The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2023 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 (New Jersey). Nielsen’s April 2023 sweep covered March 30 – April 26. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC is steady with a 3.7 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but falls one spot to the #10 rank, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR stays put with a 1.9 share and remains ranked #18. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles adds two-tenths for a 4.3 share finish and rises to the #4 rank. In San Francisco, Audacy’s all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM falls seven-tenths to a 7.3 share but remains ranked #1 in the market, while Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KSFO rises half a share to a 1.8 share that lifts it to the #19 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta tacks on four-tenths for a 7.0 share finish and remains ranked #3 in the market. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.
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, “Trick or Tweet,” looks back at this past week of 10/31-11/4. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Dr. Murray Sabrin, professor emeritus of finance, Ramapo College, NJ; Mark Davis, talk show host, 660 AM The Answer, Dallas/Fort Worth; Bobbie Winston a.k.a. La Femme Bobbie, musician/artist/American ex-pat, Rio de Janeiro; Renee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist/podcaster, Somerset, NJ; Matthew B. Harrison, Esq., associate publisher, TALKERS/law professor, Springfield, MA. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on 100-plus 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.
iHeartMedia Q3 Revenue Up 7%. Reporting its financial data for the third quarter of 2022, iHeartMedia says revenue was $989 million, an increase of 7% over the same quarter a year ago. The company is also posting an operating loss of $211 million for the third quarter of 2022 compared to the operating income of $80 million it reported for Q3 of 2021. Additionally, iHeartMedia reports a net loss of almost $310 million compared to the net income of $3.6 million it posted in the third quarter of 2021. iHeartMedia breaks its operations into three segments. Third quarter results for those segments are as follows: the Multiplatform Group that includes its radio stations and program networks was basically flat with a revenue increase of 0.1% “as a result of increased political advertising revenue as 2022 is a midterm election year, partially offset by a decrease in revenue due to a more challenging macroeconomic environment. Broadcast revenue grew $2.1 million, or 0.4% year-over-year, driven by higher political advertising revenue and an increase in trade and barter revenue, partially offset by lower spot revenue, while Networks declined $(0.7) million, or 0.5% year-over-year.” The Digital Audio Group was up 23.4% on revenue of $254 million. This group’s revenue increased by $48.2 million compared to the prior year, “including growth from Digital, excluding Podcast revenue, which grew $21.1 million to $162.7 million, driven by increased demand for digital advertising as well as Podcast revenue which increased by $27.1 million to $91.3 million, driven by higher revenues from the development of new podcasts as well as growth from existing podcasts. Digital Audio Group revenue increased as a result of general increased demand for digital advertising and the growing popularity of podcasting.” And the Audio & Media Services Group was up 17.7% on revenue of $77.8 million. Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We’re pleased to report another quarter of solid operating results for iHeart, and our performance in the midst of the current climate of economic uncertainty is a strong indication of the successful transformation this company has undergone in which our high-growth digital revenues comprises 26% of total company revenues. Our Digital Audio Group continues to deliver industry-leading growth, and our Multiplatform Group has again demonstrated its resiliency during a difficult economic environment. We believe the strong positions of both of these groups with both consumers and advertisers give us the ability to both navigate through this period of economic uncertainty and position us for continued growth through the recovery and beyond.”
Salem Media Group Total Revenue Rises 1.3%. The company reports that its total revenue for the third quarter of 2022 was $66.9 million, an increase of 1.3% over the same period in 2021. Salem Media Group also reports an operating loss of $8.8 million compared to operating income of $15.8 million in Q3 of 2021, and a net loss of $11.9 million compared to the net income of $22.1 million is reported during the same period in 2021. Salem presents its financial data in three segments. The Broadcast segment reports revenue of $51.1 million, an increase of 3.1% over Q3 of 2021, Digital Media revenue was $10.2 million, down 4.3% from the third quarter of 2021, and Publishing revenue was $5.5 million, a decrease of 3.7% from the same period a year ago.
Round Four of October PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s October 2022 sweep covered September 15 – October 12. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In the Raleigh market, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM tacks on three-tenths to wrap the survey with a 9.1 share that puts it in the #1 spot, while Curtis Media Group’s news/talk WPTF sheds one-tenth for a 1.8 share finish to remain ranked #15. The top dogs in Milwaukee flip as iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN adds a full share for a 10.6 share finish that lifts it from #2 to #1, while Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ loses 1.9 shares for an 8.1 share finish that drops it from #1 to #4. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence adds on nine-tenths for wrap the survey with a 6.4 share that lifts it from #6 to #5. And in Jacksonville, Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM is up one-tenth to a 7.9 share good for the #3 rank in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the previous three groups) here.
Comrex Unveils New BRIC-Link III Audio Codec. The company officially unveils BRIC-Link III – the newest addition to its popular BRIC-Link family of codecs. Comrex says there are more than 10,000 BRIC-Link codecs circulating world-wide, and BRIC-Link III is an updated version that takes advantage of the latest improvements in IP audio transmission technology. BRIC-Link III is a true codec, offering a full-duplex stereo encoder and decoder in each box. A jitter buffer manager is incorporated that automatically balances delay and stability, dynamically increasing and decreasing delay based on network performance. BRIC-link III offers a wide range of encoding algorithms including stereo and mono linear mode, FLAC modes, AAC/HE-AAC modes, Opus, G.722 and G.711. BRIC-Link III features a new, more powerful processor for improved reliability. It also features enhanced front panel indicators, including four buttons which will trigger contact closures by default and configurable for auto-connections to other Comrex IP audio codecs. BRIC-Link III is compatible with all other Comrex IP audio codecs, including the ACCESS codec line as well as older BRIC-Link models. BRIC-Link III also works with Gagl, a new service now available for purchase for audio contribution. Gagl turns any Comrex IP audio codec into a hub for up to five remote participants. Like other BRIC-Link codecs, BRIC-Link III includes CrossLock VPN technology, Comrex’s proprietary suite of reliability tools. In addition to bonding technology, CrossLock also includes a Redundancy Mode for mission-critical applications. BRIC-Link III can take advantage of HotSwap, meaning that users can set a 4G/5G modem as a backup connection to only be engaged when the primary internet fails, providing an extra layer of reliability. Customers can also choose to purchase an optional one-time license per codec to utilize SwitchBoard, a private server that Comrex maintains which allows for easy connections between IP codecs. You can get more information on this and other Comrex products here.
GAB Radio Talent Institute Returns to University of Georgia. The RAB’s National Radio Talent System announces the return of the GAB Radio Talent Institute at the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. The institute takes place in person May 15 – 24, 2023 thanks to sponsorship from The Georgia Association of Broadcasters. The talent incubator spans 10 days and is led by broadcast professionals that bring their real-world industry knowledge from around the state and country to educate students. RAB says that college students from universities throughout the state and region apply to be accepted into the GAB Radio Talent Institute. This provides an ideal networking pool for the students and a wide variety of potential interests within the classroom for industry professionals to identify and actively recruit from. Upon completion of the Institute, students can further their networking capabilities with the ability to access the National Radio Talent System’s Career Center. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “We are delighted to have the GAB Radio Talent Institute make its return after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Collaborating with Bob Houghton and the Georgia Association of Broadcasters enables us to bring this world-class program to life in the southeast and further develop the next generation of broadcasters.”
TALKERS News Notes. Inside Towers’ Leslie Stimson writes an interesting piece about the FCC’s creation of a Space Bureau. Stimson writes that FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the move at the Satellite Industry Association meeting yesterday (11/3). “She said the growth of satellite broadband internet plays a big part in why the agency is making the move. ‘Ninety-eight percent of all satellite launches in 2021 were deployed into low-earth orbit to provide internet connectivity back here on Earth. They can help advance the FCC’s goals to connect everyone, everywhere,’ Rosenworcel said. ‘More than that, the success of these low-earth orbit communications satellites could be seen as an early litmus test for the broader commercialization of space.’” Read Stimson’s entire piece here…..Three Hillsdale College students have won national College Broadcasters, Inc. awards for their work with “Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM.” The awards were announced at the National Student Electronic Media Convention in Baltimore. Sophomore Lauren Smyth placed first in Best Newscast or Sportscast category for “Lauren Smyth News,” senior Josh Barker placed third in Best Hard News Reporting for his feature “The Policy Corner: Michigan Voting Laws,” and Rachel Kookogey (class of ’22) received both first and second place for two segments of her feature, “Sports Story Time.” WRFH general manager Scot Bertram says, “I’m very proud of our students for their well-deserved wins. It is great to see our students being recognized on the national level for their continued hard work and dedication.”…..SiriusXM announces its play-by-play coverage of the 2022-23 college basketball season that begins Monday (11/7). The opening night schedule features 24 teams from the men’s Associated Press Top 25, including defending national champion and #5-ranked Kansas facing Omaha and top-ranked North Carolina, coming off their 12th National Championship appearance, hosting UNC Wilmington…..Host Bethenny Frankel, the most successful business mogul to emerge from “The Real Housewives” franchise, and iHeartPodcasts launch a first-of-its-kind rewatch podcast titled, “ReWives.” Frankel, formerly of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York,” breaks down the franchise that launched her career. In each episode, she’s “joined by unexpected celebrity guests ranging from superfans to Housewives newbies for hilarious conversations and surprising insight on real topics.” “ReWives” premieres on November 14 with Elisabeth Moss as Frankel’s first guest. New episodes will post each Monday with additional guests including Jerry Springer, Suze Orman, Kevin Nealon, Dave Portnoy, Griffin Johnson and more.
Broadcaster Raising Awareness of Need for Organ Donors. Western Massachusetts broadcaster and public relations pro Mark Auerbach (pictured) is revealing his battle with kidney disease in an effort to raise awareness of the need for organ donors. Auerbach hosts “ArtsBeat,” “On The Mark” and “Athenaeum Spotlight” on WCPC15 and 89.5fm/WSKB. He’s also the ArtsBeat reporter for Pioneer Valley Radio. On today’s program that you can see here, Auerbach reveals his battle with Stage 5 kidney disease and the need for donors. Auerbach says people can help by taking any of three steps: 1) becoming an organ donor upon your death; 2) consider donating while you’re alive (get details at kidney.org); and 3) donating to him at Mass General Hospital’s living donors program (https://mghlivingdonors.org/).
Politics and Midterms Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 31 – November 4. The politics leading up to Tuesday’s midterm elections were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy combined with the Fed’s rate hike, followed by the aftermath of the Pelosi home invasion 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.
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, “Midnight in Moscow,” looks back at this past week of 3/21 to 3/25. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Jennifer Horn, talk show host, KRLA (AM 860 The Answer), Los Angeles; Martha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Ivan Pentchoukov, national editor, The Epoch Times. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas; WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Podcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Townsquare Media to Acquire Cherry Creek Broadcasting for $18.75 Million. This deal for Townsquare Media, Inc. to acquire Cherry Creek Broadcasting LLC for $18.75 million will add assets including 35 radio stations in nine markets to Townsquare’s portfolio, which will include 356 stations in 74 markets when the deal is closed sometime in the third quarter of this year. To accomplish the transaction, and due to FCC ownership regulations, Townsquare will divest six radio stations in Missoula, Montana, to Anderson Broadcasting, Legacy Broadcasting (a non-profit organization), and Missoula Community Radio (also a non-profit organization), and place two radio stations in Tri-Cities, Washington in a divestiture trust. Townsquare says this transaction solidifies its position as the only local media and digital marketing solutions company of scale focused principally on markets outside of the top 50 in the United States, a vital differentiator for the company. Company CEO Bill Wilson comments, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of Cherry Creek’s market leading local media brands. The acquisition includes many local heritage brands with strong competitive positions, meaningful audience share, and very talented local teams. This represents an excellent opportunity to deploy our Digital First Local Media strategy across a broader footprint, bringing our national scale, strong digital platform, and resources to the local communities and local businesses in these markets, building upon the strong relationships these local teams have already built with their communities. We look forward to accelerating the digital growth in these markets as we implement our flywheel of powerful and effective marketing and advertising (digital and radio) solutions and technology platforms, in combination with our highly relevant, localized content on air and online. We believe this acquisition furthers our goal of being the #1 Digital First Local Media Company in markets outside of the top 50 in the United States.” This transaction is being funded with cash on hand and Townsquare CFO Stuart Rosenstein states, “This acquisition represents a compelling use of capital that aligns with our priorities of investing in our local business through both organic investments and prudent acquisitions that support our revenue and profit growth. This acquisition is net leverage neutral and due to the strong cash generation of our business and the acquired assets, will not impact our ability to reach our goal of 4x net leverage by year end.” The Cherry Creek LLC stations in this deal are located in the following markets: Butte, Great Falls, and Missoula, Montana; Montrose, Colorado; Sierra Vista, Arizona; St. George-Cedar City, Utah; Tri-Cities and Wenatchee, Washington; and Williston, North Dakota.
Round Four of February PPM Ratings Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s February 2022 sweep covered February 3 – March 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM rises two-tenths for a 7.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish and remains #3 in the market while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF drops 1.3 shares for a 2.0 share finish and falls back to the #13 rank. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC, Indianapolis sheds nine-tenths for a 9.7 share finish but remains ranked #2 in the market. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN falls from #1 to #2 after dipping two-tenths for a 9.5 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ adds four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 7.6 share that keeps it in the #4 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV-FM, Jacksonville posts a 10.6 share after rising six-tenths and that is good for the #1 rank in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the previous three groups) here.
Rhode Island Talk Radio Host John DePetro Continues Reporting from Ukraine. WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk radio host John DePetro is pictured above (right) interviewing displaced Ukrainian Andre (left) who is serving as a volunteer in Western Ukraine helping his fellow citizens who’ve lost their homes. DePetro says that the situation in his Western Ukrainian location is “very tense.” So much so that for security reasons, journalists now face being incarcerated for taking any type of military photo or photo showing a specific location. See his video report here.
Audacy’s WJZ-FM, Baltimore Debuts ‘Baltimore Baseball Tonight’ Program. The new “Baltimore Baseball Tonight” program on Audacy’s WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” will be hosted by midday personality Bob Haynie, Orioles legends Bill Ripken and Mike Bordick, former Orioles vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette, and 105.7 The Fan’s Orioles beat reporter Cordell Woodland. Beginning Opening Day on April 7, the show will air at 6:00 pm ET on game nights and broadcast live from Pickles Pub across the street from the stadium when the team is home. When the team is on the road, the show will be live from various locations, including the 105.7 The Fan studios. Audacy Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “‘Baltimore Baseball Tonight’ will give fans an in-depth preview of the Baltimore professional baseball team throughout the season and bring them closer to the game than ever before. We’re also extremely excited to get back out with the fans at Pickles Pub and share our collective passion for the team alongside Bob, Bill, Mike, Jim and Cordell – five individuals who have decades of insight on the team.”
TALKERS News Notes. According to data from Comscore, FOX News Digital finished February as the top-performing news brand in the competitive set in both multiplatform views and multiplatform minutes. FOX News Digital says it delivered 2.9 billion multiplatform minutes and over 1.4 billion multiplatform views, while posting increases in multiplatform unique visitors and multiplatform minutes versus the prior month. February also marked the 12th straight month that FOX News outpaced every news organization in the competitive set in multiplatform minutes. While FOX News Digital topped primary competitor CNN.com in multiplatform total views and multiplatform total minutes, CNN.com beat FOX News Digital in multiplatform unique visitors by a margin of almost two to one…..As reported in Pittsburgh’s TribLive, sports radio pro Adam Crowley leaves iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG-AM “ESPN Pittsburgh” to join Audacy’s crosstown sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” for weekend, fill-in, and producer duties…..Actor, director and educator LeVar Burton will receive the first-ever Insight Award from the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to broadcasting, history and American culture during the NAB Show Welcome on Monday, April 25 in Las Vegas. The Insight Award recognizes an individual or organization for an outstanding artistic or journalistic work or body of work that enhances the public’s understanding of the role, operation, history or impact of media in our society. Burton is known for his roles as Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed television mini-series “Roots” and as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” A lifelong children’s literacy advocate, Burton was host and executive producer of “Reading Rainbow,” one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history, during its 26-year run from 1983 to 2009. The show received more than 25 Emmy Awards, including 10 for Outstanding Children’s Series, and was honored with a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award in 1992…..Host David Marzetti’s weekend golf program, “The Shagbag Radio Show,” is celebrating its 20thanniversary on April 2. The program is heard on iHeartMedia’s KION-AM, Salinas, California each Saturday. Marzetti, who broadcasts the program remotely from the Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey, says he has never missed a live show in its 20 years on air – even during the pandemic shutdown – and has featured more than 4,000 guests on over 1,000 shows in its 20-year run.
Russia-Ukraine War Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 21-25. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the global effects of the conflict made it the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Joe Biden’s leading a NATO summit addressing the Ukraine invasion, followed at #3 by U.S. relations with Russia and China and tied with North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test. 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.
Westwood One Seeks Part-Time Producer. This is a Washington, DC-based position for a part-time producer to support the “Jim Bohannon Show,” “America in the Morning” and “First Light.” The producer performs all the functions of the producer for vacation relief and other times and will assist with the production of the programs, including news assignments, call screening, podcast and archive uploading, and other responsibilities as needed. The ideal candidate should have a strong knowledge of news events and passion for radio. They must be able to multitask and handle a fast-paced working environment, be detail-oriented, prompt and reliable, thrive on working as part of a team and respond well to direction. Must possess excellent writing and storytelling skills. Get more information and apply here.