The sharply satirical song “Idiots” from the forthcoming fifth album by heritage rock band Gunhill Road continues to gather an international following on the internet. Released in August 2022, the music video of the catchy song passed the 70,000 unique views mark this weekend on YouTube – making it the most-listened-to song in the 53 year old band’s colorful history since its 1973 hit single “Back When My Hair Was Short” (also a provocative social commentary). TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, who along with Steve Goldrich, Paul Reich and Brian Koonin, is a member of Gunhill Road and co-writer/lead vocalist for “Idiots,” says, “We are so grateful to talk radio for embracing this song and giving it an amazing amount of airplay – either in snippets or the entire piece – that has driven interest in the song, downloads on the internet and views of the video. Fortunately, the words and theme of ‘Idiots’ ties into talk radio’s topic menu, psyche and environment in a non-partisan, ‘equal opportunity offender’ way. I mean, who can stand the negative impact that widespread idiocy is having on our society, culture and democracy?” To view the “Idiots” music video, please click here. To arrange having Michael Harrison as a guest, please email email@example.com.
Cumulus Unfriends Podcast Movement After Ben Shapiro Incident. After an incident at Podcast Movement’s recent Dallas convention at which Westwood One talk host Ben Shapiro made an impromptu appearance that bothered an attendee, prompting them to complain to the organizers, and Podcast Movement actually issuing an apology, Cumulus Media announces it is severing its relationship with the organization. Shapiro has one of the most-listened-to podcasts in the U.S. based on numerous surveys. It is published by The Daily Wire and repped by Cumulus Podcast Network. Cumulus was a sponsor of the event based on its purchase of a booth and Shapiro says he stopped by while in town on other business. This, according to The Washington Examiner, caused one attendee to tweet: “Hey @PodcastMovement what the f***. As a trans person, as a queer person, as someone with a uterus, this does not make me feel welcome. This does not make me feel safe.” Podcast Movement then tweeted an apology. Both of those tweets have since been deleted. On Tuesday (9/6), Cumulus issued the following statement: “At Cumulus Media, our tenet is that Every Voice Matters and we support conferences and trade events where differing political viewpoints can be expressed and received with respect. As such, we were dismayed and disappointed by Podcast Movement’s handling of the reaction to our partner, top podcaster, and conservative talk leader Ben Shapiro’s mere presence at Podcast Movement. After giving the leaders of Podcast Movement sufficient time to appropriately address their misstep, we are disassociating from Podcast Movement, including canceling our 2023 sponsorship plans.” Meanwhile, The Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing states, “I’m glad to see our longtime partner Cumulus/Westwood One taking such a strong and public stand against Podcast Movement’s outright and abject bigotry. Though Podcast Movement quietly removed their bigoted tweet thread over the weekend, they still have yet to retract and publicly apologize for their hateful comments about Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire. In an illiberal moment such as the one we’re currently living in, if we don’t stand up to this kind of bigoted behavior it’s only going to get worse. I certainly hope Cumulus’s strong response to Podcast Movement is the first of many others like it.”
Houston Sports Media Figure John McClain Takes on Senior Columnist Role at ‘Sports Radio 610.’ Longtime Houston sports columnist and KILT-AM contributor John McClain takes on the new title senior Texans columnist for “Sports Radio 610.” The Audacy station says that in this role, McClain will provide weekly postgame observations, team report cards and Texans-driven columns throughout the season. He’ll also continue to appear regularly on its programs “Payne and Pendergast,” “In the Loop with John Lopez and Landry Locker,” and “Clint Stoerner and The Show.” McClain will also co-host the Houtopia Football Podcast alongside “Sports Radio 610” morning show host Sean Pendergast. KILT-AM brand manager Parker Hillis says, “To officially bring a Houston legend in John McClain onto our team is incredible. John has always been one of our biggest proponents in the market and I’m thrilled that Texans fans will now be able to read his observations and opinions at SportsRadio610.com, on top of his weekly radio appearances.” McClain adds, “I’ve been doing sports talk on 610 for 23 years, and I’m fired up about the opportunity to write for the station’s website. I’m especially excited to work with Brandon Scott, one of my favorite reporters in Houston. I think Brandon does a terrific job covering Houston sports, and it’s an honor to cover the Texans with him.”
SummitMedia Appoints Justin Ragland Corporate VP of Events and Promotions. Promoted from his role managing SummitMedia LLC’s Birmingham market promotions department to the corporate position vice president of events and promotions is Justin Ragland. He’ll now oversee events and promotions at 46 stations in nine markets nationwide. SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer says, “We are very pleased to have Justin leading our events and promotions efforts. He has done an outstanding job for us in Birmingham, and we are excited for him to bring his unique skillset to the entire company.” Ragland, who will remain based in Birmingham, comments, “My goal is to be an instrumental team member in every SummitMedia market to help grow each brand in both ratings and revenue. Joining the leadership team for this company is a privilege and one that I am excited about.”
Round One of August PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 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. Nielsen’s August 2022 sweep covered July 21 – August 17. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media Group’s news/talk WABC/WLIR-FM tacks on two-tenths for a 4.3 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish but drops back to the #8 rank. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR adds one-tenth to wrap with a 2.0 share and remains ranked #18. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles rises to the #4 rank after climbing three-tenths for a 4.8 share finish, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KNX-AM/FM adds three-tenths for a 3.3 share that lifts it to the #10 rank. In Chicago, Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN-AM is up three-tenths for a 3.3 share that pushes it up to the #8 rank, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM is steady with a 4.6 share that keeps it ranked #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
Robin Sloan Named EVP of Audio Sales for AdLarge. Audio sales pro Robin Sloan joins AdLarge as executive vice president of audio sales. In this new role, Sloan will work directly with chief revenue officer Don Wachsmith on revenue strategy development and agency relationships. She will also focus on driving revenue with the audio sales team and managing the day to day activity. Most recently, Sloan was the director of national partnerships at Westwood One. AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas comments, “I’m delighted to have Robin join our team. She’s a veteran recognized in the audio industry for bringing her exceptional relationships and in-depth experience in sales, management and sports to the AdLarge audio sales efforts. I could not find a more perfect person to fit this role and continue to help us grow our business.”
TALKERS News Notes. Revisions to its 2022 third quarter revenue estimates are being announced by Salem Media Group, Inc. The company says that taking into account the postponement of the forthcoming book, 2000 Mules by Dinesh D’Souza, until the fourth quarter, lower than expected revenue on SalemNOW, and the impact on advertising revenue due to the weakening economic environment, the company now expects third quarter 2022 total revenue to be between flat and an increase of 2% over third quarter 2021 total revenue of $66 million…..A new podcast by Bloomberg News and iHeartMedia that investigates a massive transfer of wealth a century ago, out of Osage hands and into White ones – facilitated by the United States government — and how the Osage Nation is fighting to reverse decades of land loss today is being produced. The podcast, called “In Trust,” is hosted by Bloomberg reporter Rachel Adams-Heard, who says, “A hundred and fifty years ago, the Osage Nation bought a stretch of prairie the size of Delaware, in what’s now Oklahoma. The Osage owned the land and everything beneath it. Today, much of present-day Osage County has left Osage hands. In some cases, appropriation was swift and brutal: Dozens of Osages were murdered for their share of lucrative mineral rights to this oil-rich land, a period often referred to as the Reign of Terror. But other transfers of wealth played out more subtly—dollar by dollar and acre by acre, over decades—helped along by policies created by the US government. ‘In Trust’ is the story of that system. A system that moved wealth from Native hands to White ones. One that three brothers learned to operate, laying the foundation for a modern American dynasty of land and influence that continues to this day.”…..iHeartMedia announces that chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference on Tuesday September 13 at 1:45 pm ET. A live webcast of the session will be available to the general public at the start of the session through a link on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.
Special Master Ruling, Georgia Election Investigation, Midterms & 2024 Presidential Race, Russia-Ukraine War, Saskatchewan Stabbings Investigation, and Western Heatwave Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/6). Controversy over federal Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling to appoint a Special Master to review the documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence; the investigation into Donald Trump’s and Lindsey Graham’s interactions with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the breach of that state’s voting system allegedly by fake Trump electors; Tuesday’s primary races for the November midterms and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; the investigation into the deadly stabbings in Saskatchewan; and the brutal heatwave affecting the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Saga Communications CEO Ed Christian Passes. The company announces that its founder, chairman, president and CEO Ed Christian passed away on Friday (8/19) after a short illness. Warren Lada, a member of Saga Communications’ board of directors and former COO, has been appointed by the board to serve as the Interim CEO. “The Board is confident that Warren’s vast experience in the broadcast industry as a sales representative, sales manager, general manager, vice president of operations and ultimately as COO of the company will fill the void that Ed leaves as the company prepares for the next chapter in ‘Saga’s ongoing adventure.’” Saga says that Christian founded the company in 1986 and has fostered its growth to owning 79 FM radio stations, 35 AM radio stations and 80 translator stations in 27 markets. Under his leadership the company became a publicly traded company in 1992 and continues to be traded under the ticker symbol “SGA” on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The company adds, “The broadcast industry has lost a pioneer and giant. Saga expresses its heartfelt condolences to the Christian family and Ed’s friends and colleagues. Ed will be missed but not forgotten. He is and was a true radio broadcaster that never lost sight of his ‘true north’ in an industry he loved.”
Monday Memo: “Stay Safe.” “Because these are NOT normal times,” consultant Holland Cooke follows-up last week’s column about leveraging the news half of the news/talk format, with specific imaging copy points. Read it here.
Pending Business: This Is Urgent. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column Apple’s announcement it will soon sell approved advertisers space on the “Today” page of the App Store is a super-sized version of radio’s call-to-action ads. He says copywriting 101 and radio sales 101 intersect at the call-to-action and he offers six points to prove its efficacy. Read it here.
KWAM Celebrates 75 Years of Service to Memphis. News/talk radio station KWAM-AM, Memphis “The Mighty 990” – owned by Starnes Media led by talk media industry personality and best-selling author Todd Starnes – threw a bash to celebrate its 75 years of service to the Memphis market. Pictured above at right are some of the 300 people who attended the event.
FBI Raid/Documents Investigation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, CDC/COVID/Monkey Pox, and Extreme Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the documents investigation; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race; inflation, the financial markets and the Inflation Reduction Act; a car bomb kills Darya Dugina, the daughter of Alexander Dugin, the “spiritual guide” to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the CDC’s announced overhaul, the rate of COVID cases and the concerns over Monkey Pox; and the nationwide drought & the Texas floods were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.