Industry News

KBLA, Los Angeles Kicks Off Year-Long Climate Justice Campaign

SmileyAudioMedia, Inc announces that flagship station KBLA, Los Angeles “Talk 1580 AM” is launching a $2 million, 12-month Climate Justice Campaign with four clear objectives: center the voices of communities of color in the climate conversation, connect at-risk fellow citizens with advocacy organizations, increase climate health literacy, and highlight frontline climate justice crusaders of color.im The company says that the initiative will achieve these objectives with a robust schedule of climate-themed broadcasts and special programming during the next 12 months, four free community events (one per quarter), two town halls broadcast nationally from Los Angeles, and a savvy social media and marketing campaign. KBLA says its public and private partners in this initiative include: LADWP, Metro, the Port of Los Angeles, CalEndow, California Community Foundation, the Sierra Club, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and others who will join the campaign in Q2, Q3 and Q4. Chief visionary officer and nationally imsyndicated talk host Tavis Smiley says, “The harsher impacts of climate change weigh heavily on communities of color. In these underserved communities, families are less likely to have air conditioning, shade trees, bus shelters, water and energy effective appliances and other infrastructure that’s critical to mitigate a changing climate. As the most ‘trusted, credible and reliable’ media source in Southern California for African Americans and beyond, our talk station is committed to do more than just talk in these troubled times. There is a clear connection between Dr. King’s moral consistence on the notion of reverence for human life or the interconnected nature of life and the future of our world house. On this MLK holiday weekend, KBLA assigns itself the task of elevating the climate conversation by amplifying the voices of those who are most impacted by the climate catastrophes we are all witnessing in real time. In a real sense, climate is king.”

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KBLA, Los Angeles Expands “A More Perfect Union”

Smiley Audio Media’s Los Angeles talk station KBLA “Talk 1580” announces the expansion of the program hosted by the station’s chief national affairs analyst Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey titled, “A More Perfect Union” that now airs daily from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. KBLA says, “Dr. Quartey, an ‘Oprah’ showim alumni and Washington, D.C. insider with L.A. street credibility promises a daily dose of what’s trending in national politics that goes beyond the headlines… now airing five days per week, ‘A More Perfect Union’ promises to deliver national news of consequence, informed opinion, and analysis beyond the headlines… This one-hour national public affairs program, executive produced by Tavis Smiley, will feature notable journalists, industry leaders, lawmakers, changemakers, tastemakers and ordinary people motivated to do their part to reach beyond today’s divisions, make sense out of news of the day, and offer us all a chance to build a more perfect union.”

Industry News

Tavis Smiley’s KBLA, Los Angeles Celebrates Second Anniversary

On Monday (6/19), Tavis Smiley’s SmileyAudioMedia, Inc celebrated the two-year anniversary of the launch of talk KBLA-AM, Los Angeles. The company says the station was built to “give disenfranchised citizens a voice in current political, social and cultural issues with empowering, sustainable and restorative language.” Tavisim Smiley adds, “We launched KBLA Talk 1580 on Juneteenth, two years ago, during the height of the COVID-19 health crisis. We’re extremely proud that in two short years, KBLA Talk 1580 has become a trusted community resource in Los Angeles and beyond. Our mission to enlighten, empower and encourage, resonates with our growing audience.” Additionally, over the past two years the company has launched SAM Digital, its own brand of white label products that are designed to help businesses and service providers reach an even wider audience, grow brand awareness, and increase sales by targeting specific audiences with direct messaging and by measuring the performance of their outreach campaigns. It also recently debuted the SmileyAudioMedia Podcast Network to expand beyond traditional radio broadcasting.

Industry News

TALKERS 2023 VIDEO: KBLA Talk 1580 Founder Tavis Smiley Honored with Freedom of Speech Award

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 BETCNNABCPBS, KABCim Radio, and KGFJ Radio among others, joins such former recipients of the award as Rush LimbaughSean HannityBill O’ ReillyMark LevinMichael SavageGlenn BeckBob GrantThom HartmannAlan ColmesJoe MadisonKaren HunterAl FrankenBrian LambNorm PattizIan 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 impassionate 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.

Industry News

TALKERS 2023 Lives Up to High Expectations

For 10 exciting hours on Friday, June 2, Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York became the center of the talk media universe as some 250 professional broadcasters and dedicated students of communications gathered to hear more than 60 speakers in addition to networking with each other at TALKERS 2023. It was the 26th annual installment of the talk show field’s longest running and most important national conference. Speakers included such luminaries as WABC, New York/Red Apple Media CEO, John CatsimatidisNewsmax Media CEO, 

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Christopher RuddyConnoisseur Media CEO, Jeff Warshaw; KBLA Talk 1580, Los Angeles CEO (and Freedom of Speech Award recipient) Tavis SmileySound Mind, LLC CEO (and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient) Kraig T. Kitchin; and WDUN, Gainesville, GA talk show host (and Woman of the Year recipient) Martha Zoller. There was a special, exclusive video appearance by iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman. The iconic conference included panel discussions addressing such topics as programming news/talk and sports talk radio, podcasting, generating revenue, artificial intelligence in broadcasting, navigating a talk show hosting career, AM radio and automobiles, the challenges facing the ratings process, and the future of technology and media. Speakers included major talk show hosts, program directors, brand managers, agents, syndicators and radio station owners. Look for extensive stories and photos from the conference in TALKERS over the next days and weeks including full video coverage of every speech, panel and presentation. All of us at TALKERS are grateful to the talk media industry for making TALKERS 2023 a tremendous success!

Industry News

The Late Jim Thompson to Receive TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” Award

The late Jim Thompson, who lost his valiant struggle against throat cancer last August at the age of 75, has been named this year’s recipient of the TALKER S magazine Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Broadcaster – also referred to as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award. Thompson served successfully as the president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America between 2009im and 2022 guiding the charitable organization to more than quadruple the amount of financial aid it distributes to radio and TV professionals in acute need from $400,000 to nearly $2 million last year. “I am very proud to have known Jim for nearly 40 years as a colleague and a friend,” said Scott Herman, chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation. “Jim believed deeply in helping others and his passion and enthusiasm for life always lit up a room. He always saw the positive in every person and every situation.” Prior to his service to the industry as president of the BFoA, Thompson had been president and CEO of Group W Radio, the second largest radio company in the country during his leadership, and along with Mike Craven was co-owner of Liberty Broadcasting, a 19-station radio group concentrated on the East Coast. He began his broadcasting career as an account executive at KYW-TV, Philadelphia in 1971, where he rose to vice president and general manager. An innovator and visionary, Thompson created the Radio-Mercury Awards to encourage and reward excellence in radio creative. He served on the boards of the Radio Advertising Bureau and the Advertising Council, was vice chairman of the Pennsylvania State Broadcasters Association and a member of numerous committees, including the NAB Radio Futures Committee.  A member of the U.S. Army, Thompson served in Vietnam. The presentation will be made by talk show host Harry Hurley of WPG, Atlantic City at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island.

The Humanitarian of the Year honor is one of four awards presented annually by TALKERS at its annual national conference.  The others set for this year include the Freedom of Speech award to Tavis Smiley of KBLA Talk 1580, Los Angeles; the Woman of the Year award to Martha Zoller of WDUN, Gainesville, GA; and the award for Lifetime Achievement to Kraig T. Kitchin of Sound Mind, LLC.  All three will be in attendance to make their acceptances. Jim Thompson’s award will be accepted by Broadcasters Foundation of America president Tim McCarthy.

TALKERS 2023 is nearing an advance sellout. See more about the agenda, registration, sponsorship and hotel information here.

Industry News

KBLA, Los Angeles Awards $20k to Minority Journalists

The Tavis Smiley-owned Los Angeles talk station KBLA “Talk 1580” donated $20,000 in scholarship money to the National Association of Black Journalists of Los Angeles (NABJLA) and the Minority Photo-Journalism Institute(MPJI). Smiley says, “The National Association of Black Journalists of Los Angeles and the Minority Photo-Journalism Institute are making a tangible difference in our community by helping students pursue careers in journalism and communications. KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ strongly believes in enlightening, empowering and encouraging tomorrow’s reporters, editors and potential talk radio hosts. Hopefully, our scholarships make a difference.” The scholarship donations were raised at KBLA’s February 28, 2023, Black History Month luncheon in tribute to Black legends in Los Angeles media.

Industry News

KBLA Talk 1580 Founder Tavis Smiley to Be Honored

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 BETCNNABCPBS, KABC Radio, and KGFJ Radio among others, joins such former recipient of the award as Rush LimbaughSean HannityBill O’ ReillyMark LevinMichael SavageGlenn BeckBob GrantThom HartmannAlan ColmesJoe MadisonKaren HunterAl FrankenBrian LambNorm PattizIan 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. 

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

— NPR promotes Michel Martin to new a role as co-host of “Morning Edition.” Martin, who has been the host of the weekend edition of “All Things Considered” since 2015, takes over for Rachel Martin who is exiting to pursue other media opportunities. She begins working alongside Steve Inskeep, A Martínez and Leila Fadel on March 27.

The Los Angeles TimesJames Rainey writes a profile piece this week about Tavis Smiley, former PBS personality and current owner of KBLA, Los Angeles – a talk station targeting the Black community. The piece addresses Smiley’s legal battles with PBS after he was accused of sexually harassing multiple women, the court case he lost and one he’s still involved in. It also looks at his efforts to reach the Black community via KBLA and its talk hosts. Read the LA Times story here.

— Edison Research is presenting a four-part series through its Edison’s Weekly Insights exploring the “power of traditional AM/FM radio in the U.S. This week’s edition reports, based on Edison’s Share of Ear study, “Listeners age 13+ in the U.S. spend 59% of their daily, ad-supported audio time with AM/FM radio, more time than with all other ad-supported audio sources combined, including YouTube, podcasts, and ad-supported streaming services. AM/FM radio is the top ad-supported audio source for all ages in the U.S., including Gen Z (age 13-24) who spend 33% of their daily ad-supported audio time with AM/FM radio, more than for any other ad-supported platform.” Read the story here.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Embattled Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León Sits for Interview with KBLA, Los Angeles’ Tavis Smiley. One of the several Los Angeles city officials who were recorded using racist language during a closed-door meeting appeared for a sit-down interview with KBLA, Los Angeles owner and air personality Tavis Smiley. Kevin de León, who is refusing to resign from his council seat, again apologized to Smiley and the station’s listeners while admitting that saying sorry is not enough. KTLA-TV’s coverage of the interview includes Smiley telling de León, “When I hear that tape and when other Black folk I know hear that tape, they hear y’all plotting and planning in that meeting to come for Black folk. Y’all shanked us in that meeting. You don’t see it that way?” While two other council members have resigned in the wake of the scandal, de León tells Smiley he won’t because, while he should not have used the language he did, he believes the council ultimately protected Black districts.

Shawn Kiser Named Brand Manager for KFIZ, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The Mountain Dog Media news/talk station announces that Shawn Kiser – who served with the station from 1995 through 2004 – is returning to take on the brand manager role. The Fond du Lac native will also host the morning drive program and serve as vice president and assistant general manager for the company. Kiser says, “KFIZ is one of America’s radio pioneers, and I’m honored to be back home to once again serve as its leader as well as the host of its flagship morning show. I’m looking forward to building on the station’s legacy and making it an even greater source of information, entertainment, and advocacy for the community.” The station says, “Kiser possesses a wealth of broadcasting experience, spending more than 16 years in radio and television. He’s also spent more than 10 years helping non-profits across northeast Wisconsin raise millions of dollars and has served as emcee for dozens of fundraising galas.” Earlier this year, Kiser began producing a special series celebrating KFIZ’s historic 100th anniversary called “Inside the Studio: KFIZ @ 100” featuring conversations with some of the station’s biggest and brightest all-time personalities. Kiser’s first day on-air as morning show host will be October 31 as he replaces the retiring Jerry St. John.

WOLB-AM, Baltimore’s Larry Young to Be Honored for 25 Years of Service. Morning drive talk host Larry Young will be honored tomorrow (10/27) at an anniversary and retirement dinner ahead of his planned retirement from the Urban One station at year’s end. On June 10 of this year, Young was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from TALKERS magazine at the TALKERS 2022 Convention at Hofstra University at which he announced he would be retiring from the station in December. Young served in Maryland government for 28 years – first in the House of Delegates, then in the State Senate – before launching his full-time radio career in 1998. You can see Young speak about his career during his acceptance speech at TALKERS 2022 here.

KFI, Los Angeles News Department Produces New Podcast Series, ‘Deadly Pill.’ This new iHeartMedia Los Angeles/iHeartRadio Podcast Network limited series podcast and radio news documentary airs on KFI, Los Angeles on Sunday 10/30 at 4:00 pm. “Deadly Pill” is hosted by award-winning investigative journalist Steve Gregory and is co-produced by award-winning producers Jacob Gonzalez and Alex Razo. It investigates the fentanyl crisis and begins with an introduction to the issue by Bill Bodner, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special agent in charge of Los Angeles. Bodner explains how illicit fentanyl took everyone by surprise and how the agency had to change tactics to go after the makers and the sellers. The podcast also features an associate professor of clinical pharmacy from the University of Southern California who walks us through the history of fentanyl and how future pharmacists are being trained to watch for signs of opioid abuse. The series also explores the challenges of the medical field to catch up with the overwhelming number of people who have become addicted to opioids or have caused severe injury to themselves. The medical examiner of Los Angeles County provides sobering stats on the number of bodies his operation has had to handle because of overdose deaths, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.

TALKERS News Notes. A new sports podcast from Audacy launches titled, “The Best Football Show.” The 15-minute daily podcast is hosted by WIP-FM, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” Eagles reporter and host of the “Go Birds” podcast Eliot Shorr-Parks. Audacy SVP of sports Matthew Volk says, “We are excited to marry the unique perspectives of Eliot Shorr-Parks with the full breadth of our robust podcast network and iconic sports brands. This launch provides our fans with the most topical, entertaining and complete coverage from the people who live and breathe the sport.”…..Global Media Services announces the nationwide syndication of “Spiritual Food For Thought,” a 60- second, weekday feature hosted by Malone that contains an original uplifting, and engaging thought from a positive perspective. She says, “In a world where listeners are barraged with an almost steady stream of negativity and bad news, I give them something positive every day. Most of the time, it’s as simple as looking at things in our daily lives with a new perspective.”…..Virtual News Center is adds new affiliate stations has added Bay and Beyond Broadcasting’s classic hits KKHA, country KIOX, and KMKS to its roster.

Debates/Midterms, January 6/Trump Legal Issues, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, and Ye Controversies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25). This week’s debates taking place ahead of the November midterm elections and speculation about which party will control the House and Senate in January; the DOJ’s attempt to force former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin to testify about their conversations with former President Donald Trump and the other legal battles facing Trump; inflation and concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure; and the compounding loss of deals and contracts for Ye in the aftermath of his latest anti-Semitic comments were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Friday, October 7, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Going to Pot,” looks back at this past week of 10/3-10/7. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Martha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Jack Heath, talk show host, “The Pulse of NH”; Dr. Murray Sabrin, emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College, NJ/author; Matthew B. HarrisonEsq., associate publisher, TALKERSGlenn Beck, talk show host, Premiere Networks/author; Tavis Smiley, author/talk show host/owner, KBLA, Los Angeles. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on 100-plus broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

KGO, San Francisco to Begin Sports/Wagering Format on Monday. The end of the news/talk format on Cumulus Media’s legendary KGO-AM, San Francisco came in a way that many market observers are calling bizarre – just to give one adjective. During the late morning Mark Thompson show, the station suddenly ended the talk show and began airing a recorded announcement followed by music stunting. Thompson himself was as surprised as the listeners to learn the that station will flip to a new format on Monday (10/10) – some form of sports betting talk. The message from Cumulus was: “Today we say goodbye to the legendary KGO. Over the last 80 years, KGO has been here for Bay Area listeners covering and discussing all the news that has impacted our world and local communities. We thank you for your loyalty and for trusting KGO to be your source for information. We also want to sincerely thank all the talented men and women that worked so hard over the years to produce award-winning programming on KGO. On Monday, 810AM begins a new era. We hope you will tune in.” Northern California-based journalist Matthew Keys reports that sources say the new format will be branded “The Spread 810AM.”

Beasley and Audacy Swap Las Vegas Stations. The two companies are entering into an asset exchange agreement that will see Beasley Media Group’s news/talk KDWN-AM and FM translator K268CS (101.5) go to Audacy, which will give FM station KXTE (currently alternative rock) to Beasley. As part of the agreement, longtime Las Vegas-based syndicated morning personalities “Dave and Mahoney” will continue to be heard on KXTE-FM. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group’s 61-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the communities where we operate with the best local programming and brands, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results. The agreement to exchange KDWN-AM/FM translator for KXTE-FM addresses all of these strategic objectives and upon completion, will complement our Las Vegas market presence and content with five strong signals in the market.” The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year subject to Federal Communications Commission approval and other customary closing conditions.

Round Two of September PPMs Released. The second of two rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s September 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 September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington remains ranked #1 in the market after adding one-tenth to finish the survey with an 8.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share). Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WMAL-FM tacks on six-tenths for a 4.5 share that lifts it to the #7 rank. In Boston, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO slips half a share for a 3.8 share that leaves it ranked #9, while the company’s all-news WBZ-AM adds seven-tenths for a 5.3 share good for the #5 rank in the market. Audacy’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis rises eight-tenths to finish the survey with a 5.6 share that lifts it to the #7 rank, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KTLK-AM is up one-tenth for a 3.1 share finish and Hubbard Broadcasting’s talk KTMY-FM dips two-tenths for a 3.1 share finish leaving them tied at the #15 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first round) here.

iHeartMedia Sells New Orleans Office Building. The New Orleans City Business reports that iHeartMedia has sold the downtown New Orleans building that houses its operations there. The three-story, 17,765-square-foot building has been on the market for two years and was acquired by a Florida-based investment group. The story notes that the building was constructed in the mid-1990s. It has “a 250-kilowatt generator, 60 parking spots with a secured gate and two adjacent lots.” The sale price is reported to be just over $3.57 million. It was originally listed at $3.7 million in August 2020.

Grant Stinchfield Launches Show on Salem Podcast Network. KRLA-AM, Los Angeles morning drive personality Grant Stinchfield is launching a podcast on Salem Media Group’s Salem Podcast Network on Monday (10/10) titled, “Stinchfield.” He currently hosts “The Morning Answer” show on KRLA alongside Jennifer Horn. Salem SVP for spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Grant does a great morning show with Jen in Los Angeles, and we’re excited that he’s moving up on the Salem platform. Now, listeners all over the country get to hear his take on the day’s news and events. We’re delighted to give him this opportunity.” Stinchfield comments, “America is in crisis and the corporate media establishment continues to silence strong conservative voices. This podcast is about pushing back and refusing to be silenced. We will expose the stories the mainstream media refuses to cover. I am so proud to be a part of Salem Media, an organization that refuses to sit idly by and watch our nation fall deeper and deeper into debt and despair. Its commitment to free speech is why I am proud to call Salem Media a partner.”

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by Kevin Kinkead at Crossing BroadJamie Lynch is out at Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 the Fanatic.” There is no information from the company on Lynch’s departure, although a cost-cutting motive is the most likely. Morning drive host John Kincade said on the program, “Obviously you will notice Jamie is not here. I can only say that we miss Jamie because a situation like this is a time when Jamie is of the greatest joy. We miss him not being here with us today. And if you miss Jamie this morning you can only imagine how much we do. I don’t know how much more to say. I’m not at liberty to say. But we miss him and we wish he was here with us.”…..Public media company GBH announces that Jim Braude will leave the WGBH-TV program “Greater Boston” at the end of this year. Braude also co-hosts the “Boston Public Radio” program on WGBH-FM, Boston with Margery Eagan and will continue in that role. Braude has hosted the “Greater Boston” television program since 2015 and co-hosted the radio program with Eagan since 2013…..Cipolla Analytics announces the appointment of Dr. Ed Cohen as chief research officer for the company, overseeing the expansion of its SpotGPS advanced intelligence software for radio. Developed especially for PPM markets, Cipolla Analytics says, “SpotGPS makes it easy to get the listening credit you deserve. SpotGPS reveals content placement and quantity on your stations and the competition in a way that is clear, colorful, and compelling.” Cohen was previously vice president, ratings and research for Cumulus Media, and led Nielsen Audio’s connected car streaming audio research initiative as vice president, measurement innovation.

Russia-Ukraine War and Foreign Affairs Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 3-7. Russia’s annexation of portions of Ukraine, its continuing military invasion of the country, and surrounding foreign affairs combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy – including inflation, the financial markets and the threat of a recession – followed by politics and the November midterm elections at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.

 

 

KWAM Seeks News Staffers. KWAM, Memphis “The Mighty 990” is expanding its local news coverage. KWAM has promoted Ben Deeter – executive producer of “Wake Up Memphis” – to full-time news anchor and anchor of the radio station’s political coverage. KWAM owner Todd Starnes says there are plans to add more reporters and anchors. Email resumes to: info@kwamradio.com.

FOX News Media Seeks Freelance Radio Anchor. This onsite position in either Los Angeles, Chicago or New York is a freelance radio anchor for the FOX News Audio family as on-air talent for FOX News Radio Network/FOX News Headlines 24/7 Sirius XM Channel 115. In this position, you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top-notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a day’s notice. Learn more about this position here.

Reporter Position Open at FOX News Media in Washington, DC. For this onsite reporter position FOX News Media is looking for an experienced, full-time reporter to join the Washington DC team. You will cover a wide range of political, government, and Congressional stories for FOX News Audio (FOX News Headlines 24/7 and FOX News Terrestrial Radio). You possess strong journalism skills and thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. Most importantly, you have great editorial judgment and the ability to break important news stories. Learn more and apply here.

Freelance Producer/Editor Opportunity at FOX News Media. This exciting opportunity is based in New York for a freelance producer/news editor to supervise the staff for our network radio news operations (terrestrial and FOX News Headlines 24/7 – Channel 115 on SiriusXM Radio). In this role you are our editorial leader, working with news anchors to craft the content and structure of a 24/7 news operation. This is fast-moving news environment! Your ability to thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven newsroom allows you to deliver top-quality segments/newscasts. You excel at multi-tasking and pay close attention to details. Your writing and editing skills are excellent and your editorial judgment is first-rate. Find out more here.

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Friday, September 30, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Cornered Rat” looks back at this past week of 9/26 to 9/30. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Jason Lewis, former U.S. Congressman (R-MN)/talk show host/author; Glenn Beck, talk show host, Premiere Networks/author; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyTavis Smiley, talk show host/owner, KBLA, Los Angeles/author; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York/author. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on 100-plus broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Audacy to Flip Sports Talk ‘790 The Ticket’ to Spanish Talk as ‘Radio Libre 790.’ Beginning Monday (10/3), sports talk WAXY-AM “790 AM The Ticket” flips to Spanish conservative talk as “Radio Libre 790.” The programming change takes place in partnership with national conservative Hispanic network Americano Media. Audacy regional president and Miami market manager Claudia Menegus says, “We’re proud to introduce Spanish radio to our South Florida portfolio for the first time ever and empower the voice of so many of our neighbors in this community. With the launch of this station, we aim to not only serve our listeners but give them a reliable home for the news they seek and the information they rely on every day.” Americano Media chief Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo adds, “The joint endeavor with Audacy is a natural fit for Americano. We provide the best Hispanic news-talk programming in Spanish, with the best hosts covering important current events, and Audacy’s audience is demanding that information. This is the first of many terrestrial radio syndication agreements for Americano, and we look forward to a strong partnership with Audacy.” The station will feature Americano Media’s talent, which includes former “Radio Mambi” hosts Nelson Rubio, Dania Alexandrino, and Lourdes Ubieta, who will cover the day’s political and critical news events, technology, and breaking news. Americano Media produces 18 hours of original programming each weekday from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight, with diverse Spanish-speaking hosts. Regarding the sports programming on WAXY-AM, the station’s two local shows – Tobin & Leroy and Hoch & Crowder – are both already simulcast on Audacy’s sister sports talk outlet WQAM and will remain there.

Chicago TV Personality Jane Clauss Named Contributor to WLS-AM’s Steve Cochran Show. Windy City television personality Jane Clauss joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM as morning show contributor for “The Steve Cochran Show.” Clauss is an EMMY Award winner and currently host of “Creative Living,” which airs nationally on the Yurview network, as well as “Arizona Living: Your Home Your Inspiration” show and “Craft Room Crash” on CLIXTV. She was the longtime host of “Living Healthy Chicago” on WGN-TV. Clauss has radio experience, having served with WGN-AM and WLUP-FM. WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “I am delighted to welcome Jane Clauss on board as a contributor on ‘The Steve Cochran Show.’ Jane is the consummate media professional whose brand has delighted generations of Chicagoans. From her ‘Loop’ days to her longtime contributions on ‘Living Healthy Chicago,’ Jane has always been authentically ‘Chicago.’ I am excited to have her join Steve as they wake up Chicago every weekday morning with what our listeners need to know to get through the day.” Clauss comments, “I’m thrilled to call ‘the Big 89’ my new radio home. Being a part of the legendary WLS call letters and working alongside Steve Cochran every weekday morning is a true honor.”

KFNX-AM, Phoenix Owner and Talk Host Bill Brady Named ‘Best Evening Radio Show’ by Phoenix New Times. It’s an honor that news/talk KFNX-AM, Phoenix owner and air personality Bill Brady says he didn’t see coming but is nonetheless thrilled about. The alt-weekly Phoenix New Times names his talk program Best Evening Radio Show in its Best of 2022 feature. Brady’s entry reads: “Aching to ogle at Arizona’s craziest candidates ahead of November’s general election? Pining for a preview of the Arizona Cardinals’ season debut against the red-hot Kansas City Chiefs? Talk radio veteran Bill Brady says, ‘Why not both?’ The Bill Brady Show airs every weekday afternoon from 5 to 7 p.m. on 1100 AM radio, so tune in on your drive home from work and enrich your day with what he calls ‘a return to common sense commentary.’ His instantly recognizable voice has graced the ears of Valley residents during interviews with everyone from CIA directors to sports greats such as NFL quarterback Johnny Unitas and boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. Most recently, Brady has taken in-depth dives with the Arizona Wildcats, state candidates including Adrian Fontes, and even New York Governor Mario Cuomo.”

Salem Radio Network Host Branden Tatum Addresses NRB’s Capitol Hill Media Summit. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network host Branden Tatum speaking at the recent National Religious Broadcasters’ Capitol Hill Media Summit. The host of “The Officer Tatum Show” spoke from his perspective as a Christian executive, encouraging fellow Christian leaders to set an example for their teams by upholding five pillars of faith, integrity, loyalty, combat, and victory. “God has called us all to something special. We cannot sit back and let the next man do the job God has for us. There’s a group of people that can only hear from you. Remember that faith is not a stagnant verb but an active verb. You have to put action behind your broadcasting.”

Deborah Parenti Receives Lifetime Achievement Award.  The president and publisher of broadcast industry trade journals, Radio Ink and RBR+TVBRDeborah Parenti (left) received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Parenti was honored for her achievements as a market manager and longtime broadcaster in Dayton. She is pictured with talent agent Heather Cohen, SVP of the Weiss Agency (right), who spoke about Parenti’s outstanding career during the ceremony.

TALKERS News Notes. For the run up to the November election, SiriusXM is inviting Crooked Media to take over its SiriusXM Progress channel. The special Crooked Radio programming will feature Crooked’s top-ranked podcasts, including “Pod Save America,” “Lovett or Leave It,” “Pod Save the World,” and “Strict Scrutiny.” In addition, SiriusXM’s L.A. Garage studios hosted a special taping of “Pod Save America” before an audience of their superfans on September 28. Crooked Media founders Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor, alongside their fellow “Pod Save America” host Dan Pfeiffer, were joined by guests including Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter John Legend, Senator Elizabeth Warren, “Vibe Check” co-host Sam Sanders, and “Dare We Say” podcast hosts Alycia Pascual-Peña and Yasmine Hamady…..Cumulus Media launches “Hello Ross,” an all-new, original podcast on the Cumulus Podcast Network featuring Ross Mathews who’s famous for his television celebrity interviews and red carpet moments. The inaugural episode features an in-depth interview with Chelsea Handler. Upcoming episodes will feature hilarious and insightful conversations with fascinating people including Guy Fieri, Todrick Hall, Kathy Griffin, Bowen Yang, and Martyn Bullard…..FOX Sports Radio unveils its weekend lineup for the 2022 football season. With the transition of “Covino & Rich” from weekends to FSR’s weekday afternoon timeslot, the network welcomes back veteran sports talk personality Mark Willard to lead the network’s Sunday evening show. He’s joined by longtime FSR weekend host Ephraim Salaam. FSR also launches “FOX Sports Radio’s Countdown to Kickoff” on Saturdays and Sundays with Brian Noe, Rich Ohrnberger, Jared Smith, Geoff Schwartz, and Bill “Krack” Krackomberger.

Russia-Ukraine War/Baltic Gas Leak/Foreign Affairs Combine as Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 26 – 30. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the intentional destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, and U.S. foreign affairs issues combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was inflation and the sell-off on the world’s financial markets, followed by politics and the November midterm elections at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.

Front Page News Industry News

Thursday, September 22, 2022

FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire Radio Row 2022 Brings Hosts and Guests Together in Washington, DC. Today (9/22) is the second day of the two-day radio row presented by Federation for American Immigration Reform. The 15th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” began on Wednesday with more than 65 talk media personalities interviewing politicians and immigration experts and discussing the hot-button issue of immigration reform and the problems the nation faces with the recent surges of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Pictured above are two of the hosts taking part in the radio row. Above left is WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island personality John DePetro flanked by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and above right is WRVA, Richmond afternoon host Jeff Katz with the media personalities Diamond and Silk.

WPHT, Philadelphia Talent Shuffle Includes New Morning Show; Zeoli Moves to PM Drive. A change in the programming schedule at Audacy’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia includes a new morning drive program titled, “Kayal and Company,” led by Nick Kayal and including Dawn Stensland and Greg Stocker (who also serves as station PD). Current morning drive host Rich Zeoli moves to the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart. Dom Giordano remains in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot and Stensland continues her solo program from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. The changes become effective on October 3. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff comments, “For the first time ever, WPHT will be live and local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm, which further cements this fan favorite as the voice of Philadelphia and a reliable destination for our listeners. We’re excited to welcome Nick, who is trading in his sports background for his passion for politics, to our morning drive, and move Rich and his highly-successful program to entertain and inform listeners as they wind down their days.” Kayal previously worked in the market on sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”

The Ramsey Network Launches ‘Smart Money Happy Hour’ Podcast. A new podcast from the Ramsey Network is launched titled, “Smart Money Happy Hour,” starring Rachel Cruze and George Kamel. The podcast is described as “a mix of solid advice and snark from two friends who also happen to be money experts.” The show joins the Ramsey Network roster of podcasts that includes “The Ramsey Show,” “The Dr. John Delony Show,” “The Rachel Cruze Show,” “The Ken Coleman Show,” “The Fine Print,” “Borrowed Future” and “The EntreLeadership Podcast.” Ramsey Network EVP Blake Thompson says, “Rachel and George have such unique chemistry. One minute I was laughing along with them, the next I was thinking about money in a whole new way. People are going to love the pop culture references and the casual, pour-a-glass-of-wine environment these two have created in this new podcast.” Some of the “Smart Money Happy Hour” topics include: Is Convenience Culture Worth Being Broke?; HGTV: The Network That Brainwashed Us; How to Leave a Royal Legacy for Your Family; and Can the Middle Class Still Afford to Go to Disney?

SmileyAudioMedia Offering ‘Agenda for America’ Election Programming to Stations. As a part of its continuing election coverage, Tavis Smiley, SmileyAudioMedia, Inc. and KBLA, Los Angeles “Talk 1580” announce that they are offering exclusive election programming to urban stations nationwide. SmileyAudioMedia, Inc. and KBLA Talk 1580 are producing a live, four-part series titled, “Agenda for America: An African American Perspective” that is executive produced by Smiley and moderated by KBLA’s radio hosts. The company says these four national conversations featuring influential Black voices will be offered at no charge to other talk- and urban-formatted radio stations and audio platforms across the country. The four programs are: “The State of Black Women in America,” hosted by Areva Martin; “The State of Black Men in America,” hosted by Zo Williams; “The State of Black Youth in America,” hosted by Dominique DiPrima; and, “Why We Can’t Wait: The Urgency of Now,” hosted by Tavis Smiley. The series airs live on Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT on KBLA “Talk 1580.” Smiley says, “KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ is not only a portal for talk and opinions for the progressive African American listening audience, but also a content provider of relevant programming for urban stations around the country. We intend for KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ to be the epicenter of election coverage, addressing local, state and national issues, affecting what matters most to our people.”

Audacy’s All-News WWJ, Detroit Unveils New Anchor Lineup. Beginning on October 3, the news anchor lineup changes at Audacy’s all-news WWJ, Detroit “News Radio 950.” The station says longtime anchor Jackie Paige (right) moves to mornings, joining Jonathan Carlson (left) from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Paige will also host middays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Brooke Allen follows from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Tony Ortiz takes over at 2:00 pm and is joined by Allen from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Ortiz also hosts from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Erin Vermeulen remains the evening news anchor from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “We are excited to announce our new lineup, which is full of news anchors who are seasoned and well known in the community. This new slate will allow WWJ to continue its mission of keeping listeners informed of breaking news and the top stories of the day.”

BIA Advisory: WTOP Maintains Top Biller Spot for 2021. A report from BIA Advisory Services tallying radio’s top billers for last year reveals that Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington stayed in the #1 position with an estimated $70 million in revenue in 2021. BIA Advisory says that figure was an increase of 12.9% from $62 million in 2020. It goes on to say, “This surpasses the overall growth rate of 10.3% that BIA forecasts for over-the-air radio from 2020 to 2021, as the industry started to pull out of the pandemic slump. WTOP-FM is also the only station on this list to surpass its pre-pandemic revenue figure of $69.8 million in 2019.” The spoken word stations on the 2021 list that showed improvement include Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago – up to the #4 spot from #5 in 2020 ($34 million); Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston rose from #6 to #5 ($33.4 million); Audacy’s all-news WINS, New York was up from #9 to #8 ($31.6 million); its sports talk WFAN, New York rose from #10 to #9 ($31.5 million); and its all-news WCBS-AM, New York entered the top 10 at #10 ($30.9 million). The big change from the 2020 list to the 2021 list was Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta falling from #4 to #12. BIA also ranked the top billing by radio companies. You can see both charts here.

Triton Digital Releases August 2022 U.S. Podcast Report. This report from Triton Digital ranks the most popular podcasts in the U.S. for the month of August based on Average Weekly Downloads. Changes from the July 2022 report include audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” rising from #3 to #1, bumping Cumulus Podcast Network’s “Ben Shapiro Show” from #1 to #3. Remaining in the #2 spot is NPR’s “NPR News Now.” You can see the complete list of the top 100 U.S. podcasts from Triton Digital here.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York City Radio Committee, a joint partnership of all the major radio broadcasters in New York City, is developing a marketing campaign to promote the power of radio. The campaign includes radio messaging on over 20 of New York’s most-listened-to stations, digital and social media marketing along with trade media. The multi-media campaign runs through November. The focus of the initiative is on advertising agencies and businesses that purchase advertising. Audacy New York market president and chairman of the New York City Radio Committee Chris Oliviero says, “Radio has been and continues to be a critical and valued part of millions of New Yorkers’ daily lives. These iconic brands, from music to news to sports, provide the soundtrack of the city. This campaign offers a fresh, fun and innovative approach to highlighting the efficacy of radio for media planners and advertisers.  The collaboration of the city’s major broadcasters shows a clear commitment to our belief that local radio, consumed on FM or AM or streaming or in podcasts, is an essential tool in any overall marketing strategy in the media capital of the world.”…..iHeartMedia extends the contract of Michael McGuinness through June 1, 2027 and changes his title from EVP – finance and deputy chief financial officer to EVP, deputy chief financial officer of the company and chief financial officer – multiplatform and digital segments…..FOX News Channel names Trace Gallagher anchor of “FOX News @ Night.” Gallagher takes over for Shannon Bream, who was recently promoted to anchor of “FOX News Sunday.” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “When it comes to breaking news coverage, Trace Gallagher is one of the best in the business and having a seasoned journalist at the helm of this hour ensures our viewers unrivaled 24/7 news coverage.”…..“The Todd Starnes Show” adds new affiliate KHTS, Santa Clarita, California to its roster of stations.

Inflation/Interest Rate Hike, NY Sues Trump Org, Trump Documents Case, Immigration/Migrant Transportation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Zelenskyy UN Speech, Iran Protests, and Hurricane Fiona Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/21). Inflation, the rising price of gasoline, and the Fed’s interest rate hike; New York Attorney General Letitia James files a civil fraud suit against Donald Trump, his children, and Trump Org officers; an Appeals Court rules DOJ can resume criminal probe of Donald Trump documents case; the immigration troubles at the U.S.-Mexico border and the transporting of migrants from Southern states to Northern cities; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for president in 2024; Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the UN General Assembly pressing for punishment for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the protests in Iran over the death of a woman in custody of the country’s “morality police”; and the destruction caused by Hurricane Fiona were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Monday, September 12, 2022

Monday Memo: “Like Sands Through the Hourglass…” Beginning today, a TV milestone. “Or is this ‘the canary in the coal mine?’” consultant Holland Cooke asks. Beginning today, after 57 years and 58 Emmy Awards on broadcast television, “The Days of Our Lives” will now be seen exclusively on NBC’s streaming platform Peacock. In this week’s column, HC notes how this trend is playing-out, and what it means to radio. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Coupons. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the renewed interest in clipping coupons thanks to the current high prices of food and other consumer goods. Coupons were, and still can be a barometer for return on investment by marketers who use them; and they’ve been a thorn in the side of radio sellers from time to time, as well. Lapa has some suggestions for radio sellers running into competition from coupon marketers. Read it here.

Round Four of August PPMs Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s August 2022 sweep covered July 21 – August 17. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Waterloo Media Group’s news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin jumps a full share to finish the survey with a 4.2 share (weekly, 6+ AHQ share) that lifts it from the #11 rank to #7. Although rising by 1.4 shares for a 9.3 share finish, Radio One’s news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis remains in the #2 rank. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN continues to hold down the #1 rank after adding four-tenths for a 10.3 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ falls seven-tenths for an 8.9 share that keeps it ranked #2. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence tacks on eight-tenths for a 4.8 share finish but remains ranked #7 as iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WHJJ is up half a share for a 1.2 share that lifts it to the #15 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here.

iHeartMedia Promotes Three to New Roles as Metro Presidents. The company announces the promotion of three current market presidents to the newly created roles of metro presidents. First, Columbus market president Kris Foley is now metro president for Columbus and Cleveland. Second, Charlotte market president Dave Carwile is now metro president for the Carolinas giving him oversight of Charlotte, Raleigh, Asheville, Greensboro, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina. And third, Cincinnati market president D.J. Hodge is now metro president for Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. All three executives report to Tom McConnell, division president for iHeartMedia Multi-Platform Group.

Audacy Names Terri Gunnell EVP of Advertising Technology, Products and Platforms. Advertising technology professional Terri Gunnell is named EVP of advertising technology, products and platforms for Audacy. She comes to the company from WarnerMedia where she was EVP, head of monetization and data platforms. In her new role with Audacy, she’ll lead the teams responsible for advertising technology, products and platforms for the company’s revenue organization, providing business-focused use cases and requirements for vendors and ad tech engineers to ensure that the platforms meet business needs. She’ll also lead the business transformation activities surrounding people, process and tech, partnering with peer leaders to ensure that organizational structure and business processes are optimized and successfully supported by the tech and data platforms. Audacy chief revenue officer Brian Benedik comments, “Terri’s extensive technical expertise, ability to administer and guide large budgets and staff, combined with her commitment to building collaborative teams, makes her a perfect candidate to take on this role. We look forward to her owning this rapidly growing portion of our business to help us best serve our clients, partners and consumers.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Uta Knablein to Chief Product Officer for iHeartRadio. The company promotes Uta Knablein from her executive vice president of iHeartRadio’s Flagship Products and User Experience role to chief product officer for iHeartRadio. iHeartMedia says of Knablein, “She brings a deep expertise in leading teams to create behavior-driven and data-informed products that drive audience growth, user engagement, increased loyalty and revenue.” iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne says, “At iHeartMedia, we’re committed to innovation and being on the forefront of this fast paced industry. Since joining the team, Uta has played a critical role in elevating the user experience through groundbreaking products and features. With her decades of experience and shared values, there is no doubt she is the right leader for our product team. As we look toward the future, we’re thrilled to have Uta’s depth of industry knowledge to keep us on the cutting edge.” Knablein steps into this role following former chief product officer Chris Williams’ 17-year tenure at iHeartMedia.

Legendary Talk Show Host Steve Kass Back in the Game. Retired talk radio personality Steve Kass has informed TALKERS that he is interested in getting back on the air as a fill-in host. Kass states, “There is so much going on right now in the nation and world, it is difficult to sit on the sidelines and not participate in what is clearly one of the most exciting and consequential chapters in news/talk broadcasting history. Today, with access to leading-edge remote technology, there is absolutely no reason not to get back in the game.” Kass is credited as having been one of the most successful voices heard on the airwaves in New England where he was a major player at both WPRO and WHJJ in Providence between 1984 and 2005 – many of those years as a dominant morning host. Kass hung up his headphones in 2005 to accept the position of communications director in the administration of Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri. During his last year on the air, Kass was named the Associated Press “Talk Show Host of the Year” and in 2010 he was inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame. Kass tells TALKERS, “No job is too big or too small” and that he can be available on very short notice. Steve Kass can be reached by phone at 401-663-9776 or emailed at stevegkass@gmail.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Former Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Larry Elder is considering a run for president, he tells The Daily Wire. In an interview, Elder says what brought him to run against California Governor Gavin Newsom in last year’s recall election. “[A] number of people approached me as you know, to encourage me to run for governor of California. And little by little I felt that I had a moral and spiritual and a patriotic obligation to do it.” He adds, “I didn’t think I would like politics. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I was surprised at how good I was at it. And in about seven and a half weeks which is when I got into the race, with only that much time left. I raised around $22 million —  more than all of the major rivals combined.”…..Los Angeles talk radio station KBLA “Talk 1580” is presenting an election forum tonight (9/12) with incumbent Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and challenger and former Long Beach Chief of Police Robert Luna. This is the first in the station’s Public Safety Forum series of events. It’s being streamed on the station’s website, YouTube and Facebook and will be broadcast on KBLA later. It’s being moderated by station owner Tavis Smiley with radio hosts Dominique DiPrima, Angela Reddock-Wright and Nii Quartelai Quartey…..Good Karma Brands’ ESPN Wisconsin launches the Tundra Trio Radio Network, which is airing Green Bay Packers content across sports talk WKTI-FM, “94.5 ESPN” and news/talk WTMJ in Milwaukee and WTLX-FM, Madison “100.5 ESPN.” The newest Good Karma Brands radio network got its name from its Tundra Trio properties, two houses adjacent to Lambeau Field where private tailgates are hosted prior to each home game. Kicking off every Packers game day at the Tundra Trio houses are former Packer Gary Ellerson and WTMJ personality Greg Matzek. Following each game, host Gabe Neitzel and Steve “The Homer” True, alongside Packers Hall-of-Famer Mark Tauscher, will team up for the “Pack Attack Postgame.”

Trump vs DOJ, Ukraine Recaptures Territory, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, King Charles III Crowned, Fentanyl Crisis, NFL Season Opens, and Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The legal battle between former President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice over documents Trump was keeping at his Mar-a-Lago residence; Ukraine forces recapture territory from Russia and concerns over the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; the November midterms elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; Charles III is crowned King of Great Britain; the growing rate of fentanyl being shipped across the U.S.-Mexico border; the NFL opens its 103rd season; and the wildfires in the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Front Page News Industry News

Thursday, August 25, 2022

WPHT, Philadelphia Midday Icon Dom Giordano is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The dean of Philadelphia radio talk show hosts, Dom Giordano, heard daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on WPHT, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Giordano is a former public school teacher now nationally recognized as one of broadcasting’s leading experts on education and advocates for its improvement in America. He also hosts a popular podcast series titled, “Readin’ Writin’ and Reason,” that tackles the most challenging issues facing education today. Harrison and Giordano discuss the decline of attention spans and general literacy induced by digital technology, the political weaponization of basic historical concepts and traditions due to radical “wokeness,” and the shift from academic discipline to the “touchy feely coddling” of students by many of today’s public schools and institutions of higher learning. Harrison says, “The subject of education is on my mind with the release this week of the Gunhill Road music video ‘Idiots’ (www.idiotsvideo.com) and the growing negative impact ignorance and illiteracy are having on the healthy functioning of American democracy. I know of no one better to turn to in discussing these matters than our learning go-to guy – Dom Giordano.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

KIRO-AM, Seattle Brings Brock & Salk Back for Morning Drive. The sports talk duo of Brock Huard and Mike Salk is getting back together as Bonneville’s sports talk KIRO-AM, Seattle “Seattle Sports” announces the return of the “Brock & Salk” show to morning drive on September 6. “Brock & Salk” previously aired on “Seattle Sports” from April 2009 through September 2019 and transitioned to a weekly podcast shortly thereafter. Salk has been hosting the morning show solo. Huard says, “I am thrilled to come back on the air with Mike Salk, though I feel like I never left. My heart and passion are for the Pacific Northwest community, its teams, and its fans. On September 6, that daily connection begins again.” Station program director Kyle Brown comments, “At ‘Seattle Sports’ we aim to be the preeminent voice for sports fans in the region. The return of Brock Huard to an already strong weekday lineup helps cement our status as the go-to destination for sports coverage in the Pacific Northwest.”

KBLA, Los Angeles to Present Live Election Forums. Los Angeles talk station KBLA-AM “Talk 1580” announces it is presenting election coverage of heated races with its Public Safety Forum that it says is “designed to provide a place to discuss politics for Black voters.” The first live broadcast will feature incumbent Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva facing off against challenger, former Long Beach chief of police Robert Luna on September 12 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The forum will be moderated by KBLA owner and media personality Tavis Smiley, who will be joined by radio hosts Dominique DiPrima, Angela Reddock-Wright, and KBLA chief national political affairs analyst Nii-Quartelai Quartey. The forum will be livestreamed via KBLA1580.com, KBLA’s YouTube channel, and Facebook with an encore broadcast to air on KBLA Talk 1580. Smiley says, “We intend for KBLA Talk 1580 to be the election information station for our audience. We will be covering all of the local, state and national elections that matter to our listeners. This particular sheriff’s race is perhaps the most hotly contested in some time, and we are appreciative that the candidates have agreed to speak to our audience directly.”

TALKERS News Notes. This Labor Day weekend, news/talk ABC News Radio affiliates have two special programs available to them. “Impact: Climate & Sustainability” is hosted by correspondent Aaron Katersky and explores the recent surge in wildfires, the effort to bring alternative power to communities nationwide, the jobs created by the clean energy industry, and a look at why there is an increase in shark sightings on Long Island. “Your Voice, Your Vote 2022” is a one-hour preview of the upcoming midterm elections hosted by ABC News White House correspondent Karen Travers and political director Rick Klein. They will be joined by reporters, analysts and experts to discuss what’s at stake in the election, voting rights and more…..Audacy and Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres announce an extension to their broadcast partnership agreement today that keeps KWFN-FM “97.3 The Fan” the flagship station for Padres baseball through 2027. The station has served as the radio home of the team since 2018. As part of the extended partnership, “97.3 The Fan” will continue to serve as the radio home of Padres baseball, broadcasting all of the team’s regular season and postseason games. Audacy San Diego SVP and market manager Michael Valenzuela says, “As one of the most exciting teams in Major League Baseball, the Padres have brought championship aspirations back to San Diego, and we’re delighted to deliver every minute of the action to our listeners for the foreseeable future.”…..SiriusXM kicks off the 2022 college football season with play-by-play of 95 live games from August 27 through September 5. The opening week schedule on SiriusXM features games from every team from the Associated Press Top 25 poll, including #1 Alabama vs. Utah State, the season’s first Top 5 matchup of #5 Notre Dame at #2 Ohio State and the Top 25 matchups of #11 Oregon at #3 Georgia and #23 Cincinnati at #19 Arkansas.

Biden’s Student Loan Relief, Abortion Bans, FBI Raid/Documents Investigation, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy, Uvalde Police Chief Fired, and Vanessa Bryant Lawsuit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/24). The student loan debt cancellation executive order announced by President Joe Biden; bans on abortion go into effect in three states; the aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the documents investigation; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the deadly strike on a civilian train; the high price of food and consumer goods and concerns about a recession; the Uvalde, Texas school board fires police chief Pete Arredondo; and Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa wins a $16 million judgement against Los Angeles County were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.