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Friday, May 7, 2021

| May 7, 2021

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “The Knock on the Door,” looks back at this past week of May 3-7.   The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, talk show host, Compass Media NetworksSteve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston / founder, scamicide.com; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkTodd Starnes, talk show host / owner, KWAM, Memphis; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Brian Koonin, Broadway musician / member, Gunhill Road. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here.

 

iHeartMedia First Quarter 2021 Net Revenue Down 9.5%. The company reports net revenue for the first quarter of 2021 of $707 million, a dip of 9.5% compare to the $781 million reported in the first quarter of 2020. iHeartMedia also reports an operating loss of $76 million compared to 2020’s operating loss of $1.7 billion. The company reports financial data by segment and the positive aspects of the report are its digital and podcast segments which reported revenue of $119 million (up 55%) and $38.4 million (up 141.9%), respectively. Broadcast radio’s revenue was $358.5 million (down 22.3%); networks revenue was $115 million (down 14.5%); and sponsorship and events revenue was $22.4 million (down 23.7%). iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “The first quarter outperformed our expectations on all financial metrics as the company continues its steady recovery from the COVID-19 downturn, which is not just a continuation of the positive trends we’ve seen across the business – we believe it’s a validation of our long-term multiplatform product and revenue strategy and the investments we have made in growth areas like podcasting, ad tech, and the continued expansion of broadcast radio on digital devices. As a company we continue to prioritize identifying new opportunities across the audio, advertising, and data analytics sectors to expand our Total Addressable Market from just the $15 billion of Radio TAM to include the $160 billion of Digital TAM, providing us with new revenue opportunities for meaningful and sustainable growth for all our operating segments.” Company president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler adds, “Our ability to adapt and innovate, as well as our strategic allocation of capital, during the COVID-19 pandemic have set the stage for strong growth in 2021. Our cost management, investments in key areas of growth, and focus on our core-competencies helped us to achieve Adjusted EBITDA of $102 million in the first quarter, and we remain confident that we will be back to 2019 Adjusted EBITDA levels by the end of 2021.”

 

Audacy Net Revenue for First Quarter of 2021 Declines 19%. Reporting its first quarterly financial report after rebranding from Entercom to Audacy, the company says net revenue for Q1 of 2021 was $240.8 million, a decrease of 19% over the same period in 2020. Audacy also reports a net loss of $21.6 million compared to the Q1 2020 net loss of $9.1 million. Breaking the company down by segments: local and national spot revenue was $154.3 million (down 27.5%); digital – including podcasting – revenue was $49.9 million (up 15.9%); and network revenue was $17.6 million (down 19.1%). Audacy president and CEO David Field says, “The year has gotten off to an active start as we successfully completed the rebranding of the company to Audacy, reflecting our transformational progress into a leading, multi-platform audio content and entertainment company with scaled audience reach and a leadership position in virtually every key segment of the dynamic and growing audio market. We are in the midst of a strong, albeit uneven, advertising recovery reflecting the nature of our business mix. First quarter digital revenues grew 17% and national revenues rebounded to prior year levels, but local ad revenues remained behind as many of our customers continue to be impacted by the pandemic. Because the local radio advertiser base is weighted toward later-stage recovery categories including restaurants, concerts and entertainment, movies, travel, and theme parks, we anticipate a strong recovery of local advertising across these businesses during the third and fourth quarters. Our second quarter pacings are up more than 60% over 2020 reflecting massive improvements across all segments of our business from the depressed levels of the prior year. In another strong sign of recovery, our average local customer spending levels are now exceeding their average 2019 spending levels. Total local ad spending is down because of a decline in the number of customers with a significant majority of those inactive accounts concentrated in later-stage recovery business categories. During the quarter, we announced and completed the acquisition of Podcorn, the country’s #1 podcast influencer marketplace hosting over 44,000 podcast creators, substantially bolstering our customer product offerings. We also announced a multi-year agreement with BetMGM making them a preferred sports betting partner of the company. We are emerging from the pandemic as a meaningfully stronger and better positioned company with significantly enhanced growth potential and are excited by the opportunities ahead as we continue to drive innovation and development of new products, content, and capabilities.”

 

Salem Media Group Reports Q1 Revenue Growth of 1.9%. Reporting its financial data for the first quarter of 2021, Salem Media Group, delivers positive numbers as total revenue for the company was $59.4 million, an increase of 1.9% over the same period in 2020. The company reports that total operating expenses decreased 27.9% to $55 million from $76.3 million and operating expenses – excluding gains or losses on the disposition of assets, stock- based compensation expense, changes in the estimated fair value of contingent earn-out consideration, impairments, depreciation expense and amortization expense – decreased 6.2% to $51.4 million from $54.8 million. Salem also reveals operating income of $4.4 million compared to the operating loss of $18 million it posted in the first quarter of 2020. Salem Media Group reports its business segments and says net broadcast revenue was $44 million, a decline of 2.5% compared to the first quarter of 2020; same station net broadcast revenue was $43.9 million, a dip of 1.9%; digital media revenue was $9.6 million, an increase of 5.7%; digital media operating income rose 21.6% to $0.9 million from $0.8 million; and publishing revenue increased 43.4% to $5.7 million from $4.0 million.

‘1010XL’ in Jacksonville Celebrates Alumni Week. Jacksonville sports talk WJXL-AM/FM “1010XL” is taking a look in the rearview mirror next week as it celebrates Alumni Week beginning on Monday (5/10). The Seven Bridges Radio LLC-owned station is bringing back popular hosts of the past, is “re-pairing” hosts who formerly worked together and is taking a journey back through the memories of the station’s first 15 years. Frank Frangie, the station’s afternoon drive host, and Rick Ballou will reunite in afternoon drive for the entire week. The duo handled afternoon drive together for more than seven years beginning in 2009. They also will be joined periodically throughout the week by Jessica Blaylock, a mainstay on the show during much of the time Frangie and Ballou were together. Mike Dempsey, the host of “Jaguars Today,” will be reunited for the entire week with his former co-host, former Jags’ linebacker Tom McManus. Guest during the week include Jeff Lageman, David Garrard, Jason Godbee and Ryan O’halloran. “Helmets and Heels,” the station’s weekly show featuring all-female hosts, will air every night during the week from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Current hosts Lauren Brooks and Donna Murphy, who have been on the show since its inception, will be joined by show regular Taylor Doll as well as former cast members Jessica Blaylock, Blythe Brumleve, Amanda Borges and others. “The Drill,” the station’s morning show, will have interview segments with former co-hosts Jordan DeArmon, Mackenzie Thirkill, as well as Tony Boselli and some surprise guests. Hays Carlyon, currently an afternoon drive co-host, will sit in on “XL Prime Time” with Joe Cowart, Matt Hayes, and Leon Searcy. “XL Prime Time” guests include Chad Scott, Terry Norvelle, Scott Manze and more. While Frangie and Ballou will have segments with Joe Block, Pat Dooley, Amanda Borges, former program director Jason Dixon, and others.

RTDNA Presents Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. The RTDNA announces the regional winners of the 2021 Edward R. Murrow Awards and bestows more than 750 awards in recognizing more than 350 local radio and television stations. RTDNA chair Andrea Stahlman says, “The regional RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award recipients we announce today produced extraordinary journalism that brought clarity and context to 2020’s biggest news stories. The winning work demonstrates dedication, determination, and a commitment to the highest ethical standards enshrined in RTDNA’s Code of Ethics.” In a new category for 2021, more than 40 news outlets earned regional Murrow Awards for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, including examples of bilingual reporting, contextual coverage of inequality and discrimination, and newsroom-convened community discussions. RTDNA executive director and COO Dan Shelley comments, “Local journalists across the country guided Americans through a pandemic, ongoing racial reckoning and a fraught election cycle, despite facing unprecedented operational challenges and an astonishing number of physical attacks during 2020. The persistence of the regional Murrow Award winners we recognize today is a testament to these journalists’ commitment to their First Amendment duty.” See the complete list of winners here.

Edison Research Releases ‘Moms and Media 2021’ Study Results. The results of Edison Research’s “Moms and Media 2021” study have been released and the company says some of the highlights include that 46% of U.S. moms own a smart speaker, up from 33% last year. Sixty-three percent of U.S. moms now use voice-operated personal assistants of any kind, including smart speakers, smart phones, tablets, computers, and other devices. Of those moms who own a smart speaker, they own an average of 2.7 of the devices. Edison Research vice president Melissa DeCesare says, “The past year during COVID has been about adjustment, especially for moms. The pandemic uprooted everything we knew and were familiar with and it forced a new at-home lifestyle for the entire family. Moms are tasked with keeping it all on track and they do it with help from modern technology. Our 2021 report shows that moms have not only maintained their commitment to devices and mobile tendencies, but they’ve actually adjusted their habits to better suit their needs during the pandemic.” Other noteworthy data include: More moms are consuming online audio with 82% of U.S. moms being monthly online audio listeners compared with 76% in 2020, and 76% of U.S. moms being weekly online audio listeners compared with 70% in 2020; and more moms are listening to podcasts with 64% of U.S. moms having ever listened to a podcast (up from 57% in 2020) – 40% having listened in the last month and 28% having listened in the last week. See more about the study here.

TALKERS News Notes. After nearly three years of hosting and producing “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone” on WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer,” Smaldone says she’s ending the radio edition of the food and theatre-themed program but will continue the show as a podcast this fall when Broadway reopens. Smaldone recently began a new position as executive vice president and producer at multiplatform content company Audio Drama Initiative…..PodcastOne announces a multi-year first look deal with Picture Perfect Federation, the joint venture between Picture Perfect Entertainment and Federation Entertainment led by Patrick Wachsberger, for the development of scripted serial podcast content. Under the development deal, Wachsberger and his team will introduce scripted content across multiple genres with an eye to package the resulting audio IP for television, film, and streaming platforms. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “Patrick and his team are true professionals with unparalleled success in the movie, television and scripted world. The partnership with PodcastOne will complement their expertise with over 10 years of experience in the audio space developing weekly interview styles and successful scripted programming. Together, we are going to supercharge our story telling and fan development capabilities to create a slate of programs that will be exciting for audiences, advertisers and production houses looking to be involved with our amazing IP.”…..Advertising mogul and veteran TV personality, Donny Deutsch is teaming up with Kast Media to launch his first-ever podcast titled, “On Brand with Donny Deutsch,” on May 13. Deutsch has hosted television shows such as CNBC’s long running series, “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” and MSNBC’s “Saturday Night Politics.”…..Alpha Media Canton announces that news/talk WHBC-AM is the new home of “Tangled Up In Blues with Cornel Bogdan.” Bogdan’s show first aired in September 2000 in Youngstown. He says, “When I started ‘Tangled Up In Blues’ over 20 years ago, I had no idea it would be so greatly accepted. It’s very humbling. My listeners are passionate about this music like no other. WHBC is a cornerstone in Canton. I wanted to be part of that heritage. ‘Tangled Up In Blues’ on WHBC is really good mojo!”…..“The Motley Fool” radio show host Chris Hill is the narrator of the audio book edition of Morgan Housel’s The Psychology of Money (2021 Harriman House) that is enjoying having just hit the milestone of 100,000 audiobook sales.

COVID-19 Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 3-7. The COVID-19-related issues including vaccines, variants, politics, the soaring death toll in India, and statistics combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Facebook’s Oversight Board keeping Donald Trump’s page suspended and the broader issue of censorship, followed by party politics and Liz Cheney’s battle for her status in the GOP at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Promotions Positions Open at Audacy. There are two positions open on the Promotions + Experiences team at Audacy. The company says it is “looking to add two talented, versatile promotions pros to our central Promotions + Experiences team. These individuals will focus on promotional partnerships with concert partners, activating select live performance venues, and play a vital role in live events across the company’s portfolio of brands.” You can learn more and to apply for the Promotion Director, Concerts & Experiences position here and do the same for the Promotion Manager, Concerts & Experiences position here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

| May 4, 2021

Beasley 2021 Q1 Net Revenue $48.2 Million; Operating Loss Shrinks. First quarter financial data from Beasley Broadcast Group – parent of Beasley Media Group – reveals a decline in net revenue of 17.8%, from $57.7 million in Q1 2020 to $48.2 million in Q1 2021. While station operating income was down, $5.2 million compared to $6.7 million in Q1 2020, Beasley greatly reduced its operating loss from $7.1 million in the first quarter of 2020 to $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2021. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Beasley reported 2021 first quarter financial results consistent with the expectations we outlined when we reported the 2020 fourth quarter, as our strong revenue growth in the first two months of the comparable 2020 period, prior to the onset of the pandemic, created a difficult year-over-year comparison. Though we continued to experience challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic during the first quarter, I am pleased to report that we began to see a strong recovery. As a result, we expect Beasley to return to top-line revenue growth beginning in the second quarter of 2021. During the first quarter, we continued to advance our digital transformation and revenue diversification initiatives across the company. In this regard, Beasley generated digital revenue growth of approximately 10% on a year-over-year basis, with digital accounting for approximately 12% of total first quarter revenue, compared to 9.3% of total revenue in the prior year period. Consumer demand for digital audio content remains strong and with our ongoing emphasis on digital innovation, Beasley continues attracting new business by successfully targeting the sale of non-radio products to non-radio advertisers. With the continued strong growth of our digital business, Beasley will report digital revenue as a separate segment going forward. We believe this milestone represents an important inflection point in the ongoing evolution of our operating model and clearly highlights the value of our revenue diversification strategies.”

Bill O’Reilly’s New Book, Killing the Mob, Published. The latest book from broadcast journalist and talk host Bill O’Reilly (with co-author Martin Dugard) is out as KILLING THE MOB: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America (2021, St. Martin’s) hits booksellers today (5/4). The promo for the book says: “O’Reilly traces the brutal history of 20th century organized crime in the United States, and expertly plumbs the history of this nation’s most notorious serial robbers, conmen, and especially, mob family bosses. Covering the period from the 1930s to the 1980s, O’Reilly traces the prohibition-busting bank robbers of the Depression Era, such as Bonnie & Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby-Face Nelson. In addition, the authors highlight the creation of the Mafia Commission, the power struggles within the ‘Five Families,’ and the battles to control Cuba, Las Vegas and Hollywood, as well as the personal war between the U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and legendary Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.” Bill O’Reilly currently hosts the Key Networks nationally syndicated radio programs “The O’Reilly Update” and “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition.”

Townsquare Media Ups Jeff Luckoff to Market President for Michigan. Rising from his Grand Rapids market president role to regional market president and chief revenue officer for Michigan is Jeff Luckoff. In this role, he’ll oversee Townsquare Media’s Michigan local media clusters and will report to SVP Todd Lawley. Lawley says, “In a very short amount of time Jeff has reset the culture, made key hires, and built a foundation that is unlocking the full potential of our market leading online and on-air brands in Grand Rapids. We are now challenging Jeff to unlock the full potential of our statewide footprint which includes Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Flint.” Luckoff comments, “We have incredible talent and local brands throughout the state of Michigan. I am fortunate for the opportunity to utilize Townsquare’s footprint to deepen our impact on the community and further deliver better results for our advertisers. I am honored to be leading such an extraordinary team.”

NAB Opens Nominations for 2021 Marconi Awards. The National Association of Broadcasters is now accepting nominations for the 2021 NAB Marconi Radio Awards and will be accepting submissions until May 31. Established in 1989 and named for inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the prestigious awards recognize overall excellence and performance in radio. Station and on-air personality nominations may be submitted for the 23 awards presented in the following categories: Legendary Station of the Year, Legendary Manager of the Year, Radio Station of the Year by Market Size, Radio Station of the Year by Format, Personality of the Year by Market Size, Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year, and Best Radio Podcast of the Year. Nominations may only be made by NAB members. You can see the rules here. Winners will be recognized during a special event at the Radio Show, held October 13-14, 2021 in Las Vegas, and co-located with NAB Show.

TALKERS News Notes. The American Urban Radio Networks names Ebony McMorris White House news correspondent. She comes to AURN from Reach Media/Urban One where she most recently served as national news correspondent. She comments, “For such a time as this, it is an honor to join the AURN family as their White House correspondent during such a pivotal and monumental point in history. In taking this role I am reminded of Alice Dunnigan, the first African American woman to receive White House credentials, who said, ‘While the role of the Black press is that of objectively reporting the news as it happens, it has another function equally as important – that of fighting oppression.’”…..Audacy’s sports talk KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “93.7 The Fan” announces that former MLB player Neil Walker will join “The Fan Morning Show” with Colin Dunlap and Chris Mack Monday mornings at 9:00 am, beginning May 10…..iHeartMedia and Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg’s Pushkin Industries audio production company unveil a new co-produced iHeartRadio Original Podcast called, “Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi.” The weekly interview program builds on Kendi’s extensive body of antiracist work, challenging listeners to consider what an antiracist society might look like and how individuals and communities can play an active role in building it. Kendi says, “After a year that laid bare the pervasive racial inequity that continues to plague our nation, we must continue the difficult but necessary conversations that will allow us to imagine and erect a truly antiracist society. I look forward to exploring these topics with guests whose work I deeply admire and digging deep with them and with listeners.”…..CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is launching a new podcast called, “Chasing Life,” in which Gupta guides listeners on how to mindfully approach our new normal, while finding a balance between self-care and productivity. He says, “As we’re entering a new – and more hopeful – phase of this pandemic, now seemed like a worthy point in time to start a new podcast with recovery and reflection in mind. While we may never be able to replicate a pre-2020 world, I hope we can all start moving forward and start chasing life again.” The first episode premiers May 11 via CNN’s apps.

Audacy and Genomind Partner for Mental Health Care Content. Mental health awareness has been a focus of Audacy’s public service efforts for several years and now the company announces a partnership with Genomind to help “bring mental health conversations into the mainstream.” As part of the partnership, Audacy will leverage the deep local connection of 15 stations across eight markets – Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego and Washington D.C. – to promote Genomind’s new Mental Health Map, the first and only consumer DNA test to offer a concise, easy-to-navigate blueprint of your genetic profile and its influence on stress and anxiety, mood, focus and memory, habits and substance use, sleep, social behavior, and eating behavior. Audacy vice president, social impact Sarah Harris says, “Mental health awareness is a major area of focus for us and a crucial pillar of our companywide social impact platform, and we’re excited to further activate our commitment through this partnership with Genomind. We recognize our significant influence and welcome the opportunity to use our voice, coupled with Genomind’s mental health expertise, innovations and technology, to help improve and save lives and continue our shared mission of ending the stigma of talking about mental health.” Genomind will also serve as the sponsor for Audacy’s “I’m Listening Daily Capsules,” 60-second daily public service announcements as part of the company’s yearlong “I’m Listening” mental health initiative. Genomind will also serve as the presenting sponsor of Audacy’s annual “I’m Listening” broadast, a live national program that brings together artists, athletes and medical specialists every September to remind listeners it’s okay to not be okay, raise awareness and end the stigma of talking about mental health.

COVID-19, Giuliani Investigation, Trump’s Facebook Fate, Bill and Melinda Gates to Divorce, Border Crisis, and Severe Southeast Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/3). Vaccination rates in the U.S. and the politicization of the “jab,” rising infections among young Americans, and the high death toll in India; Facebook to decide the fate of Donald Trump’s currently suspended account; Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates to divorce; the crush of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and the 6,000-plus illegals captured by ICE in April; and the severe weather hitting the Southeast were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Industry Memorial Tribute to the Late Barry Farber Set for May 5. The family of Barry Farber, in association with TALKERS magazine, is presenting an industry memorial tribute to the legendary radio talk show host on May 5 via Zoom. The virtual event will mark the first anniversary of his passing and the 91st anniversary of his birth. Farber, considered by industry observers to be one of the greatest talk radio hosts of all time, as well as one of the genre’s most influential pioneers, passed away on May 6, 2020 – one day after his 90th birthday. The event will consist of a series of personal remembrances delivered by a select panel of family, friends and radio industry colleagues. It will be recorded and available for on-demand viewing as part of a larger display of memories and Farber history being developed for a special commemorative website devoted to the broadcaster. Barry Farber’s on-air career was launched in 1960 and continued all the way to his death in 2020. It included his hosting major shows on such legendary New York outlets as WINS, WOR, and WMCA. He also was syndicated by ABC Radio Networks and Daynet. His final shows were carried by CRN Digital Talk Radio Network. According to The New York Times, at the time of his death he was the longest continually running radio host. Farber was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2014 and is a past recipient of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award among many other honors. He was the author of three books and a student of 26 languages. The memorial event will take place on Zoom on Wednesday, May 5 between 7:30 pm and 9:00 pm and will be hosted by Michael Harrison. Although all Zoom positions are filled, the event will be available to view via live streaming on YouTube. To view the Memorial event in real time on Wednesday at 7:30 pm ET, please click here.

Friday, April 30, 2021

| April 30, 2021

The “Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation” Marks its Second Anniversary with This Weekend’s Show.  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, “Smokin’ a Joint Session,” looks back at this past week of April 26-30. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Jim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood OneThom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD MediaMartha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; 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; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here

KFNS-AM, St. Louis Expands Charlie Marlow’s Role in Middays. Following the exit of former 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm host Steve Savard, who recently left the station for an out-of-market television gig, sports talk KFNS-AM, St. Louis is turning over hosting of the 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm hour to Charlie Marlow, who co-hosts the lead-in show with Cam Janssen. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that the station is airing a sports gambling show from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, currently hosted by station general manager John Hadley. Speaking about the changes, Hadley says, “The intent is to give Cam and Charlie an opportunity to grow and also give Charlie a chance to cut it on his own merits. It’s two guys, one concept, two shows. I’m a big Janssen fan, I’m a big Marlow fan. Charlie never has been the big dog. We have the time to give him to grow into the role. He’s naturally talented with a good sense of humor and wit. He can be a big factor in this (radio) market.” Marlow also serves as a sportscaster at KTVI-TV, St. Louis.

Vicki Thomas Exits Full-Time Role at WWJ-AM, Detroit After 30 Years. There’s a nice piece in the Detroit Free Press by Julie Hinds about WWJ-AM, Detroit city beat reporter Vicki Thomas, who left her full-time position with the station yesterday (4/29) after a 30-year run with the Audacy all-news outlet. Thomas will continue to host the weekly “Black Business Minute” segment for the station. During her career Thomas has been honored by such organizations as the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Associated Press and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. She was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame two years ago. Thomas is also a longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Detroit chapter and credits the organization for helping her get the gig at WWJ back in 1991.

Today Is Dave Lee Day in Minnesota. Governor Tim Walz issued a proclamation making today (4/30), Dave Lee Day in Minnesota, in honor of the WCCO-AM, Minneapolis morning host who is retiring from the station after today’s program. Lee served with WCCO for more than 30 years. Lee first joined WCCO-AM as a weekend and fill-in host and gradually became part of the Charlie Boone and Roger Erickson morning show. He took over sole hosting duties of the morning show in 1997. During his career he’s also done play-by-play for the Minnesota Gophers and he filled in as a Minnesota Twins announcer from 1991 to 1996. He continues to do play-by-play for the television broadcasts of the Minnesota State High School Boys and Girls basketball tournaments, while serving as the radio voice of the University of St. Thomas football on WCCO. He’s been named Minnesota’s Sportscaster of the Year six times and has won three Emmys for his television work.

Live365 Inks Deal to Place Content on iHeartRadio. A deal between Live365 and iHeartMedia will allow for select Live365 stations to be available on the iHeartRadio platform. Calling the agreement one of the first steps in Live365’s efforts to expand its listening network, Live365 general manager Jason Stoddard says, “As we focus on growing the Live365 listening network, we are excited to announce we now have an agreement in place to list select Live365 stations on iHeartRadio’s distribution network. Being able to showcase some of our standout stations on iHeart is a testament to the hard work our broadcasters put in to programming quality stations that are not traditionally represented on the radio dial. We will continue to work with world-class distribution companies to help listeners discover the top-notch content available on Live365.”

Beasley Names Patti Taylor Director of Sales in Detroit. Radio sales pro Patti Taylor is promoted from general sales manager for Beasley Media Group’s WCSX-FM and WRIF-FM in Detroit to director of sales for the entire Detroit station group. Beasley Media Group vice president of sales Tina Murley says, “We could not be more excited to have Patti leading our sales effort in Detroit. Patti is collaborative, strategic, and extremely well respected. She is exactly what we need to drive revenue for Beasley and for our valued clients.” Taylor adds, “I’m thrilled for this opportunity to lead the sales efforts for Beasley Media Detroit. We have an unmatched team of account executives, market-leading brands, and an impressive suite of products and tools to offer advertisers today. I am truly enthusiastic for what we’ll achieve in 2021 and beyond.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new weekend program is being added to the lineup on SiriusXM’s Volume channel. “Lunch on the Deck” is hosted by Bill Evans and Jessica Ambrose and will air live at 12:00 noon each Sunday, beginning May 1. The show was first launched on Sag Harbor, New York outlet WLNG-FM in 2019. SiriusXM says the program includes “unique and exclusive interviews with celebrity guests as [Evans and Ambrose] share their stories and play music that they love. This two-hour program takes listeners on a journey of candid conversations paired with hand-picked, favorite music selected by the show’s weekly guests.”…..The GCN nationally syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs” show picks up new affiliate WLDS-AM, Jacksonville, Illinois.

COVID-19 Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 26-30. The COVID-19 vaccines, variants, politics and the crush of cases in India combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Joe Biden’s 100-day address before Congress tied with Washington party politics. Following at #3 was the economy, the Biden $1.8 trillion infrastructure package, and stimulus initiatives. 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.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

| April 27, 2021

Shari Gonzalez Promoted to Market President for iHeartMedia Miami. Radio sales pro Shari Gonzalez is promoted to market president for iHeartMedia’s Miami/Fort Lauderdale station group that includes news/talk WIOD, sports talk WINZ, WXBN “Black Information Network,” and eight music brands. She was most recently regional SVP of sales for the cluster. iHeartMedia division president Linda Byrd says, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to promote Shari into her first market president role. In the short time that we have worked together, I have seen her competitiveness, work ethic and ability to move her team in the direction we need to go. Shari has the experience and smarts to make a great market president of iHeartMedia Miami/Fort Lauderdale. She will be a great leader in one of our most important markets.” Gonzalez comments, “I am honored and thrilled for this opportunity. To continue to work with and now lead this incredible portfolio of brands and this ‘best-in-class’ team of talented, passionate colleagues is a dream come true. Miami/Fort Lauderdale is experiencing a boom like no other market in the country and the South Florida market is filled with a culture and uniqueness that is second to none. As our market continues to grow as a multi-cultural, global economic and entertainment destination, we at iHeartMedia Miami/Fort Lauderdale remain committed to being the largest and most meaningful connection to millions in South Florida.”

‘The Rich Eisen Show’ Joins Audacy for Live Streaming and On-Demand Service. Sports media personality Rich Eisen enters into a content distribution partnership with Audacy to add his “The Rich Eisen Show” to the Audacy digital platform. “The Rich Eisen Show” streams live daily from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. The show, as well as his new podcast, “Just Getting Started,” are available on-demand on the Audacy digital platform. “The Rich Eisen Show” emanates from Los Angeles and is simulcast on NBC Sports on Peacock. Audacy EVP of programming Jeff Sottolano states, “Rich’s show is a terrific addition to our Audacy platform and reinforces our position as the unrivaled leader in local and national sports audio content. We’re thrilled to bring Rich’s mix of sports and culture to our audience, just in time for this week’s NFL Draft.”

Tricia Gallenback to Lead Cumulus Media’s Eugene Stations. Sales and management pro Tricia Gallenback is named the new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Eugene, Oregon station group that includes news/talk KUGN-AM, sports talk KUJZ-FM, and three music brands. She most recently held the same position at Reno Media Group’s stations in Reno, Nevada. Prior to that she was director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina operations. Gallenback says, “It’s an exciting time to work in radio! Cumulus is a dynamic and innovative company and I’m honored that [Cumulus RVP] Don Morin invited me to join the talented team in Eugene. The Cumulus stations in Eugene are iconic brands and have a history of commitment to community and partnership success. I’m looking forward to discovering how much more we can accomplish together.”

Ernest Fears III Rises to Director of Sales at Radio One Washington, DC. Radio sales pro Ernest Fears III is promoted to director of sales for Radio One’s Washington, DC station group that includes sports talk WTEM-AM “The Team 980” and news/talk WOL-AM/W240DJ. Fears was most recently general sales manager for the station group. Fears says, “During my 40 years in the business in the DC market, I’ve had the chance to work with so many professionals that I have learned from. If not for them, I would not stand where I am today. I look forward to paying forward the help and guidance that I received to my team and their clients.” Radio One senior regional vice president Jeff Wilson adds, “For decades, Ernie has been one of the most respected leaders in Washington, DC media.  But today, we celebrate his leadership and innovation moving forward as we blaze new trails while creating unprecedented solutions for our business partners.”

WWO Blog: What Changes in TV Viewing Mean for Radio. In this week’s Westwood One blog, chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard addresses the changes taking place in the television industry as viewers shift from linear TV to ad-free streaming options. This is a massive challenge for advertisers who’ve made TV a big part of their media plans. The piece is peppered with ominous stats, including: Nielsen’s just-released Total Audience Report reveals linear television’s weekly reach among persons 25-54 has dropped from 85% in Q3 2018 to only 77% in Q3 2020; pay TV lost 5.5 million subscribers in 2020; MoffettNathanson reports that residential penetration of traditional pay TV is down to 61% of occupied households. This is sharply reduced from pay TV’s peak 89% penetration in 2009; and according to MoffettNathanson, in Q4 2020, 67% of all broadcast network viewership was from the 50+ audience. So how does radio advertising play into this? Bouvard says that putting AM/FM radio in the plan generates triple the reach of connected TV – for example, adding 50 points of AM/FM radio to 250 points of TV (225 linear TV GRPs and 50 connected TV GRPs) generates a +24% increase in reach, triple the incremental reach lift that connected TV can add alone.

TALKERS News Notes. A deal between direct mail firm We Mail America.com and the Independent Broadcasters Association to “bring the We Mail America.com business model to independently owned radio markets of all sizes.” A press release says, “We Mail America.com is reinventing the traditional direct mail model by coupling it with a full suite of digital advertising services that works precisely and in conjunction with each radio ad campaign and mail deployment. This comprehensive view of advertising fortifies audio marketing strategies across all mediums, screens, and devices.” IBA president (and Adams Media CEO) Ron Stone says, “Independent radio has never had so many competitors, and direct mail is certainly one of them.  We Mail America.com brings a no-nonsense approach to direct mail and provides radio operators a new tool for their clients. The model that [We Mail America.com founder] Gary [Pizzati] has created enables independent stations to add a new source of revenue to their cluster that does not just move money from one pocket to the other.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals is expanding its longtime partnership with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham to launch Shining City Audio, a podcast studio co-venture focused on creating a wide-ranging slate of audio documentaries and series centered around history with some of the most well-respected historians and voices joining at launch. The Shining City Audio initial 2021 slate features two new series written and narrated by Meacham: “Fate of Fact,” a limited-run series examining the question of how and why so many conservative Americans have become prone to disinformation and anti-democratic narratives, and a daily podcast focused on this day in history…..SiriusXM today announced that it has acquired 99% Invisible Inc., the company owned by Roman Mars, the creator, host, and executive producer of the “99% Invisible” podcast. The acquisition brings the podcast host and his team to SiriusXM, where they will continue to operate 99% Invisible, the podcast “What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law,” and develop new podcast projects…..Observing the reaction to the “Saturday Night Live” cast’s befuddlement at the news that Elon Musk will host an upcoming episode of the sketch comedy show, KZRG, Joplin, Missouri program director Peter Thiele is inviting Musk to appear as guest host on “KZRG Morning News Watch.” He says, “Elon Musk is one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs! We are proud to invite him to be the guest host of the ‘KZRG Morning News Watch!’ Joplin, Missouri’s convenient location on two major freeways with a fantastic airport makes this offer even more tantalizing.”

COVID-19, Biden 100 Days Address, Deadly Police Shootings/Race Relations, Iran-Israel Tensions/John Kerry Allegation, Southern Border Crisis, Newsom Recall, and Oscars Show Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/26). The rates of positive COVID cases in U.S. states, the rollout of and concerns about vaccines, and the overwhelming cases and deaths in India; President Joe Biden’s Wednesday address before Congress marking his first 100 days; protests over recent deadly police shootings of Black citizens and the call for a complete release of body camera video in the death of Andrew Brown Jr.; the military tensions between Iran and Israel and the allegation former Secretary of State John Kerry discussed Israeli air strikes with Iran’s foreign minister; the mass of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; petitioners gather enough signatures to put the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom on the ballot; and Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

| April 22, 2021

KFAB, Omaha Fires Chris Baker After Tweeting of Racist Image. A day after tweeting an image of Black natives in loincloths and holding spears with the caption “Guilty!” in the immediate aftermath of the Derek Chauvin verdict, iHeartMedia has fired KFAB, Omaha afternoon drive talk host Chris Baker, according to a piece in the Lincoln Journal Star.  iHeartMedia area president for Nebraska C. Taylor Walet III said in a statement the tweet was “completely inappropriate and unacceptable. Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values, and we take this situation very seriously. Accordingly, Chris Baker’s employment with our company has been terminated.” Baker told the Journal Star that although he doesn’t expect people to believe his explanation, he says he was multi-tasking and searching for an image of “people celebrating” and inadvertently posted the image that he did. He added, “That’s not me, that’s not who I really am. There’s a difference between being intentional and being a fat-fingered boomer on Twitter. I don’t look at Black people that way.” On Wednesday, “Producer Josh” Odson and “Bird,” a.k.a. Meghan Bird, hosted the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on KFAB.

Premiere Networks and EIB Network Launch ‘Rush Limbaugh: The Man Behind the Golden EIB Microphone’ Podcast Series. This 12-episode podcast is narrated by Rush Limbaugh’s longtime call-screener and “official show observer” James Golden, a.k.a., Bo Snerdley. Premiere Networks says, “The 12-episode series will detail legendary radio host Rush Limbaugh’s award-winning, 30-plus year career in radio that revitalized the spoken-word format and provided a platform for him to develop and lead modern conservatism in America. Featuring Limbaugh’s own words and never-before-heard stories shared by colleagues, friends and family, the series will give listeners a guided tour of the five-time Marconi Award winner’s historic journey from Cape Girardeau, Mo., to becoming the No. 1 talk radio host in America. The series will also highlight Limbaugh’s lasting legacy, which includes ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’s’ continued dominance as the most-listened-to talk radio program in the U.S.” Golden says, “The only blessing greater than working with Rush was knowing the man that he truly was. It is not only my honor, but also my duty, to help ensure his legacy is properly acknowledged. I want to thank Premiere Networks and the EIB Network for allowing me this profound opportunity.” Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott adds, “We look forward to sharing this incredible series with millions of Rush Limbaugh fans. Those who knew Rush best will provide an insider’s look at his life and career, providing a true celebration and tribute to the greatest talk radio host of all time.” You can hear a trailer for the series that launches on May 12 here.

Audacy’s WILK-AM/FM, Wilkes-Barre Announces New Lineup; Local Hosts Nikki Stone and Bob Cordaro Join Air Staff. Northeastern Pennsylvania news/talk brand “WILK News Radio” – WILK-AM/FM, Wilkes-Barre; WODS-AM, West Hazleton; WAAF-AM, Scranton – adds two personalities to its re-tooled daily lineup. Market radio pro Nikki Stone joins the station as host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and former Lackawanna County commissioner Bob Cordaro is the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk host. Jason Barsky co-hosts the morning show “The Morning News with Nancy and Jason” alongside Nancy Kman and Frank Andrews continues to be heard from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Audacy SVP and market manager Ryan Flynn states, “We’re really excited to introduce this enhanced slate of programming to our listeners as we focus on the issues that matter most to Northeast PA. Nikki brings a breadth of experience in this market which we think will quickly build a sense of trust between her and our audience. Bob Cordaro, also someone with deep local roots, is an expert on the area, the people, and local politics. I trust his candor and connection with our audience will quickly translate to a successful afternoon show.” Stone has been a traffic reporter and host on the station since 2017. She says, “Northeast PA has always been home to me. I’m excited about this chance to open up conversation, talk about the issues that matter, and have a little fun with the people I consider neighbors and friends.” Cordaro comments, “I am incredibly honored to become part of the team at WILK and Audacy. While it is a daunting task to replace the great Rush Limbaugh in Northeast PA, I feel privileged to be able to do so. I want to thank our management team here in Scranton Wilkes-Barre as well as everyone at Audacy for giving me this opportunity. We are going to have a lot of fun promoting a conservative commonsense agenda that works for the people of this area and our country.”

Round Three of March PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s March 2021 sweep covered March 4 – March 31. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland slips three-tenths to a 5.7 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and falls from the #2 rank to #4. In Charlotte, Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM loses a half share, finishing the March survey with a 5.0 share good for the #5 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s San Antonio news/talk WOAI-AM falls from the #2 rank to #7 after dropping 1.7 shares for a 5.0 share finish. In Salt Lake City, Bonneville’s KSL-FM sheds two-tenths to wrap the survey with a 6.8 share putting it in the #3 rank while iHeartMedia’s crosstown KNRS-AM/FM loses a half share and finishes with a 6.5 share and the #4 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets (as well and the first two rounds) here.

Radio’s Rob Carson Hosting ‘The Newsmax Daily’ for Newsmax Media. Radio pro Rob Carson has been working with Newsmax for some time now, but now the company officially launches the podcast “The Newsmax Daily with Rob Carson.” Newsmax says, “With ‘The Newsmax Daily’ you’ll get the latest top news with Rob Carson’s wit and wisdom to help you understand the events shaping our lives. Rob holds little back – and tries to find the humor in even the most frightening of news developments – especially when they emanate from the Biden-Harris White House!” Carson also hosts the TV program, “Rob Carson’s What in the World?” which airs Saturdays on Newsmax TV. Carson’s talk radio career includes stops in markets including: Chicago, Washington, San Francisco, Dallas, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Nashville, Phoenix, Minneapolis, New York City, and Baltimore.

Cumulus Media Re-Brands Westwood One Podcast Network. Effective May 6, the Westwood One Podcast Network becomes the CUMULUS PODCAST NETWORK. Cumulus says the move “consolidates the Company’s national and local podcasts into one entity, capturing the full breadth and diversity of the portfolio and providing advertisers with a comprehensive offering of podcasts, in addition to streaming, mobile, social and display.” Suzanne Grimes, executive vice president corporate marketing and president, Westwood One, will retain responsibility for the Company’s podcast sales network. She says, “Placing our podcasts under the Cumulus umbrella allows us to offer our advertising partners easy access to the company’s full arsenal of digital products. This exciting expansion takes our fast-growing podcast network to the next level, as well as simplifies the buying process for agencies and brands, allowing our partners to seamlessly tap into the full power of our premium on-demand audio content.”

Nielsen: March PPM Data Reveals Big Audience Gains. According to data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey radio has achieved significant gains in radio listening across the aggregate of markets, to the tune of an 8% increase month-over-month in total AQH audience. This marks the largest single-month increase in average audience since June of last year. These gains were driven by increases in both weekly reach (adding nearly 4 million consumers in March – a 3% increase versus February) as well as time spent listening (gaining by over 20 minutes – on average –a 5% increase compared with last month). Nielsen adds that the year-over-year comparison between the March 2020 and March 2021 PPM stands at a 96 index for weekly reach and a 93 index for AQH. This means that from a weekly reach perspective, the radio audience in March 2021 is 96% the size of the same month from one year ago, while for AQH the number is 93%. This uptick in radio usage mirrors the positive changes in consumer sentiment and habits observed during Nielsen’s latest radio consumer study conducted during the March survey. Six in 10 Americans are now ‘ready to go’ and feeling life is becoming more normal in their city or town. Those working outside the home have increased nearly 70% since last April, while consumers spending more than an hour each day in a vehicle has more than doubled in that time. Heavy radio listeners, because they are more mobile and ‘ready to go’, are also more likely to engage in top activities including shopping for groceries, driving longer distances, ordering take-out, and getting together in-person with friends and family, particularly among those who are vaccinated.

Gene “Bean” Baxter Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Former KROQ, Los Angeles radio superstar Gene Baxter is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Known to his legion of fans by the nickname, “Bean,” he co-hosted (with Kevin Ryder) a wildly popular morning show called “Kevin & Bean” that ran on the legendary alt rock station for three decades and landed both performers in the Radio Hall of Fame. Then he announced his retirement from the show and moved to England (where he was born and raised as a young child) to get away from the pressures of the LA radio industry and his openly expressed distaste for the tone and direction of American politics. At present, now back in Great Britain, he co-hosts a show on Podcast Radio in London with another former KROQ broadcaster from his Kevin & Bean days – Allie Mac Kay – titled, “A Cup of Tea and a Chat with Allie & Bean.” Harrison and Bean take a deep dive into the worlds of the radio industry’s quirky culture and the increasingly harsh politics of modern times. Radio enthusiasts should not miss this! 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.

Chauvin Verdict Aftermath/Ohio Police Shooting, COVID-19, Biden’s Climate Summit, Florida’s ‘Anti-Riot’ Law, Border Crisis/Immigration Reform, and Putin Threatens West Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/21). The aftermath of the Derek Chauvin verdict and the case of the fatal shooting of knife-wielding teen Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio; the disparate rate of COVID-19 cases in various U.S. states, the rollout of vaccines, and the exploding cases in India; President Joe Biden’s climate summit and commitment to halving U.S. greenhouse emissions by 2030; the controversy surrounding Florida’s new “anti-riot” law that allows motorists to hit people blocking public roads; the migrant crush at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; and Vladimir Putin’s vague threat against the West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

March 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Three

| April 22, 2021

March 2021 PPM Data – Information for the March 2021 ratings period has been released for Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus.

Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 sweep covered March 4 – March 31.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as the most significant (6+) improvement and erosion.

All comparisons noted are February 2021 – March 2021 (6+).

PORTLAND

News/Talk: Alpha Media’s KXL “FM 101 News” 6.0 – 5.7, -.3, second to fourth

iHeartMedia-owned KEX “News Radio 1190” 3.4 – 2.7, -.7, #12 to #16

Alpha Media’s KUFO “Freedom 970” 1.4 – 1.6, +.2, #21 to #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB 11.2 – 10.7, -.5, repeats at #1

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KOPB, third month in a row, 11.2 – 10.7, -.5

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Three tied at +1.0 (triple A KINK; CHR KBFF; and regional Mexican KRYP)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: classical KQAC (-.9)

 

CHARLOTTE

News/Talk: Radio One-owned WBT AM & WBT-FM “Charlotte’s News Talk” 5.5 – 5.0, -.5, fourth to fifth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Radio One’s WFNZ “Sports Radio The Fan” .7 – .9, +.2, steady at #19

Public Radio News/Talk: University Radio Foundation-owned WFAE 5.1 – 4.1, -1.0, #6 to #11

South Carolina Educational Television Commission’s WNSC flat at .6, remains at #20

Number One 6+: Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC, fifth successive month, 7.5 – 6.7, -.8

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: CHR WHQC (+.9)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Two tied at -1.0 (public radio news/talk WFAE and classical WDAV)

 

SAN ANTONIO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WOAI “News Radio 1200” 6.7 – 5.0, -1.7, second to seventh

Alpha Media-owned KTSA “Stay Connected” flat at 1.6, #19 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Texas Public Radio’s KSTX 3.7 – 3.6, -.1, #11 to #12

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM, third consecutive month, 8.3 – 9.6, +1.3

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies KONO-FM (+1.3)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk WOAI (-1.7)

 

SACRAMENTO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFBK-AM & KFBK-FM “News 1530 AM & 93.1 FM” 9.6 – 8.2, -1.4, first to second

Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” 1.9 – 2.1, +.2, #13 to #14

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Capital Public Radio’s KXJZ 5.9 – 5.3, -.6, fifth to sixth

KQED, Inc.’s KQEI .9 – .8, -.1, #16 to #19

Number One 6+: Bonneville adult contemporary KYMX, first month, 6.7 – 8.5, +1.8

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KYMX (+1.8)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk KFBK-AM & KFBK-FM (-1.4)

 

PITTSBURGH

News/Talk: Audacy’s KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020 AM” 5.3 – 4.7, -.6, fifth to seventh

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan All Sports All The Time” 7.0 – 6.2, -.8, fourth to fifth

Public Radio News/Talk: Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting’s WESA 4.1 – 3.1, -1.0, #9 to #11

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia rock WDVE, first month, 9.0 – 9.7, +.7

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WSHH (+1.0)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WESA (-1.0)

 

SALT LAKE CITY

News/Talk: Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio” 7.0 – 6.8, -.2, second to third

iHeartMedia’s KNRS-AM & KNRS-FM “Talk Radio” 7.0 – 6.5, -.5, second to fourth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Utah’s KUER 5.7 – 4.7, -1.0, fourth to sixth

Number One 6+: Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI, second consecutive month, 7.1 – 8.4, +1.3

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KSFI (+1.3)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk KUER (-1.0)

 

LAS VEGAS

News/Talk: None in the top twenty

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Nevada Public Radio Corporation-owned KNPR 2.9 – 2.3, -.6, #11 to #16

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE, fifth month in a row, 8.1 – 7.2, -.9

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Two tied at +.7 (hot AC KMXB and alternative KXTE)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary KSNE (-.9)

 

ORLANDO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WTKS “Real Radio 104.1” 6.4 – 5.9, -.5, fourth to fifth

Cox Media Group-owned WDBO “Orlando’s News Talk” 3.3 – 3.2, -.1, #12 to #11

iHeartMedia’s WFLF “Orlando News Radio” 1.7 – 1.4, -.3, unchanged at #18

Spanish News/Talk: Star Over Orlando-owned WRSO “Accion 97.9” .9 – 1.3, +.4, #21 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WYGM “96.9 The Game” unchanged at 1.3, remains at #19

Public Radio News/Talk: Community Connections’ WMFE 3.6 – 2.4, -1.2, #10 to #15

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies WOCL, third straight month, 10.9 – 9.2, -1.7

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Two tied at +1.0 (adult contemporary WMGF and country WWKA)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies WOCL (-1.7)

 

CINCINNATI

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WLW “700 Cincinnati’s News Radio” 8.8 – 9.1, +.3, first to second

Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station” 5.5 – 4.3, -1.2, fifth to tenth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WCKY “ESPN 1530” .9 – .7, -.2, #19 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: Cincinnati Public Radio-owned WVXU 3.2 – 3.7, +.5, #12 to #11

Number One 6+: Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR, first month, 8.7 – 9.4, +.7

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: rock WEBN (+.9)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk WKRC (-1.2)

 

CLEVELAND

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WTAM “News Radio 1100” 6.3 – 6.9, +.6, seventh to fourth

News: iHeartMedia-owned WMMS-HD2 “BIN 99.1 Because Truth Matters” steady at .1, #18 to #19

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” unchanged at 3.4, #12 to #11

Public Radio News/Talk: Ideastream-owned WCPN 3.8 – 3.2, -.6, #10 to #12

Kent State University’s WKSU .6 – .7, +.1, flat at #17

Number One 6+: Audacy classic rock WNCX, first month, 10.3 – 10.6, +.3

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult hits WHLK (+.9)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: country WGAR (-1.5)

 

KANSAS CITY

News/Talk: Audacy’s KMBZ-FM “98.1 FM News, Traffic, Weather” 5.7 – 5.6, -.1, fifth to fourth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” 2.4 – 2.8, +.4, unchanged at #15

Audacy-owned KCSP “Sports Radio 610 Our Teams, Our Town” 1.8 – 1.5, -.3, #19 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Missouri’s KCUR 5.7 – 5.3, -.4, fifth to eighth

Number One 6+: Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM, fourth successive month, 10.0 – 8.8, -1.2

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: country KFKF (+1.2)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM (-1.2)

 

COLUMBUS

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WTVN “News Radio 610” 7.5 – 5.9, -1.6, fourth to fifth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Tegna-owned WBNS-FM “97.1 FM The Fan” 4.7 – 5.4, +.7, remains at #6

Co-owned WBNS-AM “ESPN 1460 AM” flat at .2, unchanged at #19

Public Radio News/Talk: Ohio State University’s WOSU 7.6 – 6.6, -1.0, remains at #3

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia country WCOL, third straight month, 10.0 – 11.3, +1.3

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: country WCOL (+1.3)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk WTVN (-1.6)

 

Up next: March 2021 overviews for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; Providence; Norfolk; Jacksonville; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; Memphis; and Hartford. Email managing editor Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.  

March 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Two

| April 21, 2021

March 2021 PPM Data – Information for the March 2021 sweep has been released for Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis.

Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 survey period covered March 4 – 31.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as highest (6+) positive spikes and sharpest declines.

All comparisons noted are February 2021 – March 2021 (6+).

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WMAL “105.9 FM – Where Washington Comes To Talk” 6.0 – 3.9, -2.1, fourth to ninth

News: Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WTOP & WTLP “Washington’s Top News” 9.9 – 9.0, -.9, flat at #2

Audacy business news WDCH “99.1 & 105.7-HD2 Bloomberg Radio” 1.2 – 1.1, -.1, unchanged at #19

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” 1.4 – 1.7, +.3, steady at #18

Public Radio News/Talk: American University-owned WAMU 10.2 – 9.7, -.5, repeating at #1

Pacifica Foundation’s public radio news/talk – jazz WPFW 1.2 – 1.1, -.1, steady at #19

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk WAMU, third straight month, 10.2 – 9.7, -.5

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: country WMZQ (+.8)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk WMAL (-2.1)

 BOSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WRKO “AM 680 The Voice Of Boston” 5.2 – 4.4, -.8, flat at #8

News – Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” 7.5 – 6.4, -1.1, first to fourth

Sports Talk: Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” 6.1 – 6.9, +.8, fourth to second

Audacy-owned WEEI-FM “93.7 Boston’s Sports Station” 3.3 – 3.0, -.3, #10 to #11

Public Radio News/Talk: Boston University‘s WBUR 4.4 – 4.6, +.2, ninth to seventh

WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH 5.6 – 4.4, -1.2, sixth to eighth

Number One 6+: Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR, second month in a row, 7.5 – 7.7, +.2

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: sports talk WBZ-FM (+.8)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WGBH (-1.2)

 

MIAMI

Spanish News/Talk: Univision Radio-owned WAQI “710 AM Radio Mambi” unchanged at 2.6, remains at #13

Actualidad Media Group’s WURN-AM “Actualidad AM 1040” flat at 2.2, steady at #17

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Dade County School Board-owned WLRN 4.3 – 3.7, -.6, seventh to eighth

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ, sixth successive month, unchanged at 9.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Two tied at +.6 (urban AC WHQT and urban contemporary WEDR)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WLRN (-.6)

 

SEATTLE

News/Talk: Bonneville’s KIRO-FM “97.3 FM” 7.3 – 6.4, -.9, repeating at #1

Co-owned KTTH “AM 770 Conservative Talk Radio” 2.8 – 2.6, -.2, #16 to #18

News: Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM & KOMO-FM “Seattle News, Weather, Sports” 5.2 – 5.0, -.2, remains at #5

Sports Talk: Bonneville-owned KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” 2.6 – 2.7, +.1, #18 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW 6.7 – 5.6, -1.1, second to third

Number One 6+: news/talk KIRO-FM, fifth consecutive month, 7.3 – 6.4, -.9

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: country KNUC (+1.5)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk KUOW (-1.1)

 

DETROIT

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760 AM” 4.8 – 4.3, -.5, eighth to tenth

News: Audacy-owned WWJ News Radio 950” 5.0 – 4.6, -.4, fifth to eighth

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” flat at 4.9, seventh to sixth

Public Radio News/Talk: Wayne State University-owned WDET 2.5 – 2.2, -.3, remains at #16

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies WOMC, first month, 6.2 – 7.2, +1.0

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies WOMC (+1.0)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WNIC (-.8)

 

PHOENIX

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” 5.3 – 4.5, -.8, third to fifth

Bonneville-owned KTAR-FM “News 92.3 FM” 4.0 – 3.6, -.4, eighth to ninth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” flat at 2.4, steady at #20

Public Radio News/Talk: Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ 3.5 – 3.8, +.3, ninth to eighth

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ, fifth straight month, 7.1 – 6.4, -.7

Largest 6+ February 2021- March 2021 Increase: Two tied at +.7 (classic rock KSLX and country KMLE)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk KFYI (-.8)

 

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s WCCO News Talk 830” 4.7 – 5.0, +.3, ninth to eighth

iHeartMedia-owned KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” flat at 4.0, #12 to #11

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “FM 100.3 K-Fan” 7.4 – 6.7, -.7, remains at #3

Public Radio News/Talk: Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW 8.5 – 7.1, -1.4, steady at #2

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC KSTP-FM, second straight month, 9.8 – 9.2, -.6

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Three tied at +.8 (classic hits-oldies KQQL; adult hits KZJK; and urban-rhythmic oldies KTCZ-HD3)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk KNOW (-1.4)

 

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KOGO “News Radio 600” 5.3 – 5.4, +.1, fifth to fourth

Los Angeles sibling KFI “AM 640” 2.2 – 1.9, -.3, remains at #17

Co-owned KGB-AM “760 AM” 1.9 – 1.8, -.1, #18 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” 1.4 – 1.6, +.2, #21 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: San Diego State University-owned KPBS 6.4 – 6.3, -.1, repeats at #1

Number One 6+ (Tie): public radio news/talk KPBS, second successive month, 6.2 – 6.4, +.2 and Audacy classic hits-oldies KXSN, first month, 6.2 – 6.3, +.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: hot AC KMYI (+.9)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: classic rock KGB-FM (-.8)

 

TAMPA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group’s WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” 5.1 – 4.2, -.9, fourth to ninth

iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “News Radio 970” 3.8 – 3.9, +.1, #11 to #10

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” 2.0 – 1.6, -.4, unchanged at #19

Public Radio News/Talk: University of South Florida-owned WUSF 3.4 – 3.3, -.1, steady at #14

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV, 105th month in a row, 7.0 – 8.5, +1.5

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WDUV (+1.5)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: contemporary Christian WCIE (-1.6)

 

DENVER

 News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KDFD “Freedom 93.7” 3.1 – 2.6, -.5, #11 to #12

Co-owned KOA “News Radio 850” 2.0 – 2.2, +.2, steady at #15

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KKFN “104.3 The Fan” 2.8 – 2.2, -.6, #13 to #15

Public Radio News/Talk: Colorado Public Radio-owned KCFR 7.1 – 6.1, -1.0, remains at #2

Number One 6+: Bonneville country KYGO, second straight month, 7.4 – 6.8, -.6

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Two tied with +1.0 (jazz KUVO and triple A KJAC)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk KCFR (-1.0)

 

BALTIMORE

News/Talk: Hearst Television’s WBAL News Radio 1090” 4.2 – 4.0, -.2, eighth to seventh

WCBM Maryland-owned WCBM “Talk Radio AM 680” 3.4 – 2.9, -.5, #12 to #13

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJZ-FM “Baltimore Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” unchanged at 3.0, #13 to #11

Public Radio News/Talk: Your Public Radio Corporation’s WYPR 4.3 – 2.9, -1.4, #7 to #13

American University-owned WAMU 1.2 – 1.3, +.1, #19 to #17

Number One 6+: Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM, third successive month, 9.4 – 10.0, +.6

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult hits WQSR (+.7)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WYPR (-1.4)

 

ST. LOUIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s KMOX “The Voice Of St. Louis” 4.4 – 4.0, -.4, #9 to #11

Co-owned KFTK “Talk 97.1 FM” 3.3 – 3.2, -.1, #13 to #14

KFTK’s internet stream 1.4 – .7, -.7, #18 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 ESPN” 4.0 – 3.6, -.4, #12 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Missouri-owned KWMU 3.2 – 3.0, -.2, flat at #15

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting rock KSHE, third month in a row, 12.4 – 12.8, +.4

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: CHR KSLZ (+.6)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Three tied with -.7 (news/talk KFTK’s internet stream; classic hits-oldies KLOU; and hot AC KYKY)

 

Up next: March  2021 overviews for Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus. Email Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

| April 20, 2021

Round One of March PPM’s Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s March 2021 sweep covered March 4 – 31. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In his report he notes that in New York City, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR loses two-tenths to finish the month with a 2.3 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains ranked #14. iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles news/talk KFI gains seven-tenths for a 5.7 share finish good for the #2 rank. Across town, Audacy’s all-news KNX rises a half share to a 3.4 share good for the #9 rank in the L.A. market. In Chicago, Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM falls from #1 to #2 after dipping nine-tenths to a 6.2 share while Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM sheds six-tenths for a 3.5 share and the #9 slot. And although Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta declines 1.3 shares, it remains in the #1 rank with a 9.2 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets here.

St. Louis Sports Media Personality Steve Savard to Exit KFNS-AM. Longtime St. Louis TV sports personality Steve Savard is leaving his radio talk host position with KFNS-AM, St. Louis for a gig he “can’t pass up.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that Savard isn’t specific about his new opportunity but it’s likely an out-of-town television job. Savard was KMOV-TV, St. Louis sportscaster and news anchor from 1994 through 2020. He joined the John Hadley-operated sports talk station just three-and-a-half months ago to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. It’s not clear how the station will fill the show opening but Hadley indicates it will likely be from within the station’s current talent pool.

iHeartMedia Pittsburgh to Relocate to New Office Building. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that iHeartMedia is moving its radio studios and offices from the current offices off I-376 in Green Tree to a new space in a business park in South Fayette adjacent to I-79. The cluster includes sports talk WBGG-AM “ESPN 970” and seven music brands. The story indicates that the 9,400 square-foot space is less than the current offices but will include “significant upgrades.”

Todd Starnes Show Adds Affiliates in Arizona and North Carolina. The nationally syndicated talk radio program “The Todd Starnes Show” announces the addition of new affiliate stations KXEG-AM, Phoenix in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart and WHKP-AM/W299BZ, Hendersonville, North Carolina in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot, replacing the Rush Limbaugh show.

TALKERS News Notes. A partnership between Audacy’s Cadence13 and PushBlack – a non-profit media platform for Black people – includes the third season of Black History Year being available on the Audacy digital platform. “Black History Year, Season Three: Fighting Forward” explores a wide range of issues and topics, including: the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921; Fred Hampton and the legacy of the Black Panther Party; environmental racism; the systemic silencing of Black girl’s voices and the importance of raising them; Black art and its power to liberate; the modern-day slavery of prison labor; language and Black linguistics; and more. Cadence13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “We’re proud to partner with PushBlack for this thought-provoking show that spotlights these important voices, moments in history, and cultural and social issues.”…..Fashion authority and style icon Rachel Zoe and her husband Rodger Berman are collaborating with iHeartMedia for their podcast, “Works For Us.” The podcast examines “what does (and does not!) make all kinds of relationships work. The podcast lets listeners in on intimate conversations with star duos, including many of Zoe/Berman’s celebrity couple friends, and highlights the raw, honest, and relatable issues that affect their relationships.”…..The Talk Shows USA nationally syndicated program “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” adds new affiliate stations as WSAR-AM/W240EB, Fall River, Massachusetts and KCSJ-AM, Pueblo, Colorado add the program to their lineups.

COVID-19, Chauvin Trial-Waters Comments, Mass Shootings, Florida ‘Anti-Riot’ Bill, U.S. to Exit Afghanistan, Navalny’s Health, and Mars Helicopter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19). The rate of positive COVID cases in the U.S., exploding caseloads in several foreign countries, and the status of vaccinations; the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ comment that protestors should “get more confrontational”; the spate of recent mass shootings in the U.S. and the issue of gun control; Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signs the state’s controversial “anti-riot” bill into law; President Joe Biden’s move to bring all U.S. troops home from Afghanistan by September 11; the precarious health of imprisoned Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny; and the successful deployment of NASA’s Mars helicopter were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

March 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part One

| April 20, 2021

March 2021 PPM Data – Information for the March 2021 ratings period has been released for New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Dallas; Houston; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario; San Jose; and Middlesex-Somerset-Union.

Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 sweep covered March 4 – 31.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are February 2021 – March 2021 (6+).

NEW YORK

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 2.5 – 2.3, -.2, flat at #14

Red Apple Media-owned WABC-AM & WLIR-FM “77 Talk Radio” (1.9, #19, February 2021) to unlisted

News: Audacy’s WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” 3.6 – 3.4, -.2, ninth to seventh

Co-owned WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” 2.8 – 2.6, -.2, #13 to #12

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” 2.5 – 2.4, -.1, #14 to #13

Emmis-owned WEPN-FM “98.7 ESPN New York” 1.0 – 1.1, +.1, #19

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM 4.5 – 4.3, -.2, fifth to fourth

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW, fifth successive month, 6.8 – 7.1, +.3

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (+1.0)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Two tied with -.9 (Spanish contemporary WXNY and Spanish tropical WSKQ)

LOS ANGELES

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFI “AM 640” 5.0 – 5.7, +.7, third to second

News: Audacy-owned KNX “1070 News Radio” 2.9 – 3.4, +.5, #12 to #9

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Pasadena Area Community College’s KPCC 3.3 – 3.2, -.1, #9 to #11

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies KRTH, second straight month, 5.9 – 6.1, +.2

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: news/talk KFI (+.7)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Four tied with -.3 (news talk KEIB; adult contemporary KOST; country KKGO; and Spanish contemporary KLLI)

CHICAGO

News/Talk: Nexstar Media Group’s WGN “Radio 720” 4.1 – 3.5, -.6, sixth to ninth

News: Audacy-owned WBBM-AM & WCFS “News Radio 780 AM & 105.9 FM” 7.1 – 6.2, -.9, first to second

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WSCR “670 The Score” 2.1 – 2.4, +.3, #17 to #16

Public Radio News/Talk: Chicago Public Media-owned WBEZ 6.4 – 4.7, -1.7, second to fourth

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ, first month, 6.0 – 6.3, +.3

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WRME-LP (+1.2)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WBEZ (-1.7)

SAN FRANCISCO

News/Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KGO “810” 1.7 – 1.8, +.1, #19 to #20

News: Audacy’s KCBS-AM & KFRC “All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM” 7.5 – 6.8, -.7, flat at #2

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” 2.9 – 3.2, +.3, ninth to seventh

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED, Inc.’s KQED 10.6 – 9.8, -.8, repeats at #1

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KQED, third straight month, 10.6 – 9.8, -.8

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Four tied with +.3 (sports talk KNBR; Spanish adult hits KBRG; hot AC KIOI; and rhythmic CHR KYLD)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk news KQED (-.8)

DALLAS

News/Talk: Cumulus Media-owned WBAP “News Talk 820 AM & 99.5 HD-2 FM” 4.0 – 3.0, -1.0, #10 to #14

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media’s KTCK “Sports Radio The Ticket” 4.1 – 2.6, -1.5, #9 to #17

Audacy-owned KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” 1.9 – 2.0, +.1, #21 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: North Texas Public Broadcasting-owned KERA 3.2 – 3.1, -.1, #15 to #13

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE, second month in a row, 5.2 – 5.3, +.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Three tied with +.6 (regional Mexican KLNO; country KSCS; and Spanish contemporary KDXX)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: sports talk KTCK (-1.5)

HOUSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KTRH “AM 740 News Radio” 6.5 – 5.8, -.7, second to fourth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Houston-owned KUHF 2.9 – 2.8, -.1, unchanged at #17

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA, fifth successive month, 7.5 – 7.7, +.2

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: regional Mexican KLTN (+.5)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk KTRH (-.7)

ATLANTA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group-owned WSB-AM & WSBB “Atlanta’s News & Talk” 10.5 – 9.2, -1.3, #1

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WZGC “92.9 The Game” 3.7 – 3.6, -.1, seventh to tenth

Dickey Broadcasting-owned WCNN “The Fan” 1.7 – 1.5, -.2, #16 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE 3.2, #11, unlisted in February 2021

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM, 22nd consecutive month, 10.5 – 9.2, -1.3

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: urban contemporary WVEE (+1.1)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk WSB-AM (-1.3)

PHILADELPHIA

News/Talk: Townsquare Media’s WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” 2.0 – 2.1, +.1, remains at #17

Audacy-owned WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” 1.8 – 1.5, -.3, flat at #19

News: Audacy’s KYW & WPHI “News Radio 1060 AM & 103.9 FM” 6.5 – 6.0, -.5, steady at #3

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WIP “Sports Radio 94” unchanged at 5.3, sixth to fifth

Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” 2.5 – 2.1, -.4, #15 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: WHYY’s WHYY 5.2 – 4.6, -.6, seventh to ninth

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM, third straight month, 8.0 – 8.1, +.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: country WXTU (+1.0)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Two tied with -.6 (public radio news/talk WHYY and rock WMMR)

LONG ISLAND

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 3.2 – 3.4, +.2, #13 to #11

News: Audacy’s WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” 3.0 – 2.7, -.3, #14 to #13

Co-owned WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” 3.5 – 2.6, -.9, #10 to #15

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” steady at 4.0, sixth to seventh

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WNYC-FM 2.1 – 2.4, +.3, #19 to #16

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group classic rock WBAB, first month, 5.2 – 6.1, +.9

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: classic rock WBAB (+.9)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news WCBS-AM (-.9)

RIVERSIDE

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFI “AM 640” 5.4 – 5.0, -.4, second to third

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: San Bernardino Community College’s KVCR flat at .8, steady at #19

Pasadena Area Community College-owned KPCC .4 – .5, +.1, unchanged at #20

Number One 6+: Entravision Communications Spanish adult hits KLYY, seventh month in a row, 6.5 – 6.4, -.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies KOLA (+1.3)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Four tied with -.4 (news/talk KFI; adult contemporary KOST; regional Mexican KSCA; and urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE)

SAN JOSE

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s KGO “810” flat at 2.0, #12 to #11

News: Audacy’s KCBS-AM & KFRC “All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM” 5.1 – 4.1, -1.0, fourth to sixth

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” 1.3 – 1.8, +.5, #19 to #14

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED, Inc.’s KQED 12.0 – 11.3, -.7, repeats at #1

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KQED, third straight month, 12.0 – 11.3, -.7

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Four tied with +.5 (sports talk KNBR; classic rock KUFX; hot AC KEZR; and hot AC KLLC)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Two tied with -1.0 (news KCBS-AM & KFRC and adult contemporary KOIT-FM)

MIDDLESEX

News/Talk: Townsquare Media-owned WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” 4.4 – 3.9, -.5, flat at #6

iHeartMedia’s WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 2.1 – 1.9,-.2, unchanged at #20

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” steady at 2.5, remains at #17

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM 3.4 – 3.1, -.3, #10 to #12

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ, third month in a row, 8.1 – 8.7, +.6

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Spanish tropical WSKQ (+1.5)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news WCBS-AM (-1.0)

 

Up next: March 2021 overviews for: Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Email managing editor Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

| April 15, 2021

Audacy Extends Contract with CFO Richard Schmaeling. The company and chief financial officer Richard Schmaeling sign a new contract set to begin on May 1 that keeps Schmaeling in his CFO role and adds the position of executive vice president, strategic initiatives to his duties. The new contract runs through April 30 of 2025 and pays Schmaeling an annual base salary of $800,000 that will be increased by not less than three percent annually beginning in May of 2022. Other aspects of the contract include: a target annual cash performance bonus at 90% of his annual base salary, to be earned based on Audacy’s performance; a grant of 60,000 restricted stock units as soon as practicable following May 1, 2021 which will vest 50% on May 1, 2023; 25% on May 1, 2024; and 25% on May 1, 2025; and restricted stock unit grants of 50,000 in 2021; 40,000 in 2022; 30,000 in 2023; and 20,000 in 2024, with vesting 50% on the second anniversary of the grant date and 25% on each of the third and fourth anniversaries of the grant date.

Galaxy Media Promotes Maine to Chief Revenue Officer; Greenlar to Chief Content Officer. Two Galaxy Media managers are rising to new positions within the company. Nick Maine is promoted to chief revenue officer from his current director of sports marketing position. In this new role, Maine will oversee the sales operations for both the Syracuse and Utica markets. Galaxy Media president and CEO Ed Levine says, “Nick Maine is a force of nature. It’s rare to have somebody that has been so engaged, so excited, and so competent all in one package. I can’t wait to see where he takes our sales effort over the next many years.” At the same time, Marissa Greenlar – brand manager for rock WKRL “KROCK” – is promoted to chief content officer for the company. She’ll continue in her role as brand manager for “KROCK” and will oversee all of the Galaxy brands and digital content. Levine comments, “Marissa’s contribution to Galaxy has been extraordinary. From starting as a sales assistant to working with the events team, to overseeing much of our social media and then assuming day-to-day programming responsibilities for ‘KROCK,’ she has impacted every aspect of Galaxy over the past 12 years. This newly created position is a reflection of the respect she has from her peers and an acknowledgement of her massive contributions to Galaxy.”

Cumulus Launches ‘104.5 The Zone TV’ in Nashville. The new “104.6 The Zone TV” will be more than just cameras in the WGFX-FM, Nashville studios for its daily radio programs. The Cumulus Media sports talk station says original sports programming on “104.5 The Zone Podcast Network,” original shows, and instant reaction specials every evening – including “The Ultimate Tennessee Podcast” – will be available on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch. The station also says that after a big game or a huge event in Nashville, hosts will be live on “104.5 The Zone TV” to instantly react with fans from their home studios. WGFX-FM program director Paul Mason says, “‘104.5 The Zone TV’ is going to offer our fans a whole new experience when consuming ‘104.5 The Zone.’ Our listeners will now have the option to watch and interact with their favorite ‘104.5 The Zone’ personalities as they video stream their shows live on a variety of different social media platforms. With our recent partnership with A to Z Sports, the launch of ‘104.5 The Zone TV,’ and with more to come, ‘104.5 The Zone’ is continuing our reputation as the gold standard for sports content.” Will Boling is digital content producer for the station, and he says, “‘104.5 The Zone TV’ gives the listener a behind-the-scenes and in-depth look at the faces and voices behind the microphone from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. It also provides sports fans with a chance to skip the call-in line and instantly react to the biggest headlines with our hosts in the chat. Whether it’s watching the shows on our daily lineup during the week, reacting to digital exclusives in the evenings, or pregame/postgame shows centered around the biggest events in Nashville sports, ‘104.5 The Zone TV’ will expand Zone coverage – and that’s a huge win for sports fans. There is more excitement to come, so stay tuned!”

Audacy: Audio Is Driving Force Behind Vaccination Willingness. Citing results from a recent study it commissioned, Audacy says the S. Radoff Associates research that tested audio’s trust and influence during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic indicates audio is the leading media source in the fight against COVID-19 and a driving force behind Americans’ willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. The study concludes that for the vaccine hesitant population, audio is the most trusted source of information about COVID vaccination (46%), ahead of TV news shows (42%), friends and family (40%), articles in a local (37%) or national (36%) newspaper, and social media (27%). The study also found that the vast majority of vaccine hesitant U.S adults (81%) say they will take some form of action if they hear a local radio or podcast host provide information about the benefits of COVID vaccines and recommend that listeners receive a COVID vaccine. Audacy SVP of research and insights Idil Cakim says, “Since the onset of the pandemic, audio has served as a trusted companion for listeners seeking vital information, local news and sports and entertainment. As America slowly but surely returns to normal life, the vaccine is a major step towards doing what we all love again – going to sports events, dining at our favorite restaurants, or creating memories with loved ones – and our study shows how big of a role audio is playing in inspiring Americans to make a plan to get their shot.”

Noel Paul Stookey is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. A true, elder statesmen of American folk music, as well as an iconic popularizer of the civil rights movement going back to the protest songs of the early 60s, Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Stookey discuss the evolution of the civil rights movement from the freedom marches of the early 60s to the current reckoning of the early 20s among a number of other fascinating topics. Stookey also discusses his latest charitable project. Don’t miss this extraordinary conversation between two extremely articulate individuals that spans the decades and connects the dots. 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.

The Todd Starnes Show Adds Affiliate in Salem, Oregon. The Memphis-based programs featuring conservative talk media personality and best-selling author Todd Starnes are being added to the program schedule at Willamette Broadcasting’s KYKN-AM, Salem, Oregon. The station is putting “The Todd Starnes Show” in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot long held by Rush Limbaugh. It is also airing the “Todd Starnes Weekend Edition” as well as the “Todd Starnes News & Commentary” feature.

COVID-19, U.S. to Exit Afghanistan, Minneapolis Protests/Chauvin Trial, Democrats’ Court-Packing Bill, Russia Sanctions/China Threats, Reparations Bill, Matt Gaetz Case, and Bernie Madoff Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/14). The “pause” on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the high COVID numbers in Michigan, and the variant running wild in Brazil; President Joe Biden’s move to end U.S. operations in Afghanistan; the protests in Minneapolis over the police shooting death of Daunte Wright, the manslaughter charges against former cop Kim Potter, and the ongoing Derek Chauvin trial; Democrats’ plans to introduce a “court-packing” bill to expand the Supreme Court to 13 justices; the expected sanctions against Russia for hacking and election interference and FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony before Congress about China’s threats to the U.S.; U.S. House Democrats file a bill to study slavery reparations; the allegations of paying for sex with minors against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz; and Ponzi scheme orchestrator Bernie Madoff dies in prison were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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