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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

| January 4, 2022

Good Karma Brands to Sell Wisconsin Signals. Two Southeastern Wisconsin radio signals will change hands, pending FCC approval, and will air a news/talk format. Wisbusiness.com reports that Good Karma Brands is selling WAUK-AM, Waukesha and FM translator W266DR  at 101.1 FM to New WTTN, LLC, led by Wisconsin broadcaster and company CEO Michael Crute. The terms have not been announced. The signals are currently airing sports talk but will flip to news/talk when New WTTN takes control. Crute is co-host of the Madison-based “Devil’s Advocates” program heard on the company’s WTTN-AM/W224EG, Madison “Devil Radio 92.7.” WAUK will be branded “The ‘SHA” and will “broadcast Waukesha-first news, sports, traffic, and weather in 2022 and beyond.” Initially, the station will simulcast the Madison programming that includes: “Matt Flynn Direct” from 6:00 am to 8:00 am; WYD Media’s “Thom Hartmann Program” from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm; “Dueling Tangents with Luke Mathers and Bryan Kelly” from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm; “The Devil’s Advocates” from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm; and “The Earl Ingram Show” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. It intends to add locally hosted programming in the spring. Bryan Kelly will serve as operations manager for the station. WAUK has leased an office space and will immediately build a studio location in downtown Waukesha. Crute says, “We are excited to serve Waukesha, a community lacking a locally focused news/talk commercial radio station. WAUK Radio will immediately offer $50,000 total in ‘Good Neighbor’ small business or non-profit grants to help serve the Waukesha community from day one. The grants are for advertising on WAUK. They will be awarded throughout January to locally owned, Waukesha businesses. We will begin accepting applications for our Good Neighbor grants on January 3, 2022.”

Westwood One Blog: Strategies for Successfully Advertising in Local Radio. This week’s CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog outlines what it calls “five strategies to help build a successful local audio plan.” Stating that due to the “shift of TV audiences to advertising-free video platforms, local advertisers are turning to audio to build their brands and drive sales,” the Audio Active Group proposes the following: 1) Allocate the budget to align with how people use audio: A well-balanced audio campaign puts 63% of the budget into over-the-air AM/FM radio and 11% into AM/FM radio streaming. 26% of the budget goes to a combination of pureplay streaming and podcasts; 2) Determine the monthly campaign objective (minimum, maintenance, high impact, or launch/grand opening) and budget accordingly: To determine the monthly budget, multiply the market cost per point against the GRP levels. In a market with a $10 cost per point, the minimum monthly campaign would be $2,000. The grand opening campaign would be $5,000 per month; 3) Align impressions and media weight with listening by time period to get the largest possible campaign reach: Per Nielsen, 60% of AM/FM radio listening occurs outside of morning and afternoon drive. Spread media weight across all days and dayparts. About a quarter of media weight should run in middays. Place 20% of the budget respectively into weekends, mornings, and afternoons. 8% goes to nights and 5% to overnights; 4) Find the right audience with AM/FM radio programming formats: While the audience composition of TV shows can vary widely, AM/FM radio station programming formats are very cohesive, appealing to the same audience around the clock. Find the AM/FM radio programming formats that match your target using either median age, total reach, gender skew, presence of children, or household size; and 5) Based on the marketing objective, determine the weekly number of ads to run on a station from four types of schedules (very light, light, medium, or heavy): A very light station schedule reaches one-third of a station’s audience an average of 1.4 times. A light schedule reaches half of a station’s audience two times. A medium schedule reaches two-thirds of a station’s audience three times. A heavy schedule reaches 78% of a station’s audience 4.3 times. See more here.

KIRO-FM, Seattle Unveils ‘Leaving a Legacy’ Podcast. A new podcast from Bonneville’s KIRO, Seattle “News Radio 97.3 FM” launches today (1/4). KIRO-FM late morning personality Gee Scott hosts the “Leaving a Legacy Podcast” in which he “takes listeners on a journey to discover how some of our most influential public figures want to leave their legacy on this world, and how his own experience can be contributed to the shoulders of giants that came before him.” Scott says, “My father always talked about legacy, and this podcast connects me to him now that he’s gone. I’m so excited to learn from these powerful influencers to see what they’re passionate about and what they want their legacy to be. It’s a powerful question, and one that truly puts into perspective our why during the short time we’re all here on Earth.” The inaugural program features former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver and current “CBS Mornings” host Nate Burleson. Other guests include author, activist and journalist Amanda Knox, the ‘King of Twitter’ Josiah Johnson, and Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price, who famously decided to pay all his employees a $70,000 minimum salary.

CES 2022: 5G, 4 Wheels, 3Days. This year’s show wraps a day early, on Thursday, “as an additional safety measure” and COVID concern has scared-off major exhibitors and what TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke estimates is “less than half of 2020’s 170,000-some.” But he says “there’s still lots to see (if not touch)” and that he is “among longtime attendees who appreciate the elbow room.” Read more here.

Audacy Announces Deal with Samsung for Podcast Distribution. A new content partnership between Audacy and Samsung will make Audacy’s entire podcast library available on Samsung platforms, including the Samsung Free platform that comes on Galaxy smartphones. Users will have access to content from Audacy’s Cadence13, Pineapple Street Studios and 2400Sports podcast studios, along with hundreds of other Audacy podcast titles. Audacy EVP of strategy and corporate business development Tim Murphy says, “We’re delighted to expand the reach of our robust podcast library to Samsung Free users across the country and put our award-winning titles on more devices for more consumers.”

TALKERS News Notes. After 12 years of leadership under Gordon Smith, the National Association of Broadcasters has a new president and CEO as Curtis LeGeyt assumed the role on January 1. NAB Joint Board of Directors chairman David Santrella (CEO of Salem Media Group) says, “The broadcasting community is extremely grateful to Gordon for his many years of service as an influential advocate for our industry. We are excited to now have Curtis at the helm to guide the organization into its next chapter. He is a proven leader and skilled fighter on behalf of broadcasters, and we are thrilled to have him serve as our voice in Washington and around the world.”…..Later this month, Newsweek will build on its in-depth coverage of the British Royal Family with a new podcast. “Royal Report” will be hosted by Newsweek’s British royal correspondent Jack Royston and American culture critic, royal watcher and author Kristen Meinzer. New episodes will appear every two weeks and will provide American royal watchers with fresh reporting and analysis of the House of Windsor…..The board of directors of New England Public Media announces that Matt Abramovitz is named the new president of NEPM.  “In his role as president, Abramovitz will be responsible for leading NEPM’s efforts across radio, television, and digital media platforms, furthering its mission of serving the people of western New England by providing trustworthy journalism, cultural content, events and initiatives, educational services, and community engagement.” Abramovitz has been serving as vice president of programming for New York Public Radio‘s classical station WQXR-FM.

USA Radio’s Brad Bernards Passes. Sad news from USA Radio Networks as the organization reports that USA Radio night and weekend anchorman Brad Bernards has died.  USA Radio COO Janet Porter Bro says Bernards was a key component of USA’s quality broadcast team. He was a school teacher in the Valentine, Texas school district who launched an internet radio station to cover local news in Presidio County, teaching the broadcast business to student interns. Bro adds, “It has been a very trying four months for the USA Radio Networks family. We lost CEO Fred Weinberg in September and long-term Christian interest news anchor John Clemens last month.”

COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Trump Family Subpoenas, Filibuster-Voting Rights Battle, Epstein Fallout, Holmes Verdict, and Southeastern Snow Storm Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/3). The fast-spreading Omicron variant and battles over school attendance policies; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the New York attorney general subpoenas Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump in the investigation into the Trump Organization; Senate Democrats threaten to change floor rules regarding the filibuster if it doesn’t take up voting rights legislation; Prince Andrew’s battle with U.S. courts over his relationship with Jeffery Epstein and Virginia Giuffre; Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty of three of 11 charges in the Theranos case; and the Southeastern U.S. is pounded by rare snow storms were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: Speaking of Vaccine Mandates

| October 18, 2021

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — While the USA remains an embarrassing hot spot in the worldwide COVID pandemic – and until we can come up with something else to argue about – new evidence demonstrates the importance of choosing our words carefully.

In a recent CNBC interview, pollster Frank Luntz shared recommendations based on fresh research:

Read More

Thursday, October 14, 2021

| October 14, 2021

Ramsey Solutions’ Borrowed Future Premieres Today; Teachers Given Free Access to Share with Students. The student load documentary produced by Ramsey Solutions is being released today (10/14) and the company is offering every teacher in the U.S. free access to the film. Borrowed Future: How Student Loans Are Killing the American Dream is produced by Dave Ramsey and is now available on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Google Play. Ramsey Solutions says the film uncovers the dark side of the student loan industry and exposes how it’s built to work against borrowers. Dave Ramsey – CEO of Ramsey Solutions, host of “The Ramsey Show,” and executive producer of the film – comments, “It’s ironic to me that the dumbest decisions we make as a society are related to education, of all things. Student loans are not the only way to get a degree. Young people need to know all their options instead of settling for student loans because it’s ‘normal.’ Normal is broke.” The main subjects of the documentary are college graduates who owe between $9,000 and $1 million in student loans, a debt-free college graduate, and high school students who haven’t yet questioned the norm of student loans – until now. Borrowed Future is directed by David DiCicco and features experts such as Seth Godin, Dave Ramsey, Seth Frotman, Kristina Ellis, Dr. John Delony and Anthony ONeal, as well as the CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, Mike Rowe. See more about Borrowed Future here.

Audacy Offers $45 Million in New Notes to Fund ‘Small Digital Acquisition.’ A subsidiary of AudacyAudacy Capital Corp – plans to offer, subject to market conditions and other factors, $45 million in aggregate principal amount of the Issuer’s 6.500% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027. Audacy says it is in the process of completing a small digital acquisition for approximately $40 million and expects to fund this acquisition through a draw on the Issuer’s revolving credit facility. This acquisition is expected to close in October 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Audacy intends to use the net proceeds from this offering (after deducting discounts and commissions and paying offering-related expenses) to repay outstanding amounts under the Issuer’s term loan to offset the impact of the revolver draw. This offering is not conditioned upon the consummation of the acquisition, nor is the acquisition conditioned on the consummation of this offering. The Additional Notes are being offered as additional notes under an existing indenture, dated April 30, 2019, pursuant to which the Issuer previously issued $425 million in aggregate principal amount of its 6.500% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027. The Additional Notes will have identical terms (other than issue date and offering price) as the Existing Notes. The Additional Notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed on a senior secured second-lien basis by each direct and indirect subsidiary of the Issuer that guarantees the Issuer’s senior secured credit facility. The Notes and the related guarantees will be secured on a second-priority basis by liens on substantially all of the assets of the Issuer and the guarantors. The Additional Notes will be offered in a private offering exempt from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and will be offered and sold only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers.

NAB’s Marconi Awards to Happen Virtually; Radio Show to Merge with NAB Show Permanently. With the cancellation of the in-person NAB Show this fall, the
National Association of Broadcasters announces the presentation of the 2021 NAB Marconi Radio Awards and the State of the Industry Address by NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith will take place virtually on November 10 at 2:00 pm ET via NAB.org/watch. At the same time, NAB announces that going forward, the annual Radio Show will be integrated into the NAB Show beginning in April 2022 in Las Vegas. NAB says, “This change provides more opportunities in one location for radio professionals and elevates radio in the larger media ecosystem represented at NAB Show.” NAB adds that the integrated event in Las Vegas will feature signature awards, networking events and a comprehensive conference program, including popular sales and marketing sessions presented by the Radio Advertising Bureau. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “It’s important that we continue to bring radio professionals together to network, celebrate audio and engage in meaningful discussions around the future of our industry.” Salem Media Group president of broadcast media and NAB joint board chair David Santrella states, “In today’s world where radio companies are essentially multimedia companies, the value in attending NAB Show cannot be overstated. We are now streaming and podcasting and even producing video. NAB Show provides unparalleled access to the critical tools, knowledge and connections we need to grow and thrive in today’s media business.”

Nielsen: AM/FM Radio Listening Near its Highest Point in a Year. Results from Nielsen’s ongoing Audio Consumer Sentiment survey that addresses current American feelings about the COVID pandemic and how it impacts their lives have been released and they indicate that nearly nine in 10 (86%) say they are spending the same amount or more since the Delta variant emerged. Despite the Delta variant and increasing COVID cases in the summer, more than eight in 10 (82%) don’t think their own financial situation will change in the coming months. Also, radio’s average quarter-hour (AQH) audience trend is up 4% year over year, with 7.5 million people age 12+ listening during an average quarter-hour in PPM Markets in September 2021. Radio’s reach trend is stable. Radio reached 121.5 million consumers in PPM markets during an average week in September 2021. In Continuous Diary Measurement markets, Radio’s reach and AQH audience have been remarkably stable during the past year. The study finds that seven in 10 working Americans now work outside the home – an 80% jump since April 2020. The gain in those who work outside the home is a key statistic for audio since consumers spend more time with radio when they travel in vehicles to get to work or shop. There were also big gains in the area of transportation. Overall, nearly a third (31%) are spending more than an hour in their vehicles yesterday compared with 14% in April of last year. That’s a two-fold increase, and heavy radio listeners are far more likely to spend more time in their vehicles. In September, 55% of heavy radio listeners spent more than an hour in their vehicle yesterday.

Warren Eckstein’s ‘The Pet Show’ to Celebrate 40 Years on Air. In November, Warren Eckstein will celebrate the 40th anniversary of his radio program “The Pet Show with Warren Eckstein.” His program is syndicated nationally via Radio America. In addition to his work as a pet behaviorist and TV-radio personality, Eskstein founded the Hugs & Kisses Animal Fund – a  not-for-profit organization in memory of his late wife, Fay. Its mission is to fund hundreds of small animal organizations across the U.S. The Hugs & Kisses Animal Fund aims to be the outsourced fundraising arm for small animal rescues when other financial resources are unavailable. Speaking about his show, Eskstein says, “Unlike most talk radio shows, my focus is on the listeners and callers. I rarely do interviews, because for 40 years, pet guardians are calling with questions they need answers to. My show has listeners with four generations of pets. We’ve laughed together and cried together. There is a level of trust the show has built with my audience – they know I will never endorse a product unless I personally use it for my pets. My reputation is on the line with every show.”

CBS News Honored with Four Honors from New York Festivals 2021 Radio Awards. The winners of the New York Festivals 2021 Radio Awards have been announced and CBS News earned four honors in this year’s competition. “The Debrief with Major Garrett” took home the Gold Award in the News Podcast category; “Mobituaries with Mo Rocca” earned a Silver Award in the Narrative/Documentary Podcast category; “My Life of Crime” from “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty was a finalist in the Narrative/Documentary Podcast category; and “Century of Sound” was a finalist in the Best Nonfiction Series category.

TALKERS News Notes. Imaging firm Benztown promotes Thomas Green to director of custom imaging and appoints Royce Stevenson to the custom imaging manager role that Green held prior to his promotion. With Benztown since 2019, Brooklyn, New York-based Green is the audio producer for National Geographic’s FYC Podcast “The Making Of.” Stevenson joins Benztown from Audacy’s KDGS-FM, Wichita “Power 93.5” where he was most recently assistant brand manager and music director…..KMG Utopia Studios, TalkShoe, and Mark Krantz Productions announce that award-winning actor Joe Pantoliano and his daughter Daniella Pantoliano are kicking off season two of their popular podcast, “No Kidding? Me Too!” at Advertising Week NY 2021 with a live Q&A on Monday, October 18 at 4:30 pm ET and a virtual session on Tuesday, October 19 at 2:00 pm ET. The two will conduct an intimate interview with Kelly Carlin – author, performer, and life coach – the only child of comic legend George Carlin. She’ll share her family’s struggle with mental health, addiction, and healing. Joe Pantoliano says, “We are thrilled to bring this important conversation to Advertising Week. It is important for us to collaborate with brands and advertisers on the increasing intensity of brain Dis-Ease, the co-occurring nature of addiction, and how to discover a recovery process. This is a perfect opportunity to raise the volume on recovery.”…..Stitcher announces its acquisition of “The Bellas Podcast” hosted by sisters, WWE Hall of Fame Inductees, TV personalities, and best-selling authors Brie and Nikki Bella. Before going on hiatus in spring 2021, “The Bellas Podcast” was part of the Endeavor Audio network. As it relaunches, hosts Brie and Nikki will produce the show with support from Stitcher.

Former Baltimore Talk Host Alan Christian Dies at 81. The Baltimore Sun has the obituary for Alvin Eugene Christian Jr., a.k.a. Alan Christian, who hosted talk radio programs on Baltimore radio stations during the 1970s and 1980s.  Christian died on October 5 at age 81 after suffering from heart complications. During his career, Christian hosted talk shows on WBAL-AM, WERQ-AM, and WFBR-AM. His radio career launched in 1967 when he joined Metromedia Radio News to cover the Pentagon and the 1968 presidential campaign before being promoted to Washington bureau chief. He joined WCBM-AM in 1971 and moved to WBAL in 1974 to host “The Alan Christian Show.” At the end of his radio career, he hosted a weekly show on WERQ from 1992 to 1993 before retiring.

Supply Chain Crisis, Oil Prices/Inflation, SS COLA, COVID-19, Debt Ceiling/Biden Spending Bills, January 6 Investigation, China’s Taiwan Aggression, and Jon Gruden Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/13). The broken global supply chain’s effect on the U.S. economy; near-record high oil prices and the inflation affecting retail prices; Social Security announces cost-of-living increases for monthly recipients; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the controversy over mask & vaccine mandates; the battle in Congress to raise the debt ceiling and the negotiations over President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; China’s continuing military aggression against Taiwan; and NFL coach Jon Gruden resigns from the Raiders due to racist emails were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: Are We Flunking the Rorschach Test?

| September 27, 2021

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Is that ink blot a butterfly? Or Satan? Some psychologists use the Rorschach Test to analyze personality characteristics and emotional function, especially when patients are reluctant or unable to describe their thinking process openly.

We see what we want to see

And we hear what we want to hear, as talk radio assures those dug-in that “It’s not YOU, it’s THEM!” And “they” don’t simply view things differently, they’re wrong. And bad people. Grrr…

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Monday, September 20, 2021

| September 20, 2021

Monday Memo: “Cave Syndrome.” Even with COVID numbers mounting, “enough anti-vaxers are dug-in that we’re now told we will not reach herd immunity.” So, consultant Holland Cooke reckons that, “if you liked April, you’re going to love October.” Many did, and will, according to survey data. On his TV show, HC and talkers Harry Hurley and Jon Elliot discuss why “many of our listeners are hooked-on staying-home” and they outline an opportune call-in topic. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: 2022. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes in today’s column about budgeting for 2022. Yes, it’s still September of 2021, “as we push into October and the balance of Q4, before you can hit the send button, 2022 will be on your budgeting agenda. Start thinking now about how key metrics will play into your game planning for next year. This cycle will require more thought as we navigate the sales recovery from a COVID-impacted 2021.” Read his piece here.

FOX Sports Radio Unveils New Morning Drive Show. With “Outkick the Coverage” host and founder Clay Travis now hosting a midday news/talk show for Premiere Networks with Buck Sexton, FOX Sports Radio officially launches the network’s new morning drive show that takes Outkick’s place. “2 Pros and a Cup of Joe” starring LaVar Arrington, Brady Quinn and Jonas Knox takes over the 6:00 am to 9:00 am daypart, effective immediately. Premiere Networks SVP of sports programming Don Martin says, “The FOX Sports Radio family was so proud when Clay Travis was chosen to team up with Buck Sexton to continue the tradition of excellence created by Rush Limbaugh. At FSR, we make a commitment to each of our affiliates to deliver the best national sports lineup in the country, 24/7. Clay’s departure left a hole in our roster, but today, we proudly continue that commitment as we serve up a breakfast of champions with the launch of ‘2 Pros and a Cup of Joe.’” The trio of personalities, who currently host several weekend programs on the network, have guest hosted FSR’s weekday morning timeslot since late May 2021. FOX Sports Radio VP of programming Scott Shapiro adds, “Bolstering what’s already the best national sports talk lineup, we are injecting fun, personality, credibility, strong doses of caffeine, and thought-provoking conversation into morning-drive. After already getting rave reviews from the audience over the past couple months, we are fired up to have this dynamic trio start the day with a smile every morning!”

Triton Audio Marketplace Set for Q1 2022 Launch. The Triton Audio Marketplace will officially launch in the first quarter of 2022 and creator Triton Digital calls it “an innovative new global open audio exchange that, for the first time, will aggregate audiences at scale across three exploding audio segments: broadcast, podcast, and streaming, making it easier than ever for marketers and agencies to plan, buy and measure the impact of cross-platform audio advertising.” Further, Triton says, “The new Triton Audio Marketplace will offer access to the largest single pool of audio audiences, with more than 100 billion audio impressions per month across broadcast, streaming and podcast properties, and allow marketers and agencies to transact on ALL forms of audio inventory and have access to unmatched, sophisticated measurement and targeting tools across a range of audiences, from mass reach demographics to narrower, more precise targets… the Marketplace will include radio, streaming and podcast inventory from more than 250 media companies, including 17 of the top 20 broadcasters; more than 700 hit podcast titles from the iHeartPodcast Network, the largest podcast network globally; the biggest audio creator platforms, Voxnest and Spreaker; and world-class content from thousands of creators.” Triton Digital president – market development John Rosso says, “Triton has always been the leading innovator in streaming and podcast technology. Based on WARC & Lion’s Intelligence’s new study that shows that 31 percent of the average consumer’s media consumption is now audio, with less than 9 percent of brands media spend being allocated to audio, this new Triton Audio Marketplace is designed to now close this gap by making it easy for any marketer to find their audience in one place and plan and buy these audiences at scale across more 250 audio media partners.”

SiriusXM Names Three to Cross-Brand Marketing Organization. Three new senior marketing executives have joined SiriusXM as the company “expands its digital and streaming focus and launches new national brand advertising that reaches larger audiences.” Jasmin Chanana is named SVP, digital and customer experience; Anne Milan Alo joins as executive creative director, and Kimberly Wilson is appointed SVP, brand and advertising. SiriusXM chief marketing officer Denise Karkos says, “We are very excited to add these accomplished leaders from top companies to our marketing team as we expand SiriusXM’s leadership position in audio. Their collective experience across major consumer and business-to-business brands will help accelerate our brand and business growth. The diversity of this set of leaders at my table is imperative in our pursuit to build SiriusXM to new heights.”

COVID-19, Biden Spending Plan, Peril Book/Gen. Milley Actions, Justice for J6 Rally, Afghanistan, Stock Slide/Inflation, Gabby Petito Case, and Emmy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rate of COVID cases in the U.S., the rationing of health care due to overcrowded hospitals, and mask & vaccine mandates; the debate in congress over President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan; the Bob Woodward & Robert Costa book Peril and reaction to Gen. Mark Milley’s communications with China’s military; the sparsely attended Justice for J6 Rally in Washington; the aftermath of the U.S.’s exit from Afghanistan; the slide in global financial markets and concerns about inflation; the search for Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie; and Sunday night’s Emmy Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.