Industry News

Jeff Katz Wrestles with Jordan B. Peterson

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WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive host Jeff Katz (left), who was a psychology major in college, is pictured above with renowned clinical psychologist, author, and media figure Dr. Jordan B. Peterson (right). Katz tells TALKERS, “When the good doctor brought his ‘We Who Wrestle with God’ tour to Virginia’s historic Altria Theater, we met and here we are comparing notes on western culture and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.”

Industry News

Jeff Katz Drops Puck for Special Needs Community

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Pictured above dropping the puck is WRVA, Richmond afternoon host Jeff Katz who “put on the foil” to help Virginia’s Law Enforcement Patriots hockey team this past Saturday (4/27). The Patriots hockey team is comprised of Central Virginia law enforcement officers who compete in charity games to raise awareness of, and funds for, a variety of special needs organizations. After Katz dropped the first puck for this week’s Autism Awareness game, he was presented with a custom jersey as he was named “Honorary Captain” of the team to salute him for his longstanding support of the team, law enforcement officers and the special needs community. The game was a huge success, raising more than $12,000.

Industry News

Talk Hosts Kilmeade and Katz Catch Up in Richmond

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Pictured above are FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio talk personality Brian Kilmeade (left) with WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz (right) at the historic McLean’s Restaurant in downtown Richmond. Kilmeade – whose show recently joined the lineup at WRVA – was in town broadcasting live and Katz joined Kilmeade to offer insight on the issues of the day.

Industry News

WRVA, Richmond’s Jeff Katz Raises Funds for The Friendship Circle

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Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon talk host Jeff Katz (right) alongside former President Donald Trump (left) during Trump’s March 2 visit to Richmond. Katz is presenting Trump with a “Julia Katz Bracelet” created by Emily Morrissey of Emily’s Bracelets.  Morrissey and Julia Katz are young women with a variety of special needs and disabilities who have received services from The Friendship Circle. During the month of March, Morrissey is offering “The Julia Katz Bracelet” as a fundraiser for The Friendship Circle of Virginia in recognition of Julia’s 21st birthday on March 7. Jeff Katz recently helped raise more than $17,000 for The Friendship Circle and to kick off the special Julia Katz bracelet he personally presented one to Trump. They are available at www.emilysbracelets.com

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

Audacy’s WRVA, Richmond adds FOX News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show” to its daily lineup airing from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

PodcastOne acquires the exclusive sales and distribution rights to Jackie Schimmel’s “The Bitch Bible Podcast.” PodcastOne president and co-founder Kit Gray comments, “PodcastOne is thrilled to welcome Jackie and ‘The Bitch Bible’ to the network. From our very first meeting there was an instant connection and our visions for growth were aligned, and we immediately offered Jackie equity in PodcastOne understanding the value she brings to PodcastOne and our partners. Our team at PodcastOne will provide the support needed to improve and expand the show, and we’re incredibly excited to work together to achieve and surpass our mutual goals.”

iHeartPodcasts and host and creator Emily Tisch Sussman announce that the award-winning podcast, “She Pivots,” is now a part of the iHeartPodcast Network. Sussman says, “‘She Pivots’ is changing the cultural conversation around how women talk about and think about their careers. I am excited to join forces with the No. 1 podcast publisher, iHeartPodcasts, and continue to make a show that inspires and empowers women to trust their instincts and skills. I want women to know that everything you have done has given you the toolkit you need to make your pivot. You have everything you need inside of you, and I can’t wait to showcase the stories of women who have proven just that in season three.”

Industry News

Katz Gets Tat for Charity

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Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive personality Jeff Katz (left) showing off his new Special Olympics of Virginia tattoo. Katz has been involved with Special Olympics for 20 years and during the most recent fundraising drive, he teamed up with Chesterfield County Sheriff Karl Leonard (right) and they promised to get matching Special Olympics of Virginia logo tattoos if they were able to raise $15,000. Needless to say, they raised the money, and they got the ink. At center is Mike Ivey, owner of Journey’s End Tattoo Studio in Powhatan, Virginia who donated his services.

Industry News

WRVA, Richmond’s Jeff Katz Feels Good Vibrations

Pictured at right is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk show host Jeff Katz (left) having fun, fun, fun withim Beach Boys original lead singer Mike Love (right). Love made his only radio appearance on Katz’s program during the band’s stop in Central Virginia for a sold-out performance. Katz says they talked about the impact of the Beach Boys in popular music, as well as Transcendental Meditation and the political landscape.

Industry News

Jeff Katz Scores Exclusive Interview with RFK Jr

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Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive host Jeff Katz (left) with Democratic Party presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr (right). Katz says that during Kennedy’s visit to Richmond, he granted just one interview and says the two “spent just shy of 30 minutes one-on-one, chatting about everything from the economy to ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm'” (Kennedy is married to Cheryl Hines who starred as Larry David’s wife on the hit show).

Industry News

Jeff Katz and WRVA, Richmond Ink New Deal

Richmond talk radio personality Jeff Katz signs a new contract with Audacy to continue his role as afternoon drive host on news/talk WRVA. Katz, who has been hosting a program on WRVA for the past 10 years, says,im “During the past decade, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the people of Central Virginia. This community has been so welcoming to my family and I cherish having the chance to help out a bit by serving as an advocate for special needs kids, saluting our law enforcement officers, and sharing vital news and information.” Audacy Virginia SVP and market manager Bennett Zier comments, “Jeff is a great citizen of Virginia and continues to be an important part of the WRVA family.”

Industry News

TALKERS 2023: Video of “Navigating a Radio Talk Show Hosting Career” Panel Discussion Posted

During the coming days, videos of all of TALKERS 2023’s numerous sessions conducted June 2 at Hofstra University will be posted, continuing today (6/21) with the panel discussion, “Navigating a Radio Talk Showim Hosting Career.” The session, sponsored by C. Crane, was introduced by managing partner, Goldman McCormick PR and syndicated host, Ryan McCormick (pictured at right) and moderated by WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom Giordano (pictured above). Panelists (pictured below from left to right) include Heather Cohen, SVP, the Weiss AgencyMartha Zoller, host, WDUN-AM/FM, Gainesville, GA; Frank Morano, host WABC, New York; Rich Valdes, host, Westwood One; and Jeff Katz, host, WRVA, Richmond, VA. See video of the session here.

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Industry News

Jeff Katz Guest at Virginia Governor’s Father’s Day Reception

Pictured here is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive host Jeff Katz (right) with Virginia First Lady Suzanneim Youngkin (left) at the Virginia Executive Mansion where he attended Governor Glenn Youngkin’s first-ever Governor’s Father’s Day Reception. Katz volunteers with the Fatherhood Foundation of Virginia and holds the fundraising record for that organization. In addition to raising funds, Katz serves as a volunteer teacher for first time fathers, fathers to special needs children as well as fathers who are incarcerated.

Industry News

Katz Named Honorary Captain for Police Charity Hockey Squad

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WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz (above, left) has been “drafted” by the Prince George Patriots! Katz, a former police officer, was named Honorary Captain of the team of Central Virginia law enforcement officers who play charity hockey games throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Katz, who himself used to play defense, said, “I’m honored to help! While I’m not sure if I will lace up a pair of skates or put on the foil, I will definitely be cheering for my favorite cops on skates!” The Patriots face off against the United States Secret Service team in Richmond on June 3 for a benefit to fight colorectal cancer.

Industry News

WRVA’s Jeff Katz is Grand Marshall for VA Parade

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WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz (pictured above at right) served as Grand Marshal of the Bon Air Victorian Day Parade in Old Bon Air, Virginia on Saturday (5/13). Katz made history as he became the only person to serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal more than once. Katz agreed to return as the Grand Marshal on one condition – he would share the parade duties with his friend Emily Morrissey (above left) – a 24-year-old with a variety of special needs and disabilities who makes beautiful bracelets which raise money for Special Olympics of Virginia via her website www.emilysbracelets.com.

Industry News

Today’s Radio Talk Show Hosts Face Unique Challenges

A special panel addressing the career management issues facing today’s talk radio talent has been set for TALKERS 2023 which will take place on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University on Long Island. It’s always been difficult to forge a successful on-air career in radio – but today, it is particularly intense. Talk show hosts in 2023 must deal with integrating their on-air responsibilities with the multi-platform nature of modern media, fragmented pop culture, stifling budget restrictions, and highly distracted or corporately paralyzed management. This all plays out against the backdrop of controversy, political correctness, a dizzyingly non-stop news cycle and incessant technological change. The session titled, “Navigating a Radio Talk Show Hosting Career,” will be introduced by Ryan McCormick, managing partner, Goldman McCormick, PR and a syndicated talk show host in his own right; moderated by Heavy Hundred mainstay and the “Dean of Philadelphia Talk Radio,” Dom Giordano, WPHT, Philadelphia; and include panelists (in alphabetical order): super-agent, Heather Cohen, SVP, The Weiss Agency; Heavy Hundred member Mandy Connell,  KOA, Denver; Heavy Hundred member Jeff Katz, WRVA, Richmond; Heavy Hundred member Frank Morano, WABC, New York/Red Apple Audio Network, and Heavy Hundred member Martha Zoller, WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia.   More than 60 luminaries from the talk media industry are set to speak at a power-packed day of fireside chats, solo addresses, panel discussions, workshops, award presentations, new equipment showcases and endless networking opportunities. TALKERS 2023 is nearing an advance sellout. See more about the agenda, registration, sponsorship and hotel information here.

Industry News

Katz Serves as Celebrity Judge for CIV Competition

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Pictured above is “Chef” Jeff Katz (right) – afternoon drive host at WRVA, Richmond – with the team of winning chefs from the Culinary Institute of Virginia’s recent competition. The winning team created a unique dessert based on the theme of “Take me out to the ballgame” involving churros, whipped cream, semi-sweet chocolate and strawberry preserves. Katz says, “Their combo was a homerun!”

Industry News

Katz in the Hat Makes His Annual Appearance

WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz made his annual appearance at a local school to read to children as part of Read Across America. Katz says, “Did the kids have a great time? Did I make it all rhyme? Jumped straight out of bed, to read while wearing a hat on my head. I was the Katz in a hat, Reading Across America Day and that’s that!”

Katz is pictured above (right) wearing his “Katz Hat” at Salem Church Elementary in Chesterfield, Virginia alongside the teacher whose class he read to.

Industry News

Virginia Radio Hosts Catch Up

Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz (left) with Bishop E.W. Jackson (right), a radio host currently syndicated by American Family Radio. Katz tells TALKERS magazine that he and Bishop Jackson chatted before his church’s 26th annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast last week. Katz and Jackson both worked in Boston – Katz at WRKO and Jackson at the old WHDH – and both grew up in the Philadelphia area.

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Monday, October 31, 2022

Monday Memo: Earwitness News. There are new WCBS/WINS synergies and USA top-biller WTOP offers voluntary separation buyouts. With so many radio voices now in permanent remote mode, and the post-pandemic gig economy flourishing, consultant Holland Cooke describes an opportunity “like Uber for newscasters.” Read his column here.

 

Pending Business: Gear Up for the Holiday Season. The midterm elections are almost history and radio sellers are getting ready for this year’s holiday season. There’s no way of knowing for certain how much consumers will spend and on what, but radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that a look at where Americans are spending now can provide a roadmap to a successful holiday sales season. Read more here.

 

Scott Shannon Announces Retirement. Legendary radio personality Scott Shannon didn’t work in talk radio, but it seems almost criminal not to recognize his announced retirement from his daily morning show. On Friday (10/28), he told his WCBS-FM, New York listeners that is retiring from morning radio on December 16. Among his many achievements in the radio business are his stints at three New York City stations, first at WHTZ-FM “Z100” – which is chronicled in the documentary film, Worst to First: The True Story of Z100 New York – and then at WPLJ-FM. He is credited with the creation of the “morning zoo” concept that was imitated throughout the 1980s. Shannon will continue his other roles with Audacy as host of the nationally syndicated “America’s Greatest Hits” program and the “True Oldies” format on WCBS-HD3.

Hubbard and VSiN Bring Sports Betting Content to Seattle. KNUC-HD2 is the new home of sports gambling radio as Hubbard Radio and VSiN partner in the effort. The press release says, “The station will deliver news and analysis from the industry’s most knowledgeable sports betting experts and legendary book makers to inform and entertain the growing number of people betting on sports. Sister station KIXI-AM 880, will also air “Action Updates” twice each weekday as well as “VSiN PrimeTime” with Tim Murray and former NFL quarterback Shaun King. Hubbard Seattle market manager Trip Reeb comments, “With the incredible growth sports betting has seen in recent years, we saw this as a great opportunity to capitalize on that rapid expansion and the specialized content VSiN delivers.” VSiN content currently airs on more than 140 terrestrial radio stations in 33 states.

iHeartMedia Announces New ‘Glee’ Podcast. The newest podcast for fans of the television hit “Glee!” titled, “And That’s What You REALLY Missed,” is available from iHeartRadio, hosted by Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale. iHeartRadio says, “Calling all Gleeks! We’re baaaaack…again. Kevin McHale (aka Artie Abrams) and Jenna Ushkowitz (aka Tina Cohen-Chang) are heading back to William McKinley High School to re-watch all six seasons of ‘Glee!’ We’re taking you all the way from McKinley High to New York City, from the choir room to Nationals, and from the Super Bowl to a world tour! We’ll look back on your favorite moments and never before heard stories with a slew of guests including cast, crew, celebrities and you, the fans! So warm up those vocal cords and tune those ears, because it’s all coming out.”

Midterms, Pelosi Attack, January 6/Trump Legal Issues, Russia-Ukraine War, Affirmative Action, The Economy, Brazil Election, and Elon Musk & Twitter Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The debates ahead of the midterm elections and speculation about which party will control the House and the Senate; the aftermath of the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband; the legal battle over former President Donald Trump’s January 6 emails and his other legal issues; Russia’s continuing assault on Ukraine’s infrastructure; the U.S. Supreme Court takes on affirmative action in higher education; inflation and fears of a recession; Lula defeats Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential election; and Elon Musk takes control of Twitter 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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Friday, September 23, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Comes the Fall,” looks back at this past week of 9/19 to 9/23. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Gregg Stebben, talk show host Beamz/Live; Jeff Katz, talk show host, WRVA, Richmond; Jack Heath, talk show host, “The Pulse of NH”; Daliah Wachs, M.D., physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Renee Kohanski, M.D., podcast commentator/forensic psychiatrist. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

What ‘Serial’ Has Meant to the Audio Industry. The release of Adnan Sayed from prison last week put the investigative podcast “Serial” back in the spotlight. Sayed – convicted of killing his girlfriend Hae Min Lee – was one of the subjects of the first season of the podcast and, as it turned out, the true crime genre would become one of podcasting’s most popular. Eight years ago, radio consultant Bill McMahon of The Authentic Personality wrote a piece about the first season of “Serial,” explaining why the program was so appealing. Today, he says that column also “explained why podcasts containing journalism, news reporting, and storytelling similar to ‘Serial’ are among the most-listened-to podcasts today.” McMahon adds, “This quote from an interview the Nieman Lab conducted with ‘Serial’ creator Sarah Koenig just prior to the launch of ‘Serial’ speaks volumes about how the status quo, conventional wisdom and groupthink that is so pervasive in broadcasting stifles creativity and innovation: ‘For us, that it’s a podcast is so liberating. We can tell it as long as we need to tell it, and we don’t have to worry about it.’” You can read McMahon’s original column published in TALKERS here.

Media Research Council Holds 35th Annual Gala. Pictured above at the Media Research Council’s 35th annual gala in Washington, DC on Wednesday (9/21) are (from l-r): conservative author Andrew Klavan, Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing, Salem Radio Network host Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Newsmax TV host and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Epoch TV executive producer Matthew Faraci. The event was titled, “Night of the Unwoke,” and featured speakers Larry O’Connor of WMAL-FM, Washington and Cal Thomas, whose daily commentaries are syndicated by the SRN.

Binnie Media Promotes Czarnecki. One of the nation’s most successful regional media groups, Binnie Media, promotes Michael Czarnecki from director, brand operations to VP of programming for the company’s Maine operations for the company’s New Hampshire news/talk stations branded as “The Pulse of New Hampshire.” Heath Cole continues his role as VP of programming for the company’s New Hampshire operations. Both Czarnecki and Cole will report to company president Massimo Rosati. Binnie Media is New England’s largest locally owned media company with radio, digital and outdoor assets covering Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.

iHeartMedia Partners with Neustar for Marketing Attribution. This partnership between iHeartMedia and Neustar, Inc. includes broadcast radio in end-to-end marketing attribution. A press release says the “new solution combines iHeart’s unparalleled audio reach with Neustar’s industry-leading marketing attribution solution to measure consumer engagement and the sales impact of broadcast radio alongside all other advertising channels.” It expands the Neustar Unified Measurement Solution, which spans Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) and Marketing Attribution solution to include the iHeart broadcast radio universe. The release also says that Neustar is the first attribution service to unify the measurement of radio, which reaches over 90% of Americans a month, with all other channels into one platform. This innovation provides critical insights into the incremental contribution the massive reach of broadcast radio has on consumer purchase behavior. iHeartMedia chief data officer and president of revenue strategies Brian Kaminsky says, “The scale and effectiveness of broadcast radio is undeniable. Now with Neustar, we are able to offer brands a new level of granular user-level consumer analysis, to ensure that all media channels –including broadcast radio, are used to optimize their marketing plans and drive the results they are seeking.”

TALKERS News Notes. On yesterday’s edition of “The Todd Starnes Show,” former President Donald Trump was a guest and addressed a number of topics, including the civil suit filed against him, his children and two Trump Organization officers in New York, as well as the “Contract with America” he says Republicans will soon announce…..WRVA, Richmond talk host Jeff Katz’s program is named “Best Local Afternoon Radio Show” by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in it’s “The Best” feature for the third consecutive year…..The NBA’s Golden State Warriors sign a multi-year contract extension with Audacy sports talk outlet KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” for the station to continue serving as the team’s flagship radio station. Tim Roye, who is entering his 28th season as the radio voice of the Warriors, will once again handle play-by-play duties. Jim Barnett will continue to join Roye in the booth as color analyst for all road games, with Tom Tolbert handling analyst duties for home games. Audacy San Francisco regional vice president Stacey Kauffman says, “We’ve been so fortunate to give listeners a front row seat to the sounds of three championships over the last decade, and we’re thrilled to extend our partnership with the NBA’s premier franchise.”…..Audacy’s Cadence13 releases the trailer and announces initial guests for “K[no]w Mercy with Stephen A. Smith,” the sports personality’s first podcast. The podcast launches on Monday (9/26) guests will include: Snoop Dogg, Sean Hannity, LL COOL J, Chris Cuomo, and Sue Bird…..Cumulus Media and YAP Media agree to a deal for Cumulus to monetize, market, and distribute YAP Media’s existing and forthcoming podcasts. Joining the Cumulus Podcast Network is YAP Media’s flagship podcast, “Young and Profiting,” hosted by YAP Media founder and CEO Hala Taha. Additional YAP Media podcasts joining the Cumulus Podcast Network include “Creating Confidence with Heather Monahan,” “True Underdog with Jayson Waller,” “A Feminine Impression with Dr. Michelle Daf,” “The Murdaugh Family Murders with Matt Harris and Seton Tucker,” “Chapter a Day Audio Bible read by Pastor John Stange,” and “The Greatness Machine with Darius Mirshahzadeh.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals unveils the second season of “It Was Said,” the podcast franchise that looks back on some of the most powerful, impactful, and timeless speeches in history. Season 2 will feature an all-new lineup of generation-defining speeches from towering figures in history, including: Winston Churchill’s “The Finest Hour,” JFK’s “We Choose to go to the Moon,” Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena,” Margaret Thatcher’s “The Lady’s Not for Turning,” Nelson Mandela’s “I am Prepared to Die,” and Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day….. National Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda is joining fellow Hall of Famer and teammate at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups Tony Meola to host the popular SiriusXM FC afternoon show “Counter Attack.” Wynalda previously hosted “Wynalda Talks Football” on SiriusXM.

The Economy, Inflation, and Fed Interest Rate Hike Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 19-23. The state of the U.S. economy, the high food and gas prices and the Fed’s raising intertest rates by three quarters of a point combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was former President Donald Trump being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James for fraud and the Department of Justice’s classified documents investigation, followed by the Russia-Ukraine War and foreign affairs at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. see this week’s complete chart here.

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Thursday, September 22, 2022

FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire Radio Row 2022 Brings Hosts and Guests Together in Washington, DC. Today (9/22) is the second day of the two-day radio row presented by Federation for American Immigration Reform. The 15th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” began on Wednesday with more than 65 talk media personalities interviewing politicians and immigration experts and discussing the hot-button issue of immigration reform and the problems the nation faces with the recent surges of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Pictured above are two of the hosts taking part in the radio row. Above left is WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island personality John DePetro flanked by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and above right is WRVA, Richmond afternoon host Jeff Katz with the media personalities Diamond and Silk.

WPHT, Philadelphia Talent Shuffle Includes New Morning Show; Zeoli Moves to PM Drive. A change in the programming schedule at Audacy’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia includes a new morning drive program titled, “Kayal and Company,” led by Nick Kayal and including Dawn Stensland and Greg Stocker (who also serves as station PD). Current morning drive host Rich Zeoli moves to the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart. Dom Giordano remains in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot and Stensland continues her solo program from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. The changes become effective on October 3. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff comments, “For the first time ever, WPHT will be live and local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm, which further cements this fan favorite as the voice of Philadelphia and a reliable destination for our listeners. We’re excited to welcome Nick, who is trading in his sports background for his passion for politics, to our morning drive, and move Rich and his highly-successful program to entertain and inform listeners as they wind down their days.” Kayal previously worked in the market on sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”

The Ramsey Network Launches ‘Smart Money Happy Hour’ Podcast. A new podcast from the Ramsey Network is launched titled, “Smart Money Happy Hour,” starring Rachel Cruze and George Kamel. The podcast is described as “a mix of solid advice and snark from two friends who also happen to be money experts.” The show joins the Ramsey Network roster of podcasts that includes “The Ramsey Show,” “The Dr. John Delony Show,” “The Rachel Cruze Show,” “The Ken Coleman Show,” “The Fine Print,” “Borrowed Future” and “The EntreLeadership Podcast.” Ramsey Network EVP Blake Thompson says, “Rachel and George have such unique chemistry. One minute I was laughing along with them, the next I was thinking about money in a whole new way. People are going to love the pop culture references and the casual, pour-a-glass-of-wine environment these two have created in this new podcast.” Some of the “Smart Money Happy Hour” topics include: Is Convenience Culture Worth Being Broke?; HGTV: The Network That Brainwashed Us; How to Leave a Royal Legacy for Your Family; and Can the Middle Class Still Afford to Go to Disney?

SmileyAudioMedia Offering ‘Agenda for America’ Election Programming to Stations. As a part of its continuing election coverage, Tavis Smiley, SmileyAudioMedia, Inc. and KBLA, Los Angeles “Talk 1580” announce that they are offering exclusive election programming to urban stations nationwide. SmileyAudioMedia, Inc. and KBLA Talk 1580 are producing a live, four-part series titled, “Agenda for America: An African American Perspective” that is executive produced by Smiley and moderated by KBLA’s radio hosts. The company says these four national conversations featuring influential Black voices will be offered at no charge to other talk- and urban-formatted radio stations and audio platforms across the country. The four programs are: “The State of Black Women in America,” hosted by Areva Martin; “The State of Black Men in America,” hosted by Zo Williams; “The State of Black Youth in America,” hosted by Dominique DiPrima; and, “Why We Can’t Wait: The Urgency of Now,” hosted by Tavis Smiley. The series airs live on Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT on KBLA “Talk 1580.” Smiley says, “KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ is not only a portal for talk and opinions for the progressive African American listening audience, but also a content provider of relevant programming for urban stations around the country. We intend for KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ to be the epicenter of election coverage, addressing local, state and national issues, affecting what matters most to our people.”

Audacy’s All-News WWJ, Detroit Unveils New Anchor Lineup. Beginning on October 3, the news anchor lineup changes at Audacy’s all-news WWJ, Detroit “News Radio 950.” The station says longtime anchor Jackie Paige (right) moves to mornings, joining Jonathan Carlson (left) from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Paige will also host middays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Brooke Allen follows from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Tony Ortiz takes over at 2:00 pm and is joined by Allen from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Ortiz also hosts from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Erin Vermeulen remains the evening news anchor from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “We are excited to announce our new lineup, which is full of news anchors who are seasoned and well known in the community. This new slate will allow WWJ to continue its mission of keeping listeners informed of breaking news and the top stories of the day.”

BIA Advisory: WTOP Maintains Top Biller Spot for 2021. A report from BIA Advisory Services tallying radio’s top billers for last year reveals that Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington stayed in the #1 position with an estimated $70 million in revenue in 2021. BIA Advisory says that figure was an increase of 12.9% from $62 million in 2020. It goes on to say, “This surpasses the overall growth rate of 10.3% that BIA forecasts for over-the-air radio from 2020 to 2021, as the industry started to pull out of the pandemic slump. WTOP-FM is also the only station on this list to surpass its pre-pandemic revenue figure of $69.8 million in 2019.” The spoken word stations on the 2021 list that showed improvement include Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago – up to the #4 spot from #5 in 2020 ($34 million); Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston rose from #6 to #5 ($33.4 million); Audacy’s all-news WINS, New York was up from #9 to #8 ($31.6 million); its sports talk WFAN, New York rose from #10 to #9 ($31.5 million); and its all-news WCBS-AM, New York entered the top 10 at #10 ($30.9 million). The big change from the 2020 list to the 2021 list was Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta falling from #4 to #12. BIA also ranked the top billing by radio companies. You can see both charts here.

Triton Digital Releases August 2022 U.S. Podcast Report. This report from Triton Digital ranks the most popular podcasts in the U.S. for the month of August based on Average Weekly Downloads. Changes from the July 2022 report include audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” rising from #3 to #1, bumping Cumulus Podcast Network’s “Ben Shapiro Show” from #1 to #3. Remaining in the #2 spot is NPR’s “NPR News Now.” You can see the complete list of the top 100 U.S. podcasts from Triton Digital here.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York City Radio Committee, a joint partnership of all the major radio broadcasters in New York City, is developing a marketing campaign to promote the power of radio. The campaign includes radio messaging on over 20 of New York’s most-listened-to stations, digital and social media marketing along with trade media. The multi-media campaign runs through November. The focus of the initiative is on advertising agencies and businesses that purchase advertising. Audacy New York market president and chairman of the New York City Radio Committee Chris Oliviero says, “Radio has been and continues to be a critical and valued part of millions of New Yorkers’ daily lives. These iconic brands, from music to news to sports, provide the soundtrack of the city. This campaign offers a fresh, fun and innovative approach to highlighting the efficacy of radio for media planners and advertisers.  The collaboration of the city’s major broadcasters shows a clear commitment to our belief that local radio, consumed on FM or AM or streaming or in podcasts, is an essential tool in any overall marketing strategy in the media capital of the world.”…..iHeartMedia extends the contract of Michael McGuinness through June 1, 2027 and changes his title from EVP – finance and deputy chief financial officer to EVP, deputy chief financial officer of the company and chief financial officer – multiplatform and digital segments…..FOX News Channel names Trace Gallagher anchor of “FOX News @ Night.” Gallagher takes over for Shannon Bream, who was recently promoted to anchor of “FOX News Sunday.” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “When it comes to breaking news coverage, Trace Gallagher is one of the best in the business and having a seasoned journalist at the helm of this hour ensures our viewers unrivaled 24/7 news coverage.”…..“The Todd Starnes Show” adds new affiliate KHTS, Santa Clarita, California to its roster of stations.

Inflation/Interest Rate Hike, NY Sues Trump Org, Trump Documents Case, Immigration/Migrant Transportation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Zelenskyy UN Speech, Iran Protests, and Hurricane Fiona Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/21). Inflation, the rising price of gasoline, and the Fed’s interest rate hike; New York Attorney General Letitia James files a civil fraud suit against Donald Trump, his children, and Trump Org officers; an Appeals Court rules DOJ can resume criminal probe of Donald Trump documents case; the immigration troubles at the U.S.-Mexico border and the transporting of migrants from Southern states to Northern cities; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for president in 2024; Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the UN General Assembly pressing for punishment for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the protests in Iran over the death of a woman in custody of the country’s “morality police”; and the destruction caused by 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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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Monday Memo: Vino, Vodka, Video. All this month, consultant Holland Cooke is using his weekly column to offer “Inflation Hacks,” dozens of ways to cope with “the rising cost of EVERYTHING,” tips for your listeners (and you). Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Halftime. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says the third and fourth quarters of 2022 are looking a little foggy due to inflation and the possibility of recession, but says, “The good news is by now you’ve met with your manager and second half adjustments are in place. You have agreed on the course correction expectations and the game plan that will help you power through the dynamics of a constantly changing business environment.” He offers some suggestions for tackling the next six months and keeping those commission checks coming in here.

New TALKERS 2022 Session Video Posted. The latest video from the June 10 TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University to be posted is the panel discussion, “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization.” The panel was moderated by WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano and featured panelists: Mandy Connell, host, KOA, Denver; Jeff Katz, host, WRVA, Richmond; Joe Thomas, PD, WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia; Dr. Daliah Wachs, physician/host, Genesis Communications Network; and Lisa Wexler, host, WICC, Bridgeport/Probate Judge, Connecticut. View the video here.

HRN Media Launches Carlos Baerga Show for Hispanic Audiences. A new, daily feature titled, “Are You Ready to Play Ball with Carlos Baerga and Legends from Yesterday and Today” is debuting in national syndication from HRN Media Networks. The 90-second feature includes baseball analytics and interviews with elite players. HRN Media Networks president Clark Logan says, “Carlos is an energetic and dynamic sports figure, who will entertain listeners. Baseball is the most popular American sport among Hispanics, and Carlos’s insights about the game and the top-name players that will join him will engage sports fans.” Baerga comments, “I am excited to launch my Hispanic radio career with the HRN Network and talk about my favorite topic… baseball. Listeners will get behind-the-scenes stories from the elite players we’re going to have on as guests.  I can’t wait to get started.”

Former Florida Sports Talk Host Hank Goldberg Dead at 82. Numerous mainstream news outlets, including CBS Sports, are reporting the death of former sports talk host “Hammerin’ Hank” Goldberg, who died on his 82nd birthday at his Las Vegas home. Goldberg hosted a South Florida sports talk show first on WIOD and later on WQAM from 1978 through 2007. He also became a nationally known reporter and prognosticator. Goldberg had been battling kidney disease and CBS Sports reports that Goldberg, who’d been working for CBS Sports HQ and SportsLine, continued to work until about three weeks ago, despite his declining health. Goldberg broke into the sports media world ghost-writing Jimmy The Greek’s syndicated gambling column. He also worked at ESPN.

The Economy, January 6 Hearings, Fourth of July/Deadly Illinois Shooting, Midterms/2024/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, Brittney Griner Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The high price of gas & food, the declining financial markets, and threats of a recession; the January 6 Committee hearings and questions about former President Donald Trump’s role in the Capitol assault; the Fourth of July holiday and the shooting in suburban Chicago that took the lives of six people; the midterm elections, speculation about presidential candidates in 2024, and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the global economy; and American basketball player Brittney Griner writes a letter to President Joe Biden from her Russian jail 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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Thursday, June 30, 2022

James Golden is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes him as a “radio renaissance man.” James Golden, a.k.a. Bo Snerdley, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” A native of Queens, New York – Golden spent approximately 30 years as the producer of Rush Limbaugh’s historic nationally syndicated radio show. In addition, he played a major role in the program’s many media offshoots from publishing to podcasting. Before that, he was involved in radio as a producer, researcher, programmer and on-air host at such New York outlets as WABC and WWRL, and Talkspot.com. After Rush passed away in February of 2021, Golden produced a multi-episode documentary podcast for iHeartRadio titled, Rush Limbaugh: The Man Behind the Golden EIB Microphone, in addition to writing a critically acclaimed book, Rush On The Radio: A Tribute From His Sidekick of 30 Years. And now, he’s back on Red Apple Media’s WABC with a daily afternoon talk show of his own. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Trip Reeb Adds Oversight of Hubbard’s Seattle Operations. The Seattle operations of Hubbard Radio will be under the supervision of Trip Reeb, effective July 18. Reeb, who also serves as VP/market manager for the company’s Phoenix cluster, will hold the same title for the Seattle group that includes alternative talk KKNW-AM, four music brands and 2060 Digital office. Reeb takes over for Wheeler Morris, who exits to lead Townsquare Media’s Fort Collins, Colorado operations. Hubbard CEO Ginny Morris says, “Hubbard Radio is so fortunate to have Trip Reeb in our leadership ranks. He has raised his hand for this assignment in the past and now is the right time to take him up on his willingness to share his unique and varied talents with not one Hubbard market but two. Trip has built a solid team in Phoenix and that gives us every confidence that the great success that team is having there will continue as Trip quickly adds his knowledge and talents to our Seattle market to build on the momentum that the Seattle team has been building in recent years.”

New TALKERS 2022 Video Posted. The latest video from the recent TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University is posted. The panel discussion titled, “Strategizing a Talk Host Career,” was moderated by Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher and featured panelists: Bruce Avery, GM, WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Frank Morano, host, WABC, New York; Walter Sterling, host, “Sterling on Sunday”; Brett Winterble, host, WBT, Charlotte; and Martha Zoller, host WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia. See the video here.

Industry Pros Add Informative, Personal Touch to Introductions at TALKERS 2022. Over the past week or so, we’ve been highlighting the talk media industry professionals who served the critical role of introducing panel discussions and presentations at the recent TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University. We’re giving more digital ink – as well as our tremendous thanks for their outstanding efforts – to those who took the time to prepare brief speeches that provided informative and relevant information. Pictured below is Alex Fife introducing the “Attracting the Younger Demos and Broadening the Base” panel. Fife serves as VP operations, Southeast, iHeartMedia – Total Traffic & Weather Network.

Pictured above is VP/associate publisher, TALKERS and media attorney Matthew B. Harrison introducing the Fireside Chat between TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison and Red Apple Media CEO and WABC owner John Catsimatidis.

Mike Gallagher Hits the Streets in Munich. Pictured above in the plaza outside Munich, Germany’s City Hall is Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher (left) interviewing a German citizen protesting against government mandates. Salem says that Gallagher is filing Special Reports this week on America’s image overseas during the Biden Administration. SRN says Gallagher encountered hundreds of “anti-mandate” marchers charging that the government gives them no say in their freedom over vaccines, masks, and other issues. Mike Gallagher comments, “It may not be a Red Wave, but the populist protests here in Germany are echoing the dissatisfaction with the role of government we keep seeing in the USA.”

Jeff Katz Welcomes Joe Kenda to Central Virginia. Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk show host Jeff Katz (left) with The Discovery Channel’s Joe Kenda (right). Kenda, who hosts “Homicide Hunter” and “American Detective,” is a retired Colorado Springs police lieutenant who was visiting Central Virginia to promote his new book, Killer Triggers. Ex-cop Katz and Kenda talked about the challenges facing law enforcement officers that have led Kenda to become a vocal advocate for mental health services for police personnel and has longtime police peer counselor Katz now studying to become a certified police chaplain. Katz also presented Kenda with a Thin Blue Line bracelet handcrafted by Emily Morrissey a local jewelry artist who has a number of disabilities and special challenges.

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime rock KQRS-FM, Minneapolis morning personality Tom Barnard announces he’s retiring from the Cumulus Media station after his final show on December 23 of this year. Barnard has been host of the KQRS morning program since 1986. The Minneapolis native is a Marconi Award winner as well as a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame…..At SiriusXM, Jessica Casano-Antonellis joins as SVP and head of communications, reporting to chief marketing officer Denise Karkos. In this new role, Casano-Antonellis will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s communications function, including strategic communications, brand reputation management and media relations. Karkos comments, “Jessica is a valued and respected leader who brings a wealth of strategic communications experience in the media, entertainment and technology industries to SiriusXM. She will be an incredible asset to the company and will play a key role as we continue to tell the story of SiriusXM as a leader in audio entertainment.” Casano-Antonellis was most recently with The Walt Disney Company where she had a significant role in the Company’s pivot to streaming, first with the launch of ESPN+ in 2018, followed by the successful launch of Disney+ in 2019…..iHeartMedia announces the first slate of podcasts from its NextUp Initiative that aims to empower participants of all backgrounds by giving them the tools to succeed in the podcast industry: from developing and marketing a podcast to using industry-leading software. iHeartMedia says that in this program, the NextUp fellows have learned from some of iHeartRadio’s top creators and have developed shows centered around their unique voices. The first podcast in the slate, “Beauty Translated,” is hosted by Carmen Laurent, and focuses on the transgender community in the South and touches on their experiences with coming out, launching careers, and family life.

January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War/NATO, The Economy, Abortion/SCOTUS, Immigration-Migrant Deaths, Israeli Politics, and R. Kelly Sentencing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/29). The aftermath of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony before the January 6 Committee; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s response to Finland’s and Sweden’s invitation to join NATO; the high price of food & gasoline, activity on the world’s financial markets, and concerns about a recession; reactions to the overturning of Roe v Wade and the end of the Supreme Court’s 2021-2022 term; immigration issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the deaths of 51 migrants in San Antonio; Israel’s Knesset votes to dissolve; and R&B singer R. Kelly is sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual abuse of underage girls 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

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

TALKERS 2022 Convention Explores News/Talk Programming. At the TALKERS 2022 convention held Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University, news/talk programming pros spoke on the “Programming News/Talk Radio in the Digital Era” panel, moderated by McVay Media Consulting president Mike McVay (inset). Pictured above are (from l-r): Grace Blazer, VP, national NTS brand coordinator, director of news and AM programming, Florida region, iHeartMedia; Greg Stocker, program director, WPHT, Philadelphia; Kevin DeLany, VP, news & talk programming, Westwood One; Phil Boyce, SVP, spoken word format, Salem Media Group, Salem Radio Network/operations VP, New York region; and Dr. Asa Andrew, The Dr. Asa Health Network.

 

Complete TALKERS 2022 Session Videos Being Posted Today, TALKERS magazine begins posting complete videos of each session from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University. The first video posted is the Breakfast Session during which KOA, Denver talk host Mandy Connell was presented the “Woman of the Year” award and WRVA, Richmond, Virginia talk host Jeff Katz was honored with the “Humanitarian of the Year” award. See the video here.

 

Steven Cohen Named VP of Business Development and Partnerships at Crossover Media Group. Radio and podcasting pro Steven Cohen joins Crossover Media Group in the newly created position of vice president of business development and partnerships. For the past seven years, Cohen has served with Audacy-owned podcast creator Cadence13. In his new role with Crossover Media Group, he’ll be tasked with developing new business opportunities and partnerships. Crossover managing member Sue Freund states, “Steven is one of the most recognizable faces in podcasting from both the advertising and content sides. Given his background in both the audio and the digital podcast space, he brings a wealth of experience to the team which fits ideally with our content lineup. He’s relentlessly client-focused and he ‘gets’ the business of podcast advertising.”

 

Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Celebrate One Year in Syndication. Today (6/21) marks the first anniversary of the national syndication of “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” by Premiere Networks. Premiere says the show debuted on more than 400 affiliates last summer, marking one of the biggest launches in talk radio history and is continuing to experience rapid growth and success across multiple platforms. It also says that program’s total AQH audience has increased 32% since the launch in the key demo of Adults 25-54. Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “We’re so proud of the program Clay and Buck have developed together over the past year. We knew they had the talent, passion and enthusiasm to deliver something new and exciting to the talk radio format. We couldn’t be happier with the result and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones together.” Pictured above at a private, intimate party in New York City to celebrate the anniversary are (from l-r): Dan Metter, Premiere Networks EVP, director of personality sales; Clay Travis; Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott; Buck Sexton; and Alan Korowitz, president of National Platforms at iHeartMedia Photo: Cate Groubert for iHeartMedia.

 

WRVA’s Jeff Katz Does Election Day Hit on ‘FOX & Friends. Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond, Virginia afternoon drive host Jeff Katz (left) on with Brian Kilmeade (right) from FOX News Channel’s “FOX and Friends” program broadcasting live from iconic Richmond diner McLean’s Restaurant. Katz, who tells TALKERS he “knows a thing or two about pancakes and coffee,” joined Kilmeade to talk Virginia Congressional primary races as well as efforts to roll back gas and grocery taxes in the Old Dominion.

 

KTAR, Phoenix Recognizes 100 Years of Service. Phoenix, Arizona news/talk station KTAR “News 92.3 FM” is celebrating 100 years as the “Trusted Voice of the Valley.” KTAR-AM began broadcasting the news/talk format that is now heard on KTAR-FM. Bonneville SVP and market manager Ryan Hatch comments, “As we reflect on a century of broadcasting for KTAR, we are honored to have such a tremendously talented team that continues to serve this community and innovate to keep our audiences connected and informed and deliver extraordinary results for our local business partners. While many voices have changed over the years, KTAR’s commitment to produce news that Arizonans can trust when it matters the most has never been stronger.”

 

Radio Personality Matt Pinfield Addresses Addiction in ‘Sound, Sobriety & Success’ Podcast. Radio & TV personality and rock journalist Matt Pinfield is partnering with Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks to host the new podcast “Sound, Sobriety & Success.” Pinfield says, “Living clean and sober is a beautiful gift for those of us who have struggled with addiction. Through this podcast, I am grateful to share the success stories of people in recovery to help others fight and understand their battles with alcoholism and addiction. I want to help people identify similarities in others’ stories to understand how they have successfully made their life changes. This podcast is a natural for me, as I have been transparent about my own struggles and journey in recovery and how it has completely changed my life for the better. I think this podcast is a great way to be of service through storytelling – sharing the faith, strength and hope that many of my contemporaries and friends have experienced.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Joining the programming at DuPage Radio’s WCKG-AM, Chicago is the Chicago Bears program “The Sick Podcast,” hosted by the NFL Network’s Adam Rank. The program will air each Friday from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. WCKG sports director Jon Zaghloul says, “Adam’s passion for the Bears makes for such quality content. I’m proud to bring his show to where it belongs – WCKG, Chicago. Listeners should look forward to Adam’s opinions, guests, and commentary on all things Chicago Bears. This is a great move for our brand, and I’m excited to get things started.”…..Public media producer GBH announces the hiring of Sandra Lopez Burke as managing director of community and government relations. In this new role, Lopez Burke will build on GBH’s community engagement efforts, creating greater diversity among audiences, thought leaders, and supporters, while managing strategic partnerships to further the organization’s goals…..“The BOB & TOM Show” raised $12,000 on Friday (6/17) to help send Indianapolis-area children to summer camp through its Pop-Up Comedy For A Cause event at the historic Irving Theater in Indianapolis. The program featured performances by Willie Griswold, Jeff Oskay, Josh Arnold and Pat Godwin.

 

The Economy, Primaries/Donald Trump & the GOP, SCOTUS Term, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Israeli Government, and Heatwave/Western Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20). The high price of gas & food, the sinking financial markets, and concerns about a recession; today’s primary races for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the Supreme Court prepares to end its term as the expected reversal of Roe v Wade looms and the safety of justices is debated; today’s continuation of the January 6 Committee’s hearings and speculation about prosecuting those – including former President Donald Trump – responsible for orchestrating the Capitol breach; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the world’s economy; Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett steps down and disbands the governing coalition, prompting new elections; and the heatwaves in the U.S. and abroad, combined with the drought facing the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Friday, June 17, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Take a Hike,” looks back at this past week of 6/13 to 6/17. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Paul Gleiser, talk show host/owner KTBB, Tyler, TX; Joe Thomas, talk show host/PD, WCHV, Charlottesville, VA; Matthew B. Harrison, VP/associate publisher, TALKERS/media law professor; Todd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford, CT; and  Daliah Wachs, M.D., physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas;  WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

 

TALKERS magazine Presents Annual Awards at TALKERS 2022 Convention. After two years of not presenting annual awards (2020 and 2021) at the TALKERS convention due to COVID-19 interruptions, TALKERS magazine presented four awards to talk media broadcasters on Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University at the TALKERS 2022 convention. As we reported on Wednesday (6/15), WOLB-AM, Baltimore morning host Larry Young was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. At the Breakfast session, KOA, Denver talk host Mandy Connell (pictured below) was presented with the Woman of the Year Award.

 

WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive personality Jeff Katz (above) was honored for his charity work dedicated to children with developmental challenges and to organizations supporting law enforcement with the Humanitarian of the Year Award.

 

At the convention’s Closing Reception, “Free Talk Live” co-founder Mark Edge (above left, being congratulated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, right) accepted the 2022 Freedom of Speech Award for the program’s co-founder and lead host Ian Freeman, whose work fighting for what he sees as the freedoms we all should enjoy as Americans has earned him accolades as well as the ire of those – including some New Hampshire and federal authorities – who see him as a troublemaker, or worse.

 

Audacy Teams Up ‘Bernstein and Holmes’ for Middays at ‘The Score.’ The new midday show at Audacy’s WSCR-AM, Chicago “670 The Score” features two of the station’s longtime hosts – Dan Bernstein and Laurence Holmes. As part of a station programming update, the new “Bernstein and Holmes” show will air from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, beginning June 20. The morning drive “Mully and Haugh” show adds an extra hour and will be heard from 5:30 am to 10:00 am. Leila Rahimi, who had been co-hosting with Bernstein but accepted a new gig as lead sports anchor at NBC 5 in Chicago, will continue in her role on “Leila Wednesdays” on “Bernstein and Holmes.” WSCR brand manager Mitch Rosen states, “Our all-star Chicago lineup improves with ‘Mully and Haugh’ extending later into the morning and two teammates who have worked together for 20-plus years finally sharing a microphone on a regular basis. We couldn’t be more excited for this updated lineup.” Bernstein had previously hosted late mornings on the station. Holmes previously served as host from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.

 

KIRO-AM, Seattle Unveils New ‘Bump & Stacy’ Midday Show. Seattle sports talk personality Stacy Rost is getting a new partner as Michael Bumpus joins her for the new “Bump & Stacy” program on Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “Seattle Sports,” airing from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Station program director Kyle Brown comments, “We’re thrilled Michael Bumpus will be stepping in to join Stacy Rost as a full-time host from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm each weekday. Bump has spent years preparing for this opportunity and I have no doubt he’s ready for this moment. ‘Bump & Stacy’ will bring four hours of unending fun to ‘Seattle Sports’ listeners daily.” Michael Bumpus –who played football at Washington State University before going on to a pro career with the Seattle Seahawks and BC Lions – now serves as the host of the Seahawks pregame, postgame and halftime shows and as a television analyst for the PAC12 Network. Stacy Rost joined “Seattle Sports” as a staff writer and Seahawks Insider in 2017. She has spent the past three years as a talk show host with “Seattle Sports” and producing daily Seahawks Insider reports.

 

Mike Conti Named Brand Manager for ‘92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta. News and sports radio pro Mike Conti is promoted to brand manager for Audacy’s sports talk WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.” Audacy says that in this role, Conti will oversee content strategy, talent, operations and branding for the station. He will continue in his current role as radio play-by-play announcer for the station’s flagship coverage of the Atlanta United FC and as host of the Atlanta Hawks Radio Network. Audacy Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey comments, “Mike has stepped up to the challenge of leading our programming team on an interim basis since February and he has earned this opportunity to lead WZGC. We are excited to have his leadership as we continue to build on our performance of providing the very best in entertainment and sports content for our audience and business partners.” Conti joined “92.9 The Game” in October 2012 from WGST-AM, Atlanta where he served as assistant news director. At WZGC, Conti has served as managing editor, overseeing coverage and production of live sports events. He says, “I want to thank Rick Caffey and my teammates at ‘92.9 The Game’ for the opportunity to lead such a talented group of content creators. As someone who has been with ‘The Game’ since the day we signed on 10 years ago, it has been remarkable to see us evolve into Atlanta’s go-to source of sports information and entertainment, and I look forward to continuing that evolution.”

 

Round Four of May PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. 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 Raleigh, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK-FM dips two-tenths to finish with a 7.2 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and slips to the #4 rank, while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF loses half a share for a 1.5 share finish and landing in the #17 rank. Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee remains in the #1 spot after adding four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 10.3 share. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WISN puts up a 2.1 share increase to finish with a 9.6 share that vaults it into the #2 rank. Although dipping by two-tenths and finishing with a 5.9 share, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville climbs to the #4 rank. After losing a full share, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV-FM, Jacksonville wraps the survey with a 9.6 share and falls from #1 to #2. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeways from this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.

 

NPR and Edison Research Reveal Results of 2022 Smart Audio Report. The 2022 Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research was released on Thursday (6/16). The report highlights the increased usage of voice technology, with 35% of Americans 18-plus now owning a smart speaker. This year’s study compares the most recent survey results with the 2017 Smart Audio Report, and also revisits families who were interviewed in 2017, creating a comprehensive picture of the changes over the last five years. Some of the key findings from the study include: 1) Voice technology is everywhere: In 2022, 62% of Americans 18-plus use a voice assistant on any device, and those devices can include: smart speakers, smartphones, TV remotes, in-car systems, a computer/laptop, tablet, among others; 2) Overall usage of voice tech is increasing: In 2022, 57% of voice command users use voice commands daily. Twenty percent of smart speaker owners spend most of their audio time listening through a smart speaker, up from 18% in 2017. The weekly number of tasks is increasing: In 2022, smart speaker owners request an average of 12.4 tasks on their device each week, up from 7.5 in 2017. Smartphone voice assistant users request an average of 10.7 tasks weekly, up from 8.8 in 2020; and 3) Ad messages delivered via voice tech are heard: Half of smart speaker owners have heard an ad on their smart speaker. Fifty-three percent of smart speaker owners who have heard an ad on their device agree they are likely to respond to ads on their smart speaker. Almost half (48%) of smart speaker owners who have heard an ad on their device say that compared to hearing an ad in another place, hearing it on their smart speaker would make them more likely to consider the brand. Find out more here.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Next Tuesday (6/21), Newsmax will present a live New York Republican Gubernatorial Primary Debate at 8:00 pm at the famed Kodak Center in Rochester. Moderating the debate for Newsmax will be Eric Bolling and the leading candidates – Rob Astorino, Andrew Giuliani, Harry Wilson, and Lee Zeldin will take part. Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy states, “People across New York are hungry to learn about the Republican candidates as they make their choice in this critical primary. Newsmax is glad to be actively involved across the nation a series of debate and town hall events to further voter awareness.”…..Audacy announces the launch of a new show, “Hey Mayne,” from its sports podcast studio 2400Sports, premiering June 23. Longtime ESPN host Kenny Mayne leads the program that “blends the sports culture with entertainment, politics, music, comedy, and beyond.” Mayne says, “I want to ask guests not just about their work, but who they are. I want to know what people were like in kindergarten. Because I think who you were then is basically who you are today.”…..Nineteen students just successfully completed the Kellar Radio Talent Institute’s broadcast radio training program at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. The return of the in-person, 10-day immersive professional development course for college students also marks the first institute to be produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau since it acquired the National Radio Talent System in August of 2020. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “An integral part of the RAB’s mission is providing the industry with the tools and resources to help broadcasters attract new sales talent to the medium and enhance radio’s professionalism through training and support. Bringing back the talent institutes was a top priority for RAB, and we are excited by this year’s Kellar graduating class, all future broadcasters.”…..iHeartMedia’s WDAS-AM, Philadelphia “FOX Sports Radio, The Gambler”  announces that the popular sports podcast “The Divide Live” will make its official broadcast radio debut on the station’s Sunday afternoon drive lineup, effective June 19. Airing from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm, “The Divide Live” features two longtime friends – Mike, a diehard Mets fan and Corey, a diehard Yankees fan. Together, the dynamic duo hash it out about all things sports, life and current events…..NRG Media’s sports talk KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” will remain the flagship home for the NCAA Men’s College World Series through 2026. The new five-year contract extension with Westwood One begins this year. NRG Media has been the radio home of the Men’s College World Series in Omaha since 1997…..VSiN, The Sports Betting Network, announces that sports media executive Len Mead will join the VSiN team as general manager. VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musburger states, “Len has excelled at creating original content and growing audience across all platforms throughout his career, and we’re thrilled to add his expertise to our leadership team. Not only does Len bring a wealth of media experience from his prior roles at ESPN, NBC Sports, NESN and others, but he also brings sports betting industry knowledge from his time as head of content for PointsBet. We believe this combination will help VSiN deliver its premium sports betting content to even more bettors, on more platforms, in new ways.”

 

The Economy and the National Mood Tie for Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 13-17. The state of the U.S. economy, including the sinking Dow & NASDAQ, soaring gas & food prices, and fears of a recession – combined with the unsettled national mood – came together as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics tied with Tuesday’s midterm election primaries, followed by the January 6 Committee hearings at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Front Page News Industry News

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Steve Cochran to Host Morning Drive on WLS-AM, Chicago. Chicago media personality Steve Cochran is joining Cumulus Media to host the morning drive show on news/talk WLS-AM, effective June 15. Cochran served as morning drive host at Nexstar Media’s crosstown news/talk WGN-AM from 2013 to 2019. He’s been producing two podcasts since his exit from WGN – one titled “Live from My Office” and another with Patty Steele called “The Deep 6 with Patty Steele – both of which he says he’ll continue to produce, according to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder. Cochran is taking over the morning show from Bruce St. James, who was brought in from Phoenix in December of 2020 to host the morning show after Erich Mancow Muller exited the station. WLS program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “I’m delighted to welcome Steve to our team, where I know he will bring his wisdom, wit, and political prowess to morning drive. Our listeners need a place to feel safe to express their opinions while having a destination for entertainment, news, and, of course, conservative conversation. Steve will provide that for our Chicagoland audience. I’m looking forward to growing 890 with Steve Cochran in the mornings.” Cochran comments, “Like thousands of others, I did my homework listening to The Big 89 WLS when I was a kid. It’s an honor to say those call letters, and I can’t wait to get started.” Cochran is represented by John McConnell at Workhouse Media.

 

Cumulus Names Lisa Waks SVP Digital Partnerships and Business Development. Digital media pro Lisa Waks is named SVP, digital partnerships and business development, in which she’ll lead Cumulus Podcast Network’s content acquisition strategy and content pipeline development, with a focus on personality-driven brand franchises in the news; business, money & tech; sports; and entertainment verticals. Waks was most recently head of global media partnerships, strategy, and operations for TED Conferences, where she expanded their digital business, streamlined operations, and launched the TED Audio Collective. Cumulus EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Lisa is a trailblazer who has spent years creating new businesses, building new revenue streams, and forging successful and enduring partnerships. We are excited for her to bring this fire and focus to Cumulus to help us continue to expand the Cumulus Podcast Network with innovative, interesting, and unique content that is craved by listeners and partners alike.” Waks comments, “I am thrilled to begin the next chapter in my career with such a long-standing and prestigious organization. Cumulus is best-in-class, leading the audio industry with a wide range of voices and premium content. I believe in the power of the spoken word, and through smart collaborations we will successfully deepen connections and community.”

 

Adrian Warren Named VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Jacksonville. Radio sales pro Adrian Warren is named vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Jacksonville cluster, effective June 13. The company says that in this role, Warren will be responsible driving revenue across the market’s entire broadcast and digital cluster, with a specific focus on WJBT-FM, WSOL-FM and the Black Information Network. Warren most recently served with Radio One in Indianapolis as digital sales manager and local sales manager. iHeartMedia area president for North Florida Paul Rogers comments, “I’m really excited to have Adrian join our leadership team here on the First Coast of Florida. His track record, personal character, and specific experience with some of the same diverse brands we represent here in Jacksonville were a perfect fit for us, and we were fortunate to get him. I’m confident he’ll help us get back to our market-leading revenue position.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Lizzie Baumgartner is returning to Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM to serve as managing editor of podcasts. Most recently, she’s been serving the company as audio production coordinator for its alternative rock and country stations. Her previous role with WBBM was as assistant producer…..A number of executive promotions are taking place at Triton Digital. Stephanie Donovan is now global head of revenue. Alex Fournier is named chief technology officer. Benjamin Masse rises to chief product officer, and Molly Glover Gallatin joins the executive team as SVP of marketing and Jelli customer experience. Triton says the promotions “further support the company’s recent integration of Jelli to accelerate the development of innovative technology that serves the entire audio ecosystem across radio, streaming, and podcasting.”…..SiriusXM is presenting coverage of the Belmont Stakes, the third and final jewel of thoroughbred racing’s 2022 Triple Crown, this Saturday, June 11 from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Belmont Stakes is provided by NBC Sports Audio Network.

 

Making Dreams Come True. Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz (right) before a Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball game. Katz says, “Being the number one talk radio personality in Central Virginia brings some perks like being asked to throw out the first pitches for the area’s two big baseball teams – the Tri-City Chili Peppers and the Richmond Flying Squirrels. I got those calls but realized there is something better than doing it yourself and that’s making a dream come true for someone else. So, citing my health issues like ‘outgrown hair and a torn rotator cufflink,’ I asked Emily Morrissey (second from left) if she’d be willing to help him. Emily is a 23-year-old young lady with cerebral palsy and other challenges, but she brought the heat and did a great job as my ringer at both Shepard Stadium in Colonial Heights, Virginia and The Diamond in Richmond, Virginia. Emily personally makes beautiful bracelets which are available at www.emilysbracelets.com and donates a portion of the proceeds to the Special Olympics of Virginia. Each player on the Chili Peppers and the Flying Squirrels wore one of her bracelets in their respective team colors during their games.”

 

Primary Elections/Donald Trump & the GOP, January 6 Hearings, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Gun Violence-Legislation, and COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/7). Tuesday’s primary elections for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Thursday’s hearings before the January 6 Committee; the soaring price of gasoline & food, plummeting tech stocks and concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its effect on the global economy; reactions to the recent episodes of gun violence and attempts at gun legislation; and the status of COVID-19 in the U.S. were some of most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.