TALKERS Convention Opens Today in New York City. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running and most important convention in the talk media industry (radio, television, satellite, internet) – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story – opens today in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater. More than 67 speakers will address the hottest issues, challenges and opportunities facing talk radio and its related media and business communities before a sold-out crowd of media professionals. TALKERS will provide on demand video coverage of the key sessions of this colorful event shortly after it takes place for those who have been locked out due to on-site space limitations. For the latest agenda and information about this historic convention, please click here.
2019 Radio Mercury Winners Crowned. Last night (6/6) at SONY Hall in New York City, the winners of the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards were announced, and this year’s $50,000 Best of Show award was presented to Wieden + Kennedy for their Old Spice Pomade Radio campaign. In addition to the other winners that you can see here, Progressive Insurance was named the Radio Marketer of the Year. Chief judge (and chief creative officer at TBWA\Chiat\Day NY) Chris Beresford-Hill says, “We have tremendous diversity in tonight’s winning audio, and what impressed the final round judges most was the power of storytelling and the various ways advertisers were able to convey a brand’s message through innovative and unique creative.” Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Erica Farber – who also serves as chair of the Radio Creative Fund – says, “It was another great night for radio and the strength of the audio medium in conveying a brand’s message. The Radio Mercury Awards continue to advance the medium forward by showcasing innovative and effective radio commercial work.” Pictured below are (from l-r): Beresford-Hill, copywriter Adam Crouch, Wieden + Kennedy art director Alex McClelland, and Farber.
Matt Derrick Named Operations Manager for SummitMedia Omaha. Programming pro Matt Derrick joins SummitMedia to serve as operations manager for the Omaha cluster that includes CHR KQCH (for which he’ll serve as PD), sports talk KXSP, rock KEZO, adult contemporary KSRZ, and classic rock KKCD. SummitMedia Omaha president Kathy Higgins says, “We are excited to have Matt join the SummitMedia Omaha team. He has deep experience across multiple formats in numerous markets where he served as program director, operations manager and regional SVP of programming. I look forward to his positive energy and creativity to help us continually better serve our local community and engage and entertain our audiences.”
Stolnis Rises to News Manager for Westwood One. News pro John Stolnis is promoted from executive editor at Westwood One News to news manager. The company says that in this newly created role, Stolnis will be responsible for day-to-day assignments, coverage, and newsroom operations. He reports to WWO News vice president Kevin DeLany. Stolnis is a 20-year veteran of radio news and talk programming, with the last 15 years spent at Westwood One. He has served as executive editor and reporter for Westwood One News since its debut in 2015. Prior to that he produced for NBC News Radio as well as multiple national talk radio programs under the Westwood One umbrella, including “The Jim Bohannon Show,” “The Fred Thompson Show,” and “The Douglas Urbanski Show.” Stolnis says, “I’m extremely honored to be able to work with such an incredible staff of anchors, correspondents, editors, and newsroom managers, all of whom are the heartbeat of Westwood One News. Westwood One News has quickly become a leader in network radio news, and I look forward to continuing to serve our affiliates and listeners with the best coverage and programming in the industry.”
New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” Posted. The brand-new installment of the weekly news roundup, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” is posted. This edition looks back at the week of June 3-7, 2019 with a focus on President Trump’s visit to England, the U.S. trade wars, big tech under fire, and a salute to the heroes of D-Day, plus more. Guests include (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Graham Mack, program director/morning host, Fix Radio, London; Heidi Harris, morning host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston; Doug Stephan, host, DJV Show/American Family Farmer; Chip Franklin, host, KGO, San Francisco; and Victoria Jones, executive director/chief Washington correspondent, DC Radio Company. The one-hour program, hosted by the iconic founder of TALKERS, is aired weekends on iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC and KSCO, Santa Cruz, California and is now available on a market-exclusive basis to stations interested in running it. Call 413-565-5413 for information. To listen to the show, please click here.
TALKERS 2019 Heavy Hundred Published. The 2019 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred – has been published. This is the 25th edition of the Heavy Hundred that is compiled by the editors of TALKERS magazine and inclusion is based upon a combination of hard factors such as ratings, revenue and longevity, plus soft factors including effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness. Executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As the editorial staff was preparing to publish the Heavy Hundred, we reflected on the 25-year history of this list – especially how challenging it is to whittle the thousands of hosts doing a talk radio program in America today down to the 100 most important. That said, we are excited to publish this year’s list and we believe it represents an honest reflection of the state of talk radio today.” See 2019 Heavy Hundred here.
TALKERS News Notes. The most recent podcast from iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman – titled “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing,” features former MTV CEO and current Amazon board directorJudy McGrath. The program includes McGrath discussing “her front-row seat experiencing two business phenomena in one lifetime: MTV and Amazon, and how the two are similar in culture…McGrath also discusses her early years at Conde Nast, how she convinced advertisers to get behind ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘South Park’ and the importance of always supporting your talent.”…..A deal between President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground production company and Spotify has the former First Couple producing podcasts exclusively for the audio platform. Barack Obama is quoted saying, “We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation. It helps us build connections with each other and open ourselves up to new ideas. We’re excited about Higher Ground Audio because podcasts offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together.”…..A report in the New York Post by Andrew Marchand indicates the MLB’s New York Yankees are talking about creating YES Radio that could change the future of the way Yankees games are heard. Marchand’s report notes that as the team – with the financial backing of Amazon and Sinclair Broadcasting – navigates buying back the YES Network from Disney for $3.5 billion, it is in talks with SiriusXM about a new channel for YES Radio. Currently, Yankees games are heard on Entercom’s WFAN, New York. Marchand writes that if YES Radio becomes a reality it could start “a series of moves that could have huge implications not only locally, but on the future of sports media.”…..SiriusXM is presenting the exclusive national radio coverage of the 119th U.S. Open Championship from Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. SiriusXM’s programming will feature 44 hours of live hole-by-hole coverage June 13-16…..Pictured below grabbing some lunch in New York City is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) with FOX Business Network personality Lou Dobbs (left). Texas-based Tradup is in the Big Apple to attend today’s Talkers 2019: Telling the Story conference.
Trump in England/75th D-Day Anniversary Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 3-7. The state visit to Great Britain by President Trump and the related 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the U.S. trade wars with China and Mexico. Coming in at #3 was the House Judiciary Committee’s planned investigations into possible anti-trust activity by big tech firms, followed by the Virginia Beach shootings, the Australia shootings, and the charging of former Parkland, Florida deputy Scot Peterson tied at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Adult hits KPRT-FM, Kirkland, New Mexico “107.9 Pirate Radio” adds the Envision Networks-syndicated “Ashley & Brad Show” for the morning drive daypart. Program director Shawn Kelly says, “The Ashley & Brad Show is a great addition to our mornings. It’s easy to make it sound local and they relate to our local audience. Great move, glad we did it.”…..KFRG, Riverside programmer and air personality Scott Ward exits the Entercom country station after 24 years with the station. Ward had been programming the station for the past two years and hosted the afternoon show.