Industry News

FOX News Channel Highlights Q1 Ratings Dominance

FOX News Channel announces that it finished the first quarter of 2024 as cable’s most-watched network in total day and primetime, dominating primetime viewers in cable news for 89 consecutiveim quarters, according to Nielsen Media Research. FNC adds that its primetime lineup sweept cable news every hour. “The Ingraham Angle” (7:00 pm ET) finished the quarter averaging 2.2 million viewers and 222,000 in the 25-54 demo. “Jesse Watters Primetime” (8:00 pm ET) delivered 2.8 million viewers and 284,000 in the 25-54 demo. “Hannity” (9:00 pm ET) remained dominant, nabbing 2.4 million viewers and 266,000 in the 25-54 demo, easily winning the timeslot and topping CNN and MSNBC in both categories. And “FOX News @ Night” (10:00 pm ET) delivered 1.2 million viewers and 187,000 in 25-54 demo.

Industry News

“Election Channel” Debuts on TuneIn

TuneIn is launching its new “Election Channel” ahead of Super Tuesday to “give listeners easy access to news coverage around the presidential primary election day.” TuneIn says, “The channel features aim comprehensive collection of the top national and regional news stations to help listeners stay up to date on the latest in the race to the 2024 U.S. Presidential Election in November. The ‘Election Channel’ brings together all voices and viewpoints to empower listeners to stay informed on all party news.” TuneIn adds that its coverage includes national and global news networks and stations, including NBC News NOW, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News Radio, Newsmax and Progressive Voices, plus local stations across the country.

Industry News

FOX News Channel Basks in Latest Cable News Ratings

FOX News Channel says that it remains cable television’s most-watched network for the eighth consecutive year in 2023, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. The cable news outfit says the dominance of late afternoon show “The Five,” the launch of FNC’s new primetime lineup, coupledim with the success of its daytime programming, positions it as the number one network in cable news. FNC says it had the largest share of the audience in total day (46%) and primetime (48%), capturing nearly half of the cable news landscape. In primetime, FNC delivered nearly 2 million viewers and 214,000 in the 25-54 demo, topping CNN and MSNBC combined in total viewership. On a 24-hour total day basis, FNC averaged over 1.2 million viewers and 150,000 in 25-54, with a 153% advantage over CNN in viewers. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “During yet another unprecedented news cycle, cable viewers continued to choose FOX News Channel. From moderating debates to reporting in war zones and many stories in between, I am honored to work alongside this unrivaled team of journalists and opinion hosts as they continue to exceed expectations.”

Industry News

Gracies Leadership Awards Honorees Celebrated in NYC

im

The Alliance for Women in Media hosted the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon yesterday (11/13) at Tribeca 360° in New York City, recognizing the outstanding contributions of eight female leaders. This year’s program included the inaugural Gracies Icon Award presented to Premiere Networks personality Delilah. She took part in a fireside chat with RAB president and CEO Erica Farber. The other recipients are pictured above (l-r): Becky Brooks, president, AWM/F, Delilah, Rebekah Dopp, Suzanne Grimes, Susan Larkin, Lori Locke, Rosalyn Durant, Kay Olin, Heather Cohen, Katina Arnold, and Christine Travaglini. Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Alliance for Women in Media

Industry News

Drudge: New Prime Time Lineup Coming to FNC

The Drudge Report posts a story that says a major re-tooling of FOX News Channel’s prime-time programming is about to change. The report says current 9:00 pm ET host Sean Hannity will move to the 8:00 pm slot formerly held by Tucker Carlson, while hinting that current 10:00 pm host Laura Ingraham will exit as FNCim moves Jesse Watters (currently the 7:00 pm host) and Greg Gutfeld (currently the 11:00 pm host) into prime-time slots. However, relative to this, FOX News reportedly told Mediaite the following: “No decision has been made on a new prime-time lineup and there are multiple scenarios under consideration.” The Drudge piece also makes note of the recent ratings: “MSNBC on Monday beat FOX News in prime time in both total viewers and in the key 25-54 age demographic favored by advertisers. Rachel Maddow beat Hannity at 9:00 pm on Monday and helped boost MSNBC to 1.86 million average prime-time viewers and 188,000 prime-time demo viewers. FOX came in a close second with 1.72 million prime-time viewers and 174,000 prime-time demo viewers.” Read the Drudge story here.

Industry News

FNC Beats CNN and MSNBC for the 7th Consecutive Quarter

According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel finished the first quarter of 2023 as cable’s most-watched network in primetime and total day viewers. Additionally, FNC beat CNN and MSNBC combined with total day and primetime viewers and the A25-54 demo for the seventh consecutive quarter. FOX News Channel reports that its total primetime viewers for March 2023 was 2,094,000 (down 27% from March 2022), while CNN’s total primetime viewers was 473,000 (down 61% from March 2022) and MSNBC’s total primetime viewers was 1,135,000 total viewers (down 12% from March 2022).

Industry News

SiriusXM Adds Three Talk Shows to Urban View Channel

The satellite service announces that it is adding three new weekend programs to the schedule on its Urban View channel. Political consultant, writer, and commentator Shermichael Singleton hosts the Saturday 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. He’s a former contributing host of Vox Media’s “Consider It” and the host of “ScreenShare” on MSNBC’s Peacock. The program features diverse guests and conversations that “tackle the biggest issues in culture, entertainment, media, and politics.” Best-selling author, advocate, speaker, and strategist Reecie Colbert hosts the Saturday 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm program that addresses politics, culture, current events, entertainment, and lifestyle topics. And broadcaster, news analyst, business executive, college dean, university professor, lecturer, entrepreneur, and advocate Dr. Rashad Richey is host of the Sunday 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm hour that SiriusXM calls “your one-hour Sunday ‘all things’ political, social, and economic empowerment show!”

Industry News

Steve Lickteig Named Executive Producer for CNN Audio

CNN Audio announces that Steve Lickteig joins the network as the executive producer of podcast and audio content, managing production and strategy. Lickteig is the co-founder of Small Good Thing, a podcast consulting and development company. Prior to that, he was the executive producer of podcasts and audio for NBC News and MSNBC. Lickteig will report to Katie Hinman, CNN’s vice president of development. He begins on February 6.

Industry News

Crossover Media Group Adds “Justice Matters” to Podcast Roster

Audio content producer and advertising representative Crossover Media Group announces the addition of “Justice Matters with Glenn Kirschner” to its rapidly expanding podcast roster. Kirschner is an American attorney, a former U.S. Army JAG, former career prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice, and an NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst. In this podcast, he addresses matters related to politics, the law, government ethics, and the criminal judicial system. The podcast is published each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Crossover Media Group managing member Sue Freund says, “Glenn has earned an admirable reputation as one of America’s most respected legal and political analysts. He’s an ideal fit with our wide and diverse lineup of talk hosts appealing to listeners across demographics.” Crossover says this new podcast “joins a wide array of shows produced and/or represented by Crossover Media Group spanning the spectrum of political talk, analysis and opinion. The Crossover Media Group lineup also includes dozens of other popular podcasts and personalities in the genres of news, sports, true-crime, history, business, science, lifestyle, entertainment and pop culture – a content portfolio which recently expanded with the addition of ‘The Official Yellowstone Podcast.’”

Advice

Monday Memo: Your Podcast ‘Bones,’ Part Deux

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — “But I’m doing a whole SHOW, not just the ‘snack-size’ episodes you recommend,” one podcaster wrote, after reading last week’s column, itself conspicuously succinct.

While I continue to heed the listener research which recommends (forgive me) “less is more,” I myself subscribe to several longer-form podcasts. My concern about going-longer is the same caution I offer to eager beavers who ask me about launching a weekend show: It’s a lot of work.

(more…)

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

WBAL-AM, Baltimore Promotes Jeff Wade to Director of Programming/News Director. Baltimore news/talk outlet WBAL-AM/W268BA “NewsRadio and 1090/FM 101.5” promotes Jeff Wade, adding director of programming duties to his continuing role as news director. Wade joined the Hearst Television radio station as news director in 2017. Hearst says that  during Wade’s tenure, the news team earned a National Murrow Award for Breaking News Coverage along with numerous Regional Murrow Awards, including a Regional Murrow for Overall Excellence in 2022. In his new role, Wade will oversee WBAL’s roster of talk personalities while continuing to lead its news staff. He held similar roles at WGAN-AM in Portland, Maine from 2005-2014 and Binnie Media’s NH1 News in New Hampshire from 2014-2017. Wade takes over for longtime WBAL programmer Scott Masteller, who is transitioning to a part-time role with the station, helping to coordinate the station’s sports broadcasting schedule, which includes the Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, and Navy Football. Hearst Baltimore president and general manager Dan Joerres says, “With Scott transitioning to the next phase of his career at WBAL NewsRadio and Jeff having already tackled a similar opportunity earlier in his career, I am wildly confident that our listeners will continue to enjoy the best in local news, talk and sports on WBAL NewsRadio.” Wade adds, “It’s the honor of a lifetime to be given the opportunity to lead this outstanding team of broadcasters and build on the foundation Scott has laid.”

Steve Goldstein Rises to President for Hubbard’s 2060 Digital. Digital sales pro Steve Goldstein is promoted from his SVP sales strategy and general manager to president of Hubbard Radio’s 2060 Digital. Company EVP/chief financial officer Dave Bestler says that in this new role, Goldstein will increase his focus on growing 2060 Digital’s brand and revenue footprint in the expanding digital marketing and advertising sector across the United States. Bestler adds, “Since 2019, Steve has done a great job leading our growing business at 2060 Digital as well as leading our overall sales strategy at Hubbard Radio. Given the explosive growth of our 2060 Digital business, promoting Steve to president of 2060 Digital and focusing his amazing talents exclusively here is both needed and exciting.” The company says that since its inception in 2015, 2060 Digital has become a critical revenue growth strategy for Hubbard Radio, providing a comprehensive platform of digital agency services that help local, regional and national brands drive measurable business outcomes across a diverse array of digital marketing channels. 2060 Digital operates offices in 10 Hubbard owned and operated radio markets, as well as 2060 Digital’s Shift division in Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Nashville. Goldstein says, “I am thrilled to focus my full attention on our already thriving 2060 Digital business. Our talented ops team lead by VP/ops Andy Shepherd, as well as our sellers and Hubbard Radio’s market leaders are making a meaningful difference for our clients. I couldn’t do this without the continued support of Ginny Morris and Dave Bestler, both of whom are committed to innovating and growing 2060 Digital. As we lean into new innovations, I am excited about the increased value 2060 Digital will provide to brands and the overall company.”

Bill O’Reilly Publishes Latest Book in ‘Killing’ Series: Killing the Legends. The latest book in the “Killing” series from television journalist and conservative media figure Bill O’Reilly is published. Killing the Legends: The Lethal Danger of Celebrity (St. Martin’s Press, 2022) – written with Martin Dugard – explores the lives, legacies, and tragic deaths of three of the most famous people of the 20th century: Elvis Presley, John Lennon, and Muhammad Ali. Promo copy for the book says, “These three icons changed the worlds of music, film, and sports. Their influence, though, far exceeded the entertainment and athletic fields. These three changed society and culture. They were known and inspired people across the globe. They each became larger-than-life figures. They were on top of the world until their lives spiraled out of control. Immense success led to failure, addiction, or unhappiness that forced them to reinvent themselves and their talents. In industries that celebrated youth, they faced down growing older and found ways to renew themselves. But in the end, they were all three isolated by their fame —and sadly, it was their inner circles, those they trusted the most, that contributed to their downfall.” This is the 12th book in O’Reilly’s “Killing” series that has sold more than 19 million copies worldwide.

Paul Rotella to Exit NJBA. The longtime president and CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association announces he is exiting his role with the organization. Paul Rotella says in a letter announcing his decision, “Since 2008, I have been privileged to serve the broadcast industry by helping the NJBA meet fiscal and industry-wide challenges. My lobbying efforts on behalf of the industry, and the production of our informative and exciting annual conferences, have been particularly gratifying aspects of my work on behalf of our nationally acclaimed Association. I am especially grateful for the wonderful friendships that this experience has provided me and for the superb colleagues I have been fortunate enough to call friends. Most of all, I am blessed with the best family anyone could ask for, and I am particularly grateful for their unselfish contributions to my success, and to the success of the NJBA.”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime talk media personality Jason Lewis releases his latest book, Party Animal, The Truth About President Trump, Power Politics & the Partisan Press (Barnes & Noble Press, 2022). The former Minnesota congressman spent some time this summer filling in on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KTLK-AM, Minneapolis after the untimely passing of Andrew Lee…..FOX News Channel reports that, according to Nielsen Media Research, it finished the third quarter of 2022 as cable’s most-watched network in primetime and total day viewers. Marking 83 consecutive quarters as the highest-rated cable news channel in primetime, FNC also outpaced CNN and MSNBC combined in total day and primetime with total viewers, and easily surpassed both networks in the 25-54 and 18-49 demos for the quarter. FNC also ranked number one in all of basic cable in total day viewers for the sixth quarter in a row, winning every single weekday hour with double and triple-digit percent advantages while delivering 94 of the top 100 telecasts in cable news…..Talk host Richard Cason and MKS Broadcasting’s news/talk KFMO-AM, Flat River Missouri agree to part ways. Since March of 2021, Cason had been hosting the Sunday 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm program. Cason says his program is still available on Frankspeech.com and Patreon.

The Economy/Financial Markets, Hurricane Ian, Trump Legal Issues, Midterms/2024 Presidential Election, Immigration, U.S.-China Relations, Russia-Ukraine War/Nord Stream, and European Politics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/27). The high rate of inflation and the sell-off on the world’s financial markets; Hurricane Ian strengthens to category 4 and aims for Florida’s west coast; former President Donald Trump’s New York civil suit and the DOJ’s documents investigation; the November midterm elections and the potential nominees for president in 2024; the Biden administration’s immigration policy and the transporting of migrants; tensions between the U.S. and China over the former’s support of Taiwan; Vladimir Putin’s calling up more troops, his threat of nuclear force in the Ukraine war, and the suspected sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline; and the rise of far right politicians in the European Union 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

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Audacy CEO David Field Responds to Industry Piece Predicting Company’s Bankruptcy. After a number of tweets on Tuesday (8/30) from various media people called attention to InsideMusicRadio.com publisher Jerry Del Colliano’s opinion piece about the state of Audacy’s business, Audacy CEO David Field responded with a companywide memo and a public response on Twitter. Taken out of context, the headline was subject to misinterpretation unless one read the entire piece. The story goes on to reference a memo Field wrote four years ago in which he gave his observations about the reasons for iHeartMedia’s and Cumulus’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizations. Del Colliano’s column suggests Audacy is now facing the same issues iHeartMedia and Cumulus did and Del Colliano predicts that Audacy is headed down the same path as he terms Field’s 2018 memo “a premonition of things to come as Audacy heads into bankruptcy next year.” Field’s response states, “An industry blog post published today falsely claimed that ‘David Field confirms Audacy’s bankruptcy.’ That statement is categorically and unequivocally untrue. Audacy intends to pursue all applicable remedies for false and defamatory statements meant to cause damage to Audacy, its employees and its stakeholders to the fullest extent of the law. As you have heard from me and others on our leadership team, we are excited and confident in our future and focused on capitalizing effectively on the acquisitions, investments and enhancements we have made to position the company for a bright future in the dynamic, growing world of audio. With the additions of a strong leadership position in podcasting, a meaningfully enhanced national sales organization, the rollout of a new, reimagined digital platform, emerging ad tech and data capabilities, plus the industry’s best local radio group with an unrivaled #1 position in news and sports, Audacy is better positioned than ever to serve customers and audiences with greater revenue and earnings potential under normalized market conditions.”

Deborah Flora to Host Daily Show on KUNS-AM, Denver. After giving up her weekend talk show on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS-AM, Denver to pursue the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, Deborah Flora returns to the station to host a daily 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm program beginning September 6. Flora is a former Miss Colorado, is president and founder of the non-profit Parents United America. She is also a founding partner of both Lamplight Entertainment and Whetstone Media Group, and produced numerous projects, including the documentary, Whose Children Are They? KNUS operations manager Kelly Michaels says, “We are fortunate to have Deborah back on 710 KNUS and I know she will crush it on her new weekday show. She is a hard-working and caring host who is determined to help make Colorado a better place for families to raise their kids.” Flora comments, “I’m excited to be back on the air and connecting with Coloradans every day. We will talk about common sense solutions to the real issues facing the great people of this state, while inspiring listeners to take a stand for what they care about most.”

FOX News Channel Third Most-Watched Television Network in August. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel finished August 2022 as the third most-watched network in all of television during weekday primetime, outpacing ABC and trailing only CBS and NBC. In a press release citing Nielsen ratings, FOX News Channel says it remained cable’s highest-rated network in total day and primetime with total viewers and the top rated in total day with the 25-54 demo. FNC surpassed CNN and MSNBC combined with total day and primetime viewers and was number one in all of cable with total day and primetime viewers. FNC also ranked number one in cable news in primetime viewers for the 19th month in a row and notched 96 of the top 100 cable news telecasts for the month. In total day, FNC delivered 1.5 million viewers, 211,000 with the 25-54 demo and 128,000 with the 18-49 demo. In primetime, FNC netted 2.3 million viewers, 311,000 in the 25-54 demo, and 189,000 with the 18-49 demo. The network also delivered the top four programs in cable news with viewers and the top 15 of the top 16 cable news programs in the 25-54 demo. FNC’s late afternoon offering “The Five” continued as the top-rated show in viewers for the fifth consecutive month and finishing first in cable news for the last eight out of nine months. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” continued as the highest-rated program in cable news in the younger 25-54 demo, averaging 3.3 million viewers and 486,000 in the demo, as well as 301,000 in the 18-49 category throughout July. “Hannity” scored 2.9 million viewers, 397,000 in the 25-54 demo and 235,000 among adults 18-49, achieving the third most-watched program in all categories and outpacing the competition on MSNBC and CNN combined.

John Mullen Named General Manager for Hofstra University’s WRHU-FM. Broadcasting professional and educator John T. Mullen is named general manager for Hofstra University’s student run radio station WRHU-FM 88.7 Radio Hofstra University, effective September 1. Mullen has been serving as the station’s operations manager. Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Dean Mark Lukasiewicz says, “John has been an important part of the growth and success of WRHU since he joined the station in 2005, spearheading the station’s longstanding relationship with the New York Islanders and other professional sports franchises, and steering the application process for the station’s many industry awards – most notably, three NAB Marconi Awards over the past several years. As a mentor and advisor, he has helped hundreds of students develop skills, build confidence and prepare for careers in broadcasting and other industries, accomplishments that are at the core of WRHU’s mission at Hofstra. John is stepping into a role largely created and defined by outgoing general manager Bruce Avery, who departs with our profound thanks for leading WRHU and its students to such great accomplishments over his more than three decades at Hofstra. I could not imagine a better candidate than John to take the reins from Bruce, and to launch a great new chapter in the storied history of WRHU Radio Hofstra University.”

TALKERS News Notes. WOAI, San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is sitting in for Sean Hannity on Premiere Networks’ “Sean Hannity Show” today (8/31)…..iHeartMedia announces that the podcast “StraightioLab” – hosted by comedians George Civeris and Sam Taggart – joins the iHeartPodcast Network as part of iHeartMedia and Will Ferrell’s Big Money Player’s Network. “StraightioLab” is described as an intellectual podcast where the two “unpack the rich, multi-colored tapestry of straight culture. In each episode, George and Sam are joined by a guest to hold a mirror to society and finally get to the bottom of mysterious and perverse topics such as college fraternities, gender reveal parties, the military, themed restaurants, and the concept of ‘the holidays.’”…..Audacy’s Cadence13 names longtime Hollywood executive Patton Valentine to oversee intellectual property adaptation strategy across its original content divisions. The company says it has ambitious plans for adapting its hit audio documentary and scripted storytelling IP into the world of film and television, with many projects already in the works. Valentine joins Cadence13 from Ley Line Entertainment, where he served as head of television…..iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during the BofA Securities 2022 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference on Thursday September 8 at 4:10 pm ET. A live webcast of the session will be available to the general public at the start of the session through a link on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.

Trump Documents Investigation, Russia-Ukraine War, Biden’s Student Loan Plan, Jackson Water Woes/Western Heatwave, and Mikhail Gorbachev Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/30). The U.S. Justice Department’s battle with former President Donald Trump over the document search of Mar-a-Lago; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effect on Europe’s natural gas supply; criticism of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program; the potable water supply problems in Jackson, Mississippi and the heatwave forecast for the U.S. West; and former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev dies 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 9, 2022

Round One of July PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 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 July 2022 sweep covered June 23 – July 20. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Rating Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York City, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC adds a full share to finish with a 4.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and rises to the #7 rank, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR loses one-tenth for a 1.9 share finish good for the #19 rank. Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN, Chicago adds seven-tenths to wrap the survey with a 3.3 share and rises to the #10 rank. Audacy’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM sheds four-tenths to post a 4.6 share and falls from #2 to #4. In Dallas, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP continues its upward trajectory adding a half share for a 4.5 share finish that pushes it to the #4 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta is steady with a 5.7 share and remains locked in the #4 spot. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

AM 790 in Providence Returns to Sports Talk as ‘790 The Score.’ Heritage Providence station WPRV-AM completes its previously announced flip from business news to sports talk as Cumulus Media launches “790 The Score.” The station – originally WEAN-AM when it debuted in 1922 – broadcast a sports talk format for about 10 years from 1998 through 2008 as WSKO “The Score.” That was replaced by oldies for about a year before flipping to business talk in 2009. Cumulus says the new station “brings sports and sports betting news, information, and insights to the burgeoning and underserved sports betting audience in the Providence area. ‘790 The Score’ delivers behind-the-book perspectives from experts in a highly entertaining and engaging format.” Cumulus Providence VP and market manager Holly Paras says, “It’s official: ‘790 The Score’ is now Providence’s best bet for sports fans and sports betting enthusiasts, and we couldn’t be more excited! The station features a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage, along with New England Patriots football, New York Yankees baseball, Boston Celtics basketball, and Brown University football and basketball play-by-play. We think Providence sports and sports betting fans will love ‘790 The Score!’” The program lineup includes: Bet MGM, Bet QL, Jim Rome, local host Kevin McNamara, and more.

KHOW, Denver’s Michael Brown Named New Host of ‘The Weekend.’ Former Under Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of FEMA, Michael Brown – host of “The Situation with Michael Brown” on iHeartMedia’s KHOW, Denver – is named the full-time host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio program, “The Weekend.” The three-hour show is heard on more than 300 stations nationwide. Brown takes over for Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo as the regular host of the show. Brown says, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to take the reins of ‘The Weekend.’ When Premiere asked me to sign on full-time, it was a no brainer. I’m looking forward to furthering my connection with this nationwide audience each week. We’re going to have a great time together as we go beyond the headlines to tackle the stories that matter most with honesty, smarts and a dose of fun.”

Westwood One Audio Active Group: Only Half of NFL Fans Are Aware Thursday Night Games Are Only on Amazon Prime. This week’s blog from the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group includes data from a national study from MARU/Matchbox of 1,000 Americans over the age of 18 that indicates half of frequent NFL viewers and only 30% of occasional NFL viewers are aware that “Thursday Night Football” will only be available on Amazon Prime Video. Although the majority of football fans with Amazon Prime say they’ll watch NFL “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime Video, about half of “Thursday Night Football” viewers are not Amazon Prime members. This presents opportunity for Westwood One as after a decade behind a paywall, the audio stream of its national broadcasts will now be available for local radio station affiliates. The Westwood One national audio stream will also be available on the free NFL app. For years WFAN listeners in the New York market could hear the game over the air but not on WFAN’s audio stream. Now listeners will have the option to listen to Westwood One’s Monday night, Thursday night, and Sunday night broadcasts on their smart speakers, smartphones, and laptops. See the blog post here.

Three Executive Promotions at Triton Digital. The company announces that three executives are being promoted within the company. Oscar Sermeno is upped to vice president of market strategy, Americas; Daniel Karlsson is promoted to vice president, market development and global strategy; and Michael Chien is elevated to vice president of advertising product strategy. Triton Digital president and CEO John Rosso comments, “Triton Digital continues on a trajectory of rapid growth and global expansion. These recent promotions within our leadership team will play an instrumental role in furthering Triton’s innovative spirit while maintaining operational excellence and expanding the company’s presence around the world. All while continuing to provide best-in-class audio streaming, podcasting, audience measurement, and advertising technology on a global scale.”

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated program, “The Dana Show” – starring Dana Loesch, adds new affiliate WFLF-AM, Orlando “WFLA.” The iHeartMedia station is picking up the Radio America-syndicated show for the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm daypart…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces the availability of the 2022 Election Toolkit – an online resource that provides local television and radio broadcasters with ideas and information to cover the 2022 local, state and federal elections. The 2022 Election Toolkit provides assets to help broadcasters serve their communities in the lead-up to Election Day on November 8. It includes information on identifying false statements online, suggested tactics for hosting debates, voter registration resources and guides for finding local polling places. Broadcast-ready public service announcements encouraging voter participation are also available in both English and Spanish through the toolkit. NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt says, “Local broadcasters are a trusted and reliable source of news and information, which takes on heightened importance in combatting disinformation as Americans exercise their right to vote. The toolkit will equip radio and television stations in helping voters make informed decisions at the polls – an essential component in ensuring the vitality of our democracy.” Find it here…..Two podcasts – “Smart Talks with IBM,” an iHeartRadio show produced in collaboration with Pushkin and IBM, and “Bridgerton: The Official Podcast,” a Shondaland Audio and iHeartRadio program, are receiving a 2022 Adweek Podcast of the Year Award. Adweek’s annual Podcast of the Year Awards recognizes the best podcasts, featuring shows across 28 categories aimed at all sorts of audiences.

FBI Searches Mar-a-Lago, The Economy, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Taiwan/U.S.-China Relations, Russia-Ukraine War, and Olivia Newton-John Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/8). The FBI executes a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club as part of an investigation into presidential documents; the still-high price of gasoline and food and concerns about a recession; November’s midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; China’s ramped up military exercises around Taiwan and the tenuous relations between the U.S. and China; Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the global economy; and Olivia Newton-John dies at 73 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, July 26, 2022

WKNR Contest Puts $30,000 Ad Campaign Up For Grabs. This marks the third consecutive year that Good Karma Brands sports talk WKNR “850 ESPN Cleveland” will give away a $30,000 WKNR advertising schedule to one local business. To qualify for “Moving Business Forward,” the establishment must be owned by a veteran, minority member, or woman. The promotion runs through this Friday (7/29) and is open to Northeast Ohio businesses incorporated and active for at least two years with annual revenue under $15 million in fiscal year 2021. Entrants must submit an under 300-word statement saying why their business deserves to win. Judging criteria will be on passion for the business; innovation during – and response to – the COVID-19 pandemic; employee loyalty; impact on business’ neighborhood/community; and overall business culture. According to Good Karma Brands Cleveland vice president/market manager Amy Crossman, “We are excited to partner with Keybank and the Cleveland Cavaliers to continue this powerful program for the local business community. We look forward to connecting our passionate sports fans with these deserving Cleveland-based businesses to help them thrive in the future.” The winner will have use of a private suite for one Cavs game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. WKNR will buy $2,500 in gift cards, divided among veteran, minority, and women-owned businesses, to be given away throughout the year.

NAB Appoints Hall to Leadership Foundation Board. Talk host/journalist/producer/author Tamron Hall is appointed to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Leadership Foundation. In addition, Hall assumes the newly-created position of industry ambassador, where she will work with NABLF on campaigns and fundraising efforts. NAB Leadership Foundation president Michelle Duke comments, “Tamron Hall exemplifies the values of NABLF through her commitment to service, advocacy, and diversity. Her strong record of public service and leadership make her uniquely-qualified to serve as a champion for the Foundation and for broadcasting. We look forward to her partnership and working with her to make our industry better.” Hall adds, “I am so excited to help the NAB Leadership Foundation continue its mission of attracting and developing the next generation of innovative broadcast executives. More than ever, we need to ensure that the broadcast industry has a pipeline of future leaders that reflect our diverse audiences. It’s been an honor to work with the Foundation in the past; I look forward to furthering this work as a member of the Board.” As industry ambassador, Hall will help NABLF honor broadcast radio and television stations’ community service efforts through the Foundation’s annual Celebration of Service to America Awards, which she hosted two years ago.

KO’s “Countdown” Continues as an iHM Podcast. Beginning August 1, former longtime ESPN and MSNBC anchor; author; and three-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner Keith Olbermann will launch a daily iHeartMedia podcast series. “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” will include a news-driven mix featuring a “Special Comment” political analysis and his popular MSNBC “Worst Person In The World” segment. As part of the podcast, the one time sports anchor at Los Angeles all-news outlet KNX will do a regular sports bit, as well as a daily call to help a suffering dog. In a Wall Street Journal interview this week, Olbermann declares that podcasts have, “replaced radio and to a large part television. Why not present something that is there every day for people? My goal is that you’ll be able to listen and get everything that happened. It won’t be, ‘here we are reacting to last week’s news.’ I’m doing the work for the work. I stopped predicting my next career development around 1997.” Former “Today” anchor Katie Couric and Fox News host Megyn Kelly launched post-television audio broadcasting careers. Meanwhile, Conan O’Brien signed a deal with SiriusXM earlier this year to start a podcasting venture. Olbermann covered the 1980 Olympics “Miracle on Ice” and anchored the 2009 Super Bowl pre-game show.

Hobbs To Helm MundoNow’s Óyenos Audio. Multicultural podcasting veteran Stephen Hobbs is named chief audio officer of MundoNow’s Latino podcast network, Óyenos Audio. Hobbs will oversee the development of new original scripted series and audio entertainment concepts that will focus on topics including true crime and inspirational stories. MundoNow chief executive officer Rene Alegrias remarks, “Latinos expect smart, highly sophisticated podcasts that provide a culturally-accurate connection to their heritage. Óyenos will provide this and it will be driven by the renowned Stephen Hobbs. In the world of multicultural podcasting, Stephen’s caliber and experience is unmatched.” MundoNow chief revenue officer/partner Andrew Polsky notes, “I immediately recognized the impact this platform can make in expanding meaningful podcasting for the underserved bilingual/bicultural market. This impact will be maximized with the hiring of Stephen. I’ve worked with him before on multiple brand partnership executions. I’m excited to collaborate with him again to not only elevate Óyenos, but the offering of Latino streaming content as a whole.” Hobbs states that bilingual digital media company MundoNow, recently rebranded from Mundo Hispanico, is “exceptionally well-positioned to become a leader in multicultural podcasting. It has the audience, it has the growth strategy under superior leadership from Rene and Andrew, and it has the production capacity. My job is to create content that will have listeners on the edge of their seats, or perhaps making an emotional connection.” Hobbs co-founded reVolver Podcasts; was Univision’s vice president of podcasts and experiential; and during his three-year tenure at Spanish Broadcasting Systems launched AIRE Radio Network. MundoNow generates ten million unique visitors each month, along with 70+ million pageviews and more than a quarter-billion served ad impressions.

TALKERS News Notes. In a Facebook post, Sammy Simpson reveals, “I am going to be transitioning out of the brand/content manager role at Capitol Broadcasting [Raleigh]. The company has started the search for a new sports [talk] program director and I would encourage you to apply or help spread the word if interested in a truly great opportunity.” Simpson joined Capitol Broadcasting Raleigh two years ago to oversee sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan”; sports talk WCMC-HD2 “Buzz Sports Radio”; and sports talk WDNC “620 The Ticket.” The cluster also includes adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” and triple A WCLY “That Station.” …  Meanwhile, in another sports talk-related Facebook post, we learn that Waterloo Media Austin flips Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 (1.2, #22, June 2022, 6+) to sports talk as “102.7 ESPN Austin.” In addition to ESPN programming, the on-air lineup will include: Jason Dick and CJ Morgan (from alternative cluster-mate KROX); Ed Clements (from co-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM); and Bryan Bymark (from rock cluster-mate KLBJ-FM). … Per USA Today‘s Mike Organ, Nashville media personality Mark Howard has died at the age of 65. In 2004, Howard became co-host of  “The Wake Up Zone” on Nashville sports talk WGFX “The Zone 104.5”; he left the show in 2020. The Connecticut native most recently worked as a part-time host at cross-town Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT-FM “The Game 102.5.” Howard spent several years hosting a Tennessee Titans post-game show and co-hosted Nashville Predators pre-game and post-game programs. … The first five recipients of the Friends of Georgia Radio’s “Georgia Radio Legends” honors are: Media Ventures Partners founder (the late) Charles Giddens; Georgia Association of Broadcasters president/National Alliance of State Broadcasters Association president Bob Houghton; Cox Media Group Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM & WSBB legislative reporter Sandra Parrish; Atlanta Public Schools public radio news/talk WABE host Lois Reitzes; and University of Georgia radio studio host/WSB-AM & WSBB director of marketing & research Neal “Hondo” Williamson. They will be recognized at a Jeff Foxworthy-hosted event next month (8/27) in Alpharetta.

Podtrac Releases Weekly Podcast Data. Tracking data of podcasts for Podtrac-measured shows indicates that downloads are down 9% (July 18 – 24) over the previous week, but up 53% over the corresponding period last year. All categories are down week-to-week, with “History” and “Society & Culture” showing the most significant week-to-week decline (-12%). Meanwhile, “Health & Fitness” registers the strongest year-to-year growth, a robust +179%. Across all Podtrac-measured podcasts, download growth (July 19, 2021 – July 24, 2022) was up 53%, while week-over-week download growth (July 18 – 24, 2022) was off 9%. For the 52-week period (July 19, 2021 to July 24, 2022), “Health & Fitness” is +179%; “Comedy” is +100%; “Sports” is +64%; “True Crime” is +54%; “Science” is +52%; “Business” is +51%; “News” is +43%; “Society & Culture” is +39%; “History” is +32%; and “Arts” is flat. Week-over-week download dips (July 18 – 24, 2022) included: -12% (“History”); -12% (“Society & Culture”); -10% (“News”); -10% (“Sports”); -10% (“True Crime”); -9% (“Science”); -7% (“Business”); -7% (“Comedy”); -6% (“Arts”); and -6% (“Health & Fitness”).

SiriusXM, NFL Extend/Expand Their Broadcast Agreement. Under terms of the new five-year extension, SiriusXM becomes the exclusive third-party audio provider of every National Football League game across North America. NFL chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp remarks, “SiriusXM continues to be an important part of the NFL family. [It provides] fans access to live game audio, as well as all news and information around their favorite teams.” SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein notes, “The popularity of the NFL, and the passion of their fans, is extraordinary. Since 2004, the NFL has been an important component of SiriusXM’s programming lineup as we deliver those fans exceptional access to all their favorite teams. We couldn’t be more pleased to now be expanding our relationship with the league, ensuring our listeners will continue to get comprehensive access to the NFL.” Subscribers will continue getting access to every NFL game through Super Bowl LXI (2027) on SiriusXM radio and on the SXM App. The SXM App offers 32 NFL team channels, each dedicated to carrying the official radio broadcast for each NFL team. The satcaster will offer additional team-focused content, including coaches shows, and press conferences to subscribers.

America Amplified “Election 2022” Launches This Week. Funded by the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, the America Amplified “Election 2022” initiative helps public media stations in 25 states, including Michigan Radio, ensure that citizens are properly informed to participate in this fall’s local, state and congressional elections. Corporation For Public Broadcasting president/chief executive officer Pat Harrison comments, “Voting is the foundation of a democracy. We want to ensure that all eligible citizens have the information they need to exercise their right to vote. With more than 1,500 locally managed and operated stations, public media is ideally situated to engage all citizens. America Amplified’s listening-first approach will help build trust in the process.” Michigan Radio program director Matt Shafer Powell remarks, “Joining America Amplified gives Michigan Radio the chance to build on our long-standing commitment to engaging and informing our community. We are excited to bring additional resources to better understand what our communities need to know about election processes and election security.” Among the initiative’s community engagement activities is an online tool that allows the public to submit questions related to the election voting process. Questions will be answered using nonpartisan election information sources.

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Greta Van Susteren Joins Newsmax for Nightly Show. Talk media personality and news anchor Greta Van Susteren is joining Newsmax as host of her own daily signature show, “The Record with Greta Van Susteren.” The program will be based in Washington, D.C. and will premiere on Tuesday, June 14. Newsmax says it will “lead the network’s evening lineup with a solid hour of factual, fair, and independent perspective on the news.” Van Susteren comments, “With all that is going on in the world, I am getting back to my roots — a daily live news show with real reporting from the places where things are happening. I have been friends with [Newsmax CEO] Chris Ruddy for years, and he is giving me this great opportunity to return, giving me the complete freedom to cover the news that really matters to people. I have been impressed by Newsmax’s team and their success and would love to be part of a news network that is really growing.” Van Susteren’s career includes high-profile positions at CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC, as well as her recent work with the Gray television network and as a contributor to Voice of America. Ruddy states, “No one in journalism better exemplifies Newsmax’s mission to provide fact-based news and fact-based opinion than Greta Van Susteren. We are so pleased and honored to have Greta lead our nightly news lineup of programs.”

 

WBAL-AM, Baltimore Pairs Torrey Snow and Dan Joseph for Afternoon Drive. Charm City radio personalities Torrey Snow (left) and Dan Joseph (right) have been working together at Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL-AM in a limited fashion but now are officially the afternoon drive team. Effective yesterday (5/23), “Torrey and Dan” is the permanent 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. Torrey helmed “The Torrey Snow Program” on WBAL since August of 2020. Joseph had hosted his own program on the station before being partnered with Snow. WBAL president and general manager Dan Joerres says, “‘The Torrey and Dan Show’ is a terrific opportunity for two top-notch hosts to join forces and offer our listeners a dynamic show that touches on a wide range of topics every day. Our responsibility is to our listeners and this show further amplifies that commitment as the leading news/talk station in Baltimore and beyond.”

 

KMOX, St. Louis Announces New Midday Show. St. Louis news/talk KMOX announces that with the retirement of longtime talk host Charlie Brennan, it will debut its new midday program on May 31. Audacy announces that it is expanding the “Total Information AM” program to 10:00 am, “bolstered by co-anchors Carol Daniel, who returns to the newsroom and Megan Lynch, investigative reporter. Together with Debbie Monterrey and Tom Ackerman, they will deliver the news, traffic and weather listeners depend on, including analysis, in-depth interviews and open conversation.” The new midday program will consist of Amy Marxkors, Kevin Wheeler and Chris Rongey, and air weekdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Wheeler transitions from host of “Sports Open Line” and Cardinals baseball pregame and postgame host, while Rongey expands his part-time role. The station will immediately begin a search for a new host of “Sports Open Line” and Cardinals pregame and postgame programming. As a result of the changes, midday personality Ryan Wrecker exits the station. He says via Twitter, “Yesterday was my last day at KMOX. I would like to think we created some great moments in the last five years in St. Louis. At this point, I have no idea what will happen next, but I trust it’s set up to move in the right direction. Again, thank you all.” Audacy St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan states, “This series of updates underscores our overarching commitment to delivering news and balanced talk shows to the people of St. Louis, while accentuating the strength of our top-level hosts. From our award-winning morning show to our unrivaled coverage of the Cardinals, we want to elevate the conversation.”

 

KFI, Los Angeles Takes Eight Honors at 72nd Golden Mike Awards. Los Angeles news/talk KFI-AM took home eight awards at this past Saturday’s 72nd Annual Golden Mike Awards at Universal City. The press release says the Golden Mike Awards is Southern California’s most prestigious, and most coveted, broadcast journalism prize and one of America’s longest running broadcast news award programs. Robin Bertolucci, program director for the iHeartMedia station, says, “The content being produced by the KFI news department is exceptional and I am so proud of the KFI news team and the talented people who have produced these award-winning broadcasts and podcasts. And it’s exciting to note that KFI won twice as many awards as any other station in our division.” KFI won the following: Best Radio Documentary: “The Death and Life of Kobe Bryant,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producer Eric Sklar; Best Public Affairs Program: “After the Verdict, A Path Forward,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producers Kayla Austin and Clay Roe; Best Digital News Reporting: “Unhoused, A look at Homelessness in LA and OC,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez with associate producers Mark Mennie and Lt. Geoff Deedrick; Best Podcast – News: “9/11, Two Decades Later,” produced by Steve Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez, with associate producers Nico Melendez and Sheron Bellio; Best Podcast – Feature: “The Death and Life of Kobe Bryant,” produced by Steve Gregory and Jacob Gonzalez; Best Serious Feature Reporting: “Illegal Street Racing in the SFV,” produced by Steve Gregory; Best Government and Political Reporting: “2020 Voter Fraud Fear,” produced by Corbin Carson; and Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: “KFI News with Michael Crozier,” produced by Michael Crozier.

 

WTAM, Cleveland and Bloomdaddy Raise $460k for Mike Trivisonno Fund. Yesterday’s radiothon on iHeartMedia Cleveland’s news/talk WTAM launched the “The Mike Trivisonno Fund” to benefit Coats for Kids and the special, seven-hour broadcast brought in $460,000 to the fledgling charity bearing the name of the station’s late PM drive personality. Current afternoon personality Bloomdaddy announced the $400,000 commitment to the charity from The Figgie Foundation. The broadcast included a visit from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Bloomdaddy says, “Triv always said it’s not the kids’ fault and I could not agree more. There is one thing I’m also passionate about and that is doing anything I can to help kids both on and off the air. I’m honored to carry the Coats for Kids torch and make sure Triv’s legacy lives on.” Pictured above are (from l-r): “Bloomdaddy Show” executive producer Carmen Angelo, iHeartMedia Cleveland Area metro president Keith Hotchkiss, DeWine, and Bloomdaddy. Photo by Mike Picha/iHeartMedia

 

SportsMap Launches New Daily Show with Jeff Michael. A new, daily program is launching on June 6 on SportsMap Radio called “The Rundown with Jeff Michael.” The 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show “will be an energetic and fast-paced program featuring the biggest guests and hottest takes in sports talk radio.” Jeff Michael has been a part-time host on the network since 2020 and has created numerous successful podcasts. He says, “Sports talk radio always meant the world to me. Having an opportunity to reach such a large national audience is something I do not take lightly. While I’m so grateful for the opportunity, my focus will always be on creating captivating and informative content.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. This Thursday (5/26) at 7:00 pm, Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” presents the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts. “The Summer of ’22 – Back to the Beach” kicks off summer in the Garden State and the station’s Eric Scott will lead a panel of tourism officials, local mayors, law enforcement and travel experts. Tourism came roaring back after pandemic restrictions were lifted in 2021, but the surge in visitors has also caused disruptions and chaos in many shore towns, as was seen in Long Branch over the weekend when thousands of partygoers showed up at Pier Village for a pop-up party, leading to a curfew and over a dozen arrests. This year, there is also concern about the impact legal marijuana sales will have on tourism and law enforcement. Scott says, “From wild pop-up parties, groups of rowdy teens taking over the boardwalks and changes in policing laws, towns are trying to avoid a repeat, and provide the best possible experience for vacationing families.”…..The RTDNA is announcing the winners of Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and iHeartMedia Boston’s all-news WBZ-AM wins three awards in the categories of Breaking News Coverage, Best Newscast, and Continuing Coverage. iHeartMedia Boston VP of news, talk & sports Rob Sanchez says, “These awards speak to the professionalism and bravery of our news team, who strive to deliver vital news coverage to those who rely on WBZ NewsRadio each day.”…..D’Annette Roy joins C-SPAN as the network’s new director of legal affairs and business risk management. She will provide legal advice, risk mitigation strategies, and project management acumen while also serving as a value-added partner aligned in achieving C-SPAN’s strategic goals. Roy joins C-SPAN from Black News Channel, where she was the manager of standards and practices.

 

Biden Asia Tour, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Inflation-Recession Fears, Title 42, COVID-19/Monkeypox, and Kellyanne Conway Book Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23). President Joe Biden’s tour of Asia in which he met with prime ministers from India, Australia and Japan; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the global economy; the primary elections for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the high price of gas & food and fears of a recession; the Biden administrations challenge to Title 42 that prevents migrants from entering the U.S.; the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in parts of the U.S. and the spike in monkeypox cases around the world; and former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway’s new memoir 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

Friday, April 8, 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, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Atrocities,” looks back at this past week of 4/4 to 4/8. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSDerek Hunter, talk show host, WCBM, Baltimore; Jim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood OneWalter Sterling, talk show host, “Sterling on Sunday”; Arthur Aidala, criminal trial lawyer/talk show host, AM 970 The Answer, New York and Matthew B. Harrison, associate publisher, TALKERS/law professor, Western New England University School of Law. The show airs weekends 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; KMZQ, Las Vegas;  WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; 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 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.

 

KVI, Seattle to Add Rita Cosby Show to Program Lineup. Programming changes will take place at Lotus Communications’ talk outlet KVI-AM, Seattle “Talk Radio 570” on Monday (4/11). The station will move the Radio America syndicated “The Dana Show” starring Dana Loesch to the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm daypart and will add “The Rita Cosby Show” in the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot. Lotus says, “Cosby is one of the most recognized and respected broadcasters in America who has attained an extraordinary level of success in multiple arenas that few in the media landscape have achieved. Cosby was named Radio Ink’s 2018 Most Influential Woman Legend of the Year and has won six Gracie Awards in radio, including for Outstanding Host and Outstanding Talk Show. She is also a renowned Emmy-winning TV host, who anchored highly rated primetime shows on both FOX News Channel and MSNBC.” KVI program director Rick Van Cise adds, “Dana Loesch has proven to be a great addition to KVI’s nighttime lineup – so much so that we are expanding her show and moving it to an earlier timeslot. We are also thrilled to announce the addition of Rita Cosby who will help KVI listeners wrap up their evening with a deep-dive into the latest news along with powerful and compelling interviews.”

 

Former Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr to Host Afternoon Show on KWTO-AM, Springfield. Beginning Monday (4/11), former Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr will host the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm show on Zimmer Midwest Communications’ news/talk KWTO-AM/K227AO, Springfield, Missouri. The station says that Haahr graduated with honors from the law school at the University of Missouri and practiced law before serving eight years in the Missouri General Assembly, including as Speaker of the House from 2018-21. The station employs another former House Speaker in morning host Tim Jones. Zimmer-Springfield operations manager Tom Ladd says Haahr was a “no-brainer for a station that’s quickly becoming known as the ‘Speaker’s House.’ Elijah brings so much passion for radio and a connection with listeners. His show will be informative, bit it will also be a lot of fun.”

 

Good Karma Brands Announces New Digital Program ‘Good Karma Wrestling.’ Last night (4/7), Good Karma Brands debuted its new digital content venture, “Good Karma Wrestling (GKW),” across its social and digital platforms. The weekly show, hosted by ESPN Chicago’s Jonathan Hood, ESPN Milwaukee’s Gabe Neitzel, and ESPN West Palm’s Brian Rowitz, now streams every Thursday at 7:00 pm ET. Good Karma Brands VP of content Evan Cohen says, “We are extremely excited to launch our first coast-to-coast show with Good Karma Wrestling. Jonathan, Gabe and Brian will bring a fresh insight and fun energy to the show, and nothing speaks to sports and entertainment quite like wrestling.” GKB adds that every “Good Karma Wrestling” show will be viewable to watch back and linked on GKB’s platforms.

 

‘Island Time in the Desert with TMac & Noah’ Joins Up On Game Presents Podcast Lineup. A new podcast joins the Up on Game Podcast Network led by FOX Sports Radio’s LaVar Arrington.  The new show, “Island Time in the Desert with TMac & Noah,” featuring University of Arizona freshman football players Tetairoa “TMac” McMillan and Noah Fifita to the Up On Game Presents podcast lineup. The podcast gives “listeners a front row seat as two student athletes navigate the rigors of college life in the classroom and on the field. The duo will share their thoughts and opinions on the week’s trials and victories, as well as interviews with guests along their journey.” Arrington says, “I’m excited to welcome these young men, who I watched grow up in front of my eyes, to the Up on Game Presents feed. Noah and TMac changed the whole landscape of high school football in the Trinity League – arguably the toughest league in the country. They played a vital role in making Servite High School football relevant again and I believe they will do the same for Arizona. Powerful, impactful, young voices are needed and essential for our youth in this day and age, and I’m proud and honored to welcome Noah and TMac to the Up On Game Presents family.”

 

The Russia-Ukraine War/U.S. Foreign Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 4-8. The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, allegations of war crimes against Russian soldiers, and the U.S. foreign policy combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy, including still-high gas prices, the high cost of food, and the supply chain, followed by the actions of the January 6 Committee 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.

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Lotus Communications’ Seattle All-News Officially Announces New Calls and Slogan. Last Friday (1/28), TALKERS magazine reported the changes included in a Seattle Times piece about the former KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle. Now, Lotus Communications makes it official. The all-news outlet takes on the new call letters KNWN-AM/FM and adopts the slogan “Northwest Newsradio.” The company says that the change was a condition of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s sale of the station – and sister AC KPLZ-FM “STAR 101.5” and talk KVI-AM – to Lotus. Sinclair continues to own and operate KOMO-TV. Lotus says, “Our commitment as the market’s leader in local and global news will not change. The same voices and outstanding news coverage that the Northwest has depended on will remain, as well as the station’s news and weather content sharing partnership with KOMO television.” Station general manager Gary Greenberg adds, “We honor the 95-year history of KOMO radio and its importance to our region. Lotus is fully committed to growing KNWN as the Northwest’s news and information leader by further engaging our community, advertisers and listeners.”

FOX News Channel Marks 20 Years as Top Cable News Channel. Citing data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Media says that its FOX News Channel “has accomplished another historic feat, marking its 20th consecutive year as the number one cable news network in total day and primetime. Since January 2002, FNC has remained the most-watched cable news network across both dayparts with total viewers and in the 25-54 demographic. FNC continued its ratings dominance for the month of January and was the only cable news network to show year-over-year growth in total day viewers, while MSNBC and CNN are experiencing massive declines, both shedding nearly three quarters of their audience.” FOX says that FNC continued to grow its audience share, occupying more than half the audience in total day viewers (55%) and the 25-54 demo (56%) and in primetime across both categories (56% P2+ and 56% A25-54). FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott comments, “I am immensely proud of this landmark achievement as it is a testament to the dedicated teams across FOX News Channel, who are the backbone in making us number one for 20 consecutive years with the most loyal and politically diverse audience in cable news.”

SiriusXM Reports Q 2021 Net Revenue Up 4%. Reporting its fourth quarter and full-year 2021 financial results, SiriusXM says its Q4 revenue was $2.28 billion – an increase of 4% over the same period in 2020 – and its full-year revenue was $8.7 billion – up 8% over all of 2020. Net income for the fourth quarter was $318 million, compared to Q4 2020’s net loss of $677 million. Net income for the full-year of 2021 was $1.31 billion compared to 2020’s net income of $131 million. (The fourth quarter and full year 2020 was impacted by a $976 million non-cash impairment charge associated with Pandora.) SirtiusXM CEO Jennifer Witz says, “2021 was an outstanding year across the board. We added more than one million net new SiriusXM self-pay subscribers for the 10th time in the past 11 years; this growth continues to be sustained by a fifth straight year of improving churn. Once again, we outperformed all of 2021’s public guidance, and now our strong financial position enables us to declare a special cash dividend to our stockholders. Our performance last year is a testament to our strong execution – and staying true to our vision of connecting listeners to the content they love. We collaborated with renowned and emerging creators across our platforms to deliver curated premium content both in- and out-of-car; and delivered value to our advertisers with effective solutions to reach a massive audience of more than 150 million listeners.” The company reports data for two segments – the SiriusXM segment and the Pandora segment that includes podcast platform Stitcher. SiriusXM says that in 2021, Stitcher and the company’s off-platform advertising businesses contributed $348 million of revenue, representing nearly 23% of the Pandora segment’s total revenue. Off-platform revenue, excluding Stitcher, increased approximately $60 million or 36% compared to 2020.

Good Karma Brands and WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee Giving Officer Shot in Line of Duty Trip to Super Bowl XVI. Milwaukee news/talk outlet WTMJ-AM and parent company Good Karma Brands are sending Milwaukee police officer Herbert Davis III, a Cincinnati Bengals fan who was shot multiple times while on duty on January 27, to the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. Davis was doing a welfare check on a person reportedly slumped over in their car. That person got into a struggle with Davis and shot him before stealing his cruiser and driving away. Davis says he’s taking his father with him to the game since his father instilled his love for the Bengals in him. WTMJ vice president Steve Wexler said on the WTMJ afternoon program, “It’s just a token of our appreciation for your service, your commitment, and your inspiration that you’ve brought to all of us.” Good Karma is giving Davis two tickets to the game, airfare to LA, a hotel room and several thousand dollars in spending money.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former WGN-AM late night talk host Nick Digilio launches a new podcast called “The Nick D Podcast” on the Radio Misfits Podcast Network. Digilio tells Rick Kaempfer of Illinois Entertainer, “The podcast will be a lot like the WGN show. Tons of guests that were regulars on my show on WGN, and we cover the world of pop culture. We’ll do all the regular features that we did on the show. I’ll do movie reviews. And I get to swear a little. If you were a fan of the radio show, you’ll like this podcast.”…..Comic Byron Kennedy launches the podcast, “Hot Chicken & Cage-Free Conversation,” the first three episodes of which feature country artists Jimmie Allen, Brett Eldredge, and Lainey Wilson. The podcast is a production of Benztown and McVay Media Podcast Networks and is billed as a “wildly unscripted podcast that will feature special guests ranging from musical artists to industry power players, professional athletes, actors, fellow comedians and more.”…..FOX Sports Radio says it will begin its 22nd annual Super Week coverage on Monday (2/7). Twenty-three hours a day of FSR’s weekday lineup will originate from Los Angeles, including “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”; “The Dan Patrick Show”; “Two Pros and a Cup of Joe with LaVar Arrington, Brady Quinn and Jonas Knox”; “The Doug Gottlieb Show”; “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker”; “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon”; and “The Ben Maller Show.” The network will also present a special live, remote broadcast from Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica on Saturday (2/12) featuring “Up On Game with LaVar Arrington, TJ Houshmandzadeh and Plaxico Burress”; “The Joy Taylor Show”; and “Steve Hartman & Geoff Schwartz.”

January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, Ukraine Tensions, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Deadly Violence Against Cops, Beijing Olympics, Spotify Case, and Whoopi Goldberg Suspended Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/1). The House Select Committee’s investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and Donald Trump’s statement he may pardon those convicted if elected; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, mandates, and school policies; the diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the latter’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the battle for control over Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the rash of deadly attacks on police in numerous U.S. cities; the political sideshow accompanying the Beijing Winter Olympics; Spotify’s handling of musicians pulling their music from the service over podcaster Joe Rogan’s program; and Whoopi Goldberg is suspended from ABC’s “The View” after Holocaust remarks 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

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Sean Hannity Cooperation Sought by House Committee in January 6 Investigation. Texts between FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks star Sean Hannity and Donald Trump staffers before, during the January 6 Capitol attack, and after have been revealed as part of the House Committee’s investigation. Now, the House Select Committee is asking Hannity for his cooperation in its investigation. According to a report in The Hill, the Select Committee tells Hannity it is interested in communications between him and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others, as well as President Trump himself between December 31, 2020 and January 20, 2021. Citing a number of texts, the Committee says it appears Hannity had advance knowledge of Trump’s and his legal team’s plans for January 6. Hannity’s takes and suggestions indicate he was, at least to some degree, at odds with Trump’s beliefs about his January 6 strategy regarding the election certification. The Hill reports Hannity attorney Jay Sekulow says he’s not yet been informed of the Committee’s request but says it would raise “serious constitutional issues.” Regarding that matter, the Committee’s letter states, “The Select Committee has immense respect for the First Amendment to our Constitution, freedom of the press, and the rights of Americans to express their political opinions freely. For that reason, we do not intend to seek information from you regarding your broadcasts on radio or television, your public reporting or commentary, or your political views regarding any candidate for office.” TALKERS founder and First Amendment advocate Michael Harrison states, “In the talk media business, influence is every bit as important as ratings. Sean Hannity has consistently proven to be at the top of the pack in both measurements year after year. Obviously, not everyone agrees with his opinions – that is the nature of our business, not to mention the times. Free speech, politics and democracy are untidy affairs. The role Sean has played and continues to play in being a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the microphone is the quintessential example of just how far our format – talk radio – has come in shaping the history of this era. Fortunately, those of us who know Sean personally recognize him as a man of integrity. Although some refer to his texts as ‘damning,’ I am pleased that the ‘concerns’ he expressed to the White House a year ago put him on the right side of history when it comes down to the real nitty gritty. The rest is the real-world stuff of big-time commercial media positioning. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone when it comes to attacking those who have bravely built this medium to being a lot more than a platform for the low hanging fruit of mediocre music, disingenuous promotion codes and superficial chatter.”

Salem Radio Network Talk Host Larry Elder Won’t Run for California Governor This Year. According to numerous media reports, including one from KNBC-TV, Los Angeles, Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder will not run for governor of California this fall. Elder ran as a Republican in last September’s recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom and of the dozens who qualified to be on the ballot was the Republican with the most votes. It was moot, however, as voters rejected the recall. Elder says he will form the Elder for America political action committee that will benefit Republicans in federal and local elections. In a statement, Elder says, “I ran for governor because I wanted to make a difference. While I may not know what the future holds for me politically, our campaign’s ability to attract millions of votes and millions of dollars in a very short time demonstrates we have a message that resonates with Americans, and I believe we can put that to good use.” The KNBC-TV story notes that Elder for America says Elder’s recall campaign raised about $22.5 million in eight weeks.

CES2022: “Pandemic Pivots.” The pandemic has accelerated trends “that have been simmering for a while and are now coming to a boil,” according to Consumer Technology Association research. 2022 tech spending is forecast to top a TRILLION dollars in the USA alone. And covering CES this week in Las Vegas, consultant Holland Cooke spots opportunities for radio sales. Read more here.

SRN’s Hugh Hewitt Named Contributor for FNC’s ‘Special Report with Brett Baier.’ Washington-based Salem Radio Network morning drive host Hugh Hewitt is named a regular contributor to FOX News Channel’s “Special Report with Brett Baier.” Hewitt was a longtime contributor on MSNBC and he currently writes a regular column for The Washington Post.

TALKERS News Notes. The sports talk radio show “Outkick 360” – hosted by Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow and Paul Kuharsky – recently entered national syndication via Skyview Networks. The company says that the show recently picked up new affiliate WMBH, Joplin, Missouri which joins the growing list of affiliate radio stations carrying the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET program…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces that it is now accepting entries for the 35th annual NAB Crystal Radio Awards, honoring outstanding community service efforts by radio stations throughout 2021. Winners will be recognized at the NAB Show, April 23–27, 2022 in Las Vegas. A panel of judges representing the broadcast industry and community service organizations will review applications and select 50 finalists and 10 winners. The deadline for submissions is January 31 and entry information can be found here…..Newsmax announces it is premiering its new documentary, “Day of Outrage,” tonight at 9:00 pm ET. Newsmax says the program “was produced by Newsmax to accurately and fairly detail the events related to the tragic day of January 6, 2021. The film includes powerful video footage of the protests and riots that took place on January 6, as well as a careful examination of events that led up to that fateful day.”…..ESPN Radio is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. The national sports talk radio platform launched in January of 1992. Senior coordinating producer, content strategy & audio Amanda Gifford says, “This is an incredibly meaningful milestone for our network. Sports radio has evolved in so many ways over the past 30 years and through it all, ESPN continues to be a leader in the space thanks to the dedication and passion of everyone involved behind the scenes and on-air.”…..The Motley Fool announces that its “Motley Fool Money” weekly flagship podcast is now airing new episodes seven days a week. Weekday episodes will focus on analyzing the companies making headlines, bringing a long-term perspective to daily market news, and putting new stock ideas on the audience’s radar. Weekend episodes will feature interviews with special guests and conversations about investing styles, strategies, and psychology. Show host and head of podcast strategy Chris Hill says, “More than ever people are focused on how to achieve financial independence, and we’re excited to provide programming that’s relevant to everyone on the investing spectrum. Gen Xers are thinking about how to retire, Millennials are entering their 40s, and more members of Gen Z are starting to invest every month. Motley Fool Money is going to be a resource for all of them, seven days a week.”…..Baltimore public radio news/talk outlet WYPR-FM “Your Public Radio” is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The station says it will celebrate its platinum anniversary with a variety of in-person and virtual events, special on-air programming, fundraising campaigns and a host of unique activities for listeners all year long. Station president and general manager LaFontaine E. Oliver says, “Our community of members and listeners is the reason that we are so successful. We have one of the best performing sustaining programs in the country with almost 70% of our members giving monthly donations. Their support has allowed the station to grow to the point where we are more than terrestrial radio – our content now reaches audiences on-air, online, on-demand, on mobile and in the community.”

COVID-19, January 6 Investigation/Trump Presser, Filibuster-Voting Rights Battle, 2022 Midterm Elections, Prince Andrew Civil Suit, and Southeastern Snow Storm Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4). The soaring rate of Omicron variant cases in the U.S., the heated debate over in-school learning, and the scramble for COVID tests; the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol attack, the release of texts between Trump staffers and the media, and Donald Trump cancels Thursday’s press conference; the battle in the U.S. Senate over voting rights legislation and the filibuster; the potential change in power in Congress after the 2022 midterm elections; Prince Andrew fights the civil suit filed against him by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre; and the stranding of hundreds of vehicles on I-95 in Virginia after the Southeastern snow storm were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.