Industry News

Yesterday’s (2/15) Top News/Talk Media Stories

Former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley formally announces her bid for the GOP nomination for president in 2024, joining former President Donald Trump who has also announced his campaign; today’s expected release of a portion of the Georgia grand jury report on Trump’s alleged attempt to overturn that state’s 2020 election results; the brouhaha over the U.S.’s shooting down of several objects over North America, including the Chinese spy balloon; U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz’s attorney announces he won’t be charged with sex crimes; Vladimir Putin’s ramping up of attacks on Ukraine and allegations Russia is deporting thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia; East Palestine, Ohio residents fear for their health and safety after the toxic train derailment two weeks ago; and Raquel Welch dies at 82 were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Thursday, September 29, 2022

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.

Front Page News Industry News

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Newsweek Opinion Editor Josh Hammer is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The opinion editor of Newsweek, Josh Hammer, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Hammer is also a podcaster, constitutional lawyer, and rising young conservative thought-leader. Newsweek is planning the launch of his new podcast, “The Josh Hammer Show” in February. The one-hour podcast will conform to the format clock of a terrestrial radio show making it conveniently translatable as a syndicated product. Harrison describes Hammer as follows: “At 32 years of age, he has already made a huge splash within the print news community as an editor and political commentator reflective of a young conservative perspective. I suspect he will be doing the same in talk media via radio and podcasting.” Harrison continues, “With such an emphasis being placed on lowering the demos, talk media practitioners – especially conservatives – should hear what he has to say.” Hammer focuses on conservative intellectual trends, contemporary domestic and foreign policy debates, constitutional and legal issues, and the intersection of law, politics and culture. His pieces have appeared in a number of major publications including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post and many others. Harrison and Hammer take a deep-dive into the future of print versus digital, the legal complications of updating Section 230 and holding Big Tech accountable for the control they have seized over the public square, as well as the schism between traditional conservative politics and a viable next-gen approach. They discuss the impact and future of Donald Trump within the GOP and Newsweek’s strategy to appeal to a readership that spans the political spectrum. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Dan Bongino Booted from YouTube; Focuses His Content on Rumble. After violating the terms of his weeklong suspension from YouTube, Westwood One nationally syndicated talk host Dan Bongino has been permanently banned from the social media video channel. Bongino shared a video on his website in which he says that he was suspended for saying nothing different than what Dr. Tony Fauci told “60 Minutes” in a March 2020 interview in which he said there’s no need for people to be walking around wearing masks because it’s not providing the protection that people think it is. Bongino questions why he’s being banned but Fauci is not. Bongino’s violation of the suspension came after he tried to post a video explaining to his fans why he’s leaving YouTube and will put all of his content on Rumble. Bongino says he had 871,000 YouTube subscribers and says he has more than 2 million subscribers on the Rumble channel.

Former Florida Sports Talk Host ‘Big Joe’ Ellicott to Cooperate with Feds’ Investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz. According to a report by CNN, Joseph “Big Joe” Ellicott has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and distribution of a controlled substance (Adderall) and has agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation into allegations that U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) had sexual contact with a minor. Ellicott previously worked for Star Over Orlando at sports talk WRSO “CBS Sports Radio Orlando” on the “Bauman and Big Joe” program. CNN reports that Ellicott pleaded guilty to the charges that stemmed from “a bribery scheme between an unnamed contractor and an unnamed elected government official. Ellicott delivered $6,000 cash from the contractor to the government official in 2017.” Other media sources are concluding that the unnamed elected government official is his friend Joel Greenberg, a former confidant of Gaetz’s who is also cooperating with investigators in the Gaetz case.

Round Two of Holiday 2021 PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2021 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 Holiday 2021 sweep covered December 9 – January 5. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Although the Holiday PPM survey usually reveals listening patterns skewed by stations breaking format to air Christmas music, some spoken-word stations were able to avoid ratings declines. Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle was steady with a 6.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that kept it in the #2 rank. Lotus Communications’ crosstown all-news KOMO-AM/FM rose two-tenths for a 5.5 share finish and climbed to the #3 rank. Audacy’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis was up seven-tenths for a 5.2 share finish good for the #6 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver added nine-tenths to wrap the survey with a 3.8 share and climbed to the #8 rank. You can see all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeways from this group of markets (as well as round one) here.

Religious Broadcasters Hope Media Group and WAY Media to Merge. Religious broadcasting companies Hope Media Group and WAY Media announce their intention to merge into one media organization. The formal merger is expected to close by later this year pending FCC approval. The new Christian media organization will be headquartered in Houston and will operate under the name Hope Media Group. Hope Media Group was founded 40 years ago with radio station KSBJ-FM, Houston. WAY Media was formed 35 years ago with WAYJ-FM, Fort Myers. The companies say this is a merger of equals and a cash-free transaction that received a unanimous vote from both boards of directors. Currently, Hope Media Group is a family of media brands that include Houston-focused KSBJ, the brand-new Spanish Christian “Vida Unida,” digital content outlets NGEN Radio (Christian hip-hop and pop), Hope On Demand and Amen: The Prayer App, plus a concert and event brand, Special Events. WAY Media owns and operates a national network of more than 20 “WayFM” stations in markets that include Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Portland, Nashville, and South Florida plus more than 30 translators from Florida to Washington State, in addition to digital content outlets.

TALKERS News Notes. Streaming audio service TuneIn announces a partnership with Estrella Media to bring its content to the TuneIn platform. In addition, TuneIn has partnered with Grupo Fórmula to bring its Spanish-language entertainment and news content to the platform. TuneIn CEO Richard Stern states, “Both Estrella Media and Grupo Fórmula are market leaders in Spanish-language entertainment and news radio content. We are extremely pleased to be expanding our Spanish-language offerings to a new generation of Latin radio fans and listeners around the world through the TuneIn platform. We’re also thrilled to help Estrella Media’s local stations increase monetization outside of their local markets as an added benefit of our partnership.”…..The Luminary original podcast, “The Roxane Gay Agenda,” launches with writer Dr. Roxane Gay as host and welcoming The New York Times writer Tressie McMillan Cottom and acclaimed author Terry McMillan as her first guests. The program is produced in partnership with iHeartMedia.

Stephen Breyer to Retire, Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Financial Markets/Inflation/Crypto Plunge, Urban Violent Crime Spike, and the Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26). News of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement and President Joe Biden’s possible nominations; the ongoing tensions between Vladimir Putin and the West over Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the Omicron variant infection rate and legal battles over mask & vaccine mandates; fight to control Congress in this November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the turbulent financial markets, the high retail and oil prices and the plummet in cryptocurrency value; the blowback against liberal law & order polices as violent crime in America’s major cities surges; and the Beijing Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.