According to a story by Amy Maclean in Cablefax, Newsmax has “quietly” renewed its carriage deals with cable and satellite firms. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “By the end of 2023, we have signed renewals with all of our major operators – Comcast, Charter, DirecTV, DISH and Verizon Fios. When I started this a while back, people said they weren’t going to let any new channels on cable anymore. And we’ve basically, I think, been accepted and are now a member of the club. I think we’re here to stay.” In order to get compensation from these multichannel video programming distributors, Newsmax shuttered its free steaming channel on November 1. Interestingly, Ruddy tells Cablefax that contrary to what people might assume, the arrival of Donald Trump on the political scene didn’t help Newsmax’s efforts. “I think President Trump has added great difficulty to Newsmax because there’s so much hostility in the industry and world against him. The media establishment, but also in the cable industry, he’s not a really liked figure. We were having more success I felt before he was elected in 2016. I think we probably would have gotten more carriage earlier had he not been elected… We try to reach out to both sides. While we have a lot of pro-Trump stuff, we also have people like Rick Santorum. He has been you know very critical of him through the years and he’s now our leading political adviser… Our night leads with Greta Van Susteren, and she’s not a polarizing figure.” Read the Cablefax piece here.
Newsmax says that its surge in the Nielsen cable TV ratings continued through July registering “large weekday ratings boosts year over year, and FOX News continues to see significant declines. The July ratings book found Newsmax registered an impressive 88% percent jump in prime time, among all viewers, year over year. Nielsen also reported Newsmax witnessed 62% in total day and 56% in day-time ratings Monday through Friday.” Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “It’s clear millions of Americans have made the switch to Newsmax, and they like what they see. They also like our powerhouse lineup starting with Greta Van Susteren every night at 6:00 pm Eastern.”
TALKERS founder Michael Harrison and Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy engaged in a phone conversation this week (2/8) to discuss the bruhaha buzzing through conservative news/talk radio triggered by AT&T’s recent decision to remove the popular conservative channel from its subsidiary, DirecTV. Ruddy, grateful for the support Newsmax is receiving from radio hosts, wanted to speak out directly to the medium further explaining his position. (NOTE: Newsmax also has a footprint in the news/talk radio space as syndicator of the daily Rob Carson midday program.)
Late in January, DirecTV, owned by AT&T, “deplatformed” Newsmax from more than 13 million of its subscriber homes calling it a “business decision.”
News of this stunned Washington, fueling GOP lawmakers with more evidence that big tech media was closing down conservative voices for political reasons.
This was the second time in just the past year AT&T moved to cancel a conservative channel, taking OAN off their platforms last April.
However, Newsmax is not OAN. Newsmax has, in breathtaking time, became the fourth-highest-rated cable news channel reaching 25 million Americans, according to Nielsen.
Major Members of Congress, Senators and newsmakers dot its programming lineup every day. Even First Lady Jill Biden made a prime-time appearance to discuss her cancer initiative last October and former President Donald Trump is a regular participant.
According to Ruddy, “The fact that AT&T was willing to take down Newsmax as Republicans take control of the House was yet another sign for America’s right that ‘wokeness’ remains in high gear.”
In the conversation, Ruddy described AT&T’s decision a “blatant act of political censorship” and “effort to restrict conservative voices before the ’24 election.”
Here are some takeaways from Chris Ruddy:
“We know from ‘The Twitter Files,’ that Twitter worked in collusion with federal agencies, including the FBI, to censor and restrict the speech of news media and public figures,” said Ruddy.
“Why,” he asked,” would we not think that was happening” in Newsmax’s case, too?
(During testimony on February 8 before the House Oversight Committee, former Twitter executives admitted they handled the Hunter Biden matter poorly, but also said they were not in contact with government officials over the matter.)
Ruddy points to a 2021 letter penned by Democratic Members of Congress Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, addressed to AT&T’s CEO and other cable operators, clearly aimed at removing OAN, Newsmax and FOX News Channel for spreading “misinformation.”
Harrison asked, “With two channels down, is FOX News a target next?”
Ruddy said it clearly is a target, but that cable operators will have a more difficult time “deplatforming” it.
Harrison asked, “When AT&T dropped OAN and Newsmax, didn’t the company say both moves were the result of cost-cutting?”
Ruddy responded that this claim makes no sense when Newsmax is concerned, “because they keep over 100 channels that have far less ratings and are more costly than Newsmax.”
A business approach, he said, would be for DirecTV to remove low-rated channels that are costly, not highly rated channels like Newsmax that are inexpensive.
He said AT&T’s unusual decision to cut Newsmax demonstrates a “political motive.”
Newsmax has produced a chart that shows 22 liberal-leaning news and information channels. Almost all have lower ratings than Newsmax – and all get fees higher than Newsmax was seeking.
Ruddy says Newsmax sought a very modest license fee of $1 per year per subscriber. CNN gets $14 a year from DirecTV. And almost every channel in the top 100 gets a multiple of the $1.
Harrison asked, “So, what’s the problem for DirecTV, which I understand raked in $2.7 billion last year in profits?”
Ruddy’s response: “DirecTV says that Newsmax is simply ineligible for any license fee, not one penny let alone $1.”
And here he seems to make a strong case AT&T is targeting Newsmax – by denying it any fees when almost everyone else gets paid a fee, especially liberal channels.
“AT&T DirecTV is being super clever,” Ruddy explains. “They tell Newsmax they’ll carry us for free, but we can’t get a license fee.” But, Ruddy adds, “Since all cable agreements, according to industry standards, get the lowest rate, that means all go to zero fees with no license fee for Newsmax.
“Since cable news channels need license fees to operate, DirecTV is effectively putting Newsmax out of business,” he said.
“This claim that Newsmax alone can never get a fee simply doesn’t seem to work for a lot of people in the public as well as Congress,” Ruddy said.
“Many conservative leaders in America – and some fair-minded independents and liberals – have already concluded that AT&T’s motives with Newsmax were largely driven by politics, and not by dollars and cents.”
New House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he called AT&T and informed the company that “Newsmax should not be treated any differently based upon them being a conservative news outlet.” McCarthy has vowed there will be hearings on the removal of Newsmax.
Even Alan Dershowitz, one of America’s famed liberal lawyers, agrees with McCarthy that Newsmax’s removal doesn’t pass the smell test.
“Clearly, they used economic reasons as a cover for political reasons,” Dershowitz told Newsmax’s Greta Van Susteren last week.
Dershowitz said he believes AT&T’s decision “had elements of partisan and ideological and political bias directed at stations that don’t adhere to the views of the company.”
“Anybody who believes that this was purely an economic decision should buy a bridge in Brooklyn,” he said, adding that A&T DirecTV “ought to reconsider and put Newsmax back on.”
When AT&T DirecTV deplatformed OAN, a relatively hard-right channel with a relatively small viewership, it received little attention. But the executives at AT&T may have awoken a sleeping giant by taking on Newsmax.
Newsmax’s reach is extensive, reaching 40 million Americans through online, apps, emails, and a huge social media network – not to mention that its content is highly utilized by many radio talk show hosts and producers.
Ruddy told Harrison, “For a long time Newsmax’s audience has been aligned and interconnected with the talk radio audience. We are seeing tremendous synergies across all media platforms, including talk radio.” Ruddy has been speaking out on this subject on a number of radio talk shows across America.
On the same day of the Ruddy-Harrison conversation, the Newsmax CEO appeared on Mark Simone’s top-rated show on powerhouse WOR in New York to discuss the censorship of his channel. Demand is so great for interviews, Newsmax analysts Dick Morris and Hogan Gidley are also doing interviews about the AT&T matter.
The End Game
Ruddy said he’d like Newsmax to be back on DirecTV. Initially, DirecTV said they had no intention to bring Newsmax back on air. But last week, the company reversed course and said they are open to do so.
However, according to Ruddy, so far DirecTV has not changed their position that Newsmax is not entitled to any license fees.
“We are willing to negotiate but DirecTV has to do so in good faith,” Ruddy said, adding “We’re waiting.”
He said even if Newsmax stays off DirecTV, his media empire will continue to grow.
“This episode has made us stronger and AT&T is a good company for us to build against in the months and years ahead,” he said. “Everyone knows AT&T and they’re not well-liked for engaging in politics, targeting conservatives – and they even owned CNN during its worst years,” Ruddy said.
“We’ve been in business for 25 years and no matter what the controversy, Newsmax has always come out ahead. It will this time too,” he concluded.
After speaking with Ruddy, Harrison stated, “We all know that the First Amendment only applies to government censorship and privately-owned platforms have the right to present or not present whatever opinions conform to their positions. However, when government officials use the influence and prestige of their office to pressure high-level media executives to deplatform legitimate players for obvious political ends – as seems to be the case in this Newsmax scenario – that becomes a major concern for all Americans who value free speech. And even if the government wasn’t involved, massive power requires equal responsibility and even-handedness. Although in many cases the picture remains murky – for the most part, it is clear to me that conservatives claiming an ongoing imbalance of bias against them, by the informationally-vital venues of big tech, have an abundance of growing evidence to support their complaints. And that should be a major worry of all fair-minded Americans trying to negotiate the turbulent waters of this new digital era without losing at least the spirit of the First Amendment let alone the letter of the law.”
KOGO, San Diego Launches ‘Slater & Lou’ Show. As part of a realignment of programming and a frequency swap in San Diego, iHeartMedia announces the launch of the new “Slater & Lou” program on news/talk KOGO-AM. Starring Mike Slater and Lou Penrose, the program will air daily from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm beginning today (9/1). Penrose had been hosting a one-hour show on KOGO and Slater had been hosting on co-owned KGB-AM “The Patriot.” iHeartMedia says, “The duo will join forces for a fast-paced, news-driven talk program for San Diegans that will focus on the day’s top stories both local and national. Slater’s extensive knowledge of history combined with Lou’s background in politics will provide listeners with an accurate understanding of topics and the impact they may have on people’s lives.” iHeartMedia San Diego director of news and programming Brian Long says, “Mike and Lou represent a fresh approach to talk radio. Joining KOGO’s lineup on the drive home next to ‘champion of government reform’ Carl DeMaio will provide the show with a great forum to deliver their unique perspectives to the KOGO audience.”
iHeartMedia San Diego Flips Frequencies; Adjusts Programming on News/Talk and Sports Outlets. Today (9/1), the frequency swap of iHeartMedia San Diego AM stations takes effect as the sports talk format heard on KLSD-AM “XTRA 1360” moves to KGB-AM where it will become “San Diego Sports 760” and conservative news/talk “The Patriot” moves to KLSD-AM’s 1360 signal as “The Patriot 1360 AM.” iHeartMedia president San Diego/Riverside region Noreen Ippolito states, “We are committed to delivering an audio sports platform with massive reach for our listeners and partners. Our goal is to reach fans wherever they are through the iHeartRadio App, KGB-FM HD2 simulcast, and on 760 AM’s massive day and nighttime signal which can be heard all over the West Coast.” The lineup on “San Diego Sports 760” remains the same, while the show lineup on “The Patriot 1360 AM” is now all syndicated with the move of Mike Slater to KOGO as noted in the story above. Talk host Mark Larson tweets that he also moves from KGB-AM to KOGO-AM to host the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm “KOGO at Night” program.
Salem Appoints Tara Loring Eastern Regional Digital Sales Director. Audio sales pro Tara Loring is named Eastern regional digital sales director for Salem Media Group, effective September 12. Loring most recently served with Hubbard Broadcasting as general sales manager and director of digital media for the company’s West Palm Beach cluster. Salem VP and general manager Jon Latzer says, “Tara has been an active hands-on leader in both the broadcast and digital media industries for several years and her wealth of experiences will provide tremendous growth to our digital marketing firm – Salem Surround. In Tara, we have an individual who has experience working with multiple sales staffs and managing high-performance individuals. We are thrilled that Tara is joining our growing sales and operational efforts and will lead a team who is dedicated to helping Salem and our advertisers grow and thrive.” Loring comments, “I am thrilled to be joining the Salem Media team, one that truly embraces forward-thinking initiatives to produce real results for clients and partners. A big thank you to Jon Latzer, Jamie Cohen, and Dave Santrella for welcoming me with open arms. I look forward to taking my passion for building winning teams to Salem Surround and working with Jon to help continue their incredible revenue and operational growth.”
Edison Research: Top Podcast Genre is Comedy. Based on Edison Research’s data collected continuously from Q3 2021 through Q2 2022 by surveying weekly podcast consumers ages 18 and older in the U.S., the company reveals its list of the Top Podcast Genres in the U.S. and comedy once again takes the top spot as the genre consumed by most weekly podcast listeners. Here’s the updated Top 10 Genres for Q2 2022 in full: 1) Comedy, 2) News, 3) Society and Culture, 4) True Crime, 5) Sports, 6) Business, 7) Arts, 8) TV and Film, 9) Education, and 10) Religion and Spirituality.
TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Greta Van Susteren – host of the nightly Newsmax TV program “The Record with Greta Van Susteren” – has been honored by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who awarded her the Order of Merit, III Degree for her in-depth and hard-hitting project, “Putin’s Atrocities: Horror in Ukraine.” Newsmax says, “Much of the mainstream media has focused on weapons and the billions in financial aid given to Ukraine by the global community to fend off Moscow’s aggression. Van Susteren’s series, though, took a different tack, exploring the savagery displayed by Putin’s forces. Intriguing segments looked at reports of POWs being tortured and executed, alleged war crimes by Moscow, and the Kremlin’s campaign of terror against Ukraine’s women and children. Van Susteren says, “I have been on the ground in Ukraine and seen this war with my own eyes. Once you see it with your own eyes, you can’t turn your back. The world needs to know what is going on… especially the atrocities. This is why I am at Newsmax — the opportunity to do these important stories with great colleagues.”…..The WSB-AM, Atlanta-based, nationally syndicated Erick Erickson show adds new affiliate stations as KJJR, Kalispell, Montana and WETR, Knoxville add the program on weekends; WMAY, Springfield, Illinois puts the show on weekday evenings; and WDBO, Orlando moves the program into the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart…..The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that Colleen Valkoun has exited her role as market president for iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee radio station operations that includes news/talk WISN, sports talkers WRNW-FM and WOKY-AM, plus four music brands. The Journal reports that Valkoun’s duties will be absorbed by iHeartMedia Area president Jeff Tyler…..Nielsen Holdings plc announces that at a court meeting and special meeting of its shareholders, its shareholders have approved the previously announced definitive agreement for Nielsen to be acquired by a private equity consortium composed of Evergreen Coast Capital Corp., an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management L.P., and Brookfield Business Partners L.P. together with institutional partners. Shareholders approved the $28.00 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $16 billion, including the assumption of debt. The transaction, which is expected to close in October 2022, remains subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Nielsen will become a private company, and its shares will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
FBI Documents Investigation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Biden Philly Speech, Student Loan Forgiveness, China COVID Lockdown, Migrant Busing, Russia-Ukraine War, and Jackson Water Woes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/31). The FBI and Department of Justice investigation into the documents retrieved from former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago; the midterm elections, Sarah Palin’s special election loss, and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race; President Joe Biden’s planned prime-time speech tonight in Philadelphia; criticism of Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan; China’s COVID lockdown of 21 million in Chengdu; Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s busing of migrants to New York, Washington, and Chicago; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the attempt to inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; and Jackson, Mississippi’s water system failure were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
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.
Round One of July PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July PPM survey has been 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 July 2022 sweep covered June 23 – July 20. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Rating Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York City, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC adds a full share to finish with a 4.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and rises to the #7 rank, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR loses one-tenth for a 1.9 share finish good for the #19 rank. Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN, Chicago adds seven-tenths to wrap the survey with a 3.3 share and rises to the #10 rank. Audacy’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM sheds four-tenths to post a 4.6 share and falls from #2 to #4. In Dallas, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP continues its upward trajectory adding a half share for a 4.5 share finish that pushes it to the #4 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta is steady with a 5.7 share and remains locked in the #4 spot. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
AM 790 in Providence Returns to Sports Talk as ‘790 The Score.’ Heritage Providence station WPRV-AM completes its previously announced flip from business news to sports talk as Cumulus Media launches “790 The Score.” The station – originally WEAN-AM when it debuted in 1922 – broadcast a sports talk format for about 10 years from 1998 through 2008 as WSKO “The Score.” That was replaced by oldies for about a year before flipping to business talk in 2009. Cumulus says the new station “brings sports and sports betting news, information, and insights to the burgeoning and underserved sports betting audience in the Providence area. ‘790 The Score’ delivers behind-the-book perspectives from experts in a highly entertaining and engaging format.” Cumulus Providence VP and market manager Holly Paras says, “It’s official: ‘790 The Score’ is now Providence’s best bet for sports fans and sports betting enthusiasts, and we couldn’t be more excited! The station features a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage, along with New England Patriots football, New York Yankees baseball, Boston Celtics basketball, and Brown University football and basketball play-by-play. We think Providence sports and sports betting fans will love ‘790 The Score!’” The program lineup includes: Bet MGM, Bet QL, Jim Rome, local host Kevin McNamara, and more.
KHOW, Denver’s Michael Brown Named New Host of ‘The Weekend.’ Former Under Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of FEMA, Michael Brown – host of “The Situation with Michael Brown” on iHeartMedia’s KHOW, Denver – is named the full-time host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio program, “The Weekend.” The three-hour show is heard on more than 300 stations nationwide. Brown takes over for Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo as the regular host of the show. Brown says, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to take the reins of ‘The Weekend.’ When Premiere asked me to sign on full-time, it was a no brainer. I’m looking forward to furthering my connection with this nationwide audience each week. We’re going to have a great time together as we go beyond the headlines to tackle the stories that matter most with honesty, smarts and a dose of fun.”
Westwood One Audio Active Group: Only Half of NFL Fans Are Aware Thursday Night Games Are Only on Amazon Prime. This week’s blog from the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group includes data from a national study from MARU/Matchbox of 1,000 Americans over the age of 18 that indicates half of frequent NFL viewers and only 30% of occasional NFL viewers are aware that “Thursday Night Football” will only be available on Amazon Prime Video. Although the majority of football fans with Amazon Prime say they’ll watch NFL “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime Video, about half of “Thursday Night Football” viewers are not Amazon Prime members. This presents opportunity for Westwood One as after a decade behind a paywall, the audio stream of its national broadcasts will now be available for local radio station affiliates. The Westwood One national audio stream will also be available on the free NFL app. For years WFAN listeners in the New York market could hear the game over the air but not on WFAN’s audio stream. Now listeners will have the option to listen to Westwood One’s Monday night, Thursday night, and Sunday night broadcasts on their smart speakers, smartphones, and laptops. See the blog post here.
Three Executive Promotions at Triton Digital. The company announces that three executives are being promoted within the company. Oscar Sermeno is upped to vice president of market strategy, Americas; Daniel Karlsson is promoted to vice president, market development and global strategy; and Michael Chien is elevated to vice president of advertising product strategy. Triton Digital president and CEO John Rosso comments, “Triton Digital continues on a trajectory of rapid growth and global expansion. These recent promotions within our leadership team will play an instrumental role in furthering Triton’s innovative spirit while maintaining operational excellence and expanding the company’s presence around the world. All while continuing to provide best-in-class audio streaming, podcasting, audience measurement, and advertising technology on a global scale.”
TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated program, “The Dana Show” – starring Dana Loesch, adds new affiliate WFLF-AM, Orlando “WFLA.” The iHeartMedia station is picking up the Radio America-syndicated show for the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm daypart…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces the availability of the 2022 Election Toolkit – an online resource that provides local television and radio broadcasters with ideas and information to cover the 2022 local, state and federal elections. The 2022 Election Toolkit provides assets to help broadcasters serve their communities in the lead-up to Election Day on November 8. It includes information on identifying false statements online, suggested tactics for hosting debates, voter registration resources and guides for finding local polling places. Broadcast-ready public service announcements encouraging voter participation are also available in both English and Spanish through the toolkit. NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt says, “Local broadcasters are a trusted and reliable source of news and information, which takes on heightened importance in combatting disinformation as Americans exercise their right to vote. The toolkit will equip radio and television stations in helping voters make informed decisions at the polls – an essential component in ensuring the vitality of our democracy.” Find it here…..Two podcasts – “Smart Talks with IBM,” an iHeartRadio show produced in collaboration with Pushkin and IBM, and “Bridgerton: The Official Podcast,” a Shondaland Audio and iHeartRadio program, are receiving a 2022 Adweek Podcast of the Year Award. Adweek’s annual Podcast of the Year Awards recognizes the best podcasts, featuring shows across 28 categories aimed at all sorts of audiences.
FBI Searches Mar-a-Lago, The Economy, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Taiwan/U.S.-China Relations, Russia-Ukraine War, and Olivia Newton-John Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/8). The FBI executes a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club as part of an investigation into presidential documents; the still-high price of gasoline and food and concerns about a recession; November’s midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; China’s ramped up military exercises around Taiwan and the tenuous relations between the U.S. and China; Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the global economy; and Olivia Newton-John dies at 73 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Urban One Enters into Deal to Acquire Emmis Communications’ Indy Radio Stations. The price for the four radio stations, two translators and the regional programming network has not been revealed yet, but Urban One, Inc’s definitive asset purchase agreement with Emmis Communications to purchase its Indianapolis radio cluster means Emmis will be effectively out of the radio business. It still owns the licenses to WEPN-FM and WLIB-AM in New York but leases them. Under the terms of this new deal, Urban One will acquire adult contemporary WYXB-FM, country WLHK-FM, news/talk WIBC-FM, sports talk “The Fan” (translators W228CX at 93.5 and W298BB at 107.5), and Network Indiana. Urban One president and CEO Alfred Liggins comments, “These are terrific general market formats and will be a great addition to Urban One in a transaction that is accretive and deleveraging.” Urban One adds that in anticipation of the transaction, it will sell its hip hop WHHH-FM, Indianapolis along with the intellectual property related to WNOW to a third party. Emmis will continue to operate its stations and Urban One will continue to operate WHHH until the transaction closes. Meanwhile, Emmis founder and chairman Jeff Smulyan states, “When Emmis launched our first station, WENS now ‘HANK FM,’ in 1981, I never could have envisioned the journey we would go on. Indianapolis is my hometown, and I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish – we’ve become an invaluable contributor to the Indianapolis community, a leader of radio industry initiative and innovation, and a trusted resource for Central Indiana listeners and businesses.” Emmis notes in its press release that in recent years it “has sold many of its media assets and redeployed capital into new ventures which emphasize its sales and marketing experience including: Lencore Acoustics, a leader in high-quality sound masking solutions for commercial applications; Sound That BRANDS, the Los Angeles-based podcasting studio specializing in branded audio content for national advertisers; and Digonex, a leading provider of dynamic pricing solutions for attractions and live entertainment industries.”
Round One of May PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2022 PPM survey has been 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 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 New York City, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC slips by three-tenths to a 3.3 share (weekly, 6+ AHQ share) finish good for the #10 rank. Across town, Audacy’s all-news WINS sheds 1.1 shares to finish with a 3.1 share and the #11 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles loses one-tenth, but remains ranked #3 on the strength of a 5.0 share. Audacy’s all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco is up one-tenth, finishing with a 6.2 share that bumps it into the #2 rank. In Dallas, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP posts a seven-tenths increase that pushes it to the #10 rank with a 3.6 share, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KRLD-AM is steady at a 2.1 share but falls to the #20 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
TALKERS 2022 Coverage Coming Soon. The 25th annual installment (and second pandemic-era edition) of the talk media industry’s longest-running, largest, and most important national convention – TALKERS 2022 – took place this past Friday, June 10 and by all accounts significantly exceeded expectations. It was widely hailed by many of its longtime participants as “the best ‘TALKERS’ ever!” It was presented by TALKERS in association with Hofstra University’s award-winning radio station WRHU-FM/WRHU.org. Some 275 passionate media professionals from all over the country traveled to the beautiful campus of Hofstra on Long Island to see, hear and meet more than 60 luminary speakers – from talk media programming, management, station ownership, syndication, sales, marketing and technology – tackle the most compelling issues, opportunities and challenges currently at play in the industry. It was a power-packed day of non-stop panels, solo addresses, fireside charts, award presentations, exhibits and networking opportunities. The TALKERS editorial staff is now sifting through hundreds of photos and hours of video preparing extensive coverage of the conference and its enormous treasure trove of content that will be appearing in TALKERS magazine for days and weeks ahead. Pictured at the top of this story is TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) interviewing Key Networks-syndicated star Bill O’Reilly (right) during one of three keynote addresses. Pictured in the inset is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio personality Buck Sexton addressing the attendees during the opening session.
Greta Van Susteren Launches on Newsmax TV Tonight. This evening (6/14), news/talk television pro Greta Van Susteren begins her program on Newsmax TV’s evening lineup. “The Record with Greta Van Susteren” airs at 6:00 pm ET. Van Susteren says, “With all that is going on in the world, I am getting back to my roots — a daily live news show with real reporting from the places where things are happening.” At the same time, Newsmax announces the new daily program schedule on the network: “The Chris Salcedo Show,” 4:00 pm; “Spicer & Co.” with Sean Spicer, Lyndsay Keith, 5:00 pm; “The Record with Greta Van Susteren,” 6:00 pm; “Rob Schmitt Tonight,” 7:00 pm; “Eric Bolling The Balance,” 8:00 pm; “Prime News” with Jenn Pellegrino, 9:00 pm; and “Greg Kelly Reports,” 10:00 pm. Newsmax EVP programming Elliot Jacobson comments, “This new schedule will strengthen Newsmax’s ability to deliver hard-hitting news and analysis when Americans need it the most.”
ATTENTION: TALKERS Heavy Hundred Members. TALKERS has been made aware that a trophy and plaque manufacturing company has been contacting talk show hosts who are listed as being members of the Heavy Hundred (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) and is soliciting them to purchase a costly plaque or trophy commemorating the honor. Please be advised that this plaque (or a variety of variations of awards and trophies available in their catalogue) is unofficial and the company – SHOWMARK MEDIA, LLC – enjoys no official connection or licensing agreement with TALKERS. According to TALKERS VP/associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison, “TALKERS has never engaged in charging its award recipients for items or products indicating their receiving an honor bestowed by our organization.”
Radio Hall of Fame 2022 Nominees Announced. The nominees for the Radio Hall of Fame class of 2022 have been announced by the Museum of Broadcast Communications. The 24 nominees were chosen by the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, with input from the radio industry and listeners. Voting for inductees begins Tuesday, June 22 and runs through July 8. The top six vote recipients will gain induction as part of the 2022 Radio Hall of Fame Induction class. The two additional inductees that will make up the eight-person induction class will be selected by the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. More than 600 industry members will receive a confidential ballot on Tuesday, June 22, to cast votes for up to six nominated individuals. The confidential ballot will be conducted by Votem.com, and overseen by Miller Kaplan’s Andrew Rosen. The nominees in spoken-word radio include: Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, SiriusXM; Dave Ross, KIRO-FM, Seattle; Diane Rehm, WAMU-FM,Washington DC; John & Ken, KFI, Los Angeles; Larry Elder; and Suzyn Waldman, New York Yankees Radio Network. You can see the complete list of nominees here. Radio Hall of Fame co-chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’ve made changes in 2022, to allow voting participants to vote for up to six nominees for induction, and limit the voting process to knowledgeable industry members. Listeners and industry members alike contributed more than 2,500 suggestions for the Nominating Committee to consider in addition to their own considerations.”
iHeartMedia Names AJ Punjabi Market President for San Francisco. Radio sales and management pro AJ Punjabi moves from iHeartMedia’s Charleston market, where he most recently served as the market president and enterprise leader of the Blockchain/Crypto/NFT category, to San Francisco to serve as market president. iHeartMedia’s San Francisco station group includes business talk KNEW-AM “Bloomberg Radio” and KKSF-AM “BIN: Black Information Network. iHeartMedia division president Scott Hopeck says, “AJ is a talent-focused leader with exceptional digital experience, which will serve him well in the Bay Area, where he will lead a talented team of creators and sales professionals. I’m excited for AJ to begin working with his team and our partners!”
Rob Parker Makes Debut at LA’s The Comedy Store. Last week, FOX Sports Radio personality Rob Parker, co-host of “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker,” made his stand-up comedy debut at the legendary Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Parker participated in the “Crack’Em Up Comedy” show in the Belly Room, a weekly showcase and workout room featuring rising comedy stars and established comedians. Pictured above are (l-r): Elijah Sebunnya, FOX Sports Radio digital content director; Scott Shapiro, FOX Sports Radio VP of programming; Parker; Jade Kozup, Premiere Networks director of marketing; and Mike Lingard, FOX Sports Radio executive news producer & operations manager.
‘New Jersey 101.5’ to Present Town Hall on ‘Growing Weed in the Garden State.’ This Thursday (6/16) at 7:00 pm,Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” presents the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts. “Growing Weed in the Garden State” explores how the legal adult use marijuana industry is impacting New Jersey. The station’s Eric Scott leads a panel that includes law enforcement, legal experts, regulators, growers and dispensary operators. “The sale of legal cannabis products for recreational use generated over $24 million in the first month,” Scott says. “While there is clearly demand for product, unintended consequences are continuing to surface.” The program will explore not only those unintended consequences, but also how legal marijuana sales are positively impacting New Jersey. The program’s on-air panel will feature: Bill Caruso, co-founder of New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform; Rob Nixon with the New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association; New Jersey State Senate president Nicholas Scutari; Chrissy Buteas, chief government affairs officer at New Jersey Business & Industry Association; as well as marijuana cultivators and dispensary operators.
The Economy, January 6 Hearings, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19, White Nationalist Movement, and Western Heat-Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/13). Financial markets hit bear territory, the soaring price of gasoline & food, and concerns about a recession; Monday’s session of the January 6 hearings; the primary elections for November’s midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and the effects of the blockade on Ukraine’s major ports; the rate of infections of COVID-19; the arrest of 30 members of the white nationalist organization Patriot Front in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and the Western heatwave and ongoing drought were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Greta Van Susteren Joins Newsmax for Nightly Show. Talk media personality and news anchor Greta Van Susteren is joining Newsmax as host of her own daily signature show, “The Record with Greta Van Susteren.” The program will be based in Washington, D.C. and will premiere on Tuesday, June 14. Newsmax says it will “lead the network’s evening lineup with a solid hour of factual, fair, and independent perspective on the news.” Van Susteren comments, “With all that is going on in the world, I am getting back to my roots — a daily live news show with real reporting from the places where things are happening. I have been friends with [Newsmax CEO] Chris Ruddy for years, and he is giving me this great opportunity to return, giving me the complete freedom to cover the news that really matters to people. I have been impressed by Newsmax’s team and their success and would love to be part of a news network that is really growing.” Van Susteren’s career includes high-profile positions at CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC, as well as her recent work with the Gray television network and as a contributor to Voice of America. Ruddy states, “No one in journalism better exemplifies Newsmax’s mission to provide fact-based news and fact-based opinion than Greta Van Susteren. We are so pleased and honored to have Greta lead our nightly news lineup of programs.”
WBAL-AM, Baltimore Pairs Torrey Snow and Dan Joseph for Afternoon Drive. Charm City radio personalities Torrey Snow (left) and Dan Joseph (right) have been working together at Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL-AM in a limited fashion but now are officially the afternoon drive team. Effective yesterday (5/23), “Torrey and Dan” is the permanent 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. Torrey helmed “The Torrey Snow Program” on WBAL since August of 2020. Joseph had hosted his own program on the station before being partnered with Snow. WBAL president and general manager Dan Joerres says, “‘The Torrey and Dan Show’ is a terrific opportunity for two top-notch hosts to join forces and offer our listeners a dynamic show that touches on a wide range of topics every day. Our responsibility is to our listeners and this show further amplifies that commitment as the leading news/talk station in Baltimore and beyond.”
KMOX, St. Louis Announces New Midday Show. St. Louis news/talk KMOX announces that with the retirement of longtime talk host Charlie Brennan, it will debut its new midday program on May 31. Audacy announces that it is expanding the “Total Information AM” program to 10:00 am, “bolstered by co-anchors Carol Daniel, who returns to the newsroom and Megan Lynch, investigative reporter. Together with Debbie Monterrey and Tom Ackerman, they will deliver the news, traffic and weather listeners depend on, including analysis, in-depth interviews and open conversation.” The new midday program will consist of Amy Marxkors, Kevin Wheeler and Chris Rongey, and air weekdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Wheeler transitions from host of “Sports Open Line” and Cardinals baseball pregame and postgame host, while Rongey expands his part-time role. The station will immediately begin a search for a new host of “Sports Open Line” and Cardinals pregame and postgame programming. As a result of the changes, midday personality Ryan Wrecker exits the station. He says via Twitter, “Yesterday was my last day at KMOX. I would like to think we created some great moments in the last five years in St. Louis. At this point, I have no idea what will happen next, but I trust it’s set up to move in the right direction. Again, thank you all.” Audacy St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan states, “This series of updates underscores our overarching commitment to delivering news and balanced talk shows to the people of St. Louis, while accentuating the strength of our top-level hosts. From our award-winning morning show to our unrivaled coverage of the Cardinals, we want to elevate the conversation.”
KFI, Los Angeles Takes Eight Honors at 72nd Golden Mike Awards. Los Angeles news/talk KFI-AM took home eight awards at this past Saturday’s 72nd Annual Golden Mike Awards at Universal City. The press release says the Golden Mike Awards is Southern California’s most prestigious, and most coveted, broadcast journalism prize and one of America’s longest running broadcast news award programs. Robin Bertolucci, program director for the iHeartMedia station, says, “The content being produced by the KFI news department is exceptional and I am so proud of the KFI news team and the talented people who have produced these award-winning broadcasts and podcasts. And it’s exciting to note that KFI won twice as many awards as any other station in our division.” KFI won the following: Best Radio Documentary: “The Death and Life of Kobe Bryant,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producer Eric Sklar; Best Public Affairs Program: “After the Verdict, A Path Forward,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producers Kayla Austin and Clay Roe; Best Digital News Reporting: “Unhoused, A look at Homelessness in LA and OC,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producers Mark Mennie and Lt. Geoff Deedrick; Best Podcast – News: “9/11, Two Decades Later,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez, with associate producers Nico Melendez and Sheron Bellio; Best Podcast – Feature: “The Death and Life of Kobe Bryant,” produced by Steve Gregory and Jacob Gonzalez; Best Serious Feature Reporting: “Illegal Street Racing in the SFV,” produced by Steve Gregory; Best Government and Political Reporting: “2020 Voter Fraud Fear,” produced by Corbin Carson; and Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: “KFI News with Michael Crozier,” produced by Michael Crozier.
WTAM, Cleveland and Bloomdaddy Raise $460k for Mike Trivisonno Fund. Yesterday’s radiothon on iHeartMedia Cleveland’s news/talk WTAM launched the “The Mike Trivisonno Fund” to benefit Coats for Kids and the special, seven-hour broadcast brought in $460,000 to the fledgling charity bearing the name of the station’s late PM drive personality. Current afternoon personality Bloomdaddy announced the $400,000 commitment to the charity from The Figgie Foundation. The broadcast included a visit from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Bloomdaddy says, “Triv always said it’s not the kids’ fault and I could not agree more. There is one thing I’m also passionate about and that is doing anything I can to help kids both on and off the air. I’m honored to carry the Coats for Kids torch and make sure Triv’s legacy lives on.” Pictured above are (from l-r): “Bloomdaddy Show” executive producer Carmen Angelo, iHeartMedia Cleveland Area metro president Keith Hotchkiss, DeWine, and Bloomdaddy. Photo by Mike Picha/iHeartMedia
SportsMap Launches New Daily Show with Jeff Michael. A new, daily program is launching on June 6 on SportsMap Radio called “The Rundown with Jeff Michael.” The 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show “will be an energetic and fast-paced program featuring the biggest guests and hottest takes in sports talk radio.” Jeff Michael has been a part-time host on the network since 2020 and has created numerous successful podcasts. He says, “Sports talk radio always meant the world to me. Having an opportunity to reach such a large national audience is something I do not take lightly. While I’m so grateful for the opportunity, my focus will always be on creating captivating and informative content.”
TALKERS News Notes. This Thursday (5/26) at 7:00 pm, Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” presents the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts. “The Summer of ’22 – Back to the Beach” kicks off summer in the Garden State and the station’s Eric Scott will lead a panel of tourism officials, local mayors, law enforcement and travel experts. Tourism came roaring back after pandemic restrictions were lifted in 2021, but the surge in visitors has also caused disruptions and chaos in many shore towns, as was seen in Long Branch over the weekend when thousands of partygoers showed up at Pier Village for a pop-up party, leading to a curfew and over a dozen arrests. This year, there is also concern about the impact legal marijuana sales will have on tourism and law enforcement. Scott says, “From wild pop-up parties, groups of rowdy teens taking over the boardwalks and changes in policing laws, towns are trying to avoid a repeat, and provide the best possible experience for vacationing families.”…..The RTDNA is announcing the winners of Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and iHeartMedia Boston’s all-news WBZ-AM wins three awards in the categories of Breaking News Coverage, Best Newscast, and Continuing Coverage. iHeartMedia Boston VP of news, talk & sports Rob Sanchez says, “These awards speak to the professionalism and bravery of our news team, who strive to deliver vital news coverage to those who rely on WBZ NewsRadio each day.”…..D’Annette Roy joins C-SPAN as the network’s new director of legal affairs and business risk management. She will provide legal advice, risk mitigation strategies, and project management acumen while also serving as a value-added partner aligned in achieving C-SPAN’s strategic goals. Roy joins C-SPAN from Black News Channel, where she was the manager of standards and practices.
Biden Asia Tour, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Inflation-Recession Fears, Title 42, COVID-19/Monkeypox, and Kellyanne Conway Book Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). President Joe Biden’s tour of Asia in which he met with prime ministers from India, Australia and Japan; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the global economy; the primary elections for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the high price of gas & food and fears of a recession; the Biden administrations challenge to Title 42 that prevents migrants from entering the U.S.; the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in parts of the U.S. and the spike in monkeypox cases around the world; and former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway’s new memoir were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Joe Gallagher to Return to WGY, Albany for Weekend Shows. The Albany Times-Union reports that talk host Joe Gallagher is returning to iHeartMedia’s news/talk WGY-AM/FM, Albany to host a one-hour program at 9:00 am on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Gallagher was let go from the station in 2020. He’d served as the station’s afternoon drive host for years and was hosting weekends when he departed in pandemic-related staff reductions. WGY news and program director Jeff Wolf says, “He’s been gone about two years, and pretty much on a weekly basis I get listener feedback saying ‘Bring Joe back.'” Gallagher hosted a few special programs earlier this year and that started the ball rolling in getting him back on a scheduled show. Wolf adds, “We were thrilled. He was all about it and, obviously, we are too.”
Wilson Named Operations Manager for Cumulus Media Mobile. Radio programming pro Vincent “Mojo” Wilson joins Cumulus Media’s Mobile, Alabama station group that consists of news/talk WXQW-AM and four music brands as operations manager. He’ll also serve as PD for WXQW-AM and CHR WABD-FM. Wilson was most recently director of operations for Southern Broadcasting in Florence/Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Cumulus Mobile VP and market manager Don Boyd says, “‘Mojo’ is a talented programmer and on-air personality with a strong track record leading urban, CHR, Gospel and news/talk stations. He will be an excellent addition to our top performing team in Mobile as operations manager of our five-station group.”
Greta Van Susteren to Moderate Newsmax’s Pennsylvania Senate Primary Debate. News/talk television personality Greta Van Susteren is moderating tomorrow’s Newsmax debate between the top contenders for the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat that’s being vacated by retiring Senator Pat Toomey. The debate will take place on the campus of Grove City College in Western Pennsylvania in which Van Susteren will moderate candidates Dr. Mehmet Oz, David McCormick, Ambassador Carla Sands, Kathy Barnette, and Jeff Bartos. Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy says, “Pennsylvania is one of the most important states on the national map. And this race will have national implications, so we’ll be hosting this Newsmax debate live for all Americans to watch.”
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former Chicago Bears great Olin Kreutz has been let go from his contributor role at the new digital sports venture CHGO Sports after he physically attacked a fellow staffer on Monday (5/2). Kreutz is also a contributor to Audacy’s sports talk WSCR “The Score” and NBC Sports Chicago. Kreutz is apparently not disputing the incident. He tweeted a picture of Mike Tyson with the text: “Social media made y’all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it.”…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces that Alex Siciliano is joining the organization as senior communications strategist. Siciliano reports to NAB chief of staff and EVP of public affairs Michelle Lehman. In this newly created position, Siciliano will lead NAB’s public relations efforts on key advocacy issues, developing and implementing media relations strategies to advance broadcasters’ policy agenda before Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. Siciliano was most recently VP of communications at The Petrizzo Group. NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt says, “Alex has years of experience in shaping and executing effective messaging campaigns on policy issues. Broadcasters will benefit from his deep advocacy background as he shapes NAB’s communications on the most important issues facing our industry. We are thrilled to welcome him to NAB.”…..The Freakonomics Radio Network names Neal Carruth as EVP and general manager. Carruth most recently led NPR’s news podcasting strategy, and his responsibilities at Freakonomics Radio Network will include helping to set the strategic and editorial direction of the organization. His hiring follows the March appointment of Gabriel Roth from Slate as editorial director. Carruth says, “For years now, I’ve been a serious fan of the work that Stephen Dubner and the team have done on the Freakonomics Radio podcast. I love the podcast’s combination of curiosity, rigor, and delight. I can’t wait to work with the team to grow the audience for the current slate of shows and to help them develop new properties. I’m so excited about this opportunity to help increase the reach and the impact of the Freakonomics Radio Network.”…..SiriusXM announces that entrepreneur, investor, best-selling author, and founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, Randi Zuckerberg, will host a new SiriusXM original podcast titled, “Crypto Café With Randi Zuckerberg.” SiriusXM says, “With cryptocurrency being a hotly debated topic, Zuckerberg’s new podcast will feature both casual and educational conversations with metaverse experts, tech futurists, and top business executives who will share industry tips and explain the skills and foundational knowledge necessary to navigate the crypto ecosystem safely and successfully.”
The Economy, January 6 Conviction, Roe v Wade Leak, Midterm Primaries/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19, Musk & Twitter, and Western Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2). The state of the U.S. economy, including falling stock and bond prices, ongoing supply chain issues and employment; a retired New York cop is convicted of assaulting a police officer in the January 6 Capitol attack; the unprecedented leak of a draft decision indicating the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade; the primary battles ahead of the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; concerns about the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in some parts of the U.S.; Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter; and the impact of the Western drought on cities in the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.