Guardian Angels Have Significant Presence as NYC Crime Deterrent as Curtis Sliwa Breaks New Ground on WABC. In the late 1970s, New York City was a modern-day equivalent of the Wild West. Murder and violent crime were the norm. A trip on the subway was an exercise in urban survival. Residents of the city resigned themselves to that unfortunate reality as the politicians and police seemed powerless. However, a young man from Brooklyn, a former Jesuit student, felt someone had to do something. Curtis Sliwa stepped forward. What started as a group of Sliwa and a dozen other dedicated volunteers riding the subways of New York to serve as protectors of everyday law-abiding citizens, grew into the “Guardian Angels” that residents of the Big Apple have come to know and love. With their distinctive red berets, they are as New York as Central Park or a potato knish. They operate under the motto “we dare to care” and have proved it over and over through the years, in some cases with their lives. These days, the Guardian Angels have chapters in 13 countries and over 100 cities and the terrible spike in street crime gripping the Big Apple has made them more relevant than ever. While the original hometown group of 13 has grown to thousands across the globe, the mission has not wavered as Sliwa puts it, “To make a positive change in the community by involving citizens to step forward and take an active role. While the classic street patrols are the lifeblood of the organization, we all know that reaching the youth in our neighborhoods, especially the most at risk, is crucial. Once again, the Guardian Angels is meeting the need.” The “Junior Angels” program, their youth outreach programs, and their Washington Heights Community Center, provides help for kids with everything from homework to nutrition while getting them actively involved in their community. Since his recent high-profile campaign for mayor of New York as the Republican standard bearer, Sliwa has returned to the airwaves of juggernaut talker WABC with a powerful midday 12:15 pm -1:00 pm program, “The Curtis Sliwa Show,” that TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes as “extremely creative and truly ground breaking in its utilization of satire, hard-hitting commentary and subtle sarcasm that appeals to the listeners’ intelligence.” Sliwa tells TALKERS, “I will push into new realms that have not been approached with ‘theatre of the mind’ broadcasts during the height of the day. It will become the alternative to straight non-stop repetitive political talk. The satire and parodies that I am doing can win over whole new audiences.” Pictured above: noted former radio producer and Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan riding the East Side E subway train with a couple of patrolling Guardian Angels this past Sunday (8/14).
Audacy Trimming Payroll with On-Air Staff Reductions. In the wake of Audacy’s second quarter financial report for 2022 in which company president and CEO David Field cited “declining macroeconomic conditions and ad market headwinds” as the reason for the company’s top line growth of just 5%, the company is reducing its payroll. Audacy, like its competitors, has been taking steps to build a multi-platform media company and, as a result of the economics Field referred to, is being forced to make cuts in areas where growth has been the most limited – over-the-air radio. Some of the cuts being reported include all of the local sports talk personalities at sports talk WSSP-AM, Milwaukee “The Fan,” including LeRoy Butler and Gary Ellerson (as reported by the Milwaukee Business Journal). WSSP’s website reveals its programming now consists solely of CBS Sports Radio shows. Last week, sports talk host Jerry Coleman revealed his exit from WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” in a tweet.
KFI, Los Angeles Reporter Corbin Carson Wins NABJ Honor for Documentary. KFI, Los Angeles news reporter Corbin Carson has been honored by the National Association of Black Journalists with its “Salute to Excellence Award” for Best Documentary for his work on “This Sand is My Sand: The Stolen Legacy of Bruce’s Beach.” iHeartMedia says the powerful two-hour documentary focuses on property in Manhattan Beach that was stolen from the Bruce family through eminent domain in the 1920s amid threats from the KKK. The feature includes exclusive interviews with historians, protestors, critics, and the Bruce family about racism, reparations, and a yearlong movement to return the $20 million-dollar-plus beachfront property. “This Sand is My Sand: The Stolen Legacy of Bruce’s Beach” culminated with California Governor Gavin Newsom signing a bill to return the property to descendants of the Bruce family. Hear the documentary here.
Salem Promotes Jon Latzer to VP/GM of Salem Surround. Rising from his position as digital sales director to vice president and general manager for Salem Media Group‘s Salem Surround is Jon Latzer. Latzer previously served with Alpha Media, CBS Radio and Katz. Latzer will report to Salem SVP of Broadcast Digital Jamie Cohen. He says, “Jon has been an active, hands-on leader in broadcast for years, but his last six years at Salem and Alpha Media prepared him well for the fast-paced digital world. In Jon, we have a strong, experienced general manager, who will help us take Salem Surround to the next level. Jon was ready for the next adventure in his career, and we are extremely fortunate to have him on the team.”
Cumulus Renews Deal with Benztown. This new deal extends the partnership between Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and imaging firm Benztown. The two companies first partnered in 2011, creating one of the radio industry’s largest collections of production and imaging libraries. With the new multi-year agreement, Benztown will continue to provide radio imaging, production, voiceover, programming, and jingles services for Cumulus Media-owned radio stations and Westwood One syndicated programming. Westwood One will continue to represent the barter inventory for Benztown Branding, Benztown Voice, and Hollywood Radio Networks. Cumulus EVP of marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “We are committed to partnering with companies that provide best-in-class services for our affiliates. By extending our partnership with Benztown, our affiliates will be able to create the radio magic that listeners remember and advertisers seek for many years to come.”
TALKERS News Notes. The latest Latino Podcast Listener Report 2022 from Edison Research is published and among its findings are that 59% of U.S. Latinos age 18+ have ever listened to a podcast, a high mark for the measure. Just over half (51%) of U.S. Latinos have ever listened to a podcast in English, and 33% have ever listened to a podcast in Spanish. The U.S. Latino Podcast Listener report was commissioned by Adonde Media, LWC Studios, Libsyn, PRX, and SXM Media. The study found that video podcasts are popular among the U.S. Latino population. Seventy-six percent of U.S. Latino monthly podcast listeners consume podcasts with video component where they actively watch the video while listening. Sixty-six percent consume podcasts with video where they play the video in the background or minimize the video on their device. Edison Research senior director of research Gabriel Soto states, “Latinos in the U.S. control an impressive $1.9 trillion in purchasing power, and today’s data demonstrate how advertisers who support Latino podcast content are benefitting, while those who don’t are missing out.”…..Gemini XIII announces its new partnership with Jane Green, author of 18 New York Times bestselling books and a global household name in commercial women’s fiction, to form Emerald Audio, a new premium podcast network creating connection and community through authentic female-led storytelling. The first podcast to be produced by Emerald Audio is Jane Green’s Rainbow Girl, the story of a crumbling rock star marriage mired in drugs, infidelities, and black magic, set in 1979 and based on the characters from Green’s newest book, Sister Stardust, which was released in April. Green comments, “In today’s world, there are so many more ways for people to tell their stories outside of traditional publishing. To be focused on female-driven stories in the podcast medium is the most exhilarating thing I have worked on in years. Fiction, particularly female-driven fiction, is at the very beginning of its growth in that area, and there are so many opportunities for strong, powerful stories aimed at women. I couldn’t be more honored, and excited to work with Spencer [Brown], Charles [Steinhauer] and the entire team at Gemini XIII.”…..iHeartMedia and Tenderfoot TV announce the newest addition to their popular “Monster” podcast franchise titled “Le Monstre.” The podcast recounts the story of real-life monster Marc Dutroux – a serial killer, pedophile, and kidnapper whose crimes brought terror to Belgium in the 1980s and 1990s…..The Independent Broadcasters Association extends the registration period for member stations to participate in the IBA Fall 2022 National Cash Contest to this Friday (8/19) to give all IBA member stations time to sign up for the promotion. The contest begins on-air September 19 and stations must be members of the IBA to participate.
Primaries/2024 Presidential Race, FBI Raid/Documents Issue, Georgia Election Probe, Inflation, Russia-Ukraine War, and U.S. Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/16). Tuesday’s primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the matter of top secret documents; Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s scheduled appearance in Atlanta for questioning in the 2020 election subversion investigation; the still-rising cost of food and the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the drought affecting the U.S. and causing water emergencies in the West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WSVA Radio Has A Rare Opportunity For You To Join Our News Staff. Live and work in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley. WSVA has been covering Virginia news since 1935 and in these days of cutbacks and consolidation in the radio industry, WSVA continues its commitment to local news. We’re looking for a full-time news reporter/anchor who can be a storyteller with a news mindset. If you’re charismatic and have a sense of humor; if you’re active in your community; if you’re interesting; if you’re an elite communicator, we’re looking for you. We want someone who understands how to reach the local listeners and make a story interesting. We want an individual who loves to connect with listeners and community leaders. Duties include gathering and reporting news for our news/talk station, delivering updates on our music stations and keeping our digital site up-to-date. If you enjoy doing play by play sports, there’s opportunities to help our sports department too. Local radio news is alive and well on WSVA! To apply, send your resume, on air demo and references to Frank Wilt at email@example.com. Saga Communications is an equal opportunity employer and a long-term radio only company dedicated to the principles of excellence in radio.
Salem Media Group Seeks Producers. Attention producers! Salem Media Group is looking for producers. Salem has great radio stations, the Salem Radio Network, the Salem Podcast Network, and the Salem News Channel, and we always need producers to help us create our great products. If you have experience producing radio or TV shows, please send your resume and keep ‘em coming to: Phil Boyce, Senior VP of Spoken Word Formats, Salem Media Group Philip.firstname.lastname@example.org. Salem is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
iHeartMedia Launches Sports Talker in Tallahassee. The company flips classic hip hop WTLY-AM/W243EG to sports talk as “96.5 THE SPEAR – Tallahassee’s Sports Radio” using content from FOX Sports Radio. iHeartMedia says, “Tallahassee is home to a variety of elite sports programs, both high school and college, and iHeartMedia is giving Tallahassee what it is missing, ‘96.5 The SPEAR – Tallahassee’s Sports Radio.’ With the market’s already established partnerships with FSU and Learfield, ‘The Spear name symbolizes iHeartMedia Tallahassee’s commitment to the fans, alumni, athletes, coaches, and faculty of one of America’s best universities.” iHeartMedia Tallahassee market president Paul Rogers comments, “Tallahassee has been without a full-time sports radio station for over a year. The fans deserve a radio station that highlights the numerous elite athletic programs here, and ‘96.5 THE SPEAR’ is that station. We just staked our claim on the sport’s real estate here in Tallahassee, and now it’s time to build the stadium with the support of Tallahassee sports fans.”
Finding Your Next Great Salesperson. Longtime radio sales professional Kathy Carr, president of the Howie Carr Radio Network, writes today in an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine about the most important quality to look for in your next great salesperson. She says, “Recently, I had lunch with some top executives from one of our major affiliates. Our discussion quickly turned to the subject of what makes a successful radio salesperson in 2022. Is it age, personality, good looks or experience, or some combination thereof? After a while, we all agreed that it was none of the above. The one trait that matters above all others is passion for the product.” Read more here.
KFI, Los Angeles Debuts Season Three of Unsolved with Steve Gregory.’ The third season of “Unsolved with Steve Gregory” is being launched by iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk station KFI-AM 640. The weekly true crime podcast series features cold cases, challenging cases, missing persons, and high-profile criminals. iHeartMedia says it is one of the most successful in Los Angeles radio, with more 59,000 podcast downloads in the first month. Listeners can hear season three of “Unsolved with Steve Gregory” beginning Saturday, August 20 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on KFI as well as on iHeartRadio and all other platforms. The podcast is hosted and produced by the award-winning team of Steve Gregory (pictured at right) and Jacob Gonzalez. For more than 30 years, host Gregory has established a trusted working relationship with detectives, chiefs of police, and county sheriffs. In season one, Gregory explored cases like the unsolved murder of Mark Leonard, the father of NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard. In addition, Gregory also observed the 75th Anniversary of the Black Dahlia, the most notorious unsolved case in the history of the LAPD. The LAPD’s Tear Drop Rapist case remains one of the show’s most popular downloads. In the season three opener, Gregory will focus on the 2013 case of Bryce Laspisa, a missing student who was driving home from college to visit his family in Orange County. He was last seen in Kern County, but his overturned SUV was found in north Los Angeles County off Lake Hughes Road near Castaic Lake. The evidence inside the vehicle included blood stains which matched those of the college sophomore. The case remains one of the most unusual missing persons cases in Los Angeles County. Season three will also explore forensics, including a medical examiner, a cybercrimes detective, and the science of arson investigation. Gregory was invited to attend the US Forest Service’s Arson Investigation School – the first time a journalist has ever been allowed to do so. A case from the US Department of State’s Cyber Security division will also be featured. Several agencies have participated in the program including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the US Forest Service, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the Fontana Police Department, the Pomona Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the DEA, and the FBI. It is estimated there are more than 10,000 unsolved cases in Southern California.
iHeartMedia Promotes Taylor Walet to Area President for Nebraska-Iowa. Company executive Taylor Walet is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia’s Nebraska-Iowa area. Walet has been serving as market president for Omaha since 2007. In this new role, Walet will oversee more than 36 stations the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport markets as well as the Sioux City, Omaha, and Ogallala markets. He will continue to report to Shosh Abromovich, division president for iHeartMedia. Abromovich says, “We have an exceptional team of talent and leaders throughout the states of Nebraska and Iowa. The synergy of this new area will help drive additional cohesion and shared success. Taylor’s leadership skills, focus on a collaborative and winning culture, along with attention to our local communities, will drive more success across these six markets.”
TALKERS News Notes. This week’s Westwood One Audio Group blog looks at Big Audio Datamine, an enormous AM/FM radio ad effectiveness report from UK radio industry group Colourtext and Radiocentre. The study of 1,002 campaigns finds that AM/FM radio can strongly impact the two jobs of marketing: Converting existing demand and creating future demand. The study concludes that AM/FM radio “consistently delivers significant uplifts for advertisers across a wide range of long- and short-term effectiveness outcomes”; AM/FM radio creates future demand by increasing awareness and building positive brand sentiment: The 1,002 studies reveal AM/FM radio campaigns generate significant lift in crucial top funnel metrics such as ad recall, brand relevance, and brand trust; and AM/FM radio converts existing demand by increasing purchase consideration and stimulating online response: Among those in the market to buy now, the 1,002 studies reveal AM/FM radio advertising drives significant lower funnel impact. See the blog here…..AdLarge announces the addition of the “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast to the AdLarge Podcasting Network. Hosted and created by national best-selling author Cathy Heller, the “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast is the “authentic shot of honesty and inspiration aimed directly at women to find true purpose in their life and get paid for doing what they love to do.” Weekly episodes include conversations with A-list celebrities and well-known entrepreneurs and game-changers, such as Matthew McConaughey, Rob Lowe, and Jenna Fischer, as well as authors Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin, and Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz. Heller says, “I’m so excited to work with the expert team at AdLarge. With their knowledge and industry acumen, we’ll be able to take my podcast to the next level. I often remind my audience that life is too short to be building someone else’s dream. This is just another example of building upon my true purpose and happiness.”
FBI Raid, Primaries/2024 Race, Giuliani Targeted, Biden Climate Change & Healthcare Bill, Gas & Food Prices, and U.S. Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/15). The controversy over the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago; today’s primary races for the November midterm elections and speculation about the 2024 presidential nominees; Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is notified he’s a target in the probe into the attempt to change Georgia’s 2020 election outcome; the passage of President Joe Biden’s climate change & health care bill; the falling gasoline prices and the still-rising cost of groceries; and the drought affecting most of the U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.