Monday Memo: ‘Better Be Nice to the Boomers.’ Remember 25-54? In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke says, “Forget it!” He shares fresh research on “radio’s real money demographic,” and a video full of specific leads for sales. Read it here.
Presidential Race/Trump Rally, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Western Wildfires, TikTok Deal, Compton Cop Attack, Federal Deficit, U.S.-China Relations, ‘Cuties’ Controversy, NFL Season Opens, and Tropical Storm Sally Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November presidential election and the indoor Donald Trump rally held in Nevada; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., projections for future cases, and the race for a vaccine; the wildfires burning out of control in California, Oregon, and Washington; the bid for the U.S. arm of TikTok is won by Oracle; two police officers fight for their lives after being ambushed in Compton; the federal budget deficit hits $3 trillion; U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to resign post amidst diplomatic tensions; Republican senators ask DOJ to investigate Netflix’ “Cuties” film for sexualizing young girls; the NFL season opens with no fans in most stadiums, and Tropical Storm Sally aims for the Gulf Coast among top news/talk stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Pending Business: What’s a Beat Book? Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes today about the “Beat Book” – a journal of sales data and notes to help you beat your previous best. Read about it here.
Bill O’Reilly to Host Nightly One-Hour Show on WABC, New York. Beginning this evening (9/14), talk media superstar Bill O’Reilly will host a nightly talk program on Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The program is called “Common Sense with Bill O’Reilly.” This show is in addition to O’Reilly’s daily feature – the Key Networks syndicated “The O’Reilly Update” that is heard at 7:25 am and 11:54 am daily on WABC – as well as his weekly, Thursday morning appearance on the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program.
KPCC Radio Reporter Arrested After Compton Police Ambush. Radio reporter Josie Huang was arrested on Saturday night by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies outside of St. Francis Medical Center where two officers ambushed in Compton were being treated. The Los Angeles Times reports that the KPCC Radio and LAist reporter was tackled to the ground and handcuffed after approaching a police line where protesters had gathered. Authorities say Huang did not identify herself as press and did not have proper credentials as she approached officers attempting to arrest a disorderly protester. Huang, who appeared to be wearing her press credentials on a lanyard around her neck, says she’ll speak about the incident later.
ESPN Radio Unveils Fall Weekend Lineup. The fall weekend lineup for ESPN Radio is official and most of the new programs have launched. Premiering yesterday (9/13) was the new Sunday “Primetime” team of Field Yates and Alyssa Lang (5:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET) while Saturday’s edition hosted by Emmett Golden will debut later this month. Each day culminates with “GameNight on ESPN Radio” (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight). The new Sunday team of Tyler Fulghum, Monica McNutt and Ashley Brewer will make their debut September 20. Saturday’s edition, featuring the team of Jeff Dickerson and RJ Young, began last month. “GameDay” – the start of ESPN Radio’s afternoon lineup this fall – made its season debut last month as well, led by Matt Jones, Myron Medcalf and Joe Fortenbaugh on Saturdays and ESPN Radio’s first-ever married hosting duo of Jordan Cornette and Shae Peppler Cornette on Sundays.
TALKERS News Notes. Auto manufacturer General Motors and SiriusXM announce an extension of their long-term agreement through 2027. As part of the new agreement, GM will increase vehicles equipped with SiriusXM to nearly all Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles beginning with model year 2021. SiriusXM EVP, sales and automotive Steve Cook comments, “General Motors was the first automaker to begin factory-installing SiriusXM on select Cadillac models in 2002, and we are very proud to be extending and expanding that longstanding relationship into 2027. GM, forever a leader in delivering innovative technology to their customers, has produced tens of millions of vehicles with SiriusXM installed over the course of nearly 20 years and will deliver SiriusXM to more of their customers than ever as part of this new agreement.”…..The portfolio of podcasts produced by AdLarge’s cabana will be ranked in Triton Digital’s Podcast Metrics Reports when data is released for the August 3-30 reporting period. AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas says, “Triton Digital’s Podcast Metrics Report is highly regarded by the advertising community for independent measurement and comparative data on podcast networks and titles. We are confident that our debut will affirm the strength of the cabana podcast portfolio and its value to advertisers.”…..Sports Garten Network’s flagship program “Wanna Bet?! Weekend Edition” – hosted by Tom Barton – is being syndicated nationally as part of a deal with United Stations Radio Networks and Gow Media’s SportsMap Radio Network. The program airs live from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET on Sundays…..Andi McDaniel will not be assuming the president and CEO role at Chicago Public Media after all. McDaniel, who was hired for the position in May and was to start at the end of this month, came under fire for her role in the handling of complaints of sexual misconduct against a reporter who worked under her while she was chief content officer at WAMU in Washington. McDaniel posted a letter announcing her decision to her Facebook page and in it she says that while she accepts responsibility for what happened on her watch, she denies keeping any staffer on who had endangered fellow staffers – a reference to allegations pertaining to former WAMU reporter Martin Di Caro. Chicago Public Media, operator of WBEZ-FM, Chicacgo, will continue its search for a new president and CEO.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. WKSC-FM “Kiss 103.5” morning personality Angi Taylor will leave the CHR outlet and become the solo host of the morning show on iHeartMedia’s new rock station WCHI “Rock 95 Five.” Taylor is currently hosting the “Kiss” morning show with Christopher “Fred” Frederick. Taylor says, “I’ve been working 22 years for the moment that I could host my very own morning show. I can’t express how much it means to me that my dream is coming true on Chicago’s ‘Rock 95 Five!’ Thank you, iHeartMedia, 103.5 Kiss FM, and all the listeners for letting me into your lives every day.”…..Alpha Media promotes Amanda “ICE” Habrowski content director for CHR KBFF-FM, Portland “Live 95.5” KBFF-FM in Portland, Oregon. She says, “I am beyond thrilled to be named content director of ‘Live 95.5.’ I’ve believed in this station and vision since moving to Portland six years ago and can’t wait to continue to grow our brand and make waves in the Rose City. I am proud and honored to be an example for women in this industry that if you put your mind to it, you can do it all. Thanks to Phil Becker for everything. And all of you who believe in me and helped coach me to be the best I can be, here’s to another 16 years, radio!”…..WTPT, Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina morning hosts “The Rise Guys” have launched two new Rise Guys craft beers in partnership with Thomas Creek Brewery. Mattman’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Rooster Red Ale and Fat Boy’s Prowlin’ Growlin’ Golden Ale will join the Rise Guys P1 Pilsner as part of the collection, which was launched in July 2018. The new beers are inspired by the relevant and irreverent rocking personalities on “93.3 Planet Rocks.” Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “With question marks surrounding college football season, we decided to create our own rivalry in the form of two new, easy-to-drink ales. Matching their namesake’s unique style and taste, these beers will go head-to-head, and we look forward to our audience responsibly enjoying these new varieties on gameday.”
DGital Media Changes Name to Cadence13; New Executives Named. Just a couple of weeks after the announcement that Entercom is investing in a strategic partnership with on-demand digital platform DGital Media, comes news that DGital is changing its name to Cadence13. The company also announces new programming and sales leadership team members. Joining Cadence13 are: Bill Schultz as EVP of content development; Serena Kodila-Regan as SVP of programming; Rich Boerner as SVP of programming and operations; Chris Colbert as VP of programming; Richard Cooke as VP of programming; and Dave Easton as VP of audience and business development. Cadence13 says these execs are leading the development of premium-quality audio content and audio documentaries – a new category for the company – at the company’s flagship studios in New York City, at the new studios in Los Angeles, and through access to studios across the country. Also joining the company is Nick Freeman as EVP of brand partnerships. He’ll be responsible for building and leading the brand integration and sponsorship team that will work alongside and with the company’s sales team to generate additional revenue streams for the company and its partners. Cadence13 CEO Spencer Brown says, “Our new brand identity, Cadence13, reflects our focus on the unique character of our company and our commitment to ensuring that we take a creative approach to making each show successful.”
ESPN Radio’s Ryen Russillo Arrested in Wyoming. The charge against ESPN Radio personality Ryen Russillo is misdemeanor criminal entry. According to Sports Illustrated’s coverage, Russillo – who is away from his radio show and apparently on vacation – was reported to police by the owners of a condominium in Jackson, Wyoming when they found him lying on a bed in the middle of the night, naked with his pants around his ankles. The report alleges Russillo was intoxicated and refused to leave the condo. SI reports that ESPN said it is looking into the allegations. Here’s the SI story.
New Scripps CEO Announces Executive Changes. President and CEO Adam Symson, who assumed those roles at E.W. Scripps two weeks ago, announces new titles and positions for a number of company executives. Brian Lawlor rises from SVP, broadcast to president, local media. Laura Tomlin – previously VP, digital operations – is now SVP, national media. SVP, chief administrative officer Lisa Knutson is now EVP, chief strategy officer. And SVP, chief financial officer Tim Wesolowski and SVP, general counsel William Appleton both become executive vice presidents. Steve Wexler – who’d been with Journal Broadcast Group and stayed on as the radio stations transitioned to E.W. Scripps – remains in his post at VP, radio.
TALKERS News Notes. WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” announces new 76ers-related content. The CBS RADIO sports talk station says, “The voices, writers, and outlets that got people through the last four years of ‘The Process’ will take fans through this year’s season with the addition of Derek Bodner as an on-air contributor, a new content partnership with Liberty Ballers, and the new show ‘Rights to Ricky Sanchez Radio’ featuring the hosts of the popular podcast.” Station program director Spike Eskin says, “With the Sixers ready to take the next step on the court, we’re proud that WIP is taking the next step in covering the team. With Jon Marks, Derek Bodner of The Athletic, Liberty Ballers, and ‘Rights To Ricky Sanchez Radio’ as a complement to our air staff, we’re offering Philly fans a new and exciting outlet to engage around one of their favorite teams.”…..This afternoon, KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA 710AM” is broadcasting the #MarKeyRace 40-yard dash official weigh-in from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm during “Afternoons with Marcellus & Kelvin,” hosted by Marcellus Wiley, Kelvin Washington and special guest co-host Michelle Beadle. The broadcast in advance of the #MarKey 40-yard dash taking place at the Los Angeles Coliseum at L.A. Rams Fest on Saturday happens at Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, California. Saturday’s race pits Marcellus Wiley against KSPN morning personality Keyshawn Johnson in the 40-yard dash…..All this week, CBS Sports Radio hosts Bill Reiter and Scott Ferrall are broadcasting live from radio row in Las Vegas prior to the fight between professional boxing world champ Floyd Mayweather and current UFC Lightweight Champion, Conor McGregor. “Reiter Than You” airs from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET and “Ferrall on the Bench” follows from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am…..Sports talk personality Dan Reaves is exiting The Wireless Group’s sports talk WNWS Jackson, Tennessee to join Southern Wabash Communications’ sports talk WNSR-AM/W240CA, Nashville. The Jackson Sun reports that Reaves exits WNWS after 16 years with the station…..AdLarge Media adds “hey, girl.” to its podcast platform cabana. “hey, girl.” was created by author Alex Elle and each 30-minute episode involves Elle sitting down with “inspiring women, from friends to family members and fascinating people in general, who share their journeys of struggle and self-discovery.” …..Gen Media Partners hires sales marketing pro Lauren Boyle to lead the Dallas office as vice president and director of sales. At the same time, Lauren Welch is promoted to account executive. Gen Media CEO Kevin Garrity says, “Transactional avails no longer move our business. A top marketer like Lauren Boyle knows how to integrate radio’s local attributes with the needs of national advertisers to drive revenue for our client stations. I am delighted to welcome her to our team. Lauren Welch has built relationships with some of our agency partners in the Dallas market. She has proven herself to be an asset and possesses all the necessary skills to be successful in an account executive role. I am pleased to reward her talent.”
Trump-McConnell Hostilities, Trump’s Mexican Wall Threat, Trump’s Phoenix Rally, U.S.-North Korea Tensions/Russian Air Force Activity, Powerball Jackpot, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/23). The hostilities between President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump’s relationship with the GOP; President Trump’s threat to shut down the government if his Mexican wall project isn’t funded; the aftermath of Trump’s Tuesday evening Phoenix rally; the military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and the related Russian air force activity in the region; the second-largest Powerball jackpot is won in Massachusetts; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity 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. Florida radio personality Jesse Kage is moving north to join Cumulus Media’s Atlanta rock station WNNX “Rock 100.5” as afternoon drive jock and assistant program director. Kage was most recently afternoon jock on Beasley’s former rock outlet WBRN, Tampa, but he spent more time in the afternoon shift at iHeartMedia’s crosstown WXTB, Tampa “98 Rock.” WNNX program director Greg Ausham says, “This is a huge step for WNNX. We searched for the right replacement for the ‘Rock 100.5’ afternoon show and Jesse showed us the personality and enthusiasm that we needed to keep our momentum going.”…..Alternative KYSR, Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” is added to the program schedule at iHeartMedia’s alternative KTEG, Albuquerque “104.1 The Edge.” Premiere Networks launched the program, featuring Woody, Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas – into national syndication in 2016. Current morning host Baxter transitions to the afternoon drive daypart…..Cumulus Media’s CHR WPRO-FM, Providence “92 PRO-FM” is reporting that it leads the local market’s social media performance in “fans” and “actions per post,” and is a “top performer among radio stations nationwide.” This is according to new data from the social content analytics firm Shareablee. The data indicates that WPRO-FM leads the market in the critical “actions per post” statistic, indicative of the popularity of each individual social post. The station’s 503 “actions per post” eclipsed the entire market, garnering more “actions per post” than the rest of the top 10 media outlets combined. Social media moderator and WPRO-FM morning show producer Jay Buff comments, “The fluid social media strategy of ‘92 PRO-FM’ is both proactive and reactive. Demographics, trends, and algorithms all change, but our commitment to quality and timely content is unwavering. Our curated material gives fans a feeling of community and trust in our brand.”…..SiriusXM is adding the new “Dark Horse Radio” weekly program dedicated to the music of George Harrison to its Beatles Channel. The weekly program, hosted by Nashville recording artist Laura Cantrell, provides insight into Harrison’s musical influences, tastes and the impact he had on other artists.
PPM Analysis: Classic Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of his four-part series looking at the performances of stations based on data from the July 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey. Today, Kinosian reports on the classic rock format. According to recent reports by Nielsen, the “classic” formats – classic rock and classic hits – have generally enjoyed a ratings bounce in the summer months. Kinosian finds that, comparing the 6+ numbers from June to July, “just about half the stations (48%) on our classic rock sample are up between June 2017 – July 2017 (6+) while 39% are down; the remaining 13% of the panel is flat (6+).” Things look better comparing year-over-year shares: “Roughly six of every10 stations on this classic rock panel are up year-to-year (58%), while 38% are down; 4% are flat.” A robust 26 classic rock stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in July, with four ranking #1: Beasley Media Group’s WCSX, Detroit; Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSLX, Phoenix; Entercom’s KSEG, Sacramento; and Cumulus Media’s KCFX, Kansas City. Read the whole report here.
John McCain Latest Politician to Blame Media for Washington Gridlock. Returning from a medical absence in which he learned he has an aggressive form of brain cancer, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain lashed out at media commentators and chastised fellow legislators for kowtowing to them. He concluded his speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday (7/25) saying, “Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the Internet. To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood. Let’s trust each other. Let’s return to regular order.” Talk radio hosts won’t be surprised by McCain’s language. For many conservative talk radio hosts, McCain is seen as too liberal. Even during his presidential runs, he was never a darling of the talk radio circuit. Ironically, McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain is a Fox News Channel personality on the daily “Outnumbered” program.
Hewitt, Hannity and More Broadcast from Hillsdale College’s Washington Studio. A number of high-profile talk show hosts broadcast from Hillsdale College’s Boyle Radio Studio in Washington, DC this week. On Monday, Tuesday and today, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, and Eric Metaxas broadcast their nationally syndicated shows from the facility. The Boyle Radio Studio is located in Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network morning personality Hugh Hewitt (left) speaking with Hillsdale College president Larry P. Arnn (right). Hillsdale’s Boyle Radio Studio is available to radio hosts visiting Washington, DC. It is a state-of-the-art facility and uses all commercial grade, industry standard high-end broadcast equipment. It’s equipped with industry standard Comrex technology which allows visiting hosts to connect reliably back to their ‘home’ studios. Matthew Spalding is the vice president and dean of educational programs for Hillsdale College at the Kirby Center and he says, “The Boyle Radio Studio and all that it does is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College. The studio is available to host broadcasts to visiting radio personalities for no-cost, on an as-available basis.”
WABC’s Curtis Sliwa Arrested Serving Papers to NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio. The photo above is a still from video of WABC, New York talk show host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa being arrested by security at Gracie Mansion. Sliwa also serves as The Reform Party chairman and was attempting to serve Mayor De Blasio legal documents regarding the Working Families Party ballot line. Sliwa – who co-hosts the “Curtis and Eboni Show” midday show on WABC with Eboni K. Williams – will be represented at his court appearance by Williams, who is a licensed attorney. See the video of Sliwa’s arrest at wabcradio.com.
Jim Rome’s 23rd Annual ‘Smack-Off’ Airs Friday. This Friday (7/28), the 23rd annual “Smack Off” will take place on the CBS Sports Radio Network-syndicated Jim Rome show. The contest among callers was designed 23 years ago by host Jim Rome to see which caller can talk the best sports smack. Rome says, “The first Smack Off came about because I wanted a day when only the best callers would be invited to call in to compete with each other to determine who was the best. At that time, I had no idea it would become an annual tradition, let alone one that would last for more than two decades. Every year, the callers get bigger, bolder, and more creative with their ideas, so I can’t wait to find out which caller will become the next legend.” This year’s “Smack Off” will feature 25 contestants competing for a cash prize of $5,000. MMA legend and 2012 “Smack Off” champion Chael Sonnen is hoping to win his second title this year, while Yahoo’s MLB columnist and New York Times bestselling author Jeff Passan will be making his “Smack Off” debut.
Burke Named Director of Digital Sales/Operations at Cumulus DC. This is a newly created position at Cumulus Media and digital marketing pro Dahn Burke joins the company from TEGNA Media where she was digital sales manager. She previously worked in radio in the Washington market as senior digital account executive for CBS RADIO. She’ll apply her skills to the digital platforms of news/talk WMAL-AM/FM and hot AC WRQX-FM and represent the digital marketing solutions in Cumulus Digital C-Suite. Cumulus DC vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “Dahn Burke has a proven track record of developing digital programs that deliver results for clients. Prior to joining Cumulus, Dahn ran a digital team that was the market leader in performance. We are thrilled to have her leading our new Cumulus Digital C-Suite products offering local marketers with the powerful reach, frequency and recall of radio, combined with comprehensive custom digital marketing solutions that effectively engage consumers.”
New ‘Regular Guys’ Show Launches on Atlanta’s ‘The Fan 2.’ Last week TALKERS reported the tease by “Regular Guys” show founder Larry Wachs that he’s putting the Atlanta radio show back together with new cast members. Now, with the Monday launch of the show on Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WFOM-AM/W292EV “The Fan 2,” we know that his show partner is former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield and the staff includes producer Brandon Joseph, and Kaitlyn Henderson. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho has the whole story here.
WGN, Chicago to Leave Tribune Tower Next Summer. The lease at the venerable Tribune Tower for WGN, Chicago – soon likely to be part of the Sinclair Broadcast Group stable – runs out in June of 2018 and station officials have announced that they have signed a deal to move the news/talk station to new offices in a 28-story building across the Chicago River on Wacker Drive. Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the story and reports that the station will join two other Tribune media units in the offices. Yes, WGN will lose that cool street-level studio on Michigan Avenue, but the new owner of the building wanted to lease the valuable space to a retailer, anyway. Read Feder’s story here.
TALKERS News Notes. Houston talk show host Sam Malone (left) is pictured here on Capitol Hill interviewing House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) at Salem Media Group’s “Made in America” day broadcast event. Malone, heard in morning drive on Salem’s KNTH, Houston, was one of 19 personalities to take part in the Washington remote…..California Bears football and basketball will continue to be heard on flagship KGO, San Francisco as Cumulus Media and Learfield’s Cal Bears Sports Properties sign a new deal. Joe Starkey returns as play-by-play announcer for his 43rd season…..Kansas University is looking for a new Kansas City flagship after the school decided it wanted a flagship where it would not get bumped from live coverage by Kansas City Royals games. Entercom’s KCSP, Kansas City “610 Sports Radio” had been the flagship and station VP/GM Dave Alpert said he understands the school’s point of view. “We certainly appreciate their desire to be on a station where they’re not going to be bumped by other sports…I certainly appreciate KU’s desire to have consistency on where their games air.” September and October often saw conflicts between KU football and Royals baseball…..SiriusXM’s “NFL Radio Training Camp Tour” begins tomorrow (7/27). NFL Radio personalities will visit and report from all 32 teams’ summer camps, presenting one-on-one interviews with players, coaches and franchise executives, expert breakdowns of every roster and reports on rookies and veterans.
Suicide by Commercial. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about current talk radio spots he’s hearing that are continuing to make the same creative mistakes that have dogged radio advertisers for decades. Spots with too much information, unmemorable phone numbers, and copy read at the speed of light are just a few of the aural assaults that stick in Al’s craw. Read his entire piece here.
GOP ObamaCare Repeal Strategy, Russian Sanctions, AG Sessions Status, Trump Boy Scouts Speech, Trump Ohio Rally, North Korea Nuclear Program, Scaramucci Firing Threat, Former Dem IT Staffer Arrested, Football Brain Injury Report, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25). Republicans’ attempts to move forward on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act; the House-approved sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea and Russia’s condemnation of the House action; President Trump’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and speculation about Sessions being ousted; the controversy over President Trump’s politics-laden speech at the Boy Scouts Jamboree; Trump’s Youngstown, Ohio rally; reports of North Korea’s progress producing ICBMs capable of hitting the U.S.; new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s threat of mass terminations if leaks to the press don’t stop; a former IT contractor for Democrats and Debbie Wasserman Schultz is arrested trying to illegally leave the country; a preliminary report indicating a majority of brains of football players donated to the research project show evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Renowned Ghostwriter Michael Levin Guests on Harrison Podcast. Many talk media hosts are writing books as an invaluable supplement to their branding. A book with a broadcaster’s name on it helps expand his or her media footprint and can be a viable source of non-traditional revenue. Having a book can also help a host attain speaking engagements – in turn, another source of promotion and revenue. It defines their area of expertise and establishes them as a go-to source in the marketplace of ideas. Never before in history has it been simpler to publish a professional-quality book. The digital age has delivered authors the convenience and economic efficiency of on-demand printing and modern platforms such as Amazon have evened the distribution playing field for independent publishers to compete with the big New York City-based houses. Of course, writing a good book can be challenging in terms of the focus, organization, and time it requires to do it properly. Michael Levin, one of the most established ghostwriters in the nation, joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out” to address the state of independent publishing in 2017. This New York Times best-selling author is a veritable writing machine who has written, co-written or ghostwritten more than 550 books, of which 18 are national bestsellers. He appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2012 and has published with the biggest houses in the business. His works have been optioned for film and TV by some of the industry’s most important studios. Harrison and Levin discuss a variety of aspects about the modern process of book publishing and its relevance to media practitioners. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here. Or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/26) with Dom Giordano, Dr. Daliah Wachs and Scott Lakefield. The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day. Already posted are:
– The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).
– The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).
– The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).
– The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).
– The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).
– The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).
– The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman, Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein. All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.
– A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).
– A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).
– A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).
– The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.” They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess (introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).
– The first three in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; and a conversation between The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).
– TODAY (7/26) we posted the fourth and final of four in the above series of “one-on-one” dialogues “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs (again, facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.
Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year. The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone Networks, Broadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp. To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.
PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth-and-final format analysis of station performances based on 6+ data from the June 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. Today’s focus is hot AC. Kinosian reports that the qualifying sample of hot AC stations indicates “not quite half the stations on this panel (45%) are up May 2017 – June 2017; 38% are down; and the remaining 17% are flat.” Looking at changes from a year ago, “virtually the same number of AC panelists falter year-to-year (49%) as improve (46%), while 5% are flat.” iHeartMedia’s KBIG, Los Angeles “104.3 MYfm”; Connoisseur Media’s WALK, Long Island; and Alpha Media’s WRMF, West Palm Beach ranked #1 in their respective markets in June and another 13 hot AC stations ranked in the top 5. See the whole report here.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Two moves take place at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WWPR, New York “Power 105.1 FM.” First, Eddie Fennel is promoted to assistant program director for the station, moving up from his executive producer position with “The Breakfast Club.” Next, midday personality DJ Prostyle is upped to music director. He will retain his midday show. Both will report to program director Thea Mitchem…..Programming pro Chuck Geiger is named program director for Alaska Broadcast Communications’ five-station Juneau, Alaska cluster that includes news/talk KJNO, country KYKU, hot AC KSUP, adult contemporary KINY, and classic hits KXXJ. He was most recently with Cherry Creek Radio’s Wenatchee, Washington station group.
Bubba the Love Sponge Expands into Orlando; Adds Shannon Burke to Cast. The Tampa-based Bubba the Love Sponge show announces it will be airing in the Orlando market beginning Monday (5/5) on Star Development Group-owned sports talk WRSO-AM/FM, “810 CBS Sports Orlando.” The move into the market will mark the return of Shannon Burke – who recently joined the program – to the Orlando airwaves. Burke previously served at Clear Channel’s WTKS-FM. The Bubba show reports that Star Development Group owner and president Carl Como is coordinating the new morning show launch on Monday along with his newly added FM translator launch that will augment Orlando metro coverage on the FM in addition to his 20k AM signal, which reaches a population area of 2.5 million people. Como states, “I wanted a show that had real punch and would make an impact. I know Orlando radio fans will love hearing Bubba return.” This comes as the program celebrates its recent debut in the Reno, Nevada market on Times-Shamrock’s rock KRZQ. That company’s market manager, John Burkavage, says Bubba and his team produces “one of the best morning shows I have heard in 30 years. Bubba will grow my station fast and that is why we added his show, it’s a show that will go viral very quickly.” Bubba comments, “This is an incredible thing for me and my crew. We are already blowing up the phones in Reno – such a great group of people to work with at KRZQ. The show has never sounded better and we are now top three ranked in almost every market we are in. I am thrilled…We are extremely excited about coming back to a place I consider home. We have a huge fan base there and I have no doubt people will be thrilled to have us back in morning drive in Orlando.”
Erica Farber to Moderate Heavyweight Advertising Panel at Talkers New York 2014. The agenda for the forthcoming 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention is shaping up as being nothing short of spectacular. One of the conference’s highlights is a panel titled “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” which will be moderated by Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) president/CEO Erica Farber. Panelists include (in alphabetical order): Ron Furman, chief revenue officer, WestwoodOne; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Joe Puglise, president/market manager, Clear Channel New York; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “This is going to be a very important, informative and productive session that will discuss key issues brewing at the very heart of not only talk radio – but all of radio as well. These participants – Ron Furman, Kraig Kitchin, Joe Puglise, and Julie Talbott have their fingers on the pulse of every aspect of radio’s sales and marketing condition, encompassing local, national and network perspectives. And there is absolutely no one more qualified to facilitate such a conversation than Erica Farber.” More than 65 industry leaders will be speaking at the conference which according to its directors is about two weeks away from being a sellout. For registration information and an up-to-the minute agenda, please click here.
Mike Calta Show Cast Member Galvin Arrested in Prostitution Sting. The Tampa Bay Tribune reports that Gregory James Galvin – known to WHTP, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” listeners as simply Galvin – was arrested on a charge of unlawful acts as a precursor to prostitution during a sting on Tuesday (4/29). Galvin is part of the Mike Calta afternoon drive show (formerly the Cowhead show). According to the paper, the sting operation had been put in place after residents complained about prostitution in the area. Galvin allegedly approached the undercover officer and while attempting to negotiate a deal, asked the officer to show her breasts to prove she was not a police officer. When she refused he attempted to leave but was cornered by police. The station has made no comment about the incident.
Hybrid Urban Music and Talk to Air on WTMP, Tampa. According to a story in the Tampa Tribune, WestCoastMedia is announcing it is buying WTMP and will flip the station back to the urban music and talk hybrid format that aired on the signal for 57 years prior to the Spanish and tropical formats that have aired for the past three years. WestCoastMedia is buying the station from Davidson Media Group. Station manager Lawrence Hines tells the paper, “We’ve been gone for way too long. This community needs its voice back, and AM 1150 WTMP is that voice.” Programming will consist of primarily Reach Media-syndicated shows including Tom Joyner in AM drive, Rev. Al Sharpton and D.L. Hughley in afternoons, James Fortune in evenings, and station veteran Larry Steele hosting a midday show. Music will consist of “old-school R&B, soul, funk and jazz.”
Fisher House Offers Memorial Day Special. The program is designed for news/talk stations and is called, “Our Greatest National Treasure.” The Fisher House Foundation says the special, three-hour, highly produced program “shares powerful, inspiring stories of service and sacrifice.” As regular TALKERS readers know, the Fisher House Foundation provides no-cost housing and other support for the families of wounded warriors while their loved ones receive treatment at military and VA hospitals. The special program is hosted by KIRO-FM, Seattle personality Dave Ross and features compelling stories from the front lines and the home front including: Lorie Southerland of Sanford, North Carolina whose 20-year-old son died in the Iraq war, telling about her transition to being a Gold Star Mom and now manager of a Fisher House, helping other military families; One of five surviving quadruple amputees from the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, Travis Mills of Frisco, Texas, discusses the role Fisher House played in his recovery; and reporter Kim Dozier, critically wounded while on assignment in Baghdad, says knowing that Fisher House was taking care of her family eased her treatment. The show is produced by Marshall Adams and distributed by Premiere Networks. For more information and to sign up for “Our Greatest National Treasure,” contact Kurt Kretzschmar at Premiere Networks.
Odds & Sods. At Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOH, Reno, Jim Fannin is promoted from news reporter to news director. At the same time, the station welcomes new anchor/reporter Daniela Sonnino from her most recent post as news director at country KLAD-FM, Klamath Falls, Oregon. She’ll anchor news on “Reno’s Morning News With Ross And Monica.”…..Paul Goldsmith leaves his position at Salem Communications-owned WIND, Chicago where he was director of promotions and marketing to join CURE International as VP for marketing…..All-news KNX, Los Angeles is honored with two 2013 APTRA Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism from the Associated Press Television-Radio Association. The station won for Best News Broadcast: KNX Morning News, and Station Spot News for its coverage of the LAX Shooting. APTRA board president John Shaffer comments, “The APTRA Awards represent the highest standards of broadcast journalism in the western 13 state region we represent. This year the awards were more competitive than they have been in the past thanks to an increase in the numbers of entries, both on the individual and station level.”…..SiriusXM is offering comprehensive coverage of the Kentucky Derby, the first jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, from Churchill Downs, this Saturday, May 3. Listeners will hear Horse Racing Radio Network’s live race call of the 140th “Run for the Roses” starting at 5:00 pm ET…..ESPN Radio is broadcasting live all 64 games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, from the Brazil vs. Croatia opener on June 12 through the Final on July 13. This will be ESPN Radio’s second FIFA World Cup, having also done all 64 games in 2010 from South Africa.
Anderson, Giles to Host Gracie Awards Luncheon. When the Gracie Awards are handed out in New York next month, iHeartradio‘s Moll Anderson (“The Moll Anderson Show”) and CBS News contributor Nancy Giles will host the 39th annual awards luncheon. The Gracie Awards were established in 1975 and are presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. This occasion will honor accomplishments of women in media and entertainment at the local, public, online and student levels. AWMF chair Kay Olin observes that the luncheon is “a wonderful chance to recognize the amazing accomplishments of women in so many forms of media. Moll Anderson and Nancy Giles represent a diverse range of media and reflect the Gracies’ strong commitment to recognizing accomplishments of all markets of talent.” Anderson comments, “It’s an honor to be included among so many amazing and accomplished women, those who have blazed new trails and shown the way for others in media and entertainment. According to Giles, “The Gracies are my favorite events of the year. They are such a wonderful way to honor the unique work that women are doing in an array of media.” National winners will be honored later this month (5/20) in Los Angeles (Beverly Hills). The Gracies recognize exemplary programming created for women, by women and about women in all facets of electronic media, as well as individuals who have contributed to the industry.
Talkin’ Sports and More with Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath. Sports talk host Jay Mohr recently welcomed Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath into the Fox Sports Radio studios to talk about numerous subjects including Sugar Ray’s upcoming “Under the Sun” tour and returning to the process of making new music, NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to fine and ban Donald Sterling from the NBA in response to allegations of racism, as well as predictions of who the next Clippers owner will be.
Weak Economic Growth Report, Donald Sterling-Clippers Controversy, Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, 2016 Presidential Race, Mayor Rob Ford Admits Problem, Lethal Drug Execution Policy, and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30). Criticism of the Obama Administration’s economic policy after a weak economic growth report; the continuing controversy surrounding LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s taped racist rant; Vladimir Putin’s military aggression in Ukraine; speculation over candidates for president in 2016; Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s admission he has a problem and is seeking treatment; the debate over the effectiveness and ethicality of current lethal drug cocktails used in executions; and the Dow’s record high were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Matt Ray New Anchor of ‘America’s Morning News.’ The Talk Radio Network-produced “America’s Morning News” program has a new permanent host in Matt Ray. Ray — a 12-year broadcast veteran whose stints include KXL, Portland; KGO and KSFO, San Francisco – takes over as anchor of the program heard in more than 140 markets immediately. Ray states, “It is an exciting opportunity to work with the team at ‘America’s Morning News.’ Our focus continues to be journalism without agenda – the key ingredient to the success of ‘America’s Morning News’: compelling, breaking news and interviews delivered in a fast-paced environment.” TRN CEO Mark Masters adds, “Matt was a natural fit and he tested overwhelmingly positive. His credentials are impressive and we think Matt will take the morning news to new levels of success in the years to come. We are thrilled to see Matt on board at AMN.”
Former ’92.5 Fox News’ Fort Myers Morning Host – Now Congressman – Trey Radel Arrested on Cocaine Charges. Congressman Trey Radel won his first political race last November taking Florida’s 19th Congressional District seat as a Republican after Rep. Connie Mack chose to give up the seat and run for the U.S. Senate. But Radel’s experience has been in broadcasting. He was an anchor on WINK-TV and had made the move to radio as morning host on Meridian Broadcasting’s news/talk “92.5 Fox News” in the Fort Myers market (a trimulcast of WFSX-AM/FM and WNOG-AM). He left that gig to run for office. Radel was busted as part of a sting after allegedly purchasing cocaine in Washington’s Dupont Circle. Radel issued the following statement: “I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions. However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side: It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.”
Glenn Beck Promotes New Book on NBC’s ‘Today.’ Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk host – and founder of the digital destination TheBlaze — Glenn Beck, sat down with NBC’s Kathie Lee Gifford on the “Today” show to talk about his new book, Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America (Threshold Editions 2013). In the photo here, Beck is seen being interviewed by Gifford in his Dallas, Texas studios where programming for TheBlaze is produced. During the interview, Beck talked about the desire to provide more detail and color in fleshing out historical characters and events being the impetus for writing this book.
Talk Radio and Social Media Push Local Commercial into the Limelight. WGOW, Chattanooga afternoon drive talk host Brian Joyce tells TALKERS magazine how the power of talk radio and social media helped create a sensation out of a local TV commercial. He says, “Around 2:00 am last Friday morning, I saw a commercial on local television for a small business called Mike’s Golf Shop. It was so awful, so hilarious, and so awesome that I had to share it with my listeners! So I played the commercial on my show Friday afternoon, then I shared it on Facebook and sent it to a friend of mine who writes for Jimmy Fallon. At the time, the commercial had 27 views on YouTube. By Monday morning, it had 64,000 views. Today, it has 70,000 views. Tosh.O just shared it on their Facebook page, MSNBC and Comedy Central featured in on their websites, and Mike’s Golf Shop is trending on Yahoo!” Joyce says the lesson in this story is that it all started on “Talk Radio 102.3.” What’s more, it’s likely to bring in business. “We met with Mike on Monday morning. He was so excited about what we had done for him that now he wants to advertise with us regularly. The power of talk radio and social media is alive and well, and stronger than ever!” You can see the commercial here.
Kevin Matthews to Take On Voice and Imaging Role at WGN.FM. Chicago radio legend Kevin Matthews’ voice is returning to a Chicago-based audio platform after years of full-time work in his resident city of Grand Rapids. According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the radio pro that rose to prominence on rocker WLUP-FM “The Loop” will be the imaging voice of Tribune’s online audio platform WGN.FM, currently host to Jonathon Brandmeier’s program and other shows. Matthews, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008, returned to his hometown of Grand Rapids in 2005 and was a personality at Cumulus Media classic rock WLAV for several years. He’s been out of terrestrial radio for a while but has been contributing to Steve Dahl’s podcast efforts. Matthews will continue to work from his home studio in Grand Rapids.
WestwoodOne to Rank Best Audio Super Bowl Ads. WestwoodOne – the radio home of Super Bowl XLVIII – is preparing to launch its Super Bowl Audio Index, the first-ever consumer-driven index ranking the most creative audio commercials aired during the Super Bowl. The company says that the index will be comprised of all commercials aired on the 700-plus radio stations that broadcast its exclusive, play-by-play coverage of the game. Each of the commercials will be available for consumer voting through WestwoodOne.com on February 2, 2014. Two awards will be announced across WestwoodOne’s on-air and online broadcast network. The first will be Listener’s Choice, selected by consumers through an online voting process that can also be leveraged by marketers through social media, and activated through SoundHound, to create even more engaging experiences for listeners. The second will be Media Choice, selected by an advisory council comprised of leading advertising, media and creative executives across multiple consumer categories. WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine states, “For brands wanting to engage a captive audience with the largest reach, there is no comparison to the Super Bowl. We created the Index as a new way for all brands to leverage the power of sound and capitalize on this massive advertising moment. The index enables marketers to engage more intimately with 26 million-plus listeners, expanding their campaigns and maximizing their marketing dollars.”
Odds & Sods. SiriusXM superstar Howard Stern announces he will return for another season of “America’s Got Talent.” Stern told listeners to his radio show on Tuesday that although he’d like more personal time, “that big black hole inside of me that demands attention” won and he’ll return for his third season judging on the show…..Main Street Radio Network president Jane Silk will debut her own weekly radio show this Saturday, November 23. Silk, who has provided commentary for her company’s Alan Nathan show, will host the one-hour show which airs live from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm ET…..Chicago radio personalities Steve King and Johnnie Putman – longtime overnight hosts on Tribune’s WGN – are returning to the station for fill-in work. Chicago media writer Robert Feder tips us that the husband-and-wife duo will sub for morning drive host Steve Cochran during Christmas week. King and Putman retired from the station in December of 2011…..AARP has renewed its radio representation agreement with Media Management Group for 2014. MMG continues to be responsible for ad sales, distribution and business development for the Baby Boomer-targeted feature programming. AARP’s radio content can be heard on hundreds of stations across the country.
AdLarge Media and PromoSuite Enter National Advertising Sales Rep Agreement. The exclusive pact covers inventory already measured in Nielsen Audio’s RADAR service and moving into AdLarge’s Return On Investment (ROI) Network. AdLarge co-founder/chief executive officer Gary Schonfeld comments that the partnership “gives our national advertisers access to an enormous amount of inventory, and intensifies our already strong coverage in major markets.” AdLarge co-founder/president Cathy Csukas adds, “Our objective when we created the ROI Network was to offer clients a wide-reaching, RADAR-measured network with solid top-market coverage and a non-controversial format environment. With the inclusion of PromoSuite‘s vast array of music-formatted radio station inventory, we are proud to have surpassed that goal.” Meanwhile, PromoSuite chief executive officer Rocco Macri remarks, “It is inevitable that our two companies struck up a partnership. You have two independent, forward-thinking companies that are agile enough to make quick decisions, yet big enough to have an impact. Together, we will continue to build and maintain relationships within the radio and advertising communities.” Customized advertising sales rep AdLarge was founded in 2010; PromoSuite services more than 1,500 radio stations and is included in all top 50 markets.
Mixing in Pop Culture. Fox Sports Radio Network host Jay Mohr (right) poses for a photo with Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman (left) in the FSR studios. Gorman was in town to talk about his new tour with the Black Crowes, his new band Trigger Hippy as well as chat about sports. The two discussed the controversial end to the Monday Night Football game between the Patriots and Panthers and Gorman also participated in the first-ever Jay Mohr Sports Front Man Draft. As part of the segment, the crew drafted a team of various band front men, including Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury and the Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson.
Putting on the Greasepaint. Pictured here are TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (right) and his wife Bernadette Duncan Harrison (left) with TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (center) in costume for his role as Beadle Bamford in the Monson, Massachusetts-based Greene Room Productions presentation of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
ObamaCare Criticism, JFK Assassination Anniversary, Iran Nukes Talks, Sinking Obama Approval Numbers, Toronto Mayor Case and Midwest Tornadoes Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/19). Scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the state of the government’s health care sign-up website; the coming anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy; the potential talks with Iran about its nuclear policy and the debate in Washington over increasing economic sanctions against the Islamic state; the sinking approval ratings for President Obama; the bizarre case of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford; and the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes that swept across the Midwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio.