Industry News

“101.7 The Truth” to Hold “Walk Against Violence”

Good Karma Brands’ urban talk WGKB-AM/W269DL, Milwaukee “101.7 The Truth” is presenting the Toryim Lowe Walk Against Violence on July 20. Hosted by afternoon talk host Tory Lowe, the two-mile walk provides “an opportunity to come together and make a strong statement against violence, striving towards creating a safer and more harmonious community.” Lowe comments, “We cannot tolerate people who exemplify dangerous and unlawful behaviors that cause harm to innocent men, women, and children. The Walk Against Violence symbolizes strength and encouragement to those who are willing to act against the recklessness and negativity harming our communities.”

Industry News

Good Karma’s “101.7 The Truth” Debuts New Midday Show

Good Karma Brands announces that WGKB-AM/W269DL, Milwaukee “101.7 The Truth” is launching a new midday show (12:00 noon to 1:00 pm) on May 20 called, “Jammin with Juice,” co-hosted by Ben Hooks and Carrie Mahone. The program currently airing in that slot – “Nothin’ But The Truth” withim Melanie Ricks – transitions to a digital-only format this summer. Station director of content Kyle Wallace says, “We are excited for Mel and the new opportunities a digital show presents itself, particularly as fans explore new ways to consume our content. Carrie and Ben are part of the up-and-coming generation of young broadcasters, and since both teammates joined the ‘Truth’ team at its inception, their passion and grasp on the Milwaukee community will translate through the airwaves.” GKB says, “Jammin with Juice promises to be a dynamic addition to the lineup, offering a fresh perspective on pop culture, trending topics, and lifestyle through the lens of two local millennials. Hosted by Ben ‘Jammin’ and Carrie ‘Noni Juice,’ the show promises to dissect trending topics, share candid opinions, and deliver plenty of laughter as they explore and entertain.”

Industry News

Good Karma’s 101.7 The Truth Makes Programming Changes

Good Karma Brands’ talk WGKB-AM/W269DL, Milwaukee “101.7 The Truth” makes a few changes to its programming lineup. The morning drive program “MKE in the Morning” with host Melanie Ricks is replaced by “Truth Be Told With DT and Telly” – co-hosted by Telly Hughes and Denise Thomas – and airs from 7:00 am to 9:00 am. Ricks remains with the station and will host “Nothin’ But the Truth,” from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm daily, effective April 3. To accommodate the changes, “The Truth With Sherwin Hughes” – heard from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm – moves to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.

Industry News

“101.7 The Truth” Black Talk Radio Celebrates Second Anniversary

Good Karma Brands’ Milwaukee talk station WGKB-AM/W269DL “101.7 The Truth” is celebrating its second anniversary today (2/10) with a night of fun exclusive to its fans, partners, and teammates. Good Karma says, “The station debuted on January 4, 2021 and serves the city of Milwaukee as well as its surrounding communities with local news, entertainment, and community affairs programming seven days a week. The station was built to uplift the voices in the Black community, sharing their stories, ideas and experiences following the George Floyd incident and protests. The station produces a tapestry of content for fans and advertising opportunities for partners that truly represents the Black experience in our city.” The station was honored with a 2022 Anthem Award (from the creators of the Webby Awards) in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Corporate Responsibility category. Hosts on the station have interviewed notable guests including Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, musicians Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige, and many more.

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

KYW, Philadelphia Names Kristina Koppeser Brand Manager; Promotes Tom Rickert to Assistant Brand Manager. Rising to the role of brand manager and director of digital content at Audacy’s all-news KYW-AM/FM is Kristina “Luca” Koppeser. She was most recently serving as digital managing editor. At the same time, the company adds assistant brand manager duties to Tom Rickert, who will continue his role as as director of podcasting. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “We’re thrilled to usher in the next chapter of this heritage brand by elevating two exceptionally talented individuals in Luca and Tom. They both not only have a finger on the pulse of this city, but an immense understanding for the role this station plays for our listeners each and every day. I have full confidence that under their leadership KYW Newsradio will continue its growth and further extend its position as a trusted and respected voice in this community.” Koppeser comments, “The passion, tenacity, and dedication of the KYW newsroom is unrivaled. Having the privilege of working alongside and learning from these award-winning journalists inspires me every day. I am honored to help write the next chapter of KYW Newsradio and to continue to serve the greater Philadelphia region with the top-notch local news that matters most.” Rickert adds, “KYW Newsradio is a venerable newsroom, a cherished institution, and a group of the finest journalists in Philadelphia – but it’s much more than that too. It’s the pulse of this city, the soundtrack for generations, and in times of trouble and uncertainty, a critical lifeline for millions. It’s a great honor and a privilege to champion the peerless journalism of this incredible news team and to serve the diverse communities of Philadelphia with the dependable local news and information they not only trust but deserve.”

FOX Sports Radio Adds ‘Covino & Rich’ to Daily Lineup. A tweak to the afternoon programming from FOX Sports Radio puts the duo of Steve Covino and Rich Davis into the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot, effective September 26. The duo first joined FSR in September 2021 as part of the network’s weekend football lineup. In addition to their move from weekends to weekdays, they will continue to host the “Covino & Rich” live podcast, which debuted in 2004 on SiriusXM. With the addition of “Covino & Rich” to its weekday lineup, “The Doug Gottlieb Show” transitions from a three-hour program to two hours, airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET. Gottlieb will also host a new, original daily podcast featuring interviews with the latest newsmakers in sports. “Covino & Rich” will be heard on more than 200 stations nationwide, in addition to FOX Sports Radio’s channel on iHeartRadio. iHeartMedia Sports EVP Don Martin and FOX Sports Radio VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro say, “‘Covino and Rich’ will add a dynamic punch to an already rich roster. They’re so talented we had to make room for them in what is the best sports talk lineup in the nation. We can’t wait to share this one-of-a-kind duo with even more listeners across the country.”

Ryan Williams Joins Good Karma Brands Milwaukee as Director of Marketing. Joining Good Karma Brands Milwaukee as director of marketing is Ryan Williams. He’ll lead all marketing operations for the company’s news/talk WTMJ “Newsradio 620,” sports talk WKTI-FM “94.5 ESPN,” and talk WGKB-AM/W269DL “101.7 The Truth.” He was most recently regional brand manager for Audacy Chicago. GKB Milwaukee market manager Steve Wexler comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Ryan to Good Karma Brands. His experience, as well as his natural alignment with GKB’s core values, make him the perfect choice to lead our marketing efforts and team forward.” Williams begins his new position on October 17. He says, “I’m thrilled and honored to be joining GKB Milwaukee working on three great brands in the market. I look forward to collaborating with my teammates on creative and innovative projects for GKB Milwaukee’s fans and partners that continue to build on the presence that 94.5 ESPN Milwaukee, Newsradio 620 WTMJ, and 101.7 The Truth have in the community.”

Kristy Beebe Named iHeartMedia’s Area President for Kentucky/Carolina. Management pro Kristy Beebe is promoted to the area president role for iHeartMedia’s newly formed Kentucky/Carolina Area that includes 47 broadcast and digital brands. Beebe will be responsible for all operations over seven markets including Louisville, Lexington and Somerset, Kentucky along with Columbia, Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Florence, South Carolina. Beebe was most recently market president for the company’s Indianapolis station group. iHeartMedia division president Nick Gnau says, “Kristy has shown success in every opportunity that has been presented, she knows how to build culture and high performing teams. Her passion for serving the community, our portfolio of assets and her team makes her the perfect choice to lead this newly developed Area. I look forward to working with Kristy and watching her continued successes over the seven markets in the Kentucky/Carolina Area.” Beebe states, “I am excited to be leading the alignment of the Kentucky/Carolina Area within the Gnau Division. Our combined talent and resources will create exciting new opportunities and growth within this newly formed group of markets!”

FOX Nation to Produce Roseanne Barr Comedy Special. The special program is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2023 on FOX News Media’s direct-to-consumer streaming service FOX Nation. Speaking about the Roseanne Barr comedy special, FOX Nation president Jason Klarman says, “Roseanne is a comedy icon whose humor connects with the American audience like no other. Her ability to channel the challenges of everyday people and find the humor in it all has earned her the passionate following of millions of dedicated fans. We are thrilled to add her comedy special exclusively to the FOX Nation catalog.” FOX Nation says, “The one-hour special will feature Ms. Barr’s signature comedic take on a variety of topics, with no subject off limits. ‘A Roseanne Comedy Special’ adds to the growing portfolio of exclusive content on FOX Nation, which includes original series such as ‘Duck Family Treasure’, ‘Sharon Osbourne: To Hell & Back’ (dropping on September 26) and the upcoming ‘Yellowstone: One-Fifty with Kevin Costner.’”

Soledad O’Brien to Keynote Gracies Leadership Awards. The Alliance for Women in Media announces that Soledad O’Brien – award-winning journalist, CEO of Soledad O’Brien Productions, philanthropist, and author – will keynote the Gracies Leadership Awards on Monday, November 14, 2022, at Tribeca 360 in New York. At this event, AWM will present its Legacy Leadership Award to Valerie K. Blackburn, a longtime radio executive and industry leader as well as active and committed supporter of AWM. Google News Initiative is a presenting sponsor for this key education and recognition celebration. AWM says the annual event provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the significant impact women have made in the media industry, while also spurring to action and emboldening female leaders in attendance. The list of this year’s honorees will be announced soon. O’Brien says, “The Alliance for Women in Media’s commitment to shining a light on the impressive work of women in our industry and how they cover them in support and celebrate their talent makes me all the more honored and delighted to serve as keynote.” AWM president Becky Brooks comments, “The Alliance for Women in Media is proud to recognize women for their exceptional achievements. It is our honor to have Soledad O’Brien as keynote and Valerie Blackburn as the AWM Legacy Leadership recipient, both undoubtedly trailblazers in the world of media leaving a legacy for all women in media to follow.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between Skyview Networks and the nationally syndicated radio show, “Bob & Sheri,” has the company handling advertising sales for the program, with access to digital and podcast opportunities. The independently syndicated program stars Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch and is co-owned by Lynch and Tony Garcia. Lynch says, “The team at Skyview Networks truly shares our passion for creativity and innovation. They are absolutely all in. It’s an exciting partnership and I’m thrilled at this opportunity to learn and grow while serving our audience, affiliates, and advertisers in new, dynamic ways.”…..Tomorrow (9/22), WMVP-AM ESPN Chicago personality David Kaplan will lead the 3rd Annual Walk as One Chicago event to benefit Bernie’s Book Bank, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing book ownership among under-served Chicagoland children. As part of the event, Kaplan and Bernie’s Book Bank CEO Darrin Utynek will distribute free books to K-6th grade students at Jahn Elementary School. The walk was created by Kaplan, who co-hosts “Kap & J. Hood” on the Good Karma Brands station. Since 2009, Bernie’s Book Bank has distributed more than 22 million free, quality books to Chicagoland children ages birth through sixth grade…..This Saturday (9/24) is the only Midwest production of Stephanie Miller’s “Sexy Liberal Save Democracy Tour” with John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks, and Frangela taking place at Chicago’s Harris Theater and presented by affiliate station WCPT-AM, Chicago.

Immigration/Migrant Transportation, Trump Documents Case, Inflation/Financial Markets Activity, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, UN General Assembly, COVID-19, Hurricane Fiona Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/20). The state of immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and the legal issues surrounding the transporting of migrants by red state governors to blue state cities; the legal procedures relative to the classified and top secret documents former President Donald Trump was keeping at Mar-a-Lago; the high price of food and consumer goods, the effect on the world’s financial markets, and the Fed’s expected interest rate hike; Vladimir Putin’s doubling down on his invasion of Ukraine and his threats of nuclear force; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for president in 2024; the tenor of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York; the conflicting statements about the COVID pandemic from President Joe Biden and Dr. Tony Fauci; and the damage to Puerto Rico from Hurricane Fiona were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Thursday, August 4, 2022

Richard Neer is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Legendary WFAN, New York sports talk show host/rock radio pioneer Richard Neer and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison have been close friends and radio colleagues for more than half of the medium’s 100-year history. Needless to say, they always have plenty to talk about regarding media and popular culture – past, present, and future. Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview” marking his record-breaking seventh visit since the program debuted as one of the platform’s earliest offerings in 2015. In addition to his rich on-air history, Neer is the prolific author of 10 Riley King murder mystery novels and his historic overview of album rock radio, FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) remains a literary milestone chronicling the golden days of the AOR era. On this podcast, Harrison and Neer talk about a wide variety of topics including Joni Mitchell’s recent performance at the Newport Folk Festival, the high cost of Bruce Springsteen concert tickets, the controversial LIV Golf tour backed by Saudi Arabia, changes in the record business, the challenges of writing and publishing historical fiction, movies, TV, CGI and a whole lot more. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Cumulus Media Q2 Net Revenue Rises 5.4%. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2022, Cumulus Media reveals net revenue of $236.7 million – an increase of 5.4% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports net income of $8.7 million for the quarter after posting a net loss of $5.9 million during Q2 of 2021. Total broadcast revenue for Cumulus fell 0.3% to $175.7 million compared to the second quarter of 2021. While radio spot revenue was $127 million – up 5.1% over Q2 2021, network revenue slipped 12% to $48.7 million. Cumulus Media’s digital segment rose 20.3% to $37.8 million. CEO Mary Berner comments, “Our ability to deliver yet another quarter of strong results is testament both to the quality of our strategic plan and the discipline and relentlessness with which we implement it.  Specifically, we have deployed our multi-platform audio-first content strategy, developed multiple digital businesses, significantly reduced fixed costs, undertaken high ROI internal investments, and created a best-in-class balance sheet that gives the company substantial financial flexibility and capital allocation optionality. Given our track record, we have tremendous confidence in our ability, under this plan, to grow shareholder value. Despite the challenging macro environment, we increased revenue in the quarter by more than 5%, driven by our digital businesses whose growth accelerated in Q2 to 20% year-over-year. Additionally, bolstered by our ongoing focus on fixed cost reductions, this quarter we generated additional cash from operations and increased net income, EBITDA and EBITDA margins vs. the same period last year. We also efficiently executed nearly half of our $50 million share repurchase authorization and bought back $50 million of bonds at a discount, while simultaneously reducing net leverage to 3.8x, the lowest it’s been in more than a decade. With a robust political spending season anticipated, we are on trend toward achieving our net leverage target of less than 3.5 times and EBITDA at the low end of our 2022 guidance range.”

Conservative Media Figures Gather at CPAC 2022. Pictured above (from l-r) are WMAL-FM, Washington, DC morning drive personality Larry O’Connor, Salem Radio Network VP, news & talk programming Tom Tradup, and author and TOWNHALL.com contributor Kurt Schlichter in Dallas for the first day of CPAC 2022. The annual event runs through Sunday and speakers scheduled to address the gathering include: former President Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz, British conservative leader Nigel Farage, and Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Former WFTL, Fort Lauderdale Talk Host Rich Stevens Passes. TALKERS magazine has learned that former WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk host Rich Stevens died on July 30 at the age of 68 after suffering a heart attack. Stevens worked in music radio prior to hosting his talk show on WFTL, serving at such signals as WPLJ-FM, New York and WJHM, Orlando. He also served at WABC-TV, New York as an entertainment reporter.

TALKERS News Notes. As part of RAB’s Radio Works initiative, the next live presentation in the series titled, “Radio Works for Restaurants,” takes place on Wednesday, August 17 at 1:00 pm ET and will provide industry insights and trends intended to help broadcasters gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the restaurant industry and how radio can continue to serve this category. Since the beginning of the pandemic, restaurants have endured closures, staffing shortages, product supply strains and inflationary pressures making for a challenging business environment. Hudson Riehle, senior vice president, research & knowledge group at the National Restaurant Association, will provide an update on the “State of the Restaurant Industry” to help radio sellers understand the areas where businesses in this category need support. It’s free for RAB members and they can register here…..ESPN and Omaha Productions are expanding their relationship in the audio space with the premiere of a new show, “Kyle Brandt’s Basement,” led by NFL Network “Good Morning Football” host Kyle Brandt. The daily show debuts August 8 and “explores the ins and outs of the NFL through lively guest interviews with the top voices in the sport and inventive segments unique to Brandt to bring fans closer to the action on and off the field.” Brandt comments, “I’m thrilled about this show, and I’ll be shot out of a cannon every single day. It’s in my own basement and I’ve got games, toys and takes. I can promise one thing: it will not be boring.”…..Pictured at left is WGKB-AM/W269DL, Milwaukee “101.7 The Truth” talk host Tory Lowe during last weekend’s 7th Annual Stop the Violence Peace Walk during which he walked from Milwaukee to Chicago (more than 80 miles) to “raise awareness and bring an end to violence in our communities.” Lowe says, “It is important for us to build a bridge between Milwaukee and Chicago, open the lines of communication, and bring awareness to the violence that plagues our communities.”

Kansas Abortion Vote, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Pelosi Taiwan Visit, January 6 Investigation, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy, COVID-19, and U.S. Rep. Walorski Killed Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday. Kansas voters elect to keep abortion rights in the state’s constitution; the primary races for the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and China’s angry response; the January 6 investigation and the DOJ subpoenas issued to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former deputy counsel Patrick Philbin; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the impact on the global economy; the falling price of gasoline and the still-high cost of food in the U.S. and concerns about a recession; the rate of BA.5 subvariant cases in the U.S.; and U.S. Rep Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and two staffers are killed in a car accident were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Testimony in Damages Phase of Alex Jones Sandy Hook Case in Texas Wraps. Plaintiffs in the Texas suit against InfoWars chief Alex Jones had won their defamation case and yesterday testimony in the damages phase of the trial wrapped up. They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages of $150 million for Jones’ false claims that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a staged event and their children were “crisis actors.” Plaintiffs testified that they have been threatened and harassed for years by Jones’ followers. The case, reported here by CNN, is being complicated by Jones’ attempt to file for bankruptcy for his Free Speech Systems (parent of InfoWars) which plaintiff attorneys claim is an attempt to hide his money from the courts. Plaintiff attorneys also say that Jones has drawn $62 million in assets from Free Speech Systems over the past two years in an attempt to hide assets from the courts. Jones was also found liable for damages in a Connecticut court and jury selection for the damages phase of that trial began yesterday.

Wayne Allyn Root Expands Television Presence. Las Vegas-based talk host Wayne Allyn Root, host of the “Wayne Allyn Root: Raw & Unfiltered” program syndicated by USA Radio, announces he’s launching a new, daily video program on the Mike Lindell TV platform. The program is to broadcast at 7:00 pm ET and is tentatively set to start on August 15. Root also promises another new show – a video and audio podcast – to be announced in the near future. He comments, “Why is my brand exploding? The American people have woken up. They want real news and raw truth. I hold nothing back. I just give my opinions and tell raw truth. I don’t sugar coat it or worry about who I offend. Truth is truth. That’s the only way we’re going to save the greatest nation in world history, ever blessed by God. With truth, action and courage.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Newsmax-syndicated “Rob Carson Show” adds new affiliates as WJFN-AM, Norfolk, Virginia (part of the John Fredericks Radio Network) puts the program in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. Also, Lotus Communications KVI, Seattle adds “The Rob Carson Show Weekend” program to its Sunday schedule. Newsmax launched the program into syndication 10 months ago and it is now heard in 19 markets across the country…..Milwaukee talk radio host Dr. Ken Harris is of three radio personalities among the numerous journalists and broadcasters who will serve as a members of the broadcast team for the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s debates for the state’s gubernatorial and senate races. The organization has been producing the debates for the past 32 years. Dr. Harris is the afternoon host at Good Karma Brands’ talk WGKB-AM/W269DL, Milwaukee. Also on the team is Brad Williams, anchor/reporter at Mid-West Family’s news/talk WIZM-AM, La Crosse and Jonathan Krause, director of multimedia journalism at Woodward Radio Group in Appleton.

INTERESTING – A Talk Radio Listener Wrote to TALKERS on Facebook: “Can I give your industry a clue? Lots of people still listen to the radio every day at work. You think because nobody calls the station anymore that you have no listeners. Businesses nowadays have all their employees under video surveillance and if they see you on the phone you are subject to disciplinary action. We still hear you, but we can no longer interact with you.”

RIP Vin Scully. In recognizing the passing of the legendary Dodgers play-by-play man, consultant Holland Cooke writes: “He was the voice of the Dodgers, from Jackie Robinson to Clayton Kershaw. Though LA listeners knew him best, fans everywhere remember his historic World Series calls. 1988 Game 1 was one for the ages. Working solo for decades as two- or three-voice broadcast teams became the norm, Vin Scully sounded like he was watching the game sitting next to you. The Athletic called him ‘the solitary voice emanating over the airwaves. He was renowned for his spellbinding monologues, his folksy wisdom and his sense of the moment — some of Scully’s most famous calls revolved around silence, his usage of the crowd to tell a story that words could not justify.’”

Public Radio Syndication Pioneer Larry Josephson Dies at 83. The Washington Post has the obituary here for longtime public radio personality, producer and syndicator Larry Josephson, who passed away on July 27 at age 83. A computer engineer by trade, he joined the volunteer staff at fledgling public radio outlet WBAI, New York in the mid-1960s. He quickly transitioned to the morning drive host. As the Post notes, Josephson “went on to create five decades of public radio programs, reviving the popular and influential “Bob & Ray” comedy team for a new generation of fans, hosting a nationally syndicated series of discussions between conservative thinkers and an argumentative but charming liberal (himself), and producing marathon readings of James Joyce’s Ulysses and a documentary history of the Jews.” He built a radio studio in a bedroom of his Upper West Side apartment from which he would produce his own shows and a number of other public radio programs.

Pelosi Taiwan Visit, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Abortion Laws, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, and Vin Scully Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/2). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and China’s reaction; the primary races for the November midterm elections and speculation over the nominees for president in the 2024 race; the abortion laws being enacted in various states in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v Wade; the high price of gasoline and food and the ManchinSchumer authored Inflation Reduction Act; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the global economic impact; and legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

SiriusXM Host Joe Madison is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Civil rights activist, author, speaker and radio talk show host Joe Madison is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Since 1980, “The Black Eagle” has hosted shows at such outstanding outlets as WXYZ, Detroit; WWDB-FM, Philadelphia; WWRC, Washington, DC; and WOL – also in the nation’s capital. He’s been nationally syndicated by Radio One and is now well into his second decade hosting the morning show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s Urban View channel. Madison was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2019. He is the leading civil rights activist broadcaster in America whose main platform is talk radio. He’s conducted high-profile hunger strikes to bring attention to causes he supports and has been arrested at demonstrations. He is a prolific public speaker and inspiration to people seeking racial equality and justice in America. The 72-year-old thought leader has received numerous honors over the years including the prestigious TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award in 2008. Joe Madison is currently the highest-ranked African American personality on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America (#5). Now, with David Canton, he has written a long-awaited book about his life and career titled, Radio Active: A Memoir of Advocacy in Action, on the Air and in the Streets. Harrison and Madison take a deep dive into the ongoing turbulence of race relations in America. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, click here.

 

FCC’s Carr Says Agency Has No Authority in Twitter Acquisition. Responding to the Open Markets Institute’s appeal to the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission to block the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr issued a terse statement: “The FCC has no authority to block Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, and to suggest otherwise is absurd. I would welcome the full FCC making it clear that we will not entertain these types of frivolous arguments.” The Open Markets Institute says in its statement, “The most obvious problem is that the deal would give to a single man – one who already wields immense political and economic power – direct control over one of world’s most important platforms for public communications and debate. As has been true from the Founding, the American people have an absolute right to ensure the full openness and neutrality of all essential public infrastructure. Specific to communications, we see this in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, in the Telegraph acts of 1860 and 1866, the Mann-Elkins Act of 1910, the Communications Act of 1934, and many other federal and state laws. Americans have also repeatedly used our antitrust laws to prevent concentrations of power over communications, speech, debate, and news.” Read the organization’s release here.

 

Hall of Famer Brett Favre to Join ESPN Milwaukee for Weekly Segment. Green Bay Packers great and NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre is joining Good Karma Brands’ Milwaukee stations for a weekly segment during this fall’s 2022 NFL season. Beginning August 29, the 30-minute interview will air every Monday morning at 7:30 am on WKTI-FM “94.5 ESPN” Milwaukee’s “Jen, Gabe & Chewy” program featuring Packers Hall of Fame inductee Mark Chmura. The interview will be replayed on other ESPN Wisconsin shows, “Newsradio 620” WTMJ, WGKB-AM/W269DL “101.7 The Truth” and Good Karma Brands’ digital platforms. Good Karma VP and market manager Steve Wexler says, “We are excited about our coverage of the team this season, which will include pre-game and post-game shows, expanded hospitality at our Tundra Trio hospitality homes in Green Bay, and the exclusive appearance of Brett Favre on our stations. Brett will bring his unique perspective and experience to our programming and we can’t to hear his takes.”

 

WMVP-AM, Chicago Adds Courtney Cronin as Bears Reporter and Fill-In Host. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Good Karma Brands’ sports talk WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000” adds Courtney Cronin to the staff to serve as a Chicago Bears reporter and on-air fill-in host during the football season. Feder notes that she had been serving with ESPN covering the Minnesota Vikings prior to returning to her native Chicago to cover the Bears. WMVP director of content Danny Zederman is quoted saying, “We are thrilled to welcome Courtney to our ESPN Chicago family. She is well connected in NFL circles and will bring our fans the Bears information they desire. In addition to her reporting, our fans are going to enjoy what Courtney has to offer as a radio host, where she’ll talk all things Chicago sports.”

 

NAB2022: Employee Wellness and Mental Health. “Because COVID-19 was unlike anything we’ve experienced, they called it ‘a novel coronavirus.’” So, consultant Holland Cooke, recalls “we went into a better-safe-than-sorry mode with lasting consequences,” including in the radio workplace. One NAB Show panelist offers advice. Read it here.

 

Retired AURN Executive Jerry Lopes Dies. Former American Urban Radio Networks executive Gerald A. “Jerry” Lopes died on April 23. Lopes served with AURN for almost four decades, retiring in 2018 as president of programming and affiliations. AURN issued a statement saying, “We cherished his dedication to news, entertainment, and sports. As a valued member of the AURN team and a strong advocate for Black radio in general, Jerry Lopes served on the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters board for over 10 years. A few of his most notable accomplishments were securing and broadcasting an interview between then presidents Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela in 1994, live on-site accounts of the Challenger explosion, and a live broadcast of the ‘Million Man March.’ In addition, Jerry shepherded the production of the radio versions of ‘Lou Rawls Parade of Stars’ for the United Negro College Fund and writing and producing various health and voting rights information pieces in conjunction with NABOB. Jerry’s passion for Historically Black Colleges and Black College Football led him to spearhead a 40-plus-year program of scholarships for student-athletes, The Black College All American, which celebrated students’ contributions on and off the field.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. “FOX Weather,” FOX News Media’s free ad-supported streaming television weather service is expanding its reach to FOX News Audio, launching a new daily podcast as well as offering hourly weather updates on FOX News Headlines 24/7 starting at 6:00 am ET on Monday, May 2. Featuring a rotation of FOX Weather meteorologists, the “FOX Weather Update Podcast” will provide multiple weather updates throughout the day. As the first podcast from the weather service which launched last October, the program will also include breaking news coverage on major systems impacting the country…..Telecommunications law professional Gregg Skall is moderating a live webinar for Independent Broadcasters Association members on Thursday, May 5 at 4:00 pm ET. The webinar, “Best Practices for Political Broadcast Advertising” will “identify and clarify the FCC rules and regulations that will keep your stations compliant, while generating revenue from political.” Skall says, “I’m excited to speak to the members of the IBA and detail the critical FCC rules and regulations for political broadcast advertising. We’re heading into an active political season and knowledge of the rules and regulations will help keep IBA-member stations out of trouble.” Learn more about IBA here…..Glass Podcasts and iHeartMedia announce the launch of the eight-part, true-crime podcast series, “Betrayal.” The series is “the story of TV producer Jenifer Faison whose picture-perfect marriage completely shatters in the blink of an eye when she suddenly discovers that her college sweetheart-turned-doting husband is not the person she thought he was. After seven years of marriage, Faison came home from work one afternoon to find her house searched and her husband arrested for the continued sexual assault of a student. In ‘Betrayal,’ Faison investigates the hidden story behind the story, revealing a dark, double-life fueled by dozens often sordid and simultaneous affairs with friends, neighbors and strangers, dating back to the week they were married.”.….ABC Audio announces its new literary podcast, “The Book Case,” hosted by longtime ABC News journalist Charlie Gibson and his daughter Kate Gibson. The first episode, posting on 5/2, features a conversation with television icon Oprah Winfrey, who discusses the impact of her book club on American readership, her own reading habits, and how she makes her picks. Each week, the father-daughter duo will provide hand-selected recommendations and sit down with a prominent or up-and-coming author, book industry insider or literary influencer.

 

Russia-Ukraine War/Trevor Reed Released, the Economy/Recession Fears, Musk & Twitter, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Urban Crime, Western Drought-Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/27). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the global repercussions, and the prisoner swap that brought U.S. Marine Trevor Reed home from Russia; the financial markets activity, the high price of food and gas, and predictions of a deep recession; Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the growing rate of urban violent crime; and the drought affecting the U.S. West and the spring wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.