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Thursday, October 7, 2021

| October 7, 2021

Audacy Named Tim Clarke SVP, Digital Audio Content; Mike Thomas Returns to Boston to Lead Company’s Six Stations. Media executive Tim Clarke is promoted to the corporate senior vice president, digital audio content position with Audacy after serving as SVP and market manager for the company’s six Boston stations for the past six months. Taking over for Clarke at Audacy Boston is former WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” programmer Mike Thomas. In Clarke’s new role, he’ll be responsible for audio content across the Audacy digital platform that includes the Audacy app, Audacy.com, and Audacy’s station websites. Clarke will drive strategy and execution for new exclusive and original content for the platform and will have oversight of Audacy’s new exclusive digital music stations. He will also be responsible for the digital audio experiences of Audacy’s portfolio of broadcast stations, local and national station affiliates, and podcast partners. Audacy chief digital officer J.D. Crowley comments, “Tim is a rising star in our industry, and we’re excited to add his talents and capabilities to our digital business. He brings rich experience leading content and consumer strategies that we trust will enable him to help us further elevate our mission of delivering dynamic digital audio content through a listener-friendly platform every day.” Clarke joined Audacy in March of this year after serving as vice president of content and audience for Cox Media Group. Mike Thomas joins Audacy Boston from his most recent position as market manager for sports talk WMVP-AM, Chicago “ESPN Chicago” that’s being operated by Good Karma Brands. Prior to that, he was brand manager for Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” In this new role, he’ll oversee Audacy’s six Boston stations that include sports talk WEEI-FM, WEEI-AM “ESPN Boston,” and WVEI-AM, Worcester and three music brands. Thomas says, “Boston evokes memories of great times and celebrations. When [regional president] Mark Hannon reached out about coming back and leading such a diverse group of stations, it was exhilarating! I can’t wait to reconnect with a lot of talented people, some which I spent over a dozen years working side-by-side with and celebrating many more victories.”

Curtis Sliwa is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Longtime WABC, New York talk show host, founder of the world-famous volunteer public safety organization the Guardian Angels, and GOP nominee for Mayor of the Big Apple, Curtis Sliwa, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Sliwa, who is on leave from his radio position while running for office, won the Republican primary by a landslide although he is considered an underdog in the forthcoming general election against Democrat Eric Adams. However, Michael Harrison says, “I wouldn’t count Curtis out. He was born to be the Mayor of New York City and has enormous ‘street-cred’ and appeal – especially when the major topics in this race are crime and homelessness. He’s a real-life Spider-Man.” Harrison and Sliwa discuss these issues as well as the candidate’s strong position on animal welfare and the colorful history of New York broadcasters such as the great Barry Farber running for mayor and other elective offices. Don’t miss this mega-cool conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Round Three of September 2021 PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s September 2021 sweep covered August 19 – September 15. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from these markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM adds six-tenths for a 5.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains anchored in the #4 rank while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KEX-AM adds seven-tenths for a 3.2 share finish and rises to the #15 rank. Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte rises from #10 to #8 after tacking on seven-tenths for a 4.7 share. iHeartMedia’s KFBK-AM/FM, Sacramento is ranked #1 in the market after adding 1.1 shares for a 9.8 share finish while sister talk KSTE loses two-tenths for a 3.4 share finish and falls to the #12 rank. And in Salt Lake City, Bonneville’s news/talk KSL-AM/FM soars from #3 to #1 after adding 1.4 shares for an 8.4 share finish while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KNRS-AM/FM shoots up from #7 to #4 after adding 1.3 shares for a 6.3 share finish. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets (as well as his reports on the first two rounds) here.

Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Back on Air After Breakthrough COVID Case. According to a story in The Buffalo News, WBEN-AM afternoon drive talk host Tom Bauerle returned to the air this Tuesday (10/5) after being off for a few weeks due to his getting a breakthrough case of COVID-19. Bauerle told his listeners that he was vaccinated with two doses of the Moderna shot and was tested daily while working as an extra on the set of the film Cabrini that’s being shot in Buffalo. Bauerle, who is against vaccine mandates because he thinks mandates are “un-American,” admitted to his listeners that while he was sick, he thought to himself, “Wow. I’m glad I got Moderna. How bad would it have been if I didn’t get Moderna?” He also said, “I’ll never know if the symptoms were mild because I got the shot. I’ll never know that.”

Salem Media Portland Names Sue Wilson Marketing/Promotions Director. Programming and marketing pro Sue Wilson returns to Salem Media Group as marketing/promotion director for the company’s Portland cluster that includes news/talk KPAM “AM 860 The Answer” and religious outlets KPDQ-AM/FM and KFIS-FM. Wilson was director of programming for the company’s Cleveland operations from 2001 through 2007. She served with Rubber City Radio as VP/operations for 12 years and launched Sue Wilson Creative in 2018. She says, “General Manager Dennis Hayes has built this amazing team in Portland that I’m so excited to be a part of. I’m grateful to him and [PD] Chris Kelly, and look forward to helping them create new, innovative ways to market and promote these incredible brands.” She begins her position later this month.

Audacy’s WEEI, Boston Renews Broadcast Deal with Red Sox. Boston sports talk outlet WEEI-FM and MLB’s Boston Red Sox announce a multiyear radio broadcast contract extension for the Audacy sports talk station to continue to serve as the Red Sox flagship radio station, as it has since 1995. Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Tim Clarke states, “Few things embody the city of Boston better than the Red Sox, and we’re delighted to extend our partnership with the team. The team has delivered some of the most memorable moments in baseball over the course of the last two decades and we’re proud to continue giving our audience a front row seat to everything surrounding the team.” As part of the partnership, WEEI will continue to air a weekly front office report with as part of “The Greg Hill Show,” featuring a rotation of interviews with Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and general manager Brian O’Halloran. Additionally, afternoon show “Merloni and Fauria” will welcome manager Alex Cora every week.

WABC, New York Honors Goya on Hispanic Heritage Day. New York City news/talk WABC presented an all-day event yesterday (10/6) honoring Hispanic Heritage Day by celebrating the numerous contributions the Hispanic community has made to New York City’s businesses, governmental communities, and culture. The celebration honored Goya, the largest and most successful Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, for donating over 40,000 pounds of food to victims of Hurricane Ida and over 4.5 million pounds of food since the start of the pandemic. Goya CEO Bob Unanue was presented the Humanitarian Award. Officials from the State of Louisiana called in via Zoom to thank Goya for supporting the residents during Hurricane Ida. Red Apple Media CEO John Catsimatidis said, “The Hispanic culture in New York City is among the most vibrant and fastest growing. As an immigrant myself, I understand what it means to take pride in your culture, your heritage, your ethnicity, and the path by which we all became ‘New Yorkers.’ We are proud of the contributions made by our Hispanic brothers and sisters, whether it is the thousands of Hispanic-owned businesses or the millions of New Yorkers of Hispanic heritage who work, live, play, and pray here in the greatest city on earth.” Pictured above are (from l-r): Red Apple and 77 WABC Radio president Chad Lopez, Unanue, and Margo and John Catsimatidis.

Debt Ceiling, Biden Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills, COVID-19, Texas Abortion Bill, January 6 Investigation/Trump Election Denial, and China-Taiwan Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/6). The battle in Congress over the raising of the debt ceiling; the debate between Democratic factions over President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion Infrastructure bill and his $3.5 trillion Reconciliation Bill; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., booster shots, and mask & vaccine mandates; a federal judge blocks the highly restrictive and controversial Texas abortion law; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and former President Donald Trump’s continuing claim of the “stolen” election; and China’s aggressive military actions toward Taiwan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

September 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Two

| October 6, 2021

September 2021 PPM Data – Information for the September 2021 sweep has been released for Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis.

Nielsen Audio’s September 2021 survey period covered August 19 – September 15.

Managing editor Mike Kinosian provides “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty.

Also cited are each particular city’s #1 station (6+) and loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are August 2021 – September 2021 (6+).

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WMAL “105.9 FM – Where Washington Comes To Talk” (Washington Football Team) 3.3 – 3.2, -.1, #10 to #13

News: Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WTOP & WTLP “Washington’s Top News” 9.2 – 8.5, -.7, first to second

Sports Talk: In the Audacy cluster, WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” (Nationals) steady at 1.9, #18 to #17; WJFK-FM’s internet stream, .5 – .6, +.1, #24 to #20; and WTEM “980 The Team” (Washington Football Team) .4 – .6, +.2, #20

Public Radio News/Talk: American University-owned WAMU 6.6 – 7.4, +.8, fourth to third

Number One 6+: Radio One urban AC WMMJ, first month, 8.9 – 8.8, -.1

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase (Tie): public radio news/talk WAMU; classic hits-oldies WIAD; and CHR WIHT (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: urban AC WHUR (-1.3)

BOSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WRKO “AM 680 The Voice Of Boston” 3.8 – 3.9, +.1, anchored in ninth-place

News – Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” 6.2 – 6.6, +.4, repeats at #3

Sports Talk: Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (New England Patriots) 5.8 – 7.4, +1.6, sixth to first

Audacy-owned WEEI-FM “93.7 Boston’s Sports Station” (Red Sox) 3.4 – 3.9, +.5, #11 to #9

Public Radio News/Talk: Boston University’s WBUR 4.1 – 4.0, -.1, unchanged at #8

WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH 3.2 – 2.9, -.3, #12 to #13

Number One 6+: sports talk WBZ-FM, first month, 5.8 – 7.4, +1.6

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: sports talk WBZ-FM (+1.6)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: CHR WXKS-FM (-1.0)

MIAMI

News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Spanish News/Talk: Univision Radio-owned WAQI “710 AM Radio Mambi” 3.6 – 3.4, -.2, #10 to #11

Actualidad Media Group’s WURN-AM “Actualidad AM 1040” 2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #15 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Dade County School Board-owned WLRN 3.3 – 3.5, +.2, #11 to #9

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT, first month, 7.7 – 8.7, +1.0

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: urban AC WHQT (+1.0)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WFEZ (-1.0)

SEATTLE

News/Talk: Bonneville’s KIRO-FM “97.3 FM” (Seahawks) 7.3 – 7.1, -.2, #1

News: Lotus Communications’ KOMO-AM & KOMO-FM “Seattle News, Weather, Sports” 5.8 – 5.4, -.4, repeats at #3

Sports Talk: Bonneville-owned KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” (Mariners and Seahawks) flat at 3.9, remains in ninth-place

Public Radio News/Talk: Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW 4.7 – 5.4, +.7, sixth to third

Number One 6+: news/talk KIRO-FM, third straight month, 7.3 – 7.1, -.2

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: alternative KEXP (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: rock KISW (-1.4)

DETROIT

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760 AM” 4.6 – 3.8, -.8, #10 to #12

News: Audacy-owned WWJ News Radio 950” 5.7 – 5.5, -.2, repeats in fourth-place

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (Tigers and Lions) 5.4 – 5.5, +.1, fifth to fourth

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Michigan’s WUOM 1.6 – 1.7, +.1, #19 to #18

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies WOMC, second month in a row, 7.2 – 7.4, +.2

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: urban AC WMXD (+.5)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: news/talk WJR (-.8)

PHOENIX

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” 5.0 – 4.5, -.5, second to fifth

Bonneville-owned KTAR-FM “News 92.3 FM” (Arizona Cardinals) 3.4 – 3.7, +.3, tenth to ninth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona’s Sports Station” 2.2 – 2.1, -.1, #22 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ 3.2 – 3.3, +.1, #11 to #10

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ, eleventh consecutive month, 6.7 – 7.3, +.6

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: adult hits KYOT (+1.1)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies KOAI (-1.1)

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s WCCO “News Talk 830” (Twins) 4.8 – 5.2, +.4, eighth to sixth

iHeartMedia-owned KTLK-AM “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” 3.2 – 3.3, +.1, remains at #14

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “FM 100.3 K-Fan” (Minnesota Vikings) 4.2 – 4.7, +.5, #12 to #11

Public Radio News/Talk: Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW 7.2 – 7.5, +.3, repeats in third-place

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL, third successive month, 7.9 – 8.7, +.8

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies KQQL (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: contemporary Christian KTIS-FM (-1.0)

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk: In the iHeartMedia cluster, KOGO “News Radio 600” 4.2 – 4.7, +.5, eighth to fourth; KGB-AM “760 AM” 1.4 – 2.1, +.7, #22 to #16; and KFI “AM 640” 1.9 – 2.0, +.1, #20 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: San Diego State University-owned KPBS 4.6 – 5.2, +.6, fourth to third

Number One 6+: Local Media San Diego-programmed rhythmic hot AC XHRM, second consecutive month, 6.1 – 6.8, +.7

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase (Tie): rhythmic hot AC XHRM and news/talk KGB-AM (+.7)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: CHR KHTS (-1.3)

TAMPA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group’s WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” 3.7 – 4.4, +.7, ninth to sixth

iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “News Radio 970” 2.8 – 3.3, +.5, #14 to #11

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Rays) 2.6 – 2.8, +.2, locked at #17

Public Radio News/Talk: University of South Florida-owned WUSF 2.8 – 3.2, +.4, #14 to #12

Number One 6+: contemporary Christian WCIE, third month in a row, 7.8 – 8.6, +.8

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: contemporary Christian WCIE (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: hot AC WMTX (-1.4)

DENVER

News/Talk: In the iHeartMedia cluster, KOA “News Radio 850” (Rockies and Broncos) 2.8 – 2.9, +.1, #13 to #15; KHOW “Talk Radio 630” 2.2 – 2.5, +.3, #20 to #16; and KDFD “Freedom 93.7” 2.2 – 2.3, +.1, #20 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KKFN “104.3 The Fan” 2.5 – 3.0, +.5, #15 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: Colorado Public Radio-owned KCFR 4.5 – 5.3, +.8, fourth to third

Number One 6+: Bonneville country KYGO, first month, 6.4 – 7.1, +.7

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk KCFR (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: classic rock KRFX (-1.2)

BALTIMORE

News/Talk: Hearst Television’s WBAL News Radio 1090” (Ravens) 3.9 – 3.7, -.2, anchored in ninth-place

WCBM Maryland-owned WCBM “Talk Radio AM 680” 3.1 – 2.9, -.2, #13 to #15

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJZ-FM “Baltimore Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (Orioles) 4.5 – 4.3, -.2, repeats at #7

Public Radio News/Talk: Your Public Radio Corporation’s WYPR 3.9 – 3.5, -.4, #9 to #11

Number One 6+: Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM, ninth consecutive month, 8.1 – 8.6, +.5

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: classic rock WZBA (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: urban contemporary WERQ (-.9)

ST. LOUIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s KMOX “The Voice Of St. Louis” (Cardinals) flat at 6.0, seventh to eighth and co-owned KFTK “Talk 97.1 FM” 4.5 – 3.7, -.8, #10 to #14

iHeartMedia-owned KTLK-FM “104.9 The Patriot” 2.1 – .5, -1.6 #17 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 ESPN” 3.5 – 3.8, +.3, #13 to #12

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Missouri-owned KWMU 3.3 – 4.2, +.9, #15 to #10

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting rock KSHE, ninth consecutive month, 11.1 – 11.0, -.1

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: urban AC WFUN (+1.0)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: news/talk KTLK-FM (-1.6)

Note: Three days before the start of the September 2021 sweep (8/16), iHeartMedia flipped urban AC KMJM to news/talk KTLK-FM.

 

Up next: September 2021 overviews for Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus.

Email Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

| September 28, 2021

Binnie Media Names Michael Czarnecki Director of Brand Operations.  Radio programming pro Michael Czarnecki is named director of brand operations for Binnie Media, owner and operator of 15 signals in New Hampshire and Maine. Czarnecki joins the company from iHeartMedia where he most recently served as program director of WONK-FM (WWDC-HD2) Washington DC. Before that, Czarnecki was program director for iHeartMedia’s WRKO, Boston. At Binnie Media, Czarnecki will work alongside Binnie Media VP of programming Heath Cole, who says, “In his new role, Michael will work closely with our marketing, promotions, news/talk, and music initiatives in all formats. We are very excited to have Michael joining us on the programming leadership team.” Binnie Media president Massimo Rosati adds, “Michael’s skillset and energy combine to make him the perfect addition at Binnie Media.” Czarnecki, who began his radio career at WGIR in Manchester, New Hampshire, comments, “I am thrilled to be joining the Binnie media team. This is a return home for me, it’s full circle. Special thanks to Massimo Rosati and Heath Cole for making this incredible opportunity possible.”

SuperTalk Mississippi Unveils ‘SuperTalk Mississippi Outdoors with Ricky Mathews.’ The new weekly program “SuperTalk Outdoors with Ricky Mathews” will air on Mondays from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm across the 12-station SuperTalk Mississippi network. Mathews is the former publisher of the Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, Mobile Press-Register, and the Sun-Herald. He retired in 2016 as president of Advance Southeast before joining SuperTalk Mississippi Media as the host of “Coast Vue” in January of 2020. He says, “Enjoying the outdoors is a big part of our Mississippi heritage. It’s part of our DNA in this state. Hunting or fishing or just simply soaking up the endless number of other outdoor recreational activities is at the core of this great state. I’m thrilled to be the host of this new show.” SuperTalk Mississippi Media owner Steve Davenport states, “Ricky has been a compass for our company and always seeks to forge a path toward improving our great state. He understands the importance of Mississippi’s outdoors, one of our greatest resources. I am confident that he will use this opportunity to engage and educate the public and will work to lead the conversation in this state about Mississippi’s outdoors.”

2021 Radio Mercury Awards Finalists Announced. The finalists in this year’s Radio Mercury Awards have been announced and 149 radio/audio spots and campaigns made it to the finals of this year’s 30th anniversary awards. The Radio Advertising Bureau notes that this year marks the first time all categories were open to all languages. The submissions were created by advertising agencies, brands, production companies, radio stations and digital companies. The 2021 finalists range from regional to large advertising agencies and radio stations, as well as national and local advertisers from categories including automotive, consumer packaged goods, entertainment, government services, healthcare, insurance, nonprofits, quick-serve restaurants, telecommunications, travel and hospitality. Entries were judged on their creativity, originality, execution and effective communication of a brand’s message. Robin Fitzgerald is chief creative officer at BBDO Atlanta and chief judge for the 2021 Radio Mercury Awards. She says, “This year’s Radio Mercury Awards is celebrating the work that came through in 2021 and acknowledging the awards’ 30-year history. It was great to hear the amazing work, and I can’t wait to celebrate the winners in November.” RAB president and CEO Erica Farber adds, “Every year, the Radio Mercury Awards shines a light on the best of the best in radio creative, and this year is no different. This year’s finalists showcase a wonderful range of audio work that leverages the medium and delivers for the advertiser.” The Radio Mercury Awards winners will be presented at 6:00 pm ET on November 17 during a virtual ceremony. See more at www.radiomercuryawards.com.

Cumulus Media Creates Audio Active Group. The company calls the new division “an audio media and creative advisory group for marketers and agencies.” The Audio Active Group is being led by Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer of CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One and that this is the “natural evolution from a sponsor-focused research and insights group to a true comprehensive marketing advisory. The company says the Audio Active Group partners with clients to measure the impact of the entire audio campaign (not just the CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One investment), specializing in the following areas: 1) Audio creative best practices: Advising on the development and testing of sonic logos and advertising creative; offering recommendations on how to optimize and enhance current creative; advising on how to deploy new creative strategies to meet campaign objectives; 2) Media planning: Providing recommendations on daypart mix, flighting, weight levels, podcast genres, and AM/FM radio programming formats to meet campaign objectives, based on audience analytics; 3) Strategic allocation within audio: Advising on the right mix of ad-supported audio platforms; and 4) Measurement of the entire audio investment: Advising on the right approach for brands to measure campaign effectiveness, including brand lift, sales effect, and search and site attribution. Cumulus EVP, marketing and president, Westwood One Suzanne Grimes states, “One-third of brands in audio today are new to the medium. As major brands discover audio, they have lots of questions about audio creative strategy, media planning, and campaign measurement, and we have a deep understanding of what audio campaigns can accomplish. Under Pierre’s deft leadership, we are the only company that measures the impact of the entire audio investment and uses our trove of creative-testing and campaign-effectiveness data to help guide clients’ media investments and creative strategy.”

Cumulus Media Wichita Falls Offices Burglarized Overnight. According to a report from Texomashomepage.com, the offices and studios of Cumulus Media on Call Field Road in Wichita Falls, Texas were burglarized sometime early this morning (9/28). The story notes that the Wichita Falls Police Department responded to a call from a Cumulus employee who arrived early this morning to find the building had been “burglarized and ransacked.” Authorities say “there is extensive damage to the office areas of Cumulus Media and Henderson Appraisals.” Additionally, a station vehicle was stolen from the parking lot.

COVID-19, Biden’s Infrastructure and Spending Plans, Debt Ceiling Issue, Afghanistan Withdrawal Hearing, Border Crisis, Trump Georgia Rally, Chips and Labor Shortage, and R. Kelly Conviction Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/27). The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., boosters, and mask & vaccine mandates; this week’s debates on President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan and his $3.5 trillion spending plan; the battle over the U.S. debt ceiling and a possible government shutdown; today’s congressional testimony from Pentagon brass about the withdrawal from Afghanistan; the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and the status of Haitian migrants; former President Donald Trump’s weekend rally in Georgia and his role in the GOP; the global silicon chip shortage, supply chain woes, and the labor shortage; and singer R. Kelly is convicted of sex trafficking charges were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pioneering Radio Programmer Christine Cooper Spindel Dies at 97. The Memphis Commercial Appeal has the obituary of former WDIA, Memphis programmer Christine Cooper Spindel, who passed away in Urbana, Illinois last week at the age of 97. As her daughter Carol Spindel states, Christine Cooper Spindel was a pioneer both as a female program director at WDIA in 1948 and for hiring an all-Black programming staff. Spindel appeared in Martin Scorsese’s 2003 PBS documentary, “The Blues,” to talk about her role in hiring the Black DJ staff that included legendary bluesman B.B. King.  Memphis music historian Robert Gordon is quoted in Bob Mehr’s story saying, “Instead of caving in to the racist pressures all around her, she persisted, and we as a city — and also we as blues lovers — all benefitted. Chris Spindel is evidence of how ordinary citizens have the power to change the world.” The story goes on to say, “In 1948, WDIA was still a small struggling outlet, when [co-owner Bert] Ferguson, Spindel and the station’s production head Don Kern decided to take a risk and hire Nat D. Williams, a Black high school history and social studies teacher, to host an afternoon program directed at Memphis’ large Black radio audience. ‘It was an unprecedented thing to do. Although Black people were accepted as entertainers… to put a Black man on the air was actually to empower Black people. They could speak in their own right,’ recalled Spindel. ‘I heard this phrase a lot and I deplore the phrase, “We must keep these people in their place” and their place was not in front of a microphone. It was to be subservient to the white community. But we tried to change that.’”

Friday, September 17, 2021

| September 17, 2021

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, “East Side, West Side,” looks back at this past week of 9/13 – 9/17. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Erick Erickson, talk show host, WSB, Atlanta; Jimmy Failla, talk show host, FOX News RadioRudy Giuliani, talk show host, WABC, New York/former Mayor of New York City; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. 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; 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.

Be the Best Talent Coach: Maximize Potential. Radio consultant Jon Quick says that many programmers just don’t do it, “though it’s the most important part of their role, or at least it used to be. Coaching talent for great preparation, powerful execution, compelling communication, audience retention, and better relating to the listener is something many PDs say they just don’t have the time for. Programmers are often so caught up in corporate matters or minutiae that they really don’t have the time by the end of the day.” He adds that “surprisingly, many programmers and personalities believe coaching is beneath them or they don’t know how to coach, because many PDs never actually learned how to do it.” Read his advice here.

WBZ-AM, Boston Celebrates Centennial on Sunday (9/19). Boston all-news outlet WBZ-AM “NewsRadio” is celebrating its 100th anniversary on Sunday (9/19). The iHeartMedia station says it will cap its celebration with a day of vignettes spanning memorable moments from its first 100 years. iHeartMedia Boston market president Alan Chartrand says, “For a station to broadcast for 100 years is nothing short of amazing. Listeners and advertisers consistently utilize this heritage brand as evidenced by WBZ’s continued ratings and revenue success. People lean into objective news sources to remain informed and none has been more dependable than WBZ NewsRadio.” iHeartMedia Boston VP of news, talk & sports Rob Sanchez says, “‘WBZ NewsRadio’ is defined by our strong, unmistakable presence in the communities we serve. As the media landscape continues to evolve, our reach has only increased as WBZ listeners have adopted streaming on smart devices and the iHeartRadio app.” The station also received an official commemoration letter from President Joe Biden, who wrote, “I send my warmest greetings to ‘WBZ NewsRadio’ as you celebrate your 100th anniversary. As one of America’s oldest radio stations, ‘WBZ NewsRadio’ has kept generations of listeners informed with the latest stories and breaking news. Radio has long been an important aspect of American life – narrating the triumphs and tragedies that have defined America – as well as the day-to-day news that keeps listeners engaged with their communities. Over the decades, radio stations like ‘WBZ NewsRadio’ have been on the forefront of journalism, providing entertainment and valuable information to the people who tune in throughout the day.”

‘NPR News Now,’ ‘Crime Junkie,’ and ‘Ben Shapiro Show’ Top Podcasts for August According to Triton Digital. The August 2021 U.S. Podcast Report from Triton Digital ranks the top 100 podcasts based on average weekly downloads and NPR’s “NPR News Now,” AdLarge/cabana’s “Crime Junkie,” and Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” were the top three U.S. podcasts, respectively. Other programs from radio-affiliated podcast divisions that made the chart include: “The Dan Bongino Show” (#8, Cumulus Podcast Network), “Pod Save America” (#12, Audacy Podcast Network), “FOX News Radio Newscast” (#13, FOX News Podcasts), and “The Charlie Kirk Show” (#15, Salem Podcast Network). See more, including the report’s ranking of the top 15 podcast networks (based on average weekly downloads) here.

iHeartMedia’s Panama City News/Talker Announces New Frequencies. Panama City, Florida news/talk outlet WFLA has new dial positions. iHeartMedia says that “FOX Sports NewsRadio WFLA” changes dial positions and rebrands to the new “96.3-102.5 WFLA Panama City’s Talk Radio,” effective immediately. The station’s signal emanates from WPAP-HD2 and is heard on translators W242BF at 96.3 FM and W273DU at 102.5 FM. The station’s lineup includes: “The Morning Show with Preston Scott,” “The Glenn Beck Program”, “The Schnitt Show”, “The Joe Pags Show,” “The Jesse Kelly Show,” and “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show.” iHeartMedia SVP of programming John Lund comments, “We are excited to continue providing Panama City with the quality news and information that they have come to expect from the WFLA brand. Now it’s available on two broadcast signals and in HD, rather than just one.”

NAB Produces PSAs Promoting the Importance of Local Broadcast Journalism. The National Association of Broadcasters unveils new spots designed to underscore the importance of fact-based broadcast radio and television journalism “at a time when misinformation is running rampant on social media. The new spots highlight the work of broadcasters to deliver trusted, reliable coverage of the local, national and global events that affect our lives.” NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith adds, “At a time when misinformation and disinformation are all too common online, the local journalism broadcasters provide is more important than ever – we deliver the facts Americans need to know without fear or favor. We want to remind the public and our nation’s leaders about the indispensable role broadcasters play in our local communities every day as the most trusted source of news.” Stations can download the spots here. The NAB says, “The new spots were created in response to research showing the business practices of big tech companies prevent local stations from recouping their investment in local journalism, as these platforms exert enormous influence over what online content is eligible to be monetized. At the same time, the tech giants are contributing to the spread of misinformation as their algorithms favor controversial content over high-quality journalism, the study shows. The new ‘We Are Broadcasters’ spots seek to remind policymakers and the public that TV and radio stations invest significant resources in local journalism for their communities, whether they are shining a light on corruption or preparing the public for a weather emergency.”

October 5 Announced as Date for Virtual Gracie Awards. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation will hold the 46th Annual Gracie Awards program virtually on Tuesday, October 5, at 7:00 pm ET at @AllWomenInMedia on Facebook. Hosted by actress and comedian Lauren Ash, the annual gala will feature performances by GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Jewel and GRAMMY award-winning American Gospel Singer CeCe Winans, honoring this year’s award winner’s whose work continues to influence and further the achievements of all women in media. This year’s awards coincide with AWM’s 70th anniversary, which includes the launch of a VOICES OF COURAGE digital tapestry, a commemorative logo and a social media campaign using #VoicesOfCourage and #70YearsOfCourage. Since its inception in 1951, AWM, originally known as American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT), has been committed to inspiring, educating, celebrating accomplishments and expanding networks of women across all segments of media. AWMF president Becky Brooks says, “Lauren’s comedic spirit and incredibly talented performers will create a Gracies to remember…and worthy of our 70th anniversary celebration. We will inspire and entertain our friends, fans, and followers with this year’s virtual event, and look forward to raising a glass together, in person next year to celebrate the accomplishments of women in media.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago news/talker WLS-AM is adding a travel show to its weekend program schedule. The Cumulus Media station debuts “Let’s Go with Catie Keogh” Sunday at 7:00 pm. Keogh is an Emmy Award-winning host and executive producer who is also a digital contributor for Travel + Leisure Magazine and National Geographic Magazine. Keogh says, “I am so excited to be back on WLS with my new show, ‘Let’s Go with Catie Keogh.’ My show is a place to escape, a place to learn and a place to dream about your next travel adventure around the globe and close to home. I am looking forward to sharing Chicago’s best-kept secrets again, too!”…..According to data from Comscore, FOX News Digital earned the top spot in both multiplatform minutes and multiplatform views in August, reaching nearly 1.8 billion multiplatform views and approximately 3.7 billion multiplatform minutes. FOX News says that breaking news coverage surrounding the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, led by FOX News Channel’s national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin and foreign correspondent Trey Yingst, helped drive FOX News Digital to its second-best month of the year, following January 2021…..Audacy’s C13Features announces that critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated actress Kate Mara and SAG Award-nominated actor Adam Scott have signed on to star in the psychological thriller, “Ghostwriter,” that is currently finalizing all production plans and will debut worldwide on Monday, December 6. C13Features partnered with Best Case Studios on the project and Cadence13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “Kate Mara and Adam Scott are incredible actors whose abilities and voices make them the perfect fit for this multi-layered thriller. C13Features is looking for the best material, with ambitious expectations and vision, with the high-quality content and production of this feature, and with Kate and Adam leading the way, we believe that ‘Ghostwriter’ will leave listeners on the edge of their seats.”

COVID-19 Boosters, Vaccines, Masks & Mandates Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 13-17. The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., debate over COVID-19 boosters, and vaccine & mask mandates combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the California recall election that was won by Governor Gavin Newsom, followed by the January 6 Commission investigation into the attack on the Capitol tied with Saturday’s “Justice for J6” rally in Washington. 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.

95.5 WSB, Atlanta Seeks Assistant PD. Atlanta news/talk outlet WSB-AM/WSBB-FM “95.5 WSB” has an opportunity for an assistant program director. The station says, “95.5 WSB, one of the most successful and respected news & talk radio brands in the country, is looking for an assistant program director. This person assists the director of branding and programming in executing the 95.5 WSB programming and news strategy to include managing and developing news & talk talent, hosts, producers, the operations team, imaging producers, as well as coordinating strategic goals and input with the news director, manager of traffic operations, and digital content lead. This role requires a strong balance of strong people skills, initiative, creativity, and strategic and tactical command; it includes handling of assigned administrative duties, personnel management, coordination of schedules, and promotions (sales and marketing).” See more about this position and apply here.