Industry News

Podtrac Lauches Global Ranker Including YouTube Views

Podtrac announces that it is launching its newest ranker – The Podcast Global Industry Ranking of Top Publishers and Networks – of which it says, “For the first time, the global reach of top podcast publishers and networks is being made publicly available for advertisers, agencies, and the industry at large.  Andim while traditional podcast metrics and rankers have focused on the RSS distribution of podcasts, Podtrac’s new Global ranking also includes the viewership of podcasts on YouTube – another industry first.” The company adds, “By encompassing YouTube viewership alongside traditional metrics, the industry gains an improved framework for capturing podcast engagement across platforms and borders. It provides advertisers, agencies, and industry stakeholders with the reach and influence of the key podcast players.”

Industry News

Podtrac Publishes January Top U.S. Podcasts Survey

Releasing U.S. podcast listening data for January, Podtrac reports that The New York Times’ “The Daily” unseats NPR’s “NPR News Now” as the #1 show on its chart, based on U.S. unique monthly audience.im NPR holds the #2 and #3 spots with “NPR News Now” and “Up First,” respectively. Commercial radio-related podcasts finishing in the top 20 include DailyWire’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” unchanged at #9, “The Dan Bongino Show” down one spot to #12, and FOX Audio Network’s “FOX News Hourly Update” up one spot to #14. This chart reflects programs that opt in to Podtrac measurement.

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Podtrac Releases Top U.S. Podcasts Chart for December

Today (1/5), Podtrac releases its chart of the Top U.S. Podcasts for December 2023 based on Unique U.S. Monthly Audience. Rising three places to the #1 spot is NPR’s “NPR News Now,” followed by Theim New York Times’ “The Daily” at #2 and NPR’s “Up First” at #3. News/talk radio-related podcasts finishing in the top 20 include DailyWire’s “The Ben Shapiro Show,” down one place to #9, Dan Bongino’s “The Dan Bongino Show” steady at #11, and FOX Audio Network’s “The FOX News Hourly Update” up one place to #15. See the full chart here.

Industry News

No Changes in Top Tier of Podtrac’s November Top Podcasts Chart

Podtrac releases its Top Podcasts, Publishers and Sales Networks charts for the month of November and the Top Podcasts chart – based on unique monthly audience – shows no movement among the topim five, with The New York Times’ “The Daily” remaining in first place. NPR’s “Up First” is #2 and NBC News’ “Dateline NBC” is #3. Commercial radio-related podcasts of note in the top 20 include The Daily Wire’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” – down two spots to #8 – and Dan Bongino’s “The Dan Bongino Show” – down two spots to #11. FOX Audio Network’s “FOX News Hourly Update” slipped one place to #16.

Industry News

“The Daily” Stays Atop Podtrac’s August Podcast Ranker

According to data from Podtrac (based on U.S. unique monthly audience), The New York Times’ “The Daily” stays atop its Top Podcasts chart for the period of August 2023. The Daily Wire/Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” stayed in its spot at #7, iHeartPodcast’s “Stuff You Should Know”im remained at #9, Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” rose one spot to #11, and FOX Audio Network’s “FOX News Hourly Update” fell one spot to #16.  Other data from Podtrac from this report includes: 1) U.S. unique monthly audience increased for all but one of the Top 20 publishers in August 2023 over July 2023; 2) The average U.S. unique monthly audience for the Top 20 publishers was up 13% month-over-month and down 3% over July 2022; 3) Total global downloads for the Top 20 publishers were up 7% month-over-month and flat year-over-year; and 4) The combined audience for the Top Sales Networks was up 15% month-over-month.

Industry News

Podtrac Releases June’s Top Podcasts, Podcast Publishers

PODTRAC LogoAccording to Podtrac’s latest stats, the average U.S. “Unique Monthly Audience” for the Top 20 publishers dipped 3% month-to-month, but improved by that same percentage compared to June 2022. “Total Global Downloads” for the Top 20 publishers remained steady month-to-month; however, it declined 3% versus this time last year. The combined audience for the Top Sales Networks was up 5% month-to-month. The top ten podcasts by US Unique Monthly Audience (June 2023) are: “The Daily” (New York Times); “Dateline NBC” (NBC News); “Morbid” (Wondery); “Up First” (NPR); “NPR News Now” (NPR); “SmartLess” (Wonderly); “The Ben Shapiro Show” (Daily Wire); “Stuff You Should Know” (iHeartPodcasts); “Pardon My Take” (Barstool Sports); and “The Dan Bongino Show” (Dan Borgino). With a US “Unique Monthly Audience” of 31,625,000 (and 833 active shows), iHeartPodcasts is the top podcast publisher. It is followed by Wondery; NPR; NBC News; New York Times; Daily Wire; The Walt Disney Company; Barstool Sports; Vox Media; and PRX.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Salem to Acquire Four More Miami Signals for Spanish Programming. A day after announcing that it is acquiring Miami market station WMYM-AM and translator W254DT (98.7 FM) from Actualidad Media Group, LLC, Salem Media Group reveals its deal with Fenix Broadcasting Corporation and co-owned WRHC Broadcasting Corporation to buy the assets of Spanish news outlet WWFE-AM 670 and translator W276DV (103.1 FM) along with Spanish news WRHC-AM and translator W254DV (98.7 FM). Salem says it intends to continue broadcasting in Spanish post-closing. Salem Media executive chairman Edward Atsinger comments, “From this nation’s early days its voices of freedom spoke loudly and were heard. This is one reason we are a true democracy, and not a totalitarian regime. At a time when the voices of freedom in Spanish-language programming are threatened, it is our duty to step up and serve the South Florida audience. For over four decades Salem Media Group has provided a platform for conservative voices on-air, and now online, and in print. Now we will do the same for South Florida’s Spanish-speaking community as well, as we add leading Spanish-speaking voices of freedom to our lineup. The recent passing of Fenix Broadcasting’s president and founder Jorge Rodriguez, Sr. makes this effort even more timely as we work to build upon the broadcast legacy that he and his wife Ana, and son Jorge, Jr. have created. Jorge Sr.’s passionate fight for freedom defined his operation of WWFE AM 670 ‘La Poderosa’ and WRHC AM 1550 ‘Cadena Azul.’ We are grateful to be entrusted with these legendary stations as a platform for our new Spanish-language conservative programming.”

Cumulus Media Names Sly King Promotions Director for Birmingham Station Group. Seventeen-year radio pro Sly King is named promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham cluster that includes news/talk WAPI-FM/WZRR-FM, sports talk outlets WJOX-FM, WJOX-AM, and WJQX-FM, plus urban AM WUHT-FM. King started his radio career as an intern with WUHT-FM, and later serving the station as producer of the popular nationally syndicated morning program, “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.” In addition to King’s new role as promotions director, he continues his on-air role on WUHT-FM. Cumulus Birmingham VP and market manager James Robinson comments, “I am excited to announce Sly King as our new promotions director in Birmingham. I am proud to promote from within our Birmingham team, someone who has been committed to the Birmingham community for many years. I believe Sly will continue his dedicated hard work and will take the Cumulus Birmingham team to new heights.”

Podtrac to Unveil New Sales Network Ranking. The company says its new Podtrac Sales Network Ranking “showcases the reach and delivery of podcast networks that provide important advertising options to the industry across all of the shows they represent.” Podtrac says this new ranking “provides advertisers with free monthly access to Podtrac reach and delivery information for top sales networks. The networks on the new ranking represent more than 38,000 podcasts and 500 million monthly downloads.” Topping the list is Wondery’s sales network with a US monthly audience of 25 million which includes podcasts they represent on their Art19 platform. Other networks on the ranking include podcast ad and publishing platforms Acast and Libsyn AdvertiseCast, both newly measured by Podtrac, plus PodcastOne. You can see the inaugural ranking here. Since 2016, Podtrac has published its monthly ranking of Top Podcasts and Top Podcast Publishers.

TALKERS News Notes. The National Football League and iHeartMedia announce the NFL Podcast Network’s fall programming lineup. In September, the NFL and iHeartMedia launched a series of new shows including: “NFL Now,” with Andrew Siciliano; “NFL Total Access”; and “NFL GameDay View,” with Rachel Bonnetta, Cynthia Frelund, Gregg Rosenthal and Patrick Claybon. This month, they will debut new podcasts including: “The Season with Peter Schrager”; “El Huddle,” hosted by Will Selva and MJ Acosta-Ruiz; and “NFL Players: Second Acts,” with former All-Pro Charles “Peanut” Tillman and former Pro-Bowler Roman Harper…..CNN Audio launches the new podcast, “The Assignment with Audie Cornish,” on November 17. CNN says, “In this candid weekly show, Cornish will convene conversations with everyday people at the center of debates that are rocking the culture with topics spanning the arts, education, politics, business, and sports – people living behind the headlines in the very heart of the zeitgeist. Listeners will hear stories from inside the communities and cultures shaping what we experience.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals announces the second season of the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning investigative franchise, “Gone South.” In season 2, producer and journalist Jed Lipinski investigates the Dixie Mafia, “a rag-tag confederation of traveling criminals who terrorized the Southeastern United States beginning in the early 1960s.”…..Audacy, Inc. says it will report its 2022 third quarter financial results before the market opens on Tuesday, November 8. The company will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast at 11:00 am ET that morning to review the results and recent progress against its strategic initiatives. Previously, Cumulus Media Group announced that it would present its 2022 third quarter financial results on October 28…..VSiN, The Sports Betting Network, adds new affiliate stations as iHeartMedia’s KEGL-FM, Dallas-Fort Worth “97.1 The Freak” and WAIO-FM, Rochester add VSiN programming to their weekend schedules.

Midterms, Trump Legal Issues, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy, Ye-George Floyd Case, Xi Jinping, Iran Protests, and Dan Snyder Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18). The debates ahead of the November midterm elections and speculation about which party will control the House and the Senate; the various legal battles former President Donald Trump is facing; Russia’s use of kamikaze drones to target Ukraine’s infrastructure; high food & gas prices, the up & down financial markets and predictions of a recession; the daughter of George Floyd announces $250 million suit against Ye for statements about Floyd’s cause of death; China’s President Xi Jinping is named to third five-year term; the protests rocking Iran’s power structure; and Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder defends himself after allegations he’s hired private investigators to find “dirt” on his fellow owners were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2022

WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Personality Rob Kendall Sues Political Activist for Defamation. WIBC-FM, Indianapolis late morning personality Rob Kendall is suing conservative political activist Gabriel Whitley, Spencer McDaniel, and Young Conservatives of Southern Indiana for defamation after the group posted comments on Facebook in which they refer to Kendall as “Pedo Rob,” implying that he’s a pedophile. The Evansville Courier & Press reports the story, noting that Whitley is a declared candidate for mayor of Evansville. Kendall co-hosts the late morning program on Radio One’s WIBC-FM with Casey Daniels. Kendall is being represented by fellow WIBC personality Abdul Hakim-Shabazz. McDaniel says the Facebook page is a satire page and as such is protected speech. He says, “Gabriel Whitley had no part in this, I run the page but it was a joke and I take full responsibility for the joke. We will win and all charges will be dropped.” The suit states, “The satiric effect emerges only as the reader concludes by the very outrageousness of the words that the whole thing is a put-on.” Hakim-Shabazz says that “the context of the post does not allow a reasonable reader to think the defendant’s words were a ‘put on.’” Kendall is seeking $50,000 in damages, punitive damages as the court deems proper,  attorney fees and court costs, and other relief the court deems proper.

Comrex Unveils New Remote Contribution Solution. The new cloud service for remote, on-air or production contribution from Comrex is called Gagl, and it allows between one and five users to send and receive audio from computers and smartphones. Each user receives their own mix-minus to hear other connected guests, and the Gagl audio is delivered to a Comrex hardware codec (such as ACCESS or BRIC-Link, usually in a studio). All participants can hear other participants and the codec “sends” audio back to them. Comrex says that participants can connect and send audio by simply clicking a link using any common web browser. Gagl is designed to be used with consumer grade equipment, so contributors only need a device and a headset to get on the air. Gagl uses the Opus audio encoder, with a bit rate that delivers both voice and music in excellent quality. Gagl also delivers audio directly to a Comrex codec with all the stability enhancements, pro-grade audio connections, and features that hardware codecs provide. The simple user interface makes it easy for users with any level of technical experience to use. Comrex adds that Gagl could be used as the hub for a news program or for a morning radio show to support multiple simultaneous contributor connections. Because it offers low latency, it’s appropriate for call-in talk radio. Gagl could also be used to allow a single contributor to connect back to the studio from a computer or smartphone. Gagl works with Comrex hardware IP audio codecs including the AES67-compatible ACCESS NX Rack IP audio codec and ACCESS MultiRack multi-channel IP audio codec as well as the BRIC-Link series. Find out more about Gagl here.

Edison Research: Spotify Takes Over as Top U.S. Podcast Network. The latest Q2 2022 data from Edison Research’s ranking of the Top Podcast Networks in the U.S. reveals that Spotify, SXM Media, and iHeartRadio take the top three spots, respectively. Spotify surpassed SXM Media’s weekly reach by a tiny margin. Edison’s ranking is based on surveys of 8,000 podcast listeners in the U.S. and measures reach as a percentage of the weekly podcasting audience. Rankings are compiled by measuring the total unduplicated reach of all the shows represented by a given network. See the complete list of the top 30 podcast networks here.

Podtrac: iHeartRadio Top Podcast Publisher for August 2022. The ranking of top podcast publishers from Podtrac has been released for August and, based on Unique Monthly Audience, iHeartRadio is ranked #1 with more than 35.5 million UMA for its 689 active shows. Wondery is ranked #2 (24.5 million UMA) for 204 shows, and NPR comes in at #3 (19.7 million UMA) for 49 shows. See Podtrac’s entire chart of the top 20 podcast publishers for August 2022 here.

Brian Kilmeade in Albany. Pictured above is FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (center) on stage at The Egg Performing Arts Center in Albany on September 8. With him is FOX News Channel producer Alyson Mansfield (left) and news/talk WGDJ, Albany owner Paul Vandenburgh (right). Kilmeade’s radio program is heard from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on WGDJ.

KFAN’s Dan Barreiro to Be Enshrined in Hall of Fame. Longtime Twin Cities sports talk personality Dan Barreiro – host of “Bumper to Bumper with Dan Barreiro” and “Sunday Sermons with Dan Barreiro” – is being honored this Saturday (9/17) at the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Barreiro was a sports columnist at the Star Tribune for 17 years. He joined iHeartMedia’s KFXN-FM, Minneapolis “KFAN 100.3” in 1992. iHeartMedia Minneapolis market president Greg Alexander says, “Dan epitomizes the make-up of a tremendous talk show in the Twin Cities. He puts together compelling interviews and has the ability to break down any and every topic to entertain our listeners. He is a true talent.” Market SVP of programming Gregg Swedberg adds, “There isn’t a radio personality who has had the kind of ratings success over the last three decades that Dan Barreiro has. He has done it by hosting intelligent, entertaining, and compelling radio. He’s more than the ‘Big Ticket,’ he is the blueprint.”

Audacy’s I’m Listening Mental Health Campaign to Produce Sixth Annual Special Program. The ongoing mental health public service campaign from Audacy includes the two-hour audio program, “I’m Listening,” once again co-hosted by Carson Daly and by Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble. Each year, Audacy activates “I’m Listening” through national campaigns featuring artists, celebrities, and athletes who share their experiences with mental health. Partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, these events help raise awareness and support of issues that we all face in our daily lives. Guests on this year’s program will include: Carrie Underwood, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Vice President Kamala Harris, Lizzo, Ricky Williams, Maren Morris, Charlie Puth and Stephen A. Smith, who will share personal mental health stories. The special airs nationwide on Wednesday, September 21 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm local time across more than 230 Audacy stations and will be live streamed via its digital app and website. Also, returning to the Hollywood Bowl for its ninth year, the star-studded concert “We Can Survive” takes place on Saturday, October 22 with featured acts including Alanis Morrisette, Garbage, Halsey, OneRepublic, Weezer and more.

Trumps vs DOJ, Inflation/Financial Markets/Railroad Strike, Lindell Search Warrant, Russia-Ukraine War, British Royalty, Musk-Twitter Case, and Ken Starr Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/13). Former President Donald Trump’s battle with the Department of Justice over its investigation into documents he kept at Mar-a-Lago; the still rising rate of inflation, Tuesday’s financial markets beating, and the looming railroad strike; MyPillow founder Mike Lindell has phone taken by FBI in warranted search; Ukraine’s retaking of territory from Russian forces; the royal family’s activities in the aftermath of Queen Elizabeth’s death; the court battle between Elon Musk and Twitter over his canceled acquisition bid; and former special prosecutor Ken Starr dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Monday, August 8, 2022

Pending Business: When Controversy Strikes. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says, “If you’ve been selling or managing talk radio for a longer than you would like to admit, there is a good chance you’ve experienced the pushback when a talent inadvertently steps over a line. When it becomes a deal breaker or a cancellation, you’re not alone. Sometimes a talent will make an honest mistake and your management will step in to right the ship. Sometimes not, and we all know how that ends.” Read more here.

 

Monday Memo: The Resourceful Podcaster, Parked. The pandemic shutdown forced radio and TV broadcasters into working remotely. Many in radio continue to. “They’re podcasters with transmitters” consultant Holland Cooke quips. In this week’s column, his scrappy tip for giving podcasts the polish that broadcast listeners expect. Read it here.

iHeartRadio Tops Podtrac’s July 2022 Top Podcast Publishers Chart. The Top Podcast Publishers chart for the month of July has been published by Podtrac. The chart, based on unique monthly audience (United States), places iHeartRadio in the #1 spot with a UMA of 29.5 million. Wondery comes in second place with a UMA of 21.2 million, followed by NPR at #3 with a UMA of 17 million. Other podcast publishers of note making the Top 20 chart include: PodcastOne at #8 (UMA 6.1 million), FOX Audio Network at #11 (UMA 4.4 million), and Cumulus Podcast Network at #15 (UMA 3.6 million). See the complete chart here.

 

Joe Benigno Returning to WFAN, New York in Part-Time Capacity. During an appearance on the afternoon drive “Carton & Roberts” show on WFAN, New York on Friday (8/5), former midday talk host Joe Benigno revealed he’s going to be returning to WFAN to host a regular Saturday morning show on the station as well as a Monday segment with midday hosts Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney. He says he’ll also do some fill-in work on “The Fan.” Benigno, who co-hosted the midday show with Evan Roberts, retired from the Audacy sports talk station last November.

Inflation Reduction Act, CPAC 2022, China’s Taiwan Threats, Alex Jones Trial, Gaza Fighting, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19/Monkey Pox Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Senate’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act that moves to the House this week and President Joe Biden’s claim of victory for American families should it become law; the CPAC 2022 weekend convention highlighted by a keynote speech by former President Donald Trump; China ramps up military exercises near Taiwan in the aftermath of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to the island; the Texas jury in the Alex Jones defamation case levies $45.2 million in punitive damages against him; the fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in Gaza; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine; the rate of COVID cases in the U.S. and the global spread of Monkey Pox were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

WKNR Contest Puts $30,000 Ad Campaign Up For Grabs. This marks the third consecutive year that Good Karma Brands sports talk WKNR “850 ESPN Cleveland” will give away a $30,000 WKNR advertising schedule to one local business. To qualify for “Moving Business Forward,” the establishment must be owned by a veteran, minority member, or woman. The promotion runs through this Friday (7/29) and is open to Northeast Ohio businesses incorporated and active for at least two years with annual revenue under $15 million in fiscal year 2021. Entrants must submit an under 300-word statement saying why their business deserves to win. Judging criteria will be on passion for the business; innovation during – and response to – the COVID-19 pandemic; employee loyalty; impact on business’ neighborhood/community; and overall business culture. According to Good Karma Brands Cleveland vice president/market manager Amy Crossman, “We are excited to partner with Keybank and the Cleveland Cavaliers to continue this powerful program for the local business community. We look forward to connecting our passionate sports fans with these deserving Cleveland-based businesses to help them thrive in the future.” The winner will have use of a private suite for one Cavs game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. WKNR will buy $2,500 in gift cards, divided among veteran, minority, and women-owned businesses, to be given away throughout the year.

NAB Appoints Hall to Leadership Foundation Board. Talk host/journalist/producer/author Tamron Hall is appointed to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Leadership Foundation. In addition, Hall assumes the newly-created position of industry ambassador, where she will work with NABLF on campaigns and fundraising efforts. NAB Leadership Foundation president Michelle Duke comments, “Tamron Hall exemplifies the values of NABLF through her commitment to service, advocacy, and diversity. Her strong record of public service and leadership make her uniquely-qualified to serve as a champion for the Foundation and for broadcasting. We look forward to her partnership and working with her to make our industry better.” Hall adds, “I am so excited to help the NAB Leadership Foundation continue its mission of attracting and developing the next generation of innovative broadcast executives. More than ever, we need to ensure that the broadcast industry has a pipeline of future leaders that reflect our diverse audiences. It’s been an honor to work with the Foundation in the past; I look forward to furthering this work as a member of the Board.” As industry ambassador, Hall will help NABLF honor broadcast radio and television stations’ community service efforts through the Foundation’s annual Celebration of Service to America Awards, which she hosted two years ago.

KO’s “Countdown” Continues as an iHM Podcast. Beginning August 1, former longtime ESPN and MSNBC anchor; author; and three-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner Keith Olbermann will launch a daily iHeartMedia podcast series. “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” will include a news-driven mix featuring a “Special Comment” political analysis and his popular MSNBC “Worst Person In The World” segment. As part of the podcast, the one time sports anchor at Los Angeles all-news outlet KNX will do a regular sports bit, as well as a daily call to help a suffering dog. In a Wall Street Journal interview this week, Olbermann declares that podcasts have, “replaced radio and to a large part television. Why not present something that is there every day for people? My goal is that you’ll be able to listen and get everything that happened. It won’t be, ‘here we are reacting to last week’s news.’ I’m doing the work for the work. I stopped predicting my next career development around 1997.” Former “Today” anchor Katie Couric and Fox News host Megyn Kelly launched post-television audio broadcasting careers. Meanwhile, Conan O’Brien signed a deal with SiriusXM earlier this year to start a podcasting venture. Olbermann covered the 1980 Olympics “Miracle on Ice” and anchored the 2009 Super Bowl pre-game show.

Hobbs To Helm MundoNow’s Óyenos Audio. Multicultural podcasting veteran Stephen Hobbs is named chief audio officer of MundoNow’s Latino podcast network, Óyenos Audio. Hobbs will oversee the development of new original scripted series and audio entertainment concepts that will focus on topics including true crime and inspirational stories. MundoNow chief executive officer Rene Alegrias remarks, “Latinos expect smart, highly sophisticated podcasts that provide a culturally-accurate connection to their heritage. Óyenos will provide this and it will be driven by the renowned Stephen Hobbs. In the world of multicultural podcasting, Stephen’s caliber and experience is unmatched.” MundoNow chief revenue officer/partner Andrew Polsky notes, “I immediately recognized the impact this platform can make in expanding meaningful podcasting for the underserved bilingual/bicultural market. This impact will be maximized with the hiring of Stephen. I’ve worked with him before on multiple brand partnership executions. I’m excited to collaborate with him again to not only elevate Óyenos, but the offering of Latino streaming content as a whole.” Hobbs states that bilingual digital media company MundoNow, recently rebranded from Mundo Hispanico, is “exceptionally well-positioned to become a leader in multicultural podcasting. It has the audience, it has the growth strategy under superior leadership from Rene and Andrew, and it has the production capacity. My job is to create content that will have listeners on the edge of their seats, or perhaps making an emotional connection.” Hobbs co-founded reVolver Podcasts; was Univision’s vice president of podcasts and experiential; and during his three-year tenure at Spanish Broadcasting Systems launched AIRE Radio Network. MundoNow generates ten million unique visitors each month, along with 70+ million pageviews and more than a quarter-billion served ad impressions.

TALKERS News Notes. In a Facebook post, Sammy Simpson reveals, “I am going to be transitioning out of the brand/content manager role at Capitol Broadcasting [Raleigh]. The company has started the search for a new sports [talk] program director and I would encourage you to apply or help spread the word if interested in a truly great opportunity.” Simpson joined Capitol Broadcasting Raleigh two years ago to oversee sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan”; sports talk WCMC-HD2 “Buzz Sports Radio”; and sports talk WDNC “620 The Ticket.” The cluster also includes adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” and triple A WCLY “That Station.” …  Meanwhile, in another sports talk-related Facebook post, we learn that Waterloo Media Austin flips Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 (1.2, #22, June 2022, 6+) to sports talk as “102.7 ESPN Austin.” In addition to ESPN programming, the on-air lineup will include: Jason Dick and CJ Morgan (from alternative cluster-mate KROX); Ed Clements (from co-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM); and Bryan Bymark (from rock cluster-mate KLBJ-FM). … Per USA Today‘s Mike Organ, Nashville media personality Mark Howard has died at the age of 65. In 2004, Howard became co-host of  “The Wake Up Zone” on Nashville sports talk WGFX “The Zone 104.5”; he left the show in 2020. The Connecticut native most recently worked as a part-time host at cross-town Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT-FM “The Game 102.5.” Howard spent several years hosting a Tennessee Titans post-game show and co-hosted Nashville Predators pre-game and post-game programs. … The first five recipients of the Friends of Georgia Radio’s “Georgia Radio Legends” honors are: Media Ventures Partners founder (the late) Charles Giddens; Georgia Association of Broadcasters president/National Alliance of State Broadcasters Association president Bob Houghton; Cox Media Group Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM & WSBB legislative reporter Sandra Parrish; Atlanta Public Schools public radio news/talk WABE host Lois Reitzes; and University of Georgia radio studio host/WSB-AM & WSBB director of marketing & research Neal “Hondo” Williamson. They will be recognized at a Jeff Foxworthy-hosted event next month (8/27) in Alpharetta.

Podtrac Releases Weekly Podcast Data. Tracking data of podcasts for Podtrac-measured shows indicates that downloads are down 9% (July 18 – 24) over the previous week, but up 53% over the corresponding period last year. All categories are down week-to-week, with “History” and “Society & Culture” showing the most significant week-to-week decline (-12%). Meanwhile, “Health & Fitness” registers the strongest year-to-year growth, a robust +179%. Across all Podtrac-measured podcasts, download growth (July 19, 2021 – July 24, 2022) was up 53%, while week-over-week download growth (July 18 – 24, 2022) was off 9%. For the 52-week period (July 19, 2021 to July 24, 2022), “Health & Fitness” is +179%; “Comedy” is +100%; “Sports” is +64%; “True Crime” is +54%; “Science” is +52%; “Business” is +51%; “News” is +43%; “Society & Culture” is +39%; “History” is +32%; and “Arts” is flat. Week-over-week download dips (July 18 – 24, 2022) included: -12% (“History”); -12% (“Society & Culture”); -10% (“News”); -10% (“Sports”); -10% (“True Crime”); -9% (“Science”); -7% (“Business”); -7% (“Comedy”); -6% (“Arts”); and -6% (“Health & Fitness”).

SiriusXM, NFL Extend/Expand Their Broadcast Agreement. Under terms of the new five-year extension, SiriusXM becomes the exclusive third-party audio provider of every National Football League game across North America. NFL chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp remarks, “SiriusXM continues to be an important part of the NFL family. [It provides] fans access to live game audio, as well as all news and information around their favorite teams.” SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein notes, “The popularity of the NFL, and the passion of their fans, is extraordinary. Since 2004, the NFL has been an important component of SiriusXM’s programming lineup as we deliver those fans exceptional access to all their favorite teams. We couldn’t be more pleased to now be expanding our relationship with the league, ensuring our listeners will continue to get comprehensive access to the NFL.” Subscribers will continue getting access to every NFL game through Super Bowl LXI (2027) on SiriusXM radio and on the SXM App. The SXM App offers 32 NFL team channels, each dedicated to carrying the official radio broadcast for each NFL team. The satcaster will offer additional team-focused content, including coaches shows, and press conferences to subscribers.

America Amplified “Election 2022” Launches This Week. Funded by the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, the America Amplified “Election 2022” initiative helps public media stations in 25 states, including Michigan Radio, ensure that citizens are properly informed to participate in this fall’s local, state and congressional elections. Corporation For Public Broadcasting president/chief executive officer Pat Harrison comments, “Voting is the foundation of a democracy. We want to ensure that all eligible citizens have the information they need to exercise their right to vote. With more than 1,500 locally managed and operated stations, public media is ideally situated to engage all citizens. America Amplified’s listening-first approach will help build trust in the process.” Michigan Radio program director Matt Shafer Powell remarks, “Joining America Amplified gives Michigan Radio the chance to build on our long-standing commitment to engaging and informing our community. We are excited to bring additional resources to better understand what our communities need to know about election processes and election security.” Among the initiative’s community engagement activities is an online tool that allows the public to submit questions related to the election voting process. Questions will be answered using nonpartisan election information sources.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Michael La Crosse to Lead Programming at iHeartMedia Sacramento. Programming pro Michael La Crosse is named SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Sacramento station group that includes news/talk outlets KFBK and KSTE and five music outlets. La Crosse will continue to oversee the iHeartMedia Portland market as vice president of programming and will serve as program director for adult contemporary KBEB “92.5 The Breeze.” iHeartMedia National Programming Group EVP Maynard says, “Michael is an outstanding programmer and human. He has worked closely with Sacramento and many other iHeartMedia markets over the past few years and I couldn’t be more excited to formally expand his leadership responsibilities and influence.” La Crosse comments, “I’m very humbled to get the chance to work with the amazing team in Sacramento. With a brand-new station like ‘KISS 107.9’ and a station like NewsRadio KFBK, that is celebrating its 100th anniversary, our stations are as diverse as Sacramento itself.”

Ernie Brown Moves to Morning Drive on WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth. News and talk radio pro Ernie Brown moves from his late morning daypart to morning drive on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth. Brown joins Hal Jay as co-host of “WBAP’s Morning News” from 5:00 am to 9:00 am. WBAP program director Bruce Collins says, “Ernie is exactly what we were looking for. He’s the ultimate professional broadcaster that knows how to relate to the audience and understands the biggest stories of the day that resonate with our target audience. We’re excited to have him as our new morning show leader.” Brown comments, “We’ll talk about the issues that matter to WBAP listeners: inflation, gas prices, grocery prices, supply chain shortages, your money, covid, and of course the Cowboys! I’ve worked at great stations and organizations all over the country including KOGO in San Diego, ‘America’s Radio News’ in Washington, D.C., Western Journal – Phoenix, and KOMO in Seattle and hosted a national late night talk show called ‘America at Night.’ This is an incredible opportunity to get to work with Hal Jay and the talented WBAP morning team. I want to thank Cumulus DFW RVP/market manager Dan Bennett and PD Bruce Collins.”

Podtrac Announces Top Podcast Publishers for June 2022. The ranking of top podcast publishers for June of this year from Podtrac based on unique monthly audience (UMA) has been released and iHeartRadio holds down the top spot with a U.S. unique monthly audience of 30.3 million. At #2 is Wondery with a UMA of 23.8 million. NPR follows at #3 (UMA 18 million), The New York Times is #4 (UMA 11 million), and NBC News is #5 (UMA 9.1 million). You can see the complete ranking of the top 20 here.

Audacy Unveils Updates to App and Website. The company announces that it has begun to make updates to its digital platform in the form of new features on the Audacy app and website. The company says, “We’ll be rolling out these enhancements over the coming weeks and months, with each release focused on positively impacting Audacy’s digital, podcasting, data, analytics, and ad tech capabilities. At the heart of these updates lives truly interactive radio. We’re giving our listeners even more control over streaming radio with additional interactivity to both live and on-demand content. We’re also improving the discovery and curation of our radio and podcast content, presented seamlessly together within an evolved interface and user experience.” Initial updates include: 1) enhanced rewind in which listeners can rewind live news, sports, and news/talk stations and hear it all again; 2) curated discovery of content in which listeners are immersed into a personalized, interactive experience that is customizable, based not just on their favorite stations or podcasts, but also on their topical interests across news, sports and music; and 3) enriched podcast listening giving listeners access to nearly 3 million podcasts plus exclusive binging of Audacy Originals. The app also now presents radio and podcast content together, allowing listeners to consume the latest content from the shows they love along with the topics they’re interested in.

NAB Reveals 2022 Marconi Award Finalists. The finalists for the NAB’s 2022 Marconi Awards in numerous categories have been revealed. In the category of Legendary Station of the Year, three spoken-word stations made the cut: Audacy’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco; Audacy’s all-news KRLD-AM, Dallas; and Bonneville’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix. Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year nominees include: Ramsey Media’s Dave Ramsey, Premiere NetworksGeorge Noory, and Premiere’s Dan Patrick. News/talk and sports talk personalities making the finalist round include, in the Major Market Personallity of the Year category: Mike Felger and Tony Massorotti, WBZ-FM, Boston; Greg Hill, WEEI-FM, Boston; and Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel, WSCR-AM, Chicago. In the Large Market Personality of the Year category, finalists include: C4 and Bryan Nehman, WBAL-AM, Baltimore and Tony Katz, WIBC-FM, Indianapolis. In the Medium Market Personality of the Year category, finalists include: Harlen the Sports Guy & Pigskin Bob, KYKX-FM, Tyler, Texas and Kevin Miller, KIDO-AM, Boise, Idaho. The five finalists in the News/Talk Station of the Year category are: Audacy’s KNX-AM, Los Angeles; Hubbard Radio’s KTMY-FM, Minneapolis-St. Paul; Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton; iHeartMedia’s WLW-AM, Cincinnati; and Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM, Atlanta. And the five finalists in the Sports Station of the Year category are: Cumulus Media’s KNBR-AM, San Francisco; Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston; Audacy’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia; WMFS-FM, Memphis; and WXYT-FM, Detroit.

Mike Missanelli to Co-Host Eagles Postgame Show. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that longtime Philadelphia sports media personality Mike Missanelli, who exited Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” in May of this year, is working with JAKIB Media Partners to co-host a Philadelphia Eagles post-game show beginning this fall. The paper says that Missanelli and former NBC Sports Philadelphia analyst Seth Joyner are joining Derrick Gunn and Devan Kaney on JAKIB’s YouTube channel. The program will stream after each Eagles game this fall. As the Inquirer notes in its story, JAKIB Sports streams three daily live programs including “Birds 365,” hosted by John McMullen and WIP host Jody McDonald; “Sports Take,” hosted by Gunn, Barrett Brooks, and Rob Ellis; and “The National Football Show” hosted by Dan Sileo.

Audacy: Study Confirms Ad Engagement Increases with Each Audio Exposure. The results of an audio study conducted by independent market research consultancy Alter Agents in partnership with Audacy and media agency Spark Foundry, show that ad engagement climbs with each audio exposure across industry categories, audio platforms and genres. Audacy says that this distinctive content peak study shows that “exposing audiences to audio messages consistently offers resounding benefits in brand equity and sales. Audio seizes attention and builds intention, frequency after frequency. It offers brands opportunities for engagement and impact throughout the life of a campaign.” Audacy and Spark Foundry devised a custom neuroscience study in partnership with Alter Agents to gauge audiences’ second-by-second engagement (i.e., Immersion) with audio content and advertising, across advertiser categories, audio platforms, and genres. Spark Foundry provided samples of its clients’ advertisements in the retail, financial services and QSR industries. Over the course of a week, participants (national sample of P18-54) were exposed to a randomized rotation of audio content and advertisements up to 15 times. The team measured brand KPIs (e.g., brand opinion and intention to purchase) through a follow-up survey. Audacy SVP of research and insights Idil Cakim says, “The study, based on an incredibly rigorous design that combines neuroscience and survey methodologies, proves the strength of audio in the media mix. Audio’s ability to scale its effect through higher frequencies shows its unique ability to engage and drive value.”

Squad SCOTUS Protest, January 6 Hearings/Georgia Probe/Bannon Trial, Biden Approval Ratings, Midterms/2024 Race, The Economy, House Same-Sex Marriage Bill, COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine War, and Heatwave/Climate Change Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19). The Supreme Court Roe v Wade protest at which U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and others were arrested; the ongoing January 6 hearings, the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s alleged attempt to change Georgia’s 2020 election results, and the contempt of congress trial of former White House strategist Steve Bannon; President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings; the November midterm elections and speculation about the 2024 presidential nominees; the state of the U.S. economy as inflation and falling financial markets affect Americans; the U.S. House passes a bill protecting same-sex marriages; the rising rate of BA.5 subvariant COVID-19 cases; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the record-setting European heatwave were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.