TALKERS magazine - "The Bible of Talk Radio &the New Talk Media" : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

| August 17, 2022

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 fwilt@hrgradio.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.boyce@salemmedia.com. Salem is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

| August 16, 2022

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.

Monday, August 15, 2022

| August 15, 2022

Monday Memo: News = Dog, Talk = Tail. Consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “events now unfolding around us can be ratings GOLD,” if news/talk stations “re-balance both aspects of the format franchise.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Worst Cold Call Ever. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes today about an absurd cold call that happened to him and reminded him that every now and then it’s a good idea for radio sellers to revisit some of the cold call basics. He has seven thoughts on the subject to share with readers here.

Cumulus Names Casey Bartholomew Host at WBAP, Dallas/Fort Worth. Talk radio pro Casey Bartholomew is joining Cumulus Media’s Dallas/Fort Worth news/talk WBAP as host of the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program. He takes over for Ernie Brown who was recently promoted to co-host of the station’s morning drive show. Bartholomew joins Cumulus DFW from Cumulus Columbia, Missouri, where he’s been serving as program director for news/talk station KFRU-AM/FM. WBAP and KLIF program director Bruce Collins says, “Casey is the ultimate pro and understands the top stories of the day that affect our listeners. We are excited to have him on the News Talk 820 WBAP team.” Bartholomew comments, “WBAP is a legendary station and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Looking forward to the challenge – This is going to be fun.”

iHeartMedia and ASU Agree to Hockey Broadcasts Deal. The new broadcast agreement between iHeartMedia Phoenix and Arizona State University puts play-by-play of the school’s men’s hockey games on sports talk KGME-AM “FOX Sports 910,” beginning October 11. The deal also includes a weekly coach’s show featuring head coach Greg Powers. Sun Devil for Life Tyler Paley returns to his roots as the first-ever play-by-play voice of Sun Devil Hockey Radio. A three-time ASU grad, Paley covered the ASU men’s ice hockey team extensively during his tenure at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2014-18. His experience spans years of various communications roles including multimedia journalist, anchor and reporter, social media strategist, commentator for Pac-12 Network and freelancer for CBS, FOX Sports and ESPN. iHeartMedia market president Linda Little says, “‘FOX Sports 910’ and iHeartMedia Phoenix are proud to partner with Arizona State University as they launch their inaugural radio broadcast for hockey play-by-play.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Mourns Passing of Jim Thompson. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the passing of its longtime president Jim Thompson. The BFOA says Thompson, who fought a valiant struggle against throat cancer for nearly a year, passed away last night (8/14) in Summit, New Jersey, at the age of 75, surrounded by his family.  The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, which has been established by the Broadcasters Foundation in honor of Thompson’s dedication and service to the broadcasting industry and to the Foundation’s charitable cause of providing financial aid to radio and TV professionals in acute need. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “I am very proud to have known Jim for nearly 40 years as a colleague and a friend. Jim believed deeply in helping others and his passion and enthusiasm for life always lit up a room. Broadcasting has lost a great man, who always saw the positive in every person and every situation. He will be sorely missed.” Thompson took over the reins of the Broadcasters Foundation in 2009, guiding the charitable organization to more than quadruple the amount of financial aid it distributes to radio and TV professionals from $400,000 to nearly $2 million last year. BFoA chairman emeritus Phil Lombardo says, “When the board of directors was searching for a president, Jim’s reputation as a leader combined with his compassion for others and his ability to rally people together made him the perfect choice. His accomplishments over the past 13 years helped the many TV and Radio professionals who found themselves in unthinkable circumstances and in need of aid. Our sincere sympathies go out to his family.” Last October, Thompson announced he would be retiring at the end of 2022. Thompson had been president and CEO of Group W Radio, the second largest radio company in the country during his leadership, and along with Mike Craven was co-owner of Liberty Broadcasting, a nineteen-station radio group concentrated on the east coast. He began his broadcasting career as an account executive at KYW-TV, Philadelphia in 1971, where he rose to vice president and general manager. Thompson is survived by his wife Cindy, his five children, Meghan Cima, Shannon Gardiner and her husband James, Katie McElwee and her husband Tommy, James Thompson and his wife Madison, Molly Thompson, seven grandchildren, and his brothers John and Thomas. To make a donation to the Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, please click here: https://bfoa.app.neoncrm.com/forms/jimthompsonfund.

FSR’s Doug Gottlieb Broadcasts from LA Football Training Camps. Pictured above (right) is FOX Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb chatting with Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (left) during Gottlieb’s broadcast from the team’s training camp on August 9. Gottlieb broadcast from the Rams’ and the Los Angeles Chargers’ camps as part of the network’s annual NFL Training Camp Tour.

PodcastOne Strikes Deal with ActionPark Media. This new relationship between PodcastOne and Kevin Connolly’s boutique media network ActionPark Media gives PodcastOne exclusive distribution and advertising sales rights for APM’s current slate of podcast and vodcast programming. In addition, it allows for the two media companies to co-develop future podcast/vodcast based intellectual property, produce advertiser-sponsored live streaming and touring opportunities for host/talent and create exclusive licensing for podcast specific branded merchandise. PodcastOne president Kit Gray states, “Kevin and APM clearly have a knack for producing quality podcast content with ‘Victory the Podcast’ being one of the first shows giving a behind the scenes look at a hit television series and ‘The Morning After with Kelly Stafford’ consistently charting as one of the top shows for parents and families. This joint venture now gives us the ability to work together to grow the audience for a slate of incredible existing shows. Additionally, with LiveOne’s streaming partnerships, live event capabilities and merchandising division, we are excited to further enhance branding opportunities for the star-studded roster of hosts.”

Gunhill Road Spoken Word Music Video on Display as “Work of Art” in Show at Florida Gallery. The internet hit, “I Know You’re Real,” by talk-radio-friendly pop music band Gunhill Road, featuring TALKERS founder Michael Harrison as lead spoken word vocalist, has broken new ground in the genre of music video being recognized as fine art. The official video of the song which appears on Gunhill Road’s 2021 album, What Year Is This! addresses the subject of animal welfare celebrating all aspects of the deep relationship between human beings and other precious life forms on Planet Earth. The art show, being presented at the prestigious Martin Arts Court House Cultural Center Gallery in Stuart, FL, is cleverly titled, “Dog Days of Summer (and other pets too!).” The show centers on animal-related fine art (paintings and sculpture). It runs through October 1 and features a virtual gallery as well as a live presentation and includes charitable community outreach initiatives such as animal rescue and pet adoption. Martin Arts spokesperson Rickie Leiter tells TALKERS, “I grew up in the Northeast listening to Gunhill Road on the radio and was delighted to hear about this beautiful video with its sweet music, moving words and stunning images. It is indeed a work of visual, not to mention audio and poetic, art.” Gunhill Road co-founder (and devoted cat lover), Steve Goldrich tells TALKERS, “We are beyond honored to have our video on display among paintings at a fine art show of this caliber.” In addition to Goldrich and Harrison, Gunhill Road’s current lineup includes longtime member Paul Reich and famed Broadway instrumentalist Brian Koonin. An advance single (and video) titled, “Idiots,” from the group’s forthcoming album, spotlighting the danger of societal ignorance and also featuring Harrison on lead vocals, is scheduled to drop later this week. Both videos are produced by TALKERS VP/associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison. For more information about the show and Martin Arts please click here. To view the video, please click here

FBI Raid/Bureau Threats, Inflation Reduction Act/The Economy, Salman Rushdie Attack, Immigration/Baja Violence, Midterms/2024 Race, Afghanistan Situation, and Anne Heche Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the subsequent threats against FBI offices; the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act spending, the falling price of oil, and the still climbing price of food; the attempted assassination of author Salman Rushdie; the migrant issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the weekend’s cartel violence in Baja cities near the border; the primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan a year after the U.S. military’s exit from the nation; and actress Anne Heche dies a week after a fiery car wreck were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, August 12, 2022

| August 12, 2022

Pioneering Broadcaster, Anti-Ageism Activist and TALKERS Principal Carole Marks Dies at 86.  The longtime host of the groundbreaking, upper-demo syndicated radio talk show, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups,” Carole Marks Scott of Mystic, CT passed away this past Sunday (8/7) at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, CT. She was 86. Ms. Marks was the host and founder of the groundbreaking and long-running upper-demo-targeted radio talk show, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups” and a principal in Talk Media, Inc., the parent company of TALKERS – a partner in both ventures with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison and radio executive Shelley McBreairty. Ms. Marks graduated from Oxford School and attended Connecticut College. She had four children. As a newly single mature woman, she went back to school and earned her college degree from the University of New Haven when three of her four children were adults. She found her passion as director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of New London. In that position, Ms. Marks was interviewed in the media about issues concerning senior citizens on WSUB, New London and was invited to start her own radio show, “Senior Focus with Carole Marks” in the mid-nineties. The idea of a radio show aimed at an older demographic was unique at the time, and upon joining forces with Michael Harrison as her partner and co-host, her show was syndicated nationally with a new name, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups.” The show ran for two decades accruing thousands of listeners and establishing Ms. Marks as one of America’s leading experts on upper demographic issues as well as a champion in the battle against ageism.  She waged a relentless campaign on a number of media fronts to make, as she put it, “the lives of the 50-plus generation as meaningful, fulfilling and as productive as possible.” Her mission was to counter negative senior stereotypes and she spoke before civic groups, professional associations, and industry conventions all across the country as a supporter of the group she liked to call “seasoned citizens.” At its peak, “A Touch of Grey” was heard on more than 50 stations across America, including at different times, New York City’s WOR, WABC and WNYM.  Her guests included the biggest names in health care, politics, sports and the arts, including presidents of the United States.  She boldly tackled such problems as the rising cost of prescription drugs, the future of Social Security and Medicare, challenges facing the “sandwich generation” who must take care of young adult children on one side and elderly parents on the other, planning retirement during difficult economic times, the best ways to choose a nursing home, safe and effective ways to diet and exercise, understanding leading edge technology, and countless other subjects. Ms. Marks would often take her show on the road and broadcast live from such diverse places as the United States Senate Office Building, the jungles of Africa, the Taj Mahal, the North American Orient Express, or a glacier in Antarctica. She was proudest of being in the White House press room and on Air Force One with President Obama. She said, “I want people to know that just because you’ve put on a few years doesn’t mean you can’t go out and explore the world and life, and, most importantly, continue to learn and grow.” Travel became a second passion, as she went on worldwide trips to all seven continents and had a map in her kitchen showing all of the places she had visited, including Dharamshala, India where she met the Dalai Lama. In 2004, Ms. Marks found love again and was married for the second time, to J Irving Bird Scott. In 2005. She wrote the book Modern Aging: A Guide for Seasoned Citizens to Achieve Health, Happiness and Purpose (Talkers Books 2005). TALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “Carole was one of the finest human beings I have had the privilege to know in my life.  Her role as my friend and business partner were invaluable in contributing to the longevity and success of our media enterprises.  She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, as well as a consequential thought-leader, businesswoman, humanitarian and philanthropist who supported numerous public service organizations and non-profits.” Her business partner Shelley McBreairty adds, “Carole was more than a beloved colleague and source of guidance and inspiration. She treated me and my daughters as a mother and a grandmother. We all love her dearly.” A public celebration of life for Carole Marks Scott will be announced in the near future. In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation to The Garde Arts Center, 325 State Street New London, CT 06320, or Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, 365 Montauk Avenue, New London, CT 06320.

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Vic or Perp?” looks back at this past week of 8/8 to 8/12. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Dr. Murray Sabrin, emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College, NJ; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/founder, Scamicide.com; Greta Van Susteren, talk show host, Newsmax TVMartha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; and Holland Cooke, media consultant. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Round Four of July PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s July 2022 sweep covered June 23 – July 20. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM is steady with an 8.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that keeps it locked in the #3 rank, while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF is up one-tenth for a 1.8 share good for the #15 rank. Although it sheds 1.5 shares, Emmis’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis remains ranked #2 after posting a 7.9 share. The news/talk battle in Milwaukee flips as iHeartMedia’s WISN leaps into the #1 rank after adding nine-tenths for a 9.9 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ drops 1.8 shares, finishes with a 9.6 share and falls to #2. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville dips seven-tenths for a 6.2 share finish that drags it from #4 to #6, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WLAC rises eight-tenths to a 2.5 share good for the #13 rank. In West Palm Beach, Hubbard Broadcasting’s news/talk WFTL spikes by 2.4 shares for a 3.4 share finish that moves it from #13 to #7, while iHeartMedia’s talk WZZR dips three-tenths to a 2.1 share good for the #10 rank and sister news/talk WJNO rises three-tenths to a 1.7 share and the #11 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.

RTDNA Announces 2022 National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. The Radio Television Digital News Association announces the national winners of the 2022 Edward R. Murrow Awards in recognition of outstanding work in digital, radio and television journalism in technical and editorial categories. RTDNA president and CEO Dan Shelley says, “The Edward R. Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious in journalism. More than 750 Regional Murrow winners advanced to the national competition, and over the past few months, an expert panel of journalists has meticulously reviewed and deliberated over every entry. That’s why I’m confident in saying today’s winners represent the absolute best of the best. So, let me be the first to say congratulations to our newest National Edward R. Murrow Award winners.” RTDNA chair Allison McGinley adds, “Thank you to every journalist who played a role in the pieces that were submitted. Not everyone can be a Murrow Award winner, but all of you make a difference in your communities. Thank you for the work you do.” See all the winners here.

LATimes: No One Listens to Sports Talk Radio in L.A. Why the People in Charge Aren’t Worried. Los Angeles Times writer Bill Shaikin looks at the question of why Los Angeles – of all the major markets – has the lowest listenership to sports talk radio, according to Nielsen Audio ratings. In the piece, Shaikin talks to WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” afternoon drive hosts Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti – and others – about why East Coast cities like Boston and Philadelphia have huge sports talk listener audiences while Los Angeles pales in comparison. Read his story here.

TALKERS News Notes. The new permanent host of FOX News Channel’s “FOX News Sunday” program is Shannon Bream. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says Bream – the first woman to host the 26-year-old program – will start on September 11. She will continue as the network’s chief legal correspondent. Scott says, “Shannon is an outstanding journalist, reporter and anchor who has cultivated a strong and enduring relationship with the FOX News Media audience.”…..The National Sports Network is partnering with in USA Radio Network to offer a slate of NCAAfootball games for radio stations. Beginning the schedule this season is the September 3 game Alabama vs Utah State. Other September games include Tennessee at Pitt and Oklahoma at Nebraska. See the whole schedule here…..iHeartMedia Nashville is presenting the 20th annual Wine on the River event on September 10. This year, the funds raised will go to The DISTRICT’s initiative 2ndavestrong, which helps restore the vitally important historic district of 2nd Avenue. The initiative was created in response to the damage resulting from the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville in 2020. News/talk WLAC and its sister stations are promoting the event…..WBUR, Boston unveils its fall season for CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center, “a state-of-the-art live event venue for cutting-edge conversations, adventurous art and innovative ideas. Bringing WBUR’s journalism alive on stage, CitySpace conversations feature some of the nation’s leading thinkers on timely topics such as the changing media landscape, the state of national politics, climate change and the challenges of American motherhood.”

FBI Raid/Trump Legal Issues Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 8-12. The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago as well as his legal battle with the State of New York combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics and the week’s primary elections, followed by urban crime, gun control, and policing issues at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

| August 11, 2022

Greta Van Susteren is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Cable news/talk TV icon Greta Van Susteren is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The former criminal defense and civil trial attorney recently launched a new daily 6:00 pm ET show, “The Record with Greta Van Susteren” on Newsmax TV. Her dynamic talk media career as a player on major cable outlets goes back to 1994 and includes show hosting at CNN and MSNBC as well as a 14-year stint at FOX News Channel. She is widely respected for her fairness, insight and intelligence in dealing with the major issues of the day as well as her well-honed interviewing skills. Harrison and Van Susteren talk about how working at Newsmax TV is different than her other network experiences as well as the present state of journalism and media in America. They also talk about the hot issues of the day including US-China Relations, Donald Trump and the future of the GOP, Hillary Clinton’s possible presidential aspirations and the crime wave plaguing American cities. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Round Three of July PPM Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s July 2022 sweep covered June 23 – July 20. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Charlotte, Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM adds a half share to wrap the survey with a 5.5 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and rises to the #4 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFBK-AM/FM, Sacramento stays flat at a 7.5 share and remains ranked #3 while sister talk KSTE tacks on nine-tenths for a 4.9 share that pushes it up to the #6 rank. In Salt Lake City, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-AM/FM dips six-tenths for a 9.6 share finish but stays in the #1 spot, while Bonneville’s crosstown news/talk KSL-AM/FM sheds 1.2 shares, finishing with a 5.6 share that drags it from #2 to #6. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the previous two groups) here.

Emmis Dismisses Eight Staffers Ahead of Urban One Indy Acquisition; Longtime WIBC News Reporter Eric Berman Among Them. According to a report in the Indiana Business Journal, Emmis Corp has let eight staffers go from its Indianapolis radio station group as the company prepares to close on its $25 million sale of the stations to Urban One. The Journal says WIBC-FM news reporter Eric Berman was the only air staffer to be let go with the others serving in marketing, IT and online content creation capacities. Berman tweeted on 8/10, “Some personal news: this morning my tenure at WIBC came to an end. For 28 years, it has been my privilege to bring you fair and detailed coverage of news affecting Hoosiers’ lives, and I hope you’ll stick around for whatever comes next.” Emmis issued the following official statement on the matter: “Today, Emmis notified eight individuals that their positions have been eliminated. Impacted individuals are being provided severance and offered insurance coverage. These are difficult days, and we wish them nothing but success.” Emmis’ sale of the Indianapolis radio stations effectively takes the company out of the radio business. It began as a broadcasting company in 1981 with the ownership of WENS-FM, Indianapolis. Earlier this year Emmis stated that after the sale of its media holdings it has “redeployed capital into new ventures which emphasize its sales and marketing experience including: Lencore Acoustics, a leader in high-quality sound masking solutions for commercial applications; Sound That BRANDS, the Los Angeles-based podcasting studio specializing in branded audio content for national advertisers; and Digonex, a leading provider of dynamic pricing solutions for attractions and live entertainment industries.”

Cumulus Media Renews with Learfield and Air Force Academy. A new, multi-year agreement is signed between Cumulus Media, Learfield, and Air Force Sports Properties that continues the broadcast of Air Force Academyathletic events on Cumulus Colorado Springs’ radio stations KVOR-AM and KCSF-AM “XTRA Sports 1300.” This new agreement renews the partnership with the Air Force Academy that has been in place for 40 years and increases the number of women’s basketball games that will air on “XTRA Sports 1300” each year. Air Force football and men’s basketball games will continue to be heard on KVOR-AM, while hockey games and women’s basketball games will be heard on “XTRA Sports 1300.” The stations will also broadcast coaches’ shows for football, men’s basketball, and hockey. KVOR’s Jim Arthur will continue to be the play-by-play voice for football and men’s basketball, and XTRA Sports 1300’s Ryan Kaufman will call the broadcasts of the women’s basketball games. Cumulus Colorado Springs VP and market manager Scott Jones says, “It’s an honor, once again, to extend our partnership with Air Force Athletics and Learfield. These broadcasts of Falcons’ sports are extremely important to us at Cumulus, to our listeners and to the entire community. We’re committed to putting a first-class broadcast on the air to match the product the Falcons put on the field, court and ice.”

Mar-a-Lago Search/NYC Deposition, Midterms/2024 Election, The Economy, and Russia-Ukraine War Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/10). The FBI search of former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence for government records and Trump’s deposition in New York related to the investigation of the Trump Organization; the results of Tuesday’s primaries, the November midterms, and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the falling price of gasoline, the still rising price of food, and worries about a recession; and Russia’s loss of seven fighter jets in Crimea as its invasion of Ukraine continues were some of the  most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.