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Friday, April 15, 2022

| April 15, 2022

 

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, is now posted. This new episode titled “Hostile Takeovers” looks back at this past week of 4/11 to 4/15. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSCurtis Sliwa, talk show host, WABC, New York; Jim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood One; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Bill O’ Reilly, talk show host/commentator, No Spin News; and Matthew B. Harrison, associate publisher, TALKERS/law professor. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas;  WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; 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; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS 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.

 

Report: Connoisseur’s Jeffrey Warshaw Offers to Buy Cumulus Media. According to a report from Reuters, Connoisseur Media CEO Jeffrey Warshaw is leading a consortium that is offering to acquire Cumulus Media “for close to $1.2 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.” Warshaw’s offer is to take the company private for $15 to $17 per share. Before the news broke yesterday, Cumulus was trading at around $11 per share. After the news broke, Cumulus stock closed Thursday’s trading at $14.21 per share. Warshaw says the consortium would be willing to pay more, subject to due diligence. Reuters says that “a Cumulus spokesperson confirmed that the company had received ‘an unsolicited, non-binding, highly conditional indication of interest’ and that its board of directors was reviewing it alongside its financial and legal advisers.” Cumulus operates 406 radio stations, syndicator Westwood One, as well as its digital platform. The Reuters piece notes that in February, Noble Capital Markets analysts put a $27 price target on the stock, saying that “Cumulus is seeing strong advertising demand driven by sports betting, government, restaurants and cryptocurrency platforms.”

 

iHeartMedia Division President Linda Byrd Announces Retirement. Forty-year iHeartMedia staffer Linda Byrd announces she is retiring from her role as division president for iHeartMedia Florida and moves into an advisory role, effective July 15. The company says that “as a company leader for four decades at iHeartMedia, Byrd has contributed to the success of nearly 50 different markets and countless employees.” iHeartMedia says one of the duties in her advisory capacity will be the continued involvement in iHeartMedia’s Hispanic footprint, where she has made significant contributions. Byrd says, “It’s hard even to say the word retire. I have had the most fantastic career working in an industry that I absolutely love. I’ve never even thought about doing anything else. And I am so fortunate to have been on this iHeart train, and previous companies, for the last 40 years. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am thankful and excited to have the opportunity to transition into an advisory role for the next stage of my life. And I’m truly appreciative of the support and partnership I have had for so many years with Bob [Pittman], Rich [Bressler], Greg [Ashlock] and Hartley [Adkins]. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to learn from and work with.”

 

John Rowe to Lead Cumulus Northeast Wisconsin. Radio executive John Rowe is promoted to vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s combined business unit of Cumulus Green Bay and Cumulus Appleton/Oshkosh. Rowe has been serving as vice president/market manager for Cumulus Appleton/Oshkosh for nearly eight years and adds leadership responsibilities for the Green Bay market, effective immediately. In the two markets, Cumulus operates sports talk WDUZ-AM/FM, Green Bay and news/talk WOSH-AM/FM, plus seven music brands. Rowe comments, “I am excited to lead both Wisconsin clusters on behalf of Cumulus Media. The combination of talent and quality programming in each market makes this an ideal role and provides a host of opportunities going forward. My primary focus will be to enhance these great brands while meeting the needs of both our listeners and advertisers. I want to thank Mary Berner, Bob Walker, and Mark Sullivan for this opportunity.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” afternoon drive personality Darren “DMac” McKee is named Denver’s best talk show host in alt-weekly Westword’s Best of Denver 2022 edition. The Bonneville station notes that the recognition was not specific to the format of sports, or even the field of radio. McKee co-hosts “The Drive with Tyler Polumbus and DMac.” It was a week for kudos for the duo as Polumbus was honored by the Colorado Broadcasters Association with their 2021 Award of Excellence in the category of Best Regularly Scheduled Entertainment Program for his “Mount Polumbus” segment…..SiriusXM announces the launch of Amanda Seales’ “Smart Funny & Black Radio,” a new morning show on Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio channel. The weekly program kicks off on Monday (4/18) at 10:00 am ET. Seales is joined by co-hosts Taj Rani and JeremiahLikeTheBible. Kevin Hart says, “I’m beyond excited to have the amazing Amanda Seales join Laugh Out Loud Radio’s expanding family, as we continue to deliver a dynamic slate of voices to the channel. Passionate, unapologetic, brilliant, talented, and most of all funny, her show is going to be a can’t-miss experience for our SiriusXM listeners nationwide.”…..Larj Media and iHeartMedia debut the new serial podcast “Nobody Should Believe Me,” hosted and executive produced by novelist Andrea Dunlop. The podcast investigates Munchausen by proxy, a form of medical child abuse in which a caregiver feigns, exaggerates, or induces illness in their child for the purpose of receiving attention and sympathy from medical staff, their family, the community, and even strangers online. Dunlop first became interested in the subject when her older sister was investigated for Munchausen by proxy. This catastrophic series of events that followed tore her family apart and set her on a journey to understand this most taboo form of abuse. In this groundbreaking podcast, Dunlop talks to some of the top experts in the world to explore the criminology and psychopathology behind Munchausen by proxy and to reveal the wide swath of destruction these perpetrators leave in their wake…..Audacy announces that its premium podcast studios, including Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, have garnered 22 nominations for the 2022 Webby Awards, the leading international award honoring excellence on the internet, representing the most across the industry. Audacy’s nominations span original series, partner series, partner networks, and branded content across 20 categories, including Arts & Culture, Crime & Justice, Documentary, Diversity & Inclusion, and Sports.

 

Russia-Ukraine War Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 11-15. The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the greater topic of U.S. foreign policy was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the U.S.  economy, including high gas prices, inflation and employment figures, followed by the Brooklyn subway shooting, crime, and guns 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.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

| December 1, 2021

Wolkoffs’ Wrongful Termination Suit Against G-Networks Goes to Mediation. Last summer, Danno and Laura Wolkoff sued former employer G Networks LLC in US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division for wrongful termination, seeking $1.2 million in damages. The complaint states that the Wolkoffs were informed by G Networks in late June of this year that the company was accusing them of costing the business some $1.8 million in damages due to “gross negligence” and “gross incompetence” in the performance of their duties as chief development officer and VP of business operations, respectively. The Wolkoffs argue that G Networks failed to offer any “specific conduct constituting alleged grounds for termination for cause or any specific, reasonable measures to cure such conduct, thereby interfering with, and effectively rendering impossible,” their “bargained-for right to cure.” The Wolkoffs sold their company Envision Networks to then-Sun Broadcast Group (at the time headed by Jason Bailey) and entered into employment agreements to serve in the positions noted above. Now, both sides have agreed to stay all case deadlines pending the outcome of private mediation filed by G Networks. That stay is in effect until January 17, 2022, a date by which the parties are ordered to file a joint status report informing the Court of the outcome of the mediation, and if the matter is not resolved, jointly propose revised case deadlines. If the parties are unable to resolve the matter by then, the Court will reset the case deadlines at that time.

Daily Beast: Salem Radio Network Not Bothered by MyPillow Ad Cancellation. According to the Daily Beast, the Salem Radio Network is not upset with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s decision to cease advertising his products on its radio talk shows. As TALKERS magazine reported on Monday (11/29), Lindell criticized SRN and its hosts during his 96-hour livestream “Thanks-a-Thon” last week saying he’s not appeared on any of the SRN programs for a “long, long time” and promised to drop his advertising with the company. Lindell is still actively promoting the “stolen election” theory. Salem SVP and director of spoken word format Phil Boyce tells the Daily Beast the company is not upset with Lindell’s decision. “He has the right if he wants to do that.” Lindell stated that Salem hosts had reached out to him to try to “heal the business partnership,” but Boyce says he’s not aware of any hosts attempting to reconcile with Lindell. He added that Salem hosts don’t operate under content restrictions. “There is no block on any of my hosts from talking about the Supreme Court or anything else. My hosts are not banned from talking about anything.” The Daily Beast asked Boyce if the company hopes that Lindell reconsiders his decision and he replied, “No.”

Beasley Media Group Celebrates 60 Years in Radio Business. Tomorrow (12/2), Beasley Media Group employees across the country will gather to celebrate the company’s official 60th anniversary in broadcasting. The company’s founder George G. Beasley, who passed away in June of this year due to complications from COVID, officially launched the company with the acquisition of his first radio station, WPYB-AM, Benson, North Carolina on December 2, 1961. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our Dad’s commitment to our employees, communities we serve, and the industry was unparalleled and continues to serve as a shining example to all of us as to what is possible through humility, passion and hard work. We are so very proud to continue his vision and pioneering spirit well into the future.” In addition to hosting individual market celebrations, Caroline Beasley is doing interviews with local on-air talent to talk about the history of the company. The stations will also air specially produced on-air messages thanking listeners, advertisers, and local communities for their continued support over the past six decades. Today, Beasley Media Group is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ consisting of 62 radio stations located in 15 markets across the United States, digital operations and an esports division.

KKOB-AM/FM, Albuquerque Raises $28,000 to Fight Hunger. Pictured above (from l-r) are KKOB “96.3 News Radio” personality TJ Trout and radiothon sponsors Shasta Erickson and Robert Gabaldon at the November 18 “3rd Annual Radiothon to Fight Hunger in New Mexico” event. The Cumulus Media station helped raise $27,288 to benefit the Roadrunner Food Bank. Trout says, “Albuquerque has shown once again what a caring and giving community we are. On behalf of Roadrunner Food Bank, I want to thank each and every one of our listeners who participated in our Radiothon and donated so generously. The need here is obvious. And Roadrunner is a shining example of how we can make a difference if we all pull together.” Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry adds, “We’re so honored to be able to give back to our community this year and are consistently humbled by the generosity of our audience. We couldn’t help the Roadrunner Food Bank each year without the people who support our radio station, and we’re so thankful to them.”

TALKERS News Notes. Today, Salem Radio Network personality Charlie Kirk’s interview with Kyle Rittenhouse will air on his SRN-syndicated radio program and as the focus of Kirk’s podcast. During the interview, Rittenhouse shares his candid views on the trial itself, his opinions that his initial legal counsel may have misused funds raised for his defense, and what the future holds for him as a student at Arizona State University. Kirk’s program airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET and his podcast is part of the Salem Podcast Network…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces the nomination period for the 2022 NAB Technology Awards has opened. The awards will be presented at the 2022 NAB Show, to be held April 23 – 27 in Las Vegas. The awards are: Radio and Television Engineering Achievement Awards; The Digital Leadership Award; The Technology Innovation Award; the Best Paper Award. NAB EVP and chief technology officer Sam Matheny says, “These awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that have distinguished themselves by transforming our industry. We are delighted to honor the industry’s technical and engineering achievements at NAB Show.” The deadline for nominations is January 11, 2022. Find out more here…..SiriusXM announces that golf personality David Feherty is joining the company for a new weekly show. The former tour pro-turned-broadcaster will team up with SiriusXM host and fellow former pro John Maginnes to host “Feherty and Maginnes” Monday evenings on the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel. SXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “David’s unique blend of wit and golf wisdom, and his experience from a lifetime in the game, really make him one of a kind. SiriusXM is the perfect platform for his many great stories and the insightful and revealing conversations he’ll have with his guests. We are thrilled to pair him up with John and bring together two terrific personalities who will deliver an entertaining, must-listen show for our listeners.”…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” program hosted by Chris Hill is now heard on Max Media’s business news WGH-AM/W265EF, Norfolk/Virginia Beach.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant, CNN Suspends Chris Cuomo, SCOTUS Abortion Case, Michigan School Shooting, January 6 Investigation, Dr. Oz to Run for Senate, China Military Aggression, and Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/30). The new Omicron coronavirus variant and concerns about its vaccine evasiveness; CNN indefinitely suspends prime time star Chris Cuomo for allegedly working to investigate brother Andrew Cuomo’s accusers; the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments in the Mississippi abortion law case; the deadly school shooting in Michigan that’s taken the lives of three students and wounded eight others; former Donald Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows agrees to cooperate with House investigators in the January 6 Capitol attack; television star Dr. Mehmet Oz announces bid for U.S. Senate as Pennsylvania Republican; China’s ongoing military aggression against Hong Kong and Taiwan; and the trial of accused Jeffrey Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

FOX News Media Seeks Radio Anchor. There’s a full-time news anchor position available with FOX News Media. The company says this New York-based position is as an on-air talent for FOX News Headlines 24/7, Sirius XM Channel 115. In addition to that role, the successful candidate may be asked to anchor on the FOX News Radio affiliate network. As a radio news anchor, you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top-notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a days’ notice. Find out more about this position and apply here.

Monday Memo: We’re Late

| November 29, 2021

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Like those network spots for “The Ben Ferguson Podcast” that air on many talk stations, TV networks are using their affiliates’ air to divert viewing to their own digital platforms. Some network-produced shows being promoted are only available on streams. “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” is shown on Peacock before it airs on NBC at 11:35 pm.

It gets worse. The extended Dish Network/Tegna stand-off over lucrative retransmission fees stations charge cable and satellite providers blacked-out CBS stations I tried to tune-into in hotel rooms in Washington and Texas in the last two weeks, in the middle of football season.

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Monday Memo: The Pandemic Dividend

| November 22, 2021

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — As our lives were upended, advertising rose to the occasion, relating-to-and offering solutions-for–challenges imposed by the shutdown, and enduring change in The New Normal. For instance…

“New movies, every week, only on Netflix.”
NFLX stock nearly doubled in two years.

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Pending Business: Hit ‘Em Where They Ain’t

| November 8, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — “Supercharged Ad Growth” was a headline describing Google’s third quarter growth. The accompanying numbers, as in $53 billion in ad sales from Google’s Search, Maps and YouTube dwarf what the entire radio industry delivers. That’s right, 90 days of Google ad sales crushes two years of total sales from thousands of radio stations around the country. Almost makes you want to throw in the towel and start over. But wait, there is a light at the end of this daunting tunnel.

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