Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc announces the first in the “Tools of the Trade” webinar series titled, “Behind the Mic,” that features radio personalities Angela Yee, Dana Cortez, and Patty Steele. The webinar takes place on Wednesday, September 20 at 2:00 pm ET. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff comments, “MIW is proud to announce this free ‘Tools of the Trade: Behind the Mic’ webinar focused on the women who have blazed trails as on-air personalities and are integral members of their communities.” Register for the webinar here.
The MIW Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Wisconsin program announces that the program’s first mentee is Morgan Murphy Media market manager Jen Kasper. This state-focused program pairs mentees aiming to advance into higher management roles within radio broadcasting with established female mentors. The mentor provides ongoing coaching and guidance to their mentee to grow their essential skills and techniques, making them an effective leader in radio. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff comments, “Witnessing the mission of MIW continue to expand and flourish across the country reinforces our commitment to women in the industry and demonstrates the ongoing need for support, guidance and mentorship. We’re delighted to welcome Jen and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association into the MIW family and look forward to building this amazing network of women in broadcast!”
The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association is partnering with Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Inc to launch a mentorship program aimed at advancing female leadership in radio broadcasting. WBA president and CEO Michelle Vetterkind states, “Your WBA is thrilled to offer this excellent opportunity to our members. We’re confident there will be many qualified applicants seeking to take advantage of this fabulous partnership.” Wisconsin is the second state to partner with MIW, which is hoping to expand to all 50 states. Minnesota launched the first partnership last year. MIw board president Ruth Presslaff comments, “Welcome Wisconsin! We are so appreciative of the support the Wisconsin broadcasters are showing by launching this mentorship program with MIW. Many thanks to Michelle Vetterkind and everyone at WBA.” Applications are due July 7. Find out more and apply here.
Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio announces that Mary Zukin, senior sales & marketing executive at Iliad Media Group in Boise, Idaho is the first “Speak Up!” mentee. Created in partnership with Media Staffing Network and Laurie Kahn before her passing, “Speak Up!” is a one-year program designed for one mentee from any department in a small to medium radio market. MIW says, “The program is designed to encapsulate so much of what Laurie brought to the industry – a mentorship that encourages and empowers women to develop confidence and sharpen communication skills, to hone the ability to effectively speak up in order to further attain her goals.” MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “This program will always hold a special place in our hearts as Laurie has left an unforgettable impact on all of us in the industry. We had a number of talented candidates to choose from, so it was a tough decision. Mary’s energy and vibrant character really illuminated our reasons for curating this program and we’re excited to have her as our first inaugural mentee!”
RAB, BMI, and Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc announce that the 15th annual Rising Through the Ranks program is open for applications. It begins on August 1 with one virtual event from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET prior to the participants meeting in person August 8 – 10 in Nashville. As in years past, BMI will offer 20 scholarships for this year’s program. The scholarships will cover the cost of the professional development course, which is geared toward fostering and educating the current and emerging female radio managers in broadcast radio. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “Rising Through the Ranks continues to be a foundational part of the professional development of so many women. It is a transformative experience that MIW is so proud to be part of, along with the RAB and BMI. It’s also a whole lot of fun. Once again, we encourage women to apply for this wonderful opportunity and stay focused on rising through this industry.”
WBUR announces that NPR’s Beijing correspondent Emily Feng is the winner of the 2022 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for her “The Black Gate” story that debuted on NPR’s “Up First” podcast. For the story, Feng worked with language rights activist Abduweli Ayup and producer Phoebe Wang to examine China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim groups by following one man’s quest to reunite with his wife and children who’ve been detained by Chinese authorities.
Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc (MIW), announces the addition of two new members to its board of directors. Lori Flowers, who serves as integrated marketing and project manager for Radio One, and Jenna Miller, integrated sales manager for Cox Media Group join the board of the organization consisting of top-level female radio professionals who use their experience, influence, and resources to help other women in radio develop management and leadership skills. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “Both Lori and Jenna share a history with MIW, starting as mentees and now joining us as board members. They are each accomplished and inspiring professionals who are generously giving back to the betterment of women in the industry, and the industry as a whole. We welcome them wholeheartedly and are thankful for their participation.”
Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc announces that Meg Dowdy is the recipient of the 2023 Elevating Women in Audio Mentorship program. The ‘Elevating Women in Audio: MIW & Luminate Mentorship’ program is a year-long experience that provides greater opportunities for women interested in management positions in audio, and involves personalized conversations with a vast network of high-level radio executives and experts to help advance a career within the radio/audio industry. Dowdy is a regional content director who works with nine Townsquare Media markets in the Southeastern United States. During her career she’s also been a morning show co-host, award-winning news reporter, brand manager, promotions director, and midday host. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “This year we had more applicants and more high-quality applicants than ever before. Meg’s dedication to her future, to the business and to paying her success forward was very impressive. We can’t wait to start working with her.”
Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc. reveals the results of the 2022 edition of its MIW Gender Analysis Study that compiles and analyzes the number of women in radio broadcasting who are rising to the ranks of management, either as general manager, sales manager or program director/brand manager. MIW says the results represent the calendar year 2022 and are reflective of 11,215 AM and FM radio stations across America, as accounted for by PrecisionTrak. Regarding general managers, 20.65% had women holding the GM position in 2022. This is basically flat from last year but has shown consistent growth from 2004, when the percentage of female general managers was only 14.9%. MIW calls the sales manager position “the best management opportunity for women in radio.” Last year, 33.45% of stations had a woman sales manager (basically flat from 33.59% in 2021). The greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be in the area of program directors/brand managers, according to MIW. Women currently program 11.72% of stations, versus 12.09% in 2021. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff comments, “Historically we have celebrated modest to very modest gains. But this year we’re calling out to industry leaders to recognize the leadership, creativity and dedication of women broadcasters, particularly programmers, and put them to work improving your content, your culture and your cash flow.” MIW points out that a study conducted in late 2022 by The WICT Network, Empowering Women in Media, Entertainment and Technology indicates that women working in the media, entertainment and tech industries have increased over the past few years from 33% in 2019 to 38% in 2022. “It is the hope that the radio industry will better begin to mirror the continued growth of women in the general media space and provide an encouraging future for women in radio.”
Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc. (MIW), announces that it is elevating Randi P’Pool to its board of directors. P’Pool previously served three years as a volunteer on the MIW PR committee. She takes over for longtime board member and former national spokeswoman, Denyse Mesnik, who rises to the MIW advisory council. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “We are so lucky to have someone of Randi’s caliber join our board. Randi has worked diligently on the PR committee and has earned this board seat. Knowing Randi, I suspect we’ll get a lot done and have a whole lot of fun doing it! That said, I will miss working side-by-side with my dear friend and now advisory council member Denyse Mesnik. She has given immeasurably to this organization and can’t be thanked enough.”
Beasley Broadcast Group 2022 Q2 Net Revenue Rises 8.8%. The first radio-based audio firm to report 2022 second quarter financial data is Beasley Broadcast Group, which reveals net revenue of $64.8 million, an increase of 8.8% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports an operating loss of $5.4 million and a net loss of $14.5 million and explains the losses saying, “The operating loss in the second quarter of 2022 primarily reflects an $8.6 million non-cash impairment loss due to an increase in the discount rate used in the analyses to estimate the fair value of FCC licenses and goodwill in a rising interest rate environment. For the comparable three months ended June 30, 2021, the company recorded $1.5 million of other operating income, net from life insurance proceeds related to the death of George Beasley, the company’s former chairman. As a result of these factors, Beasley reported a net loss of $14.5 million, or a negative $0.48 per diluted share, in the three months ended June 30, 2022, compared to net income of $0.2 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, in the three months ended June 30, 2021.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Beasley delivered another period of strong top-line results in the second quarter, reflecting solid year-over-year growth across all of our revenue sources. Net revenue increased 8.8%, inclusive of a 4.3% rise in audio revenue and a 34.3% rise in digital revenue, with digital accounting for 16.5% of second quarter net revenue. Digital remains a central component of our revenue diversification strategy, and the momentum we are seeing in our digital business is further underpinned by our ability to grow digital revenue 37% on a quarterly sequential basis, while also improving our digital margin. Our new business performance was robust this quarter, as we recorded $7.8 million in new business revenue, representing a 60% increase from the first quarter of 2022 and 16% growth over the comparable prior year period. In addition, we acquired a small white label digital agency at the end of June, which will immediately contribute positive cash flow and synergies. We believe these results continue to demonstrate the inaccuracy of the perception that radio is more challenged than other segments of the technology, media, and telecom sectors… We are keeping a close eye on the declining economic environment and initiated cost reductions beginning in the second quarter. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on controlling what we can control, maximizing our growth opportunities, managing our expenses and capital structure, serving our audiences and advertisers and delivering results for our stockholders.”
Monday Memo: Review Airchecks…Later. As “automation and syndication have made radio less-local,” consultant Holland Cooke calls talent coaching “a lost art”; and he uses this week’s column to offer tips “for hosts and DJs who feel neglected.” Read more here.
Pending Business: The One Thing Every Advertiser Should Know. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that any radio seller who wants to be successful has to answer the following question: “What is the one ‘thing’ every advertiser should know about my on-air talent?” In other words, what is the unique selling point that can be connected to your on-air talent and only the talent you represent. Read his column here.
Alex Silverman to Lead Programming at All-News KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles. News radio programming pro Alex Silverman is moving to Audacy’s KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles to serve as director of news and programming, effective September 19. He’s been serving with the company as brand manager for the company’s all-news KYW-AM/FM, Philadelphia since 2018. Prior to that, he was assistant director of news and programming at Audacy’s WCBS-AM, New York. In his new role at KNX, Silverman will “oversee the station’s editorial strategy and newsroom, including broadcast and digital operations, with an eye towards audience and revenue growth and engagement on all platforms.” Silverman states, “KNX News is iconic. I can’t wait to work with the amazing team to build the future of the brand and set the agenda for news coverage in Southern California. Thank you to Jeff Federman, Chris Ebbott, Jeff Sottolano and Bill Smee for their confidence in me and commitment to impactful local journalism.” Silverman is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He serves on the board of directors of the Radio Television Digital News Association and has been an adjunct instructor at Fordham University, where he designed a course titled, “Social Media for Journalists.” Silverman takes over the role from Ken Charles, who did not renew his contract with the company.
Dwight Jaynes Joins Afternoon Show on ‘Rip City Sports Radio 620.’ Sports talk host Dwight Jaynes is joining Chad Doing at iHeartMedia’s KPOJ, Portland “Rip City Radio 620” as co-host of the “Rip City Drive” program that airs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Jaynes, also known as “The Godfather,” spent 25 years as a sports columnist for the Oregon Journal and The Oregonian covering the NBA’s Trail Blazers and has co-written two books about the team. He also spent 11 years at NBC Sports Northwest, hosting “Talkin’ Ball” and “Posting Up.” Prior to that, Jaynes hosted the “Morning Sports Page” show alongside Doing on KXTG-FM, Portland. Doing says, “I am thrilled to be reunited with my former partner. Dwight is a Hall of Famer for good reason – no one has more experience covering Oregon sports. I look forward to making compelling radio with him every day. His sports knowledge and storytelling are unmatched.” Jaynes comments, “I am beyond excited to return to sports talk radio – especially with my old partner Chad Doing – who I believe to be one of the best in the country. The best part of our shows has always been our willingness to take on the tough issues – sports or otherwise – and find creative ways to shape discussion and opinion. At the same time, you never quite know what we’re going to do next… because we don’t!”
Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Interview Trump at LIV Golf Tourney in Bedminster, New Jersey. Pictured above with former President Donald Trump are Premiere Networks syndicated talk hosts Clay Travis (left) and Buck Sexton (right) at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the site of the LIV Golf tournament. Trump joined the duo live on their show discussing such topics as recession, China and Taiwan, and whether he’ll run for president in 2024, about which he said, “Very hard for me not to run to be honest. And also the polls indicate from the Republican standpoint it would be easy. And I think I was up 11 points on Biden the other day… I don’t know why 11… If you guys ran, you’d be up more than 11… In my mind, I’ve already made the decision.”
Stacey Thomas Named Director of Marketing for iHeartMedia Philly. Eighteen-year iHeartMedia Philadelphia staffer Stacey Thomas is promoted to director of marketing and promotions for the cluster that includes sports talk WDAS-AM “The Gambler” and WTEL “BIN: Black Information Network.” In this role, Thomas will oversee the Philadelphia brand portfolio and will be responsible for developing, planning, and directing all marketing and promotions efforts. She previously served the cluster as media integration director. iHeartMedia Philadelphia market president Jeff Moore says, “It has been remarkable working alongside Stacey and watching her persevere through numerous changes and challenges. A tireless worker who puts the needs of iHeart Philly above all else will now get the chance to put her stamp on the promotions department in a time when making deep and meaningful relationships with our audiences and partners couldn’t be more important.”
Ava Lynn LaRue Named Inaugural MIW Mentee in Minnesota. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc and the Minnesota Broadcasters Association announce that Ava Lynn LaRue is named the inaugural mentee for the “MIW Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Minnesota” program. This partnership between the two organizations is led by MBA president Wendy Paulson and is MIW’s newest mentoring opportunity and the start of its three-to-five year strategic plan to partner with state broadcast associations across the United States and assist in building in-house, ongoing programs devoted to coaching and guiding the next generation of radio professionals. LaRue is the station manager for Q-Media Group, LLC in Red Wing, Minnesota. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “Lightning struck twice! Partnering with Wendy has been positive, productive, and way fun. And then to meet the powerhouse Ava LaRue and have the opportunity to work with her is what the MIWs are all about. Thanks MBA, Wendy, and Ava!” Paulson adds, “A huge ‘thank you’ to all of the incredible women who applied to participate in the 2022 ‘MIW Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Minnesota’ program! The judging committee was blown away by the depth of talented women that applied to be part of this pilot mentorship program!”
Biden’s Energy & Health Bill, Inflation Reduction Act, November Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, COVID-19/Biden Positive Again, Pelosi’s Asia Trip, Russia-Ukraine War/Global Food Crisis, Deadly Kentucky Floods/Western Wildfires, Monkeypox, and Nichelle Nichols & Bill Russell Die Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The fate of President Joe Biden’s energy & healthcare bill; debate over the Schumer–Manchin authored Inflation Reduction Act; November’s midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race; the rate of BA.5 subvariant infections in the U.S. and Biden’s testing positive again; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Asia and China’s threats if she visits Taiwan; the Russia-Ukraine war and its effects on the global food supply; the continuing threats of flooding in Eastern Kentucky and the Western wildfires; the growing monkeypox epidemic; and actress Nichelle Nichols and basketball legend Bill Russell pass away were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
This Massachusetts “Marathon” Is Forced To Run Elsewhere. In what TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes as “one of the most knuckle-headed public relations mis-steps” he’s ever witnessed in a local situation, the Springfield, MA-based Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has kicked up a dust-storm of bad will for itself. (Note: TALKERS headquarters are also based in Springfield, MA.) For over two decades, a charitable Thanksgiving initiative known as the Mayflower Marathon has held its November charity event to raise money for the Open Pantry at the famed hoops museum in the Western Massachusetts city where basketball was invented. A consistent partner and main engine for the event over the years has been Saga Communications’ WAQY “Rock 102 – Springfield’s Classic Rock,” which does its own “marathon” by broadcasting from the venue for 52 consecutive hours. The long-running goodwill synergy though seems to have hit a speedbump. Citing “capacity issues,” the Basketball Hall of Fame says the event will no longer be held at its location. Declaring he’s in “shock” by the HOF’s decision, “Rock 102” morning talk show co-host and local radio legend Mike Baxendale (“Bax”) points out that – for 28 years- the station has helped the Mayflower Marathon raise several million dollars for the Open Pantry. Mirroring Baxendale’s astonished sentiment is Open Pantry executive director Terry Maxey who elaborates, “We are the largest food pantry in Western Massachusetts.” Not having the Mayflower Marathon in Springfield, he laments “would be truly disappointing.” Replying in a prepared statement to Western Mass News, Basketball Hall of Fame president/chief executive officer John Doleva notes, “The Hall of Fame has been pleased to offer this space at no charge for over 20 years for the Mayflower Marathon. As a ‘landlord,’ the Hall of Fame’s first obligation is to make certain that [the needs of our tenants], including adequate and convenient parking, are met. The growth in our tenant base and the very positive organic growth of existing tenants has made this change necessary.” Things further escalated in the last several days when Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno sent a letter to the Basketball HOF, asking Doleva to reconsider. Part of Sarno’s letter reads, “This event has been held for over 25 years and has caused no prior disruptions and/or complaints from your establishments.” It’s Doleva’s contention that the choice to pull the plug on housing the event was actually made nine months ago. To show support for the event as it establishes a new home, Doleva responded on behalf of Hall of Fame board chair Jerry Colangelo and Colebrook Realty’s Jack Dill by writing that the HOF is “happy to commit a gift of $5,000 to the Marathon. Our property management group, Colebrook, has committed an additional $2,500 for a total of $7,500 to the event.” Meanwhile, Baxendale maintains to Western Mass News that the Mayflower Marathon “is going to happen one way or another. We are looking at alternative sites [and] have a lot of suggestions. [Unfortunately], this shows that there’s a disconnect between the Hall of Fame and the community.”
GCN Vindicated in Sandy Hook Case. A defendant in Alex Jones’ Connecticut defamation case – Ted Anderson-owned Genesis Communications Network – was vindicated when the plaintiffs unilaterally withdrew all legal claims against GCN. The action was taken one month prior to jury selection and effectuated without settlement, release, or other consideration by GCN. According to Anderson, “This means we can continue to serve the hundreds of radio programs as we have over the years, programs from a wide array of political viewpoints. Including us in the suit was an attack on talk radio as an institution. It was totally unjustified. My heart breaks for those families – but yes – I feel this was the right result.” GCN attorney Mario Cerame states, “We are, of course, pleased with the recognition that GCN was not a proper defendant. Genesis does not monitor the content of the radio shows it works with. These are the sound engineers, ensuring professional sound quality, balance, and the like. They make space in the recording for commercials. They do not factcheck the words any more than your phone company does, or the people who sell you a keyboard check to see what you type. They just deliver the sound, like a radio version of the United States postal worker. We had to vigorously litigate the case up to the eve of jury selection but, the plaintiffs ultimately acknowledged this and walked away on their own, without a dime from GCN. We were caught in a battle between two Goliaths [but] after a lot of hard work, we managed to come out unscathed.”
Ippolito In As iHeartMedia San Diego Market President. Concurrent with iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest transitioning to a consultant role on August 1, senior vice president of sales Noreen Ippolito becomes her successor. Ippolito will report to division president Tom McConnell who comments, “Noreen is an incredible talent with an outstanding track record. She has strong business acumen and understands how to build and cultivate high performing teams. She is the perfect choice to lead our San Diego and Riverside markets.” In addition to San Diego news/talk outlets KOGO “News Radio 600” and KGB-AM “AM 760”; sports talk KLSD “Fox 1360”; and Riverside Black Information Network news outlet KFOO “BIN 1440”, Ippolito will oversee San Diego classic rock KGB-FM; rock KIOZ; CHR KHTS; hot AC KMYI; and rhythmic CHR KSSX.
Steele To Receive MIW’s Annual Airblazer Award. Five-year cancer survivor/Audacy New York classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM morning drive co-host Patty Steele is the recipient of the eighth annual Mentoring and Inspiring Women’s Airblazer award. Steele will be honored during next month’s (8/18) Morning Show Boot Camp in Chicago. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff comments, “It’s such a privilege to be the conduit for this very special award recognizing top on-air talent. Congratulations to Patty Steele, a wonderful talent and an even better human.” As is tradition, the “Airblazer” is carefully selected by the prior year’s honoree. The recipient is recognized for her dedication/contributions to the broadcast industry and to the communities she serves. Syndicated “DeDe in the Morning” host/2021 MIW “Airblazer” DeDe McGuire remarks, “It is my honor to select Patty Steele as the next recipient of the MIW Airblazer award. Patty has worked on some of the most successful radio shows alongside some of the biggest names in our industry. Her voice, humor, and insights were key to the successes of these shows on some of the country’s most legendary stations. So many of us in the industry admire her ability to always be the best and work through difficult times, both personally and professionally. She always comes out on top.” Steele adds, “I can’t tell you how proud and delighted I am to be chosen as this year’s recipient of the Airblazer award. My passion for radio and for the young women coming up in this business make this a truly special honor. Being chosen by DeDe is icing on the cake – she’s a survivor and [thrives] in our ever-changing business.” At WCBS-FM, Steele is reunited with Scott Shannon. She has also worked with Elvis Duran, Danny Bonaduce, and John Lander at a number of other well-known New York City stations, including news/talk WOR, news WCBS-AM, WHTZ, and WPLJ. In April, Steele was one of thirteen podcasters to receive a 2022 Gracie award for her “Deep Six” series. The two-part episode featured Steele’s interview with her 26-year-old son, Jake, about his heroin addiction and his journey to recovery. Three other Audacy-owned stations aired the show. Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the advancement of female leadership in radio broadcasting. In addition to DeDe McGuire, previous “Airblazers” include: Angela Yee (2020); Kellie Rasberry (2019); Mercedes Martinez (2018); Roula Christie (2017); Angie Martinez (2016); and class of 2022 Radio Hall of Fame inductee Ellen K (2015).
iHM Portland Boosts Burgess To Market President. The promotion of iHeartMedia Portland senior vice president of sales Marshal Burgess to market president for the company’s eight-station Oregon cluster is effective immediately. He will report to iHM Multiplatform Group division president/Black Information Network president Tony Coles, who states, “It has been incredible to witness Marshal’s growth and success over the years. Few leaders [have] the kind of experience, integrity, and vision that Marshal brings to the table. We look forward to Marshal building upon our history of success in Portland.” University of Oregon alum Burgess notes, “I’ve spent my entire life in Portland and grew up listening to [several stations in this iHM cluster]. The support and positive energy I’ve received from Tony Coles and the entire team here in Portland have been unbelievable. I’m very excited for the future and am truly humbled by the opportunity.” Burgess began his career at CBS Radio in 1996. He joined iHeartMedia the following year and has been with the company (then known as Clear Channel) ever since. In that time, he has progressed from being an account executive; local sales manager; general sales manager; and vice president of sales. In addition to news/talk KEX “News Radio 1190” and sports talk KPOJ “Rip City Sports Radio 620,” iHeartMedia Portland consists of adult contemporary KKCW; classic hits-oldies KLTH; classic rock KFBW; CHR KKRZ; alternative KKRZ-HD2; and rhythmic CHR KXJM.
Cannabis Advertising Legislation Introduced. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Advertising Act, would clarify that local radio and television broadcasters can air cannabis ads without the threat of FCC administrative action in states where pot is legal. SAFE was introduced by Senator Ben Ray Luján (Democrat-New Mexico) and follows the House passage of FY 2023 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill. Language in that bill would prevent the FCC from taking administrative action against broadcasters that accept cannabis commercials. In a prepared statement, NAB president/chief executive officer Curtis LeGeyt notes, “Due to outdated government regulations, only local radio and television broadcasters face legal exposure for advertising cannabis products permitted under state law. The SAFE Advertising Act would finally level the playing field and create necessary regulatory certainty for broadcasters. We thank Senator Luján for his leadership on this issue and we will continue working with policymakers to ensure there is a permanent resolution to this competitive disparity.” New Mexico Broadcasters Association president/chief executive officer Paula Maes comments, “The members of the NMBA appreciate the efforts of Senator Luján and his staff. Their work on this bill which would allow cannabis advertising to air on New Mexico broadcasting is in step with state law and [is] long overdue. The Senator’s legislation helps remedy this unfair situation by recognizing the importance of state law in addressing cannabis issues.” New York State Broadcasters Association president/Safe Advertising Coalition member David Donovan adds, “We applaud Senator Luján’s efforts to allow local radio and television broadcasters to accept cannabis advertisements consistent with the law of the state in which they are licensed. We look forward to working with the Senator’s office to move this important legislation forward.”
Horowitz Headed To Raiders P-B-P Booth. The search to find a successor for the iconic Brent Musberger as radio play-by-play announcer for the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders concludes: Jason Horowitz is the choice. Horowitz, who will be this year’s game-caller with returning analyst Lincoln Kennedy, reflects that, “As a kid, I used to pretend I was the voice for a team calling an epic interception, or the game-winning touchdown. I want to thank [Raiders controlling owner/managing general partner] Mark Davis and the Raiders organization for making that dream become a reality. I am humbled to join an historic franchise, following in the footsteps of the legends who have called games of the ‘silver and black’ to the sport’s greatest fanbase.” Horowitz most recently has been Westwood One’s NCAA football and basketball studio host and CBS Sports Network’s announcer of Army football games. Musberger signed a contract four years ago (July 2018), making him the radio voice of the Oakland Raiders and the inaugural season (2020) when the franchise relocated to Las Vegas. He continued those duties through the 2021 season. Compass Media Networks syndicates Raiders games which air on Las Vegas sports talk flagship, Lotus Communications-owned KRLV “Raider Nation Radio 920 AM.”
BIN Listeners Offered Free Career Coaching. A “100,000 Careers” service from CareerBuilder will provide Black Information Network (BIN) listeners with a gratis 45-minute session. BIN and CareerBuilder have joined forces to launch the platform created to connect 100,000 BIN listeners looking to advance their careers. As part of the initiative, jobseekers have access to personalized career guidance through a complimentary coaching session. BIN listeners will have the opportunity to meet with an expert within their industry and receive individually tailored advice and actionable feedback to help promote their career growth. According to iHeartMedia Multiplatform group division president Tony Coles, “The Black Information Network and CareerBuilder are committed to giving jobseekers the tools and resources they need to stand out from the crowd. These sessions help match jobseekers and experts to help [them] prepare for [their] interview. We are excited to offer this service to get one step closer to helping 100,000 listeners find the career of their dreams.” CareerBuilder chief marketing officer Kristin Kelley comments, “We are thrilled to offer this hyper-customized experience in hopes that the community will receive practical feedback relevant to their industry to help them either find a job filled with purpose, or grow into their current role. Careers start with mentors and support, which is why expert coaching is one of the many ways that the 100,000 Careers initiative can transform the way job seekers find a role.” Through the use of AI technology and responses from an initial questionnaire, jobseekers will be matched with more than 5,000 available coaches. During the one-on-one session, jobseekers can ask questions, identify strengths, and work to define a career path that fits their needs. Participants will receive an individualized report that includes actionable advice and a video recording following the online session.
Newsmax Signs Multiple International Programming Distribution Deals. Through one of the agreements, Zee Entertainment’s Zee5 will carry Newsmax’s news feed 24/7, as well as VOD content. Zee will also post content from Newsmax.com in its news section. Zee5’s initial distribution of Newsmax content will be in India, with eventual expansion to the Middle East and North Africa. Earlier this month, Newsmax signed a distribution pact with Canal+-owned European satellite, cable, and OTT provider M7 and is now available in The Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary. Rounding out Newsmax’s recent global expansion efforts is its July 19 deal in Australia with Foxtel-owned streaming platform Flash News. Newsmax chief executive officer Chris Ruddy states, “The demand for high-quality journalism is growing worldwide as citizens everywhere look for real news to help understand a complex world. We are delighted to be working with Zee, M7, and Foxtel to deliver our content to the world’s largest democracies and we are looking forward to continuing to expand our global reach.” M7 group vice president/platform content services Bill Wijdeveld remarks, “We are welcoming Newsmax on board of our TV platforms, allowing the channel to launch into multiple European markets in ‘one go.’ We thank Newsmax for its trust in our service provisioning and look forward to a fruitful cooperation over the coming years.”
TALKERS News Notes. Former Baltimore Ravens defensive back Rod Woodson will join play-by-play voice Gerry Sandusky this season on the NFL team’s broadcasts on Hearst Baltimore news/talk WBAL. According to Sandusky, “Rod brings the unique perspective of someone who has both played and coached at the highest level of the game. He does it in a down-to-earth way that is approachable, likable and just plain fun. It’s a privilege to work with a broadcast partner like Rod.” Woodson states that, “Being a part of the Ravens’ gameday broadcast team is a blessing. To be back with the team that I won my only Super Bowl with will be fun.”
MIW Reveals Gender Analysis Study Results. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio organization reveals the results of the 22nd MIW Gender Analysis Study that tracks the progress of female professionals holding general manager, sales manager, and program director/brand manager titles. MIW says the study reflects data from the calendar year 2021 and was accounted for by PrecisionTrak. In the general manager category, women hold the position at 20.79% of U.S. radio stations. This is an increase of almost a full percentage point from 2020, which was 19.9%. Notably, this number continues to show consistent growth from 2004, when the percentage of female general managers was only 14.9%. Looking at sales managers, 33.59% of stations had a woman in the position last year. MIW says the management position that poses the greatest challenge for women is program director/brand manager. Only 12.09% of U.S. stations had women in the position in 2021, versus 12.2% in 2020. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “If the glass is half full we should celebrate any upward movement, even if it’s incremental, as jobs continue to be eliminated in the continuing pandemic. However, it’s disappointing that the glass isn’t filling faster for those in programming and MIW is paying close attention to this issue. We encourage you to register at radiomiw.com to learn about our multiple opportunities for mentoring and career development!”
iHeartMedia to Celebrate WOR, New York’s 100th Anniversary. WOR-AM, New York owner iHeartMedia is preparing to celebrate the news/talk station’s 100th anniversary of its first broadcast on February 22, 1922. Next Tuesday (2/22), “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” will kick off the tribute by interviewing on-air hosts from WOR’s history to share memories of their time at the station. WOR will also air audio of historic moments and invite listeners to call in with their favorite WOR recollections. On February 23, the Empire State Building will light up in the colors of the station’s logo beginning at 5:40 pm. WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “A station broadcasting for over a century is truly incredible. 710 WOR has a strong connection with the communities we serve, and as the media landscape continues to evolve, it’s exciting to see our reach has continued to grow as WOR listeners adopt streaming on smart devices and the iHeartRadio app.” WOR was initially launched to sell radios and other merchandise at Bamberger’s department store in Newark, New Jersey.
Talk Host Mark Kaye Announces 15-Year-Old Sickle Cell Patient as New Voice of the Program. WOKV-FM, Jacksonville-based, syndicated radio talk show host Mark Kaye (left) names 15-year-old Quincy Chapman (right) the new voice of “The Mark Kaye Show.” Kaye met Chapman during his “Kaye’s Kids” charity event called “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Kaye says, “Every Christmas we surprise local children who are battling life-threatening illnesses with dream gifts. This past December, Quincy was one of those kids.” Chapman suffers from the painful Sickle Cell Disease that’s required several blood transfusions, spleen removal, and a recent hip transplant. “Quincy lives in constant pain,” says Kaye. “But you would never know it if you met him. He has an incredible personality, an amazing smile, and as soon as he spoke on the air we were blown away by the power of his voice. He sounds incredible!” After being at the station, Chapman posted a message on Instagram describing how much fun he had on the show and how he was “hooked” on radio. Kaye saw the post and came up with the idea of bringing him back into the studio to record elements for his show. Kaye says, “As soon as he walked in the studio you could tell by the look on his face how happy it made him. We asked him to record some liners and promos for us. Dude was a natural.”
Alpha Media’s Chris Schmidt Named NSMA’s Nebraska Sportscaster of the Year. Lincoln, Nebraska radio personality Chris Schmidt is named the National Sports Media Association’s 2021 Nebraska Sportscaster of the Year. Schmidt serves with Alpha Media’s news/talk KFOR-AM and sports talk KLMS-AM as play-by-play announcer, host of the “Hail Varsity” program, and cast member of the “KFOR Morning Show.” Alpha Media Lincoln market manager Katie Philipi says, “Chris is an exceptional broadcaster and his passion cannot be rivaled. He is so deserving of this award. The entire Alpha Lincoln family celebrates his achievement.” Schmidt comments, “I’m humbled and honored by this award. Thank you to the many folks I have worked with over the years and get to work with today. I have fun going to ‘work’ every day, talking about news and sports.”
Edison Research to Host Black Podcast Listener Report Networking Event. On February 28, Edison Research is hosting an online “networking” event to further the discussion of the results of the Black Podcast Listener Report it, SXM Media, and Mindshare released in October of 2021. Edison says the virtual event will give podcasters and other interested parties a chance to network and discuss various relevant podcast topics, such as key findings from the Black Podcast Listener Report, feedback for the next report, and other topics helpful to creators in the space. The study participants consisted of over 2,500 Black Americans age 18+. It concluded that 36% of Black Americans now listen to podcasts monthly. Black listeners are closing the gap with the general market. In 2020, 17% of Black Americans were listening to podcasts weekly, compared with 24% of all Americans. Just a year later, the number of weekly Black listeners jumped to 26% (while the general market grew slightly to 28%). Also, 42% of Black monthly podcast listeners say they’ve been streaming shows for one year or less. You can read the report here and you can register for the networking event here.
Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Durham Probe, S.F. School Board Recall, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Palin-NYTimes Case, Alec Baldwin Suit, and Beijing Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15). The threat of war 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 successful recall of three liberal San Francisco School Board members; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; a judge tosses Sarah Palin’s defamation suit against The New York Times; Alec Baldwin is sued in connection with the shooting death on the Rust set; and the politics behind the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Talk Radio Legend Michael Jackson Passes at 87. Talk radio host Michael Jackson, who achieved legendary status during his career in Los Angeles, died on Sunday (1/16) at his home in L.A. at the age of 87. Jackson, who retired from radio in 2007, had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for the past 10 years. He is best remembered for his iconic work at KABC, Los Angeles that lasted from 1966 to 1998. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (who served as a talk show host on rocker KMET in Los Angeles between 1975 and 1986) issued the following statement: “Michael Jackson was one of the all-time greats – a founding father – of talk radio. During his 32-year run at KABC, his very presence gave the station prestige and national stature as one of – if not THE – first very rare commercial outlets fully committed to the spoken-word format. Michael Jackson and KABC were synonymous with the phrase ‘talk radio.’ It should also be pointed out that his heyday in the format began prior to the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 which, in my opinion, marked the beginning of the modern era of talk radio. That made him the member of an exclusive club of radio performers whose historical relevance and influence on things to come in the broadcasting industry are incalculable.” Jackson’s longtime producer Lyle Gregory remembers Jackson in a piece you can read here.
Monday Memo: Podcasting ‘Will Continue to Explode.’ In a marketing piece to the advertising community, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman sees “no signs of growth abating.” In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines opportunities at the station level. Read it here.
Pending Business: Early Warning. According to the “sales calendar,” January is over, and the first quarter is headed toward spring. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says it’s time for an early review of your sales game plan. “Like any other performance skill, practice, evaluation and repetition makes for improvement. The skills required for success in today’s sales environment may be different from the last few years.” Read about Lapa’s six questions you can ask yourself here.
Chicago Sports Personality Les Grobstein Dead at 69. Windy City sports media personality and WSCR “The Score” overnight talk host Les Grobstein was found dead at his home in suburban Elk Grove Village on Sunday, according to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder. He reports that WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen said Grobstein had been away from his show since last Wednesday due to illness. During his career, Grobstein was sports director at WLS-AM, Chicago for 10 years. He served at sports talk WMVP from 1991 to 1997. He began his overnight stint with WSCR in 2009.
Pioneering Talk Host Susan Bray Dies at 79. A number of news outlets are reporting that former talk host Susan Bray (pictured here on C-SPAN) died in her native Australia last week at age 79. The Des Moines Register has a nice story written by her longtime friend Julie Gammack, who would replace her on WHO-AM. During her career, Bray worked at such outlets as WHO-AM, Des Moines and WWDB-FM, Philadelphia. She earned the nickname the “Saucy Aussie” because of her ribald sense of humor. After a long talk radio career in the U.S., Bray, who had married American Ed DeLong, returned to her hometown of Mudgee, Australia where she and DeLong ran a bed and breakfast.
Maine Station Fires Sportscasters After Body Shaming Incident. The owner of Houlton, Maine radio station WHOU-FM has fired two sportscasters who were caught on a hot mic body-shaming female basketball players during a game between two high school teams. Jim Carter and Steve Shaw were calling the game while watching it on a livestream and made comments about the weight of some of the teenage girls. Carter is a former coach from another school and Shaw had been the athletic director at one of the schools playing in the contest that night. Carter told the Portland Press-Herald that he has apologized to the superintendent of one of the schools, adding, “I don’t even know what to say. Hopefully everybody can get through this and be OK.” Northern Maine Media owner Fred Grant posted a notice of the pair’s dismissal on the station website saying, in part, “Our mission has been to highlight the best of our communities, our schools, the programs we love, and most importantly – our students. Last night, two broadcasters made comments that were not only inappropriate, they were also blatantly wrong. Those broadcasters were terminated… We’ve heard from many of you, and many have shared clips of the event in question. While it’s wrong that it happened, I’m going to ask each of you to help us shift the focus back on the excellence we see every day in our students. If you’ve shared the video post, I’m hoping you will take it down, not to downplay the incident, but to better help all of our students move on to the important work and events in their lives.”
MIW Names Three to Board of Directors. Three new members are joining the board of directors for Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio. Haley Jones of MRC Data, Melissa Mitchell of Bonneville International, and Brittney Jackson of Urban One/Radio One are joining the board of the organization that “consists of top-level female radio professionals who use their experience, influence, and resources to help other women in radio develop management and leadership skills.” Jackson currently serves as the general and digital sales manager for Urban One/Radio One in Richmond where she is responsible for recruiting and developing new talent, leading multi-platform sales efforts, and increasing annual revenue. Jones serves as head of independents for MRC Data where she oversees independent labels, small radio groups, and managers with music intelligence for today. Mitchell is Bonneville International’s director of finance, corporate controller and is based in their Denver market. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “We are extremely fortunate to have not one, but three powerhouses join our board. Their success speaks for itself; it’s their willingness to pay it forward for the good of women and our industry that makes each so special and appreciated. I’d be remiss in not thanking the three members leaving our board as their terms end: Kay Olin, principal of Olin & Associates, and past MIW spokeswoman, whose constant leadership, dedication, and long term participation profoundly impacted MIW and me personally; Valerie Blackburn, principal at VKB Consulting, whose financial expertise led MIW through the arduous process of establishing a formal 501(c)(3) status; and Beth Neuhoff, president & CEO Neuhoff Media who provided invigorating energy and challenging ideas that MIW will push ever forward.”
Cowboys Great Chad Hennings Takes Part in SRN News Series. Pictured here is Salem Radio Network VP of news Tom Tradup (left) with three-time Dallas Cowboys Superbowl champion Chad Hennings. Hennings is in the SRN studios working with Tradup on a special, week-long series on SRN News aimed at getting men involved in Christian ministries. The five-part series titled, “Get Off the Bench,” begins airing today (1/17)
Tuscaloosa Sports Talker Jay Barker Arrested on Assault Charges. Former University of Alabama star quarterback Jay Barker was arrested in Nashville and charged with aggravated assault after allegedly trying to ram the car his estranged wife was riding in. Barker hosts the midday show on Townsquare Media’s sports talk WTUG-HD2/W256CG, Tuscaloosa “Tide 100.9” and is married to country artist Sara Evans. She filed for divorce from Barker in August.
COVID-19, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Texas Synagogue Assault, Djokovic Booted from Australia, NFL Playoffs, Winter Weather, and Martin Luther King, Jr Day Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The high rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Joe Biden vaccine mandate; the battle for control of Congress in November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence in the GOP; the Texas synagogue hostage incident; Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is kicked out of Australia ahead of the Australian Open after violating the country’s COVID protocols; the NFL’s Wild Card weekend; intense winter weather hitting the Eastern U.S.; and the Martin Luther King, Jr weekend and holiday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.