The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the renaming of its annual Lifetime Achievement Award to the Edward F. McLaughlin Lifetime Achievement Award, in honor of the iconic broadcaster, who passed away in 2018. The Edward F. McLaughlin Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made invaluable contributions to the television and radio industries. As previously announced, this year’s award will be presented to Richard Wiley during the Golden Mike Award gala on Monday, March 6, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. McLaughlin — a former ABC Radio Networks president — is widely recognized for syndicating talk host Rush Limbaugh, a move considered instrumental in the evolution of the modern news/talk radio format. McLaughlin was a longtime supporter of the Broadcasters Foundation and its mission to provide aid to people in radio and television who are in acute need. He served as the Foundation’s chairman for many years and held the title of chairman emeritus when he passed away in 2018. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “Ed was known as a leader and innovator. He recognized talent and daringly pushed forth new ideas that propelled network and AM radio forward. It’s fitting that the Lifetime Award be named in his honor.”
Richard E. Wiley is a former chairman, commissioner, and general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission and one of the most prominent media and telecommunications lawyers. He will be honored with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America during the Golden Mike Award gala on Monday, March 6, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual who has made invaluable contributions to the television and radio industries. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “Dick’s commitment to fight for our industry in Washington has given broadcasters the opportunity to grow their business. His strong belief in our industry has extended to his support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to help those in our business who need it most. We are honored to present him with the Lifetime Achievement Award.” Wiley comments, “I am honored to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Broadcasters Foundation. Since arriving at the FCC more than 50 years ago and co-founding our DC law firm almost 40 years ago, it’s been a privilege to work with broadcasters on landmark innovations including the development of high-definition TV. I’m proud to be a part of this great industry’s evolution, and to support the Foundation’s mission of providing a critical safety net for members of the broadcast profession.” The annual Golden Mike Award gala is a major fundraiser for the Broadcasters Foundation, the only charity devoted exclusively to helping broadcasters in acute need. For information, or to reserve a seat or table at the Golden Mike Award gala and fundraiser, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Embattled Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León Sits for Interview with KBLA, Los Angeles’ Tavis Smiley. One of the several Los Angeles city officials who were recorded using racist language during a closed-door meeting appeared for a sit-down interview with KBLA, Los Angeles owner and air personality Tavis Smiley. Kevin de León, who is refusing to resign from his council seat, again apologized to Smiley and the station’s listeners while admitting that saying sorry is not enough. KTLA-TV’s coverage of the interview includes Smiley telling de León, “When I hear that tape and when other Black folk I know hear that tape, they hear y’all plotting and planning in that meeting to come for Black folk. Y’all shanked us in that meeting. You don’t see it that way?” While two other council members have resigned in the wake of the scandal, de León tells Smiley he won’t because, while he should not have used the language he did, he believes the council ultimately protected Black districts.
Shawn Kiser Named Brand Manager for KFIZ, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The Mountain Dog Media news/talk station announces that Shawn Kiser – who served with the station from 1995 through 2004 – is returning to take on the brand manager role. The Fond du Lac native will also host the morning drive program and serve as vice president and assistant general manager for the company. Kiser says, “KFIZ is one of America’s radio pioneers, and I’m honored to be back home to once again serve as its leader as well as the host of its flagship morning show. I’m looking forward to building on the station’s legacy and making it an even greater source of information, entertainment, and advocacy for the community.” The station says, “Kiser possesses a wealth of broadcasting experience, spending more than 16 years in radio and television. He’s also spent more than 10 years helping non-profits across northeast Wisconsin raise millions of dollars and has served as emcee for dozens of fundraising galas.” Earlier this year, Kiser began producing a special series celebrating KFIZ’s historic 100th anniversary called “Inside the Studio: KFIZ @ 100” featuring conversations with some of the station’s biggest and brightest all-time personalities. Kiser’s first day on-air as morning show host will be October 31 as he replaces the retiring Jerry St. John.
WOLB-AM, Baltimore’s Larry Young to Be Honored for 25 Years of Service. Morning drive talk host Larry Young will be honored tomorrow (10/27) at an anniversary and retirement dinner ahead of his planned retirement from the Urban One station at year’s end. On June 10 of this year, Young was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from TALKERS magazine at the TALKERS 2022 Convention at Hofstra University at which he announced he would be retiring from the station in December. Young served in Maryland government for 28 years – first in the House of Delegates, then in the State Senate – before launching his full-time radio career in 1998. You can see Young speak about his career during his acceptance speech at TALKERS 2022 here.
KFI, Los Angeles News Department Produces New Podcast Series, ‘Deadly Pill.’ This new iHeartMedia Los Angeles/iHeartRadio Podcast Network limited series podcast and radio news documentary airs on KFI, Los Angeles on Sunday 10/30 at 4:00 pm. “Deadly Pill” is hosted by award-winning investigative journalist Steve Gregory and is co-produced by award-winning producers Jacob Gonzalez and Alex Razo. It investigates the fentanyl crisis and begins with an introduction to the issue by Bill Bodner, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special agent in charge of Los Angeles. Bodner explains how illicit fentanyl took everyone by surprise and how the agency had to change tactics to go after the makers and the sellers. The podcast also features an associate professor of clinical pharmacy from the University of Southern California who walks us through the history of fentanyl and how future pharmacists are being trained to watch for signs of opioid abuse. The series also explores the challenges of the medical field to catch up with the overwhelming number of people who have become addicted to opioids or have caused severe injury to themselves. The medical examiner of Los Angeles County provides sobering stats on the number of bodies his operation has had to handle because of overdose deaths, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.
TALKERS News Notes. A new sports podcast from Audacy launches titled, “The Best Football Show.” The 15-minute daily podcast is hosted by WIP-FM, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” Eagles reporter and host of the “Go Birds” podcast Eliot Shorr-Parks. Audacy SVP of sports Matthew Volk says, “We are excited to marry the unique perspectives of Eliot Shorr-Parks with the full breadth of our robust podcast network and iconic sports brands. This launch provides our fans with the most topical, entertaining and complete coverage from the people who live and breathe the sport.”…..Global Media Services announces the nationwide syndication of “Spiritual Food For Thought,” a 60- second, weekday feature hosted by Malone that contains an original uplifting, and engaging thought from a positive perspective. She says, “In a world where listeners are barraged with an almost steady stream of negativity and bad news, I give them something positive every day. Most of the time, it’s as simple as looking at things in our daily lives with a new perspective.”…..Virtual News Center is adds new affiliate stations has added Bay and Beyond Broadcasting’s classic hits KKHA, country KIOX, and KMKS to its roster.
Debates/Midterms, January 6/Trump Legal Issues, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, and Ye Controversies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25). This week’s debates taking place ahead of the November midterm elections and speculation about which party will control the House and Senate in January; the DOJ’s attempt to force former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin to testify about their conversations with former President Donald Trump and the other legal battles facing Trump; inflation and concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure; and the compounding loss of deals and contracts for Ye in the aftermath of his latest anti-Semitic comments 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, “Cornered Rat” looks back at this past week of 9/26 to 9/30. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Jason Lewis, former U.S. Congressman (R-MN)/talk show host/author; Glenn Beck, talk show host, Premiere Networks/author; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Tavis Smiley, talk show host/owner, KBLA, Los Angeles/author; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York/author. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on 100-plus broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Audacy to Flip Sports Talk ‘790 The Ticket’ to Spanish Talk as ‘Radio Libre 790.’ Beginning Monday (10/3), sports talk WAXY-AM “790 AM The Ticket” flips to Spanish conservative talk as “Radio Libre 790.” The programming change takes place in partnership with national conservative Hispanic network Americano Media. Audacy regional president and Miami market manager Claudia Menegus says, “We’re proud to introduce Spanish radio to our South Florida portfolio for the first time ever and empower the voice of so many of our neighbors in this community. With the launch of this station, we aim to not only serve our listeners but give them a reliable home for the news they seek and the information they rely on every day.” Americano Media chief Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo adds, “The joint endeavor with Audacy is a natural fit for Americano. We provide the best Hispanic news-talk programming in Spanish, with the best hosts covering important current events, and Audacy’s audience is demanding that information. This is the first of many terrestrial radio syndication agreements for Americano, and we look forward to a strong partnership with Audacy.” The station will feature Americano Media’s talent, which includes former “Radio Mambi” hosts Nelson Rubio, Dania Alexandrino, and Lourdes Ubieta, who will cover the day’s political and critical news events, technology, and breaking news. Americano Media produces 18 hours of original programming each weekday from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight, with diverse Spanish-speaking hosts. Regarding the sports programming on WAXY-AM, the station’s two local shows – Tobin & Leroy and Hoch & Crowder – are both already simulcast on Audacy’s sister sports talk outlet WQAM and will remain there.
Chicago TV Personality Jane Clauss Named Contributor to WLS-AM’s Steve Cochran Show. Windy City television personality Jane Clauss joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM as morning show contributor for “The Steve Cochran Show.” Clauss is an EMMY Award winner and currently host of “Creative Living,” which airs nationally on the Yurview network, as well as “Arizona Living: Your Home Your Inspiration” show and “Craft Room Crash” on CLIXTV. She was the longtime host of “Living Healthy Chicago” on WGN-TV. Clauss has radio experience, having served with WGN-AM and WLUP-FM. WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “I am delighted to welcome Jane Clauss on board as a contributor on ‘The Steve Cochran Show.’ Jane is the consummate media professional whose brand has delighted generations of Chicagoans. From her ‘Loop’ days to her longtime contributions on ‘Living Healthy Chicago,’ Jane has always been authentically ‘Chicago.’ I am excited to have her join Steve as they wake up Chicago every weekday morning with what our listeners need to know to get through the day.” Clauss comments, “I’m thrilled to call ‘the Big 89’ my new radio home. Being a part of the legendary WLS call letters and working alongside Steve Cochran every weekday morning is a true honor.”
KFNX-AM, Phoenix Owner and Talk Host Bill Brady Named ‘Best Evening Radio Show’ by Phoenix New Times. It’s an honor that news/talk KFNX-AM, Phoenix owner and air personality Bill Brady says he didn’t see coming but is nonetheless thrilled about. The alt-weekly Phoenix New Times names his talk program Best Evening Radio Show in its Best of 2022 feature. Brady’s entry reads: “Aching to ogle at Arizona’s craziest candidates ahead of November’s general election? Pining for a preview of the Arizona Cardinals’ season debut against the red-hot Kansas City Chiefs? Talk radio veteran Bill Brady says, ‘Why not both?’ The Bill Brady Show airs every weekday afternoon from 5 to 7 p.m. on 1100 AM radio, so tune in on your drive home from work and enrich your day with what he calls ‘a return to common sense commentary.’ His instantly recognizable voice has graced the ears of Valley residents during interviews with everyone from CIA directors to sports greats such as NFL quarterback Johnny Unitas and boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. Most recently, Brady has taken in-depth dives with the Arizona Wildcats, state candidates including Adrian Fontes, and even New York Governor Mario Cuomo.”
Salem Radio Network Host Branden Tatum Addresses NRB’s Capitol Hill Media Summit. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network host Branden Tatum speaking at the recent National Religious Broadcasters’ Capitol Hill Media Summit. The host of “The Officer Tatum Show” spoke from his perspective as a Christian executive, encouraging fellow Christian leaders to set an example for their teams by upholding five pillars of faith, integrity, loyalty, combat, and victory. “God has called us all to something special. We cannot sit back and let the next man do the job God has for us. There’s a group of people that can only hear from you. Remember that faith is not a stagnant verb but an active verb. You have to put action behind your broadcasting.”
Deborah Parenti Receives Lifetime Achievement Award. The president and publisher of broadcast industry trade journals, Radio Ink and RBR+TVBR, Deborah Parenti (left) received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Parenti was honored for her achievements as a market manager and longtime broadcaster in Dayton. She is pictured with talent agent Heather Cohen, SVP of the Weiss Agency (right), who spoke about Parenti’s outstanding career during the ceremony.
TALKERS News Notes. For the run up to the November election, SiriusXM is inviting Crooked Media to take over its SiriusXM Progress channel. The special Crooked Radio programming will feature Crooked’s top-ranked podcasts, including “Pod Save America,” “Lovett or Leave It,” “Pod Save the World,” and “Strict Scrutiny.” In addition, SiriusXM’s L.A. Garage studios hosted a special taping of “Pod Save America” before an audience of their superfans on September 28. Crooked Media founders Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor, alongside their fellow “Pod Save America” host Dan Pfeiffer, were joined by guests including Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter John Legend, Senator Elizabeth Warren, “Vibe Check” co-host Sam Sanders, and “Dare We Say” podcast hosts Alycia Pascual-Peña and Yasmine Hamady…..Cumulus Media launches “Hello Ross,” an all-new, original podcast on the Cumulus Podcast Network featuring Ross Mathews who’s famous for his television celebrity interviews and red carpet moments. The inaugural episode features an in-depth interview with Chelsea Handler. Upcoming episodes will feature hilarious and insightful conversations with fascinating people including Guy Fieri, Todrick Hall, Kathy Griffin, Bowen Yang, and Martyn Bullard…..FOX Sports Radio unveils its weekend lineup for the 2022 football season. With the transition of “Covino & Rich” from weekends to FSR’s weekday afternoon timeslot, the network welcomes back veteran sports talk personality Mark Willard to lead the network’s Sunday evening show. He’s joined by longtime FSR weekend host Ephraim Salaam. FSR also launches “FOX Sports Radio’s Countdown to Kickoff” on Saturdays and Sundays with Brian Noe, Rich Ohrnberger, Jared Smith, Geoff Schwartz, and Bill “Krack” Krackomberger.
Russia-Ukraine War/Baltic Gas Leak/Foreign Affairs Combine as Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 26 – 30. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the intentional destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, and U.S. foreign affairs issues combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was inflation and the sell-off on the world’s financial markets, followed by politics and the November midterm elections at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
WOLB-AM, Baltimore’s Larry Young Receives TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. Pictured above is WOLB-AM, Baltimore morning drive host Larry Young (left) receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (right) at the TALKERS 2022 Convention at Hofstra University on Friday, June 10. Young, who has hosted the WOLB morning show since 1998, is retiring at the end of this year.
Newsmax Personality Rob Schmitt Addresses TALKERS 2022 Attendees. Pictured above is Newsmax TV personality Rob Schmitt addressing the lunch crowd at TALKERS 2022 at Hofstra University on Friday, June 10. Schmitt, who previously served with FOX News Channel, hosts the “Rob Schmitt Tonight” program weeknights at 7:00. Schmitt spoke at the lunch program during which WOLB-AM, Baltimore host Larry Young received the Lifetime Achievement Award (see above).
Round Two of May PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 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 May 2022 sweep covered April 28 – May 25. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. In Washington DC, Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP remains ranked #3 after losing three-tenths for a 7.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish, while Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WMAL-FM tacks on two-tenths to finish with a 3.9 share good for the #10 rank. Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” dominates as the #1 station with a 9.8 share after adding 1.4 shares during the survey. Across town, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO dips one-tenth for a 4.2 share and falls to the #8 rank, while sister all-news WBZ-AM remains locked in the #6 rank after rising one-tenth for a 4.8 share finish. The talk stations in the Twin Cities are locked in a tight battle with Audacy’s WCCO-AM adding a half share to wrap the survey with a 4.5 share and the #12 rank. Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY-FM adds six-tenths for a 3.3 share finish and a rise to the #14 rank, while iHeartMedia’s KTLK-AM dips two-tenths, posting a 2.8 share good for the #15 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as yesterday’s first round) here.
Rick Ankiel to Join Good Karma’s ‘ESPN West Palm’ for AM Show Appearances. Baseball great Rick Ankiel is making regular appearances on Good Karma Brand’s WUUB-FM, West Palm Beach “ESPN West Palm” as he joins “Josh Cohen and the HomeTeam with Din Thomas and Tina” in afternoons. His appearances are being sponsored by All Dry of the Treasure Coast restoration and cleanup. Ankiel spent more than 10 years in MLB, mostly with the St. Louis Cardinals. He says, “Spending my life in the area I’ve been a fan and even caller to Josh Cohen’s show for many years. I’m excited to join ‘ESPN 106.3’ and Josh Cohen and the HomeTeam with Din Thomas and Tina to talk baseball and more on a regular basis.” ESPN West Palm market manager Stephanie Prince says, “We are excited to have a local legend join the ‘ESPN 106.3’ airwaves! Rick’s experience on and off the field will help create fun, engaging, and appointment listening to our fans.”
Gemini XIII Announces New Ad Sales and Marketing Hires. The new premium audio content, production and marketing services firm Gemini XIII announced the addition of Erica Farmer as vice president, strategic marketing, and Jaclyn Mifka as director of ad operations & planning. Two are based at the company’s New York headquarters and report to co-founder and COO Charles Steinhauer. Farmer was most recently with Westwood One as digital marketing director for the Cumulus Podcast Network. Mifka recently served with ESPN Audio as senior digital & audio sales manager. Gemini XIII co-founder and CEO Spencer Brown comments, “This step marks the first of many in establishing Gemini’s first-class sales and marketing capabilities. Erica and Jaci are experienced audio experts, and we are thrilled to have them join our team.”
TALKERS News Notes. There’s an interview with Chicago comic and media personality Steve Cochran in the Daily Herald by media writer Robert Feder that you can see here. In the interview, Feder asks direct questions of Cochran – who is joining Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM as morning host – about his plans for the new morning show and the 1.0 share, 27th place program he’s inheriting…..Shining City Audio, a history-focused podcast studio joint venture between Audacy’s C13Originals and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham, announce “History is US,” a six-part audio documentary written and narrated by Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Audacy says that “‘History is US’ will explore how American history – so indelibly shaped by race – haunts us, and how our past failures and refusals to admit them continue to shape the way we live our lives today.”…..TuneIn announce a new deal with Rivian that says will help to continue “positioning the company as a leader and innovator in bringing premium, live audio to drivers worldwide.” TuneIn CEO Richard Stern says, “We are incredibly excited to be adding Rivian to our existing lineup of automotive and connected car technology partners. At TuneIn, we’re working with the world’s most innovative automotive companies to reinvent radio and live premium audio entertainment for the connected car. Our deep partnerships in the automotive industry enable drivers to discover and access the best audio content from around the world, directly through their dashboard, via a simple touch or voice command via Alexa.”
ATTENTION: TALKERS Heavy Hundred Members. TALKERS has been made aware that a trophy and plaque manufacturing company has been contacting talk show hosts who are listed as being members of the Heavy Hundred (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) and is soliciting them to purchase a costly plaque or trophy commemorating the honor. Please be advised that this plaque (or a variety of variations of awards and trophies available in their catalogue) is unofficial and the company – SHOWMARK MEDIA, LLC – enjoys no official connection or licensing agreement with TALKERS. According to TALKERS VP/associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison, “TALKERS has never engaged in charging its award recipients for items or products indicating their receiving an honor bestowed by our organization.”
The Economy, Primaries/Trump & the GOP, Gun Control Legislation, Kavanaugh Plot, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Extreme Weather-Yellowstone Damage Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/14). The Fed’s planned meeting today to address the nation’s inflation problem, the soaring price of gasoline & food, and concerns about a recession; Tuesday’s primary elections for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the work in congress to craft gun legislation in the aftermath of the recent deadly mass shootings; the plot to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the issue of security for justices; the January 6 hearings; Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and the effect on the world economy; the Western heat & drought and the floods damaging Yellowstone National Park were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Radio One Names Jeff Rickard Program Director for Sports Talk WFNZ, Charlotte. Sports talk radio pro Jeff Rickard is named program director for Radio One’s WFNZ-AM/FM. Rickard most recently served as brand manager for Audacy’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Prior to that, he was PD and morning host at Emmis’ WFNI, Indianapolis. During his career he’s also served with Comcast, ESPN Radio, and Sirius XM. Radio One RVP Marsha Landess comments, “We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment. Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.” Rickard adds, “I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work. Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”
Round One of April PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s April 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 April 2022 sweep covered March 31 – April 27. 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-AM/WLIR-FM dips two-tenths, posting a 3.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains ranked #8. Audacy’s crosstown all-news WINS is up one-tenth, finishing the survey with a 4.2 share and rises to #6. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles climbs four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 5.1 share and climbs to the #3 rank, while Audacy’s all-news KNX-FM loses half a share for a 3.4 share finish and falls to the #8 rank. In Atlanta, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM sheds a half share but remains ranked #3 on the strength of a 6.4 share. Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is ranked #1 in the Middlesex-Somerset-Union market despite losing seven-tenths and finishing with a 6.1 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
FMR Associates-Eastlan: Radio Listening Rises 31% in Last Six Months. According to a study conducted in March and April for FMR Associates and Eastlan Ratings clients to determine usage levels of local AM/FM radio compared to the period six months prior, a number of positive conclusions were reached. The study reveals that in the last six months, weekly AM/FM radio listening is on the increase: 31% indicate they are listening to radio more, compared to 18% listening less. This finding is regardless of sex, age or market rank. FMR Associates-Eastlan says, “This unique finding bodes well for traditional radio growing as the pandemic comes to an end and even as more audio options such as podcasts and streaming platforms are available.” Digging deeper, the study found that the increase in weekly AM/FM listening is greatest among adults 25-44 at 37%. Men and women are equally increasing their listening time with AM/FM radio. More people going back to work, commuting and some cutting back on subscription audio or video services are among the primary factors cited for increased AM/FM consumption. Also, current weekly AM/FM radio listening is at 86% in the 25 to 64 age group. Significantly, cume listening is strong and consistent regardless of age, sex, market rank or geographic region. The statistically projectable national survey of 25 to 64 year-old adults from the thousands surveyed each month by Eastlan was demographically balanced and geographically representative.
Audacy’s State of Audio Explores Key Audio Trends. The second edition of Audacy’s “State of Audio” e-book that details key insights relevant to the listeners, creators and advertisers revolutionizing audio has been released. Some of the key metrics from the guide include: 1) Audio revenue outpaced video in 2021. Per the latest IAB Advertising Revenue Report, audio streaming revenue is up +59% YOY. And audio streaming growth is outpacing investments in video, social and search; 2) Audio usage has eclipsed TV, including CTV Audio reaches everyone, with 99% of US adults reporting using audio monthly. And that’s more than the total use of TV, including connected devices. (Source: Nielsen, Q4 2021); and 3) Time spent listening on AM/FM streaming and podcast content has increased +64% from 2015 to Q1 2022. (Source: Edison Research, Share of Ear Study, Q4 2015-Q1 2022). Audacy chief marketing officer Paul Suchman comments, “Audio is a trusted companion to hundreds of millions of listeners and more than any other medium, the best way creators across the globe connect with their audiences authentically and intimately at scale. Our second edition of the ‘State of Audio, The Disruptors: The Listeners, Advertisers, and Creators Revolutionizing Audio’ focuses on the people, strategies, and content shaping Audio’s meteoric rise as a must have media for marketers.” See more here.
KBLA, Los Angeles Debuts ‘A More Perfect Union.’ A new weekend program is launching this Sunday (5/22) on Smiley Audio Media’s KBLA, Los Angeles. “A More Perfect Union,” hosted by journalist, educator, and KBLA “Talk 1580” chief national political analyst Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey. Airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, the program is a “national public affairs program, featuring notable journalists, industry leaders, lawmakers, changemakers, tastemakers, and ordinary people motivated to do their part to reach beyond today’s divisions; make sense out of news of the day and offer listeners a chance to build a more perfect union.” Smiley Audio Media owner Tavis Smiley says, “Now more than ever the Black constituency must first be made aware, and then armed with information that can help advance the issues we care about and repel the ideas that are antithetical to the best interests of our community. The time is now for ‘A More Perfect Union,’ which is a weekly show designed to keep our community in the know with a moderator like Dr. Quartey, who keeps his ear to the ground and his heart attuned to the causes we care about.”
‘100 Years of WGN Radio’ to Air on WGN-TV. On Thursday (5/19) at 7:00 pm, the special program, “100 Years of WGN Radio: A Retrospective,” will air on WGN-TV, Chicago. The 45-minute documentary produced by WGN Radio tells the story of the station, starting with its beginnings in 1922 when it was founded by Chicagoans Thorne Donnelley and Elliott Jenkins as WDAP, to highlighting moments throughout its century of history up to present day. Viewers will see the faces of familiar voices, including Bob Sirott, John Williams, Lou Manfredini, Steve King and Johnnie Putman, Dave Eanet, Mary Van De Velde, Dave Plier, and others, reflecting on their experiences at the station and sharing memorable moments. The program will be re-broadcast on Sunday, May 22 at 2:00 pm CT on WGN-TV.
Tim Hartlage Returns to Salem to Lead Sales in Nashville. Radio management pro Tim Hartlage is returning to Salem Media Group to serve as general sales manager for the company’s Nashville operations. Hartlage served as GSM and then general manager for the company’s Louisville station group from 2005 to 2015. He says, “Leaving Salem in 2015 to plant a much-needed church and ministry in Louisville’s southwest area, my old neighborhood, with my wife Jennifer, was one of the toughest decisions we had ever made. Returning to Salem and joining the Nashville team as general sales manager was one of the easiest. Salem Nashville is in an incredibly vibrant market with a great reputation. It’s great to be a part of the Salem Family again. It feels like a homecoming.”
Buffalo Shooting/Great Replacement Theory, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, and UFO Hearing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/16). The aftermath of the deadly Buffalo shooting and talk of the Great Replacement Theory; the financial markets, inflation, and concerns about a major recession on the horizon; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s threats against Finland and Sweden; the primary races for November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.; and today’s scheduled congressional hearing on UFOs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Attorney Arthur Aidala to Host Nightly Show on Salem’s ‘AM 970 The Answer.’ New York news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” adds Big Apple attorney Arthur Aidala to the daily lineup with 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm “Aidala Power Hour: Making The Case For The City He Loves” program. Salem Media Group New York operations manager Matthew Sambolin says, “Arthur Aidala puts on a show in the courtroom, and now he gets to do it in front of the biggest judge of all – the New York City Tri-State region. Can’t wait to hear what he brings to afternoon drive, with no objections!” Aidala is the managing partner of the Law Offices of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, P.C. and the former senior DA of Kings County, New York. He currently represents such high-profile clients as Alan Dershowitz, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Harvey Weinstein. He has been a recurrent guest on ‘The Joe Piscopo Show’ and ‘Radio Night Live’ with Kevin McCullough, as well as a legal commentator for 12 years on FOX News Channel. Aidala says, “I am honored and excited to join the talk radio team lineup at ‘AM 970 The Answer.’ With the ‘Power Hour’, we will be sitting down with the key New Yorkers to get to the heart of what makes this city tick.”
Vining Named PD at Cumulus Media’s ‘Talk 99.5’ in Birmingham. Talk radio pro Valerie Vining is named program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WZRR-FM, Birmingham “Talk 99.5.” Vining has been serving as morning drive co-host of the “Dixon & Vining” program (with Richard Dixon), a role in which she will continue. Prior to that, she spent more than 13 years as news director for Cumulus Birmingham. Vining says, “I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to take on the role of program director for WZRR ‘Talk 99.5’ Birmingham. My radio career, which spans over 30 years, has prepared me for this moment and challenge and I look forward to taking my team to the next level. Thank you to James Robinson and Ryan Haney for believing in me and my abilities. I’m so proud to work for Cumulus Media.”
Ramsey Solutions Hosts Free ‘Building Wealth’ Livestream. This Thursday (1/13), nationally syndicated radio star Dave Ramsey will host a free livestream at 8:00 pm ET titled, “Building Wealth in 2022.” Joining Ramsey will be New York Times bestselling author Rachel Cruze and host of “The Fine Print” podcast, George Kamel. According to Ramsey Solutions’ State of Personal Finance study, more than half of Americans (56%) feel behind on investing. And 42% aren’t saving for retirement at all. Dave Ramsey says, “There are a lot of investing trends right now claiming they’re the best way to get rich. But I’ve done stupid with a lot of zeros at the end, and I’ve coached people who hit bottom from bad investments. From my 30 years on the radio, I’ve seen over and over that real millionaires follow a proven plan for their money, not a get-rich-quick scheme. This free event will show you it’s possible for you too. Now is the time to prepare for your future.”
On-Air Changes at iHeartMedia’s ‘XTRA 1360’ San Diego. Drive time changes take place at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLSD-AM, San Diego “XTRA 1360.” New to morning drive is “The Hartman and Rich O Show” with Steve Hartman and Rich Ohrnberger and in afternoon drive, the “Jon and Jim” show with Jon Schaeffer and Jim Russell debuts. Hartman and Ohrnberger currently work together on FOX Sports Radio and have successfully hosted together on XTRA 1360’s “Loose Cannons” show. Schaeffer and Russell also host “The Wrap-Up Show” following San Diego Padres games. “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd continues to air weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, followed by “The Darren Smith Show” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest says, “This exciting new lineup caters to the desires of sports fans in San Diego. In addition to providing the very best sports talk, we’ll also continue to provide our listeners with unparalleled access to the NFL, the Padres, San Diego State University athletics, and all San Diego sports news.”
BIN: Black Information Network Wins Innovation Award. The Black American-targeted radio format from iHeartMedia – BIN: Black Information Network – wins the 2022 BIG Innovation Award in the media category from the Business Intelligence Group. BIN: Black Information Network was launched in June of 2020 as a 24/7 comprehensive national audio news network dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news with a Black voice and perspective. It is focused on service to the Black community and providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding. It is heard over the air in 32 markets and is distributed nationally through the iHeartRadio app. Business Intelligence Group COO Maria Jiminez says, “Innovation is driving growth in the global economy. We are thrilled to be honoring Black Information Network as they are one of the organizations leading this charge and helping humanity progress.” BIN president Tony Coles comments, “Innovation has been one of BIN’s core values since our inception. It drives us to keep growing and creating spaces for the Black community to hear and contribute to the news that matters most to them. It’s an honor to be recognized with an incredible lineup of organizations and individuals who share the value of innovation and prove it in their work every day.”
AdLarge and G Networks Announces Sales Partnership. The two firms announce that they have entered into an ad sales partnership that will create “a new dynamic and impressive ad sales powerhouse in network audio.” In addition to continuing to represent content producers, AdLarge will oversee the management, sales, and fulfillment of the network audio ad sales inventory for both companies. G Networks will continue to offer and affiliate their premium programming and services through their existing affiliations team to radio stations across the U.S. G Networks president Warren Friedland states, “We’re excited to partner with AdLarge. AdLarge has a reputation for delivering innovative campaigns to help brands reach their media goals. AdLarge’s ad sales efforts coupled with our own extremely targeted networks will lead to a better return on investment for advertisers, brands, and agencies.” AdLarge co-CEO Gary Schonfeld adds, “This unique partnership will enhance our already robust ad sales networks, as well as generate greater critical mass and increased coverage of major markets. This is a win-win for the advertisers and the network audio community. The partnership with G Networks will greatly benefit the audio campaigns of our advertisers and agency partners.”
TALKERS News Notes. Personality Jesse Watters is named host of FOX News Channel’s 7:00 pm ET hour. The new program, “Jesse Watters Primetime” will launch on January 24. Watters will continue his current role as a co-host on “The Five.” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “Jesse’s versatility and hosting acumen has grown exponentially over the last five years, and he has developed a deep connection to the audience through two hit shows, ‘The Five’ and ‘Watters’ World.’ We look forward to watching him expand his connection even further through this new solo weeknight hour.”…..Cumulus Media and DCP Entertainment unveil the second season lineup for DCP’s award-winning podcast, “Say Their Name,” on the Cumulus Podcast Network. The series focuses on the stories of Black individuals who were assaulted and killed by police and in ‘Stand Your Ground’ states, with an emphasis on the women who often get overlooked. The first episode in the series marks the one-year anniversary of the attack on the United States Capitol with a look back at Miriam Carey, who was killed in 2013 by law enforcement.
Broadcasters Foundation to Honor Lesley Visser with Lifetime Achievement Award. Sports media legend Lesley Visser is being honored by the Broadcasters Foundation of America with its Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented during the Golden Mike Award gala and fundraiser, being held on March 14, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Visser is the only sportscaster – male or female – to have worked on network broadcasts of the Final Four, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, the Triple Crown, the Olympics, the U.S. Open, and the World Figure Skating Championship. BFoA Foundation chairman Scott Herman says, “Lesley has an extraordinary number of ‘firsts’ in her accomplished and impressive career. We’re very proud to recognize her many accomplishments, not only as a pioneering female sportscaster, but as a prominent leader in sports broadcasting, overall.” Visser says, “I am enormously honored to be recognized by the Broadcasters Foundation of America, which is vital to our colleagues who find themselves in need of help during times of unimaginable hardship. It’s essential that we acknowledge and support such a charitable endeavor.”
COVID-19, Voting Rights, January 6, Midterm Elections, Economy/Supply Chain, U.S.-Russia Relations, and Bob Saget Passing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/10). The soaring rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Omicron variant, vaccine mandates, and school policies; President Joe Biden’s pressure to change filibuster rules for voting rights legislation; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the November midterm elections and Joe Biden’s low approval ratings; the state of the U.S. economy and the ongoing supply chain woes; the U.S. and Russia negotiate over Ukraine; and TV icon Bob Saget dies unexpectedly at 65 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.