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Friday, April 23, 2021

| April 23, 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, “The Air That We Breathe,” looks back at this past week of April 19-23. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Larry Elder, talk show host, Salem Radio NetworkJoe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioJoan Michelson, talk show host / producer, Green Connections Radio; and Holland Cooke, media consultant / talk show host, RT America.  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.

KMOX, St. Louis Unveils New Live and Local Midday Show. Legendary St. Louis news/talk outlet KMOX-AM/K254CR goes local in the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm daypart. Audacy’s “News Radio 1120AM / 98.7FM” will debut “St. Louis Talks” featuring KMOX personalities Carol Daniel, evening talk show host Ryan Wrecker, and longtime St. Louis radio personality Bo Matthews on May 3. Audacy St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan comments, “Now is the time to expand our local content offering for the people of St. Louis, and we are thrilled to have three established, well known and trusted St. Louis voices to help usher in this new era for our station. We look forward to Carol, Ryan, and Bo working in tandem with the KMOX newsroom to report and react on local, regional and national topics that affect our community as we continue building on our position as the voice of St. Louis.” Daniel says, “This is a dream come true for me to host a show on a historic radio station with talented, funny, and curious people like Bo and Ryan. My goal is to bring listeners stories about the people, places and things in the region we all love but want so much more out of.” Wrecker states, “This is our chance to do something new and exciting through one of the most significant radio stations in America. I can’t wait to work alongside Carol and Bo.” Matthews, who’s been serving with the station part-time since 2019, adds, “Getting the opportunity to share the stories of St. Louis and hear about the people that make it the special place that it is will be an honor. To get to do that with Carol and Ryan makes it even better. This is proof that you can dream big, but God dreams even bigger and makes them come true.”

Round Four of March PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s March 2021 sweep covered March 4 – 31. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Although it drops 1.1 shares, Waterloo Media’s KLBJ-AM, Austin remains ranked #4 in the market with a 5.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share). Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis is steady at #3 losing a full share and posting a 7.2 share. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s WISN-AM declines 1.4 shares to finish the March survey with an 8.4 share and falls from #1 to #2 while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown WTMJ-AM sheds four-tenths and wraps the survey with a 5.6 share and stays in the #5 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets – along with his Takeaways from the first three rounds – here.

Midwest Communications’ WMBD, Peoria Makes Programming Changes. Peoria, Illinois news/talk WMBD-AM/W262BY is making changes to its program schedule. Effective May 3, the Peoria-based, Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley, Van Camp and Robbins” show – hosted by Jamie Markley, David Van Camp, and Scott Robbins – moves to the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm slot formerly occupied by Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and former “Markley, Van Camp and Robbins” producer Craig Collins returns to the station to host the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. Additionally, WMBD is adding Radio America’s “The Dana Show” starring Dana Loesch in the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart. About the changes, Midwest Communications Peoria VP and market manager Mike Wild says, “Trying to replace Rush Limbaugh with a similar type program is a really tall order. The approach of ‘Markley, Van Camp and Robbins’ is differentiated from Rush and we can clearly point to their very successful ratings track record.” He also addresses Collins’ new role in afternoons. “Craig was the natural choice for us there. Craig is passionate, he’s already a part of the community, and because he was part of our group in the past, we know how he can contribute to the culture and success of our entire operation.”

Salem and Charlie Kirk Renew Podcast Deal. The deal between Salem Radio Network and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk in which SRN distributes and handles ad sales for “The Charlie Kirk Show” podcast is extended for multiple years. SRN says “The Charlie Kirk Show” podcast has become one of the top 10 news podcasts in the country on the Apple Podcast rankings amongst nearly 1.7 million podcasts on the platform. Salem first began selling ‘The Charlie Kirk Show’ podcast in November and now will sell and manage the program through the Salem Podcast Network for years to come. Kirk says, “I am thrilled and excited to extend our relationship with Salem. Salem has become a giant in conservative media and is the perfect partner for our team.” Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce adds, “Charlie’s radio show is already doing a great job filling the void in the 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET daypart. This podcast already delivered over 100,000,000 downloads in the last 12 months, and is valiantly fighting the culture war that we face in conservatism.”

WKNR-AM, Cleveland Welcomes Back Danny Cunningham. Sports media pro Danny Cunningham is rejoining Good Karma Brands’ WKNR-AM, Cleveland “850 ESPN” as a content teammate in which he’ll handle producing, writing, hosting, reporting and social media duties. Cunningham comes to WKNR from his most recent position as Minnesota Timberwolves reporter and “Vikings Vent Line” co-host at Hubbard Radio’s KSTP-AM, Minneapolis “SKOR North.” After launching his career at WKNR in 2015, he served with Mid-West Family’s sports talk WOZN, Madison, Wisconsin. ESPN Cleveland director of content Matt Fishman says, “We’re thrilled to add someone of his skill and experience to the team.”

Roy Masters Dies at 93. According to a Facebook post from his son Alan Taylor, Roy Masters a pioneer in the self-help talk radio genre died yesterday (4/22) at the age of 93. Alan Taylor posted, in part: “It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father Roy Masters, author, teacher and radio counselor to millions worldwide for nearly six decades. Following a storied American tradition, Roy was an immigrant who fell in love with this country from afar. Looking across the ocean from war-torn Britain, he was determined to make the ‘land of liberty’ his home. Since 1963 Roy Masters has been a radio counselor and for more than 50 years, the foundation he created has served and has continued to serve seekers worldwide on their journey to the eternal Truth that seeks us all.” Roy Masters was also the founder, along with now-retired radio executive Alan Corbeth, of Talk Radio Network which syndicated Roy Masters’ radio show for a period, and launched the syndication of Art Bell’s “Coast to Coast AM” as well as Michael Savage’s “Savage Nation. ” Masters’ son Mark Masters served as CEO of the company for many years.

Derek Chauvin Verdict and Race Relations Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 19-23. The trial and verdict in the case of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between police reform and the Columbus, Ohio police shooting death of knife wielding teen Ma’Khia Bryant and Lebron James’ threatening tweet, followed by mass shootings in America and gun control 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.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

| April 5, 2018

Nielsen’s Audio Today 2018 Highlights Radio’s Reach. This latest version of Nielsen Audio’s report on audio usage notes that “93% of U.S. adults 18 and older listen to radio every week—more than those watching television or using a smartphone, TV-connected device, tablet or PC.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly’s report underscores the reach of radio across the media-using population.  “According to Nielsen’s ratings data comparing adults18+, AM/FM radio continues to reach more people each week than any other medium in the U.S. at 228.5 million consumers, compared with 216.5 million for TV (live, DVR and time-shifted), 203.8 million for app/web on a smartphone, and 127.6 million for video on a smartphone.  Looking at the audio landscape, broadcast radio’s weekly reach of 228.5 million also outpaces the 68.5 million for streaming audio, 35.7 million using satellite radio and 21.9 million consuming podcasts.”  Industry insiders are well aware that the challenges facing radio as a medium include decreased time spent listening over the past decade or so.   Although certain formats, news/talk and sports talk especially, have maintained TSL better than many music formats.  The graphic here shows the reach of the news/talk format among Gen Xers.  News/talk is the #1 format reached by Boomers (55-64) with a 15% AQH share according to Nielsen’s National Regional Database 2017.

Photo Copyright Issues May Dog Kevin Klein.  In addition to the state of limbo in which Entercom’s new hot talk/sports hybrid KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” finds itself, yet-to-debut morning personality Kevin Klein may have legal issues involving the photographer who took the photo seen here of the Coronado bridge, used in Klein’s controversial promotional Tweet.  According to a story in the San Diego Union Tribune, local photographer Jesse Cuevas says he’s considering his legal options regarding Klein’s use of the pic.  Cuevas admits the photo wasn’t legally copyrighted but says the negative press associated with the image gives it “no marketability” from this point forward.  In case you missed it, Klein sent out a Tweet to promote his new morning show that showed the Coronado bridge with the phrase, “Jump…to a new morning show.”  There was public outcry over the insensitivity toward suicide – some 400 suicides have taken place on the bridge since it opened.  Klein has not taken to the airwaves at “97.3 The Machine” as of Thursday morning.  It’s assumed, based on a statement from San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, that Entercom and the team will sit down and discuss the matter at the end of the team’s home stand.

The Howie Carr Radio Network Promotes Two. Three-year staffers Steve Robinson and Grace Curley are moving up at The Howie Carr Radio Network.  Robinson is named vice president of operations and Curley rises to producer.  Robinson and Curley joined Howie Carr more than three years ago when he began his independent syndication.  Over the years, their roles have grown with the success of the network’s expansion.  Robinson is the regular fill-in host for Carr and Curley performs daily entertaining segments on the program.  Their promotions follow the signing of a major broadcast contract with Carr’s Boston flagship WRKO, now under the ownership of iHeartMediaHowie Carr comments, “Steve and Grace have proven themselves on this network since day one in 2014.  These well-deserved promotions should help us reach even higher levels of performance as we move forward.”

Radio Host Alan Taylor on ‘Live with Kelly & Ryan.’ Nationally syndicated radio personality Alan Taylor, host of “The Drive with Alan Taylor,” is pictured above (left) with Kelly Ripa (center) and Ryan Seacrest (right) on “LIVE with Kelly & Ryan!” showcasing the top crossover vehicles for 2019.  Taylor’s Radio America-syndicated program is a weekly, two-hour show that reveals the latest car news and test-drive results, how-to tips, auto show coverage, automotive expert insights, track-day reporting and behind the scenes action.

SiriusXM Brings Journalism Pro Oliver Knox Aboard.  U.S. political journalist Oliver Knox joins SiriusXM to serve as chief Washington correspondent.  Knox worked for 15 years for Agence France-Presse covering U.S. politics.  He’s covered six presidential campaigns and has deep knowledge of the inner-workings of Capitol Hill and the White House.  In July, he will be appointed president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, for which he currently serves as vice president. In this role for SiriusXM, Knox will cover the day’s top news stories and provide analysis for all of SiriusXM’s political channels, effective Monday, April 16.   In the coming months, Knox will also host his own live, weeknight show on the POTUS channel. About this new gig, Knox says, “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at SiriusXM.  I’ve loved hosting a show on SiriusXM these last few years, bringing its deeply engaged audience in-depth conversations with newsmakers and experts.  I look forward to building on that foundation in the months and years to come.”

TALKERS News Notes.  According to a report by WABC-TV, New York, seven people are being charged in the 2012 murder of WOND-AM, Pleasantville, New Jersey talk show host April Kauffman.  Prosecutors say her murder was orchestrated by her late husband Dr. James Kauffman in order to prevent her from revealing a drug ring he was operating in concert with the Pagans Motorcycle Gang.  Dr. Kauffman committed suicide while in prison earlier this year.  Authorities say that in 2011 April Kauffman threatened to divorce Dr. Kauffman and expose his drug business…..iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York launches a new “Daily Mets Podcast” hosted by New York Mets radio play-by-play man Josh Lewin.  The podcast is an expansion of his popular “What Did We Learn?” segment from Mets radio post-game programs.  Lewin says, “Because we are producing this podcast every day, it will be totally up-to-date with content.  It will be informative and playful at the same time.  It’ll be a fresh perspective on the team and in 10-20 minutes any fan will be completely in-the-know.”

‘Immigrant Caravan’/U.S. Military Plans, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump on U.S. in Syria, Zuckerberg Before Congress, MLK Assassination Anniversary, Jimmy Kimmel’s Melania Trump Attack, YouTube Shooting, Trump vs Amazon, MLB Action and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). The caravan of immigrants from Central America moving through Mexico toward the U.S. and President Trump’s plan to use the military to protect the border; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and Robert Mueller’s notice to President Trump’s lawyers that the investigation continues but the president is not a target right now; President Trump orders the Pentagon to prepare a Syrian exit strategy; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s April 10 date with Congress on data usage issues; the 50thanniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Jimmy Kimmel’s mocking of Melania Trump’s accent; the shooting and apparent suicide at YouTube headquarters in California; President Trump’s attacks on Amazon and Jeff Bezos; and Major League Baseball and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, Entercom names market media pro JoAnne Purtan morning show co-host at classic hits WOMC, alongside Stephen Clark.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says of Purtan, “We are thrilled that JoAnne is part of the new WOMC morning show.  In addition to being a widely respected journalist, she is an integral part of the Detroit community.  JoAnne’s father, Dick Purtan, is a huge part of the heritage of WOMC and it’s exciting to have a Purtan back at the station.” JoAnne Purtan says, “After 27 years in television news [20 years with WXYZ-TV], I’m excited for this new adventure in radio.  I listened to my dad on the radio for much of my life and I’m truly humbled to be at the same station where he spent the last 15 years of his iconic career entertaining people in the morning.  Stephen and I have always worked so well together and we’re so excited to team up again.  After covering a lot of serious news through the years, we look forward to spending mornings with Detroit’s listeners, sharing good news, great music and some fun.”…..In Miami, programming pro Rob Morris exits his role as vice president of programming for the cluster and PD of CHR WPOW “Power 96.”  Assistant program director and music director Will Calder is serving as interim PD for the Entercom station…..Hubbard Radio Seattle names Corey Dillon afternoon drive personality for new country outlet KNUC “98.9 The Bull.”  Dillon says, “I am so excited to join the team at ‘The New 98.9 The Bull’ and a company like Hubbard.  My dream has always been to be able to entertain, inform, or draw some sort of emotion out of listeners on their drive home.  I can’t imagine a better place to have that opportunity than Seattle.” Dillon comes to KNUC from his most recent gig as evening host at Entercom’s country KILT-FM, Houston “100.3 The Bull.”…..Mike V is joining Mikey Esparza on Midwest Television’s classic rock KFMB-FM, San Diego “100.7 KFM-BFM,” effective Monday (4/9) on the afternoon drive show…..Envision Networks’ nationally syndicated “Full Metal Jackie” show, hosted by Jackie Kajzer, announces new affiliate stations, including: KATT-FM, Oklahoma City; KKBZ-FM, Fresno; WTCX-FM, Green Bay-Appleton; and KHYX-HD2/K232EA, Reno.  Kajzer comments, “I’m forever on a mission to bring hard rock and metal to the masses and I’m honored to have these new stations as new affiliates!”…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones is making his ABC-TV debut on Sunday night as he joins the cast of “American Idol” to help mentor the top 24 contestants.  He’ll meet with the first 12 performers this week, followed by the remaining 12 on April 15, to “help them reach the next level in their artistry and performances.”…..iHeartMedia Colorado Springs appoints Samantha Kumm market president. The cluster includes country KCCY, hip hop KIBT, hot AC KVUU, and adult contemporary KLCX, and rock KBPL.

Friday, September 18, 2015

| September 18, 2015

ramseyBatonRouge15Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Event a Hit in Baton Rouge.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” event to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Thursday evening and packed the large Healing Place Church with fans eager to hear his presentation about how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.  Ramsey Solutions personality and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey partnered with local affiliate WBRP-FM “Talk 107.3” to promote the program.  Gordy Rush is VP/market manager for the Guaranty Media-owned station.  He comments, “We at ‘Talk 107.3 FM’ are absolutely thrilled that Dave has chosen Baton Rouge to host one of his ‘Smart Money’ events.  It’s no surprise that Dave will have a sellout crowd on hand as, like the rest of America, he has a tremendous following here.”

wvonlogoWVON, Chicago Names Permanent Hosts to Evening Daypart.  At the Chicago urban talk outlet, the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot has been filled recently by a revolving group of hosts.simsart  Now, the station announces the new, permanent evening lineup.  Effective Monday (9/21), “Real Talk, Real People,” hosted by Art “Chat Daddy” Sims, will be heard in early evenings Monday through ivankovichsThursday and “Life and Love,” with Dr. Karla K. Ivankovich and Dr. Dan Ivankovich, will air on Friday nights.  The station says Sims’ program is “a lifestyle magazine show that will offer listeners local and national lifestyle stories, relationship advice, celebrity interviews and more.”  On “Life and Love,” Drs. Karla and Dan Ivankovich “will address building solid relationships, improving and enhancing communication and instilling and infusing love back into interpersonal relationships.”

tayloralanRadio Host Alan Taylor Threatens Suit Against Time Inc.  According to a story by Keith Kelly in the New York Post, radio host Alan Taylor plans to sue Time Inc. for the latter’s use of “The Drive” for its new digital venture.  “The Drive with Alan Taylor” has been the name of Taylor’s radio program for two years.  His car show goes back to 1992 but it had different names when it was affiliated with Motor Trend and then Car & Driver.  Taylor tells Kelly he has worked with Time Inc., even to the extent he helped bring business from both Jaguar and Maserati to Time Inc.  “They are literally stealing my name.  They took something that I helped them build, and then they kicked me out of bed.”  Taylor offered to change his show’s name for $500,000 but the company countered with $12,000.  Alan Taylor is the brother of Talk Radio Network CEO Mark Masters and the son of TRN founder Roy Masters. Read the entire Post story here.

schnittMetstix15WOR’s Todd Schnitt Surprises Mets Fans.  A trio of Mets fans was very pleasantly surprised when WOR, New York morning drive co-host Todd Schnitt appeared on the subway platform with a cardboard sign announcing he was giving away free tickets to the playoff-bound team’s Tuesday night game versus the Miami Marlins.  Schnitt co-hosts the morning show with Len Berman and the iHeartMedia station is the flagship for New York Mets baseball.  Schnitt is pictured here with one of the lucky recipients.

Odds & Sods.  Suffice it to say, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is no fan of that markets conservative talk radio hosts on E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ or iHeartMedia’swisn logo WISN.  Addressing the attendees at the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Downtown wtmj logoMilwaukee Renaissance luncheon on Tuesday regarding perceptions of safety in the downtown area, Barrett referenced critical talk hosts when saying, “In 2009 I made a conscious decision to turn off talk radio.  “I thought, ‘For my mental health, I’m going to turn it down.’  There are people who love to hate the city.  I’m ignoring them because there are more good things going on in this city than in any city in this state!”  But, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal, Barrett cited WISN’s Mark Belling saying he agrees with Belling’s statement that your chances of being harmed are greatly reduced if you’re not involved in illegal activities…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRNO, New Orleans is the new flagship station for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.  The team’s play-by-play broadcasts move over from Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM.on display.

Baseball Broadcasting Legend Milo Hamilton Dead at 88.  Ford Frick Award-winning baseball play-by-play announcer Milo Hamilton died yesterday (9/17).  Hamilton spent his 67 seasons calling baseball games on the radio with seven different teams – most notably with the Houston Astros where he worked from 1985 through 2012.  Hamilton was in the booth for the Atlanta Braves in 1974 when he called Hank Aaron’s record-setting 715th home run.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “The Dana Show,” featuring host Dana Loesch is now heard onloeschdana Emmis-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm CT…..The Radio America-syndicated Chad Benson show becomes part of the program lineup at Cox Media Group’s news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando “News 96.5.”…..“Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the programming schedule on WZXI, Lancaster, Kentucky.

talkersten logoTrump Candidacy/GOP Primary Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of September 14-18.  The unexpectedly high-polling presidential candidacy of Donald Trump and the Wednesday evening GOP primary debate tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 were the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates.  Coming in at #3 was the immigration policy of the U.S. tied with the related migrant problems European nations are dealing with, followed by the Iran nuclear deal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

| October 10, 2011

Civil Disobedience Nets Host Jail Sentence.  TALKERS Heavy Hundred member Ian Freeman, co-host of the nationally syndicated talk show “Free Talk Live,” didn’t set out to spend 59 days in jail — but he believes so strongly in what he talks about on the air and how he lives his life that that’s exactly what he did.  Freeman served 59 days of a 90-day jail sentence (he got early release for good behavior) for obstructing a police officer who was arresting a young woman for an open container violation in Keene, New Hampshire.  Many talk show hosts have strong beliefs and “walk the walk,” but as someone who believes the government is too invasive in people’s lives (and positions his show as a reflection of that philosophy), Freeman makes a habit out of protesting police enforcement of victimless crimes.  He says the authorities in the New England community in which the national show is based see him as “a leader of people with such beliefs” and that’s why he believes a judge gave him a 360-day sentence with 270 days suspended.  Facing the consequences of his commitment was not only personally challenging, but professionally as well.  Freeman tells TALKERS being away from the show for 58 programs left co-host Mark Edge to handle the nightly broadcast with the help of guest co-hosts.  Most programs would be in trouble if their lead personality were gone for that period of time.  Freeman, who created the program, says the unique nature of “Free Talk Live” is that it’s not the “Mark and Ian” show.  He explains, “I didn’t want it to be a show about the personalities as much as it is about the ideas and the concept of open phones and a pro-liberty discussion forum…the idea of the show has always been to have it be able to continue in my or Mark’s absence.”  Freeman says that they have a great crew of friends and volunteers who helped Mark Edge during his time in jail and even though it was Edge’s first time sitting in the “first chair,” he’s heard nothing but good things about how the show went in his absence.  “We didn’t lose any affiliates while I was gone.”  In fact, Freeman says he had the opportunity to hear the show from jail on a local affiliate and had his first real opportunity to hear it as a program director instead of as a part of the show.  He even phoned in on the hotline from jail once or twice with programming advice!  Freeman tells TALKERS he certainly does not want to spend more time in jail but that won’t change how he handles the show or his own life.  “I still firmly believe that more people need to practice civil disobedience and non-cooperation.  I agree with the oft-cited statement that ‘all that’s needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.’  I just can’t sit idly by and watch as my peaceful neighbors continue to be caged for all manner of nonsense – whether it be an RV being parked in their yard, smoking a marijuana cigarette, drinking a little bit of beer – whatever…I can’t get on the air with listeners and advocate non-cooperation with the government if I’m not willing to do it myself.  That would make me feel like a hypocrite.”  “Free Talk Live” is a formidable independently syndicated national show with an impressive growth trend heard on 109 affiliates across the country on stations as disparate as conservative news/talk WSPD, Toledo and progressive talk outlet WXXM-FM, Madison.  In these days of both civil disobedience and peaceful demonstrations erupting on the streets of America and the fracturing of the rigid left/right political categories prevalent within the news/talk radio landscape, it stands out as an important emerging talk media industry entity.

WWRL, New York Broadcasts from ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protest.  Access.1 Communications’ WWRL, New York is broadcasting from the heart of the ongoing ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest in Manhattan.  WWRL morning drive host Mark Riley is broadcasting his program this morning (10/10) from 6:00 am to 9:00 am from Zuccotti Park on Liberty Street between Trinity Place and Broadway.  Rev. Al Sharpton’s nationally syndicated program will also broadcast from the same location from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm today.  WWRL general manager Adriane Gaines states, “We feel it is particularly important to expand the platform for ‘RL’s culturally diverse audience by being on site of this historic movement.”  The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement began on September 17 and continues to be a major story on talk radio.

Cumulus Promotes WJR, Detroit GM to Market Manager.  Tom O’Brien is upped from his GM post at news/talk WJR, Detroit to market manager for the Cumulus properties in the Motor City that include music FMs WDVD and WDRQ.  Regional vice president of Cumulus Midwest Scott Meier says, “Tom has absolutely earned this promotion!  He’s led WJR to a new standard and has embraced the Cumulus Sales Operating System with a vision of incremental growth.”  O’Brien has served as GM of WJR since February of this year.

Entertainment Radio Network (ERN) Partners with eBay Motors for Expanded Online Distribution.  In what is being described as “the first of many new programming and distribution opportunities” that the company is identifying for 2012 and beyond, Entertainment Radio Network, the Oregon-based syndicator of specialty shows covering primarily automotive, consumer electronics, popular science and technology subjects, announces its distribution partnership with eBay Motors, one of the internet’s leading automotive destinations.  Effective immediately, all ERN shows will be distributed through the modJOBS site on the eBayMotors.com landing page to 14 million unique visitors per month.  modJOBS is also supported via social media links to Facebook and Twitter.  ERN president (and former ABC Radio Networks EVP) John McConnell tells TALKERS, “eBay Motors has an extraordinary audience – nearly one billion page views per month.  I believe this kind of distribution is very much a part of radio’s future and we are thrilled that Entertainment Radio Network is the first to be working with eBay Motors new audio programming initiative.  We are all accustomed to talking about TSL (time spent listening), but now get ready to consider stickiness as well – eBay Motors’ average shopper spends 35 minutes per day online, often with credit cards at the ready.”  McConnell recently joined ERN CEO (and on air personality) Alan Taylor as president and a partner in the company.

CBS Radio and NFL’s Houston Texans Sign Long-Term Extension.  CBS Radio’s sports KILT, Houston and country KILT-FM will remain the flagship stations for Houston Texans football for many years to come as the team and CBS agree to a long-term extension of their deal.  Texans football has been affiliated with KILT for the past 10 seasons.

Andy Greenberg Begins Local TV Segment Based on Radio Feature.  KFAB, Omaha-based motivational radio personality Andy Greenberg – host of “Your Weekend HIgh with Andy Greenberg” – is now appearing on KPTM-TV, Omaha on the Sunday evening broadcast beginning October 16.  Greenberg transitioned to his current role as a speaker, trainer and broadcaster after 35 years in the sales and marketing business.  He says, “I am thrilled to be part of the Fox 42 Sunday Night News broadcasts that continue the Fox tradition of broadcasting innovations and have been the forefront and hallmark of the network and its affiliates.”

Salem Radio Network Celebrates Talk Format with “SRN Talk-Tober Month” Promotion.  Rock radio fans certainly remember the “rocktober” moniker assigned to the 10th month of the year on many AOR stations back in the day.  Now, Salem Radio Network honors the talk radio format in its own way declaring it “SRN Talk-Tober Month” and Irving, Texas Mayor Beth Van Duyne joins the celebration by issuing a proclamation in honor of the Irving-based syndicator and all talk radio serving the metro area.  As part of the proclamation, Van Duyne states, “The talk radio industry in North Texas includes a number of talk radio stations including KSKY; WBAP-AM/FM; KRLD; and KLIF which strive to promote a free and open exchange of opinions on the premise that City of Irving residents and others throughout the area have the right to exercise free speech.”