Talk radio host Joe Madison – also known for much of his career as The Black Eagle – died on Thursday (2/1) at 74 after a battle with cancer. His family released the following statement: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved husband and father, Joe Madison. He passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family. Joe dedicated his life to fighting for all those who are undervalued, underestimated, and marginalized. On air he often posed the question, ‘What are you going to do about it?’ Although he is no longer with us, we hope you will join us in answering that call by continuing to be proactive in the fight against injustice. The outpouring of prayers and support over the last few months lifted Joe’s spirits and strengthened us as a family. We continue to ask for privacy as we gather together to support each other through this difficult time.” Madison had been hosting the morning drive program on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel since 2008. Before he went into radio, Madison had become the youngest Detroit NAACP chapter leader at 24 years old. While Madison dabbled in radio while at Washington University in St. Louis, he first worked in commercial radio at Detroit’s WXYZ. From there he hosted a show on WWDB-FM, Philadelphia before moving to Washington, DC for a long stint at WWRC. He moved across town to Radio One-owned WOL, Washington where he hosted the afternoon drive show and served as program director. At this time, Radio One began syndicating his show nationally and it was simultaneously added to the lineup at SiriusXM. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison issued the following statement: “Joe Madison was one of the greatest of the greats among radio talk show hosts of the modern era. He transcended the role of ‘talent’ to rise among the ranks of America’s most influential civil rights thought leaders. His devoted following crossed the boundaries of race, age, gender, and politics. During his illustrious career, in addition to receiving countless awards in the fields of broadcasting and activism, he was a recipient of TALKERS magazine’s two most important honors, the Freedom of Speech Award and the Humanitarian of the Year Award. I am humbled to have had the privilege of this great man’s friendship for more than three decades and will treasure his inspiring memory for the rest of my days.”
NAB2022: Don’t Blink. “As if technology hadn’t already disrupted media consumption pre-pandemic,” consultant Holland Cooke finds broadcasters gathering in Las Vegas for the first NAB Show in three years “somewhat future-shocked, yet curious and enthused.” HC’s notes from Monday sessions point to threats and opportunities in the New Normal. Read it here.
WWO Blog: Nielsen Data Shows Spoken-Word AM/FM Content Accounts for 36% of American Streaming. The Westwood One Audio Active Group blog post is a “comprehensive analysis of AM/FM radio streaming” based on Q4 2021 data from Edison Research’s quarterly “Share of Ear” study. Among the key conclusions from the study are: 1) The streaming shares of spoken-word AM/FM radio stations are nearly double their over-the-air shares. Spoken-word AM/FM radio station streams (news/talk, sports, talk/personality, Spanish news/talk) represent 36% of all American streaming listening, 89% greater than the over-the-air share (19%) of spoken word stations; 2) 89% of the AM/FM radio streaming audience resides in the DMA market where they stream. Marketers can purchase time on AM/FM radio station streams with the confidence that their ads will reach consumers in that local market; 3) There is wide variation in the amount of AM/FM radio stream listening that occurs in local markets. According to Nielsen’s analysis of the February 2022 Portable People Meter data, 18.4% of all AM/FM radio listening in Philadelphia occurs via the stream compared to only 3.9% of listening in Las Vegas; and 4) AM/FM radio streaming audiences are employed, upscale, and most are 35-64. The streams of AM/FM radio stations are highly desirable to advertisers. Compared to the over-the-air AM/FM radio audience in Nielsen’s 48 Portable Meter Markets, streaming audiences are 14% more likely to be employed full time, 30% more likely to have a $75K+ household income, and 11% more likely to be aged 35-64. See the complete study results here.
Audacy and FOX News Audio Expand Partnership. This expansion of the relationship between Audacy and FOX News Audio includes FOX News Audio’s linear talk radio streaming content migrating to AmperWave, Audacy’s cloud-based distribution and monetization platform for live and on-demand audio streams. The expanded agreement will also make Audacy the exclusive third-party ad sales representation of FOX News Audio’s streaming inventory on the audio network’s digital properties. The new agreement gives FOX streaming capabilities, sales representation, and new capabilities for live broadcasts on its streaming services. FOX News Audio will be the first of Audacy’s affiliate partners to enable “Rewind” capabilities. Audacy VP of business development Corey Podolsky says, “Audacy knows that our industry is changing with listeners consuming more audio on streams than ever before. As a strategic partner, we are excited to lean into that industry shift with FOX News Audio to deliver new capabilities via our AmperWave streaming platform. Coupled with our ability to now offer world-class hosting and ad serving capabilities, this will take our relationship to a whole new level.” FOX News audio executive director of business development and digital audio operations William Sanchez adds, “We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Audacy and collaborate on serving the growing needs of our listeners. We look forward to improving our audience’s experience with AmperWave’s hosting technology on our platforms.”
TALKERS News Notes. San Antonio news/talk outlet KTSA-AM is celebrating its 100th anniversary on May 9. As part of the celebration, the Alpha Media station has produced a video that encapsulates the 300-year history of the city that you can see here…..Sports talk WBFG-FM, Parker’s Crossroads, Tennessee – in the Jackson, Tennessee market, is now owned and operated by Dan Reaves, who acquired the station from Lexington Broadcasting. The Jackson Sun reports that the change of ownership became official on April 1. Reaves is a well-known radio personality in the region and is hosting the morning drive show. George B. hosts the afternoon drive daypart and ESPN Radio content airs the rest of the day. The station will remain an affiliate for the Tennessee Volunteer Sports Network and the Memphis Grizzlies broadcasts…..SiriusXM and I Am Athlete, the media network founded by former NFL All-Pro receiver Brandon Marshall, announce a new, expansive content deal that includes a live nightly radio show and other projects. I Am Athlete and SiriusXM will produce a new show called “I Am Athlete Tonight” that will air live from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET hosted by former NFL defensive end Leger Douzable and include a case of rotating co-hosts including Marshall, former NFL players LeSean McCoy, Brandon Flowers and Adam “Pacman” Jones, former NBA player Antoine Walker, former WNBA player Chantel Tremitiere and journalist Omar Kelly.
Musk to Acquire Twitter, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Financial Markets/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Immigration Issues Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/25). After more than a week of attempts, Elon Musk’s $54.20 per share acquisition of Twitter has been accepted prompting questions about what the new Twitter will look like; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, its effects on the global economy, and Vladimir Putin’s other European targets; the battle over mask mandates, the dominant BA.2 variant’s spread across the U.S., and the harsh lockdowns in China; the revelations of Republican politicians’ communications before and during the January 6 Capitol attack; concerns about bearish activity on the world’s financial markets and the effects of high gas and food prices on American families; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s transportation of migrants to Washington, DC and U.S. immigration policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.