Morning drive radio personality Danny Bonaduce announces he’s retiring from his gig hosting the morning show on iHeartMedia’s classic rock KZOK-FM, Seattle, effective this Friday (12/15). While Bonaduce worked mostly at music-formatted stations as a host, he worked at KLSX-FM, Los Angeles during its time as an FM talk station. KZOK says in its announcement of Bonaduce’s retirement, “Danny’s career in the limelight began at an early age, starting with appearances on ‘Bewitched’ in 1969 that landed him the role of Danny Partridge on the ‘Partridge Show’ from 1970 to 1974. Later, Danny would appear in Corvette Summer with Mark Hamill and many cameo appearances on TV and movies over the years.” He says, “I am the luckiest guy in entertainment. I joined the actors union at age three and with little interruption, I have worked in the industry I love for 60 years. I loved almost every minute of it. I want to thank the loyal fans who have followed me throughout my career, including the last 12 based in Seattle. Thank you to iHeartRadio for believing in me, to my on-air partner Sarah for putting up with me. My thanks to Paul Anderson, my agent for decades who has been my steady guide and business partner.”
Imaging and voiceover firm Benztown announces that longtime affiliate sales pro Tim McDonald is retiring from the radio business after a successful 40-year career. McDonald joined Benztown in 2019 as a member of its affiliate sales team. Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes says, “I’ve learned immensely from Tim. He’s contributed greatly to our success and I’m thankful to have worked with him over the last five years. We thank him for sharing his talents with us and wish him every success in his next chapter.”
iHeartMedia and NBC Sports announce renewed multiplatform distribution deals for “The Dan Patrick Show.” iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks will continue its role as the exclusive, global digital and terrestrial audio distribution partner for “The Dan Patrick Show,” currently heard on 360-plus affiliates. The show will also continue to stream on Peacock and will also be heard on the NBC Sports channel SiriusXM. The terms of the contracts have not been revealed but Patrick told listeners last week that he would work four more years before retiring from the business at the end of 2027. Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Dan Patrick is one of the biggest stars in sports media and entertainment, and we couldn’t be happier to extend our partnership. Dan continues to raise the bar. He’s built a loyal following across multiple platforms by producing the highest-quality content, and he continues to deliver remarkable results for our partners. We look forward to working together for the foreseeable future.”
Longtime New Bedford, Massachusetts morning personality Phil Paleologos is retiring from his role as morning drive host at Townsquare Media’s news/talk WBSM-AM. Station director of content Michael Rock says in a memo to staffers, “Phil has been in broadcasting for more than 50 years, most of those years on morning radio, and many years feeding the people of New Bedford next to his bride, Celeste, at their Shawmut Diner. As much as Phil has to offer our community, at some point a man deserves to sleep in without worrying about pancakes or interviews. That time has come for Phil. The Morning Mayor has decided to make this Friday [5/12] his last day on the WBSM morning show… Thankfully, Phil’s WBSM story doesn’t end on Friday. He has agreed to ‘Phil’ in during vacations, and I’m trying to talk him into taking on a regular weekend shift. All in time.”
Longtime WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta news anchor Marcy Williams is retiring from the Cox Media Group station after a 31-year career there. Williams began her WSB Radio career as an overnight anchor, and quickly rose through the ranks to become the anchor of the “Atlanta’s Morning News” program. She says, “I’ve spent 30 years as the first female co-anchor of ‘Atlanta’s Morning News.’ With a little back-of-the-envelope math, I calculate I’ve written more than 300,000 stories over those three decades. Now it’s time for me to write a new chapter.” Station news director Amanda Moyer comments, “Marcy has been a leader and an example in our newsroom for more than three decades. Her recent Gracie award win is the perfect cap to her long tenure at WSB as the first, and to this day, the only female lead news anchor on ‘Atlanta’s Morning News.’ She will be deeply missed, but our loss is her granddaughter’s gain.”
- Audacy’s Cadence13 podcast studio and Tenderfoot TV announce the expansion of their relationship through 2024, with an agreement that includes the renewal of hit series “Up and Vanished,” “To Live and Die in LA,” “Culpable” and “Radio Rental”; a new slate of weekly podcast series; ongoing series development; and a first-look opportunity at new limited series. Cadence 13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “Tenderfoot TV is at the top of its game and we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with them and continue to create innovative, thought provoking and compelling content.”
- Virtual News Center adds Radio Cleveland, Inc’s WMJW, WAID, WKDJ, and WCLD in Cleveland, Mississippi to is roster of affiliate stations. Virtual News Center is providing local newscasts anchored by JP bZet.
- The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that sports talk WNML, Knoxville personality John Hyams is retiring from the station after 25 years on air. He currently co-hosts the “SportsTalk” show with John Wilkerson. Hyams began a journalism career in the 1960s and transitioned to sports radio in 1998. He worked for many years at the News Sentinel. He says, “Not everyone can say they have loved their job spanning seven decades. I can. But now it’s time to say good-bye… But I’m ready for the daily grind to end. I’m ready to pass the torch. As the great John Ward once said when he retired: ‘It’s time.’”
Chris Camp Retires from WSB, Atlanta News Director Role. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that after 28 years leading the news department at Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, Chris Camp is retiring from that station and his role as news director. The story indicates that assistant news director Amanda Moyer will step up to the news director role and Jennifer Perry will rise to assistant news director. The 63-year-old Camp says that around Christmas of last year he made the decision to retire and return to New England where he’s from and where most of his family still lives. Camp tells the AJC, “It’s time for somebody else to shepherd this ship and take it to the new heights.”
Mike Missanelli and ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ Part Company. Philadelphia sports talk host Mike Missanelli announced to his listeners on Tuesday that it would be his last day leading the afternoon drive program on Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” According to a report by NBC 10 Philadelphia, Missanelli told his audience that his contract is expiring in a couple of weeks and “he and the company have decided to go in different directions.” He added that Beasley has a new program under contract to fill the daypart. Missanelli, who previously served with crosstown sports talker WIP, had been hosting at WPEN for 12 years.
Remembering William O’Shaughnessy. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this look at the life and career of radio executive William O’Shaughnessy, who passed away on Saturday (5/28) at 84 after a battle with cancer. Kinosian writes, “Those privileged to spend time with the perfectly coiffed president & editorial director of Whitney Radio’s WVOX-AM & WVIP-FM were guaranteed to be regaled with classic radio nuggets spun in extraordinary style and vibrant flair. Queries on any subject produced at least a handful of animated recollections, all eloquently crafted by the classy O’Shaughnessy, who frequently and delightfully referred to himself in the third-person.” Read his piece here.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Salem Media Group’s news/talk WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” is hosting what is expected to be the final GOP debate before the June 28 Illinois primary. The debate is taking place on June 23 at McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. News director Mike Scott will serve as moderator and WIND morning co-host Amy Jacobson and Illinois Radio Network’s Greg Bishop will serve as panelists. WIND program director Marcus Brown states, “As Chicago’s leading conservative media outlet, we look forward to providing a forum for the Republican candidates for governor to address our audience and make their closing arguments. We know that our listeners will be the ones that decide the outcome of this election, and we expect a spirited and informative exchange of ideas at our debate just a few short days before the election.”…..In celebration of Pride Month, Audacy all-news outlets WINS and WCBS-AM in New York are launching “It’s OK to Say Gay,” a new LGBTQIA+ podcast focused on various topics affecting the LGBTQIA+ community. The podcast is being hosting by managing producer of podcasts Femi Redwood, who says, “As some LGBTQ people feel like they’re being forced back into the closet due to legislation like the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bills, queer and trans voices are more important than ever before. With humor and honesty, the new ‘It’s OK To Say Gay’ podcast brings together diverse voices across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum that rarely get to be heard.”…..iHeartRadio announces a deal with Victoria’s Secret and Amanda de Cadenet to bring “VS Voices” to the iHeartPodcast Network. The podcast “builds on the Victoria’s Secret vision of being a leading advocate for women by highlighting stories of trailblazers who have paved the way for other women to succeed today and beyond.” De Cadanet says, “Storytelling with a purpose is what I have focused on for most of my career. I am looking forward to continuing that mission in partnership with iHeart, and to amplify the powerful life experiences that my guests share with me. With each of the podcasts we will be able to tell a wide variety of stories, from the profound and insightful, to those that are simply entertaining. I’m excited to be launching this audio trifecta!”…..Virtual News Center announces that a group of stations owned by Southern Broadcasting LLC joins its roster of affiliate stations. WTKI, Huntsville; WSLV, Ardmore, Tennessee; WIEZ, Decatur, Alabama; WYDL, Middleton, Tennessee; and WWGM, Selmer, Tennessee are now using the Virtual News Center services.
Uvalde Shooting Investigation/Gun Control, Inflation/Recession Fears, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19, Durham Investigation, SCOTUS Leak Investigation, and China’s Taiwan Ambitions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/31). The investigation into the timeline of the Uvalde, Texas shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead and the topic of gun legislation; the still soaring price of gasoline & food and the concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the global economic repercussions; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the impact of restrictions and mandates; special counsel John Durham’s probe into the Trump-Russia investigation and the acquittal of former Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussman; the intensifying investigation into the leak of the Supreme Court’s potential overturning of Roe v Wade; and China’s military interest in Taiwan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
KMOX, St. Louis Talk Host Charlie Brennan to Retire. Longtime KMOX, St. Louis talk radio personality Charlie Brennan announced to his listeners on Monday (3/28) that after nearly 34 years on the station, he will retire from his radio gig after his May 12 program. The Audacy station posted a story about Brennan’s retirement on its website that notes Brennan was hired in 1988 to work evenings and weekends and that, within two years, he was hosting the mid-morning show where he’s been ever since. It also recognizes Brennan’s community efforts, especially his local clean-up projects. In 2020, Brennan launched a four-day KMOX campaign raising $85,000 for Cardinal Children’s Hospital with assistance from actress Jenna Fisher, singer Michael McDonald, talk show host Andy Cohen, Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and comic Nikki Glazer. Over the years he’s helped raise funds and distribute supplies for flood victims both in the St. Louis region and other parts of the country; influenced legislation regarding traffic cameras, medical benefits, and food vendors; plus he’s organized five campaigns sending care packages to troops serving overseas. Brennan is the author of four books. Brennan also is a host of KETC-TV, St Louis’ “Donnybrook” program, among the highest-rated, locally-produced talk shows on PBS, a program he will continue to be a part of.
Compass Media Networks Promotes Nancy Abramson to SVP Sales & Content. Radio syndication pro Nancy Abramson is promoted to senior vice president of affiliate sales and content for Compass Media Networks. Abramson, who joined the company in 2014, will continue to be based out of the company’s New York office and will continue to spearhead its affiliate sales and affiliate marketing for select entertainment programming, including “DeDe in the Morning,” “Anna & Raven,” as well as services, including the Yamanair platform. Abramson comments, “The most important part of any job is that you are in a position where you admire, learn, and are stimulated by the people you work with – executives, colleagues, and clients. And if you are in sales, having great products to sell makes the job even more rewarding. I have all that at Compass Media Networks.” Prior to joining Compass, Abramson served as executive director of the Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal Radio Networks.
Mai Martinez Named Morning Co-Anchor at Chicago’s WBBM Newsradio. Television news pro Mai Martinez is named morning co-anchor and reporter for Audacy’s all-news WBBM Newsradio (WCFS-FM/WBBM-AM), effective April 4. In this role, Martinez will spend much of her time in the field, covering the diverse communities of Chicago, while also teaming with Cisco Cotto each morning from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Audacy Chicago regional president and market manager Rachel Williamson says, “This is a dream team of two experienced, talented journalists. Mai has a knack for uncovering the details that resonate with the people of this city. Together, she and Cisco have a passion for news plus warm and inviting voices that will greet our listeners each and every morning.” Prior to this role, Martinez spent 14 years as a general assignment reporter and weekend anchor at WBBM-TV. She comments, “Like so many Chicagoans, WBBM Newsradio has been a constant in my home and car for years. I’m honored to join such a talented team of hardworking and trusted journalists and continue the important work of informing and serving our community.”
Westwood One and NFL Renew Audio Media Partnership. Radio syndicator Westwood One and the National Football League announce the extension and expansion of their partnership with a new multi-year agreement. Westwood One, the official network audio broadcast partner of the NFL for more than 35 consecutive seasons and 50 years overall, will continue to provide play-by-play coverage for “Monday Night Football,” “Sunday Night Football,” “Thursday Night Football,” plus Thanksgiving Day, select international games, and the entire postseason including the Super Bowl. New elements of the deal include: Westwood One’s NFL primetime game broadcasts will be available free to fans on affiliated stations’ primary digital platforms and on the NFL App; Westwood One will offer expanded coverage of NFL tentpole events throughout the year, including NFL Honors, NFL Combine, NFL Draft, and NFL Schedule Release; and Westwood One and the NFL will explore creating new alternate game broadcasts in addition to the traditional Westwood One play-by-play. Westwood One president and Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes says, “What an honor it is for Westwood One to continue our multi-decade programming relationship with our iconic NFL partners by extending our exclusive network audio broadcast rights. Equally exciting is the opportunity to further grow our NFL fan base by expanding our relationship to include digital distribution rights as well as innovative, new content opportunities.”
Todd Starnes Show Gets Praise from Donald Trump. Pictured above is nationally syndicated talk radio host Todd Starnes (right) providing commentary from Donald Trump’s Commerce, Georgia rally on Newsmax TV. Starnes, who also spoke at the rally, says Trump, who has been a regular guest on his program, has praised his show.
Save a Life, Maybe Your Own. Radio pro and consultant Jon Quick writes in a piece for TALKERS magazine today not about programming talk radio as he’s done recently, but about a simple test he took that likely extended his life. Quick recently underwent quadruple bypass surgery after a heart scan revealed serious blockage in several of his arteries. Thanks to the test, he’s on the mend. And now, he’s an evangelist for this simple heart test. Read more here.
Audacy Launches Two New MLB Podcasts. A partnership between Audacy’s sports podcast studio and Major League Baseball results in the launch of two new programs: “Inside the Monster” and “Beat the Streak Daily: Inside the Hits.” “Inside the Monster” is a collaboration with the Boston Red Sox, hosted by Steve Perrault and Joey Copponi, that will have unprecedented access to Red Sox players, club personnel, reporters, front-office and beyond. Inspired by MLB’s popular “Beat the Streak” fantasy game where fans complete by picking players they think will get a hit each day in pursuit of breaking the all-time hitting streak record of 56 games, “Beat the Streak Daily: Inside the Hits” breaks down each day’s leaderboard and looks at stories that are developing around hitting. It’s hosted by WSCR, Chicago personality Matt Spiegel.
Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Midterms/ Trump & the GOP, and Will Smith-Chris Rock Incident Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the possible poisoning of Ukrainian negotiators, and blowback over President Joe Biden’s saying Vladimir Putin must not stay in power; high gas prices and inflation pushing consumer retail prices up; concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant; federal Judge David Carter issues ruling that Donald Trump “more likely than not” tried to subvert the 2020 election; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Denver Talk Radio Host Peter Boyles Announces Retirement. Longtime Denver talk radio personality Peter Boyles called in to his own show on Salem Media Group’s KNUS-AM while on vacation to tell his listeners that he will be retiring from his radio program. As reported by Westword, his March 21 call to substitute host George Brauchler included Boyles saying, “Everything has a beginning and a middle and an end. And I see an end coming.” Boyles recently suffered a health episode while on air that he referred to as an “event” and a “mini-stroke.” Boyles, who will soon turn 79, announced that there will be a five-hour “going away” show on April 1 that will include former KOA personality Mike Rosen. Boyles spent a large part of his Denver talk career at iHeartMedia’s KHOW where he hosted the morning drive show for almost 20 years. He was fired from KHOW in 2013 after getting into a physical confrontation with producer Greg Hollenback, but quickly landed his current gig with Salem’s KNUS. Boyles said during his call-in, “I remember the old-timers saying, ‘When the time comes, you’ll know it.’”
Charlie Kirk Latest Talk Host to Have Twitter Account Frozen. A report from Benzinga indicates that Salem Media Group personality Charlie Kirk’s Twitter account was frozen yesterday (3/22) after the social media platform ruled that his tweet about transgender Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine violated its rules against “hateful conduct.” Kirk tweeted: “Richard Levine spent 54 years of his life as a man. He had a wife and family. He ‘transitioned’ to being a woman in 2011, Joe Biden appointed Levine to be a 4-Star Admiral, and now USA Today has named ‘Rachel’ Levine as a ‘Woman of the Year’ Where are the feminists??” Kirk responded, “Everything I said was precisely accurate and yet, Twitter still suspended my account. That should terrify every American, even those who disagree with me. What they want is submission. They have become the enemy of the truth.”
Leila Rahimi Promoted at Chicago TV Station; Will Continue Part Time with ‘The Score.’ Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sports radio personality Leila Rahimi, co-host of the late morning show on Audacy’s WSCR-AM “The Score,” is being promoted at WMAQ-TV to full-time sports anchor. The move means that Rahimi will reduce her work with co-host Dan Bernstein at “The Score” to part time. WSCR program director Mitch Rosen says in an email to his staff, “Leila will be in studio each and every Wednesday [from 9 a.m. to noon], co-hosting with Dan and adding great commentary and her unique perspective on the world of sports. Leila is a tremendous asset to The Score, and we are grateful she remains a big part of our team and that Score listeners will continue to hear Leila across all of our platforms.”
Audacy Rebrands Greenville-Spartanburg Sports Talker as ‘The Fan Upstate.’ Sports talk WORD-AM/WYRD-AM in Greenville-Spartanburg is rebranding as “The Fan Upstate” after Audacy ends the stations’ affiliation with ESPN and signs on with CBS Sports Radio. The company says, “‘The Fan’ will continue delivering live, local content including the award-winning ‘Rob Brown Show’ and award-winning ‘Offsides with Marc Ryan’ and will now be home to CBS Sports Radio and BetQL programming. ‘The Fan Upstate’ will also continue to serve as the play-by-play home for Furman University Paladins football and basketball as well as Byrnes High School football.” Audacy SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “After years of constantly changing, syndicated ESPN content, we have made the exciting move to bring new and relevant sports talk content to our listeners in the Upstate. ‘The Fan Upstate’ will aim to provide the best original sports talk and sports betting content that our fans crave.”
Round Two of February 2022 PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s February 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s February 2022 sweep covered February 3 – March 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets. In Washington, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM rises a half share to finish with a 4.9 share (6+, weekly AQH share) and climbs to the #9 rank. Meanwhile, Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP loses seven-tenths, finishing with a 7.3 share and slides from the #2 rank to #4. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston drops nine-tenths to post a 3.6 share and falls from #7 to #10, while the company’s all-news WBZ-AM sheds two-tenths and wraps the survey with a 6.2 share good for the #5 rank. In Seattle, Bonneville International’s news/talk KIRO-FM sits at #1 after adding a half share and finishing with a 7.4 share while Lotus Communications’ crosstown all-news KNWN-AM/FM rises a half share to a 5.7 share and climbs from #5 to #2. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first round) here.
TALKERS News Notes. In the wake of the recent passing of NFL insider and KIRO-AM “Seattle Sports” personality John Clayton, the station and owner Bonneville International are launching the “John Clayton Memorial Fund” to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society, an MS research organization supported by Clayton, as well as his wife, Pat. The Fund has received an initial investment of $10,000 donated by Bonneville. Bonneville Seattle SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “The MS Society was an important charity for John and his wife Pat. The John Clayton Memorial Fund is a wonderful way for everyone to honor his memory and make a difference in the lives of others through a cause that meant so much to John.” Clayton served with the station for 14 years. He died on March 18 after an illness…..SiriusXM announces the upcoming launch of “Basic!,” an original SXM Podcast series, produced in conjunction with Pantheon Media and hosted by media veteran Doug Herzog and TV critic Jen Chaney. The series explores “the glory days of cable television, celebrating an era in pop culture when networks like MTV, Comedy Central, FX and ESPN changed the television landscape with groundbreaking, innovative programming.” Each episode will include guests who thrived and starred on cable TV including Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Schumer, Fab Five Freddy, Cindy Crawford, Neal Brennan, Tim Gunn and many more. The podcast premieres on May 18 and will also begin airing on SiriusXM’s Volume channel this spring.
Russia-Ukraine War, Jackson Confirmation Hearings, Biden European Trip, COVID-19, Gas Prices/Inflation, Chinese Airliner Crash, and Severe Southern Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/22). The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rest of the world’s reactions; the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees Ketanji Brown Jackson; President Joe Biden begins his visit to Europe; concerns about the spread of the Omicron BA.2 variant in the U.S.; the still-soaring price of gas at the pump and the high consumer retail prices; the mystery of the deadly crash of a Chinese passenger airliner; and the severe weather hitting the U.S. South that spawned a tornado in New Orleans were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Townsquare Media Reports 2021 Q4 Net Revenue Up 1.9%; Full Year Net Revenue Rises 12.6%. The 2021 fourth quarter and 2021 full year financial report from Townsquare Media reveals Q4 net revenue of $110.6 million, an increase of 1.9% over the same period in 2020. For the full year of 2021, net revenue was $418 million, up 12.6 % over the full year of 2020. Townsquare Media reports its financial information in three primary segments: 1) Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions, which includes the company’s subscription digital marketing solutions business called Townsquare Interactive. 2) Digital Advertising includes the digital advertising business sold as Townsquare Ignite, and 3) Broadcast Advertising includes the company’s local, regional, and national advertising products and solutions delivered via terrestrial radio broadcast, as well as other miscellaneous revenue that is associated with the broadcast advertising platform. Company CEO Bill Wilson says, “Beginning with our 2021 year-end reporting, we have re-segmented our business to provide greater visibility for our existing and prospective investors. Importantly, this re-segmentation will highlight the profit characteristics of our digital platform, which is essentially equal to those of our broadcast platform, each with profit margins of approximately 30%. Given this new and more detailed information, Townsquare should be viewed and valued as a Digital First Local Media Company, rather than being painted with a traditional broadcast radio brush. While we view local radio as an extremely valuable asset with significant and attractive cash flow properties, unparalleled consumer reach, and an important and trusted local connection to our audience, it is not our primary growth driver. Our growth engine is and will continue to be digital, which fueled our transformation into a Digital First Local Media Company. With nearly half of our total revenue and profit coming from digital today, we have a strong growth engine that will drive significant and consistent growth in the coming years. It is our hope and expectation that given this new more detailed information, Townsquare will be afforded a sum-of-the-parts valuation that gives credit to our digital assets, credit which to date we have not received.” For the full year of 2021, Townsquare reports net income of $18.8 million, compared to a net loss of $80.6 million reported for the full year 2020, which the company says was primarily driven by approximately $109.1 million of non-cash impairment charges, primarily related to its FCC licenses.
Saga Communications Q4 Net Revenue Flat; 2021 Full-Year Net Revenue Up 13.1%. The company reports 2021 fourth quarter net revenue of $29.2 million, basically flat compared to the $28.8 million reported for the fourth quarter of 2020. Net income for Q4 of 2021 was $3.7 million compared to $2.3 million reported for the same period in 2020. For the full year of 2021, Saga Communications reports net revenue increased 13.1% to $108.3 million compared to $95.8 million for the full year of 2020. The company reports net revenue for 2021 of $11.2 million compared to the net loss of $1.9 million reported for the full year of 2020. Saga says its balance sheet reflects $54.8 million in cash on hand as of December 31, 2021 and $56.2 million as of March 7, 2022.
KOA, Denver Morning Personality April Zesbaugh Announces Retirement. “Colorado’s Morning News” co-host April Zesbaugh announces that she’s retiring from iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver in the coming months after a 30-year broadcast journalism career that includes 25 years with KOA. Zesbaugh has co-hosted “Colorado’s Morning News” since 1996 and is one of the longest running news personalities in Colorado. She comments, “Despite my 2:30 am wake-up call for the last 30 years, I feel very fortunate for every second in front of the KOA microphone. It’s time to hang-up my headphones to pursue more family time, play more tennis, travel in our RV and see what it feels like to sleep without an alarm clock.” Zesbaugh is the winner of one national and numerous regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalism excellence by the Radio Television Digital News Association, as well as countless awards for “Colorado’s Morning News” from the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the Associated Press. She has also been an influential member of the Denver community and has emceed numerous charity events, including those focused on mental health, Alzheimer’s disease, the challenges of single mothers and animal rescue. KOA program director Greg Foster says, “April is one of the most recognizable and popular voices in Colorado and has set a professional standard which has contributed to the success of KOA. While we will miss our friend and colleague, April has earned the opportunity to enjoy her retirement.” Zesbaugh adds, “I’m grateful to Jerry Bell, former news director of KOA, for hiring me – calling me during my honeymoon to offer me the job – and to the current news director, Kathy Walker, and the KOA news team who have been with me every step of the way in helping to make me a better broadcaster and journalist. I’m leaving our listeners in good hands with my co-host, Marty Lenz. He has great news chops and asks really smart questions.”
Chris Hansen is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Multi-platform reporter and predator-hunter Chris Hansen is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” For nearly four decades, Hansen has been on the front lines of crime, enterprise reporting, and breaking news all over the world. Most recently he was an executive producer and reporter for the “Onision: In Real Life” and “Unseamly…The Peter Nygard Investigation” series now on Discovery+ and the current top-rated podcast “Predators I Have Caught with Chris Hansen.” He has also been host and correspondent for the syndicated program “Crime Watch Daily” as well as “Killer Instinct on ID” and “Dateline NBC.” He created the groundbreaking investigations, “To Catch A Predator,” among others. These investigations are responsible for exposing some 400 men attempting to meet children online for sex. Hansen has been honored with 10 Emmys, five Edward R. Murrow awards as well as excellence in reporting by the Overseas Press Club. He also has a substantial digital presence including a YouTube channel, which has more than 375,000 subscribers and 25 million views. The deep-dive conversation between Harrison and Hansen covers two major areas – the rapid evolution of media (including the tenets of building a YouTube channel) to the scourge of crime on our city streets as well as the mean streets of cyberspace where sexual predators continue to prowl for children and young women. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
SRN’s Eric Metaxas Broadcasts from National Religious Broadcasters Conference. Pictured above (at right) is Salem Radio Network host Eric Metaxas broadcasting his program live from the National Religious Broadcasters conference from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Pictured with Metaxas are U.S. Congressman Allen West (left) and Rick Green, founder of Patriot Academy (center). NRB 2022 continues through this weekend.
PodcastOne Joins Top 10 Podcast Publishers. According to data from podcast metric company Podtrac, PodcastOne is ranked #8 on the list of Top Podcast Publishers. Podtrac ranks top publishers based on unique audience counts. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “Being recognized by Podtrac with inclusion on the Top Publishers list is a testament to the hard work of the PodcastOne team both behind the mic and behind the scenes. Our hosts are delivering top-notch entertainment and providing content that is resonating with listeners as is evidenced by the growth in audience numbers across the board.” PodcastOne says its growth “comes on the heels of the successes and strengths of tentpole podcasts ‘Baby Mamas No Drama’, ‘Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe,’ ‘The Jordan Harbinger Show’, ‘LADYGANG’ and ‘The Adam Carolla Show,’ as well as acquisitions of top-performing programs such as ‘Coffee Convos,’ ‘True Crime All the Time Unsolved,’ and ‘This Is MONSTERS,’ which all saw significant audience growth since joining PodcastOne.”
JVC Broadcasting: ‘Radio is Working and Radio Works!’ Long Island-based JVC Broadcasting is sending a message to the industry – and beyond – that its recent hiring spree shows that the radio market is a good place for job seekers. JVC says that this January, it began a massive recruitment campaign using its local radio stations and social media platforms and the response was overwhelming. JVC announces that is has hired or internally promoted 16 media and entertainment professionals companywide. JVC president and CEO John Caracciolo states, “The current radio market is great for employment. There was a lot of trepidation for media companies in 2020 and 2021. People wanted to see how things would work out and if the radio business would bounce back, and it did stronger than ever. The most important and most rewarding investment an entrepreneur can make isn’t a new client or a cool piece of equipment, it’s your team of employees. I have built this business by surrounding myself with fantastic people who are visionaries and leaders. If all your employees become entrepreneurially minded or leaders in their own right, your organization will grow even faster. And the coolest thing about this entire recruitment campaign is we did all the outreach using only our local radio station assets! So yes, radio is working and radio works!”
Russia-Ukraine War, House Omnibus Bill, Gas Prices/Inflation, Biden Cryptocurrency Order, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and MLB Season Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/9). Russia’s ongoing invasion of the Ukraine and the West’s reaction; the U.S. House passes an omnibus bill that would include $14 billion in Ukraine aid; the soaring price of gas at the pump and high consumer retail prices; President Joe Biden signs executive order to investigate risks and opportunities of cryptocurrency; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases and the rolling back of mask mandates; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the failing negotiations between MLB owners and players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Hepola Out at WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. According to a report by Bring Me the News, late morning talk host Cory Hepola has exited Audacy’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. Hepola began hosting the show in January of 2019 after a career that included a four-year stint with KARE-TV as host of “KARE 11 Sunrise.” Audacy has not commented publicly about Hepola’s exit. He said after his departure that his work at WCCO changed his life “in positive ways that I didn’t expect.” He also wrote, “I felt the pressure from the start. I mean, this was a huge risk; I was giving up a successful career (in TV) I’d worked so hard for – to move into something new. What if I was a disappointment? What if I said something wrong? What if they fired me?” His last day on the show was February 8, the same day he told Minnesota Public Radio reporter Brian Bakst that he’s considering a run for governor of Minnesota. Since February 9, Blois Olson has been hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.
Radio Executive Ray Quinn Announces Retirement. After a career that has spanned more than 50 years, Ray Quinn is retiring from his position as area president for iHeartMedia’s Alabama area, effective, March 22, 2022. Quinn has been with iHeartMedia for 14 years. He has held leadership positions at several stations throughout his extensive career, including vice president/market manager for KOSI-FM, KALC-FM, and KQMT-FM in Denver; WMYX-FM, WXSS-FM, and WSSP-AM in Milwaukee; WOLX-FM, WMMM-FM, and WBZU-FM in Madison; and many more. The governor of Kentucky also recognized Quinn as a Kentucky Colonel for participating in numerous charitable projects in his community. He was awarded the March of Dimes “Order of the Battered Boot” for walkathon fundraising efforts over the years. iHeartMedia division president Shosh Abromovich says, “Ray is one of a kind. He is known as a unicorn of a leader with his passion, enthusiasm and constant innovative thinking. He has impacted so many of our lives in this industry for the better. We are beyond thankful for the many years Ray has led our teams and are truly excited for him to enjoy this next chapter of his life.” Quinn states, “It’s been an amazing 51 years in radio and 14 years with iHeartMedia. Along the way, I’ve worked for and with some of the most intelligent people in the business and I am grateful to iHeartMedia for allowing me to lead multiple markets in the Southeast. While I will miss my team and the day-to-day battles, it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation of leaders.”
TALKERS News Notes. The Central Florida operations of iHeartMedia is presenting the Florida Jobs Now Career Expo, an onsite resource event connecting job seekers to companies with exciting opportunities and benefits. The event will be held on Thursday, March 3 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm and attendees will have the opportunity to meet with companies throughout Central Florida offering hundreds of positions, as well as attend resume writing and interview preparedness workshops. iHeartMedia Orlando/Melbourne area president Barbara Latham says, “We look forward to bringing this important career event to Central Florida. As a business ourselves serving our local community here in central Florida, we recognize the significant need from our business partners to fill job openings. We feel uniquely poised to help connect these businesses with people living or moving to central Florida as an essential part of our efforts in our local communities.”…..Cumulus Media announces that it has entered into an exclusive long-term agreement for WNAM-AM, Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to remain the official radio broadcast home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the High-A affiliate of the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers. This year will be the 13th season that the Timber Rattlers have been broadcast on WNAM, with 23-year play-by-play voice Chris Mehring calling the action….. In advance of the 64th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday (2/20), Motor Racing Network announces additions to its content lineup and award-winning team of announcers. NASCAR Cup Series Championship winning crew chief, Todd Gordon joins MRN after 11 years with Team Penske. Gordon will provide race analysis on select NASCAR broadcasts and will be MRN’s competition and strategy expert across Motor Racing Network’s NASCAR programming. Suzy Armstrong will serve as host of MRN’s signature show “NASCAR TODAY.” The program is heard daily on 280 radio stations across the country in afternoon drive. During her two decades plus with the network Suzy has contributed her familiar voice to several shows and podcasts.
Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19 Mandates-Protests, Durham Probe, Inflation/Financial Markets, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Palin-NYTimes Case, Beijing Olympics, and Rams Win Super Bowl Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/14). The diplomatic tensions over Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the planned relaxing of mask mandates in numerous states, and the truckers’ protests; special counsel John Durham’s investigation into allegations of Hillary Clinton’s digital spying on Donald Trump; the still-soaring inflation and the activity on the world’s financial markets; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; a judge says he’ll toss Sarah Palin’s defamation suit against The New York Times; the politics behind the Beijing Winter Olympics; and the Los Angeles Rams’ victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Dennis Green Promoted to COO for Sun & Fun Media and Key Networks. Chief revenue officer Dennis Green is promoted to chief operating officer for Sun & Fun Media and affiliated radio syndication company Key Networks. He’ll continue to report to founder and CEO Rob Koblasz. Green joined Sun & Fun Media as CRO in May 2018 after serving for 22 years with Westwood One and added CRO responsibilities for Key Networks upon the network’s launch in March 2019. In his new role, Green will oversee operations for Sun & Fun Media’s products and services for barter to radio and for Key Networks’ portfolio of nationally syndicated programming and services. Koblasz says, “Dennis is one of the hardest working people in radio, and we are very pleased to reward his efforts with this much-deserved promotion to the chief operating officer of both Sun & Fun Media and Key Networks. As chief revenue officer since 2018, Dennis has been central to the continued growth of Sun & Fun Media and the successful launch and growth of Key Networks. His leadership and deep experience in network radio are tremendous assets for us.” Green comments, “I’m delighted to assume the role of COO for Sun & Fun Media and Key Networks. I’ve been fortunate in my career to work with amazing talent and provide programming and services for stations. Rob Koblasz gave me an opportunity to build upon the success at Sun & Fun and to start Key Networks, which is fast developing into a ‘key’ player in network radio. Thank you to the best-in-class staff we have assembled to help lead the charge to provide best-in-class products and services to affiliates around the country. The best is yet to come!”
Beasley Media Group Names Pat Eastburn VP of Digital Sales. Digital media sales pro Pat Eastburn joins Beasley Media Group as vice president of digital sales. Eastburn was most recently vice president and general manager at Flypaper Digital Marketing, the internal digital agency of WEHCO Media. In his new role, Eastburn will report to Beasley chief digital officer Todd Handy and focus on leveraging his experience across the entire digital sales team as well as be focused on new products, services and key verticals. Handy says, “Pat was the consensus choice as the top candidate for this role given his extensive background in leading digital agency sales teams and disrupting traditional media channels.” Eastburn comments, “I’m very excited to join Beasley Media Group. It’s so well-respected and I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the entire team. I believe that digital marketing has significant potential as an industry relative to current and future opportunity. Combine that opportunity with top level talent and the sky is the limit.”
Banyan Software Acquires Mr. Master Inc. Today Banyan Software, Inc. Enterprise software firm Banyan Software acquires compliance and content distribution software Mr. Master Inc. Banyan, self-described as a firm that “focuses on a buy and hold for life strategy for growing software companies that serve specialized markets,” says the Mr. Master acquisition joins its growing portfolio of media companies which includes vCreative and Counterpoint Software. Banyan says it employs a decentralized management philosophy, allowing Mr. Master to operate independently and continue the successful practices that led to its acquisition interest. Banyan CEO David Berkal says, “The Mr. Master team has deep, network radio software expertise and has spent over two decades developing market leading products that serve the unique needs of its long-standing customers. We are excited to welcome Mr. Master into the Banyan family of companies and look forward to supporting the company’s future growth in the coming years.” Mr. Master president and founder Stu Jacobs comments, “We have a great team and product that radio has embraced as its go-to traffic and production workflow solution and partnering with Banyan marks an exciting new chapter in our journey. I am thrilled to stay on as CEO and work alongside Banyan as we continue to build on the foundation of client-centered innovation and services that has made Mr. Master so exceptional. Equally important is the opportunity to leverage additional resources, fueling our continued growth.”
Neal Boortz to Do Commentaries for ‘Xtra 106.3,’ Atlanta. Retired talk radio legend Neal Boortz will start doing daily commentaries for Dickey Broadcasting’s WFOM-AM/W292EV, Atlanta “Xtra 106.3/1230,” effective January 31. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Boortz will provide daily, two-minute commentaries. Station owner David Dickey tells the AJC, “I told Neal I figured he didn’t want to do a long-form show and we couldn’t afford that anyway. Our goal is to give him a forum for a station that is growing quickly and to fill a niche. He’ll be a great addition to our brand.” In a statement, Boortz says, “The opportunity to be stridently un-WOKE and to stir things up during a crucial election year just couldn’t be passed up. Let’s have some fun.” One fallout from the new deal is that Cox Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM is not allowing Boortz’s voice on endorsement spots he’s been cutting for a number of clients that air on the station.
Alan Peterson Sets March Retirement Date. Writer, air personality and veteran radio/podcast production pro “The Other” Alan Peterson announces he’s retiring from his position with Radio America and the business, effective March 11. Peterson has served with Radio America for the past 18 years engineering or producing weekend programs including, “The Pet Show with Warren Eckstein,” “Intelligent Medicine with Dr. Ronald Hoffman,” “Liberty Nation,” “Tech It Out,” and “Eat Drink Smoke,” among many others. Peterson is the co-creator of the comedy jingle collection, “Dork-a-Pellas,” now produced and distributed by Dan O’Day’s L.A. Air Force. From 1989 to 2004 he wrote for Radio World and served as technical editor. He hosted radio shows in Syracuse; Springfield, MA; Danbury, CT; and Washington DC.
TALKERS News Notes. Imaging, voiceover, and jingle firm Benztown is partnering with P1 Media Group to present a free webinar for radio professionals called, “Stop Using Best Practices and Try Something New.” This 18th in the “Global Radio Ideas” webinar series is being hosted by Benztown CEO Andreas Sannemann and P1 Media Group partner Ken Benson and will feature Alpha Media EVP of content Phil Becker who will share his insights into what stations should be doing in 2022 to drive the growth of their brands. The webinar takes place on Thursday (1/27) at 1:00 pm ET. You can register for the webinar here…..PodcastOne teams with MotorTrend Group to produce and distribute “The InEVitable,” the limited-run podcast and vodcast series hosted by Ed Loh, MotorTrend head of editorial, and MotorTrend editor and automotive personality Jonny Lieberman. On the program, Loh and Lieberman will provide lively in-depth discussion on the greatest challenges and changes coming for the future of transportation. In the premiere episode, Reggie Watts, actor, comedian and band leader for “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” sits down with Loh and Lieberman for an engrossing conversation about how Watts thinks about artificial intelligence and consciousness, and what that might mean for the automotive world. As an owner of both gas-powered and electric-powered vehicles, Watts also talks about the dichotomy of owning both plus his love of Porsche cars…..SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio is broadcasting live from this year’s PGA Show today through Friday (1/25-28). SiriusXM hosts including Robert Gamez, Carl Paulson, Brian Katrek, Jason Sobel and Taylor Zarzour will broadcast on location from PGA Show Demo & Fitting Day at the Orange County National Golf Center, as well as the 2022 PGA Show at the Orange County Convention Center.
Ukraine Tensions, Financial Markets/Inflation, Biden-Doocy Incident, COVID-19, Urban Crime & Violence, and Boris Johnson Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/24). Concerns about Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the week-long selloff on the world’s financial markets that’s worrying investors and record-high retail and oil prices; President Joe Biden curses at FOX News reporter Peter Doocy after being asked a question about inflation affecting the midterm elections; the high rate of COVID infections in the U.S. and abroad and the legal challenges to vaccine and mask mandates; the spike in urban crime and violence; and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s sinking popularity after being photographed violating COVID protocols were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.