Front Page News Industry News

Monday, October 3, 2022

Monday Memo: Yes, You Need More Cume. “It’s a never-ending problem” because budgets are tight, and with new-tech competitors chipping-away at AM/FM Time Spent Listening. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines three specific goals for on-air promotion; but cautions that “the only people who hear it are already listening.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: The Aftermath of Ian. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa has been affected by natural disasters numerous times during his career – including the long list of hurricanes that have impacted Florida in recent decades. In today’s column, he offers five takeaways for radio sellers working in markets affected by Ian, as well as those who may face a similar situation in the future. Read it here.

 

Morning Host Chris Stigall Re-Ups with Salem’s ‘The Answer’ in Philly. WNTP-AM, Philadelphia “AM 990 The Answer” morning host Chris Stigall signs a multi-year extension to continue with the Salem Media Group news/talk station. The host of “Philadelphia’s Morning Answer with Chris Stigall” says, “It’s been the highlight of my career to call Philadelphia morning radio my professional home for 12 years now. It’s so gratifying to work with principled, faith-first broadcast partners in Salem Media Group who genuinely respect their audience, their clients, and their broadcasters. Thank you to Salem Media, our sponsors and the smartest audience in all of radio for allowing me the privilege to continue hosting your morning show for years to come. All glory and honor to God!” Salem Philadelphia general manager Lorenzo Caldara adds, “Since the day Chris began with Philadelphia’s ‘AM 990 The Answer,’ he has engaged Philadelphians in intelligent and relevant conversation that has served to entertain and stimulate much thought in the minds of our audience. He has secured such an attentive audience that can’t wait to listen and call in to him everyday Monday through Friday.”

‘Smart Money Happy Hour’ Podcast Debuts at #1. The latest podcast from the Ramsey Network, “Smart Money Happy Hour,” debuted last week at #1 in Apple Business, #1 in Spotify Business and #19 in all Apple podcasts. Ramsey Network says the “Smart Money Happy Hour” is a mix of solid advice and snark from two friends who also happen to be money experts. Co-host Rachel Cruze says, “People will talk about almost anything these days, except money. These conversations shouldn’t be awkward or boring, but rather give listeners a sense of relief that they aren’t alone in their money journey – whatever circumstance or stage of life they’re in.” Co-host George Kamel adds, “The show is a good balance of real-life humor mixed in with money advice listeners can relate to. We’re willing to go there, have those conversations, and be that friend for you.” “Smart Money Happy Hour” topics include: Is Convenience Worth Being Broke? The TV Network That Brainwashed Us All; How to Leave a Royal Legacy for Your Family; and Can the Middle Class Still Afford to Go to Disney?

SRN’s Mike Gallagher Raises Funds for Hurricane Ian Relief. Pictured above in front of what’s left of a Venice, Florida car dealer’s lot is Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher broadcasting live. In the wake of Hurricane Ian’s devastation in Florida and the Carolinas, Gallagher is broadcasting from disaster sites today (10/3) and is raising funds to help people impacted by the huge storm. Gallagher is partnering with Christian non-profit relief organization Food for the Poor to rush hurricane emergency kits and hurricane flood relief kits to impacted areas. Gallagher says, “This is what radio does best: opening the hearts and wallets of listeners to help fellow Americans they will likely never meet.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between FOX Sports Radio and LaVar Arrington’s Up On Game Presents and Brinx.TV provides for distribution of programming across both platforms. The sports platform Brinx.TV is operated by John Brenkus – host of “Sports Science.” As part of the agreement, “The NIL House” will be the first joint property to be distributed by the Up On Game Presents podcast feed (available on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are heard) and Brinx.TV. The venture launches today (10/3) at 3:00 pm ET. Arrington says, “We are thrilled to be partnering with a pioneer like John Brenkus and Brinx.TV. This relationship will dramatically expedite our slate of programming and positively impact the sports entertainment industry.”…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno recently teamed with local agriculture company Gar Bennett to raise money for the Central California Food Bank for the 2022 Feeding Families Fund Drive. Gar Bennett Inc. matched every donation with 50 cents on the dollar as the effort raised $656,000 to fight hunger in the Central Valley. Cumulus Media Fresno VP and market manager Patty Hixson says, “I’m overwhelmed by the support of our community. We can always count on the generosity of our KMJ listeners! A special thanks to Karen and Greg Musson of Gar Bennett, Farm Credit and Amazon for their massive contributions and to our talented on-air team for their hard work on this important effort.”

Russia-Ukraine War, Hurricane Ian Aftermath, Economy/Financial Markets, Mar-a-Lago Documents Case, Brazilian Elections, and Indonesia Soccer Riot Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The move by Vladimir Putin to attempt to annex parts of Ukraine as he calls up more troops in Russia’s war against its neighbor; the aftermath of Hurricane Ian’s destruction of the Fort Myers-Naples region; inflation and the bear market that’s pushed the world’s financial markets to lows not seen since 2009; the battle between former President Donald Trump’s lawyers and the Department of Justice over the Mar-a-Lago records case; conservative Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro forces runoff election with opponent Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva; and the soccer riot in Indonesia that left 125 dead 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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Thursday, September 22, 2022

FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire Radio Row 2022 Brings Hosts and Guests Together in Washington, DC. Today (9/22) is the second day of the two-day radio row presented by Federation for American Immigration Reform. The 15th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” began on Wednesday with more than 65 talk media personalities interviewing politicians and immigration experts and discussing the hot-button issue of immigration reform and the problems the nation faces with the recent surges of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Pictured above are two of the hosts taking part in the radio row. Above left is WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island personality John DePetro flanked by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and above right is WRVA, Richmond afternoon host Jeff Katz with the media personalities Diamond and Silk.

WPHT, Philadelphia Talent Shuffle Includes New Morning Show; Zeoli Moves to PM Drive. A change in the programming schedule at Audacy’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia includes a new morning drive program titled, “Kayal and Company,” led by Nick Kayal and including Dawn Stensland and Greg Stocker (who also serves as station PD). Current morning drive host Rich Zeoli moves to the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart. Dom Giordano remains in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot and Stensland continues her solo program from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. The changes become effective on October 3. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff comments, “For the first time ever, WPHT will be live and local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm, which further cements this fan favorite as the voice of Philadelphia and a reliable destination for our listeners. We’re excited to welcome Nick, who is trading in his sports background for his passion for politics, to our morning drive, and move Rich and his highly-successful program to entertain and inform listeners as they wind down their days.” Kayal previously worked in the market on sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”

The Ramsey Network Launches ‘Smart Money Happy Hour’ Podcast. A new podcast from the Ramsey Network is launched titled, “Smart Money Happy Hour,” starring Rachel Cruze and George Kamel. The podcast is described as “a mix of solid advice and snark from two friends who also happen to be money experts.” The show joins the Ramsey Network roster of podcasts that includes “The Ramsey Show,” “The Dr. John Delony Show,” “The Rachel Cruze Show,” “The Ken Coleman Show,” “The Fine Print,” “Borrowed Future” and “The EntreLeadership Podcast.” Ramsey Network EVP Blake Thompson says, “Rachel and George have such unique chemistry. One minute I was laughing along with them, the next I was thinking about money in a whole new way. People are going to love the pop culture references and the casual, pour-a-glass-of-wine environment these two have created in this new podcast.” Some of the “Smart Money Happy Hour” topics include: Is Convenience Culture Worth Being Broke?; HGTV: The Network That Brainwashed Us; How to Leave a Royal Legacy for Your Family; and Can the Middle Class Still Afford to Go to Disney?

SmileyAudioMedia Offering ‘Agenda for America’ Election Programming to Stations. As a part of its continuing election coverage, Tavis Smiley, SmileyAudioMedia, Inc. and KBLA, Los Angeles “Talk 1580” announce that they are offering exclusive election programming to urban stations nationwide. SmileyAudioMedia, Inc. and KBLA Talk 1580 are producing a live, four-part series titled, “Agenda for America: An African American Perspective” that is executive produced by Smiley and moderated by KBLA’s radio hosts. The company says these four national conversations featuring influential Black voices will be offered at no charge to other talk- and urban-formatted radio stations and audio platforms across the country. The four programs are: “The State of Black Women in America,” hosted by Areva Martin; “The State of Black Men in America,” hosted by Zo Williams; “The State of Black Youth in America,” hosted by Dominique DiPrima; and, “Why We Can’t Wait: The Urgency of Now,” hosted by Tavis Smiley. The series airs live on Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT on KBLA “Talk 1580.” Smiley says, “KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ is not only a portal for talk and opinions for the progressive African American listening audience, but also a content provider of relevant programming for urban stations around the country. We intend for KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ to be the epicenter of election coverage, addressing local, state and national issues, affecting what matters most to our people.”

Audacy’s All-News WWJ, Detroit Unveils New Anchor Lineup. Beginning on October 3, the news anchor lineup changes at Audacy’s all-news WWJ, Detroit “News Radio 950.” The station says longtime anchor Jackie Paige (right) moves to mornings, joining Jonathan Carlson (left) from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Paige will also host middays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Brooke Allen follows from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Tony Ortiz takes over at 2:00 pm and is joined by Allen from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Ortiz also hosts from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Erin Vermeulen remains the evening news anchor from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “We are excited to announce our new lineup, which is full of news anchors who are seasoned and well known in the community. This new slate will allow WWJ to continue its mission of keeping listeners informed of breaking news and the top stories of the day.”

BIA Advisory: WTOP Maintains Top Biller Spot for 2021. A report from BIA Advisory Services tallying radio’s top billers for last year reveals that Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington stayed in the #1 position with an estimated $70 million in revenue in 2021. BIA Advisory says that figure was an increase of 12.9% from $62 million in 2020. It goes on to say, “This surpasses the overall growth rate of 10.3% that BIA forecasts for over-the-air radio from 2020 to 2021, as the industry started to pull out of the pandemic slump. WTOP-FM is also the only station on this list to surpass its pre-pandemic revenue figure of $69.8 million in 2019.” The spoken word stations on the 2021 list that showed improvement include Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago – up to the #4 spot from #5 in 2020 ($34 million); Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston rose from #6 to #5 ($33.4 million); Audacy’s all-news WINS, New York was up from #9 to #8 ($31.6 million); its sports talk WFAN, New York rose from #10 to #9 ($31.5 million); and its all-news WCBS-AM, New York entered the top 10 at #10 ($30.9 million). The big change from the 2020 list to the 2021 list was Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta falling from #4 to #12. BIA also ranked the top billing by radio companies. You can see both charts here.

Triton Digital Releases August 2022 U.S. Podcast Report. This report from Triton Digital ranks the most popular podcasts in the U.S. for the month of August based on Average Weekly Downloads. Changes from the July 2022 report include audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” rising from #3 to #1, bumping Cumulus Podcast Network’s “Ben Shapiro Show” from #1 to #3. Remaining in the #2 spot is NPR’s “NPR News Now.” You can see the complete list of the top 100 U.S. podcasts from Triton Digital here.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York City Radio Committee, a joint partnership of all the major radio broadcasters in New York City, is developing a marketing campaign to promote the power of radio. The campaign includes radio messaging on over 20 of New York’s most-listened-to stations, digital and social media marketing along with trade media. The multi-media campaign runs through November. The focus of the initiative is on advertising agencies and businesses that purchase advertising. Audacy New York market president and chairman of the New York City Radio Committee Chris Oliviero says, “Radio has been and continues to be a critical and valued part of millions of New Yorkers’ daily lives. These iconic brands, from music to news to sports, provide the soundtrack of the city. This campaign offers a fresh, fun and innovative approach to highlighting the efficacy of radio for media planners and advertisers.  The collaboration of the city’s major broadcasters shows a clear commitment to our belief that local radio, consumed on FM or AM or streaming or in podcasts, is an essential tool in any overall marketing strategy in the media capital of the world.”…..iHeartMedia extends the contract of Michael McGuinness through June 1, 2027 and changes his title from EVP – finance and deputy chief financial officer to EVP, deputy chief financial officer of the company and chief financial officer – multiplatform and digital segments…..FOX News Channel names Trace Gallagher anchor of “FOX News @ Night.” Gallagher takes over for Shannon Bream, who was recently promoted to anchor of “FOX News Sunday.” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “When it comes to breaking news coverage, Trace Gallagher is one of the best in the business and having a seasoned journalist at the helm of this hour ensures our viewers unrivaled 24/7 news coverage.”…..“The Todd Starnes Show” adds new affiliate KHTS, Santa Clarita, California to its roster of stations.

Inflation/Interest Rate Hike, NY Sues Trump Org, Trump Documents Case, Immigration/Migrant Transportation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Zelenskyy UN Speech, Iran Protests, and Hurricane Fiona Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/21). Inflation, the rising price of gasoline, and the Fed’s interest rate hike; New York Attorney General Letitia James files a civil fraud suit against Donald Trump, his children, and Trump Org officers; an Appeals Court rules DOJ can resume criminal probe of Donald Trump documents case; the immigration troubles at the U.S.-Mexico border and the transporting of migrants from Southern states to Northern cities; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for president in 2024; Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the UN General Assembly pressing for punishment for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the protests in Iran over the death of a woman in custody of the country’s “morality police”; and the destruction caused by Hurricane Fiona were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Friday, September 16, 2022

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 “Turbulence” looks back at this past week of 9/12 to 9/16. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Holland Cooke, media consultant; Lynn Woolley, talk show host, KJCE, Austin; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Graham Mack, broadcaster/journalist, London. 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.

New Jersey Child Psychologist Sues Bill Spadea and Townsquare Media for Defamation and More. In a civil suit filed in New Jersey Superior Court, psychologist Steven Tobias is suing WKXW-FM,Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning drive talk host Bill Spadea, the station, and Townsquare Media for defamation, business disparagement, and more. In the complaint Tobias says that he’d appeared on “New Jersey 101.5” numerous times over the years as an expert guest and, when the pandemic began, he appeared a number of times to offer advice on how to assist children struggling with wearing masks as well as with returning to school after remote learning. Tobias says he agreed to appear on Spadea’s program on September 21, 2021 after Spadea’s producer assured him he would not be pressured into taking a stand on whether children should wear masks and that his appearance would not be politicized. Tobias claims that after his appearance, Spadea launched a “vicious attack on him personally and professionally.” He says Spadea called him a “crackpot” and said Tobias “should literally be indicted for child abuse,” and more. Tobias says the attacks have damaged his reputation and his business, the Center for Child and Family Development. Tobias is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, and more. Bill Spadea did not immediately respond to TALKERS’ request for comment on the lawsuit.

Dave Ramsey Presents Building Wealth Events to Sellout Crowds in Phoenix. Pictured above on stage at Central Christian Church in Mesa, Arizona is Ramsey SolutionsDave Ramsey presenting his Building Wealth live event before a sold-out audience. Ramsey Solutions says that retirement is the number one long-term savings goal among Americans, but according to the latest edition of The State of Personal Finance study by Ramsey Solutions, inflation and the cost of living are the two biggest factors impacting people’s savings plans. The report also found that nearly 60% of respondents said they worry about their general finances daily, and about half have lost sleep in the last three months due to financial worries. Partnering with local affiliate KTAR-FM, Ramsey Solutions produced the event on September 12 and 13. Each night included presentations from Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Cruze and other Ramsey Personalities, including Dr. John Delony, Ken Coleman and George Kamel. Dave Ramsey states, “The reality is, you work too hard to feel this broke. In hard economic times and in good economic times, you have to prepare for your financial future. From my 30 years on the radio, I’ve seen over and over that real millionaires follow a proven plan for their money. This event will show you it’s possible for you too.”

Michael Biondo Promoted at iHeartMedia. The company promotes Michael Biondo to the position president of business development and strategic partnerships, effective immediately. He has been serving the company as EVP, strategic business operations of the iHeartMedia Networks Group. In his new role, Biondo will “oversee the evolution of iHeartMedia’s partnerships and deals with key companies across iHeartMedia’s field of view – from tech startups to established automotive companies, from the entertainment industry to international distribution.” iHeartMedia Digital Group CEO Conal Byrne states, “Mike has had a long, varied career at iHeartMedia, and has gained experience and wisdom across a diverse set of priorities, vendors and partners. With Mike in this new role, our company will be even better prepared to approach the market in a thoughtful, streamlined, strategic manner every day, and in every conversation.”

FOX News Media Names Jennifer Griffin Chief National Security Correspondent. Journalist Jennifer Griffin inks a new, multi-year deal with FOX News Media to serve as FOX News Channel’s chief national security correspondent. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “Jennifer is one of the industry’s premier journalists and has proven to be an indispensable asset on a consequential beat with unrivaled experience spanning more than three decades in multiple war zones. We are extremely proud that she will continue her incredible career at FOX News Media.” Griffin adds, “It has been an honor to provide viewers with trusted reporting from the Pentagon and across the world on issues that are paramount to all of us – the security and safety of our fellow citizens and allies. I am looking forward to continuing to inform the FOX News audience alongside the best journalists in the business.”

Colleen Grant Upped to Metro President for iHeartMedia Detroit. Management and sales pro Colleen Grant is named metro president for iHeartMedia Detroit. Grant has been serving the cluster as SVP of sales. The Detroit market is home to WDFN-AM “BIN Black Information Network” and five music brands. iHeartMedia division president Tom McConnell comments, “Colleen has been instrumental to the success in Detroit. She has created a culture of high performance, accountability and respect and is the perfect choice to lead the Detroit market.” Grant also served as the region vice president of automotive for iHeartMedia’s Detroit Region, and as co-host of iHeartMedia Detroit’s public service program, “Light Up the D.” She says, “This is a childhood dream come true for me. Having a father who was the general manager of television stations, I’d always wanted to oversee stations as he did. I saw the care for people it required, the creativity necessary to generate growth, and his commitment to the community. These are the things I plan to bring to this opportunity, and I couldn’t be more excited to do it.”

Politics and Elections Tie for Top News/Talk Story This Week. The combination of politics and the last of the primary elections before the November midterms was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the state of the U.S. economy tied with the averted rail strike, followed by former President Donald Trump’s legal issues 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.

Front Page News Industry News

Thursday, February 10, 2022

WRVA, Richmond Talk Mainstay Jeff Katz is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the elite local hosts in talk radio, Jeff Katz – heard 3:00-6:00 pm daily on WRVA, Richmond – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Katz has been a radio talk show host since the early 1990s on major stations in Boston, Hartford, Charlotte, Philadelphia and currently in Richmond since 2013. He grew up in Philadelphia and was aiming for a career as an attorney until his father suffered a heart attack that set him on a different path so that he could help support his family. Katz graduated at the top of his police academy class and then served as a police officer in Philadelphia until he traded in his badge for a microphone and started his broadcasting odyssey. He’s a fan favorite in Richmond and his program has repeatedly been chosen as the best afternoon radio show by the readers of Richmond Magazine and STYLE Weekly. In 2020, the Richmond Times-Dispatch named Katz the “Best Afternoon Radio Show” in Central Virginia. Over the years, Jeff has volunteered thousands of hours to help members of the local community with a special focus on law enforcement officers and disabled children. He and his wife are parents of a disabled child and that experience has had a tremendous impact on their lives and on Katz’s work. Michael Harrison describes Katz as “one of talk radio’s true humanitarians and an inspirational role model for us all.” President Trump honored Katz by presenting him with the President’s Award for Volunteer Service. In addition, FBI Director Christopher Wray honored him as the recipient of The Director’s Community Leadership Award for 2019. Don’t miss this fascinating conversation in which Harrison and Katz discuss the state of the radio business, politics, parenting, law enforcement and the art of “keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Ramsey Solutions Presents ‘Money & Marriage’ Livestream Event. Ahead of Valentine’s Day on Monday, Ramsey Solutions is presenting a livestream event called “Money & Marriage.” The press release says, “Marriage isn’t for the faint of heart. Whether it’s lack of communication, financial stress or a difference in parenting, marital strain is inevitable. But Ramsey Solutions wants to equip couples with the tools to build a stronger relationship.” The Friday 7:00 pm ET event will feature Rachel Cruze and mental health expert Dr. John Delony “for an evening of laughter and intentional conversation. Couples can enjoy this date night from home, all while covering topics ranging from fear avoidance to the importance of practicing connection.” Cruze says, “What you have to understand, first and foremost: it’s nearly impossible to win with money when you’re not on the same page as your spouse. Coming together practically and emotionally not only unifies you but gets you to your goals faster.” Tickets for the event can be had here.

Richardson and Gallant to Replace Charlie Pallilo at KFNC-FM, Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s Matt Young reports that Gow Media is naming Vanessa Richardson and Paul Gallant hosts of the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on sports talk KFNC-FM. This comes a day after longtime market sports personality Charlie Pallilo announced he is no longer with the station. Richardson is a former KPRC-TV sports anchor and reporter and Gallant previously served as a host at iHeartMedia’s crosstown KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610.” Richardson will be the only woman working in sports radio in Houston. She says, “I’ve wanted to host a show for a long time and I’m SO excited to do that on ESPN radio in Houston.”

Tee Gentry and Beasley Announce Renewal Deal. Programming pro Tee Gentry and Beasley Media Group announce they have signed a multiyear renewal deal for Gentry to continue with the company. Gentry, who has been with the company for the past 26 years, currently serves as Beasley’s vice president of brand strategies and regional operations manager of its Augusta, Georgia and Fayetteville, North Carolina radio clusters. Beasley chief content officer Justin Chase says, “Tee is one of the most brilliant programmers that I’ve had the opportunity to work with. During his many years with the company in markets like Augusta, Fayetteville, and Tampa, he’s only had success. We’re lucky to lock Tee in for another multiyear deal!” Gentry says, “It’s an absolute privilege to work with [regional VP] Kent Dunn and the incredible people in Augusta and Fayetteville. They are what local radio is all about! I look forward to continuing to be a part of the Beasley Media Group family for years to come.”

Salem Radio Network’s Larry Elder Featured in Newsweek Feature Story. The February 18 issue of Newsweek features the cover story, “The Rise of Black Conservatives: Will the GOP’s Bet Pay Off?” that includes Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder, among other Black conservatives such as media figure Candace Owens, Virginia Lt. Governor Winsome Sears, and Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker. Elder, who was the highest vote-getter in the recent recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom, is quoted in the piece saying, “Donald Trump, to a greater degree than any Republican presidential candidate that I’ve seen, went to the inner city and tried to get Black votes. The message is this: Don’t act as if Black people cannot be convinced. They can be. Don’t condescend. Tell the truth. Talk about the issues, talk about how these issues benefit you.” Elder is also quoted saying the GOP needs to continue to work to attract Black voters. “Do I think that the Republican Party has done a poor job of marketing itself to Black voters? I do. They have written off Black people or they’ve assumed they’re going to vote for the Democratic Party.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk legend Chris “Mad Dog” Russo – heard nationally on SiriusXM Radio – will again join ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim on the “First Take” program on Wednesday February 16. ESPN says Russo will then return for weekly appearances every Wednesday beginning March 2. In January, Russo and Smith debated Barry Bonds’ Hall of Fame campaign and the episode turned out to be the show’s most-watched episode ever. ESPN EVP and executive editor Norby Williamson says, “We couldn’t be more excited to add another marquee name in Chris “Mad Dog” Russo to our weekly rotating lineup and further build this momentum going forward, providing viewers with the best possible debates, topics and content.”…..Cumulus Media and DCP Entertainment announce that the new season of DCP’s podcast “democracy-ish” on the Cumulus Podcast Network will feature Wajahat “Waj” Ali  as the new co-host alongside veteran host Danielle Moodie. Cumulus says, “The podcast hosts aim to keep it real, blunt, and entertaining as they discuss how to achieve a multiracial democracy, cover all the ground left behind by mainstream media, and seek to make sense of the nonsense.”…..Award-winning reporter Nate Hegyi joins New Hampshire Public Radio as host and senior producer of “Outside/In,” the program that delves into the natural world and how we use it. Hegyi most recently worked as a reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a consortium of NPR member stations covering the region. NHPR president and CEO Jim Schachter says, “‘Outside/In’ is well on its way to becoming a leading national source of engaging, empowering environmental journalism. With Nate as host, the show can build a community of people across the United States and beyond who care deeply about the natural world and humankind’s responsibility for it.”…..WMFE and WMFV, the NPR affiliates serving the Orlando area and nine counties across Central Florida, name longtime public media journalist and consultant Judith Smelser president and general manager. Smelser has served as WMFE/WMFV’s interim president and general manager since September 2021 and has a long history with the station as an award-winning reporter from 2004-2007, and then news director until 2011, before she was recruited away by Colorado Public Radio in Denver.

COVID-19/Freedom Convoy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Inflation, Cheney-Kinzinger Censure, Ukraine Tensions, Social Media & Cancel Culture, Beijing Olympics, and Super Bowl LVI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/9). The rate of COVID-29 cases in the U.S., plans to pull back mask mandates in numerous states, and the Canadian truckers’ Freedom Convoy; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the U.S. is set to record the highest rate of inflation in 40 years; the GOP’s internal squabble over the RNC’s intent to censure Senators Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for criticizing Trump’s January 6 actions; the diplomatic tensions between Russia and the West over the Russian military presence at the Ukraine border; the politics of social media platform rules and Spotify’s tightrope walk over Joe Rogan’s popular podcast and its critics; the controversies at the Beijing Winter Olympics; and the buildup to Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Attorney Arthur Aidala to Host Nightly Show on Salem’s ‘AM 970 The Answer.’ New York news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” adds Big Apple attorney Arthur Aidala to the daily lineup with 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm “Aidala Power Hour: Making The Case For The City He Loves” program. Salem Media Group New York operations manager Matthew Sambolin says, “Arthur Aidala puts on a show in the courtroom, and now he gets to do it in front of the biggest judge of all – the New York City Tri-State region. Can’t wait to hear what he brings to afternoon drive, with no objections!” Aidala is the managing partner of the Law Offices of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, P.C. and the former senior DA of Kings County, New York. He currently represents such high-profile clients as Alan Dershowitz, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Harvey Weinstein. He has been a recurrent guest on ‘The Joe Piscopo Show’ and ‘Radio Night Live’ with Kevin McCullough, as well as a legal commentator for 12 years on FOX News Channel. Aidala says, “I am honored and excited to join the talk radio team lineup at ‘AM 970 The Answer.’ With the ‘Power Hour’, we will be sitting down with the key New Yorkers to get to the heart of what makes this city tick.”

Vining Named PD at Cumulus Media’s ‘Talk 99.5’ in Birmingham. Talk radio pro Valerie Vining is named program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WZRR-FM, Birmingham “Talk 99.5.” Vining has been serving as morning drive co-host of the “Dixon & Vining” program (with Richard Dixon), a role in which she will continue. Prior to that, she spent more than 13 years as news director for Cumulus Birmingham. Vining says, “I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to take on the role of program director for WZRR ‘Talk 99.5’ Birmingham. My radio career, which spans over 30 years, has prepared me for this moment and challenge and I look forward to taking my team to the next level. Thank you to James Robinson and Ryan Haney for believing in me and my abilities. I’m so proud to work for Cumulus Media.”

Ramsey Solutions Hosts Free ‘Building Wealth’ Livestream. This Thursday (1/13), nationally syndicated radio star Dave Ramsey will host a free livestream at 8:00 pm ET titled, “Building Wealth in 2022.” Joining Ramsey will be New York Times bestselling author Rachel Cruze and host of “The Fine Print” podcast, George Kamel. According to Ramsey Solutions’ State of Personal Finance study, more than half of Americans (56%) feel behind on investing. And 42% aren’t saving for retirement at all. Dave Ramsey says, “There are a lot of investing trends right now claiming they’re the best way to get rich. But I’ve done stupid with a lot of zeros at the end, and I’ve coached people who hit bottom from bad investments. From my 30 years on the radio, I’ve seen over and over that real millionaires follow a proven plan for their money, not a get-rich-quick scheme. This free event will show you it’s possible for you too. Now is the time to prepare for your future.”

On-Air Changes at iHeartMedia’s ‘XTRA 1360’ San Diego. Drive time changes take place at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLSD-AM, San Diego “XTRA 1360.” New to morning drive is “The Hartman and Rich O Show” with Steve Hartman and Rich Ohrnberger and in afternoon drive, the “Jon and Jim” show with Jon Schaeffer and Jim Russell debuts. Hartman and Ohrnberger currently work together on FOX Sports Radio and have successfully hosted together on XTRA 1360’s “Loose Cannons” show. Schaeffer and Russell also host “The Wrap-Up Show” following San Diego Padres games. “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd continues to air weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, followed by “The Darren Smith Show” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest says, “This exciting new lineup caters to the desires of sports fans in San Diego. In addition to providing the very best sports talk, we’ll also continue to provide our listeners with unparalleled access to the NFL, the Padres, San Diego State University athletics, and all San Diego sports news.”

BIN: Black Information Network Wins Innovation Award. The Black American-targeted radio format from iHeartMedia – BIN: Black Information Network – wins the 2022 BIG Innovation Award in the media category from the Business Intelligence Group. BIN: Black Information Network was launched in June of 2020 as a 24/7 comprehensive national audio news network dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news with a Black voice and perspective. It is focused on service to the Black community and providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding. It is heard over the air in 32 markets and is distributed nationally through the iHeartRadio app. Business Intelligence Group COO Maria Jiminez says, “Innovation is driving growth in the global economy. We are thrilled to be honoring Black Information Network as they are one of the organizations leading this charge and helping humanity progress.” BIN president Tony Coles comments, “Innovation has been one of BIN’s core values since our inception. It drives us to keep growing and creating spaces for the Black community to hear and contribute to the news that matters most to them. It’s an honor to be recognized with an incredible lineup of organizations and individuals who share the value of innovation and prove it in their work every day.”

AdLarge and G Networks Announces Sales Partnership. The two firms announce that they have entered into an ad sales partnership that will create “a new dynamic and impressive ad sales powerhouse in network audio.” In addition to continuing to represent content producers, AdLarge will oversee the management, sales, and fulfillment of the network audio ad sales inventory for both companies. G Networks will continue to offer and affiliate their premium programming and services through their existing affiliations team to radio stations across the U.S. G Networks president Warren Friedland states, “We’re excited to partner with AdLarge. AdLarge has a reputation for delivering innovative campaigns to help brands reach their media goals. AdLarge’s ad sales efforts coupled with our own extremely targeted networks will lead to a better return on investment for advertisers, brands, and agencies.” AdLarge co-CEO Gary Schonfeld adds, “This unique partnership will enhance our already robust ad sales networks, as well as generate greater critical mass and increased coverage of major markets. This is a win-win for the advertisers and the network audio community. The partnership with G Networks will greatly benefit the audio campaigns of our advertisers and agency partners.”

TALKERS News Notes. Personality Jesse Watters is named host of FOX News Channel’s 7:00 pm ET hour. The new program, “Jesse Watters Primetime” will launch on January 24. Watters will continue his current role as a co-host on “The Five.” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “Jesse’s versatility and hosting acumen has grown exponentially over the last five years, and he has developed a deep connection to the audience through two hit shows, ‘The Five’ and ‘Watters’ World.’ We look forward to watching him expand his connection even further through this new solo weeknight hour.”…..Cumulus Media and DCP Entertainment unveil the second season lineup for DCP’s award-winning podcast, “Say Their Name,” on the Cumulus Podcast Network. The series focuses on the stories of Black individuals who were assaulted and killed by police and in ‘Stand Your Ground’ states, with an emphasis on the women who often get overlooked. The first episode in the series marks the one-year anniversary of the attack on the United States Capitol with a look back at Miriam Carey, who was killed in 2013 by law enforcement.

Broadcasters Foundation to Honor Lesley Visser with Lifetime Achievement Award. Sports media legend Lesley Visser is being honored by the Broadcasters Foundation of America with its Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented during the Golden Mike Award gala and fundraiser, being held on March 14, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Visser is the only sportscaster – male or female – to have worked on network broadcasts of the Final Four, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, the Triple Crown, the Olympics, the U.S. Open, and the World Figure Skating Championship. BFoA Foundation chairman Scott Herman says, “Lesley has an extraordinary number of ‘firsts’ in her accomplished and impressive career. We’re very proud to recognize her many accomplishments, not only as a pioneering female sportscaster, but as a prominent leader in sports broadcasting, overall.” Visser says, “I am enormously honored to be recognized by the Broadcasters Foundation of America, which is vital to our colleagues who find themselves in need of help during times of unimaginable hardship. It’s essential that we acknowledge and support such a charitable endeavor.”

COVID-19, Voting Rights, January 6, Midterm Elections, Economy/Supply Chain, U.S.-Russia Relations, and Bob Saget Passing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/10). The soaring rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Omicron variant, vaccine mandates, and school policies; President Joe Biden’s pressure to change filibuster rules for voting rights legislation; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the November midterm elections and Joe Biden’s low approval ratings; the state of the U.S. economy and the ongoing supply chain woes; the U.S. and Russia negotiate over Ukraine; and TV icon Bob Saget dies unexpectedly at 65 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.