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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

| November 24, 2021

TALKERS magazine Offices Closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The offices of TALKERS magazine will be closed from the end of business today (11/24) through the weekend. TALKERS will reopen on Monday (11/29). The staff of TALKERS hopes that everyone enjoys a relaxing and enjoyable weekend with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

NOW POSTED: This Thanksgiving 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, “Thanksgiving Weekend,” looks back at this past week of 11/22 – 11/26. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSDr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/physician; Lars Larson, talk show host, Compass Media NetworksDr. Murray Sabrin, professor emeritus of finance, Ramapo College of New Jersey; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; “SuperTalk 99.7” WTN, Nashville; 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; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast Network; Pioneer 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.

WWO: Radio and Podcast Revenues to Rise in 2022. This week’s blog post from the CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group, assesses leading revenue forecasts and key trends to watch for in the coming year. The piece predicts that 2020 AM/FM radio revenue will grow 6% to 8% while podcast revenue will grow 31%. Of the big 10 categories that represent 60% of local revenue for radio stations, the five to watch are: auto, TV/cable, healthcare, home improvement, and communications/cellular. Travel and entertainment should also surge. At the network level, look for continued growth in pharmaceutical, financial, business-to-business brands, recruitment, consumer packaged goods, restaurants, insurance, and auto. The post predicts that when it comes to ad-supported audio, AM/FM radio will remain dominant, AM/FM radio streaming will surpass Pandora and Spotify, podcasts will continue to explode, and Pandora will collapse.

Sarah Quinn Named Marketing Director for iHeartMedia Greensboro. Radio and marketing pro Sarah Quinn joins iHeartMedia Greensboro, North Carolina as marketing director for the cluster that includes news/talk WPTI-FM and seven music brands. Quinn comes to iHeartMedia from Alpha Media’s Canton, Ohio operations where she was marketing and promotions director and an air personality. iHeartMedia Greensboro SVP of programming Zac Davis says, “We had some great candidates from different backgrounds apply for this integral position, but Sarah possessed a unique skill set that really stood out to us. Her beliefs and work ethic align well with what we’re doing here in Greensboro and she’s going to hit the ground running!”

Alliance for Women in Media Unveils New Mentoring Program. The Alliance for Women in Media announces the launch of a new program – “AWM Connects presented by the Ford Motor Company Fund and Ziploc Accessory Bags.” This new program is “an exciting new virtual mentoring program that will connect young/new professionals with senior level executives throughout television, radio, and digital media.” The event takes place on December 15 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and includes an opportunity for mentees and mentors to interact. Mentees will also be connected with mentors for a one-on-one conversation following the conclusion of the event. Mentors will be members of the AWM and AWM Foundation Board of Directors as well as high-level executives specifically selected to match up with the mentees that apply for the program. Mentees interested in participating in this inaugural program should apply by December 1. AWM president Becky Brooks says, “The Alliance for Women in Media has been connecting, educating and recognizing women in all forms of media for 70 years and this is the next opportunity to fulfill our important mission. We strongly encourage up and coming women in radio, television and digital medias to apply for an opportunity to experience this unique mentoring program and stay engaged with AWM as we move into the next 70 years.”

South Carolina Radio Station Holds ‘On-Air Job Fair.’ WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina owner Anne Eller (pictured at right with Jay Logan of the local Reagan Flooring company) recently held an “On-Air Job Fair” to assist in matching up employers with open positions with people looking for work. Eller tells TALKERS magazine that one employer needed as many as 30 people to care for clients with disabilities and special needs. Another was seeking flooring installers. An international company in the healthcare field had manufacturing and other specialized jobs available. She says she’s been hearing local stories from businesses, industries, and service providers about the increasing lack of employees for jobs, many of which offered good starting salaries and benefits. She adds, “Although this is a nationwide problem, the lack of workers has been impacting our economy for months. Restaurants had shorter hours or were closing on more days. People needing home and other repairs had long waits. The stories were endless, and I knew that I had to do something to help.” Connecting with the Greenwood SC Chamber of Commerce, she asked the Chamber to promote the idea to its members and in return, she would provide a business with 10 minutes of free air time to discuss their business or organization, the types of services it provides and the employees and skills needed for the positions. She had one requirement: employers had to give a phone number so that people could call and discuss the position because she believes many people are intimidated by filling out job applications online. She says the job fair was a success as employers received calls after their air time from potential employees and other businesses began calling to find out when the next job fair would be held. Eller says, “We will monitor the demand in the community. I am passionate about serving the needs of my listeners and advertisers, and I would love to see this happen again.”

TALKERS News Notes. San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated talk radio host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is sitting in for Premiere Networks afternoon drive talk host Sean Hannity on today’s program. Pags tells TALKERS, “I’m extremely thankful and thrilled to crack the mic for broadcasting superstar Sean Hannity. Huge shoes to fill.”…..Edison Research announces the debut of The Infinite Dial 2021 UK, sponsored by Bauer Media and Spotify, debuting in a webinar on Thursday, December 2. Edison Research president Larry Rosin says, “We are excited to add the UK to the list of countries around the world investigating digital audio, podcasting, and social media usage via The Infinite Dial franchise. Thanks to Bauer Media and Spotify for bringing this beneficial research to the media community in the UK.”…..PodcastOne announces the launch of “Melissa Gorga On Display,” a new pop culture podcast hosted by the reality star and influencer. Gorga, who has spent a decade on the immensely popular Bravo series “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” brings to the podcast her expertise in all things marriage, motherhood, fashion and, of course, reality television. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “There is absolutely no denying the immense popularity of Melissa Gorga and the impact her presence has had on pop culture around the world. Her podcast is exactly what audiences want in a celebrity-hosted podcast, and listeners will not be disappointed.”…..Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington, in partnership with EagleBank and 4giving, announces the conclusion of its inaugural Week of Giving holiday charity campaign aimed at raising money and awareness for local charities. The WTOP Week of Giving Campaign ran for one week from Monday, November 8 through Friday, November 12 and raised $9,054 for local charities. WTOP also matched donations made as part of an internal employee match program encouraging employees, as well as their friends and family, to donate during the Week of Giving. WTOP general manager Joel Oxley says, “We’re so honored to be able to give back to our community in this way and thankful for the giving spirit of our loyal audience. We couldn’t help these charities and the people they support without them.”

Inflation-Gas Prices/Supply Chain, January 6 Investigation, California Looting Spree, Charlottesville Jury Awards Damages, COVID-19, Ohio Opioid Verdict, Ahmaud Arbery Case, and Thanksgiving Holiday Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/23). The soaring prices of food and gasoline and the broken supply chain; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the subpoenas issued for Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone and media figure Alex Jones; the rising number of smash-and-grab mall looting cases in California; a jury in Charlottesville awards $26 million in damages stemming from the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally; the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad and the battle over mask & vaccine mandates; an Ohio jury finds CVS, Walgreens and Walmart liable in the opioid epidemic; the jury considers the evidence in the trial of three men in the death of Ahmaud Arbery; and the Thanksgiving holiday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

| October 14, 2020

The Spoken Word Audio Report. People spend less daily time listening to music and LOTS more time with spoken word content. And – for the first time – AM/FM receivers now deliver less than 50% of it. And – like e-commerce and telecommuting – this behavior shift, already in motion before the pandemic shutdown, has accelerated as we’ve quarantined. Consultant Holland Cooke summarizes the 2nd annual report from Edison Research and NPR. Read it here.

Rich Herrera to Program and Host at Cumulus Media’s KCUB-AM, Tucson. Sports radio pro Rich Herrera is named program director and afternoon drive host for Cumulus Media’s KCUB-AM, Tucson “Wildcats Radio 1290.” Herrera, who also serves as an air personality for CBS Sports Radio, returns to the University of Arizona flagship station he programmed beginning in 2001 when it launched as “FOX Sports Radio 1290.” Most recently, Herrera has been with Entercom’s KWFN, San Diego “97.3 The Fan” where he was senior executive producer and pre- and post-game shows host. Herrera will continue to host national shows on CBS Sport Radio from Cumulus Tucson studios. Herrera says, “I am excited to join Cumulus and am happy to be reunited with so many good friends and radio professionals in Tucson. The University of Arizona is one of the iconic schools in college sports and to be able to host afternoons and program their flagship is a fantastic opportunity. After working in Major League Baseball, I plan to bring many of those best practices to ‘Wildcats Radio 1290,’ on air and digitally, to build one of the best college flagship radio stations in the nation.”

Key Networks to Handle Ad Sales and Affiliate Marketing for Bloomberg Radio. A new deal between Key Networks and Bloomberg Radio will see the former managing all network advertising sales, affiliate sales, and marketing for Bloomberg’s global 24-hour business radio network, effective October 26. Bloomberg Radio’s signature “Daybreak” shows cover the morning hours of each part of the world, anchored from Bloomberg’s studios in New York, San Francisco, London, and Hong Kong. Throughout the day, Bloomberg Radio delivers in-depth coverage of the financial markets coupled with interviews with newsmakers, analysts, and company executives. In addition to its engaging full-length business shows, Bloomberg offers short-form reports ranging from “Money Minutes” to “The Business of Sports.” Key Networks CEO Rob Koblasz says, “Bloomberg is undeniably the gold standard in business news, and we are thrilled to deliver access to Bloomberg’s unmatched global business news resources to radio stations across the U.S. With 2,700 journalists and analysts in more than 120 bureaus, the quality of their network products for local radio stations is clear. We look forward to growing with Bloomberg Radio as we help grow their network.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. The resumption of the MLB season, the NBA playoffs, and the promise of the new NFL season didn’t provide enough juice for America’s sports talk radio stations in the Nielsen Audio PPM markets as 47% of those outlets saw their weekly, 6+ AQH shares decline and just 35% improved during the September survey (August 13-September 9). In his second format analysis for the September survey, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian reports that gainers from the August to September surveys include Capital Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh (+1.2) and Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago (+0.7). It’s hardly surprising that comparing data from September of 2019 (pre-COVID) with September 2020 shows a major falloff for sports talkers. Year-over-year 68% of sports talk stations in PPM markets were down and just 19% improved. Gainers were led by Entercom’s KWFN, San Diego (+0.9). See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Radio Hall of Fame names NPR’s Noel King this year’s recipient of its “One to Watch” award.  The “One to Watch” award was created in honor of radio legend and 2012 RHOF inductee Art Laboe. Each year, the RHOF nominating committee selects a promising radio personality or team who has demonstrated ratings success, audience growth, and impact on one or more radio stations and their communities. King is co-host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “Up First.” The RHoF says, “King’s investigative reporting has affected change through her powerful storytelling about social and criminal justice issues. As a correspondent for NPR’s ‘Planet Money,’ her work focused on economic questions that don’t have simple answers, with complex and often conflicted people at the center of these stories.”…..Tomorrow night (10/15), Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” presents a Town Hall broadcast on the upcoming November election. The station says, “New Jersey is facing a general election like no other in its history. Amid the many pandemic related changes, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared almost all voting would be done with mail-in ballots.” Station senior political director Eric Scott adds, “This is the first time the majority of people in New Jersey will cast their vote by mail. And as a result, there is much confusion. There have been documented cases of voting irregularities in New Jersey and our goal is to help everyone who wants to vote be certain their vote will be counted.” The program’s expert panel will be led by New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way. Other panelists will include county clerks charged with coordinating the ballots and who can speak directly to any irregularities. Scott and his guests will answer live, call-in questions from listeners throughout the hour…..The Alliance for Women in Media announces that this week’s Gracie Interview Series – Virtual Gathering features special guest Susan Larkin, COO for Entercom and moderator Weezie Kramer. The event is tomorrow (10/15) at 2:00 pm ET. The two will discuss the ever-evolving roles in media companies today. Larkin will share how media companies continue to face the opportunities placed in front of them and the ever-important model of monetizing these new business paths. You can register here…..Entercom’s podcast company Cadence13 announces a partnership with Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons, co-creators of “Slow Burn,” for distribution of the first season of “Fiasco,” the award-winning documentary podcast series about power, politics and uncertainty. Fiasco Season One: “Bush v. Gore” launches today  (10/14)…..iHeartMedia announces the release of “Aaron Mahnke’s 13 Days of Halloween” from Blumhouse Television and iHeartMedia. The original scripted podcast series stars Keegan-Michael Key as “caretaker” of the purgatorial hotel “Hawthorne Manor.”

The Presidential Race, Barrett Confirmation Hearings, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Stimulus Negotiations, New UN Human Rights Council Members, SCOTUS Census Ruling, DOJ ‘Unmasking’ Investigation, and the NFL’s COVID-19 Policy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/13). The November presidential election; the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett; the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country and concerns about a fall/winter second wave; the negotiations over a new COVID stimulus package; controversy over China and Russia gaining seats on the UN Human Rights Council; the Supreme Court rules President Trump can end the 2020 census; the DOJ’s investigation into “unmasking” or revealing the names of Americans in NSA foreign intelligence reports by the Obama administration ends without charges; and the NFL’s scramble to save games as some players test positive for COVID-19 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. Longtime radio management pro Mark Krieschen announces he’s retiring from Cox Media Group’s Houston station group – country KKBQ “”93Q,” classic country KTHT “Country Legends 97.1,” and classic rock duo KHPT-FM/KGLK-FM “The Eagle” – effective October 23. Prior to joining Cox Radio in 2005 as VP/GM of CMG Radio Houston, Krieschen held various positions at Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago. Cox Media Group EVP Bill Hendrich says, “I can’t speak highly enough of Mark and I am certain his Houston team shares my sentiment. In leading the largest market in CMG’s radio portfolio, Mark has been an integral part of CMG Radio’s growth, our impact in the industry and in the communities across Houston. His contributions will always be valued, and he will be remembered for his passionate dedication and leadership style that moved others to give their best, every day.”…..Condolences to the family and friends of Jeff Anderson, the evening air personality and production director at Beasley Media Group’s classic hits KKLZ-FM, Las Vegas who died on October 9 after suffering health complications. Anderson joined the company in 2006 as the midday personality at KKLZ-FM. After the station flipped from the classic rock to classic hits format, he moved to evenings and took on the role of production director. Beasley chief content officer Justin Chase says, “I’ve known Jeff for nearly 20 years, working with him almost that entire time in radio at both CBS Radio and Beasley. In that time, I’ve come to greatly respect Jeff for his talent, professionalism, and kindness. All of us here at Beasley are deeply saddened by his sudden passing and will miss him immensely.” Anderson spent more than 25 years in the Las Vegas radio market and was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 2008.

Friday, November 22, 2019

| November 22, 2019

Steve Bannon’s ‘War Room: Impeachment’ Airing on Newsmax TV. The one-hour, daily talk program, “War Room: Impeachment,” hosted by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, is now airing on Newsmax TV at 9:00 am ET.  Bannon’s co-hosts on the program are former Trump campaign senior communications strategist Jason Miller and Raheem Kassam, former chief adviser to Brexit leader Nigel Farage.  They provide up-to-the-second analysis and commentary on the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump.  Bannon says, “We will deliver information and analysis on the impeachment of President Trump to hard-working Americans as they get on with their busy lives.  The citizens of this country will be the real jury in this case, and it is vital they get the facts.”  The program is also being distributed as a radio program via Salem Radio Network.

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, 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 on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (11/22).  The new episode titled, “Poll Dancing with the Stars!,” looks back at this past week of November 18-22, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Jeffrey Kuhner, talk show host, WRKO, Boston; Dr. Dana Cheng, senior China news reporter, The Epoch Times; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media NetworkRich Zeoli, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Tony Katz, talk show host, WIBC, Indianapolis; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show first airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm; followed by WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. It also appears on the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Six Honored at Gracies Leadership Awards Ceremony. At the annual Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon in New York City yesterday (11/21), the Alliance for Women in Media honored six female media leaders.  Honorees included: Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner, Entercom COO Weezie Kramer, Univision chief communications officer Rosemary Mercedes, TV One general manager Michelle Rice, Crown Media Family Networks EVP programming and network publicity Michelle Vicary, and E.W. Scripps VP employment & labor law and chief diversity officer Danyelle WrightKatz Direct president Chickie Bucco was honored with the inaugural AWM Legacy Leadership award.  Elizabeth Smart delivered the keynote address, sharing her captivating story of overcoming the trauma of her nine-month abduction, at the age of fourteen.  Smart said, “I don’t think that you are made by what happens to you.  I think you are made by the choices you make after things happen to you.”  She ended the speech, saying, “As I move forward with my life, I am dedicated to preventing what happened to me from happening to anyone else and continuing to empower women, and girls of all ages, as much as I can.”  Pictured here is Alliance for Women in Media treasurer and The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen (at right) with Mary Berner and (at left) with Weezie Kramer.

The Impeachment Hearings Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 18-22. The week’s testimony at the impeachment inquiry against President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2020 presidential race and Wednesday’s Democratic debate.  Coming in at #3 was the Hong Kong Human Rights Act and U.S.-China trade relations, followed by the Prince AndrewJeffrey Epstein connection 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 magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s complete chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. WFNI, Indianapolis “The Fan” program director and morning drive co-host Jeff Rickard is recovering after suffering a heart attack last weekend.  Rickard updated listeners via a tweet yesterday, saying, “I’m feeling a little better but have been missing here and on air after suffering a major heart attack last Saturday.  THANKS to all who have reached out and hopefully I’ll be back to work soon.  I’m going to go back to being quiet for a few days.”…..iHeartMedia news/talk WILM-AM, Wilmington, Delaware signs a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers’ NBA G League affiliate the Delaware Blue Coats to air play-by-play of all of the team’s regular season and post season games for the 2019-2020 season.  Blue Coats president Larry Meli says, “We are thrilled to bring Delaware Blue Coats basketball to the Delaware airwaves.  iHeartMedia Wilmington is a terrific partner for our program both in the broadcast sense and also from a community engagement perspective.  We’re proud of the commitment both organizations have to bettering the city of Wilmington.”…..SiriusXM is participating in WhyHunger’s Hungerthon 2019.  The online auction takes place now through Wednesday, December 11.  WhyHunger is a non-profit organization founded by the late Harry Chapin and led by executive director Noreen Springstead.  Hungerthon auction items include a trip to meet and see Billie Eilish in Los Angeles; a trip to meet and see Kenny Chesney in Arlington, Texas; tickets to see all four nights of Phish’s New Year’s Eve shows or their exclusive concert for SiriusXM in Philadelphia on 12/3; tickets to attend SiriusXM’s exclusive event with Billy Joel in Miami on 12/5; signed guitars from Taylor Swift, 5 Seconds of Summer, Alabama ShakesBrittany Howard, and more; autographed items that include a signed Rolling Stone cover from Camila Cabello; framed lyrics of “Too Good at Goodbyes” signed by Sam Smith; a helmet signed by Marshmello; tickets to the 2020 Daytona 500; tickets to the 2020 PGA Championship and much more.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Jason Howard is named co-host of “The River Morning Show” on iHeartMedia’s hot AC WRVE, Albany “99.5 The River” alongside current WRVE personality Tracy.  Howard – a graduate of SUNY Brockport – joins WRVE from Hurley’s Media in the Cayman Islands where he was OM and morning host.  iHeartMedia Albany SVP of programming Randy McCarten says, “Jason’s experience as an entertaining morning host along with his commitment to community involvement will be a great asset to ‘The River.’  Tracy and Jason have a chemistry that is just a lot of fun to hear every morning.”…..Westwood One appoints Nick Fox country program director for Westwood One’s 24/7 formats.  In this role, Fox will oversee day-to-day operations of delivering 24/7 programming to Westwood One country affiliates.  He’ll manage on-air talent while supervising music databases and support current and potential 24/7 affiliates.  Fox was most recently the program director and midday personality at Cumulus Media’s country WXBM, Pensacola…..Programming pro Nick Cash is named operations manager at Townsquare Media’s Killeen-Temple, Texas station group that includes country KUSJ, hip hop KOOC, urban contemporary KSSM, and classic rock KLTD.  Cash was most recently program director and afternoon host at iHeartMedia’s country KHGE, Fresno “102.7 The Wolf.”

Friday, September 20, 2019

| September 20, 2019

Nexstar Closes on Tribune; Former Clear Channel Exec Sean Compton to Lead WGN-AM. Just a day after the FCC approved Nexstar’s acquisition of Tribune Media’s television stations and lone radio asset, WGN-AM, the company closed on the $6.4 billion deal.  At least for now, Nexstar appears it is going to continue to operate news/talk WGN-AM and not put it on the block.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Nexstar has named Sean Compton executive vice president in charge of its programming acquisitions, the WGN America and Antenna TV cable networks, as well as WGN-AM.  Regular TALKERS readers may remember that Compton was a Clear Channel (before it was iHeartMedia) programming executive whom Randy Michaels brought from Cincinnati to Chicago in 2008 to serve as SVP of programming and entertainment when Michaels was heading up Tribune.  Compton remained with Tribune after Michaels exited his leadership of the company in 2010.

ABC Radio Rebrands as ABC Audio. In a memo to staff, ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku announces the company is now officially using ABC Audio instead of ABC Radio for its umbrella brand.  She says, “You’re all aware of the new platforms entering consumers’ lives, from podcast distribution to interactive voice and beyond. ABC Audio recognizes that technology is evolving, but the value of our work remains constant. So, this is as much a commitment to our listeners that they will find our storytelling anytime and everywhere, as it is to you that your excellent work will continue to find the audiences it deserves.”  At the same time, Deshishku announces that Heidi Oringer is promoted to executive director of business strategy, programming and distribution and Abe Velez is promoted to director of business development and strategy.  Oringer was most recently director of affiliate solutions.  Velez has been serving in the business development department.

Michael Savage Recounts Air Force One Experience.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Michael Savage (above) was asked by President Trump to travel aboard Air Force One with him during his California trip this week.  The Westwood One personality tells a story about his lunch with the president: “While sitting with President Trump on Air Force One, two hot dogs are delivered for the president.  I’m starving at this point.  President Trump looks and he must have seen my eyes dart at the hot dogs, and he says, “You want one?” I said, “Sure.”  He takes one off his plate delicately onto another plate.  He says to me, “Would you like mustard or ketchup?”  Then he mentions, “No, you don’t want that ketchup with sugar on it.  Do you?” I don’t know how he knows this, but I found out that they know what I say on the radio.  President Trump then dollops out the mustard for me from his plate, showing a certain humility and generosity that you may not be aware of from him.  It is in the little things that you could see a person’s behavior.  Here’s the interesting part.  I’m from Queens but I grew up on the other side of Union Turnpike from the president.  He cut his hot dog in pieces and ate them with a knife and fork.  I ate it like I was at a baseball game because I never saw a hot dog eaten with a knife and fork.  That’s because he grew up on the other side of the tracks, but years later we wound up in the same place at the same time sharing his lunch because he’s a very generous and down to earth man.”

Giants Coach Cancels Radio Segment with WFAN’s Mike Francesa. As reported by NorthJersey.com, New York Giants coach Pat Shurmer has notified Entercom’s WFAN, New York that he is no longer going to do the weekly radio interview with afternoon drive host Mike Francesa.  The “Sports Pope” has been extremely critical of the Giants’ offseason moves and its performances in the first two games of the season and it appears Shurmer doesn’t want to be in the hot seat facing Francesa’s criticism each week.  That’s not how Shurmer put it, though.  He said yesterday, “Well, I think that was an organizational decision not to do that.  Most people aren’t aware of this, but I wasn’t contractually obligated to do that spot.  We did it as a courtesy and out of respect for our relationship with the radio station.  So, we just felt like for a while here we just put that to bed for a while and not do it and move forward.”  Francesa talked about it on his show saying, “Listen, not everybody’s cut out for handling what is the real intense spotlight that there is in the city, that comes with these jobs. Being the head football coach of the Giants is a very, very big job.  It gets a lot of attention.  It has a lot of light and heat in the center.  The Giants have unfortunately, from at least my estimation, have become very good at hiding and very good at losing.  That’s my take.  And they need to turn both around.”

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (9/20).  The new episode titled “Storm Clouds of Military, Trade and Partisan War!” looks back at this past week of September 16-20, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Joe Pags, host, Compass Media NetworksThom Hartmann, host WYD Media; Tom Sullivan, host Talk Media NetworkDr. Daliah Wachs, host GCN; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  This increasingly acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation point for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeart Radio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

New “Scal & Pals’ Show to Stream on RADIO.COM. The new program will feature co-hosts Brian Scalabrine and Steve Ceruti and will stream live from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET on Entercom’s RADIO.COM Sports Digital Network.  It launches Monday (9/23) and will be dedicated to coverage of the NBA.  Entercom president of sports Mike Dee says, “We are excited to launch a digital show that will have mass appeal to all hardcore basketball fans. The lineup of contributors headlined by Scal will feature an interesting and entertaining mix of personalities and perspectives.  We aspire to have this be the best basketball content fans can find anywhere and we are eager to engage with one of the most dynamic fan bases of any sport.”  Scalabrine spent 11 seasons in the NBA playing for the New Jersey Nets, Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls.  Ceruti is a long-time producer at ESPN with experience working under Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo.  The new show will also feature commentary from former players such as Caron Butler, current players like Admiral Schofield of the Washington Wizards, longtime sportswriter and broadcaster Ric Bucher, former Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough and more.

Lauter to Lead iHeartMedia’s Madison Operations. Media executive Drew Lauter is named market president for iHeartMedia’s Madison brands.  Lauter, who will report to Minneapolis division president Jeff Tyler, will “oversee the market’s programming, advertising, and operations… as well as create new business and revenue opportunities.”  Tyler says, “I am very excited to welcome Drew’s experience and vision to iHeartMedia.  He’s excited about taking his family to one of the premier cities in the Midwest and I am thrilled that he will be leading a great team and some of our market-leading, legendary brands in Madison.”  Lauter has served with such companies as SonyLucent, Qello Concerts, and Qello Media.

U.S.-Iran Tensions/Saudi Oil Attack Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 16-20. The military tensions between the U.S. and Iran and the related Saudi oil facility attack was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Lewandowski hearings, tied with the Democrats’ impeachment strategy, and the intelligence Trump whistleblower report.  Coming in at #3 was the new Kavanaugh allegations, followed by U.S.-China relations, the economy, and the Fed rates cuts tied 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 magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

National Radio Talent System Names Alexus Parker Institutes Director. The National Radio Talent System announces the hiring of new institutes director, Alexus Parker. In this position, she will work directly with the broadcasters, universities, and students of the Radio Talent Institutes, and manage social media. National Radio Talent System president Dan Vallie states, “We talked to quite a few people about the position, but Alexus came highly recommended and is very impressive. She is a great fit for our team as we continue to grow the National Radio Talent System and the Radio Talent Institutes across the country.” Previously, Parker was the marketing director for iHeartMedia’s Raleigh, North Carolina station group.

Elizabeth Smart to Keynote Gracies Leadership Awards. The Alliance for Women in Media announces that author and children’s advocate Elizabeth Smart will deliver a keynote address at the Gracies Leadership Awards on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Smart is known for her 2002 abduction and since then has founded the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation” and worked for change related to child abduction, recovery programs, and national legislation. Alliance for Women in Media Foundation executive director Becky Brooks says, “The Alliance for Women in Media is proud to honor women for their extraordinary accomplishments.  It is our honor to have Elizabeth Smart, a past Gracie winner, as this year’s keynote speaker, as her address will surely inspire and empower all in attendance.”  Find more information on this event and to reserve your seat here.

FOCUS ON HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE: Dr. Daliah Wachs Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  There are many aspects of health and health care in the news from vaping, vaccines, flesh-eating bacteria, opioid abuse, and the high cost of prescription medicine to political debate over which way to go regarding the entire American health care system.  Should we maintain the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and simply build upon it as Joe Biden suggests?  Should we go to single payer universal health care and Medicare for all as promoted by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders?  Or should we go in a completely different direction with a new plan that has yet to be designed by President Trump and the Republicans?  Nationally syndicated Genesis Communications Network (GCN) radio talk show host Daliah Wachs, M.D. is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Wachs, a member of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred,” is widely respected for her medical credentials and general political neutrality.  She and Harrison address today’s hot health issues and more from a non-political perspective.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Network News Opportunities. There are three news positions at FOX News open.  The first is an overnight freelance anchor at FOX News Radio.  The job description states: “We are looking for a Freelance Overnight News Anchor to join our Fox News family as on-air talent for FOX News Radio/FOX News Headlines 24/7 Sirius XM Channel 115. 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.” See more and to apply here.  The company also has freelance writer position for FOX News Headlines 24/7 open – see that information here – and a freelance producer/news editor position open that you can learn more about here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” has a new program director as Entercom appoints Jerry McKenna to the position, taking over for Ron Roberts.  McKenna was most recently serving as program director for Cape Cod Broadcasting.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

| May 23, 2019

TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

Kirk Minihane and Entercom Go Separate Ways. According to a report in the Boston Globe, former WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane and Entercom have agreed to dissolve their relationship.  This comes on the heels of Minihane’s recent public gripe about Entercom dragging its feet on launching Minihane’s program on the Radio.com platform. Minihane was removed from his role as co-host of the “Kirk & Callahan” show on WEEI last fall.  At the time, the company said it intended to put Minihane on Radio.com.  Entercom confirmed the separation in a brief statement.  Meanwhile, the Globe reports Minihane – via a Periscope video – saying, “What’s next is whatever.  I don’t know what the next move is going to be but, but I’m just relieved.  And I have nothing good to say about the place I was just at.”  Minihane says that although he does not have a non-compete, he has no intention of doing local radio again.

Ben & Woods to Host Mornings on San Diego’s ‘97.3 The Fan.’ San Diego sports talkers Ben Higgins and Steven Woods are landing at Entercom’s KWFN-FM “97.3 The Fan” for mornings, effective June 10.  “Ben & Woods” were hosts of the morning show on former crosstown sports talk outlet XEPRS “The Mighty 1090” prior to operator Broadcast Company of the Americas losing its signal lease with the Mexican owners and shutting down the station.  The morning drive slot at KWFN opened earlier this year when the station removed Dan Sileo from the morning daypart.  Coach John Kentera has been interim host of the morning show since then.

Nielsen to Release New Ratings for WMVP, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Nielsen Audio is telling subscribers there that it will re-release the April 2019 PPM numbers for ESPN’s sports talk WMVP-AM “ESPN Chicago” to include the station’s streaming numbers that were not made part of the station’s ratings when they were released last week.    WVMP’s weekly, 6+ AQH share was 1.2, tying it for 17thplace in the market with three other stations.  Nielsen will release the new numbers as 12:00 noon today (5/23).

TALKERS News Notes. The Associated Press Television and Radio Association  representing 13 Western states – recently announced the winners of its 2018 broadcast contest. Big winners in the radio competition were Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco and Bonneville’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  KCBS-AM took home seven first place awards and two second place honors.  KTAR-FM grabbed two first place awards and four second place trophies.  See the entire list here.….Westwood One reports that the nationally syndicated weekly talk show “Sterling on Sunday” adds two big market affiliates as Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta and Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City pick up the show starring Walter Sterling.  It’s now heard on more than 85 affiliate stations…..In Richmond, Entercom adds FM translator W286DJ at 105.1 to the broadcast of sports talk WRNL-AM “910 The Fan.”…..iHeartMedia Hartford announces a new deal with University of Connecticut football and basketball play-by-play voice Mike Crispino to keep him with the school’s broadcasts on WUCN “97.9 ESPN.” Crispino is a member of the UConn Radio Broadcast Team and covers play-by-play for UConn football, UConn men’s basketball and UConn baseball.  He says, “I’m thrilled to extend my agreement with iHeartMedia and UConn for the next several years.  It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to work with sports broadcast pros like Wayne Norman this past year as well as insightful and charismatic coaches and administrators like Randy EdsallDan Hurley, Jim Penders, and David Benedict.  I truly look forward to contributing to the expansion of the UConn brand and fan base across the region.”…..Entercom and podcaster Cadence13 are launching a new series called “To War and Back,” on RADIO.COM, the first episode of which explores the lives of three combat veterans and their journeys on the battlefield and on their return home. The full six-episode series will launch on June 10.  The program features journalist and Navy veteran Phil Briggs, host of the “Connecting Vets” podcast, traveling cross country to meet three combat veterans – US Marine Corps Sgt. Kirstie Ennis (Ret.), US Marine Corps Major Scott Huesing (Ret.) and US Army veteran Sgt. Boone Cutler – to document their incredible experiences, to war and back.  Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “We’re proud to collaborate with our talented partners at Cadence13 on this original series. ‘To War and Back’ is a perfect example of the power of audio storytelling to make a difference in the lives of listeners.  Original series like this are also a key part of the growth path of RADIO.COM.”…..Pictured below at the studios of Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” is high school student Luke D. (center), who got to hang with the “Zolak & Bertrand” midday show as part of Westford Academy’s Job Shadow Day.  Luke participates with the Fitchburg State men’s soccer team and hopes to one day pursue a career in sports broadcasting.  From left to right are: WBZ-FM host Scott Zolak, Jim Louth, Hardy, host Marc Bertrand, and Tom Morgan.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on stations that serve as Major League Baseball play-by-play flagships.  Historically, baseball is a cume builder for flagship stations and the increase in weekly, 6+ AQH share seen in our panel seems to support that.  After one month of baseball, Kinosian reports that “nearly four of every five Major League Baseball flagships on this list (79%) improve between March 2019 – April 2019 (6+), while only 14% regress; the remaining 7% are flat.”  A 2.3 share increase for Entercom’s St. Louis Cardinals flagship KMOX, St. Louis puts the station in the #1 ranking in the April survey – the lone MLB flagship to enjoy that position.  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (Cincinnati Reds) and Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (Milwaukee Brewers) both ranked #2 in their respective markets.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Trump’s Stonewalling, Trump’s New York Tax Returns, Democrats’ Impeachment Momentum, 2020 Presidential Politics, US-China Trade War, Midwest Storms, and US-Iran Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/22). The effort by President Trump not to cooperate with any investigations launched by Democrats; New York passes a bill to allow congress to get President Trump’s state tax returns; congressional Democrats continue to push Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch impeachment charges against the president; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the tariffs the U.S. and China are placing on each other’s exports; the tornadoes that ravaged the Midwest; and the military tensions between the U.S. and Iran were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

44thAnnual Gracie Awards Held in Los Angeles. On Tuesday (5/21), the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation presented the 2019 Gracie Awards at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  Attendees at this year’s awards ceremony included Sheryl Crow as performer, along with “Good Girls” co-stars Christina Hendricks and Retta, Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy and Sarah Levy, Rachel BloomTisha Thompson, Leah Remini, Elizabeth Perkins, Loni Love, Angela Yee, Elaina Smith (pictured at right with Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta), Jayde Donovan, Kellie Rasberry, Jillian Barberie, Lisa Mantineo, Lynda McLaughlin and more.  Entertainment Tonight LIVE’s Cassie DiLaura served as the Gracie Awards social media ambassador.   Winners in the Radio division included: Angela Yee of “The Breakfast Club” Host/Personality – National; Jayde Donovan “The Jayde Show” Host/Personality – Weekend Program – National; Kellie Rasberry “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” Co-host – National; Lynda McLaughlin “The Sean Hannity Show” Producer – Talk – National; and Laura Coates “The Laura Coates Show” Talk Show – National.  See all the winners here.  Pictured below is the board of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (from l-r): Kelly Perdomo, vice president: content and partnership marketing, SiriusXM; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss AgencyLauren Ash, host; Becky Brooks, executive director, Alliance for Women in Media; and Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston radio personality Adam 12 is joining Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WBOS “ROCK 92.9” to host the midday 11:00 am to 4:00 pm show.  Adam 12 was most recently with online station Indie617 as a personality, imaging director, and social media director.  He’s also served with former market alternative station WFNX-FM and legendary rock outlet WBCN-FM.  He says, “‘ROCK 92.9’ captures so many of the sounds I grew up listening to and playing on the air in Boston.  I’m looking forward to getting back on the FM dial and helping [programmer] Ken West and the team at Beasley make some noise on the airwaves with ROCK 92.9!”…..Programming pro Joey Tack is the new program director and midday personality at Bonneville’s country KNCI, Sacramento, effective July 1.  Tack was most recently program director at SummitMedia’s rhythmic CHR WKHT, Knoxville “HOT 104.5.”…..Entercom names Adam Wolfson director of sales for its CHANNEL Q.  The company says that in this role, Wolfson will oversee sales efforts for LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network – dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.  Entercom Southern California SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “CHANNEL Q has become such a powerful voice for the LGBTQ community as well as advertisers. Adam has been the catalyst in leading our sales charge across the country. He is the perfect choice to lead sales for the network from coast to coast.”