Audacy Austin names Manimala “Momo” Vemireddy as regional promotions director. In this role, she’ll work closely with market and brand leadership and regional promotions leads on the ideation, implementation and management of all market events, promotions and contesting initiatives and support similar initiatives within the region that includes Dallas, Houston and New Orleans. Audacy Austin SVP and market manager Bob Mackay says, “Momo has all the mojo going as far as being connected promotionally in Austin. She loves live music and being out with the brands, which made her the perfect choice to work alongside our vice president of programming Nikki Nite, to help elevate the Audacy Austin marketing efforts.” Audacy operates news/talk KJCE-AM and three music brands in the Austin market.
Compass Media Networks announces new hires and promotions throughout its various departments, including Advertising Sales, Affiliate Sales, and Creative Services along with Promotions in Advertising Sales and Finance. Marc Siegel joins the company to serve as director of audio sales/general manager of spoken word sponsorships & activations. Recent Hofstra University graduate Kassandra Faber joins the company as associate director of affiliate sales. Recent Trinity College graduate Sydney Sperling joins as associate director of affiliate sales. Broadcast pro Jim Davison joins the company as project manager creative services subsidiary, Yamanair Creative. Four-year staffer Liane Sousa transitions from director of affiliate sales to account executive, advertising sales, and four-year employee Matt Wallach is promoted to accounting analyst.
Superadio Networks LLC announces promotions in three of its offices. In New York, Raphael George is upped to director, affiliate sales and content. In this expanded role George assumes oversight of affiliate relations as well as new programming and content strategy. Chicago-based affiliate sales pro Kimberly Sawyer is promoted to media relations and affiliate sales manager. In her new role, Sawyer adds expanded Radio Media Tour outreach to her station relations duties. And in the Superadio Boston office, Dianne Cook is named operations and distribution manager overseeing both the affiliation process and distribution. Superadio president Eric Faison states, “These appointments are well deserved. Dianne, Raphael and Kim are invaluable contributors to the success of the company and have been integral in maintaining the high standards in customer service and quality programming that are synonymous with Superadio.”
Cumulus Unfriends Podcast Movement After Ben Shapiro Incident. After an incident at Podcast Movement’s recent Dallas convention at which Westwood One talk host Ben Shapiro made an impromptu appearance that bothered an attendee, prompting them to complain to the organizers, and Podcast Movement actually issuing an apology, Cumulus Media announces it is severing its relationship with the organization. Shapiro has one of the most-listened-to podcasts in the U.S. based on numerous surveys. It is published by The Daily Wire and repped by Cumulus Podcast Network. Cumulus was a sponsor of the event based on its purchase of a booth and Shapiro says he stopped by while in town on other business. This, according to The Washington Examiner, caused one attendee to tweet: “Hey @PodcastMovement what the f***. As a trans person, as a queer person, as someone with a uterus, this does not make me feel welcome. This does not make me feel safe.” Podcast Movement then tweeted an apology. Both of those tweets have since been deleted. On Tuesday (9/6), Cumulus issued the following statement: “At Cumulus Media, our tenet is that Every Voice Matters and we support conferences and trade events where differing political viewpoints can be expressed and received with respect. As such, we were dismayed and disappointed by Podcast Movement’s handling of the reaction to our partner, top podcaster, and conservative talk leader Ben Shapiro’s mere presence at Podcast Movement. After giving the leaders of Podcast Movement sufficient time to appropriately address their misstep, we are disassociating from Podcast Movement, including canceling our 2023 sponsorship plans.” Meanwhile, The Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing states, “I’m glad to see our longtime partner Cumulus/Westwood One taking such a strong and public stand against Podcast Movement’s outright and abject bigotry. Though Podcast Movement quietly removed their bigoted tweet thread over the weekend, they still have yet to retract and publicly apologize for their hateful comments about Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire. In an illiberal moment such as the one we’re currently living in, if we don’t stand up to this kind of bigoted behavior it’s only going to get worse. I certainly hope Cumulus’s strong response to Podcast Movement is the first of many others like it.”
Houston Sports Media Figure John McClain Takes on Senior Columnist Role at ‘Sports Radio 610.’ Longtime Houston sports columnist and KILT-AM contributor John McClain takes on the new title senior Texans columnist for “Sports Radio 610.” The Audacy station says that in this role, McClain will provide weekly postgame observations, team report cards and Texans-driven columns throughout the season. He’ll also continue to appear regularly on its programs “Payne and Pendergast,” “In the Loop with John Lopez and Landry Locker,” and “Clint Stoerner and The Show.” McClain will also co-host the Houtopia Football Podcast alongside “Sports Radio 610” morning show host Sean Pendergast. KILT-AM brand manager Parker Hillis says, “To officially bring a Houston legend in John McClain onto our team is incredible. John has always been one of our biggest proponents in the market and I’m thrilled that Texans fans will now be able to read his observations and opinions at SportsRadio610.com, on top of his weekly radio appearances.” McClain adds, “I’ve been doing sports talk on 610 for 23 years, and I’m fired up about the opportunity to write for the station’s website. I’m especially excited to work with Brandon Scott, one of my favorite reporters in Houston. I think Brandon does a terrific job covering Houston sports, and it’s an honor to cover the Texans with him.”
SummitMedia Appoints Justin Ragland Corporate VP of Events and Promotions. Promoted from his role managing SummitMedia LLC’s Birmingham market promotions department to the corporate position vice president of events and promotions is Justin Ragland. He’ll now oversee events and promotions at 46 stations in nine markets nationwide. SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer says, “We are very pleased to have Justin leading our events and promotions efforts. He has done an outstanding job for us in Birmingham, and we are excited for him to bring his unique skillset to the entire company.” Ragland, who will remain based in Birmingham, comments, “My goal is to be an instrumental team member in every SummitMedia market to help grow each brand in both ratings and revenue. Joining the leadership team for this company is a privilege and one that I am excited about.”
Round One of August PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen’s August 2022 sweep covered July 21 – August 17. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media Group’s news/talk WABC/WLIR-FM tacks on two-tenths for a 4.3 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish but drops back to the #8 rank. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR adds one-tenth to wrap with a 2.0 share and remains ranked #18. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles rises to the #4 rank after climbing three-tenths for a 4.8 share finish, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KNX-AM/FM adds three-tenths for a 3.3 share that lifts it to the #10 rank. In Chicago, Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN-AM is up three-tenths for a 3.3 share that pushes it up to the #8 rank, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM is steady with a 4.6 share that keeps it ranked #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
Robin Sloan Named EVP of Audio Sales for AdLarge. Audio sales pro Robin Sloan joins AdLarge as executive vice president of audio sales. In this new role, Sloan will work directly with chief revenue officer Don Wachsmith on revenue strategy development and agency relationships. She will also focus on driving revenue with the audio sales team and managing the day to day activity. Most recently, Sloan was the director of national partnerships at Westwood One. AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas comments, “I’m delighted to have Robin join our team. She’s a veteran recognized in the audio industry for bringing her exceptional relationships and in-depth experience in sales, management and sports to the AdLarge audio sales efforts. I could not find a more perfect person to fit this role and continue to help us grow our business.”
TALKERS News Notes. Revisions to its 2022 third quarter revenue estimates are being announced by Salem Media Group, Inc. The company says that taking into account the postponement of the forthcoming book, 2000 Mules by Dinesh D’Souza, until the fourth quarter, lower than expected revenue on SalemNOW, and the impact on advertising revenue due to the weakening economic environment, the company now expects third quarter 2022 total revenue to be between flat and an increase of 2% over third quarter 2021 total revenue of $66 million…..A new podcast by Bloomberg News and iHeartMedia that investigates a massive transfer of wealth a century ago, out of Osage hands and into White ones – facilitated by the United States government — and how the Osage Nation is fighting to reverse decades of land loss today is being produced. The podcast, called “In Trust,” is hosted by Bloomberg reporter Rachel Adams-Heard, who says, “A hundred and fifty years ago, the Osage Nation bought a stretch of prairie the size of Delaware, in what’s now Oklahoma. The Osage owned the land and everything beneath it. Today, much of present-day Osage County has left Osage hands. In some cases, appropriation was swift and brutal: Dozens of Osages were murdered for their share of lucrative mineral rights to this oil-rich land, a period often referred to as the Reign of Terror. But other transfers of wealth played out more subtly—dollar by dollar and acre by acre, over decades—helped along by policies created by the US government. ‘In Trust’ is the story of that system. A system that moved wealth from Native hands to White ones. One that three brothers learned to operate, laying the foundation for a modern American dynasty of land and influence that continues to this day.”…..iHeartMedia announces that chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference on Tuesday September 13 at 1:45 pm ET. A live webcast of the session will be available to the general public at the start of the session through a link on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.
Special Master Ruling, Georgia Election Investigation, Midterms & 2024 Presidential Race, Russia-Ukraine War, Saskatchewan Stabbings Investigation, and Western Heatwave Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/6). Controversy over federal Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling to appoint a Special Master to review the documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence; the investigation into Donald Trump’s and Lindsey Graham’s interactions with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the breach of that state’s voting system allegedly by fake Trump electors; Tuesday’s primary races for the November midterms and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; the investigation into the deadly stabbings in Saskatchewan; and the brutal heatwave affecting the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
iHeartMedia Ups Joe De Angelis to SVP of Promotions. This corporate promotion to SVP of promotions for the iHeartMedia Markets Group for Joe De Angelis comes after serving as director of marketing and promotions for iHeartMedia New York and national event brand manager since 2015. In his new role, De Angelis will “oversee promotions efforts across iHeartMedia’s entire roster of iconic brands and franchises — broadcast and digital — and align promotional efforts across iHeartMedia markets by creating and spearheading iHeartMedia’s Promotions Center.” De Angelis will report to Scott Hopeck, division president for the iHeartMedia Markets Group. Hopeck says, “I’m thrilled to promote Joe to senior vice president of promotions. During his time with iHeartMedia New York, Joe has proven that he is more than qualified for this role. He has extensive experience overseeing all marketing and promotions initiatives for our New York City stations, as well as our national tentpole events. Joe is a natural leader and an exceptional collaborator. I’m confident that he will effectively evolve how we develop and execute promotions for our brands and our partners.”
Audacy’s Bennett Zier Honored with MLK Jr Community Leaders Award. Radio executive Bennett Zier – who serves as Audacy Virginia SVP and market manager – was honored by The Urban League of Hampton Roads at its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders event with the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders Award. Zier says, “I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the Audacy stations in Hampton Roads. It’s our goal every day to embrace our local communities and partner with local leaders to build awareness in key areas like education, health and job growth…all while promoting compassion in our daily lives.” The award is presented to individuals or groups who exemplify service, demonstrate the values modeled by Dr. King, and make significant contributions to the Hampton Roads community. This year, Pharrell Williams served as the keynote speaker for the virtual event to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and recognize dedicated leaders in the Hampton Roads community.
Compass Media Networks Promotes Doug Ingold. Eight-year Compass Media Networks staffer Doug Ingold is promoted to vice president of affiliate sales for entertainment & music programming, effective immediately. Ingold will continue to be based out of the company’s Los Angeles office and will continue to spearhead distribution of some of the company’s entertainment shows, including “Big D & Bubba,” “Dave & Mahoney,” “Free Beer & Hot Wings,” “Rick Dees,” “Pop Crush Nights,” “Taste of Country,” “Ultimate Classic Rock” and many others. Ingold comments, “Compass Media Networks commitment to music & entertainment programming is strong and I’m grateful to be contributing to its long-term growth. It’s a privilege to serve our affiliates and partners with a tremendous roster of talent, shows and digital assets. Many thanks to our team for their support and much gratitude to Peter Kosann, Hiram Lazar, and Adam Wilbur.”
‘Today’s Homeowner’ Announces Backyard Makeover Promotion. The nationally syndicated home improvement television show “Today’s Homeowner” announces the 2022 edition of the “Backyard Paradise” promotion is now accepting entries through February 13. The winner of this contest, sponsored by Pavestone and Quikrete, will receive a backyard makeover and be featured on “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford.” Lipford’s Today’s Homeowner Media also syndicates a weekly radio program of the same name. Lipford says, “You can’t go wrong when developing an outdoor living area for your home. This contest is a highlight for me every year because it’s rewarding to work with homeowners who want to improve and invest in their homes. My team and I get to help bring a dream to reality, plus share some creative, practical inspiration with our audience.”
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that public radio WBEZ-FM’s parent company “is moving forward on plans to acquire the Chicago Sun-Times — a merger designed to assure survival of the money-losing newspaper while creating one of the nation’s largest nonprofit local news organizations.” Feder says that the “financial terms were not disclosed, but major funding is expected from Michael Sacks, lead investor in the Sun-Times, along with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Pritzker Traubert Foundation…..PodcastOne announces the launch of the “Cobra Koves” podcast and vodcast with beloved “Cobra Kai” star Martin Kove. The podcast will make its debut tomorrow (1/20) and will feature Kove and his children, fraternal twins Jesse and Rachel, as they recap episodes of the Netflix global hit television series, share stories from the original Karate Kid trilogy of films and give insight into their close-knit family bond…..Today’s episode of ABC News’ flagship daily podcast “Start Here,” is the 1,000th episode of the program hosted by Brad Mielke…..The PGA TOUR and SiriusXM sign a multi-year extension of their broadcasting agreement, which will continue to deliver extensive tournament coverage on the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel for subscribers nationwide through 2024. The deal provides for live coverage of every round of 38 PGA TOUR events throughout the season.
COVID-19, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Biden Press Conference, Violent Crime, Inflation/Supply Chain, Ukraine Standoff, Trump Organization Investigation, and Synagogue Attacker Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/18). The high rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, SCOTUS on Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, and mask purchase; the battle for control of Congress in the midterm elections and Donald Trump’s relationship with the GOP; today’s President Biden press conference; the rise of violent crime in America’s major cities; high retail and oil prices and the effect of the broken supply chain; relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Ukraine; the New York AG’s investigation into the Trump Organization; and the prior criminal record of Texas synagogue attacker Malik Faisal Akram were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.