Industry News

Ongoing Coverage of TALKERS 2024 Radio and Beyond

The 27th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running, and most important national event took place this past Friday (6/7) at Hofstra University on Long Island. TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond – like its colorful predecessors – was an advance sellout. The power-packed, one-day agenda featured a roster of more than 60 speakers from all ends of the talk radio and related talk media industries including talent, station owners, CEOs, programmers, technical experts, journalists, syndicators, and a wide variety of visionaries. The annual talk media industry tradition was presented by TALKERS in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio and Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. Key discussions included “Gaining Traction in a Noisy World,” “The Case for AM Radio,” “Generating News/Talk Revenue in the Digital Era,” “The State of Sports Talk Radio,” “The Brave New World of Technological and Generational Change,” “Programming News/Talk Radio,” “Perspectives on Hosting Television Talk,” “Philanthropy and Community Service,” “The Art of Story Telling,” “Talk Radio Programming Opportunities Beyond Politics,” “Meeting the Challenges of Being a Talk Talent,” “The Big Picture of Radio’s Role in a Rapidly Changing World,” and “The State of the First Amendment” among others. As the volumes of data generated by this gathering are sorted out, TALKERS will provide in-depth, detailed coverage of the conference in the days and weeks ahead including posting videos of its key segments.  See a selection of photos from TALKERS 2024 Radio and Beyond below.

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Glenn Beck of Premiere Networks delivering TALKERS 2024 keynote address.  He spoke about the importance of developing storytelling skills as well as maintaining authenticity.  “Mean what you say and say what you mean.”

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Howie Carr (l) of the Howie Carr Radio Network being presented the TALKERS 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award celebrating his long career as a New England talk radio staple as well as his enormous accomplishments fighting crime and corruption as an investigative journalist. Mark Goldman of Goldman McCormick PR (r) made the presentation.

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WOLB, Baltimore veteran talk show host Larry Young paid tribute to the late SiriusXM Satellite Radio icon Joe Madison in a double ceremony honoring the memory of Joe and the outstanding career of his widow/executive producer Sharon “Sherry” Madison who was the 2024 recipient of the TALKERS Woman of the Year award.  Also speaking (but not pictured) at the presentation were Dave Gorab, VP/GM of talk programming at SiriusXM and last year’s recipient Martha Zoller of WDUN, Athens, GA who accepted on behalf of Mrs. Madison who was unable to attend.

We will post more photos from TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond tomorrow.

Industry News

TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond Achieves Goals and Exceeds Expectations

WABC/Red Apple Media co-owners, John Catsimatidis (l) and his wife Margo Catsimatidis (r) are pictured with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (c) at “TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond.” This photo was taken immediately following the presentation of the 2024 Gene Burns Memorial First Amendment Award to John Catsimatidis and his acceptance address. The long-running annual honor is commonly referred to as the TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. 

The 27th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running, and most important national event took place this past Friday (6/7) at Hofstra University on Long Island. TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond – like its colorful predecessors – was an advance sellout. The power-packed, one-day agenda featured a roster of more than 60 speakers from all ends of the talk radio and related talk media industries including talent, station owners, CEOs, programmers, technical experts, journalists, syndicators, and a wide variety of visionaries. The annual talk media industry tradition was presented by TALKERS in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio and Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. Key discussions included “Gaining Traction in a Noisy World,” “The Case for AM Radio,” “Generating News/Talk Revenue in the Digital Era,” “The State of Sports Talk Radio,” “The Brave New World of Technological and Generational Change,” “Programming News/Talk Radio,” “Perspectives on Hosting Television Talk,” “Philanthropy and Community Service,” “The Art of Story Telling,” “Talk Radio Programming Opportunities Beyond Politics,” “Meeting the Challenges of Being a Talk Talent,” “The Big Picture of Radio’s Role in a Rapidly Changing World,” and “The State of the First Amendment” among others. As the volumes of data generated by this gathering are sorted out, TALKERS will provide in-depth, detailed coverage of the conference in the days and weeks ahead. Check out the official Program Guide here

Industry News

THE BIG 88 to become New York and New Jersey’s Largest College Radio Station on November 8

imWRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York chief engineer Andy Gladding played a role in organizing the November 8 event when eight university and high school owned-and-operated stations broadcasting in the 88.1-88.9 segment of the FM band in the number one media market in the country join together to celebrate their love of college radio. Starting at 12:00 noon ET, “The Big 88” will become New York and New Jersey’s largest college radio station, covering an FM broadcast footprint of over 120 miles. In a story written for TALKERS magazine, Gladding says that despite the rash of American colleges selling their radio properties, the New York market has a vibrant college radio community. He says college radio stations have a special value. “I have spent 20 years working as a student volunteer and administrator at WRHU, ‘Radio Hofstra University,’ and have seen first-hand how college radio contributes to the growth and success of students looking to pursue a career in radio, television and digital media. Students and community volunteers who participate at college radio stations find themselves engaged in a diverse community of voices, opinions and music. While their approach and interests may be different, their practice at the college radio station unites them with one unified goal: to serve the listening audience by creating imaginative and alternative audio programming using the university’s FM transmission facility as their channel to the world. Read Gladding’s entire story here.

Features

THE BIG 88 to become New York and New Jersey’s Largest College Radio Station on November 8

By Andy Gladding
Chief Engineer
WRHU-FM (Hofstra University), Hempstead, NY

imCollege radio is a special place on the FM dial. Listeners know it as the channel at the low end of the band where student and volunteer DJs have free reign to play music not usually heard from commercial operators. College students recognize it as a place where they can hone their broadcasting skills and put their passion and talents to work to prepare for a career in the industry. Hiring managers recognize it as a proving ground that provides quality pre-professional development and a destination to seek out qualified candidates to fill entry level media industry roles.

Despite the widespread recognition of the benefits and value of college radio stations, the format and institution has come under attack. Financial issues affecting the commercial sector of terrestrial broadcasting have led to a reduced perception of the effectiveness and reach of terrestrial FM, causing many universities across the country to part ways with their beloved heritage stations. Religious and community operators, recognizing the vulnerability of college operators, have actively approached educational institutions with cash offers to acquire the licenses and effectively end the independent radio voice of the college into the community. Many universities, facing their own financial issues due to declining enrollment and national attacks on the value and benefits of a four-year liberal arts education, are welcoming the opportunity for a quick infusion of cash for the acquisition their broadcast assets. This troubling trend paints a grim outlook for the future and sustainability of this widely popular medium.

However, in some markets, college radio is thriving and enjoying a renaissance. The New York radio market enjoys a wide variety of college programming across its heavily populated FM band and college stations in this market are considered a clearinghouse for students looking enter the country’s largest media sector. The tri-state area has over 20 university-owned stations operating on the FM band, with their parent organizations often touting them as some of the brightest jewels in the crown of their college media and communications program.

I have spent 20 years working as a student volunteer and administrator at WRHU, Radio Hofstra University and have seen first-hand how college radio contributes to the growth and success of students looking to pursue a career in radio, television and digital media. Students and community volunteers who participate at college radio stations find themselves engaged in a diverse community of voices, opinions and music. While their approach and interests may be different, their practice at the college radio station unites them with one unified goal: to serve the listening audience by creating imaginative and alternative audio programming using the university’s FM transmission facility as their channel to the world. For anyone who has been part of this experience as either a contributor or listener, the results can be absolutely magical. In the New York / New Jersey market, these stations and students have found a unique way to make their voices even louder, using some of the finest tools available in their radio and audio toolbox.

The Big 88

Wednesday, November 8, eight university and high school owned and operated stations broadcasting in the 88.1-88.9 segment of the FM band in the number one media market in the country will be joining together to celebrate their love of college radio. Starting at 12:00 noon, “The Big 88” will become New York and New Jersey’s largest college radio station, covering an FM broadcast footprint of over 120 miles. Participating stations will include WRSU, Rutgers University; WPSC, William Patterson University, WRHU, Hofstra University; WCWP, LIU Post; WARY, Westchester Community College; WFNP, SUNY-New Paltz; WPOB,  Plainview-Old Bethpage High School; and WKWZ ,Syosset High School.

Programming will feature voices and shows from all participating stations, a consolidated newscast from members of each station’s news department and appearances by station alumni working in radio. WRHU will also be hosting a meet and greet at their studios in Hempstead, NY, where participants are invited to gather to exchange station swag, music from local bands and stories. High school participants have also been invited to the WRHU studios to meet with the participating station members where they will get a first-hand look at what their college radio experience can look like. All of the participating stations hope that the broadcast will focus attention on the issues affecting college radio and encourage listeners and universities to continue to support the mission of student and community broadcasting.

For more information on the program schedule and participation, you can contact me at Andrew.j.gladding@hofstra.edu. All of the stations involved hope that listeners will tune in to enjoy this unique celebration of NCE radio.

Andy Gladding is the chief engineer and air personality at WRHU-FM, Hofstra University as well as chief engineer at Salem Media’s WNYM/WMCA, New York. He also is a communications lecturer at Hofstra.  

Industry Views

International “1World Radio” Co-hosts Andy Gladding (USA) and Jamie-Lee Fredericks (South Africa) are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast

The co-hosts of “1World Radio,” Andy Gladding and Jamie-Lee Fredericks, are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Their weekly international radio show is a co-production of Gladding’s WRHU 88.7 FM, Hempstead, NY, USA and Fredericks’ Bush Radio 89.5 FM, Cape Town, South Africa. WRHU is a highly respected campus radio station broadcasting from Hofstra University on Long Island, just outside of New York City. The American co-host is also the chief engineer at WRHU as well as a college instructor. He simultaneously serves as chief engineer at Salem Media’s WNYM and WMCA in New York. The South African co-host is an air personality on Bush Radio – a dynamic young woman who grew up with an intense love of radio. The conversation explores the differences and similarities between their stations and how they reflect the cultures of their home nations. Not to be missed. Listen to the podcast in its entirety here.

Industry News

Michael Harrison Guests on Sherry Goldman Podcast

Sherry Goldman, founder/CEO of the Goldman Communications Group – a leading New York-based public relations firm – hosts a weekly radio show and podcast titled “Let’s Talk PR & More!” interviewingim industry leaders about public relations and related topics. The conversations span public relations, PR best practices, the media, immarketing, strategy, career development, profiles of PR pros, and more. The show airs Mondays at 5:00 pm on Hofstra University’s award-winning WRHU-FM and WRHU.org on Long Island and is available on most podcast sites. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison is Goldman’s guest this week talking about the general state of radio, news and public relations as we move further into the digital era.  Both Hofstra graduates, Goldman and Harrison sit on the university’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Dean’s Advisory Board. Listen to the podcast here.

Industry News

Hofstra University Student Receives RTDNA Scholarship Award

The RTDNA Foundation announces its scholarships for 2023 and Hofstra University rising senior Yaw Bonsu is a recipient of a $2,500 Presidents Scholarship given in memory of past RTDNA presidents in recognition of broadcast journalism students’ excellence. Bonsu is a journalism major focusing on sports journalism. He servesim as the sports director at WRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York on campus and holds positions as a weekend news anchor for WABC-AM, New York and is a sports department intern for WABC-TV, New York. RTDNA Foundation says, “Yaw’s impressive journey includes internships at prominent companies like NBC 4 New York, FOX News Channel, Turner Sports, NBA on TNT, and SiriusXM. He looks up to journalist Jeremy Schaap for his impactful storytelling beyond the field of play and aims to make a similar difference in communities. As someone who largely relies on loans to cover school costs, receiving this scholarship means the world to him.” See the RTDNA Foundation’s complete list of scholarship recipients here.

Industry News

Sherry Goldman Launches Weekly PR Radio Show

Goldman Communications Group president Sherry Goldman is launching a weekly radio show called, “Let’s Talk PR & More.” The 30-minute program will feature Goldman in an in-depth conversation with an industry leader about a PR-centric topic. The show covers the broad bandwidth of public relations, as well as the disciplines itim touches, including PR best practices, recent industry trends, case studies, the media, marketing, strategy, career development, and profiles of PR pros. Goldman says, “I’m excited to launch this show and have the opportunity to talk with so many smart, inspiring, and insightful people. I’m learning so much during the conversations I’m having with them on my show, and I know everyone who listens to the show, whether on the radio or as a podcast, will find value in these conversations.” The program airs Mondays at 5:00 pm on Hofstra University’s WRHU-FM, Hempstead, NY and is available nationally on the station’s livestream online and on most streaming devices. Check it out on Goldman Communications Group’s website (www.goldmanpr.net/podcast). 

Industry News

TALKERS 2023: Video Posted of “The State of Sports Talk Radio” Panel

During the coming days, videos of all of TALKERS 2023’s numerous sessions conducted June 2 at Hofstra University will be posted, continuing today (6/28) with the panel presentation, “The State of Sports Talk Radio.”im The presentation, sponsored by Backbone Networks, was introduced by John Fredericks, host/owner of the John Fredericks Radio Network (pictured above) and facilitated by WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University, GM, John T. Mullen (pictured at right). The panelists (pictured below left to right) included Mark Chernoff, sports reporter, “107.1 The Boss,” Long Branch, NJ/sports talent coach; Grace Blazer, VP, national NTS brand coordinator, director of news and AM programming Florida region, iHeart Radio; and Spike Eskin, VP programming, WFAN, New York and CBS Sports Radio. See the video here.

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Industry News

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Presented with World Radio Day Award

On Tuesday (2/14) the Academy of Radio Arts and Sciences of America officially bestowed the 2023 World Radio Day Award upon Audacy’s news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. The honor is given annually to a station “that exemplifies the best attributes of the radio industry. Recipients may be large or small, commercial or non-commercial, located in any market, and broadcasting in any language. The jury looks for stations that demonstrate ideals of localism, audience reach, community service, effective use of new digital platforms, diversity in program content and staffing, as well as financial and ratings success.” World Radio Day was celebrated on February 13 in commemoration of the birth of United Nations Radio in 1946. This official international day was proclaimed in 2011 by the 36th UNESCO General Conference and adopted by the 67th United Nations General Assembly in 2012. Previous winners include Audacy’s all-news WINS, New York; Hofstra University’s WRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York; and the inaugural winner Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington, DC. Pictured below are (from left to right): Josh Miely, NAB director member experience; Dave LaBrozzi, KDKA-AM brand manager; Michael Spacciapolli, SVP and market manager Audacy Pittsburgh; and McVay Media president Mike McVay, who presented the award on behalf of the jury. Jurors included representatives of Fletcher Heald & Hildreth, Radio Ink, The Weiss Agency, TALKERS magazine, McVay Media Consulting, Audacy, and Radio World.

Industry News

Industry Mourns the Passing of WRHU GM Bruce Avery

The vast Hofstra University community, its Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and the greater national radio broadcasting industry mourn the passing of longtime WRHU Radio general manager Bruce Avery.  Avery passed away peacefully at home Saturday evening (1/14) after losing a five-year battle against an aggressive form of prostate cancer.  He had held the position at the Long Island, NY facility – until his recent retirement in 2022 – since 1994.  During that 28-year period, he successfully mentored countless students of radio broadcasting and played a major role in building the multi-Marconi Award-winning WRHU-FM/WRHU.org into a powerhouse among America’s campus radio stations. In 2021, WRHU was the recipient of the prestigious “World Radio Day Award” from the Academy of Radio Arts and Sciences of America in conjunction with the United Nations‘ UNESCO General Conference.  Recent recipients of this high honor include WTOP, Washington, DC; 1010 WINS, New York; and KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh. WRHU is the only campus radio station to receive this award. Hofstra University president Susan Posner states, “Bruce was an incredible friend and mentor who had a major hand in turning WRHU into the multi-Marconi award winning station that it is today. We will truly miss Bruce and cherish everything he gave to WRHU. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”  Lawrence Herbert School of Communication dean Mark Lukasiewicz adds, “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Bruce’s widow Veronica, his children, and his extended family. We were fortunate to be able to celebrate Bruce’s career with him only a few months ago at his retirement luncheon, where former students and colleagues shared stories and fond memories of his decades of service at WRHU. At that event, we announced the establishment of an endowed scholarship in Bruce’s name, recognition of the deep impact he made on generations of students.”  For the past two decades, Avery also served as an extremely popular meteorologist on News12 Long Island which posted a heartfelt video tribute to his legacy that you can see here. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Advice

Monday Memo: #NABShowNY

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

NEW YORK — Lots of long-time-no-see hugs among 9,500 of us at the Javits Center as the National Association of Broadcasters resumed its October event – like much of life, interrupted by COVID – and increasingly pertinent to radio.

Though long-timers long for the days when the exhibit hall was populated by jingle gypsies, Hiney Wine, and bumpersticker and T-shirt vendors, we now find the teleprompters and studio lighting and cloud software that are becoming tools of the trade for radio broadcasters who leverage their transmitter brand to take content (and advertisers) everywhere consumers consume us.

(more…)

Advice

Monday Memo: #NABShowNY

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

NEW YORK — Lots of long-time-no-see hugs among 9,500 of us at the Javits Center as the National Association of Broadcasters resumed its October event – like much of life, interrupted by COVID – and increasingly pertinent to radio.

Though long-timers long for the days when the exhibit hall was populated by jingle gypsies, Hiney Wine, and bumpersticker and T-shirt vendors, we now find the teleprompters and studio lighting and cloud software that are becoming tools of the trade for radio broadcasters who leverage their transmitter brand to take content (and advertisers) everywhere consumers consume us.

(more…)

Front Page News Industry News

Thursday, October 20, 2022

‘CarPro’ Automotive Industry Expert Jerry Reynolds is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Since its invention in the early 20th century, the automobile’s impact on society (not to mention radio) has been immeasurable… and it continues to be to this very day. The horseless carriage has shaped our culture and influenced us economically, architecturally, culturally, and even psychologically. Jerry Reynolds is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Reynolds is a giant in the world of automotive media. With over 40 years in the automotive industry, much of it as a hugely successful Ford dealer in Dallas, he is a trusted source of automotive news, insider insight, and new car reviews. For the past two decades he, along with co-host Kevin McCarthy, has hosted a Saturday midday talk radio show about cars called “CarPro.” It’s heard for three hours locally on WBAP in the Dallas/Fort Worth market, where Reynolds is a household name, and then for an additional two hours nationally on news/talk stations across America via the CarPro Radio Network. It’s no wonder that the show is such a success – information about automobiles ties in directly with most of the topics discussed on the news/talk format… the economy, the environment, and the day-to-day necessities of living. And a solid show about cars is a magnet for a wide and deep array of potential advertisers. Reynolds’ stated mission is to educate consumers about the car buying process and provide them with the latest information, so listeners can make the best car buying decisions for their needs and budgets. Harrison and Reynolds take an enlightening deep-dive into how today’s automotive industry operates. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

NAB Reveals 2022 Marconi Award Winners; KTAR-FM Named Legendary Station of the Year. The National Association of Broadcasters presented the 2022 NAB Marconi Radio Awards during a dinner celebration held last night (10/19) at the Javits Center at NAB Show New York. Established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. Bonneville’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix was named Legendary Station of the Year. Bonneville Phoenix SVP and market manger Ryan Hatch states, “For more than 100 years, KTAR has been built on the backs of broadcasting legends. We are honored and thrilled to win one of the most coveted awards in broadcasting. I’m so proud of our talented Bonneville Phoenix team who continues to embody the legacy of building up, connecting, and informing the community that we serve.” Other spoken-word stations and personalities recognized by the NAB include: Joel Oxley of Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington was honored as Legendary Radio Station Manager; Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year went to Premiere NetworksDan Patrick; Major Market Personality of the Year is Greg Hill of Audacy’s sports talk WEEI, Boston; Major Market Station of the Year went to Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Pathfinder Communications’ WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne was honored as Medium Market Station of the Year; CMG’s KRMG-FM, Tulsa was named News/Talk Station of the Year; Audacy’s WXYT-FM, Detroit took home Sports Station of the Year; and College Station of the Year went to Hofstra University’s WRHU-FM, Hempstead, N.Y. See the complete list of winners here.

Radio America to Syndicate ‘The Todd Herman Show.’ Former tech executive and current media personality Todd Herman is joining Radio America as the network is entering into a new distribution and sales agreement with his daily podcast and the debut of the new weekend program, “The Todd Herman Show,” beginning November 5. Herman hosted a regular program on KTTH-AM, Seattle for eight years and, for six years of that time, was a regular fill-in for Rush Limbaugh until Rush’s passing in 2021. Radio America president and CEO Mike Paradiso says, “Todd is a phenomenal talent that knows how to connect with listeners and advertisers. His daily podcast is a great addition to our podcast lineup and we love the opportunity to bring his show back to a national radio audience.” Herman a CEO and founder of a start-up and an executive with Microsoft, says, “I am feeling such gratitude to be welcomed to Radio America, where our God-given right to speak freely is practiced by some of the greatest voices in radio and podcasting. I thank God, my team, and my podcast family for getting us here.”

Triton Digital Releases Top U.S. Podcast Report for September. This report ranks the top podcasts in the U.S. for the month of September 2022, based on average weekly downloads. There was a little jockeying at the top of the chart as “NPR News Now” returns to the #1 position and audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” falls to #2. Wondery’s “Morbid” climbs to #3 and Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” falls back to #4. Other radio-related podcasts near the top of the chart include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” steady at #7, Salem Podcast Network’s “The Charlie Kirk Show” up one notch to #14, and Cumulus’ “The Mark Levin Podcast” is at #19. You can see the complete chart ranking the top 100 podcasts here.

PodcastOne Teams with XG Productions for ‘Talk to Me’ Podcast. A new partnership between PodcastOne and XG Productions includes the new podcast series, “Talk to Me.”  On this program, listeners will be taken into the exciting inside story of the world’s first hostage negotiation team, which was created inside America’s largest police department, the NYPD in the early 1970s. The first episode of “Talk to Me,” tells the story of the infamous Attica prison riots. Written and narrated by veteran South Bronx detective and New York Times bestselling author Edward Conlon, “Talk to Me” tells the inside story of how and why the field of hostage negotiations was created. In the wake of major 1970s tragedies such as the Attica prison riot, the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, and the Brooklyn bank robbery that inspired the film “Dog Day Afternoon,” the NYPD recognized an urgent need to develop a protocol for handling incendiary hostage incidents. With news archives and first-hand accounts from hostage team founders Frank Bolz and Harvey Schlossberg, the podcast brings to life cases big and small to explore what worked — and what didn’t. The world’s first hostage negotiation team pioneered the use of psychology in saving lives and created a model that is still used around the world today.

GBH, El Planeta, and Harvard Medical School Team for Spanish-Language Podcast and Radio Show. Public media organization GBH announces it is teaming up with the journalists at the local outlet El Planeta (and its national counterpart, El Tiempo Latino), to produce “Salud,” a podcast and 30-minute radio show focused on health issues important to the Hispanic community. GBH News will lend its production facilities and distribution channels to the program. The Harvard Medical School Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership will provide expertise and guidance on medical matters. “Salud” will air on WGBH-FM 9:30 am on Saturdays, beginning on October 22 for an initial run of eight weeks. The show will be available on demand on YouTube and all major podcast platforms the Thursday before each broadcast date. GBH general manager for news Pam Johnston says, “Collaborating with El Planeta and the Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School allows us to super-serve the local and national Hispanic communities with in-depth stories of significant importance to their health and well-being. Bringing these stories to the audience in their native language further reflects our deep commitment to engage with a broad and growing range of listeners.”

The Economy/New Tax Brackets, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms, Donald Trump Legal Issues, Truss on the Ropes, and Kanye West Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/19). Inflation, the up-and-down financial markets, and fears of a recession, combined with the IRS’ announcement of new, lower tax brackets; Russia’s kamikaze drone strikes on Ukraine’s infrastructure; the debates ahead of November’s midterm elections; the numerous legal issues facing former President Donald Trump; Liz Truss’ tenuous hold on her Prime Minister role with Britain’s Conservative Party; and the anti-Semitic rants from rapper and fashion mogul Ye 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

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Audacy CEO David Field Responds to Industry Piece Predicting Company’s Bankruptcy. After a number of tweets on Tuesday (8/30) from various media people called attention to InsideMusicRadio.com publisher Jerry Del Colliano’s opinion piece about the state of Audacy’s business, Audacy CEO David Field responded with a companywide memo and a public response on Twitter. Taken out of context, the headline was subject to misinterpretation unless one read the entire piece. The story goes on to reference a memo Field wrote four years ago in which he gave his observations about the reasons for iHeartMedia’s and Cumulus’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizations. Del Colliano’s column suggests Audacy is now facing the same issues iHeartMedia and Cumulus did and Del Colliano predicts that Audacy is headed down the same path as he terms Field’s 2018 memo “a premonition of things to come as Audacy heads into bankruptcy next year.” Field’s response states, “An industry blog post published today falsely claimed that ‘David Field confirms Audacy’s bankruptcy.’ That statement is categorically and unequivocally untrue. Audacy intends to pursue all applicable remedies for false and defamatory statements meant to cause damage to Audacy, its employees and its stakeholders to the fullest extent of the law. As you have heard from me and others on our leadership team, we are excited and confident in our future and focused on capitalizing effectively on the acquisitions, investments and enhancements we have made to position the company for a bright future in the dynamic, growing world of audio. With the additions of a strong leadership position in podcasting, a meaningfully enhanced national sales organization, the rollout of a new, reimagined digital platform, emerging ad tech and data capabilities, plus the industry’s best local radio group with an unrivaled #1 position in news and sports, Audacy is better positioned than ever to serve customers and audiences with greater revenue and earnings potential under normalized market conditions.”

Deborah Flora to Host Daily Show on KUNS-AM, Denver. After giving up her weekend talk show on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS-AM, Denver to pursue the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, Deborah Flora returns to the station to host a daily 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm program beginning September 6. Flora is a former Miss Colorado, is president and founder of the non-profit Parents United America. She is also a founding partner of both Lamplight Entertainment and Whetstone Media Group, and produced numerous projects, including the documentary, Whose Children Are They? KNUS operations manager Kelly Michaels says, “We are fortunate to have Deborah back on 710 KNUS and I know she will crush it on her new weekday show. She is a hard-working and caring host who is determined to help make Colorado a better place for families to raise their kids.” Flora comments, “I’m excited to be back on the air and connecting with Coloradans every day. We will talk about common sense solutions to the real issues facing the great people of this state, while inspiring listeners to take a stand for what they care about most.”

FOX News Channel Third Most-Watched Television Network in August. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel finished August 2022 as the third most-watched network in all of television during weekday primetime, outpacing ABC and trailing only CBS and NBC. In a press release citing Nielsen ratings, FOX News Channel says it remained cable’s highest-rated network in total day and primetime with total viewers and the top rated in total day with the 25-54 demo. FNC surpassed CNN and MSNBC combined with total day and primetime viewers and was number one in all of cable with total day and primetime viewers. FNC also ranked number one in cable news in primetime viewers for the 19th month in a row and notched 96 of the top 100 cable news telecasts for the month. In total day, FNC delivered 1.5 million viewers, 211,000 with the 25-54 demo and 128,000 with the 18-49 demo. In primetime, FNC netted 2.3 million viewers, 311,000 in the 25-54 demo, and 189,000 with the 18-49 demo. The network also delivered the top four programs in cable news with viewers and the top 15 of the top 16 cable news programs in the 25-54 demo. FNC’s late afternoon offering “The Five” continued as the top-rated show in viewers for the fifth consecutive month and finishing first in cable news for the last eight out of nine months. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” continued as the highest-rated program in cable news in the younger 25-54 demo, averaging 3.3 million viewers and 486,000 in the demo, as well as 301,000 in the 18-49 category throughout July. “Hannity” scored 2.9 million viewers, 397,000 in the 25-54 demo and 235,000 among adults 18-49, achieving the third most-watched program in all categories and outpacing the competition on MSNBC and CNN combined.

John Mullen Named General Manager for Hofstra University’s WRHU-FM. Broadcasting professional and educator John T. Mullen is named general manager for Hofstra University’s student run radio station WRHU-FM 88.7 Radio Hofstra University, effective September 1. Mullen has been serving as the station’s operations manager. Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Dean Mark Lukasiewicz says, “John has been an important part of the growth and success of WRHU since he joined the station in 2005, spearheading the station’s longstanding relationship with the New York Islanders and other professional sports franchises, and steering the application process for the station’s many industry awards – most notably, three NAB Marconi Awards over the past several years. As a mentor and advisor, he has helped hundreds of students develop skills, build confidence and prepare for careers in broadcasting and other industries, accomplishments that are at the core of WRHU’s mission at Hofstra. John is stepping into a role largely created and defined by outgoing general manager Bruce Avery, who departs with our profound thanks for leading WRHU and its students to such great accomplishments over his more than three decades at Hofstra. I could not imagine a better candidate than John to take the reins from Bruce, and to launch a great new chapter in the storied history of WRHU Radio Hofstra University.”

TALKERS News Notes. WOAI, San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is sitting in for Sean Hannity on Premiere Networks’ “Sean Hannity Show” today (8/31)…..iHeartMedia announces that the podcast “StraightioLab” – hosted by comedians George Civeris and Sam Taggart – joins the iHeartPodcast Network as part of iHeartMedia and Will Ferrell’s Big Money Player’s Network. “StraightioLab” is described as an intellectual podcast where the two “unpack the rich, multi-colored tapestry of straight culture. In each episode, George and Sam are joined by a guest to hold a mirror to society and finally get to the bottom of mysterious and perverse topics such as college fraternities, gender reveal parties, the military, themed restaurants, and the concept of ‘the holidays.’”…..Audacy’s Cadence13 names longtime Hollywood executive Patton Valentine to oversee intellectual property adaptation strategy across its original content divisions. The company says it has ambitious plans for adapting its hit audio documentary and scripted storytelling IP into the world of film and television, with many projects already in the works. Valentine joins Cadence13 from Ley Line Entertainment, where he served as head of television…..iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during the BofA Securities 2022 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference on Thursday September 8 at 4:10 pm ET. A live webcast of the session will be available to the general public at the start of the session through a link on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.

Trump Documents Investigation, Russia-Ukraine War, Biden’s Student Loan Plan, Jackson Water Woes/Western Heatwave, and Mikhail Gorbachev Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/30). The U.S. Justice Department’s battle with former President Donald Trump over the document search of Mar-a-Lago; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effect on Europe’s natural gas supply; criticism of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program; the potable water supply problems in Jackson, Mississippi and the heatwave forecast for the U.S. West; and former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev 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, 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.

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Monday, June 13, 2022

TALKERS 2022 Exceeds Expectations.  The 25th annual installment (and second pandemic-era edition) of the talk media industry’s longest-running, largest, and most important national convention – TALKERS 2022 – took place this past Friday, June 10 and by all accounts significantly exceeded expectations. It was widely hailed by many of its longtime participants as “the best ‘TALKERS’ ever!” It was presented by TALKERS in association with Hofstra University’s award-winning radio station WRHU-FM/WRHU.org. Some 275 passionate media professionals from all over the country traveled to the beautiful campus of Hofstra on Long Island to see, hear and meet more than 60 luminary speakers – from talk media programming, management, station ownership, syndication, sales, marketing and technology – tackle the most compelling issues, opportunities and challenges currently at play in the industry. It was a power-packed day of non-stop panels, solo addresses, fireside charts, award presentations, exhibits and networking opportunities. The TALKERS editorial staff is now sifting through hundreds of photos and hours of video preparing extensive coverage of the conference and its enormous treasure trove of content that will be appearing in TALKERS magazine for days and weeks ahead. Please stay tuned for forthcoming stories, photos and complete video coverage of all sessions. TALKERS founder and convention producer/director Michael Harrison says, “We are deeply grateful to all the attendees and sponsors as well as our colleagues at Hofstra University for making TALKERS 2022 such a rewarding and memorable experience.” Photos:  Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo playing the National Anthem during the opening ceremony (above right), and (above left) WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley interviewing FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade.

 

Monday Memo: Identify ‘Piano Movers.’ In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke asks, “What is difficult for most people but comes easy to you?” It’s a new business brainstorm for sales reps, and what HC calls “a Side-Hustle Alert for on-air talent.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Happy Father’s Day. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa wonders if your station had a sales meeting solely focused on Father’s Day. “Unlike Mother’s Day where ‘natural’ categories like flowers, candy, dinner, spa days, even jewelry make the annual target list, what did your target list look like for Father’s Day? The irony is, the National Retail Foundation projects only an $80 difference in the average gift spends between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. So how creative was your Father’s Day targeting? Was that list much different from your Christmas targeting for dad?” Read his column here.

 

NJBA President Paul Rotella’s Struggles, Courage and Imminent Victory Over Adversity.  One of the most compelling stories in the radio industry has been the personal and professional journey of New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) president Paul Rotella. He is thankfully on the mend after suffering a terrible health struggle with rare form of meningitis that took him to the brink of death. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, seeing Paul Rotella at this past Friday’s TALKERS 2022 (6/10) bravely walking with the help of a cane and enthusiastically watching, absorbing, cheering and delighting in the comradery of being with his fellow broadcasters, was SO moved that he pulled together his sources, resources and data to pay tribute to the man as quickly as possible. Harrison states, “I consider Paul Rotella to be a spectacular human being, family man, broadcaster, attorney and spokesman not only for the broadcasting community of the Garden State – but a force of nature in spreading a prideful image of the State of New Jersey, in general, across America – not always an easy task.” Harrison penned a tribute to Rotella including a remarkably candid and personal print interview with him that appears in today’s TALKERS. To read it, please click here.

 

WWO Blog: Pharmaceutical Brands Realize Benefits of AM/FM Advertising. In this week’s blog from the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group comes information from a comprehensive analysis of the pharmaceutical category that included data from Nielsen Media Impact, Nielsen’s media plan optimization tool; a MARU/Matchbox national study conducted over the course of two years from February 2020 through October 2021; and pharmaceutical ad creative testing results from the Advertising Benchmark Index. Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes, says, “Pharmaceutical brands have discovered network radio, and it is one of our fastest growing categories. The big revelation for pharma brand advertising is that audio does all the heavy lifting, and the visuals are secondary. ABX creative testing reveals radio creative performs at 90% of the effectiveness of TV for 25% of the CPM.” Some of the highlights of the studies include: 1) According to Nielsen Media Impact, pharmaceutical/OTC brands see an average incremental reach increase of +38% when including AM/FM radio with TV; 2) Shifting 20% of an arthritis medication’s TV budget to AM/FM radio afforded the brand a significant reach advantage versus its competition (+29%) and increased its total share of voice from 22% to 39%; and 3) A pharmaceutical brand saw its TV reach drop -33% over a four-year period with the same spend due to the erosion of TV audiences. Shifting 30% of the October 2021 TV budget to AM/FM radio recovered the lost reach, generating a +51% lift in campaign reach. See more from the blog here.

 

Chris Williams Exits KXNO-AM/FM, Des Moines. Sports talk radio personality Chris Williams reveals via Twitter that he’s exited iHeartMedia sports talk outlet KXNO-AM/FM, Des Moines in order to focus on his family life. Williams has been serving as co-host of the afternoon drive program “The Sports Fanatics” with Ross Peterson. Williams tweeted, “When I was attending journalism school at Iowa State in the mid 2000s, my dream was to one day host a sports talk show on the iconic 1460 KXnO. For the last seven-plus years, I have had the privilege to live this dream. A lot has changed since then. I now have two beautiful daughters Cami (7) and Elyse (2), who I love more than I knew was even possible. Ross Peterson was my friend. He is now a brother who will be family forever. I recently made the decision to leave KXnO as a daily host to focus on my young family. The 3-6 time slot is an honor to fill, but also takes a major toll on family when you have young kids (especially when you have aspirations to be the best little league softball coach in the metro). I leave KXnO excited to be a better husband, son, friend and human being.”

 

The Economy, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Gun Legislation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Western Heat-Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The soaring price of gasoline and food, sinking tech stocks, and worries about a recession; today’s scheduled second January 6 Committee hearing; Russia’s advances in the war in Ukraine and the conflict’s effect on the world economy; the attempts at bi-partisan gun legislation; the ousting of San Francisco’s progressive DA, the November midterm elections, and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the Western heatwave and drought were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Cumulus Media 2022 First Quarter Net Revenue Rises 15%. Reporting financial data for the first quarter of 2022, Cumulus Media’s total net revenue for the period was $232 million, an increase of 15% over the same period in 2021. The company says it was the fifth straight quarter of sequential improvement in revenue performance versus a comparable quarter in 2019. Cumulus also reports a Q1 net loss of just $0.9 million, down from the net loss of $21.9 million reported in the first quarter of 2021. The broadcast radio segment is broken into two parts – spot, which rose 11.9% over the same period a year ago, and network, which was up 5.2%. The company’s digital segment was up 18%, led by digital marketing services (+35%) and podcasting (+22%). Cumulus president and CEO Mary G. Berner says, “Our outstanding first quarter results once again demonstrate the positive impacts of our ‘audio-first’ strategy to transform the company from a one-dimensional radio broadcaster to a multi-dimensional audio media company. Following a strong 2021 performance, this quarter’s results underscore our ability to deliver value to our shareholders through sustained profitable top- and bottom-line growth and balance sheet de-levering. We delivered sequential revenue improvement for the fifth straight quarter versus the comparable 2019 quarter, grew EBITDA by 250% year-over-year, and generated continued strong cash from operations, which collectively allowed us to achieve the company’s lowest net leverage in over a decade. Given our best-among-peers balance sheet, strong financial momentum and the company’s positive 2022 outlook, we expect ongoing cash flow generation that will support a meaningful return of capital to shareholders now and in the future. Accordingly, as a first step, today we are announcing a $50 million share repurchase program with a plan to commence share repurchases in the near-term. This capital return program is underpinned by our continued belief that the company is significantly undervalued.”

 

Cumulus Rejects Unsolicited Acquisition Bid. The last sentence of Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner’s statement outlining its first quarter results says it all: “The company is significantly undervalued.” That was also the theme of a memo from Berner to Cumulus shareholders regarding the unsolicited offer from a consortium led by Connoisseur Media CEO Jeffrey Warshaw to acquire Cumulus. Berner says, “The company recently received an indication of interest in acquiring the company for $15 to $17 per share. After a careful and thorough review, conducted in consultation with our financial and legal advisors, the board unanimously concluded that the indication of interest significantly undervalues the company and is not in the best interests of its shareholders. The company’s board is open to all paths that continue to drive superior shareholder value. Our strong momentum across business lines, multiple digital revenue growth drivers, operational efficiency and superior cash flow provide the company with substantial untapped upside that it expects to continue to realize on behalf of its shareholders. Given these facts and circumstances, the board unanimously believes execution of the company’s strategy will deliver significantly more value to shareholders than this indication of interest.”

 

Bill O’Reilly’s ‘No Spin News’ Debuts This Week. The Bill O’Reilly-hosted program from Key Networks debuts this week on 58 stations across the U.S. Key Networks says “No Spin News” is “a full hour of trailblazing journalist and bestselling author O’Reilly’s fair, smart, fact-based analysis” airing every weeknight. The one-hour show has been airing in New York on 77 WABC for over a year under the title, “Common Sense with Bill O’Reilly.” The program now joins the suite of shows syndicated by Key Networks that includes: “The O’Reilly Update,” “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition,” and “The O’Reilly Update – Weekend Edition.” O’Reilly says, “We are beyond happy that radio stations from coast-to-coast are spreading the ‘No Spin’ mantra. We provide something that’s badly needed in the USA: honest fact-based analysis.” Key Networks COO Dennis Green comments, “Based on the success of ‘The O’Reilly Update,’ the marketplace was ready for more content from Bill O’Reilly. ‘No Spin News’ provides analysis on what is happening in the world that listeners want to hear. This is content you won’t get anywhere else, and I expect stations to add Bill O’Reilly’s ‘No Spin News’ in large numbers!”

 

WABC-TV, New York Opens Long Island Bureau at Hofstra University. New York City’s WABC-TV is opening a new, Long Island bureau today (5/4) inside the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University. The small bureau will have a full-time reporter and two production trucks in Long Island, New York. WABC has a history of supporting the journalism program at the university, donating significant quantities of valuable equipment and providing internship and career opportunities for many students. Hofstra students will have regular exposure to WABC journalists, expanded internships, guest lectures and seminars held by WABC professionals. The Long Island bureau, located in the newsroom of Hofstra’s award-winning, student-run radio station, WRHU-88.7 FM, reinforces WABC-TV’s commitment to Long Island, as well as the Herbert School’s commitment to community journalism, including the newly launched community news site, LongIslandAdvocate.com. Lawrence Herbert School of Communication dean Mark Lukasiewicz states, “Our journalism program emphasizes experiential, hands-on learning and encourages our student journalists to engage with Long Island communities to tell impactful stories. The Eyewitness News Long Island bureau, located alongside WRHU’s newsroom, will provide that kind of hands-on opportunity – a daily chance for students to observe and learn from great local journalists doing the work of New York’s top broadcast news operation.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Rob Carson Show” joins the 1400 Investments, LLC-owned Nevada Talk Network. The program, syndicated by Newsmax and airing in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart, is being heard on KELY-AM, Ely; KNNR-AM, Sparks-Carson City; KDJJ-FM, Fernley-Fallon; KPKK-FM, Amargosa Valley; KAVB-FM, Hawthorne; and KPVM-TV 25.6, Pahrump…..The syndicated “Todd Starnes Show” – airing live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET – adds new affiliate station KTXW-AM/FM, Austin “The Bridge” to its roster of affiliate stations…..FOX Nation – FOX News Media’s “on-demand streaming service designed to complement the FOX News Channel experience with a members-only destination for its most passionate and loyal super fans” – is premiering a documentary series about music and television industry star Sharon Osbourne in September. Titled “Sharon Osbourne: To Hell & Back,” the four-part program features “a candid and heartfelt look into Osbourne’s personal and professional life, highlighting how she found herself in the crosshairs of the cancel culture movement after exiting CBS’s ‘The Talk.’”…..SiriusXM is presenting nationwide, comprehensive coverage of the Kentucky Derby this Saturday (5/7). The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Kentucky Derby is provided by NBC Sports Audio Network.

 

Roe v Wade Leak, Midterm Primaries/Trump & the GOP, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/3). Reactions to the leak of a draft of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade; the primary elections in Ohio and Indiana, the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections, and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the activity on the world’s financial markets, the supply chain woes, and concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the effects across the globe; and concerns about new Omicron variants and the possibility of a serious summer COVID wave were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.