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Archive for February, 2021

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

| February 24, 2021

Entercom Q4 Revenue Down 25.7%; Full Year 2020 Declines 33.6%. The third major radio company to present 2020 fourth quarter and full year financial data is Entercom (Beasley and Cumulus have already posted their financial results and iHeartMedia is scheduled to do the same tomorrow). The company reveals 2020 Q4 net revenue was $319.5 million, down 25.7% from the same period in 2019, and 2020 full-year net revenue was $1.06 billion, a decline of 33.6% from 2019. Entercom notes that since the depths of the pandemic revenue dip in the second quarter of 2020, business is trending up. Its 2020 Q4 revenue was up 19% from Q3. Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom continued to drive strong sequential operating improvement with revenues up 19% and EBITDA more than doubling vs. the third quarter. Digital, podcasting, sports betting and network radio all posted strong double-digit growth over prior year and we are continuing to drive innovation across these businesses to enhance future growth potential. While the pandemic continues to hobble a large number of our advertisers, particularly locally, we are optimistic about a strong recovery in our local ad sales later this year driven by vaccinations, fiscal stimulus and pent-up consumer demand in heavily impacted categories.” Entercom breaks down its revenue by segments and some of the noteworthy data in this report includes that spot (local and national) revenue was down 27.7% from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020; year-over-year spot revenue was down 42.9%. On the positive side, digital revenue (including podcasting) rose 20.5% from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020 and was up 26% year-over-year. Looking at radio revenue by format, while Entercom’s music formats took the biggest hit in 2020 – revenue was down 44% — sports talk revenue declined by 39.3% and news/talk was off by 21.7% during the year.

Round One of Nielsen Audio’s January 2021 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2021 survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2021 survey covered January 7 – February 3. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this round. In New York, Entercom’s all-news stations both saw their weekly, 6+ AQH shares increase – WINS added four-tenths to finish with a 4.0 share and the #8 rank and WCBS-AM added two-tenths for a 2.9 share and the #12 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles tacked on three-tenths for a 5.0 share and remains ranked #3. In Chicago, Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM added half a share to re-claim the #1 rank with a 7.3 share. Across town, Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN-AM added four-tenths for a 4.1 share and the #7 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here

Talk Programmer Bob Shomper to Retire in April. Longtime news/talk programmer Bob Shomper announces he’ll retire from the radio business on April 2. Shomper is currently program director at NRG Media’s KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska. During his career he’s served at some of America’s great news/talk stations, including: WCCO-AM, Minneapolis; KTAR-FM, Phoenix; WLS-AM, Chicago; WGN-AM, Chicago; WBAP-AM, Fort Worth/Dallas; and more. Shomper tells TALKERS magazine that his decision to retire is entirely his own and he’s grateful to be doing so on his own terms.

Robbie Stevens Posts Powerful Commentary to TalkersRadio About Honoring Truth in Media Discussions About Politics.  Noted record producer Robbie Stevens, one of TalkersRadio’s roster of “out-of-the-box” talk talents has posted a powerful new commentary yesterday (2/23) titled, “My Mistake(s),” that takes a candid look at a problem radio talk show hosts wrestle with all the time – staying true to core principles, maintaining a healthy sense of skepticism, and being honest about mistakes when making them. Stevens, who was the first talent signed for TalkersRadio – a service of TALKERS magazine – when it launched in the fall of 2013, has agreed to perform as a commentator on the platform for a “limited engagement” that will run through June of 2021. The Bronx-based New York City native is well-known in the music industry for his years of innovative studio work with a wide variety of high-profile artists, most recently on behalf of the estate and fans of the late John Lennon, for which he has achieved critical acclaim for his “raw” remix of the legendary artist’s Imagine album. He also most recently executive produced 13 Billboard #1 Dance Chart singles in a row, for Yoko Ono’s innovative ensemble Ono. He also recently produced (with Yoko Ono) the “John Lennon Anthology,” a four-CD set of unreleased material that was Rolling Stone magazine’s boxed set of the year. During his colorful career, he’s played on, mixed, or produced records by Herbie Hancock, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and other high-profile musicians going back decades. During this time, Stevens has developed an alternative career as a talk radio host and commentator heard occasionally via on-air and online outlets provided by heritage NYC stations WOR and WNYM (in addition to TalkersRadio). Commenting on Stevens’ latest posting, TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations (and former WOR PD) David Bernstein says, “Robbie is raw, fresh, and as real as the urban streets that gave rise to his gritty philosophy and we always get strong response to his work on our exciting platform. This new installment of his show is a grand slam home run because it strikes at the very core of our deepest personal conflicts in arriving at and sticking with our truths as talk radio hosts operating in a swirling ocean of changing information.” To listen to Robbie Stevens’ new series of commentaries on TalkersRadio, please click here. TalkersRadio is an “experimental” talk radio platform launched in 2013 to provide the industry with a “workout space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts.” Since its launch it has been a temporary home to a number of spoken-word talents – both high-profile and obscure – who’ve used it to work and showcase concepts that have gone on to achieve terrestrial radio exposure and even national syndication. In addition to Stevens, current TalkersRadio hosts include Claire CarterMeg McDonald, and UK sensation, Graham Mack. At the time of his passing, Alan Colmes was working on a series concept called “Healed Planet” heard on TalkersRadio which offered a glimpse into the late FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel star’s metaphysical interests. Files of that fledgling show remain archived on TalkersRadio as a tribute to Colmes. For more information about TalkersRadio, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Cool Operations Manager Opportunity. Locally owned southern-based radio group seeking a full-time Operations Manager with strong technical and digital skills. The ideal candidate MUST have experience operating OP-X and managing satellite operations for syndicated programs. Applicant must have at least 5 years of experience. Proven experience in managing social media branding, digital marketing, and video production. Proficient in digital automation systems, digital audio editing and production is a must. EEO. Send resumes to dalton@starnesmediagroup.com

TALKERS News Notes. A new channel from Newsmax TV officially launches on VIZIO SmartCast, the award-winning Smart TV platform available to millions of viewers. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “Launching on VIZIO SmartCast allows our viewers to simply plug in their new televisions and play Newsmax TV. Newsmax is experiencing exponential growth and provides a much-needed perspective on the issues that many VIZIO viewers care about.”…..A new partnership between iHeartMedia and independent UK podcast company Novel will result in the debut of 11 original podcast series over the next three years. The relationship begins with the release of two podcast series, “The Assault on America” and “Deliver Us From Ervil.” “The Assault on America” tells the inside story of the insurrection at the Capitol by working with open-source investigative journalists Bellingcat. “Deliver Us From Ervil” is an investigative true-crime series in which a groundbreaking team of journalists enters a lawless town on the border of Mexico run by a secretive religious sect living in exile and outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. government since 1924…..Content creation company Mean Ole Lion Media adds three new lifestyle-based podcasts to its portfolio. The podcasts are: “Conversations with Dr. Ian Smith,” all about people and discovering their back-story; “Business First with Sonia Alleyne,” that shines a light on brilliant and successful business people in a variety of industries; and “The History of Being Black” with host Eunice Elliott.

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Capitol Riot Public Testimony, Biden Cabinet Nominees, Biden Migrant Policy, Trump Tax Returns, Rochester Protests, Russian Sanctions, China’s Hong Kong Loyalty Oath, and Tiger Woods Car Crash Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/23). The falling number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the concerns about variants, and the rollout of vaccines; the testimony before the U.S. Senate about the January 6 Capitol insurrection; the confirmation hearings for Joe Biden’s Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland, embattled White House budget office nominee Neera Tanden, and Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland; the Biden administration’s continued use of Trump policy turning away migrants at the Mexican border; the SCOTUS’ ruling Donald Trump must turn his tax data over to New York AG Cyrus Vance Jr.; the protests in Rochester, New York over the decision not to prosecute police in the death of Daniel Prude; the Biden Administration’s sanctions on Russia for the SolarWinds hack and the Navalny poisoning; China’s instituting loyalty oaths for Hong Kong politicians; and Tiger Woods is hurt in one-car accident in California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

January 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part One

| February 24, 2021

January 2021 PPM Data – Information for the January 2021 ratings period has been released for New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Dallas; Houston; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario; San Jose; and Middlesex-Somerset-Union.

Nielsen Audio’s January 2021 sweep covered January 7 – February 3.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 (6+).

NEW YORK

News/Talk: WOR (2.4 – 2.5, +.1, flat at #16, 6+)

News: WINS (3.6 – 4.0, +.4, seventh to eighth, 6+); WCBS-AM (2.7 – 2.9, +.2, steady at #12, 6+)

Sports Talk: WFAN (2.2 – 2.8, +.6, #18 to #14, 6+)

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC-FM (4.1 – 4.9, +.8, unchanged at #5, 6+)

Number One 6+: adult contemporary WLTW (12.8 – 6.5, -6.3, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (+.9); Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM (+.9); and Spanish contemporary WXNY (+.9)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WLTW (-6.3)

 

LOS ANGELES

News/Talk: KFI (4.7 – 5.0, +.3, steady at #3, 6+)

News: KNX (3.2 – 3.3, +.1, flat at #10, 6+)

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KPCC (2.7 – 3.6, +.9, #11 to #6, 6+)

Number One 6+: adult contemporary KOST (13.9 – 5.7, -8.2, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk: KPCC (+.9)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary KOST (-8.2)

 

CHICAGO

News/Talk: WGN (3.7 – 4.1, +.4, steady at #7, 6+); WLS-AM (1.7 – 1.9, +.2, unchanged at #18, 6+)

News: WBBM-AM & WCFS (6.8 – 7.3, +.5, third to first, 6+)

Sports Talk: WSCR (2.0 – 2.3, +.3, #16 to #13, 6+)

Public Radio News/Talk: WBEZ (4.3 – 6.7, +2.4, fourth to third, 6+)

Number One 6+: news WBBM-AM & WCFS (6.8 – 7.3, +.5, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk WBEZ (+2.4)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WLIT (-9.2)

 

SAN FRANCISCO

News/Talk: KGO (1.6 – 2.0, +.4, #20 to #16, 6+)

News: KCBS-AM & KFRC (8.1 – 8.5, +.4, third to second, 6+)

Sports Talk: KNBR (3.4 – 3.5, +.1, fifth to sixth, 6+)

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED (9.0 – 10.9, +1.9, second to first, 6+)

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KQED (9.0 – 10.9, +1.9, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk KQED (+1.9)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary KOIT-FM (-6.6)

 

DALLAS

News/Talk: WBAP (3.6 – 4.0, +.4, ninth to tenth, 6+)

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: KTCK (2.6 – 3.6, +1.0, #16 to #11, 6+); KRLD-FM (2.4 – 1.8, -.6, #17 to #20, 6+)

Public Radio News/Talk: KERA (3.0 – 3.4, +.4, #14 to #13, 6+)

Number One 6+: contemporary Christian KLTY (7.0 – 6.1, -.9, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: country KSCS (+1.2)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary KDGE (-4.8)

 

HOUSTON

News/Talk: KTRH (5.5 – 7.5, +2.0, fourth to first, 6+)

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KUHF (1.4 – 2.7, +1.3, #21 to #16, 6+)

Number One 6+: news/talk: KTRH (5.5 – 7.5, +2.0, 6+); adult contemporary KODA (12.1 – 7.5, -4.6, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: news/talk KTRH (+2.0)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary KODA (-4.6)

 

ATLANTA

News/Talk: WSB-AM (9.0 – 11.8, +2.8, repeating at #1, 6+)

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WZGC (4.1 – 3.8, -.3, steady at #8, 6+); WCNN (flat at 1.6, #21 to #18, 6+)

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+: news/talk WSB-AM (9.0 – 11.8, +2.8, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: news/talk WSB-AM (+2.8)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: contemporary Christian WFSH (-1.8)

 

PHILADELPHIA

News/Talk: WPHT (1.8 – 2.2, +.4, #19 to #18, 6+); WKXW (2.0 – 1.8, -.2, #17 to #19, 6+)

News: KYW (5.4 – 6.4, +1.0, fifth to second, 6+)

Sports Talk: WIP (5.9 – 6.1, +.2, fourth to fifth, 6+); WPEN-FM (2.0 – 2.6, +.6, #17 to #15, 6+); WIP Stream unlisted in “Holiday” 2020, 1.6, debuts at #20, 6+)

Public Radio News/Talk: WHYY (4.6 – 6.3, +1.7, seventh to third, 6+)

Number One 6+: urban AC WDAS-FM (8.4 – 8.6, +.2, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk WHYY (+1.7)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WBEB (-7.5)

 

LONG ISLAND

News/Talk: WOR (4.4 – 4.1, -.3, sixth to seventh, 6+)

News: WCBS-AM (2.9 – 3.2, +.3, #12 to #11, 6+); WINS (2.6 – 3.1, +.5, #13 to #12, 6+)

Sports Talk: WFAN (4.1 – 4.3, +.2, ninth to fourth, 6+); WFAN Stream (1.1 – 1.9, +.8, #23 to #19, 6+)

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC-FM (2.0 – 3.1, +1.1, #18 to #12, 6+)

Number One 6+: classic rock WAXQ (4.7 – 5.1, +.4, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk WNYC-FM (+1.1)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WLTW (-4.2)

 

RIVERSIDE

News/Talk: KFI (4.6 – 5.2, +.6, second, 6+)

News: KNX (unlisted in “Holiday” 2020, 1.3, debuts at #20, 6+)

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+: Spanish adult hits KLYY (6.0 – 6.9, +.9, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: rock KCAL-FM (+1.0)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary KOST (-5.6)

 

SAN JOSE

News/Talk: KGO (2.0 – 2.5, +.5, #12 to #11, 6+)

News: KCBS-AM & KFRC (5.6 – 6.8, +1.2, fourth to second, 6+)

Sports Talk: KNBR (2.3 – 2.5, +.2, #10 to #11, 6+)

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED (10.4 – 12.8, +2.4, second to first, 6+)

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KQED (10.4 – 12.8, +2.4, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk KQED (+2.4)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary KOIT-FM (-7.8)

 

MIDDLESEX

News/Talk: WKXW (4.3 – 5.0, +.7, eighth to fifth, 6+)

News: WCBS-AM (2.4 – 2.7, +.3, steady at #14, 6+)

Sports Talk: WFAN (2.0 – 2.7, +.7, #18 to #14, 6+)

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC-FM (3.2 – 4.1, +.9, #11 to #6, 6+)

Number One 6+: classic rock WAXQ (8.3 – 8.9, +.6, 6+)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk WNYC-FM (+.9); Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM (+.9)

Largest 6+ “Holiday” 2020 – January 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WLTW (-6.5)

Up next: January 2021 overviews for: Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Email managing editor Mike Kinosian at mike.kinosian@gmail.com.    

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

| February 23, 2021

Cumulus Media Reports 2020 Q4 Net Revenue Down 13.9%; Net Revenue for Full Year of 2020 Declines 26.7%. The second major radio company to report financial figures from the fourth quarter and the full year of 2020 (Beasley was first back on February 10), Cumulus Media reports net revenue of $245.8 million for the fourth quarter – a decline of 13.9% compared to the same period in 2019 – and full year 2020 net revenue of $816 million, down 26.7% from $1.1 billion reported in 2019. For Q4, Cumulus posted a loss of $249,000 a year after 2019’s Q4 income of $1.6 million. For the full year of 2019, the company posted a loss of $57.9 million compared to 2019’s full year income of $62.2 million. On the positive side, Cumulus reports that quarterly revenue improved sequentially from Q2 to Q4, both in total and excluding political; it achieved 9.4% year-over-year digital revenue growth (12.1% on a same station basis), driven by podcasting growth of nearly 40%; it generated $33.2 million of cash from operations for the full year; it completed two significant M&A transactions generating aggregate gross proceeds of $282 million; paid down $54.3 million of term loan and retired $47.2 million of senior notes; and finished the year with $271.8 million of cash on hand (an increase of $256.6 million compared with December 31, 2019). President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “Given 2020’s extenuating circumstances, I am extremely proud of the company’s performance and the efforts of the entire Cumulus team to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19. In the face of the pandemic, we maximized revenue performance, materially reduced expenses, generated cash through strong working capital management, and executed highly accretive divestitures that strengthened our balance sheet. As a result of these efforts and with a recovering economy, we believe that we are well-positioned to return our business to its pre-pandemic trajectory and to capitalize on strategic and financial options to best drive shareholder returns.”

Chad Benson Welcomes New Affiliate Stations. The Radio America-syndicated “Chad Benson Show” welcomes four new radio stations to its roster of affiliate stations: WP Broadcasting’s news/talk KRSY-AM, Alamogordo, New Mexico; WCED Rsdio’s news/talk WCED-AM, Du Bois, Pennsylvania; Fieldview Broadcasting’s news/talk KWBG-AM, Boone, Iowa; and VP Broadcasting’s news/talk WHOL-AM/W295CR Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Chad Benson Show is also heard on such signals as Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix; iHeartMedia’s KSTE-AM, Sacramento; and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. Radio America says, “Listeners love Chad’s explanation of the day’s hard news delivered in a thoughtful and entertaining way. And that explains why Chad is featured on some of the most highly rated talk stations in the country and delivers the demos that talk radio needs most.”

Entercom and Pro Sports Teams Cooperate on ‘Vaccinate Michigan’ Effort. The Entercom Detroit station cluster that includes sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket,” all-news WWJ-AM “Newsradio 950,” and three music brands are partnering with the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Detroit Pistons to launch a new community initiative called “Vaccinate Michigan.” All five stations are airing state-approved public service announcements about the COVID-19 vaccination and its availability for Michigan residents. The “Vaccinate Michigan” announcements are voiced by various Entercom Detroit on-air personalities, show hosts, and news anchors, as well as some of the city’s key sports figures, including Tigers manager AJ Hinch, Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd, Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill, Lions head coach Dan Campbell, and Pistons head coach Dwane Casey. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Our company and sports partners understand the importance of getting Michigan businesses open, as well as the need of our listeners and fans to get back to work and feel some sense of normalcy. Radio serves as a crucial lifeline for the communities it serves and we’re proud to lend our influential voice in the community and our citywide footprint to deliver the important message of COVID-19 vaccinations to our listeners and fans.”

SummitMedia Enters into Podcast Deal with CurtCo Media. This strategic partnership between SummitMedia and CurtCo Media is SummitMedia’s first formal alliance with a third-party content creator for the podcast audience. SummitMedia owns and operates 47 radio stations in nine states. Los Angeles-based CurtCo Media currently produces cutting-edge quality scripted and unscripted podcast programming. SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer comments, “SummitMedia’s partnership with CurtCo Media provides us with an exciting opportunity to develop and explore the rapidly growing podcast medium. We’ve known and watched CurtCo create engaging and innovative content for years, and we value the integrity and quality they bring to the media industry.” CurtCo Media CEO Bill Curtis says, “Having a strategic alliance and investment from SummitMedia makes this partnership the most powerful moment to date in our business development. We’re so excited to work with Greg Kelly, Carl and their team to create new dynamic programming and combine Summit’s powerful radio platform with CurtCo Media in the fast-growing world of podcasting. We believe this strategic partnership will provide sustainable value for our business and expand our audience.”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime radio and television consumer advocate Clark Howard will receive the 2021 “Andrew Ashwood Award” at the 12th annual Talk Show Boot Camp, presented by Don Anthony’s Talentmasters and Gabe Hobbs Media being held virtually this year on March 18 and 19.  Howard, who wrapped his nationally syndicated radio program after 23 years at the end of 2020, will be presented with the award by last year’s recipient, Greg Moceri. He says, “When I was given the privilege of selecting someone who exemplified the positivity that Andrew did for our industry, it took me two seconds to say Clark Howard. Having worked and associated with him for 30 years, he was an instant selection on how many ways he has demonstrated that positivity and has helped millions through the years. ‘In Clark we trust’ impacted his knowledge and authenticity in our industry for decades and it continues today. Clark was an instant choice to carry on this great tradition of honoring Andrew.”…..The 2nd Annual Radio Cares – Feeding America is off to a great start with new and returning partners signing on in support of the nationwide radio event that raises money to provide meals for individuals and families facing hunger in America. Radio Cares is presented by Feeding America and the Independent Broadcasters Association and takes place on April 14 on radio stations across the country. Last year, in its inaugural event, Radio Cares raised enough money to purchase 5 million meals.”…..The Philadelphia Phillies and Entercom announce a new, multi-year radio deal with the MLB’s Phillies to keep sports talk WIP-FM the flagship station for the club’s radio broadcasts. The play-by-play team of Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen will be joined by Kevin Frandsen this season. Entercom Philly SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We’re eagerly awaiting the return of Phillies baseball and are happy to announce a new broadcast extension with the club. As the undisputed voice of the Philadelphia sports fan, we look forward to putting listeners right in the middle of the action through premier game day coverage and keeping them caught up with their favorite team throughout the season.”

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, SCOTUS Trump Tax Returns Ruling, Capitol Riot Investigation, Cabinet Confirmation Hearings, Dominion Sues Mike Lindell, and Facebook Australia News Deal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/22). The United States passes the 500,000 COVID death mark and the rollout of vaccines continues; the Supreme Court rules New York prosecutors can have access to Donald Trump’s tax records; today’s first Senate hearing on the January 6 Capitol insurrection; Monday’s first confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland, and the coming hearings for embattled White House budget office nominee Neera Tanden and Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland; voting systems firm Dominion sues MyPillow chief Mike Lindell for $1.3 billion for defamation; and Facebook agrees to Australian news deal that will pay news organizations were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, February 22, 2021

| February 22, 2021

Monday Memo: #Rush4ever. Consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “there’s dang little we can do to keep someone sitting in a parked car with the key on Accessories. But Rush did that, often. And these carefully chosen archival clips they’re playing are even more captivating.” In this week’s column, HC suggests longer-term options to succeed a talent “who can never be replaced.” Read his column here.

Pending Business: Rush Changed How We Sell. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa says Rush Limbaugh changed not only what people talked about on AM radio, but how we sell the talk radio format. Limbaugh’s so-called controversial content often caused the “no-buy” tag to be applied to his program. “Big ratings were no longer an automatic revenue generator. Rush stood steadfast. His audience grew to become the biggest and arguably the most responsive of any network radio talent. A new chapter had to be written in the ad sales playbook. Sellers knew if Rush got behind an ad campaign, phones would ring, orders would come in, and sponsors could experience the powerful results that only talk radio can deliver.” Read Lapa’s column here.

Belling: Appleton Jock Should Not Be Fired. WISN-AM, Milwaukee afternoon drive personality Mark Belling pens a piece posted to his own website that addresses the suspension of rock WAPL-FM, Appleton, Wisconsin jock Len Nelson by Woodward Communications for comments critical of Rush Limbaugh after his death last week that culminated with the sentiment, “The world is a better place without Rush Limbaugh in it.” Belling, who was a frequent fill-in host for Limbaugh for more than 20 years, says, “Obnoxious as Nelson’s comments are, he should not have been suspended and he should certainly not be fired. If his audience sees him for the doofus he is, fine. But this pandemic of firing people for saying things others don’t like is un-American. And it’s childish. Nelson’s comments are not, to use a word the left loves, hurtful. Rush has been very important to my life and my career and I’m not hurt by Nelson’s comments one bit. I am able to consider the source and move on.” Read Belling’s entire commentary here.

TALKERS News Notes. New York City morning radio personality Jim Kerr signs a new deal with iHeartMedia’s classic rock WAXQ-FM “Q104.3” to continue in his role with the station through 2026. Kerr co-hosts the program with Shelli Sonstein. Station PD Eric Wellman says, “Getting to work every day with one of the true legends like Jim is a joy and a privilege. Knowing he will be with ‘Q104.3’ entertaining our audience every morning along with Shelli lets me sleep better at night. Here’s to another five years with Jim Kerr!” Active for decades in civic and charitable affairs, Kerr is a 35-year board member of HeartShare Human Services of New York and a member of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation board. He’s also a vice president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists…..Former longtime WAAF-FM, Boston air personality Mike Hsu is named morning drive host at Cumulus Media’s classic rock WWFX-FM, Worcester, Massachusetts “The Pike 100 FM.” Hsu lost his ig with WAAF when the station was sold by Entercom to Educational Media Foundation a year ago. He joined “The Pike” last August as a part-timer. Cumulus regional VP and market manager Bob Goodell says, “‘Pike’ program director Chuck Perks and I are both very excited to have Mike hosting The Pike’s morning show. He’s a part of the rock fabric of Central Massachusetts and one of the most well-known personalities from his time served at WAAF.”…..Hubbard Radio‘s WTOP, Washington announces the launch of season two of its “American Nightmare Podcast Series: Murder in a Safe Place.” This season focuses on a cold case that has haunted the D.C. region for over 23 years – the brutal rape and murder of a 50-year-old nurse inside the Maryland hospital where she worked. Throughout the podcast, veteran D.C. crime reporter and podcast host Paul Wagner searches for answers and clues to Sherry Crandell’s death. He says, “When I started working on this podcast a year ago, I thought I already knew everything there was to know about this case. I couldn’t have been more wrong. What I’ve learned as I’ve investigated this case has genuinely shocked me. I’m excited to share this new information with listeners as they come on this podcast journey with me.”…..SiriusXM announces two new talk programs. First, “Jamila’s Jams” is a new, one-hour show hosted by MTV and BET personality Jamila Mustafa, that airs on the Volume channel. On the program, Mustafa breaks down everything going on in pop culture right now – from the biggest moments in music to the biggest influencers of our time – “Jamila’s Jams” features lively conversations about hip hop and its relevance in today’s world. Second, the live, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET “Lurie Daniel Favors Show” focusing on the interconnectedness of race, class, gender, politics, and the law debuts on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel. Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq., is an activist, attorney and author with a long-standing commitment to racial and social justice. She is a weekly contributor to “The Karen Hunter Show” and co-hosts “Sunday Civics” on Urban View.

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Philadelphia Radio Pro Cody Anderson Dies at 78. The Philadelphia Inquirer has the obit for William “Cody” Anderson, the Black radio personality and executive who was the first GM of urban talker WURD-AM/W240CH, Philadelphia. He died on Saturday (2/20) from complications from COVID-19. Prior to his death he was host of the Saturday morning “Electric Magazine” program on WURD. Prior to his work with WURD, he served as general manager for urban contemporary WDAS-FM and was a former owner of WHAT-AM, where he created a Black talk format. WURD president and CEO Sara Lomax-Reese tells the Inquirer, “Cody was instrumental in breathing life into WURD and shepherding it over our almost 20 years, first as general manager and most recently as a beloved host, mentor and friend. Like his biological family, the WURD family will miss him deeply. But we are grateful for his tireless and generous support of independent Black media, which he championed every day of his life, especially through his advocacy of WURD Radio.”

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, State of GOP-Trump at CPAC, Biden’s Stimulus Plan-PPP Changes, Cuomo Investigation, Newsom Recall, Texas Winter Weather Woes, Denver 777 Incident Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The falling number of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; the state of the Republican Party in the aftermath of the Trump impeachment acquittal and Donald Trump’s scheduled appearance at CPAC next Sunday; President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan and the new PPP protocol designed to help small businesses; the investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s handling of COVID in nursing homes; the move to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom; Texas’ energy providers criticized for grid breakdown during cold snap; and a Boeing 777 engine fails on takeoff from Denver were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Rush Changed How We Sell

| February 22, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Before Rush generated big ratings, local talk radio went something like this:

Morning Show – Local topical talk with news, traffic, weather, and sports all presented by local personalities.

General Talk – Do you remember Bruce Williams welcoming callers?

“Experts” – Dr. Laura (now thriving on SiriusXM) – interacting with callers about relationship issues.

Sports – PM drive shows with local personalities debating callers, before it became a full time format.

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