WPHT, Philadelphia


Mandy Connell, talk show host, KOA, Denver

Jeff Katz, talk show host, WRVA, Richmond

Frank Morano, talk show host, WABC, New York

Martha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA

More TBA

Sponsored by C. Crane


Three-Way Chat – 4:40 pm to 5:00 pm – John Cranford Adams Playhouse

“Making the Connections Between Local and National, Radio and Television”

Facilitator: Harry Hurley, Host, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ


John Caracciolo, President/CEO, JVC Broadcasting

Brian Kilmeade, Host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel

Sponsored by The Michael Berry Show


Closing Reception – 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm – Reception Tent next to John Cranford Adams Playhouse

Sponsor TBA

Program subject to changes

Industry News

Two Leading Edge CEO Fireside Chats Set for TALKERS 2023

Two leading CEO “Fireside Chats” have been scheduled for TALKERS 2023 adding to the impact of a power-packed day of sessions and presentations set for the talk media industry’s major annual gathering. The event will feature approximately 60 outstanding speakers on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island.

Connoisseur Media CEO/founder Jeff Warshaw and Newsmax Media CEO/founder Christopher Ruddy will each engage in candid one-on-one conversations with TALKERS publisher/founder Michael Harrison about the present and future state of talk media.

Jeff Warshaw describes himself as a “lifelong broadcaster.” He built his first station while still a student at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1993, he founded Connoisseur Communications Partners LP, a 39-station group which he later sold to Cumulus Broadcasting in 2000 for $258 million. At this time, he pioneered notable progress in integrating legacy media with emerging digital technology. In 2004, he formed Connoisseur Media which now operates 13 radio station brands and digital assets in five markets. Highly respected and celebrated industry-wide for his outspoken candor and bullish approach to radio station ownership, Jeff Warshaw serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Broadcasters, the executive committee of the Radio Advertising Bureau, and is chairman of the Nielsen Audio advisory council. Harrison describes Warshaw as “one of the most knowledgeable, emerging forces to be reckoned with among radio industry leaders.”

Christopher Ruddy founded Newsmax in 1998 to publish online and offline content in the fields of news, politics, health and finance. ranks consistently as one of the country’s most-trafficked news websites. Newsmax TV, a cable and over-the-top media service news channel started in 2014, has shown remarkable growth becoming one of the nation’s leading television news and political opinion sources.  Newsmax recently entered the field of talk radio with a syndication arm and is reportedly exploring expansion into radio station ownership. As a journalist, Christopher Ruddy previously worked at the New York Post and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. He was also awarded a Media Fellowship at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. He holds a BA summa cum laude in history from St. John’s University and a Master’s in Public Policy from the London School of Economics. Harrison describes Ruddy as “a key player in emerging 21st century media.”

For more information about TALKERS 2023, see story below

Industry News

Newsmax and DirecTV Reach Renewal Deal

Newsmax announces that it has reached a renewal deal with DirecTV for the satellite TV platform to carry its programming. (It will return to DirecTV and DirectTV Stream on channel 349 today, March 22, and on U-verse channel 1220 tomorrow, March 23.) In making the announcement, Newsmax states, “DirecTV was one of the first distributors to provide Newsmax nearly a decade ago, and we want to express our appreciation to DirecTV and its leadership for working with us to find a mutually beneficial business agreement to bring our programming back to its customers. While we raised the issue of censorship relating to our removal, we now believe in DirecTV’s commitment to distributing diverse viewpoints, including conservative ones.  DirecTV has made clear during our negotiations that it has always been focused on protecting its customers from the rising programming costs across the pay TV industry and never intended to limit one perspective or to target conservative voices. We accept their position and believe that our new agreement with DirecTV will allow them to continue to be a go-to-source for one of the most diverse lineups of news programming, now with three conservative news networks including Newsmax.” Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy will be speaking at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University.