Andrew Cuomo, who resigned the governorship of the state of New York in August of 2021 in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal, hosted a one-off hourlong program on Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC, New York last Friday (3/24) at 8:00 pm. Titled, “State of the City, State and Nation,” the show allowed Cuomo to offer his takes on the job his former Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is doing, as well as his thoughts on other political issues. WABC says Cuomo, who has been hosting a podcast of his own, requested the time on WABC and owner John Catsimatidis replied via a press release, “Let him speak! I have said many times that 77 WABC is about truth and hearing from all sides. Let the listeners decide.”
Red Apple Media Group’s news/talk WABC, New York announces the addition of “Cut to the Chase with Laura Curran” (4:00 pm to 5:00 pm) and “Positively Ernie & Patricia with Ernie Anastos and Patricia Stark” (5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ) to its Sunday program schedule. Laura Curran is a former reporter for The Daily News and The New York Post who also served as Nassau County executive from 2018-2021. She’s filled in on the station’s “Cats & Cosby” show. Ernie Anastos recently began producing his twice-daily feature “Positively Ernie with Ernie Anastos” for the station. For this new show he partners with Patricia Stark – a certified personal & executive coach who heads Patricia Stark Communications. Red Apple Media Group CEO John Catsimatidis says, “At 77 WABC, we’re doing radio the way it’s supposed to be…. live, local, and BIG. We got rid of all the brokered weekend programs and we’re replacing them with big-name hosts like Ernie and Laura. I know we’re doing radio the right way because we’re winning!”
Billionaire entrepreneur John Catsimatidis, owner and CEO of the Red Apple Group which includes Red Apple Media, WABC Radio, and Red Apple Audio Networks publishes his new book, How Far Do You Want to Go? Lessons from a Common-Sense Billionaire (Matt Holt, 2023), in which he reveals how his instincts and common sense propelled him to massive business success. In the book, Catsimatidis shares his dynamic story, from his beginnings in the grocery business to entering the political arena, including a New York City mayoral campaign. He says, “The American dream doesn’t come with an instruction manual – or even a sign to let you know when you’ve arrived at the finish line. I’m far from finished. Buying WABC and launching Red Apple Media and the Red Apple Audio Networks has been a dream come true. I wrote How Far Do You Want to Go? to help others with an entrepreneurial spirit achieve success.”
Red Apple Media says station personality Rita Cosby is joining owner John Catsimatidis for the daily 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm hour on 77 WABC Radio that is now called “Cats & Cosby.” Cosby, who hosts her eponymous show on WABC and the Red Apple Media Network from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, will also occasionally join Catsimatidis on his nationally syndicated Sunday morning program, “The Cats Roundtable.” Catsimatidis says, “I’ve known Rita Cosby for many years and have always deeply admired her incredible journalistic skills. She knows how to ask the right questions so that we can find and reveal the truth on every story. She’s a tremendous broadcaster and I’m delighted she is joining me.” Cosby comments, “I’m beyond thrilled to be working with iconic John Catsimatidis, one of the most accomplished and dynamic business leaders in America. This fast-paced show will look at all sides of the stories that have great impact on New Yorkers, our country, and the world. It’s a journalist’s dream to join John and his great team.”
WABC-AM, New York announces that on September 7 of this year, radio legend “Cousin” Bruce Morrow – who hosts a weekend program on 77WABC – will recreate The Beatles’ British Invasion at 2:00 pm at the WABC Radio Studio as the station marks the 100th anniversary of WABC. The Red Apple Media station says, “Some 60 years ago Cousin Brucie was one of the first disc jockeys in the country to air The Beatles. The record changed the sound of rock and roll forever. State and city officials will be proclaiming WABC Radio Day in New York as Cousin Brucie replays the original vinyl Meet the Beatles album that made history. Red Apple CEO John Catsimatidis will also dedicate the WABC Radio Studio in Cousin Brucie’s name. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison comments, “Once again the strategists at WABC are maximizing their historic assets as having been both a successful talk station and music station over the years – personified by the remarkable Cousin Brucie – to play great music and talk about it as well. A powerful combination!”
By Walter Sabo
A.K.A. Walter Sterling
Every radio sales presentation should start with one powerful number. This number – often found under the Sphinx – will dazzle any buyer, but is rarely revealed. The number is Homes Using Radio (HUR). Once upon a time it was part of the conversation. HUR shows how many people are using radio at any given time, a total number.
Studying hour-by-hour HUR reveals the most surprising fact: Saturday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm is the second-most, listening-to-radio daypart after Monday – Friday morning drive. If a station suffers in total weekly audience, the first culprit is often squandering Saturday 10-3!
John Catisimatidis, owner of WABC, New York has taken the station from the depths of despair and turned it into a strong contender. His first act as owner was to dump the paid-for weekend programming and replace it with live, local shows. You could trace the ratings jump on WABC to the moment he placed live shows on Saturday midday.
Bart Walsh, a very successful Washington, DC general manager taught me the secret of Saturday midday. He explained that if Saturday midday’s share is higher than the station’s overall total week share, the next book will go up. If it is lower than the total share, the next book will go down. Amazingly this phenomenon has always proven to be true. I always paid attention to Bart because when he ran WKYS it had a higher percentage of profit than anything else owned by RCA and when he and Donnie Simpson ran it, the station was always #1, 12+. Bart never expensed lunch – or anything else.
The puzzler is that weekends on radio are a built-in win. Americans love weekends. Weekends conjure good feelings and offer discretionary time. Smart stations tap the positive imagery of weekends. Imagine how easy and cheap it would be for a talk station to talk up weekends!
Become the go-to source of weekend activity information. Give away fun prizes that are all weekend related. Go shopping. Share information about local sales and retailer events. The result will be – guaranteed – a significant jump in Monday AM drive cume.
Walter Sabo is a long-time radio industry consultant and thought leader. He hosts and produces a network radio show titled “Sterling on Sunday” 10:00 pm-1:00 am ET. www.waltersterlingshow.com. firstname.lastname@example.org
77 WABC Radio announces that Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Donna Hanover, joins the on-air staff at the station. Andrew Giuliani will be a contributing friend on “Sid & Friends In the Morning,” hosted by Sid Rosenberg. In addition, Giuliani will also guest co-host the 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm “Cats At Night” show hosted by Red Apple Media CEO and WABC owner John Catsimatidis. Catsimatidis states, “I’m happy to welcome Andrew to our WABC family. After working in the White House and taking a run at the governorship of New York, Andrew brings an insider’s perspective on national, state, and local political issues to WABC Radio and its listeners.” Giuliani says, “It’s an honor to be a part of the #1 news/talk station in New York. WABC Radio is a combination of its rich history and incredible rebirth. I’m excited to get on the air and connect with the WABC Radio listeners in New York and around the world.” Giuliani was a special assistant to the president and associate director of the Office of Public Liaison during the Trump administration. In his position, he interfaced between the White House and business, nonprofit, and other groups, meeting with President Donald Trump up to four times a week. He also represented his office in White House meetings on the opioid crisis. A lifelong New Yorker, Giuliani ran for governor of New York in 2021.
Frank Morano, host of WABC, New York’s overnight show “The Other Side of Midnight” scored and delivered a superb interview with entertainment legend William Shatner last night (1/11) in which the iconic actor discusses his experience and views on the art of interviewing including poignant memories of his one-on-one encounter with Rush Limbaugh.
Morano tells TALKERS, “By way of background, I’m the world’s biggest William Shatner fan. I easily fit the fanboy category and depending on how you count, I may even fall into the groupie category. I’m a lifelong fan of everything he’s ever done from ‘Boston Legal’ to ‘TJ Hooker’ and everything in between. I’ve had the opportunity to interview Shatner a few times before and it’s always gone well, including a recent interview that [WABC owner] John Catsimatidis and I did with him about going to space. Anyway, this morning, I got to interview him about some upcoming screenings of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan that he’s hosting with an audience Q&A afterwards. I was planning on going to one of the New Jersey screenings because, like I said I’m a fan. It’s an interview that I’d been preparing my whole life for. Evidently, Shatner noticed. In the midst of the interview he actually invited me to join him on stage at the New Jersey performances (2/10-11) to help facilitate questions from the audience.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Morano as one of “talk radio’s brightest rising young stars.” Harrison states, “Frank expands the scope of talk radio beyond just politics to include pop culture and human-interest stories that are extremely compelling and engaging. He also brings an unassuming innocence and joy of performing to the airwaves that we can all find inspirational.” WABC parent company, Red Apple Media recently launched Morano’s show into national syndication where it is now carried in Eastern Long Island, Maryland, Tennessee and Alaska. To listen to the William Shatner interview in its entirety, please click.
New York City television personality Ernie Anastos is joining Red Apple Media’s WABC-AM, New York to host the two-minute daily feature “Positively Ernie with Ernie Anastos” that will air in morning and afternoon drive, beginning today (1/9). The station says, “Focusing on a different topic every day, Anastos takes a look at the positive outcome of the stories that shape our world, including current events, social changes, new trends, life challenges, work, home, and lifestyle.” Red Apple Media CEO John Catsimatidis comments, “Everybody knows Ernie’s smiling face, friendly voice, and reputation as a top journalist in this great city. Now, Ernie is taking another look at our world and bringing us an opportunity to see the positive side of things.I’m delighted to welcome Ernie to
77 WABC where he will certainly attract many of his TV fans and radio listeners.” Anastos states, “It’s the right time. We always hear the bad and not often the good that comes out of the news. My passion has always been to inform, educate and inspire. I’m looking forward to sharing an uplifting take on the news with 77 WABC Radio listeners.” Anastos has served as a news anchor at WABC-TV, WCBS-TV, and WNYW-TV.
Mark Davis is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Today is the 40th anniversary of Dallas radio legend Mark Davis’ career as a professional broadcaster. What better way to celebrate it than being a guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview?” Davis is one of the most successful and respected local news/talk radio hosts in America. For the past decade, this self-described libertarian-conservative has hosted the 7:00 am – 10:00 am CT morning show on Salem’s AM 660, The Answer – KSKY-AM – in the vibrant Dallas/Fort Worth market. Prior to that, he did a long stint at WBAP – also in the Dallas Metroplex. Along the way, he’s served as a regular fill-in for the late Rush Limbaugh and other national hosts in addition to having written two well-received books about politics published by Regnery. Harrison and Davis engage in a lively chat about the radio veteran’s career including changes over the past four decades in journalism, broadcasting technology, radio localism, the military (Davis grew up in a U.S. Air Force family) and partisanship in the national conversation. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
WIP-FM, Philadelphia Names Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie New Morning Hosts. The Audacy sports talk station reveals that it will move the current midday team of Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie to morning drive early next year when Angelo Cataldi retires from his historic run as SportsRadio 94WIP’s morning drive host. The new show will continue to feature longtime WIP morning anchor Rhea Hughes and producer James Seltzer. Audacy says it will name a new midday show in the coming months. WIP-FM brand manager Rod Lakin says, “We are very excited to announce Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie will be leading the WIP morning show. For the last three decades Angelo Cataldi set the standard for morning drive in Philadelphia and helped define the sports narrative of this great city. Joe and Jon, along with Rhea Hughes and the other talented members of the WIP morning show, will adhere to the standard that Angelo created and develop a connection with the Philadelphia sports audience for years to come.” DeCamara comments, “I am ecstatic for the opportunity to host mornings on WIP. There is a remarkable tradition of success long established by the legend, Angelo, and the entire current morning team, and my aim is to continue to uphold that level of excellence. I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude to WIP and Audacy management, to Angelo, and to WIP listeners and callers whose intense passion drives the heartbeat of Philly sports. We look forward to assembling the full team that will comprise our show as we move to mornings. And I look forward to multiple parades down Broad Street over the next four months!” Ritchie adds, “I’m grateful and honored that Joe and I have the opportunity to follow in Angelo Cataldi’s footsteps on WIP’s morning show. We’ll work hard to uphold the station’s tradition of emotional connection with the greatest sports fans in the world.”
Radio Observers Reminisce and Analyze as Rock Gives Way to All-News on 92.3 FM in New York. Today’s move by Audacy that begins the simulcast of all-news WINS-AM on WNYL-FM (soon to become WINS-FM) was preceded by coverage of the change in the New York media that included reminiscing about the old “K-Rock” – for 20 years the flagship station of Howard Stern’s program – as well as the rock music and talk shows that also occupied the frequency over the years. In Verne Gay’s story on the change in Newsday, Audacy New York president Chris Oliviero is quoted saying, “Why now? That question has been bandied about for many years, but one of the major issues is that we’re still governed by FCC cap rules. Any time we wanted to add something to FM, we had to take something away. We had to make a choice [and] news and sports is what we do really well.” This change also comes at the same time as Audacy finalizes the newsroom merger of WINS and WCBS-AM. Audacy New York VP of news Ben Mevorach is quoted in the Newsday piece saying that “both stations will retain their separate identities, but that the merger ‘removes the redundancy of coverage’ and frees reporters up at each station to cover different stories. Mevorach added that there will be no layoffs but ‘actually the opposite: This is an all-out assault on becoming the dominant [radio] news leader here.’” Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison was asked about the changes and replied, “As natives of the 20th century, you and I still think there’s a difference between AM and FM but to natives of the 21st century, these are irrelevant facts. The flip doesn’t mean anything other than Audacy is doing the best it can to keep up with the times.” Regarding the end of rock music on 92.3 FM, Harrison adds, “It’s sad to see it go on a certain level, but radio gave up ownership of music years ago. It’s been a slow fade and this is another one of the lights going out. It doesn’t indicate anything beyond that.”
Alpha Media Names Tim Spence Director of Sports Operations in San Antonio. Radio programming pro Tim Spence joins Alpha Media San Antonio as the new director of sports operations for KTFM-FM/KZDC-AM, San Antonio “Sports Star, 94.1 FM, 1250 AM.” Spence comes to Alpha from iHeartMedia Denver where he most recently served as program director for KHOW and KCOL and as APD for KOA. He was also affiliate relations manager for the 140-station radio network for the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies. Spence says, “I’d like to thank Lance Hawkins, Dax Davis and Greg Martin along with the entire Alpha Media family for this opportunity in San Antonio. This is a tremendous group of stations with a great staff, and I’m ready to get to work.”
WABC, New York Names Studios in Honor or Bernard McGuirk. Yesterday (10/26), Red Apple Media Group’s news/talk WABC, New York dedicated its main studio to the late Bernard McGuirk, who died earlier this month after a battle with prostate cancer. Yesterday would have been McGuirk’s 65th birthday. Pictured above are (from l-r): Sid Rosenberg, on-air morning show co-host of “Bernie & Sid in The Morning”; Margo and John Catsimatidis, owners of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC; Carol McGuirk, Bernie’s wife; and their two children, Brendan and Melanie.
KFBK, Sacramento Celebrates 100 Years on the Air. News/talk KFBK-AM/FM, Sacramento recently celebrated 100 years since its first on-air broadcast on September 17, 1922 with a Centennial Celebration. Hosted by sister iHeartMedia station Talk 650 KSTE morning show and former KFBK staff “Armstrong and Getty,” KFBK’s Centennial Celebration featured appearances by many former staff along with current personalities Cristina Mendonsa and Sam Shane of the “KFBK Morning News,” nationally syndicated and 12:00 noon-3:00 pm host Tom Sullivan, John McGinness and Kitty O’Neal of the “KFBK Afternoon News” and night host Pat Walsh. KFBK program director Bill White says, “The founding principle of KFBK News Radio remains the same today as it did in 1922, to provide relevant local news and information. Through the generations, KFBK’s team of talented news anchors, reporters, and talk hosts continues to proudly uphold that mission, to serve the listeners of Sacramento and Northern California.” Pictured above at the celebration are: Back row (l-r): Gregg Fishman (former anchor, now at City of Sacramento and SMUD Board), Rick Eytcheson (former GM), Dave Williams (former PD and anchor, now anchor at KLIF, Dallas), Beth Duncan (former anchor, now singer), Andy Friedman (former reporter, now CMO at Specifi), John Butler (former ND, now digital PD at Salem Media Group), David G. Hall (former reporter, now media specialist/consultant). Front row (l-r): Roger Hamlyn (former editor, now retired), Steve Telliano (former reporter/anchor, now with UC Davis Health), Don Andrews (former reporter/anchor, now with CA State Assembly), Vicky Moore (now with KNX-FM, Los Angeles), Mike Sicilia (former reporter, now deputy press secretary, CA Dept of Corrections and Rehabilitation).
FOX News Audio to Launch Bret Baier’s ‘Common Ground’ Podcast. This new podcast from FOX News Audio titled, “Common Ground,” – hosted by Bret Baier, FOX News Channel chief political anchor and executive editor and anchor of “Special Report” – will feature Baier speaking with lawmakers, business leaders and public figures from different perspectives coming together to discuss issues of the day and how Americans can find common ground in a polarized world. FOX News Audio says the new podcast will drop two episodes weekly.
SRN’s Tom Tradup Honored by Christian Relief Agency. The Christian non-profit international relief agency Food for the Poor this week honored Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup for “10 years of dedicated passion and partnership through radio fundraising” which the agency says has resulted in 67-million meals for families in 17 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as SRN’s October campaign raising funds for survivors of Hurricane Ian in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Pictured above are (from l-r): KSKY, Dallas morning host Mark Davis, Tradup, Diana Corrales and Paul Jacobs of Food for the Poor.
Debates/Midterm Elections, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy, Immigration-Border Security, January 6/Trump Legal Issues, Iran Protests, British Politics, Musk-Twitter Deal, and Ye Controversies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/26). The numerous debates ahead of the November midterm elections and speculation about which party will control the House and Senate beginning in January; Vladimir Putin’s attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure as winter looms; the battle against inflation and the up-and-down financial markets; the migrant and illegal drug issues plaguing the U.S.-Mexico border; the subpoenas issued to former President Donald Trump’s attorneys relative to the January 6 investigation and Trump’s other legal battles; the ongoing protests in Iran; Britain’s newest Prime Minister Rishi Sunak assumes his role; the fate of Twitter and Elon Musk’s bid for the social media giant; and the crumbling business empire of Ye in the aftermath of his anti-Semitic rants were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WABC’s McGuirk Tribute Airs Today. The day-long remembrance of Bernie McGuirk on Red Apple Media New York news/talk WABC-AM & WLIR-FM “77 Talk Radio” began at 6:00 this morning (Wednesday, 10/12). The 65-year-old McGuirk passed away last Wednesday (10/5) from prostate cancer. For the past four and a half years, he and Sid Rosenberg co-hosted “Bernie & Sid in the Morning.” According to Red Apple Media owner John Catsimatidis, who purchased WABC two years ago, “We are airing this all-day tribute to honor our friend and colleague, who loved New York, radio, and his listeners. We’ll have the opportunity to bid farewell to a wonderful man who reached WABC radio listeners around the world every morning with his unique take on the news.” Red Apple Media/WABC radio president Chad Lopez notes, “Bernie’s observations and analysis of world and local news and politics were not only insightful – they were authentic. His brilliant mind, combined with that New York attitude, [gave] listeners what they wanted – the truth; we will miss him.” News anchor/air personality Charles McCord worked with McGuirk during their years together on “(Don) Imus in the Morning” and will appear this morning in the 9:00 hour. Among others scheduled to be part of the tribute are: New York City mayor Eric Adams; comedian/longtime “Imus” cast member Rob Bartlett; sports talk host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo; former “Imus In The Morning” sports personality Warner Wolf; NBA play-by-play announcer Mike Breen; actor/author Chazz Palminteri; Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean; and WABC host Bill O’Reilly. McGuirk joined WABC in 2007 as “Imus in the Morning” producer/on-air contributor. He’d previously been with Imus at New York’s WNBC and WFAN. In 2016, WABC teamed McGuirk and Rosenberg in mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon), before boosting them to morning drive. Rosenberg reflected on McGuirk with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. Listen to their conversation by clicking here.
Round Four of August PPMs Released. The fourth round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; Providence; Norfolk; Jacksonville; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; Memphis; and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets. Three news/talk outlets are included in West Palm Beach’s top twenty (6+). A four-tenths improvement from August 2022 by iHeartMedia’s WZZR (1.8 – 2.2, 6+) coupled with co-owned WJNO’s half-share dip (1.8 – 1.3, 6+) results in “92.1 Real Radio” (ninth to eighth) overtaking “News Radio 1290” (#9 to #11). Also in that Florida market’s mix is Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WFTL “News Talk 850,” which drops two-tenths (1.1 – .9, #13 to #14, 6+). Although they only yield a combined 5.0 (6+), four Hartford news/talk stations crack the top twenty. Leading that group is Audacy’s WTIC-AM, although “News Talk 1080” logs a full-share deficit from August (4.6 – 3.6, 6+), slipping from eighth to ninth; its internet stream is unchanged in share and market rank (.2 and #20, respectively). Meanwhile, Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-AM “The Talk of Connecticut” picks up two-tenths (.8 – 1.0, #15 to #14, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410 AM & 100.9 FM,” which had been unlisted since April, resurfaces with a .2, (#20, 6+). See Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here.
Charges Dropped Against Subject Of “Serial” Podcast. Baltimore prosecutors yesterday (Tuesday, 10/11) dropped charges against Adnan Syed in the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee, a case that was chronicled in the first season of the podcast “Serial.” Laura Nirider, co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, tweeted, “After the latest round of DNA testing generated results that, like previous rounds of testing, excluded Adnan Syed, he has now been formally exonerated.” A Baltimore judge last month overturned Syed’s murder conviction and ordered him released from prison, where the 41-year-old had spent more than two decades. Circuit judge Melissa Phinn gave prosecutors 30 days in which to decide whether to retry Syed or drop the charges. Syed captured the attention of millions in 2014 when the debut season of “Serial” focused on the case and raised doubts about some of the evidence, including cellphone tower data. Syed served more than 20 years in prison for strangling the 18-year-old Lee. Her body was found weeks later buried in a Baltimore park. More than a decade later, “Serial” revealed little-known evidence and attracted millions of listeners, shattering podcast-streaming and downloading records. Prosecutors failed to tell Syed’s defense attorneys about evidence that would have allowed him to defend himself, including details that established two other people had threatened Lee’s life. In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, the state’s attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, said that recently tested DNA completely exculpated Syed from the crime. She declined to say if any other known suspects may be implicated in the recent DNA testing, saying that the investigation is ongoing.
TALKERS News Notes. Effective next Monday (10/17), Jeff Rowe will join Southern California Public Radio Pasadena-Los Angeles news/talk KPCC and LAist as vice president/programming. Southern California Public Radio chief content officer Kristen Muller comments, “As we reach more audiences, we need to rethink the way we program across multiple platforms. Jeff brings an entrepreneurial spirit and innovative mindset – these are critical skills that will be a huge asset.” Co-founder of Okanjo and Zap2it, Rowe has worked at AOL; Journal Communications; Tribune Media; NBC; and VH1. … Three-year KDWN “The Talk of Las Vegas” program director Steve Hoffman exits the Beasley Media Group news/talk station. … College Station, Texas news/talk WTAW celebrated its 100th anniversary last Friday (10/7). The Bryan Broadcasting-owned outlet began as experimental station 5XB in 1914 and was officially licensed as WTAW by the Commerce Department in 1922. Vice president/general manager Ben Downs comments, “When we followed the [Rush] Limbaugh wave into talk in 1989, it was a great day for the station. We still control the 25+ demos, which isn’t bad for a 100-year-old station – even though we don’t look a day over 70.” … Attorney/Corporation For Public Broadcasting board chair Bruce Ramer will be honored tonight (Wednesday, 10/12) with CPB’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.” CPB president/chief executive officer Patricia Harrison notes, “Bruce Ramer’s award is in recognition of his extraordinary leadership and guidance given to CPB over the nearly 14 years of his service. He led CPB’s support for innovation, interconnection, infrastructure, and access to content over many platforms. [Bruce] was committed to strengthening local, national, and international public media journalism and editorial integrity. On a meaningful level, he always advanced diversity and inclusion personally and professionally.” CPB vice chair Laura Gore Ross adds, “Bruce’s leadership has strengthened CPB and public media when we needed it most. On his watch, CPB was able to distribute $75 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding and $175 million in CARES Act stabilization funding to public media stations. He has provided wise counsel through thick and thin that’s been felt by all.”
SiriusXM To Open Miami Broadcast Center. Scheduled for completion in 2023, the Miami Broadcast Center venue will feature several radio and recording studios, a 50-seat performance space, as well as office space. SiriusXM president/chief content officer Scott Greenstein notes, “We are excited to open our Miami broadcast complex and deepen our ties in such a multicultural and entertainment-rich city. Our Miami facility will feature a world-class performance space for our special events. Its artist-first recording studios will be a destination for major stars and emerging personalities to connect with listeners.” SiriusXM’s other facilities include its New York Rockefeller Center headquarters; West Hollywood studios; and studios/offices in Washington, DC and Nashville.
WABC, New York’s Bernard McGuirk Dies from Prostate Cancer at 64. Longtime New York City radio personality Bernard McGuirk – most recently co-host of the “Bernie & Sid” show on WABC, died on Wednesday evening (10/5) after a battle with prostate cancer. WABC calls McGuirk “the brains of the 77 WABC ‘brains and muscle’ team of ‘Bernie & Sid in the Morning.’” McGuirk had been with WABC since 2007 as executive producer of the “Imus in the Morning Show,” where he was also featured as the program’s quick-witted, on-air contributor. McGuirk added color to local and national news updates with his own take on the serious and not-so-serious news of the day. McGuirk was with the “Imus In the Morning” show since its latter days at WNBC Radio. He made the move with Imus to WFAN, New York in 1988 and remained there until 2007. McGuirk was also part of the Imus team when the show became nationally syndicated in 1993. WABC says that McGuirk, who had been co-host of its “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” with Sid Rosenberg since April of 2018, helped bring WABC back to the top in New York, reaching #1 in share of the 12+ audience in morning drive in the August Nielsen ratings. The station says there will be a tribute and moment of silence for McGuirk on 77 WABC today, during the morning drive program. A special tribute for McGuirk, including memories and thoughts from the WABC staff, will air on Tuesday, October 11. Red Apple Media Group chief John Catsimatidis says, “We are all devastated by the loss of Bernie. He was a true New Yorker whose talent and intelligence propelled him to the top of New York morning radio. He had incredible insights on local, national, and world news that his listeners respected. He will be missed by everyone at WABC and his fans around the world.” Sid Rosenberg says, “Bernie was my partner and my friend. He was always the smartest guy in the room, and I was fortunate to be the guy next to him. I know our listeners join me in grieving the loss to radio and to New York.” Born in the Bronx in 1957, McGuirk was a graduate of the College of Mount St. Vincent. He is survived by his wife Carol, and their two children, Brendan and Melanie.
Tavis Smiley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Independent radio station owner/operator and longtime multi-platform media commentator Tavis Smiley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Smiley’s accomplished, three-decade career includes having hosted shows and making appearances on such national television platforms as BET, CNN, ABC, and PBS, as well as radio stations KABC and KGFJ in Los Angeles. He’s a prolific author and dynamic purveyor of the African American perspective in the media with his current radio focus representing the majority liberal side of the nation’s diverse black population. In 2021, Smiley’s company, SmileyAudioMedia, Inc., acquired a radio station in Los Angeles – the former hip hop legend KDAY, and turned it into a brand-new station and format launched on Juneteenth of that year – KBLA Talk 1580 – where he’s assembled an outstanding air staff, including himself, with the passionate mission of “unapologetically” serving people of color and political progressives. Harrison states, “Tavis Smiley is to be applauded for bringing two rare but extremely important entities to America’s talk media universe – an African American-owned-and-operated major market station as well as a commercial talk radio outlet that actually embraces liberalism. Putting his money where his mouth is, his belief in and support of radio itself is needed and inspirational.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Howard Stern Praises Old Boss Bill Nosal Upon News of His Passing. Legendary radio personality Howard Stern had high praise for former longtime WCCC, Hartford program director Bill Nosal, who died recently at age 77. Stern said on his SiriusXM program that Nosal hired him in a move that brought Stern from a small station to a top 50 market and would give him the visibility needed to become the superstar that he is. Stern said his first audition for Nosal didn’t go well, but he got a second interview anyway. Stern said, “Either he was a genius like on the level of Lorne Michaels … or he was a complete moron who had no idea what he was doing. I choose to think he was a genius. He saw a diamond in the rough in me [when] no other person did.” Nosal would eventually leave WCCC and the radio programming business to launch his own advertising agency. You can read Stern’s comments here.
Report: Audacy Exploring Sale of Cadence13 Podcasting Unit. According to a piece by Axios, Audacy has retained investment firm Evolution Media Capital to explore the sale of its podcast studio Cadence13 in order to “alleviate some of the company’s debt as it faces financial challenges.” The story notes that in addition to Cadence13, Audacy has acquired Pineapple Street Studios, and podcast monetization platform Podcorn. While Audacy is not commenting on the matter, the Axios piece notes that on Audacy’s most recent quarterly conference call, company president and CEO David Field stated that the company’s podcast growth is coming from its local sports and news radio stations – as well as Audacy’s new sports podcast studio 2400Sports. The piece concludes that Audacy is shifting its podcast strategy to programs “based on its own intellectual property from its radio [holdings], rather than bidding on premium podcasts to distribute, which is Cadence13’s specialty.”
Triton Digital Releases August 2022 Streaming Ranker. The August 2022 Streaming Metrics Ranker from Triton Digital is released. Triton ranks streaming publishers based on Average Active Sessions or AAS that represents the average number of sessions at any point in time in the reported time period. iHeartRadio remains ranked #1 with 305,156 AAS. Other radio-related companies making the ranker include: NPR Member Stations at #2 (71,378 AAS), Audacy at #3 (64,858 AAS), Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (42,893 AAS), Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,144 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,154 AAS), and Salem Communications at #10 (8,871 AAS). You can see the complete ranker here
TALKERS News Notes. The newest podcast from Newsweek is “The Kristal Knight Show,” hosted by Knight, whom the news organization calls “a leading voice on the progressive left.” She most recently served as the political director for Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC, during the 2020 election cycle. Knight says, “I have worked on elections across the country in big cities and small towns. People vote with their party when their party reflects their values, but if their values aren’t reflected, they either don’t vote or vote third party. The Democratic Party today is bifurcated and on ‘The Kristal Knight Show,’ we want to present both sides in this ‘interparty debate,’ so people can decide for themselves what the party truly stands for at this juncture.”…..The board of directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association announces that Michael Strahan is named its Broadcaster of the Year for 2022. Strahan currently co-anchors ABC’s “Good Morning America.” During the NFL football season, he serves as an analyst of “FOX NFL Sunday,” for which he received a 2019 Sports Emmy Award nomination for “Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Analyst” and a 2020 Sports Emmy Award nomination for ‘Outstanding Studio Show – Weekly.” Strahan also hosts the top-rated primetime game show favorite “$100,000 Pyramid” on ABC…..ESPN and host and commentator Bomani Jones have agreed to a new contract extension. Jones will continue to lead his popular ESPN Podcast, “The Right Time with Bomani Jones,” three times per week. Jones will continue to make regular guest appearances across ESPN Radio’s sports talk programming. He will also continue to be a key contributor across ESPN’s television studio lineup, including “SportsCenter,” “First Take,” “Pardon the Interruption” and more. Jones says, “I’m very happy to continue ‘The Right Time’ with ESPN. I remain indebted to everyone who has worked to build the podcast, particularly my producer Gabe Basayne.”…..SiriusXM announces that Dave LaGreca, the lead host of the pro wrestling show “Busted Open,” signs a new multi-year extension with the company. LaGreca says, “I am very happy to cement my relationship with SiriusXM. The platform will continue to be the home for ‘Busted Open’ and I appreciate every SiriusXM team member who has made the show a success.”
Russia-Ukraine War, Mar-a-Lago Documents Case, DACA Ruling, Biden Visits Florida/Ian Aftermath, The Economy/OPEC Decision, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race and ‘Rust’ Settlement Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/5). The annexation of parts of Ukraine by Russia’s Vladimir Putin and his attacks near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; the legal battle over former President Donald Trump’s storing of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago; an Appeals Court rules that the DACA – that provides a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants – is illegal; President Joe Biden visits the destruction in Florida from Hurricane Ian and the search for missing residents; the high rate of inflation, financial markets activity, and OPEC’s decision to cut oil production; the November midterm elections and speculation over the nominees for president in 2024; and Alec Baldwin settles with the family of the cinematographer killed on the set of Rust were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Glenn Beck is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. 2022 marks the 20th anniversary that Glenn Beck’s show has been in syndication with Premiere Networks. The multi-platform star is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Heard by millions of listeners on more than 400 stations, Beck is a Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Marconi Award winner and past recipient of the prestigious TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. He’s a communications industry entrepreneur – the co-founder of Blaze Media – who’s made his mark on radio, TV (CNN, FOX), and live events – not to mention, being a 13-time #1 bestselling author and one of the few in history to have had #1 national bestsellers in the fiction, non-fiction, self-help and children’s picture book genres. He’s also a humanitarian who has raised significant funds for a number of charitable causes including helping families in Afghanistan and Ukraine, as well as fighting global sex trafficking and more. Harrison and Beck engage in a deep-dive conversation about politics, journalism, the media, privacy and the provocative topic of his latest book, The Great Reset: Joe Biden and the Rise of Twenty-First-Century Fascism (Mercury Radio Arts, Inc., 2022). Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
WMAL-FM’s Larry O’Connor Joins Salem News Channel for Prime Time Show. WMAL-FM, Washington morning drive personality Larry O’Connor is joining Salem Media Group’s OTT television network Salem News Channel to host a 9:00 pm ET show titled, “O’Connor Tonight.” O’Connor will be joined by top writers and editors from Salem’s Townhall.com where O’Connor also serves as a senior columnist and creative director. He says, “Salem News Channel represents the future of news content, going over the heads of the legacy media model and delivering informative, vital content directly to a passionate and informed audience. I am thrilled and honored to be affiliated with this dynamic company and am confident that ‘O’Connor Tonight’ will be an entertaining and relevant part of our daily American conversation.” Salem Media Group SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce comments, “Larry brings a wealth of experience and credibility to SNC and we are thrilled he has chosen to join us as we build this network. SNC’s prime time lineup of Andrew Wilkow, Brandon Tatum, Dinesh D’Souza, Eric Metaxas and now Larry O’Connor is second to none in the cable TV news world.”
Adams Radio Group Acquired by Adams Radio Acquisition Co., LLC. This deal – expected to be completed by the end of this year – has Adams Radio Group being acquired by Adams Radio Acquisition Co., LLC. This new entity is controlled by shareholders that were investors in Adams Radio Group when the group was originally formed in 2013. The company will continue operating under the Adams Radio Group banner. Adams president and CEO Ron Stone says, “I am grateful to [chairman and majority owner of the ownership group] Steve Adams for the opportunity to build a second Adams Radio Group. I served as Steve’s CFO in the original Adams Radio Corporation and had my first opportunity as a GM at KEZK, St Louis. The opportunity to work with Steve a second time and build a new group was a dream come true for me. We formed Adams in 2013 and it has been an incredible experience and I have been surrounded by some of the brightest people in the business. I look forward to seeing the company continue to grow and our most dedicated staff prosper under the new ownership and leadership.” Adams Radio owns and operates 18 stations in four markets. The press release states that sources close to the new shareholders say “plans are to continue to build upon the past 10 years and add new markets as opportunities present themselves.” Sharon Bordwell continues with the new company as CFO. Ron Stone will continue to manage the group until closing. Stone says he expects to be busy for a few months post close wrapping up old company business and plans to take some time to assess new opportunities that will enable him to continue to make contributions to the radio industry, including continuing as president and executive director of the Independent Broadcasters Association. Kalil & Co Inc. was the exclusive broker on this transaction representing Adams Radio Group.
McFarlands Show to Launch on WNSR, Nashville. The Tennessean reports that Southern Wabash Communications’ sports talk WNSR-AM/W240CA, Nashville is launching a new mid-afternoon program starring radio pro Darren McFarland and television personality Justin McFarland, titled, “The McFarland Show with Darren and Justin.” The 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show will debut on Monday (10/3). Darren McFarland previously served with Cromwell Media’s crosstown sports talker WPRT-FM “The Game 102.5 FM” and has been the Nashville Predators radio studio host since 2013. Justin McFarland is a morning reporter for WZTV-TV “FOX 17 News.” WNSR general manager Ted Johnson states, “It’s great having two such talented, experienced and wonderful people joining our crew. Darren and Justin will make a great team that listeners will gravitate to and enjoy. They’ll be a great complement to our daily lineup.” The two fill the slot left open by Tennessee sports personality George Plaster’s exit from the station in April of this year.
‘The Trap Nerds’ Episode to Take Place in iHeartLand on Roblox. The podcast The Trap Nerds – a collaboration between iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God’s The Black Effect Podcast Network – debuts a special metaverse episode event in iHeartLand on Roblox, streaming for users on the main stage at State Farm Park. During this inaugural podcast event, hosts Dre, Eli, Tony and Exavier will discuss the last book they read, what it means to be a Black nerd (“Blerd”), Dragon Ball Z and more. iHeartLand visitors on Roblox will experience the event beginning today (9/29) and run for 48 hours through Saturday. This will be followed by an iHeartLand encore event in Fortnite beginning October 13 at 7:00 pm ET through October 19.
TALKERS News Notes. The Washington Examiner’s Juliegrace Brufke reports that Salem Radio Network talk host Sebastian Gorka hopes to be involved with any investigation into Hunter Biden that might take place if Republicans take control of the House after November’s elections. The story indicates Gorka met with U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL) “on Wednesday as the Florida Republican attempts to recruit the controversial conservative pundit to become a staff director if a select committee is formed to examine the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son, according to one source familiar with the meeting.”…..Red Apple Audio Networks, the syndication arm of John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media, owners of WABC, New York announces it has surpassed 100 affiliates across the country since it launched in February. The network’s roster consists of eight shows and features currently running on WABC, including Catsimatidis’s “The Cats Roundtable” and “The Other Side of Midnight with Frank Morano.”…..Television and radio pro Corny Koehl – formerly a programmer at ABC Radio Networks and former executive producer of Premiere Networks’ “The Dr. Laura Show” – is producing a weekly, short-form political satire podcast titled, “Thorn in the USA,” that she calls “an effort to counter the propaganda from elected officials on the far right.” It “centers on fictional host, Margaret Penelóp Taylor, aka Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s #1 fan girl/unofficial MTG whisperer. A self-described ‘Christian Nationalist’ and ‘Pro-Putin Pawn,’ Penelóp pours fuel on the culture wars and casts aspersions on her ‘libtard’ opponents. At the end of each episode is a ‘real’ call-to-action, followed by the host’s vivid sexual fantasies with her obsession, FOX News’ Tucker Carlson.”…..Cumulus Media announces the podcast “Afford Anything” joins the Cumulus Podcast Network. Creator and host Paula Pant focuses on helping listeners make smarter decisions about money, time, and life to align daily behaviors and habits with lifestyle goals. In the podcast, she also talks with guests about investing, travel, lifestyle design, financial independence, real estate, entrepreneurship, productivity, personal development, and the philosophy of money.
Hurricane Ian, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Trump Legal Issues, Harris Asia Trip, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Immigration/Drug Trade, and Brazil Elections Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/28). Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Southwestern Florida; record high inflation and the sell-off on the world’s financial markets; Vladimir Putin’s attempt to annex portions of Ukraine and his nuclear threats; the legal battles facing former President Donald Trump; Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Asia and her visit to the Korean DMZ; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the Biden Administration’s immigration policy and the influx of fentanyl from Mexico; and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s battle to win reelection were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WBT, Charlotte, Morning Show Co-Host Beth Troutman is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of news/talk radio’s rapidly rising stars, former television anchor Beth Troutman, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Since joining veteran morning personality Bo Thompson as co-host of “Good Morning BT” in April, the heritage station’s program has solidified its position as the top morning show in Charlotte. The new duo’s chemistry appears to be clicking on all cylinders. Troutman’s a Charlotte-area native and a UNC Chapel Hill graduate. Her professional credentials are impressive. One of her first media jobs out of college was working on the production team for the smash TV series, “The West Wing.” She mounted an impressive campaign for U.S. Congress at age 27. She’s been a syndicated TV host, lead news anchor, and an Olympics reporter. As a documentarian, she has won two Emmy Awards and she has reported worldwide, from Brazil to Haiti to Pakistan. She has generated a buzz around the industry for her infectious on-air positivity and journalistic even-handedness. Harrison says, “Beth Troutman is clearly a talent worthy of the industry’s attention.” To listen to the entire podcast, please click here.
WABC: The Cats Era. Several hundred invited guests from media, business, and politics gathered last night at posh Big Apple venue Cipriani 42nd Street to attend the double-celebration of WABC’s 100th anniversary and the 74th birthday of its owner John Catsimatidis, CEO of Red Apple Media. It was a star-studded gala event featuring speeches, music, dining and dancing with presentations by a wide variety of station luminaries including Red Apple president Chad Lopez; station personalities Cousin Bruce Morrow, Curtis Sliwa, Sid Rosenberg, Frank Morano, James Golden, and Deborah Valentine, as well as station co-owner/operator Margo Catsimatidis. The night’s activities included spirited musical performances by Tony Orlando, Joe Piscopo, Deana Martin, and Vinnie Medugno backed up by a full swing band. Catsimatidis, who took ownership of the legendary station from Cumulus Media in 2019 issued the statement: “Margo and I are honored to join 77 WABC in celebration of 100 years of broadcasting excellence. A pioneer in news, talk, and music radio, 77 WABC reflects much of the history of radio itself. 77 WABC is the crown jewel of American radio, starting from its origins a century ago to its position today as the nation’s most iconic station.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who attended the event, says, “It was certainly a night to remember.” Photo: John Catsimatidis addresses the guests at WABC’s 100th anniversary bash.
Round Two of August PPMs Released. The second of two rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. 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 Washington DC, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM dips two-tenths and finishes the survey with a 3.9 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share), but remains ranked #8, while Hubbard Broadcasting’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM adds a half share for an 8.0 share finish that propels it to the #2 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston climbs to the #7 rank after adding eight-tenths for a 4.3 share finish as sister all-news WBZ-AM tacks on three-tenths for a 4.6 share finish good for the #6 rank. In Detroit, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR-AM is up one-tenth for a 3.2 share finish that keeps it ranked #13, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news WWJ-AM rises six-tenths for a 5.1 share finish that boosts it to the #8 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Rating Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first round) here.
Chris Cuomo Resurfaces at Nexstar Media’s News Nation. Former CNN personality Chris Cuomo will be back on television on Monday, October 3 when his show “Cuomo” launches on Nexstar Media’s NewsNation channel. Cuomo was let go by CNN in late 2021 after being implicated in his brother Andrew Cuomo’s campaign to defend himself against sexual harassment allegations while still serving as governor of New York. The new program will be produced at Nexstar’s midtown Manhattan production studios with Alexandra “Dusty” Cohen as executive producer. Cohen says, “I have known Chris Cuomo for nearly 30 years, and he is hands down the best interviewer of our generation. I am grateful to NewsNation for this incredible opportunity and am blown away by the number of news and talk industry heavyweights who have joined our team. We have hit the ground running.”
Former WGY, Albany Air Personality Chuck Custer Named to NY State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame Class of 2022. The New York State Broadcasters Association unveils its 2022 class of four inductees into its Hall of Fame and among them is WGY-AM/FM personality Chuck Custer. The now retired Custer served in Albany for more than 36 years. The NYSBA says, “He was the co-host of the top-rated morning show with Kelly Lynch beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he served as morning news anchor and the on-air partner for 25 years with NYSBA Hall of Famer Don Weeks. Custer also previously served as news director and program director for WGY. He also is a former president of the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association. Custer’s leadership in the newsroom is unsurpassed. As news director, the WGY news department was honored with more than 35 awards for excellence in journalism including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the RTDNA. At Custer’s retirement, John Cooper, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Albany stated, ‘For over 36 years, Chuck Custer has been synonymous with WGY. From his time as the leader of the award-winning WGY news department, his outstanding work with ‘Don Weeks in the Mornings,’ his current co-host position with Kelly Lynch, and most importantly all the time he’s contributed to the people of the Capital District. Chuck has been the consummate professional. He’s a great broadcaster who will long be remembered.’”
Key Networks to Syndicate SpeedFreaks Motorsports Program. The 22-year-old motorsports radio program “SpeedFreaks” is joining Key Networks for national affiliate sales and network ad sales, effective September 11. Key Networks says it has already added 80 new stations to the programs roster of affiliates via a new partnership with SportsMap Radio. “SpeedFreaks” is hosted by Kenny Sargent, with co-hosts Crash Gladys and Statt Mann Caruthers, a.k.a. “The Freaks.” The program airs live Sunday nights from 10:00 pm-12:00 midnight ET. Key Networks COO Dennis Green says, “I’m delighted to welcome the “SpeedFreaks” crew of Kenny, Crash and Statt Mann to Key Networks. This long-running show is one-of-a-kind in motorsports that has enjoyed years of success and we’re thrilled to build on that with 80 new stations. Sign-up while you can, drop the hammer and enjoy the ride!”
Katz Promotes Rick Ramos to EVP of Multicultural Partnerships. Rising to the new position EVP of Katz Multicultural Partnerships is Rick Ramos. Katz says that in this new role, Ramos will continue to oversee the creation of dynamic multicultural marketing campaigns across all of Katz’s audio partners. “Katz Multicultural delivers advertisers access to 96% of the Multicultural audio marketplace in one stop. Ramos will also continue to lead advocacy efforts for multicultural advertising and further strengthen relationships with marketers and agencies.” Katz Radio Group president Christine Travaglini says, “Connecting brands authentically with the Multicultural population is key for a successful campaign. Rick is exceptional at helping advertisers build and execute strategic multicultural campaigns. He has a deep knowledge of multicultural audiences and strong relationships with multicultural ad agencies and brands, making him perfectly positioned to spearhead this important effort.”
TALKERS News Notes. Live overage of last Saturday evening’s Donald Trump rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania was most viewed on Newsmax TV, according to data from Nielsen. Newsmax says it was the third-most-watched cable network (behind ESPN and Hallmark Channel) during the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET period and surpassed the combined ratings of CNN and MSNBC, pulling in more than 21% of both networks. Nielsen reports that Newsmax had a total audience of 1.7 million viewers for Trump’s speech, with its overall coverage drawing over 1.9 million viewers, topping FOX News Channel which had 942,000 viewers in the same time period…..Sports Injury Central announces the addition of hall-of-fame radio broadcaster Jim Rome to its advisory board. Sports Injury Central says this affiliation gives Rome listeners across over 200 stations access to injury insights that will give them an edge in their wagering and fantasy sports activities while giving Sports Injury Central significant national distribution of its brand. Rome states, “I’m very impressed with Sports Injury Central. Their injury reporting and assessments are second to none. But more importantly, as the sports wagering industry continues to explode, I believe their handicapping tools – especially the SIC Scores – will be an absolute necessity for serious gamblers. If you think about it, there are so many data resources at our disposal, but where can you get reliable injury analysis from former team doctors? It’s a phenomenal advantage.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One begins its 36th consecutive season as the exclusive primetime network radio partner of the NFL and this year’s championship will be the 50th time that the network will broadcast the Super Bowl to a national audience. For the first time, Westwood One’s NFL game broadcasts will be available to fans on affiliated stations’ primary digital platforms, the NFL App, and westwoodonesports.com. Kevin Harlan and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner will once again be the lead broadcast crew, calling opening night, Monday Night Football and Super Bowl LVII for the network…..Compass Media Networks announces is schedule for NCAA and NFL football this season. NFL play-by-play coverage will consist of a double-header every Sunday for all 18 weeks of the regular season and Compass will begin the season with a week one tripleheader on Sunday, September 11. Compass Media Networks GM of sports Michelle Salvatore says, “Fans and advertisers have trusted Compass Media Networks to deliver the best Sunday afternoon NFL matchups for over a decade, and this year is no different. We are committed to delivering unparalleled broadcasts to listeners. 2022 brings more action, more access, and more of what fans want out of their NFL experience, an inside look at what’s transpiring before them. Our entire team of announcers, producers, and engineers is fired up for what’s shaping up to be an incredible season. We can’t wait to deliver this year’s NFL games to our vast network.” Compass also is offering a schedule of college football games. Salvatore says, “We pride ourselves on consistently delivering the best college football schedule to our fans and advertisers. This season our schedule is jam packed with heritage matchups including the Iron Bowl, Red River Showdown, Bedlam and then caps the season off with the Big 10 Championship Game.”…..A new sports business podcast has launched from iHeartMedia and Sports Illustrated titled, “The Bag with Rashad Jennings and Lindsay McCormick.” The weekly show focuses on the business behind sports, touching on NFTs and cryptos, to fantasy and athlete contracts. Featured guests include NFL All-Pro Shawne Merriman, fantasy football guru Matthew Berry and sports marketing entrepreneur David Meltzer, as well as other leading industry experts…..CNN Audio announces a new limited-series podcast hosted by Anderson Cooper called, “All There Is with Anderson Cooper,” premiering September 14. In this series, Cooper embarks on a deeply personal and emotional exploration of loss and grief and how to move forward without forgetting the moments, memories, and people we miss. He began recording this podcast alone during his final weeks packing up the apartment of his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. Mixed in with his mother’s keepsakes and secret journals that evoke never-before-shared memories, Cooper finds unopened boxes belonging to his father and brother, both of whom died decades ago. Feeling overwhelmed, Cooper began to hold and record intimate conversations with others about their experiences with grief. The resulting podcast is about the people we lose, the things they leave behind, and how we can live on—with loss, with laughter, and with love…..Ahead of this year’s midterm elections, WNYC is launching “The People’s Guide to Power,” a 10-week, pop-up live call-in radio show hosted by WNYC senior political reporter Brigid Bergin. It will “feature thoughtful conversations with the people who hold power, those who seek it, and the journalists who cover them — and help New Yorkers navigate their right to the foundational act of democracy: the right to vote.”…..Audacy’s Cadence13, announces the return of “Campaign HQ,” the weekly podcast hosted by David Plouffe – former Obama campaign manager and White House senior advisor, and the architect of both of Barack Obama’s winning presidential campaigns – for a new season focused on the 2022 midterm elections. Plouffe will explore the races and candidates in the key states of Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and California, focusing on one state per episode, and offering his expert insight and analysis on the battles for Senate, House, gubernatorial, Secretary of State, and Attorney General positions.
Trump Documents Case, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy, Memphis Shootings, and Extreme Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/7). The legal battle over former President Donald Trump’s keeping of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the war’s effects on the global economy; U.S. inflation and concerns about a recession; the deadly shooting spree in Memphis; and the heatwave affecting California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WABC, New York Adds ‘Lou Dobbs Financial Reports’ to Programming Schedule. New York City news/talk WABC and sister Long Island signal WLIR-FM are adding G Accelerate Networks’ “Lou Dobbs Financial Reports” to air three times per day. The 60-second reports include a morning forecast before the opening bell, a midday snapshot of the day in full swing, and an afternoon recap with a look to the next day’s markets. Red Apple Media CEO John Catsimatidis says, “Lou is well renowned for his financial expertise and successful broadcasting career, which make him a perfect fit for WABC and WLIR-FM. In today’s uncertain markets, Lou’s insight and perspective into Wall Street throughout the day are more important now than ever. ‘The Lou Dobbs Financial Reports’ are a welcome addition to WABC and WLIR-FM listeners and advertisers.”
WMFN, Chicago Now Airing Black Information Network Programming. Chicagoland outlet WMFN-AM, Peotone, Illinois is now airing the 24/7 comprehensive national audio news service BIN: Black Information Network. The programming from iHeartMedia is “dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news coverage with a Black voice and perspective.” The station features top national on-air anchors and correspondents including award-winning broadcaster Ed Gordon, renowned journalist Roland Martin and Emmy Award-winning anchor Vanessa Tyler. WMFN-AM is owned by Birach Broadcasting Corporation. BIN: Black Information Network president Tony Coles says, “BIN: Black Information Network celebrated its second anniversary on June 30th, and the launch of Chicago’s 640 AM is a major milestone for the network. BIN brings Chicago the most trusted full-time news network for both local and national news by and for the Black community, and we’re looking forward to the network’s impact in the community for years to come.”
A Radio News Junkie’s Regret. Forty-two years ago this September, a college kid named Bruce Putterman fell in love with radio news after stopping by WVBR-FM, Ithaca at Cornell University. He writes, “I sign up for the station’s training program. Most trainees want to be DJ’s. I’m not that cool. I want to be a reporter. A radio reporter. Over those first few weeks of training my infatuation deepens into love. I love interviewing local dignitaries, writing stories, editing tape, creating news packages, and after about six weeks, delivering my first full newscast. It is the greatest sense of exhilaration I have ever experienced. I think I’ve found my calling.” Putterman continued to work hard at it during his college years and just prior to graduation scored an audition with the ABC News Network. But he flunked the audition and subsequently gave up on radio news as a career. It’s a decision he admits that he regrets. But this story has a happy ending. (Spoiler alert: He’s now in the news business after a very long career detour). Read Bruce Putterman’s honest and revealing story here.
‘Tips for Today’s Homeowner’ Airing on 450 Stations. The 90-second vignettes “Tips for Today’s Homeowner” from Danny Lipford’s Today’s Homeowner Media are now heard on 450 stations across the U.S. The company says 22 new stations have been added in the second quarter of 2022. Vice president of TV/radio distribution Scott Basilotta says, “These tips vignettes are extremely popular. They are short, concise and take up very little inventory. Many of our affiliate stations utilize them to generate a lucrative source of revenue when pairing a local advertiser or sponsor to one of the adjacencies.” Lipford and his team have strategically expanded the vignettes’ footprint over the last six months, which has resulted in more iHeartMedia, Cumulus Media, Townsquare Media and Alpha Media USA stations joining.
Audacy Names Four to Regional Promotions Team. Four promotions pro join Audacy’s regional promotions team. The company says that Emily Pearce joins the Tri-State team as regional promotion director focusing on New York City and Wilkes-Barre. Ruben Pimentel joins the Northern California team as regional promotion director focusing on San Francisco and Sacramento. Erica Washburn joins the Pacific Northwest team as regional promotion director focusing on Seattle and Portland, and Veronica Weisenbach is promoted to the Great Lakes team as regional promotion manager focusing on Detroit and Cleveland. Audacy VP promotions and experiences Josh Pearlman says, “We’re thrilled to welcome Emily, Ruben and Erica, to Audacy and excited for Veronica to advance into her new role. They are game changers in the marketing and promotion space, and I look forward to their leadership and contributions to our leading local brands.”
TALKERS News Notes. Progressive talk show host Stephanie Miller announces that her “Sexy Liberal Save Democracy Tour” comics John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks, and Frangela will hit three cities this fall – Washington, DC on September 10, Chicago on September 24, and Los Angeles on October 22. Miller says, “The Sexy Liberals deliver a comedic punch in a knockout show encouraging us to get everyone you know to vote this November’s midterm elections…hand out water, bring chairs, shuttle people, and carry signs – VOTE!”…..Good Karma Brands’ WEFL-AM, West Palm Beach “Deportes Radio 760” announces that ESPN Spanish sports media personality Jose del Valle is joining the station’s “Comunidad Deportiva” once a week beginning on Wednesday, July 20 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm. Station general manager Julian Zaldivar says, “As our ‘Deportes Radio 760AM’ station continues to gain popularity with Latino sports fans in the area, it’s very exciting to add Jose del Valle to our local programming. Jose is one of the top soccer broadcasters for ESPN Deportes and ESPN+, and he’s always stayed true to his roots in Palm Beach County. We’re proud to bring Jose del Valle back to West Palm to join our local show and share his soccer passion with the Hispanic community he calls home.”…..Virtual News Center adds new affiliate stations KHPQ-FM and KGFL-AM in Clinton, Arkansas to its roster of stations. Virtual News Center’s Lisa Rodman will anchor newscasts for the King-Sullivan Radio-owned stations.
KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Meets Rodeo Queens. Pictured above is KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (center) surrounded by the Western Rodeo Queens. The photo was taken during Miller’s live broadcast from the Buckaroo Breakfast in Nampa, Idaho.
The Economy/Biden Approval Ratings, November Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, January 6 Hearings/Bannon Trial, European Heatwave, Russia-Ukraine War, and Uvalde Report Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/18). The high price of gasoline and food and President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings for his handling of the economy and inflation; the November midterm elections, Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP, and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the January 6 Committee hearings and former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s looming trial for contempt of congress; the record-breaking heatwave in Europe; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the official release of the Uvalde school shooting report were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
James Golden is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes him as a “radio renaissance man.” James Golden, a.k.a. Bo Snerdley, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” A native of Queens, New York – Golden spent approximately 30 years as the producer of Rush Limbaugh’s historic nationally syndicated radio show. In addition, he played a major role in the program’s many media offshoots from publishing to podcasting. Before that, he was involved in radio as a producer, researcher, programmer and on-air host at such New York outlets as WABC and WWRL, and Talkspot.com. After Rush passed away in February of 2021, Golden produced a multi-episode documentary podcast for iHeartRadio titled, Rush Limbaugh: The Man Behind the Golden EIB Microphone, in addition to writing a critically acclaimed book, Rush On The Radio: A Tribute From His Sidekick of 30 Years. And now, he’s back on Red Apple Media’s WABC with a daily afternoon talk show of his own. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Trip Reeb Adds Oversight of Hubbard’s Seattle Operations. The Seattle operations of Hubbard Radio will be under the supervision of Trip Reeb, effective July 18. Reeb, who also serves as VP/market manager for the company’s Phoenix cluster, will hold the same title for the Seattle group that includes alternative talk KKNW-AM, four music brands and 2060 Digital office. Reeb takes over for Wheeler Morris, who exits to lead Townsquare Media’s Fort Collins, Colorado operations. Hubbard CEO Ginny Morris says, “Hubbard Radio is so fortunate to have Trip Reeb in our leadership ranks. He has raised his hand for this assignment in the past and now is the right time to take him up on his willingness to share his unique and varied talents with not one Hubbard market but two. Trip has built a solid team in Phoenix and that gives us every confidence that the great success that team is having there will continue as Trip quickly adds his knowledge and talents to our Seattle market to build on the momentum that the Seattle team has been building in recent years.”
New TALKERS 2022 Video Posted. The latest video from the recent TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University is posted. The panel discussion titled, “Strategizing a Talk Host Career,” was moderated by Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher and featured panelists: Bruce Avery, GM, WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Frank Morano, host, WABC, New York; Walter Sterling, host, “Sterling on Sunday”; Brett Winterble, host, WBT, Charlotte; and Martha Zoller, host WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia. See the video here.
Industry Pros Add Informative, Personal Touch to Introductions at TALKERS 2022. Over the past week or so, we’ve been highlighting the talk media industry professionals who served the critical role of introducing panel discussions and presentations at the recent TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University. We’re giving more digital ink – as well as our tremendous thanks for their outstanding efforts – to those who took the time to prepare brief speeches that provided informative and relevant information. Pictured below is Alex Fife introducing the “Attracting the Younger Demos and Broadening the Base” panel. Fife serves as VP operations, Southeast, iHeartMedia – Total Traffic & Weather Network.
Pictured above is VP/associate publisher, TALKERS and media attorney Matthew B. Harrison introducing the Fireside Chat between TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison and Red Apple Media CEO and WABC owner John Catsimatidis.
Mike Gallagher Hits the Streets in Munich. Pictured above in the plaza outside Munich, Germany’s City Hall is Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher (left) interviewing a German citizen protesting against government mandates. Salem says that Gallagher is filing Special Reports this week on America’s image overseas during the Biden Administration. SRN says Gallagher encountered hundreds of “anti-mandate” marchers charging that the government gives them no say in their freedom over vaccines, masks, and other issues. Mike Gallagher comments, “It may not be a Red Wave, but the populist protests here in Germany are echoing the dissatisfaction with the role of government we keep seeing in the USA.”
Jeff Katz Welcomes Joe Kenda to Central Virginia. Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk show host Jeff Katz (left) with The Discovery Channel’s Joe Kenda (right). Kenda, who hosts “Homicide Hunter” and “American Detective,” is a retired Colorado Springs police lieutenant who was visiting Central Virginia to promote his new book, Killer Triggers. Ex-cop Katz and Kenda talked about the challenges facing law enforcement officers that have led Kenda to become a vocal advocate for mental health services for police personnel and has longtime police peer counselor Katz now studying to become a certified police chaplain. Katz also presented Kenda with a Thin Blue Line bracelet handcrafted by Emily Morrissey a local jewelry artist who has a number of disabilities and special challenges.
TALKERS News Notes. Longtime rock KQRS-FM, Minneapolis morning personality Tom Barnard announces he’s retiring from the Cumulus Media station after his final show on December 23 of this year. Barnard has been host of the KQRS morning program since 1986. The Minneapolis native is a Marconi Award winner as well as a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame…..At SiriusXM, Jessica Casano-Antonellis joins as SVP and head of communications, reporting to chief marketing officer Denise Karkos. In this new role, Casano-Antonellis will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s communications function, including strategic communications, brand reputation management and media relations. Karkos comments, “Jessica is a valued and respected leader who brings a wealth of strategic communications experience in the media, entertainment and technology industries to SiriusXM. She will be an incredible asset to the company and will play a key role as we continue to tell the story of SiriusXM as a leader in audio entertainment.” Casano-Antonellis was most recently with The Walt Disney Company where she had a significant role in the Company’s pivot to streaming, first with the launch of ESPN+ in 2018, followed by the successful launch of Disney+ in 2019…..iHeartMedia announces the first slate of podcasts from its NextUp Initiative that aims to empower participants of all backgrounds by giving them the tools to succeed in the podcast industry: from developing and marketing a podcast to using industry-leading software. iHeartMedia says that in this program, the NextUp fellows have learned from some of iHeartRadio’s top creators and have developed shows centered around their unique voices. The first podcast in the slate, “Beauty Translated,” is hosted by Carmen Laurent, and focuses on the transgender community in the South and touches on their experiences with coming out, launching careers, and family life.
January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War/NATO, The Economy, Abortion/SCOTUS, Immigration-Migrant Deaths, Israeli Politics, and R. Kelly Sentencing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/29). The aftermath of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony before the January 6 Committee; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s response to Finland’s and Sweden’s invitation to join NATO; the high price of food & gasoline, activity on the world’s financial markets, and concerns about a recession; reactions to the overturning of Roe v Wade and the end of the Supreme Court’s 2021-2022 term; immigration issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the deaths of 51 migrants in San Antonio; Israel’s Knesset votes to dissolve; and R&B singer R. Kelly is sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual abuse of underage girls were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.