New York All-Newser WINS An FM Signal. Beginning two weeks from this Thursday (10/27), Audacy New York’s WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” will begin simulcasting on 92.3, a frequency currently occupied by alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3.” At the same time, WINS’ longtime brand manager Ben Mevorach is boosted to vice president of New York news, overseeing WINS and co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM “News Radio 880”; Ivan Lee is promoted to brand manager of both stations. As noted here yesterday (TALKERS, Monday, 10/10) WCBS-AM news director/brand manager Tim Scheld indicated in a staff memo that he’d be exiting the all-news outlet before the end of the year. A new agreement with SAG-AFTRA will allow cross-utilization of anchors and reporters for WINS and WCBS-AM. Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero comments, “At a time when quality journalism and local reporting is so critical, it was the ideal moment to make a strong investment in our news creation and distribution capabilities. Audacy New York’s news organization, anchored by both WINS and [WCBS-AM], is the premier audio news outlet in the city. Now more than ever, we remain committed to serving our audiences as we have done so for over the last 50 years.” Mevorach states, “We are standing at the edge of an exciting new era for news in New York for our team, advertisers, and – most importantly – our listeners. [WINS and WCBS-AM] will be in more places, covering more stories, creating more original content, expanding our digital footprint, and now offering listeners a crystal-clear FM audio experience. Both brands will retain their distinct identities but will now harness resources with the single mission of better serving our communities and reaching the next generation of news consumers.” Mevorach began his career in Boston as a magazine writer/editor for The Library Scene. Lee previously was operations manager at Talk America, which rebranded to Liberty Broadcasting; became WCBS-AM’s operations coordinator in 2004; WINS’ news editor in 2010; and was promoted to assistant news director in 2012. From November 1985 – December 2005, WXRK (now WNYL) was Howard Stern’s flagship station. The station flipped from CHR “Amp Radio” to alternative in February 2017. Recording its third consecutive down trend (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), WNYL ranks #21 in Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep. WINS (3.0, 6+) and WCBS-AM (2.9, 6+) rank #11 and #13, respectively.
Round Four of August PPMs Released. The fourth round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; and Providence. Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets. News/talk is again #1 and #2 in Milwaukee – but – with a +1.1 from August (8.9 – 10.0, 6+), Good Karma Brands-owned WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” advances from second to first, while iHeartMedia’s WISN “News Talk 1130” drops seven-tenths (10.3 – 9.6, 6+) and shifts from first to second. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s WTKK “106.1 FM Talk” notches a +1.5 (7.3 – 8.8, 6+), progressing from third to first. Simultaneously with Cumulus Media Providence’s WPRO-AM & WEAN “News Talk 630 AM & 99.7 FM” gaining seven-tenths (4.8 – 5.5, seventh to sixth, 6+), cross-town iHeartMedia-owned WHJJ “News Radio 920” dips eight-tenths (1.2 – .4, #15 to #16, 6+). Not only does Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk WGFX vault from #13 to #5, “104.5 The Zone” ties Columbus’ similarly-formatted WBNS-FM for the largest (6+) August 2022 – September 2022 increase of any station from the 42 PPM-markets analyzed thus far (3.5 – 6.1, +2.6). In Austin, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” posts a +1.1 from August (1.4 – 2.5, 6+), inching up from #19 to #16. See Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here. His overviews of Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford will appear tomorrow.
iHM WPB, Florida Panthers Announce Broadcast Agreement. The pact between iHeartMedia West Palm Beach and the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers is effective through the 2024 – 2025 season. As part of the deal, Florida Panthers games will be aired on sports gambling-formatted WBZT “Sports Radio 1230 The Gambler.” iHeartMedia market president Mark McCauley states, “We’re excited to partner with the Florida Panthers and provide listeners great play-by-play action on ‘1230 The Gambler.’” Meanwhile, Panthers chief revenue officer Shawn Thornton adds, “We’re excited for iHeartMedia West Palm Beach to join the Florida Panthers radio network. With the refresh of their sports radio station ‘1230 The Gambler’ this past summer, we look forward to working with the leading audio media company in America to broadcast Panthers games to our fans in Palm Beach County.” In addition to Panthers play-by-play coverage, WBZT will air a one-hour Florida Panthers weekend show. The eight-station iHeartMedia West Palm Beach cluster includes WBZT, news/talk WJNO “News Radio 1290,” and news/talk WZZR “92.1 Real Radio.”
“The Book of Joe” Podcast Debuts. In their iHeartMedia/Fox Sports Radio “Book of Joe” podcast, three-time MLB “Manager of the Year” Joe Maddon and three-time “Sportswriter of the Year” Tom Verducci provide insight, commentary and discussion on the MLB postseason. According to Maddon, “We are here to tell you what we think, not what we’ve heard. No regurgitation and original thoughts are valued.” Maddon managed in the big leagues for 19 years. He famously led the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years and the Tampa Bay Rays to their first-ever World Series. Five-time Emmy Award winner Verducci is the lead baseball writer for Sports Illustrated; lead analyst/reporter for MLB Network and Fox Sports; and a member of the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame. He comments, “Like its namesake [forthcoming] book, the podcast will be full of surprises and insight. From game strategy to baseball history to leadership lessons – and maybe to some rock & roll and classic cars – we’ll cover more ground than a gold glove shortstop on the most illuminating and interesting podcast in baseball.” The podcast launched yesterday (Monday, 10/10) and will air through the World Series.
TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow at 7:00 pm (Wednesday, 10/12), Hearst Television Baltimore news/talk WBAL “News Radio 1090 AM & 101.5 FM” (and sister NBC affiliate WBAL-TV) will air a Maryland gubernatorial debate between Democrat Wes Moore and Republican Dan Cox. WBAL president/general manager Dan Joerres comments, “The production and broadcast of this debate on both WBAL ‘News Radio’ and WBAL-TV is an important part of our ‘Commitment 2022’ political coverage. Putting all of our broadcast and digital sources to work to bring voters across the state this gubernatorial debate is a major part of our continuing effort to help them make informed decisions on election day. The debate will be moderated by WBAL-TV anchor Jason Newton. … The first episode of ESPN’s “The CJ McCollum Show” was posted last Thursday (10/6). The guard of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans had teammate Brandon Ingram as the inaugural guest on the podcast, which will post episodes each Thursday. McCollum formerly hosted Cadence 13’s “Pull Up With CJ McCollum.” … Elsewhere in NBA-themed podcasts, Jam Street Media introduces 15-year-old Sloane Weinstein hosting the bi-weekly “Sloane Knows.” She’ll interview some of the NBA’s biggest names, including the Boston Celtics’ newly-signed Blake Griffin; free agent Dwight Howard; and former NBA players Richard Jefferson and Baron Davis.
Supreme Court Sides With KQED On Prop 8 Trial Video Release. The ruling concludes a 12-year effort by a media coalition guided by San Francisco public radio news/talk KQED that paved the way for the release of videotapes from the 2009 – 2010 Prop 8 trial, leading to legalization of same-sex marriage in California. Proposition 8 passed in 2008 and banned same-sex marriage in the state. The subsequent trial, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, questioned whether Prop. 8 violated the U.S. Constitution. Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in favor of the right to same-sex marriage, but said at the time that videotapes of the trial would remain sealed for 10 years. KQED “Political Breakdown” podcast co-host Scott Shafer spearheaded the effort to make the tapes public. Shafer states, “As someone who sat through the entire Prop. 8 trial, I witnessed some very dramatic and moving testimony, as well as riveting cross-examinations. I’m glad others will now get to view this important part of the historical record.” KQED chief content officer Holly Kernan notes, “If our systems work behind closed doors, with no press or public access, we have no idea how decisions are made, nor what arguments are leading to these decisions. KQED wants more sunlight on our legal system, and we will fight on behalf of the public to get that access.”