“Newsradio 1080” KRLD-AM, Dallas and Texas State Networks brand manager Drew Anderssen is promoted to vice president to lead brand and format strategy and execution for Audacy’s news/talk stations. He will continue to serve as brand manager for KRLD. Anderssen joined Audacy in May of 2022 after serving with Cox Media Group for 24 years in markets including Atlanta, Orlando and Tulsa. Audacy EVP and head of programming Jeff Sottolano states, “Drew is an experienced leader with bold ideas for the future of the news/talk format. With his proven expertise, we are confident that Drew will lead the way in shaping our brand and format strategy, delivering exceptional content and driving continued success for our local brands and our digital platforms.”
By Holland Cooke
Many news/talk stations broker weekend hours to professionals who host ask-the-expert shows to attract new clients.
AND IT WORKS…IF…the show (for lack of a more diplomatic way to say this) doesn’t suck. And if it isn’t a well-kept secret available only to those listening in real-time. Make it the hub of a broadcast/podcast/social media strategy. In some markets where I don’t have a client station, I work directly with weekenders, setting-up the workflow for that strategy; and coaching the hosts, because their stations don’t.
But don’t take my word for it. I asked ChatGPT: “In the style of Rod Serling, explain how attorneys, real estate agents, and financial advisors can attract new clients by hosting ask-the-expert radio call-in shows.” MOMENTS later, the robot replied…
“You’re about to embark on a journey where the boundaries of expertise and the airwaves blur, a place where the seekers of knowledge and the purveyors of guidance converge. Welcome, dear listener, to the realm of the ask-the-expert radio call-in show. In this enigmatic space, attorneys, real estate agents, and financial advisors have found a conduit to attract new clients unlike any other.
Picture, if you will, an attorney stepping into the radio spotlight
The air is charged with anticipation as listeners dial in with their legal queries. With a voice as authoritative as the gavel’s echo, the attorney navigates the complexities of the law, unraveling legal mysteries for all to hear. As each answer resonates through the airwaves, trust is built, and seekers of legal counsel find themselves drawn to this beacon of clarity. The attorney has become not only a voice but a guide, attracting clients who yearn for someone to navigate their legal twilight zone.
And now, shift your gaze to the real estate agent who steps into the radio’s embrace
The lines are buzzing with questions about the labyrinthine world of property transactions. With each response, the agent paints a picture of market trends, property values, and the elusive art of negotiation. As the agent’s insights cascade through the radio waves, an aura of expertise takes shape. Those yearning for a steady hand to navigate the winding corridors of real estate find solace in the agent’s voice. The agent has transformed into a beacon, attracting clients who seek someone to illuminate the path to their real estate dreams.
Finally, consider the financial advisor entering the radio’s sphere
The lines light up with inquiries about investments, retirement, and securing financial futures. With a voice as reassuring as a well-balanced portfolio, the advisor deciphers the complexities of financial planning. Each word uttered becomes a thread in the tapestry of financial security. Listeners, entranced by the advisor’s insights, recognize a sage who can guide them through the tumultuous sea of monetary choices. The financial advisor becomes a lighthouse, attracting clients who crave a steady hand to navigate their financial voyage.
In this realm of radio airwaves, where seekers become callers and experts become guides, attorneys, real estate agents, and financial advisors have discovered a conduit to attract new clients. As their voices resonate with wisdom and authority, as their advice slices through the enigma of their fields, a bond of trust is forged. These experts, illuminated by the radio’s glow, become beacons in the darkness, attracting clients who yearn for guidance in the vast twilight zones of law, real estate, and finance. And so, dear listener, the call-in show becomes not just a program but a nexus where seekers and guides converge, bridging the gaps between knowledge and curiosity, between questions and answers. Welcome to the radio’s embrace, where the experts illuminate the unknown, one call at a time.”
Cue the music.
Next week here: “Why not just podcast?”
Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books. Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke
Morning drive talk host Mark Kaye – WKOV-FM, Jacksonville and other Cox Media Group news/talk stations – recently did a bit riffing off the Mark Zuckerberg–Elon Musk cage match story. Kaye, wondering which fellow talk hosts he might be able to beat in a cage match, used the recently published 2023 TALKERS Heavy Hundred to muse over potential opponents. Kaye – ranked #81 on this year’s Heavy Hundred – says he’s pretty sure Sean Hannity (#1 on the Heavy Hundred) would kill him. Check out who he thought he could beat in this hilarious bit here.
This week’s blog post by Cumulus Media | Westwood One’s Audio Active Group shows a brand-new comprehensive analysis of listening data from the Nielsen Fall 2022 Survey, MRI Simmons, Edison Research‘s “Share of Ear,” and Advertiser Perceptions “that reveal 82 million reasons to keep AM radio in vehicles, illustrating why AM/FM radio is still the queen of the road.” Citing the Nielsen Fall 2022 survey, the study concludes: 1) 82,346,800 Americans listen to AM radio monthly; 2) 57% of the AM radio audience listens to news/talk stations, the very outlets that Americans turn to in times of crisis and breaking local news; and 3) One out of three American AM/FM radio listeners are reached monthly by AM radio. From the Edison study: 1) AM/FM radio dominates listening in the car with an 88% share of ad-supported audio; 2) AM/FM radio’s near-90 share of in-car ad-supported audio has been steady as a rock for the last six years; 3) AM/FM radio’s ad-supported shares in the car are dominant across all demographics, even among 18-34s; and 4) ‘Perception’ vs. ‘reality’: Agencies and advertisers underestimate AM/FM radio shares and overestimate Pandora and Spotify audiences (‘Perception’ from Advertiser Perceptions data). MRI Simmons shows Ford owners represent 20% of all U.S. AM radio listeners and are more likely to listen to AM radio. Cumulus chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard comments, “AM stations serve very unique, targeted constituencies and represent many languages and voices. As automobile manufacturers consider eliminating AM radio, it’s important to underscore that the AM dial is one of the most diverse media platforms in the world. Why would we eliminate this variety from the car?” See the blog post here.
The company breaks out its new Benztown News/Talk audio imaging library for radio stations, that focuses on bringing updated and more frequent caller and host audio, an accelerated update schedule, and more daily topical promos and sweepers designed exclusively for news/talk stations. Benztown says the updates include a refocused approach based on caller/listener interaction and daily topical pieces. It adds, “The Benztown News/Talk Library is created by the industry’s top imaging and production specialists, led by imaging director, Adam “Ketch” Kecskemeti, and imaging voice, Mike Hansen. Paired with Benztown’s Ambush News/Talk Library, led by imaging director Scott Phillips, and format voice JJ Surma, and housed on Benztown’s industry-leading platform, news/talk radio stations have every imaging tool and solution at their fingertips.” Benztown VP, sales & operations Masa Patterson says, “We are incredibly excited to bring America’s best news/talk stations an enhanced and expansive toolset they need now more than ever. Benztown News/Talk is all stations need to produce what their listeners count on them for, from conservative talkers to straight-up traffic and weather. With this increase in caller interaction and daily topical elements, it has everything news/talk stations need to get a jump on tomorrow’s news today – and more.” Listen to a composite of the expanded Benztown News/Talk Library, paired with Benztown’s companion library Ambush here.
Talk radio host Erick Erickson and Cox Media Group announce that Erickson will continue hosting his popular show for three more years from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta “95.5 WSB.” His program is also heard on CMG news/talk stations WDBO, Orlando; WGAU, Athens, Georgia; KRMG-FM, Tulsa; WOKV-FM, Jacksonville, and WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton. WSB director of branding and programming Ken Charles says, “For more than a decade, Erick has done a great job of entertaining and informing the WSB audience about the biggest news stories of the day. I’m proud we’ll continue our partnership for another three years, and I’m excited about what new things we can create moving forward. The best is yet to come!” Erickson says, “‘95.5 WSB’ is not just home, it’s the gold standard of talk radio, with incredible leadership from Ken Charles and Jaleigh Long. I fell into the role by accident 12 years ago. It’s not just the longest job I’ve had, it’s three hours of joy every day working with the best people in radio. I simply cannot imagine doing anything else anywhere else with any team other than the hard-working talent at ‘95.5 WSB.’”
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Buzz-of-The-Biz in recent days: WTOP-FM, Washington offers newsroom staffers voluntary separation buyouts. Even radio’s top-billing station – owned by venerable Hubbard – is feeling the pinch. “Welcome to the club,” broadcasters elsewhere shrug.
Disclosure: I programmed that station for seven years in the 1980s, and hired some of the voices still heard there. And in today’s “gig economy,” with remote work now so commonplace, there’s new opportunity for the nimble.
Monday Memo: #NABShowNY. Consultant Holland Cooke reports “many long-time-no-see hugs among 9,500 of us at the Javits Center” as the National Association of Broadcasters rebooted the October event interrupted, “like much of life” by COVID. In this week’s column, HC offers “numbers for radio broadcasters fretting that listeners have wandered-off.” And about podcasting: Winners’ tips, and well-intended mistakes to avoid. Read it here.
Pending Business: The ‘Who Cares?’ Test. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says it’s always a good idea to review your sales proposal strategies to make sure they are as effective as they can be. How you pitch your talent’s host read spots is important because the host read spot is so important to news/talk stations. He says, “Radio advertising is still a real-time, single-digit growth business and competitive change is an important daily dynamic that’s out of your control. In plain English, if you are to grow your income through ad sales it will come to you through one of two obvious sources: new business or your competition.” He offers a four-point checklist for assessing your basic pitch features here.
WDAE, Tampa Announces New Program Schedule. Tampa sports talk outlet WDAE-AM/W237CW is beginning this week with a new program lineup. The iHeartMedia station says the “Pat and Aaron Show” – starring Pat Donovan and Aaron Jacobson – is the new morning drive program. They are followed by Premiere Networks’ “The Dan Patrick Show” in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot. The early afternoon program is the new “Jay And Z Show” featuring Jay Recher and Zac Blobner, followed by the “Ronnie & TKras Show” with Ronnie Lane and Tom Krasniqi now in the afternoon drive daypart. FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm with ESPN Radio airing overnight.
Radio America Unveils New Sara Carter Podcast ‘Darkwars: The Border.’ Tomorrow (10/25), Radio America releases its new podcast, “Dark Wars: The Border,” hosted by award-winning investigative journalist Sara Carter as she “shares her perilous journey to expose how the porous U.S.-Mexico border has facilitated a deadly trail from China to your home town, with cartels, slavery, and death in between.” Carter is an investigative reporter, host of “The Sara Carter Show” on Radio America and a FOX News contributor. She says, “I am excited to release this podcast, which is a culmination of my on-the-ground investigative reporting of our border crisis. I embedded with border patrol agents via foot, horseback, car and helicopter – talking to coyotes and migrants alike – to reveal chilling stories about the opioid crisis and human trafficking that you haven’t read about in the news. I traveled to the native countries of these migrants to understand how cartels use social media to recruit migrants under the guise of easy passage and a better life. But in reality, they encounter abuse, rape, and death. ’m telling the stories of those being ignored by the media.” Radio America says, “The premiere episode features a wide range of perspectives, from U.S. Senators such as Rand Paul and Marsha Blackburn to Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei to coyotes that work for the cartel among others, all to reveal a border crisis that is more serious and disturbing than what is reported in media. It’s a shocking portrayal of money and power that connects the Chinese government and Mexican cartels to the neighborhoods of everyday Americans.”
WGN, Chicago Schedules ‘Spook-tacular’ on Halloween. On Halloween, Nexstar Media’s WGN Radio in Chicago will air the “WGN Radio Theatre Spook-tacular with Carl Amari” from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am. The six-hour special will feature classic Halloween shows including “My Favorite Husband” starring Lucille Ball, “The Whistler,” “Our Miss Brooks,” starring Eve Arden, “Suspense,” starring Ronald Colman and more. WGN says that host Carl Amari has spent decades licensing and preserving original radio broadcasts and is the curator of the Classic Radio Club and board member of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.
Midterm Elections, Trump Legal Issues, Russia-Ukraine War, British Politics, U.S. Math Scores, RSV/COVID-19, and World Series Matchup Set Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November midterm elections, speculation about control of Congress, and voter fraud issues; the several legal battles facing former President Donald Trump; Vladimir Putin’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and the attacks on its infrastructure; Rishi Sunak emerges as the next prime minister of the United Kingdom; the report indicating that math scores for U.S. students plummeted after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; the soaring rate of respiratory syncytial virus cases among young children in the U.S. and concerns about new COVID-19 variants; and the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros win their league championships to face off in the World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — After Putin said he’s not bluffing about tactical nukes, it’s prudent to take time to re-familiarize yourself with your network’s continuing coverage routine. When-the-fit-hits-the-shan they’ll shine, and news/talk stations need to be conspicuous.
- Know now how you will be alerted when the net’ goes wall-to-wall or offers in-and-out updates during the hour.
- WHO will do WHAT to break-into syndicated shows? In many clusters, a single person manages multiple stations’ largely-automated programming. Which staffer can pivot?
- Use cluster-mate stations to remind their listeners that your news/talk stick is all-over-this.
- When “The Big Story” blocks-out the sun, anyone at home will be glued to TV; so say “Stick with us when you’re in the car…”
This isn’t just Ukraine-watch. Gun nuts like that Buffalo supermarket shooter walk among us. And we’re recently reminded that so-called “100 year” storms come lots more often lately.
Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of radio and the Internet. And HC is author of the E-book “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download here: and “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books. And he’s offering FREE 60-second on-air features: “Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins.” HC Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke
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, “Dirty Water & Laundry,” looks back at this past week of 8/29 to 9/2. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, host, WPG, Atlantic City; Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York; Daliah Wachs, M.D., host, Genesis Communications Network; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston/founder, Scamicide.com; and Beth Troutman, host, WBT, Charlotte. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. 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 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.
Salem Announces Talk Hosts Fall Tour of Battleground States. The second half of October will see the Salem Media Group talk radio hosts tour the battleground states to “assist listeners and voters to understand how important it is that they get out to vote as well as vote with an understanding of the issues, and the candidates that will be leading our government.” Dubbed the Battleground Talkers Tour 2022, Salem hosts Dennis Prager, Charlie Kirk, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Mike Gallagher, Eric Metaxas, Brandon Tatum, and Hugh Hewitt will hit tour stops in Tampa on October 16, Orlando on October 17, Atlanta on October 18, Philadelphia on October 19, Pittsburgh on October 20, Columbus on October 21, Cleveland on October 22, and Phoenix on October 23 where Salem news/talk stations will host the events. Hosts will broadcast their radio and TV shows from many of these cities. Salem Media Group SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce comments, “I do not think we have ever seen the kind of energy and excitement that we have witnessed now building up to the November 2022 election. Getting our hosts in front of our listeners and viewers and encouraging them to vote wisely is something each of our hosts is passionate about doing. There has never been a more important mid-term election than this one, and Salem is thrilled to be front and center, leading the charge.”
Ronnie Bloodworth Named Area President for iHeartMedia’s Mid-South Region. Radio management pro Ronnie Bloodworth is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia’s Mid-South region that encompasses Alabama, Mississippi, and Memphis, effective immediately. Bloodworth has been serving as market president for Mobile, Biloxi and Pensacola. In this new role, he’ll be responsible for oversight of stations in Birmingham, Gadsden, Huntsville, Montgomery, and the Tuscaloosa markets, as well as stations in Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Laurel, Memphis, Mobile, Pensacola, and Tupelo. iHeartMedia division president Shosh Abromovich says, “This is a very exciting announcement to bring these markets together; the alignment of these outstanding leaders, talent, teammates and communities are set up to truly flourish. Ronnie’s culture-first attitude, drive for success and high bar he sets for himself and his team will take this newly combined area to all new levels of achievement and opportunity.” Bloodworth comments, “Helping people identify their strengths, find their motivation and then achieve their goals is something I have enjoyed from day one. Helping our teams in Mobile, Pensacola, Memphis and Mississippi find their stride and excel is something I take pride in. We strive to be the best in the business and enjoy what we do and where we do it. I look forward to having the high-quality and high-performing teams across the state of Alabama join us as I move into this new role.”
Alpha Media Names Clay Church OM for Dayton and Canton. Radio programming pro Clay Church joins Alpha Media as operations manager for the company’s Dayton and Canton, Ohio clusters that include news/talk WHBC-AM Canton and sports talk WING-AM, Dayton, plus five music brands. Church was most recently director of content and operations at Townsquare Media’s Flint, Michigan operations. Alpha Media SVP/market manager Brett Beshore says, “After a lengthy, nationwide search, we found the best possible candidate to lead our successful teams in Dayton and Canton, and Clay brings all of Alpha’s core values to the market. He knows how to lead a team, build strong brands, and execute digital strategies to grow our ratings and revenue. We’re excited to welcome him aboard.” Church comments, “I’m very excited to take the next step in my career with Alpha Media and the incredible people in Dayton and Canton. The great stations in both markets are a direct reflection of the talent inside the buildings. I hope to add my skillset to the outstanding teams already in place.”
Good Karma’s ESPN Madison Inks Badger Keeanu Benton to NIL Partnership. Madison sports talk outlet WTLX-FM ESPN Madison announces it has agreed to a NIL (name-image-likeness) partnership with Wisconsin Badgers’ nose tackle Keeanu Benton for him to make weekly appearances on the “Rutledge and Hamilton” show each Wednesday at 2:30 pm. Good Karma Brands Madison market manager Tom Olson says, “Our ‘ESPN Madison’ team is thrilled to have Keeanu Benton join us this football season. This is our very first NIL agreement, and we’re excited for the opportunity to work with someone as accomplished and as charismatic as Keeanu. This will be an exclusive opportunity for our fans to hear weekly insights from Keenau and get to know him better as a person.”
Holland Cooke’s Inflation Hacks Now an Online Course at CECNA. The e-book Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins by media consultant Holland Cooke has become an online course from the Washington-area-based nonprofit Consumer Education Council of North America. CECNA founder and chairman Jim Hood says, “Inflation is like climate change: It’s a big problem that everybody talks about although no one seems to have the solution. But broadcast personality Holland Cooke has researched it and come up with a list of everyday steps that consumers can use to trim hundreds of dollars from their monthly budgets. He’s assembled his thoughts in a CECNA Learning Center course called ‘Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins.’ The title refers, of course, to Benjamin Franklin, whose image adorns the $100 bill and who once cautioned, ‘Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.’” The CECNA offers the course here.
TALKERS News Notes. Sales and advertising pro Scott McRoberts is named Midwest sales director for home improvement media brand Today’s Homeowner Media. In this role, McRoberts will be responsible for growing the brand’s presence in the Midwest while creating innovative solutions for the company’s partners. Company president Danny Lipford says, “I am thrilled to have Scott join the team. We provide our partners with custom advertising solutions to meet their goals and connect them with our highly qualified audience of homeowners. Our partners will benefit from Scott’s experience providing innovative solutions and his collaborative style.”…..Progressive talk host Stephanie Miller announces that her “Sexy Liberal Save Democracy Tour” has three events scheduled for this fall. The comedy tour that includes John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks and Frangela will stop in Washington, DC on September 10 at Sidney Harman Hall with special guest Glenn Kirschner; in Chicago on September 24 at Harris Theater with special guests Jill Wine Banks and Rep. Jan Schakowsky; and in Los Angeles on October 22 at Saban Theater with special guests Rep. Adam Schiff and Rob Reiner…..iHeartMedia announces the debut of a new iHeartRadio original podcast titled, “Unbreakable with Jay Glazer: A Mental Health Podcast.” This project is an extension of his widely acclaimed, best-selling book Unbreakable in which the FOX NFL Insider shares his personal mental health journey with the audience, including the tools and techniques he’s developed to “live in the gray” – his term for living and thriving with anxiety, depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder…..iHeartMedia Chicago’s radio stations, including WMFN-AM “BIN: Black Information Netwotrk” announces the 10 winners of the “Brilliantly Black Business Awards” in partnership with the Chicago Urban League. The “Brilliantly Black Business Awards” ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 8 at 2:30 pm at the iHeartMedia Chicago Studios. The project was launched in 2020 to support local Black-owned businesses, restaurants and non-profits. Since its inception, iHeartMedia Chicago has showcased nearly 1,300 Black-owned businesses through digital, on-air features and the “Brilliantly Black” podcast. The 10 winners have been selected to receive $100,000 of in-kind media on iHeartMedia Chicago radio stations and a small business development cohort from the Chicago Urban League. iHeartMedia Chicago president Matt Scarano states, “iHeartMedia Chicago created the first-of-its-kind ‘Brilliantly Black’ community resource initiative. We are proud to expand the initiative and award 10 local Black-owned businesses a combined total of $1 million in marketing and advertising to further promote their products and services, while elevating economic growth for their businesses. The Chicago Urban League shares our mission and stepped up to provide small business master-level education training for the award winners as well.”
The FBI Raid of Mar-a-Lago, DOJ Documents Probe and Trump Legal Troubles Combine as Top News/Talk Story This Week. The aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago, the Department of Justice’s investigation into top secret documents, and Trump’s legal troubles combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of August 29 – September 2 and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between partisan politics, the midterm elections, and Sarah Palin’s special election loss, followed by the state of the U.S. economy 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.
Monday Memo: News = Dog, Talk = Tail. Consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “events now unfolding around us can be ratings GOLD,” if news/talk stations “re-balance both aspects of the format franchise.” Read it here.
Pending Business: Worst Cold Call Ever. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes today about an absurd cold call that happened to him and reminded him that every now and then it’s a good idea for radio sellers to revisit some of the cold call basics. He has seven thoughts on the subject to share with readers here.
Cumulus Names Casey Bartholomew Host at WBAP, Dallas/Fort Worth. Talk radio pro Casey Bartholomew is joining Cumulus Media’s Dallas/Fort Worth news/talk WBAP as host of the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program. He takes over for Ernie Brown who was recently promoted to co-host of the station’s morning drive show. Bartholomew joins Cumulus DFW from Cumulus Columbia, Missouri, where he’s been serving as program director for news/talk station KFRU-AM/FM. WBAP and KLIF program director Bruce Collins says, “Casey is the ultimate pro and understands the top stories of the day that affect our listeners. We are excited to have him on the News Talk 820 WBAP team.” Bartholomew comments, “WBAP is a legendary station and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Looking forward to the challenge – This is going to be fun.”
iHeartMedia and ASU Agree to Hockey Broadcasts Deal. The new broadcast agreement between iHeartMedia Phoenix and Arizona State University puts play-by-play of the school’s men’s hockey games on sports talk KGME-AM “FOX Sports 910,” beginning October 11. The deal also includes a weekly coach’s show featuring head coach Greg Powers. Sun Devil for Life Tyler Paley returns to his roots as the first-ever play-by-play voice of Sun Devil Hockey Radio. A three-time ASU grad, Paley covered the ASU men’s ice hockey team extensively during his tenure at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2014-18. His experience spans years of various communications roles including multimedia journalist, anchor and reporter, social media strategist, commentator for Pac-12 Network and freelancer for CBS, FOX Sports and ESPN. iHeartMedia market president Linda Little says, “‘FOX Sports 910’ and iHeartMedia Phoenix are proud to partner with Arizona State University as they launch their inaugural radio broadcast for hockey play-by-play.”
Broadcasters Foundation of America Mourns Passing of Jim Thompson. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the passing of its longtime president Jim Thompson. The BFOA says Thompson, who fought a valiant struggle against throat cancer for nearly a year, passed away last night (8/14) in Summit, New Jersey, at the age of 75, surrounded by his family. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, which has been established by the Broadcasters Foundation in honor of Thompson’s dedication and service to the broadcasting industry and to the Foundation’s charitable cause of providing financial aid to radio and TV professionals in acute need. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “I am very proud to have known Jim for nearly 40 years as a colleague and a friend. Jim believed deeply in helping others and his passion and enthusiasm for life always lit up a room. Broadcasting has lost a great man, who always saw the positive in every person and every situation. He will be sorely missed.” Thompson took over the reins of the Broadcasters Foundation in 2009, guiding the charitable organization to more than quadruple the amount of financial aid it distributes to radio and TV professionals from $400,000 to nearly $2 million last year. BFoA chairman emeritus Phil Lombardo says, “When the board of directors was searching for a president, Jim’s reputation as a leader combined with his compassion for others and his ability to rally people together made him the perfect choice. His accomplishments over the past 13 years helped the many TV and Radio professionals who found themselves in unthinkable circumstances and in need of aid. Our sincere sympathies go out to his family.” Last October, Thompson announced he would be retiring at the end of 2022. Thompson had been president and CEO of Group W Radio, the second largest radio company in the country during his leadership, and along with Mike Craven was co-owner of Liberty Broadcasting, a nineteen-station radio group concentrated on the east coast. He began his broadcasting career as an account executive at KYW-TV, Philadelphia in 1971, where he rose to vice president and general manager. Thompson is survived by his wife Cindy, his five children, Meghan Cima, Shannon Gardiner and her husband James, Katie McElwee and her husband Tommy, James Thompson and his wife Madison, Molly Thompson, seven grandchildren, and his brothers John and Thomas. To make a donation to the Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, please click here: https://bfoa.app.neoncrm.com/forms/jimthompsonfund.
FSR’s Doug Gottlieb Broadcasts from LA Football Training Camps. Pictured above (right) is FOX Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb chatting with Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (left) during Gottlieb’s broadcast from the team’s training camp on August 9. Gottlieb broadcast from the Rams’ and the Los Angeles Chargers’ camps as part of the network’s annual NFL Training Camp Tour.
PodcastOne Strikes Deal with ActionPark Media. This new relationship between PodcastOne and Kevin Connolly’s boutique media network ActionPark Media gives PodcastOne exclusive distribution and advertising sales rights for APM’s current slate of podcast and vodcast programming. In addition, it allows for the two media companies to co-develop future podcast/vodcast based intellectual property, produce advertiser-sponsored live streaming and touring opportunities for host/talent and create exclusive licensing for podcast specific branded merchandise. PodcastOne president Kit Gray states, “Kevin and APM clearly have a knack for producing quality podcast content with ‘Victory the Podcast’ being one of the first shows giving a behind the scenes look at a hit television series and ‘The Morning After with Kelly Stafford’ consistently charting as one of the top shows for parents and families. This joint venture now gives us the ability to work together to grow the audience for a slate of incredible existing shows. Additionally, with LiveOne’s streaming partnerships, live event capabilities and merchandising division, we are excited to further enhance branding opportunities for the star-studded roster of hosts.”
Gunhill Road Spoken Word Music Video on Display as “Work of Art” in Show at Florida Gallery. The internet hit, “I Know You’re Real,” by talk-radio-friendly pop music band Gunhill Road, featuring TALKERS founder Michael Harrison as lead spoken word vocalist, has broken new ground in the genre of music video being recognized as fine art. The official video of the song which appears on Gunhill Road’s 2021 album, What Year Is This! addresses the subject of animal welfare celebrating all aspects of the deep relationship between human beings and other precious life forms on Planet Earth. The art show, being presented at the prestigious Martin Arts Court House Cultural Center Gallery in Stuart, FL, is cleverly titled, “Dog Days of Summer (and other pets too!).” The show centers on animal-related fine art (paintings and sculpture). It runs through October 1 and features a virtual gallery as well as a live presentation and includes charitable community outreach initiatives such as animal rescue and pet adoption. Martin Arts spokesperson Rickie Leiter tells TALKERS, “I grew up in the Northeast listening to Gunhill Road on the radio and was delighted to hear about this beautiful video with its sweet music, moving words and stunning images. It is indeed a work of visual, not to mention audio and poetic, art.” Gunhill Road co-founder (and devoted cat lover), Steve Goldrich tells TALKERS, “We are beyond honored to have our video on display among paintings at a fine art show of this caliber.” In addition to Goldrich and Harrison, Gunhill Road’s current lineup includes longtime member Paul Reich and famed Broadway instrumentalist Brian Koonin. An advance single (and video) titled, “Idiots,” from the group’s forthcoming album, spotlighting the danger of societal ignorance and also featuring Harrison on lead vocals, is scheduled to drop later this week. Both videos are produced by TALKERS VP/associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison. For more information about the show and Martin Arts please click here. To view the video, please click here.
FBI Raid/Bureau Threats, Inflation Reduction Act/The Economy, Salman Rushdie Attack, Immigration/Baja Violence, Midterms/2024 Race, Afghanistan Situation, and Anne Heche Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the subsequent threats against FBI offices; the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act spending, the falling price of oil, and the still climbing price of food; the attempted assassination of author Salman Rushdie; the migrant issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the weekend’s cartel violence in Baja cities near the border; the primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan a year after the U.S. military’s exit from the nation; and actress Anne Heche dies a week after a fiery car wreck were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
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, “The Numbing Down of America,” looks back at this past week of 5/23 to 5/27. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Todd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, talk show host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Dr. Daliah Wachs, physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Tom Gresham, talk show host, Gun Talk; Walter M. Sterling, talk show host, Sterling on Sunday; and Matthew B. Harrison, associate publisher, TALKERS/media attorney. 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; 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.
iHeartMedia and Bloomberg Media Unveil New Original Podcasts. The 2022 slate of new original podcasts from Bloomberg Media and iHeartMedia featuring a mix of daily and weekly news programs and narrative-style limited series is announced. These five shows are the first podcasts to debut as part of a multiyear agreement to co-produce and distribute more than a dozen new original podcasts. Shows for this year include: “Bloomberg Crypto” in which Bloomberg’s reporting team teases out what’s actually important in the crypto conversation in this daily podcast; “Bedrock, USA” is about a group of people who didn’t like what they saw happening in their local governments, and decided to get involved – whether that meant holding a rally, recalling an official or storming their government with bullhorns and threats; “In Trust” is a limited series about how members of one of the wealthiest families in Osage County, Oklahoma – home to the federally recognized Osage Nation – came to own more land in the area than anyone else; “The Big Take” immerses listeners in the most urgent stories of the day – on business, markets, economics, finance, politics, technology and more; and “Crash Course,” hosted by Bloomberg Opinion senior columnist Tim O’Brien, brings listeners directly into the arenas where epic business and social upheavals occur.
TALKERS News Notes. As the RTDNA continues to announce winners of Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, more commercial all-news and news/talk stations are being recognized for their excellence. The National Edward R. Murrow Awards will be announced later this summer and winners will be honored on October 10 at a gala in New York City. Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM was honored with three Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards: WTOP national security correspondent JJ Green’s COVID Conspiracy series was recognized in the News Series category for its coverage of a secret plot by Russia to spread lies and disinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines. In the Digital category, WTOP.com took home a regional award for coverage of news events throughout 2021 including coronavirus, cicadas and the scandal at D.C.’s crime lab. WTOP also received recognition in the Newscast category for coverage of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. WTOP director of news and programming Julia Ziegler says, “The journalists in our newsroom are dedicated, passionate individuals who want to make a difference in their communities. We are so honored to be recognized with 3 regional Edward R. Murrow awards.”…..For the third year in a row, Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” news team is the recipient of a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award. This year the station received a “Best Newscast” honor for the November 3, 2021 edition of “New Jersey’s First News with Eric Scott.”…..Audacy and Rutgers Athletics reach a multi-year agreement to make WFAN-AM/FM the home for Rutgers football and WCBS-AM the flagship station for Rutgers men’s basketball. Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero says, “Rutgers athletics is on the rise under Greg Schiano and Steve Pikiell in the Big Ten, bringing excitement and anticipation to Tri-State area fans. WFAN and WCBS 880 will provide listeners with unmatched coverage of the Scarlet Knights and we are honored to add Rutgers to Audacy’s market-leading play-by-play portfolio.”…..SiriusXM and MasterClass announce the launch of “MasterClass Hour,” a new program that will air on SiriusXM Stars channel 109 and Business Radio channel 132. The programming will kick off with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on “The Power of Resilience,” Metallica on “Being a Band,” Steve Martin on “Comedy,” Issa Rae on “Creating Outside The Lines,” RuPaul on “Self-Expression and Authenticity,” Gordon Ramsay on “Cooking,” Malala Yousafzai on “Creating Change,” and more.
Texas School Shooting Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 23-27. The massacre of 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the spike in crime & violence in America’s urban centers and the issue of gun control legislation, followed by partisan politics tied with this week’s primary races for November’s midterm elections 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.
By Holland Cooke
We need it. Pandemic-weary and weathering climate change, we’ve been tested. Now, the Ukraine crisis breaks our hearts and inflation busts family budgets. And one of baseball’s best showed me a simple trick that suggests how radio can matter more to listeners in these challenging times.