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Monday, November 21, 2022

| November 21, 2022

Pending Business: Yellow Lights Ahead. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that predictions for this year’s holiday season are that consumers will be cautious and not spend as much as in recent seasons due to economic uncertainty. At the same time, retailers are less focused on creative marketing and are targeting consumers shopping based solely on the best price. With that in mind, Lapa offers some suggestions for radio sellers in this “yellow-light” economy. Read it here.

 

Monday Memo: Yes, Oldies. With many FMs already in all-Christmas mode, consultant Holland Cooke frets that “you’d think the Beach Boys only had one hit.” In this week’s column, HC notes how TV commercials and movies “continue to demonstrate the appeal of 60s and 70s music that AM/FM radio has relinquished to satellite radio and streams.” Read more here.

 

 

iHeartMedia Names Manny Munoz Midday Co-Host on News/Talk WIOD. Station personality Manny Munoz is named as co-host of the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show on iHeartMedia’s WIOD-AM, “NewsRadio 610 AM,” effective January 9, 2023. In this role, Munoz will be responsible for producing and hosting WIOD’s new program. iHeartMedia says, “The show will focus on day-to-day life in South Florida and discuss the biggest news stories of the day, politics, current events and pop culture in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. A nationwide search is underway for a part-time midday co-host for Munoz.” Munoz takes over for Brian Mudd, who will continue as morning host and program director at WJNO-AM, in West Palm Beach “NewsRadio 1290.” Munoz has been with “NewsRadio 610 WIOD” for over two decades. He has served as executive producer, fill-in host, sports reporter, and side kick for “South Florida’s First News with Jimmy Cefalo” for the past 14 years. Munoz also contributes to programming on WINZ-AM “FOX Sports 940.” iHeartMedia Miami vice president of news and AM programming Grace Blazer says, “I’m excited for Manny to excel with this new midday opportunity. The search is on for the perfect partner who will complement Manny and provide great live and local content with a digital finesse for our South Florida audience.” Munoz says, “Born in Hialeah, raised in Kendall and living in Southwest Broward for the last 27 years, I’m excited for the opportunity to have a show focused on the issues that affect South Floridians on a daily basis. I can’t wait to meet my new partner so we can inform, entertain, and bring a smile to WIOD’s loyal listeners and invite new ears to join the show, too.”

Leo Laporte to Retire from The Tech Guy Program; Rich DeMuro to Transition as New Program Host. The host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated show “The Tech Guy” – Leo Laporte – announced to his audience on Saturday (11/19), that he is retiring from radio at the end of the year. His last show will be January 1, 2023. As part of his announcement, Laporte introduced his replacement: Emmy Award-winning television personality and podcaster Rich DeMuro, host of the popular “Rich On Tech” segment on KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles and the weekly podcast of the same name. DeMuro, who has guest hosted for Laporte on numerous occasions, will be integrated into “The Tech Guy” through the end of the year, which will lead into the launch of “Rich On Tech,” a new three-hour weekend radio program debuting Saturday, January 7, 2023. Laporte says, “After 46 years in radio, 19 of them as ‘The Tech Guy,’ I thought it would be nice to see what Sunday brunch is like. Fortunately, I won’t be leaving our audience in the lurch. Rich is the perfect guy to help people get the most out of technology. I’ll raise a mimosa in your honor, Rich.” Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Leo has been a trusted source of tech news and information for listeners across the country, and we’ve enjoyed a successful partnership with him for more than 15 years. We wish him all the best!  We also look forward to this new and exciting chapter with Rich DeMuro, who has built a loyal following across TV, audio and social media. We’re confident audiences will enjoy his smart and fresh take on the world of technology.”

FOX News Digital Tops Competition in Multiplatform Minutes and Views for October. Based on data from Comscore’s October ratings, FOX News Digital finished the month as the top-performing news organization in the competitive set in both multiplatform minutes and multiplatform views. FOX News Digital says that this marks 20 straight months as the number one news brand with multiplatform minutes. Looking at its performance versus CNN.com and NYTimes.com, FOX News Digital achieved more than 2.5 billion total multiplatform minutes compared to CNN.com’s 2.27 billion multiplatform minutes and NYTimes.com’s 1.3 billion multiplatform minutes. Looking at multiplatform views, FOX News Digital earned 1.5 billion compared to CNN.com’s 1.3 billion and NYTimes.com’s 1.28 billion. However, when it comes to multiplatform unique visitors (digital’s version of cume), CNN.com was the leader by a long shot with 111.8 million compared to NYTimes.com’s 80.8 million and FOX News Digital’s 80.1 million.

TALKERS News Notes. Columbus sports talk outlet WBNS-AM/FM recently celebrated its 100th year of service to the market. The stations – which are the flagship for Ohio State Buckeyes sports – are owned by Tegna. WBNS-AM was put on the air by the Wolfe family in 1922 and the calls stand for “Wolfe Banks News and Shoes” to promote the family’s various businesses. The Columbus Dispatch has a big piece on the anniversary and the stations’ history here…..FOX News Audio debuts season three of its FOX News Rewind series beginning today (11/21) with a six-part series focused on the financial crisis of 2008. Titled, “FOX News Rewind: Financial Crisis ‘08,” the podcast features financial experts who worked through the crisis, looking back on what transpired including Lehman Brothers bankruptcy examiner Anton Valukas, former governor of the Federal Reserve Randall Krozner, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Sheila Bair, among others. FOX Business Network host Charles Payne will front the podcast, while FOX News Media personalities including chief political anchor Bret Baier, SVP, anchor and managing editor of business news Neil Cavuto, “The Claman Countdown” anchor Liz Claman, “America Reports” co-anchor Sandra Smith and senior Congressional correspondent Chad Pergram will detail the ways the financial collapse was handled…..Boston public media firm GBH announces that Susan Goldberg is being named the next president and CEO of GBH. She is the first woman to hold this role since GBH was founded in 1951. From 2014 to 2022, Goldberg was editor-in-chief at National Geographic, taking on the additional role of editorial director in 2015. GBH board of trustees chair Ann Fudge says, “At a time when the media industry is changing at a rapid pace, Susan is a direct, focused, empathetic, and visionary leader who has the operational and editorial savvy to understand what resonates with our audiences, along with deep experience in executing a multi-platform transformation. She shares the core values of our organization – passionate about trusted journalism and its role in a free society, committed to building a diverse, people-driven organization, and an understanding of GBH’s role in the community. We are thrilled to welcome Susan to GBH.”

Trump in ’24, Special Counsel Appointed, Twitter, Midterms Aftermath, Deadly Colorado Shooting, Russia-Ukraine War, and the World Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Former President Donald Trump’s announcement that he’s running for president in 2024; Attorney General Merrick Garland appoints Jack Smith special counsel to handle investigation of Donald Trump; Elon Musk opens the way for Trump to return to Twitter combined with the social media platform’s rapidly changing structure under Musk’s ownership; the politics surrounding the results of the midterm elections; the shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs that left four dead and many more wounded; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the World Cup begins in Qatar were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

| September 20, 2022

Streaming Has Saved Talk Radio. Longtime radio sales professional Kathy Carr, president of the Howie Carr Radio Network, writes today in an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine about the ways in which digital audio – streaming and podcasts – has “given talk radio life beyond what could have been imagined years ago.” She adds, “When a buyer asks me to send him a ranker, I have a pretty good idea of his age. Shouldn’t the question be: Tell me about your top five clients and how long they have been with you?  Doesn’t that more accurately show the client your success rate?” And the reason that’s a better question is because of the different ways people are accessing talk radio these days. Read her column here.

The Ramsey Show Celebrates 30th Anniversary On Air. The nationally syndicated program “The Ramsey Show” is celebrating its 30th anniversary on the radio. The program was founded by Dave Ramsey whose core message of living life debt free has “helped millions of listeners by giving practical answers to callers’ questions about money, careers, relationships and mental wellness.” Dave Ramsey, CEO of Ramsey Solutions, says, “I always want listeners to come away with a sense of power over their situation. Over three decades of taking calls, I’ve watched millions of people get out of debt, find jobs they love, have healthier marriages, become millionaires, and ultimately live better, more peaceful lives. That’s what the show is about — providing REAL hope.” See the show’s YouTube channel trailer here.

FOX News Digital Continues to Lead Multiplatform Minutes and Views. According to the most recent data from Comscore, FOX News Digital finished the August 2022 period as the top-performing news organization in the competitive set in both multiplatform minutes and multiplatform views. FOX News Digital says that this marks 18 consecutive months as the number one news brand with multiplatform minutes and three consecutive months as the leading news brand with multiplatform views. FOX News Digital closed out August reaching over 2.9 billion total multiplatform minutes – compared to CNN.com with 2.3 billion and NYTimes.com with 1.3 billion. FOX News Digital also wins in multiplatform views with 1.5 billion, compared to CNN.com’s 1.36 billion and NYTimes.com’s 1.32 billion. In the category of multiplatform unique visitors – the digital version of radio’s cume – FOX News Digital comes in third place with 77.5 billion. CNN.com wins that measurement with 116 billion followed by NYTimes.com with 83.5 billion.

Cumulus Announces Programming Promotions in Syracuse. At the Syracuse cluster, Cumulus Media announces the promotion of programming staffers to expanded roles within its four-station group. On the spoken-word side, Joe DeTomaso – program director, content production manager and midday host for alternative rock WAQX-FM “95X” – takes on programming duties for sports talk WSKO-AM “The Score 1260.” He says, “I’m excited to add ‘The Score 1260’ to my programming duties here in Syracuse. We will continue to expand our audiences on both ‘The Score 1260’ and WAQX in the digital footprint thru outstanding relevant local content.”

Tyler Polumbus Exits KKFN-FM, Denver. According to a report by KUSA-TV, Denver, Tyler Polumbus exits Bonneville’s sports talk KKFN-FM “104.3 The Fan” as his contract was not renewed. Polumbus was co-host of “The Drive” alongside with Darren “Dmac” McKee.  He tweeted, “My contract at The Fan has come to an end. Thank you to all of the listeners that made the last three years a joy. We laughed and created memories, we consoled each other through the Broncos rough years, and together we did so much good through Pedal with Polumbus to beat Ovarian Cancer. I won’t name all my colleagues that will forever be a part of my life but you guys know who you are. I love you guys.” This comes a week after evening co-host Sandy Clough retired from his full-time gig with the station after a 25-year career with “The Fan.” Clough co-hosted with Shawn Drotar, who will remain with KKFN-FM in a yet-to-be-announced capacity.

G Audio Networks Enters into Deal to Rep SPARC Media Hub. This new deal between G Audio Networks, a Gen Media Partners company, and SPARC Media Hub means G Audio Networks will offer radio stations the ability to use the SPARC Media Hub radio station workflow system on a barter basis. G Audio Networks chief development officer Rich O’Brien states, “Every day, SPARC Media Hub continues to develop its product to be the best workflow system available. Using customer feedback, researching the latest trends in media, and always thinking ‘what’s next?’ are just some of the pillars that make SPARC a leading-edge product in the industry. We’re very excited about bringing this superior product to radio stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated, Atlanta-based talk host Erick Erickson hosted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on his program yesterday (9/19) in what was the governor’s first national radio interview in the aftermath of the transportation of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard…..Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks announce the release of two special episodes of the “Sound, Sobriety & Success” podcast hosted by rock journalist and former MTV host Matt Pinfield in recognition of Sobriety Awareness Month in September. The first of the two new episodes features AJ McLean, actor, dancer, and Grammy-winning singer of the Backstreet Boys. McLean shares his journey from addiction to recovery, the highlights of performing, and how getting sober has improved his music and changed his perspective. In the second new episode, Pinfield talks to Chrissy Metz, the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress and singer known for her portrayal of Kate Pierce on NBC’s award-winning TV series “This is Us.”…..AdLarge announces it has entered into an ad sales partnership with Eeriecast, The Horror Podcast Network. AdLarge will oversee the management, sales, and fulfillment of the audio ad sales for the Eeriecast network dedicated to horror-themed content.

Immigration/Migrant Flights, Inflation/Financial Markets, Trump Documents Case, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Russia-Ukraine War, Hurricane Fiona, and COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19). The immigration problems at the U.S.-Mexico border and the transporting of migrants to Democrat-leaning cities & investigations into the legality of the moves; the stubborn rate of inflation and Wall Street’s nervousness over the looming Fed interest rate hike decision; the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s keeping classified documents at Mar-a-Lago; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; the destruction in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Fiona; and the conflicting opinions about COVID-19 by President Joe Biden and Dr. Tony Fauci were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

| April 21, 2022

Bill O’ Reilly is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Multi-platform news/talk media star and best-selling author Bill O’ Reilly is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” O’ Reilly’s 40-plus year career has been colorful, controversial, and continues to be consequential. After gaining prominence as an anchor for the mainstream TV networks ABC and CBS, he served as host of the groundbreaking celebrity gossip entertainment-industry show, “Inside Edition,” and then evolved into politics going on to be the top-rated host at FOX News Channel for approximately two decades. Today, his short-form commentaries, syndicated by Key Networks, are heard on hundreds of news/talk radio stations across the nation and he’s currently in the process of launching a new nightly, long-form syndicated program titled, “No Spin News.” Harrison and O’ Reilly discuss the state and future of modern era news/talk media in addition to looking back at what it was like for the independent-minded talker to co-host and partner with former President Donald Trump on his recent four-city “History Tour.” Be sure to meet Bill O’ Reilly at the forthcoming Talkers 2022 conference at Hofstra University on Friday, June 10. To listen to the entire podcast, please click here.

 

Sean Hannity Becomes Longest-Running Primetime Cable News Host. According to FOX News Channel, primetime superstar Sean Hannity notches another industry milestone as he tops the late Larry King to assume the mantle of the longest-running primetime cable news host in U.S. television history. Today (4/21), marks 25 consecutive years, six months, and 15 days at the helm of a primetime cable news program – beating King’s run on CNN. Hannity has been a staple of FNC’s primetime lineup since the launch of the network in 1996. He was co-host of “Hannity & Colmes (with the late Alan Colmes) that debuted on October 7, 1996. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “Sean’s authenticity and insightful commentary have created one of the most enduring connections with our audience and it’s been an honor to watch him over the years. A FOX News original, he has helped innovate the industry, and we are incredibly proud of his extraordinary success.” Hannity comments, “I am extremely grateful to FOX News Media and to our loyal, dedicated viewers whom I am proud to serve every night.”

 

WHAM/WSYR Talk Host Bob Lonsberry Pens Blog Post About Personal Mental Health. Longtime WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse talk host Bob Lonsberry’s April 20 post to his blog reveals a man searching for help to deal with mental health issues he confesses have plagued him his entire life. The blog doesn’t go into specific detail about his own struggles but does document to some degree his family history of mental illness, especially that which tormented his mother for most of her life. He begins the post saying, “This column is not intended to elicit sympathy or be seen as courageous. Not by any means. It is rather a report on the final desperate action of a man who has destroyed the lives of his family, hurt countless other individuals, failed at his religion, and probably devolved from narcissist to sociopath. This isn’t pretty or sweet, but neither is it manipulative or attention seeking. It’s just a column. Please, leave me the delusion that I’m a writer. And if me being nuts makes you more comfortable asking if you might be nuts, too, and maybe need some help, too, then good. That’s the point.” Read the blog post here.

 

Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s March 2022 sweep covered March 3 – March 30. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM jumps 1.4 shares for an 8.7 share (6+, weekly AQH share) finish and climbs to the #2 rank, while Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WMAL-FM slips two-tenths for a 3.9 share finish good for the #10 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston continues its ascent, tacking on 1.1 shares to wrap the survey with a 4.7 share and the #8 rank, while sister all-news WBZ-FM slides seven-tenths to a 5.5 share and the #6 rank. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM remains on top posting a 7.4 share to stay ranked #1. The talk in St. Louis is dominated by Audacy as heritage news/talk KMOX finishes with a 3.6 share, after shedding two-tenths, and remains ranked #11, while sister talker KFTK-FM drops eight-tenths for a 2.6 share finish good for the #15 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first round) here.

 

Meghan Ottolini Joins WEEI-FM, Boston’s ‘Merloni & Fauria’ Show. Boston sports media personality Meghan Ottolini is getting an expanded role on sports talk WEEI-FM’s “Merloni & Fauria” afternoon drive program, effective May 4. She’s been serving as a part-time host on the show since January of 2021. Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Mike Thomas says, “Meghan is a rising star in this industry, and we are very excited to have her join ‘Merloni & Fauria’ each afternoon. Writing is a passion of Meghan’s and she will be able to continue to do that for our station’s website, enabling her to create can’t-miss content for Boston sports fans – both on air and online.” Ottolini most recently served as a multimedia reporter for the Boston Herald since 2017. Additionally, she was an on-air talent for NBC Sports Boston’s “Quick Slants” television program. She comments, “I’m thrilled to join WEEI and work alongside Lou [Merloni] and Christian [Fauria] delivering premier sports talk coverage in the best sports city in the country. This opportunity is such a privilege and I look forward to having a lot of fun in this next chapter of my career.”

 

The TALKERS magazine 2022 Heavy Hundred of Talk Radio Hosts is Published. The 2022 edition of TALKERS magazine’s annual list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America – also known as the Heavy Hundred – has been published. Since the early 1990s, TALKERS editors – with input from industry leaders – have compiled this annual feature created to recognize the hard-working talk radio personalities in America. TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey says of this 2022 edition, “Creating the Heavy Hundred is always a challenging task for our editorial staff. Our use of both hard and soft factors in evaluating candidates for the list only adds to the difficulty in selecting the “most important” radio talk show hosts, but it’s a project that allows us to really get a big-picture look at the key players in this format and it’s something that we take very seriously. Congratulations to all of the talk radio personalities who are recognized on this year’s Heavy Hundred!” See the list here.

 

FOX News Digital Top Performer in Multiplatform Minutes for March. According to the Comscore data for the month of March, FOX News Digital finished as the top-performing news brand in the competitive set in multiplatform minutes. FOX News Digital says this marks its fourth consecutive quarter ranking as number one in the category in the news competitive set. FOX News Digital delivered 3.5 billion total multiplatform minutes, topping closest rival CNN.com (3.35 billion). For the first quarter of 2022 (Jan.-Mar.), FOX News Digital delivered 9.2 billion total multiplatform minutes versus CNN.com’s 7.85 billion. However, In the multiplatform unique visitors metric, CNN.com was far and away on top with 136.3 million compared to FOX News Digital’s 79.2 million for March. For the first quarter, CNN.com’s multiplatform unique visitors total was 147.9 million to FOX News Digital’s 85.3 million.

 

Radio Pros Launch New Consulting Firm. The new firm is called the Smith Richards Collective and is being launched by radio executives Steve Smith and Tim Richards and digital marketing strategist Heidi McIvor-Allen. The organization says it “brings deep radio operations, programming, and digital marketing experience to radio stations and groups, with a fresh approach and innovative strategies to help stations grow their audience and revenues, while saving money.” It adds that in addition to podcast and radio talent coaching services, the Smith Richards Collective offers full-service white glove consulting for radio stations and groups, as well as an embedded full-service digital marketing agency, McIvor Marketing, which offers stations and groups a full spectrum of digital resources and support.

 

Salem New York’s ‘The Answer’ to Produce ‘The Salem Business Breakfast.’ Next Wednesday (4/27) Salem Media Group’s news/talk WNYM-AM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” is presenting “The Salem Business Breakfast” at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey. It takes place from 6:00 am to 10:00 am as Joe Piscopo broadcasts the morning show live. An interactive business panel discussion will be moderated by attorney and AM 970 The Answer personality Arthur Aidala that will include: Bernie Kerik, former NYPD Police Commissioner; Steve Perillo, president & owner of Perillo Tours; Ace Watanasuparp, national director of strategic sales at Citizens Bank Home Mortgage Division & founder of Chase Restaurant Group; Jason Greene, vice president of Magniflood INC; and Melanie Landano, founder & owner of Mel’s Butcher Box.

 

TALKERS News Notes. New York City Audacy radio stations are airing the podcast episodes hosted by WCBS-FM personality Patty Steele for which she won a 2022 Gracie Award in the category National Podcast – Lifestyle Limited Series. The program is titled “The Deep 6” and the episodes that will be aired on April 24 at 6:00 am consist of her interview with her 26-year-old son Jake about his heroin addiction and his journey to recovery. Steele, a mother of three,  reveals her struggle through the ordeal that simultaneously occurred with her breast cancer diagnosis. With five years of sobriety under his belt, Jake and his mom decided it was time to make their story public with the hope of helping others. Steele comments, “It’s important that we take the stigma away from addiction issues and talk openly about what is truly affecting our children. I’m so grateful that Jake and I are in such a good place that we’re able to share our journey.” WINS director of news and programming Ben Mevorach states, “Patty’s conversation with her son is heartbreaking, inspiring, life-affirming, and compelling. It is one of the most important podcasts to come along in a very long time. What makes it so powerful is its authenticity. You can feel the pain and unrelenting love for her son on this very personal journey. Patty is brave beyond words to share and explore all that has happened and because her story could be any parent’s story, every parent will find a part of themselves in it.”…..Pictured at left is Salem Radio Network talk radio host Mike Gallager(left) with 16-time WWE World Champion wrestler Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair (right). Gallagher bumped into Flair while taking his first “maskless” flight since the pandemic began in 2020…..Audacy is conducting 45 volunteer events nationwide to celebrate Earth Day as part of its 1Day1Thing Sustainability Initiative. The series of events, which will engage employees across the company, aim to make a positive impact on the communities in which the company serves and the planet. Projects including tree planting, park and waterway cleanups, recycling projects and habitat restoration, among others. Audacy director of sustainability Jaimie Field says, “We pride ourselves on our relentless commitment to supporting the health and success of the communities that are at the heart of our business, and we’re thrilled to unite our teams across the country to do some good for our planet. Sustainability is a focal point of our Audacy Serves initiative, and we’re looking forward to leveraging these actions this Earth Day to make a lasting impact on our environment, both today and for generations to come.”…..Good Karma Brands president Steve Politziner has been inducted into the 45th class of the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame. Each year, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission recognizes an elite group of individuals who have made major impacts to the Palm Beach County sports landscape. By bringing ESPN to the market through the power of radio, TV and events, he helped shape Palm Beach County’s sports identity, created a home for sports fans and has provided coverage to the great sports stories, teams and athletes that make up the community.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Netflix Crash/Financial Markets/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, DeSantis vs Disney, College Debt Forgiveness, COVID-19, Macron-Le Pen Race, and Arizona Wildfire Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its ICBM test and threat of nuclear weapons use; the crash of Netflix’s stock, its effect on the financial markets and the broader issue of high gas and food prices; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pushes legislation to strip Disney of its decades-old special district benefit; the Biden administration’s move to provide 50,000 students with college debt forgiveness; the ruling that cancels the air travel mask mandate and the BA.2 variant; the tight race between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen for president of France; and the raging Arizona wildfire were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, March 25, 2022

| March 25, 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, “Midnight in Moscow,” looks back at this past week of 3/21 to 3/25. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSJennifer Horn, talk show host, KRLA (AM 860 The Answer), Los Angeles; Martha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Ivan Pentchoukov, national editor, The Epoch Times. 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.

 

Townsquare Media to Acquire Cherry Creek Broadcasting for $18.75 Million. This deal for Townsquare Media, Inc. to acquire Cherry Creek Broadcasting LLC for $18.75 million will add assets including 35 radio stations in nine markets to Townsquare’s portfolio, which will include 356 stations in 74 markets when the deal is closed sometime in the third quarter of this year. To accomplish the transaction, and due to FCC ownership regulations, Townsquare will divest 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 place two radio stations in Tri-Cities, Washington in a divestiture trust. Townsquare says this transaction solidifies its position as the only local media and digital marketing solutions company of scale focused principally on markets outside of the top 50 in the United States, a vital differentiator for the company. Company CEO Bill Wilson comments, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of Cherry Creek’s market leading local media brands. The acquisition includes many local heritage brands with strong competitive positions, meaningful audience share, and very talented local teams. This represents an excellent opportunity to deploy our Digital First Local Media strategy across a broader footprint, bringing our national scale, strong digital platform, and resources to the local communities and local businesses in these markets, building upon the strong relationships these local teams have already built with their communities. We look forward to accelerating the digital growth in these markets as we implement our flywheel of powerful and effective marketing and advertising (digital and radio) solutions and technology platforms, in combination with our highly relevant, localized content on air and online. We believe this acquisition furthers our goal of being the #1 Digital First Local Media Company in markets outside of the top 50 in the United States.” 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.” The Cherry Creek LLC stations in this deal are located in the following markets: 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.

 

Round Four of February PPM Ratings Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s February 2022 sweep covered February 3 – March 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM rises two-tenths for a 7.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish and remains #3 in the market while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF drops 1.3 shares for a 2.0 share finish and falls back to the #13 rank. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC, Indianapolis sheds nine-tenths for a 9.7 share finish but remains ranked #2 in the market. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN falls from #1 to #2 after dipping two-tenths for a 9.5 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ adds four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 7.6 share that keeps it in the #4 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV-FM, Jacksonville posts a 10.6 share after rising six-tenths and that is good for the #1 rank in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the previous three groups) here.

 

Rhode Island Talk Radio Host John DePetro Continues Reporting from Ukraine. WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk radio host John DePetro is pictured above (right) interviewing displaced Ukrainian Andre (left) who is serving as a volunteer in Western Ukraine helping his fellow citizens who’ve lost their homes. DePetro says that the situation in his Western Ukrainian location is “very tense.” So much so that for security reasons, journalists now face being incarcerated for taking any type of military photo or photo showing a specific location. See his video report here.

 

Audacy’s WJZ-FM, Baltimore Debuts ‘Baltimore Baseball Tonight’ Program. The new “Baltimore Baseball Tonight”  program on Audacy’s WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” will be hosted by midday personality Bob Haynie, Orioles legends Bill Ripken and Mike Bordick, former Orioles vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette, and 105.7 The Fan’s Orioles beat reporter Cordell Woodland. Beginning Opening Day on April 7, the show will air at 6:00 pm ET on game nights and broadcast live from Pickles Pub across the street from the stadium when the team is home. When the team is on the road, the show will be live from various locations, including the 105.7 The Fan studios. Audacy Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “‘Baltimore Baseball Tonight’ will give fans an in-depth preview of the Baltimore professional baseball team throughout the season and bring them closer to the game than ever before. We’re also extremely excited to get back out with the fans at Pickles Pub and share our collective passion for the team alongside Bob, Bill, Mike, Jim and Cordell – five individuals who have decades of insight on the team.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. According to data from Comscore, FOX News Digital finished February as the top-performing news brand in the competitive set in both multiplatform views and multiplatform minutes. FOX News Digital says it delivered 2.9 billion multiplatform minutes and over 1.4 billion multiplatform views, while posting increases in multiplatform unique visitors and multiplatform minutes versus the prior month. February also marked the 12th straight month that FOX News outpaced every news organization in the competitive set in multiplatform minutes. While FOX News Digital topped primary competitor CNN.com in multiplatform total views and multiplatform total minutes, CNN.com beat FOX News Digital in multiplatform unique visitors by a margin of almost two to one…..As reported in Pittsburgh’s TribLive, sports radio pro Adam Crowley leaves iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG-AM “ESPN Pittsburgh” to join Audacy’s crosstown sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” for weekend, fill-in, and producer duties…..Actor, director and educator LeVar Burton will receive the first-ever Insight Award from the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to broadcasting, history and American culture during the NAB Show Welcome on Monday, April 25 in Las Vegas. The Insight Award recognizes an individual or organization for an outstanding artistic or journalistic work or body of work that enhances the public’s understanding of the role, operation, history or impact of media in our society. Burton is known for his roles as Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed television mini-series “Roots” and as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” A lifelong children’s literacy advocate, Burton was host and executive producer of “Reading Rainbow,” one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history, during its 26-year run from 1983 to 2009. The show received more than 25 Emmy Awards, including 10 for Outstanding Children’s Series, and was honored with a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award in 1992…..Host David Marzetti’s weekend golf program, “The Shagbag Radio Show,” is celebrating its 20thanniversary on April 2. The program is heard on iHeartMedia’s KION-AM, Salinas, California each Saturday. Marzetti, who broadcasts the program remotely from the Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey, says he has never missed a live show in its 20 years on air – even during the pandemic shutdown – and has featured more than 4,000 guests on over 1,000 shows in its 20-year run.

 

Russia-Ukraine War Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 21-25. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the global effects of the conflict made it the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Joe Biden’s leading a NATO summit addressing the Ukraine invasion, followed at #3 by U.S. relations with Russia and China and tied with North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test. 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.

 

 

 

Westwood One Seeks Part-Time Producer. This is a Washington, DC-based position for a part-time producer to support the “Jim Bohannon Show,” “America in the Morning” and “First Light.” The producer performs all the functions of the producer for vacation relief and other times and will assist with the production of the programs, including news assignments, call screening, podcast and archive uploading, and other responsibilities as needed. The ideal candidate should have a strong knowledge of news events and passion for radio. They must be able to multitask and handle a fast-paced working environment, be detail-oriented, prompt and reliable, thrive on working as part of a team and respond well to direction. Must possess excellent writing and storytelling skills. Get more information and apply here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

| January 26, 2022

Darren Moore Named Vice President/General Manager for Cox Media Group Ohio. Television sales executive Darren Moore is named vice president and general manager for Cox Media Group Ohio that includes heritage news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, two music formatted stations and WHIO-TV. Moore will oversee all operations at the outlets including news, programming, sales, digital, engineering, production and community affairs. Moore joined CMG 26 years ago as an intern for WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh. He served with WAXN-TV, Charlotte before returning to CMG Pittsburgh where he served in various sales management roles.  CMG EVP of Television Paul Curran says, “Darren’s passion for people, the broadcasting industry and CMG is infectious and inspiring. His strong track record of forging internal and external relationships will make a positive impact on our Dayton operations and in the Dayton community. I look forward to watching him excel in this new role as our approach to broadcasting in Dayton continues to evolve.” Moore comments, “I am honored to join the outstanding broadcasters at CMG Ohio, home to some of the most iconic TV and radio brands in the entire industry. I can’t wait to start working with the Dayton team, further enhancing our award-winning brands, serving our customers and viewers, and partnering with the local Miami Valley community.”

Steve Moore Promoted to OM for Audacy St. Louis. Programming pro Steve Moore is promoted to operations manager for Audacy St. Louis. In this role, Moore will oversee the markets’ six brands, including heritage news/talk KMOX-AM and news/talk KFTK-FM and its four music formatted sister stations. Audacy St. Louis VP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “I am beyond delighted to have Steve ascend into this new role. He has been so instrumental in building operational alignment, collaboration, and synergy across our St. Louis footprint. I am looking forward to Steve helping us continue to grow our incredible brands.” Moore comments, “I couldn’t be more excited for this new opportunity. I appreciate the trust that Becky Domyan and Audacy have shown me and I’m looking forward to working more closely with Derrick, Leo and the talented broadcasters on these incredible music stations.”

FOXNews.com Tops in Multiplatform Minutes in 2021. According to data from Comscore, FOX News Media’s FOXNews.com finished 2021 as “the top-performing news brand in the competitive set, delivering 38 billion total multiplatform minutes… FOXNews.com also toppled nearly every news organization in the competitive set, outpacing NYTimes.com and WashingtonPost.com in all categories for the entire year.” In its head-to-head battle with CNN.com, FOXNews.com had 37.8 billion multiplatform total minutes compared to CNN.com’s 35.5 billion. CNN.com topped FOXNews.com in the multiplatform total views metric (20.3 billion versus 18.4 billion) and in the average monthly multiplatform unique visitors metric (139 million versus 86 million). FOX News says 2021 marked its highest non-election year on record in social engagement. The digital network hit a new high in Instagram interactions, reaching over 286 million, its best year to date. 2021 also was a record year for the highest amount of video views ever for FOX News, driving nearly 4 billion video views across YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. The network saw increases of nearly 10% in YouTube Video Views versus the prior year, driving slightly over 3 billion views.

Round One of Holiday PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s Holiday 2021 sweep covered December 9 – January 5. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Nielsen’s annual Holiday PPM survey is traditionally not good to spoken word radio stations as so much listening is attributed to music outlets playing Christmas music. Bucking the trend, both of Audacy’s New York all-news stations were up compared to the December survey. WINS added six-tenths to finish with a 4.4 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and rose to the #5 rank while WCBS-AM added four-tenths for a 2.6 share finish good for the #13 rank. In Dallas, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP-AM tacked on two-tenths for a 3.0 share but remained in the #14 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta dipped eight-tenths to a 5.8 share and sliding to the #5 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

Wendy Bell Gets Weekend Show on Newsmax. Longtime Pittsburgh television and radio personality Wendy Bell is joining Newsmax for a weekend program titled “Wendy Bell Common Sense.” The program will debut this Saturday (1/29) at 4:30 pm ET and “will examine the news of the day with a lively approach to national issues.” (It will air again on Sundays at 3:30 PM ET.) Bell says, “People are hungry for common sense in this country, and that’s what this new program is about. Telling the truth, having great conversations, talking about what really matters. It’s going to be outstanding.” Bell also hosts a syndicated talk radio program that airs live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET. Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy comments, “Wendy Bell has had a remarkable career as a television journalist and radio host, and throughout it all has been an advocate of common sense and American values. We are glad to have her on the Newsmax team.”

Salem Media Group Names Ron DeSantis ‘Culture Warrior of the Year.’ Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is named “2021 Salem Culture Warrior of the Year” by Salem Media Group. The honor is the result of voting by Salem listeners and DeSantis received 52% of the vote among the six finalists. Salem listeners were given the chance to nominate anyone who fits the category. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Governor DeSantis is well deserving of this honor, and it proves how strong he is not only in Florida, but also across the country. Last year this award was given to Candace Owens, so both honorees are well deserving of the respect and admiration of the Salem audience across the country.”

MIW Offers ‘Understanding Broadcast Law’ Program. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio organization – dedicated to the advancement of female leadership in radio broadcasting – announces a new career enhancing program titled, “Understanding Broadcast Law,” sponsored by Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth Law, PLC.  The “Understanding Broadcast Law” program is built to clarify the numerous legal issues inherent to the radio business. In addition to underwriting the program, which runs throughout 2022, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth partners Frank Montero and Kathleen Victory and their team will host a series of free and on-demand videos dedicated to answering questions and providing practical and applicable information as it pertains to radio law. From EEO to FCC license renewals and contracts, to conversations with corporate lawyers, each unique and informative video will be easily accessible on a variety of platforms. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “Knowledge is power, and the opportunity to empower more women by demystifying legal issues is huge. We are beyond grateful for Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth’s sponsorship of this important series. Frank and his team are providing an invaluable opportunity to the MIW community and the industry.” To ensure that these instructive videos focus on areas of highest need and priority, MIW is asking for feedback from interested participants. They have created a survey that you can take here.

WhyHunger ‘Hungerthon’ Raises $920,000 from Holiday Campaign. The 36th annual Hungerthon campaign raised more than $920,000 “to support true solutions to hunger and build social justice for all.” The organization WhyHunger partnered with Audacy New York, iHeartMedia New York and SiriusXM to engage listeners and raise funds. Celebrity supporters like vitafusion Gummy Vitamins ambassador Tiffany Haddish, Yoko Ono Lennon and Bruce Springsteen lent their voices to the issue. The radio partners hosted live broadcasts featuring exclusive interviews on topics such as hunger and health, the root causes of hunger, women in food justice and COVID-19’s impact on hunger, while raising funds through auction items, donation drives and social media engagement. The Audacy New York stations – including sports talk WFAN, all-newsers WINS and WCBS-AM – hosted a radiothon on November 23 raising more than $400,000. Items donated for auction included a Bruce Springsteen autographed guitar, a Bob Weir autographed guitar, a chance to sit in on WFAN’s “Boomer & Gio” show, and more.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Receives Top Score from Charity Navigator. The Broadcasters Foundation of America proudly announces it has achieved a rating of 100 from Charity Navigator, the world’s largest and most trusted nonprofit evaluator. The evaluation process takes place over a seven-year period and uses Charity Navigator’s Encompass Rating System. The Broadcasters Foundation received a score of 100 in finance & accountability, reflecting its solid financial health (stability, efficiency, and sustainability) and commitment to governance practices and policies. In addition, the Broadcasters Foundation also received full credit at 72% for its Program Expense Ratio, which measures the percent of total expenses spent on the programs and services it exists to deliver. BFoA co-president Jim Thompson says, “We are very proud to receive this high level of accreditation from Charity Navigator. We have worked diligently to maximize our budget to provide the aid that so many in our industry desperately need. Life-altering illness or accident can devastate a family’s financial situation, and the Broadcasters Foundation is committed to easing that strain for our colleagues who qualify.” For more information, visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org.

Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Financial Markets/Inflation/Crypto Plunge, Urban Violent Crime Spike, Midterms/Trump & GOP, Boris Johnson Troubles, the Beijing Olympics, and Baseball Hall of Fame Snubs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/25). The global tensions over Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad plus legal battles over mask & vaccine mandates; the skittish world financial markets, high retail and oil prices & the plunge in cryptocurrency; the spike in violent crime in America’s large cities; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the ropes for violating his own COVID regulations; the drama surrounding the Beijing Olympics; and the Baseball Hall of Fame doesn’t admit Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds on their final ballots were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

| November 16, 2021

Audacy Names Brand Managers for Pittsburgh’s News/Talk KDKA-AM and Sports Talk KDKA-FM. Programming pro Dave LaBrozzi leaves his position as vice president of programming for Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York to join Audacy’s legendary Pittsburgh news/talk outlet KDKA-AM as brand manager. At the same same, Audacy announces it is promoting afternoon drive producer Kraig Riley to brand manager for sister sports talk station KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan.” Both begin their new positions on November 29. Audacy Pittsburth SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “As both KDKA and ‘The Fan’ continue to evolve into full multi-platform operations serving our listeners in new ways every day, it is clear that both stations need focused leadership. The addition of Dave and promotion of Kraig will help us continue that evolution. There is an expectation of excellence at both stations from the city of Pittsburgh that I have no doubt Dave and Kraig will continue to build on every day.” LaBrozzi says, “I am thrilled to be back in my favorite city and second home. I consider it an honor to lead KDKA, a true legend in the industry. Thank you to Michael Spacciapolli for the opportunity to return to the city I love and lead an amazing group of talent on such a legendary station.” Riley comments, “I’ve had a passion for ‘93.7 The Fan’ since joining the team as a producer on its first day on the air in 2010. Growing into a role that now gives me an opportunity to influence the station and move it into the future is something I’m equally excited about and proud of.”

Alex Jones Loses Connecticut Defamation Cases by Default. This story is being reported by a number of consumer news outlets, including this story by The New York Times. In this suit, the families of eight victims of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut sued media personality Alex Jones and his Infowars organization for defamation after they were cruelly harassed by Jones’ fans who believed Jones’ consistent claims that the mass shooting was a “false flag” to assist the government in taking away citizens’ guns. The victims’ families claimed in their suit that Jones’ business profited from his conspiracy theory – something that Jones denied but didn’t back up after failing every time to comply with the rules of discovery by not turning over requested documents. For that reason, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled in favor of the plaintiffs based on default. Jones also lost a similar case in Texas. Juries in both cases will decide how much Jones will pay the families in damages. Jones said through his attorneys that he will appeal and that this is a First Amendment case. Attorney Chris Mattei, lawyer for the Connecticut families, is quoted in the Times piece saying that Jones had every opportunity to argue his First Amendment strategy but chose to be defaulted. “He deliberately chose to prevent us from collecting evidence that would prove how his business works and why he engaged in this extended campaign against the families, and the relationship between that and his profitability.”

Alpha Media Names Brian Foster and Les Tuttle to Regional VP Posts. Radio executives Brian Foster and Les Tuttle are being named to regional vice president positions with Alpha Media. In their new roles, Foster will oversee Alpha markets in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan, while Tuttle will handle Missouri, Minnesota, and select markets in Iowa. Both will report to chief operating officer Larry Bastida. (Alpha recently announced that Zoe Burdine-Fly has joined the company as a regional president.) Bastida – who has served in the Chicago market as a GSM and market manager for the past 20 years – says, “We are excited to have Brian and Les join Zoe as we continue to evolve the senior leadership team. Throughout our extensive search to fill the regional president position, it became clear that Brian and Les could play crucial roles. In recent weeks, the added collaboration from these three has enhanced the discussion as the company gains momentum going into 2022.” Foster comments, “Years ago, I discovered my passion, not for radio or digital, but for telling our clients’ stories. This message-first approach has led to sustainable growth inside my market, and I am thrilled to continue this endeavor with my new role.” Tuttle has been market manager for Alpha’s Moberly-Farmington-Festus, Missouri market for the past 11 years. He states, “Having worked for many companies during my 45 years in this business, I enjoy the style of the Alpha leadership team. Their commitment to people sets them apart from other companies, and I look forward to being part of the senior management group.”

Gonsales Appointed SVP and Market Manager for Audacy Twin Cities. Radio sales and management pro Jeff Gonsales joins Audacy as senior vice president and market manager for the Minneapolis market. He’ll oversee the station group that includes news/talk WCCO-AM and two music brands, beginning December 6. Prior to joining Aduacy, Gonsales served with Hubbard Radio’s Twin Cities cluster as director of sales. Audacy regional president Rachel Williamson says, “We are thrilled to welcome Jeff Gonsales to oversee our Minneapolis market and the operations of our three stations. Throughout his tenure in the Twin Cities, Jeff has built a strong reputation as a leader with integrity who cares about his people and his business partners. We trust that invaluable quality coupled with his rich experience in this area will set Audacy Minneapolis up for continued growth and success under his leadership.” Gonsales comments, “I am excited to join the Audacy team in Minneapolis. After starting my radio career at 830 WCCO, I look forward to returning to move this group of local favorites forward in the digital audio world.”

Nadia Cowart Rejoins Cumulus Media as Digital Sales Manager. Media sales pro Nadia Cowart is back with Cumulus Media as digital sales manager for the company’s Beaumont, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana clusters. She served as promotion manager for the clusters from 2002 through 2008 and was most recently marketing director for KBMT-TV, Beaumont. The Beaumont cluster includes sports talk duo KIKR-AM/KBED-AM and the Lake Charles group includes news/talk KAOK-AM “Super Talk 1400” and sports talk KXZZ-AM. Cumulus Beaumont/Lake Charles VP and market manager Elizabeth Blackstock says, “Nadia is an experienced marketing and sales professional in both of our markets, and we are excited that she is returning to Cumulus to help lead our digital sales department. She understands what our communities need to grow and has worked with area businesses and non-profit organizations to achieve their objectives through effective digital strategies.”

SportsMap Radio Network Launches ‘Fred Nation’ Program. A new midday sports talk program from SportsMap Radio launches titled “Fred Nation” starring Fred Davis (right) and Fred Faour (left). The program is scheduled to debut on November 29 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Faour says, “I’m excited to bring our unique style to SportsMap Radio. It will be a combination of great sports talk with a big gambling slant. Our irreverent approach will create something very special for the network.” Faour was a co-host on Gow Media’s KFNC-FM “ESPN Houston” until August of 2021 and served as the editor of SportsMap Houston. Former KILT-AM Houston personality Fred Davis says, “The show will be fun, informative, and fast-paced. And what’s better than one Fred? Two Freds.” Gow Media CEO David Gow adds, “These two have amazing chemistry. Locally, they each have a huge following and I expect similar success all throughout the Fred Nation.”

iHeartMedia Renews ‘BOB & TOM Show’ on 17 Stations. The Westwood One nationally syndicated “BOB & TOM Show” renews its agreement with iHeartMedia to continue airing on 17 of the company’s radio stations across the U.S., including: WFBQ-FM, Indianapolis; WKQQ-FM, Lexington, Kentucky; WIBA-FM, Madison; and WTUE-FM, Dayton. iHeartMedia national programming group COO Brad Hardin says, “It’s an honor to continue our great relationship with Tom Griswold and his team. How often do you get to say you’ve worked together for decades? Listeners across the country have become accustomed to starting their day laughing along with The BOB & TOM Show’s irreverent humor, and we’re excited that they are continuing to bring the laughs with this extended partnership.”

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report from FOX News Media that cites Comscore data, FOX News Digital notches the number one spot for the month of October in multiplatform minutes and multiplatform views, reaching over 1.8 billion multiplatform views and over 3.3 billion multiplatform minutes. FOX says its digital network surpassed CNN.com in multiplatform minutes for the eighth consecutive month and outperformed all other news brands in the news competitive set. Further, FOX says that for the 86th consecutive month, it continued as the most engaged news brand on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), driving 49 million total social interactions. FOX News was also the top performer in Facebook and Instagram interactions among news competitors, with more than 19 million Facebook interactions and over 27 million on Instagram, according to Socialbakers. FOX News also finished the month as number one among news competitors with YouTube video views, with over 319.8 million, up 37% year over year, delivering the network’s second highest month in history in YouTube video views…..Newsmax is reporting “tremendous growth” in its social media audience, viewership, and engagement for the month of October. Newsmax says it finished third on Twitter in overall monthly interactions (2.14M), behind only CNN (2.39M) and NY Times (2.34M). For 2021 so far, Newsmax is fifth in total Twitter interactions (17.6M), behind CNN (30.8M), NY Times (28.58M), MSNBC (20.53M) and ABC News (17.76M). Newsmax says it finished third in monthly Facebook impressions (10.58M), behind only FOX News (20.09M) and Breitbart (17.56M). For 2021 so far, Newsmax is third in total Facebook impressions (153.84M), behind only FOX News (331.8M) and Breitbart (194.16M). Newsmax says it set a new all-time monthly high in Instagram monthly interactions in October with 9.33 million. It finished third on Instagram in total Interactions (9.33M), behind only FOX News (27.2M) and CNN (18.9M)…..Public media organizations GBH and PRX announce the appointment of Dan Lothian as executive producer of “The World,” public radio’s daily global news program. Lothian assumes the role of executive editor after serving as interim editor since March 2021. GBH president and CEO Jon Abbott comments, “Dan brings a wealth of experience and leadership to ‘The World.’ Over the past eight months, he has demonstrated his exceptional journalistic skills and deep commitment to the mission of GBH and public media. We’re excited to support the continued development of ‘The World’ with Dan’s vision and dedication.”…..FEMA and Bonneville Seattle are hosting the unveiling of an all-hazards upgrade to the “Primary Entry Point” facility at the KIRO-AM PEP Transmitter site on Friday (11/19). The modernization to the emergency studio increases Bonneville Seattle’s KIRO-AM 710 resiliency to continue broadcasting under all conditions, including natural disasters and acts of terrorism. This facility is one of 77 across the country that serve as a National Public Warning System Primary Entry Point (PEP) station, participating with FEMA to provide emergency alert and warning information to the public before, during and after incidents and disasters. KIRO-AM is the 14th station in the country to work with FEMA to complete the all-hazards upgrade, which includes increased sheltering capabilities, expanded broadcast capacity, and sustainable power generation for all types of hazardous events.

Funeral Services Set for Al Herskovitz on Thursday, November 18. The funeral for industry veteran Al Herskovitz who passed away last week (11/11) at the age of 90 will take place on Thursday, November 18 at 11:00 am at Skyway Memorial Gardens, 5200 US Hwy 19 N, Palmetto, FL 34221.  For more details about Al Herskovitz’s passing, please see the story below originally posted 11/12.

January 6 Investigation, Inflation/Supply Chain, COVID-19, Biden-Xi Summit, Infrastructure Bill, Russia’s Military Intentions, the Poland-Belarus migrant conflict, and Rittenhouse Case Goes to Jury Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/15). The investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and Steve Bannon is formally charged with contempt of Congress; soaring retail, food, and fuel prices and the broken supply chain; the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in parts of the U.S. and the court battle over President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate; Monday’s virtual meeting between Biden and China’s Xi Jinping; Biden’s trillion dollar Infrastructure bill and its implementation to be handled by former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu; concerns over Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the migrant crisis at the Poland-Belarus border; and the jury gets the Kyle Rittenhouse case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.