Cumulus Media’s Dallas news/talk stations WBAP and KLIF-AM have three career opportunities for qualified radio news pros. First, KLIF-AM has an opening for a news anchor on “DFW’s Morning News.” In this position, you’ll work each day with veteran, award-winning anchor, Dave Williams. Candidates must be well read, and able to relate to a 35-64 year old adult and know how to “play the hits of the day” that resonate with them! The position requires extreme reliability and flexibility. Females are encouraged to apply. Second, Cumulus is seeking a news director to work with both stations. It says, “This is not a 9 to 5 weekday desk job. If news runs in your blood, if you get an adrenaline rush from breaking stories, if you are hands-on, and you realize the commitment that it takes to win from you and your team, then this job could be for you. Our ideal candidate should possess an extremely good work ethic and have a history of news department success as a news director.” And third, the company is looking for a managing editor for both stations. This is an early morning position from 2:30 am until 10:30 am. The main job is to make sure the shows on both stations have the content they need to have a successful broadcast. Get more information on all of these positions and apply here.
Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago adds two, one-hour news programs hosted by station news anchor Bret Gogoel to its daily lineup. “The Closing Bell” airs from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm with PM Chicago” airing from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The station says, “Bret Gogoel takes listeners through a wrap of local, national, and global business news as he chats with Chicago’s small businesses, entrepreneurs, and CEOs. Alongside news anchors Kim Gordon, Nick Gale, and Annie Krall, Gogoel shares the latest tech, consumer, and local business news, and why it matters to Chicagoans and their wallets. On the drive home each weekday from 4:00 pm-5:00 pm, host Bret Gogoel and the WLS Newsroom team share Chicago’s local news that matters on ‘PM Chicago.’ From politics and education to crime and health, ‘PM Chicago’ shines the spotlight on local stories that are important to Chicagoans, with reports from Kim Gordon, Nick Gale, and Annie Krall. WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor states, “I am delighted to be adding local news and business programs for our listeners in the afternoons. Bret has risen through the ranks at WLS from a part-time board operator to news anchor and host and he is the perfect fit to helm these new offerings.”
Pictured above at last Friday’s 10th annual KMJ’s Feeding Families Fund Drive is station news anchor Liz Kern (left) and station talk host Ray Appleton – with his dog Elvis (right). The Cumulus Media news/talk station helped raise $620,000 for the Central California Food Bank. In the last decade, KMJ’s Feeding Families Fund Drive has raised a total of over $4.4 million to help feed area families in need. The fundraiser is conducted every year in partnership with the Musson family at agribusiness firm GAR Bennett, which very generously matches 50% of the total funds raised through the drive.
FOX News Media has an opportunity for a full-time news anchor for “FOX News Headlines 24/7” on SiriusXM. The company says, “As a radio news anchor, you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top-notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a day’s notice.” Requirements include at least five years’ experience as a news anchor and strong writing skills & audio editing experience. Find out more and apply here.
iHeartMedia announces that Emmy Award-winning news anchor Larry Mendte is joining news/talk WOR, New York as news director and morning news anchor. In this role, Mendte will anchor news during the station’s “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” and during the late morning “Mark Simone Show.” Mendte takes over the position after news director Joe Bartlett retired from the station on May 31 after 37 years with the WOR. Mendte had most recently been news director and host at WJLP-TV, Middletown, New Jersey “Me-TV.” Mendte says, “WOR is iconic in radio history, and I’m honored to accept this position. Len Berman and Michael Riedel are smart, entertaining, and informative. It’s the morning show I listen to, and I’m elated to now be part of it.” WOR program director Tom Cuddy states, “I’ve been a fan of Larry’s for many years. So, when the opportunity popped up for him to work with Len and Michael, I was truly pumped up that we were able to bring in a talent of his caliber.”
Starnes Media Group announces that it has signed a long-term contract extension with KWAM, Memphis news anchor Ben Deeter. He’ll continue to co-host the award-winning “Wake Up Memphis” show as well as anchor the midday newscasts. Deeter joined KWAM in 2021 after graduating from Cedarville University. He’s the winner of multiple Tennessee Association of Broadcasters awards as well as a regional Edward R. Murrow Award. Starnes Media Group CEO Dalton Glasscock says, “For Ben Deeter this is a job and passion, not a side hustle. Ben is the only local conservative morning show host in Memphis bringing you the news every day. Ben Deeter is giving you the news to keep your families safe, holding our leaders accountable, and bringing humor and good stories to match. KWAM, with Ben Deeter, leading the charge is the only place to go for news you can count on.”
Longtime WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta news anchor Marcy Williams is retiring from the Cox Media Group station after a 31-year career there. Williams began her WSB Radio career as an overnight anchor, and quickly rose through the ranks to become the anchor of the “Atlanta’s Morning News” program. She says, “I’ve spent 30 years as the first female co-anchor of ‘Atlanta’s Morning News.’ With a little back-of-the-envelope math, I calculate I’ve written more than 300,000 stories over those three decades. Now it’s time for me to write a new chapter.” Station news director Amanda Moyer comments, “Marcy has been a leader and an example in our newsroom for more than three decades. Her recent Gracie award win is the perfect cap to her long tenure at WSB as the first, and to this day, the only female lead news anchor on ‘Atlanta’s Morning News.’ She will be deeply missed, but our loss is her granddaughter’s gain.”
Today (1/13) is the last day on the air for KNWN-AM/FM, Seattle morning drive news anchor Gregg Hersholt. He’s retiring from Lotus Communications’ “Northwest Newsradio” after five decades on the air in Seattle. Hersholt says, “Thank you to those who have listened along the way and the many great people I have worked for. I feel truly blessed.” KNWN program director Rick Van Cise says, “Gregg gave every story he covered the importance it deserved. While his are big shoes to fill, we are pleased to announce the appointment of ‘Northwest Newsradio’ reporter Brian Calvert to the morning co-anchor post with Manda Factor. Brian’s engaging personality, news credibility and unique storytelling make him a great fit.” Calvert comments, “It’s been a thrill to be a part of one of the best morning teams ever in radio as a reporter, and now an honor to co-host the broadcast.”
Monday Memo: Podcasting? Think How-Long, Not How-Many. “When I say, ‘Seinfeld quote,’ you think ‘Do the opposite,’” consultant Holland Cooke reckons. In this week’s column, HC borrows another Jerry-ism to warn against “an all-too-common mistake” he hears podcasters make. Read it here.
Pending Business: How Do You Handle Mistakes? Radio sales pro Steve Lapa asks that question after his recent experience with a local company that handled a problem the right way. When the inevitable mistake happens at your station or network, are you “all hands on deck” or do you back away from the issue? He offers a four-point prescription for overcoming this adversity. Read it here.
KNX, Los Angeles Unveils ‘LA’s Morning News.’ Today (10/17), is the debut of the new “LA’s Morning News” program in Audacy’s all-news KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles. The company calls it “the next generation of the iconic brand’s all-news morning show about the stories that matter to millions of Southern Californians.” Longtime KNX News anchor and podcaster Mike Simpson moves to the morning drive daypart as host alongside co-host Vicky Moore and veteran traffic reporter and news personality Jennifer York. The moves follow the retirement of legendary morning news anchor Dick Helton after a 53-year career with 24 years of it spent at KNX. Audacy regional president Jeff Federman says, “Mike, Vicky, and Jen are the perfect team to build upon the legacy of integrity, credibility, and humanity in our great shared experience – the morning commute in LA. We’d also like to extend our gratitude to Dick, as his decades of service to our communities are unrivaled.” Mike Simpson states, “There’s something very special about waking up a region as large and dynamic as this one. It’s about getting people out the door and keeping them company on their commute with what they need to know. I’m beyond thrilled to start working with Vicky, Jen and the entire team. Here’s to multiple alarm clocks!” Simpson most recently co-anchored the afternoon drive news and “KNX In Depth,” and created the hit podcast “I’ve Got Questions with Mike Simpson.” Vicky Moore has hosted mornings on KNX since 2004, and Jennifer York has been guiding KNX listeners through their commutes for more than a decade following a long stint as an airborne television traffic reporter in Los Angeles.
SummitMedia Gives Todd Johnson Oversight of Richmond Market. Wichita market president Todd Johnson adds market president duties for SummitMedia, LLC’s Richmond, Virginia station group that includes sports talk WURV-AM “ESPN Richmond” and four music brands. Johnson continues to serve in the president role for the Wichita market. SummitMedia chairman Carl Parmer comments, “Todd has done an outstanding job developing our Wichita cluster and I am confident he will bring the same passion, dedication and leadership to Richmond.” Johnson adds, “I’m honored to assume this new role for SummitMedia and expand my role in the company. I look forward to working with a new team of broadcast and digital experts, while enhancing the products and services we deliver to our clients.”
TALKERS News Notes. Joining the sale department at Skyview Networks are audio sales professionals Leslie Sturm and Jeana Meade. Sturm joins as vice president, network sales. She comes to Skyview with an extensive background at the agency and advertising sales levels. Meade, a 12-year broadcast audio veteran, is now Skyview’s newest network audio manager. Skyview president of network partnerships and chief revenue officer Jeanne-Marie Condo says, “Leslie and Jeana’s tremendous experience and stellar industry knowledge will be a driving force for sales on both coasts. Each of them has hit the ground running, fitting in perfectly with our current culture while bringing their unique skills forward, and we are thrilled to have them on board to help lift our initiatives to new levels.”…..DailyWire+ Podcast Network names audio industry pro Scot Herd SVP of ad revenue. Herd most recently served as VP of network sales for iHeartMedia. In this position, Herd will oversee the company’s team of in-house ad sales reps selling podcasts including: “Candace Owens,” “The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast,” “Morning Wire,” and the YouTube exclusive show, “The Comments Section with Brett Cooper.” DailyWire+ continues its sales partnership with Westwood One, which continues selling the network’s flagship podcast, “The Ben Shapiro Show.” Herd says, “I’m thrilled to take over this new role at DailyWire+ and to capitalize on our tremendous growth. We are committed to our partners and will go above and beyond to optimize all our advertising campaigns. This sales team is second to none and I am privileged to be in this position. 2023 here we come!”…..Podcast discovery platform Podcast Radio Network, official podcasting content partner of NAB Show New York 2022, announces that it is kicking off Podcast Futures New York, a special event for audio and podcasting professionals held in conjunction with NAB Show New York, on Wednesday (10/19) from 10:00 am-5:00 pm at the Javits Center.
TALKERS PERSONALITY PROFILE: The Late Barry Farber’s Daughter Bibi’s Musical Journey. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian follows the fascinating story of Bibi Farber, the NYC-born daughter of the late talk radio legend Barry Farber on her musical odyssey that took her from the U.S. to Sweden (where she spent her teen years and was part of that country’s emerging alt-rock scene) and back again. Bibi Farber and her two-years younger sister Celia grew up in the Big Apple. Their parents had long been separated and in 1976 the two young girls (13 and 11 at the time) relocated to Orebro, Sweden with their mother, Ulla. “I didn’t want to go, but it wasn’t up to me,” emphasizes Bibi, who would wind up living in Sweden for six years – Celia for eight; both finished high school there. “I went to the United Nations School and loved it. Even though my father saw less of us, he loved that we were living in Sweden. He thought it was a much safer place than New York, which in the mid-1970s, was no place for two teenage girls to live. Sweden was a great place, although we did split with American culture.” Albeit that Bibi didn’t start playing music until becoming a high school student in Sweden, she loved rock music and was self-taught. “I didn’t have any formal music training but was able to play in punk bands,” she points out. “I was a classic rock kid from New York, so I was into artists such as Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Elton John, the Who and the Stones. When I got to Sweden, those artists weren’t big there. They didn’t have any commercial radio as we do in America.” Over the years, Bibi has written and recorded a number of tracks – some that have found their way into major commercials – and has carved out a niche performing for people in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar locations between her home in the Hudson Valley and Brooklyn, New York. She has also mastered the art of stilt-walking and has, upon occasion, incorporated it into her unique performances. To read the entire story, please click here.
Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms, Trump Legal Issues, Xi Jinping, January 6 Hearing, Inflation/Financial Markets, and Ye-Parler Deal Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s use of Iran-made drones to bomb civilian targets in Ukraine; the Herschel Walker–Raphael Warnock debate and the build-up to the November midterm elections; the numerous legal battles facing former President Donald Trump; Chinese President Xi Jinping begins third term, speaks at Communist Party’s 20th Congress; the final January 6 hearing and the committee’s recommendation to subpoena Donald Trump; the high rate of inflation and the mercurial financial markets; and Ye’s deal to acquire conservative media platform Parler were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire Radio Row 2022 Brings Hosts and Guests Together in Washington, DC. Today (9/22) is the second day of the two-day radio row presented by Federation for American Immigration Reform. The 15th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” began on Wednesday with more than 65 talk media personalities interviewing politicians and immigration experts and discussing the hot-button issue of immigration reform and the problems the nation faces with the recent surges of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Pictured above are two of the hosts taking part in the radio row. Above left is WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island personality John DePetro flanked by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and above right is WRVA, Richmond afternoon host Jeff Katz with the media personalities Diamond and Silk.
WPHT, Philadelphia Talent Shuffle Includes New Morning Show; Zeoli Moves to PM Drive. A change in the programming schedule at Audacy’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia includes a new morning drive program titled, “Kayal and Company,” led by Nick Kayal and including Dawn Stensland and Greg Stocker (who also serves as station PD). Current morning drive host Rich Zeoli moves to the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart. Dom Giordano remains in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot and Stensland continues her solo program from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. The changes become effective on October 3. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff comments, “For the first time ever, WPHT will be live and local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm, which further cements this fan favorite as the voice of Philadelphia and a reliable destination for our listeners. We’re excited to welcome Nick, who is trading in his sports background for his passion for politics, to our morning drive, and move Rich and his highly-successful program to entertain and inform listeners as they wind down their days.” Kayal previously worked in the market on sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”
The Ramsey Network Launches ‘Smart Money Happy Hour’ Podcast. A new podcast from the Ramsey Network is launched titled, “Smart Money Happy Hour,” starring Rachel Cruze and George Kamel. The podcast is described as “a mix of solid advice and snark from two friends who also happen to be money experts.” The show joins the Ramsey Network roster of podcasts that includes “The Ramsey Show,” “The Dr. John Delony Show,” “The Rachel Cruze Show,” “The Ken Coleman Show,” “The Fine Print,” “Borrowed Future” and “The EntreLeadership Podcast.” Ramsey Network EVP Blake Thompson says, “Rachel and George have such unique chemistry. One minute I was laughing along with them, the next I was thinking about money in a whole new way. People are going to love the pop culture references and the casual, pour-a-glass-of-wine environment these two have created in this new podcast.” Some of the “Smart Money Happy Hour” topics include: Is Convenience Culture Worth Being Broke?; HGTV: The Network That Brainwashed Us; How to Leave a Royal Legacy for Your Family; and Can the Middle Class Still Afford to Go to Disney?
SmileyAudioMedia Offering ‘Agenda for America’ Election Programming to Stations. As a part of its continuing election coverage, Tavis Smiley, SmileyAudioMedia, Inc. and KBLA, Los Angeles “Talk 1580” announce that they are offering exclusive election programming to urban stations nationwide. SmileyAudioMedia, Inc. and KBLA Talk 1580 are producing a live, four-part series titled, “Agenda for America: An African American Perspective” that is executive produced by Smiley and moderated by KBLA’s radio hosts. The company says these four national conversations featuring influential Black voices will be offered at no charge to other talk- and urban-formatted radio stations and audio platforms across the country. The four programs are: “The State of Black Women in America,” hosted by Areva Martin; “The State of Black Men in America,” hosted by Zo Williams; “The State of Black Youth in America,” hosted by Dominique DiPrima; and, “Why We Can’t Wait: The Urgency of Now,” hosted by Tavis Smiley. The series airs live on Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT on KBLA “Talk 1580.” Smiley says, “KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ is not only a portal for talk and opinions for the progressive African American listening audience, but also a content provider of relevant programming for urban stations around the country. We intend for KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ to be the epicenter of election coverage, addressing local, state and national issues, affecting what matters most to our people.”
Audacy’s All-News WWJ, Detroit Unveils New Anchor Lineup. Beginning on October 3, the news anchor lineup changes at Audacy’s all-news WWJ, Detroit “News Radio 950.” The station says longtime anchor Jackie Paige (right) moves to mornings, joining Jonathan Carlson (left) from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Paige will also host middays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Brooke Allen follows from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Tony Ortiz takes over at 2:00 pm and is joined by Allen from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Ortiz also hosts from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Erin Vermeulen remains the evening news anchor from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “We are excited to announce our new lineup, which is full of news anchors who are seasoned and well known in the community. This new slate will allow WWJ to continue its mission of keeping listeners informed of breaking news and the top stories of the day.”
BIA Advisory: WTOP Maintains Top Biller Spot for 2021. A report from BIA Advisory Services tallying radio’s top billers for last year reveals that Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington stayed in the #1 position with an estimated $70 million in revenue in 2021. BIA Advisory says that figure was an increase of 12.9% from $62 million in 2020. It goes on to say, “This surpasses the overall growth rate of 10.3% that BIA forecasts for over-the-air radio from 2020 to 2021, as the industry started to pull out of the pandemic slump. WTOP-FM is also the only station on this list to surpass its pre-pandemic revenue figure of $69.8 million in 2019.” The spoken word stations on the 2021 list that showed improvement include Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago – up to the #4 spot from #5 in 2020 ($34 million); Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston rose from #6 to #5 ($33.4 million); Audacy’s all-news WINS, New York was up from #9 to #8 ($31.6 million); its sports talk WFAN, New York rose from #10 to #9 ($31.5 million); and its all-news WCBS-AM, New York entered the top 10 at #10 ($30.9 million). The big change from the 2020 list to the 2021 list was Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta falling from #4 to #12. BIA also ranked the top billing by radio companies. You can see both charts here.
Triton Digital Releases August 2022 U.S. Podcast Report. This report from Triton Digital ranks the most popular podcasts in the U.S. for the month of August based on Average Weekly Downloads. Changes from the July 2022 report include audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” rising from #3 to #1, bumping Cumulus Podcast Network’s “Ben Shapiro Show” from #1 to #3. Remaining in the #2 spot is NPR’s “NPR News Now.” You can see the complete list of the top 100 U.S. podcasts from Triton Digital here.
TALKERS News Notes. The New York City Radio Committee, a joint partnership of all the major radio broadcasters in New York City, is developing a marketing campaign to promote the power of radio. The campaign includes radio messaging on over 20 of New York’s most-listened-to stations, digital and social media marketing along with trade media. The multi-media campaign runs through November. The focus of the initiative is on advertising agencies and businesses that purchase advertising. Audacy New York market president and chairman of the New York City Radio Committee Chris Oliviero says, “Radio has been and continues to be a critical and valued part of millions of New Yorkers’ daily lives. These iconic brands, from music to news to sports, provide the soundtrack of the city. This campaign offers a fresh, fun and innovative approach to highlighting the efficacy of radio for media planners and advertisers. The collaboration of the city’s major broadcasters shows a clear commitment to our belief that local radio, consumed on FM or AM or streaming or in podcasts, is an essential tool in any overall marketing strategy in the media capital of the world.”…..iHeartMedia extends the contract of Michael McGuinness through June 1, 2027 and changes his title from EVP – finance and deputy chief financial officer to EVP, deputy chief financial officer of the company and chief financial officer – multiplatform and digital segments…..FOX News Channel names Trace Gallagher anchor of “FOX News @ Night.” Gallagher takes over for Shannon Bream, who was recently promoted to anchor of “FOX News Sunday.” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “When it comes to breaking news coverage, Trace Gallagher is one of the best in the business and having a seasoned journalist at the helm of this hour ensures our viewers unrivaled 24/7 news coverage.”…..“The Todd Starnes Show” adds new affiliate KHTS, Santa Clarita, California to its roster of stations.
Inflation/Interest Rate Hike, NY Sues Trump Org, Trump Documents Case, Immigration/Migrant Transportation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Zelenskyy UN Speech, Iran Protests, and Hurricane Fiona Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/21). Inflation, the rising price of gasoline, and the Fed’s interest rate hike; New York Attorney General Letitia James files a civil fraud suit against Donald Trump, his children, and Trump Org officers; an Appeals Court rules DOJ can resume criminal probe of Donald Trump documents case; the immigration troubles at the U.S.-Mexico border and the transporting of migrants from Southern states to Northern cities; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for president in 2024; Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the UN General Assembly pressing for punishment for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the protests in Iran over the death of a woman in custody of the country’s “morality police”; and the destruction caused by Hurricane Fiona were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Kim Shepard Joins All-News KNWN-AM/FM, Seattle. Radio news pro Kim Shepard joins Lotus Communications’ all-news KNWN-AM/FM, Seattle as afternoon drive co-anchor alongside Rick Van Cise. Shepard has served with public radio news/talk KUOW-FM, Seattle as a senior producer and announcer as well as with iHeartMedia as a news anchor. Van Cise, who also serves as the station’s program director, says, “Kim brings a wealth of radio experience that makes her a perfect fit for our KNWN NewsRadio family.” Shepard states, “I feel so fortunate that my career has led me to the PNW and even more fortunate that I will get to spend my next chapter at KNWN. As I get to know Rick and the whole talented team, it’s become clear that our goals and passions align in the best possible way: leading the future of radio with timely information from trusted voices. I’m grateful to join the chorus.”
Cumulus Media and TuneIn Expand Content Partnership. The expansion of the content deal between Cumulus Media streaming audio service TuneIn includes the addition of 325 podcasts from the Cumulus Podcast Network to the TuneIn platform. In addition to the podcasts, TuneIn will continue to make Cumulus Media’s local sports, news, talk and entertainment programming across 405 owned-and-operated radio stations in 86 U.S. markets available to TuneIn listeners. Cumulus Media chief content officer Brian Philips states, “This is an ideal time to expand our relationship with TuneIn. Listeners win as we offer more ways for them to discover Cumulus’ premium audio content, custom-delivered on their terms and timelines. This partnership advances our audio-first content strategy, as we deliver our best shows and podcasts to TuneIn’s 75 million active monthly users.” TuneIn CEO Richard Stern adds, “TuneIn aims to be anywhere listening is occurring. In announcing this expanded partnership with Cumulus Media, TuneIn listeners not only have access to Cumulus’ 405 local stations in markets across the U.S., but also 325 of Cumulus Podcast Network’s most popular podcasts. This partnership with the premier audio-first media company is a milestone for TuneIn and we are looking forward to building this relationship and giving our listeners the best listening experience.”
‘Seattle Sports’ Adds ‘KJ Wright Show’ for Wednesday Mornings. Sports talk outlet KIRO-AM, Seattle “Seattle Sports” announces “The KJ Wright Show” becomes part of the morning drive “Brock & Salk” show each Wednesday from 8:00 am to 9:00 am. The former Seattle Seahawks pro bowler brings an insider’s perspective to the show’s coverage of the Seahawks and the NFL. Station PD Kyle Brown comments, “The addition of KJ Wright solidifies ‘Seattle Sports’ as the premier outlet for Seahawks coverage in Seattle. Having spent 11 years in the NFL, and 10 playing under Pete Carroll, KJ will share a perspective on the game that’s unmatched in the PNW. We’re ecstatic to have him join the Seattle Sports team.”
Townsquare Media Launches Washington State News Network. This new venture from Townsquare Media Inc. will provide radio stations with “the only source of local, regional, and statewide news that is available to broadcasters and listeners in the State of Washington.” The Washington State News Network offers short-form news reports broadcast on select Townsquare Washington radio stations, including KONA-AM 610 (Tri-Cities), KFLD-AM 870 (Tri-Cities), KIT-AM 1280 (Yakima), and KPQ-AM 560 (Wenatchee), as well as third party affiliates throughout Washington State. These news reports come in the form of eight 90-second reports per day, Monday – Friday. Kevin O’Rorke is vice president of news & ag networks for Townsquare’s Western region and he says, “We are thrilled to bring quality local, regional and statewide news to the many communities in Washington State that are starving for more local information in their communities. Many broadcasters were forced to cut news staff and content during the pandemic, and we couldn’t be more excited to fill that void for both broadcasters in need of the service and listeners wanting the latest breaking news.”
Sid Rosenberg’s Second Book – Sid-izens United – Hits Shelves. WABC, New York morning drive co-host Sid Rosenberg’s second book is published. Sid-izens United: Salacious Spiels, Stories, Suggestions, and Solutions to Withstand a Woke World (Post Hill Press, 2022) is described by the publisher as follows: “The legendary radio personality and equal-opportunity offender delivers authentic and unapologetic takes on the state of everything—from politics to sports, and pop culture to fitness—all with his inimitable style and humor. Phonies and frauds, beware. Whether you’re an athlete, entertainer, or politician—Sid Rosenberg leaves nobody unscathed. Sid helps navigate the tough topics of today, clearly laying out his thoughts and opinions in the one-of-a-kind style and charm that has made him one of the top radio and TV talents in the country. He also provides a ‘call-to-action’ to the reader with his Sid-izen Solutions at the end of each hot-topic chapter.”
Judge Grants Trump Special Master, Trump Rally, Russia-North Korea Weapons Deal, Saskatchewan Stabbings, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, and Truss Replaces Johnson Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. A federal judge grants former President Donald Trump a Special Master for the probe of the Mar-a-Lago documents; Trump holds Pennsylvania rally after President Joe Biden’s address in Philadelphia; Russia enters in to a weapons deal with North Korea as its invasion of Ukraine continues; the deadly stabbing spree by two brothers in Saskatchewan that’s taken the lives of 10 and wounded 18; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; and Liz Truss assumes the prime minister role in Great Britain were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
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, “Slappy Daze,” looks back at this past week of 3/28 to 4/1. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Steve Weisman, founder, Scamicide.com/professor of law, Bentley University; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Todd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; Arthur Aidala, criminal trial lawyer/talk show host, AM 970 The Answer, New York. 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 Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Podcast 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.
Beth Troutman Joins WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Morning Show. Media pro and former congressional candidate Beth Troutman is named co-host of the morning drive program on Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte. The veteran news anchor, multiple Emmy-winning documentarian, and television host joined “Good Morning BT with Bo Thompson & Beth Troutman” today (4/1). Radio One says that Bo Thompson called upon Troutman in 2016 to serve as a correspondent from the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Since then, she’s been a regular guest on WBT, bringing her media experience and personal insight to the conversation with the station’s listeners. Radio One regional VP and Charlotte market manager Marsha Landess says, “I was immediately impressed by Beth from our first meeting. Her contribution as a guest with Bo, and her infectious positivity, has only reinforced that impression. Together, they’re able to speak to the moms and dads and working professionals of Charlotte as generational peers, and we are incredibly excited to have Bo and Beth begin WBT’s second century as our morning team.” Troutman comments, “This is a fantastic opportunity to work alongside Bo Thompson. He is one of the best broadcasters in the business, and I know we’re going to create something really unique, fun, and informative together for the WBT audience!”
New York Festivals 2022 Radio Awards Shortlist Announced. The New York Festivals Radio Awards competition announces the 2022 Radio Awards shortlist across 14 category groups. NYFestivals says, “World-class audio entries created by storytellers from 24 countries around the globe were judged online by the 2022 New York Festivals Radio Awards Grand Jury. Shortlisted entries include audiobooks, dramas, documentaries, breaking news coverage, entertainment, and music specials from radio stations, networks, prominent production companies and independent producers. The United Kingdom led with 75 entries shortlisted followed by the United States with 57, Ireland with 56 and Canada saw 35 entries.” Shortlisted global broadcasters include BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBS News Radio, NBC News, RTÉ Ireland, Deutsche Welle (DW), Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Mediacorp. Prominent companies making the shortlist include HarperCollins Publishers, TBI Media, Radio New Zealand, ABC Radio National, Bloomberg, Intelligence Squared U.S., Lockdown Productions, Fresh Air Productions, SiriusXM, Penguin Random House UK, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Swedish Radio, Unusual Productions, Colorado Public Radio, DCP Entertainment, FM Club, JAZZ.FM91, GoLoud, Magnum Opus Broadcasting, Media 24, Radio Free Asia, Radio-Canada, Religion of Sports, Sky News Radio, Sveriges Radio, USG Audio, Virgin Radio UK, and Wondery. New York Festivals Radio Awards honors storytellers from around the globe. The organization says that since 1957 it has celebrated excellence and innovation across all genres and platforms, keeping pace with industry-wide developments and global trends. The mission of the competition is to honor the achievements of the men and women who make up the global audio storytelling community. All entries in the 2022 competition were judged online by NYF’s Radio Awards Grand Jury of 200-plus producers, directors, writers, and other creative media professionals from around the globe and judged on the following set of criteria: production values, creativity, content presentation, direction, writing, achievement of purpose and audience suitability. Award-winning entries will be announced during the New York Festivals 2022 Storytellers Gala virtual event on April 26. All winners will be showcased on the Radio Awards winners gallery. You can see the shortlist here.
Salem Promotes Jonathan Garthwaite to SVP and Publisher of Townhall Media. Longtime Townhall Media staffer Jonathan Garthwaite is promoted to SVP and publisher, Townhall Media by parent company Salem Media Group. Townhall Media properties include Townhall, RedState, PJ Media, Hot Air, Twitchy, and Bearing Arms. Salem Media Group COO David Evans says, “Jonathan has earned this promotion with his relentless dedication to the success of Townhall Media and his passion for fair politics, together with his strong leadership of the tremendous Townhall Media team. I am sure Townhall Media operations will continue to excel under Jonathan’s leadership; he is a true asset to both his team in D.C. and to Salem Media Group as a whole.” Garthwaite was most recently VP and general manager. He comments, “From the early years incubating Townhall at the Heritage Foundation to the last 16 years of explosive growth at Salem Media Group, it has been the honor of a lifetime to work with all my colleagues. They are simply the best in the political news and analysis business over the past 27 years. There is nothing more satisfying than working hard each day on a mission-driven business with a team of talented writers, marketing pros and digital strategists to fight for America’s future with fairness and truth in political news. Without the executive team and everyone at Salem during the last 16 years of expansion, innovation and business success could not have been possible. Everyone at Townhall Media is grateful.”
FOX News Media Names Caitlyn Jenner a Contributor. Media figure Caitlyn Jenner joins FOX News Media as a contributor. Company CEO Suzanne Scott says that Jenner, a television personality, Olympic gold medalist, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and former California gubernatorial candidate, will offer commentary and analysis across FOX News Channel programming and various FOX News Media platforms. Scott adds, “Caitlyn’s story is an inspiration to us all. She is a trailblazer in the LGBTQ+ community and her illustrious career spans a variety of fields that will be a tremendous asset for our audience.” Jenner states, “I am humbled by this unique opportunity to speak directly to FOX News Media’s millions of viewers about a range of issues that are important to the American people.”
KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City Announces 100th Anniversary Documentary. Heritage Salt Lake City signal KSL-AM will celebrate its 100th year of service to the Salt Lake City region on May 6, 2022. In celebration of the station’s achievements over the past 100 years, Bonneville International’s KSL-TV and KSL NewsRadio are partnering to simultaneously air a special documentary, hosted by TV’s Deanie Wimmer, on the history and legacy of KSL. The program airs tomorrow (4/2) at 4:00 pm. You can see the trailer on Twitter here.
TALKERS News Notes. This weekend’s 2022 NCAA Men’s Final Four in New Orleans will be broadcast by Westwood One, beginning at 3:30 pm ET with “The Final Four Show.” Coverage of the first national semifinal between Villanova Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks will start at 4:30 pm ET, live from Caesars Superdome, followed by the second national semifinal, featuring basketball’s most legendary rivalry, as the North Carolina Tarheels take on the Duke Blue Devils. On Monday, April 4, coverage will commence at 6:30 pm ET with the pregame show, “Championship Monday,” followed by the NCAA Men’s Championship Game broadcast at 7:30 pm ET. Westwood One will also broadcast all three games in Spanish. In addition, Westwood One will provide complete play-by-play coverage of the NCAA Women’s Final Four and Championship Game from Minneapolis…..SiriusXM, the exclusive audio broadcaster of the Masters Tournament, announces expanded broadcast plans for Masters week, April 2-10. SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “The Masters is always such a special event, and we are excited to deliver an exceptional level of coverage to our listeners again this year. We’ve added several distinguished voices to our play-by-play team, expanded our coverage to include the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Par 3 Contest, and will present multiple shows hosted by players competing this year and those who have won in years past. Our subscribers will get an unparalleled perspective on the Masters before, during and after the Tournament.”…..Shining City Audio, a history-focused podcast studio joint venture between Audacy’s C13Originals and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham, announce “Reflections of History,” a short-form daily podcast series in which Meacham reflects on critical moments in global history and how they continue to impact the world today. Every weekday, Meacham will guide listeners on a brief historical journey through an event which occurred on that date, offering a glimpse into the past as well as a guide for the present. “Reflections of History” will launch on April 4 with the first episode marking the anniversary of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)’s creation on April 4, 1949…..The Alliance of Maryland Podcasts announces the 2nd Annual Maryland Podcast Awards! These Awards will recognize the best in podcasts from across Maryland. There are three phases to the contest: April 1-14: Public Nomination Phase; April 18-May 1: Public Voting Process; and May 11: Announcement of Winners. To be eligible, a podcast must be produced in the state of Maryland or by residents of the state of Maryland. The eligibility period runs from April 1, 2021-March 31, 2022 and the categories are: Podcast of the Year, Podcast Host of the Year, Best News Podcast, Best Sports Podcast, Best Lifestyle Podcast, Best Entertainment Podcast, Best Interview Podcast, Best New Podcast, Best Produced Podcast, Best Video Podcast, Best Fiction Podcast, Best Politics Podcast, Best Podcast Social Media Feed, Best Podcast Twitter Feed, Best Podcast Instagram Feed, Best Podcast Facebook Page, and Best Podcast TikTok Page.
The Russia-Ukraine War Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 28 – April 1. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the rest of the world was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy – including high gas prices, inflation, supply chain breakdowns and labor shortages, followed by the BA.2 Omicron subvariant causing COVID-19 and the relaxing of mask and gathering policies around the country 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.
‘SuperTalk 99.7 WTN’ Has News Anchor Opening. Nashville news/talk outlet WWTN-FM “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” is seeking a live and local full-time news anchor. The Cumulus Media station says, “We’re looking for a great sounding news anchor that is ready to hit the ground running! Creative writing, use of audio, strong delivery, and the ability to cover breaking news are critical. Key responsibilities for this position include: news anchoring, street reporting, interviews, assisting in booking guests for talk shows, collecting audio from multiple sources, working news studio board, cover breaking news and weather, regular meetings with program director and news director, Must be able to thrive under deadlines every half hour. See more about this position and apply here.
KMOX, St. Louis Talk Host Charlie Brennan to Retire. Longtime KMOX, St. Louis talk radio personality Charlie Brennan announced to his listeners on Monday (3/28) that after nearly 34 years on the station, he will retire from his radio gig after his May 12 program. The Audacy station posted a story about Brennan’s retirement on its website that notes Brennan was hired in 1988 to work evenings and weekends and that, within two years, he was hosting the mid-morning show where he’s been ever since. It also recognizes Brennan’s community efforts, especially his local clean-up projects. In 2020, Brennan launched a four-day KMOX campaign raising $85,000 for Cardinal Children’s Hospital with assistance from actress Jenna Fisher, singer Michael McDonald, talk show host Andy Cohen, Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and comic Nikki Glazer. Over the years he’s helped raise funds and distribute supplies for flood victims both in the St. Louis region and other parts of the country; influenced legislation regarding traffic cameras, medical benefits, and food vendors; plus he’s organized five campaigns sending care packages to troops serving overseas. Brennan is the author of four books. Brennan also is a host of KETC-TV, St Louis’ “Donnybrook” program, among the highest-rated, locally-produced talk shows on PBS, a program he will continue to be a part of.
Compass Media Networks Promotes Nancy Abramson to SVP Sales & Content. Radio syndication pro Nancy Abramson is promoted to senior vice president of affiliate sales and content for Compass Media Networks. Abramson, who joined the company in 2014, will continue to be based out of the company’s New York office and will continue to spearhead its affiliate sales and affiliate marketing for select entertainment programming, including “DeDe in the Morning,” “Anna & Raven,” as well as services, including the Yamanair platform. Abramson comments, “The most important part of any job is that you are in a position where you admire, learn, and are stimulated by the people you work with – executives, colleagues, and clients. And if you are in sales, having great products to sell makes the job even more rewarding. I have all that at Compass Media Networks.” Prior to joining Compass, Abramson served as executive director of the Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal Radio Networks.
Mai Martinez Named Morning Co-Anchor at Chicago’s WBBM Newsradio. Television news pro Mai Martinez is named morning co-anchor and reporter for Audacy’s all-news WBBM Newsradio (WCFS-FM/WBBM-AM), effective April 4. In this role, Martinez will spend much of her time in the field, covering the diverse communities of Chicago, while also teaming with Cisco Cotto each morning from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Audacy Chicago regional president and market manager Rachel Williamson says, “This is a dream team of two experienced, talented journalists. Mai has a knack for uncovering the details that resonate with the people of this city. Together, she and Cisco have a passion for news plus warm and inviting voices that will greet our listeners each and every morning.” Prior to this role, Martinez spent 14 years as a general assignment reporter and weekend anchor at WBBM-TV. She comments, “Like so many Chicagoans, WBBM Newsradio has been a constant in my home and car for years. I’m honored to join such a talented team of hardworking and trusted journalists and continue the important work of informing and serving our community.”
Westwood One and NFL Renew Audio Media Partnership. Radio syndicator Westwood One and the National Football League announce the extension and expansion of their partnership with a new multi-year agreement. Westwood One, the official network audio broadcast partner of the NFL for more than 35 consecutive seasons and 50 years overall, will continue to provide play-by-play coverage for “Monday Night Football,” “Sunday Night Football,” “Thursday Night Football,” plus Thanksgiving Day, select international games, and the entire postseason including the Super Bowl. New elements of the deal include: Westwood One’s NFL primetime game broadcasts will be available free to fans on affiliated stations’ primary digital platforms and on the NFL App; Westwood One will offer expanded coverage of NFL tentpole events throughout the year, including NFL Honors, NFL Combine, NFL Draft, and NFL Schedule Release; and Westwood One and the NFL will explore creating new alternate game broadcasts in addition to the traditional Westwood One play-by-play. Westwood One president and Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes says, “What an honor it is for Westwood One to continue our multi-decade programming relationship with our iconic NFL partners by extending our exclusive network audio broadcast rights. Equally exciting is the opportunity to further grow our NFL fan base by expanding our relationship to include digital distribution rights as well as innovative, new content opportunities.”
Todd Starnes Show Gets Praise from Donald Trump. Pictured above is nationally syndicated talk radio host Todd Starnes (right) providing commentary from Donald Trump’s Commerce, Georgia rally on Newsmax TV. Starnes, who also spoke at the rally, says Trump, who has been a regular guest on his program, has praised his show.
Save a Life, Maybe Your Own. Radio pro and consultant Jon Quick writes in a piece for TALKERS magazine today not about programming talk radio as he’s done recently, but about a simple test he took that likely extended his life. Quick recently underwent quadruple bypass surgery after a heart scan revealed serious blockage in several of his arteries. Thanks to the test, he’s on the mend. And now, he’s an evangelist for this simple heart test. Read more here.
Audacy Launches Two New MLB Podcasts. A partnership between Audacy’s sports podcast studio and Major League Baseball results in the launch of two new programs: “Inside the Monster” and “Beat the Streak Daily: Inside the Hits.” “Inside the Monster” is a collaboration with the Boston Red Sox, hosted by Steve Perrault and Joey Copponi, that will have unprecedented access to Red Sox players, club personnel, reporters, front-office and beyond. Inspired by MLB’s popular “Beat the Streak” fantasy game where fans complete by picking players they think will get a hit each day in pursuit of breaking the all-time hitting streak record of 56 games, “Beat the Streak Daily: Inside the Hits” breaks down each day’s leaderboard and looks at stories that are developing around hitting. It’s hosted by WSCR, Chicago personality Matt Spiegel.
Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Midterms/ Trump & the GOP, and Will Smith-Chris Rock Incident Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the possible poisoning of Ukrainian negotiators, and blowback over President Joe Biden’s saying Vladimir Putin must not stay in power; high gas prices and inflation pushing consumer retail prices up; concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant; federal Judge David Carter issues ruling that Donald Trump “more likely than not” tried to subvert the 2020 election; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Townsquare Media Reports 2021 Q4 Net Revenue Up 1.9%; Full Year Net Revenue Rises 12.6%. The 2021 fourth quarter and 2021 full year financial report from Townsquare Media reveals Q4 net revenue of $110.6 million, an increase of 1.9% over the same period in 2020. For the full year of 2021, net revenue was $418 million, up 12.6 % over the full year of 2020. Townsquare Media reports its financial information in three primary segments: 1) Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions, which includes the company’s subscription digital marketing solutions business called Townsquare Interactive. 2) Digital Advertising includes the digital advertising business sold as Townsquare Ignite, and 3) Broadcast Advertising includes the company’s local, regional, and national advertising products and solutions delivered via terrestrial radio broadcast, as well as other miscellaneous revenue that is associated with the broadcast advertising platform. Company CEO Bill Wilson says, “Beginning with our 2021 year-end reporting, we have re-segmented our business to provide greater visibility for our existing and prospective investors. Importantly, this re-segmentation will highlight the profit characteristics of our digital platform, which is essentially equal to those of our broadcast platform, each with profit margins of approximately 30%. Given this new and more detailed information, Townsquare should be viewed and valued as a Digital First Local Media Company, rather than being painted with a traditional broadcast radio brush. While we view local radio as an extremely valuable asset with significant and attractive cash flow properties, unparalleled consumer reach, and an important and trusted local connection to our audience, it is not our primary growth driver. Our growth engine is and will continue to be digital, which fueled our transformation into a Digital First Local Media Company. With nearly half of our total revenue and profit coming from digital today, we have a strong growth engine that will drive significant and consistent growth in the coming years. It is our hope and expectation that given this new more detailed information, Townsquare will be afforded a sum-of-the-parts valuation that gives credit to our digital assets, credit which to date we have not received.” For the full year of 2021, Townsquare reports net income of $18.8 million, compared to a net loss of $80.6 million reported for the full year 2020, which the company says was primarily driven by approximately $109.1 million of non-cash impairment charges, primarily related to its FCC licenses.
Saga Communications Q4 Net Revenue Flat; 2021 Full-Year Net Revenue Up 13.1%. The company reports 2021 fourth quarter net revenue of $29.2 million, basically flat compared to the $28.8 million reported for the fourth quarter of 2020. Net income for Q4 of 2021 was $3.7 million compared to $2.3 million reported for the same period in 2020. For the full year of 2021, Saga Communications reports net revenue increased 13.1% to $108.3 million compared to $95.8 million for the full year of 2020. The company reports net revenue for 2021 of $11.2 million compared to the net loss of $1.9 million reported for the full year of 2020. Saga says its balance sheet reflects $54.8 million in cash on hand as of December 31, 2021 and $56.2 million as of March 7, 2022.
KOA, Denver Morning Personality April Zesbaugh Announces Retirement. “Colorado’s Morning News” co-host April Zesbaugh announces that she’s retiring from iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver in the coming months after a 30-year broadcast journalism career that includes 25 years with KOA. Zesbaugh has co-hosted “Colorado’s Morning News” since 1996 and is one of the longest running news personalities in Colorado. She comments, “Despite my 2:30 am wake-up call for the last 30 years, I feel very fortunate for every second in front of the KOA microphone. It’s time to hang-up my headphones to pursue more family time, play more tennis, travel in our RV and see what it feels like to sleep without an alarm clock.” Zesbaugh is the winner of one national and numerous regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalism excellence by the Radio Television Digital News Association, as well as countless awards for “Colorado’s Morning News” from the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the Associated Press. She has also been an influential member of the Denver community and has emceed numerous charity events, including those focused on mental health, Alzheimer’s disease, the challenges of single mothers and animal rescue. KOA program director Greg Foster says, “April is one of the most recognizable and popular voices in Colorado and has set a professional standard which has contributed to the success of KOA. While we will miss our friend and colleague, April has earned the opportunity to enjoy her retirement.” Zesbaugh adds, “I’m grateful to Jerry Bell, former news director of KOA, for hiring me – calling me during my honeymoon to offer me the job – and to the current news director, Kathy Walker, and the KOA news team who have been with me every step of the way in helping to make me a better broadcaster and journalist. I’m leaving our listeners in good hands with my co-host, Marty Lenz. He has great news chops and asks really smart questions.”
Chris Hansen is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Multi-platform reporter and predator-hunter Chris Hansen is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” For nearly four decades, Hansen has been on the front lines of crime, enterprise reporting, and breaking news all over the world. Most recently he was an executive producer and reporter for the “Onision: In Real Life” and “Unseamly…The Peter Nygard Investigation” series now on Discovery+ and the current top-rated podcast “Predators I Have Caught with Chris Hansen.” He has also been host and correspondent for the syndicated program “Crime Watch Daily” as well as “Killer Instinct on ID” and “Dateline NBC.” He created the groundbreaking investigations, “To Catch A Predator,” among others. These investigations are responsible for exposing some 400 men attempting to meet children online for sex. Hansen has been honored with 10 Emmys, five Edward R. Murrow awards as well as excellence in reporting by the Overseas Press Club. He also has a substantial digital presence including a YouTube channel, which has more than 375,000 subscribers and 25 million views. The deep-dive conversation between Harrison and Hansen covers two major areas – the rapid evolution of media (including the tenets of building a YouTube channel) to the scourge of crime on our city streets as well as the mean streets of cyberspace where sexual predators continue to prowl for children and young women. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
SRN’s Eric Metaxas Broadcasts from National Religious Broadcasters Conference. Pictured above (at right) is Salem Radio Network host Eric Metaxas broadcasting his program live from the National Religious Broadcasters conference from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Pictured with Metaxas are U.S. Congressman Allen West (left) and Rick Green, founder of Patriot Academy (center). NRB 2022 continues through this weekend.
PodcastOne Joins Top 10 Podcast Publishers. According to data from podcast metric company Podtrac, PodcastOne is ranked #8 on the list of Top Podcast Publishers. Podtrac ranks top publishers based on unique audience counts. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “Being recognized by Podtrac with inclusion on the Top Publishers list is a testament to the hard work of the PodcastOne team both behind the mic and behind the scenes. Our hosts are delivering top-notch entertainment and providing content that is resonating with listeners as is evidenced by the growth in audience numbers across the board.” PodcastOne says its growth “comes on the heels of the successes and strengths of tentpole podcasts ‘Baby Mamas No Drama’, ‘Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe,’ ‘The Jordan Harbinger Show’, ‘LADYGANG’ and ‘The Adam Carolla Show,’ as well as acquisitions of top-performing programs such as ‘Coffee Convos,’ ‘True Crime All the Time Unsolved,’ and ‘This Is MONSTERS,’ which all saw significant audience growth since joining PodcastOne.”
JVC Broadcasting: ‘Radio is Working and Radio Works!’ Long Island-based JVC Broadcasting is sending a message to the industry – and beyond – that its recent hiring spree shows that the radio market is a good place for job seekers. JVC says that this January, it began a massive recruitment campaign using its local radio stations and social media platforms and the response was overwhelming. JVC announces that is has hired or internally promoted 16 media and entertainment professionals companywide. JVC president and CEO John Caracciolo states, “The current radio market is great for employment. There was a lot of trepidation for media companies in 2020 and 2021. People wanted to see how things would work out and if the radio business would bounce back, and it did stronger than ever. The most important and most rewarding investment an entrepreneur can make isn’t a new client or a cool piece of equipment, it’s your team of employees. I have built this business by surrounding myself with fantastic people who are visionaries and leaders. If all your employees become entrepreneurially minded or leaders in their own right, your organization will grow even faster. And the coolest thing about this entire recruitment campaign is we did all the outreach using only our local radio station assets! So yes, radio is working and radio works!”
Russia-Ukraine War, House Omnibus Bill, Gas Prices/Inflation, Biden Cryptocurrency Order, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and MLB Season Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/9). Russia’s ongoing invasion of the Ukraine and the West’s reaction; the U.S. House passes an omnibus bill that would include $14 billion in Ukraine aid; the soaring price of gas at the pump and high consumer retail prices; President Joe Biden signs executive order to investigate risks and opportunities of cryptocurrency; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases and the rolling back of mask mandates; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the failing negotiations between MLB owners and players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Monday Memo: But Wait, There’s More! “Are you making these six common on-air mistakes?” consultant Holland Cooke asks in this week’s follow-up to last week’s column. HC calls these “simple techniques that make your show more inviting, user-friendly, and memorable.” Read more here.
Pending Business: “F” is for Frequency. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says, “The more social media I consume, the more I see the same ads over and over. Many advertisers do not bother changing creative. Others just update slightly. But the repetition is there, every day, non-stop.” He says local direct sellers must continue to show how a radio campaign can deliver targeted reach AND frequency more effectively than any other medium. Radio advertising is adaptable in ways other advertising is not. “With the right amount of repetition and updated copy with a solid call to action” radio is more effective than any other medium. Read his column here.
iHeartMedia Names Bloomdaddy Afternoon Host on WTAM, Cleveland. Three months after the passing of Cleveland talk radio icon Mike Trivisonno, iHeartMedia announces that David Blomquist, a.k.a. Bloomdaddy, is the new afternoon drive talk host on heritage news/talk outlet “Newsradio WTAM 1100, The Big One.” Bloomdaddy has been the morning show host at the company’s WWVA, West Virginia, for the past 17 years. The program was syndicated regionally to stations in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Akron, and Parkersburg, West Virginia. Bloomdaddy will now call WTAM 1100 his home. iHeartMedia says the newly created Cleveland-centric, issues-based afternoon show will feature broadcasting veteran Carmen Angelo, news reports from Julie Holiday, and regularly scheduled traffic reports from Olivia Muzica. iHeartMedia Cleveland president Keith Hotchkiss says, “We’re thrilled to introduce Bloomdaddy to WTAM and the city of Cleveland. His passion for sports, his quest for information, and his commonsense approach to talk radio is the perfect combination for afternoon drive on the legendary WTAM.” Bloomdaddy comments, “I’m thrilled to launch this new show on a station that means so much to Cleveland. From the minute I turned the mic on at WTAM, it’s felt like home. I look forward to having impactful conversations with my new radio family and learning even more about this incredible city.”
Bryan Suits Named Morning Host at KTTH, Seattle. Military veteran and talk radio personality Bryan Suits is back on the radio as morning host at Bonneville’s news/talk KTTH-AM, Seattle. Suits was an evening host on sister talk outlet KIRO-FM from 1999 through 2002. He’s also hosted at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego and KFI, Los Angeles. He hosts a podcast and is a frequent guest on FOX Business. Suits says, “When we moved back to Western Washington, the last thing on my mind was radio. After filling in on KTTH mornings, I realized that I was born to do this. This is where I started and found my voice. Someone has to reflect what the sensible people are thinking and thankfully KTTH is doing that. I’m humbled and grateful to be part of the team that tells the truth every day.” Bonneville SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “KTTH is the region’s leading conservative talk station because of our passionate, local hosts. Bryan Suits makes us even stronger. As we head into the midterm elections, KTTH is poised to make some waves.”
Erin Vermeulen Promoted to Evening News Anchor on WWJ, Detroit. Radio news pro Erin Vermeulen is being promoted to evening news anchor at Audacy’s all-news WWJ, Detroit “NewsRadio 950.” She’d been serving the station as writer and editor for the station. WWJ notes that her career has taken her to the Cairo, Dubai, Oman and South Africa before returning to the United States and working at KFI, Los Angeles as a member of “The Bill Handel Morning Show” in 2015. Vermeulen says, “I am really excited to get back to my radio roots as a news presenter at one of the most iconic stations in the country. I am also very grateful to work with such talented and extraordinary people at WWJ. It is great to be back on the airwaves in my hometown, where I started my career more than 20 years ago.” Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “Erin is well connected to the community and has a number of great ideas to keep listeners informed about the top stories and events happening across metro Detroit, the state and the country. We are excited to promote Erin to anchor and look forward to hearing her voice on WWJ.”
WGY, Albany to Celebrate 100th Anniversary with Special Broadcast and Podcast. Albany AM WGY will celebrate its 100th anniversary on air on February 20 with a number of special presentations, including a live celebration at 1:00 pm that day. On January 31, iHeartMedia began presenting the podcast series, “Wireless: 100 Years of WGY.” The program is hosted by WGY news anchor Mike Patrick and features intimate and candid interviews with many familiar WGY voices, with new episodes released weekly. On February 20, many past and present hosts, news anchors and members of New York’s Capital Region will take part in the special live event. A retelling of radio’s first radio drama, “The Wolf,” will also be presented live from the Kenmore Ballroom in Albany where WGY has a history of broadcasting from going back to 1923. The event at the Kenmore begins at 3:00 pm with a lecture from Chris Hunter from the Museum of Innovation and Science. WGY program director Jeff Wolf says, “It’s an honor and huge responsibility to lead an institution of innovation and community service such as WGY into its next 100 years. We’re looking forward to highlighting our first 100 years and commemorating important events in history throughout 2022.” iHeartMedia Albany SVP of programming John Cooper adds, “As a longtime Capital Region resident, WGY has had an impact on my life since the early 60s. Starting as a listener, it has been an honor and privilege to have been able to work directly with some of the great news/talk programmers and personalities over my last 22 years. 100 years of service to this community is an amazing milestone. WGY is the go-to station when you need to know.”
‘The Next Great Podcast’ Winner Named. The winner of the second annual “The Next Great Podcast” contest from iHeartMedia and Dan Patrick, in partnership with Tongal, is, “Hookergate: Criminals & Libertines in the South,” from Dr. Lindsay Byron. Byron is a former English professor, Southern historian and longtime stripper turned full-time artist, storyteller and community leader. “Hookergate: Criminals & Libertines in the South” takes listeners back in time to 1977 when a high-profile prostitution ring involving 11 businesses in three states was the most-talked-about headline of the day. The podcast combs through the dusty archives of the Danville Register & Bee, which were carefully clipped and preserved by Lindsay’s aunt’s mama, who held a familial connection to this web of crime. The program shares unforgettable colorful quotes from local reporters and unbelievable but true dramatic scenes pulled straight from the police reports. It’s all brought to life by Byron and presented alongside present-day interviews with individuals from the older Southern generation, who remember the madness as it unfolded in real time.
TALKERS News Notes. Clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner celebrated her 25th anniversary show with her February 5 episode of “The Rational Basis of Happiness.” Dr. Kenner tells TALKERS she enjoys the unique connection that only radio provides and is looking forward to her 26th year on air of her syndicated show. “The Rational Basis of Happiness” is distributed via Talk Media Network…..Sports talk personality Kevin Dunn leaves Genuine Austin Radio’s “The Horn” (KTXX-FM/KTAE-AM/W270CO) in Austin for a full-time position outside the radio business and Mike Hardge joins the station to co-host afternoons with incumbent host Rod Babers.
COVID-19, Ukraine Tensions, January 6 Investigation, Electoral Count Act, Spotify-Joe Rogan Controversy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad and the Canadian truckers’ protests paralyzing Ottawa; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and former Vice President Mike Pence’s deviation from Donald Trump’s stance on the day’s events; the re-writing of the Electoral Count Act led by Senators Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski; the diplomatic tensions over Russia’s military build-up; Spotify supports Joe Rogan but deletes numerous episodes of his podcast after racially tinged comments contained within them resurface; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the politics and COVID issues surrounding the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.