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Friday, November 12, 2021

| November 12, 2021

Legendary Radio Figure Al Herskovitz Dies at 90.  One of the radio industry’s most-liked and enduring figures, Al Herskovitz, has passed way in Bradenton, FL on November 11 at the age of 90 after suffering an episode of cardiac arrest. Herskovitz was an alumnus of many top American radio stations and broadcast companies including: WPRO, Providence; WIP, Philadelphia; and WPOL-AM/FM, Los Angeles, as well as CapCities Communications among others where he served in program director and station manager capacities for a number of years. In early 1986, Herskovitz and Michael Harrison formed H&H Broadcasting, Inc. and acquired WSPR, Springfield, MA which they transitioned from an adult contemporary music format to a seminal spoken word approach they dubbed “Supertalk” – a precursor to the modern style of talk radio that boomed onto the scene during the 1990s. H&H owned and operated WSPR until late-1988. When TALKERS was launched in 1990, Herskovitz joined the company and served as its senior director of marketing until his recent retirement in 2019 at the age of 88. In the 2000 presidential election he served as the Steve Forbes campaign’s media advisor. Herskovitz was an active member, right until his passing, of the Sarasota, FL-based Media Round Table – a group of working, retired and semi-retired media professionals from around the country who currently live full- or part-time in Florida. Harrison states, “Al was like a brother to me and a rock in my life. He was a friend, a partner, and a mentor, not to mention one of the most dependable and decent human beings I could ever have been blessed to have as a close associate over the decades. Even into his late-80s, Al was sharp and energetic. He knew as much about the radio business and stayed abreast of the ever-changing technology of the digital era as if he were a bright millennial on the leading edge. He was, indeed, remarkable!” Herskovitz was born and raised in Bridgeport, CT – the son of hard working Jewish Hungarian immigrants, the late Leo and Elsie Herskovitz. He’s a veteran of the United States Army where he served and saw action in the Korean War. He is pre-deceased by his beloved wife of 53 years, Eileen Herskovitz who passed away in 2012. Herskovitz’s colorful career, spanning almost seven decades, brought him into contact with some of the world’s most colorful individuals in politics, show business, sports and business. These experiences are documented in a memoir titled, The Tall, Skinny Jewish Kid with Eyeglasses from Bridgeport: A Radio Guy’s Chance Encounters with the Colorful and Famous (Talkers Books, 2018). A graveside service will be held at Skyway Memorial Gardens, 5200 US Hwy 19 N, Palmetto, FL 34221 https://www.skywaymemorial.com/ at a date and time to be announced.  Check the Skyway website or Talkers.com for further details.

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, “Inflation Nation,” looks back at this past week of 11/8 – 11/12. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSClaire Carter, commentator, Good For You Radio/founder, Good For You NetworkRichard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/founder, Scamicide.com; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; and Brian Kilmeade, talk show host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; 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 Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

WRKO, Boston Raises Almost $200K for Disabled American Veterans. Boston news/talk outlet WRKO-AM “The Voice of Boston” raised more than $192,000 during its sixth annual DAV Radiothon to benefit the Disabled American Veterans Department of Massachusetts. The iHeartMedia station held the 13-hour radiothon yesterday (11/11) and with WRKO personalities Jeff Kuhner, Barry Armstrong, and Howie Carr encouraging listeners to donate. Funds are designated for the DAV of Massachusetts’ homeless shelter and transportation programs. iHeartMedia Boston VP of news, talk, sports Rob Sanchez says, “It’s an honor for AM 680 WRKO to dedicate Veterans Day to help the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our great country. Our generous listeners always amaze me and have once again shown their support to raise $192,082 for the DAV of Massachusetts.” Since 2016, DAV Radiothon has raised over $800,000 to benefit veterans in the community.

NPR and Edison Research Spoken Word Audio Report Indicates Young, Multicultural Listeners Drive Consumption While Mobile Listening and Podcasts Add to Increases. The results of the NPR and Edison Research 2021 Spoken Word Audio Report – based on a national online survey of 1,000 adults 18 and over who listened to spoken word audio in the last month – reveals “the continued increased consumption of spoken word audio in the U.S. and the drivers behind the growth.” The report finds 75% of those in the U.S 13+ (212 million people) are monthly spoken word audio listeners, and 45% (127 million people) are daily spoken word audio listeners. Spoken word audio listening is up 40% in the past seven years, and up 8% year over year, with the share of time spent listening to spoken word audio reaching 28% of time spent with all audio. A look at a seven-year trend shows dramatic increases among young and multicultural listeners. The study shows 26% of 13-34-year-olds’ audio time is spent with spoken word audio, an increase of 116% over 2014. Similar increases are noted among multicultural listeners: Black listeners spend 22% of their audio time with spoken word (an 83% increase over 2014); Hispanic/Latino listeners spend 27% of their audio time with spoken word (an 80% increase over 2014); and White listeners now spend 29% of their audio time with spoken word, a 26% increase over 2014. Digital listening is also changing the spoken-word audio landscape. Mobile listening has increased 278% over the past seven years, with one-third (34%) of all time spent listening to spoken word audio being done on a mobile device. The increase in consumption on a mobile device holds for all ages, not just younger demos. Of all spoken word audio consumed by those 13+, 22% of it is to podcasts, a 176% increase over seven years ago (8%). You can find out more about the study here.

Season Two of ‘We Interrupt This Broadcast’ to Debut on November 22. The podcast docuseries “We Interrupt This Broadcast” is back for season two with episodes beginning streaming on November 22. Together, season one’s “JFK Assassination” episode and season two’s “The Killing of Lee Harvey Oswald” episode commemorate the November 22 and 24 anniversaries of these historic events, revealing never-before-heard audio and revelations from broadcasters and journalists who were covering these events in real time. Listeners are enlightened with impactful details that did not previously make the airwaves or subsequent historical accounts. The series is hosted by legendary broadcaster Bill Kurtis and narrated by Brian Williams and is “a celebration of the art of journalism and the heroism of journalists who broke the news and reported the captivating details from the front lines of these iconic moments.” Season Two episodes include interviews and thrilling new details by broadcasters, TV journalists and historians who were entrenched in these notable moments: Oswald Assassination; Watergate: Nixon Resigns; Challenger Explosion; Rescue of Baby Jessica; The OJ Simpson Slow Speed Chase; The Oklahoma City Bombing; Y2K; Hurricane Katrina Slams New Orleans; Election Night 2016; and War of the Worlds – The Original ‘Deep Fake’, which recently began streaming on its historic anniversary. Brian Williams says, “Podcasting allows us to get it right – we get to tell the story calmly and accurately. If we do it right, it will bring people as close as possible to the feeling of being as fortunate as we are to have this job. It’s been a tremendous privilege and honor to live through breaking stories as they are happening, right alongside our viewers. Listening to ‘We Interrupt This Broadcast,’ you’re going to feel that same tension, excitement, mystery, and urgency that we felt in the moment as we broadcasted.” The docuseries is produced by i4 Media Ventures, LLC and is repped for ad and sponsorship sales by New York and Los Angeles-based Crossover Media Group Sales.

TALKERS News Notes. A three-hour special Thanksgiving program from CBS Audio hosted by Gil Gross is available for air Wednesday November 24 – Sunday November 28. The show consists of three hours of bright and informative conversation about America’s most beloved holiday, including: culinary “horror” stories of Thanksgiving dinners gone wrong; the harrowing story of Squanto, the Native American credited with saving the Pilgrims and inaugurating the American Thanksgiving; how a train with 260 tons of frozen turkeys brought about the creation of the frozen TV dinner; bringing back vintage Thanksgiving recipes and creating innovations in the traditional Thanksgiving meal; and how Thanksgiving and football became married family traditions…..Boston public media outlet GBH names Paris Alston and Jeremy Siegel the new co-hosts of “Morning Edition” at GBH News. Alston rejoins GBH from WBUR, where she is a host of the NPR podcast, “Consider This,” produced in conjunction with GBH. Siegel is currently the host and producer of the Washington, DC-based daily news podcast “POLITICO Dispatch.” GBH general manager of news Pam Johnston says, “Our audiences have told us that mornings matter most when it comes to news. They look to us to get the information they need and set the tone for the day ahead. With Paris and Jeremy as co-hosts of ‘Morning Edition’ at GBH News, our audiences will get local stories from different perspectives. They’ll engage with a pair of dynamic, smart and accomplished journalists who possess a real knack for understanding and dissecting the complex stories of our time.”

Inflation, Supply Chain and Economic Politics Top News/Talk Story for Week of 11/8-12. Soaring consumer goods and fuel prices, the supply chain breakdown, labor woes, and economic politics combined as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was COVID-19 vaccines and mandates, the Aaron Rodgers controversy, and school board battles, followed by the January 6 investigation tied with social media & journalism 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.

Monday, June 1, 2020

| June 1, 2020

Talk Radio Faces Challenges After Weekend of Urban Strife Across America. The staffs at news and talk radio stations that are in touch with their communities were pulling extra duty over the weekend as protests over the death of George Floyd in cities across the country exploded into violent and destructive events. TALKERS magazine is in contact with programmers and air personalities whose stations have been covering the events, in some cases adding round-the-clock live programming to keep listeners informed. The violent protests come as the nation attempts to safely emerge from a months-long lockdown intended to fight the coronavirus pandemic, complicating an already difficult time in America and around the globe. Talk stations face the challenge of broadcasting to listeners who are living in a time that some observers have noted is like the Great Depression, the nationalist/fascist movements that preceded World War II, and the race riots of the 1960s all rolled into one. As this day progresses, TALKERS will present comments and thoughts about how they’re handling their broadcasting duties during this unique time in human history. We asked broadcasters to tell us how their station or talent are approaching this time of intense unrest. WABC, New York PD Dave LaBrozzi tells TALKERS that the outbreak of violence is the kind of situation that illustrates why it is so important for great news/talk stations to maintain live and local air talent with strong ties to the community and the trust of its citizens. He says, “When you have the founder of the Guardian Angels, Curtis Sliwa, on the streets every day and hosting a three hour midday talk show and you have the former mayor, Rudy Giuliani, on the air every day from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm you get insight and information that no other New York station can provide.” LaBrozzi adds that it is important to book guests of that same caliber stating, “Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik and former police detective Bo Dietl share their wisdom and insight along with other high profile experts to keep listeners informed  and safe all day long.” Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network SVP spoken word format Phil Boyce offered the following to his talent: “As you know, the situation in many of our cities is volatile, thanks primarily due to outside agitators. We all looked at the video of the death of George Floyd and were disturbed. We all know that does not represent how most police officers respond. Here are a few pointers about how we can handle this difficult situation: 1) Be very careful what you say about this. Most of our listeners respect the rule of law and want to support law and order candidates. If you know of a candidate who is sympathizing with the anarchists,  point that out. But be careful how we do it. 2) We can be a calming influence in each of our communities. Let the public know that we hear the pain and hurt they are expressing, but further violence is not the way to express it. Let them know that we all should support the efforts of law enforcement to protect our communities, and also deal with this tragic situation. 3) Think through all of your comments and positions. This is not a time to ‘shoot from the lip.’ Be respectful of the other side, while at the same time being forceful in condemning acts of violence that threaten to tear apart our communities.” At Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WFCS-FM, Chicago, brand manager and news director Ron Gleason says, “Because WBBM is all-news around the clock on a daily basis, our staff is ready at any time for major breaking news. But the magnitude of what’s happening, especially on the coattails of the Covid-19 pandemic, means extraordinary times lead to extraordinary measures.  We’ve not only staffed up on reporters, we’ve also increased the role of traffic which is used to watching the streets on a minute-by-minute basis. When something requires non-stop coverage, that’s what we do.  And while we have reporters live from multiple locations, we stress the importance of safety first.  We have had protesters verbally confront a reporter, and we’ve had police redirect reporters, but I’m happy to say everyone is safe. The toughest part of coverage was getting our anchors and behind-the-scenes producers and editors access to our facility, as the city has shut off the main arteries into the downtown area. Eventually we figured out the work-arounds, and nobody listening would know of any issue – except of course, we’re reporting all the closures.” WPHT, Philadelphia midday host Dom Giordano tells TALKERS, “The way I’m handling the crisis on the air is to be covering it in the field and bringing that sound back to my show, allowing more callers on than usual to be able to vent, and highlighting people who are volunteering to clean up attacked stores, or are banding together to peacefully protect stores from looting.”

TALKERS EXCLUSIVE:  Michael Harrison Talks with SirusXM Satellite Radio ‘Urban View’ Channel Morning Host Joe Madison.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison engaged in a conversation recorded yesterday afternoon (5/31) with Joe Madison of SiriusXM Satellite Radio, the highest-ranking African American radio talk show host on the publication’s Heavy Hundred list, about the race relations crisis in America. Madison says he suspects President Trump is prepping the country to invoke martial law if the violence continues.  He also thinks the violence is being perpetrated by destructive provocateurs and not the peaceful demonstrators. He believes the violence would be curtailed “if the other three officers involved in the killing of George Floyd were arrested tonight.” To listen to an excerpt of the conversation, please click here The complete interview will be posted tomorrow in the podcast, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”

TALKERS EXCLUSIVE:  WPG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley Pulls All-Nighter Dispatching Police, Interviewing Officials, and Taking Calls.  Often referred to as the “Morning Mayor of Atlantic City,” talk show host Harry Hurley proved that he is indeed a community leader by demonstrating exactly to what heights radio can rise in the midst of a community crisis.  Listen to him tell his story to Michael Harrison in a conversation recorded shortly after he completed his program and extended stint this morning (6/1) by clicking here.

Monday Memo: June?  So Soon?  Early March seems forever-ago, yet like yesterday. Life under quarantine has blurred the listener routines we need to be part of. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke offers plain talk about radio’s challenges pre-, during, and post-pandemic. And why you want to play a song from 1967 on Wednesday. Read it here.

Protests Across America, Trump vs Antifa, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The violent protests over the police killing of George Floyd that erupted over the weekend in numerous cities across the country; President Trump’s declaration that the Antifa movement will be classified as a terrorist organization; the tally of COVID-19 cases, death toll, and projections for future cases; and the November presidential election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Yogi Got It. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that radio sellers used to promising retailers that their ad campaign would “pack the place,” need to come up with a new goal. What is that goal? “What’s new, different, and important today is your new page in the game plan. ‘New’ can be your best marketing friend as you re-focus on the marketing messaging.” Read his column here.

Joe Walsh Back in Talk Radio on GAB Network and WCGO, Chicago. According to a press release from GAB Radio Network, Joe Walsh – former Illinois congressman and former WIND-AM talk show host – is geting back in the talk radio biz after leaving to challenge President Trump for the Republican nomination. Walsh famously left his position with Salem Media Group’s WIND-AM and the Salem Radio Network last summer saying he’s “done with talk radio.” Now, Walsh will host a live 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET show in national syndication via GAB Radio Network. His program will air delayed on WCGO, Chicago from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, local time. Walsh says, “I’m excited to be back on the radio. This country is too divided. We need to get folks out of their corners and listening to each other. That’s what I’ve always done with radio, and I think there’s a hunger for an honest voice out there.” WCGO and GAB Radio Network general manager Chuck Duncan says he feels “Joe’s passion and patriotism come at a critical time in our nation’s history, and it’s important for all perspectives on America’s direction be made available to every city in every state. We are honored to present this important forum to Joe at an essential time and look forward to having Joe’s voice heard throughout Chicago on WCGO as well as making ‘The Joe Walsh Show’ available to every concerned station’s lineup through our GAB Radio Network.”

TALKERS News Notes. WIND-AM, Chicago morning news anchor and co-host Amy Jacobson and employer Salem Media Group are suing Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker for banning Jacobson from his then-daily coronavirus pandemic press briefings after Jacobson spoke at a rally protesting Pritzker’s lockdown order. The governor’s office says Jacobson represents a talk show with a “particular point of view” and as a result she forfeits her status as a “reporter.” Jacobson and Salem argue that the governor’s ban violates Jacobson’s First Amendment rights. Salem and Jacobson are asking the court to take action to immediately allow her back into the briefings…..Former KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City talk show host Jay Mcfarland is featured in a piece in the Daily Herald as he runs for a seat in Congress. Mcfarland exited KSL last July and is one of four Republicans in the race for the U.S. Rep. seat in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. Mcfarland says he is positioning himself as someone who can bridge the gulf that separates Republicans and Democrats in Congress…..In another politics-meets-talk-radio story, Minnesota Public Radio reports that former Minneapolis (and nationally syndicated) talk host Jason Lewis secured the Republican nomination to run against U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) in November. Lewis served as a U.S. Rep. for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District for one term before losing his re-election bid to Democrat Angie Craig in the fall of 2018.…..During times when major news events cause sports talk radio broadcasters to address those issues, they can face criticism from those who tell them to “stick to sports.” Obviously, this is one of those times. Mile High Sports president and CEO Nate Lundy penned an insightful piece that directly confronts that dictate. (Mile High Sports operates KDCO-AM/K248CI in Denver.) In the piece he writes, “I personally do not have any patience for the ‘stick to sports’ crowd. I will never, under any circumstances, tell our team of writers, hosts and staff to do so. Our opinions are not substandard simply because of our job description. And we believe the same about each of you. We may not agree with your opinion about the Rockies, but we support your right to think and share it.”…..Denver is not the only place where sports talk hosts are talking about social and political issues with no apologies. In Buffalo, Jeremy White of the “Howard & Jeremy” show on Entercom’s WGR “550 SportsRadio” told listeners, “I do totally understand someone that says like, ‘I come to you guys to get away from what’s going on.’ But then of course there are going to be times when that is not possible. And today what’s going on in Minneapolis, this is not possible to do, to stay away from all this stuff… There’s just so much that’s built into this. Like, ‘this is a sports station.’ That’s right. We’re also humans on this station. I care about people. I care about a lot of people. What else matters today in the world, right now? The idea that like, ‘Oh it’s just a difference of opinion.’ It’s not anymore. It’s about humanity. It’s not about opinions anymore.”…..A new podcast from Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and spoken media specialty agency Oxford Road is being unveiled called “The Bongino Brief,” hosted by former Secret Service Agent, former NYPD officer and New York Times best-selling author Dan Bongino. WWO says “The Bongino Brief” launches today and is available through smart speakers. Westwood One says it and Oxford Road are partnering to lead the development of personality-driven flash briefing programs in the smart speaker marketplace by offering flash briefings from one of the top podcasters in the world. This marks the next form of short-format streaming media, as personalities and not just news come to the format…..The WRKO, Boston-based “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong, Chuck Zodda and Mike Armstrong” adds a new affiliate station as Townsquare Media’s WBEC-AM, Pittsfield, Massachusetts puts the show in its lineup for the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot. The show is heard on 15 stations across New England.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In honor of Black Music Month, iHeartMedia announces it will celebrate with exclusive audio vignettes from some of today’s top urban artists. The company says the celebration will “honor the incredible achievements of Black musicians and their influential contribution to the world of music.” Beginning today (6/1), iHeartMedia will air special audio messages from artists including H.E.R, Flipp Dinero, and Russ and more as they celebrate the impact and  achievements of Black musicians who have influenced their lives such as Beyonce, Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, Ludacris, Michael Jackson, Notorious B.I.G., Prince, Tupac, and many more. iHeartMedia EVP of urban/hip hop programming strategy Doc Wynter says, “With community and personal connection being more important now than ever before, we’re honored to be able to celebrate the significant impact that Black music has had on all of us. We’re thrilled to be able to bring our listeners’ favorite artists together to support one another with inspiring messages from artists like H.E.R. who will pay tribute to the legendary Lauryn Hill, and Russ who will celebrate the important contributions that his fellow Atlanta native, Ludacris has made on Black Music.”…..Radio One launches its “We Are One: Feeding the Community Campaign.” It says it is partnering with the music community to feed hundreds of families as many are feeling the significant financial strain as a result of these tough economic times. Radio One’s 53 stations will come together across its 15 markets to feed families in their localities by giving away meals provided by local minority-owned restaurants.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

| June 7, 2018

‘97.5 The Fanatic’ Announces Summer Program Schedule. Philadelphia sports talker WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” unveils its summer programming lineup that includes new programs in the early morning and evening dayparts.  First, the 5:00 am to 6:00 am “The Fanatic At 5 with Eytan Shander and Jamie Lynch” leads into the “Anthony Gargano and the Morning Guys” program on the Beasley Media Group station.  At 6:00 pm, Devon Givens and Geoff Mosher co-host the “Devon & Geoff/D&G Radio” program.  They’ll hold down the slot until the hockey and basketball seasons return. At 9:00 pm, Joe Tordy hosts his eponymous sports talk show until 12:00 midnight.  WPEN director of sports content Eric Johnson comments, “We are very excited about our summer lineup here at ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’  ‘The Fanatic At 5 with Eytan & Jamie’ will take an in-depth look at daily Philly sports news.  It will include the scores, stories, and sounds that bring Philadelphia sports to life.  Listeners can enjoy Devon’s Sixers knowledge and Geoff’s deep Eagles insight over the summer until the Flyers and Sixers seasons return.  In addition, Joe Tordy has his finger on the beat of Philly sports and is not afraid to share opinions with listeners.”

‘The Financial Exchange’ Adds WJNO, West Palm Beach in Deal with iHeartMedia. Boston-based “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong and Chuck Zodda” strikes a long-term deal with iHeartMedia to add the program to West Palm Beach news/talk WJNO, airing from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.  At the same time, the program will be heard for another hour on current iHeartMedia affiliates WTAG, Worcester and WHYN, Springfield in Massachusetts.  The show has been heard on 14 New England stations for the last four years.  WJNO is its first expansion outside of New England. Program founder Barry Armstrong says, “Adding West Palm Beach to our existing list of radio stations that air the show, along with the additional hours on WTAG and WHYN, allows Chuck and me the opportunity to share the views of our guests and our own perspectives to an even wider audience.”

WGR, Buffalo Producer Ryan Gates Follows Through on Promise to Quit.  This isn’t a case of Ryan Gates being unhappy in his job.  Back before the NFL Draft, Gates said on the air that he would quit his position as producer for theSchopp and the Bulldog” show and host of “The Nightcap” program if the Buffalo Bills drafted quarterback Josh Allen with quarterbacks Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen still on the board.  According to NewYorkUpstate.com, shortly after the Bills traded up to select Allen, Gates posted his resume online.  Now, Gates is following through and will leave Entercom’s WGR as a full-time employee (he’s remaining as a part-time contributor) and will join “the corporate world.”

Entercom’s WCBS-AM Honored with Three New York Press Club Awards. New York City all-news station WCBS-AM “Newsradio 880” is being honored by The New York Press Club with three 2018 Awards for Journalism.  The private, non-profit organization honors excellence by writers, reporters, editors, producers, photographers and multi-media journalists annually.  This year, 76 winners in 29 categories were selected from nearly 500 entries submitted by TV, radio, newspapers, websites, magazines, and newswires in New York City and around the U.S. WCBS-AM won Continuing Coverage honors for “The Killer Tide” by Marla Diamond; Podcast for “50 Stories by Wayne Cabot”; and Spot News for “Terror on the Bike Path” by the WCBS News team.

iHeartMedia and OZY Media Enter Content Partnership. News content producer OZY Media and iHeartMedia announce a multi-year partnership that will allow OZY’s content to be available across iHeartMedia platforms.  In a press release, iHM says that “beginning today, OZY stories on a range of topics from politics, to culture to technology to sports, will be featured in iHeartMedia’s top-rated morning shows across 150 markets in the U.S.  The new partnership also includes promotion across iHeartMedia’s multi-platform network including radio, digital, social and live events.”  OZY boasts 40 million monthly unique users and 4 million subscribers offering 100% original content “with a focus on the future,” via unique OZY News, OZY Magazine, OZY TV and OZY Events products.  iHeartMedia president of ventures Joe Robinson says, “We are impressed with OZY’s rapid growth, diverse content, and versatility across platforms, especially in today’s competitive media landscape.  We are excited to partner with OZY, and with our massive reach of a quarter of a billion listeners a month across the country, this partnership gives us the opportunity to share even more critical news and information with our diverse audience.”  As a result of this partnership, OZY Media’s hit podcast series “The Thread,” which takes listeners through nearly a century of great American stories, will join iHeartRadio.

TALKERS News Notes. Two Florida signals are being sold by owner Genesis Communications I, Inc. to Immaculate Heart Media, Inc. for a price yet to be announced.  Genesis’ sports talk WHOO-AM, Orlando (licensed to Kissimmee) and news/talk WAMT, Orlando (licensed to Pine Castle and Sky Lake) will transfer to Immaculate Heart and take on religious formats.  Bruce Maduri-led Genesis continues to broadcast spoken-word content in Florida with sports talk WHBO “SportsTalk Florida” and WIXC, Titusville “NewsTalk Florida.”  Broker for this deal was Kalil & Co…..SiriusXM is bringing World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman to the service as a host on the PGA TOUR Radio channel.  The program is called “Attack Life Radio with Greg Norman” and features Norman in the role of interviewer speaking with guests from the worlds of golf, politics, and business.

Trump-Russia Investigation, G-7 Summit/Trade Wars, Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, Iran Nuclear Deal, Tuesday Primary Elections, Bill Clinton Interviews, NBA Finals, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/6).  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; this weekend’s G-7 Summit in Canada and President Trump’s standing among leaders whose countries are affected by U.S. tariffs; the Singapore summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; the status of Iran’s nuclear program after the U.S.’s exit from the previous nuclear deal; Tuesday’s primary elections and what they portend for the fall mid-term elections; Bill Clinton’s image in the #MeToo era after his NBC interview that addressed the Monica Lewinsky affair; the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals; 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.

Salem Radio Network Host Larry Elder Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast Engaging in Riveting Conversation on Race Relations.   Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Elder, an African American conservative, and Harrison engage in a candid discussion about race relations, political correctness, the politics of civil rights, widespread societal ignorance, and insidious hypocrisy.  Elder, often referred to as the “Sage from South Central,” discusses his life growing up in the tough, crime-ridden, gang-infested part of town and dealing with family issues that shaped his often-controversial view of the black experience in America.  The two cover a wide variety of issues and angles including what Elder describes as the unfair treatment of Roseanne Barr.   Don’t miss this.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio pro Will Calder exits Entercom’s CHR WPOW, Miami “Power 96” and is searching for new opportunities.  Calder has served with WPOW for the past six years as midday personality, APD, music director and imaging director…..After a time in the hospitality industry working aboard Carnival Cruise ships, Sarah Morgan returns to the United Stations Radio Networks-syndicated program “The Lex & Terry Morning Show.”  She takes over for Krystina Byford, who has exited the show to serve with Cumulus Media in Dallas at country KSCS and sports talk KTCK “The Ticket.”  Lex & Terry say, “Both of these young ladies have been a huge part of our success over the last 10 years and we are happy for both of them to be where they are now. Krystina will be a major player in Dallas radio, and Sarah is a ratings magnet, so we are thrilled to have her on the air again.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

| October 26, 2016

Beasley Ups Justin Chase to EVP of Programming.  After seven-plus years of service with Beasley Media Group, most recently vice president of programming, Justin Chase is promoted to executive vice president ofchasejustin programming for the company.  Chase says, “When I joined Beasley in 2009 as a program director in Las Vegas, I never imagined that I would have been given the opportunity to serve this great company at this level.  Every day, I get to learn and work with some of the finest program directors in the industry and the amazing leadership team at the corporate office.  I want to sincerely thank Caroline Beasley, Bruce Beasley, Brian Beasley and of course, our founder George Beasley for their confidence in me to lead the programming strategy of this growing company.”  Chase represents Beasley Media Group on several industry boards, including: the Media Ratings Council, the Nielsen Advisory Council, and the Council for Research Excellence.

Buzz Knight to Transition to Beasley as VP of Programming.  The company announces that when the Greater Media acquisition is complete, programmer Buzz Knight will remain in the programming department with Beasley Media Group as vice president of programming.  Knight has served as SVP, program development knightbuzzfor Greater Media, in which he’s been responsible for overseeing content and brand strategies for the company.  He’s been with Greater Media since 2002.  Knight will replace Justin Chase, who has been elevated to EVP of programming.  Knight comments, “I’ve long admired the great leadership of Justin Chase in his role with Beasley and I look forward to being a part of the Beasley team.  I am honored to follow Justin into this position and I’m incredibly excited to begin a new chapter with Beasley Broadcast Group as the company expands their portfolio of stations with the Greater Media acquisition.”

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Rush Limbaugh Hosts Media Partners.  At a recent, private event at the beautiful Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, nationally syndicated talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh, the EIB Network, and iHeartMedia hosted an intimate gathering of Limbaugh’s closest radio partners.  Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College and Rebecca and Andrew Hagelin of Rebecca Hagelin Communications and Marketing, represented this finest of America’s colleges at the reception and dinner.  Rebecca Hagelin (pictured above with Limbaugh) says, “Rush is not only the unqualified leader of intelligent talk radio, he’s a hero of liberty and the U.S. Constitution, which makes him a great American and a perfect partner for Hillsdale College.  (And besides all that, he’s a terrifically fun friend!)  Hillsdale seeks to teach every American who wants to learn – who wants to understand what makes our country exceptional and how we can preserve our freedoms and our nation for future generations.  Over 1.3 million have taken a free Hillsdalelimbaugharnn16 online course and some 3.5 million subscribe to Imprimis, Hillsdale’s free, monthly speech digest.  Rush has been critical in helping to spread the word about these stellar Hillsdale resources.”  Pictured at right are Limbaugh and Dr. Arnn.  Also in attendance at this event were: iHeartMedia COO & CFO Rich Bressler; EIB’s Kraig Kitchin; Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott; Premiere Networks EVP, personality sales Dan Metter; iHeartRadio president Darren Davis; iHeartMedia president, national sales & marketing partnerships Tim Castelli; iHeartMedia president, national sales Jeff Howard; Premiere Networks EVP, sales Alan Korowitz; and Premiere Networks SVP, affiliate marketing Hosea Belcher.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Round Two of October 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of October  2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The October 2016 survey period covered September 8 (the first game of the NFL season) – October 5.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

‘The Financial Exchange’ Expands in New England.  The business talk radio show “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong and Chuck Zodda” adds two more signals to its footprint in New England.  The show will be heard on Binnie Media’s WNNH-FM, Concord “NH1 News Radio” and WEMJ-FM, Laconia in New Hampshire, effective October 31.  The program is currently heard on 12 stations in the Northeast.

The 2016 Election, Down-Ticket Races, Voter Fraud-Tampering Issues, ObamaCare Premium Increases, Battle Against Islamic State in Mosul, U.S.-Philippines Relations, Giants Cut Josh Brown, World Series Begins, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25).  The race for president; the U.S. House and Senate races and fight to control Congress; allegations of potential voter fraud and concerns over poll tampering; skyrocketing health care premiums under the Affordable Care Act; the battle against Islamic State for the Iraqi city of Mosul; the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte; the New York Giants release kicker Josh Brown after his admission of abusing his ex-wife; baseball’s World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians begins; and National Football League action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  WTOP, Washington national security correspondent JJ Green receives a prestigious invitation to lead a panel discussion at the 2016 Concept Development and Experimentation Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria in November.  The conference is an international, co-sponsored annual event between NATO ACT and the United States Joint Staff which provides a unique opportunity for the international community to discuss the most current issues of concept development and experimentation in support of capability development.  Green was chosen to moderate a panel discussion, “Preparing for the Future, Today,” specifically because of his familiarity with and knowledge of national security issues after more than a decade of national security reporting at WTOP…..Beasley Broadcast Group announces it will report its 2016 third quarter financial results before the market opens on Wednesday, November 2.  The company will host a conference call and webcast at 10:00 am ET that morning to review the results…..Townsquare Media will release its third quarter 2016 financial results before the market opens on Tuesday, November 8.  The company will host a conference call to discuss certain third quarter 2016 financial results that morning at 8:00 ET…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show is added to the program lineup at KWBW, Hutchinson, Kansas…..The “Freedom Feens” weekend talk show, hosted by Michael W. Dean, is now heard on KRFE, Lubbock, Texas.

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Valerie Geller Brings Her ‘Power’ to the Land Down Under.  Noted American radio consultant and author Valerie Geller brought her internationally famous “Creating Powerful Radio” session to the IMBA workshop in Sidney, Australia.  She tells TALKERS, “Radio down under is alive and well!”  She (the only one without a book) is pictured with a large group of exuberant young broadcasters displaying her popular book, Beyond Powerful Radio: A Communicator’s Guide to the Internet Age (Focal Press, 2011). The IMBA (International Media and Broadcasting Academy) is an Australian-based, professional broadcast training institute operating in the Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East.

Monday, August 17, 2015

| August 17, 2015

T-MobileT-Mobile Will Activate FM Chip. The decision by T-Mobile was issued Friday (8/14) via Twitter by president and chief executive officer John Legere, whose actual “tweet” reads, “Hey @NextRadio app – We heard you! We’re saying yes to FM and will push our OEM partners to support!” Expanding his remarks, Legere states, “We are excited about T-Mobile joining Sprint and AT&T as the first carriers to officially request their handset makers activate FM radio chipsNextRadio with NextRadio in their device specifications. Activating the FM chip, already present in every Smartphone in America, allows users to download the NextRadio app and engage in a visually compelling, interactive experience with local radio stations, without the data charges and battery drain of streaming.” NextRadio/Tag Station president Paul Brenner instantly and directly replied to Legere with a video message by commenting, “Hey John, we saw your ‘tweet’ and you made our day. It was so great to see T-Mobile say ‘yes’ to the FM chip. The American radio industry is excited to be behind this effort and to work with T-Mobile going forward to make this a great experience for your customers. We have tens of thousands of T-Mobile customers respond to this program. Just like you always said you would do, you listened to those customers. Thank-you and we look forward to working with you in the future.” T-Mobile’s parent company is Deutsche Telekom.

carrhowieThe Howie Carr Northeast Regional Juggernaut Rolls On — Adds WPOP, Hartford.  The independent Howie Carr Radio Network, just over a year old, has added iHeartMedia outlet WPOP, Hartford to its ever-growing roster of affiliates in New England and the Northeast.  That raises the total to 23 with more reportedly about to be signed.  The network is built around the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET daily program of legendary broadcaster/newspaper columnist/author Howie Carr who tells TALKERS, “We have a lot of listeners in Hartford and now they have an easier way to hear the show on 1410 WPOP.”  The network’s VP/sales and marketing Kathy Carr adds, “We are excited to add WPOP in Hartford.  WPOP is a great addition to the network and will greatly benefit our sponsors.”  Stand by.  More affiliates to be added shortly.

wpop logoWPOP Flips to News/Talk.  It was the flip from sports talk to news/talk that opened up the door for Boston-based Howie Carr to get his show cleared on WPOP, Hartford as noted in the story above.  The iHeartMedia station returns to news/talkpennvinnie after almost 18 years away from the format.  Morning drive features “The Vinnie Penn Project” with host Vinnie Penn – a Connecticut broadcasting pro, comic, and writer who’s worked in local radio on CHR WKCI, New Haven “KC101” and news/talk WELI, New Haven as well as on SiriusXM.  The rest of the station’s lineup includes: Boston-based “The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong; Bloomberg Radio; Westwood One’s Mark Levin; and Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Meghan McCain.”

inc5000 logoSun Broadcast Group Recognized by Inc. Magazine for Second Year in a Row.  The company will be honored at Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony in Orlando later this year for being one of the fastest-growing companies in America.  Sun Broadcast Group also is receiving recognition as the fastest-growing company in the broadcast radio industry and the 11th fastest-growing company in all of media.  The annual list ranks the country’s fastest-growing privatebaileyjasonsun companies according to percentage of revenue growth over three years.  Sun reports during that time its revenue jumped more than 629%.  It also has added 18 full-time positions between its New York City and Boca Raton offices.  SBG CEO Jason Bailey comments, “When we were given the honor of making the Inc. Magazine list in 2014 you could have knocked me over with a feather.  Making the list for a second year and being in the top 20% among some of the most incredibly innovative companies in this country is absolutely mind blowing.  I’m so proud of the incredible team here at Sun and so thankful to the clients, producers and agency partners who have supported us over the last seven years.  The journey has been a mighty one but we always have and will continue to do it our way for the better of our partnerships and for this incredibly industry.  Onward!”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this year’s second analysis of the performances of stations serving as flagships for MLB play-by-play – this time based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2015 PPM survey (6+).  As is often the case, MLB teams thatMLB Logo appear to be headed for playoff contention (even in June and July) tend to boost ratings for their flagships.  The continuing resurgence of the Kansas City Royals has certainly been good for KCSP – the station performed three full shares better in 2015 than during the same period a year ago.  Although interestingly, the division leading Houston Astros have only nudged flagship KBME up 0.3 share (1.3 share, 6+) from a year ago.  View Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

toucher&rich names‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ Morning Show Now Seen on Comcast SportsNet New England.  The WBZ-FM, Boston morning show “Toucher & Rich” – hosted by Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb – is now being simulcast on regional cable channel Comcast SportsNet.  The CBS RADIO sports station currently has an agreement with Comcast to simulcast the station’s afternoon drive show, “Felger & Mazz.”  Comcast has sold the title sponsorship to UNO Pizzeria & Grill.  Comcast SportsNet New England president Bill Bridgen says, “‘Toucher & Rich’ have been incredibly successful by mixing sports and pop culture into one creative daily show.  We are thrilled to expand our relationship with ‘The Sports Hub’ into the morning and further establish Comcast SportsNet as the go-to television source for Boston sports programming.”

Odds & Sods.  Late Friday afternoon (4:00 pm, 8/14), Cumulus Media Minneapolis flipped trimulcast WGVX,wgvx logo WRXP, WGVZ, “Sports Talk 105 The Ticket” to classic hip hop as “The Vibe 105.”  The latest (July 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM figures for the Twin Cities indicate that “Sports Talk 105 The Ticket” ranked #25 of the 25 stations listed with a .1 (6+).  Locked on .3 from January to May, “The Ticket” dipped to .2 in June and then to .1 in July.  The other two sports stations in Minneapolis-St. Paul are iHeartMedia‘s KFXN “K-Fan” (4.2, #11) and Hubbard‘s KSTP-AM “1500 ESPN” (1.1, #19)…..ESPN Audio announces the return of its “Fantasy Focus” podcast for a ninth season.  Field Yates joins as the new co-host with Matthew BerryStephania Bell continues her role as a contributor to the podcast, which is produced daily throughout the NFL regular season.  “Fantasy Focus” has also accumulated almost 30 million downloads – second all-time among ESPN podcasts.

townsquare logoTownsquare Media to Add to its Live Events Business with NAME Acquisition.  The 2015 second quarter net revenue figure for Townsquare Media, Inc. rose 10.5% on the strength of its Live Events division, which saw a year-over-year increase of 50.4%.  Now, the company announces it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire North American Midway Entertainment, LLC (NAME) for approximately $75.5 million (subject to certain working capital and other adjustments).   In a press statement, Townsquare says, “NAME entertains more than 15 million people on an annual basis as the owner and operator of amusement attractions, including over 200 state-of-the-art rides, custom-designed food concessions and family-oriented games at approximately 150 fairs per year across the United States and Canada.”  NAME’s management team will join Townsquare and become part of its Live Events division.  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We are excited to partner with NAME’s management team and add NAME’s market-leading mobile amusement parks to our Live Events portfolio.  Nearly half of NAME’s current events are within 100 miles of a Townsquare market and fit squarely within our core stated strategy of providing affordable, family-friendly entertainment content.”