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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

| June 22, 2022

Political and Cultural Polarization Addressed at TALKERS 2022. At the recent TALKERS 2022 convention held on June 10 at Hofstra University on Long Island, five talk radio hosts representing various political perspectives participated in the panel discussion “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization.” The panel was moderated by WPHT, Philadelphia talk show host Dom Giordano (below), who was introduced by WINS, New York morning drive anchor Lee Harris.

 

WCHV, Charlottesville talk show host and program director Joe Thomas takes part in the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel.

 

KOA, Denver talk show host Mandy Connell speaks during her appearance on the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel.

 

WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz makes a point during his appearance on the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel.

 

GCN nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs during her appearance on the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel.

 

WICC, Bridgeport, Connecticut talk host and Connecticut probate judge Lisa Wexler speaks on the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel.

 

Complete TALKERS 2022 Session Videos Being Posted TALKERS magazine is posting complete videos of each session from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University. The video of the “Morning Greetings” session has been posted. This session includes: TALKERS 2022 emcee and TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey; the National Anthem performed on saxophone by WOAI, San Antonio and Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo; the “Welcome to Long Island” speech by JVC Broadcasting president/CEO John Caracciolo; the “Morning Wakeup” from FOX News Radio host Jimmy Failla; “A Gathering of Friends and Colleagues” presentation from Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity; and “Talk Radio in the Post-Rush Era” from Premiere Networks talk host Buck Sexton. See the video here.

 

KOA, Denver Programmer Greg Foster Among Staffers Let Go by iHeartMedia. The staff reductions taking place at iHeartMedia hit the Denver cluster recently with program director Greg Foster among those getting their pink slips. In addition to Foster, Tim Spence – program director for KHOW, Denver and KCOL, Fort Collins – was also let go, as was talk host Mike Rosen and producer for Mandy Connell’s program, Dave Lauer. Foster tells TALKERS magazine, “As for me, I’m certainly grateful for my 22-years with iHeart/Clear Channel. It was a good run!”

 

Westwood One Blog Reveals Results of Online Sports Betting Study. The CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group commissioned MARU/Matchbox to conduct a national brand awareness study of online sports betting brands and it surveyed 1,252 adults 21-plus in February. The study consisted of 483 respondents were from states that have legalized sports betting and 769 respondents were from states that have not. Some of the ley findings include: 1) The ideal target for online sports betting are adults 35-54 who are married, have kids, and work full time. Nearly half of those most interested in online sports betting are adults 35-54 (48%). Women are becoming more interested in online sports betting. The gender profile of those interested is more evenly distributed (men 54% vs. women 46%); 2) Based on media habits of online sports betting intenders, the optimal media allocation is 54% AM/FM radio and 48% TV. Compared to TV viewers, AM/FM radio listeners have far more experience with online sports betting, greater interest, greater awareness of, and greater engagement with online sports betting brands; 3) The audio sports betting media plan should contain a wide array of AM/FM radio programming formats and podcast genres. Those interested in online sports betting listen to a broad array of podcast genres and AM/FM radio programming formats beyond just Sports programming. Audio media plans that focus mostly on spoken word (news/talk and sports) will miss the majority of those who are engaged with online sports betting. Based on AM/FM radio programming format preferences among those interested in online sports betting, the ideal allocation is 20% of impressions to rock and then 10% each to the rest of the formats (classic rock, news/talk, sports, classic hits/oldies, country, Top 40, urban, and adult contemporary); and 4) Audio media plans should emphasize reach over frequency and increase weight to reach 60% of the market. Recent monthly AM/FM radio plans are only reaching 38% of the market. Brands should seek to reach at least 60% of the market each month.

 

AdLarge Names Brian Egan Director of Digital Content and Strategy. Joining AdLarge as director of digital content and strategy is Brian Egan, who most recently was creator and co-founder of Inlet TV, a digital multi-media live streaming platform focused on highly scalable HTTP live streaming technology. In his new role with AdLarge, Egan will “spearhead the expansion of strategic discovery methods to uncover new talent and content creators in order to develop authentic and re-imagined advertising opportunities for clients.” AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas says, “Throughout his career, Brian has had the opportunity to work with some of the largest podcasters in the world and brings an impressive depth of experience and entrepreneurial vision to the company. With his leadership, we’re focused on finding new marketing and content opportunities and look forward to reaching new levels of success for our clients in 2022.” Egan comments, “I can’t express how excited I am to join this incredible team of industry-leading professionals. I’m looking forward to contributing to the inspired work they already do for their content partners, with an eye toward expanding their footprint in emerging markets and products. For anyone looking to connect on podcast content, technology, or to just make an introduction – my inbox is wide open!”

 

Townsquare Media Closes on Cherry Creek Acquisition. The deal for Townsquare Media to acquire 34 radio stations in nine markets from Cherry Creek has closed. Townsquare is paying $18.75 million for the stations in Butte, Great Falls, and Missoula, Montana; Montrose, Colorado; Sierra Vista, Arizona; St. George-Cedar City, Utah; Tri-Cities and Wenatchee, Washington; and Williston, North Dakota. Townsquare is divesting six radio stations in Missoula, Montana, to Anderson Broadcasting, Legacy Broadcasting (a non-profit organization), and Missoula Community Radio (also a non-profit organization), and is placing two radio stations in Tri-Cities, Washington in a divestiture trust. This transaction is being funded with cash on hand and Townsquare CFO Stuart Rosenstein states, “This acquisition represents a compelling use of capital that aligns with our priorities of investing in our local business through both organic investments and prudent acquisitions that support our revenue and profit growth. This acquisition is net leverage neutral and due to the strong cash generation of our business and the acquired assets, will not impact our ability to reach our goal of 4x net leverage by year end.” KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

 

ESPN Cleveland Hosts Inaugural Block Party. To celebrate the beginning of summer and to show off their new studios, Good Karma Brands’ WKNR-AM “ESPN Cleveland” will host the inaugural Block Party, presented by MGM Northfield Park, tomorrow (6/23) from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Fans can hear their favorite ESPN Cleveland hosts broadcast live, on stage, throughout the day. In addition to live show broadcasts, a second stage will host live music from a variety of local bands, vendors will sell local food and beverages, fans can participate in games with prizes, and even “dunk” their favorite ESPN Cleveland talent in the dunk tank. In addition, Cleveland’s pro sports teams are taking part in the event and all proceeds from it will benefit Muttley Crue Rescue – which rescues, cares for, and re-homes neglected, abused and/or homeless dogs. ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo states, “The block party is going to be great opportunity for fans, partners, and teammates to get together after a long two years. I know the highlight of the day will be Aaron Goldhammer in the dunk tank!”

 

FABULOUS OFFER: Epoch Times Extraordinary Freebie to TALKERS 2022 Attendees Temporarily Extended to All TALKERS Subscribers.  One of the most popular perks of the recent TALKERS 2022 conference held on Long Island (6/10) was a free lifetime digital subscription presented to all of the event’s attendees by The Epoch Times. The 20-plus year old international newspaper based here in the United States is a favorite of news/talk media hosts.  The rapidly growing publication is known for its independent reporting and devotion to upholding the First Amendment and American democracy.  Readers of TALKERS interested in receiving a lifetime digital subscription – no strings attached – can do so by clicking here.

 

New C. Crane Emergency Radio a Big Hit at TALKERS 2022The first 200 registrants to arrive at the recent TALKERS 2022 convention on June 10 were surprised and delighted to find a real prize individually handed to them by iconic radio manufacturer/distributor C. Crane for their conference goodie bag. Each attendee received an amazing CCRadio Solar radio unit – valued at $99.99 retail – and the result was raves all around. The CCRadio Solar is a small digital portable radio that is successful as an emergency radio but the form and format function invite its owner to use it daily. Placed in a sunny window it’s perfect for the morning news. Audio is a surprise; it’s accurate, pleasing and has two modes. A miser mode to conserve battery power in a true emergency and a high-power mode for an even better audio experience. Reception is good for the size. The almost brick-size depth and unique UV resistant rubber perimeter is concave on the bottom which makes it inherently stable. The flashlight is above average in brightness and color because of the selected high-quality LED. The hand crank folded (that’s right, it can be cranked for power) and inlaid on in the back is the only visible clue that it’s an emergency radio. The included lithium-ion battery can be recharged by wind-up, solar panel, your USB port, or optional AC power adapter (not included). When the lithium-ion battery is fully charged, the radio will run more than 50 hours or charge your phone from the approximately 50% level to 100% level. It can also be powered by three “AA” alkaline batteries (not included) for approximately 50 hours in low power mode or 35 hours in high power mode. C. Crane founder Bob Crane tells TALKERS, “I brought the first CCRadio Solar home and my wife absconded with it until our designer/illustrator had to beg to get it back for documentation. To get it back from him was also overly arduous. I have never seen a radio so coveted. It is about hand size and it stays charged in a sunny window with an oversize solar panel which means it may not need a power assist for years.” To learn more about this fabulous device and enjoy a TALKERS discount on C.Crane purchases, please click here.

 

Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces Radio Giving Day. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces its first annual Radio Giving Day taking place on Wednesday, June 29 and calls it “a day to come together as one community with one common goal – to support radio professionals in need of financial assistance due to a critical illness, accident, or disaster.” In addition, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the charitable mission of the Broadcasters Foundation so that a radio professional in acute need can apply for aid. BFoA co-president Tim McCarthy says, “We need to make sure everyone working in radio stations across America is aware of what we do. It’s a tragedy to think that one of our colleagues in need might qualify for aid but doesn’t know about us. We’re asking everyone in radio to spread the word, especially if they know someone who we might be able to help.” The Broadcasters Foundation is encouraging radio groups and stations to implement employee donation drives in support of Radio Giving Day. Several media companies and radio station groups have already committed to helping the Radio Giving Day initiative, including Alpha Media Group, Audacy, Beasley Media Group, Connoisseur Media, Educational Media Foundation, Good Karma Brands, iHeartMedia, Independent Broadcasters Association, Premiere Networks, Salem Media Group, Skyview Satellite Network, Spanish Broadcasting System, and Townsquare Media.

 

TALKERS News Notes. A new program is launching on SportsMap Radio Network on Saturday, July 2, from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon ET. “The Game Before the Money” pairs football author, podcast host, and oral historian Jackson Michael with author and former NFL executive Upton Bell. Michael and Bell reveal stories that few fans have access to or even know exist. The weekly, hour-long program merges narratives from the NFL’s past with today’s headlines and compares yesteryear’s All-Americans with current college stars. GOW Media CEO David Gow states, “This is a highly entertaining and informative program. Jackson and Upton are both amazing storytellers. This is a wonderful addition to our network.”…..SiriusXM is recognizing the 50th anniversary of the passing of Title IX with special programming on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel and on the SXM App that highlights the impact the law had on the future of women’s sports. On June 23, 1972, the federal civil rights law (Title IX) was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, prohibiting discrimination based on sex in any school or education program that receives funding from the federal government. The introduction of Title IX led to a considerable increase in the number of females participating in organized sports within American academic institutions and is considered to have been a significant step forward in the advancement of equality and equity for women and girls in sport. Tonight at 6:00 ET, SiriusXM’s Linda Cohn hosts “Title IX at 50,” which will examine the impact of Title IX on the world of sports, highlight significant moments that followed the passage of the law, and tell the stories of several groundbreaking women who have excelled in various sports.

 

The Economy, Primary Elections, Gun Legislation, SCOTUS Religious Education Ruling, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Heatwave/Western Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/21). The high price of gas & food, President Joe Biden’s considering federal gas tax relief, the sinking financial markets, and concerns about a recession; Tuesday’s primary elections for November’s midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Senate negotiators reach a deal on bi-partisan gun legislation; the Supreme Court rules against Maine’s ban on taxpayer funding for religious schools; the continuing January 6 Committee’s hearings; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the global economy; and the intense heatwaves taking place in the U.S. and abroad and the drought affecting the Western U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

| June 9, 2022

Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Morning Talk Show Co-Host at ‘Rock 102,’ Springfield is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Often referred to by Michael Harrison as a “talk radio pound-for-pound champion” Mike “Bax” Baxendale – who has reigned over Western Massachusetts radio ratings and revenue for the past 27 years on an extraordinary level – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Known to his loyal legion of listeners simply as “Bax,” Baxendale has been enormously successful as a key member of the evolving WAQY “Rock 102” morning team since 1995 and is still going strong. First, he enjoyed an amazingly long run with talented co-host John O’ Brien (Bax & O’ Brien) and now the momentum continues with co-hosts Steve Nagle and Dave Coombs (“Bax, Steve and Dave”). See photo (l-r) Bax, Steve Nagle and Dave Coombs. Bax has become, according to Harrison, “a quintessential example of the notable breed of radio talker operating within the context of a duo or team on a music FM station where politics is mostly local, unpredictably non-partisan and not the only focus of interest.” Harrison continues, “This hard-working broadcaster talks politics, music, sports, and a wide scope of day-to-day issues and his range covers silly to serious, irreverent to respectful.” Harrison and Bax talk about the business realities faced by duos and teams on radio as well as the differences between how talk show hosts on music radio stations approach their audiences in terms of subject matter and attitude and those who perform on traditional news/talkers. Harrison refers to his own talk roots in FM music radio. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

Podtrac Releases Top Podcast Publishers and Podcasts for May. Releasing its Top Podcast Publishers and Top Podcasts for the month of May based on U.S. unique monthly audience, Podtrac reports that iHeartRadio is #1 with a unique monthly audience of 29.4 million. NPR comes in at #2 with a unique monthly audience of 18.9 million. Other publishers in the top 20 include Daily Wire at #7 (repped by Cumulus Podcast Network), PodcastOne at #8 FOX Audio Network at #11, Blaze Media at #13, and Cumulus Podcast Network at #16. For the top 20 podcasts based on unique monthly audience, Podtrac ranks “The Daily” from The New York Times at #1, followed by “NPR News Now” at #2. “The Ben Shapiro Show” is ranked #5. Other radio-related shows include iHeartRadio’s “Stuff You Should Know” at #8, “FOX News Radio Hourly Newscast” at #11, and “The Dan Bongino Show” at #13. See the complete charts here.

 

Glades Media Names 25-Year Rush Limbaugh Engineer as Chief Operating Officer. Radio pro Brian Johnson – who served for 25 years as the radio broadcast engineer for “The Rush Limbaugh Show” – is the new chief operating officer for Glades Media. The company co-founders – Robert Castellanos, chairman and chief executive officer, and James Johnson, chief financial officer – will continue their roles. Castellanos says, “For the past year, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Brian and seeing first-hand what an outstanding broadcaster he’s become. Brian’s passion for radio and people is evident in how he approaches every opportunity and challenge. I look forward to building upon our business partnership as we continue navigating the broadcast media landscape.” Johnson spent 25 years as Limbaugh’s personal engineer, a role that began when the conservative radio icon moved to Palm Beach in 1996. Johnson comments, “It was a blessing to work side by side with the greatest broadcaster in our business. I’m eager to apply that experience and insight into my new role at Glades Media.” Johnson also owns BMZ Broadcasting, LLC and leases WLMX-FM to Glades Media.

 

Bret Burkhart Joins Audacy’s All-News KCBS-AM, San Francisco. Bay Area news pro Bret Burkhart is joining Audacy’s all-news KCBS-AM as a news anchor. Burkhart joins the station after spending the last 23 years at Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KGO-AM and most recently was an anchor during the station’s morning and midday shows. Audacy San Francisco SVP and market manager Stacey Kauffman states, “We are incredibly fortunate that Bret is continuing his already illustrious career as an anchor for his hometown KCBS. He brings to KCBS a comprehensive and complex skill set that we will all benefit from. Bret knows politics, the Bay Area, what makes a good story and how to tell it, and we look forward to welcoming him aboard.” Burkhart comments, “KCBS is the gold standard for news around the Bay Area and beyond and I feel so fortunate to be joining an amazing group of broadcasters and storytellers.”

 

Adams Radio Launches Voluntary Employee Donation Drive to Benefit the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The company says that this voluntary employee donation drive is designed to “help create awareness and raise funds for the Broadcasters Foundation of America, a 501(c)3 charity that provides aid to fellow broadcasters in acute need from life-altering illness, accident, or other disaster.” The plan allows all Adams Radio Group employees the opportunity to set up automatic payroll deductions, in any amount, as donations to the Broadcasters Foundation. Adams president Ron Stone states, “When I learned that the sole mission of the Broadcasters Foundation is to provide financial assistance to our colleagues who, through no fault of their own, are in desperate need, I knew we had to get involved. These broadcasters are our colleagues. I would ask every radio group to consider helping the only charity that is dedicated solely to helping our colleagues.” BFoA co-president Jim Thompson says, “We’re very grateful to Ron for launching a voluntary employee donation drive to benefit the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation. With help from broadcasters like Ron, we can continue to provide aid to those in our industry who need it most.”

 

Cumulus Media Extends ABL Credit Facility. The company states that its indirect wholly owned subsidiary – Cumulus Media New Holdings Inc. – is entering into an amendment of its existing $100 million revolving credit facility. The amendment, among other things, extends the maturity from 2025 to 2027 subject to certain springing maturity conditions. As of June 8, 2022, there were no amounts outstanding under the Revolving Credit Facility. Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary G. Berner says, “By extending the ABL through 2027, we are locking in a long-term, favorable source of liquidity – enhancing our already strong balance sheet and increasing our financial flexibility as we continue to evolve from a one-dimensional radio broadcaster to a multi-dimensional audio media company. This action follows the expiration of the $25 million tender offer pursuant to our $50 million share buyback program and demonstrates our continuing commitment to making operational and financial decisions that enhance shareholder value.”

 

iHeartMedia Rebrands WBZT-AM, West Palm Beach as “1230 The Gambler.” The West Palm Beach sports talk station is rebranding as “Sports Radio 1230 The Gambler” and is using content from VSiN, The Sports Betting Network iHeartMedia’s WBZT-AM will air 22 hours of live VSiN programming daily in addition to Miami Marlins baseball games and University of Florida football and basketball matchups. Additionally, ‘The Gambler’ will feature “The Greek Zone” live from South Florida, weekday afternoons from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Station PD Brian Mudd comments, “We’re thrilled to bring this informative and entertaining brand of sports talk to local sports fans. Sports betting as a 24/7 format, and specifically the expert analysis from VSiN and our very own Greek, is a perfect choice for ‘The Gambler.’”

 

Primary Elections/Trump & the GOP, January 6 Hearings, the Economy, Attempted Kavanaugh Attack, Gun Violence-Legislation, Russia-Ukraine War, Extreme Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/8). The results of Tuesday’s primary elections, the ouster of San Francisco’s liberal DA, and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; today’s beginning of the January 6 Committee hearings; the soaring price of gasoline & food and concerns about a recession; a California man is arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home intending to do him harm; the recent spate of gun violence and attempts to craft gun control legislation; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and is effect on the global economy; and the severe heatwave forecast for the Southwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

| May 31, 2022

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Announces Promotions and New Contracts for News Staffers. Charlotte news/talk WBT-AM/FM announces that it is “committed to remaining the news and information leader in Charlotte into its second century of broadcasting” with the promotion of veteran news reporter and host Mark Garrison to news director and the addition of a weeknight talk show for senior reporter Brett Jensen.  Both Garrison and Jenson have signed new multi-year contracts and Radio One says it will be adding a news producer to its team. In the past two years, WBT has added anchors Anna Erickson, Mark Mueller, and Tony Marino to work alongside Garrison, Jensen, reporter Joe Gillespie, traffic reporters Pam Warner and Boomer Von Cannon, sports reporters Jim Szoke and Sharon Thorsland, and anchors Jeff Atkinson and Mike Dohn. The station says Garrison, long a leader in the Charlotte news community on both radio and television, has demonstrated his commitment to objectivity and journalistic integrity for decades.  He will continue to host “Charlotte at Six” each weeknight, delivering his signature storytelling while supervising the day-to-day operations of the WBT newsroom. The station adds that in under four years at WBT, “Breaking Brett Jensen” has become synonymous with breaking news coverage, delivering exclusive content for the Charlotte community like no other. In addition to his reporting duties, Jensen will host “Breaking with Brett Jensen” each weeknight from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm where he will dive deeper into the stories that he has reported and take calls from listeners. Radio One regional VP and market manager Marsha Landess comments, “Mark and Brett are among the elite news professionals in the country, period. We are thrilled that their new appointments will strengthen the best news department in Charlotte.”

 

WVOX/WVIP’s William O’Shaughnessy Passes at 84. Longtime New York radio executive William O’Shaughnessy died Saturday (5/28) at his home in Litchfield, Connecticut at the age of 84 after a battle with urothelial cancer. He was widely considered one of the country’s most colorful community broadcasters, well-known for his editorials, commentaries, appreciations, elegies, and character portraits, which inspired The New York Times to declare that “Bill O’Shaughnessy’s commentaries make his New York TV counterparts look like so much mish-mash.” He served as president and editorial director of WVOX and WVIP in New Rochelle, New York – stations with which he was associated for 67 years. He began his career in 1957 at the original WVIP in Northern Westchester, a fabled suburban station owned by Martin Stone, producer of “Howdy Doody” and “Author Meets Critic.” He was the station’s top advertising salesman at the age of 21. He went on to serve as executive assistant to WNEW, New York’s general manager John Van Buren Sullivan. He was a longtime member of the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s board of directors and chairman of its Guardian Fund. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement, “Bill O’ Shaughnessy was more than an accomplished broadcaster and author. He was a living symbol of the radio medium’s most glorious ideals – both in substance and style – and he was one of modern-day America’s most influential and inspirational proponents of the First Amendment.” Services will take place at Lloyd Maxcy, 16 Shea Place in New Rochelle on Tuesday, May 31 4:00 pm-7:00 pm. The funeral mass will be held at St. Anthony of Padua, 49 South Street, Litchfield on Wednesday, June 1 at 11:30 am.  In lieu of flowers, the O’Shaughnessy family would be grateful for a donation in his honor to the Broadcasters Foundation of America: https://broadcastersfoundation.org/donate/

 

WWO Audio Active Group: The Benefits of Emotion-Based Brand Building. In this week’s blog from the Westwood One Audio Active Group, two different types of advertising copy are studied – rational copy rooted in features and benefits and emotion-based copy that can be used to build brands. The blog reports that according to Binet and Field, the rational approach to advertising (relevant and useful targeted activation) works together with the emotion-based approach that “creates positive feelings and associations” via broad-reach ads that are “interesting and enjoyable.” The report also concludes that: 1) Emotion-based creative builds stronger brands and generates greater business outcomes; 2) Emotions guide and simplify our decision making: Positive emotional responses lead to a positive evaluation of choice; 3) According to authors John Kearon, Orlando Wood, and Tom Ewing, ads should build familiarity, create positive emotion, and make things easy to process; and 4) Podcast listeners prefer funny and entertaining ads but say they are more likely to hear rational podcast ads that communicate features/benefits. See the blog here.

 

TALKERS News Notes. The Radio Television Digital News Association has completed its announcement of the winners of Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and Audacy was honored with 23 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism. Seven Audacy markets were honored including Buffalo, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and St. Louis and WCCO, Minneapolis; KYW-AM/FM, Philadelphia; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; and KMOX, St. Louis all picked up “Overall Excellence” Awards. The National Edward R. Murrow Awards will be announced later this summer and winners will be honored on October 10 at a gala in New York City…..SiriusXM announces the debut of a new weekly show “Conversations with Joel,” starring Joel Osteen on Thursday, June 2 on Joel Osteen Radio. SiriusXM says, “Through one-on-one conversations with top leaders, athletes, entrepreneurs, celebrities and world-renowned influencers, ‘Conversations with Joel’ will empower listeners to unlock the champion within, overcome challenges, break through barriers, and be their best in every area of life. His scheduled guests include actor, comedian and director Kelsey Grammer; actor and television host Terry Crews; “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts; CBS Sports broadcaster James Brown; NFL agent Nicole Lynn; “FOX & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt; television personality and sports reporter Jay Glazer and others…..ABC News releases the trailer for its new three-part podcast series, “Reclaimed: The Story of Mamie Till-Mobley.” Hosted by historian and ABC News contributor Leah Wright-Rigueur, the new series chronicles the life and legacy of Mamie Till-Mobley, whose fight for justice after her son’s brutal murder helped spark the civil rights movement. The first episode of “Reclaimed: The Story of Mamie Till-Mobley” debuts Wednesday, June 1, with new episodes posting weekly…..iHeartRadio and Sound Argument LLC announce the  launch of a new  documentary podcast titled, “Class Action.” Hosted by Katie Phang, a trial lawyer, anchor, and host for MSNBC and Peacock, the 12-part podcast series will track a diverse cast of outstanding law students who are battling it out in mock trial competitions across the country. The first two episodes will debut on June 7 and can be heard on iHeartRadio and all other major platforms.

 

Uvalde Massacre Aftermath/Weekend Gun Violence/Gun Control, Russia-Ukraine War, Primaries/Trump & the GOP, Inflation/Recession Fears, SCOTUS Leak Investigation, Monkeypox, and Memorial Day Holiday Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into the police tactics during the attack on Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, the spate of gun violence in the U.S. over the weekend, and talk about gun control measures; Russian’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the conflict’s global effects; the primary races for November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the high price of food and gasoline and concerns about a looming recession; the intensifying investigation into the leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade; the spread of monkeypox; and the Memorial Day holiday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, April 29, 2022

| April 29, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Staying Focused,” looks back at this past week of 4/25 to 4/29. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSMatthew B. Harrison, media attorney/associate publisher, TALKERSGregg Stebben, correspondent, beamz.live; Bill Brady, talk show host/owner, KFNX, Phoenix; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas;  WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

 

Bill Cameron to Host Weekly Show for WLS-AM, Chicago. Legendary Chicago political reporter Bill Cameron is returning to Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to produce and host the Sunday radio program and podcast “Take 1 with Bill Cameron.” The program will debut from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on May 1 featuring Cameron’s unedited interviews with Chicago newsmakers and discussions about local breaking news. His first guest is Senator Dick Durbin. Cameron, who retired from full-time reporting in August 2021 after more than 50 years of covering Chicago politics, says, “It’s impossible to walk away from Chicago. This is the city with politics that wouldn’t be believable in a movie script, architecture that architects worldwide come to study, Nobel Prize-winning intellectuals, nationally renowned restaurants, performing arts, and museums, eight professional sports teams that alternately thrill and confound diehard fans, and more than 200 diverse neighborhoods in 78 community areas. ‘Take 1 with Bill Cameron’ is the kind of program ideally suited to radio. Ask a question, get out of the way, don’t interrupt, and let interesting people tell their stories – no sound bites, no spin, no shouting, no editing.” WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “We are delighted to welcome back Bill Cameron to ‘the Big 89.’ The news doesn’t stop and neither does Bill.”

 

Good Karma Brands Unveils Apps for New York and Los Angeles Stations. The two newest sports talk stations in the Good Karma Brands stable – ESPN Los Angeles and ESPN New York – are getting their own apps. The company announces the new apps “offer fans the opportunity to listen to all shows and content with limited recorded commercials.” ESPN LA SVP and market manager Sam Pines says, “It is a priority to invest in our fans and partners, and by creating a one-tap-to-listen app, we are able to deliver shows and content for free to fans across the country. The easily accessible content will include all of fans’ favorite ESPN LA voices.” ESPN New York market manager Vinny DiMarco adds, “We are continuing to invest in our fans and deliver best-in-class content at their convenience. Whether it’s hearing your favorite 98.7 ESPN host or live games, you’ll be able to listen anytime and anywhere.” Earlier this year, sports media and marketing company Good Karma Brands acquired ESPN LA 710 AM and ESPN 1050 AM in New York, as well as the agreement to perform ESPN’s obligations under the Local Marketing Agreement for 98.7 ESPN in New York.

 

Broadcasters Foundation of America Presents Leadership Awards. On Wednesday morning (4/27), the Broadcasters Foundation of America closed the NAB Show in Las Vegas by honoring several industry leaders at its annual Leadership Awards breakfast. The Leadership Award is presented by the Broadcasters Foundation annually to industry leaders who have made an impact on the broadcast industry and in their local communities. This year’s honorees are: Byron Allen, founder, chairman, and CEO, Allen Media Group; Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer, Cumulus Media; Ralph Oakley, retired, president and CEO, Quincy Media; Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group; and Dennis Wharton, retired, EVP, Media Relations, National Association of Broadcasters. Gordon Smith, former U.S. Senator and special advisor to the NAB, was honored with the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award, which is presented annually to a broadcast luminary who has made an impact on the industry through innovation, entrepreneurship, issue advocacy, community service, and philanthropy. Pictured above are (from l-r): Tim McCarthy, co-president of the Broadcasters Foundation and Scott Herman, chairman of Broadcasters Foundation, Byron Allen, Pierre Bouvard, Christine Travaglini, Dennis Wharton, Ralph Oakley, and Gordon Smith.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Cablefax publishes its Top 100 Power Players of the cable industry and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy is honored with inclusion on the list. Cablefax says its chart represents “exceptional leaders [who] have grown their organizations through a pandemic, rising inflation, M&A, an influx of streaming services and general uncertainty without ever dropping the ball.”…..Talk radio host Simon Conway is adding another gig to his already busy spring work schedule. Conway – heard in afternoon drive on iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines; WMT, Cedar Rapids; and WOC, Davenport, Iowa – has been filling in on Bud Hedinger’s morning show on WFLF, Orlando since March 24. This weekend, he’ll be hosting the Premiere Networks-syndicated talk show, “The Weekend.”…..iHeartRadio and 23andMe are debuting season three of the podcast “Spit,” that features a different guest podcast creator on each program diving into genetics, DNA, health and how it all ties together. Each host shows how knowledge of our DNA is a powerful tool in living our healthiest lives. Season three explores how specific information about our DNA can change our lives.

 

The Economy Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 25-29. The economy, including the sinking value of tech stocks, the high price of food and gasoline, and predictions of a major recession came together as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and the reactions on Wall Street and by the public, followed by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War and U.S. foreign policy 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.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

| March 17, 2022

‘Free Talk Live’ Co-Host Ian Freeman is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. A self-described “activist for liberty” for the past two decades, Ian Freeman co-hosts (with Mark Edge) the independently syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live.” The program emanates from Keene, New Hampshire and airs seven nights a week between 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET. In addition to the two co-hosts, the show presents a rotating panel of regular personalities – such as one individual whose legal name is Nobody – described as ministers of the Shire Free Church (the show’s parent organization) and features various voices from New Hampshire’s liberty activist community. It has guests and takes callers from across the nation. Although still on the air regularly, Freeman is currently under federal arrest on a wide array of charges ranging from money laundering to wire fraud. He maintains his innocence and claims the FBI and other government agencies are on the mission of shutting him up after years of dealing with the nuisance of the show’s activism and controversial information. Freeman will begin his trial later this year. Stand by for a fascinating conversation about the First Amendment, freedom of speech, liberty, civil disobedience, and the role and impact of cryptocurrency in our modern society – the connection to which a number of Freeman’s legal troubles are related. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

Weber Named Interim Broadcast Managing Editor for WBBM, Chicago. According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Zac Weber is being promoted from his morning editor position to interim broadcast managing editor at Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago. This move comes three months after Julie Mann left the managing editor post at the station to take the public information officer role with Kane County, Illinois. WBBM Newsradio brand manager Ron Gleason says in a memo to staff, “Zac has done a tremendous job as morning editor, and there’s no question his skills of scouring the world for the latest news early each morning will pay off for all of us.”

 

Micah Goldberg Rises to SVP and Market Manager for Audacy Denver. Sales and management pro Micah Goldberg is promoted to SVP and market manager for Audacy’s Denver station group that includes sports talk KAMP-AM “The Bet 1430AM,” comedy KQKS-HD2 and three music brands. Goldberg – who was most recently director of sales for the cluster – takes over for John Fullam who had been serving as interim market manager since July 2021 and returns to his executive coaching business. Goldberg says, “Team Audacy is second to none. The pride I feel being able to continue contributing and leading a team I have such respect for is nearly indescribable. Following in John Fullam’s footsteps is no easy task, but I know Audacy Denver will continue to make him proud. Thanks to Audacy, Doug [Abernethy] and Susan [Larkin] for all the support and for this amazing opportunity.”

 

Edison: 39% of Americans 12+ Have No Radio in the Home. Calling it “radio’s hardware problem,” Edison Research says that data from its soon-to-be-released The Infinite Dial 2022 report indicates that over the last two years, the number of Americans 12+ who report not having a radio in their home has risen almost 10% with 39% reporting no radio in the home. Just 14 years ago that figure was 4%. Edison Research president Larry Rosin says, “Of course, nearly all cars have AM/FM radios easily available, and people can listen to the content of radio stations on their phones or smart speakers. However, the elimination of the standard, single-use radio from so many households makes the challenge that much harder in the location that most people spend the most hours.” Many consider the smart speaker to be the new in-home radio. Edison says it will present smart speaker adoption data when it reveals The Infinite Dial 2022 at Podcast Movement Evolutions on March 23.

 

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thanks Joe Madison for Help with Antilynching Act. Pictured above at yesterday’s bill enrollment photo opportunity for H.R. 55, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which specifies lynching as a hate crime act, are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (third from right) and SiriusXM talk personality Joe Madison (far right). Speaker Pelosi thanked Madison for his efforts is raising awareness of the bill. Also pictured are: Chair Bennie Thompson, House Committee on Homeland Security (far left); Chair Joyce Beatty, Congressional Black Caucus (second from left); Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) (third from left); and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (second from right).

 

WJR, Detroit Named Station of the Year by MAB. News/talk WJR-AM, Detroit was named Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters as part of its 2021 Broadcast Excellence Awards. This is the fifth time in six years that the Cumulus Media station has been recognized as the Station of the Year. In addition, WJR was selected for 17 “Excellence” awards, and 7 “Merit” awards. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “Winning so many awards reflects the depth of talent on this all-star team. Winning Station of the Year is especially gratifying, as WJR celebrates our 100th Anniversary this year! We thank the MAB for this wonderful recognition.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Erick Erickson Show” is being added to the program schedule at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s news/talk WMAY-AM/FM, Springfield, Illinois. Erickson launched the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program nationally in May of 2021. The show is based at Cox Media Group’s news/talk “95.5 WSB” in Atlanta. Erickson says, “We’re excited to be joining the lineup at WMAY in Springfield and look forward to many great things to come in 2022.”…..iHeartMedia, Inc. announces that it has named Sam Englebardt, general partner of Galaxy Interactive, to its board of directors.  Galaxy Interactive is a venture capital franchise focused on companies operating at the intersection of content, finance and technology, with a particular emphasis on video game studios, NFTs, social platforms and financial marketplaces. Englebardt is also co-founder and partner at Galaxy Digital, a technology-driven financial services and investment management firm that provides institutions and clients with a full suite of financial solutions spanning the digital assets ecosystem. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Sam’s expertise and deep understanding of web3, exponential technologies and the potential of emerging consumer tech platforms like NFTs, tokens and shared virtual experiences, combined with his background in media and entertainment, will be uniquely valuable to us as we extend iHeart’s presence into web3 and the metaverse.”…..Audacy Pittsburgh raises funds to provide over 600,000 meals for people in need through Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The “Giant Eagle Feed the Need Radiothon” aired on February 25 on KDKA “News Radio 100.1 FM and 1020 AM,” KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” and its two music-formatted sister stations. Audacy Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Pittsburghers help their neighbors in times of need. Our community is at the core of everything we do at Audacy Pittsburgh. The results of the ‘Feed the Need Radiothon’ are a good showcase of radio’s power in our region. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to make this another successful year.”

 

 

Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces New Board Members and Officers. The Broadcasters Foundation of America elects Curtis LeGeyt, president and CEO for the National Association of Broadcasters, Dennis Lyle, president and CEO for the Illinois Broadcasters Association and the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation, and Chad Matthews, president of ABC Owned Stations, to its board. In addition, it names Heather Cohen, EVP of The Weiss Agency, and Judy Quaranta, a highly accomplished executive in the world of finance, as officers. Quaranta will also fill the role of vice president of finance for the BFoA. Chairman Scott Herman says, “We’re delighted to announce these esteemed individuals — Curtis, Dennis, and Chad – as members of our board. Their support of the Foundation’s charitable mission and their leadership in the broadcast industry is commendable. Heather and Judy are accomplished professionals in their individual fields, and as officers of the Broadcasters Foundation, they will help us advance our cause of helping our colleagues who are in great need.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, Fed Rate Hike, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Daylight Saving Time Bill, and Cuomo Sues CNN Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16). The Russian invasion of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky’s appeal to the U.S. Congress, and China’s role in Russia’s gambit; the high price of gas at the pumps and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the Fed approves a quarter-percent interest rate hike; concerns about the Ba.2 Omicron variant and the rolling back of mask mandates in the U.S.; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the debate over the Senate-approved bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent; and Chris Cuomo sues CNN for $125 million claiming he was unlawfully fired were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to research from TALKERS magazine.