NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “I Had a Cow,” looks back at this past week of 8/30 – 9/3. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Mike Gallagher, talk show host, Salem Radio Network; Larry Elder, gubernatorial candidate, California; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/physician; Doug Stephan, talk show host, Stephan Multimedia; 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; 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 Network; CRN 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.
Salem to Debut ‘Daybreak Insider Daily Podcast.’ On Tuesday (9/7), Salem Media Group’s Salem Podcast Network will launch the “Daybreak Insider Daily Podcast.” Salem says the podcast is an audio companion to the Daybreak Insider Newsletter, which is currently distributed each weekday morning to more than 100,000 subscribers. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “It’s clear that podcast listeners are looking for informed reporting on what’s really happening in their world. Within Salem, we have a wealth of resources, both for newsgathering and for analysis. With the ‘Daybreak Insider Podcast,’ we’ll be pooling all of those resources into a single podcast to provide in-depth coverage from a conservative worldview. You’ll hear trusted voices from SRN News, Townhall.com, as well as the Salem Radio Network every day on this podcast, and it will all be pulled together by the experienced voice of Rich Thomason.” Thomason has served for more than 20 years with SRN News as an anchor, correspondent, and news producer.
‘710 ESPN Seattle’ Announces ‘The Matt Hasselbeck Show.’ Sports talk outlet KIRO-AM, “710 ESPN Seattle” announces “The Matt Hasselbeck Show” joins the programming lineup as a weekly program. The new, one-hour show will air each Wednesday at 9:00 am as Hasselbeck joins morning host Mike Salk, who says, “No one tells a story quite like Matt and he uses his incredible experiences to paint an extraordinary picture of what’s happening in the NFL. He’s as entertaining, knowledgeable and insightful as anyone in this business and his Seahawks credentials are second to none. I can’t wait to talk with him every week!” Kyle Brown is program director for the Bonneville station. He adds, “We couldn’t be more excited to add one of the most illustrious players in Seahawks franchise history to our team here at ‘710 ESPN Seattle.’ Matt is among the premier football analysts in the country and his indelible ties to Seattle make him the perfect addition to our Seahawks coverage.” The inaugural show will air Wednesday, September 15 and it also be offered as a weekly podcast at 710Sports.com.
Erick Erickson Lays into Anti-Vaxxers. In a story published in Newsweek, WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta-based, nationally syndicated talk host Erick Erickson lashed out at anti-vaxxers after a relative of his died from COVID-19. The piece says that during Erickson’s Wednesday broadcast, he referred to anti-vaccination activists as “idiots” after a healthy, unvaccinated relative of his died from COVID-19 after being influenced by anti-vaccine messaging. He’s quoted calling “organized efforts to undermine trust in the vaccines… a deeply evil thing” and “a sin.” He also chastised a group of anti-vaccination demonstrators who harassed health care workers and people waiting in line for vaccinations that led to the vaccination site being shut down. He said on his program, “Listen to this, you idiots. What I care deeply about though is that some of you are scared of getting [the vaccine] because you’ve heard people on the internet lie to you and you don’t know that they’re lying. I don’t care that you don’t want the vaccine, but if you’re out there spreading lies and misinformation and disinformation and willfully undermining people’s trust with a vaccine, I care about that a great deal.”
iHeartMedia Panama City Fills Three Trucks for Hurricane Ida Relief. Staffers at iHeartMedia Panama City and community volunteers worked together on the “iHeartMedia Operation Storm Relief” effort to collect enough items to fill three semi-truck trailers donated by Tarpon Dock Seafood owner Greg Abrams, and Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford. The drive was held at a local Super Walmart on Wednesday (9/1). Two of the trucks are en route to south Louisiana, with the third going early next week. iHeartMedia general manager Darrell Johnson says, “Having been through a category 5 hurricane ourselves less than three years ago, we knew what the folks of South Louisiana needed. Even as our community is still recovering from that natural disaster while also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew it was important for our community to step up and help our Gulf Coast neighbors.” In addition to the supplies, the drive also raised over $10,000 in monetary donations, which was used for purchasing additional critically needed items to fill the third truck for Hurricane Ida victims
NAB’s Gordon Smith to Be Honored with 2021 Lowry Mays Award. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith is this year’s recipient of the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award that is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. Smith will be presented with the Award at the Broadcasters Foundation Annual Breakfast on October 12 during NAB Show. Smith joined the National Association of Broadcasters in November 2009. Prior to joining NAB, he served as a two-term U.S. senator from Oregon and later as senior advisor in the Washington offices of Covington & Burling, LLP. The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award salutes its namesake and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation. Past recipients include: Ajit Pai, Bill Clark, Eddie Fritts, Cathy Hughes, Mel Karmazin, Jeff Smulyan, Dick Wiley, and others.
WGN, Chicago and Northwestern University Sign Five-Year Broadcast Extension. Chicago news/talk outlet WGN-AM and Northwestern Athletics agree to a five-year broadcast rightsholder extension to keep Wildcats football and men’s basketball on the station through the 2025-26 seasons. Nexstar Media’s WGN Radio has been the home of the Wildcats since 1996. As part of the agreement, Northwestern Athletics head coaches Pat Fitzgerald and Chris Collins will continue to make frequent appearances on the station’s shows. WGN Radio VP and general manager Mary Sandberg Boyle says, “For the past 25 years, WGN Radio has broadcast Northwestern football and men’s basketball and I am thrilled to be extending our partnership for five more years, bringing Chicago’s Big Ten team play-by-play to our Chicago’s Very Own audience. WGN sports director Dave Eanet, who has handled play-by-play duties for Wildcats football since 1990, and basketball since 1996, says, “I’m excited to see our relationship with Northwestern Athletics continue. We’ve had so many great moments: Bowl games, two Big Ten Championship games, the NCAA Tournament, and I know many more thrilling moments are ahead. We look forward to bringing them to WGN Radio listeners for the years to come.”
Afghanistan Withdrawal Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 30 – September 3. The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and criticism of President Joe Biden’s handling of the exit was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was talk about the COVID-19 variants and the vaccines & mask mandates. Coming in at #3 was the greater topic of climate change along with the devastation from Hurricane Ida and the battle to stop the Caldor wildfire in California. 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.
By Walter Sterling
Talk Show Host
Perhaps you are just starting to broadcast from your home. If so, these findings might be useful.
Midwest Television to Sell San Diego TV and Radio Stations to Tegna for $325 Million. Obviously, the bulk of that price tag relates to the value of the television stations KFMB-TV and the sub-channel that carries The CW. But, included in the deal between Midwest Television and Tegna are the two radio stations – news/talk KFMB-AM and triple A KFMB-FM. Tegna is the company that operates the television and local digital media outlets that used to be part of the Gannett brand before the company split, with Gannett continuing to operate the newspaper division. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the $325 million acquisition is a cash deal. It cites a Tegna spokeswoman saying Tegna has no plans to make any changes to the operations of the TV or radio stations. Tegna owns 46 television stations in 36 markets. The San Diego radio stations will be its first radio properties.
KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Anchor Russell Mills Takes Part in Journalists Trip to Pakistan. The program that brought KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa anchor and reporter Russell Mills (pictured) to Pakistan is a cooperative effort between the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord School of Journalism, the U.S. State Department and a Pakistani organization called Uks (the Urdu translation of which is “reflection”). In the first chapter of his reports from Pakistan, Mills says the country has come far in recent years. Back in 2002, the only radio and television outlets were run by the state. Now, there are private media entities and Mills says reporters enjoy “a great deal of latitude in what they cover and how they cover it.” But, he says they also “face the possibility of censorship, from both the military and civil government.” He says the strict blasphemy laws complicate the journalistic process and physical danger is real: 14 journalists were killed in 2014. Read his report here.
Boyd Named to Lead Cumulus Mobile. This is a promotion within Cumulus Media for Don Boyd, who leaves his general sales manager role at the company’s Atlanta station group to move to Mobile to lead the cluster as vice president and market manager. Cumulus Mobile includes: news/talk WQXW, urban contemporary WDLT, CHR WABD, hip hop WBLX, and Gospel WGOK-AM. Cumulus Media EVP Bob Walker comments, “Don Boyd is a seasoned media manager and operator with an established track record in leading high-performing teams that grow station brands and drive revenue. He will be a great addition to the team in Mobile as vice president/market manager of our five-station group.”
FOX News Radio Renews Deal with CMG for Brian Kilmeade Show. The nationally syndicated Brian Kilmeade radio show picks up some additional broadcast hours on three affiliates and is added to the program schedule on another. The new deal between FOX News Radio and Cox Media Group brings the Kilmeade talk show to KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa for the first time. It also extends the airing of the show to 9:00 am to 11:00 am on WDBO-FM, Orlando and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville; and from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton. Kilmeade is one third of the FOX News Channel “Fox & Friends” morning show alongside Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt.
TALKERS News Notes. At news/talk KQTH, Tucson, talk show host James T. Harris exits the station after a six-year run. Harris was a weekend and fill-in host at Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee before relocating to Tucson to host the two-hour midday show in October of 2011. In September of 2012, he moved to the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm afternoon drive daypart. Scripps has not announced its plans for the afternoon show…..NPR reveals its plan for the afternoon “All Things Considered” program with the impending retirement of longtime host Robert Siegel. The public radio content creator is moving national security correspondent Mary Louise Kelly into the co-host role alongside Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro, effective January 17. Kelly McEvers has been co-hosting both “All Things Considered” and producing “Embedded.” She will relinquish the ATC role and continue to focus on “Embedded.”…..There’s been a change of heart at TV One, though it’s hard to tell if Reach Media syndicated radio star Tom Joyner’s call for a boycott of TV One forced programmers to reconsider canceling the Roland Martin-hosted news program, “NewsOne Now.” Regardless, TV One (a subsidiary of Urban One) now says it will not cancel the program and is “working to restructure ‘NewsOne Now’ in 2018 under a new format that will better serve its audience and advertisers.”…..iHeartMedia begins broadcasting the signal from all-news WBZ-AM, Boston on the HD-2 channel of sister CHR WXKS-FM at 107.9 FM.
ESPN’s John Skipper Resigns to Seek Addiction Treatment. The report that ESPN president John Skipper is resigning his position with the sports media giant to seek addiction treatment shocked the media world. After all, Skipper had just signed a new multi-year contract and there were no indications (at least none reported) that something like this was an issue. Executive chairman John Bodenheimer will slide back into the president role for the interim while the company seeks a new president.
GOP Tax Reform Plan, Soaring Dow, Washington Train Disaster, Obama-Hezbollah Drug Trafficking Allegation, Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Relations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, The Last Jedi, and Sunday’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/18). The politics of the GOP tax reform plan and reports of the public’s mood on the matter; the Dow rises 5,000 points in Donald Trump’s first year in office; the deadly Amtrak train crash in Washington state; the allegation an Obama Administration policy left the door open to Hezbollah-sponsored U.S. drug trafficking; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and China over the Trump Administration’s national security policy; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Windy City radio pro Dave Fogel joins Kim Berk to co-host the AM drive show on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM. Fogel was most recently co-host of the morning show on crosstown adult hits WJMK, but Entercom quickly flipped the station to hip hop after acquiring it in the CBS RADIO merger. Fogel had been heard on WLS-FM in the past – from 2010 through 2013 in morning drive. With Fogel’s arrival, local weather personality Brant Miller leaves the co-host role and will anchor the weather on Cumulus’ WLS-FM and news/talk WLS-AM…..After last week’s shuffle of rock station frequencies in the Denver Region, iHeartMedia announces the flip to country for KWYW, Denver – now branded as “106.7 The Bull.” The station launches 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row and will be an affiliate for Premiere Networks’ Bobby Bones morning drive show…..Urban radio pros Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins are being reunited at Radio One’s urban contemporary simulcast WMMJ, Washington/WDCJ, Prince Frederick, Maryland “MAJIC 102.3 and 92.7 FM.” Effective January 16, the afternoon show becomes “The Donnie Simpson Show” featuring Simpson and Perkins. The duo worked together on Radio One’s hip hop WKYS-FM from 1985 to 1992. For the past 20 years, Perkins has been serving with WTTG-TV “FOX 5 Washington.” Radio One DC VP and general manager Jeffrey Wilson comments, “We are honored to deliver ‘The Real Sound of the DMV’ and that’s not better defined than the historic pairing of Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins. So, for the great people of this region we made it happen. Donnie and Tony are back together for the New Year. And with that new partnership, comes new opportunities to serve our communities with Donnie, Tony, and our friends at ‘FOX 5’ in the months and years to come.” Perkins will remain with “FOX 5,” hosting Friday and Saturday mornings, beginning January 19…..Cumulus Media names programming pro Roger McCoy program director and afternoon drive host for country WLXX-FM, Lexington, Kentucky “NASH FM 92.9.” McCoy has been with the company’s country WESC, Greenville, South Carolina as evening personality…..Rock radio programmer Russ Mottla is the new program director at NRG Media’s rock KFMW, Waterloo/Cedar Falls/Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Mottla has served as vice president of programming at Envisage Radio Group. He’s also held programming positions at such rock outlets as WGIR, Manchester, New Hampshire; WIYY, Baltimore; and WFNX, Boston.
Bob & Sheri Welcome Troops Home. The nationally syndicated Bob & Sheri show helped welcome the troops coming home through the Charlotte airports as part of USO’s annual Operation Exodus. Bob & Sheri helped provide “big smiles, words of gratitude and breakfast to 3,900-plus men and women returning from deployment and heading home to family and friends. Many of the troops traveling for Operation Exodus are fresh out of basic training and returning home for their first visit since enlisting. Pictured above are Bob (far left) and Sheri (far right) with service members.