The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2023 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The ratings period covered December 7, 2023 – January 3, 2024. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC adds two-tenths to finish with a 3.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and remains ranked #11, while iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR tacks on one-tenth for a 1.2 share finish good for the #21 rank, and Audacy’s all-news WINS-FM falls two-tenths to a 3.9 share but rises to the #9 rank. In Los Angeles, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI loses half a share to finish with a 4.6 share pulling it from the #2 to the #4 rank, while Audacy’s all-news KNX-AM/FM loses two-tenths to finish with a 2.5 share good for the #12 rank. In Chicago, Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM dips two-tenths for a 2.6 share finish leaving it ranked #11, while Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM is steady at a 1.7 share good for the #19 rank, and Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM loses three-tenths to finish with a 4.9 share and remaining ranked #4. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.
A new, multi-year agreement is signed by CBS News Radio and Audacy that will keep CBS News Radio’s global news coverage heard on 27 Audacy stations that includes all-news outlets WCBS-AM, New York; KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles; and KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco. As part of the deal, CBS News Radio provides its full news and programming to the Audacy stations, including top-of-the-hour newscasts, CBS WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP, breaking news, special events coverage, correspondent interviews, and audio. Paramount Global EVP of podcasting and audio Steve Raizes states, “This new agreement ensures listeners in the top markets continue to get CBS News Radio’s award-winning national and global news for years to come. This new agreement continues our long-running relationship with Audacy and its stations.”
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.
Beasley Broadcast Group 2022 Q2 Net Revenue Rises 8.8%. The first radio-based audio firm to report 2022 second quarter financial data is Beasley Broadcast Group, which reveals net revenue of $64.8 million, an increase of 8.8% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports an operating loss of $5.4 million and a net loss of $14.5 million and explains the losses saying, “The operating loss in the second quarter of 2022 primarily reflects an $8.6 million non-cash impairment loss due to an increase in the discount rate used in the analyses to estimate the fair value of FCC licenses and goodwill in a rising interest rate environment. For the comparable three months ended June 30, 2021, the company recorded $1.5 million of other operating income, net from life insurance proceeds related to the death of George Beasley, the company’s former chairman. As a result of these factors, Beasley reported a net loss of $14.5 million, or a negative $0.48 per diluted share, in the three months ended June 30, 2022, compared to net income of $0.2 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, in the three months ended June 30, 2021.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Beasley delivered another period of strong top-line results in the second quarter, reflecting solid year-over-year growth across all of our revenue sources. Net revenue increased 8.8%, inclusive of a 4.3% rise in audio revenue and a 34.3% rise in digital revenue, with digital accounting for 16.5% of second quarter net revenue. Digital remains a central component of our revenue diversification strategy, and the momentum we are seeing in our digital business is further underpinned by our ability to grow digital revenue 37% on a quarterly sequential basis, while also improving our digital margin. Our new business performance was robust this quarter, as we recorded $7.8 million in new business revenue, representing a 60% increase from the first quarter of 2022 and 16% growth over the comparable prior year period. In addition, we acquired a small white label digital agency at the end of June, which will immediately contribute positive cash flow and synergies. We believe these results continue to demonstrate the inaccuracy of the perception that radio is more challenged than other segments of the technology, media, and telecom sectors… We are keeping a close eye on the declining economic environment and initiated cost reductions beginning in the second quarter. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on controlling what we can control, maximizing our growth opportunities, managing our expenses and capital structure, serving our audiences and advertisers and delivering results for our stockholders.”
Monday Memo: Review Airchecks…Later. As “automation and syndication have made radio less-local,” consultant Holland Cooke calls talent coaching “a lost art”; and he uses this week’s column to offer tips “for hosts and DJs who feel neglected.” Read more here.
Pending Business: The One Thing Every Advertiser Should Know. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that any radio seller who wants to be successful has to answer the following question: “What is the one ‘thing’ every advertiser should know about my on-air talent?” In other words, what is the unique selling point that can be connected to your on-air talent and only the talent you represent. Read his column here.
Alex Silverman to Lead Programming at All-News KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles. News radio programming pro Alex Silverman is moving to Audacy’s KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles to serve as director of news and programming, effective September 19. He’s been serving with the company as brand manager for the company’s all-news KYW-AM/FM, Philadelphia since 2018. Prior to that, he was assistant director of news and programming at Audacy’s WCBS-AM, New York. In his new role at KNX, Silverman will “oversee the station’s editorial strategy and newsroom, including broadcast and digital operations, with an eye towards audience and revenue growth and engagement on all platforms.” Silverman states, “KNX News is iconic. I can’t wait to work with the amazing team to build the future of the brand and set the agenda for news coverage in Southern California. Thank you to Jeff Federman, Chris Ebbott, Jeff Sottolano and Bill Smee for their confidence in me and commitment to impactful local journalism.” Silverman is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He serves on the board of directors of the Radio Television Digital News Association and has been an adjunct instructor at Fordham University, where he designed a course titled, “Social Media for Journalists.” Silverman takes over the role from Ken Charles, who did not renew his contract with the company.
Dwight Jaynes Joins Afternoon Show on ‘Rip City Sports Radio 620.’ Sports talk host Dwight Jaynes is joining Chad Doing at iHeartMedia’s KPOJ, Portland “Rip City Radio 620” as co-host of the “Rip City Drive” program that airs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Jaynes, also known as “The Godfather,” spent 25 years as a sports columnist for the Oregon Journal and The Oregonian covering the NBA’s Trail Blazers and has co-written two books about the team. He also spent 11 years at NBC Sports Northwest, hosting “Talkin’ Ball” and “Posting Up.” Prior to that, Jaynes hosted the “Morning Sports Page” show alongside Doing on KXTG-FM, Portland. Doing says, “I am thrilled to be reunited with my former partner. Dwight is a Hall of Famer for good reason – no one has more experience covering Oregon sports. I look forward to making compelling radio with him every day. His sports knowledge and storytelling are unmatched.” Jaynes comments, “I am beyond excited to return to sports talk radio – especially with my old partner Chad Doing – who I believe to be one of the best in the country. The best part of our shows has always been our willingness to take on the tough issues – sports or otherwise – and find creative ways to shape discussion and opinion. At the same time, you never quite know what we’re going to do next… because we don’t!”
Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Interview Trump at LIV Golf Tourney in Bedminster, New Jersey. Pictured above with former President Donald Trump are Premiere Networks syndicated talk hosts Clay Travis (left) and Buck Sexton (right) at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the site of the LIV Golf tournament. Trump joined the duo live on their show discussing such topics as recession, China and Taiwan, and whether he’ll run for president in 2024, about which he said, “Very hard for me not to run to be honest. And also the polls indicate from the Republican standpoint it would be easy. And I think I was up 11 points on Biden the other day… I don’t know why 11… If you guys ran, you’d be up more than 11… In my mind, I’ve already made the decision.”
Stacey Thomas Named Director of Marketing for iHeartMedia Philly. Eighteen-year iHeartMedia Philadelphia staffer Stacey Thomas is promoted to director of marketing and promotions for the cluster that includes sports talk WDAS-AM “The Gambler” and WTEL “BIN: Black Information Network.” In this role, Thomas will oversee the Philadelphia brand portfolio and will be responsible for developing, planning, and directing all marketing and promotions efforts. She previously served the cluster as media integration director. iHeartMedia Philadelphia market president Jeff Moore says, “It has been remarkable working alongside Stacey and watching her persevere through numerous changes and challenges. A tireless worker who puts the needs of iHeart Philly above all else will now get the chance to put her stamp on the promotions department in a time when making deep and meaningful relationships with our audiences and partners couldn’t be more important.”
Ava Lynn LaRue Named Inaugural MIW Mentee in Minnesota. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc and the Minnesota Broadcasters Association announce that Ava Lynn LaRue is named the inaugural mentee for the “MIW Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Minnesota” program. This partnership between the two organizations is led by MBA president Wendy Paulson and is MIW’s newest mentoring opportunity and the start of its three-to-five year strategic plan to partner with state broadcast associations across the United States and assist in building in-house, ongoing programs devoted to coaching and guiding the next generation of radio professionals. LaRue is the station manager for Q-Media Group, LLC in Red Wing, Minnesota. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “Lightning struck twice! Partnering with Wendy has been positive, productive, and way fun. And then to meet the powerhouse Ava LaRue and have the opportunity to work with her is what the MIWs are all about. Thanks MBA, Wendy, and Ava!” Paulson adds, “A huge ‘thank you’ to all of the incredible women who applied to participate in the 2022 ‘MIW Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Minnesota’ program! The judging committee was blown away by the depth of talented women that applied to be part of this pilot mentorship program!”
Biden’s Energy & Health Bill, Inflation Reduction Act, November Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, COVID-19/Biden Positive Again, Pelosi’s Asia Trip, Russia-Ukraine War/Global Food Crisis, Deadly Kentucky Floods/Western Wildfires, Monkeypox, and Nichelle Nichols & Bill Russell Die Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The fate of President Joe Biden’s energy & healthcare bill; debate over the Schumer–Manchin authored Inflation Reduction Act; November’s midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race; the rate of BA.5 subvariant infections in the U.S. and Biden’s testing positive again; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Asia and China’s threats if she visits Taiwan; the Russia-Ukraine war and its effects on the global food supply; the continuing threats of flooding in Eastern Kentucky and the Western wildfires; the growing monkeypox epidemic; and actress Nichelle Nichols and basketball legend Bill Russell pass away were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Hannah Guile Named Executive Producer of Mark Kaye Show. WOKV-FM, Jacksonville air personality Hannah Guile is promoted to executive producer for Cox Media Group’s syndicated “Mark Kaye Show.” In her new role, Guile will handle affiliate relations for the program in addition to continuing her on-air role on the daily news/talk show. WOKV-FM director of branding and programming Jim Graci states, “I love the chemistry that comes through the speakers with Mark and Hannah. You can hear the passion and fun they have working together. I’m anxious to hear this next evolution of the ‘Mark Kaye Show.’” Guile has served with CMG Jacksonville since 2018, starting as a board operator and working her way to an on-air position as one of WOKV-FM’s traffic reporters. She joined the cast of the “Mark Kaye Show” in 2019. Guile comments, “I am overjoyed for this opportunity to expand my role on the ‘Mark Kaye Show.’ I’m super passionate about the show and its ingenious approach to talk radio.” Guile takes over for Josh McCarthy who moved to Orlando to assume the executive producer role for news/talk WDBO.
Round One of June PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s June 2022 sweep covered May 26 – June 22. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York City, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC slips from #10 to #11 after shedding two tenths for a 3.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR also loses two-tenths for a 2.0 share finish but rises to the #18 rank. iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles dips seven-tenths to wrap the survey with a 4.3 share and falls from #3 to #5. Across town, Audacy’s all-news KNX-AM/FM slips one-tenth to finish with a 3.1 share good for the #11 rank. In Chicago, Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM rises three-tenths for a 5.0 share finish that pushes it from the #5 rank to #2. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP, Dallas rises from #10 to #6 after adding four-tenths for a 4.0 share finish, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KRLD-AM tacks on four-tenths for a 2.5 share and rises to the #18 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeways from this group of markets here.
Curiosity Audio Network to Debut. A partnership between factual media and entertainment company Curiosity Inc. and iHeartMedia launches the Curiosity Audio Network that will develop and release several podcast projects throughout the year. The companies say that Curiosity’s first foray into podcasting will feature original content as well as podcasts to complement programming from Curiosity’s library of documentary films, shows and series. iHeartPodcast Network COO Will Pearson states, “We are thrilled to join forces with Curiosity Inc. to develop premium podcasts for an audience who loves to learn. The Curiosity team has built such an incredible library of knowledge for curious minds and are adding to it all the time, and we can’t wait to bring it to our millions of listeners across the globe.” The first podcast series available is the “One Day University” podcast series, showcasing fascinating lectures delivered by the most beloved professors from some of the world’s top colleges and universities, with episode topics ranging from “Eight Books that Changed the World” to “Abraham Lincoln: Fact vs. Fiction.”
Salem Personality Amanda Carroll Signs with Life Audio Podcast Network. Joining Salem Media Group’s Life Audio Podcast Network is company air personality Amanda Carroll. She is heard on the company’s Sacramento Christian music station “The Fish” and in national syndication via Today’s Christian Music Network. She is founder of the “Get Your Brave On” podcast. The weekly podcast inspires “women to live a strong and courageous life while featuring guests like Joel Smallbone from King and Country, Tasha Layton, and Ben Fuller.” Carroll states, “I’m honored to partner with Salem to help inspire women going through plot twists in life to bounce back with the help of their faith. It’s exciting to see all the years of work growing the ‘Get Your Brave On’ digital platform recognized by Salem for its impact and potential.”
Brett Andrews Named SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Milwaukee and Madison. Programming pro Brett Andrews is named SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee and Madison markets. In addition to serving as program director for two of the music-formatted stations, Andrews will be in charge of more than 12 stations including news/talk WISN and sports talk WRNW-FM and WOKY-AM in Milwaukee and news/talk WIBA-AM in Madison. Andrews will report to Colleen Valkoun, market president for iHeartMedia Milwaukee and Jeff Tyler, area president for iHeartMedia Wisconsin.
The Economy, Biden in the Middle East, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Abortion Controversy, Twitter vs Musk, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Uvalde Video Leaked, and Webb Telescope Images Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/12). The inflation causing high prices for gasoline & food, sinking tech stocks, and concerns about a recession; President Joe Biden embarks on a trip to the Middle East; the November midterm elections and speculation about who will be the nominees for president in 2024; the contentious battle over abortion rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade; the legal battle between Elon Musk and Twitter over his attempt to acquire the social media platform; the ongoing January 6 hearings; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the global economy; a leak of the video from the Uvalde school massacre reveals police taking no action against the gunman; and the images from the James Webb Space Telescope were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Washington, DC Radio Legend Andy Parks Passes at 68. The Washington Times reports that market radio legend Andy Parks has died at age 68 after battling a recent illness. Parks spent the majority of his radio career with news/talk WMAL but in recent years he’d been hosting the podcast, “Politically Unstable,” produced by The Times. He began his career at WMAL doing traffic reports, but management liked his commentary and made him a regular show host. He served with co-host Fred Grandy from 2003 to 2010 on the morning drive “Grandy & Andy” show. Former Iowa congressman Grandy says, “We were Washington’s wake-up call. We were the first people you heard in the morning with a breaking story. Real partnerships are rare — few and far between. And when you get one, you know it, and you want to hang on to it. I think Andy and I knew pretty quickly this was going to work out.” Times opinion editor Charles Hunt says, “More than anything, Andy was a prince of a guy. And though he spent a lifetime covering all the crazy shenanigans of this political town, he never lost the straightforward common sense that his listeners loved about him. He will be dearly missed.”
Round One of February PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s February 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s February 2022 sweep covered February 3 – March 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. New York City’s two big news/talk stations are tied as Red Apple Media’s WABC-AM/WLIR-FM dips one-tenth for a 2.9 share (6+, weekly AQH share) finish and iHeartMedia’s WOR-AM rises one-tenth to reach a 2.9 share. Both stations are tied at the #13 rank. In Los Angeles, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI is up three-tenths to finish with a 4.0 share, good for the #7 rank, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KNX-AM/FM ticks up two-tenths for a 3.3 share finish but dips to the #11 rank. Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago sheds six-tenths, falling to a 4.6 share good for the #5 rank, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM also falls six-tenths, finishing with a 5.1 share that takes it from #1 to #3. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
Audacy Names Jonathan Carlson AM Drive Co-Anchor on WWJ-AM, Detroit. Television news pro Jonathan Carlson is named the new morning drive co-anchor on Audacy’s all-news WWJ News Radio 950 in Detroit. Carlson joins Roberta Jasina for the 5:00 am to 10:00 am daypart, beginning April 18. Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are thrilled to have Jonathan – an Emmy Award-winning journalist – join our team as a morning anchor. We’re confident he will round out our morning show program while seamlessly connecting with our listeners along the way.” Carlson has anchored in major markets around the country for nearly two decades, including WXYZ-TV, Detroit and most recently WGCL-TV, Atlanta. He comments, “I’m thrilled to join the legendary WWJ news team in such a pivotal role and I am honored and humbled to soon be waking up Metro Detroiters each morning. I am passionate about Detroit and Michigan as a whole and was waiting for the right opportunity to return. I can’t wait to bring my years of television reporting experience to radio and hope to be a voice listeners can trust and lean on each day.”
Audacy Announces Promotions at Corporate Promotions and Experiences Team. The company announces three moves in its corporate promotions and experiences department. Most relative to spoken-word programming is Jess Clarke’s new role as director, sports and entertainment, a promotion from her current role as regional promotions director for Audacy Tri-State. The company says, Clarke will continue to oversee the New York City market, but her primary focus is going to be leading Audacy’s upcoming performance space at the soon-to-open Hard Rock Hotel in New York City. She will spearhead Hard Rock development projects and work alongside SVP promotions and experiences Chad Fitzsimmons, sports format VP Spike Eskin, and VP of sports Matt Volk to develop sport events and platforms nationally. Other promotions announced include Bethany Kent moving into a new role as director of music initiatives and Andrea Burtscher moving from her role as regional promotion director – Northern California into the newly developed role of director, country promotions and experiences.
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated, San Antonio-based talk radio personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo announces he’s giving up his position as host of iHeartMedia’s “The Weekend” talk program. Pags tells TALKERS, “After almost 12 years, I’ve decided to stop doing ‘The Weekend w/Joe Pags’ to give 100% focus on ‘The Joe Pags Show.’ It’s been an indescribable honor and I can’t thank Premiere, the stations, and the listeners enough.” Pags’ daily program is based at iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio and is syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks…..WPG, Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley is taking part in the New Jersey GOP Statewide Leadership Summit taking place March 25-26 at Harrah’s Marina Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City New Jersey. Hurley is serving as the moderator for a very high-profile panel on Friday as well as on a talk radio panel on Saturday. The keynote speaker for the event is former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson…..This Thursday (3/24), Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” presents the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts to help New Jersey residents navigate life in the Garden State. New Jersey 101.5’s Eric Scott leads a panel of educators, behavioral specialists, education advocates and policymakers to examine how best to deal with pandemic-induced learning loss. He says, “Nearly two years of remote and hybrid learning has caused significant learning issues for New Jersey school kids. Some may never catch up.” Scott says he and his guests will help parents identify areas where their kids may be struggling, and will offer ways to take corrective action. These deficits are not confined to the classroom – social anxiety, loss of interpersonal skills and an increase in bullying has also been blamed on remote learning…..Audacy announces that Sam Levitt will join sports talk KWFN-FM, San Diego 97.3 The Fan’s flagship broadcast coverage of MLB’s San Diego Padres as pregame and postgame host. Levitt will join The Padres Radio Network broadcast team alongside play-by-play announcer Jesse Agler and color analyst Tony Gwynn Jr, beginning this season. “97.3 The Fan” brand manager Adam Klug says, “We are thrilled to welcome Sam Levitt as the new pre and postgame host for Padres baseball on the Padres Radio Network. Sam has a wealth of experience and passion for baseball that will benefit Padres fans of all ages.”
Russia-Ukraine War, Biden in Europe, Jackson Confirmation Hearings, Gas Prices/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Severe Weather in U.S. South Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; President Joe Biden’s trip to Europe and his warning that Russian cyberattacks on the West are a real threat; the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; the soaring gas prices at the pump and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and tornadoes and severe weather hit the U.S. South were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.