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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

| July 6, 2022

Ken Charles to Step Away from KNX, Los Angeles. News radio programmer Ken Charles announces that he’ll be leaving Audacy’s all-news KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles when his contract expires on July 22. Charles made the announcement in a Facebook post. He says, “This is one of the hardest emails I have ever written. I’ve made the difficult professional and personal decision not to renew my contract and am stepping down as brand manager for KNX and format VP for Audacy. It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the 102-year history of KNX and to lead this amazing group of professionals. I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together. We’ve covered every type of story imaginable, fires, earthquakes, a global pandemic, protests in the streets, two of the most intense elections ever, a Dodgers World Series victory, a Lakers NBA championship, the Rams first LA Super Bowl title (sorry Kings) and so many more. We celebrated KNX’s 100th anniversary and won the first two national Edward R. Murrow awards in the station’s 54-year all-news history. We’ve evolved the station’s sound, grown our ratings, expanded our digital footprint and become a leader in the company. Finally, we moved KNX to the FM dial and became KNX News 97.1 FM. There are so many of you I want to individually acknowledge and thank for making my seven years at KNX an amazing experience, but I don’t want this to become an Oscar speech and be played off this email. However, I do want to thank my partner in our success, our news director, Julie Chin. None of the above happens without Julie’s help, counsel, insight, friendship and hard work. She will continue to be a steady hand in the continuing success of KNX and keep the momentum we’ve built going.”

New TALKERS 2022 Video Posted. The latest video from the June 10 TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University has been posted. This fireside chat was introduced by John Caracciolo, president/CEO of JVC Broadcasting and featured FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel star Brian Kilmeade being interviewed by WPG, Atlantic City morning drive host Harry Hurley. See the complete video of this session here.

Danny Marang Joins Midday Show at “1080 The Fan” in Portland. Sports media pro Danny Marang is named midday show co-host at Audacy’s sports talk KFXX-AM, Portland “1080 The Fan.” Marang joins longtime station host Dusty Harrah on the new “Danny and Dusty” show that airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. Marang is a 10-year Portland media veteran who also hosts “Jacked Ramsays,” a Portland Trail Blazers-focused podcast alongside “1080 The Fan” morning show host Brandon Sprague. Marang previously served as host of Trail Blazers pregame and postgame shows on NBC Sports Northwest and as a writer for SB Nation website “Blazers Edge.” He also served as an operations intelligence officer in the United States Air Force. Audacy Portland SVP and market manager Kim Martinez states, “Danny brings a rich breadth of experience covering this area’s sports scene, and we’re pleased to team him up with Dusty Harrah for the launch of a brand-new midday show. Together, Danny and Dusty will deliver fresh, entertaining and informative content to carry our listeners through their workdays.”

Triton Digital Releases Streaming Rankers for May 2022. The monthly ranker of top performing digital audio publishers for May 2022 has been published by Triton Digital. This ranker is based on Average Active Sessions (AAS) and represents the average number of sessions at any point in time in the reported time period, with invalid sessions omitted. AAS can be calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period (AAS=TLH/Hours in period). For the United States and measuring 6am-12am Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is ranked #1 with 298,936 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (73,102 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (62,820 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,251 AAS). Other radio-related companies ranking in the top 25 include Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (19,321 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,079 AAS), Salem Communications at #11 (8,599 AAS), Urban One at #12 (8,357 AAS), and Bonneville International at #14 (6,789 AAS). See the complete ranker here.

New Jersey Theatre Unveils ‘Beasley Media Group Green Room.’ The nonprofit State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick – one of the oldest operating theatres in the state – announces that its green room is now named the “Beasley Media Group Green Room” as part of its Next Stage Campaign. The naming commemorates Beasley Media Group’s commitment to the arts community and longtime support of State Theatre New Jersey, which is currently celebrating its 100th Anniversary Season. The extensive renovations at the theatre are helping preserve its rich history while continuing to serve the community as a state-of-the-art cultural center far into the future. The renovations, which were completed in October 2021, included newly renovated lobbies, all new restrooms, upgraded HVAC systems, a new elevator for access to all levels, brand-new theater seats, and renovations to the backstage area, including the green room. Beasley SVP and market manager Dan Finn says, “We are honored and thrilled with the naming of the Beasley Media Group Green Room in the historic and beautiful State Theatre New Jersey. Congratulations to the State Theatre on the success of the Next Campaign and for celebrating the recent milestone of 100 years of live entertainment.”

July 4 Shooting/Gun Control, January 6 Hearings/Georgia Election Probe, The Economy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, and Boris Johnson Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/5). The Fourth of July shooting in suburban Chicago that left seven people dead and talk about gun control issues; the January 6 hearings and the subpoenaing of Senator Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani and others in the Georgia investigation into allegations of election interference by former President Donald Trump; the high price of gas & food, the sinking financial markets, and threats of a recession; the midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and Boris Johnson’s tenuous hold on his prime minister position were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

| June 2, 2022

Triton Digital Releases Streaming Metrics Ranker for April. The monthly rankings of streaming properties in the U.S. for the month of April have been released by Triton Digital. The ranker is based on Average Active Sessions (calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period). The following is based on listening in the U.S. for 6am-12am Mon-Sun. This month, iHeartRadio is #1 with 300,843 AAS, followed by NPR Member Stations at #2 (73,677 AAS), and Audacy at #3 (67,798 AAS). Other radio-related companies finishing in the top 25 include Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (42,061 AAS), Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (19,207 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,095 AAS), Salem Communications at #11 (8,816 AAS), Urban One at #12 (8,456 AAS), and Bonneville International at #13 (7,358 AAS). See the complete ranker here.

 

Edison Research to Present ‘The Smart Audio Report’ Five Years In. On June 16, Edison Research will present a live webinar to reveal the results of its The Smart Audio Report 2022. Edison says that back in 2017, it and NPR went into the homes of smart speaker owners to learn how the new technology was being integrated into people’s lives for the original Smart Audio Report. Five years later, they revisited some of those same families to see how they have grown and how their usage of voice assistant technology has changed. “The 2022 installment of the Smart Audio Report will not only offer an update on some of those original families, but also fresh data from a recent national study that measures attitudes around voice tech among those who use it and those who don’t.” Ahead of the June 16 webinar, Edison reveals that recent data shows (for people 13+) share of time spent listening to audio on a smart speaker breaks down as follows: Streaming Audio (Spotify, Pandora, etc.) 41%, AM/FM Radio 13%, YouTube (music and music videos only) 11%, SiriusXM 11%, Owned Music 8%, Podcasts 8%, Audio Books 7%, and Other 1%. You can get more information about the webinar and register here.

 

Conservative Commentator Tomi Lahren to Host Outkick Programs. Conservative media figure Tomi Lahren is joining OutKick Media to host the evening program “Tomi Lahren is Fearless,” premiering on June 20. New episodes will air every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7:00 pm ET and will be available on demand on YouTube and social channels as well as outkick.com later this summer. Outkick SVP Gary Schreier says, “Tomi has amassed a loyal following throughout her career, and we are excited to bring her signature style and insights to our highly engaged audience at OutKick where she will be an invaluable addition to our expanding programming lineup.” Additionally, Lahren is being named the exclusive voice of “FOX News Commentary” where she will offer her perspective on everything from pop culture to politics with a 60-second FOX News Audio produced feature. The segment will be syndicated three times per weekday across more than 160 FOX News Radio stations.

 

Hutton, Withrow, and Kuharsky Return to Nashville Airwaves. According to a report in The Tennessean, the sports talk program “OutKick 360,” hosted by Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow, and Paul Kuharsky and formerly known as “Midday 180,” is returning to the Nashville market on the radio. The program has been broadcast digitally on Outkick.com since January of 2021. It originally aired on Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM “104.5 The Zone.” Beginning on June 13, the show will air from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Cromwell Media’s WBUZ-HD3/W235BW “94.9 The Fan” – sister station to sports talk WPRT-FM “ESPN 102.5 The Game.” Station program director Chase McCabe says, “One of my goals as the new PD was to figure out a way to add ‘OutKick 360’ to our talented lineup. Re-imagining 94.9 as ‘The Fa’n made that possible because not only do we add three voices that Nashville knows, but we are able to bring Dan Patrick and Colin Cowherd back to the Music City. It’s a huge win for us and for our city.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Today is the beginning of the 2022 Women’s College World Series at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One – the official audio partner of the NCAA – is broadcasting every game of the series…..A new podcast titled “R&B Money” hosted by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter-producer TANK and his business partner, multi-platinum singer-songwriter-music executive J. Valentine is launching on iHeartMedia’s and Charlamagne tha God’s Black Effect Podcast Network. The series “is for the super dedicated R&B fan, highlighting everything from Marvin Gaye to Pink Sweat$. ‘R&B Money’ has produced an exciting space for artists & executives in the game to reminisce with exceptionally compelling storytelling while building a place of discovery for the fans.”…..Journalist Katie Couric is releasing a new iHeartRadio Original special limited podcast series titled, “Abortion: The Body Politic.” In this series, she speaks with historians, doctors, activists, reproductive justice leaders, everyday women who have had abortions, and others to discuss the realities of a country without Roe v. Wade. Guests on the program will include Gloria Steinem; Mary Ziegler, foremost abortion law expert; Jessica Chastain, Academy Award-winning actress; Busy Philipps, actress and activist; Dr. Warren Hern, abortion doctor; and more.

 

Tulsa Hospital Shooting/Uvalde Aftermath, Inflation-Recession Fears, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Durham Investigation, COVID-19, Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Depp-Heard Verdict Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/1). A shooting at a Tulsa medical center claims the lives of four and the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas school massacre; the still-rising price of gas & food and concerns about a recession; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, its effects on the global economy and Vladimir Putin’s threats of nuclear force; the primary races for the midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; special counsel John Durham’s probe into the Trump-Russia investigation; the high rates of COVID-19 in parts of the U.S.; Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee; and the verdicts in the Johnny DeppAmber Heard defamation case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

| May 5, 2022

Urban One First Quarter 2022 Net Revenue Rises 23%. Reporting financial data for the first quarter of 2022, Urban One, Inc. – parent of Radio One – says its net revenue was approximately $112.3 million, an increase of 23% from the same period in 2021. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $48.4 million, an increase of 33% from the same period in 2021. Net income was approximately $16.4 million or $0.32 per share (basic) compared to $7,000 or $0.00 per share (basic) for the same period in 2021. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III, states, “We had extremely strong first quarter performance across the platform, with advertising revenues up double-digit percentages in all of our operating segments. Digital revenues were up 49.5%, cable TV advertising revenues were up 46.9%, and radio advertising, excluding political and digital, was up 17.4%. This enabled us to grow Adjusted EBITDA by 38.9% year-over-year, and by $14.3 million or 51.6% vs. Q1 2019. Looking back at pre-pandemic revenues, when we aggregate our radio broadcasting, syndication, events and digital operations, net revenues were up 11.5% compared to Q1 2019. Second quarter core radio advertising is pacing up mid-single digits, as we start to lap the tougher comps from 2021. Our balance sheet continues to strengthen, with $166.4 million of cash and net leverage down to 4.07x.”

 

Cumulus Announces $25 Million Stock Buyback. On the heels of yesterday’s first quarter financial report and the board’s authorization of a $50 million buyback program, Cumulus Media Inc. announces its intention to commence a “modified Dutch auction” tender offer to purchase up to $25 million of shares of its Class A common stock, or such lesser number of shares of its Class A common stock as are properly tendered and not properly withdrawn, at a price not greater than $16.50 and not less than $14.50 per share of Class A common stock, to the tendering shareholder in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest (the “Offer”). Cumulus president and CEO Mary G. Berner says, “Following yesterday’s announcement of the board’s authorization of a $50 million share buyback program, we are launching this tender as a first step in our capital return plan. This action is underpinned by our strong financial and operating momentum, our continued belief that the company is significantly undervalued and our desire to allow shareholders who seek it the ability to take advantage of the liquidity we can provide them. It is also our expectation that, even with this tender offer, we will be below our target of 3.5x net leverage by year end with significant continuing liquidity and financial flexibility for accretive M&A.” Cumulus will conduct the Offer by means of a procedure commonly called a “modified Dutch auction.” This procedure allows shareholders to select the price, within a price range specified by Cumulus, and the number of shares they are willing to sell at that price (or, should a higher price be determined as the “purchase price,” such higher price). The Offer is being made under Cumulus’s previously announced $50 million share repurchase program.

 

Saga Communications Net Revenue Increases 12% in Q1 of 2022. For the first three months of 2022, Saga Communications, Inc. net revenue increased 12% to $25 million compared to $22.3 million for the same period in 2021. Station operating income increased 17.8% to $5.6 million and operating income was $1.7 million compared to $883,000 for same period a year ago. Saga reports net income of $1.2 million compared to net income of $758 thousand for Q1 of 2021. The company paid a quarterly dividend of $0.16 per share on April 8, 2022. The aggregate amount of the quarterly dividend was approximately $970 thousand. Additionally, the company paid a quarterly dividend of $0.16 per share and a special dividend of $0.50 per share on January 14, 2022. To date Saga has paid over $78 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012. Saga Communications reports that it had $55.2 million in cash on hand as of March 31, 2022.

 

Russia-Ukraine War Correspondent Gregg Stebben is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Veteran media editor/reporter Gregg Stebben is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Stebben is a former longtime editor of Men’s Health magazine who served 20 years as its radio spokesperson. He is currently reporting on a volunteer basis back to the U.S. via the beamz.live platform from Poland and Ukraine where he has been interviewing refugees and local citizens in both adjacent nations in addition to doing whatever he can to provide comfort and support to the frightened, displaced people in conjunction with international humanitarian groups. Harrison caught up with Stebben on the Ukrainian side of the border on May 2. They discuss the human element of the crisis and the catastrophic impact and escalating deadly potential of the war. Harrison states, “Not only is the information being gathered by Stebben of great value, he is a shining example of independent talk radio reporting in action serving as a one-man field unit reporting on the war while supporting Ukraine as a volunteer. I find his effort truly inspirational.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

 

Premiere of 2,000 Mules Takes Place at Mar-a-Lago. The premiere of Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary film 2,000 Mules took place last night (5/4) at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida as former president Donald J. Trump presided over the event. The film was executive produced by Salem Media Group and a number of its current and former talk hosts appear in the documentary. Pictured above are (from l-r): D’Souza, Sebastian Gorka, Eric Metaxas, Trump, Larry Elder, Charlie Kirk, and Dennis Prager.

 

Triton Digital Streaming Metrics Ranker for March 2022 Released. The Streaming Metrics Ranker for the U.S. for March of this year has been released by Triton Digital. The ranker is based on Average Active Sessions and charts the top 25 performing digital audio publishers. For the daypart 6am-12am Mon-Sun, iHeartMedia leads the pack with 303,162 AAS. Some of the other radio-related companies appearing in the ranker include at #2 NPR Member Stations (81,035 AAS), #3 Audacy (69,281 AAS), #4 Cumulus Streaming Network (42,569 AAS), #7 Beasley Broadcasting Corporate (19,203 AAS), #8 Hubbard Broadcasting (15,233 AAS), #11 Salem Communications (9,591 AAS), #12 Urban One (8,577 AAS), and #13 Bonneville International 7,612 AAS). See the complete ranker here.

 

WCKG-AM, Chicago Owner Buying Time on WLS-AM to Reach Voters for U.S. Senate Campaign. Chicagoland radio station owner Matt Dubiel – whose company DuPage Radio LLC owns and operates talk outlet WCKG-AM, Elmhurst – is running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican and is taking an interesting tack in his campaign. He says in a press release that “in the spirit of former presidential candidate and businessman Ross Perot, Illinois businessman Matt Dubiel has purchased airtime on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890-AM.” He will host a two-hour show every Saturday afternoon from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm until the primary election on June 28. Dubiel adds, “Nothing can replace the reach of radio. I’m consistently being shadow-banned on social media, corporate media refuses to cover my campaign, and the issues we need to discuss like CRT/SEL in schools, medical freedom, and other hot topics are virtually banned on social platforms that censor We the People, in America! The Illinois GOP even has me blocked on Twitter, and I’m running on their ticket! Hosting my own show on the radio home of Bongino, Shapiro, and Levin will allow Dubiel to speak directly to the people. The people in every county across Illinois need to know they have a guy who will actually represent them for a change. I am looking forward to talking to ALL Illinoisians about the issues that matter to them.” The 45-year-old Dubiel says he began his career in radio at 17, interning for the legendary Steve Dahl. He worked his way up through the radio ranks in Chicago, serving as a producer and talent, before transitioning into management.

 

Jeff Katz Show Honored by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz (right) with Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (left) as the governor recognizes the 6th anniversary of Katz’s “Lt. Jan McTernan Blue Friday Honors Program” that pays tribute to Central Virginia police officers by highlighting their positive contributions.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Radio pro Jon Zaghloul is being promoted to sports director at DuPage Radio LLC’s WCKG-AM, Elmhurst, Illinois. In this new role, Zaghloul will continue to host his weekend program “Sports Talk Chicago” on the station. He says, “I am honored to be a part of this exciting new challenge with WCKG. Over the past two years with the station, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the chance to provide Chicagoans with hard-hitting sports opinions and insightful interviews. Now, it is time to expand our iconic brand, and I am actively on the hunt for both fresh, and established local sports talent to bolster our daily lineup.”…..Los Angeles Comic Con, partners with iHeartRadio to produce the podcast, “Comic Con Meta*Pod.” The show launched on Wednesday (5/4) with a “May the 4th Star Wars” special featuring “Mandalorian” actor Giancarlo Esposito, “Clone Wars” and “Bad Batch” composer Kevin Kiner, and more. The podcast is hosted by Hector Navarro and art/culture critic Joelle Monique…..Pictured below is “Florida Man Radio” afternoon drive host Shannon Burke (left) with former New York City police chief Bernard Kerik (right). Kerik appeared on Burke’s radio show on Wednesday (5/4) and the two discussed Kerik’s former police chief role in New York City, working with Donald Trump, the January 6 Committee, and more. “Florida Man Radio” is broadcast on WDYZ-AM/W288CJ, Orlando and WZLB-FM, Fort Walton Beach.

 

Roe v Wade Leak/Protests, Fed Raises Interest Rates/Economy, Midterm Primaries/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, and Dave Chapelle Attack Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4). The leak of a draft Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Roe v Wade and the protests taking place around the country; the Fed raises interest rates a half percent and the effect of high gas and food prices; the primary elections for November’s midterm races and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its effects on Europe and the global economy; Donald Trump Jr. sits for testimony before the January 6 committee; concerns about new Omicron variants causing a summer wave of infections; and Dave Chapelle is attacked while on stage at the Hollywood Bowl were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

| March 31, 2022

Criminal Trial Attorney and Radio Talk Show Host Arthur Aidala is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Get ready for a deep dive into an analysis of the criminal justice system, Supreme Court politics, and the causes of spiking urban crime stats. Nationally famous New York defense lawyer and high-profile on-air TV and radio legal analyst, Arthur Aidala is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” For more than 25 years, Aidala has handled high-profile cases at the investigative, trial, and appellate levels, including a famous win for NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and obtaining a full acquittal of William Rapetti in the highly publicized New York City crane collapse case. Now he’s been recruited to join the airstaff at New York City’s “AM 970 The Answer” (WNYM) to host a daily one-hour power-packed radio show (“The Arthur Aidala Power Hour”) currently in its third month on the air. Michael Harrison describes Aidala’s air work as “nothing short of fantastic.” Don’t miss this fast-paced, content-rich example of why “The Michael Harrison Interview” has been a favorite of media enthusiasts and talk radio junkies around the world for almost seven years. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

Triton Digital Releases Streaming Rankers for February 2022. The most recent streaming ranker report from Triton Digital is released for U.S. listening in February. Triton’s rankers are based on Average Active Sesions (AAS) – the average number of sessions at any point in time in the reported time period, with invalid sessions omitted. AAS can be calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period (AAS=TLH/Hours in period). For the period Mon-Sun 6am-12am, iHeartMedia is the #1 publisher with 291,890 AAS. NPR Member Stations is #2 with 81,180 AAS, followed by Audacy at #3 with 65,774 AAS and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 with 41,342 AAS. Other radio-related companies of note ranking in the top 25 include Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,423 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (14,884 AAS), Salem Communications at #11 (9,498 AAS), Urban One at #12 (8,084 AAS) and Bonneville International at #13 (6,783 AAS). See the whole report here.

 

Cumulus Boise Names Nancy Wirth Director of Sales. Radio and television sales pro Nancy Wirth is named director of sales for Cumulus Media’s Boise station group that includes news/talk KBOI-AM/FM, sports talk KTIK-AM/K237HA “The Ticket,” and three music brands.  Wirth most recently served as faith-based radio and TV group the Dove. She says, “Cumulus has always been the best of the best. I am ecstatic to be part of the Cumulus Boise team, and I look forward to working with everyone and growing in this dynamic company.”

 

Montemayor Joins Beasley Detroit as General Sales Manager. Another move in the sales department at Beasley Media Group Detroit as Lynn Montemayor joins the company as general sales manager for the cluster that includes sports talk WCSX-HD2/W228CJ “Motor City Sports Talk – The ROAR” and four music brands. Montemayor spent the past four years as a partner & chief marketing officer Detroit-based marketing firm Fortysix/5. Beasley Detroit VP of sales Tina Murley comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Lynn Montemayor to the Beasley Detroit team. Lynn is a highly respected, industry professional that has a keen understanding of client needs and how to build winning marketing plans. She is the perfect addition to our amazing team in Detroit.”

 

iHeartMedia Partners with Super League Gaming for Metaverse Projects. Forging ahead with its endeavors in the metaverse, iHeartMedia announces a partnership with Super League Gaming – a network of metaverse games, monetization tools, and content channels – that “will leverage iHeartMedia’s massive North American sales force of 1,500 sellers in every major market nationwide, as well as its vast roster of partners, to bring Super League’s highly-sought-after ad inventory and influencer network to brands looking to gain entry to the metaverse.” The two companies will also collaborate on the development and rollout of iHeartMedia’s “iHeartLand” virtual spaces and fan experiences across metaverse platforms as well as the distribution of Super League’s immersive new 3D and NPC (non-player character) ad units. The press release further states that “Super League will share its deep knowledge and insights on open metaverse gaming platforms such as Roblox and Minecraft. This includes the company’s robust suite of exclusive analytics to help guide the go-to-market plans and future-forward sales strategies for iHeartMedia’s portfolio of premium brand advertisers.” iHeartMedia EVP, digital distribution and platform partnerships Jessica Jerrick says, “As we develop and introduce our unique iHeart experiences in the metaverse this year, we’re thrilled to partner with Super League to create new and compelling ways to connect our brand partners to passionate fans in our virtual spaces and beyond. Super League’s expertise, coupled with their best-in-class ad tech and expansive inventory across Roblox games, puts them at the forefront of this exciting space and makes them an ideal partner for iHeartMedia’s new extensions in the metaverse.”

 

Alex Jones Being Held in Contempt of Court. According to numerous reports, including one from CNN, talk media personality Alex Jones is being held in contempt of court for failing to sit for depositions in the suit against him by families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook School shooting. Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that Jones intentionally failed to comply with the court’s orders but so far has not issued a warrant for his arrest. Jones’ attorneys say he is being advised to remain at home due to medical issues, but his attorneys also confirmed in a court filing that Jones has been hosting his daily “Info Wars” show from a studio away from his home. CNN’s report says, “Until he sits for a deposition, Bellis ordered, Jones will have to pay fines that will start at $25,000 a day on April 1 and increasing by $25,000 each business day.” Christopher Mattei is the attorney representing a number of Sandy Hook families and he argues that Jones should be jailed until he is deposed to show that refusing the court’s orders “are not worth it.”

 

 

Jesse Kelly Participates in KTLK, St. Louis’ ‘Patriot Speaker Series.’ Last weekend, Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk host Jesse Kelly participated in the inaugural “Patriot Speaker Series” produced by iHeartMedia’s news/talk KTLK-FM, St. Louis “104.9 The Patriot” and hosted by KTLK morning personality Jamie Allman. The event took place before a sold-out crowd of more than 300 guests and featured a conversation between Allman and Kelly, who chatted about their careers in radio and the latest news headlines, before taking questions from attendees. Pictured (from l-r) are: iHeartMedia St. Louis market president John Beck, Allman, Kelly, iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of programming Gail Austin, and iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of sales Libby Nolan.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured at right is nationally syndicated talk radio host and best-selling author Todd Starnes in front of The Ronald Reagan Ranch Center where he was invited to deliver the keynote address at an event hosted by Young America’s Foundation. He also delivered a speech to hundreds of college students at West Coast Baptist College near Los Angeles…..The new book from SiriusXM Urban View talk host Joe Madison hits the #1 position on the Amazon Political Literature Criticism book chart. Radio Active: a Memoir of Advocacy in Action, on the Air and in the Streets (Xlibris US, 2021) is described as “the story of Madison’s decades of activism, from his childhood in a segregated neighborhood in Dayton, Ohio, to interviewing Barack Obama in the Oval Office. It’s a delightful tale, a call to action and an eye-opening commentary on the racial divide that persists in America today.”…..Audacy expands its broadcast partnership with the New York Mets by making the Audacy app the exclusive free digital streaming home for all Mets games as part of WCBS-AM’s flagship partnership with the team. English and Spanish language broadcasts of Mets baseball will be available on the Audacy app for consumers within the Mets broadcast territory and Mets.com beginning Opening Day on April 7. Audacy New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero states, “Following one of the most successful off seasons in franchise history, we’re thrilled to gear up for the 2022 season by making our outstanding coverage of the Mets even more accessible to millions of local fans. In the car, on their phone or however they may be listening – in English or in Spanish – the Amazin’ faithful will now have the ability to seamlessly catch every pitch during what is sure to be an exciting season.”…..iHeartMedia announces a slate of original podcasts as part of its My Cultura Podcast Network launching in partnership with award-winning actress, producer, director and activist Eva Longoria. The company says the upcoming shows further My Cultura’s dedication to celebrating and elevating Latinx voices, stories, and content creators like Longoria. The projects span across genres – two of the series will be hosted by Longoria herself, including an interview series and a food and culture show. Longoria, along with actress Dania Ramirez, will also executively produce a scripted podcast series based on a true story. SVP, head of production and development for My Cultura, Gisselle Bances says, “We’re incredibly excited about this partnership, and the growth of our network, as we continue to tell our stories and celebrate our Latinidad. We’re thrilled to partner with Eva as we continue to increase the representation and visibility of our community and cultura in the podcast industry and beyond.”…..TuneIn announces a newly inked, multi-year partnership agreement with Major League Baseball ahead of Opening Day that will – for TuneIn Premium subscribers – include live and on-demand game coverage of all 30 MLB teams, on-demand post-game analysis, Spanish-language broadcasting coverage, and spring training play-by-play coverage.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Trump’s Putin Request, Gas Prices/Inflation, January 6/Ginni Thomas, Hunter Biden Investigation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Cawthorn Allegations, and West Bank Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/31). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the war’s effects on the European and American economies; former President Donald Trump beseeches Vladimir Putin with requests for damaging information on President Joe Biden; the high price Americans are paying at the pump and in grocery stores; the January 6 committee’s investigation and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginni’s texts to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows asking him to overturn the 2020 election; the DOJ’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions and concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant; GOP Congressman Madison Cawthorn tells a reporter powerful Republicans invited him to an orgy and did cocaine; and the Palestinian-Israeli violence in the West Bank were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, January 7, 2022

| January 7, 2022

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 New Abnormal,” looks back at this past week of 1/3 to 1/7. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSHarry Hurley, talk show host WPG, Atlantic City; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/physician; Scott Sands, talk show host, WSPD, Toledo; Danny Lipford, host “Today’s Homeowner” Radio & TV; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each weekend on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Bill Bartholomew Joins WPRO, Providence as APD/Executive Producer. Rhode Island multimedia journalist Bill Bartholomew joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM “NewsTalk 99.7 FM & AM 630” as assistant program director and executive producer. Bartholomew is creator and host of “The Bartholomewtown Podcast,” a popular local political podcast that features in-depth interviews with local and national figures. He holds a degree in political science from University of Rhode Island and is also a regular contributor to Rhode Island PBS. WPRO program director Doug MacGunnigle comments, “I’m excited to welcome Bill to the team. His experience in the digital realm, standing in the community, and political savvy will add greatly to the success of WPRO and be a tremendous asset as we move into new and exciting frontiers, both on the air and beyond.” Bartholomew states, “Joining the team at legendary platform WPRO on a daily basis is a tremendous opportunity for me, and one that I take extremely seriously. For nearly a century, WPRO has been a trusted source for southern New Englanders, and I look forward to collaborating with the station to expand the reach of my perspective and insight into the issues that are important to the region, introducing radio to a new audience, and expanding WPRO’s reach in the rapidly expanding digital space.”

Mueller Named Program Director at Cumulus Media’s ‘Sports Animal’ in OK City. After last month’s retirement of program director Chris Baker, Cumulus Media brings Robert “Cisco” Mueller aboard as PD of WWLS-FM, Oklahoma City “The Sports Animal” to lead the station. Mueller says, “What an amazing opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Chris Baker who I’ve known for over 21 years. My wife and I are thrilled to be back home in OKC, close to our son… and it’s so fun to be working in familiar places with familiar faces. Truly humbled to work with the best sports talent on WWLS. I want to thank Jay Davis and Bruce Gilbert for this opportunity!” Chris Baker comments, “I am exceedingly excited that Robert “Cisco” Mueller will be my successor. I have known Cisco over two decades. His knowledge of the OKC metro, the Oklahoma sports landscape, and his prowess with new media makes him the perfect pick.”

CES2022: Cars, Cash, COVID. As the scaled-down yet still-enormous Las Vegas tech expo wraps – a day early, out of caution – Holland Cooke reports how tech trends that accelerated during the shutdown emerge as the New Normal. Read it all here.

Triton Digital Releases U.S. Streaming Rankers for November 2021. This data is a listing of the top performing digital audio publishers as measured by Triton Digital’s Streaming Metrics measurement services and is ranked based on Average Active Sessions (AAS is calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period) and includes only Triton clients. For the November 2021 period (Mon-Sun 6A-12M), iHeartRadio ranks #1 with 296,880 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (76,918 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (66,543 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,370 AAS). Other companies of note in the top 25 include: Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,053 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (13,831 AAS), Salem Communications at #11 (9,007 AAS), and Bonneville International at #13 (7,116 AAS). You can see the complete top 25 here.

New NAB Chief Curtis LeGeyt Pledges to Fight for Local Journalism. In a blog piece published on Thursday (1/6), NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt says he intends to “strongly advocate on behalf of America’s broadcasters and help fulfill their mission of providing trusted local journalism that keeps our communities safe, informed and connected.” LeGeyt writes, “Today marks the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Among the many lessons learned that day, the public was undoubtedly reminded of broadcasters’ critical role in bringing information to the public, especially during times of crisis. As misinformation runs rampant on social media, local radio and TV stations continue to bring the most trusted news to communities across the country. Millions of Americans have relied on broadcasters to be their eyes and ears during our nation’s most pivotal events.” Read the entire piece here.

Harrison Sings Hannity’s Praises on Radio ShowTALKERS founder Michael Harrison sang praises for Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity while guesting on the Scott Sands afternoon drive program on iHeartMedia’s WSPD, Toledo yesterday (1/6). Harrison was invited to discuss the anniversary of January 6 and the impact talk radio has had in covering the story. When asked about Hannity’s high-profile role in the story, Harrison responded with emphatic support of the talk show host’s involvement in it and his First Amendment rights as well as the value his connection to President Trump has played in illustrating the importance of talk radio in contemporary society. Harrison, known for his political neutrality but zealous support of the First Amendment and talk media industry, stated, “Sean Hannity is one of the most influential radio personalities of the medium’s 100-year history.” To listen to an excerpt of the conversation, please click here.  Scott Sands is also the PD of WSPD as well as area SVP of programming, Ohio/West Virginia iHeartMedia Communities Division.

The COVID-19 Omicron Surge, Vaccines, Boosters & Politics Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 3-7. The soaring rate of COVID cases in the U.S. and abroad, the debate over vaccine mandates, the effectiveness of boosters and the politics that surround it combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol attack and the ongoing investigation into the Trump administration’s role in it, followed by the economy, inflation, the supply chain, and the labor shortage 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.