WIBC, Indianapolis Talk Host Tony Katz Speaks with VP Pence at White House Radio Row. In the photo above taken at yesterday’s White House Radio Row on the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, WIBC-FM, Indianapolis morning host and syndicated late morning personality Tony Katz (right) interviews Vice President Mike Pence (left). Katz says he was one of just three talk hosts to interview Pence at the daylong event that featured a number of GOP members of Congress and Trump administration officials speaking with the invited group of radio hosts. Pence’s comments to Katz on the China-Hong Kong tensions made national news, with the VP saying, “The president has made it very clear; it would be very hard to do a deal with China if there is any violence or if that matter is not treated properly and humanely.”
Lori Lewis Launches Social Media Consultancy. Social media and radio pro Lori Lewis announces the launch of her social media consultancy firm, Lori Lewis Media. She says her firm offers “brands the most affordable way to finally put a social media strategy in play with proven, winning tactics to drive audience and revenue growth.” Lewis served for three years as vice president of social media for Cumulus Media and Westwood One. Prior to that, she was director of digital and social strategy at Jacobs Media. She’s also worked in the radio industry as a programmer and talent.
FOX Sports Radio Reports October Audience Growth. The sports audio network cites October 2019 data for its radio and streaming ratings as well as podcast listens, reporting record audience totals. FOX Sports Radio – a division of Premiere Networks – says that “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” achieved its “single greatest month in average quarter hour audience, growing +31.4% with Adults 25-54 and +36.2% with Men 25-54.” “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” “had its best AQH month ever in October, increasing +38.3% with Adults 25-54 and +53.5% with Men 25-54.” Also, FOX Sports says it posted its largest streaming audience in the history of the network with total listening hours increasing +21% year-to-year in October 2019. The network also set another record for total monthly podcast listens in October, reaching more than 11 million monthly listens.
Entercom Adds Local News Content on Google Assistant. Leveraging the power of its all-news radio stations, Entercom is adding local news audio content to the new “Your News Update,” on the Google Assistant. Entercom says that through this partnership, local content from stations including 1010 WINS and WCBS 880 in New York, KNX 1010 News Radio in Los Angeles, WBBM Newsradio in Chicago, Newsradio 1080 KRLD in Dallas, WWJ News Radio 950 in Detroit, KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia, KCBS All News in San Francisco and News Radio 1120 KMOX in St. Louis will be featured as part of the “Your News Update” platform. This follows the stations’ exclusive participation as part of the platform’s beta-testing phase. “Your News Update” will showcase a mix of short news stories chosen in that moment based on users’ interests, location, history, and preferences, as well as the top news stories from publishers from around the world including Associated Press, FOX News, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and more.
Vanessa Wojtusiak Named VP of Marketing for iHeartMedia Hartford/New Haven. Marketing pro Vanessa Wojtusiak joins iHeartMedia Hartford/New Haven as vice president of marketing. The markets include news/talk WPOP-AM, Hartford and WELI, New Haven plus sports talker WUCS-FM, Hartford and WAVZ-AM, New Haven. Wojtusiak joins iHeartMedia from Nexstar’s WTNH-TV, New Haven where she most recently served as the director of audience development and executive digital producer. She’s also served as national director of social marketing for iHeartRadio, an online marketing manager for WHTZ, New York “Z100” and the marketing assistant for WXKS-FM, Boston “KISS 108.” She says, “I am thrilled to be back home where I started my media career 18 years ago. Radio has been my longstanding passion and a medium that still has a meaningful and powerful presence in local communities. I can’t wait to keep elevating the iconic local brands alongside a very talented team.”
TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand is continuing his watch over the sports talk radio scene in New York and reports that current WFAN 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm personality Bart Scott is expected to jump across town to ESPN-owned rival WEPN as co-host of the show in the same time slot. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith – currently hosting the ESPN Radio network show in that daypart – is leaving his radio duties with the company for more TV work, leaving that time slot open. He also says sources indicate current WFAN midday team Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts are odds-on favorites to assume the afternoon drive show on WFAN when Mike Francesa moves to the RADIO.COM platform. Read his column here…..iHeartRadio launches a new branded podcast in collaboration with T-Mobile for Business, titled “This Time Tomorrow.” In it, podcast hosts Oz Woloshyn and Karah Preiss look closely at how innovations in 5G connectivity will revolutionize the way people work, socialize, and interact with the world…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa launches its 14th annual Stories of Light fundraiser to benefit Make-A-Wish Oklahoma. The goal is to raise $300,000 during the three-day radiothon. The KRMG team moves its entire broadcast to LaFortune Park in Tulsa for the radiothon and encourages listeners to stop by with donations. This event has raised more than $3 million since its inception…..SiriusXM and Amazon announce that SiriusXM’s On Demand library is now available to subscribers with Amazon Alexa and Echo devices, as well as several third-party devices with Alexa built-in. The move allows subscribers with streaming access to simply ask Alexa to play their favorite SiriusXM shows and compelling content whenever they want it.
Edison Research Unveils ‘Podcast Consumer Tracker’ Report. This new report from Edison Research is what the company calls “the first successful endeavor to present a unified look at audience information at the publisher/network level.” It says the Podcast Consumer Tracker also contains “competitive intelligence, audience demographics, and sales targeting information for podcast publishers and networks. It currently has 10 charter subscribers, including NPR, PodcastOne, Wondery, ESPN, WarnerMedia, and “other significant publishing and agency partners.” While the comparative rankings of publisher networks are available only to subscribers, Edison offers some of the findings of its first report: “The Joe Rogan Experience” is the leading podcast in terms of reach amongst weekly podcast consumers; there are significant content consumption differences between iPhone and Android users, rendering ‘Top Podcast’ charts derived exclusively from users of either to be unrepresentative of total listening behavior; and while the study tracks the relative reach of the top podcast networks, 54% of weekly podcast consumers have listened to an unaffiliated, independent podcast in the last week. Edison Reasearch SVP Tom Webster says, “This is the first study in the podcast space to tackle a universal measure of reach. There are, of course, various charts of downloads that cover parts of the overall universe, but those either reflect only a portion of the podcast audience, or they only measure publishers that opt-in. The Podcast Consumer Tracker’s goal is a truly inclusive measure of the comparative penetration of the leading publishers and networks. In that, we have been highly successful.”
Impeachment Hearings/Ukraine Allegations, 2020 Presidential Race/Atlanta Debate, Epstein Guards Charged, Israel-Syria Skirmish, and Hong Kong University Siege Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/19). This week’s impeachment testimony about the allegations of President Trump’s impropriety with regard to Ukraine military aid; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020 and tonight’s debate in Atlanta; the charges being filed against the Manhattan prison guards on duty when Jeffrey Epstein died are charged as the investigation continues; Israel fires at Iranian military targets in Syria; and the Hong Kong University siege were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
The Story of The Fisher House Foundation. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes about the birth and growth of the Fisher House Foundation and its harnessing the “power in radio” to raise awareness of the organization’s mission. As regular TALKERS readers are probably aware, the Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where family members of military personnel and veterans can stay while their loved one is in the hospital. Since its inception, the Fisher House estimates it has saved families $451 million in out-of-pocket costs for housing and transportation. How the Fisher House Foundation began and how its relationship with radio – especially news/talk radio – is an interesting story. Read Mike Kinosian’s piece here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Los Angeles, entertainment, news & traffic reporter Lisa May announces she’s leaving the “Frosty, Heidi & Frank” morning show at Meruelo Media’s classic rock KLOS, effective December 13. The longtime Los Angeles radio personality is moving to Palm Springs to work in the personal fitness business…..A surprise on Long Island as longtime adult contemporary WALK-FM morning drive personality Mark Daniels exits the station. Newsday reports the 63-year-old Daniels has been with Connoisseur Media’s WALK since 1985. Daniels’s on-air partner Jamie Morris is staying on and will be part of the new morning show set to debut in January…..YEA Networks announces that the “Tino Cochino Radio” show is being added to the programming lineup on hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 1075,” its first Entercom-owned affiliate station.….On Friday (11/22), the iHeartRadio album release party with Coldplay, celebrating the release of Everyday Life takes place. The hour-long on air special will feature a performance and an exclusive interview hosted by iHeartRadio on-air personality, Harms. It airs at 8:00 pm local time on iHeartMedia alternative and triple A stations…..BMI announces the appointment of Nexstar Media Group president and CEO Perry Sook to the BMI board of directors, effective January 1, 2020. Board chair Michael J. Fiorile says, “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Perry Sook to the BMI board of directors. Perry has achieved incredible success at Nexstar and we know he will be a valuable addition to the board as we continue our mission of protecting the rights of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and advocating for the value of music.”