Nielsen: News/Talk and Sports Experiencing Seasonal Ratings Spikes. The ratings giant’s own analysis of PPM trends based on the January 2016 survey indicates the news/talk and sports talk formats enjoyed increases in listening during the period. Nielsen Audio reports, “Sports radio, lifted by higher-than-ever levels of interest in the NFL, matched last January’s 5.1% share among all listeners 6 and older. The annual rise in sports listening typically begins in the fall with the kick-off of college and professional football, the MLB postseason, and culminates in early February with the NFL playoffs. But January’s headline is that news/talk registered its highest marks for listener share in several years, no doubt driven by the ongoing drama of the presidential campaigns and primary season now in full swing. News/talk jumped more than a full share-point from the holidays to January among all listeners (6+) (8.6% to 9.7%). And listener share among listeners 18-34 and 25-54, two key groups for marketers, increased by 14%. The listener share among persons 18-34 increased to 4.1% from 3.6%, while the share among listeners 25-54 jumped to 6.7% from 5.9%. In fact, January’s 4.1% share rating among Millennials is the format’s best showing since November 2012, the last U.S. presidential election.” See more from Nielsen here.
Salem Radio Network Names Larry Elder Evening Host. With Hugh Hewitt’s move to morning drive (Eastern Time) taking over for Bill Bennett, Salem Radio Networks says it’s bringing Larry Elder aboard to host the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET program. Hewitt’s move and Elder’s new show take effect on April 4. Southern California-based Elder began his radio career on KABC, Los Angeles. He was syndicated from 2002 through 2007 by the ABC Radio Network and has most recently been heard on Salem Communications’ KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” in the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot. SRN SVP Phil Boyce states, “Larry is truly a unique and needed voice in this country, and I can’t think of a better choice to fill the valuable Hugh Hewitt slot. Listeners will be riveted to his take on the day’s news, and his insights into the most important issues of our day he will bring them back for appointment listening.”
Presidential Primary Races, Scalia Replacement Debate, Apple vs FBI, Obama Gitmo Closure Plan, Immigration and Refugee Policies, and Sunday’s Academy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/23). The primary elections and caucuses in the 2016 presidential race; the debate over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; Apple’s refusal to hack the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists; President Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detainment center; the policies for deterring illegal immigration and for dealing with refugees; and Sunday’s Oscars awards show were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. At digital audio aggregator TuneIn, Kevin Straley is promoted from his VP of programming position to chief content officer. Straley – a longtime radio programmer with SiriusXM and WRKO, Boston – has been with TuneIn since 2011. The company says Straley will lead the content department and be responsible for content acquisition and strategy, and programming management. It credits him for securing deals with the NFL, MLB, NHL, NPR, CNN and more…..With Sunday’s Academy Awards show as the backdrop, CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles is airing a special program titled, “From Watts to Oscar: Race in L.A.,” tomorrow (2/25) at 10:00 am PT. The station says, “It is one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the world – but it’s also one of the most segregated. And, many think Hollywood’s lack of diversity reflects this…hosts Charles Feldman and Chris Sedens examine the entertainment industry and the community, with more than a dozen interviews on diversity, racism and how to change the status quo. Variety senior vice president and awards editor Tim Gray and noted civil rights attorney Constance Rice will be special in-studio guests.
Washington Examiner Unveils Flint Water Crisis Podcast Series. The Washington Examiner is taking an in-depth look at the lead-contaminated water case in Flint, Michigan in a podcast series titled, “Poison in the Pipes.” The paper calls this an eight-part listening experience that chronicles “the why’s and how’s of the Flint water crisis, its history, and the necessary path to recovery.” The podcast features energy and environment reporter Kyle Feldscher investigating the story “with on-the-ground reporting and in-depth analysis of the government failures contributing to the current situation.” You can hear the first episode here.
Covering the Nevada Caucuses. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Sean Hannity (left) poses for a photo with KDWN, Las Vegas program director John Shaffer (right). Hannity was broadcasting his Premiere Networks-syndicated program from the Beasley Media Group news/talk station on Monday and Tuesday (2/22-23) while covering the Nevada caucuses. Hannity also held a town hall meeting with GOP candidate Donald Trump during his time broadcasting from Las Vegas.
Nine Years Later: Don Imus Discusses His Regrets About and Lessons Learned from the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Incident in Wide-Ranging Interview with Michael Harrison. The recipient of the TALKERS 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, WABC, New York iconic morning personality Don Imus, is the guest on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Imus looks back at the Rutgers University women’s basketball incident that sparked a national controversy in 2007 resulting in his relatively rapid termination from his syndicated morning show on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York and its TV simulcast on MSNBC. The radio legend expresses regrets about the incident telling Harrison he was wrong to make fun of innocent people who did not deserve to be ridiculed and that he came to understand you must pick your targets in a more appropriate manner. The conversation enters a fascinating realm exploring the thinking behind the inconsistent process of major corporations (in this case CBS and NBC) either standing behind or firing high-profile talents when they become embroiled in politically incorrect controversies due to something they said on the air. The discussion also covers the radio legend’s successful battle against drug and alcohol addiction, holistic approach to prostate cancer, deep love and respect for his wife Deirdre Imus and their philanthropic work in support of children with cancer, opinion of Al Sharpton and several radio key executives, most interesting guests, as well as his friendship with and view of Donald Trump. Pictured is the cover of the April 2007 print edition of TALKERS magazine that expressed this publication’s support of Imus keeping his jobs at CBS RADIO and MSNBC during the heat of the Rutgers incident. The depiction of an Imus-like cowboy figure being hanged from a tree in a figurative lynching was painted by Michael Harrison. To hear the entirety of this fascinating interview please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand columns on every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.