TALKERS magazine - "The Bible of Talk Radio and the New Talk Media"

Friday, December 2, 2022

| December 2, 2022

Sandy Maxx Named Co-Anchor for WTMJ’s ‘Wisconsin’s Afternoon News.’ Milwaukee radio personality Sandy Maxx joins Good Karma Brands’ “Newsradio 620 WTMJ” to serve as co-anchor for the station’s afternoon drive program “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News” alongside host John Mercure, sports director Greg Matzek, and traffic reporter Debbie Lazaga beginning December 12. WTMJ director of content Ryan Maguire says, “We are thrilled to welcome Sandy to the WTMJ team. Her perspective is unique, her energy is infectious, and her love for Milwaukee is truly genuine.  Our fans and partners can expect Sandy to make an entertaining and enlightening addition to ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station,’ and we can’t wait for her to get started.” Maxx had been with Saga Communications’ classic rock WKLH-FM for the past eight years. She has also served as the in-game host for the Milwaukee Brewers (2003-07) and the Milwaukee Wave (2003-07, 2015-20), and as a P.A. announcer for Marquette University women’s basketball and volleyball teams (2003-07, 2015-20).  Since 2012, she has hosted the Emmy-Award winning program, “The Arts Page,” on Milwaukee PBS. Maxx comments, “I’m truly thrilled to join John and the entire team as we collaborate and create the next chapters in the station’s evolution. It is an honor to be chosen to bring my experience to better engage, entertain and serve our fans across multiple platforms.”


Patty Steele to Continue Podcast and Pursue New Opportunities as Scott Shannon Show Wraps. On December 16, Scott Shannon and Patty Steele will co-host the final “Scott Shannon in the Morning Show” on WCBS-FM, New York. Steele says she’ll devote more time to her award-winning podcast, “The Deep 6.” She’ll also explore new opportunities that have been presented in radio and digital, as well as public speaking and writing – all real passions of hers. Steele says, “My career in New York City has been in blocks, three of which were with Scott at ‘Z100,’ then WPLJ, and now WCBS-FM. I fully support his decision and look forward to pursuing new career opportunities and diving deeper into my own creative endeavors.” To listen to a poignant clip of Patty Steele recently discussing her feelings on air with Scott Shannon about the WCBS-FM show coming to an end, please click here. She is scheduled to be next week’s guest on the podcast, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Steele is represented by David Katz of the Elvis Duran Group.

David Howard to Lead Salem Washington, DC as Tom Moyer Retires. At the Washington, DC operations of Salem Media Group, general manager Tom Moyer announces he’ll retire at the end of this year and the company says general sales manager David Howard will be promoted to the general manager position. Moyer is a 30-year veteran of the Salem DC management team, whom the company says has played a major role in the growth and development of the cluster. Salem CEO Dave Santrella comments, “Our cluster of stations in Washington DC, and particularly WAVA-FM, are crown jewels in Salem’s portfolio of stations. Tom Moyer has been a tremendous leader for us, holding fast to the principles that have guided our company and allowing these stations to be glimmering examples of what a Salem radio station should be in any community. We will miss him and wish him great success in the next chapter.” Additionally, Chuck Olmstead will move from local ministry director to the new role of station manager for WAVA-AM/FM and Sirius XM Family Talk. David Howard comments, “I’m humbled and honored to take on the role of general manager at WAVA-FM, WAVA-AM, Sirius XM Family Talk and WWRC-AM. I’m also extremely excited about the future of all our great properties in Washington DC as a part of Salem Media’s leadership team in our nation’s capital.”


Westwood One Adds ‘The Matt Walsh Show’ to Radio Syndication Offerings. In a collaborative effort between Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and The Daily Wire, Westwood One will begin offering The Daily Wire’s “The Matt Walsh Show” in national syndication, effective January 2, 2023. The companies currently have a deal for Westwood One to syndicate “The Ben Shapiro Show” and “The Michael Knowles Show.” They say the three, one-hour shows that air between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm ET “create a powerful three-hour programming block featuring a modern generation of conservative voices.” The Daily Wire is a media company co-founded by Ben Shapiro, Jeremy Boreing, and Caleb Robinson that publishes breaking news, investigative reporting, podcasts, in-depth analysis, books, and entertainment. It says Matt Walsh is “one of the right’s most influential voices. Through his writing, podcasts, speeches, and blockbuster documentary ‘What is a Woman?’ he is known as a fierce and articulate defender of truth, moral values, religious liberty, and the Christian faith.”


Round Two of November PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s November 2022 sweep covered October 12 – November 8. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. In Washington, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM dips three-tenths to an 8.7 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains ranked #2, while Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WMAL-FM falls four-tenths for a 3.7 share finish and the #8 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s all-news WBZ-AM is off one-tenth for a 5.2 share finish good for the #5 rank as sister news/talk WRKO sheds half a share to finish with a 3.3 share for the #10 rank. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM loses one-tenth and finishes the survey with a 7.0 share but rises to the #1 rank in the market, while Lotus Communications’ all-news KNWN-AM/FM rises four-tenths for a 5.2 share that lifts it to the #4 rank. Audacy’s all-news WWJ-AM, Detroit tacks on two-tenths for a 5.0 share finish and rises to the #6 rank in the market, while Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk falls two-tenths to finish with a 3.2 share that’s good for the #14 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first round) here.

TALKERS News Notes. On December 14 at 2:00 pm ET, Edison Research and SXM Media will unveil their first-ever “Women’s Podcast Report,” a comprehensive survey research of women podcast listeners in the U.S. Edison Research says the presentation during the webinar that day will include: the demographics of women podcast listeners, the podcast discovery habits of women podcast listeners, how women promote and share podcasts, why women follow podcasts or hosts on social media, and how women feel about brands on podcasts…..Radio pro Jim Cryns has published a new book titled, Talk to Me, that’s a compilation of profiles of talk radio people that he’s amassed over the past nine months. The profiles – including talk radio personalities Michael Medved, Lee Habeeb, Joe Pags, Chris Stigall, and many more industry figures – were originally published by Barrett Media…..The Mayflower Marathon – a Thanksgiving week tradition at Saga Communications’ WAQY-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts “Rock 102” – raised just under $180,000 in food and cash to benefit the Springfield Open Pantry charity. For years the remote charity event had taken place at the Basketball Hall of Fame, but the venue could no longer provide the station with the space it needed in its parking lot and the Mayflower Marathon moved to the nearby MGM Casino. Morning show personality Mike “Bax” Baxendale (pictured below in the “Rock 102” sweatshirt) says, “The new location at MGM could not have worked out better as we obliterated our previous record by as much as $35,000!”

Talkers Books Releases New Title by Dr. Murray Sabrin. The boutique book publishing arm of TALKERS magazine, Talkers Books, announces the release of From Immigrant to Public Intellectual: An American Story by prolific writer and popular news/talk radio guest, Dr. Murray Sabrin ( The new autobiographical book with a foreword by Michael Harrison is described as a truly American story about an immigrant child’s rise from humble beginnings in a family of Jewish Holocaust survivors from post-WWII Germany to forge a stellar career as an educator, author, political candidate, and influential “public intellectual.” Murray Sabrin explains libertarianism in plain language using his own life story set against a half-century backdrop of changing times. In 1997, Dr. Sabrin made New Jersey political history as the nominee of the Libertarian Party in the state’s gubernatorial election by being the first third-party candidate to gather enough support to meet the requirements for receiving matching funds and a place on the stage at all three debates with the two major party standard bearers. Murray Sabrin, Ph.D. is emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College of New Jersey. He is considered a “public intellectual” for writing essays about the economy in scholarly and popular publications in addition to his numerous appearances during the past three decades as a talk media guest commenting on political and social issues. He is the author of Tax Free 2000, Why the Federal Reserve Sucks; Universal Medical Care: From Conception to End-of-Life; Navigating the Boom/Bust Cycle; and most recently, The Finance of Health Care: Wellness and Innovative Approaches to Employee Medical Insurance. His commentaries can be followed at To arrange an interview with Dr. Murray Sabrin to discuss anything from his days as a student growing up in the Bronx during the JFK/LBJ era to his groundbreaking gubernatorial campaign to his present-day status as one of the leading libertarian thinkers and spokespersons in America with insights into inflation, crime, health care and U.S. involvement in foreign affairs – contact Victoria Jones at DC Radio Company. 917-865-3991 or

Trump’s Bid for the White House and His Legal Issues Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 28 – December 2. Former President Donald Trump’s bid for the White House in 2024, his meeting with hip hop artist/fashion mogul Ye and White Nationalist Nick Fuentes, and his numerous legal battles came together as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the new congressional leaders and the U.S. Senate runoff election between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker, followed by the state of the U.S. economy tied with the collapse of crypto currency exchange FTX 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 See this week’s complete chart here.


The Radio Sales Arena is Changing and We Are On the Leading Edge. The key to sales growth in radio going forward is multi-platform digital marketing. In the coming decade, “radio” will simply be the engine driving an increasingly complex and sophisticated array of digitally powered platforms creating endless packages and options for the advertiser. The keys to success will be in branding that cuts through the noise and surgical targeting that delivers optimum efficiency for agencies that know exactly what they want. The Salem Media Group is leading the way and the opportunities for our sales team are endless. But, right now, we need that special individual who has the tools, the vision and the ambition to get it done. That one special person who truly “gets it.” Jerry Crowley, the longest-running GM in the nation’s largest market, says, “We want one outstanding seller who can take it to the moon! Compensation will reflect potential and performance – salary will range from 50k- 85k plus substantial bonuses and generous commissions.” Candidates should send cover letter and resume to Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, Salem Media Group, NY (WMCA 570am The Mission/WNYM 970am The Answer) at

Salem Media New York Seeks Production Director. News/talk “AM 970 The Answer” WNYM and Christian Teach & Talk “AM 570 & 102.3 FM The Mission” WMCA is seeking its next full-time production director. Candidates must be experienced and willing to work in our studios in Lower Manhattan, NYC. Interested candidates can apply directly on our corporate website here.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

| December 1, 2022

Round One of November PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s November 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s November 2022 sweep covered October 12 – November 8. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York City, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC-AM/WLIR-FM rises three-tenths for a 3.3 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish that puts it in the #11 spot, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR-AM is up two-tenths for a 1.7 share finish good for the #18 rank. News/talk KFI, Los Angeles stays ranked #4 in the market after losing one-tenth for a 4.6 share finish, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KNX-AM/FM is steady with a 3.2 share but rises to the #7 rank. In Dallas, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP-AM sheds three-tenths for a 4.5 share finish that pushes it down to the #5 rank as Audacy’s crosstown all-news KRLD-AM tacks on two-tenths for a 2.9 share good for the #16 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta rebounds with a 1.1 share increase to wrap the survey with a 7.0 share that lifts it to the #3 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

Good Karma Brands’ ‘98.7 ESPN FM’ in New York Announces Programming Changes. The Big Apple sports talk station owned and operated by Good Karma Brands is making changes to its programming schedule that will take effect on January 3, 2023. WEPN-FM “ESPN New York” will jettison the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio program “Keyshawn, JWill and Max” that currently airs from 8:00 am to 10:00 am and is moving current early morning show “DiPietro & Rothenberg” (hosted by Rick DiPietro and Dave Rothenberg) from the 5:00 am to 8:00 am slot to 6:00 am to 10:00 am. At the same time, the current “Bart & Hahn” show (Bart Scott and Alan Hahn) that airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm will become a New York-only show. WEPN market manager Vinny DiMarco says, “Our fans will have the opportunity to listen to local coverage on ‘98.7 ESPN FM’ all throughout the day. Both ‘DiPietro & Rothenberg’ as well as ‘Bart & Hahn’ will give fans valuable insight, expertise, and live reaction about all things New York sports. The change also provides more opportunities for our partners to align with the station and achieve their marketing goals and objectives.” GKB says the rest of the existing ESPN New York lineup that includes “Greeny,” “The Michael Kay Show,” “Dan Graca” and “Hardesty & Damer” (Larry Hardesty and Gordon Damer) will remain unchanged. The company’s WEPN-AM will continue to air “Keyshawn, JWill, and Max” and the rest of the national ESPN Radio shows on weekdays.

New Podcast Hosted by Julie Hartman Launches on Salem Podcast Network. One of the recent additions to Salem Media Group’s Salem Podcast Network is launching a new program. “Timeless with Julie Hartman” debuts this week airing live Tuesdays through Fridays at 4:00 pm ET on YouTube before being made available as a podcast. Hartman says, “Many Americans, especially my age, have regrettably lost the understanding that we’ve been passed the treasure of civilization – that it’s our obligation to guard and burnish it for the next generation. I intend to reawaken this responsibility in my audience. I also hope to reignite the spark that there is so much more in life to consider than just the politics that we rehash all day.” The 2022 Harvard University grad has been co-hosting a show with Dennis Prager titled, “Dennis and Julie,” that airs Mondays at 4:00 pm ET on YouTube and is available in podcast form. Hartman also serves as a regular guest host for Salem Radio Network talk shows.

Triton Digital Releases Streaming Ranker for October 2022. The latest ranker for streaming networks in the United States for October (Mon-Sun 6AM-12AM) has been released by Triton Digital. The company ranks streamers based on Average Active Sessions (which represents the average number of sessions at any point in time in the reported time period, with invalid sessions omitted. AAS can be calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period). iHeartRadio is again ranked #1 for this period with 299,533 AAS. NPR Member stations is #2 (68,545 AAS), Audacy is #3 (63,987 AAS), Cumulus Streaming Network is #4 (42,642 AAS), and Beasley Broadcasting Corporate ranks #5 (19,517 AAS). You can see the rest of the top 25 streamers for the October period here.

MIW Launches ‘Speak Up!’ Partnership in Memory of Laurie Kahn. Charitable organization Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc announces its newest national mentoring program, “Speak Up!” It was created in partnership with Media Staffing Network founder and CEO Laurie Kahn (left), who passed away on October 27 of this year. MIW says it had the privilege of building this program with Kahn prior to her passing. It says, “‘Speak Up!’ encapsulates so much of what Laurie brought to our industry and what she was so passionate about paying forward: a mentorship that encourages and empowers women to develop confidence, sharpen communication skills, and hone the ability to effectively speak up in order to further attain career and personal goals. Her intention was to specifically reach women in small to medium radio markets.” Media Staffing Network VP and general manager Patty Kincaid comments, “As we continue to build upon the strong foundation that is Media Staffing Network, we are proud to be working with MIW to honor and develop Laurie’s legacy. The ‘Speak Up!’ program is the heart of who Laurie Kahn was and exemplifies the very essence of her spirit.” Applications for the Speak Up! Mentorship will open in first quarter of 2023 and details will soon be available on the MIW website.

Trump in ‘24/Tax Returns, Congressional Leadership, January 6 Investigation, Student Loan Ruling, The Economy/FTX Collapse, China Protests, Macron Visits U.S., Twitter, Russia-Ukraine War, World Cup, and Christine McVie Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/30). Former President Donald Trump’s bid for the White House in 2024, his meeting with Ye and White Nationalist Nick Fuentes, and congress receives his tax returns; Hakeem Jeffries is named leader of House Democrats and Kevin McCarthy battles to lead House Republicans; Kevin McCarthy warns January 6 Committee to keep all records as Republicans will investigate the committee’s work; U.S. Appeals Court rejects the Biden administration’s request to reinstate the student loan forgiveness program; inflation and the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX; the protests in China over the strict zero-COVID policy; French President Emanuel Macron visits the U.S.; Elon Musk’s relaxing of Twitter rules; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; the World Cup; and the death of Fleetwood Mac member Christine McVie were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

| November 30, 2022

MAJOR NEWS/TALK RADIO MILESTONE: “The Sean Hannity Show” Cracks 700 Affiliate Level.  History has been made today in the news/talk radio realm as Premiere Networks syndicated talk media superstar Sean Hannity reaches the 700th affiliate milestone. His program, “The Sean Hannity Show,” which celebrated its 20th anniversary in syndication last year, continues to be a leader in the talk radio format, attracting tens of millions of listeners and driving top ranks for stations nationwide. According to TALKERS data, Hannity is the most-listened-to talk radio host in the U.S. (TALKERS Estimetrix) as well as the most influential (TALKERS Heavy Hundred). For his work on the program, he has been honored with two NAB Marconi Awards for “Nationally Syndicated Personality of the Year” and was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2017. “We couldn’t be happier to celebrate another impressive milestone with Sean,” says Julie Talbott, president of Premiere Networks. “There are very few people who have the talent to command an audience of this size for over two decades, while continuing to grow and set new benchmarks. Sean is one of the best in the business and this achievement is a credit to his passion and commitment to talk radio.” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison adds, “What’s so special about Sean Hannity is that he is not only the modern-day news/talk radio champion year after year, but he also holds that same distinction in the realm of cable news television as one of the pioneers and pillars of FOX News Channel. On top of that, he is a prolific best-selling author. This kind of multi-platform success is rare requiring an enormous amount of media skill and ability to engage on significantly separate levels of human wiring. Whether or not people in the talk media industries agree with his controversial political positions, we all owe Sean a debt of gratitude for raising the impact, prestige and influence of the American talk show business to both measurable and perceptual levels never before achieved by an individual performer and for his personal dedication to supporting the professional interests of each and every one of its players.”  For more information visit

Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights Release Fall 2022 Podcast Report. The ninth edition of the Podcast Download Report from Cumulus Media, in partnership with Signal Hill Insights, is released. Cumulus says the ninth edition of the study examines weekly podcast listeners and is part of its commitment to share insights and research findings with the podcast community. A key finding of the Fall 2022 report is that podcast listeners have no problem listening to podcasts with language or content that might be considered objectionable on other media. Cumulus EVP, marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Our new Podcast Download Report reveals that podcast listeners are comfortable with the content they choose. Since listeners make a more active decision when choosing their podcasts, brand safety may be less of a concern with podcast advertising than with other forms of media.” Other highlights from the report include: 1) Watchable podcasts have grown in popularity. Driven by podcast newcomers, more listeners prefer podcasts with video they can actively watch or minimize, to listen in the background; 2) Podcast video is strong but not necessary for all podcasts. 43% of weekly podcast listeners still prefer audio-only podcasts. Some podcast genres, like True Crime, do better with listeners who prefer audio only; and 3) Weekly podcast listeners co-listen with their children. Half of weekly podcast listeners with children in their household say they have ever listened to podcasts with their children. 20% of weekly podcast listeners with children say they listen to podcasts with their children frequently. You can download the full report here.

Audacy Names Aaron Roberts Operations Manager for Sacramento Market. Radio programming pro Aaron Roberts is promoted to operations manager for Audacy’s Sacramento cluster that includes sports talk KIFM-AM “ESPN 1320,” plus five music brands. In this role, Roberts will oversee content strategy, talent, operations and branding for the stations. He joined the cluster in August of this year as brand manager for “98 Rock” and “96.9 The Eagle,” and he will continue in those roles. Audacy Northern California RVP Stacey Kauffman says, “When we welcomed Aaron to our team in August, we were confident in his ability to position ‘98 Rock’ and ‘96.9 The Eagle’ for success. His experience and leadership style have done just that and we’re excited to have his oversight on our full suite of stations moving forward.”

SiriusXM Commissions Two New Satellites. Satellite broadcaster SiriusXM announces that it has commissioned Maxar Technologies to build and deliver two new geostationary communications satellites for SiriusXM. The SXM-11 and -12 satellite orders increase the total number of space craft in development for SiriusXM by Maxar to four, following the 2021 agreement for the construction of SXM-9 and -10. SiriusXM SVP of satellite and terrestrial engineering and operations Bridget Neville says, “This investment reaffirms our commitment to satellite content delivery systems and cutting-edge technology. SXM-11 and -12, along with SXM-9 and -10, will allow us to innovate and improve our service offerings for subscribers and will extend the continuous and reliable delivery of our audio entertainment content.”


Trump in ’24/Legal Battles, Oath Keeper Conviction, Respect for Marriage Act, Congressional Leadership Maneuvering/Georgia Runoff, China Protests, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy/Rail Strike, and World Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/29). Former President Donald Trump’s announced run for the White House in 2024, his dinner meeting with Ye and White Nationalist Nick Fuentes, and his numerous legal battles; Oath Keepers Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs are convicted of seditious conspiracy in connection with January 6; the U.S. Senate passes the Respect for Marriage Act; the political maneuvering for leadership of the U.S. House in January and December’s runoff between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker; the protests against China’s zero-COVID strategies; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the political fight over U.S. aid to Ukraine; inflation, fears of a recession, the crypto plunge, and the deal to avert a nationwide rail strike; and the World Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

| November 29, 2022

RTDNA/Syracuse University Local News Diversity Study Finds Minority Workforce Up 2%. The latest RTDNA/Newhouse School at Syracuse University Survey is complete and concludes that “minority journalists represent a growing number of employees in TV and radio newsrooms.” It finds that “the minority workforce in radio rose two points from last year to 17.8%. That’s the highest it’s been in the 28 years we’ve conducted the survey … and surpasses the previous high in 1998, when it hit 16%.” The study report – written by Bob Papper, adjunct professor of broadcast and digital journalism at Syracuse University, and Keren Henderson, associate professor of broadcast and digital journalism at Syracuse University – goes on to say, “Of course, the big, long-term picture for minorities in local radio news shows an industry well behind an ever-increasing minority population in the U.S. In radio news, historically, men have outnumbered women by about 50%. That trend has continued, with 60.5% men this year, compared to 39.5% women. That’s identical to last year. The difference is almost entirely among Whites, where the percentage is 63% men versus 37% women. That’s just a point closer than a year ago. With Hispanics, it’s 57% men and 43% women; African American women outnumber men, 51.8% to 48.2%; Asian American women way outnumber the men, 65.1% to 34.9%; and Native American men and women are exactly even at 50% each. The percentage of news staffs with minorities rose five points in the last year with every market size going up. As a percentage of the workforce, minorities rose two points from a year ago with all markets except major ones moving up at least a little. But while the percentage of minorities at non-commercial stations rose by almost three points, the percentage at commercial stations fell by 0.4. The bottom line here is that if it weren’t for non-commercial stations, American radio news would still look blindingly White.” You can see the study results here.

Google and iHeartMedia Settle Over Pixel 4 Testimonials. According to a report in BestMediaInfo, the Federal Trade Commission and several states announce settlements with Google and iHeartMedia over allegations of misleading radio spots for Google’s Pixel 4 cell phone. These settlements come after complaints that iHeartMedia radio personalities were paid to endorse the Pixel 4 phone even though the phone was not available and many of the personalities had never used it. To settle the matter, Google is paying $9 million dollars and iHeartMedia is paying $400,000. California Attorney General Rob Bonta is quoted saying, “Google tried to take shortcuts in advertising its products, and now it’s paying the price. Asking jockeys to share personal experiences about a product they had not used is misleading and a violation of state consumer protection laws.” One report notes that radio personalities read from a script that “included first-person language about using the phone’s camera to take photos at night for events like football games and meteor showers, as well as using the phone’s voice activation system,” even though they had never actually done so. Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Texas are the states that are part of the settlements.

KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles to Present Live Town Hall on Fentanyl Crisis. Southern California all-news outlet KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles is presenting a live town hall today (11/29) titled, “Deadly High: Teens and Fentanyl,” in response to the unprecedented crisis of teen overdoses. The one-hour program will take place in the Audacy SoundSpace on Los Angeles’s Miracle Mile and will be broadcast live on KNX News 97.1 FM, the Audacy app, and on video at starting at 5:00 pm. KNX says that, fueled by social media distribution networks, fentanyl killed more than 1,600 people in Los Angeles County alone in the last year, sparking urgent warnings from local and federal officials. “Vicky Moore and Mike Simpson, hosts of “LA’s Morning News” on KNX, will be joined by Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent Alberto Carvalho along with survivors, experts, and dozens of local students to separate fact from misinformation for parents and teens desperate for answers.” Audacy Southern California regional president Jeff Federman adds, “There is no issue more pressing for the communities we serve. Fentanyl is killing our kids, and we want to use our agenda-setting KNX News platform to make sure teens and parents are aware of the dangers.”

Katz Media Group Raises More Than $47,000 for Broadcasters Foundation of America. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Katz Media Group has raised more than $47,000 for the Foundation during Katz’s 12th annual companywide membership drive, bringing the total amount raised by Katz to nearly $450,000 since the drive’s inception. The Broadcasters Foundation provides aid ranging from medical care to financial assistance, whether it be monthly assistance from life-altering circumstances or a one-time emergency grant to help victims of natural disasters. This year, the Foundation says it will give away more than $1.8 million in monthly and emergency grants, including $85,000 to hurricane victims this fall. All money raised during Katz’s annual two-week campaign goes toward the Stu Olds Memorial Fund that commemorates Katz’s former CEO and directly helps a broadcasting colleague in need. Olds, as well as Katz’s current CEO, Mark Gray, and Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group, have served on the Foundation’s board of directors. Gray says, “As a longstanding board member, I have seen first-hand how the money raised helps broadcasters facing challenging times.  I’m incredibly proud of the enormous generosity of the Katz team and their continued support to honor Stu’s legacy and give back to those in our industry who need it most.”

TALKERS News Notes. Digital audio marketing pro Josh Yamuder joins Triton Digital as director of partnerships, programmatic marketplace. The company says this appointment “amplifies Triton Digital’s continued commitment to driving audience and revenue growth through digital audio.” Yamuder most recently served with Targetspot, where he was programmatic manager, North America…..WNYC Studios’ “Death, Sex & Money” presents a new three-episode series on “Estrangement,” spotlighting “personal stories of estrangement from friendships, family, and religion, and what comes after our closest relationships become the most distant.” Host Anna Sale “shares listeners’ stories of breaking apart, some by choice, others involuntarily and still desperately wishing for contact. Whether it’s cutting family ties, ending friendships, or leaving a religion, this three-part series explores the moments that led to estrangement, and explores what comes after – a search within, building new traditions or finding a chosen family.”…..AdLarge announces that the “Murder with My Husband” podcast joins its podcast sales network portfolio. “Murder with My Husband” is hosted by Payton and Garrett Moreland, with each story told by Payton, coupled with input and reactions from Garrett. The Morelands say, “We are very excited to be working together with the team of experts at AdLarge to elevate our podcast to the next level. This allows us to focus on our goals of honoring the victims in our stories and continuing to create and deliver exceptional content to all of our listeners.”

Midterm Election Aftermath/Warnock-Walker Race, Trump in ’24, China Protests, Respect for Marriage Act, Musk vs Apple, The Economy-Holiday Shopping, Extreme Weather for U.S. South, and World Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/28). The maneuvering for U.S. House leadership, the lack of certification of November’s results in Arizona and Pennsylvania counties, and the runoff election between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker; Donald Trump’s bid for the White House in 2024 and his controversial dinner with Ye and White Nationalist Nick Fuentes; the protests taking place in China over its zero-COVID policy; the Respect for Marriage Act that would protect same-sex marriages; Elon Musk berates Apple for pulling most of its advertising from Twitter; inflation & concerns about a recession combined with the start to the holiday shopping season; the severe weather & tornadoes threatening the U.S. South; and the World Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, November 28, 2022

| November 28, 2022

Pending Business: Are You Truly Thankful? Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that too many radio sellers and managers don’t make an effort to show clients that they are thankful for their business. He says, “The goal of keeping a business relationship alive and healthy is a lost skill in the online world of ‘send and delete.’ Trust me here, maintaining your business relationships is an always-on skill that needs constant feeding, especially this time of year.” Read his column here.


Monday Memo: Wait…What? Whatever you’re saying has lots of competition, especially this time of year, when everyone is so busy mentally. Consultant Holland Cooke cautions that “Whether you’re hosting a music or talk show or doing a newscast or podcast or writing commercial or promo copy, getting-heard has never been more challenging.” How-to? In this week’s column, HC says, “Clues are everywhere.” Read his column here.


iHeartMedia Connecticut Raises Funds and Collects Food for Connecticut Foodshare. Pictured above is WUCS-FM, Hartford “97-9 ESPN” talk host and former MLB star pitcher Rob Dibble (left) with friends at one of iHeartMedia Connecticut’s food drives that helped collect nearly 5,000 frozen turkeys, over 8,000 pounds of non-perishable food items and raised over $189,000 in monetary donations to benefit Connecticut Foodshare.

WSB’s Triple Team Traffic Food Drive Benefits Atlanta Community Food Bank. The photo above shows the WSB Triple Team Traffic crew out on the street helping to raise what would become a grand total of 11,356 pounds of food and thousands of dollars in monetary donations to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank. The donations gathered add up to 26,627 meals for the food insecure individuals in Georgia. WSB was one of four Cox Media Group Atlanta stations that held food drives to benefit the charity. CMG Atlanta VP and market manager Jaleigh Long comments, “This year’s partnership with Atlanta Community Food Bank and CMG is stronger than ever with nearly three times as many donations. We are thankful for our generous volunteers and listeners who served to make an impact for Atlantans facing hunger.”

Monsters in the Morning Unveil New Promo Photo. In the image above, WTKS-FM, Orlando’s Monsters in the Morning talk show – led by ringmaster Russ Rollins (center) – present their new publicity photo that’s a riff on the motif of the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Sports Talk Host Gerry Vaillancourt Dead at 72. The Charlotte Observer reports that longtime Charlotte sports media personality Gerry Vaillancourt, a.k.a., Gerry V, passed away on Sunday (11/27) at the age of 72. His daughter, Kelly Vaillancourt, said his death was the result of a heart condition that he’d been diagnosed with 25 years ago. She says, “We never thought he’d get 25 more years after that diagnosis. But he never did anything by the book. You never knew what you were in for each day with him, but you knew it was always going to be a good time.” Vaillancourt was part of the TV and radio team for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets from 1990 through 2002. He also hosted sports talk programming on WBT-AM/FM.

Trump in ’24-Ye & Fuentes Mar-a-Lago Dinner, New Congress/Warnock-Walker Runoff, The Economy, China COVID Protests, Russia-Ukraine War, Thanksgiving Holiday/Black Friday, and World Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Gauging how Republicans feel about former President Donald Trump’s bid for the White House in 2024 and the controversy over Trump’s dinner with Ye and White Nationalist Nick Fuentes; the jockeying for power ahead of the next Congress and the runoff election between Georgia U.S. Senate candidates Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker; inflation, supply chain issues and fears of a recession; the large-scale protests in China over the highly restrictive COVID lockdowns; Russia’s continued shelling in Ukraine; the Thanksgiving holiday and the beginning of the holiday shopping season; and the World Cup tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

| November 23, 2022

Digital Marketing Expert Michael Ostrofsky Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The fact that the mighty Walt Disney Company turned this week to its former CEO Bob Iger to set the company on a more productive path in generating revenue for its video streaming service Disney+ underscores the challenges even the largest and resource-rich companies face monetizing their digital platforms. Michael Ostrofsky, founder and CEO of Atlanta-based digital marketing firm, Lyke Media (, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Ostrofsky is a four-decade veteran of Silicon Valley where he accrued an impressive track record for digital marketing innovation in a variety of diverse industries including Beringer Wine Estates, investment bank Hambrecht & Quist, and NCR Corporation, among others. Harrison and Ostrofsky talk about the challenges facing Disney, Twitter, and Facebook – relating their same issues to radio, television and newspapers, large and small. You don’t want to miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Trespassing Charge Against Rhode Island Talk Host John DePetro Dropped. According to a report by WLNE-TV, Providence, the charge of trespassing against WNRI, Woonsocket talk host John DePetro has been dropped. The charge was the result of an incident in August of this year in which DePetro was producing a Facebook Live video outside the residence of Mark Perkins in the town of Warwick. The residence had been of interest to police who had previously searched the property as they investigated the disappearance of a woman named Charlotte Lester. On that day, DePetro approached Perkins to ask about Lester, the police were called and DePetro was charged with unlawfully going onto the property. The following day, DePetro returned to Perkins’ home but remained on the street as he videoed. This time, Perkins started a push lawn mower and attempted to run into DePetro with it. He was subsequently charged with simple assault, a charge that is still pending. Regarding the trespassing charge being dropped, DePetro says, “I respect our justice system and respect law enforcement, specifically the Warwick Police Department. The search for Charlotte Lester continues as I resume my efforts searching for answers into her disappearance.”

WOKV-FM, Jacksonville-Based Talk Host Mark Kaye to Present ‘Thanks-Gaffe-ing Countdown.’ Midday talk radio personality Mark Kaye is producing a holiday-themed countdown of the top 40 political gaffes of the year. Kaye – whose show is based at Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville and is syndicated to CMG sister talkers WHIO-FM, Dayton; WDBO-FM, Orlando; KRMG-FM, Tulsa; and WGAU-AM, Athens, Georgia – says, “Back when I was hosting Top 40 morning shows we always ended the year with a music countdown special. People love those. I love them too! But we don’t play music, we mostly just play gaffes. So, I decided to create a Thanksgiving special where we countdown the top 40 gaffes of the past year. It was pretty easy to put together.” Kaye says the special show will feature “gaffes” from a variety of political figures over the past year. Not just Joe Biden, but others. He adds, “Joe Biden is clearly the ‘Gaffe-master,’ but we were blessed this year with the emergence of John Fetterman, the continued ridiculousness of Kamala Harris, and even the First Lady who has a couple of entries in this year’s countdown.” The special airs today (11/23) from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.

KFI, Los Angeles’ 12th Annual Pastathon to Air on ‘Giving Tuesday.’ Next Tuesday (11/29), iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles will host the 12th annual KFI PastaThon event benefitting Caterina’s Club. The KFI PastaThon is an annual event that encourages listeners to donate money, pasta, and sauce to benefit Caterina’s Club, a local charity that provides more than 25,000 nutritious meals every week to children in need in Southern California. The charity also helps families get back into stable home environments and teaches teens the skills they need to work in the hospitality industry. On ‘Giving Tuesday,’ KFI’s Tim Conway Jr will broadcast live from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Anaheim White House restaurant to bring the community together to collect funds, pasta, and sauce to help children in our local communities. KFI hosts including Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffmann, Shannon Farren, Mo Kelly, Dean Sharp, Neil Saavedra, and Wendy Walsh will promote the event on-air all week to drive donations. The 2021 event raised a record-breaking $1 million dollars and 115,000 pounds of pasta and sauce. Since 2010, this yearly event has raised over $4.6 million and 700,000 pounds of pasta and sauce for children in need in the community. KFI program director Robin Bertolucci says, “As we embark upon our 12th annual KFI PastaThon we know the need is bigger than ever but so are the hearts of our listeners and partners. Because of the incredible generosity of our listeners and partners like Barilla, Smart & Final and Wendy’s, Chef Bruno is feeding over 25,000 kids every week, and not only that, but he is also helping to break the cycle of poverty. Our goal this year is to once again raise over a million dollars to help Chef Bruno continue his mission.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation (LABF) announces that former WSBT-TV, South Bend, Indiana general manager Sally Brown was elected to the LABF board of directors during a recent board meeting. The highly respected broadcasting executive most recently served as the development officer on behalf of the organization. Brown has an extensive history in radio and television broadcasting. She began her career as an announcer at a South Bend, Indiana radio station while still in high school and went on to spend the next 30-plus years in the radio industry, holding positions in sales, sales management, and station management. The LABF also announced the following board members were elected to serve new three-year terms: April Carty-Sipp, John Dille, Jack Goodman (co-chair), Jim Morley, Patricia Smullin and Jeff Smulyan…..iHeartMedia announces that chairman & CEO Bob Pittman and COO & CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during the Wells Fargo TMT Summit on Wednesday, November 30 at 4:10 pm ET. A live webcast of the session will be available to the general public at the start of the session through a link on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website. A replay of the webcast will be available in the Events & Presentation section of iHeartMedia’s Investors homepage.

Midterm Aftermath, Trump in ‘24/Legal Issues, Virginia Walmart Slayings, Rail Strike Threat, Twitter, Iger Returns to Disney, and World Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/22). The results of the midterm elections, the leadership of both parties, and lame duck politics; former President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential ambitions and his numerous legal issues; at least six slain in Virginia Walmart shooting; the nationwide rail strike threat and the state of the economy; Elon Musk’s operation of Twitter; Disney brings Bob Iger back as CEO; and the World Cup in Qatar were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.