Former congressman and talk media personality JD Hayworth is returning to the radio business in Phoenix as host of the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm talk show “All Right Now!” on CRC Broadcasting Company’s KFNN-AM. CRC founder Ron Cohen says, “JD coming home to KFNN is a watershed moment for our station and all Arizona radio listeners. With so much interest in the 2024 election and Arizona’s growing notoriety as a key battleground state, the timing could not be better to bring JD back to host a daily show. No Valley radio host possesses JD’s credentials in both broadcasting and politics.”
SiriusXM announces that talk media personality Megyn Kelly signs a new contract to continue hosting “The Megyn Kelly Show” live on the platform. SiriusXM says, “Under the multi-year deal, the veteran journalist and legal expert will deliver her signature commentary and hard-hitting interviews through the 2024 election season and beyond. ‘The Megyn Kelly Show’ will premiere exclusively on SiriusXM Triumph channel 111 on weekdays from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET, with the program later available on all major podcast platforms. The program will also air a special edition on September 14 when Kelly interviews former President Donald Trump. Kelly comments, “I’m thrilled to continue my relationship with the great people at SiriusXM who have been tremendously supportive of our show from the start. In an age where conversations are being stifled and news skewed to please the politics of only a small set of people, it is a privilege to work with a company that values free speech and open, respectful, elevated debate.”
Urban One sports talk outlet WIBC-HD2/W228CX/W298BB, Indianapolis “The Fan” announces that morning drive personality Jake Query will take over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show on August 21. The new show, “Query & Company,” takes over the slot held by longtime “Fan” host Dan Dakich, who left the station last December and now hosts a show on the Outkick platform. With Query’s move to middays, the Kevin & Query Show that’s been airing in morning drive becomes “The Wake Up Call With KB and Andy,” as Kevin Bowen is joined by new co-host Andy Sweeney. Urban One Indianapolis operations manager David Wood tells the Indianapolis Business Journal, “While Jake loves working with Kevin, the show is a complete antithesis to his body clock. He’s a huge night owl. It dawned on me, ‘Why don’t I put a known quantity in this noon to 3 p.m. show?’ Everybody knows Jake. He’s well-respected and he’s an entertaining person.” Read the IBJ story here.
Podtrac releases its latest Top 20 charts for podcast publishers, sales networks, and podcasts for the period of July 2023. News podcasts remain popular in the U.S. as this month’s chart confirms with The New York Times’ “The Daily” ranked #1 (based on unique U.S. monthly audience). NBC News’ “Dateline NBC” came in #3 and NPR’s “NPR News Now” was #4. The lone talk radio personality whose podcast landed in Podtrac’s Top 20 was Dan Bongino. His Cumulus Podcast Network show ranked #11.
The Nebraska Broadcasters Association announces the class of 2023 for its NBA Hall of Fame to be inducted on August 8 during the organization’s annual convention. Among the three 2023 inductees is former talk radio personality and current classical music KVNO-FM, Omaha morning host Otis Twelve. His radio career began in 1973 and in 1993 he became morning host at news/talk KFAB, Omaha. He served as a talk host on crosstown KKAR, Omaha from 1999 through 2001. He also served as a movie critic for TV stations KETV and then KPTM from 1984 to 1996.
WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta-based talk radio personality Erick Erickson is presenting a weekend event in Atlanta August 17-19 that brings together A-list politicians, presidential candidates and conservative issues activists. Erickson has previously hosted similar events under the banner of his RedState and The Resurgent platforms. He says this year there are attendees from 47 states coming to the sold-out program. Erickson says, “This is the tenth of these I have done, and I have to thank Charlie, my producer, for doing so much of the heavy lifting while I have concentrated on doing my show. The format for each individually named speaker is a conversation on stage with me asking them questions from the attendees. The attendees will shortly receive a survey link where they can submit questions for me to incorporate into the conversations. The theme of the conference this year is ‘Forward: Which Way.’”
Legendary Des Moines talk radio personality Jan Mickelson died over the weekend at the age of 74. iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines posted the following to its website: “Mickelson, who hosted a highly-rated conservative talk show on WHO Radio for nearly 30 years, suffered a stroke several years ago and had been living in the state of Nevada. The native Iowan was beloved by WHO Radio listeners and colleagues. He was known nationally for his thought-provoking talk show and on-air debates, but also for sharing information about local severe weather and other urgent news relevant to his listeners. Mickelson was known for tackling serious topics but was equally appreciated by his devoted listeners for providing much joy and humor with his infectious laughter.” iHeartMedia Des Moines market president Joel McCrea adds, “Jan Mickelson was the best at his craft. He was always prepared and knew how to get you to listen to the radio. If you disagreed with him, he would take your call first because he wanted a spirited conversation. All of us at WHO miss Jan Mickelson.”
Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Sweeney reports that sports media personality Dan Patrick announces to his fans that he plans to retire from the business in four years at the end of 2027. Patrick’s radio program is nationally syndicated via Premiere Networks and is simulcast via YouTube. The former ESPN personality responded to fans who questioned his decision by saying, “This is a young man’s game. I’m the oldest guy doing this. And I enjoy doing it, but by the end of 2027, that’ll be it. You have my word, so plan accordingly.” Read the SI story here.
Richmond talk radio personality Jeff Katz signs a new contract with Audacy to continue his role as afternoon drive host on news/talk WRVA. Katz, who has been hosting a program on WRVA for the past 10 years, says, “During the past decade, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the people of Central Virginia. This community has been so welcoming to my family and I cherish having the chance to help out a bit by serving as an advocate for special needs kids, saluting our law enforcement officers, and sharing vital news and information.” Audacy Virginia SVP and market manager Bennett Zier comments, “Jeff is a great citizen of Virginia and continues to be an important part of the WRVA family.”
Cumulus Media announces that KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas-Fort Worth “The Ticket” late morning personality Norm Hitzges will retire from the station on June 23 after 48 years in sports media and 23 years with “The Ticket.” Cumulus Media Dallas/Houston regional VP Dan Bennett says, “From the minute Norm hit the airwaves 36 years ago on KLIF and then ‘The Ticket’ you could tell he was a special communicator. He truly is one of Dallas radio’s great storytellers and he kept it going with Susquehanna and then Cumulus all these years. Not many have that kind of staying power. We wish him every happiness in his well-deserved retirement.” Hitzges states, “I’m so proud to be a part of what ‘The Ticket’ has built – a ratings dominator in a fantastic sports city. I shall so miss the daily ‘rush’ of being on the air. But after 48 consecutive years on the air in Dallas doing sports talk, it’s time to move on to the next phase of my life, whatever that may be.”
WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” morning drive personality Fred Toucher returned to the program on Thursday after a medical leave of absence to deal with a throat problem that was affecting his voice. Co-host Rich Shertenleib had taken a sick day, so the two haven’t worked together since Toucher accused his co-workers of not reaching out to him while he dealt with what was thought to be a cancer scare. He was ultimately diagnosed with leukoplakia, something that can be caused by smoking. Toucher told his listeners, “I have two pieces of advice: Do not smoke and get a second opinion. They thought that I had cancer. If you saw pictures of the original thing they took of my throat, there was a big lump on my vocal cord, like a big lump. I wasn’t supposed to talk for two weeks. And now it just turns out to be Leukoplakia.”
Sports talk personality Dan Dakich signs a multi-year contract to continue as the host of the daily “Don’t @ Me!” show for Outkick. Dakich, who previously hosted a show on Urban One’s sports talk WFNI-AM, Indianapolis “The Fan,” has been hosting the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show on OutKick.com and its social media platforms since 2021. Outkick founder Clay Travis says, “Dan has been instrumental in the success of OutKick and I’m thrilled to have him on board. Every day his high energy, humor, and bold opinions drive fans to the platform and create awareness of the great content produced by OutKick.” Dakich comments, “I’ve had so much fun hosting my show with OutKick and am excited to keep it rolling. The team is tremendous and allows me to not only speak my mind but shed light on the most compelling sports news of the day. I can’t thank OutKick enough for giving me this platform.”
After being let go from his two-hour morning drive show on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WFLA, Tampa last week, longtime market talk radio personality Jack Harris says he’ll return to the air in the market. The 81-year-old Harris tells the Tampa Bay Times that there is interest from other broadcasters but the six-month non-compete in his iHeart contract prevents him from working elsewhere right away. Harris says he didn’t get the chance to do a farewell show – something iHeartMedia West Florida president Chris Soechtig denies. Salem Media Group says it’s offered to host a farewell show on its crosstown news/talk WGUL “AM860 The Answer,” but also doesn’t want Harris to get into a legal tussle. Read the whole story here.
As reported by the New York Post, afternoon drive personality Michael Kay has signed a contract extension with Good Karma Brands-operated sports talk WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN New York” that is a “seven-figure deal per year and is for multiple years.” The Post reported in January that the 62-year old Kay was seriously considering retirement. Kay announced the deal on his program yesterday (3/16) saying, “When the story in The Post came out, I was pretty certain that was going to be it and I would leave the show after 21 years in September. It had been a great run, a long run. I just said, ‘That’s it. I’m probably too old to do it.’” Kay is supported on the show by co-host Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg. The show is simulcast on the YES TV network. Kay also serves as the television play-by-play announcer for New York Yankees baseball games. Read the Post story here.
Audacy brings Boston sports radio personality Adam Jones aboard to co-host the afternoon drive program on WEEI-FM. The new show is called “Jones & Mego” featuring Jones, Meghan Ottolini, and Christian Arcand and debuts on January 30. Jones was most recently evening host at Beasley Media Group’s crosstown WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Mike Thomas says, “This is the third run for Adam and I working together. He’s talented, opinionated, informed and funny. Miss a day and miss a lot. Afternoons on WEEI will be can’t-miss entertainment.” At the same time, Thomas announces that Ken Laird is being promoted from operations manager for the station to brand manager. He says, “Ken has stepped up and really proven himself as a leader this past year, and I’m very happy to elevate him in this new role. I know the best is yet to come.” Laird comments, “Working at WEEI, an iconic and influential brand, has been an honor dating back to my start here in 2002. To take on a brand manager role some 20 years later is both incredibly humbling and exciting. I can’t thank Mark Hannon and Mike Thomas enough for the guidance and opportunity they’ve given me. The sports radio ratings share in Boston is proof that the nation’s most passionate fans live here, and I’m ready for the challenge to work with this great staff to deliver the daily entertainment those fans crave.”
Glenn Beck is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. 2022 marks the 20th anniversary that Glenn Beck’s show has been in syndication with Premiere Networks. The multi-platform star is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Heard by millions of listeners on more than 400 stations, Beck is a Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Marconi Award winner and past recipient of the prestigious TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. He’s a communications industry entrepreneur – the co-founder of Blaze Media – who’s made his mark on radio, TV (CNN, FOX), and live events – not to mention, being a 13-time #1 bestselling author and one of the few in history to have had #1 national bestsellers in the fiction, non-fiction, self-help and children’s picture book genres. He’s also a humanitarian who has raised significant funds for a number of charitable causes including helping families in Afghanistan and Ukraine, as well as fighting global sex trafficking and more. Harrison and Beck engage in a deep-dive conversation about politics, journalism, the media, privacy and the provocative topic of his latest book, The Great Reset: Joe Biden and the Rise of Twenty-First-Century Fascism (Mercury Radio Arts, Inc., 2022). Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
WMAL-FM’s Larry O’Connor Joins Salem News Channel for Prime Time Show. WMAL-FM, Washington morning drive personality Larry O’Connor is joining Salem Media Group’s OTT television network Salem News Channel to host a 9:00 pm ET show titled, “O’Connor Tonight.” O’Connor will be joined by top writers and editors from Salem’s Townhall.com where O’Connor also serves as a senior columnist and creative director. He says, “Salem News Channel represents the future of news content, going over the heads of the legacy media model and delivering informative, vital content directly to a passionate and informed audience. I am thrilled and honored to be affiliated with this dynamic company and am confident that ‘O’Connor Tonight’ will be an entertaining and relevant part of our daily American conversation.” Salem Media Group SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce comments, “Larry brings a wealth of experience and credibility to SNC and we are thrilled he has chosen to join us as we build this network. SNC’s prime time lineup of Andrew Wilkow, Brandon Tatum, Dinesh D’Souza, Eric Metaxas and now Larry O’Connor is second to none in the cable TV news world.”
Adams Radio Group Acquired by Adams Radio Acquisition Co., LLC. This deal – expected to be completed by the end of this year – has Adams Radio Group being acquired by Adams Radio Acquisition Co., LLC. This new entity is controlled by shareholders that were investors in Adams Radio Group when the group was originally formed in 2013. The company will continue operating under the Adams Radio Group banner. Adams president and CEO Ron Stone says, “I am grateful to [chairman and majority owner of the ownership group] Steve Adams for the opportunity to build a second Adams Radio Group. I served as Steve’s CFO in the original Adams Radio Corporation and had my first opportunity as a GM at KEZK, St Louis. The opportunity to work with Steve a second time and build a new group was a dream come true for me. We formed Adams in 2013 and it has been an incredible experience and I have been surrounded by some of the brightest people in the business. I look forward to seeing the company continue to grow and our most dedicated staff prosper under the new ownership and leadership.” Adams Radio owns and operates 18 stations in four markets. The press release states that sources close to the new shareholders say “plans are to continue to build upon the past 10 years and add new markets as opportunities present themselves.” Sharon Bordwell continues with the new company as CFO. Ron Stone will continue to manage the group until closing. Stone says he expects to be busy for a few months post close wrapping up old company business and plans to take some time to assess new opportunities that will enable him to continue to make contributions to the radio industry, including continuing as president and executive director of the Independent Broadcasters Association. Kalil & Co Inc. was the exclusive broker on this transaction representing Adams Radio Group.
McFarlands Show to Launch on WNSR, Nashville. The Tennessean reports that Southern Wabash Communications’ sports talk WNSR-AM/W240CA, Nashville is launching a new mid-afternoon program starring radio pro Darren McFarland and television personality Justin McFarland, titled, “The McFarland Show with Darren and Justin.” The 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show will debut on Monday (10/3). Darren McFarland previously served with Cromwell Media’s crosstown sports talker WPRT-FM “The Game 102.5 FM” and has been the Nashville Predators radio studio host since 2013. Justin McFarland is a morning reporter for WZTV-TV “FOX 17 News.” WNSR general manager Ted Johnson states, “It’s great having two such talented, experienced and wonderful people joining our crew. Darren and Justin will make a great team that listeners will gravitate to and enjoy. They’ll be a great complement to our daily lineup.” The two fill the slot left open by Tennessee sports personality George Plaster’s exit from the station in April of this year.
‘The Trap Nerds’ Episode to Take Place in iHeartLand on Roblox. The podcast The Trap Nerds – a collaboration between iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God’s The Black Effect Podcast Network – debuts a special metaverse episode event in iHeartLand on Roblox, streaming for users on the main stage at State Farm Park. During this inaugural podcast event, hosts Dre, Eli, Tony and Exavier will discuss the last book they read, what it means to be a Black nerd (“Blerd”), Dragon Ball Z and more. iHeartLand visitors on Roblox will experience the event beginning today (9/29) and run for 48 hours through Saturday. This will be followed by an iHeartLand encore event in Fortnite beginning October 13 at 7:00 pm ET through October 19.
TALKERS News Notes. The Washington Examiner’s Juliegrace Brufke reports that Salem Radio Network talk host Sebastian Gorka hopes to be involved with any investigation into Hunter Biden that might take place if Republicans take control of the House after November’s elections. The story indicates Gorka met with U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL) “on Wednesday as the Florida Republican attempts to recruit the controversial conservative pundit to become a staff director if a select committee is formed to examine the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son, according to one source familiar with the meeting.”…..Red Apple Audio Networks, the syndication arm of John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media, owners of WABC, New York announces it has surpassed 100 affiliates across the country since it launched in February. The network’s roster consists of eight shows and features currently running on WABC, including Catsimatidis’s “The Cats Roundtable” and “The Other Side of Midnight with Frank Morano.”…..Television and radio pro Corny Koehl – formerly a programmer at ABC Radio Networks and former executive producer of Premiere Networks’ “The Dr. Laura Show” – is producing a weekly, short-form political satire podcast titled, “Thorn in the USA,” that she calls “an effort to counter the propaganda from elected officials on the far right.” It “centers on fictional host, Margaret Penelóp Taylor, aka Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s #1 fan girl/unofficial MTG whisperer. A self-described ‘Christian Nationalist’ and ‘Pro-Putin Pawn,’ Penelóp pours fuel on the culture wars and casts aspersions on her ‘libtard’ opponents. At the end of each episode is a ‘real’ call-to-action, followed by the host’s vivid sexual fantasies with her obsession, FOX News’ Tucker Carlson.”…..Cumulus Media announces the podcast “Afford Anything” joins the Cumulus Podcast Network. Creator and host Paula Pant focuses on helping listeners make smarter decisions about money, time, and life to align daily behaviors and habits with lifestyle goals. In the podcast, she also talks with guests about investing, travel, lifestyle design, financial independence, real estate, entrepreneurship, productivity, personal development, and the philosophy of money.
Hurricane Ian, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Trump Legal Issues, Harris Asia Trip, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Immigration/Drug Trade, and Brazil Elections Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/28). Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Southwestern Florida; record high inflation and the sell-off on the world’s financial markets; Vladimir Putin’s attempt to annex portions of Ukraine and his nuclear threats; the legal battles facing former President Donald Trump; Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Asia and her visit to the Korean DMZ; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the Biden Administration’s immigration policy and the influx of fentanyl from Mexico; and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s battle to win reelection were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.