NOW POSTED: New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. The new episode titled “Show Us Your Matzo Balls!” looks back at this past week of April 6-10, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Holland Cooke, media consultant / talk show host, RT America; Rich Zeoli, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Matthew B. Harrison, professor of law, Western New England University / associate publisher, TALKERS; Victoria Jones, executive director, the DC Radio Company; and Chad Lopez, president, Red Apple Media. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here www.MHWrap.com. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Smash Returns to Air in St. Louis on Suburban Talker. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Holleman reports that on-air pro Asher Benrubi, a.k.a. Smash, is returning to the airwaves in the St. Louis market on Metroplex Communications’ talk station WBGZ-AM, Alton, Illinois. The “Smash Daily” show will air from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Smash was an air staffer at legendary rock outlet KSHE for years but left in the late 2000s to care for his wife, Debbie, who eventually died from breast cancer in 2016. He tells the paper that the opportunity to host a two-hour, interactive show “just seemed like the right place to start.”
Townsquare Media Out of Compliance with NYSE. The company has until the end of September to figure this out and file its 2019 annual report after failing to file the report with the New York Stock Exchange on time. Townsquare Media says that differing opinions by its former and current accounting firms on assessing a non-cash charge for indefinite-lived intangible assets is the root of the problem. The company states, “We continue to work diligently to complete the preparation of our financial statements in order to be in a position to file the Form 10-K with the SEC as soon as possible.”
WIOD, Miami Holds “Share-a-Thon” Fundraiser. This weekend, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WIOD, Miami “Newsradio 610” is holding a 72-hour Share-A-Thon fundraiser to benefit the Miami Rescue Mission/ Broward County Outreach – an organization serving the homeless and the community in need in South Florida. Station program director Grace Blazer says, “In these difficult times when we are asked to stay home it’s fitting for us to help those who don’t have a home. We know money can be a concern for many right now, but we ask our community to make donations starting at one meal which is $2.10.”
Radio Stations Airing Easter Sunday Services. Some of the radio stations planning to air Easter Sunday services include Nexstar’s WGN-AM, Chicago. WGN will broadcast Holy Saturday Easter Vigil and Sunday Easter Mass for Catholics that will originate from Holy Name Cathedral. In Cleveland, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTAM will broadcast a Catholic mass that will be held at the Cathedral of St. John The Evangelist in downtown Cleveland. JVC Media is partnering with Orlando Christian contemporary outlet WPOZ-FM “Z88.3” to broadcast the station’s Stay-at-Home Easter Sunrise Service on country WOTW, Windermere, Florida; country WXUS, Gainesville-Ocala; and news/talk WRCN, Long Island “LI News Radio 103.9FM.”
Entercom Pittsburgh to Hold Radiothon to Benefit Food Bank. On Tuesday (4/14), Entercom’s Pittsburgh radio stations – including news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM – are producing the “Feed the Need Radiothon” to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The radiothon aims to fund 100,000 meals to help displaced workers who are using the emergency drive-up distribution sites as well as food pantries in and around the Pittsburgh region. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Radio serves as a lifeline for local communities and brings them together in times of need. Pittsburghers always come together, and this is no exception. We are looking forward to leveraging our voice to help our friends and neighbors through the ‘Feed the Need Radiothon’ in partnership with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. We hope to do our part and help our community during this pandemic.”
Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach Offering Free Air Time for Local Charities. The West Palm Beach cluster of Hubbard Radio stations is starting the Fight Back Give Back program to help local charities raise awareness and funds during the Covid-19 crisis. To provide charities a voice, the company is committing to donate up to $1,000,000 worth of commercial airtime in April and May to get their messages out on stations including news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN “FOX Sports 640.” The company says, “We’re happy to lend our microphone to the organizations that do so much for our community. ‘We’re in this together’ is being widely used right now, but there are no truer words. We hope this opportunity will help the not-for-profit organizations we work with day in and day out, get through this time a little easier.”
Covid-19 Statistics and Projections Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 6-10. The statistics related to confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths and the models projecting future cases and deaths were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the jobless claims and the state of the American economy. Coming in at #3 was the precarious state of the country’s health care system, followed by U.S.-China relations and the controversy over President Trump’s criticism of the World Health Organization 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 complete chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Earlier this week, iHeartMedia’s music radio morning shows – including New York-based “Elvis Duran and The Morning Show” and “The Breakfast Club,” Nashville-based “The Bobby Bones Show” and Los Angeles-based “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” and “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” – extended their on-air time by an hour or more “because of increased listener demand received through daily call-ins and social media feedback during the COVID-19 pandemic.” iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman states, “Given the amount of positive feedback our stations were receiving from their listeners, our on-air talent began asking them if they should stay on air longer in the mornings – and the response was incredible. For example, Elvis Duran received more than 65,000 likes and more than 12,000 comments when he asked his social media followers about extending his morning show. This listener feedback, combined with the data we are seeing with our on-demand shows, is a testament to the connection that our radio personalities have with their listeners, and the fact that broadcast radio still holds such a unique place in American culture especially during a time of crisis.”…..Cumulus Media’s KATC-FM, Colorado Springs re-brands as “Cat Country 95.1” and unveils its new lineup that includes “The Cat Country Morning Show with Wendy & Bo” starring Wendy Labree and Bo Jaxon; Michelle Rodriguez in middays; and program director Mike Dylan remaining as PM drive host. Westwood One’s “Nights with Elaina” and “The Blair Garner Show” air in evenings and overnights, respectively. capping the weekday schedule…..New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy game a shout out to the WWPR, New York-based “The Breakfast Club” program for helping encourage an executive order to extend the grace period for insurance payments for those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Murphy said at a press conference, “I got asked for this by some friends of mine at ‘The Breakfast Club’ on 105.1, Charlamagne and DJ Envy and Angela Yee, the other day. And this was in the works – we didn’t have a definitive answer – so I want to give them a shout out for helping give us even more impetus to get this done sooner than later.”…..Classic hits KCMO-FM, Kansas City morning host Kelly Urich is riding his bicycle 100 miles this morning (4/10) to raise money for Harvesters Community Food Network. He challenged his listeners to pledge 50 cents for every mile he rides. Kansas Citians quickly responded, raising more than $6,000 in just a few hours.