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By Michael Levin
DeCaro is an attorney turned sports talk radio host who, in her book, decries the piggish nature of virtually all men in the world of sports, from the male broadcasters to the executives who run teams and broadcast outlets, to many of the players, and certainly to the fans.
Men are pigs.
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.
WABC, New York Owner John Catsimatidis ‘Very Close’ to Deciding to Run for Mayor of NYC. On yesterday’s “Bernie and Sid in the Morning” program on Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York, company CEO John Catsimatidis said “we’re very close to deciding” on whether he’ll run for mayor of New York this year. Catsimatidis has been teasing his potential second run for mayor – he ran as a Republican in 2013 and lost in the primary. He told the New York Post he’s a Republican-Liberal candidate. “The progressive flank of the Democratic Party seems to be controlling common-sense Democrats through fear and intimidation. I stand by my belief that the so-called Progressive movement is actually REGRESSIVE, taking our city back 30 years. I love this city and I want to be able to help it, but I have to resolve things with my company, and I have to resolve things with my family.” On the “Bernie and Sid” program, he said, “We want to go back to being the best city in the world, an international city that can create jobs.” 77 WABC notes that there are 41 candidates running in the city’s June 22 primary race. In addition to owning WABC, Catsimatidis hosts the 5:00 pm “Cats at Night” program as well as the Sunday morning show, “The Cats Roundtable.” It’s worth noting that WABC early afternoon talk host Curtis Sliwa is also considering a run for mayor as a Republican.
‘The Dana Show’ Adds New Affiliate Stations. The Radio America nationally syndicated talk program “The Dana Show” – hosted by Dana Loesch – adds a number of new stations to its affiliate roster. Adding the show to their program schedules are: Tiger Communications’ WQSI-FM, Auburn, Alabama; Entercom’s WSKY-FM, Gainesville, Florida; Cumberland Broadcasting Company’s WCBC-AM, Cumberland, Maryland; Vernon R. Baldwin’s WMOH-AM, Hamilton, Ohio; KSBN Radio’s KSBN-AM, Spokane; VP Broadcasting’s WHOL-AM/W295CR Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Grace Broadcasting Services’ WTJS-FM, Jackson, Tennessee.
Matthew Volk Joins Entercom as Vice President of Sports. Sports programming pro Matthew Volk is named vice president of sports for Entercom. He was most recently vice president of content strategy for NBC Sports Washington. In his new role with Entercom, Volk will collaborate with national and market-level leadership to create and manage the integration of existing and new sports and sports-betting content and partnerships across the company’s broadcast, podcast, and on-demand sports audio portfolio. He will also be charged with expanding on Entercom’s sports betting content through the expansion of the BetQL Audio Network and additional broadcast and digital concepts. Volk will report to Entercom EVP of programming Jeff Sottolano while also collaborating with the QL Gaming Group and the digital editorial team on multi-platform concepts to reach sports betting fans. He will also partner with sales leadership on the development of programs, features and sponsorship opportunities. About his new position, Volk says, “This is an incredible opportunity to build on the core assets of Entercom’s sports brands and its broadcast pipes to drive its premier content both locally and nationally across digital, editorial, audio, video and betting content on all platforms. Our multiplatform first approach will enable us to leverage our market-leading talent, programs and access to bring our fans all of the content they crave on the devices they choose.”
Jasmine M. Johnson Named VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Milwaukee. Sales pro Jasmine M. Johnson joins iHeartMedia Milwaukee to serve as vice president of sales for the cluster that includes news/talk WISN-AM, sports talk duo WRNW “97.3 The Game” and WOKY “The Big 920” and four music brands. In this role, Johnson will be responsible for leading multi-cultural initiatives for broadcast, digital and iHeartRadio customers across the region. She will report to Nathan Tonarelli, SVP of sales for iHeartMedia Milwaukee. Prior to joining iHeartMedia, she served with Walgreens, Pfizer Inc., and ManpowerGroup. Her first gig after college was as an intern with the company’s hip hop WKKV “V100.” She says, “This for me is a full circle moment. To return to the company that gave me my first start – from an intern to my first job post-undergrad – as vice president of sales leading such an iconic brand in our community and serving such a loyal listenership base is a gift.”
TALKERS News Notes. Radio programming pro Jon Goulet joins VSiN, “The Sports Betting Network,” in the newly created position of program director. Goulet comes to VSiN from FOX Sports where he was executive producer for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.” His role with VSiN includes overseeing the network’s growing slate of sports betting podcasts and continuing to build out its broadcast radio footprint. VSiN CEO Brian Musberger says, “Jon is one of the most respected names in radio and we’re thrilled to benefit from his industry experience and relationships as we continue to grow our audio capabilities. As the leader in the sports betting audio space, adding Jon will allow us to strengthen our podcast network and both improve and expand our offerings for broadcast radio.”…..News radio pro Jerry Barmash is producing and hosting the podcast, “Here Now the News.” Barmash has worked in news anchor roles at news/talk WABC and business news WBBR-AM in New York. He tells TALKERS magazine, “My podcast ‘Here Now the News’ was born out of my previous digital reporting work for WABC. When the pandemic hit, I started posting stories with additional video content for the website. The podcast focuses on current events with newsmakers from around the country. Since starting in October, guests have included Anthony Scaramucci, former New York Governor David Paterson and television personality Bob Eubanks…..Cox Media Group Tulsa radio stations, including news/talk KRMG-FM are partnering with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to help “Spread the Love.” The company says the annual drive to collect peanut butter and jelly is more crucial than ever this year, as the COVID-19 outbreak has forced more people to rely on assistance in feeding their families. CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther says, “It is startling to hear that one in three children in our communities are unsure from where their next meal is coming. The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is doing some heavy lifting to keep people fed during such uncertain times, and we are happy to pitch in and encourage our listeners to help.”
Trump Acquittal Aftermath/State of the GOP, Capitol Riot Commission, Stimulus Bill Negotiations, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, and Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15). The political climate in Washington, DC in the wake of Saturday’s acquittal of Donald Trump and the state of the Republican Party; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promises an independent commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol riot; the negotiations in Congress over Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus bill; the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; and the freezing winter weather affecting much of the country and paralyzing parts of the South were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Day 1. Pictured above is KHTE, Little Rock “96.5 The Answer” afternoon drive host Dave Elswick (left) speaking with Bristol County, Massachusetts Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson (right) during the first day of broadcasts from the radio row at Federation for America Immigration Reform’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event. This 10th edition of the Washington, DC radio row consists of a record 62 talk show hosts discussing U.S. immigration policy with legislators and experts on the issue.
WPHT’s Chris Stigall Hosts FNC’s Eric Bolling. WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall (left) is pictured here on stage at the Zlock Performing Arts Center at Bucks County Community College outside of Philly last night (6/28) where he hosted Fox News Channel host and author Eric Bolling (right) before a sold-out crowd. Bolling is on tour promoting his new book The Swamp: Washington’s Murky Pool of Corruption and Cronyism and How Trump Can Drain It (St. Martin’s Press 2017). The event was recorded by “C-SPAN Book TV” and will be aired on C-SPAN at a later date.
Brendan Carr to Be Nominated for FCC Commissioner. It appears that sooner rather than later the FCC will have a five-member board of commissioners. Following on the recent re-nomination of Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel, Republican Brendan Carr is being nominated for the remaining GOP commission seat. Carr has been serving the FCC in the office of the General Counsel.
TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (6/29). The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and, its sessions have begun being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day. Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor and the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke. Today (6/29), the “Fireside Chat” between Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity has been posted. Closing out the week tomorrow, (6/30) the “Fireside Chat” between Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa will be posted. Within the following weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year. The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone Networks, Broadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp. To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. New York market sports talk icons Chris Russo and Mike Francesa will reunite at SiriusXM’s studios on July 6 for a special Town Hall broadcast. The duo – once famously paired on CBS RADIO’s WFAN – will field questions from host Chazz Palminteri and an intimate in-studio audience. They’ll talk about their on-air partnership that made the “Mike & the Mad Dog” show one of the most successful radio shows in sports talk history. It’ll air at 6:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel…..The “Morning Sports Page” AM show at Cumulus Media’s KTLT, Abilene, Texas “98.1 The Ticket” is wrapping after the Friday morning program. The two-year-old show features Trace Michaels and Matt McGraw. Michaels is leaving the radio station for a career outside the business…..According to a report in LARadio.com, KFI, Los Angeles reporter/anchor Jo Kwon is leaving the iHeartMedia station to take on a multi-media journalist position with CBS’ KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV. Kwon has been with KFI since 2012…..Despite the photo at right, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro has no immediate plans to join the Trump Administration’s communications department. DePetro is in Washington, DC for the “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row and had the opportunity to snap a photo of himself in the White House press room. DePetro’s program is heard on WADK, Newport and WNRI, Woonsocket.
BFoA Releases Radio PSA. A new 30-second public service announcement is available for radio stations from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. This is part of the charity’s outreach and awareness campaign that launched earlier this spring. The BFoA provides financial assistance to broadcasters in acute need due to critical illness, accident, or other serious misfortune. BFoA says the goal of the outreach campaign and the PSA is to ensure that broadcasters know about its mission of granting hope so that those in need can apply for aid. BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “It is unacceptable that a broadcaster in need may not know that the Broadcasters Foundation is here to provide assistance. We are reaching out aggressively, across every avenue, to get our message of granting hope heard.” Radio stations interested in airing the PSA may download it by clicking on “News” from the homepage of the website at broadcastersfoundation.org, or contact the Foundation at 212-373-8250 or email@example.com.
Status of GOP Health Care Bill, Illegal Immigration Legislation, Trump Travel Ban, U.S. North Korea Policy, CNN’s Yanked Russia Story, Palin NYT Suit, Global Malware Attack, Trump’s Irish Reporter Compliment, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/28). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to delay a vote on the GOP health care bill and its status going forward; today’s votes in the House on the “Kate’s Law” and “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” bills; tonight’s implementation of the Trump travel ban; the Trump Administration’s plans to get tough on North Korea and China; the aftermath of the Anthony Scaramucci-Russia story that CNN retracted; Sarah Palin sues The New York Times over its implication her PAC’s actions led to then-Congresswoman Gabby Gifford’s shooting; the global malware attack and concerns about future similar attacks; chatter about President Trump’s compliment about an Irish reporter’s smile; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rising from his general sales manager position at iHeartMedia Chicago to vice president of sales for the Chicago Region is Joel Kelly. He joined the company in Chicago in 2014 as GSM after serving as a senior account executive at CBS RADIO’s crosstown country WUSN…..In the Peoria market, Advanced Media Partners announces that Jonathan Steele is named program director for CHR WPIA “98.5 Kiss FM.” Steele comes to Peoria from his most recent PD gig with Martz Communications Group in Upstate New York. He’s no stranger to Peoria, having been on air at crosstown WNGY…..Entercom renews the “BJ and Jamie Morning Show” at hot AC KALC, Denver “Alice 105.9” starring BJ Harris and Jamie White for a five-year term…..iHeartMedia and Turner announce they will again work together to broadcast the former’s iHeartRadio Music Awards live from the “Fabulous” Forum in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 11, 2018. The event will once again be simulcast live on Turner’s TBS, TNT and truTV as well as on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on iHeartRadio. Next year’s awards show will be the fifth annual presentation…..Entercom’s CHR WNVZ, Norfolk “Z104” is presenting its annual Summer Shaggfest all-day music festival on Saturday (7/1) featuring Grammy-nominated recording artist Fetty Wap, ASAP Ferg, Aaron Carter, Aminé, Ashanti, Kyle and more than 20 local artists. Z104 PD Natalia Soniak says, “We’ve got an amazing show this year, Fetty Wap has never performed in Hampton Roads before. We’re gearing up for what is sure to be a successful event.”
iHeartMedia Flips WISX, Philly to Classic Hip Hop and R&B. The new format of former hot AC WISX bears the brand “Real 106.1, Philly’s Real No. 1 for Throwbacks.” Core artists for the format that will focus on rhythmic music from the late 90s and early 2000s include: Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Kanye West. Morning personality Chio remains with the station hosting the AM program. iHeartMedia Philadelphia SVP of programming Brian Check states, “We’re thrilled to launch a station that really represents Philly. We hear from our listeners all the time that this music is fun, infectious and timeless, so we can’t wait to bring these songs back to the airwaves.”