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Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Report: iHeartMedia Creating NFT-Based Podcast Network. According to a report by Sara Fischer at Axios Media Trends, iHeartMedia is investing “several hundred thousand dollars in purchasing the rights to roughly a dozen NFTs to create a new NFT-based podcast network.” The story notes that this initiative is “one of the first major media franchises to introduce a podcast slate of characters and voices united across prominent NFT collections.” iHeartMedia EVP of strategy Khalil Tawil says that the company is in talks to invest in some 10 to 15 prominent NFT collections including CryptoPunks, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and World of Women. iHeartMedia digital audio group president Conal Byrne says the company would combine the intellectual property from the NFTs into a content collection it will call the “Non-Fun Squad” universe. “We can world-build for them, creating narratives around them, and bring those stories to life via podcasts.” The programs on the Non-Fun Podcast Network will be hosted by voices portraying various NFT characters. Byrne adds, “This is really pushing the envelope to pressure test the assumptions we have around what is IP, what is a host, and what is talent.”


KIRO-FM, Seattle Launches Fallen Officer Memorial Fund and Online Auction. Seattle news/talk KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM announces the newly created “Fallen Officer Memorial Fund” and online auction benefitting the families of the two uniformed officers killed in the line of duty in Washington State: Deputy Sheriff Dominique Calata of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and Officer Dan Rocha of the Everett Police Department. The online auction that began yesterday and concludes on Friday features such items as Seahawks and Mariners suite tickets, Kraken tickets and lunch with Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke, dinner at El Gaucho with a visit from John Curley, a virtual golf experience at Five Iron Golf with Dori Monson, a round of golf for two at Chamber’s Bay, a Seattle’s Morning News Experience, lunch delivered by Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin, a VIP Paul McCartney concert experience, Mariners All-Star Club tickets with a visit from Jack Stine, a Bellevue Collection “Date Night” package, and a Truce Spa package. Funds received will be distributed equally to the two families through the existing official officer funds. These funds have been set up for the Calata family and the Rocha family by Tacoma-Pierce County CrimeStoppers and Victim Support Services, Coastal Community Bank, respectively. Bonneville Seattle SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “One of our company’s core values is to ‘lift, inspire and help others.’ I cannot think of a more meaningful way to use our voice and resources than to help the families of these officers. Our afternoon host, John Curley, initiated the idea and the natural progression of heart-felt support from the rest of the KIRO Newsradio staff has been a source of great pride for us all at Bonneville Seattle.”


SiriusXM to Broadcast All MLB Games; Adds New Programming. The relationship between SiriusXM and Major League Baseball continues into the 2022 season as subscribers will get access to live play-by-play of every regular season and postseason game. Additionally, SiriusXM provides 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the MLB Network Radio channel. New this season to the lineup is “Unassisted with Jenny Cavnar,” which airs live weekdays at 2:00 pm ET. MLB Network Radio features a simulcast of Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo’s MLB Network show, “High Heat with Christopher Russo” presented by Liberty Mutual, weekday afternoons at 1:00 pm ET, as well as simulcasts of additional MLB Network television programming. A new season of the “Black Diamonds,” podcast presented by SiriusXM and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will debut on April 14, the eve of the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier. It is hosted by museum president and historian Bob Kendrick and this season will look back at integration, the forces that created baseball’s segregation and the people who fought to tear those barriers down and will feature the stories of baseball legends like Josh Gibson, Ray Dandridge, Leon Day and many more.


Russia-Ukraine War, the Economy/Inflation, Hunter Biden Investigation, Obama-Biden ACA Event, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Severe Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/5). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and accusations of war crimes against Russians in the city of Bucha; the state of the U.S. economy and high gas and food prices; the DOJ’s investigation into the international business ventures of Hunter Biden; Barack Obama’s return to the Joe Biden White House to celebrate the Affordable Care Act; the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions and concerns about the BA.2 Omicron variant spreading across the world; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the severe weather affecting the Southern U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.