Industry News

Ongoing Coverage of TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond

The 27th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running, and most important national event took place this past Friday (6/7) at Hofstra University on Long Island. TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond was an advance sellout. The power-packed, one-day agenda featured a roster of more than 60 speakers from all ends of the talk radio and related talk media industries including talent, station owners, CEOs, programmers, technical experts, journalists, syndicators, and a wide variety of visionaries. The annual talk media industry tradition was presented by TALKERS in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio and Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. Key discussions included “Gaining Traction in a Noisy World,” “The Case for AM Radio,” “Generating News/Talk Revenue in the Digital Era,” “The State of Sports Talk Radio,” “The Brave New World of Technological and Generational Change,” “Programming News/Talk Radio,” “Perspectives on Hosting Television Talk,” “Philanthropy and Community Service,” “The Art of Story Telling,” “Talk Radio Programming Opportunities Beyond Politics,” “Meeting the Challenges of Being a Talk Talent,” “The Big Picture of Radio’s Role in a Rapidly Changing World,” and “The State of the First Amendment” among others. As the volumes of data generated by this gathering are sorted out, TALKERS will provide in-depth, detailed coverage of the conference in the days and weeks ahead including posting videos of its key segments.  See a selection of photos from TALKERS 2024 Radio and Beyond below.

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Pictured (l-r) are the industry visionaries who made the “Brave New World” panel one of the most illuminating highlights of TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond – Matthew B. Harrison, Esq., VP/associate publisher, TALKERS / senior partner, Harrison Media Law; Steven Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media; Heather Cohen, president, The Weiss Agency; John T. Mullen, GM, WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University; and Scot Bertram, GM, WRFH / Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM. Not pictured, moderator Harry Hurley, morning host, WPG, Atlantic City. The session explored radio’s generational divide, the impact of YouTube and social media; changing technology, the protection of intellectual property rights, artificial intelligence and more.

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Bill Brady, owner/host, KFNX, Phoenix “The Pulse of Arizona” delivered a compelling address appropriately titled, “The Case for AM Radio” that received a standing ovation.

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WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (r) presented Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Scott Herman (l) with a donation of $8,000 from the famous Hurley in the Morning Charty Foundation.  Each year, beginning with a $1,000 donation in 2017, Hurley has presented a gift to the BFoA at the TALKERS conference increasing the sum by a thousand dollars each year. The total now stands at $36,000. Herman delivered an emotional address detailing the tremendous work the Broadcasters Foundation does each year in providing financial support and protection to radio and TV professionals who have fallen on hard times due to catastrophic health issues or natural disasters.  For more information about the Broadcasters Foundation of America please click here.  www.broadcastersfoundation.org

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Rob Finnerty, host of “Wake Up America” on Newsmax TV, delivered an insightful lunchtime address titled “In Front of the Camera” expressing the perspective of talk show hosts on the television side of talk media.  Newsmax sponsored the lunch at TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond.

Industry News

Cox Media Group Cancels Mark Kaye Show

In a surprise move, Cox Media Group cancels “The Mark Kaye Show” based at its Jacksonville news/talk outlet WOKV-FM and syndicated to O&Os WDBO, Orlando; KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa and WHIO-imAM/FM, Dayton. The program aired in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart and the stations are going to replace the show with “The Erick Erickson Show” based at CMG’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta. The Erickson program is syndicated by Compass Media Networks. It appears that producer Hannah Guile is also exiting as a result of this move. TALKERS reached out to Mark Kaye who requested that all questions and inquiries be directed to his agent Heather Cohen at The Weiss Agency.

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TALKERS News Notes

FOX News Channel correspondent Benjamin Hall traveled to Kyiv, Ukraine this past weekend for the first time since the attack that left him catastrophically injured in March of 2022. The trip, organized by Fox Corporation executive chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch, included a sit-down interview with Volodymyr Zelenskyy that will air on “Special Report with Bret Baier” November 21. Amid enduring more than 30 surgeries over the last 20 months, Hall chronicled his journey in Saved: A War Reporter’s Mission to Make it Home which was published in March 2023 and became a New York Times bestseller.

Cox Media Group Atlanta’s radio stations partnered with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to collect 14,478 pounds of food between November 11-18. The effort by news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and its three music-formatted sister stations, generated 16,965 meals for food-insecure individuals in Georgia. CMG Atlanta VP and market manager Jaleigh Long says, “This year was a record-breaking year for pounds of food collected that will make a positive impact on our community. We’re thankful for the partnership with Atlanta Community Food Bank and grateful to be able to help struggling families during this time of ‘thanks’ and ‘giving.’”

Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes has dropped new episodes of his “Chachi Loves Everybody” podcast and one is an interview with newly elevated president of The Weiss Agency, Heather Cohen.

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Heather Cohen Rises to President of The Weiss Agency

The Weiss Agency promotes of Heather Cohen to the position of president. The company says, “With a stellar career spanning 16 years within the firm, Cohen has seamlessly combined her passion for talent representation with a commitment to making a positive impact on the industry. Beloved by colleagues,im clients, and industry insiders alike, Cohen has played a pivotal role in shaping the careers of some of the biggest stars in the business. Her dedication to the well-being and success of her clients has set a new standard for excellence in talent representation.” The Weiss Agency founder and CEO Eric Weiss adds, “In Heather, we have not only an exceptional talent agent but a true leader and advocate for positive change. Her dedication, industry acumen, and commitment to her clients embody the values we hold dear at our company.” Cohen says, “I am so fortunate to have a career that I absolutely love. It is a privilege to represent people that I truly believe in. The content they provide is the force behind and the future of our industry. I am beyond grateful to Eric Weiss for his guidance, friendship, and faith in me. There is nowhere that I would rather be, and I look forward to many more years working with Eric and our Weiss Agency family.”

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TALKERS News Notes

Heather Cohen, executive vice president of The Weiss Agency, is appointed president of the Hofstra Alumni Organization. Cohen says, “It is a privilege to continue serving the University that I am so proud of. In my new role as president, I look forward to working with the executive board, our incredible alumni, and the entire Hofstra family.”

The GCN-syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs” program is added to the program schedule at KGEZ-AM, Kalispell, Montana in the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.

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Broadcasters Foundation Holds First Media Mixer in NYC

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The Broadcasters Foundation of America held its first Media Mixer on Friday (7/21) at the New York City studios of iHeartMedia – hosted by nationally syndicated personality Angela Yee. BFoA says more than 150 broadcasters turned out for the event designed to give up-and-coming professionals in broadcasting the opportunity to network with talent, managers, and executives and bring awareness of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation. BFoA president Tim McCarthy says, “We are delighted with the large turnout of young professionals to last night’s event. We want to hold similar events in other markets. I want to thank members of our Board, industry leaders, and the talent who made themselves available to young professionals who are just beginning their broadcasting careers. Pictured above are McCarthy, Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Yee, Katz Radio Group president Christine Travaglini, The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen, and Katz TV Group president and CEO Leo MacCourtney.

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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

Lopez and Cohen Join Broadcasters Foundation Board of Directors

The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces it has elected Chad Lopez, president of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC New York, and Heather Cohen, EVP of the Weiss Agency, to its board of directors.im BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “Chad and Heather are exceptional broadcast industry leaders, and they are a terrific addition to our board of directors. I look forward imto working with them to continue our mission of helping broadcasters in dire need.” Chad Lopez has more than 25 years of experience in broadcast and digital media. Prior to joining Red Apple Media, he served as vice president of Cumulus Media’s New York cluster. In addition to her work at the Weiss Agency, Heather Cohen serves on the Alliance for Women in Media and its foundation board of directors, has co-chaired the Gracie Awards since 2016, and most recently was appointed president of the executive board of Hofstra University’s Alumni Organization.

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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.

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TALKERS 2023 Panel Examines Podcasting Talk Radio Perspective

There’s a lot being said lately about podcasting but much of it is from the consumer or amateur perspective.  Within the talk radio business, podcasting plays an important but idiosyncratic role that has specific ties to talent, sales, and the extension of branding. The forthcoming TALKERS 2023 conference on June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island will present a panel discussion charged with tightly focusing on the relationship between the talk radio industry – specifically its talent, stations and networks – and the burgeoning-but-murky world of podcasting.

Moderated by Lisa Wexler, talk show host, WICC, Bridgeport, CT, the panel will consist of (in alphabetical order): Heather Cohen, SVP, The Weiss AgencySteve Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media;  Ron Hartenbaum, managing partner, WYD MediaChris Oliviero, market president, Audacy New York;  David Pakman, talk show host/commentator, The David Pakman Show; and Larry Young, talk show host, The Larry Young Podcast.

 The session will aggressively address such questions as: What are the different types of podcasts associated with radio and what are their purposes? How can radio companies utilize podcasting to expand their brands while not watering down ratings or personnel energy?  What are the developing models for podcast monetization?  How can a talk talent use podcasting to forge an independent career? Plus a whole lot more.

The details of other panels and sessions addressing programming, sales, sports talk, career navigation, news and more will be posted in TALKERS during the next few days and weeks leading up to the big event.

TALKERS 2023 will take place on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island is on its way to an early sellout.  You can see the list of in-person speakers and get registration and hotel information here.

Industry News

AWM/F Announces 2023 Board and Officers

The Alliance for Women in Media and its Foundation announce the 2023 National Board of Directors and Officers. AMW/F president Becky Brooks says, “The role of the AWM and Foundation boards is to lead our organizations and industry as we recognize, connect and educate women in all facets of media. With our mission to advance all women in media, it is as vital as ever to have insightful, diverse leadership.  This year’s directors are dedicated to investing their time and resources to guide us and foster growth for AWM and each of our programs.” The officer roles are: Annie Howell, chair, chief communications officer, Hallmark Media; Katina Arnold, incoming/vice chair, vice president, communications, ESPN; Heather Cohen, immediate past chair, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Brenda Hetrick, treasurer, president, Matrix Solutions; and Monica Bloom, treasurer-elect, VP of marketing for First Look Media. New directors serving on the board are: Cori Abraham, SVP, Entertainment Unscripted Development, Crime and Documentary Development, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming; Jayne Bussman-Wise, creator acquisition & growth, Amazon AMP; and Chesley Maddox-Dorsey, CEO, American Urban Radio Networks. The following leaders will continue serving on the AWM Foundation Board of Directors: Tim Clarke, SVP, digital audio content, Audacy; Vicki Lins, president and CEO, CTAM; Mike McVay, president, McVay Media; Deborah Parenti, publisher, Radio Ink, RBR, and TVBR; Josie Thomas, former EVP, chief diversity and inclusion officer, CBS (Retired); and Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Steve Wexler Steps Down from Daily Management Duties at Good Karma Brands Milwaukee. Radio management pro Steve Wexler – vice president and market manager for Good Karma Brands Milwaukee – will wrap up his 35-year career and transition into a coaching and development role at the company. The announcement was made today (11/15) by GKB founder and CEO Craig Karmazin, who says, “We are appreciative and grateful Steve “Wex” joined Good Karma to lead the Milwaukee team through a time of significant growth and transition. His passion for local news and his community-focused approach to broadcasting and media led the team through a pandemic, the launch of a new station, and award-winning coverage of so many significant moments of the past several years. We’re looking forward to continuing to learn from his knowledge and leadership expertise as he moves into a coaching role within the GKB home office.” The company says that EVP Emily Dillinger will assume the role of interim market manager for GKB’s three Milwaukee stations talk WGKB-AM/W269DL “101.7 The Truth,” sports talk WKTI-FM, “ESPN Milwaukee,” and news/talk WTMJ “Newsradio 620.” Wexler comments, “I’m looking forward to tapping into my experiences and many lessons learned to help our content, sales and management teammates continue to grow their skills and knowledge. I’m very grateful to Craig for the opportunity to do what I do best and what I enjoy most which is spending time coaching and developing our team.” Wexler led the sale of the 36-station, 8-market Scripps Radio Group in late 2018 to several broadcast companies, including GKB in Milwaukee, where he assumed the role of market manager in 2019. He began his broadcast career at WTMJ in Milwaukee as an intern and has been an on-air personality, program manager, and radio and television general manager before running the radio division for Journal Communications, which merged with Scripps in 2018.

Cox Media Group Names Market Leaders for Houston and Orlando. The company announces the appointment of new VP/market managers for its Houston and Orlando clusters. In Orlando, where Cox Media Group operates news/talk WDBO-AM/FM and five music brands, JC Campese assumes the leadership role. CMG operates three music brands in Houston where Stephanie Callihan is named to the top position. She has served with several radio groups, including Audacy where she was most recently an SVP and market manager. Campese launched his career with CMG in 2000 and rose to director of sales for the Orlando cluster prior to this promotion. CMG executive vice president Rob Babin says, “We are excited to tap into our amazing internal CMG leadership talent and announce the promotions of JC and Stephanie. JC and Stephanie have a fantastic range of experiences and talents that will make a positive impact on CMG and our talented teams in Orlando and Houston. I look forward to the difference they’ll make as CMG continues to evolve to meet the needs of our listeners, clients, and our communities.”

AWM Presents Gracies Leadership Awards. The Alliance for Women in Media hosted the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon yesterday (11/14) at the Tribeca 360° in New York City.  Soledad O’Brien served as keynote speaker stating that the group of honorees represent “stories not just of grit, vision, and opportunity, but of women helping women and celebrating women and the story of how those women didn’t forget that they got into media to elevate people and issues and struggles that were not in the spotlight.” The seven female leaders honored (and pictured above) were: Valerie Blackburn; Nancy Daniels, chief of content, NTets, Discovery, Animal Planet &Science Channel; Marie Donoghue, vice president, global sports video, Amazon; Kim Godwin, president, ABC News; Wendy Goldberg, chief communications officer, iHeartMedia, Inc; Chelsey Maddox-Dorsey, CEO, A wonder Media Company; Debra O’Connell, president, networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution; and Dawn Porter, founder, Trilogy Films. AWM Foundation chair Heather Cohen states, “This is a pivotal event for us because it covers all three of our pillars- it’s recognition, it’s education, and it’s connection. We shine a light on exceptional women in media- those who have shattered glass ceilings and proven their leadership and notable today, what an honor to have Soledad O’Brien, one of the greatest storytellers of our time as our keynote.”

TALKERS News Notes. Audio research and analytics firm Veritonic announces the second annual Audio Intelligence Summit is scheduled for February 15 at Second Floor in New York City. Veritonic says, “The summit will once again gather industry-leading brands, agencies, and publishers to dive deep into the data and analytics that are driving today’s successful audio and podcasting strategies. We look forward to coming together with fellow publishers, platforms, brands and agencies to collectively improve upon and consider the data and analytics that are making audio’s ever-expanding influence increasingly efficient and impactful.” Find details about the summit by visiting https://audiointelligencesummit.com…..Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks announce the launch today of the quirky new comedic podcast, “The Neurotic Vaccine,” created and hosted by Andy Cowan, award-winning writer for “Seinfeld,” “Cheers,” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.” In “The Neurotic Vaccine,” Cowan invites fellow neurotics to share his mini-therapy sessions with co-host, clinical and forensic psychologist, Dr. Scott Kopoian. Together with their guests – including inaugural guests Jay Leno and Cathy creator, Cathy Guisewite – Cowan and Kopoian work toward the daunting goal of immunity to neurosis. “The Neurotic Vaccine” podcast includes celebrity guests, post-session postscripts, comedy featurettes and more. Future sessions of “The Neurotic Vaccine” will feature stars including Leave It To Beaver’s Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow (in his final interview), “Curb Your Enthusiasm” guest star comedian Elon Gold, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, CNN host Michael Smerconish, and actress Marilu Henner…..Quu Inc., announces radio veteran Laura Gonzo joins the company as senior director of affiliate services. In this role, Gonzo will work with stations and sales teams to ensure the successful implementation of Quu’s advertising products. Gonzo served as affiliate director for “The Bob & Tom Show” from 1997 through 2008. She says, “Quu’s powerful technology is truly a game-changer for radio. Beyond elevating the station’s visual appeal, Quu offers a huge opportunity to increase sales and drive stronger returns for clients. I’m thrilled to join the team of passionate experts at Quu and to help stations make the most of these transformative products.”…..SiriusXM announces that Andy Cohen has signed a three-year contract extension and that his exclusive SiriusXM channel Radio Andy “will now serve as the audio subscription service’s definitive home for pop culture with “Andy Cohen Live” and “Smith Sisters Live” expanding to daily shows.” Cohen says, “SiriusXM allows me to dig deeply into two of my passions – pop culture on Radio Andy and music on the Kiki Lounge. I’m so proud of what we’ve developed over the last seven years on Radio Andy. I’ve loved programming the channel, and my longform interviews with celebrities and authors feed my soul. Programming the Kiki Lounge brought me incredible joy during the pandemic and listening to it is a romp through my expansive music vocabulary.”

Midterms Aftermath, Trump in ’24, Biden-Xi Meeting, The Economy, Crypto-Crash, G-20/Russia-Ukraine War, and UVA Killings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14). The results of last week’s midterm elections that leave the Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate and the Republicans likely to assume control of the U.S. House; former President Donald Trump’s expected announcement he’ll run for president in 2024; Monday’s meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping; inflation and fears of a recession; the fall of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the 75% decline of crypto value over the last 12 months; the G-20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia and the pressure on attending nations to officially condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and the fatal shooting of three University of Virginia football players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Thursday, October 13, 2022

Jones Must Pay Nearly $1 Billion In Sandy Hook Defamation Case. A Connecticut jury has ordered “Infowars” talk show host Alex Jones to pay $965 million in total damages to the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook school shootings and an FBI agent. Additional damages covering attorneys’ fees will be determined next month. The verdict came after three weeks of testimony in a state court in Waterbury. Not sounding remorseful on yesterday’s  radio show (Wednesday, 10/12), Jones railed against the jury’s decision, urging listeners to send money or buy supplements sold on his website. He stated, “They want to scare us away from questioning Uvalde or Parkland [but] we’re not going away, we’re not going to stop.” Jones actually cheered as the judge listed off millions in damages for each count. After one count was read, Jones said, “Get those numbers up.” At times he gave thumbs-up and raised his hand in the air. Jones and Free Speech Systems – parent of his Infowars content company – were held liable for defamation for spreading false stories that the Sandy Hook shootings were a hoax and the victims were actually “crisis actors,” who were following a script written by the government to build support for gun control. Fifteen plaintiffs were awarded damages in the case, one of three suits against Jones from his conspiracy theories about the shooting.  The largest single award of $120 million went to Robbie Parker, whose six-year-old daughter, Emilie, was killed in the shooting. Jones spent years mocking Parker as an actor. The plaintiffs also included an FBI agent who responded to the shooting; he was awarded $90 million in damages. An earlier suit in Texas awarded one victim’s parents close to $50 million. Another case is going to the damages phase after Jones lost the suit.

Jim Bohannon is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Longtime talk radio superstar Jim Bohannon is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Yesterday (10/10), the radio industry was shocked and deeply saddened at the announcement by Cumulus Media’s Westwood One in TALKERS that one of its longest running, most successful and universally beloved syndicated talk show hosts would be hanging up his headphones on Friday October 14th due to health issues. It was a surprise to many – but industry insiders were already aware that this broadcasting legend was suffering from an advanced case of esophageal cancer… and the prognosis was increasingly grim.  His career that spanned more than five decades including the past 30 as host of his solid late-night syndicated show is one of the greatest of all time.  His achievements include induction into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, the Radio Hall of Fame, and the Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. He has received the First Amendment Award from the Radio-Television Digital News Association and the Lifetime Achievement Award from TALKERS magazine; along with numerous other awards and honors. Michael Harrison interviewed Jim Bohannon this past Sunday (10/9) afternoon.  It is candid, compelling and will no doubt be a historic audio document capturing a dramatic slice of radio history and culture – as well as deep insights into the human condition.  After recording the interview and podcast, Michael Harrison stated, “It is with profound sadness and love that I have the honor of presenting this interview to the public.”  Not to be missed!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Gracie Awards Opens Call For Entries. For nearly 50 years, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation-presented Gracie Awards have honored individual talent and exemplary programming created by women, for women, and about women in radio, television, and digital media in news and entertainment. AWMF president Becky Brooks comments, “We are more committed than ever to honor the remarkable work by so many in our creative community. As our most important fundraiser of the year, the Gracies enables the Foundation to deliver on its promise to further the connection, education and recognition of women in media.” The 2023 Gracie Awards co-chairs are: The Weiss Agency executive vice president Heather Cohen; McVay Media Consulting president Mike McVay; and Hallmark Media chief communications officer Annie Howell. Emmy winner Vicangelo Bulluck has produced the Gracie Awards since 2016 and will return in that capacity for the 2023 awards. Entry eligibility air dates are January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022; deadline for all entries is January 12, 2023 at 11:59 pm (ET).

Live365, TuneIn Strike Distribution Deal. Through a distribution agreement between internet radio companies Live 365 and TuneIn, Live365 broadcasters can access TuneIn On Air distribution as part of Live365’s premium packages – or – as an add-on to any other package. TuneIn On Air allows internet radio broadcasters to expand their reach to TuneIn’s 30 million U.S.-based listeners via TuneIn’s app and 200+ connected devices. TuneIn chief executive officer Richard Stern remarks, “This partnership with Live365 fits perfectly within our mission to reinvent radio for a connected world and democratize access to radio for broadcasters large and small. We believe great conversations are driven by the power of the human voice and we know our listeners rely on us to stay connected to the issues that matter to them most via our content catalog. We’re thrilled to help more broadcasters reach TuneIn’s expansive audience.” Live365 chief executive officer Jon Stephenson notes, “We’re excited to strike up this historic distribution deal with TuneIn to offer our Live365 broadcaster community access to TuneIn on air’s unparalleled distribution reach. As internet radio pioneers, this is an extraordinary opportunity to combine forces and allow broadcasters to utilize Live365’s easy-to-use tools and licensing coverage while reaching TuneIn’s millions of listeners. We’re proud to offer this to our community as we focus on expanding our distribution offering.”

TALKERS News Notes. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, visits his former aides Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor for an interview that airs tomorrow (Friday, 10/14) at 7:00 pm as an episode of Sirius XM’s “Crooked Radio” (SiriusXM Progress). It will then be issued Saturday as a podcast. The former President’s “Pod Save America” appearance will be replayed tomorrow night (Friday, 10/14) at 9:00 pm and throughout the weekend. It will be his first on the show in exactly two years (10/14/2020). … Following a 24-year tenure at Los Angeles’ KNX “News 97.1 FM,” morning co-anchor/senior political correspondent Dick Helton (pictured at right) will retire tomorrow (Friday, 10/14) from the Audacy facility. Prior to joining KNX, Helton spent 29 years anchoring in Chicago at co-owned/similarly-formatted WBBM-AM.  … Per a report in The Lincoln Journal-Star, Damon Benning succeeds Matt Davison as analyst on University of Nebraska football radio broadcasts. Formerly a host on NRG Media Omaha sports talk KOZN “1620 The Zone,” Benning played for the Cornhuskers from 1992 – 1996. Davison had been a Nebraska analyst the past 19 years. … As part of an intra-Pennsylvania transaction, 34 full-power stations and 12 translators in five “Keystone State” markets are changing hands. Forever Media is the seller; Kristen Cantrell’s Southern Belle Media Family/Seven Mountains Media Family is the buyer. Among stations being sold include: sports talk WQWK, news/talk WRSC, W279DK, and W227DV (all in the State College market); Altoona market news/talk WFBG; news/talk WNTJ, W230BK, and W283CX, and news/talk WNTI (all in the Johnstown market); news/talk WMGW, W264DK, news-talk WTIV and W287DC, and news/talk WFRA and W251CL (all in the Meadville-Franklin market) news/talk WKST, W250CW, and W248DJ (all in the New Castle market); and Lebanon market news/talk WLBR. The complete transaction is for $17.375 million in assumption of promissory notes to Kerby E. Confer, the Judith M. Confer Irrevocable Trust, and Confermation, LLP.  Kerby E. Confer is Kristen Cantrell father.

A Podcast With “More To It” Debuts Next Tuesday. Co-produced by syndicated sports talk host Dan Patrick; iHeartPodcasts; Workhouse Media; Dat Dude Entertainment; and Jam Street Media, “More To It With Marcellus Wiley” will drop next Tuesday (10/18) on The Dan Patrick Podcast Network. Former co-host of FS1’s “Speak For Yourself” and ESPN’s “SportsNation,” all-pro defensive end Wiley played ten seasons in the NFL for four different teams. Patrick opines, “Marcellus’ frequent appearances on my show always stood out because he never showed up with cliché comments. He’s never been boring and I love that he brings something new to every conversation. I’m looking forward to listening to his new show and thrilled that he’s officially part of our family.” Wiley notes, “I’m honored to work with the legendary trailblazer Dan Patrick, whose path of success perfectly embodies the title of this podcast. I’m so excited to share these amazing journeys of perseverance and success with the world to inspire the inner power we all possess.” Wiley’s podcast will feature conversations with athletes, entertainers, and people with surprising stories that prove there’s more to everyone’s reality than meets the eye. It kicks off with an interview with rapper Lil Wayne. Future scheduled guests include Anthony Anderson, Charles Barkley, Snoop Dogg, Andrew Yang, Deion Sanders and Ben Horowitz.

Confusion On FM Booster Geotargeting. Several Texas and Colorado broadcasters have filed letters with the FCC, requesting their names be removed as supporters of a GeoBroadcast Solutions petition that supports geo-targeting on FM boosters. Dan Balla and Andrew Devall, presidents of Texas entities Falls Media and Q-Media Group, respectively, wrote they “were entirely unaware of our participation in this proceeding and did not knowingly consent to having our name included on such filings. We are relatively small radio broadcast operators with enormous demands on our limited time and resources. In general, we do not have the bandwidth to personally monitor activities at the FCC. Given this highly unusual circumstance, [we] respectfully request that the Commission remove the prior filings indicating our support for GBS’s requested rule change from the record.” According to Colorado broadcasters Scott Poese (Ranchland Broadcasting) and Warren Epstein (Pikes Peak College), comments filed under their names “do not accurately reflect our views. Contrary to what the comments indicate, [we] do not support the GeoBroadcast Solutions petition or believe it would benefit our stations or the public.”

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Friday, September 30, 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, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Cornered Rat” looks back at this past week of 9/26 to 9/30. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Jason Lewis, former U.S. Congressman (R-MN)/talk show host/author; Glenn Beck, talk show host, Premiere Networks/author; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyTavis Smiley, talk show host/owner, KBLA, Los Angeles/author; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York/author. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on 100-plus 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.

Audacy to Flip Sports Talk ‘790 The Ticket’ to Spanish Talk as ‘Radio Libre 790.’ Beginning Monday (10/3), sports talk WAXY-AM “790 AM The Ticket” flips to Spanish conservative talk as “Radio Libre 790.” The programming change takes place in partnership with national conservative Hispanic network Americano Media. Audacy regional president and Miami market manager Claudia Menegus says, “We’re proud to introduce Spanish radio to our South Florida portfolio for the first time ever and empower the voice of so many of our neighbors in this community. With the launch of this station, we aim to not only serve our listeners but give them a reliable home for the news they seek and the information they rely on every day.” Americano Media chief Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo adds, “The joint endeavor with Audacy is a natural fit for Americano. We provide the best Hispanic news-talk programming in Spanish, with the best hosts covering important current events, and Audacy’s audience is demanding that information. This is the first of many terrestrial radio syndication agreements for Americano, and we look forward to a strong partnership with Audacy.” The station will feature Americano Media’s talent, which includes former “Radio Mambi” hosts Nelson Rubio, Dania Alexandrino, and Lourdes Ubieta, who will cover the day’s political and critical news events, technology, and breaking news. Americano Media produces 18 hours of original programming each weekday from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight, with diverse Spanish-speaking hosts. Regarding the sports programming on WAXY-AM, the station’s two local shows – Tobin & Leroy and Hoch & Crowder – are both already simulcast on Audacy’s sister sports talk outlet WQAM and will remain there.

Chicago TV Personality Jane Clauss Named Contributor to WLS-AM’s Steve Cochran Show. Windy City television personality Jane Clauss joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM as morning show contributor for “The Steve Cochran Show.” Clauss is an EMMY Award winner and currently host of “Creative Living,” which airs nationally on the Yurview network, as well as “Arizona Living: Your Home Your Inspiration” show and “Craft Room Crash” on CLIXTV. She was the longtime host of “Living Healthy Chicago” on WGN-TV. Clauss has radio experience, having served with WGN-AM and WLUP-FM. WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “I am delighted to welcome Jane Clauss on board as a contributor on ‘The Steve Cochran Show.’ Jane is the consummate media professional whose brand has delighted generations of Chicagoans. From her ‘Loop’ days to her longtime contributions on ‘Living Healthy Chicago,’ Jane has always been authentically ‘Chicago.’ I am excited to have her join Steve as they wake up Chicago every weekday morning with what our listeners need to know to get through the day.” Clauss comments, “I’m thrilled to call ‘the Big 89’ my new radio home. Being a part of the legendary WLS call letters and working alongside Steve Cochran every weekday morning is a true honor.”

KFNX-AM, Phoenix Owner and Talk Host Bill Brady Named ‘Best Evening Radio Show’ by Phoenix New Times. It’s an honor that news/talk KFNX-AM, Phoenix owner and air personality Bill Brady says he didn’t see coming but is nonetheless thrilled about. The alt-weekly Phoenix New Times names his talk program Best Evening Radio Show in its Best of 2022 feature. Brady’s entry reads: “Aching to ogle at Arizona’s craziest candidates ahead of November’s general election? Pining for a preview of the Arizona Cardinals’ season debut against the red-hot Kansas City Chiefs? Talk radio veteran Bill Brady says, ‘Why not both?’ The Bill Brady Show airs every weekday afternoon from 5 to 7 p.m. on 1100 AM radio, so tune in on your drive home from work and enrich your day with what he calls ‘a return to common sense commentary.’ His instantly recognizable voice has graced the ears of Valley residents during interviews with everyone from CIA directors to sports greats such as NFL quarterback Johnny Unitas and boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. Most recently, Brady has taken in-depth dives with the Arizona Wildcats, state candidates including Adrian Fontes, and even New York Governor Mario Cuomo.”

Salem Radio Network Host Branden Tatum Addresses NRB’s Capitol Hill Media Summit. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network host Branden Tatum speaking at the recent National Religious Broadcasters’ Capitol Hill Media Summit. The host of “The Officer Tatum Show” spoke from his perspective as a Christian executive, encouraging fellow Christian leaders to set an example for their teams by upholding five pillars of faith, integrity, loyalty, combat, and victory. “God has called us all to something special. We cannot sit back and let the next man do the job God has for us. There’s a group of people that can only hear from you. Remember that faith is not a stagnant verb but an active verb. You have to put action behind your broadcasting.”

Deborah Parenti Receives Lifetime Achievement Award.  The president and publisher of broadcast industry trade journals, Radio Ink and RBR+TVBRDeborah Parenti (left) received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Parenti was honored for her achievements as a market manager and longtime broadcaster in Dayton. She is pictured with talent agent Heather Cohen, SVP of the Weiss Agency (right), who spoke about Parenti’s outstanding career during the ceremony.

TALKERS News Notes. For the run up to the November election, SiriusXM is inviting Crooked Media to take over its SiriusXM Progress channel. The special Crooked Radio programming will feature Crooked’s top-ranked podcasts, including “Pod Save America,” “Lovett or Leave It,” “Pod Save the World,” and “Strict Scrutiny.” In addition, SiriusXM’s L.A. Garage studios hosted a special taping of “Pod Save America” before an audience of their superfans on September 28. Crooked Media founders Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor, alongside their fellow “Pod Save America” host Dan Pfeiffer, were joined by guests including Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter John Legend, Senator Elizabeth Warren, “Vibe Check” co-host Sam Sanders, and “Dare We Say” podcast hosts Alycia Pascual-Peña and Yasmine Hamady…..Cumulus Media launches “Hello Ross,” an all-new, original podcast on the Cumulus Podcast Network featuring Ross Mathews who’s famous for his television celebrity interviews and red carpet moments. The inaugural episode features an in-depth interview with Chelsea Handler. Upcoming episodes will feature hilarious and insightful conversations with fascinating people including Guy Fieri, Todrick Hall, Kathy Griffin, Bowen Yang, and Martyn Bullard…..FOX Sports Radio unveils its weekend lineup for the 2022 football season. With the transition of “Covino & Rich” from weekends to FSR’s weekday afternoon timeslot, the network welcomes back veteran sports talk personality Mark Willard to lead the network’s Sunday evening show. He’s joined by longtime FSR weekend host Ephraim Salaam. FSR also launches “FOX Sports Radio’s Countdown to Kickoff” on Saturdays and Sundays with Brian Noe, Rich Ohrnberger, Jared Smith, Geoff Schwartz, and Bill “Krack” Krackomberger.

Russia-Ukraine War/Baltic Gas Leak/Foreign Affairs Combine as Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 26 – 30. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the intentional destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, and U.S. foreign affairs issues combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was inflation and the sell-off on the world’s financial markets, followed by politics and the November midterm elections 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

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.

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Cindy Rollison to Lead Cumulus Tri-Cities, Tennessee. Sales and management pro Cindy Rollison returns to Cumulus Media to serve as vice president and market manager for the Tri-Cities, Tennessee station group that includes news/talk WJCW-AM and sports talk WXSM-AM plus two music brands. Rollison takes over for Debbie Caso, who is retiring after 43 years in the market. Rollison served as VP and market manager for Cumulus’ former station group in Blacksburg, Virginia from 2007-2018. She’s been serving as regional marketing consultant for Mel Wheeler, Inc. Radio and Digital Advertising since 2019. Cumulus regional VP Mark Sullivan says, “I’m thankful to Debbie Caso for making such a valuable contribution to the community and company for so many years and wish her much happiness in her retirement. At the same time, I’m very pleased that we have someone of Cindy Rollison’s caliber and experience joining our team. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work alongside Cindy again, after many successful years working together with our cluster in Blacksburg. I’m looking forward to many successes together.”

 

Justin Schaflander Named Director of Sales for ‘ESPN LA.’ Radio sales pro Justin Schaflander is named director of sales for Good Karma Brands’ sports talk KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPN LA 710 AM.”  He was most recently a region president with iHeartMedia. In the early 2000s, Schaflander was a director of sports for CBS, running the Dodgers Radio Network. He says, “I’m thrilled to join ESPN LA and Good Karma Brands. To return to LA, work with some of the most iconic brands in sports and have it wrapped up in Good Karma Brands’ culture makes this a bucket list experience! I would like to thank the team for making this process and transition seamless and fun, and I can’t wait to start learning and working with this special group of teammates.” Good Karma Brands acquired “ESPN LA 710 AM” and “ESPN 1050 AM in New York” earlier this year. The company also took over the agreement to perform ESPN’s obligations under the Local Marketing Agreement for WEPN-FM “98.7 ESPN” in New York.

 

Kidney Transplant a Life-Changing Event for WHUB, Cookeville’s Brent Carl Fleshman. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes today about Cookeville, Tennessee talk radio host Brent Carl Fleshman who recently underwent a lifesaving – and life-changing – kidney transplant. Fleshman serves with Zimmer Broadcasting’s Cookeville station group where he hosts the morning drive show on news/talk WHUB “News Talk 107.7 and 1400 The Hub” and serves as program director, among other duties. In May of 2014, Dr. Barbara Fleming was doing a segment on Fleshman’s program when she noticed something about Fleshman that concerned her. She prompted him to seek treatment at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University and he got into the hospital’s kidney transplant program. Fleshman says, “I’ve been given a second chance with this kidney and am grateful to the man who signed that donor card [making it possible for me to] continue doing what I love every day. I intend to make the most of it. I look forward to getting back on the air soon and have asked Dr. Fleming to be on my first show. If [the host of WHUB’s 30-minute Saturday health program, ‘Your Best Health Connection’] hadn’t noticed my symptoms eight years ago and gone to Vanderbilt with me, I would never have seen this day. Radio saved my life.” Read his story here.

 

Gordon Smith Joins Beasley Board of Directors. Former NAB president and CEO Gordon H. Smith is nominated by the Beasley Media Group board of directors to be added to the slate of directors to be presented at the annual shareholders meeting on May 25. The official unanimous vote took place during the company’s board of director’s meeting on March 31, 2022. Smith, who served two terms as a Republican U.S. Senator representing Oregon, led the NAB from 2009 through 2021. Beasley board chair and CEO Caroline Beasley says, “It is such an honor and a privilege to welcome Gordon to the Beasley Media Group board of directors. His outstanding leadership, dedication and service to broadcasters and our nation is unparalleled. His understanding of Washington and how to navigate the halls of power will serve our board well for years to come. I look forward to working closely with Gordon and our board as we continue to evolve our company forward.”

 

47th Annual Gracie Award Winners Announced. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces the winners of the 47th Annual Gracie Awards which will return in-person on May 24 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles with local and student awards given on June 22 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. AWMF says the event will honor some of the most talented women in television, radio and digital media. AWMF chair Heather Cohen says, “Throughout this past year we have seen a number of remarkable projects by and about inspirational women.” 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. This year, we will be returning to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and are delighted to return to an in-person format so that we can properly celebrate together.” Some of the national radio honorees include Allison Keyes, CBS News Weekend Roundup; Cheri Preston, ABC News Radio; Jen Horn, Victoria Keelan, and Jai Kershner, “The DJV Show”; Heather Hunter, WMAL-FM, Washington’s “O’Connor and Company”; Jeana Gondek, WOKV-FM, Jacksonville, “Jacksonville’s Morning News”; Judi Franco, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; Lori Barghini and Julia Cobbs, KTMY-FM, Minneapolis “The Lori & Julia Show”; MalaniKai WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, “Word on the Street”; and Rita Cosby, WABC, New York. See the complete list of honorees here. Pictured above at the most recent in-person ceremony (2019) are (from l-r): country artist Kelsey Ballerini, Heather Cohen, and Becky Brooks.

 

Comrex to Unveil Gagl Remote Contribution Solution at NAB Show. The newest remote contribution solution from Comrex will be showcased at the NAB Show in Las Vegas April 23-27.  Dubbed Gagl, this new cloud service delivers conferenced audio from multiple contributors in high-quality. Gagl allows between one and five users to send and receive audio from computers and smartphones. Participants can connect and send audio by simply clicking a link using any common web browser. Their audio is conferenced (if there’s more than one user) and delivered to a Comrex hardware codec such as an ACCESS or BRIC-Link. All participants can hear other participants, and the codec can send audio back to them. Comrex says Gagl could be used as the hub for a round-robin reporting program or for a large-cast radio show to support multiple simultaneous connections at once. Because it offers low latency, it’s appropriate for call-in talk radio. Gagl could also be used to allow a single contributor to connect back to the studio from a computer or smartphone. Designed with audio quality in mind, Gagl provides stable connections with limited bandwidth. Gagl uses the Opus audio encoder, with a bit rate that delivers both voice and music in excellent quality. Gagl also delivers audio directly to a Comrex codec with all the stability enhancements, pro-grade audio connections, and features that hardware codecs provide. With a simple user interface, Gagl is easy for users with any level of technical expertise to use. Gagl works with Comrex hardware IP audio codecs including the AES67-compatible ACCESS NX Rack IP audio codec and ACCESS MultiRack multi-channel IP audio codec as well as the BRIC-Link series – a sneak peak of the next addition to the BRIC-Link codec line will also be featured at the 2022 NAB Show. LiveShot (a bonded IP solution for live video) and other IP audio solutions for IFB and POTS and /ISDN replacement can be found at the Comrex booth C3024 in Central Hall along with a “behind the curtain” look at some new concept products.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Hunter Biden/Rudy Giuliani Investigations, Inflation/Recession Fears, Brooklyn Shooter Search, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Severe Southern Weather, and Gilbert Gottfried Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/12). Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and President Joe Biden’s use of the term “genocide”; the investigation into Hunter Biden’s international business ventures and the investigation into Rudy Giuliani’s potential violation of foreign lobbying laws; high gas and consumer goods prices in the U.S. and fears the inflation will cause a recession; the search for the man who opened fire in a Brooklyn subway injuring 26 people; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the reinstating of mask requirements in some places in the U.S. as the BA.2 variant dominates and the brutal lockdowns taking place in China; the severe weather affecting the Southern U.S.; and the death of comic Gilbert Gottfried were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERSmagazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Geraldo Rivera to End WTAM, Cleveland Radio Show. The daily, local program that Geraldo Rivera hosted for iHeartMedia on Cleveland news/talk WTAM will ends after the April 1 program. Rivera has been hosting the one-hour show from 9:00 am to 10:00 am but will end the program due to his busy schedule. WTAM says, “Geraldo is a once-in-a-generation broadcaster, storied journalist, and tireless philanthropist. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that after his 50-plus years of broadcasting, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Rivera refuses to slow down. Unfortunately, with an increased travel schedule for the FOX News Network and additional production projects, Geraldo has decided that after nearly four years, the final episode of ‘Geraldo in Cleveland’ will air on Friday, April 1, 2022 from 9:00 am until 10:00 am on Newsradio WTAM 1100. Even though the WTAM chapter of his career is closing, Geraldo will continue to live in his adopted hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio with his wife Erica and daughter Sol. We will always consider Geraldo to be a treasured member of the WTAM family and are honored to have had a front row seat to his storied career.”

 

 

WPHT, Philadelphia Raises $65,000 for Veterans Organization. Pictured above is the staff of Audacy’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia at the fifth annual “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Travis Manion Foundation Radiothon” during which it raised more than $65,000 in support of veterans in partnership with the Travis Manion Foundation. The Travis Manion Foundation is led by veterans and families of the fallen that develops, unites and strengthens communities by training, developing, and highlighting the role models that lead them. The radiothon was broadcast live from Audacy corporate headquarters in Philadelphia on March 25 and was hosted by station talent, including  Rich Zeoli, Dom Giordano, Dawn Stensland and special guest Ryan Manion, Gold Star Sister and president of the Travis Manion Foundation, along with the team at the organization.

 

Beasley Names Tim Jorgenson Integrated Sales Manager for Detroit. Sales pro Tim Jorgenson is promoted to integrated sales manager for Beasley Media Group’s Detroit operations. He was most recently the company’s national digital automotive specialist. In his new role, he’ll lead the digital sales efforts of the company’s Motor City stations that include sports talk WCSX-HD2/W228CJ “Motor City Sports Talk – The ROAR” and four music brands. Beasley Media Group director of sales Patti Taylor says, “We are beyond excited to have Tim move into the position as integrated sales manager for Detroit. Tim’s depth of knowledge in the automotive industry, coupled with his skill and passion for digital, will drive Beasley Detroit’s efforts to the next level. Tim’s approach is thoughtful and smart – and our team is so excited to be working with him.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is all-news WINS-AM, New York “1010 WINS” brand manager Ben Mevorach (left) accepting the 2022 World Radio Day Award, presented by the American Academy of Radio. The theme of this year’s award is citizens’ trust in radio. The award was established in 2018 as part of the worldwide UNESCO celebration of radio and its value in the lives of people across the world. Mevorach says of the Audacy station, “No station personifies the city of New York quite like 1010 WINS. We are thrilled to be recognized for our relentless dedication to our guiding principles of fairness, trust, inclusion, and information so that, together with our listeners, we improve the communities we serve.” Pictured with him are American Academy of Radio jurors Deborah Parenti, president, Streamline Publishing (center), and Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency (right)…..A collaboration between iHeartMedia and European podcast studio Novel is producing the new program, “The Superhero Complex.” Hosted by David Weinberg, the series captures the rise and fall of Phoenix Jones, Seattle’s real-life, crime-fighting vigilante who infamously ascended from local icon and leader of The Rain City Superhero Movement, to a dejected and humiliated figure waiting for a verdict on a charge of selling MDMA to undercover cops. By day, Phoenix is a semi-pro MMA fighter — but by night, he slinks through the streets of Rain City, patrolling Seattle for crime amongst a motley crew of former soldiers, ex-cops, recovered addicts, and reformed criminals. As remarkable a group and a mission as The Rain City Superhero Movement was, ultimately, the truth behind the myth is far more complicated. Told with a balance of in-depth reportage and empathetic character study, “The Superhero Complex” reveals the betrayals, crumbling marriage, and career-ending drug charge that underscored the legacy of Phoenix Jones — confronting our society’s fascination with superheroes and figures beyond the law in the process…..C13Originals, the Peabody Award-nominated documentary division of podcast studio Cadence13, an Audacy company, announces the launch of “Origins: HBO: Present, Past, and Future,” the seventh chapter of the podcast series written and hosted by award-winning journalist and bestselling author James Andrew Miller, featuring new interviews with the most important figures who shaped HBO’s half-century drive to fundamentally change television. In his recent, critically acclaimed book Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, Miller told the explosive and uninhibited true story of HBO and how it burst onto the American scene and screen to detonate a revolution and transform our relationship with television forever. Now, in “Origins: HBO: Present, Past, and Future,” Miller offers new material and interviews with top executives, programming chiefs, and executive producers for a deep dive on the business side of the blockbuster media company that has revolutionized the industry time and again.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Recession Fears/Soaring Consumer Prices, Biden Budget/Tax Hike, Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law, Hunter Biden Investigation, COVID-19, January 6 Probe, Will Smith-Chris Rock Incident Aftermath, and Big Tech Antitrust Legislation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/29). Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the rest of the world; financial experts fear a recession is imminent and Americans bemoan high gas and food prices; President Joe Biden unveils his fiscal 2023 budget that includes a new tax on the wealthiest Americans; the controversy over Florida’s law that prohibits schools from discussing sexuality in grades K-3; the ongoing Justice Department investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business activities; concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant that’s sweeping the UK and parts of Asia; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol assault and a judge’s ruling that Donald Trump “more likely than not” intended to obstruct the election certification; the aftermath of Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock at the Oscars; and the Department of Justice endorses antitrust proposals designed to prevent big tech from giving preferential treatment to their own products 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, March 17, 2022

‘Free Talk Live’ Co-Host Ian Freeman is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. A self-described “activist for liberty” for the past two decades, Ian Freeman co-hosts (with Mark Edge) the independently syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live.” The program emanates from Keene, New Hampshire and airs seven nights a week between 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET. In addition to the two co-hosts, the show presents a rotating panel of regular personalities – such as one individual whose legal name is Nobody – described as ministers of the Shire Free Church (the show’s parent organization) and features various voices from New Hampshire’s liberty activist community. It has guests and takes callers from across the nation. Although still on the air regularly, Freeman is currently under federal arrest on a wide array of charges ranging from money laundering to wire fraud. He maintains his innocence and claims the FBI and other government agencies are on the mission of shutting him up after years of dealing with the nuisance of the show’s activism and controversial information. Freeman will begin his trial later this year. Stand by for a fascinating conversation about the First Amendment, freedom of speech, liberty, civil disobedience, and the role and impact of cryptocurrency in our modern society – the connection to which a number of Freeman’s legal troubles are related. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

Weber Named Interim Broadcast Managing Editor for WBBM, Chicago. According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Zac Weber is being promoted from his morning editor position to interim broadcast managing editor at Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago. This move comes three months after Julie Mann left the managing editor post at the station to take the public information officer role with Kane County, Illinois. WBBM Newsradio brand manager Ron Gleason says in a memo to staff, “Zac has done a tremendous job as morning editor, and there’s no question his skills of scouring the world for the latest news early each morning will pay off for all of us.”

 

Micah Goldberg Rises to SVP and Market Manager for Audacy Denver. Sales and management pro Micah Goldberg is promoted to SVP and market manager for Audacy’s Denver station group that includes sports talk KAMP-AM “The Bet 1430AM,” comedy KQKS-HD2 and three music brands. Goldberg – who was most recently director of sales for the cluster – takes over for John Fullam who had been serving as interim market manager since July 2021 and returns to his executive coaching business. Goldberg says, “Team Audacy is second to none. The pride I feel being able to continue contributing and leading a team I have such respect for is nearly indescribable. Following in John Fullam’s footsteps is no easy task, but I know Audacy Denver will continue to make him proud. Thanks to Audacy, Doug [Abernethy] and Susan [Larkin] for all the support and for this amazing opportunity.”

 

Edison: 39% of Americans 12+ Have No Radio in the Home. Calling it “radio’s hardware problem,” Edison Research says that data from its soon-to-be-released The Infinite Dial 2022 report indicates that over the last two years, the number of Americans 12+ who report not having a radio in their home has risen almost 10% with 39% reporting no radio in the home. Just 14 years ago that figure was 4%. Edison Research president Larry Rosin says, “Of course, nearly all cars have AM/FM radios easily available, and people can listen to the content of radio stations on their phones or smart speakers. However, the elimination of the standard, single-use radio from so many households makes the challenge that much harder in the location that most people spend the most hours.” Many consider the smart speaker to be the new in-home radio. Edison says it will present smart speaker adoption data when it reveals The Infinite Dial 2022 at Podcast Movement Evolutions on March 23.

 

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thanks Joe Madison for Help with Antilynching Act. Pictured above at yesterday’s bill enrollment photo opportunity for H.R. 55, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which specifies lynching as a hate crime act, are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (third from right) and SiriusXM talk personality Joe Madison (far right). Speaker Pelosi thanked Madison for his efforts is raising awareness of the bill. Also pictured are: Chair Bennie Thompson, House Committee on Homeland Security (far left); Chair Joyce Beatty, Congressional Black Caucus (second from left); Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) (third from left); and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (second from right).

 

WJR, Detroit Named Station of the Year by MAB. News/talk WJR-AM, Detroit was named Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters as part of its 2021 Broadcast Excellence Awards. This is the fifth time in six years that the Cumulus Media station has been recognized as the Station of the Year. In addition, WJR was selected for 17 “Excellence” awards, and 7 “Merit” awards. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “Winning so many awards reflects the depth of talent on this all-star team. Winning Station of the Year is especially gratifying, as WJR celebrates our 100th Anniversary this year! We thank the MAB for this wonderful recognition.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Erick Erickson Show” is being added to the program schedule at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s news/talk WMAY-AM/FM, Springfield, Illinois. Erickson launched the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program nationally in May of 2021. The show is based at Cox Media Group’s news/talk “95.5 WSB” in Atlanta. Erickson says, “We’re excited to be joining the lineup at WMAY in Springfield and look forward to many great things to come in 2022.”…..iHeartMedia, Inc. announces that it has named Sam Englebardt, general partner of Galaxy Interactive, to its board of directors.  Galaxy Interactive is a venture capital franchise focused on companies operating at the intersection of content, finance and technology, with a particular emphasis on video game studios, NFTs, social platforms and financial marketplaces. Englebardt is also co-founder and partner at Galaxy Digital, a technology-driven financial services and investment management firm that provides institutions and clients with a full suite of financial solutions spanning the digital assets ecosystem. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Sam’s expertise and deep understanding of web3, exponential technologies and the potential of emerging consumer tech platforms like NFTs, tokens and shared virtual experiences, combined with his background in media and entertainment, will be uniquely valuable to us as we extend iHeart’s presence into web3 and the metaverse.”…..Audacy Pittsburgh raises funds to provide over 600,000 meals for people in need through Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The “Giant Eagle Feed the Need Radiothon” aired on February 25 on KDKA “News Radio 100.1 FM and 1020 AM,” KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” and its two music-formatted sister stations. Audacy Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Pittsburghers help their neighbors in times of need. Our community is at the core of everything we do at Audacy Pittsburgh. The results of the ‘Feed the Need Radiothon’ are a good showcase of radio’s power in our region. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to make this another successful year.”

 

 

Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces New Board Members and Officers. The Broadcasters Foundation of America elects Curtis LeGeyt, president and CEO for the National Association of Broadcasters, Dennis Lyle, president and CEO for the Illinois Broadcasters Association and the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation, and Chad Matthews, president of ABC Owned Stations, to its board. In addition, it names Heather Cohen, EVP of The Weiss Agency, and Judy Quaranta, a highly accomplished executive in the world of finance, as officers. Quaranta will also fill the role of vice president of finance for the BFoA. Chairman Scott Herman says, “We’re delighted to announce these esteemed individuals — Curtis, Dennis, and Chad – as members of our board. Their support of the Foundation’s charitable mission and their leadership in the broadcast industry is commendable. Heather and Judy are accomplished professionals in their individual fields, and as officers of the Broadcasters Foundation, they will help us advance our cause of helping our colleagues who are in great need.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, Fed Rate Hike, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Daylight Saving Time Bill, and Cuomo Sues CNN Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16). The Russian invasion of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky’s appeal to the U.S. Congress, and China’s role in Russia’s gambit; the high price of gas at the pumps and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the Fed approves a quarter-percent interest rate hike; concerns about the Ba.2 Omicron variant and the rolling back of mask mandates in the U.S.; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the debate over the Senate-approved bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent; and Chris Cuomo sues CNN for $125 million claiming he was unlawfully fired were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

WMAL-FM, Washington Unveils New ‘O’Connor & Company’ Co-Hosts. The morning drive “O’Connor & Company” program on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington, DC announces the program’s new co-hosts. Joining host Larry O’Connor are: Amber Athey, Washington editor at The Spectator, Julie Gunlock, director of the center for progress and innovation at Independent Women’s Forum, and Patrice Onwuka, political commentator and director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at the Independent Women’s Forum. The station says that the trio have been well received by WMAL listeners as guest hosts on the show in recent months. WMAL program director Bill Hess says, “We are excited to welcome these fresh voices to WMAL. Their varied life experiences, chemistry with Larry and with each other, and opinions on the issues of the day serve to create compelling content each weekday morning.” O’Connor adds, “Having a daily conversation with Julie, Amber and Patrice about what matters most to the people of our community is an absolute pleasure. From the halls of the Capitol to the vital debates at our local school boards, these intelligent and engaging women bring insights and humor that represent the best of Washington. It’s a genuine honor to team up with them every morning on WMAL.”

Livingston Named GSM for Cumulus Birmingham. Radio sales pro Todd Livingston is promoted to general sales manager for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham station group that includes the trio of sports talkers WJOX-FM “Jox 94.5,” WJQX-FM “Jox2 100.5,” and WJOX-AM “Jox3 690,” and news/talk duo WAPI-FM/WZRR-FM. Livingston is a 32-year media executive who joined Cumulus Birmingham in July 2021 as an account executive. Prior to that, he was local sales manager for Spectrum Reach in Tuscaloosa. Cumulus Birmingham VP and market manager James Robinson states, “We are excited to have Todd on our team as general sales manager. Todd has deep roots and broadcast experience in Alabama and his ability to create actionable ideas for our client partners make him a valuable asset to our team in Birmingham.”

Audacy Adds Two Sales Pros to Performance Sales Function. Media sales pros Shirin Peykar and Dan Wolman join Audacy – Peykar in the role of SVP of performance sales and Wolman in the VP of performance sales position. In her new role, Peykar will lead Audacy’s performance sales team and sell across its portfolio of products, leaning heavily into the company’s robust podcast library. Peykar will also strategize to drive the business forward and expand Audacy’s relationships with performance-driven marketers. She will report to Ken Lagana, EVP of digital sales. Wolman will work with performance clients and agencies to sell across Audacy’s portfolio of digital audio brands, with a focus on its podcast business. Both Peykar and Wolman join Audacy from Stitcher, where Peykar was SVP of direct response ad sales and Wolman was VP of performance sales. Lagana says, “Shirin’s rich experience leading multi-faceted ad sales operations for premier media and entertainment companies makes her a valuable addition to our performance sales business. We’re equally as excited about the addition of Dan to the team, which will collectively strive to drive revenue, market share and profit performance for our portfolio of assets.” Peykar says, “I’ve been watching Audacy’s progression in the podcast space over the past couple of years and their commitment to building a world class podcast portfolio has really impressed me. When you couple that dedication to the podcast space and audio in general, I couldn’t be more excited about bringing this portfolio to our performance clients and agencies!” Wolman comments, “Audacy is the industry leader in audio while remaining innovative, representing chart-topping content, generating loyal listeners, and serving as the home to influential talent. This is a performance sellers dream! I am excited to leverage my linear, OTT, and audio experience with this role and celebrate many wins with Audacy and our client partners.”

Deadline for 2022 Gracie Awards Submissions Extended to January 27. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that the final deadline to submit entries for the 47th annual Gracie Awards has been extended until January 27 – a seven-day extension from the original January 20 deadline. The Gracie Awards celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for and about women in television, radio/audio and digital media.  Submissions from all facets of media are encouraged. AWMF president Becky Brooks says, “We know the circumstances of the past two years led to delivering content to audiences in ways we never expected, which is why we are more committed than ever to honoring the remarkable work that has been created by, for and about women. As our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Gracie Awards enable the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to deliver on its promise of furthering the connection, education and recognition of women in media even during times of uncertainty.” The Gracie Awards Gala is still currently scheduled for an in-person celebration May 24 at the famed Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire and Gracie Awards Luncheon for June 22 at Cipriani 42nd Street. AWMF extends gratitude to its ongoing donors and sponsors committed to furthering the mission of the organization including Crown Media Family Networks, CNN, and NCTA – The Internet and Television Association. The Gracie Awards are also honored to have the leadership of Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency; Annie Howell, chief communications officer, Crown Media Family Networks; and Mike McVay, McVay Media Consulting as Gracies co-chairs and Vicangelo Bulluck serving as executive producer. You can find entry details here.

COVID-19, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Voting Rights, MLK Holiday, Inflation/Supply Chain, Synagogue Attack, and Tonga Eruption Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/17). The high rate of COVID-19 cases, the Omicron variant, masks, and vaccine mandates; the potential loss of power for Democrats after the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s hold over the GOP; the fate of the Voting Rights Act without support from Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; high prices at the pump and at retail outlets combined with supply chain woes; the aftermath of the attack on the Texas synagogue; and the volcanic eruption near Tonga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.