Industry News

Podtrac Releases April Podcast Ranker

There was a change at the #1 spot on Podtrac’s podcast ranker for April 2024 as The New York Times’ “The Daily” unseats NPR’s “NPR News Now” and the two shows are #1 and #2, respectively.  Otherim moves of note for radio-related shows include FOX Audio Network’s “FOX News Hourly Update” rising four places to the #8 rank; The Daily Wire’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” falls two places to the #9 rank, and Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” steady at #10. See Podtrac’s complete rankers here.

Industry News

Change at #1 in Podtrac’s March Podcast Ranker

Podtrac releases its Podcast Industry Ranking for March 2024 (based on U.S. unique monthly audienceim for participating podcasts) and, while not a lot changes from last month, NPR’s “NPR News Now” took over the #1 spot from The New York Times’ “The Daily,” which falls to #2. Cumulus Podcasts Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” rises one spot to #10, and FOX Audio Network’s “FOX News Hourly Update” climbs two places to #12. See the complete chart here.

Industry News

Podtrac Releases Top U.S. Podcasts Chart for December

Today (1/5), Podtrac releases its chart of the Top U.S. Podcasts for December 2023 based on Unique U.S. Monthly Audience. Rising three places to the #1 spot is NPR’s “NPR News Now,” followed by Theim New York Times’ “The Daily” at #2 and NPR’s “Up First” at #3. News/talk radio-related podcasts finishing in the top 20 include DailyWire’s “The Ben Shapiro Show,” down one place to #9, Dan Bongino’s “The Dan Bongino Show” steady at #11, and FOX Audio Network’s “The FOX News Hourly Update” up one place to #15. See the full chart here.

Industry News

NYTimes: Radio Preferred Medium for Many in India

A piece in The New York Times by Karan Deep Singh that explores how radio is used by women in rural India to learn and to communicate shows just how important the medium is to many people in the world’s most populous country. The piece focuses on the community radio station “Alfaz-e-Mewat,” – the voice of the Mewati people. Singh notes that “even in a digital era, radio remains the preferred medium for millions of Indians.” Of the radio station he writes, “Its listeners are the million or so people of Nuh, a rural, agrarian district in the foothills of the Aravali mountains in the northern Indian state of Haryana. In this region — which has some of the country’s lowest female literacy rates, where early marriages are common and where violence against women is the norm — the station is the voice of change.” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, who was recently appointed by UNESCO as executive advisor to the United Nations celebration of World Radio Day on February 13, 2024, states, “This story illustrates just how important the medium of on-air radio is to millions of people around the world. Not only for its accessibility in the many places on Earth, including the United States, that are not fully digitized – but as a grassroots weapon against poverty and injustice in all their many forms. What could be more important?” Read the Times piece here.

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Michael La Crosse to Lead Programming at iHeartMedia Sacramento. Programming pro Michael La Crosse is named SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Sacramento station group that includes news/talk outlets KFBK and KSTE and five music outlets. La Crosse will continue to oversee the iHeartMedia Portland market as vice president of programming and will serve as program director for adult contemporary KBEB “92.5 The Breeze.” iHeartMedia National Programming Group EVP Maynard says, “Michael is an outstanding programmer and human. He has worked closely with Sacramento and many other iHeartMedia markets over the past few years and I couldn’t be more excited to formally expand his leadership responsibilities and influence.” La Crosse comments, “I’m very humbled to get the chance to work with the amazing team in Sacramento. With a brand-new station like ‘KISS 107.9’ and a station like NewsRadio KFBK, that is celebrating its 100th anniversary, our stations are as diverse as Sacramento itself.”

Ernie Brown Moves to Morning Drive on WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth. News and talk radio pro Ernie Brown moves from his late morning daypart to morning drive on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth. Brown joins Hal Jay as co-host of “WBAP’s Morning News” from 5:00 am to 9:00 am. WBAP program director Bruce Collins says, “Ernie is exactly what we were looking for. He’s the ultimate professional broadcaster that knows how to relate to the audience and understands the biggest stories of the day that resonate with our target audience. We’re excited to have him as our new morning show leader.” Brown comments, “We’ll talk about the issues that matter to WBAP listeners: inflation, gas prices, grocery prices, supply chain shortages, your money, covid, and of course the Cowboys! I’ve worked at great stations and organizations all over the country including KOGO in San Diego, ‘America’s Radio News’ in Washington, D.C., Western Journal – Phoenix, and KOMO in Seattle and hosted a national late night talk show called ‘America at Night.’ This is an incredible opportunity to get to work with Hal Jay and the talented WBAP morning team. I want to thank Cumulus DFW RVP/market manager Dan Bennett and PD Bruce Collins.”

Podtrac Announces Top Podcast Publishers for June 2022. The ranking of top podcast publishers for June of this year from Podtrac based on unique monthly audience (UMA) has been released and iHeartRadio holds down the top spot with a U.S. unique monthly audience of 30.3 million. At #2 is Wondery with a UMA of 23.8 million. NPR follows at #3 (UMA 18 million), The New York Times is #4 (UMA 11 million), and NBC News is #5 (UMA 9.1 million). You can see the complete ranking of the top 20 here.

Audacy Unveils Updates to App and Website. The company announces that it has begun to make updates to its digital platform in the form of new features on the Audacy app and website. The company says, “We’ll be rolling out these enhancements over the coming weeks and months, with each release focused on positively impacting Audacy’s digital, podcasting, data, analytics, and ad tech capabilities. At the heart of these updates lives truly interactive radio. We’re giving our listeners even more control over streaming radio with additional interactivity to both live and on-demand content. We’re also improving the discovery and curation of our radio and podcast content, presented seamlessly together within an evolved interface and user experience.” Initial updates include: 1) enhanced rewind in which listeners can rewind live news, sports, and news/talk stations and hear it all again; 2) curated discovery of content in which listeners are immersed into a personalized, interactive experience that is customizable, based not just on their favorite stations or podcasts, but also on their topical interests across news, sports and music; and 3) enriched podcast listening giving listeners access to nearly 3 million podcasts plus exclusive binging of Audacy Originals. The app also now presents radio and podcast content together, allowing listeners to consume the latest content from the shows they love along with the topics they’re interested in.

NAB Reveals 2022 Marconi Award Finalists. The finalists for the NAB’s 2022 Marconi Awards in numerous categories have been revealed. In the category of Legendary Station of the Year, three spoken-word stations made the cut: Audacy’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco; Audacy’s all-news KRLD-AM, Dallas; and Bonneville’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix. Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year nominees include: Ramsey Media’s Dave Ramsey, Premiere NetworksGeorge Noory, and Premiere’s Dan Patrick. News/talk and sports talk personalities making the finalist round include, in the Major Market Personallity of the Year category: Mike Felger and Tony Massorotti, WBZ-FM, Boston; Greg Hill, WEEI-FM, Boston; and Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel, WSCR-AM, Chicago. In the Large Market Personality of the Year category, finalists include: C4 and Bryan Nehman, WBAL-AM, Baltimore and Tony Katz, WIBC-FM, Indianapolis. In the Medium Market Personality of the Year category, finalists include: Harlen the Sports Guy & Pigskin Bob, KYKX-FM, Tyler, Texas and Kevin Miller, KIDO-AM, Boise, Idaho. The five finalists in the News/Talk Station of the Year category are: Audacy’s KNX-AM, Los Angeles; Hubbard Radio’s KTMY-FM, Minneapolis-St. Paul; Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton; iHeartMedia’s WLW-AM, Cincinnati; and Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM, Atlanta. And the five finalists in the Sports Station of the Year category are: Cumulus Media’s KNBR-AM, San Francisco; Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston; Audacy’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia; WMFS-FM, Memphis; and WXYT-FM, Detroit.

Mike Missanelli to Co-Host Eagles Postgame Show. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that longtime Philadelphia sports media personality Mike Missanelli, who exited Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” in May of this year, is working with JAKIB Media Partners to co-host a Philadelphia Eagles post-game show beginning this fall. The paper says that Missanelli and former NBC Sports Philadelphia analyst Seth Joyner are joining Derrick Gunn and Devan Kaney on JAKIB’s YouTube channel. The program will stream after each Eagles game this fall. As the Inquirer notes in its story, JAKIB Sports streams three daily live programs including “Birds 365,” hosted by John McMullen and WIP host Jody McDonald; “Sports Take,” hosted by Gunn, Barrett Brooks, and Rob Ellis; and “The National Football Show” hosted by Dan Sileo.

Audacy: Study Confirms Ad Engagement Increases with Each Audio Exposure. The results of an audio study conducted by independent market research consultancy Alter Agents in partnership with Audacy and media agency Spark Foundry, show that ad engagement climbs with each audio exposure across industry categories, audio platforms and genres. Audacy says that this distinctive content peak study shows that “exposing audiences to audio messages consistently offers resounding benefits in brand equity and sales. Audio seizes attention and builds intention, frequency after frequency. It offers brands opportunities for engagement and impact throughout the life of a campaign.” Audacy and Spark Foundry devised a custom neuroscience study in partnership with Alter Agents to gauge audiences’ second-by-second engagement (i.e., Immersion) with audio content and advertising, across advertiser categories, audio platforms, and genres. Spark Foundry provided samples of its clients’ advertisements in the retail, financial services and QSR industries. Over the course of a week, participants (national sample of P18-54) were exposed to a randomized rotation of audio content and advertisements up to 15 times. The team measured brand KPIs (e.g., brand opinion and intention to purchase) through a follow-up survey. Audacy SVP of research and insights Idil Cakim says, “The study, based on an incredibly rigorous design that combines neuroscience and survey methodologies, proves the strength of audio in the media mix. Audio’s ability to scale its effect through higher frequencies shows its unique ability to engage and drive value.”

Squad SCOTUS Protest, January 6 Hearings/Georgia Probe/Bannon Trial, Biden Approval Ratings, Midterms/2024 Race, The Economy, House Same-Sex Marriage Bill, COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine War, and Heatwave/Climate Change Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19). The Supreme Court Roe v Wade protest at which U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and others were arrested; the ongoing January 6 hearings, the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s alleged attempt to change Georgia’s 2020 election results, and the contempt of congress trial of former White House strategist Steve Bannon; President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings; the November midterm elections and speculation about the 2024 presidential nominees; the state of the U.S. economy as inflation and falling financial markets affect Americans; the U.S. House passes a bill protecting same-sex marriages; the rising rate of BA.5 subvariant COVID-19 cases; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the record-setting European heatwave 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, February 21, 2022

Monday Memo: BOOM! Political battle lines are drawn, and every day’s news gives both sides fresh fodder to bludgeon the other. “But to what end?” consultant Holland Cooke asks. In this week’s column, he makes the case that “predictability works against Time Spent Listening,” and recommends “how to better exploit headlines we too often squander as arguments.” Read more here.

 

Pending Business: Five Basics for Better Sales. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about what he calls five sales basics that all sellers should remember. “Chances are your time in front of your advertisers is limited. Although your goals may be clearly mapped out, the sales process has changed, and in-person calls are more limited. Email, links and web-based pitches are a critical component of the current sales environment. You may be a sales wizard, but in this COVID-adjusted world what happens before and right after you hit the send button is more important than ever.” Read his column here.

 

Talk Hosts on the Agenda at CPAC 2022. The American Conservative Union’s four-day CPAC 2022 takes place in Orlando this week from Thursday through Sunday and will feature a number of high-profile talk radio hosts on panels and in presentations. WMAL-FM, Washington morning host Larry O’Connor and Salem Radio Network’s Charlie Kirk will appear on the panel “War: A Tribute to Andrew Breitbart,” WREC-AM, Memphis morning host Ben Ferguson will interview former HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson. Premiere Networks personality Glenn Beck keynotes Friday’s Ronald Reagan Dinner. Westwood One syndicated host Mark Levin hosts “A Conversation with Mark Levin and Julie Strauss Levin.” Starnes Media Group syndicated host Todd Starnes and SRN’s Sebastian Gorka appear on the panel “Fire Fauci”; KTTH, Seattle host Jason Rantz appears on the “Government is Dangerous to Your Health” panel; and SRN’s Larry Elder sits on the “Biden’s Breadline” panel.

 

Report: SXM Media Top Podcast Publisher by Reach. According to data from Edison Research’s Podcast Consumer Tracking Report for the fourth quarter of 2021, SiriusXM Media is the top podcast publisher by reach. Edison says, “This ranker measures reach as a percentage of the weekly podcasting audience. Rankings are compiled by measuring the total unduplicated reach of all the shows represented by a given network.” Rounding out the top five are: 2) Spotify, 3) iHeartRadio, 4) NPR, and 5) The New York Times.  Edison Research SVP Tom Webster says, “We are pleased to be able to introduce the podcast industry’s first all-inclusive ranker of producers. We’ve tracked this space for 10 quarters with thousands of listeners, and the data we see has been incredibly stable over that period of time.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM morning drive host Bob Sirott is serving as the host of a series to air on the regional Marquee Sports Network featuring him interviewing Chicago Cubs legends Ernie Banks, Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley, Ron Santo and others. The conversations were videotaped in 2010 and 2011, but never aired. Sirott says, “It’s a special thrill to anchor what will be a permanent record of these Wrigley favorites for generations of Cubs fans to enjoy.”…..Writer and musician Dessa continues her exploration of human behavior, instincts, and culture in season two of her podcast, “Deeply Human.” The podcast is a collaboration between BBC World Service, iHeartMedia and American Public Media that investigates our tendencies to create social hierarchies and to use intoxicants; Dessa speaks to experts on monogamy, accents, and the dark forces at play in the way we perceive and pursue beauty. In season two, she speaks to psychologists, animal behaviorists, mathematicians, historians, and one legendary DJ.

 

Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Inflation/Oil Prices, Arbery Hate Crime Trial, Winter Weather, British Royalty, and the Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk stories Over the Weekend. The ongoing diplomatic tensions between Russia and the West over the former’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; the falling COVID-19 cases in the U.S., battles over mandates, and the Canadian truckers’ Ottawa protests; soaring consumer retail and gasoline prices; the federal hate crime trial of Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan in the death of Ahmaud Arbery; the bitter cold affecting much of the northern U.S. this week; Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, her contracting COVID-19, and the fallout from Prince Andrew’s settlement with alleged Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking victim Virginia Guiffre; and the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.