The 2024 presidential race was the most-talked-about story in news/talk media this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Wednesday’s GOP debate tied with Sean Hannity’s Donald Trump town hall, followed by the resumption of the Israel-Hamas war at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed in news/talk media during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
The 2024 presidential race and Wednesday’s GOP debate; Israel’s resuming its mission to eliminate Hamas and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza; the Senate impasse over aid for Ukraine & Israel and the demand for border security measures; Kevin McCarthy announces he’ll exit Congress at the end of the year; Sean Hannity’s Donald Trump town hall broadcast; Iran-backed Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea; the deans of Ivy League schools under fire for dodging questions about anti-Semitism on campus; the deadly shooting on the UNLV campus; and Norman Lear dies at 101 were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
The Senate battle over aid for Ukraine in exchange for U.S. border security measures; Israel’s resuming its mission to eliminate Hamas; FBI Director Chris Wray warns of U.S. terror threats; college deans grilled in Congress over anti-Semitism on their campuses; the 2024 presidential race; former President Donald Trump’s legal battles; Sean Hannity’s Donald Trump town hall program; and military promotions are approved as Senator Tommy Tuberville ends his blockade were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
The FOX News Channel “DeSantis vs. Newsom: The Great Red vs. Blue State Debate” show that was aired last week was the second most-watched program in linear television, averaging a total of 4.75 million viewers, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. The Sean Hannity-hosted program pulled in 742,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo, which FNC says represented nearly 73% of the cable news share in total viewers and 77% of the cable news share in the key demo. Additionally, the Hannity-hosted post-debate show earned 3.4 million total viewers and 541,000 in the A25-54 demo.
The release of more hostages and the extended truce between Israel and Hamas; Henry Kissinger dies at 100; the 2024 presidential race; former President Donald Trump’s legal battles; tonight’s Gavin Newsom–Ron DeSantis debate moderated by FOX’s Sean Hannity; the UN’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai; Elon Musk’s anti-Semitic tweets and X’s loss of advertisers; the scheduled vote to oust George Santos from the House were some of the most-talked-about stories in news/talk media yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity is moderating a live, 90-minute televised debate between Florida Governor and GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis (R) and California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday, November 30 in Alpharetta, Georgia. “DeSantis vs. Newsom: The Great Red vs. Blue State Debate” will air on FNC from 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm (and simulcast on FOX News Radio) with a half-hour, post-debate analysis featuring Hannity and a panel of guests. FNC says, “Focusing on the major issues impacting the country, the debate will examine the vastly different approaches the two governors have and offer insights into their political philosophies as well as ambitions for the nation. Throughout the debate, Hannity will highlight a variety of issues in each state, including the economy, the border, immigration, crime, and inflation. Presented without an audience, the governors will have equal opportunity to respond and address each issue.”
According to a piece in the Detroit Metro News, WFDF, Detroit owner Kevin Adell is all-in on the new conservative talk format recently installed on the station after several years airing an urban talk format. The station flipped after Labor Day and has been airing Premiere Networks syndicated shows including Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Jesse Kelly, and Clay Travis & Buck Sexton, as well as Key Networks’ Bill O’Reilly. The story indicates the station’s cume has skyrocketed from about 2,100 listeners per month to 29,000 in the first week after the change (Sept. 7-13). Adell tells the paper he has no regrets about the move, “The more divided we are, the better it is for radio. It comes down to one thing — show business. If we live in a utopia, we have nothing to talk about.” Adell also says he expects cume to jump to 200,000 per month as he continues to promote the new lineup. At the time of the change, the Black community was upset with the firing of the (unpaid) hosts and the format flip, but Adell said it was purely a business move. “[T]he format was no longer profitable and only attracted about 2,100 listeners a month, an abysmally small audience for a radio station. When you look at it, no one supported it. I couldn’t get the community to support it.” Read the Metro News piece here.
A little more than two weeks after dropping its local urban talk format for syndicated sports talk, Kevin Adell-owned WFDF-AM, Detroit “910 AM Superstation” becomes a conservative news/talk outlet. The station features Michigan talk personality Justin Barclay in morning drive, followed by Premiere Networks’ daytime lineup of “The Glenn Beck Show,” “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show,” Sean Hannity, and Jesse Kelly, supplemented by “Our American Stories” and some FOX News Radio content. Adell bought the former Radio Disney station in January of 2015 and launched “910 The Superstation” featuring Black talk hosts who were not on the payroll but were given the platform to get their message out. Ultimately, Adell says it wasn’t financially successful. He told the Detroit Metro News, “When you look at it, no one supported it. I couldn’t get the community to support it.”
Simulcasting on 98.7 HD-2, iHeartMedia Washington, DC launches “Freedom 104.7 – DC’s Real News. Real Talk.” Senior vice president of programming Jeff Kapugi states, “We are excited to welcome a number of best-in-class personalities to ‘Freedom 104.7.’ We are confident [the station] will quickly become a favorite destination for DMV talk radio listeners.” Premiere Networks executive vice president of affiliate sales Peter Tripi adds, “We’re thrilled to have our industry-leading talk lineup join ‘Freedom 104.7 & 98.7 HD-2.’ These stellar talents will provide entertaining, unique and insightful views on the latest news, politics and events that Washington, DC listeners are looking for.” The station’s weekday lineup includes: “America’s First News” (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Glenn Beck (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); Clay Travis & Buck Sexton (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); Sean Hannity (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Jesse Kelly (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm); “Our American Stories” (9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight); “Coast to Coast Early Edition” (12:00 midnight – 1:00 am); and “Coast to Coast AM with George Noory” (1:00 am – 6:00 am). Approximately six months ago (1/5), WWDC-HD2 and 104.7 translator station W284CQ became “iHeart Sports DC”; it was not listed in Nielsen Audio’s May 2023 sweep. Among persons 6+ in that ratings period, American University public radio news/talk WAMU ranks first (11.4); Hubbard all-news WTOP & WTLP “Washington’s Top News” is second (8.0); Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL “105.9 FM – Where Washington Comes To Talk” finishes seventh (4.7); and Audacy business news WDCH “Bloomberg 99.1 FM” ranks #22 (.5).
Two months after the controversial exit of prime time star Tucker Carlson from the FOX News Channel lineup, the cable news/talk channel announces its new prime time schedule that takes effect on July 17. Taking over the 8:00 pm ET hour formerly held by Carlson is Jesse Watters, who moves from the 7:00 pm hour. Laura Ingraham’s program moves from 10:00 pm to the 7:00 pm hour, and Greg Gutfeld’s show moves from 11:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Sean Hannity stays in the 9:00 pm slot, and “FOX News @ Night” with Trace Gallagher slides up one hour to start at 11:00 pm. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “FOX News Channel has been America’s destination for news and analysis for more than 21 years and we are thrilled to debut a new lineup. The unique perspectives of Laura Ingraham, Jesse Watters, Sean Hannity, and Greg Gutfeld will ensure our viewers have access to unrivaled coverage from our best-in-class team for years to come.”
Morning drive talk host Mark Kaye – WKOV-FM, Jacksonville and other Cox Media Group news/talk stations – recently did a bit riffing off the Mark Zuckerberg–Elon Musk cage match story. Kaye, wondering which fellow talk hosts he might be able to beat in a cage match, used the recently published 2023 TALKERS Heavy Hundred to muse over potential opponents. Kaye – ranked #81 on this year’s Heavy Hundred – says he’s pretty sure Sean Hannity (#1 on the Heavy Hundred) would kill him. Check out who he thought he could beat in this hilarious bit here.
Prolific author and veteran talk media purveyor of current events with a focus on African American perspectives, Tavis Smiley, was honored by the TALKERS editorial board at the TALKERS 2023 conference as the 2023 recipient of the highly prestigious Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. (The presentation was sponsored by The Todd Starnes Show) The award is presented each year to a talk media practitioner whose work sets an example for the exercise and preservation of the First Amendment. Smiley, who has hosted shows on a diverse array of platforms such as BET, CNN, ABC, PBS, KABC Radio, and KGFJ Radio among others, joins such former recipients of the award as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’ Reilly, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Bob Grant, Thom Hartmann, Alan Colmes, Joe Madison, Karen Hunter, Al Franken, Brian Lamb, Norm Pattiz, Ian Freeman and others dating back to the origins of TALKERS in the late 1980s. Some two years ago, Smiley’s media company acquired an AM radio station in Los Angeles, the former hip hop legend KDAY, and transformed it into a new station and format – KBLA Talk 1580 – where he’s assembled an outstanding on-air staff, including himself, with the passionate mission of, as he puts it, “unapologetically serving people of color and who are politically progressive.” In making the announcement of this year’s recipient, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “This is our longest-running and most-important award. Mr. Smiley has risen to the enormous talk radio challenge of providing underserved African Americans and progressives with a major commercial platform in the nation’s second largest market with a worldwide reach. In today’s political environment and struggling AM radio industry, it doesn’t get any more ‘First Amendment’ than that.” Tavis Smiley was presented the award by Harrison at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island. See the presentation and Smiley’s acceptance speech here.
Townsquare Media’s KIDO, Boise “Talk Radio 107.5 FM & 580 AM” announces the addition of Premiere Networks’ “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” to its program lineup in the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm daypart. At the same time, the station moves Premiere’s “The Sean Hannity Show” to a live clearance from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. KIDO brand manager Kevin Miller states, “In the world that we live in today, with the possibilities of world war and an upcoming presidential election, the addition of Clay and Buck along with Sean Hannity live will allow Idahoans to hear the news and talk about it as it happens. It’s great having all three talented hosts with Idaho connections and values in the Treasure Valley.”
Tri-State Radio’s WFLI-AM/W262DQ launches a news/talk/sports format, flipping back to spoken-word from the classic hits format it’s been airing. The station’s lineup includes a simulcast of WTVC-TV’s “Good Morning Chattanooga” from 4:30 am to 7:00 am, followed by the syndicated “Rick & Bubba” show from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Real estate expert Del Walmsley hosts “Lifestyles Unlimited” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, followed by Premiere Networks’ “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, “The Sean Hannity Show” from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Outkick’s “Hot Mic” with Chad Withrow and Jonathan Hutton from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Tri-State Radio president Evan Stone says, “We felt like there was a void for more regional and local news, talk and sports – that was the motivation behind putting this lineup together. The ability to add the two biggest shows in conservative talk in Hannity and Clay and Buck was a no-brainer. It’s hard to find a bigger name in news talk than Sean Hannity and Clay Travis with his connection to the state of Tennessee… aligns us very well for success. Throughout the day we’ll feature local and regional newscasts and sportscasts every hour.”
Prolific author and veteran talk media purveyor of current events with a focus on African American perspectives, Tavis Smiley, has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board to be the 2023 recipient of the highly prestigious Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. The award is presented each year to a talk media practitioner whose work sets an example for the exercise and preservation of the First Amendment. Smiley, who has hosted shows on a diverse array of platforms such as BET, CNN, ABC, PBS, KABC Radio, and KGFJ Radio among others, joins such former recipient of the award as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’ Reilly, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Bob Grant, Thom Hartmann, Alan Colmes, Joe Madison, Karen Hunter, Al Franken, Brian Lamb, Norm Pattiz, Ian Freeman and others dating back to the origins of TALKERS in the late 1980s. Some 21 months ago, Smiley’s media company acquired an AM radio station in Los Angeles, the former hip hop legend KDAY, and transformed it into a new station and format – KBLA Talk 1580 – where he’s assembled an outstanding on-air staff, including himself, with the passionate mission of, as he puts it, “unapologetically serving people of color and who are politically progressive.” In making the announcement of this year’s recipient, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “This is our longest-running and most-important award. Mr. Smiley has risen to the enormous talk radio challenge of providing underserved African Americans and progressives with a major commercial platform in the nation’s second largest market with a worldwide reach. In today’s political environment and struggling AM radio industry, it doesn’t get any more ‘First Amendment’ than that.” Tavis Smiley will be presented the award at the forthcoming TALKERS 2023 convention on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island where he will be one of 60 talk media luminaries scheduled to speak. For more information about TALKERS 2023, see the story below.
Bill O’ Reilly is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Multi-platform news/talk media star and best-selling author Bill O’ Reilly is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” O’ Reilly’s 40-plus year career has been colorful, controversial, and continues to be consequential. After gaining prominence as an anchor for the mainstream TV networks ABC and CBS, he served as host of the groundbreaking celebrity gossip entertainment-industry show, “Inside Edition,” and then evolved into politics going on to be the top-rated host at FOX News Channel for approximately two decades. Today, his short-form commentaries, syndicated by Key Networks, are heard on hundreds of news/talk radio stations across the nation and he’s currently in the process of launching a new nightly, long-form syndicated program titled, “No Spin News.” Harrison and O’ Reilly discuss the state and future of modern era news/talk media in addition to looking back at what it was like for the independent-minded talker to co-host and partner with former President Donald Trump on his recent four-city “History Tour.” Be sure to meet Bill O’ Reilly at the forthcoming Talkers 2022 conference at Hofstra University on Friday, June 10. To listen to the entire podcast, please click here.
Sean Hannity Becomes Longest-Running Primetime Cable News Host. According to FOX News Channel, primetime superstar Sean Hannity notches another industry milestone as he tops the late Larry King to assume the mantle of the longest-running primetime cable news host in U.S. television history. Today (4/21), marks 25 consecutive years, six months, and 15 days at the helm of a primetime cable news program – beating King’s run on CNN. Hannity has been a staple of FNC’s primetime lineup since the launch of the network in 1996. He was co-host of “Hannity & Colmes (with the late Alan Colmes) that debuted on October 7, 1996. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “Sean’s authenticity and insightful commentary have created one of the most enduring connections with our audience and it’s been an honor to watch him over the years. A FOX News original, he has helped innovate the industry, and we are incredibly proud of his extraordinary success.” Hannity comments, “I am extremely grateful to FOX News Media and to our loyal, dedicated viewers whom I am proud to serve every night.”
WHAM/WSYR Talk Host Bob Lonsberry Pens Blog Post About Personal Mental Health. Longtime WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse talk host Bob Lonsberry’s April 20 post to his blog reveals a man searching for help to deal with mental health issues he confesses have plagued him his entire life. The blog doesn’t go into specific detail about his own struggles but does document to some degree his family history of mental illness, especially that which tormented his mother for most of her life. He begins the post saying, “This column is not intended to elicit sympathy or be seen as courageous. Not by any means. It is rather a report on the final desperate action of a man who has destroyed the lives of his family, hurt countless other individuals, failed at his religion, and probably devolved from narcissist to sociopath. This isn’t pretty or sweet, but neither is it manipulative or attention seeking. It’s just a column. Please, leave me the delusion that I’m a writer. And if me being nuts makes you more comfortable asking if you might be nuts, too, and maybe need some help, too, then good. That’s the point.” Read the blog post here.
Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 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 March 2022 sweep covered March 3 – March 30. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM jumps 1.4 shares for an 8.7 share (6+, weekly AQH share) finish and climbs to the #2 rank, while Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WMAL-FM slips two-tenths for a 3.9 share finish good for the #10 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston continues its ascent, tacking on 1.1 shares to wrap the survey with a 4.7 share and the #8 rank, while sister all-news WBZ-FM slides seven-tenths to a 5.5 share and the #6 rank. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM remains on top posting a 7.4 share to stay ranked #1. The talk in St. Louis is dominated by Audacy as heritage news/talk KMOX finishes with a 3.6 share, after shedding two-tenths, and remains ranked #11, while sister talker KFTK-FM drops eight-tenths for a 2.6 share finish good for the #15 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first round) here.
Meghan Ottolini Joins WEEI-FM, Boston’s ‘Merloni & Fauria’ Show. Boston sports media personality Meghan Ottolini is getting an expanded role on sports talk WEEI-FM’s “Merloni & Fauria” afternoon drive program, effective May 4. She’s been serving as a part-time host on the show since January of 2021. Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Mike Thomas says, “Meghan is a rising star in this industry, and we are very excited to have her join ‘Merloni & Fauria’ each afternoon. Writing is a passion of Meghan’s and she will be able to continue to do that for our station’s website, enabling her to create can’t-miss content for Boston sports fans – both on air and online.” Ottolini most recently served as a multimedia reporter for the Boston Herald since 2017. Additionally, she was an on-air talent for NBC Sports Boston’s “Quick Slants” television program. She comments, “I’m thrilled to join WEEI and work alongside Lou [Merloni] and Christian [Fauria] delivering premier sports talk coverage in the best sports city in the country. This opportunity is such a privilege and I look forward to having a lot of fun in this next chapter of my career.”
The TALKERS magazine 2022 Heavy Hundred of Talk Radio Hosts is Published. The 2022 edition of TALKERS magazine’s annual list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America – also known as the Heavy Hundred – has been published. Since the early 1990s, TALKERS editors – with input from industry leaders – have compiled this annual feature created to recognize the hard-working talk radio personalities in America. TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey says of this 2022 edition, “Creating the Heavy Hundred is always a challenging task for our editorial staff. Our use of both hard and soft factors in evaluating candidates for the list only adds to the difficulty in selecting the “most important” radio talk show hosts, but it’s a project that allows us to really get a big-picture look at the key players in this format and it’s something that we take very seriously. Congratulations to all of the talk radio personalities who are recognized on this year’s Heavy Hundred!” See the list here.
FOX News Digital Top Performer in Multiplatform Minutes for March. According to the Comscore data for the month of March, FOX News Digital finished as the top-performing news brand in the competitive set in multiplatform minutes. FOX News Digital says this marks its fourth consecutive quarter ranking as number one in the category in the news competitive set. FOX News Digital delivered 3.5 billion total multiplatform minutes, topping closest rival CNN.com (3.35 billion). For the first quarter of 2022 (Jan.-Mar.), FOX News Digital delivered 9.2 billion total multiplatform minutes versus CNN.com’s 7.85 billion. However, In the multiplatform unique visitors metric, CNN.com was far and away on top with 136.3 million compared to FOX News Digital’s 79.2 million for March. For the first quarter, CNN.com’s multiplatform unique visitors total was 147.9 million to FOX News Digital’s 85.3 million.
Radio Pros Launch New Consulting Firm. The new firm is called the Smith Richards Collective and is being launched by radio executives Steve Smith and Tim Richards and digital marketing strategist Heidi McIvor-Allen. The organization says it “brings deep radio operations, programming, and digital marketing experience to radio stations and groups, with a fresh approach and innovative strategies to help stations grow their audience and revenues, while saving money.” It adds that in addition to podcast and radio talent coaching services, the Smith Richards Collective offers full-service white glove consulting for radio stations and groups, as well as an embedded full-service digital marketing agency, McIvor Marketing, which offers stations and groups a full spectrum of digital resources and support.
Salem New York’s ‘The Answer’ to Produce ‘The Salem Business Breakfast.’ Next Wednesday (4/27) Salem Media Group’s news/talk WNYM-AM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” is presenting “The Salem Business Breakfast” at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey. It takes place from 6:00 am to 10:00 am as Joe Piscopo broadcasts the morning show live. An interactive business panel discussion will be moderated by attorney and AM 970 The Answer personality Arthur Aidala that will include: Bernie Kerik, former NYPD Police Commissioner; Steve Perillo, president & owner of Perillo Tours; Ace Watanasuparp, national director of strategic sales at Citizens Bank Home Mortgage Division & founder of Chase Restaurant Group; Jason Greene, vice president of Magniflood INC; and Melanie Landano, founder & owner of Mel’s Butcher Box.
TALKERS News Notes. New York City Audacy radio stations are airing the podcast episodes hosted by WCBS-FM personality Patty Steele for which she won a 2022 Gracie Award in the category National Podcast – Lifestyle Limited Series. The program is titled “The Deep 6” and the episodes that will be aired on April 24 at 6:00 am consist of her interview with her 26-year-old son Jake about his heroin addiction and his journey to recovery. Steele, a mother of three, reveals her struggle through the ordeal that simultaneously occurred with her breast cancer diagnosis. With five years of sobriety under his belt, Jake and his mom decided it was time to make their story public with the hope of helping others. Steele comments, “It’s important that we take the stigma away from addiction issues and talk openly about what is truly affecting our children. I’m so grateful that Jake and I are in such a good place that we’re able to share our journey.” WINS director of news and programming Ben Mevorach states, “Patty’s conversation with her son is heartbreaking, inspiring, life-affirming, and compelling. It is one of the most important podcasts to come along in a very long time. What makes it so powerful is its authenticity. You can feel the pain and unrelenting love for her son on this very personal journey. Patty is brave beyond words to share and explore all that has happened and because her story could be any parent’s story, every parent will find a part of themselves in it.”…..Pictured at left is Salem Radio Network talk radio host Mike Gallager(left) with 16-time WWE World Champion wrestler Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair (right). Gallagher bumped into Flair while taking his first “maskless” flight since the pandemic began in 2020…..Audacy is conducting 45 volunteer events nationwide to celebrate Earth Day as part of its 1Day1Thing Sustainability Initiative. The series of events, which will engage employees across the company, aim to make a positive impact on the communities in which the company serves and the planet. Projects including tree planting, park and waterway cleanups, recycling projects and habitat restoration, among others. Audacy director of sustainability Jaimie Field says, “We pride ourselves on our relentless commitment to supporting the health and success of the communities that are at the heart of our business, and we’re thrilled to unite our teams across the country to do some good for our planet. Sustainability is a focal point of our Audacy Serves initiative, and we’re looking forward to leveraging these actions this Earth Day to make a lasting impact on our environment, both today and for generations to come.”…..Good Karma Brands president Steve Politziner has been inducted into the 45th class of the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame. Each year, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission recognizes an elite group of individuals who have made major impacts to the Palm Beach County sports landscape. By bringing ESPN to the market through the power of radio, TV and events, he helped shape Palm Beach County’s sports identity, created a home for sports fans and has provided coverage to the great sports stories, teams and athletes that make up the community.
Russia-Ukraine War, Netflix Crash/Financial Markets/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, DeSantis vs Disney, College Debt Forgiveness, COVID-19, Macron-Le Pen Race, and Arizona Wildfire Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its ICBM test and threat of nuclear weapons use; the crash of Netflix’s stock, its effect on the financial markets and the broader issue of high gas and food prices; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pushes legislation to strip Disney of its decades-old special district benefit; the Biden administration’s move to provide 50,000 students with college debt forgiveness; the ruling that cancels the air travel mask mandate and the BA.2 variant; the tight race between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen for president of France; and the raging Arizona wildfire were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.