Audacy announces Justin Shackil is joining WFAN, New York’s flagship broadcast coverage of New York Yankees baseball as the station’s primary postgame show host for the Yankees Radio Network. He will also fill in for legendary play-by-play voice John Sterling for approximately 30 games, alongside Suzyn Waldman, during the 2023 season. Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero states, “Justin is no stranger to the Bronx and his passion for the pinstripes make him the ideal person to join the iconic duo of John and Suzyn in the booth. His contributions to the broadcast last season were terrific and well received, so we’re excited to see him return in this enhanced role.”
Round Two of October PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s October 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 October 2022 sweep covered September 15 – October 12. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, although Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP added nine-tenths for a 9.0 share (6+, weekly AHQ share), it remains locked in the #2 spot, while Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM drops four-tenths for a 4.1 share finish that keeps it ranked #7. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston is steady with a 3.8 share and remains ranked #9 while sister all-news WBZ-AM is also unchanged at a 5.3 share and continues in the #5 spot. In Seattle, Bonneville’s sports talk KIRO-AM tacks on six-tenths for a 7.6 share and holds the #1 spot for a second straight month while sister news/talk KIRO-FM adds half a share for a 7.1 share finish lifting it to the #2 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first round) here.
SiriusXM Reports Third Quarter Net Revenue Up 4%. Reporting its third quarter 2022 financials, SiriusXM says its revenue was $2.28 billion, an increase of 4% over the same period in 2021. Net income was down from $343 million in Q3 of 2021 to $247 million in Q3 of this year. The company says it added 187,000 self-pay subscribers during the quarter. Chief executive officer Jennifer Wirtz comments, “We are pleased to report third quarter results that reflect strong execution during the period while leaning into investments designed to ensure SiriusXM will thrive long-term. This quarter we focused on enhancing the listener experience and expanding our unparalleled stable of programming and talent to continue providing our subscribers with the best in audio, both in-car and in the SXM App. From live sports and election coverage to exclusive artist channels and live Small Stage performances, we are thrilled to offer a diverse and differentiated content slate paired with technology that makes it easier than ever to discover new favorites.”
Radio Hall of Fame Inducts Class of 2022. The 2022 Radio Hall of Fame inductees were inducted at a ceremony last night (11/1) at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. This year’s inductees were: “Broadway” Bill Lee, WCBS-FM, New York (inducted by Beth Bacall); Carol Miller, WAXQ-FM, New York (inducted by Jim Kerr, a 2018 inductee); Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, SiriusXM (inducted by Stephen A. Smith); Ellen K, KOST-FM, Los Angeles (inducted by Ryan Seacrest, a 2018 inductee); Jeff Smulyan, chairman & CEO, Emmis Communications (inducted by Rick Cummings); Lon Helton, “Country Countdown USA” (inducted by Charlie Cook); Marv Dyson, radio executive (accepting on his behalf were Marv’s son Victor Dyson and Elroy Smith); Suzyn Waldman, WFAN & NY Yankees Radio Network (inducted by Mike Francesa, a 2018 inductee); and Walt “Baby” Love, Gospel Traxx (inducted by Donnie Simpson, a 2020 inductee). Also honored on stage was Mark Thompson, co-host of “Mark & Brian,” and a 2020 inductee. The evening was emceed by KFI, Los Angeles morning star Bill Handel who is pictured here (left) with Radio Hall of Fame co-chair Kraig Kitchin (right). Photo: David Kindler Photography
Baseball Legend Ron Cey Launches New Show with CRN Digital Talk Radio. Baseball legend Ron Cey is joining CRN Digital Talk Radio to host the new program, “We’ll See About That with Ron Cey,” that will be heard Saturdays at 2:00 pm ET. CRN Digital president and CEO Michael Horn says, “One of the iconic stars of the Los Angeles Dodgers and a fan favorite on any team, we are thrilled to have Ron Cey join the CRN team. Ron is entertaining! He brings his expertise and unique perspective to radio and is ready to talk about sports, newsmakers and tell stories that will inspire you!” Joining Cey on his inaugural broadcast is Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, who recently retired after being known as the “Spanish Voice of the Dodgers” for 63 years.
Triton Digital Releases Top Streamers for September 2022. The ranking of streaming publishers for September from Triton Digital is released and in the U.S. (6AM-12AM Mon-Sun), iHeartMedia continues its hold on the #1 spot. Based on Average Active Sessions, iHeartMedia is far and away the top dog with 304,338 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (68,620 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (63,410 AAS) and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (42,246 AAS). Some of the other radio-centric companies making the ranker are Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (19,129 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (14,566 AAS), and Salem Communications at #10 (8,568 AAS). This Triton ranker only includes clients that participate for the full month for which the ranker is being released. You can see the complete ranker of the top 25 streaming publishers here.
TALKERS News Notes. The NFL’s Chicago Bears will be heard on Good Karma Brands’ WMVP-AM “ESPN Chicago” beginning with the 2023 season. In addition to operating and distributing the Bears Radio Network, “ESPN 1000” will add pre- and post-game programming as well as create unique content to air on its local shows. GKB SVP and Chicago market manager Keith Williams says, “The Chicago Bears are a best-in-class organization, and we are excited to partner with a charter franchise of the NFL. We are dedicated to delivering a top-notch broadcast for our partners and fans around the Midwest and the world. Our teammates are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to get started and execute at the highest level.” “ESPN 1000” director of content Danny Zederman adds, “‘ESPN Chicago’ is thrilled to be adding the Chicago Bears to our play-by-play roster alongside the Chicago White Sox. Our on-air talent is incredibly passionate about our hometown team, and that passion will show within and beyond the in-game broadcasts, integrated throughout our programming year-round.”…..This past weekend, Penn State and the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame jointly honored FOX Sports Radio’s LaVar Arrington – co-host of the network’s weekday morning program, “Two Pros and a Cup of Joe,” with Brady Quinn and Jonas Knox, and co-host of the nationally-syndicated weekend program/podcast, “Up On Game,” with TJ Houshmandzadeh and Plaxico Burress – with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute during halftime at the Penn State vs. Ohio State game at Beaver Stadium. Arrington was recognized for his time at Penn State and his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in December 2022.
Midterm Elections/Trump 2024, The Economy/Fed Rate Hike, Pelosi Attack Aftermath, January 6/Trump Legal Issues, Russia-Ukraine War, Israeli Politics, RSV Cases Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/1). The midterm elections and the fight for control of the House and the Senate tied with former President Donald Trump’s expected run for president in 2024; inflation, fears of a recession and the Fed’s expected interest rate hike; the conspiracy theories surrounding the attack on Paul Pelosi; subpoenas issued in the January 6 investigation and Trump’s other legal issues; Russia’s assault on Ukrainian infrastructure and its weapons deals with Iran; Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid for a third term as Israel’s prime minister; and the soaring rate of RSV in the U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WFAN And Yankees Extend Their Partnership. A multi-year extension is announced between Audacy New York sports talk WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM and MLB’s American League East New York Yankees. English-language broadcasts will continue to be heard on WFAN and streamed digitally on the Audacy app for those within the team’s broadcast territory. WFAN will also continue to produce the Spanish-language broadcasts for local radio affiliates, as well as for the Audacy app. Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero declares, “The New York Yankees are the city’s premier sports franchise and WFAN is the city’s premier sports platform. Together, we form a potent combination for fans and client partners. [This – 2022] is our 21st consecutive season of broadcasting the ‘Bronx Bombers.’ We look forward to continuing to have the honor of being the soundtrack to more memorable and historic pinstripe moments.” New York Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost notes, “The Yankees are excited to extend our longstanding relationship with WFAN and Audacy. WFAN has been our flagship station for over two decades, and we look forward to fans continuing to enjoy Yankees baseball over its airways and on the Audacy app.” From 2002 to 2014, Yankees games were heard on WFAN’s sister station, all-news WCBS-AM (currently the flagship of the New York Mets); WFAN has served as the Yankees flagship since 2014. John Sterling, (class of 2022 Radio Hall of Fame inductee) Suzyn Waldman and Sweeny Murti are the English-language broadcasters, while Spanish-language broadcasts will be handled by Rickie Ricardo, Francisco Rivera and Rene Luna. As part of Audacy’s MLB partnership, WFAN and the Yankees will produce co-branded podcasts.
Newsmax, Verizon Sign Multi-Year Carriage Agreement. The deal between Newsmax and Verizon extends distribution of news channel in HD on Verizon Fios. Newsmax Media chief executive officer Christopher Ruddy remarks, “Verizon has carried Newsmax for many years. We are delighted to be extending our distribution through the Fios platform. We have found them to be outstanding partners who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the presentation of diverse, independent voices through their programming. We’re glad that we are continuing with this new agreement.” Newsmax will retain its broad distribution on the Verizon platform, which reaches approximately 3.5 million subscribers in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.
SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Increases. While revenue was up 4% year-over-year to $2.25 billion in this year’s second quarter, SiriusXM’s net income declined from $433 million to $292 million (11 to 7 cents/basic share, 10 to 7 cents/diluted share). Adjusted EBITDA was off 3% to $679 million. SiriusXM chief executive officer Jennifer Witz notes, “We are pleased with our results in the second quarter, and while we continue to navigate an uncertain economic environment, we delivered strong financial performance and continued to make strategic investments in our business that will set us up for an exciting new era. We remain committed to creating compelling experiences for our listeners by investing in innovative technologies to deliver best-in-class, curated, comprehensive audio entertainment. Most recently, [we expanded] our relationship with the NFL to deliver the most extensive sports lineup in audio entertainment; we will continue to enhance our platform to ensure broad appeal.” Executive vice president/chief financial officer Sean Sullivan adds, “[Our] churn was steady at approximately 1.5% in the quarter, underscoring the strength of our business, products, and loyalty of our customers. In the second quarter, we delivered focused expansion in key streaming offerings and maintained a strong balance sheet. This quarter, we returned over $300 million in capital to stockholders, comprising $217 million in common stock repurchases and $86 million in dividends, and ended the quarter with net debt to adjusted EBITDA of 3.6 times.” Self-pay subscribers increased by 23,000 and paid promotional subscribers increased by 54,000. Satellite and streaming division totaled 34 million subscribers at the end of the quarter; self-pay churn was flat at 1.5%. The division’s revenue rose 5% to $1.7 billion, and gross profit rose 6% to $1.1 billion.
Marketron Releases Political Advertising Toolbox. Per BIA Advisory Services, political advertising will raise $8.6 billion for local media companies. Marketron’s collection of online resources combines all the political advertising content the company has developed at a single location for companies interested in increasing their share of political advertising. Marketron senior vice president/client success Christian Kligora opines that, “Political advertising is an important category for local media. It’s much different than any other and that requires a unique approach. We’ve been developing content on the topic all year long with a focus on how to support media sellers. Bringing it together in one spot makes it easier to learn from and access.” Each resource will reportedly provide media salespeople with tips, strategies, and insights for political advertising. Included are specialized considerations such as the “overall trends in the advertising ecosystem; the need to reach different demographics; the objective of persuading people to vote; and the regulatory compliance requirements” for how media companies price/offer inventory to candidates.
TALKERS News Notes. Changes at Audacy Philadelphia sports talk WIP “Sports Radio 94” find the station’s fill-in host Jody McDonald and Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Mike Sielski co-hosting weekend shows with Glenn Macnow. McDonald will partner with Macnow on Sundays (10:00 am – 1:00 pm), while Sielski joins Macnow in the same time slot each Saturday. According to Macnow, “I have a comfort level with Jody. He’s the guy I broke in with [and] the guy our listeners heard me with from 28 years ago. Working with Jody is like an old pair of shoes – it’s easy and I like it. The Saturday show will now be me and the best damn sports columnist in town, Mike Sielski.” … 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 “News Radio 1090 AM & 101.5 FM.” 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.” … After eleven years with Nashville’s WPRT-FM, midday co-host Darren McFarland departs the Cromwell Radio Group sports talk outlet. Program director Chase McCabe confirms to The Tennessean that “Sports Radio 102.5 The Game” decided to part ways with McFarland, who formerly worked at Cumulus Media’s cross-town/similarly-formatted WGFX “104.5 The Zone.” McCabe, Willy Daunic, and Derrick Mason continue in middays on “The Game.” … Effective August 22, Cheddar News Washington bureau chief Megan Pratz will join NPR as political editor. In addition, NPR promotes congressional correspondent Sue Davis to political correspondent and interim congressional correspondent Dierdre Walsh gets to remove “interim” from the title. … Skyview Networks’ sports talk program “OutKick 360” picks up three Withers Broadcasting-owned affiliates: KYRK, Marble Hill, Missouri; WGKY, Wickliffe, Kentucky; and WFRX, West Frankfort, Illinois. Skyview Networks is the exclusive distributor, affiliate sales representative and network sales partner of Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow & Paul Kuharsky-hosted “OutKick 360.”
Monday Memo: Save Those Benjamins. Even with gas prices now inching down, almost everything else is “SO expensive that listeners (and we) are coping.” Wrapping-up his month-long series – “Inflation Hacks” – Holland Cooke presents 9 money-saving tips, “AND a fabulous radio prize!” Read it here.
Pending Business: The Great Resignation. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says “The Great Resignation” is having an effect on the radio/audio sales business, too. He writes, “The Pew survey says the top three reasons for ‘The Great Resignation’ are: low pay, lack of advancement opportunity, and feeling disrespected at work. Does it sound like the grumbling before the Monday morning sales meeting? My marketing work puts me in direct contact with sales reps across the country and ‘The Great Resignation’ did extend into our radio/audio sales community. On the radio side more so in the larger market stations.” He offers some suggestions for navigating this era of economic uncertainty. Read it here.
Radio HOF Welcomes Nine Inductees. A voting participant panel comprised of more than 800 industry professionals honorees determined six honorees; the other three were voted on by the Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee. Radio Hall of Fame co-chair Kraig Kitchin comments, “Our forthcoming inductees have made a wonderful impact on the lives of their listeners and our industry. We’re thrilled to be able to celebrate their respective careers and honor them with an induction to the Radio Hall of Fame.” According to co-chair Dennis Green, “This was our highest voter participation ever. The radio industry picked an amazing, diverse class of broadcasters and executives that we are proud to call Hall of Famers. These individuals have made a lasting impact on this amazing industry, cementing their place as part of the legacy that makes radio special.” In alphabetical order, the nine inductees are: radio executive Marv Dyson; “Country USA” host Lon Helton; iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” morning personality Ellen K; Audacy New York classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” afternoon drive talent Broadway Bill Lee; “Gospel Traxx” host Reverend Walt “Baby” Love; iHeartMedia New York classic rock WAXQ “Q 103.4” talent Carol Miller; Sirius XM sports talk host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo; Emmis Communications president/chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan; and New York Yankees Radio Network announcer Suzyn Waldman. The 2022 Radio Hall of Fame inductees will be honored in-person November 1 at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. The Radio Hall of Fame was founded by the Emerson Radio Corporation in 1988; The Museum of Broadcast Communications took over operations in 1991. This year’s confidential ballot was conducted by Votem.com and overseen by Miller Kaplan’s Andrew Rosen.
Radio Resources Unit Debuts Today. Tailored for medium to small market owners and operators, Radio Resources was launched today (Monday, 7/25) by parent company Gen Media Partners. Director of products and services Alex Quintero notes, “Until now, radio station owners and operators had to deal with multiple providers and retrofit the pieces together. The Radio Resources toolkit offers broadcasters one central point of contact and stewardship for a wide array of products and services, streamlined across critical departments to deliver a more efficient, productive, and seamless experience. We’re the only company that can aggregate such a broad range of radio products and services and provide this level of multi-resource support. Our independent standing gives us the freedom to seek out the best providers to service our radio clients.” Among other things the Radio Resources suite includes: Programming and Content; Workflow Solutions; IT and Cyber Security; 24/7 Formats; Sales Strategy; Imaging and Production; Research; Online and Digital Integrations; and Back-Office Operations. Radio Resources products and services are available for cash, barter or a combination of both.
Pickup Truck Slams Into Cumulus Media Indy Building. Two vehicles were involved in a crash last Thursday (7/21) at approximately 5:45 pm with one, a pickup truck (pictured above), striking the Cumulus Media Indianapolis building on North Shadeland Avenue. No one in that structure was hurt, although the building received extensive damage. According to a Facebook posting, Cumulus Indianapolis continued from its backup studio. The driver of one vehicle in the accident was taken to a hospital and is listed in serious condition. In addition to sports talk WXNT “CBS Sports 1430 AM,” Cumulus Indianapolis consists of WFMS “95.5 The Country Station”; classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5”; WNDX “93.9 X – Indy’s Rock Station”; hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix”; and CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL.”
Windy City Readying For Rock Radio Revisited. Longtime “The Larry King Radio Show” executive producer Pat Piper is producing The Museum of Broadcast Communications’ “Rock Radio Revisited,” which will be held August 14 at 3:00 pm at The Des Plaines Theatre. Museum of Broadcast Communications board chair David Plier notes, “The heyday of rock radio in the 60’s and 70s’ was centered around the booming personalities of [Chicago on-air talents such as] Larry Lujack, John Records Landecker, Yvonne Daniels, Bob Sirott and Steve King. Every city had their favorite local radio station and the voices behind them. This will be an incredible celebration of the personalities and music that made that era of rock and roll so memorable.” Landecker, Tommy Edwards, Bob Stroud and Dyana Williams will reminisce about “the golden age of rock radio.” In addition, there will be vintage airchecks, as well as stories about the on-air personalities, fans, and gimmicks. Those making special appearances include: Gary Burbank; “Cousin Brucie” Morrow; Kris Erik Stevens; and Connie Szerszen. Among the “presenters” of the Wendy Snyder-hosted event is Nexstar Media Group Chicago news/talk WGN “Radio 720”; cross-town Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WLS-AM “890 AM” is one of the “sponsors.”
TALKERS News Notes. Most recently working as ABC Audio’s manager of digital audio, Josh Cohan is promoted to director of podcast programming for ABC News. His first venture into podcasting was as part of the team that launched “10% Happier with Dan Harris” in 2016. He also helped create ABC’s flagship daily news podcast, “Start Here,” which won the 2022 Webby Award for “Best News and Politics” podcast. Cohan joined ABC News Radio in 2007 as an intern and served as a producer and coordinating producer before transitioning to podcasting … As a result of signing a multi-year contract, WHPT “102.5 The Bone” 6:00 am – 10:00 am talent Mike Calta continues his role at the Cox Media Group Tampa news/talk outlet. Regional vice president/general manager Keith Lawless remarks, “Mike is arguably one of the most successful and talented broadcasters on the air in America today.” WHPT’s director of branding & programming, John Brennan, comments, “Mike Calta is simply the best radio talent in Tampa. I couldn’t be more excited that he will continue to call ‘102.5 The Bone’ home for many years to come.” Calta – who joined WHPT in 2007 – adds, “I’m grateful and proud to be continuing my radio career with CMG in my home of Tampa Bay. At 50 years old, my window to being a male dancer has surely closed, so this contract is extra special to me and my family.” … Two-year Max Media Norfolk vice president/operations and programming Eddie Haskell exits the five-station cluster, which includes sports talk WVSP “94.1 ESPN” and business talk WGH-AM “Money Talk 1310 and 100.9.” He formerly was senior vice president/programming for nine iHeartMedia stations in Ft. Collins (Colorado).
Salem Media Group Seeks Producers. Attention producers! Salem Media Group is looking for producers. Salem has great radio stations, the Salem Radio Network, the Salem Podcast Network, and the Salem News Channel, and we always need producers to help us create our great products. If you have experience producing radio or TV shows, please send your resume and keep ‘em coming to: Phil Boyce, Senior VP of Spoken Word Formats, Salem Media Group Philip.email@example.com. Salem is an Equal Opportunity Employer.