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Wednesday, September 14, 2022

WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Personality Rob Kendall Sues Political Activist for Defamation. WIBC-FM, Indianapolis late morning personality Rob Kendall is suing conservative political activist Gabriel Whitley, Spencer McDaniel, and Young Conservatives of Southern Indiana for defamation after the group posted comments on Facebook in which they refer to Kendall as “Pedo Rob,” implying that he’s a pedophile. The Evansville Courier & Press reports the story, noting that Whitley is a declared candidate for mayor of Evansville. Kendall co-hosts the late morning program on Radio One’s WIBC-FM with Casey Daniels. Kendall is being represented by fellow WIBC personality Abdul Hakim-Shabazz. McDaniel says the Facebook page is a satire page and as such is protected speech. He says, “Gabriel Whitley had no part in this, I run the page but it was a joke and I take full responsibility for the joke. We will win and all charges will be dropped.” The suit states, “The satiric effect emerges only as the reader concludes by the very outrageousness of the words that the whole thing is a put-on.” Hakim-Shabazz says that “the context of the post does not allow a reasonable reader to think the defendant’s words were a ‘put on.’” Kendall is seeking $50,000 in damages, punitive damages as the court deems proper,  attorney fees and court costs, and other relief the court deems proper.

Comrex Unveils New Remote Contribution Solution. The new cloud service for remote, on-air or production contribution from Comrex is called Gagl, and it allows between one and five users to send and receive audio from computers and smartphones. Each user receives their own mix-minus to hear other connected guests, and the Gagl audio is delivered to a Comrex hardware codec (such as ACCESS or BRIC-Link, usually in a studio). All participants can hear other participants and the codec “sends” audio back to them. Comrex says that participants can connect and send audio by simply clicking a link using any common web browser. Gagl is designed to be used with consumer grade equipment, so contributors only need a device and a headset to get on the air. Gagl uses the Opus audio encoder, with a bit rate that delivers both voice and music in excellent quality. Gagl also delivers audio directly to a Comrex codec with all the stability enhancements, pro-grade audio connections, and features that hardware codecs provide. The simple user interface makes it easy for users with any level of technical experience to use. Comrex adds that Gagl could be used as the hub for a news program or for a morning radio show to support multiple simultaneous contributor connections. Because it offers low latency, it’s appropriate for call-in talk radio. Gagl could also be used to allow a single contributor to connect back to the studio from a computer or smartphone. Gagl works with Comrex hardware IP audio codecs including the AES67-compatible ACCESS NX Rack IP audio codec and ACCESS MultiRack multi-channel IP audio codec as well as the BRIC-Link series. Find out more about Gagl here.

Edison Research: Spotify Takes Over as Top U.S. Podcast Network. The latest Q2 2022 data from Edison Research’s ranking of the Top Podcast Networks in the U.S. reveals that Spotify, SXM Media, and iHeartRadio take the top three spots, respectively. Spotify surpassed SXM Media’s weekly reach by a tiny margin. Edison’s ranking is based on surveys of 8,000 podcast listeners in the U.S. and 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. See the complete list of the top 30 podcast networks here.

Podtrac: iHeartRadio Top Podcast Publisher for August 2022. The ranking of top podcast publishers from Podtrac has been released for August and, based on Unique Monthly Audience, iHeartRadio is ranked #1 with more than 35.5 million UMA for its 689 active shows. Wondery is ranked #2 (24.5 million UMA) for 204 shows, and NPR comes in at #3 (19.7 million UMA) for 49 shows. See Podtrac’s entire chart of the top 20 podcast publishers for August 2022 here.

Brian Kilmeade in Albany. Pictured above is FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (center) on stage at The Egg Performing Arts Center in Albany on September 8. With him is FOX News Channel producer Alyson Mansfield (left) and news/talk WGDJ, Albany owner Paul Vandenburgh (right). Kilmeade’s radio program is heard from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on WGDJ.

KFAN’s Dan Barreiro to Be Enshrined in Hall of Fame. Longtime Twin Cities sports talk personality Dan Barreiro – host of “Bumper to Bumper with Dan Barreiro” and “Sunday Sermons with Dan Barreiro” – is being honored this Saturday (9/17) at the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Barreiro was a sports columnist at the Star Tribune for 17 years. He joined iHeartMedia’s KFXN-FM, Minneapolis “KFAN 100.3” in 1992. iHeartMedia Minneapolis market president Greg Alexander says, “Dan epitomizes the make-up of a tremendous talk show in the Twin Cities. He puts together compelling interviews and has the ability to break down any and every topic to entertain our listeners. He is a true talent.” Market SVP of programming Gregg Swedberg adds, “There isn’t a radio personality who has had the kind of ratings success over the last three decades that Dan Barreiro has. He has done it by hosting intelligent, entertaining, and compelling radio. He’s more than the ‘Big Ticket,’ he is the blueprint.”

Audacy’s I’m Listening Mental Health Campaign to Produce Sixth Annual Special Program. The ongoing mental health public service campaign from Audacy includes the two-hour audio program, “I’m Listening,” once again co-hosted by Carson Daly and by Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble. Each year, Audacy activates “I’m Listening” through national campaigns featuring artists, celebrities, and athletes who share their experiences with mental health. Partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, these events help raise awareness and support of issues that we all face in our daily lives. Guests on this year’s program will include: Carrie Underwood, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Vice President Kamala Harris, Lizzo, Ricky Williams, Maren Morris, Charlie Puth and Stephen A. Smith, who will share personal mental health stories. The special airs nationwide on Wednesday, September 21 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm local time across more than 230 Audacy stations and will be live streamed via its digital app and website. Also, returning to the Hollywood Bowl for its ninth year, the star-studded concert “We Can Survive” takes place on Saturday, October 22 with featured acts including Alanis Morrisette, Garbage, Halsey, OneRepublic, Weezer and more.

Trumps vs DOJ, Inflation/Financial Markets/Railroad Strike, Lindell Search Warrant, Russia-Ukraine War, British Royalty, Musk-Twitter Case, and Ken Starr Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/13). Former President Donald Trump’s battle with the Department of Justice over its investigation into documents he kept at Mar-a-Lago; the still rising rate of inflation, Tuesday’s financial markets beating, and the looming railroad strike; MyPillow founder Mike Lindell has phone taken by FBI in warranted search; Ukraine’s retaking of territory from Russian forces; the royal family’s activities in the aftermath of Queen Elizabeth’s death; the court battle between Elon Musk and Twitter over his canceled acquisition bid; and former special prosecutor Ken Starr dies 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

Thursday, June 16, 2022

TALKERS 2022 Addresses Concerns of Independent Radio Station and Small Group Operations. At the TALKERS 2022 convention held at Hofstra University on Friday, June 10, the first panel session of the day was titled “Independent Radio Station and Small Group Operations” and probed the issues most pressing to owners of independent stations and those operating small groups of stations. The panel was moderated by KFNX-AM, Phoenix owner Bill Brady (inset), who was introduced by Binnie Media director of brand operations Michael Czarnecki. Appearing on the panel in the photo above were (from l-r): Marc Beaven, general manager, WCBM-AM, Baltimore; Paul Vandenburgh, owner/host, WGDJ-AM, Albany; Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz, California; Paul Gleiser, owner/host, KTBB, Tyler Texas; and Todd Starnes, owner, KWAM-AM, Memphis (and host of the syndicated Todd Starnes Show). Video of this complete session will be made available in the coming weeks.

 

‘Strategizing a Talk Show Hosting Career’ Among Panel Discussions at TALKERS 2022. Last Friday’s TALKERS 2022 convention held at Hofstra University also featured a panel discussion that illuminated some of the challenges that talk hosts face in the modern era, as well as presenting some solutions to those challenges. The panel was moderated by Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher (inset), who was introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Rich Zeoli. Appearing on the panel in the photo above were (from l-r): Bruce Avery, general manager, WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Martha Zoller, WDUN-AM, Gainesville, Georgia; Frank Morano, host, WABC, New York; Walter Sterling, host, “Sterling on Sunday”; and Brett Winterble, host, WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte. Video of this complete session will be made available in the coming weeks.

 

Round Three of May 2022 PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s May 2022 sweep covered April 28 – May 25. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM repeats in the #4 rank despite dipping three-tenths to a 7.9 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share), while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KEX-AM loses seven-tenths to finish with a 1.9 share good for the #20 rank. iHeartMedia’s KNRS-AM/FM, Salt Lake City is #1 again this month even though it shed 1.2 shares and wrapped the survey with a 9.6 share. Across town, Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM falls from #2 to #4 after losing 1.5 shares for a 6.1 share finish. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first two rounds) here.

 

Cumulus Media Brings ‘The Score’ Back to Providence. Gone for 15 years, Cumulus Media is reviving the sports talk format on WPRV-AM, Providence as “790 The Score.” The station has been airing a business news format since sports talk was jettisoned in 2008. In a YouTube video promoting the change, the company says the new incarnation of “The Score” will include programming from BetQL, CBS Sports Radio’s “Jim Rome Show,” and local personality Kevin McNamara, as well as New York Yankees baseball, Boston Celtics basketball and Brown University football and basketball.

 

WBZ-AM, Boston Brings ‘Tough as Nails’ Back for a Fifth Season. Local real estate and construction celebrity Cindy Stumpo’s “Tough as Nails” radio show is returning to iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston “NewsRadio 1030” Saturday evenings at 8:00. The station says, “Each week, Cindy and [daughter] Samantha welcome guests to unpack the worlds of construction, real estate, renovations, design and more. Cindy and her team are world-renowned for creating opulent floor plans coupled with impeccable attention to detail. Cindy is also known for her raw and uncensored perspective on everything about being a woman in a man’s world. Almost nothing is off limits: panic attacks, menopause, abuse, domestic violence, you’ll never know what’s coming next while being entertained and informed every show. Cindy’s social media presence is unstoppable with over 75,000 followers on Instagram and videos on her YouTube channel regularly garnering 100,000-plus views.  Cindy has shown that she is a multimedia force.”

 

BIA Advisory Services Downgrades U.S. Local Ad Revenue Projections; Significant Growth Still Expected in Radio Digital. This year’s U.S. local advertising forecast is being revised by BIA Advisory Services. The firm says its new estimate is $167.4 billion, down from its original estimate of $173.3 billion issued in December 2021. It cites “headwinds from overseas conflicts, continuing supply chain issues and deep cuts in ad spending from large verticals like automotive” for precipitating the reduction. Positives for the ad market still include an anticipated strong political ad year, the expansion of online gambling local advertising and consumer spending on leisure and recreational activities. BIA SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik comments, “The year didn’t start as strong as we had anticipated, making for a difficult first two quarters as some expected advertising spend started to retract. On the one hand, personal income continues to rise, but the cost of consumer goods, rising gas prices and inflation are having a major impact and we believe that will influence how advertisers will choose to use their ad dollars in the coming months. All of that must be weighed against what we see as positives for local advertising this year.” The latest forecast estimate still gives traditional media ad revenue a slight advantage over digital at 52.5 % of the ad spend ($87.9 billion), while digital media will get 47.5 % of the ad spend at $79.5 billion. Overall, BIA is decreasing digital estimates slightly from the original 2022 forecast due to mobile facing headwinds amid new privacy measures on iPhones. Additionally, there has been slower than anticipated growth. Even as both digital channels continue to grow, it’s at a reduced pace than originally expected. Significant growth is expected in TV OTA (+30.3 %), TV Digital (+18.3 %) and Radio Digital (+14.5 %).

 

47th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon Set for June 22. The leadership of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that ESPN SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm, will host the 47th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon set for June 22 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The Gracie Awards recognize exemplary content created by, for and about women in all facets of media and entertainment. AWMF chair Heather Cohen comments, “Throughout this past year we have seen a number of remarkable projects by and about inspirational women and Hannah Storm will serve as the ideal host to recognize their work.” AWMF president Becky Brooks adds, “We are honored to shine a spotlight on these women, whose stories have driven cultural awareness, offered entertainment that has made us laugh, cry, and everything in between. We are delighted to return to an in-person format so that we can properly celebrate together.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. The relationship between ESPN and Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions is expanding beyond the Monday Night Football “Manningcast.” Now, the two content organizations will premiere a new lineup of original shows, which will launch with six titles produced by Omaha Productions beginning June 20. Manning says, “One of the best parts of the Monday Night Football show is getting to talk about a sport I love with other folks who share the same passion for the game. With this audio network, we want to deliver those same entertaining and informative conversations from a great crew of folks at Omaha Audio, who are not only informed but genuinely love the sports and topics they cover.”…..Sports USA announces that it will cover live broadcasts of the NHL’s 2022 Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche. John Alhers will handle play-by-play, Joe Micheletti will serve as color analyst, Billy Jaffe will be the on-ice reporter and Ted Sobel will host the pre and post-game shows, along with the intermission reports…..ARC Software, Inc enters into an agreement with Compass Media Networks tp provide the service that allows networks, producers and other radio service providers to quickly find any radio station to connect with, affiliate, maintain agreements, compliance and much more…..iHeartMedia announces a new partnership with Martha Stewart to produce a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast. iHeartMedia says “The Martha Stewart Podcast” is a talk show style series that will feature intimate, in-depth, probing interviews with some of the most fascinating people in the world – all who are at the top of their respective fields. Stewart says, “I am thrilled to partner with iHeartMedia on my first-ever original podcast series. I think listeners will deeply enjoy these engaging conversations on life and business, which include many interesting takeaways from the notable guests I have the pleasure of interviewing.”

 

Former KMJ, Fresno Personality Bill Woodward Passes at 81. Former longtime KMJ, Fresno personality Bill Woodward passed away last month at the age of 81. For 37 years, Woodward served as the radio voice of the Fresno State Bulldogs. KMJ program director Blake Taylor says, “Bill was a wonderful mentor. Such gravitas. A true professional. A legend in the broadcasting industry. There’s a reason he’s forever remembered in the Fresno State Athletics Hall of Fame. I miss him, and his play-by-play of Bulldogs sports will always have a place in my heart.”

 

The Economy/Fed Interest Rate Hike, Primaries/Trump & the GOP, January 6 Hearings, Roe v Wade/Kavanaugh Plot, COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine War, and Western Drought & Extreme Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/15). Soaring gas prices, inflation, and the Fed’s decision to hike interest rates; Tuesday’s primary races and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the January 6 Committee hearings; the Supreme Court’s likely reversal of Roe v Wade and the plot to kill Justice Brett Kavanaugh; the rate of COVID-19 cases across the U.S.; Russia’s progress in securing the Luhansk region of Ukraine; and the drought and heatwave in the U.S. West and extreme flooding in Yellowstone were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.