Dan Le Batard Off Air Again Today. According to a story in The Washington Post, ESPN sports personality Dan Le Batard is off his radio program, “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” and his cable TV show, “Highly Questionable,” today (7/25) because he’s meeting in New York with ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro. Le Batard was off the air on Monday after he addressed the “Send her back!” chants directed toward Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar by Trump supporters at a recent Trump political rally. Le Batard was reminded by ESPN brass of the company’s mandate that politics are off limits on the sports network unless there’s a sports connection. Le Batard criticized that policy as well. He was, however, back on the air on Tuesday and Wednesday. FOX News coverage quotes former ESPN staffer and Le Batard friend Bill Simmons saying on his podcast that he doesn’t think Le Batard will remain with ESPN much longer. He calls him “a really proud guy, who I feel like at some point looked at it and said, ‘I have a platform, I’m on live radio right now and I’m just gonna use the platform for this and I know there is going to be repercussions.’”
PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk.TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk. Summer listening trends may be having an effect on public talk stations as 61% of those in PPM markets saw their weekly AQH share dip, led by KCFR, Denver and KUT, Austin – both declining 1.6 shares from the May survey to the June survey. Comparing June of 2018 to this year, just 38% of public radio news talkers are up – including KNPR, Las Vegas with an impressive 2.8 share gain – but 58% of stations see a ratings dip, including WBUR, Boston (-2.5), WFAE, Charlotte (-2.0), and KUT, Austin (-2.0). Just two public news/talk stations – KQED, San Francisco and KPBS, San Diego – ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets during the June survey. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Wraps Up Posting Today with the Panel Discussion, “Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019.” Today (7/25), TALKERS concludes the posting of videos of key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story. This final post is the panel discussion, “Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019,” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Danielle Lin, host, “The Art of Living & the Science of Life”; and Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York. The panel was moderated by Andrew Kalb, then-executive director of programming, ABC News Radio and introduced by Dr. Daliah Wachs, host, Genesis Communications Network. This concludes the posting of all the key panels, speeches and presentations that took place at the annual event. All will remain posted for viewing/listening at Talkers.com for the rest of 2019. Thank you to Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video for the excellent job of capturing these historic recordings. To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.
Bert Baron Exits WCTC-AM, New Brunswick for Public Service Gig. Central New Jersey morning personality Bert Baron is exiting his position as host on Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WCTC-AM, New Brunswick after tomorrow’s program to take a position outside of the radio business. In a press release, Mayor Jim Cahill says, “Bert is a well-known and admired member of our community. His vast experience in communications, messaging, social media, community engagement, advocacy, and community work and education initiatives will serve as key assets in his daily responsibilities as PIO. We are excited to welcome him to the team.”
Premiere’s George Noory Profiled in Boca Magazine. Nationally syndicated late-night radio star George Noory was recently profiled in the Florida publication, Boca magazine. The host of “Coast to Coast AM” promoted his live stage show that’s taking place at the Miramar Cultural Center on Saturday (7/27), and discussed his 17-year tenure as host of the Premiere Networks radio program. Noory’s stage show will feature live interviews with Billy Carson, an expert in forbidden archaeology; James L. Paris, a motivational speaker and lecturer on the power of prayer; and Chip Coffey, a renowned psychic medium. Check out the Boca piece here.
Max Media Norfolk Back with Nielsen. Three years after deciding to do without Nielsen Audio’s PPM ratings service for its Norfolk, Virginia cluster that includes sports talk WVSP-FM “ESPN 94.1,” urban talk/music hybrid WGH-AM and three music radio brands, Max Media signs a multi-year deal to use PPM data and a number of other services from Nielsen. Max Media VP and general manager Keith Barton says, “We are delighted to be working again with Nielsen. The comprehensive capabilities of Nielsen’s tools, including Nielsen Scarborough, Polk by IHS Markit, Nielsen Rhiza and Tapscan, are integral to our ability to facilitate success for the advertisers and agencies that we work with. We are now armed with the tools necessary to provide valuable marketing and advertising expertise to our clients and ultimately increase ROI.”
WWO: Smart Speaker Bringing AM/FM Back into the Home. The radio industry is hopeful that the rapid adoption of the smart speaker among American households will heighten listening to AM/FM stations in the home. Westwood One presents some data to indicate the smart speaker is beginning to do just that. Some of the conclusions drawn from recent research are published in this week’s Westwood One blog post. They include: according to Nielsen, 28% of U.S. households own a smart speaker; 19% of streaming listening to AM/FM radio stations occurred via smart speaker at the start of this year, up from 9% in January 2018; streaming audiences skew female: 68% of the total music streaming audience is female, compared to 50% of the on-air audience to the same AM/FM radio stations; smart speaker AM/FM radio streamers listen to 7:55 hours and 6.3 sessions per month, higher than the average streaming listener; and a higher proportion of smart speaker streaming occurs on Saturdays and Sundays where smart speaker listening peaks between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm.
Mueller Testimony, Immigration/Asylum Policy, Epstein Injured in Jail, North Korea Missile Test, Puerto Rico Governor Resigns, and Boris Johnson Becomes Prime Minister Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/24). Wednesday’s testimony before the House judiciary and intelligence committees by special counsel Robert Mueller; the Trump administration’s immigration and asylum policies and the conditions at detention centers; accused sex traffickerJeffrey Epstein is found in jail cell injured; North Korea tests new short-range missile; Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello resigns over leaked chat message controversy; and Boris Johnson assumes the role as Great Britain’s prime minister were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The rumored arrival of Jason Pullman as host of the new morning drive show on Entercom’s country WUSN-FM, Chicago “US99” is confirmed as the company announces the new show launches on August 8. Pullman was most recently morning host at iHeartMedia’s country WUBL, Atlanta “94.9 The Bull.” Joining him on the air for the new morning show is Chicago native Katie Bright. She returns to WUSN after serving as national director of promotion for Warner Music Nashville. Prior to that, she’d worked with WUSN in the sales department. Also contributing to the show is current WUSN lead promotions coordinator Erin – known to WUSN listeners as the station’s “Batchelor” expert. Entercom Chicago president and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “We are thrilled to welcome this talented team to ‘US99.’ The team will bring country music fans an entertaining and informative live, local show that is built for Chicagoland.”