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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

| October 20, 2021

Liberty Media Sells All Shares of iHeartMedia Stock. The company is exiting the broadcast radio business after selling 5.94 million shares of iHeartMedia’s Class A common stock – a trade that’s worth about $150 million. Variety has the story and reports that “between November 2017 and February 2018, Liberty Media purchased $600 million of iHeartMedia debt for a total of $490 million. After iHeartRadio reduced its debt load through a bankruptcy settlement, the bonds were converted into about 6.9 million shares.” iHeartMedia issued the following statement: “We appreciate Liberty’s support for iHeartMedia, originally as a holder of debt which then converted into a meaningful equity stake, and we are delighted that they received a good return on their investment.” The iHeartMedia stock was part of the company’s Liberty SiriusXM Group that owns 78.1% of SiriusXM stock, 32% of Live Nation stock, plus small percentages of Formula One Group and the Atlanta Braves.

Audacy Acquires WideOrbit. There are no financial details included in the Audacy press release as the company announces its acquisition of “an exclusive, perpetual license to WideOrbit’s digital audio streaming technology and the related assets and operations of WO Streaming. This acquisition gives Audacy control of its product roadmap to deliver enhanced consumer-facing streaming features for its 170 million monthly listeners.” At this time, it’s unclear if this deal is the “small digital acquisition for approximately $40 million” that Audacy referenced last week when it announced it was offering $45 million in senior secured second-lien notes to raise capital, but it appears likely. Audacy will operate WO Streaming under the name AmperWave. The entire WO Streaming team, led by John Morris, SVP streaming, joins Audacy. Audacy chairman, president and CEO David Field comments, “The WideOrbit digital audio tech business perfectly complements our organic investments to make Audacy’s digital platform the top choice for listeners, clients and partners.”

Boston Sports Talkers ‘Toucher & Rich’ Launch Syndication Effort. WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” morning drive duo “Toucher & Rich” Fred Toucher (left) and Rich Shertenlieb (right) – along with cast member Jon Wallach – begin a regional syndication effort on Monday (10/25). Beasley Media Group says the show recently celebrated 12 years on ‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ as the dominant program for Male and Adult audiences 25-54. Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “We are thrilled to be able to bring Toucher & Rich’s unique brand of content and humor to sports fans throughout New England through this syndication initiative. The T&R team is already a favorite with their passionate audience. We look forward to expanding that loyal audience through this new affiliation!” Toucher says, “Being syndicated has always been a career goal and I am very excited to start this new challenge.” Rich adds, “I couldn’t be more excited to launch ‘Toucher & Rich’ into syndication. Our listeners have always been the most loyal in radio, and I’m thrilled to introduce our show to a whole new audience of potential T&R lifers.”

Bob Kessler to Anchor Midday News at WGN-AM, Chicago. Longtime WGN Radio news reporter Bob Kessler is now anchoring midday news Tuesdays through Fridays. Kessler joined WGN in 1994 as a producer and became a weekend newsroom anchor in 1997. Kessler’s work has been recognized with an award from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters’ Association in 2019. WGN news director Ryan Burrow says, “Bob’s been an integral part of the WGN family for decades. He’s a great newsman and capably leads the anchor desk. A true teammate, he brings a positive energy and personality to the newsroom. I’m glad we’re able to expand his role on the news team.”

WWO: WARC Study on the Value of Audio to Marketers. In this week’s blog from CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One’s Audio Active Group, a study from marketing advisory firm WARC and iHeartMedia is examined. Titled, “The Investment Gap: Understanding the Value of Audio,” it reveals “a major audio investment gap for marketers.” It notes that 1) Consumers spend 31% of their media time with audio, yet audio is only allocated 8.8% of media budgets. Other media represent 91.2% of ad spend and 69% of consumer media use; 2)  Marketers overspend on digital and TV, and underspend on audio: WARC’s analysis reveals brands are overspending on TV and digital by 32%, and underspending on audio by a factor of 3X; 3) AM/FM radio generates a +36% increase in monthly reach for the average brand: An incremental reach analysis of 15 P&G brands conducted via Nielsen Media Impact, the media optimization platform, reveals the average P&G brand experiences a +36% increase in reach to their TV plan through the use of AM/FM radio; 4) The younger the demographic, the greater the lift in reach: Across P&G’s 15 brands, the lift in reach generated by AM/FM radio keeps growing in younger demographics. Among persons 35-44, the average P&G brand realizes a +63% increase in reach due to AM/FM radio. Among persons 25-34, AM/FM radio doubles the TV reach. See the blog here.

Cumulus Podcast Network to Join Strata Platform. A new partnership between Comcast’s FreeWheel, Cumulus Media, and Triton Digital brings Cumulus Podcast Network’s premium podcast inventory into the Strata media stewardship platform. The FreeWheel’s Strata allows agencies to automate the podcast buying process within their existing platform workflow, including receiving electronic proposals and sending electronic orders. Through this partnership, Strata users will be able to find and buy impression-based premium podcast inventory from Cumulus Media that is validated by metrics including downloads, as measured by Triton Digital’s Podcast Metrics measurement service. FreeWheel says this will mark the first time a podcast publisher has surfaced titles and lineups, which are curated groups of podcasts designed to reach specific desired demographics and psychographics, with metrics measured by industry leader Triton Digital, in a media buying platform. Cumulus SVP, digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky says, “Cumulus Media is pleased to expand its partnerships with FreeWheel and Triton to provide current and future marketing partners efficient access to the Cumulus Podcast Network’s vast offering of premium podcasts spanning entertainment, news, sports, politics, business, money and technology as well as the voices from our 413 stations.” Triton president of marketing development John Rosso adds, “Triton is pleased to be partnering with FreeWheel and Cumulus Media to provide advertisers with streamlined access to trustworthy, aggregated podcast data within their media buying system for the first time. Our IAB-accredited Podcast Metrics lineups provide advertisers with consistent data across networks and publishers, making the process of discovering, planning, analyzing and ultimately buying podcasts at scale seamless and efficient.” Strata users will be able to access Cumulus Podcast Network’s premium podcast inventory in the Strata system beginning in the 4th quarter of 2021.

Stonecom Adds Sports Talker to Livingston, Tennessee Market. The Overton County News reports that Stonecom debuts a new sports talk radio station for the Livingston, Tennessee market. “Sports Radio 104.7 emanates from WKXD-HD3 and is heard on translator W282AG at 104.7 FM. Stonecom president and GM Larry Stone says, “We know sports fans in this area are passionate about our local teams. During all the years doing Titans Caravan stops in Cookeville and Crossville, I saw that first-hand. It’s Big Orange Country with a huge love of everything orange. We love our championship high school sports around the region, and support the hard work of Tech athletes. ‘Sports Radio 104.7’ will serve that passion.” Programming will include “Outkick 360” featuring Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow and Paul Kuharsky, “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Rich Eisen Show,” and more.

January 6 Investigation/Bannon Held in Contempt, COVID-19, Supply Chain Woes/Inflation, Biden Reconciliation Bill, Afghanistan Withdrawal Investigation, Chinese Military Aggression, Southern Border Crisis, Kidnapped Missionaries, and Facebook Rebrand Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/19). The investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and the committee’s vote to refer Stephen K. Bannon to the DOJ for criminal prosecution; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., booster shots, and mask & vaccine mandates; the effects of the supply chain breakdown on the availability of consumer goods and soaring retail prices; President Joe Biden considers reducing his $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill to $1.9 trillion; the State Department inspector general’s investigation into the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan; China’s development of hypersonic weapons and its aggression against Taiwan; the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border; the 17 missionaries being held for $17 million ransom in Haiti; and rumors that Facebook is planning a rebrand were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Fresh Edition of ‘The Fisher House Story’ Available for Veterans Day and the Holidays. There’s new programming from the Fisher House Foundation for this Veterans Day as well as for the holiday season. The Jeff Wyatt Group has produced a fresh edition of “The Fisher House Story” for 2021 available for download. “The Fisher House Story – Peace of Mind and a Place to Heal” is a radio special provided in varying lengths for news/talk radio stations as well as a 30-minute public affairs show for all formats in the U.S. and around the world. Fisher House Foundation provides a home away from home for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. Fisher Houses provide temporary free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis because “A Family’s LOVE is Good Medicine.” The program is available in three-hour, one-hour, 25- and 30-minute radio special versions and is hosted by long-time radio personality Jeff Wyatt. It features stories of America’s heroes, the families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey. This informational talk show will leave listeners feeling inspired during Veterans Day weekend (Veterans Day is Thursday, November 11) and through the holiday season, sharing stories of amazing service members, veterans, and their families. Host Jeff Wyatt’s love and respect for our military will only amplify these radio specials, scheduled to deliver Oct. 28 for potential airing Veterans Day weekend, during the holiday season, and for Memorial Day and 4th of July weekends as well. You can hear a demo and see the clock at: radio.fisherhouse.org. For more information on this radio special, available cash and barter free, contact Jeff Wyatt at 301-518-3640 or jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

| October 7, 2021

Audacy Named Tim Clarke SVP, Digital Audio Content; Mike Thomas Returns to Boston to Lead Company’s Six Stations. Media executive Tim Clarke is promoted to the corporate senior vice president, digital audio content position with Audacy after serving as SVP and market manager for the company’s six Boston stations for the past six months. Taking over for Clarke at Audacy Boston is former WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” programmer Mike Thomas. In Clarke’s new role, he’ll be responsible for audio content across the Audacy digital platform that includes the Audacy app, Audacy.com, and Audacy’s station websites. Clarke will drive strategy and execution for new exclusive and original content for the platform and will have oversight of Audacy’s new exclusive digital music stations. He will also be responsible for the digital audio experiences of Audacy’s portfolio of broadcast stations, local and national station affiliates, and podcast partners. Audacy chief digital officer J.D. Crowley comments, “Tim is a rising star in our industry, and we’re excited to add his talents and capabilities to our digital business. He brings rich experience leading content and consumer strategies that we trust will enable him to help us further elevate our mission of delivering dynamic digital audio content through a listener-friendly platform every day.” Clarke joined Audacy in March of this year after serving as vice president of content and audience for Cox Media Group. Mike Thomas joins Audacy Boston from his most recent position as market manager for sports talk WMVP-AM, Chicago “ESPN Chicago” that’s being operated by Good Karma Brands. Prior to that, he was brand manager for Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” In this new role, he’ll oversee Audacy’s six Boston stations that include sports talk WEEI-FM, WEEI-AM “ESPN Boston,” and WVEI-AM, Worcester and three music brands. Thomas says, “Boston evokes memories of great times and celebrations. When [regional president] Mark Hannon reached out about coming back and leading such a diverse group of stations, it was exhilarating! I can’t wait to reconnect with a lot of talented people, some which I spent over a dozen years working side-by-side with and celebrating many more victories.”

Curtis Sliwa is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Longtime WABC, New York talk show host, founder of the world-famous volunteer public safety organization the Guardian Angels, and GOP nominee for Mayor of the Big Apple, Curtis Sliwa, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Sliwa, who is on leave from his radio position while running for office, won the Republican primary by a landslide although he is considered an underdog in the forthcoming general election against Democrat Eric Adams. However, Michael Harrison says, “I wouldn’t count Curtis out. He was born to be the Mayor of New York City and has enormous ‘street-cred’ and appeal – especially when the major topics in this race are crime and homelessness. He’s a real-life Spider-Man.” Harrison and Sliwa discuss these issues as well as the candidate’s strong position on animal welfare and the colorful history of New York broadcasters such as the great Barry Farber running for mayor and other elective offices. Don’t miss this mega-cool conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Round Three of September 2021 PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s September 2021 sweep covered August 19 – September 15. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from these markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM adds six-tenths for a 5.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains anchored in the #4 rank while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KEX-AM adds seven-tenths for a 3.2 share finish and rises to the #15 rank. Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte rises from #10 to #8 after tacking on seven-tenths for a 4.7 share. iHeartMedia’s KFBK-AM/FM, Sacramento is ranked #1 in the market after adding 1.1 shares for a 9.8 share finish while sister talk KSTE loses two-tenths for a 3.4 share finish and falls to the #12 rank. And in Salt Lake City, Bonneville’s news/talk KSL-AM/FM soars from #3 to #1 after adding 1.4 shares for an 8.4 share finish while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KNRS-AM/FM shoots up from #7 to #4 after adding 1.3 shares for a 6.3 share finish. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets (as well as his reports on the first two rounds) here.

Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Back on Air After Breakthrough COVID Case. According to a story in The Buffalo News, WBEN-AM afternoon drive talk host Tom Bauerle returned to the air this Tuesday (10/5) after being off for a few weeks due to his getting a breakthrough case of COVID-19. Bauerle told his listeners that he was vaccinated with two doses of the Moderna shot and was tested daily while working as an extra on the set of the film Cabrini that’s being shot in Buffalo. Bauerle, who is against vaccine mandates because he thinks mandates are “un-American,” admitted to his listeners that while he was sick, he thought to himself, “Wow. I’m glad I got Moderna. How bad would it have been if I didn’t get Moderna?” He also said, “I’ll never know if the symptoms were mild because I got the shot. I’ll never know that.”

Salem Media Portland Names Sue Wilson Marketing/Promotions Director. Programming and marketing pro Sue Wilson returns to Salem Media Group as marketing/promotion director for the company’s Portland cluster that includes news/talk KPAM “AM 860 The Answer” and religious outlets KPDQ-AM/FM and KFIS-FM. Wilson was director of programming for the company’s Cleveland operations from 2001 through 2007. She served with Rubber City Radio as VP/operations for 12 years and launched Sue Wilson Creative in 2018. She says, “General Manager Dennis Hayes has built this amazing team in Portland that I’m so excited to be a part of. I’m grateful to him and [PD] Chris Kelly, and look forward to helping them create new, innovative ways to market and promote these incredible brands.” She begins her position later this month.

Audacy’s WEEI, Boston Renews Broadcast Deal with Red Sox. Boston sports talk outlet WEEI-FM and MLB’s Boston Red Sox announce a multiyear radio broadcast contract extension for the Audacy sports talk station to continue to serve as the Red Sox flagship radio station, as it has since 1995. Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Tim Clarke states, “Few things embody the city of Boston better than the Red Sox, and we’re delighted to extend our partnership with the team. The team has delivered some of the most memorable moments in baseball over the course of the last two decades and we’re proud to continue giving our audience a front row seat to everything surrounding the team.” As part of the partnership, WEEI will continue to air a weekly front office report with as part of “The Greg Hill Show,” featuring a rotation of interviews with Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and general manager Brian O’Halloran. Additionally, afternoon show “Merloni and Fauria” will welcome manager Alex Cora every week.

WABC, New York Honors Goya on Hispanic Heritage Day. New York City news/talk WABC presented an all-day event yesterday (10/6) honoring Hispanic Heritage Day by celebrating the numerous contributions the Hispanic community has made to New York City’s businesses, governmental communities, and culture. The celebration honored Goya, the largest and most successful Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, for donating over 40,000 pounds of food to victims of Hurricane Ida and over 4.5 million pounds of food since the start of the pandemic. Goya CEO Bob Unanue was presented the Humanitarian Award. Officials from the State of Louisiana called in via Zoom to thank Goya for supporting the residents during Hurricane Ida. Red Apple Media CEO John Catsimatidis said, “The Hispanic culture in New York City is among the most vibrant and fastest growing. As an immigrant myself, I understand what it means to take pride in your culture, your heritage, your ethnicity, and the path by which we all became ‘New Yorkers.’ We are proud of the contributions made by our Hispanic brothers and sisters, whether it is the thousands of Hispanic-owned businesses or the millions of New Yorkers of Hispanic heritage who work, live, play, and pray here in the greatest city on earth.” Pictured above are (from l-r): Red Apple and 77 WABC Radio president Chad Lopez, Unanue, and Margo and John Catsimatidis.

Debt Ceiling, Biden Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills, COVID-19, Texas Abortion Bill, January 6 Investigation/Trump Election Denial, and China-Taiwan Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/6). The battle in Congress over the raising of the debt ceiling; the debate between Democratic factions over President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion Infrastructure bill and his $3.5 trillion Reconciliation Bill; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., booster shots, and mask & vaccine mandates; a federal judge blocks the highly restrictive and controversial Texas abortion law; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and former President Donald Trump’s continuing claim of the “stolen” election; and China’s aggressive military actions toward Taiwan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

August 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Two

| September 10, 2021

August 2021 PPM Data – Information for the August 2021 sweep has been released for Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis.

Nielsen Audio’s August 2021 survey period covered July 22 – August 18.

Mike Kinosian provides “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty. He also cites each particular city’s #1 station (6+) and loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are July 2021 – August 2021 (6+).

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WMAL “105.9 FM – Where Washington Comes To Talk” 3.7 – 3.3, -.4, #11 to #10

News: Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WTOP & WTLP “Washington’s Top News” 8.8 – 9.2, +.4, #1

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” (Nationals) 1.5 – 1.9, +.4, steady at #18

Public Radio News/Talk: American University-owned WAMU 7.5 – 6.6, -.9, third to fourth

Number One 6+: news WTOP & WTLP, second straight month, 8.8 – 9.2, +.4

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: urban AC WMMJ (+1.9)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WASH (-1.1)

BOSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WRKO “AM 680 The Voice Of Boston” 3.5 – 3.8, +.3, locked at #9

News – Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” 5.9 – 6.2, +.3, fifth to third

Sports Talk: Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” 5.4 – 5.8, +.4, repeats at #6

Audacy-owned WEEI-FM “93.7 Boston’s Sports Station” (Red Sox) 2.9 – 3.4, +.5, continues at #11

Public Radio News/Talk: Boston University’s WBUR 4.2 – 4.1, -.1, flat at #8

WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH 3.4 – 3.2, -.2, #10 to #12

Number One 6+: Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR, third successive month, 9.1 – 7.5, -1.6

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase (Tie): CHR WXKS-FM and rhythmic hot AC WBQT (+.7)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies WROR (-1.6)

MIAMI

News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Spanish News/Talk: Univision Radio-owned WAQI “710 AM Radio Mambi” 2.9 – 3.6, +.7, #12 to #10

Actualidad Media Group’s WURN-AM “Actualidad AM 1040” 2.3 – 2.5, +.2, steady at #15

Fenix Broadcasting-owned WWFE “La Ponderosa” 1.8 – 1.7, -.1, flat at #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Dade County School Board-owned WLRN 3.2 – 3.3, +.1, #10 to #11

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ, third consecutive month, 9.6 – 8.6, -1.0

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase (Tie): Spanish news/talk WAQI and CHR WFLC (+.7)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WFEZ (-1.0)

SEATTLE

News/Talk: Bonneville’s KIRO-FM “97.3 FM” 7.8 – 7.3, -.5, #1

News: Sinclair Broadcast Group‘s KOMO-AM & KOMO-FM “Seattle News, Weather, Sports” 6.3 – 5.8, -.5, fourth to third

Sports Talk: Bonneville-owned KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” (Mariners) 2.7 – 3.9, +1.2, #16 to #9

Public Radio News/Talk: Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW 4.2 – 4.7, +.5, repeats at #6

Number One 6+: news/talk KIRO-FM, second straight month, 7.8 – 7.3, -.5

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: sports talk KIRO-AM (+1.2)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: classic rock KZOK (-1.0)

DETROIT

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760 AM” 3.8 – 4.6, +.8, #12 to #10

News: Audacy-owned WWJ News Radio 950” 5.8 – 5.7, -.1, third to fourth

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (Tigers) 5.5 – 5.4, -.1, flat at #5

Public Radio News/Talk: Wayne State University-owned WDET 1.5 – 1.7, +.2, #21 to #18

University of Michigan’s WUOM 1.7 – 1.6, -.1, #20 to #19

Number One 6+ (Tie): Beasley Media Group classic rock WCSX, third month in a row, 7.1 – 7.2, +.1 and Audacy classic hits-oldies WOMC, first month, 6.2 – 7.2, +1.0

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: urban AC WMXD (+1.1)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: rock WRIF (-.9)

PHOENIX

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” 3.8 – 5.0, +1.2, eighth to second

Bonneville-owned KTAR-FM “News 92.3 FM” 2.9 – 3.4, +.5, #13 to #10

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ 2.5 – 3.2, +.7, #18 to #11

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ, tenth month in a row, 6.6 – 6.7, +.1

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: news/talk KFYI (+1.2)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: sports talk KMVP-FM (-3.9)

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s WCCO “News Talk 830” (Twins) 5.4 – 4.8, -.6, seventh to eighth

iHeartMedia-owned KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” 3.5 – 3.2, -.3, remains at #14

Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY “MY Talk 107.1” 1.3 – 1.5, +.2, #21 to #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “FM 100.3 K-Fan” 4.6 – 4.2, -.4, #8 to #12

Public Radio News/Talk: Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW 6.2 – 7.2, +1.0, fourth to third

Number One 6+ (Tie): iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL, second successive month, 8.1 – 7.9, -.2 and Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC KSTP-FM, first month, steady at 7.9

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk KNOW (+1.0)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: triple A KCMP (-.8)

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KOGO “News Radio 600” 4.5 – 4.2, -.3, repeats at #8 and co-owned KFI “AM 640” 2.4 – 1.9, -.5, #15 to #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (Padres) 1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #19 to #16

Public Radio News/Talk: San Diego State University-owned KPBS 4.4 – 4.6, +.2, tenth to fourth

Number One 6+: Local Media San Diego-programmed rhythmic hot AC XHRM, first month, 5.1 – 6.1, +1.0

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase (Tie): rhythmic hot AC XHRM and rock KIOZ (+1.0)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease (Tie): classic rock KGB-FM and regional Mexican KLNV (-1.6)

TAMPA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group’s WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” 3.5 – 3.7, +.2, #12 to #9

iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “News Radio 970” 2.6 – 2.8, +.2, #16 to #14

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Rays) 2.4 – 2.6, +.2, continues at #17

Public Radio News/Talk: University of South Florida-owned WUSF 3.0 – 2.8, -.2, #15 to #14

Number One 6+: contemporary Christian WCIE, second month in a row, 6.6 – 7.8, +1.2

Noteworthy: Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV had held sole possession of #1 – or a share of the lead – in each of the past 109 survey periods.

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: contemporary Christian WCIE (+1.2)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: CHR WPOI (-.7)

DENVER

News/Talk: In the iHeartMedia cluster, KOA “News Radio 850” (Rockies) flat at 2.8, #11 to #13; KDFD “Freedom 93.7” 2.0 – 2.2, +.2, #19 to #20; and KHOW “Talk Radio 630” 1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #21 to #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KKFN “104.3 The Fan” 2.1 – 2.5, +.4, #18 to #15

Public Radio News/Talk: Colorado Public Radio-owned KCFR 4.8 – 4.5, -.3, fifth to fourth

Number One 6+: Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI, first month, 5.7 – 6.5, +.8

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase (Tie): adult contemporary KOSI and Spanish adult hits KJMN (+.8)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease (Tie): classic rock KQMT and classic hits-oldies KXKL (-.7)

BALTIMORE

News/Talk: Hearst Television’s WBAL News Radio 1090” 4.0 – 3.9, -.1, repeats at #9

WCBM Maryland-owned WCBM “Talk Radio AM 680” 2.6 – 3.1, +.5, #14 to #13

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJZ-FM “Baltimore Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (Orioles) 3.7 – 4.5, +.8, #11 to #7

Public Radio News/Talk: Your Public Radio Corporation’s WYPR 4.2 – 3.9, -.3, eighth to ninth

Number One 6+: Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM, eighth consecutive month, 8.6 – 8.1, -.5

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WLIF (+.9)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: classic rock WZBA (-1.5)

ST. LOUIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s KMOX “The Voice Of St. Louis” (Cardinals) 5.5 – 6.0, +5, eighth to seventh and co-owned KFTK “Talk 97.1 FM” 3.1 – 4.5, +1.4, #14 to #10

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 ESPN” 3.1 – 3.5, +.4, #14 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Missouri-owned KWMU 3.5 – 3.3, -.2, #13 to #15

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting rock KSHE, eighth consecutive month, 12.8 – 11.1, -1.7

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: news/talk KFTK (+1.4)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: rock KSHE (-1.7)

 

Up next: August 2021 overviews for Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus. Email Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

June 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Two

| July 15, 2021

June 2021 PPM Data – Information for the June 2021 sweep has been released for Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis.

Nielsen Audio’s June 2021 survey period covered May 27 – June 23.

Mike Kinosian provides “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty. He also cites each particular city’s #1 station (6+) and loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are May 2021 – June 2021 (6+).

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WMAL “105.9 FM – Where Washington Comes To Talk” 4.0 – 3.6, -.4, #10 to #11

News: Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WTOP & WTLP “Washington’s Top News” 8.1 – 7.7, -.4, second to third

Audacy-owned business news WDCH “Bloomberg 99.1 and 105.7 HD2” .8 – 1.0, +.2, #21 to #20

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” (Nationals) 2.2 – 1.8, -.4, #15 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: American University-owned WAMU 9.5 – 7.9, -1.6, first to second

Pacifica Foundation’s public radio news/talk – jazz WPFW flat at 1.0, remains at #20

Number One 6+: Howard University urban AC WHUR, first month, 7.6 – 9.0, +1.4

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase: urban AC WHUR (+1.4)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WAMU (-1.6)

BOSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WRKO “AM 680 The Voice Of Boston” 3.9 – 3.7, -.2, continues in ninth-place

News – Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” 5.9 – 5.7, -.2, repeats at #5

Sports Talk: Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” 7.0 – 6.4, -.6, stays in third-place

Audacy-owned WEEI-FM “93.7 Boston’s Sports Station” (Red Sox) 2.9 – 2.5, -.4, #11 to #14

Public Radio News/Talk: Boston University’s WBUR 4.2 – 4.0, -.2, unchanged at #8

WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH 3.9 – 3.2, -.7, ninth to tenth

Number One 6+: Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR, first month, 7.6 – 8.2, +.6

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase (Tie): classic hits-oldies WROR and country WKLB (+.6)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WGBH (-.7)

MIAMI

News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Spanish News/Talk: Univision Radio-owned WAQI “710 AM Radio Mambi” 3.1 – 2.9, -.2, #11 to #12

Actualidad Media Group’s WURN-AM “Actualidad AM 1040” flat at 2.0, #19 to #18

Fenix Broadcasting-owned WWFE “La Ponderosa” 1.7 – 1.9, +.2, flat at #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Dade County School Board-owned WLRN 3.7 – 3.1, -.6, #10 to #11

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ, first month, 7.7 – 7.9, +.2

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WLYF (+.9)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: urban AC WHQT (-1.0)

SEATTLE

News/Talk: Bonneville’s KIRO-FM “97.3 FM” 6.6 – 5.9, -.7, first to third

News: Sinclair Broadcast Group‘s KOMO-AM & KOMO-FM “Seattle News, Weather, Sports” 4.3 – 6.5, +2.2, #8 to #1

Sports Talk: Bonneville-owned KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” (Mariners) 3.2 – 2.9, -.3, #14 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW 6.0 – 5.3, -.7, third to fifth

Number One 6+ (Tie): news KOMO-AM & KOMO-FM first month, 4.3 – 6.5, +2.2 and Audacy rock KISW first month, 6.4 – 6.5, +.1

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase: news KOMO-AM & KOMO-FM (+2.2)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: alternative KEXP (-1.5)

 DETROIT

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760 AM” 4.4 – 3.8, -.6, #9 to #12

News: Audacy-owned WWJ News Radio 950” steady at 4.9, locked in seventh-place

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (Tigers) 5.2 – 4.9, -.3, sixth to seventh

Public Radio News/Talk: Wayne State University-owned WDET flat at 2.0, remains at #17

University of Michigan’s WUOM 1.9 – 1.7, -.2, #19 to #20

Number One 6+: Beasley Media Group classic rock WCSX, first month, 6.8 – 6.9, +.1

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase: country WYCD (+1.0)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies WOMC (-.8)

PHOENIX

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” 3.8 – 4.0, +.2, flat at #7

Bonneville-owned KTAR-FM “News 92.3 FM” 3.1 – 2.5, -.6, #12 to #16

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7” (Diamondbacks) 2.6 – 4.7, +2.1, #17 to #4

Public Radio News/Talk: Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ 3.1 – 3.0, -.1, #12 to #13

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ, eighth straight month, 6.2 – 6.6, +.4

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase: sports talk KMVP-FM (+2.1)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: classic rock KSLX (-.9)

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s WCCO “News Talk 830” (Twins) 5.8 – 5.4, -.4, seventh to fifth

iHeartMedia-owned KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” flat at 3.9, #13 to #14

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “FM 100.3 K-Fan” 6.0 – 5.2, -.8, fifth to eighth

Public Radio News/Talk: Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW 6.6 – 5.9, -.7, third to fourth

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC KSTP-FM, fifth straight month, 9.0 – 8.1, -.9

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase: contemporary Christian KTIS-FM (+3.1)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: hot AC KSTP-FM (-.9)

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KOGO “News Radio 600” 5.7 – 4.9, -.8, second to fifth and co-owned KFI “AM 640” 1.8 – 2.2, +.4, #20 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (Padres) 2.8 – 2.5, -.3, steady at #15

Public Radio News/Talk: San Diego State University-owned KPBS 5.0 – 4.7, -.3, fifth to eighth

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies KXSN, fourth straight month, 7.0 – 6.7, -.3

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase: CHR XHTZ (+.7)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: news/talk KOGO (-.8)

TAMPA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group’s WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” 4.4 – 3.4, -1.0, fifth to tenth

iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “News Radio 970” 4.0 – 3.4, -.6, eighth to tenth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Rays) 2.5 – 2.8, +.3, #19 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: University of South Florida-owned WUSF 3.1 – 3.3, +.2, continues at #14

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV, 108th month in a row, 7.2 – 8.0, +.8

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase: hot AC WMTX (+1.1)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: news/talk WHPT (-1.0)

DENVER

News/Talk: In the iHeartMedia cluster, KOA “News Radio 850” (Rockies) 3.2 – 2.9, -.3, #10 to #11; KDFD “Freedom 93.7” 2.5 – 2.3, -.2, #15 to #14; and KHOW “Talk Radio 630” 2.0 – 1.8, -.2, #18 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KKFN “104.3 The Fan” 3.0 – 2.0, -1.0, #12 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: Colorado Public Radio-owned KCFR 4.3 – 4.6, +.3, eighth to sixth

Number One 6+: Bonneville country KYGO, fifth straight month, unchanged at 7.1

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase: hot AC KALC (+1.0)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: sports talk KKFN (-1.0)

BALTIMORE

News/Talk: Hearst Television’s WBAL News Radio 1090” 3.9 – 4.2, +.3, tenth to eighth

WCBM Maryland-owned WCBM “Talk Radio AM 680” 2.4 – 2.3, -.1, #14 to #15

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJZ-FM “Baltimore Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (Orioles) 4.9 – 4.0, -.9, seventh to ninth

Public Radio News/Talk: Your Public Radio Corporation’s WYPR 2.3 – 2.8, +.5, #15 to #13

Number One 6+: Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM, sixth consecutive month, 10.8 – 10.0, -.8

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase (Tie): public radio news/talk WYPR and CHR WWMX (+.5)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: adult hits WQSR (-1.1)

ST. LOUIS

News/Talk: In the Audacy cluster, KMOX “The Voice Of St. Louis” (Cardinals) 5.4 – 4.9, -.5, sixth to eighth; KFTK “Talk 97.1 FM” flat at 3.5, #12 to #13; and KFTK’s internet stream .5 – .7, +.2, #19 to #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 ESPN” 3.4 – 2.8, -.6, #13 to #15

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Missouri-owned KWMU 2.8 – 3.1, +.3, repeats at #14

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting rock KSHE, sixth month in a row, 13.0 – 13.1, +.1

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Increase: contemporary Christian KLJY-FM (+1.4)

Largest 6+ May 2021 – June 2021 Decrease: alternative KPNT (-1.0)

 

Up next: June 2021 overviews for Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus. Email Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

Friday, June 25, 2021

| June 25, 2021

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the 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. This new episode titled, “Bridges, Roads and Condos,” looks back at this past week of June 21-25, 2021. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Mandy Connell, talk show host, KOA, Denver; Harry Hurley, morning show host, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media GroupDr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkSid Rosenberg, talk show host, WABC, New York and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The 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 WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. 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.

WABC, New York Host and Former Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Suspended from Practicing Law in New York. The New York State Appellate Division, First Department suspended the law license of former NYC mayor, former Donald Trump attorney, and current WABC, New York talk host Rudy Giuliani. The court ruled that Giuliani “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020.” It added that Giuliani’s conduct “immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law.” The fate of Giuliani’s New York law license hangs in the balance as the court added, “We find that there is evidence of continuing misconduct, the underlying offense is incredibly serious, and the uncontroverted misconduct in itself will likely result in substantial permanent sanctions at the conclusion of these disciplinary proceedings.”

Audacy Unveils Sports Podcast Studio Building 2400Sports. The new podcast studio for production of Audacy sports podcasts is being launched. 2400Sports houses Audacy Sports’ digital audio content, including both new and existing original podcasts. It is the latest addition to Audacy’s podcast portfolio, which contains premium podcast companies Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, as well as the recently acquired Podcorn. Audacy chairman, president and CEO David Field says, “We’re excited to launch a third major studio with a goal of building 2400Sports into the home of the country’s best sports podcasts. We look forward to developing elite partnerships, including our just-announced deal with MLB, to create truly special, riveting sports content.” In the new partnership with MLB, Audacy and the league will collaborate on the production and distribution of official podcast programming for the league and its clubs. The studio will launch with a new flagship podcast series in development that revisits baseball’s most dramatic and thrilling postseason campaigns. The first installment, coming this fall, will take a deep dive into the Chicago Cubs’ historic march to the 2016 World Series championship. Audacy will work with all 30 clubs to develop new podcast content. Also concurrent with the studio launch, Audacy announces a development deal with award-winning podcast producer Jody Avirgan’s Roulette Productions. Over the coming months, Avirgan will contribute to 2400Sports’ slate of programming by developing and creating new original shows across a range of sports and genres. From 2016-2020, Jody Avirgan was the executive producer and host of ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcasts.

KBLA, Los Angeles Adds Black Information Network News. The new talk station launched by Tavis Smiley – KBLA, Los Angeles “Talk 1580” – is adding BIN: Black Information Network’s national news service to its programming, according to Premiere Networks. KBLA will feature Black Information Network News’ :60 newscasts at the top and bottom of the hour, as well as breaking news, from experienced and award-winning Black journalists. Premiere says the news service is available on more than 40 stations nationwide and is “the first and only 24/7 comprehensive national audio Black News service dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news coverage with a Black voice and perspective.” KBLA president and COO Elston Butler says, “We’re excited to partner with Black Information Network News. We knew it would deliver the trusted news and information that is valuable to our listeners. Other news sources offered KBLA a nice piece of the news pie, but with BIN, we felt we would receive the whole recipe that our listeners deserve.”

Cumulus Media Completes $175 Million Debt Paydown. The company completes a multi-step procedure it began in May of this year to pay down $175 million of debt using cash on hand. Here’s how it happened: On May 17, Cumulus Media completed a $60 million repayment of its ABL Revolver due 2025, which represented the entirety of the amount outstanding under the facility. Following the paydown, the ABL Revolver due 2025 is undrawn and available as liquidity for general corporate purposes. On May 25, it paid down approximately $89 million of its Term Loan Credit Facility due 2026 related to a mandatory prepayment obligation arising from the company’s previously announced sale of land in Bethesda, MD, in June 2020 and sale of towers and related assets in September 2020. Pursuant to the terms of its 6.75% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2026, on May 26, 2021, the company launched a tender offer to repurchase approximately $26 million of the Notes at par, which represents the pro rata amount required to be offered from the proceeds of the Tower Sale. As of the expiration of the Tender Offer, approximately $3 million of Notes were validly tendered, accepted for payment and subsequently cancelled. Giving effect to the impact of the Tender Offer, approximately $450 million principal amount of Notes remains outstanding. Finally, on June 24, Cumulus submitted an irrevocable paydown notice to the administrative agent of the Term Loan to effectuate a required paydown of $23 million, which represents the remainder of the initial amount of the Tender Offer that was not validly tendered prior to the expiration date. Cumulus EVP and CFO Francisco J. Lopez-Balboa says, “As the improvement in economic and public health conditions continues to drive momentum in business trends, we felt it appropriate to accelerate several debt repayments in order to expedite our balance sheet de-levering, reduce interest expense, and increase our free cash flow generation. We believe this better leverage and free cash flow profile, more than $200 million of available liquidity and solid rebound trajectory are significantly enhancing our financial flexibility. Given our strong competitive position, proven execution track record, and numerous revenue growth drivers, we are confident in our multiple pathways to grow shareholder value.”

The Score’s Danny Parkins Leads Fundraising of More Than $650,000 for Food Bank. The Athletes for Justice’s Austin Harvest food mart project was the beneficiary of WSCR, Chicago’s “What About Chicago Radiothon.” The Audacy sports talker helped raise more than $650,000 for the charity launched by former Chicago Bear Sam Acho and its mission to erase a food desert and build a permanent facility that can fully service the community and those in need. 670 The Score brand manager Mitch Rosen says, “What a tremendous 24 hours. ‘The Score’ asked and the audience delivered for Austin Harvest to build a permanent food mart. I can’t thank our dedicated listeners, our score team, Danny Parkins who led all of us, and Sam Acho enough. We’re so proud to help support a great cause. Thank you, Chicago.” Parkins adds, “That’s the Chicago that I know and love. We saw a problem and helped to solve. So, when people ask, ‘What about Chicago?’ I want people to tell them the story of Austin Harvest, Sam Acho and ‘670 The Score.’ Thank you to everyone who donated and helped us erase a food desert and fund the construction of a permanent facility for Austin Harvest.” Austin Harvest is in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago and was originally a pop–up food mart that was a converted liquor store. The mart addressed a food desert in the city and was staffed as an after-school program three days a week by local kids.

‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ Raises $27,000-plus for Boston Children’s Hospital. The Beasley Media Group sports talk station raised more than $27,000 to benefit the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (P.A.C.T.) Unit at Boston Children’s Hospital via the 10th Annual Who’s Your Caddy? Classic charity golf tournament. WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” afternoon drive personality Tony Massarotti created the original event in memory of his nephew who was cared for by the P.A.C.T. Unit. Pictured above (from l-r) are: Massarotti, Chris L. and Erika O. from Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast and “The Sports Hub Golf Club” host Hardy.

Pompeo Speaks at National Religious Broadcasters Conference. Pictured above is former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) with Salem Radio Network VP/News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup (right) at the annual National Religious Broadcasters conference in Dallas. Pompeo warned the 3,500 attendees of the dangers posed by teaching Critical Race Theory in schools and applauded Christian broadcasters for “helping protect religious freedom and traditional American values in our nation.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass is hinting at a return to the talk radio business after taking a buyout from the paper that’s been acquired by hedge fund Alden Global Capital and launching his own media platform johnkassnews.com. He currently is hosting a podcast called “The Chicago Way with John Kass” on WGN-AM’s digital platform. In the past, he hosted a talk show on WLS-AM, first with co-host Jake Hartford, then with Lauren Cohn.  Kass tells Chicago media writer Robert Feder, “I’m in meetings now with various broadcast entities to continue talking to people in Chicago. I think they might want to hear what I have to say.”…..Audacy announces that Mike Hoss is the new play-by-play announcer for New Orleans Saints game day broadcasts on news/talk WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Hoss will work with color analyst and Saints all-time leading rusher Deuce McAllister in the booth. Audacy New Orleans SVP and market manager Kevin Cassidy says, “When we started our search for the new ‘Voice of the Saints,’ the goal was not only professional play-by-play, but also someone with a deep connection to the team, the Saints amazing fan base and our community. Mike checks all the boxes. His extensive experience covering the team both on and off the field has allowed him to paint a front-row picture for fans over the course of his career, and we trust his knowledge will enhance our coverage on game days.”…..The GCN nationally syndicated “America Tonight with Kate Delaney” adds new station KTLR, Oklahoma City to its roster of affiliates…..Colorado Springs-based Way Media announces the addition of Steven Thompson as vice president of technology. Thompson was most recently VP of technology for Hope Media Group and KSBJ, Houston. WayFM VP of broadcast operations Jim Marshall comments, “The addition of Steven to the WayFM roster puts us in a position to further solidify our operations. He played a key role in KSBJ’s expansion in South Texas and I’m thrilled that Steven has joined our leadership team. He has a heart for God and a desire to excel in the technical arena. I love that combination.”

Former ‘Talk 106.7’ Atlanta Host Mike Brooks Dies at 66. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Rodney Ho, former WYAY-FM, Atlanta “Talk 106.7” talk host Mike Brooks died unexpectedly Wednesday (6/23). Brooks was a former police officer who also had served as a correspondent for CNN, among numerous other career ventures that included hosting a talk radio show on Cumulus Media’s former news/talk station “Talk 106.7.”

COVID-19 Vaccines, Goals and Delta Variant Top News/Talk Story This Week. The controversy over the vaccinations against COVID-19, the Biden administration’s goals, and the Delta variant combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between the blocking of the For the People voting bill and race relations, followed by the economy and the compromise infrastructure bill at #3. 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.

NEED A GREAT EXPERT GUEST? Newsom Recall Attracts National Talk Media Interest. The official word that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) will definitely face a recall election has sparked interest in the subject of California politics at talk media outlets across the nation. Attorney/author Wayne Avrashow is a reliable non-partisan expert on the subject of California politics and is available for interviews on the Newson development as well as all things Golden State. He is a frequent contributor to RealClearPolitics and a California political insider. He has an extensive background in California politics, served on two government commissions, was chair of a Los Angeles County ballot proposition, and co-authored ballot arguments. He began as a campaign manager for two victorious Los Angeles City Councilmembers and later served as chief of staff. As a lawyer and lobbyist, he represented clients before numerous California municipalities and in Nevada and Idaho. He has lectured at Southwestern University School of Law and was an adjunct professor at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. He authored numerous op-ed articles that appeared in daily newspapers and in legal, business, and real estate publications. He authored Success at Mediation: 10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys, a book used by law students at the University of Southern California School of Law. And he is the author of a current Amazon best-selling novel Center Stage: A Political Thriller (2021, RealClearPublishing) about a rock star who runs for the U.S. Senate. His experiences in politics, government and business, and as a practicing attorney provide unique insight into the machinations and characters that populate political campaigns. His website is www.wayneavrashow.com. He can be contacted directly at 818-995-1100 or walaw@sbcglobal.net