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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

| August 30, 2022

Peter Boyles to Host Weekend Show on KNUS, Denver. Longtime Denver talk radio personality Peter Boyles is returning to Salem Media Group’s news/talk 710 KNUS to host a Saturday program airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, effective September 10. Boyles has been serving as morning drive host and recently announced his retirement from that full-time position. Last week, Salem announced that former Colorado district attorney and current Denver Post columnist George Brauchler has assumed daily morning show duties. Station operations manager Kelly Michaels says, “Pete is a Denver radio legend and we are blessed to have him back sharing his unique take on the issues of the day.” As part of the lineup change, Randy Corporon’s weekly program moves to Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. During his career, Boyles has served with numerous Denver radio stations including: KAAT, KLAK, KWBZ, KYBG, KHOW, and KOA.

WXOS-FM, St. Louis Morning Personality Michelle Smallmon to Exit for ESPN Opportunity. The Hubbard Radio sports talk station posts on its website the news that WXOS-FM, St. Louis morning drive co-host Michelle Smallmon will leave the “Karraker & Smallmon” program after this Friday’s show to join ESPN as overnight “SportsCenter” anchor for ESPN Radio. Earlier in her career, Smallmon served with WXOS as producer of “The Fast Lane” program that included her current broadcast partner Randy Karraker before she left to join ESPN the first time around. She rejoined WXOS in May of 2020.

Leon Williamson Named VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Indy. Broadcast marketing pro Leon Williamson is named vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis cluster that includes WNDE “FOX Sports 1260,” WOLT-HD2/W248AW “Business News 97.5,” and three music brands. Williamson transitions to this position from iHeartMedia’s Miami operations. iHeartMedia Indianapolis market manager Kristy Beebe says, “We are so excited to welcome Leon to iHeartMedia Indianapolis. Leon’s unique skill set and passion to lead our sales team is what we’re most excited about. His familiarity of our brands and products, along with the experience he brings from different sectors will be a tremendous addition to our Indianapolis team.” Williamson has also served with Urban One in St. Louis and Cox Media Group in Miami. He comments, “I am extremely excited to lead the Indianapolis team with both my professional and personal skills. I look forward to creating a legacy and blazing a trail for young professionals in media that share my experience.”

Michael Burger Promoted to Market President for iHeartMedia Raleigh. Radio sales and management pro Michael Burger is promoted to market president for iHeartMedia’s Raleigh station group that includes news/talk WTKK-FM and five music brands. Burger was most recently serving as SVP of sales for the cluster. iHeartMedia division president Tom McConnell states, “Michael is a strong natural leader with high business acumen. He has introduced new strategic changes and created synergies between our content creators and revenue drivers that have helped fuel the overall performance for the market.” Burger comments, “I am beyond appreciative and grateful to be trusted with this opportunity. As Raleigh continues to grow, expand and flourish, I look to the future with excitement, encouragement and promise. iHeartMedia Raleigh has established itself as a fierce competitor in the market. We have positioned ourselves incredibly to not only be a destination source for entertainment, music, events, social media, and audio, but to help our clients tell their stories in a creative way that helps them achieve new heights.”

WWO AAG Blog: Performance Marketing Versus Creating Future Demand. This week’s Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog addresses the difference between the “buy now” marketing strategy versus one that seeks to “create future demand.” Some of the research-based findings in this study include: For the automobile category, only 3% are in-market for a new vehicle and consequently, sales event ads only work on the small group who are ready to buy. But looking ahead two years, 24% will purchase a vehicle in that time span and therefore advertisers who focus on creating future demand will have access to a much larger pool of potential customers. The report says, “When a business consistently uses brand building to create future demand and sales events to convert existing demand, great things happen.” It posits that the ideal budget mix is 40% for sales events and 60% to create future demand via brand building. Read the blog here.

KWTO, Springfield, Missouri Unveils ‘Uncommon Sense with Cass’ Program. A new weekend program will debut on Zimmer Midwest Communications’ news/talk KWTO-AM/K227AO, Springfield, Missouri called “Uncommon Sense with Cass,” hosted by Cass Bowen. The show launches on September 3 and airs Saturdays at 10:00 am. Zimmer says the show “will cover politics, culture, and social issues through a Christian conservative lens, and will feature a diverse group of guest interviews from politicians, local special interest groups, cultural commentators, and more.” Bowen serves with the station on the KWTO morning drive program as executive producer and air personality.

TALKERS News Notes. The content staff at Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp – operator of public news/talk WESA-FM and independent music station WYEP-FM announce their intention to form a union with SAG-AFTRA. The bargaining unit includes hosts and disc jockeys, reporters, editors, producers, and others. The group states, “We will approach this process in the spirit of collaboration and professionalism and urge PCBC leadership to do the same by voluntarily recognizing the union and begin bargaining in good faith with us. As a union town, Pittsburgh’s public radio stations should be union shops.” The bargaining unit says its goals are securing livable, equitable wages for staff, and improving the company’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion. The union also seeks to create a more supportive and transparent workplace to help strengthen PCBC as an organization…..Community Communications’ public radio outlets WMFE, Orlando and WMFV, Cedar Creek, Florida announce they are launching a revamped version of the weekly arts, culture and entertainment segment “Spotlight” on Septempber 1. The segment, hosted by WMFE’s “All Things Considered” host, Nicole Darden Creston, will air at 4:45 pm on Thursdays. “Spotlight” will relaunch as both a four-minute radio segment and an extended podcast. The segment explores Central Florida’s arts scene from a unique perspective and amplifies voices not often heard. “Spotlight” will also share performances from creators of all stripes.

Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, FBI Raid/Documents Investigation, Biden Student Loan Plan, Russia-Ukraine War, Immigration, Musk vs Twitter, Droughts & Floods Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29). The primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the investigation into classified documents; criticism of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; migrant troubles at the U.S.-Mexico border; Elon Musk’s battle against Twitter to back out of his $44 billion acquisition of the company; the droughts and floods affecting life in America were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

| November 9, 2021

Audacy Third Quarter Net Revenue up 23%. Reporting its 2021 third quarter financial data, Audacy says net revenue was $329.4 million, an increase of 23% compared to the same period in 2020. Spot revenue was $220.6 million, up 21% compared to Q3 of 2020 and digital revenue was $61.4 million, up 30% compared to the same period a year ago. Operating income for the quarter was $29.2 million, compared to an operating loss of $0.3 million in the third quarter of 2020. Audacy president and CEO David J. Field says, “I am pleased to report that Audacy continues to rebound from the pandemic, as third quarter revenues grew 23% over the prior year and 8% sequentially over the second quarter, while EBITDA grew 58% year over year. While many ad categories remain highly impacted as a result of the pandemic, it is great to see an increasing number of categories back above 2019 spending levels. During October, we announced the acquisition of WideOrbit’s digital audio streaming and ad tech business, which we have relaunched as AmperWave, enabling us to accelerate our digital product roadmap and enhance our growth potential… And our podcast studios had a strong quarter of creative, premium original content development including the first release from our 2400Sports studio, our first C13 Features ‘movie for your ears’ in partnership with Endeavor, and the ‘Succession’ companion podcast hosted by Kara Swisher in partnership with HBO Max. We continue to rapidly evolve and fundamentally elevate the organization through a series of strategic acquisitions, organic growth initiatives, structural improvements, talent additions and premium content development and are well positioned to accelerate our growth and capitalize on the exciting opportunities in the dynamically growing audio marketplace.”

Cumulus Audio Active Group: October PPM Audiences Increase. This week’s Cumulus Media Audio Active Group blog focuses on recent information from Nielsen Audio that “as COVID infections fall, public concern over COVID wanes, and commutes to work and school resume,” American AM/FM radio listening “has increased to new highs in the October 2021 48 Portable People Meter markets.” Other noteworthy data includes: 1) Consumers are on the road in their cars; Geopath reports U.S. October 2021 miles traveled were 7% greater than October 2019; Apple Maps says October 2021 driving search volumes surged 59% past pre-COVID levels; 2) U.S. AM/FM radio had its strongest reach performance since COVID, recovering 99% of the March 2020 PPM cume audience in PPM markets; 3) Nielsen October 2021 PPM AQH audiences rose to 96% of March 2020 levels, the second best showing since the pandemic; and 4) Morning audiences exploded to their highest levels in 20 months; Versus a year ago, women 25-54 AQH increased 20% and teen AQH rose a massive 74%. See more from the blog here.

SiriusXM’s Joe Madison Announces Hunger Strike Over Voting Rights Bill. Morning drive talk host Joe Madison says he’s beginning a hunger strike in protest of voting rights not getting passed in the Senate. Madison – a.k.a. The Black Eagle – hosts the morning show on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel. He says, “As a political protest, I am beginning a hunger strike today by abstaining from eating until Congress passes, and President Biden signs, the Freedom to Vote Act or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Both bills were recently passed by the House of Representatives and both have stalled in the Senate. Madison adds, “I call it basically starving for voting rights. And that began on this date. And I repeat just as food is necessary to sustain life, the right to vote is necessary to sustain democracy. Yes, my life matters. My health matters, but our right to vote matters more.”

Hot Radio Guest Speaks at Major Libertarian Gathering. Emeritus finance professor Dr. Murray Sabrin of Ramapo College in New Jersey – one of conservative and liberty-minded talk radio’s most popular “go-to” guests for three decades – recently spoke at the Mises Institute “Supporters Summit” in St. Pete Beach, Florida and outlined his provocative and innovative strategy for medical freedom. Sabrin is the author of Universal Medical Care from Conception to End of Life: The Case for a Single Payer System, where the individual/family is the single payer not the government. In Sabrin’s proposal, medical freedom consists of cash payment for routine care, a super health savings account for more expensive treatment and a catastrophic insurance policy. Also, Sabrin advocates a massive expansion of nonprofit medical centers to replace the $700 billion Medicaid program. He also challenged U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), who advocates Medicare for All, a government single payer system, to a debate so the American people can hear two diametrically opposing views on the future of medical care in America. To book Professor Sabrin as a hot guest, contact Victoria Jones of DC Radio Company at 917-865-3991 or victoria@dcradiocompany.com.  To view Dr. Murray Sabrin’s 20-minute speech at the Mises Institute event, please click here.

Outkick Partners with Skyview Networks for Ad and Affiliate Sales, Content Distribution. The new relationship between OutKick’s sports talk network and Skyview Networks will have the latter providing network ad sales, affiliate sales and content distribution to Outkick, beginning with the “Outkick 360” program starring Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow and Paul Kuharsky. Outkick founder Clay Travis says, “We’re thrilled to work with Skyview to expand OutKick’s brand and reach. Beginning with the ‘OutKick 360’ show, we’re working with the best talent to bring authenticity, perspective and fun back to sports radio. Radio is at the core of OutKick, and we could not ask for better partners than Skyview to grow our network.” Skyview COO and president Steve Jones adds, “We’re excited to be working with the OutKick team in launching a new sports network that provides radio stations dynamic and entertaining programming that will drive ratings and revenue. OutKick’s engaging and knowledgeable hosts with their fan-first sports perspective matched with sports wagering analysis to capture gaming revenue sponsorships fit perfectly with Skyview’s #1 local play-by-play sports position in network radio.”

Audacy Names Brian Benedik Chief Revenue Officer. Media executive Brian Benedik is named chief revenue officer for Audacy, effective December 1. Benedik was most recently VP/global head of revenue for augmented reality developer Niantic. In his new role with Audacy, he’ll lead all aspects of revenue generation across corporate, national, regional and local levels and develop fully integrated, multiplatform sales solutions and breakthrough strategies to attract new revenue streams. Audacy COO Susan Larkin comments, “We’re thrilled to welcome Brian to Audacy and our executive leadership team. His resume speaks for itself, with key roles at audio publishers like Spotify, iHeart Radio, Audible and Katz Media, where his strategic vision enabled the former to quickly elevate from a newcomer in our industry to a multi-billion-dollar leader in the audio streaming space. Brian’s considerable expertise and experience will amplify our revenue generation efforts as Audacy continues its upward trajectory.” Benedik states, “The audio industry is booming with innovation and consumers are enjoying wonderful content experiences across a number of platforms. The Audacy re-imagination efforts are beyond impressive and the portfolio of assets across radio, streaming, podcast, live events, sports play-by-play and sports betting are best in class. I’m looking forward to working with David Field, Susan Larkin and the Audacy executive team to drive value to marketers and our loyal users.”

Biden’s Low Approval Ratings, Supply Chain/Inflation/Gas Prices, COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, COVID Travel Ban Lifted, China’s Military Aggression, and Astroworld Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/8). President Joe Biden’s approval ratings slip to an all-time low of 38% with Americans saying he’s not focusing on the most important issues; the effects of the broken global supply chain, soaring retail prices and record high gas prices; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Appeals Court halt of Biden’s vaccine mandate, and the controversial case of Aaron Rodgers; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the U.S. lifts the international travel ban; China’s war games using U.S. ship mock-ups; and the investigation into the deadly Astroworld concert in Houston were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.