Fisher House Foundation announces that Larry O’Connor of Over the Top Media is taking over production of the foundation’s talk radio program, “The Fisher House Story,” that is made available to talk radio stations for free to air around holidays including Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day, as well as year-round programs. The Fisher House Foundation is a non-profit that provides housing for families of patients receiving care at major military and VA medical centers so they can be near their loved ones. O’Connor, who hosts the morning drive program at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington, has hosted the show in the past. Fisher House says, “This informational talk show will inspire listeners through stories of amazing service members, veterans, and their families. Producer and host Larry O’Connor’s love and respect for our military will only amplify these radio specials.”
During the coming days, videos of all of TALKERS 2023’s numerous sessions conducted June 2 at Hofstra University will be posted, beginning today with the panel discussion “Programming News/Talk Radio in the Digital Era – Part 1.” The session, sponsored by Premiere Networks, is introduced by Larry O’ Connor, morning host at WMAL, Washington, DC and moderated by Mike McVay (pictured at right), CEO of McVay Media Consulting. Panelists (pictured below from left to right) include Joe Thomas, program director/host, WCHV, Charlottesville, VA; Eric Stanger, SVP operations, Sean Hannity Show/Premiere Networks; Brett Winterble, host, WBT, Charlotte; Kevin DeLany, VP news & talk programming, Westwood One; and Tom Cuddy, program director, WOR, New York. (Note: Matt Meany, program director, WABC, New York who was originally scheduled to appear on this panel switched to the “Programming News/Talk Radio in the Digital Era – Part 2” session which will be posted tomorrow.) See the video of this session here.
Fisher House Foundation is announcing The Jeff Wyatt Group has a Memorial Day Weekend edition of “The Fisher House Story: On the Road to 100 Houses” for 2023 now available for download at no cost. “The Fisher House Story” is a radio special available in varying lengths for news/talk radio stations as well as a 30-minute public affairs show for ALL formats in the U.S. and around the world. Fisher House Foundation provides a home away from home for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. Fisher Houses provide temporary free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis. The three-hour, one-hour, 25- and 30-minute radio specials are hosted by radio personality Larry O’Connor (WMAL-FM, Washington) and feature stories of our nation’s heroes, the families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey. Hear the demo, register, and download today at radio.fisherhouse.org.
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.
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Comes the Fall,” looks back at this past week of 9/19 to 9/23. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Gregg Stebben, talk show host Beamz/Live; Jeff Katz, talk show host, WRVA, Richmond; Jack Heath, talk show host, “The Pulse of NH”; Daliah Wachs, M.D., physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Renee Kohanski, M.D., podcast commentator/forensic psychiatrist. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
What ‘Serial’ Has Meant to the Audio Industry. The release of Adnan Sayed from prison last week put the investigative podcast “Serial” back in the spotlight. Sayed – convicted of killing his girlfriend Hae Min Lee – was one of the subjects of the first season of the podcast and, as it turned out, the true crime genre would become one of podcasting’s most popular. Eight years ago, radio consultant Bill McMahon of The Authentic Personality wrote a piece about the first season of “Serial,” explaining why the program was so appealing. Today, he says that column also “explained why podcasts containing journalism, news reporting, and storytelling similar to ‘Serial’ are among the most-listened-to podcasts today.” McMahon adds, “This quote from an interview the Nieman Lab conducted with ‘Serial’ creator Sarah Koenig just prior to the launch of ‘Serial’ speaks volumes about how the status quo, conventional wisdom and groupthink that is so pervasive in broadcasting stifles creativity and innovation: ‘For us, that it’s a podcast is so liberating. We can tell it as long as we need to tell it, and we don’t have to worry about it.’” You can read McMahon’s original column published in TALKERS here.
Media Research Council Holds 35th Annual Gala. Pictured above at the Media Research Council’s 35th annual gala in Washington, DC on Wednesday (9/21) are (from l-r): conservative author Andrew Klavan, Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing, Salem Radio Network host Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Newsmax TV host and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Epoch TV executive producer Matthew Faraci. The event was titled, “Night of the Unwoke,” and featured speakers Larry O’Connor of WMAL-FM, Washington and Cal Thomas, whose daily commentaries are syndicated by the SRN.
Binnie Media Promotes Czarnecki. One of the nation’s most successful regional media groups, Binnie Media, promotes Michael Czarnecki from director, brand operations to VP of programming for the company’s Maine operations for the company’s New Hampshire news/talk stations branded as “The Pulse of New Hampshire.” Heath Cole continues his role as VP of programming for the company’s New Hampshire operations. Both Czarnecki and Cole will report to company president Massimo Rosati. Binnie Media is New England’s largest locally owned media company with radio, digital and outdoor assets covering Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.
iHeartMedia Partners with Neustar for Marketing Attribution. This partnership between iHeartMedia and Neustar, Inc. includes broadcast radio in end-to-end marketing attribution. A press release says the “new solution combines iHeart’s unparalleled audio reach with Neustar’s industry-leading marketing attribution solution to measure consumer engagement and the sales impact of broadcast radio alongside all other advertising channels.” It expands the Neustar Unified Measurement Solution, which spans Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) and Marketing Attribution solution to include the iHeart broadcast radio universe. The release also says that Neustar is the first attribution service to unify the measurement of radio, which reaches over 90% of Americans a month, with all other channels into one platform. This innovation provides critical insights into the incremental contribution the massive reach of broadcast radio has on consumer purchase behavior. iHeartMedia chief data officer and president of revenue strategies Brian Kaminsky says, “The scale and effectiveness of broadcast radio is undeniable. Now with Neustar, we are able to offer brands a new level of granular user-level consumer analysis, to ensure that all media channels –including broadcast radio, are used to optimize their marketing plans and drive the results they are seeking.”
TALKERS News Notes. On yesterday’s edition of “The Todd Starnes Show,” former President Donald Trump was a guest and addressed a number of topics, including the civil suit filed against him, his children and two Trump Organization officers in New York, as well as the “Contract with America” he says Republicans will soon announce…..WRVA, Richmond talk host Jeff Katz’s program is named “Best Local Afternoon Radio Show” by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in it’s “The Best” feature for the third consecutive year…..The NBA’s Golden State Warriors sign a multi-year contract extension with Audacy sports talk outlet KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” for the station to continue serving as the team’s flagship radio station. Tim Roye, who is entering his 28th season as the radio voice of the Warriors, will once again handle play-by-play duties. Jim Barnett will continue to join Roye in the booth as color analyst for all road games, with Tom Tolbert handling analyst duties for home games. Audacy San Francisco regional vice president Stacey Kauffman says, “We’ve been so fortunate to give listeners a front row seat to the sounds of three championships over the last decade, and we’re thrilled to extend our partnership with the NBA’s premier franchise.”…..Audacy’s Cadence13 releases the trailer and announces initial guests for “K[no]w Mercy with Stephen A. Smith,” the sports personality’s first podcast. The podcast launches on Monday (9/26) guests will include: Snoop Dogg, Sean Hannity, LL COOL J, Chris Cuomo, and Sue Bird…..Cumulus Media and YAP Media agree to a deal for Cumulus to monetize, market, and distribute YAP Media’s existing and forthcoming podcasts. Joining the Cumulus Podcast Network is YAP Media’s flagship podcast, “Young and Profiting,” hosted by YAP Media founder and CEO Hala Taha. Additional YAP Media podcasts joining the Cumulus Podcast Network include “Creating Confidence with Heather Monahan,” “True Underdog with Jayson Waller,” “A Feminine Impression with Dr. Michelle Daf,” “The Murdaugh Family Murders with Matt Harris and Seton Tucker,” “Chapter a Day Audio Bible read by Pastor John Stange,” and “The Greatness Machine with Darius Mirshahzadeh.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals unveils the second season of “It Was Said,” the podcast franchise that looks back on some of the most powerful, impactful, and timeless speeches in history. Season 2 will feature an all-new lineup of generation-defining speeches from towering figures in history, including: Winston Churchill’s “The Finest Hour,” JFK’s “We Choose to go to the Moon,” Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena,” Margaret Thatcher’s “The Lady’s Not for Turning,” Nelson Mandela’s “I am Prepared to Die,” and Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day….. National Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda is joining fellow Hall of Famer and teammate at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups Tony Meola to host the popular SiriusXM FC afternoon show “Counter Attack.” Wynalda previously hosted “Wynalda Talks Football” on SiriusXM.
The Economy, Inflation, and Fed Interest Rate Hike Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 19-23. The state of the U.S. economy, the high food and gas prices and the Fed’s raising intertest rates by three quarters of a point combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was former President Donald Trump being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James for fraud and the Department of Justice’s classified documents investigation, followed by the Russia-Ukraine War and foreign affairs at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. see this week’s complete chart here.
Richard Neer is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Legendary WFAN, New York sports talk show host/rock radio pioneer Richard Neer and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison have been close friends and radio colleagues for more than half of the medium’s 100-year history. Needless to say, they always have plenty to talk about regarding media and popular culture – past, present, and future. Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview” marking his record-breaking seventh visit since the program debuted as one of the platform’s earliest offerings in 2015. In addition to his rich on-air history, Neer is the prolific author of 10 Riley King murder mystery novels and his historic overview of album rock radio, FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) remains a literary milestone chronicling the golden days of the AOR era. On this podcast, Harrison and Neer talk about a wide variety of topics including Joni Mitchell’s recent performance at the Newport Folk Festival, the high cost of Bruce Springsteen concert tickets, the controversial LIV Golf tour backed by Saudi Arabia, changes in the record business, the challenges of writing and publishing historical fiction, movies, TV, CGI and a whole lot more. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Cumulus Media Q2 Net Revenue Rises 5.4%. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2022, Cumulus Media reveals net revenue of $236.7 million – an increase of 5.4% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports net income of $8.7 million for the quarter after posting a net loss of $5.9 million during Q2 of 2021. Total broadcast revenue for Cumulus fell 0.3% to $175.7 million compared to the second quarter of 2021. While radio spot revenue was $127 million – up 5.1% over Q2 2021, network revenue slipped 12% to $48.7 million. Cumulus Media’s digital segment rose 20.3% to $37.8 million. CEO Mary Berner comments, “Our ability to deliver yet another quarter of strong results is testament both to the quality of our strategic plan and the discipline and relentlessness with which we implement it. Specifically, we have deployed our multi-platform audio-first content strategy, developed multiple digital businesses, significantly reduced fixed costs, undertaken high ROI internal investments, and created a best-in-class balance sheet that gives the company substantial financial flexibility and capital allocation optionality. Given our track record, we have tremendous confidence in our ability, under this plan, to grow shareholder value. Despite the challenging macro environment, we increased revenue in the quarter by more than 5%, driven by our digital businesses whose growth accelerated in Q2 to 20% year-over-year. Additionally, bolstered by our ongoing focus on fixed cost reductions, this quarter we generated additional cash from operations and increased net income, EBITDA and EBITDA margins vs. the same period last year. We also efficiently executed nearly half of our $50 million share repurchase authorization and bought back $50 million of bonds at a discount, while simultaneously reducing net leverage to 3.8x, the lowest it’s been in more than a decade. With a robust political spending season anticipated, we are on trend toward achieving our net leverage target of less than 3.5 times and EBITDA at the low end of our 2022 guidance range.”
Conservative Media Figures Gather at CPAC 2022. Pictured above (from l-r) are WMAL-FM, Washington, DC morning drive personality Larry O’Connor, Salem Radio Network VP, news & talk programming Tom Tradup, and author and TOWNHALL.com contributor Kurt Schlichter in Dallas for the first day of CPAC 2022. The annual event runs through Sunday and speakers scheduled to address the gathering include: former President Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz, British conservative leader Nigel Farage, and Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Former WFTL, Fort Lauderdale Talk Host Rich Stevens Passes. TALKERS magazine has learned that former WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk host Rich Stevens died on July 30 at the age of 68 after suffering a heart attack. Stevens worked in music radio prior to hosting his talk show on WFTL, serving at such signals as WPLJ-FM, New York and WJHM, Orlando. He also served at WABC-TV, New York as an entertainment reporter.
TALKERS News Notes. As part of RAB’s Radio Works initiative, the next live presentation in the series titled, “Radio Works for Restaurants,” takes place on Wednesday, August 17 at 1:00 pm ET and will provide industry insights and trends intended to help broadcasters gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the restaurant industry and how radio can continue to serve this category. Since the beginning of the pandemic, restaurants have endured closures, staffing shortages, product supply strains and inflationary pressures making for a challenging business environment. Hudson Riehle, senior vice president, research & knowledge group at the National Restaurant Association, will provide an update on the “State of the Restaurant Industry” to help radio sellers understand the areas where businesses in this category need support. It’s free for RAB members and they can register here…..ESPN and Omaha Productions are expanding their relationship in the audio space with the premiere of a new show, “Kyle Brandt’s Basement,” led by NFL Network “Good Morning Football” host Kyle Brandt. The daily show debuts August 8 and “explores the ins and outs of the NFL through lively guest interviews with the top voices in the sport and inventive segments unique to Brandt to bring fans closer to the action on and off the field.” Brandt comments, “I’m thrilled about this show, and I’ll be shot out of a cannon every single day. It’s in my own basement and I’ve got games, toys and takes. I can promise one thing: it will not be boring.”…..Pictured at left is WGKB-AM/W269DL, Milwaukee “101.7 The Truth” talk host Tory Lowe during last weekend’s 7th Annual Stop the Violence Peace Walk during which he walked from Milwaukee to Chicago (more than 80 miles) to “raise awareness and bring an end to violence in our communities.” Lowe says, “It is important for us to build a bridge between Milwaukee and Chicago, open the lines of communication, and bring awareness to the violence that plagues our communities.”
Kansas Abortion Vote, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Pelosi Taiwan Visit, January 6 Investigation, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy, COVID-19, and U.S. Rep. Walorski Killed Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday. Kansas voters elect to keep abortion rights in the state’s constitution; the primary races for the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and China’s angry response; the January 6 investigation and the DOJ subpoenas issued to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former deputy counsel Patrick Philbin; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the impact on the global economy; the falling price of gasoline and the still-high cost of food in the U.S. and concerns about a recession; the rate of BA.5 subvariant cases in the U.S.; and U.S. Rep Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and two staffers are killed in a car accident were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Key Networks and Bill O’Reilly Launch Nightly ‘No Spin News’ Program. A new, nightly one-hour program hosted by Bill O’Reilly and syndicated by Key Networks is launching in May. Dubbed “No Spin News,” the program is the next step for the one-hour show that has been airing weeknights at 9:00 on WABC, New York for over a year as “Common Sense with Bill O’Reilly.” Key Networks says the show is the number one show (Persons 12+) among talk-formatted radio stations in the New York DMA, MF 7PM-12Midnight, according to Nielsen. Key Networks syndicates O’Reilly’s radio shows “The O’Reilly Update,” “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition,” and “The O’Reilly Update – Weekend Edition” on more than 250 radio stations. O’Reilly says, “The incredible success of our nightly news analysis hour on WABC took me by surprise. I knew the product was strong, but the ratings are overwhelming. The folks caught up with us on the radio very quickly.” Key Networks COO Dennis Green says, “Stations have asked for more O’Reilly content and we are delivering! We are delighted to offer his ‘No Spin News’ program to radio stations every weeknight to get the latest news and information you won’t get anywhere else.”
Amber Athey Explains Exit from WMAL-FM’s ‘O’Connor & Company’ Show in Spectator Column. The Spectator Washington editor Amber Athey says in her column that her critics on the left have tried “every trick in the book” to drive her out of the industry but her exit from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington finally came as the company bowed “to the mob.” Athey was one of three rotating women co-hosts on the “O’Connor & Company” morning show led by Larry O’Connor. In early March she posted a tweet critical of Kamala Harris’ brown pant suit worn at the State of the Union address, comparing her to a UPS employee. After a period of time, she was informed by the company that the perception of the tweet was racist, and she was being let go for violating the company’s social media policy. In her piece she says, “This incident has destroyed the integrity and reputation of WMAL and Cumulus as hosts of conservative content. We spoke frequently about the dangers of censorship and cancel culture on our program, and yet here they are bowing to the mob. If I can be fired for making fun of the vice president’s outfit, every single host on a Cumulus station is in danger of losing their job at a moment’s notice. Political commentary is worthless if it can’t be used to speak truth to those in power without fear of professional consequences.”
Salem GM Mike Shields to Retire; Segar Kannan to Lead San Francisco Stations. Radio executive Mike Shields is retiring from his position as general manager for Salem Media Group’s San Francisco stations in June. The company is appointing current Portland cluster general sales manager Segar Kannan to lead the San Francisco operations. Salem CEO David Santrella says of Shields, “Mike has been leading Salem’s San Francisco cluster for 11 years and has built a solid team, terrific culture, and delivered growth in both revenue and operating income yearly. Mike has had a great run than includes nearly 50 years in media and he has been a pleasure to work with. We wish them a multitude of blessings!” Segar Kannan has served for 23 years with Salem. Santrella says, “He is a leader who has worked hard, driven his team to excellence in digital revenue and earned this opportunity at the next level of leadership.” The San Francisco cluster includes news/talk KTRB “860 AM The Answer,” business talk KDOW-AM “Wall Street Business Network,” and three Christian-formatted stations.
TALKERS News Notes. During this year’s MLB season, New York Yankees manager, Aaron Boone will appear regularly on Good Karma Brands’ sports talk station “ESPN New York.” Boone will join “The Michael Kay Show” each week on Thursdays during the 4:00 pm hour. Kay says, “We are thrilled that Aaron will join us every week on the show. Aaron is honest, self-effacing and will be able to answer the questions that rabid baseball fans have about the games. This will be a must listen for fans of any team.”…..iHeartRadio and Propagate Content announce a new podcast titled, “Return to the Shadows with Katherine McNamara and Dominic Sherwood.” The podcast will revisit “Shadowhunters,” the hit television fantasy series that launched the Freeform network and ran for three seasons, and whose premature ending sparked a worldwide #SaveShadowhunters campaign. Returning to their time as leading duo Clary Fray and Jace Wayland, McNamara and Sherwood will delve into the Shadow World, highlighting stories from the set, favorite plotlines, and the show’s legacy – kept alive by millions across the globe. The series debuts on April 11.
Russia-Ukraine War, the Economy/Inflation, Hunter Biden Investigation, IPCC Report, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Jackson Confirmation, and Sacramento Shooting Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the growing evidence of Russian war crimes; the American economy, high gas and food prices; the DOJ investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business activities; the UN’s IPCC issues dire climate change report; November’s midterm battle for control of Congress and Donald Trump’s influence within the GOP; the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; and the search for the shooters in Sunday’s deadly Sacramento attacks were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WMAL-FM, Washington Unveils New ‘O’Connor & Company’ Co-Hosts. The morning drive “O’Connor & Company” program on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington, DC announces the program’s new co-hosts. Joining host Larry O’Connor are: Amber Athey, Washington editor at The Spectator, Julie Gunlock, director of the center for progress and innovation at Independent Women’s Forum, and Patrice Onwuka, political commentator and director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at the Independent Women’s Forum. The station says that the trio have been well received by WMAL listeners as guest hosts on the show in recent months. WMAL program director Bill Hess says, “We are excited to welcome these fresh voices to WMAL. Their varied life experiences, chemistry with Larry and with each other, and opinions on the issues of the day serve to create compelling content each weekday morning.” O’Connor adds, “Having a daily conversation with Julie, Amber and Patrice about what matters most to the people of our community is an absolute pleasure. From the halls of the Capitol to the vital debates at our local school boards, these intelligent and engaging women bring insights and humor that represent the best of Washington. It’s a genuine honor to team up with them every morning on WMAL.”
Livingston Named GSM for Cumulus Birmingham. Radio sales pro Todd Livingston is promoted to general sales manager for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham station group that includes the trio of sports talkers WJOX-FM “Jox 94.5,” WJQX-FM “Jox2 100.5,” and WJOX-AM “Jox3 690,” and news/talk duo WAPI-FM/WZRR-FM. Livingston is a 32-year media executive who joined Cumulus Birmingham in July 2021 as an account executive. Prior to that, he was local sales manager for Spectrum Reach in Tuscaloosa. Cumulus Birmingham VP and market manager James Robinson states, “We are excited to have Todd on our team as general sales manager. Todd has deep roots and broadcast experience in Alabama and his ability to create actionable ideas for our client partners make him a valuable asset to our team in Birmingham.”
Audacy Adds Two Sales Pros to Performance Sales Function. Media sales pros Shirin Peykar and Dan Wolman join Audacy – Peykar in the role of SVP of performance sales and Wolman in the VP of performance sales position. In her new role, Peykar will lead Audacy’s performance sales team and sell across its portfolio of products, leaning heavily into the company’s robust podcast library. Peykar will also strategize to drive the business forward and expand Audacy’s relationships with performance-driven marketers. She will report to Ken Lagana, EVP of digital sales. Wolman will work with performance clients and agencies to sell across Audacy’s portfolio of digital audio brands, with a focus on its podcast business. Both Peykar and Wolman join Audacy from Stitcher, where Peykar was SVP of direct response ad sales and Wolman was VP of performance sales. Lagana says, “Shirin’s rich experience leading multi-faceted ad sales operations for premier media and entertainment companies makes her a valuable addition to our performance sales business. We’re equally as excited about the addition of Dan to the team, which will collectively strive to drive revenue, market share and profit performance for our portfolio of assets.” Peykar says, “I’ve been watching Audacy’s progression in the podcast space over the past couple of years and their commitment to building a world class podcast portfolio has really impressed me. When you couple that dedication to the podcast space and audio in general, I couldn’t be more excited about bringing this portfolio to our performance clients and agencies!” Wolman comments, “Audacy is the industry leader in audio while remaining innovative, representing chart-topping content, generating loyal listeners, and serving as the home to influential talent. This is a performance sellers dream! I am excited to leverage my linear, OTT, and audio experience with this role and celebrate many wins with Audacy and our client partners.”
Deadline for 2022 Gracie Awards Submissions Extended to January 27. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that the final deadline to submit entries for the 47th annual Gracie Awards has been extended until January 27 – a seven-day extension from the original January 20 deadline. The Gracie Awards celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for and about women in television, radio/audio and digital media. Submissions from all facets of media are encouraged. AWMF president Becky Brooks says, “We know the circumstances of the past two years led to delivering content to audiences in ways we never expected, which is why we are more committed than ever to honoring the remarkable work that has been created by, for and about women. As our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Gracie Awards enable the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to deliver on its promise of furthering the connection, education and recognition of women in media even during times of uncertainty.” The Gracie Awards Gala is still currently scheduled for an in-person celebration May 24 at the famed Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire and Gracie Awards Luncheon for June 22 at Cipriani 42nd Street. AWMF extends gratitude to its ongoing donors and sponsors committed to furthering the mission of the organization including Crown Media Family Networks, CNN, and NCTA – The Internet and Television Association. The Gracie Awards are also honored to have the leadership of Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency; Annie Howell, chief communications officer, Crown Media Family Networks; and Mike McVay, McVay Media Consulting as Gracies co-chairs and Vicangelo Bulluck serving as executive producer. You can find entry details here.
COVID-19, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Voting Rights, MLK Holiday, Inflation/Supply Chain, Synagogue Attack, and Tonga Eruption Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/17). The high rate of COVID-19 cases, the Omicron variant, masks, and vaccine mandates; the potential loss of power for Democrats after the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s hold over the GOP; the fate of the Voting Rights Act without support from Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; high prices at the pump and at retail outlets combined with supply chain woes; the aftermath of the attack on the Texas synagogue; and the volcanic eruption near Tonga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.