Chad Benson to Join KTAR-FM, Phoenix for Afternoons. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Chad Benson is not giving up his Radio America-syndicated show – he’ll continue to host it at its new live feed time of 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET (beginning January 20) – but he’s joining air personality Larry Gaydos on Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix “News 92.3 FM” as co-host of the station’s 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show, effective January 21. Bonneville Phoenix SVP and market manager Scott Sutherland says, “Chad is one of the most talented and energetic talk show hosts that I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait for he and Larry to inform and entertain the KTAR audience on their way home each day.” Mac Watson had been hosting the KTAR afternoon show with Gaydos, but he exited the station in October. Speaking about his new gig, Benson says, “I am beyond excited to be partnering with Larry Gaydos – one of the most talented men in radio – on one of the most iconic stations in the country. Here we come Phoenix.” At the same time, Bonneville says KTAR-FM is adding “Arizona’s Evening News” to its daily lineup – a full hour of news, traffic, and weather starting each weeknight at 6:00 pm.
Report: 60 Million U.S. Adults Own Smart Speakers. According to the latest edition of The Smart Audio Report Winter 2019 from Edison Research and NPR, 24% of U.S. adults own a smart speaker device. That’s about 60 million people 18+. That’s up from 21 million at the end of 2018 and 7 million at the closing of 2017. The report includes video interviews with study panelists who explain how they acquire new smart speaker skills and from where they get recommendations about new content. As far as discovery is concerned, 45% of those surveyed say they get new skills or actions for their smart speaker from family and friends. Many panelists said that after the initial ownership period passed, they stopped trying to see what else the smart speaker could do and now rely on it for a handful of the same tasks. The report found that 69% of smart speaker owners agree they don’t know enough about them to use all of their features. See more about the study here.
Emmis Communications 2019 Fiscal Q3 Net Revenue Flat. Issuing financial data for its 2019 fiscal third quarter, Emmis Communications reports net revenue of $10.7 million, flat compared to the same figure in the fiscal third quarter of 2018. Net revenue for the first three quarters of fiscal 2019 was down 5.3% to $29.3 million, compared to the same period in 2018. For the fiscal 2019 Q3, Emmis posted an operating loss of $6 million, up 61% from the $3.2 operating loss posted in Q3 of fiscal 2018. During fiscal 2019, Emmis closed on its sale of its 50.1% interest in Emmis Austin Radio Broadcasting Company, L.P. to Sinclair Telecable for $39.3 million and the sale of its controlling interest in New York’s WQHT-FM and WBLS-FM that netted $91.5 million in cash, a $5 million note, and a 23.72% stake in Standard General’s Mediaco Holdings – the new controlling owner of the stations.
U.S.-Iran Relations/Soleimani Killing, Iran Plane Crash, Trump Impeachment, 2020 Presidential Race, Megxit, Puerto Rico Earthquake Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/8). The relations between the U.S. and Iran after the U.S. killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani; the deadly crash of a Ukrainian jet in Tehran and speculation about the cause; the articles of impeachment against President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to “step back” from senior royal duties; and the conditions in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of recent earthquakes were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. The newest addition to the ESPN podcast lineup is Scott Van Pelt, who launches “SVPod” on January 14. The late-night “SportsCenter” host’s weekly podcast will include long-form interviews, commentary, and expanded takes on his “One Big Thing” segment on SportsCenter. Van Pelt says, “As much as I enjoy the ‘SportsCenter’ show we get to do at midnight, it doesn’t always provide the time and space for all I want to get to. I look at interviews we had with Patrick Beverley, Matthew McConaughey, or Rakim as examples of times when the conversation was so interesting to me that it went on far beyond what we had room for on TV.”…..Compass Media Networks announces its slate of top-ranked, exclusive college basketball broadcasts that begin Sunday (1/12) with defending Big Ten Tournament champions Michigan State taking on Purdue. Compass general manager for sports Michelle Salvatore says, “Our 2020 college basketball schedule continues Compass Media Networks’ decade-long reputation of excellence. The teams, storylines, and rivalries cultivated and offered year in and year out are incomparable. We are proud, once again, to offer our affiliates and corporate sponsors the best of college basketball and look forward to continuing this decade-long distinction.” Find out more about the entire schedule of games here…..Two new episodes of the podcast “Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein” debut today (1/9). They are hosted by ABC News’ Mark Remillard and are available on numerous platforms. Also, the two-hour primetime television special, “Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein,” airs tonight from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm on ABC TV.
Newsmax President/CEO Christopher Ruddy Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The journalist and entrepreneur who launched Newsmax in 1998 and built it into one of America’s most successful and influential multi-media platforms, Christopher Ruddy, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Newsmax.com ranks consistently as one of the country’s most-trafficked news websites and Newsmax TV has enjoyed a rapid ascent to prominence in the cable news/talk TV arena with a current presence in 70 million cable homes across America. Harrison and Ruddy discuss today’s politics including the election, the state of cable news/talk television and insights drawn from his personal friendship with President Donald Trump. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The urban morning radio show “The Breakfast Club” (pictured below), syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks, adds 10 new affiliates in the New Year, including: WJXM-FM, Meridian, Mississippi; WIBB-FM, Macon, Georgia; and WMNX-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina. The program — hosted by Angela Yee, Charlamagne Tha God, and DJ Envy — is now heard in 90 markets across the country…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is re-branding its evening country radio show, changing the “NASH Nights Live” show starring Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith to “Nights with Elaina,” hosted by Smith. The program will launch on February 3. Smith says, “I’ve been lucky enough to have spent the last six years of my life with the best country music fans in the nation every single weeknight, and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to continue connecting with them with a new show, ‘Nights with Elaina.’ If there is one thing I’ve learned that listeners and stars have in common, it’s that we’re all just trying to figure out life and have fun while doing it.” Shawn Parr is exiting the network…..The nationally syndicated urban show “DeDe in the Morning” adds eight new affiliate stations. The program, starring DeDe McGuire, is a syndicated effort from Service Broadcasting Group’s KKDA, Dallas “K104” and Compass Media Networks. Service Broadcasting director of operations and GM and brand manager for the program Geo Cook says, “DeDe’s unique content and strong connection to culture and community are fueling a revolution of perception about how women can lead and dominate ratings in morning drive. We are thrilled that DeDe’s show is growing rapidly and spreading more laughter and fun in new markets.” The show is currently heard on 35 affiliate stations…..Envision Networks’ “The Wolfman Jack Radio Show” is now airing on oldies WHRY, Hurley, Wisconsin and oldies WVVE, Grand Marais, Minnesota – home of the “World’s Tallest Indian” – a 52-foot fiberglass statue of tribal leader Hiawatha. Envision says, “Listeners to the stations are hearing the legendary Wolfman Jack’s famous antics, crazy characters, celebrity interviews, and comedy bits every Saturday from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.”…..All Pro Broadcasting names Santiago Romero afternoon drive host at hot AC KHTI, Riverside “Hot 103.9.” He was most recently with Entercom’s CHR KLUC, Las Vegas handling on-air, imaging and production duties…..On-air pro Eva Matteson is leaving her morning drive co-host role at Saga Communications’ hot AC WMGX, Portland “Coast 93.1” at the end of next month. Matteson has been dealing with health issues and told listeners she wants to focus on those and spend more time traveling.