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Monday, January 3, 2022

| January 3, 2022

Monday Memo: CES, Carefully. Like most conventions a year ago, CES2021 settled for virtual. But this week, it’s game-on in Las Vegas. And there – vax’d, boosted, tested, masked, and toting the jug-handle-size bottle of hand sanitizer – is Holland Cooke. Read more here.

 

Pending Business: A New Year’s Lesson. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says a holiday chat with a former associate recalled a memorable case of a radio seller who transitioned from newspapers and the switch was not smooth sailing at first. But persistence and management support saved the day. Read more here.

Ratings Takeaways from Nielsen’s December PPM Survey. Last week, Nielsen Audio released December 2021 ratings data for all 48 PPM markets. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from those markets for the period that covered November 11 to December 8. Audacy’s all-news WINS-AM was the top spoken-word station in New York, adding two-tenths for a 3.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) good for the #8 rank. In Los Angeles, although it shed four-tenths, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI posted a 3.1 share and rose to the #7 rank. Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago fell out of first place to the #2 rank though it remained steady with a 5.7 share, while Nexstar Media’s crosstown news/talk WGN-AM was flat with a 3.7 share but rose to the #8 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta lost 2.7 shares, finishing with a 6.6 share and falling from #1 to #4. In Washington, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM added two-tenths for a 3.7 share and inched up to the #11 rank while Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM dipped nine-tenths for a 6.8 share good for the #4 rank. Even though Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle added one-tenth, its 6.6 share was only good enough for the #2 rank. The news/talk battle in Salt Lake City flipped as iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-AM/FM remained ranked #2 after slipping one-tenth to a 7.1 share while Bonneville’s crosstown KSL-AM/FM lost 1.5 shares for a 6.0 share finish causing it to fall from #1 to #5. The news/talk wars in Milwaukee showed some separation as iHeartMedia’s WISN-AM remained ranked #1,  posting its second consecutive 10.3 share while Good Karma Brands‘ crosstown WTMJ-AM fell five-tenths to a 7.1 share and finished ranked #4. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from all 48 PPM markets here.

Salem’s WIND-AM, Chicago Adds to News and Traffic Operations. Changes in the news and traffic departments are taking place at Salem Media Group’s Chicago news/talk WIND “AM 560 The Answer.” Long time morning news anchor Mike Scott – who has anchored newscasts on the station between 5:00 am and 12:00 noon each weekday for the past 17 years – will join Salem as full-time news director and continue anchoring news and traffic. Scott had appeared on the station through an agreement between Salem, Total Traffic and Weather Network, and NBC News Radio. That agreement is not being renewed.  Scott says, “I’m incredibly gratified to be able to continue in my role on the air with AM 560 and Salem Media. We have some of the best listeners in all of Chicago radio and some of the best on-air talent. I look forward to providing the first look at the day’s news for our audience.” Scott will also assume anchoring duties for the Salem Podcast Network’s “Daybreak Insider Podcast,” which launched in September of 2021. Additionally, JoAnn Genette will join WIND as an afternoon news anchor through an agreement with Remote News Service. She will anchor weekday afternoon newscasts through 6:30 pm. Also, longtime Chicago traffic reporter Jill Urchak will begin handling afternoon traffic reports for the station. Urchak has spent close to 25 years as a traffic reporter in Chicago, including at WGN-AM, WBBM-AM, WSCR-AM, and WLUP-FM, as well as WBBM-TV. Salem regional VP and WIND general manager Jeff Reisman says, “News and traffic are cornerstone elements for our format and for our radio station. Keeping Mike Scott on our team while also adding JoAnn and Jill solidifies our commitment to serve our audience. We have a team of veteran broadcasters with experience and insight that our listeners can trust.”

Zederman Named Director of Content for ‘ESPN 1000’ in Chicago. At Chicago sports talk outlet WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000,” Good Karma Brands names Danny Zederman director of content. Zederman joins the leadership team as a 15-year veteran of “ESPN 1000.” Zederman has been serving as executive producer of the “Kap & J.Hood” show. He says, “I’m grateful to Good Karma Brands for the opportunity and am excited to work alongside ESPN 1000’s market manager Keith Williams, to lead and collaborate with our talented teammates and partners. My goal is to continue entertaining our fans, grow the ESPN Chicago brand on all platforms and add value to the community.” Williams says, “We’re excited to announce Danny Zederman as ESPN Chicago’s director of content.  Danny’s strategy and vision for our team in the future will allow us to grow to serve our partners, fans and teammates.”

Jimmy Failla Featured on FOX News’ New Year’s Celebration. Pictured above in Times Square prior to Friday’s New Year’s celebration is FOX News Radio host Jimmy Failla (right). With him is FOX News Radio manager of affiliate sales & marketing Tamara Karcev (left) and KTTH, Seattle talk host Jason Rantz (center). Failla was featured as one of the FOX personalities on the “All American New Year Live from Nashville” special that aired on New Year’s Eve.

TALKERS News Notes. Over the New Year’s holiday weekend, Ric Edelman debuted his new, nationally syndicated radio program, “The Truth About Your Future with Ric Edelman,” on 26 affiliates around the country. Edelman hosted AgeWave founder Dr. Ken Dychtwald on the program. Edelman says, “If you’re alive in 2030, you will likely live to age 100 or beyond. We need to make sure that your money lasts as long as you do, and that’s why I’m focusing on the topics that matter to investors today. The investments of the past 40 years won’t deliver the results you need in the future, so I’ll be sharing the ideas and strategies you need to achieve success in the 21st century.”…..The Independent Broadcasters Association’s board of directors elects officers for the 2022-2023 term. Ron Stone was re-elected for a second term as president and executive director of the IBA. Two of the other officers were also re-elected, Darrell Calton, chairman and assistant secretary and Allen Dick, VP and treasurer. Tony Renda was elected as secretary and assistant treasurer, replacing Mike Flood. Stone says, “I am pleased that the board has re-elected three of the founding officers for an additional term. I am very excited to have Tony Renda as one of our leaders in the next term. Tony has been instrumental in helping the IBA with many of the initiatives we took on in our first two years.  The IBA has succeeded in its first 18 months delivering many new ways for its members to save on operational costs, create new revenues, and benefit from all the professionals in the industry that are working with us. We have said from the beginning that a large independent membership provides scale and with scale we can deliver many great things for independent broadcasters.  I am looking forward to working with our management team to establish new goals for the IBA for 2022 and 2023.”

COVID-19, New Year’s Holiday, Twitter Boots MTG, January 6 Investigation, Colorado Wildfires, NASCAR ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Issue, Betty White Dies, Antonio Brown Incident Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The exploding rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Omicron variant, and vaccine mandates; the New Year’s holiday, 2021 retrospectives, and predictions for 2022; Twitter permanently cancels account of Marjorie Taylor Greene; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the wildfires that devastated the Boulder, Colorado area; criticism over NASCAR for “reviewing” Brandon Brown’s crypto sponsorship and the “Let’s Go, Brandon” slogan; entertainment icon Betty White dies at 99; and Antonio Brown’s bizarre exit from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the middle of Sunday’s game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

| December 21, 2021

Salem Media Group’s Ed Atsinger Transitions to Executive Chairman; David Santrella Rises to CEO. Current Salem Media Group CEO Edward G. Atsinger III will transition to the newly created role of executive chairman of the board of directors, effective January 1, 2022 and David Santrella – currently president of broadcast media – will become chief executive officer. At the same time, David Evans – president of digital media and publishing – is promoted to chief operating officer. Salem Media Group’s current chairman, Stuart W. Epperson, will resign from Salem’s board of directors, transitioning to the position of chairman emeritus and Stuart W. Epperson, Jr. will join the board of directors, filling the vacancy created by Mr. Epperson Senior’s resignation. In the executive chairman role, Atsinger will be chairman of the board, assuming leadership of the board of directors while providing oversight and guidance to both the CEO and COO. Atsinger will continue to be engaged full-time and focus more of his attention on macro strategy and planning, M&A, external relationships, government affairs and leadership development. He comments, “I am pleased to serve as executive chairman and to oversee the succession to the next generation of leadership of our company. I am looking forward to working with the executive team to continue Salem’s vitally important mission of serving the media needs of the audiences interested in Christian content and public policy programming with a traditional conservative focus. With Salem well-positioned for continued growth into the future, now is the right time to take the next step in implementing our long-term leadership transition. We have a tremendously talented, deep and dedicated leadership team at Salem. David Santrella and David Evans each have played a critical role in developing and executing the strategy in place today, and I am confident they have the vision, skills, experience and capabilities necessary to provide continued leadership of Salem well into the future.” Speaking about his new role, David Santrella states, “I am deeply honored to have been appointed as Salem’s next CEO. I look forward to working in close partnership with David Evans to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities that exist in today’s media landscape, to further the mission of our company and to grow our business. I am blessed that I will have Ed alongside me in my new role.”

WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago Names Cisco Cotto Morning Drive Anchor. Chicago all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM appoints Cisco Cotto the morning drive news anchor, taking over for Pat Cassidy, who recently announced his retirement. Audacy Chicago regional president and market manager Rachel Williamson comments, “We are excited to welcome Cisco into morning drive. He has proven to be a true professional and teammate for the last seven years both reporting and anchoring on WBBM. Not only does he bring a bright energy but is a great communicator and strong journalist – the perfect combination as Chicagoans wake up each morning.” About his new role, Cotto says, “Pat and Felicia [Middlebrooks] spent many years as voices Chicagoans trusted to wake them up with all of the most important stories to start their day. I’ll work hard to maintain what they built. Thanks to Ron Gleason, Greg Solk, and Rachel Williamson for trusting me with such an important show on this great station. I look forward to continuing to be a small part of the award-winning news team on WBBM for many years to come.” Assuming the midday and noon business hour anchoring position is Rob Hart, who has been with WBBM since 2016.

WGAC, Augusta and Talk Host Austin Rhodes Sued for Defamation. A suit has been filed in Gwinnett Superior Court in Georgia by James Faller II who says in the complaint that WGAC, Augusta talk host Austin Rhodes defamed him through “false, malicious and defamatory” statements. Faller appears to be representing himself as the complaint is not signed by an attorney representing him. Faller alleges that Rhodes called him a “fraud,” “weirdo,” and “felon” and says Rhodes spoke with local politicians and warned them about associating with Faller. A story in the Augusta Press indicates that Faller admits to having served two years in federal prison on a felony conviction but says that he’s actually a whistleblower and he went to prison due to a government conspiracy against him. Faller also alleges that Rhodes’ refusal to allow him to appear on his radio show violates his First Amendment rights. Beasey Media Group is also named in the suit and it’s expected the company will seek to have the suit dismissed.

KHTK-AM, Sacramento Announces On-Air Changes for the New Year. A series of talent moves at Bonneville’s Sacramento sports talk KHTK-AM will take place beginning January 4, 2022. Current afternoon drive host Jason Ross will move to mornings to join Carmichael Dave. At the same time, Justin Marshall will move away from the on-air portion of his role to solely focus on his duties as assistant program director and morning show producer. The afternoon drive show will be hosted by program director Nick Cattles who will be joined by a rotating cast of co-hosts each day from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

BIA Advisory Predicts Radio Ad Spend Will Rise 5.5% to $13.54 Billion in 2022. Looking ahead to 2022, BIA Advisory Services reveals it has increased its U.S. Local Advertising Forecast for the year to $173.3 billion from its earlier estimate of $161.5 billion issued in the late summer. The 2022 forecast indicates an 11.4% increase over 2021 due to faster than anticipated growth in digital advertising and a strong political year. Traditional media ad revenue still maintains a slight advantage over digital at 50.8% of the ad spend ($88 billion), while digital media will get 49.2% of the ad spend at $85 billion. Looking at the radio industry, BIA predicts that radio ad spend will be $13.54 billion, a 5.5% increase over 2021’s $12.79 billion. For 2021, radio’s ad spend on over-the-air will be $10.91 billion with $1.88 billion coming from digital (website, streaming and mobile apps). Next year, radio ad spend is forecast to be $11.37 billion for over-the-air and $2.17 billion for digital. BIA SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik says, “2021 has been a year of fluctuations. The first two quarters of the year saw strong growth, with some stalling in Q3 once the Delta variant appeared late summer. We’ve taken pandemic concerns plus inflation and supply chain issues into account to prepare our local media estimates and, overall, we are bullish on ad revenue for 2022.”

WTOP-FM, Washington Was Top Radio Biller for 2020. As a sidebar to the previous story about BIA Advisory Services’ Local Advertising Forecast, the company has revealed the top radio billers for last year. The top-billing station for 2020 was Bonneville’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington with $62 million. Rounding out the top 10 were: iHeartMedia’s KIIS-FM, Los Angeles and WLTW-FM, New York with $38.9 and $30.8, respectively; Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta was #4 with $30 million; Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago was #5 with $29.7 million; Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston was #6 with $29.6 million; iHeartMedia’s KBIG, Los Angeles and WHTZ, New York were #7 and #8 with $29.35 million and $29.3 million, respectively; Audacy’s all-news WINS-AM was #9 with $28.1 million and Audacy’s sports talk WFAN, New York was #10 with $28 million.

COVID-19, Build Back Better, 2022 Midterm Elections, Trump Sues NY AG, January Investigation, Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, and Potter/Maxwell Trials Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/20). The Omicron coronavirus variant sweeps across the U.S., the push for booster shots, and the pushback against mandates; Senator Joe Manchin’s blow to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan; Republicans savoring early predictions of taking back Congress in the 2022 midterm elections; former President Donald Trump sues New York attorney general Letitia James to prevent investigation of his businesses; the investigation into the January attack on the Capitol; Russia’s ongoing military aggression at the Ukraine border; and the trials of former police officer Kim Potter in the shooting of Daunte Wright and Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

| December 7, 2021

New Morning Programming for WFLA, Tampa. Effective January 4, iHeartMedia’s Tampa Bay news/talk WFLA begins new morning drive programming. “AM Tampa Bay with Jack Harris” will air from 5:00 am to 7:00 am and the new “Ryan Gorman Show” will air from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. “The Ryan Gorman Show” stars Ryan Gorman alongside co-host Aaron Jacobson and producers Katie Butchino and James Burlander and will “feature the biggest news stories and trending topics from the local Tampa Bay community. Every morning will be filled with the latest headlines, news, weather and traffic updates, plus discussions and interviews with local and national dignitaries presented as the talk of Tampa Bay.” Gorman says, “I’m excited to make the move to mornings and follow Jack Harris, a Tampa Bay and talk radio legend, and bring something unique and different to talk radio. We’re going to cover the biggest stories of the day and have fun doing it. Plus, we’ll feature guests who have the inside scoop on what’s happening in Tampa Bay and across the country and how it will impact you. I’d like to thank the incredible leadership team at iHeartMedia Tampa for the opportunity to host a morning show in my hometown.” Gorman has been host of “PM Tampa Bay” on the station since March 2018. He will continue to host “iHeartRadio Communities,” a show focusing on important national topics that runs on iHeartRadio stations across America and often anchors coverage of national breaking news events.

WCCO Unveils New Morning Show Hosted by Vineeta Sawkar. Taking over as morning drive personality on Audacy’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis on January 3 is Vineeta Sawkar, who’ll host “The Morning News with Vineeta Sawkar” from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Sawkar – a longtime KSTP-TV broadcast journalist – fills the role held by Dave Lee, who retired from the station back in April. WCCO brand manager Brad Lane states, “After an extensive search, we are excited to welcome Vineeta to 830 WCCO and are thrilled that the tradition of news and personality in the morning will continue. Her rich experience, journalistic integrity and warm personality make her the perfect choice to evolve our station’s longstanding tradition of delivering the biggest headlines in the morning while exploring the news and events that matter most to Minnesotans.” Sawkar comments, “I’m truly humbled, honored and excited to host ‘The Morning News’ on WCCO. No one can replace Dave Lee. He is a broadcasting legend and a friend as well. This station is so rich with history and memories for so many of us. I hope the ‘Good Neighbor’ station you once listened to in the mornings for school closings is the place you can continue to listen for news and information to get your day started…with some fun, too.”

Audacy Puts All-News KNX on the FM Band. Southern California all-news KNX-AM is getting an FM simulcast partner as Audacy announces the launch of “KNX News 97.1 FM” in Los Angeles as it ends the CHR format on KNOU-FM. Audacy regional president Jeff Federman says, “For over 100 years, KNX has been the station Southern California has depended on for breaking news, important events and life changing moments. With spoken-word audio consumption at an all-time high, this move allows us to significantly upgrade the existing KNX brand and create a news destination for a new generation. KNX is a powerful and trusted brand in this market, and we look forward to delivering the same award-winning content on crystal-clear FM radio.” The company adds that the launch “underscores Audacy’s commitment to its local news brands, reflective via a multiplatform transformation announced earlier this year. The station will launch with a two-minute tribute to some of the station’s biggest headlines over the last 100 years, while previewing the next chapter of its history.”

Round Four of November PPMs Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s November 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 November 2021 sweep covered October 14 – November 10. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM adds a full share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) to finish the survey with a 7.3 share and remains ranked #4 while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF rises seven-tenths for a 2.9 share and finishes ranked #12. Emmis Communications’ Indianapolis news/talk WIBC-FM climbs to the #2 rank after adding six-tenths for a 7.8 share. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN takes over the #1 rank after adding a full share to finish with a 10.3 share while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ falls to #2 after shedding 2.2 shares for a 7.6 share finish. Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville dips two-tenths for an 8.0 share finish and falls to the #3 rank in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here.

Good Karma Brands Promotes Prince to Vice President. West Palm Beach market manager Stephanie Prince is promoted to vice president in which Good Karma Brands says she’ll continue to lead “ESPN West Palm’s content, marketing, and sales departments for ‘ESPN 106.3 FM,’ ‘Deportes Radio 760 AM,’ ESPN on WPTV Newchannel 5 & WFLX Fox 29, the Roofclaim.com Boca Raton Bowl, and the team’s ESPN digital assets, while furthering her role as a leader throughout Good Karma Brands.” Prince says, “I’m thrilled to continue to grow within GKB and to lead ESPN West Palm. Our dedicated and passionate team provides value for our partners and great content for our consumers across all of our assets. Palm Beach County has been home for the last 14 years, and I’m excited about our community, ESPN West Palm and GKB as we continue to expand, grow and evolve.” Good Karma Brands president Steve Politziner comments, “Stephanie is the ultimate example of a teammate whose hard work and determination have continued to lead to successes and new opportunities within GKB & ESPN West Palm. Witnessing her career ascension has been one of the great thrills of my professional career. The ESPN West Palm team and all assets she oversees are in great hands under her leadership.”

December 7, 1941: When ‘Radio News’ Came of Age. Voice over and talk radio pro Mark Wainwright writes in a piece for TALKERS magazine about how radio covered the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He says, “In the midst of today’s 24/7/365 news cycle, when “breaking news” is an hourly occurrence, it’s worth remembering that broadcasting was very different 80 years ago. The concept of news on the radio barely existed in the early days of the medium. While radio had been covering important happenings since its beginning – Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats,” political conventions, elections, major sports events and such – news, as we know it, was a low priority. It wasn’t until radio’s “Golden Age” in the 1930s that regular updates of the day’s news began to take hold. Americans typically depended on newspapers to get their daily news fix, even more so when “breaking news” happened. Radio wasn’t really equipped to handle these situations, so it fell to the wire services and newspapers to break the news.” Read his piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. Veteran Washington reporter James Rosen is joining Newsmax as chief White House correspondent. Rosen has served as a correspondent for FOX News and Sinclair Broadcast Group and has reported from the White House, the State Department, Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, the Pentagon, and the campaign trail. He has filed stories from nearly all 50 states and some 40 foreign countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, China, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, and Haiti. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “James Rosen is not only a reporter’s reporter, but also a great thinker and author who can share complex issues on a TV screen and explain them in clear and understandable ways.”…..A new podcast company from Imagine Entertainment – called Imagine Audio – is launching as part of a collaboration with iHeartMedia. Imagine chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard announced the launch of the deal that will include a slate of co-produced, unscripted podcasts, further expanding Imagine’s IP verticals beyond the traditional screens. The partnership will collaborate to launch six new series over the next two years distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network…..United States Senator Michael D. Brown (D-D.C.), in solidarity with SiriusXM talk host Joe Madison, is beginning a weekly fast every Monday for D.C. statehood. Last month, Madison began a hunger strike for voting rights and has subsisted on a liquid diet for the past 29 days. Senator Brown joins to make sure that the issue of D.C. statehood is included in the national narrative on voting rights…..Beasley Media Group recently took over Tao in New York City to celebrate the company’s 60th Anniversary. The 4th Annual Holiday Soiree event, which thanked the company’s valued advertising partners, featured special live performances from Curb recording artist Lee Brice and acclaimed actor and musician Kiefer Sutherland. Pictured below are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group president Bruce Beasley, CFO Marie Tedesco, Sutherland, CEO Caroline Beasley, Brice, VP of operations Brad Beasley, chief content officer Justin Chase, and VP of music and entertainment and director of Charlotte operations John Reynolds. Photo: Joseph Frazz Photography

Mike Bendixen Exits ‘Newstalk 1010’ Toronto. Downsizing at Bell Media’s news/talk CFRB, Toronto “Newstalk 1010” affects the programming department as station program director and company national format director news & talk programming Mike Bendixen exits. Bendixen had been programming the station since 2009 and had been with the company since 1998. You can reach out to him at bendixen.mike@gmail.com.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant, Biden-Putin Call/Russian Military Buildup, U.S. Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics, January 6 Investigation, ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy, and Nunes to Leave Congress for Trump Media Outlet Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/6). The Omicron coronavirus variant and vaccine mandates; President Joe Biden’s scheduled call with Vladimir Putin and Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; China reacts to Biden’s plan for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and former Mike Pence staffer Marc Short’s cooperation with the House committee; the Biden administration continues the Trump era “Remain in Mexico” policy for migrants; and California Republican Congressman Devin Nunes will leave the House to join Donald Trump’s new media company were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

| December 2, 2021

Round One of November PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s November 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s November 2021 sweep covered October 14 – November 10. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC rises two-tenths for 2.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and ranks #15 while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR also goes up two-tenths for a 2.4 share finish good for the #17 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles is up three-tenths for a 3.5 share and rises to the #8 rank. In Chicago, Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM continues in the #1 spot (tied with AC WLIT-FM) even though it dipped a full share to finish with a 5.7 share. Meanwhile, Nexstar Media’s crosstown news/talk WGN rises two-tenths for a 3.7 share good for the #9 rank. Audacy’s all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco shoots up 1.2 shares for a 7.2 share and the #2 rank in the market. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta dips three-tenths to a 9.3 share but remains ranked #1. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

Report: Julie Mann Exits Audacy’s WBBM Newsradio in Chicago. According to a piece by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago managing editor Julie Mann is leaving the Audacy all-news station for a new, undisclosed opportunity. Her December 10 departure was revealed to staffers by WBBM brand manager and news director Ron Gleason, who wrote, “Julie has been instrumental in our news coverage, interacting minute by minute with our reporters, working closely with our behind-the-scenes team and taking care of a laundry list of needs. For me personally, I will miss her camaraderie, tremendous work ethic and the incredible amount of help she’s given me over the years. An invaluable resource in so many ways, she’s been a great leader, teacher and counsel to all of us.” Mann commented in a statement, “WBBM Newsradio is in good hands. I know the vast experience of our seasoned veterans and the promising accomplishments of our newcomers will continue to keep WBBM a top-rated and reliable source for news. I’ve seen and done some incredible things as a reporter and manager thanks to WBBM Newsradio. It’s been an extraordinary career and I was lucky to have it.”

Ric Edelman to Launch New Financial Talk Program in January. Independent financial adviser and New York Times bestselling author Ric Edelman is launching, “The Truth About Your Financial Future with Ric Edelman,” on January 1. Edelman’s new program is being syndicated nationally and will debut in 24 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Boston, and Philadelphia (and all major podcast platforms). This program replaces “The Ric Edelman Show,” which Edelman has hosted for the past 30 years. Edelman’s new program focuses on what he calls “the five personal finance topics that matter most” today: longevity, retirement security, exponential technologies, digital assets, and health & wellness. He says, “I’m thrilled to launch my new show and podcast. Advances in technology are disrupting every aspect of our lives, but also creating massive new investment opportunities. My mission is to help you learn how you can improve your wealth, health and lifestyle for the rest of your life.” The program’s debut sponsors are Edelman Financial Engines, Global X ETFs, Invesco, Bitwise Asset Management. Initial advertisers include Choice and other leading financial services companies. Edelman Financial Engines EVP Jason Van de Loo says, “Edelman Financial Engines is proud to be a sponsor of “The Truth About Your Future with Ric Edelman” radio show to raise awareness about advances in technology, science and medicine and their profound impact on our personal finances.” Find more information about the show here.

Triton Digital Releases October 2021 Streaming Rankers. Data from Triton Digital’s October 2021 Streaming Rankers for the United States (Monday-Sunday 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight) have been released. The rankings are based on Average Active Sessions representing the average number of sessions at any point in time in the reported time period, with invalid sessions omitted. (AAS is calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period.) The top publisher for the period was iHeartRadio with 284,344 AAS. The rankings of other radio-based companies of interest include: #2 NPR Member Stations; #3 Audacy; #4 Cumulus Streaming Network; #7 Beasley Broadcasting Corporate; #8 Hubbard Broadcasting; #9 ESPN Radio Corporate; #11 New York Public Radio; #12 Salem Communications; #13 Urban One; #14 Bonneville International; #18 Midwest Communications; and #23 Lotus Communications Corp. You can see more from this report here.

IN CASE YOU MISSED ITDave Ramsey Guests on the Harrison Podcast. Last week’s Thanksgiving holiday upset everyone’s schedule. Here’s a reminder to check out Michael Harrison’s interview with multi-media talk radio giant Dave Ramsey on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Based near Nashville, he’s been on the air for almost three decades dispensing advice about personal finance, faith, and grass-roots politics to an ever-growing audience that goes deep into the human psyche in dealing with debt, ambition, ethics, balance and leadership. Ramsey is ranked #2 on the 2021 TALKERS Heavy Hundred list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America and he certainly practices what he preaches. Starting out with a small, money-oriented local radio show in Tennessee, he built his firm on the principles he espouses into a multi-million-dollar media operation known today as Ramsey Solutions employing over 1,000 people. The firm engages in filmmaking, book publishing, podcasting, live presentations and the radio syndication of a growing number of unique personalities. Ramsey Solutions has just released a ground-breaking full-length documentary film titled, Borrowed Future: How Student Loans are Killing the American Dream. Michael Harrison says, “It is one of the most important commentaries about our economy and culture to come out in years. Student debt is a major crisis smothering a generation. It is a disgrace.” Ramsey has also written and published a new book titled, Baby Steps Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth – and How You Can Too (Ramsey Press, 2021). Harrison and Ramsey discuss the student debt crisis, his plans for Ramsey Solutions going forward, and the current wave of inflation gripping the nation. Not to be missed! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant, Looming Government Shutdown, SCOTUS Abortion Case, Michigan School Shooting, Smash Mobs, Financial Markets/Inflation, and MLB Lockout Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/1). The new Omicron coronavirus variant and the Biden administration’s battle over vaccine mandates; the potential shutdown of the federal government as some Republicans insist on defunding Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate; the Supreme Court hears arguments in Mississippi’s 2018 restrictive abortion law; the spate of smash-and-grab flash mobs hitting high-end retail stores; the activity on the world’s financial markets and the ongoing high retail and oil prices; and Major League Baseball locks out the players four months before the 2022 season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

| November 3, 2021

iHeartMedia and DraftKings Enter into Multiplatform Deal. This new relationship between iHeartMedia and DraftKings is a “multi-year strategic relationship, making DraftKings the official odds supplier for iHeartMedia’s broadcast, digital, podcast and social platforms.” As part of this deal, DraftKings is now able to co-create and distribute longform content with iHeartMedia and will receive preferred access to iHeartMedia’s full roster of diverse personalities. Furthermore, DraftKings and iHeartMedia will collaborate around a wide range of possible content development opportunities, including the distribution of shows and segments across the media giant’s radio and digital properties and integrations within iHeartMedia’s live sports broadcasts. DraftKings and iHeartMedia will also collaborate on a number of possible experiential opportunities for listeners and fans including providing cross platform interactive games. iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group CEO Greg Ashlock says, “Even though we are number one in audio sports programming, we continue to build new sports content and DraftKings is an ideal partner as we expand and innovate. DraftKings is a premier sports technology and entertainment company that provides millions of customers with the best in real-money gaming products along with exceptional safety and security through various responsible gaming measures. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership everywhere sports betting is permissible.”

Round Two of October PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s October 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s October 2021 survey period covered September 16 – October 13. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM adds a full share to finish the survey with a 4.2 share (6+, weekly AQH share) and rises to the #8 rank in the market. At Bonneville’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM, the station dips two-tenths for an 8.3 share and falls back to the #3 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston tacks on two-tenths for a 4.1 share and the #8 rank while sister all-news WBZ-AM dips four-tenths for a 6.2 share but remains ranked #3. But, the winner in Boston is Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” which adds six-tenths for an 8.0 share finish good for #1. In Seattle, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM continues in the #1 position even though it shed three-tenths and wrapped the survey with a 6.8 share. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as yesterday’s first round) here.

Former President Trump Featured in New Starnes Book. Pictured above is nationally syndicated talk radio host and author Todd Starnes (right) with former President Donald Trump (left) at Mar-a-Lago in in Florida where the two sat down for a 90-minute interview that will be the centerpiece of Starnes’ new book about American culture set to be published by Simon & Schuster in 2022.

Jake Query Partners with Kevin Bowen for Mornings on Emmis’ ‘The Fan 93.5 & 107.7.’ Indianapolis sports talk personality Jake Query is joining Emmis Communications’ Indy sports talker “The Fan 93.5 & 107.5” (WIBC-HD2/W228CX/W298BB) to co-host the morning drive program with current morning personality Kevin Bowen. Query was most recently with iHeartMedia’s crosstown sports talk WNDE-AM as co-host of the “Query and Schultz Show.” The new “Kevin & Query” show will air weekdays from 7:00 am to 10:0 am beginning Monday (11/8). Emmis Indianapolis VP of programming David Wood says, “Jake is an Indianapolis sports lifer and a gifted storyteller. It was clear that Kevin and Jake had an instant and interesting chemistry when they did several shows together in October. They are going to give Indy sports fans a consistently fun and informative show.” Query says, “During the last 22 months, I’ve been fortunate to gain many valuable, and previously overlooked, personal perspectives. One thing that needed no further solidification was my love for the city of Indianapolis. To be given the privilege to again speak to and with people from all corners and backgrounds of this town means the world to me. I’m grateful for the opportunity and am excited to be part of the trajectory of the morning show on ‘The Fan.’ It’s a great honor.”

Paul Windisch Named GSM for SummitMedia Springfield, Missouri. Radio sales pro Paul Windisch joins SummitMedia as general sales manager for the company’s Springfield, Missouri station group that includes news/talk KSGF-AM/FM and three music brands. Prior to joining SummitMedia, Windisch owned Freedom Consulting LLC, in which he helped companies grow through marketing consulting, sales training, recruitment, and operational strategy. Windisch says, “I believe we all should strive to bring out the best in others, whether that is the people I work with, peers, or clients. It’s clear Summit Media embodies these same principles, recognizing their people are their most important asset. I feel incredibly blessed and excited to join this company.”

Jerry Butler Upped to Market Manager for MARC Radio in Gainesville. Radio pro Jerry Butler is promoted to market manager for MARC Radio’s Gainesville, Florida that includes Christian teaching/talk WTMN/WRZN/WIWA and five music brands. Butler joined the company 14 months ago and has been leading the group’s local sales efforts. MARC Radio executive vice president Dave Cobb says, “Jerry Butler is an impressive mix of on-air talent, industry knowledge, experience and most importantly, results. Despite the economic challenges of the past year, Jerry has navigated our stations and inspired our local sales team to record-breaking sales. He’s earned this promotion and we can’t wait to see what he accomplishes next at MARC.” Butler adds, “My cause has always been economic empowerment. MARC Radio has assembled a team of passionate broadcasters who share our commitment to quality and growth. It’s an honor to grow with this incredible company.”

Key Networks to Rep Radio’s Fresh Eyes. Syndication firm Key Networks announces it has inked a deal with Radio’s Fresh Eyes to represent the radio culture and leadership consultancy’s services to stations for cash or barter. Radio’s Fresh Eyes is led by radio industry pros Dave Paulus and John Shomby whose goal is to work with radio groups of all sizes “to create a dominant and unparalleled employee culture, giving stations actionable steps to a winning culture.” Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green says, “When we started Key Networks, the goal was to be associated with the biggest brands and best in class product and people. Radio’s Fresh Eyes checks all the boxes, and I couldn’t be happier to be working with Dave and John on this project. They are consummate professionals who know all facets of the business and provide the leadership your station needs to win. That is Radio’s Fresh Eyes. They get it because they lived it. That’s all you need to know.”

NuVoodoo Names Andrea Parikh to Lead OOH Media-Trading Unit. Joining NuVoodoo Media Services to lead the firm’s new Out-of-Home Media-Trading unit is Andrea Parikh, whose title is digital OOH product developer and team leader. Parikh spent 16 years with Clear Channel Outdoor and in her new role will help NuVoodoo clients “leverage the intersection of mobile, social and digital media with billboards, transit shelters, street furniture and venue signage to reach consumers and in particular, the people most likely to participate in radio ratings.” NuVoodoo president Carolyn Gilbert says, “We couldn’t be happier that the person who led the rollout of digital Out-of-Home, mobile and data products at one of the world’s leading Out-of-Home media companies is now available exclusively to NuVoodoo clients in the radio industry. We welcome Andrea to the NuVoodoo team and look forward to doing even more for our clients through her extensive relationships and deep expertise.”

VA and NJ Governor’s Races, COP26 Summit, Biden Spending Bills, COVID-19, SCOTUS Texas Abortion Case, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/2). Tuesday’s elections that saw Republican Glenn Youngkin defeat Democrat Terry McAuliffe for the Virginia governor’s seat and the still-too-close-to-call New Jersey gubernatorial race; the COP26 Summit in Glasgow and the issue of climate change; the status of President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and $1.75 trillion economic plan; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the controversy over vaccine mandates, and vaccines approved for kids; the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Texas abortion law case; and the Atlanta Braves’ victory over the Houston Astros in the 2021 World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.