Newsweek Opinion Editor Josh Hammer is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The opinion editor of Newsweek, Josh Hammer, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Hammer is also a podcaster, constitutional lawyer, and rising young conservative thought-leader. Newsweek is planning the launch of his new podcast, “The Josh Hammer Show” in February. The one-hour podcast will conform to the format clock of a terrestrial radio show making it conveniently translatable as a syndicated product. Harrison describes Hammer as follows: “At 32 years of age, he has already made a huge splash within the print news community as an editor and political commentator reflective of a young conservative perspective. I suspect he will be doing the same in talk media via radio and podcasting.” Harrison continues, “With such an emphasis being placed on lowering the demos, talk media practitioners – especially conservatives – should hear what he has to say.” Hammer focuses on conservative intellectual trends, contemporary domestic and foreign policy debates, constitutional and legal issues, and the intersection of law, politics and culture. His pieces have appeared in a number of major publications including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post and many others. Harrison and Hammer take a deep-dive into the future of print versus digital, the legal complications of updating Section 230 and holding Big Tech accountable for the control they have seized over the public square, as well as the schism between traditional conservative politics and a viable next-gen approach. They discuss the impact and future of Donald Trump within the GOP and Newsweek’s strategy to appeal to a readership that spans the political spectrum. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Dan Bongino Booted from YouTube; Focuses His Content on Rumble. After violating the terms of his weeklong suspension from YouTube, Westwood One nationally syndicated talk host Dan Bongino has been permanently banned from the social media video channel. Bongino shared a video on his website in which he says that he was suspended for saying nothing different than what Dr. Tony Fauci told “60 Minutes” in a March 2020 interview in which he said there’s no need for people to be walking around wearing masks because it’s not providing the protection that people think it is. Bongino questions why he’s being banned but Fauci is not. Bongino’s violation of the suspension came after he tried to post a video explaining to his fans why he’s leaving YouTube and will put all of his content on Rumble. Bongino says he had 871,000 YouTube subscribers and says he has more than 2 million subscribers on the Rumble channel.
Former Florida Sports Talk Host ‘Big Joe’ Ellicott to Cooperate with Feds’ Investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz. According to a report by CNN, Joseph “Big Joe” Ellicott has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and distribution of a controlled substance (Adderall) and has agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation into allegations that U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) had sexual contact with a minor. Ellicott previously worked for Star Over Orlando at sports talk WRSO “CBS Sports Radio Orlando” on the “Bauman and Big Joe” program. CNN reports that Ellicott pleaded guilty to the charges that stemmed from “a bribery scheme between an unnamed contractor and an unnamed elected government official. Ellicott delivered $6,000 cash from the contractor to the government official in 2017.” Other media sources are concluding that the unnamed elected government official is his friend Joel Greenberg, a former confidant of Gaetz’s who is also cooperating with investigators in the Gaetz case.
Round Two of Holiday 2021 PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s Holiday 2021 sweep covered December 9 – January 5. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Although the Holiday PPM survey usually reveals listening patterns skewed by stations breaking format to air Christmas music, some spoken-word stations were able to avoid ratings declines. Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle was steady with a 6.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that kept it in the #2 rank. Lotus Communications’ crosstown all-news KOMO-AM/FM rose two-tenths for a 5.5 share finish and climbed to the #3 rank. Audacy’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis was up seven-tenths for a 5.2 share finish good for the #6 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver added nine-tenths to wrap the survey with a 3.8 share and climbed to the #8 rank. You can see all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeways from this group of markets (as well as round one) here.
Religious Broadcasters Hope Media Group and WAY Media to Merge. Religious broadcasting companies Hope Media Group and WAY Media announce their intention to merge into one media organization. The formal merger is expected to close by later this year pending FCC approval. The new Christian media organization will be headquartered in Houston and will operate under the name Hope Media Group. Hope Media Group was founded 40 years ago with radio station KSBJ-FM, Houston. WAY Media was formed 35 years ago with WAYJ-FM, Fort Myers. The companies say this is a merger of equals and a cash-free transaction that received a unanimous vote from both boards of directors. Currently, Hope Media Group is a family of media brands that include Houston-focused KSBJ, the brand-new Spanish Christian “Vida Unida,” digital content outlets NGEN Radio (Christian hip-hop and pop), Hope On Demand and Amen: The Prayer App, plus a concert and event brand, Special Events. WAY Media owns and operates a national network of more than 20 “WayFM” stations in markets that include Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Portland, Nashville, and South Florida plus more than 30 translators from Florida to Washington State, in addition to digital content outlets.
TALKERS News Notes. Streaming audio service TuneIn announces a partnership with Estrella Media to bring its content to the TuneIn platform. In addition, TuneIn has partnered with Grupo Fórmula to bring its Spanish-language entertainment and news content to the platform. TuneIn CEO Richard Stern states, “Both Estrella Media and Grupo Fórmula are market leaders in Spanish-language entertainment and news radio content. We are extremely pleased to be expanding our Spanish-language offerings to a new generation of Latin radio fans and listeners around the world through the TuneIn platform. We’re also thrilled to help Estrella Media’s local stations increase monetization outside of their local markets as an added benefit of our partnership.”…..The Luminary original podcast, “The Roxane Gay Agenda,” launches with writer Dr. Roxane Gay as host and welcoming The New York Times writer Tressie McMillan Cottom and acclaimed author Terry McMillan as her first guests. The program is produced in partnership with iHeartMedia.
Stephen Breyer to Retire, Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Financial Markets/Inflation/Crypto Plunge, Urban Violent Crime Spike, and the Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26). News of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement and President Joe Biden’s possible nominations; the ongoing tensions between Vladimir Putin and the West over Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the Omicron variant infection rate and legal battles over mask & vaccine mandates; fight to control Congress in this November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the turbulent financial markets, the high retail and oil prices and the plummet in cryptocurrency value; the blowback against liberal law & order polices as violent crime in America’s major cities surges; and the Beijing Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Talk Radio Host Lars Larson Banned from Twitter for 12 Hours. The story in the Willamette Week has the details of KXL, Portland-based, nationally syndicated talk host Lars Larson’s 12-hour ban from Twitter for his exchange with a Portland activist over a recent police shooting that resulted in the death of man reportedly schizophrenic and legally blind. Former Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone tweeted, “We know the police kill. [The] question is whether we will ever stop funding this deadly paramilitary force and start funding things that actually keep the people of Portland safe.” Larson was suspended for the following response, “Gee @sarahforpdx you think the cops make PDX dangerous? Read the story and you find the dead man was 1) paranoid schizophrenic 2) invaded a stranger’s home 3) fought with the officer 4) pulled a knife. What’s your millennial snowflake solution to that situation without the cops?” Responding to the ban Larson received for the tweet, Iannarone said Larson’s words “may not seem like much on the surface.” But complained that “whenever that account retweets me, it brings commenters into my sphere who hurl insult and innuendo my direction. I reported three other accounts resulting from the retweet that day that Twitter admins agreed were abusive or harmful.”
Ron & Don Fans Baffled by Show’s Abrupt, Unexplained Exit. This story in the Seattle Times was published on Saturday (1/12) and includes comments from TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison. Friday’s launch of a new afternoon drive program – “Candy, Mike and Todd” – on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM Seattle caught fans of the “Ron and Don” show off guard. The story notes some 1,000 comments on the “Ron and Don Nation” Facebook page expressing their dismay at the show’s departure and anger with the lack of Bonneville’s explanation. Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill had been with the station for 13 years. They didn’t shed much light on the controversy, either, probably due to a non-disparagement clause in their contracts. They wrote, “Life is not about what you got, it’s what you give. We are very appreciative to all our great advertisers and everyone in the Ron and Don Nation for giving so much of your time, your energy, and your resources over the last 22 years. Together we raised over 11 million dollars for causes in the community we all care about. From our families to yours, Thank You Seattle, Tacoma, Fife, and Fremont.”
KSTP-AM, Minneapolis Re-Brands as ‘SKOR North.’ Tomorrow (1/15) will be sports talk KSTP-AM’s first day as “SKOR North” as it shucks the “1500 ESPN” brand. Hubbard Radio says in a press release that the brand is now “a digital-first sports brand that will create and distribute content across multiple traditional and digital platforms, including 1500 AM, 94.5 FM HD2, streaming, a dedicated SKOR North app, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.” In September, Hubbard dropped the “Garage Logic” show with host Joe Soucheray from the lineup, as well as Patrick Reusse’s show (PD Brad Lane exited as well). The new program schedule will still consist of ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo” in morning drive, followed by the “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” show. Local afternoon program includes the new “SKOR North Live with Matthew Coller,” followed by the drive time “[Phil] Mackie and Judd [Zulgad] Show with Ramie,” and a return to the airwaves of Patrick Reusse as one of the four 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm programs that will rotate throughout the year, depending on the season.
Monday Memo: CES 2019. Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo here at TALKERS magazine summarizes some of his takeaways from last week’s enormous CES 2019 in Las Vegas. Cooke reports that Consumer Technology Association vice president of market research Steve Koenig says we’re at the beginning of the “Data Age of Consumer Tech” and that means, “information about our listeners – whom advertisers want as customers – is gold.” See his entire report here.
WICC, Bridgeport Announces Programming News. Connecticut news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport announces it will continue to serve as an affiliate for New York Yankees baseball. In addition, the Cumulus Media station is adding FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot. It also is carrying Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro in the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.
Mike Rich to Lead Townsquare Media Danbury. Radio management pro Mike Rich is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut group of sports talk WINE-AM “Sports Radio 940,” rock WRKI-FM “i95,” and WDBY-FM “Kicks 105.5.” Rich comes to Townsquare from his most recent position as CEO of digital media firm Irish Studio. He’s also served with Time Inc., Radio One, and AOL.
TALKERS News Notes. Albuquerque news/talk KKOB-AM’s new afternoon drive personality – former, longtime rock KZRR “94 Rock” morning personality T.J. Trout – is an unabashed “left of center,” “social liberal” who will take over 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Cumulus Media’s conservative news/talk station on January 22. Trout talks about getting the gig and how he views his role on the station in a piece with Albuquerque Journal here…..The podcast “Red Pilled America” – an iHeartRadio original podcast – got some love from The Washington Times recently in an article about story-focused podcasts that target conservative listeners. The podcast is the work of husband and wife creative duo Patrick Courrielche and Adryana Cortez and the piece delves into how the program highlights stories rather than monologues to get the message across to listeners…..The NHL’s Boston Bruins and the Boston Bruins Foundation are holding the second annual Patrice Bergeron & 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Pucks & Paddles event on Thursday, February 7. The table tennis tournament will feature players from the active Boston Bruins roster, on-air personalities from Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” and patients from Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center with all proceeds to benefit the hospital…..Beasley Media Group announces Jennifer Sulik is named to the newly created position of vice president of strategic partnerships at Beasley XP, the company’s esports division. Sulik was most recently founder and chief executive officer of Go Media Detroit, a digital media advertising agency. Previously, she worked in the digital sales division at WXYZ-TV, Detroit and UBM Tech in San Francisco, where she developed integrated business-to-business media campaigns targeting game developers and game industry influencers, including Game Developer Magazine, Gamasutra.com and Indiegames.com…..Across the pond, “Fix Radio” – the station for builders and tradespeople – will launch in Manchester, England today (1/14). Fix Radio is programmed by British talk radio pro Graham Mack and is based in London. Mack and Gaz Drinkwater present the daily morning show on the format.
The Trump-Putin Relationship, U.S.-Mexico Border Wall, Government Shutdown, Jayme Closs Case, Paris Bakery Bombing, Bezos Divorce, 2020 Presidential Race, Dems in Puerto Rico, Winter Snow Storm, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reaction to weekend stories indicating the FBI was concerned about President Trump’s relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the battle over funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border; the ongoing government shutdown; missing teen Jayme Closs is found after escaping her captor; the deadly bombing at a bakery in Paris; the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; potential presidential candidates in the 2020 election; Democrat legislators are criticized for “partying” in Puerto Rico with lobbyists; the winter storm that swept across the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic; and the weekend’s NFL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKER magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Terri Avery is the new PD at Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1,” effective January 22. Avery was most recently radio station manager and an instructor at Carolina School of Broadcasting in Charlotte. Prior to that, she was OM/PD at WPEG and WBAV in Charlotte for 14 years. CMG Atlanta director of operations Chris Eagan says, “Terri is well-regarded in the radio industry. She is smart, engaging, a champion in talent coaching and an expert in urban AC. Her years of diverse experience make her a great addition to the ‘Kiss 104.1’ team.”…..Cumulus Media rock KSAN, San Francisco “107.7 The Bone” officially names Chasta Michaelis midday personality. She’s been interim host of the daypart since Steven “The Weedman” Seaweed in 2017. Chasta also serves as a cast member on the station’s “Lamont& Tonelli Morning Show,” a role she will continue along with her daily production of her daily Facebook Live chats from “The Bone” studios following each morning show…..Through a partnership between iHeartMedia and LiveXLive Media Inc – a global digital media company focused on live entertainment – the 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego concert at the Forum in Los Angeles on January 19 – will stream live. LiveXLive chairman and CEO Rob Ellin comments, “Our mission is to bring our global audience of music fans the ‘best seat in the house’ for musically diverse concerts by the most popular artists. iHeartMedia, with its massive reach across radio, digital and social, and its culture-defining marquee events such as ALTer Ego, is undeniably a perfect fit.”…..According to a report by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Roots” show with Bob Stroud that’s heard weekly on Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” is getting another play. The show has been airing Sunday mornings from 7:00 am to 10:00 am but, as program director Rob Cressman says, “The ‘Stroud Crowd’ has been relentless in their quest to get ‘Roots’ scheduled a bit later in the day.” So, now the show also airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Kelly J moves from evening jock to a member of the Jeff Pope morning show on All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI, Riverside-San Bernardino…..Condolences to the family and friends of radio personality Michael “Mike” Walker, who died on January 7 at the age of 60. Walker worked at numerous radio stations during his career, including WIFM, Elkin; WKBC North Wilkesboro; and WWWC, Wilkesboro in North Carolina. He was the founder/operator of The Production Room where he produced and voiced more than 530 weekly episodes of the syndicated “Saving the 70s” show that focused on 1970s music and pop culture.
PPM Analysis: Contemporary Christian. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on contemporary Christian. See the report here.