Industry News

Alpha Media Cuts Staff and Local Programming in Missouri

It’s difficult to get a handle on exactly how many people were let go by Alpha Media, but two central Missouri television stations are reporting that the entire on-air and programming staff at four stations inim Moberly, Missouri – including news/talk KWIX – have been let go and all programming is now syndicated. The same is being reported about the company’s stations in the Farmington/Festus, Missouri market that includes news/talk KJFF. KOMU-TV reports that Moberly market manager Bob Dakin would not comment on how many employees were let go but confirmed that all local programming – including news and sports – is being replaced by national content.

Industry News

Townsquare Promotes Mike Pettis to Market Manager for Sedalia, Missouri

Townsquare Media promotes Mike Pettis to market president/chief revenue officer for its Sedalia, Missouri media cluster that serves West Central Missouri. That office operates news/talk KSIS-AMim “News Talk 1050” and two music brands. Townsquare regional vice president Robert Wawrzyniec says, “Mike is the ideal executive to lead Townsquare’s broadcast and digital operations in West Central Missouri. Most important, he knows the Sedalia market and what resonates with its listeners and advertisers. His expertise in creating, developing and executing exceptional local multi-platform solutions for advertising and marketing clients, as well as driving new business opportunities and forging important community partnerships, has resulted in deep client relationships and a strong commitment to listeners. I am looking forward to working with him in his new role.”

Job Opportunity

Zimmer Marketing Seeks PD for KZRG, Joplin, Missouri

Zimmer Marketing has a rare opening for program director for news/talk KZRG-AM, Joplin, Missouri. The company says, “KZRG has facilities typically found only in Top 30 markets, a strong staff, and location in an affordable, growing, mid-sized market. You’ll have a huge voice in programming as well asim flexibility rarely found in corporate-structured environments.” Duties include: Managing the station’s audio image via branding, focusing on timely and frequent updates; overseeing social media and creating content that relates to the station’s brand and target audience; hosting a daily on-air shift; proficiency with Google’s G Suite, Selector, and Wide Orbit Automation system; and coaching staff. Learn more at https://zimmermarketing.com/. Send your resume and audio to Mark Zimmer at: mark@zrimarketing.com

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Red Apple Audio Networks says it’s now affiliated with 214 stations since its launch 18 months ago and its programming is heard in 15 of the top 25 DMAs, including its flagship 77 WABC, New York.

Dick Broadcasting transitions WRNS-AM, Greenville, North Carolina to a sports betting format using content from VSiN, The Sports Betting Network. The station is being rebranded “Bet on the Bull 960 AM.”

OutKick will host a one-hour special titled, “OutKick on Fox,” that will air Sunday (8/27) at 10:00 pm ET on FOX News Channel. OutKick founder Clay Travis and hosts Tomi Lahren and Charly Arnolt will “provide their unfiltered opinions on sports, culture, and the topics Americans are talking about right now.” Special guests will include Riley Gaines, host of the “Gaines for Girls” podcast on OutKick, OutKick.com columnist Mary Katherine Ham, and former NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom.

Zimmer Midwest Communications announces listeners to its Springfield, Missouri stations – including news/talk KWTO, raised a record $38,770 during the 12-hour Honor Flight of the Ozarks Radiothon on August 18. Money raised from the radiothon goes directly to send local veterans to Washington, DC on honor flight missions to visit the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War Memorials, the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Memorials, and many others.

The Premiere Networks syndicated “Dan Patrick Show” is broadcasting live from Ireland for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic featuring the University of Notre Dame vs. the United States Naval Academy game at Aviva Stadium on Saturday (8/26). “The Dan Patrick Show” will originate from 9 College Green in the Temple Bar district of Dublin tomorrow through Friday. The Dan Patrick crew will also be joined by actor Will Ferrell.

Industry News

Missouri Talk Host Settles with Feds in COVID Misinformation Case

The St. Louis-Post Dispatch reports that chiropractor and talk radio host Eric Nepute, who broadcasts on East Central Broadcasting’s “Real Talk Radio Network” on Missouri stations KRTK-FM, Hermann; KVMO-FM, Vandalia; and KTRE-FM, Steelville, has settled with the federal government. Nepute was being sued in federalim court under the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act for peddling false information about the COVID pandemic in order to sell supplements and vitamins. The trial was set to begin on August 21 before Nepute and prosecutors agreed to pay an $80,000 fine and refrain from marketing his vitamin products as effective preventatives against COVID-19. Nepute and Quickwork LLC – a company in which he is part owner – were targeted by federal officials after Nepute claimed on his “Real Talk with Dr. Eric Nepute” program that vitamin D and zinc supplements could prevent or cure COVID-19. Nepute signed a consent order in 2021 agreeing not to disseminate information that his supplements could prevent COVID but in 2022 he caught the government’s attention for saying vitamins were more beneficial than the COVID vaccine. Read the Post-Dispatch story here.

Industry News

St. Louis Talk Host Suffers Trial Setback

According to a report by Ryan Krull in the River Front Times, St. Louis chiropractor and talk radio host Eric Nepute was dealt a few legal blows by U.S. District Court Judge Ronnie L. White as he prepares his defense. Nepute, host of the two-hour morning show “Real Talk with Dr. Eric Nepute” on East Central Broadcasting’sim “Real Talk Radio Network” on Missouri stations KRTK-FM, Hermann; KVMO-FM, Vandalia; and KTRE-FM, Steelville, is being sued by the feds under the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act for peddling false information about the COVID pandemic in order to sell supplements and vitamins. The trial is set to begin on August 21 and as a result of the rulings, Nepute is not allowed to testify as a medical expert as the judge ruled he does not practice medicine and has no “experience treating infectious diseases, and more specifically, COVID-19.” The judge also ruled that Nepute’s program is a form of advertising and as such falls under the laws that regulate commercial speech. Read the River Front Times story here.

Industry News

TALKERS NEWS NOTES

Five-year-old, Iowa-based RoadWorthy Drive Productions has been renamed TechMobility Productions. According to company chief executive officer – and a founding member of the Black Automotive Media Group Ken Chester, “We changed the name to better reflect the actual content of our weekly programming. Our previous branding was confusing to both the radio industry and our listeners.” TechMobility Productions produces/distributes “The TechMobility Show”; “The TechMobility Minute”; and “TechMobility In Focus.” More than 50 stations nationwide carry the company’s programming.

Former Missouri state representative Ted Farnen’s “Columbia Today” (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm) will debut next Monday (7/17) on Cumulus Media Columbia, MO news/talk KFRU. Cumulus Columbia vice president/market manager Greg Renoe remarks, “We are excited to have Ted join our KFRU line-up in the afternoons. He brings experience and a local perspective that we believe will resonate well with the listeners of KFRU.” Program director Luke Swezy notes, “[Ted] brings a valuable and informed perspective on local issues that will strengthen our programming; Farnen notes, “For nearly 100 years, KFRU has been Columbia’s best source for news and entertainment. This will be a fun and informative show with a heavy concentration on local issues and guests. It will be a program to which everyone will be welcome, and it will complement the outstanding local programming KFRU already provides.”

Industry News

Lineup Changes at Zimmer’s “ESPN Radio Jock 96.9”

Zimmer Midwest Communications announces a couple of changes to the program lineup at sports talk KBFL-AM/FM/K245CA “ESPN Radio Jock 96.9, 99.9 and AM 1060” in the Springfield, Missouri market. Effective today, station program director Tom Ladd is joined by Logan Weber as co-host of the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm “Sports Talk” show. Weber also serves the station as producer of the station’s “The Sports Reporters” program. The “Sports Talk” program has been hosted by Art Hains since 1995 but in September of 2022,Vehicle registration plate - Graphics Hains had to step away from his hosting duties after being hospitalized by a life-threatening case of West Nile Virus. Ladd – the longtime voice of the Missouri State Lady Bears – has been hosting the show in his absence and is now joined by Weber. Zimmer operations manager Don Louzader says, “I can’t think of a better team to carry the torch for Art Hains than Tom and Logan. Tom has a tremendous amount of knowledge of the local, regional and national sports scene and has broadcast just about every sport in the Ozarks. Logan has shown a tremendous passion for sports here in southwest Missouri and will be a great complement to Tom on the show.” At the same time, the station announces that “The Sports Reporters” host Ned Reynolds is being joined by co-host Scott Puryear as the show moves to the new time 7:00 am to 9:00 am weekdays. Reynolds and Puryear worked together on the show from 2000-2011. Louzader says, “The boys are back in town and our listeners are in for a real treat when Ned and Scott get behind the microphone together.”

Features

Remembering Overnight Sensation Jim Bohannon

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS magazine
Managing Editor

 

LOS ANGELES — Talk radio’s tightknit community is reeling as it mourns the passing of one of the format’s genuine iconic stalwarts, Jim Bohannon, who has died at the age of 78.

“Class act” epitomized peerless communicator Bohannon, who – while enjoying the luxury of a national Westwood One platform – possessed a palpably authentic on-air style that enamored him to a huge, loyal following.

(more…)

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, October 10, 2022

Monday Memo: Plan NOW For The Big Story. “When-the-fit-hits-the-shan, news/talk stations need to be conspicuous.” In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke uses that colorful quote as he provides four suggestions for stations to re-familiarize themselves with their network’s continuing coverage routine.” Read Holland Cooke’s column here.

Pending Business: To Do Lists. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa knows the importance of being organized in running a sales department or being a seller in this business. He gains inspiration from Benjamin Franklin – an incredibly busy man known for creating “To Do” lists – in drawing up five important things he suggests you include in creating yours each day. Read it here.

Bohannon’s Final Bow Set For This Friday. One of the most proficient and classiest talk/radio personalities the country has ever heard – Jim Bohannon – will hang up the headsets on his eponymous program this Friday (10/14). Having appeared on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” an astounding 27 consecutive years, the highly affable “Jimbo” is calling it quits due to health reasons. Beginning next Monday (10/17), Rich Valdes will succeed Bohannon on the weeknight, three-hour (10:00 pm – 1:00 am) Cumulus Media Westwood One broadcast. Bohannon states, “It’s been a great 40 years with Westwood One – the last 30 of which as host of ‘The Jim Bohannon Show.’ I’ve enjoyed every minute of our daily nighttime town hall with my guests, callers, and all of America. “Now, I’d like to introduce Rich Valdes, a very bright, vibrant young man who will be taking over in the same tradition.” Cumulus Media executive vice president of corporate marketing/Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes remarks, “We celebrate Jim’s long radio history and all his achievements, including his induction into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame; the First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association; the Lifetime Achievement Award from TALKERS Magazine; and his inductions into the National Radio Hall of Fame and the Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. We are especially proud that Jim has been an invaluable member of our Westwood One family these many years – he is truly an industry legend. As we pass the baton to Rich Valdes, we’re excited to bring a new name and voice to talk radio. We look forward to continuing our tradition of providing the best programming to our affiliates and listeners.” Valdes notes, “No one can ever fill Jim’s shoes. I consider it a blessing and great honor to be part of the next generation of late-night talk show hosts, following the tradition of Jim Bohannon and Larry King.” TALKERS founder/publisher Michael Harrison has a very candid conversation with Bohannon on PodcastOne’s “The Michael Harrison Interview,” which drops tomorrow (Tuesday, 10/11). Bohannon joined Westwood One in 1983 and spent over 31 years as host of the early morning weekday news magazine “America in the Morning” and previously hosted “America This Week.” He began his career in 1960 at KLWT-AM, his hometown station in Lebanon, Missouri.

Sid Rosenberg Pays Tribute to Bernard McGuirk.  WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg shares personal feelings about his longtime broadcasting colleague Bernard McGuirk who succumbed last week (10/5) after a courageous battle with prostate cancer.  The two co-hosted the highly successful “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program since April of 2018 bringing it to the top of the ratings in the competitive Big Apple AM drive daypart. But their relationship went back many years before that to their days together as part of team backing the legendary “Imus in the Morning” program and more.  Rosenberg discusses their history together and his loving perspective on McGuirk as a broadcaster and a friend in an exclusive conversation with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison.  To listen to the tribute, please click here.

Scheld Schedules His WCBS-AM Departure. In a memo to the staff of WCBS-AM, news director/brand manager Tim Scheld notes he will be leaving the Audacy New York all-news facility before the end of the year. Lauding the WCBS-AM team and Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero, Scheld writes that “Audacy New York is in great hands.” Also included in the memo, Scheld states an Audacy arrangement with SAG-AFTRA signifies a new strategy, combining WCBS-AM’s resources with those of co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS. “[It’s] a plan I have endorsed and frankly helped design.” Scheld was a WCBS-AM reporter from 1987 – 1994 and rejoined the station in 2003, after a nine-year stint as a correspondent for ABC Radio News. In addition to his WCBS-AM duties, he’s chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association.

KGO Betting On The Spread. Confirming a story reported here last Friday (TALKERS, 10/7), Cumulus Media San Francisco today transitions longtime news/talk KGO to “The Spread 810 AM,” the Bay Area’s first station focused on sports betting. Cumulus San Francisco vice president/market manager Larry Blumhagen comments, “This is a bittersweet day for us, as it’s hard to say goodbye to the legendary KGO, which has been a part of listeners’ lives for so many years. We want to thank all the people who have been a part of KGO’s historic run these many years and the listeners who loyally tuned into the station. Times change, and we must change with them. We are excited about this new chapter and look forward to serving the Bay Area’s passionate sports fans in an incomparable way.” Cumulus San Francisco sports talk KNBR and KTCT program director Kevin Graham adds PD duties for “The Spread” and notes, “We are pleased to introduce sports-betting radio to our community. The station will feature a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage. While [KGO] will feature specific gambling information, we believe our entertaining presentation will make it a favorite for all Bay area sports fans and a perfect complement to the legendary KNBR and KTCT.” The station’s weekday programming lineup includes: Joe Ostrowski, Joe Giglio, and Erin Hawksworth (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Jim Rome (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley (12:00 noon – 4:00 pm); Quinton Mayo, Trysta Krick, and Ryan Horvat with “Bet MGM Tonight” (4:00 pm – 8:00 pm); and CBS Sports Radio (8:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 San Francisco sweep, KGO “810 AM” was up two-tenths from August 2022 (1.5 – 1.7, #21 to #20). In San Jose, KGO registers its fourth straight uptick for a combined +1.0 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+) and ranks #13.

Round Three of September PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of 12 markets. News/talk packs a one-two punch (6+) in Salt Lake City, where iHeartMedia’s KNRS-AM & KNRS-FM “Talk Radio” erupts with a +2.5 (9.1 – 11.6, 6+) to rank on top for the eighth month in succession, while Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” adds six-tenths (6.1 – 6.7, 6+), advancing from fourth to second. In addition to SLC, the format registers number one showings in Sacramento with iHeartMedia’s KFBK-AM & KFBK-FM “News 1530 AM & 93.1 FM” gaining eight-tenths (8.1 – 8.9, third to first, 6+), and in Cincinnati, where co-owned WLW “700 Cincinnati’s News Radio” – despite being off six-sixths – is on top for the seventh consecutive month (11.7 – 11.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group-owned WDBO “Orlando’s News Talk” dials up a +1.3 (3.7 – 5.0, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). The largest (6+) August 2022 – September 2022 increase by any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is in Columbus, where Tegna-owned sports talk WBNS-FM logs a +2.6 (6.8 – 9.4, 6+); “97.1 FM The Fan” vaults from fourth to first. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” for this group of 12 markets (as well as the first two groups) here.

Hurley Charity Event Hauls in $65,00+. The fourteenth Annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Dinner and Silent Auction was held last Friday (10/7) at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel. This year’s event raised more than $65,000 and featured congressman Jeff Van Drew as guest of honor/keynote speaker. An additional supplemental live on-air auction is still to be staged. According to “Hurley in the Morning” Charity founder/chair Harry Hurley (pictured at the right with Jeff Van Drew), “It was an amazing, ‘Who’s Who’ evening, which will directly benefit many worthy non-for-profit organizations throughout New Jersey and beyond. For example, this special event will make it possible for the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” to make a $7,000 contribution [next June] to The Broadcasters Foundation of America. Jeff Van Drew arrived early and was the last to leave.” To date, The Harry Hurley charity has donated $21,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.” Hurley, who does morning drive (6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG “WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM & 1450 AM,” reveals that Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade will be guest of honor/keynote speaker September 29, 2023 at “our fifteenth annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Dinner and Silent Auction.”

TALKERS News Notes. As part of cutbacks at Beasley Media Group Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Toucher & Rich morning show producer Mike Lockhart and nighttime Adam Jones Show co-host Christian Arcand exit. Meanwhile in Philadelphia at co-owned/similarly-formatted WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” John Kincaid Show member Jaimie Lynch departs. … Almost seven months to the day from his kidney transplant, Zimmer Broadcasting Cookeville (Tennessee) news/talk WHUB “News Talk 107.7 and 1400 The Hub” program director/6:00 am – 8:00 am host/promotion director/assistant news director Brent Carl Fleshman won two first-place trophies at last week’s inaugural Tennessee Association of Broadcasting’s “Excellence Awards.” Fleshman was named “Best Local On-Air Personality” and “Best Local Talk Show” in the “Small Market Radio Division,” which consists of stations not in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.In 2016,  Fleshman won the NAB Marconi Award as “Small Market Personality of the Year” and was a finalist for that award in 2019. … “Fridays with Frankie,” a limited-edition Audacy series hosted by reality show star Frankie Grande, debuted last Friday (10/7). Each episode will feature a different topic and will be live aired on Audacy’s digital platform at 8:00 am (ET) and replayed until 12:00 midnight (ET). The show will also air across Audacy’s Channel Q’s network of stations. … The Society of Professional Journalists names the headquarters of the Voice of America – 330 Independence Avenue SW in Washington, DC – as a Historic Site in Journalism. The Voice of America is the editorially independent international broadcaster funded by the United States government. SPJ international community co-chair Dan Kubiske states that, “For 80 years, the Voice of America has been a source of solid and honest journalism. From its beginning in 1942, despite being a U.S. government agency, through custom, charters and law the editorial independence of VOA journalists has not wavered.”

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Round One of September PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York City, Red Apple Media Group’s news/talk WABC drops 1.3 shares to post a 3.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share), falling into a tie at the #11 rank with Audacy’s all-news WINS, which adds two-tenths to finish with a 3.0 share. Although shedding one-tenth for a 4.7 share finish, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles remains ranked #4. In Chicago, Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM dips one-tenth for a 3.5 share finish good for the #9 rank, while Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM adds three-tenths to finish the survey with a 4.9 share that pushes it to the #3 rank. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth continues its upward trajectory by adding four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 4.9 share that lifts it to the #3 rank. After adding eight-tenths for a 6.3 share finish, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta remains ranked #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

New York Festivals Radio Awards 2023 Competition Open for Entries. The New York Festivals 2023 Radio Awards competition is open for entries. New York Festivals Radio Awards 65-year legacy provides a showcase to celebrate world-class storytellers from around the globe. The competition honors creative innovation and excellence in broadcast and audio content across all genres and platforms. NYFestivals VP and executive director Rose Anderson says, “Journalists today are finding new ways to keep viewers informed and engaged in our ever-changing and interconnected world. Here at New York Festivals, we want to be able to amplify their dedication with categories tailored for those purposes along with stories that show how individual actions can change the world and the ability of the human spirit to triumph over adversity.” This year, New York Festivals Radio Awards adds two additional categories that reflect the evolving industry: Investigative Journalism and Best Nonfiction Series. The 2023 Storytellers Gala will take place at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 18, 2023. This is the 13th year of NYF’s and NAB’s strategic partnership. Radio Award winners will have access to the multi-day event taking place April 15-19, 2023. New York Festivals Radio Awards receives entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from over 30 countries around the globe. The mission of the competition is to honor the achievements of the men and women who make up the global audio storytelling community. Also, New York Festivals invites award-winning industry leaders from around the world to become members of their world-class Radio Awards Grand Jury. The 2023 Grand jury will be recruited in the coming weeks. Those jurors will include some of the most world’s recognizable voices and captivating content producers in the radio industry. Entries are judged on production values, creativity, content presentation, direction, writing, achievement of purpose, and audience suitability. To see last year’s winners, click here. To see this year’s categories and for information about entering, click here.

Michael Harrison’s “Idiots” is an Internet HitTALKERS founder Michael Harrison has appeared as a guest on a number of major local and national radio talk shows covering several hundred stations across the nation during the past month discussing the musical track “Idiots” on which he appears as lead vocalist with the iconic classic rock band, GUNHILL ROAD. “Idiots” is a remarkably catchy song with an ear-worm hook and provocative lyrics taking aim at what Harrison describes as the “growing wave of idiocy that’s spreading across America and threatening the nation’s democracy.” Harrison wrote the song in collaboration with his bandmates – Steve GoldrichPaul Reisch and Brian Koonin. Since its release in late August, the song’s music video (www.idiotsvideo.com) has racked up more than 52,000 views on YouTube alone and gotten both audio and video exposure on hundreds of talk shows and radio station websites from WABC, New York to KXL, Portland.  “Ironically, the song has become somewhat of a talk radio hit – if such a strange thing is possible,” says Harrison. “The music stations haven’t a clue what to do with it because it doesn’t fit conveniently into their cookie cutter categories. However, talk radio programmers get it.” Nationally syndicated talk radio star Lars Larson – one of the first to play the song on air – tells TALKERS,   “The minute I put ‘Idiots’ on my talk show, emails flooded in. Gunhill Road hit the note that all of us have been sensing for a long time.” One of the song’s qualities that adds to its talk show appeal and support from both liberals and conservatives is its non-partisanship. Harrison calls it an “equal opportunity offender.” Lyrics include such lines as: A fool will always be a fool… left, right, blue or red… it pays to have an open mind, but not an empty head. Another: They (idiots) cherry pick and reaffirm half-baked dumb ideas… agree with almost anything that feeds their hate and fears… always blaming others for their own damn lack of vision… they buy the crap that’s sold them from the merchants of division. That last line is punctuated on the video by the famous “turd” emoji emanating from the rear ends of both an elephant and donkey. Harrison plans to continue the virtual Talk Radio Idiots Interview Tour through the fall. Shows and hosts interested in booking him as a guest can do so by emailing info@talkers.com or calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Click here to see the video.

Zimmer Broadcasting Simulcasts Morning Show to KWOS-AM, Jefferson City. The Jefferson City news/talk outlet owned and operated by Zimmer Communications is adding the “Wake-Up Mid-Missouri with Branden Rathert” program to its lineup. The program emanates from the company’s news/talk KSSZ-FM, Columbia, Missouri. The company says that lead host Branden Rathert has been recognized for his work during the 2010 BP Gulf Coast oil spill, the unrest at University of Missouri in 2015, and has been awarded for documentaries on homelessness and SWAT teams. The program also features local attorney Stephanie Bell, Centralia native Hannah Adkisson, news director Brian Hauswirth, and fellow journalist John Marsh. Zimmer Communications operations manager Chris Carson says, “We are excited to take what has been an extremely successful show for Columbia and bring that to a much larger audience covering a broad portion of the center of the state. The way they approach each news story, no matter how local or national, and provide a take that appeals to every Missouri listener is incredible. Their service work to the community and relationships with newsmakers and political leaders across parties across the state is unmatched by any other radio show statewide!  This is going to be fun!”

Bold Gold Foundation’s 7th Annual Event & Dinner to Pay Tribute to Abraham Lincoln. The non-profit arm of the Bold Gold Media Group, The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation, which supports educational programs that help students prepare for careers in broadcast journalism, announces that Abraham Lincoln will be the focus of this year’s 7th Annual Event and Dinner to be held on Friday, October 28 at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre. The Bold Gold Foundation has chosen the theme: “Abraham Lincoln – Leadership & Statesmanship in a Nation Divided.” Dr. Matthew Spalding – the Kirby Professor in Constitutional Government at Hillsdale College and the dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government at Hillsdale’s Washington, D.C. campus – will keynote the event. Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto says, “Our theme last year centered around Winston Churchill, as a defender of Western Civilization and free speech. Prior to this, we focused on the leadership of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. It seems only appropriate that we now turn our attention to the greatest statesman of the 19th century, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was a leader with great moral courage, who proved extremely capable of communicating and defending the American constitutional order and our founding principles. The purpose of the Bold Gold Foundation is to support the next generation of media leaders. What better way to learn about leadership and the communication of great ideals in times of deep division than by studying Abraham Lincoln?” The Bold Gold Foundation will also be honoring Northeast PA business leader William Rosado, of the Rosado Group and Milford Hospitality Group, with a special citizenship award during this year’s event.  The Atlas Award for Citizenship is awarded to individuals who, through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibit extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism, patriotism, leadership, and virtue.

KWAM, Memphis Wins TAB Awards. Memphis news/talk KWAM “The Mighty 990” was honored with three Excellence in Broadcasting awards at the recent Tennessee Association of Broadcasters gala and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Tim Van Horn and Ben Deeter won second place honors for Best Talk Show. Grace Baker and the KWAM staff won first and second place for Best Digital Media. Pictured above are (from l-r): general manager Kevin Davis, KWAM political analyst Steve Gill, KWAM owner Todd Starnes, managing editor Caleb Parke, chief engineer Chuck Condron and CEO Dalton Glasscock.

TALKERS News Notes. The board of trustees of New York Public Radio are naming LaFontaine Oliver the next president and CEO of the organization that includes WNYC, WQXR, WNYC Studios, Gothamist, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and New Jersey Public Radio. His appointment is effective in January 2023. Oliver comes to WNYC from Your Public Radio (WYPR) in Baltimore, where he currently serves as president and CEO. WNYC says Oliver has led the station “through the unprecedented change of the pandemic while growing revenue and listenership, launching a new health vertical and podcast, and overseeing the acquisition of station WTMD from Towson University. Oliver also drove the significant expansion of the WYPR newsroom and launched a joint operating agreement with digital news startup, The Baltimore Banner.”…..PodcastOne adds to its roster podcasts from World Series Champion Nick Swisher, NBA Champion Bobby Portis and retired NFL running back Chris Howard, as well as the recent launch of “Hammered Heroes” hosted by Brendan Fitzgibbons and Sophie Santos. The quartet of shows all launch as part of the expanding PodcastOne’s sports vertical of programming for the podcast network. PodcastOne president Kit Gray comments, “Sports fans are loyal, they’re engaged and they’re passionate. With the growing PodcastOne sports vertical, we are producing and developing exclusive sports content shows from some of the most recognizable names in the game, adding to our diverse roster of original programming that advertisers and listeners won’t get from other networks. Our sports hosted shows offer something for everyone, from the parquet floors of the world of basketball to the spectacle of the wrestling ring.”…..iHeartRadio Raleigh is hosting a Hurricane Ian relief donation drive today (10/5) from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm at a local Walmart Supercenter. iHeartRadio Raleigh stations – including news/talk WTKK-FM – are encouraging listeners to donate much-needed supplies for those in Florida affected by the storm. “Our team has heard from many Triangle-area listeners who have a connection to Hurricane victims in Florida, whether it be friends or family,” says Trevor Morini, vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Raleigh. “The overwhelming desire to help those victims is what makes us proud to be part of this community.”…..Cox Media Group today kicks off a “Neighbors in Need” initiative at its TV and radio stations in Florida and Atlanta to support those impacted by Hurricane Ian. This follows WSB-TV’s and Atlanta Radio’s highly successful “Convoy of Care” that saw food, water and other provisions sent from Atlanta to those who needed it in Florida. CMG’s on-air talent across its Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa TV and radio stations will use their platforms to broadcast tales of heroism, discuss rescue efforts, and encourage audiences to donate to Hurricane recovery efforts.

Putin’s Ukraine Annexation, Hurricane Ian Aftermath, Trump Legal Issues, Inflation/Recession Fears, Musk & Twitter, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Record U.S. Debt, Oath Keepers Trial, and Tom Brady Marriage Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/4). The annexation of portions of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin; the search for missing Floridians in Hurricane Ian’s wake and President Joe Biden’s planned visit to the region; former President Donald Trump’s battle with the Department of Justice over the Mar-a-Lago documents; the record high inflation, OPEC’s potential reduction in oil output, and fears of a deep recession in the U.S.; Elon Musk’s reversal of his attempt to get out of acquiring Twitter; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the U.S. national debt hits a record $31 trillion; the trial of several Oath Keepers on seditious conspiracy; and rumors of a possible split for Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen 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

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Peter Boyles to Host Weekend Show on KNUS, Denver. Longtime Denver talk radio personality Peter Boyles is returning to Salem Media Group’s news/talk 710 KNUS to host a Saturday program airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, effective September 10. Boyles has been serving as morning drive host and recently announced his retirement from that full-time position. Last week, Salem announced that former Colorado district attorney and current Denver Post columnist George Brauchler has assumed daily morning show duties. Station operations manager Kelly Michaels says, “Pete is a Denver radio legend and we are blessed to have him back sharing his unique take on the issues of the day.” As part of the lineup change, Randy Corporon’s weekly program moves to Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. During his career, Boyles has served with numerous Denver radio stations including: KAAT, KLAK, KWBZ, KYBG, KHOW, and KOA.

WXOS-FM, St. Louis Morning Personality Michelle Smallmon to Exit for ESPN Opportunity. The Hubbard Radio sports talk station posts on its website the news that WXOS-FM, St. Louis morning drive co-host Michelle Smallmon will leave the “Karraker & Smallmon” program after this Friday’s show to join ESPN as overnight “SportsCenter” anchor for ESPN Radio. Earlier in her career, Smallmon served with WXOS as producer of “The Fast Lane” program that included her current broadcast partner Randy Karraker before she left to join ESPN the first time around. She rejoined WXOS in May of 2020.

Leon Williamson Named VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Indy. Broadcast marketing pro Leon Williamson is named vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis cluster that includes WNDE “FOX Sports 1260,” WOLT-HD2/W248AW “Business News 97.5,” and three music brands. Williamson transitions to this position from iHeartMedia’s Miami operations. iHeartMedia Indianapolis market manager Kristy Beebe says, “We are so excited to welcome Leon to iHeartMedia Indianapolis. Leon’s unique skill set and passion to lead our sales team is what we’re most excited about. His familiarity of our brands and products, along with the experience he brings from different sectors will be a tremendous addition to our Indianapolis team.” Williamson has also served with Urban One in St. Louis and Cox Media Group in Miami. He comments, “I am extremely excited to lead the Indianapolis team with both my professional and personal skills. I look forward to creating a legacy and blazing a trail for young professionals in media that share my experience.”

Michael Burger Promoted to Market President for iHeartMedia Raleigh. Radio sales and management pro Michael Burger is promoted to market president for iHeartMedia’s Raleigh station group that includes news/talk WTKK-FM and five music brands. Burger was most recently serving as SVP of sales for the cluster. iHeartMedia division president Tom McConnell states, “Michael is a strong natural leader with high business acumen. He has introduced new strategic changes and created synergies between our content creators and revenue drivers that have helped fuel the overall performance for the market.” Burger comments, “I am beyond appreciative and grateful to be trusted with this opportunity. As Raleigh continues to grow, expand and flourish, I look to the future with excitement, encouragement and promise. iHeartMedia Raleigh has established itself as a fierce competitor in the market. We have positioned ourselves incredibly to not only be a destination source for entertainment, music, events, social media, and audio, but to help our clients tell their stories in a creative way that helps them achieve new heights.”

WWO AAG Blog: Performance Marketing Versus Creating Future Demand. This week’s Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog addresses the difference between the “buy now” marketing strategy versus one that seeks to “create future demand.” Some of the research-based findings in this study include: For the automobile category, only 3% are in-market for a new vehicle and consequently, sales event ads only work on the small group who are ready to buy. But looking ahead two years, 24% will purchase a vehicle in that time span and therefore advertisers who focus on creating future demand will have access to a much larger pool of potential customers. The report says, “When a business consistently uses brand building to create future demand and sales events to convert existing demand, great things happen.” It posits that the ideal budget mix is 40% for sales events and 60% to create future demand via brand building. Read the blog here.

KWTO, Springfield, Missouri Unveils ‘Uncommon Sense with Cass’ Program. A new weekend program will debut on Zimmer Midwest Communications’ news/talk KWTO-AM/K227AO, Springfield, Missouri called “Uncommon Sense with Cass,” hosted by Cass Bowen. The show launches on September 3 and airs Saturdays at 10:00 am. Zimmer says the show “will cover politics, culture, and social issues through a Christian conservative lens, and will feature a diverse group of guest interviews from politicians, local special interest groups, cultural commentators, and more.” Bowen serves with the station on the KWTO morning drive program as executive producer and air personality.

TALKERS News Notes. The content staff at Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp – operator of public news/talk WESA-FM and independent music station WYEP-FM announce their intention to form a union with SAG-AFTRA. The bargaining unit includes hosts and disc jockeys, reporters, editors, producers, and others. The group states, “We will approach this process in the spirit of collaboration and professionalism and urge PCBC leadership to do the same by voluntarily recognizing the union and begin bargaining in good faith with us. As a union town, Pittsburgh’s public radio stations should be union shops.” The bargaining unit says its goals are securing livable, equitable wages for staff, and improving the company’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion. The union also seeks to create a more supportive and transparent workplace to help strengthen PCBC as an organization…..Community Communications’ public radio outlets WMFE, Orlando and WMFV, Cedar Creek, Florida announce they are launching a revamped version of the weekly arts, culture and entertainment segment “Spotlight” on Septempber 1. The segment, hosted by WMFE’s “All Things Considered” host, Nicole Darden Creston, will air at 4:45 pm on Thursdays. “Spotlight” will relaunch as both a four-minute radio segment and an extended podcast. The segment explores Central Florida’s arts scene from a unique perspective and amplifies voices not often heard. “Spotlight” will also share performances from creators of all stripes.

Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, FBI Raid/Documents Investigation, Biden Student Loan Plan, Russia-Ukraine War, Immigration, Musk vs Twitter, Droughts & Floods Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29). The primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the investigation into classified documents; criticism of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; migrant troubles at the U.S.-Mexico border; Elon Musk’s battle against Twitter to back out of his $44 billion acquisition of the company; the droughts and floods affecting life in America 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

Monday, August 15, 2022

Monday Memo: News = Dog, Talk = Tail. Consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “events now unfolding around us can be ratings GOLD,” if news/talk stations “re-balance both aspects of the format franchise.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Worst Cold Call Ever. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes today about an absurd cold call that happened to him and reminded him that every now and then it’s a good idea for radio sellers to revisit some of the cold call basics. He has seven thoughts on the subject to share with readers here.

Cumulus Names Casey Bartholomew Host at WBAP, Dallas/Fort Worth. Talk radio pro Casey Bartholomew is joining Cumulus Media’s Dallas/Fort Worth news/talk WBAP as host of the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program. He takes over for Ernie Brown who was recently promoted to co-host of the station’s morning drive show. Bartholomew joins Cumulus DFW from Cumulus Columbia, Missouri, where he’s been serving as program director for news/talk station KFRU-AM/FM. WBAP and KLIF program director Bruce Collins says, “Casey is the ultimate pro and understands the top stories of the day that affect our listeners. We are excited to have him on the News Talk 820 WBAP team.” Bartholomew comments, “WBAP is a legendary station and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Looking forward to the challenge – This is going to be fun.”

iHeartMedia and ASU Agree to Hockey Broadcasts Deal. The new broadcast agreement between iHeartMedia Phoenix and Arizona State University puts play-by-play of the school’s men’s hockey games on sports talk KGME-AM “FOX Sports 910,” beginning October 11. The deal also includes a weekly coach’s show featuring head coach Greg Powers. Sun Devil for Life Tyler Paley returns to his roots as the first-ever play-by-play voice of Sun Devil Hockey Radio. A three-time ASU grad, Paley covered the ASU men’s ice hockey team extensively during his tenure at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2014-18. His experience spans years of various communications roles including multimedia journalist, anchor and reporter, social media strategist, commentator for Pac-12 Network and freelancer for CBS, FOX Sports and ESPN. iHeartMedia market president Linda Little says, “‘FOX Sports 910’ and iHeartMedia Phoenix are proud to partner with Arizona State University as they launch their inaugural radio broadcast for hockey play-by-play.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Mourns Passing of Jim Thompson. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the passing of its longtime president Jim Thompson. The BFOA says Thompson, who fought a valiant struggle against throat cancer for nearly a year, passed away last night (8/14) in Summit, New Jersey, at the age of 75, surrounded by his family.  The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, which has been established by the Broadcasters Foundation in honor of Thompson’s dedication and service to the broadcasting industry and to the Foundation’s charitable cause of providing financial aid to radio and TV professionals in acute need. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “I am very proud to have known Jim for nearly 40 years as a colleague and a friend. Jim believed deeply in helping others and his passion and enthusiasm for life always lit up a room. Broadcasting has lost a great man, who always saw the positive in every person and every situation. He will be sorely missed.” Thompson took over the reins of the Broadcasters Foundation in 2009, guiding the charitable organization to more than quadruple the amount of financial aid it distributes to radio and TV professionals from $400,000 to nearly $2 million last year. BFoA chairman emeritus Phil Lombardo says, “When the board of directors was searching for a president, Jim’s reputation as a leader combined with his compassion for others and his ability to rally people together made him the perfect choice. His accomplishments over the past 13 years helped the many TV and Radio professionals who found themselves in unthinkable circumstances and in need of aid. Our sincere sympathies go out to his family.” Last October, Thompson announced he would be retiring at the end of 2022. Thompson had been president and CEO of Group W Radio, the second largest radio company in the country during his leadership, and along with Mike Craven was co-owner of Liberty Broadcasting, a nineteen-station radio group concentrated on the east coast. He began his broadcasting career as an account executive at KYW-TV, Philadelphia in 1971, where he rose to vice president and general manager. Thompson is survived by his wife Cindy, his five children, Meghan Cima, Shannon Gardiner and her husband James, Katie McElwee and her husband Tommy, James Thompson and his wife Madison, Molly Thompson, seven grandchildren, and his brothers John and Thomas. To make a donation to the Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, please click here: https://bfoa.app.neoncrm.com/forms/jimthompsonfund.

FSR’s Doug Gottlieb Broadcasts from LA Football Training Camps. Pictured above (right) is FOX Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb chatting with Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (left) during Gottlieb’s broadcast from the team’s training camp on August 9. Gottlieb broadcast from the Rams’ and the Los Angeles Chargers’ camps as part of the network’s annual NFL Training Camp Tour.

PodcastOne Strikes Deal with ActionPark Media. This new relationship between PodcastOne and Kevin Connolly’s boutique media network ActionPark Media gives PodcastOne exclusive distribution and advertising sales rights for APM’s current slate of podcast and vodcast programming. In addition, it allows for the two media companies to co-develop future podcast/vodcast based intellectual property, produce advertiser-sponsored live streaming and touring opportunities for host/talent and create exclusive licensing for podcast specific branded merchandise. PodcastOne president Kit Gray states, “Kevin and APM clearly have a knack for producing quality podcast content with ‘Victory the Podcast’ being one of the first shows giving a behind the scenes look at a hit television series and ‘The Morning After with Kelly Stafford’ consistently charting as one of the top shows for parents and families. This joint venture now gives us the ability to work together to grow the audience for a slate of incredible existing shows. Additionally, with LiveOne’s streaming partnerships, live event capabilities and merchandising division, we are excited to further enhance branding opportunities for the star-studded roster of hosts.”

Gunhill Road Spoken Word Music Video on Display as “Work of Art” in Show at Florida Gallery. The internet hit, “I Know You’re Real,” by talk-radio-friendly pop music band Gunhill Road, featuring TALKERS founder Michael Harrison as lead spoken word vocalist, has broken new ground in the genre of music video being recognized as fine art. The official video of the song which appears on Gunhill Road’s 2021 album, What Year Is This! addresses the subject of animal welfare celebrating all aspects of the deep relationship between human beings and other precious life forms on Planet Earth. The art show, being presented at the prestigious Martin Arts Court House Cultural Center Gallery in Stuart, FL, is cleverly titled, “Dog Days of Summer (and other pets too!).” The show centers on animal-related fine art (paintings and sculpture). It runs through October 1 and features a virtual gallery as well as a live presentation and includes charitable community outreach initiatives such as animal rescue and pet adoption. Martin Arts spokesperson Rickie Leiter tells TALKERS, “I grew up in the Northeast listening to Gunhill Road on the radio and was delighted to hear about this beautiful video with its sweet music, moving words and stunning images. It is indeed a work of visual, not to mention audio and poetic, art.” Gunhill Road co-founder (and devoted cat lover), Steve Goldrich tells TALKERS, “We are beyond honored to have our video on display among paintings at a fine art show of this caliber.” In addition to Goldrich and Harrison, Gunhill Road’s current lineup includes longtime member Paul Reich and famed Broadway instrumentalist Brian Koonin. An advance single (and video) titled, “Idiots,” from the group’s forthcoming album, spotlighting the danger of societal ignorance and also featuring Harrison on lead vocals, is scheduled to drop later this week. Both videos are produced by TALKERS VP/associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison. For more information about the show and Martin Arts please click here. To view the video, please click here

FBI Raid/Bureau Threats, Inflation Reduction Act/The Economy, Salman Rushdie Attack, Immigration/Baja Violence, Midterms/2024 Race, Afghanistan Situation, and Anne Heche Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the subsequent threats against FBI offices; the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act spending, the falling price of oil, and the still climbing price of food; the attempted assassination of author Salman Rushdie; the migrant issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the weekend’s cartel violence in Baja cities near the border; the primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan a year after the U.S. military’s exit from the nation; and actress Anne Heche dies a week after a fiery car wreck were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Thursday, July 28, 2022

WFAN And Yankees Extend Their Partnership. A multi-year extension is announced between Audacy New York sports talk WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM and MLB’s American League East New York Yankees. English-language broadcasts will continue to be heard on WFAN and streamed digitally on the Audacy app for those within the team’s broadcast territory. WFAN will also continue to produce the Spanish-language broadcasts for local radio affiliates, as well as for the Audacy app. Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero declares, “The New York Yankees are the city’s premier sports franchise and WFAN is the city’s premier sports platform. Together, we form a potent combination for fans and client partners. [This – 2022] is our 21st consecutive season of broadcasting the ‘Bronx Bombers.’ We look forward to continuing to have the honor of being the soundtrack to more memorable and historic pinstripe moments.” New York Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost notes, “The Yankees are excited to extend our longstanding relationship with WFAN and Audacy. WFAN has been our flagship station for over two decades, and we look forward to fans continuing to enjoy Yankees baseball over its airways and on the Audacy app.” From 2002 to 2014, Yankees games were heard on WFAN’s sister station, all-news WCBS-AM (currently the flagship of the New York Mets); WFAN has served as the Yankees flagship since 2014. John Sterling, (class of 2022 Radio Hall of Fame inductee) Suzyn Waldman and Sweeny Murti are the English-language broadcasters, while Spanish-language broadcasts will be handled by Rickie Ricardo, Francisco Rivera and Rene Luna. As part of Audacy’s MLB partnership, WFAN and the Yankees will produce co-branded podcasts.

Newsmax, Verizon Sign Multi-Year Carriage Agreement. The deal between Newsmax and Verizon extends distribution of news channel in HD on Verizon Fios. Newsmax Media chief executive officer Christopher Ruddy remarks, “Verizon has carried Newsmax for many years. We are delighted to be extending our distribution through the Fios platform. We have found them to be outstanding partners who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the presentation of diverse, independent voices through their programming. We’re glad that we are continuing with this new agreement.” Newsmax will retain its broad distribution on the Verizon platform, which reaches approximately 3.5 million subscribers in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.

SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Increases. While revenue was up 4% year-over-year to $2.25 billion in this year’s second quarter, SiriusXM’s net income declined from $433 million to $292 million (11 to 7 cents/basic share, 10 to 7 cents/diluted share). Adjusted EBITDA was off 3% to $679 million. SiriusXM chief executive officer Jennifer Witz notes, “We are pleased with our results in the second quarter, and while we continue to navigate an uncertain economic environment, we delivered strong financial performance and continued to make strategic investments in our business that will set us up for an exciting new era. We remain committed to creating compelling experiences for our listeners by investing in innovative technologies to deliver best-in-class, curated, comprehensive audio entertainment. Most recently, [we expanded] our relationship with the NFL to deliver the most extensive sports lineup in audio entertainment; we will continue to enhance our platform to ensure broad appeal.” Executive vice president/chief financial officer Sean Sullivan adds, “[Our] churn was steady at approximately 1.5% in the quarter, underscoring the strength of our business, products, and loyalty of our customers. In the second quarter, we delivered focused expansion in key streaming offerings and maintained a strong balance sheet. This quarter, we returned over $300 million in capital to stockholders, comprising $217 million in common stock repurchases and $86 million in dividends, and ended the quarter with net debt to adjusted EBITDA of 3.6 times.” Self-pay subscribers increased by 23,000 and paid promotional subscribers increased by 54,000. Satellite and streaming division totaled 34 million subscribers at the end of the quarter; self-pay churn was flat at 1.5%. The division’s revenue rose 5% to $1.7 billion, and gross profit rose 6% to $1.1 billion.

Marketron Releases Political Advertising Toolbox. Per BIA Advisory Services, political advertising will raise $8.6 billion for local media companies. Marketron’s collection of online resources combines all the political advertising content the company has developed at a single location for companies interested in increasing their share of political advertising. Marketron senior vice president/client success Christian Kligora opines that, “Political advertising is an important category for local media. It’s much different than any other and that requires a unique approach. We’ve been developing content on the topic all year long with a focus on how to support media sellers. Bringing it together in one spot makes it easier to learn from and access.” Each resource will reportedly provide media salespeople with tips, strategies, and insights for political advertising. Included are specialized considerations such as the “overall trends in the advertising ecosystem; the need to reach different demographics; the objective of persuading people to vote; and the regulatory compliance requirements” for how media companies price/offer inventory to candidates.

TALKERS News Notes. Changes at Audacy Philadelphia sports talk WIP “Sports Radio 94” find the station’s fill-in host Jody McDonald and Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Mike Sielski co-hosting weekend shows with Glenn Macnow. McDonald will partner with Macnow on Sundays (10:00 am – 1:00 pm), while Sielski joins Macnow in the same time slot each Saturday. According to Macnow, “I have a comfort level with Jody. He’s the guy I broke in with [and] the guy our listeners heard me with from 28 years ago. Working with Jody is like an old pair of shoes – it’s easy and I like it. The Saturday show will now be me and the best damn sports columnist in town, Mike Sielski.” … Former Baltimore Ravens defensive back Rod Woodson will join play-by-play voice Gerry Sandusky this season on the NFL team’s broadcasts on Hearst Baltimore news/talk WBAL “News Radio 1090 AM & 101.5 FM.” According to Sandusky, “Rod brings the unique perspective of someone who has both played and coached at the highest level of the game. He does it in a down-to-earth way that is approachable, likable and just plain fun. It’s a privilege to work with a broadcast partner like Rod.” Woodson states that, “Being a part of the Ravens’ gameday broadcast team is a blessing. To be back with the team that I won my only Super Bowl with will be fun.” … After eleven years with Nashville’s WPRT-FM, midday co-host Darren McFarland departs the Cromwell Radio Group sports talk outlet. Program director Chase McCabe confirms to The Tennessean that “Sports Radio 102.5 The Game” decided to part ways with McFarland, who formerly worked at Cumulus Media’s cross-town/similarly-formatted WGFX “104.5 The Zone.” McCabe, Willy Daunic, and Derrick Mason continue in middays on “The Game.” … Effective August 22, Cheddar News Washington bureau chief Megan Pratz will join NPR as political editor. In addition, NPR promotes congressional correspondent Sue Davis to political correspondent and interim congressional correspondent Dierdre Walsh gets to remove “interim” from the title. … Skyview Networks’ sports talk program “OutKick 360picks up three Withers Broadcasting-owned affiliates: KYRK, Marble Hill, Missouri; WGKY, Wickliffe, Kentucky; and WFRX, West Frankfort, Illinois. Skyview Networks is the exclusive distributor, affiliate sales representative and network sales partner of Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow & Paul Kuharsky-hosted “OutKick 360.”

Front Page News Industry News

Friday, January 7, 2022

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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “The New Abnormal,” looks back at this past week of 1/3 to 1/7. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSHarry Hurley, talk show host WPG, Atlantic City; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/physician; Scott Sands, talk show host, WSPD, Toledo; Danny Lipford, host “Today’s Homeowner” Radio & TV; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each weekend on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now 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.

Bill Bartholomew Joins WPRO, Providence as APD/Executive Producer. Rhode Island multimedia journalist Bill Bartholomew joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM “NewsTalk 99.7 FM & AM 630” as assistant program director and executive producer. Bartholomew is creator and host of “The Bartholomewtown Podcast,” a popular local political podcast that features in-depth interviews with local and national figures. He holds a degree in political science from University of Rhode Island and is also a regular contributor to Rhode Island PBS. WPRO program director Doug MacGunnigle comments, “I’m excited to welcome Bill to the team. His experience in the digital realm, standing in the community, and political savvy will add greatly to the success of WPRO and be a tremendous asset as we move into new and exciting frontiers, both on the air and beyond.” Bartholomew states, “Joining the team at legendary platform WPRO on a daily basis is a tremendous opportunity for me, and one that I take extremely seriously. For nearly a century, WPRO has been a trusted source for southern New Englanders, and I look forward to collaborating with the station to expand the reach of my perspective and insight into the issues that are important to the region, introducing radio to a new audience, and expanding WPRO’s reach in the rapidly expanding digital space.”

Mueller Named Program Director at Cumulus Media’s ‘Sports Animal’ in OK City. After last month’s retirement of program director Chris Baker, Cumulus Media brings Robert “Cisco” Mueller aboard as PD of WWLS-FM, Oklahoma City “The Sports Animal” to lead the station. Mueller says, “What an amazing opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Chris Baker who I’ve known for over 21 years. My wife and I are thrilled to be back home in OKC, close to our son… and it’s so fun to be working in familiar places with familiar faces. Truly humbled to work with the best sports talent on WWLS. I want to thank Jay Davis and Bruce Gilbert for this opportunity!” Chris Baker comments, “I am exceedingly excited that Robert “Cisco” Mueller will be my successor. I have known Cisco over two decades. His knowledge of the OKC metro, the Oklahoma sports landscape, and his prowess with new media makes him the perfect pick.”

CES2022: Cars, Cash, COVID. As the scaled-down yet still-enormous Las Vegas tech expo wraps – a day early, out of caution – Holland Cooke reports how tech trends that accelerated during the shutdown emerge as the New Normal. Read it all here.

Triton Digital Releases U.S. Streaming Rankers for November 2021. This data is a listing of the top performing digital audio publishers as measured by Triton Digital’s Streaming Metrics measurement services and is ranked based on Average Active Sessions (AAS is calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period) and includes only Triton clients. For the November 2021 period (Mon-Sun 6A-12M), iHeartRadio ranks #1 with 296,880 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (76,918 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (66,543 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,370 AAS). Other companies of note in the top 25 include: Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,053 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (13,831 AAS), Salem Communications at #11 (9,007 AAS), and Bonneville International at #13 (7,116 AAS). You can see the complete top 25 here.

New NAB Chief Curtis LeGeyt Pledges to Fight for Local Journalism. In a blog piece published on Thursday (1/6), NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt says he intends to “strongly advocate on behalf of America’s broadcasters and help fulfill their mission of providing trusted local journalism that keeps our communities safe, informed and connected.” LeGeyt writes, “Today marks the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Among the many lessons learned that day, the public was undoubtedly reminded of broadcasters’ critical role in bringing information to the public, especially during times of crisis. As misinformation runs rampant on social media, local radio and TV stations continue to bring the most trusted news to communities across the country. Millions of Americans have relied on broadcasters to be their eyes and ears during our nation’s most pivotal events.” Read the entire piece here.

Harrison Sings Hannity’s Praises on Radio ShowTALKERS founder Michael Harrison sang praises for Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity while guesting on the Scott Sands afternoon drive program on iHeartMedia’s WSPD, Toledo yesterday (1/6). Harrison was invited to discuss the anniversary of January 6 and the impact talk radio has had in covering the story. When asked about Hannity’s high-profile role in the story, Harrison responded with emphatic support of the talk show host’s involvement in it and his First Amendment rights as well as the value his connection to President Trump has played in illustrating the importance of talk radio in contemporary society. Harrison, known for his political neutrality but zealous support of the First Amendment and talk media industry, stated, “Sean Hannity is one of the most influential radio personalities of the medium’s 100-year history.” To listen to an excerpt of the conversation, please click here.  Scott Sands is also the PD of WSPD as well as area SVP of programming, Ohio/West Virginia iHeartMedia Communities Division.

The COVID-19 Omicron Surge, Vaccines, Boosters & Politics Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 3-7. The soaring rate of COVID cases in the U.S. and abroad, the debate over vaccine mandates, the effectiveness of boosters and the politics that surround it combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol attack and the ongoing investigation into the Trump administration’s role in it, followed by the economy, inflation, the supply chain, and the labor shortage 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.