Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

PodcastOne releases preliminary financial data for the company’s Q2 fiscal 2024 period ended September 30, 2023 estimating revenue for the period will be more than $10.5 million, an increase of 24%.

Cumulus Media will host a conference call on Friday (10/27) at 8:30 am ET to discuss its third quarter 2023 operating results. The company will issue a press release containing a summary of these results before the call at approximately 8:00 am ET.

SiriusXM launches its coverage of the 2023-24 NBA season tonight with the NBA Champion Denver Nuggets hosting LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, followed by the Phoenix Suns visiting the Golden State Warriors on the SiriusXM NBA Radio channel.

Industry News

iHeartMedia Unveils New Twin Cities Pro Basketball Deals

iHeartMedia Minneapolis announces new deals for streaming and radio partnerships with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. As part of this multi-faceted partnership, every Timberwolves game will be available on the newly created Minnesota Timberwolves channel onim the iHeartRadio app. This is the first team with an exclusive streaming channel on the iHeartRadio platform. In addition, sports talk KFXN-FM “KFAN 100.3” becomes the basketball organization’s new flagship radio station for select Timberwolves games and the majority of Lynx games. iHeartSports president Kevin LeGrett states, “We are excited about this partnership and honored to be the broadcast and streaming home of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx. We are thrilled to deliver innovative Timberwolves and Lynx coverage, programming and integrations to millions of their fans across the state and beyond!”

Industry News

Top News/Talk Media Stories Over the Weekend

The negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders over the debt ceiling; the number of migrants applying for asylum in the U.S.; the G7 summit, Volodymyr Zelensky’s participation in the gathering and the Russia/Ukraine war; Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) enters the 2024 presidential race; Donald Trump’s legal battles; the NAACP issues travel advisory for Florida in response to Governor Ron DeSantis policies; and the NHL and NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

— PodcastOne announces that it has secured renewals for several tentpole programs that keep top performing and fan favorite podcasts with the network for the foreseeable future. The podcasts include: “The Adam Carolla Podcast,” “The Jordan Harbinger Show,” “LADYGANG,” “Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe,” and “Court Junkies.” PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “The secret to our success as a network is the strength and longevity of our relationships with our partners in podcasting. In the exciting landscape of digital audio entertainment, being able to continue those relationships with six of our top performing and most beloved programs is a testament to our team’s hard work and dedication.”

— SiriusXM announced a new show inspired by The Last Mile (TLM), a unique in-prison program that’s changing lives through technology-based education by preparing currently incarcerated students for careers upon their release. “The Last Mile Radio,” hosted by the program’s co-founder, Chris Redlitz, and formerly incarcerated musician and audio producer, Eric Abercrombie (known as Maserati-E), premieres on Saturday (3/4). Every week “The Last Mile Radio” will amplify the voices of influencers who are helping evolve the U.S. Justice System as we know it.

— iHeartMedia and the NBA unveil a new slate of team-specific shows coming to the iHeart/NBA Podcast Network. The lineup includes original podcasts from six NBA teams – the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs. iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne says, “We are proud to leverage iHeart’s unmatched scale, reach and digital platform to continue to deliver compelling NBA content to fans. Together with the NBA and its teams, we look forward to bringing even more one-of-a-kind stories and cultural experiences to fans across the country.”

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

— Saga Communications, Inc. will release its fourth quarter and year end 2022 financial results at 9:00 am ET on Thursday, March 9. The company will also hold a conference call on the same day at 11:00 am ET.

— SiriusXM renews the weekly program “Let’s Go!” that stars Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray. It will air each week on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio and SiriusXM NFL Radio channels. Following those airings, the full-length podcast versions of Gray’s extended conversations with Brady and Fitzgerald will be available in the SXM App.

— Audacy’s Cadence13 and Parallel are producing a 15-part podcast series “This Little Light,” created and hosted by Red Hot Chili Peppers founding member Flea. The series is about falling in love with music, music education, and finding beauty in the chaos of the creative process. Flea, co-founder of the nonprofit Silverlake Conservatory of Music, invites musical guests from all genres to talk about how they fell in love with music, including the teachers that guided them, the influences that inspired them, and how the lessons they learned as young musicians have shaped their creativity, resilience, and careers. Guests range from legends to rising stars, and include Rick Rubin, Patti Smith, Thundercat, Margo Price and Cynthia Erivo.

— iHeartMedia and the NBA announce the new podcast, “Maxey On The Mic,” hosted by Philadelphia 76ers guard and 23-year-old Texas native Tyrese Maxey. Maxey says, “I’m thrilled to tip off my new podcast and can’t wait to tap in with my lineup of amazing guests. I’ve always wanted to do something like this and I’m grateful to the NBA and iHeartMedia for giving me this amazing platform.”

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

WABC’s McGuirk Tribute Airs Today. The day-long remembrance of Bernie McGuirk on Red Apple Media New York news/talk WABC-AM & WLIR-FM “77 Talk Radio” began at 6:00 this morning (Wednesday, 10/12). The 65-year-old McGuirk passed away last Wednesday (10/5) from prostate cancer. For the past four and a half years, he and Sid Rosenberg co-hosted “Bernie & Sid in the Morning.” According to Red Apple Media owner John Catsimatidis, who purchased WABC two years ago, “We are airing this all-day tribute to honor our friend and colleague, who loved New York, radio, and his listeners. We’ll have the opportunity to bid farewell to a wonderful man who reached WABC radio listeners around the world every morning with his unique take on the news.” Red Apple Media/WABC radio president Chad Lopez notes, “Bernie’s observations and analysis of world and local news and politics were not only insightful – they were authentic. His brilliant mind, combined with that New York attitude, [gave] listeners what they wanted – the truth; we will miss him.” News anchor/air personality Charles McCord worked with McGuirk during their years together on “(Don) Imus in the Morning” and will appear this morning in the 9:00 hour. Among others scheduled to be part of the tribute are: New York City mayor Eric Adams; comedian/longtime “Imus” cast member Rob Bartlett; sports talk host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo; former “Imus In The Morning” sports personality Warner Wolf; NBA play-by-play announcer Mike Breen; actor/author Chazz Palminteri; Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean; and WABC host Bill O’Reilly. McGuirk joined WABC in 2007 as “Imus in the Morning” producer/on-air contributor. He’d previously been with Imus at New York’s WNBC and WFAN. In 2016, WABC teamed McGuirk and Rosenberg in mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon), before boosting them to morning drive. Rosenberg reflected on McGuirk with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. Listen to their conversation by clicking here.

Round Four of August PPMs Released. The fourth round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; Providence; Norfolk; Jacksonville; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; Memphis; and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets. Three news/talk outlets are included in West Palm Beach’s top twenty (6+). A four-tenths improvement from August 2022 by iHeartMedia’s WZZR (1.8 – 2.2, 6+) coupled with co-owned WJNO’s half-share dip (1.8 – 1.3, 6+) results in “92.1 Real Radio” (ninth to eighth) overtaking “News Radio 1290” (#9 to #11). Also in that Florida market’s mix is Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WFTL “News Talk 850,” which drops two-tenths (1.1 – .9, #13 to #14, 6+). Although they only yield a combined 5.0 (6+), four Hartford news/talk stations crack the top twenty. Leading that group is Audacy’s WTIC-AM, although “News Talk 1080” logs a full-share deficit from August (4.6 – 3.6, 6+), slipping from eighth to ninth; its internet stream is unchanged in share and market rank (.2 and #20, respectively). Meanwhile, Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-AM “The Talk of Connecticut” picks up two-tenths (.8 – 1.0,  #15 to #14, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410 AM & 100.9 FM,” which had been unlisted since April, resurfaces with a .2, (#20, 6+). See Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here.

Charges Dropped Against Subject Of “Serial” Podcast. Baltimore prosecutors yesterday (Tuesday, 10/11) dropped charges against Adnan Syed in the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee, a case that was chronicled in the first season of the podcast “Serial.” Laura Nirider, co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, tweeted, “After the latest round of DNA testing generated results that, like previous rounds of testing, excluded Adnan Syed, he has now been formally exonerated.” A Baltimore judge last month overturned Syed’s murder conviction and ordered him released from prison, where the 41-year-old had spent more than two decades. Circuit judge Melissa Phinn gave prosecutors 30 days in which to decide whether to retry Syed or drop the charges. Syed captured the attention of millions in 2014 when the debut season of “Serial” focused on the case and raised doubts about some of the evidence, including cellphone tower data. Syed served more than 20 years in prison for strangling the 18-year-old Lee. Her body was found weeks later buried in a Baltimore park. More than a decade later, “Serial” revealed little-known evidence and attracted millions of listeners, shattering podcast-streaming and downloading records. Prosecutors failed to tell Syed’s defense attorneys about evidence that would have allowed him to defend himself, including details that established two other people had threatened Lee’s life. In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, the state’s attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, said that recently tested DNA completely exculpated Syed from the crime. She declined to say if any other known suspects may be implicated in the recent DNA testing, saying that the investigation is ongoing.

TALKERS News Notes. Effective next Monday (10/17), Jeff Rowe will join Southern California Public Radio Pasadena-Los Angeles news/talk KPCC and LAist as vice president/programming. Southern California Public Radio chief content officer Kristen Muller comments, “As we reach more audiences, we need to rethink the way we program across multiple platforms. Jeff brings an entrepreneurial spirit and innovative mindset – these are critical skills that will be a huge asset.” Co-founder of Okanjo and Zap2it, Rowe has worked at AOL; Journal Communications; Tribune Media; NBC; and VH1. … Three-year KDWN “The Talk of Las Vegas” program director Steve Hoffman exits the Beasley Media Group news/talk station. … College Station, Texas news/talk WTAW celebrated its 100th anniversary last Friday (10/7). The Bryan Broadcasting-owned outlet began as experimental station 5XB in 1914 and was officially licensed as WTAW by the Commerce Department in 1922. Vice president/general manager Ben Downs comments, “When we followed the [Rush] Limbaugh wave into talk in 1989, it was a great day for the station. We still control the 25+ demos, which isn’t bad for a 100-year-old station – even though we don’t look a day over 70.” … Attorney/Corporation For Public Broadcasting board chair Bruce Ramer will be honored tonight (Wednesday, 10/12) with CPB’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.” CPB president/chief executive officer Patricia Harrison notes, “Bruce Ramer’s award is in recognition of his extraordinary leadership and guidance given to CPB over the nearly 14 years of his service. He led CPB’s support for innovation, interconnection, infrastructure, and access to content over many platforms. [Bruce] was committed to strengthening local, national, and international public media journalism and editorial integrity. On a meaningful level, he always advanced diversity and inclusion personally and professionally.” CPB vice chair Laura Gore Ross adds, “Bruce’s leadership has strengthened CPB and public media when we needed it most. On his watch, CPB was able to distribute $75 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding and $175 million in CARES Act stabilization funding to public media stations. He has provided wise counsel through thick and thin that’s been felt by all.”

SiriusXM To Open Miami Broadcast Center. Scheduled for completion in 2023, the Miami Broadcast Center venue will feature several radio and recording studios, a 50-seat performance space, as well as office space. SiriusXM president/chief content officer Scott Greenstein notes, “We are excited to open our Miami broadcast complex and deepen our ties in such a multicultural and entertainment-rich city. Our Miami facility will feature a world-class performance space for our special events. Its artist-first recording studios will be a destination for major stars and emerging personalities to connect with listeners.” SiriusXM’s other facilities include its New York Rockefeller Center headquarters; West Hollywood studios; and studios/offices in Washington, DC and Nashville.

Front Page News Industry News

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

New York All-Newser WINS An FM Signal. Beginning two weeks from this Thursday (10/27), Audacy New York’s WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” will begin simulcasting on 92.3, a frequency currently occupied by alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3.” At the same time, WINS’ longtime brand manager Ben Mevorach is boosted to vice president of New York news, overseeing WINS and co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM “News Radio 880”; Ivan Lee is promoted to brand manager of both stations. As noted here yesterday (TALKERS, Monday, 10/10) WCBS-AM news director/brand manager Tim Scheld indicated in a staff memo that he’d be exiting the all-news outlet before the end of the year. A new agreement with SAG-AFTRA will allow cross-utilization of anchors and reporters for WINS and WCBS-AM. Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero comments, “At a time when quality journalism and local reporting is so critical, it was the ideal moment to make a strong investment in our news creation and distribution capabilities. Audacy New York’s news organization, anchored by both WINS and [WCBS-AM], is the premier audio news outlet in the city. Now more than ever, we remain committed to serving our audiences as we have done so for over the last 50 years.” Mevorach states, “We are standing at the edge of an exciting new era for news in New York for our team,  advertisers, and – most importantly – our listeners. [WINS and WCBS-AM] will be in more places, covering more stories, creating more original content, expanding our digital footprint, and now offering listeners a crystal-clear FM audio experience. Both brands will retain their distinct identities but will now harness resources with the single mission of better serving our communities and reaching the next generation of news consumers.” Mevorach began his career in Boston as a magazine writer/editor for The Library Scene. Lee previously was operations manager at Talk America, which rebranded to Liberty Broadcasting; became WCBS-AM’s operations coordinator in 2004; WINS’ news editor in 2010; and was promoted to assistant news director in 2012. From November 1985 – December 2005, WXRK (now WNYL) was Howard Stern’s flagship station. The station flipped from CHR “Amp Radio” to alternative in February 2017. Recording its third consecutive down trend (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), WNYL ranks #21 in Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep. WINS (3.0, 6+) and WCBS-AM (2.9, 6+) rank #11 and #13, respectively.

Round Four of August PPMs Released. The fourth round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; and Providence. Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets. News/talk is again #1 and #2 in Milwaukee – but – with a +1.1 from August (8.9 – 10.0, 6+), Good Karma Brands-owned WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” advances from second to first, while iHeartMedia’s WISN “News Talk 1130” drops seven-tenths (10.3 – 9.6, 6+) and shifts from first to second. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s WTKK “106.1 FM Talk” notches a +1.5 (7.3 – 8.8, 6+), progressing from third to first. Simultaneously with Cumulus Media Providence’s WPRO-AM & WEAN “News Talk 630 AM & 99.7 FM” gaining seven-tenths (4.8 – 5.5, seventh to sixth, 6+), cross-town iHeartMedia-owned WHJJ “News Radio 920” dips eight-tenths (1.2 – .4, #15 to #16, 6+). Not only does Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk WGFX vault from #13 to #5, “104.5 The Zone” ties Columbus’ similarly-formatted WBNS-FM for the largest (6+) August 2022 – September 2022 increase of any station from the 42 PPM-markets analyzed thus far (3.5 – 6.1, +2.6). In Austin, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” posts a +1.1 from August (1.4 – 2.5, 6+), inching up from #19 to #16. See Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here.  His overviews of Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford will appear tomorrow.

iHM WPB, Florida Panthers Announce Broadcast Agreement. The pact between iHeartMedia West Palm Beach and the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers is effective through the 2024 – 2025 season. As part of the deal, Florida Panthers games will be aired on sports gambling-formatted WBZT “Sports Radio 1230 The Gambler.” iHeartMedia market president Mark McCauley states, “We’re excited to partner with the Florida Panthers and provide listeners great play-by-play action on ‘1230 The Gambler.’” Meanwhile, Panthers chief revenue officer Shawn Thornton adds, “We’re excited for iHeartMedia West Palm Beach to join the Florida Panthers radio network. With the refresh of their sports radio station ‘1230 The Gambler’ this past summer, we look forward to working with the leading audio media company in America to broadcast Panthers games to our fans in Palm Beach County.” In addition to Panthers play-by-play coverage, WBZT will air a one-hour Florida Panthers weekend show. The eight-station iHeartMedia West Palm Beach cluster includes WBZT, news/talk WJNO “News Radio 1290,” and news/talk WZZR “92.1 Real Radio.”

“The Book of Joe” Podcast Debuts. In their iHeartMedia/Fox Sports Radio “Book of Joe” podcast, three-time MLB “Manager of the Year” Joe Maddon and three-time “Sportswriter of the Year” Tom Verducci provide insight, commentary and discussion on the MLB postseason. According to Maddon, “We are here to tell you what we think, not what we’ve heard. No regurgitation and original thoughts are valued.” Maddon managed in the big leagues for 19 years. He famously led the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years and the Tampa Bay Rays to their first-ever World Series. Five-time Emmy Award winner Verducci is the lead baseball writer for Sports Illustrated; lead analyst/reporter for MLB Network and Fox Sports; and a member of the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame. He comments, “Like its namesake [forthcoming] book, the podcast will be full of surprises and insight. From game strategy to baseball history to leadership lessons – and maybe to some rock & roll and classic cars – we’ll cover more ground than a gold glove shortstop on the most illuminating and interesting podcast in baseball.” The podcast launched yesterday (Monday, 10/10) and will air through the World Series.

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow at 7:00 pm (Wednesday, 10/12), Hearst Television Baltimore news/talk WBAL “News Radio 1090 AM & 101.5 FM” (and sister NBC affiliate WBAL-TV) will air a Maryland gubernatorial debate between Democrat Wes Moore and Republican Dan Cox. WBAL president/general manager Dan Joerres comments, “The production and broadcast of this debate on both WBAL ‘News Radio’ and WBAL-TV is an important part of our ‘Commitment 2022’ political coverage. Putting all of our broadcast and digital sources to work to bring voters across the state this gubernatorial debate is a major part of our continuing effort to help them make informed decisions on election day. The debate will be moderated by WBAL-TV anchor Jason Newton. … The first episode of ESPN’s “The CJ McCollum Show” was posted last Thursday (10/6). The guard of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans had teammate Brandon Ingram as the inaugural guest on the podcast, which will post episodes each Thursday. McCollum formerly hosted Cadence 13’s “Pull Up With CJ McCollum.” … Elsewhere in NBA-themed podcasts, Jam Street Media introduces 15-year-old Sloane Weinstein hosting the bi-weekly “Sloane Knows.” She’ll interview some of the NBA’s biggest names, including the Boston Celtics’ newly-signed Blake Griffin; free agent Dwight Howard; and former NBA players Richard Jefferson and Baron Davis.

 

Supreme Court Sides With KQED On Prop 8 Trial Video Release. The ruling concludes a 12-year effort by a media coalition guided by San Francisco public radio news/talk KQED that paved the way for the release of videotapes from the 2009 – 2010 Prop 8 trial, leading to legalization of same-sex marriage in California. Proposition 8 passed in 2008 and banned same-sex marriage in the state. The subsequent trial, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, questioned whether Prop. 8 violated the U.S. Constitution. Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in favor of the right to same-sex marriage, but said at the time that videotapes of the trial would remain sealed for 10 years. KQED “Political Breakdown” podcast co-host Scott Shafer spearheaded the effort to make the tapes public. Shafer states, “As someone who sat through the entire Prop. 8 trial, I witnessed some very dramatic and moving testimony, as well as riveting cross-examinations. I’m glad others will now get to view this important part of the historical record.” KQED chief content officer Holly Kernan notes, “If our systems work behind closed doors, with no press or public access, we have no idea how decisions are made, nor what arguments are leading to these decisions. KQED wants more sunlight on our legal system, and we will fight on behalf of the public to get that access.”

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.

Features

100 Points! Impossible!

By Mark Wainwright
Talk Host/Voice Talent

 

SYRACUSE — It’s hard to believe in 2022 that NBA teams of the past struggled – sometimes desperately – to sell tickets. Decades ago, NBA clubs would often schedule “home” games in smaller nearby towns to drum up interest. That’s why the Philadelphia Warriors and the New York Knicks were playing a Philadelphia “home” game in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Friday night, March 2, 1962.

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