Tag: "Sebastian Gorka"

Monday, October 26, 2020

| October 26, 2020

Monday Memo: Listeners’ Mindset, Advertisers’ Message. Notwithstanding the president’s hope that “pandemic fatigue” will buoy his message that “we’ve turned the corner,” survey data presented at the NAB/New York virtual convention – now underway and available on-demand – describes how Americans really feel, and how our advertisers can relate. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke’s conference notes, and specific tips for improving results from endorsement spots. Read it here.

Pending Business: A Secret of Success. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes in his column today, “Every dominant business understands how important it is to set a standard, stick to it, improve it, own it and infuse it into the culture of the organization. Does your radio station strive to set industry-leading sales standards? You don’t need the highest-rated radio station to set a standard for sales performance and service. You don’t need the highest rates, or the most revenue. You need commitment, and the relentless pursuit of setting and improving standard-setting performance.” Read more here.

Nexstar Media Group’s Operational Realignment Ups Sean Compton to President, Networks. On Thursday (10/22), Nexstar Media Group announced a combination of its two primary subsidiaries – Nexstar Digital LLC and Nexstar Broadcasting into a new subsidiary called Nexstar Inc. In this new alignment, Karen Brophy becomes president, digital; Timothy Busch is now president, broadcasting; and Sean Compton rises from executive vice president to president, networks in which he’ll oversee WGN America, Antenna TV, and WGN Radio. All three will answer to Nexstar Media Group president, COO and CFO Thomas Carter. He says, “The operational realignment we are announcing today will accelerate Nexstar’s growth by leveraging our leading local content and positioning the company to become an even more nimble and competitive organization, thereby creating new value for shareholders… We completed the highly accretive acquisition of Tribune Media a year ago and quickly and efficiently integrated their assets, resulting in first year operating synergies exceeding $185 million. At the same time, we converted the Tribune enterprise to Nexstar’s operating, sales and other protocols and successfully and cost-effectively launched ‘News Nation’ on WGN America. As a result, we are leveraging our industry leading scale, diversified business model and solid operating execution to deliver record 2020 financial results as we dynamically manage the business to offset the impacts of the pandemic, reduce leverage and return capital to shareholders through quarterly cash dividends and share repurchases. Our decision to reorganize the business’ operating structure at this time reflects our view that there remains tremendous upside to be realized by maximizing the value of our assets, content and strong consumer engagement with our digital properties.”

iHeartMedia Birmingham Launches ‘BIN 92.7.’ The Birmingham, Alabama market joins the growing number of iHeartMedia markets airing the BIN: Black Information Network format as the company unveils “BIN 92.7” on FM translator WW224CK, Vestavia Hills. The company says “BIN 92.7” will broadcast 24/7 national and local news focused on serving the Black community and providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding. The station will feature top national on-air anchors and correspondents including award-winning broadcaster Ed Gordon and renowned journalist Roland Martin. Black Information Network president Tony Coles says, “BIN’s goal has always been to be the most trusted source for news in the Black community, and part of that strategy is, of course, to be available on both broadcast and digital stations across America. We’re thrilled to bring BIN, a full-time news service by and for the Black community, to Birmingham and provide listeners there with both the national and local news that impacts their lives.”

TALKERS News Notes. The FCC issues a Public Notice announcing the Access to Capital Working Group of its Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment and the FCC’s Media Bureau will co-host a virtual symposium titled “Path to Media Ownership and Sustainability” on November 6, 2020 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET.  The symposium will examine access to capital for small and diverse broadcasters.  The event will be convened virtually via WebEx and will be available to the public streaming via the Internet at www.fcc.gov/live. It will feature broadcasters and lenders discussing how to obtain financing for broadcast station transactions in today’s challenging financial circumstances, as well as experts discussing the history of the previous broadcast tax certificate policy and the potential for a new tax certificate policy to increase broadcast ownership diversity.  The symposium will also include presentations from Nielsen Global Media on ratings measurements for multi-ethnic broadcast stations, and a discussion of how small and diverse broadcasters can attract increased advertising revenue.  Finally, congressional staff members will provide updates on pending legislation intended to increase diverse media ownership…..Talk media personality Tom Donahue announces he has returned to Tom Donahue Reports to produce his program as a podcast in which he’ll no longer conform to a formatted show, thereby allowing him “greater versatility and creativity in producing audio content.” He continues to stream his show on Talk Stream Live. Also, Donahue is launching a commentaries service in the form of capsules made available to stations as one- or two-minute episodes. “America’s First News with Matt Ray” recently added the reports to his show twice weekly…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network syndicated talk radio personality Sebastian Gorka (center) with SRN V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) and Breitbart Washington political editor Matt Boyle (right) at a celebration of Gorka’s birthday in Alexandria, Virginia. Among the guests were: Salem executives David Santrella and Phil Boyce; former White House press secretary (and Newsmax TV personality) Sean Spicer; WMAL-FM, Washington talk host Larry O’Connor; and KABC, Los Angeles radio and political commentator Joseph DiGenova.

New Orleans Talk Radio Pioneer Keith Rush Dead at 89. WWL-TV, New Orleans reports that Keith Rush, a conservative talk radio icon who worked in the market for 60 years, died last Thursday (10/22) at age 89. According to WWL-TV, Rush was best known for his talk radio program on WSMB-AM that aired during the 1970s and 1980s. Local politician Lawrence E. Chehardy is quoted in the piece saying of Rush’s program, “It was a great forum because you could go on and discuss the issues with him and take phone calls from listeners. It was a way for elected officials to be able to converse with their constituents, long before the days of social media.” Rush began his radio career in the mid 1950s as a disc jockey. He transitioned to talk in the 1970s.

The Presidential Election/‘60 Minutes’ Interviews, Early/Mail-In Voting, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/Pence Office Outbreak, Hunter Biden Emails Case, Social Media ‘Censorship,’ Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation, California Power Outages and Wildfire Threats Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November 3 presidential election and Sunday night’s appearances by Donald Trump and Joe Biden on “60 Minutes”; reports of record numbers of early and mail-in votes; the rising number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and around the world and projections for the fall/winter seasons, as well as the outbreak among the staff of Vice President Mike Pence; the leaked emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop; allegations by conservatives that Twitter and Facebook are censoring their political messages; the confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett; and the power outages in California as high winds threaten more wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Phoenix, Entercom promotes Chris Hernandez to operations manager for the cluster. In this role, Hernandez will lead operations efforts for classic hits KOOL-FM, country KMLE-FM, and CHR KALV-FM “LIVE 101.5.” At the same time, the company ups Daniel Valentine to music director for “LIVE 101.5.” Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Chris Hernandez has consistently shown amazing drive that leads to substantial results and I’m confident in his ability to take our collection of stations to higher levels. Daniel Valentine has proven his extensive music expertise over the years and I’m looking forward to watching his career grow as he leads LIVE’s music operations. Both are veterans in our company, and I’m honored to elevate two hard working individuals.”…..The programming lineup for iHeartMedia’s “HBCU Homecoming Celebration on iHeartRadio” is taking place on November 12. It will include Angela Yee, co-host of the morning show “The Breakfast Club,” and special guests exploring female entrepreneurship and the art of brand building as the modern-day self-CEO as part of the iHeartRadio Beautiful Possibilities presented by Ulta Beauty.  During the discussion, the panel participants will share their personal stories of success and explore how they rise above challenges to define their careers. The panel aims to uplift, inspire and pave the way for the next generation of Black women leaders and will be followed by a performance by singer and songwriter H.E.R. “Breakfast Club” co-host DJ Envy will emcee the iHeartRadio HBCU Homecoming Party on the Yard, presented by McDonald’s. The virtual event will include celebrity guest and McDonald’s owner/operator interviews, legendary HBCU Homecoming highlights, and several special surprise moments. The event will culminate with a performance from global superstar Khalid across all iHeartMedia hip hop and R&B stations…..Legendary Chicago jock Ron Britain, a.k.a. Ron Magel, has died in his hometown of Louisville at the age of 86. Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes about the career of the man who was known as King B on the radio. During his more than 50 year radio career, Britain worked at some 21 stations but achieved the peak of his fame at former CHR outlet WCFL-AM which he joined in 1965.

Monday, October 19, 2020

| October 19, 2020

Monday Memo: Round-Off Teases. Even just-a-few more minutes, from just-a-few loyal listeners can move the ratings needle. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke has a simple tip. Read it here.

The Presidential Race/Early Voting, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/Vaccine, Hunter Biden Laptop Case, Stimulus Deal, Social Media ‘Censorship,’ The Economy/Financial Markets Activity, and Sports During COVID Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November presidential election and the current early voting taking place; the rise in COVID-19 cases around the world and in the U.S., projections for fall-winter outbreaks, and the push for an effective vaccine; Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani teases more to come from Hunter Biden laptop trove; the negotiations over a new COVID stimulus package; complaints from conservative media figures about being censored by Twitter and Facebook; the state of the U.S. economy and the uncertain financial markets activity; and the functioning of U.S. pro sports leagues amidst the pandemic were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: No Such Thing As a Born Salesman. Poll a bunch of radio sales pros and you’ll probably find most agree that successful salespeople are “born salesmen.” Well, sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, says that’s not true. He says, “Professional selling is a series of learned skills.” He adds that because of that, the most successful sellers and managers are constantly working to improve their learned skills. Read his column here.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Officially Cuts Ties with Wendy Bell. According to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh and talk show host Wendy Bell have mutually agreed to go their separate ways. This move came Friday, about six weeks after Bell was taken off the air by management for suggesting that park rangers should shoot on sight anyone seen vandalizing a public monument. The show segment in question was posted to Bell’s Facebook page in which she states, “My easy solution for the park rangers and hopefully snipers who are going to be watching for this is to shoot on sight. Shoot, done. No more messing with monuments. You want to mess with a monument? Done, get out.” Bell posted a Facebook video on Friday in which she is heard conversing with her husband and laments “being fired for sharing conservative values.” Bell had worked for CBS’ KDKA-TV for 18 years but was fired in 2016 over comments that the station deemed racist.

Charlie Kirk Latest SRN Personality to Have Twitter Account Locked. Although his Twitter account is active now, Salem Radio Network host and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk had his account locked on Sunday (10/18) after he posted a tweet based on a report published by ProPublica stating that the state of Pennsylvania had rejected 370,000 ballots. His actual tweet stated: “Pennsylvania has just rejected 372,000 mail-in ballots. One voter was said to have submitted 11 duplicate ballots. Pennsylvania might be the key to winning the White House. What’s going on?” However, the story actually said that 370,000 ballot requests had been rejected and that one voter had rejected 11 duplicate requests. Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “Charlie Kirk and Sebastian Gorka are in good company since Twitter also locked President Trump’s official campaign account last week. But these attempts by Big Tech to muzzle the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions two weeks before the election are what has prompted the U.S. Senate to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey this week to explain why he apparently feels it is okay to keep vital information from the American people.”

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Celebrates 100 Years; Adds FM Signal. Legendary news/talk outlet KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh is celebrating 100 years of service as “the authoritative news and talk voice of Pittsburgh.” In commemoration of the station’s centennial anniversary, the Entercom station will simulcast on FM for the first time ever and be heard on 100.1 FM (W261AX) as “100.1 FM and 1020 AM KDKA,” effective November 2. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “KDKA Radio is part of the radio history books not just here in Pittsburgh, but on a national level. What started back in 1920 as an opportunity to instantaneously provide news and information about the presidential election returns has blossomed into a key part of our listeners’ lives. After serving Pittsburghers on our AM dial for the last 100 years, we are thrilled to expand the reach of historic KDKA on FM. It’s an honor to be part of the team carrying the torch from those before us into the next 100 years.” On October 27, 1920, the Department of Commerce issued the first commercial radio station license under the call sign KDKA. The station launched on November 2, 1920 when Frank Conrad, an engineer at Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, started 8ZZ and broadcast the results of the presidential election returns between Warren G. Harding and James Cox. The station’s yearlong centennial celebration has also included various original sound, historical soundbites and a special weekly program every Wednesday.

TALKERS News Notes. TALKERS magazine has learned that Paul Rotella, president of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association, has been hospitalized for almost two weeks with a severe case of spinal meningitis brought on by an infection. It required he undergo delicate heart valve surgery. After several touch-and-go days in a coma, family sources indicate that the surgery and treatment are showing signs of being successful and Rotella has turned the corner toward recovery. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “Our prayers go out to the Rotella family and all his many friends in the New Jersey broadcasting community and beyond who recognize Paul as one of the medium’s most dedicated advocates and all around wonderful human beings.  We wish him a speedy recovery.”…..WABC, New York talk radio host Curtis Sliwa is planning to run for mayor of New York City and he wants to make the pigeon the city’s official bird. Seen at left wearing his pigeon gaiter, Sliwa tells TALKERS he now has hundreds of pigeons that follow him from his apartment on the Upper West Side to WABC’s studios on the Upper East Side. “They wait for me until I finish my broadcast and leave. Then they follow me. The other hosts like Bernie and Sid are upset because dozens of birds flock to the windows and streets around the WABC studios awaiting my arrival. People think that I’ve lost it because I stop and talk to them. Hey, I’m a talk radio show host. I get paid to talk.” See a YouTube video of Sliwa talking to his followers here…..WSB-TV, Atlanta is reporting that federal agents are investigating the disappearance of financial adviser Chris Burns who vanished a day before he was expected to turn over documents related to an undisclosed Securities Exchange Commission investigation. Burns had brokered time from Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM, Atlanta. Burns has not been charged with a crime, but one investor tells WSB-TV that she’s accepted that her money is probably gone. The piece also states Burns’ wife is cooperating with authorities…..Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles adds Starnes Media Group’s “All-American Radio with Jennifer Kerns” to air Sundays at 7:00 pm. The program is based at KWAM, Memphis…..GCN nationally syndicated talk radio host Dr. Daliah Wachs launched the Change.org petition to end the back-and-forth between Daylight Saving and Standard time because of the multiple health risks that have been cited in scientific literature during the “spring forward,” including car accidents, heart attacks and workplace injuries.  Pre-existing legislation has stalled in Congress but Wachs tells TALKERS that the petition has gone viral, exploding in the last few days to garner over 194,000 signatures and rising. Its goal is to alert Congress to listen to the needs of individual states and their requests to end biannual time changes…..Pictured below are (from l-r): Lou Turco, president of the Lieutenant’s Benevolent Association; Vince Vallelong of the Sargent’s Benevolent Association; Margo and John Catsimatidis, owners of Red Apple Media and WABC, New York; and Pat Lynch, NYPD PDA Union President. They posed for the pic after taking part in TALKRADIO 77 WABC and Ramsey Mazda’s “Back the Blue Program” on Friday (10/16) in which that station asked New Yorkers to tie a blue ribbon around trees to show their support for police officers across the New York Metro area. 77WABC has already received almost 500 requests for ribbons.

SiriusXM Closes on $325 Million Acquisition of Stitcher. Back in July Sirius XM Holdings announced that it is acquiring full-service podcast platform Stitcher for $325 million. Today (10/19), SiriusXM announced it has closed the deal. The company says that alongside Pandora, Simplecast, and AdsWizz, Stitcher strengthens its position in the fast-growing podcast arena. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “We are deepening our position in podcasting, the fastest-growing sector in digital audio, and with completion of this transaction, our vision is taking shape. With Stitcher and its varied assets, we are now a one-stop shop able to meet the needs of podcast creators, publishers and advertisers, while also providing listeners with access to great shows, series and programming.” Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn stays with the company and reports to SiriusXM president and CEO Scott Greenstein. Stitcher’s chief revenue officer Sarah van Mosel also remains with the company and reports to SiriusXM chief advertising officer John Trimble.

Three Firms Partner to Expand Pacific Northwest Ag Network. The partnership between Gen Media Partners, J.L. Farmakis, Inc., and Cherry Creek Media will endeavor to expand the Pacific Northwest Ag Network that serves radio stations across Idaho, Oregon and Washington. As part of the effort, Cherry Creek Media will expand its news and content for the network that has “developed a reputation of providing in-depth and accurate farm news and information” that “producers across Washington have come to know and trust. Now that same programing is available for quality radio stations across the Northwest.” Affiliate, national, and network advertising sales will be handled by Gen Media Partners and agricultural media rep firm J.L. Farmakis, Inc. Pacific Northwest Ag Network program director Glenn Vaagen says, “The strength of the Pacific Northwest Ag Network is our connection to the farm community; those boots on the ground. Each weekday, our team provides listeners across Washington not only the latest state and national ag news, but also the latest farm research occurring at area universities, connect them with the next generation of farmers through FFA and 4-H, and much more.  We are excited about the opportunity to expand this programing across the entire Pacific Northwest.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated program “The Jubal Show” is being added to the program schedule at Cumulus Media’s CHR KKMG-FM, Colorado Springs “98.9 Magic FM.” Host Jubal Fresh, a.k.a. Jubal Flagg, had previously been heard on the station while partnered with Brooke Fox for the syndicated “Brooke & Jubal” show. After Jubal’s exit from the show in late March of this year, KKMG-FM continued to air the “Brooke and Jeffrey in the Morning” show. Now, “The Jubal Show” takes over the AM drive daypart…..Saga Communications names Borna Velic program director for Milwaukee classic rock WKLH-FM. Velic is also program director for the company’s rock WHQG-FM, Milwaukee “102.9 The Hog.” At the same time, WHQG midday personality Mindy Novotny is promoted to music director and programming assistant for that station while sister CHR WNRG-FM midday host and music director Mandy Scott adds WKLH programming assistant duties…..Nashville Public Radio announces that Jewly Hight is named music director for WNXP “91.ONE” and Marquis Munson joins the soon-to-launch station as production coordinator. Hight has served with Nashville Public Radio as a reporter and as a contributor to the NPR Arts Desk and NPR Music, among others. Munson most recently served with Cromwell Radio Group’s sports talk WPRT, Nashville “102.5 The Game.”

Friday, October 16, 2020

| October 16, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, 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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Hugging and Slugging!” looks back at this past week of October 12 – October 16, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Alan Stock, talk show host/commentator, KXNT, Las Vegas; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/founder, Scamicide.com; Frank Morano, talk show host, WABC, New York; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA “Connect FM”; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine 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.

Jack Heath Exits WGIR-AM, Manchester, NH. A brief story in the New Hampshire Union Leader indicates that radio talk show host Jack Heath has exited iHeartMedia’s WGIR-AM, Manchester, New Hampshire and his daily “NH Today” morning program. Heath said goodbye to his listeners at the end of his show and posted the following message to his Facebook page: “I have been honored and humbled to host the show for nearly 7 plus years there. I am especially grateful to the listeners for being there and proud of the work I was able to do to help NH’s great nonprofits and advocate for our veterans — a mission I will continue. This is not a goodbye but a thank you for now. Until we talk again, thanks…Stay tuned. JH.”

KFGO, Fargo’s Joel Heitkamp Positive for COVID-19. A report from the Associated Press indicates that KFGO-AM, Fargo “The Mighty 790” talk show host Joel Heitkamp has tested positive for COVID-19. The story notes that Heitkamp says he began experiencing symptoms last weekend and says he’s “lost his sense of taste and smell and is experiencing body aches.” He’s self-quarantining and still doing his radio program remotely. He told listeners, “I am in a part of the process where it’s certainly after talking with people in the medical field, it certainly looks as though I’m going to be one of the lucky ones in terms of how this has infected me, in terms of how I’m going to feel throughout this process, not going to feel good, not going to feel great.”

SRN’s Sebastian Gorka Has Twitter Account Locked After Biden Post. According to a story published at Breitbart, Salem Radio Network talk show host Sebastian Gorka has been locked out of his Twitter account after posting a photo of Hunter Biden in the bathtub smoking a cigarette and the text, “Why did @FBI take the Biden laptop and do nothing?” Gorka received a message from Twitter saying he’d been locked out for violating the rules and said he must delete the tweets that violate the rules. It’s not clear what rules were broken in the tweet. While appearing on SiriusXM with Breitbart’s Alex Marlow, Gorka said to listeners, “This is America in 2020. The FBI did nothing when they had evidence of crimes, and when I want to talk about it as an American citizen to you and the Breitbart listeners, my account was locked. We are here. We have arrived. 1984 wasn’t fiction, and they want to steal an election again, and I just don’t mean social media, I mean authorities that can burst through your front door at 4:00 am with a warrant like they did to Roger Stone.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Promises to ‘Clarify Ambiguity’ in Section 230. Saying that he’s moving in response to concerns from members of all three branches of the federal government, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai says he’ll proceed with a rulemaking to clarify Section 230 of the Communications Act that explains the immunity from legal responsibility that digital platforms enjoy with regard to their content. Pai says, “The U.S. Department of Commerce has petitioned the Commission to ‘clarify ambiguities in section 230.’  And earlier this week, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out that courts have relied upon ‘policy and purpose arguments to grant sweeping protections to Internet platforms’ that appear to go far beyond the actual text of the provision. As elected officials consider whether to change the law, the question remains: What does Section 230 currently mean? Many advance an overly broad interpretation that in some cases shields social media companies from consumer protection laws in a way that has no basis in the text of Section 230.  The Commission’s General Counsel has informed me that the FCC has the legal authority to interpret Section 230. Consistent with this advice, I intend to move forward with a rulemaking to clarify its meaning. Throughout my tenure at the Federal Communications Commission, I have favored regulatory parity, transparency, and free expression.  Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech. But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters.”

Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 12-16. The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a four-way tie between the presidential race, Thursday night’s dueling town halls, balloting issues, and scandals & accusations. Coming in at #3 was COVID-19 statistics and projections plus high-profile COVID patients, followed by health care, meds, and protective measures at #4. 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.

ASU Student Rae’Lee Klein Sues School on Free Speech Grounds. In September, Rae’Lee Klein was removed from her position as manager of Arizona State University’s student radio station Blaze Radio. This came in the aftermath of Klein’s tweet related to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In the tweet, Klein said, “Always more to the story, folks. Please read this article to get the background of Jacob Blake’s warrant. You’ll be quite disgusted.” Her attorney, Jack Wilenchik, tells Downtown Devil, “We’re suing because she’s not the station manager. She’s been constructively terminated (and) they’re not letting her do her job. They are discriminating against her based on her exercise of free speech by taking that away.” Klein has been effectively removed from her position but she’s still being paid by the school. According to media and constitutional law specialist David J. Bodney, whom Downtown Devil communicated with for the story, “There was no First Amendment violation here, and Ms. Klein’s claims are meritless. ASU and the Cronkite School have deep and abiding commitments to free speech and excellence in journalism, and this lawsuit disregards an array of facts that show just how baseless these claims really are.” Bodney added that Klein’s conduct post-Tweet is evidence she’s is no longer able to lead Blaze Radio and that the university did not terminate her employment. Bodney also says that Klein was offered other opportunities, such as starting her own radio station with support from the university, all of which she rejected.

TALKERS News Notes. The most recent Westwood One Blog post reveals data from Nielsen Audio’s national consumer study of 1,000 respondents (conducted October 1-5) that tracks the pandemic’s impact on consumer movement, spending, attitudes, and media usage. Some of the conclusions drawn include: 1) There is a 56% increase in the number of Americans working outside the home. Nielsen reports 61% of U.S. workers are now commuting to their workplace, up from 39% in early May; 2) Half of American schoolchildren are driven to school with AM/FM radio playing in the car. 50% say their children are driven to school (3% carpool, 47% parent/family member). 44% of American schoolchildren are taking the bus. 62% indicate that AM/FM radio is always on, and 35% say AM/FM radio is sometimes on in the car; and 3) The economy will affect holiday shopping, but AM/FM radio listeners will spend more than the average. A greater proportion of heavy AM/FM radio listeners say they will spend more this holiday (14%) versus heavy TV viewers (10%) and the overall market (10%). Read the full post  here…..Podcast producer Lipstick & Vinyl announces the third season of “The Double Shift,” that explores the challenges working moms face every day. The new season focuses on the disruptive impact of the coronavirus on families, how that disproportionally disrupts moms’ careers, and how to navigate that. Creator and host Katherine Goldstein says, “We’re in an acute crisis at this moment. 865,000 women have left or been forced to leave the workforce between August and September. Many of those women are moms. The lack of structured family and childcare programs that we’ve talked about on ‘The Double Shift’ are more glaringly missing than ever before.”…..Syndicated Solutions, Inc announces that its national travel radio show “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” has successfully surpassed another affiliation milestone and is now heard on more than 440 radio stations across the USA and Canada.  The Careys say, “Since the pandemic has disrupted our nation and the world back in March, ‘RMWorldTravel’ has added about 30 new affiliates and additional new sponsors, underscoring the importance of all aspects of the travel world in our daily lives.”

Outstanding Sales Opportunities. New York’s next media star is wanted at two power-packed stations. Salem Media New York, part of a nationwide media conglomerate, wants to hire two fabulous sellers who can rise to the top! Opportunity is limitless. We are looking for quality, regardless of current time in selling. Respond by dropping a note to Jerry.Crowley@Salem.cc.

Monday, October 5, 2020

| October 5, 2020

Monday Memo: Reinvent Yourself. Big broadcast companies are betting that news beats noise, TV stars are changing channels, and radio stars are leaving the airwaves to join famous faces now podcasting. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke asks, “YOUR next move?” Read it here.

POTUS and FLOTUS Contract COVID-19, Pandemic Stats & Projections, the Presidential Election, Vice-Presidential Debate, Amy Coney Barrett Nomination, California Wildfires, Regal Closes All Cinemas Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The news of President Trump’s and First Lady Melania Trump’s contraction of COVID-19 and the others in Washington who tested positive; the COVID-19 statistics and projections for future cases as U.S. numbers rise; the November presidential election; this Wednesday’s upcoming vice-presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris; the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court; the California wildfires top the 1 million acres mark; and Regal Cinemas closes all theaters in the absence of newly released films were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Three Keys to Your Next Sales Meeting. A sales meeting that doesn’t produce results is a waste of time. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, says that successful group meetings and individual meetings are based on three elements: preparation, participation, and trust. Read his column here.

Round Four of September PPM’s Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 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 September 2020 survey period covered August 13 – September 9. You can see all of the weekly, 6+ AQH share data from subscribing stations here. Also, today TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Waterloo Media’s KLBJ-AM, Austin adds a half share to finish the survey with a 5.5 share good for the #3 rank in the market. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s WTKK-FM picks up three-tenths to finish with a 7.0 share and the #3 rank. Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis adds 1.1 shares for a 9.1 share in the September survey and rises to the #2 rank. And in Milwaukee, the battle between iHeartMedia’s WISN and Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ heats up with both stations posting gains in the September survey. WISN added 1.6 shares to wrap the survey with a 10.2 share and to remain at #1. WTMJ tacks on a half share to finish with a 7.2 share and climbs to the #4 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.

Beasley Media Group Promotes Two. Rising from his role as vice president and market manager for the company’s Southwest Florida station group is Brad Beasley, who is named vice president of operations for the company. In this role, he’ll work with Beasley Media Group president Bruce Beasley and chief operating officer Brian Beasley in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company’s 64 radio stations. He says, “I look forward to this exciting new phase of my broadcasting career. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to work alongside our corporate team and with all of our great stations across the country.” Taking over the vice president and market manager post at Beasley’s Southwest Florida station group is AJ Lurie. He’s been serving as director of local market integrated partnerships at Beasley Esports and market manager of Beasley’s WJBR-FM, Wilmington, Delaware. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “AJ was the perfect choice to lead our six radio properties in Southwest Florida. His leadership and previous experience working in the market made him the perfect choice for the position. We look forward to AJ working closely with our teams to take the cluster to the next level and beyond.”

‘The Game’ in San Francisco Unveils New Morning Show. Bay Area sports talker KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” will debut a new morning drive show on October 12. The station moves midday personality Bonta Hill and evening host Joe Shasky to the morning daypart and brings Kate Scott aboard to complete the trio. Scott previously served with Cumulus’ crosstown sports talker KNBR. As a result of this change, Dan Dibley moves from mornings to the midday show and Lorenzo Neal leaves mornings but stays with the station as lead NFL insider.

WPRT-FM, Nashville Names ‘Robby & Rexrode’ Morning Show Hosts. The duo of Robby Stanley and Joe Rexrode have been hosting the morning show on Cromwell Media’s sports talk WPRT-FM, Nashville “ESPN 102.5 The Game” since the station parted ways with Derrick Mason and Braden Gall back in February. Now, the station makes them the permanent co-hosts. Station program director Ryan Porth says, “Robby and Joe have done an outstanding job on an interim basis this year as we conducted an exhaustive search for our permanent morning show. We are beyond excited to welcome them to our outstanding team. These two talented individuals add instant credibility to our lineup and bring a wealth of knowledge on the Nashville sports landscape. We are looking forward to seeing this show continue to grow.” Stanley has covered the Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans over the past 10 years for various local and national media outlets. He’s been a contributor to ‘The Game’ in multiple capacities since 2014. Rexrode brings more than 20 years of experience in journalism to the station. He’s currently serving as columnist and senior writer for The Athletic Nashville. He previously worked at The Tennessean, the Detroit Free Press and the Lansing State Journal.

SRN’s Larry Elder Appointed to White House Commission. Nationally syndicated talk show host Larry Elder has been appointed to the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys by President Trump. The commission was signed into law on August 14 to study and make recommendations to the president to address conditions affecting Black men and boys. Elder, a Salem Radio Network personality, says, “That so many children, particularly black children, are raised without fathers in the home, is our nation’s most pressing domestic problem. Former President Barack Obama said that a child raised without a father in the home is five times more likely to be poor and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school and 20 times more likely to end up in jail. We need to ask ourselves if we are incentivizing women to marry the government and if we are incentivizing men to abandon their financial and moral responsibility.”

Don Barrett Retires LARadio.com. Today (10/5), publisher Don Barrett announces that he’s ending the long-lived web publication LARadio.com launched in 1995. He writes, “My goal from day one with my books and later website was to pay tribute to the men and women who have entertained us in LARadio for the past half century. The underlying theme was to paint an accurate, positive picture of on-air radio people who sit in empty rooms broadcasting to thousands of people, weaving tales that kept the listener engaged and enthralled – the ultimate storytellers. I wanted to pay tribute to those who had gone before us and blazed the trail. Many of our profiles filled in so many missing pieces about the stories of our favorites we only thought we knew from behind the microphone. If you read a story and said, ‘I didn’t know that,’ or ‘that’s fascinating,’ then I accomplished my task. And when Los Angeles Radio People died, I never wanted that LARP, no matter how big or small, to leave in obscurity. It was important to make sure he or she didn’t leave as an unknown, but rather as a part of this rare fraternity of Los Angeles Radio People.” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison released the following statement, “As a broadcaster who spent 11 of the most gratifying years of my career in LA radio, in addition to being a trade journal publisher myself, I salute Don Barrett as a true industry hero and major champion in the ongoing battle to keep the spirit of radio alive as a major focal point of pop culture, communication and community in America.  Thank you, Don, for all you have done.”

SRN’s Sebastian Gorka at Walter Reed Trump Rally. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host and former White House national security strategist Sebastian Gorka posing for a photo with a young lady named Brooklyn who traveled from New Jersey to show support for President Trump. Gorka greeted crowds outside the medical center Saturday evening and on Sunday as they waved flags and banners in support of the president who made a brief drive-by in an SUV to thank the well-wishers.

Holland Cooke Marks Third Anniversary as Host of The Big Picture. Noted media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke marked his third anniversary as host of the RT America weekly television show, “The Big Picture” this past weekend. Joining him as a guest on the occasion was TALKERS founder Michael Harrison who served as a guest on Cooke’s debut installment in October 2017.  At that time Cooke assumed the anchoring duties when he was passed the baton by the program’s original host, Thom Hartmann. Cooke and Harrison discussed the role of political news/talk radio going forward into the third decade of the 21st century addressing such questions as whether the genre is more entertainment than information, what 2020 election result would prove more beneficial to the medium, is it likely that the nation will come together after the election and can a news organization that adheres to non-partisan journalistic principles succeed on cable TV in today’s polarized environment.  To view the segment, please click here.

Elvis Duran to Host the 2020 Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. This year’s induction ceremony for the Radio Hall of Fame will be hosted by Premiere Networks syndicated morning star Elvis Duran. The event takes place on October 29 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm and will be live from multiple locations due to COVID-19 concerns. Hall of Fame chair Kraig Kitchin says, “Elvis Duran is one of the most popular radio hosts in the country, and I’m delighted that he will lead us through an exciting live broadcast across multiple audio channels. We’re thrilled to have Smokey Robinson and such notable presenters join us. We’re looking forward to a very special evening.” This year’s inductees are: Mark & Brian – KLOS-FM, Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more); Cokie Roberts – Political Reporter, NPR, Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more); Angie Martinez – WWPR-FM New York City, Active Local/Regional (10 years or more); The Breakfast Club – Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, DJ Envy, Premiere Networks WWPR -FM, Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more); Sway CallowaySiriusXM Shade 45 Channel, Public Vote Music Format On-Air Personality; Glenn Beck – The Glenn Beck Show, Premiere Networks, Public Vote Spoken Word On-Air Personality; and Donnie Simpson – WMMJ-FM Washington D.C., Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee inductee.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution by Rodney Ho, Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta has cut the overnight news position and let 24-year staffer Mark Alewine go. Alewine tells Ho he believes the move was budget related and says, “It has truly been my distinct honor and privilege to say ‘Depend on It’ while working at the best radio station on the planet!”…..FOX Sports Radio reports “record audience gains across multiple digital platforms for September and August 2020,” saying that “the return of football, along with the NBA Playoffs and MLB season, drove major audience increases across the FOX Sports Radio Podcast Network. Total listenership grew +144% year-to-year in September, resulting in an all-time record of nearly 27 million monthly listens.”…..AdLarge Media enters into a deal with boostr for use of the latter’s technology to “seamlessly connect AdLarge’s sales and operations to enable faster execution of ad campaigns with enhanced scalability, more robust reporting, and maximum flexibility.”…..iHeartMedia Albany’s WGY “News Radio 810 & 103.1” and hot AC WRVE “99.5 The River” raised more than $274,000 during last week’s two-day “Cares for Kids Radiothon” to benefit the Bernard and Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med. The radiothon featured WGY air personalities Chuck Custer, Kelly Lynch, Diane Donato and Jaime Roberts, and 99.5 The River’s Randy McCarten, Rachel Davis, BJ the Web Guy, and Terry O’Donnell who encouraged listeners to donate and support the hospital’s pediatric health care programs. Over the last 22 years, “Cares for Kids Radiothon” has raised more than $6 million to benefit the Bernard and Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The partnership between CMT and iHeartMedia will again result in iHeartCountry serving as the official radio partner of the “2020 CMT Music Awards” airing Wednesday, October 21 at 8:00 pm ET. The live radio broadcast of the Awards telecast will air on more than 120 iHeartCountry music radio stations. This year’s star-studded awards show will feature performances from superstar acts including Ashley McBryde, Dan + Shay, Kane Brown, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and Maren Morris, with presenters and additional performances and collaborations to be announced in the coming weeks.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

| July 16, 2020

Newsmax TV Shows Impressive Audience Gains. The Newsmax TV service has been rolling out new programming and has seen ratings triple over the last six months, becoming one of if not the fastest-growing cable news channel in the U.S. In a piece published by TALKERS magazine today (7/16), executive editor Kevin Casey writes that “the service from multi-platform news organization Newsmax Media has shown notable growth in the first half of 2020 in terms of audience increase and programming development in the highly competitive OTT [over-the-top] arena.” As Newsmax TV’s ratings show impressive increases, the company tells TALKERS its insurgent news channel is on course to overtake FOX Business Network (FBN) in viewership by the end of this year. Newsmax TV has already surpassed established brands like C-SPAN and Bloomberg TV and is closing in on FBN, which sits at 6.5 million in weekly reach. The network’s weekly household reach went from less than one million in 2019 to more than 3.5 million households, according to most recent Comscore data. Read the whole story here.

Report: DOJ Allows Liberty Media to Increase Stake in iHeartMedia. According to a story in Politico, the Department of Justice is agreeing to let Liberty Media add to its current 5% stake in iHeartMedia, allowing it to acquire up to 50% of its shares. The piece notes that Liberty Media also owns a controlling stake in SiriusXM Satellite Radio (which recently acquired Pandora) as well as a 33% stake in Live Nation Entertainment. A number of consumer advocate groups had opposed the deal saying it would be “likely catastrophic” on radio markets.

Rico Beard Joins Mike Valenti on WXYT-FM, Detroit. Motor City sports media pro Rico Beard is joining Entercom’s sports talk WXYT-FM, Detroit for the afternoon drive program. The station says Beard will be heard alongside Mike Valenti on “The Mike Valenti Show with Rico,” weekdays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, beginning August 3. Mike Sullivan has been a producer and on-air contributor for the program since 2014. His last day at the station will be July 31. Entercom Detroit president and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Rico’s immeasurable experience covering all avenues of the Detroit sports scene has granted him a front row ticket to some of the biggest stages in sports. Rico has been on our wish list of talent to join our team for quite some time and we look forward to him joining Mike Valenti in offering a dynamic afternoon show for our listeners. We thank Mike Sullivan for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best in his new endeavor.” During his career, Beard has served as a host of “The Spartan Beat” podcast as well as a co-host of “The Ryan and Rico Show” for ‘Detroit Sports 105.1.’ He also worked on air at WJBK-TV, Detroit and WSYM-TV, Lansing.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the sports talk format. Without live sports since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sports talk format has suffered in the monthly PPM ratings. Compared to the May 2020 survey, just 16% of sports talk stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers go up while 73% were down. The starkest comparison is June 2019 to June 2020 in which 19% of stations managed to improve while 75% of sports talk stations declined. In this case, iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis is the outlier posting a gain of 1.5 shares to finish June with a 5.6 share and climbs from the #12 rank to #7. Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia is the highest-ranked sports talker in the PPM markets during the June survey, posting a 4.7 share good for the #6 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete analysis here.

NPR Acknowledges Audience Hit from COVID-19 Pandemic. In a story by David Folkenflik at NPR.org, the extent of the ratings hit that NPR programming has taken since commuters largely vanished back in March is revealed. The story indicates that broadcast ratings for the network’s radio programs show they lost nearly 25% of their listeners. NPR senior director of audience insights Lori Kaplan says, “We anticipated these changes. This kind of change was going to take place over the next decade. But the pandemic has shown us what our future is now.” She says research shows the NPR audience is disproportionately made up of professionals who are working from home and appear to want to continue to do so after the pandemic is over.

Sandy Beach to Retire from WBEN-AM, Buffalo. Longtime Buffalo talk radio personality Sandy Beach is retiring from the station at the end of this month. The Buffalo News reports that Beach is wrapping his 23-year stint hosting the late morning show (9:00 am to 12:00 noon) on Entercom’s WBEN-AM, Buffalo at the end of this month. Sandy Beach’s career in Buffalo goes back to 1968 when he became part of the lineup at legendary CHR outlet WWKB-AM (then WKBW-AM). It’s also notable that Beach is enshrined in three halls of fame: the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

SportsGrid Radio’s Scott Ferrall to Air on ‘The Mightier 1090’ in San Diego. When XEPRS-AM, San Diego returns talk programming to its signal at “The Mightier 1090” – operated by advertising executive Bill Hagen – sports talk personality Scott Ferrall will be part of the station’s talent pool. Ferrall – part of the Elvis Duran Group’s specialized talent roster – is being syndicated by SportsGrid Radio Network (formerly the Fantasy Sports Radio Network). When the station begins the new format, it will air “Ferrall Coast to Coast” live from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and “Ferrall on the Bench” live from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Ferrall comments, “Returning to XEPRS is an amazing opportunity for me to reconnect with my loyal Southern California fans, many of whom have become friends through the years. Sun, fun and sports are my passion and I jumped at the opportunity to work with the Southern California flagship station to create a dynamic experience for our fans. I’m honored to bring back my gnarly, irritating, annoying, old leather voice to 1090 AM for many years to come. Shake it up!!”

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report in Politico, President Trump has appointed Salem Media Group talk radio host (and former Trump aide) Sebastian Gorka to a four-year term on the National Security Education Board – which oversees the National Security Education Program that Politico reports “was created in 1991 to promote a pool of U.S. citizens fluent in foreign languages and skilled in international affairs.” Gorka worked in the White House for eight months, leaving in August of 2017…..According to a report published by Breitbart, the San Francisco police department has opened an investigation into death threats against Westwood One syndicated talk show host Michael Savage. The story says Savage received “two threats in the last seven days — one by postcard to his San Francisco home on July 10 and the second via Guerrilla Mail, an email address service where received emails are deleted after one hour.”…..Chicago media reporter Robert Feder writes that Midway Broadcasting’s news/talk WVON will be incorporating content from iHeartMedia’s new BIN: Black Information Network into its news programming. BIN programming is currently airing on WVAZ-HD2 in Chicago. Midway chair and CEO Melody Spann Cooper says, “WVON is hyperlocal, but what impacts Black America impacts us here in Chicago, where we represent one-third of the city’s population. Enhanced news is needed and iHeart’s timing is perfect.”…..ESPN reports that its ESPN Podcasts experienced 42.7 million downloads during the month of June, the eighth month in the last nine with a total of 40 million or more. The figure represents a 31% increase over June 2019. ESPN also says that according to The Podtrac Podcast Category Audience Rankings, in the sports podcast category ESPN has 11 of the top 30 podcasts, with “The Dan LeBatard Show” finishing as the third ranked podcast in the sports category…..Virtual News Center announces that Camellia City Communications’ WTHO, Thomson, Georgia is now using its services. WTHO now features the work of reporter Darrell Moody in its daily newscasts.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Navarro-Fauci Spat, Fall School Debate, Twitter Hack, Trump Tax Returns, Presidential Race/Primary Elections, Washington Redskins Name Change, and Sports Leagues Opening Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15). The spiking COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future cases; the sparring between White House trade official Peter Navarro and Dr. Tony Fauci; the ongoing debate over opening schools this fall; the hack of Twitter accounts belonging to high-profile users Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and others; lawyers for President Trump continue to fight the SCOTUS ruling he must turn his tax returns over to the Manhattan district attorney; the presidential race and this week’s primary races in Alabama, Maine, and Texas; the NFL’s Washington Redskins agree to change their name; and the various U.S. pro sports leagues prepare to begin playing games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Groundbreaking Talk Radio Consultant and Talent Coach Bill McMahon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  TALKERS magazine will celebrate its 30th anniversary on July 23 and talent coach Bill McMahon, who was featured as “The TALKERS Interview” in its first (print) issue, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” McMahon was one of the most influential talk radio consultants in the early years of the format’s modern era – which many historians credit as beginning with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 and the subsequent rise of Rush Limbaugh. McMahon, founder and CEO of The Authentic Personality Biz based in Boise, Idaho, started out as a radio salesman in the 1970s and then rose through the ranks to manage and set the programming vision for highly successful personality-oriented talk stations KIRO, Seattle and KSDO, San Diego. He went on to provide programming consulting services to many of America’s most successful talk radio stations and personalities.  In 1988, he created the first formal training system for radio air personalities and program directors (also titled The Authentic Personality™ ) which is a method that identifies the common elements of great radio performances regardless of style or content. Over the years, nearly 1,000 air personalities and program directors from stations owned by the most successful broadcasting companies in the United States and Great Britain have participated in Authentic Personality™ seminars/workshops. McMahon has personally conducted hundreds of individual coaching sessions with great (and not so great) radio air personalities using his training concepts and methods.  These include Rush LimbaughDr. Laura SchlessingerKidd KraddickJeff ElliottMichael Harrison and Johnny Vaughan just to name a handful. In this podcast, Harrison and McMahon take a deep dive into the 14 basic traits possessed by successful radio talk show hosts and provide a panoramic view of radio’s past, present, and future.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the aftermath of Nick Cannon’s anti-Semitic remarks on his podcast, his firing from his MTV show by ViacomCBS, and his subsequent apology, he’s taking time away from his radio shows. He says via Facebook: “Morning radio family. I have decided to take some time away from my radio show so I can commit myself to deeper, more thorough reflection and education. I will use this time to establish an action plan towards real, impactful change and advocacy aimed at bringing people together. I continue to express my gratitude to the Rabbis, community leaders, and institutions who have reached out to me to help enlighten me. Their input and friendship will help me as I further commit myself to more profound learning and towards strengthening the bond between the Black and Jewish cultures every day going forward.” Cannon hosts mornings on Muerelo Media’s KPWR, Los Angeles as well as a syndicated afternoon show. Syndicator Skyview Networks says, “Nick Cannon has begun a period of self-reflection to address the pain he caused, and while we recognize his apology, this time is needed to establish an action plan towards real change and advocacy.  During this period, production of the ‘Nick Cannon Radio’ show will pause. Skyview Networks values all communities and faiths and we expect all programs and personalities we syndicate to adhere to these principles.” While Skyview syndicates the program, Cannon is the executive producer in collaboration with Ncredible Productions and Meruelo Media…..iHeartMedia promotes Carson to program director for country WNCB-FM, Raleigh “B93.9.” She has been serving as music director and midday host and she takes over the PD role from Carletta Blake, who moved to the PD position at the company’s country WGAR-FM, Cleveland…..iHeartMedia Memphis Gospel outlet WHAL-FM “95.7 Hallelujah FM” is hosting its Virtual Hallelujah Summer Jam tomorrow (7/17) at 7:00 pm. The station says the event will bring together the top gospel artists in the industry for a night of praise and fellowship on-air via “95.7 Hallelujah FM,” HallelujahFM.com and on Facebook Live. The event is made possible with support from Cricket Wireless, MidSouth Transplant Foundation, and Plummer Financial.

Friday, May 29, 2020

| May 29, 2020

Cox Media Group Names Daniel York President and CEO. The board of directors of Cox Media Group announces Daniel York is the company’s new president and chief executive officer, effective today. York most recently served as senior executive vice president and chief content officer of AT&T and its subsidiary, DirecTV. York assumes the role previously held by Kim Guthrie, who left the company last month. Executive chairman Steve Pruett says, “On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to welcome Dan as the president and CEO of Cox Media Group. He has a background of success in media, content, distribution, operations, and successfully leading large organizations. Most importantly, he embraces contemporary thinking as the media landscape continues to evolve. We have full confidence he is the right person to lead CMG in the next phase of the company’s growth.” York says, “I am excited to lead Cox Media Group, a company that has the most talented team and leadership in the industry. I have always admired and respected the unparalleled quality of CMG’s 90+ TV and radio stations, digital and advertising platforms, and the company’s unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity. The past few months have underscored that there is no substitute for the most important and valuable content in the ecosystem, market-leading local news and entertainment. I look forward to working with the board and the CMG team as we continue to enhance our partnerships with our advertisers, content providers and distribution outlets to best serve our communities and millions of viewers and listeners.”

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, 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 magazine, is now posted.  The new episode titled, “Aside From That Mrs. Lincoln, How Was The Beach?” looks back at this past week of May 25-29, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSJim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood OneBrett Winterble, talk show host, WBT, Charlotte; Joyce Kaufman, talk show host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beaches; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston / webmaster, Scamicide.com; Lars Larson, talk show host, KXL, Portland / Compass Media Networks; Dr. Sebastian Gorka, talk show host, Salem Radio Network; and Peter King, correspondent, CBS News Radio, Kennedy Space Center.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE,  Mankato, MN, the Virginia Talk Radio Network, Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA, Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode,  please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine 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.

Report: KFNS-AM, St. Louis Morning Host McKernan Leading Group to Acquire the Station. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that KFNS-AM, St. Louis sports talk personality Tim McKernan is leading a group of potential investors to buy KFNS from current owner Randy Markel. Earlier this year, Markel announced he was on track to sell 50% interest in the station to two local businessmen. But the coronavirus pandemic has put that deal on hold. Now, sources tell Caesar that Markel and McKernan have signed a letter of intent for the sale. McKernan hosts the morning drive program “The Morning After” on the station. The report indicates McKernan’s investor group includes former St. Louis Blues player Pat Maroon. Markel tells Caesar he’s in the process of selling the station for “seven figures” but he can’t reveal to whom – just that the deal will happen, or not, by July 1.

POTUS Appears on Buck Sexton Show. Several days after Premiere Networks syndicated talk host Buck Sexton visited the Oval Office for “private, exclusive conversation” with President Trump, the president made good on his promise to appear on Sexton’s radio program. The two discussed America’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic and why we have to move forward before it’s too late; how “Russia Gate” makes Watergate look like small potatoes; why his executive order curtailing the power of social media platforms was necessary; what his administration has accomplished the last three and a half years; what he thinks about running against Joe Biden, and more. Photo by Shealah Craighead

Urban One Reports Q1 Net Revenue Down 3.6%. Reporting its financial data for the first quarter of 2020, Urban One, Inc., parent company of Radio One, revealed net revenue for the quarter was $94.9 million, a decrease of 3.6% from the same period in 2019. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $37.6 million, an increase of approximately $4.3 million from the same period in 2019. Urban One is reporting an operating loss of approximately $27.3 million compared to operating income of approximately $14.8 million for the same period in 2019. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins III says, “We got off to a great start to the year, with robust political advertising pushing same station revenues to +3.2% and +13.2% for January and February respectively. Then the impact of COVID-19 hit our radio markets and March rapidly turned from positive to finish -14.1%. Despite this, we were able to post double digit Adjusted EBITDA growth for the quarter, and this is a testament to both our diversified mix of assets and the dedication and skill of our employees. On a same station basis, radio advertising for April was down 58.3%, and Q2 is pacing -58.1%. Both local and national advertising is impacted by broadly similar percentages. Like many other businesses, we were forced to reduce fixed costs by means of furloughs, layoffs, significant salary cuts, and reduction of all discretionary expenditure. Our diverse mix of assets will help us through this crisis; in particular our cable TV and digital segments are not impacted to the same extent as radio, and due to a combination of strong ratings, deferred programming and marketing expenses plus other cost cuts, we expect the TV segment to deliver incremental EBITDA to help offset some of the declines in radio.  Liquidity remains strong, and I believe we have seen a floor in the revenue declines. As markets begin to re-open state by state, we intend to partner with our clients using all of our platforms to help them re-start their businesses and serve their communities in these unprecedented times.”

TALKERS News Notes. After announcing her retirement from Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago several weeks ago, morning news anchor Felicia Middlebrooks did her last shift at the all-news station today (5/29). WBBM gave her a “proper send-off” by airing a compilation of audio looking back at her time with the station as well as colleagues saying “good-bye.” Morning editor Zac Weber said, “The news can be ugly and scary and overwhelming sometimes, but you, more than anyone else, served as a constant reminder that we can always be hopeful, and always expect the best from you.”…..Three honors from the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter were bestowed upon Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” over the Memorial Day weekend. The awards were for work done in 2019. “New Jersey 101.5” deputy digital editor Sergio Bichao and reporter David Matthau won The Spotlight Award for their entry on how judges minimized sexual assault in New Jersey. Afternoon drive host Jeff Deminski won first place in the Blog category for a portfolio of opinion pieces. The team of Eric Scott, director of special projects; Patrick Lavery, afternoon anchor; Louis C. Hochman, digital managing editor; and Dan Alexander, digital news reporter won second place for Web Use, for the station’s on-air and online town hall event focusing on opioid abuse…..Entercom New York all-news outlets WCBS-AM and WINS-AM were honored with 10 2019 New York State Associated Press Association News and Broadcast Contest Awards. The two stations were jointly honored with a first-place award in the Podcast category for their collaboration on “The Breakdown,” a deep-dive into America’s infrastructure crisis. WCBS-AM took home nine other first place awards, including for Outstanding News Operation, Spot News Coverage, and Newscast…..SiriusXM announces that comedian Adam Carolla will host a special, virtual edition of his popular tour show “Adam Corolla Is Unprepared” on Monday, June 1 at 10:00 pm ET. This one-hour special video broadcast will feature Carolla hosting via Zoom. In this “Unprepared” show, Carolla – while sheltering in place from his home – improvises stand-up based on one-word suggestions from audience members pulled at random. Additionally, SiriusXM will also air a separate, exclusive two-hour “Unprepared” special featuring previously recorded comedy club shows from last year…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network News White House correspondent Greg Clugston at Joint Base Andrews preparing to board Air Force Two for Vice President Mike Pence’s flight to Atlanta for a memorial service honoring evangelist and best-selling author Ravi Zacharias, founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, who died on May 19.

Statistics & Projections and 100,000 Deaths Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 25-29. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., the death toll of more than 100,000 and projections for future cases combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the re-opening process and the state of the economy. Coming in at #3 was health care, tied with antibodies, testing, and the wearing of masks, followed by President Trump vs NC over the Republican National Convention, the presidential race, and politics at #4. 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.

 

 

News Anchor. With the retirement of a 35-year morning drive veteran, Chicago’s top-rated station, WBBM Newsradio, has a rare opportunity for a talented news anchor. Solid skills as a journalist are a must, including writing and reporting, along with strong on-air delivery and ability to handle high-pressure, breaking news situations with ease and grace. Requirements and expectations along with an online application can be found here. Entercom is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

Great Talk Host Opportunity: WBAL-AM, Baltimore Seeks PM Drive Personality. The Hearst news/talk station says: “Meaningful live and local talk is very healthy at WBAL NewsRadio FM & AM in Baltimore. We have stayed true to our mission for 95 years: a 24/7 local connection and commitment to breaking news and captivating talk. We are also the home of the Baltimore Ravens and Navy Football. This is a rigorous search for a dynamic individual, or team, to host PM drive. Beyond on-air responsibilities, our team is active on social media and in the community. Our presentation aims to be lively, fast, riveting and our hosts understand the pulse of Baltimore, Maryland and the country. We believe you can’t spell ‘Baltimore’ without B-A-L. Your mission is to create a daily PM drive program that transcends all formats as a ‘must listen.’ Be prepared to provide audio samples, but let’s start with your philosophy for local talk in 2020 and your background and life experiences. Your first step is to apply on-line at Hearst Television Careers here. Please know your interest will be held in strict confidence. Check us out at Hearst.com…a dynamic privately held organization with unmatched cable, television, radio, magazines and newspaper platforms.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “DeDe in the Morning” show joins the program schedule at Midwest Communications’ urban contemporary WQTX, Lansing, Michigan “Stacks 92.1.” The program is hosted by DeDe McGuire and is syndicated via a partnership between Dallas-based Service Broadcasting Group and Compass Media Networks. Station operations manager Terry Stevens says, “The playlist on ‘Stacks 92.1’ has a very fun, upbeat vibe. We needed a morning show that fits that vibe. All fun and no drama. After listening to ‘DeDe in the Morning’ and seeing the results she delivers in markets similar to ours we are 100% confident that DeDe and her team are the perfect fit for AM Drive on ‘Stacks 92.1!’”

Friday, December 13, 2019

| December 13, 2019

Report: Liberty Media Seeks Control or Ownership of iHeartMedia.  According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Liberty Media is asking the Department of Justice for permission to up its stake in iHeartMedia.  Currently, Liberty owns 4.8% of iHM.  The WSJ’s sources say the deal that Liberty is seeking permission for would give it control or “outright ownership.”  One source says Liberty has not decided “what kind of transaction, if any, it would proceed with should it receive permission.”  Liberty Media currently owns 33% of Live Nation – the concert business that then-Clear Channel spun off in 2005 – and 71% of SiriusXM Holdings.  The WSJ piece notes that Justice Department officials are asking “interested parties” how they’d be affected by a major live events business and a leading radio company being co-owned.

Radzik to Program ’98.5 The Sports Hub’ in Boston. At Boston sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Rick Radzik is named the station’s new program director, effective immediately.  Beasley Media Group announces Radzik is assuming the role being vacated by Mike Thomas, who heads to Chicago to become market manager for the ESPN-owned and Good Karma-managed WMVP “ESPN 1000.”  Radzik has been the station’s assistant program director since the station signed on in August of 2009.  Prior to that, he’d served for 15 years as a producer at all-news WBZ-AM, overseeing Boston Bruins broadcasts.  He began his career at crosstown WEEI-AM (when it was a news station) producing the Bruins and Boston Celtics broadcasts, as well as various talk shows.  Beasley Media Group Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack says, “Rick has been a key member of the ‘Sports Hub’ programming team since the station’s inception.  The knowledge he has amassed over the past decade, coupled with his relationships and passion for continuing our winning history, make him uniquely qualified to lead the ‘Sports Hub’ into the 2020s and beyond!”

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, 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 magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (12/13).  The new episode titled “Meddling and Muddling!” reviews the week of December 9-13, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Sebastian Gorka, talk show host, Salem Radio Network; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City;  Joan Michelson; Executive producer/host, GreenConnectionsRadio.com; Bob Lonsberry, talk show host, WHAM, Rochester/WSYR, Syracuse; Doug Stephan, talk show host, Stephan Multimedia; and Scott James Matheson, Mayor-elect, Valdosta, Georgia. This acclaimed news/talk radio show first airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm. It then airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. It also appears on the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

‘Cats Roundtable’ Show Joins ‘Florida Man Radio.’ The weekly “Cats Roundtable” show hosted by Red Apple Group president and CEO John Catsimatidis is being added to the program schedule at JVC Media’s WDYZ-AM/W288CJ, Orlando and WYGC-FM, High Springs (Gainesville market) “Florida Man Radio.”  Catsimatidis’ company Red Apple Media recently entered into a deal to acquire venerable WABC-AM, New York from Cumulus Media for $12.5 million.  That deal has not closed yet.  JVC president and CEO John Caracciolo says, “‘The Cats Roundtable’ radio show is perfect for ‘Florida Man Radio.’  John’s unique take on the news and his A-list celebrity interviews are fascinating conversations that keep listeners coming back for more.  We have been very successful with his show on our Long Island station and know this is a great fit for our growing ‘Florida Man Radio’ network.”

The Trump Impeachment Proceedings Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 9-13. The articles of impeachment against President Trump were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing in the top spot on the Talkers TenTM.  Tied at #2 this week was Russia’s meddling in the U.S. elections and the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s surveillance practices.  At #3 was Time magazine’s selection of Greta Thunberg as Person of the Year and the greater topic of climate change, followed by the deadly Jersey City shooting and the rise of anti-Semitism at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. The WGBH, Boston and PRI-produced program “Innovation Hub” takes a look at the rise of conservative talk radio and its influence on the America political scene on its most recent episode.  Joining host Kara Miller is author and University of Pennsylvania scholar-in-residence Brian Rosenwald.  His book, Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States (2019, Harvard University Press) examines the theory.  The teaser of the radio show says, “When Rush Limbaugh’s conservative talk radio program began in Sacramento in the 1980s, no one could have guessed that he would not only reinvigorate AM radio but also create a new format that would help remold the American political landscape.”  Check out the program here…..The WFAN watch continues as Newsday’s Neil Best writes that the odds-on replacement for Mike Francesa in afternoon drive on the Entercom sports talk station is midday team Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno.  He also says that Maggie Gray and Mark Malusis are “favorites” to serve as the midday personalities.  Francesa left his regular full-time role with the station a couple of weeks ago but will contribute to The Fan’s on-air content with a nightly, half-hour show at 6:00 pm.  WFAN has made no announcements about its plans for the station as of today (12/13)…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder writes today about longtime Chicago radio personality Turi Ryder’s new podcast that takes its name from her fictionalized memoir, She Said What?  Ryder co-hosts the show with Kathryn Lake and she tells Feder she’ll drop two podcasts each week, no longer than 15 minutes in length.  You can check it out here…..Condolences to the family and friends of longtime radio journalist Pete Combs, who died in Atlanta after a three-month battle with lung cancer at age 61.  Combs had been working at Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta since May of 2018.  He previously worked for WSB from 2006 through 2015 but left for KOMO-AM, Seattle before returning last year.  During his career, he worked at stations including: WGST-AM, Atlanta; KRLD-AM and the Texas State Network, Dallas; USA Radio News, Dallas; WINK-AM Fort Myers; and WBT-AM, Charlotte.  He also reported for TV station in Charlotte and Tulsa during the early 1990s.  See the rest of WSB’s tribute to Combs here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Sales pro Dawn Girocco is named director of sales for Cumulus Media’s country KSCS “New Country 96.3,” country KPLX “99.5 The Wolf,” and CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3” in Dallas.  She was most recently vice president/market manager for Cumulus Los Angeles.  Cumulus Dallas/Houston RVP Dan Bennett comments, “Being able to get someone of Dawn Girocco’s experience and success back in our company to join our Dallas team as a key sales management leader is a great plus for Dallas and our company.  Dawn’s past success in Los Angeles speaks for itself and we can’t wait for her to get started here in Texas.”…..Alpha Media promotes Danny Dwyer to assistant program director for country KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” and inks him to a new, multi-year deal.  Dwyer will continue to host the midday show and continue his role as music director.  Alpha Portland SVP and market manager Lisa Decker states, “The energy and dedication Danny brings on and off the air to our ‘Bull Nation’ listeners, musicans, artists, labels, advertisers’ and community partners are an incredible asset to our station.  His leadership with station events and promotions including our St. Jude Radiothon and Countryfest concert are irreplaceable.”…..Seven-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette, who is planning a 31-date North American tour next year, performed a special acoustic set of the album Jagged Little Pill in its entirety on December 2 at New York’s legendary The Apollo.  That show will be broadcast exclusively on SiriusXM today (12/13) through December 22…..Air personality Brittany Rose joins Townsquare Media’s CHR WJBQ, Portland as co-host alongside Lori Voornas and Jeff Parsons on the “Q Morning Show,” effective January 2.   She was most recently with Townsquare Media’s WEBB-FM, Augusta “B98.5.”…..Cumulus Media’s alternative WWWX, Appleton, Wisconsin “96.9 The Fox” announces the nationally syndicated “The Dave and Mahoney Morning Show” takes over the morning slot, effective Monday (12/16).

Thursday, November 14, 2019

| November 14, 2019

Salem Radio Network to Distribute Steve Bannon’s ‘War Room: Impeachment.’ The nightly radio show and podcast produced in cooperation with Virginia-based station owner and network operator John Fredericks is being made available on the Salem Radio Network from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.  “War Room: Impeachment,” hosted by former Breitbart exec and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon – with co-hosts Raheem Kassam and Jason Miller – is taking over the first hour of the re-feed of “America First” with Sebastian Gorka.

Steve Duemig to Be Honored at Tampa Bay Lightning Game. Late Tampa sports talk radio host Steve Duemig – who passed away back in May after a long battle with brain cancer – will be honored by the Tampa Bay Lightning and Duemig’s longtime radio home, iHeartMedia’s WDAE. The ceremony will take place this Saturday (11/16) as the iHeartMedia Tampa Bay suite will be renamed the “Duemig Den” during the first period intermission.   iHeartMedia Tampa market president Chris Soechtig says, “Steve Duemig was a legendary, one-of-a-kind talent that created a bond with his fan base like few others have.  ‘The Big Dog’ was a true champion for Tampa Bay Sports and is deeply missed by his iHeartMedia family.  We are honored to join the Tampa Bay Lightning to create a permanent tribute at Amalie Arena.”  Duemig worked at WDAE from 1996 through his final show in February of 2018.   He also served as the Lightning’s radio color analyst for two seasons, hosted a weekly show on the FOX Sports Radio network, and co-hosted a program on The Golf Channel.

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee progressive talk radio outlet WRRD-AM, Waukesha “Resistance Radio” adds an FM translator to its broadcast.  The 200-watt signal W269DL, Milwaukee is at 101.7 FM.  Station owner and “Devil’s Advocate” program co-host Michael Crute says in a statement, “Our first official act as an FM radio station will be to broadcast history, the impeachment of Donald J. Trump.  This is the completion of my vision since the day Trump was elected.  We’ve created a Wisconsin political talk network to compete with the 81 conservative talk formatted, Trump supportive radio stations across Wisconsin.”  The station’s programming is also heard on Madison signals WTTN-AM, Columbus/W224EG, Madison as “Talk 92.7 Madison.”.…..The Boston Globe reports that Jon Wallach is taking a leave of absence from WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” where he works on the “Toucher & Rich” morning drive show.  Wallach was recently diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma – a tumor behind his right eardrum – that is, fortunately, benign…..There’s rumor of a potential split about to take place at ESPN RadioThe Big Lead reports that Trey Wingo – one half of the “Golic & Wingo” morning drive program on ESPN Radio – wants off the radio show he co-hosts with Mike GolicThe Big Lead says, “Trey Wingo hopes to leave ‘Golic & Wingo’ on ESPN Radio by the time next football season rolls around … It is currently unknown whether or not he will remain with ESPN — he’s been a fixture in Bristol since 1997 — when his deal expires in late 2020 but even if he does it is highly unlikely to be in the capacity of morning drive radio.”…..New York Post columnist Andrew Marchand continues to write about the imminent programming changes at sports talk WFAN with the announced departure of afternoon drive host Mike Francesa from the radio schedule.  Marchand pulls no punches as he scrutinizes the Entercom station.  He says that both Greg GianottiBoomer Esiason’s AM drive partner – and midday personality Bart Scott are both set to be free agents at the end of the year.  Read his take on the state of WFAN here…..Tomorrow (11/15), Eric Goranson, host of Envision Networks’ “Around The House With Eric G,” and Jeff “JT” Tracy, host of Envision Networks’ “Barbecue Nation,” will participate in the live radiothon on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KPAM-AM, Portland “AM 860 The Answer” to raise money for Operation Helping Our Heroes.  Eric G. says, “It is an honor to work with a group like the Clark County Veterans Assistance Center, where 100% of the proceeds go directly to helping the needs of our servicemembers, veterans and their families.”

Impeachment Hearings, Roger Stone Trial, Trump Tax Returns Ruling, 2020 Presidential Race, Dow Hits Record High, Trump-Erdogan Tensions, China Black Death Cases, Hong Kong Violence, College Admissions Scandal, Venice Floods/Climate Change Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13). The impeachment hearings taking place before the House Intelligence Committee; the trial of former Trump adviser Roger Stone on charges of obstruction of Congress, lying to Congress and witness tampering; a U.S. Appeals Court declines to hear President Trump’s appeal of a lower court ruling that Congress has the right to eight years of Trump’s tax records; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the addition of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick into the race; the Dow closes at an all-time high of 27,783.59; President Trump meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Trump’s letter advising Erdogan “not to be a fool”; two reported cases of the plague in China; a former California insurance exec is sentenced in the college admissions scandal; and Venice suffers record flooding after unusual high tide blamed on climate change were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New York Festivals 2020 Radio Awards Open for Entries; Winners to Be Honored at NAB Show in Las Vegas. The New York Festivals 2020 Radio Awards is now open for entries and, for the first time in the 38-year history of the awards, the NYF’s Radio Awards winners will share the stage and the spotlight with NYF’s TV & Film Awards medal and trophy winners at the inaugural “Storytellers Gala.” Both competitions will be honored on Tuesday, April 21 at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas. New York Festivals VP and executive director Rose Anderson states, “Stories give us a common language – that’s the way we communicate with each other – and today’s technology provides so many opportunities that weren’t possible or even imaginable in the past. This spring, we will celebrate the men and women from around the world whose innovative work impressed our grand jury panels.” The “Storytellers Gala,” celebrating global content creators from radio, TV & film, and across all platforms, marks the 10th year of NYF’s strategic partnership with NAB Show. The 2020 multi-competition gala will feature award-winning guest presenters from around the globe and will bring a new level of prominence, interest, and recognition for all participants that will continue in the year ahead. The Radio Awards receives entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from over 30 countries around the globe. The mission of the competition is to honor the achievements of content creators who make up the global storytelling community. You can see the 2019 Winner’s Showcase here. The deadline to enter the 2020 Radio Awards competition is February 1, 2020. To enter please click here. For additional information visit: Rules and Regulations.

Nielsen: 98% of Small and Medium Market Adults Use Radio. From its just-released Audio Today Medium & Small Market Edition report, Nielsen finds that in small and medium markets, 98% of adults 18+ use radio monthly in these markets; 94% of adults 18-34 do, as well, along with 99% of adults aged 25-to-54.  In the study, Nielsen examines a new, in-depth profile of radio audiences by age, gender, employment, and other factors.  The report details the buying power of these important consumers and reveals how, when and where they consume audio content – including podcast use and smart speaker adoption in smaller markets.  The study finds that the top radio formats in medium and small markets are: country (14.1% share of audience), news/talk (11.8%), pop contemporary hit radio (8.3%), adult contemporary (7.3%) and classic rock (6.2%).

William O’Shaughnessy Publishes New Book, Radio Active. Westchester, New York broadcasting legend William O’Shaughnessy has published his latest book – a compendium of interviews, editorials, and musings – under the title, Radio Active (2019, Whitney Media Publishing).  The president and chief executive of Whitney Global Media says that he’s first and foremost a defender of the First Amendment.  “I’ve been accused, among other unflattering appellations, of being a First Amendment voluptuary.  It’s a moniker I proudly wear…I’ve tried to do my bit on this vital and essential subject.  But I haven’t done nearly enough.  My own meager and sporadic efforts pale in comparison to the valuable, unrelenting work of First Amendment warriors I’ve always admired. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of their sandals.”  O’Shaughnessy has long served as editorial director of radio stations WVOX-AM and WVIP-FM in New Rochelle.  He says, “At WVOX and WVIP our mantra has always been ‘Where Many Different Voices Are Heard in the Land.’”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes O’ Shaughnessy’s latest book as “an inspiring hodgepodge of politics, popular culture, and an array of voices representing the best of American diversity as expressed in the media marketplace – just like his radio stations.”  Harrison goes on to say, “Bill is one of the radio industry’s most outspoken and courageous champions of the First Amendment.  Part 1 of this book is totally devoted to his research, analysis, and explanation of the First Amendment and should be required reading for all of today’s practitioners of talk media.”

45th Gracie Awards Announces Call for Entries. The call for entries is open for the 45th Annual Gracie Awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on May 19, 2020, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, and the Gracie Awards Luncheon takes place on June 24, 2020, in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street. AWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “Each year, the Gracie Awards celebrate and honor truly exceptional content by, for, and about women. It is our belief that recognizing expertise, courage, and contributions across television, radio, and interactive/digital media is essential to ensuring continued growth for our industry. As our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Gracies enables the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to deliver on its promise of furthering the connection, education, and recognition of women in media.” AWMF says that each year, attention is given to evaluating categories, and this year that included adding a category for showrunners in television and creating more avenues for radio hosts/co-hosts by adding categories for Outstanding News Anchor and Weekend Host Personality. Serving again as chairs for the 2020 Gracie Awards are McVay Media Consulting president Mike McVay and AWMF board members Heather Cohen, executive vice president at The Weiss Agency, and Annie Howell, co-founder and managing partner at The Punch Point Group. Vicangelo Bulluck, an Emmy Award-winning veteran in awards production, has produced the Gracie Awards since 2016 and will return to produce the Gracie Awards Gala in 2020. The 2019 Gracie Awards entry eligibility air dates are from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. Early Bird rates for entries end on December 12, 2019, at 11:59 PM Eastern. The deadline for all entries is January 16, 2019, at 11:59 PM Eastern. Entry details including pricing, updated categories can be seen here. See more about the 2019 Gracie Awards, including the media release and past video, here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Bailey moves from iHeartMedia’s KTCL-FM, Denver “Channel 93.3” to Entercom’s alternative KVIL-FM, Dallas where she’ll be music director and midday personality, effective December 2.  Entercom Dallas regional president and market manager Brian Purdy says, “Jim Fox [vice president of programming] and I are excited to have Bailey bring her nearly 20 years of music programming and on-air experience to ‘ALT 103.7.’  With her extensive knowledge of the alternative format and its audience, Bailey is perfectly suited to serve our listeners.”  Bailey began her radio career in Boston at legendary alternative outlet WFNX…..On-air pro Quincy Harris exits Radio One’s urban AC WRNB, Philadelphia where he’d been handling morning show duties alongside K Foxx.  He’d been with the station for two years.  K Foxx moves to middays while a replacement AM drive show is yet to be announced…..At Curtis Media Group’s Greenville-New Bern, North Carolina hip hop WIKS “101.9 Kiss FM,” Jane Dough is named program director, November 18.  She comes to WIKS from her most recent post as midday personality and music director at Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WZFX, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Foxy 99.”  Dough says, “Although it was hard to say goodbye to my Beasley Media Group family, I’m excited for a new beginning and the chance to grow even more in my career.  The transition to New Bern has been easier than I expected thanks to the wonderful staff and co-workers at Curtis Media Group.”…..Townsquare Media and Compass Media Networks are launching a new, syndicated radio show called “XXL HIGHER LEVEL RADIO,” starring WBLK, Buffalo “Power 93.7” evening personality DJ Wire.  The show’s name is tied to Townsquare’s XXL Magazine, website and app.  The program features exclusive artist interviews, hip-hop news from the XXL news desk, DJ mixes, and a countdown of top hits. The show’s playlist is driven by data from XXL.  Townsquare SVP of digital Jared Willig says, “When Townsquare acquired XXL Magazine in 2014, our mission was to expand the iconic brand via social, video, podcasting, events and more, while maintaining the core print magazine which is so important to the community.  ‘XXL HIGHER LEVEL RADIO’ is the next phase of that strategy, and like the XXL brand itself, we are excited for it to be influential, interactive and digital-forward.”

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

| October 2, 2019

Fisher House Veteran’s Day Show Available. The Fisher House Foundation and The Jeff Wyatt Group announce WMAL-FM, Washington, DC morning drive personality Mary Walter is again anchoring the Fisher House Foundation’s 2019 talk radio special, “The Fisher House Story – In Their Own Words.”  The three-hour, one-hour, and 30-minute radio specials feature stories of America’s heroes, the families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey.  The Fisher House program provides “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers.  The homes provide temporary free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis.  Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker says, “‘The Fisher House Story’ talk show shares the inspiring stories of service members and veterans during Veterans Day and the holiday season.  Mary Walter skillfully guides us through these accounts.”  A clock and demo will be available by October 4 at www.radio.fisherhouse.org.  The show will be available for download November 1 for potential airing Veterans Day weekend through the holiday season, into Memorial Day and 4th of July weekend at the same website.  The Fisher House country radio show, “The Gift,” will continue to be produced by Sharla McCoy.  For more information email sharlamccoy@gmail.com.  For more information on this radio special, contact Jeff Wyatt at jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com.

Kris Foley Rises to Region President for iHeartMedia. Sales and management pro Kris Foley is promoted to region president for iHeartMedia South Ohio that includes more than 27 broadcast and digital stations in the Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton markets.  Foley was most recently vice president of multi-market partnerships and business developments.  She also previously served the company as the senior vice president of sales in North Ohio. She says, “I started my media career in South Ohio as an account executive.  I’m absolutely thrilled to be working alongside the strong leaders and incredible team here in South Ohio and I can’t wait to take the region to new levels.”

Connoisseur Announces Launch of Ferocious Content. Partnering on this new project with Connoisseur Media are JJ Durand (left) and John Deptulski (right).  The new company, Ferocious Content, will focus on video and social media content.  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw says, “We are pumped to be partnering with these talented guys.  Our clients are increasingly asking for our help with video and social, so we decided to launch a brand-new company.”  Durand adds, “When we were given a chance to partner with such a blue-chip media company, we pounced on it.  We will be creating content that will help local advertisers eat up their competitors.”

TALKERS News Notes. Season two of the iHeartRadio Original Podcast, “Unobscured,” hosted and produced by Aaron Mahnke, premieres on the iHeartPodcast Network with Mahnke delving into the world of Spiritualism.  The first episode explores the life of Andrew Jackson Davis, a popular American Spiritualist, and how he helped to jumpstart the movement ….. Former KFRX-FM, Lincoln, Nebraska radio personality Matt McKay, a.k.a. Matthew Rydberg, was sentenced to two years’ probation after pleading guilty to domestic assault after an incident at his home in April of this year.  Lancaster County District Judge Darla Ideus sentenced Rydberg and also ordered him to follow the recommendations of his probation officer regarding alcohol counseling or treatment needed and to complete a domestic violence intervention program.  Rydberg was let go from the Alpha Media station shortly after his arrest ….. SiriusXM is offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season with live play-by-play of every game, plus expert insight and analysis on the SiriusXM NHL Network Radio channel.  SiriusXM also announces that Gord Stellick and Scott Laughlin will host an all-new morning show on the channel the day the season begins ….. Pictured here is Salem Radio Network host Dr. Sebastian Gorka board the airplane of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday evening as he accompanies Secretary Pompeo on his trip to Rome. Stops on their itinerary include meetings with Italian president Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and a visit to The Vatican.  SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “We are honored that Secretary of State Pompeo – who invited SRN’s Hugh Hewitt to travel overseas with him earlier this year – has now extended that opportunity to “America First” host Dr. Sebastian Gorka.  Our mission is to deliver breaking news and what to think about it, and the background gained on these important missions will prove valuable in the exciting days ahead.”

 

 

September 2019 PPM Data – Information for the September 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino, Middlesex (New Jersey) and San Jose. Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 survey period covered August 15 – September 11. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from three markets below.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – After gaining one-half share in July/August (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” relinquishes 40% of that increase (1.8, -.2, 6+) and slips from #18 to #20. Townsquare Media’s similarly-formatted WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” has an extremely consistent March 2019 through September 2019 topline: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 (6+) and continues at #22. May’s one-tenth increase halted five straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall loss of four-tenths. Surrendering in its entirety the three-tenths it racked up in July/August (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – .9, 6+), news/talk WABC falls from #22 to #24.

Not only does WFAN (Yankees, Giants) falter by six-tenths (3.8 – 3.2, 6+), the Entercom sports talk outlet fades from the top ten (#9 to #13) with its softest 6+-showing (3.2) since March 2019’s 3.0. Off an overall four-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (Jets) ends the slide with an increase of two-tenths and returns to the top twenty (1.8, #21 to #20, 6+).

In three consecutive negative or neutral trends, WINS lost seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). The Entercom all-news outlet picks up two-tenths in August (3.4, 6+) yet backslides from #11 to #12. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (Mets) repeats July’s 2.5 but dips from #14 to #15. Prior to August’s improvement of one-tenth, WCBS-AM faltered by a collective full-share via four straight declines (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+).

Up an overall half-share in three successive reports without a loss (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM advances from #16 to #14. The February 2019 through September 2019 topline for co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM is .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .3 (flat at #33, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – This marks Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM’s fourth consecutive positive or neutral sweep for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+) as “NEW 102.7” marches from tenth to eighth. There’s a similar positive story for cluster-mate WNYL “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative,” which nets six-tenths in six straight reports without a decrease (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5, #16 to #15, 6+). Bouncing back from August’s dip of four-tenths with a half-share uptick (3.1 – 3.6, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10). Immediately before August’s drop, “Amor 93.1” notched four successive up or neutral moves for an overall gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). In five straight sweeps without an increase, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT lost seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+) but “Hot 97” shakes loose with a +.4 to 3.5 (#12 to #11, 6+). Having logged a 6.8 (6+) in May, June, and July, WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” erupted with a jump of nine-tenths in August to 7.7 (6+). The iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility repeats that 7.7 (6+) in September and is #1 the 27th consecutive ratings period. The 7.7 (6+) in August and September matches what was recorded in March when “Lite FM” posted a one-half share increase; WLTW  surrendered seven-tenths in April. A combined -5.3 in January/February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), “Lite FM” was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). It has a full two-share lead over Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits,” which hasn’t had an increase since June but has only lost one-tenth in that stretch (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). Although backsliding from a three-way tie at #18 to #19, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Station” yields eight-tenths in four successive boosts (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+). In addition to being up a combined half share in July/August (4.8 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ recorded its highest 6+-stat in more than two years (5.3, as well, in April 2017). While it carries on in fourth-place “Z-100” is down one-tenth in August to 5.2 (6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Erasing May/June’s combined +.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+) with an overall -1.0 in three straight decreases (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.5, June – July – August – September, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” segues from sixth to seventh. This (3.5) is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.2. Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA has nearly doubled June’s .6 in July/August/September (.8 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+) although “AM 870 The Answer” regresses from #29 to #30. KRLA lengthens to four-tenths its lead over iHeartMedia-owned KEIB, which drops to .7 (#32 to #35, 6+); “AM 1150 The Patriot” had posted a 1.0 in three of the last four sweeps (1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (.3 – .4 – .5, 6+), progressing from #40 to #38.

The flagship of the Dodgers and Chargers, iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” (1.3 – 1.4, +.1, unchanged at #28, 6+) stretches to six-tenths its advantage over Disney-owned (Angels, Rams key station) KSPN “710 ESPN” (flat at .8, #36 to #33, 6+). In June and July, the two sports talkers were deadlocked at #27 (1.4, 6+).

With an extremely steady April 2019 through September 2019 topline of 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.7 (6+), Entercom all-news KNX “1070 News Radio” advances from #14 to a three-way scrum at #12. Prior to picking up one-tenth in July, KNX had five straight negative or neutral monthlies accounting for a full-share loss in that January 2019 – June 2019 timeframe (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+).

Via three consecutive reports without a loss, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” nets twotenths (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+) but backslides from #21 to #23.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Over the course of its nine successive up or flat trends that have yielded nine-tenths, Cumulus Media-to-Meruelo Media Holdings KLOS “95.5 Southern California’s Classic Rock” has recorded a 3.3 (6+) four times in a row (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, eighth to ninth, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLLI “Cali 93.9 – #1 For Reggaeton y Mas” doubles its 6+-stat via four straight reports without a loss (.9 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.8, #24, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” is off a collective four-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.7, #11 to #12, 6+). At the same time that Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” adds six-tenths (5.0 – 5.6, third to second, 6+), smooth AC sibling KTWV “94.7 The Wave” falters by the same margin (4.8 – 4.2, -.6, flat at #4, 6+). While “K-Earth” pulls the plug on three downward trends in succession that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), “The Wave” suffers its fourth consecutive down or flat report resulting in a cumulative -1.0 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+). This (4.2) is the lowest 6+-stat for KTWV since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.6. In a 5.8 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.9 pattern (June – July – August – September, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” is #1 the 12th straight time. Prior to January when it surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+), KOST was an overall +8.4 through five improvements in a row (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). Despite recording its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.2 (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), hot AC sibling KBIG “104.3 My-FM” must settle for a backward move (second to third). The 5.3 in August and September is KBIG’s strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (5.5, September 2018). Zooming from #16 to #12 with its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2018 (2.7, as well), Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105 FM” is up a collective one-half share in four consecutive sweeps without a decrease (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). By picking up two-tenths to 3.8 (seventh to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” applies the brakes to six consecutive negative or neutral sweeps that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to June, the last time “Kiss” was under a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Entercom-owned/similarly-formatted KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory the 28th time in a row and records a 2.3 (6+) the fourth time in the last six reports (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, #19 to a four-way tie at #16, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned alternative KYSR has gained seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9, #12 to #11, 6+). “Alt 98.7” has a half-share advantage over format rival, Entercom-owned KROQ, which is +.5 as a result of four successive up or neutral reports (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4, #18 to #15, 6+). KROQ’s June gain of one-tenth ended four consecutive sweeps without positive movement that resulted in a collective half-share deficit (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). In the last ten ratings periods (“Holiday” 2018 through September 2019), Santa Monica College-owned variety KCRW has recorded a 1.1 (6+) six times and a 1.3 (6+) the other four (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1, #30, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – An increase of four-tenths (2.8 – 3.2, #16 to #12, 6+) takes Tribune Media news/talk WGN (White Sox) to its best 6+-showing (3.2) since February’s 3.5. WGN was locked on 2.9 (6+) in April and May and then on 3.0 (6+) in June and July. Conversely a loss of four-tenths forces Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM off the top twenty (2.1 – 1.7, #20 to #21, 6+); 1.7 is its lowest 6+-stat since March (1.7, as well).

Up a combined half-share in August/September (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (Cubs) progresses from sixth to fifth. Trending 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 (May – June – July – August – September, 6+), Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” jumps from #25 to #23.

Flat in fourth-place, Entercom all-news WBBM-AM (Bears) is an overall -1.4 via eight successive down or neutral moves (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). WBBM-AM finished on top in January, February, and March.

In three consecutive spikes, Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ gains four-tenths (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) and climbs from #16 to #15.

Chicago Music Formats – Wiping away July/August’s -1.0 (4.8 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+) with a September +1.1 to 4.9 (6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” vaults from seventh to third and has its best 6+-showing (4.9) in nearly a year (5.0, 6+, October 2018). Not only is iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ a collective +1.4 in three straight bumps (4.3 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+), “V-103” progresses from third to first. As is the case with aforementioned WLS-FM, WVAZ records its best 6+-stat since October 2018 (5.7, as well), which is the last time “V-103” reached #1. Departing the top spot is Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” which craters by -1.5 (5.7 – 4.2, first to sixth, 6+). In July, the combination of a three-tenths uptick by WTMX classic rock sibling WDRV “97.1 The Drive” and an equal margin decrease by “The Mix” resulted in the cluster-mates swapping places at first and second. In August, “The Mix” notched a +.5 (5.2 – 5.7, 6+) and proceeded from second to first. WTMX was #1 in April, May, and June before giving way to “The Drive” in July; April’s 5.9 was the highest 6+-stat for “Mix” since November 2017’s 6.3. Repeating at #10, Cumulus Media’s WKQX “The New Home For Alternative” is a collective +.8 in six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). After logging three gains in a row for a collective increase of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Venture Technologies Group-owned adult contemporary WRME-LP returned two-tenths in August; however, “FM 87.7 – Me TV” rebounds with a September bump of four-tenths to 3.3 (#14 to #11, 6+). June’s 3.0 marked the first time WRME-LP reached the three-share level (6+) since November 2018’s 3.3. Its two AC rivals are down slightly in September. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WLIT “93.9 Lite FM,” which had been without a loss five times in a row for a collective gain of six-tenths (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), regresses by three-tenths to 4.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+), while Hubbard Broadcasting’s WSHE “100.3 SHE” drops two-tenths (3.1 – 2.9, #11 to #15, 6+). “Lite FM” was a combined +10.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+). Before faltering by one-half share in May, WSHE notched an overall increase of eight-tenths via four consecutive positive or flat moves (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). The market’s two main country outlets have August 2019 to September 2019 fluctuations of one-tenth. On the plus side, Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” is 2.6 – 2.7 (+.1, steady at #18), whereas iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” is 1.6 – 1.5 (-.1, #23 to #24, 6+). This is the third time in the last six reports that WUSN “US-99” posts a 2.7 (2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+); WEBG logged a 1.6 (6+) the past three sweeps. Before dropping two-tenths in June, “Big” had been up or flat the previous seven survey periods for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “98.7 – Chicago’s Classical and Folk Music Radio” is without an increase the sixth time in a row and is down an overall one-half share in that stretch (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, #29, 6+).

Christian Radio On-Air Opportunity. WAWZ, New York is seeking a program director/air talent.  The station says, “‘STAR 99.1’ is metro NYC’s uplifting Christian adult contemporary station.  We’re looking for the right person to lead our programming department and continue to build our brand on the New York radio dial.  But wait, there’s more!  You’ll lead a ‘live & local’ team of talent, create our on-air imaging, establish music philosophy, supervise hourly clock structure and execution, analyze PPM, online and auditorium research to serve our listeners and grow our audience.  When it comes to digital, social media might as well be your second language.  You will oversee text, video and voice content that drives traffic to our website, social and mobile communities.  Together with a great team, you’ll work diligently to reflect the tastes, interests and values of a Christian listener.  Apply today.  Looking for 3 years of successful programming experience.  Knowledge of NexGen, VoxPro, and Adobe Audition is a plus. To apply, submit your resume to jobs@star991.com.  No Phone calls, please.  WAWZ/Pillar of Fire is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio programming pro Steve Weed is retiring from radio and his position as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Central California region.  Weed, who’s served in the industry for almost 50 years, says, “It’s been an incredible journey, from weekend shifts while in college at UCLA, right up to today.  I’ve spent my entire working life doing the one thing I love, never holding a job outside of radio.  I’ve been truly blessed to have worked with so many gifted and talented people throughout my career and I hope along the way I’ve helped some advance their own careers.”…..The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” lets midday personality Amanda Kelly go after four months in the position.  She was a cast member on the station’s “Jeff & Jenn” morning show but moved to middays after Jeff Dauler exited the station…..Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated Elvis Duran releases his first book – a memoir titled, Elvis Duran: Where Do I Begin? Stories (I Sort of Remember) From a Life Lived Out Loud (2019 Atria Books).  He launched the book with appearances on “The TODAY Show” on Tuesday (10/1) and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on Monday (9/30)…..Cumulus Media gives Shreveport operations manager Jay Michaels program director stripes for the cluster’s country KRMD-FM. He also serves as PD and afternoon drive personality for the cluster’s hot AC KQHN “Q97.3.”  Michaels says, “To say that KRMD is a heritage brand is an understatement.  I’m excited to work closely and hands on with our talented air staff and reclaim our position as the dominant country leader in the marketplace.”…..The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication of Abilene Christian University names WAY Media president & CEO (and distinguished alum) John Scaggs ’90 the recipient of the 2019 Gutenberg Award.  The Gutenberg Award recognizes distinguished professional achievements of ACU’s Journalism and Mass Communication Department alumni.

Friday, September 27, 2019

| September 27, 2019

The WWL, New Orleans-Seth Dunlap Case Gets More Bizarre; Station Accuses Host of Extortion.  According to coverage of this story in the Times-Picayune, the reason Entercom went from an internal investigation of the anti-gay slur tweet against sports talk host Seth Dunlap to turning it over to the police (as TALKERS reported yesterday), is because it believes Dunlap himself sent the text and is attempting to extort $1.85 million out of the company.  The New Orleans police department says WWL believes the tweet was sent from Dunlap’s cell phone.  The police report also notes that the station is accusing Dunlap of threatening to go “scorched earth” over the matter and is demanding $1.85 million in order to get out of personal financial trouble.  The station adds that it has been receiving letters regarding wage garnishment for Dunlap as creditors attempt to collect for unpaid credit card bills and personal loans.  The police are currently working to corroborate WWL’s conclusions.  Right now, they are calling it a possible extortion case.  Dunlap’s lawyer, Megan Kiefer, says Dunlap didn’t have access to the station’s Twitter account and that the station is “attempting to blame the victim of its own anti-LGBT culture.”

New KIRO-AM, Seattle Program Schedule Unveiled. As a result of the semi-retirement of longtime KIRO-AM personality Dave “The Groz” Grosby and the transition of the “Brock & Salk” morning show to a podcast, Bonneville’s sports talk KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” announces its new lineup, effective Monday (9/30).  First, in afternoon drive, Bob Stelton moves from the early afternoon show to afternoon drive with Dave Wyman and Jim Moore for the “Bob, Dave and Moore” show.  Stelton’s departure from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show results in Tom Wassell being joined in the daypart by Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps for the “Tom, Jake and Stacy” show.  Rost is a Seahawks insider who has served as a writer and editor with 710Sports.com and host with KIRO-AM. Heaps played quarterback at BYU, Kansas and Miami.  He had pro stints with the Jets and Seahawks and joined the station in 2018.  That show will be produced by current “Brock & Salk” producer Kyle Brown.  Taking over the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show is the “Danny and Gallant” program, featuring Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant.  O’Neil moves from his current afternoon drive role on the “Danny, Dave and Moore” show and Paul Gallant arrives from Houston where he’d most recently been hosting mornings at Entercom’s KILT-AM.  Jessamyn McIntyre will produce the “Danny and Gallant” program.  Mike Salk leaves his daily show to focus on his program director role with the station but, as noted above, he and Brock Huard will produce a weekly podcast version of their show, beginning next week.  As TALKERS reported previously, Grosby steps away from his daily show but will do a segment with John Clayton at 11:45 am and will serve as a guest host.  He’s also going to have an expanded role with 710Sports.com.

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, 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 magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (9/20).  The new episode titled “Whistle a Yappy Tune!” looks back at this past explosive week of September 23-27, 2019.  Recorded at this week’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC, the show features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine;  Dale Jackson, WVNN, Huntsville, AL; Michael Brown, KHOW, Denver; Gordon DealCompass Media NetworksCasey Hendrickson, WRTC, South Bend, IN; Michael Patrick Leahy, WLAC, Nashville; Martha Zoller, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Dan “Ox” Ochsner, KNSI, St. Cloud, MN; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami; and John De Petro, WNRI, Woonsocket, RI.     This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

SRN’s ‘Battle for America’s Soul’ Tour Hits Phoenix. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network talk show hosts in Phoenix as SRN’s “Battle for America’s Soul” tour stopped at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.  SRN says the sellout crowd of more than 1,000 heard the hosts discuss topics from impeachment to the culture wars.  From left to right are: SRN hosts Larry Elder and Dr. Sebastian Gorka, two unidentified KKNT, Phoenix listeners, Twitchy.com founder Michelle Malkin, and moderator/SRN talk host Mike Gallagher.

Seen and Heard at the Radio Show. TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay reports from the 2019 NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas.  He says Thursday’s sessions focused on podcasting and sales, culminating in the annual Marconi Awards ceremony.  He notes that 139 students interested in radio and media from across the country attended the Radio Show as part of the Broadcast Education Association’s mentoring program.  Executive director Heather Birks says of the 400 or so students who’ve taken part in the last five years, 75% are now working in media and about 50% are working in radio.  Read Jeff McKay’s report here.

2019 Marconi Award Winners Honored. At last night’s awards dinner at the 2019 NAB/RAB Radio Show, the Marconi’s were handed out.  Spoken-word winners of this year’s honors include: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington for Major Market Station of the Year; Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle for News/Talk Station of the Year; and Beasley Media’s WBZ-FM, Boston for Sports Station of the Year.  WBZ-FM’s “Felger and Massarotti” – Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti – were honored with the Major Market Personality of the Year award.  WRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University” was honored with the “College Station of the Year” award.  See all the winners here.

TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Katie Couric is hosting an iHeartRadio Original podcast titled, “Next Question with Katie Couric.”  The show becomes part of iHeartMedia‘s iHeartPodcast Network and will “explore some of today’s most important issues and transformative trends through insightful and engaging conversations that span news, politics, and pop culture.” Topics addressed in the 12 episodes include: ABC’s of CBD, Jennifer Garner’s foray into entrepreneurship, whether ageism is the last socially acceptable “ism,” the eSports universe, and a conversation with a former white supremacist who now works to deradicalize others…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “The Johnny Carson Channel,” on October 1.  The month-long special programming will feature the top, handpicked episodes of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”  The programs will highlight notable classic moments, including the first “Tonight Show” stand-up appearances by Jerry Seinfeld (1981), Jay Leno (1977), and Ellen DeGeneres (1986), and Eddie Murphy (1982). There are also interviews with Lucille Ball, Muhammad Ali, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Billy Crystal, and Oprah Winfrey.

The Impeachment Inquiry Is the Top News/Talk Story for the Week of September 23-27. The Democrats decision to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Ukraine phone conversation flap.  Coming in at #3 was immigration reform, followed by the UN General Assembly and climate change tied at #4.  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 entire chart here.

Sports Talk and Album Rock Radio Pioneer Richard Neer Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  There have been a number of stories these past couple of weeks from the world of popular culture.  They include the milestone of Bruce Springsteen reaching his 70th birthday and the impact of his political outspokenness on how his fans might view him.  The deaths of rock stars Ric Ocasek and Eddie Money – also in their seventies; the disturbing saga of football wide receiver Antonio Brown; and the growing popularity in the podcasting world of the “true crime” genre.  WFAN, New York, sports talk personality Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Harrison describes Neer as “one of my oldest and best friends… and one of my top go-to guys on the subjects of sports, music and crime.”  Neer has been a sports talk show host on WFAN in New York since 1988.  He is also a pioneer of album rock radio having worked in the golden era at WLIR on Long Island and WNEW-FM in New York.  He wrote the milestone book about rock radio titled FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) and has a growing following of fans for his series of murder mysteries featuring the ongoing adventures of Riley King, Private Investigator.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air personality Joe “Flu Season” Lewis joins Cumulus Media as afternoon host and programming assistant at urban contemporary KTCX, Beaumont, Texas “Magic 102.5.”  He was most recently the evening host at Cumulus’ WLZN-FM, Macon, Georgia.  KTCX program director Kelly Mac says, “Joe is a passionate, multi-skilled on-air talent who brings an array of experience to the table.  He not only gets the on-air aspect of radio, but strongly embraces the community as well as the digital, imaging, and branding aspect of radio, which made him a perfect fit for this role.  I look forward to watching him grow and succeed with the Cumulus team.”…..Leaving his brand/content director post with Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH-FM, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” for a yet-to-be-revealed position is programming pro Scott Roddy.  He joined the station in February of 2016…..Below is Premiere Networks personality Amy Brown (right) with Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott (left).  Scott appeared on the “4 Things with Amy Brown” podcast to talk about the band’s new album and the single, “Ocean.”  She’s also a guest on Scott’s weekend radio program, “Women of iHeartCountry.”

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